Baby Games

26 01 2007

Every baby eventually find out about the joy of dropping stuff on the floor, only to have it picked up by their mother. Parents, we’re wise to these jokes, and tried to get in on the action…


26 01 2007

Don’t watch this if you just ate. It’s me and my daughters taking turns on one of the swivel chairs in our house. My older daughter was able to take more spinning than me because even her little tiny toddler turns were starting to make me a bit queezy.

Happy Birthday, Annabelle

25 01 2007

Annabelle’s first birthday was January 19th, 2007. We had her great birthday party a week earlier on the 13th. One of the traditions of Korean children at their first birthday is to have a set of items in front of them to choose from. These items represent many different things that the child will achieve when they grow up. A pencil represent knowledge, and the child will become a scholar. A crisp $100 bill represents wealth, and the child will grow to become rich. A microphone represents fame. And, I’m not sure what rice and string each represent. Then each attendee votes for which item the child will choose, and receives a door prize.

Annabelle chose a pencil, just like her sister. I have two smart girls on my hands, I’m so lucky!

Sleep in your Own Bed

25 01 2007

When Eliana was a tiny baby, she slept in our bed. It was ok for a while as it helped a couple of new parents get some sleep.  When Eliana cried, we were right there and were able to change her diaper quickly and get back to bed. After a few months, Eliana grew larger and stronger, and began kicking in her sleep.  This was not a nice thing for two tired parents. So, the solution was that is was time for Eliana to sleep in her own bed. As new parents, we didn’t know the best way to go about it, so we tried to be nice and just let her sleep in a playpen next to our bed.  I still remember the shrills of that night. Eliana cried herself to sleep after about 2 hours.  We were there and listening for every minute. Then we heard that instead of just doing two transitions (one into a new bed, then into a new room), just start putting her to sleep in her own room. It was tough at first, as Eliana would still cry for a while, but eventually we had a routine going.  I remember spending about 30 minutes every night for at least 6 months sitting in the rocking chair my mom had bought and rocking her to sleep. I remember when Eliana wasn’t quite asleep, she would peek at me as if she was going to say “Where are you going? I’m not sleepy”. A few more minutes in the rocking chair never failed. I would put her in her crib without incident, and close the door. Those were the days.

Now, Annabelle on the other had has been a whole different story.  From the start, we didn’t want Annabelle to stay in our bed too long because of our experience with Eliana.  I knew we were in for little sleep in the beginning, so that was ok.  But we tried to get Annabelle out of our bed sooner than Eliana: at about 3 months as opposed to 9 months with Eliana. That was a horrible failure due mostly to some respiratory problem Annabelle had.  For some reason, she wasn’t able to take a full breath of air through her nose (as all babies breathe) without something making a weird sound.  It was this sound that was bothering her. I’m not sure if she was in pain or not (I hope not), but we didn’t know what to do. So, she stayed in our bed. Not wanting her to get used to this, I tried my best to get her into the crib.  Basically it was the same method I used for Eliana: rock her to sleep and just put her there.  However, this strategy didn’t work because Annabelle is too sensitive. When I would go to put her in the crib, she would always wake up.  I know what a sleeping baby looks and sounds like, and I know she was asleep every time I tried. Back to our bed she went.

This has been going on and off for the past 9 months. Some days, she would manage to sleep in the crib, but would wake up crying in the middle of the night. Others, I find her in our bed in the morning because her mom doesn’t know how to calm her down. The only way shes knows to do is bring her in bed.

So, it has been with great surprise that Annabelle has finally been able to sleep in her own bed for about the past week now. Our bedtime routine consists of getting Eliana to bed first, or at least in bed if she is not already sleep. But Eliana is a great help, because she knows how hard a time has to sleep.  But, really putting Annabelle to bed has become as simple as knowing when she’s sleepy (it’s not hard to tell because she starts to cry) and hold her for a bit to calm her down, and while she is still awake, just put her face down on the bed.  Now, I know about the badness of this with SIDS and all, but she loves to sleep face down. She would sleep like this in our bed. I don’t watch her at night, but I’m pretty sure she rolls over at least once at night.  (Neither of our kids can sleep in one spot; they move around all over the bed.)  So, after putting her in the bed, I cover her with a couple of blankets, and just pat her back to calm her down. Some nights she doesn’t need that. Most nights she does.  Some nights, she also just wants to hear that I’m there, so I’ll talk to Eliana a little to help her to sleep.

So far, this has been what we needed, two kids sleeping in their own beds for the whole night.

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Rock Star

23 01 2007

It’s been no secret around my household that I have been a huge fan of Guitar Hero since I had the chance to play it a few months ago. Over the Christmas break, I took the plunge and purchased the whole setup: a PS2, 2 wireless guitars and Guitar Hero I and II.  It’s been awesome.  My wife loves kareoke, and I tell her that this is my kareoke…it is much easier to play this guitar than a real one and make some real progress.  If only there was something like this for real guitars…

So, the other day, I was playing Guitar Hero, and my youngest daughter Annabelle was watching the screen. I think she likes to see the animations on the screen. But even more so, I think she really likes the music.  So much so, that as I was playing, I could swear that I saw her head banging.  She was moving and groving to the beat of the music. It was a little tough to keep one eye on her and one eye on the game. It’s great that Annabelle likes music, and even better that she seems like music that I enjoy listening to and playing.  I think my children and I will become very close in the coming years as we find out that we all have many common interests.  Some of those will be a form of imitation as well as our concerted effort to expose them to different things. However, you cannot force what they natually like and dislike.  Many happy days are ahead for me and my daughters.

Not So Fast

14 01 2007

So, here we were, ready to sell the house in a tough real estate market, and move the household one more time (hopefully the last time) to Oregon. Our reasons are plenty, most of which is that the area of Oregon we would move to doesn’t have desert.

Of course, I knew that the longer we waited, the hard it would be to move.  It has just gotten harder to move.  We have started making friends, Eliana now has friends, my family is near by (sort of) and we’re starting to grow roots here.  A disaster in terms of being able to pack up and move at any time.

Bearing in mind that we’ve had zero interest in our house because we haven’t been so motivated to sell lately (with so many distractions to boot), we’re going to try to not fight it for a while.  We’ll leave the house up for sale by owner, and just let it fly.  I mean, if someone wants to buy the house, good, then we’ll go to Oregon.  Otherwise, we have a good house in a good area, and we are finally meeting good people.  All key ingredients to a happy life.

Here’s to one more HOT summer!

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Head Banger

14 01 2007

When Eliana was Annabelle’s age, she used to bang her head on the high chair. It was weird.  We thought it was amusing at first because she only did that lightly.  But then the laughter was encouragement enough for her to start banging harder.  She went on to do this at nearly every feeding for a couple months. We would make her stop by putting our hand between the chairback and her head to soften the impact. I don’t think Eliana had any injuries from that, but it was fairly painful to us.  And, I think she was just doing it for attention.  I’m not sure why, because she was getting 100% of it back then.

Fast forward to child number 2, Annabelle.  She has also discovered the attention getting power of banging her head on the same high chair her sister banged on so long ago. While I still think she is doing it for attention (she has to compete with a talkative 2-3 year old), I don’t think she really likes banging her head as much as Eliana did.  For one, she doesn’t do that at every meal. Second, she stop fairly quickly.  Three, we don’t really laugh when she does that; not that it isn’t amusing, but we are still worried that she will hurt herself, and baby pain is not something we want to laugh at.  At least this type of attention getting won’t last too long.

It’s not long before she starts coloring her hair, and piercing her body for attention.  Can’t they stay babies forever?

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