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!
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.
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:
Men's Cycling, us in background
waiting for the next lap
intently watching Pelota Vasca (Mommy protecting Baby Boy from air horns)
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.
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.
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!
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.