Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Missing Out

After my week off, I'm back to work. Back to early mornings. Back to commuting to work. Back to getting home late. And most importantly (or sadly), back to missing out on Kaylani time.

Yesterday, I got home around 6 (not late) and got to spend a little bit with Kaylani. As most working parents know, spending time after work is mainly around dinner, bath time, and bed time. If we're lucky, we can also squeeze in a little bit of play time in there (which we did yesterday...kinda unknowingly since we lost track of time). Today though, no such luck.

Today, Kaylani slept in until 7:45am, which was about 5 minutes after I had already left for work. To make matters worse, I'm on a 5:43pm train home from NYC, which means I won't get home until around 7pm, or likely after Kaylani is on her way to dreamland. Sure I'll get to see her to say good night, but there will definitely be no sneaking in play time today. And that's not even the worst part.

Word from Mommy is that Kaylani stood on her own for a solid 3 seconds today! That's a pretty big accomplishment if you consider the longest she's stood on her own used to be one second...if we counted real quick. It definitely sucks to miss out on things like this. I've felt this way before (like when I missed out on her rolling over for the first time), and I'm sure it won't be the last time I'm going to miss out. I'm just hoping it feels worse now because I got used to seeing her do things last week.

Last week, I got to see her learn to feed herself with a fork or a spoon. I saw her learn to touch her head when we asked where her head was. I saw her touch our stuffed bear's (Goofy) nose and eyes when we prompted her. Saw her row, row, row her boat when we sang for her. Even saw her learn to "Moooo" when we asked her what a cow said (or any animal). Now, I'll be lucky if I see her do anything for the first time. From now on, her firsts will have to be at night, on the weekends, or over vacation/holidays.

Maybe the timing will work out for a few things, but my guess is that they won't. I sound like I'm complaining, but I'm actually not. These are the things that come along with being a working parent. Its a dirty job, but someone's got to do it! And after being a SAHD last week, let's just say I'm glad its me...no matter how good Kaylani was for me. When it comes down to it, Mommy is way better at being a stay at home parent than I am. Let's put it this way: it may be hard to miss out, but its just as hard not to!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Back to reality

Tomorrow, Mommy, Kaylani, and me all go back to reality. A reality where I'll leave every morning by 8am (at the latest) and not get back home until around 6pm. A reality where Mommy will be home with Kaylani all by herself (and her great Mommy friends and Mommy classes). A reality where I'm not longer a SAHD, but instead, just sad. On the bright side, reality means that I still earn a paycheck and can still afford the roof over our heads and the diapers on Kaylani's bottom. And since we need a LOT of diapers for Kaylani's bottom, I guess reality isn't all too bad. Plus, we sure had a blast while it lasted!

We finished off my SAHD week in grand fashion. Friday night, Mommy and I went out for our first date since Kaylani was born. We went to Catch a Rising Star Comedy Club in Princeton and then out to TGI Fridays (ahh the suburb life) to watch the end of the Yankees-Red Sox game. The show at the comedy club was alright. Not the best, but definitely good enough. It actually made me want to pursue my undeveloped dream of being a stand up comic that I had from years ago. I used to think that I would have enough material between my mom and Mommy, but now that Kaylani is with us, I just might have enough material to last a solid 3 (5 minute) shows. But since having another "job" would take away from my time at home, it's likely that my dream will remain undeveloped.

To sum up date night, it was good. Comedy Club was perfect because we didn't have that much of a chance to talk about Kaylani. Not that we didn't want to talk about Kaylani, but the rules of parent date night are that you're supposed to focus on the date, not the parent part. Since it was our first time out, you can bet we didn't stick to the rules strictly. Maybe next time...whenever that is.

To wrap up my SAHD week, we took Kaylani to the Aquarium again, and again, she had a great time. This time, I actually think she had a better time and knew what she was looking at. She was much more likely to say "ishhh" to all the fish swimming by and banged on the glass with much more force. Part of it could be that she was wearing shoes and could stand on ledges and bang on the glass instead of having to be carried, but I'm pretty sure she just remembered from last time too because she's growing. She didn't grow too much though since she was still afraid of the "water people", but again, who wouldn't be afraid of people banging on the glass back at you next to fish. Luckily the memories didn't carry over into swim class this afternoon. Mommy was a little afraid that she'd think there were fish in the pool with her. Guess she's not that grown up to put that together.

Anyways, she's now fast asleep, and soon, we'll follow and go to sleep ourselves. We've all got big days tomorrow. Personally, I'm excited to be starting a new job and looking forward to the challenge, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad to be going back to work. Being home this week let me spend all types of time with my girls in their natural routines (unlike vacation) and it was a great thing to be a part of. It'll be tough to go back to work, but just so we're clear, work is way easier than being a stay at home parent. Trust me, I know from experience...even if it was only a week!

Oh, and check out these pictures from the last week. I didn't post all week, so there are pictures from the cake Mommy and Kaylani bought me for my last day at Rosetta, Little Gym, random times around the house, and the aquarium today. Enjoy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

SAHD Week: Day 5 - 300th Post!

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Today is the 5th and final day of my SAHD week. Monday starts a new era in my professional career, and I'm just glad I got to spend a whole week at home with Mommy and Kaylani before doing so. Part of me thinks Mommy is glad that I'm going back to work...but we'll get into that in a little bit. First off, let me get some blog business out of the way.

Today marks the 300th post into The Daddy Diaries. I started this way back on 11/6/08, or 2 days before Kaylani was actually born. I wrote my first 100 posts in 102 days. I wrote my second 100 posts in 98 days (not sure how that happened). And here I am, writing my third 100 posts over the course of 121 days. Sensing a trend? Okay, it's not so much a trend, but this last 100 posts took significantly longer for me to write. Part of it was due to some writers block, but most of it was due to the amount of time I had to write. When given the opportunity to spend more time with Kaylani or write a post, I chose Kaylani. Thanks for all of you who have stuck around, who've been around since the beginning, or those who just pop in every now and then. Now, I bring you back to our regularly scheduled blog post.

We started our day around 7:15am today, or somewhere in the middle of early and normal. Kaylani actually woke up a little before 6. We had no idea why, but when Mommy went to change her this morning, we knew exactly why. Apparently Kaylani had a little bit of a Code Brown in her sleep. Nothing major by any means, but enough to send her pajamas straight to the wash. Breakfast went well (peach oatmeal banana and scrambled eggs and cheese with toast). Around 9:30, it was naptime. It didn't go quite as well as yesterday, but after 20 minutes, she was out for a solid hour (or enough time to watch Project Runway).

For class today, we had Little Gym, and Daddy went on a solo mission. Mommy took the opportunity to clean out her closet and then go get a massage. Little Gym was fun. For those who don't know, it's basically gymnastics for babies (and toddlers). We learned how to do back flips (there was some fancier name I don't remember), forward rolls, and to hang onto a baby bar. Then hanging part was the funniest since most babies do a "dead hang" straight down. Kaylani decided to do a "girl pull-up" (where she keeps her chin on top of the bar). Amazing upper body strength, but she cried through the whole thing. Silly baby.

After class, Kaylani, Sonia, Aadi, Sheena, Haley, and I all went to lunch nearby. It was a gorgeous day so we sat outside, had our lunch (pizza for me, pizza and peas and brown rice for Kaylani) and just chatted. This was a life I could get used to! The day was going great so far, but the part I dreaded most was coming up: afternoon nap without Mommy.

Around 1:50pm, it was time. I fixed up a 4oz bottle (you know, in case she decided she'd want some although she still only drinks an ounce or two) and we went upstairs. After about 15 minutes, 1.5 ounces of milk, and a whole lot of struggle, bottle time was over. I took Kaylani into our room, swung her around for a few minutes, and when she pushed off of me, that was it. Into the pack and play she went. I made my peace with her, kissed her a few times, laid her down from the standing position a few times, and then left. After 5 minutes, it was a miracle...she was sleeping! Couldn't believe it.

Kaylani ended up sleeping for 1.5 hours, or enough time for me to clean the garage and the shed. When Mommy called to check in, she said a few choice words (not clean enough to be mentioned here). I mean, of course she was happy that Kaylani napped and made it easy for Daddy. She wasn't happy when I said "this stay at home stuff is easy! What do you do all day?" I, of course, was joking.

The rest of the day went great. Yin Yin and Yea Yea are actually here and they're going to "watch" Kaylani while Mommy and Daddy sneak out for a "date" at a comedy club. I say "watch" because we're actually about to put Kaylani to sleep, and since she sleeps for 12 hours usually, the only thing they'll have to do is check out the video monitor every now and then...hopefully. Yin Yin asked what she should do if Kaylani cries. We weren't exactly sure how to answer because she hasn't done it!

Anyways, it's time for me to go say good night to Kaylani for the last time and hope she stays asleep. I sure hope it's a lot better than the last time we tried to go out on a date. Wish us luck! Other than Tommy and Gretchen's wedding, this will be the first time Mommy and I have been out without Kaylani. Oh man, I hope she stays asleep...for all of our sakes.

But before I go, don't forget that it's Fatherhood Friday over at Dad-Blogs! Check out all the great posts over there from the dads and moms in that great community. You won't regret it! I know I never do!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

SAHD Week: Day 4 - "LIVE!"

It's Day 4 in this 5 day SAHD week, and I think it's a perfect day to do another "live" post. I haven't done one since Baltimore, so follow along a day in the life of this "SAHD." Warning: results may not be typical for all SAHD's, SAHM's, babies, or people in general.

6am - Its 6am and Kaylani has started making noise. Its a little early, even for her. Wonder if the broccoli we gave her last night made her gassy...

6:30 - She's still making noise but she's not crying. No crying means no movement from us.

6:55 - Only sporadic noise coming out of the monitor now. A quick glance over to the video monitor confirms that she's definitely sitting up. She's made enough noise to get me out of bed...to use the bathroom anyways (damn you morning bladder).

7:04 - Ok, she's crying enough for an official wake up. Time to get this day started!

7:15 - A quick good morning, shades up, and a change means Kaylani's dry and poop free. Now its Mama time!

7:30 - Now she's all nursed up and ready for some real breakfast. Oh wait, she's gotta be changed since she's a big mess when she eats...with Daddy. Back to Mommy (I suck at picking out clothes)

7:37 - Mommy's heading back to bed and we're headed downstairs. Better get some sleep Mommy cuz you're back on your own next week!

7:40 - In the high chair, basket of toys at the ready, bib on, oatmeal ready, egg boiling on the stove, and a reheated pancake on the side. Let's do this!

7:47 - We're through 1/4 cup of oatmeal, 14 toys (including both toy cell phones...which is bad). Time to bring in the pancake

7:52 - Got a few bites of pancake in before the first chunks went on the floor. Time to hand over a bigger piece. That egg ready yet?

7:57 - Handing her a fork seems to have settled her down a bit. Cool faster egg!

8:04 - We're 1/2 through the pancake, and about 6 bites into egg yolk and Babybel cheese balls. Think I'm starting to lose her

8:07 - Alrighty then. 1/2 pancake, half egg yolk, half cheese, and full on crying. Time to get out

8:12 - Got her to eat 3 more egg and cheese balls while crawling around. Its clean up time! Guess I should start with Kaylani...

8:17 - Crawling and whining. Kaylani's fine, but Daddy needs his coffee. Road trip!

8:30 - And we're back from Dunkin Donuts with coffee for Daddy and a wheat bagel for Mommy and Kaylani. My shy little girl made it just fine, if you count burying her head in my shoulder when people said "Hi" as fine.

8:34 - Was looking for the Country channel on Comcast and flipped to R&B/Soul instead. Was about to change it when I saw Kaylani bopping her head to some Mariah while holding her bagel. Guess we're good here for now!

8:53 - Still standing and bopping while making her way through a 1/4 bagel. Wish I could start every day by drinking my coffee and watching her do this...

8:57 - Just found out Mommy hasn't been sleeping. Silly Mama, you had your chance. Now its nap time!

9:16 - Kaylani's fast asleep. Phew, long day already! Let's see if we can get an episode of Top Chef in before she wakes up

10:40 - Ummm...she's still sleeping. Time to get up Kaylani! We gotta get to Princeton for Music Together class!

10:50 - Seriously...wake up! We've got things to do (and I'm out of shows to watch)

10:53 - And she's up. Maybe she knew it was time. Maybe she got enough sleep. Or maybe Mommy made enough noise in the room as she was trying to get ready

11:03 - In the car waiting to go to class. Everyone but Mommy. 4 hours to herself this morning and she's still late. Go figure

11:15 - "I Loved Her First" just came on the radio. Still touches my heart even though Kaylani was "moooing" and screaming through it

11:30 - Sitting in class with 4 other babies, 4 other moms, and another Dad! Completely surprised...

11:35 - 2 more moms AND another Dad! Even the teacher is surprised there are 3 Dads here. I woulda bet good money that I was going to be the only Dad here. I also woulda lost. Good thing I don't bet...on attendance at Kaylani's classes.

12:30pm - So class is over. Music class is kinda fun. Loud music, singing, dancing, instruments, and a giant mirror all in a small, hot room. Hmmm, that sounds kinda sarcastic, but I'm serious. It was kinda fun! Time for lunch.

12:57 - Found a nice checkerboard table in the park to have lunch with Sonia and Aadi. We've got 2 toys for Kaylani. Let's see how this goes.

1:22 - Done with lunch. Kaylani did pretty well. She ate a jar of Chicken Mango Risotto, a bunch of my shepherds pie, and 2 of Mommy's french fries, and it only took 1 toy (and a plastic spoon and fork) to get it done.

1:25 - Just when we thought she was done, we got in 3 more bites of shepherds pie and half a container of Aadi's yogurt. Gooooo fat baby!

1:33 - Walked by a baby boutique and overheard Mommy saying she wouldn't spend a lot of money on an outfit for Kaylani because she'd grow out of it too quickly. Yesssss, my 4 year brainwashing plan is finally coming to life.

1:47 - After 10 minutes of crying in the car, Kaylani passed out. Thought we could make it home so she could nurse before naptime. Guess not.

1:58 - Successfully transferred her from the car to her playroom asleep in her carseat. Now what do we do?

2:28 - We're halfway through Eastwick right now and Kaylani's still sleeping (I know, tough life). On an off topic, Wednesday night TV might be the best night (pending Survivor and Greys tonight). Modern Family, Cougar Town, Top Chef, Glee, and Eastwick? By the way, I am not a middle aged woman, 25-49. I just happen to enjoy the same shows as them.

2:37 - Why oh why do I constantly jinx Kaylani's naptime? Every time I do one of these "live" posts, Kaylani wakes up within 10 minutes of me saying she's still sleeping. Oh well, at least she got in a 40 minute nap. At this rate, we may try for 3 naps...or a 6pm bedtime.

2:47 - Sorry Kaylani, but you've gotta watch a few minutes of Eastwick with us. Just until the commercial. Promise!

2:54 - So Kaylani may have almost fell off the couch while she was flipping through an L.L. Bean catalog. Not saying she did or didn't, but at least she didn't actually fall off...you know, if she was close.

2:56 - Mommy thinks she smells poopy. Even asked Kaylani if she was poopy. No answer.

2:59 - Yep, she's poopy. Not just any poopy but woooooweeeee poopy.

3:18 - Poop free and a belly full of more yogurt. Now what? Its kinda hot and humid out to go to a park or the farm. Good thing she's happy crawling around while we figure it out.

3:33 - We're in the playroom playing with anything we can find. Curious George worked for a few minutes, Caps For Sale lasted about 30 seconds. Oddly, the thing she's most entertained with is the puzzle piece she has in her mouth like a pacifier for the last 10 minutes. Odd because she's never even kept a pacifier in her mouth for a long time!

3:38 - Got her to trade the puzzle piece for a cold teething ring. Those top 2 teeth gonna come in anytime soon?

3:53 - Kaylani doesn't like towers so much. Every time I build one she knocks it over. Brings back traumatic memories of kindergarten for me. Damn you Dave White knocking over those blocks on me! Damnnnn youuuuu!

3:58 - Giving in to the temptation and going out for 2nd coffee. We'll work in a grocery trip while we're at it so its a productive trip

4:30 - So it's 4:30. A few days ago we made a modeling consultation appointment for Kaylani at 4:30 today. They found us at the mall and asked if we'd be interested. When they called to confirm the appointment, they said "make sure Kaylani is dressed very nicely. And you guys too. All of you need to make a good first impression! No jeans, no sweatpants." That meant no appointment. See ya later modeling agency. We'll take our cute baby elsewhere on our terms.

4:57 - Done shopping. Our goal was to get some snacks for Kaylani. Here are some of the things we came out with: Multigrain Cheerios, a pear, a nectarine, Polly-O String Cheese, cheese dogs, oatmeal bread, reduced fat Oreos, and american cheese. Not exactly clear which are her snacks and which are ours

5:13 - Mommy's cooking and Kaylani's been occupied by a squirrel who came right against our back door to say hi. Best/cheapest babysitter ever.

5:31 - Just spent 10 minutes playing "In the bucket, out the bucket" with Kaylani. Its a fun game we play where she puts her Little People sheep in the bucket, pulls it out with a big smile, then goes back in the bucket only to find the same sheep there to pull out again! Good times!

5:35 - Alright, let's start dinner time! We're about 30-45 minutes earlier than normal, but Kaylani also napped an hour earlier than normal. Gotta get moving!

5:51 - Finished 1 jar (4oz) of Plum Banana Brown Rice with little problem (which means 10 toys and one of the toy cell phones). Time to move on to some leftover rice!

6:17 - So Kaylani ate a whole (baby) bowl of leftover rice and some pieces of chicken from tonight's dinner before she called it quits on the high chair. Time to let her run free on the floor. Don't worry, she'll be back. They always come back. And by they, I mean Kaylani. Oh, and to make sure we gave her a full bath (with hair washing and everything), she put some rice in her hair before she went. Awesome.

6:31 - Dinner time is now officially over. For the last 10 minutes or so, Kaylani crawled all over the place and ate about 6 more spoonfuls of rice and 3 bites of chicken. We know we shouldn't spoil her and let her eat on her own accord, but hey, she's eating. Anyways, it's bath time!

6:40 - Bath time is over and Kaylani gave us a nice little present. No she didn't doody in the tub...she clapped! Looks like she learned something from Music Together class already! Love the clapping baby. Always reminds me of those little toy monkeys with the cymbals clapping on the street...

6:45 - Teeth are all clean, baby is all dry. Time to diaper her up, PJ her up, and then story her to bed. Oh, and of course, nurse her too (but Mommy will take care of that part).

6:57 - And Daddy's night is done. After reading 2 books (I Love You, Good Night and Buenos Noches a Todos) while Kaylani continued to clap (always nice to feel appreciated), Kaylani blew me a kiss good night, said "g'nigh" and out I went. Now it's all up to Mommy to nurse her and put her down. I take that back. In about 20 minutes or so, I'll go in and rub Kaylani's back as she gets put in her crib. Then, after she looks at me and puts her head back down, my night will be done.

7:28 - Now we're done. Kaylani's fast asleep for the 3rd time today. We ended up not being that much earlier than normal, which is a good thing. Hopefully she'll still sleep until 7:30 tomorrow morning.

And that concludes today's "live" post from this SAHD. I've only got one more day of SAHD-ness left in me for now so you can bet I'm going to take full advantage of it. We've got Little Gym class, then who knows what after that. Whatever it is, I'm sure it'll be good. Thanks for following along today and everyday! See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SAHD Week: Day 3

Day 3 of this 5 part series I'm calling "SAHD Week" was our day "off." Now, all you parents out there know that once you have kids, there's no such thing as a day off. What I mean by a day off is that Kaylani has no scheduled classes (Monday and Wednesday's are her "off" days). These days are actually some of the hardest for Mommy. No classes mean you have to find your own ways to entertain Kaylani. Class typically take 45 minutes to an hour, plus the 15-30 minutes of driving time to and from means that 2 hours of the day is taken up with a class. Today, 2 hours of our day were "free." Here's how it went down.

We started the morning as usual around 7:30am. Mommy's still convinced that me showering at 6:45am on a work day makes Kaylani get up earlier. After 5 straight days me not getting up early for work and of Kaylani sleeping in (or being quiet in her crib) until 7:30am, I think she may be on to something. Anyways, we all had an awesome breakfast of scrambled eggs, bread/toast, and a piece of cheese, with Kaylani eating a whole egg, a whole piece of bread, and a whole piece of cheese (as part of our continued attempts at Operation Fat Baby). With the weather threatening to rain, we decided to skip a planned morning walk and head for a drive during nap time. How convenient!

We drove out to Crate & Barrel outlet and a showroom for one of the companies who gave us an estimate on our basement. After a 45 minute nap, and those 2 stops, we were ready for lunch and a trip to the mall so Mommy could find a dress for an upcoming wedding (more to come on that in a future post since Mommy and Kaylani are "abandoning" me for a week). At lunch, Kaylani sat with us and ate a half of a slice of pizza and half of a crust too. As you can see, we only feed Kaylani the healthiest of foods. Then, it was a quick trip to Princeton so Daddy could get his haircut, and then we were back home again. After an hour of playing and a yogurt snack (more food), Kaylani went down for a nap.

Nap time today lasted 2 shows, I mean an hour and a half, which was enough for Mommy and Daddy to watch 2 shows (90210 and Gossip Girl...only the best entertainment for us). When Kaylani got up, it was more playing in the playroom, then dinner (pasta with meat sauce), and now we just finished bedtime. Kaylani's out like a light already, which just goes to show just how tiring today was.

Maybe it was the fact that we were out and about for most of the day, or the fact that Kaylani slept for an hour and a half this afternoon, but today seemed like it flew by (which is a good thing). Or maybe it's that I'm getting used to this SAHD stuff. Or then again, maybe it's just that my first day back to work is quickly coming up. Whatever it is, I've got 2 more days to spend as a SAHD and I'm going to take full advantage of them. Tomorrow we've got Music Together class, and then maybe a trip to the zoo or the aquarium. Friday we've got Little Gym, and then who knows what else before dinner out. Part of me hopes they go by slowly, and the other part of me hopes they go by quickly. One thing I know is that come Monday, they'll definitely have gone by too quickly...for all of us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SAHD Week: Day 2

So here we are. Day 2 of SAHD week, which is anything but sad. It's not sad, but it sure is tiring. I think Mommy put it best today when she saw me looking completely drained around 3pm. "It's tiring when your brain doesn't work all day right?" It was a funny thing to say, and could even be seen as an insult to stay at home parents all over, but it's true. At least in our case.

You would think we had nothing to be tired about. Mommy passed out last night around 10:30pm, and I fell asleep shortly after (with the Yankees game on) around 11:30pm. We both slept the night until Kaylani woke us up around 7:30am. Do the math and it means we got 9 and 8 hours of sleep respectively, which for me, is more than I would get if I was working. The morning went by quickly with breakfast (blueberry pancakes) and then some play time before nap time (which thankfully was much easier today with Kaylani falling asleep after 20 minutes). During nap time, we met with a basement contractor to see about getting things finished (hoping to make a decision and get ourselves a basement before her 1 year birthday).

Conveniently, Kaylani slept the entire visit and right up until it was time to meet Sonia and Aadi for lunch before Gymboree class. Gymboree was a lot of fun, with Kaylani crawling and walking (with our help) up and down some padded mats/ramps/toys, and wasn't that tiring since she clung to us for awhile instead of running off by herself. After class, we made a quick trip to Whole Foods, and then it was home for a yogurt and a nap. Thankfully again, Kaylani went down like a log and nap time was on. That's when Mommy made the "tiring without the brain" comment to me.

Looking back on it, we really hadn't done that much. We stayed at home, Kaylani napped once, we drove to a few places to have lunch and errands, and then that was it. It was 3:30pm and I was exhausted. Normally at work, it'd have to be a really tough day for me to be wiped out by 3:30pm (or a really bad day). At work, I could be in meetings, on the phone, writing a presentation, or digging through data for hours on end, and I'd still truck on through until 5 or 6pm without a problem. Sure I'd be pretty tired when I got home, but today was a different type of tired.

I think it comes down to being the type of person that can handle being a stay at home parent, or stay at home anything for that matter. Maybe I'd get used to it over time, but so far, 2 days has not been enough to adjust to being a stay at home dad. Again, I love spending the time with Kaylani and Mommy, but I just don't think I'm cut out for it. Mommy didn't think she was cut out for it either, but she's much better at it (or much more used to it). What I'm trying to say is, kudos to all of you stay at home people out there. And to Mommy especially, thanks for doing what you do. Kaylani and I both appreciate it more than you'll ever know!

Monday, September 21, 2009

SAHD Week: Day 1

For the first time since Kaylani was born, I'll be playing the role of a SAHD, or a stay at home dad. I am in the middle of switching jobs (goodbye Rosetta agency/consulting life...hellooooo Johnson & Johnson brand marketing!) and we had decided that it'd be best if I took a week off in between for a few reasons. First of all, I've never really done it before. I've switched jobs 3 times now, and each time I've gone right into the next one. Second of all, I wanted to spend some more time with Kaylani and Mommy. Sure I spend most nights and every weekend with them, but I've never seen her daily/weekly routine at home. And lastly, we've got a ton of stuff to do around the house, and getting things done at night or on the weekend just doesn't happen.

Here's how day 1 shook out. Kaylani woke up around 6:45am (as usual), but hung out in her crib playing by herself until around 7:30am. At 7:30am, I played the role of hero and got my favorite morning hug. Next, she nursed, then sat in the bathroom as I showered. So far, nothing different than when I was working. After the shower, we played for a little bit until breakfast was ready (REAL Quaker Oats oatmeal instead of her baby oatmeal), and then ate, and played some more. Then came the first challenge of the day.

The hardest part of Mommy's days are nap time. Sometimes they'll go well and she'll fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for at least an hour. Other times, like today, she'll cry for 40 minutes and not actually fall asleep. To be completely honest, I wasn't around for the first 30 minutes because I had to drop off some stuff to wrap up my job, but when I came home, we called it quits. Instead of trying to get her to nap, we packed her up and headed for the mall to get some errands done. Thankfully, she slept for 30 minutes. Unfortunately, 30 minutes wasn't enough.

After a quick lunch at the food court (where Kaylani ripped pieces of bread up and threw 2 out of every 3 on the floor instead of eating them), we walked around and did some shopping. For 3 hours, we walked and for the most part, Kaylani was well behaved. She didn't nap like we had hoped, but she only freaked out towards the end. We couldn't really blame her since we were in the damn Verizon store for an hour waiting for them to set up our phones (we both got new Blackberry Tours because they were buy one, get one free). Then, she freaked out because she wanted to play with our phones, but we all know that Blackberries are not for babies.

After another trip to the food court so Kaylani could eat a snack and nurse, we headed home. Thankfully, Kaylani passed out again, and unfortunately, it was only for 30 minutes again. At home, we let her run free finally, but since she had only slept an hour on the day, she was more about crawling/climbing/clinging to us. Around 6pm, it was time for dinner, bathtime, and finally, bedtime.

All in all, day 1 was pretty much as I expected it. It was rough at times, it was long, but it was still great to spend the entire day with Kaylani (and Mommy). Day 2 brings on Daddy's first Gymboree class! Hopefully naptime will go a bit better so she's rested up for class. If it doesn't, at least Mommy will be glad that I got to experience just a taste of her life. Either way, it's just a glimpse, and already I'm extremely appreciative of Mommy for everything she does for us. I never thought I could be more appreciative, but this week might just prove me wrong. We'll see!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's contagious

Kids pick up all types of things in their daily lives. Sometimes, you're not even sure where they pick it up from. And the only thing you know is that it's probably contagious, so it's gonna get them and you. Well luckily for us, the only thing Kaylani's given us is her laughter. We have no idea what happened to her, but she broke into a laughing fit today that was extremely contagious.

We were winding down a long, fun weekend with Jes and Brian who came into town to visit. After Kaylani finished 2 jars of baby food, plus a ton of chicken and rice (she was a little piggy today), she just started laughing. No idea why, but just the cutest little laughter she could give. To top it all off, she had a piece of chicken stuck to the top of her gums which made it look like she had her 2 top teeth. After a few minutes, she was still laughing and Mommy and I couldn't help but join in.

For the next 10 minutes, we just sat at the dinner table and laughed. We tried to video tape her, but as usual, she got a little camera shy and calmed down just a little bit. All in all, it was a great end to this weekend. We couldn't have asked for a better time on Saturday and Sunday, and Kaylani made us look like the best parents in the world by behaving like the best baby in the world. Let's hope that behavior is contagious for awhile now. But if it's not, at least we'll always have her laughter.

While it's not the original laughter that got us all started, here's a video that we took when we stopped laughing long enough to grab the camera. I sure hope it brings a little bit of laughter into your life. If it doesn't, then you'll just have to come by for the live show!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Double Dipping

We can only teach Kaylani so much at one time. She has learned a lot already, but she's got so much to go before she'll be fully accepted into society. While she may be pretty darn cute, it's all an act. Underneath it all, she's a heathen. She's unfit for public restaurants. She could even be considered...disgusting. And all of this is within the safety of our own home. Imagine what would happen if we went out in public?

What I'm talking about is Kaylani's new love of double dipping. I guess the typical definition of double dipping doesn't really apply here since she's not biting a piece off of anything and then dipping the bitten edge back into something, but it's her own form of double dipping. Frankly, it's even grosser than the typical way. Let's walk through it using tonight's dinner as an example.

Tonight, Kaylani started off having split pea and carrot soup. Nothing too eventful happened during the 15 minutes and 17 toys it took us to get through 1/2 a jar. But when we switched to pieces of actual chicken, that's when it started. It was going well at first. We'd put down a small piece of chicken. She'd pick it up and put it her mouth. She'd chew on it for a bit, then swallow, and we'd start over again. But after about 8 or 9 pieces of chicken, she got tired. Or bored. Or just wanted to be gross.

After a few chews of her chicken, she would make some noises, move around a lot, stick her whole hand in her mouth, and then give one spit and out would come the remainder of a piece of chicken. Thankfully it landed on her table. After staring at it, and then up at us with a smile on her face, she'd move the chicken around, and then put it right back in her mouth. Gross! In fact, Mommy, who has a terrible gag reflex when she sees Kaylani gagging or spitting things up, couldn't even bare to watch. I personally thought she was being quite the conservationist (is that a word?). Gross, but quite conservative.

I guess we shouldn't complain because she's eating. Some day down the road we'll teach her table manners (or we'll learn not to give her big pieces of chicken). One way or another, we'll get her fit for the public eye. And to show you fit she is, here are some pictures from the last couple of days. I promise, there are no pieces of half eaten, regurgitated chicken. There are some great pictures from Little Gym, Kaylani's first trip on a fire truck, and a playdate she just had with her friend Aadi! Oh, and if you have an extra second, check out my latest Sports IllustraDad post at Dad-Blogs about an adorable little girl who ruined her Dad's lifelong dream of catching a foul ball, or my new fear for Kaylani's toddler years.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Baby Story

Not surprisingly, I have no problems talking about Kaylani. Some way or another, Kaylani works her way into pretty much every conversation I have. It's like I can't even have a conversation without bringing her up. Does my life even exist without her? I'm thinking no. Here are a few recent examples:

Example #1: Today at a client meeting (one of my last...sigh), my client was talking about her 2 American Bulldogs that she had to pick up from the vet. She came to the decision with her fiance that he would drop them off, but she would pick them up so that way she wasn't associated with the "procedure" that they were being left to. That's a perfectly normal story that had nothing to do with me. What did I do? I said I felt the same way when Mommy makes me hold Kaylani when she gets shots at the pediatrician (but on the losing end of course since I'm the one who actually has to hold her). Related? Sure. But was it really necessary to bring Kaylani up?

Example #2: I have a coworker, Amanda, who likes to use words that only people who got an 800 Verbal score on the SATs wouuld know. She came in to my office saying she had just taught Danika a new word. What did I do? I told her she should teach Kaylani some new words because she only knows how to say "mamamama", "papapapa", and "ishhhhh" real well. Could I just have called her a nerd and moved on? Oh wait, I did call her a nerd. Couldn't I just have moved on?

Example #3: I was at the Yankees game the other day watching Derek Jeter tie the all time Yankees hit record held by Lou Gehrig. As soon as he did it (in the 7th inning), we all stood up and went wild cheering. Then I said to the guy next to me, "Holy cow Derek Jeter is the greatest Yankee of all time! Did you know my baby has 2 teeth and poops twice a day?"

Okay, so example #3 didn't actually happen (she only poops once a day so I would never lie and say twice), but the other 2 are examples that have actually happened in the last 2 days. I'm sure there were plenty more, but the point is, Kaylani has consumed my entire life. As another point, this blog has allowed me to express my adventures with Kaylani. If you add them together, that means that this blog is my entire life. So if you read this blog regularly and run into me sometime in the near future, just tell me you already know everything about Kaylani and I'll just sit there quietly instead of telling you stories that you already know. Without Kaylani, I might not be anything at all, but with her, I'm the happiest Dad alive. And that's the only story that matters.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Does this count as potty training?

Kaylani's only 10 months old. That's young. We're nowhere near official potty training, which is good since we have a brand new box of diapers sitting in her closet. But tonight, Kaylani gave us a glimpse into the life of potty training...kinda.

We were getting ready for bathtime which consisted of Kaylani getting undressed down to her diaper and then racing Mommy or Daddy back to the bathroom. Once there, Daddy took off her diaper to get her ready for the bath, but had a nice little poop surprise. After a poopy Kaylani up on his lap, he put Kaylani down so she could stand next to the tub as he adjusted the water. All of a sudden, something new happened. Something unexpected. Something...wet.

As Kaylani was standing next to the tub, she proceeded to pee. Now, I might not be a girl, but I'm pretty sure that girls aren't supposed to pee standing up. In fact, isn't it the one thing that girls complain about? The fact that they CAN'T pee standing up? If that's it, then let me tell you, it can be done! Okay, so she may have peed all down her leg and made a big mess on the bath mat, but she peed standing up!

Needless to say, Kaylani got to spend a little extra time in the tub today getting her bottom half scrubbed down...twice. Maybe this is the start of potty training. We can take off her diaper and hold her over the toilet to see if she'll go. Then again, maybe it was just a fluke accident and it won't happen again. We're hoping it's a fluke accident, because if standing naked makes her pee, then we'll have to replace our bathmats with disposable pee mats. Oh well, at least it's the guest bathroom!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Guessing Game

Whenever I come home from work, one of the questions I ask Mommy is "what did Kaylani (and you) have for lunch?" The answer is usually either direct ("harvest turkey dinner"), non-descript ("one of those turkey things"), or not answered ("don't ask..it was a bad day"). Since Kaylani is also eating pretty much everything we're eating as well, any one of those answers (except maybe the last one) could include things like bread, chicken, peas, beef, etc. That's where "the guessing game" comes in.

It's not that I ask Kaylani had for lunch when I come home just because I want to know (especially on a "not answered" day). I ask because it usually will sway the dinnertime decision. More importantly though, I ask to avoid playing "the guessing game" later on that night. For those of you unfamiliar with "the guessing game", let me fill you in.

"The guessing game" is something we play after Kaylani poops, and there are 2 parts. The first part is "guess if Kaylani actually pooped or not." That's the easy part. Taking a peek in back, or through the leg, usually tells us if we were right or wrong. The 2nd part of the "game" is the harder part. That's when we try and guess what Kaylani ate to make her poop look like it does. For instance, last night, Kaylani's poop was red. Not red like there was blood in it, but just tinted red throughout. After racking our brains to try and guess what could have caused it, we ended on watermelon. While we're not sure that was the cause, it sure was a better guess than mashed potatoes, green beans, or turkey.

While this game may sound disgusting to some, it's just another part of parenthood that we've fully embraced. In fact, while changing Kaylani's poopy diaper tonight, Mommy came over to see if she had to guess again. Since the poop was just plain brown, there was no game tonight (ah the exciting lives of parenthood). It reminds me of a scene from Baby Mama which we just watched this weekend. A baby comes in with brown stuff on her arm. The mom asks if it's chocolate or poop, and without hesitation, licks it. With a smile on her face, she goes "it's chocolate"! The other sister, throughly disgusted, says a bunch of things in disbelief, but turns out, that's what parenthood is all about. That scene hit home pretty hard. We're parents now, and that's something we know for sure.

In the middle of the night...

I always knew that parenting included being up in the middle of the night to take care of my baby. I knew that it would be hard work, but that my body would adjust to the long days and nights eventually. What I didn't know is that my body would adjust...unnecessarily. For the 6th straight night, here I am. Awake in the middle of the night. All by myself. Where's Kaylani? Oh, she's sleeping in her crib. Did she cry and cause me to wake up? Nope, just me. Just me and my overactive brain. I used to think my overactive brain would help me be a better parent because I'd be up in the middle of the night anyways. So much for that thought.

I've actually learned a few things over the course of the last week. First off, it's REALLY quiet and dark between the hours of 1am and 6am. Okay, I guess I already knew that, but never quite realized HOW quiet and HOW dark it was. The second thing I learned is that Kaylani talks a lot in her sleep. I knew she moved a lot since she's always in a different position every time I look at the monitor, but I never realized how much she talks. If she talks this much in her sleep now, I'm afraid to think about how much she's going to talk in 13 years. Yikes. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

Over the course of a few hours, Kaylani will make a few noises. Sometimes it's a little cry which makes me think she's going to wake up (but she doesn't). Other times it's a sigh. And the best times are when she just babbles a little bit (blah blah mamama papapapa) and then goes silent again. It's not long enough or loud enough for our monitor to pick it up (thankfully so it doesn't wake us Mommy up), but it's definitely loud enough for me to hear when I'm sitting in the guest room/office in the middle of the night.

Hopefully her sleeptalking doesn't mean she's not getting enough rest at night. I figure if she's only making a few noises over the course of a couple of hours, it's not that big of a deal. Plus, she's still sleeping (or playing/talking quietly in her crib for all we know) for 11-12 hours a night, so I bet she's okay. Whatever she does, I just hope she's not up for 4 hours in the middle of the night now or in the future. I wouldn't wish that upon anyone else...and especially not my little girl.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Go Fish!

After last weekends trip to the zoo, we decided to embark on another adventure to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden today. Actually, we had planned on going to the Yankees game, and then to Aidan's 1st birthday party, but the weather deterred us from the game, and Kaylani acting a bit sick deterred us from the birthday party (wouldn't want to be that kid who gets all the other kids sick). Apparently Kaylani acting a bit sick didn't deter us from going to the aquarium though, but chances are she had a better chance of getting sick there than getting anyone else sick, right? Anyways, it was Kaylani's first trip to the aquarium, and I think she liked it!

We knew from her fascination with the sea otters last week that she would love the aquarium so today really just confirmed our thoughts. It was a little bit harder for her to see all the fish since some of them were real small and the whole place was kinda dark, but when she did see them, she sure did love them! She banged on the glass in delight each time a giant shark or fish would swim by her. She'd shriek and say "ishhhh" whenever a bright colored fish would come near her. She said "ishhh" when the penguin followed her every movement ("ishhh" could mean "penguin" too right?). And she even stared at the hippo as it ate hay and wiggled its giant ears.

But she didn't like everything at the aquarium. Actually, the part she didn't like the most was the people. Well, she loved looking at the people and kids that were at the aquarium. It was the people IN the aquarium that she didn't like. When one of the staff all dressed up in his wetsuit swam over to her area of the glass and tapped on it, she immediately backed away. He tried to wave at her and smile through his mask, but she wanted nothing to do with him. Frankly, I don't blame her. Giant sharks, turtles, and fish? Cool. Old man in a wetsuit? Pretty scary.

We capped off our trip with a stop at the gift shop, but didn't end up buying anything. We tried to get Kaylani to pick between a purple hippo or a turtle, but she was more interested in the shelf full of frogs. And just when we thought we'd be going home with a new stuffed frog, she threw that on the ground too. Guess we saved ourselves $15...this time.

Anyways, I'm kinda picture crazy right now, so here are pictures from today's trip to the aquarium and her breakfast adventure with pancakes bananas. The picture quality at the aquarium is not the best since I haven't figured out how to take good pictures in the dark with or without a flash, but check em out anyways. Oh, and here's a video just for kicks too. Enjoy!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sounds like...

Lately, Kaylani's been babbling sounds that sound more and more like words each day. The first time she says something, we kinda dismiss her and say "nah, there's no way she could have said (insert word here)" because after all, who can say "snuffleufagus" after the first time they hear it. The second time she says something, we say "wow, that sure did sound a lot like (insert word here)", even if it sounded more like "snooooooooflplbbbbt" instead of "snuffleufagus." But the third time she says something, it sure does sound like (insert word here). Note: she's never even come close to saying snuffleufagus and I'm not entirely convinced Mommy could even say it.

The sounds that she makes that actually sound like the word she's trying to say are "good night", "horse", "apple", "hola", and "fish". I'll have to get a video of her saying them, but for now, here's the written transcript of Kaylani's attempt at words:

Actual word(s): Good Night
Kaylani: G' naaa

Actual word: Horse
Kaylani: Hawrssseee

Actual word: Apple
Kaylani: Ah-puh

Actual Word: Hola
Kaylani: Oh-wah

Actual Word: Fish
Kaylani: Ishhhhhh

Some of them are pretty close. My favorite is "G' naaa" because she says it to me after the last line of "I Love You, Good Night". Funny part is she'll say it again when I leave the room before she nurses, and then again when I see her in the morning. Then, when I say, "no, not good night...good MORNING" she just stares at me. Okay, not as funny as it is cute, but whatever. Anyways, I'm sure she'll get it right one of these, but in the meantime, check out these pictures from the last couple of days, including a belated posting of her 10 month birthday pictures. Oh, and don't forget to check out Dad-Blogs for the latest postings on Fatherhood Friday! Enjoy, and happy Friday!

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Take advantage of the mornings

There are some nights that I miss seeing Kaylani go to bed, and last night was one of them. I was out at work event in the city and didn't get home until way after Kaylani was silently asleep. To make matters worse, yesterday was Kaylani's 10 month birthday and I missed it! Well, the night part of it at least. Luckily, I got to spend a few minutes with her in the morning.

It was about 7:15am and I was ready to leave for work. Thinking that Kaylani was going to sleep in until around 8am, I figured I was going to miss my shot to see her and give her a hug before I had to go so I stared at the video monitor for a little bit. To my surprise (and Mommy's dismay), Kaylani made some peeps and sat up crying. I gave her a few minutes to see if she was going to pass out again, and when she didn't, I was in! I picked up my little girl, gave her a nice big hug, said Happy Birthday, and got to changing her.

It's always great to start the day off like that, and even better when I don't get to end the day like that. Sometimes, you just have to take advantage of the morning. Other times, you should take advantage of the night. It's 3:40am right now so I guess you can consider this taking advantage of the night (or not taking advantage of sleeping at night). I'm headed back to bed, but I wanted to make sure I said Happy 10 Month Birthday Kaylani officially...even if it is a little late. Tomorrow I'm going to miss bedtime again, so Kaylani, if you can hear me typing and make out the words, wake up around 7:30am so I can see you before I leave. Thanks!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Animals don't get Labor Day off...

Animals don't get Labor Day off, but fortunately, I did! So since I was off and the animals weren't, we decided to pack up and head to the Philadelphia Zoo. The last time we were at the zoo, Kaylani was just a little over 5 months old and fit snuggly into the Baby Bjorn. And at 5 months, Kaylani wasn't interested in much of anything and probably couldn't see all too far, so it's safe to say that the zoo wasn't overly exciting. This time, on the eve of her 10 month birthday, everything was different.

We started off around 10am with Kaylani in her stroller. Once we rolled into the zoo we realized that the stroller just wasn't going to cut it. And once Kaylani was in Mommy's arms, it meant that she was able to follow Mommy's hand and finger all the way out to every animal we saw. First it was the camel that Kaylani waved at. Then it was the cheetah that Kaylani screamed hello too and bounced in excitement for. Next was the monkeys, and the ducks, and the rhino, and all the other animals.

The best part was seeing Kaylani's eyes light up every time she found the animal. First she'd just be staring off, maybe seeing something, or probably just staring at grass. Then, she'd slowly look around, and when she caught first sight of the animal, she would light up, smile, point, wave, bounce, and say hi in her cute little baby scream. Priceless.

If we had to guess which one was her favorite animal, we'd guess the sea otters since she pounded on the glass every time they swam by her. After seeing that, we knew that she loved to watch them, and also that we need to take a trip to the aquarium sometime soon. She also seemed to really like the cheetahs and the giraffes. Either way, we knew she had a great time and we're excited to go back. Luckily we're members and it's only 40 minutes away so we can go back whenever we want. Well, assuming we have a free weekend that is.

Anyways, my words probably don't do it justice, so check out these pictures we took today. I know I just posted pictures yesterday, but I gotta get these out there (and off my camera since I took 248 pictures). So sit back and enjoy Kaylani's 2nd trip to the zoo! There's even a great sequence of Daddy trying to get out of an egg (it'll make more sense when you see the pictures).

Sunday, September 6, 2009


So it's been a busy couple of days with our friends Jay, Ashley, and Cole in town. I'm even pretty sure Kaylani was the busiest since she just followed Cole around all weekend. Cole would run into another room, and there went Kaylani crawling after him. Cole would play a toy, and there was Kaylani trying to play with the same one. Cole would play with another toy, and there went Kaylani after it too. It's hard work trying to keep up with the older kids!

In any case, the house is back to just the 3 of us now. According to Mommy, Kaylani woke up from her nap and searched the entire house for Cole after we had left for the airport. Coming up empty, she gave Mommy a sad face. Hopefully, they'll come back soon so Kaylani can be happy again. Or Kaylani forgot about it already since we distracted her with toys and her first taste of pizza (which she loved so much that she shoved 8 pieces in her mouth all at once). Either way, she definitely had a great time.

So now that we're back in business, I posted a few backposts to make sure I kept things updated. Check out posts from the last couple of days on Kaylani's guest behavior, or our trip to NYC, or her latest encounters with grass! And when you've read all those, check out these pictures from the last bunch of days. I know they bring a smile to Kaylani's face when she sees Cole. I'm sure they'll do the same for you too. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Get your grass in gear

It was not too long ago that Kaylani was afraid of grass. She hated touching it in any way. Heck, she could barely even stand to look at it without breaking into tears. But today, she showed us that she's not a baby anymore. Well, not when it comes to grass at least.

After a busy day yesterday in the city, we took it easy today and went to Village Park to play on the swings for a little bit. After a few swings in the swing, we thought we'd see if Kaylani was still afraid of the grass. Turns out, she's not! She stood on it (with shoes), sat on it (with long pants), and then even crawled on it! She definitely seemed a little hesitant and would sit back up after putting her hands on it to crawl a few times, but after a few missteps, she was crawling around just fine. Okay, maybe she crawled 5 or 6 lengths quickly so Mommy would pick her up, but either way, she crawled on the grass without crying!

Just goes to show how quickly babies can change. 4 months ago, she hated it. Now, she's just fine. I can't even imagine what 4 months from now will bring along. Man oh man, she's growing up quickly.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Big (Inconvenient) Apple

We finally did it. We ventured out of our safe little suburb and headed into the big city with Kaylani. Sure we've been up there before to Bat Bat and Auntie Shannon's house, or even to Chinatown for a party, but we've never been up there to be tourists. Long story short, it ain't easy being a tourist in NYC. Well, not with a baby at least.

You'd think that we would be pros at getting around the city since we lived there for a year before moving to NJ. You'd also think that Daddy would be even more of a pro since he has an office in NYC that he goes to a few times a month. But if you really think about it, living in the city and traveling to the city previously has nothing to do with the trip we took. Traveling in the city before today didn't involve Kaylani. Traveling in the city before was just the 2 of us driving downtown, or taking the subway, walking the streets, or taking a cab wherever we wanted to go. Traveling in the city before was easy. Traveling the city now, is anything but easy.

Instead of driving into the city like we normally would, we took NJ Transit from Hamilton into NY Penn Station. Kaylani fell asleep about 30 minutes before we got to the city (or an hour after we got on the train) which you would think is a good thing. The problem is that she fell asleep in her stroller. Normally Kaylani napping in her stroller is great. But in the city, strollers are a pain unless you're above ground. And since we were not even close to being above ground, we had to do some searching around for elevators, which is no easy task in NYC.

We found a few elevators to at least get us to the subway to head downtown (conveniently, the elevators already smelled like urine so we didn't have to worry about Kaylani's diaper offending anyone). After making our way downtown, we ran into our first situation: no elevator. Sleeping baby in a stroller + no elevator = ow, our back. We carefully lifted Kaylani up as evenly as we could and headed upstairs. Luckily for us there were only 20 of them this time.

The next part of our trip was wandering around Canal St and Little Italy until we found a restaurant to eat at. NYC is great for people watching because there are tons of people around. NYC is not great for strollers because there are tons of people around. So after pushing our way through hoards of people, we finally found a nice restaurant to park at for a little bit. Surprisingly it even had a changing table (although we assumed they wouldn't and changed her in her stroller the first time).

Next was a walk uptown to From Rice to Riches (Mommy's favorite rice pudding place) and Pinkberry for some dessert, before we took the subway way uptown to FAO Schwartz. Another subway meant more stairs (and no elevator). This time, it was about 30 steps down so we just took the kids out of their stroller. That meant that Kaylani was free on the subway. While she was greatly entertained by all the people staring at her (and equally entertaining to them I'm sure), it also meant she was free to touch things. People, subway railings, walls, and other germ infested things. After making our way out, we wiped her down and were on our way.

FAO Schwartz was completely overwhelming and we didn't even end up buying anything (her 1 year birthday is too close). By the time we finished, it was after 5pm and Kaylani had fallen asleep in her stroller. We took another subway (down 40+ stairs this time), and an escalator (completely illegal with Kaylani sleeping in the stroller) before we got to Penn Station to catch a train 2 minutes before it was leaving (Kaylani was awake by this time). And since it was rush hour on a Friday night, the train was packed and we were split up. Kaylani and Mommy sat next to a guy who luckily didn't mind being poked and thrown Cheerios at by Kaylani, and Daddy sat nearby. About halfway through, we all got a row together and the rest of the ride went fairly well.

All in all, a day trip to the city turned out to be quite a long adventure (kinda like this post). We had a blast and I'm sure Kaylani loved it, but it was amazing to find out just how inconvenient the city is with a baby. No cabs, no elevators, no space, and no breaks. I guess that's the price you pay of living in the city. I'm not sure how people do it. I know plenty of people who love it (like Bat Bat and Auntie Shannon), but I'll take our SUV in our wide roads any day of the week. For us, the city is just fine as a day trip. Well, fine enough I guess!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Your guest behavior

Remember growing up as a kid and meeting your parent's friends or maybe other relatives? Or going out to a nice dinner with your family to a place that probably wasn't "kid friendly"? Were you always told you had to "be on your best behavior or else?" I definitely was told that, so I thought I'd try and tell Kaylani the same thing. We had guests coming for the weekend, and that meant Kaylani had to be on her "best behavior", or her "guest behavior" as I call it.

Jay, Ashley, and Cole came to stay with us from Thursday to Sunday. With Kaylani sleeping for 10-12 hours straight at night ever since we got back from Cape May 2 weeks ago, we thought we'd be all set at nighttime to put Kaylani (and Cole) to bed and then hang out with our friends. Instead, Kaylani had other plans. Kaylani's "guest behavior" means that she wakes up after 4 hours because she knows Mommy or Daddy will come get her so her cries don't disturb our guests. In fact, she knows us so well that she thought she'd start Wednesday night before they even got here just to make sure that we knew what was coming.

It was around 2am when Kaylani woke up for the first time on Thursday morning. After a trip from Daddy and then another trip from Mommy a few minutes later she was back to sleep. The seed had been planted and she had us right where she wanted us. We have no idea what woke her up. Maybe it was gas. Maybe it was teething. Or maybe she really does know that our guests are coming to stay today. I hope I'm wrong, but if history has taught us anything, it's that Kaylani will definitely be on her guest behavior this weekend. Doh!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Trick, no Treat!

It's been challenging, to say the least, to get Kaylani to eat something other than baby food. In fact, it's been challenging to get her to eat at all. Before, we used to just have to act like a clown or rotate through 4 or 5 toys to get her to eat her food. Now, we have to resort to much dirtier tactics, for a much dirtier job. The only way to get her to eat lately is to flat out trick her.

After Kaylani eats a jar of baby food, we usually only get 1 shot to give her something different without any trickery (unless you count slipping in something different while she still thinks it's the same baby food as trickery). If we give her a different baby food from a jar, she may keep going if we rotate through some toys. But if it's real food, then her mouth locks down tighter than a breastfeeding baby latched on to her mom. And the only way we've found to get her to open up is by pretending to give her something she wants to eat (like Cheerios), or by prying her mouth open with a carjack.

Tonight, Mommy made Kaylani a butternut squash and turkey mix, a butternut squash, turkey, and pastina mix, and a bowl of pastina. We hoped that she would eat one of the three, but turns out the pastina was too hard to chew. That meant we were left with blended butternut squash and turkey. After 1 bite, Kaylani decided she'd had enough. But when we took the Cheerios out, all I had to do was hold up a Cheerio in front of her face to get her to open up. Since she can't feed herself yet, she waited for me to put the Cheerio in her mouth. Instead of Cheerio, she got a spoonful of butternut squash and turkey. Trickery successful!

After about 3 spoonfuls, she got a little bit smarter and started to hold my hand with the spoon. But after I switched hands and fed her with my left hand, she ate about 4 more spoonfuls of food before she lashed out for the Cheerio. Then, after getting an actual Cheerio (which she touched and played with to make sure it was an actual Cheerio), she ate a few more spoonfuls of food instead of the Cheerios that she wanted so badly. 15 spoonfuls in, or roughly 2.5oz of food later, she was all done. She was done being tricked.

It's probably unadvised to trick her to eat actual food, but it's the only way we can get her to eat. Hopefully after a few days of this food, she'll eat it willingly since that's how long it's taken usually. But if tricking her is what gets her to eat, then you might as well just call everyday Halloween. Except in this version of Halloween, there are no treats. Not for Kaylani at least.