Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Today is Mommy's 34th birthday, and I'd venture to say it's the best one she's ever had. Even though Daddy had to work today and couldn't be with her all day, it was the best ever. Even though Kaylani didn't take her afternoon nap and is a bit cranky tonight, still the best ever. Even though her birthday came on a Tuesday and we'll end up staying home and eating dinner instead of going to a fancy restaurant, it's still the best ever. And it has nothing to do with the great gifts that Daddy bought her (pajamas, flowers, and a cupcake), or the gifts that Kaylani bought her (a "mother" picture frame and flowers), or even the gifts that Abuela bought her (lots of clothes). It has everything to do with the one present that's not even 8 months old yet.

Just like on Mother's Day, Kaylani makes every day, and every occasion, more special. I won't even try to put Mommy's feelings into words, but I know having Kaylani in our lives now made today different than all the other birthdays Mommy and I have spent together. For one, it made me feel less guilty about having to work today. Previously, Mommy would have been left all alone on her birthday and I'd only get to spend a few hours with her. But this year, Kaylani spent the entire day with her, and no matter how moody she may get at times, she still puts a smile on Mommy (and my) face just by being there.

The other great thing about having Kaylani around is that it allowed me to do a bunch of things "from Kaylani" instead of just from me. Things like putting post-it's all around the house saying how much Kaylani (and I) love her, or just getting her an extra gift "from Kaylani" instead of a bunch of gifts just from me. Sure it may sound like I'm just using Kaylani to go a bit overboard, but I don't think Mommy will complain!

Wellw it's about that time and Kaylani is almost asleep. That means it's time for us sit down for Mommy's birthday dinner, a glass/bottle of wine, and some dessert. Tomorrow night, Mommy and Daddy are going to sneak away for dinner while Abuela watches Kaylani sleep, but until then, Happy Birthday Mommy! We love you! And as a special treat for everyone else on Mommy's birthday, here are pictures from the last 2 days. Check out Kaylani's 2nd ever haircut that Mommy did yesterday, and some pictures from today as well! Enjoy!

Monday, June 29, 2009

We need a plan

It hit me today that we don't have a plan. If it ever happens, we're going to have no idea what to do or how to handle it. Hopefully it'll never happen, but tonight, I've decided we need a plan. Thankfully we didn't need the plan tonight. We were close, but not close enough.

Tonight, Mommy's leg acted up again. It happened for the first time over 2 years ago. Back then, it locked up to the point where she was basically paralyzed in pain in an awkward sitting/laying down position. After a trip to the ER revealed nothing, which led them to a diagnosis of "nerve pain" and a prescription of OTC Motrin, we just let it slide. Every now and then Mommy's leg would act up again, but never to the point where she had to go to the ER again. And since she's had Kaylani, she's been able to tough out the pain to the point where it'll hardly even affect her anymore (and after experiencing child birth, I'm really not surprised). But tonight, it almost happened again and that led me to this whole notion of a plan.

At the time of "the incident," I was upstairs getting Kaylani ready for bed. I had just finished putting her pajamas on when I heard Mommy calling for me in pain from the bottom of the steps. After finishing the last 2 buttons on Kaylani's onesie (damn buttons), I went into a ridiculous minute of activity that went a little something like this:

Pick Kaylani up. Walk towards the stairs. Walk back into the room. Bend over to put Kaylani on the floor. Decide against it and stand up and walk back out the room. Change my mind again and walk back into the room. Put her on the floor and go back out the room. Hear her cry and start to walk back into the room. Decide I need to check on Mommy and walk out the door before picking her up. Get 2 steps down the stairs before hearing Kaylani cry even louder. Go back into the room and pick her up. Finally go downstairs to see Mommy while now holding Kaylani.

I had no idea what to do. I was so confused and that's not a good thing. Thankfully Mommy was seated at the base of the steps and only experiecing major uncomfortableness (described as similar to contractions 3 minutes apart, as opposed to major pain like contractions 1 minute apart). After staring helplessly at Mommy while I was still holding a squirmy Kaylani (who was expecting to be nursed any second since she was ready for bed), I realized that had Mommy been in real pain, we would have been in a lot of trouble since walking back and forth doesn't get things done.

I'm guessing that the right course of action would have been to leave Kaylani in a safe place in the middle of the floor (assuming she's still not crawling and I don't have to worry about her getting into trouble for a minute). That would have freed me up to check on Mommy and provide immediate help to make sure she was okay or stable before going back to get Kaylani. From there, I could take whatever the next step would be.

That sound about right? Hopefully a real emergency won't happen and that this new plan of mine won't ever need to go into action. But if it does, anyone have any suggestions on how to handle? Is my plan a sound one? It sure sounds like it'll be more effective than walking back and forth and doing squats with Kaylani while I try to make a decision doesn't it?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Swim Away With Me!

Now that the house is a little more calm, I'd like to take the time to talk about Kaylani's first swim class. This wasn't her first time in a pool since she's been in twice before, but this time was definitely the warmest water she's been in (which is funny considering her first time in a pool was in PR). This time, she got to enjoy the heated pool inside a sauna of a facility at the West Windsor YMCA for her first of ten Parent & Me swim classes.

Kaylani's class consists of 7 other kids all ranging from 6 months to 2 years old. I think the majority of the kids are around Kaylani's age, with 2 of them being closer to the 2 year mark. Her teacher, Miss Susie, started off pretty slow with some time passing around a ball to get all the kids acclimated to the water. Not to brag or anything, but Kaylani seemed to be one of the calmest in the water (especially compared to her friend Sofie...just kidding guys). After she spent a few minutes seemingly unaffected by the water I had visions of the next Michael Phelps, or Dara Torres as it might be. But then I realized that she was probably so calm because she just woke up from a 5 minute nap a few seconds ago and had no idea what was going on other than the fact that she was in a warm liquid from her waist down that could have been her own pee for all she knew. Eh, details.

Anyways, the 30 minute class went by much quicker than I thought it would. We sang songs like "the babies in the pool,"which is sung to the tune of "the wheels of the bus." We played games like grab the squeaky water toy, which Kaylani happened to be a pro at since we have the same toys at home for her bathtime. And we learned some swimming basics, like how to do a "humpty dumpty" into the pool, or to glide on our bellies or back across the water, or to get out of a pool arm-knee-arm-knee (which is a hard lesson to teach to a 7 month old). Then it closed out with a couple more songs that I don't remember (and frankly couldn't hear because there were 3 other classes going on with older kids and the acoustics were terrible in the pool), and some free-form play time where we splished, we splashed, and had a good ol' time.

All in all, I'm going to call Kaylani's first swim class a rousing success. She even smiled a few times for the paparazzi, which was really just Mommy and Jen taking hundreds of pictures (Mommy took 161 pictures during the 30 minute class). Unfortunately Kaylani doesn't have class this Saturday because of the July 4 Holiday, so we'll have to wait 2 weeks before we can try it again. Soon we're going to build our way up to dunking Kaylani under water and seeing how she handles it. We're going to have to build Mommy up to that one too since she's kinda freaking out just thinking about it. But in the meantime, check out pictures from the last bunch of days. In addition to 21 pictures in the pool, there are a few from Amish country, Hershey, Prineton, and the family just hanging around the house. Until later, or as Dory says, "just keep swimming!"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sleep please?

It's Mommy and Daddy who ask Kaylani to sleep for us everyday. We ask her to nap 2-3 times a day and to stay asleep for at least 8 hours at night. And lately, she's been great and doing everything we ask of her. So you might wonder why we decided to mess that all up. We're kinda hoping we didn't...yet.

As I've mentioned before, we've got a full house this week, and especially this weekend. And since this is the first time most of them have been to NJ, we played the role of tour guide and took them into beautiful downtown Princeton. But in order for us to do that, we had to play with Kaylani's nap time just a little bit. Okay, maybe a lot.

This morning, she fell asleep 5 minutes before we got to swim class. That meant nap #1 was about 55 minutes shorter than normal. Nap #2 after swim class (which was really nap #1) lasted only 20 minutes, so still 35 minutes short. Nap #3 on the way to Princeton lasted another 20 minutes, and nap #4 at 3:30pm was the same. So, by 4pm, Kaylani had finally slept over an hour across 4 naps since we kept waking her up and moving her around.

At 5:30pm, we were headed home and of course Kaylani fell asleep out of pure exhaustion. Feeling bad for her, Daddy drove around for an extra hour to let her get at least a solid nap in before the night festivities. Thankfully she did, and that made her much more content in being passed around from Abuela to Abuelo or to Titi and Tio (both sets of them). It even made her able to handle being outside for some BBQ and dominos (Puerto Rican style)!

Now it's 9:15pm and we're asking her to sleep for real. This time we promise not to wake her up after 5 minutes, 20 minutes, or even an hour. Hopefully she'll be okay with that. Since we've got such a full house, we'll be sharing a room with her tonight, and the one thing we all need is a lot of sleep. So here's to hoping that nothing messes that up. Oh, and come back tomorrow to read about Kaylani's first swim class! Mommy went a little picture happy so we'll have lots of those to share as well! As for now, its time to say goodnight to Kaylani! We're off to eat more BBQ and to play dominos with the rest of the fam!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, June 26, 2009

Weekend Forecast: Busy with a chance of rain

Ahh the weekend. This week consisted of 5 very long days at work which meant that this weekend couldn't have come soon enough. Finally, it's here and it's time to relax. Time to sleep in, sit on the couch all day, take a few naps, and just relax. Oh right, we don't do stuff like that anymore.

Weekends are family time now. They're my chance to make up all the time I missed spending with Kaylani during the week and I love them. I get to spend 2 full days with Kaylani, which is way more time than the two to three hours a day I get during week (if I'm lucky). But this weekend, we've got much more in store for us. This weekend, Abuela and Abuelo are in town. Titi Briseida and Tio Carlitos are in town. And Titi Glenda, Tio Pritesh, and Primitos Alisha and Rohan will be in town. And it just happens to be Mommy's birthday weekend, so that means its PARTY TIME!

Okay, we don't actually party anymore. Just like weekends aren't for relaxing anymore, our parties aren't really a party. Instead, it'll be a family BBQ in the backyard where we pass Kaylani around and try and enjoy the weather. Maybe we'll take a trip to Princeton in the afternoon. Maybe we'll go out for breakfast on Sunday morning. Maybe we'll just stay home all weekend (except for the trip out to Kaylani's first swim class at the YMCA tomorrow morning)! I don't really know what's in store for us and frankly I don't really care because it's the weekend!

Not surprisingly, there's a forecast for a bit of rain tomorrow. I'm pretty sure it's rained at least 5 times a week over the past 2 months so none of this is new. Sometimes I feel like our house was relocated to Seattle, but that's besides the point. Just like the plethora of plans we have, a little rain isn't going to change anything because it's the weekend! So bring on whatever you got. I'm ready for ya!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Having a baby completed me. At the ripe young age of 28, having a baby was one of the final pieces in my personal life goals. Now that its happened, my personal life goals extend much further, like celebrating my 50th anniversary or watching my daughter get married (which may happen at the same time if the boys stay away as I plan). But besides that, Fatherhood has been great to me. The problem is that with Fatherhood comes Alonehood.

Alonehood doesn't happen often. In fact, tonight is the first time in Kaylani's 7.5 months that I've experienced it. What is Alonehood? Well I'm glad you asked. Alonehood is experienced when a Dad (or Mom) are left alone sans wife and sans baby. Tonight, I'm alone. Mommy, Kaylani, Abuela, Abuelo, Carlitos, and Briseida are off in Amish Country and Hershey...and Daddy is alone. And tell you what, I don't like it!

Some may say that I should enjoy my alone time. Sure I went out after work and had a beer with some coworkers, but its not the same as going home to my little girl (and wife). To kill some time, I ran some errands around town and even had time to take care of some things for Mommy's upcoming birthday, which was great. But when it comes down to it, its 9:30pm and I'm still alone.

I had nachos and McDonald's for dinner, just like I did years ago before Mommy and way before Kaylani. I had beer and watched the Yankees game. I did all types of things, and none of them felt like I was reliving my youth/bachelorhood. Instead, it felt like I was alone. To make matters worse, Kaylani slept in again this morning so I haven't held her in over 24 hours which is sad.

After spending 7 hours in a conference room I could use a good Kaylani hug, kiss, and smile. Hopefully she'll be a little awake so I can see her when Mommy gets home. If not, I guess I'll wait until tomorrow. Worst case, I get to see her and Mommy. Best case I'll get to give her a big old squeeze tonight. Either way, one thing I know is that Fatherhood beats Alonehood any day of the week. I know I'm a Father everyday regardless of where Kaylani or I am, but its sure a lot better when we're together!

And since it's Thursday night/Friday, don't forget to check out Dad Blogs for some great Fatherhood Friday posts. I know I will! And while you're there, check out my Little League season ending coaching post on why you should coach Little League when you can! Available exclusively on my Sports IllustraDad column!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

La magia de Abuela

For the past couple of days, Kaylani has been absolutely amazing. We say that a lot, but this time we REALLY mean it. She's been napping without crying, sleeping at night without crying, sleeping 10-11 hours straight at night, eating fruits (apricots and sweet potatoes) without spitting up, and being as happy as can be.

We have several theories as to what caused this sudden shift in Kaylani's behavior. One of them is that she's just happy to be out of her carseat since she took 10 naps there over the 4 days we were up in Boston/Cape Cod. Another is that being away from home made her realize how great she had it here. It's even possible that she is so happy that Tommy and Gretchen got married that she can finally relax. All of those are great theories, but none of them explain it as well as our last one: Abuela has some sort of magic with her.

Abuela arrived in NJ 2 days ago. She was supposed to arrive tonight after a short trip to DC, but after a luggage mishap left her empty handed, she stayed with us instead. She arrived around 1am on Tuesday morning, and that's when it all started. When Daddy left for work on Tuesday, Kaylani was still sleeping which was odd. She didn't even wake up until 8am. Then, she took 2 naps in her swing without making a peep, ate all her food, and went to sleep the next night at 9pm. This morning, she didn't wake up again until 8am, took only 2 naps, ate 4 meals (that's right - FOUR), and is now off to sleep again quietly. Amazing.

Mommy thinks Kaylani is being so good just to make her look bad. The weeks before Abuela came, Kaylani was causing Mommy to go just a little bit crazy. She wasn't napping, wasn't eating, and was waking up at 5am every morning. But now, she's being a perfect little angel which is why Mommy thinks it's a show. I can see where she's coming from, but I definitely think it's Abuela magic.

Whatever it is, we just hope it stays around for a long time to go. Luckily, Abuela is here for another 10 days. Maybe that'll be enough for us to harness la magia de Abuela for future use. Never hurts to have a little something hanging around!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I've always said that I would stand up for my little girl through out all aspects of her life. Little did I know that she'd do the same for me so soon. As of yesterday, Kaylani is officially standing! Okay so it's not entirely on her own, but she is standing on her own two feet while holding onto something. Whether she grabs the couch, a table, or her Leapfrog Learning Table, she's standing all by herself...much to Mommy's dismay.

You remember when we were teaching Kaylani how to sit? Every time we'd put her on her butt, Mommy would hover over her and catch her at the slightest wobble. Not surprisingly, Mommy is the same way when it comes to teaching Kaylani how to stand, except maybe even a bit worse. Daddy's pretty confident that Kaylani can hold her balance for at least a solid 30 seconds to a minute without any assistance, but when we practice around Mommy, I'm not sure she can stand it for that long.

You see, Mommy has just a tiny bit of an anxiety problem when it comes to things like this. She feels like Kaylani could fall over and hurt herself. Now, she's right about that because it is a possibility, but that's why Daddy is never a more than a foot away from Kaylani while she's standing. Usually, he's even right next to her (or behind her) with his ninja-like reflexes at the ready to catch her should she come crashing down to the side or backwards. Apparently Daddy's ninja-like reflexes don't mean a thing to Mommy.

We'll keep working on Kaylani standing until she's a pro. One of these days, she's going to be standing all by herself in the middle of the room, and we're just going to stand back and watch her. When that day comes, Mommy might be standing back and watching with a brown paper bag in her hands to help her breathe, but it's going to happen. Soon enough Kaylani will be pulling herself up from a sitting to a standing position, and that's when it all begins. She's pretty close to doing so already, but falls over immediately, so we still have a little time. Better get ready Mommy because our little girl is all growed up!

To prove it to you, check out these pictures from the last week or so. We've started to miss a few days of pictures, but here are some from Boston, Cape Cod, and even of Abuela who is in town for a week! The last ones have her standing all by herself! Not pictured: Mommy freaking out behind the camera.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Power of Drool

It's no secret that babies are drool machines. And it's no secret that Kaylani is a baby. What that means is that Kaylani is a drool machine. She'll drool on anything in her way (and some things out of her way). Onesies? Don't stand a chance. Bibs? Just delaying the inevitable. Rugs, blankets, toys? Throw em in the dryer. My Blackberry? Just wipe it dry...until it breaks.

Tonight my Blackberry died. Well, it's actually not dead yet. You can email me and I'll see the little red indicator light blink. You can call me and I'll see your name and number pop up. You can text me and my phone will vibrate to tell me that I have a new message. But that's about all I can do. I can see all of that happen, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it because Kaylani drooled on my phone.

The fact that her drool paralyzed my Blackberry is as ridiculous as the fact that I waited at a Verizon Wireless store tonight for 1.5 hours just so technical service could tell me that I need to file an online insurance claim (even though the website says they can replace it in store). Apparently "liquid damage" is not covered in store. To make things worse, when I filed my online insurance claim, my Blackberry Curve was on backorder and the alternate choice was another model...the Pink Curve. Figuring the Pink Curve would be too tempting for Kaylani to drool on again, I made a call and ended up getting the Blackberry 8830 World Edition which is essentially the same phone, sans camera. It was a tough choice, but I'm over it. What I'm not over yet is this whole "liquid damage" thing.

Liquid Damage? Seriously? I mean, it's just a little drool! She's drooled on my phone countless times before. Heck, I've even drooled on my phone before. I've used my phone out in the rain. I've put it down in a shallow puddle of water before. How is it possible for Kaylani to have drooled so much that the only thing that works is the trackball (just the movement, not the actual functionality)? I mean, sure she had half the Blackberry in her mouth, and sure she practically soaked the entire thing, but still, it's just a little drool people!

I'm thinking they should come out with a Toughberry. You know, like the Toughbook laptops that they have now? Or maybe they just need a Babyberry. I mean, baby drool should definitely be something that any phone should be able to handle. They could even have the same phone/feature and call it a Drunkberry for all those college kids who pass out and drool all over their phone. If you see one on the market in the future, just remember you heard it here first!

So anyways, I hope you all learned the lesson that I did today. Baby drool is a powerful thing and should not be taken lightly. Oh, and I guess there's another lesson too. Something around the fact that I shouldn't give Kaylani my Blackberry to play with because she might just break it. Mommy's been trying to teach me that one for awhile now. And when it keeps her from being fussy while we're trying to eat our dinner, I say that it's a hard lesson to learn. Plus, that's why I have phone insurance anyways right?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We made each other

Since the day Kaylani was born, there have been many times when we'll look at her and go "we made you!" Today being Father's Day made me realize that I didn't just make Kaylani, but she actually made me. Without her, today wouldn't have nearly meant as much to me. Sure it meant a lot already since I love my own Dad (Happy Father's Day Yea Yea!) and would celebrate with all the other dad's I know, but this year I could join in on the celebration, thanks to Kaylani.

The day started off great with Kaylani sleeping in until 7am (only because she woke up at 4:30am and Mommy nursed her and put her back down). Then, after a quick breakfast with Jes and Brian, we headed off to a post-wedding brunch for Tommy and Gretchen. To end out the day, we made a 5 hour drive home that took us 8.5 hours and 4 stops because Kaylani was over tired and sick of being in her carseat (luckily a quick "human swing" session at a rest stop put her to sleep for the last 2.5 hour stretch). And even though it sounds like a long, tiring day, it didn't matter because this was the best Father's Day ever (and yes, it was my first Father's Day ever). But in all seriousness, I couldn't be any happier being a Dad. To top it all off, I got an unbelievable gift from Kaylani (and Mommy).

For the past 4 weeks Mommy has been hiding in our office doing something at night. With Kaylani not napping, Mommy was forced to do all her "work" at night. Every night she would be in the office for 2+ hours at a time and I had no idea what was going on. This morning I was let in on the secret. Turns out that Mommy had been working on our first album. Not just Kaylani's first album, but actually OUR first album ever. And it wasn't just a collection of pictures. The amazing part was that it chronicled our first 7 months together with Kaylani through pictures and through excerpts taken straight from this blog. I was speechless as I flipped through the pages. In fact, I'm still in awe of the time and thought Mommy put into making this for me on behalf of Kaylani. It involved going through all 226 of my posts to date, plus the 11K+ pictures that we've taken in that timeframe. Then, she handpicked the pictures, the right quote, and added some color. Incredible.

My words are failing to do this any justice, so instead, here are 6 spreads from the 30+ that were in the album. These pictures won't even be enough to showcase the album the way it deserves, so if you want to see the real thing, come on over. It's proudly displayed on our coffee table. All I can say is that I feel like I'm the luckiest Dad ever. Happy Father's Day to the rest of you!

A Day Away

Saturday marked the first official day away from Kaylani. We didn't pull one of those Daddy leaves like he always does for work. This time it was a legit Mommy and Daddy are BOTH leaving for a few hours so you're on your own Kaylani.

Daddy left for Tommy and Gretchen's wedding at right around 11:50am. Before I left, I drove Kaylani through town for her first nap of the day just to make sure she was on the right track for the day. Due to some morning timing issues (due to a very relaxed breakfast buffet), Daddy and Kaylani drove around until 11:15am, even though Daddy wasn't showered or ready to meet Tommy and the gang at 12:00pm.

Shortly after Daddy left, Yin Yin and Yea Yea arrived and took Kaylani to lunch so Mommy could get ready for the day. That's when the separation anxiety kicked in...for Mommy. It can be summed up by a short phone call to Daddy where Mommy fought through some tears and got out one simple question:

"How do you leave every day for work?"

Daddy often hears about how I don't understand what its like to be home with her all day (which I don't), and how its easier for me to be at work (which it is). But the one thing Mommy never understood was the pain I felt inside when I had to leave Kaylani each morning until now. Just like Daddy did, after a little bit, Mommy adjusted okay. When Kaylani got back from lunch, Mommy nursed her one last time and then was off to meet Daddy at the wedding.

The wedding itself was gorgeous and it turned out to be a nice, sunny day after raining for the previous three. Ceremony was beautiful, music was great, drinks were flowing, and Mommy and Daddy enjoyed Tommy and Gretchen's wedding thoroughly for the first 5 hours. After that, Mommy started to get a little anxious to go home and see our little girl, so we made our exit right near the end.

When we got back to the hotel, Kaylani was about to take her 2nd bottle (2oz) of milk. She ate her lunch and dinner with Yin Yin and Yea Yea, took 2 naps (totalling 3 hours), and had a great time with them. And to make sure that Mommy and Daddy wouldn't think twice about leaving her again, she nursed for 15 minutes and then went right to sleep without a peep.

All in all, our first day away went as smoothly as we could have hoped. We got to enjoy Tommy and Gretchen's wedding, and Kaylani got to enjoy spending time with Yin Yin and Yea Yea. Who could ask for anything more? Or the better question is, when can we do it again?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Best Baby EVER!

I may be slightly biased, but I have the best baby EVER. Sure most parents say that about their baby, but I really mean it. Kaylani's pretty easy most of the time, but yesterday, she solidified herself as best baby EVER. Just how do you earn the title of best baby EVER you ask? Well, it starts with sleep, but encompasses much, much more than that.

After only crying for 20 minutes in a metal, narrow crib in a brand new place for her, she slept for 9 hours. Then, she took a 1 hour nap in her carseat after breakfast, a 1 hour nap in her carseat after lunch, and then a 30 minute nap in her carseat (sensing a pattern here yet?) before we headed to the wedding rehearsal/welcome party dinner. Those naps were the perfect length (well, maybe the 30 minute one could have been longer if Doug hadn't woken her up and scared the living bejeezus out of her when he got in the car) and helped us make it through a long day, but we were only getting started.

The welcome party was held at Swan River in Denisport, MA and started at 7pm. Now, everyone knows that Kaylani's usually in bed by 8pm, so you can bet we were a little worried to be just arriving at a restaurant when normally it would be Kaylani who was sitting down for dinner at that time (and by dinner, I mean nursing). And when you add the fact that there were ~100 people with ~40 of them wanting to say hi to and possibly hold Kaylani, you've got yourself a potentially scary situation, especially with this whole separation anxiety thing. THIS is where Kaylani earned the title of best baby EVER.

Not only did she smile and go with people (after 10 minutes), but she ate her dinner, she nursed, and most importantly, she fell asleep (in her carseat). At around 8:30pm, our time was up. As expected, it was right when the food came out. So Daddy downed his cup of chowdah in one gulp and took Kaylani and her carseat out to another room. After about 10 minutes of playing "human swing" or what I like to call "ow my arm and my back", she was asleep. ASLEEP! With ~100 people talking, music, and waiters/waitresses buzzing by. Not only that, but she stayed asleep all the way until we got home around midnight. Sure she missed out on hanging out with our friends, and she even missed my awesome wedding speech, but it's okay because she was ASLEEP!

To top it all off, she went right back to sleep when we got home after we changed her and nursed her. And the really amazing part? She woke up at her usual 5:30am time, played by herself in our bed for an hour, and then nursed herself back to sleep. It's 7:15am right now and my baby is sleeping. Best...baby...EVER!

Oh, and when I said its about more than just sleep, I was lying. I mean, it is, but the fact that she played nicely, was quiet, cute, cuddly, smiley, and everything else just doesn't matter when she naps well, sleeps in public places, and goes to sleep quietly and by herself at night and in the morning. The real question is...what the heck am I doing awake if everyone else is sleeping? Oh well, guess it's time to get ready for the wedding. T-minus 4.5 hours before I leave, and 6.5 hours before Mommy leaves Kaylani with Yin Yin and Yea Yea for 8 hours so we can enjoy the wedding. It'll be Mommy's first time away for that long, and Kaylani's first time alone without both of us. Sure hope she's still the best baby EVER today...for Yin Yin and Yea Yea's sake!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Orange you glad we had carrots?

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

We've had 2 successful road trips in the last 2 days. First, we made it the 4.5 hour drive up to Boston with Kaylani sleeping the entire time on Wednesday night. Then, we made it 2 hours to Cape Cod on Thursday with Kaylani again sleeping the entire time. And to top it all off, she even slept 9 hours in a new place, in a ridiculously narrow metal crib, right next to us! So far, she's been everything we could have hoped for, and maybe even just a little bit more.

The odd part is that the "little bit more" she might be is orange. After spending some time in the morning with Titi Glenda yesterday, she asked if we were feeding Kaylani a lot of carrots and sweet potatoes. Besides the fact that my first reaction was "gee, I guess Titi Glenda doesn't read my blog," my second reaction was "umm...yeah. Why?" And that's when she said something that boggled my mind.

"She looks kinda orange. That usually happens when they eat a lot of orange foods like carrots."

Whaaaaaat? Really? I mean, she eats lots of green beans and peas too, but I wouldn't call her green. After doing a bit of research google search, apparently there's something called "carotenemia" which is "a medical term for a condition that causes the skin to turn orange-ish due to increased blood carotene levels." And wouldn't you know it, carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash (or 75% of her foods) are high in beta-carotene which cause her to turn orange.

So now that I was ready to accept the fact that Titi Glenda was right and not just spouting out some ridiculous old wives' tale, I had to accept the fact that I didn't notice. Now, my first excuse (for those who know me, I'm full of excuses) was that I see her everyday so I can't notice slight changes in skin tone, but when Mommy heard, she jumped onboard and said "you know, I was thinking the same thing the other week!" I, of course, called BS, but that's besides the point. My second excuse was that she's not orange, she's just got a suntan because we don't put suntan lotion on her. After I got dirty stares, I quickly backed out of that one with a "just kidding" and a smile (we really do put suntan lotion her).

The morale of the story is that I'm going to have to start paying even more attention to Kaylani. In all fairness, I've never been called a detail oriented person, at least not when it comes to people. I'm also the same guy who stared at Mommy for about 5 minutes before I realized that she chopped off 6" from her hair last year. In any case, it doesn't change the fact that I'm her Dad and I should know every little thing about her. I'd recommend that all of you do the same with your children so you don't feel as "uninformed" as I did. Orange you glad I wrote this post?

Now go check out Dad-Blogs for some great Fatherhood Friday posts! It wouldn't be Friday without it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Running Late

Kaylani's bedtime is 7:30pm, but I'm not sure she's ever been in her crib, let alone asleep, by 7:30pm. We work tirelessly to get her to sleep on schedule, but it never works out. No matter what we do, its usually after 8pm by the time we get her down. It's like her bedtime routine just keeps getting dragged out, and I think its just going to get worse.

On normal days, Kaylani will start getting ready for bed at 6:30. It takes less than 30 minutes on non-bath nights to get her cleaned up and changed, which means she starts her 30-40 minutes of nursing sometime before 7. And I don't know what it is, but when we look over at the time, its 8pm. Sometimes nursing takes longer because Kaylani has to burp or just wants to sit up and look around. Other times she wants to hit Mommy or talk to her stuffed animals. Part of me thinks she knows she's stalling, and that's not a good thing.

One of the things we've talked about is starting her bedtime routine earlier. On days when she hasn't napped well (or at all), we'll try to start "marching" upstairs around 5:30 or 6, but somehow it always seems to be after 8pm when we get her into her crib. I can't even explain how we spend 2+ hours getting her ready for bed when we start early, but only 1+ hours when we start at 6:30. Where does the time go?

Now its not the biggest deal if she goes to sleep at 7:30 or 8:30 because either way she'll probably wake up at 5:30. But what we're trying to find out is if she'll sleep longer if she goes to sleep earlier. They say that sleep breeds more sleep, and more sleep is a good thing. What they don't say is how to get her to sleep in the first place!

Its been something I've tried to avoid but I've found myself looking further and further into Kaylani's future lately. Maybe its because I've been reading all these blogs of parents with older kids (check out some of them over on the right) so it's forced me to think way older than now. Regardless of the reason, I'm afraid of the time when Kaylani can delay bedtime because she can crawl away, run away, or just climb out of bed and walk away. Woah, okay, time to come back to the present and focus on getting Kaylani to bed on our terms.

We spend so much time trying to get Kaylani to bed early. Then, there are days like today where I catch a late train home from the city and won't get to hold my little girl before she goes to bed. Kinda sad how that all works out, but we've made her bed and now she has to sleep in it. Or at least we hope she does. I'll see her bright and early in the morning anyways.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Nail Salons

We've gotten to the stage where getting Kaylani to do anything that's not her idea is a challenge (which I'm convinced she got from Mommy's side). Changing her diaper when she doesn't feel like being dry means she'll squirm more than one of those squishy slinky bags. Feeding her when she's not in the mood to eat means we're bound to have color splotches sprayed on us. And clipping her nails when she doesn't want could lead to a missing finger, which is generally something we'd like to avoid.

Daddy has never been to a nail salon. Not once. Nope. Never. As sensitive and girly as Daddy may seem, not once has he given in to the few pleas from Mommy to get a pedicure or a manicure with her (back before Kaylani of course). Now I have no problem with guys who do get their nails done, but I'm just not one of them. And what that really means is that when it comes to cutting nails, I'm a novice.

I cut my nails because that's what you're supposed to do. Every 2-3 weeks I'll spend the 3 minutes it takes me to cut my 10 fingernails and toenails, and then I'll put the clippers away until next time. Making sure they're smooth, even, or clean was never a concern of mine and frankly, it still never is a concern of mine. But when it comes to Kaylani, that's where I've gotta step it up.

The trick to cutting Kaylani's nails is to do it while she's nice and calm, and there are only two times when she's nice and calm: while she's sleeping and when she's nursing before going to sleep. While she's sleeping sounds like a great option, but since she either sleeps in her crib or in her swing, it's not the best environment for us to attempt to cut her tiny little nails. The swing gives us the easiest access at her nails, but cutting nails is hard enough without having to swing back and forth with her and clip.

Nursing time ends up working 95% of the time, like it did tonight. Typically her eyes stay closed, her hands go limp, and it's clip away. The only challenge is deciding whether to wait the 10-20 minutes until she switches sides and frees her other arm, or deal with the awkward arm angles and cut the other one right away (which is what I did tonight). Either way, this method decreases the chance of a finger being cut off by at least 95%. To be clear, it does not decrease the chance of cutting a little bit of skin around the finger.

Thankfully nail cutting is done for tonight. Since her nails grow faster than umm..something that grows really fast (sorry, brain went blank), I'm sure we'll have to do this all over again next week. We wish we could wait the 2-3 weeks like I do, but the difference is that Kaylani will scratch herself, and more importanly us, up if we do. That means we'll definitely do it again next week. For now, Daddy's nail technician career is retired (and yes, I purposely ignored all of the possible Asian nail salon jokes).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dog Days of Summer

It's a dog eat dog world out there. If you can't beat em, join em. Put those two together, and what you get is the fact that I want a dog. In fact, Mommy wants a dog too. If I had to guess, Kaylani would want a dog as well. So why is it that we don't have a dog? Oh right, because everyone told us not to get one.

3 years ago when we lived in Orlando we talked about getting a dog. Mommy wanted a Yorkie or a Maltese and Daddy wanted a big ol' Lab. What we wanted didn't matter because we weren't at a point in our lives where we could get a dog. Mommy and Daddy were both traveling 4 days a week, which meant there was little time for a dog (or much else) . Then, after moving to our apartment in NYC, we had to put our dog day dreams on hold. But all of that changed when we bought a house in NJ, but then quickly changed again.

Our backyard is completely fenced in which means it's perfect for a dog of any size. Well, maybe not ANY size, but definitely big enough for a Lab and way too big for a Yorkie. We finally had our house in the burbs with a fenced in yard, so it meant it was dog time, right? Right...kinda. We were in the market for a dog, and at that point, we even knew Kaylani was on the way. Unfortunately for us, everyone else knew Kaylani was on the way, and everyone else steered us away from getting a dog.

Apparently the consensus was that having a baby AND raising/training a puppy is not a good decision. These "babies" take up a lot of time and attention, and so do puppies. We thought we could handle both, especially with the aforementioned fenced in backyard, but in the end, we decided to hold off. Not because we thought we couldn't handle it, but because we were unconfident, newbie parents. Well here we are now with 7 months of parenting experience built up (plus 50% on top of that that I earned from having a "Dads, Not Babysitters" t-shirt from Dad-Blogs). And now, I want a dog.

We finally got around to watching Marley & Me last night. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it as long as you can handle a sappy movie with a ridiculously sad ending (which I won't give away although I'm sure you could figure it out). Sappiness aside, it brought back my desire to have a puppy of my own again. It's been 15 years since we gave away my puppy Max (a Bichon) because I was headed off to college and my parents were moving to Boston. And for 15 years, I dreamed of the day when I could get a puppy of my own again. Maybe, just maybe, that day is near.

There are definitely the pros and cons of having a puppy, and I'm well aware of most of them. Sure they take a lot of work, need a lot of attention, and have the potential to eat my baby, but all of those are offset by how fun, loyal, and cute there are (okay, maybe not the eating my baby part). We were over at Aidan's house today and they have a Yorkie that definitely didn't try to eat Kaylani, unless you count a couple of licks to the face as eat attempts. I mean, I guess it could be a bit different with a Lab, but that really just means it's a bigger tongue to lick her face with, right?

So we're not sure if we'll get a puppy now or not. Maybe we should hold out a few more years until Kaylani asks for one. Sure would be easier than buying her a pony or a spaceship. Unfortunately I've never been one to wait around for things to happen, but fortunately the one thing I've learned since I've had Kaylani is patience. They say it's a virtue. I say it doesn't get me a dog. Tough call.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Weather Permitting

We've had a lot going on the past 2 days which has made them feel like it's just been one really long day. With Daddy playing at The 20th Annual Kelly Open Golf Tournament up near Hartford, CT yesterday (where his scramble team finished at a tidy even par), that meant he was gone from 6am to 12am. It also meant that he didn't get to hold his precious little girl at all yesterday, but we had big plans for today to make up for it. The rain made sure we spent a lot of time together too.

Weather plays a large role in most peoples lives, but I'd bet it becomes that much more important when you have kids (especially babies). During the winter, we often stayed inside because it was too cold for Kaylani (or Mommy) to go out when she was so young. When we escaped to Orlando and Puerto Rico, we stayed inside because it was too sunny or hot for her to be out when she was so young. And now in the Spring, we stay inside sometimes because it's too cold or too rainy or too sunny or too tired to go out when she is so young. Anyways, you get the point.

So after we had a day of activities planned to make up for the lost day we had yesterday, they were all put on hold when the weather turned wet. Daddy-Daughter time in the morning while Mommy went to get her hair done ended up being a 2 hour nap for Kaylani. Lunch, errands, and then a Little League season ending picnic turned into lunch, a 1 hour nap in the car, and then a day back at the house because it was POURING out. Now some people might think we're being too safe by keeping Kaylani inside the car or house because of a little rain. But if you were here (or are in the area), I think you would have done the same.

Our backyard looks like a pool right now. Rivers are rolling by on the street. My sump pump has been continuously going all day (and thankfully so! Fixing the basement a month ago was the best decision we ever made). It rained so hard that I had to convince myself that I really needed another cup of coffee in order to get myself out of the car. And after sleeping for only 4 hours last night after being awake for 20, that's saying something. But what does this all mean?

It means that we were forced inside all day. We played with every toy in the house at least twice. We walked around, we listened to the Yankees-Mets game (unforutnately), we pureed up a gallon of carrots, and we even tried to nap again (fail). It was fun at times, but man, was it a long day that leads me to one conclusion: rain sucks. Weekends are meant to be out and about. Heck, every day is meant to be out and about rather than being stuck at home all day, but when it rains, it rains. So now Kaylani is almost ready for bed. Hopefully, she'll wake up tomorrow to a nice sunny day (preferably after the sun rises) and we'll have some outdoor fun. But if not, we'll just do it all over again...and again...and again...with a big smile for good measure. For Mommy's sake, I hope it's sunny, because if it's not, then I'll probably spend all day singing "My Girl" to Kaylani to pass the time!

And if you want to pass some time, check out pictures from the last couple of days. There's tons of good ones in here as usual!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kicked in the Bjorn

A universal feeling among guys is the pain of being kicked in the "area that should only be treated nicely." It actually extends beyond kicking, as any pain in that "area" is too painful to even watch, let alone experience. Videos like football to the groin, or of skateboarders who fall spread eagle onto a railing they were stupidly trying to skate down all produce the same cringe reaction from every guy. But the cringe is even worse when it's happening to you.

Ever since Kaylani was old enough to fit in our Baby Bjorn, we've had a great time using it. It's been completely handy for us when we're out walking, shopping, or even trying to get her to nap. It was the perfect accessory to free up our hands, but still have Kaylani secure and close by. All of a sudden I could drink my coffee (being very careful not to spill on her), use my Blackberry (although she can still disrupt that plan with her grabby little hands), or just pick up things while we're shopping. But now, I'm not a fan of the Baby Bjorn.

Even though there are guidelines on height and weight restrictions around usage, they're useless, or not intended for Dads. The guidelines have settings to adjust the Bjorn if your baby is up to 28", which Kaylani is just under. And since the weight can go up to 22lbs, then theoretically she should be okay. But she's not or at least I'm not. Apparently when you combine Kaylani's current height with the right setting on the Bjorn, you get pain. Not for her, but for me. And its not the type of pain that Motrin could help with.

The first time I noticed this was a few weeks ago while I was buying some new clothes. Kaylani, having just woken from her nap, was facing outwards so she could witness the world. At this particular moment, she was starting to get a little fussy, so Daddy turned to his failsafe entertainment option: his Blackberry. Now, ignoring the problem with the millions of germs that go from Blackberry to mouth, the bigger problem was her excitement level of getting the Blackberry. When babies get excited, they kick. And Kaylani kicks HARD.

Her legs happen to hang right around the "area that should only be treated nicely", and kicking does not qualify. Having been out, I had little choice but to leave her in there, but I did spend the rest of the time with one hand in a groin protective position. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly the look I was going for while I was out. Instead of fun, loving Dad, I probably looked like Dad touching himself while wearing baby. Sigh.

That was the last time I've worn the Bjorn, and it may have very well been the last time I'll wear the Bjorn. As of now, we're officially in the market for a new Bjorn that either sits in a different place...or has a reinforced steel kick plate (with padding so Kaylani doesn't hurt her feet of course). Anyone know where I can find one?

Oh, and if you enjoyed this post, then dont forget to check out Dad-Blogs for other great posts this Fatherhood Friday. With a tagline like "Dad-Blogs: A Great Place for Dads & Mom to chew the fat", why wouldn't you want to check it out?

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just 1 more hour...

Since we got Kaylani back to sleeping more than 3 hours on her own a few weeks ago, things have been okay. Not great, but okay. I know I shouldn't be complaining since she's been sleeping 8-9 hours straight every night (that part has been great), but its the mornings that are only okay.

Kaylani is usually in her crib and asleep by 8pm on a normal day. Add 9 hours to that and it means that Kaylani has been waking up at approximately 5am for the last couple of weeks. 5am is early. I don't care how you look at it, but 5am is EARLY. Even when I was pulling all nighters in college watching infomercials studying, 5am was still early. 3 or 4am was late, but 5am was early. Anyways, you get the point.

One thought was if she went to sleep a little later, then she would wake up a little later. That theory went down the drain when Kaylani went to bed at 9pm, and woke up at, yep, 5am. Then, instead of just being awake, she was awake, tired, and cranky because she only got 8 hours of sleep. And when Mommy and Daddy are up at 5am too, tired/cranky baby is not a great way to start the day.

Over the past 5 days or so, my body has started to adjust to waking up at 5am. I've even been awake enough to hear her first babbling sounds instead of her ear piercing screams that she lets out when she's bored of herself. But every day while changing her 10lb diaper and watching the sun come up, I ask her why she won't sleep for just 1 more hour.

The way I look at it, an hour isn't a lot to ask for. She doesn't even need to sleep during it. All she has to do is lay in her crib and talk to herself (quietly) until the clock hits 6am (or 7am, but I don't want to get greedy). Out of nowhere today, Kaylani listened. She started talking around 5am, and let out a few of her standard cries of "HEY! COME GET ME!" but then, she went silent. Mommy and I both picked up our heads to stare at the monitor after a few minutes to see if she was messing with us, but she was asleep again. Amazingly.

At 6:30am, I woke up...luckily. I hadn't set my alarm the night before because who needs an alarm when you have a rooster baby sleeping in the next room. I looked over and she was still sleeping. I woke Mommy up and asked her what she did to our baby, and she said nothing. Groggily I started getting ready for the day. I was all thrown off since my day had been starting with a baby cuddle, playtime, THEN my turn to get ready, but not today. I was dressed and ready to go, even caught up on sports, blogs, and tweets, and Kaylani still wasn't up.

At 7:30am, Kaylani finally woke up. 11.5 hours after she fell asleep, or 2.5 hours after her morning cry and normal wake up time. Luckily for me it was 10 minutes before I had to leave for a long day in NYC, New Brunswick (where I got my picture taken with Spike Lee after winning a James Burke Marketing Award for my work on AMBI), and then a Little League playoff game to see if we made it into the final round or not (we didn't) so I got to hold her for a few minutes. Maybe this is the start of her sleeping a little bit later each day now. Maybe we're about to get just a little more sleep each morning now. Or maybe this was a one time thing that is just going to confuse us going forward. Whatever it is, it doesn't matter. After all, when Kaylani asks me for 1 more hour of sleep many years from now, I'll probably only let that happen every now and then too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Learning the ABC's

Kaylani has a bunch of toys that teach her things. Some teach her about textures, others about noise. Others have bright flashy lights, and then there are ones that she just eats. But a few of her toys are educational, like the LeapFrog Learning Table that we got from Danika. Now that she's finally old enough to sit up by herself and play with a toy, it's time for her to learn her ABCs. And by her, I don't just mean Kaylani.

One of the features of the table is that it will sing the ABC song. It's the standard version that goes from A to Z, and then ends with "next time won't you sing with me?" You know, the one everyone knows. Well Mommy and Kaylani were playing with the table today and of course, Mommy sang along. Believe it or not, Mommy's voice is better than the one that comes out of the table (I swear)! But when Daddy came home, things changed.

I wouldn't call it stage freight because frankly Mommy and Kaylani weren't on a stage (although Kaylani was sitting on a pillow that could have been a stage), but it was definitely something. Right around the "L-M-N-O-P" part of the song, Mommy would get just a bit mixed up. Sometimes she'd skip the L, other times the M would mash together with the N. And sometimes, she'd get stuck earlier at like F or G. Either way, it was kinda funny to hear.

Now I know Mommy knows her ABC's, and I also know that it doesn't come as natural to her as it does to those of us born in the states (Mommy was born in PR for those of you who didn't know). But I started wondering what Kaylani would learn. Every time something like this happens, I always jokingly say "poor Kaylani's going to be so confused." And it's always meant lightheartedly and jokingly..or is it? No, it is.

There's no real point to this because I know Kaylani will grow up to be just as smart (or smarter) than both Mommy and Daddy combined. I really just wanted to take a cheap shot at Mommy. For the record, after proclaiming I could sing the alphabet in Spanish better than she could in English, I got mixed up on W and X and made it sound something like "doble equis." I think I just need a beer.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Baby's Got Back...wards movement

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you I thought Kaylani was going to go mobile any day now? Well, I was wrong. It wasn't any day then, but it is going to be any day now. Over the past few days, she's been getting her move on more and more. It's definitely a step in the right direction, even if it's in the wrong direction.

We've had our run of Kaylani accomplishing milestones on her birthday, and today, being her 7 month birthday, we thought we might get a forward crawl out of her. And tonight I thought I might have seen a small inchworm crawl/lunge forward, but I don't think we'll count it as her first official crawl. However, Mommy did get to witness a good backward crawling exhibition put on by Kaylani this afternoon.

Today was Kaylani and Mommy's first Play & Learn class at Gymboree. It's a fun filled class that she's taking with 2 of her friends, Aadi and Aidan, where they "learn about cause and effect and build strength through play with ramps, slides and climbers." So while Kaylani's not exactly crawling herself, she is around a bunch of people who can crawl and is learning more and more each day. As proof of her development, she made an approximate 10 foot dash backwards in a flash. We're convinced that any day now she'll shift out of reverse (unlike Tommy's Saab which was stuck in reverse permanently) and hit the ground crawling.

We're ready for her to get crawling because it's the next milestone she can acheive, and a gateway to so many more. On the flip side, baby gone mobile brings on a whole new set of challenges, like the fact that she won't be where we left her, and that our house isn't mobile baby proof yet. Oh well, we'll worry about that when we get there. For now, we're just going to celebrate another month gone by and another month to come. Celebrate along by checking out these pictures from today! Happy 7 Month Birthday Kaylani!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dads, Not Babysitters!

After much anticipation, my official Dad-Blogs shirt finally arrived. And conveniently it arrived just in time for the very first extended Daddy-Daughter Day. Today, Mommy went to get a 90 minute massage from her favorite massage place (Hillsborough Massage Therapy) to redeem part of her Mother's Day gift, which meant that Daddy and Kaylani (and Padrino Tim) were alone with Kaylani for a whole 4 hours. Sure that doesn't sound a lot, but it was by far the longest Mommy has been away. But I wasn't babysitting today, I was Daddy-ing (Fathering? Papi-ing? I dunno, but it wasn't babysitting).

To many of you, babysitting may sound like the right term for what I did today, but it's not. Babysitting is what someone does when they just watch Kaylani. But as Kaylani's Dad, it's about more than just watching Kaylani. I'm her Dad, which means that I'm going to love her, take care of her, teach her, guide her, and be there for her whenever and wherever she needs me. Some babysitters do that, but still not the way Dad does.

I could get into a whole rant about the way society views Dads as babysitters, but there are a host of posts already on the topic over at Dad-Blogs. So instead, let's recap just how Daddy and Kaylani's day went today. It started at 5:30am when Kaylani decided she wasn't going to wait until noon for Mommy to leave and for Daddy-Daughter Day to start. But since she's still not a pro at the sippy cup (and because Mommy and Daddy had grand visions of her nursing then going back to sleep until 7am), Mommy nursed her and Daddy-Daughter Day started at 6:30am. From then until 8am, we played with blocks, blankets, other blocks, animals, curtains, the exersaucer, the jumper, and finally a doll before it was time for cereal. After that, it was Mommy's turn to nurse her before Kaylani's first nap.

The real Daddy-Daughter time (without a safety net) came at noon, and was comprised of some more blocks, some more jumping, lunch (mmm..green beans), some flying (courtesy of Padrino Tim), and then a nap in the car as Daddy the realtor showed Padrino Tim the neighborhoods. And to round out the time, Kaylani got to see Auntie Meredith and Katie before a trip to Panera for lunch. Soon enough it was time to say bye bye to Padrino Tim and Auntie Meredith, and hi to a new, refreshed, relaxed Mommy. After a trip to the park and some time in the swings, we were back home for a nice dinner of carrots and prune juice (poor baby needs to POOP!)

Now Kaylani is doing the one thing that Daddy can't help with...nursing. As hard as I tried today to do everything just like Mommy, I couldn't bring myself to get her to latch on (which was probably for the best since we avoided something like this happening). So Daddy-Daughter Day is over for now. Soon enough she'll be a pro at this whole sippy cup thing which means Daddy-Daughter Day could be extended even longer. I hope it's soon because I had a blast. Plus, I've got another Dad-Blogs T-shirt to wear, and these times are perfect to show them off.

Much overdue, but check out pictures from the last many days. They include pictures from today obviously, as well as her first Veggie Puff, real apples, and everything else that's happened. And don't forget to click over to Dad-Blogs to read my latest Sports IllustraDad post on the rules of golfing with a baby! Oh, and lastly, if you want your very own Dad-Blogs "Dads, not Babysitters" T-shirt, buy one now from The Dad-Blogs store! They make great Father's Day gifts! Just saying.

Now this is summer!

Padrino/Godfather Tim came to visit his Goddaughter. It's been just about 5 months since the last time he came down (and about 2 months since he last saw her), so needless to say she's just a little bit different now. Surprisingly, Kaylani didn't cry that much when he held her. Maybe its because of their bond through God. Or maybe its because she stared at him for a solid 10 minutes before he picked her up. Hard to say.

Today was a long day, but it finally felt like summer. Tim and I went to play a round of golf during the afternoon (my first round as a Dad...more to come on that). And when we got home, we fired up the grill and all 4 of us (Kaylani included) hung out outside on the porch. With the weather warming up and the Spring showers gone for now, it finally felt like summer.

Its just past midnight now and I'm completely spent. After golfing, grilling, drinking/hanging out, and a couple of games of pool, its time to go to sleep. Hopefully Kaylani will sleep through the night, for Tim's sake. If not, hopefully the white noise maker will do its job, again for Tim's sake.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Take me out to the ballgame?

I'm on my way home from NYC after a day of meetings at our partner agencies. I was supposed to go to Yankee Stadium tonight to catch the Yanks vs the Rays with Rob. It was a night game which meant I wouldn't have got to see my little girl until tomorrow morning, but now it looks like I'll catch her for a little bit right before bedtime which I guess is alright. I can't complain because I made the choice to come to the game. It would have been my 4th game of the season, which isn't a lot when you consider there have been 26 games at the Stadium and I have a full 81 game package in my name, but living an hour and a half away from the stadium and having a baby means I just can't get out to the stadium often. Or does it?

If Kaylani and Mommy came to the game WITH me, that would solve the lack of family time issue that comes with going to a game but Kaylani is only 7 months old (or will be in a few days). Is that too young to go to a game? Of course she's too young to go to a night game since she's in bed by the 2nd inning usually, but maybe its not too early to go to some of the weekend afternoon games, right?

I've been battling with this decision for awhile now. Weekend day games sure seem like the right time, but will she survive the 90 minute car ride, plus 3-4 hour baseball game, before a 90 minute car ride back? Probably not since I know a lot of people who wouldn't survive that either because they think baseball is boring, and she'll probably find it boring too. Will she survive 3-4 hours in the sun while sitting on Mommy or Daddy's lap in the Bleachers? Probably not again. I guess the better question is if Daddy would survive watching a game for only 3-4 innings at the stadium before leaving early.

I haven't left a game before it was officially over since my dad and I left during a rain delay back in 1993. On the ride home, we heard that a fan ran onto the field in the 9th inning during a Mattingly at bat to interfere with what would have been a routine out, but extended the game and led to Donnie Baseball smacking a game winning hit. After missing out on that, I vowed never to leave early again. That was 16 years ago, or probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 80-90 games ago for me.

My dad had his reasons for wanting to get us out of there instead of waiting it out. Things like me getting too tired or sick since I was only 13 years old and it was cold, rainy, and getting late. Things like beating traffic so it didn't take twice as long to get home. Bottom line is that things change when you have a kid. I didn't understand that back then, but I certainly do now.

I have a game picked out in September for what would be Kaylani's first Yankees game. I figured it would be a little bit cooler and we could spend time walking around the stadium and relaxing since the Yankees will have the Division wrapped up by then. But "going" to the game today made me realize how much I love being at the Stadium, and how its something I want Kaylani to experience as often as she can. So maybe we'll take a few trips this summer. I'll sacrifice watching a full game so she can come with me because that's the kind of Dad I want to be. And maybe its because its the only way I'll be allowed to take get a few extra trips to the stadium this year. But we'll just keep that between you and me ;)

For those of you coming "late" for Fatherhood Friday, thanks for stopping by! If you're not tired of me yet, check out yesterday's official FF post (I tend to cheat and use Thursday's post for FF). For everyone else, don't forget to check out Dad Blogs (http://www.dad-blogs.com) for other Dad (and Mom) bloggers! I know I will!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

From Booby to Nuby!

Kaylani hasn't had a bottle since she turned 2 months old. Well, she hasn't had more than an ounce or two of milk in a bottle since then, and it's not something we've tried very hard to remedy. Mommy's been okay with breastfeeding for now, even though she had previously said she would try and ween Kaylani off at the 6 month mark. And honestly, we haven't even tried the bottle for a few months ever since our last experiment failed. But with Mommy feeling pretty tired lately, we thought we'd give it another shot so Daddy could help out in the mornings or at night. But this time, we mixed it up a little bit.

For the most part, Kaylani's been decent at drinking water out of her Nuby sippy cup. If you watched the end of the Veggie Puff video, then you can see that she likes to shake her cup around, turn it upside down, and maybe take a few sips every now and then. Well that's all fine and good when it's just water (except when she grabs the spout and makes a giant mess), but when we decided to try it with breastmilk (or liquid gold as we like to call it), there would be little shaking and leakage tolerated.

On Tuesday morning, Mommy gave Kaylani 1 oz of breastmilk in her Nuby sippy cup right after she woke up. And wouldn't you know it, she took it! Sure she shook it around and there was a little spillage because Mommy couldn't see her, but she took it. First thing Wednesday morning Daddy gave it a go. He gave Kaylani 1 oz of breastmilk to start, and after Kaylani grabbed it and pumped most of it onto her bib/shirt (oops), she took the refill of 1.5 oz just fine. And this morning, Kaylani took almost 2 oz of breastmilk from her Nuby sippy cup. So after 3 attempts, I think we're ready to call the Booby to Nuby experiment a success!

We may have declared success, but we're still going to work on it just a little bit. 2 oz is enough to hold her over so Mommy can sleep an extra 30 minutes to an hour in the mornings, but it's not enough to let Mommy get away for some solid Mommy time. Once Kaylani gets up to the 4-5 oz mark, then I think we'll be officially ready for a full half day of Daddy-Daughter time. And after that, maybe it'll even mean there's time for Daddy-Mommy time. That'd sure be something!

So we'll keep you posted on how our Nuby experiment goes. Hopefully she won't be a noobie with her Nuby for too long so I can give Mommy a real break and spend some good Daddy-Daughter time with Kaylani. But until then, we're more than okay with a whole lot of family time. And since it's Thursday night, that means its time for me to wish everyone a Happy Fatherhood Friday! Don't forget to check out Dad-Blogs for all the other great FF posts. And while you're there, check out my latest Sports IllustraDad post on why Lebron James sucks for brainwashing kids!

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We need foodvice!

We've been pretty excited about moving Kaylani through foods for awhile now. And once we got our Beaba we were ready to cook and puree all types of food. The last piece of the equation was getting the fresh fruit, so with apples from Wegman's, we were ready to go. Or were we?

Yesterday was Kaylani's gaggy day. She gagged on the Veggie Puff, and then again on the fresh apple puree that Mommy made for her. Not to be dissuaded, Mommy mixed the leftover apple puree in with Kaylani's oatmeal this morning to make a delicious apple oatmeal cereal. According to Mommy, the apple was so light that it wasn't even tastable within the oatmeal, and for the most part, Kaylani ate it like she normally would. The first few bites went fine, then about halfway through she would get a little whiny. The halfway point this morning was a little bit more than whiny though.

The worst thing in the world to experience is watching Kaylani gag. If you watched yesterday's video, then you know what her face looks like, and it's not something Mommy (or I) like to deal with. But today, Kaylani went beyond gagging into what Mommy describes as full on choking. After finally getting her out of her highchair (which required moving the seat back and getting the tray out of the way), Kaylani rescued herself...by throwing up all over the place. Not spitting up. Throwing up.

It went everywhere (so I'm told). On the floor, on the highchair, on the kitchen table, on her highchair toys, and on Mommy through the pleasant path down her arm. I won't be able to do it any justice since I wasn't there, but it was warm and not nice smelling. Luckily Mommy's natural reaction was to clean Kaylani up instead of throwing up herself which is what it typically would have been. And after everything was back to normal, Mommy made the call to the pediatrician.

The phone nurse told us that we should slow down Kaylani's intake of new foods. Any food we give her should be Level 1 (basic foods) and we should give her a spoonful or two a day so she gets used to it. We should stay away from foods like berries (or things with little seeds), avocados, yogurt, corn, and meats until Kaylani hits the 9 month mark.

The advice sounded fine and might make sense, but the problem is it is contrary to what our normal pediatrician told us. At our 6 month appointment, she told us to work our way through the cereals (done), then green/orange veggies (done), and then fruits. Going back to level 1 veggies means we'll be stuck on green beans, peas, carrots, squash, and sweet potato for another 2 months. It also means that we'll be working through apples, bananas, and peaches slowly for the next 2 months too.

Maybe going slowly through food is the right approach, but that's where we're confused. We think she's ready for next level veggies (like corn-squash combos, or vegetable mixes) because she eats her veggies with no problems, and we even thought she was ready for food mixed with yogurt. Most of our friends were right at or well past those stages at Kaylani's age. Or more specifically, they're all well past those stages before their baby turned 9 months. So why are we being held back?

I guess I can see the argument that if she's throwing up something as basic as level 1 fruits, then maybe she should slow down. The problem is I'm not convinced the phone nurse came to that conclusion. I think that the phone nurse is from the school of thought that says babies shouldn't try food until 9 months. The problem is we're from the school of thought where babies should start trying food at 4-5 months. Plus, Kaylani will be 7 months in a week, so isn't she old enough now?

So what do we do? Anyone have any advice? Been through the same thing? Going through the same thing? I did a quick Google search and can't really find anything on babies being allergic to fruit other than the people who say food shouldn't be started until much later. For now, I guess we'll revert back to our staple foods. It just seems wrong to go against what the nurse says. Even if we don't necessarily agree.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I want Veggie Poofs! Or do I?

The other day we went for a walk around the park with Sofie and then had a nice BBQ dinner. It was then that we saw Rob and Jen giving Sofie a couple of those Gerber Graduates Veggie Puffs. Now Sofie is only 3 weeks older than Kaylani, which sounds like a lot in baby years, but when you really think about it, it's not that much. So if Sofie could eat puffs, then so could our little girl!

Today was errand day, so in addition to getting some fresh fruits to start getting mileage out of our Beaba, Mommy also stopped by Target to pick up some of these Veggie Puffs. Seeing how Sofie seemed to enjoy her Sweet Potato Puffs, we went the same route. And once Daddy got home from work, it was time to give them a shot.

With Kaylani just having nursed and not quite ready for dinner yet, we thought it was the perfect time to break out the puffs. Seated was our position of choice, so we plopped Kaylani in the middle of her playroom and gave her her very first puff and then sat back and waited for her reaction as it went into her mouth. And then we waited. And waited some more. Took a few pictures. And waited.

Apparently holding onto the puff was far more exciting than actually trying the puff. She held it, looked at it, shook it, and repeated those 3 actions for probably somewhere in the 5-10 minute range. Mommy even tried to show her how to eat it, but she wanted nothing to do with it. Blackberry's, remote controls, keys, or fingers? Right in the mouth. Edible Veggie Puff? No thanks, I'm all set.

Turns out we would have been better off if she didn't eat it because once it made it into her mouth (with some help from Daddy), the Veggie Puff experiment went way downhill. She gagged, she choked, she spit it out, and she cried a little bit. The second time (yes, I put it back in to see if it would happen again) went pretty much the same. That's when we called it a day and gave her some water which is always a fun time to watch. She wore her "High Maintenance" bib for the occasion. We should have known...

Maybe tomorrow we'll try again, or maybe we'll wait a few weeks. Oh, and when she had her pureed apples for dinner, she gagged on that too. So maybe it's just a gaggy day. Or maybe she doesn't like pureed apples or Veggie Puffs that kinda/sorta dissolve in her mouth. I'll let you decide...by watching this video! That's right, I'm the Dad who videotapes their daughter choking on sweet potato Veggie Puffs. And if you don't like it, then don't watch the video (but I highly recommend that you do)!

PS - Sorry for the long video, but unedited video is just that much easier to post. Plus, it's totally worth watching the entire thing. At least we think so. Don't forget to check out other videos on my YouTube page too!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Diaper Power

Sleeping through the night is a great thing. It really is. It let's the entire family not worry about waking up for anything for a solid 8 hours (or 10 hours if you sleep like Kaylani did last night). But the real fun is the next morning, and it's not just because we're well rested. It's not just because Kaylani greets us with a great big smile when we open her door and hover over her crib. It's not just because Mommy and Daddy feel completely relaxed and at ease. It's because our baby weighs about 10 lbs heavier then she did the night before.

Now, there are plenty of reasons Kaylani could gain weight over night, but only a few that would explain a weight gain of up to 10lbs. It's possible that she ate the monkey doll that we put in her crib with her at night now, but that wouldn't make much sense since the monkey only weighs 1/2 a pound or so. I mean, I guess it could have changed into something much heavier once it got inside her, but that would be unlikely.

She could have eaten the shirt off her back, literally. But I think that would pose much more problems than eating the doll. I mean, she'd have to figure out a way to get the shirt off, which requires her figuring out how to get it over her fat head.

It's also possible that she ate one of her own arms, but then I don't think she would have gained any weight since the arm was originally part of her weight. Plus, I hope she never knows what Coyote Ugly is, or more specifically, I hope she never has to actually experience it (probably will be impossible for her to be in a situation like that since she'll be locked up in her room until she's 30 anyways).

So I guess the only real reason she could have added 10lbs to her weight overnight would be due to the ridiculous amount of pee that she pumped into her diaper. Seriously, there are mornings when the diaper is starting to fall off of her when I pick her up because it's so heavy. These are the same times that I put a dent in the floor after throwing the diaper in the garbage. I mean, they're so wet (how wet are they?) that they leave wet pee outlines on the changing table if I put it down just for a second.

This may sound gross, but I wouldn't change a 10lb pee diaper for anything in the world (well, I would change it, but not CHANGE it). If she's got a 10lb pee diaper, then it probably means she slept for a solid 8+ hours. Or it could mean that we're mean parents and let her sit in her own pee all day instead of changing her, but that sounds mean so let's just stick with the 8+ hours of sleep scenario. So keep sleeping Kaylani, and I'll keep posting pictures like tonight. Check em out and hope Kaylani keeps on sleeping!