Friday, February 25, 2011

Daily Life with Lydia

Bathtime is going much better. Now that she is a little sturdier and she loves books. So a Sandra Boyton bath book was in order.

She particularly likes the chicken. When we put her in the tub in the bathroom she pretty much swims from side to side which is so cute. Can't wait for Mommy and Me swim lessons this summer!

Just a few moments from crawling. Her spinning scoot motion provides easy assess to various toy options. She loves that little piano...perhaps she will follow in the footsteps of her daddy and be a fancy keyboarder.

Zerbert faces in her pretty dress from her Great Aunt Maggie in Miami.Sending kisses and so use to posed pictures at this point.

Snacking while watching Mickey's Clubhouse. I thought I would be that person that would never allow their child to watch television because it rots their brains but it turns out I allow it. Not in high quantity but she really likes the bright colors and the talking mouse. We watch Dora the Explorer and Handy Manny as well to throw in our multicultural hippee brainwashing as well.

After all she is Latina which can be seen not only with her enjoyment of her Hispanic American cartoon friends but her love of mangoes. She loved them so much that she shoved the entire plate in her mouth. Deeeelicious!

Lydia is also enjoying being able to eat things on her own and not having to wait for us. This item below is a rice cereal "mum" which is banana flavored. It melts in her mouth so the choking hazard is minimal.  And clearly yummy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Slap a Soccer Ball on it and call me Mom!

On Saturday I turned 35 years old. For my birthday we went to the zoo (pictures to follow) and took Lydia's grandparents (my folks) with us in my Jeep. The Jeep was sporty. Shiny. A fun vehicle to ride in though it was a gas guzzler. I enjoyed pretending I would actually use my sport utility vehicle for off roadin' and other big wheeled recreational activities and of course, as a good suburbian I never did. I never even tied a canoe to the top, not that I own one but it is clear that I am not that sporty and squishing my parents into the back seat with the baby seat was not a great long term plan but we did it on the zoo trip. We also did it when we went to Miami in the Fall. My mother and I sat in the back with the baby, my dad shotgun and Eliot drove because they have longer legs for four hours. As I mentioned previously, not the best long term plan, so we have been discussing vehicle options.

When Eliot first suggested a minivan. I stuck my nose in the air and shook my head insulted that he thought I would be that person, that mom with the minivan. Ha! I said, "No way would I be driving a minivan!" I might have even ranted about all of those bad parents with dvd players on to anesthetize their children instead of engaging with them. I might have even thought fondly of many road trips with my parents where we chatted and I got to hear stories of when they were young in Cuba. It is completely possible that I explained that there is no actual needed correlation between being a mom and having a minivan; I was sure I could parent without it. And I would end this series of reflections with a proclamation to investigate other automobile options which of course I did, and it turns out that if you want storage and to travel with people all in the same car, a small van of sorts is the ideal mode of transport. Sigh.

Hence, we got a minivan. As we began to shop for it, we hoping not to have all the bells and whistles but luck would have it that our best deal was for a minivan that is completely and totally tricked out. This car has buttons and compartments everywhere. It has automatic everything. It truly is luxury driving. When I leave my house in the morning I feel like I am getting into a space car. And it has better gas mileage than the Jeep! Henrik the Honda is truly a space odyssey!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Milky Cereal Baby

I started pumping way before needing to go back to work. So I had a stock pile of milk extras when I started. This took off the pressure of having to pump enough for Lydia right off the bat. I only pump once a day and I get about 4-6 ounces which for the stage Lydia is in at the moment isn't quite enough. When I got home yesterday my mom told me she gave her formula for the first time during the day, only about 3 ounces  after her solids. There was some breast milk in the freezer but not a lot, so was a good time to transition. Honestly my heart sank a little not because I ever had the intention of being hardcore breast milk only but  more because I never considered the transition very well.  Lydia has had one bottle of formula with rice cereal (the oatmeal cereal did not work out) before bed for a while the amount has varied so she was just fine with the change yesterday. It was me that was a little verklempt.

The skinny on the pumping at school for me is I try to squeeze it in during a free period but if not I do it during lunch which takes some work or flexibility in other areas like eating while I pump or snacking in between classes. I bring a little cooler which has ice packs where I can put in the milk containers. I pump in my car just because I have a bluetooth system and I can make phone calls, listen to NPR or a book on tape so the time goes by faster. This also prevents me from lugging all this gear on and off campus everyday. I put the little cooler in a shady area and since it has 4-6 hours before it goes bad, I can stick it in the freezer when I get home. I keep telling myself that as long as I nurse her when we are together I will continue to produce milk which all things indicate is true, including real research. So that is what I do. My new mommy mantra is "That is still super good!"  "That is still super good!" "That is still super good!" and her morning feeding is still a good 5 ounces of mothers finest. It's the best we can do!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

5 Months: Flipping and Teething

Lydia is a flipping baby! I just received word that she finally made it to rolling over from her back to her belly. Today is her 5 months birthday! She is seconds away from crawling. She already creeps a bit. She spins. She sits fairly well but loses her balance a bit and falls over. She screams consonants and vowels mostly maamamamamammaa! And in the last couple of days she is really rambling quite a bit. I wonder what she is trying to tell us. Lydia loves to play with her toys, listen to us read and eat her books. The eating of books leads us to the following teething. 

The teething is in full swing and I have to say that I am at times unsure of what else to do. We have given her fun things to chew on. Boy does she like grabbing those things and chopping on them! At times  we have rubbed the nighttime Orajel on her gums which seems to soothe her to sleep. She has been sleeping well through the night so I can't complain. When I stick my finger in her mouth to feel around I can feel a slight sharpness and particularly hard gums in the center top front and bottom. Only once so far have we needed to use the baby tylenol and she really does not like the taste. Matter of fact, I tasted it and its super metalicy. Just because they don't have the words it does not mean that we should force them to gross tasting things particularly when the baby isn't feeling very well. There are moments when she is nursing that I think she may confuse the teething rings and me. That isn't too fun but I am thankful to still be able to nurse her even though I live in constant fear that I will stop making enough milk. That is terrifying for some reason. Eliot reminds me that my breastfeeding goal was 6 months which we are really close to but it's just not enough now. I want to make it to the summer so we can ween properly. And by properly I mean I want to be with her.

We are looking forward to spring break. We constantly brainstorm good family trips with a 6 month old. I am not sure she will enjoy a theme park, but maybe the zoo? An aquarium? What are good baby vacations? Eliot and I have carved out an American road-trip extravaganza for the summer, so beware The Gaurkees may be coming to a city near you! During the summer we will be enjoying a Mommy and Me swim lesson and some other family fun, but the Spring is still up in the air. What should we do?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


pre-momitis eating dinner with daddy
Momitis [mom-i-tus] noun 1. The missing of the mommy 2. Thinking your mommy is lost 3. Needing your mommy at bedtime

My daughter is suffering from momitis. At first we thought that perhaps it was some cranky bedtime issues or perhaps an evening burst of teething woes but it turns out that it appears to be the need to be put to bed by her mommy. Admittedly, there is a tiny part of me that is filled with joy about this and feels super special that the last face she wants to see is mine before going beddy bye.  A larger part of me however is reasonable and I feels badly for poor Eliot who is an amazing dad in a million ways and has a screaming little girl on his hands that he can't seem to console. She loves her daddy so much too. He is the fun one, much more fun than I am by far. I also feel badly for Lydia who must think that her mommy is missing or trapped under something heavy and cannot reach her.

The last couple of nights I was attending a workshop on Teaching Islam. The workshop was from 4:30-7:30. Luckily, I was able to leave work early on both days and spend several hours with Lydia before the evening of learning. This gave me an opportunity to nurse twice instead of pumping too. Even though, the resources and lesson plans were a dorky teacher's dream the report of the upset baby, however, was not. The first night Eliot sounded exhausted because Lydia's wailing was so extreme that she tired herself out and went to sleep at 7:20. When I got home, I did the carnal "no no" of picking her up and rocking with her for a while. She opened her eye for a second and went back to sleep. There was a huge possibility that that could have been disastrous but I wanted her to know that her mom was back and that she could sleep peacefully. Last night, I arrived mid-momitis break. I grabbed her, cuddled and rocked and off to dreamland she went happily. Not sure how to fix this one.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sigh. Freshmen.

For the first time since I have been teaching, which is almost 10 years now (only 8 1/2 at my current school) I have had to teach two sections of the same course differently because of behavior. My freshmen course is on Western Religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. One class is amazing, inspiring, fun. They are working on a group project on the Judaic Covenants using Facebook as the outline for their investigation. My other class is sitting in silence reading scripture and answer question after question because if they are asked to participation they can't. I rarely say that. They are constantly turning around, poking and touching each other, talking out of turn, trying to be funny...and I have done all the traditional responses like redirection, assigned seats, and sending home academic warnings, so I am left with silence. The problem with this method is that I feel guilty. I feel guilty making them work in silence learning information in manners that are likely the least effective for a group of students with these types of struggles but they certainly were not getting the material before with the interactive style. So I sit. They sit. We all sit. In silence.

On a happier notes, my good friend CD made Lydia the most adorable berry hat and all I can think about is going home and putting it on her head. I got to see Stephanie (friend from college) and Addi (her almost 2 month old baby girl) this weekend and they are doing wonderfully. I attended the most delightful Mickey birthday party for little 2 year old Eva and had tasty sliders for Superbowl made by Pete. And I have to say as I bit into one, for a tiny moment, I felt like a giant. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Yoga Blues

My little hippie baby doing the boat pose
When I was a little girl I took gymnastics for years. You would think that would have enabled me to be a cheerleader or do a flip of some sort but not really. What it did provide was a lifetime of flexibility. They (ever wonder who they are?) say that once you have reached a certain level of flexibility you will always (with practice) be able to get to the same level. Over the years I have taken many of yoga classes. At some points I have taken yoga so regularly that I was able to easily stand on my head, do the dancer and stay in a plank longer than most people would like to. I was so comfortable with yoga that I added it as a part of my curriculum for Hinduism unit and lead classes in understanding different poses and how they may connect with the divine. I took several yoga classes when I was pregnant which felt great, but I haven't really done any real yoga for over a year and before being pregnant I had a Peru bug infected husband and before that I was planning a wedding and before that I was traveling all over the globe, so my yoga skills have atrophied some. Now, I am back on the yoga train and I am sore.

It feels good to go the gym and do yoga for an hour and fifteen minutes. It feels good to stretch and breath. It feels good to twist and sweat. It feels good to do savasana and be still. What doesn't feel good is missing time with my baby. Yoga coincides with the nighttime routine, so I missed the eating of the solids. I missed bathtime. I missed her night bottle and book reading. I missed putting her in her crib. She takes nap in the afternoon that is very important for her sanity after she nurses when I get home. So the small window of awake time is precious. We laugh! We play! We walk! We have a grand ol' time! I don't want to miss yoga but I don't want to miss the time with my baby either. Another mommy conundrum: Physical health versus Emotional health?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Aging Badminton

As you get older your life changes so much. Not to say that I am hundred years old or anything but there are moments where my body is a little stiff and seemingly simple tasks have become more difficult. As I came into work yesterday morning my arms ached and I couldn't figure out why. Then I remembered. Lydia fell asleep during the church service and her Baptism and I was holding her the entire time. Last night she woke up hungry and we had forgotten to turn on the humidifier so she was stuffy. I turned it on at 4am so it could help a little and she wanted to stay up to party. She had to stay in the room to get the benefits of the humidifier, so I put down a blanket and slept on the floor. After only an hour on the floor, my hip aches.

In hopes of holding on to my youth I have decided I need to step up the exercising! Use my gym membership! Go for walks! Enjoy the outdoors!

Yesterday as I walked around Crescent Lake with my ladies pushing the little ladies, I saw a couple of guys putting up a net. When I looked a little closer I noticed they had badminton rackets and birdies lying on the grass getting ready for a match. As we continued to walk, not missing a beat, my mind wondered on how lovely it would be to play a little badminton on a gorgeous Florida afternoon. What a great idea! Badminton! Who would have thought. I had forgotten about this recreational delight and I attempted to remember the last time I played. It very well may have been the last time I had PE. And even now, as I really concentrate on when I played badminton last, I can not pinpoint the moment. Why do we chose to erase perfectly good memories?  We happen to have a net up in the grassy area behind our house that belongs to the church. It would be an ideal place for casual game.I say 2011 is the year of the Badminton who is with me?