When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren,
Women and Beauty

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Busy week to prepare for an extremely busy month

As of next Tuesday, I will have lived in the new place for a month! I can't believe how fast the time has gone. Just designed and ordered the invites for Sophia's 1st birthday and even by the time I receive them and send them out Monday the party will be 5 weeks away. I keep finding all these little projects that need to be finished by the time the house is filled with my dearest friends and family. I want to plant flowers in the back, start an herb garden in my kitchen greenhouse window, paint the kitchen and Sophia's room, the list goes on. I love the way the invites turned out and will be referring the company to you all for future needs...


Already have the theme of the party planned and have begun getting all the decorations together. Cupcakes and her 1st cake are already planned as well. The menu however has been consuming my thoughts. It will be mid September so the weather will still be warm. My mom recommended chili but again I think it will be too hot for such a cozy dish. BBQ? Mexican taco bar? Sandies, salads and sides? As many of my friends know already, when it comes to food I am already obsessively indecisive. The day will be such a special day and I am not sure that I will want to be slaving away behind the Weber. Thankfully my mom is taking the entire week off so she will be here to help me prepare, cook, etc.

If the party planning process time hasn't already been slipping through my fingers, my little girl is now standing freely on her own, walking along the couch and on Tuesday she started saying "Ba ba ba ba." Brings a smile to my face because that little voice inside that I have been anxiously waiting to hear will come out before I know it. Just waiting on the magical word...mama!

Things are getting easier and easier by the day. I have moved from crying after she leaves, to my eyes simply welling with tears. Chris was gone all last week and didn't get his usual Wednesday night so I told him he could have her this Thursday night as well. I know the split is just as hard on him but I can't bear to be apart from her. The maternal bond is stronger than you ever can imagine until you actually become a mother for the first time.

So tonight, I will have some me time. Give myself a facial and pedicure and maybe catch up on some reading. Can't wait to see my favorite girls this weekend. Long overdue and definitely needed. I love Chico but an escape every now and then is a nice break from reality.

More photos to come but here are a couple recent shots of Sophia with the new maracas I got her...

Much love,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Where have I been???

So...WOW! Its been a while since I have updated. I apologize for that but I have been extremely busy with work, moving arrangements and chasing after a crawling...yes crawling 10 month old. Yeah...10 months! Not sure where the time went but my baby no longer looks like a baby. She is growing into a little woman quickly!

I would have posted earlier, but finally got my internet up and running.

Saturday marks the two week mark of living in our new home. Sophia loves it...I think. It's so hard to tell if she is being affected by the massive change but she is still the happiest baby as always. She has a bigger room than her first nursery and while is is still empty other than a dresser, an armoire and pack n' play, I have big things planned for yet another custom designed nursery.

The house is so charming and perfect for us. It's a 3 bedroom one bath in downtown Chico. Some highlights are the front porch, the remodeled kitchen and of course the old clawfoot bathtub. Built in the 1920's it has amazing custom woodwork and it has so much potential to truly make it my own. Luckily my landlord is a friend of mine so I can really make it my own in terms of painting, interior design, etc.

A huge milestone happened the first night we slept in our new home. We spent the night in pure peace. We had no tv (donated the heavy thing to the Salvation Army) or internet and spent the evening on the floor with pillows and blankets. As Lily, Sophia and I were on the floor playing, Sophia pulled herself up to standing for the first time. While I was ecstatic, and feverishly grabbed my phone to snap a photo to send Christopher, I couldn't help but fight back the bittersweet tears. Christopher and I are now officially living separately and I was saddened because he wasn't there to share it with me. Just another reality check that I won't always be there for every milestone going forward. I may miss her first step or her first word and the thought brings pain to my heart but I must stay strong.

Tonight is the 2nd Wednesday night without my sweet baby and it has been a little easier than the first. My first full weekend and 48 hour period without her came last weekend and each night I cried myself to sleep, again something that will ease in time.

A bottle of zin has been my companion this evening. This week has been incredibly long already. With the move, stress at work, the ongoing battle about custody and support with Christopher and I, to top it all off...Lily went missing for most of Monday !

She somehow escaped through the side gate which was slightly ajar. It happened on my mom's watch while I was at work. I was an emotional wreck. Chris came home from work and while my mom paced Bidwell Park with Sophia in search of her, Chris made flyers to post. I came home for a 3 hour lunch break to hang signs, contact my groomer, animal control, my vet and the humane society. The day came and went and no sign of Lily. When I came home, and there was still no word via phone or email, I broke down again in the backyard. Fearful I would never see her again, my mom and I just cried together, She was my first baby and irreplaceable in my eyes. My mom brought me my cell in the midst of my tears and luckily the best news all day came through a voicemail....Lily was safe and sound!!! A sweet girl named Rosie Keen was running in Bidwell Park when Lily began following her. She followed her all the way back to her house, running past our house on the way (which I can now laugh at). She luckily kept her all day and when her parents arrived home, her dad recommended her going door to door to find her rightful owners. Luckily two doors down we had posted a flyer earlier. They found it, called my cell and the rest is history. I was still crying when I went to pick her up and they couldn't stop talking about what a great dog she was. The Keen family is incredibly sweet and as a thank you I got them a $50 gift card from my store. We are now once again a big happy family and I wouldn't have it any other way. While my mom is now fearful of letting Lily outside, she will one day regain her freedom.

Alright, I think that's enough catching up for now. Going to watch a movie, have another glass of vino and give myself a long overdue facial. I get my girl back tomorrow morning and will post recent pics of her then.

Sweet dreams everyone!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A week of soul searching, Sophia and (hopefully) sun!

My week long vacation started today...and it started off with a big mouth full of teeth smiling up at me from her crib. The days of sleeping in are no longer important to me. Even when times are tough and I can't see the light at the end, Sophia has a way of lighting up my life each and every time.

As she plays on the floor with the diameter of various toys surrounding her, I cant help but be at peace. This vacation has been needed for quite some time. I don't have big plans, no extensive road trips and flights anywhere. Just time to reflect on the whirlwind of the past 16 months and how it has deeply affected me both positively and negatively. As most of you know, I will be making some changes in the near future. Nothing that was ever forseen or wanted, but change nonetheless. My primary focus is my daughter and ensuring that the change comes as seamless as possible.

While I have learned many things lately, the biggest takeaway is that I cannot change people and I cannot control how they view me as a mother and a basic human being. I have spent so much energy on trying to change the effects of the past, to change their opinion of me, and in the end the reality is bittersweet.

Bittersweet for two reasons...the end of something that once had hopes of being loving and fulfilling has opened up the door to endless possibilities for love and fulfillment in the future. The truth is I know who I am, I know what I have given to the relationships in my life and I also know that I will never allow anyone outside my home to control my happiness ever again.

I am a mother and that is the greatest gift of all. It comes with smiles and tears, grief and celebration, exhaustion and endless energy, but most importantly I am creating a life. Everyday I teach her right from wrong. I instill healthy moral values. I show her what love is and the benefits of its reciprocation. I shower her with unconditional love, support and positive encouragement. It is these efforts and values that I hope will be shared by both Christopher and I as we raise her together, hopefully in a co-parenting environment. Consistency is the key and, while it hasn't always been that way these past 8 months due to extenuating circumstances, that is my hope from this point forward.

So this week begins time to recenter myself, re-establish what I want for the future and begin creating a plan of how to get to next. Like my favorite quote says at the top of the blog, I must think twice...once for myself and once for my daughter. A friend suggested a trip to the coast and I think that just may be what my soul needs. I could take Sophia to Santa Cruz for the first time, take a walk on the beach and go to my favorite, Pizza My Heart in Capitola :)

The future, while unknown, can be terrifying and exciting all at once. It is my wild hope and string desire to make it everything I want it to be for my daughter and then of course for myself.

I will use this blog to keep you updated of our path and of course, Sophia will remain the priority of my entries.

Stay tuned...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Where did 8 months go???

Woke up this morning to see the smiling face of an 8 month old baby....and her teeth! Four top ones and 2 bottom ones to be exact. I get to see the pearly whites each time she smiles. This morning, though, I had to remind myself she was mine. As I fed her and she slept on my chest, I couldnt help but smile and shed a few tears. My baby now takes up my entire abdomen and she will be walking sooner than she crawls. Mostly though, I just can't get over how sweet and loving she is. How did I ever get so lucky? What did we do to deserve such a happy child? Seemed like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital. For her 8 month birthday, I bought her a cute pink adirondack chair. It will last for years and she will definitely grow into it. I am thinking about painting "Sophia" on one arm rest and "Grace" on the other. I threw her bikini on and shot a few pics of her.....

I gave her a bath this morning and she can now sit up all on her own and play with her ducks without falling over. She loves her bath time and more importantly her ducks. Next time I will take a pic of her with ALL her ducks :)

The flower clips I made turned out great and put one in her hair today...quite Miss America if I do say so myself...

One more full week of work then...vacation! Nothing extravagant planned, just some quality R&R time with my sweet girl that is much deserved and I cannot wait! Jordan graduates so next weekend will be filled with lots of family and lots of fun!

Candace watched Sophia while I went to my first session with the counselor this morning. Felt good to feel supported and in a safe environment. Can't wait until Christopher and I get to go together on Tuesday night. Trying to stay positive and keep my head held high. Everything will work its way out for the best, and Sophia will get to reap the benefits.

Gotta head to work but I will update some more later!

Much love,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Say a little prayer...

It's National Prayer Day!

In spirit I am asking for all the strength I can muster. There have been many changes lately, all for the best of course, but the road to the best positive outcome for everyone involved has been a rough one. We love all of those who have given us your love and support!

I am on Day 6 of the Master Cleanse but no prayers needed there. I am exceeding my expectations and feel SO good physically. I have already noticed a difference in my skin and body. Deciding if I want to go the full 10 days and skip out on the possibility of a Mother's Day brunch, or just cut it short @ 8.

A Sophia UPDATE:
Sophia's front teeth are IN!!!!! Well the top left and first side left tooth are. We are waiting on the two right ones now. She will have a full mouth of pearly whites before we know it.

Still not crawling, for she has taken a liking to rolling wherever she wants to go. Rolling and reaching. Just like her mama. I didn't crawl until I was almost 11 months old because I could get anything I wanted be creeping and stretching to reach it.

She has so many facial expressions now. So many that remind me of myself, lots of Christopher and even a few that strangely remind me of my grandfather. I took a picture of her that it is a spitting image of his face as a young child and it brings me so much peace to look at it. I miss him and my grandmother so much and I know that if they were still with us they would love her more than life itself, not to mention how proud they would be of me as a mother.

Sophia makes different sounds each day and they all make me smile. It sounded like she was saying "Oooohhh!" earlier this morning. I am cherishing each and every moment I have with her at this stage because it passes so fast.

Still eating lots of fun new solids. Grandma made her pureed pears the other night and more of the applesauce that she loves. We mixed the pear juice in with rice cereal instead of formula and she loved it!

Ideas are starting to flow for Sophia's' 1st birthday. If I don't begin planning it soon, I will run out of time. I can't wait to see everyone...and of course see my sweet girl dig into her first cake :)

Mama definitely needs a mini vacation away from reality but I won't go without her. Missing out on my friends Kate's 30th bash in Cabo but there will be many more fun moments to come in the future. Sophia takes 1st priority in my life right now and I wouldn't have it any other way. A co-worker is putting together a little overnight getaway in Nape filled with pampering treatments and vino. Hopefully Grandma can come with and watch her while Karen and I get some much need retail R&R :)

I am home today recharging the batteries to get me through this Mother's Day weekend @ the store. It's going to be crazy but I love those times the most. I feel like I am actually accomplishing things and overall making my customer's day.

I will make a special Mother's Day post on Sunday, reflecting on all things "mama"! Stay tuned...

Much love,

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hidden beauty in Chico!

Hello everyone!

In spirit of Earth Day yesterday, Sophia and I went to the bamboo forest here In Chico. I have known about it for some time but have never been. The weather was finally nice enough to go. Much to my surprise it was much more than just a bamboo forest. There was a gorgeous creek, lush greenery and many colorful flowers and great photo opportunities to snap some spring photos of Sophia!

The best part was how absolutely peaceful it was...a little escape from reality! Sophia loved all the flowers and we will definitely be back! Here is a little glimpse.....

Much love,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The ups and downs in life...wrapped up in a song

Today the sun is shining and my baby girl is talking (or trying to), yet there is emptiness in my heart. Last night I was reminded of the depth of relationships, and one in particular that I hold incredibly close to my heart. The future is unknown at this point and while the the future becomes suddenly frightening, I begin to grasp for strength through the only way I know how...my thoughts and music.

I will share with you my anthem, during these past few weeks that have been incredibly rough. It gets me through the day and gives me some serene kind of clarity. Enjoy!

HELLO WORLD by Lady Antebellum

Traffic crawls, cell phone calls
Talk radio screams at me through my tinted window I see
A little girl, rust red minivan, she’s got chocolate on her face
Got little hands and she waves at me
Yeah, she smiles at me

Well, hello world
How you been
Good to see you, my old friend
Sometimes I feel cold as steel
Broken like I’m never gonna heal
And I see a light, a little hope in a little girl
Hello world

Every day I drive by a little white church
It’s got these little white crosses
Like angels in the yard
Maybe I should stop on in, say a prayer
Maybe talk to God like he is there
Oh, I know he’s there
Yeah, I know he’s there

Well hello world
How you been
Good to see you, my old friend
Sometimes I feel as cold as steel
And broken like I’m never gonna heal
And I see a light, a little grace, a little faith unfurls
Well hello world

Sometimes I forget what living’s for
And I hear my life through my front door
And I breathe it in
Oh, I’m home again
And I see my wife
Little boy and little girl
Hello world
Hello world

Well the empty disappears
I remember why I’m here
Just surrender and believe
I fall down on my knees
Well hello world
Hello world
Hello world