I'm a MOPS Mom

Being a Stay-at-Home Mom (SAHM) is a unique experience.  I will definitely hop on my soap box to talk about it in a few weeks or so.  It's not what everyone thinks it is, and it certainly is NOT easy.  I think that for me, the worst part has been loneliness.
Since I moved to a new city shortly prior to having Marco, I didn't have many friends.  Ok, I only had ONE friend... Thank GOD for Carol!  And, since I didn't have a job, or a church, I had a very difficult time making friends.  After living here for a full year (and a bit), I finally feel like I'm getting acquainted with some women.  I still don't have "friends"... you know, the friends you call up to tell them that your pee just smelled funny, or to ask what to wear.  I just have acquaintences that are mainly surrounded by my baby being the same age as their baby.
So, when Marco was about 3 months old, I decided to join MOPS (Mothers of Pre Schoolers).  It's a Christian organization that meets regularly and is a great way for SAHM's to begin connecting with other women.  I'm able to drop Marco off (at the provided childcare) and spend 2 hours getting to know other Christian women and (get this), NOT just talking about BABIES!!!
Sometimes it reminds me of a Christian Baby Shower.  We have food, we talk, we play games and we make crafts (which I'm always horrible at).  It's been wonderful hearing some of the women's testimonies and seeing what God is doing in their lives.  Through MOPS, I've gained some perspective in realizing the kind of mother I want to be.  I've been able to analyze who I am and decide who I want to be.  It has been a wonderful experience, and I look forward to participating again next year.
So, if you're a SAHM and feel that you need to get connected beyond play dates and library time, check out the MOPS site to see if there is a meeting in your area.  I'm sure that they will welcome you with open hearts and arms!

8 weeks- 2 days

This week I had my first OB appointment for my new pregnancy.  We got to have an ultrasound and hear it's heart beat (174).  My calculations were incorrect, so they adjusted my due date according to the growth.  The baby measured at 8 weeks-2 days.  My due date is November 29, 2010!  Just 4 days after Thanksgiving!
So far, this pregnancy has been WAY easier than Marco's.  I have had minimal morning sickness, which was the worst the first time around.  I've had some food aversions, specifically to meats, and I've been a little extra tired.  But, the fatigue can be expected... I am chasing around an Olympic Crawler all day!
I'm starting off this pregnancy weighing 17 pounds less than I started off my first.  I'm really proud of how much weight I've been able to lose (I owe it all to breast feeding), and intend to keep a steady and healthy weight gain throughout my pregnancy.
Right now, there is a battle of names going on between my in-laws, my mom and my dad.  First off, everyone thinks this is a girl... I don't really know, but I have a hunch it's another boy.  Everyone wants us to name HER after themselves... today I've heard, "Bella Rosana", "Bella Vivian", "Ana-Mirella", "Cesarita", oh, and my personal favorite (insert dramatic eye-roll) "Luisa Georgina".  I told them that if we had to please ALL 3 mothers, we'd name it Rosavita... for Rosana, Vivian and Rita.  LOL.  It's not gonna happen, but it's fun going back and forth over it.
My next appointment is in 4 weeks, and I'll give another update after that!  Below is a pic from our ultrasound.  You see the head on the left and then the body with little arm and leg buds, followed by it's little tadpole tail.  The halo looking thing is the yolk sac, which will form into the placenta.  It's amazing to think that in just a few short months, that little creature will be my beautiful baby in my arms.  I'm in love already!

The Birthday Dilema

Today is Marco's 10 monthday!  I can't believe he's been with us for so long already, but at the same time I can't imagine my life without him.  He makes my heart swell with every little thing he does.  He's been crawling for a while now, but now he crawls FAST!  He is also cruising around the furniture and taking risks by letting go to move to another piece.  I hold my breath every time.  He is funny, confident and sneaky.  He is ticklish ALL over and thinks it's funny when I pretend to suck his paci or eat his food.  He claps along with any music he hears, even commercials and sings at the top of his lungs!  He waits until I'm busy washing dishes or dealing with morning sickness to be extra mischievous; this is when he likes to unroll the WHOLE roll of toilet paper or pull dishes out of the dishwasher.  I love his little personality and I am so blessed to have him every single day.
As of now, I've just been gushing over how amazing my baby boy is, but that's not the title of this post.  The Birthday Dilema, here it is.
Originally I wanted to go down to Miami and celebrate Cuban/Brazilian style with the family at my dad's pool.  The theme was gonna be "Fun in the Sun, Marco's turning One".  But, unfortunately since Marco's birthday is on Father's Day weekend, the plane tickets are overpriced and not worth it.  Ok, so option 1 is out.
The next thing I thought was to have a pool party here at my apartment complex.  I would invite some of my friends and a few of his baby friends, grill some burgers, have some cupcakes, and go in the pool.  The pool here is great because there's a whole section that's only 6 inches deep.  Perfect for babies!  So, I went to talk to the management to see if I could reserve the pool or the club house- No to both.  Ok, then can I just have a getty and I don't care if other people are around- still No.  Why?!  Because apparently we're only allowed (per our contract) to invite 2 people to the pool... so if we have a party and we take up all the seats, so that there's no place for the residents to sit, that's not fair.  AND if someone complains about it, we'll get PENALIZED for BREAKING the contract!  Isn't that absurd?!
Option 3 was to have it at a park.  Well, I found a cool park that's really shaded with pavilions and baby swings not too far from the house.  The first time I saw the park, I thought it was perfect.  But we've been back a few times, and it's MUCH less than perfect.  In fact, it's really ghetto... like, "I wouldn't go there alone" ghetto.  So, that particular park is out, but I could still find another one... I just don't know if it's too much work than it's worth.
At my apartment complex, there's a nice big grassy field with a fire pit.  Option 4 was to have it at the fire pit, since there are grills out there too.  I was thinking of having a picnic party.  Having all the guests bring a blanket and just making a big blanket space so the babies could crawl around.  I'd buy some balls and other random toys so they could all play, and we'd have some yummy picnic style food.  Amazingly, this is NOT against my contract, so it'd be perfectly acceptable.
The last and final option I can think of, is to just forget having a "party" and just have a little get together at my house with only MY friends and NO babies.  It'd just be a dinner and cake cutting to celebrate quietly.  Simple.
I always originally thought that throwing a birthday party for a one year old was just foolish.  I used to think it was a HUGE waste of money... after all, he's not going to remember it and in essence it's just a backdrop for photos.  But, now that we're getting closer, I am having a change of heart.  I still think it's just for the pictures, but I do want to celebrate!
So, readers, if you have a suggestion, or you think one option sounds better than another, I'd love to hear your input.  I've got 60 days to go!

One Nap or Two... that is the question.

Have you noticed that as a new parent, the silliest and simplest things occupy your thoughts with countless questions and thus create unnecessary anxiety?  How many oz should I feed my 2, 7, 18 month old?!  Should I rock to sleep or let him CIO (cry it out)?  How do I get all the necessary veggies into his diet?  These questions will keep you up at night, tossing and turning!
My latest question has been should Marco have one nap or two?  If it was up to me, I'd say 5 naps a day!  But, alas, it is not up to me.  I know that as he begins to move into toddlerhood, he'll be also moving into the afternoon nap schedule, but how will I know when he's there?
For the past two months or so, we've been on a schedule that is roughly 3 hours awake, 1-1.5 hours napping.  Therefore, if we are out of bed by 8:30 (because I REFUSE to get up earlier), he's napping by 11:30 and then is typically up by 1.  After that he naps again at 4 for a short one, usually less than an hour.  I know what you're thinking... THAT's A LATE NAP!  And, yes, it is... but while most babies are getting tucked in and sleeping with the angels at 7:30, my little night owl doesn't go to bed till about 9.  It's all my fault, too.  Since I work evenings, sometimes till 7:30, our night-time routine doesn't start till then... with dinner, bath, treatment (he's still on his nebulizer for his premature lung disease), nursing, bed.
But, I'm getting off the subject.  Should I push for only ONE nap?  Today I gave it a try... and I know it's only noon, but that goes to show you that I FAILED!  I tried to give him lunch before his nap, but he was rubbing his face and rejecting the food, so I just put him down.  I don't see how it'll work with him only having one nap if he's going to sleep so late!  Let's say he does have one nap, from 1-3 (God, that would be amazing)... then he's expected to be up and functionally happy from 3-9ish?  DANG, that's a long time!
Both Bea and Carol tell me that I am the one that determines nap time AND length.  They say, "if naptime is from 12-2, then baby stays in the crib for that time.  He can choose if he wants to sleep or scream, but either way, he stays in his crib until naptime is OVER".  Bea said that the baby will learn to sleep longer and get used to the schedule.  I believe her, but it's hard!
So, for now, I guess I'll keep with the 3 hours awake (or maybe push to 3.5 hours), followed by a nap.  UNLESS, any of my loyal readers have another suggestion, I'd love to hear it!

Well, Hello There!

I do not consider myself a writer, by any means. In fact, I'll start off by saying that I'm a HORRIBLE speller, so there, that's my disclaimer!
I've been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a few months now. Several people have asked me if I blog, and I never had thought about it before then. I don't read anyone else's blogs, sometimes I skim, but I'm not religious about it... so why would anyone else read mine? Does this make me a blogging hypocrite? Perhaps.
I finally decided to do it when I found out I was pregnant again, and Jennifer told me I should document my pregnant and mommy adventures. She reminded me of how she enjoyed reading my journals and claims I'm a "good writer". Well, at least I'll have ONE follower!
So, stay tuned... it's about to get exciting in here!