News and Views from the Oshika Gang

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The Best Christmas Present Ever December 28, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 7:50 pm

Our Christmas was very quiet around here, but lovely just the same. This is the first year we’ve hosted, the first year the Freedman and Oshika families have been together for the event, and the first time that we aren’t the youngest generation.

The big dinner was nice – Safeway cooks a remarkably good turkey – – and of course we had some sushi too, for some Japanese flavour. There was some gift-giving, but this year it was quiet and substantially reduced from previous Christmases. And you know what? I didn’t miss it a bit.

As promised in earlier posts, I owe you some pictures of the best Christmas present we got. So without further ado:

THE SMILE


She’s also becoming so much more interactive, looking around, meeting your eyes, putting things into her mouth, and tracking people as they move. It’s astonishing how much change can happen in such a short time.


Aili’s all-milk diet sure is working. We agree that she is fatter every day. In fact, there have been references to Jabba the Hutt recently! She is getting very chubby cheeks, and I must confess that she has a double chin – – even when she’s looking up!
As you can see, though, being a chub doesn’t bother her one bit:





You can’t really see the Christmas bib, but I promise it was very festive. And YES, I know it totally clashes with her pink outfit.


See? It’s genetic. I smile big when I get new books too. Must be a Freedman thing.


She may have to grow up just a little….


My dad has such a way with Aili. She loved cuddling with him, and cooing to him. He danced around the house and sang songs to her, which was totally heartwarming. It may be 30 years since he had to calm teeny babies, but he hasn’t lost the touch.



Dad caught a plan back to Phoenix early this morning. Now we have only a couple more days with J, and then the New Year will bring a new lifestyle and routine for me… I’m going to miss them both a lot.

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Merry Christmas at the O’s December 25, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 9:30 pm

Well, it’s the big day – Aili’s first Christmas! – and as an added bonus it’s actually snowing outside. How festive! Johnny’s mom will be coming by later this afternoon for the big dinner (Thank you, Safeway) and we’re looking forward to our first ever Christmas all together as a family.

In the past few days our guests have spent a lot of time hugging and cuddling Aili, and it’s been great to see them bond with her. It’s also great when J holds and feeds her, because then I can get some things done around the house!

The other big news is that Aili has begun smiling in the past three days or so. Now, a lot of people chalk this up to gas, and I’m the first to admit that the kid has a whole lotta gas. I have been pretty careful not to get too excited about the cute little gas-induced smiles that we’ve seen in the past weeks. But in the past few days, the smiles we’ve seen have been: (1) observed at a time when she does not appear to be suffering from gas pains; (2) in response to a direct stimulus (ie. being bounced, playing with her arms, or J cooing to her); and (3) repeatable when we apply the same stimulus. So even you scientist-types out there must concede that these are REAL smiles, not the gas-induced ones (which are still pretty darn cute).

And although I assure you that this is true, I still have no pictures to show of it. Soon, I promise. Soon.

In the meantime, let us all wish you a very Merry Christmas and every happiness as you gather with your families today. Recently we’ve been reminded that the tree is nice and the presents are nice and even the falling snow is nice, but the most important thing of all is being together with your family on this special day.

Auntie J is a natural. We are excited for someday when Aili has cousins! (We have been assured this is some time far, far in the future.)


Note the suspicious look: “Are you trying to poison me, lady?”


I love cuddling with Auntie J!


Grandpa Joe hasn’t lost the magic touch!


Babies make naptime look SOOOO delicious.


A few cuddles with Daddy before the bath:




Bathtime!


Naked time!



Tummy time!



Snack time! (And so the cycle goes on….)


It’s amazing that Aili was waaay too small for this housecoat just a couple weeks ago.


Soft as a baby’s…

 

Hi Grandpa! December 21, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 9:06 pm

My dad flew in from Phoenix late last night, and was further delayed by confusion and general Christmas chaos at the airport. (I must say, YVR International isn’t impressing anyone these days… but I digress.) We got home from picking him up quite late, so everyone dispersed to bed right away, and Aili had to wait to the morning to finally meet her Grandpa.

Three generations, Freedman-style.




She can’t take her eyes off Cool Aunt J.


One happy muffin. One happy auntie.


The first cuddle. It’s hard to see my dad as a Grandpa!




Uncle Vince dropped by for a quick visit last night. Vince was the MC at our wedding. It seems like so long ago!


True love. Meant to be.

 

Meeting at Last December 20, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 10:34 pm

Cool Aunt J flew in from Edmonton this morning, and Aili got to meet her for the first time. They’d both been looking forward to it for over a month!

First we had our first ever restaurant experience (thank you to the nice ladies at IHOP who were so nice to us!). Aili was great, and we had no issues with volume or nasty blow-ups. (Although there may have been a small amount of puke on the table, but nothing we couldn’t handle with a few napkins…..)

The best part of the day – so far – was the first hug. I think J’s maternal instinct has now been activated.

The first hug:





It’s what she does. She sleeps on her favourite relatives.



The past weeks have been, in our world, all about the baby. We’ve made superficial attempts to make the place seem a bit more like Christmas, but really, it’s all about Aili.
Now that J is here – and my dad is due to arrive this evening – it’s starting to feel like our family is together again, and Christmas wishes are being answered.

Now it’s naptime for one and all.

 

1 Month Already! December 18, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 11:24 pm

Can you believe it’s been a full month since Aili joined us? I don’t know where the time has gone; it seems like just days ago I was in the maternity ward and completely dependent on those handy frozen pantyliners. (Those of you who have delivered babies know EXACTLY what I’m talking about!)

We’re starting to develop a rhythm here. I feel like I’m starting to know her, and she’s starting to understand and have trust in us. In the night, I wake up just before she does, even at 3am. She barely cries, and when she does, we know what’s wrong and how to solve it. Instead of being caretakers, we are becoming parents.

I still marvel that my body created this tiny perfect person, with zero conscious effort on my part. Just a few months ago she was a tadpole, but when she was only a few hours old and in Johnny’s arms in the delivery room she executed a perfect sneeze. How does that happen? How did she know how to do that? And how did my body know how to make her?

How to melt a mommy’s heart:



Thank you to Shelley and Ryan for their annual Christmas party! I am always so glad to have a reason to get out of the house!


Auntie Lil is clearly a natural:


And so is Uncle Scott!


Check out the escaping fingers:


And don’t forget those eyelashes!


Here’s our new pink ‘bunting bag’ so we can go for walks in the stroller and still be warm. Thank you to Auntie Madeline and Auntie Angelina for this great gift!


All this talk about the kid. Let’s remember the OTHER kids. Who’s handsome?

 

Bad Mommy December 16, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 6:31 pm

I know, I know, I have been inexcusably negligent in updating this blog. Don’t worry, I have lots of pictures to make up for it!

Things are getting better around here, in large part due to the fact that we’ve given up on the whole crib thing the last few days. Baby is in bed with us, and we all sleep better as a result. When she was sleeping in the crib she’d get up 2 or 3 times a night, up for an hour and a half or so each time. She would often wake up when I was trying to put her into her crib asleep, and then I’d have to start all over again. THAT was frustrating. And exhausting.
But when she’s in bed with us, she sleeps for large blocks of time, wakes up to eat just once in the night, and is back asleep quickly and quietly. Who knows what the battles will be like in the future, but for now, Johnny says that my mental health is more important.

It’s been a tough ride. The pressure of providing 24-7 nurturing can’t be explained to you until you’re in it, and by then it’s too late. I never really appreciated how challenging the first weeks would be, but have been so glad to have lots of support. My clever friend Natalie recently told me that the first six weeks totally suck and that everyone goes through it, and it’s nice to know that others have the same experience.

Also thanks to Natalie, we went to our first Mommy and Me group the other day, which was really nice. It’s good to get out of the house and talk to other moms.

Recommendation for people considering having children: Do it because you really really want it. Don’t do it on a whim, and don’t do it because you think it’s going to be fun all the time. It’s not. It IS rewarding (and I’ve been assured it will get even better) …. but you would NOT want to walk into this experience lightly.

So, back to the events of the past week.
First and most importantly, ’tis the season and Aili is now acquainted with Santa Claus! Never mind that he was in his 20s and was from South America.

As you can see, this was a profound moment that affected her deeply:




Family photo:


Daddy’s favourite onesie – – thank you Auntie Kerri!


In fact, Auntie Kerri and Uncle Charles came to visit. Aili was immediately in love with both of them, and behaved herself beautifully.




Another big moment: the first ever bottle. SUCCESS!


Exhausted from all the excitement, they both crashed on the sofa.


She looks like an angel when she sleeps – to me at least. Excuse the dark photo; I didn’t want to use the flash and wake her.


More fun in the bouncy chair!


Hmmmm… let me think about that.



Weird face. Bad hair.


A military future? Check out that salute.


Fun times on the sheepskin:






Aili loves her Daddy.

 

Baby Activities December 8, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 11:43 pm

Well, there’s not a lot that happens in the life of a baby.

Let’s see:
– eat
– sleep
– poop
– spit up, preferably with a parent as a target
– try to expel gas
– stare at the ceiling
– stare at the lamp
– stare at the window
– suck on your hand
– puke through your nose

We’ve added a couple new activities to the repertoire:
– bouncy chair
– tummy time

Aili loved her bouncy chair! We hadn’t gotten around to putting a battery in it (it has a vibrate feature), but once we did…. she was like a puddle of happy baby. It looked like all her bones had been melted away, and she was all floppy with delirium.





You know, it must really suck not to have neck muscles:




Head up – success at last!


Yes, I look like Obi Wan Kenobi.



As for our little hemorrhage scare the other night, I seem to be ok. We had an ultrasound earlier today and apparently there is some leftover ’tissue’ in my uterus. It *should* come out on its own, but if it doesn’t, sometime down the line we may have to force the issue with a D&C. In the meantime, I will work on healing.