Thursday, February 18, 2010

Babies bring visitors

One of the many perks about having a baby is that if you live far away from family and friends (or even if you don't) you get lots of visitors. Hooray!

Not only are Sarah and Adam coming to visit in two weeks (hooray!) now my parents have decided to come visit as well. Sarah and Adam are coming down for Anahi's presentacion (presentation in English, if you hadn't figured that out) in church. I think that in the States you usually do this when they are newborns, but apparently in Mexico they do it whenever. Also, you must have Godparents to help you present the baby (she is getting quite heavy), so Sarah and Adam will be doing the honors. Truthfully, I don't really know what Godparents are supposed to do; bring your child closer to God? And should Godparents be capitalized? So many questions, your answers will be much appreciated.

Digression aside, my parents decided, oh, a week ago, to come down. Oh, and my sister is coming too. No brother, he is still across the ocean in Greece (boo to him!). So I am now counting down the days (15!) until they come and our little bitty 2 bedroom apartment is chock-a-block (sp?) with people! Although we have Tato's family down here, we don't have too many friends, and weekends get pretty lonely around here.

Speaking of lonely (or no longer feeling that way), we do still plan on moving to GA, but things are slow to get going. I applied for two jobs, within the GA state mental health system, but haven't received any phone calls, boo! This is surprising, as I thought I was definitely qualified for them. It's been about three weeks, do you just think they are slow to set up interviews? I guess I should look for some other jobs to apply for. Oh, laziness, you are not my friend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Beginnings?


Let me preface this blog with this: Don't get too excited. Ok? ;)

It's been a hard week, probably one of the hardest we as a family have had in a long while. First of all, Anahi has been an absolute TERROR all week. I know, you could never imagine her being a terror, but she has been. For whatever reason she has been whiny, fussy, and worst of all, hasn't been sleeping. We battled and battled, and fought and fought, to get her to sleep this week.

Then, I find out that I will no longer have anyone to look after Anahi. I mean, I knew it was coming, because the lady that was looking after her only signed on for a temporary job, and also home schools her 3 children. But I didn't expect it to come so soon. It really threw me for a loop and I felt pretty depressed for a couple of days. We have had not the easiest time down here and it just seems like yet another thing to go wrong. Tato has never had a job with steady work, ever. And now is going to have to quit that job, because we can't afford to pay daycare when he only gets 1-2 days of work a week. I already am the main provider, and being the bread winner and mom can be very stressful. And try as he might, Tato hasn't been able to really learn english. He is currently working on his GED, and I am very proud of him, but he needs to speak english so he can get a good job!

Here's the part where you don't get too excited.


With those things in mind, we have begun to consider moving to Georgia. Tato wants to learn english, and it would help for us to live closer to my parents, so my mom can take care of Anahi until we can afford daycare. So this weekend I am going to start working on my resume. I found a couple jobs that I qualify for, one in Warner Robins (where my parents live) and the other in Milledgeville, about 45 mins from WR. Both are in mental health, which I really want to stay in. But like I said, don't get to excited. This process will probably take months, and I might give up looking for a job (you know how much it sucks to look for a job!) only to start trying again a few months later. And there are other things I still need to think about. For instance, I LOVE my job here, what if I get a really sucky one in GA? What if Tato can never find a job or can't learn english? We could always run back to Texas I guess. The main thing for me is that I just really love my job. It is absolutely perfect for me at this point in my life. I wish it could go with me! But I have to think about what is good for our family as a whole, not just about me. But then again, if I am going to be Number #1 breadwinner and #1 Momma, why shouldn't I get to do something I love?

So, in summary, this may be the beginning of a new thing for us, maybe not. But whatever it is, I just want it to be what God wants and what is best for our little family fam!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I have a plan

I have a plan...and I'm sticking to it! I will tell you exactly what it is in just a minute, but let me quickly explain the title. I am not one to stick to plans, I tend to give up before I even start, and can be extremely resistant to change. That sound familiar to anyone? ;) So, we battle a lot with our little sweet pea, specifically in the area of sleeping. Her naps usually only last 45 minutes, and she continues to wake up at least 3-5 times a night. As you might imagine, this creates a lot of tension in the household, especially with yours truly, who is the main person putting little sweet pea to sleep.

So this is where the plan comes in. Not being one to ever put much of a plan into practice, you must understand how desperate I am to: A) Get some alone/rest time B) Sleep for more than 3 hours at a time a night. Very. Desperate. The common answer that I get from most everyone is this: Just let her cry it out. Forget it, people, I will not do that. Just the suggestion of that can send me into a rage. Now, don't take that to mean that I don't let my baby cry, but it doesn't mean I am going to let her cry herself to sleep. I just think that is wrong, and could on about it all day, but I won't.

After perusing the internet, I came across a book called "The n* cry sl**p solut*on" (can you read that?). Basically, it has a lot of gentle ways to help your baby sleep through the night. You evaluate your baby's sleep first, then look at different ideas, and then make a plan. So here is my plan, in no particular order.

1. Make nap time routine (we are using music and introducing a little bear for her to snuggle with, as well as bottle/nursing)

2.Have a bedtime routine (we pretty much have one already, but I'm trying to be consistent about reading some books before bed)

3.Have a schedule during the day (this is very hard for me), focusing on consistent nap times

4.Get her to like her crib again by letting her play in it (she pretty much abhors the thing)

5.Help her fall asleep without something in her mouth (this is probably the hardest one, but book outlines a little strategy you can use)

6. Get her out of our bed and into her crib more at night (she spends about half the time in our bed and half in hers...if you are gasping at this point and don't happen to have children, wait to have a screaming/not sleeping baby before you criticize)

7. Try to get her to take longer naps (ideas, anyone?)

Just about all these points have one goal in mind: Getting her to sleep through the night! Side note here about crying it out advocates. They seem to believe that if you don't let your child "learn" how to put herself to sleep, that she will never learn. I don't believe this is true; have you ever met a 20 year old that cannot go to sleep by his/her self? I hope not! So, it may take your child what seems like FOREVER to learn how to fall asleep by his/her self, but it will one day happen. Whether or not you are active in teaching her how to do this and how quickly you want to teach it is up to you. I, obviously, am trying to speed up this process, but without too much heartbreak.

Today was the official start day (you do 10 days, evaluate, and keep with your plan, changing it if you need, until you are happy with the results) and I swear I almost gave up before the day even began. All I could think is that it wasn't going to work, and I hadn't even started yet! Thankfully I managed to talk myself out of quitting before I started. I guess today went well, Tato stayed home with her and I made sure to remind him of EVERYTHING he needed to do hehe. So, let's see if it works! Fingers crossed!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009

I don't normally do these things, but for some reason this piqued (sp?) my interest. It's long, so get ready! Much like my friend's blog, this will probably have a central theme, let's see if you can guess what it is. There is a prize waiting for you at the end!

*****

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Had a baby! Both the having and the raising of her ;) Tato flew for the first time when we went to Ga. He swears he will never do it again. We had a pretty rough flight from Hrl to Houston, but I think I can convince him to fly again. Hopefully to England this year!


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn't make any...and probably won't make any this year...I like to set goals on my own time...plus, Ive never been one to go with the crowd.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My sister-in-law, Selene.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?

Mexico, as always.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

A better relationship with God/other believers as well.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 27, 2009...the day Anahi, my sweet pea, was born!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


Birthing a baby...don't think anything will top that for a while hahaha

I also got a raise right before 2009 ended, although it won't kick in until the middle of Jan. That means I can count it as an achievement for both years, right?! ;)

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not living the life I know God has called me too...not that I am out partying, or cheating on my husband, or anything too dramatic like that ;) Just not spending time with Him, being involved in church, or letting Him really have control over me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope...Anahi has had two colds, two ear infections, and bronchitis. I feel sick when she is sick, augh!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Mmmmm...I don't know?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Tato has been the most wonderful father and husband this year. He has put up with my pregnancy mood swings as well as post-partum "blues" and mood swings. I also think he is way more patient with Anahi than I am, although he would probably disagree!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?


Truthfully? My own!

14. Where did most of your money go?
To the baby!

15. What did you get really excited about?
Having a baby! And now, watching her grow. It is so awesome to see her learning new things, sometimes every day. Right now she is crawling and pulling up on furniture in preparation for, gulp, walking! She is too young! I tell her, you have the rest of your life to walk, why start so soon?!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

(a) happier or sadder?
I think I am the same.
(b) thinner or fatter? Definitely fatter (baby's fault!) I still have about 5lbs left to lose, although it feels like 20lbs.
(c) richer or poorer? Poorer


18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


Spending time with the Lord and more quality time with my husband.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


Yelling at my hubby (poor thing).

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family in Ga. It was the first time in 3 years that I have gotten to spend Christmas with them, so it was awesome.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
With my baby! I read this quote in a book (If I tell you which one you will laugh) and don't remember it word for word, but the gist was that having a child is like having your heart walking around out in the open. Which is a wonderful but extremely scary feeling.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Grey's Anatomy!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I'm starting to really dislike someone at work...but that is a story I CANNOT blog about. Be enticed, haha.

24. What was the best book you read?


I think I read this this year, "I know this much is true, " by W*lly L*mb (picked up the asterisk idea from another blog, great idea!).

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Yael Naim----2009 has gone so fast that might have been in 08, but I'm counting it for '09.

26. What did you want and get?


A baby, an ipod (here I come, bandwagon!), a RAISE!!!!!!!!!!!!

27. What did you want and not get?

A house?! I vacillate between wanting one and not wanting one.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Up.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26, and I cannot remember what I did for my birthday! Must be a sign of age.....

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More of Him and less of me.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?


Maternity clothes until April, then clothes that I could barely get on, then I rediscovered my old wardrobe. It was great!

32. What kept you sane?



Little snatches of alone time.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I've always liked Johnny Depp.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I don't know if this counts, but Obama getting the nobel peace prize was just a little too crazy for me to take in.

35. Who did you miss?


All my friends in Georgia! And my family!

36. Who was the best new person you met?


I've met some awesome people at Hrl First Baptist, they have all been wonderful.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

I need Him more than ever!

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I am a new mom, I don't have time to think about that! ;)

If guessed that my baby was the theme, you guessed right! Here is the prize, a pic of her!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hooray Holidays

In the spirit of the season, I thought I would write about why I am thankful for the Holidays ;)


1. Getting to spend time with family

As you know, we currently live at the end of the earth (ie deep, end of the earth south Texas) and so get to see no one ever. Well, only those brave enough to travel so far. So the holidays provide the time for us to go visit my family. On Wed. will be attempting our second long distance car trip with Anahi, to Slidell, LA to visit my Aunt (my parents will also be coming). I can only hope this car trip will be as peaceful as the last, when we went to GA. Anahi was only 5 weeks old, and slept, well, like a baby. I hope that she will do the same this time, but doubt it, being as she barely takes hour long naps at this point. Unfortunately she is able to run on very little daytime sleep. At Christmas my parents and sister will be coming down to visit us! Maybe I should think about decorating this year? I think the charlie brown tree will be enough ;) My brother will not be coming, as he is in England and soon to be Greece until sometime next year. Miss you brother! I will also enjoy the extra time with my little sweetpea! Oh to be a (at least part-time) stay at home mom!



2. Yummy food.

We just had a very yummy tex-mex turkey dinner at work, and will be having tamales for Christmas. I will be having my moms super yummy (but bland, hey that's the way we Brits like it!) turkey and roast potatoes for Thanksgiving AND Christmas, yum! We will probably also have some Thanksgiving crawfish, as we will be in LA. Tato will be happy, and he will get his beloved gumbo as well!

3. Gifts

I know this may sound very shallow, but everyone secretly enjoys getting a gift or two...or three?! On Wed. we will be getting our annual (well for the past two years, anyway) bonus at work...I mean, yearly performance incentive ;). I will not disclose the actual amount (don't want you all asking me for money now that I am rich ahaha), but it is quite a good amount, and much needed, since Tato hasn't worked in over a month! My mother will also be showering my baby with gifts, which may or may not be a good thing. I think by the time she is three we won't be able to see the living room floor!

And I know there are endless things that I could be thankful for about the holidays, but I will stop with these. Enjoy the holidays! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

This is for Erika


I have decided that the only thing really worth blogging about is, of course, my baby Anahi. So I will share an update with the world...maybe someone will stumble across it when they click that weird "next" button on the top of their blog.
Let's see, where do we start. Let's go with milestones. She has mastered rolling over (from tummy to back and vice versa) and is using it as her main means of locomotion. Although she really does try to throw herself forward into a crawl, but she usually ends up on her face or just propped up on her arms. She can sit up by herself, but I don't trust her. At the slightest noise (or glimpse of Binky) she throws herself backwards to see what it is she might be missing. This has results in several bumps on the head. She is babbling a lot, but she has been doing that since she was a month old. She now makes some "da da" sounds, which is very cute. She can also walk along when you hold her hands, but she is extremely wobbly.
Personality-wise, she is a little firecracker. She also has inherited her daddy's temper. The newest development is her angry scream, which is not appreciated by anyone in this house! We try our best not to respond to it, and are hoping it goes away. If not, we are going to have one hell of a two year old on our hands! She loves to smile, she definitely has Tato's family's smile/mouth. It's a long, wide, gummy smile and I love it! It will look even cuter with a goofy tooth in it.
Speaking of teeth, we think she might have one, but aren't sure. You can see a little white spot on the left back side of her mouth. Not the back molars, but close. Now I know babies usually get front teeth first, so maybe this is an "milk tooth." Does anyone have any clue what one is? We have been trying her on solids but since she has been sick (Ooops jumped ahead of myself her ;) she has almost completely refused to eat. She will eat one or two spoonfuls (not even that) and then shuts her mouth. Granted, baby cereal tastes like cardboard, so I don't blame her. But we have even tried other things (sweet potato, avocado, banana, pear) with no luck, so we are taking a break from solids till she gets better.
So yes, she has been sick! Poor baby! It started with a runny nose, which quickly turned into her first fever. Tato was looking after her that day, and I remember coming home for lunch and picking her up. I instantly knew she had a fever, she felt like a little hot water bottle! Tato had no clue (no points for dads here) she had a fever. We took her temp and it was 101.5. So off to the doctor. They tested her for the flu, which came back negative, thank goodness. So the doc said put a little vicks on her chest, use a humidifier, and it will clear up within a week or so. She had a fever for probably 48 hours, during which time I was a mess. I checked her temp every 3o minutes probably! I think Tato thought I had lost it. Well, after about 2 days the fever went and she was left with just a cough and a runny nose. Runny nose goes away, cough continues. She starts to sound a like a cat purring, so I get suspicious and schedule another appointment. This is about a week and a half after she had the cold. I really didn't think anything was wrong, but turns out she has bronchitis (and still does). So they prescribed a nebulizer (sounds scary, I know!) and some meds for that to open up her bronchial tube thingys. She is pretty happy other than sounding like a cat, so I am grateful for that! She has a doctor appointment tomorrow, so we will see what she says. She doesn't sound worse than Friday, but doesn't sound much better either. I hope this visit does not entail drawing of blood. Well, either way I wont be there, I have to go to Edinburg for training, so Tato will have to endure it! Alright folks, there you have it, my first blog in months!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Beware the hospital!

Well, if you didn't know (or aren't aware of the date), I definitely had my baby ;). She was a lovely 6lb, 3oz, 19 3/4 inches (when we went to the dr they chopped a whopping 3/4 of an inch of that...did she get shorter?) and had and still has a ton of hair. She is 2 months old today! I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. It seems like yesterday that I had her. For those of you who are interested in how the labor went, it was a short 12 hours ;). But really, it went by very fast. The contractions started like regular cramps at 5:30am that morning, but I knew without a doubt that I was in labor. I woke Tato up and told him, and we both fell back asleep. So far so good, right? Coincidence had it that I had a scheduled check-up that day, as I was a few days over my due date and they wanted to make sure everything was still ok. So we head off to the dr, Tato, my mom (she had arrived on Friday), and I. Contractions were about 15-20 minutes apart at this point, and were just starting to get distracting. By the time we left the dr's office an hour later they were 5 minutes apart! So we ran back by the apartment to grab my things and turned back around to head for the hospital. Gory details excluded, Anahi Grace was born at 4:48pm that afternoon, after arriving at the hospital around 11am. Did I mention that my doctor didn't think I would have the baby that day? He was wrong!
Our first night as a family was extremely hectic, as you might imagine. Poor Anahi would scream anytime we weren't holding her, and was having trouble feeding (I am nursing her). Now we are going to segue into a possibly extremely long rant about the post-partum nurses. These are the lovely ladies that are supposed to HELP you after you have your baby. So we are having trouble with the logistics of nursing, nurse comes in, demands to know how much I have been feeding her and how long. Everytime I tell her she says "that's not enough! Her sugar is going to drop and she is going to have to stay longer, she needs formula." Is that a fact? Thanks for being so supportive of breastfeeding. So evil nurse leaves, and we settle in for another 4 hours of sleeping/screaming/trying to eat. Nurse comes back and asks me again how much she has eaten. I tell her. Now take note that she has not even attempted to help the baby and I learn how to do this breastfeeding thing. She proceeds to tell me again that the baby's sugar is going to drop and she will have to stay in the hospital, and then tells me that I will give her the formula. I was absolutely shocked that she was trying to force me to do something that she knew I didn't want to do (not to mention the fact that breastfed babies aren't supposed to have artificial nipples for at least a month) and that she wasn't providing me any support whatsoever. We argued back and forth (I couldn't believe I was actually having an argument with this lady), me posing the point that formula didn't always exist to "help" babies while the mother's milk came in. I asked the nurse what women did back then, and she had nothing to say. That ended our argument. Anyway, we passed a terrible night where I ended up giving Anahi a bottle of formula because the nurses convinced me (a naive and insecure new mother, as all are) to do so. Need I say this caused some real problems later that week, Anahi preferred the fast and immediate flow of the bottle and it was a challenge to get her to breastfeed. After a week of perseverance, she did get the hang of it. All in all, my experience at the hospital was TERRIBLE. The nurses barely spoke to me and when they did they were not very nice, as you might have gathered. The next day I practically ran out of the door to go home.
So the moral of the story? Well, I guess it would be, do your homework before choosing which hospital to have your baby at (if you are fortunate enough to have a choice), especially if you want to breastfeed. I am finding out that many hospitals are not supportive of breastfeeding, prefering the quiet formula-fed baby in their nursery to the sometimes screaming breastfed baby who obviously just wants to be with its mom rather than in a plastic tub! If I weren't such a chicken I would give a good earful to my doctor, who recommended that particular hospital to me. So there you go, ladies (and gentlemen?), beware!