Monday, December 24, 2012

Teething, writing -- we're busy

I only have a moment but I wanted to make sure to write a few updates before more days went by...

The baby is clearly teething. He's got two little buds just under his gums that look like they're threatening to push up AND he's been pretty uncomfortable. For him, he's unhappy and irritable. I'm hoping he gets two little bottom teeth for Christmas! Also, he's on the verge of crawling for real. He can get up on all fours but still does the worm to get anywhere, however getting somewhere he can! He can also go from laying down in his crib to standing up by pulling himself up on the bars. He only started this today and, wow, things are moving fast.

About a month ago, Carolina brought home a project on which she traced her name. I didn't know she could do this, so we started doing a lot of tracing so she could practice writing -- and gave us an excuse to make some great Christmas cards. Well, about a week ago, when we got to the last of the Christmas cards, she insisted on writing herself. I'd just tell her the letters and she'd do it on her own. She is doing a really impressive job of forming letters. I'm terribly proud of her and, better yet, she is proud of herself!

Yesterday we baked cookies for Santa and it's the first Christmas that Carolina is old enough to not only understand what's going on but also is really involved with it and getting excited. It's pretty fun.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Today the baby is 7 months old

And he's a solid kid. We get comments all the time about how cute, curious, and big he is. And he is all of those things. He just loves to stare at people, he really drinks them in.

He is NEARLY figuring out how to crawl, and will be especially pleased with himself when he figures out how to walk. He can't sit up on his own yet, as in, go from lying down to sitting up, but he'll sit up for a very long time. He will go from sitting up to down on the floor and start to "worm" crawl towards something he wants. EVERYTHING goes into his mouth.

He takes 4 definite naps a day and goes to sleep at about 6.30/7pm. He likes taking a bath about 6pm with his sister. He really, really loves his sister. And he gets up 2-3 times a night, maybe more if something is up. Last night something was up. I lost track of how many times he woke up. Mostly not to eat, and I don't know what was bothering him. I'm sure if I held him, he'd have slept for longer at times but I like not having to hold him to sleep and my back appreciates it, too. He's finally sleeping in his crib for his last nap of the day 90% of the time. I guess it pays off to stay home and create a consistent routine.

He has 3-4 meals of "solid" food a day, sometimes like 4-5oz of food and sometimes only a handful of spoonfuls. And he drinks milk before a nap, sometimes when he gets up. "What is his favorite food? Food. What is his least favorite food? Not enough food." Yes, still.

He'll take a bottle, as long as it's my milk, and isn't really interested if it's more than 2oz since I'm usually around and he'd rather get the rest from me. He flatly refuses anything that smells of baby formula. I've gotten the smallest amount of formula into his bottle just so he can start to get the taste. Yesterday, I put a bit too much (nearly a 1/4 of a scoop, and a full scoop is for 2oz) with 1.5oz of my milk and 1oz of water. Ugh! What a fight. He eventually took 1oz of it since he was hungry but, wow! I know that when he's hungry, he'll take it, especially if I'm no where around.

He's started to not like being left in a room alone. Although, unlike with Carolina, he's never really left alone. With Carolina, we'd go out very occasionally without her and have my parents come over. Or I'd be in one room and she'd be alone in another for a minute or two. But this kid, I'm always here and his sister is usually around. Maybe that's why the younger ones are more social and the older ones are more independent? Maybe that's just nonsense and it's depends on the personality.

Either way, I'm planning on having him taking formula, without my milk, within 2-3 months. This is trickier with two kids around as I don't have as much time to pump, and he takes more milk, so when I do have the time on a day when I have "extra milk", I don't always have the interest to pump in lieu of something else (sleep, eat, go to the bathroom alone, read something...).

That's the 7 month update while they are both napping. I. Love. Big Naptime. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sleep changes, more play, and getting bigger

Well, it seems like the baby has decided that he's moving towards just waking up 3 times a night (not always but it's starting to change) and changing 5 naps into 3 or 4. He is awake for longer periods and needs to be more active. He's actually a lot of fun and Carolina and he are starting to play together. I enjoy not having to carry him all the time.

The new sleep times are a little tricky as they are in between when I have to bring or pick-up Carolina from school, or after her nap. So if I'm not clever enough to get Carolina to go take her nap when her brother takes his 2nd or 3rd nap of the day (depending on what time it is), then I have one or both of them awake ALL DAY. And that is a long, tiring day for mommy.

Since he can sit up really well (although he still needs pillows around him for the occasional toppling over) Carolina likes to hug him and laugh with him and give him things to hold (as well as quickly take them away or put them just out of arm's reach).

And as he can play by himself for a while, I've started to ignore him. Now, I'm not leaving the room for an hour and not checking on him. I'm in the room, back turned to him and checking on him every few minutes. And whenever I leave, he's either in his jungle play thing or in his walker. Limited damage can be done in a few minutes while he's a bit contained and entertained. (It's that Evenflo Exersaucer Jungle toy. It's probably the best $100 we spent since we get to use it for both kids and they both seem to enjoy it equally, although differently. It's this one if you want to know: We've recommended it to anyone with a new baby who asks.)

I remember doing this with Carolina when she was about this age. She would be in her jungle and I'd be cleaning up or reading something or writing an email or having a snack or just anything else. By the time she was 9 months old I remember realizing that she was able to play by herself for a good period of time, often looking at books for 10 minutes or so. I truly think that has more to do with her ability to play by herself and focus on her own thing than what I did but I am sure ignoring her for periods of time helped encourage her to play alone. So, as I have things to do while Carolina is at school, I let the baby play by himself. There are mornings where I feel a bit guilty for not paying total attention to him, and then he gets annoyed that I'm interfering. I mean, yes, he smiles and loves that I'm there but he wants to handle things into his mouth and touch things on his own. So, I let him.

Besides, once he starts crawling, and man, that's going to be soon, I won't be able to ignore him for long. He's a grabber. I remember the boys in Carolina's play group being more grabby and strong than she and the other girls. And it's true! He can grab things from shelves and handle them much more than she did. I'm going to have play referee between him and our bookshelves.

This week we started making Christmas decorations. We took down the turkey paper plates we put up on the front door and put up Christmas-theme paper plates. Trees, snowmen, wreaths, and bows. Plus lots of confetti of different colors. As always, black needs to play a part in the color scheme. Because, really, what is a holiday without black confetti?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

First word, used a lot... and pretty regular sleeping

So the baby's first word was "Hey!" And combine that with screaming (to get our attention, well, usually his sister's attention) it's like living with someone who is very "Jersey". Every time he says "hey!" I think of the Beastie Boys' song "Hey, Ladies". Not really appropriate but what comes to mind.

When Carolina was little and about this age, I used to have "Brass Monkey" (Beastie Boys) running through my head. And when I was pregnant with each of them, I was humming Beatles songs a lot. So I guess musically, it's my MO to associate with certain artists when they get to certain stages.

He's been eating a lot. He seems to like, food. Prunes, Apples, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Carrots, Green Beans, Rice, Oatmeal. Everything I give him, he's like "Hooray! It's food." He eats it pretty quickly and then I give him milk if he's still hungry. If he's SUPER hungry, I might give him a bit more food, but he needs the stuff in the milk more than the food at this point.

Unfortunately, it's still "uhg, this again" whenever he sees the bottle. So we can get him to take an ounce, maybe two, in the mornings. Only freshly-expressed milk. Otherwise, he's not interested in the bottle and I've been too busy to bother to force it more often. He doesn't hate it, so it's not a battle anymore, but it's impossible to get him to drink a bottle's worth or a regular milk feeding worth in a bottle. We tried to get him to take 2 ounces and it was a very long hour with several small battles.

At this rate, getting him on formula is going to take forever. Or I'll be feeding him until he's about a year, and then go straight to cow's milk. Unless he's got a lactose problem like his sister and I, and his dad, and then he will have to take lactose-free milk. So, bypassing bottles and formula completely.

I don't think this is actually how it's going to go down, but it's exhausting trying to get him to take a bottle and this means that we don't go out without him. Ever.

It's a good thing he's starting to 'talk'. At least it makes for good conversations at home... His sister is going to be a big help when it comes to boosting his vocabulary. :)

I can even say he has a regular naps and a mostly regular nighttime sleep schedule. It's like this:
Get up about 6am
About an hour to 90 minutes later, nap for an hour

Get up, have some food, play...
Second nap about 9.30-10am.

Sleep for about an hour
Get Carolina from school, have lunch,play
Third nap about 12.30-1pm for 1-2 hours
Get up, have some food, play...
Fourth nap at somewhere between 3.30-5pm (depending on what happened that day) for about 30-45 minutes
Get up, dinner, play, bath
Sleep about 6.30-7pm

Get up sometime between 11pm-2am
(Sometimes get up again during this time period)
Get up at 4am
Get up at 5am
Get up for the day at 6am

Mostly it's to eat and fall asleep immediately, sometimes just needs a pacifier. When we're lucky, it's only twice a night, but mostly it's 3-4 times. We're still debating how and when to get the baby into Carolina's room.

More to come...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sitting up on his own

The baby has been sitting up by himself more and more.

It really started over the weekend where he would hold himself up for a minute or more if put him on his butt. He can do it now for several minutes with limited or no balancing help. And when we do help him, we're very gingerly holding his hand or just putting a hand on his leg to give him more reassurance than actual support. It's impressive and fun!

Bath time has turned into more of a play time between the kids since he's upright the entire time. He plays with a ducky and Carolina plays with her paintbrush and cup. Basically using the water as her paint.

The baby has been getting better at putting himself to sleep at night. Tonight in fact, as I was holding him after I fed him, he was nodding off but wasn't falling asleep. I got the sense he was waiting for me to leave, so I walked over to the crib and put him down while he was awake. He got settled into his corner, his favorite spot, and then took a deep breath. I haven't heard a peep since.

Now, he's not sleeping through the night or doing anything amazing, but these small steps are progress in the right direction. Of which, I'm proud and grateful, and mostly relieved.

At the moment, Carolina is in her "ja-mamas" and "doing drawings" with her papa on the couch. It'll be bedtime for her in a minute and then dinner for us. I'm glad. We made brownies this afternoon and I WANT SOME!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

6 month check up

I took the baby to his 6 month check up at the new pediatrician's office. He's 30% for weight (16lb 10oz) and height (26"), and the doctor suggests I increase the amount of solid food he's getting to 2-3 times a day, instead of once.

I'm very slow going when it comes to giving my babies solid foods. I don't give a lot and I am very methodical about introducing new foods. It's probably because so many foods have ended up bothering me that I want to be careful with them. But I do agree that I should increase the number of times he's getting solids and he's hungry very often, I can feed him every hour and it's not just a snack most of the time.

We're also talking about moving him into Carolina's room. In our minds it's always been "their room" but Carolina knows it only as "her room". She may love having him there or resent it. Either way, I agree with the doctor that if we're going to move him, this is a good time. In a few months it'll get more complicated as the baby will have more to say about it. If we had 2 extra bedrooms, instead of just 1, he'd have been in his own room for 2 months now.

In other news, the baby has been sitting up on his own for up to a minute. The doctor seems to think in a few weeks he'll be sitting up on his own. That makes sense from what I know as he'll be about 7 months then and that's when it usually starts to happen.

The poor kid got 5 immunizations and his first of two flu shots. Let the criticism begin! He only cried for a few minutes (nothing like his sister). And was just glad that I was holding him after I got him dressed. I could tell the pain came in waves since he'd be okay and then suddenly whimper. I feel badly but I'd feel more badly if he got really sick with any of these diseases he's being vaccinated against. I do think this 6 month check up vaccination time is a doozy and could be spaced out, and I understand why some parents do space them out, but I still believe get it over with and be done. Getting pricked with a needle is a really awful thing for a baby, so why do it over 3 months instead of just all in one day? Apparently the healthy immune system can handle it. I gave him some Tylenol anyway just because by the time we got home he was very hot and exhausted. Whatever, I like to alleviate pain when possible.

The doctor also looked at his gums and saw the two nubs that have been sitting there since he was 2 months old. I checked the blog and remembered that Carolina didn't get her first tooth to come out until January, when she was about 9 months old. So if he follows suit, then it'll be in 2 months. If he takes longer, then that's when it'll happen.

Big stuff is about to go down with the room changes. I'll keep this space apprised of the progress. Basically, though, we'll tell Carolina the day we're going to start moving furniture and let her help re-design the space with us. If we tell her in advance, she will likely mull it over and obsess and decide she doesn't want it and then have days of protests. This way, she can have a total meltdown and deal or not deal but it'll be done.

Yes, I prefer the much-pain-at-once approach versus little-pain-over-long-time.

I'm still pretty sleep deprived so my tolerance is low :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Eating solids

We have recently started the baby on rice cereal and added prunes. He was having trouble with his bowels and so I added prunes regularly to keep it all moving. I gave him apple sauce for the first time today and he seems to like it more than the prunes (not much of a surprise)!

He's very proud of himself that he's eating in the high chair. He beams with happiness when I feed him there. He also gets really frustrated and so doesn't eat a heck of a lot and wants me to feed him after about 5-10 minutes. I have made his first meal after we bring his sister to school the one where he gets to sit in the high chair. I find it easier to do that with him while she's not at home. It took me a few days but now I remember that I need to have a moist paper towel at the ready as the food goes EVERYWHERE on his face!

We've also been more diligent about the bottle as the first meal of the morning. He resisted like it was, I can't even think of what to compare it to, but with the formula it was just no-no-no. I thought I could just steamroll him into the formula without adding it to breast milk. Yeaaaaaaaah. No. It was about 2 hours of him crying and screaming and if he did put the bottle into his mouth, it was only to gnaw on the nipple and allow all the liquid to fall out of his mouth. In fact, he was so worn out from crying that he fell asleep without eating. I realized that no matter how willful I could be, it was not worth the aggravation and he wasn't going to budge until he was actually starving.

So, roll it back to something more reasonable. I pump 1 oz every morning and we give him that. Then when he's done, I feed him. As this isn't as simple as it sounds, and takes longer than you'd imagine an otherwise hungry little boy to eat, we'll keep doing this until he stops objecting at all and then I'll increase the amount as well as then slowly introduce the formula into the mix.

I remember being more strident and making more progress with Carolina by this point, but I think my will is bent by having two kids to contest with. So they win. Always.

Thanksgiving we'll give him sweet potatoes since we'll be having some, too!

A play date, imagined

Carolina has been asking to have these particular kids from school come over for a play date. I've had a hard time getting in touch with any of their parents so far, and while I've been trying she's moved on to talking about having a play date with all of them on a regular basis. Several times a day. In fact, there is one girl in particular she likes a lot and pretends she is even at the apartment sometimes.

Last week while we were driving back from school, she mentioned that she was going to have those kids over and named them individually and then she added 'Abuelo, too.' I asked why Abuelo was coming over for a play date with the kids, she just told me "otherwise [aka because] he's invited." Fair enough. In fact, the next day it was not only Abuelo who was invited, but also Abuela, Gaby, Angela and Papa.

When I retold this story to my in-laws over the weekend during our weekly video call with them, I did so in Spanish. Carolina heard me get to the end of my story where I added that the baby and I weren't invited. She piped up and said (in English), "You and da baby can come too, Mommy!" She will not speak in Spanish but she understands EVERYTHING. She's gotten so good that sometimes I'll admit that her father has said something in Spanish that I don't understand, and she'll just tell me what it is in English.

I'm really proud of her, I just wish she'd speak more. So I'm going to speak more with her dad so she can hear how a back and forth conversation in Spanish sounds, just in case it's the fact of her only hearing it from her father and no one is having natural conversations in Spanish on a regular basis around her.

I hope we get this real play date together soon, I'm beginning to worry she will only have friends in school but no one will want to come over. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sleep training -- again

Before I forget these details, I wanted to write a short post updating about the baby's sleeping progress.

He's been a great sleeper, actually, since he was born. I mean, in terms of being able to fall asleep without help all the time, he's always been able to do that. Not every time but he could and we knew enough this time around to encourage it. BUT! He's been comfortable in his bassinet that keeps up upright a little not his crib.

So, this time it's more sleep adjustment to the new place rather than sleep training to teach him to self sooth. So far, much easier (thank you sleep gods).

He's just getting over another congestion cold so it was really an accident that I started him in the crib all the time this week. As his congestion was clearing up, I was putting him in there for at least one nap a day.

Two nights ago, I put him down in the crib after I fed him and put Carolina to sleep. He often falls asleep in my arms as I'm reading Carolina her bedtime stories and then I carry him into our room and he's out for 4 hours or so. Well, I decided to put him in the crib. I figured it's the easiest one of the night sleep cycles to try since he's the most willing to put himself back to sleep.

I didn't hear any complaining from either of them for about 10 minutes so I took my chance and ran down the hall to put the clothes in the laundry, as Ismael wasn't coming home for another hour and if I didn't get started then, I'd not get the clothes done before the laundry room was closed for the night... and I HAD to wash some of Carolina and the baby's things for the next day.

I thought I was being really fast. Not so much. I walked back into the apartment, 10 minutes after I had left, to the baby crying. Hysterically. I have no idea if it was the full 10 minutes or just 2 minutes but it was clearly going on for a while as he was REALLY worked up.

I ran into the room and picked him up. I figured as this was as close to the start of sleep training as any day, I might as well start. So I planned to stay for 5 minutes and then walk out. But he was so terribly upset that I waited until he at least had calmed down, which took 7 minutes. He wasn't completely asleep again but he was calm again.

He woke up again a few minutes later. I held him for 2 minutes, and then that was that. Then up every 2 hours for the rest of the night per usual recently.

Last night he cried for 5 minutes, pretty strongly, and then I held him for 5 minutes. He cried for 2 minutes and then fell asleep.

Tonight, he cried for 2 minutes, mostly just like telling me, "I do not like this. This is not what I like. Oh, forget it." and then gave up and fell asleep.

I'm sure this is not the end of it forever, but this is a fine start and I'll take it.

We'll be introducing a bottle during the night with formula in a few weeks. I'm not only exhausted, really, but I don't make enough for extra to pump for a full bottle. He eats every 1-2 hours, and I make enough milk with enough left over but not enough for another bottle.

I think it's part of the teething to want to nurse to feel better and I had already gotten him used to eating less quantity and more often like his ENT specialist recommended for his reflux. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I have really no idea how many ounces he would drink at a time. I would need to pump a good many times just to get 4 ounces, which I think should be enough?

Anyway, we're just going to power through the "What IS this terribly tasting crap?" phase and put as much of my milk in as I can to help get his taste buds accustomed to it.

Here's to a future with more sleep. At some point. Soon-ish. Please. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012


While my daughter takes a much needed nap (because some kid at school got her so sick she's got an ear infection and diarrhea needing antibiotics), and the baby entertains himself in his walker, intermittently throwing up and having a runny nose, I should share with you the latest in the Carolina Talks saga.

She uses "otherwise" often. I've figured it out, finally, that most of the time she means "because", but sometimes she really does mean "otherwise". So, enjoy the most recent examples that had me giggling:

1. I really like that pen, otherwise it's my favorite
2. When it is snowing, I will be proud. (Why will you be proud, Carolina? Don't you mean "happy"?) No, otherwise, I will be proud. I  always like it when it snows.
3. I always like you baby (said to Ismaelito) (Really? You always like your brother? Why is that?) Otherwise he's my brodduh. (aka Brother)

Yup, that's my girl!

Monday, October 1, 2012

First time at mini-golf: Hand in One!

Let's just say that on a lot of these: a "Hole in Two". It was done after the initial hit with the club, and then using her hand to put the ball into the hole. So we were calling them "Hand in One" shots. It was a lot of fun!

Rolling over and over and over, after weeks of sick

It seems like my son is a "stealth" roller. He rolled over to his belly and then to his back again - twice! But has only done it while no one was paying attention. I was sleeping, or trying to, and Ismael and Carolina were doing something while the baby was on a blanket on the rug. Ismael says the baby was on his back, then he looked again and he was on his belly holding up his head, and then when he looked back again the baby was on his back again.

Of course, if we grab a camera or cell phone to take a photo or video, he just looks at us.

I'm glad the last two weeks are over. Carolina had a cold for a few days and the day after she started, her brother started. It was mostly a high temperature but no fever, lots of congestion that stayed in the sinuses and lots of poop. Lots. And since the baby couldn't sleep when he can't breath well, and I can't give him any medicine, and humidifying the room only worked so well -- we had a lot of interesting, long nights to get through.

And since he's been resisting the bottle like a, I don't know what, I gave up trying to get him to take it while he wasn't feeling well and couldn't breath well. So, we'll start up again tomorrow. I'm STILL the only person he'll take the bottle from, and only after a LOT of cajoling. I'm just going to have to figure out a way to get someone other than me to give it to him while I am not around. 

I have to say, in the last two weeks I haven't gotten more than 2 hours of sleep at a time and it's rough. Mostly my patience -- with whining, crying (from both of them) and super-short naps (and lots of frequent wakings at night) -- is very thin. And I've realized it's less about the lack of sleep that drains me, it's the whining and crying. It's like when Obi Wan turns off the power generators of the Death Star in Star Wars Episode IV, that sound of going "ooooooooo" from loud to quiet when the power is draining off. Yup, that's my brain as the whining and crying out of frustration and unhappiness goes on and on.

The requests for her "chupon" are still coming up a lot but it's manageable. And she's started to decide that she's "afraid" to go by herself to the bathroom or her room to get something if we've asked her to. I've made light of it and get her to go anyway, or walk her part way. I'm not entertaining this new phase with a lot of sympathy as I'm hoping it doesn't "stick".

Gratefully, Carolina was well enough to go to school on the second day and, luckily, she was out the day that some kid with strep throat was in school. So she missed being exposed to him or her and so far no one else seems to have caught it.

We're in the process of changing pediatricians (I thought it was a quick and easy thing to do...) and so I'm looking forward to when we can go to a doctor that is only 5 minutes away instead of 30-40 minutes drive each way, and then pay for parking at a Manhattan lot. Although I LOVE their current pediatrician, it's just too far and too much of a hassle for when they're sick AND needing immunization shots. Oy!

Here's hoping this week is better.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gave up the pacifier without (much) of a fight

Yesterday, we had a party to celebrate Good Bye Chupon! and the party went well.

(See? Very windy.)

We've been talking with Carolina for months about giving up her pacifier and eventually ended up making this last pacifier THE LAST pacifier. We wanted to be settled with the move and her brother and new school before taking it away. I knew that if we didn't push it, she'd happily keep it for a VERY long time.

She'd recently chewed them while having them in her mouth and went through 4 in a month and a half this summer. So this latest one, I said "This is the last-last-last one. No more chupones after this one. When it breaks, we'll have a party."

She was planning her party and helped pick out the piƱata and decorations. We just had to wait for this one to break. It didn't break. In fact, it was the longest lasting one in the past year, HOWEVER she started to get a rash on her chin, I think from the saliva sitting on her skin for several hours. (I'm still really not sure where the rash came as she's never had one similar before.)

I used it as the catalyst to move this along. We scheduled the party for yesterday, sent out an evite to the grandparents and aunt next door and got everything ready. For two days before, she was alternatively excited for the party and panicked about giving it up for good.

Yesterday morning we went apple picking and after her nap had the party. She woke up in a good mood and was very excited to have the party and "send the chupon up in the sky to the princesses". Unfortunately the pacifier was too heavy for even two balloons to take it up to the sky, so I had her draw a pacifier on a piece of paper and taped the paper to the balloon. It was SO VERY windy outside that the balloon went up into the sky extremely quickly. She took it all in stride and was happy.

Last night she wasn't so happy. I had anticipated this would be like when she had to give up her bottle and change from a crib to a big bed. It was similar. So bedtime took longer and I gave her a dose and a bit more of melatonin to help her relax. Otherwise I expected a LOT of headbanging to compensate.

She slept well and woke up in a very good mood. Better than most days recently. She did NOT take a nap today, and I expect a little fussing tonight. And then by tomorrow she'll take her nap and we'll move on. Occasionally over the next weeks, and maybe months, she'll ask and I'll tell her what happened and she'll accept it. Just like the other things. That's what I'm guessing. What happens, however, is up to her.

I'm still proud of her. As with all the 'big' changes in her life, she takes them more in stride than my worst fears and better than most.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rolled over!

The baby just rolled over from his back to his stomach and back to his back for the first time! He's been able to pull himself up (with a bit of help) when we play "up, up, up" and has been threatening to roll over and now he just did it!

After a long day in the car and at the beach and boardwalk (Coney Island) -- he did it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baby talk and Up Up Up

For the first time, baby said "Hello" three days ago in response to my saying "Hello" to him. Granted it was more of a "heehwooo" but it's close enough.

Since then he's been trying to say "How are you" and what sounds like a million other things -- all at once. Throughout the day he will have talking spells when he just really makes an effort to talk. He's particularly interested in talking to Carolina and getting her to talk back.

This afternoon we were at the German butcher shop and the check out lady, a very dear, older German woman, started to smile and talk to Ismaelito. When she said, "Hello." He immediately smiled and said, "Hehwooo! Hehwoah!" She then smiled more broadly and exclaimed, "He just said Hello!"

So now other people can tell, too. This is so much fun!

Last night, during bath time, I put Carolina in first and then he brother. Usually he'll lie back and kick his legs a bit. Since he's started to be able to lift himself up, we've been practicing. I hold his arms gingerly, say, "Up. Up. Up." and he pulls himself up. So in the bath he insisted on sitting up to be able to see and talk to Carolina. When I tried to lie him back, thinking he wanted to "swim" like usual, he fussed until I sat him back up. Awesome!

Also, this past weekend we took Carolina to her first ice cream parlour. We went to Bishoff's in Teaneck. I let her choose from Bishoff's and Baumgart's. She chose Bishoff's because of the photos of ice cream online. It wasn't too busy, so it worked out really well. She LOVED it. She had chocolate ice cream, marshmallow topping with rainbow sprinkles.

It was a big, family adventure and those of us who are lactose intolerant were suffering, gladly, afterwards. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Moving makes things hectic

We just moved to New Jersey last week. I've been so busy with the kids I haven't had enough time to make notes about what's happening.

Carolina started a new school and loves it. Phew. The baby is growing apace and is about 13lbs now. As his reflux seems to have gotten a little worse, and I'm pretty sure it's due to my eating foods I like instead of only safe foods and he's teething. So my back has been killing me with carrying him around almost constantly and unpacking seems to be taking a LONG time.

Carolina is clearly jealous of this and wants to be held, too. I don't blame her. It's truly short amounts of time that I spend with just her. But she still loves "her baby" a LOT and at least has school to make her own.

She was really helpful while we were packing. She helped with her scissors to cut the tape and we asked her to draw on whatever boxes she wanted. She also put stickers on the boxes.

All the boxes made her anxious. The idea of a new house was something she liked and didn't understand at the same time.  It wasn't until the day before when she saw the apartment and her new room that she seemed to feel better about it. And she has adjusted to her new room very well. I'm actually very surprised at how quickly she's adjusted.

We had to lose her blackout shades as they have vertical blinds in every room. But even with the extra light at naptime, she naps well. It was actually the baby who seemed unsure about all the changes. I had him in my arms or sleeping on me pretty much all week. The first 2-3 days he seemed nervous.

So my anxious kid was okay and my calm kid was nervous. Go figure.

Getting used to driving everywhere and taking the kids in the car to do shopping is a BIG change.

I've already learned that I can only go to 1-2 stores with them. Poor baby doesn't get much sleep with all the going in and out of the car.

Speaking of sleep, he slept for nearly 8 hours last night. So I got 5 hours of sleep. He then was up from 4am until a little after 5am. He was trying to fall back to sleep but was too wormy. It was a poop that was bothering him and didn't get relief from until a few hours later.

I could go on and want to but I'm tired. Really tired. And my back hurts. I just want to lie down. So, well, good night!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sleep, Telling Stories and Moving

Last night the baby slept for 7 hours straight. I'd like to say that I got 7 hours of sleep but it was good enough. He went down at 8pm and didn't wake up to feed until nearly 3am. It's nice since the night before he was up every, almost, 2 hours. Ah, newborns...

Carolina told her brother a story, her first real story, yesterday. It went something like this:
Once upon a time there was a baby, it was YOU! And his name was Ismael ("Izmail") and he was moving and crying and looking around. Bah, bah, bah, weeeeeeeeeee (insert more noises that aren't words), and then he went to take a nap.

Pretty good! It has a start, middle and exciting ending! :)

We're still packing up for our move to Jersey. Carolina is talking about it now like she understands but I know there's a lot of anxiety behind it since all day long we get a nearly constant stream of "What you doin?" from her. As more boxes go up, the more that question comes up. However, she's been very helpful with packing and we're keeping her involved as much as possible to help her be part of the process.

Today on the phone with her aunt, who asked during a Skype call if there were a lot of boxes at home, she said, "No. We packin' an we gonna move to a new house near granma an granpa and I'm gonna fly over to deh house like "woosh"." (Another time she explained that she will be able to fly to my parents place (in the next building) like Superman and Krypto and Fussy, from Superman Family Adventures comics.) I thought that was pretty clever. I hope she doesn't try to fly there but at least she gets what's happening in some way that makes sense to her and others.

Ok, gotta go...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Music & Art camp

Carolina LOVED this. I wish it had lasted all July. She learned how to play the violin and piano. The art the kids did was really fun and she adored her art teacher. It was a wonderful experience all around for her, and really great after having such a not good time at preschool in the neighborhood earlier in the spring.

Doctor visits, all together now...

This week I took the kids to two of the baby's doctor visits. The ENT specialist says his reflux is getting better but still not completely healed, and his pediatrician agreed he's starting to teethe. She also noted how big and strong he is. Nearly 12lbs and almost 24" long. He's in the 49% for weight and 75% for height. I think Carolina was this big about 3-4 months from now. She was mostly good in the taxi rides and at the offices but not really. The baby's crying during his vaccinations, which I warned her about, really upset her. And she scraped her knee leaving an office en route to getting a cab. You'd have thought she broke her leg with all the crying. I was prepared with bandaids and antibiotic cream. But she wanted me to carry her. She's 3, so she wanted extra comfort. It was 90 degrees outside and I was carrying the baby in his car seat and diaper bag, so I couldn't. The next visit ended with a huge summer storm, complete with some hail and downpour. We waited about 30 minutes to be able to go outside to get a cab. And since it was around 5pm, when cabs go off duty, it was almost impossible. Thank god another woman helped me since Carolina was hungry and bored and decided to have a meltdown under her umbrella while I'm holding the baby in his car seat, diaper bag and umbrella. Whoever said a 3 year old is unhelpful must have met my tired, hungry, bored daughter. They were two VERY long days. These experience made me yearn for a car and look forward with renewed vigor to our move to NJ in a few weeks. I'm certain suburbia will lend us differently challenging experiences. All hail the kids for keeping me on top of my game. Ha.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Red letter (potty) day!

Today was the first day that Carolina went to school with undies! She hasn't had anything in her diaper (minus one naptime) in over two weeks! Wakes up dry and goes in the toilet all day. She will NOT go in her diaper even if we're out and about. So, I'm going to have to know where bathrooms are along our route when we go out now. (A very good problem to have.)

The baby is growing well and smiling a lot. He's now 11lbs. We have to go out for a nightly walk sometime between 7pm and 9pm, to end 'crazy time' since that's the only way we've found to quickly end the crying/whining and get him to fall asleep for the night. The first part of the night he'll sleep 3-4 hours and then about 2 hours at a time after that. The past few nights he's started to get up at 4am, 5am and 6am. I remember this with Carolina and can't wait for it to end, but we have more months of it I'm sure.

His acid reflux is REALLY improving with the Prevacid. I'm very impressed at how well the medication works. We have the 6 week follow-up next week to see how he's healing.

Carolina is really enjoying her art and music camp program. I'm sorry for her that it ends this Friday as she is REALLY enjoying herself. Plus she comes home at about 1pm completely ready for a nap, which makes the afternoon go better, too.

In August, I think she is going to like her new school and going everyday. I wasn't sure about camp being every weekday, that maybe it was too long a day from 9.30-12.30, but it's worked out well.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Carolina's first ballet class

Yesterday, was Carolina's first ballet class. She got all dressed up in her tutu, tights and ballet slippers. The class was for girls aged 6+ but Carolina is only 3. As it was just a trial class for her, it didn't matter she was the smallest, youngest and least experienced. She followed along very well and was surprisingly graceful for her age. During the class at one point, the girls were supposed to twitter around gracefully but they were all distracted and looked so. The strict and demanding teacher said, "Girls! Do you want to look like ballerinas or monkeys?" Carolina gets a look of excitement on her face and blurts out, "A monkey! I want to be a monkey!!"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

3 years old: More inches than pounds

So our tiny dancer is still a dancer so it seems. She's barely put on much weight in the past year but has grown! 3' and 26lbs. I wonder how quickly her brother will lap her in weight. At least her fever is gone. The baby has acid reflux and we started him on the medication yesterday. I think the two times I gave it to him he spit it up. So today we gave it to him BEFORE he drank milk and so when he did spit up, the medicine was already in his belly. First in, last out. Spending literally hours at a time with a fussy baby is exhausting. And Carolina gets virtually no play time eith me. It's affecting her a lot. I'm hoping this will change soon. Gotta go, not sleeping baby is up again.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I want to write an update but I'm too busy

So besides the excessive whining and crying (big sister) and gas and spit up and crankiness (little brother), we still manage to get sleep at night in 1.5-3 hour intervals. We're doing MUCH better that way than our first time around.

The most difficult part of the day is lunchtime and dinner time as the big sister has decided this is battleground time and she will give me the most passive-aggressive look and tone and WILL NOT EAT. So I have, literally, two hands full with holding a baby that can't often be put down and/or feeding him while big sister should be eating. Even if I read to her, she is really pushing my buttons with this.

It would be a lot easier if I could put the baby down but much of the day I have to hold him. He cries the moment he gets put down and very often spits up.

I don't know that we're getting any better at burping him and he has an appointment for a specialist on Monday to see if he's got reflux. I don't think so since he's put on a pound and grew 2 inches since coming home from the hospital. (He's now 9lb & 22" long.) And reflux babies often aren't gaining weight. I've totally changed my diet, which was already lacking in dairy, and it doesn't seem to make much difference.

I think we need a spa day for some relaxation :)

Okay, gotta run

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ismael is here!

Ismael Perez V born May 11, 2012 at 8.51pm weighing 8lbs and was 20" long. Here's the story: Carolina and I went to NJ so I could look at two apartments, since we are moving this summer. I hadn't had many contractions the previous two days and was resigned to being pregnant forever. That morning I went for my weekly OB exam at 8.30am and then Ismael brought Carolina to the doctor office so she and I could go to my dad's after. So as usual after these exams, I was very uncomfortable and occasionally felt contraction-like pains in the car ride. My dad brought us straight to look at the apartments. After, we went to my folks' apt for lunch. Carolina took a nap and I was too uncomfortable to lie down. So I didn't rest. Carolina woke up about 2pm and we had planned to drive home then to avoid GWB traffic. But she refused to leave Grandma's house. My dad said we could stay as long as I was ok going home after 6 since there would be after-work traffic. So we stayed. Around 4pm my parents ordered some take out for dinner. It was too early for either Carolina or I to eat dinner but I ate and during then I started to think that these pains were strong and coming at a regular intervals. After one hour they were about 8 minutes apart and lasting 30-40 seconds. I waited another 30 minutes before calling the doctor. By then they were getting closer to 6 mins apart. While on the phone with the doctor, I felt the most intense contraction and hung up. Walked out of the bathroom and told my dad we had to go to the hospital now. I called Ismael, who was gratefully not at work but still in manhattan. He started looking for a can. We left the apt around 6.30 and after some necessary-but-crazy driving we pulled up to the entrance just before 7. It took only about 10 minutes and the contractions were getting fast and furious. Gratefully Carolina wasn't with us as she would have been if I went from home because it would have worried her. By the time I was rushed upstairs, I was 6cm dilated (from nearly 3cm that morning), and by the time they rushed me into delivery room I was 7cm and trying to breathe but ended up screaming to deal with the very intense pain. The finally got the anesthesiologists to come and I could calm down. Since I ended up pushing around 8pm, I was too numb to feel much of anything but I could feel the contractions JUST enough. And within 50 minutes he was here. Unfortunately, there were too many babies born that week and no beds available for me in recovery. Also they didn't have my blood labs in my chart so I couldn't feed him until they determined I didn't have HIV nor HepB. They took him to the nursery, and everyone left to attend an emergency C section in the OR. I was alone without a way to call a nurse, except to yell, for about an hour. They finally came back and removed the epidural catheter and deal with everything I was hooked up to. I was in labor room until 3pm the following day, when a bed opened. Earlier that morning they said they could give the baby. His HepB vaccine so I could feed him since HIV was negative but still no HepB blood result. It was all very uncomfortable in the room and on a bed where it didn't go flat and I was stuck on my back. So my butt/bone hurt a lot. Still does. Recovery experience wasn't stellar either. But baby Ismael was great. We are very much adjusting to breast feeding and not sleeping at night. I really like this little guy. Carolina is totally in love with "my baby".

Friday, May 4, 2012

Week 38. Any day now, right?

At this point 3 years ago we would have had Carolina tomorrow. I went for my weekly checkup and I'm 2-3cm dilated and the baby is in position and all measurements they took with the ultrasound were good. So, I'm ready. I'm ready! Is the baby ready? Only time will tell. The doctor mentioned that it could be this weekend or next week. They estimate the baby is about 7-7.25lbs (3-3.2Kg). Already bigger than Carolina was. Here's to hoping his head isn't much bigger. I've heard the second one comes faster and easier. Not always but usually. Ok, good! Sign me up for that. Funny, we're getting ready for #2, when our first just finished getting her last tooth in and is fading out using diapers but not totally yet. So it's going to be about 6 years of my life changing diapers. I get the giggles about this. Then I think of my paternal great grandmother. 9 children, one every 3 years. Diapers and pregnancy over 27 years. Holy sweet Jesus!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Week 37 and counting

I'm pretty sure my belly dropped in this past week, specifically this past weekend. I've noticed it looking a bit lower and I can fit nearly 4 fingers between the base of my chest and top of my belly.

Not getting a lot of sleep but enough to feel pretty good most of the day. And, gratefully, Carolina is still a good napper. The past week I've been giving her melatonin and I know it has not stopped the headbanging but I think she's able to rest a little more. She seems less agitated and fights me less about laying down for naps. Her bad dreams persist. I wrote the director a letter explaining that after May, I'm not enrolling Carolina in school. I explained about the poor sleeping and other regression, and said that if it gets worse, I'll take her out earlier. It's hard since I don't really know what happens every day or even on a weekly basis. They don't do that kind of thing here. And I realize in a class of about 15, my one child is not their first priority. But she's mine and the head banging really lets me know this isn't good. God, I hope she stops again this summer. It was such a relief when it ended.

Since we're aiming to move in June or July, I believe that will leave (unfairly) the bulk of packing to my husband. I would like to start packing up non-essential things now but there's not any good place to put a pile of boxes and I think I'd get a right bollocking from just about everyone at this stage in my pregnancy if I did.

It's too bad that paying a moving company to pack up your things is so exorbitantly expensive, otherwise I would.

I've had such a craving for cakes. Cake, brownies, cupcakes. Cookies, not too much. Cake. I want cake. I tried to make a red velvet cake with icing from a recipe in a recent Saveur issue. It was a total and complete failure of both time and money. It took me an hour and a half to get to the point where the cakes were cooked and icing should have been done but the cake was tasteless and icing wouldn't firm up. I actually threw it all away. It is the first baking failure I've made so badly that it went in the garbage before anyone could do more than taste it. VERY VERY gratefully my lovely husband brought home a piece of cake from Magnolia Bakery, which made everything better, and a cupcake for the very disappointed Miss Carolina. She had been running into the kitchen every 20 minutes with this big smile asking, "Cake ready yet, Mommy?"

Plus there's no Dutch chocolate baking powder in the stores here. And asking the store staff if they have any is difficult as I don't know how to say it in Spanish, and when I do explain what I'm looking for invariably the men understand I want Baking Powder, and then say something along the lines of "If it's not here (pointing) we don't have it." So I got unsweetened chocolate bars and melted them, and put it in during the mixing, seems to work mostly as an alternative.

There are shelves and shelves of box cake mixes, but little to get you really baking. And I hate store-bought icing. I guess no one bakes much anymore. I heard that catering children's school parties can be done by McDonald's now, so why make your own food? Bah. I'm with Julia on this one. Make your own damn food!

Actually, it's because I have the time and cooking with Carolina is a lot of fun. Once this baby comes, at least the first year or so, I know I'll go back to wishing all our food was instantly made by someone else. Speaking of which, if the store wasn't so far from our apartment, I'd waddle over to the supermarket on Greenpoint Ave to get some pierogis. I'm going to miss good, inexpensive pierogi at the local supermarket when we're in New Jersey. I know where to get really good pierogi in NJ, but it's not at the local supermarket.

And, the supermarket here isn't actually far, it's about 6 blocks away. But I'm still on the no-walking-more-than-necessary promise this week to my husband. Poor guy is understaffed this week so I can't encourage the baby to arrive early. Come Saturday, however, let's go for a walk!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What's that Mommy?

Today, I was hugging Carolina on my lap to help calm her down. And the baby kicked and moved really strongly. Carolina sat up and looked at my belly and said, smiling, "What that Mommy?" I told Carolina that it was the baby moving and her brother heard her crying and wanted to give her a hug, too. She looked interested and a little confused and said, "Is my brotha? What he doin?" I said he was moving, so she hopped off my lap and said, "Ok!"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Update on the baby's progress

I went to the OB last Friday and it was a quick visit to see how far along I am. 1cm dilated and 50% effaced. That means my body is getting ready but it's not likely to happen this week. I had a LOT of Braxton-Hicks contractions on Friday, it made walking really difficult. We walked to the post office 6 blocks away and back, and that set it off. And then I went to the subway (lots of stairs at both stations) and back to the doctor appointment. That night it was contractions and lots of kicking.

I even had to schedule my weekly appointments for the next 3-4 weeks. So we're at the end here.

Maybe my mom is right. Maybe the baby will come at the next full moon on May 6th.

I've finally relented and have given up all the acidy and fatty foods that I like but shouldn't eat. The indigestion and pain is ENOUGH. Plus it's nearly over. So food has been more boring but at least I don't spend any portion of the night with excessive gas, pain or going to the toilet.

Honestly, these last two months are an adjustment in a way that even having a baby isn't. I want my body back! Even though I know while breastfeeding, it's still not really mine. At least I can be more mobile, even when I'm not sleeping. At all. Yes, I remember that really well.

Big news: Museum day with Papa & no pee in diapers!

I stand corrected. Papa planned to take Carolina to the Brooklyn Museum with two other families and their girls, so four adults and 3 girls all under the age of 6 at the museum. Looking at art. Meeting up at 1pm, you know, naptime. With over an hour on the subway each way. I thought, this is ABSOLUTELY a bad idea. I couldn't go, or rather I chose not to go as it was going to be tough to walk around and go up stairs and I'm tired enough as it is.

Papa didn't check his email that said the day before that the other two families weren't going to go anymore. So, he and Carolina headed out -- and she had been yawning saying she was tired. And apparently it went great. No complaining, no whining. They had a great time.

Even bigger news, she held her pee for when they arrived home instead of going in her diaper in the taxi. She waited! This is the third or fourth time we've been out and she had to go, and she decided she would wait. She's even gotten up in the middle of a TV show she likes and went to the bathroom herself, took off her pants and diaper and sat down to pee. And THEN told me she was done.

She likes to jump off the potty, with her pants around her ankles and then run around. She's tripped a few times, naturally, but she thinks it's funny.

She's earned the right to wear undies AND sit on the couch. Until recently we couldn't trust that she'd notify us since she had worn undies and peed all over her own little chair. Twice. So the rule was if you're on the couch, you're wearing a diaper.

But she's got the knack now.

In fact, there's only been pee in her diaper during nap or nighttime, and not always. And all the poop goes in the potty. THANK GOD. I had no idea how much easier it is to clean up than in a diaper. I'm happy and proud of our little girl.

Good thing she got this down before the baby comes. I'm sure there will be some regression, and probably potty time might suffer -- so we still have a large box of diapers just in case. But if not, then we'll just keep going. I think she'll enjoy the summer more in undies. Her little hiney was really, really sweaty last summer.

UPDATE: We're going to move this summer; we've decided. I've got a tentative spot held for Carolina at the school that I want to send her to, too. She's still having nightmares and the other night was calling out for me, and then stopped. I don't think she even woke up. Head banging is back, even during naptime, which is very unusual. So I'm giving her melatonin drops to help make her drowsy earlier at night. After moaning and banging for over an hour and a half late last week, I had enough of listening to her try to calm herself down. We'll do this for a week and then see how it goes. I know that moving will be a big adjustment for her. Plus having a brother. Plus a new school. It's a lot at once. But it's time. So, like taking off a sticky bandage, we're going to rip it off as quickly as possible and get it all over with at once.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

School meeting with the teacher

I had a meeting with Carolina's teacher. It seems that there wasn't any hitting but a boy in her class (and apparently there are more boys than girls on the days she goes) pushed her near her face when she was sitting next to him and leaned over to see what he was doing. He wanted her to go away and leave him alone.

Then later that day, while he was doing something on the floor, she went near to see what he was doing and he pushed her again.

Both times the teacher told the little boy not to do that, to be gentle, no pushing, be nice. But Carolina cried the first time because she was scared/surprised. Apparently this little boy is particularly aggressive and mouthy.

I also found out that the boy's name she's been telling me is her friend, is actually a boy that is very similar in temperament to Carolina. So it makes sense she likes him so much and refers to him as a friend by name. I honestly wasn't sure if he was a real boy in her class or someone she made up. This is because, she will sometimes tell me her cousin, Angela, plays with her, too. But Angela is in Mexico.

I understand now that she pushes kids away, too. And as sweet and sensitive as she is, she will definitely stand her ground and has no problem telling other kids to be nice or leave her alone. I'm not sure if that's more like me or my husband, but either way, I'm proud that she's able to balance her space with her reactions to others intruding, depending on the situation. Especially since mostly she's verbal about it.

This is less bad that I had originally thought, but I'm still not happy about it. I understand there are kids that are, just by their personality, more aggressive or physical. And there are times to push and yell when you're this age to express yourself. I get it. I really do. And I also understand that she's trying out this new behavior at home to see where the boundaries are and what is acceptable at home versus at school.

I still don't like it.

I don't see leaving her at this school for a very long time but unless we move, I've little other choice. Unless I take her out of school entirely.

The other schools in the neighborhood are the same or worse. There are other schools that have much better reputations, cost a ton more, and (at this point more importantly) require us having a car to bring her. Taking the bus or train for upwards of an hour a day to just pick her up (so 30 minutes there and home) with an infant isn't going to happen for me. Not forgetting the extra time it would take Ismael to take her there and still get to work on time. By car the same trip would take 10-15 minutes.

Is this the best we can do right now? I think so.

grumble, grumble

The one thing I did appreciate that the teacher said was after she found out from the director that I was having trouble with Carolina going home and being very wound up, she started to ask Carolina every time she was about to go home what she would do at home. Carolina invariably would tell her "eat pancakes", which is true many days for her lunch to have pancakes. And then the teacher would say that she would take a nap after that, since naps are good. If Carolina agreed or not, the teacher would emphasize that naps are a good idea and she should do it after she eats.

I appreciate the reinforcement and getting her mentally prepared for what would happen at home next, even though it's the same thing every time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Busy week and it's only Wednesday

So on Sunday, Carolina locked herself in the bathroom. Without clothes on. Having just gone pee pee in her potty. With the lights off. Sigh... so after about 10 minutes of trying, we called the police. Eventually, after another 10-20 minutes, and still not able to open the door from the other side (let's just chalk that up to inexperience with screwdrivers), I was able to talk Carolina into unlocking it from her side.

She didn't panic very much, which was surprising given the situation. But since our landlord had never put a correctly sized door on the bathroom (but a lock, yes?) there is about 2-3" of space below the door. So she could see us and we could play "toesies" and I could give her books, to which she said no to all of them. At least she could see me when I was on the floor talking to her. And so, eventually, after asking for the second or third time, she understood which part of the doorknob I meant (since I referred to it as the straight line she had turned earlier) and she did it.

So she got herself out!

And then the police came an hour later. I had since called 911 to cancel the request, but not surprisingly, the request wasn't cancelled. And these poor, totally hot and stressed out (but very friendly) cops came running up the stairs. I explained what happened and they looked relieved as it was possible that their delay meant a 2 year old was locked in a bathroom alone for just over an hour.

Then on Tuesday after school, Carolina tells me that someone pushed her and someone else hit her. I was not pleased as this isn't the first time I'm hearing that she's being pushed. During her nap, I called the director but no one answered. After briefly talking with my parents about it, and I should really know better than to tell my dad anything bad that happens to Carolina as he's very protective of her (I really called to talk to my mom, the teacher, but there you go they were both home) and he got pretty angry about it. They explained that as often as it seems to happen, it's a bad sign about how the classroom is run. I've no idea as she's our first and this is her first experience in school but it felt wrong.

I called the director again, who'd never gotten my message. Explained what I understood from Carolina and she went to talk to the teacher. The teacher told the director that yes, a little boy pushed Carolina out of the circle line but it wasn't a big deal so she didn't tell me. But since I'd called about this kind of thing two weeks ago, the director set up a meeting for me to speak to the teacher tomorrow morning after we drop off Carolina. So, I'll find out from a grown up's perspective what is happening.

It's really hard to get contextual information from a toddler, even one as chatty as my daughter. But what I'm going to struggle with, I'm guessing, is what the teacher sees and the context she observes it in and how my daughter is perceiving it. And I'm wondering if Carolina is doing anything to provoke this reaction. I'd be super-duper surprised if she is, and that would concern me more as it would be completely out of her personality to be an instigator. Anyway...

What really bothered me from the start was just after she started school she started to be more aggressive. She started to push us away and say 'no' or protest much more forcefully. I realize this is part of being a 3 year old, as she's really into protesting and procrastinating with things she doesn't want to do (go to sleep, put on clothes to go out, blah blah blah). It's just that it happened right away when she started going to school. So something is up, I just don't know what it is exactly or how much is expected adjustment vs. aggression from other kids. And they let the kids cry for what I understand (from other parents not my daughter) to be long periods of time. I'm certain this will stress out the other kids, especially one like Carolina who is very empathetic.

I really, really, really, really, really want to send her to this lovely Montessori school in Fort Lee. Really, really. It's really, really, expensive and moving is a pain, and a huge adjustment for a preschooler, and apartments there aren't cheaper and transportation will be more for commuting, and, ideally, we'd get a car, which is more money. So it's just all money we don't have flying out the window. But I really (have I mentioned really) want her in there. It is so calm and organized and focused and there's no yelling or screaming or crying. And I know enrollment for the fall is closed as it's already mid-April and they had enrollment in late March.

Ok, good, so now I'm stressing about money and a contraction starts. I should go wake up the sleeping beauty as it's been quite a long time for a nap and I could use a cup of tea. My allergies are really bad and I think it might be turning into a cold.

Tomorrow I'll be 36 weeks pregnant. This kid might not have dropped yet but my body is certainly getting ready. I'm ready. Let's go!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

More crampy contractions, 35.5 weeks

Last night around 3am I was awoken from a dream about being in labor to actual contraction-like pains. It lasted a few hours. I'm still really achy in my lower back and lower abdomen, and I *think* the mucus plug might have started to leak. Around 6am, after another bad dream about going to the hospital unprepared, I felt a VERY strong need to get up and pack my hospital bag as well as get the baby's bed ready and wash the bottles and pacifiers and just be ready-ready.

My parents already have Carolina's bag of clothes and such, and her presents from her brother, as well as her Papa's bag of clothes for the two days they'll be there. But my bag hadn't been packed. So now it is.

I remembered that I needed travel-sized toiletries for the hospital, and so I started digging around for the toiletry bag my lovely friend Cheryl had sent to me when Carolina was going to be born, and the bathroom drawer we have of "things for travel". I was only missing a little deodorant that didn't smell too much, I have full-sized extras but they're really strong and I usually use a non-fragrant deodorant from Tom's of Maine. Now, we're all set.

These cramps keep coming but they're not very strong and there's nothing to "time" so I don't think it'll be today. It might be tomorrow. It might be two weeks from now. There's something fun and anxious about not knowing and not being able to know.

Whatever it is, we're ready as we're going to be.

I should clean the apartment.

Carolina is at the park with her grandparents who came over to visit while Ismael is out doing the weekly food shopping.

Earlier I was ready my blog posts from 2009 to see if I had left myself any useful tidbits about going to the hospital, since I forgot a lot of little details (e.g., toiletry bag), and I realized I was really stumbling through being a mom at first. That's to be expected, but what I was surprised about is that me, now, wants to talk to me, then, and give me advice so I could sleep and stop being so stressed out about every little thing. The stress might certainly have contributed to Carolina sleeping. I was probably making her anxious.

I know that two kids is absolutely different than just one. I just don't know exactly HOW it is different, so I expect to stumble through this first 6months to a year again, I just expect to stumble differently.

I should cut my nails. Accidentally scratching an infant looks terrible on their skin, like you just lacerated them.

We're still not completely decided on the circumcision. If I had Ismaelito today, I'd say to leave it on. And still not be completely certain that is the right decision.

Parents shouldn't be trusted with these kinds of decisions. HAHAH... I'm joking. Completely joking.

Really, I should go clean now.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pregnancy week 34

Set your timers to 2-3 weeks! My hair is starting to fall out like pre-pregnancy time and these recent cramps/contractions are no joke. Plus I have an attack of season allergies so my super pregnancy immune defenses are leaving. Sigh. I love those.

I feel huge and without a shirt on, you can definitely see I've got a baby inside. It's not a cute bump; this is serious!

Sleep, wake, pee, eat, repeat is basically my cycle. And the least frequent is eating. Don't get me wrong, I'm eating well and often, but I'm peeing like crazy. There's no room in my abdomen for more growth -- and yet my belly skin itches and gets "sore" which is what happens every time he grows. So, each time I think "I can't get any bigger", I do.

Carolina has already told me this week she wants to take out the baby. Asked if we could use scissors to do it and very much gets this is happening soon. I don't talk to her about it much. If she brings it up, I mostly just ask supporting questions like "Is it a brother or sister?" (very often it's sister), "where is he now?" (to which she looks at me incredulously and points to my belly. Like, mom, don't you know by now?) and "what's his name?" (pronounced: Iz-mail)

Mostly she wants to: hug him, tickle him or asks what's he doing.

I need to pack her bag and mine for her stay with my mom and mine at the hospital. I realized today I need bottles and a few breast feeding supplies. And I should really look up Lamaze breathing as I've forgotten how. Not that I really used it the first time in my panic-stricken time in labor. Hahaha. Oh, fun times!

And I know there's a lot going on in Carolina's life as she's been quietly, or not so quietly, bumping her head against her mattress every night the past 4 nights. She says it makes her feel better. I guess school, potty training and a brotha coming is stressful. Can you imagine if we had moved now? Oy vey!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quick update on pregnancy and Carolina

This morning I woke up with some cramping and then intermittent intense pains. Still nothing regular happening, so must still be Braxton-Hicks. Carolina and I spent the weekend at my parents place for Easter (Papa joined us Saturday afternoon), and when we went to the mall to get the baby and her some new clothes we rented a wheelchair for me while my dad pushed both of us. It actually was necessary. Walking around has become pretty tiring and difficult for me.

I don't remember it being this tough last time but then again, I wasn't going anywhere at this point. I'm not sure if it's my "advanced maternal age" or the fact that I'm already a mom and, man, is this tiring. I'm going with the latter as my aunts with multiple children seem to agree on that point.

We were recently invited to see some friends families (with their kids) on the 21st in Bay Ridge and then to a friend of Carolina's party on May 6th. I honestly can not do these events. It's just too much. Ismael seems to think that going to Bay Ridge is a good idea with Carolina while I stay at home. I have a feeling it'll be fine but as she'll miss her nap, I told him to bring cab fare. Oh, and be ready to come back at a moment's notice since it'll be closer to the due date. But I won't mind the small break, actually.

If my mother-in-law is right and the first major pain you have is two weeks before the baby is born, then 2 weeks from today is a very early April 24th. Our niece's birthday. I'm hoping he waits as that will be 36 weeks and I'd like our son to have his own birthday day.

I think I might also be coming down with a cold since my throat is killing me. Time for some soup and tea!

And, last thing, before we went to my parents place for the weekend, there were 4 days of all pee and poop in the potty (except for that one time at the park) and then pretty quickly it went back to diapers all the time (not even pull-ups!) and now we're on diapers still. I think she'll warm up to the potty again but clearly a change of location was a trigger. It's all part of the process :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Potty training updates and pregnancy progression

So, first things first: potty time! Something must have happened in Carolina's head yesterday either emotionally or cognitively or both because in the morning, she resisted a little bit but then peed in the potty as soon as she got up. And then two more times during the day, after TELLING ME she had to go! This is huge. She only peed once in her diaper ALL DAY!!!! Until the last few days we were only getting warning about poop, but now it's everything. ¡Excelente!

Sometimes "I have to go potty" is a delay tactic for not going down for a nap or bed or leaving the apartment to go shopping -- whatever reason. But she's started to tell us, sit down, goes, looks very proud and then goes to wipe and wash her hands. I heard this is how it really starts but had no idea when it might happen. I always make sure to say "Hooray!" and that I'm proud of her and smile. Sometimes if she sees that I'm going to the bathroom, she will say "Hooray!" and ask to see it and always wants to flush. That's actually how her interest in the potty got started, she'd flush for me but that was it. (Note to friends without kids: once you have a kid, going to the bathroom is not a private affair the first 3 years. After 2/2.5yrs, it should be for the parent of the opposite sex. And around 3, or before, depending on your tolerance, is when doors should be closed.)

And, as other parents told me, it's "just one day he/she decides 'I'm ready' and that's that." So of course we're very supportive, and if she's feeling ambivalent about it and REALLY won't go, then we let her keep the diaper on.

I'm going to have to ask her teacher if they have a potty there at school. I have a feeling this is a big victory at home but will take a bit longer with other potties in the world. She has let me know when we were at the park that she had to go, I said "let's go potty here." And she smiled and just said, "no." I think she just peed in her diaper and kept playing. So I think the idea of going in the grownup public toilet at the park is possible but not appealing. She didn't really want to go at my parents' place last month but maybe when she and I go tomorrow, she may feel more brave since she's doing it more at home.

On the other front: pregnancy. Ismaelito has been kicking less and less but moving just as much. I can tell he's much bigger. Besides the fact that my belly is bigger (putting shoes and socks on is HARD WORK!) he's just clearly filling up more of the space. Sleeping at night has turned into a few hours of rest in between bathroom breaks, with him kicking me awake fairly often. So on the days I can relax enough to nap, I nap for 1-2 hours, just like my daughter. I'm eternally gratefully she's still a napper otherwise this would be extremely difficult for me.

Now I'm on to these kids' shenanigans beforehand, so I'm keeping track of his more common times to kick me awake to get an idea of what his awake/feeding hours will be during the night. So far he's on Carolina's schedule but we'll see when he comes out. Inside is not the same as outside.

I have a feeling he'll be a bit early and bigger than Carolina, but not by a whole lot. What am I basing this on? Not much. I also think he'll look more like his Papa and be much more rambunctious than his sister, although they'll both be active kids. I'm guessing this last part on the fact he's a boy. I've yet to meet a boy that isn't more active or "destructive" than most girls.

Today we're 34 weeks:

If he was Carolina, he'd be born 3 weeks from tomorrow. So I'm getting his bed and clothes ready. I just finished the last wash of baby clothes from ones we have and ones we've been given (Thank you, Aunt Julia!). I'm going to the outlet stores this weekend with my parents to get some more baby things for him since I'd given away quite a lot of infant clothes to a few families, in particular a woman whose husband left her at the hospital just after she gave birth and he didn't come back. And the woman only spoke Spanish. One of the nurses is a mom in our neighborhood and posted the story on the mom message board. I felt I had to help her since Carolina was about 9 months at the time and we didn't need ALL the infant clothes.

Anyway, shopping!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

First few weeks of school

The two most standout things about Carolina going to school are these:
1. She doesn't cry or get upset or wave goodbye when we leave. She just walks right in and goes to the teacher to have her coat taken off.
2. She's agitated when she gets home, like she's a total fidget. It has taken as long as 1.5-2.5 hours for her to quiet down to take a nap after she's had some lunch and we've read 3 stories.

Since I'm thinking that this agitation is part of adapting to going to school for the first time, I'm spending more time with her reading and figuring out how much on a daily basis. Right now, if she's going to fall asleep within 30-60 minutes of me leaving her in her room-- I need to spend time with her for about 1-1.5 hours. And I've found that tickling her is a great way for her to expend some energy and relax.

I tried letting her watch a single Caillou episode (~10 minutes) today after lunch to see if that would help. I'm not sure if it did and I know it didn't make it worse. She comes home each time telling me how tired she is but she's also really wound up. Apparently this is normal. I, of course, have no idea.

On her non-school days, I'm pushing the time we go into her room to start reading a little earlier and spend more time reading. That seems to be getting nap time on non-school days to be a little more 'regular.'

I would say that she's starting to give up naps except that when she sleeps, she still sleeps for 2 hours. So depending on the day, I give her until 3 or 4 pm to get her rest. If it's not 2 hours, then tough noogies. Ha! If I let her sleep past then, she's not tired enough for bedtime at night.

It's only been a few weeks so I'm sure this will all eventually stop being "something" and she and I will know what we need to do so she gets the rest she needs. (And the rest I need as most days I need a bit or a lot of a nap as this pregnancy goes on.)

And she always comes home with a clean diaper. I know they support potty training but I still don't know how on a daily basis. I actually called the director to find out. She's about 90% pooping in the potty all the time and getting 10-20% of pee in there, too. Since she is proud of herself when she does go, and she goes when she wants, I've backed off a lot and don't do a lot of encouraging. I just ask, and if she wants to, I'm there! If she doesn't, I don't always try as hard as before just to get her to sit down, especially now that I know she wants to when she is ready.

The teacher's aide told Ismael this morning when he dropped her off that Carolina is very mature. That if a kid pushes her, she just turns around and says, "Don't do that" and the kid will stop. She doesn't push back. He took it as a great compliment, I just thought "Don't push my kid you little rug rat!". That's why it's good I'm not at school with her. I'm actually not too surprised at her reaction. She's not very aggressive but she is confident, and she'd only push if it was too much for her to handle. I'd like to say my parenting has anything to do with it, but I really think that's just who she is and I encourage her to be herself.

Speaking of my parenting, I have to say that I'm ready for her brother to be born. I'm uncomfortable a lot of the time, more so than I remember being with Carolina. We're still weighing our opinions about circumcision as we REALLY need to know what we want before he's born. For me, the only thing that I agree with in terms of being pro-circumcision is that he will not remember it and it'll heal REALLY fast in comparison to any other time in his life.  I feel that this is a big deal and I'd like him to keep all his parts, assuming they all work correctly, because they all serve a purpose.

I have a sneaking suspicion, like his sister, he'll let us know what he needs right away. So we'll see.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Naps change, again, but I'm nothing if not persistent

Yesterday, after school, she was TIRED. So going to take her nap at 1pm wasn't a big deal.

Today, we were both tired in the morning and ready to lie down and read and such by about 11.30am, after her music class. So we got the pajamas ("ja-mamas" as she calls them) and pacifier and changed her diaper.

I left her room at 12pm and about 45 minutes later she was still talking to herself and then called out "Momma! I pooped!" So, I went in to change her and, again, told her to close her eyes and be very quiet.

"I can't be quiet. Want Mary to talk."
(She has a little Virgin Mary figure next to her bed and recently has taken to holding it in her hand for naps in order to fall asleep. When I explained that Mary was tired, too, she told me that Mary had a snake. I told her Mary is stepping on the snake, so there's nothing to worry about. She then said that Mary can't sleep. I explained that Mary is a mommy and made Baby Jesus take a nap, too. She insisted that wasn't true. So I just went blunt and told her it was time to take a nap, and left.)

Over an hour later she's still in there talking loudly and moving around. So I go in again, now it's nearly 2pm. I had considered just letting her get up and forget the nap, but I know better now. If I keep at this, she'll eventually go to sleep and in a week or so we'll go back to "normal". If I let her give it up, she'll be exhausted AND I'll be exhausted, and more importantly, she's not ready to give it up. (I've seen what happens when a parent lets the kid give up a nap before they're really ready to give it up for good. They're the twirlers and/or whiny and/or super-hyper ones at the park. With parents that often look befuddled. I'm not befuddled, I have a newborn on the way who is going to need some sleep, a toddler that's going through another adjustment phase, and a family in a two-bedroom apartment to keep happy.)

At this point, she looked EXHAUSTED. So I told her it was time to be quiet and close her eyes. She said, "Oh, okay, mommy. Have good nap." and rolled over on her side.

Then, quiet. Finally.

Of course, I haven't rested much but at least she is. I think we'll make some strawberry muffins today as she asked for a lot of them yesterday and then didn't eat them. So I have a big bowl cut up and no cream to eat them with :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

First Day of Nursery School

Well, as usual, it didn't go as I had expected. Nothing ever exactly does. Actually, it went a lot better.

She was nervous this morning before we left the house, even though she'd been asking for WEEKS since she first saw a school, that she wanted to go "play with the kids".

We brought her off a little early since we had to bring a bag of clothes and diapers and wanted to get her set up before her day began. When we walked in, she was happy to say 'hello' to the director, whom she knows, and then to the teacher. This was a good sign as she's become more shy around people she doesn't know and often will not say 'hi' to people she does know casually if she's not interested. The teacher immediately started showing Carolina around the classroom and all the toys to play with, even before I took off her coat.

Essentially she was ready to start playing and we just needed to get out of the way!

When I asked her to kiss me goodbye she said, "You leaving?"I told her yes, that I was leaving and she would stay with the kids and her teacher. I would come back soon after her snack and we'd go home to have lunch and a nap. She thought about it a second and then said, "Ok." And kissed me goodbye.

We walked out of her classroom and on to the sidewalk and I started to cry a little. Ok, more than a little. I couldn't believe it! I was upset and she wasn't. I didn't want her to be upset at all, in fact I didn't think she would, but I REALLY didn't think I'd be bothered. I composed myself (thank you, husband) and he went off to work and I went home. Well, first, I went to a store to look around since I had the feeling that I've needed to get something but CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT IT IS. Walking around the store without having someone talking at me constantly was how I remembered what I needed. And finally bought.

I then spent the morning cleaning the apartment. It was dirtier than usual after the guy came on Tuesday to fix the glazing on the bathtub and I hadn't had a chance to do it while she was awake since we got back yesterday afternoon. Needless to say, my son wasn't too happy about me being so active, but I got it done.

I realized I still had 2 hours left and I could do some laundry. Without having to get her ready to go outside to the laundromat every 30-40 minutes to bring it, come home, take it out of the wash and put into the dryer, come home, and then get it out of the dryer. It went a lot faster.

When I got to the school to pick her up, just before 12, she was on line at the door with the teacher who told me she was a dream to have in class. That she was very well behaved, she danced and played with the other kids, and ate her snack and didn't give her any problems. I could tell that the teacher doesn't have a lot of 'easy' kids in her class, so she seemed to be more appreciative that Carolina was so good than anything. The teacher told me that Carolina didn't like her bananas in her cereal. I said I wasn't surprised as she is not supposed to eat bananas, it's like an allergy. And then the teacher told me, "Oh SHE'S the one with that problem." (I had expressly written a note on her form, and told the director, she can't have dairy, nuts or bananas.)

I didn't get mad but explained that she doesn't like them and they are a problem. And I made sure they only gave her a little bit of milk. Any more, or even a little, and she gets sick to her stomach with really bad diarrhea.

Carolina then told me on the way home that she had cereal. And she "loves bananas". I told her that she shouldn't eat bananas since they hurt her belly. She then told me she wanted more of the "purple cereal" for lunch. I asked her what that was and she just kept saying purple.

THEN she mentioned it was also orange and yellow. A light bulb went off in my head and I said, "Ohhhh. Is the cereal circles with purple, orange, and yellow?"

She looked at me a smiled and said, "YES!" And I just laughed.

Ah, they gave them Froot Loops, which I would NEVER give to her. That's just my choice as it crosses the line of sugar vs. nutrition too far in favor of sugar. I explained that cereal is only at school as a special treat, we don't have it at home. This seems to be an acceptable explanation.

After a lunch of toast, by request, we read some books and she was off to a nap by 1pm. She was yawning right about 12.30.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3 hour glucose test

I forgot to mention that I passed the 3 hour glucose tolerance test. I refer to it as the glucose challenge as it was all I could do not to throw up for over an hour.

The baby was rattling around inside me the whole time. I kept imagining him saying to me, "Mama! What the hell is going on? I don't like this. Never eat sugar again. Ever!"

I don't wish it on anyone. My advice to any pregnant woman going for the one-hour test is:
Schedule it for first thing in the morning
Fast all night/morning
Don't eat any sugar NOR carbs the night before

Pray to your preferred diety that you pass.

If you can't get a first appointment, still avoid carbs and sugar. Carbs turn into sugar and, honestly, unless you really have gestational diabetes, you do NOT want to do the 3 hour test.

Gratefully my parents could babysit that morning. As they had a nice lunch waiting for me upon my return. I had responsibly brought a sandwich. But I didn't want to eat or drink much for a few hours afterwards. I did but not much.

You feel very rough indeed.

Potty training and more talking

So, well, potty training continues. It's expectedly hit or miss. We're getting more action on the poop front as I get SOME advanced warning when I hear, "Mommy, tummy hurts."

Peeing, I've noticed she's able to sit down for a while, ocassionally pee in the potty, but is mostly now holding it. So her post-nap and post-bedtime diapers are FULL. When before they were dry. She will even not pee in the potty and then when we put on a diaper to go outside, she'll pee then.

I hear this is pretty common, so we're just moving along. I'm still having to gently cajole her to sit on the potty at regular times. And when we're staying at home in the afternoon, she gets "nudie time", whereby she only has on underwear and gets to run around without clothes. She likes this a lot. Although it doesn't encourage her to tell me she has to go. She might hold it all or just go in the undies.

Honestly, she's never been a baby or kid to complain about a wet or soiled diaper. UNLESS it was stinging her skin. Otherwise she could wait. So, alerting me isn't forthcoming.

It'll take more time and I'm sure she will work it out one day when she is ready. Hopefully that is before she starts mornings-only during the weekdays at school this fall.

A few funnier things she's said recently:
1. I can't like that. (For anything she doesn't want to eat.)
2. Who deez people eatin my fruit rope? (When my dad tried a tiny piece of her fruit rope before I gave it to her.)
3. Not cool! (Anytime she doesn't like or doesn't want to wear something. As in, this barrette is not cool. Or those shoes you are wearing mommy are not cool.)
4. My eyes are crying or I have crying eyes. (Often told to me when I've accused her of whining. She will tell me it's not whining but crying, so I should take it more seriously.)
5. What (s)he doin? (An all-time favorite about anyone on the street, in a book or seen within eye shot.)
6. No, da baby in heeah. (Accompanied by her pointing at my belly when asked if she is going to have a brother or sister. Often followed by a big hug to the belly and telling it "I love you baby.")

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Potty training, glucose tests and naps

We have gotten more serious about potty training. And by "we", I mean me, and by "serious", I mean that we spend a lot more time in the bathroom even though there is virtually no pee going into the potty.

I noticed on last Year's calendar that she was actually pering in the potty last July. I knew she wasn't ready but I could have pushed it. I wish now I had. She's still apprehensive about the potty. Being "nudie" isn't a problem. It's letting the pee actually go into the pot. And now I INSIST she is at least in the bathroom when she says her tummy hurts since I know a poop is coming. I don't force her to take off her diaper for that since she's too anxious and will just cry and fight me. It's not worth the struggle and stress.

We sit on it in the morning, before nap, after nap, and before bathtime. I should do it more often but nothing is happening and we can easily be in there for 20+ minutes. Totally boring. Even reading her a book or the comics. I end up peeing more than usual just because we are in there. And as my back has been killing me, hanging out in the bathroom is not fun for me. So if we are in there for 10 minutes, I call it quits and back on the diaper.

If we aren't going outside, I've started to let her wear the training undies. She doesn't like them so if that doesn't work, nudie it is!

I know pee will happen.

Last night she told me she had to go while watching Super Why on PBS. I said Let's go to the potty. Then she said, "No mommy not yet." and for some reason I took her seriously. What she meant was, "I'm busy watching tv and I'll just pee here in the undies on my chair." which is exactly what she did.

I learned MY lesson and the tv gets put on pause and turned off, and we go to the bathroom right away.

I have to say, being in light to moderate pain all the time makes me far less ambitious than I normally am. I realized I'm walking differently and holding my butt too tightly. So I think that has a lot to do with the pain. I'm really waddling more than walking to compensate. Not good.

And I "barely" failed the 1-hr glucose tolerance test last week. So now I have to go tomorrow morning, after another full night of fasting, for the 3-hr test. Basically, after dinner tonight at about 8.30, I won't eat or drink anything (except the glucose drink) until about 11am tomorrow. Holy Christmas, I'm going to be shaking, and fall asleep from the lack of eating.

I'm eating more protein and less carbs than usual tonight. Honestly, I can't believe I failed it. And if I fail this one, I will absolutely cry out of sheer frustration.

Naptime has become different again. Many days, she will take her nap like usual. But there are increasing days where she's in there talking to herself or singing for over an hour. I don't allow the talking and singing but the babysitters were. So we had a chat. What's interesting is that she's tired and clearly needs a nap. But what she is really after is more time with me hugging her while she lays down and singing quiet lullabies.

I guess the regression is in part because of my pregnancy and also she is getting older so naps will eventually fade. But not now. She's not really capable of going without a nap and being normal all day. If no nap happens, she basically loses her mind about 5pm.

I've been getting really frustrated with her this week. My god she can talk endlessly. I now understand more and more what my mom went through with me. Just a couple of anxious Chatty Kathies. Whew. It's exhausting.