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?