Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another Mommy Trauma

Another traumatic mommy moment: earrings. Cubans get their babies ears pierced and I think it's brilliant. All the pain and suffering is on the adults that need the adornment to begin with. As the baby gets older and turns into a young lady she has lovely healed earlobes prepared for decorative jewels for a lifetime.

The thing is that small things can deviate the plan. Much like magic socks there are magic earrings provided by our pediatrician. The earrings have a fastening on the back that supposedly locks. The back clicks and locks securely. Normal life things such as losing the back to an earring happen and well havoc ensues. The thing is that babies don't sit still and just let you reposition the accessory piece. They squirm and fuss and freak, because well, their babies.

I sit now in my old childhood room as my dad holds Lydia and my mom puts in the earring. The bellowing screams of my baby shake my core and if this was Princess Bride you may think that her body was being stretched apart. My cowardly fragile mommy heart is thankful for the valiance of Abuelos. Red faced and wet from tears, my mom gave me back my ringed daughter who was already past the momentary discomfort.

Advice from my dad: when you have to do something difficult, just do it. The longer you wait the more difficult something becomes. It get too big. Then impossible. Just get it over with, kind of like that whole bandaid thing.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Morning really has Broken, Me

Holland's first Birthday Party. Lydia splashing.
Morning. Morning and I have always had a bit of a ah...difficult relationship. She is always so bright and seemingly cheery. There are always birds chirping and the catching of defenseless worms. I have always felt that Morning had a rather unrealistic perspective on the day and I am fairly sure that I am right considering that Morning appears to get hotter and hotter under the collar until Afternoon comes and just takes the heat. I have always had a much better relationship with Night. Perhaps a little darker, a little cooler, much more James Deen less Suzy Sunshine. Night and I have understood one another. Not much had to be said to enjoy the sparkle of the stars or the breeze still trying to cool us off after the raucous created by the others. Ah Night, how I miss you. Even Evening seems like it flutters briskly away in tasks of dinner, bath time and bedtime.

Sleep was always my mother's battle with me. Since I was about the size of Lydia I wanted to sleep when I wanted to sleep. As I got older I could easily stay up all night and still roll out of bed and go to school and do well. Consequently, her battle ended and mine begun. As a college student never selecting an early morning class and shopping at the 24 hour Winn Dixie. As a young adult youth director, always planning lock outs or lock ins and much more talkative at evening Bible study than early morning Sunday School. As a teacher silly morning drowsiness or unenthusiastic lectures were the result for those first period classes. A lifetime of a loving dedicated monogamous relationship with Night has vanished, I am left to deal with Morning. Morning has broken me.

first time at ChikFila
It feels unusually satisfying to accomplish so much by 10am. Who knew that Morning also had a cool breeze? Who knew that Morning came with Lattes? Who knew that Morning created a virtual Snow White forest around you? Quite literally as I write we have heard a blue bird sing and then perch outside our window. Seconds later a squirrel sat on the side fence and wiggled his fluffy tail while licking a nut in his paws. And then a neighborhood kitty sauntered through our backyard. We don't even have to go camping. All this cheer is actually lovely. And though I have lost a good friend in Night, I am not sure I can go back.

Have I mentioned the very best thing about Morning? The thing that really has me walking on sunshine and loving it? Lydia, of course. She is not only awake and ready to do spectacular things at 7am, but she really can't be reasoned with. I can't explain to her to go back to sleep for a couple of more hours yet. So we harness her excitement for life and enjoy every ray of  Morning sunshine.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sock Ye First

About 8 months ago I took a fast 45 minute trip in search of magic socks. Since then there has been so many changes. Lydia moves! She crawls. She stands. She sits. She babbles. However, I still find myself looking for magic socks. Sigh. What I quickly learned is that most socks sold for infants are really meant for either premies, dolls or in Eliot's case his childhood Super Grover. No real babies with normal sized feet can keep those suckers on. There seemed to be a small window of time that the infamous Gap socks fit but that may have been for about a day and half until Lydia's feet grew again.

Some of you may wonder, you are in Florida. It's summer! Let the darn sock thing go. But don't you need socks for wearing closed toed shoes? And aren't closed toed shoes the best and safest way to learn how to walk properly? I bought a pack of inexpensive socks at Target in 6-12 size. They fit nicely but as soon as they are washed the socks were way too tight and leave marks on Lydia's ankles. So I bought 12-24 months which are a little too big BUT I washed them and guess what? They were still way too big. Sigh.

What is it with socks? Why are the baby sock makers trying to drive me crazy? What have I done to them? Oh dear Universe, I prayed and prayed. Send me fitting socks!! Hear me Oh Lord of Lords, Sock of thy Sock!

Out of the glorious clouds, shimmering with light and glory was the sign for Gymboree. Not all Gymboree socks are created equal but I like the ones that have a little elastic and a tiny bow on the back.Those tend to be okay. So I enthusiastically ordered 10 pairs of socks mostly on sale with an additional coupon. This morning, I put some on Lydia. I carried her from the bedroom to the dining room to put her in the car seat. I look down to put on her sneakers...a missing sock? WHY!!

This is why I only wear flip flops.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I am a Cuban American. I have never been to Cuba but I have been hearing about it my entire life. It was a country of beauty and of progress until the 40 year dictatorship of Fidel Castro under a Communist regime. I think about what might my life have been like if my family had not left. I imagine days filled with so much family and millions of stories about my cousins and I as we grew up. I think about the parks I would have walked around as my parents did when they were young. I wonder what it would have been like to have known my grandparents. Not once in my reflections about what my life may have been like in Cuba am I ever sorry that my parents made the choices that they made. The sacrifices of their life have completely and totally shaped mine. Their losses have been my opportunities. I am educated, well traveled, and loved. I would not trade my friendships, my husband or my beautiful daughter, Lydia for a moment in the imagination of what Cuba might have been. I am tremendously thankful for every sacrifice my parents have made for the hope that I would have choice, free expression,  however, that can't be quite it, can it?

Recently, an old student of mine went to Cuba. She is an amazing woman and I enjoy still being part of her life and knowing her as she explores the world. It is her collection of pictures that has sprouted this reflection. I see the sad state of the buildings in Havana, the streets in crumbles, the poverty of the people and the broken hearts of my family creates practically palpable pain around me. A small country that once did so much, is quite frankly looking as small as it is. What can be done? For most of my life, I  have shook my head and was secretly thankful that we didn't have the means to visit because it would spare me the sadness that would certainly overwhelm my mom. Now I wonder if there isn't more?

The internet really has done some amazing things, more than allowing me to order cheap diapers and keep in touch with childhood friends, it has given voice to the voiceless. Yoani Sanchez is a Cuban Blogger, only a year old than I. She left Cuba for a couple of years and returned because she missed her family but vowed to live in Cuba as a free woman. She began to blog about the real Cuba. Her blog Generation Y (Y because there was a generation of Cuban people that were named with Y names) is translated in 7 different languages by international partners that have committed to helping her tell the truth about life in Cuba. She has been jailed. She has been beaten. She has been followed. And still she continues to find ways to send her blog posts to be published. She has now begun a Blogging University which teaches other Cubans how to use the internet, blogs and post about their lives. She is trying to empower others to have a voice.

I think about how she and I could have been friends. We could have gone to school together. She and I could have been neighbors. She is giving voice to the missing piece of my identity, the generation of Cuba that I would have been a part of.  There isn't much else I know to do, but to support her. To listen to the unheard. To pray for change. To hope for change. To dream for a Cuba that once was. And to someday see the home of my family.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


For weeks, maybe even months, I have been waiting for that tooth to pop through my little Lydia's pink gums ever since she was 3 months old  and the drool poured out of her mouth. She will be 8 months in four days and she still hasn't gotten a tooth. I asked one friend what to do if they didn't come. She assured me that they would and that they were all in there. I asked another friend, she declared reassuringly that no children go to kindergarten without teeth. And another that reminded me that we aren't in Arkansas (sorry Bill Clinton, no offense intended.)

Yesterday my precious little angel was being a precious little brat. She passionately threw every frozen teething soother across the room. In a moment of pure hysteria she went from inconsolable to laughing. When that tiny little mouth opened I saw it. A swollen spot about the size of a pea in the front bottom. A little white peek sneaking through the skin. I excitedly called my mom and texted Eliot. The moment that we have been waiting for has arrived. Then a twinge of sadness seeped in. From this moment on, she would forever have teeth. I would no longer have beautiful toothless baby pictures and the reality that she was quickly entering a new stage, edging closer and closer to toodlerhood.

I dream of the days that she will say her first real sentence, run through the yard kicking the soccer ball, eat ice cream with me on a swing...growing up is part of the plan. Now and then it just makes me a little sad.
This is her working on that sentence!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day

Sunday was my first Mother's Day and I have to say it's better than my birthday. If you know me, you know I have always loved my birthday. The day before I got a bouquet of roses that still are simply beautiful. On Sunday, we woke up in the morning and I got presents! All of which were sweet,  thoughtful and still make me have a silly smile. The card from Lydia was perfect and so was the one from Eliot. Then Eliot made waffles with berries on top and lattes for breakfast. We did a little shopping mostly for my curls (more on this later.) We came back home to meet my parents. Eliot made a tasty late lunch on the barbie and we all hung out. It was a laid back day which is exactly what we needed. It was nice to enjoy our little family. It did feel like I had entered a secret club however, now as I reflect on how I feel as a mom or how I may be different as a mother, my mind goes blank.

I am not sure that I have become different because I now wear the hat of "Mother" but that it has simply become an extension of who I have always been. It is possible that I feel like I have more clear ideas about what I think is right and wrong, but I think that comes with age rather than parenthood. I wake up a little earlier than I used to and go to sleep earlier too, but I think that comes with age as well. I am still silly. I am still sarcastic. I am still a devoted daughter, teacher and friend. Is motherhood meant to simply be a different manifestation of you? Or is motherhood suppose to ignite a metamorphosis of sorts? Oh dear. Buddha is it possible that it's a middle way?

There have been many manifestations of me through the years and I am not always so sure that they can co-exist with what I have always imagined motherhood to be. For example, the "college me" would not have been very good at motherhood. In 1997, I wouldn't name my cat because I felt that naming it could possibly project a possible limitation on the character of the cat and I certainly was not going to be responsible for squelching the spirit of the cat. The imposition of labeling would ultimately define the identity of the cat and what if it didn't want to be Fluffy or Sparky what if it just wanted to be Ralph? Imagine poor Lydia without a name? The cat ended up having to leave because we refused to pay the deposit to keep our animal trapped in doors with us. Sigh. We were so deep.

Nevertheless, over time I have become really comfortable in who I am, and though sometimes I am not so sure I feel like a mom, I am pretty luckily and ridiculously thrilled to be one.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I admit it! We are done!

I haven't had the heart to publicly write about this yet, but in hopes of chronically the infancy of my beloved Lydia I will. We stopped nursing. We stopped nursing pretty much when she got her cold. It was so hard for her to nurse. She couldn't breath. We tried about everything but we continued to supplement which we were already doing. Before she was sick we went were at a 60-40 ratio. She was nursing about 60% of the time and drinking formula 40% of the time. She made a seamless transition and never once was upset, also I never denied her a nursing opportunity but she just didn't appear interested.

Even though we nursed for almost 7 months (6 months 3 weeks and 3 days) I still feel disappointed. I feel like I could've done more. I sometimes feel guilty even though it wasn't self motivated decision. However I must admit not pumping is a nice bonus. Perhaps the mommy nerves in me wonder if that's why her teeth haven't come out she could have used more mommy milk to make them stronger or why she seems grumpy randomly as if she is suffering without nursing. I also worry about the studies that say formula babies are more likely to be obese or grow up to have adult diabetes. Have I done enough help her in the future?

On the other hand, she is a very healthy (Praise God), happy, strong willed little girl. And I never intended to nurse for more than 6 months (though that did change some once she arrived). I don't have issues with formula or it's benefits. It is simply the beginning of a mothers' worry that she could've done more. I hope.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Summer Loving

Summer planning is on the way! The calendar has so many things penciled in. We now have our Toddler Tumbling schedule, Humpty Dumpty and Mother Goose storytimes, and Kindermusik class sign up confirmed. We are have our trip dates and the maps are mapquested. We even have a couple of day trips in mind, for those fun days that Eliot has off in the middle of the week.

I have 7 kinds of sunscreen, a beach tent, an umbrella that hooks on to things and Lydia has several swims suits. We may become beach people this summer!

I love summer! Only 13 more days of classes, a couple of weeks of exams, graduation and relaxation! I am teaching a couple of weeks of summer school but even that should be fun! By this time in the year students are not the only ones ready for a break. We all are!

**Pictures are Courtesy of Aunt Heather! We were so blessed and eternally thankful that Auntie Heather, Eliot's sister was able to watch her for three days this past week. Lydia loves her Aunt Heather and they had a lot of fun. Aunt Heather was a super trooper on the day that Lydia's teething was simply awful. They went for walks and to the park. They had a great time.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

La Viva Blogaversary

Rent is the musical for and about the gen-Xers. Though half the characters are starving artists that are not willing to sell out while the other half of them have AIDS and/or are cocaine addictions. I am pleased to report that most of the generation Xers I know are not in either of those situations. Matter of fact, most of us are now married with children and fairly stable career paths. Rent itself was a reflection to the death of  la viva boheme, ironically. Shortly into the 1990's,  immediately after the end of the Cold War, the children of the baby boomers become adults and slowly find other ways to express and communicate and go against the grain. It is the birth of personal computers thus email, chat rooms, social networks and of course blogs. Today is my BLOGAVERSARY.

For 4 years I have been blogging in this blog about whimsical life musings, travel, food and as of late, motherhood. I suppose that my previous blogs out there in cyberspace were a bit more starving for attention, hating pretension and wanting to cause commotion. Happily I have grown and found a different voice than the VillageVoice. I still love yoga and yogurt, the stage and Buddha. But as I sit here sipping my morning latte, handing my infant organic banana puffs, typing on my ThinkPad, still fancying myself a liberal in support of choice, the LGBT community, I am thankful for the end of Bohemia.