Archives: Some Thoughts

2 years & 4 months party

2 years & 4 months party

Yesterday was a celebration day at our house. Mila turned 4 months old and the pups 2 years old! It is hard to believe time has gone by so fast! For the pups bday we got them big bean bags to replace their old beds. When they were young they used to share a bean bag chair as their bed at my dad’s place. Now they can each barely fit on their own. We also went for a long walk in the beach and got them some delicious treats! We owe so much to these dogs, for they are, and have been for a very long time, constantly putting smiles on our faces. They, as all dogs are, unconditional and have taught us what this type of love looks like. We love them so deeply and are so happy to have them as part of our family.

To celebrate her little bday, Mila learned how to grab things that are hanging above her. She also only took two naps and stayed up until 8:30pm farreando (partying) with us. (Note to self – drink no more coffe). She is the absolute joy of our life!

Baby M* – take note. This months is when it all started.

 

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11:30pm

11:30pm

It’s 11:30pm and I should really be using this time to rest my eyes, for Mila seems to be teething and sleeping the following 6 hours in one go is a challenge. If it is not a tooth, it is the colder weather that has my little girl wanting to eat every hour – or it might be thirst from the heat that now circulate our home. Jax and I just stepped out of our hot tub, a ritual we now repeat every night once everything else has been taken care of. Surrounded by the warm water, the Milky Way, Florida’s palm trees and cool winter wind, we have our most important conversations. I am deeply thankful for this tub.

Nowadays, it seems like I do not have much to write about. This can be due to two reasons. 1. I have no actual time to spend typing thoughts. Or it is that our life is so full of exciting uncertainty that my mind has wondered to that world rather than indulging in my own mind.

Mila is about to turn 4 months old and every day that passes I am more convinced that she is indeed the best decision we have made. Having her loving eyes, tiny smile and unpredictable schedule has given us yet another much stronger reason to constantly evaluate our life and make the necessary changes to be able to say – yes, we are indeed doing what makes us happy. Last post I informed you guys of our Plan B, which indeed has been put into gear.

We are now working on a very big project, which as soon as we have our prototype ready and our thoughts more clear will share with you. The exploration of this new business venture has not only started to change our lifestyle for the better, but it has also made us rethink our next five years.

I guess, I’ll now go rest my eyes and cuddle with my lady. I just wanted to make sure I put some words down before too much time flies by and things happened without some proper prose. I have a feeling that life is about to change.

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Plan B

Plan B

Okay… so Plan A (a year or so ago) was to work way too much, buy a sailboat and start our circumnavigation. Then, we found out we were pregnant and Plan A changed. Our priority became finding somewhere warm and by the water where we could have our baby girl naked and cozy for her first few months of life and then look for a boat. A month or so ago, we found that boat – our dream boat which you can read more about here. On our way back from winterland Wisconsin, we took a 2 hour detour to go explore this possible next home.

As we climbed aboard, the ground beneath our feet began to rock and we were both brought back to the time we spent aboard Surkha. A rush of memories floated to our minds as we smiled and looked at each other. The boat owner smiled, probably hoping we would simultaneously say “We’ll take it. No need to even look at the engine.” After a brief tour of the gorgeous vessel, I (Caye) knew I was not quite ready for life aboard. I sat down in the cockpit and inhaled the breeze and absorbed the banging sounds of the halyards, while Jax explored the engine compartment with the seller. I missed being surrounded by water in a cozy home, yet the time was not right to make that purchase. We knew we would like Mila to be at least five before we start our journey West and that is a long time to commit to a life aboard. As we drove away, I shared my feelings with Jaxon (hoping he was not thinking the opposite). We both agreed that life aboard will have to wait, at least two more years.

So… what’s plan B? Well here is the deal. Our company Invento did well – not as well as we would have hoped, but well. But it took us from being poor college graduates to being able to pay all our bills and live comfortably. It was not easy – I would actually go ahead and say it was the most intense year plus of my life! But we survived it and we most definitely have learned a lot along the way. Now we are taking our next step. Starting a new venture – another business. Yep, why? Isn’t having one headache enough for us? Well, we now want to start doing something we enjoy more. We have proven to ourselves that we can own our own company and make it successful, now we are ready to take it to the next level and do something we enjoy a bit more, are prouder of and make a bit more money. This next venture is much bigger than anything we have tried before – we are exited.

As to our location… we love St Augustine and more than the awesome beach we have two house away from our driveway or the incredible historical city we have 20 minutes away, we love the people we have met. During our short stay here we have made some incredible friends! We were so fortunate to meet Katie and Nick who have in turn introduced us to lots of great people. So, we are not sure as to where we will be this time next year, maybe here. San Francisco has came up in conversations, that’s Option B of Plan B I guess.

It feels good to write it all down… as someone famous (John Cheever apparently) once said “I write to make sense of my life”.

Goodnight beautiful people…

Oh yeah, this has not been proofread, for the proofreader and approver has closed his eyes and fallen to a deep sleep next to his amazing little helper. So… the post is flooded with spelling and grammatical errors and probably way too many … . So pardon for that.

(He woke up!! Yeeeiiii… You wont have to suffer through this one! LOL)

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You must be a super woman…

You must be a super woman…

A couple of days ago I received an email about my birthing experience, the author (whose name I’ve been asked to keep confidential) told me about her birthing story. 10 hours into labor, contractions started getting closer together and she could no longer endure the pain, afraid that pushing was going to hurt even more, she had an epidural. She is now pregnant again and scared that she will make the same decision – so her question was: How did you do it? Can I do it or are you (me) a super woman? I had a similar conversation with my friends when they came to visit, so’ve decided to reply publicly.

Dear beautiful mama:

I would like to start out saying that you should not feel bad that you had an epidural during your first birth. The most important thing is to listen to what your body needs at the time. If you felt like you needed it, then you probably made the right decision.

I had a 100% natural home birth, but that is because we had no complications and it felt right. Had there been something wrong with Mila or me, we would have surely taken any appropriate measures. Having said that, this is how I feel about the pushing stage of labor in retrospect. It is like making a chocolate cake and not licking the battered spoon, like moving into a new house and never unpacking, like taking an exam (you’ve studied hard for) and never knowing your grade, like preparing an awesome sandwich and never biting it – I could go on and on. In other words it is doing all the work and not getting the satisfaction of the final product. Pushing a baby out after hours of labor is the most rewarding feeling I have ever experience. All of the sudden all that pain and energy of the contractions can be put into work. And then the baby comes out – close your eyes and imagine that feeling. It is not painful it is relieving, their whole body just flows out and boom, you meet.

While I’m talking about this, I would like to say some words about cervix exams and labor lying down. Lindsay, my midwife, did not check my cervix once during my labor. This was probably the single most important decision she made that empowered me the most and likely led to my short labor. From the moment she asked me if I was okay with no cervix exams she handed me the key. It was on me to know how my labor was progressing, it was on me to feel my body and detect if I got an urge to push. I did not rely on a number told to me by someone else, I relied on my instincts and that made me concentrate a lot on what I was feeling. When it was time to push, I told my midwife, not the other way around. I felt my stomach muscles contract like I had never felt before and even if I was not ready, my body was going to push Mila out. With 7 minutes, I had a baby in my arms. I will never know how dilated I was and I do not really care – my body was ready and that’s all that mattered.

About laboring lying down – I would probably not be able to do that. Pushing like that must be so hard. It is simply against gravity.

So pretty mama, follow your instinct. Close your eyes during labor and feel your body and baby work. If at any point you feel too exhausted, try first to make sure the room is as peaceful as possible between contractions so you can rest. If that is not enough and you feel like you really need an epidural, get one and own the decision. If you are already questioning it, then do not. I am 100% sure that you can push your baby out without one.

So, to answer your question, nope I am not a super woman. I am not even the kind of person who avoids pain medication when having a headache or bad cramps. However, there is something about meeting your baby for the very first time that inspired me to do it as nature intended.

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Loving my life!

Loving my life!

In the last post, it seems like I have come out as a little bit stressed about motherhood. And after a few concerned comments from loved ones, I thought I should write some words reassuring people I am not stressed or sad about being a mom. If that has come across in my writing, it is only due to an inefficiency on my part at finding the right tone and words to express myself. Throughout the day, before I write each post I envision it in my head, that is true even more about the last post – for I was writing it in my mind while driving up as everything happened. In that moment the words just flow out of me!

When I get home, naturally, I do not get to put my thoughts into paper (digital paper) right away. My baby girl’s needs are first, followed by Jax’s, the pups, the house and sleep – I am a full time mom and love it. So at the end of it all, I grab my computer and try to remember the initial words that inspired me to write. By then, I am a tired and the prose do not seem to match those that I had originally composed, but a mere memory of them still lives – so I click publish (yesterday this even happened before I or anyone spelled checked – reason why a bunch of people got an email with a lot of spelling mistakes – sorry for that).

Writing is an art, one that I have lots to learn about. I have yet to find my voice. Yet, I write because it is part of how I process things. I cannot not write – I think in writing. This blog is my learning pad and thanks for putting up with it.

Motherhood is everything I want to do and there is not one second I would change next to Mila for anything in this world. I write about incidents like the one we had driving up from Miami, because they are challenges that inspire me to write. If I wrote about all the laughter, kisses, dancing, singing, babbling and cuddling, I would be typing all day. I am feeling pretty excellent about my life right now, how couldn’t I if I have the best human beings lying next to me. One of them I get to hold and kiss all day! I’ve always wanted to be a mom and I am absolutely living my dream.

 

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Full-time mom! Best job on Earth

Full-time mom! Best job on Earth

I am most definitely a mom. There was only one limb in my body that was not being used to comfort one of my family members an hour ago. My right hand was holding a tiny sleeping fist, my left hand was applying pressure to a curly blonde head trying to relief a headache that arose from listening to a baby cry for an hour and lack of water. My left foot caressed Yaku who desperately sought attention from any warm body that wasn’t his sister and my right foot lay in bed ignored by my mind, which was focused on Yana who seems to not get the concept of our not-so-new-anymore doggy-door. She just stands in front of the opening and cries to be let out. Sitting in bed, my back pressed against a pillow that was resting on a water bottle – the only object that I actually needed to be holding – it became clear to me, regardless of everything else I do, I am a full time mom.

Why did Jax have to listen to Mila cry on and off for an hour? Because our baby girl was too tired to close her eyes.

Two hours ago, I was hugging Mila as she desperately complained with crocodile tears of being too warm and too tired. My throat was getting itchy and I was craving a sweater, while Mila refused to have a blanket on her almost naked body. The car’s temperature resembled that of malls in the tropics, sweet bikini weather outside and temperature deserving of a winter jacket inside. In less than one minute, we went from listening to “Tribes” by Seth Godin, to being surrounded by what has to be one of nature’s worst sounds – the cries of a tired, upset and too-young-to-understand child.

Sitting in the backseat I held Mila trying everything that my intuition told me – but she wanted it her way and it started with not wanting to be in a car seat, in a car nor in my arms. So I held her tight, thinking to myself, how the hell are we going to do the 26 hour long trip we have coming up in a week. After trying it all, Mila finally stopped crying when lying in my arms. As she half fought a very light blanket off, our opossum daughter hung her head backwards off my lap – her favorite sleeping position. Naively hopeful that she would close her eyes, Mila kept trying to hang her arm next to her head – but limited space meant that every attempt was met with a car seat – within in twenty minutes we once again had an unhappy child. I am most definitely a full-time mother – and although that might seem like a complaining comment, it is one that only other fellow mothers will understand.

Mothering is a full-time job, the job on earth, yet I am on-call all day, everyday. Even when I am not with Mila, the better half of my brain is hovering over her, wherever she lays. For months, I have been fighting turning Mangolandia into a “mama blog” – but this might become just that!

Yesterday, we returned from a trip to Miami for three days – including driving there and back – 5 hours each way. We spent it visiting my mom, her husband Tommy and his daughter Valy and her family. We had a pretty awesome time and already miss them. You know what’s awesometacular, my mom and I resolved the differences we had that kept us fighting throughout my teen years. Now we are incredible friends! Not a lot of people can say that – I feel pretty proud.

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Some Instagram photos:
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Writing… or the lack thereof

Writing… or the lack thereof

It’s hard to know where to begin this post. I’ve started it about fourteen times in my head. Yet, unable to sit down and write, the words just keep piling up in whichever part of my brain is left unhacked by motherhood. I can talk about how Mila got pink eye and I felt like a terrible mother and proceeded to spend the whole day cleaning her eye with milk and chamomile tea (which worked great).

[Mila just woke up - yes it is 4:00 am, not that Mila waking up is any indicator of time] [20 min later ]

I’m back! Yes, am once again typing single-handed – another useless skill that I can now add to my nonexistent resume. I can also talk about how I’ve gone from having a to-do list, to measuring my productive hours by the amount of naps that mini Mila takes. During those golden nap minutes, I rush to clean whatever I can in the house and help Jax with whatever I can in work – and sometimes I even get to do sit-ups and feel like an over achiever. Yes, babies take a lot of time. Or I can talk about nothing at all and just babble throughout the entire post – I know that it is not the most interesting or easy to read, but I just need to get some words out of my brain. Jaxon disagrees with babbling, yet again this is a lot more posting than he does… lol (love you mushpo)

Yes, Mila is in my arms again and no, I do not worry about spoiling her in that regard. In Spanish, this is called getting a child “accustomed to the arm” and is frowned upon. That said, I would rather have a dreaming baby, that falls asleep feeling that her mom loves her and then gets put in her bed or our bed (yes we also co-sleep), than a crying baby that puts herself to sleep lonely. In my lifetime, I will most likely will have two children, which means that I will have a total of two years of baby-baby time – that’s a tiny percentage of my overall life. I might as well get all the carrying and hugging in that I can.  [She is now falling a sleep.]

[7 hours and 10 minutes later]

My aunt, grandma and cousin have come to visit us. It is so amazing to see how much love a baby brings out in people. It has been a lot of fun having them here! We will see my mom and Tommy soon, followed by a trip to Wisconsin to visit loads of wonderful people and the final cherry of our social autumn sundae will be (potentially) seeing one of our very best friends, Nikki, at the end of October!

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Happy 1st Month Chiquita

Happy 1st Month Chiquita

I’ve maybe started writing this post four times! Every attempt started around 4:00am and was abandoned to cuddle with a tiny being that snores next to me. Now, she sleeps next to my “office” space. Yesterday, was her 1 month birthday and to celebrate it she slept, ate, pooped and slept some more. It would be redundant to say that she has forever changed our life and that no doubt this has been the most meaningful month we have ever experienced.

Life with her is fun.

Pequeña Mila:

Feliz primer mes de vida chiquita. As I type this, I’m holding you – which makes it that much harder to type. Yet, you inspire me. So my half-failed attempt to type with my left hand is worth every word you pull out of me. You are so tiny, yet so much bigger than a month ago! Today you discovered your hand. You hit one of your little hanging toys, which caused it to swing, perplexed by what you could do you stared at your hand for a couple of seconds and proceeded to stroke your cheek. Fortunately, your way-too-in-love mother was there to catch it on tape. The clip was then sent to all of your grandparents, aunts and anyone else I could think of. [You are stroking my arm - which makes me melt away into a world of unicorns, rainbows, love, you and dad]

You are magic to me. It has been a month since my needs have fallen from my priority list. It is all about you babe. [You seem to be eating something in your dream - you liked it 'cause you smiled - My first thought - you are hungry. Well lucky me, you are right here and I do not have to worry.] Mom and Dad changed a bunch of things in the business this month – all exciting things that are way too boring to explain. You inspire us and we are committed to making your life one big adventure. Hopefully, by the time you read this, your life has been as fun as we would like it to be. [You just puked all of your milk on top of me and got yourself soaked - cute]

We are so happy to have you in our lives patito and are looking forward to the next years of discovering the world next to you.

Fun fact about your life right now – it is entirely in Spanish. Your dad (for some reason) only speaks to you in Spanish, which is for sure the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Te amamos -

 

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Being a mom so far

Being a mom so far

Disbelief is the first and foremost feeling that has occupied my mind the last few days. I look at Mila, then at Jaxon, then at Mila, then at myself. I simply cannot believe that he and I made this human being, which spent 40 weeks growing inside me, exited through… (okay, enough of that) and now, in her perfect composition, is here. Day 2 of Mila’s life, I spent it crying, I was being hit with a feeling that psychologists would call “bonding or attachment”. Every time I looked at Mila, my eyes would fill with tears of (quite literarily) love. This has been the most instinctive, natural and powerful feeling I have ever felt. Since then, I have been learning how to be a mom and how to care for this tiny being without breaking her. Throughout the past few weeks we have received a lot of beautiful messages congratulating us. Many have come with questions about motherhood and pregnancy, so I decided to write this post in an attempt to answer as many as I can. The answers and opinions below are only based on my experience (which is pretty limited) – keep in mind that pregnancies among different women vary, a lot, same as births and babies.

 

The Birth:

Is birthing a child super painful? This seems to be one of the most frequently asked question sent my way. After having gone through it without any sort of medication, and without a previous birth under my belt, I can say yes, it is painful – but in a good way. Surprisingly you’ll forget about the pain after a week. If you manage to endure the whole thing without an epidural you’ll quickly realize just how much you can manage and how strong you are. (I am sure that births with epidurals are often as fulfilling for people, it is a personal choice, and again, simply not my experience) I decided not to have any medicine because it increases chances of requiring a c-section, being strapped to a bed and you must be in a hospital, all of which I did not want. I could not imagine managing contractions or transition lying down – so make sure that you voice your desires if birthing in hospital.

Why was my mom not at my birth? I have a wonderful relationship with my mom and I personally asked her not to be at my birth. I did this because I am truly blessed with a very supportive husband, who I knew would give me the comfort and support I needed during the birth. Having only Jaxon there meant that there were very few people in the room, which made going into the “natural state” birth requires much easier. Had I not had Jaxon, surely my mom would have been right next to me – but 1 person (beyond midwives) was my limit. In your birth, you will probably want to be surrounded with as few people as possible, for the birthing process is one were you will need to put all of your energy into yourself and not be concerned about what is going on around you. Something important to consider when deciding who will be at your birth is the person’s confidence in you. Birthing is not easy and in many parts it can even be scary. Invite only those who have the confidence that you can manage and those who understand that their role in the birth is to be supportive and not an advisee.

Lastly, before going into your birth, resolve any fears or concerns you have. These do not necessarily need to be related to the baby or the birth, just general things in life. Reflecting on these fears will prevent them from coming out at your birth, which they surely could. For Jaxon and I, this meant two things. First, talking through fears and scenarios for the actual birth and coming to peace with each possibility. Second, talking about how we would manage our business, before, during and after the birth in a way that would not cripple it and/or stress us during the birth and our first magical days with Mila. These talks and our resolutions were invaluable for clearing my mind going into labor.

 

Breastfeeding:

Does it hurt? Yes, it does indeed – but only for the first few days until you get latching down (getting the baby to latch right is essential). I imagine that if you get your baby to latch correctly from day 1, your nipples would only be a tiny bit sore for a day or so. It took Mila and I two days to get breast feeding down. During those first 48 hours, 24 were spent under a lot of pain every time she ate. My recommendation to any new mom – watch YouTube videos about latching and practice with your baby (it is well worth your time). Once your baby and you get it down, breastfeeding is one of the most intimate things you’ll share with your baby. Other than being the healthiest food you can give your baby, it helps with a lot of things postpartum, such as shrinking your uterus, weight loss and bonding.

Remember to feed from both breasts and not skip meals, for this can develop into mastitis – not fun.

 

The nights:

From what I hear, Jax and I have been blessed with a very peaceful child. Mila’s first night we got scared because she would not wake up to eat. So, we spent two hours trying to entice her into eating. We tried everything from kissing her, to singing, to cold water on her feet. After a long night she finally woke up ate about three tablespoons and went back to sleep. The second night and since then, whenever she complains I feed her and she continues to sleep. The amount of times she wakes up depends a lot on how much she ate during the day. If she is well-fed she will only wake up once and if not, up to three times. For the moment Mila sleeps in our bed in a little co-sleeper we bought (which has been the best purchase ever). Having her so close makes it very easy to feed her, keep an eye on her and cuddle.

 

The weight:

During my pregnancy I gained 33 pounds. I started the nine month journey weighing 113 pounds and ended it at 146. By week two postpartum, 23 of those pounds were gone – they simply faded away, between the birth and breastfeeding. For some weird reason I have  less fat now than I did before the pregnancy. I have always had a belly, which is now completely gone, my thighs are also thinner and there are no more love handles. So, even though I am 10 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, I feel great. I bet that as I continue to breastfeed and start moving around more, the rest of the weight will come off.

The recommended weight-gain during pregnancy is of 30 – 35 pounds. During my pregnancy, I did not control my eating at all. I would eat whenever hungry – which many times turned out to be 5 times a day. Jax and I are pretty healthy eaters, so my daily meals did not include junk food. As far as cravings, I didn’t really have any. I drank lots of orange juice throughout the pregnancy, that was the closest I got to a real craving.

 

Parenting and the baby:

There is nothing quite like being a parent. I bet you’ve heard your parents tell you that a million times – well it is true. All of the sudden you have a new top priority, that will indeed overrule any other thing you had – especially if you are the mother and breastfeeding. I will give you only one advice on parenting, listen selectively to all the advice you’ll get and try to follow your instincts as much as possible. No baby is like another baby, so do not assume people are right about what to do with your baby just because they have been parents already. The internet is a great resource to research things you are not too sure about, see a variety of viewpoints, and then do what feels right for you. And remember that the time you dedicate to your newborn now, especially at night will be one of the biggest longterm investments you’ll make in their confidence – you can read more about that here - http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-infants-toddlers/10-tips-night-feedings (askdrsears.com is one of the greatest resources we have found online).

 

Having a baby so early:

Jax and I decided to have Mila now because we felt ready. We have big plans for the next years of our life and don’t plan to be sedentary for a while. With that in mind, we wanted to make sure our kids would be part of our adventures, after all they are probably the biggest and most important thing we will do. I cannot tell anyone when a good time to have kids is. But I can tell you this, they come and change your life forever, it is a lot of work (and we are only three weeks into it) so you should do it when you feel ready to dedicate a lot of your time to a tiny one, but while you still have the energy.

 

The photos below start with sunrise during the morning I was laboring and include many parts of the last 2.5 weeks – including great family visits.

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The end… For now…

The end… For now…

As you may have noticed, the last few weeks I have not been posting much… This is because I think I am done with Mangolandia… At least for now. Mila will be born and I might get a sudden urge to write and post again, but for now I say goodbye. Mangolandia has given us so much, not only were we able to share our sailing adventure down the rivers of The United States and our year living in Ecuador, but we have been able to keep in touch with so many wonderful people, improve our photography and now have an amazing timeline of our last few years. At the moment, Jax and I are focusing on making our company work, which other than Mila is our highest priority. Although the business has been rapidly growing and we now have 9 wonderful people to share our virtual office with, the tasks are consuming. Leaving very little time for much adventuring, both physical and psychological.

Although our current state of affairs sometimes seems like a waste of our days, it has been strategically planned to some extent. When we decided to work for ourselves and form Invento Media, we knew it would not be easy, but if done right, in the long run, it would bring so many liberties to our life. Those that come with economic sustainability and self-employment. Many of these freedoms can also be acquired through somewhat easier methods, such as having a standard job that would allow us to save. Yet, we value the freedom that working for ourselves brings, such as being able to relocate when desired, work at our own pace and schedule and be side by side (and soon by Mila’s side as well). We are convinced that Invento does not have long until it provides us with the liberties we desire and now at such close quarters, I just want to dedicate my 100% to it, at least until Mila is born. Although keeping Mangolandia is not so hard, especially these last few months when I constantly slack at posting, it is more an easing of my mind to not have to think about it.

You will be hearing from us again, for we are sure that we want to circumnavigate with our daughter and teach her about the world as we go. The training, in theory, will start in two years. Both Jax and I love photography, so I’m sure we will be posting some irregular updates with photos, some thoughts on pregnancy and miscellaneous stuff.

Anyway, thank you all for these wonderful 2 years! You have all been great! Hope you join us on our circumnavigating journey when it starts. Or maybe, once this rush of work mellows down we will start talking about managing a sustainable company with a global team or the adventure of having a child.

Love,
Caye

Side note – A lot of this post is written from “my” perspective because Jaxon is eternally optimistic that we and he more-so will find time to write more here just around the corner. This may very well happen, which I would love – but until then, I simply want to reduce the number of weights on my shoulders until our lives are a bit more organized.

goodbye

<!--:en-->Preparing to leave and Mila<!--:-->

Preparing to leave and Mila

It is hard to explain everything that is going through our minds at the moment. Our business is headed towards stability – yet it is not quite there, we are about to move to a new town that we have never been to, with our two dogs, we need to find a home and furnish it and prepare ourselves for the birth of our first child, Mila. Although each of these things carry their own emotional weight, the addition of all of them has brought a huge amount of excitement into our lives. Actually, the word excitement does not quite encompass the mix bag of feelings that we have flowing through our systems at the moment.

We have spent this weekend trying to figure out the logistics of our travels, which is not an easy task. We need to find a temporary furnished home that accepts dogs to stay temporarily while we scout the area for a year-long rental and then move into the new house with nothing else than a bag of clothes and our computers… and figure out from there. That’s the short version, to avoid boring you with all of the logistics.

What we have chosen to do right before Mila’s birth is not an easy task. That said, we’ve weighed many many options carefully and it is without a doubt our best and I don’t think we would have it any other way. The thought of what we have ahead does not scare us, but rather fills our life with the excitement of planning and overcoming difficulties, which as always, bonds us even more. During this whole process, I have felt so fortunate to have the spouse I have, so supportive, understanding and more than anything, having someone who I get along so well with. It feels like as long as we are together, we could take on the world.

While I sit and write these words, Jax is looking at kiteboarding videos and looking for more potential rental solutions. Yesterday, we browsed the local Craigslist for furniture and we were very pleasantly surprised when we found a very active list with more than 100 local postings a day. Our nights have been spent talking and psychologically preparing for Mila, as we play with her in my belly. She now moves constantly and she feels just as active as she looked in the ultrasounds. She also responds to our touch and voices, which has made our love for her become almost infinite even though, we have yet to hold her – which we can hardly wait for.

We have also been in touch with a midwife that we like a lot and although we have yet to meet her face to face, having someone who we know is available for August is such a reassuring check off our list. We have been discussing our birthing plan and I have been re-educating myself on all things birth, which reminds me of how much I love being a woman and how, as soon as we are a little bit more economically stable, I will dedicate myself to empowering other women during childbirth and beyond.

And so, those are some of my thoughts for the day. We will now proceed to enjoy our last two weeks and a half in this amazing country.

<!--:en-->Looking back and looking forward<!--:-->

Looking back and looking forward

Yesterday’s night, Jax and I decided to go for a late night walk. A full moon was shinning, our stomachs were full with soup and a Mila and the dogs were anxious to explore the night. As soon as we stepped out of La Casita, it dawned on us that this particular late night walk might be one of our last living here. Instead of being overwhelmed with mixed emotions, we ended up remembering and reliving parts of our trip down the river in Surkha. Soon enough, 30 minutes had passed and neither one of us could stop talking about all our memories. Some very scary, while others so magical we will never be able to forget. Now, more than a year after our Surkha adventure, we are about to say goodbye to a year and a half living in the Andes.

Our purpose for this year was not only visiting my family, but also being able to create a sustainable business. We have achieved both these goals and now we move to a historic city in the USA to birth our baby girl, Mila. We will be close to the ocean and it will not be long until we are sailing again, for we both crave it. Great waves will soon surround us and we will be able to improve our surfing. I am so thankful for our life, although not always easy, we are happy with how we’ve keep it unfolding in beautiful ways. Below some photos of our trip down the river.

Today my cousin Nacho came visit with a friend from Colombia, Juana. We have been having a great time with them!

<!--:en-->The perfect evening before christmas<!--:-->

The perfect evening before christmas

Felices holidays people! Hope you are all having a wonderful time! Jax and I have been surrounded by family, friends, lots of snow and each other, making these holidays perfect – well, it is still missing some of my family members and friends, but so it goes. Oh well, point is that we have been having a great time. My morning sickness eased for two days and came back today… maybe this is the start of the end (being very optimistic).

Tonight we had the perfect evening, The Macys (family friends) invited us over for tacos. Norah, who is one of Jaxon’s best childhood friends and Schuyler (pronounced Skyler), her boyfriend, came from Canada to spend time with Norah’s mom, Meg, and her sister, Willow, for the holidays. Schuyler wanted to make dinner tonight and thought about tacos, the perfect Christmas meal! We arrived there a little after 5:00pm and feasted – it was just marvelous. The Christmas spirit was in the air yet not overbearing, making the meal so simple yet incredibly special. After eating, our friends Mary and Paul came over and the evening was spent talking, making origami Christmas ornaments and enjoying some tea. No presents were exchanged, family and friends were all that mattered, making it just the perfect evening.

<!--:en-->Dear baby<!--:-->

Dear baby

Let me begin by telling you that my new nickname at work is the turtle lady. That’s right baby you are now the turtle baby (which is pretty much probably what you look like at the moment) who is trying to flush your mom down the toilet to live with the ninja turtles in the sewage system. Other than joining the world below, I have become slow at work and rather love to spend the hours on my back. I now mostly think about my next nap and how this pregnancy makes me feel like a Captain Barbosa crew member. Why Captain Barbosa you might ask? Well, like this good captain and crew Pirates of the Caribbean, food and water no longer have any taste and other than nurturing both of us, I find no use for them and rather they would stay out of sight. So, other than surrounding myself with 5 glasses of different drinks to see what satisfies me, I imagine us at sea, although not always like pirates. That’s right the three of us in our big sailboat with Yaku and Yana resting in the bow sprit. Traveling the world and learning about new cultures and world history as we go.

But let me tell you something, although you still have lots to learn about this world, you are already teaching me some thing or two. For example, how to nap. I hated naps before you came along and now, well it is what I do the most. I have also finished a whole book in the last week, “Longitude” by Dava Sobel – amazing. Plus, although not too glamorous I now use the bathroom as my part-time office – isn’t that something? Midnight snacks, something I thought I would never have done in the past – eat a dry tasteless cracker in the middle of the night after brushing my teeth. But guess what – if I don’t do them, I feel the most acute emptiness imaginable, which only turns into nausea, which later has me wondering if I would ever submit myself to pregnancy again.Your dad is also learning some stuff, like making our bed his office so that we can snuggle close during the extra hours we need to rest.

Not the sweetest introduction letter turtle baby, but I bet as the weeks pass I’ll feel the magic of pregnancy that everyone talks about. Until then, you’ll continue to strike me as the oddest thing that has ever happened to my body and routine. At least I writing tonight – that is an awesome sign.

Readers, do not worry this will not become a mama blog and hopefully it will go back to being a travelling blog pretty soon!

<!--:en-->Our big holiday surprise<!--:-->

Our big holiday surprise

For the last two weeks, we have known something that would change our lives, but could not share it with the world. This was, as many of you now know, that we are expecting a new member to join our family in August 2013. August 10th was our scheduled wedding day and as you might have figured out, one of our August events was not entirely planned – we had discussed expanding our family soon and I guess that a conversation was enough for our child to make an appearance and we are delighted to have him/her join us.

Our next few months and years hold a lot of changes and we are overjoyed that we will face them as a family. No, this probably does not mean we will settle down in a city or stop venturing into new places, it only means we will have more bags along another person to share our journeys with.

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