Friday, July 24, 2015

Gino is 4 months old

Our smiley little guy is 4 months old!
He's 26" tall and 14 lbs. 

July was a month of many firsts for Gino. Here are some of the highlights:

           He rolled over for the first time.

He started sleeping without being arm swaddled. I may have shed a tear or two. In my eyes, the day they break free of swaddling may as well mean they're leaving for college. I've been swaddling around the midsection, but he really doesn't need it. I think I do it more for myself than for him.

See? Totally fine without. And uhm......apparently he's totally cool sleeping on his belly now. He's totally ready to fly the coop already. I mean--so grown up and independent and all. Rolling, sleeping on his belly and the like. Next thing you know, he will be self soothing.

What?! Self soothing did I say?

Why yes, look what else he found. A thumb. 

From all these pictures it must look like all he does is sleep, but I can assure you that's not the case...although he has started sleeping through the night (7:30-5:00) and taking two longer naps during the day. It's by no means a schedule quite yet, but we are getting there. 

He's actually quite a little ham. He loves to be tickled by his siblings, and his big brother Sal can really get him going.

His social calendar was filled with visits to see his great grandmas and grandma in Santa Barbara, a beach party for cousin Pilar down in Huntington Beach and a trip to underwood farms to see the baby animals. 

The biggest news of the month was the completion of his big sister's room, meaning he finally moved out of the pack and play that I shoved in the closet and into a crib in Sal's room. Night one went pretty smooth, although I'm pretty sure Sal was hovering over Gino's crib just waiting for him to fuss a little so that he had good reason to come out of his room to tell us. Here's to many years of bedtime babble and shenanigans between my boys. 

Happy 4th month, G!


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Three & a half years of Sal

Sal is three and a half now.

He's become quite a good little conversationalist, and I enjoy our discussions on the topics that matter to him--like what time does the garbage truck driver get to work? And does he take the truck home? If so, where does he park it? 

  Just a kid being a kid. Hello summer. 

I love trying to answer the burning questions of a three and a half year old so long as they don't begin with "mama, maama, maamaaa can I have some....."  The whining is not high on my favorite-things-my-kid-does list, but it comes with the territory, I suppose. From what I hear from other moms, it's par for the course. 

         Walking home from school

Sal is still loving going to school. He's only going once a week for summer so that he could partake in other fun classes that he and I chose before summer started. He's taking a science for preschoolers class that he loves and also has swimming lessons (which he doesn't mind as long as he doesn't have to go under) once a week, as well as gymnastics. 

          Sal's new "smile" for photos

This age is also very challenging to parent. From questions I don't know the answer to, to tantrums that come out of nowhere. It's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One minute sweet, and the next, well......let's just say, not so nice. I know it's just a "season", and this too shall pass, so for now, we are staying consistent with expectations and consequences and riding it out. Some days it feels like I'm failing him miserably as a parent, and others I know that he feels our love and is a content little guy. 

I've been trying more one on one time with him, as has Nick. In fact, as a reward for accomplishing a milestone, Sal got to go to his first movie in a theatre with Nick. They saw Minions. I'm not sure what was more of a hit.....the popcorn, movie or his very own soda?! He was quite thrilled upon their return from Minions and keeps asking to go to a movie "not in our house". 

       Playing Legos with his mama

He usually accompanies me to the market on Saturday mornings to help with the weekly grocery shopping. He's right behind me nipping at my heels (literally) with his small cart as we chat about what dinners we will make, and how many of each item are on our list. We never seem to get out of the checkout line without a bag of skittles, because how can I resist a boy who says, "oh mama, skittles! Those don't make Gino sick do they? You can have them with me". (He's quite interested in my dairyfree diet, and has actually paid attention to what I can and can not eat. Smart boy). 

   B"Smile, Sal!" And this is what I get...

He's still a small fry, barely breaking 32 lbs. He won't  stand still long enough for me to get a good measurement on height, but his 3t pants have become high waters as of late, so he's got to be growing. 

There's a saying that goes, " the days are long but the years fly by", which is absolutely how I feel about being this kid's mama. I have a hard time accepting that he is going to be FOUR in just six more months. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gino is 3 months old

In the last month Gino has morphed from a sleeping newborn into a smiley, interactive baby. I love his 4:30 am smiles even though I'd prefer to be sleeping. If I've got to get up to feed him, at least he's happy to see me. 

He's been sleeping almost through the night. Usually 8:15-4:30, up for a quick feed and back to sleep until 7:30/8:00 am. His naps are sporadic. I haven't put any effort in getting him on a set schedule yet. He usually naps around 11:00 in the ergo, and in the afternoons for a couple hours in his mamaroo. 

He is however, finally in his own room for bedtime, and I'm transitioning his afternoon nap from the mamaroo to his bed as I type. I'm ready to purge the baby gear that resides in my living room. 

Gino continues to be a good little eater. I have no idea what he weighs this month, but he is already wearing six month clothes, so I know he's a growing boy. 

He has spent the last month sitting on the sidelines while we schlep his older siblings to their summer programs. He usually hangs close to me in our ergo, but has recently been riding in our strollers like a big boy and seems to enjoy his own space. It's been so hot that we just stick together when I wear him, so we both appreciate the freedom from one another when he rides instead. 

Tummy time isn't his favorite, but he puts up with it and is holding his head up quite well. He gets frustrated and rocks to the side but still hasn't rolled over--I know it's coming soon. 

   Gino loves conversations with GG pat

          Snuggles with GG Dottie

We took a couple trips to Santa Barbara to see his great grandmas, aunts and uncles last month. Gino loves his snuggles. I feel so fortunate that my children have the opportunity to know their greats. With both of my parents now retired, we hope to see lots more of them in the months to come. 

Here's to an eventful fourth month!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Touch a truck

We have a fantastic parks and rec program in our area. Every year they host "touch-a-truck"--an event which fills an area park with trucks of all sorts. 

For a three year old boy infatuated with trucks, this event is heaven on earth. 

          [ pregame lunch in the park]

My sister and brother in law joined us--it was hot out--and we were flirting with disaster choosing to go right at lunchtime, but Sal was in his element. 

I'm so glad we bent a little of our schedule to let him experience this event. After downing some sandwiches in the shade, we took off towards the trucks. 

    [ sal hooking straps on the crane hook]

There were cranes (the kids got to hook and give signals), emergency vehicles, construction equipment, UPS and cement mixers, to name a few. 

          [ next year's holiday card (?)]

But by far, the favorite in our household was the garbage truck. Hence the family picture in front of one. 

             [ checking out the Roller]

I love being back in America so that I can indulge in my kid's interests and take advantage of all of the things our wonderful little town offers. We will most definitely be going back for years to come.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

Kitchen facelift

After six weeks without a kitchen, we finally finished it last week. 

I'm in love..

And because I dig before and after shots, here you go...

The overhead cabinets blocked out light, NZ managed to nail his head on them every time he prepped food under them and I couldn't reach anything higher than the bottom shelf.

 They had to go ...

Since it's a small galley kitchen, we kept the footprint the same and utilized our cabinet space more efficiently, replacing my wall oven and cooktop with an all in one range. 

We removed the pantry which blocked light from the side door and opted for a built in side board with tons of storage to run along my dining room wall. Taking that pantry cabinet out also opened up the room for an open concept. 

My pantry resides in the sideboard, with tons of extra space for the kids to have a cabinet devoted to toys. This makes my minimalist side very happy-no more toys lingering in the living room after bedtime. 

I've got lofty plans of putting in a large framed mirror or chalkboard in the open space and decorating that area for the holidays since our house doesn't have a fireplace or mantel. 

A huge thanks to our contractor for being so patient with us and to NZ for busting his butt in China so we could enjoy a fresh kitchen upon our return. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

World's most expensive timeout

I debated posting this for a few weeks now, but if it can help anyone else avoid what we went through, it's worth writing about.

So here's the story. 

A couple of Fridays ago, just before lunch, Sal got lippy with me, and after being warned once, he was sent on timeout. We do our timeouts outside on the back lawn ( sorry neighbors!) so that no walls can be punched/ kicked or have boogers smeared during the meltdown. I grabbed Sal by the forearm and lead him out to the yard. When we hit the concrete, he dropped himself in protest and I reacted by pulling him up by the arm to drag him to his timeout spot which was literally only TWO FEET away.

As I pulled him up to try and get him back on his feet--there was a loud pop. 

And screaming. 

" you hurted meeeeeeee! Mama, why you hurted me?!"

His arm was limp. He wouldn't let me near him to try and figure out where he was hurt. 

And of course, it was noon when I dialed my pediatrician to get advice. How dare they take a lunch!!!!?!

I finally received a callback and was told to bring him in right when they reopened after lunch. 

We went in, and I'll admit, I was sweating bullets. I had worked myself up over that hour and a half wait thinking they'd probably have CPS question me since Sal wouldn't stop saying," mama, why you hurted me. That's not berry nice!" I felt awful, and hearing his pained little voice magnified my regret and sorrow that much more. After all, did I really need to enforce the timeout two feet from where he collapsed?

Thankfully, the pediatrician told me that he sees this type of injury often. 

Phew. I'm still in the running for mother of the year....

He explained that Sal had a nursemaids elbow. He could do a reduction and get it back in place in the office. 

Easier said than done. 

The pediatrician " wasn't sure" if it went back in because he didn't feel it pop. He sent us home with Advil and said he should start using it within a few hours.

A few hours later--still wouldn't use his arm at all and cried if we came near him.

So, Saturday, I called the on call pediatrician to seek advice as to where to take Sal. He suggested the emergency room, as he wasn't sure an urgent care would be well versed on elbow reductions. Off Sal and I went to the ER with hopes of enjoying a root beer afterwards. We saw an ER doc, who ordered X-rays. She also felt it was nursemaid elbow, and attempted a reduction on a now very traumatized little boy. Again, no pop. Again, " I'm not sure it went in. He should be better in a few hours". 

"Come back if it's still hurting tomorrow."


Sal and I headed home ( with a stop for root beer, of course) and to no surprise, he still wasn't using his arm

Sunday morning, I was in tears. I had hurt my child, and taken him in to find relief, and he still wasn't better. I reached out for advice from my former boss. He advised that I go back to the ER and demand an orthopedic evaluation. At this point, Sal's elbow had been out of place for 36 hours. It needed fixing ASAP, by someone competent in this type of injury. I marched myself and Sal back to the ER, paid yet another $100 copay, and was basically laughed at by the on duty ER doc. He said that kids do this all the time, and that there was no need to call an ortho in on the weekend. He said he'd reduce it--to which I gave a hefty, " you're not touching him" and walked out with Sal in tow. 

Thankfully, Sal had charmed the nursing staff the day before, and one of them recognized us and said, " Sal, you're back?!". She came in and talked to me and told me to hold tight. She was able to get the original ER doc that we saw Saturday to come in and see us. She agreed that another attempt by a non orthopedic doctor would be a bad idea. She sweetly called the on all ortho, and tried to get him to come in to help us. Unfortunately, the ortho felt that it'd be best to have us see a pediatric specialist since his elbow had undergone two failed reductions and was probably quite swollen inside. Sal was splinted and assigned a nurse case manager who expedited a next day referral for us to see a pediatric ortho down near LA.

Long story short, we went to LA on Monday and saw the sweetest pediatric specialist. Sal had more X-rays, and she agreed that it was definitely nursemaid elbow and sweet talked Sal into letting her touch his arm. She talked Cars and lightening McQueen with him as she rotated his palm upwards. He cried, but she kept talking to him about Mater, Sally and even Fillmore as she popped that elbow back in place. I didn't hear it thanks to the screaming three year old in my lap, but she did, and Sal told her that she "hurted him and broke his bone", "because it crackted". We had to stay til he demonstrated that he could use it--which was about 30 min and many bribes later. 

By the next day, he ditched his splint and it was like the last 48 hours never happened.

Pretty sure our ER bill will remind us just how expensive that timeout ended up being in a month or so.

Lesson learned. Don't lift your kid by the forearm.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

She speaks!

Big news in the Zentil house.

Nick came home to meet with our contractor this morning and I happened to be here with Carla and Gino when he had to go back to work.

And whaddya know?

Carla uttered her first sorta-sentence as he left....

"Bye bye, dada" 

Melt. My. Heart.