Thursday, July 7, 2016

Teach me how to stop time...

two week photo shoot with my former student and one of my favorite souls. ---p/c Kelsey Hart


As cliche as it is... they really do grow up so fast. Time really does fly. And I wonder every day where the time is actually going.... Mateo has been with us for one month. He is one month old. Thinking back on the lifetime before him is almost impossible. And even looking back on our whole surrogacy process, it's unreal to think that just a year ago we were getting ready for our first transfer.

As I work on Teo's baby book and some photo albums (like actual albums with pages!) it's crazy to look back and see where we were, not that long ago. To see how much hope we were holding onto during this process. To see how much trust and faith we had that one day we were going to meet Mateo.

one week photo shoot with my awesome friend Cory! ---p/c Cory Kendra

And now he's here. In our home. We've started to get to know him and figure out our routine. I can honestly say, 100%, that Luis is amazing at this being a dad stuff. He is so involved and so hands on, and he has really been such a blessing. We are a team and we have been conscious of working together at this parenthood thing, allowing each other to find time to rest when we need to.

---p/c Cory Kendra

---p/c Cory Kendra

Mateo sleeps between 4-6 hours at night, so that has been awesome. He's been doing that pretty much since his second week. He is still really mellow and only sounds his crazy alarm when he's hungry and we are not moving fast enough. Mateo keeps us on our toes. He also has night wrestling matches with his swaddle blanket. Eventually, he wins.
sneaky hand, always makes its way out.   ---p/c Cory Kendra

He has also been growing and changing so much! (And I'm kind of nervous about this 4 week leap that I've heard so much about.) He's lifting his head up, making eye contact, and cooing and smiling in the mornings. When I wake up with him, I'll lay him right between us and we'll just stare at and talk to each other. Yesterday, I swear, we were playing a game together. I would stick my tongue out and he would copy me! It was seriously the most fun game ever. Luis was even impressed! We did that for like 2 minutes, until he got bored. But it was amazing! Between that and simply having him  fall asleep on my chest, those have been some of the most enjoyable parts of motherhood thus far.

Poh has been getting used to the new family dynamics as well. He had a hard time trying to figure out what he was the first few days. With all of his squeaks and cries, Poh was pretty confused and really just wanted to lick him all over to figure it out. Obviously, we didn't let him, but he has snuck in a kiss here and there. Now Poh only cries when Mateo cries. Not sure if he's concerned or annoyed. But I think he's learning to love him. 

---p/c Cory Kendra

 "HELP!!! The fluffy beast is touching me!!!" ---p/c Kelsey Hart 

We've also had lots of awesome visitors bring us meals and other goodies over the last few weeks and we are so thankful for all of the company and joy people are sharing with us. Our families come over all the time and, needless to say, they are obsessed. We all are.

on our first family walk around the neighborhood.

Everyone has also been asking about Tina. She is amazing and we've actually visited each other a few times in the last month. She is healing well and our visits are always awesome. Her kids absolutely love Mateo. She's been a continued blessing in our life and I am still trying to wrap my head around it all. I think that might take me a lifetime.


So I have to admit that that there is a big difference in what I knew love was before and after Mateo. I think about this guy everyday, in all moments. I have been able to get out a bit more than Erika by golfing and going to basketball practice. However, being physically apart does not stop me from thinking about how he is doing, has he slept, did he eat, is he happy, was he crying. This bundle of a human has hijacked me. I love it.
watching soccer together.
I have been proactive in being as involved as possible. Not to be some super dad or to impress the wife with my skills, but to be there for my family. Half the battle of being a father is just being there. As Erika mentioned, we have done a great job working together so far. I hope to continue learning what Mateo and Erika need from me. It is a new and growing relationship for all three of us.

He loves Dumbo.
Being a dad as of now is exactly how I envisioned it. I have told people who have asked how is it going, by responding, "Eat, Sleep, Poop." Which Erika told me is the title of an actual baby book.
My most fearful part of this early stage was not knowing the routine, but by now we kinda know what to expect and have started to pick up on those small noises and cues of his, Mateo's attempt at communicating to us. His hand movements remind me of the SNL skit the with boss who has the body of a baby. And I'd be lying if I said I haven't already acted out my own version, impersonating Mateo and lack of arm control.

Luis loves wearing him.
Perhaps the most difficult part has been trying to stay awake late at night on the rocker as he goes to sleep. Mateo's sleeping routine is my favorite. It starts with his head rocking back and forth, left to right, then slowly his eyes start to roll behind this eye lids, and it finishes with him giving us a milk drunk smile, as he squeaks out sighs of happiness.

early morning smiles.

---p/c Kelsey Hart

---p/c Cory Kendra
---p/c Kelsey Hart


"Mateo, you've been the most exciting part of our day, every day for the last month. Watching you start to recognize and respond to us has brought us both so much joy and we absolutely delight in all that you do. Still excited for the lifetime of days ahead and to watch you grow at lightning speed. I only wish that I could stop time to make sure that I am fully absorbing each of these moments with you. There are so many that sometimes I feel like it's all happening at once!" ---excerpt from a letter to our baby
Early morning hangouts. I never used to be a morning person. I am now.
---p/c Cory Kendra