What does it mean?

Any Spanish used in blog posts is hyperlinked to its English translation.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My toddler is so big!

Darn canines are making sleep difficult. She's up for the second time tonight. I tried waiting her out but she got up and left her room - guess she WAS really awake!

She asked for agua, so I gave her a bottle. Also I turned on her humidifier, this dry fall air is making THCSITU snore more and kiddo seems a bit stuffed up too. And I think she was chilly, so I put her plush blanket on her mattress to be more snuggly, since she won't keep any blankets on.

Now we are snuggled in the rocker, under a blanket her Abuela knit her. She's clutching her bottle in one arm, but her face while sweet and sleepy is not that of a baby. She's so big and smart and in charge of herself, even when she wakes up crying at 4:30 am. She wants Agua and she wants Up and she will direct you to one room or another with words and pointing.

D'oh she just stiffened up in her sleep with a sharp inhale. Darn canines!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Telling everybody

As I mentioned, we did end up printing announcement cards this time too. And I ordered this shirt for the kiddo:

The announcement cards came Saturday, so I stamped and addressed them. Since the tshirt shipped the same day, I mailed the cards Monday morning, figuring I'd get the tshirt later that day & we could tell both my suegra and my dad that night.

However, the dang shirt didn't arrive until Wednesday! I was so nervous that the nearest snail-mail receipients of the cards, my grandparents, would call my dad and tell him before we had.

So we got home Wednesday night and both kids, the Guajolotita #1 and her 3-yr-old cousin, were running around like lunatics. So we went outside in the dark to play with flashlights, which they loved. I called my dad and asked him to come over because the kids were being nuts (just an excuse, in this case). Then I popped the shirt on the kiddo.

When he got there, I handed the announcement card to the Guajolotita #1 and told her to bring it to Grandpa:

Which she did, and he recognized it right away. Then I told him to check out her shirt, and apologized for not telling him sooner... that dang shirt took forever to arrive!

Next up, is telling my suegra. We were supposed to meet at lunch time today, so I'm armed with a picture of the kid in the shirt, plus one of the announcement cards. The back has this text:
"The invasion continues... Alien #2 expected to land in early April, 2013."
Then a picture of Guajolotita #1 holding the ultrasound picture, with the caption:
"First Wave approval still pending."
Anyhow, she can't make it so I'll text her the picture of the kid, then email the link to this video. I got a heartbeat check this morning at the midwife since the midwife-in-training couldn't find the heartbeat last week. Before my suegra starts telling every animate and inanimate object she encounters, I wanted to be sure there really was still something to say. Sounds good to me:

I just have to get her to keep her trap shut so we can call THCSITU's family in Mexico and tell them ourselves. They're getting the cards in the mail but probably they'd prefer the call anyhow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

More language

The Guajolotita #1 is adding new words and phrases about every 10 minutes. It's totally crazy. When something falls - like her bochito falling onto her face as she drives it up the bathroom walls during her bath - OR she deliberately dumps something out, like THCSITU's soda that he left on a side table last night - she throws her hands out and exclaims, "Se cayó!"

Tonight after THCSITU got home, he saw her playing by herself with a ping-pong ball. After a while, she disappeared behind her play kitchen, then came running towards him. "Se fue! Se fue!" she told him.

So he went hunting for it, and she'd dropped it between her play kitchen and the wall. So he got it out for her... and she promptly threw it into the bin with her stuffed animals. "Se fue! Se fue!" she told him again. I think he told her to go get it herself, so she did, and she played like that for some time, "losing" it and then retrieving it herself.

Other favorite phrases, though not new ones, are "Donde esta?" "Busca tus zapatos para salir" (look for your shoes to go outside) and she'll wander around, hands upturned, repeating "Donde esta?" until she finds them. "Ahi esta!" once she locates something or also when she comes out of "hiding" during hide and go seek.

The other adorable thing is the counting. She's had this one in hand for a while now, but it's evolving. Now, she counts like this:

  • 1 uno
  • 2 dos
  • 4 quatro (cat-o)
  • 5 cinco
  • 7 siete
And she does it again, and again. She'll count to "siete" 4 times going down our six front steps. Or she'll turn the pages of this wonderful book a friend gifted her, and "read" it to herself, counting to "siete" again and again.

And then, going along with the other post from this evening, there's singing the alphabet. We sing it to her (per her constant demand) in English (ABC!) and in Spanish (el abecedario), though tellingly when we sing it in Spanish she *usually* interrupts demanding "abc, abc!" (Because, in her opinion, we are doing it wrong, I think.) She does a great job of singing along. Below are the letters in red that she supplies as we sing:
Now I know my ABCs, next time won't you sing with me.
Sometimes she sings them in the pause and I can continue the song with her filling in her "part", but othertimes she doesn't provide them unless I keep going, and she sings along with.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I rejoined the orchestra at my university. The director called, as he does every semester, and asked if I'd be interested. 2 years ago I was pregnant for the first time, and renovating a house. Either one of those things can be overwhelming, but both at once? I just couldn't take on another commitment.

Last year I had a 5 month old and had just really been hit with the reality of full-time work. Although I went back to work when the Guajolotita #1 was 12 weeks, it was summer at a university. Two weeks before classes began, sh*t got real. 10-12 hr days, 5 days a week. Emailing evenings and weekends too. Unless the kid was REALLY sick, doctor-sick, I couldn't just stay home to spend time with her. If a sitter couldn't make it, I had to find another childcare solution. It was already too much time away from my sweet baby. (Things calm down about a month in, which I knew after many years at the same institution, but nonetheless I couldn't opt for MORE time away!)

So this year he called. I'm pregnant again, and overwhelmed with the thought of 2 kids. Childcare for 2. Family vacations for 4? 2 snakes kids on a plane?? Nooooooo! I can't pass the audition, I told him straight out. I'm a great sight reader, and a competent orchestral player, but I have 0 experience with any solo music (besides the Bach Unaccompanied, I can scrape out some movements of some of those because that's like the definition of playing viola). He just needed more bodies to round out the section, he said. So I said yes, half-intending to back out.

The next morning on my commute, still not having told my husband, I read this by Katie Allison Granju. (I also commented via my phone, but it appears not to have stuck. I thanked her for her post, it was a very heartfelt response, but alas, the moment is gone.) I cried. (Pregnancy hormones? perhaps...) I thought about Korinthia Klein, whose musical/luthier career (and overall excellent parenting/personhood) I find very inspiring. I resolved to ask my husband what he thought - and pick up the music that day as I'd arranged.

Since orchestra means coming home a bit later than usual, it means he must commit to being home "on time" so the babysitter can leave. Over the weekend I pulled out the sheet music and showed it to him. He was surprisingly supportive. He took the kiddo outside for at least an hour each day so that I could practice.

And I went. I've been to two rehearsals, sat in the back both times. I have no doubt most of the players ahead of me are more skilled than I am, and certainly most are in better practice. However, they're also undergrads. A lack of focus/commitment is a hallmark of the undergraduate (I don't think violas 3-5 ahead of me are string performance majors - maybe the first stand could be). As the conductor asks us to start again at bar 275 or G or whatever, one of the girls doesn't even pick up her instrument until the rest of us are a bar and a half along. Yesterday he told me to move up a chair, which I'm mostly glad about because I want to mark up my music as we go.

I really like the conductor, I'd say it's the second best conductor experience in my life. And the one time that was better was a week with a guest conductor that was just transformative - really an exceptional conductor and an experience I'll never forget. Anyway he's great, and I'm really enjoying this.

But the real point here is the Guajolotita #1 and her experience. Right now, this is our 7am anthem (also bathtime, parents-come-home-from-work time, and all-hours-of-the-weekend time):

Her favorite tunes now, besides the above, are Itsy Bitsy Spider and Happy Birthday. Johnny Be Good would take some work, and my viola-work right now is going towards Night on Bald Mountain (glad I've played that in the past! I think I'd be really intimidated otherwise!), but Happy Birthday I can do. :-P

When she comes inside and I am practicing, she gets fairly jealous. She wants to "help": she wants Up! Up! She shoves trucks on my lap, she tries to pull the music down, whatever she can do to disrupt the non-child focus.

So I knelt on the floor and had her grab the wood of the bow. Together we sawed it back and forth as I fingered the notes for Happy Birthday. It was so fun to do that together!! Now whenever she sees my case out, she starts asking, "Hab B-D-D?" In the last two days, she says "Musica!" and "Tocar!" as well, which is AMAZING.

Then, THCSITU found this video. He was working at the computer and she was using similar tactics as she does with me to make me stop practicing. So he thought this video would entertain her. We've never played a video for her before - we always just grab music and turn off the screen to listen.

Anyway, she was enthralled for a few minutes, then she disappeared. I heard her in our room - she was trying to drag my viola case out! She wanted to play too. So of course, I got it out and we played "Hab B-D-D" a few times together.

I'm so excited that she's interested. I have learned the melodies to some of her favorite Mexican children's tunes, so I can play along to her recordings. Whatever she might like, it's my side project (to this general viola side project) to learn. Whether she sings or dances or plays the ukelele, I hope she will always love music!