Monday, August 31, 2015

New school.. No problem

This morning was her first day at her new school. As much as we and she loved her old school, this one is closer, cheaper and has more flexible hours.

Drop off this morning went smoothly. She's a happy girl, very friendly to everyone and excited by the new environment.

She had no problem saying goodbye to me. They will give her a week to get familiar with place then start potty training ASAP (I didn't even have to ask).

Another parent I know who's kid is in her class saw her there and told me she is doing well. As if she had been there for months. She transitions to new environments so easily, thank God.

Also she enjoys the stroller ride to school, loves to observe the outdoors. So being nearby helps to save on car gas as well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Phrases and anecdotes

. Mommy, whatcha doing?
. Oh no, what happened? (says this a lot when something is wrong).. Example when a classmate started crying.
. Ooh, what's this? (when she saw something new at the home)
. Open wiiide (when feeding me cheerios)
. I'm so cute (I tell her she's cute all the time)
. I'm so heavy (after taking out of bath tub).. I said this twice and now she says it every time.
. Be careful..  Even saying this to a soap bottle when it almost lost balance
. Don't moOove~
. I like cheese.

~Funny stories
Tom was busy for a while changing light fixtures in the living room. A started to miss him. She calls out for daddy.. "daddy help open [milk]". I proceed to help her open it and she says with such fierceness, "I SAID, DADDY!". I was floored with shock! What sass!

We went to a pool party at a friends apt. As we are about to enter and I tell her we are going to a pool, she says, "I'm so happy". Same thing when I was about to give her ice cream.

A boy was playing with her arms and feet while in the pool. He lift her feet up and it bends 90° to her body. She says, "no feet, put it back". HAHAAh.

Daddy: "do you love me?"
A: "Okay"
Daddy: "do you love mommy?"
A: "Yes!" =)

~Other memories
She had so much fun with chi Alyna and bac ngoc. They stayed in the basement. After they left, she would motion to the basement and longingly call for them. She definitely remembers. Occasionally she would bring up Umma and gong gong.

She was a flower girl for aunt Mai's wedding. We didn't practice bowing much, and when it came time to do that, she inside crouched down to leave her basket on the floor. So cute, I have to out a video. Also right before entering the aisle, she had a meltdown to the floor. Miraculously, she switched off and resumed to walk down the aisle with big cousin Alyna in the sweetest way.

23 month update

Allison is 23 and a half months right now. She turns 2 years old very soon, in two weeks! She is a happy and independent  little girl, and loves social environments and new places.

She talks a lot and her vocabulary is growing by the week. She picks up very quickly from us and uses learned phrases to apply to her own situation and surroundings. I will put a separate post about phrases she has said.

Food wise, she has become a great eater with a big appetite. She shows interest in eating food that she sees and even trying new foods such as beans, hummus, kimchi, pickled veggies. She gets goldfish crackers at school occasionally and will regularly ask me for them. I try to keep her away from junk food and have sparingly given her ice cream, chocolate and cheeto chips. She loves cheese and milk.

Sleep wise, she is good for night time. Our bedtime ritual is very much a predictable routine, with bath time, brush teeth, book reading, then place in crib. She will sing and talk to herself for a while.. Kind of like digesting her day. It's funny to hear the random songs she'll sing or phrases she'll say, to herself, in the crib, in the dark. We stay in the room in the dark until she falls asleep on her own, then sneak out.

Nap time on the weekends with us, she will still only fall asleep in the stroller. Attempts to get her to nap in a kiddie air bed didn't work. I believe she fights her naps bc she doesn't want to miss out in anything, but the stroller does the trick every time. We still have to try because when winter comes, I really don't want to bring her outside for naps.

Potty training wise, we put her on the big potty in the am/pm, and if she has to go, she will pee on her own demand. Only very recently did she initiate the interest to sit on the potty to pee. Today, she was having a hard time going number two in her diaper, so I asked if she wanted to sit on the potty. She usually says no but today, she agreed. Lo and behold, she poo poo'ed in the potty! She was so proud and wanted to tell daddy. "look daddy, I went poo poo!" I am so so proud of her!

Development wise she knows her ABCs, can verbally count form 1-20, shapes (ovals, rectangle, diamond, star, octagon, hexagon),  animals, colors, etc. Next focus is on size (big, small), pronouns (you, me), ownership (mine, yours).

We are switching her to a new Preschool when she turns two, for economical and convenient reasons. We are going to miss her current school, where she loves and they love her. I hope the new school will be just as good.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Terrible 2's

Terribles 2's are in full effect in our household, and boy is it unbearable! She'll have meltdowns if she doesn't get her way.. which include dropping her full body weight to the floor and crying inconsolably. Also, she says no to everything, even things that she wants. She'll throw it back, even though it's something she likes. At this point I don't enjoy being around her when she is like that and am relieved when she is shipped off to school or goes to sleep. Lord, grant me the patience to love her even when she is terrible.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sleep success!

It's been 2 months (starting at 19 months) since Tom has taken over the bedtime routine. He reads books with her, I say goodnight towards the start of that, and then he turns the light off and puts her into her crib. Because she generally doesn't like to be alone, he would have to pat her to sleep on her back with his hand. if he stopped, she would look at him, sometimes getting up and sometimes taking his hand and putting it on her chest.

In order to get her to the path of independence, we've made a new rule that daddy shall not pat her to sleep. He will sit next to the crib, but he will not pat. She would occasionally look up to see that he was still there but generally she was ok without the patting. The next step was to move his chair farther from the crib. Knowing he was still there in the room, she would go to sleep on her own. In the case that she was too wide awake and had trouble sleeping, he would leave the room to let her cry it out a little, and that she did. Of course he came back.

Tonight was a momentous occasion; she tossed and turn for a bit but was clearly trying to settle in to sleep. Because Tom is not really near her crib too much, she doesn't seem to look for him much. Tonight, he was able to leave the room while she tossed and she didn't even notice! Eventually she fell asleep on her own. This is a huge deal!!

Also, her middle of the night wakings seems to have ended. For the past 3 or so nights, she has slept up until 5:30 am. At this point, we don't try to put her back to sleep anymore. I think things changed because one night, she woke up at 3:30 am; we were too tired to go to her so we didn't. When I woke up at 5:30 am, I heard her still. So Tom went to her, put her back to sleep, and she slept until 7 am. So I think her body realized that she should just continue sleep. Hopefully if she does wake up again, she will exercise her new skill to fall asleep on her own without needing help.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

21 month update

Today, June 3, 2015, Allison turns 21 months old. Her 20th month has been quite eventful. Here is how she's been doing:

Personality - 
Allison is quite the social butterfly. She has friends at school that like her (they say her name when they see her), friends at church that love her, and she can be quite friendly with her grandparents, aunts and cousins, from both sides, and our friends.

She's also very cheeky and quite the curious troublemaker. She loves to get into things, to hold/touch new things, curious about new people and environments, loves anything fun.

She's obsessed with bubbles and drawing on paper. She doesn't play with her toys much and would rather be near us more than anything. Even if she is watching her favorite program on TV but I leave the room, she will come follow me like a puppy :)

At 20 months came the start of the terrible 2s - opposing almost everything we ask or offer immediately by saying no.. it's her default answer without thinking, which I can catch her when I offer something I know she likes. she'll say no and then want it, the little bugger ;) I try to give her as much freedom as I can and also give her a majority of what she wants but when I say no, I have to stick with it. The best way to avoid meltdowns from being upset is to move on to the next topic or item or object in which I know she'll be ok with. This helps her foget about being upset. If she is still upset, that means she really did want that something so I usually have to give in just a little.

Favorite Activities -
reading, coloring, going to the library, park, playing with bubbles, watching TV

Favorite characters - 
Elmo, Daniel Tiger

Now is when Tom and I truly have to exercise our parenting skills. Our human nature and upbringing naturally inclines us to be the boss of our child, to raise our voice and be stern. However, in situations where Allison does something wrong like hit us, and then we react that way, we find that reacting in such a manner is not helpful at all. She would then get really upset that we were upset and then the original offense just gets lost. In those situations, she will be stubborn about not saying sorry due to pride. So, Tom and I have to change our ways and go for the more calmer/teaching route where we have to tell her that what she did was wrong. She's learning to say sorry after I myself have apologized to her for doing something wrong to her. Even I learned from Daniel Tiger that first we say sorry, then we see how we can help to make things better. For example, she knocked her dinner on te floor by accident today. Tom's reaction was to get mad and yell, but I asked her to say sorry and then help us to pick up the food. I'm starting to think about how God feels about us as His children when we don't behave.

Manners -
Please - we usually have to ask her to say this
Gimme! - we usually have to ask her to add on "please"
Thank you - starting to teach her think. She's said it on her own a few times.
Sorry - getting better at saying this when I ask. She sees how happy I am when she says it. We also watched an episode of Daniel Tiger on this topic.

Development -
Allison is going through a mental growth spurt right now. She's learning/absorbing a lot of things and words at this age and is very observant. She knows about ownership (mommy's phone, coat, hat vs. daddy's vs. her's). She's also putting two and two together. For ex, outdoors, on observing airplains in the sky, we taught her that the airplane is in the sky. When inside, asking where it is, she would say "outside airplane sky". Her memory is very very sharp. One morning, I pointed out in a book that the duck was in the water. She told Tom that later that night. I wore a particular jacket one day, one that I hadn't worn in a while, and the next day, she identified it as mine. She knows exactly which pocket in my purse that I store my phone. It's amazing for us to watch her grow.

Words -
The number of single words that she now knows is too much for me to count. She is able to say 3 word phrases now.
Bless you daddy (which she funnily says after anyone sneezes, burps or coughs)
I see you (when we say when she hides)
Thank you mommy
outside airplane sky
can count from 1-10. Now teaching her 11 - 20.
shapes - can recognize most. still has trouble with colors.

Songs which she knows most of the words to - 
ABC (very surprising to me that she knows the song verbally, even the part at the end "now I know.. next time..". We are working on identifying the letters now, which she can for A - G.
Mary had a little lamb
Wheels on the bus
Row Row Row your boat
Twinkle Twinkle

Eat -
She loves her meats and carbs. I would sneak in veggies through smoothies, but then I read that that doesn't teach them to love veggies. I think read an article that gave the idea to serve veggies first on its own. With no other food option + a hungry stomach, they should be better about eating it. I tried it a few times with edemames, Jap yam and roasted cauliflower and it worked! This month she has tried frozen blueberries which she loves, and I freeze smoothies into small bite sized ice cubes which she enjoys as well. Going to try freezing yogurt next.

Potty -
Allison is able to identify that she has to go #2 before it happens. However, she does not want to do it on the potty yet (it's quite early for it anyway so I don't push her. Will try more around 24 months). The times that I put her on there, she is able to go #1, so that is promising. Her school is to help with potty training as well.

Sleep -
Bedtime routine continues to be where mommy gives her a bath, brushes teeth and daddy reads her books and puts her in her crib. It has evolved from him patting her to sleep to him sitting nearby but not patting. The aim is to get her to be able to fall asleep on her own. The problem is that she has separation anxiety right now, a normal thing that happens to toddlers during their quest for independence (venturing on their own yet wanting a safety net).

Unfortunately, because of her mental growth spurt, she is going through a sleep regression since May 24, which means she wakes up in the middle of the night, like at 3am. This is because her mind is working overtime to proccess all of the things that happened during the day. Tom has to go in and help her go back to sleep. I can't be involved in putting her to bed because there is a certain dependency that she on me that we are trying to wean from.

Summer -
We hope to do many fun activities with her this summer. We already went to the zoo, and want to go to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, Manhattan, museums, and swimming. There's going to be a big change coming up when we move into our new house in July. I hope that she is able to transition well.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Veggie tales

How I usually serve Allison her meals is all the food together; most, carbs and veggies. As an eater, she focuses on one type at a time because she wants to indulge in that type. So usually I would serve her most first for the protein, then carbs bc she loves carbs and I didn't want her to fill up on that first. The veggies haven't been prominently served so she shows no interest in it.

In an effort to get more fiber in her to help with bowel movements (after suffering from some painful constipation), I served her smoothies made from frozen fruit and veggies (beets, carrots, spinach). It helped and she was none the wiser.

However, a nutritionist that I follow online made such a wise point that sneaking veggies into things like smoothies is a disservice to kids bc it doesn't give them opportunities to love and embrace veggies. Her son delights in veggies the same way as desserts. I would love it if Allison would love veggies as much as I do, but how?

I then came across an article from a blog that I follow called Super Healthy Kids. It was mind blowing. The main point is, serve the veggies first on it own, without any other to distract them. With given a choice between veggies, carbs or meat, of course veggies will lose. But on its own, especially dinner time when she is the most hungry, it has a chance.

I am so proud to say that it's worked. So far she has happily eaten roasted cauliflower, boiled Japanese yam, and edemames. "yum" with a smile :) I also feel like she is more open to trying out new foods, so I will totally take advantage of this to introduce other fruits to her besides tangerines which she loves. Other fruits I have also served through smoothies or oatmeal but now will try it fresh.