News and Views from the Oshika Gang

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‘Growing Oshika Gang’, Indeed November 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 1:14 am

Well, it’s been a rough time lately. About two months ago Johnny and I learned that we are once again expecting. While it was a planned pregnancy, I’ve been struggling with morning sickness and haven’t been feeling very excited or emotionally invested this time around. This past weekend, however, we had a bit of a miscarriage scare involving unexpected quantities of blood, and all of a sudden I realized I cared very much about this new and tiny member of our family. After blood tests and an ultrasound today, we have been reassured that Junior seems safe and sound, and everything appears perfectly normal. Two arms, two legs, all the expected organs, lots of action, and a strong beating heartrate of 170. We can now breathe a sigh of relief, and look forward to the exciting changes to our family.

This pregnancy has been somewhat different than the last. Still with the nausea and resulting misery, but last time I was able to take sick leave so I could moan, puke, and pity myself in peace. But in the past year I’ve learned that there is no sick leave or vacation time for mommies, so with help from my dear mother-in-law Ayako we’ve managed to keep Aili happy and entertained. While I do feel like the overwhelming nausea is beginning to ease, by this time in the last pregnancy I had noticed a substantial improvement and was feeling more like myself. Hopefully the next week or two will bring a similar relief.

Other changes I’ve noticed have been in my food cravings and aversions. Last time I couldn’t get enough chicken fingers or caesar salad. This time they leave me cold, although I do long for salty and crunchy, and have been known to raid the pickle jar or even snack from croutons right out of the box. Once again I feel repulsed by fish and spinach, and can’t drink enough milk, but neither those aversions or desires are quite as strong as last time. When I was pregnant with Aili I had to avoid entire rows of the grocery store for fear that I’d throw up right in the aisle, but I haven’t had such a strong reaction that time.

So that’s our news. I hope it explains a bit why I’ve been distant and uncommunicative with my friends, delinquent in blogging, and appear kind of green in person.

The next O will join us in early to mid June 2009!
(And before you ask, it’s too soon to tell gender. We’ll have to wait till January for that.)


Welcome Charlie Devine! November 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 7:48 pm

On November 17th my dearest friend Alexa brought her own miracle to her family.
Charlie Alexander Devine was born at 1.37 am after a long and trying labour at home. He was 9lbs, 4oz! It’s one thing when you have your own baby and try to figure out a new identity, but somehow it feels even more profound when one of your closest friends becomes a parent.

Last night we went to meet Mr. Charlie, and he is sweet and tiny and one of the best looking newborns I’ve seen!

A tired but absolutely head-over-heels-in-love mama:

Proud papa:

Congratulations Alexa and Sean!


Happy Birthday, My One-Year-Old!

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 6:47 am

It seems like the year between November 18 2007 and November 18 2008 has been the fastest of my life. But when I look back at the first pictures of our girl when she was slimey and furry and all mashed up from life inside, it seems like a thousand years ago. Yet another paradox of parenthood, I suppose. The first year is the one where you see the greatest change, as you can see in the slideshow in my previous posting. Aili has changed so much since the first days of her life. And so have I, although it’s far more difficult to articulate how.

So here are a few tidbits from the recent days:
Aili is not quite ready to walk, but she does love to push a walker or ‘cruise’ along furniture. Sometimes she’ll let go of her handhold and stand unsupported for a few seconds, but I don’t know if she’s consciously aware that she can do it. Perhaps another couple of months till we have a walker on our hands. This is totally in keeping with her being straight down the middle in terms of physical development – the average age for first walking is 14 months.

At our weigh-in I learned that Aili has still not broken the 20-lb barrier! She actually weighs less than she did last month, now 19 lbs 12 oz. She has now dropped from the 54th to the 42nd to the 31st percentile for weight. That being said, (1) she has an Asian parent and may end up being a thin person, (2) she was sick last week, and (3) she has proven to be a difficult eater. Her ‘tolerated foods’ are very limited, and she often rejects things before even trying them. I recently spoke with a dietician, who recommended that she shares our meals, and if she doesn’t eat them, she can wait till the next one – also known as the starvation technique. There may be some loud nights ahead, but I have my earplugs and am prepared.

In terms of communication, Aili is a chatterbox. She is talking all the time, and although unfortunately it makes no sense to me, she seems to think she’s a key player in dinnertime conversation, so we include her commentary. She does say ‘uh oh’ and ‘haaaaaai’. But it’s the signing that has exploded recently. It turns out that babies can understand language far sooner than they can verbally reproduce it, but they can both understand and mimic sign language. Parents have started using baby signing to ease communication barriers before their kids can talk, and I can now verify that it’s a wonderful tool! Kids who learn signing apparently have more complex language and vocabularies into early elementary school and some even think it raises their IQ. I’ve heard that some people believe that it slows verbal language learning, but that doesn’t make sense to me. That’s like saying that babies learning to crawl slows their natural instinct to walk! Plus all the kids that I know who learned how to sign seem more advanced verbally than their peers. I don’t know about all the evidence behind the pros and cons, but I’m so glad that I’ve made the effort to include signs in our life. Aili can tell me when she’s hungry, when she wants more food, when she’s ‘all done’, when she wants a nap (music to my ears!), and can identify a number of nouns and verbs including dog, cat, milk, water, flower, fish, bear, duck, and bird. It seems that her rate of acquisition is increasing and she now has to be exposed to a new sign only a day or so before it becomes part of her vocabulary. I feel that she’s both excited to learn but also possesses a natural human hunger for language, and feels satisfied by her achievements. There is no question that she loves to learn and use her signs!

She’s definitely got her favourite toys, and is now into kissing. She will kiss Daddy or Mommy or Katie or Leo or YellowDog if we encourage her to, but she also kisses for no reason at all. She is starting to dance (with the loosest interterpretation of the word) to music, and seems to enjoy climbing into my lap for a quick cuddle. She also has found a love of books (yay! she IS her Mommy’s girl!) and will flip through the pages unprompted.

All in all, Aili is a sweet and relaxed little girl who is easy to care for and easy to love. Some people have told me that she’s looking more and more like Johnny, but I think her energy and temperament are more like mine (except that she’s laidback like Johnny).
I wonder what the next year will bring?


From Blob to Beauty… A Slideshow November 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 7:04 pm

To commemorate Aili’s first year, Johnny compiled this lovely video of pictures from her first days to her birthday. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!


Birthday Party!

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 6:57 pm

On Sunday we hosted a little shindig. We felt a bit weird about having a birthday party for a one-year-old, so we decided to have an ‘open house’ style event so people could drop by according to their social or nap schedules. Ultimately, it was a chance to spend time with the new friends we’ve made in the past year, or the old friends that we’ve sort of, well, neglected. The turnout was great, and we were so happy to see so many of the important people in our lives.
Thank you to everyone who dropped by to make the day special!

Mommy had to help with blowing out the candle.

It took Aili a few tries to figure out that the cake was edible. Someone had to feed it to her with a spoon at first, but she very quickly bypassed the spoon for the more expedient hand-to-mouth technique! As you can see, there was icing everywhere, including her eyelashes.

She also had a LOT of fun with the ribbons from some balloons that someone brought over. Curling ribbon is always interesting, but tastes even better when coated with buttercream icing!

Party girl!

Johnny also made the loveliest slideshow of pictures from her first year. Here they are in the calm of the evening, after everyone had gone home, watching it together.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. We feel so lucky to know so many exceptional people.


Future Internet Addict?

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 6:51 pm

Well, I guess she comes by it naturally, what with having Johnny and I as parents….
I suppose the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


Future Internet Addict?

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 6:51 pm

Well, I guess she comes by it naturally, what with having Johnny and I as parents….
I suppose the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I don’t think those tiny hands can reach the ‘home position’!

Not only is it fun to push buttons and scroll on the mouse, but something interesting also happens on the screen!