Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Funny Danica Quote of the Day

"I don't like dose anymore. Dey make me sick."

In reference to the mini marshmallows that Mom let her eat. Kindra figured The Girl would get sick of them and let her have a few. Mom was right.

Moms always know best, eh?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Standard Car Conversation

This sort of conversation happens to Kindra on a pretty regular basis in the car. Just out of the blue, Danica will say something as if the wheels have been turning for a while…

Girl: “Mommy, I scared of tigers.”

Mom: “What? Why?”

G: “Because dey might bite me.”

M: “They aren’t going to bite you.”

G: “Dey might!”

M: “They aren’t going to bite you because we don’t live near any tigers.”

G: “…”

Six seconds later…

G: “Mommy, I scared of dinosaurs, too.”

M: “!?!?!??”

G: “Dey might bite me, too.”

M: “Dinosaurs are not going to bite you.”

G: “Dey might!”

M: “Dinosuars are not going to bite you because they’re all dead.”

G: “…”

Six more seconds later…

G: “Because people DIED dem?”

M: “!”

Not really sure where the dinosaur thing came from, but I’m guessing that the tiger reference is because we’ve been watching Kung-Fu Panda, whose main villan is a tiger (well, it’s a snow leopard, but… eh).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

That's My Girl

Danica was wearing her Star Wars t-shirt today (which can be seen here) when we went to the mall to walk around a bit. We stopped by Borders so she could take a look at the books there when she spotted a DK reader (this one, actually – and no, we don’t need it, so don’t buy it).

Girl: “Daddy, dis Wall-E book?”

Dad: “No sweetie, that’s actually a Star Wars book. Good taste, though.”

G: [Clutching the book to her chest] “It match my shirt!”

D: ***Warm, fuzzy feeling***

* * *

I actually wanted to go down to the mall so that I could see if Danica would ride the kiddie train they have set up for the holidays. I got the idea after I saw my buddy Don’s kids in a picture he put up on his site. I knew going in that the downside would be that she would have to ride the train by herself, since the maximum height on the train is fifty inches.

I’d told her earlier in the day that we were going to see trains, so she was excited about it. When we got to the area where the train was, I had her watch for a while to get her comfortable with it. She was excited about seeing it, so I asked if she wanted to ride it. She responded with a yes, but I told her that she’d have to ride all by herself and that Daddy couldn’t go on with her. She responded that she was scared, which is something that she’s picked up over the last couple of months. I’ll have to write more about it some other time.

Anyway, I told her that there was nothing to be scared of and asked her if she wanted to ride the train. She said she wanted to, so I explained again that I couldn’t go on with her and that she would have to ride by herself. I had her watch a group of kids get on, explained to her what was happening, and talked her through the whole thing as the train went around for a while.

Things seemed good, so I we went to the entrance to wait. When it was her group’s turn (there were only three of us in line), I handed her a dollar to give to the kid who was handing out tickets. She handed it to him no problem, went through the gate onto the little platform they have, and then I took Colin around to opposite side of the platform where the exit was (FYI, the “platform” was a little 4x8 foot gazebo-like structure with the entrance gate on one side of the rectangle, and the exit on the other side of the rectangle – not very big).

So the three kids in the group were standing at the platform, waiting for the girl who strapped the kids into their seats to let them on the train. They were ready to get on but Danica just stood there, so the girl leaned over and asked her if everything was okay. Of course, at that point, things went downhill and were clearly not okay. The Girl burst into tears, and that was that. *Sigh*

In hindsight, it might have helped if I’d taken her on the train, but I think she would’ve freaked when I left. I think the only way she would’ve done it is if she’d had a friend to go on it with her. I tried talking her into trying again, but she wasn’t feeling it. We walked around for a bit and came back before we left. In fact, she said she wanted to ride the train, but when I mentioned that I couldn’t go on it with her, she became reluctant again.

Truth be told, I’m just disappointed that she has the same personality I do – headstrong but insecure. Here’s hoping we can overcome that.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

10:11 a.m. Verbatim

Dad gets the diaper bag ready for the late-morning errand run.

Girl: “Daddy, where we going?”

Dad: “We’re going to see Mommy later.”

G: “We going to see horseys?”

Dad’s not really paying attention as he finishes off making a grilled cheese.

D: “Do you want some of this grilled cheese?”

G: “Dey don’t haf grill cheese! Dey haf reindeers!”

Monday, December 8, 2008

Funny Danica Story of the Day - Christmas Show

I get a little overwhelmed when I have a lot of stuff that I want to write about but don’t have time to put in words. I then avoid doing it because I know I’ve got a ton of other stuff I should be working on. Anyway, to alleviate this problem, I’m going to try to blog a little bit each day, so you should see increased blog volume with decreased depth.

Now I don’t know how this happens, but Kindra always gets the good stories from Danica. A couple of days ago, they were driving home when the radio station played the Linus monologue from A Charlie Brown Christmas. The ensuing conversation:

D: “It Daddy’s punkin show!” (The Girl loves It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.)

K: “No, sweetie… it’s Daddy’s Christmas show.”

Monologue ends, song begins to play.

D: “It over, Mommy! Why it over?”

K: “They’re just playing the song, not the whole show.”

D: “Why it over? WHY IT OVER!?”

K: *Sigh*

Friday, December 5, 2008

I’m Sorry I Didn’t Take Care of It First

Crap. It’s been a month since I posted anything, which really speaks to the volume of work and lack of rest that we’ve had as a family these past few weeks.

Anyway, you might be wondering what the picture of the John “Hot Plate” Williams 1989-90 NBA Hoops card is for. It’s actually Colin’s first basketball card. Kindra had brought the kids by the 76 Classic (http://www.76classic.com/) at the Anaheim Convention Center where I was working last week so that the family could have some dinner together. While we were talking, an older gentleman came up, pulled out the card, and offered it to us as Colin’s first basketball card. He said he usually kept a couple of cards on him to give to kids, but didn’t have one for Danica because he’d given them to his grandkids earlier.

My only regret is that I wasn’t he person to give Colin his first card… I don’t even care if it’s of a player whose NBA career was cut short because weight issues who was playing for a team that has since changed its name (the Washington Bullets are now the Washington Wizards for those of you not in the know). John Williams entry at Wikipedia here.

Hmm… now that I tell the story, it sounds a little creepy.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

We had a doctor’s appointment for The Boy today. He weighed in at 17 pounds, 11.5 ounces, which is up from the 15 pounds, 6 ounces he weighed a month ago. He’s also 27 ¼ inches, up from 25 ½ inches.

Both kids are doing well and are over their cold issues for the most part, but the on-again, off-again cold weather here is messing with their noses. They both got their flu shots today, which we told Danica was like when she gives us “Strawberry Shortcake shots.” I have a feeling she’s not going to be too excited about being at the doctor’s office in the future, since it was the first time she’d had a shot in a long time and because I think she’s likely to remember the experience. Eh, I also told her tonight that the shot was a “little owie” to keep away the germ monsters and the big owies they could cause… I think I’m starting to get the hang of this fatherhood thing.

By the way, both of them were also great when we went to vote this morning. I took the kids around 10 a.m. after Mom said there was a fairly long line when she went at 7. Danica was content munching on some fruit snacks, and a bottle satiated the boy long enough for me to cast my ballot. Thank goodness there wasn’t a long wait when we went, though it was a little funny being the only male there with children, and the only parent there with more than one.

On another election note, I have to say I’m happy that my children were born during this time. At least they can say they were alive during such a historical election. President-Elect Obama hit my thoughts right on the nose: what changes will our children see should they live to see a century of history pass? I’m pretty sure my parents would never have thought that their child would see the fall of the Berlin Wall and the U.S.S.R., the rise of the internet, and an African-American President of the United States.

* * *

Oh, did I forget to mention that Colin is sleeping through the night? It’s been amazing. We get him to sleep around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m., and he’s slept through until 7:00 or 7:30 a.m. for the past ten days or so. Unfortunately, his sister refuses to follow his lead. We’re so over it, we just drag her into our bed now. The down side of that is if all three of us are in bed, Mom and Dad get the crap kicked out of them by The Girl. One of us (Mom or Dad) usually ends up spending at least a portion of the night on the couch. Gee, guess that people are right when they say the “family bed” thing really isn’t worth it.

(As I write this, The Boy is having trouble tonight… must be something with one of the shots he got today. Bummer).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Moving Along

Family illness update: The Girl is good, Mom’s fine, Dad’s got something in his chest still, and Colin is getting better… Took The Boy to the doctor on Thursday and found out he has a sinus infection (taking after his mother). He has some antibiotics he’s on now and is doing well with no cough.

Colin’s also gotten much more “mobile” over the past couple of weeks. He now rolls over with ease and regularity, meaning no leaving him on the couch or bed anymore. He’s also started to try to scoot around, turning on his stomach and using the “inchworm” technique to try and get things that are just out of his reach. *Sigh* A month or two more, and we’ll have to mobile kids on our hands. Yay.

On the sleep front, Colin’s slept pretty much through the night the last couple of nights. He’s still sleeping in Danica’s room with her, and the situation seems to be working out okay. Danica still needs somebody to be lying with her when she goes to bed, and she still gets up in the middle of the night. We’ll take what we can get… for now.

* * *

Cute Danica story of the day: Mom was in bed this morning when Danica went into our bedroom, climbed up on our bed, got under the covers, patted Mom’s face and said, “It’s okay, Mommy. I’m here."

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Long Weekend...

…but not the good kind.

Though it was the standard two-day weekend, it felt like a long one, but only because our little fam spent the weekend with our first four-person family illness. Short story longer:

Mom fell ill on Wendesday of last week and took half the day off. Dealt with vomiting, fever, headache and other various symptoms that afternoon and early evening, but was over most of the serious symptoms that night. Dad spent the evening trying to handle things on his own to some measure of success. Everybody was home Thursday, with Mom still feeling ill and Dad trying to keep a lid on everything.

Things returned to “normal” on Friday, with Mom taking the kids to daycare while heading to a half-day at work (full day, but school assembly in the afternoon). Dad went to work as well, but with some kind of nerve issue in his right trap and deltoid that still lingers, most likely from sleeping in The Girl’s bed the night before. Later that evening, Dad starts to get a runny nose and headache, which evolves into full-blown “not feeling well” on Saturday, thus leaving Mom to try and hold everything together.

The parents spend Saturday completely lethargic while the kiddies begin to nurse congestion and coughing. However, said congestion and coughing fails to slow them down one bit (much to the chagrin of their father). Saturday melts into Sunday and both Mom AND Dad feel either the same or worse, while said kids’ congestion and coughing continues to fail to slow them down one bit.

Sunday passes with both parents feeling moderately better, Dad having slept while Mom took care of business somehow (amazing, isn’t she?). The children have to sleep apart, what with the coughing and waking each other up and what not. The Girl sleeps in her bed, while The Boy spends the night in his swing because lying on his back causes mucus to build up, thus causing him to wake up.

Monday was rough on The Boy, not eating very much and sleeping fitfully, while The Girl is still undaunted. Unfortunately, both coughs persist. We shall see what Tuesday brings…

And before you all go nuts with worry, we’ve added a warm Vicks humidifier to their room, bought nasal drops and cough medicine, and are giving juice to The Girl. We’ll be fine. Eventually. However, lost in all of this is the lack of sleep for Mom, who is valiantly struggling through handling her three children. Poor girl. Somebody send her a spa day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Most Amazing Thing I've Seen So Far...

There was a Part 2, but my wife wanted it deleted.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend Update

We did finally sleep in our bed last night. Colin woke Danica up around midnight, and she woke him up around 4:00 a.m. Fun for Mom.

Being that we’re not really apple eaters in our family (with the exception of pre-sliced apples we get a Costco because they’re convenient), we didn’t pick or buy any apples when we went to the farm. Lame, I know. Maybe next time. We did pick up some apple butter and an apple pie, though.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Family Outing

Kindra told me a couple weeks ago that she had a surprise for me for my birthday. She wanted us to go somewhere fun, which I thought would mean we would be without the kiddies (um… just kidding?), but it turned out it was a family outing.

I’ll take this opportunity to mention that going places with the kids has become easier lately. We’re a little better a preparing to head out, and the kids have become a lot better about being in the car. Danica’s pretty content most of the time to sit in her car seat (we often let her choose a book or doll to bring that she plays with), and Colin’s outgrowing his newborn aversion to being in his car seat.

Anyway, it turns out that Kindra had decided that we were going to the apple orchards in Yucaipa, which is about seventy-five miles away from us. She’d taken her classes there when she taught second grade, and we’ve always wanted to go to orchards, so it seemed like a decent early-fall activity (yes, it’s been autumn-like weather the past few days – that would be low-70’s in California). The drive ended up taking about an hour and twenty minutes, most of which The Boy slept, and The Girl almost ended up sleeping until I had to call my parents.

We had a good time walking around. I took Danica to a little petting zoo area they had there, where she just stared at the goats, chickens, pig, and llama… The little wuss wouldn’t pet any of them, and she didn’t want to play on the haystacks they had set up, either. I suppose to be fair, she was still quite a bit younger than a lot of the kids there, but that didn’t seem to stop her when we were in Iowa and she tore around a playground they had set up at the mall…

It was a fun time for our little family, but I think it’ll be more fun if we convince another family to head up there with us so that Danica has somebody to run around with. It did open my eyes to the possibilities for family outings ahead of us. We’re getting closer and closer to the whole “family vacation” thing, which is kinda scary...

* * *

I know I mentioned that Danica loves to dance, but she was really having fun today when we stopped to have lunch. We were at a little shopping village waiting in line at a food stand which had a patio and a guy singing along to music. She really wanted to hold hands and “dance” (i.e., jump) around. You have to keep in mind that The Girl hadn’t had her nap, so she was a little wired. She ended up dancing solo for a bit off to the side. I have some footage, so I’ll have to get around to posting it.

Oh, in addition to twirling, jumping, and lifting her leg up, Danica’s recently added straddle splits to her routine. Her mom was egging her on a couple of days ago after (I think) she accidentally did the splits at home. I haven’t seen it since, but I’m sure if I ask at the right time…

* * *

FYI, we’re trying something new tonight – Colin will be sleeping in his crib in Danica’s room. See, we’ve been weak and let our kids take over. Neither of us has slept in our bed in a couple of weeks, because Colin used to wake up within thirty minutes of his mom getting into bed and I got tired of trying to lay absolutely still during the night. So… we’re putting the two together. I suppose it might work, but I have a feeling they’re going to wake each other up, which should be fun.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

At Least We Know Where We Stand

Um… I just prayed (said grace) with my daughter, which if you know me, is very unusual. It went something like this:

The Girl: “Daddy, les pway.”

Daddy: “Huh? You’re going to pray?”

TG: “Yah. I pway and Daddy, too.” **clasps hands**

D: “Okay, who should we pray for?”

TG: “Ah-Mah.”

D: “Who else?”

TG: “Ah-Gong.”

D: “Okay, who else?”

TG: “And Mommy and Daddy.”

D: “Awww…”

TG: “And my kay-sah-dee-ya (quesadilla).”

D: “…”

Did I mention that Aunt Steph used to be at the top of the list? But only when she was in medical school.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Explanation Needed, I Guess

Originally uploaded by shc32

There's been some question about this picture of Danica with this random neighborhood cat, so I thought I'd explain...

This was taken in my uncle's backyard where I used to live a few years ago (they let me in the house, not just in the backyard). We were playing around out there when this cat wanders into the yard, which, now that I think about it, I saw back when I lived there.

It didn't seem too afraid of anybody, least of all Danica, so I didn't think it was that big a deal when she started to go near it. I figured if it wasn't comfortable, it would take off running. It just wandered around and let Danica wander around after it for a while.

I'll throw in the fact that Danica's been around dogs and cats in a domestic setting for a while - our daycare provider just got a kitten not too long ago (named "Chicken," but I'll explain that some other day), our old daycare provider had a dog, and she played around with her great-grandma's dog when we were back in Iowa. Consequently, The Girl's been taught how to be gentle around animals, so naturally, she wanted to pet this cat.

He actually laid down and let her approach him, so she started by petting his back a little bit and touching his front paws. Of course, as soon as she did that with success, she decided to get down on all fours and get in his face. I was a little worried about that (I had my own incident when I was younger with a cat - again, I'll explain some other time), but he sat there and took it while I talked to her about not being up in his business.

Regardless, things were fine for both... This picture is probably the third or fourth time he laid down and let her pet him.

Yay for cat lovers. Boo to the rest of you all.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Bad

I think if you take a look at the archive of posts, the number and frequency of posts is directly related to the time of year and the expected workload: I have less to do in the late spring and summer, so can sit and organize my thoughts. During the rest of the year, things get a little crazy… Regardless, here’s what’s been going on:

Colin can roll over now. He’s rolled both left and right, whereas Danica only rolled right. There’s not a lot of opportunity for him to do it because we try to keep him off the floor so that Danica doesn’t accidentally step on him (like she did Dad’s dinner last night). However, both Kindra and I have found him awake in his pack-and-play on his tummy. He kinda gets pissed once he’s on his stomach, but has been better about rolling back over. Oh, and so far, I’ve seen him to one-and-a-half full rolls.

Also, if I haven’t mentioned it, Colin’s much more social and smiley than Danica ever was (or currently is). Danica didn’t have an issue being held by other people at the same age, but she never smiled and giggled as much as he does. Whereas she had her pensive stare while she sorted out who’s who and what’s what, Colin is much more laid back. He’s started to get more interested in looking around at things, but mostly he just follows people. He loves to watch his sister anytime she’s in his line of vision.

Unfortunately, over the past four or five days, Colin’s been a little momma’s boy. He’s had a difficult time falling asleep without being held by his mother. Most of my tricks to get him to sleep haven’t worked recently, so it’s kinda frustrating. It’s really sad when his mom takes Danica to bed, he cranes his neck to watch her go, and then whines about it. =(

In Danica news, her new obsession is ballet. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s been pretty steady, since we find it pretty amusing. The daughters of our daycare provider have some kind of kid ballet DVD they started watching a couple of months ago, and Danica’s picked up on it. She’s constantly twirling around and wants pretty much everybody else to “do ballet,” too. FYI, “ballet” consists of spinning around with the occasional leg lift… There’s also some kind of side shuffle that debuted over the weekend. Mom has now taken the obsession to another level by purchasing a leotard and tutu yesterday.

Speaking of ballet, our daycare provider recently took all the kids to a fabric store to do some shopping so that she could make little pillows for them to use at her house. Danica, naturally, picked out a material with ballet slippers on it and now refers to the pillow as her “ballet pillow.” It’s really cute when she talks about the other kids’ pillows, which include Elmo and “choo-choo chrains.”

The Girl’s language skills get better and better every day, and she surprised us yesterday by telling her Ah-Mah that she was reading “Raggedy Ann.” She loves the book, but we’ve never heard her say the words as clearly as she did. The kind of sad thing right now is when she tries to express her thoughts and just doesn’t have the vocabulary. She’ll start a thought, make a face as she concentrates and stutter a bit – you can really see the wheels turning. It’s kinda heartbreaking.

Couple of funny Danica’s stories:

We were looking at houses recently and after going through all the rooms, asked Danica something to the effect of which room she liked or which one she wanted. She looked up with big puppy-dog eyes and said, “I… my… like… I like my room! At home!” Heh.

Colin sleeps in a pack-and-play against the wall about a foot-and-a-half from our bed. Danica figured out that she could climb into it a couple of weeks ago (it’s actually very stable) and was in it yesterday when I asked her, “How are you going to get out?” She looked at me, grabbed hold of the top, and swung her leg up onto the top of the rail. Pulling herself up, she then reached across to grab hold of the comforter on our bed, lunged forward to get two hands on it while dragging her legs onto the rail of the pack-and-play, then proceeded to steady herself between the rail and the bed, finally stepping down. Her reply: “Like that!”

*Sigh* Reason #257 for me to have a cam strapped to my head at all times.

Oh, and by the way… Colin’s 5 months old yesterday. Wow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This Just In...

Good news! Chances of post-mortem ethereal survival have now doubled with the news that hell hath, in fact, frozen over.

In other news, Danica actually slept from 10:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. last night, and Colin has slept from midnight to 6:45 a.m. the past couple of nights. I’m fairly doubtful this will continue…

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Danica Stories of the Week

As typical, Danica woke up and came out of her room last night/this morning around 12:30 a.m. I happened to be out in the living room, so I quickly scooped her up and went back into her room with her. I laid down in the bed with her and she fiddled around like she normally does – adjusting and readjusting her blankie and position (kinda like a dog making its bed).

She asked for some more water, so I told her to wait while I filled up her cup and then left the room. Of course, she started crying, and when I came back, she wanted to cuddle up (a.k.a. “Mommy/Daddy bao-bao”*). She was still sobbing a little when she said the saddest little thing:

“Daddy… don’t leave me.”


*Tear in eye*

Of course, that’s now become her new bedtime trick, to keep us in her room with her longer. This does not bode well for the future.

* * *

More select Danica lines, relayed by Mom:

While watching Mom trim her bangs: “Mommy’s hair broken?”

Bedtime conversation:

Mom: “Mommy loves you.”

Danica: “Mommy love me?”

M: “Yes.”

D: “Daddy love me?”

M: “Yes.”

D: “Blankie love me?”

M: “Yes.”

D: “I love blankie.”

After hearing our daycare provider, Jessie, say something about her husband, Dave: “No! Coley’s Daddy!” (For those of you not in the know, Coley = Nicole, Kindra’s cousin who came out to help us when Colin was born. David is Nicole’s father and Kindra’s uncle, who Danica only referred to as “Coley’s Daddy” while we were in Iowa this summer).

I would’ve put this one in its own separate blog entry, but I’m hoping it’ll be buried here… Danica strapped herself into her old “magic chair” (vibrating baby chair) and then tried to stand up a little while later, forgetting she was strapped in. She ended up on the floor, face down, with her chair strapped to her butt. Kindra asked her, “Need help, genius?”, unstrapped The Girl, and righted the chair. Danica promptly sat back down in the chair, shook her head, and proclaimed, “I no genius.” Um… yeah.

* – In case you’re wondering, “bao-bao” in Mandarin means “to hold.”

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Funny Danica Story of the Day

Lately, Danica’s been interested in her night-light turtle that her Aunt Steph gave her a long time ago. The Girl started using it recently because she’s figured out that her room is really dark at night, and we like it because it shuts itself off after forty-five minutes. The turtle’s shell is perforated with star-shaped holes and is lit by three internal LED lights in different colors (amber, blue, and green) which can be changed by buttons on the turtle’s back.

Kindra usually lets Danica play around with it for a bit when she first gets into bed, and this was the ensuing conversation:

K: “Okay, that’s enough playing. Let’s choose a color now.”

D: “How about dis one? Orange [amber].”

K: “That’s nice, but Mommy likes blue or green.”

D: *Click* “Okay, blue.”

K: “Aw, thank you, sweetie.”

D: *Pause* *Click* *Click* “How about dis one? Orange!”


Friday, August 29, 2008


Sorry about not updating more, but things have been really busy. In fact, Wednesday was the first time I set foot in my office in over four weeks. Even though I was working and traveling for business during the time away, there is a ton of work that I still need to catch up on (whee). Anyway, onto the kiddies…

Colin spent his first full day at daycare on Wednesday, and it didn’t go all that well. It didn’t go horribly, but it didn’t go well. He apparently cried and whined all day, but stopped immediately and let out a relieved sign when Kindra arrived and held him.

Today, Kindra left a burp cloth that she’d used last night with Jessie (per Jessie’s suggestion). Colin snuggled up with it all day, grabbing it and pulling it up to his face, and would only take a bottle when Jessie had the burp cloth on her shoulder. I’m leaving my shirt with him next week to see what happens…

The funny Danica story about Colin’s first day was that at some point during the day, Colin was crying and Jessie was trying to calm him down. Danica grabbed Colin’s blanket, walked over to Jessie and said, “Wrap him up!” Nice to know she’s paying attention to what we’ve been doing…

It’s amazing how much Danica’s language skills have developed over the last month. I was remembering how she used to communicate a year ago, and it was all signs. My favorite sign that we don’t get to see anymore is “baby.” She used to sign it so vigorously we thought she might hurt herself. *Sigh*

Signing is pretty much gone, but we will see remnants sometimes when she really wants to make a point. Occasionally she’ll say “mommy” or “daddy” and sign as well to make sure you understand, but that’s about it. Still, she enjoys watching the Baby Einstein signing DVD that we got from Kindra’s parents, and I think we’ll see a resurgence when Colin’s old enough to sign. Hopefully she’ll help him out.

I actually have more to say, but I’m tired of writing and forcing my brain to think, so that will have to wait until next time…

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Home at Last

392 miles with two kids and one twenty-five minute stop in just less than six hours got us home from our (almost) three-week trip away. And we’re happy to be back. In case you were wondering, we spent fifteen days in Des Moines visiting Kindra's family, flew to the Bay Area last Tuesday to see my family, and then rented a car and drove home Saturday night in hopes the kids would sleep most of the way.

It was nice to be away and around family, but difficult on all of our schedules. We're trying to get back in the groove quickly, since I'm traveling this week and the first part of next week, and Kindra goes back to work next week on Thursday. Next Wednesday will also be the first time Colin will go to the daycare provider, which is a little crazy in its own right.

Well, back to work. More on our expedition to come...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Miracle of Miracles

Must be something in the corn, but both kids basically slept through the night last night.

Danica went to bed around 8:30 p.m. without much fuss, woke up once around midnight and went right back to sleep when Kindra returned her to her room.

Colin went to sleep for the night around 9:30 p.m. after a small bottle and did not wake up at all during the night.

Both kids slept through to 8:00 a.m. this morning, when Danica woke up and played in her room while Colin had his breakfast.

I love Iowa! (Of course, this is after Danica had a HUGE fit on Monday night going to bed).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


My girl had her first phone conversation with me today. Mom dialed me up on my way home to let The Girl tell me they were cooking together. Danica actually responded to the questions I asked her (a lot of "yeah"), and told me good-bye when we were done speaking. It was really cute and unexpected. Usually, she doesn’t say a thing on the phone.

And as cute as that was, it was WAY cuter when Kindra had Danica “read” tonight when they were getting ready for bed. The Girl loves the book I’ll Teach My Dog a Lot of Words, which she has us read constantly. I’d read the book to her before and had her tell me what was going on in all the pictures, but it was so much sweeter when Kindra read lines and Danica finished them.

*Sigh* She’s becoming a little girl so fast. Where's my baby?

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Young and the Restless

Latest set of stats for The Boy, who had his two-month check-up on Tuesday (well, more like two months and ten days). He weighs in at 12 pounds, 15 ounces and is 23 ¼ inches in height. A little different from his sister, who was 12 pounds, 1 ounce and 23 inches at at five days shy of three months.

We think he’s still a little uncomfortable from the four shots and one oral vaccination he got. He was fussy last night and tonight until we gave him a little Tylenol, at which point he literally passed out. From swallowing the medicine to falling asleep was probably fifteen seconds. Weird.

He’s been a better sleeper over the past three weeks or so, going to bed for the night around 8:00 p.m., waking at 11 or so to just suck down some food, then sleeping until around 5:00 a.m. He’s been a pretty good napper since he was born, and sleeps much better in general than his sister did. He’ll sleep anywhere and anytime, which is different than Danica, who was constantly awake trying to see what’s happening. There have been a couple of times when he’s woken up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., but it’s been a nice change of pace regardless.

Unfortunately, Danica hasn’t been so obliging. Kindra usually begins to put her to bed around 7:00, but it usually takes at least an hour to get her to fall asleep (nope… she’s not anywhere near going to bed on her own). After that, The Girl generally gets up two or three times a night. The first time is between 9:30 and 11:00, at which point we’ll scoop her up and put her back to bed. She’ll then wander into our room between 12:30 and 2:00, crying until we take her back to bed. Sometimes she’ll sleep on the blanket we keep by her bed, but that seems to be increasingly rare.

Needless to say, sleep has been a rare commodity around our household. We try to take it easy when the kids sleep, but that’s also our time to get things done, so it’s been a difficult balance. Don’t know what we’re going to do in the fall when Kindra has to get up early to get to work and I have to put in time at night…

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Our latest endeavour is to have Danica housebroken, err… potty trained. ASAP. We actually might have been able to begin the process five or six months ago, because she was fairly in tune with when she had to go, and she used to make faces when she was pooping. We put off potty training her because 1) we thought she was too young, 2) she couldn’t pull her pants down herself, and 3) we thought she might regress when Colin was born.

Unfortunately, that might have been a mistake. Potty Training: Day 1 took place on Thursday, June 26. We were prepped and ready for The Girl to take the next step and dump her diapers. We picked up a potty chair (Safety 1st Potty ‘n’ Step Stool – wait for the forthcoming blog about potty chairs), some Pampers pull-ups, and panties of several different varieties.

Now that I think about it, we went a little overboard with the panties. We’ve probably got about fifteen pairs total in every style, which is probably more underwear than I own. We bought Curious George panties, Elmo panties, pink panties, purple panties, panties with butterflies on them, panties without butterflies on them, and I think we even bought that kind that tennis players wear with the pocket for a tennis ball (just in case).

Did I mention the Training Pants Saga? I’m not super sure it deserves to be capitalized, but it was a pain in the ass. See, as a guy, I know nothing about anything baby or toddler until my wife explains it to me (duh). Of course, I’ve heard of training pants, but just figured they’d stepped aside for pull-up diapers, which, for the most part, they have. Long story short is that I went to Target, Mervyn’s, and Wal-Mart looking for them until I stumbled upon a post on some parenting website about them being available at K-Mart. So I find that there’s still a K-Mart about ten minutes from us and had to go there.

Beyond the supplies, Kindra picked up the book Toilet Training in Less Than a Day, which her friend Martha had said worked for her kids. Newsflash: potty training CAN take just one day… you just have to pick the right one. We’re pretty sure that day was not the right one (I might add that I was a bit skeptical of this book due to the fact that it was original published in the mid-1970’s and had a section about “retarded” children).

Anyway, the idea is that you sit the child on the potty chair, feed her drinks, and keep her there until some pee-pee appears in the potty. From the point of success, you praise them for being dry, not for going to the bathroom. Problem #1 of this method was that we gave her so much to drink, she was constantly urinating. Problem #2 was that while we kept her on the potty for 15-20 minutes at a time, she wouldn’t actually pee while on the chair. Of course, 30 seconds after she got up, she’d pee in her pull-up. Problem #3 is that Kindra tried putting panties on Danica to see if she’d keep those dry. We ended up going through pretty much the entire stack of panties that we’d bought. In less than four hours.

So… we kept trying throughout the weekend, without much success. Danica will tell us she needs to go to the bathroom, but only after actually wetting her diaper. We’re pretty sure Danica understands what she’s supposed to do. After all, she keeps asking us for the chocolate we were rewarding her with, but we figure the real problem is that she just doesn’t mind sitting around in a wet diaper. *Sigh* I guess like pretty much every other milestone so far, she’ll just get around to it when she feels like it.

Hmm… Who knew I would ever wax on about potty training?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Stats Update

The kids (yikes! We have kids! As in multiple children!) had doctor’s appointments yesterday. Well, they had one doctor appointment that they shared. It was Colin’s one-month (plus a week) check-up and Danica’s two-year (plus a month).

Colin weighed in at 11 pounds, 5 ounces and 21 ¾ inches. That’s a gain of almost three pounds (!) since the last time he was weighed (7 pounds, 7 ounces a week out of the hospital). His 21 ¾ inches in height is a gain of two inches, which puts him in the 75th percentile for height (what the…!?). I can’t remember what Danica weighed at the same time (I tried looking it up) but I would have to say it couldn’t have been more than 9-and-a-half pounds.

I know it shouldn’t be unusual to find out, but it is crazy how boys are that much bigger than girls. Colin’s really filling out a number of his onesies now, and his face has really rounded out. It’s pretty funny to see him without clothes on, because his body really is getting big(ish).

Funny story… when we first had him, it was amusing to change his diaper and then change Danica’s diaper afterwards, because it really made Danica seem HUGE. It’s not as apparent to us now, but I’m pretty sure most of that is probably from us getting used to him. Even though he’s grown a lot, he’s still tiny (sorry, buddy… genetics).

He’s also been much more vocal over the past couple of weeks, and there is no holding this kid down when he’s hungry. As with most babies, we’re trying to feed him every three hours during the day and four at night. Unfortunately for Kindra, he won’t go that long, and it’s just about every two-and-a-half hours during the day. Binkys and such don’t hold him off, either.

The trade-off of Colin becoming more vocal is that he’s also become a little more responsive. He tracks objects pretty well and will turn his head towards you if you talk to him or get close to his face. He’s also smiling more, which is fun (I know, I know… he smiles because he’s thinking about Grandma). He seems to be ticklish on his tummy (occasionally). The best place to get him is probably on the changing table, which he enjoys because of the soft, green changing pad cover we have on it.

I should take this time to mention that Kindra didn’t appreciate the fact that I wrote that Colin’s fussy between 3:00 a.m. and noon. He’s not really that difficult, but he does get fussy in the early morning and sometimes between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. (right when his sister is trying to go to sleep, natch). Recently though, he has been sleeping longer between his night feedings, sometimes going four hours between bouts. I got him to sleep for a while last night after Kindra told me to swaddle him tightly and cradle him chest-to-chest. He slept right through Game 3 of the NBA Finals (hmm… will have to talk to him about that).

As for Danica, she measured out at 27-and-a-half pounds. We were also told that she measured in at 35 ¼ inches, which we realized was nuts when Kindra doubled it to arrive at her being 70 inches tall fully grown (that whole thing about doubling the height at age 2 to see how tall a child will be…). So, we measured her last night and she came in between 32 and 33 inches, which makes sense since it would measure her out to about 5’3” when she’s grown (again, sorry about the genetics, kid).

The Girl surprised us by behaving really well yesterday. The last time we took her to the doctor, she freaked out. We were prepared for the worst, but she didn’t shed a tear. She actually stood on a regular scale (of course, it helps that the pad was covered in stickers – smart doctors and nurses!), let the doctor examine her, and actually cried for less than ten seconds after receiving her shot.

Oh yeah… they both got shots yesterday, Colin getting his first Hep B immunization, while Danica got a Hep A shot. I think I explained the downside of having our current doctor, but just to refresh, the problem with going with this doctor is that the nurse that works with her is a horrible shot-giver. When she gives shots, she holds the syringe like a dart, sticks the kids, then holds the syringe in their arm or leg while she scoots her hand up to inject the serum. It’s kinda slow. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Colin did alright with the shot. Kindra held off completely feeding him before the appointment so she could feed him after he got his shot (brilliant!), so he calmed down relatively quickly.

The thing that caught both of us off guard about our doctor’s appointment is that while we’ll take Colin back next month, Danica doesn’t have to go back for a year (!). I find it insane that we’ve gotten to the point where we have a child who can go a year between appointments. I also find it insane that I write as much about raising my kids as I do, but I do appreciate how many of you find it insane as well. Thanks.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Catsup (or I Have Nothing Better to Title This)

Danica marked her 25th-month birthday on Monday… makes me wonder when I’m going to stop counting months.

Kindra’s cousin Nicole left for home on Thursday morning, after spending a week here. We’re pretty sure she was ready to leave, since when you stay with us, you get the kids experience 24/7. She was a lot of help, especially when I traveled to Philly last weekend for my sister’s graduation from Jefferson Medical School (congrats to Steph!). Nicole was the last of our six weeks of help, so we’re finally getting a chance to adjust to “normal” life with just the four of us.

We spent today watching Danica figure out how to put on her shoes, while repeatedly encouraging her to get them on and then telling her to take them off because we don’t wear shoes in the house. For some reason, 90% of the time, they’re on the wrong feet. It’s kinda like when she first started opening up books, and they’d be upside down most of the time. Go figure. But, she can get shoes on herself now, if not actually get the Velcro straps through the loops properly. Unfortunately, she throws fits when she can’t get them on quickly. (FYI, she actually put on her shoes by herself yesterday for the first time that either Kindra or I have seen.)

Colin’s been on an eating rampage today. He’s definitely what you’d call a “snacker.” He eats some, falls asleep, and then wakes up an hour-and-a-half later starving. Kindra’s not too thrilled about it. And he always likes to do a little taste-test before he really starts eating – I gotta tell ya buddy, it’s the same thing you’ve always gotten. Believe me, I tried to get your mom to produce chocolate or strawberry milk, but she refuses.

The Boy never seems totally comfortable between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. for reasons beyond our understanding. He just never seems to sleep well and can get pretty fussy. It’s hard to tell whether to wrap him up in a blanket, take him out of the blanket, hold him over your shoulder or cradle him, put him down or pick him up, sit down with him or stand up… well, you get the idea. It’s a little crazier than it was with Danica (I think… but I don’t really remember), but I will say that he definitely sleeps more than she did.

Funny story that some of you haven’t heard… We tend to call Colin “buddy,” as in “little buddy.” I don’t know why I started it, but it’s stuck for now. So sometimes when he fusses, we say, “Oh, buddy…” Danica picked up on this, so from time to time she’ll call him “Baby Oh, Buddy” when she hears him cry.

Speaking of that, Danica’s really been picking up on words and phrases over the past few weeks. It’s crazy when she throws out a sentence or phrase that you haven’t heard her use before; she’ll even throw things togther from words she hears you say. For instance, if she doesn’t know where you are, she’s recently gone to asking¸ “Where are you?” She also heard me tell Kindra that I forgot my ring in the apartment, then spit out, “Daddy forgot ring,” which is just insane. Her expanding vocabulary is making it harder for me to understand her because her pronounciation isn’t catching up quite as fast.

And while we’re talking about Danica’s vocabulary, I’m proud to say that she said the word “basketball” for the first time when we put her Laker shirt on her. I can’t get her to say it during a game or even when we’re playing with a basketball, but she took one look at the Laker logo on the front of the shirt, pointed at it, and said “basketball” clearly. It was pretty shocking, because she usually just says, “Ball.”

The kids’ doctor’s appointment is on Tuesday, so we’ll get a chance to see where they are growth-wise. Kindra thinks Colin’s at least ten pounds, and I’m anxious to see where Danica’s at since she hasn’t had a doctor’s appointment in at least six months.

Oh yeah, after a call to our doctor, it turns out Colin’s skin rash on his cheeks was eczema, which cleared up with some hydrocortisone. His cheeks are still a bit rough, but they look a ton better. Danica had the same thing when she was his age, too.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

One Month! Again! (Was Supposed to Be One Week, Then Two Weeks, Then Three Weeks…)

It’s amazing that Colin just turned one month old. I haven’t totally forgotten how fast time flies with newborns, but it’s really been underscored by the fact that it’s been this long since we went to the hospital to have him. I don’t remember what it was like with Danica, but that’s probably because it was just like this – fast and furious. I’ll write more later (possibly), but I wanted to catch everybody (including myself) up on the happenings with our two little ones.

Colin had his first doctor’s appointment on Thursday, May 8. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, which is about a pound more than he left the hospital at the week before. No other stats, presumably since he was little more than a week old. We’ll have another doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, June 3 where he’ll get his first shot, a hep B vaccination.

He’s not really a newborn anymore, as he’s really filled out. His newborn onesies are getting a bit small and his cheeks are puffing up. I’m guessing he’ll be about 9 pounds, 10-12 ounces when he gets weighed again, and he was born at 19 ¾ inches, so he’ll probably add about an inch-and-a-half.

His weight gain isn’t surprising, since he downs milk like a vaccum. When Danica was a month old, she was taking probably 1-2 ounces of milk (granted, she was born two weeks early – but still just a week earlier than Colin). Colin can wolf down four ounces and still be hungry. We’re breastfeeding him, but we have an idea about the amount since we’ve given him enough bottles to see what he’s taking. Oh, and when he wants to eat, he wants to eat now. Pacifiers don’t do the trick with him when he’s hungry, though he seems to have some aversion to eating on Kindra’s right side. He doesn’t eat on that side nearly as well as the left, and he acts as though he’s uncomfortable when she does try to feed him on the right.

He also has a little issue with falling asleep when he eats. I know all newborns do this, but we have the darnedest time waking him up. We used to strip Danica to get her to eat so we could stuff her, but not much seems to faze this kid when he’s asleep (which is great, since Danica is such a light sleeper). Colin usually eats on one side, then falls asleep, then wakes up half-an-hour later annoyed that he’s still hungry.

Despite the eating issue, he burps like a champ. Danica was always a tough burp when she was young. Sometimes it took ten or fifteen minutes to make sure we got a good burp out of her. Colin takes about ten or fifteen seconds. Of course, we may just be hitting him harder since he’s our second and all…

Speaking of second children, Kindra and I both agree that having the second kid is, in some respects, easier than having the first. Now, there are challenges to juggling playing, eating, changing, and sleeping with two, but there is definitely a great deal LESS anxiety, which I’m sure most of you would probably agree with. It was all we could do to take care of Danica and make sure she got fed every three hours when we first had her. Now, Kindra can pretty much handle the insane feeding schedule on her own, while I try to juggle the rest and figure out how to get things done (not that Kindra doesn’t help – a lot).

I would say that our biggest challenge has been finding our own rhythm again. Don’t get me wrong – it’s been great with all the help that we’ve had around – but every family’s life falls into a cadence that works for them, and we haven’t found ours yet. It’s nice that we’ve got some time over the summer to develop it, and my work schedule has been flexible enough to allow us to make things work, but we’re still going minute-by-minute, day-by-day. Since Colin’s arrival, we’ve had a family member in our home pretty much every day, so we really don’t know what it’s like with just the four of us.

Kindra’s cousin Nicole arrived on Wednesday and will be that last of our visitors for a little while. Going backwards, we’ve had Kindra’s sister, Krista, who just left on Tuesday, my sister Steph left a day before Krista arrived, my mom was here for a while before my sister came to town, and Kindra’s mom was here prior to that. Even before we had Colin, my parents came to town the Saturday before we had Colin to make sure we had everything ready. So, to say the least, we’ve had a high traffic flow.

Nicole will be here through next Thursday, and she’ll help out as I head to Philly for the weekend for Steph’s graduation from medical school. Hopefully, Danica and Colin will be alright and Kindra can juggle between the two adequately. I’ll only be gone from Thursday morning to Sunday at noon, but that’s a lot of juggling.

Getting back to the kids, everybody says that Colin looks like Danica when she was his age, and judging by some old pictures of Danica that I’ve looked through, it might be necessary to label some of them. He doesn’t squeak as much as Danica did, but he does do his fair share of grunting. He seems to be uncomfortable a lot of the time, and I can’t seem to remember what Danica was like. It probably comes from getting used to all of his bodily functions.

As far as his bodily functions go, the boy just can’t get his pee and his poop together. He pees, we change his diaper, then he poops, then he pees, then he poops. We had a “five-minute rule” with Danica where we would wait for five minutes after we thought she needed to be changed, since she had a habit of peeing right after she had a new diaper. With Colin, it’s almost a twenty-five-minute rule. Our former daycare provider, Danielle, said that you go through twice as many diapers with a boy as with a girl, and I believe her.

Oh, and there’s another slight change. Danielle has been taking care of Danica since Danica was six months old on a three-times-a-week basis. Unfortunately, Danielle had to take a job with her dad to help him out, so she had been having a friend, Jessie, help her out with the daycare duties since early this spring. Danielle then decided that she had to quit the daycare business to help her father full-time, which then led to Jessie wanting to take a few of the kids that Danielle had been watching. So, long story short, Jessie is our new daycare provider. We’re still taking Danica MWF so that she can play with other kids (Jessie has two girls, Ella and Leila, who are 3 and 4) and also so Kindra can have some relief while I’m at work. Jessie will also take Colin in the fall when Kindra has to go back to work.

The downsides are that Jessie’s house is just far enough that Kindra probably won’t be able to go visit on her lunch break and that I won’t get to spend the extra three months with Colin like I did with Danica. I’ll have both of them on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the fall. I’ll require your prayers, please. Thanks.

Okay, that’s a lot more than I wanted to write originally, but that’s what I can remember regarding Colin. Briefly, about Danica:

She’s sleeping a little better. We do our same routine with books and such, but we start a little later (around 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.) and we still have to go in and lie down with her, which Kindra does now. She’s graciously accepted the chore, since I usually fall asleep and get pissed when I wake up at 11:00 p.m. and still have work to do. I know I’m probably jinxing us, but the past couple of nights, Danica’s gone to bed and not come out until 11:00 or 11:30 and then gone straight into our room. We’ve got a comforter laid out on the floor next to the bed which she happily flops down on to sleep. She hasn’t woken up early (before 6:00 a.m.) in the past few days. Now all we have to do is get her to go to sleep by herself.

We’ve also been taking the easy way out with her afternoon nap, driving her around to get her to go to sleep, since she’ll fall asleep in the car seat if it’s the right time. It stinks, because at Jessie’s, Danica is fairly willing to go to sleep on her own. It has to do with some combination of being at somebody else’s house, sleeping in Ella and Leila’s room (which was a princess room until recently), and Jessie keeping Danica’s blankie and Lulu from her until nap time. *sigh* They say your kids are always better for everybody else. We’re working on it, but like I said before, it’s been tough finding a rhythm.

Duh… I almost forgot to talk about Danica’s reaction to “Baby Coul-lin,” which is an approximation of what she calls him. When we were in the hospital, she was happy to see him and replied, “Yes!,” when you asked her if she liked him. If you asked her if she wanted to take him home, you usually got a “no.” The first couple of weeks, she was really sweet to him, giving him kisses and wanting to hold him. Then, about Week 3, her attitude took a decidedly negative turn, and she started to push, grab, and hit him. In the past week, she’s returned to being pretty nice to him, giving him kisses and wanting to lay with him, but she can be rough when she gets tired.

Also, we didn’t initially see any issues Danica had with having Colin around, but it’s since become apparent that she’s become more attached to me. For the first couple of weeks, she didn’t want to do anything with Kindra, which we perceived as Danica being mad that Kindra was spending all her time with Colin. It’s lessened some, since we’ve been able to spread our time out. That’s been nice for me, too, since for the first three weeks or so, I hardly spent any time with Colin.

Okay. I need to sleep since it’s 2:00 a.m., and I have a flight at 10:06 a.m. and haven’t packed yet. I want to write more about Colin’s birth and whatever else I missed (disciplining Danica comes to mind), so hopefully when I get back…

Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Danica!

Happy 2nd birthday to my girl… I can’t believe it’s been that long already. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital (an eerie coincidence that we brought home The Boy from the hospital today). More on all of that later…

* * *
Had my first brush with real parenting tonight… I was holding The Boy and messing around with Flickr while Kindra was in bed at 11:30 p.m. I was just thinking about ten minutes prior that it was amazing that The Girl hadn’t woken up and walked out of her room, so naturally, I jinxed myself. Sure enough, I hadn’t been holding him more than five minutes when I look up and see her toddling out, clutching her blanket.

After the initial, “Oh, crap!,” I thought that I might get her to walk back to her room, which was clearly a ludicrous thought. So I held Colin in my left arm, picked Danica up in the right, and figured that I had to put Colin down in his bassinet before I could put Danica back to bed.

Walk into our room (where we’re keeping Colin for the time being), realize that I have to put Danica down before putting Colin safely in his bed (BIG mistake), put The Girl down, she screams bloody murder as I put Colin in bed (giving Kindra a serious heart attack), scoop up The Girl, and spend the next twenty minutes in her room making sure she falls back asleep.

This parenting stuff is fun!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bullet Time

Colin was born Monday, April 28 at 12:52 p.m. PDT. He weighed in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces and was 19 ¾ inches. Healthy with a good set of lungs.

His sister seems to like him okay, but she says, “No,” if you ask her if she wants to take him home.

Monday, April 28, 2008

T-Minus 12… Hours!?

Twelve more hours until Kindra and I are parents for the second time. Crazy. We haven’t even really spoken that much about how we feel about it all. Kindra just told me that she was nervous about tomorrow, and I have to admit, it’s a little nerve-wracking if I start to think about it. I mean, Kindra’s going to have surgery. And I’m going to wear the stupid little cap and gown again. At least we’ll have showered and be clean this time.

Tell you the funny thing, though… I just realized in the last couple of days how much we’re going to have to teach U.B. I mean, we’re starting all over again… Feeding, sleeping, burping, getting dressed, right hand/left hand, signs, words… Wow. I marvel at how much Danica knows right now, and I know it’s going to shock me how much U.B. doesn’t know. Formula, bottles, spit up, burp cloths… Wow. *shake head*

I’m planning on taking a video camera and still camera into the delivery room, but we’ll see how many hands I actually have. Besides, who knows if we’ll ever watch the delivery on tape? I didn’t chance it last time, and I didn’t even really see Danica until they brought her over after cleaning her off and checking her out initially. I’m kinda curious to see what I’ll do this time.

I’m also curious to see how Danica reacts and how long it takes her to figure out that the whole thing is a permanent situation. My mom is supposed to bring Danica to the hospital in the afternoon after Danica’s nap to see U.B., so it’s gonna be interesting. I think she’ll enjoy it at first, but we’ll see how it is when she figures out that U.B.’s going to be getting a lot of attention. We’re a little worried that Danica’s going to regress a bit and act more like a baby.

It was pretty amusing when my parents brought our old car seat and vibrating baby chair to the apartment today – Danica used both for her dolls, but ended up climbing in both of them and sitting in them. It really showed how much she’s grown already. Hopefully, she’ll let U.B. sit in both in peace… and hopefully she doesn’t sit down on top of U.B.

You know… I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet… Kinda like with the first child where it takes a while to really figure out that you’re parents and not just babysitting. I guess it’s pretty much like gettin’ in the pool – just take the plunge, eh?

* * *
By the way… I haven’t come up with a new name for the blog (and I’m not writing one for each child), so… Submit your ideas now!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Countdown #2: T-Minus Six

How about in six days, Danica will be two? Where has the time gone? It was just yesterday that we were celebrating her first birthday. *sigh* I can’t imagine how you parents out there see things when your children turn ten, twenty, thirty… *shake head* I feel bad that we’re not having a party for Danica, but I don’t think it’ll affect her. I am, however, planning on getting a cake for her. An Iron Man cake. Heh. Just kidding. I’m hoping to be able to get Elmo, Curious George and another character on it.

See, I’ll just admit we’re bad parents – we use the TV to distract Danica in the morning. She’s a big fan of Sesame Street (mostly Elmo, though she does know other character), Curious George, Super Why!, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and pretty much anything that looks like it has a baby in it. Definitely do not tell her you might turn on one of those programs, because if you can’t find it (or it’s not there like the TiVo says it is), she’ll be pissed. I also hate it when shows show two seconds of a baby and then the baby goes away, because that’s all she wants to see. Oh, and as a warning, as cute as some of that stuff is, DO NOT BUY HER ANY ITEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ANY OF THOSE SHOWS. Unfortunately, she’s not into the superhero cartoons (yet), though she has said, “Batman,” with some prodding.

Beyond cartoons, she’s also a big fan of animated feature films. Her absolute favorite is Bambi, because I think she equates it to “baby,” plus there’s all the animals. She’s also seen Snow White (she surprised me this morning by actually saying, “Snow White!”) and The Lion King II, but those don’t hold her interest much. It’ll be interesting when we go to Disneyland someday.

Other tidbits: she’s recently been into throwing things into water. She’s thrown a couple of things into the streams and ponds we have around our complex for pretty much no reason. It is funny when she tells you she threw something in the “duckie water.” Unfortuantely, she’s also gotten into throwing things into the toilet as well. *sigh*

On the cute end, she loves the mini-magnadoodle we have and over the last couple of days has been drawing non-stop. She draws a mean turtle, potties, and a Thumper (of Bambi fame). Fortunately, she can tell you what she drew, though her pronounciation could use some work.

Anyway, here’s a clip that some of you have seen, but it’s from last Christmas (sorry). Danica particularly loves this clip because the first time I showed it to her was on our point-and-shoot camera, so now she’ll grab the camera and want to see the “motorcycle.” It’s amusing and annoying at the same time.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

T-Minus Six

(Originally written on Monday, April 21)

Here’s a crazy story… In six days, Kindra and I will be parents. Again. I have to tell you, it’s a little disconcerting (and don’t the rest of you tell me it shouldn’t be). Of course, if it were up to Kindra, the baby would be out of her already. A couple of funny things about the fact that Kindra’s still pregnant: 1) if we weren’t having a scheduled c-section next Monday at noon, we’d still have two weeks to go, since the actual due date is May 4, and 2) Kindra pointed out that she’s never actually been this pregnant. You have to remember that Danica’s actual due date was May 17, but that she was born 15 days early.

Other things: Danica (and by extension, Kindra and I) is still not sleeping all that well. We think we have a bedtime strategy that works for us, but she’s still not really all that interested in sleeping at bedtime, and she has trouble putting herself back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night. It’s usually two or three times a night that she’ll walk out of her room bleary-eyed like she’d just woken up from a nap she really needs. Just last night, she woke up pretty much every hour.

We’re working on getting a bed for her, but I’m not totally convinced that’s going to solve things. Phase one is being completed, as I’ve moved a couple of desks out of her room to allow us to shift some things around, so we’ll try to get one ASAP (obviously). We’ve even taken to laying a folded comforter on the floor next to our bed so that she has something to lie down on if she comes in our room.

We’ve also recently determined that The Girl doesn’t like to wake me up as much as Kindra, so we’ve switched sides of the bed. I sleep on the side closest to the door, which is the side we keep the folded comforter on, and Kindra now sleeps away from where Danica can see her immediately. It’s worked a couple of times, and The Girl has just come in and slept on the comforter.

All in all, that’s pretty much our life right now. Danica’s pretty happy everyday… she loves going to visit her friends at daycare every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday… Mom and Dad remain sleepy… Mom remains very pregnant while trying to finish up her work for her certification… Dad remains alternately extremely busy and moderately so… The Girl eagerly anticipates the upcoming Iron Man (May 2) and Speed Racer (May 9) movies as well as her younger sibling (though that probably will change)… speaking of which, Danica loves her new book, I’m a Big Sister!... U.B.’s names we are considering are Colin and Chloe, though any suggestions might be of use… And I just realized that Danica doesn’t say the phrase, “Got it!” that much anymore. It’s kinda sad.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bed Problem: Solved!

Bed Problem: Solved!, originally uploaded by shc32.

Not really. But wouldn't it be great if she did want to sleep in the basket? I think we'll be purchasing a twin- or full-size bed in the next week or so. I'm still not positive that she'll stay in it, but we might as well try...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fast Break

Okay, while I wait for some video files to render, here’s the quick rundown:

Aunt Steph just left on Wednesday morning after visiting since last Friday… Ah-Mah and Ah-Gong were also here over the weekend, so it was fun for the family to hang out together… Of course, they all got a big kick out of Danica, who was also eager to see them (see video).

Only eighteen (18!) more days until Kindra’s scheduled c-section on Monday, April 28, but the realization that she could go into labor at any time has put a little bit of a panic in me. Technically, her due date’s not until May 4, but she’s pretty sure she’s not going to make it to April 28. The doctor says that everything is fine (*knock wood*), but Kindra’s definitely ready to be done. Not really sure how we’re going to handle two, but we take solace in the fact that we’re not Jon and Kate from Jon & Kate Plus Eight (as I think many a couple do).

Our biggest issue right now is that, per my last post, Danica has decided that cribs are for babies. Unfortunately, mattresses on the floor do not seem for Danicas, either. She’s been crazy difficult to get to sleep (and keep asleep – more on that later). We do the whole bedtime routine thing – bath, books, kisses – but she knows that she has to go to sleep and is consequently pretty fussy when it comes time to turn out the lights and for us to leave the room.

We’ve gotten to taking turns putting her to sleep, following the “Weissbluth method,” which basically involves telling her what’s going on, putting her down and letting her cry. When she gets out of bed and opens her door, we just pick her up without a word, put her in her bed and walk out again. Repeat about a bajillion times on a bad night (record is in the 70’s – inside of thirty minutes), and on a good night, repeat less than ten times (record is six… but she woke up later). It’s hell on the nerves and on our backs.

If you think getting her to sleep sounds rough, you should see her actually sleeping: she rolls around like crazy. We expected this since toddlers aren’t really supposed to be in beds until after age three because they just don’t have the body awareness to stay in a bed. We might have given in a bit too easily with taking her out of the crib, but because she used to bang her head against the wall, we had to. Anyway, she tends to roll off the mattress and ends up sleeping on the floor, which she apparently doesn’t mind. She’s taken to opening her door and flopping down on the ground when we go to move her and then just falling asleep in her doorway. We’ve also found her out in the middle of the hallway, where she sleeps just fine (mostly), and she even came into our room one day and slept by the side of our bed. I’m not too thrilled with it, but she sleeps on top of her blanket and we keep the apartment pretty warm, so I have to live with it for now. Even if she stays on the bed, she mostly sleeps half-on, half-off the bed, which isn’t much better.

And if you think watching her sleep is rough, you should be there when she wakes up in the middle of the night. We hold our breath when she wakes up, hoping that she’ll turn around and flop down on top of her blanket. If she doesn’t, the next best hope is that when she comes out, she’ll go back to sleep quickly if we hold her for a little while and then gently lay her down. The worst-case scenario (which has happened quite a bit over the past couple of days) is that we have to go in there, calm her down, and then lay with her to get her to go to sleep. Of course, getting out of there once she’s asleep (without falling asleep yourself – a challenge for both of us) is a bit like the scene at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones tries to take the golden idol… you’ve got to move gently, but quickly, lest you wake her up and she comes after you like that huge boulder in the movie. I would’ve put in a movie clip here, but I couldn’t find just that part on YouTube. Go figure.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on.

Upcoming headlines: This Episode Brought to You By the Number “2”… “Puh”-“Lease” = “Peesh”… A Tomboy She is Not… Hell’s Angel... Intervention... Pretty in Pink.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday Morning

I’ve been crazy busy and couldn’t blog (no energy or time), but that doesn’t mean Danica hasn’t been busy, too. There’s a lot of stuff to tell you, but I’ll just start with this video from Sunday morning:

Monday, February 11, 2008


I know this is the Daily Danica, but I thought I’d drop a little note about the current U.B. (you’ll recall that we called Danica “U.B.,” too – or maybe you don’t, but we did). Kindra’s most recent doctor’s appointment was last Wednesday and things are going well. I had a little shiver run through me when Dr. Lee told us that Kindra’s next appointment was going to be in three weeks, and then every two weeks after that. Obviously, I know the baby’s coming, but it’s kinda nervous time when the doctor mentions that you’ll be seeing her every two weeks.

It’s February 11 today, and with a delivery date of April 30, that gives me… (looking at calendar)… SEVENTY-NINE DAYS. Hmm…

Saturday, February 2, 2008

"I Opted for the Picture Rather Than Saving Them."

I would've taken the picture, too.

Those're Martha's kids Paul, Gavin, and Hazel (l-r). Read more about them and the Copeland's experience living in Indonesia at their blog. A link to their site is also in my "Links" box to the right.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


We would like to welcome Elena Josephine Mack to the world. She’s our friend Christy’s new little baby, and Danica’s friend Sophia’s new little sister. Little Laney was born last Wednesday, January 23. Yay.

You can tell she was thrilled to have Kindra take her picture.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Daily Danica: Bite Sized

I was informed by Kindra last night that Danica no longer likes it when Kindra’s shirt doesn’t fully cover her belly. Last night while trying to get The Girl to go to bed, Kindra was lying with Danica on the couch, but had her belly exposed. Danica grabbed Kindra’s shirt and tried to pull it down while saying, “C-c-cold.” Apparently, she thinks the baby is feeling a draft.

* * *

It’s always interesting to find out every once in a while how children think. We have a video baby monitor so we can watch Danica, and the camera is placed on top of the hutch in Danica’s room. She figured out a long time ago that it was up there, and she’s seen the monitor in action, so I think she’s kinda put two and two together.

What I find amusing is that this morning, Kindra tells me that Danica thinks I’m in the camera. She pointed at it last night when she was going to sleep and said, “Dad.” Silly Danica…

* * *

I’m sad that my daughter’s not British anymore. She used to prounounce “mom” with an accent, so it would come out “moh-m.” Now she just says “mom” or “momma.” Boo.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

You Can’t Make an Omlette…

I forsee some serious cleaning if we keep trying this.

Friday, January 11, 2008

What We Did Over Winter Break

Wow. It’s been almost a month since my last post. Geez.

Here’s the brief synopsis of our winter holiday time, since I’m swamped with work:

The Fam traveled to Iowa to spend time with Kindra’s family from December 21 to December 29… We learned not to take a full, tightened, spill-proof straw cup onto a plane with the straw closed – turns out, the air pressure in the plane drops to less than the air pressure in the cup and causes water to shoot out the straw... We were reminded that Denver is one of the most boring “modern” airports to get stuck in during a layover – we were delayed going from Denver to Des Moines because of weather in Chicago, and there was nothing interesting to do… I also learned to check the weather in Denver, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Kansas City and Minneapolis before I travel to or from the Midwest.

Danica saw her second snow (the first was New Year’s Day 2007) when we arrived in Iowa… and saw her first semi-blizzard the day after (it snowed four inches)… She also wore her first snowsuit and boots, went sledding, had her first snowman made for her by Grandpa Larry and Mom, and decided that snow was 1) too wet for her, and 2) too weird to walk in by herself.

For Christmas, The Girl received 1) a Cookie Monster TMX (similar to the Tickle-Me-Elmo TMX), 2) a stuffed dog that needs to be petted to feel better, and 3) a stroller/high chair/swing/playpen set for her dolls… Danica also decided that it would be better for everybody else to push the stroller while she either walked in front (so you could chase her) or held on to the side (as she does when she’s at our daycare provider).

While she was in Iowa, Danica learned to climb up and down stairs by herself using the railings (scary), to ride on a push-car, and to generally get everything she wanted… She also started to become more vocal, learning to say “grandma,” “grandpa,” and “Krista” after a few days, along with a few other words. Oh crap! I almost forgot that she learned to say her name (though it comes out like “Dah-dah” now – it started off like “Dah-ca,” but we think she’s just lazy).

From Iowa, we flew into SFO to spend time with my family... Danica melted down at the beginning of the second flight, and we were turned into those people for the first thirty minutes on board while our girl screamed and cried and generally made a ruckuss… Things in the Bay Area were good, and Danica, again, pretty much ran the place. We returned home a couple of days after New Year’s (no, we did not do anything but watch the movie Juno and fall asleep before the ball dropped at midnight)… The drive down went very well.

Over the two weeks, Danica’s gotten remarkably more vocal, picking up and using words like crazy. She’s moved beyond the standard “baby” into trying to name more things, and she pretty much points to everything inside and out for us to name. It’s kind of scary. She now says a ton of things, including rock (as in a mineral, but also as in the action of moving a chair back-and-forth), leaf, “love you,” hi, bye, more, bottle (which sounds like a lot of other things), bubble (which sounds like “bottle”), berries, dog, fish, raisin, park, and pool… I’m sure there are a lot more, but I can’t remember them right now.

Even beyond her language skills increasing is her overall ability to communicate. She’s signing things more accurately now – the best example I have is the sign for “pig,” which is putting your hand under your chin palm down and wiggling your fingers. She used to just stick her hand out and wave it up-and-down, but all of a sudden, she started to do it properly. Not really sure why, except that we have a pig bubble-blower she rediscovered thanks to Aunt Steph.

Danica’s also still detoxing from having all the attention and has been very needy and clingy since my parents returned to the Bay last weekend. Actually, we’re still detoxing, too, and it’s been tough with The Girl wanting us to go with her everywhere in the house – she drags us around by the finger constantly. We’ve been making her say “please” when she wants us to do things, but she’s slow to do it without prompting.

Anyway, that’s about it for now. Oh yeah, her latest obsession is leaves. She loves to walk around our apartment complex and pick up the ones that have fallen on the ground. I have no idea why. I’m sure it’ll get stranger.