Wednesday, August 22, 2007

tickle, tickle

Rowena, Rosi and Charlize engaged in a 'relaxed' tickle fight.

I think Charlize misses her sister she is always chasing after girls that are about her age here in Korea.



Earlier this week we went to our first park as a family. It was great! Charlize hardly spent any time with us though. She was always too busy observing the Korean people, sitting on their mats and getting plenty of attention showered on her. I was exhausted afterward as I was the primary chaser considering that Rosi is due in about 4 weeks.

Charlize looking at a Korean woman

In the above picture you can see Charlize looking at some Korean women in the park. Just a little later on I was roaring with laughter because she was obviously a little disturbed by the unprecedented lack of attention she was getting from her audience and so she picked up a rock and put it on the Korean woman's white pants. Almost immediately the woman jumped up and brushed the dirt and rock from her pants. Then she and her friends started making clucking sounds at Charlize -- everybody loves to coo and cluck at her.

I'm pretty amazed at Charlize's capacity to reason. Yesterday I saw her dig an old key out of a loose change container and then she wandered over to the bedroom door and tried to fit the key into the key hole. I was surprised because she doesn't come into contact with keys very often -- our apartment has a keyless entry and Rosi almost never locked the apartment in Kalibo.

These days Charlize is always crying "papa, papa" whenever she notices that I've disappeared. Today she popped out of the door (it's propped open because of the oppressive heat) and headed straight for the stairs, she got to the fourth step (going up) and then realized I wasn't behind her like I usually am. Then she cried "papa, papa" and wailed a bit until papa came a running. She's enjoying visiting the neighbours here in Korea even though it isn't the same as it was in the Philippines. I'm quite surprised and happy to find that my apartment building is full of very friendly people, of course I never knew about this because I was too busy sleeping I guess. Now I don't sleep much.

We finally ran out of that crappy, too sweet formula called Lactum from the Philippines and Charlize adjusted to a much more milk-like flavour in a new formula that we found here in Korea. Now I've decided that it's best just to use plain old milk (because of advice from mom and at least two internet sites). Rosi's a bit pissed as most Filipinos seem to feed formula to their babies until at least 2-years-old. I explained to her that this is probably because fresh milk is hard to find and difficult to store in most Filipino homes.

Things are going to get rough when the new baby comes. We've been having plenty of fights over what to feed Charlize already, I expect more fights about the new one too. Our first major fight here was over the amount of formula we were giving Charlize. She had started coughing and was vomiting every day immediately after drinking a bottle of formula. One day she must have thrown up FIVE times! I was horrified and figured it must be the valve at the top of her stomach being overpowered by the combination of coughing and having a full stomach. So, I decided that she shouldn't drink more than 50 ml at one time. Rosi was furious and was complaining that I wanted to starve Charlize or something equally hysterical. But I held firm, even though I had to hide the formula a couple of times and tear a full bottle or two out of Charlize's mouth.

sitting with some strangers

She hasn't thrown up once in about 4 days. That must be the longest stretch so far. She's eating solids now of course. Most babies start eating a bit before they are one but I don't think anything more than a cracker has gone into her gullet before. I've been chopping up tiny dried anchovies and dried blueberries and feeding her one grain of brown rice at a time until today she started using a baby spoon which of course she insisted wielding on her own. She will also readily eat bread and enjoyed about 2 spoons full of an instant cream of vegetable soup. She has a moderate liking for a mixture of kumera (sweet potato) and pumpkin which I just realized I should thin out with some stock to make a more agreeable texture. Surprisingly she seemed to enjoy one of Rosi's Filipino stews which is basically just a bunch of bones with some tatters of meat on them with a couple of veggies and too much salt.

Unlike Rosi Charlize loves brown rice. The fat little grains are perfect for her and that is her current staple. Second in line for her tastebuds is the tiny dried anchovies which I chop up so that her disinterest in chewing doesn't make her gag. Finally the dried blueberries which I cut into eighths are the third most likely thing she will accept at the drop of a hat. She has started drinking fresh milk tonight without complaint

It's a bit early to say but she seems to be sleeping more deeply -- perhaps it is one of those natural compounds in milk that makes one drowsy? I think I'll give her some spinach to try for breakfast tomorrow . . .

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