I'm over here now.
I'm done here, guys. I wish I had it in me to write some lengthy post about why I'm finally quitting and how blogging has affected my life, and blah blah blah, but I just don't. I haven't had it in me to write anything here for quite some time, and the last thing I want to do is force myself. Also, Cheech is starting school next year, and it's time to give her and her family (meaning Joe and I) a little space and privacy. But before I go, a couple of a little bit lengthy things.
- You guys are my everything. I mean that from the absolute bottom of my heart. Some of you have been reading since before I was even married, which is insane! I am forever grateful for the time you've spent in this space and allowed me to share and rant, all while always being supportive. These past five years have seen lots of ups and downs, and I'm fortunate to have always felt that I could say anything so openly on this blog. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
- I've met and befriended the best people through this blog. Truly. Never in a million years would I have ever thought that that would or could happen. You know who you are. I love you so much, and will continue to do so until the day I die. Or, until the day you get sick of me loving you. But even then, you better believe I'll put up a fight. Because I love you. SO MUCH.
And with that, I say farewell. I'll miss you guys like crazy. And maybe one day, I'll be back. Or, maybe I won't. Or, maybe I'll start another blog. Hey, the sky's the limit.
Love, love, love,
P.S. Just because I'm quitting blogging, doesn't mean I'm falling off the face of the planet completely. You can still keep up with my shenanigans on IG. Also, Happy New Year.
The week we got back from New York, Cheech got sick. Then it was my turn, then hers again, and then mine again. Back and forth, back and forth for at least six weeks. And then at some point, Joe got in on the action, too. By the end of it, our medicine cabinet had beed raided and we had easily gone through a case of toilet paper (tissue boxes are for wusses). So this Thanksgiving, I have lots to be thankful for, but the one thing that truly stands out is that this entire family can finally breathe through all six of its nostrils.
Happy Thanksgiving, guys. This is the best holiday. Food + the special people in your life = ❤
Last week was rough. If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably already know that my Grandmother died. She passed away at ninety-six on Monday morning after battling cancer for almost two years. Cheech and I flew out to LA first thing on Tuesday to be with our family. Between that and both of us dealing with chronic coughs from leftover colds that were leaving us sleep deprived, plus the fact that it's somehow still in the 80s in that God-forgotten city in late October, I spent most of my time there in a shit mood.
By Thursday night, I felt like I was falling apart. I took some NyQuil and then cuddled next to Cheech as I read her a bedtime story. Before turning out the lights, I leaned in as close as I could to her.
Me: You know what?
Me: I love you SO much,
Cheech: I love you SO nuts, too, mama.
I broke out into roaring laughter, and for that moment, everything was 100% better.
Cheech slept through the entire night last night for the first time in a good 2-3 months. And she woke up in the most splendid mood, to boot. I've been fighting a head cold and allergies for the past couple days, so I like to think that she subconsciously knew that I needed rest.
Sleep is hard. It's much, much harder than they lead you to believe. When she was an infant, with the exception of sleep training, Joe and I tried every trick in the book to get her sleeping at least a solid 8 hours. Maybe she was cold? We'd try layering her pajamas. Maybe she was hungry? We'd feed her right before going to bed ourselves. Maybe all those other people who didn't know our baby were right, and she really did need to be sleeping on her own in a crib? Two weeks of her waking hourly in her crib, and I realized that all those other people didn't know their heads from their assholes. No one knows your baby the way you know your baby (my mom told me that shortly after Cheech was born, and it's the best parenting advice I've received to date). If any of those minor adjustments did work, they only lasted a night or two at the very most. Sleeping through the night, the entire night, didn't happen for us until she hit 11 months. Knowing what I know now, I can't help but look back at all of my frustrations over sleep and realize what a doofus I was.
Kids learn to sleep. Eventually, they all learn to sleep. But the thing is, just like crawling, walking, talking, etc., they do it on their own time. And sometimes they're really great at it, but sometimes they regress. Cheech didn't take her first unassisted steps until she was 15 months old, which made her a bit of a late walker. Although she's now had over a year of practice and it's safe to say she's basically mastered the skill, she still stumbles, misses a step, or plain trips over her own feet on a daily basis. Yet, unlike with sleep, I don't find myself asking, "Why can't she just walk perfectly all the time?". You see what I'm saying here? Sleep is hard. If it wasn't, there wouldn't be countless books, websites, forums, and sleep specialists dedicated to children and their inconsistent sleep patterns. There are no answers, and the only solution is time.
The reason I decided to write this somewhat boring post is because I know that quite a few of you just had babies, or are on the verge of having babies. I'm probably the worst person to come to for parenting tips (I mean, I let my kid watch TV... which is apparently horrible), but trust me on this one, guys. Your baby will, one day, sleep. Just be patient, and ignore all those bags of tricks that so many people seem to have. I wish somebody had told me that. And if they did, I wish I would have believed them.
I've been feeling older lately. Not old, but older. I'll be thirty four in exactly one month, an age that isn't middle-aged, but is also no longer young. An age that feels somewhat lost in the mix. Ten years ago, I would look at thirty four year-olds and think that they were so together, so on top of their shit. I realize, now, that there is a sort of strange confidence that comes with this age that only gives the illusion of having it all figured out. This is all to say that I don't have it all figured out (not even close), and oddly enough there is a hefty amount of comfort in understanding that you'll probably never have it all figured out. To succumb to the ebb and flow of life, to know that some days are wildly exciting and some days are horrid beyond belief, but most days are just days... that, right there, is a thing of beauty.
I'm approaching this new year in my life in a way that I never have before. Birthdays used to come and I would say to myself, "Celia, this is the year that you will do that, and consequently this will happen for you." That thought process feels so peculiar now. Instead, I look ahead at thirty four with my head full of ever-multiplying grey hairs, and remind myself that this is the year in which all of that starts to not matter. Life is not a competition, or a race to the finish line. We cheapen it when we treat it so.
I like feeling older. It makes me feel wiser, too. And it reminds me that going to bed by 11 is almost always a good idea.
Beautiful Jellies from the Aquarium of the Bay
It's been a while. I've spent the last few weeks going to bed and thinking about this blog as I drift off to sleep. In that state, it's easy to come up with hundreds of things I want to write about, things I want to share here. But then morning comes, life resumes, and before I know it, another day rushes by barely giving me a moment to check in. We spent the last week in NYC, and I spent the prior month already in vacation mode. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't get through most days counting the minutes until they were all gone. I needed a break, and not just a little one to a country town up the road. I needed something fresh and unfamiliar. The last time we were in NYC, I was 16 weeks pregnant and still trying to keep my small and terribly bland meals from being rejected by my intestine. That was exactly three years ago, and three years is a good amount of time to make something fresh and unfamiliar again.
As our plane was about to take off last Wednesday, I realized that I had forgotten to pack my fancy camera. I don't take it most places because it's heavy and can feel like a nuisance to lug around. This being Cheech's first trip to the city, however, I had definitely intended on bringing it along. Whether you're 2 1/2, 16 (like I was), or 85, your first trip to NYC is special and one would think, requires a fancy camera.
Just as I was kicking myself for overlooking it, I remembered a scene in 2 Days in Paris. In the film, Julie Delpy's character, Marion, is a photographer. On a romantic trip to Venice with her boyfriend, she leaves all of the picture-taking to him. She states: Taking pictures turns you into an observer. It will traumatically take you out of the moment. This really struck a chord with me. Since Cheech was born, I've found myself constantly trying to chronicle all these momentous events in her life so effortlessly. But often times, I've been so caught up in getting the perfect photo, that I've forgotten to just be there. I decided that in a way, it was a blessing that the camera had been left behind.
So I spent the week depending on my phone's lackluster camera. I only took it out when I saw something I TRULY wanted to remember, and when I knew I could take a picture that would one day tell her a story. Like when the man on the subway in a Burberry suit smiled the kindest smile at her. It warmed my heart that in a city where no one even bothers to look at you, people still remember to smile at little kids. And then there was the day we stopped by Shake Shack after an exhausting trip to the Museum of Natural History. We let her have ice cream for lunch because, hell, she was on vacation, too. And how I saw the Empire State Building as we were zooming by in a cab. Had I blinked, I would have missed it. And the fire trucks and their loud sirens that could be heard at any given time throughout the city. Cheech's face would light up every, single time one would go off, and she'd shout out in amazement, "Hear that sound?! Fire truck!". And how she's so lucky to have an uncle in Manhattan who has a bigger yard than a lot of the California yards we've seen.
Most of the pictures I took turned out to be either out of focus or off-center. Yet, what they lack in quality, they more than make up for in sentiment. NY, we ❤ you a whole lot, and you will be missed.