California Recap, Part I

January 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

Three weeks and 12 plus hours later and we’re back home in Vermont. The travel part of the trip was only to be expected. It’s a cross country flight. What else could be expected? All in all, in flight, I tried to keep the focus that my relationship with my kids was going to vastly outlive the relationship with any seat mates or evil eyes.

San Francisco had a play area (tubes for crawling through and other cool things) at our gate. The kids got to play there and giggle, wiggle and relax before we got on board our long flight. Thanks SFO!

If someone were to ask me if it’s worth it to fly long distance, I’d have to say that as long as the stay there were long, then it is definitely worth the stress of flying with two kids. Even alone I’d do it again, knowing what I know now. It’s tricky but so is staying home (or putting kids in daycare, for that matter). It’s part of the mothering package.

I’ve got about 300 photos that I need to sift through and put up on flickr or facebook or something.

We got home past midnight with the kids fast asleep in their carseats. One carseat was borrowed from the airport since ours got lost along the way. We all got in bed and I slipped out to take a relaxing bath. I was still wired from theĀ adrenalineĀ of the trip and the glee at seeing my sweet husband. Regardless, I fell asleep pretty quickly.

We woke up this morning at around 11am. It’s been only a couple of hours but I think we’re all getting tired again. I’m guessing we’ll be off for about a week. Up until midnight and awake mid-morning. Don’t know who we’ll be able to see with this schedule but I’m comforted to know that it’ll all return to an eastern standard time normal in a bit.

I finished a couple of projects while in California. One was a Violet dress for bilingual baby. She likes the Violet character from Peanuts and has been asking for a green dress, like Violet’s, for several months. Well, she has one now. Photos to come.

Baby brother changed a lot in 3 weeks. He picked up speed running, learned how to climb, how to slide down the stairs, climb stairs standing, and how to drink from a cup. He’s wanting to jump so badly and once he learns how to, I can’t imagine why he’d want to walk anywhere. His hair grew and I gave him a quick trim before we left California.

He called my mom (Nonita) mama, which tickled her to no end. My nephew called her Nonamom at one point and now she’s adopting mamanona, as well.

He can’t sit still, but why should he? My family knows of my homeschooling intentions and once my mom got to hang with my kids for 3 weeks, agreed that they’d really shine as homeschoolers.

We did take off with some really cool books in Spanish.

One reason for clearing my parents of their Spanish books was to support a new endeavor I’m starting up: a Spanish playgroup class. The way I envision the playgroup, we would start with songs together, a couple of stories together, then some one on one reading between the parent and child and then some games, or parallel play, depending on the age.

I’m excited to get into this sort of thing. I had been wondering how we would get something like this started and it just happened. There’s another woman who will be heading up another group during the week, but I chose a weekend so bilingual papi could also participate.

My brain is powering down so I’ll come back to share some more California stories.

California 2010: Week One

January 12, 2010 § 2 Comments

So, we’re here in California at my parents house. My dad is recently retired so I have adult interactions all day. Lovely. Plus it’s my dad. I’m his favorite.

We’ve been here for almost one week. The first of three. It’s been up and down. Mostly up. The first couple of days were exhausting with the 3 hours of jet lag. I had no idea I’d be so out of sorts. Now we’re getting into a new groove so things feel more relaxed.

Bilingual baby took a nap yesterday and the day before. Lucky me! And only lucky because her baby brother was also napping which means… (drum roll)… I got to lie down. I didn’t nap. Mostly I just thought. But for those 30-45 minutes when they were asleep at the same time I had thoughts that could start and stop at my own pace, not theirs. In my world, it was bliss. My thoughts made me giggle, too.

My kids have taken to their nonitos. Poor Nonito is sick so he’s been upstairs resting the last couple of days. Let’s hope he improves quickly. It is nice having him home all day. They do wish Nona would stay home all day, too. Such is life.

On Friday, we drove up to Half Moon Bay to visit one of my college friends. We had fun hanging out with the kids, having burritos and catching up. The weekend brought my two sisters to my parents house to visit. That’s always fun. Imagine the three of us as little girls, all close in age. Now, fast forward to now and we’re still doing the same stuff, but sitting and talking more.

Sunday I saw an old friend from my school (actually, one of them) in Colombia. We were in school from 4th-9th grade together. Like glue. The two of us and one other friend were very close. We’ll get to see her at least one more time before we leave. She’s in San Francisco so who knows where we’ll meet up.

Over the brief time we’ve been here, I’ve been to my mom’s gym twice. This morning marked the second time. The manager was nice enough to let me come for free the whole time I’m in town. She did seem surprised to see me walk through the door at 7:30 am today. There’s a kids room with open doors but gates so the kids can check-in with me as they play. The gym itself is sort of like the class I go to except that you go at your own pace, there is no instructor and there’s party music going the whole time. I didn’t get to stay as long as I had hoped but I broke a sweat. (I do have to add that I don’t agree with the way that the gym- think a cross between Weight Watchers and Curves circuit training, sorta- has clients eating to lose weight with a high protein diet, but my mom does look way thinner and is working out 3 times a week, which is more than she ever has. All in all, kudos to her! Way to go mama!)

I’ve got two knitting projects here to keep me busy but I’m finding myself wrangling more than I do at home. New house. New toys. New “no, that’s not a toy” things to play with. I wake up at 6am and by 9:30pm they are both asleep and I pass out alongside them. One night I did force myself to stay awake to watch the Da Vinci Code. I just had to stay up to watch something. My dad made the recommendation. I never read the book and didn’t see the movie during the rage but as for a who dunnit movie it was fun. I do go for those kind of movies, even though the end was very, very obvious. I’ve got LOTR under the pillow in case I feel like a movie one of these nights.

I’ll come back to talk about the cross country plane ride. Alone. With two kids. Later.

An EC morning

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.

Bopa

January 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

During our recent visit to my in-laws house a new nickname was established. Baby brother has been calling my father in law “Bopa” for a while now and it’s starting to stick. While we were out there, I asked my fil if he’d mind being called Bopa and he liked it!

I only met one of my grandparents. It was my maternal grandfather. We called him Bapa (same pronunciation as my kids’ Bopa). I’m so glad that my kids have grandparents on both sides that they can get to know. They even have a great grandmother. How cool is that!

When I was a kid I even adopted my best friend’s grandmother. They called her “Bue”, short for Abuela. She’s passed on, and even though we didn’t see her very often, she was as close as I ever got to having a living grandmother.

I’m doing everything possible to set up opportunities for my kids to be with their grandparents. We’re visiting their Nonitos during January and since we live so far from them I thought it would be appropriate to spend a good chunk of time there. We’ll be there for 3 weeks. It’ll even give us time to visit with some of my college friends who live in the area. Some of them have kids of their own, which should add to the fun.

Bopa and Bapa, Slainte!

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