Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tristan's second haircut

A year ago, I gave Tristan his first haircut. It was right before Chinese New Year because we wanted him to have a new look. We timed it just the same this year. Here are the before shots for this session:

Last time I gave Tristan a haircut, he was constantly moving and standing up. I trimmed his hair so it would be shorter and more or less even all around. The result? He looked like a little monk :( This year, I went for a more challenging haircut since he is 3 years old now and I just assumed it would be easier to cut his hair the second time around. The result? A cute retro layered haircut :)

It was easier to cut his hair this time. Just so you know, I am not a hairdresser at all. I have been cutting Jean-Louis' hair for maybe 9 or 10 years now but I use one of those electric shavers and it gets buzzed off easy enough each time. He likes his hair style and wants to keep the same cut forever. Boring. I don't use scissors on Jean-Louis. For Tristan, I used nothing but scissors.

I found some cute shaggy retro haircut pictures that inspired me. Then I watched a couple of youtube videos. I loaded the hair pictures onto the iPad for Jean-Louis to show me but I actually ended up just winging it and didn't even refer to those pictures. That's what happens when you are in a hurry! I don't know how hairdressers hold their scissors and comb at the same time. I tried but couldn't so I had to put one down each time. I must be holding it all wrong because my arm was tensing up and hurting. Luckily, Tristan was pretty patient throughout the haircut. He sat the whole time but he kept moving his head. Near the end though, Tristan and Jean-Louis were just nagging me to finish up and not be so perfect. I was only going for evenness, not perfection! Anyways, I think the end result was good. Is the haircut short enough for him to pass by as a "true" boy now?

Gong Hei Fat Choi!

Happy year of the Dragon! Gong Hei Fat Choi! (Translation: Best wishes & Congratulations. Have a prosperous & good year!)

Today, Tristan was in Chinese clothes for the special holiday. He's still young enough to not care so much about what I put on him :) There were many other kids dressed in Chinese clothes at daycare today. They were all so cute! And yes. Tristan had a haircut! Like it? I will be posting something about that soon :)

Last night on the eve, we had a Chinese feast. Tonight, we continue that feast with even more new dishes :) Oink, oink.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crib access is open

It's been four days since we removed the middle part of Tristan's crib. Now he can get in and out as he pleases. We're transitioning him into a larger bed.

Tristan turned three back in November but he still sleeps in his crib because we have had no problems with it. He doesn't jump out of his crib and he always calls for us to come to him in his room. We could probably keep him there as long as he is small enough and right now he is. But he's growing and we want to give him room to grow.

Removing the middle part of Tristan's crib is a first step in transitioning him into a bigger bed. Being able to get in and out on his own will make him feel more grown up. However, this hasn't happened yet. So far he seems to just stay in his bed and wait for us to come to him. Nothing has changed really. I expected him to run into our rooms in the morning and wake us up but it hasn't happened yet. He is so used to being in his crib waiting for us that he hasn't been brave enough to leave it on his own. At least that is what it appears.

On the first night, Tristan fell out of his crib once. He hasn't since then. In the morning, he calls for Daddy or Mommy and when we go in his room, he dangles his legs through the bars of his crib, just like he has always done.

It's funny because we started window shopping for bigger boy beds a few weeks ago and we thought we were going to buy a toddler bed. We figured it was the logical next step from having a crib. When I asked one of the sales ladies at the store, she told me that a lot of parents will move their toddler from toddler beds to twin beds when they are around 3 years old. Oops. Here Tristan is 3 and still in a crib. Technically, he's beyond toddler stage too so really it should be time for a twin bed. It also turns out that toddler beds are the same length as cribs but are assembled to appear like smaller beds. Jean-Louis thinks Tristan would be scared in a twin bed because it would be too big for him. This is only because he has been sleeping in a crib for ever! He doesn't sleep with us ever and has been sleeping in his crib every day since he was days old.

Everything is relative and every child is different. My friend's boy is two weeks older than Tristan and sleeps in a double bed. That's huge! I'm not sure when they moved him in there but that is a huge transition from being in a crib. My friend tells me that she and her boy can lie down together sometimes this way and it works well for them. The few times we have laid down with Tristan was when he was sick and we would lay on the couch. We don't have the same sort of problems. My friend also has toys in their boys room and we do not. We never play in Tristan's room. The room is strictly for sleeping. One of the reasons my friends has toys in the room is so the kids can play in the morning if they wake up too early. Again, we don't have this problem because Tristan sleeps until 7AM or later. By that time, Jean-Louis can take him and I can sleep in a bit more. Lucky for me, Jean-Louis only needs around 6 hours of sleep. It all works out for us.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Positive things we have going when it comes to eating

Lately, I have been talking too negatively about getting our 3 year old to eat. In fact, I feel like most of my eating posts are related to frustration. I don't mean to mislead readers in thinking this is normal for us. I often get the urge to post when I need to vent. It's somewhat therapeutic for me. Other bloggers could probably relate.

I want to let everyone know and also remind myself when I look back at this time one day that we are in fact very lucky to have a 3 year old who eats well. That's right. You heard me right! Tristan eats well normally :)

I breastfed Tristan for a year and he drank breast milk exclusively for the first six months. His first solid food was broccoli. He even tried bittermelon as a first solid food. Every new food presented to him was in pure form with no seasonings until he was around 12 months old. He only drank milk and water. Even now, he drinks more water than anything else. If you offer him juice, he would probably ask for water. He can be picky sure but we don't dine on junk foods like potato chips and we rarely eat processed foods. We may open a can of soup or cook from a pack of instant noodles once or twice a year. Processed foods usually gross me out. We eat a lot of brown rice, multigrain breads, vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, and we always have a variety. We have pretty much introduced Tristan to every kind of food out there since I love to cook Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Greek, Italian, Indian, Hawaiian, and so many other things. We are even doing tons of vegan food these days! Jean-Louis and I pretty much love eating everything and are somewhat adventurous eaters. Tristan will probably grow up being the same.

Feasting on durian
Tristan loved food until he was about two years old. He didn't care what it was as long as he could put it in his mouth, he would eat it. When he was around two, he started to resist certain foods, including some of his favorites. Jean-Louis called him a moody eater. Some times he would love it and other days he would hate it. He would pick at his food a bit for a few days or weeks and then he would go back to eating everything we give him again. We would go through these cycles where we would have to nag on and off to get him to eat most or all of his food. When he would be sick, it would be way worst. Nowadays, he will still eat anything but just not as much as we would like him to. Many people who have dined with us are usually impressed that he eats what we give him. They are also impressed he does this on his own.

Right now, Tristan is finishing all his meals. The nagging is almost non-existent. I guess he is hungry now from having so little to eat last week when he was sick. The type of nagging and coaching we do now is more along the lines of "you only have three more spoons to go. You can do it!"

Here is what he ate today:
  • Breakfast: 1 slice of multigrain bread, 1 fried egg, 4 slices of pear, bit of water
  • Lunch: chicken pesto salad panini sandwich (2-3 cups), 3 slices of apple, bit of water
  • Dinner: mushroom, tofu, shrimp stir-fry rice macaroni (3-4 cups), 2 slices of orange, 1 hedgehog, 1 small vegan almond cookie, bit of coconut water, lots of water

Tristan finished everything above, except for a small piece of chicken from his panini sandwich. Today was a satisfactory day! The thing is Tristan knows that we are not happy when he doesn't eat. He also knows our rules at the table. Eat your main dish first, especially your vegetables and then you can have fruit and possibly a treat if you are really good. Sometimes we would present a dish of food to him and also give him a piece of bread or cracker to go with his meal. He would check with us first to see if he could start by eating his bread or cracker. That's because he knows that things like bread, crackers, and fruits are more like rewards for eating well. Some times we just tell him to eat everything together but he'll set aside the bread or fruit until he is done with his main dish anyway. Fine with us, as long as he eats everything.

The three of us eat together all the time. Well, I eat breakfast with Tristan every day and Jean-Louis joins us on the weekends. I sometimes eat or at least sit with Tristan while he is having lunch and at dinner, the three of us all sit and eat together. I think Jean-Louis has only ever missed a couple of dinner sit downs because of his iPhone meetups. I think eating together as a family is important and we are fortunate to have schedules that support that. Sadly, I have heard of many families where this can't happen very often. We also all eat the same things and that is also important for Tristan to see.

Speaking of eating the same things, because I started baking more in the past year, people may have the impression that Tristan eats too many sweets now and has become a pickier eater because of it. Yes, I have baked a lot but I'm actually the one that eats most of it. Jean-Louis is always watching his weight and I'm the Mommy in the family so I eat all the leftovers, sweets included. We also send quite a bit of sweets to Jean-Louis' work so we can get rid of them quicker. As for Tristan, if he is well behaved and eats well, we may offer him a small treat. If he does get a treat, it will be 1/4 to 1/2 the size of the treat we would get. Many times when a treat was offered though, he never got it because he didn't quite finish his meal. If he doesn't finish or at least eat most of his meal, he doesn't even get fruit! Yeah, we use fruit a lot as a bribe. It's funny because he would come so close to finishing his food some times and then refuse to take the last bite and just declare defeat. He would tell us he doesn't want the cookie anymore just so he doesn't have to finish the last bite of his food. That's okay with us and we just take his food away. Remember that Santa hat cake I made? Tristan didn't even have a bite of that! He probably has a treat like a cookie or chocolate two times a week. That doesn't sound like a lot to us, is it? As for how often I eat treats, you don't want to know! I will be hitting the gym next month though and will be paying dearly for all my sweet sins. Oh boy :S

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

3 year old had nightmares about eating

It's true. I witnessed him having a nightmare in his crib. He was obviously disturbed and he was turning and turning and he seemed scared. Then I stayed to watch to see if I could find out what he was scared about. When he spoke, he said "No. I don't want to eat." My heart sank.

It saddens me to know that he is having nightmares about eating. He will grow up troubled because we constantly nag at him at the dining table :( On the up side it does work in getting him to eat a balanced healthy meal. When I told Jean-Louis about the incident, he first laughed and then he said it's only human to be psychologically damaged. If it's not this, it will be something else later on. I guess when it comes down to it, we have more or less two options:
  1. Have him grow up physically healthy knowing he has good nutrition but is a bit troubled or 
  2. Have him grow up unhealthy, a bit malnutrition on vitamins, and not troubled with eating issues.
Obviously we picked to go with option 1.

The past week was a terrible week in that Tristan was sick and he didn't want to eat. We were lucky if he had a few bites of his dinner. He ate very little and we didn't push him too hard. We also got in the habit of feeding him his leftover dinner, at least a spoon or two of it, before giving him his normal breakfast of bread or pancake. By morning he was usually hungry so it wasn't so hard. However, one morning was particularly bad in that I lost my mind and force fed him two spoons of fried rice. I knew it was wrong to do and but I had to do it to prove a point. When my threats didn't work, I just lost it. I didn't hurt him since I was still pretty gentle but the fact that I did that upset him a lot. Of course this made him cry and I felt really bad. I had a miserable night of sleep and I was feeling under the weather. That was why I lost my mind. I'll just have to step away next time for a breather. This mad incident and the increased nagging last week probably gave him bad dreams. Poor Tristan:( Already troubled at 3 years old.

Speaking of eating well and finding balanced meals, this Healthy Eating Plate was released September 14, 2011 from a research study based on scientific evidence. It looks like a good blueprint to follow.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mommy, I don't want to eat!

Tristan is going through a phase where he isn't interested in food anymore. He some times won't even want to eat his favorites foods. I mean he still eats what we give him but it will take a bit more nagging from us to get him to start eating. Then more nagging and maybe a bride for him to finish his meal. It can be exhausting! Some times nothing works so then we keep what he doesn't eat and give it back to him again for the next dining period. A few times, he had to eat his leftover dinner for breakfast. I hate having to do that and thankfully, this has only happened a few times ever. One of the solutions for mealtime during these "I hate food" phases, is to feed him ourselves. That seems to work but Jean-Louis absolutely hates doing that :( Sure, I would prefer Tristan to eat on his own all the time too but sometimes I worry he isn't eating enough. Since we can't really feed him because it angers Jean-Louis too much, we resort to nagging and bribing (e.g. with fruit & movie watching). It's all bad really. Sigh.
"Mommy, I don't want to eat."
30 minutes later: small nibbles
60-90 minutes later: "Look Mommy. I did it!"

My big goals for 2012

I love this time of year. Christmas break was lovely. The boxing week sales were lovely. Then we had another long weekend with New Years, which also happened to be my birthday. It almost seemed like too much was going on. It was definitely nice to have Jean-Louis home so many days with us. Tristan is so attached to his dad! I call him the "daddy magnet." Just the way the stat holidays worked out this year, Tristan actually didn't get to go to daycare much this December. The past couple of weeks felt like a staycation :) Jean-Louis and Tristan would spend hours every day playing Lego. And I fear this is only the beginning. Now that the break is over, there won't be another long weekend until April. April! They really should spread out the holidays more.

It's January and everyone is talking about goals and resolutions. I actually didn't make any for this year. I think this is the first year that I haven't. What we did in the past was actually pretty silly. Before midnight every December 31st, Jean-Louis and I would write each others resolution and then discuss them before adjusting and adding our own goals to them. Then we would file it away and never look at them again until December 31st the following year. So silly.

I have a few definite goals in mind for the year but I'm just going to keep them in mind :) I will try to consistently remind myself of them and this way I will more or less do them. Here are a few of my 2012 goals that I don't mind sharing:
  1. Eat more whole foods (i.e. organic, local)
  2. Eat more legumes, beans, vegetables
  3. Eat less red meat (e.g. pork, beef, lamb)
  4. Resume iPhone app work & get on board development
  5. Launch at least one more iPhone app
  6. Run my 2nd marathon (1st one after childbirth)
  7. Speak more French with Tristan
  8. Meet another virtual friend in person
My marathon goal alone makes this year a very ambitious one for me! I'm kind of scared of this one actually. Two of the things on my bucket list are to run a marathon and then run it again after childbirth. It's time to stop procrastinating and coming up with excuses so I want this year to be the year I can cross that item off! Because it will be over 9 years since I ran my first marathon, my goal is just to complete the race. Besides, I'm old now:)

Happy New Year!

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