Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quick Hits post (including job change details)

Short (hopefully) update since there's kind of a lot going on over here, but I'm also trying to avoid doing much at the computer since I kinda hurt my left wrist and I don't think typing is all that great for it.

First off-- D's doing pretty great at potty training. Far from independent, for very encouraging.  He starts school in less than a week, and I think with some reminders and encouragement from his teacher, and the example of the other kids, he'll be good to go pretty quickly.  YAY (universe, please don't make me eat my words).

Second-- Quinn has a third tooth! I just think that's exciting.  No clue if that's related to the recent return to hating-of-naps or general crankiness, or if there are more coming after it or what.  But, new tooth. That's cool.

Third-- and this is a biggie.  Zach gave notice at his job yesterday.  He'll finish off his 2 weeks there, and then move on to a new (if temporary) position at a start-up with several former colleagues.  There's a lot that can be said about this transition, but for the purposes of this post I'll just say that soon after starting his current job he realized it would not be a good long-term possibility.  He's starting the application process right now for business school, to start next fall, but was also looking for what other job opportunities might be out there.  So then this new job came up, offered by a former boss whom he respects highly and they only need him for 9-10 months which works out kinda perfectly with the business school thing, and so we're taking it.

The kicker-- the job is based in the SF bay area. Moving didn't seem feasable, so what we've worked out is that he'll spend 4 days a week in the bay, then come home for friday-sunday, working at home on friday.

I don't have to point out that this set-up is kind of, um, le suck.  But, it is temporary, and believe it or not overall this feels like the better of our 2 options job-wise (the position he's leaving was about to require a buttload of travel as well, up to 2 weeks at a time in Ohio.  I'd rather have a consistent gone-for-4-days predictable schedule that we can plan around/for rather than random gone-for-long-periods-of-time trips).  We do have our nanny, who'll start working the evenings Zach's gone so I'll have that help during the dinner/bedtime circus routine.  I'm a wee bit terrified apprehensive of how the nights/mornings will go when I'm completely solo, but I'm kinda hoping Q will magically start sleeping through the night at that point.  I'll let y'all know how that works out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

From potty training to racism- who says this blog doesn't have depth?

This week I stumbled across a series of posts written by Mocha Momma, talking about racism today. As a white woman (which is who I identify as-- I am the daughter of a Chilean and spent my first 10 years living in South America, but have always been surrounded by an overwhelmingly white community and look white which is therefore how I am viewed/treated) reading these posts and comments has been fascinating and enlightening. Our society is far from being "color-blind" (to pretend otherwise is naive and even dangerous), in a way racism js ecen harder to tackle today because it takes much more subtle forms-- we no longer have sanctioned laws, but even the most open-minded of us can harbor prejudiced views and assumptions that wr may not even realize we have until we examine (or get called out for) them. This is why it is so important to have these honest conversations (for those of us who benefit from the current system to listen and put aside our instinct to get defensive) in order to continue making forward progress towards equality.

Here are the posts. I hope you will read them:

This Is Not Really About Cake

The Cuban Writes

Responses to Issues of Racism: Part I

Responses to Issues of Racism: Part II

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What we've been working on: potties and sleep

Sometimes I get the feeling that I'll be writing about trying to potty train for damn ever.  Or until my kid can change his own diapers.  Whichever comes first.

Ok, in all seriousness I do expect him to be fully potty trained (when awake) within these next few weeks.  Because, well, he has to.  So it will happen.  Don't burst my bubble.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, all the potty progress we had made apparently got left here when we flew to Texas.  We quickly realized that using the toilet was just not happening while we were there (too many people, distractions, excitement, who knows).  And so, we put D back in diapers again, planning to get back into the swing of things as soon as we got back here again.

Tuesday was our first day back to Operation: No Diapers.  I had a stack of underwear and rags set up both upstairs and downstairs, prepared to spend the day cleaning up messes.  To my utter shock and surprise, we actually had ZERO accidents, all day long.  I had D sit on the potty every 30 minutes-1 hour, and we managed to catch every pee.  WOOT!

Wednesday and Thursday? Not so good.  Zero catches. (correction, Zach just told me D peed in the potty once this evening, got out of the bath specifically to go pee.  So that's AWESOME) Every pee went on the floor.  I don't know if Tuesday was a complete fluke or what.  He starts school in a little under two weeks, and all joking aside I do feel fairly confident that by then he'll have a decent hang on this, and then seeing all his classmates going to the bathroom will clinch it.  Why not be hopeful, right?

In other news.  Quinn's actually getting to be really ridiculously adorable.  He's much happier now that he's mobile.  He still has definitely grumpy periods, but spends more of his day crawling and playing and being super cute.  Today he kept crawling under our dining table and smiling back at me.  He and D were also getting into our tupperware cabinet together, also pretty adorable.  His sleep is kind of atrocious, though.  At least the past few nights he's only been waking up twice at night which is way way way better than what he's been doing the past two or so months (getting a couple 3-4 hour stretches of sleep really does feel significantly better than 1-2 hours at a time).  I kind of feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place as far as his sleep, because it also changes so quickly that I don't really know what to work on to try to help encourage better sleeping.  Some weeks he'll go to sleep pretty easily for naps & at night.  Then the next week sleep will be like pulling teeth.  Occasionally he'll take a decent hour-long nap, other times he'll sleep all of 10 minutes (usually closer to 30).  I usually nurse him to sleep, and the times when he fights it are so frustrating and then that frustration starts rubbing off on breastfeeding in general, which I really don't like happening.  So I'm trying to encourage him to fall asleep without needing to be on the boob. That was seeming pretty doable last week, then this week he's latched on (ha) all over again.   What I've started doing sometimes is do an in-arms cry-it-out of sorts, rocking and holding him as he cries to sleep.  Kinda sucks, but I'm hoping he'll figure it out soonish and not need to suckle to sleep (BTW no, he won't take a pacifier.  He has one, uses it as a chew toy instead).

It's a good thing these two are so dang cute and sweet.

Here's to the sleep and potty gods throwing me a bone sometime soon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Don't even get me started on those cheeks

I think my favorite age to photograph has got to be infancy.  It's ironic, since so far that's been my least favorite age for parenting.  But, as a photographer parent babies are just THE BEST. While pregnant with Quinn, I very much looked forward to ample opportunities to photograph my own squishy baby again.  Of course, I still love taking pictures of Donovan, but that got harder and harder as he became faster and more camera shy.  Babies can't scream "No!" and run from the camera (ok, they can still scream, but even those pictures can be cute and a priceless capture from time to time).

Similarly, I have been dying to photograph my sister's baby ever since I found out she was having one.  I have to say, the pictures of my nephew are some of my favorites out of our entire time in Texas and Lake Tahoe.  As a photographer, it's been really fun and interesting capturing a baby who looks so different from my own (eg, editing blue/green eyes vs brown, and let's not forget THAT HAIR! I kept trying to use black & white but there is no way I could grey out those gorgeous flaming-red locks).  As a doting aunt, my heart melts into a puddle every time I look at them.  Seriously, every.single.time.  

And so, of course, I will now proceed to post many pictures of my ridiculously adorable nephew. 
And my personal favorite...

PS- Yes, there will be more to follow.  This set doesn't even include the ones from Tahoe. ; )

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tahoe- phone pics

We are back from our week in the mountains and beach.  It was a wonderful time, with gorgeous weather and views, and fun family time.  I'm sorting through all the pictures, but here are just a few I uploaded from my phone over the course of the week.

Synchronized baby tossing. Quinn's first experience with sand. Verdict: AWESOME! And good for eating. The babies also loved the (frigid) water. These two just slay me (R reading to D). #cousins #yayfamily Neighbor's in-ground trampoline FTW! Can't wait till both boys are big enough to go exploring in the woods together. =)

Friday, August 12, 2011

A brief pit stop (and pictures)

So, we're back.  We flew back home yesterday, with my mom and Philip on the flight with us.  They sat in a different part of the plane and had Quinn with them almost the entire time.  I don't know if it's his age or the comparison against Quinn, but by now Donovan is such an easy traveler.  This was probably the most relaxing plane trip I have taken since he was born, because he was just so chill (and someone else was taking care of the baby).  It gives me hope that in another couple years, once Quinn is also 3ish, family travel might be a lot easier.  Here's hoping we luck out with two easy travelers...

It is so nice to be home.  Being back in our house and in our neighborhood (and yes, out of the 100+ degree temperatures) feels so, so wonderful.  I didn't realize just how much I missed it all.

Mom and Philip have been watching the kids most of the time since getting back yesterday, allowing me to unpack and sort pictures before we all head up to the mountains on Sunday for a week.  Part of me is craving just being back to completely normal, for life to settle down and not have another trip ahead of us.  But, I'm also really looking forward to our annual excursion to Tahoe.  It's always so beautiful up there, and I'm really excited about some of the other family who'll be arriving in the next two days to join us.

Here are just a few photos of Quinn and his cousin, who had a grand time together in Texas.  We are most definitely looking forward to seeing them again in a few days and spending next week together again.
The animated debates begin early....

Isn't he just gorgeous???

Quinn gives us this look often.  I don't know what it means, but does not look good.

And this was from one of the first days after we arrived, when he screamed bloody murder anytime I was not holding him.  Thank God he got over that after the first week or so... (though we've also seen that face a lot in the past 24 hours, I think the poor kid's teething and while the first 2 teeth that showed up came pretty easy, whichever ones are coming in next are making him completely miserable)

Click here to see more photos.


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