Saturday, May 30, 2009

Daddy's Plan for Dealing with Boys

Geeky Entrepreneur was just saying that he was imagining what it will be like when Amor Chiquito is a teenager, wanting to dress provocatively, etc. Check out his rule: This, this and this is completely out. That other thing, I know you'll wear it no matter what I say. I know you'll want to be sexy, so wear it, just don't let me see it. Leave the house with a sweater covering yourself.

Oh boy, Ari and I are in for it! I can tell I'll be doing some mediating!

How he'll deal with boys... This is a good one!

First, he said what every father says: I'll kill each and every boy that comes up to her.

Then, he got clever! When she brings boys over, he'll start telling them about Momo and he'll have Momo talk to them!

As I might have mentioned before, Momo is a stuffed animal that Geeky Entrepreneur's mother gave him about 15 years ago. Geeky Entrepreneur and his brother made up personalities for all of their stuffed animals. They even created planets they live in, crazy story lines, you name it...

Geeky Entrepreneur figures that when the boys hear Momo they'll run away because they won't want to date someone whose father is "a wacko"! If the boy does not mind Momo, then he's ok, not dangerous! Not sure that I agree with that statement; maybe the guy has multiple personalities disorder, just like my husband!

Wait, I married the guy. What does that say about me?! And, my poor kid...!

I smell playdates in my future!

We bought a duplex a year ago. Unfortunately, our awesome tenants need to move out. It has not been easy to find tenants this time around. Fortunately, I finally get to take the Craig's List ad down! We just met with our new tenants two hours ago.

A family of five will be moving in in July. Mom is a stay-at-home mom, just like me. She is a breastfeeding mommy too! Her little guy is seven weeks old! She was very excited because her kids will have another little one to play with. Also, she is always home alone with the kids, wanting to hang out with other mommies, but her friends with kids are too far away.

I am in the exact same situation. I have wonderful friends, but they are too far away. One of my best friends has a baby two months older than Ari, but we need to travel two hours to get together. (hi Yaminette!) When we do get together, we have to work around two kids' naptimes. It's a mess!

Actually, cute story - one time, Yaminette came up with her son. We hung out for a while, then it was nap time. I took Amor Chiquito upstairs and Yaminette was going to have her son sleep downstairs in the playard. Sounds like a great plan, right?! The kids disagreed! They both went down at first, but then Yaminette's son made a cute noise. Amor Chiquito heard him and got up, super excited! Yaminette's son heard Ari and started saying "nena, nena, nena..." (Spanish for little girl." It was too cute and hopeless, all at the same time! We spent the next few hours trying to get them to sleep. Eventually, Yaminette took her son for a ride. Did they ever nap, Yami? I can't remember! I don't think so. What I know for sure is that that that day was chaotic! And I wasn't the one who travelled for hours.

For us, traveling is not easy. Amor Chiquito hates being strapped in for hours at a time. It's so bad we have not dared drive two hours to see my in-laws or our friends in Boston. I love my mother-in-law to pieces and we haven't driven to see her since January. My hope is that as Amor Chiquito gets older and understands language better, I can explain to her what we are doing and hopefully she will be ok with napping in the car and sleeping on a different bed at night.

But, anyways, back to the original topic... Our new tenant/neighbor is already talking about playdates. I am looking forward to it. I love being a stay-at-home mom, but, at the same time, I feel like I often crave contact with people who can talk back and have a conversation with me. Ask my husband, he knows! By the time it's 6pm, if he has not stopped working, I start harassing him! I don't care if he wants to talk about aliens, just talk to me!

So it will be fun! And I'll get to play with a tiny little person!

Oh, I think I might be able to talk her into cloth diapers! She noticed Amor Chiquito's diaper and asked. I'm more than happy to do my part to talk moms into it!

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito (5/30/09)

Not much to say this week. Little mischief, thanks to the fever.

Oh, wait, I lied! Not too many stories, but the two stories are big ones, for me, anyways!

Amor Chiquito just learned/got tall enough to get on the dining chairs independently. Once she is on the chair, it’s easy to get on the table. Once she’s on the table, it’s easy to stand on the table! So, that’s the new thing. I leave her alone for 30 seconds and when I go back to the living room, she is sitting on the table! She does not understand that it is dangerous yet. When will she get that? I have no clue!

Her other new hobby: unplugging and plugging back in the TV. I have also found her trying to remove the outlet covers.

Parenting as a nearly blind woman is interesting. I have to be after her constantly. If we are on opposite sides of a room and she starts checking out outlets, for example, I won’t notice. It makes it hard to get anything done around the house because this kid never stops! I wish she could transfer one-fifth of her energy to me!

Life is interesting with her! That being said, I wouldn’t change a thing! In fact, I am officially losing my mind: I have started thinking about #2!

New words: baba (bottle), chee (cheek)

Amor Chiquito loves pointing at body parts and saying what they are called or having you tell her what they are called if she does not know the word yet.

Amor Chiquito has been fever-free all day! She still complains about her leg, though.

Sleep woes are back. Yesterday, Amor Chiquito did not nap all day. Today, we tried four times before she finally went down for a nap. She went down at 2:00 and usually she goes down between 12 and 12:30. What did it? Bubbles, of course! She would fall asleep on us, would stay down for a few minutes, then she would get up, cry, jump, call my mother and I, you name it… It was hard. I was really upset about it. It felt like we had taken 20 steps backwards. I hope that it gets better soon.

On the up-side, she went down easily tonight and last night was much better than every other night this week. The bad thing: she was ready to rock and roll at 6am! We were not! I’m not a morning person. Well, I guess I am now!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Things are looking better...

I finally heard from the pedi at 2:30. My voicemail did, actually. As usual, I'm waiting for an important call all day, my phone dies, the person calls while the phone is plugged in and I'm doing dishes or something. The theme of my life!

X-rays "all negative."

Bloodwork... Culture did not reveal anything... CBC ok. White blood cells "not too high." My understanding is that if they are high, that indicates there is an infection. Pedi implied they were somewhat high. Does not surprise me. She has had a high fever for days, after all.

Pedi thinks it is probably a "viral infection." We are to keep an eye on things and if she still has a fever in 48 hours or if the leg discomfort does not resolve itself, we go back in.

Last night was rough. Her temp was at least 101 all night. She complained of pain on her hip.

Fortunately, around noon, her temp had gone down, 99.3. It has gone back up since then, but nowhere near what it has been the past three days.

She, and therefore, us, slept terrible last night. Geeky Entrepreneur and I took turns trying to get her to go to sleep from three to six am.

We coslept for a chunk of the night because she was having a hard time falling asleep on the crib. She tried and tried, but would not stop tossing and turning. So I brought her to bed with me. Typically, this does not work. She'll want to stay latched on forever. But she is sick and I was so tired I didn't care. I'll break the rules, so to speak, and deal with it later.

It had been so long since we last coslept, 7 months. Cosleeping was nice. I love snuggling with her. But it reinforced that cosleeping is just not for us. She thinks cosleeping = nibbling on mommy all night. We both wake up too many times. So crib it is for us.

Back to sleeping, she did not nap all day. She was tired, but just could not settle down. She was pretty crancky, very unlike her.

Little story... I finally got her to go to sleep a little past 6. About 45 minutes later, I woke up and got up to turn the fan on. In the middle of the night, Arianna had brought her two balloons into our bedroom. I was sleepy, so didn't think anything of having a ceiling fan and two balloons in our room! Seconds after I turn the fan on, the balloons get trapped in the fan. So much for everyone getting some sleep! Ari got up and said "buh, buh, buh..."! Buh = balloon! She was wide awake, ready to play with her balloons. It was hopeless. I was so mad at myself. Just couldn't believe I screwed it up after working so hard to get her to sleep. Oh well. We made it. I was glad when Geeky Entrepreneur was done working, though.

Hmm, post seems pretty scattered, sorry. I'm too tired to edit right now; going to bed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Early Intervention Update

Some of my readers have children Amor Chiquito's age or a little older. So I decided to share what I am learning from our early intervention sessions. Maybe/hopefully it will be helpful to someone out there.

This morning, before the hospital craziness began, we had our first official early intervention meeting.

The therapist brought bubbles, so Amor Chiquito was thrilled!

The big takeaways from today:

lots of repetition

narrate what you are/she is doing

speak in as few words as possible for now

Kids at this stage tend to hear/understand the first and last words of your sentences. That is why small phrases are better right now.

Amor Chiquito has about 25 words right now. We are making progress!

A Bit of Humor

Someone who knows that Amor Chiquito has a fever asked if she might have "that swine flu thing" and said that perhaps we should bring her in ASAP.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be mean or lack sensitivity, but, literally, LOL!

No, sir, she does not have swine flu. No, sir, no need to freak out. You were in the same room as my daughter a few days back, but she is showing 0 signs or symptoms of swine flu, so you're fine! We did not give you those cooties! Maybe we gave you other cooties, but I have no idea what the hell they are yet!

Perhaps I am being mean and he was sincerely worried about my child's wellbeing, but... His comment did not come across that way.

I hope no one is offended. I just thought his remark was funny and I needed the laugh!

Long, somewhat scary days...

I posted last Sunday that I thought Arianna was not feeling well, but that I had no idea what was going on. She was not herself. She was often sitting around, wanting to be held, crancky... Just not herself. She is typically super active.

On Tuesday afternoon, I noticed her head felt warm. That night, she got up at 1am and it was clear she had a fever. 101.8. We have been giving her tylenol around the clock. The fever won't give. The lowest temp we get is 101. Last night, her temp went up to 104.1. She was shaking. That was scary. 104 is the magic number, the "do not pass go, call now, get medical attention..." number.

She still is asymptomatic, except that she is complaining about her left leg. She is limping and it seems like her thigh hurts.

We saw her pediatrician today. The pediatrician says it can be joint inflamation that will take care of itself or some sort of joint infection that "could be a lot more serious." She sent us to the hospital for bloodwork and an x-ray of her leg.

Being at the hospital was hell. Where do I start? The appointment with the pediatrician was at 1:15pm, so I could not put Amor Chiquito down for her nap. I figured she could take a nap around 2:30, after seeing the pediatrician. But, instead, we went straight to the hospital. We waited for ever to register. Then, we waited at the lab.

At the lab, the lovely lab techs said they would look at both arms and draw blood from the one that had the best looking veins. Guess what? One nurse looked at one arm and tried to draw blood from that one without looking at the other arm. The minute she put the needle in, Arianna was crying. It was a heart-breaking cry, the type of cry where she is so upset that she can't even get the cry out. This tech was poking Amor Chiquito for what seemed like for ever. Another tech was trying to help. I was holding Amor Chiquito. After all this, minutes, I'm not exaggerating, they didn't get anything.

So, on to the other arm... Arianna knows what is coming, so she won't stop crying. This time, they got blood, but it took even longer.

K, done with that. It is now past 3. Amor Chiquito has not slept. Her arms are sore to all hell. She keeps grabbing at them. She won't stop crying. This was the first time her entire life when nursing was not doing its magic. With shots, for example, she'll cry for a minute, I offer the breast, then she is fine. Not today. She would nurse for a few seconds, drop the breast, cry some more, over, over, and over again... I am worried, full of questions, feeling helpless... I was ready to start crying with her.

Eventually, Amor Chiquito fell asleep on Abuela's lap while we waited for the x-ray tech to see us.

Just before 4, we went in for the x-rays. Amor Chiquito was so tired she didn't even move when I put her on the table. Normally, she would not have stayed still, especially knowing she was surrounded by strangers.

These two techs drove me nuts even more. At least the lab techs were being nice, even if they were morons! The x-ray techs... I don't even know how to put it into words... They had an attitude. They were treating us funny. They treated me like I was a stupid mom who could not get her kid to do the right thing or hold her child the right way. "I'll have to hold her myself..." They wanted Ari to be on her side, but she kept getting back on her back. Let's see, the kid is 20 months old. She is sick with a high fever. She has not slept all day. She just got poked and prodded. You're freakin' strangers, weirdows... Hello? Can you tell I'm not happy?!

I don't know why I went to this hospital anyways. Every time I've been there I've had bad experiences. I should have gone to where Amor Chiquito was born, even if it was further away. I'm not claiming that that hospital is perfect. No one hospital is. But it kicks the ass of the other hospital, for sure!

Now we're home, trying for the n'th time to get Ari to eat and not being very successful. She is never very interested in eating when she has a fever. She does take fluids. And, she'll take mama milk any time, of course.

I am waiting to hear from the pediatrician. She was hoping to get lab results today. That did not happen. In theory, we should hear something tomorrow.

I don't know anything about this possible joint infection. I could go online and research, but I think, for now, I rather not. I always prefer to be educated, but I don't want to drive myself crazy with possible bad scenarios when I have no clue if this is what is going on or not.

I gotta tell you - I have yet more respect for parents of little ones with illnesses that require ongoing care. Tuesday night, I got three hours of sleep. Wednesday, I was alone all day; Geeky Entrepreneur was gone for 12 hours. Today, I am wondering what is going on with my kid, wondering why this fever won't go away, feeling so helpless, doing my best not to be scared, but having no problem dmitting that I am, indeed, scared. It's very possible that tomorrow we'll hear everything will be just fine and this craziness will be over. What about the parents who have such days day in and day out, though? One of my readers just spent three weeks in the hospital with her little one (cancer) and they're at the hospital again. She's due in a month with #2. LogicalMommy, from the bottom of my heart, you're my hero! I'm thinking of you guys and hoping that he gets to go home soon.

I'll update whenever I hear from the pediatrician

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cleaning with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Wow, I am so annoyed right now. I had just finished typing a post on cleaning with vinegar and baking soda. Gone, just gone. Oh well.

Here I go again!

I finally get to write about something "crunchy"!

Before Amor Chiquito was born, we used traditional cleaning products. I never stopped to think about it or considered using vinegar, baking soda, etc. Once she reached the "everything goes in the mouth" stage, everything changed. One day, I found her licking the coffee table. That was all the motivation I needed.

I have a lot to learn still, but, thus far, I use vinegar and baking soda to clean our Klean Kanteens, the dining table, the coffee table, countertops, and the tub. If I ever get my act together and decide to clean the windows, I'll use vinegar for that as well! Geeky Entrepreneur wants to continue cleaning the toilets the old way. If the bottle is up high where Amor Chiquito cannot get at it and if it means he'll take care of the bathrooms, be my guest! I hate the strong smell.

I will be doing more research and I will be sure to share what I learn. Meanwhile, check out this website. It tells you about all the different things vinegar is good for.

Done for now, before this post disappears too!

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito (5/24/09)

Done with school for the time being, until June 1st. One week of freedom! Let’s see if I can get some blogging done!

New words: ball, balloon, cereal, eye, ear, mouth

Phrases are next. Looking forward to that.

Earlier today, Amor Chiquito dropped about half a cup’s worth of cereal on the floor! On the upside, she does a great job cleaning up! Geeky Entrepreneur said “clean up” and gave her a trash can. She picked up the cereal, put it in the trash can, and returned the trash can to daddy.

Amor Chiquito has a great deal of fun soaping herself up and soaping us up while she is at it! Soap or bubbles, it does not matter!

Some hobbies apparently are here to stay: Amor Chiquito loves bubbles of any type: bubble bath, blowing bubbles, anything bubbles! She also still loves keys! She loves to stand on her chair so she can reach the door and put the key in.

Her latest favorite thing to do is to point at a body part and say its name or wait for you to tell her what it is called.

We went to the grocery store the other day. When we were approaching the deli, Amor Chiquito said: cheeese"! Like mother like daughter!

Amor Chiquito helps wipe herself when we change her diaper! It gets pretty interesting when there is poop! But that is how she will learn. So there are yet more hand-washing sessions throughout the day!

Amor Chiquito has not been feeling well lately. Not sure what it is yet, maybe a cold. She has been particularly booboholic lately! We'll have to work on that. I am more than happy to breastfeed her, but this is getting to be a little too much! If you have any suggestions on how to get an almost 2-year-old to stop acting like the world is ending because she didn’t get to nibble for the tenth time today, please share! I tell her milk all done and I do my best to distract her. Sometimes it works; sometimes it does not.

This Thursday, we will be meeting with the early intervention therapist to officially start working on Amor Chiquito's language delay. She will be coming over once a week for now.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Early Intervention Update

The quick version on the early intervention evaluation: Amor Chiquito gets help for any area she is at least 5 months behind on. She is getting help for expressive language.

Longer version:
We’ll be getting the full report in a few weeks. This is what I remember.
Fine motor skills (hand/eye coordination): 17 months
Gross motor (using big muscles, walking, climbing, etc.): 19 months
Cognitive (problem solving, etc.): 18 months
Social: 21 months
Self care (spoon feeding herself, putting shoes on, undressing, etc.): 23 months
Language: 14 months

They said she shows signs of secure attachment. She played, explored, kept an eye on Abuela and myself, but felt comfortable with playing away from us, despite the fact there were strangers here. She observed the therapists for the first 10 minutes or so. Good sign. Better to be cautious. Eventually, she realized they were ok and so she interacted and played with them.

Overall, Amor Chiquito did well, but she could use some help with language. She has about 20 words. But she did not do some of the things that were asked of her, like naming a familiar object or identifying abstract pictures. Mind you, there were several things she did not do but she does do. For example, if you ask her “where is your ear, eye, mouth, etc.?” she does do it. But she did not do it when they were here.

These people told me research indicates that the fact we are a bilingual family should not affect her language development in the long run. I am uncertain about whether or not it affects her now, but, either way, I am confident that she will be fine in a few months. I have been seeing progress during the last month or so. I am sure we will see more progress once Geeky Entrepreneur and I learn what we can do better/differently.

One of the therapists who came last Tuesday will come see her once a week. I learned that, at this stage, it’s more about giving us, the parents, tips on how to stimulate her development, rather than about working with the child.

If we would like, we can bring her to playgroups where we can interact with other parents and she can interact with children her age.

I asked about their thoughts on preschool. The sooner the better, so she might be starting preschool September 2010. I was glad to hear that around here there are great preschools where you pay on average $200/month. Much better than daycare!

Thus far, I am pleased with how things are going. Having studied psychology, I knew a fair bit about the tests the therapists were performing, but I don’t know everything, of course. For example, I did not know much about what to look for as far as language. So, this will be a learning experience for me and I am looking forward to it because it will teach me how I can better help my child with language development.

Lastly, things are going well in the sleep department. Every night this week, except last night, she got up once. She got up twice last night. That works for us.

I know there is more, several stories about little Ms. Mischief, but I can't remember a thing right now. Bed time for me...

I'll leave you with this: I'm officially going crazy! I am starting to wonder if I want to do this again, if we want to try for #2! I say I'm going crazy because I just started sleeping better. Heck, we don't sleep great yet. My lovely husband, if you are voting no, stop showing me those adorable videos of when she was so tiny!

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito (5/16/09)

It's been two weeks since my last update. Amor Chiquito has spent a lot of time at Abuela’s. It’s been crazy. I’ve missed my baby! So glad I'm almost done. Should be done by Tuesday.

New words: baby, doggy, beh (bread), cheese, bye, tree, bow (bless you).
Favorite words this week: doggy, bye, cheese, bless you.

Every time she hears a dog bark, she says "doggy" and runs to the door to look.

Amor Chiquito enjoys saying bye to the cars driving by. It gets old and loud after a while, but it’s pretty cute!

She says bye when someone is about to leave or about to get off the phone.

Amor Chiquito says bless you to anyone who sneezes, including herself! You better say thank you, or else... She'll keep saying bless you!

Last week it was raining one night. She kept looking at the rain and saying "awa, awa, awa…"!

Amor Chiquito goes on a walk with Geeky Entrepreneur almost every morning. She loves their walks, particularly a few days back when she got to walk on puddles! What does Daddy has to say about it? "Gotta let her have fun!" True enough!

Amor Chiquito has gotten very good at jumping! She loves to jump a great deal!

A few days back, my brother came over to give Geeky Entrepreneur a haircut. Geeky Entrepreneur was not wearing his glasses during the haircut, so Amor Chiquito was easily able to get into mischief! Geeky Entrepreneur let me sleep in that morning. Suddenly, I woke up to "mommy, mommy!" There she was, right next to me, about to climb into bed with me. She got all the way up the stairs without Geeky Entrepreneur noticing! I asked if he knew. He said no. My brother responded "she's been up and down those stairs 3 times since I started cutting your hair!" Who's the blind one here?!

I must say: there is nothing better to wake up to than my little girl saying "mommy, mommy." Definitely the most beautiful sound I can hear when I wake up.

Something else I really enjoy: after being apart for hours, when we first see each other, Amor Chiquito runs to me, says "mommy, mommy," and pulls up my shirt so she can nurse! Yeah, call me weird. I love breastfeeding still! It's our way of reconnecting, and, most importantly, she still gets the immune system boost.

I am really loving this stage. She is very interactive. She has a mind of her own. She has likes and dislikes. Her language is developing literally every day.

More soon, I promise!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bebe in a Diaper

Check out our dancing bebe in a diaper! Too cute, if I may say so myself!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito: 5/2/2009

Here is the weekly update.

Favorite word this week: nyo (no)
Old words that she had not said in a while: daddy, thank you, and nana (banana).
New words: bubbos (bubbles)

Amor Chiquito loves bringing my purse around with her. A few days back, I went out with my mom and she stayed home with Daddy. When I opened the cell phone pocket, I found one of her Easter window stickers!

Amor Chiquito is not very fund of being in her car seat lately. One time, she threw quite the fit! She was screaming pretty loudly. Abuela tried to distract her by singing a song, a song that Amor Chiquito typically likes to dance to. But, not that time! Instead, what Abuela got was "nyo" from a very angry child! Abuela and I thought the way she said no was histerical! We could not stop laughing! Eventually, Amor Chiquito decided she was no longer angry. So, the new thing was first I dance, then I say no! Too funny! I wish I had a video of that!

The blueberry obsession continues! I am very happy that my daughter is enjoying healthy food, but we have spent over $30 in blueberries this week! No, I am not exagerating! She is going through a small case each day! I got tired of going to Stop & Shop every other day, so we bought in bulk last time!

I made the mistake of not pumping or having Daddy offer her a bottle for a month or so when she was two months old. Consequently, Amor Chiquito decided she did not want the bottle. The next time she accepted a bottle she was nine months or so. At that point, she was pretty good with the sippy cup, so I figured why bother with a bottle if I'd have to wean her from it at age one anyways?

Well, guess what? There are bottles at Abuela's house because my nephew still drinks out of them. Guess who opens the refrigerator, grabs the bottle, and points at the milk? Yes, my kid! And, guess who drank eight ounces of milk from a bottle today at Abuela's? Yes, you're right, my kid again!

My response? What the heck! Do I have to go buy my 19.5 month old child a bottle when she should not have been using one for the past seven months? I am not saying that the day a child turns one the bottle should go away completely. But I do know that at that time the weaning process should begin. And, furthermore, I know that this does not make sense! The kid will be two soon! She knows how to drink from a sippy, from a straw, from a grown-up's cup... So, what then?

Abuela's logic is "if I give her the bottle, she'll drink milk. If she drinks milk, I keep her here longer!"

Who can argue with that?! It's not like The Geeky Entrepreneur and I do not enjoy the break every now and then.

So, to wrap up the bottle story, I have decided that if she wants to drink from a bottle at Abuela's once a week, so be it. But I am not buying bottles for her to drink milk at home. If she wants to keep refusing to drink it from a sippy and prefers to spoonfeed herself milk, so be it, but I'm not buying bottles! Well, I might buy one for her to keep at Abuela's, I suppose!

As far as sleep, all I'll say is it was great while it lasted! She has been getting up at least twice during the last few nights. One night she got up five times. No idea what is going on yet. Maybe the tooth that is about to come through, maybe not. I don't know.

Lastly, the early intervention agency the pediatrician referred us to is evaluating Amor Chiquito on Tuesday morning. I am looking forward to the report, but I am not very hopeful that they will say anything new in regards to the sleep situation.