October 31, 2012

7 Hours: Uninterrupted Sleep!

Tuesday-ay-ay!

It's true, the little rolly Santiago fell asleep in his padre's arms, and stayed asleep for seven full hours. No one woke up to see what was going on, we simply let it happen. Praise God for the gift of nighttime sleep! We had ourselves a happy, alert baby boy at 8:30am. Strangely enough, he was asleep again within a couple hours and stayed asleep 'till past 10! Silly fella!
I diced up some veg the night prior, and some more while he slept, so I could make soup later in the day. I also threw some brown rice in a pot and sprouted beans (from Costco - they cook in 20 minutes!) in a separate pot. I call it "lentil soup with brown rice" - creative, aren't I? So once Santi woke and wanted to play and be held and filled with kisses, I could simply throw the already diced vegetables into a pot with: italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary, let them cook a bit, add the rice n' beans with water and a bay leaf and bam! dinner. Hooray!
 
He sat in my lap and we played with a rattle for a while (okay, maybe it was just me) and sang song after song of goofiness. He has yet to voluntarily grabsaid rattle - but he loves staring at it and being distracted by its loud noise. Seriously, he sat in my lap for over 10 minutes looking at the rattle while I shook it uncontrollably - my arm got tired way before he found himself uninterested. Wrist workout? Yay! There was a moment where I shoved the rattle into his palm and waited to see if he'd grab on - and he did - but he was screaming at that point out of being completely bored and tired of the dang rattle - so I don't know if that counts....
By evening time, I had a crazy sweet tooth, or just felt like eating everything in my kitchen, so I diced up an apple with almond butter, fig jam placed on top and ground flaxseed. Also down the hatch before and after was a large amount of prunes, walnuts and raisins. Can't. Stop. Eating. Dried. Fruit. So. Good. So. Good... soo.... goooood.... and Santiago got pretty fussy, eating and burping and fussing and eating and burping and... repeat. We all (gpa and gma were there by now) agreed it was naptime/bedtime for the little fella, so my mom rocked and swayed him to sleep (after being an awesome mom and grandma and placing a butternut squash in the oven for Wednesday's lunch!). Success! Of course, once they left, we had to take part in the dreaded transfer-baby-to-someone-else's-arms-while-baby-sleeps-peaceful act, and he woke up and cried.

 
Eduardo turned into rockstar dad (cue: rip off pajama shirt and reveal superhero outfit underneath) and decided to bring Santiago upstairs (oh, first we bathed him and he screamed) and rock him to sleep. I gave him all the pointers and tips I know, but told him to do whatever was comfortable for him as papa - and after hearing 10 minutes of crying upstairs, there was complete silence. Santi fell asleep in his padre's arms and stayed asleep like a heavy rock in his pack n' play. This husband of mine is a gem, I tell you! A blessing from the Lord above, I'm so thankful.

"For You make him to be blessed and a blessing forever; You make him exceedingly glad with the joy of Your presence." Psalm 21: 6

October 30, 2012

Smiles, Smoothies & Sleep

T'was Monday... (I know, we're a bit behind!)
smiles galore from a 6.5 week Santi.
bananas, apple, collard greens & cocoa powder
silly faces in front of the computer
finally getting a morning nap in the Moby wrap
beets, kale, lemon, orange, ginger, pineapple, banana
a photoshoot propped up and looking goofy
cauliflower buckwheat pizza crust, roasted veg, nutritional yeast
& fitting (a little snug) into a 3-month-old sized onesie.

Santiago is now awake all day and fights naps. He almost always falls asleep after drinking his delightful milk, but wakes shortly after - as if he knows he is going to miss something. So my strategy today was to wait until he fell asleep at my chest, let him fall deeper and deeper into dreamland,, walk over to the couch without changing his side-sleep position, gently place him on couch, quickly put the Moby wrap on, and wrap him inside. He fussed a little and woke, but after some soothing "shhhh:'s and patting, he fell asleep and received a more than 2 hour nap. Score!

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
Micah 6:8








October 29, 2012

6 Week Old Baby: Weekend Milestones


T'was a weekend full of Seattle weather and plenty of six-week-old-baby milestones!



Santiago had his first 5 hour stretch of nighttime sleep! Followed by his usual 2 hour naps with feedings in between. Praise God for rest, we felt so amazing the next morning! I guess this is what happens when they don't nap the day before and eat constantly for hours. Growth spurt confirmed!



Baby's first nap marathon.... First, papá changed his diaper and clothes as we prepared for the day ahead.


Green smoothie into my belly (kale, orange, lemon, banana, pineapple) and hugs from Santi. The day was rainy and gray, and I think it made him fall asleep. Let the all day long nap marathon begin.... We'll take it!
 

More food for mama....


....then Santiago visited his grandpapa/mama's home for the first time! He slept the entire time we were there, but it still counts as a "first"! Eduardo mentioned something sweet as we stood at the top of the stairs ready to leave, " I never imagined this. Us, the baby. Here it's always been just Nicole and I with you guys..." You see, Edu lived in my mama and papa's home for a whole year when he first moved up to the states from Mexico, so he really sees the place as his U.S. home. Having little Santi in the living room of this house really made us walk down memory lane and remember Edu's first visit, the first time we met in person, and the amazing gift of having our first baby. How time flies and flies! 6 years ago on Halloween night we met in person after 5 months of talking via Internet and phone. Our whole story is here, for those curious as to what the blazes I am talking about (hint: an unplanned, out-of-nowhere online romance that we like to believe God put together).



From Gma and Gpas home, Santiago embarked on his first... Passport journey! Well, I guess you could call it that. God willing, a few days after Thanksgiving we will be heading down to Mexico City to be with Eduardo's family and Santi's abuelitos y tios, primos y amigos (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends)! And I guess there's a law that he needs himself a passport (silly rules of the world) and we even had to take his picture for it! I ended up editing a photo I took a few weeks ago, since he wasn't in the mood to take a new one, and it was so dang cute. We even received an immediate, "awww" when handing the 2 by 2 inch photo to the passport office lady. Babies are fun! Santiago was very peacefully sleeping the entire wait period, 45 minutes or so, and only fussed a few times as we got everything processed. Hooray!



Then a meal took place in the car for all three of us: milk for baby - followed by nap #2,000 -, coconut water, apples, mandarins and a homemade coconut sunflower seed bar for us grown ups. Then onto some grocery shopping, technically another first: we hung out in the car, sleeping (baby) and listening to loud music (how stimulating!) while papá visited Costco and I typed up crazy Friday's blog post on my phone.

 

After Costco, a huuuge milestone: Santiago's first experience in a sit-down restaurant! But first, a blow out in his disposable diaper (we don't leave the house with extra cloth diapers since they are bulky in the user bag) that traveled outside of the diaper onto his white pants! So a wardrobe change took place in a dark parking lot, since apparently it's okay to look like 10:00pm outside when it's really only 6:00pm (oh, Fall). Then we went inside the restaurant.



The moment we sat down in the booth, I felt anxious. Santiago had been asleep allllll day and he was now wide awake. He had a clean diaper, was well fed and seemed content, but usually this would call for some major play time. You see, he isn't one for just sitting there, staring at the ceiling, he now wants to bounce around the house in someone's loving arms, he likes singing and saying and sitting on your hip as you tour the living room until you're too tired to continue. Speaking of, my forearm muscles are completely sore right now, and I am positive that this 13 pound baby is the culprit!

So I rocked him in his carseat as he stared at the restaurant's cieling. I ordered a vegetarian burrito without cheese or sour cream and Edu ordered prawn fajitas with corn tortillas. We vowed to not touch the chips until the meals arrived and it was great to not feel full of corn and salt before we even started dinner! Santi was at peace for a bit but I decided to take him out of the carseat before he asked as to avoid a crying baby in a restaurant. He sat on my lap and we played a little "cowboy" with my bouncing leg, which is his horse, and he was calm. Before the food arrived I passed him to Edu so I could use the restroom and wash my hands and it was so nice to return to a happy baby, happy papá and hot food!



We placed Santi in his carseat as we partook in meal time but after a few bites I noticed him getting a little fidgety so I decided to feed him. Out came the udder cover and baby ate at rapid speeds! I was able to, carefully, eat the burrito while he nursed, and with success I didn't spill any rice or beans on him. Sweet mother of pearl, it was great. I burped the monkey, sat him on my lap an continued to play cowboy while dinner was finished, and eventfully handed him over to his padre while I tackled the corn chips that were calling my name. Edu played piano with Santiago's little hands and they were both so happy! I couldn't believe what a joyful, fuss-free experience it was. We really thought we were crazy for bringing him in a restaurant and expecting him to be okay. He did so, so well, I could hardly believe it!



Then we took a nighttime drive to the grocery store, which wasn't a milestone for him... but the screaming in the car with papá, while I shopped, was! It was nice to finally go home and call it a night. Both Friday and Saturday Edu put Santiago to sleep for the night which was a beautiful blessing. I think it's so great that they have their man time together, even if recently that's been mainly at bed time!

Sunday's milestone: Santiago lasted all the way through church service without asking for food or a diaper change! Out of the 6 Sundays of his life, he has attended church 5 times and we've had to leave to go to the "cry room" (for nursing or fussy babies, you can hear and see the sermon from inside the soundproof room) each time except for this one! I think the key was to feed him a full meal before leaving the house, even though it made us late. I am going to try that each Sunday, and hopefully we will time it right so we're not arriving late to church each week!


Foods were the usual waffle deal, with figs + a banana, pineapple, orange smoothie! So refreshing and rich, Edu said it felt like the perfect meal to prepare for a marathon - meaning, to him, that it was perfect!


Sunday night was a challenge... Santiago had not slept all day (mile...stone?) except for dozing off at church and in the car on the way to Whole Foods (I think?) and he was showing signs of sleepiness as the evening approached. After each milk meal, Edu and I would attempt to put him down for a nap but he would wake up almost instantly. We even tried play time with papá, which he loved in the morning, but he didn't seem at all interested. He kept wanting to suck on something - anything - but we are trying for pacifier-free so he went for papá's shoulder, chest, and baby's hand. We simply kept giving him breastfeeding time, and it always made his tears cease from flowing and his eyelids get heavy.

All he really did need was sleep, not more milk. We think he kept asking to eat out of comfort, because it puts him to sleep each time. Around 9:00, after he had been fussy and eating around the clock since around 5, we were able to put him to sleep by swaddling him (which he really isn't very fond of) and he slept for another 5 hour streak - woohoo!

Dinner was pizza, pinto beans n' salsa.



Dessert was an apple, nanner, cinnamon, raisins and sunflower seeds. Sleep was delicious. Seeing Santiago happy was glorious and made us instantly forget how hard it is to be parents. There was a lot of hugging, praying and a few more tears on mommy's part - but I rejoice in my Heavenly Father because He never leaves our side, and He holds out His hand to help us.


The transition from husband and wife to mommy and daddy isn't easy at all, but it is such an amazing gift and I really wouldn't change it for anything. This little boy's life is such a joy to both of us, and we love having him with us! I'm already excited to have a little sister or brother for him (hahah - I know, complete crazy talk! God's will be done, that's my prayer)!



Here's to another week of learning and growing. We'll see what God has planned for us this next Monday through Friday stretch!

October 27, 2012

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand

"...all other ground is sinking sand." 

Friday was the first day that mommy didn't get a shower, brushed her teeth at 12:30, got to lunch around 3:30, and cried just as many times baby Santiago did. It was a day that, from the very beginning, I decided had to be given fully to God, because we were not going to get through it alone. There was necessary singing to calm down a sleepy baby, many made up exercise moves in not-so-perfect form took place in order to entertain Santi and help me keep my sanity, and there was slightly confusing cluster feeding - all. morning. long. Of course, though, he started off the day so full of joy! I had high hopes. Wouldn't you? Look at his cute little grins!

 It all started when Thursday ended, we all went to bed, Santiago ate a rich meal and followed it by a couple (two n a half) hours of lovely sleep. Then he woke, ate, I changed ye ol' diaper, and he ate a little more. This is a very normal routine, and he did it twice. Then pure madness happened: he kept falling asleep after his diaper changes, and didn't want to wake up for what I like to call his (mandatory) "round two". He always takes part, happily, in round two. It puts him to sleep for another few hours and he wakes ready for the other side. Yet, as I said, he just didn't care about round two - he cared about sleep. Bad choice, Santi.

You see, without round two, he wakes up after very short naps crying out for more milk. We fall asleep after said diaper change and are both awaken after less than 30 minutes. This continued all night and morning long. So you can imagine than, by around 9:30am, we are both exhausted and in need of a nap or three. That was all I could think about. I decided at that very moment that I would be taking a rich nap each time Santiago went down after a meal.

Onto: coconut water, 2 bananas, an apple, walnuts, oranges and some kiwi. Then more breastfeeding, and baby's first AM nap. I let him sleep on me for a bit, until he was really lost in a deep sleep, then I transferred him to his pack and play next to our bed. Turn on sleep sheep (white sound toy), grab my pillows, and rest head ever so quietly so I don't wake sleeping peanut. Honestly I think this guy here's me pull the sheets over my head - instantly, within two minutes, he is awake and crying.

We rock, we dance, we check his diaper - all fails, he is looking for some action with the milk makers, he is hungry. I am exhausted. I feed him in bed with the hopes of some post-meal shut eye. Hope soon all gone- this is where more praying takes place. "I cannot get through this day without full dependance on You, Lord, and the strength that You provide me with."



More short feedings, more two second naps, more fussy baby, more dancing, singing, reading, eating fruit while rocking, more attempts to distract him from his tiredness, more attempts at putting him to sleep and failing. Le sigh. I googled 6 week old constantly eating and am re-assured by two things: very likely a growth spurt (cluster feeding round the clock every 30 minutes), and baby is not overeating, since most babies under 2 years old do not overeat, especially if they are exclusively breastfeeding.



So I accepted the day for what it was. He was generally happy, as long as I listened for them hunger cues, and he did have many moments of fun play. But I was completely drained, unbathed (least of my problems) and very hungry. I turned on a movie downstairs while I nursed Santi and planned on cooking myself some food once he fell asleep. Soon enough, asleep he was, but as I placed him in his Rock n' Play (which he normally loves sleeping in) he woke - screaming. I almost cried my eyes out. This can't be happening! It was, though, it was happening and I had to say another prayer and get through it.



My (and Santi's) best friend at that moment, whether he approved or not, was the Moby wrap. I whipped it out of the closet, spoke to a crying Santiago as calm as I could while I wrapped the giant piece of fabric around my waist, over my shoulders and round n round some more. I hugged him inside snug and firm - he fought me so I walked around the house patting him and "shh, shhh, shhhh"-ing until he dozed off. Once he was asleep, he didn't budge. Deep, profound, awaited dream land greeted him gently.

He stayed asleep for almost 3 hours. I diced up some sweet potato and coated it in coconut oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and baked it for 20 minutes (see Edible Perspective's website for the complete recipe!). Then I chopped up some baby carrots and broccoli and coated them in the same seasonings. Fruit was already diced and ready for the blender, kale already washed and de-stemmed, just needed a banana added and some water for my smoothie. Inhaled.

Also down into my hungry belly went: shredded cabbage (red and green) with apple, raisin, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt pepper and agave. My sister arrived to hang out with Santi, and we chatted as I pulled the sweet taters out of the oven and added the broccoli with carrots (bake another 20 mins). Beans and chili powder into microwave, avocado on top, and the roasted broccoli n sweet potato cubes were joyfully consumed.

Praise the Great Lord for days like this one. A day fully focused on Him, a challenging day with baby, a gift as I'm reminded that Christ is the Rock of my life and He is always with me. My eyes were opened to what an amazing blessing it is to have family so close and so loving. I cannot imagine these first months of his life without the support of my family, it is such a breath of fresh air to speak to adults during the day, too! Since Edu takes our only car to work, we don't get out much. We had been walking daily in our neighborhood, but with baby's odd feeding and nap schedule, I have been hesitant to leave the house. So being with family has been so beautiful!

Santiago ate happily and napped throughout the rest of the day but got a little fussy once my sister and parents left (they came over after their work days to see the little monkey - new grandparents daily tradition!). Then papi arrived home from a one-day business trip and life was good again. Edu swayed Santi to sleep like a pro and we peacefully rested. What a day! So thankful it happened because of all baby and I both learned from it, and I'm praying that we get a little break before the next growth spurt day comes along.

the (sleepy) end.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

October 26, 2012

Thankful

Today is Friday. It was a challenging day, and we are all oh-so-sleepy. Let's (happily) remember Thursday, shall we? Yes, we shall. We can talk about Friday's trials another time. Besides, if it weren't for the hard, not-so-lovely days, how could we be truly thankful for great days like this one?


 


Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One.Give thanks because He has given Jesus Christ, His Son!

October 25, 2012

What Baby and Mama Eat

Okay, I did it! This is everything I ate today. Leaving out a handful of raisins that I attacked a jar of while the dessert smoothie was blending. Hooray! First we started off the day with pure smiles! The funny thing was that he smiled for a full 30 seconds before bursting into tears as if the world was crashing down on him. Dramatic little nugget! Then momma took part in some amazing fruit (blob on top of apple is almond butter) and the watermelon went into my belly sometime in the afternoon.


We had a breastfeeding party or eighteen of them, we took little naps (okay, just him), we edited baby videos on Sony Vegas (okay, just me) and then we attempted an early lunchtime! It was hard, I won't lie. Santi had just fallen asleep after eating and I knew I didn't have much time to throw food together. Thankfully, I really only needed the microwave and a blender since I baked some balsamic tofu + sweet potato yesterday. Sa-weet! Even so, baby of course woke up half way through prepping my lunch and began to scream like a mad man, so I held him while snapping photos and turning on Mr.Blender. This baby loves himself the sound of the blender, it's so goofy! He can be screaming atop his wee-lungs, and the second I turn on the blender he is filled with peace. Remembering life inside the womb as I blended twice a day every day for 9 full months? I think so!

 Then we had more breastfeeding parties, and naps, and singing and dancing around the living room since this boy doesn't care to sit with mom and talk about the meaning of life. Soon enough, it was papa's lunch hour! So I tried my best to be quiet, as Santiago slept, and dice up some sweet potato for fries and take out some bean burgers + buns from the freezer. Success! Ezekiel bun, pinto bean/zucchini/brown rice burger, guacamole, bell pepper, mustard + green cabbage as the "lid". And a photoshoot or three, of course.

 

Then came dessert (8 million hours later): a blend of frozen banana, almond milk, cocoa powder, walnuts, ice and prunes. with muesli, amaranth cereal, millet puffs, hemp hearts and raisins on top!



Now I'm off to tend to Santi, who won't stop crying in grandma's arms... I think it's time for dinner number 6 for that guy, what do you think?