Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Parents ...they crack me up!

This could very well be the title of g's favorite new game. I think everyone knows the tower of babel that is the c household. There is no one common language that everyone (family members and caregivers) speak. The one common thread though is g and she is having a blast. Added to this, she still has the typical toddler "mispronunciation" for English, Mandarin and Cantonese. This results in rib-tickling fun for my toddler.

In the good ole days (when there were only 2 languages spoken in our house), g would say something and if it does not sound like English, I would ask G to translate. Nowadays it could be a mispronunciation/variation of the three that she speaks. She gets a kick out of her parents scratching their heads trying to understand her and would usually crack up laughing. She had also begun to add "baby talk" to the roster.

Kidding aside...I do have to start watching a new "bad" habit emerging...CHINGLISH. She has begun to mix languages especially when she is talking to me or her dad. She would say, "look, so many woo-teeps (butterfly, Cantonese)" or "I want to go kai-kai (go out, cantonese)". However I have to say that she doesn't do that with Gmom (who only speaks to her in Cantonese or her nanny (who only understands Mandarin). It is funny though that her Cantonese tends to sound like a middle aged Chinese woman's manner of speaking. She sprinkles her sentences with "AI-YAA".

Standardized Testing for Parenthood

I am really curious what goes on in these people's minds. There is a news story on CNN about a woman putting up her infant son as a down payment for a Dodge Intrepid.... A DODGE INTREPID with a blue book value of about $11-13K. A car that has been discontinued in 2004. So this is not even a brand new car.

Some people shouldn't be allowed to be parents. The poor baby is now in a foster home but what people would do to their own children never fails to astound me. An evidence that fact is more screwed up than fiction.

When I am finally made queen, there will be a standard intelligence and psychological competency test for people who would like to be parents....SHEESH.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rearing its ugly head

I was hoping that we had escaped the whole jealousy issue with g. She had been very good with s, always wanting to help. She is also very affectionate. However I am beginning to notice little things that might be a precursor to trouble ahead. Last weekend in the midst of play, g took her boppy pillow and put it around my waist. Till now she had always used her boppy as a regular pillow. Since we stopped breastfeeding years ago, I don't think she had a memory of it being used as a nursing tool. This time though she had placed her boppy on my waist and position herself as if to nurse. I know she has seen me do this for s and she had been imitating me, feeding her dolls with bottles or from her "chest". This is the first time that she took the position of baby rather than mommy.

I also noticed that she is starting to imitate s's "speech" which consists largely of grunts and noises.

Today after I had put s to sleep, g took her boppy again and asked to be put to sleep on the couch while she "grunted". I am not sure how to handle this now. I tried going the route of telling her that she is big girl now and s is just a baby. s grunts because she doesn't know how to talk yet, etc, etc. I don't know if that got through to her though.

Anyone out there with any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gung Hei Fat Choy!!!

Happy New year!

The Family C had a great albeit tiring New Year's celebration. It kicked off with a bountiful dinner on New Year's eve. Bountiful meaning more food than 2 adults and a child could ever imagine eating. Yes I went a little overboard. I'll post some good recipes later and tell you about one really HORRIBLE one later.

On Sunday, we went to chinatown to see a firecracker and cultural festival. The event was supposed to start at 11:00 AM. Like any Chinese wedding, the thing didn't start until after noon. At one point there were so many people crowded on to the stage mysteriously, posing for pictures that people around us were thinking that somehow that was the opening ceremony. Well it turned out to be a massive photo op. We also say G's friend, E up on the stage taking pictures. I am probably going to hit him up for a couple of pictures for g's photo scrap book since most of my pictures included too many "backs of heads" to be visually appealing.

Thankfully the firecracker stuff was scheduled for the beginning of the festival. So g sat on G's shoulder, watching the lion/dragon/unicorn dance while dignitaries dangled heads of lettuce and red envelopes off a stick. Then the fireworks started. We thought that g would freak out because it was really loud. She just sat on G's shoulders and took it all in. I freaked out because in the midst of the fireworks, a strong gust of wind must have kicked up all soot from the firework residue and blew it straight at us. I had s with me, so I turned away from it but I still felt little bits fly straight into my eye. s started to cry. I was worried that she got some in hers also. I think she freaked when I freaked. I looked up at g thinking that she must also be distressed. She was watching all this, calm as can be.

On Monday, we had the C family reunion. Last year was a truly sad affair when we sat at a table with rotating family members. There were never more than 6 people at that table and that included G, g, Ggrandmom and me. As one or 2 new family members came, someone else left. Expectations for this year was very low. So we sat at a smallish table (probably meant to accommodate 6). The family member rotation persisted, but a core group of 7-8 people actually stayed the whole time. Even G's cousin showed up unexpectedly. So unexpected that they had to be "banished" to a separate table at the other side of restaurant since the reservation didn't include them. Very odd kind of family reunion indeed. Red envelopes, candies and fruits were exchanged. Ggrandmom gave g some candy which she gladly accepted, thinking that they were toys for her to take apart. At some point during the meal, g managed to peel the foil off a chocolate easter egg. I thought that since it was a special occasion, I would just peel the rest and give it to her to try when G's cousin whispered to me that all of the cousins knew better than to eat the chocolate that Ggrandmom gave them. Well, sort of made sense when it dawned on me that ash wednesday is a few days away and I am peeling an easter egg. In that handful of candy that she got was a mix of easter eggs and christmas bells. Not knowing really what candy was, I told g that the egg was broken and it was dirty since she got it all over her hands. She looked at her hands and agreed. Left it and went on to eat some more rice noodles.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I have been challenged in the last 3 months by this little wonder. She continues to confound me. For some time now, I have been g's mom. I have come to know her and mother her appropriately. Now comes s and I thought that somehow since I have "mastered" g, that s would react the same way. s soon disabused me of that notion. I have fought the obvious for these last 3 months, reverting to many of the things that have worked for g. The latest issue has been s's eating (or lack of eating to be more precise). Aside from spitting up almost every time she eats, she is a challenge to feed with a bottle. She takes an average of 2 oz each time. Her daily average (the time that I am away at work ~ 10 hours) is between 5-8 oz. g's daily average at this age was around 12 oz. g never spits up. Whatever she ate always stayed in. No such thing for s, who spits up as part of her daily routine. Like a worrywort that I am, I brought her to the doctor last week to get weighed, fully expecting that they would tell me to start trying to feed her slabs of bacon. But no, she was fine. She gained about 1 1/2 lbs in the last month, bringing her up to a weighty 11.5 lbs.

Something happened then as I was trying to wrestle her back into her clothes. Her sister was already 12 lbs by this time, maybe even a little more. But she was not her sister. s will be her own person, a thin person but her own person nonetheless. There are some small benefits to being her own baby. She loves to sleep during the day when her sister hated all sleep at any time. She prefers to nurse and has become a champion nurser. Nursing in a record 10 minutes was enough for her.

So a note to all the mommies thinking of the second - mothering the second is much like mothering the first. For the first few weeks, there will be floundering and much confusion, but the clouds will one day part and it'll finally become a little clearer. Though like the weather, clouds are always gathering. Nothing is certain. We sort of make it as we go along.

Sunday, February 11, 2007



What my kids really need is a "dimmer" switch. Here's a picture of s just seconds away from a total meltdown. g is not that different. I would really like it if they could go from this picture of joy to slight discomfort to dissatisfied and then move to utter and catastrophic fallout. Oh well...treasure every fleeting moment, right?
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Cabin Fever!!!


Today turned out to be an awesome day for the family c. Although the day didn't start off as desired, s was awake on and off from 3:00 AM. All I could think of was the report that I still had to finish and the burning need to have a little fun. All I could think of as the clock finally touched 8:30 AM and I have barely slept was that I needed coffee and lots of it...the never-ending coffee pot at IHOP. So I dragged myself out of bed, woke up my percoset-laden husband and told him that we are going to IHOP. Dressed, pumped and ready to go, we pulled up to IHOP around 9:30 AM and the parking lot was full. I thought that for sure we would be there earlier than the church crowd which usually dawdled in around 10:30-11:00. Apparently these are the sinners who were pulling in before the crowd that I was hoping to avoid. Happily we were still able to secure both a space in the lot and inside the restaurant.

G, g and I enjoyed a meal of pancakes, eggs and greasy mystery meat. Off to do some shopping.

In the afternoon, we were slated to the go to Hoboken Cabin Fever Festival. It turned out to be fabulous party. Lots of people with kids. The Elks lodge was full to brim and their whole facade was littered with parked strollers. g had a ball despite missing her nap. She got a fire fighter helmet and a balloon. She got her picture taken in the polaroid booth. s and I were taking some baby yoga. s found the moves quite simple since she touches her nose with her toes with typical baby ease. The yoga class would have probably set me back $20. I am glad it was free today.

The crowning moment of the trip was g's first balloon hat. I did line up for about 30 minutes to get one and when the balloon artist handed it to her, she ran and hid between her daddy's leg, but seeing her dancing in a cooky pink and green flower balloon hat was priceless.

Heard they do this every year too. Sign me up!

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

S "talking"

warning a bit too long. Should have been edited.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Poor g


g got an accidental hit from a ski goggle last Saturday. She cried a little but survived. G thinks we are going to get in trouble with Gmom for "letting" this happen. Oh well...
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An Addendum:
Maybe that's why kids don't make the best, g was telling him about her many hurts. She fell running around yesterday. So she was telling me about that. She then switched to how she hurt her eye. In her words, "hurt eye. JK did it." Now, JK has already left when that happened. Amazingly it's the first time also that she has ever referred to any of her dad's friends by their names. Regretfully in this instance, it's to wrongly accuse an innocent man.