Monday, April 30, 2012

Ten Months

This month you officially started crawling, though it's a pretty funny crawl. You also started cruising at every opportunity that presents itself and even just circling your mommy when there's nothing else to grab onto!

Your favorite game is playing ball, whether it's chasing it around yourself or passing it back and forth with us. You've mostly figured out how to throw it as well. You still love animal sounds, and having officially met a few real life dogs you like them as well. And you're still a huge fan of being outdoors: on a walk, on the grass, in the pool; you love them all!

Food wise your favorites are yogurt, oatmeal, bread, and of course puffs which you now eat by the handful. You've started consuming significant quantities (3 meals a day) and you're officially an omnivore having tried your first pieces of meat this month. You love water and get so excited to drink it that sometimes you inhale it just a tad too fast!

We've started using the potty for number two and you are much happier this way, even though you always try to stand up and get away. Speaking of getting away, you are moving non-stop, and that means you're not a big fan of sleeping; you're just too busy!

You've been consistently waving hello and goodbye, and have started giving hugs and kisses without being prompted. We love that! Just before turning 10 months, your first tooth finally came in! We are just so excited with every new development and love you so much!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mexico City: Bribing Cops, High Society and Coyoacan

Our first full day in the city, we had some business to take care of and hopped in the car. It wasn't 10 minutes, before we were stopped by a traffic cop. Foreign cars aren't allowed to drive between 5-11 a.m. every morning so, he explained, we had one legal option: to get our car impounded and pay a huge fine to get it out. Over and over he repeated that this was our only option until we suggested settling the matter on the spot (we had a 10 am appointment after all). He got 200 pesos, we got a "key" code in case we were stopped by another cop we could use it to say we had already paid our bribe of the day, and we were free to go.

Our business at the consulate was taken care of extremely well, and we were ready for some lunch. We strolled around in the vicinity, before coming upon an Emir Cafe (one of a local chain). Our insanely-deprived-of-hummus-selves were extremely happy, even though niether our hummus nor baba ganoush were fantastic. But, something is better than nothing, our coffees were excellent and Little N also approved of the meal!

Next, we headed into Polanco, one of the nicest areas of the city, to find some groceries for Passover. We did a drive by of the nice shops, got our goods, and got back in the car. Little N finally fell asleep, which prompted us to decide to continue our drive, so we headed south towards Coyoacan. We made the mistake of getting on the pereferico (ring road), totally missing our turn off, and circling our destination multiple times until we finally got it right!

We were extremely happy to be out of the car, and popped right in to the Leon Trotsky museum. We let Little N play on the grass before actually checking out the rest of the small museum, which included preserved rooms of his house, and various Soviet era memorabilia. While the museum was not on our original agenda, it was an interesting destination.

From there, we walked towards Frida Khalo's blue house. Obviously it is a huge tourist attraction, and it was packed! As a museum it was pretty disappointing with only a couple rooms with paintings, and mostly just the restored house. The visit was short and we were ready to find some lunch.

After finally eating at a small comida (set lunch menu) place and walking around this relatively quiet neighborhood, we were ready to get back to the apartment. This time we took smaller roads and navigated almost flawlessly back toward the Centro.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Playroom Revamp

So like I said, our play room needed to be reworked. We had two big issues:

1) Baby Boy was picking at the textured walls and threatening to eat the paint. This is old Mexican paint and while we haven't had it tested I know it has bad stuff in it.

2) Baby Boy was crawling and threatening to destroy our house. So I need to somehow block off the play room so that he would have a safe area to play in.

The solution to the first problem involved us buying vinyl fabric and nailing it to the wall. Yes, Baby Boy has attempted to pull it down but so far so good, and no worrying about eating paint. While I originally wanted something more colorful, there wasn't any non-tacky pattern in stock, so we went with the plain white and maybe one day I will get around to drawing/painting on it. For now it is serving its purpose.

The solution to the second problem came in a furniture re-arrangement and a little creativity. After concluding that we would never find a baby gate big enough to close off the area, I decided to move one of the beds to the front end, and using the pack 'n play ball pit, closed off the area. If we turn the play yard ninety degrees then it's perfectly closed, but so far Baby Boy has not really attempted to escape, even with our small passageway.

To finish off the room we just added a few more floor tiles. It might not be the best looking area in our house and isn't quite as cozy as before, but it is certainly fun and functional and gets used every single day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pinterest to Reality

I finally implemented something that I found on Pinterest! This was an idea to make a playpen into a ball pit, and luckily it wasn't too difficult to find some cheapo balls. I think that Baby Boy is a bit young, as he seemed confused with what he was supposed to do. It is one more place that I can leave Baby Boy for a few minutes though, so it wasn't a total wash.

He didn't really feel like modeling for me...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

House Changes: Progress

I know that we already did a play room reveal, but when Baby Boy started crawling, the set up stopped working for us. And I know I already mentioned that M's office was becoming a nursery, but as we had it, the big desk was kind of in the way of making it an actual nursery. So we cleared out tons of storage to make M an actual office and went out to get supplies with three rooms on the agenda:

1) A functional office
2) A baby proof play room
3) A real nursery!

Here's the work in progress:

I forgot to take a real before picture of the storage room, but the "stuff" was twice as high as it is here. And yes, those are laundry lines which I used to hang diapers. They are no more.

All of our previously empty shelves and closets, now look like this- full to the brim with our displaced suitcases and boxes.

Getting some more floor tiles at Sam's and spending way too much because we bought all this other stuff while we were there. Baby Boy was not too interested in modeling for us.

Coming up: Finished rooms (mostly)!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In the News: Bosque Primavera

A break from our Mexico City trip recaps, to share this small piece of news. There's a huge fire going on in the Bosque Primavera, the English reporting seems quite a bit less intense than that going on in the local Spanish papers, but you can find the main points here:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Early Mornings

When Baby Boy wakes up earlier than usual, I generally bring him into our bed for 15 minutes or so until I can muster myself to get up and start the day. He, in turn, decides to stand up and down, pulling up on our hips and cruising along our legs. This is often accompanied by incessant sing-song speeches or baby dinosaur sounds. It is not very restful, but I still somehow prefer it to actually getting up and dressed. It looks something like this:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Routine (9 Months)

*One more in the series, since it has been a while and things are changing! See other routine posts at 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months.

8:20- Wake up, Baby Boy has been babbling in the crib for 5 minutes and it has now turned into a cry because I was too tired to get him. He's sitting or standing waiting for me. Time to start the day! I bring him into my bedroom for a moment while I wash my face; we then go back to the nursery for a diaper change.

8:30- Milk feeding on the couch, then time to play in the play room. If he let's me go, I start my own breakfast then collect him as well.

9:20- (Sometimes) First solids meal: usually a little bread and cheese. Or puffs and fruit if I am still rushing around the kitchen. We end every meal with a small cup of water and hand washing in the guest bathroom sink. (Other times)- Rushing around to get ready to leave the house.

I'm waaaaai-ting

10:00- Play time. If Baby Boy is feeling independent then he ignores me as he chases around a ball, or pulls the rings off the stick (and then I get some computer time) otherwise we play together with a puzzel or shape sorter. If we have plans, I finish getting us ready quickly and we're out of the house.

10:30- Often, Baby Boy stops playing and starts to whimper. This signifies a poop coming, so we quickly rush to the potty. Baby Boy does not like being dirty and only stops whimpering after he is done, clean and re-diapered.

11:15- Mommy needs a break, please please take a nap. We have another milk feeding and I get 30 minutes off! If we're out of the house, then I definitely don't get a nap until we're in the car on the way home; such is life!

11: 45- Play time again- sometimes I take a mid-day shower because Baby Boy likes to watch the water, or we do some laundry folding together and Baby Boy helps by tossing clothes all over the floor, or we just play.

12:30- Second (or first) solids snack: yogurt and fruit, or oatmeal and veg. Baby Boy ends his meal by smearing leftovers all over his tray. Clean up takes a lot longer and often involves an outfit change.


1:30- Baby Boy goes into the activity center while I clean up, then we play some more. We read books together or sing season- appropriate songs.

2:30- Daddy's home! Baby Boy greets him with a huge grin and they play together for a few minutes. The adults have lunch which means that Baby Boy wants to join. He gets bit and pieces of whatever we're having.

3:15- More milk and nap time. If we're lucky we get another 40 minutes. The kid is obviously too busy to nap!

4:30- We're off on our daily walk. I try to make it nice and long and do a couple errands on the way. Baby Boy LOVES the walk, and talks to the trees the entire time!

6:00- We take a little break at home to regroup, perhaps sneaking in another milk feeding or solids snack (or both).

play, play, play

6:20- We go play on the grass outside in our common area, sometimes the neighbor kids join.

7:00- We come inside just in time for bath time. Daddy is in charge and has lots of fun with it while Mommy does laundry. Sometimes this is earlier, but lately it's later.

7:30- Last milk feeding and bed! It has been a long day!

Then: Mommy makes dinner, Daddy joins to eat and then goes back to his office. It's TV/computer/reading time until bed. The adults go to bed way too late.

1:00 or 3:00 or 5:00 a.m.- Midnight snack for Baby Boy, usually once a night, hardly ever at the same time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cloth Diapering: Basics and My Recommendations

And now a break from our regularly scheduled programming, otherwise known as trip recaps, for a little pre-earth day P.S.A.

Several times in the past few months, I've written friends (that have shown interest) detailed emails about cloth diapering and how we do it. I know I already wrote a post about this a while back, but thought I should share some of the basics and my new perspective after transitioning to solids. This is the email I sent with very few edits:

In general there are 3 types of cloth diapers:
1- Prefolds that you use with a cover, basic and cheap because you only change the inside most of the time and can reuse the cover (around $2 for prefolds + $12 for covers)
2- All in ones- the absorbent material is sewn into the cover, very easy but expensive ($20 +)
3- Pocket diapers- the median between the other two- like a cover with one layer sewn, and you can add more layers into the "pocket", (around $15)- we don't use these but a lot of other people do*.

So like I mentioned, we got two sets of diapers: newborn size (about 5-9 lbs) and then regular size (8-30 lbs)**. The number of diapers you buy will depend on how often you want to do laundry: I think around 36 is good, since it allows you to do laundry every third day.

For the newborn phase I decided to get prefolds + covers since it lasts such a short time. We got 4 dozen prefolds and a few different covers, to make things easy. (Newborns easily go through 12-14 diapers a day).
My favorite prefold was by Green Mountain Diapers. there is a ton of information about diapering on the site.
For covers I was pretty indecisive so I just got a whole bunch of different ones. My favorites ended up being Thirsties covers.
We also got a Snappi, which is a cute plastic thing that holds the prefold in place, kind of like an ace bandage. This can seem overwhelming but the learning curve is really quick. Within a few days both M and I had figured out how to do diaper changes really easily and quickly.

Now we use a combination of all-in-ones and prefolds. The all-in-ones we started using at night because they were thicker and also easier to change in the middle of the night. As I've accumulated more I also like to use them when we're out of the house for a while. I think the best ones are made by BumGenius. During the day we primarily use prefolds + covers. For larger covers I like the Econobum and the Flip covers. (All three brands are by Cotton Babies- again there's lots of information about cloth on the site).

Everything I use is cotton. This is just a personal preference- because it is very low maintenance in terms of laundry (plus very absorbent and soft). Speaking of laundry:

All the dirty diapers go into a wetbag as is***- we use Bummis brand- inside of a Simple Human trash can. (We have the trash can in our bedroom and there is no smell, so it seems to be working well). Every third day, I take the entire wetbag and flip it into the washing machine (no touching the diapers), and toss in the bag itself as well. The main thing with washing is not to use any softener because that makes the diapers repel. Other than that it's just a matter of finding out what wash works best with your machine. (I usually do a pre-rinse cold, then wash on hot with about half the amount of detergent, and extra rinse). I usually hang dry them (because we can here), but it's also really good for getting out stains- the sun takes away the stain.

Bigger babies wet more but less often. We now use about 6 diapers a day, but at night I add a "doubler" (an extra layer of fabric) just to be safe. The reason I still recommend a large stash for this stage is because you will be using the diapers for a much longer time period; this way you get less wear and tear (and don't have to do laundry as often). Once you start solids, poop needs to be dumped into the toilet. I use a bidet and it is quick and easy and the nice thing is that by the time you need to use the bidet, they poop a lot less often and it is not messy anymore.


*There are also "hybrid" diapers which are similar to a pocket diaper, but you can use disposable inserts some of the time. I find these pretty useless, as the disposable inserts cost just as much as a normal disposable diaper but you still have to wash the covers.

**If you cloth diaper to save money, for the first child you will break even on a newborn stash, and save a lot on the regular stash. Additional children mean a lot more savings.

***This is assuming breastfed poop, for formula, or after starting solids, you need to rinse off the poop using a bidet since it is not water soluble.

  • Reasons to cloth diaper: healthier, cheaper, environmentally friendly
  • Type to get: prefolds to save money, all-in-ones for ease of use
  • Number to get: at least 3 dozen
  • Accessories to get: a bidet (diaper sprayer), a snappi for prefolds, doublers
  • Online stores I have used and liked, in this order: Kelly's Closet, Green Mountain Diapers, Cotton Babies

So that's my personal introduction. For more FAQ including- why we chose to cloth diaper, why we love it, and how much money we're saving, see my first post HERE.

Mexico City: the Drive

The drive from Guadalajara to Mexico City is 6 hours on a pretty decent highway. Complicating the matter, was that we could not leave until mid-day, and had to make a 1 hour stop downtown before leaving town. All in all the drive down wasn't that bad. But, Little N took a nap in the morning before we left the house, and another one during that one hour stop, meaning that most of the drive he was awake.

on the road

toll plaza; it's not a cheap drive but the toll roads are worth every cent

When we did make stops, there was no shade to be found, and we didn't find any Pemex (gas stations) with a little rest area like last time. So the kiddo wanted to explore, we wanted to feed him and get going, and the situation didn't allow either of us to get what we wanted.

rest stop after a long stretch

happy to be out of the car seat

During our drive, we were stopped by a federal police, trying to "get" us on something, but all our paperwork was in order and he was pretty annoyed about that! The last hour and a half there was a lot of crying going on as the kiddo wanted out, while we were trying to maneuver into the city before dark.

not happy anymore

when you reach the forests of Toluca, you're almost there

traffic bad enough that there are vendors in the middle of the highway

We made it, of course, to our rental apartment and there were lots of adventures including more policemen and more traffic but also sightseeing and fun to come!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

First Metro Ride

Our second day in Mexico City (the first we were in the car- and had to pay a police bribe to not get our car impounded because we were driving a foreign car in the morning hours...another story for another day. maybe). Where was I? Our second day- we took the metro! I personally love the subway, since I grew up outside of a big city, and I was excited to see how Baby Boy would react.

We had our stroller, which M carried down the stairs, and I carried Baby Boy. He was a bit bewildered and overwhelmed going down against a rush of people coming up, and seemed a bit disoriented at this new experience. He kept looking to all directions as we made our way to the platform. Once there he was a bit more relaxed, but looked slightly frightened as a train whisked by. The train ride itself was more manageable as the kiddo flirted with the other passengers, and the old ladies just ate him up!

For one of the rides we tried leaving him in the stroller on the actual train, but as it filled up and people cowered over him he got scared and we went back to having me carry him in my arms. All in all it was a success!

I know I said I would stop talking about transportation, so sue me. Now tell me, am I the only one that documents these little experiences in way too many details?

Friday, April 13, 2012

9 Month Road Trippin'

As I alluded to in my random post, last week we took a trip to Mexico City. I'm going to write the trip up in a few separate posts because there is way too much to talk about in one. So to start us off I thought I'd talk about the car ride.

The drive from Guadalajara to Mexico City is 6 hours on a pretty decent highway. Previously Baby Boy's longest drive had been to San Miguel de Allende, for a total of 4.5 hours driving time. So we were adding a decent chunk of time, at an age where Baby Boy wants nothing to do with being strapped into a car seat (or anywhere that can't let him move). Complicating the matter, was that we could not leave until mid-day, and had to make a 1 hour stop downtown before leaving town. Are you getting the hint that it might not have gone so well? Smartie pants!

checking up on the kiddo

All in all the drive down wasn't that bad. But, Baby Boy took a nap in the morning before we left the house, and another one during that one hour stop, meaning that most of the drive he was awake. When we did make stops, there was no shade to be found, and we didn't find any Pemex (gas stations) with a little rest area like last time. So the kiddo wanted to explore, we wanted to feed him and get going, and the situation didn't allow either of us to get what we wanted.

not feeding

The last hour and a half, was Baby Boy's bath time and bedtime and the kiddo was on and off crying, which is a lot of crying for our usually content kid. After the fact we discovered that he was sucking his thumb so hard, that he actually bruised the skin! To make a long story short, after a not super pleasant ride, I got to wake up 4 times during the night so that Baby Boy could catch up on his missed feedings!

this one breaks my heart: helpless

On the way back, we learned from our mistakes and did the following:

1- Leave early, so that there is plenty of time for stops! Also, most babies are more tired in the morning, so that means there is a higher likelihood they will nap on the way.

2- Plan for many stops so that the kiddo can stretch out and play. (After enough play time, Baby Boy was also willing to eat).

3- Babies like to have snacks on the road just as much as adults. We found Mum mums to be the least messy.

4- Try to arrive at your destination before bed time, this way you can work your normal routine and get a better night's rest.

The way back was significantly easier for all of the above reasons. But enough about driving, next post I'll talk about what we did! Do you have any other tips for a road trip with a crawling baby?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Baby Boy is terrified of elevators. I have no idea why and it seems a bit early for him to be claustrophobic, but whatever it is, the kid has a crisis every time we roll into an elevator. I can mitigate some of the fear if I hold him in my arms, but he still has those big scared eyes and it makes me really sad. Then again, I'm not going to carry him up 5 flights of stairs...Any idea what we should do about it, if anything?

M caught the "scared face" on camera when we were in a museum and already had the camera out while we were rolling in.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pool Play Date

We've had various play dates and various pool visits lately, but this one was the culmination of them both together. It was the absolute cutest! We keep thinking that if Baby Boy sees other kids crawl he might develop an interest in doing it himself*, but no dice. It was a splash-fest of fun!

*In an unrelated story, Baby Boy was playing with a neighbor kiddo on the grass in our coto (gated community). The ball they were playing with rolls away, so neighbor kid gets on his hands and feet and crawls over to get it. Meanwhile Baby Boy has to pivot around to use my leg to stand up, then grab my hands and have me help him walk over to where the ball was. By the time he got there, neighbor kid and the ball were long gone. So sad :(

**I've had this post in my drafts folder for more than a few days, and meanwhile the kiddo decided he does want to crawl after all.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Random: Semana Santa

Here's our random list of the day:

1- This week in Mexico (and lots of other places around the world) was Semana Santa, Holy Week, before Easter (that would be today). We had vacation, and we went on vacation. I feel like we do that a lot. I'll be posting about it and maybe throwing in some more travel tips.

2- I forgot to schedule posts for this past week (see above), so I have a bit of a backlog, but there should be a bunch of things going up soon.*

3- Meanwhile, our Baby Boy is officially a crawling/climbing/standing/cruising/digging/picking/ripping little monkey. He is seriously into everything and we need to baby proof and fast! Any advice? This is super urgent so we're going to get on it this week!

4- Passover. A holiday of too much matza and too many eggs. We just got back home and I need to fill our house with food, but egg-full recipes are not going to work. Any ideas for egg-free, flour/wheat/oat- free recipes?

5- Grandma will be coming later this week. Baby Boy hasn't seen her since he was 2 weeks old, and he's getting excited, or at the very least we are.

6- We made M an office before we left. This means that Baby Boy has his own room which I can finally decorate!!! That is my next project, after figuring out what we will eat this week, and baby-proofing. Hmm...I guess that will be next week.

random picture for random post

*I hate when bloggers say that, but I feel like I usually come through pretty quickly, so bear with me.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Daily Life: March 2012

We started off the month with a trip to San Miguel de Allende. (Here, here, and here).

We celebrated Purim with hamentashen; Little N dressed up as a king.

We had a family visit from O.

We visited the Zapopan historical center.

We went to the pool multiple times.

M completed a Cardio rotation.

We celebrated at a birthday party and hit the piñata.

We did some major spring cleaning and made M a new office in our former storage room.