Friday, March 31, 2006

Astrid's appointment with an Ophthalmologist

Astrid had an appointment with an Ophthalmologist today. In previous posts I had mentioned that we were a little concerned about her still being a bit cross-eyed at times. I talked to our Pediatrician about it and he recommended that we see an eye specialist to have it checked out. While waiting for the HMO referral to a specialist, Astrid's eyes have gotten much better, but we still had her eyes checked just to make sure everything was okay.

At first Uwe was a bit miffed that our Pediatrician had referred us to an Ophthalmologist all the way out to Beverly Hills, but then he got there and said the office was very nice and he had barely finished filling out the new patient form when they called Astrid's name and ushered them in to see the doctor. (A BIG different from the long waits at our Pediatrician's office.)

Astrid's eyes are fine and everything is within the normal range.

Uwe's new blog

Uwe's old blog went by the way side when he got so busy with work, and after awhile he just shelved it. I always loved reading his shared thoughts and observations about our daughter (and missed his blog postings), so I was overjoyed when he told me he started a new blog.

Check it out at: http://astridsdad.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Astrid's brown toupee

I have a hair piece I use in my hair that peaks Astrid's curiosity.Here she is balancing it on top of her head. (It makes me wonder what she would look like with brown hair.) "What's this furry thing doing on my head?!""Keep that thing away from me will ya?"She's curious about it and keeps coming back to touch it but then will pick it up and throw it. It's so funny to watch. It's like she thinks it might be alive.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Papa's back home

Uwe's back home after being away for a week. Astrid was so happy to her Papa again.Uwe missed Astrid terribly. He said that a week is too long to be away from her. (Okay I know that if I don't say that he missed me too, he'll leave a comment saying it...but it goes without saying.)I found all of these photos in our camera that Uwe had taken himself. Papa and daughter happily reunited.Astrid prodding with her index finger.We let Astrid touch and explore our faces, but she sometimes inflicts Medieval torture if we're not careful. In the photo above Astrid tries to remove Uwe's eyeball.Gotcha!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Halmoni & Astrid bonding

Halmoni is "Grandma" in Korean. My 4 year old niece calls my mom "Hommi", so my mom has started to call herself that. That's a 180 from the days when my mom said she didn't want to be called grandma because it made her sound old. Now I'm trying to get my mom to say the entire word "Halmoni" so that Astrid can hear & learn it, but my mom says it's too difficult for a baby to say halmoni and it doesn't matter anyway because Astrid will learn how to say the real word when she's older. I say it does matter, because Astrid needs to hear the proper Korean word or she'll just get used to saying the made up nickname instead (and grow up thinking that "hommi" really is the Korean word for "grandma"). My mom bonded with Astrid today. When we first got to my parents' house, Astrid didn't want to look at either of my parents. She would cry every time they tried to interact with her. Then my mom brought over some Korean bread and fed some to Astrid, and she was okay in Astrid's book after that. Little by little my dad was okay too. Astrid just needed some time to get used to my parents and being in a strange place. But one of the things Astrid loved was hanging out on my mom's Korean futon/sponge bed with its pink furry Korean blanket.Then my mom held Astrid and walked around with her. First she took her into the backyard where she picked a tiny lemon off a tree and let Astrid hold it. (Later she told me Astrid doesn't put everything in her mouth like she used to...like the lemon..she just held onto it and looked at it). Then she took her into the front yard and walked up and down the sidewalk with her.It was sweet to see my mom pointing out things to Astrid and both of them enjoying each other. So I asked my mom if she'd like to take Astrid for a walk around the neighborhood. I had to work on my dad's computer testing stuff out anyway (the main reason why I went over there) and it was a nice day. My mom said yes, she'd like to...so out came the stroller and she took Astrid to the park where they watched other children play and a dog run around. My mom said that Astrid kept saying "papa". (Astrid has been saying "papa" much more frequently since Uwe's been out of town.)

It was windy out so my mom said while they were at the park she held Astrid inside her jacket and Astrid wasn't moving so she thought Astrid was sleeping, but every time she opened her jacket to look down at her, Astrid would say "pea" and point to something.

There's a park nearby so I thought they'd only be gone for half an hour, but they came back an hour and a half later. We completely missed Astrid's 3:30 feeding, but Astrid was having such a good time being outdoors with my mom that she didn't seem to miss it. She was all smiles and in a great mood when they got back, even though it was an hour past her feeding time.As soon as they got home my dad fed Astrid some baby food and my mom and dad watched Astrid for an hour while I got my nails done. My parents both really enjoyed that. Astrid was lovely with them. She was smiling and clapping and flipping through her books. My parents also brought out a big teddy bear that Astrid loved to play with. My mom pointed out the teddy bear's nose and eyes and mouth. Astrid loved sticking her face in the teddy bear's white, soft fur. (I guess it's time to start letting Astrid play with some of her stuffed animals that she received as gifts from friends and family. Now that she doesn't stick everything in her mouth, she can play with them and enjoy them now.)

On a side note: my dad thought Astrid would like to play with Curious George (a stuffed animal monkey that my brother loved and was very attached to as a child). But instead of wanting to play with it, she was scared of it and almost started to cry, so my dad quickly put it away. The face is a tad scary. Years ago when my mom put the Curious George doll through the laundry cycle to clean it, his face washed away. My kid brother was hysterical when he saw what happened. So my mom spent hours sewing on new eyes, a nose, and a mouth using brown thread. Being older I thought it looked weird, but my kid brother was satisfied that his favorite doll had a face again.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Saturday with Mama - walking the dog & Costco

Astrid is fascinated by our dog. When she was younger she was scared of our dog, but she overcame her fear and now loves to watch our dog and be close to her.Here's Astrid craning her neck to see what our dog is doing. Meanwhile our pooch is behind the baby's stroller, squatting and going pee. She's a female dog obviously.
"Where'd she go?"

The expression on our dog's face cracks me up as she's peeking around the stroller, out of Astrid's sight."There she is!"A sweet photo of Astrid and her doggie.Playing hide and seek again. Astrid is thrilled.Here comes the sun, little darlin'.Looking adorable while trying to say, "Bertha".Touching the dog's fur.Our dog is so much bigger than Astrid, but she's very gentle with her. So excited to be near the dog.Astrid petting the dog.Pointing to the dog.The shot of the day.I put one of my butterfly hair clips in Astrid's hair. I got the idea from Savage Stories. (Her daughter had a clip in her hair.) Astrid's hair isn't long enough to put in a pigtails yet, but it is long enough to hold a small clip.We ran some errands and made a stop at Costco. Here is Astrid in front of the baby wipes.She's chewing away on her plastic teething rings.Although we haven't seen any new teeth yet, Astrid is drooling more and always sucking and biting on her fingers, which are signs of teething. Normally she naps for 2 hours in the morning and then 1.5 hours in the afternoon, but her naps started getting shorter and shorter until she would only nap for 30 minutes. So I bought some organic teething tablets for her and that seems to be helping her.Looking at her chain of rings.Some serious chewing action. I was happy to see her chewing on her teething rings rather than her fingers. We have a ton of teething toys at home but as she's getting older she doesn't play with them anymore.Clapping her hands together.A lady that walked by commented, "Oh you know you're mommy's going to buy you something don't you? That's why you're so happy."

I dunno about that, but she sure does love to people watch.

Recognition (Mama, Papa & Astrid)

Before I went back to work I started holding Astrid up to the photos we have displayed on a bookshelf in our hallway, and would point out Mama, Papa and Astrid.

The first week I was working, our nanny told me that Astrid would point to the photos and say "Mama" or "Papa".

Today Astrid and I were looking at photos posted on my blog. She loved seeing photos of herself. She would smile, laugh and kick her feet. Then she saw the photos of Uwe reading to her and she pointed and said, "Papa."

That really touched me because of a few reasons:

1) Uwe has been gone since Wed. night so Astrid hasn't seen him for 2 days. (She must wonder where Uwe is and when he's coming back. I know she must think it's strange that I'm the one bathing her in the evenings, since Uwe is the one who always give her a bath and gets her ready for bedtime.)

2) She pointed out "Papa" before I even told her who was in the photo. So I can't contribute it to just mimicking me. She recognized Uwe from the photo all on her own.

3) My parents had a professional photo taken of me when I was about 1 month old sitting between them. My dad is on one side of me, dressed in a suit, I'm in the middle wearing a yellow sweater, and my mom is on the other side of me dressed in a traditional Korean dress (Hambok).

To make a long story short, my dad received orders from the Air Force to return to the U.S. when my mom was pregnant with me. My dad was excited about my upcoming birth (his first child) and wanted to stay in Korea with my mom. He didn't want to raise an Army brat kid that gets moved around all the time. His request was denied, so after 20 years in the Air Force he put in for retirement.

For whatever reasons it took awhile for the paperwork get processed for me and my mom to come to the U.S. So when I got off the plane at Los Angeles International Airport, when I was one and a half years old, I didn't know who my father was. When my dad tried to hold me I cried and would try to push him away. When we got home my mom showed me the photo and asked me where my dad was. I pointed to my dad in the photo and then looked at my dad and that's when I realized who my dad was and it was okay after that for him to hold me and play with me. Back in Korea, my mom had shown me that photo everyday and had pointed out mama, papa and Rose. Just as I now do with Astrid.

It's funny how things can come full circle. Now I'm showing photos to my daughter and pointing out who mama and papa are. I wasn't sure if she was understanding, but now I know she was, and she can now recognize me, Uwe and herself in photos.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Mommy & Me time (Eagle Rock farmer's market)

I'm so glad it's Friday. I'm looking forward to spending some quality one on one time with Astrid this weekend.

I started off the evening by ordering food to go from The Coffee Table. I got a veggie pasta (that comes with a salad) and a slice of crème brulee cheesecake. Mmm. With Uwe out of town it's too much effort and mess to cook for just myself.

(I just took a peek at photos that I took of Astrid at The Coffee Table back in December 2005, and she looks so different. One big difference is her hair. She has so much more of it now. Check it out here.)

After picking up my food I took Astrid for a walk in her stroller around Eagle Rock. We walked to the library, but the library was closed in honor of the birthday of Cesar Chavez. BUT...we stumbled on the farmer's market there.

Last time Uwe and I were there (before Astrid was born) we literally stumbled on it as well. We went to get some coffee and then decided to go for a walk, and when we turned a corner we walked right into the farmer's market. We always seem to forget that they have a farmer's market in Eagle Rock every Friday.

They have a children's petting zoo, which is pretty cool for a small, local farmer's market in the city. There are pigs, ducks, rabbits, goats, and chickens.At first I couldn't figure out why Astrid was making faces and looking unhappy. Then I got a whiff. It was the animals. Astrid is like her mommy in that respect and has a very good sense of smell (and her nose is sensitive to offensive odors.) So we went around to the other side (upwind) to look at the camel.
They even have a baby camel. I don't think I've ever seen a baby camel before. It doesn't have its humps yet, but does have a mop of hair on its head.They also have pony rides. Astrid's still too young to ride on a pony, but we had fun watching the other kids.The Elvis impersonator is still performing there. He dresses like the 50's Elvis and croons Elvis songs. He's available for parties in case anyone is interested. =)

There were more stands this time. Nothing to get excited about but it looks like they've gotten more participation since we were there last time (vendors and locals). They have a new food stand with rotisserie chicken cooking on long metal poles over an open flame which looked pretty good. I bought some Chinese roasted chestnuts to snack on at home. They're smaller than the regular ones I'm used to and harder to get at, but yummy. I have to remember to go back there again with Uwe and Astrid on a Friday.

Nanny's point of view/new Oshkosh outfit

I showed our nanny how to use the video camera and digital camera to record and take photos of Astrid during the day. Today was the first time I saw some photos of Astrid (the next 3 photos) that were taken by Astrid's nanny.Normally when I see photos of Astrid looking into the camera, I remember the exact moment because I was the one who took the photo. In this photo however, Astrid's not looking at me, but rather she's looking at her nanny who took the photo. That's a weird feeling. But on the other hand I'm happy to have photos of Astrid taken during the day (while I'm at work).Here she is standing in front of the mirror, wearing her new Oshkosh outfit. Before I started my new job, we went to an Oshkosh store (at the outlet mall) and bought Astrid a bunch of new outfits and socks. Uwe and I loved the orange and yellow colors. This one is a summer outfit that's size 18 months. It's still big on her but by the time summer comes it'll fit perfectly.Playing in front of the mirror, looking so precious.The first thing I do when I get home from work, after saying hello to the nanny and Astrid, is wash my hands (b/c I don't want to infect the baby with any germs I may have picked up at work). Then I go upstairs with Astrid and she plays in my bedroom while I change out of my business attire, into casual clothes. Now that she's crawling, she's much more independent and it's easier for me to change while she plays, and I can still keep my eye on her.

She looked so cute in her new outfit that I took some more photos of her wearing it, with her matching socks.I gave her a lollipop to play with (not eat). She likes to chew on the stick.She likes to pull herself up and stand at the foot of my bed. Since it's a futon, it's low to the ground and perfect for her height.