baby shower for ezra so

those of you who are connected to me on facebook have seen most of the photos already, but i did want to share the photos on the blogosphere as well so that i have a written account.

the baby shower was held last saturday, february 18th, at our home and was lovingly, and fantastically, organized by my good friend, genie. somehow, she found the time to create the decorations by hand (including a tissue paper leaf garland that she sewed together using a sewing machine) balancing both work and motherhood full-time. in addition, she also made the adorable onesies and t-shirts for the little guests as well as the wooden teething rings for the babies and moms-to-be. everything was so adorable and fit the woodland theme. my friend, katie, also made the cupcakes and grace brought a helium tank and balloons.

i’m really glad genie came over around 10:30am to start setting up because we needed the extra time even though the shower didn’t start until 3:30pm. penny was really clingy that day and showing a lot of “stranger danger” so i couldn’t do much to help in the beginning but take care of her while dennis started setting up and also getting ready to go pick up the food, drop off our dog at his parents’ house, and pick up a few last-minute items. katie, mike, and grace also all came over early to help.

it really touched me to see our friends travel from all over to help us celebrate another baby. initially i had planned on having two showers: one in ct and one in boston like i did with penny but i didn’t want to overdo it. friends reassured me that if people really want to come they will travel even if it’s far. and travel they did. i even had a friend who’s due the week after me travel all the way from new hampshire! i was also excited to see my mom, my sister, jen, and her boyfriend, brendan, especially since they were the only ones to attend the shower from my family.

i hope you enjoy seeing the photos from my shower. 🙂 my wish is for ezra to see this blog post someday and realize how much love and support he had gotten already from his family and friends though he had yet to make an appearance.

7 more weeks until we see you, baby boy!

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felt flowers sewn together hanging from a real branch along with “ezra”

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what i love about the decor is that we can reuse them in the nursery

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sweet cupcakes by katie

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birch tree twigs by genie

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i made the cheese spread the night before and grace set everything up!

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the whistle for willie book is there because it’s by ezra jack keats

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handmade teething rings and onesie

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cute signs and clothes to go along with the theme

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gifts for the little ones

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toddlers also got an egg shaker

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treats for the adults

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a curtain of greens and baby’s breath

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pic of the set-up crew 

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waiting for the guests to arrive

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my sister made a diaper motorcyle

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mama-to-be hanna and her husband, yuri

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sisters, elaine and alice, with their sons, jj and ethan

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jen and mom

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love the kingsley’s

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loving the attention from her grandmas who wore strangely matching outfits

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mom and brendan

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group game: match baby animal to the adult

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game for men: blow up a balloon, tie it, stuff it under shirt, and bend & snap!

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rob won (he’s snapping)

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always the goofball

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look at that belly!

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penny received a few gifts as well

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penny checking out her brother’s clothes while miss cali helps us open gifts

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we had such a wonderful time with our family and friends, but am glad the shower is over. it’s always a lot of work prepping for an event. but, much of the credit goes to genie since she spent so much time (and money) making the decor and creating sweet details.

thanks to everyone who was involved and to all those that came. we feel the love!

 

those busy toddler days

miss penny is 20 months old now – closer and closer to becoming a 2-year-old. every day, penny goes back and forth from being a fiercely independent toddler to a clingy one. most of the time she will want to do things on her own — placing different shapes in the correct cutouts, putting animals in a truck, etc. — and even knock our hands out of the way if we try to help. and then, out of nowhere, she will climb onto my lap or ask to be picked up. she’s been like a baby sloth lately – i’ll try to put her down and she’ll curl her legs right back up.

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i actually don’t mind the extra comfort that penny is seeking nowadays because i know i won’t be able to cuddle her as much when ezra arrives, but it’s getting more difficult to pick her up and carry her around as my belly continually expands. i wonder if it’s a phase she is going through or if she senses her baby brother – i’m thinking both. she doesn’t ask anyone else – not even her dad – to pick her up and hold her like she does to me. when dennis works the day shift, he does bath time. all he has to say is “bath time” or “bubbles” and penny will run into his arms. lately, she’s been twisting in his arms and extending her arms to me so i’ve been bringing her upstairs to give her a bath. even yesterday when grandma so tried to bring her upstairs, penny insisted i do it instead.

within the past month, penny has also had 6 teeth come in! she had 4 for the longest time and now she has all of her first molars (top and bottom) and two of the lateral incisors (one on top and one on bottom). they never really affected her sleep (lucky us) but probably had an effect on her daytime mood and eating habits.

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penny has been at the late end of the tooth eruption stage for all her teeth thus far

now we are just waiting for her canines, the rest of her lateral incisors, and later on, her second molars.

penny definitely acts clingy when i’m around; she doesn’t really look for me if i’m not there. last wednesday, grace and i went to new jersey for the day. i was a little worried that penny would look for me and get upset that i wasn’t there, but she was fine. dennis woke up in the morning to take care of her since i had to leave around 8am to get to grace’s house so we could carpool. dennis even made me an egg, cheese, and sausage breakfast sandwich to eat on the road! his mom came a few hours later to take over and penny was great, as usual, for the rest of the day as well.

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avocado toast at kuppi cafe

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i’d been to this cafe once before but i had no idea the owner and i had mutual friends. we ended up getting our orders on the house!

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lunch at mitsuwa

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nuna pipa car seat

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dream shade

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gam mi-ok before heading home

grace and i had a wonderful time in jersey. it felt so odd to be away from home for an entire day. i’m trying to think of the last time i did that and i really can’t remember. sure, i’ve been gone a few hours here and there recently but not a whole day. i just thought about penny the entire time (of course) and how much i missed her.

when we went shopping at garden state plaza mall, i vowed i’d buy something for myself because i rarely do these days. i ended up buying a lot of clothes from zara for penny (all on sale), a few items for dennis and jeggings for myself from uniqlo. grace and i also tried out strollers and car seats at nordstrom – uppababy vista for her and the nuna pipa car seat for me. i’ve been looking to replace the mesa car seat with a nuna pipa so i was glad i was able to try it out in person. the feature that i like the best is the dream drape – the extra sun shade extends to the baby’s feet. it also weighs about 7.7 lb: one of the lightest car seats out there. i’m still stuck on the color – the classic black is always nice especially since the infant insert is a cream color, but i am also partial to indigo.

my friend, grace, also had her mickey mouse-themed baby shower on the 15th. i made a banner for the shower and i’m really pleased with how it turned out. i made the mickey mouse cutouts and the letters without using any templates. the korean characters proved to be the hardest because i wanted the font to look authentic and the size had to fit inside the bunting.

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since the shower was at 3:30pm, i was able to bring penny. i’m glad i brought her so i can get her accustomed to attending more social gatherings since she tends to be shy; but also in a few months i’ll have to learn how to tote two (!) around so i should take advantage of only having to do one for now. it still did prove to be difficult because she wanted to be held for the first half hour (my arms were killing me) but she did eventually warm up and walked around and played with the other children.

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penny & ethan

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with the mommy-to-be

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i thought it was an actual cake

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i wish i had brought food from home though because she couldn’t really eat any of the food provided. she snacked on sun chips, a few crackers, pineapple and strawberries; refused cheese and, not surprisingly, the olives and roasted veggies. i thought she would, at least, eat a few bites of the creamy pasta but she didn’t. she wanted the salad – she likes lettuce even though it’s hard for her to eat it – but ended up munching on the raw onions! she also ended up eating a cupcake sans frosting and drinking juice from a juice box for the first time ever. when we got home, i made sure to feed her a little bit more before starting the bedtime routine.

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a highlight was that i won one of the games – something that i’ve never done at a baby or bridal shower, i believe. i got a starbucks gift card with a “year of the rooster” illustration on it – yay!

recently, a few mommy friends and i met up for a group play date. we were excited to visit imagine nation, a children’s museum in bristol, for the first time. i was wary of the distance though (a 40-minute drive) since the museum opens at 9:30am and penny and i would need to leave around 11am to come back home in time for lunch.

penny actually ended up doing really well on the car ride (credit goes to the forward-facing seat) so that wasn’t an issue. we all discovered when we arrived there that the museum is closed on mondays and tuesdays! one of the mommies suggested we go to the public library a half mile down the road and we all hoped they would have a decent children’s section. they do! in fact, they have one of the best children’s rooms in a library that i’ve ever seen: spacious, filled with toys and tablet stations (!), and a sensory board on a wall. it ended up working out because penny and i had gotten to the museum around 10 so we would’ve only had about an hour to play. (admission is $10/person.)

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penny enjoying strawberries while parker munches on veggie sticks

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penny and serina checking out the sensory board

dennis and i ended up bringing penny to imagine nation later on in the week. the exhibits are spread out and capacious but we felt that the museum geared towards older kids – at least, 4~5 years old and up. penny is still young enough where she wasn’t engrossed in many of the exhibits like the wellness center where you can pretend to be a dentist. personally, i liked the giant bubble and the art room. penny did paint for a short while in the art studio but even the tables and stools were made for older children. she liked the interactive floor, glow sticks (they have these at other kids’ museums), and the musical instruments the best. i was debating whether we should have penny’s birthday at kid city or imagine nation but we decided on kid city after our visit to imagine nation that day.

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air blowing up a balloon

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pushing the table so the marker can make lines

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interactive floor

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she liked the magnatiles and especially the color-changing table

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she likes playing with different musical instruments at home so she enjoyed herself

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squashing aliens

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not a fan of the sportscenter broadcasting station

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the water was too cold for her liking

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giant bubble maker

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check out the snake skin

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she just wanted to play with the markers

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painting buddies

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i made snowflakes as the duo painted

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it’s fascinating to see penny develop an interest in toys that she had not cared for in past months. now that she’s older, she likes to play with the pegs and peg board that i had gotten for her back when she was 16 months. when i had first introduced them to her, she only liked the place the pegs upside down and put them in cups. now she actually puts them on the board and also stacks them on top of each other.

one of our neighbors works for lego and she gave penny a minnie mouse duplo set this past summer. all penny liked to do was dump out the pieces and methodically put each one back in the box. she would point at the airplane and say “bi” (short for “bihenggi”, airplane in korean) but was still too young then to really build with them. our friends, katie and mike, gave penny a farm duplo set as a baptism gift and she plays with it all the time! she particularly likes the people that came with the set – calling the boy “dad” and the girl “grandma.”

penny still loves cars and trucks, and she has a bunch of them. we don’t really get her cars that are pink and “girly”  because we don’t want to pigeonhole her into the category where girls only like/have things that are pink and purple. penny has a good amount of pink clothes but so much more are gray and navy. personally, i like those colors better because they match with other items of clothing.

as a former teacher, i figure it’s never too early to introduce the alphabet. we read books about letters and numbers, but i also wanted penny to be able to play with magnet letters. after much research, i settled on a jug of roscoe learning magnetic letters. i wanted large, foam letters and these have magnets on the entire backside. plus, they have multiple letters for each one so you can actually spells words and make sentences. the softer colors were also appealing to me. i’m not sure if this company makes numbers but i hope they do.

we are continually encouraging penny to be aware of her body and her bowel movements. she has been telling us “응가” (eung-gah, kind of like a grunt in korean when kids poop) when she has to poop but will refuse to sit on the potty. the past few days we’ve caught her mid-poop so took off her diaper/pull-up and sat her on the potty. she resisted but i sang a song and the last bit made it into the potty. when dennis took care of penny in the morning yesterday he was able to have her go in the potty as well. it takes a lot of praise, patience, and encouragement.

hurray to finally updating another blog post. i started this last night but was able to finish it this morning because grandma so is over this morning to help out with penny. *thankful*

penny’s selfies

penny having fun with daddy’s 27-year-old cray pas crayons from korea!

busy, busy, busy!

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~ Walt Disney Co.

penny is so alert and curious these days. as she becomes more and more aware of the world, she just wants to be in the moment, exploring and experiencing… it’s hard for babies around this age to relax their minds before naps/bedtime hence the infamous 8~10 month sleep regression.

i believe we’ve slowly been going through it for the past two weeks. usually 1 out of 2 naps have been affected – 45 minutes or less. sometimes she wakes up happy and is chattering away whereas others she wakes up, crying because she’s tired. for the past two and a half months, penny’s awake time had been 2/3/4 but her awake time has slowly increased as she’s getting older. part of the reason her naps are all over the place is because she wants to be up and playing; she’s having difficulty putting her brain on pause. another reason is that we are still trying to figure out her awake time. sometimes she’s overtired and other times she’s undertired.

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playing with the mobile this morning. we have to lower the crib bottom!


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trying to stand on her own!

right now, for instance, she’s still on her first nap and it’s almost 11am! she woke up at 7am today (having slept 12 hours straight last night) and went down for her first nap around 10. it seems like her schedule is 3/3.5/4 now but we are still tweaking it because usually her first nap has been great while the second one suffers. it’s more important that the second one is longer for two reasons: 1) this is the nap babies keep when they transition down to one nap usually around 14~18 months, and 2) the awake time from the second nap to bedtime is the longest so they need to be well-rested for that.

well, yesterday, penny had a half-hour nap for the second one and she still stayed up for 4 hours before bedtime..without a meltdown, but perhaps we were lucky. she’s still been sleeping 11 hours straight every night, and last night she slept 12 hours, maybe, because of her short last nap. i’m hoping her night sleep doesn’t get interrupted, but it may once she really starts crawling and standing up. she’s been trying to do both (even in the bathtub!), and has been crawling forward a little. it’s not full-on crawling but she will go forward a few steps and fall back on her tummy, get back up, fall down, and repeat.

in order for penny to sleep well, we’ve been bringing her up to the nursery to wind down before her naps. about a half hour before we want her to sleep, we go upstairs to her room with her bottle. we have only table lamp on so it’s dim in the room and we also have the white noise on. we’ve also been using the boppy lounger (and a pillow) to give her her bottle so she can relax and play with toys while we feed her. she’s so easily distracted so we have to have a bunch of objects nearby for her to play with otherwise she’ll push the bottle out of her mouth. after she’s done with the bottle, we might read a few books, check her diaper and then put her in the sleep sack. then, she’ll take anywhere from 5~15 minutes to pass out. it’s a hit-or-miss lately but mostly because we’ve been trying to figure out a good time to put her down. (a few days ago she played for an hour in her crib before finally falling asleep!)

penny is also talking! her first word was 맘마, or mam-ma which means “food” in korean. she says this when she’s really hungry and impatient! she also says 엄마, or umma (mom) 아빠, or abba (dad)! when we say 도리도리 (do-ri, do-ri) she shakes her head back and forth. she also recently learned how to turn on the tv -_- we don’t let her watch tv but she plays with the remote sometimes so she’s figured it out. she will press the red button and look up at the tv to watch it turn on…

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penny trying to knock down the camera -_-

i guess we scored with penny’s first nap today because she’s still sleeping. i hate waking her up but i’m going to have to in 5 minutes to preserve her afternoon nap. hoping she gets two good naps in today. i’ll have to update later this afternoon.

3:23pm ~

penny finally went down for her afternoon nap. it took her 25 minutes because she kept fighting it and managed to knock over the camera again; i had to go in there to place it on the higher part of the crib. we’ll see what time she wakes up…

we had gotten back from a home goods outing with my mil and we met up with genie and olivia there. there are so many adorable things there that it’s incredibly difficult to hold back from buying out the whole store. both olivia and penny were chatting up a storm and snacking the entire time. 🙂

here’s a quick recap of some of the activities that the so family has been up to since the last post!

we had a play date with dana and avery two weeks ago. they also brought seollung-tang (설렁탕), or ox bone broth, from new jersey for lunch!

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penny & avery


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penny (9 months) & avery (14 months)

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avery chilling with yuri while the mommies eat

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we also had a play date with genie and olivia the next day! dennis stopped by after work to hang out and brought penny for bedtime routine while genie and i crafted.

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at least, 3 out of 4 are looking at the camera

notice the matching outfits? totally unplanned 😀

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olivia will be 11 months this week and probably walking before her first birthday, haha

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she really liked the piano!


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dinner time!


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winston (the dog) keeping us company


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creating artwork for alice & john’s upcoming baby shower

family swim day ~~

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love her expression here!

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getting ready to go home


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collage made on dennis’ phone


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she loves to “read” this book

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fun with bubbles!

this past sunday, i went to my friend abby’s baby shower. it’s always nice to get out of the house without a baby…

abby is expecting a girl on 4/19 – another gal pal for penny 🙂

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the favors included crocheted flower bookmarks handmade by abby’s mil’s sister

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bridget (standing) toasting her sister, abby (black tank)


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yes, the walking dead!


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great view

and finally, my outfit to the shower, hehe.. before i was pregnant with penny, i had a fashion blog on tumblr but now it’s all about penny on wordpress. i try to do fashion and lifestyle-related posts but they all take a backseat next to the baby. so, i’m trying to squeeze one in here.

about a month ago, i purchased a light gray coat from h&m but hadn’t had the chance to wear it yet due to the weather. this past weekend was in the 50s so i finally was able to wear it!

since i normally wear neutrals, i thought it’d be fun to add a splash of color with my lilac skinny jeans from j.crew. it’s march now so hopefully spring-like weather will keep occurring.

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update on penny’s nap: she woke up after a half hour, crying…. bahh.. she’s in the playroom with grandma so off i go to join them.

everything’s coming up baby

12 days to go!

So much has happened since my last post. Every day, I think about updating my blog but can never around to it due to work-related priorities and the ongoing tasks at home in being ready for the baby’s arrival. This morning, I did more of the baby’s laundry and added more items into my hospital bag.

Currently, I am 38 weeks and 2 days and this is my last week of work.

Although I’m looking forward to going on maternity leave, this is not going to be an easy last week. My excitement for the week ahead deflated significantly after I found out I still have to do my final observation for the year, assess my students and meet for an end-of-the-year evaluation. Instead of being able to leave at 3:45PM on Friday, I will be sitting in an office being told how I was as a first-year teacher. On top of that, I’m finally meeting the sub who will take over for me for the first time on Wednesday – 2 days before I leave! Then, I’ll have to leave two weeks’ worth of lesson plans for the sub.

I’m trying to focus on the light at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel but I can’t help being annoyed how everything has been left until my final week. But, I just need to grit my teeth and just get through it.

Moving on…

At my 32-week check-up, I was told my baby was measuring small so I had to have an ultrasound. When I returned for my 36-week check-up I was again told that Penny was on the smaller side so I had to have another ultrasound! Thankfully, again, everything looked normal. It was just difficult to get a good measurement of her belly because of her position (she’s getting ready to come out!) and she kept squirming away from the wand… she’s a stubborn one. This time her weight was estimated at about 6 lb. 2 oz. but the OB thinks it’s less than that… well, as long as she’s healthy that’s fine with me.

Baby girl at 36 weeks

Baby girl at 36 weeks

After the 36-week check-up are the weekly ones. I went to my 37-week one last Wednesday, April 22nd. As usual, she was very active during the check-up and she’s still on the smaller side but otherwise healthy. I keep being told she’s small but watch her weigh 7+ lbs. which is normal! For the FTM (first-time moms) or future moms, this information might be helpful; to others, possibly TMI but starting at the 36-37-week check-ups you get measured for dilation/effacement to see how far along you are. As of last week, I was not dilated but I was 50% effaced with the baby at -2 for station (how far the baby has come down into your pelvis).

Let me explain further: effacement means thinning of the cervix. Throughout most of the pregnancy, your cervix is 0% effaced but as you near labor, it starts thinning out. If you touch the tip of your nose, that’s what the cervix feels like normally and then it feels more like your lips when it is 100% effaced. The cervix has to be fully effaced to be ready for delivery. Of course, the cervix has to be dilated as well. This varies but most hospitals may not admit you until you are 4~5cm dilated and if you’re 10 (max), that means the baby is ready to come out.

my status as of last week

my status as of last week

Referring to the station, “0” is when the baby has settled and before its descent into the birth canal. Once the baby is in the positives, labor should begin shortly as baby is making its way out. Whew~ I’ve learned so many things during my pregnancy. I hope my explanations help future moms when they’re anxiously waiting. By the way, only 15% of pregnancies result in the woman’s water breaking… it’s really exaggerated in TV shows and movies. Usually, the doctor has to break it for you when you’re in the hospital so that’s not really a main indicator of labor.

I’ve experienced cramping the past two days which is an early sign of labor. Mind you, symptoms of labor can start days or even weeks in advance especially for FTM but they do indicate that labor is coming soon. I’m also currently experiencing nausea at the moment and am trying to chug water to offset it. Before a woman goes into labor, she can also experience looser stools or diarrhea which is your body’s way of cleaning out the system for the baby’s arrival. Throughout the entirety of my pregnancy, I suffered from constipation (a common symptom) but I’ve gone to the bathroom more regularly the past week so I guess my body is getting prepared!

Enough with the labor talk 🙂 I’ve gone through a lot of stressful moments the past few weeks but now I want to focus on a happy event that occurred recently.

Last Thursday, I was treated to a surprise baby shower from my colleagues – that’s my third shower! Dennis and I had already washed and folded the newborn and 0-3 months clothes but we received more from the latest shower. These are only the nb and 0-3 months’ sizes from the most recent shower and some hand-me-downs from a friend:

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I can only imagine what the laundry will be like once the baby is here… Especially since she’ll grow rapidly and we will need to wash bigger sizes. Thankfully, we received sizes that range from premie to 12 months from all three showers so we have a good variety.

Unfortunately, I need to start typing up my pre-observation form for my 8AM meeting tomorrow. I’ll conclude by sharing images from my final shower. (Note: I still need to write a post on my second shower that was held in Boston.)

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It was nice to see friends from all three schools I’ve worked at

Handmade alphabet chart

Handmade alphabet chart

I kept the booties to record baby stats on its soles

I kept the booties to record baby stats on its soles

So much love

So much love

Some of the many cute outfits!

Some of the many cute outfits!

Clothesline of essentials

Clothesline of essentials

Can't forget the food

Can’t forget the food

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ct baby shower

baby P is currently 4.4 lb. which puts her in the 36th percentile – a little smaller than average but she’s healthy. My 32-week check-up was two days ago and I was told to come back today for an ultrasound because she seemed small. That was two long days filled with unease for me… thrilled and relieved about the good news.

All her other measurements such as her torso and leg were above average though so maybe she has a calling to be a model..? ha~

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it was tough getting a good picture of her because she kept moving and the placenta was just above her head

it has been a month since my last post. every day i thought of posting an update but i couldn’t bring myself to do it because of exhaustion from carrying a growing baby around on top of being on my feet all day with kindergarteners. all i ever want to do is just curl up on the couch, snack, and zone out while watching tv. it’s.so.hard to get myself out of bed in the morning especially since it’s dark when i wake up now due to daylight savings.

report card conferences are also next week so i’ve been scrambling to get work done and be prepared for that. just one thing after another… ok, enough ranting… i really wanted to share the lovely details from my ct baby shower that was held at my house on march 7th.

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i hadn’t pampered myself since… well, since my pre-pregnancy days. i wanted to feel good and look nice for photos so i got eyelash extensions and airbrush makeup for the shower. ladies, remember to treat yourself once in a while…

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group photo 🙂 missing is my friend, lauren, who had to leave early to check out a wedding venue

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it’s a tradition to do a “funny face photo” when i participate in group photos

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super cute easel that dennis purchased from ikea – only $15! the other side is a dry-erase board

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genie, liz, me, and mouy

this adorable shower would not have been possible without much assistance from my dear friends. btw, genie (on left) is 38 weeks along and mouy (on right) is 21 weeks 🙂

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dennis and me

and, of course… my amazing husband was so hands-on with the details and delegating tasks. he had food catered from black eyed sally’s in hartford which was mouthwateringly delicious – i am pretty certain everyone went back for second and third helpings. he also organized the rentals and purchased necessities like sparkling juice, wine, and tablecloths being a few.

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the set-up

i purchased scrapbooking paper from michaels and used those as placemats – a great idea that i got from pinterest.

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this cake might have been the star of the show. mouy’s friend bakes on the side and she whipped up this gorgeous cake. not only did it look wonderful, but it tasted fantastic as well. i saved the adorable fondant shoes.. they were too cute to eat.

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genie baked the cupcakes among other treats. the pink buttercream frosting is homemade and tasted like it came from a high-end cupcake shop. i thought peeps would be a cute touch.

all the little details were made by genie including the pink paper flower next to the cupcake stand and the paper fans next to the cake.

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phenomenal cake pops made by the cake baker as well… everything was perfect

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it’s all in the details. the first three onesies (l to r) are from my sister and the elephant dress is from liz – a souvenir from her trip to thailand.

i found these cute blocks on etsy (what don’t they have?) and had it custom made for my baby girl. the ones that say ’31 weeks’ will last a long time because wording can change from weeks, days, months, and years. they’ll be used in back-to-school and birthday photos for years to come.

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a fun activity for guests to partake in is the headband-making station. headband kits can be purchased online. make sure you provide directions and glue guns for guests. tags are also helpful so parents know the size of the headband and who made it. there were materials left over and i also purchased another kit for my boston shower this weekend.

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another great activity for guests to do is guess which date your baby will be born ~ my friend, liz, made the calendar and i’m also going to use the same one at my boston shower but guests will use a pink inkpad.

IMG_8481if you want, you can also award a prize to the person with the closest date. of course, you need to follow up on that and send it out after your baby is born 😉

IMG_8555last, but not least, custom made wish cards for penelope. after the guests leave and everything is cleaned up, it’s heartwarming to read these while relaxing on the couch which is exactly what i did. they’re wonderful keepsakes that i will put in a scrapbook and i can’t wait for penelope to be able to read them.

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always nice to see different groups of friends mingling and having a great time 🙂

IMG_8497my friend’s daughter, charlotte, enjoyed playing with gift wrap and tissue paper.

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a lamb rocker from pottery barn kids. you can choose to personalize these but i want penny’s future siblings to use them too

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with my mother-in-law and husband

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expecting ladies! from l to r: 21 weeks, 22 weeks, 33 weeks, and 38 weeks.

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this gorgeous two-tone dress is from asos’ maternity line. i purchased it online without trying it on but it fit like a glove.. the sleeves are a little long and loose but i love the dress! the thick material kept me warm as well. i love the two-tone look because it gives the illusion of a slimmer silhouette. at first glance, i thought it was see-through on the sides.

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can’t get enough of the cake ❤

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i had such a lovely time.. thanks to my husband and friends for organizing it, and i am very grateful for everyone that attended or sent gifts our way even though they couldn’t make it. looking forward to the boston shower this saturday!

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i hope everyone had a lovely weekend. today is my last day of a 4-day weekend. normally, i would’ve had a week-long february break but it was shortened to two days due to our district having 9 snow days last year. i’m pretty bummed to be returning to work tomorrow but  at least it’s three more days until the weekend again.

valentine’s day was very low-key for us this year. first of all, we got hit with another snowstorm albeit a much minor one compared to the ones we’ve had but still not ideal to be out driving. dennis had to work this past weekend anyway and we just wanted to hunker down at home where it’s warm and comfortable. we told each other we wouldn’t give each other presents so we can save money for the baby, but dennis surprised me with a beautiful bouquet and a much-coveted patriots pom hat.

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i’ve been trying to purchase this hat since december but it was out of stock everywhere. (unless you count the exorbitant marked-up prices on ebay.)

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close-up of the bouquet. i love how the roses are placed in the center of the hydrangeas.

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with two baby showers coming up in march (ct and boston), i’ve been preoccupied assisting with details especially since one of my friends organizing the ct one is 33 weeks pregnant. we hung out on sunday to make tissue paper garlands and flowers. both looked easy enough on pinterest but we found out just how time-consuming the projects are, particularly the garlands. i was cutting each tissue paper by hand and painstakingly rolling them to make the garland.

i ended up purchasing a garland cutter from michaels so i could slice 4 tissue papers at once. using the device is a little tricky at first because tissue paper is so delicate and rips easily. the directions recommend not using less than 4 sheets of tissue paper and also putting a piece of copy paper on top to help prevent the papers from snagging on the blades. i also stood up to apply even pressure when moving the blades and instead of slicing them in one go, i made little cutting movements to prevent tearing. they were okay for the most part but some did tear in places.

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the adorable gray-and-white dewey decimal organizing drawers are from land of nod. i love that store – they have a lot of cute toys and accessories for babies, children and even adults. i plan on using the drawers to store things like diaper rash cream, q-tips and other things for the nursery.

here are the directions

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lastly, these two are great finds from homegoods. we can’t wait to hang these up above the changing table in penelope’s nursery. they go with our color theme and fit our vision for a modern-elegant nursery. the one on the left is a canvas and the chandelier one is a mirror.

dream big, sweet pea.

oh, baby

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every sunday evening, i lament over the weekend’s last hours. not only because of work the following day but because i always manage to leave planning my upcoming week’s lessons until sunday night. tomorrow’s looking like another snow day so I hope to use that extra day to finish whatever i don’t tonight… bah

yesterday, dennis and i drove up to massachusetts for the day. we visited my grandmother who recently had hip surgery at almost 94 years old (!) and is currently in rehab to get back on her feet. we were so happy to see one another and grandma also prayed for penelope while remarking on the bump’s growth. it was also cute to see that she had ultrasound pictures of penny next to her bed. after the visit, we met up with our friends, kiel and jen, to have dinner and made the 2-hour trip back home.

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i placed my hand for scale

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this morning, i ate doughnuts and coffee in bed while editing my baby registry. the doughnuts pictured above are two of ten that i bought yesterday in boston. besides the mini doughnuts, they are fairly large in size so i cut them in half for consumption. i was really excited because blackbird doughnuts only opened about five weeks ago (i found them through instagram) and they looked delicious. although they do look mouthwatering, i was disappointed by the taste. the old-fashioned cocoa doughnut (top right) was greasy because the cake absorbed a lot of the oil; it was hard to appreciate the chocolate flavor. for the other two that i tried this morning, the flour-y taste of the doughnuts masked the flavors that i wanted to experience such as pomegranate. at $3 a pop, they were not worth it in my opinion. i have yet to try the other doughnuts so we’ll see how those pan out. i think Neil’s Donuts in Wallingford, CT are the best I’ve tried… now I’m thinking about their raspberry crullers…

maintaining the baby registry is something dennis and i work on every day. thanks to a great book recommendation by a few friends, we refer to baby bargains to find the top-rated baby essentials are the best bang for the buck. the book discusses everything from strollers to diaper brands. after talking to many baby mamas and reading baby books, we decided to purchase only glass bottles. plastic bottles are (supposedly) bpa-free nowadays but we don’t want to take a chance on that. we also heard really great feedback on dr. brown’s natural flow glass bottles so we included those on the registry as well as avent glass bottles – both are top-rated according to baby bargains. babies also have a preference for bottles so don’t stock up on too many of one brand.

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future parents: instead of registering at only one or two stores, why not use baby list registry? dennis and i i liked products from many different stores and found it difficult to narrow down the choices to one or two stores. i discovered the registry (and free app) babylist. this online registry allows you to link products directly from other stores so you don’t have to be forced to choose only a few. at the moment, dennis and i have products from 12 stores including j.crew baby, land of nod, amazon, and diapers.com. plus, babylist also sends you free cards to include in the baby shower invitations.

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here is what the registry looks like when browsing from your computer or phone.

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i included the message reminding people to ‘reserve’ their items to help prevent multiples. unlike other registries where the item automatically is changed to ‘fulfilled’ when purchased, babylist only provides links so you have to manually ‘reserve’ the item to indicate to others that you’ve chosen to purchase it.

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the last tab ‘reserved’ shows items that guests have decided to purchase so others won’t purchase them.

guests click on an item of interest to fill out name and email to reserve.
guests click on an item of interest and fill out name and email to reserve.

screenshot of my phone to show the app:

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here are also other books that i have read, and are still reading, to help me prepare for the pregnancy. dennis’s personal favorite is baby owner’s manual.

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Honestly, i have yet to read ina may’s guide to childbirth. it received rave reviews but after flipping through the pages, it doesn’t seem much of an interesting read… and it’s very verbose. i might have to give it another try…

my friend, dana, is a mom to a 2-month-old girl, avery, and she gave me the books what to expect when you’re expecting and the girlfriend’s guide to pregnancy. the what to expect book is a classic must-have that provides symptoms and the baby’s weekly progress; it’s incredibly helpful. i also downloaded the free app to watch videos on what the baby looks like every week. for the other book, the author shares her and her friends’ accounts of funny events and helpful tips from their experiences.

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baby owner’s manual reads like an instruction booklet for a car or a toy (i.e very user-friendly especially for men). it has cute pictures and diagrams to accompany the text as well.

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i hope my post was helpful in preparing for your registry. future parents: keep babylist registry in mind!