Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Post on Sleep

Shortly after Anna turned 1, she would wake up in the middle of the night – SCREAMING.

The quickest and easist way to appease her was to bring her to our bed. She would fall back to sleep within minutes and we could all sleep soundly (although it included some kicking in the face) till the morning. This continued for 3 months, but I didn’t mind, I liked having her in the bed with us…it was like making up for the time I am away from her during the day.

At her 15-month well check, her doctor asked about sleep and we told him. He nicely said that if we ever want to cut this habit, it would just be harder down the road. We nodded and ignored his comment for another month.

Just after Anna turned 16 months, my client moved to a new location. In order for me to be home by 3, it means getting up and leaving the house earlier. Since it would be impossible for me to get ready with Anna sleeping in the same room with us, we decided to leave her in the crib from then on.

(Besides, I was getting bigger and bigger and if we wanted Baby B to stay in the room with us for the first few months, it was time to kick Anna out.)

At first I thought we would have to endure through her screaming and crying for days on end, but so far, it has been going well!

The first 2-3 nights, when she woke up screaming, hubby parked himself on her bedroom floor, waited for her to fall back to sleep, and snuck out. I don’t think he ever had to do this more than twice a night. And no more than 30 minutes each time.

By the 4th night, screaming went down to whining at medium intensity and hubby stopped going in.

And since then, she still wakes up whining nearly every night and it wakes me up as well, but it usually lasts for less than a minute (or I just fall back to sleep before really knowing how long it lasts).

Our bed has been Anna-free for almost 2 weeks now! And I hope I didn’t just jinx everything by posting that.

Even though I miss having her in bed with us, it’s great that she’s sleeping on her own again.

We have been pretty lucky that we never had to sleep train Anna, but with that said, I am prepared for Baby B to be the exact opposite.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Our Weekend: Painting, Cookout, and Sort & Stack

I like to take Anna someplace new every weekend, but this past one was just too hot and humid to be out. So we spent it in and here is a recap of our lazy weekend.

Since she loved smearing paint on paper so much last time, I bought some paint supplies and re-created the fun at home. We tried with different tools, but, this time, what made her tickle was simply dipping her paintbrush in water and watching it change color.
Painting with Mama
Picasso at work
On Saturday, probably the hottest day of the year, we were crazy enough to host a cookout. We made burgers and they turned out quite yummy! It was our first time making burgers from scratch РI added salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, and, haha, tofu to the ground beef. Hubby fried bacons and saut̩ed mushrooms as toppings. Then people built their own burgers with toppings and various condiments.

The food part was pretty good, but Anna was having an “off” day and we had to cut the evening short. We didn’t even get to the cheesecake that hubby made! Ah, the joy of having a psycho toddler. Luckily, I think our guests were understanding.

Happy one minute and a little terror the next.
Cooling Off

Burgers looked good, no?
Cookout #2
Yesterday we ran errands early in the morning and found this $4 toy at TJMaxx. I know all parents marvel at everything their kids do and we are no exception. I love watching Anna figuring things out on her own. I don’t know when kids are “supposed” to know how to sort by colors, but this was the first time Anna played with the toy and she figured it out on her own. It’s funny though, after she sorted and stacked everything correctly, she got creative and stacked the blocks all over the place.

Good thing I took this video.

stack & sort from sugarlens on Vimeo.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Baby B! 21w6d Update

I haven't been blogging much about this second pregnancy, which isn’t a bad thing because that means it has been uneventful and things are going smoothly.

But Baby B is already half-baked!

I go to my monthly appointments, but I am so relaxed about it this time around that I told hubby no need for him to come. With Anna, I think he was there for all appointments. I have two more monthly appointments and then it will be down to bi-weekly! Time is flying…but yet slow at the same time.

I haven’t taken any belly shots since Week 15, but I do make an effort to have pictures of me taken every Saturday (which is the start of a new week with this pregnancy) whenever we are out. Watch me inflate - 16, 18, 19, 20, and 21. I think it's so meaningful to have Anna in those pictures.

From yesterday:
Baby B @ 21w5d
I started to feel Baby B kick early - but more evident around Week 20. He’s more active at night than during the day, which makes me think he’s going to be like his sister and have his night/day reversed.

As for my physical appearance, I am huge now. It’s getting hard for me to sit on the floor and then stand up with Anna in my arms. And I have a feeling that bending down, putting on pants, etc, will get increasinly more difficult in the coming weeks. I don’t remember feeling this way until well past Week 30 with my first pregnancy.

I still have 4 more months to go and it won’t be easy with a toddler, but it will be so worth it at the end! Can’t wait to meet my little man!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Anna - 16 Months

Anna is 16 months old!

She has her share of temper tantrums, but overall, she’s still a sweet, silly little girl. She loves to smile and laugh. I can’t get enough of her.

When she’s in the mood, she can keep herself entertained for a while – which is great! But most of the time though, she still wants the company of us – which is also great! The only problem is when we are both busy and she wants attention, she will grab our legs and whine. Hubs is very good at talking to her to calm her down, though.

Anna is in the throwing phase. She throws everything in sight. At us, at the dogs. It’s a battle of ours to get her to stop throwing the wrong things. On the other hand, she listens when we tell her to pick up. She loves to help and claps for herself.

This month, she is less into her books, but continues to love her blocks. She is also good at stacking now. She can stack her blocks and boxes up high. However, there is nothing more fun than knocking them all down. She bursts into laughter whenever she does this. We also just recently discovered that she knows how to play her shape sorter correctly and does well with her animal puzzle.

Grandma tells us that Anna waves at people now whenever they go to the mall play area. It’s so nice to hear that she’s becoming more social. She has come a loooong way.

Anna is still speaking only a handful of words (her newest are fish, cow, and car), but her understanding of commands is amazing.

On the eating front...not much has changed since 15-months, but I *think* her appetite is growing. She eats lots of fruits and prefers noodles over rice.

On the sleeping front...she goes down around 7:30pm, comes to sleep with us sometime during the night, and wakes up around 6:30am with the cutest bed hair. We may be asking for trouble with this co-sleeping thing, but we will deal with it when the time comes. I just love snuggling with her.

Oh, and her two first molars have popped.

I can't believe in 4 months, she won't be the only child anymore. It's such a bittersweet moment for me, but I also think she will be great with her little brother.
16 Months Old
On her 16-months birthday, we were dealing with a flooded basement and a sick dog...I took this picture in a hurry.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

anna's first boat ride

We took Anna on her first paddle boat ride at Lake Fairfax and I think it was fair to say that she didn't like it one bit. I should have suspected...this was her reaction when we put the life jacket on her.
Lake Fairfax
She eventually calmed down, got on the boat and actually sat still (perhaps involuntary since the jacket restrained any movement) for a while. It was hot and the jacket only made it worse. Poor girl. She toughed it out for about 20 minutes until she finally lost it. Luckily, we were almost at the dock anyway.

This shot is just funny to me!
Lake Fairfax
Once on land and on her feet, she was happy again and we actually got to take in the pretty scenery.
Lake Fairfax
Sigh, oh well. Can't expect all excursions out to be successful and happy. This may not make it as one of the best moments of Summer 2011, but I think I will look back to the pictures with a laugh. See more of them here.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Head to Toe

Haha, if this is hubby with just one kid, I wonder how he’s going to handle two?

And if this is the state of our house with just one kid, what is it going to be like with another?
On another note: Anna is learning to identify body parts. She can identify her toes, fingers, teeth, ears, head, hair, and belly button correctly most of the time. Some of them she understands in Chinese (I teach her in Mandarin and Grandma teaches her in Cantonese). Some she understands in English. Some she understands in both. It’s an ambitious goal of mine for Anna to be bilingual, but that means it's up to me to get better at speaking to her in Chinese!

I cringe at the sound of my voice in videos, but here is Anna identifying her body parts. Fast forward to 30 seconds...

Head to Toe from sugarlens on Vimeo.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, July 11, 2011

the one where we forgot her shoes

I consider ourselves organized parents…which is why I couldn’t believe it when we forgot to bring Anna’s shoes this weekend when we went into DC. We were half way there when hubs asked, “We got everything right? Her shoes?” And I slapped the top of my forehead and went “Oh!” We didn’t want to waste time and turn back so we just made the best out of the situation. Luckily, our little walker didn’t mind being held almost the entire time.

We let her walk barefoot in front of the Capitol before heading inside to the U.S. Botanic Garden. I am sure Anna would have LOVED walking inside the garden because the plants and flowers were at her eye-level. Oh well, there is always next time. I think she still had fun pointing and screaming “flower” and “wawa” whenever she saw them, though.

It is a tradition of ours to get pho on the way back from DC and this Saturday was no exception. I like going there because Anna eats so well. She can slurp on those noodles all day long. And I don’t have to worry about lunch when we come back home. We just put her straight down for a nap and I get to nap too! It may be hot, but I enjoy our weekend trips.

More images from our trip here.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

july 4th weekend

4th of July Weekend 2011
Hope everyone had a sparkling long weekend!

Ours was nice. We fired up the grill and hosted our very first bbq. It was also our very first time bbq-ing using our hand-me-down grill. It was also our very first time bbq-ing period. I am happy to report that the event wasn’t a disaster and everyone was full at the end…I hope. We had a very simple spread of corn-on-the-cob and chicken drumsticks & thighs. My mom brought noodles, potato salad, and watermelon. We also snacked on taro chips and ice cream sandwiches. It was a no fuss get-together and I hope to play hostess again soon.

The best thing about having people over is all the attention Anna gets. She’s still a bit reserved when it comes to people she doesn’t see daily, but at least she doesn’t cry at the sight of them anymore. So all in all, Anna had a great time, too.

The rest of the weekend was low-key, although it still wore us out. I fell asleep by 8 last night to the sound of fireworks outside of the window. Next year, maybe I will buy some sparklers so Anna can participate in the holiday. Then again, next year, we will have another kid in the picture so I may fall asleep by 7.
4th of July Weekend 2011
More images from our 4th of July Weekend here.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Baby B! Oh Boy!

Baby B is a BOY!
B-O-Y. I am still shocked...not sure why since the odds were fifty fifty...

But we're completely happy for a healthy and growing boy! Another little one to read stories to + tuck in at night. One little man to call our own. Someone to play ball. Someone to complete our little family and grow up into a mischievous little bro and a quality kind of guy.

It's a boy!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, July 1, 2011

finally, captured on videos!

Twice a week, Grandma takes Anna to the play area inside the mall.

Now we have taken Anna there many times, but they were always on busy Saturday and Sunday afternoons...when the place is filled to the brim with energic bigger kids. So whenever we went, Anna never played and I always had to be right next to her for her to even want to explore. I remember the very first few times we went and saw her clinging to us the entire time....we were so disappointed. :(

But, Grandma takes her early on weekday mornings, around 9:30am, when there are only a handful of kids around. And she always comes back with cool stories of Anna running around, interacting with other kids, and having fun. We always enjoy those stories with big grins and say in amazement, "Really??"

But it would be nice to see it in person.
(My mom and I actually took Anna there once on a Saturday morning and I saw a little bit of it already...but nothing like these videos.)

Yesterday hubby went with Anna and Grandma to the mall and captured it all on 2 videos. We watched them like 5 times together last night and I will be playing them over and over during my lunch break today. :)

(love how she went "weeeeeee!" the second time she slid down)

Anna's Playhouse from sugarlens on Vimeo.

something about slides from sugarlens on Vimeo.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!