Friday, July 2, 2010

Baby Giggles are the BEST!

Ever since B was only a few weeks old, he'd smile in his sleep. Soon, he began smiling while he was awake, but they were often spontaneous. Now, however, his smiles indicate to us that he is in a good mood. Along with his smiles are giggles! And believe me when I say this-- baby giggles are the best. They can transform a terrible, horrible, no-good day into a slightly better, terrible, horrible, no-good day even if just for a few seconds. Enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

6 Months

I thought it would be fun to make a list of the things B now knows how to do at 6 months. I still can't believe how there was a point in time when he couldn't do any of these things!

1. smile
2. giggle
3. pull my hair
4. reach for things
5. grasp objects
6. shake a rattle
7. activate toys by pushing buttons on toys
8. pull a string making his toys move
9. spin objects
10. feed himself a bottle
11. touch his toes
12. put his toes in his mouth
13. feed every 4 hours
14. splash in the bath
15. tummy time
16. push his chest completely off the floor
17. play peekaboo
18. hold a book
19. eat solids
20. sleep through the night
21. roll from his tummy onto his back
22. roll from his back onto his tummy
23. sit up unassisted
24. sit in a high-chair
25. stand for a few seconds while arms are holding onto something
26. squirm/wannabe half crawl

Just like many other first time moms, I was constantly worrying that B wasn't doing something and now in hindsight, many things have become second nature for him. All of those baby books list things that baby should be doing by a certain age, etc. In small print, it always says, "EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT." Yaddi-yah. When B wasn't able to stay on his tummy for more than a few seconds at a time, I remember thinking that there might be something wrong with him. I worried about this, this, and that.

The best advice that my colleague gave me was to throw out all of the baby books I had. When she initially told me that, I have to admit...I thought to myself, "She's crazy!", but after finally taking her advice I can honestly say that I've calmed down so much. The only time I really think about these benchmarks is when B has his well-visits with the pediatrician. She's the one who can tell me whether or not he's developing appropriately or if he's lagging. I trust my pediatrician and I'll leave that to her.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Eating Solids

Our dinner routine was pretty consistent for a good chunk of time: I'd nurse B and let him digest for a while. Then, we put him in the jumperoo as we ate our dinner. At around the 4 month mark, however, B became increasingly interested in our meals.

Our pediatrician told us that we could start introducing solids to B at around 5.5 months, so that's what we did. We started him off on just a tbsp of rice cereal mixed with expressed milk. Since then, he's tried a few other things:

1. rice cereal
2. oatmeal
3. banana
4. avocado
5. sweet potato (the korean go-goo-mah, yellow flesh kind)
6. sweet potato (the orange flesh kind)

I'd always known that I wanted to make B's food. A girlfriend of mine gifted us Karmel's First Meals and I read it while I was pregnant, but I hadn't thought about it since he was born. After our pediatrician's visit, I quickly skimmed the beginning few chapters of the book to refresh my memory as to what infants can and cannot have and just started making purees using our food processor.

On this week's to-make menu are:
1. apples
2. pears
3. carrots
4. peas
5. cantelope

It is a lot simpler and cheaper than I had imagined! After making batches of different purees, I freeze them into ice trays with lids and then transfer them into ziploc baggies once frozen. When it's time to feed him, I just nuke a cube or two and let it cool down.

We use:
spoons from Sassy
and bowls from Munchkin
The hardest part for us has been trying to figure out how much B should be eating. At our 6 month well-visit, we were shocked when she told us that he wasn't eating enough for his age/weight!! (Have you seen our baby?) His increasing fussiness had been a result of hunger!!

While I was at work (up until yesterday), feeding on a typical day would look like this:
1. nurse at around 6 followed by 2tbsp of rice cereal or oatmeal with 1 cube of a fruit or veggie
2. 5oz bottle at around 10:00
3. 5oz bottle at around 2:00
4. nurse at around 5:00 followed by 2tbsp of rice cereal or oatmeal with 2 cubes of a fruit or veggie (We eat dinner after this feeding and have him continue sitting in his highchair as we eat.)
5. 4oz bottle at around 7:15

Now that I'm on summer vacation, we're in the process of figuring out a good routine. Hopefully it won't be too considerably different from what he's used to. Since I won't be giving him the daytime bottles anymore, I'll have to nurse him more frequently. Plus, we're trying to offer him solids three times a day. These things, in turn, will affect his daytime (or lack thereof) sleep too! Thank goodness babies are more flexible than you think!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Preparing for a day in the sun

On one of the days during the three-day Memorial Day weekend, our friend S invited us to her parents' pool at their home on Long Island. We were so excited as it was B's first time in the pool!

We had one weekend to prepare before the big dip, so we started doing research on floaties, swim diapers and bathing suits. We shopped around online and decided on the Babyspring Float, which he ended up hating, Huggies Little Swimmers, and we got him swim gear from Old Navy.

Before we left the apartment, I double checked our diaper bag to see that everything was stocked. Then I worked on preparing a second bag with his swim gear, some toys, and a few books (of course). I then packed a third bag with Joon and my stuff like towels, an extra change of clothes, and sunblock. Packing for a one day excursion involves so much that I can't even imagine what it would be like having to pack for a whole weekend or dare I say a whole week!

Dousing him with sunblock

All smiles en route to the pool

Family photo

Another one

Baby and me

hanging out poolside

Baby and daddy making sure mommy's watching over

B ended up enjoying the water and had a great time. He was so tired on his way home.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fun in the jumperoo

Ben does NOT like being kept on his back. Now that he's getting bigger, he insists on being held upright. Unfortunately, this makes it harder on us because we need to tend to him much more. We can't leave him in the gym mat while I sterilize bottles or do 1 of the 34837 things on our to-do list.

We've been delaying the purchase of an excersaucer because we haven't had time to do research and because we learned a lesson about making new purchases-- make sure baby actually likes the thing before spending another $100 on something he won't like.

Fortunately, someone generously gave us their used Jumperoo and it has been sitting in the corner of the nursery for at least 3 months. I didn't think we'd use it until after B graduated from using the excersaucer. Tonight, we said "What the heck" and gave it a try before bathing him and we got such a kick out of it. Watch the clip below and you'll see what I'm talking about. We couldn't stop laughing!

Looking forward to many more happy moments to come!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

First Baseball Game at Citifield

Joon and I grew up rooting for the Mets since we were kids. Being the hardcore fan that he is, Joon couldn't wait to take his little boy to his first ball game. He bought tickets as soon as they went on sale for opening day 2010 at Citifield. He debated as to what little B would wear. I, on the other hand, couldn't stop myself from thinking about all of the necessary planning involved in taking an infant to a baseball game.

These are just a few of the things that came to my mind immediately after Joon told us we would be going to the game:

1. Does the stadium allow for strollers?
If yes, where would we park the stroller when we're seated? If not, how will we carry the baby there? How will we carry baby around the stadium?

2. Will our seats be near the aisle? Will I have to get up a billion times if baby doesn't want to stay seated? What if the people sitting next to us get annoyed?

3. When baby needs to be changed, will I have to change him in the women's restroom?

4. Where and when will baby be fed?

5. How will we dress the baby? What if he's too hot? What if it's too cold?

6. What should we pack in our diaper bag?

7. Do we take our DSLR or our point and shoot?

As you can imagine, I was only making myself more anxious than I already am. After some research before going to the game and having gone to the game, here are the answers to my earlier questions:

1. Some stadiums allow strollers and have designated stroller parking areas. However, these parking areas only allow for umbrella strollers which can be folded up and are compact enough to fit into a tiny area. So if you have any other kind, you have to come up with a plan B. Since our Bugaboo is no where near being compact, we decided to use our Baby Bjorn. It was definitely a good idea because we were able to have B face outward and observe everything going on around him rather than using our other carrier (which I typically prefer).

2. We were seated 4 seats away from an aisle, so it wasn't so bad. We did end up feeling badly since we had to get up several times when B was getting fussy from the noise, to change him, to feed him, and to avoid the hot beams of the sun. Next time, we are definitely going to try to get aisle seats so that we don't have to bother anyone!

3. Citifield had restrooms but they are usually locked, so you have to get a key from someone who works there, which was annoying.

4. We ended up feeding B only one time while we were there. Our tickets gave us access to an indoor, air-conditioned area with a lounge area. I highly recommend trying to work this into your ticket deal. It was great relief being able to drop all of our stuff, and sit comfortably for a while with baby on the couch (on a blanket of course) and not have to carry the baby the entire time.

5. Although Joon carefully planned B's outfit based on what he thought looked best, I knew we had more to consider. I found myself checking the weather forecast for a week before the game. We were lucky to go on a day when there was good sunshine with a nice breeze. B was dressed in a short sleeved shirt with thin sweatpants. It seemed perfect for a while, but we were seated, the sun was shining directly onto us so it was SO incredibly hot! When we got up to walk around the stadium, we were under the shade and it was ridiculously cold! We then put him in a long sleeved shirt.

6. In our diaper bag we had the usual stuff. The only additional thing that we packed was a long sleeved shirt and extra diapers.

7. We didn't want to have to schlep so much stuff with us since we didn't have our stroller to hang things onto and since we were taking the subway for a stop. We decided to take our DSLR because we figured that since this was B's first ball game, we should try to take nice photos for him to look back at when he's older.

Family photo time

100th Day Celebration

The 100th day of baby's life is considered to be a huge milestone in the Korean culture.

In honor of Ben's 100th day birthday on March 28, my parents and mother-in-law joined us to celebrate. My mother arranged a mini-spread of different types of foods on our dining table so that we could take the typical family photos standing behind it.

The cake reads, "Happy 100th day".

I can't believe how time really flies!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Babies Have Intuition. They Just Know... (feeding and sleeping)

When people ask if Ben is a good sleeper, I usually say, "It depends." If you're talking about how he naps, then the answer is no. If you're asking about his sleep at night, then the answer is yes.

Just like his mom, Ben is NOT a napper. My mom tells me that I hated napping as an infant up until I was in kindergarten. In pre-school, while the other kids took out their mats for naptime, my teacher had to sit with me because I wouldn't sleep! I bet she tried doing everything until she finally accepted the fact that I wasn't going to nap. I remember having to do extra math sheets while my buddies were snoring away.

On any given day, Ben might take 2 naps that last for about 15 minutes at most. You could clearly tell he's tired-- he gets cranky, his eyes get smaller, he rubs his eyes, etc. but this baby refuses to sleep! We've tried the bouncer, the swing, putting him in the stroller, and carrying him for over an hour. His eyes might close for a few seconds, but then he quickly opens them again.

When we first brought Ben home, he wasn't sleeping much at all. However, for the past 4 weeks, he's been an awesome sleeper, sleeping from the moment we put him down into his crib which is usually at around 7:30-8:00 to 6 am! He started doing this a little before I had to go back to work. It was almost as if he knew that I needed him to sleep through the night so that I could survive at work. We were shocked by this because prior to it happening, he was waking up quite frequently.

When we were first discharged after his birth, we were told to feed him every two hours, even if it required that we had to wake him up from his sleep. Even if he slept for longer intervals, we didn't let him. They never tell you that feeding a baby every two hours means that the next feeding starts two hours from the beginning of the last feeding-- not two hours from the end of the last feeding!! This means that if it takes your baby 30 minutes for a feeding, the next feeding really starts 1.5 hours after the last ends. Needless to say, we didn't sleep very much for the first two weeks.

When we finally decided to be less strict about his feedings, the whole jaundice fiasco began (remember? his bili level was at 23) and the drs at the ER scared us by saying that his jaundice won't get better unless we fed him every two hours. So we were back to the 2 hour schedule.

After a few weeks, our worrying about his jaundice had subsided. We continued to swaddle him now using the Miracle Blanket instead of the Halo Sack and started weaning off his night-time feedings one at a time and didn't feed him until he woke up on his own, which was every 3 hours and then every 4 hours. Eventually, he was sleeping for a good 5 hour chunk and then a 7 hour one. (For a period of time, he would wake up every day at 4am on the dot giving us a 4 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep, which we needed desperately.) As I mentioned earlier, for the past 4 weeks, he's been sleeping through the entire night waking up at around 6 and hanging out in his crib until his morning feeding at 630ish.

Now this brings me to today-- the first day of my spring break. He decided to wake up once at 2am which didn't require much other than placing a binky in his mouth. And then he decided to wake up again at 4am and he just kept on playing in his crib cooing and babbling nonstop which was followed by crying. Joon and I tried figuring out why he didn't sleep through the night this time but couldn't think of any specific reason.

Sometimes, I wonder if babies know what's really going on. It was almost as if Ben knew that I wasn't going to work this morning and he knew 3 weeks ago that I would be going to work and needed sleep. I wonder if this pattern will continue and what's going to happen when I have to go back in a week. Hopefully my theory will hold true and he'll sleep through the night again because if not, then I'm in big trouble!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fist Pumping Baby

Since Ben isn't allowed to watch TV, we don't understand how he learned how to fist pump like the guys on the Jersey Shore. We hope he doesn't live by their motto of GTL (gym, tan, laundry) although I wouldn't mind him doing the laundry from time to time. =)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Recapping the Past 4 weeks

What's happened in the past 4 weeks? Hope these photos can do the recapping...

We celebrated weeks 10, 11, 12, and 13. We love these photos of him smiling with his eyes closed.

He's gotten better at tummy time, although he still hates it. His cheeks keep weighing him down!

He loves listening to stories. Boy can focus!

He had his first playdate with his friend Gavin.

He went to the park for the first time. We enjoyed the beautiful 65 degree weather!

He knows how to pick up the ladies. "How YOU doing!"

He can grasp the bendy ball and smiles when he drops it.

He sucks his fingers.

He spent time with family.

He got new hats. Here are two of them.

He browsed the books at Barnes and Nobles.

And finally, he can't stop smiling!

Our beautiful baby!