Everest at 9 Months

Everest had her first staycation in downtown Carlsbad. This was her first time staying in a hotel. She enjoyed playing at the beach (eating sand), and going to happy hour, where she had braised beef, a brie pastry, and other goodies.

She also celebrated her first Easter, and participated in an egg hunt, even though she did not know what was going on.

She sits in her high chair to chow down on food, and likes to prop her little left foot up on the table while eating. She likes passion fruit and mac and cheese. She has an unfortunate tendency to eat and rub her food in her hair and face, so we call her dirty bean face when she has black bean sauce smeared all over her visage.

Judith makes her a lot of yummy baby purees and mashes, but her favorites are things she can pick up and eat on her own.

Her top teeth are starting to make an appearance, and she has started to stand more and more.

She loves her sister so much, because sister makes her squeal with laughter. If sister is in our bed next to her in the morning when she’s done drinking milk, she likes to smack sister’s face or arm, or pull her hair to wake her up. She likes Fiona too. If Fiona has the misfortune of being the one next to her in our bed, Everest will try to pet her in the morning. She also likes to give Fiona “kisses” by putting her face up to her fur (or maybe she is smelling her?)

Bath time has been a blast this past month, with Everest graduating out of the baby tub. Everest and Vale had a grand old time playing with bath toys, and splashing in the tub. Unfortunately, she did have one incident where she stood up when mom was turned away grabbing soap, lost her balance, hit her mouth on the edge of the tub, fell, and went underwater! It was so sad and scary. She even started bleeding from her mouth a little.

Everest at 8 Months

Everest spent the first few days of her 8th month of life recovering from COVID, but was a champ about it.

This month, she discovered one of her favorite things to do is to pull things off the shelf. She also enjoyed some tortoise visitors we had at our house.

Another fun thing she has enjoyed this month was drumming on coffee cans. Some people (婆婆) question the wisdom in giving babies large sticks to play with, but it’s never too early to start training a percussionist.

Everest at 7 Months

This month, 妹妹 improved her fine motor skills, and started eating chicken and picking up bread by herself. So far so good – she still loves to eat.

Right before Everest turned 7 months (early February), we visited Arizona to visit 舅舅and舅媽, to have a belated lunar new year celebration. In Arizona, we went for a hike, celebrated lunar new year, and ate lots of good food.  Everest ate fish head and 油飯 (sticky rice) made by Uncle Aaron, topped with ketchup, and absolutely loved it.

She started squirming like a crazy person during diaper changes (forgot all about this), so we distract her with whatever’s in the bar area, where we change her diaper. Usually, it’s a mini bottle of Maker’s Mark or 99 Bananas, very classy. But otherwise, she has been pooping and peeing in the potty for a few weeks now, and generally goes with the flow.

Everest had fun drumming on buckets for the first time, and is having more and more fun playing with sister. She also started crawling this month. In Arizona, she was starting to roll a lot and scoot around in her butt, and seemingly overnight, she was crawling all over the place; we’re all trying to keep up now. Nanny Judith used to be able to multi-task and cook and clean while watching Everest, but those days are quickly coming to an end.

Unfortunately, we discovered Everest has a cashew allergy this month. We gave her a little bit of homemade cashew butter on toast, and 15 minutes later, I noticed hives on one side of her neck. I initially wondered whether she was suddenly bitten by bugs, but when the hives spread across the base of her head, I suspected an allergic reaction. Her eyes also swelled up and got itchy, poor guy.

By the time we went to Mexico City, we were in full-on chase mode when she was let loose in our AirBnb. She was crawling all over the place, making all kinds of trouble.

We visited Mexico City with family and Uncle Frank at the end of February (through the first week of March). This was Everest’s first flight, and she was pretty well-behaved. Mexico is a food mecca, and Everest was lucky enough to dine on local fare including tacos of all kinds, but also finer foods, such as lamb, mole, and short rib. Her first night, we had dinner at Bar Montejo, and she tried some of everyone’s food, enjoying all kinds of tacos, meats, beans, rice, and a little bit of Uncle Darren’s mole.

She pretty much enjoyed everything, including a piece of jalapeno. I came home with a small pack of chapulines (grasshoppers), and she even chowed down on a couple of those.

While in Mexico, she behaved very well while we took a tour of the Teotihuacan pyramids. We stopped at a tourist trap for lunch, and she had a lovely time watching the Aztec (other mesoamerican?) traditional dance performance.

Everest was also very cooperative as we walked through Centro Historico (on two separate occasions), visiting popular sightseeing spots, and stopping to enjoy drinks and local fare. She started getting sick early on in the trip, but nevertheless was a trooper, even when we wandered a little ways out of the city into Xochimilco to ride around on a barge.

Everest started the month not fully able to crawl, and by the end of February could not only crawl, but stand up and take some steps with assistance. She puts everything in her mouth, and her sister makes her laugh and feel better when she cries or hurts herself.

Around this wonderful time, she got pink eye and woke up with crusty, red eyes one morning, and also got COVID (we all did). She has been forced to accept that being the second child means being constantly subject to whatever pestilence her older sister brings in from school. One of her favorite foods is a guava fruit mash Judith makes her.

Everest at 6 Months

Everest has continued to be a pretty chill and easy baby. Her sister makes her laugh (but also occasionally cry), and she continues to enjoy eating a variety of foods. She is starting to smile and laugh a lot more, though she still primarily prefers her very serious look. Her first tooth is starting to make its appearance, but she has not been particularly fussy about it. She is starting to take more notice of Fiona, and reaches out for her at times.

She visited the Alta Vista Botanical Gardens for the first time, and tagged along at a birthday party Vale attended.

She’s gone on a few hikes now, with us, and with Grandma and Papa. Sometimes she’s mellow, other times, she complains a lot, so we’re still working on this.

Later in January, she made her first international trip across the border to good old Rosarito for about a day and a half, where she ate some guacamole at Burrito Playground, and had some small bites of cabeza taco. She was very good on the trip, but got understandably fussy with the long border wait on the way back.

The last weekend of January, she celebrated her first Chinese New Year, and received her first red envelopes. It meant nothing to her, and she tried to eat it, but that’s OK. It will go into the college fund.

Everest at 5 months

Everest recently turned 5 months! She’s still pretty new to this world, and continues to be a mellow, easy baby. She does not cry much, and when she does, we usually know why, and can calm her down pretty quickly. She babbles a lot and likes to blow raspberries. She likes to say, “Ohhhh,” “Ehvuhh evvuhhh” and “Pfft Pfft.” She still likes to frown and mean-mug people. It’s her favorite! But when she wakes up in the morning and sees our faces, she always gives us a big, sweet, smile.

She loves her big sister, and loves eating avocado. She started eating solid foods about 3 weeks ago, and has pretty much enjoyed everything she has tried, including yams, sweet potatoes, avocado, bananas, and rice. When she sees people eating, and not sharing their food with her, she becomes very vocal and accusatory. She cannot seem to get enough of avocado, and insists on shoveling food in her mouth on her own (let’s hope this enthusiasm sticks!)

She took her first picture with Santa, and is experiencing the magic of the holidays for the first time.

She recently took her first vacation with us, and was very well-behaved in the car to and from Lake Arrowhead. In the mountains, she participated in a night hike for the first time. It was rather uneventful though, because she fell asleep.  

Everest at 4 Months

Everest turned 4 months recently. She celebrated her first Halloween, and went trick-or-treating with Sister and buddies Connor and Ellie. She also enjoyed friends visiting from Indiana this month. Auntie Belen and Uncle Tony made her laugh many times, and she had a lot of fun at home with extra attention from loved ones.

It’s been a good first three months of life. However, beginning the end of October and through the first 2+ weeks of November, she was also abandoned by her mother, who had to work long hours in trial, leaving early in the morning, and working late into the night. Might as well not have a mom at all, horrible. Fortunately, a defense verdict was reached on November 19, so that Mom could resume momming.

Everest also went on her first hike. She was fussy at times, but caught a little bit of sunshine and did pretty well overall.

Everest at 3 Months

Everest is a tall girl, measuring in the 90th percentile. She is scowly and does not smile much. She wears a slightly disturbed or exasperated look on her face often, particularly when Sister crowds her space with excessive hugs and kisses. Her head smells like pineapples.

She is a pretty easygoing baby, but does not like to be alone. She attended a birthday party with Mom in Fullerton, and screamed most of the drive back home because she was in the backseat all by herself (she was napping on the way there). She has a serious case of Fomo. If other people are around and doing stuff and she can’t see, she gets agitated.

She gets a lot of love and attention from her big sister, and she doesn’t yet know how lucky she is. Every morning, the first thing Vale does when she wakes up, is run into our room and give Everest hugs and kisses.

Everest at 2 Months

We have now kept Everest alive for a whole 2 months. (*Pats self on back*) She is a fairly quiet and easy baby. She recently started sleeping in 9 hour stretches just in time for mom to return to work (we’ll see if she keeps it up). She often wears an inquisitive look, or a frown. Frowning is her favorite. She surprised us by lifting her head and chest off the floor completely, for the very first time, when we set her down to take 2 month photos.

She is very fortunate to have a sister who is sweet and kind, and looks forward to playing with her every day. Her head is a little flat on the right side, so we have been trying to be extra attentive with tummy time and holding/wearing her instead of letting her lie on her back. Hopefully we can avoid a head helmet situation.

And one of our first (the first???) picture as a family of four:

Everest at 1 Month

Everest has been with us a whole month now. Everyone is adjusting. I’m adjusting to maternity leave (half over now), Vale is adjusting to being a big sister (very well, I might add), Kyle is adjusting to being a Dad to two, and Everest is adjusting to…. life. Existence. Not being a fetus. Acquiring human status, which is a big fucking deal!

Fiona is also adjusting. She’s kept her cool and been as sweet as always, but we know she’s secretly thinking, “Oh god… again? Why? Why? Meow meow, meow meow.”

Everest is still a little funny-looking, like a lot of newborns. She’s lost some hair, and has that same old-man receding hairline her sister did. She also has some flaky skin. But we can’t say anything about her looks around Vale, who gets very defensive about it.

It’s funny how you forget after less than a handful of years, all the stuff newborns do – breathe funny, make weird noises, flop around because they don’t have any muscle strength. It’s a little surreal, but we are a family of 4 now.

Nightmare

bitter time runs frantic

always chanting about summer lust

and sordid sausages

drunk as a mad goddess on honey

the delirious black shadow screams a symphony

crushes the raw mist soaring in the lake

and dreams the sun away