Friday, November 30, 2012

17 Months!

Two words to describe the kiddo: Big Boy. That was the theme of the month. You've decided that you're big, and would like to do everything exactly like we big people do it. You feed yourself with very little help from us. You drink from a big cup, preferably glass. You walk up (and down?! almost) the stairs standing upright, supporting yourself with the wall. Dare we try to lend a hand, we will be shooed away. You clean up messes with a rag, or a broom, and put your found trash in the trash can. You remind me to water our plants. You're the one that points to your sleep sack when you're ready for bed, waits at the bottom of the stairs to go up  for your bath, and lets us know that it's time to change your diaper. You prefer to walk or push the stroller rather than sit in it. You request to be seated on the bench at the park, the couch at home, and a non-boostered dining chair from time to time. You turn on the music to dance and want to use a pick to "play" the guitar.


And still, on the other hand, you are our baby. You love your cuddles and snuggles. You hug your sleep dog tight and fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves like you have since you were 3 months old. You point to bugs that seem scary, or to places you want to go but are unsure of to get a nod for permission or a helping hand. You're exploring the world outside with eyes that are seeing everything for the first time: autumn leaves, peeling tree trunks, weeds emerging from the grass, sticks that come in so many different shapes and sizes, and dirt that can be moved, dug, thrown and mixed in a never-ending number of combinations.


Things we're working on: extending your independent play time. Usually we can get 5-10 minutes and we're working on not calling us for every little (tiny) thing. The potty: signing before is still pretty hit or miss depending on how "busy" you are, and we probably need to help you make a big push in the right direction in the next month or two. That said, you are more interested in sitting on the toilet (see" big boy, above). Climbing: you're becoming pretty good and your days in the crib are numbered. You can hoist yourself up part way and we're going to need to prevent vaulting before it becomes a reality. Talking: while we understand you and the many intonations you can give "ba", "doo" and "nan" we are ready for real words (although not worried, since you are mastering 3 languages at once).


For the most part, you have been a joy this past month. Most meltdowns are a direct result of hunger or fatigue, so we try to keep you well fed and well rested and in return you provide us with moments of laughter and AWE. As long as your requests are reasonable, we try to accommodate them. You're quite meticulous about things being exactly right, and while at times it is difficult, mostly it is nice to see you are SO aware of how we do things. We love that you're loving books and actually listening to the stories. You have a great self-awareness of just how funny you can be and it's such a pleasure to be entertained by your silliness. You're so social and friendly to everyone it is hard not to be happy around you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Registry Complete!

We had two motives for our recent trip to the US:
1- Visit Little Boy's grandparents and other family
2- Shop for Baby Brother: one of our biggest tasks on our master list

I outlined a few weeks ago the items I was hoping to acquire, and I can happily say that we got all of those taken care of, (although nothing from my luxury list to date). If you were wondering about the stroller situation, we ended up going with this one:

City Mini Double GT

We also got some bonus items for Little Boy to prepare us to tackle some of the other items on our prep list, namely: twin bed sheets, another potty, and a baby doll!

As on all our visits, we were overwhelmed with the generosity of friends and family friends buying our kiddo(s) gifts for no particular reason. This was probably my favorite from this trip:


Coming home with all this new gear brought us to an acute understanding of why families get bigger cars! It was a bit of a struggle, but we managed to fit everything in for the ride home and hopefully will not be doing too much air travel with all this "stuff" for a while.

How's your shopping going?




Monday, November 26, 2012

Second Time Around: The Second Trimester- Part 2

Week 22- Feeling and seeing Baby from the outside!

Week 23- Starting to have a legit bump. People close to me mention I'm fat. ;) First twinges of sciatica popping up. I'm realizing I am more nervous about this pregnancy than I first realized. It has been a week of nightmares (I never have any when I am not pregnant) and I'm understanding that I won't be able to fully relax until I have a healthy baby in my arms.

Week 24- Sciatica hits big time. Feeling fat. Baby Brother is a mover and shaker and this ultrasound is no different. It takes some maneuvering but the doc manages to see everything and we're still having a boy! Time for a mega to do list.

Week 25- Sleeping a little better. Viability is good- now this kiddo needs to bake as long as possible. Keeping busy with lots of activities and trying to get started on the to do list. Nervous about the GD test.

Week 26- Happy for the distraction..we're off for some shopping! Passed GD test with flying colors- yay! A week as a single parent (i.e. lifting: in and out of crib, in and out of car, in and out of highchair, etc.) and my sciatica is unbearable.

Week 27- Home again! Lots of rest makes the back better. Realizing pushing the stroller is a major trigger for sciatica. Lots of comments on the tummy. Definitely bigger than I was the first time around and already feeling pretty stretched out. Ready to "graduate" to the third trimester: baby getting close but still so far away.

27 weeks


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful

We're skipping Thanksgiving this year but the mood of the season still makes me grateful for so many blessings:


Baby Boy bringing us endless joy

A healthy pregnancy so far

A new computer

Spending lots of time together as a family

Eating eggs

Pictures reminding me of so many great moments

The internet for keeping us connected (and informed)

My plants that are still alive

Our neighbors that are nice, friendly and quiet

Living in a place that is sunny all year round

A husband that takes care of me and the kiddo

New recipes that work out

Nap time

Cookies

Feeling hopeful about our future




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Traveling with a Toddler while Pregnant...

...is not recommended. Can it be done? Absolutely. Was it fun? Not at all. I already wrote quite the manifesto on traveling with a 1 year old, so here I'll just add a few small tidbits for the pregnant woman contemplating a solo trip with a toddler.

Our flight on the way back to the US of A was happily uneventful. The flight landed smack in the middle of lunch time and so we spent about half of it eating. Then we did a little aisle walking, where Little Boy made friends with some of the passengers, and per his expertise acquired a key chain memento! Waiting in line in immigration was way up there on worst parental experiences with an overtired kiddo and a really long wait. Even the miraculous lollypop did nothing for us. By the time we made it to baggage claim the kiddo zonked out in the stroller and had a little cat nap while I installed his car seat and we were on our way. He continued his mini nap on the drive home and all things considered it was a success.

During the week we did lots of fun stuff (separate post) but the rough part was the more routine stuff: meals, naps, car trips etc. The kiddo was extremely well behaved considering the new environment but life must go on and in order to make time for everything my break-time (during the Boy's nap) became my errand-time. The cumulative tiredness was particularly bad for my sciatica.

The way back? Oh goodness, I don't wish that experience on anyone. We did pretty well at the airport, although security was less than helpful in getting us through with all our stuff in tow. I particularly enjoyed the comment "just pick him up", when I am clearly 6 months pregnant and had both my hands full with other bags, because obviously when you are a parent you are supposed to have a third hand to pick up your toddler.

We had a solid hour before boarding and so we made our way to the club. Thank goodness. The quiet, the clean bathrooms, the snacks, the limited options for the kiddo to run away out of sight, made the wait manageable. Of course when we made it to the gate, the flight was delayed so we still had a wait.

Our one moment of peace: devouring snacks and discovering M&Ms at the club

Once we boarded, the real fiasco began. I think it goes without saying that when you are pregnant, your lap child has a particularly small amount of room in an already tight seating arrangement. Couple that with waiting on the tarmac, an overtired child that could not find a comfortable position to sleep in, and sun blaring in through the window and we had a lot of crying, whining, standing/sitting/rolling/kicking on my lap. I could not have been any happier when that flight was over.

Except then they wanted to send all of the gate check luggage to the baggage claim! Instead I stood on the tarmac (while a bus full of passengers waited) and insisted on getting my stroller. We've already done the "no stroller while waiting to get through immigration" shenanigan before, and I was not having it! It's amazing how fast the situation can get fixed when you won't get on the bus. Not my finest moment, but definitely worth it.

Luckily, getting through the airport was mostly uneventful and the kiddo had a short nap on the very long drive back home through rush hour traffic. Lest you think it wasn't worth it, I should reiterate that the trip was great overall! We had a lot of fun, but I want to keep it real, it wasn't all rainbows and unicorns.


Advice:
  1. If you can in any way get another adult to travel with you- do that! 
  2. Minimize the luggage, and in particular the carry-ons. The less you have to wrangle and keep track of, the easier it will be to focus on your Tasmanian devil and the better it will be on your back. 
  3. Maximize snacks. It was absolutely incredible how much this kid ate before, during and after our flights. 
  4. Try to utilize a club membership or one time pass for long waits. 
  5. Make sure you know how your gear works ahead of time: installing car seats, folding strollers, etc, to keep moving along as quickly as possible. 
  6. Try to plan flights for morning or meal time, whenever your toddler will be easiest to manage (and definitely not during nap time, unless they are the type to fall asleep anywhere).

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hoddie Season

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I just LOVE a baby in a hoodie. A toddler in a hoodie is pretty good too! It's been cooling down, which I don't love, but at least we have some cuteness to make up for it. :) Happy Monday!





* Today is Mexican Revolution Day (actually tomorrow) so we're bumming around the house.
** Looking at these I just realized Baby Boy has a whole lot of navy blue in his wardrobe. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Master of Acquisitions

OR: How my kid gets stuff...
OR: Are you sure you're my kid?
OR: Ask for what you want, you just might get it!

My kiddo has this incredible quality- he is audacious, if nothing else. He goes up to strangers and asks for what he wants. And almost always gets it!*

Last week when we were at the park, a mother was giving her boys potato chips. My boy walks up to her, says a high-pitch hmm, nods his head and looks up with his puppy eyes. "Do you want one?"; nods yes. Turns around to face me, grinning from ear to ear with potato chip in hand.

This week- same park, different mother: the kiddo walks away with a teddy graham.

Currently, we have two inflated balloons in our house. One of them came from a baby shower. We did not attend this baby shower. We just happened to walk out of a restaurant as a woman was leaving a hotel lobby with three balloons. Little Boy points up at the balloons and looks at the woman. "Here have one!" We check with her: "are you sure?" "Of course, I have two kids at home, he can have this third balloon". It has been over a month and the balloon is still hanging out in our play room.

Last weekend we went downtown for some exploring. In a public plaza, he walks away from us to make his request, and a three year old girl gave him her pink balloon. He has been semi-obsessed with this latest conquest all week.



Is there a point to this post? Maybe. Maybe we need to remember that sometimes all you have to do is ask. That people are mostly pretty nice and friendly. That we should give strangers the benefit of the doubt. Or maybe Baby Boy just has skillz.


*I should note that these are just examples with perfect strangers. He's in a whole different league with people he knows!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our First Mexican Birthday Party

Our first kiddie birthday party here in Mexico resulted in quite a bit of culture shock. While we've gotten used to the fiesta mentality for adults, it's hard to digest the magnitude when it comes to a toddler turning only 2 years old!

We started with crafts: Baby Boy was in love with the sparkles that he "glued" on his mask. Then there were 2 bouncy structures and a doll station to play in (dolls, high chairs, clothes, strollers etc). Then a team of party workers that ran games for an hour and a half. Then of course food. And we didn't even get to stay for the cake and the piñata because it was past our bedtime.

The boy with his finished product

Decor themed to the nines

2 bouncy structures

The party workers (in pink) running games
All in all we had a good time but both of us definitely came home overstimulated and tired. Will Baby Boy ever have one of these parties? Only time will tell. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Prenatal Yoga

Almost 3 months ago I started going to prenatal yoga. It was something that I half-heartedly looked for the first time around, but didn't find a place to practice, so that was that. This time around, I already knew of the studio because it was where I took Little Boy to Mommy and Baby Yoga. I have to say that the class is kicking my butt!

My primary motivation is being able to focus exclusively on myself and Baby Brother for a short time every week. I find it very relaxing and don't mind the hippy parts too much, but the actual workout is not easy at all. I guess I was more out of shape than I ever thought. I'm feeling very lucky that M is around to watch BB1 during the class and even though I miss my little sidekick, it is really nice to do my own thing.

I'm always surprised that every class is a little different than the last one. Our teacher is really good and I've learned lots about breathing, something that doesn't come to me naturally. (Yes that's sort of an oxymoron, but I often "forget" to breathe). When I can quiet my mind and focus on it though, it is so relaxing! I hope that it's something I can keep at because I usually feel very zen for the rest of the day after class. And that's all I have to say about that. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Preparing for Baby Brother- the List

I guess the nesting has started because I have a ton of house projects on my mind that have prompted this long master list. M says I have never made such a detailed list, but I beg to differ. I believe the last one was when I was pregnant with Big Brother. :) 
If you're interested, here it is:

1- Hire a housekeeper:
a- make list of qualities desired
b- interview
c- make list of tasks
d- negotiate hours and pay, contract

2- Revamp the playroom
a- buy and paint secondary bookcase
b- set up changing area, crib
c- take twin bed to our room
d- bonus: build play kitchen

3- Prepare BB1 room
a- clean out office credenza, transfer BB1 stuff into it
b- take BB1 wardrobe and move to our room
c- transition BB1 to twin bed
d- make new blackout curtains, and hang
e- get/build bathroom stool
f- set up baby gate

4- Prepare our bedroom
a- organize furniture to accommodate twin bed and wardrobe
b- take out newborn items out of storage and put in wardrobe
c- rewash some items and put away
d- organize nursing and pumping items for accessibility
e- install old blackout curtains from BB1 room
f- get glider/rocker (find a place for/sell desk and chair)

5- Freezer cooking
a- finish cleaning out freezer
b- cook and freeze meals (starting in Jan)

6- Odds and Ends
a- go on USA shopping trip: finish getting gear
b- update laundry directions printout and visiting guests printout
c- organize storage bookshelves (buy some extra boxes, organize crafting)
d- go around house and get rid of stuff we're not using anymore (donate)
e- organize office (new storage boxes, dehumidify bathroom)
f- create more laundry hanging room (outside lines/freestanding hanging)
g- clean, organize, re-stock pantry

Projects to Finish Up
a- Big Brother's baby book
b- photo books for a couple trips
c- random house decor

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

October 2012 Week 4 & Change

I was definitely losing steam for this last batch and of course I'm about a week late posting them, but better late than never, right?

22- Bokeh- I should probably call this one "blurry" more than anything. I don't really know how it happened because I was using my phone and the kiddo was sliding down a slide, but I still like it.



23- Dark- Must be dark under there! Little Boy found a lucha libre mask first thing in the morning!



24- Black and White- The Mr. loves sitting on the counter top where he can see exactly what we're doing in the kitchen. I believe he is eating a fresh flour tortilla. Yum!



25- Bright- Afternoon sun at a park we frequent quite often. The thing here is that the playground is almost always on a cement platform. Why? Don't ask me. Stupid? I say yes. Nevertheless, Little Boy loves playing with the see-saw!



26- New- We went out to brunch at a place where we hadn't eaten before and had a very new to us drink: strawberry sorbet that we poured club soda on. Yummy! And that was basically the only thing Mr. Knows Exactly What He Wants wanted to have!




27- Old- I can't believe we did it, but we revived our old costumes (from our first year dating!) for Halloween. This was taken as we were getting dressed for the night.



28- Hard- Dude, catching water on a flat plate in order to transfer into a bin is hard! I never ceased to be surprised by the complicated tasks this kid comes up with.



29- Hope- This gives me hope that one day we will be potty trained, and in the meanwhile at least someone looks cute.



30- Goal- One of the many times we were playing with blocks, I was able to construct something a little orderly. I hope to find many more moments of peace and quiet this next year, and am going to make it a goal moving forward.



31- Self Portrait- first thing in the morning with my little bug.



Monday, November 5, 2012

Trick or Treating Mexican Style

It was Wednesday night, and Little Boy was so confused: why were we getting dressed up again after dinner time? (Usually we play soccer before bath and bed). Then he went outside and saw the kids and started taking it all in. He was excited to be out, that's for sure!


All the kids of our coto (gated community) met up to go trick-or-treating together as one group. They went to the first house and yelled:

Queremos Halloween! Queremos Halloween! Si no nos dan dinero, hacemos cochinero!

And our kiddo got in line with all the other kids, to collect his candy, which was being handed out by the handful. For the rest of the night he was enthralled: he kept his costume on the whole time, held his bucket tight, tight, tight even when it was totally full and getting heavy, and tried to join in the chants with his adorable baby babbles.



Because it is Mexico, when all the candy-giving houses had been visited, we went to one last house for a piñata! It was getting late for the kiddo, though, so we said good night and took our little clown home.


When it was all over, he was so happy and excited! Daddy helped him dump and sort the candy (lots of chile and tamarindo sweets) and he even made off with a (wrapped) lollipop as we went upstairs for a late bath.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Clowning Around

For Halloween we decided on a little family costume, based on some things we already had at home and a few extra accessories we bought on the cheap. We went to a little trunk or treat party, and Little Boy was just precious with his little bucket. (We practiced about an hour before the party how he was supposed to put the candy in the bucket). Surprisingly he left his costume on for a good half an hour and was a champ at trick or treating. Hopping on the bouncy house- not so much.

what's all this? this wasn't here before I went to nap...

a nose?

all of us

trunk or treating

I'll stay in my costume as long as I don't have to go in that thing...