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.
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 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.
We cook a lot anyways, but having an extra 40 minutes a day because there’s no commute to/from work just makes cooking that much easier. The usual: salsa and hummus with our beloved food processor. I did not know I needed a food processor in my life when Michael bought us one in 2008, but once we started using it, we did not know how we ever lived without one. After 12-13 years of use, the Kitchenaid was really starting to be in bad shape, and Kyle received a new, bigger, Cuisinart food processor for his birthday, which we immediately put to use making more salsa and more hummus. Also tried out a frozen yogurt recipe, which we liked, but Vale did not.
New: tofu stir-fried with bacon and mushrooms, and Moroccan chicken (not entirely new, as we used to make it more frequently, but it’s been years). I found my mom’s tofu recipe crammed in the miscellaneous drawer, and decided to give it a go. I’ve made it a couple of times, and it’s pretty good, though consistency is a problem because mom never gives measurements, and everything is an estimate, so it comes out different every time.
We went to Maui this month, and Vale proved again to be a relatively compliant little traveler on the plane. However, due to the slight time change and new environment, she woke up twice a night to eat for almost the whole trip. On the positive side – she pooped three times on the toilet, and took one step on our vacation. She loved playing in the pool water, splashing in the ocean waves, and visiting with the staff at Java Jazz cafe/bar.
Over the next couple of weeks after we returned from Maui, she added more and more steps, and we think she’ll be fully walking any day now. She has finally started to be amenable to solid foods once again, and is back to eating avocado. She also likes string cheese, Pirate’s Booty cheese puffs, celery, and unfortunately, cat food.
Her new favorite activities include tearing into the spice drawer and playing with her new alphabet flashcards. She also enjoys playing in the sand pit and turf at Crack Shack while her parents enjoy beers.
We attended a beer and cheese tasting at Alesmith brewing, hosted by our real estate agent, and decided to bring Vale along. She enjoyed a fancy, dry, gouda with excellent flavor crystals. She also tried and liked the triple cream brie, goat, and bleu. Unfortunately, she was not of legal age to pair these cheeses with the recommended Alesmith Nut Brown, .394 Pale, Horny Devil (Belgian), or Speedway Stout, respectively.
On my first Mother’s Day crept up on me; indeed it still feels like motherhood has not quite sunk in entirely. Kyle greeted me in the morning with caramel flavored egg coffee in my Doraemon mug, and a delicious breakfast feast fit for a king: crispy bacon; poached eggs over a bed of black beans sauteed with garlic and spinach, topped with habanero salsa; and banana coconut oatmeal with berries mixed in.
After breakfast, we video-called my mom on Line, went for a quick jog, then made our way to celebrate the rest of Mother’s Day with the family. Vale made me a colorful mosaic tile with her handprint (with just a little assistance from grandma!) We enjoyed a good IPA and imperial stout in the warm May sun, and had a lovely time relaxing with family.
I’ve always loved and appreciated my mother, and in the last 13 years have been keenly aware of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful mother-in-law, whom I love and appreciate as well. Still, it’s only upon becoming a mother myself that I fully understand what it’s all about and just how hard it can be.
At 7 months, Vale is scooting faster and faster, and getting up on her knees. She has the dexterity to be able to pick up small items, such as rice crackers, with her thumb and index finger, but chooses to only put non-food items in her mouth (Post-its – yum!); she picks up rice crackers with her fingers only to deliberately drop them on the ground. She has exhibited an aversion to solid foods, and you’d think we were feeding her poison, instead of avocado or carrots.
She babbles constantly, and still likes her nursery rhyme music book (her crack book), though her obsession with this toy is waning a little bit. She is not much of a cuddler, but she is very social. She loves being held by people (even strangers) at parties, and does not seem to have a sense of “stranger danger.”
She likes numbers and her ABC flash cards. She hates shoes, and will immediately rip them off her feet.
She has taken an interest in the cats. She has tried to pet Fiona on a number of occasions, much to poor Fiona’s annoyance.
She attended her first Yelp event at the Flower Fields (snuck in, even though she’s not 21), but of course, with her refusal to eat solid foods, the fare was not impressive to her.
Vale at 5 months laughs when we sprint in the church parking lot, and sometimes when we do squat jumps. She falls asleep on our way up the steepest hill when we take her out for night jogs. She laughs when Daddy’s beard tickles her face. She likes crunching on her Como Tomo and Sofie the giraffe chew toys (perhaps the fact I cannot stop referring to these things as chew toys reflects just how long we lived a DINK life before deciding to have a baby).
She started rolling over one day, then quickly started scooting across the floor almost overnight. She has started to eat some solid foods, and likes carrots and avocados. She’s had the privilege of eating mom’s bomb-ass butternut squash soup and dad’s spectacular split pea soup, but is somewhat lukewarm about these tasty creations. If she only knew how spoiled she is! Mom remembers her brother eating jars of store-bought Gerber as a baby.
We took her to Costco to get passport photos taken for our upcoming trip to Cabo, and Daddy had to hold her up above his head, while supporting her back with his hand in an awkward manner to carefully avoid being in the photo himself. This occurrence confused her, and she ended up looking like a concerned little old man getting his mugshot taken. She has proved amenable to eating in a cradle position, so we just might be able to venture out into public for extended periods of time soon, and if not – oh well. We’re going to Mexico anyway!
She attended two Superbowl parties, and had a blast at party number 1 playing on her buddy’s play mat, and watching football on the gigantic TV (unclear at this point where the enthusiasm for football comes from) while mommy enjoyed a grapefruit Sculpin. At party number 2, attendees fawned over her, bounced her around, made her laugh, and generally showered her with attention, which rendered her less concerned with the game.
Vale at 4 months is all smiles, and no longer is as serious as she used to be. She drools a lot and enjoys being with her friends at daycare. She still does not have much hair; though she has some serious eyebrows. She smiles at everyone and is not afraid of strangers. She likes to chew on things, suck her thumb, and do sit-ups. She can sit and stand assisted, and recently started rolling over. Her thumping kicks at night are harder and louder than ever and she is quickly outgrowing her bassinet.
We read her stories from her Madeline treasury, and I recite Tang dynasty poems to her. We also watch Youtube food travel shows with her. She seems to enjoy them. Incidentally, she is becoming curious about solid foods and took a keen interest in our homemade Saag recently. She excitedly reached for the bowl, and cried bitterly when we wouldn’t give her any. It was all eaten anyway, but I don’t blame you, kid. Saag is good stuff.
She is also becoming curious about beer (that’s a modern times tropical IPA pictured below, by the way. Delicious stuff). In a similar fashion as with the Saag, she fussed when we tried to take the pint glass away. Indian food and beer. In case there was any doubt that she is indeed our offspring.