Thursday, December 31, 2009

When in doubt, tweak it.

I learned, or, relearned, rather, this lesson about two months ago.

As I have written many times, sleep has been an on-going issue for us. I have felt like it is hard to find a solution. I don’t want to be the permissive parent who cannot set boundaries, but I am not letting her cry it out either.

One day, after spending quite a while trying to get Amor Chiquito to nap, it clicked!

As a parent, there is no black and white. There is lots of gray. I need to be ok with that.

There are various parenting styles and various plans we could follow to get Ari to sleep the way we wish she slept. I was forcing myself to choose between no crying or crying it out.

What about saying “ut-oh,” leaving her room for 15 seconds, returning, giving her a hug, singing the song, and putting her down?

Why the hell didn’t I think of that sooner? I wish I had because it worked that time, it worked today, and it will probably continue to work in the future.

There is no need to leave her alone for ever in our case. 15 seconds is enough time for her to get the message that there are boundaries.

Today, Ari used all her old tricks and some new ones to avoid napping, despite the fact she was sleepy and yawning. She asked for socks, said her hands were cold, said she needed to go to the potty… She also tried this strange, fake cry! I could not decide if I was angry or if I wanted to laugh! It was clearly completely fake!

I left for 15 seconds. I went back in and gave her hugs. Six minutes later, she was asleep!

Moral of the story: don’t obsess about following x philosophy completely. Tweak it. Get creative. Do what works for your family. In the end, you and your little one’s health and happiness is what matters.

Moving up in the world...

Today was the first time we bought Ari a kid meal. Nothing big, I know. For some reason, I want to remember her first everything, though!

We went to Bertucci’s, an Italian restaurant. Ari enjoyed one of their rolls with olive oil, about 2/3 of her mack and cheese dish, and some tiramisu, of course!

I love when she eats like a horse!

Oh, when Ari and Daddy finished their tiramisu, Ari picked up the plate and licked it multiple times! She loved it, no doubt about it!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We have three-word phrases and verbs!

We are moving up in the language world!

Amor Chiquito started saying three-word phrases about two weeks ago.

Her first three-word phrase: I yo you.

She has been saying it for over a month, but we did not count it because we figured she just learned it from us. She was not putting three words together herself.

Her second three-word phrase: no ‘ouse me.

Lately, when she realizes we are driving home, she says “no ‘ouse me, no ‘ouse me, nana ‘ouse, nana ‘ouse!”

She loves Nana, but Nana is two hours away, so we cannot just go see her. But Amor Chiquito does not understand that yet!

Her third/latest three-word phrase: no night-night me.

Last night, Amor Chiquito used all her tricks to avoid going to sleep: go to the potty, ask for milk, ask for socks, say she was hot… When nothing work, she sat up and said: “no night-night me”!

For what it is worth, she said “no night-night me,” but she stayed in bed, waiting for me to say yes or no. It could have been worse! She could have simply gotten out of bed, opened the door, and left her room.

Back to language, we are also hearing more verbs. When Amor Chiquito was re-evaluated for early intervention, about a month ago, she only had two verbs, which was disconcerting for the speech pathologist. Now, she has about seven verbs: eat, open, close, play, write, cut, clean, and, perhaps, some others I cannot remember right now.

We are making progress.

It is so cool to be able to communicate with our daughter better and better every day!

Dreams and Nightmares

Amor Chiquito has been having dreams and nightmares lately.

Her dream a few days ago:

“No, please, no, mine, my pen, my pen…” At that point, she reached for her pen and slapped me without meaning to!

She loves to write. Don’t you dare steal her pen, not even in her dreams!

Unfortunately, Amor Chiquito is having nightmares too. She keeps waking up crying. It seems like, at first, she can’t wake up. I hug her and tell her everything is ok and it does not help for the first few minutes. It is as if she does not hear me, as if I was not there. Some nights are worse than others. On some nights, it does not happen at all.

Any suggestions? Do you handle your children’s nightmares differently?

Mischief, bright and early...

Sleepy me went in the kitchen for a cup of milk. I noticed Amor Chiquito was very quiet.

Me: Ari, what are you doing?

Amor Chiquito: Booboo bum.

She is correct; she has a rash.

Amor Chiquito took her diaper and clothes off. She got a hold of the hydrocortisone and applied some on her “booboo,” on the rest of her butt, on her back, and on her arms.

I am sure she would have done her legs had I shown up two minutes later!

When a two-year-old is quiet, something is most definitely going on!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another baby?

Ari will be 27 months this Friday. Obviously, there is no deadline as far as by when we must decide to have or not to have another child. But, for some reason, I keep feeling like it is almost time to decide. Silly, I know. I do have a tendency to obsess about things! I am trying not to.

We have no idea right now. Lately, I am feeling that our family is perfect as is. But, at the same time, I don't feel like our decision is final at this point.

I wonder if being an only child will be good for Ari. Any thoughts on that? I wish I could meet multiple people who are only children and are healthy and happy adults. All the only children I have met seem to be clingy and dependent. Is it a coinsidence? Or, is it that growing up as an only child changes one's life for ever in a negative manner?

I found an article about things to think about when considering trying for another baby:

I plan on researching the impact of being an only child.

Thoughts? Feel free to share!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Klean Kanteens on Sale

I posted a while ago about Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles. We own several of them and love them. They are currently on sale at, if you are interested.

Sad, yet beautiful story...

Just came across this article:

A mother passed away 12 hours after her baby was born, leaving behind her husband, newborn, a 2.5-year-old, and two older children. Twenty mothers came up with a schedule so they could breastfeed the newborn around the clock.

And now I am done before my husband continues to drive me bananas! I know it's midnight, I get it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

If you need a laugh, this is a must-read!

Warning: This blog is far from PC. That being said, I love it! She is an awesome, super funny writer.

This post is about her baking cookies with her daughter:

Monday, December 7, 2009

The transition to crunchiness continues...

I have been looking for recipes for tasty and healthy breads, cakes, and cookies (banana bread, carrot cake, oatmeal cookies, etc.).

Last week, I made carrot cake and everyone liked it. I did not mention the fact that 1/4 of the flour was wholewheat flour to certain people. They still ate it and loved it. Success!

Next time, I'll try having 1/3 of the flour be wholewheat flour.

I might also try using honey instead of sugar.

Lastly, I will be substituting half of the oil or butter with apple sauce or apple butter.

If you have any suggestions, any websites you like, anything... Please share!

Mischief I could have done without...

The other day, we were at my mother's and Ms. Mischief figured it would be a good idea to wash her and her cousin's toothbrushes. Very sweet, right? Except she used the toilet bowl to do this!

I could not help sounding like a teenager! Eww, eww, eww!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My child is a nudist.

Amor Chiquito has been able to take all her clothes off for almost a year now. She used to do that a lot when we first started putting her in her crib at 13 months. After a while, she stopped doing it.

Once Amor Chiquito began using the potty consistently, her nudist tendencies returned! She just loves being naked. I don’t know how else to put it! She is often only wearing a shirt, or socks, or simply nothing. The funny thing is that when we tell her we are going to put a shirt on, she complains about the shirt being cold! Kids…!

Personally, her being naked does not bother me, as long as it is just us, obviously. I do want her dressed if we are at someone else’s home or if we have guests, of course.

It is my job to teach her that some behaviors are acceptable in certain settings but not others. From what I have read, this is a controversial topic. Some parents think it is a non-issue; others feel strongly that a child being naked at home is a bad thing. To be honest, I am torn on what I should be telling her about this.

I am curious. How do you feel about this? If you have kids, do they do this? Is it common? Let’s have a conversation, so to speak, about a controversial topic. I am confident that we, as grown-ups, can do this respectfully. If someone gets a little crazy, there is always the delete button!

Something else I have noticed is that Amor Chiquito does a great job going to the potty if she is naked from the waist down or if she is wearing only underwear. If she is wearing pants, she has accidents almost all the time. Any experiences with this? Is there an explanation for it? It is only a matter of time, is my guess.

My goal is to help her get better about this, but, in the meantime, I started buying dresses! They proved particularly useful when we spent the weekend with the in-laws. Amor Chiquito was dressed and did not have accidents.

Mischief and cuteness...!

Amor Chiquito does many silly things and gets into interesting mischief often. So much that I would like to remember, many memories I would like to keep. But I quickly forget, so I will write about it so that in the future we can look back and laugh.

Ink on microfiber, anyone?! While I went to the bathroom this morning, she wrote on two of our dining chairs. This I could do without, really. But the next few stories are pretty funny, in my biased opinion.

Amor Chiquito stole one of my Activia yogurts. She was doing a great job eating at first. At one point, I got busy on the computer and, suddenly, I realized it was too quiet. That is always a sign that serious mischief is taking place! Her arms were covered in yogurt, from her shoulders to her fingertips!

Amor Chiquito has recently decided that she loves cats, stuffed ones and real ones. She named her stuffed cat Anna. She brings the cat everywhere.

Amor Chiquito loves going to see her uncle’s cat. She mentions him every day. “Tat, meow, Bobby.” She pets him and any stupid thing the cat does makes her smile.

We just came home from visiting my mother at the hospital. Amor Chiquito said “oh no, tat, Bobby.” Who wants to go home when there is a cat to see and pet?

The irony in this is that I could care less about cats. Heck, I will be honest; I hate them! They almost have the ability to kill me! I have ended up in the ER thanks to them. I remember one time we went to see the in-laws. We ended up running to a walk-in clinic because I could not breathe and the swelling on my mouth was extending, getting closer and closer to my throat. I ended up getting a Benadryl shot and a Pregnazone script. Basically, if I want to spend a long night with asthma, I need only spend 30 minutes at a place where there is a cat.

But, back to stories on the little one… She is obsessed with Elmo and Barney, Barney more so at the moment. She grabs our hands, starts to sing the “I love you” song in her own little way, and starts to dance with us. She much prefers that the three of us dance together. The song gets old fast, but I love the moments when the three of us spend time and laugh together. It’s the little things in life, as they say.

Amor Chiquito knows the alphabet now. She likes to look at signs and name the letters she sees.

Amor Chiquito recently learned the difference between shoes and boots. The other day she insisted that all three of us wear boots! She has been wearing her new boots every day since then.

Like every other parent of a two-year-old, we go through the “put your coat on” fight every day. The minute we put our coats on, she starts saying “hot, hot.” The ironic thing is that she loves her hat and mittens. Silly kid!

More later… A child is looking for some before-bed mommy milk...

Potty Training Update

We realized that we got used to her going to the potty. We were not providing nearly as much positive reinforcement as we provided at the beginning. Positive reinforcement is back, big time!

Also, with all the running around I have been doing lately, I have not spent a lot of quality time with her. Working on that.

So far so good.

Thanks Mol for your comment/suggestion.

Also, yay for emails from Love & Logic with tips (on potty training this week, what a coincidence) that my husband forwards!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review: BabyBjorn Little Potty

I got this potty chair for car trips and for the times when we spend the night away from home.

For a picture and reviews, check out this link:

small, portable

easy to clean

feels sturdy, does not feel like it will break easily

only $13, rather than $28 like the other two potties


The splashguard is useless, despite the fact there is no penus involved! I guess this means I would not recommend it for boys? I guess it depends on how well your little one knows how to point, as my mommy puts it!

It is extremely low and does not have back support, so it doesn't look comfortable. Then again, if you only plan on using it two or three days a month when you go to grandma's, this is not a big issue.

Overall, I am happy with it. I have had an intimate relationship with baby poop for over 15 months thanks to cloth diapers and being visually impaired, so a few drops of pee do not scare me! :)

Suddenly, two steps backwards...

Amor Chiquito peed on the rug just because... Weird... Not sure how to deal with that.

Do I remind her to go on the potty? Do I not make a big deal out of it and hope for the best?

Do I sing the ut-oh song? What consequence would I deliver? Something about that approach does not feel right with potty training... Can't put my finger on it...

Another alternative is to completely avoid the potty subject and pretend like going to the bathroom is exciting, just huge. Silly, I know! But positive reinforcement does work well for us.

Not a big deal... I am not going to stress out over an accident. Mostly just thinking outloud, I guess. Comments/suggestions are welcomed, of course.

Early Intervention Update

Wow, I neglected my blog again… I just realized I had not posted in over three weeks. I hope to make up for it in the next week!

Here is the early intervention evaluation update.

The re-evaluation took place yesterday. Three people came out: the woman who comes every week, a speech pathologist, and an occupational therapist.

Amor Chiquito did very well. She was not extremely shy at the beginning, as she typically is. I am guessing this might have been because she knows one of the three people well.

We are continuing services because of a delay in receptive and expressive language. Amor Chiquito has many words and says two-word phrases. However, at this point, she should be saying three or four-word phrases. She is able to answer some questions, like “what is that?” But she is not able to answer questions like “who is that for?”

Another thing we will be working on is motor planning. Basically, Amor Chiquito knows what she wants to say, but the words either do not make it out of her mouth or, if they do, they are hard to understand. Also, she has a hard time repeating unfamiliar sounds.

We will be getting a hearing test to find out if there is a hearing issue. Hearing loss could affect language development.

Amor Chiquito has a strong personality. In other words, she is one stubborn kid! So, if she does not feel like doing something because she wants to do something else, she just won’t! For example, she was asked to hug her stuffed animal. We know she understands “hug” and “kiss.” But she did not feel like it, so it did not happen! She lost some points, so to speak, due to her stubbornness! To be honest, I cannot throw stones!

Amor Chiquito did well in the other areas. Here is the quick version:
Receptive and expressive language: 21 months
Cognitive: 23 months
Social and gross motor: 26 months
Fine motor: 31 months
Self care (average of toileting, bathing and feeding): 34 months

We will be seeing the woman we have been seeing next week. I will get some tips from her on how to help Amor Chiquito with cognition. The speech pathologist will give us yet more tips on how we can help Amor Chiquito.

Apparently, early intervention shares our info with our town’s school system and a spot at preschool is held for Amor Chiquito in case she still needs services after she turns three.

I must go on a rant about how difficult it is for a child to qualify for services, but I will do that at another time. My mother just had surgery and I want to make her a chicken soup before Amor Chiquito wakes up.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Review: BabyBjorn Potty Chair

I figured I would do a quick review on the potty chair we are using...

easy to clean
no setup necessary

pricy ($28)
cannot be used as a stepping stool like other potty chairs

So, the boildown: after reading many reviews on various potty chairs out there, I concluded the BabyBjorn potty chair was the one. I wish we had not spent almost $60 on potty chairs, but Amor Chiquito loves them and we have no complaints about them whatsoever.

You can get it in white, pink, and green.

Here it is:


Have I ever mentioned that I am a bargain hunter? I love finding deals! So, if anyone out there is about to buy shoes, here is some info!

Famous Footwear is having their buy one get one half off sale again.

I found two coupons you can use this weekend to get an additional 10% off the order.

On the coupon field, type "pumpkin" or "hol9999."

To find coupons you can use online, check out Type a website address on the search box (, for example). You will get a list of reliable and not reliable coupons.

I just got my mother and I very comfortable, highly recommended running shoes for $67 (for the two pairs)!

Happy shopping!


Amor Chiquito has been quite mischivious today!

She wanted to have Teddy Grahams for breakfast. Geeky Entrepreneur said "first bread, then cookies." She looked and pointed at me and said "mommy"! Too bad, kid, you were screwed no matter who you talked to!

Later on, at my mother's house, Ari brought me a pickup truck and said "peepee." I said "peepee in the potty." She said "no, peepee" and handed me the pickup truck. I still didn't get it! (Reminder: my eyesight is terrible!) I put my hand in there and, well, my fingers were swimming in baby pee!

That was not an accident, by any means! That was mischief! Amor Chiquito knew there was a potty in the bathroom. She has used it dozens of times. That was experimentation. That was creativity at its best!

I give her credit for the creativity, but I did tell her that peepee only goes in the potty, not in cars!

Usually, Geeky Entrepreneur loves to celebrate Halloween, but he is not feeling well and does not want to risk getting anyone infected. I could care less about Halloween. So, the only celebrating here is that Ari got to enjoy a bag of mini m&m's. It was the first time ever she had them. Amor Chiquito loved them! She wanted more, infact.

Now, Amor Chiquito wants cookies for dinner, just like this morning. We settled on "first rice, then cookies." We'll give her six Teddy Grahams or so. Mean, I know! But, you must admit, I did keep my end of the deal!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yo You and Bye, Muah, Bye, Muah...

I can't believe I forgot about this as I was typing last night...

The cutest and sweetest thing lately: "I yo you"!

She started saying it last weekend.

Hearing my child saying I love you in her own little way to my husband or myself is... Undescribable...

When Geeky Entrepreneur comes home and she says it... Well, what can I say? I bet she could get just about anything out of him right that second!

When I tell Amor Chiquito that it is night night time, she goes to Geeky Entrepreneur and says "bye, muah, bye, muah," over and over again!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An update on us...

I had not blogged in ages. Ok, that is not true! It had been 10 days!

Last week, I was not in a good place. Several things went wrong. And, to be honest, I was feeling pretty down, but, there is no way in hell I was going to blog about how I kept feeling that my life sucked. Why? Because I know that was my I'm-depressed perspective. I know that is not true. There are too many parents out there whose kids never came home, little ones out there fighting to stay alive, etc. If I ever post something that stupid, you have permission to give me a virtual kick!

If you are curious, here is the list:

All three of us had bad, can't sleep colds. No, I don't think it was/is swine flu.

Three days in a row, Ari would not nap. Have I ever mentioned how much I need that break, the me-time to enjoy a shower, exercise, go on the computer...?

Several nights, Ari would wake up at two or three am and was unable to fall back asleep for the next four to five hours.

So, she was sleeping six to eight hours a day. Serious sleep deprivation for all...

I called the pediatrician, and, a week later, I am still waiting for her referral to someone who can help us. Very unlike her. At least things are better in the sleep department now.

My father, who is chronically ill, had pneumonia.

There is someone in my family who is very much into gossip and drama and is causing a great deal of trouble and pain. Damn it, why can’t people grow up?

The kicker... We are suspicious/afraid that someone I love very dearly is doing drugs. I will not say more about that here, but, needless to say, I am heart-broken and feeling helpless, as there is not a thing I can do, other than offer support if/when he needs it. I so wish I could wake up one morning and know, for sure, that, no, there is no or no longer a drug problem.

The family stuff is still there, but we are healthy (well, Geeky Entrepreneur is still working on it) and I am doing my best to stay positive. I owe it to my child, my husband and myself. Exercising for 20 to 30 minutes every day is helping. And, I am getting more sleep! That's a big one!

I have considered anti-depressants, but I rather try "crunchy" things before I opt to go there. So, if you have any suggestions, I am all ears! For now, I am drinking nasty chamomile tea! It is probably not doing crap, but I figured I will give it a try for a while longer.

Onto positive stuff…

Amor Chiquito is only using two diapers a day, one for naptime and one if we go out. She is starting to ask for the potty when we are out or peeing when we come home.

We have many phrases now! Her favorites: "mano (hand) teti," teti mouth," "mas teti," "daddy baby."

As you can tell, many of her phrases have to do with breastfeeding. She is still very much into it and I have no idea when she will wean herself. We night-weaned. But I am fine with daytime breastfeeding. I can see her breastfeeding until she is three. Actually, I will be surprised if she weans herself before then.

Amor Chiquito loves to point at herself and say "daddy baby"! I love it! Too cute!

Amor Chiquito is learning about puzzles and about animal sounds. Thanks, Yaminette!

She is also learning letters. Thanks for the blocks, Liz! She loves to stack them and name the letters she knows. Her favorite part is to knock them over, of course!

Amor Chiquito is very much enjoying drawing and playing with play dough.

I think that is about it... Time to nurse the baby for the last time and hope she goes to sleep. Speaking of, I can't believe she does not have a baby face anymore! I can't believe my baby is no longer a "baby"! I guess maybe I should stop calling her “the baby?” We’ll see...

Donating Hair

I just came across a blog entry about donating hair. The blogger posted this link:

If there is anyone out there reading this and living in Canada, perhaps the agency mentioned in the article might be of interest to you.

Here is a confession for you...!

I got my hair cut last December, about 15 inches. It is braided, in a bag, in my dresser, waiting for me to figure out what agency I should send it to. Beyond pathetic, I know.

I did some research months ago, but was not successful in finding a reputable-sounding agency.

If someone can direct me to an agency that will really use my hair to make a wig for a cancer patient, I would very much appreciate it.

I am hoping that next summer my hair will be long enough for another donation. Agencies look for at least 10 inches of hair.

If you can't donate your hair, I am sure you can do something else. Go give blood, instead, for example. Or, volunteer at a local oncology unit.

Monday, October 19, 2009

We spent the weekend with Nana.

Saturday afternoon, we spent some time with my father and then drove to the in-laws’. Ari did very well on the car ride. She slept most of the ride.

Ari has been doing very well in the potty training department, but I opted to leave the potty chair at home. No good reason, simply because I did not want to bring yet one more thing. Bad idea! When we were at my dad’s, she asked to use the potty. When Amor Chiquito realized there was no potty, she was unsure about what to do. She was very intimidated by the toilet. Saturday, Amor Chiquito opted to wear diapers, but, by Sunday morning, she was ok with using the toilet at Nana’s, as long as someone held her, obviously.

We had five bags for a 24-28 hour trip!
Small diaper bag in case we went out somewhere for a few hours
Large diaper bag full of cloth diapers
Lunch box full of snacks for Amor Chiquito
Tiny backpack with clothes for Geeky Entrepreneur and I
Backpack with my laptop

See why I did not want to bring yet one more thing?! But I will next time. I am thinking of buying a portable potty.

Back to the trip, everything went well. Ari had tons of fun with Nana. We co slept Saturday night and Amor Chiquito did so, so well. She slept for over six hours before she woke up looking for mommy milk. Once Amor Chiquito realized Nana was awake, there was no way to get her to go back to bed. So off with Nana she went. And, we got to sleep in, for real! We stayed in bed until 10am. Wow! It has been a very, very long time! We decided we ought to go see Nana more often!

Everyone kept complementing Amor Chiquito because she says please and thank you most of the time. Some people were surprised at how well she is doing in the potty training department.

Every child has her/his strengths and weaknesses, if you will, so do not get discouraged if yours is older than mine and is not potty trained. Yours probably has been saying phrases for ever and Amor Chiquito just started saying a few, for example.

On a different topic, Amor Chiquito’s great-grandmother told me how the way to get her used to the toddler bed is to hit her and she will do great after that. I politely listened and ignored every word she said. Perhaps, I should/could have shared my opinion on this and how we successfully discipline our child. But I figured what was the point? She is 80; she will not be disciplining kids. Actually, come to think of it, I am wrong because she does babysit from time to time and she loves to give people advice and I am sure some people listen/take her advice. What is done is done, but I do think I will respond differently should the topic come up again. Part of me feels that I should not say anything. I hate confrontation, particularly when it is someone who is very set in her ways and who has parented many children, for much, much longer than I have. But, part of me feels that I should because, you know what, I am a mother and I do have valuable thoughts/opinions. Most importantly, I parent in a way that is respectful, considerate, and generates results.

Off my soapbox now…!

Back to the trip, Sunday night, we drove home and, again, Amor Chiquito slept most of the ride. We got to celebrate Nana’s birthday and everyone was happy. The only bad thing is that what little progress I had made in the weight loss department was gone, just gone! Back to eating well and getting on the elliptical every day!

We are so happy that we can travel again, even if it is only a weekend at a time.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

Taking some time to send my thoughts and hugs to those grieving after the passing of their little one(s).

Article: Five New Parent Arguments and How to Avoid Them

Some of my readers are past the new parent stage, but some are there right now and some hope to be there in a few years.

Check out this article:

The author was right on. A new child at home means lots of readjusting, different expectations, a whole new life. It is beautiful, but it can and is difficult and stressful at times.

The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to talk about things before everyone is tired and tense. That is not always possible, of course. So do the next best thing: talk as things come up, but remind yourself that you chose to make that baby and bring her/him into this world with the one you love. Remind yourself of why you fell in love with that person and why you love him/her today. Remind yourself that the person is not trying to be mean or irresponsible. Most likely, your loved one is simply exhausted or unawear of how you are feeling, what you need, and how badly you need it.

Long story short: talk, talk, talk... And, for God's sakes, don't be passive-aggressive. That is lame and does not lead anyone anywhere.

Thanks, Yaminette!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Aliens took over me yesterday!

I am not into cooking. Geeky Entrepreneur does most of the cooking. I only cook because I have to. I am a grown-up with a family and stuff, you know!

But, yesterday, some alien took over! I got inspired. I wanted something healthy, but delicious.

I made the America's Test Kitchen low-fat macaroni and cheese recipe, with a twist!

I am not a big fan of the America’s Test Kitchen recipes because they often are very time-consuming, but this particular recipe was not very time-consuming. There were several steps, but each step only took two to four minutes.

I used different cheeses because Geeky Entrepreneur does not like ricotta. I ended up using romano, asiago, and cheddar.

I used whole-wheat flour.

And, most importantly, I used whole-wheat pasta.

My husband won't let me live it down! He kept wondering if I was sick, had a fever, something…!

It was quite yummy, despite the fact I forgot some steps! I know Geeky Entrepreneur really liked it because he had seconds. Ari, on the other hand, opted to have cereal for dinner! Talk about a slap on the face! As her daddy says, she is lucky she is so cute!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A few stories...

Here are a few stories about Amor Chiquito...

Last night, Amor Chiquito was singing. Her microphone was a toy hotdog!

Earlier today, Amor Chiquito did not want the diaper I was going to put on because it was “friea” (cold). She took off, butt-naked, and sat on her toy car. Amor Chiquito said the following: “Ari, cah, bye-bye”!

A little while ago, Amor Chiquito was at Abuela’s. We have a one-disposable-diaper/day-at-Abuela’s policy. Amor Chiquito needed some boundaries in that regard. She peed on her disposable and wanted another one. Abuela said there were no more disposables.

Picture the following:
A little girl running in circles, saying “no, no, no, pappo, pappo, pappo”!!!

Pappo = disposable diaper.

I am extremely biased, but she is too funny!

Realization regarding our eating habbits...

As I have written before, we are trying to eat healthier. The other day I realized something that made me happy and that shows we are making progress.

Everything in this house is whole grains, except white rice.

We only buy wholewheat bread. Stop & Shop wholewheat bread makes delicious French toasts.

There is now only wholewheat pasta in our home.

We recently started eating English muffins, the double fiber, wholewheat kind by Thomas. They have a bit of honey in them. They are quite yummy.

When we snack on crackers, it's Triscuits or All Bran crackers.

I am trying to get the family to eat more brown rice, but Ari isn't too thrilled and Geeky Entrepreneur isn't much into it either. I am not worried about it because everything else is whole grains.

So, again, one more step in the transition to crunchiness!

Cloth Grocery Bags

I had been considering switching to cloth grocery bags for months. When we went to Boston, my friend Yaminette and I went shopping for the kids and she used one. I liked how efficiently you can pack the things!

The other day I was at the grocery store and there they were, only $.99/bag. So I decided to give it a shot and got four.

I have used them twice and I really like them. Give them a shot.

If you care about the environment, you are not using as much plastic and you don't need to worry about bringing them somewhere to be recycled.

My husband claims this is one more step in the transition to crunchiness, so there you have it. I am yet a bit crunchier!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Crunchy Tip: Olive Oil for Baby's Bum

I have now read this on several websites and blogs. Apparently, olive oil helps with diaper rashes.

I have not put olive oil on Ari's bum, in case you are wondering! I might when she gets her next diaper rash, though. I'll let you know how it goes!

A comment/email with some silly remark from my husband is on the way, I just know it!

Picture this...

Geeky Entrepreneur comes home from a business meeting. What did he come home to? A wife who was almost losing it because Amor Chiquito just would not take a nap, among other things, and a little girl who was proud as can be because she peed and pooped in the potty. Amor Chiquito proudly handed her daddy the bowl with poop and began clapping! So, there he was, clapping, congratulating her, and handling poop, in his suit jacket!

Tell me that wasn't funny!

Cream cheese on your chocolate chip waffle, anyone?

That is what Ari ate the other night. Seriously. I am not making that up!

Weird. Whatever makes her happy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hitting your kid is the only effective way, really?

Another rant, be warned!

My mom was watching what turned out to be a very annoying, misinformed tv show. Some people believed that hitting your child is essential, a must, so you can successfully discipline your child. Others were saying that all a child needs is love. Not making this crap up!

I happen to disagree very strongly with both points of view. Shocker! What else is new?! I am very much a do-my-own-thing type of person. I research things, educate myself, analyze the possible outcomes, make my own decisions (with my husband, of course, particularly when it comes to my child). Ultimately, we do what we think is right. Frankly, I don't give a damn what our relatives think! Facts are worth much more than opinions to me. I do not mean that I do not welcome advice. I mean that, to me, advice with facts to back it up is worth so much more than simply "I did x, so you should too."

Don't have a lot of time right now, but here are my beliefs and how we respond to unwelcomed behaviors...

Lots of positive reinforcement.

Try to make being around parents fun. Every day, do something fun with your kid. Little things at home make kids so happy... I wish you could hear Ari's laugh when she runs after her daddy trying to catch him!

Lovingly, calmly and respectfully set limits.

If you say no, mean it. Otherwise, your word as a parent is worth crap. If your word is not worth a damn, then don't get mad at your child when the child does not listen to you. It's your own damn fault, no offense!

Enforce the limits/boundaries. If you said "if you do a, x will happen," make x happen. Take away what you said you would take away.

Consequences come immediately. When Ari thinks spilling juice on the floor is cool, I immediately say "ut-oh," take the juice away, and I don't give her attention until the tantrum is over.

Once the situation has passed, it belongs there, in the past. We give her a hug, tell her we love her, and move on, onto fun stuff.

It goes without saying that no one parent is perfect, but if you communicate that your word is worth something and if there are consequences to your kids' actions, they will get the hint.

We all have bad days and frustrating moments. No one is 100% consistent. Every parent loses it every now and then. Being a parent does not mean you stop being human. But if we do our best and do right by our kids, hopefully we will be proud parents one, five, twenty years from now...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't you love unsolicited opinions? A rant, be warned!

Today I was chatting with someone and she was asking about Ari. Sleep woes came up.

She said: You have to wean her. She won't sleep well till you wean her.

Oh my God!!! Not again!

My response: *Name*, no offense, but that is bullshit.

I said it to her, I will type it on this blog, and I will say it 100 times if necessary. THAT IS BULLSHIT.

Tell me, why the hell do people insist in telling you that your child will sleep better once you… feed them cereal, feed them solids, wean them, get them out of your bed…? What’s next? Once they are potty trained? Once they go to preschool?

She said that so-and-so's baby is on formula, is on a schedule, never wakes up in the middle of the night because that routine is all he has known. Breastfed babies, on the other hand, get used to eating every two hours, so they wake up in the middle of the night until they are weaned.

Again, I repeat: that is bullshit.

The ironic thing is that one of her kids was breastfed until age one and the other one only until six weeks. Neither one slept "well." So there goes that theory!

I night-weaned Ari and she still wakes up. My friend weaned completely for health reasons at 21 months and five months later, her son still wakes up once. My former professor/advisor's breastfed son was sleeping ten hours straight at seven months. There are plenty of formula babies out there that wake up and want their parents in the middle of the night.

So, in case you did not read it above: that is bullshit.

Children want their parents at 3am because they are used to falling asleep with something of their parents' nearby, whether it is simply the parent's presence, a little walk in the bedroom, a hug, holding the parent's hand... Yes, the boob is what they want in many cases, but that is not it. Otherwise, they would magically put themselves to sleep the minute you night-wean them. As you know, that is not the case. You saw all my posts about our experiences with weaning and sleeping night after night. Ari understood that there was no nursing until daytime, but she wanted to put her hand on my chest. I am now working on holding hands, rather than the hand on my chest.

By the way, you know what, if the fact my child breastfeeds has anything whatsoever to do with her night wakings, I still would do it again, in a heartbeat. Breastfeeding benefits both baby and mother in so many ways. So many stories have proven or found correlations between breastfeeding and positive things... In fact, I will endeavor to find a few and post them on here.

Why the night wakings, you wonder? Children have shorter sleep cycles than we do. If I remember correctly, the length of a young child's sleep cycle ranges from 60 to 90 minutes. So all children wake up in the middle of the night, just like we do. The trick is whether or not the child can put her/himself back to sleep without any assistance from a parent.

I would sleep a lot better if Ari put herself to sleep independently. I would be more rested. That is true. But, you know what? Parenting is a 24/7 job. My job does not end at 5pm. Does this mean that I am happy with the current set up, that I do not want her to be able to put herself back to sleep independently? Of course not. I can't wait, in fact! I am freakin' tired, if you had not heard!

Here is the difference: we are willing to gently transition her because my #1 priority is that my child is securely attached to her parents. For those of you unfamiliar with psychobabble, attachment has to do with the relationship that a child has with her/his parents. Is there a sense of trust? Does the child know that the parents will protect her/him? Does the child know that the parents will always return, that he/she will not be abandoned? A securely attached child knows this. This, in turn, helps the child develop her/his independence. A securely attached child will be a better partner in her/his relationships as a grownup. That child will grow up to be confident, not clingy. Again, there are plenty of studies that prove this. An insecurely attached child, one whose parents did not respond to her/his needs during the early years, either cries inconsolably when a parent leaves or does not give a damn if mom walks away. These are the people who grow up to be non-trusting people or people who cannot have a close, fulfilling relationship due to their own, personal issues.

I know a two-year-old who is an excellent example of ambivalent attachment. He will be around strangers. His mother walks away and he could care less. He is so used to her walking away, to her ignoring his calls for help. Very sad. That is not what I want for my kid. That is why when people told me to let her scream it out at three months, I said no, not now, not ever. At three months, babies do not have object permanence. In other words, if you leave, you do not exist. They do not comprehend that you are simply in another room of the house, that you will return if they really need you.

Let me clarify... I don't mean that Ari never cries. There is always some crying. That is unavoidable. But we are there, visible, in her room, holding her hand if that is what she needs. What we need to work on is to make it so that we can slowly get farther and farther away until she does not need us in the room at all. I am confident that will happen. She will know that she can put herself to sleep but that mom and dad will be there if she is afraid, is not feeling well, is hurt, etc.

Woe, long rant. rant over! I feel better now. Time for bed...

Progress in the potty training department...

Last night, Ari said "pee-pee" and Geeky Entrepreneur brought her to the potty. After a few minutes, she peed. It was ridiculous how excited we were! We were clapping! Positive reinforcement at its best!

I decided that after each meal, I would bring her to the potty.

After lunch, I brought her to the potty at Abuela's. She sat down, got up, walked, sat down again, over and over again...

I told her she had a choice: either potty or diaper. She said "pie" (potty).

A few minutes later, she came out and said she had pooped. It was true!

Time to be ridiculous again! This time, it was my mother and I.

Later on, she peed in the potty at Abuela's.

And, just now, as I type this, she said "pee-pee" and peed in the potty.

Good job, little girl.

Time to buy cloth training pants. There are several out there, but I am not sure which ones work best. Unfortunately, there are not tons of reviews, like there are for cloth diapers. I guess trial and error it is. One of each and then buy more of our favorite. Any suggestions out there?

We can travel chaos-free again!

Last weekend, we drove to Boston to see friends. We spent one night away from home. Ari did so, so well! I was very pleased. I could not believe it went so smoothly!

We left on Saturday at naptime. By the time we got to the gas station, she was asleep. She slept almost the entire ride. She woke up about 15 minutes before we got to my friend's Yaminette's place.

We spent the afternoon and evening with Yaminette, her husband, and her little one, who is two months older than Amor Chiquito. The kids had a blast, mostly playing with trains and riding a car. The guys got to chat. The girls got to catch up. It felt great. It was not chaotic at all, like one of our get-togethers was. I think last weekend worked well because we made sure we got together after the kids napped.

We slept at Yaminette's place. We were wondering how it would work, praying that one of the kids would not cry, wake the other kid up, and having the night turn into a nightmare.

The only thing that went wrong is that Ari did not fall asleep until 10:30pm. Very minor issue.

Each baby only woke up once and the other baby was able to sleep through it.

The kids played a bit more in the morning and then we left to see our friend Liz.

We had a funny episode at Liz's. Liz shared a very yummy watermelon with us. Ari ate lots of it. She would not stop peeing! She was peeing every ten minutes or so. I swear I am not making this up! I think we went through five diapers while we were there. I eventually ran out of cloth diapers. Fortunately, we had some disposable diapers in our trunk. Ari was in heaven because she got to wear "pappos"!

Five minutes after we left Liz's, Ari was asleep. She woke up when we pulled into our driveway.

That's what I call success!

We spent a few hours with Sarah and Moo (Will, I mean)! Again, Ari was rested. All was well.

Stories about last weekend... Geeky Entrepreneur and I got exposed to lots of yummy food. This led to many jokes...

We love meat and Yaminette and her husband eat vegan. Yaminette and I had fun figuring out where we would have dinner. There were plenty of options. It's just that any time we talk about food, I must remind her "whatever the hell kind of food you want, just make sure they have chicken!"

On Sunday morning, the crunchy woman offered us vegan pancakes! I must pick on her! How could she dare?! I will admit it: they were yummy.

As if that was not enough, she offered us super crunchy juice (apple, ginger, and broccoli)! Tasty, but super spicy! If I did not have terrible reflux, I would have really enjoyed it. But don't ever tell her I said that! Oh, wait, you read this, oops!

Lastly, at Liz's, there was a very yummy potato, bacon and cheese pie waiting for us. The hell with vegan food! As if that was not enough, there was a blueberry coffeecake that was more like cream cheese with a thin layer of cake. Yumm, my kind of cake! Oh, and there was a delicious fruit salad. Remember the watermelon peeing episode?

Diapers need to be washed. More later... Looking forward to our next little trip.

Breastfeeding while working... It can be done.

Wow, how annoying... Just spent quite a while typing about breastfeeding, working moms. The post is gone, gone for ever... I want to kick something!

Here is the short version, as I don't have time to retype the post right now.

Usually, breastfeeding moms who work use an electric breast pump. The bad news: they are expensive. The good, most effective ones are anywhere from $250 to $350. The good news: apparently, you can learn to effectively hand express breast milk.

Check out this blog entry to learn more:

I was one of those moms who, no matter what, only got three ounces of milk at a time. Pumping more frequently and drinking tons of water did not help. I am sure there are many moms out there who have the same problem. It is good to know that there are other options. Breastfeeding and working is not easy, but it can be done. If worse comes to worse and you have tried it all, some breast milk is better than none. Your baby will still benefit from your milk.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Heading out for the weekend...

As is the case every time we go somewhere for the weekend, I am excited and a tiny bit nervous. I think Ari will be fine, but there is always the unexpected with babies!

We are driving to Boston (2 hours) to see some friends and will return tomorrow afternoon. We are doing the driving during Ari's naptime both days.

We will then hang out with our local friends/former tenants.

It's friends weekend! Yay! It's been a while.

A cute little story... The other morning, Geeky Entrepreneur was going to take Ari so I could get a little more sleep. She said and did the following:


Blow big kiss.

Oh, agua.

Grabs my Klean Kantine from the hallway and hands it to me.


Another kiss.

Close my bedroom door.

I am biased, but, that was cute, you must admit!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Elimination Communication

Ari is napping and I am catching up, reading blog entries.

Just came across this:

Elimination communication is, essentially, infant potty training.

It was not for us when Ari was tiny. I have no regrets whatsoever. I was too busy trying to breastfeed and dealing with post-partum depression to care about this. But, if it works for you and your baby, why not?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

That flu shot better work!

Horrible night last night. Ari woke up with a high fever. She was shaking. She kept trying, but could not fall asleep. Ari was up from 12:45 to 5:30. She was a trooper throughout the whole thing. She was patient, hardly cried, only asked to nurse twice.

It was a hard night, but I am a lucky woman. I have a husband who steps up to the plate without hesitating. All I had to do was wake him up and he took over. I needed help badly! It was 5:00 and I had gotten less than two hours of sleep.

Today is one of those days when I am glad my husband is a crazy entrepreneur. The baby is not feeling well. Everybody slept very little. We are taking turns. He took the day off. He did not need to call anyone and pray that the boss would not be angry. As with anything, there are disadvantages, but I’ll focus on the good stuff, especially on a day like today!

That flu shot better kick ass!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Platelets: The Third Time

The "booboos" on my arms were gone, so I was able to donate platelets last Saturday.

As I said before, if you have podcasts and dress as though you are going to play in the snow, you will do fine! Ask for a blanket or two and it will be an enjoyable experience.

Donating platelets, believe it or not, is like getting a break for me. I get to help two or three patients by donating my platelets, so it is a win-win for all.

My arms are red again. I assume it is simply because the needles were in for about 95 minutes. There is no infection or pain. So I am not worried. I will hold my horses and go again, as soon as my arms allow!

Have I mentioned lately how happy I am that I can do this?! I have, I know!

Off to bed now, for real. I'll enjoy some sleep before the little guest shows up and climbs into bed with us! I want a king-size bed!

24-month Checkup

Amor Chiquito's 24-month check up went well. As usual, we answered many questions to assess development. We also did the autism screening. I am happy to say that she passed with flying colors.

The pediatrician is pleased with Ari's progress in the language department.

Ari weighs 25 lb 7oz and is 35" tall. 25th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height. We have a tall, skinny kid.

The pediatrician is not concerned about her weight because Ari has been in the 25th percentile for over a year. She figures if there is consistency, there is nothing to worry about.

Ari has followed the pattern breastfeeding kids tend to follow: gain lots at the beginning and gain at a slower rate later on. I used to get concerned about her weight gain, or lack thereof, but she is not underweight, so we need not worry.

Funny little story. The pediatrician asked what questions we had. I said I wanted to talk about
Ari's weight and eating habbits. The pediatrician's response? "Arianna has the proportions I have been dreaming of my entire life! She is perfect!"

Ari got a shot today. I warned her and explained as best I could what was coming. I don't know if that is what did it or if we were just lucky, but she did not cry, did not ask to nurse, did not seem upset at all.

Afterwords, she milked it for all it was worth, though! She kept talking about her booboo and limping any time she remembered it! The drama!

After the checkup, Ari spent the day with Abuela and I went to a training session for a part-time job. Long day, so I am going to bed. More tomorrow, maybe, hopefully, if the child allows!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Watch out, I am two!

I think something along those lines is going through my daughter's mind!

Amor Chiquito is standing in front of the television, watching cartoons, eating cookies.

When did I become that mom, the mom letting her kid have cookies for lunch and letting her run the house for a brief period of time?

She has a super wet diaper, but refuses to let me change it.

Her once upon a time warm pasta is waiting for her at the dining table. But she won't come eat it.

No, no, no... That is the answer to anything I say to her.

Welcome to the terrible two's! We are celebrating her birthday in style, with a reality check! This is what it is like, what everyone talks about! We are in for it!

Long night. My father is in the hospital with something cardiac-related. Add the multiple calls from the hospital, calls from relatives and friends asking questions, and the times Ari woke up last night... I was up more than six times. I am tired. I don't feel like fighting her. But I feel like a crappy mom. Time to get off my butt and put Love and Logic to work.

Happy birthday, my baby girl! The day will get better, I promise.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A trip down memory lane...

Last Tuesday, shortly after I woke up, I remembered/realized it was 9/15. I felt like it was a date to remember, but could not place it. It was my due date. It was the very much anticipated date, the date I waited for for over eight months! The day was just like any other day. It came and went, with nothing to remember, not even a contraction!

Since Tuesday, I keep remembering all the things we did just before Ari was born, all the thoughts going through my head before the big day. I distinctly remember thinking I want to sleep; I need to sleep really late, one last time! I knew I would not be getting much sleep, but, oh boy, I so did not know what it would really be like! I tried to sleep late, but just could not, probably due to the labor jitters.

Two years ago, right about now, we arrived at the hospital for an induction. In hind sight, the induction was not necessary. The OB left it up to me and I was freaking out because the baby was not moving as much as she used to. Now I know a lot more than I knew back then. Every now and then, I feel guilty for having put the two of us through unnecessary hell: her heart tones decreasing over and over again, mine increasing, my low pressure decreasing... Freakin' pitosin and epidural, how much I dislike them... They are great drugs for the times when they are necessary, but they are so over used. But that is another post for another day.

So, back to memory lane, pitosin was started at 9pm. For about an hour and a half, it was a piece of cake. Tiny, almost unnoticeable contractions.

At 10:30, I said yes to breaking my water so that things would progress. That is when labor really started, no doubt! A yoga ball and a bottle of water to put pressure on my back became my best friends!

Around 1am, things got really scary and unbareable. I will never forget the never-ending contraction that lasted about five minutes. My room filled up with nurses. Someone put an oxygen mask on me. Everyone telling me to get on my side. I said I could not move. A nurse said I had to for my baby.

After that hell, I agreed to an epidural. After an idiot trying to put in the epidural three times, a real anesthesiologist did it quickly and without it causing me pain. That made me feel better, but my baby was still in distress, lots of distress. My blood pressure started getting dangerously low.

After three hours of hell and scares, it was time to push. The longest hour of my life began. Everyone said I was doing so well. I felt like the baby was never coming out. Pushing was, by far, the most intense workout of my entire life!

At 5:31am, on September 18, 2007, Arianna Janette was born. What a releaf! She was here, safe and sound. She was immediately placed on my chest. I held her close and cried and cried...

About 20-30 minutes after she was born, we breastfed for the first time. I so did not know what I was doing! Fortunately, Ari did very well. Eventually, it became very painful due to her being tongue-tied, but those first two days were great.

Long story short: it was totally worth it. I have my precious girl and she is fine, despite all the scares. But, please, learn from my experience. Research, research, research... Ask lots of questions. Educate yourself. Let nature do its thing, so long as you and your baby are healthy. If something comes up and the baby needs to come out, sign up for an induction or a c-section yesterday. They can save lives. But, otherwise, hold your horses! Labor and delivery will be much more manageable that way, believe me!

On a different topic, my daughter just began an Elmo obsession. God help me!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Houston, we have phrases!

Ari started saying phrases every now and then a few weeks back, but now she is saying phrases all the time.

Her favorite? "Mas teti (more boobie!)"

Another favorite: "mas fita (more Ffresca)"

Just now, we were lying down. She was nursing. We love to snuggle! She said "Ari fria (Ari cold)."

More later, before someone else begins typing!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Better day today...

Ari napped today. We were at my mother's and she had not napped there in months. I would end up coming home earlier than anticipated so she would not miss her nap. But it worked and she napped for almost two hours. I had to try twice, but it worked.

Thanks for the reminder/encouragement, Musical Daddy!

Geeky Entrepreneur still has work to do at home, but he told the people he was meeting with he was wrapping up at six so he could have dinner with the family. So the three of us got to enjoy a nice dinner at a local, quiet restaurant. Nice, low key way anniversary celebration.

A little story... September 2004, Geeky Entrepreneur had been on eHarmony for six months. On September 7, he expanded the age range so that he would get matches 21 and up, rather than 24 and up. He wanted nothing to do with the 21-year-olds who were still trying to figure out who they are, what they want, etc. Turns out the very same day he changed this parameter, I signed up and we got matched. Guess how old I was at the time? Yup, 21! You got stuck with a 21-year-old after all, Geek!

I knew Geeky Entrepreneur had played with the age setting, but I had not realized that he did so the same day I signed up. Five years later, we are still learning little stories about each other... You would think we must know it all by now, but, clearly, that is not the case...

Post #100 already...

Happy Anniversary, Geek!

Not our wedding anniversary. That was last month, August 12.

Geeky Entrepreneur and I were matched on eHarmony five years ago today! Yes, eHarmony! We were only 30 minutes apart, but we would have never met otherwise. As Geeky Entrepreneur likes to put it, he works with old men and I was at an all girls school. Go eHarmony!

Happy anniversary, my love. Here is to hoping that you get home from work before 10 p.m. so we can spend some time together before the day is over!

I have been informed that he will be helping an entrepreneur build a presentation from scratch and that he might very well be working until 10 p.m. He is starting at 10 a.m. So sad!

Blogger Bug?

The last three times I have tried to post a comment on my posts, I am told my request cannot be processed, but when I try a second time, the comment goes through.

Has this happened to anyone else? Strange...

Almost 3:30 a.m. Let's see if I can get some sleep...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

One of those days...

No nap today. No nap whatsoever... I tried three thimes and she never went to sleep. Ari has now been up for 12 hours. A long time for a child her age.

Please tell me this is just a fluke! Please tell me she is not outgrowing naps! I need those naps. It is the only break I get all day.

K, done panicking... Hoping that tonight and tomorrow will be better...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

She ate a real meal, finally!

I know that toddlers go through phases where they are not interested in eating. I don't know why this happens. I just know that it does. I know not eating well for a few days is not going to kill her, but it is hard not to get worried when it has been about ten days.

We just got home from Abuela's. We delivered dinner because my mother just got surgery. Surgery on your left hand (carpal tunnel release) when you are left-handed sucks!

Back to Ari, she asked for rice and actually ate all the rice I gave her. She also had a small bowl of fruit and about half of a Danimal smoothie. I can feel her little, full meatball tummy! Yay! The things parents get excited about!

Article on Early Education

Just came across this article:

About half of my readers are parents to 2-year-olds. Soon, it will be time for us to begin thinking about preschool. Do we want our kids to go to preschool? If so, what questions do we ask? How do we pick the right preschool for our children? What do we want our children to get out of preschool?

Thoughts on this article?

Looking forward to your comments! Some of us are parents. Some are teachers or thinking of becoming teachers. Some are both. This will be interesting!

One more thing to research!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The latest source of entertainment is...

Arianna is thoroughly enjoying throwing toys and other things down the stairs and screaming "down"! I should tell her to stop, but I am having too much fun watching. I could not keep a straight face if I tried!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Night-Weaning: Night Eight

Last night went well.

Ari was excited about her new bed. She enjoyed checking it out, jumping on it, etc., before bed time.

At bedtime, I nursed her, gave her a chance to have some milk (aside from mama milk), walked her, sang the song, and gave her a backrub, as I do every night. Ari took a while to fall asleep, but there was no crying, no trying to nurse. She put her hand on my chest and went to sleep, after tossing and turning for a while.

Ari slept for five hours before she woke up! At that time, I went in her room and sat next to her, until she fell asleep. I was in there for about half an hour. It took me a long time to fall asleep after that. That was the only bad thing about last night. So nothing to complain about.

The next time Ari woke up it was 5:30, so I told her she could nurse and brought her to bed with us. I was too tired to sit next to her for another half hour or so. I felt like I had just fallen asleep. The stupid toothache is not letting me sleep very well.

On a different note, I tried to donate platelets today, but I got a temporary deferral because of some tiny red bumps on my arms. Basically, there are red marks from where the needles had been. The nurses were fairly certain that there is no infection as there is no pain or swelling. But they could not take a chance and more needles would not help my arms right now. I was told I could go in again when the redness goes away. I guess my body is complaining about the facts that there have been needles in my arms three times in just over three weeks!

When the redness goes away, I will try again and hopefully I can donate every other week.

I learned that my last platelet count was 290. My count keeps going up! The higher it is, the more platelets I can donate. Last time I gave enough for two infusions. I am told I will probably be giving enough for three infusions soon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Night-Weaning: Night Seven

Wow, it has been a week already. We have our ups and downs, but, overall, night-weaning is going better than I had anticipated. There have been very hard times, don’t get me wrong. There were many times when I second-guessed myself, felt like a selfish B, etc. But I am confident that this was the right decision for our family. Ari and I are already sleeping better. And my husband is back in bed with me! It is the little things in life…

Last night, I decided to lie down next to Ari, but on her bed, rather than bring her to bed with us. I was unsure about how this would work, but it worked quite well.

Usually, Geeky Entrepreneur puts Ari to bed, but she just was not having it last night. Eventually, I took a turn, lied down next to her, and she went to sleep. I wish I had put the man out of his misery sooner. All she wanted was to put her hand on mommy’s chest and go to sleep. She did not even ask to nurse before going to sleep.

Ari slept for 4.5 hours. When she woke up, I went in her room, lied down next to her, waited for a bit, and left her room after she had fallen asleep. This was around 3:30am. I could not believe how well things went. No crying, no asking to nurse, just her hand on my chest.

The next time Ari woke up it was 6:00 or so. I told her she could nurse because it was daytime. She nursed, we cuddled, and everyone got to sleep another hour and a half.

Yay! A good night! Can we have some more of those, please, kiddo?!

The rail for Ari’s bed arrived today. Abuela and I reassembled the crib and installed the Kidco rail. We finally have what I wanted: a bed where she cannot roll off, but can get out of safely. Now let us see how she likes it tonight. I don’t know if I can lie down on it with her. Not sure on the weight limit. 100-something pounds is much more than 25 pounds! Maybe I should do some research before bedtime!

She is fibbing already!

My daughter is outright fibbing to me! I have been telling her that it is time to change her diaper because she pooped. I ask her if she pooped. She says “no” and smiles! She keeps running away. She prefers to stand at the door and look outside, rather than get the poop off of her bum! That’s beyond me!

Different story… A while ago, Ari enjoyed running in circles around me. When she was standing in front of me, she would put her toy spoon in my mouth. That happened five or six times. Ari then switched to putting the spoon in her mouth and the handle in my mouth. Silly kid!

Lastly, Ari has recently become interested in going up the stairs backwards or sideways. I am unsuccessfully trying to talk her out of that.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Night-Weaning: Night Six

The night-weaning part is getting easier. Ari is no longer asking to nurse, trying to latch on, or crying for extended periods of time each time she wakes up. She is, however, needing a fair bit of time to go back to sleep, often 45 minutes to an hour. Ari still wants to hold onto my nipple. Lately, she also wants to fall asleep with her head on my arm. I love cuddling with her. I really do. But it means I sleep like crap and I end up hurting. I hope we can find a way that works for everyone. What I really want is for Ari to be happy sleeping near me, not on me, and for our next bed to be a king-size! Oops, the husband had not heard that yet!

Back to last night, Ari woke up three times. That made the night hard on me, along with the horrible toothache I had.

It feels like now we are ready to tackle the next big thing: the many night wakings. Night wakings are normal. We just need to help her develop ways to put herself back to sleep. It won't be easy, but I am feeling like if we got through night-weaning, we can do this.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Encouraging Post on Night-Weaning

I needed this. I so needed this!

Here it is:

Time for bed. Let's see if I can sleep for an hour or two before Ari gets up. Yes, when you are the parent of a child who does not sleep through the night, your expectations regarding sleep change drastically! I would be a happy, rested woman if only I got five hours of uninterrupted sleep! Would never have guessed that two years ago!

Night-Weaning: Night Five

Last night had its ups and downs, more downs than ups.

The first time Ari woke up, Geeky Entrepreneur helped her go back to sleep. She cried for a bit. Once he took care of her diaper, she went right to sleep.

The second time… Well, I am not so sure what happened that time… I think it went ok because Geeky Entrepreneur stayed in bed with us. That means there was not a whole heck of a lot of crying. I have a vague memory of noticing that Ari was not asking to nurse incessantly, as she had done before. It took her a while to go back to sleep, though. That is hard on me because she wants to keep her hand on my chest. I cannot roll over and so I end up with a backache.

The third time sucked big time. Ari was crying. It must have been over an hour by the time she fell asleep. She kept wanting to hold my nipple. This is uncomfortable and really drives me nuts. If I remove her hand, we start back at square one. If I don’t, my nipple hurts, I get frustrated, and the backache returns.

Today I tried putting her down for her nap three times. Not sure what went wrong. Finally, around 3pm, I asked Geeky Entrepreneur to take her for a ride. This is something we seldom do. Not a good habit. But it is an ok plan C when nothing else works. The alternative was to be ok with her not napping. She would drop of exhaustion around 5-6 and then she would be up until 10 or so. Unacceptable.

I hear that about 20 minutes into the ride, Ari fell asleep and slept for almost two hours.

As for me, I had big plans. Sunday is cleaning/laundry/everything day for us. But all I did was wash her clothes and nap. I needed it badly. I am so tired after all the hard nights that I have an almost constant headache. I have been feeling unmotivated and moody lately. My poor husband… Thank you for being so supportive and helping out, my love!

I remember reading that people need 21 days to break a habit. I really hope that that is not true! Please, tell me that is just a myth! Otherwise, we are only 25% of the way there!

A bit of good news: after eating poorly for the past few days, Ari is slowly starting to eat more. She is thin. She is not getting the calories she had been getting from nighttime mama milk. So we need her to eat up, not reduce her caloric intake! Feel free to share what works for you and your family, any tips you have heard, etc. This mommy is a bit desperate! I don’t want my baby to be so thin she will fall off the famous chart. Most importantly, I want her to be eating healthy again.

I was about to get in the shower, but I scratched that idea because I cannot find my shampoo! Yes, I looked everywhere. Where is it, kid? Hopefully one of the two other people in this house, the ones with better eyes, can give me a hand when they get in. Maybe she will even remember where she left it!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Night-Weaning: Night Four

Last night was horrible. It sucked big time. Here I was thinking that things could only get better from now on in the sleep department, but, no. I should have known. Actually, I knew there would be bad nights every now and then, but refused to believe it. Been trying very hard to stay hopeful. Night-weaning really, really sucks. I hate seeing Ari cry.

I cannot remember clearly how many times Ari woke up or how long it took her to go back to sleep. I think she got up four times.

The first time, Geeky Entrepreneur tried to help her go back to sleep for about 45 minutes. Then, I took a turn. About 50 minutes later, she went to sleep.

I don’t remember anything about the second or third times. All I know is that there was a short period of time between time two and time three, less than an hour. I also remember that one of those times she fell asleep horizontally, near the edge of our bed. Eventually, she was upside-down, with a foot on my face. Fortunately, that did not last long. That means the weird sleeping arrangement happened on time two! I am still trying to wake up, can you tell?

Ari woke up a fourth time around 6:30. She did not ask to nurse, but it was daytime, so I offered. She nursed and slept for another 1.5 hours.

At 8:00, I woke up Geeky Entrepreneur so he could take over and I went back to sleep. I got to sleep another 2.5 hours, which was very helpful. Still feel strange, though. My head feels funny. I can’t wake up!

Ari has been starting the night on her high-end bed, the floor, but, once she wakes up asking to nurse, we co sleep the rest of the night. Poor Geeky Entrepreneur has been sleeping on an airbed all week. Better than both of us hearing her cry and not being able to sleep, but I would love to have our husband back at our bed, any day now.

Not sure how transitioning her back to her bed will go or when it will happen. I feel like it is a must because I don’t get good sleep when we co sleep. She likes to keep her hand on my chest and it becomes painful not to move all night. If I could sleep well and we had a king-size bed, I would think that co sleeping is cool!

For now, transitioning her back to her bed is not our top priority. Night-weaning is. In a way, I feel like if we can get through night-weaning, we can get through anything in the sleep department.
I was going to write about something else sleep-related, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember what the heck it was. Perhaps it is time to go back to bed. More later.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oh, shoes!

That is one of her favorite phrases! Ari loves putting them on, taking them off, trying new ones on… Such a girl!

Today Ari’s shoes were delivered. I ended up getting a white pair of sneakers and a black pair of shoes.

After much searching, my favorite website is They carry some of the shoes that the APMA recommends. Good prices. Free shipping. If the shoes do not fit her, I have the option of returning them and I would not be responsible for shipping costs. Not our case, but it is nice to know we have the option.

I got the sneakers from Zappos and the shoes from

I hope this is of help to some parent looking for toddler shoes out there!

Night-Weaning: Night Three

Last night, Arianna got up around 12:45. About 25 minutes later, she had settled down. She kept asking to nurse every once in a while, almost in her sleep. I felt bad…

Once we got through that, we got five hours of uninterrupted sleep! Wow, it had been so long!

Ari got up around 6:00. She was not done sleeping, but she wanted to nurse. I showed her it was daytime and told her she could nurse because nighttime was all done. So she nursed and went back to sleep for another 1.5 hours!

For those of you who like to create a graph in your head (there is a certain husband who might be booting up Excel right about now!), here is the data:
Night 1: settled down after 1 hour
Night 2: settled down after 40 minutes
Night 3: settled down after 25 minutes

On the down side, Ari was somewhat clingy and fairly uninterested in eating today. She must have asked to nurse 15 times. No, not exaggerating! We are working on getting her to bed earlier and are hopeful that in a few days she will return to herself, once she is sleeping better and is used to no mama milk in the middle of the night.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Night-Weaning: Night Two

I am very proud of our little girl. I know that she will need a few days to adjust, but, thus far, she is doing a great job.

Last night, Ari woke up about an hour after going to sleep. This is rather unusual. Usually, she sleeps three or four hours before getting up. Geeky Entrepreneur was able to put her to sleep without me going in there and saying “all done” or any of that.

She then slept for four and a half hours before she got up again. Around 3:30, Ari woke up and I brought her to bed with me. About 40 minutes later, she had settled down and gone to sleep. At first, Ari kept asking to nurse. I kept telling her that breastfeeding was all done until daytime and that my breasts have booboos, which is true. Nothing horrible, just sore nipples due to nursing a million times in the middle of the night. Eventually, she stopped asking, put her hand on my chest, and went to sleep.

Now that Ari simply puts her hand on my chest, rather than holding and squeezing one of my nipples, I am enjoy co sleeping again. Nothing like cuddling with your baby! I especially love when she suddenly rolls over and puts her arm around me.

The next time Ari got up it was 6:30 and I could tell she was done sleeping. When she asked to nurse, I brought her to the window, had her look outside, told her it was day time and that she could nurse because it was daytime. Ari breastfed for quite a while. I was very full and lumpy. She had not nursed for nine and a half hours. I had almost forgotten what full, lumpy boobies felt like! What a trip down memory lane! I was brought back in time to those days when she was tiny and I was just as full two or three hours after she had nursed. Those memories make me smile!

I have really enjoyed having that special connection with my little girl. I have enjoyed witnessing first-hand the miracles that are pregnancy and breastfeeding. I knew kids could be exclusively breastfed, but to actually know that my child grew, gained weight, and thrived on only the milk that my body made for her was quite the experience.

Tonight is night three and, just like last night, I am a bit anxious but very hopeful that we will do well, just like last night. I keep reminding myself that night two was much better than night one and that even night one was not as horrible as I had anticipated.

Wish us luck and I will update tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A bit on what The Imp has been up to...

I am starting to feel like I should rename Amor Chiquito The Imp!

Yesterday, she was playing with a key. There is a gap between our back door and the ground. Amor Chiquito dropped the key and it landed on our back porch. I opened the screen door so she could get it. Once she was outside, Amor Chiquito did not want to come in. I said “outside all done” and told her it was nap time. She threw a bit of a tantrum but I brought her inside. Once inside, Amor Chiquito threw the key so she would have an excuse to go outside again! Once outside, she picked up the key and proceeded to go down the steps and onto our driveway so she could play with our tenants’ kid. The hell with what mommy was saying!

Amor Chiquito got a hold of my nursing pads and put them on her chest!

She enjoys stealing my hair clip, running away, and laughing her little butt off!

Amor Chiquito tells us “down” when she wants us to lie down on the floor so we can pick her up with our legs!

She tells me “up” when she wants to get something she cannot play with, like her Tylenol, but cannot reach.

Amor Chiquito is quite impish! I like impish! Impish is fun!

Night-Weaning: Night One

I knew that the time was coming, but I figured we would not be night-weaning for another few months. I was guessing we would be doing it around December. I figured Amor Chiquito might be uncomfortable because of the molars coming in, so I did not want to make life harder for her. Unfortunately, lately, she has been waking up more and more often asking to nurse. Amor Chiquito would only go back to sleep if she nursed. Sometimes we were up for hours no matter what. Recently, we were getting up every two hours. Needless to say, the three of us have been very exhausted lately.

I understand that night wakings happen, but I do not think Ari should need boobies every two hours. We are way past the newborn stage. I think she will be happier and rested once she is not waking up so many times in one night. I am 100% certain that I will be a better, happier mother once I get a little more uninterrupted sleep.

Last night was one of those nights… I had nursed Ari four times and she would not go to sleep. I was hurting and very frustrated. Actually, I was starting to resent nursing. I was angry, biting my lip while she nursed. I knew I had to do something about it. I love breastfeeding her and I know she loves breastfeeding too. We have beautiful memories of breastfeeding. I want to keep it that way.

So, last night, around 12:20, I decided that I was starting the night-weaning process right then. I knew it would be hard on her, but I felt confident we would get through it. I felt at peace with my decision. I knew I was emotionally ready. Trust me, it took me a very long time to get here, so I felt like it was now or never!

I decided to do this on my own, rather than handing her off to Geeky Entrepreneur. I wanted her to know that, despite the fact she could not nurse, I was there, loving her, hugging her, rubbing her back. I wanted the transition to be as comfortable as possible.

The first time, it took an hour before Ari fell asleep.

Two hours later, she woke up again. That time, it took 25-30 minutes before she went back to sleep.

Two hours later, Ari got up again, but she was only awake for 15 minutes.

We made it! We did it! We made progress. This morning, she was herself. She was not upset.

My goal is for her to learn and be comfortable with nursing during the day but not at night.

Wish us luck tonight!

A big thank you to one of my best friends, who quickly responded to my text message and took the time to hear me out today. She just went through this about three months ago, so I knew she would understand how I felt. I love you lots, Yaminette! You are the best!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Crib/Toddler Bed Update

It is a long story, but I will not bore you with all the details.

Boil down:
I am extremely disappointed with our Babies R Us as it took me speaking with four reps, either on the phone or in person before I learned what I needed to know. You would think they would know what they are talking about. I have spent plenty of hours doing customer service. I know the job can be tedious, but, come on, people…

In the end, we own a $380 “lifetime” crib and yet our child is sleeping on her mattress on the floor while we wait for a $75 convertible crib rail to show up in the mail. Kind of ridiculous, if you ask me.

What I learned from this whole ordeal: some “lifetime,” “convertible,” or “three-in-one” cribs are not all they are cracked up to be. If you plan on getting one or already own one, do the research sooner rather than later. Do not wait until your child climbs out of the crib and assume that you will be able to take care of it the next morning.

Everyone tells you to keep your child in the crib for as long as possible, at least age 2.5. The older the child is, the easier the transition will be. However, once the child is 35” tall (or even 33.5, like Ari!), he/she might be able to climb out. At this point, even if the transition is tough, in my opinion, there is no choice. You need to do it. It is a safety issue. Better to deal with a hard transition than with a broken arm.

Some cribs turn into a toddler bed easily.

In some cases, you need to buy a kit to convert your crib into a toddler bed and it is a special order, so you will be told that you must wait three months for it to arrive. Yeah, I am still shocked about that one. Makes no sense to me.

In some cases, you remove the front of the crib and buy a rail from the manufacturer of your crib. The purpose of this new rail is to keep your child from rolling off the bed, but to give her/him the ability to climb in and out of bed independently.

In some cases (our situation), you remove the rail and use the crib as a daybed, so a crib with only three sides. If you, like me, are concerned that the child might roll off the bed, you need to buy a generic convertible crib bed rail.

I just ordered this today:

I hope that it arrives soon. I hope that it works well for us. I am still annoyed at the fact that we had to spend another $75 after our in-laws paid $400 for this crib because we felt it was a wise, long-term investment. You would think I did not bother doing any research. I could have gotten Ari a decent toddler bed with $75!

The cool thing about this: Ari thinks sleeping on her mattress on the floor and being able to jump on it is the coolest thing ever!

Daddy thinks there is absolutely nothing wrong with her sleeping on the floor! Boys! So, clearly, the only one mythed in this home about the crib issue is me!

Potty Training Update

A bit of progress in the potty training department…

We have talked to Amor Chiquito about how there is a potty for mommy and daddy and a potty for her. We have given her opportunities to sit on it, but she is not interested yet. Fine, we are not in a rush. Pressure is counterproductive.

What is different is that Amor Chiquito is starting to tell us when she is about to pee, not that she has already peed, as she has been doing for months.

Once Amor Chiquito has peed, she lets us know and proceeds to remove her diaper.

I have more laundry now than I used to because the kid cannot stand sitting in pee! Every time she pees, Ari wants a new diaper. No complaints; it means she is learning. Yikes, I don’t have a baby anymore!

Ari is now able to put her pants on independently. This brings us one step closer to potty training. Yikes, I guess it is time to start buying training diapers!

The child cannot stand the taste of hummus!

I told Arianna it was sleepy time. As usual, suddenly, she wanted rice! Yes, that is how she tries to avoid the inevitable, by asking for anything and everything: rice, milk, agua, you name it she wants it at bedtime…!

I was getting the rice out of the fridge and she decided to grab the hummus. I told her I did not think she would like it. But, then, I figured why should I stop her? I hate hummus, but maybe she will like it.

I gave Ari a taste of hummus. Immediately, she spit it out onto my hand! Furthermore, she said “towel”, asking for a paper towel. You should have seen her! She was spitting onto the paper towel and cleaning her tongue with the paper towel!

Yes, kid, hummus is nasty! I am right there with you! Yuck! Daddy disaagrees, but we are right!

I hope you had a good laugh, like we did!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Toddler Shoe Shopping

It is time to get Arianna new shoes. I have read that shoes with soft soles are recommended for kids 24 months and younger and that flexible soles are recommended for kids ages 2-5.

Up until now, I have been getting her Pedipeds. These are recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Unfortunately, I find them to be pricy. $38 for sandals, $44 for shoes, and over $50 for boots that she will only use for a few months feels like a bit much! So I did the usual: started doing a bunch of research!

Check out this link:

This website contains a list of footwear recommended by the APMA.

So now it is time to go bargain hunting! I love bargain hunting! I love finding good deals!

I already know that some Robeez are cheaper, around $28 rather than $44 a pair. That works, much better! Unfortunately, not much of a selection on their website.

I wish local shoe stores would carry footwear that is appropriate for her age. Come on, all I want is a pair of shoes, a pair of sneakers, and a pair of boots that will be good on her feet. Is that too much to ask?

Online shopping it is.

I went to and searched for several of the shoes listed on the APMA website. Didn't find any. What is that about? I thought they are all about shoes that are good for kids.

She is napping, so I am going shoe shopping!

When she wakes up, I will turn her crib into a toddler bed. Please wish us luck tonight!

I will have her there with me as I unassemble and reassemble her bed so I can tell her what we are doing and why. I am hoping that that might make the transition easier. That strategy has worked for us in the past.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Toddler bed, already?

Crap, I really was not prepared for this one. I envisioned her in her crib until age 2.5 or so. But she just successfully climbed out. This is not safe. I guess we will be turning her crib into a toddler bed much sooner than anticipated. In the meantime, the rocking chair was moved as far away from the crib as possible so that if she falls she does not hit her head. I am paranoid about this because climbing out of a crib is what gave my sister one of the scars on her head.

Geeky Entrepreneur just went with her on a car ride. Nothing else is working. I cannot remember when the last time he did this was. Crappy night, what can I say...

I should go to sleep, but how can I go to sleep knowing that she is crying in the car right now because she only wants me tonight?

No idea if it is the sugar, the molars, or something else...

Platelets: The Second Time

Today was great, so much better than last time. This is, I think, because I was prepared. I dressed differently, as if it was the winter, because I knew I would get cold. I had 12 podcasts and lots of music on my mp3 player. I started with U2's Beautiful Day. Great start! I was comfortable and had something to do. This made a world of difference. Time flew by this time. I was never uncomfortable. Heck, I felt like I was on a high at the beginning! It felt awesome to do this and actually feel comfortable doing it. I can sincerely say that I enjoyed it.

I learned that my platelet count last time was 287 and that last time’s donation was enough for two infusions, not three like I had been told. Fine, it is still more than worth it to me, as long as the platelets go to people who need them. I am not doing this so they go to researchers or to waste! Shelf life is only five days. Unfortunately, there is no way to know where my platelets end up, but I trust that they are going to someone who can use them.

10:20 and Ari is still up. Things are not pretty here tonight. I have nursed her three times and she will not settle down. I am guessing it is because of the shortbread cookies I had at Red Cross around 3:30. I guess I should have starved instead… Feeling not so bright right now… Wish us luck. Lots of crying right now.

Oh, poop, we are in for it!

Ari got into the cabinets. She is better than the baby proofing we installed!

On the kitchen floor, there is an ice tray.

She is holding one of the Medela bottles I used to pump into.

Suddenly, I hear the water dispenser. Since when can she reach the water dispenser? Clearly, starting today, she can reach it just fine!

The grin on her face… The giggle… She is ecstatic!

And, well, we are in for it!

Her process:
Fill bottle with water
Bring bottle to ice tray on floor
Pour water from bottle onto ice tray

I need not worry about my child’s problem solving skills!

Furthermore, I can ask her to fill up the ice trays for me, should I ever need them!

Oh boy!

This stage is a lot of fun, for her and for me!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Me, avoiding sweets and feeding my family whole grains?

Kids really do make you eat your nevers, as my mother-in-law is fond of saying!

It is no secret that I was never very good about eating healthy. I am 26 and I only started eating vegetables maybe eight years ago. My ex-boyfriend talked me into being ok with having a slice of tomato in my sandwich. My persistent husband took things a step further and talked me into eating salads! I am over fried foods. I cannot remember the last time I fried something. I have definitely been eating much healthier the past five years. Thank you, Geek!

Things changed drastically when I realized I was pregnant. I decided I would give it my all and really try to eat better because now it was no longer just about me. Whatever I ate would go to the little growing person inside me.

Once Arianna was born and I could notice the impact my eating habits have on her, I could not go back. Anything I eat is in the breast milk she drinks. I remember realizing at one point that I could not have anything with caffeine after 1pm. I was able to prove time and time again that what I eat shows up in her breast milk six hours later. I don’t like coffee. I quit drinking tons of soda a long time ago. But I do like to enjoy a piece of chocolate espresso torte every now and then! So it is either no torte or torte at noon!

For a while, I thought sugar was ok. It was not until very recently that it dunned on me that perhaps my having desert after dinner might be affecting her night sleep, and, therefore, ours. Sure enough, I no longer have anything sugary after 3pm and Ari is sleeping a lot better. She still wakes up twice in the middle of the night, but she goes back to sleep very easily. Please don’t tell anyone I said that or else I will be screwed tonight!

I will admit that I am not thrilled in the slightest about this! For some reason, I crave sugar in the evenings! I have realized that I have a choice: enjoy desert or breastfeed my baby (well, toddler, whatever!). I love yummy deserts, but I love breastfeeding more. So, here I am, craving something sweet almost every night and settling for All Bran whole grain crackers instead!

I have been complaining to Geeky Entrepreneur about this nonstop, but earlier today I read a post by Logical Mommy, one of my readers, who is breastfeeding her 1-month-old. She is going on what sounds to me like a hellish diet so she can keep breastfeeding her little one. Needless to say, I am done whining now!

Another change: I want to do my part in helping Arianna develop healthy eating habits. I don’t want her to struggle with eating healthy like I do. So, guess who is buying whole grain everything? Yes, we are eating brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat English muffins, and freakin’ whole-wheat crackers! What is even crazier is I actually think several types of whole-wheat crackers are tasty! Who would have known?!

Ari is 23 months today.

In one month, we will be celebrating Arianna’s second birthday. In a way, it feels like she has been around for such a brief period of time. Two years, already? At the same time, it feels like she has been around for so long. Two years, that is it? It feels like so much has happened, so much has changed.

I cannot remember what my life pre-baby was like anymore. I know one thing: I remember feeling bored every now and then. I have not been and do not think I will feel bored ever again! Oh, I know another thing: everything was quick and simple!

Two years ago, I was pregnant and knew my life was about to change, but had no idea what it would really be like. No clue what I was getting myself into! I can now say that being a mother has been the hardest, most challenging thing I have ever done. Being a student at very demanding Mount Holyoke College does not hold a candle! At the same time, I can also say that being a mother has been and continues to be the most rewarding thing I have ever done. There is nothing like seeing my daughter develop in so many different ways, exploring her surroundings, imitating our behaviors, including the silly stuff, being her unique little self. There is nothing like her smile! There is nothing like hearing her blowing kisses, seeing her giving her daddy hugs, or hearing her saying “teh-too” (thank you)!

Holy crap, I am a mother and I am responsible for shaping, to an extent, the life of a new, little being who will someday be a grownup like you and I. Yikes! I better do a kick-ass job! I sure am trying! She is most definitely picking up on many positive things, and, for that, I am very grateful.

Ok, done with the squishy stuff!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Pics

Geeky Entrepreneur just uploaded the latest photos of our precious, silly child. Check them out here:

That is the website where he attempts not to overwhelm people with hundreds of pictures! If you want to see it all, go here:

The second website is outdated. I will repost it when he puts up all the new photos. If you never saw it before and would like to take a peak, there you go!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Can I just kick 'em?

I am talking about the idiots who think a woman breastfeeding in public is wrong. Is it wrong for you to eat in public, dumbo? Why should I nurse in the bathroom? Why should I pump and bottlefeed my child when my boobs have the milk my child needs? If I was a gorgeous hottie with huge boobs and a nice shirt to show them off, you'd love looking at me. But if I nurse you are offended? The hell with you! Guess what? Grow up and get over it! That is what they are for.

Got that off my chest; I feel better now!

I have not had anyone said anything to me directly about breastfeeding in public. I am sure I have gotten looks, but I can't see them, so whatever! It is one of the few bennies of being visually impaired: you don't notice the idiots as easily!

But, back to breastfeeding in public... For whatever reason, it can be controversial at times. Frankly, I really do not understand why. It is such a natural thing to do. As a breastfeeding mother, you become a pro at breastfeeding discretely. So what is there to complain about?

Check out this post from a labor and delivery nurse:

Having a blog is cool; I can freely be opinionated and who ever does not like it can go screw off! Awesome! I love it!

Speaking of, time to nurse and do the going to bed business!