Monday, January 31, 2011

The MAX Factor

A request for "spiky hair"
- and he's looking at the camera and smiling!

So much is about Lola all the time, which is to be expected and really when Max is around I can hardly get a thing done, let alone take pictures or write a blog post. But that boy Max is living up to his name, MAXimo. He does everything to the MAX, depending on the moment. He is sometimes lovely to the MAX, funny to the MAX, and horrible to the MAX. I'm sure some of this comes with the age and having to readjust to being "top dog" in the house, but we're really curious as to how this boy is going to turn out!He is very opinionated and when he's having a bad moment, it's not nice and he frequently spends time in "time out" cooling down. He has a certain way of doing things and if he's pushed, because we're in a rush or he doesn't get to do it his way, it's sometimes a full-on war. We have to be careful not to give him what he wants all the time just to avoid the fight, but sometimes that is hard for me on very little sleep when we're trying to get out the door, especially when we have a small window between Lola's feedings.
But enough of the yucky stuff. We have a feeling he'll be a handful his whole life, but he's worth it.

Max still so into his trains - especially his Thomas roundhouse and track and the Shinkansen set they have at his school. He plays for hours with both. Sometimes after finding him playing with the trains at school, he'll come home and play with his trains. We're going to be sad when he's done with them. We figure we have another year left or so.
His imagination is huge! He is forever getting us to eat the imaginary food he's handing us (or as he shoves his hands in our faces).

"Daddy, do you want some m&ms?" he says with closed fists.
"Do you like m&ms?"
And sometimes the m&ms are nuts or cookies or carrots or fish or sushi or whatever... spiders sometimes.

I remember when my brother, Tim, used to say how much my older niece used to (and still does) talk. I remember him saying that when Maximo was little and I couldn't wait for all that talking. Whoa. This kid talks from the minute he wakes up until the minute he drifts off to sleep. Sometimes to us, but most of the time, concocting stories up about his trains and a lot of times him just reciting WORD FOR WORD his favorite t.v. shows. It's quite funny, especially, when you get to hear this:
"Feces? Yes, feces. What are feces? Poop. Pooop. No way. Feces are poop." (At least he's learning about scientific terms on Dinosaur Train.)

and what might be better than that is after he's watched Charlie and Lola and he slips into a British accent for a while. We've been trying to get this on tape for weeks (along with the feces bit), but he won't perform. It is hilarious.
"I will nevah, eva, eat toe-mat-oes!" (He actually loves tomatoes and we were afraid he was going to stop eating them because on the t.v. show Lola is a bit of a picky eater and lists about a hundred things she won't eat, but it hasn't seemed to affect his eating.)

He still loves reading and we have read so many of his book thousands of times that he likes to read them to me before bed quite frequently and does a good job with it. He's really getting ready to read (I'm not sure how soon). He recognizes his name and points out other letters then will say something that starts with that letter (and sometimes not). I've been running my finger along the words as I read them and he's starting to do it too. We're still working on the lower case letters - he struggles with the ones that look different from the upper case. He regularly confuses b,d, and a. And lately he likes making letters with his body. like Big X and little x with his arms and then fingers. And lately he's been making Ls with his thumb and pointer finger. He's definitely a smart little thing. We're curious to see how he's going to do in a classroom setting.
He's into "5 more minutes" lately. We try to warn him when he has to stop doing something that he likes, to prevent the meltdown. So we'll tell him "5 more minutes", then he'll go, "No, 4". Okay, bud, whatever you want. Really he's just into the number 5. He wants 5 pieces of mango or 5 pieces of sushi or 5 trains.

He still eats really well. Some days is better than others, and he doesn't eat well when there's a lot going on, like we're at a party or there are other kids running around. But this kid amazes me with what he eats and loves: sushi (not California rolls, raw fish), nori (dried seaweed), cumin salmon and will eat just about everything we eat. I love that he gets a hot lunch every day at daycare and gets to eat Japanese food regularly. He's more courageous than us with some things! And he loves fruit & vegetables. He's been wanting to snack more, and of course likes to be very independent, so we've let him get fruit out of the fruit bowl whenever (except right before dinner) he wants. He loves fruit - each day, he must eat at least 3 pieces of fruit.

He has this funny thing he says when he's happy.
He says it all the time. Why, you may ask? He went on a jelly fish ride at the Little Mermaid section of Disney Sea this past summer, so that is what he says, because it was the coolest thing he's ever done and we haven't topped it yet. We can't believe he still says it 7 months later, but he does.

He's gotten so big lately, he went from being in 18 month bottoms (he's got the Wood's short legs/long torso) to 3T pants in 3 months.

Okay, enough of my shameless carrying on about our kid, but he deserved a post all to himself. Unfortunately I can't seem to get him on video lately, so you can see him live in action. I've actually taken a bunch, but he stops performing once I turn the camera on. I'll keep trying.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Talking to Daddy

John's at a conference in Singapore. Luckily we've been able to Google chat-video with him during his breaks.
God, I love the internet (and cute screen shots)!


Our babes look a lot alike. When Lola was first born, she didn't look much like Maximo, but in the past few weeks, she looks more and more like him.

These are pictures of Maximo in November/December 2007, when he was 3-4 months old.
They definitely both have super chubby cheeks!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 7

I was just thinking that I had to write another post so my nasty stomach wasn't the first thing people saw when they came to the blog, when I realized that it's Friday!

Twice this week people asked if she was a boy - so here she is in all her pink glory!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Price I Paid

DISCLAIMER: Pregnant friends ~ LOOK AWAY!

When I was pregnant with Maximo, I got fat all over. Yes, really, LARGE. And I was only pregnant for 30 weeks. But, I lost it fairly quickly and at six months postpartum, I was probably skinner than I had been in a decade (with no exercise, just running around with a baby and breastfeeding). No problem.

With Lola, I rode my bike to work for 30 weeks, which may have helped, but I surprisingly only got big in the belly. But now, I've got this to show for it:

As I've been describing it, it looks like I lost a fight with a bobcat. Why did I take a picture of that (and post it for the world to see)? This is a record of our life. I'm hoping it doesn't look like that forever, although I've come to terms with the fact that my belly will never be the same and the stretch marks will always be there. Hopefully they'll fade from their current dark purple color, because, if not, bye-bye bikinis. I also posted it because it's real. You see celebrity moms gallivanting on the beach after having 3-4 kids with an amazing, toned body. I don't have a trainer, I won't get plastic surgery, it's my Mommy battle wounds.

But this is definitely a small price to pay for a healthy full-term baby. She's definitely worth it. Maybe I can use it to scare her from having unprotected sex... God, I can't even fathom what it's going to be like to have a teenage daughter one day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Photo Friday - Week 5?

I've decided to take a picture every Friday of Lola for the next six months in the same spot - inspired by a friend's baby book. She took a picture every week for two years!
Here's Week 5:

and Week 6:

Shhh. Don't tell Max.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kawaii Kiddos

Some days are better than others for posting... Lola's been a bit demanding the past few days with gas and fussiness - I'm thinking it may be garlic now too. So, I'm trying not to eat some of my favorite things: beans, broccoli and now, garlic. Because when she's gassy, she sleeps horribly and just wants to be held.

But, here are a couple of cute pictures from the week:Max all bundled up - going to school

The photo that woke her up - but she was smiling (in her sleep).
Note to self: turn flash off before photographing sleeping baby, duh.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Getting Around Town

After our stroller was surprisingly stolen from our front porch (one we spent a ridiculously amount on and used only a handful of times), we went to Toys 'R Us and found the cheapest (but safe) one that would hold an infant. Since that purchase, we've been "getting it just right" - adding: an infant insert for head support, a foot muff, a rain guard, hooks for groceries and bags, and a cup holder (the bare necessities). Now we can get around town comfortably and still fit through the ticket entrances of the train stations.

Lola falls asleep almost instantly when she's put in and she sleeps in her little bubble for 3-4 hours without making a peep. We've been using the rain guard to keep the cold wind (and germs and unwanted hands) off of her, because it's been a bit chilly here. Max has resolved to walking and knows the stroller is just for Lola (after a minor fiasco after our first outing).
Maximo on the Rokko Liner, almost home.

Max loves riding the train. Especially when he gets the front window on the Rokko Liner. He could really ride the train all day. Sometimes he specifically asks for the "orange train" or a "fast train" or more expensively, the "shinkansen". He'll probably get another ride on that, but that won't be a regular occurrence.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lola's First Check Up

Someone said to me at the store the other day, "Everyone should have at least two kids, because it's so much different after the first one." And it's true. Granted, Lola is a bit more low-key than her big brother, we are just so much more relaxed about everything too - not that we were too crazy with Max, I think we did/are doing an okay job, but you just know things come in stages and not to sweat the little stuff.

When Lola's crying, I know:
1. She's breathing
2. She can wait another few minutes.
3. Or it's just her fussy time of day. Even though I hate the time of day it is, we expect it and deal with it.

If shepukes all over the place spits up a decent amount, I know:
1. She'll just eat more later.
2. She had too burp.
3. My milk comes out at super-speed the first few minutes and she ate too much, too fast.
4. A couple of grams/ounces doesn't matter in the big scheme of things.
5. I NEVER have the burp rag in the right place at the right time but it'll wash out.

Whereas with Maximo, I would stress about every gram of food going into and out of his body. I remember filling him up before doctor's appointments and hoping he didn't poop before/while we were there so he could weigh the most possible... (And that's a little insane.)

I'm enjoying being home. Yes, I'm lucky that we can send Max off to "school" (he calls it school and I feel less guilty than calling it daycare) a few days a week, so it's not so hectic around the house. I do spend a bit more time on the internet, although it's usually when I'm feeding Lola, but I'm getting the house cleaned, laundry done and I don't feel like I'm all over the place, which is nice for once.

Happy Mommy = Happy Baby

I did start to get a little anxious today before Lola's and my one-month check up. Things are just going well and I didn't want a doctor to tell me anything differently. Luckily I'm fine and can now live my life again with "no limitations" - whoo-hoo. Party time (ha). Although my doctor said to wait until I have my period before I start any form of birth control. Isn't it a little too late by that point? I emphasized that I DON'T want to have any more children, but she said to wait... Hmmm...

And Lola's doctor (just the one we had to check with at the hospital she was born at) spoke very, very little English, but said,
To which I responded, "Yes."
"Good size."

And I also asked about her birthmark (meaning: pointed at birthmark and said, "Daijobu?").
She said a TON of stuff in Japanese, but then said "Daijobu". (meaning okay or not to worry). So, I won't. I'm glad that it's on her bottom cheeks rather than the ones on her face, because it's quite big and raised.

Really, that's all I needed. I'm going to go to another pediatrician for the rest of her appointments and vaccinations. She did have her measurements done and I'll try not to bore you like I did with EVERY ONE OF MAXIMO'S weight measurements, but here's her stats today:
Weight: 4615 g (10.17 lbs)
Height: 54 cm (21.25 inches)
It still amazes me how much they can grow just from ME. Just from breastfeeding. The human body is a pretty cool thing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Yes, I realize that the post title and the time stamp don't match. I'm doing the best I can. On Monday, John had his first day back at work and it was a Japanese holiday, so I was at home with the kids. After a rough night, I was a bit anxious about how I was going to make it through the day... but it turned out to be a great day!

Lola slept...

And Maximo cleaned the house...

I didn't force them to do this all day. Lola did sleep a lot which made it easier on Maximo (i.e. Mommy could give him more attention). I did teach him how to play Mexican Train dominoes and then we had to play 5 games!

**Looking at this post again. I realize that 1-11-11 wasn't the date when I had both kids - it was 1-10-11, but all the ones look better than the real date, so I'll leave it. Maybe my intelligence is seeping out with my breastmilk!

Friday, January 07, 2011

1 Month with Lola

So today Lola is one month old. It's been a busy, tiring month, but Max has gone to "school" the past three days and we realized how much easier it is with her than it was with him. Granted we had a lot more drama with Maximo, but we're much more relaxed now than we were with him. I will say a major difference we notice is not having help. Not the nanny really- I don't think Gloria held Max for at least a month after he arrived home ( Yes, I'm a little nuts, I know.) But the laundry... oh, God the laundry and just keeping up with the house (and ours is tiny!). This kid spits up and projectile poops like no other. So, if we were going to have future children (WHICH WE ARE NOT PLANNING ON DOING), being near family or having house help would certainly be a necessity. Even though it wasn't really planned this way, having John home for these three weeks has been PERFECT. I can't imagine holding it together otherwise. Okay, enough of my mom woes... Onto the little one:

Lola's eating, pooping and sleeping. THE END.

No, to be a little more descriptive, she's doing all those things well, but there is a bit more.

We are doing things a little differently this time, mostly due out of necessity, and I'm trying to just go with the flow. In Japan, most (if not all) families sleep as a family or at the least the babies sleep with the mom. Co-sleeping is pretty common outside of the US, although not super popular in the US. Our choices in our small Japanese apartment, are:
1. Lola sleeps with us.
2. Lola sleeps with Max.

Since Max isn't doing so hot with going to bed as it is, and I'm not super comfortable with him and her in the same room at this point (for example, we thought he went to bed two nights ago, when I heard something in the backroom about an hour and a half after he went to bed - he was naked from the waist down, in our bed, with all the pillows off the bed and had sabotaged John's chapstick, again), we opted for number 1. "Us" has turned into "me". John needs more sleep since he is actually returning to work, so he's on the couch or in Max's room and really I feel like I'm sleeping more/better just being able to easily feed her and go back to sleep. I feel a lot more rested than I did with Max. With Max, I felt like my world was totally rocked for the first couple of months he was home. This one, I'm tired, but functioning well (with a nap when I can).

She's sleeping for 3 hours at a clip at night, sometimes less (sometimes, I can't even tell you, I just know when she cried, she was fed.) But, she does seem to know her days from her nights and wakes up to eat, then easily goes back to sleep. She has gone almost 4 hours between feedings when we're out and about and she's in the Baby Bjorn; she falls asleep almost instantly in that thing.

Oh, the noise. Lola cries when she is unhappy, but this isn't super often - usually just when she's hungry, but is she is so NOISY! She grunts and groans all the time and snores while she's sleeping. We don't know if she's working gas through her little body, but holy moly, she can make a lot of noise. She has a fussy time at least once a day, where she is up for about 3-4 hours (usually perfectly timed when we're trying to have dinner and/or get Maximo bathed and in bed). She acts like she's hungry, but doesn't really eat. She wiggles and fusses and just seems uncomfortable and will settle for small chunks of time either being carried around or with a pacifier. We've come to expect this time each day, so we can deal with it... and luckily this isn't happening in the middle of the night.

She's starting to really follow things (toys and us) with her eyes and I got a half-smirk the other day when she was waking up and I was talking to her. She's becoming less of a blob and more of a babe each day.

She's starting to fill out a bit and we're curious as to her weight now (she has her first check up next week). We're finding it hard to clean out her rolls - as Max didn't have any rolls for the first 6 months of his life. Her eyes look like they'll be blue like her brother's and father's. She's got lots of spiky hair, which Max lost at 4 months and looked like a cancer patient for a couple of months. She has a huge raised raspberry high on her left thigh (I need to get a picture of it). It's pretty big and I'm not sure if it'll grow with her or stay the same size, so it'll appear much smaller when she's bigger. Luckily it's pretty hidden, although she may want to get it removed when she's older.

Today, we applied for her passport, registered her birth as a US citizen abroad, and applied for her social security number at the US Consulate in Osaka. Although it was a bit of travel and a pain in the ass with all the stairs at the Osaka train station and the stroller, it went well and they are going to mail us her passport in the next 4 weeks. Below is one of the "out takes" of the 50+ pictures I had to take to get her passport photo - eyes open and facing directly forward is HARD to accomplish with a newborn. This one was cute, but her head was a bit cut off.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Week 1 of the New Year

I don't have much to post as I'm not getting out of the house much - I've been saying that for months, haven't I! It's a bit cold here and sometimes more effort than it's worth to get out of the house. Trying to plan feedings and pack everything for two kids means it takes us an hour to get out of the house when we're trying to go somewhere.

I have been trying to take some pictures. Lola isn't the most photogenic babe in the world (but cuter and looking more like her brother every day), so for every 50 photos I take, about two are decent. She's easier than Max for sure - she eats pretty well and sleeps okay. She does have a fussy time each day where she doesn't seem to be happy for an hour or two - she acts hungry, but then doesn't eat and is super squirmy. This is John's last week of vacation, so we're enjoying our time together and later in the week we're going to the US Consulate to get the process of Lola's passport started.

Max is doing... hmmm... I can't think of an adjective to describe him right now. He is either FANTASTIC or HORRIBLE. He's been good with Lola - he'll randomly go over and pet her head and really isn't otherwise super interested. We've had a few accidents, unfortunately #1 and 2! But that's been better the past two days, so hopefully that's over. The other digression is sleeping! It's been taking him almost an hour and a half to go to bed at night. Sometimes it's just him talking to himself in bed, but sometimes it's him screaming. And he has refused his nap a few times this vacation too - which means he's a mess by 6 and really from 2 - 7 pm it's trying to keep him happy. He'll probably be better as he's heading back to his "school" later this week and will be able to interact with other kids again.

We're all feeling a bit like this these days.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2010 in Review

Here's a selection of my favorite pictures of the year in chronological order.
Please disregard the bad audio - I was too lazy to go back and change the sound track and it just automatically assigned one.

2010 was an exciting year for Los Lemleys. It was actually really good to go through the pictures from this year to see all the different things we did. It's easy to get into the daily grind of work and raising kids and to forget about the "cool" things.

The highlights of the year were:
- Transitioning from a crib to a bed!
- Potty training
- Cambodia
- The Pregnancy - it wasn't always lovely, but the end product is quite fantastic!
- Nana's visit to Japan
- Disneyland Tokyo & DisneySea (and of course the Shinkansen ride)
- Max's 3rd birthday party

And 2010, the year of our little Tiger - LOLA!

Happy New Year!
2011 should bring more adventures for Los Lemleys and we hope the best for all of you!