Picky Eaters

My sons started life out eating just about anything. Dorian hated avocado as a baby and was allergic to apples, but apart from that, he would grab ANYTHING and start munching. He had teeth by four months, all of his teeth by 10, so he was able to eat pretty much anything from fairly early on. And he did. Dante was similar, but without the allergies or aversion to avocado. Unfortunately, he had to stick to soft foods a little longer since he wasn?t a toothy munchkin like his big brother!

Around 3, they hit the picky stage. Dorian started with textures. Suddenly he couldn?t stand anything in puree or slippery. Bananas, applesauce (he outgrew his allergy), yogurt . . . they were all out. Then lumpy things like oatmeal were banned. Then he just got really picky and wanted everything separate. Pasta? No problem . . . but the tomatoes and pasta had to be separated, no sauce for him! Ham sandwich? It was bread and ham, separate, hold the condiments. Actually, a separatist son wasn?t a big deal for me because I was the same way as a child and still prefer many things separate. And he would eat most foods, just as long as they weren?t combined.

Dante went straight into colors and that was that. He is a bit of a separatist, but his main thing is colors. He wouldn?t eat white or green foods for a while. Then he was off red and green. Green has remained a constant in his life . . . green is evil. He wouldn?t even eat a green candy for months because of the color! He?s also pickier than Dorian in that he doesn?t like most foods and usually won?t even do the one bite test. The boy could live on tortillas and beans (Bijoles, he calls them) and sometimes he does.

I?m not a mom who stresses about her kids? eating habits too much. I?d like them to eat a wide variety, but having been a super picky eater myself (Irving would say I still am super picky, heh), I?m just not going to force the issue. They eat a lot, even if it?s specific types of food and they eat a fairly well rounded diet, albeit unvaried, so it?s just not an issue most of the time.

However . . . the other day I came out of the bedroom and found Dante eating a ham sandwich with mayo. A CONDIMENT! I was thrilled. The next day, I found him eating a ham sandwich with avocado. Wow, two new food combos. And GREEN. And today . .. well, today, he ate mustard on his ham sandwich. The trick? Papa was eating it. He wants to be like Papa and so recently, he?s been eating like him. I can?t say I?m unhappy with that!

Then Dorian came in while I was having a salad as a snack and asked what I was eating. I showed him and he asked if he could taste it. Dorian actually likes salad, but just plain, with the veggies separated. So I was a bit surprised that he wanted one with five or six different ingredients, but offered him a bite, warning, ?Now it has lime and salt and some herbs on it.? He ate the bite thoughtfully.

?Can I have another one?? He ate three bites! Of dressed salad. Then he said, ?That?s pretty good, but I?m not actually hungry. Good luck!? and ran off to play.

Can I start dreaming of them eating things like casseroles someday in the near future? Possibly right around the time Dominic hits HIS picky stage?

The Crib

This is like a baby blog now or something. I?m very sorry about that for all of those who have 0 interest in babies and birthing and just want to read about expat life. I can?t promise it will return to normal within the next 3-4 months, but I CAN promise you that nothing interesting is going on in my particular life apart from pregnancy and work and I?m pretty sure you don?t want to hear about work. I know I don?t!

So . . . we had a DIY project here and while Irving took on 99% of the work part, I was a good little blogger and took photos in between pointing out wrinkles and writing articles.

I wanted a crib. A REAL crib for this baby. Not a Pack n Play like we had for the boys. We didn?t find a lot of good options, though we were constantly looking for the past month or so. Finally, my sister-in-law told us that her fiance?s mom had a crib to sell. It was old and needed some paint, but it was cheap. I was figuring on spending a chunk of cash and we were actually sent some money by a lovely blog reader who wanted to help us buy the crib and/or a rocking chair (that?s my next search!), so cost wasn?t a huge issue. But style was. Furniture here in Guatemala is quite different from what you find in North America and I had a good idea of what I wanted in a crib and I just wasn?t seeing it anywhere!

Until we saw this:

Ok. It?s not pretty. The mattress (foam over a board) was gross and wrecked and someone had really taken a liking to drawing on the thing, but it was exactly the style I wanted! It was also very sturdy. Like, built for twenty more babies sturdy. And so we bought it.

The first thing to deal with was the mattress.

Irving tore off all that yucky cover and the foam underneath to reveal the base board. Then he put fresh new foam on it, firmer than the previous stuff since I felt it was too soft before

We bought two yards of waterproof fabric and ended up needing only one yard, so I guess we will have a gazillion change pads. Irving used the same tacks to stretch the fabric over the foam.

The end result was a nice, waterproof bed for Dominic.

The next step was to sand and clean the crib. Then Irving painted. It took two coats of oil paint and a lot of patience!

But at long last, the crib was done! We popped the mattress in there and presto! (the upper railing is being redone, since it was missing chunks)

And, with a cute crib bumper that will likely be taken out as soon as the munchkin starts wiggling around, and cute crib sheets found at the MegaPaca . . . we have a crib that is fit for a brand new baby.

The Turnaround

I had my midwife come last week to see if there was anything we could do about my stubborn third child and she told me straight off, ?I don?t turn babies this late because they could get the cord wrapped around their neck.? That made sense to me, since I?d rather have a C-section than put my baby at risk. Nonetheless, she checked his heartbeat, gave me an odd look upon finding it by my bellybutton and started palpating my stomach.

?This little guy is already turned,? she informed me. I was surprised to say the least, since I hadn?t felt him do much apart from squirm around and figured I surely would have felt him turn all the way around! I didn?t share here because I was nervous about her being wrong and wanted to wait and see what the doctor had to say.

Yesterday, we went to the doctor, with both kids trailing along. Dorian hates accompanying me to the doctor, but there was no one to watch him, so he had to go. Dante, of course, loves it and always has questions for the doctor and wants to know what is going on with the baby. Dorian discovered a poster of the uterus and that kept him occupied for most of the visit until the doctor checked the baby?s heartbeat and he suddenly popped around the partition and said, ?Is that his heart? Why does it sound like he?s underwater??

The doctor did a quick ultrasound and . . . yes, Dominic is head down at last! Even the doctor was relieved. While this means we now have no idea when he?s coming, the fact that we don?t have to deal with surgery is a big relief. So the rest of the visit was spent learning how things work in the private hospital (thanks to a couple of generous blog readers and some extra work, we are definitely having this guy in the private hospital). It was great to learn that the doctor is against flat-on-your-back laboring and encourages moving around and natural pain management. Talking to him about the process made me feel much more confident and he seemed to understand all my concerns regarding previous experiences.

And now we wait. And work on that to do list!

Homeschooling: So Much Easier with Two

I have been teaching the boys at home for two years, but this year, the BIG year with Dorian in Grade One, was worrisome. I stressed about the baby, the fact that maybe I can?t teach ?real? school and assorted other things. I told Irving about my anxieties and suggested that maybe, just maybe, we should consider sending Dorian to school this year. And he turned around and said, ?No way!?

Now to understand why that?s a big deal, you have to realize that when Dorian was born and I said I was homeschooling, Irving was 100% against it. He?s a teacher. He liked schools. Over the years, I kept working on him, determined that the kids would be educated at home. He started to come around when Dorian was about 3, but he still wasn?t convinced. ?Go ahead and teach him for preschool and we?ll see,? he said. So I did. Then I continued for kindergarten, but I fully expected him to be into the sending Dorian to school for first grade when I got the homeschool jitters.

Not only did Irving NOT want to send the boys to school, he decided to jump on in and give me a hand. A big part of my anxiety was the fact that I have less time than ever with my new position as a freelance manager and with the baby coming, I knew schooling was going to be tough and possibly not top priority. So Irving suggested that he take over some of the subjects and make it easier on me. From being totally against homeschooling to teaching two classes in 6 years? Not so bad!

It is WAY easier to teach when you have that extra support and help. Irving is teaching math and music and on the mornings when I can?t move without vomiting, he often directs other lessons, too. That makes me feel much better, knowing that even if I?m spending the morning hanging over the toilet while answering emails, the boys are still learning!

I really appreciate the extra support that Irving has been giving and the boys LOVE having Papa teach them. To the point where if I say it?s time for school, Dorian isn?t that happy, but if Papa says it?s time, the world is full of rainbows and gumdrops.

Just yesterday, Dorian read a funny story in his reading book and since we were laughing about it, Dante wanted to know what was going on. ?Hang on, I?ll read it to you,? Dorian told him and proceeded to go back and read the story on his own and make his brother laugh. It?s the first time he?s really acknowledged that he can read and the very first time he?s willingly read to someone besides myself!

Then other day, we were discussing how schooling is going and Irving told me, ?They?ve learned in a week what would take a month in school!? I pointed out that the whole one on one business really helps because they can move at their own pace, but I think he is thoroughly convinced now that this is the way to go and so am I, now that my confidence is back!

Finally, Some Sewing!

Last night, I ignored work emails (after hours, of course) and focused on what I?m supposed to be doing, according to my doctor, resting. Except I?m not very good at just being still. So, Irving and I watched Contagion (do NOT watch that movie if you don?t want to be avoiding touching doorknobs and wearing a mask for the rest of your life) and I worked on some sewing.

I have one hat for Dominic. One. In a country where hats are mandatory if you don?t want your baby to die. So it was obviously time to make a few. I had a couple of tutorials that I?d been dying to try, so I got to work and made a couple of hats last night while watching the movie.

This is the first one I made, from this tutorial.

The pattern was dead simple, but my machine didn?t have enough space for the hem, so I was sewing all scrunched up and the hem turned out wonky. Oh well. I?m going to make a half dozen more of these, since they are easy to whip up from old T-shirts and I figure I?ll adjust the hem slightly so it will fit better in my machine. it can always be turned up for the baby.

The second hat is my absolute favorite. I?m addicted to this hat. I found the tutorial a while back and bought a men?s shirt in the pacas ages ago and even had it all cut out, but didn?t get around to sewing it until last night and it was love at first sight.

This cute little cap is made from ONE sleeve of the shirt. Which means I have tons of fabric left to make other stuff. I?m thinking a matching little jacket and some booties would be perfect. It?s just so . . . BOY. And I was surprised at how easy the hat was to make, albeit a little time consuming. It has lining and a buttonhole, which I wasn?t looking forward to, but it came out fine and even the tricky bits weren?t tricky after all.

I have a couple more shirts that I am going to turn into hats now . . .