Category Archives: developmental milestones

Becca’s 2nd Birthday Party

I can’t believe that my baby is two years old!!!! The last two weeks has been a whirlwind of prepping for Becca’s partying, prepping for my new classroom, having Becca’s party, cleaning up from Becca’ s party, prepping some more for my new classroom and starting school.

I had been dreading Becca’s birthday party because last year’s party was a bit of a disaster. There was a mix-up on the invitations so people showed up at 2 p.m. when I expected it to start at 3 p.m. I definitely was not prepared!!! To add to the situation, we hosted the party outside on the hottest day of the year. I ended up with heat exhaustion and spent an hour or so inside trying to cool down. Omar spent two hours running around looking for his friend who was supposed to run the grill at the barbecue. He spent another hour or so buying ice and then another one trying to set up the music. So it was very chaotic to say the least.

So when her birthday approached this year, I resolved that this year’s party would not be as chaotic. For one thing, we did less cooking on the actual day (hot dogs and hamburgers). Most of the other food was cooked a few days before (lasagna, chicken, a few varieties of pasta salad, potato salad, refried beans, tinga, etc.). This way when guests were arriving, we didn’t have to worry about preparing anything. Instead, it was just a matter of heating a few things up and taking things outside. This way I could enjoy the party more.

It ended up being a great party!!! The weather was fantastic and it felt so nice to see everyone. I loved watching Becca interacting with her cousins. There were a couple of times that she was doubled over with laughter. Seeing that made all of our hard work worth it.

When we planned Becca’s birthday party on her actual birthday, I thought it would be cool but ended up being disappointed. In the morning, I found that we were so overwhelmed with the party preparations that Becca ended up watching a lot of TV to pass the time. During the party, Becca was busy playing with her cousins while Omar and I were busy entertaining everyone and dealing with the food. So we didn’t get to spend a lot of quality time together.

Last year, the party was on a Saturday and Becca’s actual birthday was the following Thursday. This meant that we enjoyed Becca’s birthday with friends and family members but we had a more low-key day as well. It just felt extra special. So next year, we will definitely be scheduling Becca’s birthday party BEFORE her actual birthday. I am already looking forward to it!

By the way, did you know that the 3rd birthday is an important birthday in the Mexican culture? So according to Omar we will be having a real blow-out next year. Maybe I should start planning it now…
Feliz compleaños, Becca!

Mary Kate


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Filed under developmental milestones, Take a Moment, Toddler

It has arrived…… the first tooth!

Since John Patrick started solids almost a month ago, I’ve been so focused on his eating that it was his daycare teacher who first noticed that he had cut a tooth. To make a long story short, here are all the symptoms I thought were caused by “carrots” but were indeed symptoms of teething: (don’t ask me why I thought it was carrots)

  • diarrhea
  • lots and lots and lots of pooping
  • fussiness
  • getting up multiple times in the night
  • diaper rash

Reason #56 why daycare has been a positive for my family. They actually know what they are doing!



Filed under Baby, Daycare, developmental milestones, Take a Moment, Teething

Oh, How They Grow!

I am continuously shocked at how fast John Patrick grows. Here are two pictures comparing him at 1 week and 11 weeks. And yes, that’s the same pacifier!!

Pacifer 1 weekPacifier 11 weeks

How much has your little one grown? I’d love to see pictures.



Filed under Baby, developmental milestones, Take a Moment, Uncategorized

Transitioning into the Crib

As John Patrick turned 11 weeks old, my husband and I came to the realization that the co-sleeper really wasn’t working out for us. John Patrick would spend the majority of the night staring at me and making what can only be described as the most annoying sounds in the world, in order to be put in our bed. I admit, I often gave in quickly in hopes to get some sleep myself. We had no schedule and each night was, well, sort of a nightmare.

I knew the time would come and here it was….. the big transition to the crib and his own room.

First, I should preface this by saying that I spent last week putting John Patrick in his crib for afternoon naps in an effort to help him get used to a “new” space.

Here’s how our first night went:

7:00pm – For the first time we started a real bedtime routine:

  1. Bath
  2. Massage with lotion
  3. A little bit of “naked time”
  4. Fresh clean diaper and pajamas
  5. A last feeding
  6. Put him down while playing lullabies by Mozart CD

I also plan on adding a book to the routine. He actually went down pretty well with not much fussiness.

8:00pm – Awake and crying. This is one of the many times that my husband saves the day. Of course my natural reaction is to go in and pick him up. But Jim, my husband, kept telling me he’d take care of it, which meant he would go in and rub his back and soothe him back to sleep. I won’t lie, he had to do this about a dozen times. He cried pretty much till 8:30, when he decided that he was hungry again.

8:30pm – another feeding in his room with lights dim. He’s back in bed and asleep by 9:00

9:30pm – and back up and crying again. More gentle soothing by Jim

10:00pm – another feeding. Is he manipulating me or what?

10:30pm – 11:30pm – on and off crying. This was a dance between my son and my husband. Jim was so patient and lovingly willful that John Patrick was NOT getting into our bed. (spoiler – Jim won.)

11:30pm – another feeding, this time by formula given by dad. John Patrick is back in bed and asleep by 12.

2:30am – up for a feeding (which is his normal time). After eating and a diaper change, he easily falls back asleep in his crib.

4:15am – up for another feeding? I can’t tell if he’s really hungry or just wants me to hold him. I try to feed him. Because he was a preemie I think I’ll always have this huge fear of not feeding him when he’s hungry. Weight gain was our life for a long time. He just snacks (probably wasn’t even hungry) and is back asleep by 4:30.

5:30am – hungry again? Trick me once, shame on you….. Ah, who am I kidding? I was tricked again. Snacked for a few minutes and then back to sleep in the crib.

7:00am – up and very vocal and ready to really eat. At this point we’re up for the day. He eats and gets put into “day” clothes.

So here’s the lessons I learned in the first night:

  1. It can be done – you just have to make yourself do it.
  2. Husbands are the best and another reminder that I couldn’t do any of this without him.
  3. Just because he wakes up doesn’t mean he needs to be fed.
  4. He didn’t wake up this morning and hate me so that fear is conquered.

And honestly, I slept better (ok, yes, shorter intervals) but better than I’ve slept in a long time. It’s nice to have our bed back. Plus – this is New York!!! Do you know what we pay for his bedroom? You better believe he’s going to use it. 🙂

One day down…..



Filed under Baby, developmental milestones, Infant, Sleep

The End of the Fourth Trimester

The first book I read after John Patrick’s arrival was The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. It definitely helped me survive at least the first six weeks of his life. I started to understand the phenomenon of the “fourth trimester” and my life contained only of swaddling, shhshhing, swinging, and sucking. Just yesterday I looked at my bright-eyed baby boy hanging out in his bouncy seat and I realized that the fourth trimester had ended.

Here’s how I know.

  1. John Patrick now hates being swaddled. Instead, he relishes having his arms stretched up above his head while he sleeps.
  2. While the pacifier is still a favorite of John Patrick, he no longer needs it to soothe himself when crying. Instead he prefers it when he’s just hanging out with the family.
  3. Instead of the swing, John Patrick now prefers his activity gym where he can kick and talk and look at bright colors.
  4. During the fourth trimester, John Patrick’s life involved three activities only – crying, eating, sleeping. Now he has lots of activities. He babbles, kicks his legs, swings his arms, looks at new colors and shapes, and studies the faces of his parents.
  5. Instead of needing to be held 24/7, John Patrick now sleeps in his co-sleeper by himself and will even take naps in his crib instead of on my chest.

I realized that he’s getting more and more ready for the world and that my pregnancy is really finally over with the end of the “fourth trimester”. Every new stage is a new adventure. I’m ready for this one. 🙂


Serious John Patrick


Filed under Baby, developmental milestones

In the Blink of an Eye

I had one of those close calls with Becca today that just really made my heart stop.

Becca is now officially walking and enjoys doing it whenever she can.  This is all well and good when we are in the house, library or some other enclosed place.  However, it becomes more complicated when I am running errands or just trying to walk down the sidewalk with her.

She just doesn’t get that we are on a journey that starts at Point A (the car) and ends at Point B (the store).  Instead, her journey is in the details– ‘hmm… there is a blue shiny metal thing over there… let me take a closer look’ or ‘there’s a piece of a cookie on the floor over there… maybe I can grab it.’  I try to build in a little extra time for the wandering nature of her walking but it can become a little exasperating and often leads her in the completely wrong direction.

Besides, taking an exorbinant amount of time to walk 25 feet, Becca’s hands can be a little difficult to hold.  She is bundled up in her winter coat and is often wearing mittens.  As a result, I have to search around to find her hand and it seems to easily slip out of mine.  It doesn’t help that she often chooses to try to use that hand to try to pick up the stale piece of bagel or squished up piece of gum from the sidewalk (ewwwwww!).

Knowing how difficult it can be to walk with Becca, I am extra vigilant whenever I am walking with her and I try to keep the trips short and sweet.  She and I were killing some time while her grandma was at the dentist and I decided to grab a Starbucks.  I was able to park a few doors down from the Starbucks and I figured it would be easy enough to walk in and out with her.  I wasn’t in a big hurry so I wouldn’t mind if it took us 20 minutes to walk a few feet.

We did fine on the way into the store.  Becca did become fascinated with the light pole and the newspaper dispenser but she was easily distracted.  Once we were inside she was really sweet.  She stood in line and waved and ‘talked’ to the people around her.  I was able to order and pick-up my order without too much trouble.  I placed my order in a bag so I was able to carry it more easily.

On the way out, we did pretty well until we got to the car.  As we approached the car, my cell phone rang. I grabbed it because I knew the dentist was calling to tell me my MIL was ready.  Instead of the quick exchange I expected,”Martha’s ready.”; “Okay, I’ll be right there.”, the receptionist started asking me all kinds of questions about Martha’s treatments.  I was so thrown off that I actually tried answering the questions (huge mistake) as I continued to make my way to our car. The receptionist continued to bombard me with questions until I finally had the sense to tell her I would call her back.  As I hung up, I realized that Becca had slipped out of my hand.

I immediately looked towards the sidewalk (I was standing next to the car) and didn’t see her.  I quickly whipped around to see Becca blissfully walking towards the traffic.  I was able to grab her just as she reached the end of our car and watched two SUVs whiz past us.  They would never even have seen her if she had made it to the street.

As I stood there for a few minutes watching the traffic drive by, I couldn’t help but replay the other possible scenarios.   I then began to berate myself for answering the cell phone and becoming distracted for even a minute.  As I was buckling Becca into her car seat, I realized that life is distracting and it is easy to get caught off guard.

Mary Kate

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She’s a Genius — She Found Her Feet!

I was doing some blog ‘housekeeping’ and came across this post which was first created on 6/4/07.  I clicked on the title to discover that I had never completed the post.  I guess I put the title in and planned to come back and complete the post later.  For whatever reason, I never returned … until now.

It is times like this that I realize how quickly Becca’s first year went and how many developmental milestones she passed in that year.  Since this post, she moved from playing with her feet to using them to help her to crawl, walk and begin to run.  I remember how concerned I was that she may not be rolling over ‘at the right time’ or that she wasn’t crawling ‘correctly’ (for a long time she insisted on ‘walking’ with one leg and dragging the other leg along).  I even was a little worried that she was taking a while to start walking (I keep hearing stories of children who are capable of climbing up a slide backwards at 10 months).  I knew I was being silly and had no real reason to be concerned.  I think it comes with being a mom.

I also remember how excited I was when she did find her feet, began to crawl (even her 1st modified crawl) and began to walk.  More importantly, I loved to see how excited Becca was when she did all of these things.  Just last night, she was laughing and clapping as she walked around the living room in circles.

M. Kate

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