fading memories

I breathe in his freshly-shampooed hair, twirling the fine baby-soft strands of blonde sweetness around my finger. Ben has been asleep in my arms for close to 20 minutes now, but I’ve selfishly (?) stayed upstairs in the nursery rocking him, snuggling him close and savoring the night-time quiet — his even breathing and the pitter-patter of his heart-beat while Luis prepares Maya for bed.

He’s limp in my arms, in such a deep sleep he’s easily placed into his crib and I do the “hand slip” out from under him. He moans a little, lets out a sigh as he drifts into dreamland. I touch his back, rubbing it ever-so-softly, making shushing sounds, while his legs curl under him.

And, as I did a million times with Baby Maya, I stop and pause to reflect on this.exact.moment. Continue reading “fading memories”

“Maya DO It”

Between Luis and I, there isn’t a shot in hell our daughter wouldn’t be stubborn and determined. It didn’t take us long to realize that she was, indeed, cut from our cloth.

From an early age — i.e., three months, she wanted to hold her own bottle. By the time we introduced solids at five or six months, she began grabbing the spoon out of our hands to feed herself, and within weeks she was completely feeding herself … using spoons and forks and not even making much of a mess. Even before she could talk, she loved to pick out specific toys and books for us to play/read. She loved to feed Rocco (cautiously balancing his food cup before putting it in his dish) and put her laundry in the hamper, careful to make sure no socks fell out.

Then it became she had to brush her OWN teeth. Take off her OWN shoes/coat/socks. Put ON said shoes/coat/socks. Continue reading ““Maya DO It””

Seek First to Understand; Then Be Understood.

Seek first to understand; then be understood.

Wise words that can be applied to a ton of situations (specifically, communication and business) but, most relevant to me at the moment: parenting.

Parenting a toddler isn’t easy, and they sure don’t call it the “Terrible Twos” for nothing. You might think you know your child inside and out (especially after surviving infancy and the early toddler years) but sometimes it’s really hard to know what your child wants/needs in that exact moment … and it can get exasperating trying to deduce what’s wrong.

Maya is a Chatty Cathy … but if she’s throwing a tantrum, it’s often impossible for us to figure out what she is upset about  (if it seems to come from out of the blue). So short of understanding her, things like intonation, facial gestures, body language, eye contact become critical to deciphering what the problem is.

Once we understand what she is trying to tell us, we can [usually] react accordingly. Of course, this requires patience … something I still admittedly suck at. I mean, being a mom has made me more patient … but I’d still never say I am a patient person. Continue reading “Seek First to Understand; Then Be Understood.”

From Mama to Parent

One of my friends said something that really resonated with me today: “We’re at the parenting stage now.”

Oh, how right she is!

Though I haven’t been able to spell it out as eloquently and succinctly as she did, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling.

You see, the first few months of motherhood are spent trying to keep a baby alive. I know how weird that sounds, but it’s true –it’s all about the essentials: food, clothing, shelter, and, most important — love. Then, as a baby learns to eat solids and sit up and crawl and then eventually walk, things get a little more exciting, and Mom’s role morphs. Continue reading “From Mama to Parent”

Green Monsters — read as, not the spinach kind

The Oatmeal had a really funny cartoon today about who’s watching who at the gym. Did you see it?

The key takeaway is that everyone seems to be looking at the next person with envy … who is looking at someone else with envy … who is looking at someone else with envy. In the end, though, we all get old and frumpy and die. (Except Betty White–may our golden girl live another 90 years, Godblessher!) Continue reading “Green Monsters — read as, not the spinach kind”

Finding Couple Time as New Parents

It’s really hard to find time these days for everything I want to find time for: family time, couple time, and me time. All are important. And one of them is suffering greatly: couple time.

It shouldn’t be … Maya goes to bed early enough. But it is.

Because we have fallen into the new parent trap of still trying to live like we did pre-baby, and, frankly, it’s not working.

As the film title goes, “Something’s gotta give.” Continue reading “Finding Couple Time as New Parents”