Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Birthday brunch

I'm 38!

This post is a week late, but c'mon.


I get a hall pass right?

Anyways, between the hustle and bustle of our ever busy schedule, I was able to steal away a few hours while Sal was at school and meet up with two of my old friends/ former aggie gymnastics teammates who happened to be in town at the same time, for brunch. 

While the end of my gymnastics career was soured by a poor coach/ athlete relationship, the friendships I made during my three years on the team have lasted the test of time. Honestly, the team was like my sorority. These girls are my sisters. 

It was such a nice surprise to have Krissy in from Maui, and Jen down from Oakland. We sat outside at a small cafe in Calabasas, soaking up the sunshine and catching up on one another's lives. 

It was the perfect way to celebrate turning 38. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Almost four

You guys...I am in love. 

While three years old wasn't the worst it could be, I did find it more challenging than the terrible twos. But all of a sudden, as we round out his third year, Sal has turned a corner and become such a helpful, loving (but still sneaky) little guy....and I am so in love with this age he is now. Almost four is my favorite.

We've got less tantrums, and more understanding. We have more words and less hitting. We have more "mom, I can do that myself" and less whining " I can't do iiiiiiit!"

Don't get me wrong, we still have our moments (daily), but for the majority of our day together, he's such an awesome little sidekick. 

Amongst my favorite things about Sal is our conversations. Don't ever think that kids don't understand things--they're always watching, listening and judging. He reminds me every day of that, with conversations that go into depth on something he's been told or heard. 

Today it was a motorcyclist who was behind us on the freeway on ramp that merged onto the freeway and came up my side as I was merging on. I of course swore at the guy, and without skipping a beat, Sal tells me that the motorcyclist should be more careful and wait for the cars in front of him to merge so nobody hits him. He goes on to say that motorcyclists only wear helmets and if they crash all their skin comes off as road rash. He then says that we are protected by seat belts and the metal of our car frame. [Insert shocked emoji here]

How's he know this stuff?!

The other night he told us his tooth is loose and that when it falls out he will put it under his pillow for the tooth fairy. "The tooth fairy leaves gold coins", he says. Nick and I looked at each other wondering who had told him that. When asked, he said, " I saw it on tv". 

A few weeks ago Carla had dumped out his cup of discarded pistachio shells on the living room floor and Gino motored over towards them. I reprimand Carla by telling her she can't have nuts if she's going to leave them on the floor. Sal pipes in." Yeah Carla. Gino will have to go live with Kevin!"  I asked him who Kevin is and he answered, " you know up there in the clouds. That's where Kevin is. If Gino eats the nut and chokes, he'll die and go to Kevin's house". 

Later conversation revealed he was referring to Heaven--not Kevin--although I'm sure there are some Kevin's in heaven. 

 I about keeled over from cuteness. 

After all this time of him not showing any interest in coloring or  writing he is finally asking me to help him trace his name. He's doing awesome. I'm so proud of the strides he's making. 

He is still attending his teacher and me class twice a week, but come January, and turning four--he will attend preschool three mornings a week. 

He is sooo  ready. Can't wait to see him continue to learn, grow and master his environment.

Watch out FOUR, we're coming for ya!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

When babies don't sleep

It's been a solid seven weeks since I last had more than a four hour stretch of sleep at night. My once good sleeper, who went to bed at 7:00, woke at 4:15 to eat, and then back to sleep til 7:00 am, is no longer. 

Seven weeks, folks.

I can't even do the math on how many hours of sleep lost, or how many nights I've been up shushing him back to sleep. It's been an eternity for all I know.

My days run together, my Visine bottle is damn near empty, and my hope of ever sleeping again is slowly dying. 

NZ and I have wracked our brain as to what could be causing this regression, and we've run the gamut- teething (he has 5, and one on the way), learning to crawl, eating solids, my reintroduction of dairy (minimal), formula supplementation....it could be anything. Honestly, I just don't know. At my wits end this past week, I borrowed a couple of sleep advice books, skimmed them.....then waved my white flag and called my pediatrician office. 

The advice given was to quit dairy, again. Give water to the boy when he wakes at non-eating times (rather than nurse him), and to go in at 5-10-15 minute intervals to let him cry it out in a controlled way (?!) Honestly, I haven't done any reading on this CCIO method, because I just don't have an ounce of fucks to give. I got the cliffs notes version from the on call pediatrician and we tried it the next night. Nick was able to get the boy back to sleep during his first non-feeding time waking and I was successful with the second waking. In fact he slept through his usual feeding time that night.

We've had a few better nights since then, but last night he and I were back up FOUR times. FOUR! That's three times too many for this mama. 

I held out...but he held out longer. At some point, you give in, because....sleep. I determined that lying in bed listening to him scream ( and getting out of my warm bed) for over an hour and a half, was crazy. I nursed. He went out. Just two hours of reprieve, but still...Sleep. 

The next morning I decided I need a sleep trainer to come help me. Did a little FB moms group research, only to find out that, contrary to my preconceived notions, a sleep trainer doesn't actually come to your house to take over. What the fuck?! Why pay someone $200 plus to NOT come physically save my ass and allow me to sleep while they sort out the mess we've gotten into?

So, sleep training was a big fat, NOPE.

Next thought was trying some of the hippy oils or teething necklaces. If even just for placebo effect. I just don't know.

I've since talked to a few of my real life mom friends, and was astounded to learn that their babies did this too for xyz amount of months. And what did they do?

Got up and nursed those babies to sleep, knowing that this won't last forever.

So, here I am, three nights after starting this post, sitting, nursing, and deliriously finishing my post while eating clearance candy corn from CVS at 10:45 pm. 

Sweet baby G, one day we will laugh about this. Right?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Halloween 2015

We survived Halloween 2015! 

Sal had his mind made up early on that he was going to be a Popsicle for Halloween. After an Internet search for Popsicle costumes turned up exactly two results (and Pinterest was surprisingly no help!), I had to get creative and figure out how to bring his dreams to life. He wanted to be a "melty" Popsicle. Specifically, a red and orange melty one. And he wanted his legs to be the sticks. Gotta give it to him, he had given the execution of this costume some thought! 

Well, I bought foam core board and cut out a Popsicle shape and made a big bite out of it. Sal helped me figure out how to paint it and we hung an elastic loop around the top so he could "wear it like a necklace". 

He was so excited to wear it to his class parade. 

Yeah....he was stoked, but mama wasn't. 

..And by this time he had been telling me that he wanted to be a green one instead. 

What's a mom to do, but make a naptime run to Joanns to buy green poster board and butter up auntie Stephanie to print out a Popsicle logo. 

The final product was so so much better than the original. 

Carla was a jazzerciser this year. Many moons ago, my mama jazzercized herself skinny and I'd watch from the kids room thinking those ladies looked so cool. I've had this costume in mind since before she was born. 

A borrowed swimsuit, tights and some cut off knee high socks made this little aerobics costume work for less than $3 out of pocket. I repurposed a Costco size applesauce pouch box into her treat bucket by spray painting it black and using gold sharpie to make it into a boom box. A little handle from duct tape and voila....

Last but not least, G wore some hand me down skeleton pjs of Carla's. He stayed home with me and handed out candy while NZ took the bigs around the neighborhood to collect their treats. 

While they had fun collecting candy, I suspect next year will be the year that Halloween turns into a big freaking deal and all three littles will be making the rounds. I'm looking forward to what their little minds come up with for costume ideas! 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Carla, lately.

One of the best parts of parenthood is watching your little helpless babies grow into capable and independent people. I absolutely love when they start talking. The little voices, the mispronounced words, the charades to finally figure out that they mean "Popsicle" not "paw taprol (paw patrol)" and the like. 

Carla is at a point where she is stringing together short sentences and I just can't get enough. One of her first sentences was, wait for it....

"I want that."

This smart little girl has already learned how to be assertive. When I told her it isn't polite to say it that way and suggested she say, "may I please have that", she countered with "I want that peeeeeeeeease" with a scrunched up little nose that nobody could say no to. 

She infatuated with the tv cartoon "Paw Patrol" and we can't go into Target without her screaming and pointing, "Paw Taprol!!!!" as we pass by the toy aisle devoted to Paw Patrol. She has most of the figurines that are part of the show, and knows them all by name. She rattles off "Marshall, Zuma, Skye, Wubble (rubble), and Wockee (rocky)" when I show her a figurine.

Carla still loves to accessorize. Her favorite accessory as of late has been an old clutch of mine, filled with her Paw Patrol figurines. She insists on wearing her black sequined sheepskin boots even though it's 85 and humid as hell, and loves to top off the ensemble with a baseball cap three sizes too big. 

As she hones in on age two, I'm catching glimpses of teenage Carla and knowing that this girl, full of spunk and sass, is going to keep me on my toes. But along with that stubborn streak she's got, there's a whole lot of love. She's a very doting big sister to her human brother, her feline brother and all of her stuffed animals and dolls. She showers us all with snuggles and kisses and the sweetest, " I yuh youuuuu" that just melts my heart. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pumpkin picking 2015

We skipped the huge fall festival at the local farm this year and opted to drive up to Ventura to a smaller patch. While we love the local farm the rest of the year (petting zoo, tractor rides) the $45 entry fee for our three paying family members plus food, rides and pumpkins was more than I was willing to spend. 

We found a great small patch and the kids went nuts trying to find a pumpkin that maxed out their lifting limits. Our rule is that they can have any pumpkin so long as they can carry it themselves. 

We got them home and they're chomping at the bit to carve them already. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Gino is 6 months old

G celebrated his 6 month birthday by cutting his first two teeth. Cutting was a bit of a rough go for a day or two, but once they came through he was back to his usual self. He's currently cutting the top two and I'm a little sad to see his gummy smile go as it gets replaced with little chicklet teeth.  

I love watching him scoot over to his siblings as they play with their duplo blocks and get hold of one himself. It's like, " hey guys! Here I am! I want to play too!"

He still loves his thumb. When he gets tired he pops it in his mouth and sucks himself to sleep. He's my only thumb sucker so I'm not sure when/how we will tackle breaking the habit. I'm guessing sooner is better than later, but I'd be lying if I said it's not nice to have a self soother. 

The biggest achievement of month six has been his willingness to take a bottle. I sought out advice from a few other moms and they suggested a particular brand of bottle. I sprung for one at Target last week and that very same day he downed two ounces! He even held it himself--score. The only problem now is a feisty kitten who wants in on his bottle. 

We did a bunch of morning walks this month, and once he hit the magical 6 month mark, he started attending the daycare at my gym so I can finally get a decent sweat going again. He's a happy little guy and the girls fight over who gets to hold him each time I drop him off. 

Sleep could be better- he's been waking 1-2 times per night despite eating some purees and having a few ounces of formula per day. It could be the teeth....It could be his guts....or it could be that he's about to crawl on all fours. Who knows? I just hope we're back to our regular schedule again soon!

He had a pediatrician appointment for his 6 month check up and he weighs a whopping 15 lbs and measures 27.75" tall. That puts him in the long and lean category--weight is 15% and height is 90%. He's growing well and I'm quite happy to hear that! A healthy baby is a happy baby. 

Stay tuned for month seven....