Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mama's Birthday

I woke up at 530 but mama said that I had to sleep a little bit longer.  For some reason, I thought it was important that I did.  So, I fell back asleep until almost 7...then I grabbed mom's face by her nose hole and pulled her face towards mine for a big kiss.  I think that is the best way to start the day.  THEN papa called and I could tell it was because my mom always smiles really big...her voice also changes and gets all nice and stuff.  I said HI and told him about po-yees and that I'll see him in Hawaii in two sleeps.

THEN Gramma and Grampa called and I got to talk to them too.  THEN Auntie Liz stopped by to give my mom cards but I'm a little bit scared of her ever since she almost dropped me when i was a baby, so I cried and ran to mama so she could "protect" me.  THEN Miss Debbie came WITH breakfast tacos and chocolate.  It was yummy...once I realized that mom was staying around, I played a little bit with Debbie and let her hug and kiss me a little bit.  THEN we went for a walk down the street, played with the neighbor doggies, and picked flowers for mama.  She put one in Diego's collar but I didn't approve and took it out.  We had lunch and talked to Gramma Nina and Grampa Carlos.  Cousin AJ said HI and told us about going to the Air Force pretty soon.  I made gorilla and monkey noises for them.  Nap time was really nice...almost 2 hours.  for some reason, mom was very happy after nap time and we snuggled a bit.  We decided to head to the beach after snack.

 I love the beach and we took my digger and big truck of course plus bucket and shovels.  Mom got us a snow cone to was cold but yummy.  I went down the slide a bunch and watched the trains go rumbling past.  Mom talked to Auntie Lori for a bit.  I missed Diego and Sasha and asked if we could go home.  So we did and I got to feed them.  I'm really good at it now.

Auntie Rachie called and they talked while mom got dressed, changed my diaper, got me dressed, and packed the bag with snacks/toys to go out.  The best part of my day?  Our neighbors Miss Jarie and Mister Eric took us OUT for PIZZA!  I got to go, bringing my digger and big truck of course and they gave me a new race car.  I ate a little bit but mostly watched the trucks and cars go flying by then ran around while Jarie chased me.  Mom got to sit and eat and she got to have adult conversation with her friends.  She was really happy and relaxed...she laughed too.

On the way home, I asked for more pizza and ate almost a whole piece all by myself in the quick trip back. Mom got to talk to the neighbors while I played in the dirt, threw the ball for Copper, and Mister Eric lifted me up to the basketball hoop so I could dunk.  Mom was very happy and relaxed...she got me cleaned up in the tub, dressed in jammies, read stories, and in bed really fast...which I was happy about since I am exhausted!  It was a good day and I'm really glad because I think she was a bit sad that Papa wasn't going to be with us.  I am too but knowing that we'll see him in just two days makes me very happy.  Thank you to everyone that made my mom's day so special.  Thank you for the cards and little gifts.  Thank you for thinking of her even if she is far away or life is busy.  Thank you for going out of your way to remind her that she is special even if she is getting a little old....and huge with my baby brother.  Happy Birthday Mama!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ponies (aka Po-yees)

Watching horses race always makes me cry...maybe it's all the racehorse movies that I've watched:  Pharlap, Seabiscuit, waterworks during those films.  It's embarrassing..just ask Mario.  But it doesn't matter when I see horses race...I always choke up and tears well up in my eyes.  So when we went to Del Mar for Family Fun Day (courtesy of the Navy), I wasn't sure how I was going to show it all to Xavi.

We had a great day!  We were in the infield and saw the horses race by with front row seats.  Xavi was enthralled and except for the first race, I could cheer the horses on as they flew by.  Once I found my way around the lump in my throat, I could clap and yell for the "po-yees"- go "Fast".  In between races, Xavi watched the tractors and the big trucks and the other ponies.  There was never a dull moment.  We tried a funnel cake (a first for both of us) and some "Hawaiian" ice.

There was a kids area with free pony rides and bouncy obstacle courses/houses.  Xavi wouldn't go ON the ponies but he sat and watched and watched them go round and round.  He only paused to ask me for his "digger" when he realized the ground was perfect for digging and picking up sticks.  (It was FILTHY!)   Xavi was a bit small for the bouncy houses but I climbed up WITH him so we could go down the bouncy slide together.  Halfway up, I thought that I surely hadn't completely thought this through, but had to keep going or else...

Our friends, Kelly and Dan plus their boys, James and Jake were there too.  Xavi had a great time playing with them, chasing, running through puddles, and of course, hugging.  We had a great time and I was thankful to have new friends...for both of us.

It was a long day but it's not the beginning of an interest in "po-yees"...we are just curious how long it will last.  I have been looking for a stuffed pony for him to play with and feed grass to.  We figure that's the safest place to start.  At least I won't have to clean up a stuffed horse's poop...that's a win win for me.

Work hard Papa!  If he wants to ride "po-yees", we'll need to be wealthy or lucky...maybe a bit of both.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Who's your daddy?

Yesterday,  I was so tired, so we stayed close to home.  Xavi asked me to take "OFF" shirts, pants, and diaper..we were in the backyard so...whatever keeps him happy.  But then Mario called from the Phillipines and I got distracted...he started asking to play "basketball", so we went out to play basketball ...whatever keeps him happy while I talk to his papa.  The next thing I realize he is playing in the dirt with nothing on but his dad's dog tags.  He's been wearing these every day since Papa last left...and every day he says something to me about "Papa" and "work".  The tags remind him both "who loves you Xavi?" "PAPA" and "where is Papa?" "Work".  He kisses them sometimes and today, Debbie said he was talking to it like he was talking on the phone to Mario.

We had a busy weekend and a fun day at the horse track in Del Mar...which is why I was/am exhausted.  I was planning to post photos from that day but I've run out of storage and had to upgrade my account...and it takes 24 hours to complete.'s a conspiracy to keep me from getting my "list" done.  Ah well...gonna go curl up with a book.  We'll see how long that lasts.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

"bye bye...see you in the morning!"

This is the smiling face I woke up 6 am.  Good thing he's as cute as he is!  Today I heard him say as clear as day "bye bye, see you in the morning!"...I know that sometimes when we say "bye bye" to things or people I will add "see you later" or "see you tomorrow" or "see you in the morning"...but how did he pick that up, remember it, and then repeat it...days/weeks later?

Because he's a genius! :)  Maybe I'm biased, but it is remarkable to me that he says things I know I said previously but that it's been quite awhile.  He's not just parroting me.

It makes me also a bit worried to think back on all the things he's heard me and Mario say...and cringe thinking about when they will come out of his mouth, clear as day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Share. Who? me or Xavi?

Today we went to "Baby Beach".  The sand is nice, soft, and white and the water was shallow without waves.  Xavi could wade right in, splash around, and be in the water without worrying about the waves knocking him over.

We played in the sand for a bit until he "needed" water for his digging.  I talked him into wading into the water and he was happily splashing until...this woman playing catch with her boy ran backwards (without looking, ignoring my repeated yells AND my hand on her back) and knocked Xavi over into the sand and water.  This, of course, derailed our happy splashing and we didn't go back in the water until we were leaving.  Grrrrrr!!!!  She said to me "OH! I should have been looking, I mean this IS baby beach!"  Dear Lord...I really wanted to smack her.  Wouldn't that be a sight?  A huge pregnant woman in a bikini taking down another mom in her own bikini...might have made the news.

Back on our beach blanket, playing with our sand toys (bucket, shovels, digger, and truck)...along comes a three year old girl wanting to play with Xavi's toys.  I braced myself for an awkward situation and exchange since I know Xavi has not been willing to share any of these items...even with mama or papa.  Mom comes along and basically expected US to share with her...even though a 3 year old MUST understand the concept of sharing MUCH better than my 20 month old.  On the outside, I chatted with her while on the inside, I was so stressed out.  I really felt like she needed to take control of the situation and excuse themselves to play with THEIR toys.  I HATE it when the other parent does not take control of the situation and direct the play of their older, more mature, TALKING child to avoid conflict while playing  with OUR toys.  I mean, Xavi was crying and begging me to get the big truck, digger back.  Mom's other kid comes along...19 month old...grabbing at the toys and Xavi had enough.  He cried, asked for chi chi, and said "all done".  I hugged him and then he wandered away.  I excused myself from OUR toys and we went looking at what other kids' toys were around.  Of course there was a lot of trucks! diggers!  shovels! buckets! that no one seemed to be playing with...until Xavi picked it up and the owner suddenly appeared demanding his/her toy.  I was so stressed but did my best to stay relax, chat with other moms, and keep Xavi from getting attached to anything.

After a few times, he seemed to understand "that's not our toy"and oh "look, the kids left OUR toys alone, let's go play with OUR toys".  We escaped without a major incident or meltdown.  We got back in the water once.  We dug a few holes with OUR toys and had fun building a sand castle...or more accurately, knocking down each block I tried to put up.  Another 11 or 12 year old girl came up, wanting to play with our toys and build her own sand castle....luckily our toys suck at making castles and the bucket was broken... she didn't stay too long.  We had snack, got cleaned up, and back in the car.  All in all a good experience.  Thankfully.  At least the lesson learned was NOT that if someone comes along to play with his toys that he can go and demand someone else's toys.  It was certainly heading that way.

As I was driving home, I was thinking about why I was so stressed out.  I guess part of it is that I am not sure that this is the best environment to learn home, there is no reason he HAS to share with anyone and I'm fully aware that soon enough he will be sharing EVERYTHING with his little brother...he'll be learning in a controlled environment how to lovingly and cooperatively playing with someone else, not to mention share mama with another being (if I'm honest, I'd say that I'm VERY nervous about that one!).    Debbie has similar experiences with kids at the much so that she limits the toys they take because it is so stressful to "referee" other people's kids and their behavior.  She relates stories of kids taking toys, running off with them, and Debbie being forced to chase after someone else's kid to kindly ask for it back.  We've had toys stolen the few times I let other kids play with our it isn't easy for me to share, it isn't easy to have to referee other little monsters.
Garage sale find digger...definitely a MINE item

I liken the experience today to taking a puppy to the dog park to "socialize"...where there is little to no control over what your dog or someone else's dog would do AND what your dog would learn  from the experience.  I'm usually nervous at dog parks about not if but when Diego will try to hump every dog he can OR who would he try to beat up...and I used to get nervous that Sasha would get beat up.  These were not great experiences with my hairy kids...I'm certainly unwilling to experiment with my two legged, lovely little man.  I think I am afraid that one of these mean, spiteful (and they are!!) kids will do or say something that will hurt him or make him turn into anything other than the sweet, loving spirit he is.
Sharing breakfast with cousins Gabby and this case, yogurt

I KNOW that learning to share is important...and Xavi will be a good sharer.  His cousins were very generous with him and I know it wasn't easy for them...but it was easier for me.  Jackie's kids were very generous with Xavi, even parting with one of the diggers that he fell in love with...making it easy on me to allow him to learn what he needs to learn but at our own pace.  And I thank those kinds of moms for helping this mom learn how to be better...and to share.  
Xavi's new digger from the Mittelstadt family...Thanks Emerson!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Frustration - 20 month old style

In the last month, our lives have been a little bit crazy.  We spent almost a week in San Diego learning to live with a toddler out of a hotel room.  Then we went to Wisconsin to stay with Gramma and Grampa for a week plus a 6 hour road trip to Minnesota to see Rachel and family.  THEN we came home to a long weekend with Papa.  THEN we had a visit from Gramma Nina, plus we got to see papa again for a weekend.  Ups and downs.  Ins and outs.  here and there.  home then gone.  Throw in a few falls, bumps and bruises, being off sleep/eat schedule, and it's fair to say we've had some rough days lately. As an adult, albeit a sometimes flexibility challenged adult, I can pretty much go with the flow and "get" what is going on.  But my poor little Xavi seemed to feel the effects of being on a roller coaster ride and I could definitely tell he was frustrated and sometimes confused.  Even then, he did very well, until this past week.
hello bricks...fat lip, bruised cheek

Got a new sandbox

Gramma was here to spend time with us, especially Xavi, and he would play with long as I was right there or close by.  He read with her, almost long enough for one story, until he wanted me to be there too.  He kissed and hugged her and flashed her winning smiles every time he saw her.  He knew her name "Nina" and even this weekend after she was gone, he called a lady we saw on the street Nina (same hair color, same stature (petite :))).  They played at the park with Miss Debbie while mama had "free time".  But he wasn't exactly himself...he was much more touchy, sensitive, needy and clingy than usual while we are he had  a day where he slept just 15' and acted like Gramma and Debbie gave him a cup or two of coffee.  I emailed Jen, our chiropractor, and asked for her opinion.  He had just been adjusted the week before but had since fallen on his sweet little face...she fixed his neck and I thought he was on his way back.  He certainly seemed to be...

Papa came home Thursday on the train..."choo choo".  While we were waiting, he had a MAJOR explosion in his pants but seemed happy to have his "papa" home again.  Friday was swim class and I was excited since last week had gone so well...even better that Papa could come AND Gramma could watch how well Xavi was doing in the water.  Sigh.  I should have known I was setting us all up.  He got in the water with Papa and did well for the first 10 minutes.  I was watching on the sideline but thought I could get in like I did the last time Mario and I were both there (it went well!!).  It was the worst class ever.  He wouldn't do ANY of the things he normally will do, not even the "tick tock...cuckoo" song!  He played in the hot tub happily but wailed when it was time to get out and didn't stop until we left. Sigh.

The "fun" continued the rest of the weekend with Xavi being ok with papa if I was not there... but if I showed up OR if I suddenly disappeared (like to go the bathroom for 30 seconds), it was major meltdown.  "MAMAAAAA" and wanting to be picked up immediately or else!  Throwing the head... and body back with abandon.  Risking more bodily harm and more trips to Jen.  Screaming and crying uncontrollably..."NO!" I won't swing with papa.  "NO!" I want YOU to open the bubbles NOT papa.  "NO!" I don't want to be held by papa.  This behavior...broke my heart.  Literally.  It made me so sad because I know how much Xavi misses his papa and I know how Xavi relaxes when we have him near. And I know how much Mario misses Xavi when he is gone and how he often thinks about being with us again.   I had set us up with my high expectations for loving, happy family time.  I was at a total loss.  What was wrong with the little man?  Is he being "terrible two"?  Is he sensitive because of all the changes and all that is constant in life lately is mama...AND if she leaves (even just to go to the bathroom), does that mean that to him his world is crashing down?  Is he in pain?  Does he not feel well?  Do I pick him up and comfort him?  Do I let him "cry it out" and learn a lesson?  What does this mean for when there is another baby here that needs to be held, nursed, comforted 24/7?  How will we make it?  How does Xavi come out of this intact:  happy, secure, and independent?

I called Jen (at home) to ask her advice...she suspected a bowel infection and recommended an herbal tincture plus some massage at specific spinal areas.  The medicine seems to be helping but the diarrhea is still coming.  We'll have to wait and see...when and how my little man can get his feet under him again, returning to the happy, independent, content, secure boy I spend all day every day with.  We'll have to let him get his feet under himself again and see if this pattern is repeated on subsequent family times.  I'll have to get my expectations under control (constant battle) and wait for the next visit with papa (and Gramma Nina).  And be thankful for another opportunity to have special family time...whatever that may look like.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Playtime with Papa

I love this makes me laugh every time I watch this. They are playing "tiger"...Mario was trying to stand his ground while being attacked by the little tiger.  Xavi asks to watch it over and over again.  I love to hear him laugh.  I love to see them play.  I hope to catch many more moments like this.

Au Natural

In case you haven't noticed, Xavi isn't a fan of pants, diapers, or shoes...and sometimes his shirt.

Getting him dressed is a wrestling match that increases my heart rate every time.  Almost everyday, he ends up fully dressed.  But more often than not, I let him run around in a few variations of undressed: shirt, no pants, no diaper; diaper only; diaper and shirt; socks only; pants, no shirt; and au natural.  I'm certainly not a nudist, nor did I come from an immodest family...but I don't have hang ups with him running around naked in safe environments.  I have a few legitimate (at least to me) reasons why I allow him to do so...
Making a list like mama does...."reasons I should get to be naked more often"

1.  I'm hoping it makes potty training easier.  There is a "method" that can be taught almost from birth and it involves maintaining the baby's awareness of how it feels to pee, poop, and allows the parent to take note of their child's individual "tells" that they all have indicating when they are going.  Mostly it involves allowing the baby/child to have time sans diaper but requires supervision and following around with a pot or something to catch the waste.  Spending all day everyday in a diaper dampens their awareness and teaches them to go in their pants...all of which has to be undone when potty training commences.  I have to admit that although my intention was to allow Xavi to maintain an awareness and I have a potty that we used for training... but there was a good chunk of time that I was too distracted to follow up as I should have.  So we aren't having any miracle results in getting him trained early, but he is aware AND he can tell me before, during, and after he goes...just not every time.  So there are days that I do end up cleaning up more poop than I care to admit and my poor mom's carpet has been frustrated by this more than once. Still, he knows what is happening with his body and I continue to believe that this will help us in the eventuality of potty training.
Helping Auntie Rachie water the lawn in Minnesota...sans pants

Hanging out at Gramma Mimi's and playing with her toys...sans pants
Beautiful Gramma Mimi and Xavi...both WITH pants on

2.  He's a little boy.  How long do we as humans have to be as innocent as he is right now?  How long do we have to run around nude, to skinny dip without shame, and to converse without our pants on?  Not long...3?  4 years tops?  So my intention is for him to make the most of the time that he has to be truly innocent and free.
Summer vacation officially starts when you can get nude and watch the sunset...surveying Gramma and Grampa's beautiful property

3.  I'm trying to save on diapers?  Disposables get expensive and the cloth diapers need to be washed every other day.
Happiness is having a huge "bucket" of sand to drive trucks, dig, and dump all over...while being nude

4.  He loves being in his natural state of dress.  Who am I to deny him this pleasure, this fun, and the practicality of being sans pants?  There is no safety long as we are in a safe environment...with family and friends.  In my opinion, there is no reason for me to insist on pants...I'm the one that has to clean up after him and I'm the one that has to wrestle him into diaper and pants (99% of the time).  Sometimes I choose to simply skip the fight and allow him to be happy...if all it takes is something as simple as taking off his pants?  Why not?  There will be plenty of times and issues in the future that I will HAVE to insist on him obeying, doing things he doesn't want to do, and denying him pleasure.  I reserve my energy for those days and choose to allow him this small, short lived pleasure.
Taking a cue from the monkeys we saw at the zoo

Wearing mama's "bling"...this locket has a photo of Mario and one of Xavi
Xavi often asked to wear it during the last training block.  

At least I got his shoes on!

Checking out what was happening at the neighbors...sans shirt

5.  I'm letting him "air out"?  Sometimes his bum gets sore because he has a BM every time he eats (some days more often) and sometimes the cloth diapers' elastic digs into his poor little skin.
I'm pretty sure he just escaped this time...wanted to get a jump on the mowing I guess
This was at 830am...airing out from the overnight diaper?

6.  I don't have a problem with the appropriate setting.  I grew up dressing and undressing for swim practice in a locker room almost everyday for ten years.  I also had three sisters and we sometimes showered together if time was tight or it was necessary.  We didn't fight about people hogging the bathroom even though we only had one for the four of us, because there was usually more than one of us in there at any given time.  We also loved to skinny dip...NOT in mixed company of course, but it was fun for two, three, or four of us to drop our towels when it got dark (ok, we did it occasionally in the day but the trees blocked the property from view) and swim, sans suits.  What a great feeling!  It was normal to us then and still is to me today.  And the opportunities to skinny dip today?  Non-existant.  So I choose to allow my son to embrace the opportunity while he can innocently do so AND allow him to develop  a healthy modesty about his body when the time is right.
Good thing he didn't have a shirt would've been stained like his cheeks

No pants required to look at Grampa's digger....or shirt!

He DID have pants on when we arrived...but he had a BM and ran off to chase Neva before I could get a new one on.

Emerson and Neva didn't seem to mind...Xavi only had eyes for pretty Neva
Skinny swimming with Grampa...and he's eating watermelon, too! That's my talented boy!

Staying cool in Grampa's wonderful pool.... what a blessing!

Catching some rays at the "beach" aka Ottawa lake.  He loved wading in and out of the shallow water...and playing in this sludge stream.  ick

7.  It's too hot for clothes?  How many times have you said or thought this but were powerless to actually take your clothes off to cool down?  Wisconsin was hot this last visit and we did our first long distance car ride (6 hours).  Grampa's big truck (and the car seat) got uncomfortable quick and we chose to tough it out in the uncooled camper.  Xavi's clothes came off first thing.
watching Thomas videos and staying cool

Catching the scenery as it blows by on our way to Minnesota

Too hot for more than the minimum sleep wear
Helping gramma build the nightly campfire...he missed out on the smores though

8.  Nothing and nobody is cuter.
He loves to smell flowers and always says "mmmmm"...really!  what is cuter?