Friday, April 29, 2011

Video Updates

She is fast! She is up! She is down! She crawling!

And loves to eat real food! Is it time yet for pieces of things? She loves to pick up cereal and yogurt drops!

Lydia's new favorite thing is to sit and roll the ball between us! She does it all the time with her Abuelo so I will have to catch that on video as well.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Peek-a-boo: Where are those teeth?

Lydia still has no teeth. She will be 8 months in 2 weeks. I know that all babies do things at different rates including teeth. I feel like she has been teething and still we have nothing. I peek in her mouth and I see nothing. I put my finger in her mouth and I feel nothing.

Yesterday I got home and my parents reported that she had had a very cranky day. The night before she had woken up at 4am and nothing got her back to sleep. Luckily Eliot was up early and hung out with her before going to work. Then he put her into bed with me and she fell asleep for 45 minutes watching Mickey. She was super drolly and somewhat inconsolable. When I got home I gave her cold thingy after cold thingy. She would grab one and throw it out down and cry. She was clearly crying because she was uncomfortable. I would stab my own gums with knives if I could save her from the pain. We gave her Tylenol and milk (she was not wanting solids last night.) Eventually she calmed down after 2 short naps and a short walk around the neighborhood.

The rest of the evening was lovely. She played. We read books. She drank milk. She went to sleep. She happily slept all night.

I begin to worry if she will ever get her teeth. What if she gets into grade school without teeth? Or starts to drive? Will she get a prom date if she's toothless? Where are those teeth?!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dancing Machine

A student recently told me about a Wii game called Just Dance. Since one of my toughest struggles of motherhood is finding the time to get exercise into the routine I am contemplating the purchase. It seems fun and there are no additional parts or pieces needed. We have a Wii that is collecting dust that I would love to use more but I am not sure I want to make another purchase that would ultimately also just sit there and collect dust. On the other hand, a dance game very well could be answer. To be clear, at least for my own conscience. It's not like I get home and sit on my tush all night. Most nights I don't even sit at all until I fall into bed. We are an on the go family.

I have also committed to running a 5K in the Fall. I have never run more than a mile in my life and I am not sure how to pull that off. Eliot has promised to train with me and that is our summer goal. And a good friend sent me a yoga dvd which I haven't even gotten a chance to crack open. Sigh.


May 1, I am making a re-commitment to health and exercise. I am ordering that game, right now! Dance Sista Dance!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Baking

Holiday baking is one of my favorite things. This weekend was a bundle of family fun. Eliot's uncle Greg arrived in town on Saturday so we had an Easter/Welcome BBQ and then on Sunday was my dad's 72nd birthday as well as Easter. There are a lot of diabetics in both of our families so low sugar or sugar free items are the best. I made carrot cake cupcakes, ambrosia, chocolate chocolate cake and a mango cheesecake. Lydia helped by cooking on the floor while I worked on the counter tops.

The ambrosia was inspired by Top Chef Masters. A couple of weeks ago they had to make 1960's recipes, this was one of the options. It was super easy to make. I used no sugar added canned fruit, light sour cream,coconut and regular mini marshmallows. It was pretty light and tasty. I think that I would like to try fresh fruit to see if they result is any different.

The carrot cake cupcakes were a little dry. I baked on Friday from Saturday and Sunday. I put the cakes in the frig and I feel that it might have affected the moisture of the cakes. Although, I will say that everyone raved about them. Particularly my dad's chocolate chocolate sugar free cake. A cook is always their worst critic I think. The same goes for an author, or actor, or whatever. We tend to be a little harder on ourselves than others, well at least I am, in lots of areas of life but food is definitely a major place of self criticism. But the important part was that my dad liked it.

The piece of resistance was the mango cheesecake. It was pretty darn good. It's all about the tools. I was able to puree in the food processor. Set up the crust in the spring foam. I used  very little Splenda there was no odd ball after taste so almost all the sweetness came fresh mangoes. I have to say that it was the decorative part I was most worried about and I think I did pretty well. All the Gaurkees and Raheb's loved it. Then we took home the leftovers, the Rohrs and Ortegas were also impressed. Even I must say it was creamy and good.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


About a month ago one of my best friends learned a very quick mommy lesson about the sun when her little one got sunburn. She was just fine (mommy from the trauma and baby from the burn) within the week there was no evidence of the event at all. I was with her and Lydia was about 15 minutes shy from having a similar sunburn. The thing is that we both had sunscreen with us and totally had the mental flash that we should put some on the girls but we fell for the oldest Florida trick in the book. We were in a shady area for less than 30 minutes. Thus my confession:  I am a little obsessed with SPF clothing.

First, and I suppose foremost, is my issue with sunscreen. We have several baby sunscreens and since Eliot is of fair skin as well when we are out we all use the baby's Aveeno 55 SPF.  The thing is that as soon as it gets warm it melts off your face and it pours into your eyes and it burns! Seriously? A baby sunscreen that leaves you blinded? We also have Baby Coppertone in the car  which we have only used once and not sure we have had enough time to figure out if it does the same thing. We also have Neutrogena Baby that we haven't used yet. I am a little nervous because I don't want to burn Lydia's eyes out.

Some baby stores sell clothing pieces that have been tested and advertise a certain SPF level. I think this is a brilliant idea and I am all for getting every summer fun piece of SPF protection that I can find in Lydia's size. Eliot laughs at me because he says that all clothes protect you from the sun and they are just charging me more money for the SPF sticker. Admittedly, it took me several weeks to understand  that SPF wasn't embedded into the fabric and it was just a measuring system. Even now I only slightly agree with him that all clothes protect you from the sun but isn't it better to be sure of how much sun protection you will get from a hat or bathing suit, especially for your baby? Or am I just a nut?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Swim Lessons

At the beginning of the month we started swim lessons with Lydia. They are Parent and Tot lessons at the YMCA. We go twice a week in the evening from 6:25-6:55. Her instructor is an older woman named Edie who is retired but taught elementary school for 40 years. She is a tough old bird with a lot of heart. Eliot and I both go when we can and we both get into the water with her. Somehow it's a little easier in the pool with both of us since we have clear routine. First the kids sit on the ledge on the pool then they jump in. We do arm pulls, leg kicks on your belly and on your back, and put both together. Then we put in them in life jackets and float in a circle while singing "Row Row Your Boat" and then they have some individual time where they try to grab toys that help them do the motions together. During this time Edie comes by and teaches Lydia how to put her face in the water. They we do another group circle and sing "Wheels on the Bus" and "Motor Boat." After our lesson, we go hang out in the play area and let Lydia splash around for a bit.

I thought she was going to freak because during bathtime she really hates getting her head wet but during swim she's fine. Her first swim lesson was her first time in a pool and she though hyper observant did very well. It has almost been a full month and we are surely going to sign up for May and June.We ran into an old friend of mine from High School and one of Eliot's. Community recreation is great! We have looked into a couple of other places and all are more expensive for less time. It has also been nice for her to see Holland Newman twice a week and be around other kids.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Lydia will be 7 months on Saturday. I know that every parent thinks that their baby is gifted. But I am pretty sure according to all the books that Lydia is at this point a little a head of the curve. Fear not! I have alerted the Ivies and they are holding a spot for her to select from for the freshman class of 2028.

She can easily sit up on her own! Her Abuela almost dropped the phone when she was filming this one.
She can easily bring herself into a standing position with just about anything that is close to her. She does have a soft spot for the swing.

She claps! (Even more now!)

She crawls! (This video is the best I have. It turns out that you don't always get your infant to do what you want her to do.)

She hangs out with friends and meditates. 

Lydia can also hold her own bottle. She can wave bye-bye, though she still a little skeptical on doing it. She may be wondering why we are saying bye-bye all the time to everyone. This has been a very VERY big month!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Baby Friendly: Manatees

Saturday we did something that I believe all parents do at some point in their babies infancy: drive around for nap time. Since we are still on the mend from the colds it was important for her to have nap time and since the fun of having toys, mommy and daddy is just way too much for our little Lydi we put her in the car. We had lunch first at the Lucky Dill Deli which was great, and started driving. Other than obsessively looking at Zillow while exploring the many St. Petersburg neighborhoods  (which is a common occurrence for this HGTV addict) we had not plans. Then we remembered we have been meaning to go see the Manatees in Apollo Beach near the electrical plant. It was just far enough away for a good nap on a lovely day and it gave us a mission. Willingness to be spontaneous is one of things I really love about Eliot.

Saturday was the first of many insanely hot Florida days. I lathered Lydia in sunscreen, put on her sunhat that never goes ultra well and we were off to look for the manatees. It is a great little free spot that Tampa Electric has put together. Eliot and I were in awe of being that close to a power plant. Secretly I kept thinking about Eric Brockovich and wondering what these people were really doing to the manatees which could possibility be a good story line for a Carl Hiaasen book. I digress. We had a lovely little afternoon enjoying not one single manatee. We took tons of pictures and enjoyed their indoor super kid friendly area. After about an hour, we got back in the car which aided to another good solid nap and spent the evening at home resting.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Just That Kind of Day

My cold just won't go away. After getting home yesterday Eliot and I put Lydia in the car and drove around town for a couple of hours in order for her to get a nap. I got home and was shivering, sweaty and exhausted. I feel asleep for an hour and half. Even though I had already taken a full run of antibiotics last week, I started another run because my snot is still green and my nose is still running.

Luckily, Lydia is seemingly feeling better thanks to all the wonderful mommy friends that I have. Last night we sat in the bathroom with a hot shower running and bathed her using the vapor bath which is essentially eucalyptus and chamomile. Then I wrapped her in several towels to keep her warm while I salved her with Baby Vicks on her chest, back, under her nose and her feet. Dressed her. Put in saline drop, used the blue booger bulb and wipe her with the boogie wipes, which by the way are genius. She slept solidly through the night with Puff the Magic Elephant humidifying her room.

My exhaustion and periodic breathing apparently have effected my ability to reason. This morning as I was running out the door I was looking for my sunglasses. I couldn't find them so I defeatedly got into my car. I was backing up when I realized the glasses were on my head. I chuckled at myself and then smash! I smacked my car right into the side of my parents car. I jumped out of the car and scream several expletives. Ran inside to tell my parent then came to work where I spent the first hour of my day taking to insurance agents. Argh!

Happy to report everyone is okay. Lydia is feeling better and it's Friday. Look at all the silver linings!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sick Baby

Lydia has her first cold. She is stuffy and sniffily. Her tiny little nose is red and drippy. It is all around a mommy nightmare. She is too little to know how to blow her nose and doesn't quite understand that the weird blue rubber bulb will help her breathe. The first sleepless night I thought it was teething. I figured she sounded stuffy because she was crying. Her little mouth open and her tongue thrusting against her gums. The next morning she was still stuffy. Later that night she was still stuffy and the next guessed it still stuffy. So we took her to the doctor's. I  was hoping for solutions. I was hoping for suggestions. I got nothing.

We saw one of the pediatrician we had never met before. She came in. She checked Lydia's ears, eyes, and throat. She listened to her chest. She then said well she has a cold. Bring her back if she gets a high fever or she is still sick next week. I am thinking she is insane, is she is still sick next week I may call ....turns out I don't really know any famous doctors except Louis Pasteur and that won't help me. So I am waiting. She goes to leave the room. I ask her about over the counter meds and she says it can't hurt. And she leaves.

We leave the office. I look at Eliot, who had asked if we could take her to her swim lesson apparently not looking at the appalling glare on my face (she was not going to swimming), and said, I didn't like her. He smiled at me. My ranting begins: She did nothing! She is just going to let my baby not breath! What sort of doctor does this!? Why go to medical school if you don't have any thing helpful to share!? I could have gotten the same free advice from the  tenth grade twerp that bags my groceries. Then tears start rolling down my face, partly from the fact that I have worked myself all up, partly from the guilt of getting her sick since I waited too long to get on antibiotics and partly from the fact that since Lydia can't breath she hasn't been able to nurse. For the rest of the evening we address the doctor as the evil lady that didn't want my baby to breath.

We went to Target and picked up every over the counter thing that I could think of: baby Vicks, Vicks plug ins, infant Advil, infant chamomile lotion, infant Tylenol, a new filter for Puff (her elephant shaped humidifier) and a blow up mattress in case one of us needed to sleep in her room since it has the humidifier. Thank goodness for Eliot that is willing to be strong enough for both of us and hold her down to extract the boogers with that bulb thing. He has also been voted to be the saline nose dropper. I am the giver of Tylenol and rubber of baby Vicks (which I have decided is brilliant!). With diligence and patience (a perhaps a drop of humor) Lydia slept peacefully and restfully through the night, hopefully she is on the mend! I fell asleep thinking: It's only a cold. It's only a cold. It's only a cold.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Independent Baby

When we went to the pediatrician I asked how many hours a night Lydia should be sleeping. My doctor, who is a little old school, said she will sleep when she sleeps (a little laissez faire but I am thinking a resounding: check!) she should be doing this in her own crib (I am smiling on the inside: check!) and when we wakes up in the middle of the night you should let her cry herself back to sleep (Eh...not check. not at all.) The doctored continued to explain the importance of this practice because it will help Lydia grow up to be an independent self sufficient woman. Doctor said I should just let her scream as long as it takes. She assured me that Lydia isn't hungry at 3AM anymore and that she is playing me. This stage 6-9 months is a make or break time, my Doctor pep-talked, if you respond to her you will never slept again.

It's been a couple of weeks now and this is still bouncing around in my head until the moment where I realized my 6 months old has no business being independent. She is an infant by virtue of this fact, she needs her mommy (and daddy!) She needs us to respond because what if she is hurt? What if she is in pain? What is she got too tired and really is hungry? Aren't we teaching her that when she needs us we won't be there if we don't respond, particularly in dark times (in this case literally dark times like night but it fits.) I have to say that there seems to be many more studies explaining the benefits to philosophies like the family bed. There is a huge decrease in instances of SIDS for co-sleepers. Family beds actually successfully have proven to have raised much more independent children.

(I just realized that my full blog entry had not saved completely so this is the part that left off. )
Although, Lydia does sleep in her own crib, but if we had a king size bed she probably wouldn't. I am certain that she will grow up to be a brave, brilliant and compassionate woman, thus I will continue to  let her "play me". I will wake up and tend to her needs and while I do I will squeeze her tight and give her as many kisses as I can for as long as I can.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Summer Wonderland

In dreaming of clear blue summer days I have been on a quest to create a summer wonderland in our backyard. Since Lydia loves to swing I wanted to find the Little Tikes Swing Castle which has a little swing, little climbing wall and little slide. It also has a little steering wheel and little telescope in case we want to play little pirates. I refused to pay full price so I search high and low for weeks at all the kids consignment shops in the area and finally I found one that had it in Palm Harbor. I diligently went there and acquired the coveted playground piece.

Last summer I was obsessed with outdoor living so Eliot and his folks built a great patio. We now have a wonderful grill, a table, chairs and an umbrella. We even have a fire pit for those cool Florida summer nights (insert chuckle here); mostly for s'mores making and Eliot likes to burn things. We even have safe lawn darts. The garage has a futon, dart board and extra frig filled with refreshing beverages thus the adults are all set.

The child friendly backyard still needed a few things. I considered what sort of water element I wanted to provide Lydia. I kind of wanted one of those old school hard plastic pools we had when we were kids but the only thing I could seem to find was blow up ones so I opted for a tiny baby pool for her. The last thing on the list was a tent. A portable pop open easy tent that can be used at the beach as well. I did my research and ordered the Genji from Amazon.

When it arrived at the house I was so excited that I dragged the over-sized packing box in with a little help from a friend. I popped open the tent in less than 2 seconds in the living room. It was perfect! Easy as pie, just poof, it was up! It came in it's own carrying case, simply perfect for Florida beach and backyard fun! It's long enough for Eliot to lay in and I can almost stand in it. You can open both sides so you have the wind blowing through your hair and still protected from the blistering sun! I put Lydia inside and she seemed happy too. Hooray! Except for one tiny detail. I couldn't seem to get it back in it's handy case. I tried and tried. I almost poked an eye out. I figured it was an easy instant guest room.

New Mommy Mantra:
         You don't need a guest room in the kitchen
         You don't need a guest room in the kitchen
         You don't need a guest room in the kitchen

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Break ReCap

 the d'lux and fried pickles
I apologize for the delay in blogging but sometime when one is on Spring Break the extra spring in your step limits time in front of the computer. The trip to Atlanta was great. We drove up with baby and grandparents in tow on Wednesday night and arrived rather late. Apparently the door to our room locked because someone had accidentally knocked the safety top lock closed and no one could get in, therefore when we went to check in at midnight it was explain to us that the door engineer had been called and we were waiting for their expertise in order to get into our room which was the only a room available during their renovations. Fear not, we finally made it in to room by 1:30 in the morning. Lydia was a trouper considering she was in a completely differently place she did a great job adjusting it was so nice to have her Abuelos there to help care for her.

We visited my mom's cousin and I suppose mine and Lydia's too while were there which was a nice way to start the trip. While we were there we enjoy the beautiful Atlanta Botanical Gardens (during Spring time with the tulips!), Georgia Aquarium (the largest in the world! who knew?), H&M and lots of amazing food! Including food from this seasons' Top Chef champ! Eliot and I both have lived there so it was a slow paced mini-vacation. Lydia loves people and new scenarios so she had her super observer hat on most of the time.

Of course the food was what I was all about. Though we ate a lot there were 3 big highlights. First night Eliot and I went to Nava where we enjoyed really amazing food and desserts. Everything was just delicious but the Kahlua Espresso Pie was by far the closest thing to heaven on a plate I have had in a while. Flip Burger, the Richard Blais restaurant, had mouth watering burgers (literally just thinking about it I may need to go get a napkin) the best was the d'lux. It melted in your mouth. The milkshakes were great too the star being the Captain Crunch shake which you may think twice about but it was a stoke of genius, whereas the Krispy Kreme shake we could have passed on easily. Our last meal in was at Atlanta Fish Market which provided a great atmosphere and high quality fish. They were wonderful with Lydia who joined us while we ate lavish meals she quietly enjoyed her puffs.

The second of vacation week was great too! We (Lydia and I, Eliot had to go back to work) spent lots of time with friends lunching and visiting. Lydia had a day to play with her little friends Eva and Holland and I had a day to play with mine over mani/pedi and lunch. Eliot and I went to see Jersey Boys on Saturday night and the weekend was wrapped up with soccer Sunday afternoon. All in all a wonderful 2 weeks.

Below here is a video of the shake from Flip Burger. He makes them with liquid nitrogen so they smoke! Oh and the onions rings were so good we had to get a second order!