Thursday, July 30, 2009

I was finally able to give blood!

I am so happy! I was telling Geeky Entrepreneur that I feel like I am on a high! I absolutely love donating blood. I have been wanting to give blood for years and I was finally able to do it. It had been just over three years.

After dating someone with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) who received numerous blood transfusions, I decided being afraid of a needle was not an acceptable excuse for me. More than 10 people help save his life. How could I not do the same? How could I not pay it forward?

I was pregnant. Then, I was the mother of a little one, breastfeeding, sleep deprived, feeling I could not chance becoming anemic (which has happened in the past). Then, I tried but could not donate blood because I forgot my i.d. Lastly, I could not give blood because my pulse was too high. You have no idea how upset I was every time I tried and it did not work out!

Everything worked out today. I hope that the blood Geeky Entrepreneur and I donated goes to someone who really needs it.

If you have not donated blood, or if you have not done so in a while, please consider doing so. The actual process of giving blood only takes 8-10 minutes. Honestly, it is no worse than getting blood drawn for a test. You feel a pinch, that is it. After that, it is as if the needle is not even there.

Your blood could go to someone receiving chemo, someone who lost a lot of blood for some reason, someone who had major surgery, etc. The blood you donate can be divided into three components: red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. An hour of your time could help save three people’s lives. Let’s go give blood more often!

(800) give life

Today I am parenting a sweet, happy, funny horse!

Amor Chiquito slept mostly ok last night.

She went down for her nap very easily and napped for 2 hours.

Amor Chiquito ate like a horse today! I cannot believe the amount of food that is in that child’s tummy right now!

She was very pleasant most of the time. No sleep deprivation-induced cranckiness.

Lastly, Ari did very well during the early intervention visit. The therapist thinks Amor Chiquito is probably at 21 months as far as language. She is 22 months. So, if Amor Chiquito was evaluated today, she would not qualify for early intervention. How she went from scoring 14 to 21 months in two months is beyond me, but I will not complain!

Thank you God for a great day! These are the days when I think I want another baby!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mother's Guilt

Mother's guilt... It is real. It is common. It is being researched/studied. Yay for curious psychologists!

I recently learned from one of my friends that a psychology professor at a college in NY has done a fair bit of research on this topic. I can't wait to read about her findings! I will be sure to share what I learn. I will not say when I will post about it because I have no idea. Ask my daughter when she will start napping again and that will give you a sense of when I might be able to spend more time on the computer!

Check out this post by a mom on coping with mother's guilt:

If you are a mother experiencing this every now and then, be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, do your best to take care of yourself (easier said than done, I know), and remind yourself that you are a human being, not some sort of wonder woman who must have all the answers 100% of the time. While you are at it, please remind me when I forget!

Oh, boy, my husband is going to have something to say about this post! I can hear him already! He will take my own words and use them against me!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reassurance is always comforting...

I love blogs! In fact, here is a confession: I am obsessed with following blogs! I am following over 40 of them right now! Why? Because I am learning so much. There are so many cool people blogging about things I find fascinating out there. How do I manage to pull that off? I jump on the computer as soon as Arianna goes to bed!

I just read this blog post:

Seeing as how I have been feeling like I am a wimpy mom the last few days, reading that post was very comforting.

For moms of boys...

Lately, I have been looking for parenting blogs. I came across a blog where a mom writes about what parenting boys is like. Check out this funny post:

What do you think? Is she right on or what?! I don't have a boy, but I do have a brother, so I found this post entertaining!

More of the same, more or less...

Last night was a lot better than Sunday night. Amor Chiquito got up 3 times. The second time it took us about 45 minutes to get her back to sleep. That was still a lot better than Sunday night because she gave us 2 3.5 hour chunks and there were no crying incidents.

The other good thing is that Amor Chiquito slept until 7am, whereas, the past few weeks, she had been waking up around 5:30 and the only way to get her to sleep was to let her nibble herself to sleep on our bed. It seemed, to me, that there was a pattern: if it was dark, she would go back down in her crib; if there was light, she was either up or in bed with us. Abuela installed the shade I bought months ago and so far so good. Seems like it worked like a charm. Let's see what happens tonight. I am cautiously hopeful!

As for her nap and eating, that is a whole other story. It is 3pm and she has not had lunch or napped. I have offered rice, beans, milk, and other things I know she likes right now. Amor Chiquito won't eat. She won't even sit down. Amor Chiquito just takes off and wonders around the kitchen. She is often completely ignoring me. Freakin' terrible two's! I guess I can't reread Love and Logic soon enough!

I really wish I knew why she will eat like a horse some times and other times she just does not care for food, no matter who does what. I also wish I knew why she will often eat great with my mother but not with me. Come on, kid, my food is not that bad!

As for the nap, every time I say it is time to nurse and sleep, she begins naming foods she wants. Of course, when I offer, she won't eat them. The other thing she is doing is running in our bedroom and climbing in our bed. Lastly, when I talk about naptime, she starts to cry. If she manages to get away, she starts playing like nothing ever happened. I guess that is, by definition, being impish.

What next? I don't know. I don't know what else to try. Maybe I'll end up nursing her to sleep on her bedroom floor again. I don't want to send mixed signals, but I don't know what else to do. I am not willing to leave her bedroom and let her scream herself to sleep. I am desperate, but not that desperate.

If you have any suggestions, comment away!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Confessions of a tired mommy...

Today has been a crappy day, to say the least. Actually, it started weeks ago, but today was the worst.

Amor Chiquito used to go to bed around 8:30 and would sleep until 7-7:30. She was napping at noon or so for about 1.5 hours. Lately, Amor Chiquito has been going to sleep at 9:30 and gets up around 6:30 or so. She was waking up twice and lately we have had nights when she has woken up five times. What is worse is the nights, like last night, when it takes hours to get her to go back to sleep. Lastly, Amor Chiquito has been eating poorly, for the most part, the last few days.

Yesterday, Amor Chiquito did not go down for a nap until 3:40. She napped until 6:10, so I knew she would not be going to bed early. Sure enough, Amor Chiquito was up until 10:30.

At 2:00 is when things got interesting. She woke up. I nursed her and put her back in the crib. Less than an hour later, she was awake again. Both Geeky Entrepreneur and I took turns trying to help her go back to sleep. Eventually, I decided I would try co-sleeping. Sadly, it really does not work for us, but last night I was desperate and was willing to try almost anything.

Co-sleeping was not working. We had been awake for hours. She kept wanting to nibble or wanting to hold a nipple. Picture your nipple getting squeezed for a long time. It is not pleasant. If I knew that after 10 minutes of it, we could all go to sleep, it would make it worthwhile, but that was not the case.

So, anyways, I tried the crib again. No success. Lots of that heart-breaking cry, lots of mommy, mommy. When I picked her up, she ran to our bedroom and climbed into our bed. I decided to try co-sleeping again because, what the hell, nothing was working. This was the option where she would be the least miserable. Hours later we were asleep.

Long story short: I got 4.5 hours of sleep. Geeky Entrepreneur probably got 5 or so. Ari got 6.5 hours of sleep. She needs at least 10 hours.

Fast-forward to naptime… Same thing… Amor Chiquito was very tired, but she would not go down in her crib. She wanted to co-sleep, but I just couldn’t do it. My nipples were quite sore after last night. Eventually, I nursed her to sleep on her bedroom floor. Yes, her bedroom floor; that was the best I could do. I am not proud of it, but, she finally napped. I got somewhere.

Of course, I am asking myself the usual questions: what the hell is going on? Is she not feeling well? What is it? What can I do to help her feel better? God knows I’d do anything! Is it the molars? Something else?

I know that this is nothing, really, that many kids and their parents out there have it a lot harder. But, right now, today, after 4.5 hours of sleep and a long, hard day, I am feeling so frustrated, so tired, so useless, so helpless, so anxious… There have been multiple times today when I have wanted to hide somewhere and cry. I know something is up with my kid and I can’t figure it out. I am her mother. It is my job to protect her and to take care of her. And, yet, I can’t even freakin’ get her to sleep! I feel like I am failing somehow.

I am a very private person. I don’t go around telling people about my issues. For example, I really struggle with anxiety and only a handful of people know about it (I think four and one of them is my husband). So why am I writing about this on a public blog? I want other parents to know that they are not alone, that all of us parents often have hard days and that it is ok to get frustrated, to want to cry, to reach out for help. This happens. It happens often, even if we do not talk about it.

In addition to what I wrote above, I wish someone had told me what parenting really is like before I got pregnant. Please do not misinterpret my words; I love my daughter to pieces and I would not change having her in my life at all. What I mean is that people always tell you “Wait… It is hard… Blab la bla…” But they don’t really tell you anything. No one tells you that there are times when you feel helpless because you can’t make your baby feel better. No one tells you that when your baby is a newborn, you need to nurse every 2-3 hours, at least, and that you will be sore as hell for weeks. No one tells you that even at 22 months you will be having rough, sleepless nights.

So, moral of the story: for me, being a mother is wonderful, intense, rewarding, hard, life-changing, overwhelming, humbling, among many other things. If you are thinking you would like to become a parent or are thinking of adding to your family, educate yourself. Don’t just talk to your mother and mother-in-law! Go on parenting message boards, for example.

Yikes, I realize this post is all over the place and for that I apologize. Normally, I would go back and edit, but I am too tired for that today! I need to take a shower and go to bed. Who knows what is in store for tonight. Fortunately, so far so good. She went to sleep at 8:45.

Oh, one more thing, whatever you do, if you want to have kids, make sure a 21-century dad fathers them! I don’t know how our mothers did it! I will admit that if I didn’t have a wonderful man at my side like I do, there would be no doubt: I’d go get my tubes tied! Geeky Entrepreneur is great, though, so I might want to try for #2 someday, despite the fact I’m still not sleeping well!

Done rambling for now. Thanks for hearing, well, reading me out!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito (7/25/09)

New words: Manny (as in Handy Manny, the cartoon), ama (cama, Spanish for bed), nanigh (blanket, lying down, something related to sleep…!)

I am sure there were a few more, but I am blanking out now.

Amor Chiquito is enjoying pretending games, such as putting pillows on the floor, lying down, and covering herself with a blanket, pretending she is going to sleep. Those naps last about 30 seconds!

Amor Chiquito says “se cae” (Spanish for falling” if she thinks she is about to fall, if someone else trips on something, or when Daddy runs down the stairs really fast.

Yesterday, Amor Chiquito figured it was time to remind me about that potty training stuff! Twice, she peed, took her diaper off, and handed it to me. One of the two times, after taking off the diaper, she grabbed my new underwear and put it on! It was photo-worthy – a little girl in mommy’s underwear walking around the house! Oh, if you’re wondering, no, she did not pee on the rug; I got a new diaper quickly enough!

I’ll admit that I have not done anything to help her with potty training. I really need to get started. I explained what the potty chair is for once, but did not follow through. I’ll need to do that again. Let’s see if she wants to sit on it now. She didn’t feel like it last time. She is not even two, so I am not going to force it. Forcing kids to potty train does not work, anyways.

I’ll ask her if she wants to pee on the potty when I go to the bathroom and we’ll see what happens. She always goes in there with me anyways, so I think that’s the way to go for us!

Last night, Amor Chiquito became extremely fascinated with butternut squash! She stopped eating so she could check it out. She pointed and pointed until Daddy figured out what she wanted and gave it to her. Amor Chiquito was looking at it, holding it, hugging it, trying to eat it raw! So funny! We’ll be cooking squash tomorrow tonight and letting her watch the entire time so she can see how squash goes from being the big thing she was holding to yummy orange stuff on her plate!

This morning, Abuela and I took Amor Chiquito and Jaiden, her cousin to the park across the street. Mind you, this was Ari’s second time going to the park; Geeky Entrepreneur took her early this morning, probably at 8:30am. It was so early they had the park to themselves! I got lots of nice photos of the kids on the swings and going down the slides. They also enjoyed the sprinkler park, but it was nearly impossible to get photos of them there; they would not stay still! It was nice. We don’t get to see Jaiden much. It was nice to see the kids play together, well, near each other, that is.

Amor Chiquito is still extremely afraid of strangers. She has been going to the park every day for weeks, but she still will not go down the slide if another kid is up there. I know she will do better with this eventually, but I do wonder when. It’s been almost a month, I think. Time will tell…

Amor Chiquito went grocery shopping with Geeky Entrepreneur today. I heard she got very excited when he grabbed some watermelon! She wanted some right away, so much so that she tried to bite through the saran wrap so she could get some!

I think Amor Chiquito is teething again. We’re not big fans of teething; she sleeps terrible when she is teething. She doesn’t sleep great to begin with! Whatever, it’s nothing, in the grand scheme of things. It’s part of life. In a few months, the last four molars will come through and she will have all her 20 teeth.

I think Amor Chiquito might be having nightmares. She often wakes up crying, even if we are right next to her. I tried cosleeping last night in the hopes that we would sleep better, but, as usual, it was just as bad as having her in the crib, if not worse. I lost track of how many times she woke up and definitely lost track of how many times she jumped on to nibble.

I think that is about it for this week. Let’s see what this coming week has in store for us. Lots of fun mischief, I’m betting.

I've been in denial, but, yes, there is no doubt: she is almost two!

I can't believe it. I don't have a baby anymore! September 18 is coming up fast!

So, yes, the "terrible two's" are here! I am not complaining. I know we are lucky. Amor Chiquito is healthy and she is a good kid. I’ve seen other kids her age. I know there could be more tantrums, that the tantrums could last longer, more crying and screaming, more frustration. I do wonder how much of our “luck” is due to her own personality and how much of it is due to the way we have chosen to parent. But I’ll write about that another day.

So, we are seeing the signs. Amor Chiquito is testing boundaries. She is often saying “no” when we ask her to do something. Amor Chiquito decides when she wants to listen to what we are saying. She will cry for no good reason, like a little while ago when Geeky Entrepreneur was clipping her nails. Her cry sounds like she is so upset. Yet, you let her go and she is fine, as if nothing ever happened, in, oh, I don’t know, 5 seconds.

I won’t lie; parenting an almost 2-year-old can get intense at times, but I feel that thus far I am doing well with the whole thing, better than I had anticipated, that’s for sure. Geeky Entrepreneur… Well, he’s kicking ass, as usual! I think the is the more patient one of the two of us. If you know him, you know the man just never gets angry! How he does it? I don’t know, but I am so glad he is the man I married! He is such an awesome father. I love you, Geek! You are the bestest (yes, I know that's not a real word!) daddy!

But, back to Ms. Mischief, Love and Logic, here we come! I am going to listen to the book again. I think we will get even more out of it this time around. I will be sure to take notes as I listen along and I’ll be sure to post them. I can already tell you that the book is awesome. In the next few weeks, I’ll show you why I feel that way.

I’ll leave you with this quote from, a blog I just discovered a few minutes ago:
“If you know where the boundary is, you can lean on it, derive support from it, and relax within the limits. If you don’t know where the boundary is, that doesn’t mean it’s non-existent. It just means that you can run into it and get hurt.”

This quote made me think and reminded me of the importance of lovingly setting boundaries early on. I figured the mommies out there reading this might find it helpful.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When in doubt, say no!

That is my daughter's philosophy! If you ask her a question and she has no idea what the heck you are talking about, she'll simply say no! If she feels like being mischivious, she'll say no and start laughing her little butt of!

The kid is super funny!

Baby hugs are the best!

When I am sitting on the floor, Ari often comes over and hugs me from behind! I love it! Lately, she started wrapping her legs around me too!

Her other new thing - we'll be playing and, suddenly, she'll stop whatever she is doing so she can give me a hug and kiss my nose!

Baby hugs and kisses are the best!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

We traveled and our trick worked again!

We spent a night away from home. We drove down to see Geeky Entrepreneur's family. His grandmother turned 80 yesterday!

We left Friday night, around 8:30pm. We left my mother-in-law's around 9:15pm on Saturday. Amor Chiquito did great both times. We find driving at that time of day tiring, but it works for the baby, so we do it. I missed traveling and I am glad we have found a way.

Amor Chiquito had a blast with Nana. They were both upset when it was time for us to leave. Amor Chiquito got to play some with her great-grandmother, who she does not get to see very often. She got to play with balloons, which she loves.

Amor Chiquito ate like a cute little horse yesterday! She had her rice, some of Nana's pasta, some of my corn, some of her great-grandmother's fries, and she even had some chicken! Is my little vegetarian converting? That was a first, for sure!

As Geeky Entrepreneur likes to put it: lots of fun was had by all!

For those of you who were at our wedding, Amor Chiquito met Father Ciro for the first time yesterday! She was cautious at first, but realized that he was ok after 15 minutes or so. It was great seeing him. We love the revel priest!

Early Intervention Update

The early intervention therapist has been coming over once a week. We are seeing lots of progress, so much so that she thinks Amor Chiquito won’t qualify for early intervention after her next evaluation. In November, Amor Chiquito will be evaluated again, after six months of service.

Amor Chiquito has between 40 and 45 words right now.

In theory, we will begin to hear phrases sometime between 50 and 75 words, in other words, in the next few weeks.

The advice we have received recently is to use short phrases, as opposed to one word. For example, we should say “more bread” instead of “bread.”

The other thing that the therapist has emphasized is to do lots of narration, to tell Amor Chiquito what she is doing.

We started play group last Friday. We will be going in every Friday morning for 12 weeks. I bring her in for 2.5 hours. There are about 10 kids and their parents.

Amor Chiquito does not do well with crowds. She is afraid of strangers, including little ones her age. She either sat on my lap or played by herself. Being cautious of strangers is healthy, but her current response is not healthy either. The goal/hope is that in a few weeks she will feel more comfortable interacting with her peers. Let's see how it goes this Friday.

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito (7/19/09)

It has been weeks since my last update. Let’s see how much I can remember…

New words: shy (outside), slide, ri (rice), bobobi (broccoli), jew (juice), baby, yes, sho (hot), up, down, se cae (Spanish for fall), papo (diaper), ow (house)

There are many more, but I can’t remember right now.

Oh, she calls corn cereal! Maybe because they sort of look like Kix? No clue!

Amor Chiquito now understands the difference between hot and cold.

When her food is hot, Amor Chiquito will tell you and proceed to blow on it!

Amor Chiquito used to call rice food, but now she calls it rice. She loves white rice! She’d live on rice if we let her!

Amor Chiquito has become quite the outdoors person. I find this strange, in a way, because neither Geeky Entrepreneur nor I love being outdoors as much as she does. But it is good for her, so we do it, particularly Geeky Entrepreneur.

There is a park across the street from us and it was recently redone. It kicks butt! There is a section for kids ages 2-5. Amor Chiquito loves going to the park every day, day and night! She is lucky; Daddy brings her almost every morning and every evening.

There are three slides. She has a favorite, the whindy slide, of course! That we agree with her on! She also loves the swings.

There is a mini water park. She is slowly becoming a fan. At first, she would only stare. Then, she’d get her hands and feet wet. Now, she is coming home completely soaked!

One of Amor Chiquito’s most recent hobbies is to play with the hose. (Thanks, Geeky Entrepreneur; you’ve unleashed a monster!) When we go “shy” (outside), she brings us to the hose. She enjoys making sure Daddy is thoroughly soaked! But she doesn’t want Daddy to return the favor!

Speaking of Daddy, Amor Chiquito is a much bigger fan of him, which makes me no end of happy! She used to only call me when she woke up; now, she calls both of us. She is always looking for him, calling his name, running after him… So cute!

Other hobbies: wash her hands and brush her teeth over and over again.

A funny story – Amor Chiquito knows why people sit on toilets. Consequently, if we go to the bathroom, she will say “mommy/daddy peepee”! When you come out of the bathroom, she announces to the world that you went peepee! It felt a little strange yesterday to be at my mother-in-law’s, surrounded by the in-laws, and having all of them hear that I had just peed! Whatever, she is cute as can be!

Amor Chiquito saw a little bit of Daddy playing his video game. Not a big deal to some, but I really don’t want her to get interested in video games. Also, and most importantly, I don’t want her seeing violence of any sort. Unfortunately, she was fascinated and so she wants to be in there with him while he is playing. Today, she got the X-box controller and made Geeky Entrepreneur’s character walk around. She then found a grenade or something. That was the end of that…

So much more to say, but I am completely blanking out right now. I am not feeling well. I can’t eat much. I’m in pain. It might be my gall bladder. It sucks. Hopefully we will know soon.

I want the pain to go away, of course, but I am hoping I don’t need surgery. Amor Chiquito and I have never spent a night apart. She still wants to nurse in the middle of the night. So if I need surgery, it will suck big time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"The sound "moo" is not always related to cows!

Amor Chiquito is doing and saying many silly things these days. I will write more about that tomorrow, but I wanted to share a quick, funny story!

Last night, we hung out with our friends, Sarah and Will. Ari calls Sarah “Sharah.” Perfect, close enough.

Will, on the other hand, though…! Ari can’t say the W sound. This is when substitution comes in: the child makes up a word to replace the word she cannot say. Will’s name? “Moo”!

I swear I am not making that up!

I’ll leave you with that! I hope you got a good laugh!

Eating organic, an example of our transition to crunchiness!

Originally, this blog was meant to be about our transition to “crunchiness”! I realize that I have not written much about how I am reluctantly turning into a crunchy mama. I hope to fix that, now that I am done with school.

Here is an example of our transition to “crunchiness”!

Prior to getting pregnant, we had started considering buying organic produce. We tried a few fruits and veggies, but we were not consistent about it. Once I was pregnant, that was it. Geeky Entrepreneur announced we were making the switch! It was cute, actually. Cute how? To me, it meant that, even though Amor Chiquito was tiny and we had not met her yet, her daddy already cared about her enough to start making changes in our lives if those changes might have a positive impact in her life.

We started buying organic fruits, veggies and chicken. We read some articles that discussed which produce are worth buying or not. For example, if I remember correctly (this was years ago), it turns out that there is not a big difference between organic and non-organic bananas. We get organic anyways because they are tastier!

Some argue that the jury is out on whether “organic” is all it is cracked up to be or not. I won’t argue either way here, as I have not researched it heavily, but if it means that less chemicals are getting into our bodies, I feel it is worth it, for us.

Speaking of organic food, I got organic strawberries, blueberries, and grape tomatoes today. I must say that the grape tomatoes were the best tomatoes I have ever had! The blueberries were also quite tasty. I wish we could get yummy fruit and veggies like that more often!

If you know me, you know I’m not really into veggies! I eat them because I know they’re good for me, blab la bla…! All kidding aside, I used to not eat any veggies whatsoever. It has been hard to get used to eating them, but I have made a great deal of progress. Ask my husband!

But, back to what I was going to say, you know that if I am saying the grape tomatoes were delicious, they must be awesome tomatoes!

Arianna is Daddy's partner in crime, with pride!

I was sitting in our living room, enjoying some computer time. Amor Chiquito and Geeky Entrepreneur were upstairs, Ari enjoying "bubble time." Suddenly, they are standing in front of me and Daddy says "go Ari." The silly kid puts tons of suds on my hair! I am sure I made an interesting face! I was both shocked and laughing at the same time!

It was adorable, lots of fun, lots of mischief! I am loving this stage.

More later! It's been a while since I posted about anything; I am looking forward to rectifying that!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Allow me brag...

One of Momo's favorite phrases is "allow me show..."! I stole the concept and came up with "allow me brag..."!

Amor Chiquito really likes Sarah, our friend/former tenant. She began saying Sarah's name last Sunday. Amor Chiquito is absolutely obsessed with Sarah! She stands at the door, looking out, wondering when Sarah is coming home. (She is a bit confused because Sarah is not coming home anymore, of course, and new people are walking into what Ari thinks is Sarah's house.) In the morning, one of the first things Ari does is pick up the phone, begin dialing, and say Sarah!

What really surprised me... The "brag," finally! Sarah drives a Prism. Yesterday, twice, when Ari saw a Prism, she said Sarah!

I am always surprised at the things this silly kid understands!