A lot of our summer days so far, have been spent simply in our backyard. The kids splash and play in their little pool, we sit in the shade of our tree. I enjoy my pergola, we have snacks. Penelope points out the airplanes that fly by, Oliver tries to eat grass, and Una supervises. Very simple, but lovely afternoons.
Yesterday, we had one of those simple, but perfect afternoons. Nothing fancy. We were in our backyard, the kids were in their birthday suits, I bought bubbles from the dollar store (dollar store for the w i n!) and we had fun for hours. The simplicity and frequency of these afternoons would have a tendency to become monotonous, one would think, but they are far from that. It’s in the simplicity of these afternoons that I am able to enjoy them both so much. I notice the daily subtleties in their ever developing personalities, the change and growth in their interactions. I notice the things I would probably miss in an environment that was louder and busier… and we have those days too, of course.
In the act of doing nothing special, the most special memories are created. Isn’t that lovely? The simple afternoons that I spend with my children, in my backyard, the memories I treasure. Memories like the lovely contrast in the color of Oliver’s skin next to mine. The wonderful sound of his laughs as I tickle his belly. The pure expression of happiness Penelope has any time she sees bubbles. The memory of my little babies sitting side by side sharing snacks. Their adorable baby bums. The memories I will treasure forever.
One of my favorite romantic comedies of all time is “The Holiday”. I’ve watched is so many times, and I just loooovvve it! Anyone else? One of my favorite lines in the movie is when Iris receives a corsage from Arthur Abbott (who is just the most charming character by the way), and she says “I like corny. I’m looking for corny in my life”.
I feel like that is the motto and description of my life lately. I like corny AND I am looking for corny in my life.
We’re just coming to the end of our May long weekend. The kids are asleep, my husband is winding down watching TV, Una asleep at our feet, and I’m writing. I am feeling recharged and inspired. In the most simple activities and simple days, the weekend was wonderful. We took a spontaneous day trip to the lake, spent time with friends and family, had our first fire of the season, went to the pool, worked on the yard, laughed hard and took lots of naps.
The things I want to remember from the weekend…
My husband called me after work on Friday and said “Let’s go to the lake today” and we did; I love spontaneous adventures.
Penelope and Oliver’s relationship is blooming, and they laugh and joke with each other in their little baby language all the time, and it warms my heart.
I picked up some sticks at the lake for a future DIY I’m thinking of making, can’t wait to share.
When the sprinkler is on, beautiful light reflects from the water drops.
My pergola is magical in the summer, and I am dreaming of ideas of how I want to decorate it this year.
I am almost 6 months postpartum, my body is different and not where I want it to be yet, but I feel so beautiful in my skin lately.
My husband has the most beautiful blue eyes, and they stand out so much in the warm sunset light.
I love nursing outdoors.
My husband and I went out for date night. We watched a teenybopper movie unintentionally because it was the only one showing at 7:40pm, and that worked well to leave just after the kids’ bedtime.
Oliver was spinning on his tummy and moved away from his toy. Penelope stopped doing what she was doing, got up, got a toy, and put it in front of him. Her heart is beautiful.
Oliver went to the lake and pool for the first time, all within a couple of days.
I’m paying attention, and I’m looking for corny, and it’s so, so beautiful. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! xo
Penelope turned two years old this weekend. It was such a joy to watch her enjoy her day. She completely understood what was happening. I remember how for her first birthday we were able to wrap her gifts in front of her, ha! This year, we had to hide her balloons and gifts in the closet, bake her cupcakes after she had gone to bed, and set up all the decorations during her nap so that it would all be a surprise for her. We’re at that age, incredible!
She woke up to a cupcake sitting on our kitchen table, with two candles lit on it. We had been practicing blowing out candles for a few weeks in preparation for her birthday. She knew this was different. She knew this was the real thing. She sat there, with happiness radiating from her eyes, and patiently waited for us to finish singing happy birthday. She closed her eyes, something we didn’t teach her, and like she was making a wish, blew out her candles. It was beautiful to see. If I’ve ever seen real magic, that was it.
And then the day continued…
After her nap, she woke up to a living room and dining room decorated for her. She smiled, laughed, chased bubbles, and danced to her favorite songs, all while surrounded by the people she loves most. We sang happy birthday to her twice, once in English, then in Spanish, and then she blew out her candles with the same excitement she had earlier in the morning. She kept saying “behdayy – behdayy” (birthday-birthday) with the happiest little voice.
I was very emotional about my little girl turning two. With her age, however, came a new awareness to the magic of birthdays, and seeing her excitement and joy yesterday brought me so much happiness.
My sweet Penelope, you are just a joy! Happy 2nd Birthday my love!
I picked up my guitar yesterday after months, maybe even years, of not playing it. I didn’t put it back down for the rest of the night. Today, I feel the familiar calluses forming on my finger tips again, and I smile because I am so happy .
I used to play guitar all the time. I loved it. Playing again for the first time in a long time sent me on a nostalgic journey; every song to a different memory of me and what I felt like at the time. It reminded me, of well, me. The part of me that existed before being a wife or a mother, the part of me I’ve forgotten a little lately.
As a busy mom to two little babies, it’s easy to put myself on the back burner. Over the past month a half though, I have been working to change that a little. I have started this blog, I have gone back to yoga, I am writing in my journal more, I am playing my guitar… doing things that nourish the part of me that is neither wife or mother.
I am a wife, I am a homemaker, I am a mother, and my family are my world and happiness.
I am something else too.
I am Gabriela, a simple, but definitely not ordinary, woman with long black hair, playing the guitar in a beautifully lit room, and I am so happy. A self portrait of who I am today.
Perhaps it’s the longer and sunnier days that have made being a stay-at-home mom, a little bit more enjoyable lately. Sun makes me happy. Being a wife and mother makes me happy. Being a stay-at-home mom makes me happy too.
I have been a stay-at-home mom for 21 months, and I love it. Yes, it’s lonely at times. The days can easily become monotonous, lazy days are incredibly tempting, and cabin fever is r-e-a-l. With a limited “going out” budget (and currently freezing cold winter), as much as I would like to take my kids out to every indoor playground in the city, it can get expensive. Still, I have a very happy and enjoyable stay-at-home motherhood. My children, of course, are the biggest source of my happiness as a mother and human being, but for the stay-at-home part, I find a few things make a difference.
Routine. I loooovvvve having a routine- especially with two kids. How does this make me happy? As a stay-at-home mom, I’m on duty pretty much all day, but routine gives me two things; nap and bed time. I need that nap to reset, I don’t even want to think about the day my kids drop naps (haha). Bed time also gives me around three hours, kid free, before I go to bed. I recharge, rest mentally and emotionally, and have time to do the things that I enjoy. For it, I am a better and happier mother and wife.
Attitude. I’ve said this before in my two under two post, but I say it again- attitude is everything. I am one of those annoyingly positive people (I know I am). I’m OK with it, because it pays off! It begins with me; the more positive energy and attitude I transmit to my children, the better their own moods and attitudes are going to be, and over all, our days easier and happier.
Make my home beautiful. As a stay-at-home mom, I spend a lot of time at home, so why not make the space I spend most of my time in beautiful? I’m not talking about hiring an interior designer and having a make-over completed, #aintnobodygotmoneyforthat…or at least I don’t (haha). Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what I do to make my home beautiful may be different to someone else…which is beautiful in itself. I move furniture around lots (my husband hates it haha). I grow plants and have them around the house. I re-arrange books so that they look prettier together. I put pictures up. I open the blinds and let the sun in. I try and keep my house tidy (and mostly clean)…little things. Creating a beautiful space motivates and inspires me to just… be.
Journal. I have kept a journal since I was 9 years old (I still have my first hello kitty one), it’s second nature to me. As a mother though, keeping a journal has been such a wonderful way to reflect- on the good, the bad, and to let it all out. Writing is therapeutic to me, one of the reasons I started this blog. On the harder days, I can go back and read about the really good days we have, and why I love spending my days at home with them.
Start the day the night before. Once the kids are in bed, it’s hard not to immediately sit down and relax for the night. Waking up to a messy kitchen and toys all over the floor, however, sucks. I want to start my days off in the best note possible. With my husband, we take 10 minutes after we put the kids to be to pick up the place – do the dishes, wipe the counters, put the toys and laundry away; it makes such a difference. I also try and have a plan of WHAT we’re going to get up to the next day. If we’re going out, I prep whatever I can the night before to make the ‘leaving-the-house’ process easier. If we’re not going out, I plan a craft/game/activity, and get all the materials ready the night before. I also plan lazy PJ and cartoon days, and I have no shame admitting that.
In many ways, I find being a stay-at-home mom has taught me to find, and pay attention, to the little things in the domestic every day life that make it special. The way the entire house smells wonderful after you bake a cake with your children. The way your toddler finds wonder in the different type of sunlight we get through the seasons. The strange happiness you find in folding clothes and making your dresser look beautiful. The feeling you have when you eventually settle down for the night; the house is quiet, the lights are dim, and you realize you can’t wait for all of it to start again the next day.