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1st Time Using Training Chopsticks!

15 Jan

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Vote for Cedro’s Belly!

4 May
© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

Vote for Cedro's belly!

At the Pregnancy Awareness Month kick-off last Sunday, I came across the Belli Skincare booth.  They have 3 collections of skincare products for pregnancy, motherhood and babies.  I’ve been enjoying their samples and will probably continue to use their products.  Anyway…. they are having a Belli Beautiful Contest and of course, I immediately entered Cedro into the “Little Tummies” category.

Here’s my description that I included with my photo:

“Cedro is our little Zen Baby! As a first-time mom at 38, I was nervous about my pregnancy, but Cedro is now 9 months old and hasn’t given us anything to worry about! We are so lucky that he is happy and healthy and strong!… This photo was taken this morning as he was rolling around in bed. I love the Shaolin-monk-action-shot feel with his top open revealing his delicious squishy belly. I also love the ecstatic look on his face with his two new teeth peeking out… I know everyone loves their babies but he has a particularly calming effect on anyone who comes into contact with him. He has some serious mojo! You can’t help but smile when you’re around him!”

Please vote for Cedro!  There are only about 19 contestants in his category.  He just needs to beat 381 votes!  He might stand a chance if you all vote for him every day until May 7th!   The winners will be announced after Sunday, May 8th.

Pregnancy Awareness Month!

1 May
photo from Alice Yoo's camera

Ibañez sisters (Ardith Nishii + Arlene Yoo) and Kim sisters (Grace Linker + Alice Yoo) out celebrating Pregnancy Awareness Month! (photo courtesy of Alice Yoo)

(NO!  I’m not pregnant, but I HOPE to be pregnant again in the next couple of years AND I’m not-so-secretly hoping that my sister will get pregnant soon!  Cedro needs a cousin!)  Enjoyed an eventful sunny day today with Baby C, my sis, Alice + Grace at the kick-off for Pregnancy Awareness Month at Bergamot Station not far from our place.

Got there 30 minutes early to score a gift bag among the first 200 attendees and found about 100 people already there ahead of us!  It was definitely worth the wait.  Cedro chatted it up with the other kids in line and the gift bag was ENORMOUS.  Haven’t finishing going through all the loot, but items included Belli skincare samples and a 9oz. BornFree® bottle.  Almost each booth had giveaways.  I snatched a mOmma teether for Cedro.  He is very picky about what he uses as a teether and he seemed to like this one instantly.  (See photos.)

© Photos by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

Cedro loves his new "Jack" teether by mOmma!

For the past week, I have been debating over when to start Cedro on Cheerio-like cereal now that he has a couple teeth coming in at the top.  He has only had pureed food or very soft food like tofu or frozen whole wheat bagels.  Luckily, there was a Plum Organics booth and Cedro was able to try their organic Super Puffs which dissolve much faster than the hard cereal.  He seemed to enjoy them after getting over the initial flavor and/or texture of the snack.  I will definitely make use of their coupon and pick some up the next time I’m at the store.  Cedro handled the puffs so well that I got over my initial fear and let him play with some Trader Joe’s O’s cereal as a fun finger food.  I think it’s safe to say that not only can he handle it, but he enjoys it!  (See photo.)

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

Joe's O's cereal makes Cedro happy!

Wish we had had the energy to stay longer but it was so packed!  It was a little too claustrophobic for me and I was wishing they had chosen a larger venue.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed all the baby/kiddie energy!  (I had to leave early anyway to pick up Brian from the airport.)  I passed by all the booths and signed up for as many giveaways as possible (like the true Filipino mama that I am)!  There were so many other things to do and see.  There was a GreenBliss EcoSpa where you could get massages or manicures with non-toxic nail polish.  There was a maternity fashion show… Oh well, next year!

On our way out, I met Dr. Harvey Karp.  (While I was pregnant, our good buddies, Rena and Damon, loaned us his book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, and it was helpful.)  Now that Cedro is days away from turning 9 months old, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to buy The Happiest Toddler on the Block DVD.  Dr. Karp seemed like a sweet and sincere guy.  I’ve seen his videos before and felt like the DVD would be useful.  Don’t get me wrong.  Cedro is by no means a problem baby, but as a first-time parent, I feel like anything can help!

As a stay-at-home mom, I find myself obsessed with finding the right gear for both Cedro and myself.  There are so many gadgets and programs these days.  The selection is a bit overwhelming.  It’s great to have something like Pregnancy Awareness Month where you can attend something like this kick-off event to sample, touch, feel and even taste products to help you make informed decisions about future purchases.  I was definitely impressed by all the offerings.  I will definitely attend again next year!

Pulled Myself Up!

15 Apr
© Photos by Brian Nishii

"I love my new playpen!" © Photos by Brian Nishii

Our bimonthly diaper delivery arrived today and Mama and Papa thought it would be fun and funny to push me around the office in the empty diaper box.  Well, before they knew it, I pulled myself up from a sitting position so that I was STANDING in the box!  This is my first time pulling MYSELF up to stand! It’s the perfect height for pull-up practice!

© Photo by Brian Nishii

"I see you, Papa!" © Photo by Brian Nishii

Mommy Milestones

22 Feb

© Photo by Brian Nishii

"Son of a French Fries Freak"... Thank you to Auntie Chris + Uncle Chris for Cedro's "Small Fries" onesie from the Shake Shack in NYC and to Tita Gigi + Uncle Armando for the coin purse that we use for our mountains of laundry!

Never a dull moment in the Ibañez Nishii household ever since Cedro came into our lives.  Today was no exception.  I felt like a true mom.  Had to take Cedro’s temperature for the first time.  With what?  A rectal thermometer, of course.  Yeow!… Cedro was completely unfazed.  Glad to know that Cedro is officially NOT feverish.  He’s had a runny nose so I wanted to put my worries to rest and there you have it…

In other news, we’ve discovered that Cedro prefers my homemade apple sauce to the store-bought organic stuff!!!  Never thought I’d be the type of person to make baby food from scratch.  (See photo above…  ie: There’s a reason why my closest friends have given me French fry-themed goodies for my baby!) Making homemade baby food is actually pretty fun.  Thanks to Cedro’s Tita Lisa and Funkle Ray for sending us our OXO Good Grips Food Mill.  It’s brilliant!  Love how it purees fruits and vegetables and separates the pits and skins from the final product.  Thanks also to Rachel, Mason’s mommy, for sharing the link to the Wholesome Baby Food website.  Been getting a lot of great recipes and cooking tips from there.  Anyway, I was beginning to think that Cedro didn’t like apples.  He has been rejecting diluted apple juice and the store-bought organic apple sauce that we’ve been trying to feed him.  Now I know that he actually likes my cooking.  YAY!

I’m ready to work again so we’re starting to bring in Cedro’s Tita Misa to babysit him for a few hours during weekdays.  Today was the first day of our arrangement and man, those 4 hours flew by!  I’m going to have to learn to be more efficient with my time.

And so my Adventures in Motherhood continue!

2nd Time in Shopping Cart!

22 Feb

2nd Time in Shopping Cart!, originally uploaded by ardiddy aka Cedro’s mama.

First time w/ my own cart cover from Lola!

All Aboard the Sleep Train!

23 Jan

© Photos by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

We have just begun Day 3 of trying to sleep train Cedro.  It’s time!

While we’ve been enjoying rocking him and snuggling with him for almost 6 months now, it’s time for us to teach him how to put himself to sleep.  We know it’s for everybody’s best interests for Baby C to learn how to self-soothe.  We share our bedroom with him and we all need to be able to sleep without waking each other up.  Plus, Cedro is now about 20 pounds and he’s only going to get heavier!  We physically can’t afford to let him become dependent on having someone rock him to sleep.  Without training, he has been sleeping pretty well for 2 to 5-hour blocks of time at night, BUT that’s with him snuggled between Mama and Papa in our bed and Mama functioning as The Human Pacifier.  His best daytime naps have been long, 2-hour naps, BUT that’s with me carrying him in our handy Baby K’Tan carrier.  No more BUTs!  No can do anymore!  Hence, the need for sleep training.  Here’s what we’re doing:

  • SITUATION AWARENESS: we’ve had to force ourselves to be more aware of time and of Cedro’s mood.  We’re trying to anticipate better when he needs a transition to a new activity… especially quiet time or sleeping.  We’ve been using the Baby Connect website to track his sleep.  It’s the same site we used to track his feeding when he was a newborn.  It’s a great way for us to anticipate when he’ll be ready to sleep.  It also helps us realize how long or short it takes for him to sleep.  Without tracking his crying, I’m sure 10 minutes would feel more like 30 minutes!
  • BEDTIME ROUTINE: apparently, babies thrive on consistency, so we’ve tried our best to establish a routine for both naps and nighttime bedtime.
    • FULL STOMACH: last week, we started to give Cedro some rice cereal before bed, hoping that the more solid food would keep him full and satisfied at night.
    • BATH: (at night)
    • NOISE MACHINES: ever since I was pregnant, I’ve been listening to the sound of the ocean at bedtime.  We have a regular sound machine and I also turn on the ocean sound on Cedro’s Ocean Wonders Mobile.  Baby C likes it loud!  We’ve noticed that if it’s too quiet, he jerks himself awake by the slightest sound.  If we’re not at home, we use my cell phone which has an album of nature sounds…
    • FRESH DIAPER
    • BREASTFEED: just to top him off.
    • STORY: I’ve been reading to him either “Guess How Much I Love You” or “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” since September when Ate Rhea and the Millers gave them to Cedro.  Now that we’re in sleep train mode, I’ve been reading to him while he’s already in the crib.
    • SONG: lately, Cedro has found “Do Re Mi” very soothing!  After the song, I say goodnight and give him a kiss and run out the door!  😀
    • CRY-IT-OUT METHOD:  we don’t go back in the bedroom until it’s time for his nighttime feeding.  In the meantime, we’re camped out in our office or the living room until it’s time to switch to the bedroom.

OPERATION SLEEP TRAIN NOTES:

  • The most Cedro has cried before sleeping was for his first nap on Friday, 1/21/11.  He cried for 1 hour and 15 minutes before finally falling asleep.
  • Since that first sleep session of Operation Sleep Train, he has taken anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes to cry himself to sleep on his own in the crib.
  • We’ve timed a couple naps in the car while running errands because it’s impossible for us to just be at home tied to the crib during this whole process.
  • On the first night, after initially falling asleep, Cedro cried out in his sleep just for a couple minutes every 30-60 minutes over the course of 3 hours.  Then, he slept quietly for another 2.5 hours, clocking his total sleep time at 5.5 hours before we went in to feed him again.
  • Last night, he did the same thing but was on his own for 7.5 hours!  Maybe it was because he was more tired?  His crying was more intense for the 30 minutes it took for him to fall asleep initially.  My theory was that (a) we didn’t start the bedtime ritual soon enough and (b) putting him to bed with a pacifier in his mouth is a bad idea because it falls out after 5 minutes and makes him super-pissed off.
  • Each night, Brian and I don’t go into the bedroom at all until it’s time for the nighttime feeding and somehow Cedro is able to sleep another 4-4.5 hours in the crib even while we’re asleep in the same room.

GEAR:

  • We wouldn’t be able to survive all this without our infant video monitor.  I know other parents would rather not hear or see anything while sleep training their babies, but we’re addicted to watching his progress through the night.  We’ll watch him almost like we’re watching a sporting event and cheer him on!  We notice that as soon as he flips onto his stomach, he’s able to tire himself out and eventually calm down and fall asleep.
  • We also installed a padded bumper in his crib.  We know that these non-breathable ones are controversial but we’d rather have the padding to protect his head, hands, feet, arms and legs while he’s flailing around trying to get himself to sleep.  He’s a strong baby and he’s able to reposition himself fine.
  • We also use the Pampers Baby Dry Diapers at night because they’re a lot more absorbent and don’t leak as much as the cheaper brands that we use during the day — Target or Costco ones.
  • Thanks to Cedro’s Lolo and Lola, we have a tower space heater that keeps the room at a designated temperature.  Despite the glorious Los-Angeles-un-January-like weather in the 70s during the day, it can be rather chilly in our bedroom at night.  (Lolo and Lola got it at Costco.)

Woa!  This is a long blog post!  Thanks for reading!… I wanted to document this to remind us of our experience when it comes time to sleep train Baby #2 someday…  We’ll see what happens during Lolo and Lola’s visit this weekend for their monthly Cedro fix.  We’re just going to go with the flow and try our best to foster some healthy sleep habits for Baby C.  The good news is that despite all this new stuff and sleep train stress thrown at him, he still wakes up happy and smiling. (Knock on wood!)

PS: Extra special thanks to our friends, Jennifer and Dale, who encouraged us to toss all the techniques out the window and just go for it.  We think it’s working!  Thanks for inspiring and motivating us!

© Photos by Ardith Ibañez Nishii