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!