Friday, May 30, 2008

My Dark Spot

For the last few weeks (maybe months), I've dug myself into a hole that I can't seem to get out of. The other night, I finally let it out to Mike. And then I went to see my doctor, who reassured me that the sadness I have been feeling is normal - probably a combination of post-partum depression as well as anxiety over the daily stressors of my life. And with that, I'm not saying that my life is miserable and dark. That's the not the case at all; I have a wonderful life. And I know there are millions of people out there that have it harder than I do. I'm not degrading any of those people.

But for me, a naturally happy-go-lucky person, this is tough. And it's nothing big that is bothering me. It's just little things here and there. Lack of time to do things around the house. Lack of sleep. Worry over my family (both biological and in-law). Mike being going for a month on a work assignment. Petty family conversations. Etc, etc. And no, this is not a post aimed at any of my family members who read this to call me or approach me and ask me what's wrong or start whispering to others trying to figure out what's going on with me. So please, don't make assumptions after reading this post. This isn't supposed to cause gossip within my family and friends and I expect nothing but respect as I tackle this.

It's been a year full of changes, changes I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, but still, pair those changes with a woman still raging with pregnancy hormones, and it's not a pretty mix.

I'm not surprised this is happening. In fact, the first few weeks after having Patrick were pretty difficult. Mike and I kept it to ourselves, because it seemed ridiculous that I could be sad after giving birth to a healthy baby. Plus, with my parents helping, it made things much easier (although that may have been a stressor as well). And I didn't want to say anything then, because I figured I would snap out of it. And I did. But now it's back. I've spoken to my mom about this, and she's been very supportive. All my fears of biases melted away as soon as I told her. And she was very clear about something: life is about Patrick, Mike and I. And that should be my focus. Everything else could wait. And to hear that from her means everything to me. And so I am thankful that I have a mother who puts aside the feelings her culture says she should have and sees only her flesh and blood: her daughter.

I could trace sadness back to many events in my life: a hurricane that destroyed my house as I was standing in it, the onset of a disease in my teen years, the death of my sister, and a forever shaky relationship with my father (whom I love very very much but sometimes the immense love we feel for one another causes 'misunderstandings'). And I have stood strong through all of these things, growing up sooner that I should have, learning to understand things meant for adults. So no, it's no surprise that all of a sudden, things seem to be falling on top of me.

I've sought help. I'm going to be fine. I have a fantastic husband who loves and supports me and I have a beautiful son who needs me healthy, happy and whole. I have faith that I will be back to normal in no time at all.

Please, if there are any folks out there who read my blog and feel the way I do, tell someone. It will probably make you feel better.

*I may take this post down in a few hours or a few days. I may never take it down. I just needed to get this out, needed to write it down. Many thanks for reading.*

Thursday, May 29, 2008

To eat or not to eat? - that is the question

In honor of Patrick's abuelo and grandma's birthdays (happy birthday!), Patrick decided to entertain us in his new high chair.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Meeting Marti

No, not Jose Marti. But someone equally as cool.

During my last visit to Miami, I got to meet fellow blogger, Marti, along with a portion of her great family: son Adam and daughter Amy (aka Kikita). I've had my blog for a few years now, but have never met anyone that reads my words or vice versa. Of course, it's common to be skeptical in a situation like this, but honestly, meeting Marti was so comfortable. She recognized me immediately, fawned over Patrick and asked about Mike: It was like meeting a long-lost friend and picking up right where you had left off. She's awesome, not to mention cute (see, Marti? I told you I would fit that in here somewhere!).

My only regret is not having spent more time with her, sharing some croquettas and Materva. There were so many things I wanted to tell her - most importantly, how much I admire her Cuban-ness and the love for her family that comes with it.

She also signed her cookbook - filled with fantastic Cuban recipes right from her kitchen. So, people, go to her website, and buy it. I mean it, do it now!

Check out photos of our meeting during Cuba Nostalgia:

Cuba Nostalgia 2008 at Tamiami Park
Patrick, the cigar roller

My newest (and coolest) new friend from the internets, Marti

Patrick got along famously with Kikita, Marta's daughter (isn't she lovely?)

All pooped out after a long day of drinking cafe, eating pastelitos, and dancing salsa

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

While My Mom Searches for Sales, Patrick Helps in His Own Way

I just rewatched this video and I just love love love watching Patrick and my mom. Love it. I love how comfortable he sitting next to her and how she responds to him as she searches her paper - "mira, leche a $3.49", followed by "ay yay yay" (referring to Patrick).

Month Seven

Dear Patrick,

As I write you this letter commemorating your seventh month, you are busy kicking and bouncing away in your bouncy seat. As your legs move wildly, you are smiling at me with both your wide grin and your eyes. You’ve had a very busy month, starting with a visit to the doctor for (more!) vaccines and ending with a trip to Miami to visit Abuelo and Abuela.

This month, you learned to roll from your belly onto your belly. Since you have mastered this, you now roll all over the bed and floor. I am trying to teach you how to sit up and you are slowing catching on. I lift you up, put you in a sitting position, and for a few seconds – you’ve got it! – then you fall over onto your side, roll over and look at me and smile. It’s all a game to you, little boy, isn’t it?

Your eating habits haven’t changed too much – you still love your bottles full of milk. At the end of last month, we started experimenting with different foods, which you loved, but this month, you haven’t wanted to eat much at all (I suspect it has to do with your dad going on a work trip and I’ll get to that soon). You close your mouth shut and refuse anything but your bottle, so I have started to “trick” you by pretending to give you a bottle and then shoving a spoon into your mouth. I know it sounds criminal, but you need to taste things other than milk. And when I am able to give you food, you like it. This month, you tasted sweet potato and mango (along with other foods from last month: applesauce, peaches, banana). I think your abrupt change in feeding has to do with your dad going away – it seems to me like a sign of protest, like you are saying to me, “I refuse to eat until that Daddy guy comes home!”

You sleeping habits are the same: you sleep between 10-13 hours a night and nap very little during the day. I wish you would nap more because I see how tired you get during the day, but you are so curious to everything going on around you. Your eyes are always moving around, trying to capture everything surrounding you. It has become that you rarely sleep in the car anymore and car trips used to make you sleep no matter what.

You are also babbling quite a bit: ahhhhhh, ehhhhhh, hmmmmmph. And you have learned the art of manipulation. This month, your dad went on a work trip and we too the opportunity to fly to Miami to see Abuelo and Abuela. Once there, you realized you could “trick” them and get anything you wanted, including being rocked to sleep and being feed outside of your normal schedule. If you made a single sound from your portable crib, Abuelo was there to pick you up. I actually caught you smiling once after he picked you up and when he looked you, you gave him a look as if you were in misery. This, of course, only made him hug you tighter, and then YOU SMILED AGAIN, as if to say, “Ha, I’ve got him wrapped around my finger!” With your Abuela, it was more of the same. But despite this, you were a charmer. Your award-winning grin/smile is a hit with everyone, from family members to strangers in stores.

This month, you went inside a pool for the first time. I was a little worried that you might not like it and would complain, but it was quite the opposite: you flapped your arms and kicked your legs. Nothing bothered you – not a swim diaper, swim shirt or even a sun hat. I can’t wait until the summer months so we can visit our local pool.

You still have no teeth, but you are drooling quite a bit. Every week I tell myself that you will have a tooth by the end of that particular week, but so far, nothing. I can’t wait to see a little tooth when you smile at me!

Patrick, you are the most amazing thing in my life. I’m so blessed to have you.

I love you,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

We left Miami this morning - it was 77 degrees.

It's 52 degrees in New Jersey and has been raining all day.

But still - we're home!

Friday, May 16, 2008

I Think I'm Having Heart Palpatations

I just watched NKOTB on The Today Show.

I am *so* going to see them in September. I feel like a teenager again. I'm in love...

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's hard to be in a bad mood when this is what you have to look at...

Feeling Snarky

And annoyed today.

Not sure why, but I have a feeling it has to do with not being listened to.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

To all of you who are mommys (or have mommys): happy mother's day!

Friday, May 09, 2008

In Search Of...

... recommendations for a new cell phone.

I need a flip phone, with a good camera, Bluetooth capabilities, and speakerphone.

Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

My Son, Mr. Gigglepuss

Patrick has been all smiles during our visit to Miami, but this afternoon, he was all giggles. I promise to get it on video next time.

Some pics of the last few days:

(I've been inspired by my bestest friend, acb, to play with the different functions on my camera.)

PS - I'm at Barnes and Noble, and there is a group of high school kids studying for their AP European History exam. Nerdy kids sure look different than when I was in high school, that's for sure. One kid's pants are so low on his waist, he might as well not be waering pants. Seriously.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Please excuse the run-on sentences, but it's been a very long day and I am typing this on a computer with dial- up!

After a nearly two hour drive to Philadelphia Airport this morning, pushing a 16 pound baby in a 10 pound stroller with another 10 pound baby bag hanging off it, while pulling a 47 pound suitcase full of who-knows-what (since I forgot his eyedrops, and OMG, what if he gets an EYE INFECTION? WHAT DO I DO?), getting said baby bag, stroller, car seat, and actual baby through security, getting on the plane, holding the 16 pound baby while he slept for nearly an hour on the plane (did someone say a NAP? Patrick took a nap today?), and waiting for 47 pound suitcase at baggage claim, we have arrived.

It's been 8 hours since we arrived in the land of sun and humidity, 6 hours since we ate a HUGE lunch (prepared by my mom), 3 hours since we took Patrick for a walk along the bay, and 20 minutes since we came back from said walk.

But we're here.

And since I can't get a wireless signal to hook my laptop onto (guess I'll be heading to Starbucks every few days), I am on my dad's trusty desktop that is hooked up via dial-up.

I'll be here for a few days (2 weeks, to be exact), so while posting may be less than normal, please know that I am attempting to keep up with my favorites bloggies.