Friday, July 31, 2009

Foodertainment

We've created a monster. In doing so, we've also managed to turn ourselves into a pair of clowns. "Do I look like a clown? Am I hear to entertain you?" Yes. The answer to both is yes. Luckily the monster only comes out twice a day (usually).

Feeding Kaylani is no easy chore. She used to just sit there and eat her 2 to 4 ounces of food peacefully without a fight. We wouldn't have to play any games, or sing any songs, or make any funny faces to get her to open her mouth. But now? Now it's a different story. We have to do all of those things plus react quickly when she talks in "plbbbbbts" and sends food back at us. Then there's the constant reaching down to pick up whatever toy she dropped while again avoiding food being spit at us.

We had a few tricks up our sleeve for the rough days. Mommy could sing "you are my sunshine" to Kaylani and usually she'd open up (after the entire song was done of course). Or we could give her one of the high chair attached toys and she'd usually open up. Sometimes I could just sit and smile at her and she'd eventually smile back (and open her mouth). But lately, we've had to be a bit more original.

Tonight it was just Daddy and Kaylani for dinner. Now Mommy goes through similar things, but I don't think she's quite the sucker that Daddy is. When Kaylani would stop eating, Daddy would go get something new to entertain her with. Here's what it took to get Kaylani to eat 5oz of food:
  1. Let her play with the 2nd container of food while feeding her the first (4 spoon fulls)
  2. Let her play with one of the high chair attachments (2 spoon fulls)
  3. Make funny faces at her until she laughed and opened her mouth (1 spoon fulls)
  4. Let her play with the 2nd high chair attachment (0 spoon fulls)
  5. Let her play with the house phone (5 spoon fulls)
  6. Get up and get a crab toy for her to play with (0 spoon fulls)
  7. Get up and get a ball toy for her to play with (1 spoon fulls)
  8. Get up and get her a hammer toy to play with (3 spoon fulls)
  9. Try the house phone again (2 spoon fulls)
  10. Make "ahhhhhhhhh" noises with my mouth wide open to get her to copy me (9 spoon fulls)
  11. Get up and get the container of Veggie Puffs to play with (1 spoon fulls)
  12. House phone (0 spoon fulls)
  13. Hammer (0 spoon fulls)
  14. "Ahhhhhh" noise (0 spoon fulls)
When she started to cry the last time I made the "ahhhhh" noise and threw the phone and the hammer to the floor, I decided she was done. We made it through 5 oz of food which was good enough. Sure we would love her to eat 6 oz at each meal, but it just wasn't happening. I'm not sure if we're teaching her bad habits by catering to her needs, but if we don't play the game, then she just sits there with her mouth wired shut. And while I'd love to teach her a lesson by not feeding her, that usually causes some concern when she wakes up in the middle of the night because she might be hungry.

Not sure what to do about this since we've already started down this path, but at least she's eating right? That's the main part. After all, I am a clown, and I am here to entertain her. Oh, and if you want some entertainment, check out my latest Sports IllustraDad column over at Dad-Blogs. This post we look at the sad, sad, sad story of Big Papi and the life of lies he led in Boston. Very sad. I'm heartbroken about it. Really.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Flip Flop


Flip. Flop. Back. Belly. Flip. Flop. Back. Belly. Repeat that sequence about 10 more times and you have Kaylani's nighttime performance. Luckily she doesn't wake up every time she flips or flops, but she has been trying to escape her crib around 4am each morning. Even luckier for us is that she'll usually go back to sleep for another 3 hours if Mommy nurses. Since she's getting 11 hours of sleep in total during the night, she can flip and flop as much as she wants in her crib. Kinda.

The great crib escape is something Mommy and I have been dreading for quite awhile. She can't exactly pull herself up yet, and she's barely getting from down to sit as it is, but the way she's developing we just never know when it'll happen. A few nights of waking up to Kaylani whining to get out of her crib, and seeing her tugging on her bumpers trying to either get up or get out was enough to cause us to take action. Tonight, we lowered her crib one more level. Now her mattress is a a good 1.5 feet from the top which means she'll have to work pretty hard to get out. There's only one more level to go. Hopefully our backs won't give out before we get to that next level. So far so good.

Taking care of the worry around flipping and flopping in bed was the easy thing to do. Figuring out what we're going to do with her on the changing table is a completely different story. There, it's not flip, flop, back, belly. Instead it's flip, crawl, bang head on wall, grab edge of table, pull, roll, and try and jump off the 3' ledge. Now repeat that 10 times and you have Kaylani's diaper change routine. No matter how many times we pick her up and put her on her back, she'll immediately flip over and try and make a break for it. In bed? Kinda cute. On a changing table? Not so cute. On a changing table without a diaper? Definitely not cute (okay, still kinda cute, but don't tell Kaylani that).

A few months ago we laughed at our friends Steve and Lisa when they showed us that it took 2 of them to change Aidan's diaper. One of them would hold him by the arms and belly while the other changed his diaper. At the time, it seemed ridiculous that they would need 2 people to overpower their baby. Now, I'm thinking that we need 3 of us, or perhaps a restraining strap attachment for the changing table to keep Kaylani still. Karma sucks.

Kaylani's new diaper change routine is still new enough to us that we're okay avoiding any type of restraining device for the moment, but if she keeps it up, that all might change. After all, safety comes first, and giving her the chance to pull herself off the 3' ledge and onto the ground (or into the garbage can/diaper genie that happens to be on that side of the table) doesn't sound like a good thing. We'll see what happens, but in the meantime, check out these pictures from the last couple of days. Unfortunately none of them are of Kaylani hanging off of the changing table because we can't spare a set of arms for a picture during diaper changing time!

And when you're done checking out those pictures, don't forget to check out Dad-Blogs for the latest installment of Fatherhood Fridays! There's always a great bunch of reads over there to keep you busy for the weekend. You'll love it. Trust me, or your money back!

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Here comes trouble

"You never know how good something is until it's gone." Truer words were never spoken (except maybe "God is great, beer's good, and people are crazy"). In our case though, the something that was gone was good that it was gone, but not good that it's gone. Get it?

The something in this case is Kaylani being stationary (as in, not mobile, and not like you know, paper). The good thing about Kaylani no longer being stationary is that she has reached another developmental milestone. The part that we never knew how good Kaylani being stationary was is now gone. We know exactly how good it was to have Kaylani be stationary. That being said, we wouldn't change it for the world, but crawling has brought on some challenges that we weren't exactly ready for.

Kaylani crawling has opened up a whole new world for her. She's able to move around and get her own toys, go explore around the house, and even flip over and check out the different corners in her crib instead of sleep. The flip side is that she gets herself into a lot more trouble now then she could before. Now she can do things like trap Daddy in the closet, grab wires, open drawers, or just bang her head into different things. And for the last 2 weeks, every day she's been getting herself into more and more trouble, with today being the worst (for Mommy).

Mommy found out the hard way that easy tasks aren't easy anymore. For example, trying to make the bed with a crawling baby means that you have to try and finish before Kaylani gets involved. And since Kaylani's a little speed demon now (even though she's still in the army crawl phase), she was able to get from the hallway to the bed in time to grab the sheets, pull on Mommy's leg, or just try and crawl under the bed (and smack her head several times in the process). And all of this was while Mommy was right there watching her.

When she's alone is when she has the chance to get into even more trouble (kinda obvious right?). At one point today, Mommy put Kaylani sitting outside the bathroom for a minute (no need for detail here). Kaylani, having decided that 8 months of sitting outside the bathroom was enough, took off down the hall. So with little options on what to do, Mommy went after Kaylani as quickly as she could and caught her down the hall trying to pull herself up on a bench. Great. Luckily nothing happened to Kaylani, but it did help us out with 3 things.

The first is that Kaylani is independent and quick. That much we knew. The second is that our house isn't remotely close to being childproof. Knew that one too. The third is that Kaylani can't be trusted with even a little bit of freedom yet. Maybe someday in the future she'll be able to act on her own, but now is not the time. I guess 8.5 months is a little too young for her to make her own decisions well. Maybe we'll try again in 30 years. If she's lucky...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Puff The Magic Food

It was almost 8 weeks ago that we gave Kaylani her very first Sweet Potato puff. Put another way, it was 8 weeks ago that we forced an edible puff into Kaylani's mouth and watched her gag on it because we thought she should have been ready to eat it. Funny how much babies can change in just 2 months.

Today marked the first day that we fed Kaylani a considerable amount of puffs successfully. She's been eating 1 or 2 for the last couple of days, but I'm pretty sure she ate half a containers worth today. The best part is that she did it all without choking. Instead, we felt like she wanted to choke us at times for not feeding her fast enough.

When I got home from work, she ate about 5 of them one after another. Then we went shopping at BJ's, and she ate about 20 of them one after another (and screaming if they didn't come fast enough). Then we went to Outback for dinner, and she ate about 50 of them the same way. Now here we are at home with a 1/4 container of puffs left and contemplating heading out to the store now to pick some more up for the morning.

The funny thing is that we looked at the container again today and like most Gerber products there was a stage based icon right on the front. The icon was a picture of a baby crawling. 8 weeks ago, Kaylani wasn't crawling. 4 weeks ago when we tried again, she still wasn't crawling. 11 days ago she actually started crawling, and 3 days ago she started eating puffs. Maybe we should have listened to the Gerber icons. I'm sure Kaylani wishes we had.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Trapped!

I'm not a fan of enclosed spaces. I'm not claustrophobic or anything, just not a fan. I don't hyperventilate in elevators (unless it gets stuck...which has never happened to me thankfully). I even think I'd be okay if I was trapped in an entertainment set for a few hours (Friends anyone? No? Just me?). But this morning, I was feeling trapped. I was boxed in with nowhere to go. And somehow this was all orchestrated by my precious little girl.

It happened around 7:04am this morning. I had just finished taking a shower under the ever watchful eye of Kaylani from her bouncy (there's no such thing as privacy anymore when you have a baby...just ask Mommy) and we were all done in the bathroom. Kaylani came out of the bouncy and I put her on the floor of the bedroom so I could get changed. Then, I opened my closet door (it swings outwards) and stepped in to pick out my outfit. I could hear Kaylani crawling towards me so I stuck my head out. "Peekaboo!" I screamed. She giggled. Back into the closet I went. We did this about 3 more times, but each time I peeked out at her, she was just a little bit closer. And everytime I said "peekaboo!" she'd freeze and giggle. Little did I know she was such a great actress.

When I went back behind the door and into the closet (which is about 5 feet from where Kaylani was) to finish getting ready, she made her move. She started to push the door closed with her little hands. My closet door, having my robe, 3 sweatshirts, and a pair of shorts hanging on hooks inside, closes pretty easily. I mean, I was standing right there so I was able to stop it, but it didn't need to close all the way to trap me in. In fact, it wouldn't even have locked had it shut, but I was still trapped.

Kaylani had crawled directly in front of the door by this point. Not only could I not push open the door without bowling her over, but she was also trying to stick her fingers in between the door and the frame, as well as underneath the door. If I tried to push her with the door then chances were that I would have pinched her fingers at the same time. So here I was, all dressed up and nowhere to go. I decided that waiting for Kaylani to get bored with the possibility of pinching her fingers was going to take too long. Instead, I decided on a plan of action. It was the only thing left that I could do. "Moooommmmmmyyyyyy!!"

That's right, I called for Mommy. She was laying in bed trying to steal an extra 5 minutes of sleep before I left for work, but I had no choice. I mean, I could have waited Kaylani out which would have given Mommy an extra 30 minutes to an hour of sleep, but I didn't like being trapped. After Mommy picked Kaylani up, I stepped out only to see Kaylani smiling and giggling to herself. I swear she winked at me and said "MUAHAHAHAHA" but I can't be sure.

I'd like to think that it was a fluke accident, but it happened again tonight when I got home from work. I stepped into my closet to change out of my clothes and Kaylani sped over to try and trap me again. Luckily this time I kept one foot out of the closet and behind the door so she couldn't get the jump on me. She still tried to pinch her finger between the door, but at least I didn't get trapped.

I'm hoping she grows out of this phase pretty soon. Rushing to get dressed so I can get to work is one thing. Rushing to get dressed while worrying about being locked in the closet is something completely different. Luckily Mommy is always only a scream away.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It Takes Two

Weekends are a great opportunity for Daddy to share in Kaylani's daily activities. They provide a time to finally see what Mommy goes through 5 days a week while he's at work. It also gives Mommy a little bit of a break so she can relax and not worry about Kaylani clinging to her or crying because she's not clung to her every second of the day. Sounds great, right? So why is it that weekends are frustrating for Mommy?

Okay, they're not really frustrating. They're just kinda frustrating. Sure she loves having me around. She also loves that I'm happy because I get to spend time with Kaylani. And she especially loves the part about her getting a little bit of a break from the baby clingy thingy. But what's frustrating to her is how different Kaylani is on the weekend. According to her, it's not a fair depiction of what Mommy goes through 5 days a week. Instead, it's like she's a completely different baby. Not in a bad way, but still different. For example:

Weekdays: Kaylani will cry/whine in her bouncy while Mommy takes a shower
This Weekend: Kaylani played with her toys in her bouncy while Daddy took a shower

Weekdays: Kaylani will take 1 nap on most days for 45 minutes to an hour, and usually only when she goes in the car to go somewhere.
This Weekend: Kaylani slept for 2 hours in her swing this morning, plus another hour in the car on our way to the farm/park.

Weekdays: Kaylani will wake up as soon as Mommy stops the car or tries to transfer her to her stroller.
This Weekend: Kaylani stayed asleep as Daddy transferred her to her stroller...for an hour and a half after!

Weekdays: Kaylani will crawl to Mommy (crying/whining along the way) and climb up her if she's left alone.
This Weekend: Kaylani sat and played by herself in the family room and the playroom while Daddy walked around picking stuff up.

Weekdays: Kaylani will be fussy during her lunch and eat 4oz only.
This Weekend: Kaylani ate her 4oz of lunch (sweet potato chicken again!) plus another 2oz of apples and apricot.

There are probably a few more examples, but you get the point. I guess it just takes two of us to make Kaylani an easy baby. I am still completely amazed and impressed by Mommy due to everything she has to handle during the week by herself with Kaylani. I'm not even sure I could do it if I was put in the same situation. But if weekends are any indication, then maybe it just takes that special Daddy magic. Just kidding Mommy! :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Christmas in July!


I've been hearing a lot of Christmas in July sales going on lately. Our local Macy's even has inflatable Christmas trees adorning the front of their entrance. I used to think that all of this was just another marketing gimmick, but now, I'm not so sure. It kinda felt like Christmas in July today.

For starters, Kaylani woke up nice and early as if it was Christmas morning and she was too excited to sleep in anymore. The first time she got up was around 11pm, likely because she sensed that Santa was going to touch down on the roof any minute. And instead of just lying there awake, she did what any excited kid trapped in her crib would do...she flopped over on her belly and started crawling around while looking for a way out. After being flipped back over (by Daddy...not Santa) and falling back asleep, she made it all the way until 2am before she was on her belly again. Around 5:30am, she had enough and she was determined to sneak out through the corner of her crib. After being unsuccessful for 30 minutes, she called for Mommy and Daddy to come get her so she could see what Santa brought her.

Fortunately for us (and unfortunately for Kaylani), Santa missed our house last night, so Christmas in July was not going to involve any presents at home. Instead, we packed her up and hit the road at 7am so she could nap (in the car of course) before swim class. After a nice 45 minute nap, and a quick nursing, it was into the pool we went. This time, Kaylani received a present from Daddy...in the form of another underwater dunking. The first one went better than last week, and the 2nd time was definitely much better. We didn't take any video so you'll have to take my word for it...as cruel as it sounds.

Next on our day of activity was Sloan's 2 year birthday party at The Harrison's. This is where it really felt like Christmas in July. Not only did Kaylani get presents from Santa Danika (2 more of Darby/Sloan's toys), but she also got something even better...her first pony ride! After all of the other kids who actually knew what was going on got a turn, Kaylani plopped herself on the pony and went for a walk around the yard. She laughed, she rode, she kept leaning forward to see if the pony would go any faster like her buggy. And to top it all off, she got to play in a sandbox for the very first time too.

But our day didn't end there. During a trip to the mall, Kaylani got a few new outfits from Gymboree, and then at Babies R' Us, she got her next presents in the form of a new pajamas, an inflatable duck bath thing, and the biggest present of all...meat! Yeah, you heard that right. We've decided Kaylani's done enough of the veggies and fruits, and we're moving on to meat. We stocked up on sweet potato chicken, vegetable turkey dinner, and country chicken apple something (can't remember the last one exactly). We also bought a few new foods like pumpkin apple, sweet potato cinnamon, and green bean casserole for good measure because we obviously don't have enough food.

Then we sped home, took Kaylani for a ride in her "broom broom buggy", or "vroom vroom buggy" in English, and finally spent some time at home. For dinner, we cracked into the sweet potato chicken and she ate it all up with little problem (only time will tell what it "looks" like on the way out). Then, Daddy got a little light-headed blowing up the duck bath, and we threw her in that too! She also seemed to like that too, with the only problem being she keeps trying to climb out of the damn duck (no real need to say "damn" there, but it just fit).

Anyways, our long Saturday is finally over and Kaylani is passed out in her crib. Mommy and Daddy are pretty beat too, and lucky have 0 plans for Sunday. Maybe we'll sleep in...or maybe we'll wake up at 6am and hang out with Kaylani all day again. Either way, it's 8pm on a Saturday night which means it's time to get this party started ready for bed. In keeping with the whole Christmas in July thing, here are some pictures from today and the last couple of days for you. Merry Christmas (in July)!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Unspoken Fatherly Love

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

This past weekend, my Dad told me how proud he was of me as a dad. He never imagined that I'd be this good of a father, or this dedicated. Between the blog, the pictures, the videos, and of course the time I spend with her, its more than he would have thought I would become. I've always been good with kids, but never this good according to him.

When he said those things, it kinda blew me away. Hearing things like that from your own Dad is the greatest compliment anyone could ever give. After all, most peoples Dads are what the aspire to become. My Dad worked (and still works) real hard to support his family. He has overcome a lot to get where he is, and while he worked a lot, he was always there for us. He rarely missed one of my Little League baseball games, or concerts, or anything else that I had going on. We went to Yankees game together and played baseball or basketball together. We rode roller coasters and climbed the nets at Sesame Place together. We did all types of things that made us close.

As many things as we did together, we still weren't the closest of friends. We were Father and Son, which is definitely different from being close friends, but not in a bad way. We didn't show emotion to each other often, and in fact, probably went out of our way to hide emotion (either good or bad) on occasion. But despite all of that, I still feel a close connection with my Dad and I know he feels the same for me. It was just made even clearer to me last weekend.

I hope Kaylani and I have a close connection now and especially when she's older. It's way too early to tell if she'll still be Daddy's Girl, or if she'll be more of a Momma's Girl. I want her to feel comfortable with me. To come to me in good times or bad times. To know that I'll always be here for her and how I'd do anything for her if she asks or doesn't ask. I want all of this from her because that's what I have with my Dad. I know he's there for me 100% of the time, no matter if he says it or not. I just hope Kaylani feels comfortable saying it. That's the difference between Daddy-Daughter and Daddy-Son closeness. So while I wish for all these things for Kaylani to say outwardly, I'm going to take the cheap way out and say it here. Thanks for everything Dad. You're the best and I love you.

I thought this post was especially fitting since it's Fatherhood Friday so I waited all week to post it. Now do your part and click on over to Dad-Blogs to read other posts from the great group of Dads (and Moms) we have over there. Oh, and give your Dad a call and tell him you love him. Or at least write it down. I'm sure he deserves it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Toy Store

Tonight, Mommy, Kaylani, and I went to the toy store to pick up something for Sloan whose birthday party is this weekend. The last time I went to the toy store with Kaylani she was strapped in her stroller and wasn't really reaching out for anything. This time, things were a little bit different. There was no stroller, and she was definitely reaching out for things.

We looked around for different things, and any time we stopped to check something out, Kaylani would do the same. She'd bounce up and down in our arms, turn herself around to get a better look, and grab anything she could. And if she could get it in her mouth before we caught her, she would do that too. Luckily she's not quite old enough to sneak one by on us, and even luckier, she doesn't cry when we take things away from her and move on. I'm guessing she won't always be like this, but for now, it's not too bad.

There were a few things she was in love with, like the Tagsies Rocking Horse, or some giant nursery rhyme block thing, but unfortunately for her, she didn't leave the store with anything this time. While we were checking out, a little boy ran into the store and grabbed a plastic shovel. His mom finally arrived behind him and asked him to put the toy down because they had 10 of them at home already and get moving. After a few minutes of screaming, she bought him shovel #11 and they left the store. It was like a glimpse into the future for us. Part of me is dreading that exact situation. But the other part of me hopes that Kaylani gets attached to the $2 shovel when she's older. Sure beats buying the $130 rocking horse right?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!


It's official. I'm old...er than I was yesterday. I am now the ripe old age of 29. To most people, 29 isn't old. But to most of the people I work with, I have a house, a baby, and I'm almost 30, so that means I'm ancient. Ahh, I love agency life. But seriously, if this is what "old" looks like, sign me up for 30 and beyond right now!

At precisely midnight, Kaylani wished me a Happy Birthday. I'm not sure how she knew, but we were just getting into bed and all of a sudden heard her cry out through the monitor. Thankfully she went back to sleep immediately, but it definitely scared me for a second. I mean, anytime she cries out in the middle of the night I start thinking thoughts like "what's bothering her" or "seriously Kaylani?" But last night she actually had me thinking "how did she know???" instead. Then when she woke up 30 minutes later and cried for 30 minutes, she had me back to my normal thoughts.

After a long day at work that ended up being really productive and ended with a great client meeting, I came home to a whole lot of love. First, Kaylani was waiting for me outside as I pulled into the driveway. I mean, sure she was actually sleeping in the stroller, but I like to think of it as her waiting for me. Then, I got a ton of presents from Mommy and Kaylani, including certificates for things like a guilt free day of golf, a hug from Kaylani, a homemade dinner of my choice, and other things that I won't mention (wink wink). And I also got a new guayabera, some nice boxers, a pair of jeans, and the highlight of the presents which were engraved bar glasses with select quotes from this blog! And to top it all off, I got an awesome lasagna dinner, another cake, and a great big hug and smile from my 2 favorite girls.

But my day of love didn't stop there. When I finally got the chance to check my Facebook account and my messages, I saw an overwhelming number of posts to my wall. While I started to respond individually this morning (silly me), I realized I'll never get to all of them. So for all of you who posted and didn't get a response from me, thanks! And to show that I'm really grateful, here are a few of the birthday wishes I received, and my official blog response:

Mayte: Hola Jonathan, We hope you continue celebrating your special day, having Kaylani around this year. Feliz CumpleaƱos! Have fun celebrating with your loved ones :)
Me: It certainly is more special this year with Kaylani around! And no offense to my co-workers, but I wouldn't consider them my loved ones :)

Jay: Happy Birthday man! Go Red Sox!
Jeph: Happy Birthday Bro!!! Also, C and Z say Happy Birthday Suk Suk!!!! We're also glad we were able to celebrate with you and hope you have a great day today! For your birthday, I put the Yanks in 1st place. Enjoy!
Me: Thanks! I appreicate the Red Sox going to 2nd place for my birthday from both of you!

Mommy: Happy Birthday Paaaaaa! Love u, K and B
Me: How could I not include the post from my 2 favorite girls?

Vaughan: Happy Birthday - Hope Kaylani let her dad sleep in!
Me: Thanks, but at what age do they start to actually listen to that request?

Tristin: Age is just a number. Old is a state of mind. Try to have a Happy Birthday!!
Me: True statement, but my number and my state of mind all point to old.

Rina: Happy Birthday!! I'm hoping Kaylani will give you a good poop story for your birthday. I've been missing those.... :)
Me: I've got one, kinda. I'll post it soon :)

Steph S: Happy Birthday- you are old and I'm glad you finally admit it!
Steph R: Happy Birthday Jon!!! Better watch out, pretty soon you'll be as old as me :)
Heather: Happy Birthday Old Man! I hope it's a good one!
Me: Thanks, even though you're all still older than me...and always will be!

Cindy: Happy Birthday JT!! :o) If only I could trash your office to celebrate! ;o)
Me: My former boss and friend remembered my birthday...and yes, she used to trash my office. Ahhh good times!

Danika: ...
Me: Oh right, my current boss and friend didn't remember my birthday this year. Ahhh good times!

Titi Glenda, Alisha, and Rohan: Sang happy birthday to my voicemail and told me they made me 2 cakes and love me. Oh, and Alisha asking me "what you doin Tio?" thinking I was actually on the phone was the best!

And to the countless others that wished me a Happy Birthday, thank you for remembering (or at the very least, for paying attention to the Facebook reminder that's out there). It meant a lot to me and it was the best birthday ever! To thank you even more, here are some pictures from the last couple of days of Kaylani. Enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Old Timer's Weekend


We had an action packed weekend. So action packed that I didn't even get around to posting last night. As some of you may know, Sunday was Old Timer's Day at Yankee Stadium, so that kept Bat Bat and Daddy busy for most of the day. But before that, it was a different type of busy with the whole family, and not in a bad way at all.

Yin Yin, Yea Yea, Bat Bat, Auntie Shannon, and Connor and Zoe all came down to NJ to spend the weekend with us and celebrate my birthday weekend (actual birthday is on Wednesday for all of you out there who haven't bought me a gift yet). Right after swim class, the celebration started with lunch at Triumph in Princeton, then some fun in the backyard with the Pirate pool again, and of course, the grill. After chowing down on delicious porterhouse steaks and veggies that Yin Yin and Bat Bat cooked up, we ended the eating festivities with Daddy's favorite: a Carvel cake. To top it all off, Daddy got the Yankees jacket that he's been looking at for probably 10 years (but never bought because he either lived in Boston or Florida). It was the best birthday present I've got this year!

After celebrating me becoming an old timer, we went to the stadium to see all the Yankee old timers come out and play. It was our first Old Timer's Day and definitely an experience I'll do again. What I'm actually looking forward to most is taking Kaylani in a few years and reliving my memories of the old Yankees with her. I saw countless Dads and their children sharing the experience, and it's only a matter of time before that Dad and that kid become me and Kaylani.

Now it's time to wrap up my 364th day of being 28. Tomorrow will be my last day as a 28 year old so I guess I'll live it up. As for you, you can live it up right now by checking out these pictures from the weekend and today. Kaylani's got some pictures in her brand new (used) car that Titi Glendalys, Alisha, and Rohan gave her. It's only a matter of time before she gets her real drivers license. And from the looks of it, she's gonna love it! Enjoy!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Splash Down!

Saturday is Swim Class day for Daddy and Kaylani. And this being the third class meant that it was time to work a few new things into the plan. So in addition to the standard "wheels on the bus" or "humpty dumpty off the ledge" games we played, we also added something that Mommy has NOT been looking forward to. She's actually been dreading it for quite sometime. But since Daddy is the one with Kaylani in the water, there's not too much Mommy can do about it.

Kaylani wasn't actually that happy during today's class in general. She slept for 45 minutes before hand, but apparently that wasn't enough. Last week she slept for an hour before class and we threw her right into the water. The first class she slept for only 10 minutes and seemed kinda outta it. One of these days we'll figure out what's the right morning routine before swim class. Today wasn't it.

So when Miss Suzie told us that it was time to play "dunk the baby" towards the end of class, Mommy wasn't the only one kinda unhappy. Kaylani wasn't all too happy up until that point, but Daddy was going to play along anyways. I mean, the instructor told us too! The only problem was how it was going to happen.

Most babies keep their mouth closed all the time. Kaylani does not. While just dunking the baby under water real quick seems easy enough, it's not quite that easy with Kaylani's mouth open. So after a moment's hesitation while everyone else dunked their baby (and the subsequent cries that came out from most of them), Kaylani and Daddy went for it. A quick puff of air in Kaylani's face to make her close her eyes and her mouth, and under she went!

Want to know what she thought of it? Well check out this video! It's a few clips from throughout the class. The splash down happens at the end. Only time will tell if we'll do it again next week!

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's a bumpy road

A couple of weeks ago we bought one of those shopping cart "nests" for Kaylani. To be honest, I'm not even sure what they're actually called, but they're the things that you put on top of the shopping cart so that Kaylani doesn't have to sit in all the filth that has accumulated there. I think ours is from Infantino, but I don't really know...Mommy picked it out. Anyways, that's not important. What is important is that Daddy got to do some grocery shopping with Kaylani in it for the second time ever. Not sure Kaylani's looking forward to a third time.

The first time we went out using the "nest," it was during a Daddy-Daughter Saturday morning. After figuring out how it worked (the velcro straps seemed intuitive enough but I didn't get it right until we were almost out of the store), we sped around the store sans Bjorn and sans stroller. Amazingly, grocery shopping became easy again. The only difference from grocery shopping pre-Kaylani was that I couldn't leave my cart lying randomly around while I went down the aisle to get something, and I couldn't crash into carts that other shoppers annoyingly leave in the middle of the aisle. Aside from that, it was exactly the same.

Now Mommy and Kaylani have gone shopping a few times with this "nest," including once earlier today already, so Mommy knew what the deal was. After spending a few minutes making sure that Daddy knew Kaylani liked to lean to the side (which Daddy of course shrugged off because who wouldn't know such a thing), we strapped Kaylani in and headed towards the store. The ride through the parking lot was nice and smooth. Kaylani was chomping away on her toy and hanging a little to the left, but so far, smooth goings.

It was when we got to the entrance that things turned bumpy...literally. The entrance to Wegmans is tiled, which means it gives that nice little vibration on the cart, or what I'll describe through my words as "duhduhduhduhduhduh" sound. Of course it's also a little loud (so maybe it's more like "DUHDUHDUHDUHDUH") so Daddy didn't exactly hear Mommy saying "Kaylani's leaning all the way to the left." When I did hear Mommy, I responded with a "Yeah, she'll live" because it's true, she would live! I mean, she's just leaning a little to the left. Okay, maybe it was a lot to the left.

When I looked down at Kaylani, she was so far left that her head was on the side of the shopping cart. And when you mix Kaylani's head on the side of a shopping cart making a "DUHDUHDUHDUHDUHDUH" noise, you get a "WAHHHHHHHHHHHH" type of noise too. Oops. So Kaylani was crying a little bit. I straightened her up, smiled at her until she smiled back at me, and we were back on our way into the smoother flooring inside the grocery store.

I guess the moral of the story is that Daddy was right...Kaylani would live. Sure Mommy was right too for warning Daddy about the leaning to the left thing, but overall, I'd say no harm no foul, right? Maybe not. Guess I shoulda seen that one coming. "Duhduhduhduh...DUH!"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Moving on up!

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

We've got forward motion! Finally! After months of anticipation, Kaylani is finally on the move. She's not getting anywhere fast yet, but she's definitely mobile, and it's not backwards for a change. The very first time was actually yesterday, but she only scooted about 1 and a half Kaylani's (that's a valid type of measurement right?) during Gymboree class. Mommy credited that movement with the smooth, slippery cushion mats that they have at Gymboree, but it turns out she was just giving a preview for what was to come today.

Around 1:45pm, I got the call that Kaylani was crawling (actually, I got a text to tell me that since I was in a meeting and couldn't answer the phone). Mommy and Kaylani were in the playroom and Kaylani was reaching out for a book. Instead of what she normally does (which is reach and stretch for it as far as she can before spinning around in endless circles and ending up further from it and crying), she scooted over to it. And when she scooted 4 more times towards it (since Mommy kept moving it further away), Mommy broke into tears. We had ourselves a little crawler!

I'm sure you can guess what I did as soon as I got home from work then. I immediately took Kaylani out of the exersaucer where she was watching Mommy cook, and we headed to the playroom. I was really hoping that she would put on a show for me, and luckily she did (unlike when she rolled over for the first and second and third times just for Mommy). Her crawl is pretty damn cute to watch. It's not a full, up on all fours, type of crawl. Instead, it's more like a one leg push and crawl with the other leg in a bent, still position. A few of her movements look fully coordinated between both legs, but most of the time it's like a three legged race, except she only has two.

Anyways, I'm probably not doing it any justice, so check out this video which has a bunch of clips put together of her crawling! She's certainly not the most graceful crawler yet, but she's definitely the cutest in my book! Oh, and happy Fatherhood Friday! Don't forget to check out Dad-Blogs for some great posts!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

She's baaaaaack!

Is it true? Can it be? Is she back? Those are questions we asked ourselves this morning when Kaylani woke up at 6am. Waking up at 6am isn't exactly groundbreaking news, but it is when you consider the fact that she didn't cry at all last night after falling asleep quietly at 8:30pm. For the first time in over 2 weeks, Kaylani slept for 9+ hours straight. And when Kaylani sleeps for 9+ hours straight, all is right in the world again.

Not only does it make Mommy and Daddy get better sleep, but it makes Kaylani happier during the day (in my opinion). For the hour I got to see her this morning, she was smiling, energetic, and best of all, not fussy. Then, in the hour I got to play with her after work, she was eating, she was playing, and she was laughing. And from what I heard from Mommy, she wasn't too bad during the day either. And now that Kaylani is back asleep again, we find ourselves hoping that the answers to our questions this morning are all "Yes." And so far, all signs for "Will Kaylani sleep 9+ hours straight again?" seem to point to "Yes."

Sign #1: She ate all 4 oz of her food easily
Sign #2: She nursed for 30+ minutes
Sign #3: She closed her eyes a little bit when I kissed her before putting her in her crib
Sign #4: She stared at me after we put her in her crib but didn't cry
Sign #5: She cried for only a few seconds when I left the room, then found her bedtime monkey and played with that
Sign #6: She was asleep within 3 minutes of me leaving the room
Sign #7: It's been 90 minutes and she's barely moved and hasn't made a peep
Sign #8: We didn't even give her Infant's Motrin or Tylenol tonight for the first time in 3 nights

Those are 8 great signs that we're headed towards another great night of sleep for Kaylani. I only wish I could go to sleep now too and take advantage of it. Instead, I'm watching the All-Star game on ESPN Gamecast, and preparing for a10pm conference call at the same time. Speaking of which, I gotta run to that now. For those of you who don't have to work right now, check out my latest post at Dad-Blogs on some ways to fix the "All"-Star game!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Food Emporium


Months ago, we bought a Beaba Baby Cook so we could start making Kaylani's food out of fresh fruits and vegetables instead of buying endless jars of baby food that took up space in our cabinet. In addition to saving over $150 in jarred food costs, we also thought that Kaylani wasn't eating any of her fruits because she didn't like all of the added preservatives, etc that they put in canned/packaged baby food. In fact, we swore off of fruits all together after she started puking them up shortly after. So to date, we've made 64oz of food for Kaylani, of which she's only eaten 32oz of, none of which have been fruits.

We still plan on using the Baby Cook eventually, but we've decided to push ahead with different foods, despite the warnings from Kaylani's nurse. So far, I'd say she's starting to get the hang of it. She's now mastered apples, bananas, peaches, pears, apricot, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, mangos, and prunes in addition to all of her vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, peas, and green beans. She's also eating brown rice, lentils, potatoes, and oatmeal mixed in with each of those. Oh, and of course none of this is homemade. Instead she's been feasting on a variety of Earth's Best, Gerber, and Gerber Organics. As Dora says, "Mmmmm mmmmm delicioso!"

Now, the problem with Kaylani liking all these types of food is that Mommy and Daddy are of the "club store" principle when it comes to food purchases. Instead of buying a few days or a weeks worth of anything at a time, we tend to stock up wherever we are just in case. One week, Target will have a great selection of food and we'll buy 10 different packs to last us a week. And if Babies R' Us also happens to have a great selection when we're there, we'll buy 10 more, even if it's on the same day. And then to top things off, if Stop & Shop or Wegman's has different ones or some more of her staple foods, we'll buy them there too.

Right now, we have over a month's worth of food for Kaylani if she continues to eat 4oz (1 package) of food for lunch and another for dinner. We recently moved it from a small shelf in our pantry to a giant basket because we were it was out of control. At this point, I'm not even convinced Kaylani can eat all of this food. She hasn't even tried it all yet. In fact, I think we might have more food than any of the stores we normally shop at now. It's ridiculous.

We're just going to keep plugging away over here. I hate to see what happens once Kaylani gets into the Stage 3 foods, like meats and pastas. I'm guessing our pediatrician will give us the green light at her 9 month appointment, but until then, it's fruits, vegetables, repeat. Turns out the only way any machine could save us over $150 is if it was a credit card shredder. That way we wouldn't be able to buy ridiculously priced mixed drink blenders baby food processors. Oh well, maybe we'll make her homemade food again some day. You know, like when she's 80 and needs her food blended into a fine mush in order to eat it. Or maybe Kaylani will use it for us. That sounds much more reasonable.

Anyways, check out pictures from the last couple of days. You can see Kaylani and Aidan in the pool, and Kaylani in her brand new Gymboree tunnel! Good times!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wake up!

You would think that after all the time I've spent complaining about Kaylani not getting enough sleep during the past week, I wouldn't be asking her to wake up early for me. But this weekend, I found myself staring at the monitor in the mornings thinking "wake up Kaylani! It's time to play!" And that led to Mommy wondering what the heck was wrong with me.

This past weekend didn't provide me with any more sleep than the rest of the week. As usual, my body and brain betrayed me and kicked into gear around 5:45am each day. While getting started early on weekdays helps me get off to a good start for work, it provides me with something I'm not used to on weekends: free time. 5 months ago, I came to the realization that free time for parents did not exist. Since then, I've accepted that realization and even learned to dislike any free time that I did have because it made me feel alone. Well, weekend mornings are apparently not any different. While everyone was home, I was still alone.

After catching up with all the Fatherhood Fridays posts over at Dad-Blogs, I quickly skimmed ESPN for any interesting news, and then I twiddled my thumbs. I tried to talk to Mommy but I got a "Pa, leave me alone for a little bit more okay?" for my troubles. It was 6:15am which meant that Kaylani should be waking up any minute now so I waited. And waited. And waited some more. It wasn't until 6:45am or so that Kaylani made her first move. But like the rules of dating, I didn't dare go at her first sound. Instead, I waited for her to cry out for me so I could run in her room and be the hero who saved my daughter from the lonely confines of the crib that she spent all night in. But that moment never really happened.

For what seemed like forever, Kaylani laid in her crib playing with her stuffed monkey. She shook it, she chewed on it, she moved it from side to side. For a bit, I thought she was even waving at the camera to tease me by saying hi, but it turns out she was fascinated with the opening and closing of her own hand (or had one of Mommy's hairs stuck between her fingers...tough call). Throughout all of this, I sat at the edge of our bed (to Mommy's dismay) just waiting for Kaylani to cry out to me.

I felt like I was 10 years old and at the town pool waiting for adult swim to end so us kids could dive back in and splash around. "5 minutes kids. 5 minutes" would be the sign for all of us to sit on the edge of the pool. We'd stare at the adults slowly making their way out of the pool. We watched the lifeguards seemingly swim through quicksand to remove the lap ropes. And then we'd hear "alright kids" and the whistle would blow and all would be right in the world again. Just like back then, I was never very good at the whole waiting thing.

At 7:15am I gave up. Kaylani was talking to herself which I figured was close enough to crying out for me. I mumbled "get up, I'm going in" to Mommy as I ran out of our bedroom. Before Mommy could even try and stop me, the ribbon/binder clip contraption that holds her door slightly open ever since the WD-40 incident was off and I was in the room. I shut off the humidifier, opened her blinds, turned off the night light, then picked up my smiling little girl. Finally she was awake! Finally I had something to do! Finally we could get the day started! Finally I got to play the role of hero as I rescued her from her lonely confines of her crib...kinda.

Anyways, that about sums up for my day. I mean, sure we did other stuff like have waffles on Sunday, go to Church, buy $40 of baby food and a turtle shaped floaty for the pool, and then actually use it (the floaty, not the food) in Aidan's pool, but all that seemed to go by much quicker than the first 90 minutes of my day. Funny how that works. I'm sure I'd feel different about Kaylani sleeping in if my body and brain ever let me sleep in, but since I don't see that happening anytime soon, I guess we'll just do it this way. Or maybe I'll bang some pots together next time to get her to wake up. Tough call.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Please Sir, can I have some Mo'

I couldn't tell you what the movie was about, or when I watched it, or really anything about it, but there is one thing that I remember distinctly about Oliver Twist. There's this one line in there where he carries his empty bowl up to the front and goes "Please Sir, can I have some mo'", and is answered with "Whaaaat? You want more????" I have no idea why that's been funny to me for the last 15 or so years, but it has been. And if Kaylani asks me that tonight, I'll fall over myself trying to give her more.

"Mo," in this case, means Motrin (Infants' Motrin of course). It didn't even hit us that we could try giving Kaylani Motrin instead of Tylenol for the last 2 months (not appropriate for children under 6 months). It wasn't until Danika mentioned it to us that we thought, hmm, we should give that a try since Motrin lasts longer (6-8 hours instead of 4). And try it we did. Early results are in, and they're gooooood!

Last night, Kaylani was asleep by 8pm. Before that though, she had 1.875ml of Infants' Motrin (odd measurement, but whatever). When she woke up at midnight, we were tempted to say "Motrin, you suck!" But after she cried for an hour and then passed out when Mommy nursed her, she slept from 1am all the way until 6:15am. The best part was that when she woke up at 6:15am, she didn't scream or cry. Instead she just laid in bed and played with her stuffed monkey, her feet, and anything else around her. It's morning like these that are the best to wake up to!

Of course Daddy woke up at 5:45am because that's what his body has adjusted to, but for the next hour he got to surf the web, catch up on some blogs and some sports, and listen to Kaylani play happily by herself until he went to get her around 6:45am. Then, after a bit of playing, and some breakfast, it was time to wake Mommy up (around 7:45am) so that Kaylani could nurse before a quick nap and swim class.

We're convinced that Motrin saved our day today. Kaylani was happy. Kaylani napped. Kaylani ate. Mommy slept in just a bit more. Daddy got to drive around and have coffee while listening to America's Country Top 40 with a napping Kaylani. All was good, and we have Motrin to thank. Motrin let Kaylani sleep for 9+ hours last night while only waking up once. Motrin let Kaylani survive the pain of her 3rd (and probably 4th) tooth are causing. Motrin makes the world go round.

We obviously gave Kaylani her dose of Motrin again tonight. And if it works again, you better believe that we're going to do it for another few nights too. While we'd rather not revert to "drugs" to have quiet nights, we're more than okay "trying" it for a few nights now. We promise we won't get dependent on it. That would be bad. But for now, it's all good. So Kaylani, if you want some mo', you can have some mo'. No ifs, ands, or whaaaats about it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

That's just the way it is

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

It's finally Friday. Not only does that mean the week is finally over, but it also means it's time for another round of Fatherhood Fridays over at Dad-Blogs. Don't forget to check out the great posts over there...but not until you're done here of course. Don't worry, you'll be done soon, because I'm pretty done myself.

It's been one heck of a week over here. 5 long days filled with back to back to back to back to back meetings, which left actual work to be done in the few minutes in between, or late at night. Add on 5 long days of teething and you get one heck of a week over here. Did I say that already? By all definitions, this would be considered a bad week. Long work days mean shorter time with Kaylani. Long, sleepless nights mean less energy to handle a long work day. As a one off, not so bad. But when repeated for an entire week it starts to wear on you.

I'm actually not even going to complain about the number of meetings or the amount of work I had (and still have) because in this economy, any work is good work. The worst part of all of this is that it's taking away from the time I spend with Kaylani, and also the way I spend my time with Kaylani. Instead of relaxing and having a great time, I spend an occasional hour in the morning with her, which is usually just me talking to her while I get ready to leave. Then, by the time I get home it's usually holding her for a few minutes before she has to get up to bed and get some sleep. And after a few more hours of work, it's off to bed for Mommy and Daddy so we can get up in a few hours to start it all over again.

My ideal view on Fatherhood would be to spend quality time with Kaylani by playing with her, teaching her, loving her, and watching over her for as long as I can. Sure there are days that I wish I could spend all day with her (in addition to weekends) and do all of those things on a regular basis, but that's not something I can do. The other, less glamorous part of my journey into Fatherhood is to be a provider for both her and Mommy. And if having a lot of work means that I have a job, and having a job means that Kaylani is taken good care of by Mommy, then that's a part of Fatherhood that I'm willing to accept.

So while going to work and spending less time with Kaylani isn't ideal for me, that's just the way it is. I still wouldn't trade my version of Fatherhood for anything in the world. Well, maybe a foolproof get rich scheme or a lottery jackpot, but that would only change the working part of Fatherhood. I'd still find the time to play with her, teach her, love her, and watch over her. Hmm, maybe I should play the lotter. Hey, you never know. All it takes is a dollar and a dream, right?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

We've only just begun

A few days ago I asked for tooth number 2 to come in so we could be done with this phase of teething. It's been one week since tooth number 1 came out, but months of anticipation. Over the past few nights, she's been sleeping better. Not great. Just better. Instead of waking up every 2-4 hours, she's been lasting closer to 6 hours. And what keeps us running (barely, but running) is that we've been going to bed the same time as she has. So Kaylani's in bed at 8pm? Well then we'll be in bed and hopefully asleep by 9pm. It's pretty lame, but it works. And we figured it'd only be a short term routine anyways.

Today, Kaylani's 2nd tooth finally came in. It listened to our calls and poked its way on out. And since teeth come in twos, that means we're in the clear and Kaylani will go back to her regularly scheduled 9-11 hour sleep shifts. More importantly, Mommy and Daddy could go back to their regularly scheduled 8 hours of sleep, and still have time to stay up a little later and get some stuff done (and boy does Daddy need a few extra hours to get stuff/work done). But then we found out that we've only just begun.

Right next to Kaylani's 2nd tooth we can see our dreams of extra hours in the day and normal hours of sleep disappearing faster than the gums holding in Kaylani's 3rd tooth. A 3rd tooth? Seriously? Now? I really thought teeth came in two's and then took a break for awhile. A 3rd tooth on the horizon means more moving, more teething, more pain, and unfortunately, not more sleep. Sleep is something we all need to keep going. For Kaylani and Mommy, sleep makes them able to play all day, nap at reasonable times, and not be fussy. For Daddy, sleep means that I'm able to keep my head in the game during 10 straight hours of meetings and still be able to play with Kaylani for a few hours before getting actual work done at night. Sleep means so much to all of us, but we've only just begun.

Teething means Kaylani is growing which is great. I'm sure I'll echo this sentiment for many years to come, if not for the rest of my life, but sometimes I wish that Kaylani would just grow a little bit slower. I wish she would develop faster, but grow slower. Does that make any sense? I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't. I spend working hours ensuring that I make sense. Sleep would help me make sense all the time. Too bad we've only just begun.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Spanish in 4 months


In case you didn't notice from the picture, today is Kaylani's 8 month birthday! Even though Independence Day just passed, we figured we were close enough to get some extra use out of her All-American Swimsuit, and Mommy made a very patriotic sign to go along with it. With all this American activity going on around her, you'd think Kaylani would play along. Instead, she showed off her Spanish side.

Kaylani is half Puerto Rican, and 8 months old, which makes her 4 Spanish months old (Asian math for you). Apparently, 4 months is what it takes before you can pick up a little bit of Spanish (or 4 years if you're Daddy). But the little bit of Spanish that Kaylani picked up is arguably the most difficult. Today, she spouted off a clean, crisp, long trill of her tongue. As some of you might know, not everyone can do this. It's quite difficult and I'm pretty impressed with her early Spanish speaking skills. I mean, she hasn't even watched Dora or Diego yet!

Rolling her R's is impressive in my book because I'm not a native Spanish speaker (I'm not any type of Spanish speaker actually). It's probably harder to do than something like asking your girlfriend's mother (who only speaks Spanish) for her daughter's hand in marriage in Spanish. It's probably even harder than trying to think of something else to say in Spanish when you get back "only her hand???" as the reply. And since I'm already off topic and reliving my own nerve-racking experience of talking to my now Mother-in-law (who, by the way, I replied to with "no no, all of her body" in perfect, yet awkward, Spanish), I might as well just throw it out there that I expect Kaylani's future suitor to ask for my permission in perfect Spanish. AND, if he says something like "no no, all of her body," he better be a damn quick runner because I'm not going to laugh like Abuela did.

Anyways, we always have reason to celebrate something during Kaylani's monthly birthday. Sure we wish it was crawling, or standing, or something else, but we'll take it. Speaking Spanish is a great milestone, even if she doesn't mean it or know what she's doing. Maybe next month she'll spout out some full Spanish sentences. I hope not though, because if she's speaking Spanish before I do, then I'm sure going to get a lot of grief from my in-laws. I better get to work just in case. Feliz Cumpleanos Kaylani! Yo quiero Taco Bell (and other Spanish stuff)!

Oh, and don't forget to check out pictures from the last couple of days, including a few from Gymboree, and more birthday pictures! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Riding off into the sunset

Every night, we try and do quiet activities before bedtime. Whether it's a song, a book, or maybe even listening to a prayer from a doll that Titi Mayra Lee bought us, it's always something to relax Kaylani just a little bit. Then, she'll nurse for 30-40 minutes with Mommy and go quietly off to sleep. It's a good routine and it's been working well for us, but it just didn't have that Western flair to it.

At the end of old Western movies, the hero would ride off into the sunset on their trusted horse. The music would fade out, the picture would fade out, and a happy ending would be had by all as the movie and the story concluded. It all seemed so nice that I thought I would replicate something to that effect for Kaylani's bedtime routine.

Tonight, we decided to mix it up a bit and ride off into the sunset with Kaylani. I think it went pretty well since she's nice and tired now so maybe we'll keep this new routine up. Or maybe we should go back to our old song/book/prayer routine. What do you think?


Monday, July 6, 2009

Show yourself!

I know you're in there. One of your little buddies already gave you guys away. For months you've been tormenting us, but we've been on to you. You've left us little clues and tried to hide and make us look like we're crazy, but we know we're not. Just give up and come out. If you do, we promise not to be too hard on you. We'll even take care of you. We'll treat you like one of our own. If you do it, so will everyone else. Soon, your other friends will come out too. Before you know it, all 20 of you will show yourselves so you might as well just follow suit. You won't even be the first one anymore, so just do it.

Will Tylenol help? We'll give you Tylenol before Kaylani goes to bed tonight so maybe you won't bother her later. If you're not going to come out, just relax okay? No need to move around if you're just messing around. I mean, if you want to go, then go big. Go all the way, but none of this behind the scenes stuff. It's totally not cool. It's also not the right thing to do, so stop it. Please?

Alright, I'm serious now. Get out. Stop messing around and just come out. You're keeping us up at night now. If I have to listen to Kaylani scream at the top of her lungs after 4 hours for the 4th straight night, I'm not going to be very happy with you. Your buddy made a plea bargain and came out a few days ago so I can't blame him anymore. He ratted you guys out. And I can see you! I mean, not really, but you might as well be out. So just cut it out and let's be done with this. We're all tired of this little act. Especially Kaylani.

O-U-T OUT! OUT OUT OUT! Don't make me come in there and get you! You're lucky that you're protected, but you won't be for long. If you don't come out, I'm going to make sure you get taken care of when you do...and not just once or twice a day...but 3 times a day! That's right, I'll make Kaylani be one of those people. 3 times a day. You want that? I didn't think so. So just give up and come out now.

Okay, you win. I'm done negotiating with you now. Just please don't wake Kaylani up after a few hours. Let Kaylani sleep for her normal 10 hours because we can't take much more of this. We can try again tomorrow. I'll even make sure Mommy gives you lots of things to play with all day. Lots of cold things to hang out with. Do we have a deal? I don't want to be having this same conversation for 2 hours in the middle of the night. We all need to rest, so let's do it. You hang out quietly, and tomorrow you can come on out and we'll call a truce. Sound good? Great!

Looks like I'm the one getting brushed off now. Damn teeth. They'll pay for that.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Finishing off the Fourth


This weekend has been a long weekend, and I don't just mean because I had Friday off. Fourth of July lasted far longer than just one day, and today, we officially closed out the Fourth with one last BBQ. This time, we had it at home with a few of our friends. And if you know anything about Tam's, it's that we like to go big or go home...except we're already at home.

Okay, we didn't actually go that big, but we did have a lot of fun. Kaylani, Sofie, and Aidan had a grand time in the baby pool, while Darby and Sloan played in the bigger pirate ship pool. We grilled, drank beers, ate cake, pie, and more all throughout the day. We even got a visit from Mia too and all the kids played together in the yard. And all in all, I'd say the kids (and their parents) had a great time!

I'm actually so spent that I can't even do the day justice. In fact, Kaylani doesn't have the energy to cry tonight (yet). She had such a good time that she passed out and stayed down after only nursing for 10 minutes. So instead of trying to describe the great time we've had this Fourth of July holiday, here are a few pictures from today, and a ton of pictures from yesterday (it's much easier to take pictures when you're not grilling). Be back tomorrow in full force!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Past, Present, and Future

Today we took a ride in our time machine. Throughout the day we had a look at the past, spent some time in the present, and even got a glimpse into the future. And I have to say, all three look pretty good to me!

It started off with a trip to the Princeton Battlefield. We walked across a long field that General George Washington did so himself, but we did it with much less conflict. I'd elaborate a bit more, but frankly, I don't really know. If you're interested in that kind of stuff, feel free to visit their site). At one end of the long field, we visited the past where an old preserved house stood showing items from over 200 years ago. There were men dressed up in old clothing, firing cannons, and even reading the Declaration of Independence to commemorate that same act 223 years ago. Of course, Kaylani wasn't remotely interested in any of this so we just sat nearby, had her lunch, then took a few pictures with a recently fired cannon.

After that, we went back to the present in the form of Downtown Princeton. There, Mommy and Daddy grabbed some food and we all sat down in Palmer Square to enjoy a live band for us. Kaylani hung out on her blanket, sat, fell down, and reached for everything she could get her little hands on before it was time to go. With the weather finally cooperating and us finally having some free time, we thoroughly enjoyed our first time hanging out in a park as a family.

For dinner, the Harrison's were gracious enough to have us over for an impromptu BBQ, and that's where we got our glimpse into the future. Sloan, who is 23 months old, and Darby, who is 4.5 years old, ran around doing various things that we're looking forward to Kaylani mimicking in a few years. From advanced activities like zip lines and rope swings down to water tables and baby pools, we watched as the girls ran from one thing to the next, including Kaylani.

Sometimes it's hard to believe that Kaylani will be old enough to do things like that in the not to distant future. As we sit back and wait for Kaylani to start crawling, it comes with the fact that once she crawls, she'll be walking, running, then zip-lining in no time at all. A glimpse of the future is all it takes to step back and enjoy Kaylani for what she is now. Tonight, she even clapped on her own for the very first time. She's all growed up and we don't even know it. America is another year older today, but to us, Kaylani is still just our little girl, no matter how big she may be. And we're going to enjoy every minute of it. Happy Independence Day!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fireworks Go Boom!


Daddy's never been a big fireworks guy. He never bought illegal fireworks and set them off in the backyard or at the park when he was kid. He never looked forward to the big fireworks show every year. Never even went down to the Charles River for the big Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular in all the years he lived in Boston. He wasn't afraid of them and didn't dislike them. Just never made it a priority to go.

Mommy, on the other hand, loves fireworks. For Mommy, watching the fireworks with her family, a group of friends, or even 10,000 strangers was meaningful to her. There was something about everyone being together that just touches her deep inside and makes her happy (and cry...tears of joy). So since this was our first year as a larger family, we headed into downtown Princeton yesterday to watch the local show. I'm glad we did.

We met up with Danika, Darby, and Sloan in the fields next to Palmer Stadium and parked ourselves on a blanket sometime before 9pm. We were a little bit worried about sitting on the grass because of Kaylani's still present deep hatred of grass, but apparently the blanket was a safe enough barrier for her. We were also a bit worried that we were out watching fireworks past 9pm instead of having Kaylani home sleeping (or crying herself to sleep) like we normally do by that time. But once the fireworks started, Kaylani was mezmorized. She didn't make a single peep during the whole 20 minute show.

Each time a firework would shoot up into the air, she would follow it up. It was absolutely precious to watch her eyes light up with excitement as she watched each boom unfold. While she waited for the next one, she would look around at all the other people (or play/chew on the glow stick Sloan let her have). But as soon as she heard that tell-tale boom, her eyes darted straight back into the sky to check out the latest color and pattern.

I'm very glad that Mommy talked me into keeping Kaylani up past her bedtime to watch our first fireworks show. I'm even glader that Kaylani didn't mind the noise or the lights. And even though she only slept 5 hours last night and only took one very long and overdue nap at 3pm today, I'm still glad because I think Kaylani really liked it. Looks like we found ourselves a new family tradition, which is something I'll never get tired of starting. When it all comes down to it, it's all about family.

And because it was such a memorable occasion, you know I had the camera at the ready. Check out the latest pictures of Kaylani and the fireworks, and also some of her new Amish doll from Titi Briseida, and of her and Mia from a BBQ today at Steph and Harold's! Enjoy, and Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kaylani's First Tooth!

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Kaylani's been acting up for the last couple of days. She hasn't been eating well, she hasn't been nursing well, and she definitely hasn't been napping or sleeping well. We thought that maybe we had screwed her up with all our travel plans and general craziness over the last couple of weeks. We thought maybe she was getting a little cold and fussy because of it. We thought maybe she was even teething, but then again, we've been thinking that for 4 months. Turns out that this time we were finally right about the teething.

Daddy got a text message from Mommy today saying "Good news! Can't wait 2 tell u. Stupid mtg of urs!" And since Daddy was in his "stupid mtg" I didn't get news of Mommy's discovery of her first tooth until an hour later. Finally we could celebrate her first tooth (for real, unlike 3 months ago on April Fools' Day)! But the way Mommy discovered the tooth wasn't exactly the most pleasant.

Apparently nursing and teeth don't mix well. We've heard stories from friends who have nursed babies with teeth and barely lived to tell about it. And now that Kaylani has a tooth, Mommy came clean and said she was secretly hoping Kaylani wouldn't have a tooth anytime soon. For the last few days, Mommy's been saying that Kaylani's not doing something right, or something is different, but there was never anything we could pinpoint. Today though, it became clear as day and when she checked, there it was!

When I got home to see the tooth, it took me 5 minutes to get Kaylani to stop trying to lick my finger so I could just see her tooth. And since we're being honest, I was kinda disappointed when I finally saw it. For some reason I was expecting like a real little person tooth to just be hanging out there, like those cartoon pictures of a baby with 2 or 3 curly hairs, and 1 or 2 teeth just hanging out in their wide open mouth. Instead, I saw the very tip of a tooth poking out through her gums. Still exciting, but just not up to my unrealistic expectations I guess. Silly Daddy.

So Kaylani has her first tooth, and she's not afraid to use it either. She chomped down (or up I guess since it's her bottom tooth) on me and it definitely felt like a tooth. My favorite is to tell Mommy that she has no idea what that feels like, but then I just look away when I get the dirty stare back from her. Apparently nursing moms don't find teeth funny. Anyways, we're very excited that Kaylani is all growed up again with her first real tooth. Soon the rest will come filing in, but until then, we'll celebrate this one and start to take care of it. The tricky part will be seeing how Mommy handles it!

And since it's Thursday/Friday, don't forget to check out Dad-Blogs for the latest Fatherhood Friday! I can't wait to spend the first part of my July 4th holiday reading up on all the other great posts over there, so you should too. Enjoy and Happy 4th and Fatherhood Friday!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Failed Night Out

With Abuela in town for only a few more nights, we planned on taking advantage by sneaking out for a dinner alone. No highchair, no stroller, no variety of toys to distract Kaylani, and no having to move silverware away from her until finally giving in and letting her play with them. We had planned on heading to our favorite restaurant, Sotto in downtown Princeton, to celebrate Mommy's birthday a day late. We even had a plan for our plan that involved putting Kaylani down by 8pm so we could eat sometime before 9pm and be back well before 11pm. We planned on enjoying our dinner without having to look at a monitor or listen to see if Kaylani was crying. What we didn't have was a plan for when everything went differently from our plan.

I got home from work around 6:30pm which was during Kaylani's dinner time. Word on the street was she was being a bit fussy today, so after struggling to get Kaylani to eat all 4oz of her dinner tonight, it was time for bed. By 7:15pm, Mommy was ready to nurse Kaylani, and by 8pm, Kaylani was passed out and ready to be put into her crib. So far, our plan was going perfectly. But that's as far as we got. After 15 minutes, Daddy went in to check on Kaylani for the 2nd time. With a little bit of gentle forehead stroking, Kaylani was practically asleep, but not asleep enough to get out of the room without her making a stink out of it. Literally. Kaylani got so upset that she pooped.

Poop is the one thing that gets Daddy to give in and pick her up after she's been put down for the night. So after changing her and some gentle swaying, back into the crib she went. The crying commenced immediately, and after another 30 minutes and 2 trips in, things were looking grim for our hopes at dinner. At 9pm, Daddy went in for the 5th time tonight and tried to calm her down so she would fall asleep. And just like the other 4 times, she would quiet down, close her eyes, and try and get comfortable as long as Daddy had a hand on her. But once the hand disappeared, the crying came back.

At 9:15pm, Mommy and Daddy pulled the plug on our night out. Besides the fact that Kaylani still wasn't asleep, it was also too late for us to go out because we're old and lame. Instead, we headed down to the kitchen to heat up some leftovers and settle in for our nice dinner "alone" in the kitchen while staring at the monitor and listening to Kaylani cry, just like every other night. And wouldn't you know it, as soon as we sat down to take our first bite of food, Kaylani fell asleep. Just like we planned.

I'm convinced Kaylani knew we were trying to go out. As calming and reassuring to her as I tried to be to get her to sleep, apparently she saw right through me. She cried for 1.5 hours, and kept staring at the door and the monitor to make sure we knew she was looking for us. She calmed down only when I was there, and cried all the way until we sat down for our dinner. She knew. She had to. Why else would she have been crying?

Anyways, we're planning on trying again tomorrow night. One thought is to put her in her crib by 7pm, but knowing our luck, she'll pass out right away and wake up at 4am like she did 2 days ago. Hopefully tomorrow night will go better. If not, tomorrow will just be failed night out #2.