News and Views from the Oshika Gang

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A Hot, Hot Weekend June 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 10:21 pm

Another lovely weekend, but this time with some HEAT! Just as I like it. I really was meant to live on some tropical paradise somewhere, I’m sure of it.
When the days are like this we keep the doors and blinds closed to keep the heat out, and it stays pleasantly cool indoors. In fact, Johnny and I still sleep with a light duvet at night, as ours is probably the coolest room in the house.
Despite the heat, we’ve been keeping busy as always.

We went to visit our friends Amy and Kennedy:

We made a mess by pulling all the the toys out of the basket:

We did some naked time due to yet another painful diaper rash:

If you click on the picture to expand it you can have a better view of the omnipresent rivulet of drool on her chin:

(Yes, the baby IS on the stove. And yes, we ARE monitoring. The knobs are pretty hard to turn, and it’s not as bad as it looks.)

And we went to a birthday party!
Victoria turned 2, in what seems like the blink of an eye:

My muffin and me.

Auntie Susie was there too:

And Little Ms. Party Dress also discovered the wonder of presents. Not because she cares about presents, but more for the delightfully crinkly wrapping paper. What fun!

Hope you’re surviving the heat wave!


The Bucket List June 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 5:20 pm

Johnny and I watched ‘The Bucket List’ last night. It’s a good movie, and it will make you cry (except for Johnny whose heart appears to be harder than the driveway) – but I cannot imagine any person watching it without reflecting on their own ‘bucket list’. In case you haven’t seen the film, your ‘bucket list’ is the things you want to do before you kick the bucket. They didn’t spell out the rules, but I would think that it should be things that aren’t crazy out-of-touch-with-reality ideas, but rather things that are realistically achievable within your lifetime, and that you’d regret not having done when you find yourself on your deathbed.

So of course, I got to thinking about my own bucket list. And I’m quite sad and concerned that I don’t really have much to put on there. Most of the goals that I had for my life have been achieved: I have a university degree; I’ve travelled extensively; I found and married an exceptional man; I’ve conceived and given birth to a gorgeous child; I have faced death and loved deeply and lost; I am a dedicated friend; I have and continue to give back to my community; I have even been skydiving. I feel like I’ve satisfied my curiosity about the world and many cultures, and am now satisfying my desire for family and roots.
I suppose some people would say that it’s great that I’ve completed my bucket list by the ripe old age of 32, but I’m actually quite concerned. Perhaps my friend is right; perhaps I need more in my life. I need more goals and ambition; otherwise, why keep on living? I think some serious reflection is required.

What’s on your bucket list?

Oh, yeah, and in other news: the kid sprouted another tooth this morning. Top right fang. The top left looks like it’ll be tomorrow. The centre two top ones look like they’re at least a couple weeks behind.


Bad, Bad Blogger. June 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 5:03 pm

I know, I have been extremely remiss in neglecting my blog for so long. It’s not for lack of wanting to blog; I have just simply had nothing to say. I know, I know, you’re wondering if pigs are flying around outside, but it’s true: I am strangely devoid of commentary. Now that everyone’s feeling better and the weather is finally starting to behave itself, everyone is in good spirits, however.

A few updates: the pediatrician has confirmed that Aili’s hips are totally fine, according to the xrays. One is further along in development than the other, which has resulted in the minute asymmetry in her butt cheeks. (Which are still blue and in my opinion, delightfully and imperfectly perfect.) We’re starting to work on introducing lactose by way of verrrry slow inclusion of lactose-based formula. That brutal diaper rash disappeared as quickly as it showed up. Finally, two of the four incoming top teeth (the outer ones, strangely) are visible through the gums but haven’t broken through yet.

The weekend was nice. We had a nice dinner with Johnny’s folks to celebrate his recent birthday:

We went to our new friends Nancy and Mike’s place, where Aili got to watch Tallan show off his stuff in his own jumperoo:

We had our first summer dinner outside on the patio in the sunshine:

Ferocious jungle panther:

Wild tiger on the rolling plains of Grover Ave:

I don’t know which of them was more hopeful that she’d be able to pick up that ball:
(She wasn’t able to.)

A 2-way love affair: Aili with Leo, and Leo with the ball.

Aili loves feeding herself. Unfortunately, she completely sucks at it. She is very good at moving her hand from the tray to her mouth or from my hand to her mouth very accurately. She’s still a bit weak on the grabbing and letting go parts, which are somewhat essential for self-feeding. For example, she loves grapes. (Don’t worry, they’re peeled and cut into eighths.) But they are waaaay too small for her to grab and put into her own mouth, but now that she’s a finger-foods-kinda gal she often doesn’t want me to feed them to her. She wants to do it HERSELF. So I try to balance the tiny grape bit on the side of her hand so when she tries to put it into her mouth, the grape sort of falls in by accident. We have about a 40% success rate. This is a new stubbornness and independence we have never seen before. (I blame my Freedman genes for this new personality trait.)
Another side effect of this is the power struggle over the spoon. Often we have two spoons in play during mealtime: one for transferring food and the other for her to hold, suck on, and slobber all over. Despite the two-spoon system, we often produce quite a mess (see pic below). This morning we had a little tussle over who got to hold the spoon, resulting in a slingshot of oatmeal and prunes that covered her face, my face, my glasses, my housecoat, and extended halfway across the kitchen. She thought that was absolutely hilarious. (And it was.) We had a good chuckle about that. But I still get to be in charge of the spoon.

Show me those choppers!

Snack time with Obaachan.

My sweet husband is now 32. Happy Birthday, my love!

Trying to get a game going with the cat. This will never happen. It’s behaviour like this that makes us describe him as a ‘perpetual optimist’.

Mr. Optimist with his collection of toys. Oh so handsome.


The Joy of Giving June 22, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 4:22 am

I’m feeling a bit grumpy about being generous.
You see, I have a bunch of baby stuff that I’d like to get rid of. Most of it is stuff that was given to us by people we know (who don’t read this blog) who are done having kids and were excited to offload their things onto us. This was right when we got pregnant, so we didn’t know any better. Since that time, however, we’ve ended up duplicating a number of the items, so we’d like to see them move on to someone else’s home. They’re clean and in good working condition, and I hate to see them hit a landfill.
So I called a women’s shelter to see if they’d like to have some baby stuff. They never responded.
Then I found a lady on craigslist looking for donations. She worked at a not-for-profit organizations for teen mothers and would love to have the stuff, she said. I offered to drop it off at her home office or at the not-for-profit office… and never heard from her again.
And then there was someone else, also on craigslist, whose sister had been in some sort of abusive relationship, found herself pregnant and jobless and desperate. ‘Ok,’ I say, ‘Come on over.’ She bailed at the last minute.
And yet another sorry case of unexpected pregnancy, desperate and needing a few things. I give her my address and phone number, we make plans to meet… and she never shows. TWICE.
What am I to make of all this? I’m just trying to do a good thing here, and am feeling less charitable by the minute.
So if you need someone who wants some baby stuff – – or you want some yourself – – let me know! All I want is someone who wants it, needs it, will show up (preferably on time), and say thank you. Is that so much to ask?

In better news, Johnny is feeling better. Yesterday was quite the sight; he quite literally slept the day away and didn’t eat at all. I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too: ‘Johnny not eat? Something must really be wrong.’ I have never, in all the time I’ve known him, seen him in such a state. I think it was also the first sick day he’s taken – or possibly the second. It’s good to see him back on his feet.
Lucky for him that he’s feeling better, too, because Ayako and Shu came by tonight with a birthday meal to knock your socks off! Mine was a couple weeks back and Johnny’s is on Tuesday, so we wrapped it all into one. Thanks to the in-laws for a great night!

Very beaky with lovely lashes:

Look who’s standing!


At the dog park. Look who’s an acrobat!

Check out them choppers:

Happy muffin!


Finger Food June 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 7:02 pm

Yesterday we tried ‘finger foods’ for the first time. Aili is getting pretty slick at taking food from a spoon, or if I put a small piece of something into her mouth she can chew and swallow it. She’s also pretty good at her pincer grasp, so I figured we’d give it a whirl.
She caught on to the concept right away, and was fully engrossed. The problem is, she can’t figure out how to let go once she transports the tidbit to her mouth. So she’d bring the toast to her mouth, drool all over it, and somehow wad it into her palm, and then go grab another one. She ended up with a giant gummy wad of bread dough in each fist. Our ‘finger food’ thereby became ‘fist food’ and wasn’t ultimately all that successful. Don’t worry, we will perservere!

You’ve heard of a milk mustache – – well this, my friend, is a mango mustache:

Loves loves loves the cats. The feeling is not reciprocated.
But more interestingly: who is STANDING??!!?

The cat left. But here’s a full-body standing shot. She looks like she was a weirdly large head.

In other news, my tough, determined, health-nut husband is sick. And not just a sniffle, either. No one is really surprised that he’s caught what I had earlier this week – fever and general malaise that makes you want to curl up under a shrub and never come out. In all the time I’ve known him he’s never taken a sick day, but here he is, sprawled out all feverish and housecoat-clad on the floor of the loft. He even took a Tylenol that I offered him, that’s how bad it is. Poor Daddy.


Seven Month Stats June 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 3:54 pm

I am amazed at how quickly the months pass by, but I’m even more amazed at the rate of development of a new human being. Seven months isn’t really that long a time, but she has gone from a shrieking blob to a real tiny person, with moods and preferences and personality and even – – and it would take a mommy to see it – – her own little sense of humour.
The world used to happen around her. Then she began to observe it without emotion; now she is fully interactive, and cannot gather new information and new experiences quickly enough. She’s anxious with strangers or when I leave the room, she loves stuffed toys that make noises, adores the dog and cats, and laughs out loud when tickled.

So here’s a little rundown of where we stand today.

Age: 7 months
Approx. Weight: 16lbs, 10oz (* I believe she’s lost about a pound recently due to being sick.)
Percentile for Weight: 44th
Approx. Height: 27.5″
Percentile for Height: 92nd

Number of teeth: 2 (bottom)
Number of teeth coming in but not yet visible: 4 (top)
Favourite food: Pears
Least favourite food: Cucumber
Favourite toy: Yellow Dog

Number of naps per day: 2-3
Length of nighttime sleep: 14 hours (includes a ‘dream feed’ at 11.30)
Bedtime: 6.30

Current clothing size: 9-12 months
Current shoe size: 0-6 months/Size 1
Current diaper size: 3 (4 at night)
Diapers: Seventh Generation

Current formula: Enfamil Lactose Free
Bottles: Born Free
Volume consumed: approx 5oz per feeding plus solids
Solids: Gerber, Heinz, or President’s Choice Baby Foods- all organic, levels 1 and 2

Rolling: Mastered, both directions, front and back
Sitting: Able to do it, but doesn’t seem to enjoy it. Can’t yet push up to sitting.
Crawling: Not yet, but desperate to find some way to propel herself forward.
Standing: Loves it, requires support from me or a piece of furniture. Can’t pull up to standing.
Walking: Not even close
Swimming: Loves it
Babbling: Not yet (a bit late, in fact)
Pincer grasp: Getting quite proficient

Current best friend: Mommy
Current idol: Leo
Biggest Fan: Daddy
Cannot get enough of: Interacting with other babies
Not at all interested in: Getting her fingernails cut
Loves: Naked time
Hates: Skin lotion being applied

Hands: Small
Feet: Small
Eyelashes: Long
Eyebrows: Enormous
Hair: Long, finally getting thicker and growing in on bald spot
Bum: Still blue
Arms: Still segmented
Legs: Stunningly fat

Summary: Aili is right on track, completely normal, growing quickly, healthy, happy, and oh so very loved.


Mommies Can’t Call In Sick June 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 4:19 pm

My Muffin and I are sick. Poor us.
She’s got some sort of nasty flu thing, and I’ve got a cold. I just know it’s a matter of time before we infect each other. My sweet and easygoing darling just lies there and moans – much the way I do when I’m feeling all sorry for myself – and there are none of the delightful smiles I’m used to. She even ignored Leo this morning when he walked by.
We went to the pediatric walk-in clinic last night because I was concerned she was getting dehydrated, and the doctor said to just keep pumping pedialyte into her, one teaspoon at a time. The challenge with that is to get even one teaspoon into her. She wants NOTHING to do with it. But she’s either terribly hungry or thirsty, and cries for the bottle, but then whatever she drinks comes right back up.
I’m feeling pretty lousy myself (fever and congested all night), but with this job, you don’t get sick days.

This is what I get to look at – and listen to – today:

She’s already lost a bunch of weight. You can see how her waist is shrunken. I’m still trying to do naked time to address that brutal diaper rash. That is risky business, because there are all sorts of ways she is making messes these days.

Those eyes make me feel so helpless. She wants me to do something and make her feel better, but there’s nothing I can do.

Damn Facebook. Status updates are always running through my mind:
Angie feels sorry for her baby.
Angie feels sorry for herself.
Angie wishes she could sleep.
Angie wishes the crying would stop.
Angie is worried about the Muffin.
Angie is stumped about what to make for dinner.
Angie wants to take a nap.
Angie can’t breathe properly.
Angie wants to go hide in bed and not get up until she feels better.
Angie and Aili are in a pissy mood.
Angie is tired of dog hair.
Angie has had better days.