Baby's First Visit to Santa

I don't remember ever believing in Santa. Maybe I just have a shotty memory and Mom, you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember thinking that fat guy was ever real. I blame this on my Kuya (my brother). Very early on, he taught me that Mom and Dad hide presents in their closet or under their beds. (Really,Mom and Dad? You couldn't think of better hiding places?) My brother and I would peruse the house and gawk at the toys we were getting on Christmas from "Santa." Later in life, when I wouldn't have time to search the house for presents because I was to busy playing house, I would shuffle through the presents under the tree and ever so carefully untape one side, maybe the other, and take a little peekaroo. I may or may not have opened a whole present once and rewrapped it afterwards. This rebellious habit lasted well into my 20's. I stopped because I confessed this to my Hubby and he made me promise I would stop doing that. Luckily, we share a bank account now and I can easily see what I get for Christmas. Nanny nanny boo boo! :p

I hope Joaquin doesn't pick up on Mommy's bad habit. I hope he believes in Santa forever. I pray that he doesn't turn out to be one of those first graders I once had that blurted out "Santa isn't real!" I hated those kids and I would scrambled like hell to divert the conversation before the other first graders asked me any questions about it.

So, this Christmas I will start planning. I will start a plan on how to make my son believe in Santa and find good places around the house to hide the presents so Santa's cover is never blown. Joaquin WILL believe... Or he will teach his younger siblings otherwise. Either way, it'll be fun times.

Wandom Wednesday: Recovery

This Sunday, my little snugaboo will be one month old. WHOA Nelly Furtado! I am torn between wishing time would stand still so I can have this little newborn forever, and wishing time would fast forward to the point where he can wipe his own butt. I'm sure one day I'll miss wiping his butt... one day.
GAH! Just the other day his little belly button cord fell off. I was both excited and disgusted, then I cried because he's growing up so fast. This was a big moment for the whole family.

I have to be honest and say that these past few weeks, although filled with magical moments, has been an emotional roller coaster for me. Baby blues hit me like a freggin' hurricane and I sobbed uncontrollably EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I heard crying sounds coming from my own mouth that I've never heard before. Even Baby Joaquin was like "What the hell, Mom! Why are YOU crying?" When I am in these deep holes of emotion, I often wonder if I'm cut out for this "mom gig." Hubby really had to dig me out of some really dark moments and there were even times I pulled him right down there with me. I felt so alone even though I was surrounded by everything a woman could ever want out of life. Dammit Hormones! I really had a difficult time with breastfeeding, getting up every 2 hours, going out in public, and even interacting with friends and family. I just wanted to curl up in bed and sleep for a redonkulous amount of days.

Then I remembered I AM a mom now and this little guy is counting on me. I remembered that newborns can pick up on mommy's stress and I couldn't deal with the thought of ruining my kid's life already. There will be times for showing the video of his first bath at his 18th birthday party in front of all his friends and his stupid girlfriend, who I'm sure I'll hate. So in true obsessive compulsive and teacher lady form, I started a plan of IEP (for all you teacher friends out there)for myself to fight the blues.

1. a cute organizer.

Ummm, I'm TOTALLY obsessed with my new planner. If you're into the good ol' paper organizers, check out Her planners are so cute and functional. I am in organize heaven! I made it a point to plan out family walks, visits from friends, and simple trips to the market so I can feel productive. Those were the things that made me feel "normal."

I also love my Baby Daze tracker. Totally unnecessary but helps the OCD monster in me to keep track of every poop and pee that lil' man makes. That info will make for beautiful keepsake moments, no?

 2. Don't be a Vampire Slug

People say to sleep when baby sleeps but when I did that, I felt like a vampire slug living in a dark house with the curtains always drawn shut. I needed to get some fresh air everyday. My little family and I went on our first walk around the block days after Joaquin's birth. We all loved it, especially Sonic. This helped with my sanity and my c-section recovery.

3. Take a damn shower

Since my c-section, my incision site open once. Lovely. I had to take a trip to the ER, they drained it, and told me to sponge bath myself for a few days. Sponge baths are hard if you don't have a nurse on hand to wipe you down the correct way. Sure I have a husband, but it is too early in my life for him to wipe my butt. When I got the green light to take a full shower, I danced...carefully, with joy. Showers are your friend and you should take one...even if it lasts a whole 2 minutes.


 4. Do what's right for YOU

-cracked and bleeding nipples
-nipple shields
-Lanolin cream
-Plugged Ducts

If you plan on breastfeeding, make sure you do your research on these things. I really thought that breastfeeding would be as easy as slapping the baby on your teet and letting him go at it, create a magical bond, blah blah blah..... no. Nobody told me that breastfeeding can be so hard!

I am a firm believer in "Happy Wife, Happy Life." Same goes for being a mom, too. If mommy isn't happy, then all hell will break loose in the house and everyone will be miserable. One struggle I had, and continue to have on occasion is breastfeeding. I want to write a full post about my battle with this, but in short, I had to do what was right for me. It seems like right now, the push is for breastfeeding and anything else is poison apparently. I felt the pressure hardcore and had to find ways to come to terms with what works for me and what wont drive me up the wall. In a nutshell, I hate breastfeeding...yes I said it...I hate it. I decided that the best thing for me right now is to exclusively pump and supplement if I need to.

 5. Cookies

Remember when I said I'd post the recipe for the pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies...yeah well, I had a baby and I totally forgot. Mommy brain? Better late than never.
FYI- I subbed the pumpkin spice and puree for a lazy can of pumpkin pie puree and I nixed the frosting and dusted it with powdered sugar.
Yummy recipe here!

I also did a my first TIM TAM SLAM! Oh, it's a thing. Google it. It's going to be big like Gangnam style. Mark my chocolate faced words.

For all you new mommies out there.... hang in there. It does get better. Atleast that's what everyone keeps telling me.

How I'm Coping by Sonic the Dog

Three weeks ago, my life changed forever.

Days and days and days ago, I noticed something different about Mommy. She was walking differently, yelling a lot, and her front side was getting bigger and bigger. It was round, like my Kong ball.

I didn't think anything of it because it was a really nice place to rest my head. Hmmm, it sure did feel funny when it moved.

Then one day, Mommy seemed like she was in great pain. She was crying and squeezing me tight. Roh Row. We needed some help! Mommy and Daddy left that night and didn't come home for days and days and days.

Uncle Vince and Grandpa Jun did come and visit me. They walked me and fed me. It was fun! Uncle Vince even brought two mini hats for me to smell. It smelled so different. They kept telling me that "baby" was coming, whatever that is.
Then, they brought this miniture person home. I've never seen anything like it. It makes funny sounds and even funnier smells. Mommy and Daddy are carrying it around.... like they used to carry me.

This little person or "Papas" as they keep calling it, is too big to be a toy and too small for me to jump on. I'm so confused.

 One good thing about all this is the new cookies I've been getting. I've been getting yum-yums from my special jar like crazy! Mommy is even dropping more food off the dinner table when Daddy isn't looking.
Everyday, Mommy keeps saying they still love me . I'm still her "puppy kisses" she says. She even tells me that Baby loves me and when you get bigger, which I hope isn't too big, we will be best buds.

If you keep stinking up the place like I do, and keep making loud noises when you're hungry, like I do, and pee all over the place, like I do....then yes... I think we will be best buds.

But let's get one thing straight.... Mommy and Daddy were mine first!

Thursday Favorites: My Mom

Dear Mom,

 Here I am, almost 3 weeks as a new mother. As I adjust to my new life taking care of a new life, I catch myself thinking about you a lot. I just keep thinking how amazing you are as a mother. Growing up, I always had your love embracing me no matter how much of a brat I was being. You always had my best interest at heart and you guided me through some very difficult times in my life. On top of all that hard stuff, you ALWAYS had a warm, delicious meal on the table, a clean house, and kept a full time job to provide for me and Kuya. HOW did you do all that? I stare at Baby Joaquin and just pray that I can care for him and love him like you did with me. I pray that I can build a home where my son will feel safe and surrounded by pure love. I'm trying to channel everything you ever taught me so I can be half the woman you are. You are truly a blessing to me and everyone you meet.
I have to mention that I'm also grateful for the genes you passed down to me. You not only passed the cooking, cleaning, and organizing gene to me, but you also passed on the.....hmmm what should I call it...the sexy gene! Hear me out. I have the youthful glow of a teenager and Sergio will always look like he's dating a younger gal. Score for the both of us! You also passed on the gene of bouncing back after pregnancy. 2 weeks in and I've already dropped 25 pounds. Thanks to you, my pregnancy didn't leave a trace on me. Thanks to you, I will always look young and fit. Right? :)
In all seriousness, I love you. When you see me loving my new baby, just remember that you instilled in me that ability to love. I'm perpetuating that cycle that you started. Thank you.


Joaquin's Birth Story

Every mother has their birth story hell that they like to tell over and over....this is mine.

November 9, 2012

Throughout the week leading up to Joaquin's birth, I tried absolutely everything to induce my labor. It was week 40 and I was ready to see my litte Baby. I tried walking, eating pineapple, eating spicy foods, bouncing on my yoga ball, and yes, even sex. All were enjoyable, but didn't work one bit. Everyone kept telling me to be patient and to walk it out and that only made me more irritable because I was wobbling around like a fat seal. I didn't want to be pregnant anymore!

40 weeks and 3 days pregnant

7:00pm- Hubby and I decided we would go on one last date night and relish each other's company. We decided on Thai food (maybe a spicy curry would do the trick?) and movie night, Skyfall looked pretty bad ass.

At dinner, I started to feel some contractions, but I was having Braxton Hicks all week long and didn't think much of it. After dinner, they started to get a little stronger, nothing I couldn't handle, and a lot closer, about 4-6 minutes apart.

8:10pm- As we settled in our seats for the movie, the serious pains started to hit. I could barely shovel popcorn into my mouth and I knew that was a sign. I whispered to Hubs that I was going to the bathroom and would text him if we needed to leave. I spent about 20 minutes pacing the halls and sitting on the lonely benches when I finally gave Hubby the text.

"Ok, come out now."

9:00-11:30pm- My plan was to try and labor at home as long as I can. We live 5 minutes away from the hospital so I knew this was do-able. I spent the next few hours bouncing on the ball, cuddling with Sonic and my hubby, taking warm showers, and watching Mrs. Doubtfire on the tube.

12:00am-This was the point where I couldn't take it anymore. We calmly gathered our things and headed to the hospital. Turns out birthing balls don't fit in the car. We left it behind. We also called our families and they hurried over to wait for Baby to come.

They say that when you're having REAL contractions, it will take your breath away. This is true. Getting from the parking lot to Labor and Delivery took a lot of stops. Each time a contraction would hit, I'd curl up in pain and beg for Hubby to help me. These pains were no joke.

When we got to Labor and Delivery, the doctor checked me and I was only 4 cm dilated and my contractions were growing further and further apart. The pain was still fully intacted though. Nonetheless, they told me to walk around the hallway for an hour to speed things up.

2:35am- Walking helped, my body responded, and I was finally 6 cm. They finally admitted me and we crossed our fingers that everything would go quickly and smoothly.

I should've crossed my toes because from that point on, it neither went quickly nor smoothly.

4:00am- By this time, I was wailing for the epidural. It turns out contractions make you forget everything you've read about, all the Lamaze class tips, and any sort of breathing techniques. Fuck the breathing techniques! I needed the drugs. Oh GOD, I was THAT girl. I am proud for making it all the way to 7 cm without one, but that was only because it took them that long to send the anesthesiologist. Side note, the lady that put my epidural in was a complete meanie. She was impatient and rude. One rude person can ruin your whole experience. Shame.

But, her drugs kicked in and shift changes happened. I got a new anesthesiologist who was a sweetheart and a wonderful nurse and felt much better both emotionally and physically. Hubby and I managed to relax and get in a few catnaps.

6:30am-Doctor came in to check me and I was still sitting at 7 cm. He told me it wasn't good for my body to be contracting for so long without progress and advised me to let him break my water and put in an internal monitor to track my contractions better. I agreed. So much for letting things happen naturally.

8:30am- Still no change so they started me on pitocin to make my contractions closer together. By now my epidural was wearing off and I asked for them to up my dosage. I couldn't believe I was asking for MORE drugs.

For the next few hours, I went in and out of naps, talked out my feelings with my hubby, and watched him struggle as he tried to put a ponytail in my hair. It was then I realized two things, if we have a daughter and she needed him to fix her hair, she would be screwed, and I love my husband more than anything in this world. He was my rock through this whole thing. He has enough strength for the both of us and he did everything he could to make things good for me. I am nothing without him.

12:00pm- finally at 9.5 cm. It was almost time to push. Our family was in the waiting room cheering me on and I was so excited for this to be over. Oh no,'s not over yet.
Both sides and all siblings were there.
1:00pm- Time to push! Suddenly, I was so emotional and scared. I cried hystarically to Hubs and was literally shivering with fear. I was scared of the unknown. I ended up pushing for 2 hours straight. Baby would come down and go back up with each push. It was so exhausting. They could see it taking a toll on my body and upped my dosage (again) and let me rest for an hour.

3:00pm- When we started up again, the doctor finally said we needed to try something else. She tried the vaccuum. I never wanted to resort to that, but in the moment, I just wanted my baby out. It didn't work. By then, I was getting a fever and my body was not cooperating. They gave me antibiotics and rushed me to the OR for an emergency C-section. Part of me was sad that I had to get a c-section but I was happy knowing that THIS WAS IT. I was going to see my baby.

The next hour was a blur, mainly because I was drugged up. I could barely keep my eyes open and that made me sad because I wanted to be alert and awake to welcome baby into the world. We told the doctors to tell us right away if it was a boy or girl. This created quite an excited buzz with everyone and added to our surprise at the end. Hubby held my hand as I cried and then it happened, Joaquin was born. When we heard "It's a BOY!" Hubby and I cried. I've never seen Sergio cry. This was so special. He already loved his son so much. It was so emotional for the both of us.

One thing I felt sad about was the absence of the skin to skin right away. I had to wait a few minutes to even see Joaquin and that broke my heart. I didn't even get to hold him until later because I was so drugged up from the surgery. I also ended up hemorraging, which prolonged everything as well.

On the bright side, Joaquin was healthy and that's all we could ask for. He is finally here.

My recovery was definitely challenging and I'll write another post about that soon, but as of now, things are good. Getting used to being a mommy is...taking some getting used to, but I have my husband by my side and a new son to call my own. Ain't life grand?

Welcome Baby Joaquin

This post is long overdue, but special just the same. 40 weeks and 3 days of waiting more than paid off, bringing us a beautiful baby boy.

Daddy, Joaquin, and I are all doing well. This house is full of love.

Baby Joaquin
Born November 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm
8 lbs. 6 oz.
20.5 inches long

40 weeks of waiting

Today is Baby's due date. I am sitting here very impatient and ├╝ber-uncomfortable. I know it is very rare for babies to be born on their due date but I guess I just thought I'd be holding Baby by now. Something like 5% of babies are born on their due date so I shouldn't be surprised that it didn't happen yet. I'm just bummed.

These past couple of days have been filled with lots of nesting, sugar bingeing, and curious texts and phone calls from loving family and friends. Hubby is now home from work for the month and he really did a number on the closets in our house. It looks fabulous. I helped a bit, mostly by cheering him on from the couch. I also took time to go through my wedding junk. For the record, I was married two years ago. It feels nice to dump all of the RSVP notes. I guess it was about time I did huh?

 As for the sugar binges, I made pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies...twice in one week. I'm not ashamed because they are so damn good. Post the recipe soon.

And speaking of pumpkin, someone on Instagram (my preggo brain fails me at the moment)posted their amazing combo from Yogurtland the same day they opened a Yogurtland across the street from me. It was a sign that I had to go and try it. Best decision I made all week.

Pumpkin yogurt with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, graham crackers, and white chocolate chips. I die. So good.

Hopefully Baby V will be here next time I post. Tomorrow I have a non stress test and we are in talks about an induction date next week. Keep your fingers crossed for me please!

But How Are You Going to Decorate the Nursery?

::Conversation I have AT LEAST once a day !::

Everyone and their Mama: Awww, how many months are you?

Me: 9 months

Everyone and their Mama: Wow! Is it a boy or a girl?

Me: We don't know, it's a surprise. We want to wait!

Everyone and their Mama: Oh my gosh! I would NEVER be able to do that. How are you going to buy things for the baby? How are you going to decorate the nursery? ::Usually said with disgust:: Oh, with like yellow?

Like that's a bad thing? Yellow happens to be one of my favorite colors and this challenge of decorating the nursery wasn't a challenge after all. I have to admit, at first I had the same concerns, how am I going to decorate the nursery I soon realized that Baby V would get everything he or she NEEDS. That's what's important. I can go clothes shopping for my child for the next 18+ years, so..... what's the rush?

Our biggest challenge was finding a place in our house for Baby V. We live in a townhome and the only other bedroom is on the first floor. Our Master bedroom is on the third. I could never rest easy if I were to put the baby on a separate floor. I would have nightmares of someone breaking in to steal my precious bundle of joy. It wasn't happenin'. So, we decided to convert our Loftice, our loft/ office into the Nursery.



I got my color palette and overall inspiration for the Nursery off of When I started I felt the need to stay with the colors that were in the inspiration pictures, but I found that to be rather hard. So, I just went with it and hoped for the best. I think Mommy did ok. We will have to ask Baby V later.

Another challenge were these shelves! Oh, they were the thorn in my pregnant paw. We didn't want to take them down because, one, they served as storage, and two, they were REALLY hard to put up. I thought about making curtains to cover them, but then I remembered I can't sew. Damn. So, here they are in all their glory, open and exposed with my feeble attempt to make it look decent with "decorations."

We have the bins up top with diapers galore, our Bumbo, (Don't worry, we will not put baby up there forcing another recall because of bad parenting.),and in the slots we put everything from wipes to blankets to every card we got at our showers. Almost everything here, and everything in this room really, is a gift from our showers. We are blessed.
Under the shelves, we put those canvases that I painted over the summer. Since we didn't want to paint the whole wall, this was a great and inexpensive compromise.

I absolutely love our dresser. Hubby's parents gifted this to us and it is exactly what we wanted! Lots of storage, very sturdy, and low enough to double as a changing table. For now, I hung these outfits to give me strength and motivation in these last few days of pregnancy. We will soon find out if Baby V is a boy or a girl. I'm so excited!
You can bet that all of those drawers are filled with yellow duckies and giraffes. Aren't they ADORABLE!?
I have some awesomely talented friends in my life. Baby now has several quilts and blankets that were made with love. I put this one up on the wall because I felt like it matched so well with the room. This one was made by my librarian at my school. Thanks Tracy!
The crib was a gift from my parents and it is perfectly simple and sweet. The pictures up above are from Etsy, the elephant gifted from my sis-in- law Vanessa, and I need to point out the bed skirt, it's really a curtain that I folded ever so strategically to look like a crib skirt. Fun right?

Lastly, our reading corner. So colorful! I LOVE IT! The glider is from Target and the amazing quilt was handmade by one of my Bunco babes, Chris. I repainted this bookshelf and filled it with books that were Hubby's books when he was a wee one.
So there it is folks, our NEUTRAL, small, cozy, and sweet Nursery. I put a lot of time, effort, and love into this tiny space and all I need now is my Baby. I am ready for you, Baby V.

Full term and Full of Love

Whew! I can breathe now. I am officially on leave from work and Baby has dropped so I can breathe both physically (Baby isn't pushing my lungs up anymore) and figuratively (No more stressing about work!). I chose to take off about 4 weeks off before my due date, which sounds a little bit early, but I am so glad I did because I feel like I need to prepare for Baby both physically and mentally. I've been nesting like a crazy pregnant woman, cleaning every nook and cranny in this place AND I've been taking my classes and reading up on everything Baby related. It feels really great.

It's all been feeling more "REAL" since I've had all my baby showers. Receiving all the love and support, as well as everything that is cute in this world for Baby has shook me into reality. "Joanna, you're about to have a baby soon!!"  Say WHAAAT?

Baby Shower #1- Baby and I were showered by my Bunco Babes. We played (and I won!), we ate, they drank... oh boy did they DRANK!...and we opened amazing presents. I love my Bunco Babes so much!

Baby Shower #2- The Grandmothers-to-be threw this one and it was lovely. All of our families and a few of our friends were there to eat and celebrate Baby V. It was so much fun and I ended the night feeling so blessed to have so much support around us.

Baby Shower #3- My amazing co-workers really outdid themselves throwing an amazing shower in the library for me and Tonya (another teacher who is due a few days before me). They decorated everything so cute and planned out a yummy menu to feed my growing belly. I feel so loved by all of them!

Check out my swollen ankles. HUGE!
Mini-Shower #4- Can't really show pictures of the next one but it was by far the sweetest. My students all pitched in a dollar and bought Baby a bag full of goodies. They also wrote notes for the Baby and we had a smoothie party on my last day of work. To make my day even better, my students from last year all came to visit me at the end of the day. My heart was so full that day. 

I have one more shower this Friday which Hubby's co-workers will be throwing. I can't even believe all the love we have surrounding us. I'm just dumbfounded that Baby isn't born yet but he/she is already spoiled rotten. 

How far along? 37 weeks. Full term now, which means if Baby were to be born now, everything would be A-OK!
Maternity clothes? Since I am at home all day now I'm rocking PJs and workout clothes. So comfy!
Stretch marks? Still have a few only on my left hip.
Sleep: Oh how I miss sleeping on my back!! I am sleeping pretty well through the night, but I wake up with terrible kinks all over. I should've invested in that Snoogle.
Best moment this week: Celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary and just enjoying my time off from work.
Miss Anything? Sleeping on my back, moving around, reaching my feet, rolling over, yadda yadda yadda.
Movement: Baby is making those weird alien type movements since it's so tight in there now. I feel bad saying this but sometimes it's so painful that I cry for Baby to calm down.
Food cravings: Burger King Chicken Sandwiches with extra mayo and a chocolate chip cookie to chase it.
Weight Gain: I decided to bring this back once more....It's shameful but it has to be said....48 lbs. Yes, I've gained almost 50 pounds!!! HOLY SHIT. Excuse my french
Anything making you queasy or sick: I feel sick after lunch each day, yet it doesn't stop me from eating.
Gender predictions: I still feel like it's a girl.
Labor Signs: So many braxton hicks! My hubby is starting to get nervous.
Symptoms: Yes. Having soooo many symptoms!! Over it.
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? I miss my rings!
Happy or Moody most of the time: I am happier now with work being out of the way.
Looking forward to: Holding and kissing Baby.