Saturday, May 30, 2009

Daddy Props

Today, I helped my mom with her yard sale, and Joel took care of Ethan for the morning. He's really such a great dad; he loves spending time with Ethan, and Ethan is constantly looking around for his daddy. He's enthralled by Joel's face, not that I'm surprised... it seems like everywhere we go, babies and little ones are always staring at him and smiling. It is one of the things that made me love him even more, actually; that these innocent creatures, so fresh and new in this world, could recognize that he is a good man and want to be near him was actually enchanting... what a cool way to find out someone is worth keeping around! ;)

Anyway, Joel loves being a dad. Yeah, sometimes it's a little frustrating, just like it is for me, but in general he enjoys the time they spend together. He seems to be so much more comfortable with Ethan now that he's interacting so much with us and with the world around him. One thing I also like about Joel is that he doesn't question or criticize me about my parenting skills or choices about Ethan. I need to learn this invaluable skill from him, because for some reason I keep looking over his shoulder and telling him what to do; talk about micromanaging, sheesh! That's a great way to make him unenthusiastic about taking care of the baby; I've really got to put a clamp on my tendencies to "supervise" when the baby is involved.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two teeth, or not two teeth.... that is the question.

This week, Ethan's second tooth cut through, right next to his first one. He has been having such a rough time with this teething. Pobrecito! He's really excited about his pacificer now, as a chew toy, but prefers fingers if possible. Not that we want him in the habit of chewing on people to relieve his discomfort, but... you gotta do what you gotta do.

He also just started really, really, *really* getting how to roll over. He's done it by himself so many times now; we set him down on his back, turn around for a few seconds, turn back, and presto! He's on his tummy, arching his back and thrusting his legs up into the air. He even rolls consecutively, like he's trying to get across the room via rolling. Pretty cool! I guess it's time to babyproof the house, hmm?

Oh, and he's becoming much more skilled at using his hands and fingers to manipulate objects, pull things in towards his mouth, and play with toys. A couple of days ago, he was in the car, sitting in his carseat, and I reached in to give him his pacifier. He spit it out twice, so I just left it sitting on his lap and went around to drive over to a friend's house. He was so quiet on the way there that I thought he had fallen asleep. When I arrived, I went in to pick up his carseat and saw that he was still awake-- and had the pacifier in his mouth! Which means, of course, that he figured out how to pick it up, pull it to his mouth, and put it in the right way. All without accidentally dragging it back out (like he does sometimes) because his fingers get caught in the ring and he just yanks them back. Yay, Ethan! He's really figuring it out. He also tries to hold his bottle now, and tries to hold the spoon when I feed him his rice cereal.

Speaking of feeding, I can't WAIT until I can start making his food at home, rather than getting baby food from the store. It's great for convenience and travel and everything, but just like for me & Joel, I'm going to try to stick to home-made food as much as possible. Better for all of us, and especially since I'll be at home full-time.

Oh, did I forget to mention? I got my pink slip on Friday May 15th, so it looks like I'll be a stay-at-home mom until I find another job. I'd sooo much rather just be home with the baby and take care of our family, but it really depends on how things work out financially. Keep your fingers crossed. (Or we might be calling *you* and asking to move into your garage!)

Monday, May 11, 2009


Ethan's first tooth finally broke through his gums this weekend. And man-oh-boise, is it sharp! I read that for most babies, their teeth come in the same way, in order; bottom central incisors, top central incisors, and then out from there radiating towards the molars. For Ethan, his bottom teeth have been very visible in his gums for about a month now. It looks like the entire outline of his tooth underneath the surface of his gums, slightly swollen and red. Now that one tooth on the bottom is poking through, he is doing even more chewing and gnawing than usual-- and it feels like there might be some other teeth on top that are just about ready to cut through as well. Poor thing; it must be so uncomfortable! Especially because he is still pretty picky about the temperature of what goes in his mouth. He still wants his formula very warm (almost hot!), although we are trying to get him used to slightly cooler temperatures bit by bit. And when I try to give him cooled teething rings, or a cloth dipped in water and then frozen or even just refrigerated, he spits it out immediately. His favorite self-soothing technique seems to be chewing on fingers, although that can lead to bad habits (like biting!) later on, so I'm hoping we can find some other option for him soon...

Anyway, it's pretty awesome that his first tooth is finally through... we're on our way!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

First Mother's Day

Last year at this time, I invited my family over for a special brunch to celebrate my mom. We had baked french toast, scrumptious bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, fresh juice, and much more. It was an awesome feast. After eating, we gathered to share gifts with my mom, and thank her for everything. My gift to her was a photo of an ultrasound picture, and a bib that said "I love Grandma"-- my way of announcing that I was six weeks pregnant. She cried, I cried, we videotaped it. It was a very special, emotional day.

This year, Mother's Day was a little bit different. I have waited for this day for a long, long time. And while it wasn't everything I was dreaming of, in terms of celebration or "special" time, it was good for my soul. In the morning, Joel & I dropped off the baby for grandparent-time and went over to grab more stuff from my parents' Las Flores house... we made a delicious lunch (stromboli & salad) and spent time just hanging out with grammy & papa... we shopped for some crucial baby gear (sunglasses, floppy hat, sunscreen)... and we went for a Baby Bjorn walk in the evening, just the three of us. All in all, it was a fairly quiet day. Nothing to differentiate it from any other Sunday lunch with the family, except one small, perfect, amazing change: This time, I'm a mom. And I always will be. And that one thing is enough to change everything, and make what could be a mundane event into something unforgettable. Happy Mother's Day, to me. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Friendship: Proof.

We're saved, for now. My dear friend Veena's daughter has agreed to watch Ethan during the day for us while she is on break from Modesto Junior College this month. When she starts back up again in June, we'll have to figure out how to work around her schedule until the 19th, but at least we have May taken care of... thank god! What a blessing. Not only is it one-on-one, but it's someone we know and care about and who will care for our son with all of her heart. And the great thing is, Regita will have some extra support there as well; she'll have her dad in the house until around lunch-time, and then her mom is home by around 3:00, so she has other people to help out when things get a little overwhelming. This is such a great help for us. Now I've got to figure out a way to say "thank you" properly... let the brainstorming begin!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Universe decides it's time for a change...

Nina called this evening. She won't be able to take care of Ethan anymore... starting tomorrow (Monday). They want her on day shift instead of evenings. NOOOO!!!! We've really loved having him with Nina, and I'm totally dreading having to start looking for somewhere else. I can't even express how disappointed and upset I am about this. She was so great for us, and for Ethan; she really cared about him. And not only that, but we could actually afford to pay for care when he was with her. And then, add to that the fact that we got less than 24 hours notice that we wouldn't have daycare for the next day, and you have a less than stellar Sunday evening on your hands. Ugh to the nth degree.

After a lot of discussion about it, we finally decided that Joel will stay home with Ethan until we can figure something else out. I just don't think we can afford to pay for yet another daycare registration fee + the $250/week, and then still have to worry about what's happening while he's at the center all day long. It was so nice to have one-on-one daycare for him; it made it possible for me to actually go in to work without being in constant pain and completely distracted the whole time worrying about him. Now, what do we do? Lose all of Joel's income, I guess. It's just ridiculous. It's like someone doesn't want us to succeed, or something; once we start getting somewhere happy and safe and okay, everything goes haywire and we have to re-balance, adjust, and try to put the pieces back together. Can't things just work out, for once? Please?!??!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Premature balding

He's losing his hair! My son is going bald, at age 4.5 months. Sheesh, who knew it would kick in so early? :)
In other news, his neck is getting much stronger, he's starting to interact a whole lot more, and he's still sleeping through the night. Woo-hoo! He also (bum-bum-bum!) just started to eat rice cereal. And he loves it. For awhile now he has been staring at us while we ate, fixating on our mouths and the food and the whole process, and at his last doctor visit they said to go ahead and get him started on solids. He's really on his way now!