Archives for category: Monster (Baby)

Am I turning the Monster into a bona fide Mama’s Boy? Lately he has been all about Mama. It is a Mama or Bust attitude in our house right now. (Insert play on words joke with “Mama” and “Bust” here.) He’ll be playing happily with Daddy or by himself with some toys, and then look up and realize that I’m not there, or that I just walked by and didn’t pick him up. When that happens, we get this.

Meltdown #12,897

It’s like a switch just went off. If I pick him up, he returns to the happy, babbling Baby Monster we know and love. It’ like he needs some part of him touching some part of me at all times. I realize how endearing this might sound, but it can also be really tiring for me, and at times lead to some major Mama-guilt. I know, I know, first piece of advice will probably be to not pick him up each time he cries. And I really don’t, but there are times when I just want the path of least resistance. Is that so bad? I’m new to this parenting gig, and I’m already exhausted and he’s not even a year old!

Putting things into buckets. Very important work.

One MAJOR saving grace in all of this has been my baby carriers. When he is particularly Mama-focused, I can strap him into my Ergo or BobaAir and have my hands free to do other things. Like write this blog.

But I’ll admit, I still pick him up and spend a lot of time just snuggling with him. Can you blame me?

Snuggling with Mama


I might argue that one of the benefits of being in a long-term relationship is that you have more free places to stay via your partner’s family. For example, P’s sister lives in San Diego, which gives us not only a reason to visit San Diego, but the above mentioned free place to stay as well!

We flew down on Southwest. I have to take a second here and acknowledge how awesome Southwest has been for us for flying. We have flown between Illinois and California and Colorado with Monster several times and we have always been treated well and, knock on wood, have arrived with all of our luggage. And you still get free pretzels, albeit teeny tiny bags of pretzels, but they are still free! So, thanks Southwest! Monster, P, and I appreciate it!

We started off our visit with the standard family dinner. P’s sister has three kids and a husband, so obviously they were all there. We were also joined by P’s uncle, aunt, cousin, and cousin’s wife. I love family gatherings, and it was so great to introduce Monster to everyone. Friday morning we took Monster to visit P’s grandmother with P’s uncle, four generations in one room! A beautiful memory.

Saturday we were treated to crêpes made by our 12 year old nephew. Very impressive, I must say! I must also say that his mom did the actual cooking of the crêpes, but he did the conversions (we were a larger group than what the recipe could serve), measuring, mixing, etc. After herding the cats gathering the family into one minivan and one CRV, we headed out to San Diego’s Chicano Park to see the murals. P had read an article about it in the New York Times and thought it would be cool to go see.

Chicano Park

The park is underneath the 5 freeway and the bridge that goes to Coronado Island. Many of the murals are painted on the overpass support pillars and depict stories and images from Hispanic and Latino cultures.

Virgin Mary

Earth Goddess

Earth Goddess, Chicano Park

The Park, which is in the Barrio Logan, has a rich history involving several take-overs and disputes over who got to do what with the land. A young student named Mario Solis is credited with rallying the community to organize and demand that a park be put in instead of a police parking log. Ultimately, the Barrio Logan community residents won and the park was created. ( The murals are stunning and reflective, expressing Chicano history and stories.

Of course, Monster managed to get some swing time in at the playground in the park. (That adorable half face you see there is my niece.)

Monster on swings

After getting our art and culture fix, we headed to a nearby Mexican restaurant we found on yelp, Las Cuatro Milpas. There was a line, but it was worth the wait. The menu was small, the decor was lacking, and the food was straightforward and simple. And it was all good. Classic P&J, we ordered just about everything, including a pork burrito, two tamales, side of rice and beans (with chorizo, of course), and a taco. And we ate it all.

Since we had been artistically and culturally fed by the murals and then physically fed by Las Cuatro Milpas, we headed over to Coronado Island to get our outside (and fro-yo) fix. A nice stroll along the beach on the island was just what we needed to wake ourselves from our food coma and feel revived from our weekend of family and fun in San Diego.

Coronado Island


Today I tried finger painting with the Baby Monster for the first time. I used a recipe that my sister found online for edible finger paint. You can find it here.
I have been looking for something safe that the monster could create with and eat, as he is still at the phase of putting anything that happens into his hand directly into his mouth. During this little event, I’d say about 5% of what he touched went into his mouth. Overall, I’d say that is a success!

Of course the Beast managed to get in on the action. At one point I looked down at him and he had managed to get pink fingerpaint in the fur on the top of his head. I wish I had gotten a photo of that; I thought the bright pink against his black fur was quite striking. Reminded me of some of the color combinations I would put together for myself in the 80’s.

It was a lot of fun to do and something I would like to continue doing with him as he gets older. He was smiling and laughing, and my husband and I were still speaking to each other at the end of it. I will say that the lesson learned here is to either dress your baby and yourself in clothes that can be stained, or just go naked.

The Monster and the Beast

This blog is dedicated to my Monster and my Beast.