Sunday, May 31, 2009

Repeating Sleep Training

Kaylani was sleeping so well for awhile. 10+ hours every night. No crying. Went down easy. Woke up refreshed and happy. And all of that meant Mommy and Daddy got 8+ hours of sleep, didn't cry, fell asleep real easy, and woke up refreshed and happy. Well that's gone. And we want it back. Now.

Kaylani's almost 7 months old and she's been a great sleeper pretty much the whole time so I really shouldn't complain that this latest stretch started last Saturday in Baltimore. But the fact that she's been a great sleeper is what makes times like this so very bad. It's like we're new parents again when this happens. We haven't adjusted to 2 hour naps at night because we haven't had to. I'm sure we'll adjust in a due time, but I'd rather not. We're going to fix this. Now.

Our intervention hasn't started before tonight because it's been a crazy week with the whole Baltimore trip, a short but intense work week, and then a weekend birthday party for Yeh Yeh (which by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY YEH YEH!!) with Daddy's side of the family in town. All of that basically meant that when Kaylani cried at night, one of us went and picked her up to calm her down. And since she's learned to manipulate us by crying, she would wait for us to pick her up, then pass out immediately. It ends tonight.

I know I sound really mean right now, especially to those of you who don't believe in sleep training, but it has to happen. And because sleep training means that we let her cry it out for an entire night whether it's 20 minutes or 3 hours, I feel real mean doing it, but it's worked. Every time we've had to do this (which is twice), she's gone back to sleeping 10+ hours all by herself for at least a couple of weeks. So it has to be done. Tonight.

We may be rushing into this, but there's a reason it has to be tonight. Other than the fact that we're really dragging lately because of this lack of sleep, there's the fact that we have another trip coming up. In 3 weeks, we're headed to Cape Cod for 4 days for Tommy and Gretchen's wedding, which means we'll be sleeping away from home again. But more specifically, Cape Cod marks the first time Kaylani will go to sleep without us because Yin Yin is going to watch her while we're at the wedding. And if she's waking up every 2 hours without us, it's not going to be pretty for Yin Yin.

No matter how bad we're going to feel tonight as we sit in bed and listen to her cry while staring at her through the video monitor, hopefully we'll stay strong. We've made this decision together because it's going to work in the long run. It better work in the long run. Please let it work in the long run.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Meet the Family

Daddy's family has spent a bit of time with Kaylani since she was born, but it's been a little bit since we've all got together, especially for a big event like this weekend was. It was Yea Yea's birthday party at our house so that meant a few of our family friends from Jersey were going to come around to celebrate. Now while all of that seems good and well, it's been awhile since Kaylani has been exposed to "strangers," and she's definitely different now.

I think it's the 6 month mark that babies start to develop (or show) their separation anxiety from their parents, so it wasn't a real surprise to us to have Kaylani cry a bit around other people. But at the same time, it's kinda sad to see her cry when she sees Yin Yin and Yea Yea. After she took a nice 3 hour nap she was definitely friendlier, but there's gotta be a better way to help her adjust.

Maybe we'll have to start letting go our our little girl just a little bit. Maybe we need to have a baby swap with some of our friends so she gets used to being held by someone other than us. Maybe we need to let someone else take care of her for awhile to help her adjust. Or maybe we continue to spoil her and never let her go because she's our little girl. Tough call. For now, we'll sleep on it. But maybe tomorrow morning will be Yin Yin and Yea Yea's turn to take care of Kaylani. Gotta start somewhere!

Friday, May 29, 2009

I've got you Beaba!

Kaylani shops at nicer places than we do. It sounds pretty impossible since we're the ones who technically control where she shops, but those were the words that came out of my mouth when Mommy told me she wanted to buy Kaylani a baby food blender from Williams Sonoma. To be fair, we've shopped at Williams Sonoma before, but we normally just buy a can of (overpriced) blueberry waffle mix and call it a day. But that's pretty much the extent of our Williams Sonoma shopping. That all changed when Mommy sent me this email:
Cool! Watch the video!|16|||0|||||||baby%20food%20processor&cm_src=SCH
And here's my reply:
$150??? It better grow food too!
That's right. We were now in the market for a $150 baby food blender. Gone were the days of shopping for regular $20 blenders, or normal blenders that weren't lined with gold (what else would make a blender cost so much?). But after watching the video and realizing just how much time and effort it could end up saving us, we went ahead and bought it (from of course). And after our first use of it tonight, I can honestly say that I'd sacrifice a finger for this product.

We haven't even used the Beaba Babycook machine in all its glory yet, but it's pretty amazing. Not only does it blend food into a nice smooth puree, but it also steam cooks any of the foods we want to make for Kaylani before blending it. It's a one stop baby meal maker! We started off slowly with the machine by using it to blend avocado, which is probably the easiest thing we could have ever done. Most people I know just mash avocados with a fork, but when in Rome, or when you have a Beaba Babycook machine, I say puree.

I kinda felt like Tim "the Toolman" Taylor because all of this was "more power" than what we really needed, but I have a feeling this thing is going to come in handy. But convenience doesn't come without a price. Good blenders have sharp blades, and for $150, it has a REALLY sharp blade. Unfortunately I found that out firsthand...literally. While cleaning the chamber, I ran my finger against the blade and cut myself pretty good. Mommy kinda freaked out, but I'm okay. Nothing that a really tight Band-aid wouldn't fix.

So we're 1 day into making our own baby food. First comes avocado, next comes the WORLD...of fruits and vegetables. Soon enough we'll be steaming and blending our way through grains, meats, frozen drinks, and all types of fun stuff. But for now, we'll take it slow. Especially when it comes to the cleaning part.

If you're in the market, I highly recommend picking one up if you can afford to shell out $150. But if you're looking for something cheaper, I offer you these free pictures of Kaylani over the last couple of days. Enjoy, but watch out. You never know when a sharp edge will sneak up on you. Oh, and happy official Fatherhood Friday. In case you're late to the party, you get a two-fer here at Daddy Diaries since yesterday's post was my actual FF post. For everyone else, don't forget to check out Dad-Blogs for more!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Can I help you?

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Half of my job is developing strategerie for my clients to figure out how they can best market to their customers online through a CRM (customer relationship marketing) program. The other half of my job is spent analyzing data for different brands. We analyze things like who is opening our emails, how many people signed up to hear from us, who is coming to our website, and how are they getting there?

So of course, I implemented things like Google Analytics tracking on my own site as well (doesn't everyone?) Before I start talking about geeky tech things like tracking, pixels, tracking pixels, and actual code, the real reason I'm even talking about this is because web analytics can give insight into some pretty funny things. For example, I can tell who came to my site from a search engine. While that doesn't SEEM too funny, the funny part is HOW they found my site. Without further ado, I present to you my top 5 favorite search terms that drove a visitor to my site. Click on each one to find out which of my posts they saw when they clicked through.

"because she love gas" - I'm not entirely sure what this person was searching for, and I'm not entirely sure I want to, but I'm glad they got to experience a little bit of dad blog humor.

"breastfeeding wrestling match" - Seriously? Who searches for things like this?

"daddy boner blogspot" - This one grosses me out just a little bit. And no, the content they ended up on here is not remotely gross.

"doody soap" - Hehe, they searched for "doody"

"pictures of hershey kiss to color" - I bet this person was looking for a nice blank picture of a hershey kiss that they could give to their kid to entertain them for awhile. What they got was much different from that.

So there you have it. There were plenty more terms that drove visitors here, but those are definitely my favorites. Whatever it is that got you here today, thanks for coming. I hope you had as much fun reading as I did writing. Oh, and since it's close enough to Fatherhood Friday, don't forget to check out Dad-Blogs for other great posts. I promise you'll get exactly what you're looking for. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nice one, Dad

I'd have to say Kaylani adjusted to being home from vacation pretty well. She woke up once last night after about 5 hours, but went back to sleep on her own for the next 7. Then she took 2 two hour naps, and even a 30 minute nap in between them. And to top it all off, she ate all 3 meals without complaining too much, and went to sleep by herself after crying for about 30 minutes on and off. Everything was going so well...until Daddy got home.

Daddy had a Little League playoff game tonight so he missed out on pretty much everything. He did get spend a quick lunch with Kaylani, but her second nap happened to be in the 20 minutes Daddy got to spend at home before going to the game (we lost 8-6 by the way). And when he got home from baseball, Kaylani was already in bed for awhile, so the only glimpse he got of her was through the video monitor which should have been good enough. Apparently, it wasn't.

After Mommy and Daddy had a late dinner, Daddy was walking back towards the kitchen to drop off the plates. That's when IT happens. Now in the past, IT has referred to a Code Brown, so to get that out of the way, IT did not mean a Code Brown. Instead, the knife fell from Daddy's plate onto the floor. And it didn't just drop lightly to the floor. It dropped like a rock to the floor. Like a rock that makes a loud metallic clanging sound when it hits the floor. And you know what loud metallic clanging sounds do to sleeping babies? Yep, it wakes them up.

That was 90 minutes ago. Kaylani JUST went back to sleep now. And all it took was 2 trips in to her room to try and calm her down, and then a third trip which involved a diaper change (to make sure that the knife didn't scare the poop out of her), some swaying, and a whole lot of calming kisses. After a few minutes, Kaylani was back in her crib. And after a few more minutes, she thankfully gave in for the night, or at least for now. Hopefully it's for the night.

Now it's time for Mommy and Daddy to call it a night. It's not so much that we're tired, but being in bed means that there's less chance that Daddy can make any more sudden loud noises. And it also means that he won't have to worry about Mommy saying "Nice one, Dad" again. At least not until Kaylani cries. Speaking of which, I think I hear her crying right now. Nice one, Dad.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Daddy Diaries - 200th Post!

I've been thinking about this moment for the last couple of days now, and with the way Kaylani has been sleeping, I've had a lot of time awake to think. Today's post is my 200th here, which I think is a significant accomplishment. And to mark such a significant accomplishment, the post itself should be significant, right? I think so, and that's why I'm stuck.

I sat at breakfast in the hotel lobby this morning looking around for the people or event that would be the perfect lead in to my 200th post. I saw a couple with their 3 young kids sit down for breakfast across from us. I stared at them for a little bit but nothing came to me. Then 2 families with 2 kids and a newborn came in. For sure they would spark something for me. But they didn't.

We made the drive home from Baltimore re-living our vacation after Kaylani fell asleep to see if that would give me any ideas. I even asked Mommy what I should write about because I just couldn't figure out a way to make it all work. I could recap the last 100 or 200 posts and everything that we've been through with Kaylani, but I already did that when I reached the 100 mark. Again, I kept thinking that it just had to be something big. Something meaningful. Something significant.

It wasn't until I sat here on Kaylani's futon while she nursed before bed that I realized I didn't need a "gimmick" topic to write about. I didn't need any external motivation or event to write about as it relates to 200 posts. I started this blog because I wanted to capture our experiences, our challenges, our time together as a family, and I had all of that right here in this room. These 200 posts have been a blast for me to write and I'm thankful that my mind is still good enough to keep going. It's possible that I'll stop one of these days, but for now, we're still going to march ahead. Kaylani still has lots of things to experience, and that means I'll always have something to write about.

For all of you that have been with us since the early days, thanks for sticking around. For anyone who's jumped in mid-stream, or even just once or twice, thanks for stopping by. I hope all of you will continue to read along as I share a glimpse into our life. And for Mommy and Kaylani, thanks for letting me write about you everyday. Actually, thanks for being with me everyday. I couldn't do it, or anything, without you both.

So one last time, thanks for reading along. To show my appreciation, and because I know some of you just come here for pictures (Madrina Maria), here are pictures from our weekend in Baltimore. As for us, we're going to finish getting ready for bed. But tomorrow, it's the beginning of our journey to 300 and beyond! Stay tuned.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Way ahead of my time

We're only 28 years apart, but Kaylani is growing up in a different time. A time that seems much further away than just 28 years. There's so much more available to her now than there was to me, but that's not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it's a really good thing because it means there are a lot more things for me to introduce her to.

For starters, Kaylani has been to Puerto Rico already. Daddy first went to Puerto Rico when he was 18, and that was part of a cruise. He didn't really go to Puerto Rico until he was 26. Even earlier than that, Kaylani went to Disneyworld when she was only 7 weeks old. Daddy thought he went earlier because he was around 6 months old, but again, Kaylani's ahead of him. And now that we're in Baltimore, Kaylani's got to experience a few more firsts, likely before Daddy did too.

Today, we took Kaylani to her first indoor pool. Overall it was okay. Wasn't great for her. Just okay, but that's okay. She gave us some signs and splashes to let us know that she wasn't afraid of the water, so we'll keep plugging away. Maybe some of our friends will invite us over to their pools this summer (hint hint). Either way, we're just happy she didn't cry the majority of the time because we sure do love pools.

For lunch, Kaylani got to experience her first Hooters. That's right, Mommy, Daddy, and Kaylani went to Hooters. Personally I thought it would be really funny to get a picture of Mommy nursing Kaylani while at Hooters, but that was vetoed. Instead we had a beer, ate some wings and some tater chips, and were on our way. Of course there was no changing table (I'd be more surprised if there was) so Daddy also experienced changing a diaper at Hooters for the first time (there's a joke in there somewhere, but I'm going to leave it alone). For the record, Daddy was 21 before he stepped into his first Hooters (still talking about the restaurant).

And then for dinner, Kaylani made her first trip into a steakhouse. Daddy and Mommy hadn't been to a steakhouse since well before Kaylani was born (besides Outback), so having Fleming's be right next to the hotel turned out to be too tempting to pass on. It also marked Kaylani's very first time in a public highchair. We were a little afraid of how it might turn out, but she did great! Her being able to sit in a highchair opens up a whole new world for us. Well, a whole new world as long as we are there well before 6pm. Not sure we're quite ready to take on a world of crowded restaurants yet. She was well behaved, but not WELL behaved if you know what I'm saying.

So that pretty much wraps up today. We're hoping that Kaylani gives us another 11 hour sleeping performance like she did last night. It looks like she's adjusted to hotel life just fine. We just need to keep her adjusted for one more night before we head back home. Hopefully adjusting to hotel life didn't screw up what we had going at home. But that's something we'll worry about tomorrow night. For now, we're still on vacation.

Oh, and don't forget to check out my latest Sports IllustraDad post on "Lessons I Learned From Little League" over at Dad-Blogs!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Live" from Baltimore - Part 2!

And now, I bring you part 2 of our "live" blog from Baltimore. If you haven't read part 1 yet, click here. Otherwise, get reading!

9:33am - Today's plan was to have breakfast, then go for a walk so Kaylani could take a nap outside. But now, room service screwed up Mommy's breakfast, and Kaylani is crying for a minute between every 5 bites of her cereal. This is what happens when you don't sleep kids. Long day, here we come!

9:58am - Mommy's breakfast finally came 95% right (close enough) so we're getting there. Kaylani's entertaining herself on the floor. Can't tell if she's laughing or crying sometimes. Tough call. Par for the course according to Mommy.

10:19am - Typing with one hand and carrying Kaylani with the other while pacing around the room. First of many stall tactics as Mommy showers and we try and get ready to leave for the day.

10:32am - Ummm...she's asleep on my shoulder. Tried to put her down twice (you smell like poop!) with no success. This would be okay if both of us weren't still in pajamas. Oh, and I have to pee again.

10:45am - Success! And by success, I mean Mommy has her now. Time to pee and shower...separately. I'm not that gross...anymore.

11:15am - Kaylani never went back to sleep with Mommy, but she is dressed, nursed, dry, and sunscreened up. We were almost out the door, but Kaylani decided to poop. Better now than later.

11:23am - And we're finally out the door! Time for her to pass out in her stroller so she can add on to the whopping 15 minutes of sleep so far.

12:05pm - So she's not asleep yet. Now we're shopping for some new clothes for Daddy because he got made fun of one too many times for wearing loose clothing to work meetings after losing 30lbs. Tough call on who needs what more: Kaylani and sleep or Daddy and clothes?

12:50pm - Walked out of the last store with 3 shirts, 3 pants, and a baby in a Bjorn. I'm stylish in so many ways right now. Oh, and she's sleeping. Better buy one more shirt to replace the soon to be drooled filled shirt I'm wearing right now.

1:15pm - Had a scare that she was about to wake up. Did the whole head back, eyes open movement but she went back down with a gentle push back towards my chest. Right now we're hoping she sleeps until 2

1:20pm - You know what they have a lot of at malls? Screaming kids. She's awake. Chalk up another 30 minute power nap for her. She's staying in the Bjorn tho. Maybe she'll fall back asleep when her neck gets tired from staring up at me.

1:41pm - Operation Nap Out has failed. Time to head back to the hotel for lunch, and maybe a trip to the pool if she'll let us.

2:05pm - Signs of sleepiness being shown just as we got to the hotel. Operation Sway in the Breeze commencing

2:20pm - Back is starting to give out, but she's finally sleeping. Debating if we can get her into a moving stroller while she stays sleeping. Sounds like a bad plan. Maybe in 15 more minutes.

2:33pm - Mommy's feeding birds with bread from her salad. Daddy's got his mouth open but she's not paying attention to me. Guess I'll just wait until Kaylani wakes up before I eat my salad...

2:47pm - She's up. 40 minutes, which was right when we walked inside to check out the pool. Oh well, good enough for now. Time for both of us to eat lunch!

3:10pm - Done eating lunch. what?

3:25pm - Back in the room for a regroup. Plan is to nurse, pack her dinner, then walk back to the Inner Harbor where she's going to nap before we go for dinner at grandparents/parents of kids o'clock. Ready...go!

4:37pm - Guess who's not sleeping? Oh well. We gave up on the walking through mobs of people in exchange for tapas and sangria on the 2nd floor patio at La Tasca. What? She's half tapas, I mean Latina.

5:12pm - Sangria showed up. Time to cheers and have a drink!

5:13pm - Mommy thought the sangria was a little strong and said she was only going to have 1. And then posed for a picture with Kaylani. And watched as Kaylani grabbed her 1 glass and dumped it on both of them. I think they're both wasted

5:41pm - Food is gone, Mommy is halfway through her glass of sangria, and Daddy is almost done with the rest of the pitcher. And there's a live band playing cover songs that are best characterized as "hits you may know from Guitar Hero or Rock Band." It's been a good night so far!

6:01pm - Night is winding down. Kinda hoping Kaylani doesn't fall asleep on the way to Cheesecake Factory and back home. She still has to eat dinner, bathe, and nurse before bedtime.

6:21pm - She's out. We just reached the lighthouse where we were planning on feeding her and she passed out. Sigh. Luckily there's a wedding going on here that will keep us entertained while she naps. Good possibility that this backfires on us later.

6:36pm - Just took a seat after Mommy told me to "stop spoiling her baby." Its hard not to when the alternative is locking her in a car.

6:38pm - Mommy to guy sneezing while walking by Kaylani: "Sir, have you heard of Zyrtec? Please sneeze away from the baby"

6:40pm - Duck boat cruising by on the harbor with a bunch of tourists blowing on their duck noise makers need to shut the duck up. Or I guess we could move

6:55pm - Awake at last! If I needed a timer that told me when it was between 30 or 40 minutes, Kaylani's naps would come in handy. Man that'd be a stupid thing to need. Anyways, its green bean time!

7:02pm - Apparently Kaylani eating is entertaining for people walking by. Or maybe its Mommy and Daddy with our mouths wide open going "Ahhhh....mmm!" to help her eat.

7:31pm - Bathtime! Gotta get all that sunscreen off. Soon, it'll be bedtime. What will tonight bring?

7:51pm - Bathtime went as smooth as it could. Daddy got to sit in a tub at a hotel (which isn't something he would normally do) so Kaylani could sit on top of him for her bath. Then after a quick rinse off shower, we were ready for bedtime. Right now Mommy is nursing Kaylani for hopefully the last time tonight. I know I said the same thing just about 24 hours ago, but this time, I really think it'll work. Her pack and play is now near our bed instead of out in the foyer, so it's a brand new night. Please let it be a quick one, or I guess a long one if we're talking about how Kaylani sleeps.

So that's it. I hope you had fun reading about a day in the life of our family on vacation. Next vacation is in a few months when we hit up Cape May for a week, and you can bet I'll have another "live" feed then. But until then, thanks for reading, and come back often. We'll be here!

"Live" from Baltimore - Part 1!

Last time we went to PR I kept a running blog of the days events. Since it's been awhile and I'm on vacation again, I might as well do it again! So let's get things started. Follow along on another day in the life of our family, and enjoy the Daddy Diaries 2nd ever "live" blog, from Baltimore this time! Editor's note: Nighttime ended up being so long that I've split this into two parts, so this is part 1 of 2. Don't forget to click the link at the end to read the rest (unless you did that already...cheater).

Saturday, May 23:
8:48pm - After Kaylani cried enough to earn another round of nursing, she's finally asleep. All it took was 15 minutes of nursing and 10 minutes of rubbing her forehead and eyes before she would call it a night. Let's hope this lasts. Speaking of lasting, not sure how much longer we're gonna last.

8:56pm - Finally gave in and risked turning on the TV. Mommy threatened my life if I woke "her daughter" up, but I'm fairly confident the sheets and white noise maker will do their job. My choices on TV are O's/Nats (blah), Lakers/Nuggets (eh), and Mean Girls or What Women Want (yes!). Maybe we should go back to darkness before I lose more man points...

9:08pm - The water taxi in the harbor just sounded its horn again (happens every 30 minutes or so). Mommy's response: "Seriously? If you wake up my daughter, I'm going to kill you."

9:10pm - There are scratching noises coming from the foyer. Either there's a mouse over there, or Kaylani's moving. If it's a mouse, I'd watch out because if it wakes up our daughter, Mommy's going to kill it.

9:28pm - My first ever Facebook/blog integration comes courtesy of Doug who commented on Facebook just now: "Once mommy and baby are asleep, you can always sneak down to the bar and watch a game." Mommy's response to me: "That's why I positioned the crib by the door. You sneak out and wake up my daughter and I'll kill you. But if you do sneak out, get me a fruit tart."

9:43pm - Just checked on the little one. She looks peacefully asleep on her side. I have to pee but I'm afraid to use the bathroom since it's right next to her sleeping area. Guess I'll go to sleep instead.

10:40pm - Mommy and Kaylani are both asleep, and I'm wide awake (why did I take that 30 minute power nap earlier?). Maybe I should sneak out now. Nah, not worth it. I still have to pee...

11:09pm - And she's awake. Two hours and 20 minutes is almost like sleeping through the night. Mommy and I are debating how long to let her cry for. Considerations include a) she's really tired, b) she's in a new place, and c) our neighbors probably hate us. 3 minutes apparently is the limit since I'm headed over now.

11:35pm - After unsuccesfully getting her to sleep by rubbing her forehead and eyes, I got her to sleep for a few minutes in my arms, but only for 30 seconds in her bed. Second attempt went even worse and led to her tossing and turning in my arms, likely looking for Mommy. So now Mommy is nursing her. At least I got to pee since she's awake.

11:53pm - Nursing didn't work. Now we're in trouble. Sure wish we had a plan C in our back pocket.

Sunday, May 24:
12:05am - I take it back. 3rd attempt at nursing seems to have done the trick. Sometimes I wish I could nurse, but most times I'm glad I can't. But that's why Mommy's my hero. Seriously. Time to get some sleep. All of us. Ah crap, she's crying.

12:17am - I just made it back to bed after getting her to sleep in my arms for 5 minutes then in her crib for 2 minutes. And now she's crying again. Time to let her cry it out for a little bit. Sorry neighbors. If this doesn't work, home is only 2.5 hours away....

12:44am - She's still crying. We even drugged her with Tylenol in case it was teething pain, and changed her diaper in case it was wetness uncomfortability. Let's give it a few more minutes before we try plan Q.

1:18pm - Change of scenery maybe? Pack and play was moved into the main room, and now she has a doll to eat/sleep with. She's looking pretty awake. We're not.

1:47am - She's asleep! After 10 min in my arms, she's down. Goodnight

4:54am - The alarm clock just went off for no reason. Luckily I've had years to perfect the "smack the snooze button within the first sign of an alarm" move. Mommy threatened my life for making so much noise. Apparently she didn't hear the alarm and thought I was just playing.

7:22am - She's awake, but not crying for a change. Looks like she found that doll. Hard to say if she would have slept more without it, or will stay quiet with it.

8:10am - And now we're awake. She's flipped herself onto her belly and is stuck. Mommy's on the move. I love Mommy.

8:48am - Whole family is up, but I wouldn't say we're awake. Funny enough Kaylani looks the most tired. Poor baby. She's moving in slow motion right now. Hard to say why she ended up sleeping. Tylenol? Doll? Crib move? And actually, I really don't care.

And that concludes part 1 of our "live" blog from Baltimore. Click here to read part 2: daytime!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Down, but not out

Hi, we're in Delaware. Oh wait, that was us 10 hours ago. Now we're in Baltimore and getting ready to wrap up the day. It's just about 8pm and all is dark in our room. Kaylani is nursing for what we hope is her final time tonight, and then we'll see how the rest of the night goes. Luckily we were upgraded to a corner deluxe king room when we got here (thank you Bill Marriott!) so we have a little hallway/foyer that Kaylani will spend the night in (in her pack and play of course). We also have a white noise maker going, a bunch of sheets to block out some of the light, and we're really hoping that's enough. And frankly, it should be since she must be completely exhausted today.

She woke up around 6:30am. After getting her ready to go and putting the finishing touches on our luggage, we hit the road right around 8:30am. GPS had us arriving in Baltimore at 11am which was fine by us. The plan was to have Kaylani sleep for a solid 2 hours in the car and we'd be set for the rest of the day. And at 9am when she finally fell asleep, the plan looked like it was going to work...all the way until she woke up 40 minutes later. The odd part was that she was quiet for the next hour and a half. We stopped at a rest stop just 20 minutes outside Baltimore just to make sure we didn't have a car freak-out, but thankfully it never materialized.

After getting settled in our hotel room we walked out to the Inner Harbor around 12:30pm. Within 15 minutes Kaylani was out again which we again thought was perfect. And again, 40 minutes later, she was awake (timed inconveniently with our food showing up at lunch). And again, she lay silently in her stroller for a good 30 minutes before making a peep. That brought us up to 1:10 minutes of naps and 2 hours of quiet time. Odd ratio, but we'll take it.

We finished off the day with some time in a grassy knoll (which reaffirmed for us her hatred of grass), a walk around the rest of the Inner Harbor, a quick nursing/Starbucks break, and then back to the hotel. On the way back, Kaylani passed out in her Bjorn, which we thought was going to be good again. But this time, after only 30 minutes, she was back up.

Now it's 8:10pm and she's crying in her pack and play. She passed out after only nursing for 10 minutes so maybe she's hungry, or more likely, she's over tired. It's been a long day of her going down, but never quite passing out. And all of that means we're entering a night of a lot of unknowns, which is never a good thing. But what else would we expect from our first family vacation? Guess we'll just wait and see how tomorrow goes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Little Skydiver

I feel like Kaylani is on the verge of becoming mobile. I'm not 100% certain and I'm probably closer to 100% wrong, but I just have a feeling like she's about to move. Maybe she's not going to go into a 4 point crawl, but maybe, just maybe she'll do an army crawl, or a scoot (forward or backward...doesn't matter to us). Every day she just seems to get that much closer.

For example, this morning she pushed herself up in the air by extending her arms fully while she was laying on her belly. And the other day, she was kicking her legs out like a little frog after she fell over on one of our stuffed bears. But so far, she hasn't moved an inch (other than side to side). What's funny about watching her try and move is that more often than not, she does the opposite of move.

The opposite of move is obviously to stay still. And when you're laying on your belly, one way to stay still is to get all your limbs in the air so you balance right on your belly. And whenever she does that, she looks like she's skydiving. It's one of the funnier things she does because it really is the opposite of move. Not only is she not going towards (or away from) her toy, but she's in the same exact spot wobbling around on her belly.

If I could get her to do this with a backpack on, you'd see it even more. Sometimes her arm flails around like she's reaching around for the ripcord, but usually she's just in her freefall mode. We were pretty lucky to be able to grab a few pictures of her in this pose, so check them out in addition to the last couple of days. As for us, we're off to Baltimore for the weekend. Enjoy the long weekend, but don't forget to check back in! We'll be live from Baltimore from the next few days. Or as live as a blog can get at least. Oh, and if you're here for Fatherhood Friday, read the next post down. I cheated and posted yesterday. But Happy Fatherhood Friday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Save me Daddy!

We had big plans for today. First Daddy was going to come home for lunch and eat leftovers with Kaylani and Mommy. Then, Daddy was going to watch Kaylani after work while Mommy got her nails done. And at 2pm, everything was going exactly as we had planned. But then the clock hit 2:23pm, and cows, I mean chaos, broke out. Here's what went down:

Daddy's Office, 2:23pm (insert 'dum dum' sounds from Law & Order) - I was sitting at my desk looking over a report one more time before giving the go ahead to send it out when my cell phone rang. It was Mommy. I answered. "Hello?" I asked innocently. "KAYLANILOKINCAR" came back through the phone (or at least that's what it sounded like). "What'd you say?" I asked, but I already knew something was wrong. I was already on my feet. "KAYLANI IS LOCKED IN THE CAR!" is what came back the second time. "Are you serious?" came out of my mouth and my body started moving faster than I could think. I was halfway out of my office when my brain started processing things like "IM Gordon and tell him you've gotta run out and might not make it back for the 3pm meeting" or "lock your computer before you leave" but it was too late. I was gone.

Daddy's Car, 2:28pm - I peeled out of the parking lot and was headed home to get our spare key. Turns out Mommy was at Village Park which is about 8 minutes from the house without traffic. 10 minutes to get home, then 8 minutes to the park meant I'd get there about 22 minutes after "the incident," assuming Mommy called me right when it happened. Mommy called a few more times as I sped down 95. "Don't worry, she's not crying" she would say one minute, but quickly follow it up with "should I call the police?" No, there would be no time for the police. Not on my watch.

Home, 2:36pm - Home at last. Made it home in just over 8 minutes, all made possible by the aggressive move to cut off the 18 wheeler so I could still make the exit ramp going under 40mph. Didn't even have to pass any cars on the local roads...this time. I hopped out of the car and was in the house before the car or the garage door stopped moving. By the time the garage door was fully open, I was back in the car with the spare keys in hand and halfway out of the driveway already.

Daddy's Car, 2:42pm - Some jackass cuts me off when I'm less than 2 minutes from the park and slowed me down from 50mph to 20mph. Good thing since speed bumps were coming up, but that guy is still a jackass in my mind. Mommy has called me 2 more times by this point just to make sure that I wasn't driving "recklessly." Recklessly...ha. She had no idea. As I pull into the parking lot, I start pressing the remote to unlock Mommy's car. I park next to her and hit the remote a few more times since apparently it didn't work. The dash was over.

Village Park, 2:45pm - Kaylani was okay. We opened the door and she was just sitting there playing with her feet. She took one glance at Daddy and gave a smile. Daddy just stared at her. She was okay. Thank God she was okay. Mommy opened the trunk to get her keys. That's when it all made sense. She put the keys down in the trunk of the Highlander to get the stroller out. By some freak accident, she was able to push the lock button on the remote with the trunk door while she was closing it, pushing the keys inside at the same time. If the keys jammed the door, none of this would have happened. But it did.

I stared at Kaylani for a few more minutes before even acknowledging Dorothy and Makayla's presence. Then I gave Kaylani a quick hug, Mommy a quick kiss, Dorothy the spare set of keys, and I was back in my car. As much fun as this little adventure was, I had a meeting to get to, and I only had 8 minutes to do it. But I made it. It was 37 minutes of craziness, but I made it. Made it home. Made it to the park. Made it back in time for my meeting. And made sure my blood pressure was ridiculously high. But that's just another day of parenting. So for all you driving parents out there, remember, it could happen to you so be prepared. Or work close by home and make sure Mommy doesn't go far away. Either one.

Oh, and if you want Mommy's side of the story, you're going to have to ask her. From what I heard, Dorothy did a great job of distracting her with small talk, pointing out hot guys as they jogged by, and keeping an eye on Kaylani so she didn't cry when she saw Mommy. And Mommy did a great job holding it together so she didn't cry when she saw Kaylani. Everything turned out okay. Let's not do it again.

By the way, because I won't write again until sometime Friday night, Happy Fatherhood Friday! Don't forget to check out Dad-Blogs for more great posts from the rest of the family. And while you're there, take a read of my latest Sports IllustraDad post. It's my humorous take on Michael Vick's possible teams! It reads better than that sounds. Trust me, or your money back!

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gearing up for vacation

In 3 days, Mommy, Daddy, and Kaylani will take our first family vacation. Sure we've already been to Orlando, Puerto Rico, and Boston, but this will be our first family vacation alone. Picking our vacation took a little bit, but we finally settled on a place. We wanted somewhere nice like Hawaii or maybe even San Diego to save a few hours of travel, but decided that was too far for a 4 day excursion so we looked a little closer. We wanted somewhere warm, but we've been to Orlando already so we looked a little Norther. And we wanted somewhere family friendly, so we ruled out a casino trip to Atlantic City. Finally, we settled on Baltimore.

Now many of you might say, "Baltimore? What's in Baltimore besides some crab cakes and a losing baseball team? Are they playing anyone good at least? And Mommy doesn't even eat crab cakes!" While those are valid points and questions (to which the answer is no, they're not playing anyone good or even anyone at home), we decided that Baltimore was the perfect place for our first getaway. We'll be staying right in the Inner Harbor and will be walking distance to things like the aquarium, the shops at the Inner Harbor, and even the National Museum of Dentistry (which we will not be going to...sorry Steve) so we're sure we'll have enough to keep us busy during the day. It's the nights we're worried about.

Daddy spent almost 2 years of his life living out of a hotel as a traveling consultant, and Mommy spent a significant amount of time doing the same by herself while she worked trade shows and also with me. But we haven't stayed in a hotel since Kaylani was born, and there are significantly more challenges to deal with now. For example, Kaylani will spend her nights in her pack and play. Sure she's spent a few nights in a pack and play before, but never in a confined hotel room. Luckily they've upgraded us to a king studio room so we'll have a little bit more room to move around.

So the room size issue isn't a big deal, but there is the part where Kaylani is usually asleep in her crib in her room by 8pm. At home, we walk out of the room and go downstairs to watch TV for awhile before going to bed. But in a hotel, we can't exactly walk out of the room. Well, we could, but I'm pretty sure our monitors won't work if we try and go down to the hotel bars or lounges. And if we can't hit up the bar, that means we'll be in the room. And if we're in the room while Kaylani is trying to sleep, that probably means we can't watch TV either. And it probably also means that we can't have any lights on, or move around, or do anything besides sleep.

Maybe this is what vacation as a parent of an infant is all about. Lots of daytime activity, followed by family bedtime at 8pm. Maybe it's not such a bad thing anyways. Maybe we'll get 10 hours of sleep with Kaylani and we'll all wake up early in the morning refreshed and ready to go. Or maybe it won't be much of a vacation for Mommy and Daddy and we'll sit in the dark trying to be as quiet as possible so we don't disturb her and hope that she sleeps. If you've got any advice, hit me. Otherwise, wish me luck. Whatever vacation turns out to be like, it couldn't come soon enough. Is it Saturday yet?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why are you crying?

So Daddy had his final regular season game of the Little League season tonight, but since we got blown out 16-1, we're not going to focus on that at all. Plus, all 6 teams make the playoffs so in actuality, tonight's game meant nothing. But nothing bothers me more than when my team doesn't show up to play. And to top it all off, it was a bad Kaylani night too.

Mommy put Kaylani down around 7:30pm for the first time, and that's when the night went downhill. As usual, she whimpered for a few minutes which is her way of falling asleep, but tonight it was different. She didn't stop whimpering and she definitely didn't fall asleep. What she did do is cry for the next hour, even when Mommy went in. She tried to nurse her again, hold her, rock her, nurse her, anything her, and none of it worked. When Daddy got home a little after 8:30pm, she was still crying (Kaylani, not Mommy...although it's hard to say).

We couldn't find a reason why she was crying. She was crying while she was on the changing table. She was crying when we held her. She cried when we walked her. She cried when we tried to give her Tylenol. She even cried when we gave her a turtle rattle. I mean, who cries at a turtle rattle? It was the oddest thing, but she finally calmed down after about 10 minutes of walking her. Even though she didn't have a fever, we slipped her some Tylenol anyways in case she was teething. Finally, after 10 minutes of nursing (which brought Mommy up to a total of 70 minutes of nursing within 2 hours), she was calm. Not asleep, but calm.

We made the decision to put her in her crib. She was dry, fed, drugged up on Tylenol, and really tired, so there was nothing more we could do for her. And when there's nothing more we can do, that means it's time for her to cry it out. But Kaylani decided that Daddy and Mommy had enough for the day, and promptly passed out. So after a night of crying, she's asleep. Hopefully she's down for the night. If she's not, then we're going to need to find somethign much stronger than a turtle rattle...for us!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Little Dipper

Astronomy is not something that I know anything about. I can't tell you where the North Star is, where the Big Dipper or Little Dipper are, or even where Uranus is (tee hee). But to me, Kaylani is my Little Dipper. She doesn't look like a small connect the dots spoon, but she does this funny little motion when we give her a teething ring that looks like she's dipping it in something.

Now that she can sit by herself, she has full use of her arms. That means she doesn't have to worry about falling over when she grabs something and puts it in her mouth. It also means that she can put things in and out of her mouth as she pleases just because. And whenever we give her one of her little teething rings, she'll shove it in her mouth for a few seconds to relax her gums, but then pull it out and bang it on the ground a few times for good measure before putting it back in.

If you can't picture what I'm talking about, it's pretty comparable to the way you would treat a chicken mcnugget (not just any chicken nugget, but a chicken MCnugget). So whenever you're about to eat a chicken mcnugget, you take it, dip it into BBQ sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or my personal favorite, honey mustard sauce. After a few dips, you shove it into your mouth next to the other 3 that you're still chewing and move on. Now picture Kaylani sitting up in the middle of a blanket. And then imagine a giant container of opened sauce next to her, and she's holding a chicken mcnugget shaped teething ring. Got it?

When you see her in person, it really looks like she dipped the teething ring in something since it's always covered in some sort of liquid, which in this case is obviously her own drool (or "baba" in Spanish). This dipping process will go on for 5-15 minutes depending on when she gets bored of playing with the same chicken mcnugget, I mean, teething ring. It's pretty cute to watch, or pretty gross if baby baba isn't your thing. Luckily for us, baby baba is our thing. Well, as long as it comes from our baby. Other babies? Now that's just gross.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Did somebody ask for a sitter?

I'm proud to announce that we have ourselves a little sitter (we also have ourselves a little something that sounds like sitter but has an "H" in it, but that's not the purpose of today's post). For the past 3 days, she's been sitting for minutes at a time, and quite often during the day (again, this could apply to that other thing with an "H", but I'm still talking about sitting). I was a little hesitant to outwardly proclaim my little girl a sitter, but I'm hesitant no more!

It's actually pretty amazing how well she sits, and how quickly things change in her life. I mean, just 9 days ago, the longest she could sit was for 17 seconds, and in reality, she sat for 2 seconds, and wobbled for 15. Now, she can sit in the middle of a room, a bed, or her pack and play all by herself for minutes at a time. In fact, she can sit for so long that I can't even tell you the maximum amount of time she's sat for (the more I write, the more I realize that all of this can be revised to be about the "H' thing...)

Sure she still falls over from time to time, but it's pretty rare. We're not 100% condnt in her sitting where we'll leave her in the middle of a bed unattended, or even in the middle of a room unattended, but I think she's a pro. What we're hoping for next is for her to go mobile and start crawling. For now, we'll be happy with her sitting and worry about her crawling some time in the future. Gotta think in baby steps...or baby sits as the case may be.

So while we wait for her to start crawling, check out pictures from the last couple of days. There are plenty more pictures of her sitting up. And after looking at these pictures, I sure wish I had a posture as straight as hers. Or if not that, I wish I was as flexible as she was too. Frankly, I just wish I was as young as her!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Using it all up

Kaylani's not even close to being able to play sports, but I'm not sure I'm going to have enough in me when she is ready. For the second straight day I was at the fields coaching until 10pm. And tonight, we had a back to back doubleheader that started at 5 (we ended up splitting the games by the way).

At least today I got to spend the hours before the game with Kaylani. That didn't make being away from her at night and during her bedtime routine any easier. I really shouldn't be complaining since some of the league administrators were at the field from 7am to 10pm, but
that's them. I don't know when they started that crazy schedule, but I'd guess that it wasn't when their kids were 6 months old.

If I keep this up, I might be burnt out of organized sports by the time Kaylani is 7 months (okay, maybe a bit after that). Luckily Kaylani is sleeping at night again (5 straight nights over 10 hours!) so I'm able to get some rest. But for now, I'm mentally tired, I'm physically tired, and I'm just plain out tired. So goodnight for now. Tomorrows another day. A Little League free day too!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm too old for this

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Its 11pm, and if I wasn't completely dedicated to this blog, I probably would just go to sleep. But instead, here I am, staring at Kaylani peacefully sleeping in her crib after a long day. Her day
ended at 8pm when she fell asleep, but mine just ended (or is about to).

While getting Kaylani ready for bed, Daddy and Kaylani were practicing sitting up on the changing table. I know I know, not a good idea, but I was right there. Well of course being right there wasn't good enough, and Kaylani fell forward into the wall. Oops. She cried a bit, but she was okay. Nothing more than a scratch (and maybe a little bump) on her, but it was much worse for me.

Not only did I have to live with the fact that I gave Kaylani a bruiser, but I also had to run off to coach an 8pm baseball game. I knew Kaylani was okay, but that didn't make coaching any easier. And to top it all off, we ended up losing a heartbreaker in extra innings after scoring 2 in the top half. We even had a 2 run lead and a full count with 2 outs with the bases loaded with my star closer on the field, but we got beat. My heart was pounding and I was going crazy, but in the end, the little kid who got the game winning hit against us needed it much more than we did. So hats off to him.

It was a long day, followed by a long night. To top it all off, Mommy told me I missed Kaylani's first words. But it wasn't "mama" or "papa" or "dada." Instead it was "Jon bang". Mommy's hilarious. And that's how I'm going to end my night. I'm way too old to handle all of this, but Happy Fatherhood Friday! I almost missed it, but don't forget to check out Dad-Blogs for all the other posts.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Part Baby, Part Monkey

I've always wanted a pet monkey. I thought it would be so cool to have a little monkey who could sit on my shoulder and walk around with me. Maybe someone who could teach me how to climb a tree, or just hang around. Funny enough, Mommy always wanted a monkey too. Her godmother was even going to get her one, but she got a puppy instead. Sadly, we never did get that pet monkey, but today, Kaylani played the role of monkey just for a little bit.

Before Daddy got home, there was a bit of monkey business going on in the house. Kaylani didn't really feel like taking her afternoon nap or being left alone, so Mommy started to go a bit bananas by the end of the day. It was hard to be upset with her for not napping since she slept for 11 hours last night, and then took a 2 hour nap this morning, but still, fussy baby and no nap makes for a bananas Mommy.

The real monkey part actually came at dinner time when we gave Kaylani real banana. She hasn't seemed to like baby bananas in a jar much, but we got the tip to try real banana mashed up real good to get rid of the acidy flavor. After letting Kaylani try and peel and eat a whole banana (and fail at it), Mommy mashed up a banana real good for dinner and Kaylani ate it all up. She ate an entire mashed banana without even flinching. Well, maybe pooping, but not flinching at the food. I'm pretty sure she would have eaten another one if we let her too but we're going to wait and see how she reacts to her first banana.

It probably doesn't sound that exciting that she ate a whole banana instead of half a jar of baby banana, but it's the first "homemade" food that she's had from us. Maybe now we'll move towards making our own food like a couple of our friends. Or maybe we'll just keep giving her mashed banana since its ridiculously easy to make and doesn't even require a blender. Like everything else that we do for Kaylani, we'll just stick with what's working for now. I'm sure our little monkey will let us know when she's ready for something else anyways.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Curious Grass

The last two days have been gorgeous out and Mommy and Kaylani have been stuck at home with the contractors working on the basement. But that doesn't mean that they didn't have anything to do. And just because they were stuck AT home, doesn't mean that they were stuck IN home (which isn't proper English, but you get the point).

Mommy and Kaylani took a trip into the great outdoors known as our backyard. Our grass was recently cut which you would think Kaylani would enjoy. Turns out, Kaylani doesn't like grass. At all. She didn't like to touch it. She didn't like to sit on it. She didn't like to lay on it. She definitely didn't even like to look at it. And she wasn't even directly on the grass!

We might be in big trouble going into the summer if Kaylani doesn't like the grass. To be fair, it was only her second time ever on the grass so she may still be adjusting. But from the way that Mommy described it, she was keeping her eye on the grass from the second she was taken outside. Mommy laid the blanket down, and Kaylani stared at the grass. Mommy grabbed the camera, and Kaylani stared at the grass. And when Mommy put her down, Kaylani screamed, and still stared at the grass.

When Mommy sat her on the grass, she cried. When Kaylani eventually fell backwards, she cried, then flopped over on her back real quick, but still cried. She calmed down for a little bit, enough for Mommy to snap a few non-screaming or crying pictures, but it was pretty clear the grass freaked her out. Guess we'll work on that this summer. But in the meantime, check out these pictures from the last couple of days!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Right or wrong?

Last night was one of the more trying nights we've had with Kaylani. We thought we had put nights like that behind us when we survived sleep training 3 months ago, but we were wrong. Our first attempt at sleep training was nothing compared to what we went through last night. And we're hoping that was the last of it.

After surviving the cows during the day yesterday, Kaylani gave us all the signs that we were in for a good night. She nursed well, she burped well, and she was sleepy but awake when we put her down for bed. She even played by herself for 10 minutes before falling asleep all on her own around 8:30pm. So for awhile, Kaylani looked like she was back to her good sleeping habits.

But then 12:45am rolled around. We woke up to Kaylani crying, but we held off on doing anything. We had to break her of this crying for someone to get her habit she was getting into because she was just manipulating us. If she would just re-learn how to fall asleep on her own, we'd be okay going forward. After an hour, I went in to turn her around and calm her down, which didn't work. After two hours, we were on the verge of giving in but had to stay strong. Our pediatrician urged us to stay strong so she didn't learn that crying gets results.

After two and a half hours we were at our breaking point. Mommy had to get up and leave the room. She resorted to the computer to help distract her from running into Kaylani's room and picking her up. Daddy sat on the edge of the bed for awhile and stared at the video monitor while listening to her cry. 15 minutes later, or two hours and 45 minutes after Kaylani started crying, she fell silent. She finally fell asleep.

Mommy couldn't even come back to the room right away. She needed to calm down just a bit more before she could even think about sleeping. "Why did we have a baby if we're going to let her do that" was the only thing she could get out of her mouth before breaking down. "Because we're teaching her to sleep in the future" was the only answer I could give, and last night, even I wasn't convinced. It was a tough night, but we survived. Barely, but we survived.

Now many parents will probably tell us we were wrong to let her cry for so long. That we should run to her and comfort her because she needs our support and she's too young. Others will tell us that we did the right thing, and that it really will pay off in the future. Right now, we're not sure if we did the right thing or the wrong thing yet. We do know that she cried again tonight for an hour before finally falling asleep, but she fell asleep on her own, and that's what matters.

If she cries again in the middle of the night, I'm not sure what we'll do. I'm not even sure what we can handle at this point. We're just hoping that we don't have to make that decision again tonight. We're hoping that what we went through last night will prevent us from having to make that decision for a long time. We'll know what happened in the morning, and I sure hope that morning comes quickly because I won't have any answers to give otherwise.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sleeping through the noise

The past few nights have been challenging for us. Kaylani has decided that she would rather scream for 2 hours at night instead of sleeping, which means of course that Mommy and Daddy lay awake in bed listening to her. Over the weekend, Kaylani is manageable without sleep because there are two of us with her. But today, Mommy was left to deal with a non-sleeping, over tired Kaylani all by herself. Well, all by herself plus 4 contractors who came to fix our basement water problem.

If I had to describe the ideal support system to help Mommy get through a potentially long day, it would probably not include four contractors, 2 jackhammers, 180' of piping, 2 new sump pumps, a "dust vacuum", and a truck full of stone, but that's what Mommy got today. Needless to say we were a bit worried about how Kaylani would (or would not) nap with all the chaos (pronounced "cows" if you're Mommy) going on in the house. But again, Kaylani surprised us.

Kaylani was up for the day around 8am (after crying between 12-2am, and waking up again at 6), which meant naptime should have been around 11am. The contractors showed up at 9:30am, and after setting up, they were ready to start jackhammering around 11am. Great. And surprise surprise, Kaylani fell asleep just fine. With all the noise, all the jackhammering, all the craziness, she slept. Like a log in her swing. For 2 hours, which is a great morning nap!

Daddy had plans to work from home in the afternoon just in case Mommy and Kaylani needed to get out of the house, but wouldn't you know it, she napped for 1.5 hours again in the afternoon in her swing. With all the noise and the cows, I mean chaos. So here we are at 8pm and she's out again. It doesn't look like she's going to wake up and finish nursing so I better wrap it up. Let's hope she's back on schedule now. Or worst case, let's hope she can handle the cows tomorrow too. Mooooooooooo.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

So excited for Mother's Day!

We were all looking forward to Mommy's first official Mother's Day. You would think that Mommy would be the most excited, but it turns out that it was Kaylani who was the most excited. And why wouldn't she since she had a big day planned for her Mommy? So of course she was eager to get the day 2:30am.

Once the clock hit midnight, it was officially Mother's Day, despite Mommy's attempts to institute Mother's Weekend. That meant that when Daddy finally heard Kaylani crying through the monitor, it was up and at them. After a quick diaper change and a nursing by Mommy, we headed back to bed. But Kaylani again had other plans. Apparently 2:30am was when Kaylani's Mother's Day plans started and she wanted to spend as much time as possible with her. Finally, at 4am, she decided she could close her eyes for a few hours without missing Mommy too much.

Mother's Day officially started for the second time at 7:30am. After another quick diaper change, Daddy headed downstairs to make breakfast (waffles with fresh fruit and tea), and brought the first of Kaylani's gifts for Mommy upstairs. So instead of just a normal Sunday waffle breakfast, Mommy got to drink tea out of her new "I Love Mami" cup, and get surprised with a 90 minute massage gift card. In addition, Kaylani also got Mommy her very own playroom blanket. Great start to the day!

Next came lunch with Yin Yin, Bat Bat, Auntie Shannon, and Cousins Connor and Zoe and a trip to the park. After a real quick (and uncomfortable) 10 minute nap in the swing, it was time to head back home. Now that I look back on it, it doesn't seem like we did a lot, but we were out and about from 10-4, and since she woke up at 7:30am, Kaylani only slept for 1 hour total, which is not good in the sleep to awake ratio.

Our attempt to get Kaylani to nap once we got home also failed, so Daddy cooked a quick Mother's day dinner (creamy walnut chicken pasta), and served some chocolate chip walnut cookies (baked fresh last night) to wrap up the day. Kaylani had a jar of peas to give the meal some color, and then it was time to end the day.

I think it really just came down to Kaylani being too excited for Mother's Day. She bought Mommy all those wonderful gifts, had a new popsicle dress to wear, got to talk (real loudly) all day about how great her Mommy is, and spend the entire day with Daddy changing her diaper. Wouldn't you be excited about all of that too? So here we are at 7:30pm and she (and both of us) are exhausted. It's time for bed, but all in all, I'd say we had a great first Mother's Day. And if you don't believe me, check out how much fun we're having in these pictures. The smile on Mommy's face says it all. Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Just A Great Day

Today was a great day. That pretty much sums it up. Good night!

Just kidding. I would never leave a post that short. Even on a Saturday. But today really was a great day. Kaylani slept 9 hours last night which meant our (read: Mommy's) day started a little bit after 6am. After a nice family breakfast (cooked by yours truly), we took a ride around town to see if Kaylani would fall asleep before Daddy had to go to his baseball game (which of course she didn't).

Mommy and Kaylani watched my game today which is always a fun treat. What made it even better was that we won again! That makes 2 straight, which in the sports world, is what we call "a streak." We won the game convincingly 8-4, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a few panic attacks. But this time, the panic attacks were when foul balls went towards the area of Mommy and a sleeping Kaylani. I kept having visions of the ball crashing through her sun protector hood and hurting her, but luckily, no ball landed closer than 10 feet. Phew.

To celebrate the victory, we went on some errands to get ready for Daddy's big cooking adventure tomorrow, which is more commonly known as Mother's Day. Kaylani helped out by falling asleep while Daddy was wearing her in the Baby Bjorn, which made the whole day just seem like it was working to our plan. After a quick bath for Kaylani while Daddy fired up the BBQ, we were all ready for dinner.

So here we are getting Kaylani ready for bed and it's only 7:15pm. There was nothing really special about today, but it was just a great day. Hopefully Kaylani will sleep real well tonight because we've got a busy day tomorrow. After all, it'll be Mommy's first Mother's Day, and that's never going to come around again as a first so we're going to make it special. We're planning on having 2 great days in a row. And in the parenting world, that's what we call "perfect."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sit, Baby, Sit...Good Girl!

Today is Kaylani's 6 month birthday (in case you didn't recognize the standard picture with sign). In previous months, she would show us something new on her birthday, like when she laughed on her 3 month and 4 month birthday. So this month, we were hoping it would be something real good. Maybe she would sit, or crawl, or learn how to ride a bike! But alas, none of that happened.

We've been waiting for her to sit all by herself for quite some time. Because she's sat by herself for more than 10 seconds at some point in her life, she got a "check" on her baby scorecard at the pediatrician's last week. But in order for her to get to the next level, she's going to have to sit for way longer than 10 seconds. Her next check-up isn't for 3 months, but we're training her to sit much earlier than that.

Tonight she lasted the longest that I've seen her...unassisted at least. She sat for 17 seconds all by herself (and pretty straight up) on the changing table. Some may say that the changing table probably isn't the best place to teach her how to sit, but don't worry, I was right there with my arms all around her. She actually spends quite a bit of time sitting, whether it's in her high chair, or her bumbo, or just propped up against some pillows. But just like a trapeze artist, she's going to have to learn how to operate without a net.

Mommy and Daddy have very different methods of training her to sit. One of us lets her sit up, and when she flops over, let's her flop slowly to the ground. The other one watches over her like a hawk and grabs her as soon as she wobbles. I won't mention which is which, but I'm sure you can figure it out on your own.

Bottom line is that we can't wait until she can sit up, no matter how she learns. In fact, for the very first time right now, she just pulled herself up to a sitting position while she was laying across Mommy's lap! We won't count it just yet, but I think she' swell on her way. And that means it's just one step closer to her being that much older. Sure her 6 month birthday is a milestone all by itself, but we'll keep measuring her by her physical milestones. So for now, she's rolling, drooling, talking, laughing, eating months old. And if you don't know how old that is, then maybe you can figure it out from these pictures from the last couple of days. Have a great weekend, and Happy Half Birthday Kaylani!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How time flies...

Tomorrow is Kaylani's 6 month birthday, and I can't believe it. It boggles my mind that it's been 6 months already. I can remember every single thing we've done, or that she's done, in the last 6 months that it makes me feel like it can't be 6 months. I never thought that my memory would be good enough to remember 6 months of details. So why is it that every thing is so vividly clear in my head?

The simple answer would be that I remember everything because I've written it all down day by day right here. But even without re-reading previous posts, I can still tell you in vivid color about her first poop incident, or the first time she rolled over, or her first haircut. And while those are very specific incidences and milestones in her life, I can even remember back to a time before she was born. A time that happened exactly 6 months ago from right now.

It's 9pm right now and things don't seem that different from where we were 6 months ago. We're on the couch relaxing after a long day, and just catching up on some TV. 6 months ago I was wondering what my life was going to be like. Mommy was 4 days past her due date and I was anxious to meet my little girl. That part actually hasn't changed. Every day I'm still anxious to see my little girl. Right now, I'm watching TV with one eye and staring at our video monitor with my other because I can't get enough of her.

6 months ago, we went for a walk around the neighborhood to try and motivate Kaylani to come on out. 6 months ago we bought Montreal Chicken Spice because a co-worker told me that it would induce labor. 6 months ago we went to sleep as husband and wife and woke up 1 hour later to head to the hospital. Tonight, we'll go to sleep as Mommy and Daddy and really, really hope that we won't have to wake up in one hour, three hours, or even eight hours.

When we do wake up, it will be Kaylani's 6 month birthday and we'll have our normal monthly celebration, but possibly just a bit bigger. She's growing up way too fast in my opinion. Just think, she's 1/42nd of the way to turning 21! Yikes. Well anyways, I won't say Happy Birthday because that would be premature (unlike thinking about Kaylani turning 21 which is definitely warranted), but I will say Happy Fatherhood Friday since it's close enough! I'm sure it will be Friday by the time most of you read this so it's okay. Don't forget to check out the Dad-Blogs to read the other great Fatherhood Friday posts, as well as my Sports IllutraDad column. They're a great way to kick off the weekend...I promise!

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sorry, We're Closed

I'm going to talk about something that I know very little about: Nursing. I haven't done it since I was a baby and frankly I don't remember it anyways. I've definitely never nursed Kaylani either and lucky for me, she's never tried to nurse from me. But I do see a lot of nursing going on. Let me clarify, I do see Kaylani nursing quite often (just wanted to make it quite clear that I don't spend a lot of time watching other moms nurse their babies). And there are certain things I can see which means I'm highly qualified to talk about them.

There are times when Kaylani's not all too interested in nursing. She'll nurse for a minute, then pop off to see what's going on around her. Then maybe go back for a bit, and then right back out. It's like the girl doesn't want to miss a thing. When you think about it, it's kinda cute. At least to me it is. To Mommy, not so much.

This is where I cross over from what I see to what I hear. I can see Kaylani turning her head in then out over and over again, but I have no idea what that feels like. However, Mommy does tell me about it. More specifically, she tells Kaylani to cut the crap or she's gonna get fired. Apparently it doesn't feel that good. So after a few drive by nursings on Kaylani's part, Mommy calls it quits for a minute and closes shop.

The funny part is that Kaylani has no idea that she's been cut off until she turns back for her next shot. It's kinda like being cut off at a bar. You think everything is going just fine and you're just having a good time checking things out, but then when you go back for another round, you're persona non grata. Most people in this situation would cause an uproar. Scream, shout, make crazy arm motions to try and get your point across that you didn't deserve to be cut off. Well, Kaylani's no different in that regards.

Unlike the drunks at the bar, Kaylani doesn't get cut off for the night very often. It usually takes a few minutes of calming her down before she's ready to nurse for real. And on good days and nights, she'll have learned her lesson and not take any quick shots. She knows better so she'll stock up like a chipmunk in the winter just in case the shop closes on her again. Or on bad nights like tonight, she'll be content not nursing and just stare at Mommy or Daddy with a big ol' grin on her face instead of nursing. The glow of Papi's face in the laptop might just be too compelling for her to nurse, so I guess I should wrap it up. So move along now. We're closed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

At the game

So I'm sitting here in the bleachers of Yankees stadium watching the Yankees-Red Sox game. Its the start of the second inning and already we're down 4-0. Not a good start, but it's alright because it's baseball.

The thing about being the game is that I'm not at home. Its about 7:30 right now which means that Mommy and Kaylani are getting ready for bed. No one will believe me, but I do wish I was there. I love watching Kaylani fall asleep, especially when she looks at me tiredly and gives me a big smile.

Seeing that sure beats the thousands of ugly, annoying, smug Sox fans here, but there's nothing I can do about that. So to get me through this game, I'll stare at the picture of Kaylani on my phone every inning. And then I'll go back to watching the game and cursing at the Sox.

Oh, and don't forget to visit the Dad-Blogs to read my latest Sports Illustradad column on why you shouldn't buy the new "A-Rod" book. And for even more fun, check out the comment string fueled by one of the Sox fan dads. Gotta love the rivalry! Go Yanks!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Go Green!

Everyone's going green nowadays. From bigger things like hybrid cars down to smaller things like using less paper, everyone is doing their part to go green for the environment. Well Kaylani's decided to go green too, except it has absolutely nothing to do with the environment.

We made the switch from sweet peas to green beans tonight, and it couldn't have come a minute too soon. Judging from Kaylani's appetite the last 3 days, she hasn't been the biggest fan of sweet peas, and I can't say I blame her. Her sweet peas tasted like crap. Have you tasted sweet peas baby food? It tastes like raw, mashed up sweet peas. I barely eat them cooked, let alone raw and there's a reason why. And not only that, but it made her actually crap. Remember that whole Hershey Kiss thing? Yeah, forget about that. It was more like mini Twix bars. Luckily there were no little peas in there...or at least none that we could see.

Needless to say, the green beans were a welcome change. You can tell Kaylani liked them more too because she didn't make that scrunched up, disgusted face when we gave her a spoonful of green beans. In fact, she liked green beans so much that we couldn't feed her fast enough. And do you know what happens when you try and feed a hungry baby faster? get a mess.

So Kaylani went green tonight from head to toe. Actually, Kaylani only went green around her mouth, and maybe a bit up her nose (or were those mocos/boogers? Hard to say...). But Kaylani did her part to get others to go green with her. Going green is about spreading the word, and when Kaylani sneezed with a mouth full of food, she spread the word alright. She spread it in a very green way.

Now it's time for her to go to bed. We're hoping she ate enough green beans and is nursing well enough right now so she'll actually sleep 11 hours. We're also hoping that it was the sweet peas fault that she cried from 12-1am last night. It just goes to show that nothing good comes from eating peas. But, to do my part in going green, I've posted new digital pictures of Kaylani from the last handful of days so check them out. There's her first sweet peas, her first green beans, her sitting up for roughly 10 seconds, Mia, and much much more. But please consider the environment before you decide to print one of those pictures. Thanks!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Kisses or Fishes?

I'm pretty sure we're about to start a really fun time in Kaylani's life. It's just a hunch, but I think Kaylani's at the stage where she can really start to mimic the things that we do. I thought we might have been there a few weeks ago when she started saying "plbbbbbbbbbbbt" (which is just a cute way of saying she's spitting at us), but now I'm almost positive she's copying us.

We spend a lot of time kissing Kaylani. We kiss her on her head, her cheek, between her eyes (which is a nightly routine to help her eyes get real tired), her hands, her belly, and pretty much everywhere else. But something much more fun is to blow kisses at her from a distance. We have lots of nieces/nephews/friends that do it and it's always so damn cute. But from a completely impartial, unbiased opinion, I think Kaylani does it the cutest.

Just yesterday, Mommy was holding Kaylani and blew kisses at her from not very far away. All of a sudden, Kaylani started doing the same thing over and over again. Her cute little cheeks were moving up and down and in and out which forced that kiss-like smacking noise to come out. Then she would stop and look at Mommy, who would of course blow some more kisses back at her which Kaylani would then respond to. It's hard to say if she was actually blowing kisses or pretending to be a fish, but either way, it was pretty much one of the cutest things I've ever seen her do, and it's carried over into today too.

It's like she gets cuter and cuter each day, and I can't wait to see what she does next. Maybe this is why she couldn't sleep last week. Maybe she was learning how to blow us kisses. And if that was it, then it was worth it (but if she wants to learn to sit up or crawl, that'd be fine too). We'll keep an eye out to see what other new tricks she can learn, but because she loves blowing kisses so much, she didn't get camera shy on me. Check out Kaylani's latest video blowing kisses at Mommy below. And when you're done watching, click on over to my Sports IllustraDad column on the Dad-Blogs to read about my first Little League team win! Enjoy!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Feeling Old

I'm a few months away from being 29, but I feel like I'm a few months away from being 39. Kaylani's a week away from being 6 months, but I feel like I've aged 10 years in her 6 months. That sounds bad, bit it actually has nothing to do with her. It all has to do with the perception that she brings about.

I work for an agency based out of Princeton, NJ, but we have a big office in NYC. Most of the partner agencies I work with are based out of NY too. What that means is that the fact that I'm 29 means absolutely nothing. But, the fact that I have a 6 month old daughter and a house in the suburbs makes me far older than a few months away from 29.

Besides the NYC social sterotype that adds a perceived 10 years to my life, there's something else that has added far more years to my life. More appropriately, it's likely taken away years of my life. Tonight, I particpated in my first Little League coaches softball game. You would think that playing with/against a bunch of 40-50 year olds would make me feel younger. You'd also be wrong because that's when I realized just how old my body was.

Forget the fact that I have a daughter and a house in the suburbs. The real definitive point to my elderliness (is that a word?) is that I have the body of a 40-50 year old. On the field we joked about 80% of the team needing to chug a bottle of Aleve instead of another Silver Bullet. Off the field, I actually chugged a bottle of Aleve.

When it comes down to it, I made my plays tonight like a 29 year old. I fielded my position, got my hits, and ran on and off the field. But tomorrow, it's likely that I'm going to default to Mommy a bit more to pick up and hold Kaylani because I'm just not sure I'll be able to. Typing this post luckily only involves my fingers. If it required any more physical exertion, it's likely that it wouldn't have happened at all.

So consider this one of my first major sacrifices for The Daddy Diaries. Holding Kaylani tomorrow won't be considered a sacrifice because I love every chance I get. It just may not happen as often as I'd like it to on a weekend day. Not unless that Aleve works it's magic 24 hours a day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fatherhood Friday at

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Every day Kaylani seems to learn just a little something more. But yesterday, I learned a little something myself. Apparently there's a blogging community of parents (mostly Dad's) out there. I happened to find it through one of the Dad's in the group (Outnumbered), who found me through my Facebook group. At first I thought this was just another blogger surfing around, and probably as meaningful as my followers on Twitter (which I still don't fully understand). But once I spent some time in the community, I realized I was on to something big.

The site is called Dad-Blogs and it launched at the beginning of this year. It's essentially just a group of Daddy bloggers thrown together. Sounds simple, but it's much much more than that. For example, Friday's are deemed Fatherhood Friday's, hence the logo at the top of this post. On the outside, it seems like just another cheap marketing scam, like Thirsty Thursday or Naked Wednesday's (no? how about Naked Tuesday's?), but to me, and I'm sure to many more Dad's out there, it's just a little bit of appreciation that goes a long way.

I'm not saying that I feel unappreciated, because I know that Mommy and everyone around appreciates what I do for and with Kaylani. And even though she can't say it verbally yet, the smile on Kaylani's face all the way down to her cute little kicks let me know that she too appreciates me. And because I get to see her smile at least a little bit every day, I know that Fatherhood Friday is more like Fatherhood Everyday in her world.

So here's to my new tradition of Fatherhood Friday. May it come every 7 days, and last for 6 more on top of that. Tomorrow, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming, which in all honesty, is not much different from what you just read. But if you do want to read something new, something different, and something sports related, check out my brand new column on The Dad-Blogs called Sports IllustraDad. Think of it as The Daddy Diaries with a sports twist. Even if you don't like sports, I guarantee you'll enjoy the read. I'll even give you your money back if you don't. So why not give it a shot? You're LOSING money if you don't!