Monday, June 22, 2009

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito (6/22/09)

Behind schedule, but here is the weekly update on our silly kid!

New words: teeth, mouth, nose, baby, house, flower, car, papas (Spanish for French fries), food, hi

First phrase ever: mas cheese

Last Monday was one of those days packed with mischief:
fights with the cousin
coming home, looking for Daddy, running to the front door, holding the door nub, saying “doggy, doggy”
taking off in mid-diaper change and peeing on her chair (not the potty chair)

Every time we pull into the driveway, she wants to go see all the “doggies” in the neighborhood!

If she has not seen Daddy all day, when I tell her Daddy is coming, she gets very excited and starts saying “daddy, daddy”! When he walks in, she runs to him, says hi, and gives him hugs!

When Abuela is cooking, she walks in the kitchen, points at the pot, says “food,” and says “mmm”! I heard that today she would not leave the kitchen! She lied down on the floor to enjoy her milk and wait for the rice!

Every time we are at a drive-through, she thinks we are getting French fries. Yes, I’m big into her eating healthy, but she does know and love French fries, I must admit.

Not sure if this was a coincidence or not, but a while ago she grabbed two socks from a laundry basket and they matched. There were many socks and they were not in pairs, believe you me!

We're traveling again!

Geeky Entrepreneur and I had been apprehensive about traveling (as in a 2-hour drive) with Amor Chiquito because last time we did it was chaotic. Lots of crying on the car ride, lots of crying at the hotel, did not want the playard, up until midnight, lots of crying during nap time the next day...

I knew that eventually she would do fine. She understands more and more language every day, so I figured I could explain to her what we are doing in a simple, toddler-friendly way. I have been seeing lots of progress in the sleeping department. Six months ago, she would only sleep in her crib. Now, she sleeps in her crib at home and on a toddler bed at Abuela's. She can cosleep and not try to nibble all night like she used to.

Last Friday, Geeky Entrepreneur said he wanted to drive down to see his father on Father's Day. I reminded him that if he drove down without the baby, his mother would disown him!

We brainstormed on what would work best. I figured we should leave at naptime so Amor Chiquito would sleep on the car ride. That adventuresome, curious, very active free spirit absolutely refuses to sit still for that long, just like her father!

Back to planning, Geeky Entrepreneur came up with a better idea: leave at bedtime, around 8pm. We could spend the next day with his parents and drive home at bedtime. We decided to go for it. Once I said yes, I got anxious, but, at the same time, I wanted to do it and had a feeling that it would work.

So, on Friday night, while Geeky Entrepreneur and Amor Chiquito went on their evening walk, I packed frantically! Off we went around 9pm, behind schedule, of course!

I put Ari in the car. I said "sleepy time in the car." She nursed. While she was nursing, I sang the bedtime song. Geeky Entrepreneur played the "rain on the roof" track from Happiest Baby on the Block (we play it every night). Ten minutes in she was asleep! She slept the entire time!

We got into our hotel room. Amor Chiquito woke up briefly and went right to sleep. She got up again at 3am, but went back to sleep easily. We got up at 7am and by 7:45am we were at my mother-in-law's.

Amor Chiquito napped in the car at 1pm. Again, it went well. She slept for an hour. Not ideal, but good enough.

After dinner, we got in the car and 20 minutes in she was asleep. She woke up ten minutes before we got home.

So, it could not have gone better! I am very happy that we found something that works. The takeaway is: be mindful/considerate/awear of her schedule, tell her what we are doing and replicate the bedtime routine as much as possible.

I am looking forward to planning a trip to the Boston area so we can see our "Boston friends" (hi Yaminette, hi Liz!).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Huge fight at Abuela's house...

Holyoke, MA - Two toddlers, 21-month-old Ari and 28-month-old Jai, get into a big fight over... diapers!

It is diaper time for both kids. Ari wants Jai's disposable diapers. Jai wants Ari's cloth diapers.

Ari grabbs two of Jai's disposables. Jai is just not having it! He takes them away from her.

Jai grabs a pocket diaper. Ari is just not having it and gets her diaper back, whatever it takes!

Hitting is allowed in this fight, and, in fact, everybody hit and got hit!

Whatever Abuela has at her house is, clearly, much cooler than what we have at home or what my brother has at his place for Jaiden, my nephew!

The other thing they fought about: Abuela. If one went to Abuela, the other one ran and sat on her lap! Amor Chiquito was particularly not interested in sharing Abuela.

The things kids fight about...

Abuela had both of them on Monday for about five hours. Bless my mother's heart!

You know you are a parent when...

You never cared about cartoons as a kid, but, suddenly, you look forward to and enjoy singing the "Bob the builder" song! Your kid laughs when you sing, so you enjoy singing the silly song even more!

If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out PVS at 7:30AM!


You know you are a breastfeeding mom with a working reproductive system when...
You are freezing one minute, boiling hot the next, and freezing again, all in five minutes.

To clarify, this does not happen to me all the time. It only happens during my menstrual period.

What causes it? Extremely low estrogen levels.

When you breastfeed, your estrogen level is low.

When you are menstruating, your estrogen level is low.

When you are menstruating and are a breastfeeding mother, I guess your estrogen level is non-existent! Ok, not quite, but it is extremely low.

There's a female biology tipbit for you!

It is pretty frustrating when it happens, but it is only a few days a month. I still love breastfeeding, even though I am getting hotflashes from hell this week!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Abuela is cruising with us after all!

Abuela was uncertain, as she has not cruised before, but she said yes and all of us are very excited!

Abuela and Amor Chiquito will have their own cabbin. Win-win for all! Abuela is ecstatic! To her, it will feel like Amor Chiquito is sleeping over, which she can't wait for. But, at the same time, if Ari needs us, we are a few steps away. Geeky Entrepreneur and I are ecstatic because we'll have some "us" time.

It will be great to have both family activities and adult activities. Yeah, I know you're probably laughing! What I mean by "adult activity" is things like going on the awesome 2-story slide. We can't do it together if we have the baby. She is too little. We also enjoy hottubs, which are not an ideal activity for a young child. So, with Abuela coming, we will get to do things like that, but, we'll also get to go to the beaches as a family, among many other things.

We are very lucky in that our mothers are good mother-in-laws. My mother-in-law is so awesome I invited her to join us on our last cruise. We spent 7 days together and when we flew in and went our separate ways, I actually missed her! Weird and unusual, I know. I am a lucky woman!

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito (6/14/09)

Nothing big to write about. My memory is pathetic; I can't remember anything these days!

There are some new words, but I am still trying to figure out what they mean. Amor Chiquito is doing lots of "substitution." In the language world, this refers to when a child makes up her/his own word because she/he is unable to pronounce the real word. If a sound is being used consistently, it counts as a word, even though it is not a real word for us grownups.

When we come home, almost always, Amor Chiquito wants to walk around the neighborhood to look at the "doggies"!

Amor Chiquito is exposed to lots of things at Abuela's house that she does not see here, mainly girly stuff. I'm just not into lotions, makeup, or hair products. Just the basics for me! A few days back, she went in Abuela's room, grabbed the body spray and sprayed herself. She then put lipstick on herself. Lastly, she asked for "tata" (lotion). Makes Abuela very proud!

Something new: she is drinking more milk (cow milk, that is). That does not mean she is weaning, though. To her, they are two separate things. And, frankly, I'm in agreement. I'm much better than a cow, thank you very much! I know what I put into my body and my milk gives her immune system a boost. When she is sick, she can still drink mommy milk, whereas that is not true about cow milk.

Oops, did not mean for that to turn into a little rant. I just get frustrated when people say things like "why haven't you weaned her already? She should be drinking more milk. She won't eat good until you wean her." They imply that cow milk is somehow healthier than the milk my boobs make. What kind of crap is that?

K, off my soapbox.

Amor Chiquito has learned to take the cap off her sippy cups. Consequently, she drinks her milk with a straw now.

Everything at Abuela's is cooler than the stuff at home! That includes the disposable diapers that my nephew wears. When we say diaper time, she runs and grabs a disposable diaper. Guess what? She is incredibly alergic to them. In 5 minutes, she is itching badly, crying, etc. Unfortunately, she has not connected the dots.

We used disposable diapers for 10 months, always Pampers. We never had a rash. So I wonder if there are different chemicals in the different brands? The diapers at Abuela's are not Pampers.

Back to the weekly update, we met with the early intervention therapist last Friday. Nothing new, really. This time Geeky Entrepreneur was able to join us, so he got to hear the suggestions directly from her, which was helpful. Basically, the boildown is that we should use brief phrases, lots of repetition, and lots of narrating what she is doing. Some time between 50 and 75 words, she will start saying phrases. We have about 30 words right now, so hopefully we'll be hearing some phrases soon.

I guess that was it for this week. On to get ready to start another crazy week.

Why won't they potty train me already?

I think that is what she is thinking!

I have not heavily researched/educated myself on potty training yet, but, what I have read so far indicates that children are not neurologically ready to potty train until age 2. Several articles I have come across suggest that parents begin the potty training process between age 2 and 2.5. These articles also point out that it is ok if it takes a child longer and that the child might not be done with potty training at age 3.

Needless to say, I was not expecting that I would need to learn about this right now! She won't be 2 for another 3 months. Until very recently, I would have fun every now and then looking at the new pocket diapers! I guess now I need to move on to cloth training pants! Holy crap, my baby is not a baby anymore! When did that happen?!

So, the story... For months, Amor Chiquito has been saying "tati" (her substitution for poopy in Spanish). It meant both pee and poop. Very recently, she started talking about pee and poop, each having their own word. Amor Chiquito started isolating herself, standing at a corner, for example, if she was going to poop. The most recent development is that, if we are changing a diaper, she will get up, say "pee-pee" and run to some corner and pee on a rug! No fun for mom and dad!

So, what next? I am trying to figure that out. We have a potty chair already. Amor Chiquito has never used it. To be more specific, I never introduced it. So I will start there!

We will give her the chance to spend some time near/on the potty chair during a diaper change. Abuela is on board and will do the same, which is good because Amor Chiquito is spending a lot of her time there for the next three weeks.

As with everything else, we will do lots of positive reinforcement. We will say positive phrases any time she sits on the potty chair. We will probably clap when she actually goes on the potty! Yes, we are silly, corny parents! You should have seen Geeky Entrepreneur clapping when she began spoon feeding herself! It works like a charm!

Back to potty training, here are some articles that might help those of you out there who will be potty training in the near future.

Article discussing whether or not child is emotionally and physically ready:

WebMD article with useful info and FAQ's regarding potty training:

Awesome WebMD article that provides step-by-step suggestions on how to potty train your child:

This is what I got from a quick search. I will post links to more articles later.

Monday, June 8, 2009

We're going on a cruise!

So, I lied... I didn't get any work done earlier as I said! Instead, I wrapped up my cruise research! I booked our next cruise! Geeky Entrepreneur, Amor Chiquito, and myself are going to the Bahamas on Nov. 15 for a week! I am so excited! I can't wait! 160 days to go! (The Carnival website keeps track for me!)

My mother might come with us. If she does, her and Amor Chiquito will have their own cabbin.

There are kid pools for Amor Chiquito and a 2-story water slide that Geeky Entrepreneur and I can't wait to get on! Geeky Entrepreneur is also very excited about 24/7 access to icecream! No, not making that up!

We'll be flying to Baltimore. The flight is only an hour and 10 minutes. It will be our first time flying with Amor Chiquito. I am a little nervous about it, but hopeful that she will do ok. She'll be 26 months then, so I am sure she will understand more language than she does now. My plan is to point out planes, tell her about them, tell her we will be going on one, etc.

Now, need to get some work done, for real!

I will never talk about how well she is sleeping, ever again!

A few days back, I was hanging out with our neighbor. She asked how Amor Chiquito had been sleeping. "Great" was my response. That night, Ari woke up five times. Ouch!

Last night, I got 2.5 hours of sleep. No, I'm not exaggerating. Something is bothering her and I can't figure it out.

We took turns putting her in the crib, trying to cosleep, checking on her diaper, offering food, you name it... She just could not fall asleep. She would toss and turn for a while, then, suddenly, she'd start to cry. It was the "I'm in pain" cry, not the "I just don't want to sleep right now" cry. She was up from 11:30 to 2:30 and and up for the day at 5.

She wanted to nurse constantly. TMI warning - my nipples are beyond sore today. It had not been this bad since she was a newborn, I think.

Amor Chiquito has been quite booboholic the past few weeks, since she had that crazy fever two weeks ago. Once she started feeling better, I started limitting how many times she nurses during the day. By limitting I mean leave my boobs alone for three hours, for the love of God, as my mother-in-law puts it! During the day, she does pretty good. She tries to nurse, but when I say no, she moves on to something else. Last night was a different story, though, hence the soreness.

Once again, something is wrong and, thus far, I am 100% clueless. I really hope that I can figure it out soon so I can hopefully help her feel better and so we can get a good night sleep. I am swamped with school work and Geeky Entrepreneur just got a new job, is helping launch a company, travelling, etc. So we'd like to get some sleep, please!

Off to get some school work done while I have a bit of brain power.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito (6/7/09)

Lots of fun mischief this week!

New words: bow (hello), titi (Spanish for aunty), house, mi (milk) tata (lotion)

It is very fascinating how children make up their own words when the real word is too hard for them to say. How “lotion” and “tata” are similar is beyond me, but whatever works!

Amor Chiquito is spending lots of time at Abuela’s this month because I am doing a summer course. She is enjoying herself over there quite a bit.

Amor Chiquito grabbed Abuela’s lipstick, took the cap off, and started putting lipstick on her lips. She then grabbed a bottle of perfume, aimed it at her neck and tried to spray unsuccessfully. I hear she added spraying sound effects!

Amor Chiquito grabbed Abuela’s coke from the coffee table and started drinking. Abuela put it away and brought Amor Chiquito with her to the bathroom so she could clean. Suddenly, Amor Chiquito was gone. She went to the kitchen, opened the fridge, and grabbed the can of coke again! My daughter finally tasted coke; that was a first!

One day, I was at my mother’s and I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch. When I woke up, there was lotion on my hair! Turns out she put lotion on my hair multiple times. My mother not only knew, but, in fact, provided the lotion for the mischief! You should have seen the grin on her face when I asked how Amor Chiquito got a hold of the “tata”!

Amor Chiquito loves to help us. Today, she put all her diapers, one by one, in the dryer. I didn’t have to bend over once, works for me!

I ask for hugs and she says no. She’ll give Daddy hugs almost any time! Too cute!

Amor Chiquito is getting better and better about telling us what she would like to eat or drink: shia 9(cereal), mi (milk), chee (cheese), bah (bread), (papa (Spanish for French fries), agua (water), etc.

Amor Chiquito is now able to get on the dining chairs unassisted. She sits at the table like a big girl and does a great job eating her food. She is not interested in using her booster seat anymore! We have compromised on having her sit on the booster, so she is higher up and can reach her food better, and eating at the table, rather than using the tray that came with the booster seat.

Amor Chiquito is definitely testing her boundaries every now and then, but, thus far, I feel like we are doing well with the transition to the “terrible two’s.” Fortunately, everyone who is a caregiver to her (my mother, Geeky Entrepreneur, and myself) is on the same page. I feel very strongly that that makes a big difference. I don’t know how things will be six months from now, but, so far so good. Basically, what we are doing is lots of positive reinforcement, relocating her when she is doing something inappropriate/dangerous, and trying to be consistent about saying “ut-oh” when she is doing anything inappropriate. We briefly explain why not and if she insists on throwing a tantrum, we try not to give her attention until she is done with the tantrum.

Things are stable in the sleep department. She gets up twice every night, but she goes down very easily and quickly. She is doing a great job with her daytime naps and sleeping on a toddler bed at Abuela’s. I am very excited about the fact that she is consistently sleeping better because it means that we will finally feel comfortable about spending a night or two away from home.

I think that is all for now.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Why does she eat so much better with grandma?

What's that about? So many times, I offer her food and she does not eat much. But she goes to my mother's and she eats like a horse! My mother, of course, is proud as can be! "I don't understand why you say she won't eat." Why do I say it? Because it's the truth! Because I try and try and she shakes her head and says no to almost everything I offer.

I am thrilled that she eats well at my mother's, but she lives here! She needs to eat well here too! What about the days when we do not see my mother?!

If you have any ideas, please share!

Amor Chiquito is Little Ms. Independence, so what works best is to let her feed herself. I do that, but, even then... Help!

Amor Chiquito weighs 23 pounds and 7 ounces. She is in the 25th percentile. So she is at a healthy weight. But I want her to stay at a healthy weight!

Oh, an interesting thing... She is not the traditional picky eater. She eats anything and everything, when she wants to. She eats all different fruits and veggies. Right now, she is in love with broccoli. To each their own! No meat. Self-proclaimed vegetarian! I'm telling you - I don't know where the heck she got that from because Daddy and Mommy are never ever giving up on meat!

Another interesting thing - if she was to decide what her meals would consist of, she would survive on white rice!

I started my summer course today. So I probably won't get to post much the next few weeks. This month will be crazy. I am doing a 14 week course in 5 weeks. Every day, I have lab homework, a lab quiz, multiple chapters to read... A test every week. The kicker: class starts at 8:15 and we're there until 1. Have I mentioned I am not a morning person?! At least it's human biology, an area I am very interested in.

I'll have my diploma soon. That's what I keep telling myself! Once I complete the biology course, I will be one credit away from graduation! Finally!