Sorry Eva, Daddy and Mommy are too busy to buy you a Christmas gift. Besides, we buy you Christmas gifts every day. Just check out your toy bin, you're only 5 months old and it's already overflowing. We've actually contemplated digging up some of those new toys that you barely played with, rewrap them and pretend they're your X'mas gifts. Alas, we didn't even have time for that.
But hey, you get to see your grandparents (Daddy's daddy and mommy) from Austin for the first time...
Who took you to the Buddhanusorn Thai Temple for the hair-cutting blessing ceremony, which is believed to bring you a lifetime of health, happiness and good luck.
Really, what can we give you that'll beat that?
We also braved the crowd and took you to see the Union Square X'mas tree (which you didn't care about):
Plus, you gotta go on your first wine-tasting trip in Geyserville (granted you didn't get to actually taste anything other than breast milk, grandma pretty much hated all the wine we tasted, and grandpa lost all his money at the nearby casino *sigh*).
The truth is, I feel slightly bad that we didn't get a chance to create any special holiday tradition with you. We historically volunteer to deliver meals during the holiday, but with you in a car seat, it's slightly challenging to say the least.
We want you to always appreciate just how special it is to be with our little family and remember how fortunate we are every year. I'll have to think harder about what's a good tradition we can embark on (readers: any suggestions?)
To make up for a lack of big, huge gift, I spent the afternoon shopping for fabric to whip up something quick for you. I found this super adorable Olivia fabric (I can see some Olivia-like antics from you already, precocious and feisty...), and remember I tried out this simple bib pattern before you were born (when I had free time to sew whenever I want, ha ha *bitter*...)
And an hour after putting you to sleep, you now have a new, reversible and seemingly-very-absorbent bib (this black Olivia flannel is soooo soft and lofty, we'll see how it performs in a field test tomorrow, seriously your drool is the ultimate test, just check out that buddhist ceremony photo above where your drooling onto the monk's robe):
Olivia's so darn cute! Don't look too closely though coz the craftmenship is pure shoddiness. I'm tired and bleary-eyed. Good thing you're not too discerning at this stage.
But guess what? Tomorrow's your first X'mas! And after saying goodbye to Grandpa and Grandma, we'll have our quiet little celebration, new bib and all. And if you're lucky, I might even find time to rewrap a Christmas gift for you to open! Boy, I'm sure you couldn't wait to dig your chubby little fingers into the mess of crinkly wrapping paper.
Dang, has it really been a whole month since I last posted? Can't believe we're in X'mas tree shopping mode again already. It seems like it was yesterday when we almost poisoned Bryson with our last X'mas tree. Life seems to be stuck at super-fast-forward ever since Eva was born.
Speaking of Eva, we've received tons of questions from family and friends about how she's doing. As free time these days is an oxymoron, I'll try to create an FAQ for her, so users friends and family can refer to this document when I fail to return a well-meaning phone call/ e-mail/ letter from you...
Seriously, we're not ignoring you! We really do love hearing from you. Please accept my apologies and please don't stop thinking of us. Here's an adorable picture of her in case you wanna say you don't even know what she looks like anymore:
Hi! It's me, Eva! You can't possibly be mad at this face, right?
Q1: (Mostly commonly asked question) How's Bryson doing with Eva (or vice versa)?
A1: Well, funny you ask! Ever since this day when they were forced to pose together, Eva seems to have started noticing that Bryson is a living thing. I mean she had accepted his presence before, even accidentally petted him a couple of times. But this week, she had actively lunged at him a couple of times while squealing in delight (and almost getting out of our grip and fallen flat on her face). She would also track him across the room, something that Bryson doesn't seem too comfortable with (we think he's worried that she's scheming to steal his food/bed/his perceived top spot in the pack). We tried to train Bryson to accept Eva's superiority in the pack by pretending to have Eva ask him to sit, then giving him a treat from her hand (or at least hand region). Eva also gets a kick out of playing with his flappy jowl and pulling at his whiskers... which Bryson doesn't seem to mind but nonetheless makes us a little nervous. We realize we have to start setting boundaries very soon. (And all these play sessions are really 2-man operations, so sorry, no photos yet)
Q2: How's she sleeping? (and if asked in person, usually accompanied with a very sympathetic look)
A2: Actually, we're pretty lucky that she's been a fairly good sleeper. We just started some basic sleep training, and she can now fall asleep on her own after a routine of bath (every other day) --> changing to jammies --> reading --> feeding. We'd put her down in her crib with her "Tabbi" (short for Tabatha), she would coo a little to herself and her little stuffed animals friends (probably saying nite nite) for a few minutes, then drift off to sleep. That happens around 7-8 p.m. each evening, and she'll sleep for about 8-9 hours, wake up, coo a little bit more (funny she doesn't really cry when she wakes up anymore, usually), get fed, and go back to sleep till around 6-7 in the morning. But how I am sleeping is a different story. Sometimes after the 3-4 a.m. feeding, I can't really go back to sleep. I keep thinking it's almost time to wake up again soon, and end up tossing and turning for hours. Ugh.
Q3: Does she have a favorite toy?
A3: Yes! The one toy she couldn't live without these days is her jumperoo. It's one of those obnoxiously colorful toy that plays even more obnoxious children's music that I sweared I would not buy before I had her. But the fact is she is attracted to it because of the bright primary colors and (pseudo-)cheerful music, and also probably because for the first time, she feels like she doesn't have to be confined to being held/ laying flat or being strapped to some seat, but has some autonomy and control over her environment (the seat swivels 360 degrees and she can "turn on" the music when she jumps or activate it with a toy). And if it means it can occupy her for 10-15 minutes so we can go to the bathroom in peace, it's worth every penny.
Here she is jumperoo'ing for joy:
Q4: So, are you guys having fun?
A4: Are you kidding? How can we not be having fun?! All the poopy diapers, 3 a.m. feedings, 5 p.m. tantrums... but seriously, like I tell hubby, even though it's exhausting, unlike your job where you work goes to making someone else rich, your work at home rearing your kids is an investment with 100% return. For better or for worse, she'll always be your child, and will never ditch you because of a merger/ lay-off/ restructure. And after a long day's work, being able to hold her, kiss her cheeks and take in all that baby aroma, all the troubles in the world seems to melt away... until she screams to be fed again.
Oh yeah, the joy of teething
And yes, this is a hint of what I'm sewing currently, using this slightly manic Alexander Henry Around the Worldfabric which Eva ever so patiently help me pick out.