Everybodylovesbaby

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Archive for October, 2009

Halloween Rocks!

Ton Ton loves to rock, but he really misses Luki when he’s playing out. Fortunately, we have found the solution:

Luki is adapting to his new role quite well, and has already made some friends:

Here he is chillin’ with his amp:

And finally…here he is doing a kick ass solo:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
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A lesson in Halloween

I think Luki sneaked out of our hotel room in Atlanta to participate in some sort of Baby Labor Union conference because he has been on strike since we brought him home. My well-trained-to-fall-asleep-by-himself-and-stay-asleep-for-seven-plus-hours-at-a-time baby now screams bloody murder when placed in his crib and has shaved an hour off his sleep-length for every day we’ve been back. The first night he slept six hours, then five, four, and last night…three. Although I’m overzealous about the fact that he can count backwards at such a young age, I shudder at the thought of what awaits us tonight.

Coincidentally, this is also the first week Mamacita has been with us.

Number of gold stars I’ve received on her mental “I know she doesn’t take care of my son, let’s see how she does with my grandchild” chart: 0.

Needless to say, it hasn’t been a good week. And so, when we went to three different stores yesterday in search of Luki’s Halloween costume and they were all SOLD OUT, I couldn’t help but ask myself…Is there such a thing as negative gold stars?

I guess you’re wondering why I waited until the last 72 hours to look for a costume…

The truth? Because that’s just how I roll; I was actually pretty proud of myself for not waiting until the night before, or Saturday morning.

The elaborate excuse I’ve prepared? Because this, in fact, is my first time celebrating Halloween and I didn’t know what costume protocol was. You see, even though I had an AMAZING childhood, it had very little commonalities with those of my American peers. I was born in Castro’s Cuba, where the major holidays are el 26 de julio and January 1st — not New Year’s Day, silly, the Triumph of the Revolution! My family immigrated to the U.S. when I was nine and we had so much to learn about Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas trees, pilgrims, turkey, stuffing, fireworks, etc. that, by the time we got to Halloween, my brother and I were too old to dress up and trick or treat.

So there, I grew up in a repressive regime. Cut me some slack.

Plus, this story has a happy ending. In a last ditch effort, we walked into a fourth store fifteen minutes before closing and found the MOST PERFECTEST costume you can imagine! So magnificent is this get up that the thought of Luki’s face 18 years from now when I embarrass him by showing his college roommate the pictures, made my bad week disappear.

WHOOOOPS! Did I forget to mention what this spectacular costume is? I guess you’ll have to wait ’til Halloween to find out. Good thing it’s less than 48 hours away…aren’t you glad I’m such a procrastinator?

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And on this day WE were born…

Last year, God, in his infinite wisdom and with his remarkable sense of humor, decided that I should find out I was pregnant on my birthday. On the one day a year that’s supposed to be all about me, I learned that my life, as I knew it, was over.

One year ago, after drinking half a bottle of wine at my birthday dinner, I summoned enough courage to pee on the stick and cried myself to sleep. Luki was not planned, and I was not ready to say goodbye to my freedom, my independence, and my wild ways.

After we told my parents I was expecting, Big E said to me that I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present. Last year, when I had to drink virgin margaritas at my party, it did not feel that way.

And yet, this morning, as Ton Ton sang Happy Birthday to me with Luki in his arms, I couldn’t believe I’d spent so many October 24s without him. A year later, I am ready to accept him as the greatest present of my life.

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Embarrassing times in the ATL

I realize that my very limited experience as Luki’s slave a mom does not qualify me to dispense any parenting advise, however, as a general rule of thumb, and based on the events of this week, I can wholeheartedly assert the following: It is NOT a good idea to wean a three and half month old off his pacifier only to take him on a four night business trip to Atlanta a week later. Completely unarmed against his extensive repertoire of cries, screams, and wails, I came this close to sticking a barbecue rib in his mouth during dinner last night. I refrained…but only because the waitress had already given us so many dirty looks, she would have most definitely called Child Protective Services if she saw our toothless son nibbling on the nightly special.

Even though Luki orders the supersized combo at McBoob’s six to eight times a day, he refuses to sit idly by when it’s our dinnertime. At home, Ton Ton and I have gotten used to eating in shifts – one of us holds the screaming baby, while the other gobbles up whatever’s for dinner. Then we switch. Chewing is a luxury we cannot afford.

However, this procedure is much more unpleasant to execute in a restaurant full of patrons who are sneering and jeering at the world’s worst parents. And I know that’s what they were thinking because, had I seen such a spectacle a mere year ago, I would have whispered something like, “that baby belongs at home” or “they must have done something for him to be screaming that loudly” in Ton Ton’s ear. I’ve learned my lesson, and, if it were possible to go back in time, I would say to my self from twelve months ago: “Self, why don’t you get your nose out of that family’s business and focus on savoring your meal because, after next year, you won’t have time to detect that hint of ginger in your salad for a few decades.”

Alas, our misadventures in Atlanta’s restaurants are just a drop in the bucket of embarrassing moments sponsored by our dear son this past week. I’d have to say that our ultimate low point happened in the Sheraton at around 11:00 p.m. one night. We had tried everything, short of dipping my nipple in Johnny Walker Black, to get Luki to sleep, but he just wasn’t interested. Instead, he opted for screaming as if we were testing  a new line of torture devices on his body. When our next door neighbor expressed his exasperation by banging on our wall, I was utterly and completely mortified.

And yet, call us crazy, but despite all the red in the face incidents, Ton Ton and I both agree that we would do it again in a heartbeat. You see, we decided to take this trip because it would allow us more time with our baby than if we spent the week at home going to our regular jobs. My conference was right in the hotel where we were staying, so I was able to breast feed and play with Luki during my breaks, and, when I was busy, Luki got to hang out and bond with his dad, instead of our nanny. In the end, that uninterrupted family time was worth all the sneers, jeers, and midnight wall bangs in the world.

I just hope he’s old enough to enjoy the barbecue next time.


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The results are in…

I don’t usually wear jewelry, except my wedding ring, but I’m totally buying myself a locket and putting the picture of Baby 2 in it! Next time somebody tells me that Luki looks EXACTLY like his father, I’m busting out that picture of ME…that’s right ladies and gentlemen, Baby 2 is me at 1 month old…and saying, DO YOU STILL THINK HE LOOKS JUST LIKE HIS DAD EH? EH? THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT!

The votes were overwhelmingly in favor of Baby 2, as a matter of fact, only one person thought Luki looked more like Baby 1 — that person must be delusional from a swine flu provoked fever.

As soon as he starts to sprout curls, which I am 100% confident will happen, you won’t be able to tell us apart!

Thanks for playing y’all!

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Match that Baby!

Mamacita has arrived! And she brought with her the missing piece of a little game I’d like to call, “MATCH THAT BABY!”

As you already know, this is Luki:

Now, who does he look more like? Baby #1:

or Baby #2:

Please leave your thoughts in the comments, and I’ll be back in a couple of days to tell you who is who.

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Meeting Mamacita

I have a turbulent love affair with Netflix. It’s like he’s the really nice, smart, funny guy, who drives a Prius and wears trendy eyeglasses, but I always end up cheating on him with the spontaneous, leather clad, motorcycle racing Redbox. After a few months, I realize that Redbox and I have nothing in common, and beg Netflix to take me back. He always does.

When Luki was born, I vowed to be faithful to Netflix; after all, we don’t have room for any more spontaneity in our lives. I promised him that things would be different this time, and we started out fresh with a brand new queue. The first film I added was Away We Go — the movie Ton Ton and I were heading out to see the night my water broke.

It’s a cute flick about a pregnant couple that’s trying to find the perfect place to raise their daughter; and, there’s a particular scene that I can’t seem to get out of my head today. In it, the protagonist talks to her sister about how the baby she’s about to birth will bring certain pieces of their deceased parents back. The dialogue struck a chord because, the more I get to know Luki, the more I see different family members in him. It’s not just a physical thing; sometimes it’s the way he stares, or smiles, or scrunches his eyebrows when he’s about to start wailing.

As we get ready for Luki to meet his paternal grandmother for the first time, I can’t help but think about Ton Ton’s dad, el viejo, who passed away two years ago. He was already quite ill when I met him, but that did not stop him from inspiring me with his overwhelming kindness and hospitality. It would have been a privilege for our son to have known him.

When he died, the entire family was distraught, but, understandably, no one was more saddened than his wife and partner of forty four years. When she meets Luki in a few hours, I hope with all my heart that she catches a glimpse of el viejo in him.

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