Wednesday, December 28, 2011

That's what she said...

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything, which either means nothing exciting has happened or I just simply ran out of time during the day to post. And with a 3 year old and an almost 7 month old now, I'm pretty sure you can figure out which one of those it is. Gone are the days where I could do a post a day for over a year. So to get things started, lets try something a little more manageable. Here's post #1 of the hopefully weekly "That's what she (Kaylani) said"...which will be all about the crazy things Kaylani says to us on a daily basis (until Aliana can talk too). Some will be funny, others will be embarassing (for someone), and even others will probably be gross (it happens). Some will be on Facebook, and others will be brand new to the Daddy Diaries. And all of them will be 100% verbatim. Anyways, here we go!

Me: "Kaylani did you fart or poop?"
K: "I didn't fart or poop. My butt just hurts and I need cream" (she pooped)

K: "I'm Princess Belle. Yin Yin is the talking teapot. Yeh Yeh is the talking clock. Aliana is the dog. Papa is the handsome Prince. Mama is the Beast."

K: "Papa, you don't need to go to work today because we don't need money. Santa is going to bring us all the toys!"
Me: "What about food? We need money to buy food."
K: "Oh. Umm...well don't buy sausage because we have lots of sausage here already."

K: "Aliana sneezed into her shirt! Silly Aliana. She's so gross."

K: "You can wear the purple necklace because red is my favorite color."
Me: "I thought green was your favorite color?"
K: "No RED is my favorite color now. I changed favorite colors. I'm so silly. Red AND green are my favorite colors! I changed from green to yellow to red! Little girls do that. Little boys do that too."

K: "Aliana no! Don't eat my beads. You can eat YOUR toys. Don't eat MY toys."

K: "I ate your face!"
Me: "Why did you eat my face?"
K: "Because I love your face!"

Me: "Was Santa good to you?"
K: "Yes! But he forgot a new playroom to put all the toys! Oops!"

K: "Mama, we need to go shopping"
Mama: "For what?"
K: "Red paint. I want to paint my hair red like Princess Ariel!"

K: "I want to play in Connor's basement. We can't play in our basement because there are spiders there."

K: "Those are my 3 squirrel friends!"
Me: "What are their names?"
K: "Wamasalani, Kinsalani, and Sheensheen"

K: (listening to "A Whole New World" in the car) "Hahaha, Papa he said he was flying SIDEWAYS! This is a silly song!"

So the theme right now is Kaylani is silly. Check back next week to see what other silly things Kaylani is up to. And later this week, its Aliana's turn in the blog so come back for that too! Guaranteed a good read or your money back!

Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm coming home!

Leaving the hospital was quite the little adventure for us. First, we had to repack all the things we brought with us. Things like clothes, slippers, makeup (Mama's..not mine), etc. Then we had to grab all the things "given" to us, like newborn diapers, wipes, the Similac baby starter pack (which we wanted more for the baby stuff organizer than the gross formula that Aliana wants nothing to do with), and a few extra shirts for Aliana.

And then we still had to grab all the extra stuff that was "provided" for us. You know, things like extra baby hats, baby blankets, baby burp cloths/mats, extra ginger ales and apple juices, the baby suction thingy (still have no idea what its called), baby thermometer, bedpans, the batteries out of the clock, the dry erase marker, the rolling food tray, and the end table. All things that the hospital was great enough to provide for us (I'm kidding after the thermometer...for the most part).

Then, all that was left was changing Aliana into a cute outfit for the ride, some socks, some spitup cleanup (damn formula), and then a two hour wait for the official discharge from the hospital. When the time finally came, Mama and Aliana piled into a wheelchair, and we made the walk down to the car. After loading both Mama and Aliana into the car (and dealing with someone honking at us to hurry up...seriously), it was off we go!

The ride home was actually pretty smooth...except for a few bumps at the beginning (actual bumps on the road). But once we got going, it was a nice smooth ride (road and Aliana) the whole way home. We even stopped to grab a pizza on the way without so much as a peep from the Peanut. The only odd part of the whole ride was how she looked in the carseat! So tiny and so strapped in, but so safe.

Anyways, we got her home safe and sound. Stay tuned for the recap on her homecoming welcome from Kaylani and Yin Yin! In the meantime, check out pictures from Aliana's first few days, and Kaylani from the last couple of months!

Sisters don't shake hands... Sisters gotta touch lightly on the foot!

Officially, I've never had a sister. Unofficially, I've had countless sisters throughout my life. Some I've acted like they were my own, some I've adopted as my own, and some I've been given even if I didn't want them as my own (kidding...kinda). But for Kaylani, she's wanted a sister from day -250 (which for you non-math geeks equates to month 1 of pregnancy), which is when we all found out Aliana was coming.

Since that day back in late September, every Aliana related word out of Kaylani's mouth has been "sister sister." And since Papa just recently remembered who Sister Sister the band was (thank you Celebrity Apprentice), I'm guessing it was because Kaylani actually wanted a sister and had nothing to do with the band.

So when the time came for Kaylani to finally meet the little sister she's always wanted, we were all filled with anticipation as to how it would go. Overall, I'd say it went great! First few moments were typical shy Kaylani. Walking slowly to the bed with a nervous smile on her face. Answering questions like "who's that baby Kaylani" with an almost inaudible whisper of "...Aliana..." Moving her hand slowly up to touch Aliana's foot ever so gently (while we kept reminding her "Gentle Kaylani. VERY gentle baby").

Things got a little more challenging when we wanted to take a few pictures of the 2 of them together. First Aliana started fussing (cute little lower lip shiver of a cry). Then Kaylani wanted to get closer, or hold her, or touch her (all to be expected). So we snapped a few (coming soon) and then let Aliana get back to what she really wanted to do...nurse.

After convincing Kaylani that she didn't need to be intimately involved with the nursing process, she gave us a couple of great lines on her own.

"She's cuuuute!"
"She came out of Mama's belly to see me"
"I want to take her home with me"

And the first thing out of her mouth this morning when I got her: "Are Mama and Aliana here? I want to show her Aliana's room!"

So I think its pretty clear that Kaylani is excited about being a big sister. And if I had to guess, I think she'll be great at it. If not, well then Aliana is lucky that we were younger siblings too, so we'll make sure she's taken care of!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baby Aliana is here!

Today was the day. June 1, 2011. Aliana Angela Tam's birthday. Our daughter. Kaylani's sister. Finally!

So many things led up to this day, like a scare that she was going to come out before even 35 weeks, and then day after day of anticipation thinking she was bound to come out REAL early. All of our preparations were put into overdrive waiting for the day. Today. And now that Aliana is here with us, here are some details to help you live along with us (may not be for the faint of heart...but it won't be too bad). At least, here it is from my point of view:

2:26pm: Text from B: "I have been having cramps more constant..." followed by some back and forth about calling the midwives

2:51pm: "Going to the hospital. Called and u didn't answer"

2:51pm and 5 seconds: Papa sprinting out of his meeting with phones, keys, and wallet in hand

3:02pm: Mama and Yeh Yeh in the car passing by the park a few minutes away from home. Papa flying down Amwell Rd (at the speed limit...if Amwell Rd was an Interstate Highway instead of a local road).

3:07pm: "Oye, don't kill urself... I'm ok! Just bad cramps... I don't think its labor..." Silly Mama...

3:26pm: Mama arrives at the hospital and heads up to maternity ward by herself..with her purse in hand. She's very proud of this...

3:31pm: Papa arrives at the hospital, grabs the luggage, gives the car to Yeh Yeh, and heads upstairs frantically

Sometime around 3:40pm: Quick check by the midwife, Peggy, confirms Mama is pretty far along (8cm). Just a bit more rocking and a swaying leaning against a giant exercise ball on the bed (most a Tam has probably used a giant exercise ball)

Sometime around 4:05pm: Contractions picking up, but not quite time to push yet. Peggy and Ellie (student midwife) step next door to deliver another baby

Sometime around 4:15pm: Mama's ready to push but Peggy and Ellie aren't back yet. Little reluctant to do it without them

Sometime around 4:20pm: Peggy and Ellie are back and its push time! Here's how the actual delivery went:

Ellie nicks the water bag, but can't fully break it before the next contraction comes

Push 1: Top of the head and a full set of hair pops out, plus water actually breaks

Push 2: Most of the head comes out

Push 3: Full head is out. First glimpse at Aliana's perfectly round head and pudgy little round cheeks

Push 4: Ellie turns the baby a little to get the shoulders at the right angle to come out

Push 5: Baby comes right out and onto Mama's chest! Time of birth: 4:40pm.

Amazing. The whole thing was absolutely amazing. Start to finish it was roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes, and only 15 minutes for the actual push. Mama did great through the whole thing, and the nurses and midwives were great too. To make it more special, it was Ellie's first delivery as well!

Now, here we are exactly 4 hours after Aliana entered the world and our lives and we're as happy as could be. She seems to be nursing just fine, sleeping just fine, and is as cute as a round little peanut. Every now and then she'll raise her little arm at us while she's sleeping, as if she just wants to say hi to us and let us know she's still there.

4 hours of her life in the books, an eternity to go. Can't wait to see how it all plays out.

And tomorrow, the sisters meet. Will definitely be another special moment for all of us!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Being away...

Its been a long time since I've had to travel regularly. In fact, since Kaylani was born, I've probably only been away from her a handful of times (not including the times she's been away from me). But as she gets older, I find it harder and harder to be away.

This past week I've been in St. Petersburg, FL, which was far warmer than home and should have been an easy trip to make. But from the get-go, things weren't easy. I left right after Kaylani's nap, which meant I had to say bye then too. So after story time, a song, a hug and a kiss, it was time to go. That's when Kaylani said this:

"Papa dont go! I want to go to work with you."

By itself, its kinda cute. But when you add on from a few days ago this:

"Papa lives at work. Mama and Kaylani live at home"

It all starts to hurt and is enough to make anyone homesick. Luckily both her and Mama have enough to keep them busy during the week to make time pass. Things like school, classes, and dinner with my family help are supposed to at least. But apparently they also cause some confusion since Kaylani freaked out when she saw Bat Bat and family today and I wasn't there.

Luckily I'll be home tomorrow morning and for the rest of the weekend. But I sure hope this being away thing gets easier since I'll be traveling 6 out of the next 7 weeks. Hey, one can hope right?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Big Girl Bed: Day 1

For the past 3 weeks, Kaylani has been talking about sleeping in her big girl bed in her big girl room (which is the room next to her "baby" room). While we're not entirely ready for her to switch, and not exactly running out of time (still have 5 months until Baby #2 arrives), we figured we should give Kaylani what she usual.

After a weekend of buying furniture, cleaning, taping, painting, assembling furniture, and decorating, it was time to see how Kaylani handled "the switch." To try and prepare her, Mommy spent the afternoon with her getting the room ready by moving books, and stuffed animals, and other comfort items from her other room. And when dinner, milk, and Dora were done, it was time. Time to try the switch into the big bed.

Pajama time was a little rough with Kaylani continuously crawling away into her big bed instead of laying on a changing table. Story time went okay with 2 books being read while sitting on her giant oso, which was also moved into her room. And saying good night went as normal with me leaving the room and Mommy singing some songs on her way out of the room shortly after. And then, we waited.

We sat in our room staring at the video monitor while listening to the audio monitor. For 5 minutes Kaylani stayed laying down on her bed but with her head up staring towards the door. For the next 5 minutes she looked around the room and fiddled with her Princess Ballerina. And then she started to talk softly. "I'm awake." But not just softly, but sadly soft. "Mama. Papa. I'm awake. I need help." Then silence and staring. Few more heartbreaking minutes went by with a few more quiet pleas for help. Finally, when she made a few whimpers and started to shift, we broke down. In I went.

As soon as I got in the room she sat up and said "I'm awake!" and started crying. "I'm not sleeping Papa. It's time to play. I don't want to sleep" and more crying. After a few failed attempts at asking her why she was crying she said "I need water!" Apparently a few sips of water was all she needed because she stopped crying and said "I'm all better!" But that didn't mean it was time to sleep.

After a few negotiations and distraction tactics to prevent her from getting down and reading another book, I convinced her to lay down and I'd tell her the story of "Sofie's Big Bed", which is a book Mary Ann got her for her birthday. A slight modification to the story to include Grover, Telly, Crocodile, Princess Ballerina, and Giraffe sleeping in the bed with "Sofie" and Kaylani worked like a charm. A quick song, a kiss, and some hugs later and down she went as I left the room.

Here we are, 2.5 hours later and she's still sleeping. She's a little diaganol right now, which is freaking Mommy out that she's going to fall out, but sleeping. We're very curious to see how she does throughout the night. The rails (and pillows) on either side should be enough to keep her in bed (although Mommy thinks otherwise), but will she stay in bed? Will she even stay in her room? Only time will tell, so until then, all the upstairs doors will stay closed, extra nightlights will be on in the hall, and our bedroom door will stay open just in case.

Now its time for bed...for me at least. Not sure if Mommy will be able to sleep since she'll be preoccupied with staring at the big video monitor on our dresser, or the small video monitor of the same screen on our nightstand, or listening to the audio monitor on our nightstand as well. Hopefully tonight goes well. And if it does, Kaylani will continue to amaze us with how well she adjusts to things we throw at her.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dora Live!

Kaylani's never actually seen Dora Live! In fact, I'm not sure it exists (although it probably does), but even so, we wouldn't need to because Kaylani is our own live version of Dora.

Dora is the one show Kaylani will sit through and watch while barely moving a muscle. So its no real surprise to us that whenever we ask what she wants to watch while drinking her milk before bedtime (typically the only TV time she gets during the day), she picks Dora. And because of that, its also no surprise that she talks about Dora all the its her life.

Its not uncommon to hear Kaylani say "oh man" when she talks about Swiper, or that he's going to "swipe my animals when I sleep" (which leads us to reassuring her that Swiper sleeps when she sleeps). Or that she "wears a seatbelt so she can be safe" like Dora and Boots. Or that she loves "the monkey and his boots." But then other times, she'll just rattle off entire episode plots. "Dora got in a car and Tico turned it into a boat and a plane and they saved the star yay!!" or "Boots blow the horn and say 'rain rain go away come again another day' and the rain cloud goes 'ewww I don't like that song' and they runned home."

We haven't figured out if its a good thing that her memory is so good (some of the plots/things she spits back are from months ago), or a bad thing that there's so much Dora stored up in her head. For now, we'll consider it a good thing since its really cute. So for those of you who spend time talking to Kaylani, a word of advice: watch/learn yourself some Dora if you want to have a chance at understanding what she's talking about. Trust me, because when we don't watch with her, we're lost and wish we could say "MAP" to find our way!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Whiz Kid

At my very first job I was nicknamed "The Whiz Kid" (in fact, my first boss Cindy made a digital poster of my face on that movie poster). Just recently, I was called that again at my latest job, so apparently its a fitting name (Actually, in all fairness, I am "Digital Director" so I guess its fitting). But by the looks of things, I may be passing that nickname down to Kaylani.

Kids these days grow up around technology, and there's just no way around it (at least not when you live in big city areas). So it didn't really come as a surprise to me when Kaylani learned that the red button on the remote turned on the TV, or the dial on the humidifier turns it on, or that the button on the other remote can turn the lights on and off. And it wasn't too surprising when she learned to play "Peek-a-boo Barn" on my iPod Touch since all you had to do was touch the barn door and an animal appeared. But over time, she's gotten more advanced.

For instance, not only can she play "Peek-a-boo Barn", but she can turn on/off my iPod, scroll to the game (or any game), start it, press start, then play it. Or she can go to Super Why and spell words or solve story sentences. She can even play "Traffic Rush" and crash the cars (ok, so she may not get the point of that one). But since she does any or all of those things most mornings while Mommy or I are taking showers, she was bound to get good at them. It was when she translated those skills to the iPad that we took notice.

On the iPad (Yin Yin's...not mine since she's not allowed to play with Papa's iPad), she can turn it on and successfully play "Pac-Man", "Angry Birds", or "Cut The Rope" with little assistance. She knows how to start the game, turn it sideways, fling birds across the screen, feed the frog, or run away from the ghosts. Its amazing! But at the same time, its actually a little scary.

I remember growing up and playing Nintendo or Computer games with my Dad...and absolutely crushing him in them. He never stood a chance, whether if it was original Mario Bros, or Tecmo Bowl, or even Mario Kart and any other game that came out past 1986. And back then, I remember saying that I hope technology never passes me by where my kid(s) embarass me in a video game. And for the longest time, I didn't think that would ever be possible, but now I'm not so sure.

Kaylani is just a shade over 2 and she's already playing video games and using electronics. I was 5 or 6 when I started, and in all fairness to my Dad, he was almost 40 when he started playing, so I had an advantage. But with Kaylani, I've technically had a 30 year head start on her, and I'm not sure its enough. Already I've been beaten by a 4 year old in Wii bowling and challenged on several occasions in other digital aspects. If Kaylani is starting at 2 (actually earlier), am I doomed to be left behindl by my own next generation "Whiz Kid"?

Maybe there's still time to recover and I just need to carve out time (and money) to get moving with the new Wii games and/or Xbox and Xbox Connect. Maybe I need to trade in my Blackberries (yes, that's plural) for an iPhone AND an Android. Maybe I need to suck it up and get with the times so that I don't get passed by digitally. It'll be a lot of effort, but I think it might be worth it. At least I can stay at the top of the pyramid digitally because when it comes time for Kaylani to do dance, ballet, Cheerleading, or something along those lines, I'll be thoroughly embarassed...likely by my own doing.

So today I apologize to Kaylani and to baby #2 on the way, but the digital space will always be mine. But don't worry, there will be plenty of other areas Papa will be embarrasing in. Some by my own doing, but embarassing nonetheless. Kinda like being called "The Whiz Kid"...twice.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's a...

Usually I'm not surprised that Kaylani gets whatever she wants, mainly because its us who are to blame for catering to her every wish. But now it appears she has connections with higher powers since she has willed her way into getting a new baby sister. Not sure how she did it, but she did it. Today we found out that baby #2 will be a girl. And that meant that we had clear sailing ahead of us. Having a girl was supposed to make 2 things easier for us: clothes and names. But since we found out, I'm not sure it meant either.

Supposedly we would save money on clothes since we could re-use all of Kaylani's. Well that could be true later, but since Kaylani was a winter newborn and baby #2 will be a summer baby, not so much. And after talking to some friends/coworkers with multiple daughters, turns out girls need all new stuff anyways.

Supposedly we had a name picked out if it was a girl too. That thought lasted for 3 weeks, and went right out the window before we even got to the car after the ultrasound. Apparently we didn't have that name locked down after all.

And as a third that had nothing to do with baby #2 specifically, supposedly we were all set with 2 children, but apparently that conversation is back up for debate as well (or as Mommy thinks, its not so much as "up for debate" as it is a "topic open for discussion")

So here we are, less than 12 hours after seeing the tell-tale "3 lines" that indicated we'd be high on estrogen in our household for years to come. We've got no answers to any of our questions, and it'd be fair to say we've gone backwards to an extent. But what's absolutely certain is that seeing the ultrasound brought back the same excitement and amazement that we went through the first time.

Maybe its the technology, or the fact we were seeing it for the 2nd time now, but everything looked clearer. Body parts (or lack thereof in some cases) were clear as day. Nose, eyes, ears, spinal cords all had defined shapes and patterns. In fact, so much so that we're convinced baby #2 will be a splitting image of Kaylani when she was born.

But the bottom line is we're blessed to be joined by another girl in the family. I guess it really is my lot in life to be surrounded by girls. And if that's so, you won't hear one complaint coming from me. That much I am sure of.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What's "It" gonna be?

Thursday, January 13, 9am. Its a date/time that's been circled on our calendar for the last 4 weeks. It's a date/time that could lead us down a 6 month back and forth debate. It's a date/time that will answer a question we've had for at least the last 3 months. It's a date/time that will tell us finally: boy or girl. And we're hoping with 100% certainty.

Tomorrow literally couldn't come soon enough. Once the date was set, we were counting down as if we were kids waiting for our birthdays or Christmas. As each day would end and a line was put through the date on our calendar, the anticipation built up more and more. And looking through a baby name book on the way to/from Boston over the holidays didn't help either.

If you asked Mommy or me what we think it is, we'd both tell you we think "boy." Few people around us think "boy" too. And with some friends having new baby boys recently, and 2 out of 3 pregnant friends due around the same time expecting boys, it sure feels like a "boy" time. But of course, Kaylani thinks girl. So now here we are, 12 hours away from knowing the answer. 12 hours away from either having a name, or being back to the drawing board. 12 hours away from being able to dust off some of Kaylani's old things, or looking for a new color scheme for the room.

Now both Mommy and I are thinking its going to be a boy, but to be honest, it wouldn't matter in the least if its a girl. And actually, we were 100% sure it was going to be a boy when we found out about Kaylani, so who really cares what we think. Part of me is scared that tomorrows ultrasound will be inconclusive, but only time will tell. So what do you think? Boy? Girl? Inconclusive? Place your bets now, but not on inconclusive. That would just be mean.