Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oh bother

D is really working hard at learning how to walk. She now insists that we walk around, me behind her holding her hands up to balance her and then we walk around and around and up and down the stairs, sometimes some cushions.
My back! My back! Shall I get a nanny to stand in for me?? This is tiring stuff.
BUT, she is making great progress!
G has been out of town this week and before he left he said, "she better not start walking while I am away..." He was very sad.
But not to worry! D is holding off until her daddy gets home (tomorrow)! She will perfect her walk later this weekend or next week. I can feel it coming...

I must really love this kid

Y'know...ever since I was young I've always hated to wash spinach. I love to eat it, but hate to wash it because it's so tedious and it is by far the dirtiest vegetable out there. Oftentimes, when you eat a spinach salad, there is grit because people can't get all the dirt off.
Kinda cool when they started putting out prewashed lettuce and spinach. Makes life a lot easier.
I know that buying lettuce and spinach fresh, not prepackaged is better but for convenience sake, we buy the prepackaged.
Well, along came Nina Planck and her book Real Food...I love this book. It's an eye-opener. It also reminds me that bagged spinach is just not all that great.
So, I buy fresh for Dillon and I will stand there and wash every single leaf (because when I try to wash in small bunches I notice that there is still dirt left on some leaves). I wash, then dry then bag.
I also now reheat all her food in a pan or a pot. Never in the microwave because, once again, Nina Planck reminds me that the microwave zaps a good portion of food's nutrients. Gasp! Shocker.
Yeah, I know for convenience sake I could overlook all this but in today's day and age when our government is more interested in lining a few select people's pocketbooks rather than looking out for our well-being I really need to do what I can to see that D starts out right. When she is older and she discovers corn syrup and fast food, there's nothing I can do to steer her away (I mean, come on, I love junk food). But right now while she is young and dependent on me for her health and well-being, I need to do what I can. And if that means standing at the sink washing spinach leaf by leaf and using pots and pans to reheat food and hunting down raw butter, then that is what I'll do.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A lifelong lesson in patience, I believe

This mothering thing seems to be a lifelong lesson in patience, no? And I certainly have little of it. However, I do try and try with D. After all, she is just a little baby...
But I have my days. When she is expressing her will to say no and throws her arms around dislodging the food on her spoon and sending it flying onto the floor, I have my days where I just see red and say (very loudly), "No!" "Don't do that!" or "Stop doing that!" And then I feel bad that I've yelled at her because she really doesn't understand and she is really just trying to communicate with me.
And then I have my good days (like today) when she flails her arms around and I just nonchalantly go about feeding her. And she has her fit and starts to cry and I just sit there trying to reason with her or find a diversion. These are they day where I am a bit exasperated that mothering is so difficult (for someone who has zero patience), but I also feel a bit accomplished that I can see beyond my own selfishness of not wanting to clean the floor up and can just to civil to D.
I truly believe that you can teach more by reasoning and not raising the voice, but I fail at that sometimes. I am only human after all.
Do I expect her to be a drone and have no feelings and just be dull every day and do exactly as she's told/shown? Of course not. But it's also hard to know the best formula for combating her unruliness. She needs to eat her food at the given time. I prefer her to eat her main dish as opposed to wanting to eat nothing but sweet potatoes. When she is crying to communicate her disappointment what is the best approach? Removing her from the table until she calms down (but still will start to cry if the food is presented to her)? Or just letting her cry and talking to her? Or...just staring at her blankly when she is crying to indicate to her that her tears and crying are falling on deaf ears? Yeah, that's harsh but it also doesn't work. :o)
And mind you, she looks really, really cute right now when she is crying from frustration. She opens her mouth really wide, lets out a wail and her two little bottom teeth are prominently displayed. Almost like a cartoon baby crying. Really, really cute. I had to let her cry for a bit today just because it was so cute. ;o)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Airport tag

Earlier this week G left for Vegas. He flew out Monday afternoon and had a 3:40pm arrival into BNA on Wednesday. I then had a last minute trip and my flight out to NYC was at 5:15p on Wednesday. So, we prayed for good weather and on time flights.
Sure enough, he landed at 3:30p (Southwest is always good about arriving earlier than expected) so I packed up D and headed to the airport. G met me at the departures terminal outside and with the car idling, I grabbed my bags, he loaded his into the car and away we went.
D back home with Daddy and me to NYC. Phew!

Precious moment

Yesterday morning D and I were playing in her room like we usually do when we first wake up. She was standing by the windowsill looking out at the birds in the yard and I was sitting next to her. She was so happy to be awake and looking out the window that she was babbling and smiling and then she looked over at me and leaned in purposefully for a kiss!
That might've been the best moment in my life thus far...

Monday, February 15, 2010


I am constantly fascinated when I watch D's little gears turning in her head as she tries to accomplish various tasks. She often likes to sit on either the first or second step on the staircase and move cautiously forward to step off the stair. Previously, we have always taught her that she needs to step backwards to come down. Now she has gained enough balance and understanding to step forward, but always very slowly and calculated.
Today was pretty amazing. She was working on balance and walking. She would situate herself so she's sitting on the fireplace stoop. Then from there, she would get up to a standing position and work on her balance and I can see that she is thinking about taking her first step. She is working very hard to master standing from the sitting position.
And to top the evening off, I was on a conference call while feeding her so she is busy eating and watching a slideshow of pictures from my iphoto album. Then, she grabs the spoon from my hand and will not give it back so I let her have it to play with while I grab another spoon with which to feed her. But she is not idly playing with her spoon. She is putting pieces of food onto her spoon and putting the spoon up towards her mouth!! Of course, she's not quite coordinated enough to get the food into her mouth but the fact that she is trying to teach herself to eat is amazing to me!! In fact, I helped her put some of her pureed fruit onto her spoon and she indeed was able to get it into her mouth. She fed herself for a minute tonight. This girl...never ceases to amaze me. Babies are incredible little beings.
Funny how they start out SO INCREDIBLY smart...and then what happens?

Another tooth!

Finalllly! After, what? Four months? Dillon has finally started to sprout a new tooth. Her second tooth from her right top front. When will the others start coming in? Poor girl loves to eat. She needs her teeth!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I suck

Yes, I suck. I'm a terrible mother. We had a lovely birthday party for D today and did I take any photos? No. I might've taken three shots for the entire duration of the party which took place from 11am to almost 3pm!! I'm so upset. How am I going to document important dates in D's baby life when I am too busy bebopping around without my camera?? Waaah!
And G can't focus on taking pics because he is busy taking care of the guests - making sure they have drinks, food, etc.
So upsetting. She was so cute today and had so much fun playing with her friends, both little and big. Blah. Bad mommy.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Today is D's bday...and...her grandma and I let her cry the most she's ever cried. Waaaah!! Well, not really intentionally. She was chattering away in her crib when I had put her down for her nap around 9. After about 10/15 mins of that, I said to G, "Oh, she's not going down, I'm going to go in and get her." (btw, I am digressing here b/c this part is so cute it makes me laugh every time I think about it)
When I opened the door, this is what I saw: D standing in the corner of her crib, facing the wall and babbling. Just playing and the moment I opened the door and she saw me, she quickly jumped forward into the lying down position (as if looking like, "I'm sleeping!") It was hilarious.
I picked her up and all was fine. Then I passed her off to grandma and she cried a little bit, just protesting but then got over it. All was fine as I went off to make lemon bars.
All of a sudden, after about 20 minutes I hear D crying very loudly and grandma coming over to me saying, "If she rubs her eyes, does that mean she's tired and needs a nap?"
Um, yes, but that doesn't mean grandma can put her down for one. She's never experienced that as a naptime routine so, uh, no. That didn't work.
So, I go in to pick her up and she's better but then I hand her off to grandma again as I am still finishing my lemon bars. Dillon is crying very loudly and is clearly ver upset but I think she'll get over it. I let her carry on for the next 15 mins maybe? And finally go over to rescue her which at that point she is PISSED and not about to let me get away such blatant neglect so easily. She is howling even after I've picked her up and am trying to comfort her. She cannot be comforted. This goes on for another maybe 20 minutes with some moments of pauses in between but still hiccoughing from crying so hard.
Oh's her birthday and I don't think her feeling were ever so hurt. Poor baby.
The good thing is, she finally did go down for her nap and then all was forgotten when she woke up. She had a fantastic birthday!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gutter mind

The more time I spend with D, the more I keep thinking this relationship we have is a lot like male- female relationships.
Take for instance, my previous post about trying to discipline her by saying no. And how she just laughs at me beeecaause in a male-female relationship, No always means Yes, right? Riight.
And now, D thinks it's funny to now drink from her sippy cup or bottle and just either let the liquid run out of her mouth onto her shirt or she spits it out. At which point, I say to her, "No, darling, we swallow...we don't spit."
Hello? There's the male-female thing again...
I don't know why my mind is always in the gutter.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tweaking? Oh I should just leave that to the birds...

Hahaha...what was I thinking? Tweaking? First nap at 11am, second at 3:30? Whaat? Whoo?
Uh-uh. Not D.

She did go down for her first nap at 11 without a peep. Slept til 12:30p, but then wasn't feeling her second nap. I mean, who was I kidding? I can't expect her to go down after just 3 hours. But then as I was perusing the message boards at I came across a post of a mom who mentioned her sister's baby, unlike most babies, never had sleep problems when he was overtired. He just slept.
And then I remembered, hey yeah, D is the same way! She'd never really slept poorly if overly tired sooooo...she did not go down for another nap and didn't seem to tired so I pushed her a little more for a close to 7:30p bedtime.
Here's to seeing how long she'll sleep tonight!


Time to tweak with D's naps. Here was D's previous sleep sched:
6am wake up
9am-ish nap
10:30am wake up
1:30/2pm-ish nap
wake up whenever
Bed around 7:30p

She has always been an early riser and tends to start rolling around in her bed by 5:30am, if not sooner and we just ignore her and not pick her up until after 6am.

Lately, she has been refusing to go down for a nap by 9am so we've had rolling around and crying for an hour, then I pick her up and go ahead with the day. She usually ends up being super tired and goes down for a nap around 11am/noon?
Then no nap from whenever she wakes up til bedtime which now we have moved to closer to 7pm in order that she doesn't get too tired!
But now she is definitely waking up around 5am. Uh, no thanks...

So, starting today I am tweaking her naps. Just put her down around 11am. She fell asleep! No fussing! Wheee!
If she looks like she's going to sleep past 1.5 hours, I will have to wake her up. So that she can take another nap around 3/4pm (and only for an hour) and then back to her original bedtime around 7:30p!
We shall see how that works out.
This mommy thing is a constant struggle. Where's the fun? Cuteness only goes so far.

Monday, February 8, 2010


My mommy friends are so talented and such a source of inspiration. E is an amazing DIY baby food chef. At any one time she has at least 10 ingredients in her freezer ready to compile into a yummy meal. For instance, at the time that I was inquiring about her "pantry", these were the items she listed in her freezer - asparagus, sweet potato, rice, quinoa, bell pepper, peas, turnips, white beans, pureed cherry, oatmeal...all prepared and flash frozen.
And from those ingredients, she tossed them in a pan or in the micro to create baby fried rice (mushrooms, rice, peas, ground beef, green peppers)
Or Indian Dal: lentils, half cube of sauteed onion, chunked mango and yogurt.
WHHAAAT? This woman is awesome!
Why didn't I think of that?? So, I am going to hunt down a regular old ice cube tray and try to do the same thing.
Right now, I make everything fresh, day of, hour of because I can't seem to get it together. However, because of E's genius I too have frozen and ziplocked some sweet potato, asparagus and some spaghetti squash.
Next up, we have K...she creates beautiful bento box lunches for her two daughters. I mean, this woman is a creative genius. Really. See pic below:
Look at that car and the stoplight...that is really cool! So, when Dillon gets a little bit older and is not so picky about her food textures, I, TOO am going to create beautiful little bento boxes for her! Who knows, I just might start making bento boxes for the whole family...Boulder, Portion control is what K likes to reference.
And the third person who inspires me is J. I was over at her house the other day and here is how a conversation went between her and her almost 3 year old son, Eliot:
E reaches over to turn on the TV, E: Look mommy! I can turn on the TV!
J: No, Eliot, you cannot...(then after thinking about it, she rephrases), Yes, Eliot, you can turn on the television, but you may not.
E: I can turn on the television
J: Yes, Eliot, you can physically turn on the television but you may not. (voice a little more stern)
I mean, that worked. E thought about it and then stopped trying to turn on the telly. I thought that was so well phrased by J and really found it inspiring that she is such a reasonable mother.
May I be that level headed when dealing with a talking, walking Dillon. May I always be level-headed when she is throwing tantrums and trying to "push her weight" around here...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Expanding our repetoire of words

Wheee! D is soo smart! Or is that me being biased? Well you decide. Here is the list of words she recognizes (all in Chinese, of course!):

Wa-tze - socks. When we ask her where her socks are, she looks for them.
Tswan wa-tze - wear your socks. And when we say to her to "Tswan wa-tze" she puts her sock on her foot. Well, literally on top of her foot b/c she doesn't know how to put her socks on yet. :o)
Bi-tze - nose. Whenever you say that, she points at her nose!
Pai pai so - clap your hands. She will clap her hands when you say this.
Gwo lai - come here. She is working on this. She knows it, but is kind of stubborn to move.
Tsan chi lai - stand up. She will stand up when we say this.
Sway jiao - sleep. She doesn't love this word when I say it for naps sometimes, but she knows it.

I think that's pretty good for being not even a year old yet! All useless words right now, but hey, whatever. She's brilliant. Oh yeah, and whenever she hears the word, "yeayyy.." she will clap her hands. Or will clap her hands if she hears any type of cheering. How fun is that?

There's a whole lotta cryin going on...

And those aren't my tears that are flowing, mind you. Yup, it's the little D. She does a lot of crying when it's eating time. She is soo testing her art of manipulation - how hard do I need to cry before I can get my way? How many buckets of tears?
Really. I think.
Eh, could be a combination of tiredness and boredom?
But I vote for the former. I'm pretty sure she's practicing the art of manipulation because the moment we give her what she wants - to pick her up - she smiles and all the tears are gone.
It's crazy. It's been a few days now. Not every meal time but oftentimes at dinner. Oh she goes on and on. And when G's around, the show is even more dramatic. She knows she can touch daddy's heart...well, he's pretty good about trying to reason with her too and ignoring her tantrums.
Man, is she testing my nerves.