August 31, 2010 § Leave a Comment
He turned 2 yesterday and while I’m really distracted by the move and the emotions of leaving, I’m also forced to remember that he’s two.
One of the things about having a 3.5 year old (she’ll be four in three months!) who likes to joke around is that you then get responses like this from your 2 year old:
Me: Do you want some food?
Boy: No way.
He also tells me to “get out of the way, mama”.
I love my baby boy so much and wish him a happy birthday!
February 19, 2010 § 7 Comments
Good morning everyone.
If I believed in hell, this is what it would look like:
I take bilingual baby in to check up on her teeth. I knew she had cavities. This is a second opinion already and they’re telling me that they want to sedate her (knock her out entirely) to fix 8 or more cavities. She may need a root canal, too.
I go to one of my favorite, most kid-friendly cafe in town, only to be told by one of the owners that, no, this is not a playground, but a restaurant, and our kids can’t run around before their very expensive food comes. My blood is boiling in my veins in all the wrong ways and I can’t defend myself. It’s my life story. I ask for everything “to go”. The cook comes with foil to wrap our food but leaves it on plates just in case it works out, as she says. I still leave a note for the other owner who did the verbal hand slap. It says: You didn’t have to be so rude. Let’s talk when your kid is older, Ben. (It was Ben, the guy who reads books at story time. He has a newborn, so when I got into my right mind, I figured he’s probably sleep deprived and I revise, in my mind’s eye the note to: You could’ve been nicer about it.
I’m getting ready to take a shower. The kids slept in to 8am. I’m feeling positive about the week from hell ending today. I gather my clothes and hear the bathroom door close. Good thing there’s no lock, I think. I get to the door and see that baby brother has opened the bottom drawer closest to the door and is standing in it, making it impossible for me to open the door. He doesn’t get it. He has to get out of the drawer, close it and he can be with mama. He doesn’t get it. Thirty minutes later, the firefighters get him out by carefully sliding their fingers inside the small crack between the door and the drawer, and sliding the drawer out. It was 9am when he got out. One hour after they both woke up. The firefighters suggested I get those child locks for that drawer. They were pretty proud of me staying so cool. I didn’t have any doubt that we’d get him out. I actually thought, had he not started crying, he would have been able to get out on his own. He just started to freak.
My first 911 call due to child adventures.
The day isn’t over… yet.
January 5, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Over the last couple of weeks, baby brother has been waking up really early and nursing on and off for about an hour. Up until yesterday morning, I just kept nursing, trying with all my might to keep the boy in bed so I didn’t have to get up and peel the warm layers off of me to take him downstairs where the heater hadn’t done its job yet.
Yesterday morning it hit me that perhaps he had to pee. So, I took him to the potty and sure enough he had to go. He wasn’t sure about sitting there and did protest after a bit but I got the message: He didn’t want to pee in his diaper. By the way, after a whole night of nursing, his diaper was completely dry. From about 8pm to about 6am it went dry.
The little one is 16 months and I’m assuming that we’re approaching a new level of awareness when it comes to peeing into something that isn’t a diaper. It was around this time that bilingual baby, and many other babies, gain more body awareness and I’m ready to open the door to potty time.
He is at a point where he can walk over to the potty and sit down but he can’t pull down his own pants. That’s what I need to prepare for him- crotchless pants so he can just sit down and go. I’m also planning on putting a diaper over the pants just in case.
With bilingual baby I remember being stressed out about her disinterest in the potty… only to relax later when I figured out that it was just a potty pause. From then until she regained interest around 16 months I just used diapers and changed them as soon as they were wet. Same with baby brother.
I can’t assume that their progression will be the same but I do feel like this time around I have a little bit of a framework that will keep me relaxed about the whole thing.
What bothers me the most is that I can tell that baby brother wants to use the potty but gets annoyed when I sit him there. If he gets upset, I take him off. No problem. But if I read his signals, I take him. I wonder if this means that my mornings will require me to get up sooner than I had hoped.
October 1, 2009 § 3 Comments
I’m starting to collect, repair and redistribute (to other families in Central Vermont) cloth diapers that would otherwise end up sitting in a box, unused.
What kind of repair am I talking about? To start, I’m focusing on cloth diapers called pocket diapers and all in one’s- the ones with PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric that wicks away moisture, keeping little ones clothes dry) that have failing elastic. When these diapers with elastic are washed and dried over and over again, the elastic wears out, leaving families with lots of leaks and a frustration toward cloth diapers. I’ve been repairing these diapers (think Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius) and while they are time consuming to repair, I feel like it’s worth the effort in order for these diapers to get used and not lost to attics or (please, no!) landfills.
In some cases, I believe that convenience and cost gets in the way of families using cloth diapers. Each new diaper costs around $18- some more and some less. We’re talking over a hundred dollars to get your “starter kit”. Of course, once you have a second and then a third child, you see the benefits and can feel good about the initial expense. Imagine, however, a family who wants to use cloth but can’t afford the cost of these fancy diapers. If the family is really persistent, they may go with flat diapers. The lower cost of a dozen diapers is more manageable. But, when your little baby turns into a wiggly “don’t you even think of putting me on my back to change my diaper” on the move toddler, some families will put the flat diapers away, not wanting to deal with them and perhaps turn to disposable diapers.
For those families who are kicking themselves for not continuing the cloth diapering legacy, turning to disposables can be hard. I’ve talked to some of these families. So, what if there were a service in the area that could provide a small number of fancy diapers to help these families continue on a cloth diapering roll, helping them build a stash!
I will still be doing elastic repair for hire. But, for those who have diapers to donate, I’ll also be doing this service for families. One thing I could use your help with: Help me name my service- the charity (for lack of a better word, not the for hire stuff)! Let me know leaving a comment here, through facebook or my email if you have it. How do I convey the type of service?
September 23, 2009 § Leave a Comment
After a day full of debating with a two year old lawyer and consoling a teething one year old, the sound of two children sleeping is music. Pure music. It’s so easy to fall asleep next to them after putting them to bed. I guess I should say that they put us to bed as much as we “put them to bed”. Our sleep routine, for lack of a better term, begins when baby brother starts to get tired. He leads us upstairs where we get everyone’s teeth brushed (mine, too) and possibly do a bath, if someone requests it, and head into our room. Baby brother and his big sister play as he gets in some pre-bedtime nursing in between giggles. Just when I think he’s about to fall asleep, I’ll hear bilingual baby get off the bed, head over to the closet and say, “I think my brother wants to play with me”, and he in turn gets off the bed and plays with her. They laugh so hard together. It makes a long day melt away.
When this first started I was alone with the kids- bilingual papi was doing one of his late nights at the university library. I don’t care when the kids fall asleep when it’s just me and they usually fall asleep when they’re tired, so that night I went with it. They were enjoying their play so much, and nobody was getting hurt, so I couldn’t bring myself to break it up. After a bit of play, baby brother came to the bed, crawled up, and fell asleep as he nursed. Eventually, bilingual baby also came to bed, pushed her tiny body against mine and dozed off in the middle of a thought. The breathing began.
Simply nursing baby brother puts me to sleep but now I get a double whammy. Even if I wanted to get up and be a night owl, I’ve got two little bodies keeping me warm, breathing that deep sleep breathing. Just thinking about it is putting me to sleep. Baby brother’s breathing is still shallower than bilingual baby’s but they come together so often, I can’t help but think that they are in sync even when they are asleep.
September 1, 2009 § Leave a Comment
for a two year old, it ends. Quickly. Tantrums, as the mainstream calls them. I call it all venting. Venting, in our family, happens periodically but on occasion it happens as an explosion. Take for example, my desire to take her in and out of the grocery store in her stroller. Bad idea. I knew I was going into potential toddler warfare but tried it anyway. I figured I was only getting two items. By the end of my very quick trip to the store, I had a screaming child, one who I didn’t want to pull out and have scream indoors. Oh, and the judging eyes. So many of them. What a horrible mother I must be… No heart… no compassion. After paying and walking outside I was ready to curl up into a little ball and hide until she stopped venting.
She’s going through something. You can just tell. Once she vented she was done. We walked home relaxed. But for those minutes, maybe even seconds in the store, my head was about to explode. Plus, I tried to watch a friend’s kid and she exploded and couldn’t ground herself back, so she got picked up and then another friend stopped by for a quick visit and the world came to an end again and both my kid and my friend’s kid were melting. By the time I got to the grocery store, I had reached my screaming quotient and was done. I just wanted everyone to take a much needed nap- including me. It didn’t happen due to more melting.
I’m often asked if I’m overwhelmed by having two kids and I have to say that my deer-in-headlights look is mostly due to having a 2 year old. I don’t think they are terrible but their emotions are grand and they feel very deeply. So, in essence, they need a shoulder to cry on. A lot!
August 31, 2009 § 1 Comment
It was bound to happen and it happened this weekend. I don’t think I’ve thoroughly processed this thought. A friend came over and brought over Agar Jelly (aka Kanten jelly, Japanese jelly, etc). It’s made from Agar Agar flakes, a derivative of seaweed. “Like ordinary gelatin, agar is flavorless and becomes gelatinous when it’s dissolved in water, heated, and then cooled. Agar, though, gels more firmly than gelatin, and it sets and melts at a higher temperature–it can even set at room temperature. Agar, like gelatin, is full of protein (though incomplete), but it also contains the rich array of minerals one would expect from seaweed.” (Cooks Thesaurus) She mixed in some fruit and it was so delicious! It’s vegan so it supported my return to dairy-free life.
We were thinking of having a party in his honor but I kept putting off the preparations. It was nice to have our family and one neighbor. Sort of what we did for bilingual baby’s first birthday. Nothing big, just us and one friend.
My interest in Macrobiotics is increasing. It’s interesting to find a way of eating so close to the way we eat in Colombia. Grains, beans, veggies. A good friend loaned me a book called Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford. Pitchford provides food remedies, or ways to treat body imbalances with food. I’d love to have the Spanish version.
My neighbor is really into the macrobiotic thing and I’ve learned a lot from her. It is very intuitive for me, having lived on rice and lentils as a kid. Some of the things that are different for me are the sweets. Fruits are left to be eaten 2-3 times a week. It makes more sense that we would do that in Vermont since so few fruits grow naturally here. However, in Colombia, fruit grows year round and it’s all local! I definitely haven’t cut out my fruit habit (sounds pretty lame to be cutting down my fruit habit) but maybe someday. First I need to find more ways to cook kale, since it grows so easily in this area.
More next on my sad tomato plants. They, along with everyone else’s tomato plants, got hit by some airborne thing and now the tomatos are rotten, the leaves are brown and falling off and overall it just looks sad. I’m wondering if I should pull it out of the ground to give more room for the kale, beets and few carrots. I’m also planning for next year already, seeing that the amount of sun on the side patch is lacking much more than I had anticipated.
August 21, 2009 § Leave a Comment
Poor baby brother has had a temperature for the last couple of days and has been absolutely miserable. Even when we’ve been around other kids. That’s saying a lot since he’s a very chill person. Right now, he’s have a minute (or two) of lack of discomfort… okay. I wrote that line and immediately heard him crying as he crawled over to me. I now have him on my back and he seems to be doing okay.
The last couple of days it’s been hard to distinguish the beginning from the end of a nursing session. He’s been latched on all day, it seems. At night I think he nurses a lot but I think I’ve got my cruise control on by then and don’t notice the number of wake-ups. It’s one of the blessings of sharing a bed with the fam. On that note, I have to say that the family bed is working out for us. Bilingual baby doesn’t seem to want to transition anywhere else but to baby brother’s side and back. On occasion, she’ll talk about making a tiny bed for herself but it ends up unused. I’ve been thinking about making her a little futon to put on the floor next to our bed. I don’t want her out of our bed but I also don’t want to misread readiness. I suppose readiness will be obvious and what we’re seeing is still a little sparse. I’m just excited to make a bed for her.
Back to the teething. It’s tough, too, that bilingual baby is also reverting to crawling and playing baby. Hers is a need to be close due to all that she’s learning, as much as it’s a call to be as close as her baby brother is to us. Some days it’s harder than others. For the most part, I think I’m juggling just fine on my own. I don’t know that help is openly received by my kids. Last night, bilingual papi did get to do bedtime alone with bilingual baby which is what they did for about off and on during my pregnancy with baby brother.
Gonna run and take a minute shower before the sewing circle arrives. I’m bringing the sewing machine down today and I can’t promise that it’ll be back upstairs by the end of the day. I’ve got too many projects I’ve been meaning to start.
On another note, I noticed that my flickr badge hasn’t been working and I don’t have concentrated computing time to try and fix it and I wanted to share some photos of our recent Chicago/California trip. So, if you’re interested, check out My flickr.
August 16, 2009 § 7 Comments
I feel like I’m approaching my blog in a slightly different way theses days. On one hand, I just don’t blog with the voracity I used to have but why should I? My little baby boy is walking and I can’t stop watching him explore. For instance, over the last couple of days he’s figured out that the same skill he uses to get off the bed (feet first) works in other situations as well. He’s using this new skill to cross over the rim of the sliding glass door, get from the porch to the grass and even climb down one step of our stairs! He just figures this stuff out on his own. It’s very cool. As an aside, he’s such an independent walker, too. He doesn’t want all the hand holding I remember providing for other kids (my older one included). So much seems to happen in one day that when I get time to blog I have no idea where to start.
I have had one thing on my mind and I’ve wanted to share it with those of you who have followed my journey as a mom. For you, here is my story:
During the first couple of days of being in California, we stayed at my sister’s house. She had a conference to go to that week so my parents were there watching her two kids (5 and 7 months). This was my first time meeting the 7 month old. He is such a little cutie. In talking with my sister our first evening, she revealed to me that she was feeling at odds with this conference because she didn’t have time to pump. She’d been pumping at work until summer hit and she could be at home and nurse all day. Since this conference, she’d been giving her little boy some formula and she wasn’t sure what to do. I eagerly offered to express some breastmilk to give to him instead of the formula- not so much because I disagree with giving formula but mostly because I was there and I was more than willing. She then revealed to me that she was hoping I’d offer. We were on the same page. The next day I called her to ask where her pump was since I had forgotten to ask for it the night before. By this point, all I was nervous about was my parent’s reaction to my pumping for my nephew. On the phone, my sister was explaining to me how to reassemble the pump which I was instructed to sterilize first. What a pain, I thought. Can’t I just nurse him? I asked and she said it was fine and that she hadn’t even figured I’d go for the pumping to begin with. Again, same page. My nephew was fussing for food. Since I was nervous about how my family would react, I decided to hand express some milk. My kids thought it was an early buffet and came over to help themselves. Very funny. Then my mom told me that in the southern part of the United States, where some of her family is from, the concept of a wet nurse is very common. My dad then saw me doing my best at hand expressing and didn’t say a word. He didn’t even make a face. After talking with my mom a bit more about wet nurses in the south, I told her that my sister had okayed me to nurse her son. So, with my parent’s approval, I picked up my nephew and cradled him close to me and began to nurse him. He wasn’t too sure of it at first. He kept looking at me, nursing and coming off. Baby brother kept coming over to see what I was doing. What little baby did I have in my arms? He was curious. (Not jealous.) And he wanted to join in like bilingual baby had joined in when he was nursing (which I haven’t done in months). By the second nursing, my nephew was part of the nursing team. He was soon falling asleep as I nursed him in my arms, in the chair his mama nursed him in on most days. I ended up nursing him during the day for 2 days and will never forget the experience. I feel so close to him, as if my heart had expanded by nursing him.
June 3, 2009 § Leave a Comment
Over the last two (or maybe even three) months, I’ve been barely holding my head above water. That was one of the reasons to take the costume gig. I wanted to have something else to do other than intuit my kids’ needs. I’ll now enter a parenthesis on our EC’ing, which I will approach from my perspective and what it entails for me, not my baby, but will return to my main theme in a second. Skim if you must.
Baby brother is 9 months. He crawls on hands and knees, is saying things like mama (when in desperate need) and papa (for fun times) and has a “call” that means he wants his big sister’s attention and wants to play. I’m also starting to introduce some table food. He doesn’t eat it every day, much less three meals a day, but it does allow for a calmer child when we’re all at the table eating our meals. He’s included. I don’t take him to the potty every time he’s gotta go. I don’t actually know every time he’s gotta go- but every other time I freak myself out, I’m good. He is getting to a point where he knows when he’s gone, which is when he starts calling for me and if I am involved in something (say, a kid’s costume) he’ll crawl over to me and give me the look which tells me that he’s got a need I’m going to meet. I’ve also started taking him in the morning (bilingual Papi takes him if it’s too early for me) and he seems to prefer it to diapering. I got him some 2T training pants and they actually fit pretty well. It’s perfect being outdoors so much (or having that ability) because he can then wander around in the fresh air.
My parenthesis is now closed. The theme of exhaustion will now be explored.
A week ago, I was using G-diapers to rid my sweet child of what didn’t turn out to be such a nasty diaper rash (go breastmilk!) and I mentioned to bilingual papi that on days when I’m overtired I should just use the G’s and not change baby brother so often (I change him anytime the diaper is wet or soiled). I lasted that one day with the G’s. Though I think they’re the closest I’ll get to a disposable diaper (it’s biodegradable) I didn’t start back with the cloth the next day out of pride. It was just the cycle of things.
One day, I was feeling burnt out and the next I was magically sleeping in with my two kids. The last two or three months were sort of leading to this burn out. I was going non-stop with the kids. Neither of them was sleeping very much and I wasn’t getting any time to just sit and stare off into space- which I love to do! We had 11pm bedtimes and 6am wake up calls one week and cranky kids, teething baby, and one frustrated mom feeling like she (me) was the worst parent available.
Well, I’m beyond that tunnel and I can see now what I couldn’t see before: it’s not my fault that they were grumpy. It was not my fault that I couldn’t console them each and every time. And the partial weaning continues. So, now that I’ve gotten some much needed sleep and my kids are going to bed and having a decent night and I’m now able to get out of bed after putting them both to sleep, get up and sew while watching tv, I’m feeling the effects of R&R. I’ll also be catching my breath after Friday (my podeagi sewing deadline, sort of) and perhaps starting on a new venture: modern dance class: Saturday mornings…