Lily’s First Christmas

On the Monday before Christmas, Lily’s Auntie Sophia (my baby sister) came for a visit to meet and greet her niece for the very first time. The two of them hit it off right away. She allowed her Auntie Sophie to hold her immediately, even in public, without fear or protesting. This rarely happens with “strangers,” so the bonding was already there. She had a good smile and giggle session on the very first night with Auntie Sophie!

It snowed and snowed and snowed, from the days leading to Christmas to the day after Christmas. It made our surroundings beautiful, yet dangerous.

We almost didn’t make it to Christmas Eve dinner with the in-laws! It would have been disappointing if we didn’t, but Dave finally got us there safe and sound. It turned out everyone made it after all! Everyone braved the snow and the slippery roads to spend time together. So all the nieces and nephews were able to meet and open their presents from all the grandparents and uncles and aunts. I don’t yet have all the photos for the gift-opening session (it was very, very overwhelming and noisy and chaotic) as Nana Sylv took them all. Lily did very well throughout the entire night, only crying a few times due to being overwhelmed with so many people and so much noise. However! She was very curious and happy when she met with Cousin Peanut (Kennedy) again! The two of them are only 3 months and one day apart, but they look almost identical in size! Peanut is in the 85th percentile while Lily Bean is in the 25th percentile, so that makes sense. Lily just has that “older” infant look, while Peanut sort of still has that “newborn” look.

At one point, they were holding hands. It was soo cute! Peanut is on the left, and Lily Bean is on the right.

After a while, they weren’t so amused anymore, and Kennedy Peanut started crying and protesting. Here, Lily Bean is found trying to console her, telling her, “There there, Cousin Peanut, it’s okay… it’s okay!”

Then they went in for a hug and all was well with the world again. They are going to be the best of friends when they get older, and Kami and I will have to watch out! “Double Trouble” in the making!

Lily Bean made out very well with her first Christmas stash. While she didn’t really understand what the big commotion was, she really enjoyed ripping some of the presents off, trying to eat the wrapping paper, and then holding the presents and trying to eat those too.

Back at home, on Christmas morning, I dressed her up in her fancy shmancy Christmas dress that her Uncle Tom and Auntie Kelly (Dave’s brother and sis-in-law) gave her. She received this giant bear from us (we thought it was amusing that the bear was much bigger than she is!

Then Daddy finally woke up and we opened all the gifts. She sat with Daddy while he helped her open them all. She got a lot of presents from us! We had decided to skip getting each other anything for Christmas this year so that we can concentrate more on getting her stuff. The end result: lots and lots of gifts for the Lily Bean for her first Christmas.

Among some of her gifts, Wii Music!

And the new Tinkerbell movie:

And “WOW, Mama! Horton dvd AND a Horton stuffed animal!!”

She even got a stocking full of candy she can’t eat!

Christmas was totally awesome this year. We got to spend lots and lots of time with Lily Bean, and get her some presents. One of the biggest presents (and one of her favorites) is the Jolly Jumper that her paternal Grandpa Bob got her. It was on her Christmas list (or rather, any bouncer since she loooves to bounce now), and she just LOVES being in it. Sometimes she cries when we take her out of it. Heh.

In this particular video, Lily Bean was jumping AND playing with her new stuffed learning dog toy that her Nana Sylvia gave her. She just loves that thing too.

We also got all dressed up and Auntie Sophie took some family photos of us, as well as Christmas photos of Lily Bean.

The serious photo:

The goofy photo:

Daddy and Lily Bean:

Mommy and Lily Bean:

Lily Bean by herself next to the tree:

And finally, Mommy and Lily Bean again:

Overall, it was an awesome Christmas. Lots of giggles, lots of laughters, lots and lots of family time. Couldn’t have been better. We now leave you to Lily Bean bouncing away in her Jolly Jumper:

Lily’s First Snow

Yesterday, we took Lily Bean out to meet her first snow. The snow hit us big time on Wednesday, but it was too darn cold to take her out. Too chilly with the windchill. So we decided to wait until Thursday. Glad we did, cuz when we went out, the air was calm yet cold. Perfect to take a little baby out (and for the baby’s Mama who was raised in Southern California to not freeze her skinny tush off too!).

She enjoyed the snow much more than she enjoyed the process of being bundled up before going out, and then being unbundled down afterwards. She was not impressed with being a stiff bundle. However, once taken outside, she was fascinated. Absolutely overwhelmed with curiosity. Too overwhelmed, in fact, to cry or protest. It was really cute. It looked like she was trying to soak it all in.

Here’s a video of when we first stepped out.

Then we took some photos. She was absolutely fascinated. Heh.

When I put her down on the snow, she was like “*gassp* OMG, what is this?!”
This was her little gasp. Heh.

And then she sneezed cuz she was looking directly up at the sky.
It was very bright.

The Decided Cloth Diaper

Okay, so I know that I said before, waay back in another post about diapering, that we chose the gdiapers with cloth inserts. That didn’t work so well, as it kept leaking and leaking. I ended up getting all sorts of help from all sorts of mothers from all over the world who used gdiapers, both with flushables and inserts. After months (approximately 3.5 months!) of trying and trying, and getting leak after leak after leak, I had to admit failure. And I do not like admitting failure!

So, seeing that we were experimenting with different overnight diapers (the gdiapers always leaked overnight, so we ditched that almost at the very beginning), we wanted to see how they would work during the day. I suggested using Thirsties covers with prefolds, since we had some prefolds already and the Thirsties covers were very inexpensive. Dave wasn’t falling for that one — he wouldn’t touch the prefold during changings, so that sort of defeated the purpose. He liked the All-In-Ones one, or the pocket diapres, because he didn’t have to touch any of the poop or pee at all.

So I got some Bum Genius 3.0 One-Size diapers. Granted, they’re very expensive, and very effective. I bought one first, to try out. No leak. Then I bought 3 more, to rotate through. Still no leak. So then I kept buying a little at a time, and now our stash is about 14. I do laundry every other day (that’s down to a science now too). No stains, completely clean every time, and no leak. The best thing for using a one-size diaper is that the first spending is the most costy, but then you don’t have to buy another diaper for, like, ever. That sat well with us.

And, it left little to no bum rashes. I don’t have to use any products for diaper rashes like I did with the disposables and sometimes even with the gdiapers.

Here is a video of the Lily Bean in her BG cloth diaper. She loves ‘em as much as we do! It was taken just yesterday.

Lily’s First Tree

So today we finally got the tree up. Just in time too, because it started snowing (heavily) outside as we were starting to put the tree up. Very appropriate, if you ask me! So the tree is up now. This is Dave’s and my 3rd Christmas (that we officially celebrated) together. The tree is an artificial one we bought three years ago. We decided to go with an artificial tree so that we can save a bit of money every year, and it’s more convenient. And er… we’re not cutting down trees. Well, there’s not really a big reason as to why we got a fake tree. Maybe one day we’ll get a real one, maybe with our next house — a stand-alone house! We’ll see!

We cleared the space in front of the window.
It was where Lily’s play mat was.
Can you find the Lily Bean?

Putting up the first ornament of the tree: Lily’s ornament! It has her name on it.
Her great-granny (her namesake) got it for her this Christmas.

Yay, the first ornament (hers) is up!

Daddy and Lily putting the next ornaments up: ours and Tink’s!

Posing in front of the freshly decorated tree.

Our blue-and-white themed tree.

We had pretty silver and white ribbons that go with the tree, but one of our snow globes broke and it happened to be in the same bag as the ribbons, so we had to throw them out because they were all discolored with oily water and stuff. Ew. I will have to get some more white ribbons, but maybe not this year, since we’re very short on cash. Maybe next year. So this year, we have a “minimalistic” tree. It still looks awesome!!

5-Month Update

I didn’t have much time to update yesterday, but she turned 5 months old yesterday! Woohoo, go Lily Bean! She is doing so many exciting things, it’s unbelievable. Sometimes I wonder how we catch up with all the cool new milestones that she hands us almost everyday. Everyone was right – the first few months — heck, the first year — is so very exciting and filled with so many changes. It seems to go by so quickly though. One minute, we’re bringing her home from the hospital and the next she’s 5 months old. What the heck? Where did all the time go?

So here are all the cool things our Lily Bean girl is doing.

  • She is getting stronger and stronger when on her tummy. She’s rolling over a lot more, though she still doesn’t like doing it very often. I’m just happy I’m able to see her do it now!
  • While on her tummy, she can lift the whole top half of her body up in a yoga cobra position, with her arms completely straight. She just learned that she can do this a few days ago while watching Daddy do it, and when she tried to imitate, she did it! She had a HUGE smile on her face and was quite proud of herself… hehe. She also likes doing the “seal” position, as we like to call it.
  • We’ve got her bedtime routine down pat (for now). She is almost always in bed, asleep, by 9pm. She puts herself to sleep when we put her in the crib, even if she’s completely wide awake. The behavioral training has worked! WOOHOO!!! She is still sleeping approximately 12 hours a night (give or take an hour), and only has 2-second “binky emergencies” once or twice every night.
  • Her daytime naps seem to be decreasing in frequency, but increasing in length. We’ve gone from three short naps to two long naps, it appears. Usually it’s around noon and then another around 5pm. We’re still trying to figure it out. When she’s tired, she lets us know with a bit of crankiness and eye rubbing, and we just put her down in her crib and she goes to sleep.
  • She is doing better around social situations and letting more people hold her. Usually, though, she asks for me when she gets nervous around lots of people.
  • She is reaching for things and they go directly into her mouth. Without fail. She’s using both hands, but can do this with one hand. Usually it’s just one hand.
  • She’s eating a LOT more. We’re going to have to dip into our milk savings supply pretty soon. I’m barely making enough to hold her over everyday. This is due to the fact that I’m pumping, instead of nursing, since I have to work a lot more now.
  • She is trying to roll over from her back to her front. She can do this with some help (when we take her hand and lead her, while she does most of the work), but on her own, she gets to her side, stays there and tries to squirm her way completely over, and then teeters back onto her back. SO CUTE!!
  • Quite the mover and the shaker!! She can scoot and squirm in all different ways and directions while on her back AND her belly. We can put her down in one spot, come back in a minute to see that she’s squirmed/scooted a couple of feet away already. Heh.
  • She likes to be held in an upright standing position, and then BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE. We definitely need a bouncer for this one.
  • She’s watching us eat, and is very very curious about food. She’s starting to grab towards what we’re eating as well. Before, she would just stare and stare when I put things in my mouth while holding her. Now she’s starting to grab towards it, and touch it, just to see what the heck it is.
  • She’s understanding some of the sign language words we’ve been teaching her, primarily “hungry” and “milk”… when we do these signs, she starts opening her mouth like a little bird, ready for the bottle. She’s also experimenting with her own hand and making the “milk” sign when she’s feeding. We’re also teaching her the words: more, up, yes, (diaper) change, all done, water, and book.
  • She’s quite generous with those smiles for both Mommy and Daddy, and quite reserved for strangers or other people she’s not completely used to. I think she’s going to be a shy little person.

This past Tuesday night, we had dinner with my old internship supervisor, Leaf, and his wife, Louise. I hadn’t seen him since I was about 7 months pregnant, so it was nice to see him again. They came up through the border and we had dinner at White Rock Beach, in our favorite Japanese restaurant. It was really neat because they finally got to meet Lily Bean. I forgot to get my camera (we were running late because I had just gotten home from work and Lily Bean had a bit of a cranky day that day), but we had a grand ol’ time. LB let Louise hold her for a VERY long time, and she even got playful and bouncy on Louise’s lap, and then she started squeaky and yelling, having a grand ol’ time. She even let out a couple of big laughs for the two of them. It was awesome. I would definitely conclude that she approves of Leaf and Louise!