Category Archives: lilu

cheap baby toys

My kid doesn’t have a whole bunch of toys. We have a few gifts from friends, a couple things we got her for Hanukkahristmas, and our collection of stuffed animals. You know what she likes to play with? Paper bags. Water bottles. Empty formula tubs. JCrew catalogs.




I have to watch her with the catalogs since she sliced her finger on a staple. Yeah freaking mom of the year right here. Whatever, she loved it.

baby led weaning vs. traditional feeding

My kid does both. When anyone over the age of 50 is around, we feed her oatmeal and purees with a spoon. She’s cool with it, mostly because she wants to play with the spoons.


Oatmeal is yummy

She only does it for the spoon


But when it’s just us at home, I hand her a piece of fruit to gnaw on.

Eating some apple

me and my baby

I don’t want to be one of those moms that’s never in her kid’s baby pictures!


I dig this gig!

That said, I prefer to have some makeup on.


Thanks for the cleavage Lilu!

And a really killer bra.

now that she’s crawling

I realize what a bad mother I am. I had the itch to really cook something instead of popping in a Lean Cuisine or making a sandwich, so I plunked her into her bouncer. Normally I would just let her play in the living room, but she kept crawling into the kitchen, pulling up on me and fussing. 5 minutes into a pan of meat sauce, I noticed it was too quiet and went to check her. Poor kid was totally crashed out!


Crashed out in the bouncerMOMFAIL.


I didn’t realize she was exhausted. No wonder she was fussing! To be fair, everything I read said this crawling stuff wouldn’t happen until she was 7-10 months old, and she’s only 5 & 1/2 months. I don’t even know what to do with her. I guess she needs more naps now? And I need to finish babyproofing ASAP.

sleeping arrangements

I thought that Lilu would sleep in her crib in our room when she came home from the hospital. Unfortunately, I was unable to sleep for 7 straight days because I would jump up with every little coo and squeak she made. Plus she had spit up issues whenever we lay her flat after eating (which was around the clock at first). So we ended up putting her in the carseat of all places.


Hanging out

(I think she might be trying to flick me off.)


Then she slept in the Snugglenest. I felt better about that since it’s at least intended for sleeping.


Taking a nap with dad


Then she wanted movement, so we let her sleep in the swing. (A LOT.)





Then, finally, we put her in her little crib. She was such a peach.


Good morning sunshine!



And now, after only 3 months in her crib, she sleeps on her futon because that serenely swaddled baby above has become this little menace:


Evil Genius


She’s a swaddle-breaking, head-banging extraordinaire. But on her futon? She sleeps like this:



Perfectly Angelic.


Then when she wakes up, she is just happy as can be and crawls to her toys, playing with them until I go in to check on her.


Naptime is over!!

She loves it and it’s working great for us.


lilu’s nursery tour

Planning a nursery for your first child is pretty silly business. I know I fantasized about diapering her on the changing table and tucking her all swaddled in to the crib. I bust out laughing just thinking about it because here we are, just 6 months in, and I don’t use the changing pad, crib, or swaddles anymore. My little girl is growing up faster than I ever imagined. Thank goodness we are having more babies!


Here is a reminder of what we started with:

Nursery starting point


And here it is today, all tricked out:

Napping in the Nursery
Don’t mind Lilu, she’s just taking a nap.



Decorated shelves
Top shelf: Hamtaro Adam gave me in college, a book from my Children’s Lit class “How We Live In Tokyo”, Lilu’s goldfish wash poof from my sister-in-law, a polka-dotted toucan from Loren, a wooden frog rattle from Glen, and a pumpkin I brought back from Japan for Adam.

Bottom shelf: A piece of coral I filched from my father-in-law, a treasure chest I gave to my mother when I was young, a starfish Adam gave me in Tarpon Springs, a blue sake bottle, a conch shell that was my mother’s, a cute card I picked out when I first wanted a child, and a ceramic shell I painted in preschool.


Changing station
The diapering station has a cloth wipes warmer and other assorted booty booty. We used a picnic utensil organizer from Target to hold toiletries and nighttime cloth diapers. The flower is a battery votive I got as a gift in college, the shells were my mom’s collection, and the littlest jar holds beach glass I gathered in Bermuda. The party dress was a gift from our friend Ilylia all the way from Malaysia. It has the prettiest mother of pearl buttons up the back.



Mini Bloom crib
Her little crib.



Handmade Quilt
Her handmade quilt from my college friend, Lissa. One of the greatest treasure in the room!



Lilu on the futon
Uh-oh she’s up. Better hurry! The icebucket in the corner holds toys, the ottoman hides her humidifier, and the futon is great for playing, sleeping, and changing. (More on that later.)


Reading area
We put this little bookshelf in the closet because I know she will be a great reader like her mom and dad. All of these books were either gifts or from our own childhood bookshelves. The cloud box is something I used in my Japanese dorm and holds coloring supplies. My friend Sachi sent the cute kokeshi doll, the start of a fine collection since I think I will get her one every year. I love them. :)


Packed closet!
And of course, her packed little closet. I love the wood hangers. They keep her onesies much neater than the heap of sleepers we have in her drawers.


Well that’s it and I wouldn’t change a thing!

lilu is here!

Ok so it’s been over a month, but it’s been an INSANE month. My daughter was born, I landed back in the hospital for 3 days, and then my mom was in a car accident and is still in the ICU. But I don’t want to think about all that, so instead I’ll talk about Lilu and how she got here.


On Wednesday, August 24th, we were told we should induce. A growth scan revealed that our baby was around 8 1/2lbs with a large head. If we waited she could reach 9lbs — which is a really large baby for my petite body to handle. We decided to go ahead with the induction and scheduled it right away for 3am the next day. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep a wink!


Time to have a baby!
Here I am all excited and ready to meet my baby!


We went in and got settled in our room with Bridget, my nurse. She was the nurse who gave us the Labor and Delivery tour and I really liked her. After the standard blood work, the IV and monitors were placed, and the Pitocin started flowing to get labor started. I just hung out in bed, resting and talking to Adam while we waited for my doctor to arrive.


Waiting for the pitocin to kick in


At 10am, my doctor came in and, after making fun of my gold eye mask, got down to business and broke my water. I was terrified of this, but it was actually no big deal. Instead of the giant fishhook I’d seen in videos, it was just a plastic plunger thing that wasn’t scary at all. It didn’t hurt either, instead it felt like dipping into a hot bath because I had a lot of fluid. After that we waited for my contractions to intensify. I bounced on the birthing ball and watched Twilight with Adam.


We were about halfway through the movie when it started to hurt. It wasn’t super painful, it was just a very annoying tug, and they were coming every 2 minutes. I was still only 4 centimeters dilated so they kept upping my Pitocin. I asked for something to take the edge of so I could continue resting since I obviously had a long night ahead of me. They gave me Stadol and Adam and I passed out for a while.


When I woke up, I was hurting. My contractions were much stronger. I asked Bridget to call for the anesthetist. My epidural was painlessly placed and I tried to go back to sleep. Honestly I was more hungry than anything else, and I told everyone I would be eating pepperoni pizza soon instead of ice chips. (They don’t let you have food or drinks in case they need to put you under for an emergency c-section.)


When they came in to check me again, hours later, I was still a 4! They upped my Pitocin to level 32, inserted an internal fetal monitor, and started shifting my body so that I lay on one side and then another. I quickly went from a 4 to a 6. During the turning, Bridget suspected that Lilu had turned OP — face up. She grabbed a midwife from the hall to confirm. So now we were also shifting in order to turn the baby back around.


I started feeling more and more uncomfortable. I felt pain in my urethra and vagina, and I was starting to feel the tugging again. I asked for more pain medicine and they added something to my epidural, but I felt no relief and started moaning through the contractions. Eventually I just went to another place in my head to deal with the pain. Every time someone talked to me I started moaning and begging for the catheter to be removed. I was convinced that the catheter was causing the pain. They added even more medicine but that didn’t help.


I begged the second nurse, Missy, to take out the catheter. She finally did at 7pm and I realized that yes, the catheter had hurt a lot, but that I could actually feel everything, that my legs were only numb because I had been laying in bed for so many hours. We called the anesthetist again and said that I was still feeling pain. He said he had already given me A LOT of medicine and decided to check the epidural site. He said blood was running down my back, more blood than was normal. We decided that the epidural had pulled out enough that it was no longer working.


I went upright again to have a new epidural inserted. After that, my doctor checked and I was at 8cms. He said he’d be back after the Redskins game! Missy put the catheter back in and it didn’t bother me at all. I was in a happy place. My baby was still face up, but my labor was progressing so I wouldn’t need a c-section, and my epidural was finally working. Hallelujah!


I was checked again shortly after and progressed from 9cms to just a lip, and then my doctor showed up and said I was complete. Suddenly there were a lot of people in the room prepping things. Missy started doing perineal massage, which I said felt nice and Adam looked at me like I was crazy. (He later explained that it looked rough and painful.) My doctor suited up, I got a blue sheet over my thighs, and I started to push. It was very relaxed. My doctor reported between pushes that the Redskins had lost but that it was only the preliminaries so it didn’t really matter.


Somewhere in that hour of pushing and banter, I heard some snipping and snapped my head up, and my doctor said casually “It’s okay, I just gave you an episiotomy.” Adam told me later that the doctor had backed up, gauged the size of Lilu’s head, and reached for the scissors. After a couple of pushes, her head came out and my doctor said, “STOP PUSHING.” Someone asked about cord blood, and my doctor snipped her cord off and said, “No time.” I pushed the rest of her body out and the waiting nurses took her. The cord was wrapped around her neck and she wasn’t crying. They suctioned her nose and mouth for several minutes before she started making garbled cries. I got to kiss her cheek and then she was whisked off to the NICU.


Quick, distract her with the baby while we sew her up

After 16 hours of intense labor at the highest levels of Pitocin allowed with no epidural for most of it, and an episiotomy with a tear off the side, Coralie Lulette was born at 2am on August 26th. She was 7lbs 15ozs and 20 inches long, with a 14.5 inch head. Other than some mucus in her lungs, she was perfect and completely worth it.


Newborn Lilu

I’m head over heels for this kid. :)