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Well, by no means am I really all that official, but for some reason I felt the need to be a little fancier so … TA-DAA! Please come visit me over at http://monicaheartsrq.com. (Yea, really I just got lazy and writing monicaheartsrq.wordpress just took too long. ha.) I hope to be a little better about writing more now that I’m getting all legit and fancy on you guys. I guess time will tell. Thanks for reading!

On Monday, Grandma (my Mom) & I took R to meet the jolly fat man in the red suit. I had honestly gone back and forth about trying to take him or not. First, I wanted it to be good Santa if I was going to go through the trouble of the whole thing. NO FAKE BEARDS! I actually googled Pictures with Santa, or something like that, to try and see if there were parents talking about the good places to go. To my surprise, well, at first, not so much info out there. Eventually I found an oldish post here, of course, and there were some good ideas. So we headed to Walnut Creek’s Broadway Plaza. The Broadway Plaza is a an upscale outdoor shopping area with lots of big name brand stores with posh ones mixed in, so, of course, they would have a nice Santa.

Second, and I’m being totally honest with you internet, I was kinda cheaping out and didn’t want to pay lots of money for a silly picture with Santa. I mean, seriously, how do places justifying charging people so much money for a picture of Santa? It is after-all Christmas. (Oh wait, Christmas is pretty much all about spending too much!)

Third, was R just going to hate Santa? Were we going to spend time driving to Walnut Creek, dealing with the crazy, mad house parking situation that is Christmas time at a hugely popular shopping area just to have him scream and cry and not get a cute picture. (and, yes, I know, crying kids in Santa pictures is actually very cute, & funny)

Well, the list could go on but I’ll just get to the point!

I thought Monday in the early afternoon would be a great time to go. Whoops, I forgot that Monday was the first day of winter break. This was actually prime time to take a kid to see Mr. Claus. So, we walk up to Santa’s house and A) there was a line and B) it started to rain and the line was outside. Not the biggest deal. I was secretly hoping that maybe the parents in front of us would be too afraid their kids might melt in the rain and high tail it for a higher and dryer place. Uh, no such luck.

Ah, so the line! This is where it gets good. Let me tell you, even in upper class Walnut Creek, you meet all sorts of peeps. (I know, there are all sorts of crazies everywhere! & if nothing brings them out otherwise, the holidays sure will!) 2 people in front of us was a little girl, maybe about 4. She will be known as “the Brat”. (I know, I’m mean. And yes, I also know that in approximately 3.5 years I might have “the Brat” in line with me. But for now, my little 4 1/2 month old is a pure angel and I’m just going to revel in that…) When we first got there she was removing flowers from Santa’s house’s window boxes. Running around and splat, fell. I did feel bad for her, no one likes to see a wee one take a spill on cement, & in public no less. A few cries from her and she was fine. It was a minor spill, after-all. (Instant karma?! Bad, I know…) This little girl was testing her boundries. Her mom kept telling her not to do this and not to do that. She got tantrumy about not getting to hold the baby in line in front of them. (The baby was probably all of 1 month old. & a stranger.) Later she did it about R too. Her mom was counting down left and right and after several of those, and a few melt downs they were outta there. No Santa for you today missy. And I secretly smiled as they walked away.

Meanwhile, the line had not moved since we got there. At. All.

The lady in front of us was seemed nice. Her daughter was cute. Much quieter than “the Brat” and she seemed perfectly well mannered and sweet, & she was. My Mom started to chat with her mom and as my Mom starts going on about how cool it is to be a grandma and this and that, somehow age comes up. And, I’ll admit, after working for several years in the skin care biz I’m getting pretty good about having an idea about age. (well, ok, not great but better than I used to be.) Silently I was kicking my Mom under the imaginary table, “Shut up. Don’t go there.” She didn’t get it, obviously, and then next thing we know we find out this mom of the (almost) 4 year old is only 8 years younger than my mom! (& her story was the same as lots of peeps; collage, career, then was ready but no man, etc. etc… I  understand we all live different lifes and take different paths but like she said, she doubts she’ll even get to meet her future grandkids and I think that is just sad… I can also say that I am quite glad that I don’t have a 4 year old sibling!)

Meanwhile, so things were going s l o w l y in line for us.

Finally we get close to Santa’s front door. On the sign next by the door they have a note handwritten that they are out of USB ports, which this being the 21st century is actually a pretty cool. But that’s when all hell broke loose. “Old Mama” in front us just started flipping out. “She drove all the way down here,” & blah blah blah. She doesn’t want to pay the same price if she’s not getting her USB, she wants to speak to a manager, “this is ridiculous.” I’ll save you all the whole, entire long drawn out drama of “old mama” (I know, again, I am horrible!) and conclude with this: Santa, yes, THE Santa Claus got up and came over and tried to calm “old mama” down. So you know it’s gone from bad to worse when Santa has to come and mediate. And honestly overheard, “I’m just the Santa but …” Ugh, I just couldn’t believe that all this craziness was going down with the seemingly nice lady. Just put your cute little girl on Santa’s lap, have her smile, take a picture and shut up. I mean, seriously lady, it’s Christmas, don’t be so cheap and have some respect. She had mentioned while chatting about “what could be taking so long?” Umm, people like you are holding up the line. People like you are making this a stressful situation.  Ugh!

Well, this is a lot of negativeness on my part I suppose. So, I guess I’m no better… But there were some seriously cute kids in line. Well behaved kids, whom hopefully Santa brought them exactly what they asked for. Kids who probably looked freakin ridiculously cute posed with Mr. Claus. The Santa Claus and I had a little chat while the staff was trying to finish putting out the fire that “old mama” had started. He said exactly what I had been thinking, which was, it’s Christmas time. This is not what the season is about. This is not what taking a picture with Santa should be. After a few more minutes I got out of Santa’s chair and let the real magic happen.

We ended up getting a few great shots. And while I was unsure if the trip to Santa would be worth it, it most certainly was. This is, after-all, R’s first Christmas. His only first Christmas and I  sure am glad he got to meet Santa. I know that this is just the first year of many of … The Santa Claus Experience.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!!

Sally was kind of a generic doll. With one wicked hair do. One that was never the same after taking many baths with me. Suzy was a pink stuffed kitty. She had a music box that played ‘It’s a Small World.’ I could tell you the story of how Suzy and I lost contact but it would break my heart again and those big, huge, sloppy tears would probably ruin my keyboard, so I won’t. I had a dolly crib, with a working drop rail, that was my grandma’s, my mom’s and then my aunt’s. Yes, and you know it would for sure have been recalled by now. (Ha! Just kidding! They just don’t make things like they used to. This crib is still in amazing shape btw…) I had a dolly sized bunk bed that was my mom’s and aunt’s. A kick ass dolly stroller, that my mom customized for me by changing out all the fabric that was originally blue and red (bleh) to lavender and pastel hearts, uber cool for a 7 year old. A wooden dolly highchair. A pail full of dolly clothes. Later I even upgraded to an American Girl doll, Molly. Back when there was only 3 American Girl dolls to choose from. So, where is all of this going you may be asking yourself. No, this is not my list of what a spoiled and lucky girl I was. I mean, it kind of is, but that’s not the point.

What is the point? Where am I really going with this? I have always wanted to be a mommy. Always. There. I said it. It has never been a decision that I questioned. There has always been that desire to have a baby. I’m pretty sure that most little girls all have the the feeling that they want to be a mama at some point or another. It isn’t until later in their lives that they start to second think that possibly built in desire. But for me, I knew, and have always known that I would be a mother someday. I had actually wanted to be a young mama and have my first baby by the time I was 25. Well, I’m a few years off and ya know I’m totally ok with that. I still feel young so I suppose that’s what really matters.

Yes, so for hours and hours, and days and day of my life I pretended to be a mama to dolls and stuffed animals and now in real life I am lucky enough to be one, a real one. I often wonder what it feels like to not want to have children. (And I certainly don’t think anything less of you if that’s how you feel but I guess I just don’t get it.) Having kids for me is not about wanting to create a little mini me or mini my husband (however, I’m kinda thinking that’s just what I did. Ha.). This mommy desire and feeling is all about love. Wanting to be able to share this love with another (tiny squishy) human. Wanting to be a teacher, to raise a conscious person, with a big open heart. I most definitely have values and ideas that I would like RQ to know and believe in, but he is destined to be his own person. I’m happy to be here for the ride. I was just lucky enough that he chose me to be his mama. I do hope that someday he feels lucky to have me, but if not that’s okay too. After all that’s not really what it’s all about anyways.

To be a mother encompasses so many things. So many feeling and emotions. I also know that you most certainly don’t have to conceive and birth that child to be their real mother. Real mothers are more than just genes and genetics. I, of course, feel blessed that I was able to birth and breastfeed my own healthy baby boy, but had I not been able to, I would still have become a mama. One way or another.  Like I said before, I have known since I was a little girl that I would be a mommy someday. And I’m so glad that my someday is today. I just can’t imagine my life without my RQ, without being a mama.

The Holidaze

(Just a forewarning, yes, this is another blog post about the holidays. You’ve been warned.)

Well it’s true. It’s officially the holiday season, or, how I prefer to refer to it, the holidaze. As each year goes by it seems I feel less and less prepared for that Thanksgiving feast. While I bitch and moan about all the Christmas nonsense that retailers try to shove down my throat starting before I have even eaten the last piece of Halloween candy, once Thanksgiving is here and gone, it’s on. I can’t bitch no more. Christmas is here, or just around the corner, and for the last several years anyways, it never quite feels like it should be Christmas. As each year goes by I hear myself saying, “But it just doesn’t seem like Christmastime.” Or, “Crap, where did October go again?” I can remember being younger and saying, “Wow, time sure does seem to be going by so fast,” and someone older than me would say, “Ya. Just you wait. It goes by even faster once you’re older.” So, I guess that means I’m getting older because I honestly don’t know where the last six months of my life have gone. (Well, I mean, yes, I do know where they have gone. Every ounce of my energy and attention has gone into the most amazing little boy, who I happened to birth only 4 months ago. I wouldn’t change that for anything but still, where did those months go?)

So, I guess that brings me back to the holidays. This is going to be R’s first Christmas. I know that he is much too young to really have any idea about what all the fuss is about but nonetheless, it still is his first Christmas. It is kind of a big deal. In being his first Christmas, I feel I should be a bit more in the holiday spirit. But, ugh, it just doesn’t seem like Christmas! And I’m starting to wonder, will it feel like Christmas at all this year?

I am normally a pretty festive holiday person. To my husband’s dismay, I like to put up the tree, hang our stockings, hang the wreath and whatnot. I’m the one that climbs the ladder and hangs the lights up on the house. This year so far all I can think of when I think of lights is the PG&E bill. Ugh, and I even upgraded last year to the fancy new energy efficient LED lights too. We also managed to kill our living, beautiful Colorado Blue Spruce tree that we bought last year. Well, this summer’s hot, hot heat and a lack of us watering it killed the poor beauty. So now we don’t even have a tree to bring in. I know where we can get one, don’t get me wrong, but there is something very depressing about seeing the skeleton of that beautiful tree still sitting in the yard. (Note to self: Put that bitch in the composter already! That will make it less depressing!)

There always seems to be a lot of stress surrounding Christmas. From buying people presents. Did I find the perfect thing? To the actual days themselves. Here, there, and everywhere are we! Note the dazed and tired look on my face, hence holidaze. This year I just don’t know if I have it in it me. I want to though, I really do. I want to give my baby boy a wonderful Christmas. Even if the only way he’ll ever remember it is through pictures we show him when he’s older. But at this rate will it happen? I honestly don’t know. This whole bah humbug vibe I got going on just ain’t my thang, so I do hope I can snap out of it. It is only the 2nd of December so I guess I have, oh, well, a week or so to make up my mind. Let’s just see how dazed I get this year.

Almost Indescribable

Last week I was on the phone with a very dear friend. (With this I have to say that now that I have my little R I just don’t do the phone very much. I know that’s bad and all, and I do still love my friends, it’s just my priorities have, well, shifted. If we haven’t talked in awhile, it’s not that I don’t like/love you still, it’s just I suck at taking the time to call you. So, no hard feelings?!) Ok, back to where I was really going with this. While on the phone with this friend, and mind you since I suck at the phone, we haven’t talked in a while, she of course asks me how R is doing and I, of course, go on and on. Then she says, “So, what’s it like being a mama?” My response, silence at first. It seems like such an easy question but it left me speechless- for all of three seconds before I blurted out, “Great!” Great? Like that’s all I had to say? What?

Being a mom has no doubt changed my life totally, as I’m sure any parent will say the same. It has changed my life in so many fabulous ways. (As I went back to proof read, I had typed love instead of life! It’s true, my love has changed too!) And not to brag or anything, but R is just about the best baby anyone could ask for and I feel extremely blessed. He is truly just a little doll. An angel-doll-yummy baby. Anywho, I feel like I feel so much more now. I suppose that could be the crazy hormones still circulating through my body as I am breast feeding and all, but I think it’s not. Even from the moment we walked through our door when we brought R home from the hospital everything looked different. Everything looked clearer and crisp and beautiful in a whole new way.

I can spend hours with R sitting in bed or on the couch talking and playing with him. These hours just fly by. Time before R had a way of just dragging. I was telling my husband, N, last night that I have such a different perspective on Friday & Saturday nights now. And I’ll admit, it may sound pathetic but oh well. I just don’t mind spending my weekend nights at home hanging out with my boys. This time is just so precious to me. I do still love to hang out with friends and all, but if we stay in and watch a movie and just get to cuddle and play with R, then that is a fantastic Friday night to me.

Back to ‘great.’ So yes, after I hung up the phone with my friend I started thinking about how lame it was that all I could come up with was great. I mean, sure, I guess there are a ton of other adjectives that could describe this feeling, but this feeling is, well, almost indescribable. It just feels so right, sometimes it doesn’t feel like anything different because it has fully consumed me and is me now.

Even though I’ve now thought and thought, wrote about it and thought some more, I still might find it hard to find just the right, perfect word to describe being a mama. But then again maybe I have. Blissfull.

Back is Best

Well, I am a few days late in mentioning this but figure it’s still most definitely worth mentioning. October 15th was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. A day created to remember those babies lost from miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, SIDS and any other loss of an infant. A day to help create awareness and spread education. (www.october15th.com) This topic has a special place in my heart because of my own miscarriage and also for all the women I know who have lost a baby. Going through that miscarriage has definitely been one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. I wish for no other woman to ever have to go through it. I know I am so blessed now to have Ronin but I still often think of that little one and what could have been; a little tiny angel now.

In the process of writing this post I’ve also come to learn that October is SIDS awareness month. Which I guess brings me to this: Oh my god! Ronin is now about 2 1/2 months old and the thought of SIDS has been driving me a bit batty lately. I mean, I try not to think about it too much, but it seems impossible! Every time I do a google search for anything baby related, ultimately something comes up about SIDS. It’s just such a difficult topic and since there is not too much solid information about the actual cause, it seems everything could be a cause. As a first time mom this is all a bit overwhelming, not to mention terrifying. I honestly try not to think about it too much but if it gets in my head the next thing I know I’m sitting there listening to him breathe while he is sleeping. We do our best, and I know that is really all we can do… He only sleeps on his back, hence Back is Best, he is strictly a boob man, we leave the ceiling fan on (well, now that’s it’s cooling off I don’t know that we’ll be able to. brrr.), and our pediatrician even said that the once forbidden in our eyes pacifier may also help lower his chances, so pacifier it is. I have not bought one of those movement monitors but as my brain tries to wrap itself into knots over SIDS I can certainly see their beauty. Well, I could go on with my fears and general craziness about this but I probably shouldn’t. It wouldn’t be long before I left this post once again unfinished to go in and listen to my peacefully sleeping baby. I know that while SIDS does affect a lot of families every year the actual odds of it happening to your child is fairly low. Then again, I also know that SIDS has effected more families than is fair, more families than I would like to know of. If your family or a family you know has lost a little one to SIDS my heart truly aches for you.

One last note about Back is Best which is neither here nor there… Before I got pregnant with Ronin I was a strict side and belly, well, sort of a combination of the two. You know where you’re not really on your side fully but your also not a true stomach sleeper, you know the type, ya? Well, I was one of those. Then as my belly grew I had to train myself to be a side sleeper, and not just a side sleeper but a left side sleeper. Did I forget to mention that I was a right side/tummy whatever kind of sleeper? Ok, check and check. Add the pillows between my knees as my hips started hurting and then add another pillow to shove under the increasing heavy tummy, and then occasionally I would need a pillow kind of shoved under my back so I didn’t roll onto my back as I was heavily sinking into the bed. Oy. So, I am sure you are wondering where in the world I am going with all this sleep nonsense and also probably why you are still reading about all this crazy sleep nonsense well here it is: I am now a back sleeper. I don’t know how or why but every time I wake up, which I do quite a bit, you know feeding a baby several times in the night and being crazy and listening to a sleeping baby breathe, I’m on my back. So, I guess back really is best.

Being a new Mama has brought so much joy and so many new experiences, that I figured, ‘Hey, might as well share it all with strangers!’ Well, I know that some who might stop by this here blog might actually know me! I have never had a blog before. I’m not even sure that I have enough to say to keep it going but, as the my title goes, I might as well just try!

After the birth of my son, Ronin, my fabulous husband (N) started a blog for us to share our fantastic new bundle of joy with the world. However, as adjusting to being a new mama, I had absolutely no energy left for blogging, or anything else for that matter. So, now my dear little wee one is 2 months old and I’m finally starting to feel the inspiration that N had, and has continued to have, (http://roninquinn.wordpress.com) and so here I am just trying to wing it and we’ll just see what happens. Besides, our little R is just so amazing (so not biased!) and why shouldn’t he have 2 blogs that are dedicated to him. (ha)  I should also say, that while I may have some more energy, it certainly helps that R sleeps more now too!

I suppose this is where I should leave things at for now. I do hope that this can become a great spot for me to share mama type stuff, and of course tiny tidbits (ha. understatement) about my little R and anything else I should find the time to ramble on about. So, please bare with me as I figure all this stuff out.

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