Thursday, May 29, 2008

finally a good book

I have not read much in the last two years - probably because I was so busy writing Express Yourself.  Although I love words so much, I guess I needed a break from reading.  Only magazines were okay since they are more about pictures.
I have just begun reading a great book this week. I bought it the day before giving birth.  I usually don't like to buy novels since I never read them twice but after seeing this author on Oprah and reading so many great reviews on different blogs, I decided it was worth the 15$.  I admit feeling a bit guilty that will I easily spend that money for earrings, or for a hair product or a cool belt but I always hesitate for a book.  I find it so strange of me since I like books so much (one of my favourite outings is going to a book store and to browse around with a cup of tea).  But this time, I did not hesitate when I saw Eat, Love and Pray on the book shelf. Gilbert's writing style reminds me of Mayes, who wrote Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Italia - two books that fascinated me.  I am amazed when authors can simply describe their daily activities and make it so interesting to read.  I secretly dream of writing a book one day and I would like it to have that feel : insightful, personal, simple but yet inspiring.

I am happy to say that at 1h20 am or 3h50 am, I have a good companion.

Here are a few sentences I loved to read :
"For years, I'd wish I could speak Italian - a language I find more beautiful that roses."
" I crossed the street to walk into the sunshine."
" She knows all the best place to eat in Rome, including a gelateria that serves frozen rice pudding (and if they don't serve this in heaven, then I really don't want to go there.)"
"His hair was always combed neatly with water"

10 days old - going to Ikea

When the nurse came by a few days ago, she told me that my objective for the weekend was to walk up and down the street.  But since we had so many visitors over I did not get to walk. So we decided to walk this week but in a much more inspiring place than our street : Ikea ! I would like to write that Mateo loved it and was fascinated by the colours, sofas and fabrics but he slept right through the aisles...
We had lunch there too.  M had the meatball and the fries (oh that creamy sauce - heavenly!) and I had the pasta for 1.99$ (they looked good on the picture but they were pretty awful but I have already learned that with a baby you eat when you can !).

prince mateo

M and I stare at him for hours

you will be loved

let me introduce Oma, Opa, Teta and Geddo

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


because Verica looks so great
because Mati does too
because her blouse matches the lamp

Vickie came by a few days ago.  Good times!
Gaby told me that same evening that she felt nostalgic after - thinking she will not have another baby...

Monday, May 26, 2008

M could hold him all day long

He is so in love with his son.

don't you wanna eat him up?

M and I are resisting the temptation every day to eat him - it is very hard !

angels in the house

I have tried to watch TV or read while I am breastfeeding but I can't.  
Instead I am enjoying this very very quite time.
Instead I stare at him.
Instead I notice the walls around me : the reflection of the lilac tree on the wall, the sun coming down, the dust on the coffee table...
I love to hold his hand, smell his small wonderful body, look at his skin, stroke his tiny legs.  
He is so perfect.
I did not know love could be so strong.
The house is peaceful today.
Two nights ago, I told M : I feel as if there are thousands of angels in the house.
He agreed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

gelato from Roberto's - banana and bacci flavoured

The hospital stay was tough (the pain, the sleep deprivation, sharing a room with another mom, the noise, the not so good food...) but I I remember one calming afternoon when Joanne came to visit us.  She brought a bag of goodies : 
- first of all : gelato ( I think ice cream never tasted as good as that afternoon, not even the one I ate in Italy.  When you are sick, the freshness and the creaminess of gelato is unimaginably good!); 
- tabloids;
- wrinkle cream (I tried it right away but it made my skin itch...ok, it was not a good idea to try to reduce wrinkles while you are recovering from surgery);
- and eye shadow (I did not put any on but just looking at the pale shimmery pink made me feel a bit better).

Then auntie JK took baby Mat in her arms for a full hour showering him with kisses and staring at him - and giving M and me a wonderful rest.
Thank you Joanna
love you 

hula was my inspiration to write this blog

Almost two years ago, a friend of mine sent me a link to this wonderful mom and I was hypnotized right away by her pictures and her words. Every day, for the last two years, I have visited her blog and her pictures.  I never, never get tired or bored about what she has to say.  Never.  Every day, I go : ahhhhh!!!
It is strange to be fascinated by someone you don't even know.

I am inspired by her pictures and mainly of all the things she does with her children and her husband.  Her life is so colourful. She is very inspiring to me.

Thank you a thousand times Hula!!

a very special necklace

Lily and Zouzou came by today and offered me a very special gift - a golden chain with a pendant with my name on it written in arabic.  Tania.  
I am so touched.
Chukran mille fois. 

days go by so fast

taking notes of how often he is drinking

he is so beautiful

how will I manage all these beautiful pictures?

every day, I take about 50 photos...
I want to go to bed and and at the same time, I want to write everything down...

Friday, May 23, 2008

loving nurses

although the stay at the hospital was quite difficult, I feel so grateful for the great nurses who took care of Mateo and me - especially the afternoon and night shift nurses : Thank You to Erika, Chantal, Karine and Marie-Claude.

just breastfed

one of my favourite pictures up to now - he looks so content!

Mateo is in the house!

Mateo was born on Thursday, May 15th at 11h20 weighing almost 9 pounds and 22 inches.
After 14 hours of labor (boy oh boy - I don't even want to write about it), he came out with a c-section.


It is so amazing.  Still can't believe that he is here and that I am a mom.  A mom.  A mom.

He looks more like M but he has my mouth.

The recovery was hard but today, one week after, I feel much better since I am writing this text...The wound hurts less, I am walking a bit faster and straighter, my feet don't look like elephants paws anymore and I almost put on some lip gloss this morning.  Lip gloss will be a sign that recovery is almost complete.

one day before

trying to be sexy.  What was I thinking putting curlers in so I look good when I give birth!??  

2 days before

can a bump get so big?

4 days before

my mom and I on Mother's Day.
The bump is so big - Mat was hiding in there...waiting...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Insomnia or anxiety?

Now that I have an idea of what awaits me tomorrow, I feel a little bit more nervous. I woke up at 3h00 last night and my thoughts started wandering and filling with "what if's".  What if I can't do it? What if it hurst too much? What if I can't get an epidural? What if there are complications? But after an hour, I was able to come back to the present time and calm myself. Am I hurting now? No. OK. Well, don't dwell on what has not happened yet...

Last week, I read a quote from Eckhart Tolle that says : Negativity is not intelligent.  Such a simple sentence but a powerful one.  Negativity will not help me tomorrow.  I have to think differently.

Falling back to sleep I made a mental list of all the things that could (will?) help me tomorrow :
1) Know that the pain is normal and that my body is opening like a flower.
2) Focus on the result : Mateo will be there soon.  He is worth the pain.
3) Believe that I will be able to manage the pain.
4) Take in M's strenght.
5) Walk.
6) Hold my special necklace. 
7) Think of all the women in the world that are giving birth the same day - especially thinking about Kuna women who give birth in very rudimentary conditions.
8) Do breathing exercise #1  : Inhale : imagine the colour pink, exhale : imagine the colour black.
9) Do breathing exercise #2 : Breathe in and exhale very slowly as if blowing through a straw.
10) Do Breathing exercise #3 : Inhale in four seconds, hold breath for seven and exhale for eight.  Repeat four times.
11) Use yoga ball.
12) Focus on the parts of my body that are not hurting.
13) As silly as it may seem, think of Madonna who gave birth too.
14) Think of Frida Kahlo who suffered so much in her life.
15) ...
16) ...
(will fill in a few days with what worked...)

gotta keep busy today....

One more day to go before Mat comes.  
Today, I gotta keep busy to keep my mind off tomorrow since I feel a bit nervous :
Here is what I plan to do :
- write two or three posts
- buy a book
- take a shower
- get the hospital bags ready for the car
- try to finish a painting I started this week
- take some sun
- walk a bit
- go for ice cream
- relax
- clean the house a bit....

Yesterday, I went to the hospital to open my cervix.  I will not describe the procedure since it was not a pleasant one but luckily it went well and I was out of the hospital in two hours (the doctor told me it could have taken longer and I might have stayed at the hospital all night...happy that did not happen).  
I got a glimpse of what labour will be about tomorrow. I got very silent, felt very tired, very hot, felt I was going to faint.  I managed to walk a bit in the room, making a step every two seconds - felt as I was 100 years old.
Nice thing I remember, the sun coming in the room...Mat chose a good season to come. It was a beautiful day yesterday, today is sunny too and so will tomorrow.
M was relaxing in the chair beside me.  It actually made me feel secure that M was relaxed enough to doze off for a few minutes.  Funny too! I was not talking to him anymore at this point anyways because of the why wouldn't he sleep?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

it started with a picture

I believe in the power of visualization, in the power of spontaneous drawings, in the power of collages...Images carry a lot of energy. Images have a different message than words.  That's why I cannot imagine this blog without pictures.

A year and a half ago, I took this snapshot of this baby girl at a beach in Mexico.  "Soon, I will have a baby too", I thought...And I kept the picture in my computer. 
Happy I am having a spring baby.  Happy to spend the whole summer with him.  
Want to bring him to the beach in a few months and watch him walk around naked. 
I hope he loves the heat and the sun as much as I do. 
Let's hope he does not like air conditioning like M does.

so much clothes

I wish I had a different outfit for each day of a season. He does...
I am not the type to count things and to make inventories but I wanted to count how many pajamas he had received because it is already taking up so much space in his closet - and he is not.  Before counting, I thought I had maybe 25 pajamas, max 30 but then I started counting. 73 !!!! 
Blue, blue, blue, blue. Sometimes yellow or green and blue again.
Thanks to Nadine, Marianne, Claudette, Jill and my mom!

first baby

It is a big year.  I had my first baby three weeks ago.  So proud of it.  Express Yourself, secondary 4 just came out! It looks good and it is good! Topics, layout and all! Sharnee, Philippa and Cara, we are a team extraordinaire.
Now, baby number 2 - I am still waiting Mateo.  When are you coming out? For Mother's Day?

a new appreciation for my body

I am not good with pain and aches.  I thought my pregnancy would be more difficult - and so did my friends and family probably - but I did GREAT!
No morning sickness, no heartburn, no backache, no insomnia, no constipation - not even a stretch mark! My body rocks!
I am amazed by the strenght of my body, amazed that I created life.
I believe that Mat has something to do with it. 
He is already a great son.

these jeans are coming off...

Can't look at them anymore!
I thought they were ugly from the beginning.
I thought they were so ugly that I did not even get the bottom of the jeans shortened - I rolled them up!
Don't get me wrong.  They are super comfortable and absolutely necessary but I felt "so not me" wearing them!
Do some women really like pregnancy clothes?  
For the last two weeks, I have been snooping around different boutiques to see all the things I can buy in the upcoming weeks.  Exciting.  All the money that I did not spend in the last months will be spent this summer. Guaranteed.

Friday, May 9, 2008

birthing from within

a few quotes from my favourite pregnancy book, lent to me my mommy Philippa.
"The day you give birth, 300,000 women around the world will give birth too.  Imagine all of you becoming mothers together."
"Childbirth is a profound rite of passage, not a medical event."
"Celebrate the life you are bringing."
"Every mother must find within helself and her culture, imagery which will uplift, inspire and help her in labor."
"Labor is hard work, it hurts and you can do it."

yes, raspberries!

Some women crave weird foods during their pregnancy and send their boyfriends to Mc Donald's to fetch a cheeseburger at almost midnight in a snow storm.  I think that's what Vickie asked Gaby to do.  Maybe I changed the story a bit - maybe the snow storm is exaggerated but the burger thing is true.

I craved fruits.  
Had about 4 fruits every day.  
Never ate so many fruits in my life. 
And my favourite were raspberries in the morning mixed with yoghurt.  
I think I had this lovely mix every day for the last 8 months! So delicious. No kidding.

This combination (dairy and fruit) reminds me of my teenage years in Germany when two of my girlfriends and I  would have lunch in this department store cafeteria (die Kaufhalle) on Saturdays while we were shopping for lip gloss and fun tops.  We would start with french fries with gravy and end with a big portion of vanilla ice cream, with hot rasperries and whipped cream.  How the hell did we eat this without getting sick or having a bad tummy ache?


Annona has always been an inspiration to me.  She is strong, funny, confident, intelligent, sexy and original.  She is unique.  A - N - N - O - N - A.  Our paths have always had some connections although our lives are very different. Sometimes we say it's because we are both Virgos but it runs deeper than that.  We are soul sisters.
Annona got pregnant four months after me and ....she will also have a baby boy.  Who would have thought that we would have a baby in the same year?! 

Thinking of you a lot.
It's sad we live so far apart.
Avez-vous tisane?

I received a beautiful pack from her mom two days ago.  Colourful and fun clothes.  Thank you Elaine.
And Annona sent Mateo his first necklace - with an angel pendant.


In a few days, I will be a mom (still can't really believe it...)
In a few days, it will be Mother's day.
Becoming a mother makes me think about my mom even more.
I hope to be as great as she is with me.
I admire my mom so much! For so many reasons.
I hope Mateo confides in me like I confide in her.
I dream Mateo becomes confident to pursue his dreams.
I hope to give him wings to fly like my mom (and my dad) have given me.

Ich liebe dich


He calls me MOM.
I call him F O M - Father of Mateo.
This adventure would not be possible without you, M.
You are my love, my lover, my partner, my buddy, my supporter, my entertainer, my friend...
So happy to be living this with you.
Love you.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

love in the family

It is a year of love.  Baby love. Pure love.
Here are Maika and Elisabeth!
Girls rock! (but so do baby boys!)
Mateo will have great cousins ! 

eight months ago

That is why we take pictures.  
To help us not forget what really happened.
Lily started crying when we told her the good news.  
Zouzou was there to capture the moment. Crying too behind the camera.
And so was Nana, who was crying in the car.
Joanne was probably crying too - I don't remember - no picture to remind me. :)

So happy we have this picture.

sleeping with your beads

A few weeks ago, I  invited moms that are close to my heart for a night of creative journaling on motherhood.  They shared love and mommy words with me...It was a memorable night - more emotional than anticipated.  Every time, I get a bit nervous about the upcoming delivery, I think about that night.  I think about the personal stories and the tears...
As bonus for me, I asked them each to bring a bead that represents them...My plan was to put these special beads on a necklace that I will wear or hold during labor.  I have been sleeping with this necklace for the last two nights - hoping that it will bring me contractions.  Up to now, it has not worked but I still feel the energy of all these moms with me...

I have to be patient.

Claude called me today to tell me that she started wearing her bead.  Miss Sunshine had the heartwarming idea of buying herself the same bead she offered me.  So touched by what she did.

a new camera

M wanted to offer me something special for Mat's birth. I knew that I did not want a piece of jewelry.  I wanted a new camera! I was supposed to receive my gift only the day after the birth but my regular camera broke two weeks with a bit of begging, M kindly offered it to me in advance !  "I have to learn how to use the camera before Mat comes", was my argument. 

I will take thousands of pictures of Mat! Yes, thousands of pictures! His eyelashes, his cheeks, his bum, his smile, his hair, his freckles if he has any, his tonsils...Mat is my new project.  
Poor Mat, says daddy M.
In the meantime, I am experimenting. Tulips from our garden. Wow!