Thursday, May 24, 2012

Boys and Dirt

This was the moment that I realized that Baby Boy is becoming a little boy.






applauding his work

We go to the park, and OF COURSE, Baby Boy had to find the bare patch of grass and starts to dig a hole in the ground and play with the dirt! The baby book doesn't have a spot for "first hole in the ground", but I having a feeling this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship lots of extra laundry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Itty Bitty Baby Pool

For a few weeks, Baby Boy had an on-again-off-again runny nose. First it was a little cold, then it might have been a little too much sun, then some teething, then a vaccination. All in all, it meant that I preferred not to take him to our club pool. But meanwhile, it is SO hot here (mid-90's every day). We realized that the pool we bought this time last year thinking we could use it later on for the baby, would take too much water to fill up. So one day when M went to run some errands downtown he picked up this itty bitty baby pool. It is really small but perfect for the kiddo to splash around and cool off from the heat.


Ahhh....

We only have grass in our common area and I didn't think it was appropriate to take it out there, so we put in on our patio. Of course then Baby Boy wanted to pick at the destroyed-by-rainy-season-and-definitely-not-low-v.o.c.-floor-paint. So we put some floor tiles underneath, and Baby Boy was up to his old shenanigans.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Things that are hard about being a SAHM

*This is to counter all my rose-colored posts because I like to keep it real. I actually wrote it a couple weeks ago, but it didn't seem fitting to post right before Mother's Day. So here it is.

Being a Stay At Home Mom is a choice. I realize that, and most of the time I really do love it and am happy with my choice. But there are things that are hard. That mean that I am tired at the end of the day. That I need some time to veg. on the couch on the computer. That hanging out with a baby all day is not all it's cracked up to be.

Exhibit A- Baby Boy naps twice a day for (only!) 35 minutes.
During those precious minutes, I usually do something that I have just not been able to get done with the kiddo at my feet: pruning and changing water in our flowers, filling all the bathrooms with toilet paper, answering a long email with coherent sentences, organizing and storing clothes that don't fit anymore, and the list goes on. On bad days, I'm trying to get in a late breakfast or lunch or just get dressed!

Exhibit B- I can't go to the bathroom by myself.
Baby Boy will not stay put in any contraption, so that means he goes where I go. On an easy day he sits shredding toilet paper and I have a quick tidy in the end. On the rough ones he's figuring out how to open the trash can, use the cabinet to stand, and disassemble floor tiles.

Exhibit C- Meals are a mess. I wash Baby Boy's high chair tray 3 times a day, pick up stuff from the floor at least twice, and end up washing at least one outfit by hand every other day. Meanwhile I am mentally figuring out what food group he hasn't had yet and getting things together. If I'm lucky I get to eat too, if not see Exhibit A.

Exhibit D- Everything takes longer, but the days are still long.
Doing a short errand easily takes 3 times as long- loading Baby Boy into the car, getting there, taking him out, doing my thing, loading him back in, driving home, taking him out. And that's assuming everything is good and he's not hungry or tired or fussy. But the days last so long- diaper, feeding, playing, diaper, feeding, playing, diaper, feeding, playing, diaper, feeding, playing, diaper, feeding, playing.

Exhibit E- The guilt.
I don't think I need to elaborate much on mommy guilt. For whatever reason, I just can not ignore Baby Boy when he is fussing, can not watch TV when he's around, and feel bad if I take 10 minutes on the computer. So I end up playing with/ stimulating/ educating/ coming up with fun activities all day long (in between exhibits A, B, C, and D, of course). What can I say, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how tiring it is to play with a baby.

Exhibit F- I still get asked if I have a "real" job.
Obviously being a mom is not my career, but the insinuation that I should be doing something better with my time, that I shouldn't be wasting my intellect or that I have potential to do "so much more" is both infuriating and depressing. Furthermore, socialization as a form of intellectual stimulation for me is definitely misunderstood if not looked down upon. I take solace in the appreciative grins I get from the kiddo and try to keep my head up.


Why it's all worthwhile

The sob-fest is coming to an end. I do like my life. I am happy with my choices. But, (the ubiquitous "but""), nothing is perfect. I have mostly been content and even enjoyed the changes that have come to my life, however, there's no getting around it: the day to day grind is not easy, nor highly regarded by others. That's just how it goes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mexican Play Kitchen

The Mexican equivalent of a play kitchen...is a Taco Stand!


Just had to share this little find!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

to me and to you!

Today is Mexican Mother's Day. We are planning on celebrating on American Mother's Day, so today was a pretty normal day. Walmart, an afternoon nap (that's a pretty good gift around these parts), and a neighborhood walk.



I wanted to share this quote that I saw floating around; it's a little different and resonated with me:

Hijo es un ser que nos prestaron para un curso intensivo de como amar a alguien más que a nosotros mismos, de cómo cambiar nuestros peores defectos para darles los mejores ejemplos y de nosotros aprender a tener coraje. Ser padre o madre es el mayor acto de coraje que alguien puede tener, porque es exponerse a todo tipo de dolor, principalmente el de la incertidumbre de estar actuando correctamente y del miedo de perder algo tan amado. ¿Perder? ¿cómo? No es nuestro, ¿recuerdan? Fue apenas un préstamo”….Cierto, pero es un préstamo que llega a convertirse en el don más preciado que jamás llegamos a tener en el efímero tiempo que dure el empréstito. Un préstamo por el que damos la vida, sabiendo que hay que devolverlo. Un préstamo sin intereses, pero cuyo cuidado lleva implícito el más alto sacrificio y la defensa mas sólida! Cuida tu préstamo, muchos lo querrán, otros lo odiarán, pero para ti no tiene precio.

by José Saramago (originally in Portuguese)

Now in English:

A son is a being that we're loaned for an intensive course in how to love someone more than ourselves, in how to change our worst defects in order to give them the best examples and in ourselves learn to have courage. Being a father or mother is the greatest act of courage that one can have, because it is exposed to all types of pain, mainly in the uncertainty of acting correctly and the fear of losing something so beloved.
Losing? How? It is not ours, remember? It was just a loan...
True, but it is a loan that would become the most precious gift that we've ever had in the ephemeral time that is the loan. A loan from that which gives us life, knowing that we must return it. A loan without interest, but whose care implies the highest sacrifice and most solid defense. Look after your loan, many will want it, others will hate it, but for you it is priceless.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mr. Lounger

A couple of weeks ago Baby Boy started lounging in his stroller! Suddenly, I peak through my stroller window and the kiddo has his feet up! I don't know if it's the heat or he just feels like chillin', but as a passerby said: se ve divino (he looks divine)!



what?


hanging out


it's becoming a daily thing

Monday, May 7, 2012

Future Archaeologist?



Lately Baby Boy has been obsessed with picking at anything hole-like, and extracting dirt with his little fingers. Prime culprits have been grout lines between tiles, any dirt patch on the grass, but especially, these holes we have in the fake marble tiles on our floors. (There is no foundation in the house, so the tiles are placed right over the ground, and where the tiles disintegrates: hello dirt!) One of the unique perks for a Baby Boy in Mexico- digging inside the house!

Friday, May 4, 2012

How I have changed since becoming a mother

It has taken a solid nine months for me to realize how much change has occurred in my life. I know I have written before about motherhood, the difference in being a parent, and lots about our daily life at various stages. Now I also realize that, becoming a mother changed not just my routine and my priorities but me.



1) Focus on joy- Every day, I make a conscious effort to focus on enjoying and being present in the moment. I know that Baby Boy will not be a baby for long. I've learned that "saving" the expensive cream or delicious chocolate I got as a gift gets me nothing but expired cream and aging chocolate, but enjoying them now= joy. I try to be aware of my choices, and answer the question: what will bring me more joy? For example, watching t.v. or watching Baby Boy play? Reading a blog or writing my own? Playing on the grass or staying indoors because I'm lazy to get us dressed for the third time? I think the answers are obvious, and I must say that I have been feeling more and more like this is becoming a good habit!

2) Think less about the future- In much the same thread as above, I'm really focusing on the present and the very near future, a couple of months at a time. My guess is that for many parents this is actually the opposite as they focus on trying to provide the best for their kiddos. In our situation, however, thinking about the future only leads to question marks and fruitless worrying. I therefore try not to plan what I can not and focus on what I can, which is the now.



3) Stop talking about money (and other things students say)- Yes, we are still technically students and yes, we are still on a budget. However, I realized that talking about getting a great deal or how expensive something is in every conversation is really obnoxious. We have been and still will be students for a long while, but we are also parents and make decision based on a number of other factors. I now make a conscious effort not to talk about money unless it is relevant to the conversation.

4) Try to do small tasks right away- I try to take care of little things as soon as I think of them because if I don't, it takes me three times as long to get back to it. This means, doing laundry every day, answering emails as soon as I receive them, putting things away as soon as I notice they are not in place. I am still working on this one, as bad habits die hard, but I see so much value in OHIO (only handle it once) now that I prefer to spend my time on other things!



I think those are the main changes that I have experienced, how about you?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Random: Sharing is Caring

Usually random posts pop up when I have lots of stuff going on and not a lot of blogging time, or when I don't have much to say. But I have plenty to say for the next couple of weeks, and I'm finishing up a couple of longer posts. Nevertheless, there are a few things I wanted to share in case they may help someone out there.

1. Starting in July, Amazon purchases shipped to Texas will be charged sales tax. That's an extra 8.5% and makes me very unhappy. Combine that with the fact that I just got booted off of Prime and Amazon is looking a lot less attractive (which is too bad because it was definitely my go-to for baby related purchases). This means that I'm trying to do all of my shopping for the next 6 months or so right now. Bringing me to my next point:

2. Old news, but if you're not using Camel Camel Camel you're missing out! It is super easy to set up price watches with this site and it's what I'm using right now to finish up my shopping. But also...

3. My other go-to website is Babycheapskate.com. It is an excellent source for finding good deals on main-stream brands. I love that she also highlights good products that

4. In other news, Baby Boy is quickly approaching his first birthday. I have started trying out eggless cake recipes so that he can have his first piece of cake on the big day. So far a chocolate cake was just ok, but I found this vanilla cake recipe and it is fabulous! I think I'm going to add it to my baking notebook regardless of whether I make it for Baby Boy's birthday or not- it is just that good!

5. In other birthday discussions (we've segued into non-useful randomness), we are brainstorming a theme. Hubby suggested "bees" because the kiddo is obsessed with the bzzz sound, but I think that's sort of girly. We're debating between animal/jungle theme, and Mexican/fiesta theme since he is our Mexican boy! I think the former is winning out but I need to scour the interwebz for some inspiration before I commit.

6. One more not-useful nugget: Baby Boy is living up to his middle name: Damage. He broke his first item (the top of our water jug), almost broke his first electronic (our iHome), has figured out how to flush the toilet and open bathroom cabinets (hello baby-proofing). The kiddo is also threatening to jump off the bed/couch pretty much every day (hello mommy heart attack).


that grin...will get him far in this world...
(and forgiven by Mommy and Daddy)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Big Baby in a Bumbo

For whatever reason, the Bumbo is still hanging out in our play room. Recently, Baby Boy decided to put himself into the chair!

Here he is very proud of himself for getting in:


And now figuring out how to climb out (parents trying not to have a heart attack imagining a serious head bump):


Success! (We're breathing a sigh of relief; he's already moved on.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Feliz Dia del Nino and Happy Labor Day!

Yesterday for Children's Day we put on a new outfit, courtesy of Grandma, and went out to breakfast. Baby Boy was fascinated by the people, chomping on gorditas and flirting with the hostess! Of course I forgot to take my camera but afterward we played at home and Baby Boy enjoyed the mommy jungle gym.






For labor day, today, we did some labor! Our cleaning lady can't come for a couple of weeks so mommy and daddy are now the muchacha. I have to admit I don't miss it at all and affordable labor is one of the things I will miss most when we leave here (ok I know that's not very politically correct, but it's true). We tried to enjoy the day at the park but it was super-packed, so errands and housework it was.