News and Views from the Oshika Gang

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Today April 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 5:42 am

Today we went for our 17-month weigh-in. And the results are……….

Last month: 21 lbs, 5 oz. (22nd percentile for weight)
This month: 21 lbs, 13 oz. (once again, 22nd percentile for weight. At least she’s consistent!)

While she hasn’t broken the 22-lb barrier yet, she HAS gained 8 oz, or half a pound, in the last month. I honestly have no idea how that child gains any weight at all, considering many of her meals consist of only a tablespoon or so, despite our best efforts to get her to eat.
But her weight gain is consistent, and she’s well within the bell curve of normal, and she’s got an Asian parent so it’s no huge surprise that she’s thin. So, upward and onward.

Who’s that in the stroller, you ask? Why, it’s Daddy’s [clean] underwear, of course! Note that she did that the time to strap it in, for safety’s sake.
A lesson to Mommy to put the clean laundry away immediately after folding it….

An after-dinner story.
Aili finds the chicken (“bokbokbok”)………

….. and Katie the Kitty finds the pig.

One last thing from today: We went to the lovely playground at Rocky Point Park to enjoy the sun and watch the seagulls. We didn’t actually get all the way down to the water, because between the playground and the pier there was … a digger. (In a few years I am confident I will have more technical words for construction equipment, thanks to Mr. Junior.) Ms. Muffin was absolutely terrified by the digger, even though we didn’t get within a few hundred feet of it. (*insert eyeroll here*)

But as she’s been doing more and more frequently lately, she was very interested in learning the word for it. Her pronunciation is still a bit, well, sketchy, but there’s no doubt that she’s gathering new vocabulary. Other new words today: ‘dirt’, ‘purple’, ‘seagull’, and ‘green’.
And yesterday, she finally figured out how to pronounce ‘zipper’. Finally. She’s been working on that one for a while.

18-month “language explosion”, here we come!!


Evidence of Evil: A Contemplation April 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 4:43 am

Today I went to Costco. As you can imagine, in the life of a stay-at-home mom, this is not an unusual experience (especially at 11am). Where else would I get the best prices on 12 litres of milk and stain remover in bulk??
Anyway, as I was waddling through the parking lot I happened to notice a bumper sticker on someone’s Volvo:


Which got me to thinking. OK, first of all, I recognize that it’s at least sort of tongue-in-cheek, or a sort of joke. Second, I do question the taste of anyone who uses bumper stickers, and especially ones that say ‘Pirate Girl’. Third, any vehicle you choose has its own connotations in peoples’ minds, and this person was driving a boxy, safe, ‘family-friendly’ Volvo, which has got to say something.

But as a stay-at-home mommy, I’ve started to see some of the merits of the minivan. Those sliding doors are awfully convenient, plus all that space for carrying stuff like dogs, diaper bags, and double strollers. (Not to mention our inevitable future of sports bags, mountain bikes, and hordes of friends….) They have better gas mileage and technically more cargo room than a comparably-sized SUV, plus they have all sorts of cleverly well thought out features that make so much sense when you’re hauling a wee one or two around in the back seat. I know, I know, they’re big and wide and not all that sexy. I too am torn between driving something slick and something sluggish. Indeed, only a short year and a half ago, we bought our new blue car, and I titled my blog posting “NOT a Minivan“.

But actual evidence of evil? Perhaps that’s taking it a *bit* far. What is it about the minivan that is so threatening? Well, speaking from my own perspective, becoming a parent is a bit of a process. You get pregnant, and that’s all exciting and all, but you don’t really get what’s about to happen to you. And then suddenly you have a screaming red-faced blob in your house and your life turns upside down. As the months go by, routine sets in, understanding sets in, and your whole identity changes. You start to appreciate that you have to become flexible, and you start to appreciate things that make life easier. Details that used to seem irrelevant or like overkill (tinted windows in the backseat to protect little eyes from blinding sunbeams, a ‘conversation mirror’ so you can see the backseats while you’re driving, or ‘stow ‘n’ go’ seats) now make SO MUCH SENSE. Minivans are designed for families, and until you’re a parent, it’s hard to see the appeal.

Now, from the non-parent outside world, the minivan seems to represent ‘settling’ for a suburban, mundane, child-centred life: ferrying kids here and there, hauling around strollers strewn with cheerios and spit-up, and McDonalds’ Playplaces. From the outside world, it doesn’t look like a very appealing existence. It’s like giving up on some ideal, and ‘giving in’ to familyhood. But when you’re no longer on the outside looking in, and are actually living the life, you see that the minivan is actually not so bad. In fact, some parts of them are downright tempting.

So the minivan represents giving in to family life, in many ways. And apparently, that is ‘evil’.
Am I the only one who feels distressed that mommyhood and ‘giving in’ to being part of a family are so threatening to people?

Will we get a minivan? I don’t know. We’ve debated it. We agree that it is probably a better fit for our family than the Outback, at least for the next ten years or so. But I too am resisting the identity shift that is required to drive one. I’m much closer than I used to be, however…..


Morning Antics April 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 9:10 pm

Aili seems to love being in her crib. She wakes up in the morning or after her nap, and when I go in to fetch her she rolls around, hands me her friends, or wants to be tickled or read a story. She snuggles into her mattress and rolls around, happy as a clam. When I ask “Are you ready to get up yet?” she almost always says “NO!”.

This morning I went in to discover her latest amusement: stripping.

Monkey girl. This is actually a facial expression that I sometimes catch Johnny doing. (And his dad, too, for that matter.)

That is one happy kid!
This is also a good shot of the gap where we’re waiting on her two last teeth (until 3 year molars kick in). The bottom right one has actually cut through, but the left shows no sign of showing up anytime soon. Sigh…. more drool to come.
And yes, those are actually tan lines in her fat folds.

As most toddlers do, Aili has certain things that she uses for self-soothing. One of her favourites is her sleep sacs. Just offer her one of those grubby fleece things; she’ll grab it (preferably by the sleeve) and hold it up to her face with her right hand and in goes the left thumb.
(I sucked my left thumb exactly the same way until I was about 6 or 7!)


Popo’s Ponchos!

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 6:04 am

We received this cute little poncho as a baby gift from our friends Paul and Emily. It was a long time ago, and since it is size 2 I didn’t think it would fit until the fall. But when I pulled it out the other day, it was a perfect fit!

Now, I’m not normally the biggest fan of ponchos and wouldn’t necessarily pick one out for myself. But when you’re one you can get away with things that grown ups can’t (like water-spout ponytails on top of your head, expelling gas loudly in public, and eating crayons) – – and ponchos seem to fall into that category. Not only that, but they make sense, because any parent of an enthusiastic toddler will agree: getting their wild arms through those tiny arm holes can be a battle, as can keeping to keep them zipped up. (Aili has a current fascination with zippers, and loves to undo them.) A poncho, however, pops over the head and voila! they’re in before they know it. Plus, Popo’s Ponchos have snaps so you can create a bit of a sleeve if you choose, a cute front pocket, and a hood (if you can get your feisty toddler to wear a hood. I can’t.)

Popo’s Ponchos are actually the brainwave of a local mom who is a friend of Paul and Emily’s. We’re converts and encourage you to check them out! They can be bought online or at various childrens’ stores around town.


Around the House April 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 6:48 am

Every day is more fun with our little girl. With each stage she goes through, I think ‘She’s so much fun! This must be as good as it gets!’ … and then she starts to do something new, and I think ‘That last stage was nothing. THIS must be as good as it gets!’ – – and she just gets more interactive and clever and marvelous with every passing day.
She’s becoming faster at responding, more dexterous with her hands and body, more active and energetic, more adventurous, and more verbal. She mimics everything we do and tries to copy our words, even though they most often come out wrong. Most recently: ‘Leoleoleo’, ‘Peez’, ‘Tak ye’, and a new fascination with ‘Dadee dadee dadee’. Oh and don’t forget ‘NO’ and ‘Ya’, which remarkably, she actually uses correctly in application.
She’s also getting to be quite helpful in putting stuff back when asked, such as putting her shoes back in the basket or putting things in the garbage. Which is really great, because it’s getting very difficult for me to reach the floor!

Latest favourite toy – – – the toddler size stroller:

Windblown from the vent:

Spraying yourself in the face with water is hilarious:

Checking her email:

Checking out the neighbourhood. Favourite things to see out the window: garbage truck, birds, airplanes.


Double-fisting the popsicles:

Let’s get serious here: if we’re going to enjoy our popsicle, we might as well strip down and dig in. Who cares if you end up covered with sticky green goo?!?


Springtime Adventures

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 6:46 am

Who doesn’t love the first warm days of spring?

(Oh, and that’s another part of being a toddler: getting yourself dirty. I have to buy stain remover in bulk at Costco!)

Future best friends: they’re starting to ‘get it’.
Throwing the kong for Leo:

We got this silly little toddler structure recently. It’s not much of a slide, but slides are her favourite, and any one will do!

Discovering rocks:

The latest favourite toy: the tricycle. This one is for little toddlers who can’t figure out how to pedal: it has a foot rest for her, and a handle for me!

She LOOOOOVES her tricycle, and we actually risk temper tantrums when it’s time to go inside.

Oh, yes, and of course she likes to be just like Mommy and push it along too. She has terrible steering.

“C’mon Leoleoleo!”

“Hey, C’MON! Let’s GO!”

And off they went….


Some Pretty Pictures

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 6:40 am

Recently someone came to our house to take some lovely pics of us. She wanted to practice taking pictures of pregnant ladies, and Lord knows I’m plenty pregnant.
Here are some of our favourites:

Mr. Handsome:

“There’s a baby in there!”


Proud mama:

Proud papa:

And a happy family: