Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Disney Adventure

Kaylani made her first trip to Disney yesterday at the young age of 7.5 weeks. Already, she's ahead of her Daddy who didn't make it there until he was closer to 1 year old. One thing that's for sure is that neither of us will remember our first trip.

The day started off great at the Magic Kingdom. We saw Donald and Daisy Duck once we got there, and a few other newerer Disney characters that Daddy was unfamiliar with. And then we had lunch before the crowds got out of hand. Oh, and when I say we, I mean everyone except Kaylani and Zoe who didn't wake up until after lunch.

After lunch, we all walked around a bit more and went on a few rides. Even if Kaylani was awake and able to remember anything from Disney, she would only remember the inside of her Maya Wrap, her carseat, or Daddy's chest from her Bjorn. Since she couldn't be in the sun, she didn't get to see very much at all!

We went to Epcot as well, but she didn't see anything there either, even though the sun went down. Not only was it dark, but it was also a bit cold as temps dropped into the 50's! Doesn't sound too cold, but in a thin long sleeve onesie, it was much too cold.

Kaylani didn't sleep much in the afternoon or night, so that of course meant that our final ride of the day, the car ride, was it's own little adventure. Thinking she may have been cried out from the monorail or the cold trolley ride through the parking lot, we put her in the car and started the 15 min drive to our place. After 10 minutes of traffic and crying/screaming, we pulled over to take a quick break only to see Kaylani smile at us when we took her out of the carseat. It's like she was saying "gotcha!" to us!

Anyways, that was Kaylani's first trip to Disney. Today is a day of nothing before heading to a New Years Eve party. Not sure if Kaylani will make it to midnight, but we're sure gonna try! It'd be nice if she did, but also nice if she slept so tomorrow's trip to Sea World goes alright. Either way, 2009 is sure to be a great year. Happy New Year to everyone!

Monday, December 29, 2008

So tired I can't sleep

Kaylani is supposed to get between 16 and 18 hours of sleep everyday. But when you switch "everyday" with "day we fly to Orlando," then you can also change "16 to 18 hours" with something more along the lines of "10."

The problem with 10 hours of sleep is that 7 of those hours come when she goes to sleep at night. So that leaves 17 hours in the day where Kaylani is awake for 14 hours and only asleep for 3 hours. Now, that was a lot of math, so for those of you not mathematically inclined (or Asian), let's put it in baby terms. For those of you without a baby, well then I've got nothing for you.

In a normal day, 3 hours of sleep across 17 hours isn't the worst thing in the world. It means Kaylani will be fussy for most of the day, instantly wake up if she's not constantly held, and take a solid hour post-feeding to go down for the night. But all that is manageable (Mommy might disagree) when we're in the comfort of our own home. Yesterday, we were anything but in the comfort of our own home.

The 17 hours before bedtime included getting ready to go to the airport, check-in (where we got threatened with a $1000 fine for not having Kaylani's birth certificate), security (no problems), boarding (no problems), a pilot trying to set a gate to gate time record leading to an extremely bumpy flight (awesome but also led to slight problems), a poopy diaper change during the bumpy flight (Mommy's problem), lunch at Bahama Breeze (delicious), unpacking at the apartment, a 1 hour wait for dinner in Downtown Disney with lots of lights and noises outside (big problems), and the dinner and the drive home (slight problems).

During some part of all of those events, Kaylani slept for 3 hours, and no more than 30 minutes at a time. I never understood when Mommy would tell me she was so tired she couldn't sleep, but Kaylani sure gets it. Luckily, when she finally went to sleep at 11:30, she stayed down until 6:30, then again until 9:30, and is back asleep now.

Everything we went through yesterday was totally worth it, because today, I'm sitting on a sunny porch in 80 degree weather in shorts and a t-shirt writing my blog. And best of all, Kaylani has been sleeping for over 11 hours. It's going to be a great day in Sunny Florida! Can't believe we ever moved away...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Do Like The Birds Do

Tomorrow marks the first ever trip (further than an hour) for Kaylani. We're gonna fly South for the winter, or at least the New Year, and spend a week in Sunny Orlando with the entire family. Mommy, Daddy, and Kaylani will fly out of Philly with Abuela and Abuelo, while Daddy's entire family will fly out of Newark and meet us down there. It will be one big joint family vacation, and I can't wait!

The preparation for the trip, however, is a different story. We've been avoiding this moment and watching it come closer for months now, and to be honest, we were a bit nervous when we even agreed to this trip over the summer. Kaylani was only going to be 8 weeks old (she'll actually be 7 weeks since she was a week late), so it was extremely early, but we're pretty positive that we'll have a good experience. After all, she's been great everywhere else we've taken her.

Today though, we began packing. Packing for Daddy has never been a problem. I'll open a suitcase, overpack the heck out of it with at least 2 extra outfits, and then I'm done. But with Kaylani (and the "new" travel fees), things sure are different. Okay, we're actually flying Southwest, so luckily we won't have many extra travel fees (or scary 2 faced airline agents), but the packing for Kaylani was definitely different. Today, I got a feel for what it's like to play with a doll.

Mommy and Daddy spent a good hour going through Kaylani's possible outfits, which included playing dress-up with her to see if some of her warm weather clothes fit her, and if she finally outgrew her newborn clothes. It also included finding 12 outfits (2 per day for 6 days) by going through all of the different clothing combinations, weather possibilities, and of course, factoring in the cuteness aspect.

After all was said and done, Kaylani's closet and dresser ended up being fairly empty, and everything was thrown into her own suitcase that we'll carry on. That doesn't even include extra diapers and wipes since we'll be buying all of that once we get down there. Although Daddy did pack 12 diapers for the airport and flight, and I'm sure hoping that's enough, but you really never know.

Anyways, Kaylani is just about done, so it's time for Mommy and Daddy to put her to sleep and pack our own bags. For all you faithful readers, I'll try and post from my Blackberry down in Orlando, but for those of you who just come for the pictures, I'll have nothing for you until January when we get back (but then I'll have TONS of pictures)! If you want to find out when I do get a chance to blog again, you can check back, check Facebook, or signup for emails too! And in the meantime, check out pictures from today, and my first video post! It's a video of Mommy swaddling Kaylani. Sorry for the poor quality, but it was using the "night" mode so we didn't wake her up. And in case you don't check back, Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Protective Bubble

Because Kaylani is such a good quiet baby, we tend to take her out a lot, or at least what we consider out a lot. We go out shopping, to run errands, and especially out to eat. Tonight, we went to our favorite restaurant, Sotto, in downtown Princeton. We were a fairly large group for a small restaurant like Sotto (6 adults and Kaylani), so space was fairly limited, but they gave us a great table in a corner. The one downside was that the table was right near the servers area at the bar.

Every time we're out in public and Kaylani is sleeping in her carseat/stroller, I get a bit protective. No matter what the conversation is, or where I'm looking, one eye is always on Kaylani. And as people come close by, I pay extra attention to them just to make sure they don't crowd Kaylani (or my) personal space. I'm not a worrier by trade (Mommy might disagree), but there's just something about restaurants and people walking nearby that put me on a higher alert level.

Waiters would walk by and give enough space to make sure they didn't bump into the stroller most of the time, but sometimes, they would get a bit close. Maybe someone was calling their attention, or they had food, or a tray full of drinks, but whatever their reason may have been, they were a bit too close for my liking. You know the line in Tommy Boy where Tommy (Chris Farley) says "and I just want to jerk the wheel into a goddamned bridge embankment!"? Well that's what I felt like. Every time someone walked a little too close, I wanted to shove them out of the way, even if they weren't actually that close.

Tonight, my urges weren't quite as strong, but I can remember a few weeks ago when we were at a local Indian restaurant (that wasn't quite good enough for me to even link to here). There was a birthday party going on, and this kid (probably about 8 years old), kept running around the restaurant. That day, Kaylani was in her car seat on the floor, and every time the kid ran by, I really wanted to stick my arm out and shove him about 5 feet away and into the ground. It would have been so satisfying to know that I saved my sweet little girl from being run over, and also because I would have put the hyperactive kid in his place.

Anyways, I'm sure I'm being a bit overprotective, and also a bit psychotic about Kaylani's personal space, but hey, she's tiny, she's fragile, and she's my little girl. But it's also something she's going to have to get used to because whenever she brings a boyfriend, or even just a boy friend home, the same thing is going to happen. I'm going to shove them 5 feet away into the ground, and by "shove", I mean "run", and by "5 feet away into the ground", I mean "over in my car." That, though, is a story for another day.

In the meantime, here are pictures from the last 3 days. I especially enjoyed taking the pictures of Kaylani in her armpit high tights, or what I referred to as "baby fashion torture" while Mommy was dressing her. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

So Christmas has come and gone, and this year it was a bit different than the past ones. We didn't have presents to open, no big fancy dinner, and we didn't have anywhere to go, but it was still the best Christmas I've ever had.

Both of Mommy and Daddy's parents were here with us, and most importantly, we had Kaylani. She makes every day special, and holidays even more special. I'm sure she didn't realize that today was Christmas, but she sure seemed to enjoy it. From her staying asleep at Church this morning, to her smiling in her bouncy by the fire at night, I hope she had as good of a time today as I did.

Christmas is over, but the memories will last me at least a year. But for now, it's on to the new year! Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Opening presents on Christmas Eve

My family was never strict on traditions , and that was definitely tru about Christmas. We would have the big dinner on Christmas Eve and open presents, and then Christmas Day was spent playing with all our toys. For us, it worked out great to do things this way as we got older, especially when both my brother and I had significant others and their families in our lives. Christmas Eve became a Tam family tradition in a way, so I guess we were pretty strict about that.

Well this year, we did everything on Christmas Eve Eve at my house because of some schedule conflicts. It went great, but everything was kinda off today. There were no presents to open, no big dinner planned, and it felt just like any normal day. I wasn't sad necessarily, and I got practically everything I asked for the day before so it's not like I was expecting more presents. But it was Christmas Eve, and I felt like I should open something. I mean, especially with Kaylani now, we should start our own traditions, or at least make sure to stick to some of our old ones.

Knowing how I felt, Kaylani helped me out. Around 8 o'clock tonight, she decided to give me one more present to open. She knew that I wanted to open something, to have that excitement of Christmas Eve still, so she delivered. She gave Mommy and Daddy a big ol' her diaper. After all, it is the only thing she could physically give us.

Being Christmas Eve, we were going to skip bath time, let her stay up a little later, and just sit by the fireplace and enjoy. But when she was sitting on Daddy's lap and mimicked the sounds of an elephant without using her mouth, our plans were altered. I thought it could have just been a lot of noise, but a small stain appeared on my jeans and I knew I was wrong. It also made me wonder how poop could possible get through 2 onesies (not just one), and a pair of pants. It just doesn't make sense, but I guess that's a different story.

Anyways, it's Christmas Eve, and Kaylani is all clean and as good as out right now, so it's time for Daddy to see how his new camcorder records in the dark. Keep an eye out for videos in the future, but for now, check out pictures from the last 2 days (separated into 2 albums), which include Kaylani's 1st Christmas. And if you're wondering why I'm wearing a tie, it's because I'm ridiculous, embarrassing, and ridiculously embarrasing to my family. Anyways, Merry Christmas to you and your families!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What a Christmas!

As most of you prepare for the craziness that is Christmas, we're starting to wind down and get ready for the New Year. Tam Family Christmas happened tonight so that we could open presents with my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and niece before they headed up to Connecticut. It may have been a few days early, but it wasn't any less special.

Kaylani had a great "Christmas." She woke up, went for a car ride, took a nap, looked around, took some more naps, and was held all day by someone. And I'd say her first Christmas went great from a presents standpoint as well. She got clothes, books, a bouncy, toys, videos, and pretty much everything a 6 week old would want, and probably what kids of any age would want to!

And since this was Daddy's first Christmas as a daddy, I had a great haul as well. The 3 most special gifts were a HD camcorder (keep an eye out for videos of Kaylani coming soon!), a collage of pictures of Daddy, Mommy, and Kaylani, and a large framed picture of the "I thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee" signed by Mariano Rivera!

Being a Dad is pretty great in case I haven't mentioned that lately. Kaylani's first Christmas is something I'll never forget, even if it happened before actual Christmas. But for now, we've all had a crazy day and need to get some sleep, so good night, and have a great Christmas wherever you are! And Happy Hanukkah too!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let the holidays begin!

Today was my first day of holiday vacation. I don't go back to work until January 5th, but I'm pretty sure that I'm not actually on vacation. Just to be clear, once you have a baby, vacation isn't the same anymore. It doesn't mean you can go to bed late, and wake up late, and it definitely does not mean that you can just get wasted every (or any) night. There's a whole lot more responsibility in your life now, which means that vacation as you know it has changed.

Don't get me wrong though, it's not necessarily a bad change (as long as you don't like to sleep and you don't like to drink). I spent all day with Kaylani, which is now the 3rd day in a row. That's something I haven't been able to do for 3 straight days since my 1 week of paternity leave. Sure the first part of it involved her first shots (wasn't as bad as I thought, but still sad to see her cry during and after it), and the second part was spent making sure she was comfortable (which includes holding her to sleep and rocking her all the time instead of trying to put her down), but it was a lot of fun for me. After all, I got to spend my 3rd straight day with her.

Tomorrow will be the 4th straight day, and to make things even better, tomorrow is Tam Family Christmas #1! My brother, my sister-in-law, and Kaylani's 2 cousins are here. My parents are here. And Mommy's parents are here too, which means we get to open presents 2 days early! It also means we have a full house including 2 newborns, a 2.5 year old, and 8 adults, but hey, if that doesn't scream "holidays" to you, then I don't know what would.

Speaking of family, I've got to finish putting Kaylani to sleep (up past bedtime also screams "holiday") and then go pick up Mommy's parents at the airport. Tomorrow will be a packed day, but just like when I was a kid, it's hard to sleep the day before "Christmas", no matter which one it is.

So for now, good night, and Happy Tam Family Christmas Eve #1 to you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I have no idea what I'm doing...

This morning I was coming back from Princeton where I got my haircut finally. During the drive I did some more thinking as usual, and I was thinking how glad I was to get my haircut, and how we need to find time for Mommy to go get her hair cut too. She just wants to cut the tips a little bit, and maybe put in a color or two, or highlights, or something like that. And that's when it hit me...I have no idea what I'm doing.

For the past 6 weeks, I've been winging it as the Dad of a little baby girl, but this is the easy part. What am I going to do when it's time for her first haircut, or her 10th haircut? She's going to say she wants to cut the split ends off, or ask me to take a quarter inch off, and add a mix of two colors to highlight her hair, and I'm going to say something like "What? Come again?"

I don't know anything about girls. Wait, let me rephrase. I have no idea how to RAISE a girl. I started hanging out with girls when I was 14. Prior to that, they ignored me, and I hounded over them, but from that point on, a good majority of my friends were girls. I know exactly how to raise a teenage girl. I'm going to lock her in her room so that no teenage (or older) boys can get to her. But what do I do up until then?

About a year ago, I was playing with my niece and she just got a new dress up doll toy. It was a picture of a doll on a board, and she had a ton of different outfits (pants, shirts, blouses, shoes all separate) that you could magnetically put on her. We spent 20 minutes just switching outfits back and forth. "Tio, I think this shirt would look good. And then these pants. And now this shirt. And these pants. Oh, and these shoes. With these pants. But this shirt. Now these pants again." Seriously, 20 minutes, during which the only thing I said was "okay" or "cute." Whenever I made a suggestion, she said "Tio, that's silly" and went back to changing more outfits.

Dolls, hair, shoes, makeup...oh man, the makeup. What the heck do I know about makeup? Does this lipstick go with this blush? What about the mascara? Or the foundation? What color foundation goes with this? Forget that, what's foundation??

Depsite my gentle personality, and my love of cheesy romantic comedies, I am less of a girl then people think I am. And when it's time for me to do little girl things with my little girl, it's going to be overly apparent to everyone around. For once in my life, feeling like a "manly man" isnt' going to feel so good.
Alright, well it's time to call it a night and get ready for the festivities. Tomorrow, my whole family comes into town, as do Mommy's parents, so we're going to have a full house and get Christmas started! Check out these pictures from the last 2 days, and check back soon for pictures of our first Christmases (yes, that's plural).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Drumming to my own beat

Whenever it's Daddy's turn to feed Kaylani, or to burp Kaylani, or just to hold her and glide with her in her room while she falls asleep, my mind wanders. Never in my life have I been given so much time to hear my own thoughts, and it's kinda nice, and kinda strange all at the same time. The nice part is that I do get a lot of thinking done, usually about how beautfiul my little girl is, or how great of a life I have, and also about what I have to do next. The strange part is sometimes my mind wanders, and I have no idea how I got from thought A to thought Z.

More often that not, a song pops into my head and gets stuck there. I start to sing along in my head, sometimes hum out loud, and very rarely, I'll sing so Kaylani can hear me. But something else happens at the same time. I find myself tapping along to the beat. And usually, it's when I'm burping Kaylani. All of a sudden my slow steady patting of Kaylani's back turns into a drum solo from whatever random song is in my head.

Earlier today, the song in my head was Old McDonald Had a Farm. First off, I have no idea why that song was in my head since we don't listen to that song (or many children's songs in general yet). Whatever it was, it was in my head, and it stuck there. Pat...pat...pat...pat turned into:

*Pat pat pat pat pat pat pat*....e-i-e-i-o.
And *pat pat pat pat pat pat pat*...e-i-e-i-o
With a *pat pat* here and a *pat pat* there
Here a *pat*, there a *pat*, everywhere a *pat pat*
*Pat pat pat pat pat pat pat pat*, e-i-e-i-ooooooooooo!

And yes, I actually sang the non-*pat* parts to Kaylani. After that went on for about 10 minutes, I stopped and couldn't figure out what I was doing or why I was doing it. It's like I was sleep patting. I'm actually just glad it's children's songs that pop into my head. Can you imagine what would happen to Kaylani if the music from Stomp popped into my head?

It's funny what having a baby does to your head. It sure makes you do some crazy things. Maybe it's the sleep deprivation (although we're sleeping pretty well), or maybe it's just a change in lifestyles now. I may just have to accept the fact that I'm going to *pat* along from now on. Shouldn't be a problem, at least until Kaylani can burp herself. Then I hope I grow out of this phase, otherwise someone's going to be awfully offended when I keep patting them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Late Night Shoot Out

I woke up at 6 this morning to give Kaylani a bottle like I do most days, and when I walked into her room, I knew something happened while I was sleeping. Something serious happened. I wasn't quite sure what it was yet, but from what I could see, it involved poop. And by the looks of it, a lot of it. The changing pad cover was on the floor in a ball, which is never a good sign. In it's place was a hooded bath towel, also not a good sign. And when I unswaddled Kaylani, she was wearing something different then what we put her to sleep in. That's 3 bad signs, and that was all I needed to know I missed something big.
I went downstairs to grab her bottle, and put it in the bottle warmer which is in our bedroom. Mommy was awake at this point, and pumping away as usual. So, I innocently asked her, "Kaylani have a blowout last night?" What I got back was more than I asked for.

Mommy took a deep breath before she looked up at me. She stared at me, exhaustion clear on her face, and said as calmly as she could, "it was EVERYwhere." Of course I needed more, so I probed a little deeper and this is the beginning:

"Jonathan, you have no idea. I was about to change her and she started farting and pooping, so I waited a little bit. After a minute, she started crying real bad so I thought she was done. When I took out the diaper, the poo SHOT out. It really just SHOT out. You know the part of the changing table thats higher? Underneath the basket of diapers? The poo hit that, and just went EVERYwhere!"

And that wasn't the end of it, but the bottle was warm, and Kaylani was crying, so I had to wait a bit to hear the end of it. I know that's not important to you right now, but I figure if I had to wait, so should you. Anyways, here's how the rest of the story goes:

"When it hit that part of the changing table, it just went everywhere. It went up, back onto the changing mat, on to the wall, but that wasn't the worst part. It was still coming out and I had nothing to cover it with, so I put my hand to cover it."

"You put your hand over her butt to cover the poo from coming out???" I asked.

"I had nothing else I could do! When I did that, it went all over the place. It went all over Kaylani's clothes, it went on the wall, it went on me. It was disgusting! I wanted to wake you up, but if I screamed for you, you would have had a heart attack. There was poo everywhere and I couldn't pick her up, so I wiped my hand clean with some wipes, cleaned up the area a little bit, and then I took off all her clothes, but I had nowhere to change her. So I put her in her bed after I wiped her down, got rid of the changing mat and her clothes, and then started to wipe the walls and the table off."

"I couldn't believe that poo could shoot out like that. It was like a hose, and it just bounced and splattered everywhere. Gross! But I washed my hands, came back, put a towel down, and finished changing her before I could nurse her and get her back to sleep. What a night!"

"Umm...sorry I missed it?" I said apologetically.

"Shut up."

And that was last night. I had heard stories of projectile poop, but we had never experienced it. Well, technically I still haven't experienced it, but I did hear about it. All in all, Mommy did a great job handling the situation. You can't even tell there was poop on the walls in here, or on her. Luckily for us, tonight was bath night anyways, so everything and everyone is back to normal. Well, maybe not Mommy's memory. That's one that will linger for awhile.

It's been awhile since we had a blog worthy poop story, so I hope you enjoyed it. It's now also time to enjoy some more pictures. These are from the last 2 days, which if you're keeping track, means I finally missed a day of pictures. Day 40 came and went, and it wasn't the best of days for any of us. Kaylani was a bit fussy during the day, and even at night, so when we remembered she was already asleep. Sad, but it was bound to happen sooner or later. Hopefully it won't happen again for awhile. Either way, enjoy, and come back soon!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's coming...

Every day it gets a little closer. It's been on the calendar for weeks now, and it's getting harder not to think about it. I don't even know how to prepare for it, and I definitely don't know what I'm going to do when it comes. I think I'm going to put everything off until the last minute, because if I don't, I might just break down.

Unfortunately I'm not talking about Christmas. I'm actually ready for Christmas. It's what happens a few days before Christmas, and also what's going to happen a few days after that's on my mind. Let's talk about one at a time though, and since a few days before Christmas is only a few days from now (yikes), that comes first.

This coming Monday, Kaylani has her 8 week checkup, which is actually 2 weeks early. For all of you who have kids, you know what happens at 8 weeks. For those who don't, you're about to find out. At 8 weeks, Kaylani will get her first series of...shots. Shots, in my book, are no good, no matter what age you are (or what type of "shot" we're talking about). The worst part about these shots are that they're not being done on me. I can take a shot (again, no matter what type we're talking about), but I'm not exactly sure I can take watching Kaylani get a shot.

It's seriously been on my mind since we scheduled it 1 month ago. I remember taking my dog to get shots and having to hold him down when the doctor stuck him with the needle. He would whimper sadly and I'd be sad. Those were feelings I had for my dog 12 years ago, which expalins why I'm completely afraid of what's going to happen when the doctor pulls out the needle and Kaylani doesn't whimper, but cries. She'll put on her sad frown, cry hysterically, and there won't be much I can do about it...except be sad with her.

Apparently they also get sick for a day or two immediately after any shot they get (which apparnetly happen pretty frequently for the next year)! That's also kinda sad since it's only 3 days before Christmas. Is my baby girl going to be sick for her first Christmas? Is she going to be dazed and out of it? I know she won't remember any of it anyways, but still, I really hope that she won't look back at pictures 5 years from now and see herself crying. She'll ask why she was so sad on Christmas and I'll have to tell her she got shots right before it. Then she'll associate Christmas with getting shots, and hate Christmas forever.

Oh man, maybe we should skip the 8 week checkup...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We've gone from glide to bounce

The glider's broken. It's lost its magical powers. The aura around it has apparently worn out. And I want it back.

Fortunately, we've found a workaround. But it's a temporary workaround. I hope. Everything used to be so easy. Once Kaylani was clean and fed, if she needed to be calmed down, I could take her in my arms, head for the glider, and then just glide the night away. But now, it doesn't work like that. It's not simple anymore. I guess it couldn't last forever. Could it?

Alright, the workaround isn't the worst thing in the world. It's not like Kaylani only quiets down if I balance on one leg with my left arm in the air, but for me, it's not that much more comfortable. She likes to bounce. Not bounce like a basketball, but she likes it when Daddy bounces with her. Doesn't sound like the hardest thing to do right? Well, it isn't, except Daddy has bad knees, and bouncing is a bit hard on the knees. And Mommy? Well, Mommy has a bad back, so bouncing doesn't really work for her either. But we do it, because that's what parents do...anything.

Everything ties back to poo, well in this case, Pooh, because Kaylani is kinda like Tigger. After all, Tiggers like to bounce! And you know what? If Kaylani likes to bounce, then so do Mommy and Daddy because bad knees, bad back, or bad anything is totally worth seeing a happy Kaylani, or more specifically, a sleeping Kaylani.

So, while we try and find the glider's mojo, we'll bounce and bounce and bounce. And let's just hope that the bouncing phase doesn't turn into the stand on one leg with the left arm out phase. But if it does, I'd be the first to buy stock in Motrin.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Raising Her The Right Way

It's no secret that I'm a die-hard Yankees fan. And it's no secret that I plan on raising Kaylani like that, my nieces and nephews like that, and really anyone that I can still influence like that. But I don't think team loyalty is something you can teach someone, or push upon someone. It just kinda comes along because you're raised that way, or for us Yankees fans, because you know it's the right thing to do.

Take my friend Jay for example. His daughter likes the Yankees, even though she lives in Dallas and her dad is a Red Sox fan (this post will not go into how ridiculous it is that Jay, who lives in Dallas, is a Red Sox fan). Now his daughter is someone I can relate to. She's a Yankees fan, and that makes a lot of sense to me, and that's how I always thought Kaylani would turn out.

Well tonight, I was able to exhale just a little bit. Sure I had pictures previously of Kaylani with the Yankees hat that my brother and family bought her when she was just a day old, but that wasn't enough to make me relax. She hadn't shown me that she was a true Yankees fan yet (granted, it's not baseball season quite yet) until now. Tonight, she did what most of us Yankees fans do when they see Red Sox paraphernalia...she gave it the finger.

The picture above was not staged (well, adding the Red Sox stuff obviously was), but she really did give it the finger. I've never been so proud! And before anyone gets the wrong idea, Kaylani will NOT be allowed to give people the finger when she's older. That would be rude and uncalled for...unless they're wearing Red Sox paraphernalia, in which case it would be hilarious!

Sure you could argue that her pinky is in the air too, but I'd argue that I just didn't snap the picture fast enough. Either way, from this day forward, Kaylani is a true Yankees fan. She was born in a down year for the Yankees, but she'll grow up in a great time for them as well. And her Dad is going to take her along every step of the way, including to Opening Day at the new stadium this April if Mommy lets him. I'll keep you posted on how that conversation goes...

But in the meantime, check out a few pictures from the last two nights. We had to wake her up for yesterday's photos because we may have forgot to take any during the day, but we got them. As long as this is a daily blog, the goal is still to take daily pictures, so keep on checking back! And keep on reading along. After all, what else are you going to do until Yankees season starts?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who doesn't want to be a baby again?

Life as a baby is pretty great. That thought has come into my mind several times since Kaylani was born. I mean, think about it for a second. You sleep 16 hours a day, and when you wake up, you eat. While you're eating, you fall back asleep! And whenever you're awake and not eating, all you have to do is lay there and look around. The only thing you have to be worried about is when you're going to eat again, or when you're going to sleep again, or maybe when someone is going to come clean the pee or poop that's stuck to you.

Okay, so maybe the pee or poop thing doesn't sound like the best thing in the world, but the sleeping/eating/sleeping thing does, and the no other worries thing does too. You don't have to get up early to go to work, don't need to worry about an upcoming deadline, and don't even need to worry about what to cook/eat for dinner. It sounds pretty ideal to me. Well, I guess some people would have a problem with eating the same thing every meal (I wouldn't), and others would find it boring to sleep for so long (I would), but still, the good still outweighs the bad, right?

As a baby, you have people that do everything for you...EVERYTHING. Hungry? Someone will feed you. Tired? Someone will rock you to sleep. Lonely? Someone will hold you. Pee or poop on yourself? Someone will change you (and you don't even have to tell them to promise never to tell anyone about it or that you owe them one). What a great life! Well, except that you're completely reliant on someone all the time. That could be kinda tough.

Hmm, so maybe it's not the best life in the world, at least not now that I've experienced so much more. But for Kaylani, I'm positive she has the best life in the world. Anyone with these parents and friends wouldn't think otherwise either. So what that I'm not a baby anymore. After all, that's why I have one.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

WD-40 has ruined my life

Every night, we spend a lot of time trying to get Kaylani to sleep, and after we do so, we sneak out of the room as quietly as can be to make sure she stays that way. She sleeps pretty well regardless of what noise we make, but still, just to make sure, we try and let the humidifier be the only noise in the room. And every night, we get out of the room silently, and then it happens:

The damn door. I don't actually think it's ever woken Kaylani up, but the squeak is so loud and annoying that we always plan on picking up some WD-40 the next time we're at the store to make it stop. And today, we finally followed through. We were wrapping up our Christmas shopping (no pun intended) while looking for some stocking stuffers at CVS, and came across WD-40 (not in the Christmas aisle). We were so happy that we remembered to actually buy it...until we got home.

When we got home, I sprayed the hinges on Kaylani's door to make sure the smell was gone by the time it was bedtime. I moved the door around, and there was silence. It wasn't until later that I would realize that the sound from the door was the least of our problems. We started Kaylani's nighttime routine a bit early since she looked tired. We changed her, washed her up a little bit, and Mommy nursed her real good to try to add a few minutes to the sleep time. It was all going so very well.

Then, Mommy silently slipped out of the room, silently closed the door so that it was open only a few inches, and started down the stairs. But then, it happened:


She turned around, and the door was wide open. So she went back, and closed the door again. And again, the door slowly returned to its wide open position. Next, we tried again and closed the door a little bit more, so that it was in the frame but didn't "click", and that worked for a second, but only for a second. The only way to keep the door remotely shut was to "click" it shut.

Damn you WD-40. Sure closing the door fully doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world, but it doesn't let any sound out. Yes, we have a monitor, but there's something comforting about leaving the door open just a crack. I mean, what if the door is locked for some extremely odd reason, and we shut the door fully? I'd have to knock it down (or find a way to unlock it I guess, but knocking it down sounds much more likely).

It just goes to show that if ain't broken, you really shouldn't fix it. Enough about the damn door, check out some of our pictures from the weekend. We had our friends Carmen and Tom come visit from Boston, just going to show that we love Boston visitors, so come on down! Just don't bring any WD-40...stupid WD-40.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Put your hands in the air!

Last night, I came to the realization that my baby is almost qualified to work as a signal caller at an airport. Her next milestone is the ability to hold onto things such as a rattle or toy, or in this case, orange glow sticks.

I know I've been writing about sleep a lot lately, but since I've heard quite a few "crappy" comments, you're going to have to put up with it for now. Soon you'll be begging me for stories about poop again, but in the meantime, it's sleep story time. I've already told you about our sleep routines, but I feel like lately her arm movements have become quite the show.

After she's done eating, and burping, and after she's ready for bed, it's time to get her swaddled. Now since we swaddle her with her arms inside (certain babies wake themselves up when the freak out and their arms go all over the place), its very important for her arms to be completely at her side when she's swaddled. If her arms are swaddled to the front, or a little bit up, chances are she'll cry until you try again. Also, if she's not swaddled real tight, Kaylani will do her best Houdini impression and get her arms out before she wakes up.

Lately, getting her arms down to the side has been a bit more difficult. She really does look like one of those people on the tarmac that wave planes in and out. She'll lift both arms straight up, or one straight up the other bent 90 degrees, both arms leaning sideways, both bent, one waving, or whatever. The part that really makes me laugh is when you put one arm by her side, and it goes just fine. But when you pull the other one down to her side, the other one shoots straight back up! Fix that one, and the other one bends, or goes up. And this goes on for a few minutes. It's like she's planes in to their appropiate spot. Well, it's either that or she's doing her best Village People impersonation.

Either way, it's hard to not smile when this happens, even if it's 3am and Daddy has been up for an hour and now dead tired. Supposedly this arm reflex ends by 3 months, so I guess I'll have to just keep smiling at Kaylani for the next 6 weeks. Until then, she's still really cute, no matter how tired Daddy may be.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Enter the Sandman

Everyone knows the song "Enter the Sandman" by Metallica, right? I mean, it is the entrance song to the greatest closer in baseball, Mariano Rivera (who by the way, Kaylani possibly would have been named after had she been a boy). I think Kaylani knows it too, but not the whole scary rock version. She just knows part of one line: "sleep with one eye open."

In college, I found out that Uncle Tommy slept with one eye open sometimes, and it was completely creepy. Since he would pass out on the futon with his head to the side, you couldn't ever really tell if he was awake or sleeping. Thankfully Kaylani isn't creepy at all, and she doesn't "sleep" with one eye open, but when she's falling asleep, she'll sneak peeks at me to make sure I'm still there. She'll close her eyes for a minute, then all of a sudden, one eye will slowly sneak open and take a peek at me. If I'm still there, then she closes her eye and goes back to sleep. And if I'm not, time to exercise the lungs!

When I was younger, I used to do the same thing, but for a different reason. When it was late and my parents were going to bed, they used to check on me before they went upstairs to make sure I was sleeping. I can remember having one eye slightly opened so I could see if they were still out there (being Chinese really helped here). And when they were gone, on came the TV, out came the soda, and it was late night TV for me! Just kidding mom and dad...kinda.

I'm pretty sure Kaylani doesn't do quite the same, and since I'm convinced she does the opposite, I can just wait her out. My parents never could wait me out since I didn't sleep, and fortunately for me, Kaylani doesn't try and wait me out. So, looks like Daddy has won one over his little baby girl so far. If you're keeping track still, score another one for this guy!

I'm sure that the scales will tip in the other direction soon enough, so while she's still too small to pull tricks on her dad, I'm just going to enjoy it for now. She's growing way too fast, as you can see in today's round of pictures. She's almost getting too big to fit in her Christmas stocking (hehehe)!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stop the glider, I want to get off!

Kaylani is either going to love rollercoasters like Daddy, or hate them like Mommy. Early indications point towards loving them though. Of course, we're basing this solely off of her experiences with us rocking her back and forth, or more specifically, her time in the glider.

One of the ways to get her to sleep has always been to glide back and forth, but we've graduated past lightly gliding. We've moved to full speed gliding now, almost to the point where Kaylani's head looks like a bobble head! Okay, to save time for those of you who comment on my lack of neck support, it's not really that bad. Granted, it's not really that good either, but her little neck is fine. I promise.

I really do think she likes it though, and if she's crying she'll usually stop within a few high speed glides. If she's calm, but not quite sleeping, she'll slowly close her eyes as the wind blows against her face with each glide. She gets so calm that she doesn't even stir when Daddy glides too far back and hits the wall (I've yet to check if there's a dent back there).

It's kinda fun to watch her drift away into dreamland as we glide. The true test comes when we stop. The trick is to stop slowly as to not disrupt the vertigo that she may be experiencing. And if she stays passed out with no motion, then there's just the arm test left to do. Once that arm drops for the third time, it's to the crib we go!

The only question is if the high speed gliding works because she likes it and is relaxed, or if she hates it and closes her eyes to make it stop. Personally I think she must like it because from my experiences, when I'm dizzy and want things to stop moving, closing my eyes does NOT make it any easier (man it's been a long time since I've experienced that). Whatever it is, it works. And you know what they say! If it ain't broken, then don't stop gliding fast because it seems to work when you're trying to get your baby to close her eyes and go to sleep. Well, something like that anyways.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's in that little head of yours?

When I was younger, I used to have a dog, and something that was always on my mind was what they were thinking. Actually, it wasn't so much "what" they were thinking, because I'm sure it was along the lines of food, play, hump things, but it was more of "how" they thought. Do dogs think in dog language, so in their head they hear "bark bark bark" and "woof woof woof", or do they think in people terms like "I sure could use a bone right now" and "I bet that stuffed animal over there will satisfy me?" Well in the Simpsons, Santa's Little Helper could hear random words intermingled with sounds like those you hear from adults in Charlie Brown. "Wah wah wah wah roll over wah wah wah" instead of "Hey boy, please roll over for me".

And then, around the same time, I was also big into The Rugrats. You ever watch that show? It was about babies who talked like normal to other babies, but sounded like they were crying or babbling to adults. I'm still convinced that babies talk to each other through their crying, but it's not nearly as comprehensible as it seemed on Rugrats.

So, you're probably wondering how dogs and The Rugrats tie into whatever is in my head. But it's simple (to me). What goes on inside Kaylani's little head? When I tell her to open her eyes, or to go to sleep, to stay still, or to smile for the camera, does that actually filter through her head and she ignores me, or do I sound like "wah wah wah wah?" Also, when she's laying there looking back at me, is she thinking "Hi Daddy! Aren't I really cute? I like it when you stare at me and smile" or is she thinking "wahhhh wahhhh goo goo ga ga plbbbbt?" I really don't know!

The more I look at her and see her concentrating on me, or what I'm doing, the more I convince myself that she actually does process complete, comprehensible thoughts in her head, but she just doesn't know how to say them. It's like the last episode of Grey's Anatomy with the women who has lost her voice and is afraid to speak. Except with Kaylani, I think she could speak if she wanted to, but she's just holding out.

Well whenever it happens, I'll be ready for it. But if I know girls (and I think I do), once she starts talking, I may never get her to stop. And hopefully, by the time she's a teenager and on the phone all the time, phones won't exist and there will be alternate means of communication. Yikes, let's not go down that path tonight. It's wayyy too early to think teenage years! My fears on that will come up in a later post. For now though, it's time to pay attention to my baby girl while she is still one.

And for you out there, you can pay attention to my baby too. Come visit like my friend Neha did tonight and you can pay extra close attention to her. Otherwise, just check out these pictures from the last 2 days. It's not even close to the same thing, but you'll have to visit to find out just how different it is.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

D is for Disgusting!

Fact: Kids don't like vitamins. It's taken 2 weeks, but I will now officially confirm this fact for Kaylani. Apparently she's just like all the other kids...I mean babies. She's not old enough to be a kid yet. In fact, she'll always be my baby, so forget the kids part in general and let's start over. Fact: Babies don't like vitamins.

Because Kaylani is breastfeeding and it's cold and gloomy here in the Northeast, our pediatrician recommended that we give Kaylani Vitamin D. She even recommended that we buy Tri-Vi-Sol instead of Poly-Vi-Sol because it tastes better. Little did we know how much our pediatrician actually knew.

To be fair, Mommy tried it before we gave it to Kaylani, and she said it tasted disgusting, but hey, that's all the happened to have at Target the day we were there. Well, we've been giving it to her for 3 weeks now, and we've finally caved in. Vitamin D is disgusting, at least in the Poly-Vi-Sol form. I can just see Kaylani shaking her head at me, rolling her eyes, and thinking to herself "THAT'S what I've been trying to tell you!"

Apparently we didn't pick up on this tell all too well. We now know that gagging, spitting up, crying, and practically choking are all signs that whatever she just ate tasted like crap. She even thought if she spit up on her once white onesies and staining them would teach us a lesson. It did...just 3 weeks too late. So, as a public apology to Kaylani, Daddy's sorry that he made you take Vitamin D-isgusting every night for 3 weeks, and he promises that Mommy or Daddy will go out and by the Tri-Vi-Sol that supposedly tastes much better.

We're also hoping that changing to a better tasting vitamin will stop other things too, like crying for no reason, not sleeping, diaper blowouts, and just general fussiness. Anyways, while we test out that theory, check out pictures from Kaylani's 1 month birthday! Maybe by her second birthday the effects of Vitamin D-isgusting will have worn off and she'll be calm, quiet, and sleeping through the night. Hey, you never know!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Birth Story of Kaylani Isabel Tam

Since today is Kaylani's 1 month birthday, I'm going to post Kaylani's birth story, written by our doula, Stella Nieves. We found Stella through a combination of a web search and a recommendation from our midwife, and knew she was the right person for us once we met her. Not only was she personable and friendly, but she also spoke fluent Spanish (being from Columbia). That was pretty important to me since I was convinced that 1 of 2 things was going to happen: either Brendalys was going to switch to Spanish mid-labor and I wouldn't know what she was saying (I read that it happens!), or she was going to constantly curse at me in Spanish and I wanted to make sure that I knew what she was calling me (neither happened). And as an added plus, Stella's also a licensed massage therapist at Hillsborough Massage. If you live in the area, I highly recommend a visit. Brendalys has gone 3 times and I've even gone once, and it was the best 90 minute nap I've ever taken!

Stella was great during the whole thing and gave us the support and love that we needed during the labor. She came to the hospital quickly, and at the perfect time since Brendalys was starting to waver on her pre-labor "no meds" feeling. But with her help, we got through the labor as natural as can be in a hospital, and I know I've said this a thousand times, but it was an amazing experience.

I thank God and my wife everyday for my beautiful daughter, and I thank all of you for allowing me to share our lives with you. Click here to read The Birth Story of Kaylani Isabel Tam.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Excuse me Daddy, but there's a doody in my tub

Back in the summer of 2001, I worked at Roseland Waterpark in Canandaigua, NY. I managed the Admissions department (and also doubled as resident computer geek/DBA). One of my most vivid memories was the day we got our first "Code Brown" in the wave pool. Apparently there was a floating piece of poop in the wave pool, which caused us to shut it down and chlorinate the heck out of it. That, of course, led to several angry customers coming back to the Admissions department demanding their money back. My favorite was "Sir, your pool is infected with e-coli. I would never go in there again. Now, I would like a free season pass please." Sometimes I miss being in customer service. Most times, I do not.

Tonight, 7.5 years later, I experienced deja vu, except this time, no one complained except me. Well, no one verbally complained. To Kaylani's credit, she did attempt to warn Mommy and Daddy by crying during bath time (which is unusual since she does tend to enjoy it), but we thought it might have been due to the fact that she was awaken from her 3 hour nap with a bath instead of nursing.

Oddly enough, during bath time, I actually thought that it was pretty amazing that this was her fourth bath with us and we had yet to experience a "Code Brown" or even a "Code Yellow." Mommy was quick to point out that we would never even know if we had a "Code Yellow", but either way, this was definitely our first "Code Brown" in the tub. Luckily for us, we had yet to clean the responsible area, and we had just dumped the water to do so, so she was not subjected to sitting in her own filth for long. All in all, I'd say there was minimum exposure and that the containment team handled the situation quite well.

But the question that now lingers in my head is, what would we have done if that happened at the beginning of bath time? Do we have to sterilize the tub real well, or can we dump the water, wipe up the residue, and keep plugging along? Is the Head-t0-Toe wash strong enough to overpower the lasting effects of poop? As with all Johnson's Baby products, it does claim to be "gentle and mild", two characteristics that don't sound like they have a chance against floating doody.

And unlike the Wave Pool incident, Kaylani's poop isn't exactly solid. Actually, the only way I would use "solid" in the description of her poop is if I added "opposite of" in front of it. Well all I know is that tonight's bath finished in Mommy and Daddy's arms under the faucet, and that seemed just fine. But if this happens again a bit earlier, I guess I'll have to decide if I should light the bath on fire to disinfect it before I continue, or perhaps just throw it out and bathe her in a bucket.

Anyways, today did not go off according to our initial plan (shocking!), so I don't have any Christmas pictures for you yet. However, I do have some pictures from the last 3 days to share, and Mommy and Daddy are planning on starting the tree tonight so we can take pictures tomorrow with Kaylani. And now, I'm going to see if Kaylani will go to sleep a bit early so that Mommy and Daddy can work on the tree before our normal 10pm bedtime. Wish me luck, and if you've got any advice on how to handle "Code Brown", let me know!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I'm not sure what is scarier: the fact that Kaylani is 4 weeks old today, or that Christmas is less than 3 weeks away. With time at a premium nowadays, we took advantage of the weekend and headed out to get some key Christmas activities out of the way. This being our first year in our own house in the Northeast, there were a few necessities we had to buy before we could pick up our tree. So a trip to Lowe's for a tree stand and some lights and basic ornaments (great sale going on right now!), followed by a lunch break for all of us at Houlihan's (very kid friendly!), and then it was on to the tree yard.

We picked a short, fat tree that reminded Mommy of Daddy (her words), tied it to the roof, and we were off. While we were at it, we also picked up a ring of firewood (~100 pieces) because Christmas isn't officially Christmas unless you've got a fire going (also helps to keep non-Santa people from coming down the chimney). So now, the tree is up, the fire is ready to go, and the lights/ornaments are sitting in a bag next to the tree (hey, you can only get so much done with a baby around).

Actually, the reason we're not officially ready for Christmas is that we had our first holiday party tonight. It was at our friend's house and we were a little nervous to take Kaylani to her first party EVER! I mean, it was definitely kid friendly (there were about 7 kids, rhe youngest of them being 15 months), but still, we weren't sure how Kaylani would behave. But like every other adventure we've had, she did great!

And like every other adventure we've had, we also had a poop related incident. We thought we'd be safe since it was at a home less than 10 minutes away, but we had a little miscalculation. Apparently we were in a bit of a rush since we didn't refill the diaper bag after our afternoon errands. We had 3 diapers, which for 3 hours, is normally plenty. But what started as an easy pee change turned into a "three-fer" when pee turned to poo, and poo, turned into more poo. In case you didn't notice, the "public blowout" tracker in the upper right has been increased to 4.

Kaylani had finished eating, pooping, pooping, and eating (in that order) and we were ready to go back to the party. All seemed well, but we were out of diapers. We were essentially flying without a net, and if she decided she wasn't done, well then we would have been. She ended up not going again until we got home, and she was great. She was passed around from person to person so that they could get their "newborn fix" out of their system, and she stayed her cute little self for each one of them. I actually would not be surprised if there was a mini "baby boom" 9 months from now!

So it's been a long, eventful day, and all 3 of us are ready to call it a night. The original plan was to finish decorating the tree tonight, but it ain't gonna happen. It's time for this one to get some sleep, and that one to stay asleep, so come back tomorrow and hopefully I'll have pictures up of our entire family's first Christmas tree! Oh, and it's snowing right now (and sticking!) so maybe Daddy will have to shovel tomorrow with a Baby Bjorn on (just kidding).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Unconditional Love

I found out a few nights ago that one of my best friends is dealing with a family medical issue, and I found out a few moments ago that another best friend is dealing with one as well. One of them has a dad who is battling something, and unfortunately, it's unclear what that something is at this point. The other has a son who is undergoing emergency surgery tonight to hopefully clear up a condition. They are two different situations for my friends, and they have two different perspectives, but I'm sure they both feel the same way.

Since becoming a Dad myself, things like this tug on my heart strings a little bit harder. Whether it be a dirty diaper, overtiredness, hunger, or just gas, each cry goes straight to my heart and makes me want to help her in any way I can. Anything that might be hurting Kaylani makes me a little bit sad. I can only imagine what my friends are going through themselves, because it's far more serious that anything I've experienced with her so far. Kaylani has only been in my life for less than a month, and as we grow older together, it will be tougher and tougher to see her go through any times of pain.

Having a baby has made me realize that you cannot take life for granted. You have to enjoy every moment that you are given, and should always feel like you are blessed. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and because of that, I thank God every night for the wonderful life I've led, and will lead. I ask that He continues to watch over me and my family, my friends, my relatives, and all those in need, and tonight is no different. God bless each and every one of you, but especially my friends who need it the most right now.

To two of my best friends: You and your families are in my prayers, and I wish nothing but the best to each of you in the near future.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Go ahead and shoot! I dare you!

We've had friends tell us to get professional photos done while Kaylani is still really young. "It's easier now" is what they say. So I figured, if it's easier, why don't we do it ourselves? I have a camera. I have a baby. I have a blanket that looks nice, and I even have a Christmas tree (okay, it's a tiny fiberoptic tree that we used when we lived in Florida, but it'll do until we get our first real tree this year). Well let me tell you, it's not easier. It's a lie.

We took over 100 pictures yesterday, trying to get Kaylani in a cute enough picture to put on a Christmas card. That doesn't even include us in the pictures since just trying to get her to look cute for us was hard enough! What's funny is that almost any other time, she'll lay there, and just stare straight ahead for a picture. Sometimes she'll even smile (or have gas) for the camera, and all is good. But put her in a Christmas outfit and tell her we need to get these shots in, and everything goes out the window.

Not only did she wake up, but she cried, she opened her eyes real wide (yes, the obvious "wide half-Asian eyes" jokes are being purposely left out of this blog), and she did some weird things with her hands and arms. Speaking of which, doesn't she look like she's giving some sort of "W" with her right hand in the picture above? I think she must know her Daddy's from West Caldwell and that's what we used to do back when we were "cool."

Anyways, since you've taken the time to come here, it's only fair for me to post the outtakes from our photo session (along with some other normal pictures from the last 2 days). Enjoy the cute outfits, the funny faces, and the wonderful backgrounds at Studio Tam! Oh, and by the way, I've now added captions to the latest pictures and will try and do so going forward. I figured I should have some of the essence from the original in here!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

If these exist, I want them. If they don't, make them!

Registering at Babies R Us before Kaylani was born was a fun event, as any registry building event usually is. What's not to love about walking around a store with a laser scanner and pointing it at each and every thing in the store in case your friends and family decide to get carried away and buy it all.

All in all, we got most of everything we asked for, and definitely got all the necessities to get us started. And anything we didn't get, we purchased ourselves shortly after the baby shower. To date, I think the most useful thing we have is the bottle warmer (at least to me it is). Sure I could have said car seat, or crib, or pack and play, maybe even the great books, or even the bottle of whiskey we drank at the shower, but it's the Avent iQ Bottle Warmer that tops my list.

Yes, it's completely unnecessary and does the same thing as boiling some water or running the bottle under hot water for a few minutes, but the fact that I can put a refrigerated bottle of breastmilk in this machine, turn it on, go change Kaylani, use the bathroom, even check my email, all while this is heating to the exact temperature that I need it to be, and have it work between the hours of 1 and 3am, make it the most useful gadget we have.

Our friends Rob and Jen (Sofie's parents) recently told me their baby tub has a shower head attachment, which sure beats the plastic cups that we've been using over here during bath time. Well, that got me thinking: what other gadgets could there, or should there, be to make life with a baby easier? Here's some thoughts that I've had:

-A baby cry interpreter. I think they actually have these but there's no way they could work. I know they had one on the Simpsons at least...

-A car seat swinger. Babies like to be swung back and forth in their car seat, so there should be a machine you could hang a car seat from and it would swing for you. It'd almost be like an infant swing, but also be a car seat.

-A baby feeder. No, I'm not thinking something like the automatic pet food dispensers, but if there could be something you could sit her in (before she can sit herself), and then have it hold the bottle at the right angle and even know when to stop, that'd be nice. As a companion product, that leads me to...

-A burper. I don't know what this would look like, but I do know that patting her on the back for up to 10 minutes gets kinda tiring.

-An auto swaddler. They make the SwaddleMe, or MiracleWrap blankets that have the right dimensions and velcro to make things easier, but they don't work as well as an old fashioned swaddle in a 3'x3' blanket. If I could put Kaylani in the middle of a blanket and have her be swaddled right away, man, I'd get a second job to afford that (as long as the second job required no more than 1 hour of work a week).

-A parent swayer. This is my golden idea, and one that I've been dreaming about for as long as I can remember (my memory only goes back 3 days now by the way). There should be something that I can stand in, and it would sway me side to side. I picture it as a tall bar stool, but not a full seat so I'm still kinda standing, and it's able to completely hold me up. Then, it moves side to side (or front to back depending on preference). It also has something that wraps around me and Kaylani so that I don't have to support her myself (maybe a solid arm rest would do). This way, I can essentially sleep while standing up, and Kaylani could sleep in my arms. Wow. Anyone who invents this would be a millionaire. I'm telling you, it would sell. And I'm also telling you that if you invent it and become a millionaire, I want money. And I want it to play La Cucaracha when I honk the horn. Oh wait, that's Homer's invention. Nevermind.

Alright, well that's my list for now. It also doubles as my Christmas wish list, so if you run across any of these items and feel like you want to buy a new dad a present, I'm more than willing to accept them. Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bjorn Free!

You can clearly see that we've broken out the Baby Bjorn and tried it out. First reaction: it's pretty awesome! Mommy was able to use it to carry Kaylani around and still get some stuff done. Plus, it makes for some pretty cool pictures!

I got my first experience with the Baby Bjorn when we went to the supermarket. First of all, this thing is not as easy to put on as it may seem. There are crossing straps, and buckles, and they all have to be undone to put it on (unless you slip it on over your head...but I'm just not that flexible). Well it was pretty cold out, so instead of fussing with the Baby Bjorn in a parking lot, I decided I'll put it on at home first. So yes, I put on the Baby Bjorn, put a jacket over it, and hopped in the car.

Driving around with a Baby Bjorn on is kind of an odd experience. It reminds me of my childhood when you could see people driving with their babies on their lap, or nowadays when people drive with their dog on their lap. Sure it's a bit different since I didn't actually have anything in my Baby Bjorn, but that's what I felt like.

Either way, I'm not complaining about putting it on at home. I think it was by far the most convenient way to handle the cold. I had Kaylani out of her car seat and into the Baby Bjorn within seconds, and then zipped my coat around her as we headed into the store. If I chose to look normal instead of looking ridiculous, I would have had to stand outside the car fussing with it for a good 2-3 minutes. That's valuable time when it's cold out!

Anyways, I'm kind of excited to use it again, although I do lean forward every few minutes to make sure she can breathe. Every time I look down she looks like her nose is flattened against my chest (which it is). How could she possible breathe well? Forget that, how could she sleep under those conditions? Well whatever Baby Bjorn's tricks are, they work, and that's all I can say.

And if you'd like, check out a few more pictures of Kaylani in the Baby Bjorn, as well as some others with her friend Sofie!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Count Her Out!

Ever since Kaylani was born she has reminded me of different things from my days of watching wrestling. Of course there was the wrestling match incident from 3 weeks back, but lately, there have been a couple of more. The first reminds me of some old school sleeper holds.

I'll try and be a bit descriptive since I'm sure not many of you watched as much wrestling as I did, but there's this move called "the sleeper hold." Okay, I'm sure there were some fancy names to it (like "The Camel Clutch"), but the generic sleeper hold is what comes to mind. In wrestling, one person is basically using their arm as a vice to hold the person's head. Then, the person usually "falls asleep" (passes out), and if they don't wake up, they lose the match. Well in order to check if they're awake, the ref picks up their arm high in the air, then lets it drop. They do this 3 times, and usually, without fail, on the third try, the arm will stay high up in the air (typically in a fist), shake a little bit to get the crowd going, and then the comeback would be on.

Well Kaylani does something similar. No, I don't put her head in a vice-like grip to get her to fall asleep (I might if the swaying didn't work...just kidding). But, every time she falls asleep, I test her sleep level by picking up her arm and letting it drop. If it drops straight down, I do it again for good measure. And even after it drops straight down for the second time, I can't resist a third try. I think I only do it because that's what they do in wrestling, and if you get that third drop, then you know you can count them out.

I'd say the arm drops straight down for the third straight time about 50% of the time. And when it does, she gets put right into a swaddle hold (swaddle hold sounds like a wrestling term right?) and she's usually fast asleep. But when the arm doesn't drop...when it stays up in the air...that's when we know we're in for a comeback. When she holds her arm straight up I feel like she's shaking it at me, getting all her stuffed animals riled up for a comeback, and it works. The momentum shifts and I have to retreat. I have to go back to the swaying, back to the shushing, sometimes even run off crying to Mommy.

When she's really riled up, she'll even start throwing around headbutts. She'll flail around aimlessly (or what I think is aimlessly), but really I think she's just headbutting me. Headbutts were always a crowdpleaser too because you never expect it. Man, this girl's good.

Anyways, Mommy thinks Kaylani might be out for the count right now, so it's time for the ref (or Daddy) to check her out. Let's just hope that third time is a charm...otherwise, we're in for a long match.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Getting Rid of the Devil

We went to Church today for the first time since Kaylani was born. We thought it would be good to cleanse our mind, and good for Kaylani to experience what Church was, since we plan on doing it every week. What we didn't know was that it would cleanse more than our mind.

We were about 5 minutes late to Church, so Mass had already started and the Church was packed. It was also raining, so I dropped Mommy, Yin Yin, Yea Yea, and Kaylani off at the door and went to park the car. When I got in, I saw them all getting into an aisle, and of course, we didn't have the end. I excused myself in and took a seat. We were through the Gospel in no time and Kaylani was calm as could be. She just sat in her car seat and stared at the people, the beautiful stained glass windows, and just enjoyed the music and the readings.

Then IT happened. She started to cry, and if you've been reading along with the Daddy Diaries, you know what IT usually is. Mommy picked her up and immediately noticed that she was wet. Wet like Chinese Restaurant wet. And since Daddy was the closest to the aisle, he was handed the diaper bag and a wet Kaylani and sent walking.

So, Kaylani and Daddy excused our way out and headed for the closest bathroom. For those of you who are good with measurements, it was a 4'x2' bathroom that had a toilet on one end, and a sink on the other. Standard size toilet, and standard size sink means that there was roughly 2' in the middle. For those not good with measurements, picture one of those mall photo booths, but a tiny bit roomier. Of course there was no changing table, but luckily the toilet seat had a cover, and it looked clean, so I went to work.

Out comes the changing mat with its two pockets (one for diapers, one for wipes). I unzipped both pockets and took out the necessary tools, except the wipes came out in a group of 5, and there was nowhere to put them so I had to separate them out and lay them neatly on the backpack. Oh, and Kaylani was pinned against me with my left arm this whole time. After I had everything laid out, Kaylani was laid on the changing mat covered toilet seat (which, was slightly curved as most are by the way), so I had to hold her steady all the time.

The next step was the clothes. Off come the pants, which used to be brown, but now were brown with yellow splotches. Then, there was onesie number one, which had a cute cow that looked like she had her own little accident. Of course, since this was a pull over your head onesie, it had to be rolled up as to contain the poop. Onesie number 2, which was a plain white short sleeve onesie, was no longer plain white. It basically served as diaper #2 and took the brunt of the blowout. Same thing happened, and it had to be rolled up and over her head. Then I got to work on cleaning her.

Now, all this rolling and pulling did 2 things. First, it rubbed off on the changing mat, so now that had poop on it. Second, it left me with a poop covered Kaylani, and a poop covered changing mat, and nowhere else to turn. If I put a clean diaper on her while she was on the changing mat, poop would be on the outside of the diaper then. So, I picked her up (bare naked and poop covered) and went to wipe down the mat, except I ran out of wipes. By this point, Kaylani had enough, so she was crying and squirming in my arms. The wipes, securely in a zipper pocket hanging off the mat, wanted nothing to do with me, so I gave up. I folded the mat back in half, and put her down on an even smaller changing surface now (still on top of a toiliet in case you forgot).

Then I dressed her as quick as possible, which was not quick since it consisted of a long sleeve onesie and then a button up body suit, which for organization sake, was already buttoned and had to be UNbuttoned to be put on. Finally, Kaylani was clean, dressed, and ready to go. Now all we had to do was clean up our work area. Diaper mat in the bag, plastic bag (of course at the bottom of the diaper bag) taken out, poopy clothes put away, poopy diaper disposed of and covered by a mountain of paper towels, and then we're ready to go.

I headed back into the Church after what seemed like a long time. I think it was actually about 10 minutes, which I thought was pretty good. Oh, and as I held her in my hands for the rest of Mass, she also spit up on me. And did I have a burp cloth handy? Yep! But was it over my shoulder? Anyways, that was our Church experience. If I had known that Church was going to cleanse Kaylani like that, I probably would have gone better prepared. But, as Mommy pointed out to me, next time, I could probably just use the bigger bathroom down the hall that has a counter and is about 6'x6'. Sigh...

Anyways, check out a few pictures from the last 2 days. There aren't many, but they're still adorable pictures of Daddy's little girl. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stand Up, Sit Down, Cry, Cry, Cry!

We had a full day today. Okay, a full half day since it didn't start until 2, but Mommy, Daddy, Yin Yin, Yea Yea, and Kaylani all went shopping today. We headed over to the Jackson Outlets to see if we can take advantage of cheap deals on even cheaper clothes. The past few journeys out with Kaylani had gone off as well as they could, but this trip had a slightly different twist.

First of all, the Outlets are outdoor so we had to walk outside to get from store to store. Normally, not bad, but when it's 40 degrees out, it poses its own little challenge. We bundled her up nice and tight every time we stepped outside, and only had to stop once to feed her in the 5 hours we were there. From a baby-outing standpoint, it went great. She slept the entire time, cried when she was hungry, and went back to sleep. No diaper blowouts, no tantrums, just sleep.

So, in anticipation of what I'm sure will be a 1 on the scale of 1 to sleep tonight for Mommy and Daddy, I present to you, Jon's 10 Step Sleep routine (a spin on the Johnson's 3 Step Sleep Routine found here).

Step 1: "Bubbles Away to Dreamland" - Taken straight from the Johnson's routine. Every other night, we give Kaylani a nice tub bath (tonight was only the 2nd time, so before her umbilical cord came off, it was sponge bath time). She gets nice and clean, a quick towel cuddle, then dried off.

Step 2: "Massage Your Way to Sweet Slumbers" - Also straight from the Johnson's routine (although we use Aveeno Baby cream instead of the Johnson's Bedtime lotion - sorry Jbaby team)! After she's all lotiony, she gets pulled into a onesie (seriously...pulled), and her nightgown.

Step 3: "Quietly Off to Sleep" - Last step in the Johnson's routine, and we adhere to it. Mommy will read her a few books (headlined by Buenas Noches Luna), Daddy will soothe Kaylani with the sweet sounds of a keyboard typing away (currently happening), and Mommy will hum song like tones at Kaylani while she nurses.

Step 4: "Sway Like the Wind Blows" - The last step in the Johnson's routine sounds nice, but it doesn't work, so we added on. After gliding in the glider until she's almost asleep, the trick is to get to your feet and still keep that same movement for Kaylani. This usually causes her to stir, but not wake up...yet.

Step 5: "Swaddle Like a Duck" - Not so much like a duck, but here's when Kaylani goes in her crib and gets swaddled up real tight. The key is to keep a hand (preferably Mommy's) on her chest so she thinks she's still bundled next to her. It's like asking for someone to put a finger down when you're tying a bow, except instead of a finger, it's a hand, and instead of a bow, it's a baby.

Step 6: "Quiet Please" - Here's where the "shushing" comes in. The next few minutes are spent with rhythmic "shhhhhh" noises that I believe are to simulate sounds within the womb. Don't quote me on that, but I do know it works.

Step 7: "Run Away!" - If she's asleep, or calm, here's where we make our exit. We head to the bedroom, and then turn on the monitor to see if all's calm on the bedroom front.

Step 8: "So, do you come here often?" - When step 7 lasts less then 10 minutes, it's time to pick Kaylani back up and repeat Step 4. On a good night, Step 4 can be done standing with a side to side sway (which is much easier than a back and forth sway while standing...unless you're drunk).

Step 9: "Sit Down and Shut Up" - When standing Step 8 doesn't work, it's time to get back into the glider. If we're lucky, we don't need to unswaddle her, because that would take us all the way back to Step 4 instead of just going through the motions. Either way, if this doesn't work, then it's Step 8, Step 9, Step 8, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step get the point.

Step 10: "Baby is a Four Letter Word" - Hopefully it doesn't come to this, but if all else fails, you call for reinforcements, which is Mommy's boob. Sorry to be so graphic, but hey, it works. I try not to resort to this for at least an hour so she can get some rest.

Alright, well sorry for the long post but that held me over pretty well. It's time for me to follow Step 4 for real. Hopefully I'll only have to do it once tonight...

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Tam Cousins

We had a Tam family reunion in NY today to celebrate Thanksgiving together, but also to welcome Baby Zoe into the family! This also marked Kaylani's first long distance car ride, and she behaved for the entire 1.5 hour drive!

I've got some great pictures of Zoe and Kaylani together, and can't wait to get back home to upload them. I also can't wait to get back home because I'm dead tired right now (and still at Jeph and Shan's). Going shopping on Black Friday is tiring under any circumstance, but going with a baby just makes it downright exhausting! Granted, we only wernt to Babies R Us, but still, it was exhausting.

Anyways, check out pictures from our trip to NY now! And of course, check back tomorrow for some more great stories from The Daddy Diaries.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day of Firsts!

Today was our first holiday with Kaylani, and it started off with another "first", and this time, it was for all of us! My brother Jeph and my sister-in-law Shannon gave birth to their second child, and their first girl! That means I now have a niece on my side, and more importanly, Kaylani has a beautiful new baby cousin. Her name is Zoe Cecilia, and we all can't wait to meet her tomorrow! Keep an eye out for pictures, or check out Connor and Zoe's own picture site (to be updated REAL soon). The funny coincidence is that Zoe and Kaylani were the EXACT same size and weight at birth (7lb 10oz, 20.5")!

Anyways, I'll let you know a little bit more about her tomorrow after I've had the chance to meet the newest Tam, but in the meantime, we had our own little first ourselves. Mommy and Daddy gave Kaylani her first tub bath! Since her umbilical cord fell off about 2 days ago, we thought we would give her a nice cleaning before her first Thanksgiving dinner. We were pleasantly surprised that Kaylani didn't mind the water at all. Actually, we think she kinda liked it, all the way until we picked her up to dry her off. And I don't blame her since it's cold once you get out of the water!

Kaylani's other first was sleeping through her first Thanksgiving. Well, she slept through the first hour of dinner, and when she woke up, she didn't want to sit at the head of the table where she had a reserved seat. I'm sure things will be a LOT different at next year's Thanksgiving. It's hard to believe that this one is already in the books!

One thing that I learned this year is that I'm not quite the eater that I used to be. I don't know if it's fatherhood that has changed me, or just the fact that I didn't have Jeph or Tim here to help me out, but that 17lb turkey kicked my ass. Another lesson I learned was that if you want to eat a ton until you're really full, really tired, and just want to lay down, you should think through that very carefully when you have a baby. My time to lay down did not coincide with Kaylani's time to lay down. Lesson learned. Won't happen again!

But now, Kaylani is minutes away from being swaddled up and putting her first Thanksgiving behind her. And Mommy and Daddy are anxiously waiting to get their first 2 hour sleep shift out of the way, so good night and Happy Thanksgiving!

And for all of you who aren't quite sleepy yet, have just awaken from a nap, or just come here to see pictures, here you go! New pictures from the last 3 days (warning: some photos contain full frontal nudity), and a section dedicated just to Kaylani's 1st Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving never meant so much

On Thanksgiving Eve, historically I would be preparing myself to eat a whole lot of food within the next 24 hours (usually 2-3 different times during the day back when Tim and I used to Thanksgiving-hop). But tonight, as I look at my 8lb daughter next to my 17lb turkey, everything has changed. For the first time, it really hit me that Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for things that have happened in the past year, in my life, and for the people that I have around me. And this year, there's no way I'll be able to give enough thanks. My life reached its highest point with the birth of my beautiful daughter, and for that, I am thankful.

There have been times when I thought my life could be no better. Last Thanksgiving, I was thankful that Brendalys and I got married. This Thanksgiving, I was planning on being thankful for the great house we bought, for being a Godfather for the first time, for seeing one of my best friends get married, for the promotion I received, for a great work environment, for the new people that I've met, and for everything else that has happened. But now, I'm thankful for so much more.

I'm thankful that my beautiful wife continues to love and support me, that my gorgeous daughter is happy and healthy, that I have such a loving family and wonderful friends, and this year, I'm thankful that I have been given the chance to be a dad. I only hope that I am able to look after Kaylani the way that God is looking out for me.

Thank all of you for your love and support towards me and my family, and I wish all the happiness and joy to you as well this Thanksgiving and in the future. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dinner and a Poop

People with newborns don't get out to the movies very often. Actually, people with babies in general don't get out to the movies very often. So because of that, dinner and a movie becomes a thing of the past. Going out for dinner, however, is not something that new families avoid. So we decided tonight that we were going out for dinner as a family. Yin Yin and Yea Yea (Chinese for Grandma and Grandpa) are in town, so out we go!

Right after Mommy gave Kaylani her last sponge bath EVER (her umbilical cord fell off today!) and nursed her for not even close to the last time ever, we headed to a local restaurant (you may call it a Chinese restaurant). She fell asleep during the short car ride over, so we thought to ourselves that this may be a whole lot easier then we imagined. Full baby + sleeping baby = happy parents. I'm good at math, but only math that involves numbers apparently because full baby + sleeping baby does not equal happy parents. Here's how my little math problem plays out:

We sit down. We look over at Kaylani and she's sleeping. We order. We look over at Kaylani and she's awake! It's like a horror movie scene where one second you look over and the person's not moving, and the next, eyes wide open staring back at you. Well, it's like that, but not scary at all. So she's awake, but not crying, and barely moving. No problem!

We sit some more. We talk some more. And then it happened.


So Mommy picks her up. She sways a little bit, and all is quiet again. Things seem like they'll be alright, but that's when she It turned out to be a little moisture on Kaylani's back. "Maybe it's sweat" Mommy says. Makes sense to me. After all, she has been in a wool car seat sack for 20 minutes and cried for a little bit. But wait, newborns can't sweat. No problem...right? She did just take a bath so maybe we just didn't dry her well enough.

Well a wet baby could turn into a sick baby, so being the prepared parents we are, we whip out her change of clothes, and head for the bathroom. Hmmm, no changing table in the bathroom. Alright, well we whip out her change of clothes, break out the changing mat, and get to work right there in the booth (by the way, in this story, "we" actually means "Mommy").

First layer, pop pop pop go the buttons. Out come the feet. Freedom! And then...and then, it all went yellowish brown. This time, there was no soft serve ice cream machine stuck in the "on" position. We're way past that. This time, we've got the aftermath of a blow out on her hand (literally). And wouldn't you know it, here comes the food! First course, on the table. Kaylani's last course, everywhere.

Now luckily Kaylani's poops don't really smell yet, and luckily, there were only a few other tables in the restaurant and none could see exactly what we were dealing with (although it didn't take much imagination to figure it out). Mommy did her best with about 10 wipes, and Daddy took the unedible course to an outside garbage can. Few minutes later, Kaylani was glazed over and content with herself and Mommy and Daddy felt good about conquering their first public challenge. Perfect time to start dinner!

So there goes another day of firsts. And who needs dinner and a movie when you can get dinner and a poop anyways? Not me!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Kitty Cat

Babies supposedly give you signs and little clues as to what they want. It's our job as parents to pick up on these clues and translate them. And when that doesn't work, you go through the checklist of things they could be trying to tell you. Is she hungry? Is she wet? Is she poopy? Is something pinching her? Is she gassy? Or does she just want to cry? Well she's got a tell, and it's something Mommy calls "the kitty cat."

Now she doesn't always do "the kitty cat", but it's happened enough that we can officially call it a tell. Some of you can probably already guess what it tells us, but for those who can't, here's a little description.

Picture a cat, lying on her back. Now picture a string dangling in front of her face. What's the cat gonna do? She's gonna swipe at the string, usually with one hand, then the next, again and again. For those of you cat owners/lovers, picture that same scene, but when your cat is actually sleeping, so everything kind of just happens in slow motion. Well that's what Kaylani looks like, except she also turns her head to the side a little bit and opens her mouth too.

So, mouth open, alternate arms swiping at the air, is what we call "the kitty cat," and she does it when she's hungry. 10 times out of 10 if we see her doing that, it's time to nurse. 10 times out of 10, if she doesn't nurse immediately, she's going to cry.

We figured that one out a few days ago. For those of you keeping score at home, that's 1 point for Mommy and Daddy! Now all we have to do is figure out the rest of what she's trying to tell us, and we'll be just fine. And we'll get there, I know we will. All we need is a little more time, and that's not a problem, because we're just at the beginning of a lifetime.

And as is customary here at The Daddy Diaries, new pictures from the last 2 days are now available for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! And don't forget to come visit for a live viewing. We're always happy for the chance to show off our baby girl!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Long Arm of the Car

Today we took a trip to the airport to drop off Abuela, and in doing so, experienced 2 significant moments in Kaylani's life. The first is that as of 3:45pm, Mommy and Daddy were alone with Kaylani for the very first time since she was born. We're actually alone for the first time in almost a month since my mom was here 10 days before Kaylani was born. Since then, we've had one of our mothers, or various guests, stay with us (and take excellent care of us). It's been a long time coming, but we're officially on our own with our baby girl. Yikes! So far so good though.

The second is that when Mommy went inside with Abuela to help her check-in for her flight, Daddy drove around for the first time with his baby girl all by himself. The monkey mirror attached to the back seat helped me see her while I was driving (of course while keeping my eyes solidly glued to the cars in front of me), but it's not exactly the best way to see what she's doing. And wouldn't you know it, as soon as the car stopped and Mommy got out, Kaylani started crying.

It's like she knew. It's like she has a sixth sense (okay, it's probably a combination of her normal five senses), but she knew that Daddy was in the front, and couldn't do a damn thing except drive around hoping that the motion would calm her down. It didn't. I then did the next thing that I knew. I tried to reach back to her and calm her down. I've seen it done so many times by so many parents that it just seemed like the right thing to do. What I didn't know is that it's IMPOSSIBLE!

Let me set things up for you a bit. I drive a Toyota Highlander. Kaylani sits in a Graco SafeSeat that rests on a car seat base. The seat is anchored in on the rear passenger side. Got the picture in your head? Okay, now we can proceed.

So at the first red light I came to, I had my own little fire drill (you may call it a Chinese fire drill) and ran to the back seat to get her pacifier out and give it to her. Success! It was quiet...all the way until I got back into the driver seat. Inevitably, out comes the bobo (which is Spanish for pacifier by the way), and back come the cries. This is when the "reach around" comes in (funny how expressions change once you have kids).

I, with my eyes focused on the road ahead and my left hand steadily on the steering wheel, reach back to the rear passenger side, push down her car seat shade, and begin my blind search for the bobo. No luck. In fact, I couldn't even feel her head. It's like I was reaching in the back seat but she was actually in the trunk. She was SO far away! I gave up and started to wonder if I had abnormally short arms, a long car, or a ridiculously tiny baby who hides her bobo from her Dad while he's driving.

Now I know parents who can do this. I know parents who drive SUV's and can do this. I know parents who have shorter arms then me, and bigger cars then me, and can do this. What's wrong with me? Did I miss the training class at the hospital? Actually, come to find out that this type of behavior is actually frowned upon by the hospital. Well what the hospital doesn't tell you that while you shouldn't do it, it's really the only way you can stop the crying!

Anyways, I did what anyone would have done in this situation if they were given the option. I didn't pull over and get the bobo. I didn't turn around and look for it. Instead, I reached for my cell phone, called Mommy, and said (very calmly), "Mommy, we're gonna have a meltdown...and then Kaylani will start crying."

Mommy finished getting Abuela settled and then came out to meet us. She put the bobo in place and we had an uneventful car ride home. That was car ride alone #1 for Daddy. Car ride alone #2 is gonna go better, even if it means I have to get one of those mechanical extend-o arms from the toy store. I'm serious! Wait for it...