Archive for December, 2009

A Couple of Firsts and a Makeover

First Number One

Have I mentioned that we started Julian on solid food?  Yeah.  Already.  Given Noah’s history of allergies, Julian’s doctor had recommended that we wait until Julian was six months old before introducing solids (the later a baby starts, the less likely they are to develop food allergies) but Julian went from needing to eat every six hours one week, to every five hours the next week, to every four hours the following week, and by Thanksgiving weekend he was hungry every three hours.  It was a little much.  So Mark and I decided it would be a good time to start him on solids.

I found an organic four grain porridge from a UK company for babies starting at four months, and I know you’re supposed to start with single grain food but a quinoa/rice/millet/amaranth blend sounded so much more appetizing than just plain old rice.  Plus, Julian loves this stuff.  Like, seriously loves it.  From past experience I was expecting the first feeding to be messy — more a chance for the baby to get acquainted with rice cereal than to sate his appetite.  But Julian took to solids like an old pro.  He pushed some of the food out of his mouth with his tongue of course, but surprisingly most of it ended up getting eaten.  And when we ran out of cereal, he screamed at us until I fixed another serving for him and fed him that too.  Halfway through that first feed he started grabbing for the spoon and trying to guide it into his mouth, not letting go until the spoon was empty.  He also screams when we take too long putting cereal on the spoon and his mouth is empty for more than two seconds.  Yep…I have a good feeling that of my two boys, Julian is going to be my adventurous eater and potential chef (which more than makes up for the fact that he is a crappy sleeper).

Naturally, I have video of the first feeding, but it’s boring and I don’t feel like trying to edit it into something watchable.  But here’s a picture instead:

First Number Two

Mark has been trying to convince me for the last three months that Julian needs a haircut. I’ve been resisting because his hair is finally long enough that it doesn’t stick straight up all the time (plus it’s kind of cute like that and it smells good). Part of it is also vanity because I see so many babies — some twice Julian’s age — with less hair than he has so I like to flaunt his long, flowy locks (and no, I really don’t mind that most people assume he’s a girl because of it). But with Christmas coming up (read: lots of photo ops), I finally conceded that the boy looks a little on the raggedy side. So this morning, while Mark held a sleeping Julian in his arms, I grabbed my hair scissors and started snipping away. And now the boy has gone from looking like a baby girl with shaggy hair:

to a baby girl with a bad haircut:

Oh well. At least it’ll grow out.

A Makeover
Way back when Noah first outgrew his crib, Mark and I were kind of unprepared for it so we ended up buying the first toddler bed that we happened to come across — which just happened to come from Ikea. Mark and I have a love/hate relationship with Ikea. Ikea has saved us many a time when we’ve been too broke or busy to buy real furniture and a lot of their stuff is actually really cute, but we have quality issues with them. And sizing issues…that is, furniture from Ikea doesn’t seem to come in standard sizes so if you ever want to accessorize them or, say, get new bed sheets, you’re kind of forced to buy them at Ikea too unless you want something that isn’t quite the right size. I hate Ikea bedsheets. Especially their overly cutesy children’s sheets which we had because, surprise, they were the only ones that fit Noah’s bed. So, we’ve been itching to redecorate Noah’s room for a while. We finally found a children’s furniture company in HK that we liked and that wasn’t exorbitantly priced so we designed and ordered a bed for Noah. After four weeks, it finally came yesterday:

Mark loves it because he designed it to look like a castle; I love it because the steps are also drawers so there’s a ton of storage in his room now; and Noah loves it because it’s got steps and a curtain for privacy. So happiness all around. Here it is after four hours of rearranging books and toys:

And if the new bed provides an incentive for Noah to stay in his room all night long rather than coming into our room in the early morning and crowding me, well, to me (and my poor achy back) it’ll be well worth the money.


December 8, 2009 at 10:21 pm 2 comments

Cultural Food Festival

Today was the Cultural Food Festival at Noah’s school.  I’ve been feeling a little burnt out with his school lately — what with volunteering, fundraisers, playdates, assemblies and all that good stuff — so I thought, “Well, why don’t I skip just this one event?”  I tried to ignore the gazillion notices the school sent us about the event but eventually I clued in on their message — hey, this is actually kind of a big thing at the school.  So I got in touch with the parent coordinator for the U.S. table to let her know what our “American food” contribution was which meant that this morning I was up at 8 am making a ton of grilled cheese sandwiches.

The Cultural Food Festival was actually really fun and I’m glad that I decided to participate in it after all.  They started off the cultural assembly in the gym with their Parade of Nations, where all the children got to walk on stage with their flag while the Head of School, Dr. Andy, rattled off facts about each nation.  Going into HK Academy, I knew that it was a pretty diverse school and it was one of the reasons that I liked the school so much, but I had no idea just how diverse it was until I went to the assembly.  There were students representing 40 different countries — from Argentina to Wales.  Of the 14 children in Noah’s class alone, there are kids from the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, Thailand and Germany.  It was amazing to see all of that represented on stage.  Hands down, the U.S. delegation was the largest.  Here is Noah getting lost among all the other Americans:

Some of the children were dressed in extravagant costumes representing their country.  Whenever we travel, we occasionally pick up clothing for Noah so he’s got things like a rugby jersey, a traditional Singaporean shirt, t-shirts for Japanese baseball teams, etc. but nothing that really shouts “I’m American yo!”  The most American thing I could find was the football shirt that Cristina had sent him so an extra big thank you again to her.  Here are all of the different flag bearers on stage at the end:

Some of the things that I learned during the assembly…

  • Canada is the mosquito capital of the world
  • In Malaysia, more people are born during the month of October than any other month
  • In Poland, the largest section in any grocery store is the candy aisle
  • Nepal has the only flag that is not a quadrangle
  • New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote
  • Japan has a 100% literacy rate
  • India is the only country that has a bill of rights for cows

There were a few performances after the parade and then we all headed up to the rooftop to where all the food was.  Here is the map of food table locations just so you can get an idea of how they were organized:

It was awesome to see all the different types of food they had there and to get a chance to sample them.  I actually didn’t get to try too much — Noah kept hovering around the Chinese table because apparently they had the best desserts — but I was able try a couple of new items at Argentina, Iran and Israel’s table (I purposefully stayed away from the Australian table because I suspected most of their food offerings might have been laced with Vegemite.  Uh, no thanks.).  So overall, a very fun event.  I’m actually even looking forward to next year’s festival.

December 3, 2009 at 12:19 am 1 comment


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