30 Aug

Toddler Wows!

  1. Everything tastes better with sprinkles or ketchup (or even both)
  2. Words with a U in them are hilarious.
  3.  People actually praise you when you have really long naps.
  4. Pretend cake tastes as good as real one.
  5. Baby dolls don’t complain if you hold them by the leg, violently rock then or feed them Play-Doh cakes. Real baby cousins do.
  6.  Splashing in puddles is so satisfying: you get wet, you make cool sounds and startle mommy at the same time.
  7. If it has Dora on it you always want to use it.  Even if it’s a toothbrush.
  8.  Finding out the things Willy likes are exactly the same things you like. Dressing up? Check. Tumbling? Check. Making cakes and splashing in the ocean? Check and check.  (Willy is the main character in Anthony Brown’s Thing I Like book by the way)
  9. Mommy’s lap is the most comfortable reading chair ever.
  10. Every one in your mommy’s school says hi. Especially when I am wearing a tiny PE uniform.

Toddler woes

  1. Finding out you actually have to buy stuff. And mommy doesn’t necessarily agree that you need the $200 doll.
  2. Fun things like shows or play dates end way too soon…
  3. Those darn canines coming in. Ouch!
  4. Mommy thinks eating, bathing or sleeping is more important than playing
  5. Stuffed animals don’t go in the bathtub!?
  6. You have to take turns when hitting the piñata. And big kids hog the candy.
  7. How come we can’t go out to the yard when it’s raining? Or at 6 am?
  8. Some one said I have to say good bye to my pacifier, my diaper and my crib. I don’t think so.
  9. Mood swings and tantrums. Ok going to nursery school is scary and deserves all the tears in the world but taking a bath? Slicing your sandwich
  10.  Every one in your mommy’s school says hi. Especially when I am wearing a tiny PE uniform.

 

Summer time

8 Aug

I really love Mexico and being a Mexican however I’m a sucker for summer American Dream style. See, summer vacation inMexicostarts until July when the gorgeous, warm workdays of May and June have given way to rainy, damp and sometimes downright colds days. So while its fun to put on raincoats and splash in puddles while I dream of summers like these:

Summer dreaming

And instead get summers like these:

Our summers

However this summer was quite different as it meant sharing every day with my toddler who is always eager to explore… I won’t lie and say that I don’t keep on dreaming of someday renting a house on the beach and wearing flip flops every single day for a month but having Lu 24/7  during the whole month was a fantastic (and exhausting) experience.

Lu has always been a curious and active but she is at a stage where she thoroughly enjoys new experiences. The don’t have to be incredible life altering moments like going to the zoo and seeing a panda bear eat bamboo branches out of a cereal box, (I have no idea why the bamboo shoots were in a cereal box but Lu was delighted that the panda eat cereal “Like Lucy”), riding a kiddie boat ride in the amusement park for the first time or climbing a fire truck and dressing as a firefighter at the Children’s    Museum (which rules, if you ever visit Mexico  with or without kids go! It’s fantastic!).

Lu the firewoman

 

While all this field trips where fantastic Lu seemed to be as excited by eating a congelada at the park, seeing a real live snail in the garden or splashing in a puddle for the first time  (and getting soaked in the process).

 

Rainy day jeans at the playground

So while I still hope that next year the beach house dream will come true I also look forward to getting another chance to get excited about rain boots, Play Doh birthday cakes, feeding bunnies and eating popsicles in the garden.

What´s in a name?

2 Aug

My name marked me deeply. When I was about 13 my mom gave the book after whose main character she named me. The character was a nice, brave young woman who adored children. It’s tough to say if I would have wound up as a devoted summer camp counselor, youth group leader and later elementary school teacher if I hadn’t decided that since I had been named after that specific character I had to be exactly like her. So even before I found out I was pregnant I knew my daughter’s name couldn’t just be a name we liked.

 

When we found out I was pregnant Devoted Daddy and I started looking for a girl’s name since according to family tradition if we had a boy he would be named after my father in law.  At first we thought about Mary Anne since Devoted Daddy was buying tickets online to a Leonard Cohen concert when the little blue line appeared. But Mary Anne was a complex, confusing name for a Mexican girl and we didn’t particularly like either Mary or Anne as stand alone names. I also flirted with Paulina (Pauline in Spanish) but the name sounding nice was just no enough. Finally one day while having one of our wonderful midnight chats we started thinking about songs we liked that actually mentioned names: Julia… (Nah song too sad), Yolanda (yucky name), Suzanne (inMexico? No way! Eleanor (for a 40 year old woman maybe … ) Lucy…

 

Lucy sounded lovely, the song full of beautiful, happy images…We slept on it and by the next morning we eagerly turned on the computer to Google its meaning: light. Lovely. Prefect. I also read a blog entry about boho parents choosing vintage names like Lucy and loved the idea of my daughter having a vintage name. We also thought about possible nicknames: Lu sounded really cute (I have an issue with nickname since my name doesn’t really have one which in a nickname loving culture like Mexico is a huge pain)  Then we thought we could give her a Hebrew name that had the same meaning and even started with the same letter. Liora. Perfect. And so it was settled: our baby girl would be named Lucy.

Over this 20 months Lucy has been called Lu, Lula, Lulita, Lucita, Lucecita, Lucre, Lucrecia, Lulabian, Lulita, Lulián, Yuyi, Lulu, plus ten thousand other unrelated nicknames courtesy of Devoted Daddy´s worship of  playing around with words. And Lucy’s name fits her perfectly: like the song she is beautiful, happy, colorful and especially full of light. Our little girl has this marvelous quality which shines trough: like her name she lights any room she walks into with the happy smile that reaches her eyes and makes them sparkle and the honest, friendly “hola!” she gives away so freely, with the deep belly laughs and the contagious excitement with which she lives every single second.

 

Oh and for all of those who insist we named our daughter after LSD here is John Lennon and Paul McCartney explaining why that just isn’t so: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI4rhDnrqHg

 

(Please be sure to tell my 15 year old daughter that when the time comes)

1 Aug

Top 5 Stay at home Fun


1. Read BOOKS on the floor with mommy or on the couch with daddy (who doesn´t do floors!)

2. Feed Little People pretend food using play dishes all over the house.
3. Eat junk food: Paleta Payaso followed by Totis followed by ice cream with sprinkles followed by a lollipop followed by gummy bears followed by chocolate covered raisnas (ok not really but she would if she could)
4. Watch the same 3 Trepsi DVD´s over and over again. (although lately Elmo and Dora have been added to the repertoire)
5. Sing, dance, play instruments along with daddy.
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Top 5 Outdoor Fun

1. Jump, run and fall on the trampoline

2. Climb and slide off grassy hills. Damp grass makes you go faster!
3. Chase bubbles. Try to blow bubbles. Spill bubble soap trying to blow bubbles.
4. Give mommy heart attacks insisting you are ready to climb the big kid slides even tough you aren’t even 2 yet.
5. Excitedly exclaim over animals. Proceed to try to eat worms, crush snails and pet spiders.

 

Top 10 Foods (because 5 just aren’t enough)
1. Anything that can be eaten with a spoon.
2. Any pasta, anytime. (Especially Mac and Cheese for breakfast)
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3. Gummy anything
4. Anything with gummies. (extra points for marshmallows)
5. Broccoli, cactus paddles and zucchini..
6. Mango, papaya, watermelon and strawberries

7. Apple soda
8. Froot Loops (What is with kids and this stuff? It’s awful!)
9. Fries
10. Coconut lime Thai Soup (I swear.. she gobbles the stuff)

School Days

21 Jul

Lu started school last February after her long time nanny simply disappeared. On Monday
she simply didn’t show. No warning, no notice, she just vanished. So I called school and my wonderful, caring, understanding principal gave me a week off to figure out a new arrangement. I called a tiny preschool that had extended hours and miraculously they welcomed us with open arms agreeing for her to start the induction process the very next day. That Tuesday I knocked on the door and a pretty young teacher opened the door said hi and extended her arms to Lu who happily left without looking back leaving me… speechless. That was it? Bye- bye baby girl? What happened to the tears, the clinging, the anxiety? So while my baby happily discovered a room full of new toys her mommy filled out forms and tried not to cry while peeking at the web cam conveniently located in the classroom for nervous mommies like me. 45 minutes later Lu was focally a student and was led down to me by the same nice teacher. The next days Lu left happily with the teacher and to tell the truth I felt pretty relived that I had such an adaptable, easygoing daughter. However next week my husband called me miserable after having dropped Lu off amidst an ocean of tears and wails. Ok, I´ll admit I was warned that when she realized that this arrangement was permanent she wasn’t going to like it but I still hoped, or rather my guilt still hoped, that she absolutely loved school and would never cry. But she did cry. For a couple of weeks. But then she really did love it.

 

It’s tough to say how much of the wonderful kiddo Lu is has something to do with school or
if she would have turned out the same if she would have had her mommy with her 24 -7 but the Montessori Preschool did teach her a lot of cool stuff:

  • Reciting the days of the weeks and the months (not exactly Montessori but a great
    grandparent trick)
  • Putting things away
  • Coloring and playing with Play Doh on the table and not on the bed. Or the rug. Or the
    bathtub.
  • Playin with other kids nicely and sharing toys.
  • The “Baile del Sapo” song (really cool since I loved that song growing up)
  •  Montessori language: Lu doesn’t play with toys at school, she “works” with “material”
  •  Eating with a spoon and drinking from a cup.

Last week was her last week at this tiny and warm preschool. This August Lu starts big girl school (which also happens to be my workplace). Her 5 minute drive in mommy’s or daddy’s car to her tiny 8 kid classroom will be replaced by long bus ride to a 20 kid classroom at the preschool of our dreams. We are all really excited about this new phase in her life (Lu screams the schools name followed by “Big bus!” all the time) but we are also shocked that our baby is actually ready to go to a “real” school on a “real” bus.

Lu and Phia at the End of the Year Festival. Lu danced to a classic mexican baby chick lullaby.

We have a toddler!

19 Jul

Dear Lu,

I think I’ve started a couple of posts stating that you are at my favorite age, but hey, I didn’t don’t know what’s it like to have a 20 month old until you turned 20 months right? The thing is that you rule and after a crazy, crazy teacher mommy school year I’m back to blogging so that I can tell you all about it:

You are a happy, funny, bright, spirited, delight of a toddler. You’re beautiful with your curly hair, tiny nose and bright, long lashed eyes but the thing that stands out the most is your chatterboxy, sparkling personality. You talk nonstop in really amazing, complicated, third person phrases, which sometimes include questions and answers “Lu quiere cenar? Sí, Lu quiere cenar patita? (Lu wants dinner? Yes, Lu wants pasta for dinner)”

Isn´t she lovely?

You are truly your daddy’s daughter: you love books and music. You know your favorite books by heart and demand to sit on my lap and read “Trucas”. Music is a big part of our lives: your daddy plays the guitar and the cello and you firmly state that you (Lucy toca piano) play the piano. You know the words to lots of songs in Spanish and in English (you’re rendition of Twinkle; Twinkle is fantastic considering the only words you know in English are “hello” and the numbers from 1 to 10). You especially love the HI5 theme song, BINGO, Skip to my Loo and all the Trepsi and Musi songs. You also know the names of lots of instruments and yell “Lenny!” whenever you see a conductor on TV (because of Leonard Bernstein, of course) and love imitating you older cousin Phia when she dances ballet.

You are incredibly independent and  can play by yourself for hours: the Little People play sets, your play dishes as well as every stuffed animal and doll you own are particular favorites. You really like other kids and happily say “Hola!” to everyone. You adore your cousin Sophia and
scream like a teenager in a rock concert every time you see her. You can also name your friends from school, swimming and music.

Phia and Lu BFF

You love to laugh and find certain words hilarious: cupo (fit), eco, macarron, fuff, muela (molar). You hear us say the word and start laughing like crazy, then you say the word out
loud and start laughing all over again. You also love tickles and visits from the mommy tickle monster.

You are incredibly clever! A couple of days ago you wanted to color on my bed and I reminded you that “we only color on top of a table while seating on a chair” so you calmly turned around and came back into my room carrying one of your plastic chairs, which you placed by my dresser and started to color because mommy said you needed a table and chair. You also have an incredible memory: not only do you know all of your books by heart but you also know the names of every single member of our extended family and delight us all by enthusiastically
greeting them by name.

Lulita mi amor, we adore you and love the wonderful adventure that means being your
parents,

Love always and forever

Mamita y papi

Beach Baby II

22 Jan

Having two sets of doting parents is the best:

-Four people who are always thrilled to see Lu and take her for the hundredth time to walk around the restaurant or see abuelitos miniature collection again and again and again.

-Two sets of cool houses to explore with super special toys and STAIRS! (very important for a little girl who loves climbing and lives in an apartment)

 -Lots and lots of crazy, funny doggies who really love food throwing babies and even let them pull tails and ears.

 -Mommy and daddy actually get to sit down and eat while someone else keeps Lu from stabbing herself with a fork, feeding her broccoli to the dogs or getting a cool noodle wig.

But best of all having two sets of grandparents means sometimes we get two different Mexican beach winter vacations: beautiful Playa del Carmen and super fun Ixtapa. Here are some vacation highlights in pictures

Lu actually started saying sea, sand, fish, bird inspired by the beautiful place

Pizza in the kiddie pool? Why not?

Club Med Ixtapa (Baby Paradise!!!! Try it!)

Hours and hours and hours playing in the pool

Beautiful sandy warm sea sunsets every day!

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