penny’s 3rd birthday

I promised myself I wouldn’t go all out for penny’s 3rd birthday, especially since I had spent so much time, energy, and money on Ezra’s 1st birthday. but, it just isn’t me to not find an excuse to stay up late party planning and making decorations.

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penny doesn’t really love anything else as much as minnie mouse; but since she had already used that theme for her 2nd birthday party, I didn’t want her to reuse it. I settled on the unicorn theme which is really whimsical and quite popular.

to make the backdrop, I purchased a package of diy paper flowers from Michaels. this particular brand is recollections, and I had read bad reviews – difficult to follow illustrations, no written directions, requires a lot of tape/adhesive – but as they were the only kind Michaels sold, I purchased them anyway. they ended up being 60% off (regular price $19.99 for four flowers) maybe because they’re being discontinued? I couldn’t find any other diy paper flowers at Michaels – online or in store.

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the flowers were… time-consuming. I thought I would be able to whip them up but I spent quite a bit of time staring at the illustrations to make sure I had the correct size petals and that I was assembling them properly. in the end, I winged it because I really couldn’t figure out some of the steps! (recently, I also began rewatching random episodes of one of my all-time favorite shows, the office, so that’s a huge reason why I took so long in getting things done!)

I purchased green, black, lavender, and gold glitter card stock to make the leaves, eyelashes, ears, and horn respectively. I just traced them freehand and cut them out. I used a thick gold calligraphy pen to draw in the leaves’ veins to make them look more realistic. for the unicorn’s ears, I had white card stock at home that I used for the inner part of the ears.

the party room’s walls are bright shades of highlighter orange and lime green so I bought two plastic white tablecloths for a white backdrop. unfortunately, the tablecloths weren’t thick enough to hide the colors and designs underneath but, at least, most of it was covered. (I had looked up the party rooms online in advance to see how they looked.)

the party favors were diy unicorn horns made of funmallows (mini flavored marshmallows). I purchased the styrofoam cups and 5 bags of funmallows from target. (I only ended up using 3 bags for 21 unicorn horns.) the cone shaped plastic bags were purchased from Michaels.

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I also purchased the unicorn tablecloth, straws, and napkins from target. good ol’ target – I also found penny’s unicorn t-shirt in the girl’s section (size xs). the unicorn headband along with the unicorn cake topper were purchased as a set from amazon. the pink tutu was a gift and the polka dot pants are from carter’s.

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for those of you that know penny, she LOVES to jump so having her birthday party at jump off trampoline park was a no-brainer. lunch was included in the cost – pizza and pink lemonade – however, I wanted the kids to have other options in case they didn’t want pizza or wanted snacks. the trampoline park has a strict policy regarding outside food besides cake and cupcakes, but an employee informed me that if snacks are included in the goody bags, they can’t say anything. perfect! my husband assembled separate goody bags – this time, in gold and white paper bags – with an applesauce pouch, goldfish crackers, and a sticker packet in each one. thank goodness because penny barely ate the pizza (like we knew she wouldn’t. she only had a few bites of the crust.)

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the unicorn cutouts are from Michaels

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the cakes were almost a disaster. I had one cake ordered from big y, a small New England  supermarket chain, because I didn’t want to spend almost $100 on a fancy cake like I did for penny’s second birthday and for Ezra’s first birthday. well, supermarket bakeries have their limitations as we know. I just asked for a simple, 10-inch white cake with lavender, teal, and pink flowers cascading down the back for the unicorn-themed party. the cake wasn’t tall enough in my mind for the unicorn decorations. plus, it was my fault in asking for “happy birthday, Penelope” to be written on the cake. the baker didn’t know where to write that since I had told them I was going to use a cake topper; so it was written on the side where I needed to put on the eyelashes.

after Dennis told them we weren’t pleased with the cake, we just got a smaller (and taller) one from the display and the baker quickly piped on the flowers. the manager told Dennis they normally wouldn’t accept our request because it’s too detailed for them. we ended up getting the other cake for free. it was actually great that we had two cakes because we needed both to feed 18 children and some of the adults!

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although I stayed up until 5am (and laid wide-awake in bed for an hour and a half) finishing up the party decorations, I had a really wonderful time making them. I don’t know if it’s because I was watching the office but I wasn’t feeling stressed or anxious. Dennis did wake up around 4am wondering why I was still up. he ended up coming downstairs to help me finish the details. ❤ Dennis and my mil also were kind enough to watch the kids while I took a nap on the couch for 2.5 hours later that evening.

I received a lot of kind words from the guests that day regarding the decorations and the party itself. the kids really enjoyed jumping on the trampolines and eating cake together. many of the parents thanked me afterwards for inviting them and we all remarked how the kids would have a great nap when they got home. (they did.)

the party’s over and done with, and I’m glad. but I did enjoy putting it together for penny. I hope she remembers how much fun she had that day.

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100 days of ezra

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i recall planning for penny’s 100th day celebration two years ago, and now ezra is already 100 days old. it really has been an adventure so far raising two little ones. i’ve said it before but ezra is so much easier than penny right now. the ‘terrible twos’ are no joke. i had heard horror stories about it but you know nothing until you go through it with your child! the meltdowns are monumental: they make me want to run away and hide. when penny starts throwing a fit, dennis and i will glance at each other with wide eyes.

although penny is very good with languages and has excellent speaking skills she is still learning how to express herself. she doesn’t understand that she can’t always get what she wants especially at that exact moment. toddlers also go through a power struggle with their parents, and i feel like penny tests us a lot because she’ll do something and then quickly look at us for a reaction.

my patience has been very thin for a while since i’m sleeping maybe 4-5 hours at night. it’s my choice though. dennis usually goes to bed around 10 but i stay up until midnight or even 1am sometimes because i’ve been crafting for ezra’s 100th day party. not only that, i just really enjoy my alone time… but it’s taking a toll on my mood the next day. every day i tell myself i’ll go to bed sooner but i don’t. just yesterday i told myself i’ll start sleeping earlier once ezra’s party is over but i don’t know if i actually will. i always find something to do that keeps me up. (and yet, it’s still difficult to find time and energy to update my blog.)

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penny testing our her custom disney umbrella that katie bought for her from disney world

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we started potty training penny again, and it hasn’t been easy. she’s well aware that she has to go but she will hold it because she doesn’t want to sit on the potty. she will tell us she has to go but then will refuse to sit down. two days ago, she finally pooped on the potty. she was about to go in her underwear and i caught her just in time. yesterday she said she had to go pee after bathtime but kept holding it. finally just before bed, she sat down on the potty while i played ‘elmo potty’ songs on youtube and she went!! it’s a slow process so i’m trying to be encouraging and patient with that. it’ll be wonderful to only have one child in diapers.

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getting fresh air after a rainstorm

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it rained so much in so little time that some areas were flooded

7.15 will’s 2nd birthday

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bounce

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the birthday boy

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it has been one humid and wet summer here in new england. if it isn’t raining, it’s been muggy which has limited our outside time. right now we are in the midst of a heat wave. yesterday we took the kids to crystal lake and penny had a blast swimming in the water. we had first taken her there last summer when she was just beginning to walk. i was a bit worried about ezra because his afternoon naps had been so short but he enjoyed himself too. we sat in the shade and the cool breeze calmed him down. i dipped his feet in the water but he didn’t like that too much; it was probably not warm enough for him.

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it’s that magical time where both kids are snoozing. i’m going to sign off here and hopefully i can lie down (even if i can’t fall asleep) for 15 minutes before ezra wakes up.

valentine’s arts & crafts

with valentine’s day two days away, it’s not too late to make cute gifts handmade by your toddler. i selected 4 different projects and started doing them in mid-january so i could 1) spread them out, and 2) have ample time to get each one completed.

the first project penny and i created were tie-dye paper hearts.

materials needed

  • card stock (preferably, white)
  • scissors
  • food coloring (at least 3 different colors)
  • white vinegar
  • baking soda
  • spoon
  • dropper
  • small bowls
  • newspapers or big piece of cardboard
  • paper plates, baking pan or plastic take-out containers

*note: i got all of the materials prepped beforehand so penny wouldn’t make too much of a mess with the food coloring

first, i poured a small amount of vinegar into clean yogurt bowls and i added a few drops of different colored food coloring to each container. then i folded card stock in half and cut out hearts in various sizes (i cut out 4 total). next, i laid out a big piece of cardboard to protect the kitchen floor. finally, i set down all of the materials in front of penny and demonstrated what to do. she was really eager to try and learned how to use a dropper.

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first, you generously sprinkle baking soda onto the heart.

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then, using a dropper you squeeze food coloring and vinegar all over the heart.

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make sure to cover the entire heart.

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she liked seeing the baking soda and vinegar mixture bubble

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she kept playing with the ingredients even after the project was done.

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when the hearts are dry, scrape off the excess baking soda into a trash can and the color will be even brighter.

the second project that we did were the “love” canvases. having another adult is preferred for this project because of the paint.

materials needed

  • canvases (different sizes if preferred)
  • washi tape
  • pencil and eraser
  • washable paint
  • paper plate
  • brushes in various sizes
  • big piece of cardboard or newspapers

any project that requires paint, we do just before bathtime so we can scoop penny up and place her in the tub. this also requires prep work. i wrote the letters l-o-v-e using a pencil and no stencil though you could! then i used washi tape to cover only the letters: this is so when penny paints the canvas, the letters remain untouched until you peel the tape off afterwards.

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*note – washi tape works better than blue tape used for painting rooms (surprisingly) but it may have been because the blue tape we had was less sticky to prevent drywall from coming off.

we also found that using less colors made the artwork look prettier since when paint is smeared around, the colors turn brownish. for the second canvas, i opted only to use red, pink, purple, and white. for the last one, i also added a sky blue color.

you may find that there is a lot of negative space left. we had to keep turning the canvas so penny would evenly distribute the paint. there’s no need to cover the entire canvas but make sure the letters can be seen when the tape is peeled off. in addition, penny was rather shy about painting even though she gets excited for it. she was mostly fixated on squishing the paint between her fingers and saying, “지지” (which means “dirty”) so we had to reassure it was okay to be messy.

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less colors the second and third time around

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the third project we did was the valentine’s photo magnets we purchased from oriental trading. i get a catalog from this company though i had never purchased from them before – it was probably from my teaching days. i flipped through the february issue and saw a few arts & crafts projects including the photo magnets. i settled on this one because it was the easiest for a young toddler to do and is a nice keepsake. a package of 12 magnets was $7.99 but shipping was almost the same!

i think the hardest part was choosing different photos for each magnet. i chose family members and penny’s friends for a total of 12 magnets (of course, we made one for our family too). for penny’s friends, i made sure to select pictures that included penny and her playmate. the cutout for the photo was also small so for some magnets, i had to make the hole bigger and/or cut out the images from photos to make a collage. you’ll see what i mean when you see the photos below.

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she loves stickers!

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10/12 magnets

finally, the last project we did was stamping hearts using a toilet paper roll.

materials needed

  • toilet paper roll
  • paper
  • scotch tape
  • washable paint
  • newspapers or big piece of cardboard
  • brushes and sponges

while holding the toilet paper roll. you make a crease across the top by gently folding it. then, pinch the bottom of the roll so it makes the point of the heart.maintain the heart shape by taping the two rounded tops of the heart together. then you pour paint onto a plate, dip the stamp onto it, and you have a heart stamper!

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knowing toddler’s attention spans, you will find this is a quick activity which is why i also included brushes and sponges to keep penny preoccupied for a little while longer. again, she enjoyed touching the paint more than anything.

i hope you enjoyed reading this post and have fun making a mess creating beautiful artwork with your little ones!

happy valentine’s day ❤

let go, and let God

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d-18 until penny’s party! i think it’s safe to say that the majority of 2016 was spent agonizing over the details of penny’s first birthday. for the most part, i’ve completed the dol towers – all 3 of them – but i still need to do the tops. i need a break from those for now, and there are other pressing matters that i need to attend to.

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for instance, this saturday my friend, mouy, and i were going to make a day trip up to boston to drop some decor off at my parents’ house. dennis and i already have so much to bring up (i.e pack and play, stroller, etc.) the day before the party so we wanted to make sure we have enough room in the car. i had to postpone this trip because i realized that my idea for a backdrop isn’t going to work because it’ll be too big to transport even in an suv. so, i was left scrambling for alternative ideas. genie assisted in helping narrow down the options, and saturday will be spent (hopefully) starting and completing the backdrop with the help of two friends!

a lot has happened since the last post. penny’s first tooth is finally trying to break through! we can see, and feel, the top of a tooth on her bottom gum. she’s been fussy during the daytime lately but usually during mealtimes. she’d rather play than sit in a high chair… she’s still sleeping very well at night so we haven’t noticed any changes (thank goodness).

penny had also outgrown her car seat a while ago but we kept putting off purchasing a convertible seat because we figured she would be okay until her first birthday. but then we noticed her feet were sticking out from the car seat more than they had been, and we read an article that a fellow parent had shared in a parenthood group on facebook about switching to convertible seats sooner rather than later. dennis had taken a picture from the newest edition of the baby bargains book and the britax boulevard clicktight was the best-rated of the bunch, so we went with that. it arrived yesterday and we can tell penny is already much more comfortable in it. we already took her to the pool for a family swim, cheesecake factory for dinner, and to the grocery store.


our friends, esther and william, came down from massachusetts with baby olivia (aka ollie) to visit us a few weeks ago. this is olivia k., not olivia g. (genie’s “olivia.” 😀 – a very popular name this year!) it was super sweet of them to make that drive to come see us and we all had a wonderful time. we joked that the boys seemed to enjoy the play date the most but in all seriousness i think they did. they played table tennis, ps4, and basketball while esther and i … played with the babies -_- no, but still, i’m glad dennis had fun because he doesn’t really get to “play” much and i enjoyed my time with esther just having girl talk.

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dennis’ 31st birthday was on the 17th and he spent the day golfing with his buddies. he ended up being late for a family dinner but he had had a great day, so that’s all that matters.

after an enjoyable weekend with friends, dennis and i realized how we need to take more time to take care of ourselves, and have fun too. as much as penny is the light of our lives, we can’t forgot to “treat” ourselves and go out once in a while without her. yes, we’ve been on a few vacations since penny was born but a date night needs to happen more often. being home with penny all day, i sometimes forget how deprived i am of adult interaction. thankfully, my in-laws live nearby so usually they can take care of penny if i have dates with friends.

i was able to catch up with two friends that i worked with a few years ago. one recently got married and the other is getting married in july. we went out for happy hour and just laughed and laughed about our teaching experiences.. while also griping about the education system.

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i guess i’ll make light of it even though it’s a heavy topic but i got laid off recently. connecticut, like all of the other states, has had a major cut in their budgets for schools so teachers are getting laid off and schools are closing. the town that i’m working in laid off 17 teachers (it actually became 15 because 2 resigned) and may even close one elementary school. it’s all by seniority and i missed the cut-off date by two months. truthfully, i was upset (and shocked) and even cried although i had been feeling ambivalent about returning in the fall. it’s more of a pride thing, you know?

so many friends, and of course dennis above all, have been sending love and offered encouraging words like how i get to spend even more time with penny. plus, i can always work somewhere else. two teachers have been rehired in the meantime and i’m actually third in line to be called back so there’s a possibility. i fervently believe everything happens for a reason so i’m letting go, and letting God.

oh! another important event occurred that weekend: penny’s cake smash! i’ll actually not go into too much detail here because it’ll end up being a l o n g post with a plethora of pictures.. so i’ll save that for the next post, but.. it went well and i’m glad it’s done and over with! i’ll share a few pictures here for those that were not able to view them on facebook. again, i’ll go into specifics in the next post and share how i created a “home studio” and made a giant cupcake. we saved a lot of money this way!

until then, enjoy these adorable pictures 🙂

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hurry up & slow down

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penny is nearing her 10th month. 10! we are closing in on the double-digits here. she spends most of her awake time crawling and is ready to pass out by the time her nap time rolls around. now that she’s more mobile and burning more calories, she’s getting tired earlier. i tried to keep her up on a few occasions so she wouldn’t be taking naps so soon but then she ends up being grouchy and taking short naps.

this morning she woke up around 5:45am (ugh) but slept 11 hours straight last night so she was totally ready for the day. dennis got up with her and i slept a little longer after pumping. she was ready to sleep around 8am but we tried feeding her solids again (she hasn’t been receptive to breakfast lately) and she only took a few bites. after a short naptime routine in her nursery, she fell asleep around 8:40. *fingers crossed she sleeps longer than an hour*

as penny becomes more and more like a mini adult, i find myself caught in a mixture of emotions. as eager as i am to discover penny’s new-found skills, i also feel a twinge of sadness at her progress: she’s leaving the infant stage behind and becoming a toddler. 😥 it’s quite the paradox, isn’t it?

it’s getting increasingly difficult to change her diapers, give her baths, and feed her because she wants to go, go, go! we rarely cradle her anymore but when we do we are amazed at how tall she is. i never really thought i’d be this wistful of her wee newborn days, but she was so little then and there seemed to be all the time in the world for her to grow up.

even now, i find myself thinking, “i can’t wait until she’s older so we can ____.” there are future disney vacations (maybe one next year), beach outings, day trips, and jet-setting around the world to be had when her naps aren’t in the way of life. still, even when she is old enough, there’s the possibility that she’ll have siblings which makes it even more tough to travel.

but, for now, there’s just penny… and i want to take her all in and enjoy having just her for as long as we can. try not to look so far ahead. the future will happen. enjoy now; enjoy this moment.

penny and i went grocery shopping recently. what’s so special about that? well, dennis and i usually go grocery shopping together so one is pushing the stroller and the other is handling the cart. however, we needed some items that day (particularly fresh produce for baby food) so i took penny. it was her first time sitting in the shopping cart and she did well!

i don’t have a shopping cart seat cover so i used a thick blanket to pad the area for her. i also used a muslin swaddle blanket to cushion her legs and chest. i noticed that she jerks forward whenever i push the cart so the blanket helped her from teetering back and forth.

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observing other customers

penny was fairly quiet during the entire trip. she liked being free from the constraints of a hot car seat and she had a 360-degree view of the world.

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checking out the grocery list


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i made her laugh 🙂


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checking out the light fixtures and sprinklers


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she loves to read, like mommy! she’s checking out bridal magazines though.. too soon, too soon!


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she was getting hungry and tired.. this is after we purchased the groceries. passers-by were remarking how cute penny was when she started lying down.

penny’s finally attempting to hold the bottle on her own. she always could; she just never wanted to because she wants to play with toys. even now, she’s easily distracted but she’s starting to become a little more independent. she also started to “read” books during mealtimes. she loves the book “100 first word”: she squeals and smiles whenever she sees the book, and she flips through the pages on her own.

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i’m still making the majority of penny’s food. one easy recipe i tried recently is pastina. i got this recipe from a baby food cookbook and it only requires two ingredients: pastina and low-sodium chicken broth. pastina means “little pasta” and these are star-shaped (adorable).

lovely little pasta soup

1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

2 tbs. pastina

bring broth to a gentle boil and add pastina. stir occasionally and let cook for 7~8 minutes or until tender. serve warm. when reheating, add a little bit of water to the pastina. makes about 4 servings.

i didn’t think 2 tablespoons of pastina would be a lot but i was surprised how much there was after it was done cooking. the recipe says 4 servings but i definitely stretched to 6; it depends how much your baby wants to eat it. penny really liked it but i like offering her a variety of foods at mealtimes so she doesn’t get bored.

grace and i went to the mall last sunday to look for a wedding outfit. we are going to a friend’s wedding on 3/26 and have “nothing to wear.” we really wanted to find midi or maxi skirts but couldn’t find any we liked. i may have to buy an outfit online…

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enjoying godiva cones and breaking in grace’s new selfie stick


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i like macarons but i rarely eat them because they are so expensive. my favorite of the bunch was lemon poppy.

the northeast has been fortunate to have beautiful, warm weather this week! yesterday peaked at 75 degrees! it’s actually raining right now (boo) but the temperature is still 70. i’m glad we went out for a family walk around lunchtime because it looks as if i won’t be able to take penny and yuri out later. we are going to the library though after penny’s last nap.

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it was a little windy so dennis’ mom wrapped a scarf around her.


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looking like a little babushka


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selfie with mommy


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the playground is literally in our backyard. an elementary school is behind our neighborhood so we’ll be coming here often this summer!

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the photos below were taken yesterday when i took penny and yuri out for an early evening walk.

she’s so adorable with the sunglasses but like most babies, she’s not a fan. she actually took them off the first time (3rd photo, right after i took the picture). i bribed her with crackers and she kept them on after that but i felt bad so i took them off after a few minutes.

the middle picture is where she’s busy shoving a cracker in her mouth and it looks like she’s giving me the finger 😛

looking forward to this weekend! my parents are visiting for the day tomorrow with a ton of food from their restaurant (yay!!) and my friend’s birthday dinner is that night. then on saturday morning, genie and i are heading to new jersey for the day to shop, eat and meet up with friends 🙂

i’ve been taking a hiatus on making crafts for penny’s birthday but the invitations went out last week and guests are slowly sending in their rsvp’s. i can’t believe the party will be in 2 months!! i’m hoping to resume party planning next week; there are a lot of things that i need to make… onward ho!

change of diet

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver ~ mahatma gandhi

penny turned 6 months old yesterday. baby girl is already a half year old! i’ve reached the halfway point of my goal in providing exclusively breast milk to little p. for those of you that have been following my journey, you’ll recall my struggles with milk supply and latching among other issues. every day i thought, “my breastfeeding days could end today” but i kept trudging along.

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i made the little party hat using a 12 x 12 glitter scrapbook paper, felt number stickers, patterned scrapbook paper for the zig zag, and a fluffy pom from a decoration.
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penny also loves to grab her feet and feel different textures and fabrics.

nowadays, supply isn’t the problem, the content of my milk is. since her newborn days, a red flush would briefly appear around p’s eyebrows whenever she nursed or drank from a bottle. i would wonder if she was reacting to something in my milk but would always dismiss it. she also sneezes throughout the day and frequently has watery eyes though both have improved in the past few months. i was reassured that both are normal, but i couldn’t shake the feeling that they were, again, allergic reactions.

p’s poop count has also gone up. she used to have 1~2 bowel movements a day or every other day. during the past month, i’ve noticed that penny regularly has 3~4 poopy diapers.

some causes for concern:

1) almost always occurs during a feeding so she needs to have her diaper changed then resume feeding

2) started having a poopy diaper after nursing in the middle of the night when she used to only poop during the daytime

3) all seem watery and/or have mucous

4) one diaper had mucous and blood

#4 caused me to call my pediatrician and i saved the diaper as well. when we went to the doctor’s office, we were told it could be a possible reaction to my diet. initially i thought it was coconut oil because i had started adding it to oatmeal to have more fat in my diet. however when i referred to the baby tracker i saw that penny has been having multiple poopy diapers since september. i only started getting alarmed when it began happening more frequently. yesterday she had 6 poopy diapers!!! i really don’t think it’s normal.. and that milk is just passing right through her system without being digested. i’m constantly feeding her to replace what comes out but i don’t know if that aggravates the situation. she stops eating when she’s full and hasn’t surpassed 30oz a day.

now i’m thinking it’s a milk protein allergy. i was on the fence about this, and still kind of am, because i thought i didn’t consume that many diary products. i don’t drink cow’s milk, i drink almond milk. i have butter and cheese occasionally but i do eat yogurt several times a week if not more. after much research and talking to a friend that had gone through the same problem, i discovered that dairy is in almost every single food. it’s incredibly difficult to avoid dairy because it’s hidden in a lot of food products. if you’re trying to eliminate dairy, it’s advised to avoid soy and whey as well.

i don’t know if it’s connected but last night i had a snack of nutella on oatmeal bread before bed. hours later, as i rocked penny to sleep after nursing her she started pooping in my arms. after i changed her, she fell asleep but then she ended up having two more poopy diapers when she woke up! 3 bowel movements, and all before 8am.  i looked at the ingredients for nutella and saw that it contains skim milk and whey. the oatmeal bread that i’ve been mindlessly eating contains soybean oil and whey. i thought i was being careful, but i wasn’t.

what’s even more difficult is that it can take up to 3 weeks for milk protein to leave my body.. and then up to an additional 3 to exit penny’s. we’re talking 6 weeks maximum of poring over every ingredient in everything i eat. i’m already dreading thanksgiving because i won’t be able to eat mashed potatoes (my favorite), biscuits, mac & cheese.. and i’m too depressed to even think about what else.

although penny is a happy baby and very playful and active, she has been getting fussy after feedings. i don’t know if she’s reacting to the milk but it gets me worried. (by the way, that’s another sign of a possible allergy: fussiness after feedings.)

i had thought sticking to a mostly korean diet would help because dairy products aren’t often used, but soy is used often. i guess i’ll just have to ask my mil what’s in the foods she brings over and kindly ask her to omit soy.

this is all very overwhelming because i feel terrible that penny is going through this. i attributed her recent frequent awakenings to her being hungry because of the constant pooping but she slept from 7:10pm-5:20am straight last night. she woke up to nurse (and poop) and slept until 7:25am. currently she’s on a 2-hour+ morning nap. hopefully it just means she’s tired, and not dehydrated… -__-

lots of smiles

lots of smiles

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practicing sitting up unassisted

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hope you get better soon, cutie…

penny’s first halloween

can it already be november? it’s hard to believe that there are only two months left in the year 2015. there already have been so many “first’s” with penny including milestones, seasons, events, and holidays. a memorable first in october was halloween. of course, penny being 5.5 months she’ll only have pictures to remind her how halloween was spent at that age. for parents with children under age 2, halloween is more for their amusement as they decide how to torture how to dress up their little one.

for us, it wasn’t any different. back in september, dennis and i were throwing around family costume ideas. i suggested star wars but that was vetoed since that would be a very popular choice due to the next installment being released winter. we briefly considered marvel superheroes until dennis proposed guardians of the galaxy. yes, this was it. dennis would go as star-lord, i would be gamora, penny would be baby groot and yuri would be rocket. it was perfect. the challenges that we faced were creating the costume for baby groot and painting my skin green.

i googled baby groot costumes for inspiration and bought materials at michaels.

baby groot

  • brown felt
  • very sharp scissors, or shears
  • brown hoodie and pants set
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • fake leaves
  • white or yellow chalk
  • green yarn

the scissors, glue gun, glue sticks, and chalk i had at home; everything else we purchased at michaels with the exception of the hoodie and pants set. in a previous post, i mentioned once upon a child, a baby and children’s store selling gently used items of clothing and toys. we had the good luck of finding an old navy brown hoodie and pants set there for around $6. i cut out pieces of felt to resemble bark and glued them onto the hoodie and pants. i have to admit that my sister did nearly all of the bark. i did a few and kept putting off the project because i chose to nap instead of working on the costume -__-

thankfully when my sister came to visit for a few days she worked on the costume. the chalk was used to make the bark look more realistic. after the felt pieces were all glued on (we didn’t glue any on the backside of the costume since no one would see it – saves time!), i cut pieces of fake ivy from a flowering plant and glued them in strategic areas. i also cut out felt pieces to make a crown of bark on the hood. it was tricky at first trying to figure out how to make the felt pieces stand up instead of flopping over, but i spaced out the felt pieces when gluing the bottoms and let them fall onto each other. they ended up holding each other up for support.

the green yarn was used to resemble the green shoot running across the trunk of groot’s body.

giphy (4)

baby groot

i am groot

we were so pleased with how the costume turned out! she only got to wear it for an hour or so but it made for good pictures, and memories. we definitely will hold onto this costume… how can we discard it after all that work?

gamora

gamora

i was really worried about the makeup for my costume. first of all, when i went to party city (the day before halloween no less), there was only one small tube of green cream left. i purchased that and a green grease makeup as back-up.

we even planned how we were going to dress up and when we would take pictures. while dennis put penny down for her last nap, i started getting ready because my get-up would take the longest. i wore pleather-and-cotton leggings that i already had and borrowed a black tank top from dennis. then i proceeded to rub the makeup on my face. the green grease makeup did not blend well so i ended up the green cream for my face, neck, chest, and arms. i was afraid there wouldn’t be enough but i had plenty left over. i wasn’t as green as i had hoped i would be, but it would do. to be honest, i felt more like the wicked witch of the west, haha.

i also sprayed hot pink hair spray onto the ends of my hair. even though i used the entire can the color didn’t show up in the photos except for the one above. (and even that one doesn’t showcase the bold color.)

dennis wore clothes that he already had including a leather jacket, sport-utility pants from eastern mountain sports, a belt with a silver buckle and boots. he also dug up old headphones from a discman to wrap around his neck and colored a cassette tape to resemble star-lord’s mix tape.

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star-lord

for yuri’s costume, i glued 3 brown felt stripes onto a puffy vest that she already had. we turned it inside out so it would be orange just like rocket’s.

rocket

rocket

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family photo 🙂 i love how penny is staring at the cassette tape xD

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dennis’s mom stopped by after work to take our pictures 🙂

grandma and baby groot

grandma and baby groot

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we also took pictures while waiting for penny to wake up from her last nap. here’s one.

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i thought it would be neat to have the background be outer space so i used apps to superimpose our images. it’s pretty hard erasing the background around your own image using your finger… this was the best editing i could do and it took quite a while. my condolences to dennis and his missing right cheek.

halloween aside, october brought with it many changes (for better or for worse) in penny. though the sleep regression is long gone, penny’s naps are still irregular and shorter than what they used to be because of her current developmental leap. (yes, i’m still lamenting over the 2-3 hour nap she used to take late morning to early afternoon.) looking at my baby tracker app, there really isn’t too much of a noticeable pattern. she is still taking 3 naps unless the last one is too far from her bedtime. she has also been waking up around 6:30am lately and falling asleep before, or by, 6:30pm.

in my last post, i had talked about pushing up penny’s bedtime in 10-15-minute increments. it had been working for the most part until FRIDAY. that day, penny refused her third nap. i might be the one to blame… i was about to put penny down in her crib when i had the strong urge to cough. terrified i’d wake her, i hurriedly but gently placed her in the crib and closed the bedroom door. unfortunately, her door cracked twice (!) while i was closing it and then the click of the door woke her up… dennis intervened but it was too late: she was wide awake. normally we don’t put penny down for a nap after 4:30 so she will be awake by 5 to not interfere with her bedtime, but she desperately needed that last nap. she cried from exhaustion and fell asleep at 5:15 so we had no choice but to push her bedtime back since she ended up sleeping until 7pm.

anytime i try to plan and organize around penny, i’m reminded how flexible i have to be and just go with the flow.. easier said than done since i’m so neurotic about schedules. dennis keeps me sane because he’s so much more adaptable and easygoing than i am.

currently, penny’s on her last nap. lately her first two naps have been 30-45 minutes while the third is about an hour and a half… but even that can be unpredictable. when i put penny down for her last nap around 1pm, i calculated that she would wake up around 2:30pm or earlier but desperately hoped she would wake up at 3pm (earliest) so she wouldn’t be overtired for bedtime. last night i had to put penny down at 5:40pm! i think the whole daylight savings thing is throwing her off a little still. thankfully, she woke up for the day at 6:40 and not earlier than that!

what do you know.. it’s 3:02pm and penny’s still sleeping. so happy right now!!!!

so many things to look forward to this month:

  • THANKSGIVING with my huge family in boston
  • my birthday (the 28th)
  • penny will be 6 months old
  • penny will (re)start solids (i tried at 5 months and stopped)
  • 6-month growth spurt.. not really looking forward to this but it’s good for her, at least
  • arts & crafts play dates with genie and olivia

well, penny’s stirring now.. of course, a huge construction truck had to drive past her window.. but thankful she slept this long because she we really needed it!