IMG_9142It’s so hard to keep track of all the new things Jia’s learned and done over the past week or so. I barely have any time to write it down somewhere before we are off tempering a tantrum or figuring out where in our new neighborhood we should explore next. Since #SummerofDad is coming to an end soon, I really am going to have to step up my blog game and get back into the groove of doing some real posts here.

A (non pregnant, non female) family friend recently died of Listeria poisoning so I was considering writing about pregnancy and listeria warnings, but I am also considering a post about the hormonal triggers for pregnancy cravings, the physiological readiness of potty training, the link between otitis media and pacifier use, and a couple other interesting topics. Let me know if you lean one way or another. All I can say is, let’s not get into a controversial topic this time!

Things that Jia’s done:

  • She can identify the color orange, but calls it “oranges” because she knows it’s her favorite fruit. I give her props for understanding the difference between orange colored things and oranges to eat, though. She also knows blue and yellow. 
  • She points out flowers everywhere and says “fowers!” and “bees!”
  • She knows flowers in real life and flowers in shaped toys and flowers in drawings.
  • To bring the first two points together, on a recent bike ride I picked a flower for her and she said “oranges fowers!” because it was, in fact, an orange flower.
  • Points out and identifies airplanes whenever she hears one, the moon when she sees one, butterflies, dragonflies, birds, seagulls, and a bunch of other things we’ve taught her. 
  • Phrases/Sentences
    • When I give her clementines for a snack, she finishes it and says “oranges, more!” and hands me the bowl.
    • “Slide mommy!” (I want to go down the slide with you, Mommy)
    • “I see Mommy”
    • “Ask Mommy”
  • Can identify circles, whether they’re on TV (making Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse), on Jeff’s shirt, in puzzles, etc. They’re her favorite shape right now and she loves pointing out circles. She also recognizes hearts and stars (correct most of the time).
  • We found the Torrance Public Library near us and she went around pulling books off the Jia-tall shelves, saying “books, books, books, books…” so we got a library card! We checked out 4 books: Doc McStuffins, Peedie, Plant a Seed, and Being Rude (because she chose it, not me)
  • Toddler meltdowns and tantrums about 5 times a day, and some are very loud. I have to laugh, because it’s so cute that she’s so overwhelmed with emotions and can’t explain what’s making her mad. Like when she’s holding all 4 squares from her rubber play mat, she holds the yellow one up and is shaking mad because she wished she was holding the green one instead. A rage-filled Jia is something we see now on the regular. 
  • …So we have requested The Happiest Toddler on the Block and The Whole Brain Child books from our library. I wonder how long it’ll take before that one is available for us to pick up! I’ll let you know how those methods work!
  • She really likes riding bikes. I love the WeeRide LTD Kangaroo child bike seat! It’s full priced at about $98.00 but I got it off of craigslist for $35 (Thanks Lisa for picking it up for us!!!). Got her the Joovy Noodle helmet (in pink of course), and since it was installed this past Thursday (5 days ago), we’ve gone 3 times. If you read the reviews on the Joovy Noodle, you’ll see why I didn’t go with the “bike brand” helmet and went with this one. I love it and am impressed by its quality!
  • BEACH BOUND BABY! Jia went to the beach for her very first time. Jeff loves saying that in all of Jia’s 18 months of living on the East Coast, her first ocean was still the Pacific. She really liked the sand and seagulls, wasn’t wild about the water but wasn’t scared of it. It was pretty cold though, so I’m sure on a warmer day she’d like it a little more, but for her first time she did really great! New words from the beach specifically: beach, ocean, sand, seagulls. 
  • Went a few days without napping. That was fun. I’m trying to feed her lunch then put her down for a nap, similar to what she’ll be scheduled for in day care, and for a few days it worked like a charm, but then it didn’t. Sunday and Monday we were back on track with our 1.5 hour after-lunch naps.
  • Picky picky picky eater. No longer wants scrambled eggs for breakfast. Won’t eat homemade pancakes. Likes Trader Joe’s organic silver dollar pancakes smothered with cream cheese, side of fruit. Iffy on if she’ll eat yogurt. Always wakes up and 1st thing she wants is “MILKA????” Other than that, she would eat clementines and avocados all day long if she could. At least she likes pad thai and will still eat her cuban black beans with cheese, brie cheese, and will eat goat cheese by the huge chunk. Oh and still loves cucumbers and peas. I’m glad that she loves avocados though, at least it’s a high-fat food!
  • She says her name (sometimes) when we ask her “what’s your name? When she sees herself in pictures and we ask, “who’s that?” and she says “Jiaaaa?” Same goes for mommy and daddy, when we point to us in photos.
  • I overheard her saying “J…. I… A” to herself and then saying “one…two…three” I’ve tried to get her to repeat these things, but it seems it only happens when I’m not asking her to perform!

Mom Thoughts:

  • I love California!!!We go outdoors every single day (Jia insists) for most of the day and it’s not at all humid and nasty. Biking, walking, to the pool, to the playground, and of course to the beach! I do miss our huge house and being near my in-laws, but it’s nice to be some place we can be outdoors every day without it feeling like a sauna. Jia and I are also catching some nice gradual tans (she gets her 50 SPF Babyganics sunscreen slathered on her, fear not) from being at the pool and biking almost every day. I’m reminded of why I loved being out here so much, even though this experience is far different from my previous life out here. 
  • We’ve found our Thai joint. Called Thai Rama at the recommendation of Lisa, we of course got the chicken Pad Thai to see how it stands against what Pad Thai should taste like, and it more than surpassed it! It’s perfect and a humongous portion and so flavorful!!! For Duke and Joyce when you visit, it’s in the shopping center opposite from Von’s grocery store, behind the Carl’s Jr. (in case you want to order Thai while we’re in Vegas)
  • I went to Jia’s daycare orientation last Thursday. I met one of the main teachers, Miss April, and was so impressed. Very energetic, enthusiastic, and sweet, all of the people I met really comforted me in our decision in going forth with her registration there. (Of course it always helps to get a strong recommendation from a mom friend – again, thanks Lisa!) The place is organized, looks fun, has a lot of structure, and the class size is small (about 11 kids Jia’s age, 18  months to 2 years). I’ve ordered my Name Bubbles labels, so I’m obviously very nerdily excited to get those in the mail to stick to Jia’s blankets, socks, pants, shoes, sheets, diaper pail liner, lovey, pacifier, etc. (I know, I know. I need to wean her off this pacifier, but with these intense tantrums and adjustment period I believe we’re still going through, I’d rather not poke the beast. She still is sleeping 10-11 hours at night, so I prefer to not mess with her.
  • We leave for Charleston for my brother’s (Jia’s uncle and godfather) wedding in 1 week, 2 days. She’ll miss her first two weeks of daycare sadly, but we’ll get to see my parents and Jia will get to spend some time with them. But that also means, we have to get packing again! The plan: Carryon backpack + car seat and that’s IT (besides the checked bag).
    • Backpack:
      • Travel diaper changing pouch with disposable chux liner and some baby powder for that sweaty baby butt
      • Mealtime bib
      • Snacks/food that don’t need refrigeration
      • Frozen Milk (that doesn’t need refrigeration, but to keep the snacks/food chilled) to get through security without necessitating a pat-down from the TSA
      • Water bottle for both of us
      • Gift-wrapped surprises for Jia
      • Lions and pacifier
      • Wallet and iPhone, complete with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes
    • Checked bag: Everything else.
    • Essentially, I’m over carrying the diaper bag + backpack of stuff + lunch box. It was too much, even with my Mother-in-Law helping, because I’ll be alone this time and as much as it would help to have 4-8 arms, I only have the two.
    • I might actually keep her strapped into her car seat as we exit the plane, and just carry her high and use those trapezius muscles to get her through that narrow aisle, than try to carry her on one side, car seat in the other, backpack strapped on.
    • Luckily mom said she would buy Jia some diapers and some snacks for Jia, so I won’t have to bring those. 
  • Jeff’s new job: It takes him a whole 1 hour commute on both ends of his day to travel the 19 miles, but he claims he doesn’t mind it since he gets to drive up the coast to the office and it’s a steady flow of traffic. The good thing is that he sometimes sees Jia in the morning (if she wakes up before 0730) and always sees her before bed. He usually ends up coming home during bath time which is nice since he gets to read her bedtime stories and spend another 45 minutes with her. 
  • I’ve been keeping busy making doctors appointments (Jia, Jeff, myself) to get us established in this area, switching over our car insurance to California, figuring out what to do for new Driver’s Licenses and car registrations, looking for jobs for me, and trying to remember what I even used to cook back when I was in Maryland. You know, it sounds silly, but changing homes always throws me off my game and I forget what I used to do for food, so it takes a little while to get back into the flow of things. 

That’s it for today’s post, hopefully I can get one together for Saturday!

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wandering around our patio