Friday, December 19, 2014

Noted on a Friday

Whew! I'm exhausted. Tests are graded, students have been hugged, classes are all wrapped up, and my five months of (unpaid) maternity leave starts now. Surreal. I feel like I can finally breathe. We have a busy weekend ahead, but come next week, I'll be able to cookie bake, finish my Christmas shopping, and get ready for the big day -  hopefully while donning a variety of comfy jammies - which I plan to wear for at least three days straight. And maybe the following week, too. Can. Not. Wait! Cheers to some much-needed downtime right around the corner. I hope you have a lovely weekend. xo

{December has the prettiest sunsets}
{birthday cupcakes for Flav}
{we've been lighting our angel chimes}
{the faintest rainbow on my way to work}
{soup prep}

Friday, December 12, 2014

Noted on a Friday

{this morning's rain, tree}
The end-of-semester + holiday rush is in full swing around here. I've been up to my ears in work and we've had lots of holiday gatherings to attend, including a cookie exchange, two white elephants, and a holiday potluck (!) It's been insane this year.  My work threw a really enjoyable joint 3-mama-to-be baby shower today (there are 3 of us expecting within 2 weeks of each other!) and overall, there's been lots of celebrating, gift giving, shopping, and eating. But, it feels like December is speeding away from me. I would like to lobby to make Thanksgiving one week earlier. It all seems so hurried and I'm wishing for more time for doing activities from our advent calendar, movie watching, warm drink sipping, and leisurely baking. You know, more time to savor the best parts.

I go in to finals next week, and I'm having mixed feelings. Come next Friday, I'll be done teaching...until May! I have always worked, and a part of me is looking forward to spending my days nesting, going to yoga, reading, setting up our nursery, etc., but the other part wonders what I'll do with myself all day. It will definitely be a change of pace. I'm sure I won't be at a loss for things to do when the baby arrives in two months..

It's a rainy Friday, and we're spending tonight in. My favorite chicken soup is bubbling away on the stove and we're planning to light a fire and watch Elf. We have hypnobirthing class and one last holiday party tomorrow and then Sunday is Flav's birthday! He requested a family day with homemade cupcakes, so it will just be us and a couple fun outings. I can't wait. xo

Fun work baby shower cake. I'm definitely hoping for a good baby.

Even though our front porch/yard is a construction zone, Flav still put up the lights. Happy wife, happy life.

 2-week old shower flowers, still going strong.

 Cookies in progress.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Our Baby Shower

At first I didn't think we'd have a baby shower and I was okay with that. As our little one is due in February the holidays seemed conflicting, plus I hate the games, have an irrational fear of opening gifts in front of others, and no one had immediately offered, so I figured we'd just skip it. But then, Flavio told me he'd been talking to his mom who said she'd like to host a traditional Mexican shower with any food I wanted (I picked my craving, Chinese), a big cake, and no games. I was still unsure, feeling like a shower seemed a little grabby - especially during the holidays when people are already spending so much money (it's so weird that we ask people to buy us gifts for weddings and babies!) but, Flavio reminded me it's a celebration of the coming baby, and I was in. Turns out, it was the best day.

There were adorable safari-themed decorations all over my mother-in-law's house, piles of Chinese food, and the most amazing tiramisu from Extraordinary Desserts. Mexicans give everyone a broche, a decorative baby-themed pin to wear, and the mother-to-be sits in a decorated chair. Flavio and I are big believers in bedtime stories, so Flavio had the idea that in lieu of cards, guests bring their favorite childhood books with a message written inside, which I loved! We got so many amazing children's books, in English and Spanish, and I'm happy that the books, with their sweet inscribed messages, will be keepsakes for our baby.

While my dad and Flavio were there, the other guests were all women and throughout the afternoon, many of them shared funny parenting stories and gems of motherhood advice. "Coconut oil works wonders for diaper rash" and "Rice cereal at 4 months will help your baby sleep through the night", and "Walk hills and have lots of sex to induce labor" and "Do what feels right to you and your family and ignore everyone else's opinion." We talked about how parenting advice comes and goes (apparently, all doctors used to advise babies sleep on their tummies, and now we're told babies should only sleep on their backs), and one woman shared her natural birth story with me.

Overall, the day was surprisingly empowering. Pregnancy can sometimes feel very personal and individual, but I couldn't believe how excited all these women were to meet our baby and how encouraging and bolstering the whole afternoon was. Suddenly, my pregnancy felt beautifully communal, if that makes sense. The whole thing felt like an important milestone from pregnancy toward motherhood, like I'd suddenly become initiated into this other tribe, and I could feel everyone's maternal strength and positive vibes. It was such a sweet and touching afternoon, one that I'll never forget, and it's now clear to me why showers have become a time-honored tradition around the world. Plus, cake! :)

{stork, gifts} 
{tiramisu and my mother-in-law}
{My mom and Flav} 
{books galore!}
{serving cake}
{happy tears - it was such a great day!}
{part of invitations}