I spent most of the past two nights soothing my sick child, also being pushed kicked and coughed on, then trying to get him to eat something. I want to tell you that I admire you. I don’t know how you do it. It sounds like a cliche but its the truth. How do You do it? After my restless nights I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep when Hubbs took over but Jeesh- I was literally losing my mind. But i managed to get a little break. If I hadn’t been so out if it, I probably would’ve showered as well. I look like hell. My t- shirt is full of snot. I’ve been in the same clothes since Friday. I haven’t brushed my teeth. And despite all of that, all my son wanted to do was be with me,snuggle and feel me close. I should be flattered.
Being a parent is hard when there are two, but it has to be a thousand times harder when it’s just one person. It feels wrong complaining or whining because I know how much harder other women have it! So this post is just to say (again) I don’t know how you do it… Thank you for being inspirational.
My son turned two a few weeks ago. Today, as he got out of bed (by that I mean he climbed out of my bed) realized how grown up he looked… Where had my little mushball gone? When did this transformation take place? Then I started thinking about my own transformation. I started thinking about all the things that once seemed do important, that today take a back seat. Don’t get me wrong, there are still things I do for me, however, I have developed a more refined sense of what’s important. And, I’ve learned, that its OK to have your priorities change. It’s ok to not want to go out, to prefer dancing to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song than to watch the shows I’ve DVRed.
silly in sunglasses, ready for the sun!
They say your life changes as a mom, and it sure does— in the beginning I had some trouble with that. I missed having control over my life, I missed an inkling of free (=me) time. Now that two years have gone by, and Enzo is a running, talking, tantrum-throwing yet munchkin love fest, I no longer think that I’m missing something, I seize the opportunities I have to spend some quality time with him. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional (REALLY OCCASIONAL!!) mami-pedi, but I think I’ve come to terms that there’s only one of me, there’s 40 hours in the work week, and few hours to try to cram all the stuff I’d like to do in the little time I have! So, in the grand scheme of things, my vanity has gone out the window (holding on by a thread perhaps) me… Who wouldn’t have have been caught dead at a party without a manicure! And, confession, I hadn’t gotten a pedicure in months… I swear my feet were developing personalities of their own. (and my legs…that’s another story— at least it’s not summer yet…) but… who cares? Enzo will love me with chipped nail polish, or undone eyebrows… he would love me no matter what… (luckily so will my husband)
Tragedies like last week’s bombing reminded me that what is truly important (the kind of stuff I imagine flashes through our minds right before we die) are not the things that I used to think were so paramount in life—the little things that I cared so much about, like having perfectly shared eyebrows or a perfect pedicure. What I’ll remember will be those moments like cuddling with my LO, or playing fort, or reading the same stories over and over again… Because I won’t remember how many crappy toenails I had, but I will definitely remember the big smiles, the laughter, hugs and TAMOs* Enzo gave me. (* TE AMO=I love you)
Did you have an aha moment? Were there things that you missed that now you’ve just understood that they’re trivial?
It happened a couple of weeks ago, I was washing dishes and Hubbs was at the table. My Munchkin tab to me and said “Mama, mas.” (mom, more) So I said “anda pídele a papa” (go ask Dad). He went to his dad and said “papa encore.” (dad, more) I couldn’t believe my ears. I mean, I was pretty sure he knew to distinguish between the two languages, but I had never heard him code-switch like that, back to back.i I had read about it, but I hadn’t seen it. I have to say, it’s pretty spectacular—that moment when you realize your kid is getting it! Right now, we are raising Enzo in Spanish and French mostly, but since he has started a toddler program and a sports class, he is being exposed to some English… So he is also learning some English as well.
Raising your child to be multilingual is no easy feat. Just like raising bilingual children, it takes tremendous dedication. I am already anticipating the inevitable day that will one day come, when Enzo decides to rebel and he will want to speak English to us because, 1. He will realize we speak English 2. His friends all speak English and he will want to be like his friends.
Until that day comes, I will not fret! I will just keep working at helping him love and learn all the languages around him!
We have to make kids want to keep at it, so let’s make it fun! Here are some tips:
Sing silly songs, play games, use every opportunity to introduce new words: I like saying “Mama says THIS, but PAPA says it like this.”
Many DVDs have other language options (I just discovered that my Mickey Mouse Clubhouse can be seen in French!)
You can also check out Youtube… I have found Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse, Dora, all in French and Spanish… my favorite one by far is the potty-training video “Elmo Va Al Baño”
HIre a fun babysitter that speaks the language you want to reinforce
Have playdates in other languages
Check out websites that offer tips, support and activities such as Spanglishbaby! Check out their Pinterest boards where I found this:
If you can afford it, spend some time in a country where you child can be immersed in the language
If you have friends/family that live abroad, ask them to send you some books or toys in other languages.
Check out your discount/99cent stores…Sometimes you can find great stuff in other languages! i found this Cookie Monster set in Spanish at Jacks 99cent world on 34th Street in NYC (note: it was not 99Cents!)
Books in Spanish are a mouse click away! Check out books on Amazon.com or check out a Target near you— look what I found there:
As part of the Huggies Madrinas del Baño campaign, (Godmothers of the Bathroom in case you’re wondering!) I had the opportunity to be part of a teleconference with Dr. Andres Cotton, pediatrician based in Miami with 17 years of experience, and Jeannette Kaplun, mommy blogger, author and former host of Viva La Familia on Univisión and most recently, creator of bilingual site, Hispana Global. It was really great to get advice on potty training from a medical perspective and a mom who has gone through it twice!
Dr. Cotton and Jeannette made really great points, some things I had not thought about… I think the most important thing I learned is that each child has to be ready! If we try to potty train a child when he/she is not ready, potty training may face obstacles, and it is common for children to experience setbacks. We live in a society where parents are feeling pressure to have their children do more, and do it earlier and earlier! We feel we have certain goals to meet at certain ages, and if we don’t meet those developmental goals, some people may be judgmental and say we are not doing a good job! Despite what some preschool programs will have you believe, experts say you shouldn’t start training your little one until you see that they’re ready.
Another really important point that they made is the importance of having everyone involved. For those of you not familiar with Hispanic culture, that means Abuela, abuelo, tias, tios, madrinas, primas, primos, babysitters, anyone who isn’t really family but that is like family too! Everyone has to be on the same page, so that they encourage trips to the potty, and so when, as parents, we decide that it is time to embark on that journey full of poopy and peepee, everyone will be on board. It can really mess up the process if mom does it one way, and Abuela goes back to diapers when she babysits, for example.
Jeannette shared her experiences with us, explaining that she faced pressure from family members who said her son “should” be potty trained by a certain age. Dr. Cotton explained that some regression was normal, and not a source of worry. He explained that potty training is a stressful event for children, and that it was our job to make it fun—this would help take the stress away from the experience. I imagine if potty training is started before a child is ready, that would be an added stress as well.
I completely agree that kids have to be ready—I mean, I can’t get Enzo to put on his coat without a fight when he has decided he doesn’t want to, so why would I want to start potty training if he’s not ready? That would just frustrate both of us. I think equally as important, is that parents have to be ready. And… I am not ready yet! I am not going to lie—it’s not like teaching a child how to eat or drink from a cup! I mean, it might involve a few accidents with poop… It requires patience, persistence and probably a whole lot of hugs and laughter. I am really happy to be learning and discussing tips and tricks from Dr. Cotton, Jeannette, other mommy bloggers, and friends who have been through it! I am thankful to be able to learn from other moms. I can’t wait to start using the Big Kids App on my Iphone to celebrate Enzo’s tries!
If you haven’t checked out Pull Ups on Facebook, you should! You will find great tips there and answers to many questions you may have! Also check out this video on Youtube, reminding us how important it is to celebrate every try!
A few weeks ago I for an email from Latina Mom Bloggers. It was inviting mom bloggers to participate in Huggies’ Pull-Ups Every Flush campaign. If you’ve seen my latest random thoughts you know that I’m scared of potty training….So I thought this would be a good opportunity to jump start the inevitable get motivated to start. So I signed up for a chance to participate, thinking (maybe slightly hoping) that my name wouldn’t be picked… Well guess what? The time has come. My name was chosen. Thanks to Huggies and the Madrinas del Baño Campaign I’m off to becoming an expert* potty training mom.(I hope.)
Enzo certainly seems ready (that’s probably all that time he spends watching me on the potty!) Still, I can’t help but feeling a bit apprehensive. I guess part of it is definitely the poop part. (I’ve decided in order to minimize the potty poop cleaning I’m going to try poop in the toilet, no kid potty)
Enzo also known as @BabyenzoG in the social media world, enjoys checking out the bathroom.
Enzo expresses interest in the actual toilet. He is curious about the flushing mechanism too, and, as previously mentioned, he enjoys interrupting us in the bathroom.
The other part is the “my kid is getting older” part. I mean, he’s a walking, running, talking little human.He’s almost two- no more referring to him in “months” he’s turning two, then 3… Before you know it, he will be in kindergarten. (Hopefully potty trained before then! Haha!)
Finally, there’s another part- the “I haven’t read up on this and I don’t know what the heck to do” part. I am one of those first time mothers who receives not one, but 3 or 4 weekly “Your Toddler” emails from various different websites, with a lot of info on my toddler’s development, milestones, etc., etc. So I don’t know if I had dropped the ball on potty training, but in any case, I hadn’t read up on it. But I have discovered, that there’s AN APP for that! =) I can’t believe there’s an APP for potty training! (downloading as I type.) Some of the great features of Huggies’ Big Kids app are:
Potty timer - This is a great way to help busy parents remember, and gets kids motivated! (Anything that involves a phone, my kid will be happy with!)
Character calls- Mickey or Minnie can call your toddler for motivation! Enzo will love this because he is currently obsessed with Mickey!
Available in English, Spanish and French: This is especially cool because this will allow us to keep our language goals with our son. His Papa (daddy) will upload the app in French, and on my phone, the app is in Spanish.
In addition to the Big Kids App, Huggies has a great line of Pull-Ups with cool different features (I tell ya— this stuff didn’t exist when I was babysitting!) First, Cool Alerts that get colder to alert children that they are wet, Learning designs with children’s favorite characters (such as Minnie, Mickey and Cars) that fade when they are wet (this allows kids to see the difference between wet and dry!) and night-time training pants as well.
Huggies has a website with loads of helpful information where you can customize the process for a boy or a girl, and what stage of potty training you are in. There are articles that address every parent’s concern about this special process. This is especially helpful to me, as I realized that I don’t know how to “teach”my son how to pee standing up! With mostly everything, you can teach your kids by showing them how to do things… How to eat, drink from a cup, etc. And they learn by mimicking you, in this case, I can’t model it for him, so I am really happy that I can tailor the website to find the information I need.
I am still discovering what’s on the Huggies website, and i am preparing myself and my home for the start of our potty training journey. As with many moments in motherhood and parenting, I am happy that I can use social media to discover what has worked for other parents, to cry over bumps in the road and to celebrate successes, and to hear what has worked for other moms and dads. When I was breastfeeding I had a huge support system, and this helped my success, so I am excited to be able to share this experience with other parents online.
If you’re preparing to enter this journey, I invite you to check out the Big Kids App available on Iphone and Android, and can check out Pull-Ups on Facebook too! If you’ve already successfully potty-trained your child, or are doing so now, I invite you to share your experiences below, tweet me at @dianalimongi, or share your experiences on my Facebook page!
22 months and still NOT sleeping through the night?!?! say it ain’t so!
I am going a bit crazy. My son systematically wakes up around 2 am, i am guessing it is when the new sleep cycle begins?! he wakes up and cries calling for me, or papa (usually me). How have I gotten back to this point at almost 24 months?!?!?
see… he was sleeping through the night (or, til about 6am, good enough for me…) and then it got really cold in NYC (by the way—winter— totally OVER IT) and so started waking up, and he had peed on himself. So I change his diaper and then try to put him back to sleep. Now, I am going to be completely honest, I did decide on more than one occasion, to just bring him to bed with me. Why? well, because I work full time, outside the home, and if I have to choose between rocking him to bed for 45 minutes or sleeping those 45 minutes, I want to choose the latter.
Another thing I should say is that this little boy is no joke.. he can be sleeping and as soon as his body hits the crib mattress he wakes up! To make matters worse, he doesn’t have a paci, or a blankie, or a stuffed animal… his soothing element of preference? PELO. Mama’s HAIR. He strokes it, and sometimes pulls it… (in case you’re wondering I do sometimes wish he had a stuffed toy or something instead of my hair!) he is quite obsessed.
Now, this sleeping situation has become a problem for several reasons, the main one being that— Mama needs to sleep, and bringing him to my bed is not a viable long term solution: because he moves around too much, (seriously, sometimes i think he has restless leg syndrome— could that be a thing? could he have that?!? he swings his legs all over the place— YES in my face, on my neck, on my head… on Papa’s head, ribs and face too) and because I place myself in such a way as to prevent me falling off the bed (again, hard to do because he’s moving around, and because for a such a little guy, he actually occupies waaaay too much space)… the worse thing is that this has become a sensitive subject between Hubbs and I, because he believes Enzo is having a “caprice” and he cries because he knows mama will come to get him. So i am just making things worse when I go in there, and making it worse by bringing him to the room. I of course, counter that by saying that when he is sick, all bets are off (he was sick a couple of weeks ago) and that I bring him into the bed because 1. his room is too cold right now and 2. I just want to get some sleep. Hubbs thinks i’m creating a monster, that this is not normal behavior for an almost two year old (Enzo, time to sleep, you’re a big boy now) and that I am just spoiling him.
and I am so torn. I feel awful about letting him cry, makes me sick to my stomach, and I really don’t get a good night sleep when he is in bed with us, and this has become a source of disaccord between my hubby and I.
Any tips? (sidenote, i should mention, the only compromise I can think of is to sleep in the living room with Enzo, on the pull out couch, that way everyone sleeps better)
would love to hear your thoughts, mamas (and papas tambien!)
1.I am not a proponent of “cosleeping” but guess what? I understand why @babyenzog wants to sleep with Mama, I mean, warm, pillowtop bed next to mama is no match to that dumb hard, cold crib mattress… I think if I were him, I’d want to sleep with me too.
2.The whole American Pediatrics Association telling you your kids shouldn’t watch TV before 2? Well, that is just, in my opinion; unrealistic… that would mean that I wouldn’t be able to have the TV on at all if I didn’t want my son to watch any TV before 2? Also, I do believe he has learned some things from TV… that is the truth…like Yo Gabba Gabba who teaches him to not be mean to his friends, and Diego who teaches him all kinds of neat stuff (me too! All about chinchillas and savannahs and endangered species… see even I’m smarter thanks to them!) I stand by my choice.
3.I am afraid of potty training… because I am afraid of having to clean the poop out of the mini potty. (don’t judge)
4.I went on vacation and went away for a few days without my LO, and it was wonderful. And no, I do not feel guilty about saying this.
5.I am so not ready for a second baby, and people who have more than one deserve medals, trophies and certificates of valor IMHO.
6.There are days when I want to hide in the bathroom… hell I’ve tried and Enzo still finds me.
7.I think there should be a place (a magical place) where moms can go and rest/sleep/get better when they are sick. Because when you are sick and you stay home, there really is no rest.
8. I used to think peeing fast was a talent, but now I think I strive for taking as long as possible, as to prolong the 2.5 minutes of “alone” time before there’s a knock on the door.
9. I wish I made myself eat as many vegetables as I make @babyenzog eat.