11.13.2016

Election week.

We have a bedtime routine. We have dinner. I prepare Javi's bottle while Sean puts him in PJs. I get his room ready; turn on his sound machine, start up his humidifier, turn off the lights. Sean gives him his bottle in the living room with the lights and TV off. I wash the bottles from the day and when he's finished with his bottle Sean walks him over to me while he holds "Frank" a stuffed dachshund from Ikea and I give him a kiss and whisper "goodnight".  Last Tuesday night, I added "when you wake up you're going to have a woman president".

Election night in America is my Superbowl. We had an early dinner, put Javi to bed, had to run an errand for Sean's mom and came home to watch the results come in. I fully expected a similar experience to that of 2008 and 2012, but as we all know by now, the states that had previously been blue, turned red on November 8th. As 11PM neared (the time I was positive it would be called because this was just "in the bag") it became very clear to me that the night was going into the morning. Considering we have a 13 month old (and the fact that I wake up at 4:25AM for work) I debated going to bed but ultimately decided I couldn't and my brain wouldn't let me. So I watched all night, until my alarm went off for work and until what I viewed as the worst possible outcome became a reality. And it hit me hard. I cannot express with words how much I am against this new president-elect. 

I didn't realize how much I loved this country until I was 15. I don't have many memories of the country or world outside of my life and family before that age. I remember "I did not have sex with that woman" and "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit". That's it. Call me self-centered. But I turned 15, the day before 9/11. The 9/11. And on that day, and all the days after I realized how much I loved the United States of America and all that "being American" means. I made it a point to learn about the country and the government and world events and current affairs. For the first time I watched the DNC on the day Barack Obama spoke. I was hooked. I knew that my views leaned toward progressive thinking and at 18, I registered for the first time as a democrat. And I never looked back. In college, I donated what money I had toward the Obama campaign. I bought t-shirts and sweatshirts and signed petitions and donated my time. I saw Barack Obama speak in Boston, heard his story (in person), listened to what he wanted to do, heard his vision and I thought "This is why America is so great" -- because we have people like this.
         
*Spoiler alert* -- I've succeeded in this America. If I had to check off boxes of accomplishments I've achieved --  my boxes would be full, and then some. I also acknowledge many people do not succeed in this America. People are discriminated against. People are oppressed. People are angry. People feel unheard or they're poor or they've been abandoned by the people who are supposed to protect them. Or they are all of the above and then some. I just didn't think the majority of America felt this way. Surely, that's a mistake? Me, over here in my liberal bubble in the Northeast just doesn't understand. Politics, I understand. I understand the electoral college. I understand democracy. I understand he won by the numbers. I refuse to force myself to think that the majority of Americans don't care that people are discriminated against, oppressed, or unheard. Because that's just not true. We are intelligent and compassionate individuals. We represent the beacon of hope. Freedom. Bravery. Courage. Doing the right thing. Leading the way. Setting an example. We the People. We're stronger together. Surely, we didn't just turn on each other? It seems a little bit like we did.

I don't want Javi to grow up in an America that chooses hate. One that builds up walls. One that turns its back on neighbors. One that fights people who are different. An America that chooses inequality. And racism and xenophobia. I don't want Javi to grow up watching a president who thinks the people he leads are beneath him. A person who takes rights away, treats women as property and has little to no experience for the very position he holds. I don't want Javi to hear comments that aren't politically correct. *Spoiler* I happen to like when people are politically correct. You know what politically correct means? Language, policies and measures that are intended not to offend or disadvantage any particular group of people in society. I want that. I want kindness and compassion. Empathy and understanding. Fairness and equality. I want Javi to know that the color of his skin, and his maleness gave him an automatic boost at the start line of life. I want him to know that if you work really hard you can achieve what you want. That you are never entitled to anything and things are not just given to you. I want Javi to know that bullies don't win, money isn't power and that people are still good at heart. 

It's taken 5 days of conversations with family and friends to get to the point of tolerance (and I really hate that word). It's going to happen. The respect I have for the country we live in, tells me it's going to happen. Come January, this will be reality and rioting in the streets or staying in bed and crying isn't changing it. I'm slowly moving toward acceptance. So what else is there to do?

I can still raise Javi with all the values and morals I know to be right. 
I can get active behind causes I believe in and fight against ones that are wrong.
I can vote at midterm elections. 
I can do everything within my means to make sure this president only lasts one term. 
I can still love this country even if I'm disappointed.

Here's to 2020. Elizabeth Warren -- I'm looking at you. 

9.24.2016

Javi's Party.

Our little guy turned 1 and we had a bash!
I wanted the theme of his party to be "you are my sunshine" since that's a song I sing to him nearly every day. So I ordered some invitations off Etsy and bought a ton of blue and yellow party supplies and we celebrated!
It was such a beautiful day outside that all the festivities were in the yard but I did a little bit of decorating by putting his monthly photos in frames on the food table. It's crazy how big he is already! I got the inspiration for the cupcakes and cookies on Pinterest, of course.
He wasn't totally a fan of the cake (we would have let him smash it but he didn't want anything to do with it). I think if we were to do it again now (at 13 months) he would be in heaven. (In the last week, he's become obsessed with food but at that time he was so not into it).
It was so nice to spend his birthday celebrating with family and friends!

9.20.2016

Letter two.


Javi,

You are one! I can't believe it. I remember, so clearly, laying in bed writing a letter for you to read one day, all about the anticipation of meeting you. And somehow I've blinked and I've known you for a year. I remember hearing once to make time for your mother on your birthday because it's a special day for her too. That sentence means a lot to me now. September 20, is the day you arrived. The day I became a mother and the day I began looking at life a lot differently than before. It's incredibly different than the day before it and the day after it and I will forever love what September 20th marks for me and hope that you'll always celebrate your birth with me.

You've grown so much in your first year of life. I knew it would happen but it seemed to be one of those things that occurred so gradually that I feel like I missed it. Since the day you were born I feel like the world started spinning a little bit faster. I started moving a little bit faster, just to keep up, and I've sure stumbled. But here you are, in one piece and we are just so thrilled at who you are and who you will be. Before I met you, I wondered what you would look like. Now I find myself wishing for the future and daddy brings me back to reality. "Don't rush him. Enjoy him now." And I do. I enjoy every midnight wake up (it takes me a few minutes to get my act together), I enjoy every meal, every car ride, every story read, and song sung and smile my way. I enjoy every time you hold my hand, kiss my cheek, and race to get away from me when I'm trying to dress you. I enjoy every walk, family outing, and evening bath. I want these moments to be forever.

Your birthday is so special. Because you are so special. People flock to you because of the light in your eyes and the smile on your face. You are so loved. Family and friends and even strangers in the grocery store want just a moment with you -- for you to smile back at them when they say hi. And do you smile! Everyone comments on how happy you are. You are always in high spirits even when you're sick and have every reason to be upset. You rally. And it shows.

I don't know what your second year of life will bring. But I know that we're ready. We're so excited that you are apart of our lives and we wouldn't want it any other way. You are such a part of us and of me that I no longer remember the feeling of wondering what you would look like. Now I want to know who you'll be. I love you so much. And I can't wait to find out.

Happy birthday!

Love,
Mama

8.24.2016

Couples trip to Maine.

Last weekend, Sean and I went away for the first time without Javi! I was hesitant to leave him but him being with my parents for the weekend made it a bit easier. :) I didn't really know if I would really be able to leave him behind, and even the morning we were leaving I said to Sean, "maybe we should just take him!?". Ultimately, he stayed back and it was the right decision... and we were only gone from Friday to Sunday. (Still a long time away from the little guy) The trip was a lot of fun though. 

We traveled to Maine and met our friends Whitney and Kyle (two years ago we did a trip to DC and we would have gone somewhere last year had I not been pregnant and put on bedrest). So this year, we decided to plan a trip and continue the tradition we'd like to begin. Since Maine is so close, we chose there!
We had a very packed 2 days! We saw the sunset, a sunrise, spent more money on food (lots of lobsters!) and beer than ever before (in just 2 days), watched movies, spent hours talking, went on a boat... the list goes on and on. It was a great trip and it was nice to be with our friends and to eat meals without (an adorable) interruption. 
The first night at dinner, we decided to take the plunge and taste Pappy van Winkle whiskey. Apparently, when you see it on the menu, you should try it so we shelled out more money than I would EVER spend on one drink and tried 12 year and 20 year whiskey. I preferred the 12 year much more. 
 Here are some pictures of our weekend!
 

8.20.2016

Eleven months.

We are getting awfully close to one year! I can't believe it. I know everyone always says time moves so quickly, but it seems to be speeding by. It's both satisfying and alarming and both exciting and pretty sad. There are always a few rough moments in each day but most days I think to myself, this is my most favorite age Javi has ever been!  
We started off the month with a trip to Puerto Rico -- plane rides, lots of swimming and visits with family. It was a lot of fun and Javi was a bit scared of the ocean the first day but started to warm up to it by the second day. He tried pizza for the first time and ice cream for the first time!
He's a pro at imitation now and anything we do -- he tries to do! He waves bye (not always on command...) and says "da", "ba" and "la". He's obsessed with opening and closing cabinets and doors and his little fingers are always inches away from getting pinched! He also lays down and closes his eyes when we say "Javi, are you sleepy?" He's our little furniture re-arranger and loves to move anything and everything. He's incredibly strong and thinks he's totally cool as he pushes something across the room. 
He's still loving books and we went to library story time many times in the past month. When we look at books together he is constantly closing the book to look at the cover... and then he looks back to the page we're on. Always comparing! He is also loving music and the music class we started this month was such a hit I signed him up for 9 more classes. He's working on keep his own instruments and NOT taking everyone else's things. He tends to want what anyone else has... always. :(
We're trying to get better at feeding him more regular food (like we eat) but I'm still so afraid of choking (or gagging) and we just aren't there yet. But he eats the fruit and veggie pouches and puffs and munchies and basically everything they sell in the Gerber aisle. We're still working our way up to milk... but mostly he loves his formula. He's having a really hard time being alone and hates being put down especially when you walk away after putting him down. His cries break my heart! He puts his arms out/up and reaches for you with tears streaming down his face. It's just impossible not to scoop him up!
He's an excellent crawler... but he is LOUD when he crawls. He thumps and thumps and races around. It's hysterical. He's good at standing but he's still not totally steady on his feet. He LOVES stairs and he crawls up them like nobody's business. He still doesn't understand stairs and thinks it's appropriate to be in the middle of a flight of stairs and just sit back... so we're always close by. :) He loves going for walks, even in the heat and he loves his new tricycle!
Unfortunately, we couldn't take our monthly photo because someone just doesn't stay still anymore! He is ALWAYS moving and on the go. He's not a great napper but he's still sleeping through the night! He's just such a big guy already! We've started planning his birthday party next month and can't wait!
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