Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekend fun

It's been a very busy and fun-filled weekend! We had many people coming over to visit and hang out with us.

First we have Aunt Sachi and Aunt Maria. (Thank you Aunt Maria for the cute bib and spoons!!)

Then we have Uncle Greg joining us for dinner.

On Saturday, we went out with Grandma June to do some car shopping and then had dim sum afterwards.

We had a potluck dinner with Uncle Jay & Aunt Mish, Uncle Dom & Aunt Fay (who is expecting as well, yay!) and Uncle Dondie.

Chilling with my buddy, Mia-Chiu!

Uncle Dom and Aunt Fay:
Mia-Chiu was trying out my Bumbo chair. I think she really liked it.

On Sunday, Grandpa came over to visit and we had more dim sum...yum!!!

Then we went over to my daddy's boss house for early Christmas celebration. There were many children around, but I was too young to play with them, so they came over and played with me instead.

I am so popular!! These girls are trying to chat me up!

Hanging out with Uncle Farhad. I didn't cry this time, hahhaha...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Baby eczema - Round 2!

Last week, Ali's baby eczema started to flare up again. It was a little daunting for me to accept since I thought our eczema problem was slowing going away. *sigh* I tried very hard to figure out the cause of this flare up. Was it the ice cream? Or the sofa bed cover in her room? Or was it Sam's hair? What did I do differently that cause her rash to reappear? And the culprit was the portable heater!

"OMG, what happened to my beautiful skin???"

It was getting quite chilly in the past few weeks and I thought it would be a great idea to put a heater in her room to warm it up a bit. WRONG!!!! Her eczema started to flare up like mad and it just would not go away! After I turned it off for a few days and laid a think layer of antibacterial cream, her skin has improved significantly!

My aunt recommended Vaseline creamy - Problem skin therapy and it worked even better than Aveeno baby eczema cream AND it's much cheaper too! Score!! The great thing about the Vaseline creamy is that it works well on her body and her face, while Aveeno only works well on her body. Cetaphil is good too, but it is not as rich as the Vaseline creamy. Good call, Aunt Marie!

"Thank you mommy! I look much prettier now! Yay!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Drool machine

Baby Ali and I decided to go for a little stroll last week. I carried her in a baby carrier (thank you M&M) and she just loved it. Alison really enjoyed checking out the different scenery and of course, licking the buckle by her face. Yup, she loves to lick her bib and anything that is close to her mouth. She also starts to drool like crazy! She started drooling (just a little) when she was two months old. Now, we have to change her bib at least twice a day!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nap training - Part II

Alison is doing much better in terms of naps. She naps four times a day and each time ranges from 1-2 hours. She does not fuss too much before she falls asleep. There were a few days that she demanded to be nursed to sleep. Obviously, I did not submit to her cryings. I had to admit those battles were tough, but I made it at the end. Woo hoo!!

Ali usually falls asleep within 10 minutes after I put her to bed. I usually check on her in a few minutes where I would find her eyes closed, waving her arms or sucking on her fists, and talking gibberish in an angry way.

I don't know why I find her outraged state extremely cute and funny (call me crazy!). Check it out for yourself. Unfortunately, the room was too dark and you could only hear her "complaining". She started with a little bit of whining and towards the end, you can hear her angry babble. Gosh, I should turn that into my ring tone and name that tune as "angry baby".

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My little chameleon

When baby Ali was first born, she had the most gorgeous skin colour - very fair and pinkish tone. Just lovely!
Then she was diagnosed with jaundice, so she turned yellow.

As she recovered from jaundice, she turned red.
Then really dark. Look at the two Alis. What a difference, huh? Alison is so much darker than Allison. At one point, people even questioned if she is a quarter East-Indian (people sometimes question if Anders is half East-Indian). Umm....
And now, our baby girl is much lighter in skin colour. Her skin is definitely not as fair and soft as Allison, but is getting much, much better. At least you can tell she is Chinese and not East Indian anymore. Good job, Alison (and her mommy too, of course!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baby skin problems - cradle cap and baby eczema

Our baby girl has been having skin problems. In the past two months, I done quite a lot of research (visiting websites, forums, talking to my mommy friends, even the odd doctor visit) and I thought I should share what I learned about baby eczema with all my family and friends, just in case (but hopefully not) you encounter the same problems as we do. Her cradle cap (dry crusty patches on head scalp) first started around Week 3-4. A week later, there were yellow crusties forming around her eyebrows, nose and ears.

Like any other new parents, Anders and I freaked out and went to a clinic right away. It turned out that Alison has baby eczema and the way to get rid of it is to use steroid cream and antibacterial cream on all the troubled areas. At first I was not very comfortable using steroid cream on our baby, but the more I read about eczema, the more troublesome I found the problem to be. Eczema is a form of extreme dry skin condition. It causes itchiness and the more you scratch, the worse it is. So in order to ease her discomfort, we had to use the steroid cream and it proved to work wonders.

It first started with red patches around the eyebrow areas:

Then the yellow crusties started to form:

It was a constant battle. It would get better some days and worse on other days. A couple of weeks later, there were rashes on her body and the skin was VERY rough - almost like sand paper. When I changed her clothes, I found A LOT of dead skin in her sleeper. It was just a sickening sight. I went to see another doctor for the rashes and he said it was eczema as well. I must have seen four doctors altogether and they all asked me to do the same thing. Put lotion on baby, check to see if she is allergic to something that I ate and put steroid cream on her whenever the baby eczema flared up.

If you click on the picture, you will see that there are rashes on her body:

I was very determined to eliminate her baby eczema and here is what I do every day to help Ali:

1. Use perfume free detergent to wash her clothes. I tried a few different brands and the one seemed to work well was Nature Clean. It did not remove stains that well, but baby skin seemed to agree with it. Try Oxy Clean Babies to remove stains before hand. Out of pure paranoia, I used the double rinse option on the washer as well.

2. We used Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture cream for her body. We have tried regular Aveeno baby lotion and it didn't work for Ali. Since I was rubbing lotion all over her body, I might as well give her a little massage. She loves it and a nice relaxing massage has become one of our morning rituals.

3. Once the eczema has cleared up on her face, the skin gets really dry and flaky. I tried using Aveeno, but it seemed to irritate her skin even more. After a few tries, I found that Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion for sensitive skin worked quite well.

Here is a picture of her dry and flaky phase:

4. Note what you are eating and see if there is any relationship between the baby's rash and the food that you ate. My girl's eczema seemed to flare up whenever I have seafood (fish, crab, prawns, jellyfish, etc.) and eggs. Her skin looked MUCH better after I stayed away from them.

5. As for the cradle cap, apply a generous amount of olive oil (any vegetable oil or baby oil would be okay too) on the scalp. Let it sit for a few hours. Then use a hair brush to remove the loosen pieces.

Here is a picture of her cradle cap:

6. Use warm water (not too hot) for bath and do not use too much soap on the baby. I only use soap at the end of the bath and apply it to mostly the diaper areas. Babies at this age do not move around much and so it is not really necessary to use soap (unless you let them roll around in the sand or something, they are usually pretty clean).

7. Don't try this unless you are desperate. My mom told me that drinking boiled water may help with baby's skin problems. I did not believe this at first, but for some reason, it seemed to help with the flaring. Chinese people think that the water in Canada is "too cold" for our body and so boiling it first would help to remedy the problem. I know it seems a little hocus pocus, but you do what you have to do in desperate times.

Ali is now 16 weeks old and her skin is still not 100%, though her condition has improved significantly. I can't tell you how frustrated I was with her eczema for the past two months. I guess persistent is the key and don't ever give up. It really takes time for the dry skin to go away. I was secretly jealous of all the babies around me. How come they have such beautiful skin? And when I found another mom who had similar experience as myself, I just kept on asking and badgering them the ways to combat eczema. I am so relieved that she is finally getting better!

Look at her pretty face! Her skin is much smoother and softer than before.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meet Ali's new BFF

Over the weekend, we went over to our friend's house for a movie/play date. This is the first time we hang out with other adults ever since Ali came to this world. It was quite fun, but unfortunately, our little tofu got really cranky towards the second half of the movie. We have to leave early and mommy and daddy did not have a chance to figure out what is going to happen to John Connor. Oh well, we can always watch it later.

Meet my friend, Allison Chu.

Let's hold hands.

Watching "Terminator Salvation" with daddy and his friends:

Got bored of that movie. I decide to try out my friend's activity mat for a little bit.

My girlfriend doesn't like the movie either. Look, she fell asleep!

Thanks for hosting, Anita and Anthony!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kaley's one month banquet

It's celebration time!! One of Ali's girlfriends is one-month old!! Congratulations, Jay and Mish! Kaley is looking good! So cute and adorable! Both Anders and I had had a great time hanging out with a great party and eating yummy food!

The lovely little Kaley:

Look at mommy's earrings. I want to wear them too when I grow up!

Daddy hanging out with Uncle Jay and Aunt Mish. Thanks for inviting us! We had a great time!

Aunt Maria came to visit us over the weekend too. Ali was so happy that she started to laugh out loud. What a little show off!! Yup, that's one of the new things that Ali are able to do these days. She has also figured out that she has two hands and she has "found" her left leg as well. She is always touching her left leg whenever her diaper is being changed. I wonder when she will "discover" her right leg!?

Catch Ali playing with her fingers. "Woooo...I have TWO hands, cool!!"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Nap training

We have finally started to train our baby girl to take naps on her own. She always wants to be held while she naps. You can't put her down on her crib even if she fell asleep. She will wake up right away and start to cry until you pick her up again. Needless to say, my days are not very productive because I am always holding her in my arms and she naps 3-4 times a day.

Daddy reading to baby:

I have been reading various different forums online (thank goodness for the internet, I don't know if I will be able to survive without it) and most of them suggest that it seems to work when you stimulate a night time environment. So the day before Halloween, we decided to give it a shot. I put Ali in her sleep sac and closed all the blinds. She only fussed for a few minutes and fell asleep. I was very impressed with her first day. She had had four naps, but they were quite short (less than 45 minutes). The second day did not work out that well. Maybe it's because of the firecrackers, she was not able to nap much. The last few days are not too bad. I am glad to say I have been "hands-free" for more than one week now!! Yay!

Look, I can fit my fist in my mouth!! Can you do that?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sleep training

"I am a bear!"

Ali is sleeping quite well at night. Most of time, she will be able to fall asleep on her own. She usually needs one feeding at around 4 or 5 in the morning. On a very good day, she can even sleep until 6 or 7. Daytime naps are a different story tho. She used to be able to sleep on her own and wanted to be held once in a while. However, ever since the roofing reno started, she had a very hard time falling asleep in the day. She can sleep through pretty much everything when she is held, but not so much if she is on her own.

"Yo, I am a gangster!"

We have been planning to teach her to take naps after our Portland trip, but too much happened during this time and we are postponing the start date until the grandmas are out of the house. Ali's grandmothers tend to agree that it is important to teach babies to sleep on their own and we should let them cry it out. But it is a totally different story when they are around. Both grandmothers started to tear up when Ali started crying. And at the end, they had to pick her up and hold her in their arms. One grandma even suggested that she would do all the household chores and let mommy take care of the baby from now on. Boy, oh boy!

"Wassup! You wanna hang out? Let's chill."