Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baby Swap #2

Finally, it is our turn to drop off Ali at our friends' place. This is the first time we left Ali with our friends. When we dropped her off, she made a bee-line to the balloon. She didn't even care to turn around to look at us when we left!! Seriously, this girl just loves to play!

We wanted to go to Anton's for dinner, but when we got there, the line up was already super long. Since we have to be back in 2 hours, we thought we would just find somewhere close by. And off we go for a drive, driving aimlessly for a good 15 mintues before we decide to go to a...pub??? What???
Our neighbours talked about this pub with their cheap dinners and beers and the two of us wanted to try it for awhile now. It is impossible to bring Ali to a pub (I tried that before and I got kicked out, yup, I did), so what's better than going to some place where we would normally have to stay away from?!! Hubby got a prime rib dinner for $13.99! I have to say it's only okay, but the quesadilla that I had was pretty good and the fries were AWESOME!!! We want to go back on Monday for their $5.99 turkey dinners (you can't go wrong with roast turkey, right?) and half priced pasta on Thursday.

When we went back to Anita and Anthony's house, the girl seemed not too excited to see us. Seriously, she looked at us briefly, showing no signs of excitement and back to playing with her toys again. Yup, that's how mellow our girl is (at times).

The two gals got along SO well. It's quite fun to see them interact with each other and how good they were to each other. No fight, no poking. Calm, peaceful and happy. What else can the parents asked for??

A HUGE thank you to Aunt Anita, Uncle Anthony and Allison for putting up with our Ali! We have not had a piping hot dinner for such a long time. Man, we gotta do this more often!!!!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Going solo

This is the first time that I left Ali with her daddy for pretty much the entire day. It was a fun, but tiring day. We had a block sale in the morning and then a wedding to go to in the evening. My coworker (who is the baby in our group) is finally getting married! We are all so happy for him!! His wife is absolutely gorgeous and very talented in scrapbooking too! (Chanh, good catch!) All the decorations and invites were amazing!! I especially love their colour scheme, so refreshing! Good job, Clara!

One word to describe the reception - fun! The whole night was filled with games and laughs. I had a great time catching up with my coworkers while enjoying some yummy seafood that I haven't tasted for so long!

Clara smooching away all the sugar and honey on Chanh's lips (one of the games):

The three beautiful ladies - Sachi, Sue and the very pregnant Tanya:

The three troublemakers - Sam, Koo and Dou:

The wise bunch - Sonya, Seema and Greg:

I very much enjoyed the night. It was awesome not to have leave half way because of the baby. Thanks daddy for taking care of the baby and a big thank you to Chanh & Clara for inviting the whole department! Wish you two all the best!
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Simple pleasures

Besides Ali, one thing that I am sure will miss when I go back to work is having HK style cafe breakfast. Just look at this.
You get spam (!!!!!!!!), eggs, toast, soup noodles and a drink for $7! What a deal! And where else will serve spam in the morning (besides Hawaii)? Usually, I get so full that I can skip lunch altogether. YUMMMM... I think I should go a few more times before school starts again.

Ali checking out the decor of the restaurant while enjoying her toast.

After breakfast, we went to check out the Science world's grossology display. Ali is still too young to appreciate it, but mommy is quite intrigued.
A forced picture of Ali and the moo-moo:
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our first baby swap!

Allison's mom and I are worried that our babies would not be able to transition well in daycare when the parents are not around, so we take turns dropping our child at each other's house and see how they do. We had Allison over for the evening and it turned out surprisingly well...for the most part! Allison wouldn't eat her dinner. It was really funny watching her and trying to feed her. She would open just a teeny tiny bit and of course, her teeth were in the way, so we couldn't put the spoon in her mouth. What a teaser! After trying for a good half an hour, we gave up and with her parents' permission, we fed her some finger food. It was smooth sailing after that.

The two little ones playing with toys.
Ali: Um, what are you doing? That's my toy.
Allison: Your mommy says we have to share, haha!
Ali: But you have never played with it before. You don't know how to play with this!
Allison: No, I do. Look! You can turn the page like that, just like a book!
Ali: Oh yeah, you do know what you are doing.
Ali: I guess I can trust you with my toys.
Allison: Of course!

Allison: I guess I will share my toy with you too. Here is my birthday balloon. But you can't touch it.
Ali: Hey, how do you do it? How do you stick out your tongue like that? Cool!

Allison: I am gonna tease the cat too! Wahhahaha!

Ali: "Woooooooooooo....so high up...neat!!!"

Allison: Hhahaha...my distraction techniques are working well!! I can play with all her toys now!! I am so smart!!!

Ali: Mommy, my neck hurts.
Allison: Oops...hehehe...

We had a great time hanging out with you Allison! Our first baby swap...a success! =)

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Snoopy and me

Remember these Snoopy items from a few weeks ago? I have been warned by other moms that I must get two of the same lovey, otherwise, good luck with the melt down as the toy deteriorates into little pieces of rags. Lucky me that Uncle Peter was in Tokyo for a business trip and lucky me again that he is ALSO a big fan of Snoopy, he went to pick up two dolls and a whole bunch of knick knacks for this crazy sister of his.

Everybody knows (even my students know!) I am obsessed with Snoopy (and Peanuts too!) and it is one of my dreams to decorate my room with Snoopy plush toys and other Snoopy products. When we first got married, I told my hubby about this dream of mine and all I got was a small, Snoopy corner. Sad. I made up my mind at that point that I am going to make my kids LOVE Snoopy as much as I do so that I can have an excuse to buy more Snoopy stuff and hubby can't do nothing about it! Hahaha, I am an evil genius!!!

Although I had the dolls for a week or two, I kept delaying the time to introduce Ali to the toys. At first, I wanted to give one to her on her birthday, but then I postpone it until the following week while things are a little calmer (she got so many toys for her birthday) and then the next week... The reason why I kept on postponing is because, well, I just love the dolls too much. Ali drools like mad and she is just going to ruin my poor Snoopy!!!! But since Uncle Peter kept on calling and ask how Ali liked the Snoopys, I guess I couldn't push it any further.

My grand plan is working well and I must give some credit to hubby too, since he does try to "make" Ali play with the doll. After playing with it for a week, she now knows who "Snoopy" is. We usually leave Snoopy in the play pen and every now and then, Ali would point to it or she would crawl up to the play pen and stare at it for a little while. So cute!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Daddy and me

Ali's newest obsession is her safety gate by the stairs. She loves to get to all the out-of-bound places. I was doing laundry in the basement the other day and I caught Ali and her daddy playing the prison game.

Ali: "Get me out of jail, mommy! I don't like this gate!"
A: "It's you, mommy! You are the prison guard, aren't you!! Daddy, play along, go point at mommy."
Daddy: "Huh?"
The two silly ones laughing uncontrollably after a few pictures. Weird baby, weird daddy.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Ali - from birth to one

(Warning: this is a super long post! It is more for me so that I will remember the little details of our baby girl.)

So much to be thankful for. A cute, healthy baby and best of all, she is quite mellow and relatively easy to take care of. And best of all, she can sleep through the night and by herself since 3 months old! Thank you Lord for giving us Ali! I can't imagine living a day without her and for some reason, the pre-Ali days seemed so distant and far away. Here is a recap of her first year.

Ali has always been a good sleeper. She goes to bed at around 8:30 and doesn't get up until 7:30ish. Naps twice a day. Rarely does she wake up in the middle of the night. A few days ago she started to sleep on her tummy. Hubby and I didn't have any problem with that, except that her eyes get really puffy and swollen. At first we didn't know why, but when we went in to check, she was tummy down, sleeping on her little hands. Funny little baby.

Eczema and cradle cap started to show up when she was 3 weeks old. And Ali was the most chubby during this time too. Just look at her cheeks!

Her first sacrament, baptized in Oct 2009. Her uncles, Peter and Paul, flew in to be her sponsors.

Eczema at its worse. Ali seemed not to be too bothered by it. Her mommy, on the other hand, went crazy during those times. I think her skin problem probably gave me the most headache in her first year, but as a result, I have become an expert in dealing with baby eczema.

Cradle cap got a little better, her face looked great. But actually, we were still battling with eczema on her body. It got so bad that Ali had to take antibiotics - twice!

We tried feeding Ali rice cereal when she was 5 months old and hives broke out. Her dermatologist advised us to try again when she was 7 months. This is her infamous "baby-steel" stare. We couldn't really make her laugh or smile back then.

Three biggest mistakes I made with my first child. One, I did't learn how to help baby to latch on properly before I got discharge from the hospital. That was a BAD, painful experience. It felt like I was feeding a barracuda with my nipples. That also translates to one whole month of pain and terror. Two, I didn't introduce a bottle until Ali was 2 months old. Too late! I should have done that a little earlier, maybe a month earlier. Well, eventually after numerous other attempts with various tricks that I heard/read, she did take the bottle for a short while. The last mistake - I should have used the nursing pillow LESS OFTEN. Seriously, travelling with a nursing pillow is one of the most challenging things that I have done. See my post on foggy town.

Ali's favourite past time, Jolly Jumper! This is a God-send! Really, no more tantrums when mommy goes off to make dinner!

Her kai-siblings, Kira and Hayden. Now there are two places that we have to travel to more often - HK and SF. Kai mama and dada, can you guys move closer?

Ali has gone to the pool only once. Can you tell from the picture whether she liked it or not? Hopefully, she will grow up to be a good swimmer (unlike her pathetic parents).

Ali's absolute favourite time - MUSIC classes! At first, I brought her to library for babytime and she liked it a lot. The only thing that I did't like was the number of people there. It was way so crowded. Finally, I started to sign her up for actual classes when she was ~8 months. She just loved it! In hind sight, I should have brought her there a little earlier.

Ali is not a shy baby. We took her out quite often and I guess she is relatively comfortable playing with other adults. I mean what's not to like when you are the center of attention? And people would play peekaboo, hold you, play ups and downs, sing, let you play with their phones...

Mommy's first big sewing project - panda bear. Ali does spark my interest in sewing again.

Ali is a scaredy cat, cries easily. Remember playing in the water on her birthday? Seriously, other kids would just play, play and play, she would cry, cry and cry some more. Sad. A clingy little one.

Ali didn't know how to crawl until she was 11 months. She started crawling backwards first and then she figured out how to crawl forward a week before her first birthday. Now she is trying to stand.

Ali is not very active, definitely not a zoomer. She likes to sit and play with her toys. She would only move when she sees something that she is not supposed to play with (how typical!). Ali is also a super hot water bottle and does not take heat very well. In the winter when all the babies were bundled up with layers and layers of clothing, all she needed was a long sleeve top and a light jacket. Nowadays, she only wears a diaper around the house and she still has heat rash. What the heck!

Curious Ali loves to play with knobs and buttons (hello remote control and cell phones!). She loves flipping though her books and play with shakers too. Ali is also at a stage where she loves to point. She understands simple command, recognizes faces and household items quite well. Ali is not much of a talker tho. She is usually pretty quiet unless she is very excited or very tired.

Ali eats well if the food is pureed or that it is really really soft. Yes, at 12 months, she is still not taking ground meat that well yet. I guess it is a little difficult to eat with just two teeth. Her favourite food is bread and yogurt. She can use her fingers to feed herself pretty efficiently, but she is not ready for the spoon yet. Now that I don't nurse her anymore (Ali weaned me off a week before her birthday, no more diet restrictions - NICE!), she is drinking formula (~15 oz/day) and water from the sippy cup.

On her real birthday, we had yet another birthday cake (thanks Aunt Sachi!). That's her third birthday cake for her first birthday.

Hubby sometimes call Ali his "advanced pet". Grow my dear Ali, grow! Show daddy you are way better and smarted than an "advanced pet". Grow up nice and healthy, but don't grow up too fast!

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