Friday, May 25, 2012

Mama's Day

Some days are sad, some days are happy, some days are both. My first Mother's Day was both.

If I would've given myself time to think about it I suppose I would have expected a bevy of emotion on my first mama's day. My experience with mamahood has been quite rocky after all. But, I didn't think of it. It had kinda slipped my mind that I was now included in this holiday (to which the lil' punk in me still gives a "consumerist propaganda!" shout in my head). This year my mom was visiting and that was great, because the day had always been about her, not me. But she reminded me that she was coming because it was my first mama's day (time to put that lil' punk away).

The first heart melt came when the boys made me presents in school. They were so sweet and proud. Z made me a kitty pin (which he was so excited for me to wear), and Boo decorated a box (for my money and stuff), and gave me my first ever "mom coupon" booklet. How does that cuteness not make you smile? My mom even helped the kids make me little mystery boxes of love to keep. Round that out with a spa gift certificate from D and my first mama's day was full of warm and fuzzies (even the lil' punk can see the good in that).

The nature of Mother's Day is to have family come together and be appreciative. That mama's Sunday we did get together as a family, but we were appreciative in another sort of way.

When D's dad passed away he donated his body to UCLA so the cancer he had could be studied. It was a noble and generous thing to do, and expected since he was a man of science. Pops also specified that he didn't want any type of formal memorial service after his death. Again, man of science, not faith. As a family we respected his wish to not have a funeral, but D and his siblings wanted to do a little something to say goodbye. So, as we had just a few months before with Mia, we gathered together and took balloons to release our thoughts and words unto the wind.

We hiked up Torrey Pines to the spot where Pops had been married years before. It was a beautiful day and so many people were about with their families. Bevy of emotion. This constant mix of happiness and sorrow is so strange. Outside I feel solid and ok, but inside I'm often reminded that I am shattered. Within a year we discovered that I was pregnant with twins, got married, felt the death of a daughter, seen cancer do its worst, and endured it all. Sometimes life comes at you all at once. We are like palms in a storm, holding strong until the calm comes once again.

The walk down.

We're not always sad.

Mama love.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Brinca Machine

I have done it. I have succumbed. I have bowed down to the baby gods and let plastic baby equipment take over. In my naive pre-baby world I was convinced that all we needed to parent was a blanket and maybe a bouncy chair. We live in an apartment where space is coveted, so I was determined to keep it relatively baby-free. I know that many babies are raised sans the plastic/bouncy/flashy/noisy paraphernalia, but after a few months with a high demand child I can appreciate the small blocks of time these devices allow me.
The newest addition to our growing romper room is the jumperoo - which I have dubbed the Brinca Machine. It is massive. I had to move an armchair just so it could fit in our space without making it more of a obstacle course. Chiquita LOVES it. She bounces and smiles and looks and all the shiny lights. Oh, brinca machine, I despise the idea of you, but I love that I can now eat my lunch with actual chewing involved. :)

(ps - yes, I have freestyle on my iPod)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

5 months

She is sweet, she is strong, she is loud, she is impatient, she is particular, she is ravenous, she is curious, she is wonderful, she is 5 months.
This is our daily walk.

Her first time on a swing - she loved it so much that we had to get back on immediately!
Her abuelita made this froggy hat - so cute!

She loves being wrapped in her towels.

My girls.

She is just starting to be ok in her car seat for longer periods of time.

Brother love!

She loves this!

Skype time with the grandparents.

She suckers people in with those blues!

Her first pearls.

And a fancy black dress!

Everyone loves naked baby time :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rub a dub dub

We don't have a lot of routines around here, but the ones we do have we're pretty good at keeping. The nightly bath ritual is one of those staples. By 7ish chiquita is a crank monster. It's at that time that she has had enough of the day and wants, or needs, to sleep. Fortunately for us, no matter how whiny she is, it all subsides as soon as we undress her for her nightly bath.

When her clothes come off the fussy baby vanishes and she is all smiles. Chick-a-dee loves, loves, LOVES the tub. Bath time is definitely a favorite for all of us! :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In Memory Of...

I have seen a lot of death. Sometimes it's quick like a bunny, others it's slow and heavy molasses. Sometimes death is like a spider that weaves it's web when you're not looking, one moment there is nothing and when you look again there's an intricate shroud that covers everything. Pop's cancer was a spider.

 Just before our trip to Arizona, D's dad had a fall. He was on his daily walk and fell in front of a doctor's house in his neighborhood. Ambulance, hospital, fractured pelvis. More concerning, a mass in his chest that was discovered incidentally. Surgery. Mass, and the portion of lung it was attached to, were removed successfully. Pops was in good spirits and was eager to go home. Biopsy. The mass was a malignant tumor. Prognosis. Pops had a rare form of cancer which mainly occurs in children. The doctors were baffled and unsure of treatment. They predicted that he only had 3-6 months of life left. The cancer had spun its web when we weren't looking.

When Pops was first diagnosed I wondered if it would have been better if the cancer would have gone undetected. If he hadn't of fallen would ignorance have been better? In hindsight I think we were fortunate. Despite the incredible hardship it is to face death, knowing gave us the opportunity to face it together as a family. D's sister was able to come out from Sweden. D and his brother spent much more time by his side. Pops got to see his family and know he was loved.

Last Sunday we took the chiquita over for a visit. Since the diagnosis Sunday visits have become routine. Pops lost his bearings occasionally but he would snap back into coherence with gentle reminders. He even got excited when offered a peanut butter cookie and ate it eagerly.

 Monday night Pops died. The shroud was complete.

Once again we are grieving while the world continues on. The man I knew was gentle, clever, funny and sweet. He shall be missed, and will always be loved.