Sloane and Puffy
Wife... working mama... gringa in Mexico
Sloane and Puffy in Mexico

Moving right along...

Today someone told me I looked like I was about to pop! And at Starbucks some kindly ladies said, "ya merito, verdad?" which means, "any day now, right?" I am feeling pretty large and in charge but not THAT large! I know how one dresses has a lot to do with how pregnant one looks, so I am trying to take it all in stride. (It also doesn't help that I am moving very slowly because of a twisted ankle!) But while it's not any day now, I am 6.5 months pregnant and it's kind of hard to believe how soon I'll be a mama of two!

W is doing great. After some initial clinginess and weirdness, which I am not sure has more to do with the pregnancy or his age, he is back to normal, or whatever constitutes normal for a little toddler. He is developing like crazy, running around, understanding so much and exploding with his language development. At his 18 month pediatrician appointment, I knew he was lagging a little verbally. The doctor told us he should have at least 20 words down at that time, and he was at around 13. But in the couple of weeks that followed, he caught up quickly.

A lot of people have been asking me whether he speaks more English or Spanish, and I can't really say. It's a mix. I think he picks the word that's easier. For example, he says "agua" instead of "water." But in general I think English words are easier and shorter, which is why he prefers "ball" to "pelota," "crackers" to "galletas" and so on. He also says "" instead of "yes," which is adorable because it comes out like "chee!" or sometimes even "cheep." And, while he calls his dad "Papa," he calls me "Mamá." So I get the Spanish name and dad gets the English version.

We have been working on "baby" and he says it sometimes, but it's pretty confusing because sometimes we're talking about his baby doll, sometimes we're talking about an actual baby and sometimes we're pointing to my belly. Although I am sure he senses something is up, and we've explained it to him, he is in for a big surprise come October. Poor guy I hope in time he'll be happy about his new little bro or sis!


Napping with Baby.

Team Green, Take 2

This child is more than halfway cooked at this point, which means the dreaded first trimester is just a speck in my rearview mirror. A queasy, exhausted speck.

At this point, most people know what they're having. Of course, we know what we're having... a baby! But just like with our 18-month-old son W, we have decided to save the sex as a surprise on delivery day. I have to say, it's been harder to go "Team Green" (as they call it) this time around. I guess it seems like it matters more, somehow. With the first, you could have a preference one way or the other, but if you're planning to have more than one child (which we always were), it's no big deal if you don't get the sex you prefer.

This time around, now that we have a boy, of course it would be nice to have a girl — you know, one of each. Also, our family size may depend on it. If we have another boy, will we try again for a girl? Maybe. If we have a girl, on the other hand, we'll probably close up the factory. Also, now that we have a boy, we have boy stuff. Of course we have a lot of gender neutral items from baby showers, etc., but as soon as we knew we had a boy, we started getting more masculine baby clothes, for example. Fortunately, the nursery is gender-neutral!

All this made us waver a little bit when it was time for the big midway ultrasound, which we had at 18 weeks. But, I stayed strong and I forced my wonderful husband to be strong with me After all, last time around, this whole Team Green thing was his idea!

So we continue to not know whether this will be un bebé or una bebé! I'll let you know in October. With W, we had a strong feeling it would be a boy. In fact, when he was born, no one even said anything! You know, like "IT'S A BOY!" I am definitely going to emphasize this to the doctor this time around. I think so many people know the sex beforehand that doctors aren't used to weirdos like us. This time it will be even more important because we really don't know. I mean, when people ask me, I say, "I think it could be a girl." That's as much as I'm willing to commit. A few people who have examined my belly and my build have told me they think it's a girl (one, who claims to be a sort of seer in this respect, said boy). But, this time I started pregnancy at a much higher weight than last time, so my build is just a little different already. Someone else did tell me that based on my face, it was a girl. I know this is not a compliment, because at least here, people say that girls make your face expand and look uglier. But I am not insulted. If it's a girl, great! It will be worth it. If it's a boy, great also, because I think W will be adorable with a little brother and I will remain queen of the castle

Stay tuned....

Coming in October...


All these tests don't lie. Yes, I got a little out of control trying to prove this to myself.

Yes, it's true! I was reading the other day where someone said when a female blogger slows down/stops posting, she always suspects that person is pregnant. It's certainly true in this case! (Although don't hold me to that... I don't want to take a blogging hiatus someday and have people all convinced I'm pregnant.)

We are expecting W's baby sister/brother this October. I am almost 18 weeks already and cannot believe my normally oversharing self has waited this long to post this blog! At first I was just waiting the first three months, then a bunch of other stuff happened (not bad or scary stuff!) and, well, here I am, starting to show. I guess that is one difference between my first and second pregnancies... with my first I couldn't wait to spill the beans and I told as many people as possible, as soon as possible. This time, I have spread the word more slowly and more than one person has found out by coming up, eyeballing my waistline and saying nervously, "Are you...ummm....?"

Of course this definitely does not mean I am any less excited about this new baby! On the contrary, I think with W I was excited but sort of in the dark about things. I just didn't know what to expect! Now that I have been through the whole experience, right up through and including that wonderful moment when you MEET that little person, I am much more eager for that day to arrive, and much more conscious of the fact that there really is a little person in there.


Practicing poking his new sibling's eyes out.

Lots more to post soon about this new adventure, now that I am officially sharing it with the blogosphere (or my tiny, tiny corner thereof)!

Checking in!

Hello Internets! I don't have much to say today but am taking advantage of the sad fact that I'm sitting at work waiting for a certain e-mail to arrive, and updating the old blog. We're starting a four-day weekend here (you know, Labor Day as celebrated everywhere in the world except Mexico is on May 1). We don't have anything special planned but I am looking forward to some rest. Oh wait! What's that? I have a toddler? Forget rest.

Here's a brief summary of what's been going on:

1. W has started saying "no." Mostly "nononono" like Talking Tom, but in the middle of the sermon at church last week it was more like, "NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" He recently had his first "kid's meal" in a restaurant, which he loved and which introduced him to his new favorite food group, ketchup. We are avoiding ketchup for now for this reason.

2. I am healing after a dislocated toe. The way it happened was so incredibly stupid that I'm not going to elaborate. It was very painful and they had to put it back in place, which was very very painful, but I got to retire my orthopedic footwear after about five days and have graduated to Crocs. Hobble hobble. Among the highlights of this ER visit were a. having the hospital security guard think my son was a GIRL (gave him a pink ID bracelet and told him how pretty he was) although I was in too much pain to correct him and b. having the ER doctor comment on how big my feet are. Thanks, dude.

3. My husband and I went to the movies for the first time in sooo long! Seriously, the Hunger Games was the second movie we have seen since W was born. Also it was our first date in so long. Now I want to do this again, like every day. Sigh.

4. I yelled at a Mexican police officer for the third time yesterday. I was not proud of it, but it was more yelling to get his attention and ask something nicely ("OFFICER, CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US WITH THIS VEHICLE BLOCKING THE ROAD?") but since he totally ignored me the first two times I said it, it was pretty loud the last time. Then, basically he told me "NO." Which was INFURIATING. But also made me feel like I am pretty close to becoming a naturalized Mexican citizen. So put that in my immigration folder, people!

Jesus Christ, Superstar.

So as I have mentioned before, the social pages are kind of a big deal in Mexico. From important people's weddings, to important baby's baptisms, to important toddlers' birthday parties, it's quite the gawking opportunity. However, I never expected to see a passion play on the cover.


Jesus and Roman soldier, posing together for what may be the first time, ever.

But seriously, hope you had a happy Easter! Easter seems weirdly less of a big deal in Catholic Mexico than in the U.S. The bunny doesn't come and after church, it's just like a normal Sunday. Holy Week is a big deal, which certainly supports the idea that Catholics focus a lot more on the suffering of Jesus that Protestants. Anyway, the bunny DID come to our house, and after church, we went to the park and out to lunch. No big extended family doings, but it was a happy Easter anyway. After all, the resurrection IS what makes any Easter happy.

I'm Alive!

So, I guess my new year's resolution about blogging weekly went down the potty in a big way, for which I sincerely apologize. In case anyone is still reading out there.

Lots of things have been keeping me busy, mostly between work and having a toddler. I know in the beginning there's lots of sleep deprivation, but sometimes I remember fondly those days when the baby would just fall asleep on me, or I could lay him in the pack and play with some toys, and he'd be good to go for a few minutes at least. Now, he's walking all over the place, getting into stuff, having tantrums when he's not allowed to get into stuff... OH, and he talks on the phone a lot.

Er, he thinks he does. Mostly he just picks it up and babbles. It makes no difference if someone is there. Mostly he likes pushing the buttons and holding it to his ear. Although I did notice he was starting to facetime one of my colleagues the other day!

   
Just like Daddy!

So what else? Oh, you  may have heard about our little earthquake last week, and the 100-plus aftershocks? Obviously we are fine. I definitely felt the first one — I was actually in for one of my routine thyroid scans and was just standing up after having been lying down for awhile. I thought I had gotten up too fast! But the lights were flickering too, and when I stuck my head out the door (the doc had left for a moment), everyone else was peeking out too, and the PA system was sharply admonishing people not to leave the building. So it was for real. Mexicans tend to run for the door the moment things start moving, which I am not sure is post 1985 trauma, correct instruction or what. In California, we learned to go under the desks or into a doorway, but maybe that is outdated or doesn't apply here? Anyone who can clear this up is most welcome!

That's what's shakin with me (HOHOHOHO) and I promise not to let another couple months pass before my next entry! Seriously now.

YOM!

W tried his first sushi last weekend. OK, it was just a veggie roll. (He's hard core, but not THAT hard core.) Anyway, he really loved it.


Shredding in 2012

So, as you may be able to tell from my blog-posting frequency, I'm hanging onto my new year's resolutions by a thread! It has been a very hectic time so far and right now I am figuring out what activities I need to eliminate in my life to avoid complete lunacy. Although a nice rest in a padded room doesn't even sound too bad at this point.

One thing I HAVE kept up with is my exercise. I started the 30-Day Shred on January 3 (yep, padded out that New Year's holiday a bit) and I have done it every. single. day. since then. In case you are one of the three people who is even slower than I am on picking up four-year-old fitness trends, the 30-Day Shred is this video workout deal where you do it every day for around 20 minutes, one level for the first 10 days, then level two, then level three. Your leader is this sadist fitness enthusiast named Jillian Michaels, of The Biggest Loser fame.

How much fitness can be accomplished in 20 minutes? Well, you'd be surprised (and if you're asking, you definitely have not done this workout). There is almost no standing still, lots of jumping jacks and pushups and other things I definitely have not done for a few years. I was way sore the first few days and continue to be sore on and off, but in a good way, except for my poor knees which are not doing so hot. Apparently this is because of the weakness of my surrounding muscles, and I do think the situation is getting better.

So, today will be day 17 of 30 and I am going strong. My resolution to eat better is not going so great, but at least I am exercising and I think it is making a small difference in how I look.

I have also discovered that the baby is willing to hang out in his Pack and Play and stare at me for 20 minutes while I jump around like a monkey. Apparently, this is very entertaining and sometimes he even jumps up and down too. Ah, youth.

Rent-A-Tree

We said a very unceremonious goodbye to our Christmas tree this week (more on that later). But, we didn't send it to the trash heap or the recycler — we had to give it back to be replanted. See, this year, we rented our Christmas tree.

I always liked real trees, and I never thought twice about buying them and then recycling afterwards, but that changed when I met my husband. He doesn't believe in killing trees for decoration, so we were in a quandary. Two years ago, we bought a live tree, which probably wasn't all that "live" to begin with, since it kicked the bucket soon and blighted our balcony with its deadness for a long time after Christmas. Oh well, we tried to do the right thing.

As we all know, last year we didn't have a tree up due to moving, a certain person's birth, etc.

This year, we tried a different option. A company called "Siempre Verde" will rent you a live tree, then take it back afterwards and replant it. Great idea, right? It wasn't as simple as it sounded, though. So in brief, about renting a tree:

The Good:
We felt ecological. I got my tree, my husband didn't live with its blood (sap) on his hands.

The Bad:
This company was extremely disorganized. The ordering process was unwieldy, they made me print out and scan proof that I had made my payment on PayPal (which is un-green and also betrays a total lack of understanding of how PayPal works). They didn't answer e-mails. They refused to try and help me out with the fact that my condo doesn't accept deliveries after 6:00 p.m.

The day the tree was supposed to arrive, I notified the nanny. Of course, when I tell her anything like that (a repairman is coming, something will be delivered, etc.) that's pretty much the kiss of death and 95% of the time it doesn't happen. And sure enough, it didn't arrive while I was at work. Then, it didn't arrive before my condo's 6:00 p.m. delivery deadline (which is pretty loosely enforced anyway). The company told me not to worry, that if it had to arrive at 2 in the morning, it would get there. This was not comforting to me, since the delivery window was supposedly 8 am to 8 pm. While I admired their persistence, I was not cool with receiving a tree in the wee hours of the morning.

It eventually arrived, at like 7:59 pm.



We were delighted to see it, although its plastic pot was kind of ugly. The company had covers that you could buy, but they had ran out, and I was too lazy to make something.

Speaking of the ugly...

The Ugly
When I reserved the tree, I had to choose the day it would be picked up. January 9 was one of the first options, and that sounded fine since it was the day I had to go back to work, plus it was the Monday after Three Kings Day which is the official end of the holiday season here in Mexico.

So I told the nanny to take off the decorations and that someone would come by and pick up the tree that day. Of course (see above regarding the kiss of death), that didn't happen. I tweeted the company and nada. The next morning, while I was at work, the condo caretaker told the nanny the local government was going to recycle trees, so it was the day to leave them curbside. Since I had not specified WHO would come by and pick up the tree, she figured this was her chance.

OH CRAP.

Awhile later, she answered the phone at home and it was Siempre Verde, calling to schedule pickup. (Imagine that, since I had already scheduled delivery WHEN I RENTED THE DANG THING.) At this point she realized she did something wrong, called me at work and I had a heart attack. (I was imagining how much we'd be charged for not returning this silly tree, which we'd already paid more for than a regular "dead" tree costs. Turns out it wouldn't have been too much, but it would definitely have defeated the whole "green" purpose.) Fortunately, the tree recycling people had not come by yet and we were able to rescue the poor tree from turning into mulch.

So, will we do this again next year? I don't know. I loved the idea but the execution was horrible. I know it wasn't just us because I saw a lot of comments like mine on Twitter. ("Hey, when are you bringing/picking up my tree? Hello?") Maybe Siempre Verde will get better at what they're doing, or maybe some competitor will enter the market. We'll see....

Like Kermit said... it's not easy being green.

So, the elliptical arrived

It came unannounced today but I was so happy I didn't even complain, just felt thankful I happened to be home. 

Then they brought it in and asked me where to put it. I took them to the bedroom and told them, right over there on the carpet (especially purchased for this), looking outwards.

This is how they left it.



She's a beaut, ain't she? Gee, how do you think you ride this thing?