The best birthday gift ever

Eight years ago, I gave birth to my first daughter. She was greatly anticipated well before her arrival. You see, when I met my husband Michael, he was already the father to a little boy. Then, we got married and had another boy two months later (you do the math--I was a pregnant bride). And another. And another. And another.

Five boys total.

I began to worry that I would never have a little girl. That I would never know what it was like to raise a daughter. I was living in the land of Buzz Lightyear, testicles, wrestling and the color blue. But I never gave up the idea of a little girl. There were so many things I wanted to teach her and ironically, so many things she would teach me. I just didn't feel like my family was complete without her.

So, I waited. I waited eight long years.

When I finally found out I was having Maya (a name I had picked out before I even had any children), I was beyond excited. Over the moon. And then when she was born, I remember marveling at how exquisitely female she was. How petite and perfectly formed were her eyelashes, her chubby nose and her full lips. She was so different from her brothers that it instantly quelled the nature vs. nurture debate that I learned in college. No one had to teach her how to be feminine. It was all wrapped up in her being.

And it was lovely.

I like to call her the best birthday gift I've ever gotten. You see, she was born the day before my own birthday. My 32nd birthday, to be exact. What happens when you share a birthday with one of your children? Your birthday gets celebrated jointly or its completely overshadowed by theirs. And you know what, I don't mind one bit. As I grow older, I realize that celebrating birthdays kind of suck.  

Who wants to celebrate getting older? I don't like to contemplate age spots, spider veins and the fact that my eyes are getting a little baggy around the corners.

Now that I have my birthday buddy, my birthdays are so much nicer. But the first one after she was born will always be the most memorable. I celebrated it by eating sushi in my living room, surrounded by my loved ones, with a beautiful little baby girl nursing at my breast. Oxytocin, the love hormone, was flowing.

I can't believe how beautiful and grown up she looks! Even while wearing a fur hat.
Happy birthday baby girl.


Through a child's eyes

This is the time of year when some of the chil'rens struggle with asthma. I don't know what it is but the cold weather mixed with all of the other winter ailments like bronchitis and the flu just aggravate the lungs. A few months ago, Xixi got sick with pneumonia and she had to take a ton of meds. She recently got sick again and I couldn't help but notice her breathing was really shallow.

If you've ever experienced a person with asthma struggling for air, it is scary. You will find that you have to remind yourself to breathe too because you are so focused on their wheezy intake of air.

We decided to take her to the ER in the middle of the night. This was a week or so ago and thank God, she is doing much better. Her asthma is still around, but we're hoping to manage it with Qvar.

I recently found these images on my husband's phone. Apparently, my baby girl got a hold her her Daddy's iPhone while they were at the hospital. I was touched by the simple way she documented her illness and time in the hospital.

Daddy took this photo of her taking yet another round of albuterol.

A bright red toe.

Yes, it was pneumonia after all.

A comfy bed, coloring books and a remote to watch all of her favorite shows? She was not complaining.

She gave the nurses the hardest time about this.

Daddy snoozing on the most uncomfortable chair created in mankind.

The ER and her Tinkerbell blanket.

My baby! I hate to see any of the chil'rens sick. It makes me feel so helpless as a mother.


Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to you, my friends. Or, Happy Single Awareness day. Either way, today is about love, right?

 If you want to see the latest Swoon-worthy Heart Ideas around the interwebz in honor of Valentine's Day, head over to Babycenter Blog where I put together a really cool list of heart swag. By the way, we're recreating that awesome heart walkway with the chil'rens today.

But that's not all. The love just keeps pouring in.

I'm also blogging over at Mamiverse today. Check out my list of the Top 10 Most Romantic Movies. It's my own personal list but not the list. Still, I breathe fire on any list that includes Pretty Woman and The Titanic. I've shared the list here before, but I went ahead and added my favorite sappy quote from each movie.

Happy heart day! Make sure you follow me on Pinterest, where I have a freaking awesome And Hearts... board full of hearts. Like, seriously. Go...follow!


Why I love to create

I visited the CHA Winter 2012 show in Anaheim, CA just last week, on my quest to find a strong Latina presence amidst all of the crafters for Mamiverse. It was an amazing time meeting new people, trying new products, crafting, drooling over fantastical markers and enjoying all of my old fave products too.

Me and Jesh hanging out at Kathy's awesome glitter wall.

We got to hang out with Kathy from Diary of a Crafty Chica and Maya from Maya in the Moment over at the iLovetoCreate booth, which was completely colorful and inspiring. If you check out this next Threadbanger video, you will catch me answering the very important question of:

Why do you love to create?

Did you also catch my baby bro Jeshua from BoifromIpanema? We had a blast, I can't wait until next year!


Mom of the Week at 4 Kids or More

Hey, head on over to 4 Kids or More where the lovely (and tall!) Kristen Chase of Motherhood Uncensored and Cool Mom Picks had a few questions for me as their Mom of the Week.

Leave me some love, would you? ♥
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