Adventures living as expats.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

3 Months

This month was a huge transition for us as Dad returned to work after 10 weeks of paternity leave.  The first week was tough and there were a few times that I stepped out from the shower and you were screaming at being left alone in your crib.   Luckily we've both gotten the hang of it, but always look forward to Dad coming home every night.   Your personality is really starting to show and wow are you a happy boy!  You have a huge smile that often goes hand in hand with a coo of joy.   You like to meet new people and are happy to be held by anyone willing to snuggle.   We also took you "swimming" at the baby spa for the first time this month and you LOVED it (pics at bottom).  Both Dad and I were very skeptical at first, but you had so much fun we decided to buy a neck floatie for home.
  • Size: You weigh 14 ½ pounds and are about 24 ½" tall.  You doubled your birth weight at about 12 weeks!
  • Eating: You are still a great eater and would sleep / eat for hours if I let you.  Luckily for you we have a long flight back to America coming up and I won't have any chores to do so it just might be the happiest 12 hours for you.
  • Diapers: We finally conquered the diaper rash after I eliminated several possible allergens from my diet including dairy, wheat, eggs, and peanuts.  We have a lot fewer dirty diapers now too as the new diet seems to be more agreeable to your tummy.   The plan is to try reintroducing these foods back in one at a time to see if one in particular is causing the issue.  
  • Sleep: You are finally taking a consistent nap in the morning!  I now shut the curtains, swaddle you up, turn on your lullabies, and lock the dog out of the bedroom so you can sleep more easily.  I typically put you down around 11am and you sleep for around 2 hours.  You also take several cat naps throughout the day.  Your bedtime is 8pm and most nights you wake up 1 time for a feed.  Generally you are up around 5 or 6am and love to have a snuggle with Dad before he gets up to get ready for work.  
  • Play: You are becoming a champ at independent play which is so helpful for Mom.  I like to do some yoga while you play in your jungle gym and work on belly time.  You love gazing at yourself in your mirror and also still love hitting and kicking your toys.  Surprisingly you have a lot of fun during diaper changes now (whereas you used to despise them) and often talk to Mom or Dad and have learned how to grab your feet "happy baby yoga" style.  
  • Bath:  You graduated to a new setting on your bath tub and no longer need the newborn hammock.   You seems to enjoy bath time even more now that more of your lower body is in the warm water.  
    We can't get enough of your smiles and giggles
    Buddha belly
    IWAT luncheon where you charmed all the ladies and got to celebrate Chinese New Year.
    Exhausted after your first play date.
    Dad is a great multitasker!
    Super into story time these days
    We love taking you out to dinner with us.
    Happy boy!
    Very relaxed.  The neck floatie looks a bit strange but you were completely comfortable when they put it on so that eased our minds a lot.
    We were a bit uncomfortable with the crowd of gawkers that you attracted, but we decided to try to relax and enjoy how watching you kick around.  

    Thursday, January 5, 2017

    Fun in Wufeng

    Wanting to make the most of Jeff's last week of paternity leave, we headed out on a day trip to Wufeng.  It was so nice to forget about the laundry and chores list and enjoy a day with the family.  Our first stop was the Taiwan Provincial Memorial Park where we walked around and had a picnic lunch while Oolong rooted around in the park and returned with several ants stuck in her fur biting her.
    Family photo at the Memorial Park
    View from the pagoda
    Behind this were several nice walking paths leading up the hill
    Next stop was the "Flying Goblet Drunken Moon Pavilion" which according to our guide was built during the Japanese colonial era.

    We also visited the beautiful and well maintained Lin Family Mansion but opted not to stay for the tour as we prefer to wander around on our own.
    Lin Family Mansion From the outside
    Detailed painting inside a courtyard
    Hux and Dad exploring a back alley
    Yes we're new parents and looks like we haven't slept in days
    Another view from outside the mansion
    Our final stop of the day was at the 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan which is dedicated to the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck on Sep 21, 1999.  We had to rush through most of the displays because Oolong was waiting for us outside the museum and not happy about being left by herself.   The museum stands where a high school used to be and they brilliantly left the collapsed buildings as is and built large tent structures over the top to protect them from the elements.  
    The remains of the school track
    High school main building where entire floors collapsed
    What used to be the school restrooms

    Tuesday, January 3, 2017

    Baby's First Christmas

    Christmas truly is more magical with kids and we loved celebrating with little Huxley although we really missed family back home.  Taiwan definitely gets into the Holiday spirit with lots of great decorations and lights throughout the city and in our apartment building.   We all received fantastic gifts thanks to a few of Santa's helpers carrying goods from America.

    We started the season out with Huxley's first party and first time meeting Santa.  Even though he slept through the "awwwws" from the crowd, Santa still knew exactly what he wanted - a Seahawks outfit so he could match daddy.

    Hux meets Santa and his helper
    Go Hawks!
    Cute Christmas display close to our apartment
    Family photo inside the Santa Express
    Our Christmas card this year displaying the best gift we could ever receive
    Dad's little reindeer
    Oolong is always ready to celebrate
    Opening presents was so much fun considering most of Huxley's gifts were really presents for ourselves.  Why wouldn't a 2 month old baby want a set of 10 of my favorite Dr. Seuss books?
    All dressed up and ready for gifts
    Happy Hippy toy from Grandma - Hux's personal favorite
    Christmas is exhausting!

    Monday, January 2, 2017

    2 Months Old

    This month you have grown so quickly and have already outgrown several of our favorite newborn outfits.  We don't hesitate to take you out to dinner or to parties and so far you've done great usually sleeping through the commotion and waking up for a snack once or twice.  We are hoping that getting you used to being out and about early will make it easier later on.   We also love to show you off to anyone and everyone that is wants to meet you.  Your personality is really starting to come through and you've been learning to make new sounds and love to "chat" with Dad by making noises back and forth with him. 
    • Size: You weigh 11 lb 14 oz and are 23.5" tall.
    • Eating: You have a ravenous appetite which has really spurred on your fast growth.  You still eat around 12 times per day and have learned how to drink from a bottle also.  Every few weeks you seem to hit a growth spurt where you want to eat nonstop for a day or 2.  We are convinced that you love the smell of food because you usually get very hungry when Mom and Dad sit down to eat.
    • Diapers: We are still going through tons of diapers as everyone warned us we would.  We have creams, ointments, fans, and protocols in place in order to prevent that darn diaper rash.  We also do "sun's out buns out time" while we are playing in an attempt to keep the diaper area dry.  Looks like you may have inherited Mama's sensitive skin.  
    • Sleep: You prefer to sleep on the go (surprisingly the more noise and commotion the better), but have been taking at least one nap in your bassinet each day. We try to put you down for bed before 8pm and you usually wake up 1 or 2 times throughout the night for a feed and diaper change.  We celebrate with cheers and lots of praise each morning after a 1 wake night.  
    • Play: You love to play with mom and dad and smile back at us when we talk to you or tickle you.  You've also discovered how much fun it is to play with your hands and seem very entertained by them.  You have become a lot more interested in story time and we generally can make it through a full book before bed.  
    • Bath:  As long as the water is warm enough and your belly is full, you love bath time which has become a part of our routine every other night.  Dad is in charge of washing all your nooks and crannies and lucky Mom gets to give you an post bath massage, one of my favorite times of the day.
    We love to watch you grow.  So much change in one month!
    Getting really good at tummy time!
    Bundled up for the winter weather
    We're so happy you are big enough for the carrier now
    Making noises for Dad
    Snoozing in your napper.
    Milk coma...
    Story time with Mom.
    We also had another fantastic photoshoot with Hunnicutt Photography.  It was so hard to choose a reasonable number to add to the blog, but here are just a few of our favorites.