Monday, December 26, 2011

A Seamless Transition

I know this might be a bit tardy, considering it's been almost 10 months - but I think it's important to mention our dealings with breastfeeding. I've written quite a few posts in the past on the importance of it and tried to give advise for those who question which way they want to follow but there was never a mention of the Baby finally transitioning from the teet to the cup.

The Baby weened herself. It was a gradual change - something I never really noticed until the Wifey mentioned it to me with a tear in her eye.

When I reflect, I always think about how the Wifey would nurse in public and I would make sure there was privacy - not for her, but for me. She could care less. She knew it was just her feeding the child, nothing risque or inappropriate about it. I just didn't want creepy guys to take a gander.

The nursing times proved to be our few minutes of sanity - just pure quietness for all three of us. The Baby would just cuddle up to Wifey and I could focus on my video games.

Now it's all about what snacks we can find. One moment it's grapes, the next moment she wants crackers, or cheese, or cheese and crackers. Or she wants string cheese but also sliced cheese - or now she wants yogurt but the adult yogurt with her baby spoon or the baby yogurt with the adult spoon. So many different options and variations when before it was either left or right boob.

But it was an experience - and it was a bond that I will never experience with Baby like she does with her mom. The only memories I can cherish is being yelled at for not cleaning the breast pump properly.

It's amazing to reflect and see how much breastfeeding consumed our lives, a set two hour schedule of 3 minutes on each side. And suddenly it was gone. Suddenly there was no quick food source - now we have to package snacks and now we have to clean up after her. And it's expensive feeding the Baby real food.

But it was a seamless transition, although my bank account will say otherwise, and something to always cherish.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa, the Scariest Man on Earth

We ventured out to NorthPark Center to once again visit their famous Santa Clause.

Since we are pretty much professionals now, we arrived at the mall, or "shopping center" as the snooty NorthPark people will say, at 830AM. A good two and half hours before the lines open to actually take a picture with Santa.

At 830AM, we were already 48th in line. The real professionals had brought lawn chairs and iPads and saved their spot as if they were waiting in line for U2 tickets.

The biggest obstacle was trying to keep the Baby sane for the time we were there. Luckily she took a nap so we didn't have to worry about a fussy baby.

The Baby was dressed in her Christmas outfit with her cute little bow and she was the happiest baby there...until we attempted the handoff to Santa.




Maybe next year will be different when the Baby finally understands Santa's magical powers or maybe she just loathes the guy. Who knows. We even thought it was just that particular Santa until we decided to partake in a free Santa photo session at the airport.

Different guy, same results. It's always fun to see true fear photographed.


We wish everyone a Merry, not as petrified, Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Good Baby

Today I wasn't feeling well (probably because I spent the entire previous day cleaning the bedroom/bathroom) so I decided to make it a stay in bed all day until work day. And the Baby did not care one bit. Usually she gets stir crazy but today we just lied around and watched movies all morning. She snacked on grapes and would go from lying next to me with the pillow behind her head to sitting between my legs.

Occasionally she would come up to me and put her arms around me and then grab my face with her little hands and give me a kiss on the lips and go back to watching the movie.

We ended up taking a break to go get some pho and as always, the Baby loved it. She sat in a booster seat and for the most part did well - she did a lot better job of keeping her food in the bowl.

Usually on the drive back, she passes out and I can sneak in a nap but she stayed awake. My routine is to get out of her car seat and let her walk into the house. She will then press the lock button my car door and then jingle the hanging dog leash before we go into the house. When we walked in she grabbed her cup of grapes and a book and went straight into the bedroom and laid on the bed.

So we watched another movie and she laid her head on my arm and grabbed my arm and wrapped around her body and made sure the comforter was covering her legs and took a nap.

She was a good baby today and makes me very happy she's my kid.

So here are a few pictures.

Before our lunch date today, with her Mug O' Grapes next to her.

She grabbed her blanket and took a nap on the ground.

Fake sleeping, you can see the smile on her face.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's Peanut Butter Potty Time!

The Wifey and I have been getting a little fed up with the Baby's desire to constantly be naked. She is always taking her diaper off and I have even taken the step of taping her diaper, in which she throws the biggest fit ever.

So we decided to be proactive and and start setting her on the potty so she would get accustomed to it. And so far she has gotten the hang of it with minimal hiccups. Every morning she goes to the bathroom and pats her diaper and we set her on the seat. It usually takes her a good five minutes to start going (typical girls) but as soon as she's done she will start clapping and cheering. We don't know how long she will keep it up but at least she is good at going through the motions.

In related news, as soon as she hears the shower running, she immediately strips down. I guess she is trained to know when to shower as well. But a shower means she can draw with her bathtub crayons and splash water. Oh well, baby steps.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Change Up

Here is some neat advice if your toddler is refusing to eat a particular snack that they have been eating since forever.

Try placing the snack inside a cup as opposed to a bowl or a baggie. The Baby today would not eat any grapes (her favorite snack ever) and I had them in a bowl and a baggie. Then I threw them all into a cup and she went ape shit.

Literal. Ape. Shit.

She just laughed and giggled and ran around and danced. We took a nap and she had to make sure the cup of grapes was with her in the bed. And when she woke up, she grabbed her cup.

I can't wait to throw them grapes into a shoe, I wonder how crazy she will act then.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Terrible Twos...Too Soon

We are getting to the stage where the Baby is constantly testing us and her limits. She's hands down the most adorable kid when she will just reach out and hug you or grab your face and give you a long, drawn out kiss on your lips. Or she will just fake laugh until you'll react with a real laugh. And we have to try really hard to hold onto those moments as she turns into the worst kid ever.

In order to keep my blood pressure down, I will pair one bad thing with a good thing.

She will randomly grab our phones and just throw it across the room. Not a soft, baby toss but an Olympian discus fling.

Every night before bed she takes our phones and attempts to plug them to charge. And in the mornings, the first thing she does it bring our phones to us.

She throws away everything. The trash can is her most favorite place.

She throws away her trash if we ask her to but then again, she probably just enjoys throwing stuff away to begin with.

She loves playing with the dog food.

She loves hand feeding our dog. And has the most adorable laugh when she chases him.

She likes to spill her drinks on purpose to play with the mess.

She is adamant to drink from a cup like a big girl. It's frustrating but it's cute to watch.

Those are the main ones now; it's going to get worse before it gets any better so we're bracing ourselves.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To Test or Not to Test

The Wifey posed a question to me this evening on whether or not we would allow the Baby test to get into the Gifted and Talented (Magnet) programs for Kindergarten. I think as parents we always want the best for our children and obviously these schools give the best opportunity but how well do they actually develop and prepare children?

Granted I was a byproduct of the academy system (not until middle school - I got caught cheating during my testing to get into the academy system in elementary school but that is neither here nor there) and the Wifey actually spent her entire public education in the Gifted and Talented programs. How much she has actually retained is minimal but at least she can say she was once gifted and/or talented.

But I worry that if the Baby does do these tests and it's shown that she isn't as smart as we think she is or she has to face adversity and rejection when she realizes that there are going to be kids who are just ten times smarter with even smarter parents.

Some of the smartest people I know didn't do the academy route and they turned out fine and then there are those who did go through enriched courses and are seriously the most messed up people ever.

It's kinda like on the Simpsons and Lisa realizes she is surrounded by idiots but in the end she realizes those idiots is what makes her unique. I just don't want the Baby to see her parents the same way I saw mine - as a thorn in my side when I am trying to be better than what I really am.

I hope she comes to the realization sooner than I did that there is more to life to just academic tests and GPA and that although I have forgotten how to use that FOIL technique  - I will always be smarter to her as long as she is living under my roof; academy system or not.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Art of No

The Baby has learned how to use the word 'no' a little too much. For awhile she was good in never saying no always open to anything. But now, it's all about 'no'.

Ask her to put on her diaper, she will scream 'noooooooooo' and then run away.
Ask her to wipe her face: Noooooooooooo and then run away.
Ask her to stop jumping off the coffee table: nooooooooo and then run away.
Ask her to stop jumping off the couch: noooooooo and then run away.
Ask her to stop throwing dog food at the dog: noooooooooo and then run away.

Usually we would be angry because she is already disobeying us but it's such a cute little no she yells and the way she scurries off into her tent to hide is funny too.

But here is the byproduct of a child who refuses to wear clothes:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

18 Months

The Baby had her 18 month checkup and everything is fine. She is officially the tiniest 18month ever or at least in weight she is in the 5th percentile. However, her head is in the 50th percentile - so she does have a normal Asian brain. We were a little worried about her speech development as the Baby still has under 10 words - but our doctor said that it isn't a cause for alarm as she is really good at demonstrating. At this stage, she just didn't want a mute kid.



A few days after this checkup, the Baby ended up getting really sick - she wasn't coughing or anything but she did have a fever of 102 and was extremely lethargic. She was literally awake for about 2 hours. But luckily she got well and was up to no good.


I would also like to point out that this picture was taken by the Wifey. The Baby climbed up there and actually lied down to rest. Crazy kid.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Kid's Menus

I think the majority of professional chefs would agree that kid's menus are absolutely a waste of time and money. Granted they are just children but they undermine the palettes of children. It's the same stuff - overpriced blue box mac and cheese and chicken tenders - sometimes we'll be lucky and there will be a pasta, accompanied with mandarin oranges in syrup straight from the jar.

Although the Baby herself has a simple enough sense of taste; we can't go wrong with steamed rice or pasta, the Baby will usually eat anything we put in front of her. She has eaten sushi (higher quality stuff, not the prepackaged Wal-Mart stuff) and really likes edamame. I just find it sad that a lot of the nicer restaurants have involuntarily dubbed themselves as "not kid friendly". It's not hard to be kid friendly - just have high chairs available. Our child will eat off our plates and if they don't like it, we have some animal crackers just in case.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Picture Dump

Playing cars, butt naked.



Reverse planking at the mall playground - with kid creeper in the back

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mall Playgrounds

My Facebook is getting bombarded with all my friends who are having their babies. Well, at least my Facebook was getting bombarded until Jesse Eisenberg decided to change up the layout. But congratulations to everyone as they get to enjoy a calm, easy baby. Sleep, feed, and change for the first few weeks. Enjoy it.

So I have been taking my daughter to the local mall to play in their indoor playground. Good padding, things to climb, and other kids to give the stink-eye. And let me just say, if you are easily prone to heart attacks, mall playgrounds are not for you.

There are kids jumping off crap, screaming, and blindly running with their fists flailing while their parents sit in the corner and gulp down their Frappucino. I don't see how these kids, who are probably scared of the vacuum, can just eject themselves off these play structures with no fear. The Baby decided she just wanted to walk off the side of a four foot bridge without realizing she was going to fall. These kids are literally diving off shit and bouncing off their heads, their legs are all twisted and they pop up and do it again.

There has to be some kind of crazy chemical on those things because it's chaos.

And the Baby absolutely loves it. We spent an hour there today and she was passed out by the time we got back to the car.

Luckily I go in the morning during the week so the real crazy kids aren't there. But you do run into the judgmental stay at home mom who wonders why your daughter has dried yogurt on her face and is wearing an unbuttoned onesie with pants.  Bitch.




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waking Baby

Despite the Baby spitting like a baseball player and her beach antics, it's this type of stuff that makes us forget her foibles. Until we slip in her spit puddles - but enjoy a nice video of the Baby waking up from a nap...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Day at the Beach

The Wifey and I decided to take a spur of the moment trip down to Galveston for the weekend. We wanted to restore the Baby's faith in the beach after the whole Cali debacle where the Wifey tossed the Baby into the waves.

So early Saturday morning we hopped a plane to Houston and rented a car to spend at the beach. It was going to be one of the last weekends of really nice weather so we took full advantage of it.

The Baby immediately enjoyed the cool ocean breeze but she was still skeptical of the waves rolling in. She could sense the water but she couldn't avoid the waves. She would make a mad dash for the ocean and then as soon the next wave came trickling, she would make an abrupt U-Turn.

So the Wifey decided to put on her floaties and then the Baby became invincible.

She loved the ocean. She loved the sand. She loved it just like we figured she would. She ended up becoming delirious because she loved it so much. So here is the Baby being crazy in Galveston:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Help.

So the grandmother thought it would be cute to teach the Baby how to spit. Her defense is that she only spits outside. Unfortunately, the Baby does not know the difference.

But now the Baby spits everywhere, on everything. We've stopped giving the Baby her favorite bottle of water to limit her spitting. We've tried time outs and even a little slap on the hand but she just laughs and laughs.

We're hoping the Nanny can help curb this bad habit, regardless of it being "cute and only outside."

So any suggestions on how to stop her spitting would be awesome.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pictures from the BlackBerry

The Baby's version of saying cheese




Just chillin' in the Bumbo

Hiding in her tent

The Baby's tent

Monday, September 5, 2011

Unsolicited Advice

Lately my Facebook feed has been become filled with new parents and expecting parents. And it makes me nostalgic to see their photos of their little babies with their eyes still swollen from adjusting to real light and their tiny hands covered in cloth condom wrappers.

I like to take some time out of my day and go over the old photographs of the Baby and reminisce how perfect she was. And then I see my child drop kicking the dog and tagging up our living room walls with her Crayolas.

But as I see my friends experience their lives changing with their new addition, I can't help but want to give some advice. I just don't want to be*that* parent that believes, "oh, I did it and it worked for me and it will work for you". That mentality does not work, so I abstain but I just can't help to want to reach out and tell my friends, "think of your child!"

***Unrelated*** The Wifey justs sent me a message on Google chat about her cooking dinner tonight and this is what she says:

Wifey: you are supposed to char the tortillas over the gas stove. do you think i could do it ghetto style and just light some paper on fire?

Yikes.

***End of Unrelated***

Anyways, I just see my friends post simple questions on Facebook about raising their child and what they should do and I am horrified by some of the responses.What's even more horrifying is that their comments end up getting "liked".

I just don't understand; as a parent you need to proactively educate yourself on everything about your child. If you believe in one method, why not research other methods just to confirm yours is the right one? There is no wrong way or right way to raise a child. But at least be educated about it. Just because it worked for your mom or your mom's mom, does not mean it is set in stone.

Hell, even question your doctor. Depending on when and where your doctor received her degree, will dictate what advice they give you. There are multiple schools of thought and it's okay if you disagree, it's okay if you question. In fact, the best thing you can do with your doctor is ask questions. As much as our insurance gets charged for the Baby's scheduled maintenance, I am going to get my 10 minutes worth of face time with my doctor.

For my friends who are expecting... if your doctor is pushing for a C-section, why are they pushing for a C-section? If you doctor wants to induce, why are they needing to induce? I personally disagree with both unless medically necessary but like I said before, to each his/her own.

I guess the whole purpose of this post is just to make sure you can defend your ways. If you firmly believe what you are doing is the best thing for your child and your child is happy, then I will respect your decisions.

It Could Be Worse

There are times when I look at my daughter and I see the most intelligent toddler I have ever met. The way she mimics everything I do or how she will respond with somewhat educated responses (albeit, grunts and points) and I get excited because the future is endless for her.

Then I worry if the college acceptance board gets a whiff of this video and her whole future is ruined...

video

So now I pose the question to you, what crazy, whacked out things have your kids done that make you question their genetic makeup? All I know is in my case, I have never walked around with a bucket on my head...but then again, I am not so sure about the Wifey.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Some Pictures!

SPRAY PARK!

You brush your kid's teeth with a Sonicare one time and that's the only way they want do it from then on.


Dear Baby

Dear Baby:

I want preface this letter that over these past 17 months you have been awesome. You manage to make us laugh, smile, and almost have a heart attack all at the same time with some of your antics. You have been so delightful and fun and have definitely added an entire new dimension to our lives. So that's why I really hate to tell you this, but we need a break.

It's not you, it's us. You've been the ideal baby without a doubt. Your parents just need some time to be alone - to breathe, to sleep, to not wonder if it's been too long since you've last ate, to not have to worry just because you've gone quiet for one minute too long.

You have never been apart from at least one of us for over 24 hours for the past 17 months - over two years if you include the time you were in the womb. I think we can both agree that we need some time apart. Nothing too drastic, maybe a night where I don't have to worry about rolling over you and crushing you with my daddy weight. Or a morning where I can make breakfast and not have to share with you. Selfish, I know, but it get's annoying when I have to split my breakfast with you, only for you to share it with the dog.

Not cool Baby, not cool.

Maybe one day your 'Nana will have a girls' sleepover and your mom and I can hop a plane somewhere. Or maybe one of your aunts will fight each other to see who gets the pleasure of sharing a bed with you. Either way, we're all due for a break.

I hope you don't take this letter too personally, in fact, I am pretty sure you will agree. And if you don't, just remember your mom and I love you very much.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy 17 Months

Happy 17 months to the Baby. You started off as the coolest, cutest baby and now you're becoming a little devil child.

Oh what, you love climbing things and then jumping off with no fear or idea of recourse? Sure, go right ahead!

After 16 months of perfect crib sleeping, you decide you hate your room and your crib and must sleep in our bed? Sounds good to us!

You like to scream and yell while running throughout the house, tormenting the dog? You earned it!

Need a little help feeding yourself? Oh you don't? You have to spoon feed yourself EVERYTHING? That shouldn't be a problem, do whatever you want.

Happy 17 months, despite your craziness, you're still the most awesome kid I know.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pho Dance

Every week the Baby and I try to go and have our pho lunch date. I am training her now to love pho and Vietnamese food and so far it's working. Here is her post pho dance:

video



A New Addition

Well, as the title says, we have a new addition to our family. The Wifey and I have been talking about it for awhile and we really felt the Baby needed someone else to hang out with and become best friends. I mean, seriously, here she is at Old Navy making friends with the mannequins and the fake dog. Apparently the dog had something funny to say as the Baby starts laughing towards the end of the video.

video


So we did it. Although I really didn't want to do it, the Wifey convinced me otherwise with a good dinner and some drinks.

We hired an au-pair.

Now, the Wifey will argue and say that the term "au pair" is incorrect because technically she isn't from another country. But she did move all the way from Maryland (not for us, although it would be very flattering if she did) and Maryland is just as foreign to Texas. So I will refer to our new addition as the "Nanny".

With the Wifey getting a new job and working different hours and myself working later shifts, we needed a caretaker to watch the Baby during the off hours. Plus by hiring the Nanny, it will really lessen the burden of the grandmother watching the Baby multiple days a week. And now I don't have to worry if the Baby is being spoon fed coffee in the mornings.

The Nanny seems to be very like minded as the Wifey, which is a good thing for the Baby and a bad thing for me. Now I might have to get yelled at twice for letting the Baby eat ice cream straight out of the carton.

It's going to be an interesting transition but so far the Baby has taken a liking to the Nanny. She doesn't officially start until next week so we have some time to break the Baby of her bad habits so the Nanny doesn't think we are the worst parents ever.


So if you are ever out and about and happen to see the cutest Baby ever with some strange woman, don't be alarmed, it's her new best friend.

Baby Fashion Show

It's really hard for me to actually dress the Baby up. It is really easy for me to just throw on a onesie and some shoes and then call it a day. But the Wifey wants the Baby to look cute, with a flowy dress, matching headband, and cute shoes. She does not want bloomers that do not match; or anything that is too big or too small or out of season. For example, Christmas shirts, although super duper cute, are not good for the middle of the summer.

So what is the solution? Dress your baby in whatever you want; whatever is the cleanest and easiest to put on. And when someone asks about the interesting choice of clothes, you simply say, "oh the baby picked out her own outfit." That's all you need to say. If anything, you will get mad props for being the cool dad that let's his kids pick out their own clothes.

Turn any sleep sack into a fashionable item by adding pants. Sans pants and I call it a dress.

Poor Baby dressed herself and didn't realize that dresses come with the bloomers attached. Silly baby.

Accessorize your baby with underwear, preferably clean.
Rockin' the one shoe by choice

A Different Approach

My webmaster and literary director has decided she wanted a new look, a different approach to the blog. This blog needs a little more direction and organization.

To all my faithful readers, I am also looking to enhance this blog with a new design and layout. Any recommendations would be awesome.

So here it goes...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Children & Technology

I saw an article a few days ago that discussed the increase of technology in childrens' lives nowadays.

I didn't read the article.

Although it sounded interesting and being a new father I should have investigated but I guess I was afraid of being guilty of whatever the article said not to do. But it's so hard to steer the Baby away from technology. We didn't introduce any television until she was at least one (although her grandmother may or may not have snuck in some Elmo time) it was still hard to keep her away from technology.

I work in the technology industry; I am either on my phone, my laptop, my tablet, or my other phone and sometimes it's a combination of all of them. Which easily explains why the Baby knew how to put the phone to her ear or how she will rest the phone on her shoulder and have the weight of her head pin it down to her shoulder.

It also explains why we had to dust off an old, broken laptop so the Baby could play. She has a nice little LeapFrog laptop but I guess she would rather have the real thing. I think we ended up pissing her off even more because the laptop we gave her weighs about 8lbs - and that was a lightweight laptop a few years ago.

The Baby also understands the concept of touchscreen. She will slide her finger across the screen and vigorously tap until it performs the action she wants.

Do I think technology is bad? Like anything, it's all about consumption and moderation. It was bound to happen that our kids are going to know how to do crap on computers before we can. I think with the Baby she interacts with everyone although she's a little shy and she has probably the most advanced imagination for anyone her age. Ask her to cook you something in her kitchen, I am pretty sure it will be delicious.


So this video was taken long before that article - technology overkill.

video

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Tomboy

Deep down inside, I really wanted the Baby to be a little tomboyish. I wanted someone I could throw the football around or I could teach some cool soccer moves - I really wanted to cheer her on at her soccer games or basketball games or anything competitive.

But for some reason, the Baby is such a girly girl. She loves jewelry, she loves putting anything around her neck and walking around the house. She has to carry some kind of purse but it ends being anything with a strap, whether its a trash bag or her mom's bras. And recently she found a brush and started to apply makeup to her face. I don't know who has taught her that. She has officially put on more makeup than her own mother and she's only 16 months.

She hates it when her hands are dirty and she tries on every article of clothing she can find. And on some occasion she will throw a ball or kick it around but she is an extreme girl. Maybe she gets it from her grandmother.

Maybe they will have competitive shopping.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

BlackBerry Picture Dump

Watching Monsters Inc as she sits on my calves


Cheesin' #1

Cheesin' #2

Pho Date


Cheesin' #3

Cheesin' #4


being shy

Cheesin' #5

BEING CRAZY!



Sleepin'

being lazy

JELL-O!