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Sleep, Baby, Sleep July 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 3:49 am

In honour of his one-month birthday, we decided to sleep train Tomi.

Sleep training, as I’ve explained before, is in two parts: first, teaching the baby to sleep in their own room, and to be able to soothe himself to sleep. The second part is spacing and reducing the night feeds until they are going all the way through the night without needing to nurse. I’ve been asked if he’s too young to do sleep training, but our sleep consultant Dawnn says that it’s partly based on weight and weight gain (something we clearly don’t have a problem with) and that earlier is actually better. It makes sense to me that the younger they are, the fewer habits they’ve formed and grown attached to that you have to break.
So far we’ve been working on the self-soothing and crib-sleeping part, and it’s been going marvellously well – although Tomi may not agree. He probably thinks this is a serious life demotion, being forced to suck on his hand instead of a nipple, sleep on his back, and not occupy 71% of his parents’ bed. I have little sympathy. So little, in fact, that I do a little mental dance every time I walk past his closed bedroom door and hear that blessed silence. Not only do Johnny and I have our bed back, but I’m getting more (better quality) sleep, and am in much better spirits. Hurrah!

Because we’re also doing the sleep training at naptime, I’m trying to stick around home this week so Tomi can practice sleeping in his crib. So today was an all-jammie day. We folded laundry, gave the baby a bath, and played upstairs in the loft. (This is something I haven’t been able to do in months, and it was deliciously fun to cuddle, chase, tickle, and roll around with Aili on the floor. SO glad to not be pregnant anymore!)

Without further ado, here are a bunch of pics, as promised!

Right now we are experiencing a serious button fetish. Remote controls, the microwave, the dishwasher, computers, and … keyboards. This is an extra that Johnny gave her to do some keyboarding practice.

Tummy time for Tomi. (Say that ten times fast!)
It must really suck to not be able to lift your own head. Weirdly, Tomi can roll over from front to back; he did it for the first time when he was two weeks old. Usually this milestone is expected to happen around 2-3 months. I suspect it has something to do with his fatness resulting in a cylindrical body shape, so he just rolls around like a tube. Laugh if you will, but although that sleeper is a bit long in the legs, it fits just fine around the middle. It’s a size 6-month sleeper.

“This indignity might be all worth it if I can find a nipple on this playmat…”

Little Ms. Helpful trying to show him how to hold a toy.

Just after rolling over.

“Hm. I think I might be hungry again. It’s been 17 minutes since I last ate, after all. Maybe I’ll have a snack. Now if I can just find a nipple around here somewhere….”

“Hey, there’s a bug hanging from the sky! Maybe IT has nipples.”

“Crap. Bugs aren’t mammals.”

“Doesn’t ANYTHING around here have a nipple???”

“Poor me. I have to sleep in a crib AND they’re starving me?”

“Maybe someone will take pity on me if I look really sad and pathetic….”

“… or if I give the photographer the evil eye…”

“Look deep into my eyes and unbutton your shirt…”

“Sigh. Woe is me. I’m pretty sure I’m wasting away.”

(Asian eyes.)

Meanwhile, keyboarding practice continues. On her throne.

So THIS is why none of the clocks in the house are on time!

Back to the drama on the playmat: “Please please please nice food lady? Please can I have just a little snack?”

“Hey, maybe my arm has a nipple on it.”

“Sigh, stuck with sucking on my hand again. This is a cruel cruel world.”

“You’re telling me, brother.”


One Month. (Already?) July 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 5:47 am

I thought I was an experienced enough parent that I couldn’t be so taken by surprise by how fast the time goes. But our Tomi is already a MONTH old! (Actually, he was one month old yesterday, but c’mon, give a Mommy a bit of wiggle room here.)

I can’t believe how quickly this month has passed; probably mostly because I’ve spent the majority of it in some sort of a fatigue-induced fugue state. Tomi is a fairly easy baby. Johnny rolls his eyes when I say this, but it’s true. He’s quite easy to figure out, and he doesn’t cry for long bouts for no reason like Aili did. (We figured out after the fact that she was probably a colicky baby, but we didn’t put two and two together at the time…) Tomi is almost always settled by nursing or by … well, let’s say he has some challenges with ‘wind’. Hopefully he figures out how to work the sphincters in his lower digestive tract sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, while he is almost always settled by these things, he almost always wants to DO them too, which leads to one tired mommy sleeping sitting up while holding one fat gassy baby. (At one month, our little sumo is tipping the scales at around 12lbs, 10oz. Which is what Aili weighed at THREE months!)

In the past few days I’ve started to understand some things about our Chubs. All that nursing is not entirely because he’s hungry, it’s partly because all that sucking puts him to sleep. When he can’t nurse, he gets fussy because he’s tired and because he can’t figure out how to sleep without it! Also, because I’m busy with Aili in the mornings, he doesn’t get to nurse as much, so he’s restless, a bit squawky, and barely sleeps. Finally in the afternoons, once Aili is down for her nap, I can focus on him (read: give him uninterrupted access to his ‘sleep aids’) and he can finally sleep for several hours.

Soooo…. sleep training has begun. We are working again with our sleep consultant, Dawnn. Snicker if you will, but we agree that working with her has been fantastic and worth every penny. I probably would have been committed to an institution without her last time round (ask Johnny, he’ll verify). And for more than a year Aili has been an enviably fantastic sleeper, but more importantly, she has the foundation of a healthy relationship wtih sleep that will be with her for the rest of her life. There are two parts to the sleep training: first, teaching baby how to get to sleep on their own (‘self-soothe’); and then to space out, reduce, and eliminate feeds to teach them to sleep through the night or for naps.
So yesterday Johnny took Aili to sleep at his mom’s place, and Mr. Tubs and I spent the night introducing him to his crib. He was NOT a fan, but fortunately he can do nothing more than complain, and I have earplugs and know how to use ’em. Johnny and I agree that we think he’ll be easier (and less stubborn) than his big sister, and that the training will go even more smoothly this time. So far, it’s all going very well, and I am typing this in the quiet and blessed silence of two small children sleeping peacefully in their own cribs.

And with that, I’m off. I am very much looking forward to sleeping in my bed without sharing it with a loudly snoring baby. I regret that this is yet another posting without pics. I promise to get on them soon.
Just think of a sumo wrestler, and you’ve got the jist.


My Movie Moment July 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 5:13 pm

Yesterday Aili hung out for a couple hours at her Baba’s (Grandma’s) house. After running a few errands, I went to pick her up. She didn’t recognize the gold van, and it took her a minute to figure out who I was too. But when she did, a gigantic smile came over her face, and she started calling “Mommy! Mommy!”.

She put out her arms and ran down the walkway from the front door towards the sidewalk. I was at the end of the walkway, so I knelt down and put my arms out, and she ran right into them, with a huge smile and saying “Mommy! Mommy!” the whole time. I wrapped her up in a huge hug, and she gave me a big kiss on my neck.
It practically happened in slow motion, and could have been taken right out of a slow-motion scene in a cheesy Hollywood movie.

It was one of the best moments of my life.


Growing Too Fast

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 5:11 pm

This weekend Aili transitioned from calling me “Mama” to calling me “Mommy”. I don’t know how it happened, or what prompted the change. She just did it on her own.

‘Mama’ is such a baby word, and ‘Mommy’ seems like such a kid word. She is growing up so fast! It makes me both excited to hear ‘Mommy’, but also sad that she’s not my sweet baby anymore.


In Cahoots.

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 5:04 pm

Well, the siblings seem to be getting along famously. They’re already in cahoots!
Aili is talking up a storm, but as with nearly all toddlers, her pronunciation is pretty well incomprehensible to anyone other than Johnny and I (and frequently to us as well). She often comes to us to tell us when the baby is crying, and she seems quite concerned about him. As I mentioned in my previous post, Tomi is quite the eater, and is VERY committed to mealtime. When he wants his lunch, everyone in the house knows about it.

Aili can’t pronounce ‘crying’ properly, however, and when she comes over to tell us that Tomi’s upset it comes out as ‘Baby Dying’!!

Now, as you’ve seen, Tomi is in no danger of wasting away, but he certainly seems to think he’s dying if lunch is two minutes late. We figure he’s found some way to get her to tell us that he’s dying, so we’ll serve up lunch sooner. They are already scheming together!


Life With A Toddler – Encapsulated in Six Seconds July 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 1:39 am
My mommy friends will probably agree that this pretty well sums it up.


FINALLY: A Post About Tomi July 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 9:39 pm

Ok, I know I’ve been delinquent in keeping you updated with news and pics about our latest addition. Where do the days go?? During Aili’s afternoon naps I’ve been napping too, so it seems that there’s just no time to blog. Forgive me for this delinquency; I’ve posted a bunch of pictures – although they’re probably not in chronological order – so you can see what we’ve been up to.

At the bank. I regret that this is not a video, so you can’t see that my delicious husband is actually rocking the car seat by flexing his calf muscle.
Gotta love those sexy cyclist legs!

The problem with being married to a sexy cyclist, however, is that you occasionally get the “Honey, I’ve crashed and am going to the ER” phone calls. Ironic that the least superficial person I know would end up visiting with a plastic surgeon twice in six months.
Although it was a scary time for me being at home with two small (and sick) children, somehow he managed to keep most of the damage inside his mouth without losing any teeth, and is recovering quickly.

Here are some funny face pics of Mr. Tomi. This is right after the bath, and if you click on the pic to make it full-size, you can see that his hair is actually curly when wet! How did my Asian baby end up with curly hair???

This is what it looks like when you have two small children in the house: packs and packs and packs of diapers. I actually went back today and bought 5 more packs. Aili is very predictable and has a very low diaper consumption rate, but Tomi burns through them like they’re candy!

Aili has been a fantastic big sister so far. We haven’t seen any signs of aggression or acting out… but then it’s only been three weeks so we’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I suspect we’ll see more antics when the novelty wears off and she realizes he’s staying.
In the meantime, she’s been very interested in the baby (she calls him ‘Baby’ and won’t say his name). She likes to help with burping, diaper changes, and bathtime. She’ll also rock him when he’s in the car seat or in his bouncy chair, and even shares her most prized possession, her green blanket. A true sacrifice!

She also likes to help out with other non-baby related chores, such as (un)folding laundry, cleaning the bathroom, and cooking. Note the apron.

We have noticed a lot of differences between Tomi and Aili when she was his age. By three weeks, she was sleeping 4 – 5 hour stretches, but she also cried inexplicably for long stretches. Johnny would walk her in circles for hours, trying to get the noise to stop.
Tomi, on the other hand, doesn’t cry very much at all (*knock on wood*). He goes from dead asleep to screaming with hunger in a few seconds, but all he needs is a snack and he’ll settle right down. We have experienced very few inexplicable crying bouts, and all were very short. He does, however, like to eat and eat and eat… and eat and eat some more. It’s his one skill, and he practices it every hour and a half or so. Round the clock.
As a result, as you can imagine, I’m not getting a tremendous amount of sleep, and certainly not in consecutive hours. I have been assured that someday he will start sleeping for longer stretches, but to date, I haven’t seen any evidence of that. In his entire life he’s had ONE stretch where he went without eating for three full hours. ONE.
All that eating also makes a baby fat, and Tomi is no exception. He is gaining weight at an exceptional rate, growing out of clothes he’s never worn, and is sort of shaped like a snowman. One big round ball for a belly with a smaller round ball on top for a head. He is now almost the weight that Aili was at 2 months: 12 lbs.

Mr. Tubs at naked time. Much as he thinks he’s wasting away between meals, I think we can all see that there is NO danger of that….

Look at that big round belly!

Tired mommy.
Contemplative baby considering how much respite he’s going to give her before demaning lunch #4.

Now THIS is what makes a tired mommy happy:

This ALSO makes a tired mommy happy – a two-week-old taking a bottle. Hurrah!

Little fingers:

Proud papa. Johnny is absolutely over the moon with the new shape of our family. I love seeing him so delighted with his life. He keeps planning when he’s going to take them skiing, and wants to buy a soccer ball for Aili, and is envious of the guy up the street who is taking his 11-year-old boy to Whistler Bike Park.
All in good time, my darling….

To truly cement our suburban family status, I finally caved…. we sold my beautiful blue Subaru and bought ourselves a minivan instead. It makes sense, but it’s still a minivan, and I still carry some reservations about being a minivan mommy. It’s a bit older (2004 Honda Odyssey), but it was a good price, is a dream to drive (yes, a minivan can actually be fun to drive!) and most importantly, it is a great fit for our family’s needs. We can carry 2 kids, both strollers, the dog, groceries, gear, and STILL have room to spare!
(Don’t tell Aili that it has a DVD player installed on the ceiling.)

Here I am in front of the new (gold. ew.) minivan.
With our new double Joovy Caboose Ultralight stroller! (Highly recommended. That thing is fantastique!!)

Happy man surveying his minivan. In fact, he’s so happy with it that he says he can see himself only driving Honda Odysseys for the rest of his life. Perhaps that’s jumping the gun a teensy bit, but suffice to say, he’s thrilled about our purchase!

Aili is clearly in the middle of the 18-month ‘language explosion’ and is gaining new words everyday. She continues to be my absolute joy, even when I’m my tiredest.

Little Ms. Pretty after a shower.

Flower girl!