Hello! Remember Me?

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Hi my friends!  Wow, it’s been awhile.  I’m not going to lie, I feel like a circus monkey trying to juggle this new baby life with regular life, let alone work-life.  HOW DO YOU MOMS DO IT?!  Mateo just hit the 5 month mark, and I’ve been meaning to post monthly updates since the get-go but it just hasn’t happened.  But right now he’s hanging with his papa, I have a couple squares of dark chocolate and a cup of tea and I’m gonna type fast and furious until he needs his mama again!

Ok, where to start?!  Life with baby boy-  what a ride!  He’s delicious, really- exceptionally delicious!  He’s reaching the typical milestones, rolling over, cooing, playing wth toys, eating solid foods (ish), giggling.  He is sweet, mellow, happy, and healthy- truly a joy. It is the very BEST thing in the world watching him grow and being his mama!  I couldn’t ask for more.

EXCEPT SLEEP.  I grossly underestimated how difficult the sleep deprivation would be, and how awful it could get.  This kiddo is waking up every 1-2 hours around the clock.  I’m doing the night shift since I’m breastfeeding and it is INTENSE!  I’m reading sleep training books and trying to find our way.  Any advice?  This is hard on our marriage, hard on my sanity, it’s just hard.  Praying for grace and patience as we go through what so many have before us.  Praying that I find a way to help this babe sleep for longer stretches.  Praying that one day I wake up and feel like myself instead of a zombie-mom.

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I have basically been on an extended maternity leave- it took three months to physically recover from his birth and all of that health drama.  But now I’m feeling the strong pull to get back to this space.  And so we’re figuring out how to make that possible for me.  It seems that my pre-baby plan to just put him down and work while he napped/played independently is actually LAUGHABLE.  I’m serious.  I just had an out-loud chuckle over it.  It’s almost as funny as that idea I had when he was a couple of months old when he slept for 6 hours stretches that he was going to just keep sleeping for longer and longer stretches until Lou and I were enjoying glasses of wine after he was in bed and sleeping uninterrupted until our peaceful morning routine began at a reasonable hour.  LAUGHABLE IF I WASN’T CRYING!!!!!  Ha!

I’ve realized the most important thing is being a mama is knowing when you need to ask for help.  So, I’m asking.  Advice, please!  Suggestions for sleep methods, books, anything at all you think may help us navigate this time.  Also, I’m bringing on someone to help with childcare starting next week.  Any suggestions or advice for a newly-working mama is also appreciated!  You have all been so good to me over the years as we’ve gone through so much (I mean seriously, we’re ready for a break!).  So I thank you in advance, I know you won’t let me down.  Big hugs!  xx- Sarah

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Life Update

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Hi friends!  I hope you all had the best holiday season!  I know, it seems like that was forever ago already but I’m getting a slow start to 2017!  2016 kicked a lot of asses, at least in my circle of loved ones.  I’m happy it’s behind us- it was filled with the highest highs and lowest lows.  I’m ready for a year with a more even keel, if the gods are willing.  So far we’re off to a good start- one week in and I was lucky enough to be at the birth of my best friend’s beautiful, healthy baby girl, Teo slept his longest stretch of sleep yet (8 pm- 4 am), his pediatrician said he’s growing well and I found out at my last Dr. appointment that my liver abscess has officially cleared out!!!!  All of this bodes well for 2017!

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Mateo Mora – Our Birth Story

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Hello my friends, I’m sorry for the long absence!  You’ll understand why I’ve been gone for so long by the end of this, but for now- meet MATEO!  He was born October 17, 2016.  He’s the love of our lives.  Insert ALL OF THE CLICHES ABOUT PARENTHOOD HERE.  All of them.  They apply.  He’s the most darling baby ever, in my completely unbiased opinion.

I don’t know where to begin with his birth story, so I suppose I’ll start with what we had hoped, dreamed and planned for the birth of our son.  We knew from the beginning that we would attempt to have a home birth.  I’d been by my best friend’s side as she delivered her baby a little over two years ago and knew that I wanted a similar experience for our family.  We hired a midwife who we trust implicitly, borrowed a birth pool from a friend, and I started practicing Hypnobabies to prep myself for the experience.  In my preparation for birth I tried to let go of expectations as much as possible- I made peace with the idea that although a home birth was our ideal scenario, I trusted that Mateo would come into this world exactly as he intended.  I accepted the idea that I might have to deliver in a hospital in a variety of ways, depending on how things went.  I never would have imagined though what actually happened, which was close to my worst nightmare and nothing I could have prepared for.

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CARLOS / MAY 22, 2014

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It’s been a week since Carlos, Lou’s father, moved from Florida to live with us here in Palm Springs.  As I shared here, he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, cancer that has spread throughout his body like a fire.  I’ve decided to share bits of this journey we’re on with him here after the response on the last post was so incredible- the way you all opened your hearts to us and shared your stories, it was just so beautiful. And Carlos read through all of the comments.  It’s given him a sense of purpose in these last days, to know that I am sharing his story and that positive thoughts and love are spreading because of it.  He has such a huge appreciation for what Lou and I do, he loves these photos we’ve taken so much and sees our work as part of his legacy.  I don’t think we could ask for much more.

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Here’s the first thing I’ve learned in this process:  caring for Carlos has been, I imagine, similar to the experience of bringing home a newborn.  All of a sudden life seems so much more fragile, we’re consumed with worry, all of our priorities have taken a wild shift to revolve almost exclusively around his comfort and happiness, our hearts have expanded by tenfolds to accommodate this change.  I feel like my heart now lives outside my body, on this man whose balance is so fragile, whose happiness and well-being rest in our hands.

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We’re getting up throughout the night, so we have the tired weariness of new parents and when I look at Lou I see the exhaustion that I feel. I’m also overwhelmed with love.  Watching him care for his father, watching him give him everything he has, it’s one of the most extraordinary things I’ve been lucky enough to witness.  And my heart is full for Carlos, a man who is so sweet and full of beauty himself. {more after the jump}

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THIS IS LIFE

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We were supposed to fly out to Bali tonight (thank you so much for all of your jet-lag tips and well wishes on Friday’s post!).  We’re going to postpone our trip, and I have to explain- it would be weird at this point not to.  I haven’t written about what’s been going on in our family life because it feels so personal, and we’re right in the middle of it, but I think we need your support and I’m certain many of you have gone through similar experiences.  Last year around this time Lou’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  At the end of summer he had surgery and we were all hopeful that it would help keep the cancer at bay.  Unfortunately at the end of January we found out that it had come back and any further care would be palliative.  Palliative.  Hospice.  Metastasize.  There’s a whole new language to be learned when cancer comes into your life, it’s an education I wish for no one.

Pancreatic cancer is aggressive and one of the worst, from what we’ve been told.  We’ve been going back and forth to Florida since his diagnosis every chance we get- which we feel so fortunate to have been able to do quite a lot.  Our plan had been to move Lou’s dad in with us after our Bali trip, but some test results over the weekend made it obvious that we would be unwise to delay his trip, so tomorrow Lou will be flying back to Florida to get him.  He’ll be spending the rest of his days, however many they may be, with us here in Palm Springs.  We’re looking forward to caring for him and loving him through the rest of his life.  I feel like a robot typing this, I’m not ready to really write about what it all means and how it all feels.  For now the facts are all I can offer up.  But someday I hope to write about this experience- the beautiful, the messy, the real.  In the meantime, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  I love you, and thank you.  xx- Sarah

BIRTHDAY DINNER DATE NIGHT

Yesterday was my birthday and last night we headed to one of our favorite spots in Palm Springs for dinner! And of course, like good photographers are wont to do, we took photos to help us remember the night. I’m striking my pure-birthday-sass pose, and Lou looks just as cute as they come, if you ask my opinion.  We’ll be doing a second round of birthday celebrations later this week when we head to Big Bear Lake for a night! Follow along on my instragram and Lou’s instragram if you’d like!  xx- Sarah  

* edit * just found this skirt which is similar to the one i’m wearing, in case you’re interested!