Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mom of 2's First Outing

I've been out with Mateo only a few times since his birth.  We've gone to visit family, we spent a morning outside at a ski resort, and the worst was a solo trip to Costco for some staples shopping.  3 month old Mateo is a lot of work during outings and I rarely take him anywhere unless there is another adult around for support.

I don't remember bumping my head, but yesterday was my first crazy attempt at going out with both boys at once without my husband.   Both boys!  What was I thinking, agreeing to go out with my friend and her 1 year old son?  It was plaguing the back of my mind, and I almost called and canceled with her.   But I didn't.  I'm a mom of 2 now so it was time to face the music.

I packed the stroller with everything under the sun that I thought I would need, and we headed to the kid's Exploratorium museum in San Francisco.   Diego was in toddler-heaven and I somehow managed to avert his temper tantrums each time he took a liking to a particular exhibit and it was time to move on.  His favorites were the flying balls, the tornado, and the distorted house. 

Mateo did well too.  He stayed calm in his stroller for about 1/2 hr or 45 minutes.  When he really started to cry, I pulled out the baby carrier (remember I packed everything) and strapped him to me.  He lasted another hour or so while his older brother ran around like a lunatic in the distorted house.  When Mateo started getting cranky in the carrier, I knew it was time for a nap so I sat on a bench next to the distorted house and fed him a bottle in my arms until he fell asleep. I was able to put him back in the stroller asleep. 

When I got home, Hubby asked, "How did it go?"

"Well - I survived...." I said.  That was good enough.

Actually looking forward to more outings once the weather starts to turn - Shirley

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eye on the Prize

Everyday around 10 a.m. my grandpa takes me to the mall to release my pent up energy.  We walk around the mall for an hour before we even reach the children's play area.  Everyday, I see the helicopter man in his kiosk flying the toy helicopter that he is selling.  I pause in utter amazement.  I've spent hours just standing there, watching the toy helicopter fly.  Grandpa said he won't buy it for me yet because I'm still too young and I'll break it right away.

So now every morning when Grandpa says, "Come on Diego, let's go out." I reply with a whizzing sound coupled with a spinning motion of my hand.  "Yes, Diego.  We'll go see the helicopter.  Go put on your shoes."

It was during one of these typical mornings last week where I enjoyed a special surprise.  I arrived at the helicopter kiosk to find the helicopter man tinkering with the helicopter.  It was not flying yet.  After some time and the helicopter still not flying, the man said something to my grandfather and handed me the helicopter.  He HANDED ME THE HELICOPTER!  Finally!  After all the invested hours of helicopter gazing, it was finally mine.  Well done, helicopter man!

Grandpa said something about it being broken, but I didn't understand or care.  I was over the moon with my precious prize.  A few days later I harassed my grandpa to buy a $1.00 video game remote control I found while we were browsing the Goodwill.  Grandpa didn't understand my fixation, but he bought it for me anyway.

As soon as I got to the house, I grabbed my helicopter and placed it cautiously on the ground and then I sat on the couch and pressed the buttons and joy stick on the remote.  Mom said it was the sweetest, most pitiful thing she's ever seen.

I don't care, I'm still over the moon with my broken helicopter and mismatched Goodwill remote.

P.S.  Grandpa was right.  The helicopter looks nothing like it did a week ago.  It's blade-less for one.

Click below to help Diego get a working helicopter (when he's old enough)

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Monday, March 26, 2012

If these walls could speak...

If these walls could speak, they'd let out a great big sigh and say, "Ahhhhhhhh thank you for painting me!"

As of today, we are done with all the flooring in our house.  Almost all the painting is done too, except for the master bedroom which is currently being worked on.  This week, Hubby is going full speed ahead trying to finish as much as he can before he begins an intense project that won't leave him any spare time to continue any work on our house for at least a month.  I will take more detailed and "sophisticated" (aka: not cell phone pictures) next week when the work comes to a halt.

Truthfully, the work could stop now if it had to.  I'm happy with where we're at now.  Sure my kitchen still needs counters and appliances and my temporary sink only has two temperature settings:  Hot & Extremely Hot.  It doesn't matter.  I wanted to see paint on those walls, and damn it I got my wish, finally!  No more wall plaster!

Sleeping in the boy's new blue room until the end of this week! - Shirley

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Whining" and Dining

"Did you pack everything you need?" he asked.

In a resentful tone I replied, "I don't need to pack.  I put everything I need in that plastic bag over there.  I can't even find my weekender bag in this mess!"  The truth is I was looking for sympathy and I was looking to hear him say, "Maybe we shouldn't go, maybe we should stay with our kids."  But that's not the message I ultimately received.

He had his heart set on going away for the weekend; just the two of us.  At one point during my silent protests he even said something about paying attention to my husband too.  He was crying out for attention and although I could mentally understand it, emotionally I couldn't because there was a little baby in the back of my mind.

I have a pretty level head on my shoulders and it's not that easy for me to get emotional.  I'm not the textbook example of what you think of when you think: woman.  But Mateo has done something to the chemicals in my brain where while his constant crying sometimes drives me to the edge, on the same note the thought of leaving him for just one night caused me to weep like most of my other estrogen-carrying counterparts would.  It's that newborn/mother bond... I'm not immune to it, turns out.

Other than my silent, passive-aggressiveness I did not protest any further with my husband.  The rational side of me knew that he was right.  A weekend away from the boys would be beneficial for the both of us and this was our only opportunity for awhile.  But at that moment, the main reason that I did not protest was mostly to save an argument between the two of us.  No good could come from me running my mouth off while emotional.  It would be like entertaining an argument with a drunk, belligerent fool. 

Speaking of drunk, in an hour and a half we reached our destination:  wine country.  Where my husband wined and dined me (maybe a little too much of the wining part says the hangover I had the next day!) He dropped some extra dollars on a fabulous suite complete with a jacuzzi tub and fireplace with flat panel tv above it, where he further spoiled me by watching 2, count 'em 2!, Rachel McAdams movies!  He NEVER does that (The Gladiator and 300 are just about the only types of movies he enjoys)  He topped the cherry on the cake when he agreed that The Time Traveler's Wife is better than The Notebook.  Can it get any more romantical than that?

And that's how I unintentionally spent my St. Patrick's Day! -Shirley 

Click below if you were also a belligerent drunk on St. Paddy's Day!  ;)

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Countdown

I think a sane person would start the countdown anywhere from T minus 24 hours or even T minus 7 days, but I'm starting my countdown as of today.  I have officially one month of maternity leave time left.  I'm trying my best to scooch this plaguing thought over to the back of my mind, but it keeps bubbling up and depressing me.

The truth is that I don't really want to go back at all.  I get super jealous and make unrealistic comparisons with celebrities.  'Oh how I wish I were Paris Hilton.  I wouldn't have to go back.'  She must know how good she has it.  But I'm neither rich nor am I painfully selfless enough to take a huge pay cut to pursue becoming a stay-at-home-mom. They say that you should do what you love to do in your career, but no one is going to pay me enough to give Qori kisses all day. 

So the clock timer has started ticking.  And pretty soon it will become increasingly difficult to share and capture daylight moments like this one:

Synchronized Tummy-Time.  

-Sigh, Shirley 

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What If...

I think you know me by now to be a very free-spirited, easy-going type of mother.  I don't stress myself out by setting unrealistic expectations on my children or myself as a mother.  I just focus on precious moments with my family.  Otherwise, I would have never made it out alive as a pregnant mother of a toddler living through a total house remodel that left our daily lives without any kind of structure or normalcy. 

I encourage Diego to learn and explore at his own pace.  I don't place too many nit-picky restrictions on him, but he does often hear "no" from me.  Like "No, you can't have candy for breakfast" or  "No, don't kick the dog!" or "No, you are not allowed to play on your tablet until after your noon nap."  And he understands and obeys for the most part. (Except for the candy - those no's automatically lead to temper tantrums.)

Diego is allowed an occasional soda or more-than-occasional piece of candy, he sometimes falls asleep after us watching Youtube videos on my husband's iPad, and we don't prohibit him from running or riding his tricycle in the house. We let him be.  He is a child, after all.  And he's had some amazing progress all on his own.  His two recently-learned words are "Candy" and "Apple", but he isn't stringing two words together yet like "Candy Apple" which he should be by now.  (OK maybe not exactly "candy apple" but you know what I mean)

And lately I find myself thinking "What if..." and I never wanted to think that.  What if.....  What if I had tried a little harder to push through his maniacal need to be the only one holding and using a book, and tried read him books more often?  What if I spent a little more time with him writing and drawing instead of watching Mickey Mouse Playhouse?  What if I tried a little harder at carrying out a longer monologue when "speaking" to him so that he would have had more exposure to words and sounds.  There are so many things that I could have done.  But that is the past, and "What Ifs" are my present, and my future (Friday) includes me sitting in a waiting room as Diego starts his speech therapy at two years of age. 

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Then you automatically cast a vote!  And Shirley gives Diego a candy apple...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hubby Rules!

It's Monday, boo.......  Over the weekend we had the kind of weather that makes California.  The stuff of dreams.  The type of weather that makes you want to haul a$$ to your favorite beach and lay out in the sand and tan.

But what did my husband do in this beautiful weather?  He donned his painter's gear and 1) primed the entire exterior of our house 2) Attached the house address numbers to the outside of our house 3) patched and sanded the entire interior of the house, all while sometimes dealing with an emotionally attached-to-his-father toddler that got away from mama because she needed to nurse the baby.

In other words, he tried to make me happy.  And he was successful! I honestly think that by the end of this week we will finally have some color on our walls.  When the walls and flooring are done, I plan to post some status pics of the remodel. 

Trying to divert the keyword search term "Men suck" to blogs other than mine - Shirley

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lake Tahoe (Pet Edition)

Sadly, I missed getting any shots of two Chihuahuas but trust me, there were seven dogs... if chihuahuas count as whole dogs!   =)

The Lake Tahoe water temperature stays at a constant 39 degrees, and as you can see Qori had no problem swimming for pine cones!  He also loved playing in the snow, but has sensitive paw pads since he's a "city dog", and I had to cut the fun short when I spied red blotches of snow.

He's OK now, but this is not the first time.  I've learned my lesson, and he will be sporting fashionable boots at our next great outdoor adventure.  No matter how much he protests.


In addition to giving Qori extra hugs and treats for his paws, I also piled on the affection because I was very proud of him.  He didn't open his can of Crazy-Qori Whoopass on the other dogs.  Mind you, I still had him behind a gate during meal times, but the rest of the time he was free to consort with the 6 other dogs, and there wasn't any drama!  I gave him lots of kisses for letting me keep the muzzle in the luggage bag the whole time...

I think he finally accepted that these other dogs are part of the pack family.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Month In Phone Pics - February Recap

Last month I did not do a recap in phone pics because my phone had been usurped by Diego the entire month due to his obsession with Angry Birds.  However, since we got him his own Kindle Fire tablet for his birthday, my phone has suddenly become accessible to me again.  It took me awhile to get used to the fact that I was allowed to reach for my phone to snap a pic without feeling the wrath of Diego.  Basically, this is my long-winded excuse for the shortage of photos.
Diego's favorite vegetable:  Corn on the cobb; Valentine's dinner with Hubby; Both kids asleep at Grandpa's at the SAME TIME!  Halleluiah!

Diego takes exact measurements for our new flooring; Mateo asleep in his SwaddleMe; Mateo's Asian eyes; Diego channels the Jewish with a nursing pad on his head!

Diego: Jealous of his little brother...

According to my blog stats, only 3% of my audience access my blog via an Android phone, which is what I have.  It's a small number but I thought I'd mention this anyway since I am both an Iphone (work) and Android (personal) user.  You have to be living under a rock not to notice the impact that Instagram has on the interwebz these days.  Unfortunately, Instagram is not available on the Android market yet.  However, I found Streamzoo (which is very similar), and I've been using the app to jazz up my phone pics.  I also found an app called Photo Grid which is very similar to the Iphone's PicFrame to frame multiple pics into one collage.  I just thought I'd mention it for what it's worth.

Last week, my stats also showed that one of the keyword searches for my blog was "Men suck".  What's that all about?  I know I was a little depressed and took it out on Hubz, but Jeez!  LOL.