Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another sick day at home from daycare

Today is day 2 of staying home with Tristan. He came down with a mild fever over the weekend and was just not himself so we decided to keep him home. Yesterday, he vomited his morning milk. It was the first time he ever vomited because of a cold. His fever has been gone since last night and he is starting to eat more so I think we are still on track to go back to daycare tomorrow. He is still not all there but I just can't keep him home all the time until he is 100% better. As long as he wants to play, can eat, and has no fever, then he can still go to daycare. It is only the second month and I have already kept him home for 5 days. At this rate, there is no way I could handle a full time job. You are only allowed to have a few days of family leave a year without pay so if I was working, I would be putting my job in jeopardy.

Tristan is getting sick every 2-3 weeks, which is what I heard would happen when you first start daycare. When he gets sick, we sometimes catch it too. On the upside however, my doctor says that he is building immunity faster than other kids who don't attend daycare. When he is of school age, he won't get sick as often. School age here is 5 years and I think that is way too long to look forward to!

For the first time last night since he was sleep trained, I had to help put Tristan back asleep. He actually woke up several times but the 2:30AM wake up was bad so I had to help out. Holding him, rocking him, humming to him etc. I haven't had to do that for almost a year now and it sucked. Part of the reason he couldn't go back to sleep was because we were a bit disruptive. We gave him water, we took turns holding him and going to the bathroom, and then we gave him Tylenol. His throat really hurts but that is all we can give him :( He was really tired and he didn't want to be held. He just wanted to sleep.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gung Hay Fat Choy - Year of the Tiger!

The Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday for Chinese in the year. If there is any time you need to be with family, it is during this time. My family mainly lives in Victoria so that is where we went over the weekend. Chinese New Year so happen to fall on Valentine's Day. I thought about Valentines but didn't do anything. This past weekend was all about Chinese New Year.

In our family, we celebrate with a big feast on the Eve, which was Saturday this year. We all feasted on hot pot with all the good stuff like seafood, pork and fish balls, tofu, spinach, mushrooms - everything you would want in a hot pot. We ate until we were silly. That night, I tasted a bit of alcohol for the first time in almost 2 years. It was kind of gross. Then there was lobster, chocolate chip cookies that we bought, and lots of oranges! There was also traditional fried goodies of all sorts. All the married people had to give out red envelopes (lai see) to all the unmarried people who are younger, as well as the parents. Since we have been married for awhile, we had to give out a lot and of course, we never got any in return - until Tristan arrived! We will be depositing all his lai see money in his account :) Lucky baby!

On New Year's day, we were always told to be in our best behavior because what happens on that day will affect your whole year. Also, if at all possible, there is to be no cleaning at all and no hair washing. You can't take medicine either, unless you are terribly ill. You must wear new clothes as well. This was what we all grew up to so even to this day, I try to do many of those things. Because we live away from home and don't see family much, I feel as though tradition is slowing dying in the family. There are some things which my parents cook every year that is tradition in the family but I have no idea how to make it. I probably should learn how though. It's nice to have tradition but it just a shame we're not a very close family.

Tristan was cranky on New Years. He went to sleep late and didn't sleep well because the environment was different and it was noisy in the house. His running nose seemed to be worst as well. All is fine and dandy now that we have been home a day. Jean-Louis was also in a sour mood that day. He woke up early with Tristan and if Tristan is crabby, then he will be too. Jean-Louis broke the toilet and then there was a flood. So much for not cleaning on New Years. He swore throughout the day, he yelled, he was grumpy all day like he was mad at someone - he was on a role to condemn his whole year! What a pity considering he is a Tiger and this was suppose to be his year:( My day was a bit better, although I felt another cold coming and I was super tired.

This past weekend made me realize that going away and breaking our routine is not something I enjoy at all. I love being routine and boring because it makes our lives easier. That in turn means we are not crabby and life is more pleasant this way. Luckily, we don't go off routine too often. I seriously think routine has been our secret weapon for survival in the first year with Tristan.

Our 14 month old fell down the stairs

Apparently, falling down the stairs is a classic for babies. Tristan had fallen off a few steps here and there at home but nothing too terrifying. He hit his head on the rail, which gave him a bump one time but he was ok. He is actually aware that he could fall and hurt himself so when he is on the second step or higher, he slowly tries to lower himself. I have watched him successfully come down three steps sliding on his bum using his hands. I think what happened this weekend was not because he was trying to go down. He was probably curious and leaned over a little too much.

This weekend we took a trip over to Victoria to spend time with my family for Chinese New Year. My parent's place is not baby proof at all and is very cluttered with plants, toys, magazines, chairs - well, everything really. The staircase is located just off in the middle of the hallway. When we arrived, I kept staring at the stairs thinking that would be one dangerous exit for Tristan and we better keep him away from the hallway at all times. As you may know, Tristan loves to wonder and explore and doesn't like to be contained or held much. That's fine, as long as some adult watches him.

The incident happened a few hours after we arrived when we are packing up to head out to my friend's house. Jean-Louis put Tristan's coat on and I was gathering up snacks and drinks for our outing. I was looking for Tristan's water bottle cap in the kitchen. The one I found was his milk cap and then I realized that maybe Jean-Louis got confused and swapped the caps. I asked him about it from the kitchen and he mumbled something to me, which I don't remember anymore because the few seconds after that was all the I could recall. He turned towards the staircase and started running. I heard thuds along the stairs and immediately ran down with him. It finally happened. Tristan had fallen down the stairs and was screaming. We found him in the living room, which meant that he must have rolled down the whole flight of stairs (at least 14 steps), hit the wall, and then bounced off to the left and rolled down 2 more steps into the living room floor. None of us could believe it. Then we both ended up yelling at each other. I asked him why he didn't watch Tristan when he knew the stairs was dangerous and he said he thought I had him. Naturally, we were both very upset. My parents were both in the kitchen cooking, I was in there looking for the bottle cap. In the upstairs living room was Tristan, Jean-Louis, my brother, and my two nieces. With so many people there, Tristan still got away. My dad was yelling how could this have happened with so many people around. They were all watching the Olympics, talking, checking their phones or whatever. One second. That is all it takes. You divert your attention away from a walking baby for one second in a danger zone and anything can happen.

Tristan cried a lot but he was ok. No bruises and nothing really unusual about him even now. We'll just thank our lucky stars it wasn't worst. That was a BIG parenting fail for us :( We were both shaken up for several hours and even when I think about it now, the whole incident haunts me. After that, my parents built a baby gate out of a crib door and bungee cables for the top of the stairs. Jean-Louis and I also carried him more and I was afraid to let him down. Not too long ago, a mom on Twitter tweeted about her 2 year old falling into the pool and drowning to death. Some people blamed her for not watching her child more. I don't know the full story but accidents happen. One second. That is all it takes.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mommy loves to dress the baby (and blushes)

I never played with dolls when I was a child. I don't recall ever owning a doll. I do remember I was given one when I was too old to play with dolls so I never played with it. I was probably something like 10 years old. I guess I am making up for it now! With my real baby, I just love dressing him up. Until he is old enough to have an opinion about what he wants to wear, I have the full freedom in dressing him the way I like. Jean-Louis gives his input here and there but he doesn't really care much. I think he is probably just glad he doesn't have to be in charge of dress up or clothes shopping. Fine with me!

Today, one of the daycare staff told me that she loves the fact that Tristan matches from head to toe. Instead of taking that as a compliment, I actually found myself a bit embarrassed. I must appear like one of those Stepford wives (or moms) where everything has to be perfect all the time. His food is homemade and nicely cut up all the time. Everything has a sticker label on it. His clothes match and he arrives well groomed every day. I could go on but the list won't help in my argument that I really am not perfect. It's true I am trying to be the best mom I can be. Who's not? I'm just lucky I have more time on my hands than other moms and don't mind doing all these things. Tristan may appear all perfect to the outsider but that's because I disguise it as so. Well, not always. He is definitely well taken care of but things could be much much better. I don't do a lot of things that I probably should as well but if I talk about them, I will once again get criticized and it sort of feels rotten being judged all the time as a mother. Yes, Tristan sleeps through the night and has been doing so since he was very young but that's because we put him through sleep training at 6 months. We're not going to apologized for it because it turned out to be one of our best decisions. We are all much happier now as a result. I better stop there before I say too much and start getting hate messages again from other parents. Back to the clothes!

Here is another outfit I just love from Gymboree. It's a pair of pirate monkey overalls with matching bodysuit. Overalls are the cutest thing on baby boys and I love all the monkey themes. Nothing suits him more at this point. He really is a monkey and daycare even says so! They say he is into everything and he is fast too. Haha :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

First accident at daycare

It's nothing serious but today, Tristan fell and hit his head on the book shelf. He has a couple of bruises on his face. When we arrived to pick him up at the usual time, the first thing one of the staff said to me was that she needed me to sign something. She explained that there was an accident and that he cried and they iced his bumps. He only wanted her to comfort him, not the other daycare staff. There was a handwritten note explaining everything and signed by the staff reporting it. I had to sign below that note. I quickly read the note and then signed it. I must say that felt a bit strange.

It must have just happened recently since one of the other workers had just left. Usually when we arrive, everyone is all smiles and today's mood was a bit distressed. I wasn't sure what to think. He seemed fine when we picked him up and I couldn't see anything on his face. It wasn't until tonight that the bruise really started to show color. I think the staff at daycare probably felt bad that it happened and wasn't sure how we were going to react. We were somewhat expressionless and then we told them that he falls and bumps himself at home a lot. Anyway, it is bound to happen at some point. There are toys everywhere and the babies don't exactly try to step over them or walk around them; they just charge right through. I'm a bit surprised accidents don't happen more often. Now that I think about it, the accident could have been worst, depending on how he landed. Needless to say we are relieved our little Tristan is okay. I always think of him as my tough little boy!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

For Jean-Louis' birthday today, I told him to take the day off and we'll spend it by watching Avatar and cooking hot pot. We planned this last weekend and of course I was prepared to do all the cooking since he was the birthday boy. Tristan was in daycare so it was a perfect date for us at the movies :) Last time we were together without him, we had gone to see "Up" in the summer and left him with my sister and family at the mall. That was just for 1 hr 45 mins? We already had a hard time being away from him for that long! Now, daycare is just a blessing for us :) I do feel a little sneaky but we pulled this one off. If there is ever a movie we would really like to see in the future, there will always be the option of going during the weekday while Tristan is in daycare. It's brilliant really! Maybe next time we'll even do a lunch and a movie :) It really is nice being alone with just Jean-Louis again.

We cooked hot pot and invited my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew over tonight. We served all the good stuff but it was a little too much. I didn't give myself a lot of time to prepare everything and ended up being stressed out near the end. My heart was racing when the expected time of arrival of our guests came along. It didn't help that Tristan was cranky too and fussing around Jean-Louis. Well, what's done was done and only because it was Jean-Louis' birthday. I made sure he knew I was slaving just for him :) For dessert, we had chestnut cake that my sister and her family brought over. Stuffed and tired are the words! It was all good though. Tomorrow, we go back to normal.

Happy Birthday Jean-Louis! Hope you had a good one :) It was better than mine though, right? ;)

Still waiting for that first word

I received a monthly newsletter from Babycenter and it mentioned that at 14 months, my baby may only know a few words such as ball, dog, and bye. It also said that some early talkers may know up to 20 words. 20 words! Wow! Ok, Tristan is definitely behind since he hasn't even spoken his first word yet. Jean-Louis was a late talker and I hear that bilingual children tend to be late talkers as well. Einstein apparently didn't talk until he was 3 years old so I'm not too worried yet. Also, I noticed that most of the babies at daycare who are older than Tristan don't seem to be speaking either. Some of them are 17 or 18 months old and only know a few words too.

Over the past week or so, Tristan has definitely been more vocal. He has been making a lot of sounds, mostly babbles. Some of the babbles are repeated but nothing he is trying to use to communicate with. Seems like he is just experimenting with sounds because they sound neat. Because of this, we feel like his first real word will come any day now! It will be so much fun to talk to him. Luckily, he can sign to us as an alternate way of communication. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be not to be able to communicate with someone?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The many faces of feeding

In the highchair sitting or eating is one of the most photographed places in our house. We like to be clean but Tristan enjoys being messy. We know this is just part of the process of him learning how to eat clean so we just sigh and then we grab the camera :) He'll probably be a little mad that we're showing these pictures of him online or he may just laugh about them one day. If he doesn't laugh about these, he will certainly laugh at all the others I won't dare show.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Absolutely love receiving compliments about our baby

Everyone loves compliments but when Tristan receives a compliment it is as though we both get complimented. Him, because he is adorable and great and me, because I can give myself credit for helping him be adorable and great :)

Tristan is doing great in daycare. After day 5, he hasn't been crying at all and is happy to be there. Well, there are off days here and there but generally he is doing great! We have been receiving lots of compliments from daycare. Here are some of the things they have said about him:

  • He has beautiful eyes.
  • He is such a joy to have around.
  • It didn't take him long at all to adjust.
  • He loves to read and just loves books.

  • He has the nicest clothes. I love how you dress him.
  • Blue is definitely his color. He's so adorable.
  • You can tell he is a mixed race and he is so cute.
  • He has a beautiful smile.
  • He is so gentle. The other boys are starting to head butt each other but Tristan is always so gentle when touching the others.
  • He loves the baby and is very gentle with her.
  • He is so thoughtful. One of the babies was crying and Tristan went to fetch her snuggle because he knows she likes it. When the ball dropped and one of the staff was looking for it, Tristan went to get it for her.
  • He is helpful. He helps with laundry.
  • He's smart.
  • He is a great eater. He likes to eat, eh?
I'm sure some of the same compliments are given to the other babies as well but it's always nice to hear these things about your own baby :) I have to admit, some of the other babies there are super adorable too. When I was doing gradual entry there with Tristan, I couldn't help but stare at some of them wondering what beautiful adults they will turn into one day.

We have also heard great stories about how he has been spending his time. He likes to play peek-a-boo and likes to run up and down the hallway to look outside the window. He loves when the staff sing and then he throws his arms in the air and likes to clap after wards. I think that was what they said. Something else we also noticed he got from daycare is that once you have a book in your hand and you're sitting down, he automatically comes to you and turns his body around to sit in your lap. He didn't used to do that before daycare.

You can tell he is starting to like daycare. Not only does he not cry when I leave, but he also walks willingly with his arms out to any of the daycare staff members. Today, he sort of waved good-bye to me too. Whenever we leave at the end of the day, he waves wildly to everyone with a huge smile on his face :) It's no surprise, I'm feeling a little proud of him lately.
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