Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dear Sofia (5 months),


Boy have you just blossomed! In the past month you've started responding to things that I say to you, songs that I sing and even the silly faces that I make in hopes that I'll get a laugh out of you! I can see your little brain working when I ask you what sound the cow makes and then go "Mooooooooo." I see how hard you are trying to make your Sophie la Jirafa go into your mouth. By the way you love that Jirafa and we've decided that it would be quite confusing to call it Sophie and then call you Sofi, so we just call it la Jirafa now. You are teething, hence your affinity for la Jirafa, but things have yet to get too bad. There's lots of drool and lots of rubbing your toys against your gums, but no real teething outbursts yet.

I am trying my best to only speak to you in Spanish since your teachers at school speak to you in English all day. I will be so upset at myself if you don't speak Spanish - there's no reason you shouldn't! I read you books in Spanish and sing to you in Spanish, as well. Your favorite song is "Un Barco Chiquitito," which we often replace lyrics for with things like, "Un patito chiquitito" or "Un Sofi chiquitita."

You are a rolling over machine and sometimes I think you are going to just take off crawling from the way you move your legs so much when you are on your tummy. The other day I turned my back for a second and you had pivoted all the way around from where you were! Oh boy, what will we do when you are mobile?

You are such a good sleeper! Since I went back to work, you've only woken up in the middle of the night twice. My brain thanks you for that! I still miss you immensely when I am at work and will sometimes sneak in a call to see how you are doing during the day. The teacher's response is always, "Oh Sofi is such a happy baby and is having a good day!"

Music really seems to soothe you. Your papi says that sometimes you'll sing along with the music he's playing on the way to school. And when you get a little fussy on the way home, you are always calmed by an up in the volume of the car stereo. I hope you will play an instrument or at least be able to carry a tune (unlike your very tone deaf mama).

We've had to move you to the "Toddler" side of your tub because your little body no longer fits in the "Infant" side. I love that you are growing and healthy, but I am also saddened by just how quickly these five months have flow by - what does that mean for the next few years? I will blink and in no time, you will be off to your first day of kindergarten. I can't think of that now or I'll send myself into a crying fit.

You love Peek-a-Boo and your musical snail that your abuelo Joaco and abuela Lydia got for you. Pretty much anything you get your hands on goes straight to your mouth and since you started reaching out for things, that includes everything within a six inch radius!

You are still nursing full time and I want to keep it that way for as long as possible! I love our time together and also I don't want to change the stinky poopie diapers that come with solid foods.

We took you on a plane ride this past weekend to visit your grandma and grandpa Medina, along with the rest of the Medina and Gomez families and you did so well! Your great grandma Fabi (nana) was so happy to meet you and just so in love with you. She's such a special lady, Sofi. I hope you will get to spend lots more time with her.

I prepared myself for the worst on the plane, but of course, you didn't come anywhere close to the things I thought up in my head.
My Sofi girl!
 Even though I prepared for a blow out or for you throwing up on me, you smiled the whole time (with the exception of five minutes on the way back - I think the descent may have hurt your ears. And even then you cried for five minutes and promptly passed out on my shoulder). The family couldn't stop talking about what a good baby you were and how happy you were! We are so so so very blessed!
Charming your cousins with your bald spot.
I keep growing in love with you more and more each day. I thank God for the chance to be your mama and can't wait for what the next month will bring!

I love you, sweet baby girl.

Your mama

Monday, April 29, 2013

giving up forums cold turkey

I had thrush when Sofi was about two months old. It is a nasty yeast infection that is passed between the baby's mouth and the mom's nipple. It was dreadful. And painful. And I was freaking out. I was reading the books I had to see what they said. And then when I wasn't satisfied with what the books said, I sought out answers online. It was the worst thing I could have done.

I didn't just visit websites like Kelly Mom and La Leche League. I visited forums where other moms who had similar issues posted about their experiences and what they did to get rid of the infection. I sent myself into a dizzying tailspin going back and forth between all of the forums, trying to figure out which two moms said the same thing because maybe that meant it worked, feeling beaten down by the moms who scolded those of us with thrush and reaching anxiety levels that I hadn't felt in forever. I did most of my reading while nursing Sofia. I would look down at her and feel like if I didn't find a cure, I was a horrible mother.

It was exhausting. I finally reached a point where I realized that reading everyone else's stories were keeping me from focusing on MY story. Even though thrush is common and mom after mom can write about their experiences, mine was going to be different. I needed to talk to my lactation consultant and then listen to my body. Once I did those two things (plus a round of antibiotics), the infection cleared up. I was amazed.

I decided to give up forums cold turkey. I decided to pick my baby resources and stick with them. For me, those were my lactation consultant, pediatrician, OBGYN and my body. Also, a few choice friends.

Another part of the forums that I just cannot wrap my head around is the inclination for moms to be mean to each other in their responses. I honestly was flabbergasted and sometimes offended when reading some of the answers to a desperate new mom's plea for help. How on earth can you have gone through the "newborn experience" and then not immediately feel it is your duty to do anything you can to help others going through the same thing? Maybe you can't offer advice that will help, but encouragement is so easy to offer. I would end up closing the window on my phone upset at what I had read when I shouldn't have been wasting my energy on such things.

I promise to always be encouraging to new moms. If you find that I'm not, please feel free to pull my hair and give me a shove.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dear Sofia (4 months)


I still can't believe that you are mine sometimes. It's surreal to walk into your room, look into the crib and see you there. You are a tiny human! A tiny human who looks just like your papi. Which, I am OK with because you are two of the most beautiful people I know.

You've been at daycare for just over a month now and have adapted so well. Your teachers love you and for the first few weeks couldn't stop gushing about how they'd love to have a classroom full of Sofia's. Though it is still hard to think of you being there and not with me every day, I feel at peace with our decision to leave you there while I work to be able to contribute to our family.

Smiles, belly and baby rolls.
You have started to reach for things that I dangle in front of you. Your little brain is working so hard to make your hand reach up and put your tiny fingers around whatever it is you see. It's so fascinating to watch. You love, love, love your papi. You light up and give him the biggest smile the minute you see his face. It fills my heart with so much love, I almost feel as though it could burst.

You still love bath time and are at a point where you don't really fit in the tub we have for you as a "newborn," but don't quite have the neck strength for the "toddler" position. You are getting there though! We spend time in your bumbo to strengthen those muscles and I know your teachers are working with you on it, as well. Tummy time isn't your favorite, but you still practice with me for a bit before getting fussy.

Just yesterday you rolled over for the first time from the back to the front! You did it at school, so I didn't see it, but we practiced when we got home and you nearly did it again! You are so strong!

I haven't quite heard a full-on laugh from you, but yesterday I got a string of giggles before you passed out while I hurried around Target for a few things. And I can't forget the drool. Drool everywhere. Your hands are always in your mouth as you try to sooth those gums that are getting ready to sprout little teefus!

You bring us so much joy, Sofi. I try to take mental pictures of you all the time so that when you are 13 years old and don't want anything to do with me, I can close my eyes and picture the sweet girl with her gummy smile, big cheeks and the sweetest round little belly that almost everyone I know says they love.

With all my love,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

sunday sob story with a not so sobby ending

Sundays, I'm finding, are hard. As the hours in the day slip by, I feel an anxiety grip my heart. Each hour that passes, the grip tightens. Mostly I hate that there's a looming "goodbye" that I'll say to Sofia in the morning. I worry about the drive to daycare - and whisper a prayer to keep my two loves safe. I worry that she won't get the attention she needs from her teachers at school - and whisper a prayer for the teachers, that they would be intentional and present in their time with Sofi. I worry that one day Sofia will ask me why I chose to work instead of stay home with her - and I whisper a prayer to hear God's plan for me so that I can do what He wants for my life instead of what I want. I worry that I'm missing precious moments in Sofi's life that I should be there for - and I whisper a prayer to not worry so much. But mostly I do it anyway.

And then there's the anxiety that comes from wondering what the work week will be like, and if I'll be able to keep up with what's asked of me. I wonder if I'll spend an hour doing something that should take me 15 minutes. I wonder if I'll make a mistake that is easily remedied but will cause me embarrassment. Or will I make a mistake that will take much more than a few emails and an apology to fix?

I keep hearing that this will all go away in a few months, but months seem like years right now. Taking one day at a time doesn't do me much good when all I can see are weeks at a time.

So as not to be completely depressing, I'll switch over to a brighter note. We enjoyed absolutely beautiful weather in Dallas this weekend. We had dinner with friends in the backyard on an old, rickety table that used to be Joa's kitchen table in college (I guess sometimes his hoarder ways pay off). Though the table is unsightly, I'm glad we remembered we had it so that we can enjoy a few more of those evenings before the unbearable Dallas heat descends upon us and drives us all inside. Score one for me for doing something on my spring to-do list! I need to get crackalackin' on doing those others in the few weeks I have to do them before summer.
Mah' boys.
Weekends are for photo shoots of Sofia in our house. Outtake 1.
Outtake 2

Sunday, April 7, 2013


I meant to write this post last weekend, but didn't get around to it. If there's one thing that going back to work has taught me, it's that every second of my weekend is so precious!

Speaking of going back to work, I did. Duh. My mama was here for the first week and a half which was so unbelievable helpful for my emotional transition. She is an amazing mama. Leaving Sofia was hard that first morning. I cried and just held her so close to me until I absolutely had to leave. But still, while I was at work, I felt at peace knowing that my mom was taking care of her. The first day back was essentially an adrenaline rush. Actually, the first few days were like that. By Friday though, I was pooped. Going back for just three days my first week was a good idea. I highly encourage new moms to do that. I also heard, but did not apply to my first few weeks, that if you do go back on a Monday, taking Wednesday off breaks up your first week into two, two day mini weeks rather than a whole five-day week.

My first few days were spent just checking email and catching up with co-workers. That was pretty much all my brain could handle. The following week I did some actual work, but wasn't 100% by any means. Honestly, I wish that I hadn't scheduled any important meetings that first week because I hardly remember what was said in any of them. And two of them were pretty important. I have probably asked the same question a million times. And I had to have another project explained to me three times. On top of that, it is taking me so much longer to do things that I could do without a second thought before. Write a press release? How can I do that if I don't remember how to spell "the." And I'm not one that likes to ask for help. Part of it is pride (so bad, I know) and the other part is embarrassment. I don't want to seem like I don't know what I'm doing. But I'm jumping ahead of myself and my thoughts.

Sweet welcome back flowers from my mentor.
Back to my mom being here, it was so wonderful that she would send me photos and videos of Sofia throughout the day. That really helped me feel settled as well. And it also helped that pumping was going really smoothly for me. I'm so thankful to not have supply issues, as of now. So, all in all, that first week and a half was good.

Then came last week. Sofia's first week at day care and the first of my full-on, "Am I going to be stupid forever" moments at work. Joa and I dropped Sofi off at day care together on that first Monday. I cried so hard. I mean I was sobbing in the parking lot after we left. It was a mess. And my eyelashes didn't recuperate, unfortunately. I should have waited to put on mascara after we left her. Why am I writing about my eyelashes and mascara, you ask? Because it was a thought that went through my head. I was sad, but that doesn't mean I can't think about my eyelashes.

Once I got to work, I felt OK. I called the day care a couple of times to check on her and they said she was doing wonderfully. Would they really tell me otherwise? I don't know, but I chose to believe what they said. I could hardly wait to leave work at 5 to go get her. I didn't even mind the traffic that day. But then came Tuesday and Wednesday and that traffic I did mind. 35 and 635 are SO NO BUENO. I just get really antsy. And I have this thing with my left knee. If you know me well, you know I don't like anything to touch my knees, particularly my left knee. Well, it used to be so bad that I'd have to lift my pant leg so that not even the fabric was touching it. But that seemed to have dissipated when my drive got shorter and I wasn't in traffic. Now it's back!!!! It's triggered by traffic! What a bummer.

So me and my knee are spending about an hour and a half on the road. It isn't too bad right now, because seeing Sofia light up when I get to her classroom pretty much wipes away any negative feelings, but this isn't sustainable. I'm not sure what we'll do.

And about those "will I be stupid forever?" moments. I know I won't be. I know baby brain is real. And that I have to give myself a pass, but it is hard. Especially when I work at an agency where my billable hours make them money. Does this mean I want to be a stay-at-home mom? No (well maybe), not right now. No, for realla, not right now. I do enjoy my work and we wouldn't be able to sustain our lifestyle if I stopped working. It's just that being a working mom can be rough. And that's the truf.

Gratuitous Sofi photo

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Day of Spring

Today is a day of firsts! My first day back at work and the first day of spring. Spring in Dallas is lovely - the temperature is pleasant and patios beckon. We like to take advantage by having windows down in the car and doors flung open in the home.

Many of my experiences this year will be firsts, as I will experience them with Sofia in tow. Here are a few things I'm looking forward to this spring.

1. Walks in our neighborhood
2. Saturday morning walks on the Katy Trail and then a yummy brunch on a patio with a bloody mary, perhaps.
3. Patio dining for dinner and perhaps a happy hour...
4. Patio dining on our deck in the back yard
Enjoying drinks on our deck last spring. The backyard needs some major work. On a side note, this is the day before I found out I was pregnant!

5. Blanket time with Sofia in the front yard
6. Wedges (and the accompanying pedi needed to sport the wedges) I like these, these and these (all under $80!).
7. Though I love the sunshine, I do love a good thunderstorm that rolls through Dallas during spring. The day after, it feels like the sky has been peeled of an old layer of skin and is shinier and brighter than the day before.
8. Visits to Klyde Warren Park and yummy noms from Nammi food truck
9. Weekends with the windows and doors open and Joa's choice of music playing while we make breakfast
10. Shaved ice at the best spot in town - Doc's! This is the best shaved ice in Dallas - don't get it twisted.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pump Up the Jam

Tomorrow is my first day back and work and though I could write about how sad I am and all of those accompanying hormonal emotions, what I really can't stop thinking about is pumping at work. I am a modest person. I have had boobs since fourth, yes fourth, grade. I was the "girl with the big boobs" in middle school and have been the victim of cat calls by disgusting older men since a young age. All of that has made me a bit self conscious and reserved with the big boobs I was endowed with (save a few years in college when, mostly under the influence of alcoholic beverages, I dabbled in plunging necklines). I am the girl who goes to the bathroom to change in front of other girls. My best friends in college didn't see me undress until we had known each other at least two years.

Everyone said that all modesty would go out the window when I had a baby, but I have for the most part, kept it in tact. So, the idea of undressing the top half of my body is not something I'm looking forward to. Because all of our offices have a floor to ceiling window next to the door, pumping in my office wasn't an option. And so the next best thing was to put me in the server room. I am grateful that my sweet team has apparently made the room into a comfy "Lactation Station," as one of my co-workers called it. Still, in the past, reparimen have walked into that room without so much as a second thought. Can you imagine the printer guy opening the door to find me in a human milking machine? Ugh. The thought freaks me out.

In addition to that aspect of pumping at work, I am concerned with the time commitment. We have billable goals and being away from my desk for 30 minutes three times a day is an immediate ding to that goal. I'm hoping my production stays at its current level and that I can get in and out in less than half an hour (is that a silly goal?). I am not expecting to work while I pump, at least not at first. I know that production usually goes down at first, so I plan to think positive thoughts, look at photos of Sofi (kind of creepy, no?) and picture the milk flowing into the bottles. This is all so weird to type. The only bottles I've ever been concerned about before were the $2.99 bottles of Three Wishes wine from Whole Foods.

I guess I'll find out in the coming weeks if I'll scare an overweight middle-aged man at the sight of my boobs and if I can be as efficient at breast feeding as I am at eating a whole bag of Haribo Gummi Bears.

On a Sofi note, my sweet girl is three months old today! Yes, that is a jean jumper. Joa called it her "J-Lo" outfit.
Three months!