28.12.11

been there, done that

A day touristing in KL (the bird park and the petronas towers) ended with a dip in the pool.

Nava was joined by her daddy and Uncle Boris while mommy looked on from 14 stories up!

tomorrow we jet off to a tropical island!

on a jet plane

We're in KL!

22.12.11

20.12.11

wordless Wednesday: See Spot Read


my Little Miss All Grown Up

Well, Nava is still somewhat 'broke'. Mealtimes are definitely back to what they used to me but I'm starting to grasp that maybe they will never go back. Because my baby is growing up.

She is still haveing snitty hissy fits at meals pretty often. But one clear consistency is emerging. She wants control. She wants the power. She wants WANTS to feel like this is her deal not ours. Independent streak much?

We are trying to give her what she demands but the trouble is sometimes she's not really sure what she wants either. Last night she got her little table rather than the highchair, Goong feeding her rather than me, to be finger fed (as in someone else's fingers!) rather than spoon fed or self feeding of any sort. Spoiled much? Oh yeah, and she still shook her head no and made her 'no' sound with each bite. Right up until the plate was licked clean.

Since power and control seem a big part of the mystery we have ditched the oatmeal and gone to a finger food breakfast. This makes her very happy. She likes that we are all doting on her every whim but yet she in in charge, none of us are touching her food, there is no spoon nor plate in sight and all is right with the world.

Three cheers for peanut butter rice cakes and apple slices. And dinner tonight is out. Because Little Miss All Grown Up, like her mommy, totally loves to eat out and thus behaves better out than at home these days!

PS:
Check out my new hair style--pig tails!



15.12.11

dang, we broke her

Amidst the joy of Nava deciding to pick up her spoon (has happened 2x by the way-promise to let you know if it reappears) there is also some serious drama.

Like as in crying snotty snitty pissy drama.

who me?
You see, Nava has developed a little habit at mealtimes (esp breakfast and dinner it seems) that consists or crying. Crying when you give her food, crying between bites, crying and then crying. It also features head shaking NO! and the twisting of ones body back on itself. On a few occasions it has even featured the dreaded toddler back arch.

Why?
-it's not the food. We are only serving things she loves. she eats the whole thing generally. between cries and pouts.
-it's not teething. No other symptoms; no painful thumb gnawing in the past 72 hours
-its not intense hunger. She's done it even when dinner was preceded by a huge snack by only 30 min.

What do we think it is? Well...we tried process of elimination:
1st: gown out of love of vegetables? NOPE carbs and protein rejected too.
2nd: too hungry? gave snack. NOPE.
3rd: wants out of highchair? NOPE
4th: needs to go potty? NOPE
5th: mad that we tried to get her to self-feed? NOPE
6th: mad that we didn't let her self-feed? NOPE
7th: mad that are using spoon? NOT REALLY (switching to finger feeding sometimes increased intake to 2-3 bites between cried though)
8th: mad that we serve her out of her special plate/bowl? HMMM (switched to real palte last night and rest of dinner was peaceful. Used real bowl this morning, still had a hissy).
9th: doesn't want Mama to feed her: HMMMM (mom is not around for lunch and lunch seems less drama. she let Nanny Noi feed her this morning after I backed away)

The mystery continues and I'm begining to dread mealtimes.

Advice? Anyone?

14.12.11

wordless* Wednesday


If you say "Nava is SO Cute!", this is what you get.
It's brilliant.

*Ok, so not wordless. Whoops.

13.12.11

over the moon with a spoon

Breakthrough alert!

Nava has been adamantly (that's a nice word for it!) refusing to have anything to do with using a spoon for the past couple of months. She was quite good at it and then decided OhHellNoI'mNotDoingThatItsYourJob.

On my part I did some hemming and hawing about it, how long I should let it go on, whether I should push her more, maybe if she goes to playschool, she'll learn...blah blah blah.

And then last night, Nava decided the spoon might be cool after all.



Looks like a pro don't you think? 


 Last nights dinner was rice soup with hamburger and spinach. Yum yum.


 After about 10 minutes of intense spooning she did decide she'd had enough and decided to finish off the remaining yummy spinach in a more direct manner.

Fine by me!

11.12.11

With so much

With so much to say, why write?
I feel like that's what the naughty voice in my head keeps telling me these days? I know. Makes no sense. Ugh. So again, standing atop a pile of topics to write on I'll grab the closest one and go for it...

I caution you now, us a toiling post and it's possibly TMI. Like, ya know, if you haven't potty trained a small child you might find it TMI.

Nava has developed her own sign for potty. 2 weeks after I started being really consistent with the ASL sign (which is random and I don't like so before was half hearted with), she decided to come up with her own. Smarty pants. So now when she slaps both palms to her chest* and looks you in the eye, you best down tools and go for the closest loo.

The thing is we are used to being told through eyes and poo face that it was time when a #2 was coming, every other day or so. But this is different. Because not only is she signing it, she's signing it when she needs to pee. Before when we took her and she only peed we'd kinda chalk it up as a failed bm attempt (girlfriend does have a history of having a hard time). But now it's get-it-through-your-thick-head-momma! undeniable that she'd like to pee on the potty thankyou! and not in her pull up. And we need not take her lil tiny fold up potty along anymore, because she's totally cool being helped to sit on the big potty. It's just all so grown up all of a sudden!

I think Santa Claus needs to be bringing some really cool foot stools to our house 'cause the potty game just got kicked up a notch.


* here's hoping this isn't the sign for something important. Or dirty.

7.12.11

Grandpa is Here!

Grandpa made it and he was in her good books pretty much instantly.


Of course, sharing your milk foam is never a bad idea if you wanna make a friend.

A fine day

Well, I've gotta give it to the universe. My Tuesday rocked. Rocked much more than Monday sucked even. A day where everything went right. Forgive me for going into agonizing detail.I need to remember there are days like this the next time a crappy Monday strikes I keep perspective.

From the top:
-Nava lets me brush her teeth with minimal fuss.
-She clearly communicated to the nanny that she wanted to potty even though she only wanted to do #1
-We get out of the house ahead of schedule for our journey (because I made a good decision to not try to cram in a few highly-likely-to-be-unproductive hours at work).
-Arriving at the boarder, there was a caravan of 50 cars blocking everything and lots of police sitting around not giving anyone instructions to prevent the deepening snarl. Miraculously, we all just wait in our places for about 10 minutes and then I'm waved through first.
-Enjoy zero lines on the Thai side due to the caravan holding everybody up. Oh and I get the very first car slot, making it fine to leave sleeping Nava in car while I go get stamps in passports.
-When I get back to the car, Nava has woken up but is fine with me having stepped away. I give her pork crackling by way of thank you.
-There's a large Save The Mekong protest on once I'm through immigration. The cops with the caravan are obviously cramping their style. I give a long honk and cheer to them as I manage to pull out ahead of caravan and am rewarded by huge smiles.
-Zero traffic on Thai side thanks to caravan holding everyone up behind me while I got ahead.
-I remember the correct petrol station that has the really sweet iced coffee stand and rather than trying to hurry, I am smart enough to stop, get a coffee and feed Nava lunch before she gets hungry.
-Caravan pulls up a my station. Huge internal groan as they start yelling at coffee girl in Chinese/English. I pipe up, translate, help the nice gal calculate prices in dollars and everybody goes away happy.
-There are 3 police checkpoints on the highway. None of them stop me.
-Get great parking spot at airport.
-Favorite airline has flight leaving in an hour, it's not full, there's no line to buy, and staffer commiserates about their horrible website the contributed to my horrible Monday.
-Staffer agrees to take a copy of my passport and credit card to allow me to book by phone though it's not really normal procedure and his copy machine is broken forcing him to have to use their competitor's.
-I realize I've left my Thai cell phone at home but I'm in time to buy a new number and give it to the airline guy so he can follow up on my book-by-phone issue.
-The seat next to us is empty on a pretty full plane.
-Nava is in a great mood, laughing and playing games despite having missed her nap and eventually nods off.
-On deplaning, the sky is huge and beautiful and I have a surge of emotion and joy that makes me hold Nava tight.
-Taxi encounters no traffic.
-Check in to find out our hotel has given us a nicer room than usual.
-Nava plays on the bed while I organize. Eventually she finds my purse and finds the seaweed snack inside and shows it to me and asks to eat.
-She looks incredibly cute chomping seaweed.
-I decide to buy myself the new toy (Iphone) I've been debating about since Thanksgiving.
-Nava lets me close the deal with a bribe of mango roll up even though it's way past dinner time.
-The touristy food court with overpriced food pulls out all the stops for us. Highchair provided, food delivered, extra dish and utensils for Nava, some apple chunks complementary, food that Nava and I both love, hold our table during a potty run, staff play with Nava and she puts on her cutest show ever, for like 20 min, so I get to eat. Nava loves her apple and actually enjoys practicing eating with a fork--huge breakthrough! They give her an apple to take home.
-During dinner, Nava told me she wanted to potty, we went she peed and was done. It's dawns on momma that her diaper is dry and she has asked to go to the potty just to pee twice today. Dang!
-During dinner I return a missed call (7pm). It's the airline staff on his own cell saying he's gotten my details into the system and if I ever need anything else I can call him personally.
-Pick up fully pimped out toy and head home with wired Nava who is not complaining despite spending hours in Ergo past bedtime.
-Stop for slice of cake to top off a great day. It's 50% off and really yummy.
-Realize with groan on subway I forgot hotel's number so I will have to walk back from the station. Walk 20 feet and hotel's shuttle appears.
-back in room, Nava is still in fantastic mood and we enjoy a mommy-n-daughter bubble bath.

If today is even half as fun, I'm a lucky woman. And it will be because Grandpa touches down in 30 minutes! Gotta run!






5.12.11

pfffff

I have had a crappy Monday (yes, mine is already over. Sorry for those reading this as you just begin your Monday).

So rather than dwell on the Grrrrrrr... I present you the Awwwwwwwwwwwwww...




Bring on seasonal cheer!

29.11.11

our thanksgiving ritual

Thanksgiving is arguably my biggest holiday. I love it fiercely.


Since I moved to Asia after my college graduation I have managed to celebrate it each year-even in those first few years where I didn't really even try (hello free happy hour thanksgiving feast at a hotel bar in Yangoon!). But about 8 years ago or so some of my best friends here in Laos came together to make Thanksgiving. We were all single, young and marginally employed. I think some of the impetus was realizing that in our motley united nations of a social set, there were actually a enough of us Americans to want to do it. We invited all our friends, cooked all day, it was grand, and a tradition was born. Especially meaningful is that one of the guests that first year mentioned that he thought it was tradition to go around the table and say what you're thankful for (it wasn't in my family) but we all agreed it sounded good--and we have done it every year since.

Now a lot of that first group has moved on and/or married and/or had kids and it makes for a different celebration but the deep love and joy I feel getting together with everyone who is still here and can come is just fantastic. My father has been here maybe half the time or so and was scheduled to attend this year but his back was acting up so he was missed. One dear girlfriend left Laos for Afghanistan three years ago and yet she has still made it to the last two (3?) Thanksgivings (and that takes commitment to Turkey, let me tell you!). 

The only bummer is I'm so busy on the day I never take pictures. Luckily, I can rely on my girlfriend Emma for that. Maybe she'll share a few more too...


oh, and the food was was mighty fine too...


Nava on Thanksgiving:
Give me turkey. Give me sweet potato. More. More. More. Why is Goong eating a sweet potato without me? If I kiss her she'll give it to me surely... Why is mommy making me eat vegetables when I can see she is cutting turkey? Where did all these kids come from and why are they using my swing? Ok, they can have that swing and I'll use this one. Look mommy, if you're too busy talking to give me more pie,  I can crawl on the table and get some pie myself mommy, watch!

24.11.11

thankful

I roasted a turkey yesterday (#1 of 2) and carved it this morning. I am jazzed for Turkeyfest 2011 (two days straight turkeying thanks to friends also hosting). And Nava cried and refused breakfast this morning because she wanted the turkey, goshdangit!@$$#@#~!.

I could go on about our Thanksgiving. And I will. But really today, I'm just writing to send you off to go read someone else's blog. You must go read this now. Please do. She sums up what is in my heart right now perfectly.

I'm sooooooo thankful.

22.11.11

it's a sign

There has been so much up as of late it's hard to know where to start. First up, communication.

Nava has taken to sign language in a big way as of late. It is sooo much fun. After our last trip to Bangkok we bit the bullet and re-commited ourselves to working on it. We led in this time with a suggested phrase: I (hand to self) + Want (hand outstretched palm up) + That (pointing at object). It took a matter of days for this to replace the heavy starring/grunt she used to do at the food she wanted and she quickly ran want+it together in one fluid notion. She also detirmed that "I" was unneccessary because, well...dude, was it ever in doubt who is doing the wanting here ?!?! She got into telling us exactly which food she wanted a bite of (still prefers we spoon rather than self spoon), when she wants water, and when she'd like you to fork over your breakfast cause it looks better than hers.

What was interesting was this phrase triggered her bringing back "more" pretty much all on her own. And she uses that in a big way now. She then picked up Book as her next sign (after 3 days of mommy doing it). Eat she prefers to do her way (mouth opening and closing) over ASL. She kinda stalled there but we are keeping up with more signs and have no doubt more are to come. Oh and she has definitely gotten into pointing beyond food too. She tells us, for example, to go upstairs, outside, in the high chair, and points to the mat in the backyard when she wants us to put it out so she can play. She is so tickled when we "get" what she's saying.

So now every night, after pajamas she tells us Books! And then assigns me to read 2-20 books before the thumb goes in and the eyelids droop. It's a hard life.

21.11.11

Announcement!

Ahem.


Guess what! Notice anything different?


Got it yet? I gots me some stylin' new glasses! The flooded factory in Bangkok that had then for the last 6 weeks apparently dried out enough to send them and I went and picked em up last week.
 

They are this nifty kind where the ear part comes off and you can trim the 'leg' exactly as long as you want and then just slip the ear bit back on. Custom glasses!

 I like em so much I gave them a round of applause. Hooray!



OMG!

Hey y'all. 
Nava here.
Apparently my mama has not been keeping my blog up like she should. Geesh.
I wonder what her excuse is this time...


I'll go get here and make her get to work. More posts soon promise!

14.11.11

The Hostess with the Mostest

The playgroup tradition continues, this time at our place (if the lino doesn't give it away). We had swings, trains, bikes, the pool, slinkies...

Nava enjoyed instructing Anton in the finer points of swinging and our hand-me-down train set got its first real workout thanks to a very industrious Tommy. Manora showed off her fabulous sitting and pre-crawling skills as well.

so much to do, so little time...

12.11.11

teeth are not kind

These pictures pretty much sum up how we've been doing recently. It's not pretty. 2 bottom molars have appeared and with it drool and a sense the universe is against us (no no molars for me but ya know, I'm *with* the one who is getting them soooo...).


The other big development here, which I want to do a post on soon, is that signing has really taken off. And of course "more" is a very popular sign.

So you can imagine my twisted feelings when I just successfully applied teething gel to a sobbing angry-at-the-world Nava and she looks at me with puppy dog eyes and signs... More. Awwwwwww baby!

11.11.11

self admiration


 We have a picture shelf in the kitchen and Nava was ordering asking Noi to bring her over for a better look at it the other day. There was one laminated pic that was child-safe to take off and study. Nava liked it so much she insisted that Noi gave it kisses. Over and over again. And then some more. One guess as to what the picture was...






Tada!

being neighborly

Nava entertained a gentleman caller the other day. Our neighbor Big (that's his nickname, Nava is unusual in that we actually call her her real name) came over to play.
By all reports, Nava was a gracious host and kept offering him her toys. She even offered him a go on her swing but he was like, "What?! Up in that thing? No thanks."
swing? pfffff
He left very reluctantly and only because his younger sister wouldn't stop crying (the nerve) and only after his mommy promised he could come play again real soon. Yay!

6.11.11

silent sunday rulz


NB: Having a camera always at the house means I get to see what goes on when I'm not home. ie this!

5.11.11

blur


Have you ever read the blog Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures? If not, click immeadiately. Absolute gauranteed LOL material.

And she has a whole post about photography of children. In which she points out the inevitable progression toward a stage of blur. I hereby submit the following as scientific proof this woman knows her stuff! This what all the pictures of playgroup look like these days.

It's like Composition? I don't need no stinkin' composition!

Pfffft.
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