Saturday, January 31, 2009

Baby Visiting Hours

When we moved back up North from Orlando 2 years ago, we spent many a weekend coming up to Boston. On average, it was probably twice a month that we would make the trip. And usually, twice a month was enough for us to make the rounds and see everyone we wanted to. But since Kaylani, that's all changed.

We've been up here twice in the last 2 weeks, but that trend is not one that will continue. Our tentative plan is to come up every once every 4 to 6 weeks to visit. But it's not the frequency of visits that will be the most drastic change. Instead, it'll be the way we spend our time during our visits.

It's a lot harder to go house to house on a whim now that Kaylani is here. Before we commit to any plans, we have to make sure that Kaylani can get some sleep and there's time and a place set aside so she can nurse. But like today showed, it's hard to plan around Kaylani.

Kaylani woke up at 7:30 am today after only 5.5 hours of sleep (it was a late night last night). And instead of putting her right back down as we normally would have, we chanced it and headed over to Titi Glenda's house. She slept for maybe 30 minutes total by 11:30am, and then it was time for lunch with my family. After lunch, we went to visit Titi Mayte for a bit before heading to Target for a quick errand then home. By 3:30pm, Kaylani had been awake for 7 hours, and asleep for 1 combined, which is not a good ratio. The rest of the day was spent trying to get Kaylani to nap (and playing Guitar Hero World Tour). It was 8:30pm when she finally went to bed for the night. A long day for her turned out to be a short day for us.

We saw 3 "groups" of people in our first "social" visit to Boston, and tired Kaylani out in the process. Unfortunately, we have about 10 "groups" of people in the Boston area that we'd like to see when we come up! And if we're gonna find time for them every 4-6 weeks, we're gonna have to figure out a better baby schedule for Kaylani's visiting hours. And if we don't, we're gonna get ourselves in a lot of trouble and Kaylani will be leading the way.

Baby's First Cold

Normally, we're a big fan of Baby's Firsts, but today, we had a first that wasn't something to celebrate. Kaylani had her first fever, sorta. Technically 100.1 degrees doesn't count as a fever (100.4 does), but combine that with her sleeping a lot (even for her), being fussy when she was awake, and not nursing at all means that a temperature of 100.1 was enough to cause us some concern.

As we do with any of our concerns around Kaylani, we called the pediatrician. Luckily, it was only 4:53pm, which meant that the office was still open for at least 7 minutes, and we only live 5 minutes away. Of course, once we got to the pediatrician's office, Kaylani showed no signs of a high temperature (99.2 at the office) and was smiling and playful with the nurse. It was just like taking the car to the shop because of a funny noise only to be told nothing is wrong. Fortunately (and unfortunately), Kaylani didn't nurse at the office so at least we weren't totally paranoid.

So we were sent home with the diagnosis of a little cold and to monitor her to make sure she is getting enough to eat to stay hydrated. No Infants' Tylenol, no luke warm baths, nothing. And if her temperature exceeds 101 degrees or she isn't wetting her diapers, then we should call back. With her fairly clean bill of health, we put Kaylani back in the car and headed up to Boston to celebrate Chinese New Years with the family.

The car ride didn't go quite as well as our first trip to Boston, but it went better then our first trip from Boston. We made it in 6 hours, which included a 45 min stop so Kaylani could nurse, poop, and nurse some more, which was great for everyone. All in all, the day turned out okay since Kaylani isn't really sick. Hopefully, she'll be back to normal tomorrow, but so far, looks like we've survived Baby's First Cold.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

You've gotta turn it on first

What did people do before baby monitors were invented? Our baby monitor is probably one of the most used gift that we've received for Kaylani. We use it each and every night, and also several times during the day. Up until last night, we had no problems using it. The reception is great, the coverage is great, and even the sound-sensor mode works great. But we learned a valuable lesson last night. In order for the monitor to work right, you've gotta turn it on first.

For anyone who is jealous or upset that Kaylani sleeps too well for an infant or a baby, you'll be happy to know that she didn't sleep well last night at all. She was in bed by 8:30pm as usual, but she didn't stay asleep for 8 hours. She didn't even stay asleep for 6. She barely even slept for 3 hours before she woke up for the first time. So when the clock hit 11:30pm and she was awake already, it automatically became an unusual night for us.

It was around 12:30am before Mommy woke me up. She had been trying to get Kaylani back to sleep for an hour and was having no luck. Daddy tried for about 35 minutes and it was Mommy's turn again. Back and forth we went, with Kaylani falling asleep in our arms, but screaming out as soon as she realized she was in her crib alone again (which was about 10 minutes after she was put in there...or the exact amount of time it takes to get back to our bed and just about fall asleep). Around 2am, Mommy came into bed after Kaylani finally stayed asleep. 10 minutes passed and she didn't make a peep...maybe.

From 2am to 7am, Kaylani might as well have been in Vegas, because whatever happened in Kaylani's room stayed in Kaylani's room. Daddy's alarm was going off after it's 3rd snooze, and he was just about to get out of bed finally. All of a sudden, Mommy woke up and rolled over. It was at that moment that she realized that she didn't turn the monitor back on before coming back to bed. It happened lightning fast and heartstoppingly slow all at the same time. When Mommy flipped the monitor on, the cries came through instantly. I'm not even sure of the exact order of things that happened next because they happened at the same time. The monitor was barely in the on position before Mommy was out of bed and into Kaylani's room.

The next hour was spent holding and cuddling Kaylani to make sure she knew we loved her and didn't mean to abandon her. In truth, we have no idea how long she was crying for before we turned on the monitor, but if I had to guess, I wouldn't think more than 10 minutes. That's a complete guess, but based off the fact that her face wasn't completely red and her voice was definitely not hoarse. Mommy hopes that was true, but definitely fears that it was longer. Either way, the only thing we're sure of is that Kaylani was crying to herself for some amount of time.

We can't blame Kaylani for crying and screaming at the top of her lungs to try and get our attention no matter what the reason was. And we definitely won't blame each other for not being awake or alert enough to make sure that monitor was turned back on before passing out or for not being able to hear her. But there is an obvious thing to blame...WD-40. Some of you may remember the WD-40 incident, but it's because of WD-40 that Kaylani's door can't be as open as we would like. In fact, it can either be wide open, closed, or 3" open, and that's only when we use the binder clip and ribbon contraption that Mommy came up with to get the door to not be wide open or fully closed all the time.

So there are 2 things that we learned from last night into this morning. 1) WD-40 still sucks. And 2) you've gotta turn the monitor on for it to work. Consider them both, lessons learned.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kaylani made me a procrastinator

Before Kaylani was born, I used to be prompt and get things done early. I used to plan out my every move and execute on a strict schedule. I was never a procrastinator before Kaylani. And I used to tell the truth, unlike now since I've actually always been a procrastinator. The difference between then and now is that then I used to be able to make up for it in my "free time." Now, "free time" is something I only say in quotations (and make the hand gesture for quotes when I say it in person too).

There were only a few times prior to Kaylani that being a procrastinator has bit me in the butt. But since then, it seems like I'm being bit in the butt enough times to have to tap into Kaylani's supply of Desitin, but they've never been serious things. Sure I have a few things in the living room that need to be moved down to the basement, and sure my garage could use a cleaning, but those aren't major things. And yes my grill and patio furniture are still outside and could be moved into my shed, but they are made to be outdoors. And maybe I've had to work late (or real early) before deadlines at work a few times, but that's usually when I'm at my best anyways. But this morning, being a procrastinator left me out in the cold...literally.

It snowed early today. So early that most people would refer to it as last night. But since I'm usually in bed and asleep by 10pm instead of staying up past midnight, it's early. We got a decent amount of snow too. Probably around 4", followed up by some nice freezing rain to top it all off. I know that's nothing compared to those of you a bit further North, but for Central Jersey, it doubled the amount of snow we've received so far this year. 4" isn't a lot to shovel off my driveway, so I wasn't concerned about that. But our house is a corner house, and corner houses have a whole lot of sidewalk to clean. So 4" of snow across many feet of driveway and sidewalk is a lot.

Now you might think I procrastinated shoveling this morning, which would have led to a messier time with the rain that we got later in the day, but that's not it. I was up early with Kaylani (around 6am) and I was outside by 8am and finished shoveling in just over an hour. The procrastination part was because I actually have a brand new snowthrower that throws up to 1700lbs of snow a minute up to 30' away in 21" wide lanes. The problem is that since I bought it (which was before Kaylani was born), it's been sitting in its box in the garage. And because I'm a procrastinator and because there were no big snow storms, it meant that my time was better spent looking at, playing with, or holding Kaylani instead of getting things ready in case we had some significant snow fall.

So, Kaylani didn't make me a procrastinator, but she sure doesn't help it at all. After all, if you were me, wouldn't you rather play with Kaylani instead of moving things around or setting things up? That's what I thought. Speaking of procrastinating, I waited until the last minute to post pictures last night and never actually did it, so they're here tonight instead. And now, I'm going to take the snow thrower out of the box. Or maybe not. There's no more snow on the way for at least a few more days anyways.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Daddy the Omnipresent

Phones are something that we take for granted as adults. The phone rings (or vibrates, or plays a calypso tune) and we answer it. For those people who we talk to regularly, we recognize their voice immediately. And for those people we've met, we can even associate an image with them (we can actually do this for those who we haven't met, but they might be inaccurate). But for babies like Kaylani, do they have that same recognition?

That question was in my mind for awhile, and today, Kaylani answered it. Like I do every day, I called Mommy on my way home to see how things were going. She happened to be changing Kaylani at the time, but answered anyways because she's super multi-tasking Mommy. Kaylani, who was a bit fussy at the time, wanted to say hi so Mommy put me on speakerphone. That's when we realized that Kaylani could recognize voices and associate images with them. The following is Mommy's account as told to Daddy.

"She was on the changing table about this far away (about 2 feet) and as soon as she heard your voice come through the phone, she stopped crying and stared up at it. But she didn't just stare it. Her eyes opened real wide and she started looking at it with her head sideways. Then she started to look all around to see where your voice was coming from! You could totally tell that she recognized your voice. But you weren't there so you are just a big tease. Jerk."

Okay, the last 2 sentences were made up, but I bet that's what went through both of their minds. It's kinda cool knowing that Kaylani can recognize my voice, but I really do wonder if she gets confused by what a phone is and how it works. I just hope she actually does recognize that there is some sort of machine that is relaying my voice. Otherwise, she may just think that I'm everywhere. Hmmm, maybe that's not the worst thing for her to think after all...

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Switch

I'm a traitor. I've switched sides. I spent so much time on one side of the line, that the fact that I'm just barely over on the other side seems so bad. But it's not my fault. All my friends were doing it. It was only once. I just tried it. I was holding it for a friend. I did it for a good cause! No matter what the excuse is that I tell myself, it's too true to be avoided. I'm a traitor.

Last night, I made the switch. For the first time, I used Burt's Bees Wash and Shampoo instead of a Johnson and Johnson product. I felt terrible for even thinking of using it, and I felt even worse when I actually bought it, but I have no good excuse because I did think about it and I did buy it. And last night, I even tried it. For those of you who think I'm making a big deal out of nothing, my client at work for the last 1.5 years has been Johnson's Baby, and for the last few months, Aveeno Baby. Overall, for the last 2 years, I've been working with Johnson & Johnson in some capacity. So while using a Burt's Bees product doesn't seem like the craziest thing (except for the fact that it cost $10 for a 12oz bottle of wash/shampoo), it is to me.

I've spent a lot of time reading over the benefits of Johnson's Baby products, and did my part to introduce new (and existing) moms to their wide range of products. I even used their products on Kaylani for the past 12 weeks and we all loved it, specifically the Soothing Naturals Wash and Shampoo. But in the back of our minds, Burt's Bees was always there. Ever since that fateful day back in the summer of 2007.

We were at our friend Heather's house, visiting her and her son Ben. Mommy was still pregnant of course, so we were just taking it all in. All it took was one sniff of Ben's hair and we were hooked. Whatever it was, we had to have it. More specifically, we had to have it for Kaylani. "It" turned out to be Burt's Bees. And while I was true and loyal to my client, "it" was always in the back of my mind.

So we tried it, and we loved it. The smell was a blend of coconut and something, and it didn't even matter what that something was. Kaylani took a nice long bath and came out smelling as good as ever. And, to top it off, she also slept for 9 hours after bath time. 9 hours of sleep, and smelled like coconut and something. I'd say that's worth $10 for a 12oz bottle. Now the bath and the fact that she was tired was probably the real reason she slept for 9 hours last night, but so far, I'm a believer. And being a believer makes me feel like a big traitor. I just hope that using Burt's Bees doesn't come back to sting me in the end! Get it? Yeah...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Baby Rock!

Baby Rock! That's the name of my latest band. And by latest, I mean the first band that I've started since Kaylani was born. The previous one, Beer Me, was a late night adventure that consisted of Jay and Daddy rocking out and drinking beer until 2am while Mommy went to sleep early because she was pregnant. This band had a bit of a different feel to it.

Baby Rock! started out with just Mommy on the drums and Daddy on the guitar while Kaylani was napping in her carseat. We haven't played Rock Band in quite awhile, and while it was still fun, it was just different playing on medium to low volume and hoping not to awaken Kaylani from her nap. To make sure we didn't wake her immediately, we rolled her into the kitchen, which is about 20 feet from the edge of the family room. I guess that wasn't the nicest thing to do, but it worked...for at least 2 songs.

The meanest part was that Mommy left in the middle of the third song to go get Kaylani because she was crying. Wait, let me rephrase that. The meanest part was that Kaylani started crying in the middle of the third song and Mommy and Daddy didn't go get her right away. Instead, we kept playing. In all fairness, we did try to calm her by singing to her. So instead of singing "Roxanne", we sang "Kayyyylani. Don't cry all night. Kaylaniiiii. Please don't cry tonight." After about 90 seconds of crying, Mommy gave in and went to get her and left Daddy to save the band by himself (which he did).

It was after that point that Baby Rock! turned into a solo act. Instead of renaming the band, Daddy kept the name and rocked out for a few more songs. Rob, Jen, and Sofie came over shortly after and Baby Rock! turned back into a duo with dueling guitars. The funny part was that the babies loved it. Both Kaylani and Sofie stared at the colors going up and down the screen, and enjoyed listening to "In Bloom" by Nirvana, as well as "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys. It was a different experience then Kaylani had when she watched Baby Einstein, but a far more enjoyable one for all parties involved.

So tonight's rock session was a great one, especially for Daddy. Not only did Mommy and Daddy get to relax a bit and play Rock Band together, but it also gave Daddy a reason to buy Rock Band 2 or Guitar Hero World Tour. Prior to tonight, the attempts to buy either resulted in Mommy asking when we would ever play it, and to be honest, Daddy had no good answer. But now, the answer is whenever we want because Kaylani likes it. And if Daddy gets good enough, he might just be able to play the guitar with Kaylani in the Baby Bjorn.

Like every good rock session, this one is going to end with the roadies passing out. Since Kaylani can't play any of the instruments yet (even though we tried to get her to play the drums), she's a roadie, and she needs to pass out. So it's time for us to say goodnight to Kaylani for now. But for you, here are pictures from the last couple of days, which include Uncle Tommy and Auntie Gretchen's visit, as well as tonight's visit from Rob, Jen, and Sofie. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Embarrasser

Several people have told me that Kaylani is going to be so embarrassed of her dad when she is old enough to read this blog. While that's true, I'm pretty sure that I'll be embarrassing to Kaylani for far more things then just this blog. She's not old enough to realize it yet, but she will very quickly.

Kaylani is only 12 weeks old, and already I can tell she's embarrassed of me. Just today, Mommy, Uncle Tommy, and Auntie Gretchen were out at Triumph having lunch and some beer. Daddy was dared to put his mouth around an entire 5 oz beer and down it in one gulp, and of course he tried. But, being the responsible Dad, I didn't actually drink the beer like that, but I did pose for a few pictures with Kaylani. I could tell she was embarrassed though because she closed her eyes and hid in her carseat. Sure, some people may think she was sleeping. Call it Daddy's intuition, but I'm pretty sure she was just embarrassed instead.

If that's what happens at 12 weeks, I wonder what's going to happen as Kaylani gets a little older and I get a little goofier (if that's possible). Will I be the Dad who does crazy things like run into walls, or juggle various objects, all to get a laugh out of Kaylani and/or her friends? You bet I will! Will I be the type of Dad who tells embarrassing stories of Kaylani to her boy friends (not boyfriends because those aren't allowed)? Sure will! And will I be that Dad who goes to all the school trips and dances and makes stupid jokes all the time all to keep an eye on her? Of course!

In a way, I almost feel bad for Kaylani for all the things that I will put her through. I also hope that Mommy is as strong as she says she is and can actually stop me from going over the top. But keeping me under control would be quite the task for any one person, but if anyone could do it, I guess it would be Mommy. In order to do it, one of two things is going to have to happen. The first, and less likely of the two things, would be to have a talk with me to make sure I understand the repercussions of my actions will be for Kaylani. Since that's not going to work, the other, and very likely of the two, will be to leave Dad behind whenever possible. But until they can do that, I guess both Mommy and Kaylani will both have to deal with The Embarrasser.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Daddy vs Papi

Back when Kaylani was born, I made a point of ensuring that everyone knew what Kaylani's name was, how it come about, and importantly, how it was pronounced. And now that we're approaching the 12 week mark, it's come to my attention that I probably only call her Kaylani 10% of the time. The other 90% of the time are a mix of various alterations including (but not limited to) Kaylancita, Mamor, Mamorcita, Baby Girl, Little Girl, Munchkin, Little Munchkin, Poopymonster, Poopy Queen, and a million others.

I'm very curious to know if she'll even know what her name is when she gets older. At some point, I'm going to have to start calling her Kaylani all the time so she recognizes it. Otherwise, she may grow up responding to Poopymonster, which probably isn't the best nickname to take through life. The other part of this is I haven't exactly established what my name is yet. Well, not officially at least.

Daddy seems to make the most sense. Besides the fact that it would lend a bit of credibility to "The Daddy Diaries", it's also closest to what I'm used to. After all, I grew up calling my Dad, Dad. Daddy is just a cuter way of saying it, and maybe I actually used to call my Dad, Daddy, but I'm not really sure. I'll check with my Mom on that one. So besides Daddy, the other option on the table is Papi, which of course is the Spanish version of Daddy, and what Mommy is used to.

Mommy actually wants to go by Mami. For those of you who've read a majority of my posts, you may have noticed a few instances where I actually use Mami instead of Mommy, but it's rare because I forget. I can't even remember to use Mami in a post, let alone remember to use Papi in front of Kaylani. Plus, if I do decide to go by Papi, do I have to change the name of the blog to "The Papi Diaries?" That doesn't sound right, so it'd have to be something like "The Papi Posts," which just doesn't flow as well as "The Daddy Diaries." One point for Daddy.

As far as what's easier for Kaylani, Papi sure seems like it's easier to say then Daddy. Okay, I guess the ending "e" sound is the same, but don't you think "pah" is easier than "dah?" I feel like the "puh" sound of the "p" will come first, and since Mami and I are fighting over whose name she'll say first, we've got to make it as easy as possible. One point for Papi.

Another factor to take into consideration is the difference factor. If we're out on the playground, or in public somewhere, and I hear someone say "Daddy," I'll have to look to make sure it's not Kaylani who's calling me. But if Kaylani calls me Papi, then public confusion may not be an issue (unless we're in Puerto Rico or Florida). That's two for Papi.

But I have to go back to the part where Daddy just comes naturally to me. More than 50% of the time, when I (or even Mami) are talking to Kaylani, we refer to me as Daddy because that's just what comes out first. In certain conversations, I'll go back and forth between Papi and Daddy, but that's gotta stop. So since Daddy comes out the majority of the time, chalk one up for Daddy.

We're tied at 2 points each and I'm out of points to make in either favor. It looks like no decision is going to be made tonight unfortunately, so I guess I'll have split personalities as far as Poopymonster is concerned for at least one more day. But if I don't figure this out soon, Mami is going to have a clear advantage in the name game, because no matter what, Mommy and Mami both sound the exact same to Kaylani. D'oh...or P'oh!

Oh, and here are pictures from the last two days including a few pictures with Uncle Tommy that we just took. Uncle Tommy and Auntie Gretchen are in town this weekend, so come back on Sunday to see pictures from their visit. Until tomorrow, Daddy/Papi out!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Divide and Conquer

It's been 11 weeks, and I've yet to spend more than 2 hours alone with Kaylani. Because of that, I haven't had to deal with any of Kaylani's fussiness or tantrums by myself. Whenever they happen with me, usually Mommy will come to the rescue and nurse her. For the most part, she only freaks out when she's hungry or tired, and for us, those two things typically go together. And until Daddy can produce milk from his breasts, those two things are associated with Mommy.

One of these days, Daddy is going to take care of Kaylani by himself for an extended period of time so Mommy can get a break and do something for herself. And when that day comes, then I may be able to understand what Mommy goes through on a daily basis. But until then, I can only listen compassionately when I come home from work and hear those four somber words: "It was a bad day."

A bad day for Mommy typically consists of general fussiness, which means Kaylani won't eat properly, she won't stay alone, and she will just cry a lot. When that happens, it also means that Mommy can't eat properly, can't be alone, and she might cry a little. Those are the days that I wish I could do something to help out, but unfortunately, there's little I can do from the office.

But the funny thing is (not funny "haha," but funny "awww, that's sad") is that as soon as Daddy comes home, things will be alright again. Kaylani will be napping, or have just fallen asleep, and when she wakes up, she's back to being a perfect little angel. She'll smile and she'll play. She'll even nurse properly and then let us know she's ready for bed and go to sleep. It's as if it was a brand new day, except that Mommy is still tired and still a bit stressed out.

So it seems to us that Kaylani has learned to divide and conquer. When she has both Mommy and Daddy with her, she'll behave for the most part, and calm down relatively quick. But when it's just Mommy, all bets are off and its a coin flip as to which version of Kaylani she'll get. More often then not, I've heard it's a good day. It takes a few good days to make Mommy forget about the bad days, and they've got to be consecutive good days. Now, don't get me wrong, Mommy handles the bad days better than I could ever imagine and that's why I have all the respect in the world for her, but I shudder to think what consecutive bad days would do.

I think it's just a phase that Kaylani goes through. Actually, I HOPE it's just a phase that Kaylani goes through. Whenever Kaylani decides she'll take a bottle again, I hope that the phase is over because that signifies that Daddy's day with his little girl is just around the corner. And if it's a bad day for Mommy, I'm sure it'll be a much worse day for Daddy. It's well known that Mommy is the strong one in the family, but only time will tell just how much stronger that is.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Eight is Great!

Eight. It's just a number. After seven, before nine. Can be found in the popular joke "why was six afraid of seven?" Has a "crazy" card game named after it. Usually represents the number of working hours in a day. But last night, eight was the number of hours Kaylani slept consecutively. And since she didn't fall asleep until 11pm, eight hours was enough for Kaylani to sleep "through the night" for the very first time. And that meant that for the very first time, we (and by we, I mean Mommy) didn't have to get out of bed in the middle of the night.

My alarm went off at 6:30am as usual, and I snoozed it until a little after 7am as usual. Mommy was stirring (probably because music kept coming on every 9 minutes), so as is customary when Mommy is at least a tiny bit awake, I asked her what time Kaylani woke up last night. Her answer was one that I've never heard before. She didn't even roll over to look at me, and just mumbled out "she didn't." I looked at the clock again to make sure that it was right, did the math in my head, and that's when I realized that she made it eight hours. Eight whole hours. Amazing!

If sleeping was a profession, I think Kaylani might have her career decided for her. She's a great sleeper. She's such a good sleeper that she's the envy of kids everywhere. Actually, the kids don't mind, it's the parents that are amazed how good of a sleeper she is. She's almost too good (well, not in my mind). People always ask if we're sleeping, and I have to tell them that we actually are. I obviously sleep more during the night than Mommy does, but even Mommy can't really complain about sleep. After all, Kaylani has been sleeping 4-5 consecutive hours on average for the last month or so. But forget about 4-5 hours, could we be looking at 8 consecutive hours from here on out? Could it be?

I feel like writing this post is already going to jinx the whole eight hours of sleep thing. I remember when a co-worker told me that her oldest daughter used to sleep 12 straight hours no matter what time she put her to bed. And this was before the age of 6 months. At the time, 12 hours seemed unattainable, the holy grail if you will. But now, I feel like it could be within our reach. Just one month ago, Kaylani was sleeping 4 hours. Perhaps in another month, we'll be looking at 12 hours of sleep? I can't even begin to think of the things we could accomplish with Kaylani sleeping for 12 straight hours.

But then there's the other side. There are the doubters, and the naysayers, who find it necessary to keep reminding us that it's too good to be true. That once Kaylani hits the 3 month mark (which is in less than 3 weeks), she'll "wake up" and be too interested in everything around her to sleep at all. That's when all things will go to poop. And I'll admit that I don't doubt that it could happen. It's well documented that babies do "wake up" around 3 months. But you know what? We've beaten the odds since day 0. Our first child was supposed to bring 30+ hours of labor, and the first 3 months were supposed to bring little sleep for Mommy and Daddy. To this day, neither of those things has been true for us. So the only thing I will accept as a given is that every child is different. And for that, I couldn't be any happier.

Now it's time for Kaylani to make her way into her crib, and also time for Daddy to start the timer to see if we can go for eight on back to back nights. Only the night will tell, so in the meantime, here are pictures from the last 2 days. I hope that these pictures are the only thing I have to look at until at least 7am tomorrow, but we'll see.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Future Starts Today

As I watched Barack Obama get sworn in as the 44th President of the United States today, I was filled with hope of a better country for my daughter, and was inspired to write my first political post ever. I was ready to reflect upon the last 8 years and the effects it had on my life, and then talk about the future and how today marked the start of a better world. I was ready to talk about how this was the beginning of change in our country that would benefit millions of people, and my daughter would be one of those millions. I was ready to take a stand and say that I too believe that yes we can. But then, Mommy brought Kaylani into my office and all those thoughts were replaced momentarily.

There are two types of reactions that Kaylani has received. The first is from people who have seen pictures, and their reaction is "She looks so much bigger in pictures. I can't believe how tiny she is!" And that's a fair reaction since I do tend to take very close pictures. It's also a better reaction then "I forget how tiny she is until I see her next to your fat head!" That one makes Daddy feel awesome. The second type of reaction is from people who have never seen her before, and they always say "I can't believe how much hair she has!" Also a fair reaction since she does have quite a head of hair on her, and it's only grown since she was born. It's grown so much that Mommy is even trying to convince Daddy to cut off her split ends, but Daddy's not budging quite yet.

It's funny how people react to you when you have a baby. I walked around the office today and was engaged by at least 4 or 5 people that I've never spoken to before. It's not a bad thing since she does tend to make us more social (Daddy especially), but it's just funny that it takes a baby to make people be social. But I don't blame the people. After all, Kaylani is quite the head turner.

Anyways, it's been a long couple of days and it's late again all of a sudden. But tonight, I'll go to sleep knowing that tomorrow is another day towards a brighter future. And before today, I didn't think that my future could get any brighter. After all, I've already got everything I could ever hope for.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Rest Stop

Its been awhile since we've had a good poop story to tell. And its been a while since we've had to make the drive home from Boston. Funny how those 2 things would come together for us today. Funny in retrospect that is. Not so funny during....for Mommy.

It happened halfway into our journey home. It was our very first stop of the trip. In fact, it was the first time we had to stop for Kaylani this entire weekend. It started off innocently enough, with Mommy using the bathroom first. Daddy, being the responsible father that he is, thought he would help out and change her in the backseat so she would be ready to nurse once Mommy got back. Well, part responsible father and part father who wanted to get back on the road as soon as possible.

Changing a diaper in the backseat is not a comfortable thing to do. There's limited space to work with, and its slanted back so Kaylani would keep sliding back and to the right. It took a little work and adjustment, but the diaper was back on, two onesies buttoned back up (not 1, but 2), and pants were on. So far so good, but there was an odd feeling going through my mind that it wasn't quite right. The velcro from the changing mat got caught on the diaper on her way back to an upright position, but there was something out there bigger than that. Whatever it was, Daddy's turn was over, so now it was Mommys turn. Kaylani was almost through her first 10 minutes and then IT happened. This time, IT turned out to be a bit of spit up (or syrup as Cousin Alisha calls it). Well, that's what the initial IT was. IT was followed by a series of fireworks (not the big boom explosion ones, but the longer crackly/sizzly ones). A few more of those and then came the big boom explosion as a finale.

It was a little loud, so Mommy held her up for inspection. A tiny spot was on the back of her pants, but that was enough for Daddy to record a Code Brown. And when the pants came off, it was immediately clear why there was a Code Brown. And that reason was Daddy. Apparently if the diaper is a bit sideways, the coverage isn't as good as if it was on correctly. Oh, and where Daddy describes it as "a bit sideways," Mommy would describe it as "one of her butt cheeks was completely out!" Anyways, when you combine lower coverage with firework type poops, you get a Code Brown.

So Mommy had to change Kaylani again, but this time, she had to remove 2 poop stained onesies, the diaper that bore the brunt of the incident, and do all of this from the uncomfortness of the backseat of our car. After using the majority of our wipes (we had 5 remaining for 3 hours of driving which luckily we ended up not having to use), putting on a brand new outfit, and wiping down the changing mat, we were back in business. Of course, with all the excitement, Kaylani took twice as long to finish nursing as normal, so we stayed at the rest stop for a solid 45 minutes. So much for a quick trip home. Oh, and it was snowing again by the way so we hit traffic the rest of the way too.

All in all, our first trip to Boston consisted of 11 hours of driving time, 13 hours in a car, 165 people at a restaurant, 1 Code Brown, and a whole lot of fun. Kaylani behaved better then we could have imagined during both car rides. So well in fact that the 45 minute poop stop was well worth it since she spent the other 7 hours in the car sleeping. To help you remember/experience it, here are some pictures we took over the last 3 days. Enjoy!

Snowed In

I forgot what its like to be "up North." Down in Central Jersey, we don't get 6-8" of snow very often. But up in MA, its fair game. Its even fair game for it to snow 12 hours before its "supposed" to snow. And its definitely fair game to change plans on a dime. So if you think about it, New England weather is kinda like Kaylani. They're unpredictable, plan changeable, and play by their own rules.

We woke up this morning to find a good 3" of snow on the ground already, and it was only 9am. By noon, it was still coming down and probably closer to 6". Around 2pm, Bat Bat (Chinese for Uncle) and Daddy went outside to clear off our cars and shovel the driveway. Its been a good 3 years since either of us has had to shovel, and let's just say that both our backs weren't quite what they used to be.

In my expert scientific opinion, the anterior superior iliac spine between L4 and L5 have deteriorated due to significant stress placed on them. I don't know what that means actually, so I'll just say that my back really hurts from carrying Kaylani around, swaying her, bouncing her, and putting her down. And shoveling sure didn't help any of that.

After we shoveled the driveway the old fashioned way, we headed back inside to find other things to entertain 6 adults, 1 toddler, and 2 newborn/babies. Pictionary came to mind, and it was quite a different experience then I had had previously. Since we weren't in the comfort of our own home, there weren't many places to put Kaylani unattended. Having been passed around all day yesterday, we did the same. Whoever wasn't drawing was holding a baby. And just once, Mommy even had to draw while holding her (and to make things better, the word was "sex").

So our first snowed in experience was fun, even if it wasn't exactly relaxing. But sitting around staring at our little girl sure beat watching cheesy movies all day. And that's just one more reason that I couldn't be any happier with my life right now.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Kaylani's Moon Yuet

What do you call 90 Chinese, 50 American, and 15 Latin people all gathered in one room? A Moon Yuet (sorry if you were expecting something funny). Tonight, 165 people gathered in Chinatown to "welcome" Kaylani and Zoe to the world through a traditional Chinese celebration.

As my brother said in his opening remarks, "Moon in Chinese means full, and Yuet in Chinese means...moon." Crazy language. Anyways, Yin Yin and Yea Yea put together a great dinner celebration, and I think everyone had a great time. There were 12 courses of food for each of the 16 tables. Even the table that had American/Chinese food had 12 dishes I think. And for the most part, Kaylani handled being passed around to roughly 100 of the 165 people there.

We were a bit worried leading up to the dinner. After getting in late last night, Kaylani didn't sleep much all day. She had a packed agenda which included a trip to Titi Glenda and Tio Pritesh's house, as well as a Chinese pre-party with 20 of Yin Yin and Yea Yea's friends. There was also a professional looking photo shoot conducted in the living room. To Daddy, it felt a little like Prom with the parents gathering around to take pictures, but it was a good time. The only bad thing was Kaylani slept for maybe an hour total since 9am, and that wasn't a good thing.

Our hope was that she would sleep on the way to Chinatown, but she didn't. Then our hope was she would sleep early before dinner in Chinatown, but she didn't. But luckily, after getting passed around to the first 20-30 people, she fell asleep right as the first course came out, and stayed out for a good 45 minutes.

All in all, I think she had a great time. She smiled for all the people, and even for the camera. She cried for all the right people (like Doug and Taryn) so Daddy could make some jokes, and she was even extra cute for a few couples that Daddy is trying to get to produce a playmate for Kaylani (coughcoughJes/Tommy).

And now, she's fast asleep in her car seat. We dare not take her out yet since she only fell asleep during the last 10 min of the ride. Its best that she gets whatever sleep she can before we disturb her. Come back tomorrow to check out pictures from the Moon Yuet, but for now, this officially concludes Kaylani's 2nd production. Luckily, next week is an off week for us where we can just relax with some close friends.

As a final note, as I've been telling most people we run into at these productions, if you want some exclusive time with Kaylani, book a private event with us. We're now taking reservations beginning at the end of February (yes, that's how crazy our calendar is)! Hope to see you all soon!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Just keep driving

Whoever had "will sleep the entire time" in the pool for "what will Kaylani do on the ride to Boston" wins a prize! She slept the entire time, from 6:15pm to 11:15pm. We stopped for a total of 15 minutes for dinner, coffee, and gas. Well, that's kinda accurate, except when we "stopped" for coffee, we didn't actually "stop". One of us continued to drive around as Kaylani began to stir. To make sure she didn't wake up, we just kept driving.

That was kind of the theme for the ride. Just keep driving. We hadn't made this drive for almost 4 months (Kaylani's baby shower in September was the last time) and that drive was different. With Mommy being 7 months pregnant at the time, that meant we stopped at least 4 times for bathroom and aching body breaks. And now, with Kaylani, we stopped once! What a difference a third of a year makes.

Otherwise, it was a fairly standard drive. We sat, we drove, we slowly felt the numbness creep into our butts, and we watched the time on the clock tick away. There were a few heart stopping moments when Kaylani would cry out, but only for a second. We would stop talking immediately and look back at her to see if we would be taking the next exit, but all we got back in return was silence. So we just kept driving.

When we entered the last 45 minute stretch, that's when we were most afraid she would wake up. After all, it had been almost 5 hours since she last ate. But stopping when we were so close and doing so well would have been a downer. And as always, Kaylani behaved perfectly and let us make it all the way here. Of course, once we got here she sounded the horn to announce her arrival, but that was okay since we were here and I'm not going to talk about it so I don't get another crap post charged to me!

Now its time to see if Kaylani sleeps well in her pack and play. Or maybe she won't sleep at all since she just woke up. But unfortunately, now we can't keep driving. Not until Sunday at least.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Road Trip!

I'm pretty sure that having Kaylani has prepared me to handle times of stress, or more specifically, times where I need to function on little sleep. This morning, Kaylani woke up around 2am, and after Mommy finished nursing her, my brain apparently thought it'd be a good time for me to get up too. Of course I rebeled at first, but when it started churning non-stop about all the things I had to do at work, I knew it was time to suck it up, and get up. After all, I'm fairly used to being semi-awake in the middle of the morning now, so who's to say I couldn't be productive too.

Well anyways, I rolled into my office around 4:30am and somehow I lasted until 6:30pm. In fact, it's 9:30pm right now and I'm still going, and going pretty strong too. I'm convinced it has to do with the irregular sleep I've been getting since Kaylani was born. Some nights she's great (and Mommy is great) and I don't notice a thing, but other nights I'm up at least once (even if there's little I can do to help Mommy and/or Kaylani). All of this has apparently prepared my body to be fully functional even though I'm really tired.

Being able to function on little sleep is great, but it doesn't exactly help me get through tomorrow's task. Tomorrow night after work, we're all going on our first road trip of over an hour. We'll be making our first trip back to Boston in roughly 4 months, and this time we're going to bring a crying baby who may or may not have to stop regularly to pee (and no, I don't mean Mommy...maybe).

I've never enjoyed making the drive between NJ/NY and Boston. It's far, it goes through Connecticut (sorry Connecticut residents), and there's pretty much traffic at at least 3 different spots along the way. Add to that the potential of a baby meltdown in a car, and it's really not the most exciting thing to look forward to. I'm completely afraid of Kaylani being fussy and us having to pull over and stop every 30 minutes just so she can take a breath. Or even worse, if we hit traffic and there's nowhere to pull off except the side of a highway, which is never a good place to stop.

Or maybe I'm stressing over nothing and she'll stay asleep the entire time and we'll get there with no problems at all. But the bottom line is, I just don't know. I'm hoping everything goes real smooth this first time thought, because if it doesn't, then it's going to be really tough to convince me to head back to Boston on a somewhat regular basis. Unfortunately, there's only one way to find out, and it's never the easy way. Any tips on infant long distance car rides would be greatly appreciated.

But as is customary here before I embark on adventures that will likely result in lots of pictures, here are the latest pictures of Kaylani. Enjoy them, and have a great Friday! Hope it's filled with less dread than mine is.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

All Grown Up

My little girl is all grown up. She's 2 months and a week old, and already, she's all grown up. So, she's not actually that old, and she still hasn't reached the next milestone (which I believe is to hold a rattle or something on her own like she means it), but she is grown up when it comes to clothes. She's been out of her newborn clothes for quite a while now, but today was the day that Mommy actually took them out of the closet to make room for the 3-6 month clothes. And that's when it really struck me that she's all grown up.

Kaylani's closet has 2 levels of shelves. On the top level, she had all her newborn clothes hanging up. They were washed for the last time weeks ago, and have been just hanging there. The bottom level has her current, or 0-3 month clothes. They're the only ones she fits into right now, so they get worn and washed pretty regularly. And on top of the top shelf, she has 3 baskets that have clothes for her next stages, ranging from 3-6 months all the way up to 2T I think. She's getting real close to growing out of her 0-3 month clothes, so it was time to make the switch.

All the newborn clothes came out and was put in a pile to be stored away just in case we have another girl (or another baby in general, though most of her clothes is clearly girls clothing). It was kinda fun to see her old clothes and marvel at the fact that she was ever small enough to fit into them. But at the same time, it was kinda depressing to know that she wore those clothes for a max of 3 weeks, and now they're going to sit in a box in the basement for who knows how long.

And it's not like we had just a few outfits that she wore once, like we did for Thanksgiving or Christmas or the Giants in the playoffs (stupid Giants). In total, she had about 15 full outfits that she could wear. Add in the 10 plain white onesies we had (and 10 more that are actually 0-3 months that she's outgrown), and that's roughly 35 pieces of clothing that we bought (or received) and are now storing away after only being worn for 3 weeks.

Imagine if we as adults did that. Every 3 weeks, or even 3 months we would go through a whole new wardrobe. Wouldn't it be cool (Mommy sure thinks so)? Probably, but it'd be kinda expensive and a bit excessive. I'm sure there are a few of you out there who only wear things once or for a few months, but it's not exactly the same. I mean, if my clothes cost less than $10 for each thing, there would be a good chance that I may rotate my wardrobe every 3 months. But since that's not exactly how it works, it doesn't happen like that.

So I guess that's the benefit of being a baby. You get new clothes every few months, and it probably also means you're rarely out of style. It's a nice life they live. As sad as it is, and as expensive as it can be, it's still worth it to put away that old clothes and take out the new. After all, it means she's healthy and she's growing, and that means that we're doing a good job. And no matter how many outfits she grows out of it, it won't matter because she'll always be Daddy's Little Girl.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Eating Like Crap

To live a healthy life, we as adults must eat healthy. We must take care of our bodies, especially as we get older. I clearly believe in this since I went to Burger King for lunch (which told me they had no burger meat today and I didn't even think it could have been one of their burger freak-out ads being filmed until after I left). And Mommy, who tries her hardest to eat healthy so that good vitamins and nutrients get passed through to Kaylani, still eats like crap some meals. But eating like crap is something different to Kaylani, and it has nothing to do with what Mommy ate.
Before I get to what that difference is, I wanted to make a quick clarification. "Eating like crap", is not the same as "eating crap", or "eating, like crap." So, when I say Kaylani is "eatling like crap", I don't mean she's eating crap like Mommy did when she was a baby. What's that? You want to know the whole story? Okay, I guess Mommy has no objections. So, when Mommy was a baby, she had her own little diaper blow out in her crib. And Mommy considers herself quite the painter (as evidenced by the paintings she did for Kaylani's room now). Well, babies don't usually get left with paint in their crib, so Mommy improvised and painted her crib with poop. Of course that meant some of it made it into her mouth. All of this just goes to show how much I love Mommy.

Anyways, that's not what Kaylani does...thankfully. But, when Mommy's trying to nurse her and she's being fussy and pulls away a lot, that's when Mommy stops trying to nurse, stands Kaylani up and says "Kaylani, you're eating like crap." Kaylani, who doesn't like to be told she's eating like crap, responds with "plbbbbbbbbbbbbbt", and that's not the sound coming from her mouth. Turns out that the reason Kaylani is eating like crap is actually because she has to crap. Or, maybe she just craps when she hears the word crap, which would be a neat trick. I think they covered something like that in my psychology classes, but since I was sleeping, I can't be sure.

I think this counts as another one of Kaylani's tells. Eating like crap = gonna crap. And that's a pretty important lesson to learn for us. It's also a reminder for us to never try to nurse her without a diaper...not that we ever would do that anyways, but it's a good reminder or lesson for those of you who just don't know.

Kaylani's done crapping for now and she's been napping for a little bit tonight, so we're going to play with her before bedtime (which goes against quietly off to sleep as indicated in Johnson's 3 Step Sleep Routine AND Jon's 10 Step Sleep Routine). As for you, you can enjoy some pictures from the last 2 days since I've gotten over my camera addiction. Good night for now!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Camera's Anonymous

Recently, some of my friends and family have been reaching out to me to make sure I'm okay. They check in and see if I have enough things to occupy my time, and make sure that I can see properly. Other friends and family tell me that everything looks like it's going great. They say to keep going the way I'm going and to never change a thing. What both sides are talking about is of course the amount of pictures that I take.

If you've ever been around Kaylani and me, then I'm sure you've noticed the ever present presence of my camera. And yes, I am falling into the typical Asian stereotype by keeping my camera close by, but I can't seem to help it, and I'm usually not one to promote any type of stereotype. Now, I'm willing to accept the fact that I may go a little bit overboard when it comes to taking pictures, but I will not accept the fact that it's a problem. I think it's pretty awesome actually, and I'm not sure what I would have done if I didn't already own this camera.

For a bit of background, I received my Canon Rebel XT as a Christmas gift from my parents, brother, and sister-in-law last year. And before Mommy got pregnant, I probably only took 30 pictures with it in 3 months. Of course, usage picked up so we could take the pregnancy and nursery pictures that I've posted to our site, but I couldn't be bothered to carry it around and take it places with me. After all, it was so big and my Canon Elph did just fine. Before Kaylani was born, I'd probably put the total pictures taken at 200 within the 10 month period.

But since then, it's increased just a bit. Well, maybe a little bit more than a bit, but I'll let you decide for yourself if it's overboard. So, in the 66 days since Kaylani was born, I've taken roughly 3800 pictures, or an average of 57 pictures per day. Hmm, when I type it out like that, it does make it seem like I have a bit of a problem, but most problems don't have this much reward! After all, I get an awesome library of pictures to browse through whenever I want. And, since I've seen so many great photo calendars from my friends and family, I'm looking forward to putting my own together for 2010. If I keep up this pace, I'll have approximately 21,000 pictures to sort through next November. Hmmm, maybe it's not the best problem after all.

Well anyways, that's a problem I'll be happy to deal with later this year. For now, I'm going to keep taking pictures, but perhaps I'll try and tone it down just a bit. Since I just bought a new flash for my camera (can't you see the difference in the last 2 days?), it's not likely to happen any time soon, but I will calm it down a little bit. And to show you that I'm serious, I'm not even going to post any pictures tonight. I'd say that's a step in the right direction (even though Mommy took pictures already today and I typically only post every 2 days anyways). Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Her First Production

It's over. Kaylani's been baptized, and it's over. It sounds terrible to say, but I'm just glad it's over. And the funny part is, the actual baptism part wasn't the hard or tiring part. She actually behaved real well during the entire Mass/ceremony. It was everything else that led up to that point that was the hard part.

It actually started out a few weeks ago when we scheduled her baptism. With most of our friends and family living out of town, there were certain logistical challenges with having Kaylani be baptized at our church in NJ. So after weeks of planning and scheduling, we got to a good place (thank you Mom and Dad for voluntarily staying at a hotel) and everyone was squared away. We had a Mass scheduled with our favorite Priest (Father Vince) and a place to host a brunch at (our favorite restaurant, Sotto Ristorante in Princeton). All we had to do was get to Church, and then get to brunch on the day of the baptism, and we even had a plan for that.

We were going to wake up at 7am, shower and get mostly dressed (not fully in case of spit up), then wake Kaylani up around 8:00, nurse her, and put her in her beautiful handmade dress from Puerto Rico (thank you Abuela)! And then, she would nurse again before getting into the car, which she would fall asleep in on the way to 9:30 Mass at Church, which we planned on getting to by 9am so we could make sure she stayed asleep and was okay. That was the plan.

We actually woke up at 7:25am, showered and started to get ready before Cousin Alisha and Rohan woke up and required some attention. Mommy was ready enough to wake Kaylani up around 8:30 and start to get her ready. By the time we were even remotely close to get out the door, it was more like 9:15, and we ended up being at Church by 9:25am. Father Vince gave us the 30 second version of the 10 minute prep course on what we had to say and when we had to say it, and we headed in to present Kaylani to our Church.

The Mass itself went great, except for a few awkward moments. First, while Mommy, Daddy, Kaylani, Godfather Tim, and Madrina Maria were standing at the Altar in the front of the Church being introduced, Madrina Maria was mouthing "The Flash, The Flash" to Titi Glendalys to make sure she had the flash on while she was taking pictures. The funny part was that Titi didn't even have Maria's camera, but I'm sure anyone who saw Maria thought she looked pretty funny. Then, when Father Vince asked us "and to the parents, what do you ask of the Church?", Mommy and I looked at each other at a loss of words because we didn't remember what our line was (although we're pretty sure it was left out of the 30 second version at the onset). Luckily, Father Vince prompted us to say "Baptism" (duh!) and we moved past it. Kaylani even behaved when they poured water on her head, and basically slept through the entire Mass.

Brunch also went off without a hitch (although I think we overwhelmed the restaurant by seating 40 people at the same time and placing individual orders). At the end of the day, what I took away from all of this was that in 40 years when I let Kaylani get married (that's right, I said 40), this is what her wedding day will be like. We'll get up early, scramble to get everyone ready, and get off to the Church in time. And I'm guessing that we'll also be cutting time a bit close on that day too, but on that day, it'll be her day and her day alone, so time won't matter nearly as much.

Here are some pictures from the Mass, the brunch, and also of Kaylani dressed in a NY Giants outfit that she'll unfortunately never wear again. And before we move on, we must thank Godfather Tim for spending his birthday with us down in NJ and at the Baptism, so Happy Birthday Tim and thank you! As for the rest of us, it's on to the next big production, which will be her Moon Yuet next week in Boston (a traditional Chinese welcoming ceremony). So enjoy the pictures of today, and for all of you that shared it with us, thank you. And for those who did not, we hope this made you feel a part of the day as well. Until next time...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Full House

You ever watch Full House back in the day? You know what I'm talking about. The show with Bob Sagat (not as an inappropriate stand-up comedian) as the single dad of two girls, and he lives with his best friend and his brother-in-law? For all you guys, it's also the show where I began my obsession with Lori Loughlin (which is one of the reasons why I watch 90210 now). Anyways, that's kinda what I feel like today.

Since tomorrow is Kaylani's Christening, we've got our own little full house today. Mommy's sister, Titi Glendalys is in town with Kaylani's two cousins, and so is one of Mommy's best friend's, Maria Jimena (who will also be the Godmother/Madrina). One of Daddy's best friends is in town too, Tim, who will be Kaylani's Godfather. So, just to tie back to Full House, I've got my best friend and my sibling-in-law under my roof. Okay, that's the only tie in I have.

But, we really do have a full house. The good thing about having a full house is that we have people we can show Kaylani off to. As an added bonus, Godfather Tim has never held a baby before, so of course we had to break him in. Kaylani, our little pawn in the game we called life, played right along as well. It was within minutes, but Kaylani gave her Godfather a proper Tam greeting and pooped while he was holding her. Of course, since Tim has never held a baby before, that meant that he's also never changed one. And it was only fitting that his Goddaughter would be his first.

Before Kaylani, I would have never claimed to be an expert at changing diapers. As a matter of fact, before Kaylani, I had under 10 diaper changes to my credit, and 9 of them were for my nephew Connor within the first week he was born. But now that I've logged roughly 500 diaper changes in my lifetime, I consider myself some sort of an expert. And I was more than happy to sit back and watch Tim struggle through his first. Actually that's not true, I wouldn't have left Tim on his own...but only because it was my daughter that he was changing!

After 10 minutes, Tim had successfully changed his first diaper, and because he had such a great instructor (me in case that wasn't obvious), he also skipped straight over #1 and changed #2 on his first try. Based on what I saw tonight, from the holding, to the diaper changing, to everything else, I'd have to say Tim and Meredith seem ready to have a kid immediately. I'm sure they think otherwise, but hey, I'll always be the one lobbying for my friends to have kids around the same age as Kaylani.

Alright, well since tomorrow is an early and long day for several reasons (Kaylani's Christening, followed by a brunch, and then followed by the Giants in the playoffs), it's time to wind down and get ready for bed. And to clear room for the absurd amount of pictures we plan on taking tomorrow, here are pictures from the last 2 days. Pay special attention to the "form" that Godfather Tim has while holding Kaylani for the first time. It's the typical "I've never held a baby before but I've been told to hold them like a football but I'm still really uptight" position.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Baby Bach...or more like Baby Blech

While Mommy was cooking dinner tonight, Daddy and Kaylani were looking for something to occupy our time. More specifically, Daddy was looking for something to occupy Kaylani so he could relax for a few minutes after work. We thought about using the bouncy, or the piano, or maybe the exercise mat, but all of those would have lasted a few minutes, tops. The swing was a good option, but that had to be saved for dinner time so Mommy and Daddy could eat a meal together using both hands. So we looked at the toy shelves and found the Baby Einstein DVD's that Titi Glendalys gave us. Baby Bach was listed as 3+ months, which Daddy figured was close enough.

So Daddy popped in the DVD and we headed for the couch. Ahhh sweet life giving couch. Kaylani took a seat right on Daddy's lap, and off we went. Colors came across the screen, and the soothing sound of some music by Johann Sebastian Bach played. We saw instruments and heard sounds, and saw toys and watched them at work. They zoomed in and things were moving around, and Kaylani seemed to enjoy it. Daddy thought it was a bit boring even though he was the one who was actually 3+ months, but whatever. After all, Kaylani seemed completely focused. He was actually thinking that the only other time he's seen her that focused is when she...plbbbbbbbbbbbbt. Oh.

Relaxation time officially ended at that moment. Not because she was crying (since she wasn't done), but the fact that a poopy diaper change was in the near future meant that relaxation time was over. Instead, we switched to waiting time. Waiting to see what Kaylani would have in her diaper for us tonight. But the question is did Baby Bach make my Baby poop, or was it purely a coincidence? It's a tough call, but I don't really believe in coincidences.

The diaper ended up being normal, so I don't have a good poop story tonight. After we changed her, we went back to Baby Bach. More instruments, more music. More toys, more playing. Some babies, more playing. And then, there was a chicken (who says "bock bock bock" or "bach bach bach"). Little bit odd, but whatever. More instruments, more music. Then a dragon puppet. Okay. Then a squid puppet. Odd. Then more toys, more playing. A lava lamp, pretty cool. Then one of those electric ball things that make your hair stand up, also cool. And more music, then the end.

30 minutes later and we were done, but it left me wondering who came up with these and how these were supposed to help Kaylani develop. What I decided was that they would actually be better for kids who may be high rather than Kaylani right now. But I guess babies like them. I'll always remember the daughter of one of my friends who would just sit quietly for 30 minutes and watch the whole thing. Never understood it, but maybe she was high. Or maybe babies are like stoned teenagers. After all, they do eat, sleep, and poop themselves.

Well whatever the case, I think that Baby Einstein was kinda boring, but I'm sure we'll give it another shot. And if she poops the next time around, then I may have to file a complaint. But if she sits there and smiles along, I won't complain because who doesn't like a good baby smile. And to prove it, here's a video of Kaylani smiling. We've discovered the smile button that's located on her chin, and it's much less painful than watching Baby Bach to get her to smile.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Great Debate

Today is Kaylani's 2 month birthday (Happy 2 Month Birthday Kaylani!), and I can't believe it's here already. It seems like only yesterday that we were waiting (impatiently) for her to come out. And now, 2 months and 3 lbs later (her weight gain, not mine...although it's close), here we are. Mommy and Daddy have most things figured out, or at least we think we do. We know when she's hungry and how much to give her. We know when she's tired and how to get her to sleep. And we know when she's pooping and how to change her. But there's still something we're not quite sure of. Actually, there's still something that other people aren't quite sure of, and that's why it's The Great Debate.

Asians have strong genes. You can always tell if someone has Asian genes in them even if you can't tell what type of Asian gene it is. In fact, Asian genes are stereotypically so strong that I told Mommy if Kaylani didn't look Asian at all when she was born, she had a whole lot of explaining to do (luckily, she did). For the record, I'm Chinese, which, for all you studiers of biology, makes Kaylani half Chinese. And Mommy, is Puerto Rican, which of course then makes the other half of Kaylani Puerto Rican. But, is she really half and half, and which half is which half? That my friends, is The Great Debate.

The majority of people we've run into say that she's a pretty good mix of both Mommy and Daddy, and I tend to agree with that majority. But, there are people who say she doesn't look a bit Asian, and that's what I find hard to believe. And it's not just Mommy's side of the family that says she doesn't look Asian (okay, it's mostly Mommy's side), but we've had strangers tell us the same. I mean, sure she doesn't have really slanty eyes, or really dark black hair, and isn't in front of a piano or holding a calculator (or abacus), but still, she looks Asian, right?

But for the purpose of this post, we'll just go along with the majority and say Kaylani is a perfect mix of both Mommy and Daddy. And in honor of the birthday of this perfect mix that we've created, here is the "genetic breakdown" of our beautiful little girl:

Head shape: Daddy (because it's big)
Hair: Mommy (because Daddy with that much hair would look like a giant fuzz ball)
Forehead: Mommy (because it's not as long as Daddy's)
Face Shape: Daddy (because it's round)
Ears: Mommy (because she doesn't listen to what I say)
Eyebrows: Daddy (because Mommy had gigantic eyebrows when she was a little girl)
Eyes: Daddy (because she still looks a little Asian)
Smiling Eyes: Mommy (because her eyes don't close when she smiles)
Nose: Mommy (because it's not flat)
Top Lip: Daddy (because of the bump in the middle)
Bottom Lip: Mommy (because it's pouty)
Mouth Shape: Daddy (because Daddy has a small round mouth)
Smile: Mommy (because it's beautiful)
Cheeks: Daddy (because they're HUGE)
Fingers: Mommy (because they're long)
Toes: Mommy (because they're longer)
Legs: Undecided (because they're not thin enough for Mommy's legs, and more normal looking than Daddy's)
Butt: Also undecided (because we don't have pictures of us in diapers...or do we?)

And that concludes today's Great Debate. Of the 18 measured characteristics, she looks like Mommy for 9 of them, Daddy for 7 of them, and 2 of them are undecided. I guess Puerto Rican's have stronger genes than Asians do, at least within the first 2 months. We'll see what happens as she gets older!

But before she does get older, as a birthday gift from Kaylani to all of you, here are pictures of her birthday "celebration" with Mommy today. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Her smile...

Now that I'm pretty sure Kaylani doesn't suffer from painful infant gas (or at least not ALL the time), I'm completely mesmorized every time I see her smile. It's a good thing and a bad thing all wrapped into one little facial expression.

The good thing is I can tell she's happy. I can tell that she's comfortable and that she's excited about something that she sees, and usually, that something is me! But if it's not me, it's still great to see her smiling when she looks at Mommy, or her mobile, or her stuffed animals, or just at a wall (well, then it might be gas). Or maybe she's not even smiling at what she's seeing, but at what she's thinking. And hopefully, she's thinking about how great of a life she has and what great parents she has too.

Nothing beats the feeling of walking into her room and seeing her smile at you. The best times are when it's been awhile since I've seen her, like when she does it in the morning (or middle of the night), and especially when I come home from work. They say time apart only makes time together better, and I think that's true, except I'd still rather spend more time together.

Now, you're probably wondering what could possibly be bad about Kaylani smiling. It's not the smile that's bad, or the fact that she's smiling that's bad, but it's when she smiles that makes me think it's bad. For example, when she's being fussy in the car and Mommy and Daddy pull over to make sure she can catch a breath and see if everything is okay. When she smiles as soon as we stop the car to get her out, that's bad. Or when she's being fussy when one of is holding her, and then we give up. And when we hand her to someone else and then she smiles, that's bad.

It's not bad that she's happy, or not fussy anymore, or that she's okay. It's bad because she's not even 2 months old yet, and she's playing with our emotions, and she's winning too. I can see the future now. She'll be a bit older, like 2, and she'll draw all over one of our walls and I'll tell her to stop. She'll start crying, drop the crayons, and then I'll give in and say I'm sorry and give her a hug. She'll smile at me, I'll melt, and then she'll go back to drawing on the wall as soon as I turn around.

I guess it was inevitable that I was going to be a sucker for my little girl. After all, I'm a sucker for Mommy, so I guess I should have seen it coming. Oh well, it's still worth seeing both of them smile. And if you don't believe me, then check out these pictures from the last couple of days. If seeing her smile doesn't make you smile too, then I guess you're a stronger person than I am (or a heartless one, but whatever).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Unsolicited Advice

When you have a baby, it's like you just gave birth to a sign that says "please give me advice on how to raise this child." And since giving birth is a personal experience that only those closest to you should be a part of, then only those closest to you should be able to see that sign, right?

I can handle advice from family and relatives, and from our pediatrician, and from friends of ours that have babies, or even friends of ours that have been around babies. Sure, it gets overwhelming at times, but I know they mean well and want to share their experiences and their learnings with us. Most of the time, I'll even listen. But complete strangers is where I draw the line.

I'm not the friendliest person to people I don't know. I know it's hard to believe because I'm like a big soft, teddy bear to those who know me (stop laughing), but it's true. When it comes to holding conversations with random strangers, I'm not the one to keep that conversation going. Mommy is definitely the type of person who can keep a conversation going. She can be walking down the street and someone will just stop her to tell them their life story. I've seen it happen, although we were in a cab in the Dominican Republic. In the 40 minutes it took to get to the airport, she knew enough about our driver that she could have written his autobiography.

Well tonight, we went to the grocery store and since Kaylani had just napped, and just nursed, we brought the Baby Bjorn and let her look out at the world. They say first impressions count a lot, so I'm glad this wasn't her first impression of the world. Here's how it went down. We were in the tomato sauce/pasta aisle, and this lady walked by me, stopped, turned around and we had the following conversation.

Stranger: 2 months?
Daddy: Yep, in just a few days!
Stranger: It goes by so quickly. I have a 6 year old that comes up to here on me (puts her hand at her stomach). I also have a 3.5 year old that's getting real big. It's hard to believe.
Daddy: I bet.
Stranger: She's adorable. Let me tell you something. Make sure you celebrate every month as a birthday. Before you know it, it'll be over.
Daddy: That's a good ide..
Stranger: I'm telling you, you won't even believe it when it happens. Just the other day I looked at my 3.5 year old and my 6 year old and ..
Daddy: *Staring at cans of tomato sauce for a few minutes*
Stranger: Anyways, congratulations again.

Not bad you say, right? Well, the stranger then walked down the aisle a bit more and found Mommy looking for pasta and they had the following conversation.

Stranger: Congratulations!
Mommy: Thanks!
Stranger: Are you a stay at home mom?
Mommy: (Dressed in sweat pants and a shirt with spit up) Yes, can you tell?
Stranger: Is she fussy?
Mommy: Yeah, sometimes but she's pretty good
Stranger: Are you breastfeeding?
Mommy: Yeah...
Stranger: Are you eating broccoli? That gives your baby gas you know and could cause them to be fussy
Mommy: I eat a little bit, just because it's healthy for me
Stranger: Well everything we eat goes right to them. My mom was drinking milk and apparently I was allergic to milk because when it came through the breast milk, it would bother me. Are you giving her infant massage?
Mommy: Yeah, usually every night
Stranger: With what? Lavender oil?
Mommy: No, I normally just use my hand. I don't put lotion on her much
Stranger: Well use lavender oil. And do it at the same time every day. When my 6 year old was a baby, I used to bathe her, and then wrap her up and nurse her while I was sitting on the toilet. Right there in the bathroom. Every night! And afterwards, I would give her an infant massage with lavender oil. That was our regimen. And she wasn't fussy at all.
Mommy: Hmm, lavender oil huh? I'll try that
Stranger: You can get it over in Aisle 20. They have all the natural stuff there.
Mommy: I have some at home. You know, gifts from people and such
Stranger: Don't use Johnson & Johnson, any of their products. They're really bad for babies
Mommy: Oh really?
Daddy: (Starts counting to 10 slowly and breathing deeply)
Stranger: Yeah, real bad ingredients in there. You know, it's not just what we eat that goes to the baby, it's what we put on their skin too. It goes straight to them. I used Johnson & Johnson lavender cream on my baby and she had a rash for MONTHS. Wouldn't go away. All of their products are bad.
Mommy: Okay.
Stranger: Well congratulations, don't forget about the lavender oil, and to celebrate her birthday each month.

When she left, I stopped counting (I got to about 323 I think), we looked at Kaylani (who was sleeping at this point...lucky baby) and the front of the Baby Bjorn to make sure that the "please give me advice sign" wasn't showing. It wasn't, so maybe this lady thought she was a close friend of ours. Whatever it was, it was unbelieveable. I was waiting for Mommy to say "You know my husband works with Johnson & Johnson", but she didn't, and I'm thankful, because I don't like to get into arguments with people like that.

Okay, well that's the end of my little unsolicited advice rant. Sorry for the long post, but I thought it was best if I relayed the entire conversation. Maybe I'm overreacting, maybe I'm not, but whatever it is, it sure makes for a good post. And by the way, if you're reading this, chances are you're someone I know, so your advice is welcome (to a point). And if you're a complete stranger, well you can still give me advice because it's the internet and I can easily tune out written comments! Speaking of tuning things, check out this video of Kaylani and her piano. It's hard to say if she's staring at the lights or at the camera, but either way, Hollywood here she comes!

Monday, January 5, 2009


We left Orlando on Friday, but Orlando didn't exactly leave Kaylani. She loved it so much that she ended up taking a little something home with her. She didn't take a tan home, or a piece of palm tree, or even a Mickey Mouse souvenier. What she did take home, unfortunately, was a stuffy nose.

It first started on Thursday morning, and we noticed it when she woke up crying like this: "wahhhh wahhhh snifffffffffffffff wahhh wahhhh sniffffff." It was then that we knew something was up...up her nose that is. But, as soon as we picked her up, they went away and we thought nothing of it. Thursday night was a bit worse, and by 3am on Friday morning, she sounded like she was having a real hard time breathing. To try and help, Daddy ran out to Walgreens and bought a nasal aspirator and some saline drops (Little Noses had a convenient kit).

The instructions seemed simple. First, you use the aspirator to clear out any loose mucous. Then you take the saline drops and drip a few on the base of her nose/upper lip. Let that sit for 12-15 seconds, then aspirate out the now looser mucous. Like I said, the instructions seemed simple.

If you've ever used a nasal aspirator, it's not the most comforting thing to use. Think about it, you have to squeeze a bulb so that air comes inside through a plastic tube, then stick that plastic tube in your baby's nose, and let the bulb go slowly to suck whatever's up her nose back into the tube. Doesn't exactly sound as fun as the Winnie the Pooh ride at Disney!

Forget the fact that it doesn't sound like fun to use, it's actually not fun to use either. When Kaylani is struggling because she can't breathe through her nose, and she's crying because her dad has now jammed a nasal aspirator into her cheek, her lip, or into the side of her nose instead of in her nostril because he's nervous and she's moving, it really becomes not fun. Then, when the nasal aspirator finally finds it's way into her nose, and Daddy is finally able to release the bulb to suck out any loose mucous, that's when Kaylani screams at the top of her lung, like he's tugging on a string connected directly to his own heart. Oh, and you have to do that at least 2 times to make sure everything is out...IN EACH NOSTRIL!

And, since Mommy doesn't want to do it because she doesn't want to be the one to make Kaylani cry, that also means that Daddy gets waken up at whatever time in the morning to come clear out Kaylani's nose. So, picture all of that I just said above with the poking her in the side of the nose, cheek, lip, and then double it since Daddy has only 1 eye open (yes, and it's a small eye open) because its somewhere between 1 and 4am and he's sleeping.

I'm getting worked up just thinking about it, and I just did it for the fourth time in four days about 10 minutes ago. But at least it works. Kaylani stops crying within a minute, and when she does, you can hear it....nothing. She can breathe! It's a great feeling. Of course, to try and avoid doing this everyday, we thought our Pediatrician would have some magic potion that would get rid of the stuffy nose. So Mommy and Kaylani went to the Pediatrician's office today, and she did have a solution. She said that if we used a nasal aspirator and saline drops, then it would help her breathe. Great! Thanks! Here's my $20 copay!

Oh, and the Pediatrician also says that the saline drops are supposed to be squirted with some force up her nose instead of just a few drops. That makes things a lot less fun for everyone, but it also helped work. Hopefully, this stuffy nose will go away for good within a few more days. And until then, looks like Daddy The Aspirator to the rescue, no matter what time it is.

Since Kaylani is breathing clear and ready for bed, it's time for Daddy to get some sleep after his first day back to work in quite some time. And for all of you who procrastinated as much as I did today, here are some pictures to help you procrastinate some more. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Girls talk a lot

Girls talk a lot. There's no other way to say that. Wait, that might be seen as offensive. Let me try and start over and clarify. Girls talk a lot. Nope, no way around it. Stereotypes all exist for a reason right? I'm Asian, so I'm good at math. Mommy is Puerto Rican, so she steals things. Well one of the stereotypes on girls is that they talk a lot, and Kaylani falls right into that.

Kaylani started babbling to us about 2-3 weeks ago, but it's become much more frequent now. Now there's no problem with baby babble, and in fact, most people will find it adorable, and you can put me right there in that category. But, when the babbling comes at 4:30am and goes on for an hour, it's not exactly cute. Okay, it's still damn cute, but it's a different kind of cute. More like the "I know you're being cute sweetheart but will you just close your eyes and go to bed since it's 4 o'freaking clock in the morning?" type of cute.

Last night started off great. Mommy read her 3 books (Don't Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late, The Giving Tree, and of course Buenas Noches Luna) until she was done nursing, and then Kaylani went to sleep (or was "fast asleep" as Cousin Connor likes to say) at 9pm. Daddy tried to stay up and watch the football game (fell asleep as overtime started), and didn't even hear Mommy get out of bed at midnight or at 2am. But at 4:30am, when Mommy was done nursing, Daddy thought he would help out and put Kaylani to sleep after she was done.

By this point, I was kind of awake already, but definitely had one eye on the clock as I normal do for mid-morning events. Kaylani didn't want to be glided, or bounced, or swaddled. All she wanted to do was lay in her crib and talk. I sat in the glider and listened to her "coo" and "cah" about everything and nothing all at the same time. I was actually quite curious to know what she was babbling about, but there was nothing I could do about that. It was a good 45 minutes before I decided everyone was tired of listening (which includes her army of stuffed animals) and swaddled her up tightly and bounced and swayed her to sleep (which was no easy feat).

So the bottom line is that girls like to talk, and there's nothing wrong with that. After all, I like to listen, and I like girls, so it works out pretty well. And, when it's my baby girl doing the talking, you know Daddy's the sucker who loves it all. He's also the type of sucker who would run downstairs to get his video camera and record it at 5am (check out some video of her talking, although it had turned into slight crying by the time I got back, here). I'll accept the fact that Kaylani is a talker, but at the same time, I'm hopeful that phones (or whatever the means of conversation happen to be) are free in the future. All my engineer readers, you hear me? Or more appropriately, can you hear Kaylani?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Whole New World

Today was our first day home and it was good to be back...or at least, that's what Mommy and Daddy thought. Kaylani had a different take on things. Now when I say that, I don't mean that she didn't like to be home, or that she would rather be in Florida (although I wouldn't blame her), but she just had her own agenda for being home.

For us, being home meant we were in the comfort of our own home, and could get back into our old routines. We could watch Friends on DVR, sleep in our own bed, and cook food in non-stick pans and not burn every meal. And it also meant we could get Kaylani back into her old routine too. She was back in her own room, with her humidifier, and a changing table instead of a dresser with a towel on it, and she could hear her books the way they were meant to be instead of the way Mommy and Daddy recited them from memory.

But Kaylani didn't see things that way. She saw everything as brand new. The mobile on top of her crib that she used to ignore was now the coolest thing ever. She could stare at it for 30 minutes at time, without it even moving, which of course meant she didn't want to sleep. The swing with the happy music and the moving frog, parrot, and monkey were captivating again. The piano that plays itself and flashes lights was far more exciting then staring at a ceiling fan in Florida. And all of this lead to a sleepless day for everyone home.

It's possible that Kaylani is just a week older now, which means that she pays more attention to things, or that her hand-eye coordination is more developed which allows her to interact with more of her toys. Or it could just mean that she's happy to be home and have all her things back. Or then again, it could just mean that she didn't want Mommy and Daddy to relax and do all the things that they wanted to do back at home. Whatever it was, she fought against sleep today, and she won. So now, it's 8:30pm, she's bathed, she's ready for bed, and she's going to fight again, but we're not going to let her win. At least that's the plan! After all, we've got things to do around watch Friends on DVR.

Speaking of things to do, I've updated the site with 33 of the 400 pictures we took last week in Florida so enjoy! I'll post some more once I get a hold of the other 400 that my brother took, but this should do for now.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

Sadly, vacation is over. But we did have a great 6 days in Orlando filled with lots of fun and excitement. Kaylani had her first and second plane rides, her first trip to Disney, her first trip to Sea World, and her first New Years Eve party. And every part of it was great for her, or at least that's what we think.

Our first New Years Eve with Kaylani proved to be a lot of fun! We stayed at a family friends house until 2am listening to music, drinking, playing Domino's (traditional Puerto Rican New Years celebration). Kaylani went to sleep at 11pm, and somehow, managed to stay asleep in her carseat while everyone screamed, yelled, celebrated, and blew into their noisemakers at midnight. I'm still not exactly sure how she didn't wake up, but I think that was a testament to how tired she actually was.

Sea World on New Years Day was even better! Besides the fact that we got up early after getting home late, we had a great time. The Shamu show was AMAZING and I highly recommend it. I'm still a bit upset that I spent a year living a stones throw away from Sea World and never went while I was there. Kaylani happened to sleep through the show, but we'll be sure to take her back when she can remember it. We'll also take her back when she can actually be in the sun for more than 3 seconds at a time (or when we're less paranoid and let her be in the sun for more than 3 seconds at a time). She also saw sharks and penguins, and even one of Daddy's friends from Elementary/Middle/High School!

And to cap off our trip, Kaylani experienced her first sprint through the airport since I-4 is terrible and we may or may not have left a comfortable amount of time to get to the airport. And to prove that the takeoff poop on the way to Orlando was no fluke, she pooped again for us as soon as we stepped on the plane. But since vacation was coming to a close, she decided she'd get more out before getting back to the cold Northeast and pooped again once Daddy sat back down. It's what we in the "business" call a "two-fer." What's vacation without changing 2 diapers in a small airplane bathroom anyways.

So now we're home. Home sweet home! Vacation was great and I'm looking forward to our next trip to the warm weather (Puerto Rico in the spring to meet the rest of the family), but we're all very glad to be home for now. Kaylani can go back to sleeping in her nice comfy crib instead of the pack and play she had in Orlando, and Mommy and Daddy can get some much needed relaxation time after a packed trip. Daddy still has 2 more days of vacation left before work, and you can be sure that I'll spend some of that getting our pictures up for you to see. But in the meantime, it's time to put Kaylani to sleep, and then to put myself to sleep. Good night, and welcome to 2009!