Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Brilliant Advice

Lydia's doctor appointment went well. She is at the 50% percentile for weight and head size. 75% percentile for height. She is a little ahead of the game at this point with her walking and talking which only makes Eliot and I prouder by the second. I am surprised our pride filled giant inflated selves were able to shimmy out of the exam room door. She did get shots which are never fun, and now we wait to see if her live virus MMR causes the completely normal (but of course I reserve the right to panic) fever and rash a week later.
loving her new chair
The doctor went through her series of questions and asked if she was enjoying her whole milk. I happily reported yes. She then questioned, "in a sippy cup?" to which I responded "no, no need for a sippy cup." Our kind doctor then went into the many many many reasons that toddlers should not use bottles anymore. Shaking my head in shame, I shared my story with one of my besties just yesterday and she gave me a great piece of advice. Advice that should be used with responsible, considerate, appropriateness at all times, but brilliant....wait for good it's hard to keep it under wraps: LIE to the pediatrician.

It never even crossed my mind. Surely I am still the last vestige of the generation that always has clean underwear on before going to the doctor's and always tells the doctor everything, no matter what. Of course the advise is telling a white lie. Will my child be hurt or damaged physically or emotionally if she is still drinking from a bottle at 15 months? No. There are a whole list of these that can apply whether it's the pacifer or sleeping in the crib, since every kid is different and every parent is too. Therefore, a white lie will do just fine. It will serve the doctor's check list, I won't feel guilty, and Lydia will not be taking a bottle to the dorms in Gainesville. This is what we consider a WIN WIN WIN in parenting!

*disclaimer* if your child is not doing normal things like sitting up, talking, or other motor things at the appropriate stage be sure to tell the pediatrician, it could be a sign of something more serious. Sorry felt obligated to include this.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Whole New Tooth, Sticks and a NEW decree!

Since Lydia has so many teeth we have added the habit a few weeks back of brushing her teeth. She thinks it's hilarious. The video is of her first time brushing. As for now she thinks it's a treat because the under two toothpaste has a little apple flavor to it. As much as she is drooling and struggling with teething I am surprised she doesn't have all her teeth, but all things come with time.

Once a week we meet Stephanie and Addi at the park to walk. Lydia's new favorite thing is that we get there a little early and she walk all over. This time she grabbed some sticks. Glad we don't have a dog, because I am pretty sure she would eat the pour pooches face off if he tried to take her stick.

For months I have been thinking about how to transition Lydia off the bottle more gently than her doctor had originally recommended and then yesterday it dawned on me: Why do I need to do this? i am lucky that my folks are caring for her so there is no milestone that needs to be met by for a care provider. She certainly will not go to kindergarten drinking from a bottle, so why not see if we can just go with the flow. She likes sippy cups and straw cups. She is still a little surprised when they have milk in them, but hey she likes cows milk and it agrees with her, which I hear is a battle all in itself. I did follow the advise of a friend and started to mix the formula with milk a few weeks ago and now she is just milk and so far so good. What's the harm is seeing what happens with the bottle? If she's 15 and still needs one to got to bed I am sure that I can seek help. Right?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crafty Mom

I love to be crafty and to party plan. Lydia's first birthday was a great opportunity to do both. Below are some images of my decorating. We had the party in our neighbor park pavilion which was great for many reasons. 
 I suppose some of my inspiration came from etsy seeing the personalized banners and thinking: I can do that! So I did! I used vintage scrapbook paper that I have been storing up and not using to put this banner together.
 Here is the photo display of her first year which included holiday cards and pictures of her with balloons each month.
 Below we set up a table with photo albums so folks could take a look at our many family adventures and how much she changed over the year! Some of the albums where the baby shower, her arrival at the hospital, her official baby book and scrapbook. It looks like a lot, but it was a collection of everyone's photos.
 I made 3 dimensional hot air balloons with painted #1 to hang from the perimeter of the building.
 The table centerpieces where cute and useful. I used paper lanterns and inexpensive baskets for the bottom. I attached wooden skewers to make it look like the hot air balloons. Inside of them there were bubbles, sidewalk chalk and birthday horns.
 Lydia's Grandma made her an amazing cake! The basket of the balloon was Lydia's smash cake.
My folks made their famous chicken salad and with the help of some friends, we put together the rainbow fruit tray! I thought was an easy cute thing to do.

Birthday Party Reflection

**This party took place at the Roberts Community Center Park. It is a small park behind a great community center. This park is in the middle of the Allendale neighborhood. The center has a ton of adult programming and after school kid programs too. This was the best little park to have a first birthday party. The park is fenced in and there is a huge pavilion right next to it. And a huge field for kids to run. Lydia used to love this park when she was little and it was less than a mile from our old house. Go check it out!  Addition made 4/7/2014

At her kitchen from her grandparents
Lydia had a great time at her birthday party! She enjoyed all her friends and family. When I was a kid I clearly remember my mom explaining to me that no one else on the planet was obligated to get me anything, therefore I should always say "thank you" because someone was kind enough to remember me. This simple philosophy, more than likely a momentary reminder before entering someone's home, has shaped my understanding of thankfulness tremendously. It is always so special to me that I have been remembered in whatever gesture whether it's the grocery clerk asking me how my cookies turned out last week, my closest of friend bringing me leftovers that she knows we will enjoy or a quick text from someone asking how my day was.

The abundance of thankfulness over this weekend is breathing life into an otherwise average, in some ways frustrating Monday. There is something about personal appreciation versus now as a mom, the appreciation on behalf of my child.

Eliot looked at me on Friday (Lydia's actual birthday) and said: "One year down, the rest of our lives to go!" I am not sure I said anything other than smile. We have survived our first year of parenting. We have made it through the flashes of initial fears from the first time she slept in her own bed to the first steps she made in our living room. We have survived seeing her fall, having a stuffy nose and scream in pain of a new tooth. We have seen her play with friends, try new foods, and squeal with joy on the swing. Together with each day we have woven the fabric of our family. Thankfulness. I am so profoundly thankful for the life that I have.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Is she alright in there?

When I was pregnant I would often lay in bed all night without being able to sleep. During this time I developed a healthy addiction to Design Star and The Next Food Network Star which I haven't been able to shake. But one of things I remember the most was wondering; wondering who that little person was in my tummy and what the heck she was doing in there. Almost everyday I would ask Eliot, "Hey, you think she's alright in there?" He would always answer, "Yup!" I would ask him in the morning, afternoon and sometimes right in the middle of those sleepless nights and he would always mumble that same thing. 361 days later my mind wanders in different directions. This time wondering what she is trying to say when she says "YanYanYanYan." scrunches up her face and laughs. She is funny! I wonder what her voice will sound like when she puts together real sentences. She is the best parrot. Just this weekend she has said: gol, donde esta?, doggie, aqua, mickey, Go Gators and free Tibet.
at work at publix

grabbing a bike

Looking at so many pictures of her throughout her first year and seeing all her little changes. How her eyes are not quite blue but not quite brown either. How her big cheeks have grown out. How her big size 4 1/2 feet has done the same. How she throws a ball, kicks it and then chases it just to do it all over again filling her grandfathers' and father's eyes with hope of a soccer all star. She gives kisses and hugs and drags dolls all over the house filling her grandmothers' and mother's hearts with her compassion. This year has been so remarkable and we are so profoundly blessed.

I can not imagine loving anyone more than I love her. I can't imagine life without her. I fear sometimes that as we discuss the possibilities of having another little one. If I could love Lydia's sibling as much as I love her. It's a real fear. Is there enough of us to be able to parent another child as well? To give baby #2 the same amount of adoration as we give her? Is it the same love or does it change? And if it changes what would it be like? Would it take away from Lydia? Perhaps some of these fears stem from being a wonderfully adored only child that has a fantastic relationship with her parents and that has never wanted for anything, really, not even a sibling.  What if Lydia and her sibling are not close? How will this all effect her? It is possible that the preemptive worrying is in vain, but how could I not consider the possibilities?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birthday Party Preparations

Lydia will be 1 in just 10 days. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. As I pondered what would be the most appropriate theme for her birthday it didn't take long to decide. My parents have gotten her a balloon every month on the 16th to celebrate her month. I have gathered most of the photographs (except sadly two of them). I did add a little twist by making many decorations in the image of a hot air balloon. Ever since I met Eliot I have been a little obsessed with hot air balloons. I love the colorful picture it brings to mind, for someone that is terrified of heights, I love the idea of something as fragile as a balloon gently gliding a person through the skies. Poetic.

October 1 Month

December 3 Months

February 5 Months

March 6 Months

April 7 months

May 8 months

June 9 months

July 10 Months
In my complete crafty nuttiness, I have made a pennant banner, garland, a pinata, paper hanging hot air balloons with #1 painted on, hot air balloon centerpieces filled with bubbles, sidewalk chalk and celebration horns. The grandma's are also hard at work with some food preparations (chicken salad and designer cakes should be expected). The favors are done with personalized labels from Lydia. It sounds like a lot but I think I was born to be a party planner. And I have cultivated some close friendships with the people at Michael's.

For Cubans first birthdays are giant parties and though ever baby website and book I own says to keep things small and low key. The blood racing in my veins screams Hooray, Let's Celebrate! My family usually roasts an entire pork, eats for hours, drinks for longer and dances until dawn. The next morning there would be a small group of tired women cleaning up and my dad and uncle figuring out what we were going to all have for dinner that night. Big puffy dresses, big cakes and a lot of people you love. Somehow I don't have one memory of any of my younger cousins crying because the noise, because they missed a nap, because their hands were dirty. It was in their blood too, I guess. We won't be having a whole pork or the dancing until dawn. Our friends fill our hearts as always as if family since most relatives live out of town but one thing is for sure, it will be a great time to celebrate!

I am counting down the days baby girl! Happy Birthday Lydia!