1 holiday down, 1 more to go (before the new year that is)

i was finally able to sort through some thanksgiving pictures.

i can’t mentality prepare myself and start blogging about christmas, without posting these first. actually, i have a love/ hate relationship with christmas decorations and music bombarding me before thanksgiving. i can appreciate the love for all things merry and bright. on the other hand, i can get quite overwhelmed. maybe it’s my anxiety, slight OCD, or that fact i know about the marketing tactics to get consumers to overspend. no, i’m not a grinch, in fact i secretly fantasize about festive decorating and entertaining. just check out my pinterest.

um….can you say obsessed? yeah, pretty much.

here is a small glimpse of what our evening looked like.

i love them so much! and this family photograph isn’t too shabby either.

cheers to new beginnings and better days ahead

there was a happy baby because she was carried from one arm to the next. also because of two dogs who she chased around, hugged and kissed. they might of been the best thing since her beloved pacifier. these two furry friends were so sweet with all the licking and cuddling. thanks jack and toby for being such great companions. i know they got their end of the bargain with all the food izabella was feeding them. there was a full house filled with multicultural food and languages. the dinner consisted of traditional all-american staples, authentic italian wine and food, as well as some polish dishes. it was simply divine and there was lots of it!  * i must note that leftovers are a blessing and a curse all at the same time. i feel my jeans are a bit snug since then.

the two things lacking from our celebration was hispanic food, like pernil (a traditional and amazing roasted pork shoulder enjoyed by dominicans during the holidays). unfortunately, that along with my side of the family was missed greatly. this year was spent with my husband’s family and friends, some of which we haven’t seen in years. it’s often said a picture is worth a thousand words. sometimes that is so true. and sometimes, it just isn’t. the combination and dynamics of in-laws, blended families, and relationship histories can be quite complicated. behind every smile, (as genuine as they may be) is personal baggage. everyone has their expectations, their struggles and a story to tell. i believe this manifests itself even more so during the holidays. you can read more about my thoughts here.

despite the possibility of things turning into a big mess, it didn’t. i’m grateful for that. and these days i really need to count every bit of blessing that comes my way. like right now for example, my baby girl finally surrendered for a nap after a very long struggle. it’s a relief, when mama gets a little break to make a quick lunch and work on her blog. sometimes it’s the little things that get me by these days. If you haven’t already, check out my previous post with a random list of other goodies i’m thankful for.

Until next time,

R

p.s – let the countdown to christmas (officially) begin!

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Light painting, hand shadows and candlelight portraits

This is what we did on Frankenstorm Eve

After stocking up on supplies and preparing for Hurricane Sandy, we baked an apple tart and carved pumpkins. We anxiously waited for the storm to unfold.

Then the power went out and baby girl went to sleep at 9:40pm! By far her earliest bedtime. My calm before the storm (or so I thought). She woke up half an hour later and didn’t surrender until 1 am. Safe to to say, it was a stressful rest of the night.

Hubby and I wanted to have a little bit of fun. So we grabbed our handy flashlight, the DSLR and got creative!



Please note: The light effects shown above are NOT photoshopped. Yes, it’s awesome and it’s called light painting. If you have a DSLR and a tripod, I highly recommend giving it a try. You can use any light source pointed at the camera set to a very slow shutter speed (approximately 15.0s -30.0s). Then you practically”draw” anything you like (given that it’s not too complex). FYI: It does takes a few tries and a bit of practice, but it makes for memorable entertainment.

mornings in bed

Waking up next to these two, is a beautiful way to start the day.

Fifteen months ago, It was just the hubs and I. We thought cuddling with each other was the best thing since sliced bread. Now a days, receiving sweet embraces from Izabella is the highlight of our morning.

Getting her beauty sleep. That’s how she gets those pink pouty lips, of course!

Waking up looking so happy is actually hard work. Lots of yawning and smiles involved.

Izzie wastes no time in waking dada. She takes this task very seriously.

She gets him every time with this move. It never fails to make his heart go pitter patter

Shortly after this picture, I joined the love and cuddled with my darlings. A ritual we practice every morning in our family bed.

We believe that co-sleeping and bed sharing is a personal family decision. We have safely done so, from day one and relish these moments. It is instinctual to have my baby within arms reach. It was so natural and practical for nursing or getting (even) five more minutes of shuteye. Not to mention, how efficient in responding to her cries and needs. As a newborn, she always slept on her back. I also removed loose blankets and pillows to avoid any chance of suffocation. Once she was able to roll over (from back to front), we incorporated our complete bedding set. Now as a young toddler, she enjoys it to the fullest, as you can see. Sometimes we use the crib, otherwise it makes a great space for folded laundry.

Wishing you a good morning. From our bed to yours!

R

*Footnote: There are many benefits to co-sleeping/ bedsharing aside from the ones I mentioned. However, do consider the risks if mommy or daddy are heavy sleepers, overweight, under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In that case, please be responsible and place baby in a safe crib.