Busy Bag for Toddlers

Now that Chico is 2 (and some change) it's getting a lot easier to go out to eat with him. We seem to be past the screaming and not wanting to sit at the table while Adam and I scarf down our food and take turns crying.

Just kidding...kind of.

Our usual safety net is the phone or iPad because honestly he just doesn't eat that much so you can't distract the kid with a plate of food unless he happens to be starving that day. But even the iPad can be problematic if the restaurant doesn't have WiFi because heaven forbid he not be able to watch Peppa or George on Netflix (I know eye rolls). 

I decided that I was going to put together a backpack of goodies that will be his to play with only when we go out to eat. This way it is new, fun and exciting for him to dig into his backpack aka "busy bag." 

Here's what's in Chico's backpack and keeping us sane:

1. Coloring Book - Target $1 Bin

2. Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Travel - A non-messy way for kids to "draw," especially if you don't wanna deal with crayons getting tossed across the room. 

3. Baggie full of plastic dinos, trees and a mountain - Target $1 Bin

4. Kinetic Sand - I know, I know...servers everywhere are giving me major side eye for bringing this into a restaurant but I swear we clean up after ourselves. Plus worst case a little bit gets on the floor and it gets vacuumed up at the end of the day. 

5. Sip Snap - This is not Chico's choice it's Mamas. This thing is amazing! It's a universal lid that fits on any cup and turns it into a "sippy cup." Oh and it comes with that carrying case you guys! BPA & Latex free and can stretch onto any cup without leaking. I'm a huge fan because I hate carrying sippy cups with us and Chico plays with straws until water goes everywhere. It's maddening. 

6. Hello Magazine by Highlights - Chico has had a subscription to these since Birth. They are great and have laminated pages so if they get food or water on them it wipes right off plus the pages don't tear. Perfect for 0-2.

7. Puppet - Cost Plus World Market - a favorite little gem from his Great Grandma that tends to get lost in the toy shuffle here at home but when he has it outside of the house it really holds his attention!

8. Monster Truck Activity Book - Target $3 Bin - This thing was a total score - it comes with stickers, crayons and is a coloring book too. 

9. Thomas Train - Big Lots

10. Mp3 player - Baby Einstein - He's had two of these since birth and believe it or not he's still entertained by it! Best part - it has a volume setting so it's not like you have to choose between LOUD A.F. or off. 

11. Pressed Coin Collection - Yup my 2 yr old is 100% nerd just like his Mama! He is obsessed with pressed pennies. This started at our jaunts to Disneyland and has extended anytime we see a penny press machine. He has coins from the zoo, travel town, Little Tokyo, etc! He can sit and examine his collection for a really long time you guys...it's bizarre and amazing all at once. 

So there you have it! Maybe you will be inspired to put something together for you tot. You don't have to spend any money on this - just collect some of their favorite stuff that you wouldn't mind keeping in the car at all times. We are trying to make our lives easier - so don't use stuff that your kid is going to miss having inside the house. I would say main pointers would be try to find things that will keep their little hands busy (stickers, drawing, etc), items that aren't crazy loud, and stuff that they can use by themselves or with only minimal help from mom and dad. The point is for them to keep themselves occupied so you can eat! 

Have fun with it and remember - this is a frustrating time but won't be forever. There will be a day where we will all be able to eat with our families at a restaurant in some sort of peace without having food and utensils thrown at us or at the poor innocent folks seated next to us.

So until that day - get creative and breathe!

My Very First Mother's Day

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Feliz Dia De Los Madres to all the Mamas out there!

This year marks my very first Mother's Day. I received this sweet card from my Grandma in the mail yesterday and it not only melted my heart, but made it feel real. Yes, I realize I'm a Mama now, but the fact that Mother's Day includes me now feels kind of unreal!

You see, I always wanted to be a Mom.

I never wanted to get married, but I always wanted to be a Mom. As a little girl I didn't dream of big wedding dresses or play "wedding" with my dolls - although I think my Barbie did have a wedding dress, but it was more of a fashion study than anything...anyhow I digress. I did however hold my baby dolls and stuffed animals as if they were my infants and dreamed of having a child someday, which I attribute to the closeness between my mother and I.

My parents marriage was far from ideal and all I ever thought growing up was - Why trouble yourself with the whole marriage thing when you can just have a baby of your own? As I hit my late 20's I didn't stress about meeting someone to get settle down with, I worried that I was getting older, thus the chances of having a baby was getting slimmer by the moment.

Meeting my husband in 2009 was completely unexpected. Our first official date was at a wedding. He likes to remind me that he told me at this wedding that he was going to marry me someday and that I rolled my eyes and explained to him that marriage wasn't something that I was interested in. He just smiled and nodded.

Okay - so he was right...there, I said it! :)

The thing is - when you love someone so deeply and with all of your being you come to realize that the values that are important to them become just as important to you. I remember as we were reading our vows to each other in San Francisco City Hall, knowing that this was the best decision I had ever made - the best thing I had ever said, "Yes" to.  All the years I had said, "Marriage is just a piece of paper that ruins happy relationships," what I really was saying was, "Happy relationships never last and special people always leave or disappoint me, so why bother?"

So this grinch's black heart grew when we got married that day in 2011. It was a closeness, trust and unconditional love like I had never known.

Then my heart exploded when my son was born 3 months ago. It was a feeling of strength, a new-found respect for myself and what my body was capable of as a woman and a deep feeling that I had been born to protect this little human.

I think that's what being a mom is about. Yes, it's about giving birth to a child, but I've come to realize that becoming a mom has been a life long journey and I've just arrived. It is not what I dreamed it would be. It is a million times better. It is about realizing you know nothing. It is about me, it's about my husband, it's about Chico and it's about who we all are now that we are "one" as a family.

So "Happy Mother's Day" to you Adam and you too Chico - because I am the Mama I always wanted to be because of you both. I love you guys.

xx.

Emily/Mama

So much Leche so little Time!!

via Instagram Ok so the topic is milk. I know I talked all this mess about how I was gonna give Chico unpasteurized milk and have it delivered from the dairy direct but honestly I'm too scared. I know it's a 1/1000000000 chance but if he died from ecoli or something I could have prevented I would never forgive myself. I gave him organic vit D and he loved it- too much. He drank a lot and was up during the night with a horrible tummy ache. I am thinking hemp milk but want to know what you guys use. I think mamas milk is dried up ps which is why I'm moving on.... #9mab

Dreaming of you since before you were here...

via Instagram I dreamt of you many times before you were even conceived. In those dreams I never saw your face clearly but I felt the love between mother and son; I would wake up tearful and overwhelmed by an emotion unlike anything I had ever experienced. Most of all I heard your laugh. It's nice to hear your laughter in real life now baby bear... as we live out my dream that came to life... ❤️

Musings of a Mama on a Bad Week...

I feel compelled to sit here and write because for the first time in a long time - I am alone. Adam has taken Chico out of the house so that I can just "be." I have been feeling a little...well... I hate to say it, but kind of "down" about my capabilities as a mom and what my life is like on a day to day basis. I swear I won't spend this whole blog post justifying my feelings because I have more days where I DON'T feel this way - but this mom gig is tough and sometimes I feel like my soul is drowning in all things baby.

My job is to take care of my son. My day revolves around my son. My conversations revolve around my son or baby related things. Something I read about babies - a new sleep technique, a new product, etc.

"Should we go somewhere today?" I will think out loud.  "Oh wait - you're teething and crabby, okay well we'll stay home all day then."

"Oh, you seem like you're in a great mood - let's get out of the house!" Leave the house, kid's asleep in the car - now I sit in silence waiting for baby to wake up. Plans foiled.

If I had to give myself a performance review for the last few days I would fire myself. I have been short tempered, lacked patience, haven't been able to get Chico to take naps despite my best efforts (that can go on for hours...) and on top of it I feel incredibly guilty for being - short tempted, lacking patience, etc.

Sigh.

After not being able to put Chico down for a nap yesterday I came out of the bedroom enraged.

"Take him! He won't sleep, I don't know what's wrong with him, if I'm doing something wrong - I feel like a bad mother!"

Adam reacted in a way that I heard as uber annoyed - "Oh come on - you know you're not a bad mom!"

Then I cried because I felt invalidated - "But I FEEL like a bad mom!"

We got over it. But I know something has got to change for me. I want to be home with Chico, but I need to be a human that isn't always consumed with a baby and being a mom. I wish I had things more figured out a year in and I also wish I could say every day is a walk in the park but some days are just so, so hard.

#realtalk

 

The Library, Santa and the Park.

Big day for me and Cheeky! We found out about an awesome "Santa Story Time." over at the Monrovia library at the last minute and decided to give it a go! Chico loved everything about it! He was transfixed by story time and was more focused than other kids his age and older! I was super proud of him and know that all of our reading attributed to his laser focus! He even made a little friend - a little girl who was probably close to two years old. He scooted close to her and was trying to touch her hand and her hair. She was not impressed at first but then she put her forehead up to his and just stared into his eyes. He thought it was the funniest thing. I was like, "Um, excuse me, back off." Just kidding it was cute.

I wasn't sure how he'd react to Santa himself but he did really well - even when I placed him on Santa's lap! After meeting Santa Chico received a new book to add to his collection and we headed the little park behind the library. He and I went down the slide together and he went on the swings for the first time! It was so awesome to see him enjoy himself and be around other kids. We're definitely gonna have to hit up some more library story times at local libraries because I could tell he loved it - which makes me crazy happy because this was something my mom did with me growing up and it made a lot of lasting memories for me. My plan to turn Chico into a bookworm is going perfectly!20131205-000624.jpg

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To My New Friends...

photo 2Since being announced as one of the new sling diarists by Sakura Bloom for their "Everything Shines" series I have gained a lot of new followers and friends on Instagram & here at 9 Months & Beyond. It's such a one sided relationship though - me blabbing about me and my life and not learning about you - the reader! I would love it if you would share something about you as we start this journey together! photo 1

Motherhood is rad but it can easily feel just as isolating as it is rewarding. Sometimes I don't have time to talk on the phone or hang out with friends and family. By stark contrast I am interacting and communicating with people I have never met in real life on Instagram all day long! It has become a really great place to ask for advice, receive encouragement and just chit chat with other mamas.

I can only imagine the new friends that are in my future!

I had a wonderful day making new friends with mamas from IG that I have been getting to know for a long time. It pushed me out of my comfort zone (introvert here!) but was SO worth it. I know there are so many more great friends to get to know ! Buenas Noches y Duelces Suenos!

xx,

Emily

Happy 7 Months Baby Bear!

7mo Dearest Baby Bear,

Oh Boy, Mama totally dropped the ball this month Cheeky. This letter to you is 3 weeks past your actual 7 month birthday!! Oopsy. I had the craziest backache for a while there and some days it was even hard to take care of you - let alone take your photos! Luckily I'm all better and life is carrying on! Your Papa also hurt his back so he has been home hanging out with us every day for the past month! Although I am sad he is in pain - it's really nice having him home everyday/all day to hang out with! You and him do all your favorite stuff - playing burg-a-lers and such.

Just like I say every month - you are growing in leaps and bounds. The biggest accomplishment?? You can sit up unassisted now!!

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The second biggest news to report? Well, after months and months of teething, your two bottom teeth finally popped through! You seem to be still adjusting to the feeling of having teeth because you are constantly trying to touch them with your tongue. You can see those two teeth that were giving you so much trouble in the photograph below. They may not look like much but they have made you so grouchy over the past three months! I am so glad they finally cut through the gums...

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...BUT! You are testing out your new found "weapons" by biting me! Today you leaned right over and bit me in the thigh!! You even left little teeth marks! You also try to use my fingers as teething toys, but an even bigger problem is that you bite me when you are nursing. I am still trying to figure out how to handle it because it's so painful that I scream! Then I scare you and Papa! So give Mama a break and cool it with those fangs Baby Bear!

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Something fun that happened this month was your first audition! It was something for Disney - either a show or a commercial - not too sure. Your agent emailed me one day while we were swimming at Great Grandma Marion's house with your Nina, Ollie and your Papa. We weren't sure how you would feel about getting your picture taken by a stranger on top of being around all the lights and flashes, but you did great! You were very natural and pleasant in front of the camera. I told your Papa that if you didn't like it then we would never, ever take you to another audition. But you seemed very happy and so we'll keep going to them and see what happens. I would love for you to have a little savings for your future - school, a car, something to help you reach your dreams...whatever that is for you. I want you to have everything you want and need in life my sweet boy.

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I predict that in a few months I will be writing a letter to you saying that you are crawling. For now you can spin 180 degrees when you are on your tummy and you try to move your legs, but can't seem to move forward yet. You like to practice standing up. You make your legs really stiff and love to pretend like you are going to walk. If you could I think you would skip crawling all together and go straight to walking.

Here's to another month Chico Bear - your Papa and I have so much fun watching you grow every day. You are the light of our lives. When you sleep we miss you. When you kick us in face in the morning we groan but then we giggle. We have a really good life. It's so simple, but it is filled with so much love and joy. Sometimes it feels like my heart is going to explode. Love you my baby.

xx,

Mama Bear

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Adventures in Breastfeeding - Guest Blog

cue pics028 I had the wonderful opportunity to write a guest blog for Jill over at Goodnight Mush - HERE about "Adventures in Breastfeeding." Breast feeding has become such a huge part of my every day since having Chico and it's something I am incredibly passionate about. I hope you go over and have a look at it. It was such cool thing to be able to sit down and reflect on what early breastfeeding was like and how I couldn't have done it without the constant support of my husband.

When we brought Chico home from the hospital we were both really adamant about doing things ourselves and not having our moms (or anyone for that matter) come over to help us with the baby. My mom brought food but we didn't have hands on help (not for lack of offering). Adam and I both felt very strongly that we wanted that "Golden Hour" to last for as long as possible.

I am so glad we did this because it brought us so close together as a married couple and as a parenting team. There's something to be said for only having each other to lean on - by choice.

Just feeling grateful for what my husband and I have created and the life we are living.

Here's some silly pictures we took at Cue Studios yesterday to go with my blog.

"Happy Boobs, Happy Babies!" -Adam

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Baby's First Solids!

photo 4 Baby's first taste of banana! About two months ago people started asking me if/when Chico was going to start eating solids. I asked my mom when I started eating solids and she shared that I was around 4 months old when she began grinding up her own homemade baby food for me. Friends and websites seemed to all say 4-6 months, but I continued searching for more information because the idea of giving Chico solids before he was able to sit up on his own seemed like an accident waiting to happen.

In my searching for information for all things solid I came across the practice of "Baby-led Weaning," (BLW). Not to be confused with "weaning" your baby from milk - BLW is the method of starting your baby directly onto actual solid foods and skipping purees.

To be honest my first reaction to BLW was disbelief. It sounded incredibly insane and dangerous to me - Wouldn't he choke? He has no teeth - how is he supposed to chew anything? But the student in me wanted to learn more about it so I ordered a used copy of the book on Amazon.

Meanwhile I spoke to our pediatrician who confirmed that there is no nutritional benefit to eating solids until a baby is 9 months to 1 year. This allowed me to relax and have some breathing room to be able to take the time to decide what we would do with Chico.photo 3He loved it!

Since he recently turned 6 months and is sitting up a little better I knew we should start introducing solids soon. Since he has been struggling with teething recently I decided to bake some homemade teething biscuits. I figured I'd see how his aim was or if he would be interested in it at all. At first all he did was bang the biscuit on the table. I put the cookie to his gums and once he got a taste of it - it was on! He gummed the crap out of that teething biscuit. Not only did it seem to soothe his gums, but he seemed very pleased with the fact that he was chewing like I was! You see, the book recommends that one person always have a meal or at least snack on something simultaneously so that you can model chewing for them.

photo 2Holding and loving to gnaw on the teething biscuits I made him!

The hardest thing about BLW is that you aren't supposed to sit there staring at them while oooh-ing and ahhh-ing. It breaks their concentration and ruins the experience. Super hard NOT to do this because it's amazing watching a 6 month old eat solids!! Watch me break this rule below in this video.

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Clearly I hadn't read that chapter yet. There I go breaking the first role of BLW - back off Mama...give the kid some space! Oops! :)

The day after teething biscuits were a hit I decided to throw a banana in the mix. it was so cool to watch him grip the banana in one hand and with the other hand guide it towards his mouth. He didn't give up even though it was slimy and kept falling out of his hand. His determination was amazing! He didn't get frustrated or fuss - he was dead quiet and seemed to love the challenge of it!

So the following day I gave him a piece of garlic bread and he gummed and sucked on that for at least 30 min. That day he tried his first piece of organic free range chicken! He also gummed on a yellow bell pepper. Nothing was rejected. He explored, played, tasted and grabbed it all.

I am considering creating my own method that is mainly BLW but also includes some homemade purees. My grandmother gave us a Baby Bullet at at our shower and I have really been looking forward to making some yummy, organic purees. I also saw this Infantino product called "The Squeeze Station," that helps you put your homemade purees into re-usable self-serve pouches! I think it'd be really good to have these on-hand for car trips, snacking, when someone else watches him, etc.

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It's an exciting, messy time in our house! Watching Chico enjoy all of these firsts is a lot of fun. Different "methods" and products aside, what I really want for my son is to enjoy a healthy, well-rounded diet and to grow up to have a good attitude about food and mealtimes. I want him to eat when he's hungry and stop when he's full and BLW seems to be the key to this. BLW is also a great way for us to sit together as a family and enjoy eating at the same time instead of one of us having to scoop food into Chico's mouth before being able to eat ourselves.

I also see how quickly feeding himself is giving Chico pride and a feeling of independence. Who would have thought that a baby being able to bring food to their lips would be so meaningful? Certainly not I, but it is completely true.

Happy Eating Babies - however you do so!

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Code Word Boobie

20130813-083938.jpgChico is at the age where when he wants to nurse he grabs onto my bra strap and yanks.

Adam and I were laughing about how forceful he is about the whole thing and we started discussing what we should "call" nursing so that when Chico is more verbal he can ask to nurse. I would prefer he have a word for it then just yanking on my boob in public. Simple table manners right? :)

We call it "nippen" now but I'm not really sure that's something I would want Chico screaming when we are at the mall.

My other thought was to teach him the sign for "milk" this way he can "show" me. Which reminds me- will someone buy "Baby Signing Times" for Chico? Haha...

And so I'm asking...what does your family call breastfeeding? What word does your child use? Would love to hear!!

Happy 6 Months Baby Bear!

9492449342_8bdf557a20_bThis is your new jam - sticking your tongue out as far as possible and giggling uncontrollably about it. You kill me! Dearest Baby Bear,

Half a year. That's how old you are now. I don't hear "6 months," I hear, "half a year." And I'm not going to lie - the fact that you are already half a year old makes me sort of sad. Everyone told me that time flies when you have a little one, but once again you don't really "get it," until you're "in it."

Let me explain what I mean by sad. Because it's not really a sadness, but more of a longing...

Sidenote - you aren't a ranga Chico, the sun is just reflecting off the orange blanket!9485943161_a5fc04af08_b

I finally took the plunge and put your 3-6 Month clothes away because they fit so tightly that I could see your stomach rolls through the onsie fabric. I was filled with memories of when you were finally big enough to fit into those in the first place. I dressed you in those onsies before they really fit you, because the majority of the clothing we were gifted was 3 Month. I watched you go from swimming in some of them, to using onsie "extenders" on them to make them longer, to even cutting some into t-shirts. As I was packing them up I reflected on what on Earth was the matter! Why was I feeling so damn sad?

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It's not really that mysterious - After packing away all of the ill-fitting, too small onsies, all that is left is clothing that is 6 Month plus - the second half of your first year, the future. You went from Newborn, 0-3 Month, 3 Month, 3-6 Months...but now it is only 6 Months forward.

In my mind the first year of your life is so monumental, such a milestone. So much growth physically and mentally. I am lucky enough to get to watch this growth every day, yet sometimes it still doesn't feel like enough.

There is at least one time that you wake in the night to feed or be changed that I am actually happy you did because I missed you and feel like I need to smell your hair, rub your leg and tell you the same thing I tell you every time you wake up - that you're okay and that Mama loves you. When you wake me up in the morning - usually by impatiently smacking me in the face with a breast pad - my heart still explodes and I grin wide... and then you break into ear piercing shrieks. It's a pretty rad way to wake up!

But I see changes that come with this first half of your first year coming to a close...

9492457152_b0bd5e3c95_bThat's Papa in the background making a "6" shadow in honor of your half birthday!

As much as you love being held in my arms, you want to sit by yourself and it frustrates you that you can't. You want to stand and crawl and you cry when it doesn't work out. You still love nursing, but now you also sit in your high chair and eat homemade teething biscuits that I baked for you. You are trying really hard to use the sippy cup without help. You have already tried bananas, chicken, garlic bread, peaches, and rice cakes.

All the new things you are doing and trying are signs of independence. They are signs of a little person whose needs are becoming greater and greater, but in a different way then a newborn's needs...

As you can see your "need" here is to look awesome  and wear sunglasses. NBD.

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I don't want to give the impression that you getting older is making your Mama sad or upset. I love and enjoy every day and every stage. It's just hard to keep up with all the changes that you make. You are moving faster then I am (figuratively- I know, I know - you can't crawl yet!) and some days I just wish I could stop time. It's also just the idea of being "6 Months Old," that shook me up this month; just like being One Years Old will probably make me sentimental in a way that 9 Months won't.

Before I say good night to you Baby Bear I have to tell you something incredible that you did this month. You told your Papa, "I love you!." He was telling you he loves you in the same way he always does - "I love you Chico," in a sing-song way and the next thing we knew you responded with, "Eye Wub Ooo!" Our jaws hit the floor - you are a smart cookie Cheeky!

"We Wub Ooo Too!"

xx,

Mama

Milestone Announcement!

via Instagram http://instagram.com/p/cUnBenIcbb/
Chico skipped having a first word and went straight to "first sentence!" Last night when Papa was telling him he loved him, Chico responded with, "I Love You," [pronounced "Ey Wuvooooo"].  We just about died.

Happy 5 Months Baby Bear!

9229163906_848c087f36_h Dearest Baby Bear,

I feel like I was just writing Happy FOUR Month Birthday to you! Now here I am saying happy Five Month...which makes me think of 6 Months...which is half of a year...and then...then...

The point is Chico, you are really growing up before our eyes. We went to the doctors for your vaccines and a check up and you are almost 16 lbs and measuring in at 26 inches! That means you have grown a little more then one inch every month since you were born! I feel like you are getting so strong physically and so smart - the biggest change this month is that you hate laying on your back (You think that's for babies!) and you want to sit up unassisted. Unfortunately Chico Bear you can't sit up without help so we got something called a Jumperoo for you. You sit in it and can bounce up and down and spin 360 degrees (eventually!) and play with all kinds of little contraptions that are connected to it. I've never seen you get so excited about something before! The first few days you had it, you jumped non-stop, nodding off for 5 minutes here and there, then waking up and bouncing where you left off.

9226228597_207e5a0d98_hI shall dub you "Drooly Andrews."

You also seem to be teething...evidenced by the excessive amounts of drool you produce. I took these photos of you and considered changing you into a fresh onsie, but I thought the drool just exemplified what you are experiencing right now. I'm into it and you don't seem to mind! The blanket you are laying on in these photos is from Paris and was a gift from your Ninos to us when they went on a European Vacation. Pretty cool right?

9226226517_8619a2c12a_bSpeaking of your Ninos - they had a very exciting thing happen this month. Last Saturday night your Nina Gaelyn gave birth to John Oliver. Your Papa and I took you to the hospital and we waited with Nino John's mom for about 8 hours until Ollie came into this world. You seemed to be really caught up in the moment and not wanting to miss a thing. I was trying so hard to get you to go to sleep because it was waaaay past your bedtime but you were fighting me hard. Suddenly you went from being wide awake to limp in my arms. We joked that maybe Ollie had just been born and that because you felt his presence you knew it was okay to go to sleep. Your Papa noted the time just in case.

Sure enough Ollie had just been born at 9:23 PM.

9229008550_0d88eeb56c_hYou seemed so big next to Ollie when I held you over his clear plastic hospital bassinet. You were very calm and serious and just looked at Ollie, looked at me, looked at your Nino and Nina, back to Ollie. I couldn't help but think that a part of you remembered that only 5 short months ago, that was you - all fresh and new and teeny tiny.

9229007960_8bcf6bd6b4_hSoon the 5 Month difference won't seem like such a huge gap between you and Ollie.  I imagine the two of you playing together - going to the beach, swimming, running and laughing, having sleepovers and staying up past your bedtimes until you are both so slap happy you fall asleep in a fit of giggles. I hope you tell each other secrets and that you let your imaginations run wild - playing make believe and hide and seek. I hope that you and him have a lot of fun together; growing up and having lots of adventures.

9226536987_d779321d52_hYour smile and laugh never cease to fill me with joy. And you laugh a lot these days so you're really giving your Mama a lot of happiness. I still miss you when you have a long nap. When you wake up and I hear you stir or cry I run to you and we both just smile at each other like dorks, as is it's been forever since we last saw each other. Thank goodness you seem to be equally obsessed with me or else it would be a VERY unbalanced relationship Baby Bear!

Love you Boo! Here's to another month of fun, giggles and growth.

xx,

Mama

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Chico Bear's Giggles...

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqMuXo26hi8&w=640&h=360] While I have enjoyed every single day and stage of this baby's life, there is something incredibly rewarding and silly about being able to make your child laugh. I know now that he finds me funny and enjoy my company. That is super fulfilling because after months of just staring into each others eyes, it's nice to have a reaction in return - a smile, giggles, eye brow raises - it all gets me in my sappy, soft heart.

I had a black heart you see...but when Chico was born it came back to life and now beats hard and bleeds happiness on a daily basis.

Happy 4 Months Baby Bear!

8975868448_f5d0a960cc_b Dearest Baby Bear -

This whole Mama thing gets more and more fun by the day - and you are the reason why! You have developed into such a delight to be around! No longer do you cry for what seems to be no reason at all - you give a cry if you are hungry, tired, need a change or perhaps a burp, but other than that you are smiling, laughing, exploring your environment (best you can without much movement) and sleeping like a champ! When I say sleeping like a champ I mean that you now sometimes sleep longer than 4 hours at a time in the night - and this, my little bear is good not only for you, but for me too!

When I think back to the past month a few things stick out to me - one would be your new-found language skills and the other would be your interest and wonderful attention span when it comes to books and reading!

Every day you and I spend a lot of time "talking" to each other. It looks a little like this - I will say something or ask you a question and then you respond back with babbles that are in the same tone as what I said to you. It's so amazing that you are already developing such clear leaps in language as such a little person!

You and I read books every single day! You have some favorites - "Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes," "Where is the Green Sheep?" and "Chomp Zoo," are just some of your favorites. Here's a little video of me reading Green Sheep to you.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cJr7lF-Eps&w=640&h=360]

Can you hear how you are almost reading along with me? I know I'm your Mama, but I can't help but think you are a super smarty pants! I'm so happy that you enjoy reading because reading and books were my first love. I was read to by your Grandma Sue all the time which developed into my passion for reading and especially writing! I love being able to share this love with you already! You have no idea how happy this makes me.

This month you did some fun stuff and met some important people.

First person you met this month was your Tia Mimis. She is your Mama's cousin and best friend. She has been waiting to meet you for a long, long time. Probably even before you were born. When she met you, she held you and tears came to her eyes. You seemed so peaceful in her arms and during the time she stayed with us you and her cuddled and bonded. You laughed and cooed in her arms and it was so awesome to see. Her brother and my cousin Pepito (Tio Jose) also stopped by to meet you and he fell in love. We attended your cousin Isabella's 3rd Birthday Party and you got to meet her, Talan and Aurora! They all took turns holding you, giving you kisses and hugging you. It was awesome. I helped you to hit your first pinata too! You are officially Mexican now Little Bear!

We went on a nice relaxing family trip to Cayucos and Morro Bay (see your onsie) and stayed with Aunt Chic. It was her first time meeting you and she fell in love! She even held you with the assistance of the Boppy Pillow which is huge because she usually doesn't hold babies due to her arthritis. We just hung out, ate good food and did some antique shopping. I held you in your carrier through the shops and you were so good! Who knew a 3.5 month old would be so alert yet quiet while antiquing? It was also your first time at the beach! We didn't take you directly to the sand because it was kind of chilly, so instead we walked out onto the pier in Cayucos. You were not happy about this! It was incredibly windy and you started growling something fierce! As we walked further down the pier your growls got louder and it because abundantly clear that you were NOT into this little walk! So we snapped a quick photo and hightailed it back to land! Sorry booboo, guess you hate gusty wind!

We also went up to Carpenteria for your Nino John and Nina Gaelyn's baby shower! Your soon-to-be pal, Oliver (or Ollie as we are already calling him) is going to be born next month!! We are so happy for your Ninos and for you too, because something tells us that you two babes might have a lot in common (aside from awesome parents!).

8975949596_e744a13974_bYour eyes are still a beautiful grey color, but in the sunlight we are starting to see flecks of brown. 8975939444_ed39aedec6_bHard to see here, but you are holding onto your favorite toy - a plastic ball with space for small fingers to grip. You also love to bring it to your mouth and stick your tongue through the holes!8974733243_f4f5969090_b

Fly Little Hummingbird, Fly!

xx.

Mama