September

Hello, October :) I haven’t done a post like this in a while, but here’s 10ish moments I want to remember from September:

Diego started school!!!!! After being home for the whole month of August, Diego started his last year of preschool in the Shemesh class. EVERYONE is happy, grateful, and constantly washing hands, now that school is back.

My two beautiful best friends came to California for the weekend :) I think I’m still relying on the energy from that weekend to propel me through the fall. Being with them made my postpartum self feel much more like my real self, and it was wonderful.

We took the ferry to SF (my absolute favorite weekend activity) and walked around the farmer’s market. Other than preschool returning, the other thing saving the day, each day? Bluey. We watch so.much.Bluey. And it makes ALL of us happy. Anyway, inspired by the Markets episode, we gave Diego $5 to buy what he wanted. He picked an ube rice crispie treat-wayyy better than a toffee apple.

My mom drove back up to Oakland to help us out for a few weeks. It was such a relief! I introduced her to my favorite place, The Pelican Inn, after a morning in Muir Woods.

Diego and I discovered the UC Berkeley Botanical gardens. It was one of those “how have we never been here before? This place is awesome!” discoveries.

After helping us get through another wild patch of both-working-with-a-newborn, my mom continued to help us in Irvine. Leonel and I spent the week with my parents in Irvine. It was reallly nice having the extra hands and also so refreshing to go on afternoon walks by the beach.

And on our last day, Janou, Max and Will drove down! The brousins and their beaming grandparents :)

And now, it’s October! Diego constantly asks “how many days until Halloween?”, gets excited over every changing leaf (he’s got a growing collection shoved in his car seat cup holder), and desperately wants it to rain and feel like fall. Me too! Here’s hoping :)

Positano, someday

Exhale had a Spine Poetry creative challenge and I loved reading all the poems generated from book spines. As 90% of my reading is on the Kindle, I didn’t think I had the raw material for poetry. And then, feeding Leonel tonight, I looked at the few books on our shelf, and saw the pieces of this poem:

Why not me?

The road trip, south and west,

eating my way through Italy,

(in) a cafe by the sea.

Simple.

Your baby and child,

loud and clear,

expecting wonder,

and dinner.

(This is) the love story,

(learning) how to be a family.

I love babies, and I love travel. There’s a season for each. While I soak up these kisses and cuddles, I do daydream. I wonder, how much better does an aperol spritz taste on the Amalfi Coast? Someday :) For now, this time at home is the great adventure.

Big Summer, Pt. 2

July was largely consumed with baby feeding while watching the Olympics for hours and hours. Diego got SO into it all, especially diving, biking, gymnastics and track and field.

Leonel met his cousin! They would meet in-person a few weeks later, but I’m so happy to have a photo of Janou, Leonel and her baby bump.

We spent a lot of time at home, in the back yard, going on walks. Leonel joined our Sunday morning Farmer’s Market routine. We waited and waited for tomato season and it finally arrived :)

After six weeks of focusing on the baby, I went back to work. The return coincided with Diego’s school closing for the month of August. I knew it would be tough and chaotic, but I didn’t realize how tough. Thankfully, my parents welcomed us at their house for a few weeks. The extra space and extra arms made it all a bit more manageable.

Taking some breaks to go to the ocean and the pool helped, too!

We spent the day on Balboa Island, and it felt like a summer-vacation-in-one-day. Diego loved the Ferris Wheel, ice cream, and riding the Ferry together.

And then, a real tough moment. I took the kids to a park at UCI, and Diego fell off his bike. A terrifying moment, followed by brief relief when he popped his head up off the cement, followed by an adrenaline rush upon seeing his bad split lip. Diego was remarkably brave in the ER, and recovered in days, but they were long days. It was a week full of milkshakes, TV and feeling like a sad, tired mother.

I was relieved when he healed and the sparkle in his eye returned-as did his energy and desire to play, play, play outside :)

Before heading back north, I introduced Leonel to my favorite beach-a moment I dreamed about during both pregnancies.

And then-the BEST BEST part of late summer: Baby Will was born! Janou became a mother!! She’s such a natural. The joy of seeing her holding her own sweet baby is unmatched.

After a month of working-while-mothering-while-recovering, and just as I felt I might lose my mind, my best friends saved the day. Katie and Kelleen flew to Oakland, and we had a whole weekend together. It was our first time together since May 2019, and it was WONDERFUL. For a few days, we just focused on talking and laughing, and after a year and a half of all ~this~, the time was such a gift.

And now, summer is over! I’m still gaining my footing with the new baby. Still have a lot figure out as I navigate life with two children, but seeing these babies together and thinking about the cousins growing up together is very, very special.