Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Body Parts

Logically, because he is part Brazilian, Kaio likes butts.  However I did not realize how ingrained in his DNA this magnetism towards tooshes would be.  If he sees my butt, or the baby's butt, or even a doll's fabric butt from under her skirt, then he tries to touch it.  He gets that little happy giggle going and tries to stroke the butt.  He even completely embarrassed us at his daycare Christmas party when a 9 month old girl was standing up playing on a toy keyboard and he lifted up her skirt and slapped her on the ass.  Oh her daddy got a kick out of that :)
Nalini, since she is nursing, likes boobies.  She has just really got the hang of signing as an easy way to communicate and so she is always asking for milk.  Now when she she sees the boobs, she signs to ask for permission, and then she lunges at the boobs.  I remember that with Kaio I used to have to take a shower with my bikini on, because otherwise i would be taking a shower with a munchkin latched to my chest. i don't think it will come to that with the new baby because Nala is less demanding and more easily distracted away from the boob.  But with Kaio, no toy or treat could get him to change tragectery if he saw a nipple.  
Funny that now he has no recollection of how to nurse, at all. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

one of those tough days

What a tough day.  And it continues to be tough as I can hear Kaio not going to bed  it is almost 10pm and I can hear him playing in his room.  ugh, but i don't want to give him any more attention.  We started the bedtime routine at 8:30, so really this is enough.  I already had a morning of confusion when Kaio refused to go to daycare.
I just wish I had some kind of parenting muse.  One who would whisper sweet nothings, inspiring me to be witty, effective, confident, and GOOD at knowing what to do.  One that would inspire me to be one of those creative mothers who looks at the recycling bin and thinks of half a dozen projects that the kids would LOVE to do.
But it is not working out like that.  The kids didn't eat the healthy lunch that I fixed them.  The laundry is not folded, the kitchen is dirty.  Their lunch isn't ready for tomorrow.  I haven't eaten dinner yet.  And Kaio still isn't in bed.
The kitchen is really my barometer for the day.  When the kitchen is a mess, it means my life is a mess.  Maybe I should just go to bed and make this day end.  But, I have to wait for Nala's diapers to wash so that I can put them in the dryer so they will be ready for tomorrow.

oh no, now the baby is awake.  *sigh*

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Night Coughing

Nana started day care this week and she has been loving it.  She also came down with a nasty cough.  I knew that the illnesses would be coming along with the daycare.  But so soon?

Anyways, it happenned in the middle of the night two nights ago, she started hacking and wheezing, very scary.  That was the sickest that I have ever seen her.  I nursed her to sleep and watched her breathing for a while.  I think that you are supposed to take kids to the doctor when they are having difficulty breathing, but she fell asleep nursing and I just couldn't imagine a trip to the hospital being better for her than letting her sleep and letting her body heal itself.  She woke up a couple times more with the scary cough and wheezing.  In the morning she was smiling and with a productive cough, but no more wheezing.  I took her to one of her daycares (we have three different daycares right now: CrunchyCoOp on Mondays, Kid's Learn and Play on Tues to Thurs, and Terri's house on Fridays.)  It is a little crazy schedule, but I think it reflects the short attention span that kids have and lets them be influenced from lots of different perspectives instead of just the same thing everyday.  So I took her to Terri's house and told her to call me if she was concerned with the coughing.  She never called, but when I picked her up she still had the cough.  I haven't given her anything but a shower, with the chlorine filter.  I changed the bed sheets and put a blanket down to provide more of a barrier between the mattress and her face.  I am a little worried that the cough might not be a virus, but rather a reaction to our TemperPedic mattress's off-gassing.  We have had the mattress for three years now, but I think that they off-gas forever.  She was sleeping with her face strait down in the mattress before she woke up with the nasty cough.  So she seems better now.  Her immune system must be really strong.  I remember that Kaio never got sick while he was breastfeeding too.
Next step will be getting her in her own bed or crib and then hopefully the night coughing will stop completely.
On a side note, Kaio used to get coughs all the time for months at a time.  Every time he got sick he would have a lingering cough.  Well, we replaced our carpet with Cork flooring in November and he has not coughed since then.  He has gotten a cold but no lingering cough.  it is still early to tell, but I hope that gross carpet was the trigger.  We love the floors, and no trees harmed or chemicals!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to accept your child's shortcomings

Sometimes I have these bad thoughts that I wish would go away.  Like when I compare my kids to other kids.  It doesn't happen often, because I see that kids are usually good at somethings and slow at others and it ends up balancing out.  I'm all about balance.  But, then sometimes I get pangs of concern.  Like last night when I picked Kaio up from daycare and his friend was there who was only born a week before him.  Sidhan started showing me his V-Tech camera that he brought for show and tell and using it to take pictures.  He was using full sentences and looking at me, patiently reacting to what I was saying, and studying the buttons on his camera with interest and understanding.  He seemed a year more mature than Kaio, who rarely ever stops playing with his trains and just moving them back and forth on the floor in between jumping off of things and spazzing out.  His vocabulary consists of things that go, "Motorcycle-Airplane" and catch phrases from movies.  Like, we've been working on saying "the princess is in the highest room in the tallest tower."  It usually comes out as "Princess is in the tallest room tallest tower."  It is super cute.
So i've been worried that he is slllloooowwww and I just want to knock those thoughts out of my head.  I should love him unconditionally and not be concerned with his intelligence.  But, then don't parents always want the best for their kids and want their kids to excel.  Maybe I'm so worried about it because my parents pushed me to be the best.  I have a competitive spirit and it's hard for me to understand that it is ok not to be perfect.  I do understand that everyone is different and everyone is really good at something and less good at others.  So I wish I could just get those ugly thoughts out of my head, the 'Kaio is not smart' thoughts, becuase it is really premature to conclude that and why does it even matter anyway.  
The wonderful woman who owns Kaio's daycare has one daughter who is mentally disabled.  She is 16 or so and really sweet, but her face is slightly malformed and she is very tired and socially absent. I am not sure exactly what diagnosis she has but I will ask.  When I first got to know the family I felt sympathy for the woman because I imagined that it must be difficult to work with children and love children and see so many happy and healthy children all day long, while your only child has so many difficulties learning and socializing.  I wondered why she did not have more children (as if kids are like apples and the more you have the more likely you will get a crispy one).  Well Mariano was practically disgusted with my preoccupation with her daughter and pointed out that I can't assume that there is anything wrong with their situation.  I guess I was bothered because she is such a wonderful woman and I hated to think that bad things happen to good people.  But, really, who am I to say that having a disabled child is a source of pain or shame.  I know that it is difficult because the children need much more support throughout their life.  But, the kids are still filled with life, love, and light, unique and worth every minute.  So I went and rented What's Eating Gilbert Grape, a wonderful movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and a 400lb woman.  
This whole topic is taboo and just me saying these things out loud will probably result in some bad karma.  I will probably regret it and go back and delete this post later - especially once Kaio gets old enough to read.  Or if I forget then maybe this will come back to bite me.  OR maybe he'll be a Rhodes Scholar and we will be laughing about this post in the future "look my mom thought I was retarded when I was a kid. lol" My mom sometimes jokes that she used to think my brother was "retarded", so maybe Kaio takes after Uncle M.

Monday, January 18, 2010


If you value your marriage, do not attempt to teach your wife how to ski.  My brother took his wife out on the slopes to share his love of skiing with her. They are still together, but it was tragic.  At one point she took her skies off and sat down on the slope crying.  Once she finally got down to base, she never went back up again.   He was upset and disappointed with her for not being  able to handle it.  He calls it 'Tiny Heart Syndrome.'   We all should have known that it would not work out though.  She cried when we took her on a roller coaster, and she was too scared to roller skate. 
I made a similar mistake today when I tried to force Kaio to come on the slopes with me and Mari.  The daycare here is over $100/day per kid.  My mom said that she could watch Nalini, but both the kids would be too much.  So I wanted to take him on the slope, and have some quality family time.  But he fought it every step of the way.  First he didn't want to put on the snow pants, then he didn't want to measure his foot for the snow boot, and then he didn't want to put on the snow boot.  Every step I was able to convince him.  But the final showdown came when we were getting dropped off at the base camp and he started screaming because he didn't want to come with me and Mari.  He screamed like we were hurting him and it really made me want to smack him.  "give him something to cry about" as my dad used to say.  It is just so frustrating and insulting when you put so much energy into trying to make someone happy and then they scream in your face like you are hurting them.  After an hour of getting ready and renting skies and buying glasses, all to see his little happy face skiing down the hill, I gave up and threw him back in the rental car with my mom.  She said that she would take him.  I wish that she had said that sooner, so I had not gone through that whole ordeal. 
He really just isn't ready to take on the mountain and the skies.  And I wish that I hadn't tried to push him, but rather let it happen naturally.  I am not going to go through that again.

So then Mari and I spent a beautiful day together at 12,000 feet, and enjoyed good Colorado beer from the top of Peak 9.  The next day I convinced him to come to a yoga class with me.  It was much more difficult then he thought it would be :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Always Making us Laugh

setting the scene for an update, with a lit candle and a wine glass of home brewed kumbucha tea.  i've also got a bowl of mac and 'cheese' - made with pureed carrot and squash.  and a side of raw milk yogurt.  sometimes i wonder if our ancestor's cultures all had their share of dietary rebels, or if the multiple branches and choices of dietary sub cultures is a product of our modern society.
Nala is such a sweet little thing.  Everything she does is just darling.  i could just look at her at any given moment and be amused.  for the last month or so, she has been all about sitting on things.  remember my obsession with finding her a rocking chair.  Well, she loves them, but she continues to just sit on anything that is a couple inches off the ground.  And it is so cute the way that she goes and plays with something, and then you see her look at it and decide that it is sit-able.  She'll turn around and look over her shoulder so that she can position her butt just right, then she'll look forward and for-better-or-for-worse plop herself down.  sometimes she misses and she has to try again.  when she gets it, she's satisfied and she'll stay there for a bit and then go find something else to do.
Kaio is a little sweet heart and a trouble maker.  i would do anything to make him smile and i even think that his mischievous smile is so cute that it is hard to get angry when i should discipline him.  Tonight when i picked him up from daycare there were some other kids throwing fits because they didn't want to leave.  good to know that other kids throw fits too.  He even said that he wanted to go potty on the toilet today.  Then at home, after bath, he did it again.  Mariano and him got into a fight because he wanted a present (I wrapped a bunch of little 2nd hand toys) for going pee-pee, but the presents are reserved for #2.  He started crying and screaming about the present.  Mari held his ground and I started to get worried that it was going to be so traumatic that he would not want to use the toilet anymore.  I almost went inside to tell mariano to just let him have the present.  Especially because Kaio was crying for me.  But, I restrained myself.  It's important to stand unified as parents or else you confuse the kid.  I'm not so good at it sometimes because sometimes i disagree with how harsh mari can be.  Maybe I'm just a push over, but it's probably partly from occasionally reading AP and progressive parenting stuff.  So I stayed out of the bathroom, and I'm really glad that I did because Kaio took a #2!  Mari has a way with coaxing and coaching him into it.  It must be a guy thing.  Then he was so proud and we had a round of hi-5s, even the baby participated.  Then she was so happy about the hi-5s that she started hi-5ing herself, which looked like clapping.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Acupuncture Becoming a Reality!

Last New Years I wrote myself a letter summarizing my feelings on the past year, where I was at and my expectations for the future. Mostly I talked about the kids. Nalini had just been born and Kaio had just started to talk , saying "as" for "bus," "ug" for "hug," and "no" for everything. I also touched on politics, Obama had just been elected and Israel was bombing Palestine. HOPE was in season.

My only goal for the year was "Hopefully by the end of the year I will be on track to be proud of my career."
Well I am. I have changed to a new and better job where I work with fun people and I get to use my brain to solve problems and I feel appreciated. I also work by a window, overlooking a playground, which is so much better than the cave where I used to work. However, even in this new job, I'm not proud of my career. I am proud of my ability to provide for my kids, but not proud of the career path. I even had a nightmare a week ago about being 40 years old, and still working in IT, my life passed by as I spent 8 hours a day in front of a desk. That is not where i want to be or where I ever intended to go. I want to be hands on, tangibly helping people improve and enjoy their lives, and integrating art and creativity into my work. So my dream is to study acupuncture.

I applied and got accepted to Tai Sophia, an acupuncture school in Maryland last September. But ended up not going because of lots of reasons: it was way to far away from my house, and with classes all day long, I would have been away from the baby for 12 hours; it was also too expensive and I would have had to take out a mega-loan to pay for it; the curriculum was also not very science driven, more new age-y according to the alumnas I spoke with. So my plan then was to take my new job, and move to a city with a school that is a better fit for me in two years.

I went out drinking with some coworkers last week and stayed late with our director. She started telling me about how promising my career was on track to become and how I was positioned to really make a difference in the company. As much as I was enjoying the night, I still had this voice in the back of my head saying, "Seriously, this is my life?  You know that you don't care about this at all."

Then I found out, from my chiropractor, that an acupuncture school in California opened a branch campus in Northern Virginia!

On New Years Eve, Kaio didn't want to go to daycare, but I begged him to go so that I could have a little 'me time.'  After he left I was feeling really selfish and rotten for asking for the me time.  But everything cleared up when I called the acupuncture school and they were open for me to visit.

It is in a dinky office building and the staff and students I saw all looked Korean and were speaking in Korean.  They have classes in both English and Korean.  Self proclaimed, "the Harvard of Acupuncture schools,"  I'll have to look into that claim.  It sure did not seem too selective because the admissions director told me that I would be accepted.

It went really well!  He said that they will be offering night classes in the Spring and that I can take all my classes at the Virginia campus, including the clinical hours.  That means I can start as soon as April.  The cost is much cheaper than Tai Sophia, and it is close to my house.  The fact that it is more internationally prestigious is even better.   They said that it is the largest Acupuncture school in the country; South Baylo University.
There is something magical that happens when I start talking about acupuncture.  People really engage.  I was even offered a job as an administrator for the Virginia campus (I think they are looking for someone who is a native English speaker :)).  The campus has only been open for one semester and they have a wait list already.  So they are planning on growing in 2010.  This could potentially be really good for me if I could work there and get free tuition.  I doubt I would make as much as I make in IT, but we'll see if it would pay the bills.  Maybe once Kaio is in school and we have less daycare bills or if we can refinance our little home.

What a good note to end the year on!  My one goal accomplished!  This seems absolutely perfect.  I can keep my day job, and start working towards my Masters of Acupuncture.  It is near my house, they have night classes, and since it is a California school, the curriculum meets the California Board exam requirements, which include herbology.  So as the year turns, I hope that this opportunity flourishes into a new chapter in my life of realizing my good dreams.


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