Saturday, December 31, 2011

Routine (6 months)

7:33- Baby Boy wakes up. If I'm lucky I take him out of his crib, if not then he's already in our bed by our side. He has his first milk feeding in the bedroom, a diaper change and some hanging out in our bed, until I can muster myself to go downstairs.



8:15- Baby Boy hangs out in the kitchen in his chair, or in the doorway jumper, while I make my breakfast. Then we move to the living room for some play time in the activity center and on the floor, until he seems tired.

9:15 ish - Nap

9:45/10:00- Baby Boy wakes up, has a milk feeding, and we begin our day. If I have errands to do out of the house or social gatherings then this is the time. I get us ready, which is a whole production: diaper change and "real clothes" for Baby Boy, I get dressed, I pack up the diaper bag/ stroller/ car, and we're off. If there are no plans, then we play at home: singing songs, reading books, tummy time, playing in the Bumbo etc.

12:15- A short nap.

12:45- Baby Boy is up again, has another milk feeding and hangs out while I get us some real food ready.

14:00- Time for solids, while M and I have lunch. Baby Boy joins with some fruit or vegetables, and we're happily amused to have some entertainment.



14:45- Another nap time; hopefully it's a long one.

16:00- Up again and another milk feeding. If we had been on a long walk in the morning, then we just go for a short walk around the neighborhood. Otherwise, it's time for our long walk, where I pick up a few groceries or do some other errand. Baby Boy loves staring up at the trees on the walk.

18:00- Tickle Time

18:20- Bath time: I turn on the water, M moves the full bath to the sink, while I finish undressing Baby Boy. M does bath time, while I lay out a towel, diaper and pajamas on our bed. M dries and dresses Baby Boy while I finish up some random task (collecting laundry from the dryer, or putting clothes away, or tidying our room).

18:40- When he's all set, M hands over Baby Boy for a final milk feeding in our bed. When done he gets a serious burping, I put him in the sleep sack and give him my nightly speech (Cliff notes: It's night time, everyone goes to bed at night, sweet dreams, I love you, see you in the morning). Finally Baby Boy gets put in his crib, stuffed dog in hand, and sleep sheep on.

19:00- Bed

01:00- Night feed

04:30-Night feed

*Well this was true for about a month, up until 6 months...now Baby Boy is changing things up again, and I have to re-learn how our day should go. #WEverb11 no.23- Describe something that you actively engaged in learning to do this year

Friday, December 30, 2011

One more effort

Remember, how it's been a year and a half since my wedding and I still don't have my memorabilia finished? I'm going to try to finish that one up, now. Well this week at least. I hope.
I'll report back soon.


#WEverb11 no.22- What is one thing you want to do before you bid adieu to 2011? How will you make it happen?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Back on Track

When looking back at little moments that had long consequences this year, other than the birth of Baby Boy, I first thought of my Mother-in-Law's visit. Baby Boy was 6 weeks old and M and I were struggling. After her call and offer to come, while I gladly accepted, I also finally was ready to be proactive in figuring out a routine that works for us. M and I took responsibility for ourselves, and made a renewed effort to not drown in the new baby madness.

During the visit, MIL tried to get our kitchen drawer fixed. The particleboard was completely mangled, and the rail didn't stay in place anymore. When we got it back, as she was leaving, we realized that the drawer didn't fit (by a few milimeters). For months and months we were without a silverware drawer, since this was the ONLY drawer in the whole kitchen. It sat around in our living room, waiting for us to go across town back to the carpenter who botched the job. Meanwhile, our silverware was on our windowsill. Two weeks ago we got our drawer back, but I still go to the windowsill every time I need a spoon. True story.

You may also remember our cleaning lady saga. MIL tried to help with that one as well. She talked to an employee of one of the neighbors. (I had never even seen that neighbor beforehand). She asked the young woman if she knew anyone that was looking for work. A week later, the neighbor says her babysitter's cousin needs work. And the cousin is finally the solution to our cleaning lady woes. Now that she's away for the holidays, I can't wait for her to come back. Yes getting used to help is very very easy.

And so it was a visit that changed some of our most basic routines. For the better.


#WEverb11 no.21

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Unplugging

That's what I'm doing today for the next few days. Technology is invaluable to us. It is the way we "see" family, catch up with friends at home, and share everything going on in our lives with our loved ones. It is what makes being away bearable and allows us to stay connected to the rest of the world, outside our little Mexican bubble. M and I are tech addicts; we're intermittently on the computer most of the day. We read news (daily), email (a lot), facebook (a little), upload pictures for our family (weekly), blog (me), read textbook for school (M) and skype (of course). So when I leave home on vacation, I do not take my computer and try to avoid everything but the rare email check.


#WEverb11 no.20

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tickle Time

Everyday before Baby Boy's bath time, we put him on our bed and have a little quality family time. Sometimes it involves music and dancing; other times we play with a little ball or throw the kid in the air. It ALWAYS involves laughing, and lots of it! We cuddle and tickle and make funny faces. It is one of my favorite times of the day, and I am quite sure that M and Baby Boy would agree that it's one of their favorites as well. At this point we've been doing it so long, that Baby Boy often starts laughing before we've even done anything!


A rare picture of me during tickle time (usually M takes the lead).


#WEverb11 no. 19

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Project Ferberize

When we last left off with the sleep saga, we were using Pick-up/Put-down as our main method. In short, this did not really work for us. Yes, we had gotten rid of the swaddle and pacifier but that was about it. I diligently waited for the semester to be over, so that sleep training could be a two parent ordeal. Meanwhile, I read everything and anything I could find on sleep.

I started with the gentlest method: The No-Cry Sleep Solution, and from that I took the idea to introduce a lovie- stuffed doggie, which is working well. Other than that though, I just couldn't deal with the prospect of 8 more weeks of the same. To be frank, babies change so often, that probably something would have worked in that time frame, but I couldn't attribute it to any method.

Then I checked out message boards, which use a variety of middle of the road methods. I began using this chart, as my guidelines.

On the other end of the spectrum, I read Babywise, because someone had given me a copy. Horrible book- the tone is very condescending in that since I hadn't been training Baby Boy from day one, I was obviously doomed, and it didn't give me any practical methods I could utilize at this point.

In the end I read Ferber. Finally I felt like there was some science going into this whole sleep business. I had a clear cut method laid out (waiting progressively longer between checks when baby is crying), and a chart ready to fill out. So Ferberization was about to begin.



Honestly the first day was horrendous: 2 hours of crying, then another one, and another one. We went in for checks every few minutes and meanwhile watched the drama unfold on the baby monitor. By the second day, the crying had been cut in half, and by the fourth day we had pretty much reached a reasonable rate of night wakings. Then of course, a few days later we went on vacation, and ruined the schedule so when we came back we had to start all over again.

At this point we seem to have hit a wall in that with a 7 pm bedtime, Baby Boy always wakes up around 1 am. I tried a dreamfeed around 10/11 pm when I was getting in bed, but that didn't seem to help. And tapping him over and over just disrupted my sleep even more (which was my selfish motivation for re-visiting the sleep training thing anyway). So I've basically resigned myself to 2 night feeds for now (the second one around 5 am).

*another cop-out #WEverb11 post (no.18) - re: teaching Baby Boy to sleep

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Soccer Fun Time

This year I discovered how much I really love the two boys in my life: Baby Boy and his Daddy M.





#WEverb11 no.17

Friday, December 16, 2011

Perseverance

The real deal: syringe feeding for over a month, 1 milliliter at a time, 30 or 50 or 60 per feeding, 8 or 9 or 11 times a day.

On a lighter note: I'm all caught up. #WEverb11 no.16

He Ate!!!

Baby Boy has been enthralled with us eating for a good long while now. Except a few weeks ago something changed: instead of being happy about our food, he became angry that he wasn't getting any. Every time he was at the table with us, he would grab at our food and get mad that we wouldn't let him eat it. So finally I decided to just dive right in.

I really liked the logic behind Baby Led Weaning, because if he can pick it up an chew it and swallow, well then I guess he's ready. We started with a few dry runs. Baby Boy sat with us while we ate: he got a spoon and a cup and sat in his high chair. Since that went well, I started giving him some food from my plate. Of course I didn't have big enough pieces so he could barely pick them up, but he did.

Finally I made him some food, or rather, I gave him pieces he could manage, fully expecting him to lick/ taste and not really eat anything. I was wrong! The next morning I was shocked to find out (via a dirty diaper) that Baby Boy had indeed ingested a fair amount of sweet potato!


dry run


sweet potatoes


yummy!


* I should update that breastfeeding has gone very well since the last update. At three months, suddenly nursing became a 10 minute affair, which made everything much more manageable. I could nurse in the car, anywhere, anytime and my days were finally available for planning again. At 4 months I stopped the middle of the night pumping/bottle session and at 5, I finally stopped the last night feeding pumping/bottle session, when pumping was taking longer than breastfeeding.

also, this post is going to serve doubly as #WEverb11 no. 15

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Giving myself a free pass

That's how I give myself space nowadays. Instead of worrying about the holiday decors which I haven't put together, I just sit on the couch and watch a movie, read a book, or blog (or all of the above). Instead of worrying about another dinner that I didn't make, I just whip up some guacamole and pull out the chips (yum yum). Instead of being concerned about every email I didn't reply to, I just star it and leave it for the next day (or week).

This past year I have become an expert at giving myself a free pass. Occasionally the Type A in me rears it's head, but then I remind myself that Happy Mama= Happy Baby, and being Baby Boy's Mom is my most important job right now. If everything else is not perfect so be it. There will be years to be perfect. Or maybe there won't. Right now "easy" is not a bad word, so I'm embracing it. Also, I wonder if I am a reformed Type A? How does that work?

#WEverb11 no.14

Our Daily Walks

Baby Boy and I take a walk every single day. Sometimes we go to Blockbuster or the supermarket, other times we just walk down the path and back up, and still others we go into the residential streets. I have a mostly-love relationship with our walks. I love them because I really do enjoy walking: taking the time to be outside and using my body as a form of mild exercise. Sometimes though, I really want to veg on the couch, but my kiddo gets whiny inside the house and I reluctantly take him out just to avoid having to play entertainment committee. Cop out parenting: guilty as charged.



#WEverb11 no.12

Baby Led Weaning

M and I eat a pretty healthy diet. I don't follow any specific protocols, but I do have an intense aversion to food produced in a factory. Basically, if it comes from nature, or was made in the "olden-days" (i.e. can be made manually), I'll eat it. Otherwise, I'm not a fan. This means that we exclude a lot of processed goods- corn syrup, powdered soups, things made with milk solids instead of cheese, margarine etc. This is why I was so adamant about breastfeeding, and avoiding formula.



I make most of my parenting decisions intuitively, but I like if there's research behind it. So of course when I came across the notion of Baby Led Weaning, I was all about it. I do believe that children were made to feed themselves from the day they were born. Therefore, there's no reason that we need to stop this process and begin feeding them once they are ready for solids. So I picked up the book to read up a little more.

As I was reading it, I had a lot of "duh" moments, which is good because the whole thing really made a lot of sense to me. In short, when a baby can sit up, pick up a piece of food, and put it in their mouths (plus eventually chew and swallow) then they are ready for solids, and can begin feeding themselves (in addition to milk feedings). These abilities also coincide with the time at which a baby's digestive system is ready to consume other foods. The book was a little wordy, but I'm glad to have it as a reference for ideas of what to feed Baby Boy.


*and this post is going to double as an answer to #WEverb11 no.13

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In 2012 I will

I'm going to take the liberty to make this a list of 10 rather than 12, cuz that's what I do. In case you haven't noticed I'm taking a lot of liberty with the WEverb11 prompts- trying to keep it interesting and more my style, and keeping up with the topics I would normally blog about. PS I was never very good at following directions...

In 2012 I will...
1. Refresh my travel blog
2. Learn to play one song on the guitar
3. Cook Friday night dinner every week
4. Host an event (baby shower?)
5. Make fondant from scratch
6. Learn how to photograph on manual
7. Finish my trip photo albums
8. Continue improving my Spanish
9. Devote time to crafting
10. Read non-baby books (12)

#WEverb11 no.11

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In Review

A couple of years ago I started making a list of 10 goals for the year. So here's my report card re: my 2011 goals.

1. Get a new credit card- PASS: researched and decided to hold off for now
2. Get a new passport- COMPLETE: actually had to get 2 since I couldn't get the new one in time and had to get a temporary one in between
3. Have a baby- COMPLETE: and I started a blog about the little bugger :)
4. Work out regularly- PASS: not perfect but not too shabby considering I was a big preggo for much of the year
5. Learn to use yeast (cinnamon rolls)- COMPLETE: they came out sooooo good! I used this recipe and while not an expert, my fear of yeast is pretty much gone. (this one also covers the topic of this WEverb11 post)
6. Improve Spanish- PASS: still lots to work on, but at least in terms of baby lingo I made leaps and bounds
7. Learn to drive a standard car- FAIL: I had one "lesson" and then never continued; I might have to move this to the 2012 list
8. Make a pizza from scratch- COMPLETE: several times, actually! I still need to find a better dough recipe but my homemade sauce is right on IMO.
9. Finish wedding memorabilia (album, framed pictures, scrapbook)- FAIL: but I still have a couple weeks to try to squeak this one out, right?
10. Strengthen my relationships (friends, family, husband, self)- PASS: this is never-ending of course, but I do feel I made significant efforts this past year.

#WEverb11 no.10

Monday, December 12, 2011

30 minutes in the morning

Having a baby make you appreciate the little things. Baby Boy wakes up at 7:30 every single day, without fail. Staying up late, crying, no matter- the kid is like an alarm clock. And when M picks him up and takes him away for a little bit. I could not be more appreciative. Love this guy!

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#WEverb11 no.9

Sunday, December 11, 2011

To keep doing the things I love

Everyday I make choices, how to spend my time, what activities to do with Little Noni and so on. Overall, I feel that Baby Boy has made me more conscious of the decisions I make regarding everything from feeding our family and other practical matters, to my attitude and demeanor. However, one of the biggest choices I keep making over and over, is to prioritize the joy in my life, and to do the things I love. One of my favorite things is travel, and I have not let motherhood interfere with that. Rather, I have embraced it as a new adventure. It's not life or death, but it is choosing to Live.

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#WEverb 11 no.8

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Travel and the beach again

If you read this blog, then you know I traveled a lot in 2011. So instead of recounting my trips to Chile, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Houston, and around Mexico, here are a few pictures of our latest beach adventure:

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So much fun!



#WEverb11 no.7

Friday, December 9, 2011

Now

My year in review:
January- Chile & Argentina, Baby Boy Reveal
February- San Francisco
March- I don't remember...baby brain?
April- Boston & New York
May- Baby Showers
June- Baby Boy Arrives
July- OMG I'm a parent
August- daze...
September- the beach..coming out of the daze...
October- Houston & Panamerican Games
November- I've got this down (sort of) :)
December- bliss-full vacation at home with the hubby, exploring the city, enjoying a babbling Baby Boy who is so full of personality it kills me, relaxing at the beach, looking forward to 2012.

The best month of the year is definitely NOW.

#WEverb11 no. 6

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Still Working on It

Mostly I love moving. I like discovering new places, experiencing new activities and food and the ubiquitous "culture". But anyone who has moved more than a couple times in their life will inevitably tell you the same thing: it's hard to make real friends.

It's not too hard to "meet people", or even to make superficial friendships. The first semester we arrived here I made friends with a bunch of exchange students. A year and a half later, they've all gone back to their respective countries, and the friendships have been demoted to facebook only.

I feel lucky that there's a Wive Club here in Guad. In many ways, it has enabled me to connect with a lot of really nice girls, that are in the same situation as I am: in Mexico, away from family, living the schedule of a student, and not really able to work. I'm grateful for the companionship, the support of well versed mothers, and opportunity to connect and discover together. At this point though, I'm not sure of the destiny of these friendships. Still working on it...

#WEverb11 no. 5

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Haiku

Expecting a lull
A well deserved vacation
For us and baby

(*To be more literal: I might not post for a couple days)


#WEverb11 no.4

Monday, December 5, 2011

Arrhythmia

When I asked hubby to throw out a word that reflects 2011 that's what he said. Then of course he reverted and said he needed to think about it- the whole year? he didn't know. But I think his first choice was right on. We never entered a steady rhythm this past year. We started with a long trip to Chile, that ended in a pregnancy reveal. We went to Boston in April to freeze our butts off (who does that willingly?). And we had a kid. If that doesn't mess with your zen, you must be a superhero. To top it off M had a craaaazy semester, made more crazy by aforementioned kid. But somehow we made it through. And by "we" I mean "he" (although anyone married to a medical student knows that it's a family affair).

And then there was the real arrhythmia. We don't usually get sick, but living in Mexico comes with its own set of risks and food poisoning of various forms lies near the top. Just before our last trip to the States, M and I were hit with Medusa's revenge. Within a few days I was ok, but M was still feeling her wrath a few weeks later and hit up a GI doc. Long story short, doc thought it was an ameoba, it wasn't and went away on it's own, but thought he heard an arrhythmia. M had the whole shabang of tests done, and it the end the diagnosis was too much coffee. Now that he's on a decaf regimen he can sort of empathize with old me. Oh the circle of life.

And that was a round-about way to say that my lesson learned: sometimes the steady beat just doesn't jive (esp. when kids are involved) and that's a-ok.


#WEverb no.3

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Brazilian Music

Music is dancing for Baby Boy. As I don't drive much, nor wake up to my ipod or radio anymore, the only time I listen to a lot of music is with Baby Boy. Often time in the evenings, I'm too tired to play on the floor with the kid. But putting on music, and dancing/cooking or dancing/folding laundry or just plain dancing, I can do. Baby Boy loves happy upbeat music and Latin music tends to be a happy fit. Early this year, M and I went to a concert of two Brazilian stars and it was pretty fabulous. So how fitting that Baby Boy loves it; perhaps he heard it in the womb. So not a song, but a genre.

#WEverb11 no.2

Saturday, December 3, 2011

One Word

for 2011- Life. I quite literally grew a life, a whole human and brought his cuteness to this world. In that moment, he also changed my life. He brought new meaning, purpose and thrill to every single day since then. I am more alive than I have ever been, more aware of the lives around me, and in the world at large. When he smiles I can't hold back my grin; when he cries I feel his pain. And I will never be the same again, for the rest of my life.

And another one for 2012: Comfort. We're entering year number three in Mexico. I wish for myself to feel entirely comfortable in my environment, the language that surrounds me, my role as a wife and as a mother. I can see it coming together, little by little.


#WEverb11 no.1

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bloggity Blogging

So I'm feeling a bit reflective, like I want to write something- but all these half-written posts stare back at me, and then I just revert to a few pictures and call it a day. So I'm going to attempt to post for WEverb11. But in typical Mexican maƱana-time I'm going to start late, and probably just be late with several posts, but maybe not. Hopefully this will get my blogging juices flowing again.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Went

Thanksgiving dinner was pretty great. We gave Baby Boy his bath, and put him in pajamas and a sleep sack, and then got prettied up ourselves. We left the house pretty late, and then there was a TON of traffic, but we still made it with plenty of time to spare. We met some friends there, and sat with a few other couples. The food was far from good- the vegetarian option was a really bad lasagna, but the wine was drinkable. And it was really loud, but Baby Boy still fell asleep in his stroller. The best part: a couple guys we met watched our kid so that we could go out on the dance floor for a short while! So it was a good night.*


(us before we left)


* I couldn't help but thinking that last year we didn't go because I was so tired and nauseous, and now we came with our 5 month old! Amazing what a difference a year makes!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another Awesome Visit

My Grandmother, Baby Boy's Great-Grandmother, came all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to visit the kid; lucky bugger. We had a great relaxed visit, stroll(er)ing around town, visiting the Centro Historico, hitting up the malls and generally enjoying each others' company. That is all.



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Friday, November 25, 2011

Five Months

This month began with a giggle; it was not just a squeal or silent laugh, but a true giggle, one that sounded exactly like your giggle toy. It was the sweetest sound we could ever imagine! And as the month progressed it only got louder, more frequent and less held back. It is like you can't contain your happiness anymore, it just has to burst out!



You still eat all toys, love clapping, snapping, singing, dancing and in general being showered with attention. You also complain when said attention is lacking. You LOVE your daily walks, and especially love going out and sitting on our laps so that you can see all the big people and excitement going on around you.

Your constant interest in everything means that you don't really want to sleep anymore, especially during the day. After a short twenty minutes you lift your head up and start looking around for someone to save you from your crib.



You have figured out cause and effect: you now know to shake the rattles to get them to make noise, kick your piano for sound, splash in the water and bang the giraffe toy to get a squeak, and you delight in the results of your efforts.

And of course, your biggest milestone this month was rolling over, not by accident but with intention. It seems like after a couple weeks of fussiness (teething, growing, learning), overnight you became a big kid. You can almost sit on your own; you have a running commentary over every activity, you became Loud, and you are ready to be the real king of the house.



Mommy and Daddy are enamored with your every squeal (even though you still don't let us sleep at night) and we are so excited for what's to come! We love you beyond words!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Will We Go?

That is the question, my friends.

Last year we were supposed to go to the med school Thanksgiving dinner. We didn't go. I was recently pregnant, and it was the end of the semester and M just wanted to leave already.

Pros: Dinner, with no cooking on my part & open bar.
Cons: Dinner, much later than usual & Baby Boy sleep routine ruined.

It's a toss-up.

On a happy note: This year I am thankful for the men in my life: the little man, that has made me a better person, and the big man, that is a wonderful and supporting husband and daddy!



HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Panamerican Games

The last two weeks of October, the Panamerican Games were in town. There was commotion, but not too much because a lot of locals left town. There was traffic, but not too much because schools were closed and there was no carpool. There was excitement, but not too much because it's not the Olympics. Still, it was a fun time. We saw the Men's Cycling and Pelota Vasca. Here's a glance:

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Men's Cycling, us in background

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waiting for the next lap

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entering venue

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intently watching Pelota Vasca (Mommy protecting Baby Boy from air horns)

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in action

Monday, November 21, 2011

STUFF: Day

Ok, this is the last of the series for now. Things to survive day-time with a little baby, just the necessities.

A chair- A.K.A. somewhere to put the baby. We have the FP Infant to Toddler Rocker and it has been a life-saver. The nice thing is that we could use it pretty much right away, and it was invaluable as a "put the baby close to me while I shower" chair in the early days. Now that he's bigger, the kiddo has figured out how to make himself rock and it's awesome.



A carrier- because unless you have a full-time maid, sometimes you need 2 hands to get stuff done around the house. Up to 3/4 months we used the Moby, which I LOVED. It keeps the baby nice and close; he slept while I did stuff, and it was a lot nicer than the stroller when he was a tiny little thing. Now we use the ERGObaby carrier, which I also love. The most important feature is the hip belt that takes the weight off your shoulders. (For reference we do have a Bjorn type carrier with no hip belt and I could only use comfortably it for very short periods of time).

Stroller- because you won't always want to carry the baby on you. Good for walks- from around 2 months the kid became very interested in trees/nature, and so he has his own seat at restaurants before he can sit up (personally I'm not a fan of carseat on the chair/table contraption). We use ours - the Baby Jogger City Mini- every day! Decide what features are important and go from there. In our case I need big wheels for the crazy Mexican side walks, a big sun canopy for the Mexican sun, and relatively light-weight stroller because pushing a baby up a hill is work enough.



Car seat- Check the ratings and choose one you like. Install before Baby comes home from the hospital. We have the The First Years True Fit C670 Premier Convertible Car Seat and have been happy with it. If you are going to be driving a lot, I would suggest an infant car seat that can be removed. Even though it is very heavy to carry around, sometimes it can be useful to take out Baby + seat.

Fabric- burp cloths, wash cloths, blankets. You're going to be wiping lots of drool, spit-up etc, plus Baby is going to go on the floor a lot, and you want to be able to layer to keep Baby warm easily. So you want lots of these. We have about 15, 12, and 8, respectively, plus the 8 swaddle blankets I already mentioned, which can also be used as burp rags/nursing covers/blankets. I think you can probably do with a little less, maybe 12, 8 and 6, and still not have to do lots of laundry but as you know variety is the spice of life.

Playmat- We have two: the Baby Einstein Neptune Ocean Adventure play gym, and the FP Discover 'N' Grow Kick & Play Piano Gym. Our kid loves the latter- the piano is awesome. I would say from about 2 months on, this has been a life-saver in that I can leave him playing for a few minutes and he is totally entertained! Also, foam pads if you have tile floors like we do. Playing on the floor is a must for letting Baby explore.



Books- Mostly for your own sanity, I would get several. We read every day and the older he gets the more Baby Boy enjoys the books. Even though you can technically read a baby "anything" just so that pick up on words, sentence structure and language fundamentals, children's books with colorful drawings seem to keep his attention best.

Toys- there are a lot of options out there, choose what you like. Our one stand out toy that Baby Boy really loved from about 6 weeks on and is still totally enthralled with is the Lamaze Jacques the Peacock.

Monitor- I would throw this in as an optional item. I use ours very infrequently since our house is not that big, but I will set it up for nap time if I need to be on a different floor and there's noise to the point I might not hear the kid.

That concludes my series of STUFF. The rest of the posts can be found here:
Night Stuff
Clothes
Breastfeeding Supplies
Diapering (cloth)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random

Project Go Back to Sleep is still in progress. The good news is that the kid goes to bed at 7 pm and gets up at 7:30 am. The bad news is that he's up 3-4 times during that time period. I have talked to everybody and their mother about it. There are a few suggestions I still need to try out. If anything works I'll be writing about it.

Pizza is not a vegetable
. I like pizza; I will even tell you that it's pretty nutritious (cheese and bread complete each other to make a more complete protein, like meat almost). And it is yummy. But seriously, this kind of lobby shenanigan annoys me, a lot.

I LOVE the weather
here in November. 75 and sunny, with perfect blue sky every single day. Lots of time outside= not lots of time blogging. Sorry.

The Panamerican Games were it town. I should write a post about it, but it might take a while. See above ^.

Our cleaning lady fiasco continues. The latest candidate didn't do a few tasks and left 45 minutes early. I've lost track of how many we've tried.

It is the end of the semester. The hubster has some major exams. I am trying to see lots of friends now. Why? Because we are staying in town for the holidays! This is only the second time that we will not go Northward during break. (The first was to give birth). I'm afraid I might be bored with a lot of people gone and M busy with studying, but it should ok.

And finally:
We buy lots of Groupons. Well maybe not lots, but we've bought a few. $1.50 for a movie ticket; $1 for a Yogenfruz; $3 for a pizza. Our latest: all inclusive beach resort!!! So even though we're not flying home, we do have vacation coming up!

More posts and pictures coming soon...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Project Go Back to Sleep

I think our Baby Boy reads parenting books, because somehow right when he turned 4 months began his "4 month sleep regression". To be fair, the kid got some vaccinations that made him not 100%. This pretty much coincided with a crazy growth spurt, and some major drooly-bitey teething. All these things, coupled with the fact that Baby Boy was recently moved to his own crib (albeit still in our room), and decided he did not want to be swaddled any more, made for a few craaaaazy loooooong nights. We tried the pacifier, we tried swaddling only one arm, or only the legs, but the kid would not sleep. By "would not sleep" I mean up every 1-2 hours all night long.



So we decided it was time for some mild sleep training of sorts. Knowing that Baby Boy just gets more and more riled up the longer he cries we didn't want a full-on cry it out method. We were however, committed to doing something to get him at least back to the status quo (5 hours + 3 hours, for the main portion of the night). Our goals were this:

1) Baby Boy sleeps in his crib all night
2) Maximum 2 night feedings
3) Baby Boy goes back to sleep on his own

and the advanced goal is:

4) Baby Boy has new early bed-time (and all of the above goals are still being met).

Our chosen method was letting him cry for 5 minutes before picking him up. We would then calm him down and put him right back down to sleep. The first 3 nights were a nightmare. The first one in particular he was up every couple of hours crying. A couple times it took 20 minutes to get him asleep, but most of the time in about 10 he was out (that is one pick-up/put-down).

On the second and third nights we let him sleep part of the time in our bed because we just NEEDED to SLEEP. But he only got up about 2-3 times once he was in the crib, so it was already an improvement. We realized, however, that at the moment it was not worth it to fight with him about the early bed-time. (He would fuss from about 8pm to 10pm, which was his old bed time). So we would continue with more naps, and first make sure he knew how to fall asleep on his own, in the sleep sack, and not get up for feedings multiple times a night. We also noticed that he was just "snacking", so I decided that before 5 hours passed he would not get a feeding.

Yesterday, for the first time since Baby Boy was born, he was in bed at 7pm and I watched a MOVIE with my HUSBAND on the couch with a glass of WINE in hand. That, my friends, is progress! (and motivation to stick with it!) I can say that at this point Baby Boy is sleeping in his crib, but that's about it. He had 3 feedings and is still taking a while to go back to sleep on his own, but we're working on it. You can be sure that I WILL update when we have this figured out.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

His First Halloween

So I'm totally behind on posting about some other stuff, but who doesn't want to see pictures of a baby dressed up, right Mamas?


at the halloween party: candy-eating skeleton (eying the candy)


halloween by day : pumpkin




halloween by night: tired pumpkin


the calabaza greeting trick or treaters

Friday, October 28, 2011

Four Months

You started this month with a finger up your nose! Your hands are a source of great amusement now: your fists go in your mouth, you're able to grab toys and especially rags, you hold one hand with the other, you slap them down to make the rocking chair move or the water in the tub splash. It really is amazing to see how many uses they have!



This month you became "smart". Sometimes you fuss just to get us to come over to you, and once we arrive a big grin emerges. You gear up for your non-serious cries scrunching your whole face before letting out a scream. Now we have to reconsider letting you fuss for a bit.

We can usually get a smile out of you pretty easily. Your favorite sounds we make include pach-pach, blub-blub, click-click and imitating your happy sound u-gue. Also, clapping and snapping. You love getting kisses and will open your arms wide when prompted for a hug. You're so snuggly it's unbelievable. And that huge grin will often turn into a squeal of delight.



Everything goes in your mouth now. It is no longer just your thumb, or a rag, but every single item that is close enough to grab and push into your mouth goes in: it can be your Mommy's wrist, a stuffed animal, or a frustrating attempt at a ball. You are non-discriminatory when it comes to the pacifier, will try to suck it back up when it falls out (sometimes with success), and you can cry with it now. So long for pacifying.

You are still totally interested in the world- seeing every day activities, visiting with people, staring up at the trees you just LOVE, and being carried around so that you can look around. If you had it your way, we would just do that all day. So while you can lift your head really well now, you get annoyed on your tummy which blocks your world view, and that ubiquitous roll-over is coming on.



Fun games: staring at the mirror, anytime, anywhere and seeing us in the mirror; playing with a rag; watching us eat or brush our teeth, but especially eat.

Mommy and Daddy must be rocking some ESP because we both let you smell chocolate. We are your biggest fans, constantly cheering you on, clapping and dancing for you, and showering you with double kisses. All we ask for in return is that huge grin and twinkling eyes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

STUFF: Clothes

My recommendations are based on 3 loads of laundry a week (one lights, one darks, one gentle) because we do the baby laundry together with ours, but obviously you could do with less. We live in a temperate climate so our needs are similar year-round. Obviously you will want to adjust for quantities depending on your needs.

Jammies- these are the best! You want to make sure they are one-piece and footed, so that middle of the night diaper changes are as easy as possible (nothing to pull over the head/ figure out legs in right places when it's dark) and baby stays nice and warm, 7 per size.



Onesies (bodysuits)- so this is what the whole baby wardrobe is based on. You will change multiple outfits a day because of bodily fluids. I would say about half long sleeve and half short sleeve because even in the summer small babies need to be kept warm (especially if you have AC), 14 per size.

Pants- they keep baby warm, but you won't always use them. The footed cotton ones make your life so easy because don't have to mess with socks, 5 per size.

Nice outfits- these include nice little button down shirts, or jeans, or some other impractical outfit. They are a pain to put on, so not very practical, but still nice to have around, 2 outfits per size. (Most likely you will be gifted these, so don't worry about buying them yourself).



Socks- several, especially if you get lots of pants that aren't footed. They are a pain, but at least they look cute and keep baby toes warm.

Hats- several, brimmed for the sun, caps for the cold.

Bibs- your call. I find them useless because the kid will inevitably spit up on his outfit anyway, but maybe for later on.

Other- sweaters and jackets for cold weather, bathing suit (swim diaper) for the summer, rompers (they look cute).

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Return

Coming back to Mexico was great, in many ways. Mostly because flying with another adult made the trip SO much easier. Our last few days in the States were super fun because Daddy/Hubby M joined us. (And everything is just better together!) We had a great little busy weekend with lots of visits and friends (and packing). So even though we had the usual stress of way too much luggage to pack, and somehow I always find myself writing thank you notes just before we leave (because the mail in Mexico doesn't work), it was a crazy rush.



It rained. Did you know there was a drought in Texas? So obviously on our very last day, when I still need to run to Target one more time, and buy a few more jammies for our Baby Boy, it was pouring! and flooding! and NO ONE could complain! We drove in the rain to the airport, arrived with plenty of time to go through the motions with the machine check-in, even though it does not work for infant luggage (which is free BTW), and eventually get some human help to send us on our way.

The trip was a success. I completed one goal- to drink a pumpkin spice latte. How is it possible that I grew up in New England and never had one before? Regardless, it was delish! I didn't do so well on my goal to leave Baby Boy for more than an hour; actually I failed at it. BUT, soon! I WILL do it! We got to see lots of people, found out more friends are expecting (bringing the total to 7 babies on the way- insane, right?), and I didn't cook anything for 2 weeks- that was fun!

Since we've been back, I've unpacked 250 lbs of luggage (4 bags of 50 lbs + 2 carry-ons + 2 personal items). We have a lot more toys and books now, so I can keep myself entertained. And I am reading like crazy: sleep training, starting solids, potty training- I will be prepared, kind of.

(excuse the blurriness, our good camera was lost in the luggage mess,
but I think you get the idea)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Motherhood

Someone on facebook posted this status not too long ago, and for some reason I was compelled to save it.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

I think that's what a lot of life is all about. Sometime you have to jump right in and see where the road takes you. That's how I feel about motherhood. I was concerned about things like sleep deprivation. Would I be able to function? Would I be able to take care of the baby? Would I have the energy to talk talk talk, all day long, to someone who can't reply? to teach and nurture? and to still love? And what I've discovered is exactly why that status struck a note with me.
I DO have the energy, the patience, the desire to do my absolute best for this kid. To not fail him, I will do whatever it is that I should (or think I should) be doing. And not only that, I do it with renewed vigor every.single.day. I feel like I am the lucky one and would be a fool not to take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity: to be Baby Boy's momma. In short, I feel like I am my best self.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

STUFF: Night

So part II in my STUFF series, things for getting ready for bed. I think a lot of brands are personal preference, but I did mention specific items that we've really loved.

Baby Bath
- Yes, you can shower with a baby. But you might find that little baby of yours licking up water, like ours did. So a small bath, or at the very least some type of mesh insert to put in a tub (if you are lucky enough to have one) is a must. Also one bottle of baby shampoo/body wash (not necessary, but probably good to have).



Swaddle blankets- We still swaddle every night! At the beginning it was a must because Baby Boy's hands would flail and wake him up. Now he still loves feeling bundled and sleeps a lot better with the swaddle. We love the Aden and Anais blankets for our summer baby, but again lots of types to choose from. Also regular blankets to put over the swaddle if it gets cold.

Cloud B Sleep Sheep- White noise was a big one for us, especially the first 3 months. After a while you get really tired of saying shhhhhh, over and over. This sheep is really cute, and we personally use the wave sounds to get Baby Boy to fall asleep.

Pacifiers- maybe you'll use them, maybe you won't. We only caved at around 2 months and Baby Boy just loves them and the sucking really soothes him. We've used Avent Soothies, Mam, and Nuk all successfully, but some kids are more picky.



Nightlight- because Baby will need to eat in the middle of the night...

Nosefrida- a contraption to suck out boggers. A lot better than the bulb if you have a snotty baby. We would always "de-boggify" before bed because young babies can only breathe through their nose, not their mouths.

A bed/crib- we used a twin bed stuck between our bed and the wall. This has made checking on the baby at night super easy (and we already had the bed, so it was free). Otherwise just get a crib.


(the far left is Baby Boy's bed, you can also spot the sleep sheep upside down)