Monday, December 31, 2007

Another Sleep Experiment

In preparation for our migration to the homeland (we're going to the phils), we had decided (ok, I decided and G sort of went along with it) that we had better train s to sleep in the same room with us and her sister. To those who do not know, s had been sleeping in her own room since her birth. She and I shared the room for the first 4 months but when we started sleep training, she slept alone. I have found that whenever I tried sleeping in her room with her, she tended to wake up more because she wants to be held or carried. My reasoning is that back home, we would probably all be in one room anyway and it'll be hard to have her crying all night there. I won't hear the end of it from my parents, I am sure.

So we did it. We took advantage of G's time off and we just did it. We moved her crib into our room and put her to sleep the same way. I was surprised actually that she slept the same way in our room. G would do the same routine and put her down awake. She slept. Of course, she awoke a few times at night. The first night, she cried loudly and incessantly at 5:00 AM, waking up her poor sister. We have a rule that we don't go to her before 6:00 because I don't want to encourage her waking up any earlier than that.

So far it's going better than expected. It hasn't been quite so hellish. However I do have to get used to her numerous nightwakings, her grunting and random 2 second cries. However my experience with s has taught me that the only constant with her sleep habits is that it is bound to change sooner than later.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

What a way to spend a day!!!!

Turned out to be a perfect day for the park. The weather was not too cold and the kids had a serious case of cabin fever.

Come here, doggie.


Gratuitous photo of the 'hood.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

QOTD (Question of the Day)


What is the orange thing supposed to be?

For the uninitiated, this is a picture of shiumai (siomai, if you are pinoy). There is commonly an orange spot on top. Sometimes this is roe of some kind (which kind though? who has heard of pig roe?)

Just wondered if anyone can shed light on this?
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One of Santa's cute little helpers

 Couldn't resist posting this one.

It turned out to be a family day for the family c. Originally the plan was to have dimsum with Gmom's mom (PP) but PP decided that since she was having dinner with her sons, that's more than enough merriment already. Oh well...

So we dimsum'ed anyway. This time we headed towards 8th avenue, which is a blast from the past for us since we haven't been there in at least 2 years. Even Gmom hasn't been there in a long while. We headed for the restaurant we usually go to for dimsum only to find that it is now a bank. Thankfully another place further away from the 8th avenue hubbub still serves dimsum. As expected it was crowded. There was a line outside the door. Thankfully we got there a little before the crowd really started to come in. g and s like dimsum. The restaurant actually served dishes that we haven't seen ourselves (like durian wrapped with noodle...doesn't even sound like a good idea, does it?)

I am not sure what this stuff is called but it is good and didn't stand a chance with g. It seems to have been made with some sort of tapioca soft shell that has the consistency of fruit snacks and stuffed inside were 3 different kinds of custards (egg, lotus paste and mung bean). It was really delish that we ordered 2.

So this is before:

And this is a picture of g sucking the insides out:

After a hearty meal, we strolled (more like fought) our way to 58th street for a bag of rice. The crowd, the lack of respect of personal space (heck, the lack of personal space) - all remind me of home. It made me a little homesick. I think I will always miss living close or in a chinatown despite the attendant noise and grime associated with it. I know I look back at it with much nostalgia but I do remember distinctly being annoyed at the fact that my brothers and I never really had a place to play. All we had was a little bit of sidewalk.

The kids retired at Gmom's home while G installed a cell repeater. After that we went to dinner. Another Chinese joint, of course. Then again, I love Chinese food.
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Monday, December 24, 2007

It's just pretend (g says the darnest things...the series)

Today we wrapped Christmas presents for Gmom. g helped by tearing pieces of tape. s helped by keeping out of the way and not tearing any wrapping paper. We finished the roll of wrapping paper leaving only the paper center roll. The kids latched on to their new toy. It was first a megaphone (daddy's idea, I think). Then a club. So they were gently bobbing each other on the head.

g used it for balance as she walked on her "balsam beam" (balance beam). This went on, hours of fun from a paper roll.

I was cooking when g put on an old straw hat and put the paper roll between her legs. She proclaimed herself a girl cowboy and started calling her dad a buckaroo. She said that the roll was her horse. She took a liking to a hobby horse that she saw at a toy store recently and this might also have something to do with repeated viewing of Elmo's Wild Wild West.

Her dad responded, "well, where's your horse's eyes?" To which, g replied, "daddy, it's just pretend."

OK, g, I think he got it now.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

g on the cell

Overheard today. g had recently memorized our home phone number. Today she was playing on an old cell phone. She was talking and reciting our home phone number. I asked her who she was talking to. She said that she was telling A (P & K's son) her phone number. Then she proceeded to babble as if carrying on a real conversation.

Her dad from across the hallway called out to her. He pretended to be calling her on the cell phone, saying "hello, g. How are you?" g looked at him incredulously and says, "why are you calling me? I am right here."

Later on, g showed me her "notes". She was "writing" out our phone number for A.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

s' Christening


It was another sad comedy at the Christening. It is supposed to be a deeper and more meaningful event than it turned out. However I guess it was not surprising because the same person made the same crazy mistakes when g was christened.

Before the ceremony began, we spoke briefly as we waited for some other kids to show up. There were only two families there at the time (mine included). He was from the Philippines so he asked the same basic questions (ie where are you from? where's your family from? how long have you been here? where is your accent?) He was nice enough. After a few more minutes of waiting, he decided to begin.

He began the prayers asking the Lord to watch over Cindy and Julian (the other child there to be baptized). No, s's name is not Cindy. I chuckled and he probably saw it and quickly corrected himself. However as he proceeded with prayers, he constantly interchanged Cindy and s throughout.

During the actual annointing with oil, he called s "julia". HUH??????

Finally we came to the final prayers. He asked the small congregation to welcome new Christians, Julian and Sylvia (again, not s's name). ::::eyes rolling::::

Just as an aside, Julian (the other kid) was raising a holy ruckus during the whole thing, running around the church and throwing tantrums. That might excuse him a little but only a little.

It turned out to be really funny and entertaining for the non-christians. It is sad though that her initiation into the church will be remembered more for doubts on a deacon's sobriety and/or his inability to remember a simple name.
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Friday, November 30, 2007

Updates from dad

Since I missed my train tonight I have a few moments at work to catch up on my blogging. It's been such an adventure with two kids. things of note...

- when s turned 1 year old earlier this month I took the opportunity to test where her heart lies. It's a Chinese tradition to place several objects in front of a 1 year old and see what they gravitate towards. So we had s sit on the living room floor and I simultaneously revealed to her four objects. The objects included a plastic pen from Commerce Bank, a solar powered Casio scientific calculator from my high school days, a chinese red envelope with a $20 bill sticking out of it and a Hello Kitty note pad. After being distracted a bit with her nearby toys she finally focused on the objects and chose... the pen.

When her mom returned later that evening I recounted the trial and we proceeded to test here again. And sure enough she went for the pen again. Well actually she went for almost all the things individually this time but the pen held onto her attention the longest this time. So I'm declaring the pen the winner again. I'm not sure what that means exactly. Maybe she'll be bookish one day.

As a side note, my mother told me when I was tested at one years old I grabbed everything in front of me simultaneously. I'd like to think that it means I embrace all things in life...or maybe I'm just greedy.

- Since I've been working nights for the last year I've had the extreme joy of bringing g to the Little Gym weekly. For a while we attended a parent/child gym class. She really enjoyed my company running around with her. Then since she was getting older in September we decided to put her into a kid's class only of tap and ballet. Although I don't join her in the class she still clearly can see me outside the door or behind the big piece of glass. Well the last two and a half months have been difficult. G has never really warmed up to any of the other girls in the class nor the teacher. It's odd though since when she gets home all she does it talk about ballet and shows us her dance moves. It got to the point that last week I was already contemplating yanking her out of the class. It has become increasingly frustrating for me to watch her either stand by the doorway disinterested in the class or even throw a tantrum if I should walk more than 3 steps away from the door. But miraculously something in her brain clicked this Monday.

November 26th, 2007 - I had my usual pep talk with g at home before class where I encouraged her once again to pay attention and try to dance. Before we left for class I applied a bit of her new grape flavored chapstick to her lips. She seemed really happy about her new chapstick so I let her put it in her coat pocket and take it with us to the little gym. Once at the little gym I had a talk again with g and told her I wanted her to have fun today. As soon as class began, g went in willingly and started to do the dance exercises by the doorway. I saw that as a sign of improvement. Standing by the doorway myself I told her to get closer to the teacher and other girls...and she did. She spent the rest of the class at the front of the classroom holding onto the hands of the other little girls and dancing her heart out. She was talkative and engaged in everything. She became the crowd motivator and egged the other girls to dance when energy levels seemed down. Every so often she would run to the door where I was standing and tell me "See daddy, I'm not crying anymore." I was so proud of her that day. Little Gym comes around on Monday again. I hope she still has that same enthusiasm. But as an insurance policy I will bring the chapstick again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Project - Scrapbook

I thought that creating a scrapbook for Gmom will make a nice Christmas/Holiday gift.

It is a work in progress but I have a third of my sketches done.

These are the pics I am using. Not all of them are winners. Some months, despite the preponderance of shots, there is a shortage of winners.

Amazing memory

I am amazed at g's memory. However, she seems to have a memory for odd bits of information that will not win her a scholarship on teen jeopardy.

Last night, she brought out our swiffer and was "cleaning". As she was cleaning, she said to G, "j's daddy has a swiffer too and it is purple." Mind you, we visited j and e at their home months ago when baby j was just a few weeks old. I didn't even remember that j was cleaning when we arrived. So G emailed j to confirm whether or not they had a purple swiffer and indeed they did.


g says the darnest things (part 2)

This happened last week but it was so funny.

Picture this:
Gmom, g and I were seated on the couch (in that order).

Gmom was telling g something. I have a working knowledge of some short Cantonese phrases but what they were talking about was beyond my meager comprehension. Gmom went on for quite a bit. g was looking at her and listening intently (or so I thought).

At a pause in Gmom's conversation, g turned to me and said, "what she talking about?"

Once again, hilarity ensues.

g says the darnest things (part 1)

I have a feeling that this is going to be a series.

Picture this: G had ordered some new bathing suits for Gmom. We are at the kitchen as G opens the packaging to check the items out. They were a little loud (in my opinion) but I kept quiet.

g says, "Papa, is that for the floor or for the bed?"

hilarity ensues....well, it took me a while to stop laughing as g looked at me, puzzled.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A thought on Thanksgiving

As everyone seems to be gearing up for the upcoming turkey day, I can't help but feel a little lost. I have much to be thankful for and I am profoundly grateful for it all.

The holidays seems to always be a rough one for theFamilyC because of conflicting expectations. Back home, we celebrated almost everything. When my brothers and I were younger, we celebrated Christmas, New year's, Chinese New year and birthdays (there were a lot of birthdays). Well, our version of a celebration really meant that we had a home cooked special meal or we went out to lunch or dinner as a family. Those were the times when we were allowed to have soda (or soft drinks). G's family is quite the opposite. They seem to celebrate nothing. I understand not celebrating the Hallmark holidays (ie made up ones like valentine's) or holidays that were more "american" like Thanksgiving. However they don't celebrate anything. After the death of G's grandfather, I can only remember once when most of the members of his small extended family gathered together. Even then, they gathered in shifts while we were at dimsum. The whole family was never together all at once. That seems really sad to me.

Aside from a tradition of celebrating, I like marking these holidays because it forces me to pause, to break from the rhythm of my usual days and acknowledge the people around me. A case can be made that this is something that should be done at all times but it is nice to have these days as reminders. More importantly, I think celebrating as a family reinforces a sense of family, a sense of belonging to a tribe.

I have my own selfish reasons for wanting to celebrate (I personally love the "feeling".) However I want to instill in my kids the same sense of excitement and more importantly, the same sense of family, a family that is beyond the nuclear one that they are exposed to daily). This is one lesson I will have a lot of fun teaching.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The original Sesame Street carries a warning label....HUH???

Apparently the old Sesame seems too "off" for today's kids. Hmmmm.....what does that say about me?

From New York Times' columnist, Virginia Heffernan:

Sunny days! The earliest episodes of “Sesame Street” are available on digital video! Break out some Keebler products, fire up the DVD player and prepare for the exquisite pleasure-pain of top-shelf nostalgia.

Just don’t bring the children. According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

Say what? At a recent all-ages home screening, a hush fell over the room. “What did they do to us?” asked one Gen-X mother of two, finally. The show rolled, and the sweet trauma came flooding back. What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar’s depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist.

Nothing in the children’s entertainment of today, candy-colored animation hopped up on computer tricks, can prepare young or old for this frightening glimpse of simpler times. Back then — as on the very first episode, which aired on PBS Nov. 10, 1969 — a pretty, lonely girl like Sally might find herself befriended by an older male stranger who held her hand and took her home. Granted, Gordon just wanted Sally to meet his wife and have some milk and cookies, but . . . well, he could have wanted anything. As it was, he fed her milk and cookies. The milk looks dangerously whole.

Live-action cows also charge the 1969 screen — cows eating common grass, not grain improved with hormones. Cows are milked by plain old farmers, who use their unsanitary hands and fill one bucket at a time. Elsewhere, two brothers risk concussion while whaling on each other with allergenic feather pillows. Overweight layabouts, lacking touch-screen iPods and headphones, jockey for airtime with their deafening transistor radios. And one of those radios plays a late-’60s news report — something about a “senior American official” and “two billion in credit over the next five years” — that conjures a bleak economic climate, with war debt and stagflation in the offing.

The old “Sesame Street” is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for softies born since 1998, when the chipper “Elmo’s World” started. Anyone who considers bull markets normal, extracurricular activities sacrosanct and New York a tidy, governable place — well, the original “Sesame Street” might hurt your feelings.

I asked Carol-Lynn Parente, the executive producer of “Sesame Street,” how exactly the first episodes were unsuitable for toddlers in 2007. She told me about Alistair Cookie and the parody “Monsterpiece Theater.” Alistair Cookie, played by Cookie Monster, used to appear with a pipe, which he later gobbled. According to Parente, “That modeled the wrong behavior” — smoking, eating pipes — “so we reshot those scenes without the pipe, and then we dropped the parody altogether.”

Which brought Parente to a feature of “Sesame Street” that had not been reconstructed: the chronically mood-disordered Oscar the Grouch. On the first episode, Oscar seems irredeemably miserable — hypersensitive, sarcastic, misanthropic. (Bert, too, is described as grouchy; none of the characters, in fact, is especially sunshiney except maybe Ernie, who also seems slow.) “We might not be able to create a character like Oscar now,” she said.

Snuffleupagus is visible only to Big Bird; since 1985, all the characters can see him, as Big Bird’s old protestations that he was not hallucinating came to seem a little creepy, not to mention somewhat strained. As for Cookie Monster, he can be seen in the old-school episodes in his former inglorious incarnation: a blue, googly-eyed cookievore with a signature gobble (“om nom nom nom”). Originally designed by Jim Henson for use in commercials for General Foods International and Frito-Lay, Cookie Monster was never a righteous figure. His controversial conversion to a more diverse diet wouldn’t come until 2005, and in the early seasons he comes across a Child’s First Addict.

The biggest surprise of the early episodes is the rural — agrarian, even — sequences. Episode 1 spends a stoned time warp in the company of backlighted cows, while they mill around and chew cud. This pastoral scene rolls to an industrial voiceover explaining dairy farms, and the sleepy chords of Joe Raposo’s aimless masterpiece, “Hey Cow, I See You Now.” Chewing the grass so green/Making the milk/Waiting for milking time/Waiting for giving time/Mmmmm.

Oh, what’s that? Right, the trance of early “Sesame Street” and its country-time sequences. In spite of the show’s devotion to its “target child,” the “4-year-old inner-city black youngster” (as The New York Times explained in 1979), the first episodes join kids cavorting in amber waves of grain — black children, mostly, who must be pressed into service as the face of America’s farms uniquely on “Sesame Street.”

In East Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant in 1978, 95 percent of households with kids ages 2 to 5 watched “Sesame Street.” The figure was even higher in Washington. Nationwide, though, the number wasn’t much lower, and was largely determined by the whims of the PBS affiliates: 80 percent in houses with young children. The so-called inner city became anywhere that “Sesame Street” played, because the Children’s Television Workshop declared the inner city not a grim sociological reality but a full-color fantasy — an eccentric scene, framed by a box and far removed from real farmland and city streets alike.

The concept of the “inner city” — or “slums,” as The Times bluntly put it in its first review of “Sesame Street” — was therefore transformed into a kind of Xanadu on the show: a bright, no-clouds, clear-air place where people bopped around with monsters and didn’t worry too much about money, cleanliness or projecting false cheer. The Upper West Side, hardly a burned-out ghetto, was said to be the model.

People on “Sesame Street” had limited possibilities and fixed identities, and (the best part) you weren’t expected to change much. The harshness of existence was a given, and no one was proposing that numbers and letters would lead you “out” of your inner city to Elysian suburbs. Instead, “Sesame Street” suggested that learning might merely make our days more bearable, more interesting, funnier. It encouraged us, above all, to be nice to our neighbors and to cultivate the safer pleasures that take the edge off — taking baths, eating cookies, reading. Don’t tell the kids.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monster virus

TheFamilyC was struck. Well, at least the female branches of our little tree. It started with vomit, little s' to be exact. It was a hectic saturday. I had double-booked ourselves (many apologies for running out) and we went from party to party. After the first party at p and d's house, we had driven barely out of Q when s threw up. Now those of you who know little s know that she is pt no pot stranger to vomit. Tiny thing seems to specialize in it. So we thought that maybe her seat belt was on too tight. Maybe the avocados didn't agree with her although she couldn't stop eating them.

So we proceeded to party #2. She wasn't very happy but I thought that no one would be happy after losing his lunch like that. The next day she had another episode at lunch which I thought AGAIN that probably she just choked on a pumelo. She threw up the next meal again and this time she was becoming really warm. She was burning a 102.8 fever. Upon ped advice, we gave her tylenol which lowered the fever but only until the next dose was due. Sometime that night I started to feel queasy and proceeded to lose my dinner. So I fell sick Monday. On Tuesday, g said that she felt sick and promptly threw up on the kitchen floor. When she woke from her nap that day, she was 103.5. Against my own instinct, I took off all her clothes and dunked her into a lukewarm bath. That and a dose of tylenol, she was well within the day. I got well within the day too with lingering queasiness.

Poor s had it the worst. She had a fever teetering on 102 almost daily for a week. She barely ate although she must have been hungry. She would try to drink milk but would throw up each time. We did a load of laundry almost daily. It was so hard to see her that way since she could not afford to lose any more.

The fever finally abated after a spike of 103.8 in the middle of the night Thursday. At 2:00 AM, I was alone (G had gone to work and Gmom was also stricken by the puking virus) and s was burning up. I thought that she was going to go into convulsions. I took off all her clothes and dunked her into a lukewarm bath. She cried for the first few minutes and afterwards she settled down and began to enjoy it. She was intrigued by the liquid nature of water. She couldn't understand why she couldn't grasp the stream of water with her hand. She kept trying.

That broke the fever. Either that or the 4 days of tylenol. She has been fever free for the last 3 days and is beginning to eat again. We have to rebuild her appetite but at least I know that she is able to keep everything in.

This was an almost surreal experience with all of us being sick at the same time. An experience that is best recalled than relived.

to school or not to school

This is not a homeschooling issue although the thought has crossed my mind. Since g was born a few weeks after the pre-k cutoff for our fair city, she is not eligible to go to public pre-k. However we can pay for this out of pocket.

A compelling argument has been building for weeks and months largely surrounding g's slow-to-warm personality. G has shaped up naturally as a pretty shy child. Believe me that because of my own shyness, i tried my best to encourage her to be anything but reticent. However nature won against nurture and I have a child now who slinks behind her daddy whenever she is faced with new people. New people encompasses just about everybody that she doesn't see weekly. This includes other kids she herself calls her "friends".

This brings me to the question at hand. I had thought that maybe taking her to school would not be a bad idea. Yes, it will be like paying for a luxury SUV, but can I really put a price on her growth? My hope for school is that she will learn to be with other kids, learn to play with other kids and learn to deal with other adults giving her direction. Socialization is one aspect of her life that I cannot give more attention to. We do playdates but not regularly. She does a dance class but spends most of that attached to her dad so it almost doesn't count. It has come to this.

The opposing argument though is whether or not there is a need to rush. Can this socialization wait till next year? Will she miss anything by not having any peers at this point?

I am wholly undecided. I have expended a little effort to schedule some appointments but because I am still on the fence, I spend more time wondering than following up on forms that I need to fill out.

What do you think?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Random musical thought

I am sometime gripped by moments of clarity regarding this whole parenting thing. It's scary.

It came yesterday as we drove to a costume party. We have mercifully loaded a new CD for g containing a random assortment of kiddie songs, the Beatles, motown and broadway. (her old selection was driving us bananas since she insists upon listening to it the minute we open the car door.) I was struck momentarily with the thought that maybe we should start listening to classical music in the car. The popular belief has made its way around the mommiverse that listening to classical music is supposed to make a genius although recent research has debunked this totally. The myth persists though with the advent of Baby Mozart, Baby Bach, etc. I am sure that there is probably a grain of truth in there somewhere, not commensurate to the craze that has been created around it though.

So as my stream of consciousness continued on I280, I thought of my own passion for music. How despite any craziness in my life, music was always my home, always a "place" that I can go to. Then the big "duh" --- why was I going to try making them listen to music, though I appreciate, don't love? Why wouldn't I want to teach them how to tap into musical passion?

One day they will love their own music (maybe someday they'll be listening to some funky version of acid rap, who knows) but for the meantime, I held my g last night and rocked her in my arms to Moonriver.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Birthday g!!!!

g turned 3 yesterday.

It doesn't seem like 3 years have passed but it has. It's been a wild ride but I wouldn't want it any other way.

s is not HAPPY!

I love this photo. Of course, s would really prefer not to be tortured by the clown wig.

(Thanks for lending it to her, Auntie E. By the way, good luck with the birth. Fingers crossed for a speedy l&d!!!)

g in Bermuda

Here is a preview of the video that will be shown at g's wedding someday.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Campaign for Real Beauty

I have been a big fan of Dove's campaign for real beauty. I love the images of real women on the billboards that I see, especially the Annie Leibowitz series on older women for Dove Pro Age.

Dove has decided to take it up a notch and speak to moms (and dads) about the other images our children see.

Watch this video.

I know I fret about having girl babies a lot. Parenting them has meant more definitive choices from the start. I had tried my best not to be rigid and yet not to play to any stereotypes. I sent g to gym class. Well now, she is also in dance class. She is more proficient in doing a basket hang from the uneven bars than she is with a plie. Hard as I have tried though, I can't seem to stop calling g beautiful. I know that she should be praised for kindness or for talent, but she is just 2 and she is my baby. She will always be beautiful to me. I guess as the years come, I will have to watch my words. Better yet, try to live a life that relies little on prettiness.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


This was going to go straight to the annals of "what were they thinkin'". However it has gotten me thinking. It is true that s is becoming really wild with her cruising attempts. Last night, she had slept without a sleep sack. When she awoke this morning, I caught her trying to make a break for it (ie climbing out of the crib). Is this a bonnet situation? Granted she has only fallen on her face once and usually when she tries to overcome an obstacle while crawling. Even then she was only barely 6 inches off the ground.

However there is a great risk when she is playing with her sister. g tries to carry s from one place to another and this often results in s falling or getting strangled (which is outside of the bonnet range of safety).

So I am on the fence as to the usefulness of this bonnet. If anyone else is interested in buying or reading reviews, here you go.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Leap of Faith

I have often spoke about g & s and how dissimilar they are. One big difference is their eating habits, specifically s' lack of desire for food. For those who know g, that couldn't be further from her reality. g has always had a healthy desire for food. She was always easy to feed. s is almost the exact opposite. She is pretty finicky with food, liking one thing today and hating it tomorrow. So making her something to eat is hit or miss. Well, mostly miss. I can't help but be anxious about this though. She is a shrimp. She is barely 18 lbs which put her in the 0-25 percentile. I can't measure her height because she moves around so much. I just know that based on the hand-me-down clothing that she is wearing, she is a lot shorter than her sister when she was the same age.

I know that I can't expect that she would have the exact same appetite as her sister but I would like to see a desire for food. It is sometimes there. This weekend was a good appetite weekend. She ate and ate. However that was the end of that. She is done with food and today, she even refused to drink milk which she never had before.

The books and all these baby guides for picky eaters have all advised the same thing...that if the child refuses to eat, she is probably not hungry and that parents should just trust that she will know when she wants to eat. Parents should also trust that she will eat. That's the leap of faith that I am grappling with, trusting that she will eat when she wants to and not wrangle with her.

I will let go but it is difficult. She is so close to falling off the charts already. What my salvation has been is the pediatrician does not seem worried. No one else seems overly concerned but me. This is a comfort in a way. That her gains in weight seems to be sufficient that it is not a major cause of concern. Her seeming lack of an appetite more a worry for me than a medical problem.

Sigh....and the adventure continues.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

g on the 'net

g is at that age when she frequently says the funniest things.

Today she took an old make-up case (the big ones that a make-up artist would be lugging around) that I had laying around for her to play around with. She asked me to get it and open it. I asked her why. She responded, "I need to check my email."

I didn't know that the case had a wireless card.

Monday, September 10, 2007

my little sous chef

g seems to be beginning a new phase in her eating life. She has begun to be a picky eater. She used to do this occasionally for a meal but is usually back to her old happy eating self by the next meal. However this seems to be going on for over a week now. Even Gmom wasn't able to make her eat.

I won't sweat it though. Her diet is still fairly healthy. She is just not eating bowls and bowls of stuff but she will eat as much as needs to make herself full.

To encourage her eating, I thought that maybe if she helped prepare the meal, she would be more inspired. It worked out pretty well. She ended up not liking the hotdog but ate the eggs (and a nice-sized bowl of rice). Earlier she already had a handful of tomatoes for a snack. Afterwards she had a plateful of figs for dessert.

I have to say that she really did a great job with cutting up hot dogs and beating the eggs for the "hotdog omelet". I gave her a kiddie "knife" from Ikea and she proceeded to cut them. She knew how to do it and didn't make a mess. Cracking the egg was a little more problematic. She cracked them properly on the counter corner but then she proceeded to crush it with her hand. I had to fish out some shells. She mixed the eggs rather than beat it, but not bad for a first timer and a not-quite-3-year-old.

Here are some photos. Enjoy.

Friday, September 07, 2007


That's how it sounds like when g talks about Bermuda. We had just returned from the p&k wedding. It was wonderful. Everything was just perfect and g really liked bermeula. What's not to like? We arrived to slightly windy conditions. Upon arrival, we made a mad dash to the hotel. There was to be a sunset cruise that first night. It was set to leave at 6:00 PM. Our flight arrived at 5:10 pm. I had assumed we were not going to make it.

We arrived at the hotel close to 5:30 pm. We had no idea where to go for this cruise so we asked the front desk and the concierge. Both had no clue. G stood at the balcony of our room overlooking the bay and was taking in the gorgeous view when he noticed that there was a party boat docked at the beach. There was a bunch of Asians milling around it. G was convinced that this was the boat. So we put in a call to k and verified that we were looking at the party boat. They were already boarding. The race was on to get the kids' stuff together and run to the boat.

And run we did. We made it. Since we called, they held the boat just a little bit for us to arrive. It didn't help that we took the longest way possible to get down to the beach since we just arrived.

The cruise was lovely. g enjoyed it. She spent most of it shaking and grooving to the music. I have never seen her dance so much before, but this was just the beginning.

Wedding day was again another beautiful day. Sunny and breezy but not so much. We spent the morning swimming and doing a little sightseeing. We took to the caves which was nice albeit small. It was a nice 5 minute cave.

The wedding was picture perfect. g did her part as flower girl...well, sort of. She was moving along ok until she noticed her partner, d make a run for his mom. At that point she didn't know what to do, so she made a break for it as well. She streak across the aisle rather than doing a dainty little walk. At least she made it across. She spent the rest of the wedding playing with sand, totally ignoring the beautiful ceremony. I guess that is to be expected.

The reception was another story. g went nuts, dancing the night away with ys and k. She actually stuck to k for hours. k couldn't shake those kids!!! The dance floor was littered with kids. ~~~Video to come on this one.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

no eatin'

I have to accept it. I have to accept that s is a squirt and that at the rate that she is going she will be a squirt. She and g are dissimilar again in that way. To this day, she rarely eats more than 4 oz of food at a sitting. More often her nanny would only feed her 2 oz and about an hour later would feed her the second 2 oz.

g at this point ate 4 oz a sitting and drank 8 oz at a time. s have at times drank 7 but we are surprised by that since it is so rare. A side effect of so little food means that she wakes up more often at night to eat.

I guess I grew in the school of thought that the happy eater is a happy child. This was further reinforced by little g who never had a problem eating. I thought I could just let go since it seems that I was the only person who had issue with this. The ped does not seem concerned.

I recognize that it is probably more my issue than it is hers. I think I will still have to move her towards having 5 meals a day instead of 10 but I just have to accept that will take time.

Friday, August 24, 2007

g's first daddy portrait


I was pretty amazed that she finally got it. I have been trying to get her draw something other than circles and lines for the last few days. Today after doing her usual cutting and pasting, she said she wanted to draw a picture of Daddy who she says she misses. I didn't even have to help her on this one...well, maybe a little verbal coaching. I told her to draw the head, then the eyes, then a nose, then a get the picture. She did it. She even drew in some glasses.

She loved her portrait so much that later on when I cut out a house and a little portrait of herself, she asked to cut out her Daddy as well. When we pretended that she was leaving her paper house to go to the imaginary park, she said that Daddy had to go with her and push her on the swing. Then Daddy took her home and put her in bed.


This is the picture of the "artist" and her work. This is also g's first picture with her "snazzy" new haircut. It's growing on me. I think the shape of the cut emphasizes her little chin. Cute.

Two Different little people

I have to get over the idea that I have one child in two bodies. I do in fact have two separate and very different little people. It is definitely not a case of one being better than the other. They are just different. After I had g, I was lulled into complacency. Though she was never an easy child, we have "figured" her out. We know what she liked and disliked, and mistakenly thought that most children (or at least my own future children) would like and dislike approximately the same things, that they would approximately have the same temperament, etc, etc.

Well, s took that concept and smashed that to bits. She has chosen mainly to do things her way. From the simple physiological standpoint, they don't look much alike. g had teeth at 5 months and had a few of them already by 10 months. s (at 9 months) finally sprouted her first set which have only begun to peek out. Where g is a voracious eater (her eating has become legend), s can take it or leave it. Today she might drink 7 oz of milk at a session, tomorrow she refuses more than 3 1/2. Solid foods is still a chore for her whereas g attacked it with gusto.

I could go on. I have come to this realization a little late or maybe I just refused to let go. Letting go has been difficult. I see g growing up so quickly. She is now almost 3. Her little personality is set. She is funny to talk to and she loves to be the comedian. Her stories are a little far fetched still but at least she creative. In a twisted way, I might be wishing to relive a little of g's babyhood again in s. I don't know if that is the case really but I have no choice but to see them both for who they are.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Van Saun Park

Otherwise known as the Bergen County Zoological Park. I got a tip from one of my mommy groups that this was a nice zoo to go to. I had pretty low expectations especially since after going to the zoo's website (or lack thereof). The website consisted of hours, ticket prices and not much else.

I figured it was pretty close to our home. At the worst case, we could all go to Ikea and try to get g into the ball pit again (she was less than an inch shy of the 36 in minimum.) I packed some snacks for g, some food for s and off we went.

At 10:30, the 2 parking lots closest to the zoo was already full. We got lucky and got a space just as someone was leaving. The zoo is part of Van Saun park so parking is not limited to zoo visitors. From reviews I have read online, parking seems to be a bad situation. On the bright side, there are many lots around the park.

The zoo was small as all the online reviewers had stated but it was really well maintained. Another plus is the train ride and the carousel. Both of which were very fairly priced ($1/piece) The carousel was a welcome surprise. It was really well maintained. The animals on the carousel does not look like it has been worn or weathered.

The only drawback is the food concession. There was a choice of hotdog or pretzels and that was it. There was a "roadside cafe" outside the zoo that has a slightly expanded menu (chicken fingers, grilled cheese, etc) but not that much more of an upgrade. My suggestion is BRING YOUR OWN. Everyone else seem have gotten the memo. There was more than ample picnic tables, benches strewn everywhere (inside and outside the zoo).

There were age separated playgrounds which was cool and a large area where people were grilling and throwing parties. I saw at least 4 birthday parties complete with man on stilts going on. There was also a clean bathroom for everyone's use. Nice.

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better park experience.

More gratuitous photos:

g at the beach

This is g with her first sand castle. We had thought that the beach was going to be a bust since g doesn't like sand. Apparently what she doesn't like is sand IN her shoes. When she is barefoot, she doesn't mind at all.

g and the "big" waves

Potty Training (g style)

Just in case you have not heard...g is fully potty trained. I would like to say record time but I think that honor still belongs to D (S's son) who was potty trained in a day. g potty trained herself really.

Finally at 22 months, g decided to potty train herself. Gmom had been on a campaign to potty train her since she turned one. Aside from the physical impossibility of that, I really didn't think she was ready. Why physically impossible? The "official" definition of potty trained is being able to "say" or know that she needs to go to the potty, toddle to the bathroom, pull down her pants, do her business, wipe herself clean and pull her own pants back up. At one, she had just learned to walk and wouldn't have the balance to bend down and clean herself much less pull up her pants without tipping herself over.

Anyway, fast forward to 22 months, we have been doing a small campaign to convince her to go to the potty for a few weeks. She was never interested though. She has gone to the extent of even holding it until we put the diaper back on. This went on for a bit until we went on a trip with K's family. A, K's son, has been potty trained for a while. g noticed while they were playing that A wasn't wearing a diaper and K told g that she should tell me when she needs to go and that she doesn't really need a diaper. She took that comment and pondered.

She repeated that phrase for a few days. She also made a connection with Ikea's ball pit. There's a policy for that play area that everyone in there should be potty trained. So we have been trying to play this card for a while but she didn't seem to care much. Now she put K's comment and Ikea's ball pit together. Within days of our return from that trip, I decided that maybe she was finally ready. We used the pull-ups for a day until I realized that she treated the pull-up like a diaper. So that night, we went to Target to pick out underwear. She chose a Dora and an Elmo pack.

The next day we went cold turkey. She chose the elmo underwear. We expected that we would have to do a load of laundry every day, but in fact, she went to bathroom from the first day onward.

She has had a few accidents, mainly during wake up time first thing in the morning. Sometimes she doesn't quite make it and would drip a little but on a whole, she went in the potty for both #1 and #2 within a week.


Speaking of Hershey Park

I usually post a review of any spot that the family c find ourselves in. However this time around, there doesn't seem to be much to say.

Short version: Not worth the trip until the kids are older.

Long version: We spent a few hours in Hershey Park. It was a nice ride and we made it there fairly quickly. After lunch, we started exploring the park and found that aside from handful of rides, there really wasn't much for the kids to do. By the time we had gone around searching for rides to take, it was pretty much the end of the day.

Nice thing though is the small zoo that they had in the premises. We also really liked the chocolate factory tour and of course, g loved the samples. This is one of the several "firsts" of this trip. This was her first taste of chocolate and she is hooked.

Here was her first solo ride. I thought she might freak out when the ride began but she handled herself like a champ.

This trip marked the first trip she has taken diaperless. Yep, our baby is potty trained. We had bought a travel potty for just this purpose but she didn't even need it. She went in the adults potty and never had an accident.

Aside from this, there was nothing much else for a toddler. Too bad.

Another gratuitous shot

I just got a new camera so there will be many gratuitous shots to come.

Here's one of s while we were waiting for her sister to wake up from her nap at Hershey Park.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My little squirt

Despite having thunder thighs, little s is still an ounce shy of 17 lbs, putting her in the 10th percentile. She's a shorty as well, measuring just 26 1/2 inches. I think she might have gotten my height. The ped doesn't seem too concerned as long as she is growing....I guess.

Yet again this is another departure from her big sister who never strayed from the 50th percentile. Little s reminds me constantly that she is very different from her sister. It is good that she is very much an individual. It can be difficult as well because just when I think I have gotten a handle on this mommy thing, s comes in and blows up all the rules. So once again as parents, we are left to make it up as we go along.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

pulling, crawling, cruising

Just when I was beginning to worry that she might not be meeting all her milestone, s decided to pull them all out of her hat in basically the same week. She went from a cute smiling little lump who rolled from side to side to a crawling and cruising little dynamo. She loves this. She loves her independence. We have put down some alphabet mats on the floor and she just starts crawling away, gnawing at anything. Of course, she would not gnaw on the basket of teethers that we have purchased for that expressed purpose. She prefers the foam mat that she is lining the floor, the foam that is protecting her from the table corner, pieces of tissues that she finds on the floor. Yes, lots of fun.

This weekend we will begin the exercise of baby proofing. Video to come.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

s...for no special reason

here's a gratuitous shot. I just thought she looked so adorable here.

and another....

Chasing the sun

Today's weather was predicted to be stormy and windy. I was bummed and couldn't think of any rainy day activity to do at home. We woke to what seemed like a gorgeous day. We checked the hourly forecast and found that rain was scheduled for the mid-afternoon. That gave us at least 5 hours before a downpour. So we thought of taking the kids peach picking. We logged on to check on the hours of our favorite place, Lee Turkey Farms but found out that they don't open till 2:00 PM on a sunday (that'll be about the time the storm would have arrived. So I went quickly to see if there are any other pick-your-own-fruit farms around the area and found Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ. It was less than 50 miles away. So by our calculations, we could get there by 11:00, pick some fruit, see some animals and be home before 3:00 PM.

The peaches were good. They weren't huge like the ones at Lee Turkey but they were tasty. g got a kick out of picking things out for herself. The place is definitely more organized though. They had picnic tables with a nice tent for anyone wanting to do an impromptu picnic. They had a few horses and cows for the kids to feed and pet (you have to pay $1 for a bag of carrots for the horses though). All told everyone had fun. I took s on the backpack and she was taking it all in. I gave her some peach on her fruit strainer. She really liked that.

We were safely at home by 3:00 PM. Of course the thunderstorms never really did arrive. I saw a bit of rain tonight at around 9:00 PM. I am glad we soaked up the sun.

Monday, July 09, 2007

g is for....

this is how the dialogue went....

G - ok, g. what is the letter g for? (expecting the answer to be g is for her own name)
g - g is for kenny g (or something that sounds like it)

She picked up on the hilarity of this comment and decided to run with it.

At a later time, we spoke again...

G - g. What is the letter g for?
g - g is for kenny g
f - when did you see kenny g?
g - I saw him yestuhday.
f - really? Where did you see him?
g - in the basement.
G - what was kenny g doing in the basement?
g - he needed to go to hospital.
(after this, g must have felt that the conversation was going nowhere and promptly left the room.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Why are you so sad, Mama?

I love my little girls. It is hard to post this as s is screaming at the top of her lungs. We are now at month 3 of sleep training and although we have had moderate success here and there, sleep is still a challenge. s is such an easy baby in every other respect. She is extremely social, loves to smile, babbles and does all the cute baby stuff that make her quite adorable until it is time for sleep.

The difficulty might be inconsistency. Yiyi (the nanny) rocks her to sleep before setting her down in bed. G would also rock her to sleep. I would sometimes rock her to sleep but I have been trying to let her put herself to sleep. It has worked so there has been no reason to change. Well, it would work one week and not the next. Then again for a few days and then we would have crying for another few days.

I am out of ideas. I have even considered putting her in daycare so that she would definitely get used to sleeping on her own and sleeping through distractions. That might be where g finally learned to just sleep. It seems so desperate but I am desperate. g looked over to me while her sister was crying (again!) and asked, "why are you so sad, Mama?" It's hard to explain to a 2 1/2 year old. I guess I didn't have to because she later added that, "s cry so much."

Through all of this, I thought about the general impression among parents who chose not to cry it out that this is the easy way out. I have heard this many times from many people. True, I don't have to soothe her 8 times a night anymore like I used to before we started sleep training. After crying, she typically sleeps 3-6 hours. That's a decent stretch of time. I don't have to explain how difficult it is to hear your own child cry but I guess the part that's hard for me is NOT doing something about it. It is trying to believe that I am doing the right thing by allowing her to soothe herself to sleep and yet being racked with guilt and doubt. Am I doing the right thing? Am I scarring her psychologically for life? I try reason. She is an infant. She needs her sleep and plenty of it.

In the end it is one of those hot button issue wherein parents would just have to choose a side and live with it. There is really neither a right or a wrong, only what works for the child that one has. How does a mom fight the sadness, a sadness so plain that a toddler can feel it?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My other water baby

No water shot but this is s before she took her dip.

Water baby

Just when I was about to discount g as a ‘fraidy cat, she proves to me that there is no predicting what she would do.

In Philly, we decided to take a hotel with a pool or at least I did. I have had a terrible trauma when I was child around pools that had made me perpetually afraid of going into deep water. So I wanted her to be comfortable around being in the water. So when the opportunity is there, I take her to the pool. I bought her a floatation device (which is really just a personal tire with shoulder straps). She had started using this last summer but she had only used it once. It didn’t seem to really work back then because it seems like she couldn’t balance herself well enough to keep her face out of water. She loved the water. She always had.

So we went to the pool and carefully lowered her into the water. We were showing her how to maneuver herself around the water with G holding on to her the whole time. I wanted to make sure that she didn’t accidentally dunk her face into the water. I was afraid that this would freak her and she would never want to go near it again. Well, within minutes, she had started to insist that G let go of her so that she can kick around on her own.

By the time we left the pool, she was cruising around on her own. The next day I tended to s in the hotel room while G and g went down to the pool. G reported that g had figured out how to lay down in the water. Very Cool.

Memorial Day weekend part 2 - Philly!!!

A little text intensive ...sorry.

Our major stop in Philly was the Philadelphia Zoo. We had read some wildly contradicting reviews online so we decided to try it out. Most people said that it was great while there were others who felt that the animals were depressed and that it was too much like a traditional “zoo”. Well, I won’t pretend to diagnose animal depression and didn’t know that there was a new movement in zoos. So I decided to go with an open mind. One major point against this zoo was that it was really EXPENSIVE. The entry fee was almost $18 and kids over 2 had to pay about $14. Online we had read about a couple of cool rides like the Zooballoon which is essentially a hot air balloon that takes passengers up for a nice vantage point of Philly and the zoo. There was also a boat ride. However we found out that almost everything was an additional charge. The Zooballoon was another $10. Although cool, we decided against going. Aside from the expense, I think it was a good zoo. It had lot of big cats which are always fun to see. Some animals that are not very common in other zoos (like snow leopards, panthers, etc) were there. However I do have to say that some of the animals did appear lethargic. NOW that could very well be because it was 90 degrees and sunny. I did feel bad for the polar bear as he lay baking in the sun. I seem to feel like he should be in a more temperature controlled environment. It also seemed like some of the environments are really small. It does make for a really interesting perspective. The panther truly was just on the other side of the plexi glass. I did get an amazing insight as to the scale of such an animal. Overall it was fun although I would have opted for a cooler day to go.

Next day we were off to the Museum of Natural History. The main attraction was the butterfly exhibit. I have to say though that there was little else other than that. They had a requisite stuffed animals (not the cute and cuddly kind) and a dinosaur exhibit. If you have been to the Natural History Museum in NYC, then this would have been a slight disappointment. We had bought a ticket to the butterfly museum specifically because we had thought g would enjoy it. She disabused us of that notion within seconds of entering. I guess she had been much younger the last time we had taken her to the butterfly exhibit but the butterflies fluttering around her truly FREAKED her out. She screamed and would not stop. So we ended up hurriedly exiting which disappointed G a little. So we decided to take her to the kid’s area upstairs where she played in a sandbox. I was not aware that g had developed a huge aversion to sand in her shoes. While playing, she unknowingly stepped into the sandbox. Now if I didn’t have s strapped to me and I was purposefully keeping quiet so that s could continue napping, I would have either cracked up laughing or grabbed a camera. I know it is horrible that a mom would laugh at her daughter’s “suffering” but it was a moment that I wish I could have on video. When g realized it was sand that she had stepped on, she froze and immediately her face contorted as if in pain. She started crying and not wanting to take a step in any direction. So her dad saved her. Oddly she is fine with playing with sand just not stepping on it.

At the end of her play, we decided to try the butterfly exhibit one more time. This time I held her in my arms. I tried to show her that it was alright. She didn’t freak out but she obviously wasn’t thrilled to be there.

This is such new territory for me. I have no idea where all this fear of butterfly and anxiety around sand in her toes came from. She had seen butterflies before and had been to the beach. I am not quite sure how to deal with. What would you do?

Memorial Day weekend part 1 - ys & g

updates have been notably lacking in the last weeks. i've been busy but hopefully it'll let up soon.

TheFamilyC had scheduled an impromptu trip to Philly for Memorial Day weekend. It was a necessary trip because I think everyone is a little fried recently. We went down first to visited E&M. They were having a housewarming and gathered a lot of the kids. It was monumental because that was the first time I have ever seen g really initiate play with another kid. As usual when ys arrived, g was really shy and wouldn’t go near him. However after an hour or so, something clicked. One of them had gotten the idea to play with the hammock in the backyard and they did just that. Waving the hammock like a play parachute, they laughed and played. They switched from one hammock to another, going over and under. I have taken some pictures and will post in a short while. It was a joy to watch until something “funny” happened. Ys “touched” g’s behind. It was definitely curiosity but I just found it hilarious that of all the things that he was curious about.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Too funny

I don't usually post 3rd party stuff but this is too funny.

The Landlord

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

To fear or not to fear

Over the weekend gathered around the table during the playdate, we got to talking about the death of K's cousin's little boy. An autopsy had determined that there was some fluid in the lung and pneumonia, but it was unclear what caused it all. I thought about little E that I spoke about a while back. I found pictures of her recently when I was organizing g's photos. Those pictures were taken in May 2 years ago.

It does not help that g has been nursing a cold for a week. It seems innocuous enough. Except for a constant runny nose, it doesn't seem to have slowed her down till today. Today she received Auntie K's package (thanks, Auntie K) and after an initial burst of activity and curiosity. She settled onto the Wiggles video and has been catatonic after that. She usually is while watching a video but even the hour after that. So I watched and wondered. I took her temperature, put my ear to her chest. I wondered.

It must have been a lot like this in E's house that night when they gently laid her down in bed. She was a little under the weather but nothing that would have caused alarm. They probably kissed her goodnight and tucked her in.

I know that there are too many things in life that are beyond my control, beyond my ability to stop. Though the tug to worry about these things are strong because it is just in my nature to worry. I must resist. It takes away from the moment of living when my preoccupation is in dying.

So I kissed her more tonight, held her just a little longer, sang her an extra song. (I drew the line on two stories though.) The length of life will never be known but the love in her life will always be.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


We started s on solids this weekend, a few days shy of her 6 month mark. She is actually 6 months today (Happy Birthday, s!). She is loving the rice cereal which I had given her with much hesitation. g didn't particularly like rice cereal. We switched to real mush food within a day or 2 and threw out the rest of the box. I was not in the mood to spend money no matter how little on something that will be thrown away. Proving once again how different she is from her sister, s downed the rice cereal and on the second day, cried demanding for more.

We went to a playdate this past weekend and saw JW's baby girl. s was really only that age 4 months ago and yet it seems like it has been ages ago. I look at my digital frame and in my photo selection is one of her during a christmas party. She was only 2 months then. She looked like a shrimp. She is such a chunky monkey now.

Monday, April 30, 2007

the sisters

I love this video despite that g is singing the purple dinosaur song. I loved the way she looked at s.

Cherry Blossoms 2007

Compared to last year, our experience of Cherry Blossoms is a little below par. Last year, we went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. We went a little late in the season and still were very impressed. This year, we decided to go to Branch Brook Park in Newark for a change of pace. It had a good number of cherry blossom trees and I have read online reviews to say that it was a beautiful park.

Well, it was a beautiful park. We were one week late for the Festival but as far as blooms go, it was truly sad. Most have fallen off the tree but we didn't even see the cool carpet of pink petals. We didn't see much at all. We took a short walk but it was getting late and someone's sleep time was coming up. It would be hard for me to recommend this park but it seems interesting. It was large and well-maintained. I might return but with so many other gorgeous parks around, it is not very likely.

A picture of the daddy and his little girl.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

WWTTON Awardee

What Will They Think Of Next? Really and for $35.

I actually think that this is just freaky. Just plain scary but it's out there. Maybe I am missing the point, but check it out and let me know.

Monday, April 23, 2007

g in her new hat


We went to the zoo this weekend to celebrate some of this beautiful summer weather. It was nice to visit the Prospect Park zoo again but it was a much better experience the last time. I guess since it was Earth Day, there were a lot more people there. The heat INSIDE the buildings didn't help things any either. I think the zoo decided to turn off the air conditioning for Earth Day also, which just made me want to highttail it out of the indoors as quickly as possible.

This time around we were prepared for the lack of food service by having a small picnic and meeting up with some other mommy and daddy friends. (NOTE: It was great to see everyone again and all the little ones. Hope to see everyone again soon!!!)

g had a wonderful time checking out all the animals. s was just happy to have caught a few zzz's in G's arms.

All in all, it was good experience. We were looking forward to checking out cherry blossoms at the Botanical Garden next door but it was getting late and s's bedtime was looming. So we left. However thefamilyM told us that the blossoms have not bloomed. So there might still be time in the next weeks for a visits. (Thanks, KM for the tip.)
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Friday, April 20, 2007

g at the gym

This is one of g's new favorite places. She loves getting a work out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A General update

The last few days have been a blur. Between work and home, there have been more than a few things to keep a mommy nutty and that's how I have managed to stay without fail. Gladly I have been given a day of reprieve in the form of a girl's night out which turned out to be fabulous (of course). I love my friends.

What else is going on with the FamilyC?

g has been expanding on her multilingual vocabulary. She has become amazingly adept at addressing the right people with the right set of words. I have begun to slowly start her "preschool" homeschool "program". Because she was born when she was, she would not have qualified for any public school in our area till next year. We could still get her into a school if we had been willing to shell out $$$ for it...NOT. So I had decided on teaching her myself. Someday soon I have to get myself around writing a curiculum for her, but for now, I have picked up some preschool books and go through them with her. She has the attention span of a flea but she gets most of it. She knows most of her letters and numbers. She knows her shapes and colors really well. She is really good with her scissors, so now we are working on precision. She has been using a pencil for a long time but I am trying to have her trace lines. To supplement all this edumacation, she also goes to the little gym with G once a week. During the summer, we'll try to take her to the pool once a week. Now I just have to figure out a way for her to get over her shyness.

s has been sleeping better (-relative term). She hasn't rolled over again since her second month. She loves both her jumperoo and exersaucer. She still HATES being on her tummy. Her intake has been growing and so has her cheeks. Next on the agenda is solids and an attempt to get her to crawl. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Safer Baby bottles

Found quite a few alternatives for my Dr Brown dilemna.

Just thought I would pass this information

The document has recommendations on safer bottles to use that are easily purchased at the local baby stores or online.

There must be a lesson here

Too bad I am too blurry-eyed to see it. As feared, last night turned out to be a horrendous night for sleep. It was a record breaking evening AND early morning. Before last night, s would cry within an hour of falling asleep. She would cry loud and hard but after she is done, she sleeps. At every awakening after that, she would eat and then proceed to fall back asleep for at least 3 hours at a time, usually more. She has actually gone for 8 hours once. Last night she woke up almost every 2 hours starting at midnight. And today is a day that I needed to be able to focus.

I want to see every adversity as a way for the universe to teach me something. Right now I am having a difficult time putting two words together, so maybe I am just missing the lesson.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sleep...everybody needs some sleep

Can someone please convince s of this? I don't seem to be conveying the information as clearly as I should or she is just not listening. Oh yeah...she is too busy screaming to be listening. I got a report from G that she hasn't been sleeping much today, in small 30 minute increments probably just enough to take the edge off her tiredness. Tonight's "adventure" is going to be truly interesting.

To top it all, g seems to be going a "meltdown" phase. She goes into meltdown mode in a flash. She could be happily playing one second and then a moment later be in the middle of the worst cry heard in the tri-state. It's so hard to see her in such a state.

In the midst of all this, I am trying to find some calm. It's been really hard to muster the patience to deal with the meltdowns on very little sleep. However I realize confronting the meltdown with a meltdown results in madness. So I take a deep breath.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Consistency just bit the dust

I am blogging this as s is talking to herself over the intercom. Yes, the official time is 10:00 PM and she is awake. Tonight started as many other nights. She was tired when I got home. So after spending our quality minutes together, I started her nighttime routine which consists of the wipe down (too tired for a shower today), a song and nursing. She fell asleep quickly. I left her room and expected a cry around the 20 minute mark (strangely she has been crying out/waking up around 20 minutes into her sleep). That didn't occur. So I thought that I was in the clear. I was so very wrong!!!

She woke up at the 2 hour mark frantically crying. I tried to keep out. I tried for an hour and she cried for an hour (well, almost an hour). I finally thought that maybe she was just hungry. So I went in to feed her. She ate only 2 oz and nursed a little. She was already falling back asleep until she realized it. Somehow she forced herself to wake. She started to look around, coo, talk, etc. That was the precise moment when I realized that I should have stuck to my own rules about consistency. With a heavy sigh, I rocked her for a few minutes, burp her a little more and kissed her little head. I laid her in bed and left the room.

For the last 30 minutes, she was just cooing and talking. Then finally in the last 3 minutes, she has restarted the frantic crying. It is going to be another long night.

Bisphenol A

There has been a lot of talk about dangerous baby bottles containing Bisphenol A. The studies has been around for years and I am not sure why it has become critical in the last few months. Of course, s's fancy schmancy Dr. Brown bottles were indicted in the list of "bad" bottles, but I am not sure if I should get nutty and buy all new bottles for her. There is a risk for cancer and since the chemical mimics estrogen, a greater impact on reproductive organs.

There now is a rash of "alternatives" to these baby bottles as result of all the news going around. I am sure they have been around for a while but have now been achieving greater visibility. One such bottle is Born Free (found on the web and at Whole Foods), but at almost $10 a bottle, is it really worth it?

Why do I even ask the question when there is a risk for cancer? Well, a simple google search will yield many other studies refuting the studies being quoted in news stories. So who is a parent to believe? Can I afford to be laid back or do I sound the alarm? What would you do?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Happy Easter Everybody!!!

The Family C went to an Easter Egg Hunt over the weekend. Lots of fun. g found a couple of eggs with the help of her daddy.