Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Facial Recognition

Most of us have five senses that we've been working on for quite some time. I've had 28 and a half years to master my sense of sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch, and I know I take each one for granted. There's probably not much out there in my normal life that would shock one of my senses, but for Kaylani, it's completely different. I'm sure that she learns something new every day for one of her five senses.

I'm not sure what age it is before babies can recognize faces, but I know it's early. I mean, I'm sure that she knows my face because she smiles when I walk into a room (can you blame her?), but I feel like she uses more than just her sense of sight to recognize me. Sure she can see me when she stares at me and she probably can see me even if I'm not there (as proven when she stares at my spot on her futon when she's nursing and I'm not there), but I wonder what other senses she uses.

It's been proven that Mommy has a distinct smell to Kaylani, but does Daddy? I mean, I did just change cologne's, but that didn't seem to force Kaylani to readjust to me. And maybe she likes Chinese food because she does try and eat my cheek, finger, arm, or anything she can get her mouth on, but I don't know if that's how she would identify me. She definitely knows Daddy's voice as we proved when she stared at the phone when I called home, so that's another one that she uses. But it's her sense of touch that she's been using most lately.

When I put Kaylani on her back and hover over her, she likes to reach out and grab my face. It's actually one of the highlights of my day now because it feels like she's studying my every feature from my fat, flat nose (as Mommy calls it) to my squinty eyes and even up to my fuzzy hair. It kinda reminds me of those wedding games where the groom (or bride) is blindfolded and needs to identify their partner (which is a terrible wedding game in my opinion. Can you imagine getting it wrong?). But in Kaylani's view, she's not playing (and she's definitely not getting married). She's learning facial recognition in the simplest of ways.

Because she's learning what my face is like, it doesn't bother me that she has sharp nails (even when we cut/file them often) and tries to claw my nose off (which would be impossible because it's too big as Mommy says), or poke my eyes out (good luck finding them when I'm smiling), or maybe just leave her mark on my cheek. It's the simpest of sacrifices that I can make for my daughter, and I'm sure it's still only the beginning of what I'd be willing to let her do. After all, she's learning the greatest lesson of all...me!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Baby's First Haircut

Daddy finally gave in last night. I fought hard and made plenty of excuses over the past few weeks to postpone the inevitable, but it was just that, inevitable. Just like always, Mommy won. But at least this time, Daddy got to experience another Kaylani first!

It was finally time for Kaylani's first haircut, and we made the decision to do it at home. Mommy had a tiny pair of scissors with rounded points (not exactly sure what for) so we had the right equipment to get the job done. With her Bumbo set up on our ottoman/coffee table, we had the right environment to get the job done. And with the Backyardigans on the TV, we had the right distractions/entertainment to get the job done. All we needed was the right customer, and we definitely had that.

After getting Kaylani's hair a little wet and brushing it all down, we sat her in the Bumbo, pumped up the volume on the TV, and got to work (and by we, I mean Mommy of course). For the first few snips, she actually behaved pretty well (Kaylani and Mommy). It was when we got to the sides that she started to get a bit fussy (Kaylani and Mommy again). It's hard to say if she (Kaylani) was fussy because we were snipping her hair, or because she actually doesn't like sitting in her Bumbo, or she doesn't like the Backyardigans, or if she didn't like the fact that Mommy was cutting her hair unevenly. Just kidding...well, kinda.

Mommy did originally cut her hair a little bit unevenly. Actually, it wasn't really uneven, but more like a tail in the back. It looked pretty cool, except for the fact that it wasn't the 90's. We eventually got everything under control when Daddy started playing the clown, which wasn't too far away from normal I guess. So we wrapped it up, made a few last snips, and then it was all over. After weeks and weeks of stalling, all it took was 15 minutes to cut an inch of hair off the sides and the back before Kaylani's first hair cut was done.

All in all I'd say it went pretty well. Kaylani, of course, looks beautiful as usual (although I must say she looks just a little bit more like a boy, but Mommy promises it will grow back). Maybe next time we'll take Kaylani to Snip-It's, but after hearing about cousin Connor's $42 hair cut (granted it was in Manhattan), we decided to do it ourselves and couldn't be happier with the results. But hey, you be the judge. Check out pictures from Kaylani's first haircut and from the last couple of days. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Babysitter Try-outs - Round 1

September 24th. Giants Stadium. Mommy, Daddy, and U2 (and maybe you too if you have tickets). It sounds like a perfect evening, but you may notice there's one key component missing - Kaylani. When Daddy got tickets, he expected joy and excitement to be the response he got from Mommy since she's never been and always wanted to. Instead, he got a much different response.

The first words out of Mommy's mouth were "what about Kaylani?" It's a fair question, considering that Kaylani has never been away from both Mommy and Daddy for more than 30 minutes (and that was just so Mommy could come relay a message to Daddy at the pool in PR during nap time). Finding a babysitter was not one of Daddy's top priorities, especially when the concert wouldn't be for almost 6 months. It was, and has been, on Mommy's mind for quite some time though.

We have plenty of babysitters to choose from, and all of them have significant babysitting experience. There's Danika who lives 10 minutes away and has raised 2 daughters already. There's my Mom who would be willing to come down to visit and watch Kaylani for awhile. There's Neha who would love to babysit (although there's a chance she may try and steal Kaylani instead). Or there's all of Kaylani's friends parents in the area who would be happy to babysit (in exchange for their own night out some other time of course). Experienced options were not the issue.

When choosing a babysitter, it's important that Kaylani feels comfortable. And the only way we can judge Kaylani's comfort level would be for her to spend more time with her babysitter. So today, we took the first step, or round 1 in our babysitter try-outs. We headed over to Danika's for lunch, and after about an hour, Kaylani looked pretty tired so we issued a challenge to Danika. If she could get Kaylani to sleep, she would pass a major checkpoint in our search for a babysitter. We didn't think there was any chance since Kaylani has never fallen asleep with anyone other than us. Danika, loving a challenge, gave it a shot and wouldn't you know it, had Kaylani asleep in less than 10 minutes.

Now, you would think this would be a joyous occasion from Mommy, but like the U2 reaction, it was mixed. Instead of complete joy that we were one step closer to having some time to ourselves, it was a little sad that our little girl was moving on. It was one less thing that Kaylani needed from us. But at the same time, it was one step forward in Kaylani's independence, which is definitely a step in the right direction. It's also possible that she was just so tired from not sleeping last night or that Danika drugged her with Benadryl, but I guess we'll stick with the independence thing for now.

In any case, looks like we have our first babysitter past round 1. We're not sure what will be in our round 2 interviews, but one of these rounds will certainly involve a bottle. Sleep is one thing, but eating is an entirely different story. For all you potential babysitters, I'd study up now. But I bet it'll end up being harder for Mommy to handle whenever it happens. Oh well, seeing U2 should fix that.

My Alarm Clock

When we had Kaylani, I didn't think that I would ever need my alarm clock again. She was supposed to be our alarm clock replacement, and would wake us up each and every morning. And every now and then, it actually works like that. Daddy's alarm clock would be set for 6:30am, but Kaylani would cry out at 6am which was close enough to get out of bed and start the day.

Everyone can relate to the frustration with waking up minutes before their alarm clock is scheduled to go off. It brings on the feeling that you missed out on a few extra minutes of sleep before you had to get out of bed (or should get out of bed). Or if you're like Mommy, you try and sneak in a few more minutes of sleep before the alarm goes off, whether it's 1 minute or 30 minutes. Now though, it's a different feeling if the alarm clock actually wakes us up.

At this point, the alarm clock going off means we've missed out on a chance to sleep more. Sure we only set it if we have something to do, but it means that something other than Kaylani woke us up. And if something other than Kaylani woke us up, it means that she's still sleeping and we're not. Thus, the missing out on a chance to sleep some more.

There's no real way to change the way we look at things. If we don't set an alarm clock, then we'll miss out or be late for things that we've planned on doing. I guess we could clear out our morning schedules, but we just never know if she's going to wake up an hour before our alarm, or an hour after our alarm. Looks like we'll just have to adjust to the fact that waking up to our alarm clock is going to be just a little bit worse than waking up minutes before it. Sure didn't see that coming.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bouncy Baby

Tiggers like to bounce. We all know that. What I'm unsure of is whether or not Kaylani is a Tigger. Early results seem to indicate that she is, but I'm hoping the verdict is still out. I don't mind that Kaylani likes to bounce. In fact, I think it's pretty damn cute when she bounces...in her jumparoo. It's the fact that she likes to bounce everywhere that struck me as different.

We went out to dinner with Makayla (and Dorothy and Tom of course) tonight, and we couldn't help but notice the difference in mannerisms between Kaylani and Makayla. Makayla is 6 weeks older than Kaylani, and far better behaved in public. Actually, that's not fair. Both Kaylani and Makayla didn't have any sort of meltdown tonight, so "better behaved" isn't the right comparison. "More calm" I guess is what I meant to say.

We were at dinner for just about 2 hours, and for the first 1.5 hours, Makayla sat in her carseat playing by herself with her toys or looking around. By comparison, Kaylani only spent the first 20 minutes doing the same. For the rest of the time, Kaylani was in our arms bouncing up and down and looking all around us and the restaurant. It's like she was listening to the cheer "stand up, sit down, fight fight fight!" and instead of clapping or cheering along, she was going through the motions. And the whole time, Makayla sat in her carseat or in Tom's lap and stared at Kaylani (or tried to eat her own foot).

Now, since Kaylani was well behaved, I don't want to seem like I'm complaining because I'm not. It just struck me how different babies can be from one another. I mean, I've obviously known that babies are different from one another, but what makes one baby so active and the other so calm? I can't help but think that we influenced this personality somehow by the amount we used to rock her, sway her, and swing her. Did all that movement get engrained in her head so much that she loves to move? Or maybe it's just the fact that she's half Puerto Rican. That's my other explanation.

Whatever it is, she's an active little baby, and she's not even mobile yet. I guess we better get used to her activeness now, because if we don't, we're gonna be in for quite the shock when she gets older. And to make sure we're living in the moment, here are pictures to round out week 20. Enjoy looking at my little girl. I know I do!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Awaiting the Poop

I vaguely remember a time when I was afraid of opening one of Kaylani's diapers because it may have contained poop. It was many years ago (has it really only been less than 5 months) and it was really something I thought about and feared when I was changing her. You can't really blame me after her first poop incident, but that's besides the point. Nowadays, it's the exact opposite that happens when I open a diaper.

Ever since Kaylani started eating cereal, we've been worried that it may be causing her to be a bit constipated. We had heard stories from many of our friends that rice cereal could cause constipation, and wouldn't you know it, one week later she couldn't sleep because she was constipated. Oatmeal cereal was supposed to be better for Kaylani in that regards so we made the switch. But after Kaylani's sixth day of oatmeal, she had only pooped once for us (a poop up the back to the neck type poop, but still only once). She wasn't showing the same signs of constipation, but it was still something we were concerned about.

So for the last 4 days, we were anxiously awaiting for Kaylani to poop. Each diaper change felt like it was Christmas Eve back when I was kid, but instead of "Did Santa come yet?" it was "Did Kaylani poop yet?" And just like Christmas Eve oh so many years ago, the answer was always no. Today though, Santa did come...in the form of poop.

Mommy got the pleasure of dealing with a Kaylani poop. That sounds like I'm being sarcastic, but I'm actually not. The fact that Kaylani pooped took a load off, not only from Kaylani, but from Mommy too. It meant that we could stop worrying that Kaylani was constipated for at least a few more days. It meant that we didn't have to give Kaylani prune juice mixed with water in a sippy cup like our pediatrician recommended us to do. It meant that we didn't have to stick a thermometer in Kaylani to try and stimulate her to poop. And it meant that I didn't have to ask "did she poop?" for the last couple of diaper changes today.

Long gone are the days of being afraid of poop. I say bring the poop on! If I could find the switch for the soft serve ice cream, I'd pull it down myself. But since I can't, I guess I'll just sit back and wait for the poop to come. Hopefully it will come more regularly now because if it doesn't, I'm not sure who will be in more pain. After all, we'd be the ones who have to do all those horrible things to Kaylani to get her to poop for us. It'd be much easier if she pooped on her own now, and for the rest of her life too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Juggling Act

Work-life balance is an ideal state for any working parent. The life part of that equation typically means spending time with your family. In that sense, my work-life balance has been great because I'm able to spend the time I need at work and the time I need with my family. So leave it up to me to throw another variable into the plan.

I started coaching baseball a few weeks ago for the Lawrence Little League. My team, the Lawrenceville Fuel, is made up of about 11 kids between the ages of 10 and 12. I volunteered to help out as an assistant coach because I love watching baseball, I love playing baseball, and most of all because I love teaching baseball. I spent a few years helping out my brother's team at Trevor Day School, but I wanted to do more. And now that we've settled down in our new home, when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it.

It wasn't until recently that I've started to wonder if I've taken too much on. I haven't heard of anyone talk about work-life-baseball balance, so I may be entering uncharted territories. For most of the other coaches in the league, baseball and life go together since their sons and/or daughters are playing with them. Kaylani's still a bit young to be in the league, so for now, I'm on my own and baseball is something outside of life. And like baseball, it's how far outside that matters.

Luckily, Mommy is pretty supportive of me coaching since she knows how much I love the game. Just like when I went back to work, it's an adjustment for me to make sure that I'm spending quality time with Kaylani since I can't make up for it in quantity. Coaching takes up about 3-4 hours a week of my non-work time, which doesn't sound like much, but it is. It sure feels like a lot of times when I miss things like putting Kaylani to sleep like I did tonight.

There's no way I'm going to give up coaching because I've committed to it already, so I guess I'm complaining about nothing. But when the kids are goofing around instead of trying to learn baseball, it really makes me question if it's worth sacrificing an hour I could have spent with Kaylani. Maybe in 5 years I'll coach Kaylani and not have to sacrifice anything, but until then, I just hope that it is worth it. And the only way to make that happen is to win a championship. Go Fuel!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Taking It All In

After particularly long days, I find myself taking a step back from everything and just staring at Kaylani. She brings a level of calm to me that I've never had (or noticed) before and I think it's because she is a symbol of things during a less complicated, more relaxed time.

There's very little that Kaylani has to worry about or even do. To her, life is whatever she wants it to be. It's the same every day for her and so different all at the same time. Every day, things take on different meanings, or she learns that she can do something new, and it's an amazing thing to watch her go through. And it's exactly what I need every now and then.

Tonight, Kaylani spent 20 minutes in her Jumparoo, and for 20 minutes, I sat there and watched her play by herself. She's grown so much since the first time we put her in that she now uses it for different purposes. Originally, it was to stare at the lights and listen to the music. Then, it was to bounce and flex her legs. Now, she still does all those things, but takes a moment to take in her surroundings. She seemed to notice every toy and feature on the jumparoo and played with each for a little bit. But it was her ability to take everything else in that caught my attention.

She ignored the music and the lights, and instead focused on the walls around her, the toys next to her, the legs of the jumparoo that were holding her up. Sure, she stole a few glances at me staring at her, but she just went back to her own thing. Play with the toys a bit, look around. Jump a little bit, look around. Stare off at something only she could see, and then look around some more. 4 months ago, she couldn't even stare straight ahead. Now, she's staring at anything she can.

Sometimes I wish I could spend my life just taking it all in. I wish that I had nothing else to do but analyze my surroundings, and then move on to the next thing that came my way. There's nothing simple about taking care of a baby, but life sure is simpler being a baby. And oddly enough, it's the baby that makes life feel so simple after all.

If you don't believe me, take a look at this video of Kaylani I posted to our YouTube page. Take a step back and just look at how simple life can be, and I bet it makes you feel as relaxed as I do right now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

But it's still light out...

Before Kaylani, I used to think that daylight savings was the greatest thing ever. It meant that the sun would still be shining when I got out of work, and that I could actually take advantage of it before heading inside for the night. And now that we have Kaylani, I can remember when I was really young and used to think that daylight savings was the greatest thing ever because it meant a few more hours of light, but never quite understood how I could be put to bed while the sun was still shining and I could take advantage of it by playing outside. I wonder if Kaylani thinks the same thing now.

Kaylani's bedtime is sometime between 7:30 and 8pm usually, which means the bedtime process on a night that includes bath time (like tonight) starts around 6:30pm. The first step of the process includes going up to Kaylani's room and closing her shades. That's when the memories hit me. Here I was, closing the shades in my daughter's room, and the sun was shining real bright. It just doesn't seem fair.

Now I know babies need to be on a routine and that going to sleep early breeds better sleep (and by I know, I mean I read in a book), but would it really be that bad to keep her up so she could take advantage of the sun just a little bit more? She could play outside with us, maybe even go for a walk with Mommy and Daddy after dinner, or just sit outside in the backyard and watch the sun go down when it gets a little warmer. Doesn't that sound like more fun than going to sleep?

On the other hand, I guess keeping her up a few extra hours would make her overtired, which would then make her sleep worse. And since her afternoon nap is usually over by 5pm at the latest, she wouldn't make it much past 8pm anyways. I guess we'll keep things the way they are, but it's only going to get worse from here on out since it's just the beginning of Spring right now. The sun is going to last longer and longer for awhile, and Kaylani is only going to get older and older. So I guess we'll put Kaylani to sleep whenever we want, whether the sun is out or not, because I know that's something that I won't be able to control for much longer.

And, as promised, here are pictures from the last bunch of days. I've been a little busy and haven't had a chance to post, but I do have pictures from every day so take a look and enjoy!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Public Sleeping 101

I think we're completely in denial. For some reason, we keep telling ourselves that if it's Kaylani's nap time then she'll fall asleep anywhere which means it's okay for us to go out with her. She'll be so tired that once we put her in the car, she'll fall right asleep even if it's only a 5 minute drive. I mean, it makes total sense in our heads and we keep planning with those thoughts in our head, so it must be true...right?

Wrong. Totally wrong each and every time. But I think I know why we're wrong, and it has nothing to do with us (of course it doesn't). It took me a while to actually come up with a solid reason why our plan doesn't work, but today at Church, I figured it out. It's not us...it's the public. That's right, Kaylani has a problem with public sleeping. It's not Kaylani's fault either though. It's the public.

Now, "the public" is a pretty broad term, but that's exactly how I mean it. After all, it could be anyone in "the public" that prevents Kaylani from sleeping. Or, if it's like today at Church, it could be everyone in the public. Kaylani was supposed to fall asleep in her carseat sometime within the drive to Church or the first 15 minutes. When she didn't, that meant that I had to take her out. Normally, rocking her in my arms would get the job done. But that doesn't work when you're up against "the public."

Today's public offenders were a woman in her mid-40's sitting in the row in front of us and off to the right, and a 40 year old man with 2 sons who was standing behind us. The woman wasn't that bad actually. She just stayed staring at Kaylani, which of course made Kaylani stare back and smile instead of sleep. It was the man behind us that caused Kaylani's public sleeping issues. He was making funny faces, staring, waving, everything at Kaylani which made her smile, squeal, and laugh. None of those things are synonomous with sleeping.

So Kaylani didn't take her morning nap until we left Church (at 12:15pm). She did get a good hour nap in during our car ride to IKEA and the beginning of our shopping trip. On the other hand, she didn't get an afternoon nap in because we were making a bit of noise putting together her playroom furniture (we're almost done with the furniture part...now just have to buy the decorations). And now it's 8pm which means we pushed Kaylani way too late for having a late morning nap and no afternoon nap. I've also got to get some work work done and eat dinner too, so unfortunately no pictures tonight. Tomorrow though...promise!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Daddy Day Trip

This morning, Daddy and Kaylani took a small little trip out by ourselves. Normally, I would just describe it as a quick trip to Wegman's to buy a few things, but this trip was more than that. It was our first real trip alone. Previous Daddy-Daughter trips consisted of a quick drive to Dunkin Donuts and back, or from the office to home when Mommy and Daddy ended up in separate cars. Today, we got out and did something "substantial" together.

Okay, so buying oatmeal cereal for Kaylani (we've given up on rice cereal...more to come on that in the future) at Wegman's may not seem substantial to anyone but me, but it was substantial on a few levels for us. For one, Daddy got to walk his little girl around for a bit in the grocery store, and field the comments about her by himself. He particularly liked the one where the cashier said Kaylani looks like Daddy, just giving more fuel for his debate with Mommy (and no, I don't care that she's never even seen Mommy so her opinion actually means nothing).

Also, the Daddy-Daughter trip allowed Mommy to do something that she doesn't do very often, and that's shower without having to entertain Kaylani. Typically during the week, Kaylani sits in her bouncy in the bathroom and Mommy plays peek-a-boo with her while she takes a very quick shower. And for anyone who knows Mommy, they know how much she likes long, hot showers. So the fact that Mommy got to take a nice shower and wash her hair without having to say "Where's Kaylani? There she is!" every 10-15 seconds meant quite a bit.

So I think Daddy-Daughter trips are going to be somewhat of a regular thing in the future on the weekends. Mommy will get some time to herself back, and Daddy will get to spend just a little bit of time alone with his little girl. I'd say that's a win-win for everyone involved. Hope Kaylani thinks the same...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Is it Spring yet?

Today was Kaylani's first day of Spring ever (although for some reason I always thought Spring started on the 21st). Luckily for her, she probably had no expectations of what Spring typically means. In a few years, she'll probably expect Spring to be warmer, sunnier, and at the very least, less snowy. But since this is her first year and she has no expectations, then she probably wasn't disappointed when she woke up and saw snow on the ground (likely because she probably didn't even notice it).

Come to think of it, Kaylani probably thinks Spring is colder than winter. After all, in her first winter, she's been to Orlando and Puerto Rico, both which were considerably warmer than her first day of Spring. But soon she'll learn how great Spring actually is and why it's Daddy's favorite season. Once Spring actually comes (maybe it does start on the 21st), we'll get to do all types of things with Kaylani that we couldn't in the winter (in NJ), and that's what Mommy and Daddy are excited about.

Not only will Kaylani get to watch day after day of baseball games with Daddy (which is why it's his favorite season), but she'll also get to go for walks in the park, play outside in the grass, touch the grass, maybe even eat the grass (only if she catches us off guard). She'll get to wear short sleeves and short pants everyday instead of just when we're in PR (which won't be for awhile again). And it's possible she'll even get to spend some more time in her big Graco stroller since she hasn't done that very often up until now (as long as we don't buy the MacClaren we've got our eyes on first that is).

So hopefully this cold weather will be gone as quickly as the 1/2" of snow that was on the ground this morning. Because once it's gone, it's time to experience the great outdoors, and that's an experience that we all can't wait to have. So happy Spring to everyone! If you're looking for something to do, feel free to come visit Kaylani. We'll be outside waiting for you, weather permitting of course!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Burp Baby Burp

When it's just family around, Daddy may let loose a burp or two right at the dinner table. I know it's kinda rude (even if it is just family), but the way I look at it, I'm helping Kaylani. Mommy disagrees with me of course, but if you really think about it, burping after eating is exactly what we need Kaylani to learn. And since burping Kaylani has been taking longer and longer, it can't hurt to show her the way, right?

Kaylani's never been the best burper. Even when she was first born, it would take us several minutes to get a good burp out of her after she nursed or took a bottle (you know, back when she used to take the bottle). It didn't matter if we did the sit and burp, the over the shoulder and burp, the airplane burp, or the give her Mylicon and burp because there wasn't any special way we could get her to burp quickly. Sometimes she wouldn't burp until Daddy took her, and sometimes she wouldn't burp until she went with Mommy. But now, neither of us seem to have the magic touch.

They say breastfed babies don't need to burp as much as bottle fed babies because there's less air involved. That'd be comforting if breastfed babies didn't have to burp at all. At least then we wouldn't worry if she was okay because she didn't burp. Instead, we are always left with some uncertainty if she'll be alright when she doesn't burp. Is she going to wake up in an hour because she didn't burp? Is she going to spit up instead of burp once we put her down? Do we really have to wake her up to burp her since she probably won't burp anyways?

I'm not even sure at what age we can stop burping her. Sometimes she'll burp on her own just sitting there (like she did right now). Does that mean she can control her own gas? I doubt it since I know certain 33 year olds that can't control their own gas. Mommy just burped herself while she was nursing Kaylani, so unless she wants to be a hypocrite, I think Daddy just got the green light to keep burping at the dinner table (even though she claims it's different because we're not at the dinner table). But hey, Daddy's little girl has to learn somehow, right?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Tortoise and the Hair

When I was growing up, one of the stories that I (and probably many of you) heard was about the Tortoise and the Hare. Of course, the moral of the story was that slow and steady wins the race. Some may say that it's too early to teach Kaylani lessons like that, and they may be right, but I think that lesson is going to come to an end soon.

Kaylani was born with a full head of hair. We were told that it would fall out after a couple of weeks, or maybe after a couple of months, but to date, the only hair that she's missing is her little bald spot in the back (which must be Yea Yea's influence....hehehe). Seeing her hair grow and grow has been kinda driving Mommy a bit nuts. It's not that Mommy doesn't want her to have a lot of hair, but to Mommy, Kaylani's hair is a bit wild. And for months now, Mommy has been trying to convince Daddy to help her cut Kaylani's hair. This is where Daddy has played the role of the tortoise. He's convinced that slow and steady, which means not cutting her hair, is the right way to go.

Well Daddy's days away from losing this battle. Mommy's argument reached the tipping point while we were in PR. If you've seen the pictures, one of the things you'll notice is how curly Kaylani's hair was while we were there. Of course the humidity played a role in that, but it did make her hair look a bit unruly. Now that we're back North, Kaylani's hair has straightened out again, but it's not any less unruly. And it's because of this that Daddy is going to lose the battle.

Mommy's (and Abuela's) other argument for cutting Kaylani's hair is that it will grow back stronger and faster, and lead to more beautiful hair as she gets older. It's even an Indian tradition to shave all children's heads completely when they turn one year old so that it grows back even stronger afterwards. As compelling of a tradition that may sound like, Mommy and Daddy won't be going that far since Daddy is still holding out on a slight trim.

The fact that Kaylani is only 4.5 months old is only one of my concerns. I actually have a ton of questions that run through my head each time the topic comes up. Does she really need a haircut? Are the ends of her hair really thin? And why does Daddy keep saying she has split ends instead of just thin hair on the ends? And honestly, who's going to cut her hair so that it looks good? What happens if she moves during her hair cut and we cut her head off?

Okay, so maybe all of Daddy's questions aren't actually valid, but it's still something that I'm not rushing to do. But like most things since Daddy met Mommy, Daddy doesn't have the final say and it looks like the end of the ends of Kaylani's hair will come this weekend. Maybe if I play the tortoise just a little bit longer, I can drag this out, but I'm pretty sure that the hair is going to win this race.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Today was Kaylani's first Saint Patrick's Day, and she did something that Daddy didn't do...wear green (Daddy didn't wear green for most of the day, but of course changed into green for photos as you can see). To be honest, I don't really know what today is all about, but we celebrated it anyways. I mean, I understand that we're celebrating Saint Patrick, but was Saint Patrick responsible for bringing us the color green, beer, and corned beef and cabbage? If not, then I really fail to see the connection.

It's things like this that I'm going to have to learn within the next 2 years. 2 years from now, as I've learned from my nieces and nephews, Kaylani will most likely be asking me questions like "why are we celebrating Saint Patrick's Day" or maybe just "why?" My job as a Dad is to know the answer, or to at least be able to make something up fairly believeable. Personally I think the fact that Saint Patrick brought us the color green, beer, and corned beef and cabbage is fairly believable, but I guess I should make them fairly appropriate too.

Luckily Kaylani is far removed from being able to ask those complex questions so Daddy didn't have to think of something believable and appropriate today, but we still did celebrate. Kaylani wore her cute little St. Patrick's Day outfit and bib that we bought her, Mommy and Daddy dressed in green for pictures on the green couch in the green room, and we even had homemade corned beef and cabbage that Mommy made for dinner (and by we, I don't mean Kaylani). Kaylani will get some corned beef and cabbage while she nurses, but for dinner, she had a much thicker rice cereal tonight (which she gobbled up with MUCH less mess).

Anyways, instead of looking up the true meaning of Saint Patrick's Day so I have an answer in 2 years, I uploaded pictures of her in her special outfit for today, as well as videos of Kaylani eating her watery cereal from yesterday and her first trip to the pool in PR to YouTube. So enjoy Kaylani's first "solid food" experience in all it's messiness!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baby's First Feeding

Today, Kaylani took one giant step forward in her development milestones and had her first taste of food ever. Her bib, clothes, chin, and neck had their first feel of food ever too, and it's probably safe to say they felt more food than Kaylani actually ate. But that was to be expected so we pressed onwards. Once the media circus was ready (video camera on tripod, camera on remote standby), we began.

For Kaylani's first food of "choice," Daddy made her a nice helping of Gerber Single Grain Cereal mixed with breastmilk. I'm not entirely convinced that I did it right since it came out pretty watery, but I followed the directions as closely as possible. So instead of the solid consistency that we were expecting, Kaylani got a semi-solid, mostly liquid, bowl of "cereal" to munch on. Or at least that's what she got to push out of her mouth.

Kaylani's been staring at us and our food at dinnertime for awhile now, so we know she's been waiting to try her own food. She even opens her mouth if she's in your lap when you're trying to eat. So it was no surprise to us that she opened her mouth real wide when we brought the spoon to her mouth for the very first time. Daddy had the honor of Kaylani's first spoonful of food, so he had a front row seat of the food going in, and then coming right back out. Spoon #2 went the same way, but I think she might have taken some of it that time.

On and on we went. Soon it was Mommy's turn and she did a bit better because she's mastered the spoon and re-spoon technique (that's where you put the food in her mouth, then quickly move the spoon back to catch the food on its way out, and do it again and again until either she's swallowed the food, or it's splattered all over her face/neck/bib that there's no more left).

Overall, I'd say she did pretty damn well for her first time with food. She had almost 2 ounces of milk mixed in with 1 tablespoon of cereal in her bowl, and she probably ate 90% of it. The other 10% got spilled down her face into her bib when we gave her what was left in the bowl just for kicks. We'll try again tomorrow at dinner, and the next day after that too with rice cereal and hopefully she'll get the hang of it sooner rather than later. I hope it's sooner, because the sooner she gets the hang of it, then the sooner we can try new and more exciting foods!

Check out pictures from our feeding adventure today, and also pictures from Puerto Rico! We had over 600 pictures to choose from, but I think I picked 60 that cover the week pretty well. And come back tomorrow for videos from Kaylani's first feeding adventure. I'm sure they'll give a much better idea of how it went!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Longest Flight EVER

It's 9pm right now and I'm writing this post from my flight from PR. That probably doesn't mean much to you., but since our flight was scheduled to land at 7pm, it means quite a bit to us. We still have 2 hours until we're scheduled to land, but the worst part is that Kaylani has only slept for 2 hours since 8:30am.

Today was not supposed to be like this. In fact, we booked the 3pm flight home from PR instead of the 6pm flight, which would have given us more time with our family (and at the pool), on purpose. If we had known that the 3pm flight would be leaving AFTER the 6pm flight, we probably would have done things quite a bit differently.

We're no strangers to flight delays. As a matter of fact, I personally have had some pretty awful flight experiences, and I like to think I dealt with them pretty well (except the time half my wedding party didn't make it to my bachelor party. That time sucked). But like I've said many times before, things are different now that we have Kaylani.

Kaylani only took an hour nap this morning, but we figured it would be okay since she could fall asleep while Mommy nursed her during takeoff. When we pre-boarded and got on the plane around 2:30, it looked like that was going to work. But the plane didn't pull away from the gate at 3pm as scheduled. As a matter of fact, it didn't even pull away at 4pm. I would have even been happy if it pulled away at 5pm but it didn't.

Apparently the water switch valve was malfunctioning. They gave a few updates, but Kaylani, Mommy, and I didn't really care what the problem was. We just wanted to get airborn so Kaylani could nap and we could get home. Kaylani nursed and fell asleep for 5 minutes several times, and Daddy rocked her until she fell asleep for 5 minutes several more times, but to Kaylani, each time was nothing more than a 5 minute power nap.

At 4:30pm, they told us we could get off the plane if we wanted to, so we did because we needed some food. Of course, Kaylani fell asleep as soon as Mommy walked her in the Baby Bjorn. But 30 minutes later when they told us everything was fixed and we could get back on the plane, Kaylani was awake again. We didn't get everyone back on board for another 30 min, and diuring that time, Daddy almost had her back asleep. But as soon as they made him sit down she was back awake.

To add insult to injury, our flight left so late that we had to be re-routed around Florida because of a Shuttle launch. That meant that our 3.5 hour flight got extended by an hour and that we wouldn't be landing until 11pm, or 4 hours late. Throw baggage and the drive home from PHL in there, and we that means we won't be rolling in until probably after midnight.

A 4 hour delay is just part of air travel nowadays and I can uinderstand that...kinda. But I just feel bad for pushing Kaylani so much. She normally takes two 2 hour naps, and is in bed by 9::30pm at the latest. Today, she'll have taken two 1 hour naps and go to bed around 12:30am.

To her credit, she's done as good as we could hope for. No major meltdowns (though she did have her 2 in-flight poops already and we still have 2 hours left), and she still smiles at people most of the time. She's sleeping right now (and hopefully for the next 2 hours), but let's just say we're not exactly looling forward to our next flight. We don't have one scheduled yet, and you can bet that we won't anytime soon either, for Kaylani's sake that is.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Some Fun in the Sun

Babies aren't supposed to be out in the sun. I mean, they should get some sun, but they shouldn't be OUT in the sun. Up North, that hasn't been much of a problem for us. But down in PR, it's a different story.

Tomorrow we fly home, so in essence, today was our last day in PR. Between the weather and our baby tour on Thursday, there hasn't been much time to "take sun" for either Mommy or Daddy. So today was our last chance to do that too and it turned out to be a perfect day for it. Not only was the sun shining bright, but we had a few friends coming over for Titi Glenda's birthday party.

The plan was for everyone to come over for lunch, and then we would head to the pool before dinner. Unfortunately, Kaylani's naps didn't quite work with that timing. She woke up on the early side for her (6:30am), took nap #1 right at 8:30, and when she woke up at 10:30, she was ready to go. By the time Titi Astrid, Tio Juanky, and Emma showed up, it was close to 12:30pm, and Kaylani probably could have taken nap #2, but we headed to the beach for 30 minutes instead (and got some great photos)!

Nap #2 only ended up being 30 minutes, so when lunch was over and it was time to go to the pool, Kaylani was ready for nap #3 (or nap #2.5). That meant someone had to stay behind, and that someone ended up being Mommy. Mommy was looking forward to taking some sun, but when it came down to it, making sure Kaylani took a good nap was more important. So instead of taking any sun, she stayed in the apartment with Titi Mayra Lee, Andrea, and some other family friends.

Daddy spent over 2 hours by the pool, but to be clear, he was helping watch/play with Primita Alisha and Emma, and not just relaxing with a beer while getting a nice tan (and not just because they didn't allow beer in the pool area). I still think Mommy looks great, but if you're wondering why Daddy looks so much darker (pictures coming tomorrow), that's the reason why (and the fact that he tans better). But don't worry, I'll make it up to Mommy next vacation. She can spend more time in the sun and I'll stay in and watch Kaylani. I'll still get a better tan anyways!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Scattered Showers in PR

Anytime Daddy has looked at a weather forecast for PR, it always says the same thing: scattered showers. And unlike the Northeast, the forecast is always right. I don't think I've spent a day in PR where it hasn't rained at least a little bit and that's a good thing...usually.

I didn't look at the forecast today, but it might as well have said scattered sun instead of scattered showers. Needing to take advantage of our last days of vacation (and of course of the sun), we headed to the pool in the early afternoon. The sun and the end of Kaylani's nap were synced up perfectly too! Unfortunately, the water temperature was not.

I'm pretty sure Kaylani didn't enjoy her time in the pool today. I can't be sure, but I think that crying whenever she touched the water (or when Daddy put her barely touching the water fountain) means she didn't like it. We were just happy she got to experience it again though. And it turned out okay since the showers started up again after an hour (Kaylani was luckily back inside already).

And since Kaylani was all lathered up with sunblock, we had to give her a bath again tonight. Without her bath tub, bath time the last couple of nights has been nothing short of uncomfortable. So to mix it up, we decided to let Kaylani have her first shower. Having conveniently showered already earlier, Mommy let Daddy be the one to hop in and hold her. So Daddy put back on his bathing suit, and got a nice tight grip on Kaylani.

The tight grip was a nice starter, but a soapy Kaylani makes a tight grip a bit difficult. Also, the water pressure itself was a bit spotty and kept going in and out. I guess you could say Kaylani had a scattered shower! I know, I'm cheesy...

Anyways, day 4 in PR is just about over for Kaylani. For the rest of the night, Daddy is going to figure out how to get the pictures off of his camera and onto his camcorder with Tio Pritesh. Apparently a 2 GB memory card only lasts 3.5 days with us. Guess I shoulda seen that coming. Hopefully we'll find a way that let's me take them home and still take pictures for the next day and a half because the forecast tomorrow looks like fun in the sun (with scattered showers of course)m

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baby Tour - PR Style!

Contrary to everything we've done since we got here, the main reason we came to PR was to introduce Kaylani to her Puerto Rican familia. So after a day and a half of relaxing at the Beach House, it was time to load everyone in the minivan and head West.

We left the apartment at 10am, or 2 hours after we took Kaylani out of her pack and play (or 2.5 hours after she woke up and started talking to herself). It worked out perfectly in our head and Kaylani was going to take her morning nap during the 1.5 hour drive to our first stop. We're so naïve sometimes....

Of course Kaylani didn't sleep for any considerable amount of time during the ride. Part of the reason was that she could look at all types of new things, including Primita Alisha. The other part of the reason was that she could not only look, but interact with Alisha (and vice-versa). And another reason she didn't sleep was that when we passed through a tunnel, trucks and cars in PR apparently find it fun to honk at each other as a means of communication, especially in tunnels.

So stop 1 was in Vega Alta, and Kaylani got to smile and talk to Tio Daniel and Titi Leo. Stop 2 was in Vega Baja where Kaylani met Bisa-abuela (her Great Grandma), Titi Lydia, and Tio Frank. She also had her first encounter with a perro (although she didn't touch Cici and Cici didn't touch her). After a quick 20 minute nap in Daddy's arms (and a quick drink of fresh homemade jugo de toronja by Daddy), we were back on the road. Stop 3 was in Vega Alta at una casa de la amiga de Titi Glenda, and stop 4 was back in Vega Baja at Titi Lucy's.

Stop 4 was Daddy's favorite since we had lunch there which consisted of arroz con jamon y salchicha, ensalada de coditos, pernil (with fresh limon from a tree right outside), and even a homemade rum cake that we had for Titi Glenda's birthday (feliz cumpleanos Titi Glenda)! I think stop 4 was Kaylani's favorite too because it was there that she got to take a 2 hour nap...at 3pm! It was also where she met Titi Julie, Titi Santa, Primos Efrencito and Julio, and his 6 week old baby who weighs 11lbs 6oz already! Then, it was one last stop in Vega Alta to meet Titi Margo and Tio Dioni.

So, if you were able to follow that, Kaylani went from Loiza to Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vega Alta, Vega Baja, Vega Alta before getting back to Loiza about 30 minutes ago. She did great today and showed everyone her smile and even a giggle mixed in. Most of the people said she was a perfect mix of us, but I think Mommy may have left out the "she looks like Daddy" part when she translated.

Anyways, that wraps up day 3 for Kaylani in PR. Tomorrow we'll bring Kaylani out to the pool again, and Tio Pritesh will arrive too so that's it for now. Kaylani needs to get some much needed rest, and Mommy and Daddy need to have dinner. We might not actually need dinner since we ate a ton at lunch, but that's why its called a vacation, right?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Problem With Change

Before I start, let me make it very clear that this is NOT a political related post. It is also not a post about loose change (which I hate). This IS a baby related post to the problems we have when we change things. After all, babies are creatures of habit, so change is not always a good thing.

Being in PR forced us to change a lot of things. For starters, and the most obvious, is that we had to change our location, or more importantly, where Kaylani sleeps. Instead of her crib in her own room, she gets a pack and play with a blanket draped over one side (so she can stare at something nicer than mesh netting) next to our bed. That part didn't affect her that much though. However, Mommy dragging the pack and play closer to the bed because Kaylani had made her way to the side and under the blanket, which caused a loud screeching noise at 4:30am? That affected her pretty good. Instead of a routine early morning diaper change, we got a terrified and crying baby.

And since we were all up at 4:30am anyways and happened to notice Kaylani had scratched her face, Mommy thought it best to clip a few nails. That part didn't bring on too much change, except instead of 5 uncut fingers, Kaylani was down to 4 (although Kaylani didn't even notice since it was only a small nick). Oops! Not the best early morning for Kaylani...

The other thing that changed for Kaylani was that she's no longer a stranger to a pool! We took her in the pool with us for the very first time, and that also required us to change her into swimmie diapers. Now, for those of you not familiar with swimmies, they're basically diapers that let water out, but keep "other stuff" fairly in. And before anyone gets the wrong idea, Kaylani did not poop in the pool.

However, Kaylani did poop OUTSIDE of the pool. Again, for those of you not familiar with infant poop, its not the solidest of poops. So, what do you think happens when you have "not the solidest poop" and a diaper that let's water out? CODE BROWN! Fortunately, Kaylani was laying on a blanket in a beach chair and not in anyone's arms. I say fortunately, but I haven't looked at her bathing suit or the towel yet. I'm sure they don't feel so fortunate.

Anyways, there are a few more problems that we've run into with this change of scenery, like the fact that Kaylani looks at everything (which isn't a bad thing except when she has to nurse), and the fact that Kaylani talks in her sleep (to her frog, or to anyone who will listen...like us). But the good thing about this change is that our family gets to spend a few days in the sun where the only thing we need is a swimsuit and a cooler to hold the beer. And let me tell you, that's a change I can definitely get onboard with.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Road to PR - "Live!"

For the first time here on The Daddy Diaries (or anywhere actually), I'm going to keep a running log of the day...starting now. I figure this might be easier then sitting down to actually write tonight, so here we go!

Monday, March 9:

9:05pm - Daddy just got home from baseball practice. It was a good time, but not exactly what I needed the night before vacation (mainly because I still have to pack). Word on the street says Kaylani fell asleep 20 minutes ago. My schedule had her asleep by 7:30. My schedule is a liar. Oh well, its time to pack.

9:35pm - Done! Suitcases are all closed up and it's still early! Let's go sneak in some TV before bed!

10:40pm - Mommy and Daddy decided to watch Chuck instead of 24. Its almost 11 and I'm now convinced that neither was the right choice.

Tuesday, March 10:

12:15am - Kaylani started doing her cry/sleep around 30 minutes ago. Mommy heard it first. Daddy didn't wake up until about 10 minutes ago. I'd like to say Kaylani was happy to see me, but freaking out and crying when I went in there doesn't count as happy. Either way, she's back asleep now and I'm writing this blog. What's wrong with me?

3:40am - I'm up, I'm up, and only after one snooze. Mommy tried to negotiate a later flight in exchange for a few more hours of sleep, but it didn't work, mainly because she was negotiating with herself (and she's not very good at either side of a negotiation).

4:05am - We're showered and ready to go, and Kaylani is starting to move (which is good since she's sideways with her head up against the crib railing). Let's get this party started!

4:30am - Car's packed, and Daddy is ready to go. Kaylani told me to relax and let her finish nursing. How rude!

4:50am - Kaylani's asleep in her car seat. Everything is going according to plan!

4:53am - And she's wide awake. Stupid garage door. That's okay, she likes to sleep in the car. Let's roll!

6:04am - We made it to PHL, and found a nice spot right near the elevator. Time to unload and get to ticketing!

6:15am - And we're back in the car. Apparently US Airways thinks San Juan counts as an International flight. Umm...hello? US territory seems to imply domestic to me! Oh, by the way, Kaylani's awake and its questionable if she ever slept in the car.

6:40am - And we're through security at the right terminal! Kaylani's been doing great. She's flashing smiles at everyone. If she could kiss herself, she could run for President.

7:04am - They just called First Class boarding so its time to hop on the plane...because pre-boarding is right after First Class. Not sure anyone in First Class would have wanted us, but I guess that's a Moo point. You know, like a cow's opinion. It's Moo.

7:30am - Planes getting kinda full and we made the mistake of pre-boarding. So instead of going to the bathroom to change Kaylani, we're gonna do it right here at our seats. Sure hope its just pee...

7:45am - We're away from the gate and Kaylani is nursing. Let's get airborne! And yes, it was only pee. I'm sure the guy sitting next to us was more thankful than we were.

7:50am - Kaylani is practically asleep, and apparently we're 9th in line for take off. Doh!

8:01am - NOW we're airborne! We made the decision to wake Kaylani up so she could nurse during take-off (which saves her little ears). Part 1 of the plan worked. Part 2 which is getting her back to sleep, has not yet.

8:30am - Finally, she's asleep! It took a whole lot of in-seat swaying and rocking, but Daddy did it. The transfer from Daddy's arms to the pillow on Mommy's lap went perfectly too!

9am - Mommy's decided Kaylani's neck/head are in a funny position. It's Daddy's job to move her. No good can come of this.

9:02am - Annnnnd she's up. Mommy claims it had nothing to do with the head move. Sure is quite the coincidence though...

9:20am - Pooooooop! Here we were thinking she was being so good and just sitting there playing with her feet. Mommy was the unlucky one with her hand supporting her butt. Its still unclear how bad it is, but after further investigation, there's no poop on Mommy's hand. That's the good news. The bad news is that the guy on the aisle (I'm going to call him Jose from here on out) is sleeping. Poor Jose is gonna get woken up AND a whiff of poop as we pass by.

9:35am - We were seconds away from changing her right at our seats when Jose woke up. That meant Daddy got to change her instead. After walking to the back lavatories which had no changing table, we went up front and changed there. Daddy had no problems once he picked up the diaper and wipes container off the floor (smooooth). And apparently Kaylani almost hit her head when Daddy was getting out of the row. Who knew? Well Kaylani is trying to grab my finger (or my Blackberry) and Mommy is shaking Kaylani's drool onto me, so that's it for now.

10:22am - She's finally back asleep in my arms. Been about 30 minutes since I've been able to move my left arm. I'm tired of typing with one hand. And my leg itches. And my arm hurts. Mommy has NO idea how much this hurts (she always rolls her eyes at me when I say that). Oh crap, she's

11:04am - Yep, she woke up. She's been playing for the last 30 min and now she's nursing as we prepare to land. Just to make sure we remembered her, she's pooping again. That's 3 flights in her lifetime, and 6 in-air poops for those of you keeping count. People around me are clapping so that means we've landed. For those of you who find it weird, it happens on any flight with Puerto Ricans aboard.

11:32am - Some random Puerto Rican lady just took Kaylani's picture with her cell phone while we waited for our bags. Turns out her daughter wants to buy a Baby Bjorn so she wanted to show her what it looked like (Mommy's wearing Kaylani right now)

12:17pm - Daddy's got the rental minivan and Titi Glenda, and Primitos Alsiha and Rohan are loaded into the car. Kaylani's next, but first we need to stop her from crying since Mommy just bumped her head into the roof. And things were going so well. Nice one Mommy!

12:50pm - We've arrived at Abuela's house and are happy to report that Kaylani has been napping for 20 minutes! Hopefully she'll nap a bit longer than that....like 2 hours longer. But for us, its time to eat arroz y carne guisada on the porch. Great food and great weather. Mmmmmm!

12:52pm - Aaaand she's awake. Not surprised she didn't last 5 minutes with Abuela lurking around!

1:51pm - It's finally time for a...MELTDOWN! Kaylani's had enough for today and we're still not quite at our end destination. Hopefully she'll take a real nap sometime soon before she gets captured again. Not much I can do to help since I've been told "no toca" several times already. Apparently she's not my baby when there's family around.

3:45pm - We made it to the Beach House in Loiza and Kaylani is still sleeping after the 50 minute drive (although we're unsure if she slept the entire time since we're without our baby car mirror). Now its time to unload all the cars. I wonder if she'll stay asleep for another hour. But damn this place looks nice! Wonder how much I can get a place here for. "Kaylani" might like a yearly winter vacation here...

5:23pm - Kaylani's been sleeping for about 2.5 hours now. I know she hasn't slept all day, but I'm kinda wondering if this is going to affect the night sleep. Oh well, I've had 2 rum and cokes since we finished unpacking around 4:30, so I guess its no big deal!

7:39pm - We just got back from a long walk around the complex and got Kaylani ready for bed. Its been a LONG day (almost as long as this post), and now its time to call it a night. Well, Mommy and Daddy are gonna eat dinner and have a beer or three, but this is it for Kaylani.

8:01pm - Daddy just finished reading Mommy todays post. For all of you who followed along the entire day, I thank you for reading. For those of you who skipped around and just came to the end, nice work! And for those of you who don't read this, I just wasted a few more seconds of my life addressing you. Daddy out from PR!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Farewell to NJ

In just about 12 hours, with any luck, our plane will leave Philly and take us to sunny Puerto Rico, and those 12 hours can't come soon enough. We booked this trip about 2 months ago, but in actuallity, we've had this trip booked in our minds for over 6 months now. We always knew that we would take Kaylani to see our family in Puerto Rico somewhere between the 3 and 6 month mark. Right now, I'm sure glad we didn't wait 2 more months. It's going to be 6 days in really warm weather that we're gonna enjoy.

Having already taken Kaylani on a plane when we went to Orlando, we're much less worried about tomorrow's flight. Now, that doesn't mean that we didn't have any issues packing for the trip, but overall, I'd say we're much less worried. I'm sure we're overpacked (or will be by the time we finish tonight), but really, how many burp cloths would we have to bring to be considered overpacked? 5? 7 (which is what we have)? 15? And how many bibs would be considered overpacked? Again, we brought 7, but we really think we might be underpacked. After all, we've seen what Kaylani can do to both a burp cloth and a bib...

So the last week has been spent preparing for our trip. We bought a few new things (a cute pair of shorts, a big floppy hat, Aveeno Baby Sunscreen, a swimsuit that leaves nothing to the imagination or to the sun) and tied up a few loose things here at home and for me at work. And besides throwing the last few things into a suitcase tonight and packing her/our carry-on bag, we're left with tonight's bedtime routine.

Our bedtime routine has been pretty solid for the last week with Kaylani being asleep by 8:30pm, and out for a solid 9 hours. She would then nurse for a bit, then it's back to sleep for another 3 hours. But since we have to start out trip to the airport at 5am tomorrow, bedtime got moved up an hour. The plan was to bathe her at 6:30, nurse her at 7, and then she'll be asleep by 7:30. Tacking on 9 hours to that means she's up at 4:30, and with a quick change and some more nursing, we're out the door by 5 (with her hopefully back asleep in the car). It's 7:23pm right now, and we're already slightly off.

Bath time started at 6:30 on schedule, and we were tracking towards being finished even a little early. But Kaylani had other plans and decided to give her bath a nice farewell gift before she saw it next week. So after we finished round 1 of soap, and then round 2 of shampoo, it was brown round for Kaylani. Unlike last time, Daddy was around and could help the process along with the disinfecting, the refilling, and the re-disinfecting, but it did set us back about 10 minutes since we had to rewash her. It wasn't the biggest of deals, but hopefully those 10 minutes won't come back at us in the morning.

If you couldn't tell, I'm a bit of a time freak and like to have everything down to a schedule. I know I'm going to have to let it go now that Kaylani is here, but it's a hard thing to break for me. Speaking of time, it's time for me to wrap up. Kaylani's not quite done yet, but Daddy has baseball practice in 30 minutes (I'm an assistant coach for a Little League team...more to come on that), and still has to pack his own bag AND watch Chuck AND 24 before going to bed tonight. Not exactly sure all of that will happen, but we'll see.

So for those of you who just come here for the pictures/videos, I'm going to have nothing for you until Sunday at the latest. But for those of you who come for the posts, I'll try and keep it as daily as possible. One of my favorite parts of Orlando was sitting on the porch on a nice sunny day, drinking some coffee, and writing my blog through my Blackberry, so hopefully I'll get to do that again. Come check in, or just check through Facebook, but either way, have a great week. I know we will!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Caught on Tape

Today is Kaylani's 4 month birthday, and just like last month on her 3 month birthday, she gave us a laugh. There was a small giggle about a week ago, but other than that, her laugh was nowhere to be found since the first time. For the longest time, we tried everything. We tried raspberries on her belly, tickling her chin and her neck, "eating" her hands and feet, but all to no avail. But today, Mommy had the magic touch.

We had an event filled day with Church, lunch with Sofie (and Rob and Jen), and a trip to the mall for some last minute things for Puerto Rico all before we came home. Kaylani slept about 40 minutes during all of those errands, so we were expecting her to go to sleep pretty quickly once we got home. What we got instead was far better.

Mommy was in the glider with Kaylani getting ready to nurse her before nap time. Daddy was on the computer uploading some pictures from their day at the park yesterday. All of a sudden, he heard a "Paaaa" come from Kaylani's room, and he headed over. That's when he heard it.

It was that magical little giggle coming from his little girl. She was gliding back and forth with Mommy, and just giggling away. Mommy was pretending to eat her hand and just playing with her, and there she was, laughing along with us. I could probably continue describing it, but it's probably better just to show you (that's right! I got it on tape this time)! So, check out the video below (or on YouTube), but don't forget to check out pictures from the last 2 days as well. Maybe this laughing on her birthday thing will be Kaylani's gift to us every month, but we're hoping it happens way more frequently. But if is a birthday thing, then we'll just have another reason to look forward to each month passing by. Happy 4 month birthday Kaylani!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Great Outdoors

For months we've been waiting for Spring to come so we could take Kaylani outside. One of the reasons we wanted to take her out was so that she could see new things and experience the great outdoors for herself instead of through a glass door or a window. The other reason was because we were tired of the same old picture backgrounds. 90% of the pictures we've taken (which is probably over 2K pictures) have been in the confines of our house, so of course we jumped on the opportunity to head outside with the camera.

The day started off with a trip to the pediatrician for Kaylani's immunizations. It was then that we realized today was going to be a gorgeous day. The sun was shining and the weather was warm, and it didn't look like we were going to get to enjoy it since Kaylani was gonna get stuck with 2 needles. Turns out she did as good this time as she did during her first round of shots 2 months ago, and after a 2 hour nap, we decided to make our first trip to the park.

For those of you familiar with the area, we went to Mercer County Park. We've never been before, and had no idea just how large the park actually was. We headed to an area called The Marina, and found a parking spot near one of the many kids areas. Our plan was to take a walk around and talk to other parents and babies, maybe even grab a bench and get a good look at our life 1-2 years from now. What we got was a whole lot more than that.

Apparently we weren't the only ones jumping at the chance to get outside. The amount of kids at the park brought me back to Disneyland! Being a playground, most of the kids were at least 4 years old, and running around and around like they were injected with sugar right before they got there. They were jumping off the jungle gyms, sliding down the slides, climbing up the walls, and even climbing UP the slides! Kids were colliding into each other and hanging off all different areas. I guess the best way to describe it is that it looked like an accident waiting to happen.

Luckily, no accidents happened (at least none that we saw). What did happen was that Mommy was freaked out about playgrounds, and is pretty sure that she'll never let Kaylani run around all crazy there. Now maybe we'll feel a little bit different when she's old enough, but for now, we'll stick to a nice quiet bench staring at the geese in the pond.

So after an hour of being outside (where the wind picked up just a little bit), we all headed home for a nice long nap. Kaylani won with a 2.5 hour nap while Mommy came in second with a 2 hour nap, followed by Daddy who only slept for 30 minutes (because he was watching USA play Canada in the WBC). I'll post pictures tomorrow along with pictures from Kaylani's 4 month birthday celebration. Tonight, check out these videos that I've posted on our YouTube page. Oh, and don't forget to set your clocks an hour ahead tonight! We sure will, not that time really even matters any more...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Swaying in the Wind

Swaying is a technique that anyone who has held a baby is well aware of. It's a natural soothing technique that works on all babies, which is why all people know about it. I hate to pull the parent card out, but us parents are far more aware of just how much we sway. We sway to get them to sleep. We sway to get them quiet. We sway to keep them quiet. And we even sway to have some fun. Most of the time we sway WITH them. But some of the time, we even sway WITHOUT them.

I've seen other parents sway when people are holding their baby, but I don't think I've ever done it myself without holding Kaylani (or another baby). When you're in the presence of a baby, there's some external force that just makes you sway. And that part I understand because it really is a natural instinct to sway when you see a baby. But the other day, I found myself swaying without Kaylani (or any baby) being anywhere near me.

I was checking in for my doctor's appointment and the nurse told me to give her a few minutes to finish something up. I of course said no problem, and took out my Blackberry to kill some time. After about 2 minutes, I realized that I was swaying side to side. I have no idea if I just started or if I was doing the entire time, but there I was doing the baby sway...with no baby. It's like I was soothing my Blackberry (or perhaps myself).

Perhaps Mommy was home swaying Kaylani at that exact moment and our bond is so strong that I was swaying with her. But unfortunately Mommy was actually on her way to exercise class, so unless she was swaying in the car, it's unlikely that our bond is THAT strong. Well I think the latest statistic is that a baby is born every 8 seconds, so it's likely that I was swaying along with some baby. But my guess is that Kaylani was dreaming about swaying and that's why I was doing it. Or maybe I'm just a little weird. Hard to say.

Anyways, we're at the end of week 17, and only 2 days away from Kaylani's 4 month birthday! So to get the weekend started, check out these pictures from the last few days. They include Kaylani's first time in her high chair and her jumparoo (thanks again Danika!), and our first pictures as a family that I took using my new wireless camera remote (which was one of my rewards for being so healthy over the last month. I highly recommend getting one for any Canon EOS owners). And don't forget to come back tomorrow for some videos of Kaylani in her jumparoo (and a great one with Mommy too)!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Whole New Lifestyle

Just about a month ago I made a committment to lose 10% of my body weight before my next doctor's appointment. And I said I would do it because Kaylani was enough of a reason to do it. Well, today was my next doctor's apppointment, and I did it! Actually, I ended up losing 17lbs in the last month, which means I fell 1lb short of my goal and only lost 9.5% of my body weight. Sure I may have fallen a little bit short, but when you round it up, it becomes 10% anyways!

To be honest, the actual number of pounds wasn't the real goal. The real goal was to get my blood pressure down, and it is now well within the normal range (117/70). Historically, this is when I would revert back to my old lifestyle and start to eat more and slowly put the weight back on over the next 6 months. But this time, I'm in it for the long haul. It's time to continue on this whole new lifestyle, and I feel like it's easier this time around. When you think about it, I've had a whole new lifestyle since Kaylani was born anyways.

Meeting my short term goal for being healthy made me feel pretty good about myself. The thought of meeting my long term goal for my family makes me feel even better. I'm in it for real this time and I'm saying it right now that I'm not going to fully revert back to my old lifestyle. Sure I may have gone to Outback tonight for a celebratory dinner (which ended up being a waste since they didn't have Prime Rib), but tomorrow, I'll go back to my smaller, healthier portions of food and I won't even complain about it.

There's always someone out there that will make you want to be a better person. And in some cases, you'll have more than one person. I definitely have at least 2 people, and they're both sitting in this room with me right now. One of them is talking to me about her day, and the other one is doing the same but drooling at the same time. So it's time for me to wrap this up and go wipe the drool up from Mommy, I mean Kaylani. Just remember, whatever your goals are, if I can do it, so can you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Working Late

One of the reasons we moved to Lawrenceville about a year ago was so that Daddy could work closer to home. With our house being less than 10 minutes from the office, I'd say we did a pretty good job at accomplishing that goal. And now that we have Kaylani, having my office so close to home allows me to maximize my time at work AND my time with Kaylani...most of the time.

On normal days, I'll be home by 5:45 or 6pm at the latest, which gives me a good 1-2 hours to spend with Kaylani before she gets tucked away quietly in her crib. Back when Kaylani was just over a week old, I didn't think that 1-2 hours would be enough time for quality Daddy-Daughter bonding time. Over the last 16 weeks though, I've made the best of it and learned to maximize quality, not quantity (and make up for the quantity part on the weekends).

But today, I ran into my first "late" day in a long while. There are days when I take work home with me and get to it after spending my time with Kaylani (and Mommy), but today, was one of those days that I couldn't just take it home with me. I had a 4pm meeting at one of our partner agencies in NYC today that ran late. And since NYC is a solid hour train ride away (plus the 10 minute drive), I didn't get home until 7pm. This is going to make me sound real old (and spoiled) but 7pm is late!

Luckily for me (and unluckily for Mommy), Kaylani actually took a later nap then usual and woke up at 6pm, which meant her bedtime is being pushed back an hour. Breaking her routine isn't the best thing to do, but I gotta say I'm okay with it. After all, it gave me an extra hour to spend some time with her, and that's exactly what I needed after a long day at the office.

I know I'm one of the fortunate ones to be close to home. Not everyone gets to spend as much time with their kids and have a great hours and a great job, so for that I'm thankful. I can only imagine what it's like to go through this every day, but at the same time, I'm very glad I don't have to. Days like today make me realize that maybe my work-life balance isn't as off as I think it actually is. I guess the question is, is there actually such a thing as work-life balance?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pass the Bottle

For the past 2 months we've tried sporadically to get Kaylani back on the bottle. We've tried different bottles, different nipples, formula, breastmilk (both warm and cold), and anything else we could think of. We even told our pediatrician that it would be great if we could get Kaylani to take one bottle a day so Daddy can help out with the nighttime/early morning feedings and she actually laughed at us and said "good luck!" But 2 months of failed bottle attempts, and a doubting pediatrician weren't enough to keep us down. Yesterday, Kaylani made all our hard work pay off.

Our pediatrician actually was a bit more helpful then "wishing us luck" and laughing at us. She did say that we could try and completely distract Kaylani with new environments, loud noises, or maybe even TV. And once again, our pediatrician was right on the money. It was around 2pm and Mommy was home with Kaylani. She decided to give bottle feeding a shot while utilizing the pediatrician's latest advice. So on came the TV (George, George, George of the Jungle was on), out came the bottle, and wouldn't you know it, Kaylani took it!

It started off pretty slowly, and not just because we were using the slow nipple. But after about 20 minutes, Kaylani finished an ounce of milk. Now, 20 minutes to take 1 ounce of milk isn't something to be happy about normally, but when it's the first ounce of milk that Kaylani has taken from a bottle in over 2 months, you bet your butt we're gonna celebrate it! Daddy got the call in the office and the excitement was clearly evident in Mommy's voice! A few hours later when Daddy got home from work, he caught the live show! Another 20 minutes and another ounce of milk gone. We were off to a great start!

Today, Daddy gave it a shot for the first time this year. We moved up to the medium nipple to see if we could speed things along. It was slow going at first and we watched about 15 minutes of Dora (D-D-D-Dora! Excellente!) and Kaylani was about halfway through. 10 minutes later, she was 3/4 of the way through, and starting to get fussy. Mommy took over from that point, and there wasn't much more progress after 5 minutes. But the last 5 minutes was like a whole different Kaylani. All of a sudden, she was like a vacuum, and before we knew it, the bottle was empty!

So it looks like Kaylani is well on her way back to taking a bottle. And that means soon enough, Daddy can take over a feeding, and more importantly, Mommy can get some time to herself with a massage or a hair appointment or really anything she wants! Tomorrow we'll try 2 to 3 ounces of milk and see if she's any better. And once she can do that, then we'll really celebrate! Maybe Daddy will have to take a bottle too...for celebration sake of course. For now, check out pictures of Kaylani from the last few days, including some of her taking her bottle! Enjoy and wish us luck!

Monday, March 2, 2009

She's Pregnant!

Before anyone freaks out (or before I do), let me start off by saying Mommy is NOT pregnant again. But, today is the one year anniversary of the day we found out that she was pregnant with Kaylani. To be exact, it's been one year and 13 hours since we found out.

I remember the day extremely well because it was the day that my life officially changed. It ranks up there with the day that Mommy agreed to marry me, the day she married me, and of course the day Kaylani was born. But there were two things that made this day all the more memorable to me.

First of all, it was only 2 days after Mommy had come back from a week long trip to Puerto Rico that she took by herself. It was a long trip that had Daddy remembering why he got married in the first place because having to cook for himself and be alone in the apartment was not his idea of a good time (although Bat Bat and Auntie Shannon did cook for him a few days).

Secondly, and more memorably, was the way Mommy decided to tell Daddy that she was pregnant. Here it is, as I remember it. I could back fill details from Mommy's side of it, but this isn't "The Mommy Diaries" (just kidding Mommy). But seriously, I'm not going to back fill detials. Anyways, let's take a trip back in time, to one year and 13 hours ago.

It was just past 7am on Sunday morning. Daddy was sleeping soundly in bed all warm and cozy. He had stayed up way too late watching bad TV the night before and was looking forward to laying in bed for a few hours in the morning with his wife who was finally home. But it wasn't meant to be.

All of a sudden, Daddy was awake. He wasn't quite sure what happened yet, but he did know something happened. He opened his eyes slowly, and blinked a few times but there was still only a blurry shape in front of him. His brain put together the fact that the blurry shape was Mommy, but it wasn't just Mommy. There was something else there too, and that something was right next to his face.

It wasn't just right next to his face. It was practically IN his face, no more than 3" from his eyes. It slowly came into focus, and when the message finally made it from his eyes to his brain and the realization of what he was staring at came to be, he sat straight up. He didn't even care (or process the fact) that a stick that Mommy peed on no more than 5 minutes ago was inches away from his face. Instead, a huge smile crept across his face and then he looked at Mommy clearly for the first time all morning.

Mommy was filled with tears and shaking as she stood next to the bed. Daddy tried to speak but no words would come out. He got out of bed, and said the first thing he could, which was "Really???" And when Mommy just nodded her head up and down, they hugged and shook together. They were going to have a baby! The little stick Mommy had been peeing on for a few months now (too much information?) finally didn't have the word "NOT" before it! She was pregnant!

Fast forward about 30 minutes and Mommy and Daddy were sitting on the couch of the living room waiting to see if the second pee stick would relay the same message. This time, Daddy would not have to have it inches from his face to find out that Mommy was indeed pregnant (although he would remind Mommy how gross that actually was in retrospect). And, like most parents, they snapped a few pictures off to document the moment. (Most expecting parents do this right? I mean, it's better then saving the stick, which we may have thought about but did not do). And they also came up with the nickname "Chicharron" for our little fetus since Mommy had just spent a week eating a whole lot of chicharron (fried pork skin) in Puerto Rico.

So that was us, one year ago to the day. From that day on, we were set down this wonderful path that has led us to where we are now with our beautiful little girl that we couldn't be happier with. For all you parents out there, feel free to tell your story of how you found out, or how you told your partner because I think every story is a good one. For example, Titi Glendalys told Tio Pritesh over IM while they were at work because she couldn't wait. I guess that's better then a pee stick in the face, but I still wouldn't trade my story for anything in the world.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Stop Hitting Yourself!

When Kaylani could hold a toy by herself, it marked another milestone that she reached. And when she could then move her hand and toy to her mouth, it didn't exactly mark a milestone, but it was definitely something she was extremely pleased with. Lately, she's been able to move quicker, and even taking things to the next level by holding not just one toy, but two at the same time. With both those things came some new challenges for Kaylani that she was less then pleased with.

There were certain challenges associated with moving her hand to her mouth, and she mastered that quite well. It started off slowly, but she got the hang of it without any issues. And as she got better at it, and starting moving quicker, she started hitting herself with her toys. Could it be that she's just moving too quick for herself? Or maybe it's that she's overexcited to get it into her mouth? Or maybe, she's just not that coordinated? My guess is that it's some combination of the three, and either way, it's pretty entertaining to watch.

With one toy, she'll move to shove it in her mouth, and one of two things will happen. The first, and more likely, is that she'll get it into her mouth too fast and end up choking herself just a little bit. The second, is that she'll miss her mouth completely and just bonk herself on the cheek, or the nose, or the chin. It's this second part that's funny/sad to watch. Watching someone hit themselves is always funny, but watching her excited smile turn into a sad frown is sad. Oh well, she'll learn.

It gets even more difficult for her when she has a toy in each hand. Inevitably, one will make it into her mouth, and the other will just bonk her somewhere on the face. On some occassions, she'll even try and get both into her mouth, which just doesn't work, and ends up pushing the first toy further in (which causes crying). I'm sure she'll figure it out someday, but for now, we're just glad that she's holding things. Whether it's one or two, it's a step in the right direction, and that's the only direction we want to head.