Monday, January 31, 2011

Big Girl Bed: Day 1

For the past 3 weeks, Kaylani has been talking about sleeping in her big girl bed in her big girl room (which is the room next to her "baby" room). While we're not entirely ready for her to switch, and not exactly running out of time (still have 5 months until Baby #2 arrives), we figured we should give Kaylani what she usual.

After a weekend of buying furniture, cleaning, taping, painting, assembling furniture, and decorating, it was time to see how Kaylani handled "the switch." To try and prepare her, Mommy spent the afternoon with her getting the room ready by moving books, and stuffed animals, and other comfort items from her other room. And when dinner, milk, and Dora were done, it was time. Time to try the switch into the big bed.

Pajama time was a little rough with Kaylani continuously crawling away into her big bed instead of laying on a changing table. Story time went okay with 2 books being read while sitting on her giant oso, which was also moved into her room. And saying good night went as normal with me leaving the room and Mommy singing some songs on her way out of the room shortly after. And then, we waited.

We sat in our room staring at the video monitor while listening to the audio monitor. For 5 minutes Kaylani stayed laying down on her bed but with her head up staring towards the door. For the next 5 minutes she looked around the room and fiddled with her Princess Ballerina. And then she started to talk softly. "I'm awake." But not just softly, but sadly soft. "Mama. Papa. I'm awake. I need help." Then silence and staring. Few more heartbreaking minutes went by with a few more quiet pleas for help. Finally, when she made a few whimpers and started to shift, we broke down. In I went.

As soon as I got in the room she sat up and said "I'm awake!" and started crying. "I'm not sleeping Papa. It's time to play. I don't want to sleep" and more crying. After a few failed attempts at asking her why she was crying she said "I need water!" Apparently a few sips of water was all she needed because she stopped crying and said "I'm all better!" But that didn't mean it was time to sleep.

After a few negotiations and distraction tactics to prevent her from getting down and reading another book, I convinced her to lay down and I'd tell her the story of "Sofie's Big Bed", which is a book Mary Ann got her for her birthday. A slight modification to the story to include Grover, Telly, Crocodile, Princess Ballerina, and Giraffe sleeping in the bed with "Sofie" and Kaylani worked like a charm. A quick song, a kiss, and some hugs later and down she went as I left the room.

Here we are, 2.5 hours later and she's still sleeping. She's a little diaganol right now, which is freaking Mommy out that she's going to fall out, but sleeping. We're very curious to see how she does throughout the night. The rails (and pillows) on either side should be enough to keep her in bed (although Mommy thinks otherwise), but will she stay in bed? Will she even stay in her room? Only time will tell, so until then, all the upstairs doors will stay closed, extra nightlights will be on in the hall, and our bedroom door will stay open just in case.

Now its time for bed...for me at least. Not sure if Mommy will be able to sleep since she'll be preoccupied with staring at the big video monitor on our dresser, or the small video monitor of the same screen on our nightstand, or listening to the audio monitor on our nightstand as well. Hopefully tonight goes well. And if it does, Kaylani will continue to amaze us with how well she adjusts to things we throw at her.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dora Live!

Kaylani's never actually seen Dora Live! In fact, I'm not sure it exists (although it probably does), but even so, we wouldn't need to because Kaylani is our own live version of Dora.

Dora is the one show Kaylani will sit through and watch while barely moving a muscle. So its no real surprise to us that whenever we ask what she wants to watch while drinking her milk before bedtime (typically the only TV time she gets during the day), she picks Dora. And because of that, its also no surprise that she talks about Dora all the its her life.

Its not uncommon to hear Kaylani say "oh man" when she talks about Swiper, or that he's going to "swipe my animals when I sleep" (which leads us to reassuring her that Swiper sleeps when she sleeps). Or that she "wears a seatbelt so she can be safe" like Dora and Boots. Or that she loves "the monkey and his boots." But then other times, she'll just rattle off entire episode plots. "Dora got in a car and Tico turned it into a boat and a plane and they saved the star yay!!" or "Boots blow the horn and say 'rain rain go away come again another day' and the rain cloud goes 'ewww I don't like that song' and they runned home."

We haven't figured out if its a good thing that her memory is so good (some of the plots/things she spits back are from months ago), or a bad thing that there's so much Dora stored up in her head. For now, we'll consider it a good thing since its really cute. So for those of you who spend time talking to Kaylani, a word of advice: watch/learn yourself some Dora if you want to have a chance at understanding what she's talking about. Trust me, because when we don't watch with her, we're lost and wish we could say "MAP" to find our way!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Whiz Kid

At my very first job I was nicknamed "The Whiz Kid" (in fact, my first boss Cindy made a digital poster of my face on that movie poster). Just recently, I was called that again at my latest job, so apparently its a fitting name (Actually, in all fairness, I am "Digital Director" so I guess its fitting). But by the looks of things, I may be passing that nickname down to Kaylani.

Kids these days grow up around technology, and there's just no way around it (at least not when you live in big city areas). So it didn't really come as a surprise to me when Kaylani learned that the red button on the remote turned on the TV, or the dial on the humidifier turns it on, or that the button on the other remote can turn the lights on and off. And it wasn't too surprising when she learned to play "Peek-a-boo Barn" on my iPod Touch since all you had to do was touch the barn door and an animal appeared. But over time, she's gotten more advanced.

For instance, not only can she play "Peek-a-boo Barn", but she can turn on/off my iPod, scroll to the game (or any game), start it, press start, then play it. Or she can go to Super Why and spell words or solve story sentences. She can even play "Traffic Rush" and crash the cars (ok, so she may not get the point of that one). But since she does any or all of those things most mornings while Mommy or I are taking showers, she was bound to get good at them. It was when she translated those skills to the iPad that we took notice.

On the iPad (Yin Yin's...not mine since she's not allowed to play with Papa's iPad), she can turn it on and successfully play "Pac-Man", "Angry Birds", or "Cut The Rope" with little assistance. She knows how to start the game, turn it sideways, fling birds across the screen, feed the frog, or run away from the ghosts. Its amazing! But at the same time, its actually a little scary.

I remember growing up and playing Nintendo or Computer games with my Dad...and absolutely crushing him in them. He never stood a chance, whether if it was original Mario Bros, or Tecmo Bowl, or even Mario Kart and any other game that came out past 1986. And back then, I remember saying that I hope technology never passes me by where my kid(s) embarass me in a video game. And for the longest time, I didn't think that would ever be possible, but now I'm not so sure.

Kaylani is just a shade over 2 and she's already playing video games and using electronics. I was 5 or 6 when I started, and in all fairness to my Dad, he was almost 40 when he started playing, so I had an advantage. But with Kaylani, I've technically had a 30 year head start on her, and I'm not sure its enough. Already I've been beaten by a 4 year old in Wii bowling and challenged on several occasions in other digital aspects. If Kaylani is starting at 2 (actually earlier), am I doomed to be left behindl by my own next generation "Whiz Kid"?

Maybe there's still time to recover and I just need to carve out time (and money) to get moving with the new Wii games and/or Xbox and Xbox Connect. Maybe I need to trade in my Blackberries (yes, that's plural) for an iPhone AND an Android. Maybe I need to suck it up and get with the times so that I don't get passed by digitally. It'll be a lot of effort, but I think it might be worth it. At least I can stay at the top of the pyramid digitally because when it comes time for Kaylani to do dance, ballet, Cheerleading, or something along those lines, I'll be thoroughly embarassed...likely by my own doing.

So today I apologize to Kaylani and to baby #2 on the way, but the digital space will always be mine. But don't worry, there will be plenty of other areas Papa will be embarrasing in. Some by my own doing, but embarassing nonetheless. Kinda like being called "The Whiz Kid"...twice.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's a...

Usually I'm not surprised that Kaylani gets whatever she wants, mainly because its us who are to blame for catering to her every wish. But now it appears she has connections with higher powers since she has willed her way into getting a new baby sister. Not sure how she did it, but she did it. Today we found out that baby #2 will be a girl. And that meant that we had clear sailing ahead of us. Having a girl was supposed to make 2 things easier for us: clothes and names. But since we found out, I'm not sure it meant either.

Supposedly we would save money on clothes since we could re-use all of Kaylani's. Well that could be true later, but since Kaylani was a winter newborn and baby #2 will be a summer baby, not so much. And after talking to some friends/coworkers with multiple daughters, turns out girls need all new stuff anyways.

Supposedly we had a name picked out if it was a girl too. That thought lasted for 3 weeks, and went right out the window before we even got to the car after the ultrasound. Apparently we didn't have that name locked down after all.

And as a third that had nothing to do with baby #2 specifically, supposedly we were all set with 2 children, but apparently that conversation is back up for debate as well (or as Mommy thinks, its not so much as "up for debate" as it is a "topic open for discussion")

So here we are, less than 12 hours after seeing the tell-tale "3 lines" that indicated we'd be high on estrogen in our household for years to come. We've got no answers to any of our questions, and it'd be fair to say we've gone backwards to an extent. But what's absolutely certain is that seeing the ultrasound brought back the same excitement and amazement that we went through the first time.

Maybe its the technology, or the fact we were seeing it for the 2nd time now, but everything looked clearer. Body parts (or lack thereof in some cases) were clear as day. Nose, eyes, ears, spinal cords all had defined shapes and patterns. In fact, so much so that we're convinced baby #2 will be a splitting image of Kaylani when she was born.

But the bottom line is we're blessed to be joined by another girl in the family. I guess it really is my lot in life to be surrounded by girls. And if that's so, you won't hear one complaint coming from me. That much I am sure of.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What's "It" gonna be?

Thursday, January 13, 9am. Its a date/time that's been circled on our calendar for the last 4 weeks. It's a date/time that could lead us down a 6 month back and forth debate. It's a date/time that will answer a question we've had for at least the last 3 months. It's a date/time that will tell us finally: boy or girl. And we're hoping with 100% certainty.

Tomorrow literally couldn't come soon enough. Once the date was set, we were counting down as if we were kids waiting for our birthdays or Christmas. As each day would end and a line was put through the date on our calendar, the anticipation built up more and more. And looking through a baby name book on the way to/from Boston over the holidays didn't help either.

If you asked Mommy or me what we think it is, we'd both tell you we think "boy." Few people around us think "boy" too. And with some friends having new baby boys recently, and 2 out of 3 pregnant friends due around the same time expecting boys, it sure feels like a "boy" time. But of course, Kaylani thinks girl. So now here we are, 12 hours away from knowing the answer. 12 hours away from either having a name, or being back to the drawing board. 12 hours away from being able to dust off some of Kaylani's old things, or looking for a new color scheme for the room.

Now both Mommy and I are thinking its going to be a boy, but to be honest, it wouldn't matter in the least if its a girl. And actually, we were 100% sure it was going to be a boy when we found out about Kaylani, so who really cares what we think. Part of me is scared that tomorrows ultrasound will be inconclusive, but only time will tell. So what do you think? Boy? Girl? Inconclusive? Place your bets now, but not on inconclusive. That would just be mean.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Morse Code

I wonder a lot about baby #2. Will it be a boy or a girl? Will it be hyper or calm? Talkative or silent? Good or bad sleeper? Cuddler or private? And I know I wondered the same questions when we were waiting for Kaylani. But this time, I feel like I can figure it out beforehand...through morse code.

I've been working on this plan in my head ever since I felt a faint kick through Mommy's belly about a week ago. Just resting my hand on her belly and feeling a little flutter was enough to make me happy and enjoy what we have. It also was the spark my brain needed for my brilliant pre-natal/pregnancy plan. Without further ado, here's the plan (more or less):

1) Set baselines for baby kicks. This includes frequency of kicks, general belly location of kick, speed of kicks, and strength of kicks.

2) Once the baseline has been set, ask the baby questions (through the belly button of course) and document reactive kicks.

3) Teach the baby morse code. Oh wait, strike that.

3) Learn morse code.

4) Teach the baby morse code

5) Repeat questions from step 2 above and document kicks using morse code

6) Sit back and wait for baby to be born to validate answers

Its a fairly simple plan as you can see. It only has 6 steps so how difficult could that be? I was going to go for 7 steps, but let's be realistic...we're talking about a still developing fetus. If you want to get in on this and ask any questions, or know morse code, feel free to reach out to me. I'll be sure to mention you when I publish my research and become famous!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pee Pee in the Potty!

We've got pee pee in the potty! PEE PEE in the POTTY! In case you haven't noticed, its a pretty big deal for us since its the first time we've seen her actually do it, and the first time she's done it on her own and by her own accord. Sad part is that I missed it. Actually, its more like I was excluded from it.

It was around 7:15pm on a bath night. After a 5 minute naked run/chase around the house (Kaylani, not us), I sat her down in the bath. Things were going like normal: soap soap soap, rinse rinse rinse, shampoo shampoo shampoo, rinse rinse rinse, cry cry cry. Then as I was getting the toothbrush ready, Kaylani started saying some strange things. The conversation went something like this:

Kaylani: I'm gonna do poo poo in the water.
Me: In the water? No, we don't poo poo in the water.
K: I want to do potty
Me: Ok, but not in the water. Let's brush your teeth now

I didn't believe for a second that she had to actually use the potty, and was actually trying to brush her teeth and get her out so she didn't do poo poo in the water. But when she started crossing her legs and doing the "pee pee" dance that every kid (or adult with poor bladder control) does, I pulled her out of the tub and put her on the potty. She sat for a bit, then cried and said she wanted Mama to put her on the potty.

Being in full swing with her terrible twos, I called for Mommy and stepped out. The tag had been made so Mommy could wrap up. But a minute later, I heard celebrating. Mommy was cheering and saying what a big girl Kaylani was. Kaylani was saying she got to have M&Ms now. And when I stuck my head in, in disbelief that a) she went, and b) I missed it, I was told flatly "Papa, go get me M&Ms."

After 4 mini M&Ms and a few minutes convincing Kaylani that she could wear her panties tomorrow instead of tonight, it was pajama time, story time, then bedtime. Tomorrow we'll see if we can have a few repeat performances since we'll be home all day. If all goes well, we might have a potty trained little girl sooner than we thought...and maybe she'll let me be a part of it! But only time will tell. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Is it here yet?

There's still ~22 weeks left before baby #2 makes its grand entrance into the world. But according to one of us, June 1 can't come soon enough.

Every now and then, Kaylani wants to touch Mommy's belly. It usually happens when we're taking pictures to see how they've grown. Sometimes it happens when Mommy is rubbing her belly, or when she's wearing a shirt that doesn't quite cover her belly (which only happens in the privacy and comfort of our own home). Most of the time, she just touches Mommy's belly button, or says "hi" to the baby through the belly button when we tell her to talk to her baby brother or sister (which she says "no brother. Sister mama/papa!" to before she says "hi"). But today, she was different.

Before nap, Kaylani was getting ready for nap, and wanted to say "good nap" to the baby. After going straight to Mommy's belly and pulling down her maternity pants so she could play with and talk to her belly button, Mommy explained to her that Kaylani was going to sleep in her crib and Mommy and baby were going to go take a nap. She said okay and then went to nap. After nap, this happened:

Mommy: Hi Kaylani! Did you have a good nap?
Kaylani: Is the baby awake yet? I wake up from nap and play with baby. Baby awake?
M: No sweetie, the baby is still in Mommy's belly
K: But I want to play with the baby. Baby wake up from nap
M: Sorry sweetie, but the baby isn't ready yet. Your baby brother or sister won't be ready for awhile.
K: No brother Mama! Baby SISter!

Then for the rest of the afternoon, she asked questions and talked about her baby "sister" with Mommy. We've still got 5+ months left. Last time it was Mommy who wanted the baby out more and more with each passing day. This time, I think its going to be Kaylani. Or maybe it'll still be Mommy since she'll be feeling it AND hearing it, for the next 5 months!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Neverending Christmas

Christmas goes by too quickly. One day its here, and then its over. 3-4 weeks of preparation for just 1 day of celebration. Then its just a long wait until next year. That's what I used to think. This year, I'm not so sure.

It started on Christmas Eve morning. Clearly Kaylani's not old enough to truly appreciate Santa/Christmas since we had to wait for her to wake up. And when she finally did wake up (at 7:30am), we pumped her full of anticipation and excitement by talking about the presents and Santa. So when we went downstairs, she didn't give us the reaction we expected. But that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

Kaylani rounded the corner and immediately saw the presents and said "Santa brought me gifts!" But the best part was when we told her to look at the cookies and milk she left for Santa. That got the following reaction:

"Santa ate all the cookies. And he drank all the milk! I'll be right back"

Then she picked up the cup and plate and went to the kitchen as Mommy and I stood there in disbelief at as she ignored all the unopened presents to clean! It was a great moment that we'll never forget. And after she came back, she went straight after all the presents (mostly hers, but also ours too). She opened everything from us and a few others, including a giant teddy bear (that she asked Santa for), a countless number of Dora related toys, and much more. But that was just the beginning of Christmas.

Sadly, we left most of that home (especially the giant teddy bear) and were off to Yin Yin and Yeh Yeh's house for the annual Tam family Christmas (which is always on Christmas Eve). There, she opened up more presents, including an awesome train table and a Geotrax set. For the rest of the day, she played played played, and in the morning, it was off to the next stop.

After a quick 5 hour Christmas Day drive, we made it to Titi Glenda's house for more present opening, which was a baby changing table/sink/highchair playset. She also got a new tricycle from Madrina Maria, and then a magnet book and xylophone from Titi Mayte and Tio Alan. And it didn't end there since she got a purse from Titi Carmen the next day, and a shopping cart of groceries from Titi Sonal a couple of days after that. So that brings us to December 28th, but we still weren't done.

New Year's Day might as well have been Christmas Day part 2 since Kaylani woke up to her train table actually assembled. Ever since she set eyes on it, she's been super excited and jumps all around while playing. She's actually so excited that she won't even let Papa play with it (which is a problem since its Papa's first train table too).

Anyways, now that we're well into 2011, you'd think Christmas was over, but you'd be wrong. We still have 1 more celebration coming up (3 Kings Day) which Mommy celebrated growing up in Puerto Rico. So we've got at least 1 more morning with a gift coming up, but with much less fanfare. And until Kaylani goes a few days without Christmas (or when we take down the tree...which will be interesting), she'll probably keep talking about Santa bringing her gifts everyday. In the meantime, here are some pictures from Christmas. Enjoy!