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20 Months Old Today!

5 Apr
© Photos by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

05 April 2012 // Los Angeles, CA

We have returned to LA and have been living with Tita Lisa, Funkle Ray, Ate Nuna and Kuya Issei.  It has been tight, but we’re making it work!  We’re definitely making the most of their last few months in LA before they head back to Ithaca.  In fact, we are actually going to be packing up soon again, too!  Papa got offered a role in “Chinglish” at the Berkeley Rep Theatre!  All of his understudying in Chicago and Broadway paid off!  We’ll be in downtown Berkeley from the end of July until the end of October.  In the meantime, we’re still searching for a sublet here in LA.  All of my fingers and Fred Flinstone toes are crossed!

  • MILESTONES:
    • I am no longer breastfeeding!  I have been off the boob for a month now!  It has been a smooth and painless transition.
    • I am officially not bald!  While I look like I already have a receding hairline, I have a full head of curls! The answer to your question is, “It’s from Lola’s side of the family!  Her brothers had curly hair when they were little boys.”
    • A non-relative babysitter successfully put me to bed!  Mama, Papa, Tita Lisa and Funkle Ray went out on a double date for the first time in 7 years without kids!
    • Grandpa taught me to say, “Moooooooo!” when he points to a cow’s picture!  (Grandma and Grandpa spent 2 weeks in LA this past March.  It was great to catch up with them!)  This is a big deal, because I’m still not really talking yet.
  • NEW TRICK: When someone says, “Whassup?” I cross my arms like I’m a rapper.
  • NEW FAVORITE FOODS:
    • almond butter and jelly sandwiches
    • French toast
    • roasted pine nuts
    • walnut prawns
    • shrimp chips
    • ice cream
    • blueberry muffins
    • polvoron
  • ALL-TIME FAVORITES:
    • eggs
    • avocado
    • bananas
    • waffles
    • fries
    • Greek yogurt
    • oatmeal
    • grapes
    • prunes
    • frozen yogurt

MAMA + ME: Even though I see Mama 24/7, I act like I have constant separation anxiety.  I am annoyed by her being on the computer all the time.  I know she’s busy looking for jobs, but I expect her to play with me when I want her to play with me!  I often try to pull her away from her  laptop or open the door to the room where she’s working or climb into her lap while she’s typing.  I know Mama’s trying to train me to be more independent, but I keep trying to convince her that I’m in charge and I want what I want!

Mama recently went to CardioBarre class two days in a row with Tita Ging which means that I tagged along and stayed with the in-house babysitters.  On the first day, I was fine because my old buddy, Annabelle, (the 10-year-old daughter of one the staff members) was there to entertain me.  But on the second day, I was instantly hesitant to walk down the hallway entrance to the studio.  Plus, Annabelle was nowhere in sight.  Not good.  I screamed on and off in the play room during the whole 1-hour class.  Then, I had night terrors for a couple nights after that.  Mama and Papa remember Ate and Kuya going through the same thing when they were younger so I guess this is normal.

I am definitely testing my limits the most with Mama.  We butt heads a lot and she gets frustrated that I laugh in her face or throw an Academy Award-winning tantrum when she lays down the law.  I can tell that she is setting the stage for a new transition in my life.  Mama keeps on warning me that I’m going to start regular daycare soon and I have to get used to being away from her.  I think she thinks her technique will work the same way it did for breastfeeding, but I’m on to her!  She can’t outsmart me this time!  I’m a big boy!

19 Months Old Today!

5 Mar
© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

05 March 2012 // Folsom, CA

  • SLEEPING: This whole month while at Lola and Lolo’s big house, I’ve had a whole room to myself! So, I’ve been sleeping for 11 to 12 hours! During the day, I’m down to one 1-2 hr. nap. Hooray!
  • TOYS: Yes, it’s true. I am very spoiled by my Lola and Lolo, but I’m getting great use out of all of my toys – both old and new.
    • Cedro-size train ride
    • Drum set
    • Backyardigan guitar
    • Indoor swing: I never get tired of swinging. I even boss Lola and Lolo to push me harder and higher. (It doesn’t look like it in the picture because I’m jet-lagged.)
    • My Personal Park: I still go through all the things in the playground that Lolo built for me. Of course, I’m still loving my sandbox.
    • Vintage Toys: Lola saves everything! I have been enjoying using Mama and Tita Ging’s Tupperware set and pretend that I’m drinking from the mini mugs.
  • MANNERISMS: I’m still not talking, but I have a knack for communicating without words.
    • I love to give kisses and hugs (especially when I’m in trouble).
    • When someone comes to get me from my room in the morning, I am usually standing up in the crib and emphatically pointing to my diaper.
    • I’m a very affectionate boy and I’m very sad when Lola leaves to go to work in the mornings. After she changes my diaper, I pat the couch next to me to make her stay a little while longer before she goes. I also like to watch her leave and wait for her to come back at the front window.
    • I know I’m a cute kid.  One day, Mama asked me, “Nasaan si Pogi?” (translation: “Where’s Handsome?)  I immediately pointed to myself.  I guess she didn’t realize that I associate “Pogi” with myself.  Doesn’t she know that she calls me that all the time?  Duh!
    • Today, after my nap, I noticed that my snack container was empty. I looked down and then up at Mama and turned my palms up as if to say, “What’s up? Where’s my food?”
    • Speaking of food, I LOVE to feed myself! I’m really good at using a spoon and fork. I’ve got the shoveling down pat. I don’t think these adults feed me fast enough!
    • The best way to get me to hydrate is to shout, “Kanpai!” (translation: “Cheers!”) I love clinking my sippy cup with the grown-ups. I’m so dramatic when I drink. I knock my head back and take big swigs!
    • I am a very appreciative little boy and I’ve substituted the sign language sign for “Thank You” with a very deep and respectful Japanese bow instead. On a good day, I will do this without any coaching from anyone.  I also bow at the beginning and at the end of meals (although it cracks me up when my family says grace).
    • I love to shrug my shoulders.
    • I love to hide! Mama will usually cover us up with a big throw pillow on our heads or make a tent with a blanket and her arms. I can stay very still for a pretty long time for a toddler and then I scream like crazy when someone shows up!
    • I still love to be chased.
    • I think it’s hysterical when Mama sneezes. It’s allergy season so she’s sneezing a lot which means I’m laughing a lot!
    • Lately, I’ve been squeezing my eyes shut and making noises when I don’t get my way. Today, Lolo trained me to turn this into “Magandang Mata” (translation: “Beautiful Eyes”) where it looks like I’m sort of batting my eyelashes. All anyone has to do is say “Magandang Mata” and I’ll do it… if I feel like it.
  • TEETH: I have 12 teeth!
  • BREASTFEEDING: Down to 1 session a day especially when someone else puts me down for a nap or bedtime. I’m not happy about Mama’s dwindling milk supply but I know I can deal without it. While breastfeeding, she tells me that I’m a big boy and that I don’t need to breastfeed anymore and I squeeze my eyes shut, shake my head and giggle, trying to ignore her.

This has been such a fun month at Lola and Lolo’s place. What a great transition from NYC to LA. They’ve done so much for us and we appreciate it all!

I know Lola and Lolo are going to miss me, but I’m going to miss them more.

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

04 March 2012 // Orangevale, CA

18 Months Old Today!

5 Feb
© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

New York City, NY // 31 January 2012

  • HEIGHT: 33.25 inches (I grew 1.5 inches in 2 months!)
  • WEIGHT: 25 lbs. 12 oz. (I only gained 1 lb. 4 oz. since my last check-up… probably because of the nasty stomach bug and the fact that I’m a pickier eater these days.)
  • HEAD CIRCUMFERENCE: 19.75 inches (My Megamind head only grew 0.25 inches since my last check-up.)
  • TEETH:  I have 10 teeth with 2 more coming in!
  • PLAY TIME: I love to play with my usual toys but needless to say I have been preoccupied with my first train track set!  I enjoy breaking apart the pieces and throwing them just as much as I love pushing my trains on the tracks.  My parents call this my Godzilla act.  (Also known as the next bullet point.)
  • EARLY TERRIBLE 2’s:  Good thing I have charming good looks because I have been exhibiting very un-charming behavior lately.  Toddler tantrums — high-pitched screaming, throwing things and melting on the ground.  Mama and Papa are trying to be patient while teaching me what’s appropriate behavior.  They assume that this phase will pass or hopefully diminish as soon as I can speak.
  • COMMUNICATING: I shake my head a lot even though I might mean “Yes” instead of “No” and instead of the regular sign for “Thank You,” I tend to bow Japanese-style.
  • BABBLING:  I also love to babble and make a noise that sounds like, “GjuhGjuhGjuh.”  It’s a cross between babbling and gurgling.  Check out my video below.
  • EATING:  I have become very picky lately.  I seem to want to eat only eggs and cheese, oatmeal, prunes, waffles, yogurt and grapes.  My papa is so thrilled when I eat something different like one of his kale dishes.
  • HUGGING:  I like to walk up behind Mama when she’s sitting or crouched on the ground and give her a full-body hug from behind.  If I hug her from the front, I like to give little pats on her back.
  • HOLDING HANDS: When I get up in the morning, I walk up to the bedroom door with Mama and wait for her to open it.  Then, I take her hand and walk out with her.  I also like to lead people by the hand when I want to show them something or play together.
  • WASHING HANDS: I get a kick out of using bar soap when I wash my hands.  I think it’s hysterical when it slips out of my hands!
  • SLEEPING: Mama has been sleeping in the living room and I sleep anywhere from 9-11 hours at night.  I also nap twice for about an hour at a time.  Not bad considering we’re going through another major transition!
  • BREASTFEEDING: Still down to 2 breastfeeding sessions a day — first thing in the morning and right before bedtime — with the occasional pre-nap fix.  Mama and Papa decided not to stress about weaning since (a) too much is going on right now with our move and (b) Mama is planning on going back to work when we move back to California and I’ll probably naturally wean myself. (…. they hope!)

Can’t believe we’re headed back to California tomorrow.  My family and friends won’t believe how much I’ve grown!

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!

New Baby Essentials

13 Aug

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez NishiiCedro is 8 days old.  Here’s a copy of an email sent to Cedro’s grandparents (Dan + Gloria Ibañez aka “Lolo” and “Lola”; Hisao + Hisano Nishii aka “O-Papa” and “Obaachama”;  Jeff + Louise Davis aka “Grandpa” and “Grandma”) and to our siblings and their husbands (Arlene + Danny Yoo aka “Tita Ging” and “Uncle Danny”; Lisa Nishii + Ray Kim aka “Tita Lisa” and “Funkle Ray”).

08/13/10 – 12:46pm

hello family!!!

this week has been quite an adventure figuring out the whole breastfeeding-diaper-change-sleep-deprivation thing! we’re slowly but surely developing our own systems for each situation… © Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

I ordered a special nursing pillow that wraps around me + has back support + it arrived yesterday. now all of a sudden I feel so much more relaxed. it has completely alleviated my back pain + allowed me to have both hands free while cedro eats! YAY!

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishiiafter dozens of soiled changing cloths, washcloths, + blankets in a couple of days of diaper changes… we decided to get the changing pad that I had been eyeing since before C was born.  attached is a photo. it’s made out of a special nonporous foam that’s waterproof, easy to clean + comfy for the baby. it’s not cold to the touch @all. we can also use it for his sponge baths! we have designated the larger bathroom as the changing station because of the heat lamp + proximity to a sink.

now that cedro is eating for longer periods of time (20-30 min per boob) he’s also sleeping longer. up to 4 hours sometimes! he’s definitely hitting the 3hr mark more easily.

so it goes without saying that we’re enjoying getting to know Baby C!

xoxo
ABC