Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No Time

Time is something most people can't get enough of. Whether its more time to work, play, or sleep, you could always use more time. Unfortunately, lately I haven't had enough time to do any of those 3, and that's a problem.

Ever since Mommy and Kaylani got back from PR, my time has been taken up. Unfortunately for all 3 of us, not nearly enough time was taken up by the 3 of us. Most of my time has been taken up by work. Whether its having to leave for work before Kaylani wakes up, or getting home after Kaylani goes to bed, it all means that my time with her has been limited. Add working after I get home to that, and that means my time with Mommy has also been limited.

To make matters worse, its Yankees playoffs time, which means any "free" second I have I'm also trying to watch the game on TV (or in person if its at home). There's clearly a priority issue there, but to me, that's a short term issue because baseball goes away in less than 2 weeks.

What it all comes down to is that there's just not enough time to go around right now, but I'm trying to make the best of it. Kaylani and Mommy have been great at sticking with me as I try to juggle all my hours, so I'm thankful that they're understanding (they'll be more thankful when baseball goes away). Its important to me to find time for them, so I vow to do that starting now. I also vow to start blogging more again because that's an important thing too.

What I'm trying to say is I'm going to find time for everything. Some way, some how, time will not be an excuse. But if anyone knows how to stop or extend time, I'm all ears!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Adjusting to Home

They're back! Finally, my girls are home! At around 7pm, I saw both my girls for the first time in over a week. You know that person who stands outside security impatiently waiting to catch the first glimpse of the person(s) they're waiting for and is pacing around and craning their neck over people? Yeah, that was me. Noone ever wants to be "that person", but whatever, it was worth it.

Unfortunately for me, my excitement didn't quite translate over to Kaylani. It took her a few minutes, but she eventually cracked a small smile. And when I took her out of her stroller, it took her another minute or so to stop trying to go to Mommy, and then another minute to stop trying to cry (never really a full cry, just looked like she was going to). It was kinda sad to not be "wanted" by my baby, but in her defense, she's sick right now.

Poor Kaylani got sick on her last day in Puerto Rico. She woke up this morning with a runny nose and a phlegmy cough. Maybe she caught it because she stayed up late to watch the Yankees win in 13 innings (oh wait, that was me). Either way, sick Kaylani, traveling Kaylani, and "new" place Kaylani don't all go together. After a 30 minute nap on the ride home and a yogurt for dinner, she finally seemed to really remember me during storytime/bedtime. I even got a kiss blown to me during good night, and a smile from her before she started to nurse.

Tomorrow's another day and I'm sure we'll be back to normal. Sure wish I didn't have to work, but once I get back, it's Daddy-Daughter time. Hopefully she won't be sick anymore. But if she is, we'll make it work. Whatever she is, she's home, and that's all that matters to me.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

20 Pictures = 20,000 Words

If one picture is worth 1,000 words, then 20 pictures is 20,000 words. So instead of trying to type up 20,000 words, I've decided to just post the 20 pictures that Mommy and Kaylani have been sending me every day from PR for the last week. Tomorrow, my girls come home and I can't wait. So until they get here and I can start taking pictures myself, here are pictures from Kaylani's week in PR. I bet you can feel the heat just from looking through them! And for all of you going through the start of winter right now...try not to be too jealous!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Phone Home

This week has been a particularly rough week for me without Kaylani and Mommy. Luckily, work has kept me so busy that I've barely had a chance to think about anything else (did I really just say luckily about that?). A better luckily usage would be for the phone.

To keep in touch with my family, we try to talk on the phone 2x a day (morning and night). Usually its just Mommy and me talking about our plans for the day (either future or past depending on the day). But a few times, I'll "talk" to Kaylani too. With Papa on speakerphone, I can say hi, good morning, I love you, or anything else to my little girl so she doesn't forget about me. According to Mommy, her expression is priceless.

For the first minute or so, Kaylani stares at the phone looking very confused. Sure she can hear my familiar voice and callings, but where the heck is he and why is it coming out of that glowing box is what she's thinking. The next few minutes are her saying Papa back to me, or squealing in delight that she can hear my voice. The last couple of minutes are squeals of frustration when Mommy doesn't let her hold the phone (or drool on it).

Luckily, we only have a few more days that we have to live through a phone distance relationship. Sunday, Mommy and Kaylani come home and we can be a family again. Then, Kaylani can stare right at me and wonder what I'm saying instead of at a phone. Can't wait!

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's that time of the year...

I don't cry much. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a tough guy in any sense of the word. And most people would probably even call me sensitive, but I don't cry much. On average, I probably cry once a year...twice tops if it's a big year. That's not to say I don't well up when I watch a sappy movie or when I got married, but it's still different then crying. Well yesterday, I guess it was just that time of the year because I cried.

We got to the airport around 8am, well before Mommy and Kaylani's 9:40am flight. The original plan was to check-in, and then grab breakfast before they headed through security. The problem with our plan was that at the Philly airport, or at least in our terminal, there was no place for breakfast outside of security. And since Kaylani was up at 6:30am (against her will) and needed to have breakfast, that meant it was time to say goodbye, about an hour before our original plan.

As I watched Mommy get things ready to go through security, including taking out plastic bags of liquids/food, DVD players, shoes for both her and Kaylani, I started to well up a little bit. I didn't think much of it at the time, but it was just a lot of emotion going through me. Only 5 minutes before that I gave Kaylani a big hug and a kiss, had her blow a kiss back at me and touch my nose, and then gave Mommy a hug and a kiss too. And as I was standing there watching them slowly go through the gate, I started to cry.

I couldn't believe I was crying because it wasn't an emotion that I've ever had to deal with before. It wasn't a situation I've ever had to deal with before. It was something completely different and I just wasn't prepared for it. As soon as they disappeared from site, I started to walk back towards my car and fought to hide my tears. Luckily I didn't walk by anyone because I probably looked a little ridiculous walking alone, holding Kaylani's jacket, and crying.

When I got to the car, I lost it. I sat there for 3 minutes in a complete breakdown. I finally regained my composure, wiped away my tears, and started the car. The rest of the day I spent trying to distract myself. I read the rest of my book that I picked up on the way to Boston earlier in the week. I went to a bar and watched the Red Sox lose, the Giants win, and eventually, the Yankees win too. I did everything I could to distract myself, but nothing helped me from feeling empty inside.

Looking back, I can understand why the emotion came out so strongly. Sure I've gone a few days without seeing Kaylani, but I've never had to say bye before doing so. Usually it's leaving for work before she wakes up, and getting home after she goes to sleep, but I know that it's only for a day or two. When I went to Boston, it was the same, where I left in the morning like normal, and came back 2 nights later as if she just slept through my night and morning. This time, I was saying bye. I was watching her (and Mommy) walk away from me, which is a much harder thing to do, and not something that I'd like to happen often.

Last night, I laid alone in my bed in the dark. There was no glow coming from Kaylani's video monitor. There was no sound coming from Kaylani's audio monitor. There was no one in the room except me. Needless to say, it was lonely. Tonight, it's more of the same. I stayed a little later at work. I had dinner by myself. And now I'm staring mindlessly at the TV at a game that I have little interest in. Mommy and Kaylani are having a great time in Puerto Rico and I did get to speak to her a little bit too, or at least hear her say "Papa" a few times which is enough to hold me over.

It's just the start of the week, but soon enough I'll get to see them again. You never know what you miss until it's gone. Luckily for me, what I miss is coming back in 5 days. 5 days that couldn't come soon enough if you ask me. In the meantime, anyone need a Dad? I'm available.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The week ahead...

Tonight is Kaylani's last night at home for a week. It's also Mommy's last night at home for a week. It is NOT Daddy's last night at home for a week. That's right, Mommy and Kaylani are headed to Puerto Rico for Mayra Lee's wedding, and unfortunately Daddy can't take time off since he just started a new job 2 weeks ago.

The fact that Daddy will be alone at home for a week is the obvious part. The fact that Mommy and Kaylani will be on their own (with Abuelita) in Puerto Rico is also obvious. What may not be obvious is that the most nervewracking part of all of this comes tomorrow at 9:20am. That's when Mommy and Kaylani take off from Philly...on their first flight alone. Kaylani's been on a plane two other times, with the last also being to Puerto Rico back in March, but things were different back then. Back then, Kaylani was only 5 months old. Back then, Kaylani couldn't sit up, could barely grab things, and was nursing for her primary source of food. Oh how times have changed.

Here we are, 6 months later, and everything is different. Kaylani wants to stand now. She wants to walk. She wants to eat anything she can get her hands on (and some things she can't). She doesn't want to sleep. She doesn't want to sit still. And she talks. A lot. All of that is what makes the flying part scary for Mommy. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Kaylani and Mommy will be in first class (courtesy of frequent flier miles). Normally, flying First Class would be great, luxurious, relaxing. Now, it's just another source of stress for Mommy who worries what the other people in first class will think if Kaylani acts up.

Mommy's already packed a host of distractions to hopefully keep Kaylani entertained for the 3.5 hour flight. She's got a DVD player with Curious George, a bottle, a sippy cup, Cheerios, food, 6 books, plenty of toys, a bottle of water, and if worst comes to worst, her Blackberry. I'm hoping she does great so that she and Mommy have a great trip to Puerto Rico, but only time will tell. If you're curious to see how it turns out, check back tomorrow or Monday. I'll be sure to get all the details from Mommy before then.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Scary Birthday!

Today marks Kaylani's 11 month birthday...and that's scary. It's scary that it's been 11 months since our little one was born. It's scary that we've been parents for 11 months. It's scary that she turns one year in one month! And most of all, it's scary because it's October...and you know, October means Halloween!

We're very glad that Kaylani was not born on Halloween. No offense to all of you Halloween babies out there, but we're just glad Kaylani's not one of them. The main reason is that Daddy is not a fan of Halloween...at all. I'm sure having Kaylani around and dressing her up will make it a lot better, but in the grand scheme of things, Daddy and scary things just don't go together.

Anyways, I'm pretty spent from a long couple of days, and since I just posted this morning (click here to read in case you haven't seen it yet), I'm going to leave it at that and just post some pictures. These pictures have been LONG overdue (and we've kinda been slacking in the picture department), but enjoy. There's a lot of great ones in there, including Kaylani drinking from a straw, Aadi's birthday party, and some "scary" ones (yes, that's a spider on her head). Enjoy!

Traveling Alone

We had another first this week. This time, it wasn't for Kaylani. I had to travel overnight for work for the first time in almost 3 years. Since I spent almost 2 years traveling every week from Orlando to Boston/NY, you'd think that this would be no big deal. But since I was traveling for the first time since Kaylani was born, things were a bit different.

I left Tuesday morning for work about 10 minutes later than usual just so I could spend a few more minutes with Kaylani before I left. Actually, the 10 minutes helped me spend any time with her at all since she woke up late! I was just glad I got to see her since I wasn't going to see her again until Thursday morning. The day went by as normal until it was flight time. Apparently I've forgotten how to travel without a kid. I forgot I could use a kiosk to check-in. I forgot I didn't need to wait on line to check a bag (because I was carrying on). I forgot that I didn't have to be there 2 hours early to make sure I made it through the lines. And I forgot I didn't have to board the plane first since I didn't need extra time to situate myself.

Being away for the night also made me remember just how lonely traveling was. Sure I had a beer (or two) at the hotel bar while I watched the Twins win game 163 with a bunch of people. I even had a conversation with an older man who happened to be born in Caldwell about 50 years before I was (odd coincidence). But neither of those things replaced my desire to be home with my little girl or being able to steal a look at her sleeping in the video monitor.

What did help was Mommy sending me picture message throughout the day and the night. I got breakfast pictures, playtime pictures, shopping pictures, and even a video monitor sleeping picture. It was a great way to keep up with home without actually being home.

Being home for Mommy and Kaylani was also different. According to Mommy, Kaylani would wake up from her naps and search thr house for me. Mommy would even try and avoid going near the garage so Kaylani wouldn't wait for me to show up. She even avoided saying "Papa" too often so she didn't miss me (advice on this? Should she mention me more or less? No idea on our end).

Anyways, I got home after Kaylani's bedtime last night, but got to spend a bit of time with her this morning before heading up to NY. Hopefully tonight I'll get home for dinner and bedtime so I can be with her (and help out). If there's one thing I learned, its that I've got to take advantage of the time I've got. Especially since Mommy and Kaylani are headed to PR for a week without me on Sunday...but that's something I'm not going to think about until it happens.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What's on the menu?

Feeding Kaylani is no easy task. Not even just the feeding part...all aspects of it. We've gotta dance around, sing, rotate through toys or other distractions just to get her to eat. That part we're actually used to by now. The hard part now is picking her food each meal. It's just not easy anymore.

Before, we used to grab any jar (or two) of baby food and give it to her. Vegetable, fruit, meat...all didn't matter as long as we had our distraction toys ready. Nowadays, we're lucky if she finishes one jar of food before she decides she's done with pureed food on a spoon. Now she wants what we're eating, or at the very least, something not pureed. That's the hard part.

All 3 meals are difficult because we have to pick something that she can eat (which is basically anything that doesn't contain nuts, honey, or umm...some other stuff that our doctor told us that I can't remember right now). If I had to pick one, I'd probably say breakfast is the hardest meal. Not on the weekends, but during the week. On the weekends, I'm home and cook breakfast (either waffles or eggs). On the weekdays, Mommy used to just drink a fruit smoothie. Now she's gotta make pancakes, waffles, eggs, or something else that Kaylani can grab and feed herself. Baby (or regular) oatmeal just doesn't cut it.

Lunch is usually out, and that's when we've gotta buy something for ourselves that she'll eat too. Pizza? Sure. Sandiwch? Sure. Something with rice? That works too. But it's not always that easy, and definitely not always that clean. No more soup and salad (which surprisingly, both Mommy and I like to eat for lunch). No more other things that may contain nuts. No more fast food from McDonald's, Wendy's, or Burger King. No more anything that might not be the healthies for Kaylani (including pizza if it's 2 or 3 days in a row).

Dinner's the same way. Now, when Mommy plans out the night, we gotta keep Kaylani in mind. Will she eat steak? Sure, if it's good meat and not too chewy. What can we marinate this chicken in? Nothing that has nuts or honey. How about sweet plaintain? She might not like it. Breakfast for dinner? Great idea, but that takes away from one of our breakfast options. How about no dinner at all? Won't work because Kaylani's gotta munch on something!

It's funny because I really do think it's great that she'll eat whatever we eat. I'm hoping this carries on for the rest of her life because I think it's great not to carry around food just for her. But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish she would eat her food and that's it. Sure would make life a little bit easier now. But no one ever said having a baby was easy. And anyone who does say that, probably doesn't have kids.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Kaylani turns 1 in just over a month (which is pretty scary). She'll have a great big party (even scarier). She'll have a great big cake to make a great big mess (not quite as scary as we used to think). And she'll get to hang out with all her friends and family that can make it there (not scary at all). Since some of those things are scary, today we pre-partied. Not for Kaylani, but for Aadi.

Aadi turned 1 yesterday, and had a great big party today. We went over around 12pm to hang out with our friends and their friends and family. In the kid department, there were 5 kids around Kaylani's age and 3 kids a little bit older. Kaylani fell right in the middle, with most of the kids being older than her, which meant that most of the kids were walking/running around. Kaylani, on the other hand, crawled around, picked herself up, and just followed along. We used to say we couldn't wait for her to start walking on her own. After today, we're not quite so sure.

After hours of playing, it was cake time! Aadi had 4 types of birthday cake (3 cakes, and a ton of cupcakes). He was a little shy to put his hands right in the cake and go for it, and didn't even like the chocolate (a baby who doesn't like chocolate?? I know, shocked us too). But since Kaylani and Aadi are such close friends, she wasn't shy. She dug right into Mommy's piece of cake and started smashing it all over the place and eating it too. Luckily for us it was only a small piece of cake and she didn't eat THAT much of it.

The reason she actually didn't eat that much is because Daddy is holding her back. He's waiting for Kaylani's own first birthday party before he lets her go wild. Because of that, you won't find a single picture of Kaylani eating cake today (purposely excluded from pictures so there's no evidence...besides this post. Doh). But if you do want to see the mess, check back in 5 weeks. That's when we'll let Kaylani go wild. Hopefully she'll nap and be rested for her own party and not stay up for 7 hours straight and pass out the second we put her in the car. That's okay for her pre-party, but we've got much bigger plans for her party. And plans NEVER go wrong...right?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Sponge

It's been almost a full week since I started my new job. For the past 4 days, I've been acting as a sponge with all the information that's been thrown at me. I've come home every day exhausted at the amount of information my brain has had to take in. It's my job to retain all of that information, and hopefully be able to either hold it, or more importantly, spit it all back out when someone squeezes me (hmmm...that sounds weird, but you get the point). What dawned on me today is that this would be a lot easier if I was 11 months old.

During dinner, it dawned on me that Kaylani is the real sponge in the family. I sit at work and am asked to remember/learn things that have been in people's minds for 2 years or so. Kaylani sits anywhere and is being asked to do the same, but for things that people have in their minds for 20+ years! I have to remember things like who our target consumer is, or what's the next deadline for a website build, or what's my budget. Kaylani has to remember things like where's my head, how do I clap, and what the heck did I just eat. Sure they sound like the same, but for Kaylani, it's far more impressive for her to remember.

Actually, the most impressive part is how smart she is. Within the matter of a week, she's learned to put both hands on her head when we ask her "where's your head?" She's learned to feed herself with her own fork, or to put food in her mouth when we say "put the food in your mouth, not in your hair." She's even learned to touch our nose when we say "where's your nose?" (close enough). If you take her out of her high chair and say, "Kaylani, bath time!", she'll take off towards the stairs and head on up. If you put her on the floor of her room and say "bath time!" she'll run to the bath tub and stand up. She's learning so much each day that I'm surprised her sponge of a brain isn't full yet because mine's getting pretty close.

I only hope that Kaylani's sponge continues to get bigger and fuller because it just shows that she's healthy and developing. I'd wish the same for me, but you know what they say, you can't teach an old sponge new tricks. Well, something like that anyways.