I’m not built for this anymore!

After a very difficult week of health-related issues, my husband and I decided to go out Friday evening with some friends. Before I had my son, we were out all the time, going for a few drinks but coming home like a couple of borrachos. It usually ended up with one of us passed out as soon as we hit the bed, sleeping until 11 a.m., waking up as hungover as can be, and feeling fine after eating lunch.

Let me just say this: I CANNOT HANG ANYMORE!

The “mom life” really squashed my inner party animal! Lol! It didn’t just affect me, either. Hubs was just as out of it as I was. We went to a few bars, ended up only drinking one beer per place (which is uncharacteristic of both of us… we’d usually be shooting liquors and downing a couple of beers per place!), and decided to call it a night at about 1:30 a.m. We both kept yawning like viejos and admitted that we just kept thinking about baby, sleeping the night away at home.

Y’all, parenthood hit us hard! Yes, I realized it wasn’t going to be the same, but we were both so excited to be out and have fun without worries. Our bodies just weren’t up for that, I suppose, and that’s ok. One of the greatest things that I have learned after becoming a mother is that I can’t stop time; I have to let things go, no matter how difficult it is; I have to accept that my life has changed for the better, which means that I won’t be able to make decisions the same way as before. My son will always be at the forefront, influencing every decision I make. Becoming a mom really felt like becoming a real adult for me, if that makes sense? There is more to think about beside myself now.

So, our night ended earlier than we thought and with less excitement that in the old days, but coming home to my sleeping angel made the night 100 percent better. Guess we will just stick to bumming around at home to drink a few, if we find ourselves craving a cold one again! Cheers 🍻

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The life of a mother artist… mortist? 🤔

Me with some of my work several years ago.
~This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

So I haven’t painted consistently in years. I’ve previously sold a couple of pieces, but mostly paint as an outlet for my stress, worries, and frustrations. I had this blank canvas sitting around for probably two years, but never had the time (or maybe the inspiration?) to paint. After giving birth to my son, I felt a ton of stress and anxiety. Normal, everyone says, but I couldn’t just let it go without getting it out.

So, I got out the blank canvas, my Winsor and Newton oils (like this great set and medium: Winsor & Newton Artisan Water-Mixable Oil Colors, Assorted Colors, Set of 6,1.25 oz. andWinsor & Newton 75ml Artisan Water Mixable Linseed Oil Medium) and started painting… a brown base underneath, no plan, no idea of what would become of this canvas. That’s the best part! I love seeing my paintings take shape slowly. I rarely have a specific idea in mind. I just let the paints do the talking, so to speak. I usually start with some kind of base color, which just lays out a general shape or feel for the painting, then I build over that. Here is what my base looked like for this work-in-progress (excuse the bad lighting; it was already baby’s bedtime when this was taken!):

Doesn’t look like a whole lotta anything at that phase but after adding some color in a second layer, I started seeing something:

You’ll notice my charcoal outline on the base layer…

Now, here I am, a whole three months down the road and starting it back up again! Haha! Here is what I have now:

It’s definitely shaping up, but still a long way out. Hopefully not another three months, though! 😂

So, what are your muses? What is your favorite artsy weapon of choice? Leave a comment and don’t forget to follow for more art, family, food, and other musings!

My tripod easel is this exact one but in a lighter color. The reviews say the instructions to put it together suck, which they did, but I’m no rocket scientist and still got it done! It’s sturdy enough and does the job!

I use disposable pallete paper, which makes cleaning so easy! just toss it when you’re done!

Getting my ass back to the gym…

~This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

After giving birth, I was told by tias, friends, and my suegra, that I needed a good faja (basically, a post-partum waist trainer, like this one: Hourglass Waist Trainer Trimmer Slimming Belt – Hot Neoprene Sauna Sweat Belly Band Body Shaper for Weight Loss Back Support Sport Girdle (White with Black, 2XL (Waistline 38.6”-41.7”))) to help my tummy bounce back and prevent the dreaded mommy “pooch.” After many women in my life suggested it, I ended up purchasing the one I linked above. I wore the damn thing day and night, hours at a time. I didn’t really see much of a difference in my physical appearance. It did, however, help me with some back pains that I was experiencing after baby. Thankfully, because of that, it wasn’t a complete waste of my money. I also have a different use for it now (more about this in a bit). Anyway, I felt, and still feel, this pressure to get back to my former physique as quickly as possible. It felt unfair and unrealistic for everyone to expect me to get back to the “old me” that fast. I was dealing with sleepless nights, the struggles of breastfeeding, post-partum anxiety, and all the learning experiences of newfound motherhood. The last thing on my mind was looking good. I made a firm decision to just take my time and hit the gym when I felt secure in my new role as “mom.”

My current and former shapes:

So, recently, I made the ever so difficult decision to get a gym membership again after months of being kinda huevona with my 7 month old baby. Pre-baby me was in the gym an average of five times a week, getting toned and building muscle. I didn’t have any goals really, just wanted to look better. Well, that isn’t the goal now. Now, I just want to feel better. I’ve been so sluggish and tired since baby was born (ok, actually, since a few months before he was born!). I’m trying to lose the baby fat and get back into my healthy lifestyle.

I was never a slave to the scale. My approach to fitness was simply eat right and work-out often, minimal cardio and mostly weight-lifting. Now that I weigh more (post-pregnancy) than I ever have in my life, I find that my methodology has changed. I have to think about losing fat and seeing the pounds come off. It’s a very different perspective for me. Now, I do weekly weigh-ins, trying to see my progress in numbers. I do 20-30 minutes of cardio, whereas I used to do only 10. My focus is weigh less! I hate it, but I know that needs to be my goal in order to be healthier. So, I amped up my cardio and am doing light weight lifting to get myself going. I use the post-partum belt as a workout aid. I put it on before my sauna session and wear it throughout my workout to help maximize how much I sweat. I’m not a fitness expert by any means, but I’ve read that sweating can help control water retention (aka, water weight). This is especially helpful for me when I’m in that time of the month as I retain a lot of water! It’s also helpful for use during my weight-lifting sessions as it provides additional back support, which helps me prevent injuries. While it didn’t do much to help my pancita, it can help in that respect.

Anyway, while I am seeing health and fitness in a different light now, I still try to keep a positive image of myself. Yes, it’s hard seeing past the stretch marks and extra softness all over my body. Yes, I have my downer moments. Yes, I’ve cried over my mommy tummy, but I’ve made the decision to try to better myself. Slowly, but surely, I’ll get back to my healthier self!

Here are some of my favorite healthy snacks! Try them out! You won’t be disappointed 👌🏽

Oatmega Nutrition Bars Variety 12 Pack, 6 Different Flavors ,Pack of 12 ( 2 bars of each )

Power Crunch Original Protein Bars, 1.4-Ounce Bars (Total of 10 bars), Variety Pack of all 10 Flavors

SKINNYPOP Original Popped Popcorn, Individual Bags, Gluten Free Popcorn, Non-GMO, No Artificial Ingredients, A Delicious Source of Fiber, 1 Ounce (Pack of 12)

I want to remember this forever…

The story of my baby’s birth… I don’t want to forget the details. All the glorious (sometimes gorey 😣) details! It was probably one of the longest labors ever… in history!

Ok, I’m probably exaggerating a bit, but there is a good chance you don’t know someone who was in labor as long as I was…

41 HOURS! Not even joking, people! It was brutal. It didn’t go as planned (when do they really ever, though). No, my plan was to have a quick, 12 hour labor like my mom and my sister. I read and was told that my birthing experience would likely parallel those of my female family members. So I hoped for quick, no meds, minimal tearing (if any). That’s definitely not what I got! Ha! Nope, I got 41 hours, two nights of no sleep, too exhausted to work through contractions, folded and got an epidural, and tearing like nobody’s business! That’s the complete opposite of my plan.

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So I was already past my due date when I started contracting at 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. I was confused because of Braxton Hicks contractions, but they definitely felt different. It was like a really bad back ache for me that kinda worked it’s way around to the front of my belly.

Me at 9 months 😱

The timing was too weird, though, the contractions coming randomly. I had a scheduled doctor appointment at 8:00 am so I decided to wait it out. I tried to sleep… man, did I try, but it was not happening at all! The contractions would subside for an hour and surprise me, waking me from my light sleep. By the time it was time to get up, I had barely gotten any sleep. I knew something was changing. When we arrived at my OB/GYN, she performed her manual exam, which, much to my disappointment, revealed that I was only slightly effaced and hardly dilated. She then strapped me up to monitor my blood pressure in an effort to see if the baby was in distress. Well, this is when I realized that I was right… things were definitely changing! My blood pressure was higher than usual. So, my doctor called the hospital and scheduled me an induction right that second, as a precaution for the baby.

I wasn’t stupid. I knew this was gonna be a long day. So, I did probably the smartest thing I could do- TACOS! Y’all, I’m from San Antonio, TX… we do tacos for everything (including my baby shower 😝). So before heading out to Labor and Delivery, we ate tacos. The contractions were still there, still super random. We eventually waddled our way… my way, because hubs wasn’t waddling… to the Labor and Delivery unit.

There were several other women there waiting to be admitted. I remember thinking, “This is happening! In a matter of hours, I will finally have my precious boy in my arms!” I was wrong. By the time I was checked on for a L&D room, I apparently started dilating naturally and my blood pressure had stabilized. My nurse called my doctor, who decided to just forego induction and monitor my natural labor. I was admitted around 11:00 a.m. the contractions were mild but becoming more frequent. I thought, “I can definitely go no meds! You got this, champ!” Hours passed; I was placed on a liquid diet in case I went into active labor; more hours passed… each time they checked me, I was only a centimeter or two dilated, slightly effaced. It was disappointing.

Exactly 24 hours before my little guy was born! Peep the clock in the background! We were so shocked to notice that!

Wednesday night came, and I was offered a sleep aid and oral pain relief. I swore I’d go without but I figured it would help me get some rest in preparation for delivery. It didn’t. I slept maybe 15 minutes at a time, giving up around 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, browsing Facebook and Instagram and watching Guardians of the Galaxy II. Nurses were in and out, making sure my blood pressure was normal. It was. Checked to see if I dilated more; I hadn’t… I was tired and getting frustrated. It had already been over 24 hours already.

I was stuck at about 4 centimeters, so my doctor talked to me about sweeping my membranes and breaking my water. We had it done to see if that would jump start anything. By about 11:00 a.m., I was exhausted from breathing through the contractions and a lack of sleep for two nights in a row. My family was there now, waiting with me and hoping for a quick delivery. My husband, Beto, and I discussed an epidural and pitocin. We decided I needed it. I was too tired and wouldn’t have the energy to push when I needed to unless I got some rest. I was upset and disappointed in myself, but my husband reminded me that as long as baby G got here and was healthy, then I did the best thing.

It still took hours for my contractions to progress enough. I didn’t go into active labor until about 7:30 p.m… about 40 hours after I started contracting Wednesday morning. When the doctor finally said it was go-time, I was excited and nervous and still exhausted. The nurse coached me through the contractions, the breathing techniques from my birthing class resonating in my head. I pushed and pushed, watching myself in a mirror (oh yes, I did!) to see my own progress. Finally at 8:10 p.m. Thursday evening, my little Baby G arrived. His little wrinkly body on my chest; I bawled, exhausted but in such a state of bliss and disbelief.

We immediately started to attempt breastfeeding; he did so good. Breastfeeding was the thing I looked forward to most, being able to nourish my baby directly. It was painful at first, but I knew it was best for him. The feeling of his little cheeks against my chest was so comforting and reassuring… all the difficulties made it worth it.

It was the most joyful moment of my life. I never want to forget it, no matter how hard and tiresome it was. I don’t want to forget the journey that brought my little boy to me. My first baby. My littlest love. It may not have gone as planned, but it was still the best day of my life.

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Threw Away 2018

Where do I go from here?

I threw away my 2018 desk calendar today. I thumbed through the pages before throwing it in the recycle bin. It’s interesting to see all the big events 2018 had in store for me penned in. “Gender Reveal ❤️,” “Out in pm dad stroke,” “baby shower ❤️,” “Due Date,” then two months blank from when I was on maternity leave with my chulito.

So many major events and life changes happened over the last year; my life drastically changed. I’m no longer an independent, do-for-myself chingona. I’m now a mother to a wonderful and smart little boy. It’s so challenging and tiring. Don’t get me wrong; it’s one of the most fantastic experiences of my life thus far…. but why can’t I shake the feeling that all that I am now is a mother? And a wife, to a lesser degree. I’ve somehow lost a lot of myself.

I ended 2018 with a bit of an identity crisis. Who am I? Who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to be? Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Something fulfilling for me intellectually and spiritually…. I’ve been lacking that for a greater part of the last several years. Having a baby changed my perspective on so much. I see the world differently, perhaps less idealistically. It’s a harsh world. I feel so protective of my papicito. I feel so saddened by all the bad news and a general loss of sympathy from the human race. So what do I do? What can I do? It’s hard to see anything too far in the future. Probably because my husband and I struggle so much financially, and definitely because the world seems so screwy. Life has thrown me some curve balls. I didn’t expect to get pregnant. I didn’t expect my dad to get sick and lose his ability to work. It all just happened. So, it leaves me feeling like I’m doing so little to better my son’s life, to help my parents out, or to reach my personal goals. I feel stuck.

Amazon affiliate link for my go-to stress relief remedy:

My resolution for 2019 is simple. Get unstuck. Find something that motivates me. Make some tangible goals and reach them. My first goal: create a blog as a creative outlet, and stick with it. My second goal: financial stability/ pay off debt. My third goal (and probably the hardest to reach): own a home. While I don’t expect to reach the third one, I’m going to try. That’s all we really can do, I suppose.

What are your resolutions for 2019?