Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
I am originally from San Antonio, and moved to Houston where my husband is from. I have been here for 3 years now.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Emma- 2 yrs old
Selena- 1 yr old
Mark Anthony II- 1 yr old in heaven (Selena’s twin brother who passed away at 16 days old)
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I never saw myself as a mother, nor did I want to ever have kids.
Favorite local activities to do in Houston?
I really enjoy exploring the city with my family, and finding cool spots to play, shop and eat!
Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?
We really enjoyed Beavers on Westheimer! Their food was really yummy and our Emma really enjoyed her food and the coloring!
What local places do you go to for pampering and/or mom’s night out?
I have gotten my nails done at a place inside the Galleria mall a couple times. But haven’t truly had a moms night out. I’d prefer a date night with the hubby, anywhere!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I started my blog The Lofty Mom after having Emma but it fell through the cracks and didn’t really have meaning until our twin pregnancy. We had a very difficult pregnancy and unfortunately had to give birth thru an emergency c-section at 25 weeks. SCARY. My husband and I put our faith in God, and tried to be the best mom and dad that we knew how to be. Our babies were considered micro-preemies and both weighed 1lb 13oz each.
We were NICU parents. Coming and going from the hospital, dropping off breast milk, and visiting the babies. Calling hourly to check on them and see how they were doing. It was a whirlwind of emotions. At 16 days old our son, Mark Anthony II became very ill and passed away. As parents, we were broken. All of his firsts were taken from us. Our hearts ached and we knew that there was a reason behind his death. We believed that our baby boy left this earth completely healed. This was a very emotional and pivotal time in our lives as parents. We had Emma with us at home and Selena still in the hospital fighting.
We decided that very next morning that we were gonna get through this. We were gonna take care of ourselves first because we had to still take care of our baby girls. They needed us. Don’t get me wrong, the pain is still very real. We still have our breakdowns and moments of grief, but together we help each other thru it and God is always with us. I started my blog again because I knew we were not the only parents who had to go through loss or deal with being in the NICU. That alone is a journey, moment to moment anything can change and you are left figuring it out on the sideline as you have to watch your baby struggle. It’s not easy. So I wanted The Lofty Mom to have purpose and meaning. I wanted to use this to share our story, and help support other mothers and fathers. I wanted to inspire them through our lives and share resources of help and support. I wanted to also share my artwork and passions.
During our NICU stay, I created work daily for the babies areas to be decorated and personalized for them. However I saw many babies who didn’t have that at their bedside, so I decided to create works of art with inspirational verses or quotes. I would leave them at the front desk for parents to pick and choose what they loved for them to hang up at their child’s bedside. It gave me a way to release my stress and grief. I now have started to take on personal clients to create work for their businesses and blogs. Creating has been a healing process for me, and it has given me value and purpose.
The Lofty Mom is everything. It shares our personal journey as a family, it provides resources and support, and it inspires through art and creativity. I have big ideas for my work and I’m excited to be sharing our story and hopefully will be able to add some value to your dreams thru my passions.
How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Houston has been so welcoming! I literally have been on mom duty 24/7 and have only been able to get connected through social media outlets with other women. I have great appreciation for my Latina roots and was really excited after joining The Houston Latina Bloggers Group! It is filled with entrepreneurs, bloggers, and Latinas who support one another! Thru them I have been able to build my name as an illustration artist.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
Don’t ever forget who you are and what your passions are. Being a wife and mother has given me purpose and true value to who I am as an artist and creator. Because of them I have a motivation to work hard and show them what I can do!
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
To stop. Breathe. And take it one day at a time. (I tend to overthink a lot, especially now when it comes to my girl’s protection)
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
I’m not a coffee drinker at all! So the thing that helps me through my day is drinking cold bubbly coca-cola. (sometimes maybe too much, but I LOVE my coca-cola!)