42 Months

It has been a milestone month for everyone! Yaya spent her first month as Kak Yaya (big sister Yaya), and we all had to adjust to having Rafe in our lives. And now the girl is officially three and a half years old! Halfway to four! Craziness right?

[[image:2012_yaya_42months_01.jpg:Our beautiful Yaya:center:0]]

Note: Mouse over the pictures for additional captions.

It has certainly been an eventful month leading up to Yaya’s half birthday. The big thing is of course Rafe’s birth and how that has changed all of our lives. Yaya has been awesome – rolling with the punches and still managing to make the best of everything and having fun. She enjoyed the attention of her cousins and of course Becky while they were here, and now she enjoys playing the role of big sister and interacting with her new little brother:

[[image:2012_yaya_42months_02.jpg:Yaya and Adik ride the Papa express!:center:0]]

[[image:2012_yaya_42months_05.jpg:Yaya and Adik in their matching striped jammies with Papa on the sofa:center:0]]

[[image:2012_yaya_42months_06.jpg:Yaya gets to hold Adik all by herself:center:0]]

There are times when Yaya demands more attention or acts up because she feels like Adik is getting unwarranted attention (and diverting it away from herself), but we are working through these issues. When she acts up it tends to be to get rowdy and loud, or to pretend to be a baby to get more attention, like imitating his cries or sitting in his car seat:

[[image:2012_yaya_42months_08.jpg:Baby Kit-kat Yaya dwarfing the car seat:center:0]]

But for the most part, Yaya has been an awesome big sister. She helps to get diapers, wipes, and clothes for her brother when we are changing him. She helps to give him sponge baths and to dry him. She also likes to look at pictures of herself as a baby, so we have been reviewing the blog and telling her stories of her own babyhood so she realizes that she also did what her Adik is currently doing, and she did it first. For example, if Rafe is in the bassinet, and she’s seen pictures of herself in the bassinet, she says, when she was a baby she laid in the bassinet too! And so on and so forth. She is always hugging and kissing that poor boy. Hopefully she will outgrow this phase before Rafe gets to the “ewwww girls have cooties” phase, although on second thought, it might really be funny to watch him fend off her overly loving attentions when he is at that phase! When she does start to get out of control, she seems to respond to getting attention – we try to make it positive attention – and she can be diverted to helping us rather than spiraling out of control. The exception is of course when she is over-tired, in which case we just separate the two and take one of them upstairs until everyone is calm again. This includes us parents as well. ūüėČ

The trick is to keep her busy and engaged. We are lining up activities for her: swimming at the Y, possibly a spring soccer league, story time at the local public libraries, etc. For the most part, Vin will be the one taking Yaya to these activities while Rafe and I carry on at home, until he is a little bigger and more independent and able to be separated from his “milk bed” (which is what Yaya says I am for Rafe). Ha!

Food status: no change. Still a toastivore. She has an order of eating foods during the day: First Banana. Second Toast. Third Mango. Fourth Toast again. (Toasts being lunch and dinner). She does occasionally divert from this order, but for some strange reason she cannot eat mangos at night. If it is dark she refuses mangos. Weird, right? Oh my child! Even when she was hanging out with Gabby and Grace, she refused to eat what they ate (which is to say normal food), but she claims that she will eat these foods when she is big enough. She’s just not big enough yet apparently. She is now feeding herself toast with a fork, rather than forcing us to feed her every meal. Yay to growing up!! We have also made the switch (due to Becky’s influence) to organic milk so Yaya chugs at the organic milk all the live-long day! That girl can really put away that milk. She’s so funny – she claims that the food and drink go into her leg after she swallows it. Even though I have explained that first it goes in the tummy where the food is digested and gives her whole body energy!

Potty training status: no change! She has not regressed to diapers (a concern due to Adik’s arrival). She still wears a diaper for bedtime (but not naptime), but more often than not the diaper is dry in the morning. So, alhamdulillah, Adik’s birth has so far (knock wood) not caused Yaya to regress in her potty training.

Nap status: Bedtime has been much later since Adik’s birth – 10:30-11:00 (eeek!) but we are all still trying to get into a rhythm. Rafe still has a feeding schedule to maintain his weight, so we try to work everything around that. Admittedly, it can be hard. Luckily Yaya tends to sleep the same number of hours at night – so if she’s up till 11:00 she doesn’t get up in the morning until after 9 AM. In other words, she still gets her 10.5 hours at night. Which means that she does still need her 1-2 hour afternoon nap daily and she does take one still. She has really taken to having Vin do bedtime with her instead of me, with no complaints. What a trooper! I find that I do miss our time together – bedtime was our thing! – but until I can pick her up again, and Rafe isn’t quite so attached to me, I can’t manage it yet. For one thing, there’s no way I can pick her up to put her in the crib without my stitches being affected at this point. I’m healing, but concessions must still be made until the doctor gives me the all clear.

Luckily too, Yaya has been sleeping through any night-time crying on Rafe’s part. Whew! So far we can all still sleep in one bedroom, but we are almost ready to move Yaya to her room (she now calls it her room instead of the green room). We will get there eventually. We just don’t want her to think that she has to move out because of Rafe. We want her to sleep in her own bed because she is already as long as her crib! ūüôā Wish us luck getting there!

Yaya is very into her iPod and iPad educational “games”. I must say I am surprised that I like many of these apps and have paid money to download some of them. Yaya is so good at jigsaw puzzles now, tackling some hard ones on the iPad that I think even older kids might have trouble with. She is also doing shapes puzzles (and even learning Mandarin through it), word puzzles, number puzzles (basic arithmetic) and spelling. She even read the title of a book I was reading earlier this month (Flower Net by Lisa See). She also has Spanish apps and flashcards in Malay, although I really wish there were more and better apps for Bahasa Malaysia. Can anyone recommend a good one for BM? I just can’t seem to find any really worth while ones at the App Store. Bah, humbug! She does ask for help when she needs it though:

[[image:2012_yaya_42months_03.jpg:Lily helps Yaya with her jigsaw puzzle:center:0]]

On the whole, I think she is not just surviving but thriving as a big sister. Yaya is always eloquent, always seeing the positive side of things, always making us laugh. This is an exciting new chapter of her life, and she has closed the book on being an only child rather well. It is now Vin’s and my responsibility to ensure that she continues down this good path and keeps on being a good girl and a good big sister. I may be a little post-partum, and cry when I feel she is being given the short shrift due to the fact that Vin’s and my attention is no longer entirely on her, but it will be good for her in the long run. She shares all her toys with Adik, and keeps giving him Kiki the Koala to hold (“Kiki is Adik’s favorite stuffed animal” she declared). We have to keep an eye on her to make sure that Adik isn’t going to be eating toast or whole milk before he’s old enough ;-). We don’t want to curb her sharing and caring urges, so we are trying to balance it out with what is appropriate for Rafe at this point in his young life.

Here are a couple more pictures that I loved that were taken this past month:

[[image:2012_yaya_42months_07.jpg:Yaya and me baking a chocolate cake:center:0]]

[[image:2012_yaya_42months_09.jpg:Look at those eyes!:center:0]]

Happy birthday baby girl! You are the best little girl ever! We love you, our firstborn child!

Y’all come back and see how she’s doing next month, ok? ūüôā

[[image:2012_yaya_42months_04.jpg:Cheeky grin for the road:center:0]]

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