Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kaylani's "First" Christmas

Officially this will be Kaylani's third Christmas, but it feels like HER first, even though it's not OUR first. Subtle difference in language, but big difference in events leading up to Christmas.

Christmas shopping for us started about a month ago. Okay, all lying aside, it really started about a week ago (but we had ideas and intentions of starting a month ago). The past 2 years with Kaylani, we bought her small gifts that we knew she would play with then or at some point. And we let her open them, touch them, and pose for pictures with them. But this year feels different. This year, we think she's really going to enjoy Christmas. So far, everything she's done confirms that.

For example, while trick or treating at Peddlers Village the day before Halloween, she saw a Santa doll and said "Santa says 'Ho Ho Ho'". And right before we went to cut down our Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Kaylani kept telling me to "get out of the living room so Christmas could come in," which was because I was telling her the tree was going to go in the corner. And when we took her to get her picture taken with Santa, or when we saw him at Houlihan's during lunch, she told him she wanted a "big oso (bear)."

And the top moment that Mommy saw (Papa missed) was when Santa came around the neighborhood ona fire truck, and personally came to our door because he was Kaylani standing there. Her face when that happened was PRICELESS, and even brought Mommy to tears. To this day, she still says Santa gave her a candy cane (which he did), and also that Santa will bring her gifts.

All of that just makes us want to make the holiday season more and more special for her. We keep buying small gifts here and there because we know she'll love it, or more stocking stuffers because they're "perfect", or more decorations (like a Santa cookie plate) so we can really start our own tradition. Because we've got some traditions already (like Christmas Eve night at Yin Yin/Yea Yea's house with the family), we're gonna have Christmas come a little early. When Kaylani wakes up tomorrow, we'll do our own little Christmas morning before heading over. And if I had to guess right now, I think her face is going to be priceless when she sees all her gifts under the tree and the cookies eaten. She'll be so excited that she probably won't even notice that the couch smells a little bit like milk since Papa sat on the milk she left out for Santa and spilled it all over. And because of that, I can't wait. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Family Time

Other than the weekends, spending time as a family is tough. By the time I get home most days, its usually 6:30, which is about an hour before Kaylani is in bed and asleep (ideally). That leaves enough time for me to join Kaylani and Mommy for dinner (normally in progress already), watch an episode of Dora, and give a bath and read some books before saying good night. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it is and it isn't all at the same time.

When it comes down to it, I'll take an hour, or even 30 minutes, or even 10 minutes if I can only make it for storytime or to say good night. Some nights I miss the "routine" all together, and others I miss the mornings, so weekday time is limited. But, the time we do get together is great, and I'm hoping its developing into something special for Kaylani and Mommy too. On typical days when I get the full hour or more, we sit around the table and I ask Kaylani how her day was. If she went to school, she likes to say "good. I play play play with friends." And if she went to music class, its along the lines of "good. I dance and sing "helloooo." And if its a gym class day, she goes with "good. I run around and play." But the best part is that she's started to join in and now asks "Papa, how your work? Your work good?" Cutest thing that makes my heart melt.

After dinner, it gets even better. Kaylani automatically washes her hands, and then runs over to the couch, sets up 2 pillows (one to sit on and one to lean against), and plops herself there with her milk. Then she asks for a blanket, and for Mama and/or Papa to sit and watch TV with her. The next 22 minutes are just cuddly, quiet, TV time with the family. And to top it off, Kaylani dances for 2 minutes at the end, then goes a little crazy climbing on us or jumping around before its time to go upstairs.

Bath time is always an adventure, and usually starts off with naked Kaylani "being chased" from her bedroom to the bath. Then there's all types of splashing, swimming, toys, sillyness that goes on. With a quick brush of the teeth, and a towel off, its a naked run back to the room for pajama time! Storytime is another adventure with anywhere from 1-3 books being read 1-3 times each (depending on the days mood). Next is lights out, hugs and kisses, then song time (usually by Mommy).

All of that is our normal weeknight routine. In fact, its our normal nightly routine, but it means that much more on weeknights since its the only time I get with her. So whether its an hour, a minute, or an entire day, I'll take what I can get when I can get it, because nothing beats family time! Click here to see pictures of just some of our family time moments over the last two months.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What a Girl Wants

When you're expecting, you can either have a strong preference for a specific gender of the baby, a mild preference, or no preference. I find myself in that 2nd category. If we have a boy, great! After all, most men would want a boy in their family to carry out the family name and do manly stuff with (like hammer up dry wall and drink beer...only 1 of which I've ever done). But if we have another girl, then I'm perfectly happy with that too. Truth be told, I'm probably more of a girl dad anyways (which goes back to that hammering up dry wall thing probably). And I've always felt this way...but apparently Kaylani thinks otherwise.

The other day, Mommy and Kaylani were at Little Gym class, which they've been going to forever. The teacher, Miss Tiffany, and Kaylani are close with Kaylani following her all around class most days. And of course they talk, but I guess we weren't expecting this conversation:

Kaylani: Mama has a baby in her belly
Tiffany: Oh yeah? Kaylani's gonna be a big sister right?
Kaylani: Papa wants a brother but Kaylani wants a baby sister.

Miss Tiffany reacted like normal, saying things like "yeah, most Dads want a boy" and some of the Dads in the area were chuckling to themselves because it was probably true for them. The funny thing is that it's not true for me, and the odd part is we have no idea where that came from!

Since we found out Mommy was pregnant with #2, we've asked Kaylani what she wants and she's always consistent. Boy or girl? Girl. Brother or sister? Sister. Like Alisha or Rohan? Alisha. Like Connor or Zoe? Zoe. Girl like Mama or boy like Papa? Like Mama. So its not like she doesn't know the difference, its just that she is the one with a strong preference!

We've tried to steer clear of the conversation for awhile now since she use11d to get animated about it when we'd ask ("no boy Papa, Kaylani wants a sister!! No boyyyy"). In fact, sometimes we'd go to pick her up from her crib in the morning or after nap and she would just randomly say "I want sister."

The only thing we can think of is that she takes our question asking ("Kaylani, what if its a boy") as our/my preference. Its either that or she reads my blog and thought that by me saying I thought it was going to be a boy meant I wanted a boy. Not sure which one of those is more probable, but either way, if its a boy, we may be in a lot of trouble. After all, what a girl wants, a girl gets... especially if she's our daughter.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Second Fiddle

For as long as I can remember I've been preaching against unfairness towards the second (or youngest) child/sibling, obviously because I was both the second and youngest child in the family. I always felt that different rules applied for my older brother, or that he got preferential treatment when it came to...well, everything. And the same things applied to Mommy's older sister, which was validation enough for me. But when we saw the younger of our niece and nephew going through the same thing (seemingly), it solidified to me that I was right on with my feelings. Well, until we found out we were expecting our second.

It kills me to say this, but so far, 17 weeks in, we've been completely different from the way we were when Kaylani was at this point, especially me. And the answer that I heard for so long that I argued about and against is so true: its different with 2...and we don't even have 2 yet! Now, in my defense, the level of difference with our second one is still early...REAL early. I'm not attending every single one of Mommy's pre-natal visits, which is bad since I probably only missed 1 with Kaylani, but my excuse there is now I work 45 min away from the doctor instead of 10 min. And I'm not reading directly to Mommy's belly (yet), but the baby/fetus still hears my voice since I read to Kaylani while Mommy and baby bump are in the room. And even though Mommy is eating nuts, cold cuts, and other things she stayed away from the first time around, its okay because we were being overprotective the first time. And those are things that can be remedied...and its still early...right?

The things I made a big deal about growing up were more about the attention the olders got, or how they got to carve their own path while we had to follow in their footsteps. They got to set expectations while we had our expectations set for us. Those things are different than the difference we're going through with the pregnancies. Things will be different for us with our second, which means they'll be the same for both our children. I won't let that happen with our second. I can't let that happen for our second. I shouldn't let that happen. That's possible...right?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Right Name

What's in a name? EVERYTHING! Okay, maybe that's not true, but a lot of pregnancy time revolves around names. For example, Mommy's baby bump has been named "Mezclita", which came from a craving she was having a few weeks before we found out she was pregnant. For those wondering:

1) Mezcla (mezclita meaning "little mezcla") is some weird mix of cheez-wiz, spam (yes, the canned ham), and roasted red peppers blended (yes, blended) together and spread on toast that is supposedly common in Puerto Rico and supposedly tastes good (which I cannot confirm and can definitely deny)

2) Mommy's baby bump when she was pregnant with Kaylani was "Chicharron", which is the fried, dried, skin of a pork shoulder/pernil (and tastes FAR better than mezcla)

The good thing about baby bump nicknames were that they just came to us, no matter how gross they were. Unfortunately, as of right now, we've got nothing for an actual name. We're not stressing out just yet since we won't find out boy or girl for another few weeks (Mommy is only 17 weeks right now), but we will soon...especially if we're having a boy (which I think we are). You'd think we'd be alright and had a few name holdovers from Kaylani, but we've got none because coming up with Kaylani's name was as easy as taking a trip to Hawaii...literally.

This time around, we're faced with a few different issues. For starters, we don't have any trips planned to Hawaii (or anywhere for that matter). Second of all, Kaylani is such a unique name (we think) that our second name should be just as unique. Third of all, if we have a boy (which again, I believe we will), we're in a lot of trouble because we never even came realistically close to picking a boys name last time (and we were convinced we were having a boy then too). Actually, we were close for about 3 minutes when we both liked Mariano since it was a nice boys name and had some Spanish/ethnicity in it, but that was shot down when Mommy realized I picked it because of Mariano Rivera. After that, nowhere close.

So that's where we are now. We probably won't stress over the name very much for now since we have other things on our mind (like potty training, Christmas shopping, etc), but I'll keep you posted if/when we know. First thing is the ultrasound to tell us boy or girl. Then we'll get cracking on names for real. But if we're having a boy, don't be surprised if the only name we settle on is "Baby Boy Tam".

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's Potty Time!

Math time! 6 diapers per day is 42 diapers per week. 42 diapers per week is 42*4.3 diapers per month. 42*4.3 diapers per month is 42*4.3*12 diapers per year. That means that over the course of Kaylani's 2 years and 5 weeks of life, we've used 42*4.3*12*2+42*4.3+42 diapers (give or take a couple here and there). Now that may not seem like a lot (especially since I didn't actually do the math), but I think you get the point. So its no surprise that when Kaylani's cousin Zoe started her potty training that we decided to follow suit shortly after. Unfortunately we haven't had the same "splash" as she did.

For months now, Kaylani has been okay with sitting on the potty. She has her own special Dora seat and even her own mini-potty downstairs, but for the most part, they've just been places for her to sit and relax or read books for a few minutes. Once she went #2 on the mini-potty after starting elsewhere, but otherwise nothing (sidenote: its amazing that the mini-potty was cleaned instead of being thrown out and replaced. Guess its true parenthood (or finances) change you!). So with Kaylani being as comfortable as Daddy on the toilet for 5-10 minutes (or more) at a time, we thought that potty training would be a breeze. Wrong.

When Zoe went cold turkey potty training, Yin Yin bought a "potty watch" to help the process along. The idea was to have a countdown (30, 60, or 90 minute increments) and play a little "potty time" jingle while flashing lights (who doesn't like flashing lights?) which would help remind the child (and the parents) to go potty and avoid accidents. In theory, GREAT invention and probably worth the $11. In theory.

We tried this for the first time around 3:30, after Kaylani woke up from her nap. She was thrilled to try to use the potty, but mainly cuz it meant she got to wear Dora panties instead of a diaper. So after a quick try, we were all systems go. Cold turkey, no diaper, and only her panties, pants, and hopefully hardwood/tiled floor instead of carpet/furniture in the way. 30 minutes later, music and lights came on and it was Potty Time! 1 minute later, we were back with no pee pee in the potty, but that was expected. Every few minutes we'd ask if Kaylani had to use the potty, but the answer was always nope. Another 30 minutes went by with the same results. Music, lights, but no pee pee in the potty. So back out we went.

5 minutes after that 2nd potty trip, we heard this: "Papa I went potty in my pants" followed by a lot of crying because she "made a mess." Poor girl, but that was how she was supposed to learn, right? Peeing yourself makes you feel wet and makes a mess, and both those things make you cry. So accident #1 we'll call a productive accident. After some explanation about that, and a change to Princess panties and new pants (and a quick Clorox clean of the stool she was sitting on), we were back. 30 minutes later, music, lights, no pee pee. 24 minutes after that, we had something. But we weren't at the potty.

Crying, mess cleanup, and a change of clothes and we were back again. Another 2 trips and nothing until 15 minutes in, we had accident #3, right before bath time. So close, but no luck as we had our 3rd wet panties and pants set on our hands. That was enough for Day 1 of Potty Time. Day 2 didn't go much better (depending how you look at it).

Day 2 started the same with panties after nap. No accident after the first hour, and none after the second hour either. We approached 2.5 hours (or 5 music/light cycles) with no accidents. The problem was that she wasn't peeing at all! It was at the 3 hour mark, after dinner, that we threw in the towel (panty?) and slapped on a diaper so she could sit on the couch and watch Dora for 22 minutes without us worrying about her peeing on our furniture. The alternative, as suggested by Jes, was to cover our furniture in plastic like my grandma did, but we decided to go the diaper route.

Day 3 went the exact same way with her pushing 3 hours without peeing in the potty or her panties. And that brings us to day 4, which is today. Not sure how that's going to play out, or if Mommy is even going to try with me not home until after bedtime. We're convinced Kaylani just needs that first time to "get over the hump" and get the pee pee cues (with or without the watch). Our pediatrician recommended we get Kaylani potty trained well in advance of Baby #2's arrival, so we're working on it. We've still got 6 months or so, but at this rate, its not looking good...for any of us!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Inappropriate demands

Kaylani: Papa crap!
Me: What?
K: Papa crap for me
Me: What did you say?
K: Crap *makes motion with hands*
Me: You mean crab? *pinching motion with hands*
K: No Papa, no crab. I do this, then you crap
Me: I do what?
K: You crap and say yay!
Me: Kaylani, you want me to crap?
K: Yes Papa. I sing ABC and you crap when I finish
Me: Ohhh, you mean CLAP for you.
K: Yes Papa. Ready? ABCD...

That was our conversation on the way to school this morning. It was pretty funny once I realized Kaylani wasn't actually asking me to crap for her. While it sounded ridiculous for her to ask, I wouldn't have been that surprised. For one, she does seem to have a hard time doing that (clearly not from my side), but also because she is awfully bossy and demanding (maybe a little bit from my side). So maybe "Papa sit here" and "Papa don't talk" was evolving into "Papa crap for me!" Luckily, that wasn't the case...this time.

As parents in denial, we like to think that Kaylani will grow out of her bossy stage. We also like to think that its just a part of her "terrible twos" and she'll grow out of that in a few months (since she started with her "terribles" at 18 months, that means she'll grow out of it by 2.5 years right?). The good thing is we can get her to say "please" when she repeats it so she's not completely rude all the time. Unfortunately most of the time she just repeats her demands until we give in or send her into a tantrum, both of which we're relucant to do.

And to make things worse, she usually adds a bit of humor somewhere in the middle to make us crack a bit. One way or another we're gonna find a way to hang tough and try and negotiate with her. And at the end of the day, we'll either crap or clap. Tough call.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kaylani's Big Announcement

Sometimes it takes a minute to figure out what Kaylani is saying. It takes even longer than a minute if you're not around her often, but for the most part Mommy and I "speak Kaylani" pretty well. But a few months ago, it took me a couple of minutes myself, and I even had help.

It was the morning of September 23rd and Mommy told me I had to get Kaylani because she wanted to see me. Nothing unusual there, especially since I had gotten home late from NYC the night before and missed bedtime. So around 7:15am, I wandered into Kaylani's room. She stood up as usual, and started to say something. I, of course, went on with my usual routine of turning off her nightlight, opening her blinds, and turning off her humidifier. Still Kaylani was saying something that I couldn't make out so I kept on going.

First I said "Good Morning Kaylani" and asked her how she slept. I gave her a hug and a kiss and knelt down in front of her crib to talk to her. She kept saying "pajamas" and "I have girl" which I thought nothing of since Mommy had told me the night before that she bought Kaylani new pajamas with a little girl on them. But when I noticed Mommy standing in the doorway, and Kaylani looking at her and repeating "I have girl I have girl" while they both smiled, I started to think I was missing something. Boy was I ever.

Slowly it all started to come clear and I started to understand what Kaylani might have been talking about. I looked over at Mommy and she was smiling wide as could be and on the verge of tears. I looked at Kaylani again and looked at her harder to see if I understood correctly. I looked back at Mommy and she confirmed it. It was true. Kaylani was telling me in the clearest way possible. She had a little girl on her pajamas. And with that picture of the little girl were two words that she couldn't be happier to have learned: Big Sister. Kaylani was gonna be a big sister. She had a little girl on her pajamas, but Mommy had a little girl (or boy) in her belly. Wow.

Immediately all the feelings I had over 2.5 years ago when we found out that Mommy was pregnant the first time came flooding back in. But this time, It wasn't just 2 of us hugging and smiling. This time it was 3 of us. We're not entirely sure if Kaylani grasped exactly what being a big sister meant (she does now), but she was happy enough to just be a part of it. Thankfully we have some of this time documented through pictures you can see here. Also thankfully I didn't have a recently peed on stick stuck in my face as I was waking up like last time.

So here we are, 11.5 weeks into Mommy's 2nd pregnancy and its like its all new to us. She just had her 12 week ultrasound and we stared at the little baby inside her with what seemed like the same amazement as the first time. It was still hard to believe a little baby with a head, arms, legs, and a rapidly beating heart were inside there. Just a few weeks ago we saw a dot that was supposedly the same thing. Its grown so much but we have no concept of size even though we've been through this before. Guess we should re-sign up for those Babycenter newsletters to find out if we have a peanut, pear, squash, or some obscure fruit sized baby each week.

Already we've seen differences from the first time, like Mommy not being able to sleep for the last 7 weeks, or the nausea caused by the cooking of food, or of course from the presence of Kaylani. But the biggest difference is that I've got the blog up and running already and I plan on documenting the next 6 months and beyond in addition to the normal blogs on Kaylani. So stick around, keep on reading, and look ahead to May 29, 2011 with us, which is when all three of our lives will change again. And change is always good...especially in this case.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Time flies when you're turning 2!

At this very moment, 2 years ago, we were in the hospital in absolute disbelief at the little girl that we were blessed with. Now, 2 years later, here we are still in absolute disbelief that our little girl is two years old. And to top it all off, I almost ended up back in a hospital. Confused? Hear me out. Warning: Long overdramatic post ahead.

The past 5 days have been nothing but birthday birthday birthday. Since September, Kaylani has had to celebrate each of her friends birthdays, and kept saying "I'm not two yet. Almost two. I'm turning two. Not yet!" So when her birthday became next in the queue, she could hardly contain herself. On Thursday, she kept saying she wanted to sing "Happy Birthday" and blow out a candle. In fact, she insisted so much that Mommy gave in and had her "practice" blowing out a candle in a cupcake. On Friday, Primitos Alisha and Rohan (and Titi Glenda) arrived, and she got to open up and play with her first gift. Then, on Saturday, it was time for her birthday celebration. That's when things got out of control. And by things, I mean me.

Kaylani's birthday party was at Uptown Playaround, which is a giant indoor play area. They had a giant structure with nets, slides, rope swings, blocks, tunnels, and ramps to climb up and through. There was also a play house and kitchen, grocery store, basketball area, puppet theater, and block area. If that wasn't enough, there was a dance area, virtual floor soccer, and bubbles. And if you still wanted more, there was just a giant space to run around in. Might seem excessive, but for 14 kids, and 20 adults to boot, all that space was absolutely necessary. I fully expected the kids to have tons of fun. I was not expecting the adults to do the same.

While Kaylani's favorite areas were the calmer ones (kitchen, grocery store, giant play area), Daddy, Bat Bat and most of the other adults ran around through the net maze and down the super fast slides over and over. After an hour, it sure felt like I needed to be back in the hospital, but this time, it would have been me with the back pain instead of Mommy. But instead of going there, I toughed it out, had pizza and cupcakes with everyone, and finished up the big party.

To continue the celebration (and after a nap), Kaylani cut into a piece of Papa's heart and soul, which was transformed into a Dora shaped cake. After slaving over baking and decorating it the night before, and seeing it come out better than I could have imagined, we cut up Dora's head ("Dora got a head cut" according to Kaylani) and had cake. Guess its true that you can't have your cake and eat it too (which should really be "you can't eat your cake and have it too" but whatever).

Sunday, the fun continued with a trip to the Animal Kingdom Zoo with the cousins to feed monkeys, giraffes, donkeys, and more. Thankfully we distracted Kaylani from having more cake, and instead opened up a few more of her presents that we hid from the party. And then, finally, Monday rolled around and with it, Kaylani's official birthday.

Kaylani was born at 4:09am on 11/08/08, so I guess it was inevitable that she'd wake up shortly after that 2 years later (at 6:35am). Can't blame her since who doesn't remember being so excited that you just can't sleep on special days? And after Kaylani spent the whole morning playing with Alisha and Rohan, and then talking to Mommy about her birthday, she took a nice nap so she could spend the night with Papa, Yin Yin, and Yeh Yeh at home. That's when she got crazy again.

After the last of her gifts were opened, she focused on a few of them, like her new roller skates from Padrino Tim and Auntie Meredith, and her house from Yin Yin and Yea Yea. And with one more round of Happy Birthday to Kaylani and another cake (ice cream cake this time), it was time to call it a day, or a birthday that is.

All in all it was an amazing 5 days of celebration, which is fitting since its been an amazing 2 years ever since Kaylani was born. Not a day goes by that we don't thank God for how lucky we are to have such a wonderful family, but its still hard to believe that its already been 2 years. Luckily we've got plenty of pictures and even videos to remember most of the time. So check out our pictures from Kaylani's birthday, and some more from Halloween too. And if you've got 5 minutes, watch Kaylani's video "interview" with Mommy below. Its priceless, especially the end. Or click on her YouTube page to see her using her roller skates with the Paparazzi around. So for now, its time to say good night, and Happy Birthday Kaylani. Until next year!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Quiet Mornings

You will NEVER hear us complain about how Kaylani sleeps at night. EVER. In fact, we don't complain so much that it bothers some people. For as far back as I can remember, Kaylani has slept around 12 hours a night, and that's a GREAT thing. Well, at least we thought she was sleeping for 12 hours.

Most nights, Kaylani is in bed by 7:30pm, and asleep by 7:45pm. And most mornings when I wake up at 6:45am, she's still asleep. Then finally, around 7:15am, she's awake in her crib, which according to Mommy, is because I woke her up while I was showering. On days when I go to the gym much earlier, she sleeps in a little bit until 7:30am or so before she wakes Mommy up. And on weekends, when we're fortunate enough to not have anything to wake up for, we've slept in until 8am or even 8:30am. But somedays, like today, she wakes up at 6:15am, but is back down at 7am, awake again at 7:15am, but back down again at 7:30am. So the question is, what time does Kaylani wake up, and what does she do?

During the week, its easy to say that Kaylani seems to wake up between 6:45am and 7:15am. Since that's 5 days of the week, you'd think that she wakes up at that time on Saturday and Sunday too since I don't think she has concept of weekdays vs weekends yet. Some days, I've seen her asleep still at 7:30 or later (especially on days I have to leave for work early), so its not consistently the same time. But one thing we have noticed is that there are definitely days when she wakes up and sits there. Quietly. By herself. The scary thing is that we have no idea for how long.

We have a video monitor and a sound activated audio monitor in her room. In the mornings, the audio monitor rarely goes off, which means either she's not talking, or its not picking things up. Since it works fine when we test it, its not the latter, so we can fairly confidently say she's just not talking. So that leaves the video monitor. On the mornings we wake up on our own, looking at the video monitor always surprises us because she doesn't move much, at least not enough to be picked up by the camera.

When we look closely, she's typically laying there playing with her belly button, or sitting there staring out into her room. A few days ago, she was laying there and said "I see green light" to me when I finally went to get her (which means she was staring at the camera which has a green light on it). Other days, I'll walk in and she'll just stare through her crib at me and smile until I come closer. And then other days she'll proclaim that she's still sleeping, or that Grover/Telly/other animals in her bed are still sleeping. And on some days, she'll stand up and start clapping and proudly announce (and show) that her socks are on her hands (which is pretty impressive when I think back to the struggles of trying to put mittens on by myself as a child).

What's all of this mean? It means that our little girl is quite easily self entertained, but that doesn't stop us from feeling guilty for leaving her to her own devices for who knows how long. It also means she may not be sleeping for 12 hours since she could be doing all of this in the middle of the night too. Most importantly, it means that we're used to Kaylani being in her crib for 12 hours a night which allows us to watch TV, sleep, etc. And its that last part that might come back to bite us some day. But for now, we'll take what we can get because the way it is now means we're all happy, and we've got no guilt about that.

Speaking of happy, check out new pictures I posted in Kaylani's album. They're from the past month, and include a sneak peak at her Halloween costume. More to come from that! Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our Little Munchkin

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Completely true in my case. The way to a little baby's heart? Not entirely that far off, at least not for Kaylani.

Our little munchkin has been eating solid food for a long time now (which means more than half her life). And while there are some foods she likes (pasta, mac and cheese, french fries), there's only one that gets you straight to her heart: Munchkins. Maybe its the fact that she only gets one every now and then (or more likely the fact that they're made of pure sugar), but every time she has one, she's happy as can be.

The good thing about munchkins are that they're free...if you have a cute little girl with you at least. And if that same cute girl says "munchkin please" (albeit quietly most of the time because she's "so shy"), you sometimes get 2 munchkins. Actually, maybe that's the bad thing about them, or at least part of the bad thing. They're so addicting/good that Kaylani has learned that morning stops with Papa are usually to a place that carries munchkins. Ok, so its more like she knows first stop is always to Dunkin Donuts, so much so that she even recognizes the logo and/or the location (either that or she can read). So who am I to say no to her when she screams from the car "Dunkin Donuts! Papa coffee. Munchkin please!"

Since Kaylani is still teetering between single and double digit weight percentiles, a munchkin here or there is probably a good thing. A little extra weight couldn't hurt, and really, how bad could a lot of extra sugar really be for you anyways? For right now, I don't mind it so much. If it keeps her happy, then it keeps me happy. Plus, its damn cute to watch her ask for and then eat it too. And as an added bonus, any time she gets 2, one is always "for Papa." So for now, its munchkins for both of us, and at the same time, its going straight to our hearts.

Friday, October 15, 2010

School is Cool!

Obviously Kaylani is going to go in and out of a ton of phases in her life. In fact, just last week, she was in an "eat everything" phase, and as quickly as yesterday, she was back to her "all done no mama/papa" eating phase. Well one phase we hope she never gets out of is her "I like school" phase.

Monday will mark Kaylani's first day at a new school. For those of you following, you're probably confused since Kaylani was supposed to start school almost a month ago, but that's a story for another day (sidenote: for those living in the Mercer County area, do NOT send your child to The Learning Experience in Pennington). Anyways, Kaylani will go to school on Monday, which means we'll finally stop feeling bad every time she says "Kaylani go to school and see friends" or "Kaylani say hi friends!"

Its amazing how much Kaylani has learned from school. We're convinced she wouldn't be as social as she is right now had she never gone, and she might not even be talking as much as she is now if not for school. But regardless of how much she's learning, or how social she's becoming, or how often she might get sick (since schools are like "giant petri dishes of bacteria" according to Bat Bat), the most important thing is she likes it and she has fun.

Her new school is only a few minutes from home, and with my new longer commute to work, I probably won't get to take her there (or pick her up) very often. But the times I do, I'm looking forward to singing our school song together again! It goes something like this (and was stolen directly from Sid the Science Kid):

Me: I love my...
K: Papa!
Me: He is so...
K: Cool!
Me: But now its...
K: Time...
Me: To have fun at...
K: School!

Now that its Mama's turn to take her to school, we'll see how quickly the song gets turned back into the actual version from Sid with Mama in there instead of Papa. I've got a feeling that Kaylani won't give in too easily, but even if she does, school will still be cool which is all that matters!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Home Away From Home

I used to get yelled at when I would call my hotel "home" when I was traveling, and I never really understood why. To me, "home" was where I was staying that night. "Home" was where I was when I wasn't at work. "Home" was where my stuff was and where I could catch a few hours of sleep. But now that I'm not a single traveling consultant anymore, my outlook on "home" has definitely changed.

Last week, Mommy and I went to Dallas for Jay and Ashley's wedding. When they first got engaged, our original plan was to bring Kaylani with us. But as things developed, that plan changed. For one, the wedding was at 7pm, which is right around her bedtime. Then, add in the small hotel room, the fact that there was a pool that Kaylani would have constantly wanted to be in, and of course the plane rides, and you get enough to make us sway on that decision. Throw in the part where we haven't had a weeked alone in 2 years, and then you understand why. But what was the real deciding factor was having Yin Yin and Yea Yea move 20 minutes away from us.

3 months ago, when Yin Yin and Yea Yea first decided to move down to central NJ, we were ecstatic because it meant we would have family nearby. We would have someone that we knew we could count on no matter what (in addition to our friends). We would be able to spend more time with them than just the hectic, packed visits to Boston 2 to 3 times/year (plus visits to NJ). But most importantly, Kaylani would get to spend more time with them on a regular basis, and have another place she could call "home."

Sure Mommy and I have loved having them here so we can sneak away for dinner, or for the night, or just have them help out during the day so we can take a break every now and then (or not cook dinner), but Kaylani is the one who really loves it. Its rare that a day goes by without her saying "I'm going Yin Yin Yea Yea house!" or "I play with Yin Yin Yea Yea" or "I see Emma" (which is the name of a doll we leave at their house). And if you didn't want to believe just what she says (which is a good idea since she makes stuff up a lot), you'd believe it just by seeing how happy she is when she's with them.

When we left her there Wednesday night (we flew out early Thursday morning), she said "Bye mama! Bye Papa! Mama Papa go to Dallas! Kaylani stay at Yin Yin Yea Yea home. Yes." There was no crying. No screaming. No protest. Maybe a little crying from Mommy since it was only the second time she was leaving her for more than 48 hours (and the first time was just to NYC), but for the most part, all was okay. And for the next 3 days, we talked to her on the phone to say hi and again to say good night (as best we could with "hi mama, hi papa" being mixed in with "its raining," "I play with Emma" and "I jumping").

And if the updates that she went to sleep fine, and that she said "mama papa in Dallas" after she asked for us, and that she got to see Sesame Street Live with her cousins, and her general happy tone of voice wasn't enough, we knew Kaylani was at her home away from home when we picked her up and got ready to leave on Sunday. We asked her if she was ready to go home, and she said "I want to stay at Yin Yin Yea Yea home!" Sure she finally came around and came with us, but from now on, she might as well just call both places "home," because in my book, "home" is now where you're surrounded by people you love and people who love you. And that's definitely both our home, and Yin Yin and Yea Yea's home.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Imagination Running Wild

There's something about kids imaginations that is just mesmorizing. I can sit back and just watch Kaylani play endlessly...and I have. In fact, I've found myself running out the door to work instead of walking leisurely out on time (like this morning) because I got caught up watching her play. And I would totally do it time and time again.

I don't even know why we buy toys for Kaylani (or bring home donated/hand-me-down toys from friends) since she's entertained by the simplest of things. This mornings "toy" was a cup. A simple, hard plastic cup that I got over 10 years ago from a friend at Microsoft (which is completely irrelevant except I think he might possibly be in the spy business Chuck). One second she's pretending to drink normally out of the cup. Next she's holding it over her mouth (and nose) and talking into her new "micro/megaphone." The next its a sock on her bare feet (which she finds hilarious). And lastly its a camera that she can hold as close to her face as possible and say "smile cheese" to while "taking a picture." All that with a cup. And all that within 10, highly entertaining (for both of us), minutes.

Seeing Kaylani play like that just brings me back to a simpler time. A time where everything you touched turned into so much more. A cup was 4 different things, a blanket 5. A box? An uncountable number of things! Those were the easy times. Times when I didn't have to worry about deadlines, income, budgets, social obligations, or to remember to bring my 2 Blackberrys, iPad, and computer with me to NYC (while forgetting an umbrella on a rainy day).

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the easy times. But then I look at Kaylani play and I realize I'm actually in best time after all. And I'm pretty sure its only going to get better, and that's not hard to imagine at all.