An abundance of daughters

In the last two weeks I’ve had over a dozen run-ins with complete strangers who have raised all Triogirls. Some with four. Most with three. All without boys.

I know my situation makes me aware of these things more than normal and I know the natural curiosity of people is to ask what our third is, but the point wasn’t the commonality (although it made us strangers feel connected in a unique way) the point was the encouragement.

In all these occurrences not one single person complained, passed down the double-edged warnings, or gave me a congratulatory eye-roll. You know the one that says–I’m smiling for you, but laughing internally once they all start their periods.

And I’m not saying girls are harder than boys. Or less valued or wanted. I don’t believe in any of those statements. I have no opinion on the difficulty of raising boys and I may never have one. I’m saying there is something unique about a family that is all one either way. There is an obvious concentration of maleness and femaleness that intrinsically sets a different mood for that household. Not that we don’t have toy cars, watch ninja turtles, or enjoy wrestling over here, because we totally do. But even putting that aside, if my husband and I only get the opportunity of raising girls it will mold and shape who we are and what we do for the next 25 years in a special way.

The beauty of all these run-ins though was the comments and feedback and support I got from them. The one today particularly struck a cord with me. He was a father of about 60-70 years and was watching me grab coffee while I waited for an oil change. Roma sat on my left hip, her hair a wild array of curls, and her face covered in a chalky white substance from the candy necklace that the teller at the bank gave her twenty minutes before. She looked like an adorable hot mess. And she was handing out giant, gap-toothed smiles to anyone who was breathing. I’m so proud of that kid and she’s not even two.
Continue reading “An abundance of daughters”

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Eliana, Roma, and . . .

10389066_10153102532011796_4458570761496398914_nI love choosing names almost as much as I love telling people how we chose the name. I told my husband that I think I jinxed us into having all girls because every time we get pregnant and start discussing names I immediately fall in love with a girls name. And I’m always a bit meh on our boy choices. They never really excite me.

So we named our first daughter Eliana Reese and our second daughter Roma Eve. Oddly enough, when I wrote Eliana’s backstory on how we named her I guess I couldn’t remember (after just having her) how we found her name. Now that I look back maybe I was too embarrassed to admit it, but I can distinctly remember googling names of Latin supermodels. Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s not sentimental or emotional or related to our traveling journeys, but it worked. And I still love it.

With baby #3 I felt stumped. Roma’s name would be hard to beat. It’s meaning and just the uniqueness of it was pretty spectacular. I couldn’t drop the ball and name this child anything. It had to fit with her siblings names, end in an “a”, and yet somehow carry it’s own sense of significance.

When we first discussed girl names we were considering Isla (eye-lah), Ophelia, Estella, Olivia, and Cora. We ruled out Cora and Olivia based on popularity (we don’t really like doing names in the top 100). But we both loved Liv as a nickname. And Olivia is popular for a reason: it’s gorgeous! Cora blew up from Downton Abbey and it’s spelling was too similar to Roma. Same thing with Ophelia. We couldn’t have a Ro and an O in the house. That’s just maddening. Estella we considered for a long time (also a family name). But, once again, we were contending with the ever popular nickname Stella (which many use as a first name) and also the similarity in spelling to Eliana. Too many E, L, A’s to consider. It just wouldn’t work for us. So we went back to Isla.

The problem with Isla was the language confusion. In Scottish it’s pronounced eye-lah and in Spanish it actually translates as island and is pronounced eees-lah. We liked the Scottish pronunciation most, but that just wasn’t going to fly in our Mexican-American household. And I didn’t want to change the spelling. It looks pretty as Isla. We eventually considered naming her Isla in Spanish and her nickname would be Izzy. But then we felt like we opened up a Spanish dictionary and just pointed. “Hey, kid. We named you Island because why not!”

Anyhow, this led me to google searching islands. No lie. And in the end we actually are naming her after an island that absolutely holds no significance to us. It’s just pretty. And that’s the awesomeness of being her mom. Or being a parent in general for that matter: we can name our kids whatever we want because they are our kids. Although, I will say I did research the meaning of the name and the history behind it and how to pronounce it in all possible languages and after that the husband and I were both 100% still in love.

Now that I’ve written a mini-novel all about two simple words. I’d like to introduce you to our third baby girl:

Lucia ReySo, yeah, we named her Lucia as in the Island of St. Lucia. Not to be confused with the Spanish form of the name Loo-see-uh or the Italian form of the name Loo-chee-uh. This is pronounced Loo-sha. It’s the English form of the name. Now we have a daughter with a Spanish name, an Italian name, and an English name. But, somehow, in all of that craziness it totally works.

Her middle name is a family name. We took it from my husband’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name. His maternal grandmother passed away at a very young age. When my mother in law was only 18 actually (and she was the oldest of four girls–women run in the family). And so his dad’s mother was very involved in my husband’s life as a child and although I never got to meet her a very revered woman. She had 15 children of which my father in law was the youngest and my husband her “baby’s” first baby. People talk about her with such love and admiration I couldn’t imagine not passing a part of her legacy onto my daughter. And I know she would’ve loved to meet all of her great granddaughters. When Eliana was born we counted her to be somewhere around the 47th grand-great grand baby. Lucia is now closer to #51 or #52. Pretty darn amazing.

In about 19 more weeks we will get to meet her.
Our little Lulu.
Life couldn’t be anymore spectacular. ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Here we go. The best cake you’ll ever make. Especially for those of you who hate cake. I promise anyone who has tastebuds will enjoy eating this deliciousness. So sit-up. Pay attention. And grab a spoon!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with an Almond Glaze

What you’ll need:

1. Box of yellow cake mix or vanilla. Your preference. If you have something against boxed mix then here is how to make it from scratch: 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt,

2. 3 eggs (4 eggs if you’re making your own cake mix from scratch)

3. 2-3 lemons (organic preferred because you use all of the zest)

4. 1/2 -3/4 cup sugar (depends on how sweet you like it)

5. 3/4 cup coconut oil

6. 3/4 cup almond milk

7. 1 tsp vanilla extract

8. 1/3 cup poppy seeds – plus extra for decoration93B806AC-2860-4D8E-BB85-54A08028219E

Almond Glaze:
1. 2 -3 cups powdered sugar

2. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degree.
Mix together the box, the eggs, sugar, coconut oil, almond milk and vanilla extract until well blended. Then add in the juice and zest of one lemon. When you pull the zest make sure you chop it up into tiny pieces before adding it to the cake. Give it a taste test to see how “lemony” it is. If you can taste the lemon than you’re good. If you can’t, add in the zest of another lemon and 1/2 the juice. Keep adding more lemon juice and zest until you are happy with the flavor of the batter. It’s really a personal call. Then add in 1/3 cup poppy seeds. If you can’t see the poppy seeds well enough, add more. I kept adding until I got a good enough visual of poppy seeds in the batter. Continue reading “Lemon Poppy Seed Cake”

Today.

Today I held you. I watched you sleep. I said to hell with my list of errands and my mile long to-do list and hello to your little closed eyes, your tiny lips sucking on your pacifier and your sweaty head laying against my chest.20131023-145027.jpg

I stared at you, smelled you and felt your heart beat against mine. You grasped my finger and I grasped back. Your eyes flickered as you slept–totally unaware that I was memorizing your every breath.

Your perfect little nose.
Your delicate hands.
Your round, pudgy cheeks.
Your double chin.

I didn’t have the luxury of doing this with your sister. I was too depressed. Too concerned with the house being clean. Too exhausted to realize I was throwing away one of the most precious stages of her existence.

But with you I’m making a different choice. I’m not depressed. I don’t care if the house is clean, it can be dirty for a couple days. And I’m not allowing this stage to bring me down.

The days are long, but your first year will be quick. And I’m afraid if I close my eyes that I might miss something. A crooked smile, a gassy giggle, the nuzzling of your slobbery cheek into my neck.

And then it will be over. All of it gone and only the memories to look back on. No more napping in my arms, cooing at my funny faces or midnight diaper changes. No more excuses to spend the day in our pajamas or not shower for a week.

And even though I’m tired.
Roma, my dear sweet girl… I’ve never felt more awake.

 

Loving Motherhood

2D11A6D8-2EB9-4E36-ABBB-4A6C21BCEC4AI’m in a stage of my life right now where 99% of my time is spent in my pajamas, at home, smelling like breast milk and poop and ketchup and raisins. It’s not very glamorous.

But guess what?

I’m in love. I’m in love with Motherhood. I’m in love with the fact that my entire day is focused solely on making sure an almost three year old and an almost three month old survive to see another day. I’m in love with the fact that cheerios are a main source of my daily diet and that I’ve memorized the theme song to Dora. I’m in love with the fact that sometimes Roma cries during every nap unless I hold her. So the dishes don’t get done. The laundry is still sitting in the washing machine–wet and mildewy–waiting to be washed for a third time since I keep forgetting to transfer it to the dryer. The floors are covered in crumbs and the toilets haven’t been scrubbed in weeks.

I. Am. In. Love.

I’m in love with the fact that sometimes I get woken up at various hours in the night to ease a gassy tummy, calm the screams of a nightmare, massage the cramping foot of a growing toddler, and feed a hungry baby. I’m in love with the fact that one of these little humans knows that my name is Mom, Mommy, and Momma. I’m in love with the fact that the other little human is tracking my voice and smiling at my face and wanting me to hold her. To rock her. To cuddle with her. To just spend hours staring at her.

I’m in love with the fact that I have to drink coffee in order to stay awake and that my belly sags over my underwear. I’m in love with the fact that I have two scars that show the lengths I went through to have this love. These little loves. My little loves. I’m in love with the fact that one of them likes to wear high heels while she waters the plants and the other likes to be splashed in the face with water during bath time. Continue reading “Loving Motherhood”

A Baby Story…

For some odd reason I didn’t consider writing out Roma’s birth story. Since I was having a scheduled cesarean it didn’t feel like there was much to tell other than I went in, they numbed me and then a few cuts and badda bing badda boom we had a BABY!! Thankfully I have awesome friends who remind me that no matter how a baby comes into this world, the story and adventure is still unique and wonderful.

The night before my c-section Hector and I told Eliana we were taking her out for a special farewell dinner. We had spent that whole weekend saying goodbye to our current family dynamic and opening up the door for the new one that was coming. It wasn’t a sad celebration, but we wanted her to understand that it wasn’t just going to be the three of us anymore. That another addition was coming and that she had big responsibilities ahead of her.

We ended up at BJ’s because anything worth celebrating or saying farewell to deserves pizookie! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about I am so so sorry). Oddly, I was calm and full of peace the whole night. We put her to bed knowing it would be our last time the concept of just the three of us existed. It was bittersweet. We read a story, said our prayers and then said goodnight.

The next morning I got up, showered, shaved my legs, straightened my hair, put on makeup and glitter lotion (yes, sparkly glitter lotion all over my belly) and headed to the hospital. I thought at some point I’d be wigging out. But as was my experience with natural labor during E’s birth I had hit that focused, inner-calm-mentality. I was ready. I was going to do this. And I would stop thinking about the giant ass needle that would soon penetrate my spine.

We checked in, signed a billion papers and then kicked it for two hours. My sister showed up in just enough time to provide comic relief via music since my Dr. was thirty minutes late. Every minute that ticked by after my originally scheduled 11:30am appt was another minute I should’ve been closer to being done, but was unfortunately just sitting in a hospital gown waiting… and waiting… and waiting. The needle growing larger by the second.

Finally, when my Dr. showed I had to be ready. It was now or never. My anesthesiologist joked about running away… little did he know how much I actually wanted to.

As they wheeled me into the bright white operating room, with that wonderful fresh sterile scent all I could think about was the bug bite I found on my butt that morning and whether or not the anesthesiologist would be able to see it when I turned onto my side. I even considered putting cover up on it, but thought a dark creamy spot would look more awkward than a red irritated dot. Plus, I’m sure he had seen worse butts. Or hoping he had seen worse butts. The likelihood was high, right?

So there we were. A dozen bodies running about this bright white room with absolutely no concern that they would be cutting several layers deep into my abdomen and then pulling out a baby. I mean we went into the room as a team of 12 and would be exiting with one extra! They all seemed so calm, chill and routine. I wanted to scream. Make sure none of them had been drinking the night before. Ask my Dr. if she was sure she was prepared to do this. Continue reading “A Baby Story…”

Roma. Roma? Roma!

Our second daughter Roma Eve Perea was born on Monday, July 15th, 2013 weighing in at 7lbs 6oz and 19in long. Just a wee little one in comparison to Eliana! And I’d like to make a statement to the random guy in the parking lot at Home Depot who yelled at me across several cars and said, “It’s a Boy!”… well it looks like you were wrong.

And in the best way possible. Because Eliana is now blessed with the wonderful responsibility of having a little sister and this relationship couldn’t thrill me more. I have an older sister–14 months older–so we are really close. Growing up we fought like cats and dogs, but five seconds later we were the best of friends. These days we rarely fight if at all. She’s been my protector, my best friend, my teacher and a secondary mother. I wouldn’t change or give up our relationship for anything. She’s the best. And for that reason alone I had hoped for a girl this go around. Someone Eliana could confide in, learn from and be best friends with. I’m ecstatic to watch the two of them grow up. It’s going to be awesome.

So back when we named our first born, we explained how important the process was for us and everything we considered when choosing. For our second born this was no different, but this name holds special meaning to us. It’s a bit unconventional and might throw some people off from our usual focus of Spanish names, but we think it fits well next to Eliana and I’m stoked that we discovered it.

Continue reading “Roma. Roma? Roma!”