and then there was you

It’s 10 o’clock the night before your 6th birthday. It’s taking every ounce of self restraint not to walk upstairs and cuddle you like a baby and tell you everything. Your story, our story, is epic. And someday, when you’re older, I will tell you everything. But not now, not tonight.

Every year, for the past 5 year, in the days before your Birthday I think about those crazy 9 months and how that one day, the day you came, changed my life.

I look back now and think about how unready I was, how unprepared… how I should have been more scared. And there were many (many) moments, when I was. But there was something about you from the very first time we thought about you. We knew that we already loved and wanted you.

anna prego
Pregnancy is not kind to me. With you I had preclampsia, gained 90 (yes, NINETY) pounds, had swollen hands and feet for 80% of the pregnancy, and was throwing up DAILY. It was brutal.

I keep looking at the clock, reliving the hours before your birth. 10:30pm at the hospital getting checked in to our room for induction. I had pre-clampsia when I was pregnant with you and that day I had gone to my 37week appointment, Daddy was there. The Doctor came in and told me that the protein count in my urine had tripled and that we should plan on checking into the hospital that day. It was a big shock! I was rushing around trying to get everything ready when I noticed Daddy sitting at his computer. “Cris, we don’t have time for this, we have to get everything packed!” He looked at me with fear in his eyes and said, “I have to order a filling cabinet, we have nothing to put her birth certificate in!” Everyone deals with fear differently 🙂

After a dramatic pregnancy, labor and delivery- you were here.

eliza infant

YOU.

My first. My baby. My girl.

When you were born, my world, my entire being was transformed. I could never have imagined that it was ever possible to love someone so much.

eliza baby nyc

The first year of your life, we roamed the city. We would explore every inch of Manhattan. We would meander around Central Park for hours. I made my first group of “Mommy Friends” and experienced another level of friendship that was (is!) so essential and meaningful. Although we are no longer in NY, those NY Mamas will ALWAYS hold a place in my heart and are still some of my dearest friends.

We had a lotta fun little girl and I knew early on that you were special.

eliza mama beach

Eliza, you are amazing.

Being your Mama is an honor.

You are strong, clever, beautiful, and kind.

Eliza 2 1:2 Eliza 2

eliza riverelizaphoto-21eliza the engineer

I am so proud of who you are and who I see you becoming.

I will do my best to be there for you, to listen, to love, to let you explore, to encourage, to cherish the wild, to challenge when needed, and to help you stay true to who you really are.

Happy 6th Birthday my love.

eliza boat

We love you to infinity and beyond!

Eliza at wedding

Dear Young Person

It took turning 30 for me to turn into an Grown-Up.

Not marriage, or paying bills, or living on my own, working, or even having kids. 30. Something clicked at 30.

As you can probably tell by my post ‘Here’s Where I’m At‘ this year seems to me the year of self reflection and contemplation. Sometimes, the process of self reflection and contemplation can be tough; getting loss in the abyss of should haves… the self pity… we’ve all been there. For years I’ve struggled between allowing myself to grieve for the injustices of my past vs the ‘everything happens for a reason’ and the ‘it made me who I am’ justifications. In this moment, right now, I am happy with who I am..regardless of my past. HOWEVER, I do wish I could have said some things to my younger self.

Dear Young Person,

Love Will Find You

You don’t need to take matters into your own hands and actively seek out your lifelong partner…. At least, not yet.  This is so important. You will save yourself a lot of heartache and the ripple effect (and there are many many ripples) of bad decisions.

Be a Good Friend

..and surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. On that note,

Find the Nerds

I could write a book about the advantages that aligning with, or being, a nerd provides. There is less pressure on superfluous social things, which will inevitably lead to less bad decisions (with less bad decision ripples…)  and more pressure on academics and personal enrichment which will probably create a path of positive ripple opportunities (overboard with the ripples?) Just know, dear Young Person, that the nerds are the smart, funny, and nice kids who then grow up to be the successful, (still) funny,  more interesting adults.

Spend Time with Elders

Don’t dismiss old people. They have so much to offer. Listen to stories, ask questions, and take notes. You don’t know everything… but they probably do.

Play Play PLAY

Never stop. It’s much better than movies, or going to the mall, I promise.

snow play

Wear Sunscreen

I vividly remember seeing a poster in the old lifeguard station that read, “The most sun damage happens before age 18.” I was 17 at the time with years of baby oil suntanning behind me… I told myself, as I did all those summers before, “I’m (1/2) latina… and I live in Vermont, it’s like a month a year of hot sun. I’m ok.” For the record, it doesn’t matter how light or dark your skin is, everyone should wear sunscreen…even if you live in Vermont. There are hundreds of creams, sprays, etc that can make you look like surfer barbie without the sun damage, skin cancer, sun spot, and wrinkles.  You will thank me when you’re older.

Wear Wild Outfits

Wear wild and fun outfits and wear them for you.

Be Kind 

Being a kid can be tough, being a teenager can be REALLY tough. The onset of social media and numerous ways to instantly communicate with one another have presumably made the complicated lands of teenage angst even more tumultuous. Don’t try and navigate it gracefully. Navigate it gracefully. Learn this.Live this.

The Golden Rule

There are 18 different religions and spiritual followings that each have numerous versions of the ‘Golden Rule’? That’s pretty impressive. It must mean it’s worth knowing…know it.

The Golden Rule(s) YOU, young person, need to know-

(The In a Nutshell Version) Treat others how you would want to be treated

(The Tech Version)  Never type/text anything that you wouldn’t want said about you

See the Beauty in Your Backyard 

You will never see the true beauty in the world unless you can find and appreciate the beauty in your own backyard.

vt

Get Outside

Everything you need can be found outside in nature. You will be your best and strongest self when you are in the wilderness, soak it up as much and as often as you can.

grand canyon

You’ll be OK. You are stronger than you think. Xoxo

Max-a-maccah-moosey-man is FOUR

The morning of April 27th, 2011 I was waddling around a high-school track.

waddle waddle waddle waddle

down on all fours

Breath…..jusssstttttttt flipping breath

waddle waddle waddle waddle

down on all fours

Breath…..jusssstttttttt flipping breath

waddle waddle waddle waddle

down on all fours

Breath…..jusssstttttttt flipping breath

“Cristo, must be time… really we should go, I bet it’s time to go.”

—–

We’d been at this for about an hour. Contractions had begun around midnight, we went to the midwife around 8am, and to my shocked ears… I was still in early labor.

We went to the track to walk.

waddle waddle waddle waddle

down on all fours

Breath…..jusssstttttttt flipping breath

“Cristo, must be time… really we should go, I bet it’s time to go.”

We took the dog back home, because my wonderful, practical, babydaddy thought we should give the dog a walk while watching the pregnant lady barrel herself around the HS track in pain, you know, before things got really going.

Drove the 30 minutes to the Hospital/Midwife and walked in ready to meet our boy.

“Sorry, not yet. Come back in a couple hours.”

Oh

My

Mother

Lovin

Goddess.

Babydaddy mentioned that it was a weekday and he just happened to have to renew his license, we also had some time to spare… Off to the DMV we went.

I spend what felt like hours contracting in the car. Legs up, arms up, curled in one big ball of  angry pregnant woman. We drove, we walked, I think we ate something.

Finally, they had mercy on me and admitted me.

A few hours later, with the help of my wonderful midwife and some stellar nurses, I gave birth (while squatting) to a big beautiful baby boy.

mamamoose

…and Eliza became a big sister.
eliza maz

Max was the happiest, cutest chunk of baby boy I could have ever dreamed of.

max babymax 1max 1st579191_404437542914702_2033373641_nmax hair

He continues to amaze us with his intelligence, resourcefulness, endearing love, and goofiness.

stud max max beachsuper maxmax skimax big boy2 maxmax brother

I can’t wait to watch you grow, Max-a-maccah-moosey-man.

I love you to the moon and beyond!

sleep max

Next Week is gunna be swwwweeeetttt!

Next week will be better.

I will be better.

I am going to the gym a minimum of 3 times. I’m even going to try a soul cycle class… And I’m going to flippin like it.  

  
Who cares if I haven’t worked out in 1 (3) months, or that going to the gym means baby won’t get her morning nap, which as the third is truly her only time with just me and/or sleeping with some peace. It’ll be better because I will be filled with post workout endorphins that will turn me into a somewhat less mean mommy, which makes life happier (and calmer) for everyone in my stratosphere (love you honey!)

Baby also won’t be teething  next week. Which means I will get at least a few minutes a day without dear girl in my arms, and I won’t need 2 (4) glasses of wine to decompress that night(s) …and I won’t feel guilty.

(I feel guilty thinking it)

  

I will NOT stay up past 10 (12?) binge watching anything… I do have self control, I do have self control. In fact, I’m going to READ, every night. Because I am that kind of woman.

?

 I will not wear anything with any kind of stretch in it. I will be that put together Mom, you know, that one.

I am also going to plan dinners for the week. AND I’m going to go to the grocery store once, not 3 (6) times like this week. I will not have bad carbs at evey (most) meals. And no sugar, that’s off the list. Oh yea, I’m going there. Side note- They’re also going to be Michelle Obama worthy meals that family will devour. 

Mommy- “No kids we are not having pizza, cereal, and/or peanut butter sandwiches this week. ”

Children- “We knew you would get it together someday Mom!”

<everyone hugs>

  
I’m going to be like the best BabyMama to Babydaddy….boy is gunna remember why he picked this girl off the street corner! Bowchickabowow….(ew gross, kidding, obvi…)

Babydaddy- “Dearest hot wife, you shaved your legs and put lipgloss on while making 35 breakfasts, 37 lunches, 35 dinners, 100 snacks, while helping our daughter jump a reading level, workout, and renovate our house for pennies?!”

BabyMama- “I’m just that good.”

shucks, I’m gunna crush it.