Life with a 15 Month-Old

Hello there, blog! It’s been a while. I’ve missed you!

It’s nice to finally get a chance to write a blog post. I’ve been meaning to post for a while but life as a working Mom with a 15 month-old has kept me pretty busy.

There are so many things that I’ve been wanting to share here on my blog! I’m not really sure where to begin so I’ll just start with our weekends and how we manage our jobs, household, pets, around raising Marcos and other fun stuff.

On the weekends, Oscar and I like to take Marcos on what I like to call adventure outings. This weekend, Oscar took Marcos to John Prince Park for some one-on-one daddy and son quality time at the playground. John Prince Park is probably my favorite park to go to with Marcos. It’s got multiple playgrounds for different age groups, a splash park, dog park and lots of shaded areas with tables for picnics. I am hoping to have Marcos’s second birthday party there next year in April.

Marcos is a very active and curious toddler so we try to make sure that he is getting plenty of exercise and opportunities to burn off some of that busy toddler energy and learn about the world around him.

The other places we like to visit on the weekends besides local parks and playgrounds are:

  • children’s museums
  • libraries
  • kid’s gyms
  • indoor play areas at the local mall
  • friend’s houses
  • grandpa’s pool
  • the farmer’s market
  • the beach
  • aquariums and the zoo

Oscar and I work full-time so Marcos goes to daycare at a local church’s school/academy during the weekdays. I feel so fortunate that we can take Marcos to a place that he loves and where the caregivers love him. Right now he is having a ball in their summer camp program. He comes home with artwork each week and each Friday is water day which he really enjoys. Marcos had a little separation anxiety in the beginning but now at drop-off, our little man waves good-bye and heads towards his favorite toys. I can’t believe how independent he is becoming! It makes me proud but also breaks my heart a little each time.

Because our mornings and early evenings can be a little hectic, Oscar and I have come up with a good morning and evening routine that goes something like this.

Morning Routine:

  • 5:30am – I wake up, get myself ready and enjoy a little quiet time before Marcos wakes up.
  • 6:15 am – Oscar gets up, walks the dogs and gets himself ready while I get Marcos up and ready.
  • 6:45am – Marcos and I have a little breakfast together, read books and watch a little Sesame Street.
  • 7:30am – Oscar leaves for work with Marcos and I clean-up, finish getting dressed, say good-bye to the pooches and am out the door around 8am.

Evening Routine:

  • 5:30-5:40pm – Arrive home, greet, let the dogs out in the backyard and change clothes
  • 5:45pm – Pack-up the stroller and go for a family walk with the dogs
  • 6:15 – 6:30pm – come home, Oscar feeds the dogs while I feed Marcos and myself dinner (or Oscar and I take turns)
  • 6:30-6:45pm – playtime with Marcos
  • 6:50 – 7pm – Marcos’s Bathtime (while the other preps dinner)
  • 7:15-7:30pm – get Marcos ready for bed – pjs, bottle (baba) and story time
  • 7:30pm – bedtime (Marcos is in his crib sleeping)
  • 7:30 – 8:30pm – Oscar and I have dinner and watch the news
  • 8:30pm – Clean-up kitchen and prep meals for the following day
  • 9:00pm – shower, read and go to sleep

Oscar and I take turns cleaning up the kitchen and getting Marcos’s lunch bag ready the night before which saves us a lot of time in the morning. I also shower, prepare the coffee maker, my breakfast and lunch and lay out my outfit the night before. This Mama is very organized!

We may need to make some minor adjustments to our morning and evening routine when the school year begins and traffic picks up in the fall, but this schedule seems to work out easily for our summer time routine.

Some other things we do to stay organized and sane is hire a house cleaner for a once-a-month deep cleaning. We plan our meals and food prep on the weekends. I also do one load of laundry almost each day since I prefer not to have it all waiting for me on the weekend. I pick-up and tidy around the house each night for 15 minutes before bed. We also go on family walks with the dogs and with Marcos in the stroller in the evenings. It allows Oscar and I a chance to catch up and be with the family. It’s also fun and it’s exercise! I just try to get as much stuff out of the way so I can enjoy and focus on my little Marcos.

So in case you are wondering what life is like with a 15 month old baby/toddler, it is AWESOME! Marcos is a healthy and happy-go-lucky little boy and I feel so fortunate to be his Mom.

I love our weekend outings and adventures. I love bath time, story time and just chasing him around the house. I love preparing healthy meals for him to take to school and just spoiling him with cuddles, kisses and tickles. He fills me up with so much joy inside that I just want to stay focused in the moment and let go of any to-do lists and worries about time and work. I love being his Mom and I embrace all of the challenges that come with being a parent.

Right Marcos is into:

  • Board Books – Brown Bear, Brown Bear and the Little Blue Truck are his favorites!
  • Stacking cups (He goes nuts over Red Solo Cups
  • Refrigerator Magnets
  • Push toys and toys he can ride
  • Taking objects out of their boxes and putting them back in <== Mommy likes this game!

Words:

  • Dada
  • Mum or mama
  • Baba
  • Clock

At Marcos’s last doctor appointment which was last week, he measured 33 inches tall and weighs 26 pounds. He is in the 90th percentile for his height! He is going to be a very tall and handsome young man. And smart too, like his Daddy.

Well that’s all I have time for but I will be sure to check back in with you and keep you posted.

Until next time!!

Ciao!

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Treating your Sick Baby

This morning I woke up an hour earlier than Marcos for a change 🙂 Oscar’s on-call work phone went off at 6am which woke us both up but I am glad for that because it gave me some time to myself before I had to go on Mom duty. So I brewed some coffee and drank it in bed with my 2 furry boys while Oscar handled the emergency situation at work and Marcos slept soundly in his crib.

Marcos has been sick all week. Last Friday, he came down with Croup. Croup is a viral infection that infects the voice box and the wind pipe. It causes your baby’s upper airways to swell and a cough that sounds like a barking seal. It came on suddenly on Friday night and it was very scary! My poor little man woke up in the middle of the night coughing and crying because his airways were inflamed and it was hard for him to breath. He also had a mild fever. It was 101 degrees which is mild according to the doctors but not to this Mom. I called the pediatrician immediately while my husband calmed him down. After verifying that Marcos did in fact have Croup, she called in a prescription for us at 11pm. It was an oral medication called prednisolone and she  recommended Tylenol to reduce his fever. She also recommended that we sit in the bathroom while running a hot steamy shower to help open up his airways and to use a cold air humidifier next to his crib which we did. We also calmed him by taking him outside so he could breath in the cold humid Florida winter air which so far has been all of our best friends.

The croup only lasted a few days but now its turned into a nasty cold with a wet cough, wheezing and a runny nose. Oscar and I have been taking turns staying home and treating his cold all week. We had a couple of visits to the pediatrician’s office to monitor his breathing and current condition. They couldn’t identify the illness as any specific virus but they prescribed an antibiotic based on his symptoms to alleviate the cough.  They also prescribed albuterol to be administered through a nebulizer for his wheezing which he hates! We had to use a nebulizer back in November when he had RSV and each time we use it he screams and writhes and rolls his body like an alligator which kills Oscar and I but it really improves his breathing and clears out the phlegm which causes the wheezing. We are also giving him benadryl for his runny nose at night as well as saline and suction through a nose frieda…fun!

We are starting to see improvements in his sleeping, eating and overall mood which is such a relief!! It’s hard to see your little baby so sick. Even though I have been told over and over again that this will help Marcos build his immunity, I can’t wait for this to be over and for my little man to get better. I know getting sick is inevitable, especially during the winter months and when your little one is in day care but it is still very stressful for everyone. I can’t even imagine how scared Marcos must be. And its not like he can tell us what is going on with him so its scary not knowing what else may be hurting him. 😟💔

I have been keeping a stress journal that keeps me grounded and sane throughout tough times like these. In my journal I write down what is worrying me, what I am thankful for, my saving grace, daily prayer and my to do list. This has really helped me keep things in perspective and prioritize. It has also reminded me to take care of myself and remember what’s truly important which is your family and health! I love this quote below by Iain Thomas.

For additional medical advice I turn to books like Baby 411, Dr. Sears Baby Book and What to Expect the First Year. They are very helpful and informative on how to treat Marcos at home for common illnesses while also informing me on other signs of infection to look out for like ear infections (while not scaring the crap out of me). Note to self ===> Stay away from the mom chat rooms!! It also helps to know what other developments and milestones are taking place at the same time so you can focus on that and not let a cold or virus hold you back (if possible).

My family is also very supportive and helpful. I am so thankful that they live 10 minutes away and can provide an extra hand and cuddles when needed.

I wish I had all kinds of brilliant and sage advice for first time parents on what to do in these situations. I am new parent and am always questioning myself. I guess the best advice I could give you is to stay calm and positive, listen to your doctor and also trust your instincts! I am a pretty laid back person but when it comes to my son,  I would much rather over react than under react.

I hope if you are reading this that your little one(s) are on the their way to feeling better and that you are comforted by reading about my experience. I know it helps when I read other mom blogs and know that they have gone through the same thing and kept their sanity.

Well I am going to sign off now . Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take care of yourselves!

XO
Mrs. Nice

 

 

Marcos’s Birth Story

Marcos Andres Dominguez arrived on April 1, 2017 at 10:22 p.m. weighing 7 pounds and 14 ounces. These past eight months have been the most exciting, blissful, exhausting and stressful months of my life but I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.

Each time I look or think of my my son I feel so much joy and love and a desire to be the best Mother and person that I can be.As I type this, he is sleeping peacefully in his crib. As I watch him on his monitor, I feel so blessed to have such a sweet, handsome and healthy baby boy who smiles, giggles, waves, babbles, and completely melts my heart every day.

Marcos’s Birth Story

On Friday evening, Oscar and I went to go see the movie “Logan”. We knew it would be a long time before we could go to the movie theater together so we went out for a date night. I had just finished my last day at work because I was 39 weeks and knew that Marcos could come any day now.  We got home late and I had trouble falling asleep. I think I finally fell asleep around 1:30 a.m. only to be woken up a few hours later feeling some light cramping and pressure in my lower abdomen. I remember thinking to myself “Could this be it?” Could this be the day? Or is this just Braxton Hicks?” I went to the bathroom a few times but nothing was happening so I figured that I should probably get back into bed and get some rest.

I managed to get another hour or two of sleep then a little after 7:30 a.m., I started to feel uncomfortable. I got out of bed and googled “the first signs of labor” into my phone.  Then I sat and rocked on my exercise ball for some relief, played some Hall and Oates and started timing and logging my contractions. I woke Oscar up around 9:30 a.m. and told him that I was having contractions since they were really starting to hurt and I didn’t want to be alone anymore.

Oscar and I hung out in the living room together to try and relax while I timed my contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart. I remember thinking to myself that this better be the real deal because I was very uncomfortable. My contractions were getting pretty intense and I was also getting some sharp pains in my back which were alarming and there was nothing I could do to cope with the back pain. Luckily they only lasted for about 45 seconds but they were coming every four to eight minutes and they HURT!

Oscar called my OB/GYN because we were unsure as to why the back pain was happening. I remember being instructed to call only when I experienced contractions that came every five minutes and lasted for a minute for more than one hour but the back pain had intensified so we called the doctor just to be safe.

The doctor told us to head to the hospital with our bags so she could check me out. I showered before we left while Oscar packed up the car with our hospital bags. A warm shower felt good, but by the time I got out and started to get dressed, my contractions significantly intensified. I found myself folding over and holding onto the dresser and the wall as I tried to deal with the pain. I remember throwing up a few times before we left and thinking to myself…”this is gonna be a looong day!” We headed out the door to the hospital around 2 p.m. By then my contractions were eight minutes apart.

When we got to the hospital, we were sent to the triage room while I was hooked up to a monitor and asked a bunch of questions by the nurses. I can’t remember everything, just that I was in a lot of pain and I did not want to be sent back home. They left Oscar and I to wait in the triage room for an hour to see if I dilated. I remember the pain getting really intense and crying out “I can’t do this!” My wonderful husband took my hand, reminded me that I can do this and continued to comfort and encourage me while we waited for the nurse to come back.

After an hour, the nurse came back with my OB/GYN to check on me and told me that I had dilated three centimeters and we would be welcoming our baby today!! Hoorayy!! That was music to my ears!! 🙂

Oscar and I spent the next 60 minutes getting registered and prepping for the epidural. Oscar had to do all the talking because I was in so much pain I couldn’t speak. I had to motion my social security number with my fingers as the pain of my contractions and back labor was just excruciating.

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After the epidural, the pain was more manageable but the back pain started to creep back. Also, the epidural seemed to work better on one side than the other so Oscar and my Mom took turns giving me back rubs to help me with the pain. Its hard for me to remember all the events that took place between the time I received the epidural and the delivery but here are some key details:

  • The epidural definitely helped with the contraction pain as monitors showed when they were happening but they barely registered with me.
  • Eventually, the external baby heart monitor was not working and they had to insert an internal heart monitor to better monitor the baby’s heart rate.
  • The external heart monitor could be heard in the room and we started noticing the heart rate slowing with some of the contractions. At first we didn’t know that the sound was the baby’s heart rate.
  • During one contraction that was paired with a shot of back pain, our doctor came in, looked at the monitor strip, and spoke with the head nurse off to the side of the room.
  • After the doctor left, Oscar asked if there was something wrong and that was when we were told that the sound we heard slowing down was the baby’s heart rate.
  • The next contraction saw another drop in heart rate, which is when the doctor came in and called a need for the emergency c-section.

The C-section operation did not take long and Oscar remained by my side holding my hand the whole time. I laid very still, went into my “zone” and prayed for my baby. I couldn’t feel a thing but I was awake and I heard the doctors talking while they were operating. And I heard them say that my baby’s neck was wrapped around my umbilical cord! Poor thing. I was scared but I had a feeling it was going to be OK. And then…I heard him. I heard my son crying.  Oscar and I watched the nurses clean him, test his vitals and wrap him up in a blanket. I remember Oscar and I saying to each other….”there he is, that’s our son” and we were both crying while we watched him taking his first breaths. I am crying now as I type this.

The nurse brought my bundled up baby to me while I was lying on the delivery table. I wasn’t able to hold him yet since I was still strapped on to the table so I rubbed my cheek against his little face so he could feel me and smell me. That was not what I wanted for us but I was so relieved that he was delivered safely and I knew that we would have plenty of time to bond. I was taken to another room to recover while Oscar and my parents got acquainted with our boy. I will never forget Oscar’s face and reaction to the birth of our son. It was a wondrous moment and he was practically skipping and prancing into the nursery.

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I will never forget our very first night as parents. We were so exhausted from the entire day and couldn’t wait to go to sleep and get some rest but wait….we are parents now. We have to take care of our newborn baby! The nurses brought Marcos into my room and bathed him and then gave him to for skin-to-skin contact and to start breastfeeding. After that, he woke up about every two hours to feed. Oscar changed his diapers and brought him to me each time he woke up because of the surgery.

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The next morning with my son was absolutely surreal! I just couldn’t believe that he was sleeping next to me and no longer in my belly. When I held him in my arms the next morning I sang to him “You are my sunshine” and I cried happy joyful tears.

We had to stay in the hospital for a few days so I could recover from the surgery. Marcos stayed in the room with us the entire time. The recovery was hard but the more I walked around and moved my legs the better. During my second night in the hospital I was suffering from post-surgery gas and bloating from the air that got sucked into my abdomen during the surgery. It was very painful but I still had to get up out of bed to breastfeed my son. Despite the pain, I got myself up and breastfed my son without my husband’s help.  Afterwards, Marcos looked at me with this happy and appreciative look in his eyes like he recognized me and knew I was his Mom. It was the best feeling in the world. That was when I officially felt our bond and I knew I was gonna rock at being a Mom!!

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With each day I got better and Marcos was healthy. We took him home on a Tuesday and celebrated with a homemade quiche, salad from my Mom and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Then we celebrated our Anniversary a couple days later as a family of five 🙂

This is the end of the birth story but the Mommy and Daddy adventures continue. I plan to document my journey into Motherhood so stay tuned for more Marcos blog posts in the future!

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