Friday, January 28, 2011

9 months...

Adiel is 9 months now. It's hard to believe all that happened in that short period and in the 9 months prior to it!

I moved to Baja California 6 years ago. I came to do a 6 month project with the Mexican government, and I was thinking I would finish it and then take a few months off to travel the peninsula. I was in charge of getting sustainable development projects for the people that live within the natural protected area know as "The Islands of the Gulf of California".  I love nature.

I met Uri short after I moved, and in a couple of weeks, one sunny morning, I just knew he was the one. We got married on September 19th, 2008 in Mexico city... it was the day of the anniversary of the big earthquake in Mexico city. It was a beautiful wedding, we had a wonderful time.

You can see the trailer of our Purple Wedding here.

Since then, Uri was very ready to become a father, an finally, we heard the good news almost a year afterward. We were so happy and anxious, there were many decisions to make, including me moving to Los Angeles. I got to spend my pregnancy in LA, taking time for myself, in peace and quiet (probably for the last time!). I loooved my days in the city. 

I was on my own, so I started taking pictures to share my bump with my friends and family.
These are some of my favorite.

It is not professional pics taken with a great camera, I know. In fact some of the pictures I took with my Mac... But they mean a lot to me. My friend Karina took the ones at the beach. We had a lot of fun that day (probably the last time I wore a bikini...). By the way, my friend Karina just received some hard news, so I would highly appreciate a little prayer or a candle light for her and her family!!

After a long labor, Adiel joined us on April 29. She was 7.1 pounds and 21 inches. What an amazing experience it was. I remember having her in my arms for the first time, it seems like it was many years ago. She looked like a little Russian doll, with the sweetest face.

Here she is in one of her first pictures, wearing the pajamas I wore home from the hospital 30 years ago. I love that picture, her little hands, her eyes just like her daddy.

This is Adiel 4 days old!

There is a birth story to come and some pics of where we think we made Adiel.

Until soon,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Adiel this week

Sometimes it's hard to find the words, the inspiration, the right moment... I don't know why. 
Sometimes it's hard to find beauty in this oh-so-loud life. And it's then that the little things, the comforting word, the loving gummy smile fill up our hearts. 

 I have been touched in many ways lately, being reminded to appreciate everything I have: my little family of 3 (plus 3 doggies and our cat), a healthy, beautiful and strong baby girl, an incredibly multi-talented and loving husband, the opportunity to spend my days in our mountain house by the sea…

I love living in nature. And this past weekend we went to the hot springs with some friends.

Here are some pictures of my Adiel this week. I am experimenting with a new editing software (If you haven't noticed) that I might want to get for my birthday (along with my new lens!!). So, sorry about the crazy filters, I will get better!

I was taking her pic when daddy came, and she looked at him with such lovely face.

And this is at my office where they have let me brought her until now... but I don't think I can do it anymore because she needs much more attention now and that is not a place for her... although they love her there.

She learned how to wave good bye and to feed herself. 
Motherhood is a blessing to me.
With Adiel I knew unconditional love.

Next time I will post some before and after pictures with a little bit of our own journey.
Until soon,

Friday, January 21, 2011

To the Journey Sisters (big and small),

It was just over a year ago that we first came together- nervous, excited pairs, strangers to each other, drawn close by an impending dive into the unknown and unknowable. It is wonderful now to look back at those first moments, tentative conversations, preliminary curiosities and see the seeds of the beautiful extended baby family we've created. There was a (not-so-long-ago) time when I would not have believed that such unplanned joy and love was possible. Fortunately, these recent years of my life have been full of powerful lessons in the ultimate potential and perfection of uncertainty- of bold action leading to unexpected wonder.

My pre-baby life seems so far away and always just under the skin. Parts of myself are in retrospect, unrecognizable, yet I remember so viscerally the surging, overwhelming tides of feeling that once pushed and pulled me in every direction, all at once. I remember too, the first glimpses of stillness, the first contact with that mysterious being- intuition, the first sense of true direction. From there, everything happened rather quickly.
At school with "my" first children
In January 2009 I quit my two jobs (teaching art at a charter elementary school and managing a coffee shop), ditched my West Hollywood apartment, gave away a good portion of my belongings and trekked to India. I didn't know how long I would stay, or if I would ever return to LA. My intention was to travel solo for awhile and then to continue an intensive meditation teacher training program that I'd been working towards for two years. The program began in India and then was completed over three months spent in residence in the mountains of Arizona. At the time I left I didn't know whether I'd be able to pay for the Arizona portion of the course so I decided if I couldn't scrape together the money I'd  head to the Himalaya looking for either a wise man to apprentice with or a cave to hang out in 'til enlightenment dawned. I was maybe a little crazy.

On the train from Mumbai-Jaipur
Fast forward a bit (hard to do as I could probably write an epic about those months of wandering), change locations from the foothills of the Himalaya to the snowy peaks of Flagstaff, AZ-- I did make it after all. I settled in with eleven others to begin the long, intense process of learning to teach others the practice that had, just a few years before, radically altered the course of my life and my perspective on just about everything. One of those eleven was a handsome Aussie man with an excellent onomatopoeic surname. We got to know each other through the testing phases of our course, always competing to come out first or best at each individual milestone (I always won). Friendly competition quickly became something much more, something that we struggled to keep within the bounds of the strict rules of conduct for the training. By the end of the three months, we were fully and undeniably in love and without a clue what to do about it. After about a month apart, during which we spoke every day, realizing that even out in the real world our feelings were not changing, I took off for the land of Oz.
On the balcony at our first apartment.
 It wasn't long at all before we discovered that our love was too be big to be contained in just two beings-- our Little One was on the way and had big plans for us. It happened fast, but as we've found, when the time is right, nature has it's own timetable.  What seemed like an endless nine months of some discomfort and adjustment and many, many big changes (we got married! we moved from Sydney to Venice! we taught a lot of people to meditate! we met all of you!) was in a moment compressed until it seemed infinitesimally small and quick-- impossible to have been sufficient for that little being to develop to the point of joining the outside world. But somehow it was, somehow as crazy as the path was, as filled with bumps and turns and mud and mess, it all distilled into pure perfection, on the morning of May 1st, just as the sun rose, when our Saskia Deva Beverley Vroom emerged.
It's very bright out here.

She is a powerful being already. She is what led us to all of you. She fills us with joy and wonder each day and I feel blessed and eager to share her journey with you her sisters, and to watch all the Little Ones as they forge their paths and we fulfill our purpose as their guardians along the way.

Sending love to you all,

Maggie and Ava

Preparing for the birth of my daughter was a long time coming.  I always new I wanted to be a mother.  It was something I held special to my heart from the time I was a very little girl myself.  Now, to have a little girl, it's a beautiful thing!  I always imagined what this would be like, but never imagined it to fill my heart with this amount of joy and love!

 About 34 weeks (I had 7+ more weeks to go! Aye!)

I went to bed that night and woke up in labor at 2 am!!  That's the Baby Tank in the raw!

Before Ava came along I filled my time with traveling, working out, training for a half marathon (if you can believe that!  That all went out the window when I found out I was pregnant!  Whoops!),  date nights with the husband (ah, a movie, haven't done that since the baby), art projects, reading, cooking (I still do lots of that), socializing (still do some of that too), and many other less important things... many things set aside as I devote much of that time to the sweet little one.

Some Pre-Baby Photos:
(Right) Sailing a mini Hobie-Cat in Domican Republic.  (Left) I promise I did nothing for those beads in New Orleans!  In fact, I thought I could be pregnant, so I was sober!  Turns out, I wouldn't be pregnant until the next month (and I'd get my period the next day... after the big party/friend's wedding... humpf!).

 Some personal development and R&R in the Dominican Republic.  Todd and I bent that rebar using only our throats!  And on the first try!!  To the right, our group for board breaking.  This was more of a challenge for me.  Letting go of fear and embracing my inner strength... it took a few attempts and centering myself, but I did it!  We were supposed to write a fear on the board that we were going to "break through" and I wrote fear of commitment and responsibility.  HA!  Then I had a baby... oooh, commitment and responsibility at it's best, huh?

 Todd and me with our pups in front of Todd's parent's old house... the pre-baby family.

 Along the CA central coast.  We were up there for my sister's graduation.

 Holding a tucan!!  I LOVE TUCANS! Costa Rica
To the right, me and my horse!  We had the best ride through the Costa Rican rain forest!  I had never ridden a horse so fast!!!  We rode up to a waterfall, scaled up the rock wall, through the waterfall and then cliff jumped into the water below!  AMAZING!
I look awesome don't I?  Ha ha, zip lining is fun!  Also Costa Rica.
 Playing with my food.
Enjoying St. Barts (right).

 We love the Carribean! What can we say?
The zip lines in St. Maarten are really, really fun!!  On this zip trip, there was an entire family in our group.  They had 2 kids that had traveled with them since they were small.  At the time of this tour, they were early and pre-teens.  I felt inspired to make sure we continue traveling and being adventurous, even with our kiddos... I think we'll manage to do that!  ;)
 St. Maarten - a few months before getting pregnant - Can I have that body back now please?

I AM REALLY, REALLY, REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO TAKING AVA ON THESE ADVENTURES!  When we were zip lining in St. Maarten, there was a family on our trek.  Parents and a boy and a girl, all zip lining together.  They went on vacation together every year and did something adventurous!  I felt so inspired!  Sounds like fun!!

...for the last 8 months it's been baby, baby, baby... poopy diapers, spit up, snuggles, kisses, breastfeeding, naps, ergo wearing, stroller pushing, boppy using, floor scooting, table cruising, middle of the night rendezvous, ahhh, baby, baby, baby.  I love my baby.

 Shortly after Ava was born.  I was tired! She is gorgeous! (left)  Snuggling at home!  (right)
 Our beautiful baby sleeping. Less than a week old.  What an angel!
(Left) 2.5 months, learning to grab things! (Right) Halloween... my little strawberry!

About 4 months, demoing her roll over ;)
As of late, I've felt Ava's independence soar, which couldn't make me more proud!  She's been "crawling" a while, although she has her own special crawl, and while she still checks in with mama, she's all over the house on her own and exploring the world around her.  I leave her be to explore and develop her curiosity, all within my line of sight.  We also enjoy playing together and she's starting to hand me things when I ask for them and she loves to crawl into my lap (awe).

 Christmas 2010
 Showing off how well she crawls in her wonderful stripey tights from her journey sister Eva!
 She loooooves bath time!  And that duck!

She's been demonstrating to me that she's ready for more independence and I've also been feeling that urge for a little more healthy space between us as well.  About a month and a half ago we moved her from the co-sleeper into her crib in our room.  And about two and a half weeks ago, we moved her crib into her own room!  What a big girl!  It's been awesome!  She's so well rested.  And so am I!  I love that when I go to get her in the morning, she's babbling, smiling and standing up against the side of her crib reaching for me.  What a big girl I have!  How did this happen?  Seems like just yesterday I was still pregnant... waiting...

I love watching my girl grow.  I'm enjoying all our time together.  Remaining present as I rock her to sleep, smiling as I watch her play and discover new things, encouraging her to be curious and promoting independence and confidence in her abilities to do things for herself.  She's amazing.    What a joy these last 8 and a half months have been!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Santa Rosa

Happy New Year to everyone!

I thought I wanted to start this first post by introducing myself and telling you a little bit about my background, the place where I live, and what I do every day. However, I am still moved and excited about my new year celebration and I decided to share it with you before saying anything else. After all this shows a side of myself and my heritage I am very fond of.

I was born in Mexico city, but have been away for more than 5 years already. My husband Uri is not Mexican and he has not been in many parts of Mexico. The country I know and love is multicultural, colorful, charged with tradition and history... Not necessarily what you see in the little border town we live in. That is why my father invited us to spend a week with him and my mother in one of our favorite Mexican states for the New Year. Off we went to Yucatan!

My mother's family is from Yucatan. Her mother and father were born there, even some of her siblings. Even today, whenever my very large, loud and loving family meets, you can hear the Yucatecan accent and a few Mayan words here and there. My mother's nanny was a Mayan woman, Mari Pech, that both my mother and my father loved very much. Mari grew up with my grandmother Ana, and they used to talk Mayan among themselves.

My mother spent her childhood vacations in Merida, the capital city of Yucatan, and Progreso, a famous beach town nearby, but when she was 16 years old my grandfather died and my grandmother was so sad she never went back to Yucatan. Still, all the stories about Yucatan stayed with us. Tales about the great old houses in Merida, the glorious haciendas, the days of the heneken industry. That is how we got to learn about Santa Rosa.

My great grandfather Alberto bought Santa Rosa in 1900. It was then a henequen hacienda with 364 workers that lived in the 94 houses town. He built the last stage of the main structure, including the central house and the machine rooms. My grandmother was a child then. After a little more that two decades, as a result of the Mexican revolution, the government took his land to give it to the workers. Even though my great grandfather still had the main house he was devastated and decided to sell it. Eventually Hacienda Santa Rosa was abandoned.

In 1997 Santa Rosa was chosen by a private company to be restored and later on, was opened as a hotel. After all these decades we were the first in the family to go. It meant a lot to my mother and I.

This is Hacienda Santa Rosa:

Nowadays it has 11 rooms, an amazing restaurant, a spa, a botanical garden and many terraces and pools.

Here are my parents on their room's terrace with my little Adiel.

Uri and I took full advantage of the opportunity to go around and enjoy the place. We even visited other abandoned haciendas in the surroundings, having some family fun.

Adiel loved it.

We also visited some local workshops where they still work the henequen.

We all wished we could have stayed longer, but at least we were there for their New Year's party which included a presentation by the local girls' choir, a piƱata, a delicious 5 course dinner, and the traditional "burnt of the old year or the old man" (filled with fire crackers).

This is Adiel on the first day of the year.

Those were some amazing couple of days!
My mother and I could imagine my grandma running around. This is a picture of her:

I loved the little town and the people. 
I hope I can go back one day.

This was Alberto on the days of Santa Rosa.

During our vacation we also visited the beautiful ruins of Uxmal.

And Chichen Itza, the old city of Izamal and Merida. 

I am very excited about what 2011 will bring. 

There for sure will be many new adventures for the little journey sisters and I can't wait to see what they have to say about it!

Until soon, 
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