Sick momma. Sick baby. No ones happy.

In an attempt to spend some quality time with my sister before she leaves for Italy–whole other blogpost–we decided that we would go for a run. This was about four days ago. Since then I have been bedridden due to the exacerbation of a herniated disc and broken vertebrae from my freshman year of college along with intense sciatic pain.

Normally this would be no big deal. My mom and dad would have to help me a little bit more with Paloma but last Thursday she was diagnosed with an ear infection. Sick baby equals an intense case of mommy-itis.

It’s been a rough few days. For those that don’t know me in real life, I don’t like to show that I’m in pain unless it’s totally unbearable. My freshman year of college I broke one of my vertebrae helping my roommate move into our dorm. I spent five weeks in unbearable pain, even asking my roommate help bathe me, until I finally called my parents and asked them to pick me up in Gainesville to go to the hospital in Miami. The doctors in the emergency room thought I had tried to kill myself from all the pain pills I had been popping.

Anyway, the point is that all I wanted to do was sleep to numb the pain but PJ had different plans. At first we cuddled and watched Jake and the Neverland Pirates. But after awhile she wanted to play hide-and-seek. Normally I’m all up to watch Paloma run around the house like a jack rabbit but I physically couldn’t. That led to tears and tantrums, causing my fuse to shorten with each shout. After about two days I LOST IT. I want to get better so I can go back to running, laughing, and snuggling. But with PJ on top of me it was really difficult not to find myself caught in an uncomfortable position.

I started snapping at her and eventually just left in the playpen with the television on just so I could get a few minutes of rest. It was awful and it’s not like I felt good doing it. A part of my soul died with each frustrating moment. She’s only 19 months old. It’s not her fault that she doesn’t understand that mommy isn’t feeling well either. All she knows is that she’s sick and wants her momma around. Reminding myself of that I would find myself holding back tears every time she would reach up and cry, “MAMA! MAMA! sob MAMAMAMAMAMA!” She would get bored of watching tv. She wants to run and be chased, to be tickled and loved. But my parents and sister had their own things going on and would just put the tv on for her to keep her quiet. I would get so frustrated because she needs more stimulation than a tv.

It’s been a rough few days but today I felt better. Paloma had her last dose of antibiotic last night and overall I would say our collective crankiness has begun to subside. She went to CAIF with my sister today and from what I heard chased a boy and finger painted without being coerced. We took a nap together when she came home and grandma made meatloaf for dinner. Tomorrow my sister and I have a lady date planned where we’re going to try out a new (for us) spa in Montevideo along with a sushi buffet. I’ll make sure to post a review of those places.

These rough days have served as a reminder that while my parents may not parent the way I do, they are my support system when raising my daughter. I may spend most of my days taking care of them, but I’m still their baby and they will do whatever they can to take of me. They changed diapers, gave baths, took care of meals, and were overall picking up my slack. I may whine about being in this alone but I know there isn’t anything further than the truth. We’re an “all for one, and one for all” kind of family.

CAIF: Who, what, where, and why?

So much has happened the past month that I don’t even know where to start. The construction on our house is almost done. Right now we’re waiting for the floors and kitchen to be installed and we should be done. I’ll make sure to post pictures once everything is done.

Last week PJ and I started going to CAIF. Now I’m sure you guys, like me, are wondering what exactly CAIF is.

CAIF is a government run daycare that employs psychologists to work with parents on ideal parenting techniques. They start off with pregnancy classes to prepare for arrival of baby. Once baby comes they go to a Mommy and Me class once a week (what PJ and I are doing now). At two years old the child can start attending CAIF for either four or eight hours a day without their parent. All of this with little to no cost to the parents.

In order to get into the CAIF Carlos and I had to fill out a questionnaire along with an interview with the head psychologist to assess our views on parenting. The questionnaire was filled with questions you might expect such as what is your highest level of education and what do you do for a living. But it also had questions I thought were odd such as what type of roofing material does our house have and do we have well water or are supplied by the water company. The interview was filled with even stranger questions. But I think what surprised me the most during the interview was when they asked us our views on discipline and hitting our child. I’m aware that there are parents that use violence as a way to instill discipline, however I never thought it would be an issue when dealing with a bunch of one-year olds.

Playing with a new friend! This was her first day.

We had our interview in November 2014. The CAIF runs the same as schools, open in February and close in December. But like I said, once your child turns two you get free childcare until they start school at age four. Who can really complain?

PJ and I started going last week and so far so good! We’re there for about two hours every Tuesday and it’s divided into play time, craft time, guided discussion, and snack time. Paloma has had a lot of fun running around and playing with other kids. She’s one of the older ones by about two or three months but it’s so strange to see the developmental difference between a one year old and Paloma at 16 months. She LOVES climbing the fake stairs they have and staring at herself in the mirror.

Childcare is such an issue all over the world and I LOVE that Uruguay has addressed this issue by providing free childcare to parents in need. I remember when I was pregnant and living in the States I had this internal debate on what I would do about childcare. What I would spend on childcare and what I would make from work did not make financial sense. However we really couldn’t live without my income. Luckily we’re not in a position now where childcare is a necessity but it’s good to know it’s available whenever needed.

Can always count on PJ to steal the balls.
Paloma enjoying CAIF too much to pause for a picture.