Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sleepless in SF - 6 Weeks Postpartum

It’s been over 6 weeks since Mateo’s birth, and I think I’m finally getting the hang of handling 2 children.  Last night was the first night that Mateo slept for almost 4 hours straight.  It’s odd to think that I was happy that Mateo woke me up crying at a quarter to four in the morning.  But I was happy, because it could’ve been 2 am instead. This isn’t my first time around the block, but I’ll admit I still have my moments of desperation where I end up near tears thinking, “I can’t do this anymore!” and it’s usually around four in the morning.  So actually being happy at four in the morning last night was a welcome turn of events.

I remember asking the pediatrician to remind me when the sleepless nights would get better at Mateo’s VERY FIRST APPOINTMENT.  She reminded me that it would take 3 months at least.  I’m halfway there!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Birth Plan for the Mob

 A few days ago while waiting for an episode of Mob Wives to air (damn I love that show!), I watched an episode of A Baby’s Story on TLC (I know, such polar extreme shows!  That’s me!) and by the end of the episode I was pretty mad.  In this particular episode one woman’s birth plan seemed to backfire on her. 

I know that natural births are all the rage these days.  It’s what the “cool” kids do.  But you know what?  I was never meant for the cool crowd.  I was always on the outside looking in, even with my best friend being the coolest girl in my grade in high school.  Yeah – that was rough, and our relationship was doomed from that point.

I am VERY sensitive to pain.  I don’t tolerate it well at all.  Therefore there was no question that an epidural would be a part of my birth plan for both pregnancies.  The moment I felt my first real contraction, I knew I had made the right choice.  For who would willingly endure such agony? Definitely not me!  I mean, just because the Incas proved brain surgery was possible without the modern conveniences of anesthesia and without antibiotics, doesn’t mean I’d jump to it!  Something would really be wrong with my brain in that case!  (By the way, I'm not knocking natural births.  I'm actually in awe of them as I also am with ancient brain surgery apparently)

The woman on the show was part of the cool crowd.  She planned to have a natural birth….. she “planned” to.  At about 4 cm dilated, she changed her mind asking - no - imploring her husband, midwife, and nurses for the epidural.  Everyone ignored her, turned the other cheek, and tried to delay her request.  I can understand to a point what they were doing, they wanted to stick to the birth plan.  They didn’t want to deviate and possibly do something that the woman would regret later.  But SHE WAS IN PAIN. 


It got to a point on the show where it felt like the midwife and husband were forcing THEIR birth plan on her.  She kept saying, “Listen to me!  No one is listening to me!  I am in PAIN”.  I wanted to jump through the screen and get the anesthesiologist myself!  Oh and then choke that husband of hers on my way back in the room.

In the end, she finally got her relief but after a lot of unnecessary pain in my opinion.  If that had been me, things wouldn’t have boiled over so well.  Like I said, I don’t tolerate pain well, and if my husband and midwife were ignoring me on top of things, I’d become someone else. The scene would not have been suitable for TLC.  Come to think about it, it may have been more like a scene from Mob Wives! DRAMA! Now that would be a good show! Ha!

Team Edward Epidural - Shirley

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What Sound Does Brother Make?

Me:  Diego – what sound does a monkey make?
Diego:  Ah-ah
Me: That’s right! Ooo-ooo ahh ahh! What sound does a dog make?
Diego:  Wow-wow!
Me: That’s right! What sound does an elephant make?
Diego: (shaking his head “no”, and pointing to his baby brother instead):  Brother! (smiles coyly) Wahhhhhhhhh!

Me (holding in the giggles):  That’s right!  Brother is a cry baby makes the wahhhhhhhh sound!

Diego pacifies the cry baby Mateo

 Help us end the crying!  Make us smile instead by clicking below

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012



Remember when I said that if you didn't get what you really wanted for Christmas, you should really think about getting it for yourself?  Well - I did just that!  Twice!  I'm using the fact that these items will help me with my New Years resolutions as an additional excuse to buy them.

I got my new lens AND a nifty camera bag (both were on my Christmas wishlist).  I'm already taking full advantage of the lens.  It's an 18-55mm.  I already had an 18-135mm, with basically the same capability.  You may wonder why I felt that I needed another lens if I already had one within the same range.  There are actually a few reasons:

New bag and lens (middle lens)

  1. It's lighter, over half as heavy as my first lens.  I loved my first lens, but lugging it around to take pictures was taxing after awhile. Therefore this new lens gives me no excuse to take it along and take more pictures and video.
  2. It's less bulky, again almost half the size as my first lens.  See excuse for #1
  3. It has 9in macro capability - aka:  I can take self pictures like the one below because my long a$$ arms clear the 9in space requirement.  My old lens had a much longer macro limitation causing non-blurry self portraits to be virtually impossible without a remote shutter.
And the bag?  Well one of my resolutions was to be more outgoing.  'Nuff said.  This sling bag has a cool pocket for easy access to the camera without even needing to take the bag off my body.  It also has many pockets for "lenses" and a back pocket for an Ipad, but I will be converting the use of these pockets to hold diapers, wipes, and formula.   It's going to double as an incognito mom bag.  LOL

Spoiled and giddy with my new toys- Shirley

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Closer Look

A closer look at the finer details of Diego's party and a peek into his birthday video footage....  Most Angry Birds ideas compliments of Pinterest of course!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Who cares that after a few months of perfect practice, you decided to have a temper-tantrum instead of blowing out your candle.

And who cares that you might never appreciate all the work we put in to your little party, even though it was so much smaller than your first birthday.

Aunty's special-order cake
Mama's subtle way of blending in with the Angry Birds theme!

Mateo: fashion-unconscious

You are now my Terrible, Two-Year Old Toddler.  And I couldn't be happier...

Happy Birthday my Terribly Sweet Toddler!

Diego is accepting belated birthday presents... just click below! ;)

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Angry Nursing Fail!

Nursing evidence quickly drying out.

It was a week away until Diego's 2-year birthday, and I needed to haul a$$!  We got the theme down:  Angry Birds (well-chosen by my husband).  My little guy is OBSESSED with Angry Birds, so much that it strains our relationship every time he hogs my smart phone to play it, and he drains my battery until it's completely dead.

So Saturday morning, I threw on some sub-par makeup, dropped the kids off at grandma's house, and proceeded to hit the stores with a list of items for a low-budget, Angry Birds-themed party.  I spent a total of 4 hours out and made a lot of headway.  I was so proud of myself for being on top of things!  Then I got home, and looked at myself in the mirror.  How long had that wet, milk spot been there?!  Oh my God - Nursing fail.

I've been working on Angry Birds crafts this week for the little party.  Here's a sneak peek compliments of Qori.  I asked him which hat he wanted to wear.  He chose the golden one... duh!

Got milk?  Click below!
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hot Pants!

I tell everyone about how much Diego loves his new little brother.  I swear to them that he's not jealous because, well, he's not.  But then he pulls moves like this that make me wonder if he's making a liar out of me.

Just a  uncomfy siesta in little brother's stroller..

My pants are on fire, click below to douse me - Shirley

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Postpartum Overflow

I wonder how conscious she was that this is pretty realistic.  As far as I know, she's never nursed...

"Overflowing" with all that is postpartum, 'specially in the shower - Shirley
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Sunday, January 8, 2012


She was walking down the aisle in all her svelte and confident glory.  I think she could have been younger than me, and she may have had dread locks.  She had on a form-fitting yoga outfit and that's all I can remember about her specifically.  But at the moment I saw her, she became my idol...

For the aisle she walked down along was not a church aisle but a Target store aisle.  She pushed forward the signature red, plastic cart containing two toddlers in it and groceries.  Her hairstyle and exact yoga clothing style were blurred in my memory by the newborn baby in a wrap securely strapped to her body.  She was a mom of three, simply going about her business and shopping at Target.

It was 2010, and I had just become a mom of one, and I barely had the guts to take my own cry-baby son to Target.  I opted to leave him with the grandparents instead.  A year passed, and now almost two and although my son has much improved, I still tend to plan my trips to the store, supermarket, etc. around whether or not Diego will be at my parent's house.  It's just so much easier for me to do my errands solo.  I tend to fall back on my family too easily.

How did my idol do it?  Why did she do it?  Could it be that she had no alternative and HAD to bring the kids to Target that day?  Or could it be that bringing the children was second nature to her?  From the looks of things, maybe her kids were naturally well behaved, calm kids and she had no problem taking them out to do small errands.

Whatever the case may be, I think back on my idol now and now more than ever I want to strive to be like her.  As a mom of two now, I have already started failing miserably in this respect.   I wait for my husband to get home or I drop Diego off at his grandparents house before I proceed to run my errands with just Mateo or no children at all.  Deep inside my mind I struggle and I feel bad.  I feel that's not the way it should be.  My kids should be with me ALWAYS.  Could this be the maternity hormones kicking in due to my newborn?

The last time I dropped Diego off, I watched silently as my father carried him away from me.  My father's back to me, I watched my son as he woke up from his short car nap only to see the growing distance as he was being separated from me.  He began to cry and reach out to me, and it reminded me of a scene in a movie where a child is being kidnapped or taken away from their parents forcibly.  He's probably too young to have deep notions, but I wonder if he feels the distance growing between us in other respects as well now that Mateo is here.  That is the LAST feeling I ever wanted to provoke out of my son.  And yet, I see myself doing it consciously.  I feel like a horrible mom; like I am abandoning my first-born son.

So the next time I had an errand, I vowed to take both kids - and I did.  I got the car ready and strapped in the kids. This required several small, time-consuming trips to load the car which every mom knows ALL about.  I tried to take only what I needed because we were just going to buy some vegetables.  After that song and dance was finally complete, we finally made it to the produce market.  I parked the car and looked over my shoulder only to see Diego in the middle of a heavy sleep and it would have been a pity to wake him just for some lettuce.  I'll have you know, there was no salad with dinner that day...

Wondering how other moms handle more than one child and basic errands - Shirley

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

No Hall Pass!

My new salad bowl in my in-progress kitchen (which is slowly coming together)

Last year I gave myself a hall pass when it came to New Year's resolutions, and it still ended up being a pretty productive year.  I figured that I had just bought a house at the end of 2010, so 2011 should sail along smoothly without any real goals that needed to be accomplished.  As you probably know, I was WAY off on that as I got pregnant, gave birth, and remodeled my home throughout 2011 instead of taking things down a notch.

So this year I am not giving myself a hall pass option, and I've been trying to establish what my exact goals should be.  I didn't want to have your typical goals, but some of them are necessary.  I also wanted them to be tangible, so here goes:

  • Finish the house remodel - This simply means that we need have the city sign off that our house construction is complete.  I do not think my house will ever be "finished" since I am the type of woman who likes to decorate and re-decorate.
  • Significantly pay off credit card debt - Usually I stay clear of credit debt except when it is for my house and a certain house remodel.  I currently have two cards just about maxed.  If I can pay one off by the end of the year, I will consider that a successful resolution.
  • Be more outgoing - It's only been about 3 weeks since I became a mother of two and I'm seeing that doing simple things like going to the supermarket by myself with the little ones is damn near impossible.  This is an issue when coupled with my "home-body" personality.  I'll NEVER get out of the house!  I want to make sure that my children are well-socialized and that we have fun family outings, and that I don't use them as my scapegoat for staying in.  If I can, at least occasionally, personally take them to the park and plan a special family outing for every other week (while being a working mom) I will consider this a success!
  • Get fit - I know.  This is everybody's resolution.  But I have pregnancy blubber that I need to get rid of.  Also, see the next resolution.
  • Fashion Forward - I'd like to get back into fashion as my body gets back to normal.  I will start posting more fashion-related posts.
  • Make Memories - Take more videos and pictures now that I plan on being more out-going.  It's Mateo's first year and things will need to be documented as always. 
  • Be more affectionate to my husband - With all the daily stuff that goes on, I sometimes forget to just stop and hug my husband.  I'm naturally not that affectionate - unless you have fur or can't change your own diaper.  Hubby isn't going to sprout an undercoat anytime soon, but he needs and deserves that type of affection.
  • Gourmet Chef - OK, so maybe not gourmet, but now that my new kitchen is slowly taking shape, I'd like to spend more time creating wonders in it.  Especially since I'm about to inherit double-ovens and basically all appliances from one of my husband's rich customers that simply no longer want them! Part of this goal is to eat more greens, hence the picture of my new salad bowl compliments of Target.  I plan to cook at least one out-of-my-comfort-zone meal a week and maybe get into baking on the weekends.  Gotta use those ovens!
  • Job, job, job - Not sure what yet, but something needs to be done.   
Whoa - those are a lot of goals!  I may have broken the cardinal rule to not stretch myself too thin. 

But then again, being thin is one of my goals!  - Shirley

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Brotherly Love

No, he's not jealous of his little brother... yet.  He just likes his little brother's things a little more than his own things.  Especially the things that he can no longer fit into.... like a baby carrier.

Diego's 23rd Month:


Yes: Goh
Elephant: Abuja
Aceituna (Olive): Ch-Cha
Monkey:  Ah-Ha  (as in "oo-oo-ah-ah)
Train:  Choo-choo