#proudmama

Though I had initially hoped for a bit of a smaller age gap between Maya and Ben, in actuality, I couldn’t have asked for a better spacing between our two kids. Example one (of like fifteen): by the time Ben came along, Maya was just shy of three and daytime potty-trained — so we only had one in diapers (a huge cost-savings). And now I’m once again seeing how good this age gap is as one is learning to talk … and the other is learning to read. Both are tremendous and exciting milestones in their own right — and I’m loving bearing witness to both simultaneously. Further, I’m  loving watching Maya watch Ben learn. She is so encouraging towards him and it’s my hope she stays that way.

Continue reading “#proudmama”

The Last Bottle

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my sweet benny. photo courtesy of staci ainsworth

Ben turned one a month ago and I had fully intended to begin to pull the bottle plug at the one-year mark, as we did with Maya. With her, it was a slow transition to the sippy cup that probably started a tad too late. I ended up ditching the paci first because that had been her crutch, and then working on the sippy cup transition once she had that down. The whole transition took about six weeks and it was not easy; in retrospect I probably should have just cut her off cold turkey from her bottles, too.

Oh well, no harm, no foul: lesson learned for baby #2!

Ben never really took to his pacifier … and by the time he came along, our pediatrician was now recommending water in a sippy from six months on — and so he was acclimated  to it somewhat. He didn’t have a problem drinking water, and when I introduced milk at dinner over the past two months, he would take a couple sips before whacking it to the floor in true baby fashion. I didn’t think the change would be as dramatic for him as it was Maya — even though I was going with a cold turkey approach to weaning, and I was right — but we had a bit of a set-back earlier this month. Continue reading “The Last Bottle”

alpha, beta, gamma

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she made me a mom

There are alpha parents (also known as “helicopter parents”) and there are beta parents, as I learned about this weekend when some friends shared The Beta Parent Manifesto.

After reading it and thinking about how I parent, I think I am a hybrid of both … alpha and beta. Call me a “gamma” parent. Continue reading “alpha, beta, gamma”

halfway to a year?!

Watch out, Beckham -- he's 1/2 Salvadoran and (if his daddy has his way!) destined for futbol greatness!
Watch out, Beckham — he’s 1/2 Salvadoran and (if his daddy has his way!) destined for futbol greatness!

Dear Ben,

Benny. Benny D. BenDiego. Benny Boo Boo. Boo Bear.

You, my sweets, are a whopping SIX MONTHS OLD today! How is that even possible? It seems like we just met … but time is totally flying. Your fifth month has been your biggest so far.

Continue reading “halfway to a year?!”

five

five delicious months
five delicious months

He’s five months old today. My little nugget. FIVE MONTHS OLD.

Benjamin Diego is our super-smiley, squawking, babbling, hands-always-in-mouth, almost-sitting-up, Superman-flying little guy. He brings so much joy to our lives and I know I sound like a sap when I talk about him, but I just don’t care. He’s my Benny Boo Bear and I love him to pieces. Continue reading “five”

Human Milk Machine

Breastfeeding might be natural and instinctive and all that jazz, but the mechanics of it are often far from natural … even if you’ve done it before. Each child is different and there are lots of variables that go into play with respect to the supply and demand side of milk production.

For some women, it’s a piece of cake. And for others – like me – it’s anything but. Continue reading “Human Milk Machine”

Ben’s Birth Story

There are many weird things about already knowing the when/how of giving birth. But the anxiety I felt Thursday morning was as great–if not greater–than last time, probably because on the other side, I knew I’d have not only Luis and I and our new baby to be concerned with, but also Maya.

I barely slept the night before — surprise, surprise — and when the alarm went off at 5 AM, I was anxious to hop in the shower and get going. Continue reading “Ben’s Birth Story”

Second Time Around

This pregnancy has been different from my pregnancy with Maya for a whole host of reasons.

1) Anxiety levels = DOWN. While I was an anxious mess all nine months of my pregnancy with Maya (with just cause), this go around, it’s not that I’m not anxious this time, but rather it isn’t consuming my thoughts. To put my mind at ease, I did do the prenatal testing I said I would, but I have a toddler demanding my time (rightfully so) and she is my top priority. In fact, unless I catch sight of my belly in a mirror or someone asks how I’m feeling, aside from the constant need to use the ladies room, it’s easy for me to forget I am six months pregnant. Last time I obsessed over each BabyCenter weekly update; this time I’ve only read a couple and don’t even know what size fruit/veggie Baby Boy is unless someone asks and I check TheBump.com (this week: cauliflower!). Continue reading “Second Time Around”

Oh Baby!

Note: I’ve been keeping this blog post since I found out I was pregnant. So happy to be able to publish it … finally! I’ve been drafting some posts but couldn’t publish them yet … will share over the next few days! Here’s my “journal” so far. And no, my whole blog won’t be pregnancy-related … but this is big news and, well, I couldn’t keep it in any longer!!

February 4, 2013
On a whim, I took a pregnancy test today. I am only three days late but I just have a feeling I am pregnant. Though the symptoms are the same for me as PMS symptoms, something feels different this month. I tell Luis and he convinces me to get a test just to see. I know it’s early but I need some hard evidence that the breast tenderness, exhaustion, achy back and general “blahs” are for a legitimate reason. The double lines appear right away … thank you, First Response! I do some quick math and come up with October 12 as an approximate due-date. Whoa. Whoa.  To tell Luis, I show him two of Maya’s bath toys … one pink and one blue … with a huge smile on my face. It takes him a second to put two and two together and then he gives me a big hug and kiss. Yes, indeed … we’re having another baby! Tonight, Rocco will not leave my side … he is snuggled up to my belly. I’ve heard animals have a sixth sense … now, I’m sure. Continue reading “Oh Baby!”

Why I’m Glad We Went the Puppy-Then-Baby Route: 12 Similarities Between Fur-Babies and Real Babies

Double trouble. Literally.

Note: I originally wrote this for Babble but it didn’t make the cut; they had too many similar pieces … so if you know of another publication looking for similar freelance pieces … let me know! In the meantime, I thought I’d share with my own readers! 🙂

I’d wanted a puppy for a long time. With my husband chiseling away at his evening MBA (which entailed driving to the other side of the state after work several times a week as well as some weekends), I was lonely.

Though we both wanted to start a family, we were in a holding pattern until he had finished his MBA. A puppy seemed like the answer to my loneliness and desire to be a mom: he/she could keep me company and give me something to satiate my maternal calling.

Rocco came into our lives in the form of an email from a coworker whose Lab had just had puppies – puppies they couldn’t possibly keep. It was love at first sight. All paws, he came bounding over to us, wagging his teensy nub of a tail and licking our hands. I scooped him in my arms and just knew he’d be our forever friend. Only eight pounds at the time, he was a little peanut who crashed in my lap on the long drive home – but you could just tell he was going to be all Lab: full of boundless energy. Continue reading “Why I’m Glad We Went the Puppy-Then-Baby Route: 12 Similarities Between Fur-Babies and Real Babies”