First Day

Monday, December 29, 2008

My first day at work was nice.

I woke up at 6:30, ate my breakfast, worked out a bit (the first time in a long time in a long time), and then got Sofia’s stuff ready for hanging out with Gwa-Ma for the day. The girl is not an early riser (like the rest of the family) and so I had to wake her. 9:15 I got her up and had her breakfast ready. Unfortunately, when I’m in get-ready mode, I’m moving fast, and mostly don’t realize it. She drank her milk and then I fed her oatmeal. She was doing fine... I had the spoon ready and her mouth kept opening. 85% finished, she burps, looks up, opens her mouth and she barfs. Poor girl. I had huge flashbacks of my own mother shoveling food into my own mouth!

Got to work and got more of my office organized. My new computer didn’t arrive yet, so I could focus on getting stuff into place. I still have a long way to go, but right now it works.

Had lunch with my good friend Maria, and caught up in a short hour.

And when I got back from lunch, this was waiting for me:

It is SOOOOOOOO gorgeous. I put it in front of my cinema display of my to-be-passed-on G5-tower, I couldn’t believe that the screen was only a tiny bit smaller. I opened up Final Cut Pro and all the palettes fit in the screen so nicely. This is an amazing machine.

However, one thing is that it’s so heavy! I can’t believe how much my bag weighs. I guess it is a pretty big computer.

Okay, enough about my computer.

When I got to my parents’ house to see Sofia, she looked so good! She has been sick over the last few days, and so she hasn’t really been herself. Still happy, but a lot less energy. Sometimes she’d just sit there. If you know Sofia, you know she never sits still for very long. When I came in the door, she was so hyper. My baby was back. Takes a Grandma’s touch!

I am very happy about my first day. It feels good that I have an awesome tool in my hands, that I still have my friends at work, that I have great care for my baby and that with some discipline, I can balance all these areas in my life and not feel totally beat.

On to tomorrow!

In Between

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We’re now on the other side of Christmas, and now we’re looking forward to New Year’s. For me, this transition is particularly significant. Tomorrow, I become a working mother. I won’t lie and pretend that I don’t have concerns about this new stage in life for me. I don’t have a great tolerance for stress. My work can be quite stressful because of the tight timelines and the creative output that I’ve got to achieve, balancing a lot of communication and tasks. When I wasn’t a mother, work could stay at work, and when I came home, we’d just enjoy our evenings together. But now, my work life and my home life are going to be hugely intertwined since I am going to be working AT HOME for two days a week.

While it is definitely going to be a life-change, and those can be quite stressful, I am looking forward to the change in my routine. It’s a great time to try to implement other things into my life (like, exercising regularly). So, even though life is about to pick up in pace ten-fold, I know that it’s a great opportunity to grow and challenge myself to juggle a lot more responsibility, hopefully, successfully.

For one thing, no more sleeping in. Here goes nothing...

Something New

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

As the new year approaches my thoughts always turn towards New Year's Resolutions. I know many people are super-jaded when it comes to the NYRs, since most of the time they don't get fulfilled. I know a lot of mine don't get fulfilled and I usually make the same ones over and over again.

But this time, I think that I am going to be making the ULTIMATE resolution.

What I like about resolutions is that it makes me reflect what I could be improving about my life, or as myself as a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a co-worker, and now, a mother -- or, even, as a human being in general. And I find, the older I get, the harder it is to change anything about how I go about life, to gain new perspective, incorporate something new into my routine, or even learn something new. Adult life can end up being a big, fat RUT.

I was talking to Gonz and we're deciding to try something new every year. Doesn't have to be earth-shattering, but has to stretch us a little. Gonz is off for three weeks due to some back problems, but he's taken the opportunity to try baking. He baked some biscuits last night, and today he baked three chocolate tea bread loaves. You should see how happy and excited he was.

And I think that it's that way with anything... When we learn something new, it makes us excited about the possibilities we have in life in general. Like I said, it doesn't have to be anything extraordinary. It can be anything.

What I also think is great about doing anything new at "this age" means I have to be intentional about it. And being intentional about something is very important. That means I won't look back at a stretch of time and go, "Where did the time go?" I feel I usually say that when I have drifted through life a bit too much, just doing what I always do...

So, I don't know what it is that I'm deciding to do yet, but I'm thinking about it. We'll see... got any suggestions?

15 days

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I have fifteen days left to my maternity leave. I cannot believe that 50 weeks have gone by and now I'm gearing up to go back to work. The church is being so awesome by letting me come back to my position only part-time: 4 days a week, instead of 5; and also working from home two of those days so I can be with Sofia. (The two days I am in the office, my mother will be watching her).

I am looking forward to it in a lot of ways. For one is being back with my co-workers. I have some of the best co-workers anyone can ask for. They are my very good friends and it will be nice when I can see them on a regular basis again. I like working on projects with them and trying to make things the best they possibly be! I am interested to see if this maternity leave "sabbatical" has gained me some new perspective on how I can work better and also in what ways has it made me rusty! At least I have been working some while I have been on leave, so I hope that I am not TOO bad.

What I am not looking forward to is not being with Sofia ALL the time. That is going to take some getting used to. I know for me, and also for her. I am happy that it'll be my mother, though, who will be replacing me as her caregiver those days. At least I don't have to worry about her–just miss her.

I am also not looking forward to the wreck my brain is going to be. I can imagine me freaking out because I wasn't organized enough about it, I don't have anything planned for my mother and Sofia to eat those days I am in the office. That might be one of my biggest dreads. Well, I guess if that's the worst, it's not going to be that bad.

Overall, I know, like all things, it's going to be a transition, and transitions have the potential to be stressful. It's going to be stressful in one way or another, but I hope it's not emotionally or spiritually. Physically, probably guaranteed since I'm going to have to be way more disciplined about sleeping and waking times (was never my strength). You'll probably laugh at me (those who know me best), but those days that I work from home I hope to wake at around 6 am so that I can get as much work done before Sofia wakes up (~ 3 hours), work while she naps in the morning and afternoon (~2), and then the other 2 hours can happen while she plays on her own, or when Gonzo gets home. That would be the perfect day - so I know that's a nice thing to aim for, even if it never happens.

Well, that's the masterplan. We'll see how it unfolds for real.

Sofia is 1

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

366 yesterdays came Sofia. 16 days earlier than her due date. 8:08 in the morning on Monday, December 10, weighing in at 7 pounds and 7 ounces, and was 51 cm. I didn't know anything about her except that she sure liked to kick a lot.

Today, Sofia turns one. She is now 22 pounds, 80 cm.

Has five teeth. Two in the bottom. Three at the top with a fourth one showing up on the other side.

She is a great crawler. Pulls herself up to standing. Walks using furniture to support herself. Can climb down from couches, etc.

Loves to eat - especially whatever you're eating. Potato. Pear. Clementine. Tortellini. Banana. Raspberries. Blueberries. Yogurt. Oatmeal. Tofu. Salmon. Bread. Ground beef. Dumplings. Black cod in a miso glaze. But... not rice.

Feeds herself well. I have read in some places that this isn't supposed to be "allowed", but I've been letting her feed herself Cheerios for months. Never a problem, aside from a Hansel-and-Gretel-find-me-trail in the mall sometimes. Today I tried giving her an entire slice of pear to feed herself. She stuffed her entire mouth with it and managed to swallow it eventually without gagging. I am not sure that Christine can even do that.

Loves to escape whatever you've used to try to barricade her in. Now add pulling herself over objects (like a coffee table or turned over chair) to her bag of escape tricks.

Loves music, loves to dance.

Had her ears pierced at six months.

Can use sign language (her own made up) to ask for music to be played on the computer, ask to be tickled, throw her hands up to indicate "hooray!", close/open/clap her hands on command, indicate that she would like to wash her hands (usually at the sight of a sink), point to where she wants to go when carried, throw a flying kiss...

She can hug you and kiss you on command. But, also when she wants to.

Loves the computer. With just the keyboard, she's managed to hit special combinations that have imported entire random folders of images into my iPhoto, and today, freeze the computer.

Pretends to answer the phone, but when someone actually talks to her on the other end, it really freaks her out and she wants to see the origin of the sound.

First words were "bear" and "beh-beh". "Bear" was used for any kind of animal. "Beh-beh" these days are for anything she decides she'd like to point at. Other than that, she rambles long sentences of random syllables.

Has a "monster" voice. It's low. It's raspy. She pulls out once in a while. Last week, she added a monster-voice laugh.

She is scared easily. Loud and unexpected noises, especially. Also, a finger puppet that she wasn't expecting at the end of a storybook freaked her right out. Anytime I showed her the book over the course of the next three days, she'd climb up onto someone for refuge.

Although she does wake at least once in the course of the evening, Sofia sleeps 12 hours at this point in her life. This is in addition to usually two crappy naps during the day. 1 hour in the morning, and 1 hour in the afternoon... if she feels like it.

Used a chupete ("binky". "dummy". "pacifier".) for 11 months of her life. The Monday after we got back from Mexico, I threw it away. I have to lie down with her until she falls asleep now, but at least she won't be that girl I see at the mall who is four and is still using one.

Loves to say hi to random strangers. Is somewhat disappointed if she can't get their attention.

Loves to grab noses. Be careful. She isn't gentle. Still working on that one.

Has a mongolian mark that resembles a HUGE bruise on her butt, that she was born with. Still hasn't faded.

She had her hair cut (just her bangs) for the first time on Sunday night. Now she doesn't look like she needs a bath all the time. Stringy long bangs makes a baby look dirty.

Can look at a book on her own for 10 minutes sometimes.

She is very nosy. Has to see what you're up to.

She is very, very happy in the morning.

I've had a year with her and this is what I know so far. The cool thing is that she's also finding out who she is, herself; of what she is capable; what she likes, dislikes and loves. I certainly have had my share of challenges this year (particularly in balancing other things that I am involved in with my family life) but for the most part it has been, above all, fun. Sofia makes me laugh so much, especially lately - with her funny faces, and her attempts at tickling me.

Later today, we have a big family gathering at Abuelos' and we're gonna celebrate the year we've had with her and the years we have to come. I like it when all of the family can come together and it's crazy how both our family's DNA all converges in this little girl. I look at my mother-in-law and think, Sofia shares my DNA and also shares hers. I like the thought that our lives, even physically, is woven into each other.

Sofia has taught me so much in such little time that I don't think I could have learned any other way. Probably above all, is patience. I don't think that I am a very patient person naturally. I am persistent - like, I can sit at a computer to try to tackle a huge project, but that is not the same as being patient. She has taught me to step back and just watch. Many of my friends dubbed me "Mama" even before I actually became a mom, but that's because of my tendency to be overbearing. With Sofia, I have learned to just watch her learn - just hang back and just protect from a little bit of a distance. These two areas are probably the most significant for me.

Gonzalo and I love her and love seeing who she is becoming. We are looking forward to seeing what she is going to be up to in this next year.

Preggers... no, not me.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Two mommy bloggers are pregnant at the same time! The chances!!

Dooce - Utah, USA
Karen Cheng's Snippets of Life - Australia

Good thing that pregnancy isn't contagious!

I LOVED being pregnant. Yeah, yeah, I know that I had a great pregnancy. Lost weight and kept it off by having a baby (gained a bit back on holidays - THANKS MEXICO.) Had only about three weeks of pseudo-morning sickness. Never had the typical aches and pains. Had the baby two weeks early. I know not every woman's experience is that great. But the fact life was growing inside me is such a miracle that I still can't really digest the idea regardless of whether I had a great pregnancy or nauseous for nine months. Needless to say, I can't wait to be pregnant all over again.

Well, at least I get to live through that whole pregnancy thing vicariously through reading those blogs. Maybe I'll learn a few things for my next pregnancy (STOP THE RUMOURS ALREADY, WILL YA?!)