Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chinese Mid Autumn Festival

A little bit of the Chinese culture for my little Lina<3. The family had a very nice dinner at PorPor's (grandmother in Cantonese) house. Lina<3 loves spending time over there with PorPor, GongGong (grandfather in Cantonese). You ate your food, while PorPor cooked our food. You got new toys today, which you love to explore.

The Chinese Mid Autumn Festival is one of two big Chinese holidays (the other is Lunar New Year). Like in any culture, holidays brings family closer to together and remind that families are important.

The following link will tell you more about the history and origin of the holiday, (I apologize that this link is a travel agency website but it was the most descriptive):

It is also about eating moon cake, which is a type of pastry. Lina<3 is too young to taste them this year, plus I have concerns about you having an allergic reaction to it. But you did admire the moon cake and enjoyed playing with the container it came it, which has become part of your toy collection, lol. 

Finger Foods

Lina<3 loves to pick up your food (certain foods) with your hands. The only finger foods that you do like and actually eat are the Morning Os (organic Cheerios like), Earth's Best Organic Teething Barley biscuits, Gerber's Arrowroot Cookies, and Baby Mum-Mum Rice Crackers. Other finger foods like banana chunks, squash chunks, carrot chunks, and other food chunks, you do not like to hold in your hand. It is funny, I did not want Lina<3 eating cookies, or biscuits before the solid foods, but Mommy gives in, when the only thing you would eat is the Morning Os, and cookies for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner (along with liquids). I do know when you are done with the cookies, or the Morning Os, when you starting throwing them on the floor constantly, instead of stuffing your mouth. It is hassle to have to pick up all the Morning Os and the mess that you make, but it is also fun watching your expression, and watching you look for them on the floor. Oh, how you love to throw everything on the floor when you are on your highchair, rather it is food, toys, cup, and your bottle.

Feeding Mommy and Daddy

Self feeding, it is such a wonderful thing to watch. Lina<3, you are feeding yourself very well. You have perfected the pincer grasp which is essentially when learning how to feed yourself. The pincer grasp is using your index finger and thumb to pick up food, or other small toys. It took you a while and a lot of practice with the Morning Os (organic Cheerios like). When you first learned how to feed yourself, you would stuff a lot of Morning Os into your mouth haphazardly. Now you have more control over your hands, you can hold more than one Morning Os in your hand, and hold more with your other hand. You are sharing with Mommy  :) You hold out your arm, and hand has Morning Os and Mommy respond right away, and open my mouth for you to put the Morning Os inside. It took so me misses before you actually put the Morning Os into Mommy's mouth. Sometimes you trick Mommy and reach out your hand to feed me but as soon as Mommy opens the mouth, you take your hand back and feed yourself instead. It is so cute and Mommy laughs when you do that. You even feed Daddy at times.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Scratchy, Scratchy

These few days, the symptoms of Lina's<3 eczema has gotten worse. You have been scratching when you wake up, when you take a break from playing with your toys, when you are sitting on your potty chair, when your diaper is being change, when you take a shower, when you eat, when you are in Daddy's or Mommy's arms, and before you go to sleep. Scratched your head, scratched your neck, scratched your legs, thighs, ankles, your belly, basically everything! Scratch, scratch. GRRR, "no scratching", "stop scratching", "don't scratch", "please stop scratching", "stop!", those are the words I say to you whenever you are scratching, while taking your hands to distract you from scratching. Lina<3 need to use the Scratch Me Not mitten during the day more often instead of the regular bedtime usage.

Along with the scratching, your skin has become dry, red, and look irritated. Mommy moisturized you all day long. Of course, you get a wiped down with a damped cloth each time before applying moisturizer, that is about three to four times a day. When you are playful (and not scratching too much) during the process of moisturizing your body on Mommy's bed, you roll over and crawl really fast for the headboard so you can do a little dance, and pull yourself up, smile and giggle.

I hope the humidity passes soon, and the cool air comes back, because the humidity is what makes Lina's eczema symptoms worst, and make you scratch more. Lina<3 should not have to deal with this, you should be playing, smiling, laughing, saying "dada", learning new words to say (like "mama"), and having fun.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First Word: Dada

My baby, Lina<3, you said your first word this morning. It was so cute. We had just woke up and were playing on Mommy's bed. You were babbling a lot, Mommy was responding to you and you said "da..da da dada dada". At first, I was like what did you just say. I just could not believe it. You said your first word. All morning long and all day long, you kept repeating it and repeating yourself :) It is so cute. I am so proud. Later when Daddy came home, you said "dadada dada, da da". At times you screamed "dadadada" lol.

Kitchen Fun

It is always fun having Lina<3 with me when I need to do chores such as cooking or the laundry. Tonight, Mommy was cooking dinner and you did not want to play by yourself and was restless so into the kitchen you go. You tried to "help" Mommy cook dinner, sort of, lol. You played on the floor, or I had hoped but you ended up being at the bottom of Mommy's feet. I gave you pots, pans, and utensils to play with but the noise from the cover of the pan scared you, and you did not want to play with it after that. Back to Mommy's feet, you went, until you discovered that you can open the bottom cabinet's doors which you are not suppose to play with. Mommy constantly had to redirect you to play with something else. You even played with the garbage can, and tried to eat and lick it, lol. Of course, Mommy was like "No, it is not a toy". Mommy managed to finished cooking, and kept you busy. It only took a little more than an hour and only had to picked you up twice.
My little Lina<3 loves being with Mommy, where Mommy goes, Lina<3 goes. So Mommy cooks, Lina<3 "cooks" as well, lol.

Monday, September 24, 2012

First Roti

My Trini Girl, My Trini Girl”, that is what my little girl is, as Daddy would call you. Lina<3, you had your first authentic Trinidadian food, a homemade roti (dhal puri roti to be exact, the link is the recipe that we used and made it our own by using different spices). You enjoyed it very much :) so much that you did not eat the rest of your dinner of sweet potato, green beans and applesauce.
At first, Mommy gave you a  tiny piece of the roti, (which is the first small picture on the right), then gave you a bigger piece to eat (second smaller picture on the right), then you held the roti on your own (the big picture on the left) and the last picture on the right with a smile on your face, you were done and contented.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sleeping Problems Intervention Day Six, Day Seven and Day Eight

AHHH these last few days, Lina<3, your sleeping habits have not gotten any better, and it is so inconsistent. Mommy knows that you are tired. Let examine it:

Day Six (9/18/12):
Nap time was good, slept 4 hrs total, was that too much?

bedtime routine did not change, yet your night was not smooth, it was filled with crying and screaming, constant night time wakening, constant pats on your back, and constant night time feedings. Oh, there was a lot of scratching of the head, your eyes, your ears. A lot of tossing and turning. It was so sad to see because I was doing the best I can to help you sleep with little success.

Day Seven (9/19/2012):
Two naps, and each time, you did not fall asleep easily, cried, screamed, cried, for almost 20minutes at a time. Needed constant consoling and patting on your back. Once you did fall asleep, you did not stay asleep for more than one hour and half.

Bedtime routine went fine and as scheduled.  woke up one hour and half later, cried, (your Daddy told us in the morning that's why he decided to sleep on the couch, just as you woke up and started fussing and crying lol, the nerve of him) hard to put back to sleep, nursed, then up two hours later, cried, nursed, then up two later, and it all went downhill from there, every hour you were up, cried, and fell asleep.

Day Eight (yesterday):
Your two naps, one in late morning, and late afternoon, were not easy. You cried and cried right after Mommy left the room. Mommy already laid you down to sleep, said " Mommy loves you and now go to sleep" and patted your back. You had a high pitch screaming cry (which is a new noise that you have not made before this week). It is heartbreaking listening to you cry before falling asleep. Mommy only had to go back into the room twice before you settled down and slept.

Our bedtime routine of played, showered, diaper changed, moisturized, brushed hair, read your bedtime book, and a bottle of breast milk withcereal, went as planned. You still fussed and cried just as Mommy laid you down on the crib, and then as soon as Mommy patted your back, you drift off right away, but right before Mommy left the room, you screamed and cried, and got up right away and stood at the other end of the crib, by the doorway. It took an hour and half before you fell asleep, and four times, Mommy went back to the room to soothe and pat your back. Mommy did not let you cry more than 15-20minutes. Mommy knew you were tired and did not understand why you did not want to fall asleep, usually you fell asleep after the second time Mommy goes in to check on you. Finally after an hour and half, picked you up and put on Mommy's bed and laid down with you. You dozed off right away and finally asleep after 10minutes. After 20minutes, you were transferred to your crib. You slept for three hours, then up, cried, screamed, stood up on crib, and made a lot of noise; then into Mommy's bed for a feeding and asleep you went and slept another three hours (with Daddy and I on our bed); up after another three hours and fed, and then morning time.

Ahh, I don't understand why the "crying it out" method is not working as well as it did a few days ago. Lina's<3 sleeping habits are still so irregular and the crying has gotten worse. Should we continue to stick this out or try something else? Would it be easier to train you to sleep if you had your own room? Is is the teething process that is making it harder for you to sleep longer periods of time? Are you overtired? Lina<3, I wish you could answer these questions for Mommy so I can help you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In The News: Pacifier

Before Lina<3 was born, we decided not  use pacifier(s) but instead would try other methods of soothing. It was surprising when we saw just-birthed babies using pacifiers while we were in the hospital. After Lina<3 was a month or so old we did try the pacifier but you refused it. We consider ourselves fortunate in that you do not want or need it (though there were times when you wouldn't sleep that we did wish that you would take a pacifier).
This is the article, “Heavy pacifier use may lead to emotionally stunted boys, study reports”.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Daily Walks and In Search of More Flowers

Lina<3, you love being outside. We like to take daily walks around the neighborhood as much as possible. Since we do not have a park close by to walk, we walk around and look for flowers, flowers, and more flowers. Most of the time, you do not pay attention to the flowers, lol. You are more interested in the people passing by us, or the cars passing by. It is difficult to take pictures of you with the flower but I hope that you will remember the walks you take with me, and enjoy the pictures later on.

These pictures were not taken all at once, it was over several days of our daily walks. So enjoy the pictures (yes, I know you are probably saying, enough with the flowers lol) and take the time to “smell the roses”.

Oh No, Locked Inside...

Lol, my little Lina<3 is all locked up in your play zone play yard. Mommy deserved this (you deserved a new toy as well) and was tired of running after you, as you crawl so fast. This play zone is to keep you safe; away from the bottom steps of the stairway; and keep from crawling everywhere. As soon as we got the package, you mesmerized by it and wanted to play with the box. The set up was very easy and took about ten minutes and there were no screws. You even helped Mommy set it up :) Once it was all set up, Mommy put you in there, you smiled and thought it was interesting at first and then cried when Mommy left your sight. The play zone is nice, bright colors, a panel for Lina<3 to play with, music and lights that will keep you interested and engaged. When it is enclosed, it looks small, but Mommy leaves it open between two couches to make play area bigger yet still keep you safe. The play zone is secure enough and would not topple over my baby. With this play zone, Mommy is hoping that it will teach to you to play by yourself more (not that Mommy does not want to play with you, Mommy just can not play with you all the time, sometimes you have to learn to do things by yourself, with guidance). Mommy is glad you do not have to follow me everywhere. Lina<3 likes the play zone and is learning how to pay by yourself. You do not stay in there for too long, as you do get restless and bored easily.
(Lina<3 waiting patiently for her new toy to be open.)
(Setting up.)

("play first, then set up"-Lina<3)
(Lina's<3 locked inside the play zone.)
("I see you" Lina<3)

(The play zone opened up.)

Sleeping Problems Intervention Day Five

Yesterday for the most part was a good day. Sleeping was fine as well. Took two naps yesterday, one late morning and the other late afternoon. Both times, you went to sleep easily, as soon as you laid down on your crib. Mommy patted your back a few times and did not have to come back to room at all, once I left.

Last night was an okay night. Upstairs by a certain time, showered, diaper changed, moisturized, brushed your hair, read “Good Night, Moon”, had bottle of breast milk with cereal, brush your teeth. You fell asleep right away as soon as you laid down on the crib and after a few pats on the back. You slept for six hours straight. Wow! the longest you ever slept and the longest Mommy ever slept. After the six hours, you woke up, you had your diaper changed and was nursed but did not fall back to sleep, instead stayed up for an hour and the half. Then needed to be nursed in order to sleep and ended up sleeping with Mommy in the bed. Was up two hours later and needed to be nursed to sleep again. Then it was morning. Okay, Mommy is making the decision not to nurse you at night time any more, no more picking you up after you go to sleep and wake up, and will change your diaper while you are in your crib and with the lights off!

The crying it out method appears to be working well and teaching you to go to sleep and stay asleep longer for the most part. The days and nights keeping coming, we hope that you will become a better sleeper.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sleeping Problems Intervention Day Four

Last night was an bad night. Ahhhh, our routine went haywire. The “crying it out”method, did not go like it was suppose to and we do not know why but let’s examine yesterday. 

Yesterday morning was good, nap time went smoothly. You went down easily after just a few cries, and some noises but after a few patting on the back, and you fell asleep. After you woke up, you went on a play date. You came home, showered, had dinner, and went right to sleep (which was earlier than you usually go to sleep but you were exhausted). It was easy putting you down to sleep and you did not wake until three hours later.

Now here’s where everything went bad… woke up three hours later, nursed, and fell back to sleep with a few pats on the back. Up again two hours later, refused to go back to sleep, refused to lie down in your crib, and screamed your head off. Mommy went to get your cereal in the bottle but you refused that as well. Okay, tried sleeping on Mommy’s bed but took over an hour to put you back to sleep and Mommy nursed you to sleep. Slept for an hour and woke up again and wanted to be nursed again. The patting on your back did not work at all, you were tossing and turning, scratching your head, and did not want to be touch, lol. Nursed you again, while lying down on Mommy’s bed, and fell asleep for two hours. By that time, it was 5am in the morning, nursed again and slept until around six or seven in the morning.

We did not follow bedtime routine well of reading Lina’s<3 bedtime story, you did not get your cereal in a bottle of milk, you were not suppose to be pick up, and you were not suppose to sleep with Daddy and Mommy in our bed. These could be the reason why you did not sleep well. It could had been your teething process (you have two bottom teeth, and two more coming on top, Yay for teeth). It could had been the symptoms of your eczema. It could had been that you just wanted to play.

Well tonight, we are sticking to the routine! and I hope it continues to work. We are setting you up for your own room, hoping that it will be better for your sleeping habit but it is not done yet. We, the parents, want you to have your own room, and do not want you to have your own room as well…such a dilemma. You had slept in the same room with us since the day you were born and even before that too when you were in Mommy’s belly.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sleeping Problems Intervention Day Three

We are continuing the "crying it out" technique, and it is getting easier to put Lina<3 down to sleep. During yesterday's nap times, you could sleep from one to two hours at a time. During last night, it was still a little harder to put you down to sleep, but it was better than the first night, three nights ago. The patting on your back soothes and calms you down and let you know that Mommy will always be there to comfort you. The first night, you would cry through the patting on your back, and now it soothes and makes you drowsy. You had slept longest last night, five hours at a time, woke up a few times and needed to be patted back to sleep, and nursed you once. I am slowly decreasing your constant night time feedings to one or two a night, which will eventually stop when you can sleep through the entire night. So please continue to wish us luck!!

Please refer to Day One and Day Two for our routine schedule, if you like read more about it for naps and bedtime.

First Play Date

Today, Lina<3 had her first play date. You went to meet a friend of yours, Madelyn, (the daughter of Mommy's friend) at her house. Lina<3 love going to new places. You had a very good time.

When we first got there, you were shy and cried when Mommy's friend held you. After a few minutes, you were smiling,  looking around, and standing by Mommy. Then you saw a green teddy bear on the floor, you went for it right away, that broke the ice (so to speak), and after that you were very comfortable. When you crawled to the teddy bear, Madelyn did not like that you want her teddy bear, and came over right away and snatch it away. Madelyn was not very friendly with Lina<3 until the end of the play date. Madelyn was very shy, possessive, and did not want to play with you. When Madelyn took her teddy bear back, Mommy gave you your own doll to play with, but Madelyn wanted that too, lol. Her mother was there to redirect her. You crawled all over the floor, and putted toys in your mouth that does not belong in your mouth, as it is not your toys and it is not your house, lol. After a while, you started to babble loudly. You had fun with Mommy's friend because she was making you smile, and babble. When it was time to say good bye, Madelyn wanted a hold Lina<3 which was so cute, but Lina<3 was getting restless (so it meant that it was time to go, lol).

It was so nice watching you interact with Madelyn because you were such a social butterfly, always wanting to play and share with her. My goodness you are going to play dates, time is really flying by fast. 
(Madelyn and Lina<3 playing on the floor)
(Madelyn trying to give Lina<3 a hug, but Lina<3 did not want one)
(Mommy's friend, Auntie Monique, with Lina<3)
(All of us, last picture)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sleeping Problems Intervention Day Two

The “crying it out” technique has come in handy for us with a couple of tweaks of our own. Yesterday was a good day for sleeping with Lina<3. You were hard to put down.

During yesterday's nap time, the crying it out technique was used, as it was suggested that all sleeping time routines should be consistent. So here it went:
Nap time routine:upstairs, played on Mommy’s bed, diaper changed, wiped down, moisturized, brush hair, bottle of milk, burped and into the crib you went; kissed forehead, said “Mommy loves you”, laid you down, patted your back for one minute, left the room, and you heard me leaving and started crying even though you were drowsy; waited two minutes, back into the room, wiped tears and laid you down, said “Mommy loves you, it is okay, now go to sleep”, patted your back for another minute, left the room as you were drifting off. Sleep after a few minutes. Hooray!
So that was easy for nap time. Bedtime has the similar routine but it took a little bit longer.

Bedtime routine: upstairs by 7:30pm, played on Mommy’s bed for 20minutes, bath time, moisturized, diaper changed, brush hair, bottle of milk with cereal, burped, brushed your teeth and gums, and into the crib you go, as you cried out when being laid down; said “Mommy loves you, it is bedtime, and go to sleep”, patted your back for one minute, left the room as you cried a little when you notice Mommy was not there; waited two minutes, went back to the room, wiped your tears, laid you down, said Mommy loves you, it is okay, and go to sleep”, patted your back for another minute, and you started to drift off, but as soon as Mommy left the room, you cried, and stood up (Mommy saw you  as you crawled really fast to the other end of the crib to stop Mommy); waited 4minutes, went back to the room, wiped your tears, laid you back down, said “Mommy loves you, it is okay, now go to sleep”, patted your back for another minute, as you drift off, left the room, as you whimpers as Mommy left the room, the whimpers got louder but you did not get up; waited ten minutes, went back to room, patted your back, left the room and but this time you had fell asleep before Mommy had to come to the room. You slept for three hours before waking up screaming your head and unable to be console. Mommy picked up and nursed while lying down, lol we both fell asleep on Mommy’s bed, bad, I know! When I woke up you were transferred to your crib, and you stayed for five hours (which was basically morning when you woke up again). There was only two times where Mommy had to come to you when you awoke and couldn’t fall asleep on your own and patted your back. It was the greatest five hours of sleep Daddy and I got, even though you did wake up at 5am! Hooray!

You are learning slowly to fall asleep on your own. So far so good. Wish us luck !

Friday, September 14, 2012

First Picnic

We had our first picnic at St. John’s University on the Great Lawn. Lina<3 and university, these two words will not go together for several years. You are not even one years old yet, and Mommy is mentioning college, lol. There you met Auntie Rosa and Father Tri, whom are both associates and friends of Mommy.
The picnic was fun, we had our own blanket to place on the lawn, and your toys to play. It was difficult trying to get you off the blanket so you can feel the grass and play with it for the first time. Daddy and I tried everything to get you off, by calling you over, and teasing you with your toys and our cellphones but that did not work. Finally Mommy placed you onto the grass but that did not last long at all, you crawled right back to the blanket. You ate your Morning Os (like Cheerios except organic) and had some water. After being on the lawn for a while, we walked around the campus and took some pictures, actually lots of pictures.