Archive of ‘Us’ category

they are my heart

selfportrait-1s

 

They are my heart. They fill my cup and simultaneously empty it. Motherhood is tough and messy, beautiful and vulnerable and absolutely amazing. There are moments of greatest joy and deepest ache, bliss and utter defeat often in the same day.
Today I’m sporting a bruised eye and nose from a toy thrown at my face yesterday (because I would let the 3 year old watch Netflix on my phone. yes really.)
This morning I woke before they did—a habit I’m trying hard to form—and brought my cashew milk hot chocolate back to bed for quiet time alone. Yet not really alone—this new life wiggles and kicks inside me and I feel the reality that she and I are the most connected we will ever be in our lives. That truth breaks my heart in the most wonderful way. I want to savor every minute of this.

I’ve been wanting to start writing here again for a while. I hate to make any promises, but I will say that I have the desire to do so and am going to give it a shot. I have so much I want to share, and am a perfectionist about photos to go with posts, and often I know it’s going to take so much time that I end up posting nothing at all. But really I have things to say. So I’ll just begin, and see where it goes.

Instagram has functioned as my daily blog for a while now, but it is fleeting and I crave something with a bit more depth and permanence. Yes indeed I am pregnant with our third baby—a girl! (I hadn’t shared that tidbit here so now it’s official.) We are so filled with joy. Nearly 23 weeks now, and after a very nauseous first trimester I have been fully enjoying this time, soaking it in and trying not to rush because it’s likely going to be my last pregnancy.

I’ll be back soon ;)

This Was the Week {no.5}

I changed the name of these posts from “This Week via Instagram”, to “This Was the Week”, just in case I end up feeling limited to only Instagram photos. Maybe I’ll share other photos and fun finds, etc. as well. Anyway… this was the week…

The first half looked pretty much like this:

So we cuddled at home a lot, sometimes getting a bit cabin-feverish.

We made yummy snacks- like smoothies, healthy cookies, and kettle corn.
The smoothie above is a recipe posted by my friend Bree. Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana. : ) It’s been a big hit around here.
Seth has been so eager to help me in the kitchen, and I’m finding that if he helps make something he’s a lot more likely to try it. (Usually he is a pretty picky eater but we’re working on it.)

One day we went to a park near the beach.
It was really windy and we got rained out, but just seeing the ocean briefly was exactly what I needed to get through that day.

And of course, the days are pretty much ruled by the littlest member of the family.
Sometimes I think I can hardly stand the cuteness- it’s overwhelming.

A few other things of note this week…

Simple Living Media has a great new blog, Simple Design, which I love already. Tomorrow they’re starting a “show us your thrift haul” linkup, which I think is an excellent excuse to browse a few thrift shops very soon.

25 Rules for Mothers of Sons by Tabitha Studer. I found this on Pinterest,  and I know I’ll be going back to it again and again.

Homemade Spring Cleaning Products on Design Sponge

On my mind:

Outdoor activities for Seth in our backyard- thinking about ways to create a better outdoor play space.

How to keep Seth from hurting the baby without saying “no” every three seconds. He has so much 3-year-old boy energy, which can quickly get out of hand.

I’m hoping to finally find time to start going through our closets, drawers, etc. and simplifying our lives. Too much stuff is toxic. I’m slowly making my way through Organized Simplicity, which is really helpful and definitely inspiring for a simpler existence.

What have you been doing and enjoying this week?
I hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

Better Than Nothing.

Well, hello May. umm… what the heck happened? I was still getting used to it being April, and now it’s May… 4th? My baby was officially two months old yesterday. {Please let me stop time for just a while. Please?!?}

I keep trying to do a big post with a ton of photos from April. There are pictures from Easter, from a visit with cousins, from random everyday moments when I actually grabbed my big camera rather than my iPhone. But I have had to come to terms with the fact that that post simply isn’t going to happen right now. Every time I sit down thinking I might have a chance to edit them, the chance is gone before it has even started. Such is life with a 2 month old and a 3 year old. Nonstop, I tell you.

I don’t often turn my computer on until evening lately. If I do, I usually regret it, as it tends to it end in frustration for everyone. Right now my days are best spent immersed in real life with my family. They need my undivided attention. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So instead of waiting until I have time to show you all of April,
I figured a few is better than nothing.

More soon,
or eventually.

xo

Last Week {via Instagram}

This week was full.
Full of growth, love, laughter, family.
We stayed busy. We played. We got things done.

There was heat and sunshine, rain and chilly days- all in the same week.
Spring in South Florida, indeed.

above:
cloth diaper cuteness | sweet silly big boy | bubbley smiley baby
morning coffee | morning kiddos | at the park
below:
evening sky | a fave magazine | new plants on my deck

We went to the beach late one afternoon. It was Isaac’s first time- I had so been looking forward to introducing him to the ocean.

small pleasures: bits of joy that made me so thankful this week…
mornings in the back yard | fresh carrot juice | drying diapers in the sun
stringy grilled cheese lunch | a new roll of film loaded
best.mocha.ever | sun tea | driving with the windows down

visiting daddy at work | sink bath
driving to visit my family | trying a new (to me) photo app | family walks

I feel like life is taking on a feel of some normalcy- a new normal.
Sometimes I feel like we’re doing so well, and other times I feel completely overwhelmed.
But that is life. And it’s always beautiful.
I’m learning more every day- about managing my time, about patience, and about just letting go.
Being organized, but not freaking out if things don’t go as planned.

How was last week for you?
I hope your Monday is bright!

This week {via Instagram}

Oh, it was one of those weeks. You know the ones. The best part about it is that it has finally come to end. I lacked in both sleep and patience, and spent most of the last several days with a splitting headache which, of course, didn’t help the patience issue. Sometimes being 3, and being the parent of a 3 year old, is kind of rough. But we made it. And there were truly good moments. I love my phone for always being available to capture them, and then later remind me that they existed. These moments keep me sane and grateful and being so much joy to my life even on harder days.

my boys playing on the floor together // ezekiel bread with almond butter and strawberries // catching a glimpse of Isaac in my rearveiw mirror // my boys snuggling with their great grandmother (they still have three great grandmas- so thankful for that) // chevron pj’s and afgan made by my grandma // major smiles from this guy, all the time now // cooking with herbs I grew myself // planting new ones in the yard // taking a shower, being alone with my thoughts for a while (even if it’s a short while)

Seth is spending the night at Grandma’s house tonight, so for the afternoon it’s just me and baby and a much quieter house. Manny will be home from work in an hour and we’ll eat dinner, watch a movie, and most likely stuff ourselves with homemade kettle corn. (Since I learned how to make it, we can’t seem get enough of the stuff. We may need a popcorn intervention…) We were planning for the farmer’s market tomorrow morning but this is turning out to be a grey and rainy weekend so it may just be a lazy, snuggly type of day instead.

How are you spending your evening? your Sunday?
Whatever it is, I hope it’s wonderful.

Last Week {via Instagram}

Yes I know it’s Wednesday already. How on earth?

On Monday I posted over on The Creative Mama (which has a beautiful new design, by the way!) about a day in my life recently. It’s a series we’re doing over there this month, and I challenged myself to use my “real camera” to document one of our days. It wasn’t easy, but was definitely fun and rewarding. I mentioned in that post that I’ve been too nervous to go much of anywhere with the boys on my own, but I am hoping to change that this week, even if it’s just the park. We get so stir-crazy staying home, and this week Manny works four 12-hour days in a row. Must. Get. Out. I think I keep thinking of the worst case scenario (this usually involves Seth defiantly running away from me while Isaac is screaming and I’m carrying at least two heavy bags…), but I feel like if I keep our first outings simple, plan for the right time of day, and prepare a lot, I can do it.

So, back to last week.

There was Easter, of course. We dyed eggs using food ingredients (I’ll try to write about that soon- even though Easter is over- because it was pretty cool). We went to church that morning with Manny’s parents, and later they hid eggs in their yard for Seth to find. (Yes I did indeed take a picture of camera’s lcd screen. I’m so behind on editing personal photos right now. It’s one of those things I can’t really do one-handed.) Overall, the holiday was simple and family-filled and very nice.

The remainder of the week included a trip to the zoo with some friends, a few artsy ventures (Seth loves to paint, and surprisingly enough it stayed on the easel this time), and lots and lots of baby snuggling for everyone.

Above right: coconut chicken curry in the crockpot. Recipe here. Delish. I’m trying to use the slow cooker more when Manny’s working, because it eliminates a significant amount of stress from my life. Do you have any favorite crockpot recipes I should try?

We went the farmer’s market as a family on Sunday. The local market season is nearly over, and I regret that this was the first one I’d been to since the season started in October. I kept telling myself I’d go, but somehow never did when the weekend came. I’m so glad we finally went, and we’re planning to at least one more time before they’re done. I got some beautiful swiss chard, an avocado and some kiwis- all locally grown. Next time, I’m planning to bring more cash and get all our produce for the week. Everything is so fresh and beautiful!

And more snuggling…

That last one was taken by Manny in his parents’ yard, and I just love it. There is nothing like cuddling with both of my boys. I am so blessed to be their mom, truly.

This week {via Instagram}

Can I tell you something?

I love my D700. and my F4. love love love. My Nikons are the beautiful and reliable companions in my work.

But they are kind of big. and heavy. They stay at home during our regular outings because the diaper bag already weighs more than Isaac, and another bag would be too much to juggle.

Even at home lately, I don’t always grab one of the Nikons because there is just too much going on and I am so tired, and often the moment would be over too quick, etc, etc. I have been trying to make a point of shooting (with the Nikons) regularly since Isaac was born, because I want to capture this amazing time and because doing so helps me stay sane, but sometimes something smaller and easier to grab is just what I need to capture a moment.

So there’s this little app for the iPhone (and Droid, too now, I hear) called Instagram. It’s the sweetest thing- little square images, very fun filters (read: no post-processing needed), sends directly to Facebook and Tumblr to share with friends and family. It has made my phone my new method of documenting the everyday. It allows me to still take photos even in the craziness that is my life right now, and even though it is only a phone with zero technical knowledge needed, it gives me a bit of creative fulfillment. Of course I still crave my big cameras, and I still use them- nothing could replace that. But I love the moments I’ve been able to capture with this.

So I thought it would be fun to kind of recap each week (or so… I know better than to promise a weekly column of any kind…) using the Instagram photos I took. A glimpse into my days…

He turned 1 month old. In total denial (me, not him).

He prefers to sleep on me most of the time, and I’m completely cool with it. There are few things sweeter than a peaceful baby on your chest. Thankful for my sling and wrap carriers though!

It rained here and there, in between intense heat and sun. Yes, Summer in South Florida is on its way.

We’re potty training with Seth, which is happening, though a bit slowly. I made a chart with those little foil stars, and he gets a treat every 10 stars.
Yummy Earth lollipops have no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial dyes, and they taste better than the ones that do. win.

Also, you can see his new haircut in this picture. I’m not a fan of the way they did the front/bangs area. Actually, watching them do it made me want to try cutting his hair myself. It would save so much money and I feel like I could learn to do it they way I want it. Does anyone know of any tutorials for this online?

(By the way I never thought I would be trading treats for pottying. Motherhood tends to find you doing a lot of things you didn’t think you would. But it seems to motivate him.
If anyone has any magic potty tips I’d love them, especially for getting him to do #2 there…)

Isaac, at 4 weeks, still had some jaundice (not very bad, but still visible in the whites of his eyes). So he spent some time sunbathing this week, since the sun can help flush biliruben from the body.
Alas, it stayed and his doctor wanted to see him again yesterday. They took a vial of blood from his arm and I almost cried with him. I hate so much to see my babies in pain.

I finally got back into my garden this week, which was in desperate need of weeding. The basil, parsley, thyme and cilantro I planted seeds for a few months ago are doing really well.
I planted some more seeds this week, which are currently being watered by the rain. It felt so good to connect with the earth again and get my hands dirty. I’m sticking with herbs this season- they are easier for me than veggies, and I need easy right now.

I decided to take part in an Instagram photo challenge for the month of April, hosted by Paper Coterie. The theme is “my life”. It’s been fun so far.

For day 2: my handwriting. I’ve been journaling more again. I feel so much better when I do- it organizes my mind.

For day 4: my reflection- in the back yard, with Isaac in the mouna wrap. It’s his happy place.

One of my mother-in-law’s neighbors has one of the greenest thumbs I know of. She gave me these pretty zinnias from her yard.

Every day, many times a day, Seth asks to hold the baby. I’m so thankful that he loves his brother so much already. This makes my heart so full.

~~~~~~~~~

What did you do this week? Do you have any big plans for Easter weekend?

Also, if you’re on Instagram, what’s your username? I’m hmayophoto.

One Month

Just one month, and our everyday reality has shifted completely. In this month, we have become a family of four- it still seems a bit surreal. Nothing feels normal yet, but I’m okay with that. I’m trying to just enjoy this time, live fully, be present, and give myself as much grace as possible on the harder days.

This “little” guy (he’s over 10 pounds already!) is busting out of his newborn-size clothes, and I already hear my heart yelling, “no, stop! don’t grow up quite so fast!” I want to savor every moment and bottle it up. My big boy, too, is changing, growing. As people said he would, he seems so much bigger to me next to his newborn brother. He is getting so mature, and communicates so well. Right before my eyes, he is crossing the line between “toddler” and “little kid”.

There are lots of terrifically challenging days and difficult moments, but I love being their mom more than anything in the world. I know I am incredibly blessed and could not be more thankful.

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