Thursday, December 30, 2010

Article from La Leche League

I was on the LLL website trying to find some information to help a friend with a newborn. Did not find what I was looking for, but I found this article:

"I also realized that our society has little understanding of newborns, and does not sanction compassion for their needs or feelings. Demand nursing, as
I saw it, was no different from caring for a family member who has been rendered powerless. Would we refuse an incapacitated father a meal because it was "not time"? Or leave a paralyzed spouse alone in a room to "cry it out"--checking in every 10 minutes to say, "It's Ok"--without trying to find out what
is wrong and doing something about it? If he or she only wanted to be held, would we refuse, for fear of spoiling someone we love? How can anyone claim that legal or religious tenets require us to deny babies sustenance and comfort "in their best interests"?"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Article: Discovering Nature's Plan for Parenting

Just came across this article:

Very thought-provoking. Makes a lot of sense to me. Go read it! I won't attempt to write about it right now because my husband is in surgery right now and my brain just isn't at 100% right now.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My stay in the basement today!

So, I was in the basement, on the elliptical and doing laundry. When I went downstairs, Geeky Entrepreneur was playing a video game. Ari was with my mother.

When I finished on the elliptical and walked up the stairs, I realized the door was locked!

Some fun facts:
I almost never get signal down there.
My battery was down to two bars.
I usually bring the cordless phone, but I didn't today.
I was able to call Geeky Entrepreneur, but he didn't pick up.

So, there I was, thinking! I called my mom. Maybe he left to go get Ari. I was right. There he was, being a cute daddy, having a blast with his kid, at my mom's!

Here is the deal. Any time he walks by the door to our basement, if it's not locked, he locks it, so his kid won't fall down the stairs and all that. Awesome, ain't it?! But, wait, the child wasn't home! And, wait, the wife was down there, and he knew that! He even admits that he called my name to tell me he was leaving. Somehow, after trying to talk to me, "auto pilot" took over and he locked the door!

I told him he's sleeping in the car tonight! And I said he's pretty freakin' lucky that that is not a phobia of mine! Actually, I was laughing about it almost the whole time!

The best part? My adorable child had a word with him, multiple times!

"Daddy, that not nice. You need to be nice to mommy. You need to say you're sorry."

Everybody has had a blast with my stay at the Basement Hotel! My sister just called and asked "how was your stay at that awesome hotel?"

What a day! I bake him banana bread and bread pudding! I make sure he sleeps in because he is sick. I am taking care of logistics so I can keep him company at the hospital when he has gallbladder surgery this Thursday. And the man locks me in the basement! But I still love him!

Moral of the story: my husband is not allowed to take Nightquil!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How did/will you talk to your child about Santa?

Regardless of which holiday your family celebrates, good old Santa will come up in conversation, simply because your kid talks to other kids and watches television. It's inevitable. It will happen sooner or later.

This is the first year that Ari has been aware of it all and so we had to make a decision. We were always leaning towards saying the truth. Santa is pretend, just like Dora, Diego, Barney, and all of them. She can talk about Santa and enjoy the character as much as she wants. I just don't want to lie to my child. I want her to grow up knowing that mom and dad were always truthful, at an age appropriate level, of course.

What about what my child might do with the information about Santa being pretend? You know she will tell her peers at preschool when one of them starts talking about how Santa is coming! If another family decided to tell their child that Santa is real, I don't think we should get in the middle of that. It is their decision and we ought to respect that. What happens in that case? Do I tell her not to talk about Santa? That's not realistic. Do I say that different people believe different things and that is ok? Will she understand that? I wonder how the teachers handle it. I will be asking in the next few days. I am very curious!

Here is a blog entry from a mom who had the talk about Santa with her four-year-old recently:

Thoughts? What did/will you be telling your children when they ask about Santa?

What to do when your child cries?

Check out this article:


Should we have another baby?

Just read this:

So much to think about, especially when you tend to over-analyze everything, like I do!

What do you think? Any questions you would add to the list? Those of you with more than one child, what were your thoughts/questions when you were in the process of deciding if you would try for #2 or not?

I slept like crap last night because Ari has her tenth cold this semester. She woke up more than five times and she woke up each and every time I got out of bed. Somehow, I'm still thinking about another baby! Maybe I am a junky, after all, just like the article I linked to below proposes!

Is parenting an addiction?

Just came across this article. It argues that parents are stressed out most of the time and that they are on a high every now and then, like when their child comes over and gives them a kiss. It concludes that parenting is an addiction.

I don't know what to tell you. My head is spinning after reading this! Is being a mother the hardest thing I've ever done? Yes. Do I consider myself to be an addict? No! Am I simply in denial? Maybe, I suppose.

This is certainly making me think a lot! It rubs me the wrong way, but there is something to it, maybe. I don't know. Maybe I'm a junky and proud of it!

Tell me what you think!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review: Paragard (copper IUD)

*** This is my opinion, based on my experience with the copper IUD for the past three years. ***

A little bit about it:

It is a hormone-free contraception option.

It can stay in for ten years.

A provider needs to insert it and remove it.

If I remember correctly, it is not recommended for women who do not have children.


It is hormone-free.

It is as close to permanent and worry-free as you get. You can forget about contraception for ten years.


The insertion process is uncomfortable, even with a very gentle provider.

I experienced longer and heavier periods. When you tend to have short cycles, it can be very annoying.

Not to get graphic, but it can hurt when you have intercourse. You never know what's going to work!

It can affect lubrication.

The string can poke your partner. To be fair, this did not happen all the time, just a few.

(Who's blushing?!)

The biggest con for me was an ethical issue. In theory, you can conceive and the IUD would keep the embryo from implanting in the uterus. I have researched this and have asked multiple providers. There is no way to know how frequently this may happen. I am not going to get into the pro life or pro choice issue here. But I will say this: this really bothered us and I will not be using an IUD again. Was I ready to get pregnant during the past three years? No. Would I want to miscarry if I did get pregnant? Absolutely not.

Since I brought it up, I know you're wondering... Yes, I am IUD-free. We are in the process of deciding if we are going to try for #2. We are leaning in a certain direction, but we need a little more time and so I am not ready to share yet.

As for our choice for birth control if we decide we're done or after a pregnancy, we're leaning towards the diaphragm. More on that another time. I have an 'elephant' who would like to play!

Monday, December 13, 2010

We're a team!

That's what Ari said yesterday! I forget what we were working on together, but it led to some cuteness! She said something like: "Mommy, you do it. I do it too. We're a team!"

I think it's pretty cool that my 3-year-old thinks her family is a team! I hope that she remembers that forever! I look forward to always being a team, a kick ass, awesome, inseparable team. I hope that's not too much to ask for!

What cute thing has your little one said recently?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Video about car seat safety

Sometimes, when it comes to car seats, we rush our kids to the next step before they are ready. We may have them forward-facing too soon, may put them in a booster seat too soon or we may stop using the booster seat too early.

For those of you with older kids, this video is a must-see. It walks you through five steps so that you can find out if your child is, indeed, ready to stop using a booster seat.

The video is quick. Please take a few minutes to watch it. This is really important stuff. You know how you drive. You have no idea how the drivers around you drive.

Logical Mommy, thank you for sharing.


Your child needs to be 57" tall before s/he stops using a booster seat. Read more here:

S/he is throwing a fit? They get tons of choices, but this is, most definitely, not one of them.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Update from the Elephant Family

So, here is the deal! This week my child is an elephant! All of us are elephants! If you call her name, she will tell you "I'm not Arianna; I an elephant!"

The other morning, my sister said good morning to her.
Her response: That's not fair. Elephants don't like good morning."

If you talk about her clothes, shoes, etc., they are not her clothes or shoes. They are elephant clothes and shoes!

That reminds me... She is using many words and phrases that she clearly has heard but whose meanings she does not know. This is a bit dangerous! My kid could currently get anyone in trouble! The other day she told me that her grandma is not fair, that she is mean, and that she hurt her (Ari's) arm. She forgot to explain that she wanted to take her cousin's silly band, even though it was not hers and she already had three of her own. See what I'm saying?!

Back to the elephant silliness, I say it's all her dad's fault! Nana is a puppeteer. Daddy grew up with puppets and talking stuffed animals. He has over ten monkeys. Yes, still, right now! They are in front of me right now, all lined up on our love seat! The monkeys still talk to people. They talk to our friends and they even have talked to tenants and coworkers. The ones that talk the most are Momo and Bobo. Ari's first word was Momo, in fact! They have personalities. Momo is an annoying and impish troublemaker. Bobo speaks very slowly and is kind-hearted. He sounds like a pothead!

My child is learning from the best! What can I say?! We're never bored around here!

What silly thing did your child do or say recently?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Napping in school, sleep arrangements at home, and the lovely rash

Apparently, it was not a one-time deal. Amor Chiquito has now napped five times in school! Yay!

Somewhat related topic. We are in the process of moving her back to her room. It was unplanned, but it seems to be working ok.

For the past few months, Amor Chiquito has been sleeping on a separate mattress, right next to me. This has worked well. Daddy and I have enough room and Daddy does not get kicked anymore.

When Amor Chiquito got sick, I suggested Daddy sleep in another room. That way only one of us would be getting up in the middle of the night. You see, if I make sure he gets his sleep, then I feel just fine about asking him to take over at six or seven a.m! Getting another hour or two of sleep after a rough night makes my life and day so much better!

We have been dealing with a runny nose and a rash for over a week. We have been trying to figure out what is causing the rash. We wondered if there was something in our bedroom, so we moved Ari to her bedroom. She has slept there the past three nights and she has not complained once. She would prefer if I sleep with her. Usually, she comes to snuggle sometime between three and six a.m. The new system is mostly working. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks.

As far as the rash, I still have no idea whatsoever as to what is causing it. We saw a pediatrician on Monday. He says it is not an infection or anything serious. If it was an infection, benadril would not get rid of it. It gets rid of it completely, but after six to ten hours, the rash comes back.

I have gone through the list 20 times. No new soaps or detergents. No new foods. She gets the rash both at our place and at my mom's. She has gotten in the car. The doctor says it is something she is eating, touching, or smelling. It could be anything. I am clueless.

We are looking into an air cleaning system. If you know anything about that, please share! I am slowly going up the learning curve.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gotta love people's stupid questions...

Here is a list of stupid questions people ask adoptive families:

Still laughing after reading some of the answers parents wish to say but don't say!

I am very familiar with stupid questions because of being nearly blind. Here are a few.

You should see some people's reactions when they realize I have a degree. Really? From Mt. Holyoke College, one of the sister schools? Yes, my eyes don't work so well, but my brain is just fine, thank you very much, dumb ass!

You use a computer? Yes, it looks just like yours, but it's cooler because it talks! And I'm cooler than you because I type 60 words per minute and I've never been able to read the keyboard! Yup, I rock! Plenty of sighted people out there do it, I know, but, somehow, it's shocking when you hear a blind person does it too.

Geeky Entrepreneur's favorite: and what will she be having?
His response: I don't know. She can't see very well, but she can hear you just fine. Ask her.

He has said this, plenty of times!

Different topic: you have to wean her. When are you going to do that? Why does she still do that? She's too old for that.

You mean nursing? Well, you see, it's none of your business. It still helps her immune system. We'll wean whenever the hell we want, by the way, you nozi ass!

For the record, I welcome questions about anything, be it about my visual impairment, about how this may impact my parenting style, about breastfeeding, anything... It's all about how people ask questions, the words and tone they use. So, if you want to ask anything, feel free. Ask on here or email me.

What are some of the stupid questions you're asked?

The questions and hypotheses of a three-year-old

Last Wednesday was a short school day so I decided to stay at school and hang out with a mom of a child in Ari's classroom. We were sitting right outside Ari's classroom. Every now and then I could hear her voice.

At one point I heard this:
"Karen (a teacher), you take shower today?"

What? Did my child really ask this? She asked her teacher of all people?! Yes, she did, I'm pretty sure!

At one point today Ari said her mouth was hurting. Not quite sure what she meant by that. What I thought was interesting, to say the least, was her theory:
"Maybe my mouth stop hurting when I pee."

She pees. When she is done, she announces:
"Oh, my mouth still hurting. That did not work."

Can't make this crap up! I love it, absolutely love it!

Oh, the other day she insisted on bringing a book to bed. She fell asleep with the book on her hands. She remembered in the morning and asked for it right away. Like father like daughter. That's all I have to say!

So long as she doesn't do this in the bathroom for hours each day, it's all good. If she starts imitating her dad that way, too, I'll be having some chats with my two favorite people in this world! You have no idea how grateful I am that there are two bathrooms in this house. People, really, it's not like toilets are comfortable! I don't get it!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Open Adoption/Bone Marrow Donation Story

I just came across this:

A must-read, me thinks. Beautiful. A child was adopted via an open adoption. In other words, the families knew each other. Maybe it was exchanging photos, phone calls or a few visits a year. Either way, they could communicate with each other.

Over 15 years later, the child needed a bone marrow transplant. Apparently, it is very hard to find a donor for multiracial people. The family knew the birth family. A birth sister was a perfect match and saved the girl's life.

Please consider registering with Be the Match. The registration process is incredibly easy. You fill out a form online. You get a kit in the mail to do some cheek swabs. You get your card. That's it. You may or may not end up donating. It depends on who out there needs a bone marrow transplant and whether or not you and that person are a good match.

Please, please think about it. You know you want to! Some day it could be you or me, your sibling or mine, your kid or mine.

Here is a link to the Be the Match frequently asked questions:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Impish in sickness and in health!

That's my kid!

Amor Chiquito was about to eat a piece of bread. She loves Italian bread, just like her daddy.

Daddy told her to please sit at the dining table. She grabbed her plate and went to the couch.

Me: Ari, that is not the table, silly goose!

Ari: Yes it is, mommy. I pretend!

Me: What are you pretending?

Ari: The couch is the dining table. I pretending!

Crafty kid! Clever! So, so impish, but oh how I love it!

Go away, germs!

Last night we had a hellish night. Amor Chiquito went to bed early, around 7pm. A lot of good that did me! I was trying to finish a consulting project. I told my client I would get him the final transcript on Monday morning. I know I don't have much of a brain in the morning, so the plan was to finish the project after Ari went to bed on Sunday night.

Back to Amor Chiquito, by midnight she had been up five times. She always woke up crying. I heard things like "daaadeee, maaamiii, I see something." Sounded like nightmares to me. Probably was. Nightmares are common at this age. Kids are afraid of things. They can imagine almost anything. They go to sleep and all the ugly stuff they are afraid of shows up in their dreams.

On the up side, Amor Chiquito did very well hanging out with Daddy. She usually wants me at bedtime. They actually took a nap together. Then I flushed the toilet. Bad, bad move, apparently! She woke up and she was ready to party at midnight! We were up for hours. Sometimes it feels like it's really hard to be nice to your kid!

When I crawled into bed with her I realized she had a fever. It wasn't very high, but it was definitely there. I can always tell from touching her hands and because her mouth feels particularly warm when she nurses.

Here we are. Lots of snuggling. Lots of mommy holding Ari time. Lots of time in bed, which is very unusual for her. No appetite. A very runny nose. Red, teary eyes. I don't know if the red eyes have something to do with the cold or if she is developing pink eyes or something else. So I'll be talking to a nurse tomorrow morning. I've learned all about colds and tummy bugs. This is my chance to learn about eye stuff!

I am very happy that the transcription project dropped on my lap and that it gave me plenty of work for two weeks. But I am also very happy that I am done now and that I can spend day and night, if need be, cuddling with my little girl, who feels particularly little when she is sick. That is the one good thing about having a sick kid: you really get to snuggle with them. You can hold them forever and they don't care. After a while, you start to miss your super active kid, though!

Cooties, be gone! We just got over a cold and a stomach bug less than two weeks ago. Oh, and we paid for a Montessori tuition for my child to have a blast in school and learn stuff, not for her to be home feeling yucky!

Hope you and your relatives are staying healthy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just don't do it!

Don't let your child eat in front of your laptop, that is!

Duh! Makes perfect sense!

Here is the story! Ari woke me up at six A.M. this morning. She wanted to watch Diego and she wanted to eat. I set up Netflix on my laptop and gave her the banana she asked for. Didn't think a thing about it! She then asked for water. I gave her that too!

Did I say that she was on the couch with my laptop on her lap?! Bad move, I know!

After an hour or so, I went back to bed for a bit. Daddy came down stairs and found a piece of the banana and the cup resting on my keyboard!

Have I said oops?!

Oh, have I mentioned that my computer is about a month old!

So, suggestion for you and, let's face it, for myself: when we're almost sleep walking, trying to take care of our kids, let's have them eat at the dining table and let's put the laptop a little farther away from them!

Some lessons I need to relearn five or six times before I really get it, apparently!

If you're wondering: my keyboard was decorated with banana stickiness, but it seems to be working fine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My sweet Ari...

Vague title, I know. I really couldn't think of a good title. I'm tired.

So, as I have mentioned before, I am visually impaired, very visually impaired, actually! I have a rare congenital genetic eye condition. My retina did not develop properly. There are many blind spots on my eyes. I have very limitted peripheral vision.

Amor Chiquito has been aware of this since before she turned one. We have talked about it several times. At the same time, I don't want to overdo it. I don't want her to feel as though she needs to constantly watch out for me or take care of me. I am her mother. It should be the other way around.

All that being said, Amor Chiquito is very aware of my visual impairment and her actions really show it.

The other night, we were leaving my mom's place and we were walking to the car. Amor Chiquito and Daddy headed out first and I talked to my mom for another minute or so. It was dark outside, so I was walking to the car slowly.

Amor Chiquito: Daddy, we need to wait for mommy. She can't see when it dark outside.

Just a little while ago, Amor Chiquito and I were spending some time together before bedtime. Suddenly, she asked "mommy, can you see?"

I am a big believer in being honest to kids and using words that are age appropriate. So, my response was "yes, love, I can see a little bit. You can see a lot and I can see a little bit." I figured that would be sufficient for now. It was.

Other situations where it is clear that she is very aware:
Sometimes I call her name just to say I love you. Other times, I call her name so I can figure out where she is. If you've been with a little kid to a big store, you know what I'm talking about! So, when I call her name, her response is usually "I right here, mommy."

When she is about to hand me something, she typically says something like "right here, mommy," or "right in front of you, mommy."

I am so very grateful for my sweet child. She is so aware and she loves helping others. My hope is that our modeling positive behaviors will inspire her to continue to be the beautiful, caring human being she is right now.

I'm sure someone out there is wondering how my visual impairment has impacted my parenting style. It has, in some ways. I will write about that another day. The short version is that I do almost everything with my child. Some things I do differently. There are three things that I have a very hard time with: measuring her medicine, clipping her nails, and brushing her teeth. Breastfeeding was challenging at first, but we got through that, clearly! More later!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Off to the beach!

No, we are not going to the beach! But Amor Chiquito really wants to! She woke us up around 5:30 today and the first thing out of her mouth was "I want go to the beach."

Really, kid?! 5:30am? Why? Everyone went back to sleep, except me. It takes me forever to fall asleep, so why bother? If I did manage to fall asleep, I would have to get up in less than an hour.

There is one thing I miss from my pre-parenthood days: sleep. Oh how I miss you, sleep! It's much better now, don't get me wrong. But all week she has been getting up two or three times a night. So this mommy is tired! And I have no idea whatsoever why she is getting up in the middle of the night lately. Maybe it's too warm in the house? Daddy would disagree, but Ari and I like to sleep in a very cold room. Poor man! You should see the way he sleeps!

Back to the beach, the ironic thing is that today is the date to make our final payment for our next vacation, not that Arianna knows that! But, hey, there is no way I will forget now!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two cute stories!

I am hearing so many stories lately. I love it! I really should get better about writing them down. Some of them are so adorable!

Here are two:

Last night, Amor Chiquito talked to Geeky Entrepreneur about hotels, going far away, and visiting family.

Amor Chiquito: Daddy, my house is not far away, but the hotel is far, far away.

Daddy: Do you like going to the hotel, Ari?

Amor Chiquito (very excited): Yes, Daddy, I love the hotel! Hotel is for resting. Then we see Nana and Titi (Spanish for auntie, my sister). Daddy, I want see Nana after we sleep, please!

This morning, Amor Chiquito and I had a conversation about the winter.

Amor Chiquito: Is it winter yet?

Me: No.

Amor Chiquito: I go look out my window.
(She ran, looked out the window, and returned, kind of sad/disappointed.)
Mommy, it not winter yet. I really really want to make a snowman.

So, her definition of winter: when there is snow on the ground!

Tell me about the cute things your kiddos are saying! I love cute kid stories!

Why we get sick (Ari's version)

Amor Chiquito, Geeky Entrepreneur and I were sick this week. She has a cold and all three of us had a stomach bug. So, we have been talking about being sick, getting better, etc. Also, it sounds like Amor Chiquito has been learning about it in school. All this led to the following conversation:

Me: Ari, Mama (grandma) is sick. Her tummy hurts. Would you like to help her?

Ari: Yes, we need to give her kisses. I want to give her kisses! I want go Mama house, please!

Me: Would you like to share your Ginger ale with Mama? You and Daddy could bring her some.

Ari: Yes, I share my ginger ale with Mama! It make her feel a little better. And we can’t forget to give her hugs. Mommy, Mama got sick because people sneeze and she got germs. You have to sneeze on your elbow.

Later on, I was talking to my mom on the phone, telling her that Geeky Entrepreneur and Amor Chiquito would be delivering a few things soon. Amor Chiquito ran over and asked me to tell Mama that if she throws up she will feel a little better.

It is very fascinating to me how much kids understand and how much analyzing is going on in their little minds.

What interesting conclusions/realizations/advice has your little one shared recently?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Donating breast milk helped a mother cope with her loss.

I had no idea what to title this post.

This story is beautiful, very touching, and sad. A mommy's baby passed away. She continued to pump breast milk after his passing. She ended up donating her milk to several people.

What an unselfish and admirable way to grieve.

My thoughts and hugs to all of you parents out there who have lost a little one, whether you miscarried, had a stillbirth, sudden infant death. Whatever it was, I just want to send a big virtual hug your way.

Big News: First Nap in School

So, at pick-up time in school yesterday, right away, one of the teachers came over and said “Arianna napped today.” Then, the other teacher came over. She always practices her Spanish with my mother and I. As one teacher was telling me that Ari slept, the other teacher was telling my mom, in Spanish, that Arianna slept for a long time, close to an hour and a half.

Call me super weird, but I almost wanted to cry! You have no idea how huge this is for us!

You should have seen my face! I simply could not believe it. I had given up on it. I was figuring that if she ever napped, it probably would not happen until March or something!

Amor Chiquito desperately needs a nap. When I pick her up, she is usually very tired and cranky. She only wants me, she wants to nurse many times, she is whiny, etc.

Yesterday, I picked up a completely different kid! She was happy, very active, and playful. No whining. She did not ask to nurse all day, not until bedtime. We played lots. We went out for a treat. We had a lot of fun taking a shower together.

I am so proud of her! I told her that I was happy that she napped and that I love seeing her rested and happy. Let’s see what happens the next few days!

Oh, if you are curious, this is week eight in school!

Have I mentioned that I still can’t believe it?!

Oh, by the way, she is less dependent on me when it is time to go to sleep lately. She is also not asking to nurse nearly as much. Is my baby getting ready to wean at last? My baby is growing up!

Yes, I know she is no longer a baby. Whatever, she is still my baby!

I had secretly started to wonder if kids really do wean themselves. I have been a strong believer in child-led weaning, but, to be honest, I have felt frustrated the past few weeks and I had begun to second-guess my decision. I feel that I am beginning to see the signs.

More on breastfeeding, weaning, and support for breastfeeding families in another post.

Monday, October 25, 2010

On Inducing Lactation

I just came across this website. It explains in great detail how a woman can induce lactation. Basically, it involves birth control pills, some herbs and a fair bit of pumping.

If you are adopting, you can still breastfeed! What can I say? Our bodies rock!

Classroom Visits One and Two

More about school! What can I say? We spent a fair bit of time at school last week.

Every other week, the parents spend the first half hour of the day in their children’s classroom. Last Thursday was our second time doing this. Basically, we get a glimpse of what Amor Chiquito is working on at this point in time.

Last week, we got to see Amor Chiquito work on “writing her name.” She also traced some geometric shapes. The kid is all about art work and “writing her name.” It’s all her. We are certainly not rushing her into writing anything.

The other time we went we worked on three different things. Amor Chiquito worked with tweezers. She did some counting and matching with an older classmate. And the third activity… I have no recollection whatsoever! Actually, come to think of it, I think she did some writing. What else is new?!

Curriculum Evening

Last Wednesday was curriculum night. We spent close to two hours in Amor Chiquito’s classroom, chatting with her teachers, looking at the different activities the kids work on, etc. The teachers went over each area and over the Montessori philosophy. We even got a Montessori-style math lesson!

The classroom has various work stations: practical life, math, sensorial, writing, reading, art, etc. The kids either work at one of those tables or sit on the floor, on a small rug, with a tray that holds whatever they are working on. Why a rug? If I see you on a rug with such-and-such toy, I know that that is your work space and that that activity is yours for the time being.

The kids also get math, Spanish and yoga lessons.

So, the infamous math lesson… It was great! All the parents were in awe, wishing we had attended a Montessori school as a child. By the time kids get to first grade they are adding four-digit numbers and some of them are even starting to learn the multiplication tables. The difference is that kids learn with beads, bars, squares and cubes. They learn about carrying numbers over and all that. But they do it all sans pencil or paper. They are learning in a way that they find fun and engaging.

Things I love about the Montessori preschool classroom:

Kids learn about ‘peace and grace.’ In other words, they develop social skills. They learn to be mindful of each other. They learn to peacefully coexist. They learn to set healthy boundaries. They even learn about being a host! Geeky Entrepreneur and his guy friend whose kids attend a Montessori school joke that their kids know more about “being civilized and hosting” than they, the dads, did when they were 20!

Here is an example: when we toured the school and sat in the classrooms in the spring, the tour guides were 11-12 year olds. When we went into the elementary classroom, a girl asked if we wanted water and brought us some.

Oh, this reminds me… The preschool kids serve themselves their own snacks and get themselves drinks. They use a two-cup glass pitcher and tiny, five-ounce glasses! So cute! If you see the tiny pitcher, you’ll agree with me!

Back to what I love about the classroom:
There are many different toys, each one teaching something and simultaneously letting my kiddo be a kid. Amor Chiquito might learn something from a toy now and she might learn something else from it later on.

I also like the fact that there is structure, but she learns at her pace. There is time when everyone is together as a group. They do circle time, read stories, sing songs, etc. There are also times when each child gets to work individually, with another kid, or with a teacher. When Amor Chiquito is working on something, it is something she chose and she works on it for as little or as long as she needs to. That is not to say that she does whatever she wants to do all day. The teachers are trained, have a curriculum, and they are aware of who is learning what. If they notice that Ari is mostly into art (which she is), they use art to draw her into another area so she can learn something else. If your child is into math, but it is time to move on, the teacher might say “would you like to count these?” Next thing you know, the child is learning about something else.

I often get to chat with the teachers, usually at pick-up time. But the curriculum evening gave us an opportunity to learn more about what Amor Chiquito loves to do and what she is like in the classroom. Here are some funny facts!

One of the teachers describes Amor Chiquito as ‘the eyes of the classroom’! My child is a tattle tail, in other words!

If someone needs help, she goes and tells the teachers.

If someone is running, she tells the teachers that so-and-so ‘is not using his running feet.’

When it is rest time (you know it’s not nap time, not for my kid!), Amor Chiquito lies down, picks up her head, asks her friends if they are ok, lies down, picks up her head, asks if they are ok, you get the point!

At Q&A time, Geeky Entrepreneur asked if the teachers might have suggestions as to how to ask about her day because we just don’t get much out of her as to what she did in school today. The admissions officer (also a teacher), Laura, who I have loved since day one, was in the classroom. She said that three-year-olds tend to be in the present, so when we ask about the school day, she will probably talk about what she just did, not what she did four hours ago. She also said that a child Amor Chiquito’s age tends to do lots of observing. All three teachers, as if they were a quire, said “nooooo”! They each went on to say that she is very busy and that she is, most definitely, doing, not observing. It was definitely a funny moment. Everyone in the classroom was laughing. Next thing I know other parents were calling my silly kid Arianna Genius.

The funny thing is that, since I am not a teacher and since she is my first/only child, I had no idea that Amor Chiquito is not your typical three-year-old. She has known her letters since she was two and she loves to doodle. I know not every child does these things. But I also know that plenty of kids do. Long story short, she is who she is and I don’t question it. I love her for who she is. I will continue to do my best to figure out what she needs to continue developing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Montessori School Children's Fair

Amor Chiquito, her cousin, Grandma and I attended the children’s fair at Amor Chiquito’s school yesterday. It was a lot of fun. The kids had a blast. I had a blast watching them! It was also great to see how almost every parent did something, be it cook and donate some food, set up, staff a table, etc., to make it happen.

One of Amor Chiquito’s favorite activities was the bounce house! In fact, she liked it so much she went in twice.

She also loved the pony rides. Did that twice as well. She looked so cute riding the pony, helmet and all!

Amor Chiquito painted a pumpkin. She said the pumpkin is Nana’s surprise birthday present. She did not know this, but Halloween is Nana’s favorite holiday. So Nana will be so very happy, mostly because her one and only grandbaby made it just for her!

Amor Chiquito did some beading. She has a bracelet made by her and I.

She went to the face painting station. She got a butterfly on her face and green hair. I wish you could have seen the green hair!

The fair was held at the school playground, so Amor Chiquito also spent lots of time climbing, going on the swings, and playing in the sandbox.

By the time we came home my feet were killing me and I needed a nap. But I am so glad the kids got to go and I am glad Geeky Entrepreneur and I got to do our part to help the school out. We each cooked something.

Next year, I hope to talk more families into going. Yaminette, I’m looking at you! I also hope that both grandmas can make it because I know they will love seeing the kids having a blast!

Those of you with kids nearby, I will do a better job next year and tell you ahead of time so you can come join us if you and your kids would enjoy that.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lunch Update

A while back I posted about how Amor Chiquito was barely eating her lunch. Well, that has changed! Here is the update:

Amor Chiquito was not much of a breakfast person. By the second or third week of school that changed. She now has a bowl of cereal before she leaves every morning.

We learned from one of the teachers that she was, most definitely, eating. She was going for seconds at snack time, in fact!

About a week after I posted here about lunch, Amor Chiquito started wiping out her lunch completely. When she started eating her entire lunch, I was sending a quarter of a homemade waffle and fruit. I was alternating between grapes and strawberries. Here we are, three weeks later, and the kid is still in love with waffles and strawberries! I don't offer waffles at home so that she does not get sick of them. We'll send something else, eventually, but why screw with it if she is loving waffles and strawberries right now?

I used to send water. She was not drinking much. I switched to juice. I sent orange juice for a while. This week, I am sending crangrape juice and water, about a two to one ratio. Four ounces of 100% juice. No juice at home because she has juice in school and at grandma's, of course. It is working beautifully.

If you are curious, she still will not touch meat! Her protein comes from dairy and nuts. Fortunately, we now know that she is not alergic to any nuts.

Baby slings, if used safely, are simply awesome!

To read about all the pros of using a baby sling, go here:

We used one with Ari. As I just posted on Facebook, my only regret is that I did not use it more.

Some of the many things I like about having a baby sling:

Bonding time

She was held, which is something babies need a lot of.

I had my hands free.

Bonding again.

When we went somewhere where there were people who were strangers to Ari, she was in the sling. There was no way anyone could just grab her from my arms. Trust me, people love doing that. And, believe you me, nothing pissed me off more than someone ignoring my child's needs and making her cry because they wanted to cuddle her. Yes, I get it. I love holding babies too. But, you have to build the sense of trust first, remember?

Have I mentioned bonding?! There is nothing like feeling your little one close to you. Ari is three and I still love snuggling with her!

Infant Massage

Here is a post talking about a DVD that teaches parents about infant massage:

The post and the DVD focus on babies, but we all love a nice massage, so let's do the same for our toddlers! Even if we are not pros, it will still be relaxing and a bonding experience. I love giving Ari hugs and rubbing Ari's back!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Homemade Leg Wax

I don't see myself doing this any time soon. I don't mind shaving. It does not irritate my skin, so long as I use the right razor for me, and I can do it quickly. That being said, I came across this recipe and I am sure some 'crunchy' person out there would love to try it:

If you do try it, tell us how it went!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Article: Memoirs of a Bullied Kid

Single Dad Laughing... His blog rocks!

Here is his latest kick-butt, inspiring, powerful post:

Article: Empowering Children with Choices

Give your kids choices. Don't be a dictator! It's frustrating and draining as heck for us grownups and it's no more fun for them.

Check out these suggestions:

Three-year-old Checkup and a Rant

Today Amor Chiquito had her three-year-old well checkup. It was boring. And, for that, I am very grateful.

Height: 37.25” (60th percentile)
Weight: 31lb (50th percentile)
BMI is in the 40th percentile. She did not say what it is and I forgot to ask.

Blood pressure was 94/60. Just looked at this chart:

If I am reading the chart correctly (which is a big if given the program that reads my computer screen), her blood pressure was a tiny bit high. I meant to ask the pediatrician and forgot to. I hate when I do that. I usually make a list of questions, but I did not know what to expect for today’s checkup. The pediatrician is very thorough, so my guess is that the blood pressure was fine. I think I will call the nurse, though. The doctor is human. She could have forgotten to look. Five minutes of my and a nurse’s time will ensure that Ari is fine and will give me peace of mind.

We talked about Ari’s diet. The pediatrician says she sounds like a typical three-year-old and she sounded surprised when I said Ari loves to have whole wheat pasta for dinner. As usual, she talked about limiting juice. Tell my mom, and every other grandma I know, doc, please!

The fact that Ari is still nursing came up in conversation. She politely suggested that we only nurse at home because, at this age, nursing in public tends not to be socially acceptable. She does not know that I don’t give a rat’s ass about what other people think, especially when it comes to my daughter nursing. Usually, she nurses at home, but if she really needs the comfort in public, I will not say no. If she just fell or is scared, why the hell should I say no? To make you happy? If you don’t like it, look the other way! I nurse in a way that you will never see what you don’t want to see. So, please, grow up, deal, and don’t be one of those annoying, nosy people! If you don’t nurse your child, that’s totally fine. Just don’t tell me I should stop because, frankly, it’s not your business.

Ok, rant over! My husband commended me on how politely and respectfully I listened to and ignored the pediatrician! The way he said it was pretty funny!

Ari got her finger poked to check her iron and lead levels.

She got the last HIB vaccine (prevents one of the bacterial infections that causes meningitis) and the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine was a nasal spray.

Vaccines, another hot topic, I know. We decided to do vaccines, all of them. There you have it, if you were curious. Yes, I would do some things differently next time around. I might delay getting some of them. The two, four and six month vaccines were fairly hellish for us.

On a different topic, we talked about seeing the doctor last night during dinner. Her response: “But why? I don’t have a booboo.”

I decided to talk about the shots at the doctor’s office, before the doctor showed up. I like to prepare Amor Chiquito for things as much as I can, but I did not want her to unnecessarily worry about shots for a day or so. Things went well. We got a few ows. We gave her Tylenol, in case she got achy. We dropped her off at school. The imp didn’t even look back. I didn’t get a hug today!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Article: You just broke your child. Congratulations.

Just read this article for dads by a dad. I say it is for moms too. Us moms screw up too.

Please take five or so minutes to read this. I promise it is more than worth it. While you are at it, hug your child, tell her/him how much you love her/him, show it with your actions, and, when you screw up, do the right thing and apologize.

Being a parent is not easy. There is so much to do. There are so many distractions. If you want to do something really big that changes lives, give being a parent your all. Your child will be a better person and will, in turn, inspire others. It is a cycle.

Thank you to Logical Mommy for posting this.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beautiful Memories

Every few days, Amor Chiquito does or says something that really makes my day! I could go on and on forever sharing stories.

Here is the most recent story:

My mother and I walked into the playground at school. Ari was at the opposite end of the playground, on the ‘big kid’ swings. When she saw us, she started running, as fast as she could, saying “mooomy, mooomy!”

You know how sometimes you are just so happy you can’t stop smiling, your chest almost hurts? That was me yesterday! I love that kid! I can’t even describe it!

Another story:
I had my remaining three wisdom teeth extracted two weeks ago. Geeky Entrepreneur and I explained to Amor Chiquito that I had booboos in my mouth. She asked if I was hurting. I said that I was not at the moment, but that I would be later (yay for local anesthetics!).
She said: Mommy, I don’t want you hurt. I want you be happy. I want give you hugs and kisses. And she did, over and over again!

I have since mostly healed. I thought she had forgotten about it. She asked me today, out of the blue, if my mouth was hurting. I said no. She then proceeded to talk about how when I was hurting she gave me lots of hugs and kisses and how she wanted to give me hugs and kisses when daddy was done driving.

What about you? How has your little one made your day lately?!

To-Go Lunches for a Preschooler

So, as I wrote on another post, Amor Chiquito is often not drinking, eating, or both at lunch time.

I have tried the following for her school lunches:
White rice
Dry cereal

I also send fruit, usually grapes or strawberries, and a carrot, along with one of the items listed above.

I send diluted orange juice to get additional fluids into her. I was sending water the first week, but it seemed like she was not drinking much at all.

Everything I have tried are things we know she likes.

Her classroom is peanut free, so no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

She won’t eat meat, so ham and cheese sandwiches don’t work for us.

I am looking for yummy and healthy options.

Help! What do your or your children’s to-go lunches consist of? Give me some ideas, please!

Birthday Parties

So, apparently, our family believes we ought to have a party for each year! We had three birthday cakes.

On the day of Ari’s birthday, Saturday, 9/18, my mother got her a little birthday cake. She just could not imagine not having a birthday cake on the day of Ari’s birthday. It was grandma, my sister, Ari and I. We went to the carousel, came home, and sang happy birthday. Unfortunately, Geeky Entrepreneur was unable to join us. He spent about six hours in the ER due to sludge in his gallbladder.

Sunday, 9/19, was Ari’s official birthday party. There were 20 people altogether, 10 of them under the age of 10. The birthday party went very well. Ari had a blast and so did all the other kids. We just had a fence installed about a month ago. I love it! The kids had so much fun playing outside. The grownups got to catch up. We took lots of pictures. We enjoyed an ice cream cake. No family drama, yay!

The following weekend, Nana had a birthday party at her house, two hours away. Ari got to see my sister, who lives near Nana. She got to see her grandparents. She got to “meet” relatives she does not see often. She got some toys, yet another Pillow Pet, and lots of clothes. She was a happy camper.

Oh, by the way, I swear there were more than eight food options, all cooked by my mother-in-law! Italians… I just don’t get it! It didn’t matter that there were only about 15 people there!

Oh, I almost forgot… We are having another birthday party, sort of. Next Wednesday, we are having a ‘birth celebration’ at Ari’s school. We will be bringing photos of Ari when she was a newborn, one, two, and three. She gets to walk around a globe once per year. Each time she goes around, we talk about some milestone, something special we did, etc. I am looking forward to it. Sounds very different to me. Had not heard of anything like this before. I don’t know if it is a Montessori tradition or a tradition of this specific school.

Please forgive any typos. I am so tired I don’t feel like editing! I’ll do it tomorrow.

Montessori School: Weeks One Through Three

I remember talking to the admissions officer at Ari’s school for the first time. I was sick and tired of talking to schools and feeling like they don’t give a damn about attachment, building trust, or the fact that kids are different and some need more time than others to feel comfortable in the classroom without their parents. So, when Laura, the admissions officer said that the school has a ‘phase in’ program because they feel it is very important that the child, the parents and the teachers build a sense of trust… I almost wanted to cry! This sounds dramatic, I know. You have no idea how many schools I called. The best I got was something like this “Well, if you really want to stay, you can stay for 15 minutes the first day. But, it’s usually better to leave and not look back.” Yeah, right. That’s just like the extreme cry it out method, worse, actually. My child has never been to daycare. Since the day she was born, she was either with her dad, her maternal grandmother, or myself. She happens to be a bit shy and cautious around new people. Most importantly, I am a strong believer in attachment, in doing everything in my power to have my child be in an environment where she feels safe and trusts the adults around her. So, no, there was simply no way in hell that I was going to drop her off and leave her in a room full of strangers, people neither her or I knew. See why I say Laura from Montessori admissions more than made my day?! Furthermore, at an event for new parents, the Head of School encouraged parents to feel free to call and ask how their children are doing. I did this a few times and the people in the office would either go look at Ari or put me through to one of her teachers.

So, the phase-in schedule/week one:

In May, Geeky Entrepreneur, Ari and I went to several events where Laura introduced the new kids and parents to the classroom, the playground, etc.

Monday, 9/13, Geeky Entrepreneur, Ari and I went to school for her first day. GE and I sat in the classroom for about half an hour. Amor Chiquito participated in circle time and all the other activities. She would look at us and periodically run to us, spend three seconds with us, and go back to what she was doing. Once we noticed she felt completely at ease, we let her know we were leaving and we would come back later. This was a three-hour day.

Tuesday, 9/14, was a four-hour day. We walked in the classroom with her. We said good bye. We hung around outside for five minutes to make sure she felt comfortable. We were later told that Ari was quiet for the first few hours, but that, eventually, she was constantly telling stories! That kid so takes after her dad!

Wednesday, 9/15, was Ari’s first full day. This is when things got sad. This was the first day when Ari would be ‘napping.’ I was told that “rest time was very sad for her.” One of the teachers explained the order of events to her: lunch, rest time, play time, time outside, then mommy and daddy come. This teacher held her, talked her through it, validated her feelings, reassured her that mommy was coming later, talked about fun things mommy and daddy do with her, talked about her little stuffed animal, etc. Eventually, she was content. When rest time ended, she was happy and engaged as could be.

Thursday, 9/16, Amor Chiquito was sad for only a few minutes. She rested, but did not sleep.

Friday, 9/17, Amor Chiquito lied down without any prompting. I was told the following: “I am sorry to say Arianna did not ask for you today!” This made my day!

Weeks two and three went well. Amor Chiquito comes home happy, tells us lots of stories, is learning lots using many different toys and engaging in age-appropriate educational activities, plays outside, and is not sad at rest time. She won’t sleep, no way in hell, not yet! But she lies down on her own and does not need soothing.

She loves pizza day! They have pizza on Wednesdays.

We have to work on lunch. At first, I was sending water and she was not drinking much. Now I am sending diluted orange juice. She drinks all of it but isn’t really eating much of her food. I always send things I know she likes. I am at a loss for the time being! I don’t know what to send anymore. I have tried white rice, pasta, waffles, bread, crackers, dry cereal, cheese and others. I also always send fruit, usually strawberries or grapes, and a carrot. If you have ideas for school lunches, please share!

The one annoying thing is the cooties she brings home! She got a cold last week and so did I. It was one of the mean ones, not the mild colds I tend to get. The kids wash their hands when they first go in the classroom. I guess we will be either having lots of colds or developing very strong immune systems!

Overall, the three of us are very happy about our choice. I feel very blessed and very grateful that we can afford to have Ari attend this school. I wish I could do something to make schools like this one be more accessible to families.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's all about pretend games lately!

We are now well into the pretend phase. It is a lot of fun and very fascinating!

Here are some of the pretend games we have been playing the past month:

On the cruise, Ari and Daddy would sit on the balcony. She would pretend to put her seatbelt on and to help her Daddy put his on too.

The cereal game was created on the cruise, but we are still playing it. We get a bowl, a spoon, milk and cereal. She chooses the color of the bowl, big or little spoon, white or chocolate milk, and the type of cereal. Once she has assembled the pretend bowl of cereal, she dumps it on Daddy! First it was on his head. Lately, she dumps it on his bellybutton!

The shark game was inspired by Nana. A pretend shark shows up, out of the blue, anywhere. We could be at the dinner table, getting ready for bed, in the car, you name it… The shark attacks Daddy and Daddy has to try to get away. The game just evolved last night. Now there is a spray that makes the shark go away.

The other day we were having dinner at Bertucci’s, an Italian restaurant. Bertucci’s is very family-friendly. Kids get crayons and bread dough. Amor Chiquito made herself a bracelet and made a necklace for me. She managed to make a long enough necklace and put it around my neck. Later on, she grabbed my left hand and started wiping it with a piece of dough. Daddy noticed the dough had something red on it (a tiny piece of tomato). We were informed that I had a pretend booboo and she was helping me with it!

See what I’m saying;?!

Our Second Cruise as a Family

My blog, how I have neglected you this month… There has been a lot going on. We went on vacation for a week. One weekend we were preparing for and having a birthday party. Another weekend we went to Nana’s for another birthday party. Amor Chiquito started preschool. My wisdom teeth were extracted and so I spent a few days sleeping a lot. I have been looking for work. It feels like this month flew by.

In theory, I’ll be posting a fair bit during the next few days. Let’s see if that really happens! Intensions and actions… Two different things… You know how it is!

So, our cruise… It was our second cruise with Amor Chiquito (third if you count the time she was in my tummy!). It was a seven-night cruise. We stopped at Port Canaveral, Fl, at Nassau and Freeport, both in the Bahamas.

The highlights:

Amor Chiquito went to a beach for the first time. She loved looking at the water, going in, not so much. She thoroughly loved making sandcastles.

We did the SeaWorld Explorer shore excursion. This consisted of a 20-minute water taxi ride (my favorite part) and about 45 minutes in a submarine. Geeky Entrepreneur and Amor Chiquito enjoyed looking at the different types of fish, corals, etc. I basically just got to see water and a few sparkly things. I still had a good time. My family had fun and I so love boat rides. So it was all good!

The day we stopped at Port Canaveral we did not get off the boat. Almost everyone else did, so we had the pools, whirlpools, the toddler pool and the slide to ourselves. It was great!

My mother and her boyfriend came along this time. So Geeky Entrepreneur and I got some grownup time almost every day. Between that and Amor Chiquito’s naps, we managed to squeeze in about 14 Pandemic games! It is a fun, cooperative game. We strongly recommend it. Apparently, the idea of the game designer was to create a game both him and his non-geeky wife would enjoy. That’s us, and, yes, we both love it!

Back to the cruise… Amor Chiquito loved the towel animals every night.

She loved spending time in our little balcony and looking out the windows. She has been watching Go Diego Go, so she was often looking for whales!

She played many different pretend games. There are so many I could write a separate post just on that!

She went on walks around the ship with grandma and went to a family friendly show. Something about butterflies…

The food was delicious, as usual. We ate way too much of it! I was a bad girl; I had chocolate melting cake almost every night! And, I would do it again! Amor Chiquito and Geeky Entrepreneur were all about ice-cream cones and fruit, just like the other time.

I did a tiny bit of shopping. I always like to get something that will remind Ari of our cruise.

I took tons of pictures. We made a collage. It has five of our favorite photos and is going up in our living room.

Geeky Entrepreneur got to read lots and did not think about/try to work once! It helps that internet access is very expensive! That being said, he simply does not think about work when he is on a cruise and that is huge. That never ever happens.

Amor Chiquito loved the airplane ride. In fact, she did not want to get off.

The one annoying thing: we missed our flight on the way home. We would not have had we shown up five minutes earlier. I will admit it: I became the super stressed out monster. I just kept thinking about how, eventually, Amor Chiquito would get tired, she does not nap easily, she would get cranky, etc. My awesome husband talked me through it. Ari napped, a very long nap, on my lap, and was not ridiculously cranky once. I can’t even remember the last time she napped on my lap. It was great! I was uncomfortable for a while, but it was so worth it!

I am having fun planning our next one! My awesome crunchy friend wants to cruise sometime too. Fun possibilities! I am getting excited!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A mama's thoughts on the transition to school

In this blog entry, a mama writes about how her family is preparing for their daughter's transition to school. We are going through that ourselves, so it was a must-read for me!

If you are going through this right now or will be soon, I would recommend this blog entry:

Article on how to help your little one when s/he says "I can't"

This was wonderful, a must-read:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy birthday, mi Amor Chiquito!

Today my baby girl turns three! Hard to believe. In a way, it feels like she has been here forever. At this point, it is hard to remember my life before her. I have started including her in old memories. Then I realize there is simply no way she was at such and such place when X happened! Silly mommy!

Ari knows it is her birthday today. She has been waiting for a month or so, a very long time for a kid her age! For weeks, she kept asking me “my party today”?!

This morning we talked about how today is her birthday and how she is now three years old. “But I want to be four first! I want Dora cake, please”! I told her we are having a Thomas and Friends party. “I like Thomas too.”

She has been obsessed with trains for months. She does not watch the show anymore, but she always talks about trains. So I figured trains would be a good idea. Now she is all about Dora, Diego, Little Mermaid, anything but trains! Oh well! Too late now!

So, today… The three of us played hide-and-seek. Ari and Daddy would hide and I would find them. Ari and I would hide and Daddy would find us. Did that a bunch of times. Ari and I went to the carousel with my mother and sister. We then had a tiny birthday cake. Grandma just had to have a cake on the day of her birthday. Daddy could not join us because he spent half the day at the ER. Gallbladder, turns out.

Tomorrow we are having the grandparents, aunt and uncles, cousins and the neighbors over for a small birthday party. Hopefully, we will have good weather and the kids can play at the back yard. I will be cooking. Hopefully it won’t be a royal disaster, like the cookies I just baked!

Speaking of cookies, this is what happened… I figured I would do something special/different. My sister gave me a train cookie cutter. So I made train-shaped chocolate chip cookies. Well, we have very handicapped trains! I tried! It was fun!

Happy birthday, baby girl! I love the little person you are becoming! I love how sweet and empathetic you are. I love to see you exploring and trying to figure things out. I love to hear you tell us stories! I love when you come over and give us hugs just because, when you say “I yoh you.” It makes my day. You are in preschool now and you are loving it. I love seeing you so happy and so excited about playing and seeing your friends.

Your squishy mommy loves you lots!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Airport, big airplane...!

Today is the big day! We are going on a cruise! Same ship and itinerary (the Bahamas) as last time. We never got off the ship last time and we have a one hour flight, so it was a no-brainer, especially since we have a little passenger who simply loves to stay put for a prolonged period of time! Did you sense the sarcasm there?!

As I posted on Facebook this morning, if you want the most reliable alarm clock ever, have a child! I really hope that this special ability goes away later, but, thus far, at almost three, this lovely benefit of having a child is still here!

Favorite words this morning: airport, biiig airplane, and, completely unrelated, pillow pet.

Off to pack some snacks and drawing supplies for my beautiful alarm clock!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Hug Police is on vacation!

For months, any time Geeky Entrepreneur and I were found hugging, Amor Chiquito would run in and split us up. It ended up becoming a game. Even if she was not around, we would say "no hug"!

Recently, she changed her mind and decided that hugs are cool! Absolutely awesome because I am a squeeshy mama! I love hugs! Now, she comes over, out of the blue, hugs a parent and asks the other one to join her for a family hug! I love it! The huge smile is priceless!

We have a little routine. Every morning, before we get out of bed, we do a big family hug. She then instructs her father to put a sock on his shoulder so she can grab it, run away with it, and hide it! They do that at least three times, until her father says he is done playing the game!

Oh, lately, she has been coming over to give us tiny kisses just because!

I love that kid! Hugs and kisses never get old!

A "Love and Logic" Moment

Amor Chiquito is not a fan of picking up her toys after she is done playing with them. Then again, who is?!

There have been times when I ask her to pick up her toys and she has told me it is my turn. Imp! It was funny once or twice, but not anymore! Most of the time, either the grownups pick up the toys or we have a royal mess in our living room. Who am I kidding? Most of the time we have a royal mess in our living room. I can’t keep up, it feels like!

Yesterday I got her magnetic numbers. She was ecstatic! We played with them for a while, and, then, the inevitable, cleanup time.

Ari: I no want clean up.

Me: Please clean up the numbers.

Ari: But I no want to.

Me: You have two choices. If you clean up, you can play with them later. If I clean up, they will go up high. Who is cleaning up?

Ari: You.

Me: Ok, I will clean up. They are going up high.

There was some crying.

In retrospect, I could have done a better job. I was tired, frustrated, and tired of repeating myself so many times in one day. Instead, I could have tried to be brief and to not let it get to me.

Today Amor Chiquito asked for her numbers.

Me: I will get them. They are up high because I picked them up yesterday.

We played for a while. She would grab a number. She would tell me what the number was. If she did not know, I would tell her. She would then run to the kitchen and put the number on the fridge. Repeat, repeat, and repeat some more...!

When it was time to clean up, I asked if she was cleaning up or if I was.

Ari: I clean up. No numbers up high.

No fuss! How cool is that! I got the idea from the Love and Logic book.

Later on, we played with play dough and she cleaned up too.

We are also working on having a consistent parking spot, if you will, for her bike. I have tripped on the damn bike more times than I care to admit! Basically, because my vision is so limited, I might see things that I am looking for. Otherwise, I don’t notice a lot of things, particularly smaller objects close to the ground such as her bike.

That reminds me of a sweet moment today… Amor Chiquito was riding her bike. I was walking near her. She said “waaatch out, mommy.”

I might have mentioned this before. Amor Chiquito has been aware of my visual impairment since before she was a year old. It is fascinating to see how her and I continue to adapt as time goes on, as she gets older and understands more about my eye sight.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Poem About Breastfeeding

Just came across this cute poem about breastfeeding:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

From article on myths and facts about attachment

Secure attachment has to do with your child knowing that you are trustworthy, knowing that you are there, that you will respond to his/her needs. Secure attachment is vital. Attachment in early childhood, secure or insecure, has been found to have an impact in future relationships. In other words, if, as a young child, you were securely attached to your caregiver, later on, adult relationships will be easier for you.

Attachment is something I am very passionate about. Some day I would love to have the time to write a long post on attachment. In the meantime, here is this article:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

35 months today...

I can't believe our little girl will be three years old a month from today. Wow!

She is not a baby anymore. She is a little girl, full of stories, silly ideas, making up games...! I love it!

Birthdays have a whole new meaning for me now!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Out of shampoo, what could I do?!

I wrote a while ago about using a baking soda solution instead of shampoo. I had not gotten around to trying it. To be honest, I was very skeptical. My hair is very oily; I just wasn’t sure about baking soda! I love when my hair feels squeaky clean! I was assuming baking soda wouldn’t do the trick. But… What can you do when you are completely out of shampoo. Baby shampoo does not work on my hair. I tried!

So, there I was, with a cup, water and baking soda. There was my husband, making quite the funny face!

Guess what? It worked! If it worked on my super oily hair, it will probably work on anyone’s hair! And, no, my hair did not stink! To be fair, I did not try the vinegar.

Some relatives heard about my experiment. They don’t know much about my “crunchy” side. They laughed their butts off and they think I am crazy. Whatever!

Oh, the recipe:
1 cup water
2 tablespoons baking soda

Pretend Play, Creativity and Imagination

Amor Chiquito is very much into pretend play lately. The other day, one of Geeky Entrepreneur’s ties was an anaconda, a seatbelt and a rope, all within half an hour.

Some of Ari’s favorite games lately:

Run after mom or dad with the anaconda, saying sss!

Tell mommy to “be a horse,” sit on mommy’s back, and put her seatbelt on! I am so glad that seatbelts are viewed as such a positive thing in our home!

I forget what the rope was for!

Oh, about an hour ago, a plastic bag became a magic carpet and a tie became a seatbelt. She was flying while Daddy hummed the song! Eventually, both her and daddy were flying together, sharing a magic carpet!

Many more stories, but I am blanking out right now.

All about being a family...

Every time I remember these conversations I smile!

Two weeks ago Ari asked: “mommy, you my family?

Me: Yes, love.

Ari: Da-e my family too?

Me: Yes, Ari, you, daddy and I are a family.

Ari: Yay!

Later on that day…

Ari, as she is getting out of the car: My mommy is great!

She made my day! Her remark was completely unprovoked, all her.

Speaking of family, she has learned that Nana is “da-e mommy,” Mama is “mommy mommy,” Jaiden (her cousin) is “tio (uncle) baby,” etc.

The other day she surprised me. I told Geeky Entrepreneur I was going to my mom’s. She jumped in and said “hurray, Mama house! That my grandma!”

Very cute! Child development is so very fascinaEvery time I remember these conversations I smile!

Two weeks ago Ari asked: “mommy, you my family?

Me: Yes, love.

Ari: Da-e my family too?

Me: Yes, Ari, you, daddy and I are a family.

Ari: Yay!

Later on that day…

Ari, as she is getting out of the car: My mommy is great!

She made my day! Her remark was completely unprovoked, all her.

Speaking of family, she has learned that Nana is “da-e mommy,” Mama is “mommy mommy,” Jaiden (her cousin) is “tio (uncle) baby,” etc.

The other day she surprised me. I told Geeky Entrepreneur I was going to my mom’s. She jumped in and said “hurray, Mama house! That my grandma!”

Very cute! Child development is so very fascinating.

21st Century Family

Long day. Everyone had fun. Everyone was tired. But Ari was not ready to go to sleep.

Geeky Entrepreneur was taking a break and playing a video game on his computer.

I was catching up on Blogger on my laptop.

Ari was watching a kid show on Netflix Instant Watch on Geeky Entrepreneur’s netbook.

Can you spell 21st century family?!

Oh, by the way, she is threatening to be good at using the mouse any day. She knows how to pause or hit play on her show on Netflix or Youtube.

My family got our first computer when I was a freshman in high school. My 2-year-old uses one every day. I feel old!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

All about the cute and fun stuff Ari has been saying and doing lately!

Many silly moments lately!

Ari told her daddy to be careful eating his pasta so he wouldn’t make a mess on the table! Very thoughtful! So much laughter in our home lately!

The other day I told her she was full of boloney. Her response: No, only Nana say that! Only Nana!

I was told that she wanted to go to the horses (the merry-go-round). I explained that it was not open at the time. She said: Ok, mommy, we have find other horses!

Ari has known about stop signs for a while. She recently learned about traffic lights. Now she tells her daddy “red, stop please,” or “green, go!” She will also say “look, Da-e, white, people walk, no drive.”

Ari walked around wearing a birthday hat all day on Sunday. She went to the park, the mall, and to a restaurant wearing it! The day before it was a helmet. The day before that it was a baseball cap. The sun hat is missing in action! I don’t know if I’ll ever see it again!

Lastly, I am walking around with an airplane sticker on my forehead! My daughter put it on there and I am not about to remove it! I am sure I look very silly, but I don’t care!

Have I mentioned lately how much I am thoroughly loving this age?!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What an imp!

The latest from our silly imp…!

Amor Chiquito: I want juice.

Me: Little girls that eat their dinner get juice.

Amor Chiquito: No no no. Little girls that eat can see Emily!

Geeky Entrepreneur and I laughed so hard! She decided that she really wanted to see our neighbor, so she tried to change the rules to rules that would suit her! Clever!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Feed me, damn it!

The title... When I was pregnant and got a crazy craving, I would joke around with Geeky Entrepreneur and would say "feed me, damn it!" Now it's "dang it," if anything!

Our little television-obsessed child is in the process of developing a habit, if we let her, that is.

Yes, she loves watching TV. But she has pains-in-the-ass parents that keep an eye on it and get her away from the TV and redirect her – drawing, painting, playing outside, going to the park, etc. This weekend she is getting to watch more TV than usual because all of us are sick. No one feels like being outside.

But that is not the habit I was writing about above. Picture this:

Little Ari sitting in front of her Daddy’s netbook, watching an episode of Cayou, Super Why, Thomas and Friends, whatever it might be…

Amor Chiquito: Da-e, I want pear, please.

Daddy: Ok, let’s go downstairs and get a pear.

Amor Chiquito: No, Da-e, you get pear. I wait here.

What an imp! How about no, me thinks!

Since way before Amor Chiquito was born I thought that we would always eat together, as a family. At lunch time, it is almost always just Amor Chiquito and I, but, still, we eat together. I remember noticing, as a teenager, that my family did not eat together. I don’t want that for my family. I strongly believe that dinner time is the perfect opportunity for a family to reconnect at the end of the day, to keep a strong and healthy relationship going, to talk about the ups and downs of the day.

Furthermore, what is this crap about go make me some food and I’ll sit here and wait for you?! I am a mom, and, as a mom, my job is not to be my daughter’s maid. My job, as I see it, is to feed her healthy, yummy food, but to also teach her that we work, as a team, to get what we need or want.

So, here is the plan. If she is healthy enough to run around the house, then she is healthy enough to go downstairs and help. She can grab the pear, rinse it, put the stem in the trash after I cut the pear. She can put her bowl in the sink. If she is sincerely feeling like crap, feverish, etc., then she can sit at the dining table and wait for mom or dad to bring her some food.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Article" Drowning looks different than you think

This article lists the signs of drowning. You won't hear a cry for help. Everyone should be aware of the signs of drowning. So I urge you to take a few minutes to read this.

Thank you, Liz.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Clever kid!

We got into a minor car accident about ten days ago. We are currently carless. (Is that a word?!) My mother let us borrow her car a few times.

The stories:

Amor Chiquito: Da-e, I want see Mama (my mom).

Daddy: I can’t bring you to Mama’s. We don’t have a car right now.

Amor Chiquito: Mama has car. You drive Mama car.

Later on:

Amor Chiquito: Da-e, I want go big agua park, pwease!

Daddy: I am glad you liked the park. But we can’t go there right now.

Amor Chiquito: Why? Mama have car!

Clever child! I love it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Great Blog Entry on Parenting and Happiness

Bed time, so this will be quick.

In the following blog entry, a mother of two discusses parenting and happiness. She also links to several articles with different points of view.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We love water parks!

Finally get around to wrapping up this post. This is my third try! Can you spell busy mom of a toddler who also happens to have ADD?!

Last week Amor Chiquito, Geeky Entrepreneur and I spent three days at an indoor water park in Fitchburg, MA, about an hour and 20 minutes from us. My mother-in-law joined us on the second day for the day. It was a lot of fun!

Water park = fun.

Water park + grandma = even more of fun!

There was a toddler pool, a spray area, toddler slides, squirt guns, and ropes that the child could pull on so that lots of water could land on mom and dad’s heads!

There were slides for older kids, a 4 feet deep pool, several hottubs, and, best of all, three awesome slides for bigger kids and adults! Thanks to Nana, Geeky Entrepreneur and I got to go on the slides at least 15 times!

The three of us got to enjoy the pool. Ari is beginning to feel more comfortable in the water. She loves wearing her “swim coat.” That is the name she gave the life jacket. She enjoyed practicing her swimming and she learned how to float.

There was pizza and milk shakes right at the water park. Ari was in heaven!

A few things I really liked about this park:

There were huge windows, but no skylights, so no need for sunscreen or any of that. There were several hot tubs and beachchairs outdoors, so people could enjoy the sun if that is what they wanted.

Everything was on or ended on the one main level. This made learning the layout of and getting around the park much easier for me. One of the tricky things about my eye condition is that I have no depth perception. Staircases going up, no problem, but staircases going down... Let's say that there have been a number of falls in my past! Yay for the white cane and for the husband who has a cute and subtle system worked out to let me know when there is a step coming up!

Since there was only so much junk food we felt like eating, we decided to go on a drive and check out a tiny restaurant that had great reviews. Ok, so onto the real reason: they had fondue! Yumm!

I wish you could have seen Ari’s chocolate mustache! She had way too much fun! She was powering through the food on my plate like there was no tomorrow. She ignored the strawberries and the banana slices; she went straight to the cheesecake, the brownie bites, the Oreos, etc.! Daddy noticed just how much yummy stuff she had been eating, removed the yummy stuff, and left the fruit for her. She promptly decided that it would be best to go sit near Daddy, seeing as how the yummy stuff was near him now!

A classic Ari story: she told me she needed the potty and I did not get her there soon enough. So she had an accident. She promptly took off her shorts and underwear and ran across the restaurant butt-naked to inform her Daddy that she had an accident! I was glad that we were the only ones in the restaurant at that point in time!

Long story short: lots of fun was had by all! Three days at a water park is perfect, just right. We will be doing that again some time.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Love, I just don't know!

Amor Chiquito asks "why?" 100 times a day. Many times, I simply don't know. I liked this mommy's letter to her child:

I must say that my little girl has helped my creativity levels increase a great deal!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A First: Ari is having fun at play group without us!

Today we brought Amor Chiquito to an early intervention play group where the kids get dropped off. No parents. I wanted to try it because I figured it might help with the transition in the fall. Also, Amor Chiquito is becoming more and more interested in hanging out with peers.

I was uncertain as to how Amor Chiquito would feel about getting dropped off, but I was hopeful. She is cautious and a bit on the shy side but feels more at ease around strangers.

We decided that we would stick around for a while, until it seemed that Amor Chiquito felt comfortable. We stayed for half an hour. I feel very strongly about not leaving until she is ready. Anyone who insists on me doing otherwise is simply showing me that their location is not the right place for us.

After half an hour, we told Amor Chiquito that we would be going home and that we would come back later. We did hugs and kisses. She walked away. Said bye from far away. No crying. She felt fine.

My baby is growing up! This felt like a big first! I have left her for hours many times, but she has been with my mother. That does not really count!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Article on Gender Equality and Stay-at-Home Dads

Quick because a cute little person is putting very dirty hands all over my arm and screen! Yuck!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My haircut turned into a learning experience.

I got my hair cut last Saturday. Don’t like it! My hair has never been this short. Everyone likes it, but I feel very strange. Glad I did it, though. It is more than worth it to me. I will be mailing about 10 inches of hair to Whigs for Kids. I plan to continue doing this. I am lucky in that my hair grows relatively fast. I grew enough hair to donate in about 18 months.

I did not anticipate this, but getting my hair cut turned into a wonderful learning experience for Amor Chiquito.

I told her that I would be getting my hair cut later that day so she would not be surprised. I anticipated that, once she saw me, she would talk about it, but I was still surprised at all that she learned from me getting a haircut.

Amor Chiquito: Mommy, you got your hair cut.

Me: Yes, love, I got my hair cut.

Amor Chiquito: Why, mommy?

Me: Sometimes, people get sick and their hair goes away. I want to give my hair to little kids that do not have hair.

Amor Chiquito: Why, mommy?

Me: Because I think it will make them happy to have hair.

We have had this conversation at least five times since last Saturday. She is still asking why I got my hair cut! She knows why, but that does not mean that she will stop asking! If you have a two or three year old, you know that’s how it is!

I am glad that my little girl is learning, by watching my actions, that there are people out there that could use help and that little things we can do for people mean a lot to them.

I am thinking that, perhaps, we will bring her with us next time we go give blood. Don’t worry; she will be with me while Geeky Entrepreneur gives blood and vise versa. I will not leave a child unattended when there are people with needles on their arms! I love her, but, scary!

Blog Post on the Maternal Bond

I found this very interesting, for lack of a better word. She has a point!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review: Shark Steam Mop

The latest in my transition to crunchy living…!

I will start by confessing that I like cool toys!

I will also admit to obsessing about what chemicals we use at home. This is definitely a post-baby thing. I can’t claim that I was an environmentalist or anything like that! Caring about the environment is something that has been growing on me, though.

I was very curious when my neighbor told me that her steam mop does a great job, despite the fact that there are no chemicals involved. As soon as I heard that all I need is water, I wanted to try it out!

Read more about it here:


The mop is very lite.

The mop does a great job removing stains on kitchen and dining room floors at little kids’ houses. If it can handle the home of a toddler, it can handle anything, me thinks!

All you need is a small amount of water and some microfiber pads. No going back to the store for more supplies.

You plug in the mop and it is ready in about 30 seconds.

Wash the pads and reuse them.

The floor dries up quickly.


I can only think of one con: the price. The mop costs $100 at the Shark website. I found it at Walmart for $60, though! The pads are also pricy, $10 each. I found a five-pack on eBay for $23. I use one pad for each room, so we have plenty of them now.

A Mom's Ideas and Thoughts on Sibling Cooperation

Check out this blog entry:

Great ideas, if I ever manage to make up my mind about another child!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Adventures of Amor Chiquito returns!

I had not done this in a while. There are many little things I want to remember. So I am hoping to do this once a week, like I used to.

Last week was full of realizations, interesting remarks, and fun mischief!

We were walking down Rt. 9 in Northampton (for the locals). Ari noticed a newspaper stand. She had no idea what it was or what it was for.

“Ah, wait a minute!”

There were many little stores. She would stop at many of them and look in for a few seconds.

Daddy was noticing that she is window shopping already!

On a different day, Ari and I were spending some time with my mother. Amor Chiquito told her that she wanted to feed the fish. They fed the fish together.

Amor Chiquito: Enjoy your food, fish. Bye fish.

My mother asked Amor Chiquito to put her sandals on. She said “no.”

Me: Would you like to put your sandals on now or in two minutes?

Amor Chiquito: Two minutes. No, three minutes!

Clever kid!

For some reason (I have yet to figure out why), Amor Chiquito takes off her pants and underwear when she uses the potty, often as she is walking towards the bathroom. Once she is done, she takes off, often forgetting to put her underwear back on. We were getting ready to leave and asked her to get her underwear.

*Some day, she will kill me, but here it goes!*

Amor Chiquito: Paaantis, where aaare you?!

Geeky Entrepreneur and I simply could not stop laughing! I love my life!

Geeky Entrepreneur and Amor Chiquito have been sick for days, almost a week. Just a cold, but there have been fevers and long, sleepless nights. If you know of some way to make a little one understand that using a pillow when she is congested is a good idea, please let me know!

Onto the story… Sunday morning, Amor Chiquito woke up at 4:30 am. She could not fall back asleep. At 5:00 am, she noticed it was no longer dark outside.

Amor Chiquito: Mommy, look, sun wake up! I get up too!

What cute or interesting things have your kids been saying or doing lately?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thoughts on Corporal Punishment

Disclosure: This note is not directly or indirectly addressed to anyone. I have not seen anyone spank his/her child recently. I decided to write this after reading a blog post on corporal punishment.

Lengthy article talking about the negative effects of spanking:

A mom's thoughts on corporal punishment:
The entry needs a bit of editing, but if you can get past that, you might find it to be thought-provoking.

I must say that if a teacher or school officer ever dares spank my child, I don’t care what state I live in, my Ari is not going to that school ever again!

Yes, I am extremely biased. I will not hide it, will not sugar-code it. I don't believe in corporal punishment, ever, no matter what my child does or says.

I believe it is my job to figure out how to communicate with and teach my child with love and respect. If I feel my child is behaving terribly and I am at a loss, then I ought to reach out and get help. There are many resources out there. Start by talking to other parents. Have a chat with Mr. Google; he will help you out! Search for message boards. Find out if there are local parenting groups. Read parenting blogs. I have learned so much from parenting blogs! Last, but certainly not least, prioritize getting some you time. Your emotional/mental health is important.

As a mother, I know there are hard days, days when you wonder “Why the hell doesn’t she listen to me? Just how many times must I call her name before she responds?”

I try to remind myself that the way I respond does not only impact our lives today, right now, right this second. The way I respond and handle everyday situations will impact my Ari in so many levels: her relationship with me, her self-esteem/self concept, the way she will interact with peers, the way she will interact with her future children, among other things.

Back to corporal punishment, I grew up hearing all about how "one must respect" her/his parents. I strongly believe that respect and trust are earned. I don't believe corporal punishment earns respect. I do believe that it induces feelings of shame, fear and the child’s desire to be dishonest to avoid awkward situations.

It seems to me that, in *many, not all* cases, parents spank because they are desperate, they don't know what else to try, what else to do, how to set boundaries and communicate effectively with their kids. They feel at a loss.

However you parent and discipline your child, I urge you to periodically stop, think and ask yourself the following questions:

Children do lots of modeling; they tend to behave the way we behave, that is. That being said, what am I teaching my child?

Am I treating my child the way I want her/him to treat others, including myself?

Are my actions telling my child that I am trust-worthy and emotionally available to her/him?

Am I treating my child with love and respect? I love her/him to pieces, but am I showing it?

How am I doing when it comes to lovingly teaching my child about boundaries?

How consistent am I?

How will I feel in the future if I see my child treating my grandchild the way I am treating her/him today? Will I feel happy, proud, that I did right by my child? Will I feel sad for my child and grandchild?

Woe, I did not mean for the list of questions to be that long! Just gave myself lots to think about! Yikes, parenting really is the most important, intense and rewarding job I will ever have!

I would love to read about your thoughts, on here or privately.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Article on inducing labor and why we should only do so when it is medically necessary...

There are other birth-related interesting articles on this blog...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Two little Ari stories...

Here are some of Amor Chiquito’s latest sentences that I have found particularly cute or funny.

Amor Chiquito walked into her daddy’s office and said: "I want you dance with me, Daddy."

Geeky Entrepreneur was taking the trash out. He asked Ari if she would like to help, gave her a new trash bag, and told her he was going outside but would be right back. The kid loves to help, but there is nothing she likes more than going outside! She said: "Don’t worry, mommy; you got it."

The other day, Amor Chiquito saw kids playing at a park. She said: "I liiike boys... and girls!" We laughed pretty hard that time!

No more nap time diaper...

No more nap time diaper for my little girl. About six weeks ago or so, I began noticing that her nap diaper was always dry. When it was wet, it was because she peed soon after she woke up. In other words, she was being lazy!

Thus far, we have had two accidents, both of them this week and during particularly long naps. Not sure what I can do about these accidents. I always ask her if she needs to go before bed. Sometimes she does; others she does not. For now, I will put a thick towel on the bed until I get a mattress cover.

She continues to wear a diaper at night time. Diapers are almost always wet in the mornings, so we will be diapering at night for a while longer, which is totally fine by me.

It feels strange to wash six or seven diapers once a week! I used to wash about 20 diapers every three days!

From Bed-Sharing to Co-Sleeping

Warning: this is pretty long!

I strongly believe that different things work for different parents, for different kids, and at different stages of the child’s life. For example, in our case, when Amor Chiquito was an infant, we bed-shared and it worked very well. Sometime during the first year, she slept on her car seat or on the swing for a while. She had reflux.

Around the time Amor Chiquito turned one, bed-sharing was no longer working for us. We transitioned her to her crib. That was hard, very hard. She cried a lot. The first few days, I sincerely believe she was very stressed out about it. She would poo. You might think “so what? She pooped.” She never ever went at that time, only during those first few days. Eventually, she began taking her sleeper and diaper off and throwing them. That was both frustrating and very funny! I never heard of a child completely stripping that early!

Amor Chiquito slept in her crib until about 23 months. At that point, she jumped out! Needless to say, it was time to transition to the toddler bed. That did not go over very well! I would close her door because I was afraid she may fall down the stairs. It is impossible to have a gate at the top of our stairs; we have tried it all. Anyways, she would get upset when she could not get out of her room. After a while, I stopped closing the door. Visiting at 4am began! It was easier for me to let her climb into bed with me than to bring her back. Years of sleep deprivation and a vitamin D deficiency were really catching up with me.

Now, here we are. We have been bed-sharing since February. I feel that there are pros and cons. It is easier for me to lie down next to her, as opposed to waiting until she falls asleep. One of us has always been around until she falls asleep. That is a whole other topic. Some people say an infant can be taught to self-soothe. Others say a child is not developmentally ready to self-soothe until sometime around age 2.5 to 3.

Back to pros and cons, one of the cons is that our 37” tall and 31 lb child takes up more room on our queen size bed than either of us does! I lost my husband. He started sleeping on a twin-size mattress in Amor Chiquito’s room. He got tired of getting kicked and of sleeping on the edge of the bed. To be honest, I was not sleeping comfortably either.

I felt torn, felt that, in a way, I had to choose my child or my husband, you know, the two people that I love most. I strongly believe that it was not healthy for our marriage to have my husband sleeping elsewhere. I will be blunt. It is not about sex. You can always get creative! It is about cuddling and reconnecting as a couple at the end of a long day.

That being said, I also love having Amor Chiquito nearby! I hereby admit it; I am addicted to having that warm leg on my tummy! It is priceless, indescribable!

As far as Amor Chiquito is concerned, here is my thought: if my husband and I like physical contact as we drift off to sleep, why is it wrong for my daughter to want it as well? If we sleep so much better with it, then why is it ok for us to get it and why is it not ok for her to have it? Why do we expect something of her that we do not do ourselves?

Something else to think about… I feel it is important for Amor Chiquito to be able to fall asleep with or without me. In the fall, she will begin attending a Montessori school and I will not be there when nap time comes around. Aside from that, it is simply a skill she should have. I might get sick some day; I might get some consulting work; I might want a break, etc. Most importantly, I know she can do it because she did it in the past.

Another thought… every day is unique. I am never getting today again. I want to enjoy today, to be with my family, to feel my family near me, to get something that I will not get forever: my little girl loving snuggling with me.

Here is my most recent idea: move from bed-sharing to co-sleeping, sharing our room with our child, that is. We put the twin-size mattress in our bedroom and have Amor Chiquito sleep there. She gets to be near me. I get to snuggle with my people. My husband is back on our bed and sleeping comfortably. Amor Chiquito is, on average, only waking me up once a night. Usually, she is not loud about it, so Geeky Entrepreneur can sleep through it.

We have only done this the past three nights, but, so far, so good! I know our current setup might not work in a month, but we will figure that out when we get there.