Thursday, February 27, 2014

Anatomy of a Sick Day



This was actually snapped during one of our calmer moments, when Baby Brother was sleeping, and Little Boy decided to embrace pinterest activities! Most of the rest of the past few days have been much whinier.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Baby Brother's Birthday Day

In so many ways our day was just a normal day. But of course it was special, because it was a celebration of our little man. We started with a breakfast of champions: puffs, and took Little Boy to school. Then we came back for nursing, nap, reading and we were off again to pick-up. We had our final monthly photo shoot, played around, had lunch (roasted sweet potato and eggplant) and it was time for nap number two. Then we went to play outdoors on the grass until Daddy came home and we all went out to dinner. We got home and then sang and lit a candle for the birthday boy who got his first taste of chocolate cake. It was relaxed and fun and I didn't want the day to end.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

One.

One year ago I was in labor: I meditated through contractions, trusted myself, my body and my little baby to do what we knew how to do. I can't quite explain how amazing it feels, a redeeming experience, after having my first birth experience whisked out of my hands. It gave me a new respect for myself and what I could do. It helped our bonding and our family as a whole.

One year ago, I brought home Baby Brother. It took a few weeks for Little Boy to realize what was going on, but truly his brother has been a gift. A little dude that looks up to him, idolizes his every move, is a captive audience for his shenanigans and a partner in crime in household sillies. They love each other so much and mostly love playing together.

One year ago, our life as a family changed. Somehow we became closer, more of our own little unit. The day to day routine became fuller, more dynamic, more hectic and yet more full of joy than we ever knew possible. The juggle became both a challenge and a purpose in and of itself.


One year ago, I became a mother of two, and mothering became half as hard and twice as fun. I truly can't believe it has been a whole entire year!

Happy birthday Baby Brother!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Baby Brother's Balloon Themed First Birthday Party

Baby Brother's birthday was inspired by the book A Tale of Five Balloons, namely because he: loves balloon, loves popping balloons (what happen to the first four balloons in the book), and likes to wave goodbye (what happens to the fifth balloon). So maybe it was a stretch...but it gave me a little something to go off of for our decorations and everything came out just perfectly.

We kept the party small and low key: pizza, veggies, fruit, cookies, popcorn and cake. I made a little art station for the kid-guests with coloring pages from the book and stickers. And as usual we had our play pen ball pit out. But most of all we had lots of balloons to play with!




The only crafting I did was a balloon name banner and putting up his monthly pictures (that will be reused in his baby book). Baby Brother loved his cake! And the piƱata!

 

It was a great time and most importantly Baby Brother loved the attention, the cake, the gifts and the festive atmosphere.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!


Happy Valentine's Day! Did you know that elephant ears are heart shaped? We might have had a few for breakfast around here...Today Little N handed out valentines for the first time, Baby Brother had his very first valentine's day (his last "first" holiday), and we've had lots of sweetness all around. We're still looking forward to a fun family afternoon. Hope your day has been lovely!



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quick trip

For a hot second I made it Stateside with the kiddos. First of all, it was my first flight alone with both of them. It was about as much of a nightmare as I expected it to be, helped by delay after delay (thank you United #nothankyou). There was a lot of nap-skipping, needing to go to the bathroom on the plane multiple times, waiting for.ev.er. in immigration...ah well. We survived.

 enjoying new toys

The visit itself was short but sweet. We did a few errands, saw some friends, and mostly spent time with family. Little N in particular just loved it: the attention, the change of scenery. One day we made it to the Children's museum: amazing. Both boys had so much to look at and play with and there were plenty of kids; it was nice.

 Indian food

 children's museum

back at the airport already

The flight back was equally bad, although we got back much earlier so there was still time for a short nap on the drive home. All in all, it was great!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Did you notice?

I'm back, mostly. I've been trying to get back in the blogging mode after several months of minimal posting. It wasn't a new year's resolution or anything like that. Rather an attempt at doing something I enjoy, chronicling things that I'm already forgetting, pushing forward.

We* are in our last year of medical school. Finally. I really didn't want to come back for it in August. As I told a good friend, I felt like I needed an attitude adjustment. I did. Probably still do. I would stare in the mirror holding my sweet little baby and think, gosh I am so darn lucky to have this life. And still as the hours crept by I kind of wished for the days to just go by, counting down the minutes until bedtime, so that I could go to sleep for a bit before the night wakings began. Things got better as I distracted myself with planning our incredible trip. So instead of processing (or even just recording) our life, I delved into the world of reservations, hotel reviews and travel forums. All that planning paid off: it was the most planning I had ever done for a trip but it was really amazing (and mostly on budget). It was the ultimate distraction, and between juggling preschool activities with household stuff, time just disappeared. So blogging fell by the wayside.

As much as I was looking forward to getting back into a routine, when we got back, my heart just wasn't in it. I already wrote about some of the reasons why so I don't want to revisit them, but I recently had a revelation: I need to spend some time with myself, thinking, processing, enjoying the quiet. I had (I think) become a better homemaker, utilizing naps quite efficiently, but my mind needed a work out too and by the time the kids were in bed I was just too tired to think, let alone read or write. Something else happened along the way: Baby Brother started sleeping through the night. Suddenly it was ok to stay up.

If you've read this far, kudos for sticking with the rambling. So what's on my mind these days: uncertainty. How would you feel if someone told you: "In 5 months (or maybe 4 or 3) you're moving to an unknown location and you're going to have to pack everything up, or maybe just sell all you stuff because there won't be room to pack it up, or maybe actually you're not going to move and you're going to stay here another year (even though you don't want to), but you we won't tell you until 3 (or 4 or 5) months from now, and you have no say about what happens"? I would say that's how I'm feeling. And in the mean time, who will understand? Not the baby or the toddler. Not the friends that have already left or the ones from back home. So that's where we are. Uncertain (but very much still optimistic).


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2.5

I love this age. Love it. A lot. Little Boy is sweet and funny and fun! Yes we have difficult weeks with some pushing or troubles with sharing but overall: so.much.fun. I love that we can have conversations,  back and forth. I love that he is a source of information, though not always a reliable source. I love when he "translates" for us, or when he responds to something when the adults are really just talking amongst themselves. I love that he can play by himself. This, I really love a lot. Especially outside with balls or sticks or plants, or indoors with car and trains. Or water, anything with water will hold his attention for so, so long. And it's not just the break that it gives me, although that's great too, it's about seeing him figure things out on his own, be creative, explore. Watching him turn my whisk into a plumbing tool to stick down a hole outdoors (and work "together" with the plumber outside)...totally worth the destroyed whisk! The independence drives us crazy some times, but seeing him put on his underwear and pants for the first time completely by himself without getting frustrated, my heart just burst with pride. Sometimes he goes up to strangers and just starts chatting, other times he stares people down and won't answer a single question; the kid has so much character I am intrigued to see how he keeps growing. Other things I love: opinions on clothing (i.e. hilarious outfits), getting into the car on his own (and telling his teacher how to buckle his car seat), random moments of absolute sweetness with his little brother, insisting on eating exactly what the adults are having, and a love of helping around the house. I don't know how we got so lucky with such a sweet one!


Monday, February 3, 2014

Routine- 7 & 27 months

**I wrote this so, so long ago that I had to re-read it to see if things were still the same. And at 11 and 31 months the only difference is that Baby Brother now also gets breakfast and lunch, his second nap is later and shorter (around 3 pm for 45 minutes) and we've dropped the night-wakings so that he usually wakes up around 7:30 for the day!

*This routine has been going on since about 6 months and is still working for us at 8 months. The only major changes we've had is that at 7 months Baby Brother started napping in the crib (and Little Boy consequently in our bedroom), and then at 8 months Baby Brother started going to sleep in the crib as well until his first wake-up when he comes back to our bed.

4 a.m. Nurse Baby Brother, go back to sleep

6 a.m. Nurse Baby Brother, go back to sleep

7:30 wake up, convince myself to get out of bed 

8:00 change, dress baby brother

8:20 get Little Boy- who is usually already awake. Help him take off pajamas, begin negotiation on wearing school uniform.

8:40 downstairs put Little Boy's lunch in his backpack, get him breakfast, get me breakfast (sometimes).

9:00 go drop of little boy at preschool. If I'm not super late we usually go walking (it's one mile, so just under 20 minutes), if I am then it's a two minute drive.

9:30 assuming I walked, I now take baby brother for a couple short errands, or sometimes to sit in a coffee shop or park before heading back home. If we have specific plans for the morning I try to head straight back home for an early nap.

Baby & Groceries

10:30 Baby Brother's morning nap time. I try to be home by this time so that he doesn't fall asleep in the stroller and mess up the nap. We change diaper, nurse, sleep sack and bed. This is my time to finish eating breakfast, do some housework, prep meals etc. I try to leave a little time to relax as well because the rest of the day is hectic.

12:00 wake Baby Brother. I do this so that in the afternoon they nap at the same time. 

12:50 go pick up Little Boy from school. Upon return, Baby Brother goes in the activity center for a little bit while we set out Little Boy's lunch leftovers with additions from home as necessary. 

1:30 Baby Brother is fussy and ready to go to bed. I set up a DVD for Little Boy so that I can put his brother to sleep quickly and effociebtly without the house being destroyed in the meantime. We nurse, sleep sack and in the crib he goes with noise machine blaring. 

2:00- Little Boy's nap time. We nurse, potty, story and I put him down in our bedroom.

3:30- Baby Brother is up. We change him and then bring him downstairs for some quality one on one time. We read some books, pull out some toys to play with and hang out.

4:30- Little Boy is up. We play, read books, count the minutes until Daddy is home...


5:30- Daddy is back and takes over play time. Usually they head outside to play on the grass while I scramble to finish up dinner.

6:00/6:30- Dinner for everyone. 

7:00- Baby Brother's bath time. Little Boy and I finish cleaning up dinner and washing dishes. 

7:30- Little Boy heads to bath time with Daddy. Baby Brother nurses to sleep. 

8:00- Baby Brother in bed, Little Boy comes to Mommy for books and nursing.

8:30/9- Little Boy in bed! Time to finish up final tidying, and crash on the couch for a little while before heading off to bed.