January 2008

Monthly Archive

eyes, ears, and the mouths of babes

Posted by lynn on 23 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: family, kai, melina



The only theme I could find in this week’s random musings centers around the head. Surprisingly, it’s not much of a sensory post.

Eyes: My belated birthday present finally arrived: A digital SLR camera! Last Saturday we took it – and the kids – up to Tilden Park for a train ride on an unusually warm January weekend. That evening we wound up with over 100 new photos in our digital library. Enjoy!

Here Comes the Train

All Aboard!

Ears: Melina was diagnosed with her first ear infection two weeks ago. And then with her second (or perhaps an extension of the first?) two days ago. To make matters worse, the second round of antibiotics didn’t agree with her (vomit, vomit everywhere) so yesterday the doc prescribed a third option. Hopefully this will be the charm – for the rest of the winter.

Finger Food in Motion


Mouths: A tooth! As the four of us sat on our bed last night reading stories, Melina started gumming on my finger… until I suddenly felt more than gums chomping away. It’s still so small you can barely see it (especially under the little girl’s tongue) but Melina’s lower left incisor is definitely starting to appear!

bed, bath and babble

Posted by lynn on 18 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: melina


Gaining mobility has its drawbacks. Melina spends much of her day rolling back and forth on the floor or scooting around in small circles in an attempt to reach distant toys. She doesn’t stop at night, and sometimes ends up backing herself into a crib corner, or worse, falls asleep with her legs between the slats. We caught her on camera the other day. Brotherly LoveNeedless to say, she woke up screaming when she tried to pull her legs back in and couldn’t.

Our baby has more or less graduated to the big kid tub. She gets absolutely giddy at the sight of water pouring from the tub’s spout, and once inside she somehow manages to make as big a splash mess as her brother. The other day we put the two kids in the tub together. Bath BuddiesMelina was so enamoured by the tiny tub tide and colorful cups that I don’t think she paid much heed to her brother’s presence – even when he poured water on her head.

Melina is talking up a storm these days. She often talks herself to sleep, then wakes up talking until we come to pull her out of her crib. Her sounds are suddenly more distinct, and her intonations indicate she’s trying to tell us a story.

I'm Almost Too Big For My Carrier

All her seven- and eight-month old friends speak the same language. It goes something like this: yayayayaya, yaiyaiyaiyai, k—, b— (lips vibrating), ka, ba, a-lalalala, eye-dadadada (Joey’s favorite – it sounds like she’s saying Hi Dada)… but alas, no mamamama – yet.

kai-isms: 58 months

Posted by lynn on 16 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: kai

Kai's New BlocksSince we still count his sister’s age in months, Kai sometimes wants to know how many months old he is (or Joey or I are – yikes!) In honor of Kai’s 58-month birthday next week, I’ll share a few “kids say the funniest things” stories about my stepson.

On a recent trip to the store Kai shared with us his favorite thing about grocery shopping: “Putting all the food on the conveldabator.”


We rarely watch football in our house but on New Year’s Day had the Sugar Bowl on in honor of Joey’s alma mater, UH. Kai went to check the score and came rushing back into the kitchen to report that “The team was naughty. They’re in a time out!”


The other day he started telling us all about his little gang of friends at preschool, how so-and-so brought candy and they all hid behind the red play house in the playground to eat it. I shudder to think that in another 10 or so years they’ll be hiding behind the school yard bleachers sneaking something else.

Kai’s latest catch-all phrase is “No fair!” He uses it anytime he gets frustrated, no matter the context. Can’t watch a video before school? “No fair!” Can’t get his arm through a sweater sleeve? “No fair!” Or the block tower he’s been building suddenly topples? “No fair!” As when Meli tries to crawl but isn’t able, we can’t help but laugh. Sorry, kids.

travel bug

Posted by lynn on 11 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: melina, portugal, travel

Mama, Please Take Me On A Trip

My little girl got her passport in the mail the other day. She looks almost coy in her first mugshot, taken at six months. I?Ĵm so proud. (I guess of me, not her, since it was all my doing.)

I didn’t get my first passport until age 19, when the seed of adventure had been planted by various childhood road trips – some with our Aljo trailer, some connecting the dots of drive-up motels along an AAA map. During my first trip abroad (granted, a full year studying in France and traveling western Europe), I developed the full sense of wanderlust that took me through my twenties and early thirties, and remains, though slightly buried, today.

Will You Be My Travel Buddy?

I hope Melina grows to love travel as much as I do. We’ve just booked plane tickets for a trip to Portugal in May. My parents will join us, making a four-to-one ratio with the little Jelly Bean. We?Ĵre probably crazy to take an 11-month-old on a transatlantic flight. My guess is she?Ĵll be at the almost-walking stage, where she’ll want only to hold onto our hands as we walk her up and down and up and down and up and down the aisle…

P.S. The smile photo is not her reaction to her new passport, but a priceless expression captured by a friend at a New Year’s Day party last week. Thanks, Tracee!

seven-month milestones

Posted by lynn on 04 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: melina

Lil Driver

Melina’s seven-month birthday (New Year’s Day) didn’t feel as momentous as her six-month milestone. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that she’s growing into more of a little person – with a goofy little personality – each day. Just look at all she’s doing now.

Swinging in San Jose

After 3 1/2 months of rolling from her belly to her back she finally made it the other way! I think it was partially inspired by her desire to reach the Christmas tree. Once on her belly she now enjoys hanging out there – at least until she wants to motor over to pick up a toy and realizes that flapping her little arms and legs as quickly as possible won’t do a thing unless she gets her torso off the ground. We can’t help but laugh at her frustration. She is able to move herself in a slow circle on her belly. Her arms are like the hands of a clock. I took this video just after Christmas, and it already feels outdated. She rolls so much more efficiently now!

Blankie Face (I Did This Myself)

We now sometimes find her lying on her belly in her crib, but more often than not she’s still on her back with her little blankie by her side or, just to freak me out, covering her face. We stopped taking the blankie away this month. She now screams if she wakes and can’t find it, and – face covering and all – we don’t want to deny her this security. She’s obviously able to breathe just fine.

Sweet Potato Goatee

She eats all sorts of pureed fruits and veggies and likes everything but avocado. Bananas also elicit a very special “too sweet!” shiver after four or five bites. She’s started grunting when she wants food (or anything else that’s out of her reach, for that matter). It’s a very throaty sound that hurts my throat to mimic. She also reaches for her sippy cup when she’s thirsty, looks for toys when they drop, and literally grabs her blankie from the crib rail as I put her down to bed.

Big Kid Bath

She’s stopped sleeping as well at night, but only some of the time. Teething? Still no sign of a tooth. Despite what this photo shows, she still takes baths in her infant tub, but inside the big tub so she can splash around with delight. We tried the big tub solo once, but after a couple wet face plants decided to backtrack… for now. Also, as a few photos show, Meli still loves holding her hands together, close to her chest, almost prayer-like. She rarely sucks her thumb anymore, so this is her new trademark. An observant friend pointed out that I often do the same thing.

I Sometimes Sleep Perpendicular

My favorite recent Melina moment came the other day as we were playing with Thor, the kitty cat, on our bed. Joey and I kept saying “kitty cat, Meli, look at the kitty cat!” She would pet or pull his fur, then started mimicking our “k” sound. At one point we swear we heard her say “ka”! Perhaps a first word in the making?

cardamom new year

Posted by lynn on 01 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: family, friends

Ben 'n Nicks, New Years Eve

Two Hats - Walking in Rockridge

We rang in the new year family style, with an early pint at Ben ‘n Nicks (our favorite child-friendly pub), tamales for dinner (my hats off to Latin America), and a living room movie (the new “Blade Runner” Final Cut – great rendition of a great movie, but with all the rain and brooding I’ve never made it through without nodding off at least once). Today we hit two separate house parties, each, coincidentally, with a Mr. Rogers theme. Here’s to 2008 being a neighborly year.

Pastry Chef Joey

Can Babies Eat Cardamom?

We also started what I aim to make a family tradition: New Year’s cardamom buns, or cardabuns, as we’ve been calling them. I grew up with Christmas cinnamon rolls. Every Christmas Eve my Aunt Sharon and mom would gossip until the wee hours of the morn over foaming yeast, melting butter, and a bowl full of dough. As we grew older they grew less fond of all the work and some of us kids pitched in here and there, but eventually we all grew up, our celebrations splintered, and Aunt Sharon’s cinnamon rolls became a yummy memory.


Lil Driver, New Years Day

Joey’s been on a cardamom kick ever since we made a cardamom-butter-fried banana concoction a few years ago. So when we found the cardamom roll recipe in one of my mom’s old magazines, we each had our reasons for ripping out the page and checking our pantry for ingredients.

Amazingly, we had everything. The whole process spread over several hours (we had to wait for the dough to rise) plus the finished rolls had to refrigerate overnight before baking. Kai was only around to help with the dough, and Melina got just a brief glimpse of the cut pinwheels before being put to bed. But it was all good fun. And the verdict this morning? DELICIOUS.