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    Things I never thought I’d do

    June 9th, 2010

    Consider this my confessional post. This last week I comitted two parental offenses I never thought I would.

    Offense 1: taking a cab without a carseat for my kid. Yep, around the local 5m radius, I gave up the carseat while taking a taxi. Mostly because following those short trips we do a crapload of walking and lugging a convertible carseat (along with the other stuff we carry) hasn’t been too practical. I do insist we take it whenever we take a cab/car out of town though. While I don’t love being part of the polluting world I miss my own car and the ‘safe’ conveniences it comes with.

    Offense 2: I kept my kid up until 10pm at a restaurant. While G has adapted a bit more to local time, he’s off by 3 hours accros the board. He wakes up at 9:30, wants lunch no earlier than 2, and does his bedtime starting at 10:30. In a way it makes planning time with friends a bit easier since we don’t have to be confined to our apartment by 7 every night (like at home), but I am sure that people think I’m nuts.

    So ughmn, yeah. Bad Mamma.

    International toddler

    June 3rd, 2010

    I’ve been away for awhile, but with good reason: we’re out of town. Let me elaborate: we’re more or less on the other side of the world, in a timezone 10 hours ahead.

    While this trip so far has been easy in some respects, it’s been brutal in others and I’m having serious thoughts about doing another family trip of this magnitude with any child under the age of 5. We did this cross-over with a ratio of 3 adults to 1 toddler and I admire anyone that can do it in less. As far as I’m conserned 2 kids ounumber 2 parents on these types of journeys.

    I’m envious of parents that have the luxury of road trips. Right now an 8 hour drive in a private space, and option to pull over sounds heavenly.

    20 hour travel day: one 14hr flight, followed by a 3hr lay-over, followed by another 3 hour flight on the other hand? Not so much fun. As an adult, this is a tiring trip. I don’t blame my toddler for having his scram-fest fits.

    G did pretty well flying actually. It helped that our trans-Atlantic flight was a red-eye and he slept through just about all of it. The carseat onboard was def. helpful, but he couldn’t sleep in it comfortably. Well, if you sat, restrained for 4 hours in one spot, you’d get pissy too. MY butt hurt after sitting that long, and I could shift my bum around. His 5 point harness on the other hand, didn’t give him that option. So he slept in my lap for a good few hours, pretty much sprawled out. It was the best sleep he had on that flight. Me? Not so much.

    The time shift has been difficult. G’s been waking up routinely for 2 hours each night from 2-4am wanting to play. It’s been brutal. His naps are all over the place too, and I’m torn between keeping him on his regular schedule or following the sleep-begets-sleep rule. He’s been bed sharing with us too, which is also challenging (He can’t seem to sleep in his pack and play.)… for the parents mostly. G does 360s in his sleep. And kicks. I have a nice, welty bruise on my arm courtesty of a size 5 foot. S avoided a black eye last night, by miracle, as G slept with his head in my arm-pit and feet at S’ face. As I write, his feet are at the headboard and he’s literaly upside down. But he’s at least sleeping.
    I am starting to wonder if our son really sleeps through the night. Or if he wakes up and chills out in his room without asking for us.
    I’m also realizing that he’s not ready yet for a big boy bed. I was hoping that when the baby arrives it would move into the crib and G in a big-boy bed, but observing his sleep patterns these last few nights rules this out for me. He sleep-crawls/walks on the bed, and those little side rails won’t keep him from falling off the bed. S used to sleep walk as a child, and I think G might be too. I also have no idea how to keep him in said bed until he falls asleep. Luckily we have until Nov to figure this out, but my grand designs about using this trip as big bed training is a massive fail. And here I thought G would sleep in the other apartment room by himself. HA!

    On the bonus side though, he is doing SO well culturally. He’s eating the food, which is a big bonus. My family adores him and he’s been so good to them. He also got to meet some new cousins, which is really heart-warming for me. He’s been in a great mood while awake, even given his lack of toys.

    Now here are two travel tips I’ll put out there for parents. Bring masking tape and balloons.

    In my McGuiver thinking, I knew we needed to child proof the apartment we rented. We can’t do anything permanent and with no international guidelene you can’t exactly bring outlet plugs from home, or know how many you’ll need. Hence the
    masking tape. You spend 15 min covering outlets, taping down drawers and cabinet doors. It peels off easy, without taking the paint off too. My curious toddler isn’t onto this yet, and hasn’t managed to open anything I didn’t want him to. AND he’s tried! No, don’t do this at home, but in a travel pinch it works.

    Item 2: balloons. They pack small, and when blown up give you hours of chase around, safe fun. Safe as in ‘it keeps the electronics safe’ from harder items thrown at them 🙂 I thank S for that idea.

    So there you have it. My thoughts on the first few days. We have a memorial service to get through (which as it turns out G and I can’t go to – bad juju for pregnant women and kids under 3 to go to a cemetery here) and another week, but we’re getting by.

    On my side, I am having somewhat of an identity crisis, but I need some more self reflection before I can share my thoughts. S and I are doing great, but I’m struggling with how I define myself culturally.

    On the baby front, things are OK, I guess. Still no kicks, and I’m hoping that’s just the anterior placenta talking. I shouldda brought my monitor. I could use the peace of mind right now, rather than plotting which one of my mom’s doctor friends I can visit for their stethoscope. Silly me.

    21 months

    May 29th, 2010

    Our little man is 1yr 3/4. He’s almost 2 🙁 I’m not sad at this milestone, just that it’s so strange that he’s gone from this:

    to this:

    in what feels like overnight. He sees his photos come up on the photo frame and says “Baby!” when the baby is him.

    G and I also had a conversation about how old he was. We were discussing that soon he was going to be two. To this he immediately responded “Three!” I showed him 1 on my hand, then 2, then 3. I counted all the way up to 5. I concluded that he was going to be 2 soon. To this he responded “10!” My dad was quick to remind me that he WAS right, and that in binary 10 really was 2. Yeah, hardy-har. You guys got me. I don’t think G has any idea what binary is, but I’ll give it to him.

    He’s figured out a few new tricks this past month. For example, he can identify body parts I never even knew he knew. He knows his tongue and his knees (in addition to the standard, eye, nose, ear, mouth, belly button, etc. repertoire).

    He’s an avid birder and can spend hours on end telling you about “buhds”, pointing up at the sky, and chasing ducks. There’s a pair of ducks settled into G’s school, and if we’re unfortunate enough to spot them on the way out of the car, it’s guaranteed to be a “late to work” day as G refuses to go in  until the ducks waddle beyond his reach.

    He’s figured out that if he pulls on my pants, or finger, he can get me to stand up and that if he keeps pulling, I’ll go where he wants me to. Of course, when we get to his intended destination I have no clue what half of his babbles mean… but that’s a different story.

    In addition, he fully understands that Elmo comes on the TV. The TV comes on with the remote control. G now brings us the remote control and simply states “Elmo!” as a demand to watch the little red, high-pitched dude waddle around. Curious George is also a sneaky influence. The other day G took me all the way upstairs (where we watch George on the week-ends), sat down on my bed and demanded “Goge”. Sadly for him, it was evening, and a week-night, so no George. He wasn’t thrilled and there might have been a tantrum involved.

    Weight: 23lbs (woo! let’s hope he keeps gaining weight)

    Number of teeth: 16 (last canine is now out! Halle-frikkin-luia, ‘cuz these last few were not fun… for anyone)

    Words: 20+, but he is using more of them in phrases now, stringing 2-3 quite consistently.
    * kite
    * jamma
    * water
    * bread
    * chair
    * nigh-nigh (Night Night!)
    * puhket (blanket)
    * again
    * sun
    * egg
    * boken (broken)
    * aw man! (yeah, we’ve got the pre-teen responses underway too)
    * jacket
    * outside
    * zippeh (zipper)
    * pease (please)
    * apple
    * Goge (George)
    * tree (three)
    * ten
    * run
    * bunnies
    * tutle (turtle)

    Favorite food: No new foods. Still old tried and true spaghetti, oatmeal and the like. Kid likes his carbs. What can I say?

    Favorite activity: Blocks and soccer. The kid can kick a ball with a running start and has great accuracy. He’s also enthralled by his wooden blocks.

    My hopes for next month: That we can wrap up the last phase of sleep training, and leave his room while he’s still awake. He’s past the holding stage, which is great. One more stage to go. And that I go back to taking lots of pictures. My side photography business has eaten into my desire to do fun-for-me stuff and sadly, it’s reflected on G.

    Potty trained?: Joke, right?

    Naughtiest moment of the month: Rushing time-out along

    Sweetest moment of the month: Kisses. He hasn’t really figured out the smooch part, yet, but he leans is head in and presses his nose in as a kiss.

    Temper tantrum meter: mild