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.