Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito

Amor Chiquito has been quite impish this week! I am enjoying watching her figure out so many new things. I am loving everything about this stage, except the tantrums! Yes, tantrums are here, and, I know they are here to stay! Welcome, terrible two's!

New words: no and mano (Spanish for hand).

You ask her something, anything, it's always "no"! You ask someone else something, she answers for the person, "no"!

I got her a picnic table yesterday. Today, she had a snack on our porch at her new table, spent some time walking around the house, ran back and forth from the swing to our car, trying to put the key in so she could unlock the door, and spent a fair bit of time on the swing, of course!

Amor Chiquito is enjoying the slide Abuela got her. She was confused at first, but quickly learned how to get on it. She wants to go down the slide butt first every now and then!

She is enjoying her swing a great deal. It's her favorite thing to do, for the time being.

Speaking of the swing, last Tuesday she threw her first tantrum because she wanted to go outside and go on the swing. I said no because it was cold and rainy. She either did not understand that or did not care. The Geeky Entrepreneur figured he'd try to turn it into a learning experience. He thought if she sat on the wet swing, she'd get it. Well, guess what? That didn't work! She didn't give a crap! I'm guessing she is too little to understand that. She enjoyed being on the swing and proceeded to throw yet another tantrum when The Geeky Entrepreneur brought her in the house. To be honest, even though we had read "Love and Logic," a book on discipline, how to raise respectful and responsible kids, etc., I was not prepared for this! I guess it's time to do some thinking and decide how we will be handling tantrums! Suggestions are welcomed! It makes sense that tantrums have begun. The terrible two's are approaching.

So, back to the tantrum! I explained why we had to come in, tried distracting her, giving her space to figure it out, ignoring her, you name it… I got kicked. I got slapped. Even the boobies got hit, despite the fact that she can't live without them! Eventually, she decided she wanted mama milk. Then, the tantrum was over, she took a bath, and life was great again. My sweet baby was back!

Since then, we have had a handful of smaller tantrums, all because of the swing, because of keys, or because she does not want us to change her diaper.

Amor Chiquito and her 2-year-old cousin got to spend some time together last weekend. I noticed that neither of them was interesting in sharing anything. At one point, my nephew was about to sit where Amor Chiquito had been sitting. She got mad and made sure he wouldn't eat her food or have any of her water. Sounds terrible, I know! I know it's a kid thing, but I felt like there must be something I can do to teach her about sharing. A few days later, I got the weekly child development newsletter from Baystate Medical Center, where I gave birth. Apparently, children do not really understand sharing until they are three or so. That made me feel better. But, that means the next year will be very interesting for Amor Chiquito and her cousin! Well, they won't care; it will be interesting for those of us watching!

On to cute stuff! Amor Chiquito gives us lots of unsolicited hugs! Often, she'll start running towards you with her arms wide open! She just learned to blow kisses, so we get kisses too!

She continues to get better at spoon feeding herself. In fact, she won't let anyone feed her these days! I am waiting for the day when she will say, "I can do it myself"!

Amor Chiquito just learned to put her shoes on! She had been trying, but they were often backwards, as in she tried to put her toes in the heel part. One day, I noticed she had both shoes on, no socks on. I didn't do it and Daddy was working.

For a while, she was enjoying dressing herself, especially if it was new clothes that she got to remove stickers off of. Now, sometimes, she just does not want to get dressed! Today, suddenly, I realized she was in her diaper, shirt and pants were gone! Then, five minutes later, the diaper was gone too! Maybe she wanted to take a bath?!

Oh, how could I forget…? Quick sleep update: most nights, she has slept 6-8 hours uninterrupted. So, we end up getting up only once in the middle of the night. We are still dealing with her having a hard time going back to sleep on some nights. Overall, I am very pleased with the progress she has made during the last week or so.

I think that is it for this week.

I have not forgotten about cloth diapers. I will post more about that when I get through the end of the semester insanity.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

7 hours of uninterrupted sleep = PROGRESS

She got up once. The Geeky Entrepreneur walked her for a minute. She went right down. Did not ask for mama milk. She stayed in bed for over 7 hours after that.

So, no mama milk all night and over 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, that is what I call serious progress! She is doing that more and more often lately! Yay! Let's keep it up, Amor Chiquito! Mommy is so proud of you! You need to sleep good so Mommy can convince Daddy that you having a sibling in about 2 years is a good idea! Oops, I didn't say that!

It's great that she is doing so much better because the three of us are fighting colds, so we could use the rest.

Monday, April 20, 2009

She was cold...

Quick update to last night's saga… She was cold. She went to sleep relatively easily once she was wearing her sweater. What can I say…? I feel like an idiot. I should have known better.

I am noticing a pattern. Most of the times when she is having a hard time going back to sleep, it has something to do with temperature. So we'll need to keep that in mind.

Funny (now) story… Here is an account of our conversation once she went to sleep at 3am or so.

Daddy: She's asleep.
Me: She was cold. I feel like an a-hole.
Daddy: (in a very sleepy voice) Yeah, same here, the hell with f'ing cry it out.

Why is it funny? Because he never ever swears! It was music to my ears because I hate cry it out!

He mentioned cry it out because the last few times she was up for hours in the middle of the night, he suggested cry it out because nothing else worked. Turns out one time she was too hot and the other time she was cold. So, moral of the story, when she cries and cries, it's for a reason, never just for the hell of it.

Speaking of cry it out, I respect that it works for many people, but I know that it is not the right thing for our kid or for us. I have realized and accepted that, no matter what, there will be some crying while you are sleep training. But, after having her in our bed for 13 months, I did not feel comfortable with suddenly putting her in a room she had never slept in, in a strange, new bed, and leaving her alone in there to scream until she dropped from exhaustion.

What we did and still do is we are in the room with her, saying "sleepy time" and such phrases if she does not lie down. Otherwise, we wait quietly, usually spend some time on the computer, while she goes to sleep. Time-consuming, I know, but it's what works for us.

Sleep training has been a very hard road for us, but, I am happy to say that she no longer dreads going in the crib. She now knows that her crib is the place where she sleeps and where she can play a bit before going to sleep, if she would like. So, yes, I complain when we have a hard night, but we have come a long way. Hearing her laugh and talking to Momo, rather than screaming her head off when I put her in the crib makes my day!

Hoping for a better night tonight!

It was great while it lasted...

Saturday night was just a teaser. Yesterday, Sunday, she did not nap. In the evening, she was falling asleep while nursing, but, once in the crib, she would not fall asleep. She played for quite some time. She fell asleep the second time around without much trouble.

Since then, she has woken up 3 times, every hour or so. It's 2:30am and we've been up for about 2 hours trying to figure out what is going on. We have done the usual: offer breast milk, sing, walk, rub her back… She just cries and cries… Diaper is ok. She did not seem hot or cold. Nothing different, other than the fact that she seems to be coming down with the same nasty cold I have.

We have been taking turns. I was at a loss, so I asked Daddy to cosleep tonight. I'd do it, but I'm sneezing every 5 minutes. Did not want to risk waking her up. She was falling asleep with her arm around me. When Daddy came in, I said "sleepy time with Daddy." She got very upset and started crying. She would not stop crying no matter what he did, said, what song he sang…

So, scratch that idea… She did not seem cold to me, but I figured I'd put a sweater on her, basically, just to try something. Daddy took her, sang the song, walked her around, and put her in the crib. He is still in there, but she is not crying. Good sign. I'm hoping that she is either asleep or that she will be soon and that we get at least 4 hours.

Oh, we gave her the decongestant tonight. It makes her sleepy. Guess what? Whether it makes her sleepy or not is irrelevant. So, moral of the story, don't ever think that giving your baby something that will make her/him sleepy will assure a good night sleep.

I hope you're sleeping better than us tonight!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

She slept through the night!

The Geeky Entrepreneur put her in bed at 8pm. She was asleep before 8:30. We didn't hear from her until 6am. Actually, I heard her on the monitor once, around 3AM, I think, but she put herself back to sleep. I can't believe it! We are ecstatic!

We are, of course, wondering what we must do for a repeat performance! The two things that have changed are that she has a pillow and that she is sleeping in onsies and pants rather than very warm sleepers.

I will admit that I was paranoid when I woke up at 2:30 and realized that she had not woken up and it had been 6 hours. My poor husband, I woke him up and asked him to check on her! He admits to having been a bit upset at me at first, but that, once he was awake enough to do the math, he was paranoid, too, so he ran in her room and checked on her! Pathetic, I know. We should just enjoy it. But when you recently heard of a "crib death," it is hard not to get paranoid.

Oh, just in case you were wondering, we did not give her anything to help her sleep! I refuse to do that, no matter how many people tell me to give her benadryl.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito

Amor Chiquito is 19 months today.

This week, she was quite busy, lots of fun mischief!

Two new words: wawa (agua, Spanish for water) and keys.

Speaking of keys, that is her newest hobby: playing with our keys. She asks for them every day, multiple times a day. She knows that mine live in the diaper bag, so she points at the diaper bag and says "keys." She gets so excited if she hears keys!

Last Monday, we went to a doctor's appointment and her favorite stuffed animal came with us. When we were about to walk out of the doctor's office, she realized she did not have the stuffed animal. She stopped, looked back, and said "Momo." She remembers the things that are important to her!

Speaking of Momo, I got Amor Chiquito a dress for Easter. The dress came with an identical dress for a doll. I put it on Momo. If you know him, you know he was not pleased at all about wearing it! That, of course, was the point!

For those of you who do not know, The Geeky Entrepreneur has stuffed animals with personalities, voices, stories, you name it… Momo is one of them. He is an imp, a pain in the butt. He talks about "world domination," says humans are ugly because they are bald, among many other crazy things. Well, Momo has become Amor Chiquito's favorite stuffie. He hates the idea of sleeping next to a human, "human cooties and all," but he figures he will make that huge sacrifice because she is his future! Yes, we're crazy, I know!

Amor Chiquito has a unique way of putting on her sweaters. She puts it on the floor, lies down, and puts her arms in it! She is quite creative! She certainly did not learn that technique from us!

We have an old swing on our backyard, but it is not baby-friendly. I got her a baby swing (the type that looks like a car seat and you attach it to a traditional children swing) yesterday. She loved it from the minute she saw it. She was dragging it around the house, sitting in it, asking me to strap her in… Once she learned what the swing was really for, she loved it even more! She was smiling, laughing, giggling the whole time! We have an adorable recording of her in the swing, holding Daddy's keys, and laughing!

Amor Chiquito has upgraded to the big people tub, as opposed to the toddler tub she had been using. She has enjoyed bubble baths two nights in a row, Geeky Entrepreneur's idea. She had a lot of fun.

She has been enjoying blackberries and blueberries a great deal the last few weeks. I got a container of organic blueberries a few days back. In 24 hours, it was gone! Mom and dad never had any! I don't blame her; they were delicious. Abuela was not too thrilled, though; she was on diaper duty the next day because I was in school!

Earlier today, The Geeky Entrepreneur and Amor Chiquito went on a walk. I heard she did a great job and a had great deal of fun walking, holding Daddy's hand, holding his keys on her other hand, pointing at things and saying words that we are not able to comprehend yet. When they returned, she ran across the driveway and started saying, "mommy, mommy"!

I put her on our bathroom scale. At first, she didn't get it. I had to try a few times. Eventually, she wanted to get weighed over and over again! Once I said "all done," she took off, naked, and pooped on the floor! The joys of parenthood!

I asked the pediatrician for a referral to a specialist to try and figure out what we can do to improve our sleep situation. She recommended an early intervention agency. I will be meeting with someone from the agency and several therapists will be evaluating Amor Chiquito. Not sure if they will have helpful suggestions on the sleep issue, but, in the worst case scenario, I will know if she might be a bit delayed on language or if she is fine.

In the meantime, she is sleeping for longer stretches of time and only breastfeeding once at night. I know she should not need us or breast milk at all, but this is progress for us, so I'll take it.

By the way, Thursday night, I went to bed at 8pm and stayed in bed for 11 hours. I nursed her once, but The Geeky Entrepreneur took care of her the one time she woke up. Wow, I felt like a new woman Friday morning! I should go to bed at 8pm more often. But that just feels wrong! Then again, if I want to feel rested, I'll get over it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito

Just like last week, I am blanking out! But the teeth will be coming through soon and hopefully more sleep for us will come soon too!

Amor Chiquito can open Abuela's fridge. She loves to look in the fridge and grab things, particularly the little cups of fruit that Abuela feeds her.

She enjoys grabbing our keys and pretending she will unlock doors with them. Her bedroom door does not lock and you can't unlock doors with keys when you are in the house, but never you mind that!

Abuela, Amor Chiquito, and I went shoe shopping the other day. Amor Chiquito wanted to keep trying on shoes! She was not pleased about returning the shoes that did not fit! She did not want to wear her shoes, after seeing all the different shoes at the store!

She also enjoys wearing her new clothes! A few days back, she saw her new pajamas, took off her shirt, started trying to put on the shirt, came to me for help, and later let me know that she wanted the tag to come off.

She is doing something very cute – I say "hugs" and I put my arms out. She runs over and puts her head on my chest and hugs me. I say "hugs for Daddy" and she runs over and hugs him.

Even cuter – she just started opening her arms, waiting for us to go over and hug her!

Every now and then, she will come over and hug our legs, or whatever she can reach!

Have I mentioned how awesome it is to wake up in the mornings to your child calling "mommy, mommy, mommy…"! No alarm clock can beat that!

We went out for breakfast this morning and I was noticing how well behaved she was. She happily sat on her chair for a while. She played with my keys while we waited for our food. She enjoyed her asiago bread and her cold water. I did not realize at first, or, I took it for granted, but people are right – our daughter is a happy, sweet, adventuresome, well-behaved child. We have had bad restaurant episodes, of course, but, typically, this happens when she is tired. So we do our best to avoid putting ourselves in that situation.

Lately, she seems to be going through a phase where she is not very thrilled about Mommy leaving her. Typically, she is thrilled to stay at Abuela's, so this is unusual. I realized that I have not spent much time with her lately. In fact, I realized that I had not even fed her much during the last two days. I am wrapping up my last semester and so I have been quite busy with school. I am very much looking forward to being done for many reasons, the main reason being that I am missing spending time at home with my Amor Chiquito.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cloth Diapers: An Intro

This is the first of several posts on cloth diapers.

If there is something I swore I would never ever even consider doing but I do now, it is cloth diapering my child! As my awesome mother-in-law (not being sarcastic, fortunately) puts it, "babies make you eat your nevers"!

What took over me? I wanted to save money. And, for some reason, part of me felt like it would be kind of cool to cloth diaper Amor Chiquito! But, ultimately, I blame the ladies on the WebMD parenting boards! They talked me into it!

Disposable diapers are more convenient, so why cloth diapers? Below are several reasons:
If you care about the environment, disposable diapers filling our landfills…
If you don't want whatever chemicals are on disposable diapers on your child's skin…
If your child keeps getting a diaper rash…
If you want to save money, $500 easy, a lot more than that if you begin using them from day 1…
If you think they are cute as heck…!

Things to think about:

Cloth diapering definitely requires more time than using disposable diapers. You need to wash the diapers every 3 days.

It will take a few days for you and the other caregivers to get the hang of it, but, once you do, putting on a cloth diaper on a baby is a piece of cake.

Cloth diapers will seem quite pricey at first, but, do the math. There will be no need to buy diapers every few weeks.

So, if you can afford the one-time investment, if you are willing to wash diapers every 3 days, and if you are willing to go up the learning curve, it might be a good idea for your family for various reasons.

I will be honest; at first, my #1 reason to use cloth diapers with Amor Chiquito was to save money. I was pretty darn proud of having been able to save us hundreds of dollars because we never bought formula. Here was another opportunity to save! Have I mentioned that I am a bargain hunter? My joke with Geeky Entrepreneur was "whatever money I manage to save us by breastfeeding and doing cloth diapers goes towards a cruise"! Sadly, I just found out that our vacation money is going to lovely Uncle Sam, but that is a whole other topic!

As time goes on, the whole doing my part to save the environment thing is growing on me, but don't tell Geeky Entrepreneur I said that! I won't hear the end of it! He is still telling everybody how his wife bought all of us "Kleeen Kanteens with a K"!

Back to cloth diapers… There are several different types. It is overwhelming to figure out what will work best for you, but there are resources to make that process easier. Here are some suggestions:

Go to for a cloth diaper dictionary and to find reviews on the different diapers.

Check out this website for frequently asked questions:

Ask questions on parenting message boards. I learned a lot from the ladies on the WebMD parenting boards, for example.

This is where I got our cloth diapers: Free shipping on many of their products. Good prices, when compared to other cloth diaper online stores. I did not have any negative experiences with this store.

Start by buying a few different types of diapers. Stuck up on your favorite. Reviews are beyond helpful, but what works for my child might not work for yours. Some diapers are better for tall kids; some are better for chubby kids.

More on cloth diapers later!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito

Not much to say this week, or, more accurately, I can't remember much. Thanks to the 3 teeth that are on the way, Amor Chiquito has been sleeping terrible. And, of course, that means we are sleeping terrible, too, so I don't remember much! Fortunately, after these teeth, we have 4 molars and we are all done with teething!

I have noticed a correlation: when she sleeps poorly, she eats poorly. She is not eating much at all these days, not even with Abuela. She typically eats the best with my mother, but that is not the case this week.

So, we are very much looking forward to the end of this phase, of course. It is very exhausting and frustrating, but I keep reminding myself that I have nothing to complain about. She is here and she is healthy, in theory. Every now and then, I wonder if she is as healthy as the pediatrician says. She has slept poorly for most of her life. So I wonder if there is something wrong we are not aware of.

But, on to a fun topic.

Amor Chiquito likes to put her chair in front of the television. She stands on it so she can grab the remote control. Can you spell brain development?!

She likes to put stuffed animals on her booster seat, strap them in, and put the tray in front of them.

She loves to help us. She likes putting away groceries, emptying the dishwasher, taking clothes out of the dryer and putting them in the basket, among other things.

She loves looking out the window.

She loves ringing the doorbell each and every time we come home.

She loves bathtime, particularly soaping herself up.

She is not eating much, but if she sees a piece of cake or a milk shake, she definitely wants some and will eat it! Like mother like daughter, I suppose! I'm just wondering why she won't eat more cheese and why she is a self-proclaimed vegetarian! No clue where she got the whole being a vegetarian thing!

I can't think of anything else; I guess it is time for bed!