Monica’s Jungle


Helpful Big Brother

Magglio is such a sweetheart. He is so helpful and gentle with his little brother. Only a few times does he insist that I hold him instead of Tiago, but overall he’s had zero jealousy. The cutest thing was a couple of days ago when he found a bottle of expressed breastmilk on the couch (Edgar feeds Tiago while I’m at work) and he tried to give some to Tiago. He had no idea how, but he tried, and I was lucky enough to capture that moment.

“Here, Tiago, please don’t cry.” (I think he actually said that)

“Drink your milk!”

And here he is another day, after he picked out his own outfit: (boots included)

And most recently, I finally bought a kid’s bike seat for my bicycle so we could take rides together. Magglio *loves* it!

Tiago is getting over a bad case of infant acne, so I don’t have a lot of pictures of him to post. Here’s a couple:


Tiago’s first hospital visit

Funny how I had a beautiful home birth because I wanted to avoid the hospital, yet we ended up there five weeks later. Thankfully, everything is ok, but it was a very dramatic and drawn out ordeal that I hope I don’t have to experience ever again.

Our hospital story began in the wee hours of Wednesday morning at around 3am. Magglio had been sick (fever, cough, runny nose) and he woke up coughing. When he’s sick, we bring him into our bed to sleep. During this bed-shuffling, I happened to touch Tiago and decided he felt hot, real hot. Took his temp – 101.4. Too hot for a five week old? I decided to call my pediatricians office – they have a 24 hour nurse line. I hoped they would tell me if and how much tylenol I could give him.

Instead, they insisted that I take Tiago to the ER.

Edgar stayed home with Magglio while I hopped in the car. By the time they took his temp again, it had dropped down to 100.6. But still higher than normal. They transferred us to Miami Children’s Hospital, which is an excellent hospital for children.

Once we got to the ER at Miami’s Children, the doctor began to discuss all the tests that needed to be done: blood drawn, catheter for urine, suctioning the nose to test for resperatory illness, and a spinal tap for Menengitis. *gulp* My baby was going to have a SPINAL TAP? Oh.My.God.

I’ll admit, there was a part of me that felt like they were overreacting. I explained several times that my 2 year old was sick, and at best Tiago had just caught the same virus. Really, a spinal tap? It all felt surreal – like we were stuck in a real life episode of House. But we hadn’t visited any Brazilian rainforests or swam in rice patties in Vietnam! No exotic illnesses! The answer was simple: a virus. Yet, they had to ‘err on the side of caution’ and poke and prod my poor little baby endlessly.

I cried during every proceedure, probably more than Tiago. After they finished, they had to leave a tube in the back of his hand for his IV. He was to recieve antibiotics every 8 hours for 48 hours until the barriage of tests came back. After a couple of small hiccups and having to get Tiago’s blood re-drawn on day 2, we were out of the hospital 3 days later.

Doing the spinal tap:

His IV tube:

In his crib/prison, sleeping peacefully despite his IV tube:

Those were long and restless days. I felt guilty that I wasn’t at home with Magglio and Edgar, yet I knew that I had to stick close to the more vulnerable sick child. I missed co-sleeping with Tiago. I missed cooking. Hell, I missed sunlight. Tiago could not leave his room nor the wing that he was in. We paced the halls and read all the posters. I made small talk with the nurses. I sat at the window with Tiago in my arms and showed him the sky and the trees and the cars passing by. Longest and dullest 3 days of my life.

But we’re home now and I’m looking forward to my best sleep ever and gourmet coffee in the morning. Ah, the small things…

Enter Title Here (aka I have no title)

So much to write about, folks!

Tiago is doing great.  He is such a different baby from Magglio – he sleeps more and cries less.  Magglio was a very vocal and demanding baby, and Tiago is so laid back and chill.  I have no idea if Tiago will grow out of that, but I certainly hope not!

My post birth recovery has been fantastic.  The first five days I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  My arms, legs, back, butt and boobs were all sore. But on day 6 I woke up, showered, put on regular clothes, and I’ve been outdoors and hauling around the two kiddos ever since.  It really helps that the sun is out and the weather is warm and beautiful.  That can really motivate you to go outside and play.

Usually I wear Tiago in my Sleepywrap sling and Magglio just trots beside me.  People in Miami are NOT into babywearing (not yet, anyway).  Miami is a city that is very competitive, not crunchy.  The most expensive stroller is what people want to show off here in Miami, not the fact that you can carry your baby.  I’ve had people POINT AT ME while talking to their friends.  People are FLABBERGASTED that I have a baby wrapped on my chest.  Twice within a span of 30 minutes at two differnet locations I’ve had someone exclaim, “Is there a baby in there?!”

When people ask me stuff like this, usually I snicker or smirk.  I can’t help it!  I just find it so humorus that people are shocked by babywearing.  Geez, Miami, welcome to the year 2011.

I know you want pictures…..enjoy!

Welcome baby Tiago! Born 12/29/2010

Welcome to the world little Tiago Salinas! For those that don’t know, this is one hell of a birth story. For starters, he was 11lbs, 1oz, 21.5 inches long, and BORN AT HOME. No drugs! Just warm, loving birth energy.

Here’s the long version:

I woke up the morning of the 29th, and my first thought – before I even opened my eyes – was that I was going to give birth that day.  I just knew.  To this day I’m not exactly sure how I knew, but I knew.  It was almost as if my uterus, brain and baby had a staff meeting over night and subconsciously informed me.

I get up around 8am because I hear Magglio calling for me from his crib.  We play for a bit and I’m having contractions.  This was nothing new, since I had been having contractions for weeks.  Weeks.  My body was just preparing well in advance for the big day.  Usually, I ignored them, and that morning I continued to ignore them.

But once I hit the kitchen to make myself coffee, I couldn’t ignore them any longer.  They were strong.  I sat down and ate a bagel with cream cheese and some protein rich cottage cheese.  I knew that I needed some good food to birth.  I started recording my contractions: 8:36am.  8:41am, 8:47am, 8:50, 8:53, 8:56….

Huh.  Strong and fast.  I was in active labor, the second stage.  I called my midwife.  “Wanna come catch my baby?”  I asked her.  As luck would have it, she was on her way over to another client’s house, who had been having contractions since 3am.  Once she checked her situation, she would come over.  She instructed me to call my doula to have her come over until she could get there.  Perfect.

I run a hot bath for myself.  Contractions still strong.  I’m breathing through them, trying to focus, trying to delegate orders to Edgar and my mom.  My mom comes in the bathroom.  I say: “Can you take Magglio to the zoo?  Have him back by noon for his nap.” She responds, “can I finish unloading the dishwasher first?” I shoot her the look of death.  “No.  Leave.”  I order.  I couldn’t have my focus diverted by thinking about what my son was doing in the other room.

10:30am: my doula arrives.  By this time I’m back on my bed, having strong contractions and trying to be as comfortable as possible.  She explains that my midwife is at the other woman’s home, who is dilated to about 7.  My doula may have to join her once the woman is further along and pushing to help catch her baby, and then they’ll both come back for me.  At this point I just crack up laughing.  What luck – another woman is in labor at the exact same time.  Laughing with the universe instead of letting it laugh at me seemed to help my birth energy.

At this point, things start to mush together.  Here’s what I remember: I get back in the tub.  Bad move.  The tub is too narrow and I feel constricted.  I have a few strong contractions in the tub – very uncomfortable.  I start pushing in the tub.  Am I dilated all the way?  My doula needs to check.  I get out of the tub but every time she touches me I am hit with another contraction.  I start to cry, “I’m scared!” I tell my doula.  “What if I can’t do it?” She responds: “don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.”

I calm down and make it back to the bed.  Still pushing.  My doula gets her gloves on.  It was maybe noon at this point?  I’m not really sure.

12:45pm(?) – Miriam, another midwife arrives.  My primary midwife, Mary, couldn’t make it (the other woman had birth her baby about 30 minutes before Tiago arrived).  Miriam greets me softly.  We are strangers, but already so bonded.  I just grin at her and laugh.  What luck I have!

She tells me that the baby is hitting my public bone and I have to change positions.  She suggests squatting on the floor.  Ok.  I squat.  I push.  They cheer.  This happens a couple of times, and the only pain I feel are in my thighs.  I have weak thighs.  She suggests I turn around and let Edgar hold me as I squat to release some of the pressure off my legs.  We try it.  In two pushes, Tiago is crowning.  Then, he’s out.  Life is beautiful.

It is 1:24pm.  I’ve only been in labor for 5 hours.  The most intense was the last two.  Blink of an eye.

And then they took care of me while I crawled back in my cozy, comfy bed, covered up and nursed my baby boy.  It was so beautiful.  Some people have asked me how I birthed an 11 pound baby, and the most simple answer I can give is: by the grace of God.  I never had any doubts and neither did my midwives.  None one ever said, “We might have to induce since this is a big baby.”  (Common ob/gyn phrase)  No one even broke a sweat.  (well, except me)

No baby yet


I haven’t had the baby – yet. I’m just big and fat and round and huge. My due date is only 3 weeks away, and I’m hoping our son decides to come a week or two early. Walking is no fun and sleep is a joke. Getting comfortable (when asleep or awake) is next to impossible.

Yet I really shouldn’t complain. We’re healthy, Magglio is as whip-smart as ever, and we’re about to have a new baby. Life is good.

Here’s a fun game. If you’d like to take a guess at when the baby will be born, click here. On the top left hand side, in the small purple box, it asks for a “game name”. Type in decemberbaby2010, and it will take you to my game! You can guess the date, time, weight, length, and gender of our baby. Yes, it’s a boy…unless you think the ultrasound was wrong. That would be quite a shock.

Halloween fun!

Thank God Halloween is over.  Yes, its one of my favorite holidays, but also one of the most hectic.  There are parties to attend, costumes to buy, candy to eat (or in my case, try really hard not to eat), and trick or treating to be had.

This year we decided to splurg on one costume – Edgar’s – and use pieces of his for Magglio and myself.  We were a pirate family.  Edgar’s piarte costume was $50.  I wore the shirt and Magglio wore the bandana wrapped around his waist, criss-crossed up his back, and then back down in front like a little vest.  Take a look:

And here is Edgar:

Sorry, no pictures of me.  I’m usually the one taking them.

Happy Halloween everyone!

My naked Picasso

Magglio loves drawing on the dry erase board!  (And also on the walls)

Magglio has also learned all the letters of the Alphabet.  He doesn’t quite get the song, but he can name all of the letters correctly.  He’s working on number 1-9 now.  So far, he only knows 2, 5 and 9. 

In other news, I had to dump $600 on our car last week because the alternator went bad and it was draining the battery.  The first time it happened, Magglio and I were at the park and the car wouldn’t start.  After getting a jump from a stranger, Edgar went out and bought a new battery.  Three days later we’re all driving to Target when we stall in the middle of the road.  Roadside assistance towed us to a local dealership, where we paid $550 for an alternator.  (If, by chance, you know the REAL price of an alternator, please don’t tell me.  I’d rather not know.)  So far the car runs good as new.

In more great financial news, our dog has been limping and we had to take her to the vet this morning.  Both her front and back right paw were effected.  After the exam, they gave her an anti-inflamatory injection, an antibiotic infection, drew her blood, and sent me home with two different sets of antibiotic medications to give her the next two weeks.  Seems that its either a tic related illness or a joint inflamation.  Another $325 out the window!

How do I end this blog post on a positive, happy note?  Hmmm…even I am having trouble.  Good news: we’re all healthy, the pregnancy is going great (only 8 more weeks to go!), Edgar and I are both still employed, Magglio is as cute as ever.  That’s really what’s important here.  

(Can someone please remind me though when I have to pay my credit card bill at the end of the month?)

New pictures of Magglio! And … my big fat pregnant belly. :(

The month of August is shaping up to be pretty normal: Magglio is cute and adorable and I am fat and pregnant!  I am trying to go easy on myself, since I’m making a new human life.  (emphasis on “trying” here, folks.)

Here’s Magglio recently. 

And here he is in his awesome, sleeveless monkey shirt:

Here is a picture of me, 5 months pregnant:

Hey, maybe I’ll look less HUGE if I let my hair down?


So have you heard that we’re having another baby?

It’s true. Edgar and I are expecting another bundle of joy around late December. And…it’s a boy! Magglio will have a little brother to play with.

Mostly I’m excited, but some days I think, “What in the hell have I gotten myself into?” Having a newborn and a toddler…recipe for disaster! But it can’t be too hard, right? Women do it all the time. The best advice I’ve heard so far is from another mommy friend who has two young boys: “You learn to start sipping wine before noon.”

Here are some recent pictures of Magglio. Sorry I’ve been bad at posting new pictures. I usually have to reformat the picture sizes, and it’s a PITA.


Wearing Daddy’s bandana:

And with Daddy

Edgar’s mom comes to visit

Edgar’s mom came to visit last week and she’ll probably stay for the month of May. She really wants to be here for his 30th birthday, which is May 27th. We’ve really been enjoying her help with Magglio and the rest of the house duties, like cooking and cleaning. And she adores her grandson!

And, of course, she missed her only son.

And Magglio gets cuter every day.