Thursday, December 16, 2010

She put herself to sleep at naptime

For many months, she's put herself to sleep at night. Not naptime. At least not with me. Any babysitter, my parents, ismael. They could but I didn't mind humming to her and holding her for a nap. I tried a bunch of times over the past year but she wasn't interested.

She was ready at 4 months and it was going great but that was the week of the ear piercing trauma and i lost it.

Today, twice (since she got up after 45 mins because of a poop), she basically told me to put her in the crib and leave. I was confused and frustrated at first she wouldn't just fall asleep since I knew she was tired. But now I'm proud.

Do I think this change is permanent? No. Will I try it everyday? Yes.

I keep wondering when she will be ready for a big bed. Clearly, like everything else, she will let me know. I know, though, that since I'm thinking this seriously that we are in the realm of possibility.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bye bye

Today included a lot of whining. I think it was teeth related but I couldn't be sure. Kraken didn't seem to make much difference and it wasn't urgent whining so mostly I ignored it and tried distraction when it subsided a little.

After a lot of crying and whining in the bathtub, I was mentally exhausted. I think she missed not seeing Papa tonight since he had an office party to attend. So I was pleased when she let me know she was ready for bed, before I even mentioned it.

As I put her down in the crib, she laid down with Elmo and Agee I put on the blanket and rubbed her back I started to walk towards the door as I always do. In that moment she said "Byee" very sweetly.

I desperately tried not to laugh since it was so cute. So I didn't say goodnight back or bye.

It made up for the previous hour's worth of whining.

Monday, December 13, 2010

This is really more fun than I imagined

This post-18 month milestone is really the start of fun times. The laughing, whining, definite preferences, ability to run, climb and walk very well. The sometimes nearly-constant babble chatter that I know will soon turn into full-blown conversations.

On the way up the stairs to our apartment tonight I was told, "Papa, mama, bye, ball, apple" in quick succession. These are probably her favorite words. Plus the occasional "Jee" and "ya-nah" and "Ga-ma" and "Lola" for good measure.

She knows who everyone is by name and follows simple commands.

I guess it's good that we are thinking about starting to try for #2. now, I didn't say we are trying. Just talking. I couldn't have imagined I'd have this conversation last December. Still in the midst of nearly no sleep and only starting solids plus breastfeeding at least every two hours for my snacker. Man it's great she can eat on her own now and tell me what she wants. I really love that.

My favorite two times of the day are when Carolina wakes up and Ismael comes home from work.

Even though I have a cold, and so does Carolina, we are nearly done. So much snot!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On the way out the door, she decided to go to work, too!

This morning, while I was just finishing up taking a shower, Papa was putting on his coat and getting ready to leave for work. Miss Carolina gave him his usual kiss goodbye and started to give him a chorus of "Bye-bye" as well. I could hear her saying it, and getting closer and closer to the front door.

She had decided that she wanted to go with him, sans socks and shoes in a short sleeve t-shirt and leggings. She was EXTREMELY disappointed when he carried her back to me, and I stayed in the apartment with her while he left. She was even extra-crying for about 10 minutes.

Note: she's still running a fever from the shots yesterday and is more sensitive than usual.

I figured this must have been going on in her head:
Papa! I'm coming with you! I have a fever, I'm too hot for shoes or socks. Let's go. Quickly, before Mommy realizes we're leaving! I'll keep saying Bye-Bye, pretending its for you but it's really for Mommy. Pick me up! Go, go, go!!

It's too cold for the park, but the need to get outside is strong

As my little Jedi has the force with her, which is to say she needs NEEDS to run outside, I've been getting her warmly dressed and taking her outside without the stroller. She basically takes off like a bat out of hell down the sidewalk.

I actually have to run/walk quickly to keep up, and need to be there before she hits the corner. She somehow doesn't have the desire to run into the street (phew) but she'll take the corner and keep going if I don't keep up. She also will take off her gloves and push back her hood when she starts to get either too warm or bored or tired. I can't tell which it is. I just know that when she either slows down and/or starts to fidget with her outfit, it's time to pick her up and walk home.

Of course, while she's in mid-steam she takes a moment to say "Hi" and/or "Bye" to whoever we're passing on the sidewalk. Usually it's just a lot of "Bye" but some people get a "Hi" also.

Earlier this week, there was a woman walking with a stroller and two grade school children towards us -- they were very well bundled up. Carolina points towards the woman and says, "Papa!" I said, "No, that's not Papa. Papa is at work at the office in Manhattan." She then says, "LoLa!" (which is how she says Abuela) and I laughed and said, "No, Abuela is in Vallarta with Abuelo and Gaby." She says "Lolo?" (for Abuelo) The woman has by now walked past us, and I say, "No Abuelo is in Vallarta, too. They are all in Mexico. It is very far away from here and warm." Carolina then yells, "LoLAAAAAAA!"

I laughed very much. I wasn't sure if it was out of desperation to see Abuela or that she understood they were far away, and so she needed to yell so they could hear her. Either way, it was funny.

Of course it was followed up by me scooping her up, because it was cold, and taking her home. That was greeted by a lot of screaming and crying, because of course she wanted to run more even though she had already started walking slowly and clearly tired. Anyway....

After yesterday's checkup where she got a flu shot AND TB shot, she was VERY uncomfortable and had a fever of nearly 104 last night. It was great that Aunt Jee came for a visit to give her a great distraction! Today is better but not nearly all better. Hopefully tomorrow is!

Monday, November 29, 2010


Another mimic thing she's started to do is pick up something and say, "La-loh" for Hello when you answer the phone. Or how *I* answer the phone.

She will pick up a block, book, shoe or just use her hand and say "La-loh. bek itka la dee dah" because she's mimicking having a phone conversation. It is awesome!

The mimic continues

Today while at the park, little Miss C was running around. While she was running a mother started yelling in Romanian at her son, who was across the park from where we were, which was near where this mother was. The mother started to yell louder and cupped her hands around her mouth. Carolina stopped running and put her hands around her mouth and started yelling too.

I was glad the mother didn't notice Carolina yelling in case she'd think Carolina was yelling at her. It was funny nonetheless!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

She understands it's Elmo

During lunch today I called my mom for a brief chat and had her on speaker so Miss C could say hi to "ga-mah".

My mom was talking to her and then asked, "Do you know who is here? Do you know who is here with me? It's the little red guy."

I had zero idea who the little red guy was since I knew it wasn't Clifford. So as I'm thinking to myself about who it could be, Carolina says, "El-moh" and then smiled.

I was shocked. Not only did she know my mom meant Elmo but she said it!

Now, she's been saying Elmo for many weeks but it was the comprehension and ability to answer that struck me. I was impressed. I'm sure this is pretty normal for a nearly 18-month old but I'm still impressed.

Also, as of yesterday she's taken to picking up a phone (real or her musical cellphone) and saying "Hellooo". Very similar to the way I answer the phone.

Very funny and very cool.

Life and communication in our house is about to change in a big way.

Very cool indeed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New words this week

This morning it was "ya-low" and "pu-pul" for yellow and purple. She said "anandano" for arandanos (blueberries in Spanish) just once this past weekend.

Very cool indeed.

I really liked that purple was said entirely on her own when I grabbed her purple jacket from the closet and she just pointed and said it. Neat!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Toddlers don't have a chance against Zombies

I've thought about this for a long while now and figured I'd write it down. I'm sure most people, let alone parents will think I'm nuts but here goes...

The reason you never see toddlers in zombie movies is because:
  • They always start having a tantrum at the worst possible time to make any noise
  • They talk almost constantly when awake
  • They nap at the least convenient time for escaping
  • They need to eat a lot but only when they want, and are so picky they'd just end up starving while on the run
  • They start talking to strangers or screaming when one approaches. Either way, their little feet aren't quick enough to escape zombies.
So, the reason is, they'd never make it.

I mean, in a zombie chase do you think the single, adult male would have a better chance of escaping or the toddler who might try to make friends and/or just a lot of noise to attract the hive.

I think my toddler might survive, if I start to spike her milk AND have a constant rotation of Dora videos on hand. And a chupon (pacifier).  And blueberries. But still, the making noise thing at the wrong time would totally come up.

There ends my thoughts on toddlers and zombies.

Really, don't ask why. 

Back to reality, Miss C has been enjoying cupcakes and has been a very good girl the past few days. She's mostly good but the past 3-4 days has been a long streak. I think as long as we can go outside to the park or a playgroup at the local library (which I refer to as "baby chaos at the library"), things are better. That, and my willingness to give her what she wants to eat. Really, my willingness to figure out what she wants to eat. I wish she could tell me more, that would help. I think.

PS I've been reading Trevor Corson's Secret Life of Lobsters. I like it but I really liked The Story of Sushi much better. Mostly because I don't care much about Lobsters but it's still a good read. I'm nearly done and can't wait to start the next book in my pile which is Through the Language Glass. Truly I should be working on my DM course syllabus, but I haven't. Bad, me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dora, for real

For the first time, and only once, little Miss C said "Dora". Clear as day.

She was watching an episode of Umizoomi, and a Dora promo graphic came on. I was looking at her, not the tv, and noticed a suddenly huge smile on her face. She turns to look at me and says "Dora". And then goes quiet.

Not Doda or DooDoo, but Dora. Wouldn't say it again but it was a sweet little voice.

I've since realized that DooDoo or sometimes Choo is for the Chupon.

One day, relatively soon, she will start talking and I'm certain that I'll be thinking of "how can I get her to keep quiet" but right now it's AWESOME!!

And the poor thing is sick again. Another visit to the pediatrician and we find out she's got either a new viral infection (hence all the ear pulling and trouble taking a nap) or it's the same one from two weeks ago and the antibiotics didn't kick it.

No new drugs. Just fluid and rest.

Ha. Rest.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lusting to be elsewhere

I think it's getting time to leave NYC. I'm at the end of my tolerance for people in cars, with bad taste in music, playing it super-extra loudly and parking in front of my building. And car alarms all night. And drunk people at night. And the 7 train at my window. And no grass to sit on. 

There are just so many inconsiderate people, everywhere. I think leaving the city means having to put up with fewer proportionately.

Miss C still has her ear infection but the new antibiotic seems to be somewhat better. Still a little hyped up in the morning after I give it to her. I've also been giving her Tylenol, twice a day since yesterday. For some reason I think it helps a little. I could be wrong. At least she told me she needed at nap today at 11am and let me put her down awake by 11.15. The last week she was having a hell of a time relaxing.

Not her fault. Those ears be killing her comfort.

I've been more protective of her nap than usual. Not going to playmates that would interfere or taking her into the city. Not until this ear business is over. She sleeps at least two hours at naptime. No way I'm interfering with that rest if it helps get her better.

She has been, also, very stressed and picky about eating. Dinner in particular. I cant't figure out why. Tonight I'm going to start dinner at 5.30 instead of 6 or 6.30, and make sure there is a new book to read to her during it. Last four nights have required me playing Tinkerbell movie preview in order to calm her down and eat. Something.

Meanwhile, I daydream about eating the omakase at Jewel Bako, knowing full well I can't get that outside NYC, or another large, expensive city with Japanese residents. There are desperately lacking decent sushi, forget omakase, in Leon. I hear there is some in Monterrey but there's zero chance I'll move there until after the narcotrafficos clear out.

Blah blah blah

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ear infection + Amoxicillin = X

Do you remember the old Family Feud tv show? Remember when someone would say an answer that was wrong? It wasn't just a big, red X on the board -- it was accompanied by a eah-eahh sound. Made you feel both wrong and stupid.

After 48 hours on amoxicillin, that's how I felt. The baby was very, very hyper about 30 minutes after I gave her a dose and this would last a few hours. Getting her to bed and a nap, even leaving the park was drama.

Once I finally realized the correlation, I spoke to the doctor on call last night. She thought perhaps it's the sugar in the amoxicillin that they add to give it a bubble gum flavor, which the baby adored. Couldn't suck it down fast enough.

When I mentioned her little heart beat was much faster than usual and she wasn't just hyped up but almost possessed hyper. Could NOT sit still or relax. The doctor believes she's allergic to penicillin and called in azythromycin (sp?) to the pharmacy.

This morning will be the first of that instead. I hope it works. Her ears are really hurting her.

Neither of us are allergic to penicillin, that we know of. But holy christmas. I'm never giving this kid any such meds again.

Apparently, the common side effect is diarrhea for both amoxicillin and azythromycin. That I can handle. I guess Miss C is special. Makes sense since I'm pretty sensitive to certain meds that make me feel very anxious/hyper. My dad too. Poor kid.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We have our first, real sickness

After a week of being snotty nosed and mommy-mommy, she was better for nearly a full week. Monday she started to get all mommy-mommy again and feel warm. There wasn't any high temperature, although the thermometer said 96 degrees so I figured two things: A) the thermometer is broken, and B) she's not as hot as I think she is.

Well fast forward to today at the doctor's office, she has an ear infection in both ears. Hence the resurge of yellow mucus streaming out of her nose, and the constant pulling on her ears. When I thought she had an ear infection last month, the doctor said it was just teething. But this time it was.

Got the amoxicillin and first dose given before bedtime since we got home about 6pm.

I carried her to the city and back, plus grabbed some needed groceries and the drug store two times. I am exhausted, and my lower back hurts so badly I nearly started crying a little while ago when I tried to pick her up out of the bathtub. And, poor thing is super uncomfortable (still) and pulling on her ears in her crib right now. :(

Gotta keep her home tomorrow and then see how she is if she's okay to go to music class on Friday or not.

At least this isn't the flu and she's contagious!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two Carolina stories from today

When she woke up at about 8am, which is about 30-60 minutes later than usual, she was in a very good mood. I went to change her diaper and her clothes, so to keep the good mood going I showed her one of her diapers that has a Sesame Street character on it with apples and bananas. (Yesterday, we were reading a book during dinner and the little girl said she liked Apples, and another page she said she liked Bananas. She also said she likes Cookies and Pizza and Sandwiches, but that's for another time.)

I said to her, "Look, it has apples and BANANAS!" (like it was the most exciting thing ever) And she smiles broadly. So I keep repeating "apples and BANANAS!" and she smiles or giggles. Then I say, "Apples and..." She goes, "anaNAS!"

It was very cute.

Then this morning at the park she was wandering around and more and more little babies started to arrive. (It was around the time just after younger babies wake up from their first morning nap.) She was starting to do things I normally say 'no' to -- so I knew she was starting to get a little tired. I suggested we go to the stroller for "a cookie and juice".

Like usual, she goes, "Cookk! Juze!" (cookk is for cookie)

I say we should go to the stroller to get "snack and juice" and she just runs off. She goes towards the park exit. I said again "The snack and juice is in the stroller. Let's go to the stroller." She's saying, "Juze! Juze!" as she keeps running towards the sidewalk, then takes a right turn and keeps going down the sidewalk.

Apparently she wanted to have snack and juice at home and was heading there as fast as her little running legs could carry her.

I grabbed her, got her in the stroller and headed to the store and then home with cookies and juice!

Lots of fun.

Speaking of food, we've finally gotten her the chewable calcium supplements that she needs. (The liquid one I bought last week was wrong. Sigh...) Still having trouble with milk -- broke out in a face rash last week. And I need a new toddler multivitamin. The one we have is the same as when she was an infant and it's not really all that complete. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

just up from her nap

And I can hear her talking to herself in there going, "Quack, quack, quack, quack"

Quack, bye-bye, and no-no-no are some of her favorite things to say. We have a duck at bathtime and one that holds up the handtowel in the bathroom, and a bunch in her books. She's practicing now.

Super cute and hilarious!

When the groceries are heavier than the baby

I took the little muchkin into the city with me this morning to go to Whole Foods. Get some coconut milk yogurt, fruit, veggies, frozen blueberries, other stuff, and a calcium supplement her doctor told me was at that store.

The trains weren't cooperating very well, and it took an hour to get there -- and then the same home.

She wasn't very happy about it, but was mostly content to be in the baby carrier and suck on her chupon.

The groceries, two bags, were easily heavier than she was. So there's her in the Ergo, her diaper bag on one shoulder, one grocery bag on the other shoulder, one bag in my hand. Awesome.

It was nice that some people gave up their seat so we could sit down. Carolina fell asleep in the carrier before we got out of Manhattan. Gratefully, she stayed asleep when we got home and I put her in her crib. Unfortunately it was very early, but what can I do? I'm just glad she is sleeping.

Poor thing is still suffering with congestion in her nose and waking up at night, crying out, probably because she can't breathe. She stops before I even wake up enough to stand up, so I don't go in her room in case I would just wake her more.

Anyway, at this age, I'm still glad she's on the small side. Doing this shopping with the stroller would be absolutely impossible. Stairs up and down the subway and into our building -- impossible.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

16 months old, what's good to do around here?

Today is Carolina's 16 month "birthday". Hooray!

I took her to a local playgroup in the basement of a church. We did a 'trial' today. It's 2 hours long and starts at about 9.30am. At just around 10.30am, when they just finished singing (for like 10 minutes) and just before they started snacktime, she was tired. Yawning, crying a little and walking for the exit on her own. Yes, she really was.

Snack consisted of a shot of apple juice, a sandwich creme cookie, a cheese doodle, 5-7 cheerios and 2 saltine crackers. I am not joking.

I wasn't going to let her have the cookie, the cheese doodle -- and with her being super tired, I just excused us and we went home. I kept her up for another hour with reading, and watching a little bit of tv since I didn't want another day where she falls asleep for an hour at 10.30am and then is WICKED exhausted by 6pm.

It seems that every day this week she is getting more picky about what she will eat. I know there must be new teeth coming in since she's still really gnawing on a lot of things, and sometimes doing so intensely with yelling, but I can't see any teeth just below the gums. I just go along with it.

Yesterday morning I thought I'd put my foot down and insist she eat her rice cereal with apples. Yeah. That went about as well as you'd expect. I've gone back to relenting to whatever she wants. That consists of hummus, frozen blueberries, puffy "greens" snacks and some Annie's honey crackers. She wants cereal and milk for breakfast, and yesterday was happy with a scrambled egg and a melted slice of American cheese.

Unfortunately she broke out into little pimples on her neck and back shortly after eating the egg, but, I guess, at least she ate it happily and it has stuff she needs.

I even peeled an apple, cut it in half, removed the seeds and center part and she ate it happily. It was like a teething toy AND food. Phew! At least I found something she likes in large size. She won't eat the apple cut into little pieces, but enjoys working on it large size. Ok!

I started reading Maeda's The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)and I think, besides how it's reminding me of a lot of things I knew and "forgot" in helping me plan my graduate program syllabus, I should use some of it for parenting. Ha!

It's a bummer that the local, but cheap (only $9 per session/week), play group is full of a LOT of toys that are all a little dirty and a little old, and in the basement of a reformed protestant church, but the not-local, need to use 2 metrocard rides, very nice, very clean and very well-maintained play center is very expensive (about $40 per session/week). I suppose you do get what you pay for.

We will probably join the local one for rainy days and on a day of the week we normally don't have anything planned. Registration is by day of the week, and the costs are different for each day.

I should stop complaining, at least we have options. And it's better than keeping her at home and having her insist on watching Dora for an hour. AND at least she gets bored with TV after about an hour and WANTS to run around the apartment. I play hide and seek with her too.

Going to buy some crayons and large size paper. See what kind of artwork she can make at this point. So far it's just been a lot of scratching back and forth by holding the pencil upside down. It's really sweet how she does it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A kiss for Papa

Just the other morning, the baby kissed Papa before he left for work. He was "practicing" with her by kissing her on the cheeks. We kiss her a lot but this morning she did it back. Open mouth, as babies do, but she didn't try to bite him. It was very sweet.

She sometimes does something similar with me but often turns into biting -- or trying to. With 12 teeth in her mouth, and I think more (eyeteeth) coming, biting is a painful thing!

Super cute.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No no no, whining and lids

The past 2-3 weeks have been introduced with new words/sounds and a proliferation of her saying "nu nu nu" for "No no no". I believe I say No as often as Good Girl and Yes, but this is the No age. And No shows up more often than before since she's more active and dexterous than before.

She loves things with lids that she can twist (sort of) or snap (better)!!

There's also been a big uptick in whining, tantrums and requests for having the chupon.

Again, I think it's the stage. Becoming more aware of the world, getting anxious and also wanting her desires and preferences heeded.

I find it equally trying and fascinating. Mostly tolerable and enjoyable.

Going to the park every afternoon when school is out shows me that the whining, screaming and wanting only gets more. The park is transformed into a raucous screaming-fest after about 2.30 when the local grammar school lets out. Good lord it gets loud!!

She also insists at time in holding her own spoon to try to pick up things or feed herself. Mostly makes a mess but I play along when I'm up to it.

Finally, totally obsessed with Dora. Some days all she wants to do is watch telly. I understand, I sometimes feel that way too. I know I said it before but her sitting in her chair so nicely and pointing for Do Do is just cute.

And saying (her version of) quack quack when I say Ducky is super endearing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Smart doings...

Just the other day at the park, Carolina decided that she wanted to go under the jungle gym -- like the big kids. But since it's not very tall (the above part) from walking under, she did something smart. She ducked her head down and put her hands above her head. This way she was able to tell when she'd hit her head on something and avoid it. I was duly impressed. Especially after I went under there to follow her (to make sure she didn't get hurt) and, of course, scraped my mid-back against a beam as I was about to come out from under there.

Mommy is too tall to be under there and didn't have the wherewithal, like the baby, to put her hands up to avoid injury.

She also figured out how to sit down, turn over and slide down the slide on her own. I helped her to practice but she's quite good at it now.

I think she's pretty clever, but I would, I'm her mother.

We had a pretty loud thunderstorm this evening. Scared the bejesus out of the baby. For the first time she has enough awareness of her world to hear a loud noise like that and be scared. So for the duration of the storm, we were mostly in the kitchen. She had the chupon in her mouth and was holding on tightly to me, with her head nuzzled in my neck. I kept trying to feed her something, anything, since it was dinner time but she wasn't having any of it.

My telling her it was nothing to be afraid of, just a noise. I even tried to show her the storm but the windows were all fogged up and covered in rain -- and once the lightning struck outside, she just wasn't feeling better about it. So back into the kitchen where there's no view and we just waited.

Gratefully the storm went almost as quickly as it came and I was able to convince her to eat some when it got quiet AND take a bath.

Dinner, bath, Dora, book, bottle, bed. (Minus the book tonight.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

15 month checkup

Rock 'n Roll t-shirt at the park
So far, so good. She's still about the same height (I forgot to ask exactly how tall, but my last attempt at measuring her she was about 29"). And has lost a little weight at 18.8lbs now. Apparently, this age is common to lose a little weight since they are so active.

The only concern was with her calcium levels. The doctor didn't measure anything but since Carolina has a bit of trouble with dairy, I haven't been giving her as much milk as other kids get. She does love ice cream, frozen yogurt, yogurt and cheese. I mostly give her cheese and some frozen stuff.

So they gave me a Vitamin D supplement, probiotics (again), and want me to get her a calcium supplement. Additionally, she's to eat ice cream pretty regularly -- if her belly can handle it. Her brain, as I knew, needs the fat. Apparently, ice cream is a good source of milk fat and calcium in the smallest possible "package".

If she can handle the gas and diarrhea, then I can give her more milk and cheese. I can deal with the super stinky poop cleanup if it means she's getting enough fat and calcium.

Otherwise, she's talking up a storm, basically running around and obsessed with stairs. I think it's fair to say she's pretty obsessed since, even if there is ONE stair, she'll go up and down it until you pull her away from it. Yeah...

I've started to read The True History of Chocolate (The True History of Chocolate, Second Edition) and it's pretty good. Made me really want chocolate every night, and so bought some Ben & Jerry's Chocolate (no other stuff, just the straight chocolate) ice cream. Man that's good stuff. I want to give Carolina some but Chocolate makes her crazy. I don't mean she gets hyper after, I mean she thinks it tastes so good she's a little crazy for it. I'll just leave it to her dad to deal with giving her chocolate ice cream when I'm not looking :)

What I learned in the book that I didn't know is the reason you're not supposed to give babies chocolate isn't the caffeine and sugar, which is bad, but dark chocolate is actually toxic to small animals (and human babies). It's only larger humans that can process it. It's something about the alkaloids. Yeah, I read but I don't remember all the details as well as I used to.

I know Carolina isn't a baby-baby anymore, but I'm still careful with the food she gets. Probably too careful.

I need to get a new recipe for zucchini bread-muffins. The one I have uses too much olive oil, which is weird anyway, and tastes too oily.

Today she said "mouth", and she keeps trying to say "shoes" by saying "sssssooo". When she wants to watch Dora, she'll sit in her little seat (a totally awesome 1970s Costco chair, which is a rip off of an Eames design) and she'll say "Doh-da", and sometimes also point to the bookshelf where we often leave the cable remote. Yup, she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to ask for it.

I love this. That she can tell me what she wants and needs. Awesome. I can put up with the tantrums occasionally so that we get this communication. Love it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

15 months and going...

It's been quite a while since I posted something. The summer was brutally hot and humid and we spent a lot of our days in the park or avoiding outside, depending on how the weather was.

We just returned from a week in Mexico visiting Abuelos y familia. It took her about 4 days to really get comfortable with the family since she hadn't seen them since March and, surprisingly, warmed up to Tio David pretty quickly. I guess since he was willing to hold her hands up and down the stairs (her favorite activity after watching Dora), he won that spot in her heart :) All considered, she was pretty good on the planes there with me and then on the way back with both of us.

I was recently talking with a friend of mine who has an 8 month old about what foods I was giving at that time. It made me realize I forgot and how quickly these little ones change. So I'm going to write down what we do now, for future reference:

She's on one nap a day and is usually from 11/12pm for 1-2 hours. She went to sleep at 10.30am on Tuesday (after the extra-long day on Monday getting home with a serious delay at Houston) and didn't get up until 2.30pm. Very unusual but expected. She's usually desperate for sleep by about 6.30/7pm, mostly since she's walking EVERYWHERE and loves going up and down stairs. While in Mexico I didn't force her to go to sleep at her usual time, in case she wanted to stay up to play with her cousins. Nope, she's like a clock... Was ready for bed at about 7pm CST.

She has gotten much pickier about her food and likes more variety in her diet, and more sweets. She's crazy about pizzelle that my mom makes. Since the past few weeks she's been super-hungry, I was feeding her more since she's just finished a growth spurt. But it's mostly like this:

Get up for breakfast. Cereal with milk, toast, eggs (with cheese usually)
Go to the park, snack (like "healthy" cookies or crackers like Hot Kid Organic Baby Mum-Mum Original Rice Rusks) on the way back or substantial snack (more like lunch #1) like grapes, peaches, grape tomatoes, blueberries once we're home.
Lunch #2. Usually largest meal of the day includes some kind of meat, veg or fruit and pasta or rice. Cheese, sometimes. Sometimes it's just cheese, and sometimes it's just an endless array of fruit. Other days it's more balanced. I've learned to go with it and fight her less. Much easier on us both.
Snack on way home
Dinner. Like lunch but smaller, unless she's really hungry that day.
Bath, Dora, book, bottle, bed.

My mother-in-law insisted that I give her 3 bottles a day, maybe 4. She said the baby needs it. I said I don't think so and that eating real food is more filling. I gave it a try mid-week while in Mexico, to be polite while we were there, but she was waking up early in the morning and crying out more at night. I'm really really not sure why the change but we fed her a bottle when she did get up at 4am. That didn't help her go back to sleep right away, but she would finish it. I'm doubtful it was waking up because she was hungry but I went back to our normal routine when we came home just the same. I think it was more anxiety that she was waking up with. Her cries were more like scared/stressed than hungry.

While teething, as I've mentioned before, she's been a blueberry-a-holic. This week, since her 4th molar finally broke through. She's less obsessed with frozen blueberries. She wouldn't eat a frozen one since Monday when it broke through. Yesterday I got her to have some but only after I defrosted them a little.

This is good news as although it means frozen blueberries might be off the go-to list for a while, at least she's been less cranky from the teething. Phew!

So now she has 12 teeth: four top/front, four bottom/front, four molars. I don't know when the others are supposed to come in but I don't care. She's happy, I'm happy.

She's also started to be more shy around strangers. And is less willing to go in the park without me if other kids are around. Just the past 2 weeks, around when she turned 15 months. Something clicked in her head and something changed. I'm assuming this is a new change that is part of the growing cycle. It's curious. she's also having temper tantrums. They're not terrible and not very often, but they're there and they are definite. I ignore her for the most part -- just make sure she doesn't smack her head on the floor or ground as she's doing it. And then when it's done, I go "all done?" And she gets up and we move on.

I've wanted to get her into more classes, the Gymboree ones are great and the equipment is really super. But they're very, very expensive. So, we go to the public park. Not the nice, private one with the grass -- the city ones with the rubber "floors" and sprinklers and slides and stairs and swings. They do the trick. It gets a bit boring but at least we have 2 to choose from that are within 10-15 blocks of the apartment.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A fun summer day

Carolina woke up at 6am this morning, but clearly still tired. I think it's the molars coming in (ugh) that woke her up early. So got her fed and ready to go to the baby gym for 9am on the east side. After "open gym" for 30 minutes there was a class so we had to leave. I was walking along 57th St toward the westside so I could go shopping at Whole Foods for her fruits and veggies before heading home.

Got on the M57 bus, gave her the morning bottle, and got off at Central Park since I realized she was too tired to go to the store. I was going to go later in the afternoon and do a quick walk in the park with her before heading home. I figured she'd want to nap about 11 instead of 12.

Well she decided she wanted to sleep at 10, while I just started to walk into the park entrance. It wasn't worth going home, and it wasn't TOO hot. So I found a patch of grass and sat down. Then I laid down since it was too uncomfortable to sit. I rested too, but didn't fall asleep. 45 minutes later she was up and much happier.

I had not brought her shoes (yes, I forgot - again!) since she was only going to the gym, so I only had her socks. I let her walk around in the park. Super dirty socks, now, and all. She was happy. Had some water and a teething cracker, then headed over to Whole Foods.

Called Papa and we met him near Columbus Circle for lunch outside. She wandered around and went up to many people and smiled.

She's now dancing to Dora the Explorer "We did it" song. Hilarious.

Whenever the next nap is, I'm looking forward to it. I need a bit of a rest. I walked everywhere with her in the baby carrier since it's NOT easy to get to Lex & 59th during rush hour with a stroller. Besides, I have NO idea how to get from the N train to the street at Lex without climbing a LOT of stairs. *Sigh* this city is not baby or old person (or handicapped) friendly.  It's primarily for the youthful, fit and well-off. Glad I'm still the first two of those ;)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ready to walk? Oh, yes indeedy!

This week she has taken a few more steps everyday. Culminating to this evening when she walked the entire length of my parents' apartment (ok, maybe like 20 feet) straight. And then in and out of all the rooms. Closed a door, even. For about 45 minutes she was getting up (or being helped by a hand) and walking. Sometimes many, many steps and other times just a few. There was lots of "Very good, Carolina" and clapping. Both by Carolina and the three of us.

She is very proud of herself and I expect this means there is only more walking in the coming days. Hooray and I should be worried.

Since we were at the mall, yes really, I didn't give her a snack between lunch at about 2.30 and dinner at about 6.30. Actually I tried but the teething and whining (boredom. Wanted to crawl around and one-leg walk instead of stay in the stroller) she didn't want the rice cracker I offered her. Maybe gums were too sore?

But she ate a great dinner of chicken, ravioli and some bread. Finished her whole bottle, too. I think she wanted more dinner but seemed really frustrated. Again, maybe sore gums and chewing hurt.

She's been grabbing her ears and sticking her fingers in them, particularly her left ear, all week. There was a LOT of that today. I hope these damn molars come in soon. She's suffered enough and I like her better when she's not so terribly irritable and will let me put her down. It was like having a little monkey on me today. A very cute, good smelling monkey.

Bedtime was about 8. I think there was some headbanging --as to be expected. The foam columns my dad and I came up with for the metal rods on each corner are working well. Actually it was my therapist's idea but we implemented it nicely. Ok, dad did. Ha!

But she's resting well now. Phew. What a day, kiddo! Good job!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

She's a great dancer, and likes to play with other kids

Two things I learned about Carolina this week are:
1. She likes to dance, and has a good sense of rhythm. She prefers music with a Latin beat. Seriously. (Our first indication was a trip to Vallarta in Feb 2009 before she was born, and we were in the Cuban restaurant where they play really great music. She was kicking me like never before. She was our 'tiny dancer'.) She was rocking out to a Ricky Martin song today at the local Gymboree.

2. She likes to play with other kids. Now I knew this already but I had no idea how much now. We've just started a discount/trial month at a Gymboree on the UES (got it through She's in a play/movement class once a week on an afternoon and we go to the gym when they have 'open' sessions twice a week in the early morning. During today's open gym, she was so very very disappointed when we had to leave. She was playing 'catch' with an older boy by rolling the ball between them. She was very interested in playing with a 4-year-old girl who was running around, throwing herself on the mats, and jumping up and down. Carolina tried to keep up with her for a bit, then looked at me a little confused. I smiled and said "Go ahead. Keep going." And she smiled and kept trying to keep up, but she couldn't.

She climbed on everything and was seemingly very proud of herself for being so independent. I have to say, I was impressed. I try to usually keep back and let her do her own thing when I can. She almost didn't need me at all. Woo hoo!

Food, these days, is another matter. Her pickiness continues. I've been given some very helpful advice to give her what she likes and wants, instead of what I want her to eat. This has turned out to be surprisingly healthy, for the most part. Yesterday she ate her first (whole) navel orange, and today her first (entire) peach.

Today at lunch after her nap was pretty funny. She took a few bites of the cod I was eating, then didn't want that. I gave her a bunch of peeled grapes cut up from her snack before nap and after about 10 of those, she was done. So she was pointing to the blueberry muffins on the table, which are next to the peaches I just bought yesterday. I decided to give her a peach instead of the muffin she wanted. She cried, very loudly, with tears when I put a few small cut up pieces of peach on her high chair tray. Carried on like it was the end of her little life.

At one point she threw her head back and opened her mouth widely while wailing, and I put a piece of peach in there. She closed her mouth as she brought her head down and had no choice but to taste the peach. She stopped crying immediately, made a few contentious noises and then ate it. And grabbed the rest on the tray with gusto. She then pointed to the counter where the rest of the peach was and started to make a fuss that she wanted more. This resulted in her eating the ENTIRE peach.

The crying and carrying on is exhausting for me to listen to but, really, I'm glad we now have more food on her "approved" list, which includes:

1. blueberries
2. hummus
3. spanakopita (Greek spinach pie)
4. raspberries
5. peaches
6. grapes, green ones
7. cherry/grape tomatoes (although they frustrate her since she can't eat the skin but she loves the taste and that they are juicy in her mouth.)
8. rice crackers (the Mum Mum kind)
9. Graham crackers
10. broccoli (sometimes)
11. caesar salad dressing (not a meal but as a topping. I hate giving her this one since it's so salt/fatty so I don't unless I'm desperate.)
12. squash/zucchini (sometimes, and only with something else like spanakopita or hummus)
13. navel oranges
14. strawberries (but they seem to give her less than a handful of  little pimples on her face every time)
15. Berry flavored "fiddlesticks" (rice crackers in a stick form she can easily hold)
16. Cheerios cereal
17. Life cereal

Of course there's cake and apple/cherry/blueberry/orange juices on the list but above is what I can get her to eat. MOSTLY without fuss.

With fuss, recently, there's chicken, fish, beef. I'm working on getting eggs into the list and watching her face breakout/not since earlier in the year she loved eggs but they gave her the same thing that strawberries seemed to. I'll try it again.

And in terms of naps, she's almost solidly a 12pm-2pm girl. Sometimes takes until closer to 12.30 and sometimes only until 1.30pm but I can mostly get her to take her nap on schedule, which is nice. For me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Reading and walking

I should have mentioned this awhile ago. She loves to sit with a book and flip the pages. She has been doing this for about 4 months. The past two months have been where I've noticed her taking the most concentrated time to look at the pages. I dint know if she is going over how we read them together, or just studying what's on the pages. Many times the book is upside down. It's terribly cute and endearing.

Today she took about 3-4 steps going between us, about 4 times while we were on a skype video call with the Abuelos. It was very cool. We clapped everytime she did it, so she clapped too and looked very proud of herself. Still, it's mostly one leg being dragged type of walking.

I've been reading Michael Palin's "Diaries" from 1969-1979. It's very interesting to read about how a creative, comedy writer fills his days. And I'm envious of that kind of life. Also, all the while he's having kids. He not once writes about the babies keeping them up all hours and being too tired to work. AND he and his wife seem to travel all over with them AND go out to dinner. Even when they are quite young. I'm going to write to Michael Palin and ask him if they used a neighbor as a babysitter or how they did it. Maybe he and his wife are less high-strung than me, or all his kids were able to nap anywhere or some combination of personalities that lent to a much different life than we have. OR he just never complained about it all but it did happen.

Anyway, yes, I really intend to write and ask him these things.

A few things about living with Carolina

I've been so preoccupied with Carolina's molars coming in, and they still haven't, that I completely missed a third front/bottom tooth was en route. It appeared Friday morning. She has been on frozen blueberry overload these past two weeks.

Gratefully she's sleeping through the night and the earliest she got up has been 6am, but still she's got some pain that goes into her ears or the back of her head -- from where I can see her grabbing. I know I've said this before, but I'll be glad when this latest round of teeth come in and we get a few days (ojalá que sí) rest from teething.

For some reason, and it might be totally standard and I just don't know better, the past week to two weeks she's been very, very picky about her food. She's no longer content to have the same mix of food day in and day out. I used to change it up a little but mostly some combination of: meat, veg, starch. And breakfast was rice cereal, apples/pears, prunes and her vitamin mixed in.

No more. She takes food out of her mouth and throws it on the floor, and also just uses her tongue to forcefully push it out of  her mouth and will not let it back in. So it has to be all nice and interesting food all the time, or there's a crying fit. And I always lose, unless I'm willing to let her go hungry. She's interested in snacks (toddler crackers, cookies), blueberries and hummus. Sometimes I can get her to eat by covering the bowl of food in hummus or tomato sauce.

I constantly worry I'm on the wrong side of spoiling her, but most of the time I am worn down by the whining and crying and just want to her to eat. I still won't give her cookies or crackers as a meal but some days, really, it's been almost exclusively blueberries for dinner.

Here are her top 3 hits:
1. The swings at the park (Regardless how hot it is and how much heat rash she's itching.)
2. Blueberries, most recently prefers frozen over all other types. (Made her blueberry muffins yesterday and only wants the part of the muffin with the blueberries.)
3. Dora (Knows which TV has the DVD player with Dora disc in it, and which one has it on the DVR list and knows how to use the TV remote, more or less, to try to get to what she wants.)
4. Music and dancing. (Often asking us to put on the iPod stereo and has a sense of rythmn I can vouch for!)

She's even taught me some features that my iPhone can do that  (A) I had no idea about and (B) would never have found on my own. Additionally, she showed us how to change the "source" on our TV without using the TV remote, just from the cable remote. So now we only need the 1 remote. Thanks, baby!

So now that she's getting along with the babysitter and I find that I enjoy not being at home every day, I'm starting to look for some work. I realized I have no interest in going back to an office full time and would have to make a butt-load of cash in order to cover the babysitter AND taxes. I'm not ready to put her into daycare, which would overall be a cheaper option than sitter or shared nanny. So maybe a 1-2 day/week job. Maybe freelance so I don't have to be in an office. Maybe nothing. But the extra income would be much nicer. Anyway, time for bed!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Last few weeks

Have been very, very hot and humid. This past week, after 3 days of only going to the park early in the morning for about 30 minutes on the swings and then after her mid-day nap, hanging around the apartment until bedtime -- mommy had enough. So I called my mom and Carolina and I went there for Thursday and Friday to go to the pool and hang out with grandma and grandpa. MUCH more fun!

Carolina didn't sleep very well overnight, but at least she didn't bang her head too much. She's been teething with at least two molars coming in, one on each side. There might be a 3rd or 4th molar also coming in but I'm having a hard time telling. I just wish the two mounds in the back of her mouth that are sore would just have the teeth break through and be done with it. She's been suffering more with these molars, as expected, than any other teeth so far.

I signed her up for another set of music classes and got a deal on "open gym time" at a Gymboree in the city for a month. Since she's napping from about 11-1pm every day, they have open gym time at about 9.30 on Tuesdays. So I'll take her to the UES for some fun with other babies.

We didn't join the local, private park -- the only one with grass in the area. I principally object to having to pay for access to grass when we pay a very large portion of our income on city tax and a portion of that tax goes to maintaining all the city parks. Why Sunnyside can't get that park to be part of the Parks Department, I don't know. I'm sure there's a good reason, other than keeping it for middle-class white people in the area. Yes, I did just say that and yes it is true.

Anyway, Carolina is starting to say more words -- or at least repeat them. She repeated, fairly clearly, this week: "Okay", "Grandpa" and "delicious".  Yum-yum is definitely the key word for letting her know it's time for dinner or lunch -- and gauging how hungry she is by how quickly and emphatically she says "yum yum" back to you.

She's standing more and took another 2-3 little steps today. I'm guessing that by the time we leave for Celaya late in August, she'll be walking. But that's just a guess as I have NO idea how this all works on timing.

Well, she's asleep -- it was a regular/early night at 6.30. So time for me to make dinner for the grownups!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

one nap a day: mommy, i can do it myself

So the past two days, the morning has been a bit rough. She gets tired, wants her bottle and sort-of wants a nap around 9am (old first nap time). So I take her outside and she gets whiny but I keep her up until about 11am.

I give her 1/3-1/2 of her lunch just before time to go for a nap, and then the surprise. The past few months, I've been itching to just put her down to sleep and walk out. But she wasn't ready. She must have been ready for at least a month since it's been the 2nd nap that was tough to get her to relax so I could put her down. Her babysitters, both, found the same difficulty.

So, independently, both Hannah and I have put her down after only a minute or so of holding her realizing that she's not able to get comfortable in our arms. She just lays in the crib and falls asleep.

Clearly, my mother (who told me to try this last week) was right. She was ready to put herself down for a nap as long as I was smart about WHEN to do it.

In addition to this being the one-nap-a-day transition, it's also the mommy-i-can-do-it-myself transition. Both are mostly transitions for me.

I've also been considering whether or not to consider working again. But that's another story and far too early to even write anything more than what I just did.

So, baby's asleep. Time for me to relax!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

still going strong (well, maybe not strong) with one nap a day

I guess it's really one-nap-a-day now. She took only one nap today from 12-1pm. I wish it had been longer, so did Hannah, since Hannah told me that Carolina was so tired she looked like she might sleep for four hours! But, nope, just one.

She was rubbing her eyes by the time 5.30 rolled around. I figured she would, so I got her through dinner and cut short bathtime since bathtime was mostly her sitting turning the pages of her bath book and rubbing her eyes. She was asleep for good by 6.30 after she (barely) finished her bottle.

I got some advice that I'm going to start with this week: I'll keep her busy and go outside during the morning and have her home by around 11/12pm and then get her ready for a nap. Maybe once it's an expected thing that she naps at around the same time each day, like before, that she'll take a longer nap. Lord knows I can't encourage that little one to nap longer if she's not interested.

Tomorrow I am going out again and leaving her with the babysitter. Today she was tired and, I'm pretty sure, teething again. So she was very "mommy mommy" and cried a lot when I left. That bloody molar will just not come through, but it's pushed up the gum/skin as far as it'll go before breaking through. And everything that can be shoved in the back of her mouth to gnaw on, is being employed to do so :)

So I'll start to take Carolina to the farmer's market at Union Square during the week as part of a morning time adventure-adventure! Maybe we'll go part way with daddy to work in the morning. Of course that means we'll be squished in with the commuters and she'll be in the baby carrier instead of the stroller, but I can make it work. Alternatively we could spend an inordinate amount of time on the bus as it snail's pace gets across the Queensboro Bridge during rush hour(s), and more likely get a seat, but that just seems like a waste of time.

Maybe we can start meeting friends for breakfast instead of lunch. This could be the start of a whole new thing. But I'll start easy and keep her around here at first until we both get the hang of what we're doing -- and that means SWINGS AT THE PARK. Man she loves those swings. They've totally trumped the slide and climbing up (and down) the stairs.

Still not much walking. She drags her left leg under her as her right leg is "walking" in a bent position. She's taken, probably, about 8 steps total over the past week. Of course I can't find my camera that takes video -- and I haven't bought the new iPhone that has video capability yet. So it might just be that I miss videotaping, well who uses tape anymore, the first real walking. I guess that's not terrible. It's not like anyone had their first steps videoed before the previous generation anyway. :)

Should be interesting...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Naps in transition

Since the first weekend in June, she's started to perodically take only one nap a day. When it's one, it's never at the same time or for the same amount. And from all the yawning and eye rubbing once she's up, I can assure you it's not restful enough. However she plays and smiles and might need to go to sleep 1/2 hr early.

The only consistent thing about one nap days is that we are doing something she's interested in staying up for, and usually, there are more people around. The last 3 days, the first of which was checkup/shots day, she's only done one nap. Saturday was pool day at grandpa's and then yesterday, I guess, Papa watching world cup matches was it.

This morning I was prepared for another long morning and when she started to whine after Papa left for work, I took her to her room with the bottle and chupon. Figured she'd get full and relax and then maybe more playing. Nope. Fell right asleep.

So I've stopped making plans with Carolina and started to get her a sitter if I need to go somewhere. This way she can nap, or not, and I can still do my stuff. I'm very glad she likes Hannah and let's her put her to nap. When Hannah gets a full time job and/or leaves for grad school, I'll have to get another sitter. We have one now but she's not always available as she is already in grad school.

Anyway. It's nap time and with it being 90 degrees and humid, I should rest up before we head out there for a few errands. And sweat. A lot.

Oh, we finally got a few independent steps on video. Still not walking alone much but the odd one or two steps happen like every other day.

Friday, June 25, 2010

12 month check up, updates

So the poor kid had 2 immunizations and they took 2 vials of blood. Small vials but she still wailed with the most intensity I've heard to date. Both when they took the blood from her hand vein and when she was given both immunizations.

On the upside, she went a whole day with only one nap at about 3.30 until just before 5. I'm being sarcastic about that being her upside.  The upside to mommy was that she didn't scream for an hour afterward like she did when she was much younger. She was in the baby ergo and fell asleep on me, which was nice. And then got to watch 3 episodes of Dora throughout the afternoon and early evening. She enjoyed that unusual pleasure of zombie TV time.

She did, however, grow!

She's now: 30" long, 18.4 lbs and 18" head circumference.


They wanted to give her the chicken pox vaccination. I was surprised that there is one, and then remembered oh yeah there IS one. And then said no. I was thinking about how much pain she was likely to be in today and then to give her chicken pox (low dose or not) on top of that just seemed unnecessary. My mom, an ex-elementary school teacher, tells me that she MUST have the chicken pox vaccination before attending public school. What? I thought that it'd be okay if she just got it like everyone else did before the vaccine. I guess not.

I'm not sure how I feel about this, especially since I don't know anyone who has gotten badly sick or died from chicken pox. But then again, I'm sure there's a reason for this. We have a few years to decide...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

First steps

Last night, after we came back from the park, Carolina took her first 2-3 steps. She stood up herself, just outside the kitchen in the hallway and walked! On her 3rd step she quickly got down and started crawling toward the apartment door.

She had taken her first half step last Friday when Ismael had come home from work very early.

For all I know she's been doing this for weeks and we only just noticed. But I think I've seen all the walking she's done.

Oops, gotta run. She's up from her afternoon nap. Time to get to the park for the swings!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A year later, things are good

During the first 11 or so months of Carolina's life, when she had the hiccups it meant that we needed to get her to sleep IMMEDIATELY. That she was over-stimulated and needed a break. Around month 11 that changed to just being a bit overwhelmed, and sometimes just having hiccups. I've been so conditioned to act quickly when she starts that I have to remind myself when she's just gotten up from a nap that if she has hiccups, she just has hiccups.

She's talking more, and by talking I mean making more noises. There are some new ones and I can definitely tell when she means her father [dah dah or bah bah] and Dora [doh-dah]. She says "yum yum" when she's hungry and when she just feels like having that sound roll around her mouth. She still loves blueberries more than anything else, and has learned how to push food out of her mouth with her tongue so that I know when she's done eating because the last spoonful in is being shoved out. Sometimes she will get the food out of her mouth with her fingers and then give it to me. Fun stuff.

Her handprints are all over our computer monitor, I'm not sure her father has noticed since they have been there for a good few days and he's used it every night.

She's gotten used to having a babysitter come at least once a week, which is nice for me so that I feel less guilty. She's not crying when I leave. In fact, she pretty much ignored me this last time because she knows Hannah so well and was glad to see her. Phew!

Naps are still twice a day but sometimes the morning one gets pushed 30-40 minutes later or is only about 45 minutes. I'm beginning to look forward to the day there is only one nap. It's kind of a bummer since right now we can go out during "lunch time" to see people, and when it's one-nap-a-day that's when the nap will be. So mornings and late afternoon will be the new outing times.  I'm still wondering when her bedtime will be more like 8pm.

I realize that to someone without a baby, the following probably doesn't make much sense but for Carolina it's tried and true: If she is on a "late schedule", which means she either got up later or her morning nap is later than usual (and/or she slept over 2 hours), and then her afternoon is later (and/or she sleeps for over 1.5 hours), she still needs to be in bed around 7pm; no later than 7.30pm. One might think that because she's slept a lot and is on the 'late shift' that she could stay up later. But no, she really can't.

I was looking at photos from 2007 and noticed one where we are all at dinner in Vallarta with the families and our then-one-month-old niece is in her stroller napping at the dinner table. Mind you, dinner in Mexico is like 8pm or 9pm. My sister-in-law looks a bit stressed in the photos but mostly really good. It wasn't like that for us, meaning for me and Carolina. There is no way in hell I could have taken her out like that, even though in the beginning I was expecting I could. She just doesn't roll that way.

But I got to say, my kid is totally awesome when she's well rested. She's funny, happy, relaxed, and sweet.

She's even a bit clever, having figured out that if she cries -- especially in public -- I'm more likely to give her back whatever it is I just took away. I'm trying my best to be flexible about giving in, but there are some things that I just won't. Crocodile tears in public or not.

When Brasil was playing North Korea the other day in the World Cup, when North Korea scored Carolina was watching with me. She heard them say "Gooooooal!" and the voices got excited. She started to clap. It was really funny and cute. She was clapping that North Korea got a goal.  While walking down the street today with her in her stroller, there were two teenage boys in front of us listening to music. One of them started to clap a bit and slapping his hand on his leg. She started to clap with them. Again, super cute and made me laugh.

She still hasn't started to walk on her own yet, but she's getting close. She is a quick walker if we hold her hands and she sometimes "crawls" upright with one leg under her and the other going like she's going to stand up but then doesn't. I call it her 'crab walk'. ha!

Next week is her 12 month checkup, even though she'll be nearly 13 months. So update on her weight and length to come!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Being humbled by my child

I was talking with another mom of a boy a little older than Carolina. We found out, quickly, that we had exceptionally similar experiences of becoming a new mother and how our influence (or not) seemed to bear little affect to our newborns. We discovered we both had "not a good sleeper". Upon this realization, sometime around 9 months, we both gave up. And then realized that was around the time things started to change.

In a sense, we gave up trying to control the baby and listening to EVERYONE's opinions about what magic trick they used to get their child to sleep well. Yeah, we both had the same verbally aggressive reaction to that time of our lives, and laughed about it pretty heartily.

It was summed up (politely) as: That's wonderful your child is accommodating and will sleep for you. I'm certain you feel proud and superior for it. Now, on yer bike...

Really, what we realized was that our children have their own personalities and that has WAY more to do with what the baby is going to be like than anything we could have done (or not done). It was only when we stopped trying to DO something, that we got any peace.

It still stings and we both find ourselves offering advice to mothers of younger babies, but it's mostly in the frame of "I tried this, and this and this. Nothing worked. Then he/she turned X months and boom. So just hang in there, good luck, and feel free to cry if it makes you feel better. Just trust that it'll pass, and know it'll probably take longer than you want. Something else taxing will take its place, and something new unexpected will bloom, but the peace or satisfaction in your mind will eventually happen."

What's humbling about it is that, as a mother, I wasn't as influential as I had once thought I'd be. Or rather, I'm not influential in the ways and means I thought I'd be.

Perhaps, that's going to prove to be even more influential later. That I know I have to trust this baby to lead the way.

PS Stroller nap training is like the sleep problem. She's decided that she'll sleep for a bit, if she's able to relax, in the baby carrier. By the time she's great at sleeping anywhere, it'll be time for a true umbrella stroller or she'll be walking everywhere with me. Either way, I've given up on trying to 'train' her. I just do what I have to do during the day(s) and if she naps - great, but if she's a pain - ok *sigh* and we move on.

PS I don't know if I've ever mentioned this but on a return trip from Toronto, while working at Organic, I sat next to a mother with her newborn. She was very "mother earth" type and was telling me about breastfeeding and how once she learned to give in to the baby's schedule and stop fighting and trying to make the baby fit into her schedule, everything was much more peaceful. I knew during that flight that this kind of kooky woman was telling me something I'd remember forever. It's a conversation I run through my head sometimes daily. I thought at the time it was very insightful and that she was right. I just didn't really understand it in the way I do now. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

again, thank you, new york!

I am yet again glad to live in a large city with good public transportation, filled with otherwise friendly people. Carolina being entertained, even for a few, brief moments, is so very much appreciated by me. Especially on days when she's otherwise about to be at the end of her rope and we're 3 stops from home, it's lovely to have a complete stranger start to make faces, clap, wave or just make noises at her. Distract her from her teething pain or boredom or impending-sleep agitation. THANK YOU!!!!

She's really working on figuring out how to stand up from a dead sit and walk. She's cruising everywhere and she's gotten taller. Every time I realize she's gotten taller she's either standing under the kitchen table or next to the couch and I can see that her hands and head are now reaching higher and about to hit something that before was MUCH taller than she was.

Along with this growth, I believe, is the recent smattering of long naps. I keep waking her up early from her morning nap to go to a music class or some other thing we have. She gets at least an hour but she clearly could use some more. So I've been protecting her afternoon nap as much as I can.

I even left her with a babysitter twice this week. Two different women came over to babysit her. It went really well. The first two days I left her and she cried while I walked out the door. I just had to leave and make it quick. By the 3rd day, I was actually wishing I had the money for a sitter again since it was SO NICE to get out of the apartment and not have to worry about her being hungry, tired or entertained. Even though I was waiting in doctor's offices for appointments, but whatever.

Now, don't get me wrong. I do really enjoy traveling around with my little Monkey. In fact, she was great when we went in the boiling heat (because I thought that was a good idea for some reason) in her baby carrier to the Union Square Greenmarket this past wednesday. We got some SUPER tasty apple and lemon juice from the Red Jacket Orchards stand. I'm really looking forward to going back tomorrow to get the BIG liter bottle this time. Carolina enjoys waving and clapping at the stall owners and I like checking out the produce. Tomorrow it's supposed to downpour, so maybe not...

We're waiting for Papa to come home on Saturday night from his most recent business trip. Thankfully, she hasn't noticed that he's not come home during her bathtime and isn't there in the morning when she first wakes up after I change her diaper, like he usually is. So, she hasn't been complaining and we have been having a very good time indeed.

One of the local moms moved away yesterday which was a bummer since I liked her a lot and her son and Carolina are the same age by about a week, have been 'friends' since they were about 5 months old. That'll teach me to be friendly with people in the neighborhood ;)

She's still loving the blueberries and has started to indulge in strawberries. I bought a bunch at the local farmer's market and then I noticed she was getting little pimples on her face, neck and then one on her ear. It went away after about an hour and the one on her ear which had gotten pretty darn red went away overnight after I put on hydrocortizone for babies. It might have gone away without the cream. Who knows. So we have to avoid strawberries for a few weeks and then re-introduce them to see if it was heat rash (since it's been damn hot and we only got her an A/C for her room the last of the 2 hot days) or food rash.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Carolina at the park

As I may have mentioned, we go to the park almost daily. She really enjoys "walking" up and down the stairs to the entrance of the slide. What's funny about it is how much she reminds me of my sister, who also was a big fan of walking up and down a few stairs, and how Carolina likes to take each step one giant leg up at a time. Like she can't be bothered to take two smaller, more her-size steps, she MUST do it one leap at a time and quickly. Just like learning how to crawl, she wasn't the first baby of her age group to do it but she was the fastest. Same here, she's about the last of the babies of May (in our group) to start walking on her own, but she's doing it much faster when she holds on than any of the others.

I think we're about to start another round of teething since yesterday and today she's started to gnaw on just about everything and shoves her fingers in the back of her mouth. I still can't see or feel any new teeth but I'm fairly certain there are molars growing under the surface. The lower, right side of her jaw feels a bit flatter than the other back parts of her jaw so perhaps there is a tooth taking its time under there.

She's also been grabbing at the back of her neck and around her ears, which she only does when she's teething. Should be fun since we're planning a car trip to Maryland to visit some of our family this weekend. Is normally a 4 hour, non-stop trip -- but after going with Miss Carolina to Vallarta from Celaya (a 9 hour trip in the car), I think this should be fine. Teething and all.

Let's see how she does sleeping through (or not) the night. I'm really curious since this will be her first trip after having slept through the entire night, consistently, for about a month. Of course there were a few nights when she awoke before 5am very hungry and I had to give her a bottle, and a handful where she yells out for a few minutes then falls back to sleep.

Last time we stayed at my parents place for a week she had only slept through the night for a week at home, so that she was waking up A LOT at their place might be just her old habit since we weren't at home. I'm hoping that we have better luck this time with her sleeping. Ojalá que sí tengamos buena suerte con sueños.

Either way, it'll just be 2 nights at my cousin's house and gratefully, the baby will have her own room. Sweet!! Daddy will probably not come but since grandma and grandpa are staying at a local motel, there are two bedrooms at one of my cousin's homes that are free for the baby and I to use. Woo hoo!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Things recently

Recently we've made a habit of going to the park after nap #2, which generally ends about 3pm. So the moms and babies in our "group" have a standing meeting time at the park from 3-5pm, and Carolina has decided that she loves the slide. I haven't been brave enough to trust her balance ability to go down herself but she likes it when we slide down together.

And as long as she has some kind of shoes on, I let her "walk" wherever she wants. Much to the pain of my lower back. I just hold her hands and she walks quickly up and down the steps to the slide.

I've also gone out for a mommy-drink night, which was fun. Some of the moms I like best are about to move out of the neighborhood. Ah, well, what can you do...

I think Carolina is going to be walking by the time she's 13 months old.

Her birthday is in 2 weeks and I'm happily preparing her first birthday party. It's going to be a riff off the traditional korean first birthday celebration, with American and Mexican touches to make it our own -- featuring Dora the Explorer since Carolina claps and smiles when she's on TV. Cute!

I'm still immensely grateful she sleeps through the night now and only gets up before 6am on the rare occasion. I do my best to fill her with food all day long so she doesn't get up early from hunger.

We read her Tigger's Breakfast book when she's not very hungry and won't take more food but I know she's hungry enough to eat more if I distract her. And when all else fails, put frozen blueberries in it and clap and smile and say "Yeaaaaay, Carolina, Yeaaaaaay!" She smiles, claps and eats. Too funny.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stroller nap training, week 2

Yeah... not so much. She screamed/cried on-off (mostly on) from about 2.15 until we got home at 3.30pm

It was nice to see people but when she's not feeling well, like today because her mouth hurts her, she's a total PITA. And you know what? I know it's not her fault. I understand completely that she wanted to be at home in her bed, where it's quiet and soft. I know Manhattan isn't that place. But, dammit, *I* wanted to go out. I realize that's immensely selfish and as "punishment" she cried, I was completely embarrassed and frustrated, and we came home early.

I feel like such an asshole even thinking this way, but it's how I feel about it.

I left the apartment today with Carolina, loaded up with her favorite snacks, a bottle of water, diapers, change of clothes, blanket, blanket to cover the stroller to help with the nap, 3 toys, sweater, jacket. I was set. It was too warm for all those clothes and she didn't want to eat much, her gums/teeth were bothering her (again) and she didn't sleep. I was really looking forward to being out today. It was nice weather, she was happy, I was happy.

Then it wasn't.

I am envious of other moms who have babies that sleep in their strollers and let them have social lives. I don't know what those babies are like at other times. Maybe they're dull and boring and less cute. Maybe they're not as smart. Maybe they're just the same. I don't know for sure.

All I know is that I'm frustrated and exhausted and feel spent. I just want to start screaming "IT IS NOT BLOODY FAIR." And then I know it's nothing to do with 'fair' or not. It's what she needs when she needs it. That's my job.

I still miss my old life in a way. In fact, I wish I could have a modified version of our old life WITH her in it. But maybe she's too little for that? Maybe when she's like 3? Maybe never. I guess I just have to give in.

We stopped breastfeeding about 3-4 weeks ago. And yesterday and today I kind of wished that I didn't for a moment. When she looked crazy and exhausted and I desperately wanted her to relax. And I knew if I was still breastfeeding, she could do that more quickly.

But we're not. And the rest of the time I'm confident that is a good decision and I'm happy with it. She doesn't seem to mind, either.

In fact she's kind of overly excited when she sees the bottle. Like "I must have that immediately or I will suffer the worst kind of pains!"

Anyway, if someone needs a good book to read I can recommend "1491" by Mann, I finished it and I'm still thinking about it a lot. I took it out of the local library (love! the library) and have started to read "The Big Oyster" by Kurlansky -- a history of New York City.

If and when we leave New York, I will miss it as if I was leaving a friend. I've wanted to live in Manhattan since I could remember having an opinion about living anywhere. It was really great to live in the East Village. Even in a super-small studio. It was probably that nice because it was with Ismael. He's super.

I guess what I'm saying is, I wish my life was different. And I'm not accepting that.

Guess it's time for therapy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I am a good mom, dammit

The worst thing that ever happened to me as a mother was that I read too many baby advice books. The best thing I ever did was listen to my husband who told me to put them down. And for some reason it just occurred to me today that I'm doing a pretty good job.

Every one of those books did very little except make an over-achiever/student type person like me, who was anxious about being a mom and 'doing it right' all the time, feel like I was doing it all wrong. There was less than a handful of actually really great advice that I got that helped with Carolina specifically.

Carolina is a bad sleeper. I didn't train her that way, I just followed her insistance when she WOULD NOT sleep in a stroller, or baby carrier. She has 'the whine' and it's the most potent thing she's got in her arsenal to get me to pay attention to her and simultaneously lose my cool.

But, given the serious sleep deprivation I went through her first 10 months of life, I did a good job, dammit. I do say so myself.

In other news, she's really really getting close to standing up from a dead sitting position and walking. She's been cruising around the living room more and more, and getting up on her knees and almost up to a stand.

I know other babies in the neighborhood who are around Carolina's age by a few weeks either side and some of them can stand up but don't walk. So I know it's not necessarily that one follows the other. But you should see the look of envy and wonder on her face when she sees the toddlers in her Friday morning music class running around. She's in awe.

It's great to watch her and then when she comes home that day, she's figured out something new. It's like a petri dish of advancement that music class.

(And, of course, as I've just finished typing this up. Feeling positive and good about myself. She starts to cry and bump her head against her crib bumper, only 15 minutes into her nap. Yeah... talk about keeping it all in balance.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

10 months: travel, sleep, fun

While Ismael was away on business for almost 2 weeks, Carolina and I stayed with my parents. I thought it was going to be a good idea for her to spend more time with her grandparents, while I simultaneously got some intermittent babysitting so I could do my part-time PM work on the project Ismael was participating in.

The week+ was both a surprising lot of fun and total disaster. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. I found out Carolina adores blueberries. Frozen, warm, partially frozen, on chicken, with carrots, with yogurt, whole, mushed up, whatever. At the end of our time on 'vacation' if it didn't have blueberries she almost didn't want to eat it. The only food she wanted more than something with blueberries, was something a grown up was eating.

Now, I thought this wasn't supposed to happen (table food envy) until she was older. So we had some screaming tantrums, very short lived but still, when she wanted something I had that she wasn't allowed. Like chocolate, coffee, or ice cream.

I've resisted giving her ice cream since she's not supposed to be on whole milk (vs. formula) until after she's a year old. To prevent allergies, I hear. But we were at Whole Foods and having a gelato, she was carrying on so much, and I figured -- well, a little can't hurt.

She had already eaten so much I was surprised she was hungry. She gobbled up every mini spoonful of malted-balls gelato I was willing to give her. Later that evening, she threw up. Twice. Not a lot, but enough. And on my shirt. She smelled like ice cream.

Then she had a terrible sleeping night and proceeded to poop about 8 times (seriously). So between the gelato and blueberries -- she had too much going on in her belly and it eventually all made its way out.

She also re-developed the habit of getting up for the day at 4 or 5am. Yeah. And neither my parents nor my mother-in-law have any stomach for Carolina crying out. So I had to go into the room to comfort her, which ended up being 'playing with'. So after working most of the day, and then playing with Carolina, and she not taking her normal 1-hour naps and not twice a day -- I was beyond exhausted by the end of the first 5 days. The last 3 days were the worst. She knew I'd run in there, so she took full advantage. AND AND AND she was super, super teething.

I'd like to know why when we spend time with my parents, she's always teething. They are both so quick to 'get the orajel' to relieve her pain, that we went through a whole tube in about 4-5 days. I was tired of arguing against it, so I went along with it. I think that was too much. I mean, sometimes, it's bad - yes - but sometimes nothing helps and she just has to get through it. Right? Maybe I'm wrong and cruel. I think not, but what do I know? (I've learned I know a lot but I have to keep that to myself.)

The night we came home, she slept her normal 12 hours, and only cried out twice for only a few seconds. Didn't get up until 6am, and the rest of the days she's back to a 7pm to 7am (maybe 6am) days. And she was a super-napper the first two days back. Poor thing was totally tired.

We've had a few great, fun days. Now today she's back to being irritable and chewing on everything. Frozen blueberries have helped.

I hear from other moms that after the first few teeth came in, their babies didn't complain and teeth would just come in. Yeah, not my Carolina. So I think she's working on either just tooth #7 or both #7 and #8. I can't tell. But I can tell you that the top teeth seem to be on a rampage and she's just got the bottom two in the front to represent that lower jaw. Ha!

I'm having a lot of difficulty with working part time, because it turned into a bit of crisis management that entire week+ and was full time, while being a full-time mom at home. So I'm going to call a local, recommended babysitter to see how that works out. It's proven to be impossible for me to work at home and Carolina be at home, too. No matter who or what is around, she wants to be with me. So either she leaves or I leave if work is to be done.

I'm debating whether I need the aggravation and we need the money or not.

It's not THAT much money, it's a ton of aggravation so far, but - honestly - it's also nice to do something 'grown up' for a while. I might be great at project management, but I don't really enjoy it.

So, the jury is out if I'm going to continue. I'm leaning towards 'no'.

I do think, however, that having a babysitter for Carolina is still a good idea. Get her used to someone other than me, Ismael, and my parents. I'm totally against putting her in daycare, if only because those kids get colds all the bloody time -- and jesus, it's expensive.

ok, end rant here. :)

In other news, she took a decent (30 min) stroller nap after only whining/crying for about 5-10 minutes in Central Park. While Jee and I walked down 5th Ave (from 81st to 14th St), Carolina slept until about 42nd St. I was impressed that she slept with all that traffic noise for that long. Stroller naps are going to be a minimum of a once-a-week event since I gotta get this kid used to being in the stroller (not just having me carry her in the carrier all the time, she's getting heavy), and also sleeping somewhere other than her bed. Otherwise, traveling becomes complicated and stressful, and I feel we'll be doing a lot more traveling in her future.

Finally, she's developed a real like of Dora the Explorer. She is usually only interested in the opening song and animation, and maybe another 1-5 minutes more -- but she truly smiles at Dora and jumps up and down on her knees in excitement. Spongebob Squarepants is still a favorite too, but I think Dora has moved up a notch.

I've also showed her a few minutes of The Backyardigans a few times. I think they might be for slightly older kids. Actually, I know all these shows are for children older than 10 months. I'm just amused she likes Dora and Spongebob so much.

Recently, she had a growth spurt. I think she gained almost an inch in a week because she was eating like a horse and I couldn't get the food in fast enough. There were about 4 days when she was eating at least a full, adult cereal bowl full of food. I mean like chicken, carrots, apples, blueberries, rice, beef, avocados, spinach, etc. Anything I could grab to feed her, it went in and was followed by crying if I didn't get more in there fast enough.

Occasionally, when she's tired but has to eat dinner and she otherwise refuses to let me put any food in her mouth, I'll put an episode of Dora on my iphone in the kitchen. That usually gets me about 3 minutes of her opening her mouth to accept food without realizing she's doing it. Ah, the diplomatic treaty negotiations have begun...

Friday, April 2, 2010

what it is, instead of what it's not

Walking around Sunnyside this Good Friday afternoon, Carolina and I heard singing down on Skillman. So I walked us down there and there was a huge group of people walking west on Skillman towards the local Catholic church, and cops blocked off Skillman just after 46th St. I guess it was a procession of some type for Good Friday. It reminded me of a similar procession that Ismael and I saw one Sunday afternoon in the East Village, from a local Polish Catholic church. Theirs was all in Polish, today's was in something I couldn't hear and then I think Latin.

Either way, I was glad to see it. It could have been for any religion or local group. I was just glad that the community did something together. I missed it last year since I was spending my days in Manhattan.

Sunnyside can be defined as a small neighborhood in Queens bipassed with a 6-lane highway known as Queens Blvd, and defined on the northside with the LIRR railyards and on the southside by the other, actual 6-lane highway, the BQE. With the lovely 7 subway line running above Queens Blvd. Doesn't sound like much to live in.

Walking around the Gardens area, you can almost forget you're surrounded by noise and air pollution on all sides. And the people who take care of their homes, make it nice for everyone. Carolina and I walked passed two men leaving their attached homes, one from Ireland the other from (I think) Pennsylvania. They were exchanging pleasantries and you could tell they've been neighbors for a while but don't really have much to do with each other. Pleasant as it was.

But they know each other by name. How many kids they each have and some other personal details.

I knew the neighbors I had in Manhattan because I made it my business to know. I could have easily gone invisible there. Knowing your neighbors, to me, makes it your home.

I guess with Carolina in toe, I'm warming up to the area while the weather is warming up outside.

I'd still prefer to be in 'the city', but for now this isn't half bad.

Carolina isn't a great sleeper in general. Her recent leap into all night sleeping will maybe turn into great napping. Maybe not. But that's what she's not doing. What she is, is a really sweet little girl who is gentle, smart, and funny. When her belly is full of gas (still!) or poop, or her new teeth are coming in and giving her mouth some agita, she's got the world's most irritating whine. So, if I'm going to look at it positively, she's accomplished a whine that has my full attention. So far, no one else can claim that trophy. (Thank god.)

When she's good, she's golden. When something's off, she's a pain. I love her both ways. I just prefer her when her world is in harmony.

A working mom, injured

Earlier this week I threw out my neck. It's a super old injury that just never goes away and occasionally pops up to haunt me when I've either been stressed, curling my hair too much, or holding my shoulders/neck wrong. Usually because of too much work, late into the night. That was this week and last week. Part time freelance, you'd think I could handle that without throwing myself into a tizzy.

Thought I was doing so well, and the last two days my mom had to come over to help me with Carolina since it was impossible for me to lift her up, carry her or even stand up on the first day.

Today I'm much better. Carolina, on the other hand, has refused to take her afternoon naps for the 'full amount'. I think the last two days she was worried why I wasn't carrying her around.

But very interestingly, last night at about 5pm we started to give her dinner. A little bit of chicken and filling from a spinach pie. She scarfed it down! Was crying for more! Unheard of. So I hurried up to make her more. Same thing. Cried for more! So we went on to: apples, blueberries semi frozen, yogurt snacks, rice cracker snack, and something else I can't remember.

She ate for about 50 minutes. Not every second of it, of course, but a damn lot of the time.

I think she finally realized that it was the last stop on the train before bedtime and a bottle. Last night was the first night she didn't make a peep between 7pm and 7am.

She's now getting used to not having a bottle before her afternoon nap. I think that's a lot to do with why she's not doing the afternoon nap so well. She's tired, trust me. But not so much on being able to relax. I'm still working out what her 'routine' should be. Right now I'm trying to hold her sideways, sing her the bedtime song we have, with the chupon in her mouth. It sort of works, until she feels the crib mattress under her and then it's all crying.

Day 3, so far still working it out.

Any suggestions?

In the meantime, I'm still assessing my ability to keep better boundaries between work and home and considering if I should have any work at all. The income will be nice. I'll be calling a babysitter based on a mom-friend recommendation. I'm going to try having someone come over once or twice a week for like 2-3 hours to take Carolina out for a walk, park, whatever.

She can handle being away from me if I'm not there. If I'm in the apartment, I must be playing with her at some point. I can't work while she entertains herself with someone else. Sang proved that to be true!

Monday, March 29, 2010

12 hour nights, new teeth, no boobs -- it's been a busy few weeks

Our trip to Mexico was mostly work, work, work. We were at the beach for a few days, and even have photos of Carolina's first encounter with crawling on (and eating) sand! But mostly we worked.

Cut to the chase, Carolina ended up staying up until about 9.30-10pm three nights in a row. The last two, we went out to dinner at a local restaurant, then dinner at his aunt's house, and then we flew home and arrived in NYC at 8pm. So she was forced to be extremely overtired, take a 3rd nap, be awoken about 7pm and stay up late. She was a little 'crazy pants' but it wasn't impossible. She then slept like a bear the following 3-4 days and nights at home. And her "going to bed" time has been moved from 5.30/6pm to closer to 7pm.

It was recommended to me to convince her to stay up until 8pm, but I don't have the tolerance to listen to her cry for an hour just to prove a point. Plus, I look forward to her going to sleep some days when it's a really 'whiny' day. If and when she changes her mind and she wants to stay up later, I'm all for it.

During the trip, because of our schedules and how tired we were, I ended up weening her off the last night feed to a bottle. So by the time we got to the beach, she was no longer breastfeeding at night and only one feed every other day during the day. By the time we got home, she was on every other day and last week I pushed it to every 48 hours. So she's been 2 days without anything, and I think my body is preparing to stop. It's just in 'holding pattern' right now.

Plus her 4th and 5th teeth (top) are totally in and she looks super cute.

The first time we noticed she could wave "hello" or "good bye" was Sunday, March 14th at Bruno's baptism in Leon. I was taking her for a walk since she was tired but couldn't fall asleep in the stroller and as I was walking away, with Carolina over my shoulder, her father waved goodbye to her and she waved back. She's been practicing on nearly everyone she sees since.

The first time we noticed she could clap was during dinner on Thursday, March 25th. I had been clapping for her earlier in the week and started to clap again. Like, "Yea, Carolina, good job using your teeth to bite food." And she started to clap too. It was really cute. Later that night, after she went to bed, Kari came over. We had a birthday fruit tart for me, and I made a wish "that Carolina will sleep through the night before her first birthday."

Later that night... she slept from just before 7pm until about 7am. She cried out 2 or 3 times during the early morning hours but stopped before we got the bottle ready. So the following night, we had the water in the bottle and the forumla measured out like usual but didn't get up since she cried out very briefly and quietly again. Third night, same thing. I'm considering this a 'new chapter' in her sleeping.

She might decide in a few days that we really do have to go in there to feed her or she super pooped and we MUST change her. Okay, that's fair.

Tomorrow she'll be 10 months old. So a few days shy of the 10 month mark and we have sleeping through the night. Not the 'official' definition of 5 hour stretches, but the real deal.

I'm still prepared for it to go away. And it's not as restful as I imagined. But man, it's nice not to have to feed her and get out of bed 2-3 times a night. We still both wake ourselves up to see what time it is and see if we can hear her. Still fear we will miss hearing her in need. But, seriously, that's not going to happen. She makes the tiniest noise and I'm up like an Army Sergent at dawn.