Friday, February 24, 2012

Yoga Mama Bebe

Baby Boy and I started the new year by signing up for a yoga class. The class involves me (and the other mothers), trying to do yoga poses while holding an almost 20 lbs lump (that would be my darling Baby Boy). Of course we do lots of tickling and cuddles while we stretch, and Baby Boy particularly loves when we do arm strengthening exercises and he gets lifted up and down while my arms shake and try to keep up with the teacher that is demonstrating using a baby doll (not fair!). It's a lot of fun for the kiddo and he spends most of the class squealing with delight.

Usually, about half way through the class, the teacher pulls out balloons to keep the older kids occupied (those would be the 6-12 month olds, as opposed to the 3-5 month olds that are more complacent). Baby Boy, being his determined self has taken to "stealing" balloons from the little ones. The funny thing is that recently some of the older babies, that can crawl already, have started to "steal" his. It's an amusing spectacle and definitely helps keep me distracted from my tired legs and still pretty flabby abs.

chillin' on the mats before class

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bosque Colomos

Bosque Colomos in one of the largest parks in Guadalajara, and a key area for recreation. On a typical morning you will find runners (early morning), moms with strollers (mid-morning), and teenagers (afternoon), walking and running around the paved trails (3k & 5k). Later in the afternoon and evening, the playground area and basketball courts get some attention, and children have art classes in the "castle". On weekends, the duck pond sees families and the horses get ridden.

It is a huge forest-like park with trails criss-crossing in every direction. One of the gems in the park is the Japanese garden. It is a consistently maintained and manicured little garden for walking around. Of course in typical Mexican style, you are not supposed to sit on the grass anywhere in the park; grass is for looking at.

To Visit
: Entrance is 4.5 pesos per adult, parking also 4.5 pesos; free on Sundays. There are three entrances: Patria (for playground, basketball courts), Camacho (for duck pond, Japanese garden), and Torreon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baby in a Hoodie

I love a baby in a hoodie! I might go so far as to say babies should wear hoodies all the time. I just can't resist the cuteness! While dressing for the winter is less than pleasurable, and Baby Boy hates the layers, the struggles are worth it for a little hoodie goodness.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Our Valentine's Day was a bit of a flop. M had a super busy day at the hospital, and so I scurried to make a little holiday goodness with our little time together. The morning was a hectic one as I made a little dessert pizza* for M, to be served with coffee in a festive little mug I got. I left the table all set and Baby Boy and I were off to yoga class.

the sparse table arrangement

When we came home mid-day, M had a short little break and swung by the house. He opened his little gift from Baby Boy, and after a quick lunch together we had some of my home-made artery clogging goodness.

opening cookies from Baby Boy

The evening was a whirlwind to get Baby Boy to bed and we were done. It was too late to do much, so we didn't. Valentine's celebrations (including the lovely bottle of cava in our fridge) have been postponed until we have a breather to get our act together.

*My usual brownie recipe baked in a round pan, with cream cheese frosting, fresh coconut shavings and little raspberry candies.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Words He Might Know

After hubby M, sent me this article (in a nutshell, babies as young as 6 months recognize words), I couldn't help but try to think what words I think Baby Boy might know. These are the ones I came up with:

coffee- It's almost embarrassing how many times Baby Boy has seen me make coffee, ranging from an instant to a full on cappuccino. I do try to incorporate little lessons about boiling water and so on, but I'm pretty sure he knows this means we're going to the kitchen to mess around with stuff on the counter.

hug- Doesn't need much explanation, but I make him give me lots of hugs and visa versa.

kiss- Ever since he was a tiny baby, I've been teaching him to give a little kiss. At this point, after I give him a kiss, if I put my cheek towards his mouth he will open it and it's pretty amusing.

milk- I actually didn't start using this word a lot until the last few weeks when I have sort of started signing some words. Before it was "do you want to eat"? And it was pretty clear because his food cry has always been "le". But I'm pretty sure that now he knows this word.

play- As in, let's change your diaper and then we'll go down to play. At the very least he associated this with our play area.

bath- I'm quite positive he knows what bath time is all about. He always gets excited for tickle time.

walk- Another one I'm really sure about, he's always in a great mood if I say we're going for a walk, and once he's in the stroller will sit quite contentedly for 10 minutes while I gather my things.

story- Lately he's really gotten much more focused when I read him a story, but I also use this to ask him to talk, (as in "tell me a story") and if he's in the mood he most certainly complies.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Daily Life: January 2012

Daily Life: As a response to the request for more frequent blog posts when we are not on the road, we have decided to start a new feature highlighting some of the non-travel related things going on in our life.

January 2012:

We celebrated the New Year.

M started hospital rotations at Hospital Angel Leano.

We celebrated D's birthday.

D and Little N started going to Yoga Mama Bebe.

We went to the Intermoda Expo at the Guadalajara Expo Center.

Our water tanks were replaced.

We visited the UAG botanical gardens.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Different in Mexico

Lots of people ask me about our life in Mexico. To be honest, there are many things that are similar to the US about our daily life, especially when we, and many people in the middle and upper classes, frequently travel to the States and bring back baby products from there. I might have mentioned at some point, that Mexicans are allowed to bring in 300 dollars worth of goods. Seeing as baby products are ridiculously expensive here, particularly those made in China, in a lot of ways, externally at least, we could be living in Anytown, USA. However, when you live here, some aspects of raising a baby are just different.

1) Water- When Baby Boy hears the sound of water, he instantly looks at our jug (garrafon) of drinking water. It is to the point where he is confused when the water sound is not coming from there.
an old picture, but you can see it on the right

2) Walks- I go on daily walks with Baby Boy, but on those walks I also frequently encounter street children. They come in from the villages outside the city, and I can't help but feel a pang of sadness every time I walk by with my nice stroller, and a mother is trying to carry multiple children in wraps while walking up to cars to sell candy or ask for food. Additionally, many of our neighbors will not walk except inside our gated community for reasons of "security". I am most definitely an anomaly.

3) Bath- Back to the water issue, it is very very hard to prevent Baby Boy from putting wet toys in his mouth, and actually at this point we don't worry about it too much, but when he was younger we had to be quite vigilant as our tap water is far from clean.

trying to avoid this ^

4) Strangers- As I've mentioned in previous posts, babies are loved by strangers and I get comments every single time I go out, without fail. There is none of that mind-your-won-business mentality around here.

5) Superstitions- Local superstitions mean that Baby Boy is frequently touched by strangers on the hands, feet, cheeks and so on. This is to prevent bad juju from complementing him. Needless to say, it took a while for me to get used to this and I still semi-cringe inside when I see a stranger leaning in for the touch.

6) Nannies- The nannies everywhere! As a matter of fact, I have not even met most of the mothers on my street. Though I recognize the kids and their nannies, I only see mothers in the evening, if at all. And to clarify, the majority of these mothers do not work, there is just a nanny culture here.

7) Food and Formula- The green, organic, local, back to nature movements have not shown up here yet. So for those that can afford it- formula is the way to go, and my choices for store-bought baby food are very limited, as in Gerber or Gerber.

I think those are the big ones. I'll write more if I think of them, but I think this does show some of the big day to day differences in raising a baby here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Post Superbowl

Baby Boy most definitely enjoyed the company we had for the party, but what he loves is getting to play with balloons. Our decor lives on!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Superbowl Sunday

As I previously mentioned, when super bowl Sunday rolled around, we decided to have a few friends over for a little shindig. Granted, none of us are huge football fans, but I decided to put out a small effort for my back-home team, the New England Patriots. So that morning I sketched out a little logo, and bribed M into coloring it in for me. If I remember correctly, I had to entertain Baby Boy while M watched a soccer game (and colored). It seemed like a win-win. We whipped up some snacks and managed to snap a few pictures before our friends came over and we plopped on the couches. Baby Boy seemed extremely happy by the company, and while we were a little sad for "our" team's loss, it was a fun evening.

the spread

Baby Boy dressed in his football best

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day at the Lake

Last weekend we took a day trip to Lake Chapala. The lake is a quick 45 minutes outside the city (Guadalajara) and serves as a winter residence for many American and Canadian expats, mostly retirees. We started off with a quick walk on the main boardwalk in the town of Chapala.

Then we continued on to Ajijic- hub of the retirees. We were set on exploring the cobble-stoned town but there wasn't much to see, and so we had a quick lunch. "Finish?" the waiter asked, and we were off.

Our last stop was in Jocotepec on the Western edge of the lake. There's a lovely park with picnic areas, swings and a nice boardwalk on the lake. Baby Boy loved the outing, and it was a good day out of town.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lake Chapala

Last weekend we took a day trip to Lake Chapala. The lake is a quick 45 minutes outside the city (Guadalajara) and serves as a winter residence for many American and Canadian expats, mostly retirees. We started off with a quick walk on the main boardwalk in the town of Chapala.

Then we continued on to Ajijic- hub of the retirees. We were set on exploring the cobble-stoned town but there wasn't much to see, and so we had a quick lunch. "Finish?" the waiter asked, and we were off.

Our last stop was in Jocotepec on the Western edge of the lake. There's a lovely park with picnic areas, swings and a nice boardwalk on the lake. Little N loved the outing, and it was a good day out of town.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Play Date

Baby Boy had his first play date with a friend his age*. They checked each other out, shared toys, and generally seemed to enjoy the company. Of course us parents loved the interaction more than anything but it was cool to see them figure each other out.

parents looking on


*Most of Baby Boy's friends (that is, kids of my friends) here are quite a few months older, so they haven't been too interested in "playing" with the "baby".

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Baby's Smile

A baby's smile: makes your day. That, according to yet another guy that stopped me in the supermarket to talk about Baby Boy. I think he's right.

Mostly when I go out, I get lots of comments on Baby Boy being cute. I appreciate them of course, but I think at this point I almost take them for granted, even though I always smile and thank them. For some reason however, this comment, a little more profound than the usual jabber made me take note. Maybe our precious little boy does have a good effect on the world (and he doesn't even know it). It got me thinking...and I decided that I am very very Lucky! Perhaps this is why I've been so content the last few months. Despite not having the outside gratification that working or even studying would provide, I get awarded with the most perfect smile several times a day.

*Then of course I think: does that mean I need to take him out more? Should we be going around making people feel better? Am I ungrateful when I pull out the computer because I'm tired of playing with him? What does this mean???

Monday, February 6, 2012

Baby 411

I received this book as a gift very shortly after Baby Boy was born. It contains a little bit of everything: feeding, development, health, safety, sleep etc*. I promptly read it cover to cover and thought that I would go back and use it as a reference. I have not.

While I did like the question and answer format of the Baby 411 book, the information it contained is stuff I have read elsewhere (other books and online) in better formats. The few times I have looked at it since that first reading, I ended up going somewhere else because my questions weren't satisfied. Enough said.

*I think people like it because it is written by a doctor, but being married to a "student doctor" and having a good natural curiosity, the extent of its medical answers don't really satisfy me.

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Cuddle Bug

As I mentioned earlier this week, Baby Boy usually only gets up once a night now. But sometimes, he just can't seem to calm down- usually related to having to go #2 or trying to roll over or having a bit of separation anxiety. In those instances, I just can't bring myself to keep going to his bedroom and so he ends up in our bed. Mostly this is annoying at night because it doesn't leave much room for anyone, but in the morning it is wonderful. Hubby leaves early in the morning and this way I get to wake up next to my perfect little cuddle bug.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Random Tidbits

1- I think last night was the first time I slept more than 7 hours straight in well over a year. I have no qualms about jinxing this because I don't really expect Baby Boy to do this again for quite a while. (After the first time he slept 5 hours, it took two months until he did it again, and same with 6). As the Chinese say: man man lai = slowly slowly come.

2- We started going to baby yoga (post forthcoming) and I was google-ing baby yoga because of this story and came across this video. Crazy scary.

3- We're hosting a superbowl party, I think. Well that's the plan. I am a self-admitted Patriots fair-weather fan. I kind of know how it's played from going to my high school games, but let's be honest I wasn't paying that much attention back then, just like I probably won't on Sunday. But, I do enjoy having people over. So I figured I needed to cram a little- reading this and this.

4- Baby Boy has been a very finicky eater the last few days, not wanting to nurse nor eat solids he's enjoyed before. This is a mystery I should probably google.

5- We've been having crazy fix-ups on our house, contemplating if I should post about it. We had to call our cleaning lady to come an extra time this week because we just.couldn' anymore. Did I ever mention that we found one? It is a luxury of living in Mexico. Also, Baby Boy is scared of drills but loves watching the workers.

6- We kind of have a new routine going on that includes: lots of long walks and friends coming over to play in our new playroom. Also, I just started a leadership-ish role in the Wife/Mommy group that I'm a part of here, so there's stuff with that. It's good.

I think that was random enough. Maybe it's a little more insight into my life? I like when other bloggers do that.