Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tag! You're It!

So I realize my blog isn't a big or an even medium sized blog by any means, but I'm totally psyched because I got tagged by Erin over at The Life of Ann James to do a little survey!  This basically means that I answer 8 little questions about myself and then tag a few of my blog friends to do the same.  Here we go::::

1. Milk Chocolate or Dark Chocolate?
DEFINITELY 100% milk chocolate.  I don't like anything but milk chocolate: I don't like dark chocolate, white chocolate, or flavored chocolates.  I just like Hershey's or things like that.  I like chocolate bars ok, but those aren't really my weakness.  My weakness is when you put chocolate in things such as cake, brownies, etc.  Then, I occasionally find it hard to stop. ; )

2. What's your favorite color?
Well it used to be purple, and I think technically it still is.  I really do like the color, but sometimes you have to be careful to have a 'favorite' because then everybody buys you things that are purple.  Our wedding colors were purple and green and they were stunning together.  See? 

That's the bride (ME!) and her parents.  Isn't my bouquet pretty? 
P.S. It weighed 2 million pounds.

3. Do you have any creative hobbies?
  Blogging counts right?  I like doing it alot.  It's therapeutic.  Also, I play piano.  I've played since I was 4 and minored in music in college.  Right now my keyboard is in Liliana's nursery and I occasionally play her the Little Mermaid. ; )

4. What was your favorite subject in school? In high school...I don't really know!  I didn't really care for any of my classes, but I guess I'd say Math.  Yeah, I know you're thinking "then why did you go to law school?"  But not EVERY SINGLE person that goes to law school doesn't like math.  I did like math, I just didn't want to do it for the rest of my life.  But math, to me, has a question and a clear solution and I like that.

5. What is your favorite season? Why?  I always used to say Spring but in Lubbock it's fall.  I like how the leaves change and most importantly I love that the holidays are coming.  As soon as October 1st rolls around it means LOTS of fun days are ahead: my birthday (the most important of course), Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Valentine's!  After Valentine's I hibernate until the next October 1st.

6. Who inspires you to sing like crazy when nobody is around? My car. I don't care who's in my CD player, but if I'm in my car, I am SINGING!  Yes I've gotten a million funny looks, but I don't care.  It makes me happy!

7. What's your favorite dessert? Can you make it?  Wow I can't believe it, but I have the same answer as Erin...banana pudding!  And, I have an AMAZING recipe to share.  In fact, I just made it again this last weekend. 

New Fashioned Banana Pudding
Prep: 30 minutes.  Cook: 20 minutes.

2 cups half and half                                                                                          6 small ripe bananas
1 cup milk                                                                                                       4 egg whites
1 (5.1 oz) package vanilla instant pudding mix                                                 1/2 cup sugar
1 (12 oz) package vanilla wafers                                                                     1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Combine first 3 ingredients in large bowl; beat at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes or until mixture is smooth and thickened. 
  • Layer 1/4 of wafers in a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.  Slice 2 bananas and layer over wafers.  Pour 1/3 of pudding over bananas.  Repeat layers twice, ending with pudding.  Arrange remaining wafers around edge of baking dish.
  • Beat egg whites at high speed until foamy.  Add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes).  Fold in vanilla extract.
  • spread meringue over pudding, sealing to edge of dish.  Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until golden and SERVE WARM.  Yield: 8 servings.
8. How did you learn to cook?
I dunno, I just did.  My Mom and Grandma are amazing cooks, so that helps.  Otherwise, I started in college and we have definitely cooked more throughout our marriage to save on money. 

And now for my tags!

Baby Hillger

Med School Dad (gotta tag my husband right?)

Teasingly Diverse

Pulsipher Predilections

Cristina's Comida

Monday, August 30, 2010

Well, it could have been Better and it could have been Worse

It has been a LONG while since I've done a "losing the baby weight" post.  There are a few reasons for this: (1) I like my scale, (2) I was in San Antonio, (3) eating habits are hard when you're on a one month vacation, and (4) the numbers kinda sucked so I was embarrassed.  So let's go in order:

Our Scale: Yeah, it acts like the batteries are constantly out, but I like it.  Yeah it constantly says "error" and I have to stand on it a few times before it actually gives me a reading, but I like it. I like using ONE scale because then the numbers are more consistent.

San Antonio and a One Month Eating Vacation: This sounds like a grand excuse and it is.  But do you guys know how hard it is to lose weight when you're eating out or at someone else's home AT LEAST 4 days a week?  If you haven't ever been to San Antonio, the food there is simply amazing.  We went to Taco Cabana a few too many times and I never finished my plate, but how proud can I be of my efforts when what I was eating consisted of bean and cheese nachos topped with sour cream?

The Numbers:  I was rather happy at the progress back in July so I, very naively, expected the numbers to keep coming off at that rate.  I only weighed myself twice while in San Antonio and both times, I nearly cried.  Ok, not really...but if I was the type of girl that got emotional really easily, I totally would have.

This next month shall be REALLY interesting.  On September 30th, I will be traveling to New York for my brother in laws wedding...and...there's an outfit.  Yes, a beautiful dress that my Mommy bought me while I was in Puerto Rico a year ago.  This dress is stunning and sexy and...when she bought it for me, my Mom said "You look beautiful, but you can't gain not even one pound."  That's how curvalicious this dress is.  And, I'm obviously not fitting in to it.  My Mom bought me the dress so I could wear it to a wedding we were going to, but SURPRISE I was 10 weeks pregnant when that wedding occurred and didn't fit in the dress.  SO, I wanna wear it now:

This picture doesn't do it justice.  But I promise it's stunning. 

And, look at the price!!  It was 50% off the NOW price.  Yep, it was a $128 dress that we bought for about $38.  I just HAVE to lose this baby weight and get in to this dress!  It's a shame not to take advantage of this deal.

And look at the pretty brown shoes I bought to match.  
Sigh, I want to wear this outfit!

So, 13 weeks postpartum here's my progress: 

Eating Habits:  As I said above, I could have eaten healthier but that wasn't my main problem.  My main problem was that I put too much food on my damn plate!  I just need to put less food in my mouth.  Simple solution.  That being said, I could have done much worse.  I tended to combine breakfast and lunch and then ate a pretty large dinner.  I'm pretty happy with my combining breakfast and lunch, so I just need to eat a little bit less for dinner.  I continue to leave two bites on my plate and say what you want, but I like that tid bit of advice.  Just add up the calories you'd save by doing that.  Say it's 30 calories a day, that's over 200 calories a week and 800 a month!  

Exercise:  I worked out at least 4 times a week while in San Antonio.  In general, the workouts ranged from 30 minutes to 50 minutes.  I am starting to get back in better shape and that feels great.  I did a bunch of my favorite (Jillian) but since I had so many more options in San Antonio, I took advantage of them:  I ran on the treadmill 3 times, I did the rowing machine once, and I went swimming as a workout twice.  These were nice changes of pace and they really worked on getting me SORE.  This upcoming month, I'll do some more Jillian and I'll be taking part in a free gym membership in Lubbock that has classes, a bunch of weight machines, a pool, and of course, free daycare!  Yes please.

And again, the moment of truth:

Prepregnancy weigth: 126 pounds

Weight Day I went into Labor: 163 pounds

Weight Today: 134.0

So I lost 5.2 pounds in 6 weeks.  It could have done MUCH better, but it could have been MUCH worse.  So, I'll take it.  

Goal for the next 2 weeks:  This upcoming month since we're back in Lubbock, things are going to get even better.  I have to fit in this dress by the end of the month!  I am cooking nearly every day and working out 5 days a week.  I'll report about the progress in a couple weeks.  I assure you, well at least I HOPE HOPE HOPE, I'll be fitting in to that dress by the day I leave for that flight!!

Eventual Goal:  8 pounds to return to prepregnancy weight! 

Here's another picture of my Liliana taken at 12 weeks.
My goodness ... and I hate to be that kind of Mom ... but she is SO FLIPPING CUTE!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

MORE Random Things on my Mind

I haven't blogged in a few days and I've actually had the intention to do so every single day, but I get too busy doing other things.  Since I had a bunch of blog posts in mind, I'll just break them up in to things going in our life right now.  I think the real reason that I haven't blogged is because I can't really blog about the things on my mind.  It's about Evan.  He's applying for residency programs and I have to stay mum about what he chose (whether Urology or OB/GYN) and all that this entails.  ANYWAY, let's start with my randoms huh?

What I Can Say About Evan's Decisions
For my new readers, let me give you a little background.  My husband is now in his fourth year of medical school and he is having to decide what to do with his life.  Needless to say, he has been rather stressed about it all.  He finally decided what career path he wants and I am SO happy for him.  This away rotation really helped make his decision and I'm confident he chose right.  Now starts the application process.  Oh my.  The applications themselves will cost approximately $1,000, but that's honestly the smallest of the problems.  He's applying to quite a few out of state programs to ensure he gets a residency spot and this means LOTS of airfare and lots of traveling (well, assuming he gets some interviews).  In applying to spots, this has left us asking "would we live here?"  For instance, we chose NO to New York City because we don't want to have our little baby girl and live in the city with a salary of $45,000 (what residents make).  We can't rely on my getting a job when taking these things into consideration, because what if I don't?  I'm obviously going to be looking, but we can't say "oh yeah, and you'll be making $60,000 with your job, because with today's economy, there are BIG chances it won't work. The other scary thing is that we cant' really afford for me to travel as well.  The residencies in medical school work really stupidly.  After he interviews, we'll list our favorite programs in order and then on one day he'll get an envelope, open it up, and it'll TELL US where we're living for the next few years.  Yup.  That envelope will contain our fate.  For now, we're planning on me traveling to a select few if he gets an interview simply because we wouldn't mind the locations at all.  SOOO sorry... nothing can really be revealed for a few months, but I will update on whether he's getting interviews and whether Liliana and I are joining him on the trips.

Where Am I?
 I have somehow managed to not mention what's going on in my academic life lately.  I've still been happy with my decision not to practice law.  I have been studying for one of the teacher certification exams and ... it's kinda hard!  I know you're thinking "oh you stupid girl" but I'm doing something called a generalist test where I would be certified in social studies, math, science, and English for 4 - 8 grade.  Well, did you know that 8th grade math is actually rather difficult?  Also, I forgot ALL of it.  Even still, I like it.  I'm set to take it on September 27th, but if for some reason, I'm not ready for it, I can postpone and that won't be the end of the world.  I'd like to keep it there though because we're going to New York on September 30th for my brother in law's wedding and I'd like to be stress free as much as possible for that trip.  This will be Liliana's first airplane ride, so wish us luck!

Excuse the yellow font, but I'm going for fall themed introductions today...I can't wait for fall!  It's my favorite time in Lubbock.  See, in San Antonio the leaves don't change, but here in Lubbock it actually changes seasons.  YAY!  ANYWAY, if you can't read, the yellow font says "Radio."  In Lubbock, I NEVER listen to the radio.  It's all country music and country isn't my favorite to say the least.  Here in San Antonio, I've listened whenever I'm in the car and .... holy crap I hate the radio.  They literally play the SAME 5 songs.  For instance, last week I was meeting my godmother for lunch and when I arrived they were playing a rap song.  I don't mind rap, in fact, I like it a lot.  But, it bothered the crap out of me that when I left the restaurant and got in the car, the SAME EXACT song was playing again.  Radio hosts have a WORLD of options...why must they insist on boring us.

Guys, I have a mad crush on Rihanna.  I love that new song she sings with Eminem (yeah I know ... am I 16 or what?).  And after seeing a few of her videos on You Tube last night, I realized she single handedly has the best body in Hollywood.  She has officially taken the hot body award from Jennifer Lopez and moved Jennifer Lopez's big butt aside.  Whenever I've gained some weight, I always take a picture of a celebrity and post it as my computer background.  Jennifer was on the background for a LONG time...I mean she's beautiful and Puerto Rican so I was in love.  But, Jenny has had a couple kids and although she still looks FREAKINGISHLY HOT, my new lady love is Rihanna.   Behold the new picture that will appear on my lap top as I continue trying to lose the baby weight and get ready for my curvalicious dress that I plan on wearing to the New York wedding.

Well I think I've bored you enough for today!  Hope everybody has a fabulous weekend!  We're heading back HOME after a long month away from our home sweet home.  While we're going to miss San Antonio and everybody here, we can't wait to put Liliana back in HER nursery and we can't wait to put ourselves into our COMFY bed.  Nothing like sleeping in your own bed...can't wait. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

My First Monday Minute!

I follow a few blogs that do something called Monday Minute every...well...Monday.  I've wanted to do it a few times and either don't have time to blog that Monday or have something else I desperately want to write about that day.  And although I could write about a million things today, I wanted something light and happy, so I'll finally do the Monday minute! Each week different people host it, so if you want to read other ones, just click here.

Monday Minute

What's your Favorite 80's flick?

Oh that's a toss up between The Goonies and the Princess Bride.  I love the Goonies for it's funny and cheesy lines and even for its pretty horrible acting.   I love the Goonies because anytime I go to an ice cream shop I could say "Rocky Road" over and over again in a funny voice and someone around me would giggle.  However, I love the Princess Bridge because Fred Savage was pretty freaking adorable in this movie, the love story is one you just can't forget, and because anytime I feel like it, I can say "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

One Genre of Music Needs to be Banned.  Which genre?
EASY...Tejano.  Sorry people, I just don't like the stuff.  Living in San Antonio my whole life, I heard PLENTY of it, but I'm a Puerto Rican woman so merengue and salsa flow through my veins, not the accordion.  (caveat: Selena.  I liked Selena.)

All Time Favorite Candy.
Oh I like candies, but I'm picky.  I don't much care for Skittles.  But this asks for my favorite and that would be a toss up between Reeses Cups and Gummy candies.  For right now, Gummy candies sound HORRIBLE to me.  I was obsessed with gummy candies during my pregnancy and am still not over the fact that I probably ate 5 pounds of the stuff.  Maybe one of these days I'll like them again, but for now, the thought makes me gag a little. 

How flawed is your driving record?
I have had one speeding ticket.  I was going 42 in a 25.  And...while the cop wrote out my ticket, I ran to the bathroom with diarrhea.  Yes people, this was seemingly the most embarrassing moment in my life.  I suppose a little background is required, and if this story is nasty, so sorry and deal with it.  During my junior and senior year of college, I had horrible stomach problems.  It got to the point where for nearly a year, after every single meal, I had to RUN to the bathroom.  I went to a GI and had some procedures come back with some abnormalities.  They said I had IBS, that I maybe had something called Chrone's disease, etc etc.  Turns out it was just a horrible bacteria and some medicine that I took for another reason solved the problem.  In the midst of all this medical investigation, I was on my way to class one day after eating lunch and felt that "oh SHIT" (haha...no pun intended) sensation.  I was driving as quickly as I could to run to a bathroom and when the cop stopped me, I started BAWLING and explained to him that I had to go to the restroom.  He in his JERK way said fine, let me run to the bathroom, and wrote me a ticket while I pooped.  Yep, it was horrible.  I went home crying like a mad woman and Evan bought me flowers later to make me feel better.  I called my Dad later that day thinking he was going to kill me (this was back in the day when I was on his car insurance) but instead he was FURIOUS at MR. JERK.  In the end though, I took defensive driving and the insurance rates went down by $60, go figure.   

What was your High School Mascot?
The Clark Cougars!! (she says putting exclamation points as a way of trying to hide the fact that she has zero pride for that)  Now, ask me about my college mascot?  That would be Reveille from TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY!!! WHOOOP.

What color socks are you wearing?
Socks?  Dude, I live in Texas and am currently in San Antonio where it's hotter than hot outside.  No socks, just barefoot.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Happy 3 Month Birthday Liliana!

My dearest Liliana:

Normally, I have a word document on my computer just for this monthly post and I update every new and adorable little thing you do.  However, since this month I didn't have my computer with me since we were in San Antonio for Daddy to do an away rotation, the word document did not happen and now I'm scared I won't give you every nitty gritty detail that you so rightfully deserve.  So bear with me just for this post, because I assure you I will get back to my proper documentation very soon.

This month had a lot of firsts for you.  For starters, you became a big Puerto Rican girl and got your ears pierced!  While you did cry pretty loud right when they did it, you forgot all about it 5 seconds later.  I know you're probably thinking, Mommy I was 9 weeks old...WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?  But in Puerto Rico, this is the way they do things!  Mommy got her ears pierced when she was 3 days old and in the hospitals there, they do them in the nursery.  Mommy searched  high and low for a place that would do the piercing nice and early and believe it or not, Claire's won!  The lady was really nice and you had quite a crowd watching you saying just how cute that "little one" was.

Liliana getting her ears pierced on July 23rd.

Liliana and Mommy right after she got her ears pierced! 
Look at those little diamonds (aka cubic zirconium).

Currently, you're in size 1-2 diapers and you are really getting quite chunky.  You've developed quite a few nicknames such as chunkey monkey, roly poly, Lilibear (because Lilibug just wouldn't fit...you're more squishy like a bear), Lili, and of course we still call you Liliana all the time too.  Last time we weighed you, you were around 14 pounds, but that was nearly a week ago, so who knows how much you're weighing now!  You are fitting in to 3 month clothing and have been for the last couple weeks.  In fact, you even wear some 6 month clothing because sometimes baby clothing sizes are really crazy.  For the most part though, that 3 month clothing is fitting you just right.  I don't foresee you fitting in to them for too much longer because the seams get awfully stretched with those thunder thighs (yep, you've got 'em.  Lots of rolls too and they're the cutest thing ever).

The biggest developmental milestones you've made this month is to REALLY becoming attentive and alert.  You smile ALL the time now especially when I tickle your little chest.  You coo a whole bunch too and like having conversations with us.  Another great discovery we've made is how much you adore the water!  We have gotten you in at least a couple times a week and Daddy even dunks you a little bit, but you stay cool as a cucumber.

Liliana's first pool experience. 
We had put her in the kiddy pool in our backyard before this, but this was her first big girl pool and she loved it.  Not even one slight cry.  Just a sweet content baby.

Someone's POOPED after swimming!

As for your sleeping, you are truly the perfect baby!  You sleep through the night and have been since you were 9 weeks.  For instance, last night you slept from 10:30 to 8:00.  We can't ask for much better!  Thank you for making that easy on us.  We read to you every evening when we're putting you to sleep and you like looking and staring at the books.  This last week we've been reading "There's a Light in the Attic" and those poems are too cute for words.  I can't wait until you start asking us for specific books.

The other big changes are how much you love putting things in your mouth.  You gnaw on your hands and your blankets all the time.  Unfortunately, you still hate your pacifier, so the hands will have to do!  You've spent so much time with family this month and everybody just adores you.  Titi has been taking care of you a whole lot while Mommy studies for her teaching certifications, so make sure to give her kisses when you can!  Oh, and last thing you started rolling over again yesterday!  As I said in your first letter, you rolled over when you were 11 days old but then stopped at around 6 weeks.  Well yesterday since your head control and strength has improved so darn much, you rolled over twice!  I was glad to see that, but I'm also a little scared because you move those legs around like you're wanting to crawl already...oh boy...hee hee.

Liliana, we adore you SO much and there just aren't enough words to explain it.  Every smile you give me makes me feel like the luckiest Mommy alive.  You are beautiful, smart, and are our perfect little girl.  Happy 3 month birthday my angel.

Liliana's SWEET smiles!  11 weeks old.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Don't Feel Guilty That . . .

Since Liliana was born over 12 weeks ago, I've admittedly had moments where I feel like I'm the worst mother in the world!  Some blogs out there are pretty darn brutal with their opinions of ways Moms raise their children.  After reading them, I always ask myself, "why don't I have the strong urge to stay home?" or "why don't I feel horrible about not breastfeeding her?"  I've even occasionally thought maybe Evan and I shouldn't have that many more children because I'm obviously missing that "Mommy gene" that everyone else around me possesses. 

However, after talking about this with Evan a million times, I actually finally and for the first time in 8 1/2 years, listened to my husband!  He has shown me and told me multiple times that everyone is a different kind of mother and just because you don't parent like someone else or just because your child doesn't act like others doesn't mean anything!  Every couple and every family will function in their own way, and I think as mothers, we need to start cutting each other some slack!!  Every Mommy has her own Mommy gene, and that's OK.

So after reading blog after blog that enhanced my Mommy guilt, I've decided to write a little bit about things I refuse to feel guilty about anymore.  Whether you're a mother or not, I think everybody should write a "I Don't feel guilty that" list everynow and then.  It's nice to realize that you're doing your best.


I didn't breastfeed Liliana:  I have read on some blogs things such as "well, your daughter isn't going to have a very high IQ because you didn't breastfeed her."  I sat there at my computer in shock thinking, well how do you respond to that?  "Well, GREAT!  That's what I had hoped... for Liliana to be dumb."  For starters, and not to toot our own horn, but Evan and I are a pretty smart couple: a doctor and a law school graduate does not usually a stupid kid make.  I was formula fed, by the way, and it turned out ok!  I think it's a horrbile thing to make mothers feel guilty about this decision.  For us, it's been wonderful.  Evan and I have split the feedings pretty darn evenly and this has been so special to see him bond with her.  In fact, I feel that the time I bonded with Liliana first wasn't when I breastfed her (which I did the first 3 days in the hospital), but when I first saw him give her a bottle.  It was so breathtakingly beautiful.  Plus, since we had two HUGE tests that we were studying for, our sleep was essential and the formula feeding helps with that.  Anyway, long story short: I don't feel guilty and I think it's pretty mean for other bloggers to make Mothers feel guilty about it.  Moms, just do what's best for you two...whether you want to breastfeed or formula feed, it's a personal decision!!

That you leave them in their bouncy chair for a nap instead of the crib:  As I posted about earlier, Liliana goes to sleep AMAZINGLY...unless it's nap time.  For some reason, the girl abhores sleeping in her crib during the day.  So, I don't feel guilty anymore that she just takes that hour long nap in her bouncy chair.  I do try every single day just to see if things have changed, but inevitably, I succumb to her wishes and she sleeps in that bouncy chair.  It makes for a happy baby and a happy Mommy.

For wanting alone time with your husband:  Evan and I still take time EVERY SINGLE day to have "us" time.  Now, I don't just mean that kind of time, although I feel it is so important as well. Here, in particular, I also mean adult conversation time.  We make it a point to not just talk about Liliana all the time (which I must admit, is hard sometimes because she's just so darn cute lately with all her smiles and coos).  Every single day we lay in bed or on the couch just talking about whatever. Sometimes it's about serious things such as what we want from our lives (he's applying for residencies right now and that has been really stressful) and sometimes we just laugh and tickle each other.  Every day we remind each other that in the beginning there were two.  That is SO important.  I don't feel guilty for desiring this alone time with my husband because I feel it makes me a better parent.

For leaving them for 45 minutes a day in order to workout:  Even while in San Antonio, I have MADE the time to workout at least 3 times a week.  I don't feel guilty that in this time period, Liliana is usually in her bouncy chair entertaining herself.  For me, it's important to stay (or try to get) physically fit.  I feel better about myself and am happier as a result.  Why would I feel guilty for wanting to be happier?  I love working out and then when I'm all gross and sweaty, I give her big hugs afterwards because she still loves me anyway.  ; )

For taking them to daycare:  I have read on SO many blogs that Mothers think it's selfish when other Moms take their children to daycare...this makes me very upset.  In fact, I read one blog where a Mother said, "don't you want to see your child walk for the first time?"  What kind of response are working Moms supposed to give?  "WELL, actually, I was hoping to NEVER see her walk!"  HA!  Liliana will be starting daycare in September so I can study for these teacher certification exams, and hopefully after that, I'll have a job!  This has probably been the hardest one for me to say: I don't feel guilty for being EXCITED about taking Liliana to daycare.  For now, I think the benefit will mainly be for me to study, but once Liliana really starts interacting, I can't wait for her to get to know other little kiddos her age and to start crawling and talking with other babies...it will get her socialized and I'll just watch her on the web cam at the daycare during any break I get.  I don't feel guilty for wanting to work while my baby is happily playing. 

I hope this post didn't offend anyone!  I just think it's important for Moms to step back and realize that everyone does their best!! 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our Fool Proof Way to Get Liliana to Sleep

When we first brought Liliana home from the hospital, she feel asleep whenever and wherever we put her.  We thought this parenting thing would be so easy!  But, alas, she had to start growing up and those tear ducts started working.  Around week 8, it started getting pretty hard to put her in bed at night.  We tried it all, but inevitably she started crying and there we were an hour later still trying to get her to sleep.  I'm not going to lie, it was frustrating.  Once she fell asleep, she slept great, but getting her to sleep was pretty tough.

We tried getting her to sleep in our arms and transferring to the crib and this made her pretty furious as she awoke when we leaned over in to the crib.  Next we tried getting her to sleep in her favorite bouncy chair, but the second that we turned off the vibration on the bouncy chair, the crying ensued.  After a couple nights of Evan falling asleep next to her crib so that her crying wouldn't disturb my studying, we both knew things had to start changing.  I had an idea of just putting her in her crib and walking away.  This usually worked for about 30 minutes, but then she realized she was alone and it upset her too much.  What were we to do?

Evan then told me about a article/ blog that he read saying their fool proof method was to look for the FIRST sign of sleepiness in your baby and then putting them to sleep.  We decided to give it a try...it couldn't be any worse than the hour and a half it was currently taking right?  This method WORKS.  Now, I know that this might not work for all parents, but if it could just help one couple, then this blog post is worth it.  Since we tried this method nearly four weeks ago, we have NEVER had to go back in to Liliana's room. 

So here is our routine to put Liliana to sleep.  This method has worked flawlessly for four weeks and I assure you we don't look like newborn parents (you know, the ones with huge bags under their eyes).  We bathe Liliana (she LOVES bath time and even loves getting water on her head which apparently is quite uncommon).  Then we put her in her pajamas and give her a bottle.  Right after that, we watch her like a HAWK.  The second that we notice her eyes getting heavy or the second after she yawns, I nearly sprint to her crib and place her in.  After that she proceeds to watch her mobile and coo for usually 20 minutes, but she has never cried and then soothes herself to sleep.  They say that you shouldn't let a baby 'cry it out' until they're four months, but if this method that we've been using for the last month keeps up, we won't even have to succumb to that.

Now another word of advice on sleeping...we ADORE the mobile we bought.  I must give credit again to the best Daddy in the world because he chose this one for her.  It projects an image on the mobile and then when she's older, you take the mobile off and it projects the images on the ceiling.  You're probably thinking I'm one of those mothers that over analyzes her child's actions and knows what she's feeling...after all, how would I know that she loves this mobile?  Let me give you a little background: whenever Liliana is sitting there cooing herself to sleep, if the mobile turns off (which it automatically does after 20 minutes) she immediately starts to cry.  That isn't so hard because we just turn it back on with the handy remote it comes with.  Now, one time, the batteries ran out on it.  Evan and I ran around like chickens with our heads cut off looking for batteries and trying to keep her entertained until we could change them.  The girl LOVES this thing.  She watches it so intently and smiles the whole time it's on.  I swear, if it breaks I will go to Walmart that night to go buy another one.  Behold the adored mobile:

Fisher-Price Precious Planet 2-in-1 Projection Mobile

I hope this method helps some parents out there!  I am happy to report that Liliana has now slept through the night ( 7 - 8 hours) since she was 9 weeks old.  It gets even better...she is now sleeping about 9 hours straight...psh...this parenting thing is a BREEZE. ; )

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Keeping the Love Alive

Even though it's a complete and utter blast to have Liliana in our lives, Evan and I still feel that it's really important to keep the love alive in a marriage.  I feel that too often couples fall in to a rut and forget to take care of each other.  They focus on wanting to be amazing parents, but I feel that if your marriage is healthy, this makes you better parents.  So fortunately when Evan's Mom offered to have a sleepover with Liliana, we jumped on the opportunity and were excited to have a real date!

On Saturday, I went nearly an entire 24 hours without seeing my precious  baby girl and I must admit, by the time we arrived at her house to pick  Liliana up, I don't think I could have made it one minute more without seeing those chubby cheeks (face and butt, they're all chubby nowadays).  But Saturday night was just about Evan and I.  Sure, we talked some about Liliana, but mainly just spent time talking about us, about our future, and having fun.

I know that we were supposed to go to a dinner and a movie, but we changed plans.  Something I adore about my husband is his willingness to be spontaneous.  While driving back from Grammy's place I saw the ferris wheel from Six Flags Fiesta Texas (an amusement park in San Antonio).  I told him "Hey, that would be fun to go to sometime!"  And before we knew it, our plans had taken a 180 and we were off to Fiesta Texas!  The park has a deal for $20 a person if you arrive after four o'clock and that saved us a great deal of money.

I, upon request of my husband, wore a two piece swimsuit for the day and even though my linea negra was exposed and my stomach is flabby as can be since Liliana is only 11 weeks old, I think it made him happy...it was a slight sense of normalcy again.  We only got to do 3 rides because the lines were pretty brutal, but we had a fabulous time.  We stood in line for over an hour to ride the Rattler, but that one was definitely worth the wait.

While at Fiesta Texas, we were acting like a cute, all over each other 17 year old couple all over again. The lines didn't bother me all that much because it just gave me more opportunities to cuddle up to him in those cramped areas and it just gave us more time to kiss and whisper sweet nothings to each other.  I'm sure we looked and seemed ridiculous to others.  But hey, we've been together for nearly 8 1/2 years, so the fact that we still can't keep our hands off each other is a GOOD thing! 

After Fiesta Texas, we were smelly, exhausted, and starving.  On our way home, I asked Evan if we could call his Mom for a Liliana update and he quickly obliged.  Surprise surprise, Liliana was hungry and great.  Yup, those are two perfect words for describing my girl.  Since it was just us two, we decided to keep things old school and went to our favorite restaurant from when we were in high school: Taco Cabana.  I'm not sure if you guys have ever been to this Tex-Mex delight, but I highly recommend it whenever you visit Texas.  It's cheap as can be and even though it's fast food, the food is fresh and delicious.  After we left Taco Cabana we finally got home around 10:15 and decided to go swimming!  Since everybody else was at the lakehouse, this gave us time to realize just how empty this big house felt without everyone there.  We swam for a while until we remembered just how tired we were.

We crashed, slept 9 hours straight, and woke up feeling refreshed at 9:30.  All in all, it was such a fabulous date.  It made me fall in love with Evan even more!  Usually children make couples fight, but we have yet to fight once about Liliana.  How could you fight over such a cute and adorable face?  : )

Knowing that Evan is a Dad has made me more attracted to him than ever before.  Once Liliana was born it just made us more committed to each other and it has been such a joy to be a little family of 3 the last couple months.  Evan and I have managed to still make time for each other even with our new baby here.  This, however, was our first night without baby and while I did miss my Liliana so much, it was really nice.  It was nice to be just us two, to have no worries, get some amazing rest, and just laugh together. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Random Things on my Mind

 I often think about my blog post ideas while in the shower.  And every few weeks I have lots of ideas that wouldn't make for a full post, so I do these random little ones.  I've always been a girl of A LOT of words.  When I was four, I got in trouble for speaking too much in class and my Dad asked me why I kept getting in trouble.  I emphatically responded: "DAD, I HAVE THINGS TO SAY!!!"  So, without further ado, here are the things I want to say today:

Linea Negra:  So for those of you that don't know, the linea negra is a black line that some women develop during their pregnancy on their abdomen.  Hispanic and African American women are much more likely to develop it.  Since my family is Puerto Rican, I was pretty sure I would develop one and lord did I.  The thing is HUGE.  I know I should actually cherish this line on my belly because after all, it only solidifies the Hispanic in me, which I love, and it came about because my beautiful Liliana was growing in my belly.  However, I HATE this thing!  I don't know why, but it just bothered me.  I didn't like the way it made my pregnancy belly look...it wasn't a nice smooth area but was divided by the line.  Evan thinks I'm ridiculously silly and that he never even notices it.  Anyway, the saving grace?  It goes away after pregnancy and usually around 12 weeks, unless...you're ME!!! I am 11 weeks post partum and the line is as pronounced as it was when I gave birth.  Now I think this line is just playing jokes on me.  As I am losing my baby weight, I just notice the line more than ever.  Sigh...I'll update when it goes away, but I might be commenting about that in another year...blah.

Our Date this Weekend:  Guess who is having her first sleepover?  LILIANA!  On Saturday, Evan's Mom (now referred to as Grammy) is taking Liliana for the night so we can get some sleep.  Before Evan started his away rotation this week, we had been switching every evening so we weren't sleep deprived, but since he's now working, I took all nights this week but one (I didn't even want him to take that one, but he got up before I did...he has really missed his night time with Liliana and I have to admit sleeping through the feeding helped tremendously).  Anyway, Evan and I have decided to take advantage of the time and we're going to eat at an Italian restaurant named Bravo and then go see a movie at the IMAX.  I am freakin giddy with excitement!  I already know what I'm going to wear and get butterflies whenever I think about just being able to have a few hours with him.  Does this make me the worst Mom ever?  I mean, I know I'll miss Liliana SO much that night, but on the other hand, I am just thrilled to spend an evening with my husband.  We both are so looking forward to it.

Taking Liliana to the Lake House:  One of the best parts about visiting in San Antonio is that we get to go to Medina Lake.  My parents have had a lake house there since I was really young and we have so many memories of going there and tubing or skiing.  It really is a blast.  Well, on Saturday we're taking Liliana to the lake for the first time!  Now I know this will not be easy carrying her everywhere and we probably won't be dunking her underwater like we've been doing in the pool since she's so young, but I can't wait to see how much she loves the feeling of the boat moving or to start acclimating her to just being on the boat in general.  Evan and I eventually (in about 30 years when we can afford it) want to have a lake house and a boat, so she better start getting used to it!

Free Shopping:  I went shopping on Tuesday and never had to leave  home!  My amazing sister-in-law let me go through all of my niece's old clothes and just pick out anything I liked.  My niece has a CRAP TON of clothes.  Seriously, it is inspiring. Letting each other borrow our children's clothing is going to not only save us a bunch of money, but it'll help prevent these clothes going to waste.  Liliana has already outgrown at least 20 of her outfits and she only wore some of them twice.  What a waste!  If my brother and his wife ever have another girl then hopefully they can use some of Liliana's old clothes too.
So I went through tubs and tubs of clothes and picked out anythign that struck my fancy.  The only difficult part was that Sofia (my niece) was born in January and Liliana was born in May.  However, Sofia tends to wear her clothes about 3 months younger because she's a small dainty girl and Liliana is wearing clothes a tad bigger because she has now been sweetly nicknamed Chunky Monkey or Roly Poly by my family members (yeah, she's getting some serious chunk on her).  Look at some of my finds!!!

Look at these gorgeous dresses!  
The green one was bought in Puerto Rico so it's even more special. 

These are just a few casual outfits to wear on our little adventures to the park.
Little girl clothing is just the cutest isn't it?

Lubbock winters are actually pretty brutal, so all these outfits are really going to come in handy.
We gave that cardigan all the way to the left to Sofia right after she was born but even though it said 0-3 months Sofia didn't fit in to it until much later because baby clothes sizes are ridiculously dumb.  So, now Liliana will get to wear our gift to Sofia, haha.

 Here's the rest of everything else I'm borrowing.  It's so exciting to go shopping, spend absolutely nothing, and I got to do it all in my pajamas, awesome.

Now, before I end this blog post, I have to show you guys an obligatory "look at how cute my daughter is" picture.  The lady with her is my Aunt.  My Aunt and my cousin (her godmother) are obsessed with her!  I can't say that I blame them. ; )  Have a fabulous weekend!

Liliana 11 weeks old with my sweet Titi.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Don't Leave Home Without It: Butt Paste...and Other Things

When Liliana was born, the first two days were a complete blur.  Then, the exciting first milestone hit: her first pediatrician appointment!  Evan, as a medical student or heck as a resident, did not/ will not get the beautiful luxury of paternity leave and I as you guys know, got 2 days of maternity leave (also known as the two days in the hospital).  As soon as we got home, I was studying full time and Evan was back to his family medicine rotation.  So 30 minutes before leaving for her first appointment, I panicked: I hadn't packed her diaper bag!  Then I started realizing I had NO IDEA what you needed in a diaper bag other than, well, diapers.  Thank goodness my Mom was there and we packed the essential items for a newborns diaper bag.  To help other mothers not panic, I've decided to list the items I have in our diaper bag right now.  Now mind you, Liliana is about 11 weeks old, so I realize that I'm missing items I would need later when she's eating solids or when she's more interactive.  I'll do an update post in a few months to help with that time period.

 Christmas morning opening gifts...excuse my ugly face. 
It's the no make-up Christmas morning look...you know what I'm talking about.

To start with, I should talk about my diaper bag.  I got it as a Christmas gift from one of my Mom's friends and I LOVE it. It's Vera Bradley and the color design is Carnaby.  In fact, it's on sale right now! Evan has a diaper bag as well.  I just asked him if he likes his diaper bag and he said "uh huh" which is about as positive a response as you can get from a guy, so I'm assuming it's actaully pretty fabulous.  Actually, his is really neat because it has a ton of pockets up front and looks like a messenger bag...would never guess it's a diaper bag, except for the fact that it says Diaper Dude on the side...awww.  Evan chose it himself which I thought was adorable.  He spent a lot of time before choosing, so for those ladies out there wanting to get their guy a diaper bag, this one is guy and Daddy approved!

  Both of ours came with the matching changing pad, and most diaper bags do, but obviously if your bag doesn't, it's an absolute necessity to have.  Trust me, when you go in to fast food establishments and pull down their changing stations, you'll think to yourself "there is no way in hell I'm putting my sweet baby on that disgusting thing that hasn't been cleaned in ages" (yeah McDonalds, I'm talking to you!).  Now for the items to put inside:

(1) Diapers and Diaper Wipes: I have at least 5 diapers in there.  This is good for the real messy poops because sometimes that requires 2 diapers while changing.  And if you pack at least 5, you won't have to replace your supply after every outing.  As for the wipes, I have a wipes case as opposed to those packs that come with 10 to save on money.

(2) Burp Cloth: I always keep a burp cloth and usually one of my most absorbent ones in my bag.  I keep one of my thickets in the bag because chances are that if I'm out and about I'm not in my pajamas (translation: I don't want my nice clothes to get stained).  That being said, when they happen to have a really wet burp, no burp cloth is about to cover that huge mess.

(3) Blanket: Liliana gets REALLY pissy when she's cold.  They say that for babies it's check the diaper and that they're fed, but Liliana would rather sleep in her own poop than be cold.  So even in the summer, keep a little receiving blanket in there because when you go to a restaurant or out to the stores, the temperature outside won't matter one bit.

(4) A change of clothes (including socks):  Sometimes, babies clothes get dirty and that doesn't bother me too much. But when you're changing a dirty diaper in a cramped space, the poop gets on their clothes and especially on their socks because they kick around those adorable feet until they land in their not so adorable poop.  I kept the most simple onesie and sock that I had because these are back-ups: a white onesie and some plain socks will do.

(5) Butt Paste: Have you noticed how much this post is about bowel movements?  Well the word diaper bag and poop pretty much go hand-in-hand.  Now so far we've been lucky because Liliana has stayed booty rash free!  However, every now and then you get some redness and we put on a tad of some cream to prevent a fussy booty and therefore baby.  At home I have the Aveeno one, but we had a coupon for the Butt Paste and Evan bought those for our diaper bags...it is AMAZING.  I prefer it GREATLY over the Aveeno and will buy it once the Aveeno runs out (sorry Aveeno).  It goes on really smoothly, and...oh wait...this is kinda gross isn't it?  Ok, the stuff slides on well on their hiney's ok?  It's nice.  Buy it.  Enough said.

(6) Baby Lotion: You won't believe how often I've needed this.  Whenever you're out and realize that they have some cradle cap or dryness on their face, you'll thank me for having read this.  Buy a little travel size.

(7) Hand Sanitizer:  This is ESSENTIAL for when you're changing gross diapers and you're not around a bathroom.  My Mom bought me a little travel size foam pump one...I have used it many many times.

(8)  Diaper Bag Dispenser:  These things are AWESOME when you're on the road.  A diaper with pee isn't too bad to have in your bag for an extended period of time, but when they poop?  Oh man.  Plus, you don't want to go putting smelly diapers in your friends trashcans when you're over for a visit.  These little clips are $4.00 and you can buy extra bags as well.  I don't know how they work so well, but they are amazing.  They keep the smell away for days.  This is probably my biggest surprise from all the gimmicky things that I bought.

Well there you go!  I hope this helps some Mommy fill their bag before their first visit. ; )

Monday, August 2, 2010

Texas Travel...with a Newborn

Sorry for my hiatus.  I've been unavailable for the last few days because we have been SO busy.  While studying for the bar exam, the posts were plentiful because I sat in front of my computer all day every day.  When I would take a break, I would write a quick post if Liliana was napping at the same time and I didn't want to wake her.  Now though, we're up and moving around and writing on my blog hasn't been as easy as planned.  That being said, I've missed it even though it's been less than a week!  It's so nice getting your thoughts out on paper (or shall I say screen).

In the last week, we have spent a majority of the time in the car driving around the state of Texas.  We live in Lubbock, Evan's dad lives outside of Dallas, and my family and Evan's mom live in San Antonio.  As you can imagine, this usually accounts for many many hours in the car. Before, it was just a pain in the butt to drive that much but now, with a kid, it's a whole new world.  To make matters worse, we had to take separate cars.  Oy.  Driving from Lubbock to Dallas last Tuesday wasn't so bad.  Liliana stayed in my car for 4 straight hours and slept or kept herself entertained by looking outside the window, but barely cried.  For the remaining hour, Evan took her and she did pretty well but by then was getting sick of being in a car...who can blame her?  Then fast forward to Friday.  I got Liliana for 3 hours and then Evan took her.  The trip from Dallas to San Antonio is normally 5 hours but was 6.5 hours in SO much traffic.  Poor Evan had to endure quite a lot of screaming and crying from the baby.  We have essentially decided that people come to us now.  We have the baby, you wanna see her, come on over!  This traveling thing sucked pretty bad.  Fortunately we won't be driving around for a while because we'll be in San Antonio for an entire month!  Evan is here doing an away rotation with a private practice Urology group and already started this morning.  He's really excited for it all.  He will do clinic a few days a week  and be in surgery a few days a week as well.  He's been practicing his suturing on sponges around the house for the last two weeks...ahh the life of being married to a medical student.

In Dallas, I think I saw my husband fall 20 times more in love with Liliana.  Now, let me make it clear, even before Dallas, Evan was crazy about this little girl.  I know a lot of people say that about their husbands and kids, but really...Evan is obsessed with her.  My husband is a pretty quiet guy when it comes to speaking about his emotions.  He definitely has his opinions on many things in life, but he just is a typical guy...they don't usually say how they feel.  With Liliana that has changed SO much.  He tells me multiple times a day that she's the best baby ever, the most beautiful baby he has ever seen, that he can't believe just how much he loves her, that he doesn't know how he lived before she came along, etc. etc. And even if he's not saying it, I see the love.  He looks at her and smiles while his eyes are filled with love for her.  I love seeing it.  What a fabulous husband and father.  He has been so utterly perfect with her: changes diapers all the time, feeds her, washes anything, it really is a 50/50 system and we have so much fun being a team through it all.

So...back to Dallas.  Evan, for those of you that don't know, was/ is a swimmer and swam competitively for a few years.  He still goes a few times a week and it's by far his favorite hobby.  Naturally, he wanted to get Liliana in the pool as soon as possible.  And the girl LOVES it.  He has put her completely underwater at least 10 times already and she has never even let out half a cry.  She completely relaxes and practices her head control the whole time.  He gets this look of complete pride and happiness when we're in the pool with her.  It is the sweetest thing you've ever seen.

Now that we're in San Antonio we've been driving around the city like crazy because everyone wants to see Liliana.  Everyone has fallen in love with her.   She got to meet her godmother for the first time and Joanna is obsessed with her.  She doesn't really care if we're there...just Liliana.  My aunt, godmother, some of our great family friends, one of my uncles (the Urologist that Evan's working with this month), and some of Evan's family met her for the first time too.  Everybody thinks she's just beautiful and that she resembles her Daddy a lot.  Lately, we've had a couple people say that she resembles my father a little and I can see that.  She has started getting some more features from her Mama.  Her face shape and skin color are definitely Ramirez. 

So that's what we have been up to here.  Evan's starting work, Liliana is going through a growth spurt so wanting to eat even more than usual, and sleeping AMAZINGLY well.  In fact, last night she went 8 hours straight.  Have I mentioned how much I love this little girl? Ha. 

As for me, I already ordered my books to study for my certification and they're on their way.  I'll write about that soon.  Let's just say I'm surprised at how little I know.  I have forgotten EVERYTHING I learned in middle school and high school and it's now my goal to relearn it all.  Let the studying commence!