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And now she is 2

It’s been over 5 months since I last posted. It’s very hard to find the time between familyhood, work, band, and my other blogs, but i do what I can. Lala is no longer a baby. She is a toddler now. She recently turned 2 and is quickly becoming her own little person. She talks alot now and you can kind of have conversations with her, as long as they are centered around her world of understanding which is comprised of, but not limited to Dora the explorer, chocolate milk, grapes, boogie men, yo gabba gabba, babies, juice, cars, the moon, kittens, dogs, blueberries, books, toys, iPad, papa’s guitar, Lala’s guitar, piano, monsters, cheese, pizza, Caillou, the song Hallelujah and EMI, soda, candy, apples, oranges, drawing, coloring, painting and play-doh. Oh and cake. She loves cake. Oh and the Pumpkin Patch.

In October we made it a family trip almost twice a week to go to the pumpkin patch and let her play on the rides and all the pumpkins etc. It’s well into December now and she still asks to go to the pumpkin patch. Over the past number of months she has also learned to fear some things. I dont know how or when a child learns fear, but somehow they learn it. I came home one day and suddenly she was scared of the boogie man. I asked her who told her that but she obviously couldnt tell me. I wondered who taught her to be afraid and who taught her the word boogie man. Then shortly there after the words monster and ghost entered her vocabulary as well. I guess it was bound to happen. I was just hoping she wouldnt learn to fear things that dont need to be feared. Funny side note though, she often says the word “ghost” in one particular room of the house!

Lala is a funny kid. She has this fake cry that she does when she doesnt get her way or she falls but isnt really hurt but wants the hugs etc. It’s pretty hilarious cuz she thinks she is being slick but we got her number. She is a sweet girl though, she freely says “luu you papa” or “luu you mama” often and gives us hugs out of the blue. That is the best! But then she’ll turn around and blame you for stuff like if i tell her she cant have something she’ll cry to mama and mama will say “who did it Lala?” and she’ll say “Papa!” and then mama will ask “did he hit you” and she will tearfully say “Yesh!”. My little drama queen. Love it! It’s also neat and interesting to see which one of the parental units provides for what function in her mind. I think she associates papa with playtime, learning and adventure, as well as protection, and mama with nurturing, comfort, learning and protection as well. She ALWAYS wants to play with me, but when she gets hurt or cries she ALWAYS wants to go to mama. Interesting how those processes develop.

Now it is Christmas time and we put up the tree with her and I put up lights outside the house and she loves what’s going on but doesn’t really understand it yet. she knows of a Santa, but does not know what he does, but she will be pleasantly surprised next week when we wake up and realize that Santa has made a stop by the house! It’s fun being a parent because in some ways it allows me to be a kid again as well.

Summer is here and this is the perfect weather to go outside and play! We bought Lala a wading pool for the back yard so she can keep cool on the hot days. She loves the water and wants to get in even fully clothed! Lately Lala has starting putting words into sentences, and it’s super cute. If you ask her where something is she says “hmmmm..over there” or if she cant find something she’ll say “where did it go?” Mind you she says it in babese so it’s not perfect English.

I got an iPad not too long ago for the purposes of keeping her entertained on long flights and for the family enjoyment as well, and she has really taken to it and knows how to use it. It’s funny watching a toddler turn it on, swipe through the menus until she finds her games and pick her game then play it then quit out of it and select another one. It’s a testament to both her quick learning ability and Apples success at creating an easily usable human interface. The only bad part is the freaks out when we take it away from her.

Freaking out is her new talent, or problem. She can be the sweetest thing, but the minute something doesn’t go her way, she stiffens up,  clenches her fists and grits her teeth screaming. Yes she has serious brat tendencies at times and we are forced to be stern with her. Stern but fair. She also likes to test us and at times hows a very defiant side to her. Last week she was coloring on the coffee table and I told her not to but she still did it, so i began to pick her crayons up, and she ran to the TV screamed and hit the screen with a crayon. Needless to say she got in trouble for that one! She is hard headed and stubborn, but I can deal with it because it means she will be a strong willed girl and woman one day. I just need to channel that energy and set boundaries properly. It’s challenging and not easy, but its worth it. Put in the time now, and it will pay later. She is my sweet and sour little monster, but I love her dearly.

I also worry that she is overly stimulated by TV and iPad already. I find that I have to force her to sit for book reading time now. I also worry about what she eats since she is already bigger than most kids her age. It’s tough finding the right foods that are healthy and organic without tasting like dirt. I picked up a book called “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” and am looking forward to reading it. It’s basically about how important the role of a father is in his daughters life and how that is missing from many societies. Should be interesting and insightful.

This weekend is the 4th of July and I’m excited to take her to see the fireworks for the first time! It’s going to be awesome!

I know. It’s been months now since I last posted. It’s hard to keep up with this these days what with my demanding job, making sure i have enough family time and my band. Time just disappears. So I’ll just try to squish a few months worth of life with Lala into a few highlights.

First off, Lala is physically bigger in all aspects than 100% of kids her age. the doctors also say she needs to lose a few pounds so we are not letting her eat so much non-veggie/fruit type of foods. Lala is a year and a half old now and she continues to amaze me every day with her learning capacity. It really hit me a few months back when Mama and I were watching a movie with Lala in the room, and one of the characters cried out in anguish as he discovered his children had drowned, (Shutter Island). Lala looked up from playing with her toy when he cried out and expressed concern for him. Then as he laid his children down on the ground she looked at us and put her finger to her mouth and said “shhhhhhh” as if the kids were sleeping. It shocked me and I realized I’d now have to watch whet we expose her to. It was also cute that she recognized the children were “sleeping”.

About a month and a half ago we took Lala to Maui. She loved it so much. In fact every morning we were there she would wake up and first thing out of her mouth would be “Agua?” Yes we are teaching her Spanish. And French sometimes too. She loved being in the water whether it was ocean water or pool water and she hated getting out. It was nice to have a week off with her and just have fun. She also did well on the plane. I bought an iPad to keep her entertained and she loves it! I cant use it in front of her now cuz she will try to take it from me!

Lala loves to go on walks and go exploring. She likes to go to parks and swing and go down the slides. She is quite brave about doing stuff older kids still have issues with, and she is hard headed and stubborn about getting her way.

She recently put together her first sentence. She has been saying words for sometime but i think someone taught her to say “yay i did it!” so whenever she accomplishes anything she jumps up and shouts “yay i did it!” and we all applaud!

Everyday is an adventure with her and it lights up my heart when, even though i may be reading or watching TV, she comes up to me and holds her hand out and says “hand!”, and waits expectantly for me to give her my hand and let her lead me to the toy room to play with her. And i go everytime cuz there will come a day when she will not want to play with old pops anymore, so i dont want to miss out while she does.

I guess it had to happen eventually. We were at Target last night doing some shopping and Lala kept trying to stand up in the shopping cart, so I usually try to dissuade her from doing it by stopping the cart altogether or letting her walk beside me, but somehow this time she ended up sitting on top of a box of diapers that were in the space where she was supposed to be sitting. My instincts said to tell my wife to not let her sit there but my wife had her arms on each side of her so I let it go. I go over to another department and get some cables for my car and come back and now my wife is looking at something and my sister in law is pushing the cart, and Lala has a bag of caramel corn and a mess on her face so i take the bag from her and walk to the front of the cart to keep it far from Lala. At that very instant my wife calls over to her sister, her sister looks back and then Lala either tries to reach for the bag of caramel corn or she just leans out too wide and she tumbles off the the shopping cart head first onto the hard tile floor. I watched it all happen in slow motion and I cant even describe the sickening feeling, rush of adrenaline and emotion, and terrible thoughts of losing my child to a broken neck that went through my body as I scooped her up and walked towards her mom. I think Lala was shocked at first but then she let out a cry and wailed for a solid 5 minutes. we checked her out and she seemed ok so Lala went with them to get a slushie while I went and checked out. I couldnt help but wonder if she was ok and when i checked out i went over to the snack bar and she seemed ok.. still red and teary but normal.So we get her to the car and start driving and suddenly she seems out of it and trying to go to sleep so we start keeping her alert by playing with her and giving her candy, while my wife calls the advice nurse. We know that head injuries can be lethal and you shouldnt let them go to sleep afterwards. I’m pretty worried so i start heading over to the hospital and the advice nurse tells us to bring her in to the ER. I haul ass there and we get her checked in and about 2 hours later they finally check her and basically tell us she is okay and to monitor her tonight when she sleeps. I say my prayers of thanks for letting this be minimal. We figured she was ok, but we needed to be sure. At least while we were there Lala made a bunch of sad sick people happy by waving to them and being nice. Maybe thats why we were supposed to go there, to let her make someone smile that needed it. We finally get home around midnight and Lala went to bed pretty quietly. We woke her up at 3 to make sure she could wake up normally and she had no problem. Seeing something like this happen to your child sucks. I can imagine how much more horrifying it is to seem them suffer major wounds or disease. It tears you up inside. Thank you god for letting Lala be okay. I’ll try and take better care next time.

Let the good times roll

It’s been awhile since I posted last. We’ve been so busy with life in general that I have not had much time to do anything but work and spend family time. Lala has been growing like an Ox. She went and got her checkup at 13 months and the doctor said she was taller than 100% of kids her age and heavier than 98%. We are continually having to move things higher that she isnt supposed to get. I wont know what to do when she is 10 feet tall! She is really starting to talk alot now as well, picking up names and words as she goes. She also knows the names of her favorite characters from Yo Gabba Gabba. She’s pretty great. We like to Skype with Grandpa and Grandma so they can see her grow. She doesnt really get the idea yet but she is learning. We have her in swimming lessons on saturdays now as well. Truth be told it’s more like water acclimation lessons, and depending on how she is feeling she either likes it or not. She usually does though. We’re getting her ready for our Maui trip in April. God knows I need a vacation! Lala finally knows her real name too, Isis. It took a long time for her to recognize it since we call her Lala all the time. This week she got her first taste of stomach flu and was barfing all day and getting the runs too poor baby. She wasnt happy. Then my wife, her sister and her nephew got it too. But not me! 🙂 Lala loves going to the park and now knows how to go down the slide correctly. She lays down and goes face first and laughs and laughs. It’s the best part of my day hearing her laugh. She is also learning how to play by herself and she likes to sing to herself sometimes, usually songs from Yo Gabba Gabba. All her favorite songs are from that show. I’m pretty excited that the weather is changing again so we can start to explore the backyard. Spring and summer will be fun! Parks, swimming pools, forests, trees, ice cream trucks, little red wagons…. all good things!

So there is a conspiracy that spans the history of humanity and is as far reaching as every household in the world, and every parent every has had a hand in keeping the deep, dark secret from us new parents. I am now an initiate into this obscure secret society that holds tight to the eternal truth that I will share with you today, at risk to my own well being. What is this ancient mystery? That the “Terrible Two’s” dont start when a child turns two. They start at 8 months. and probably go all the way to 2. Or 3.

I hate to admit that Lala has become something of a brat over the past few months and we’ve had to take actions to counter it. She has a temper that I have not seen in such a small kid. When we tell her no or take something from her that she shouldnt have, and she stiffens her body, balls her fists, grits her teeth and grunts in a very guttural way or screams then hits something. She is also a bully to the dog. She tries to take his bed and hits him.

She is a very hard headed girl in that I sometimes have to physically pick her up and move her when she is trying to do something she shouldnt be and then stand there and repeat it 10-20 times until she realizes I won’t back down, then she gets bored with the challenege and wanders off to some other mischief. She thinks it’s hilarious to turn off the TV when we are watching it and runs away when we try to get her, but she freaks out when we do it to her. She loves to test us and see how far she can go with us which is why we need to stay on top of her. It’s exhausting but it’s worth it. She even has started yelling at us on accasion as well. While we were driving the other day she didnt want to get buckeld up and she got mad after we strapped her in and screamed the name of our dog, as if trying to tell us she only loved him. We just giggled cuz it was so unexpected.

She has her moments of brilliance too though, dont get me wrong. She is learning quickly and the sign language we taught her is quickly tranferring over to verbal language. She now knows a few more names than Ozo the dog. She says Papa in the sweetest little voice ever. She says mama sweetly too, when she’s not yelling at mama! She calls her cousin Zeke , zee, she can say Hannah, and Mona too. Everyday when i get home she takes me into the toy room and we sit and play toys. She usually will grab a book and bring it to me and get in my lap as we read it together. I love that she likes to sit in my lap and read books with me. It makes me feel good becasue I’m trying to cultivate a sense of curiosity and desire to learn and read, in addition to running around and playing toys. I want to build her up as best I can.

Lala also now tries to beat box since she sees Biz Markie in Yo Gabba Gabba do it. We try and show her too. she gets the first drum hit out ok, but then has issues with rhythm haha. However she is learning. She likes to dance and spin around or bob her head like she is rocking out. She also tries now to sing along to the songs in Yo Gabba Gabba that she likes. it’s the cutest thing to watch.

Little Lala is growing so much and every day she takes new steps and learns more and more. It’s crazy because I dont want to miss a single thing!

And here we are. Tonight is Christmas Eve and it’s the first year i get to play Santa in that I get to wait for her to go to sleep then fill her stocking up with candies and toys for her to see tomorrow morning. She is going to love Christmas!

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

And now she is one.

Lala has reached a major milestone. As of yesterday, Thanksgiving, she is a one year old. It’s been an amazing year to say the least. The most impacting year of my life I’d say. It’s been probably the hardest, most tiresome year but also the most rewarding as well. My daughter, while being challenging at every turn, has been the biggest blessing and gift I’ve had the good fortune of receiving, followed closely by my wife of course.

Things that I love about being a dad, and my daughter are: seeing her wake up and smile when she sees you. Seeing her dance when music comes on. Wanting to dance with me or my wife when her favorite songs come on the radio or TV like “Lollipop”(not the lil wayne track but the old 40’s song), the Roots’ Yo Gabba Gabba tune “Lovely love my family”, The Aggrolites’ Yo Gabba Gabba tune “Banana”, and REM’s Muppet version of “Shiny Happy People”. Seeing her chase me when i come home from work. Seeing her wave at complete strangers and putting a smile on their face. Seeing her explore her world a little more each day. We took a walk around the block a few days ago, just holding her hand as we went. Seeing her play with and feed our dog Ozo. Seeing her “sing like Mariah Carey” (my sister in law taught her to “sing” in a high pitch whenever  she tells her “sing like Mariah Carey!”). Seeing her play her little baby piano. Seeing her try to build things with the blocks. Seeing her sign when she is trying to communicate. Hearing her chitter chatter with us. So many things. She really is becoming her own person with her own unique personality. She is also beginning to push her boundaries and test us, but that is to be expected and so we are ready (i hope).

Tomorrow we take her to Chuk e Cheese for her birthday party, which is more for the family than for her. If it was up to me we’d just stay home and enjoy a nice cake with the 3 of us, but everyone wants a piece of her! It will be fun. And God willing the first of many parties we throw for her!

Congratulations Lala! we love you!