I Discovered a Cure!

I have discovered a cure for Baby Fever.  No joke.  For those of you who have never experienced baby fever before, here are some symptoms:
~Occurring in women mostly.
~Sudden itch to hold a newborn
~Uncontrollable trips to the baby section at Target
~Enviously staring at every pregnant woman's belly
~Secretly choosing favorite girl and boy names

You get the picture.

I got baby fever very quickly after having Marco.  Marco was such a sweet baby and a joy to have, that I thought having a baby was a piece of cake.  I mean, how hard can having 2 really be?

But now, I have been permanently and irrevocably cured of baby fever!  Which is good news, since I have my tubes tied and wouldn't be able to scratch that itch, should I get it again.   The cure is... having a baby with Colic.  Once you have a baby with Colic, you seriously start doubting ever wanting to have another.

Colic is a mystery for everyone.  There are differences of opinions and difference in remedies from everyone I talk to.  Most people think it's just gas, but according to my Triage App, Colic is defined as episodes of excessive unexplained crying, fussiness to agonized screaming.  The frustrating part is the word UNEXPLAINED.  That means, there is absolutely NO reason for the crying, and you wont be able to do anything to stop it.

Jonas has been experiencing Colic for about a month now.  It's making me miserable.  Sometimes he cries for hours at a time.  Sometimes those hours lie in the middle of the night.  We feed him, change him, rock him, sing to him, lay down with him, swaddle him, sway him... NOTHING WORKS!  Granted, sometimes it is discomfort from gas, but after we've given him gas drops, there's really nothing else we can do for him.

Colic is said to last for up to 4 months... but with a premie, it's 4 months from the due date.  Therefore, we could be dealing with this until Jonas is 6 months old.  Shoot me now.

Everyone tells me to be patient because Jonas really is only 4 weeks old, even though he's been around for 13 weeks.  And logically, I can cope with that.  BUT, it doesn't make it any easier.  He's still been here for 13 weeks.  I've still been changing diapers, waking up around the clock, feeding, and nurturing him for 13 weeks... not 4.  And we have yet to get a smile or laugh from him.  I need some rewards for my hard work!  A smile is all I ask!  So far, mothering Jonas has been a lot of hard work and not a lot of fun.  (Wow, this sounds so horrible to say!)

I have read a studied The Happiest Baby on the Block... it's my newborn bible.  The techniques for dealing with a Colicy baby are the 5 S's.  Swaddle-Side/Stomach-Shhh-Swing-Sucking.  This worked wonders with Marco, but has not made a dent in Jonas.  Jonas' fussiness is at a whole new level.
So, experienced Mommas, give me some tips!  I'm begging you!  Help me get through this with my sanity still in tact.  My children (and husband) will thank you too!

Too Much Love-Love

OMGoodness, Marco loves his baby brother so much... sometimes it's too much.  We appreciate the fact that he's concerned for Jonas' well being, wants him to be happy and wants to love on him, but the problem is that Marco's love is not always gentle.

We're still trying to teach Marco how to be gentle and "nice-nice" when it comes to handling his brother... well, any child for that matter.  He's not a softie... Marco is a rough kid.  You know the kind, gets his hand stuck in a door and just yanks it out and continues playing... gets pushed by another kid and gets up to run to the other side.  He's also a pusher, stealer and hitter- thank God he's not a biter too!

But when it comes to his brother, Marco wants nothing but the best.  When Jonas cries, Marco dances on his tip-toes and goes "Oh, Oh" while pointing at him... in a way, telling us "DO SOMETHING!".  If Jonas is at his level, he tries to stick his paci in his mouth... granted, sometimes he misses and it hits Jonas in the eye, but at least his intentions are good.  He will sometimes try to pick Jonas up from the swing when we're not looking and he KNOWS this is not allowed.  He gets in trouble every single time, but we know he does it just because he wants to comfort his brother.

Now that I'm trying to let Jonas have more tummy time and floor play, I'm more scared then ever.  I literally have to sit in front of Jonas and protect him from Marco.  Marco wants to play with him, but I don't think he understands that he's WAY bigger than him and can hurt him.  He leans down to give him "love-love" (which to Marco is open mouth on face while yelling "AWWWWW").  First off, the big yell always frightens Jonas and secondly, sometimes Marco loses his balance and falls on top of him!  Just to illustrate how much bigger Marco is, see exhibit A.  This is why we're terrified of Marco falling on top of him... my dad says Marco is big like Shrek!
Exhibit A
This one's classic.  The other day, I was teaching and Mauricio was cooking while taking care of the boys.  Jonas was in the swing crying and Marco was playing.  All of a sudden the crying came to a complete stop and when Mauricio looked over, he saw Marco taking good care of his brother.  Marco was letting Jonas suck on his sippy cup that was filled with lemonade!  It's things like this.  How can we be mad at Marco when he's doing what he thinks is nice and helpful?!

Marco also thinks he's now a baby expert.  Since he's got a little brother, who he helps with, he should be able to help with ALL babies.  We encounter problems everywhere we go with Marco wanting to love and help other people's babies.  He wants to be sure they're covered up with a blanket and paci in mouth... then he tries to give them his "love-love".  (Remember how Marco gives his love).  It freaks out other mothers... and I don't blame them!  I'd be pretty freaked out too if some random snotty kid came over and started getting his grimy hands all over my newborn!  I would look at his mother and think, "have you no control?!".  The answer is... sometimes.  Sometimes I have control.

So for now, we're going to continue to encourage Marco to love-love his brother and help with what he can handle.  We're going to continue to teach him to be gentle and guide him through boundaries and limitations.  But, in the mean time, hide your newborns, because Marco's got enough love to go around!

Freezing My Florida Butt Off

I'm a Miami girl.  Cuban Caribbean blood runs through these veins.  My ideal setting: Lounging on a chair, palm trees gently waving in the breeze, sun prickling my skin warm, and sipping a mojito while being soothed to the sound of bongo beats.  Can you picture it?

This is not my life.

I never thought I'd live anywhere but Florida.  Moving to Orlando was already a bit of a stretch for me.  It gets relatively cold in Orlando... like lows in the 30's for a few weeks.

The term "White Christmas" does not compute for me.  My Christmases have always been tank tops, flip flops and palm trees.  And I Love It!  But sure, maybe snow ON CHRISTMAS would be ok... but that's it!

We moved to Greenville 2 years ago.  Since the move, winters have gotten a bit easier.  My blood has thickened a little.  But that said, winters are still a HUGE P.I.T.A!  This is what I hate: put on the jacket, gloves, scarf, hat... run to the car and blast the heater... then when you get anywhere, they too have the heat on so it's OFF with the jacket, gloves, scarf and hat.  And you have to do that for EVERY outing.  Not so bad if you're by yourself, but now in my case, multiply that by 3.

Getting a toddler to put his jacket on and keep his hat on is sometimes tricky.  And getting the kids strapped into their car-seats takes madd skillz.  I literally have to squeeeeze Marco into his seat while strapping over his puffy jacket.

This morning it was 18 degrees outside... EIGHTEEN!  What?!  That's way too cold for December.  What's going to happen in January and Febuary... our "cold months"?  I don't even want to know.  As of now, I'm dreaming of warmer weather.  Weather that does not require boots, heaters and layers.  We'll be in Miami in less than 2 weeks to celebrate a "Warm Christmas".  I can not wait!

Here's what my babies look like all bundled up.  So cute... but still a pain.

Oh, and when you Florida friends complain about the "cold weather" you're experiencing... I really want to smack you. You don't know what COLD is.  So please, Zip it!


Ok, let me start by saying that every time I say the word "preschool", I wanna bust out singing Sesame Street's "Preschool Musical".  If you have NO IDEA the awesomeness and cleverness that is Sesame Street, click here and then come back to read the rest of this post.
^^ That was random... Now to the point.

I'm beginning to look into preschool options for next fall.  Marco will be turning 2 in June and I would like him to get into a school-like, structured environment.  Yes, we're on a schedule at home, but it wont be the same.  First of all, he'll learn how to really interact with other children.  Second, he'll learn to obey someone other than Mama and Papai.  Third, he'll learn to sit for longer stretches of time and be more focused on simple tasks.

As you may have read, Marco is a very rambunctious and not-always-nice boy.  He plays rough and can sometimes be a bully.  I believe that Marco needs to be trained and tamed... and hopefully putting him in a school will help do that.

I'm also hoping that with Marco in school twice a week, I'll be able to dedicate just a bit more time to Jonas.  I'll be able to do things with him one-on-one that I wouldn't have been able to do before.  I intend on taking him to HIS age appropriate library classes and maybe even finding a playgroup with babies his age.

We are looking into Christian schools, mostly ones affiliated with a church.  We are interested in putting him in 2 days a week for half days.  So far, I've found 5 that have sparked my interest and I'll be visiting them and taking tours over the next few weeks.  I very much want him to be in a school environment that maintains a schedule and teaches things like colors, numbers, letters, etc.  I am not interested in having him go to a day care that allows for free play all day.  If we are going to be spending money, I want him to be in a Christian learning environment.

Throughout this process, I have such a hodge-podge of emotions swirling around.  I'm scared to let him go, but ready to see him advance.  I'm anxious to find the right place.  I'm nervous that there wont be any space at "the one".  I'm excited to see him all dressed up (book bag, lunch box, sneakers) and ready to go.  I'm happy that he's becoming such a "big boy".

So, Moms who have been there... any advice?
Greenville friends, any recommendations?

Man, I Feel Like a Woman

The life of a stay-at-home mom is not too glamorous.  It consists of sweat pants, nursing tanks, ponytails and no make-up.  Truthfully, sometimes thats the best you can do with a toddler hanging on your legs and a baby crying in the crib.

But sometimes, it feels soooo nice to get dressed up and go out on a date with your man.  That's just what we did this weekend.  Even though it wasn't spontaneous, it was still nice.  This Saturday was Mauricio's company Christmas party, and I made it my excuse to get just a little spoiled.

Last week, when my in-laws were in town, we went shopping for a dress.  Since having my 2 babies, I've lost so much weight that not one of my dresses fits me.  Yes, you can hate me now.  So, buying a dress was a must.  Unfortunately, I HATE shopping.  Like seriously, it stresses me out and I give up easily.  But, thankfully I had my professional shoppers with me... my mother-in-law, Rosana and sister-in-law, Mirella.  Those two LOVE to shop!  I pretty much stayed in the dressing room while Mirella ran around finding me dresses, in different sizes, bras, and jewelry.  It was pretty awesome.  So I was able to get my dress, a new bra and an adorable headband with a feather in it!  I was almost ready to rock.

I had been meaning to cut my hair for some time now.  Having a new baby with long hair is difficult.  I was finding spit up in my hair several times a day, not to mention the poor baby having hair in his face while he ate, burped, loved on me.  I had been wearing my hair in a ponytail way too much, so I decided to cut it... drastically.  And I'm so glad I did.  Mauricio is dreadfully afraid of the "mom-cut", so I was kinda nervous the whole time I was getting it cut... and man, was there a lot of hair on the floor!  But I love the end result and although Mau was shocked at first, he later said he liked it a lot!

This was the first night we've been out solo since Jonas was born.  Luckily for us, my mom was in town so she took care of the kids for us.  It was comforting to know my babies were asleep in their beds and being cared for by someone I trust... especially with Jonas.  I was worried she'd call me to come home, but he was fine the whole time!  And, I forewarned her... "Don't call me- I'm not going to call you".  Done.

The party was at the Hyatt and was small and intimate.  Mauricio works with mainly men- there are only 2 women in his office- so this party can start to feel like "the parade of wives".  There's a lot of introducing and a LOT of awkward silences.  As you must know, engineers are not known for being party animals.  But the dinner was nice and it was great being amongst adults only... and looking good too.

After dinner we went to a coffee bar and had some hot chocolate.  My legs and toes were freeeezing... what women do for beauty.

Here are some pics of the lovely couple... yes, that would be me and my sexy hubby!

And now, today I'm back to my life of glamour.... sporting my spit-up-shirt with my snot-and-booger-sweatpants. It's very attractive.  But at least for one night, I was One Hott Mama!