Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tristan's first haircut

Today is a sad day. At least for me. I cut off Tristan's nice hair and I'm going to miss it :( It took 26 months to grow to this length.

We were at Winners today shopping and Jean-Louis once again tells me that people everywhere are calling him a girl. Why is it such a bad thing for little boys to have longish hair anyway?? The long hair didn't bother me much but it was sort of messy and needed cleaning up. The plan was to cut just the back of the head in time for Chinese New Year. Since Jean-Louis will be cleaning the house tomorrow and we were able to eat an early dinner, we decided it was time. The stars were aligned and I had no more excuses:(

It was our last time to have fun with his hair so we had to take pictures :)

A 5 minute haircut of just the back, ended up being a 30 minute haircut of the whole head. I had to cut the sides since it didn't make sense not to. Then I had to even things out and ended up cutting more and more and more. I would have cut more too but I made myself stop before too much damage was made. Overall, the haircut looks good but it definitely could be better. Since it was my first toddler haircut, I'm cool with just good :)

Tristan behaved well, considering it lasted a long time. He was constantly moving so it was actually very challenging. I never came close to poking him with the scissors but his hair is not quite even since he was moving so much. Well, also because I have never done any other haircut aside from a full head buzz on Jean-Louis. Near the end, we had to give him things to hold and play with just to keep him in his seat. First the hair clip, then the iPhone. I know! Horrible but we won't be doing this often. The new haircut will take some getting used to. Jean-Louis says he looks chubbier. I'm not sure it's an improvement but he definitely looks more boyish now!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Toddler is way more trendy than us

It's funny how so many parents, especially moms, dress down after having a child, but when it comes to their baby, they sort of go all out to dress them up. At least that is my observation.

I love to dress comfortably. That means yoga pants or sweat pants all day, except when I go out I wear jeans or corduroys. Tops are simple cotton t-shirts or hoodies. Some times my top and bottom don't even match. I wear the same outfit for days too. I don't wear makeup and my hair is in a pony tail most days. Dress up to me is when I blow dry my hair, wear a nice sweater, and put on lip gloss. As you can tell, I don't really care about the way I look anymore.

When it comes to Tristan, I spend the time to groom him properly. I make sure all his clothes go together; even the socks have to match. Comfort is important too. I just really love to buy cute clothes for him. Everything is so much cuter when they are smaller! Tristan gets a new change in clothes every day. Simply because he dirties them. Changing him every day also means I get to dress him up again :) I know this is only a phase so I'm totally taking advantage of it. Soon, he will have a bigger opinion of what he wants to wear and as he grows, clothes will no longer be as adorable :(

Shopping for baby clothes is fun for me. There is a lot involved and I know Jean-Louis doesn't get it so obviously he doesn't buy clothes for Tristan nor does he pick out Tristan's outfits at home. When he complains that I take too long at Gymboree or Jacadi, I explain why it can be difficult some times. Here are a few factors I consider when I buy clothes:
  • Cost and quality: Is it a good bargain?
  • Attractiveness: Do I think it's cute?
  • Size: Does it fit him now? Will it fit him next year in the same season?
  • Matchability: Does it go with his existing clothes? If not, can I find a piece to match it right now?
  • Style and color variation: Does he already have something similar? I would love to have different styles to mix/match and to keep things interesting.
  • Ease of wear: If it's a one piece bodysuit or has many buttons, I would probably steer clear of it since they are a pain to put on. Potty friendly pieces will get priority.
  • Wear time: Will he get a lot of wear out of it? If it was expensive, he better get more wear out of it! Too many dress up outfits are just not practical for us.
  • Stock availability: Is there more than one? If it's the last one and I like it, I may overlook some of the other factors and buy it anyway. I know. I'm so bad.
  • Time to shop: How much time do I have to carefully shop or do I only have time to pick one nice thing?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Potty training is slow but working

In our household, there isn't much pressure for potty training. We're taking it easy and it's slow but it seems to be progressing. I hear that most babies are potty trained by the time they turn 3 years old. Girls, in general, will be trained earlier since they tend to not like to feel uncomfortable.

We started training Tristan early. We introduced the potty to him when he was 1 year old, maybe even before. We really began to train him after we got back from France when he was 18 months old. He showed signs of readiness early. Before he was even 1 years old, he would point at his diaper when he pooed. Later on, he would sign to us and then when he could speak, he would tell us after he pooed. Then as time went on about the time when he turned two, he would tell us before he had to poo. Then he would tell us before he had to pee. Overall, it was a hit and miss for us. He did it some times but not all the time.

When Tristan turned two, we sort of put more pressure on him to potty but then we noticed it was backfiring so we had to relax. I mean he stopped making progress for awhile and was scared of the potty. I know! Another problem was that daycare was not training him the same way. We find that they are more focused on getting the older kids on the potty since they are the next ones to graduate from the toddler room. The younger kids sit on the potty when it is convenient to do so.

Tristan is now 25 months old. At home, he poos in the potty 85% of the time and pees once or twice a day. During his three days in daycare, he may get lucky and poo in the potty once and he may pee once there as well. One day last week while he was home with me, he pooed in the potty once and peed there three times. I consider that a good potty day :)

He is definitely making progress but he's still far from being potty trained. We were way too optimistic starting out but now we're just going to go with the flow. I think he will be ready when he is ready. Maybe we'll upgrade him to pull-ups or some kind of training pants in a month. I think it would help for him to feel more uncomfortable so that he will tell us more often before a pee occurs. We're not quite prepared to have him go bottomless though because we're fully carpeted here :(

Our potty strategy is pretty simple. We put him on the potty before every diaper change, some times more. We go sit on the potty for a good length of time after meals. While we are on the potty, we read, sing, and talk. If there is a successful pee or poo, we give him a high-five and cheer. Praise is his only reward and some times bragging rights to me or Jean-Louis :) Next, we diaper him. If there was a successful potty, we then let him flush. Then, we have him wash his hands.

Tristan may very well be all trained by now if I were doing things differently. I know of a friend who trained her 27 month old toddler boy in just two months. She placed him on the potty every hour for two months. Wow! That is a lot of commitment. I could do that for awhile but not that long and the daycare routine would just mess it all up. Unfortunately her strategy does not work with our routine :( But honestly, I'm not too sad about it all. Tristan poos in the potty most of the time and diapering seems so easy now compared to when he was on solids and pooing in his diaper 3-4 times a day :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Our approach to TV watching

Aside from occasional exposure to small home video clips once in awhile, Tristan was not allowed to watch any TV or movies for two years. It wasn't that hard since we don't own a TV and I wasn't a big youtube user. We read many articles on how TV wasn't good for babies and that they shouldn't watch any until they are at least 2 years old. Interacting with toys are much better for baby development. We are definitely not short on toys and interaction gadgets and we read a lot to him. Also, when I say TV, I mean dvd shows and movies, youtube clips etc. In terms of cable TV, we haven't had that for 10 years and probably won't ever get it. If Tristan ever watches cable TV, it would probably be from a friend's house but our feeling is that he would hate the commercials :)

Yes, we consider ourselves strict parents but I'm no "Chinese Mother" either. After Tristan turned 2, we were less strict on him. It wasn't just TV watching, it was also what he could eat etc. We first started him off on small youtube clips such as a music video of Frosty the Snowman. We watched youtube videos for 5 minutes maybe once or twice a week. Then one night, we brought out Toy Story and we watched half of it together on our computer. I observed his reaction to it and it was so weird. He was in passive mode and he didn't even move or blink for awhile. The weekend before Christmas, we watched The Polar Express with him from start to end. He only shifted his position once. Every time he watched something, either a youtube clip or a movie, at least one of us would be watching it with him.

For our next family movie night, we will likely watch Dr. Seuss Horton Hears a Who. It's hard to find animation movies that are suitable for a 25 month old. Even Finding Nemo has scary scenes! Maybe we will watch that this coming weekend or the next. We don't watch movies regularly nor do we plan to. If we feel like it, we will. If for some reason, Tristan misbehaves more one day, we won't.

Our approach to TV viewing seems to be working for us. Tristan doesn't ask to watch TV. When it's over, he doesn't ask for more. When he sees animation of any sort though, he is drawn to it out of curiosity. It ends up being the distraction from whatever he is doing. He is quite easily distracted too.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A must blog post about "Julie & Julia"

I have been meaning to watch Julie & Julia for awhile now but then iTunes took it down from their movie rentals. You can only purchase it for $19.99. When I found out that Julie & Julia was on sale for just $7.50 at Walmart, I snatched it!

I loved the movie :) Jean-Louis was surprised to find that he liked it too. We had some good laughs and the movie really hit home with me. I related to Julia Child. When she mentioned that wives in France seemed to do nothing all day, I nodded and laughed. I was just like her. I lived in Paris while Jean-Louis worked. I was bored and cooking was my way of keeping busy. Well, it was one of the big things I did there anyway. For a period, I would "think about cooking all day" and then at night, I would think about it some more and even dream about cooking. Jean-Louis would tell me to talk about something else either than cooking, eating, or grocery shopping. Really, it was more like an obsession than a hobby. He enjoyed eating all the great food at least :)

Now, I blog. Not about cooking so much but about life as a mommy. I related to Julie Powell in the movie. She enjoyed cooking and she would go out of her way to do well. It was incredible that she cooked that many different recipes in a year. I think about it and it must have been so very exhausting for her to cook all that and blog while working full time at a job she hated. I definitely admire her.

The movie was shot back and forth from Julie in the current time to Julia in the past and it was nicely done. Jean-Louis and I both enjoyed it not only because we are both bloggers but also because we could relate to so much of the material in the film. If you love cooking, blogging, or even eating, watch Julie & Julia! Because of all the takes, some of the actors would not eat anything all day just so they could eat while acting on set. What a fun movie that would have been to make!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bright Nights at Stanley Park

We did it! We finally went to Bright Nights at Stanley Park! Yesterday afternoon we drove down to Stanley Park to walk along the seawall and take pictures. At the last minute, we decided to go to Bright Nights instead. It was still going on, the weather was beautiful, and it wasn't that busy at all. The only bummer was that Christmas was over :( Ah, it was for Tristan and he wouldn't really know or care anyway. We got ourselves tickets to ride the miniature train and to visit the farmyard. We did end up walking along the seawall but it was more like a speed walk to the nearest Starbucks. We barely made it back in time for our train ride too. At 4:15PM, it was busy and people were everywhere! It was also freezing cold.

The train ride was fun. The train goes really slow so that you can see all the lights along the way. I was too focused on trying to film and document everything that I kind of missed the experience :( Our camera memory ran out and I had to delete pictures to free up some space. To make matters worst, it turned out that our memory card was corrupted and none of the videos were retrievable and some of our pictures were messed up too. I was crushed :(

The train ride reminded me of the one at confederation park, except that it's bigger and more expensive. We paid $9 each and Tristan was $6. The tickets included a visit to the farmyard but that was pretty lame, in our opinion. If you just want to visit the farmyard, it's $3. I sure miss the under 2 freebies. After the train ride, we had to go home right away. It was cold and Tristan complained that his feet hurt. We figured he was getting frost bite or something. I had to rub his feet in the car to get the blood to flow. It really was cold! I should have put snow boots on him just for the warmth. Next time, I will know.

My homemade birthday cupcakes

Today is my birthday so today, I made myself cupcakes. We invited my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew over to enjoy the cupcakes with us in celebration of the new year as well. We did it in high-tea style with bite size sweet and savory food, tea, and coffee. They also brought over a rich chocolaty tuxedo cake for me :) It turned into a bit of a dessert buffet but it was all good!

Since it was the new year 2011, I dressed up and I also dressed Tristan up. Oh my goodness, it's 2011 now! Also, when I say "I dressed up," I really just mean I was wearing something new :) Hosting our first ever high tea also made me want to dress a bit better. It's a good thing I don't make cupcakes much because I think I ate enough to not want to eat more for a few months! If any of my new years resolution was to gain weight, I am off to a great start. Those cupcakes really do taste as good as they look though. I cut down on both the sugar in the cake and in the icing. Tristan even ate half of one. Are you drooling? ;)

Happy New Year 2011!!!
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