One Month with Stella

stella-bella

Location: Bucerias, Mexico

Last week I posted her birth story, but it had taken me a few weeks to write it, so already, here we are, at the one month point. It feels that fast for me too. Three days after Stella was born we were home, going to the beach every day, sliding back into something of a routine. We’re sleep deprived (Drew becomes a zombie without enough sleep), grouchy (I’m so hungry all the time from breastfeeding, I keep yelling at Drew for being a zombie) and slow moving. Two hours at the beach becomes a most-of-the-day affair, but you know what? Screw it. I sit in my beach chair, under the Tommy Bahama umbrella we bought at Costco (it’s like we’re on vacation!), and Stella sleeps on my lap, soothed by the ocean. Cole runs circles around Drew the entire time. We’re all covered in sand. The baby too, despite my attempts to keep her covered, and after her baths I use a q-tip to clean errant pieces of sand that just won’t wash off — we’ll be cleaning sand out of ears and crevices for six months after we leave — but Stella, most of all, doesn’t seem to mind.

It’s chaotic, sometimes erupting into toddler meltdowns or momma ones — but other times it’s so blissful I want to write poetry to my children and convince all my single girlfriends to get married now and have as many children as possible. It has it’s moments. Other times, I want to strangle my husband but then he surprises me and does something so tender with the kids, while no one is looking, and I wonder if I could love him more. Rugged men with babies? What could be sexier?

Stella is getting fatter, her skinny little legs and arms are finally plumping up and when I pick her up she smacks her lips at me, because she’s always hungry. Cole has become incredibly sweet with me, holding my hand sometimes, giving me kisses, stroking my face with his hand and saying, “Oh Mama,” the same way I stroke his hair and say, “Oh Cole” when he’s hurt.

There’s a brewing storm in my mind, all the things we’re about to do: Spanish lessons, writing assignments, film festivals, photography I want to focus on, workshops in Bucerias, cooking classes, firing up the BBQ for homemade asado, teaching Cole how to swim, and perhaps, in a few weeks, picking up surfing again after a two-year break. Then I remember: gratitude, relax, enjoy. I like to be busy, too, there will be time for that soon. Right now, I’m embracing the mess, my hair uncombed, emails unanswered, dishes piling up — but there’s a little boy swimming in my yard, a warm baby in my lap and a quite distracted, almost-bearded husband making us lunch — what could be better?

 

17 Comments

  1. GF, I’m just coming out of a 10-year focus-on-my-kids chrysalis + you know what, every day that they make their way home from school, do their jobs/homework + feed themselves + casually yell out “hi” when I come in from work makes me happy + sad all at the same time.
    Enjoy every moment. It’ll be long gone before you know it.
    M

  2. Awe, sounds like you got it just about right.. enjoy… my baby is 34… sigh… ; )

  3. Life is sweet, indeed. So glad you are having the chance to enjoy it and in such a wonderful place. Love coming through the internet for you and your family.

  4. She is so gorgeous with that piece of bouganvillia behind her ear! You’re not fooling anyone Christine, you continue to baffle and amaze me with how productive you are, in all senses of the word! Glad you are taking some time to enjoy it all though :)

  5. Awww, she’s such a gorgeous little pie! She has a lovely name too!

    I love reading your blog =)

  6. Thanks for this and your other incredible posts about travel with a family. I always traveled a lot with my girlfriend, but now we are starting to come to this point in life that we begin thinking of raising a family but it freaks the hell out of me! I don’t want to loose all my freedom and not be afraid to travel anymore. Your posts always make me realize that everything is possible and that traveling with young kids certainly has it’s plusses. Thanks for that!

  7. Hi Christine — belated congrats and well wishes! I wanted to say that I found the transition to two kids more challenging than adjusting to my first newborn, and the fatigue really hit when the baby was around 2 – 3 mos., so take care and adjust expectations. The best advice I got from a friend was, “Lower your expectations of what you can get done in the day.” Some days, if not most, will be ONLY about the basics of feeding, changing diapers & laundry, so please don’t beat yourself up if you have to back-burner your projects! They’ll be there for you when you’re ready. You have your whole life to do those projects, but only this time when they’re little. Take it from me — now my kids are older (15 and almost 12), and I have all the time I need to do “my thing” of work and hobbies. Buena suerte!

  8. Stella is so beautiful. If she doesn’t mind the beaches already, she’ll no doubt grow up feeling at home near the ocean. I wish your whole family lots of happiness.

  9. This makes me happy to read, Christine… I was the oldest of six kids, and I remember many a day with a newborn in the house. This fall, we’re having our first baby, and I’m already feeling the shifts as priorities change and time revs and stalls. Seeing your sweet little Stella and knowing that you guys are next to the ocean, loving the little moments of calm, brings a smile to my face. Congratulations xx

  10. Hi Christine,

    She is the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen! You’ve definitely convinced me to start planning for a kid now… This is just so pure & beautiful.. I am loving it!

  11. Stella looks beautiful, well done to both of you! Remember to take lots of photos. I have two and I noticed that you have so much less time than with number 1 and documenting it takes a back seat to simply surviving it :) Huge Congratulations!!!

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