Wednesday, October 31, 2012

16 Months!

This month was all about communication! You want to talk so bad, but can't quite figure out how to get those sounds coming out right. We still understand a lot of what you say though.  Your biggest verbal success has been adding "gras"- gracias! It's a good one! Our other favorite has to be nodding "yes". It makes questions on our end a lot more satisfying when we get a response.

You been signing really well, real signs and other ones you picked up from songs and just watching us. Some of your favorites are arms spread out to signify "airplane" (a surprising amount fly over our house and you have made us very aware of this), hands by your tilted head to signify "sleep" (love that you understand what nap/bed time are all about), and two arms up by your ears for "goal" (you still love, love, love playing soccer).


Another success is that you're finally using the potty sign to signify "potty"! A majority of the times, it still comes too late, and when you get to the potty you point at your diaper to say "I already went". But usually we can get a couple of catches every day! We make a very big deal out of it, and even though we know it is a process that will probably take a few more months to perfect, it is so nice to see you making advances.

Physically you keep getting bigger, taller, stronger and more agile. You can officially dribble the ball- keep kicking it in motion without stopping to reset. You want to jump really badly, but end up just moving your feet in place really fast or getting "stuck" in the knees-bent position. And you love to accelerate when there's something worth the effort.


A few more notes: You love blocks and stack them really well. You are still a nature/stick/dirt/rock/bug lover. You like to pick out your own food from an open fridge. You had cereal with milk for the first time, and are starting to eat meat (I think the teeth help). You're up to 8 teeth. And you can feed yourself really well with a spoon (things like rice, and barely any ends up on the floor). One more sign to end: you have been blowing kisses and figured out how to pucker your lips to make an actual kiss sound. It is so adorable and just one of the many reasons we love you and can't get enough of your little shenanigans.

Monday, October 29, 2012

First Trip to the Zoo!

Our first trip to the zoo was a huge success! The place was huge and really nicely landscaped; there was lots to look at in all directions. Little Boy loved looking at the animals. The monkeys especially got up close and personal, much to M's chagrin. We didn't get a ton of pictures between taking the kiddo in and out of the stroller so that he could see, managing water and snacks, and trying to see as much as we could before lunch/nap time. We ended our visit with a train ride back to the park entrance and little family picnic. I'm glad we waited until Little Boy was a little older to go and we will most definitely be back!

With the flamingos

super interested

Checking out the lions

lions

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Great Double Stroller Conundrum

The absolute first thing I started researching when we found out about Baby Boy 2 was double strollers. Let me preface the discussion with this: I use my stroller every.single.day for at least an hour a day. We are lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where I can do most of my errands, lots of exercise and a huge variety of park visits within a short walking distance. This means that I don't really need to drive much other than for larger grocery trips, visiting friends that are a bit farther, or some of Baby Boy's classes. With that being said, my main criteria for a stroller:

1- Can easily go up curbs and handle bumpy Mexican sidewalks
2- Huge sunshade because it's sunny all year round
3- Can fit through doorways pretty easily

Additional features I would love:

4- Not too heavy (for lifting up staircases or into the car by myself)
5- Easy fold (because this has proven invaluable when Baby Boy couldn't yet stand)
6- Works for an infant (because I don't really want to deal with a car seat contraption)

With those features in mind, I started looking for a side by side stroller. This preference over a tandem has to do with no.1 going more easily up curbs, no.6 working for an infant, and just my general impression that it will be easier to use for two kiddos that are pretty close in age.

My finalists (they all work with a newborn, so here are the other 5 criteria broken down):


Baby Jogger City Mini Double GT
Pros:
One handed fold!
Lighter at 32 lbs
Excellent sunshade
Also, we love our City Mini and there's something to be said for brand loyalty!
Cons:
Smallest wheels at 8.5"
Neutral:
29.5" wide


Mountain Buggy Duet
Pros:
Only 25" wide!
10" wheels should help with the bumps!
Cons:
34 lbs!
Two handed fold
Sunshade just ok
It's a newer stroller and I feel like they haven't gotten the kinks out yet.


Bugaboo Indie Twin
Pros:
Good sunshade
Seems really well made.
Cons:
34 lbs!
Two handed fold
Neutral:
29" width
12" tires- can definitely handle bumps but might be too big for our city purposes?


We haven't made any decision yet, but hopefully we'll be able to check them out in person before we have to make our final decision!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Second Time Around: The Second Trimester- Part 1


Here's a run down of symptoms that have popped up in the second trimester. All of them are cumulative, for better and for worse.

Week 14- Can't lie on back. I was starting to feel shortness of breath in the first trimester and now I really can't lie flat on my back for more than a couple of minutes. With BB1, this didn't kick in until maybe the last month before delivery so this is kind of a bummer.

Week 15- Reflux started up. It's still not that bad but I need to cut out onions and a lot of citrus in order to be comfortable.

Week 16- Bad mood Fridays. Last time around, I commented that pregnancy just put me in a bad mood. This time I was able to note when it started. It generally hits worst in the evenings and weekends when I am tired and bored. Remedy: naps and staying busy.

Week 17- Almost daily naps. When Baby Boy goes down for his nap, I veg out on the couch and, more days than not, have myself a short little nap, long enough to rejuvenate me to finish out the day.

Week 18- First movements. Early in this week, or maybe the end of the last I started feeling my little swimmer in the late evenings before bed. Happy!

Week 19- Starting to get random strangers asking about the pregnancy, guess the bump is a-growing.

Week 20- I was a rebel and ate sushi! Yum! Also lots of round ligament pain. Oh, let's add soft-serve to the rebel list too.

Week 21- Lots of stomach stretching, reflux when I bend down, feeling more lazy. I still have energy but if feels more cumbersome to get tasks done. I know this just the beginning though!


22 Weeks

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 2012 Week 3


This week I decided to not worry about using my camera. The most important thing is that we are all healthy and that I am documenting little moments of our life. We only have a few short months left as a family of three and I want to be sure I'm not missing anything (especially since I still have the energy to enjoy it)! So with that said, here we go:

15- Accomplishment- We've been working on stacking blocks ever since we came home with a new Jenga set from the tianguis (market) last week. This was the first and only time the kiddo stacked 6 blocks. We think it was pretty much a fluke but we are still very proud of the munchkin!



16- Edible- This was our dinner: lentil and rice enchiladas. I find it a lot of work, but at least it makes a large dish that lasts us for a few meals. And it's yummy!



17- Shadow- This would be me a 21 weeks and change. I have been horrible about taking bump pics this time around, so another one of these will do.



18- Corner- This is the corner of our patio with our water bridge contraption. Little Boy loves playing out here and would stay for hours on end if we let him. Favorite accessories include: a baby wash bottle, a funnel, a cup and a sponge. His favorite, is when I leave the water running for him!



19- Noise- If you don't realize this is noise, you have obviously never heard wooden blocks being thrown into a metal tin. Over and over and over again.



20- Nature- We are outside a lot, but I am super proud of our little potted plants indoors because for the first time (ever pretty much), they are thriving under my care. All these flowers bloomed in the past week! The thing that help a lot, I think, is that we've decided to "go Montessori" and give the kiddo real tasks to help out around the house; one of them includes watering the plants.



21- Air- We went out for brunch this morning, and while we sat inside, I was thinking how pretty these lights would be with a bit of swinging from a gust of air.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Luxury Baby Items

I use the term luxury to refer to items that I don't think are absolutely necessary in our case. They are not necessarily expensive or extremely high quality.
In no particular order:

The Snugabunny Swing- We didn't have a swing with BB1 but many nights I was a human swing. With two boys around an extra pair of "hands" might come in useful. In Mexico these cost an arm and a leg though, so unless I find a used one or we have room in our luggage to bring one back, this might not happen.

Glider- I didn't have one for BB1 and obviously I survived. During the day I have no problem sitting on the couch. At night though, I was not comfortable nursing in bed. Inevitable I would end up sitting at a desk chair which was less than ideal. Definitely something I need to consider.

ErbaOrganics Baby Body Wash- The smell of this is heavenly. The price, not so much. We got a sample size as a gift for BB1 and I dream about getting more. Thinking about it...

Baby Bjorn Babysitter Bouncer- I would love to do a minimal amount of moving around baby gear when I am home with both kiddos on my own. So while I absolutely love the Infant to Toddler rocker that we got for BB1, I would love this nifty addition, so that I could keep one on each floor.

Wabbanub pacifier- I don't know if BB2 will also have a strong suck reflex like his older brother, but apparently there is a genetic component. I would like to give pacifiers another go this time around and hopefully prevent having to wean two boys off their thumbs.

Pottery Barn hooded towel- Necessary? probably not. But I have heard great things about these, and the two towels we had for BB1 are not in the best shape, at least appearance wise. I actually doubt I will end up buying these.


Let's be honest, I do hope we have the funds/luggage space to buy most of these. But I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Flowers and a Sukkah

A couple of weeks ago we made our yearly sukkah. Baby Boy came with us to the flower market and we picked out some palms for our roof. Of course the process was way too fast to be called an excursion, so we took a little walk around the block for good measure. Then we came home and the kiddo helped us build and decorate. He was both scared and fascinated by the lights. The rest of the week we enjoyed many meals outside and some fun family time.

Got a straw out
On our walk

Daddy's little helper


In the finished product

Monday, October 15, 2012

October 2012 Week 2

This week was one of the roughest we have had in such a long time. Baby Boy got a very high fever and what turned out to be a throat infection. To top it off, he also got another tooth, so it hurt him to chew and swallow. Less food= less energy= more whining= more being picked up by Mommy=more back aches for me. Things seem to be picking up, but we're still not completely out of the woods. So this week will be some more iPhone pics.

8- Close-up- Poor Baby Boy was so sick and feverish, he just wanted to be held all day.


9- Upside down- We went outside for a bit of fresh air but Baby Boy, as usual, wanted to get out of the stroller. He was too weak though to run around so he just stood there. As sad as this picture makes me (you can tell he lost some weight), I love that you can see that he is sucking his thumb through the shadow.


10- Favorites- Even when he's not feeling well, the kid has his priorities straight, and he absolutely loves Daddy's bug! The best is when he gets to "ride" in the passenger seat while Daddy parks the car.


11- From up high- Keeping with the same theme, the kid is obsessed!


12- Hands- Perhaps not the greatest picture, but kiddo still wasn't at 100 percent. Post bath he is usually much more animated than this lying still picture might imply.


13- Seat- The one good thing about spending lots of time at home, was lots of time on the potty. Obviously this was taken (late) when he was feeling better. Sometimes I think he just signs "potty" so that he can get a story read, but I've already learned to never ignore the sign, so we go with it.



14- Silhouette- In the end I love how this came out (with a little help from Instagram magic). I was aiming for a more classic side pose, but it just wasn't working out, so it's a good alternative.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Registry for a Second Baby

I should preface by saying we're probably not going to set up a formal registry because I don't think we're going to have another baby shower, but this is my shopping list for the extra stuff I want to get this time around.


Things I noted last time that I wanted to try out if we had a second baby:

The Miracle Blanket- I've heard great things about it, and while we still have all of our Aiden and Anais swaddle blanket (which we love), since we're having a winter baby I'd like to try out a thicker swaddle.



My Brest Friend- I have a Boppy, and it worked really well from 3 to 11 months. Before that I was using so many different pillows stacked everywhere just to get Baby Boy positioned high enough. This time around I want to try a different pillow that will hopefully work better in the newborn phase.


Things I want to refresh:

Newborn Diapers- We had originally gotten 18 newborn sized diapers, and 30 small sized. We actually needed at least 30 in the newborn size and had to use the small ones even when Baby Boy was teeny tiny, despite the fact that they didn't fit very well. So I want to complete our stash this time around. I will probably get the Swaddlebees Newborn AIO, so that the grandparents can help out too and maybe some more prefolds.

Medela tubing for the Pump in Style Advanced- I felt like it was always such a hassle to keep these clean, but somehow I managed. I definitely want a fresh new set though for the new baby.

Nursing bras- I never expected that I would go on breastfeeding as long as I did, and the bras I got have definitely taken a beating, so I want a few new ones.

Sleep Sheep- Baby Boy still falls asleep with his every night. I'm thinking we'll need to have another one for the new baby. Maybe I'll get the travel version this time around, or a different machine all together.


Totally new items:

Double stroller- This is another post for another day, but with two kids 20 months apart, I definitely need a good double stroller for our daily walks.

Infant car seat- Since we made the switch to a convertible car seat that fits well in our car, we've been very happy. The problem is that I don't feel that this convertible (Britax Roundabout) is one that would actually suit a newborn the way our previous seat fit (First Years True Fit). So we're going to need an infant seat after all, until we get another Britax convertible. Currently I'm leaning towards the Chicco Keyfit.


Up next: Luxury items I probably won't buy, but maybe I will

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Baby Boy's Water Table

Baby Boy is obsessed with water. Every place we go to he will find that liquidy piece of heaven. Puddle at the park- check! Fountain outside restaurant- check! (and ugh gross) Costco air conditioning drainage- check! (so gross, and how did he find that???) We don't have our own backyard but from time to time I would let Baby Boy play on our patio. And since I didn't want him destroying our plants, all I had to do was get a bucket of water and a cup. Insta-joy!

Alas, it was time for an upgrade. We've had some scrap wood lying around the house from other projects for well over a year, so I decided it was finally time to put them to use. I scoured pinterest and google for some inspiration, and eventually settled on a design. We didn't build a table, per se, but rather a bridge contraption that we can put over a multitude of containers. The wood, as I said, was scrap, and the PVC pieces we bought for less than 10 bucks total. Is it the prettiest thing? Absolutely not! But, Baby Boy absolutely loves playing with it, and as he grows taller he'll hopefully be able to experiment more and more with it.


(Yes, there is an extra hole that I haven't yet fitted with a contraption...
still undecided on what to put there. This is right after we finished building it.)


(The patio was painted green but rainy season pretty much ruined it! Oh well! 
Water bridge with some of our bucket options.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 2012 Week 1

Here's the round-up of pictures from the first week. The plan was to use the pictures to improve my skills with my new lens (50mm 1.8) but alas, iPhone pictures will have to do for this week. Maybe next week I'll be more inspired for something more artsy. For now, our first week of October:

1- Self Portrait- Me at 19 weeks...captioned "lookin' fat":



2- Fashion- There's only one person in our household that gets new clothes every season. Guess who? We'll call it "playground chic"...The mister is also sporting his second pair of shoes! Already?!



3- Home- Our doorway, the rustic Mexican style that I have a love/hate relationship with. Love for the style, hate for the rustic functionality! Every time we come home Baby Boy say "mama". Currently (almost) everything is "mama". He's trying so hard to talk, but success is limited. At least I still understand him.



4- Love- I am so so so lucky that Baby Boy is such a cuddlebug. Here he was being extra sweet and blowing me a kiss:



5- Sunset- This one was so hard! Guess who goes to bed during sunset every single day? But I managed to run outside and snap this really quickly. It is one of my favorite spots, where I used to walk out to when I needed a breath of fresh air. Since Baby Boy came around I come here a lot less frequently, but in this moment it was as magical as ever.




6- Animal- Alright, this is a bit of a stretch, because I have some great animal pictures from this week, but haven't yet uploaded them from the good camera. Kiddo decided he needed a snack at that very moment (post M's soccer game, pre-going home, on the middle of the field) and to subsequently stuff his face (with dried strawberries, he picked out of my bag) and lick every last finger.



7- From a distance- So sad for us, Baby Boy got an unexplained fever and was all poor-babyish, hence no clothes. He seemed so far away watching him on the monitor, even though we were one wall away from each other.

Friday, October 5, 2012

So Weird!

 

I have some of Baby Boy's DNA in my brain! How weird is that?

There's an interesting study that was released last week, that says that male DNA is commonly found in the brains of women, most likely from prior pregnancy with a male fetus. I would assume that women that had girls also have some of their DNA in their brain but that it's harder to distinguish because it looks like the mother's own DNA. Also, this means that I have some of my husband's DNA in my brain now?! Craziness all around. Here's the link to the study summary:

Study finds male DNA in women's brains

 

 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Independence Day + New Year

This year Mexico's Independence Day landed on the eve of the Jewish New Year. Needless to say it was a few days of excitement around these parts.

Most of Mexico's celebrations take place on the eve of Independence, but since we had no intention of going downtown to hear the Grito (call) and dealing with the masses, we made the day into a family outing. We started with breakfast at one of my favorite local restaurants, and of course a little park time before heading back towards the house. Our vacuum cleaner, a.k.a. Baby Boy 1, was ready for lunch and then a nap. In the afternoon got some shaved ice and checked out a new park we had never been to, as it's just out of walking distance. BB1 went to bed as usual and we half heartedly checked out the celebrations on t.v.


The following day, Independece Day, was as usual very very quiet in the streets. The masses were recovering from the night before, but we got up as usual for a fun day of cooking. BB1 was my helper in the kitchen: in the morning we baked a honey cake, and in the afternoon we cooked dinner. He took his job very seriously- the whisk was his domain, and I was absolutely not allowed to stir without his help! Luckily, M was able to whisk him away near the end of the day so that I could finish the meal before BB1's bedtime. This day, Baby Boy 1 became so so so silly! He discovered he could spin and get himself dizzy and we all stayed up past his bedtime dancing and laughing at his new found trickster status. Once he was down for the night M and I had to get ready for the New Year's Eve dinner we were invited to.


The morning of the New Year, we all went to services at the synagogue. Baby Boy was astounding in his behavior. We made it about 3 hours, with a couple short breaks where I took Baby Boy outside to run around a bit and have a small snack. It was really impressive. We came home to the lunch I had cooked us the day before. In the afternoon we spent some family time together and ended with some more silliness. Hopefully it is a sign of the year to come!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Inspired October

Every year, right around this time, I start to feel restless. The weather is perfect, our schedules are in full swing, and I have absolutely no excuse. Except for one: we are right in the middle of the semester- summer break is long forgotten and winter break seems SO far away. Compound it with the fact that there is no autumn to speak of here, there's no spirit of pumpkin and cinnamon, and I'm just full of excuses!

So in order to fully appreciate this time, (one of the last months of just me and Baby Boy 1) and challenge myself to be more inspired (see above: perfect weather), I've decided to take part in the October Photography Challenge!