back into it

i’ve been mia from the blogosphere and it makes me sad that i didn’t chronicle the entire month of september. not a day went by without me thinking about finally writing another entry, but i kept putting it off for “tomorrow.” so much has happened since then.. umm, mostly just life.. with two kids. but seriously, at the end of the day, i just wanted to sit on the couch with munchies and watch tv.

we started shameless recently.  i can’t believe it’s been around for seven years (eighth season starting soon) and i am just getting into it now. (we are on season 2.) it’s rather addictive. i also began and finished atypical, a netflix series about a teenage boy on the autism spectrum trying to find a girlfriend. dennis couldn’t get into it, but i really enjoyed it. this is us also returned a few weeks ago so i’m watching that on tuesday nights along with fresh off the boat. two big shows are returning this month: the walking dead and stranger things. more reasons to veg out on the couch after a long day.

i also started reading for pleasure, again. i purchased john green’s new book, turtles all the way down. i’m taking my time reading it though because now i’m busy trying to catch up on my blogging (among other things) at night! ellington library is having a book sale this weekend so i brought penny with me this morning. they didn’t have a good selection of children’s books for sale so i only bought two. i was also getting carried away with the adult books until i realized i can just borrow them from the library. the grand total for two adult books and two children’s books was $1.00!

IMG_4773

a big reason i was also not blogging was because i was working on two scrapbooks: one for my mil and one for my good friend, genie. i decided to make each of them a scrapbook as a birthday gift, and even though i knew these would be time-consuming projecst i still didn’t give myself enough time to work on them. for genie, i showed the mostly-finished scrapbook to her at her surprise birthday dinner and took it back to finish. for weeks, i stayed up until nearly 2am, on some nights, to work on them! it was insane.. and i would have to wake up early to take care of the kids. i’m feeling so much better now that i am a little more well-rested. (i still have a bad habit of staying up late.)

IMG_4778IMG_4777IMG_4776IMG_4775

a good change i’ve been making in my life is starting to work out again. i was browsing my town’s park & rec catalog for classes i would possibly be interested in taking this fall. i came across pound, a group workout that uses weighted drumsticks, and was intrigued. after bringing up the class to the mom’s group that i am a part of, three other moms joined me in going to the group workout! i actually had a lot of fun, but it was hard because i am incredibly out of shape! i could barely do lunges let alone try drumming the floor at the same time. another class that i’d always been interested in trying is zumba. i had a blast! i liked all of the song choices that the instructor incorporated into the routine particularly the unexpected ones like “rollin’ down the river.”

dennis and i do have memberships at a gym that offers zumba, but none of the times work for me. the one i go to is on mondays & wednesdays at 7pm. this works out perfectly for me because i can help with the bath portion of the kids’ bedtime routine before leaving at 6:45pm. dennis usually comes home around 7, or a little after, on mondays-wednesdays so the time couldn’t have been any better, really.

like i mentioned before, so much has happened in these past six weeks (!) that i haven’t blogged. i’m quite overwhelmed at all of the catch-up posts that i have to do.. not to mention uploading all of photos i want to share. (and sadly, i still haven’t done my dad’s birthday from june!)

here’s a quick update before i go:

ezra

  • 6 months old! i cannot believe he will be a year old in… six months!
  • he is rolling onto his tummy now but have only just started seeing it in person! he keeps doing this in his crib, mostly.
  • he’s also pivoting in all directions and trying to crawl
  • eating solids: loves sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, pears, and butternut squash; hates peas!
  • 2 teeth finally broke through but they have to make any progress beyond the tiny dots
  • still happiest during bath time, in the jumperoo, and taking walks
  • loves to watch his sister and dog
  • 9-month clothes are getting snug and short on him… we need to move on to 12-month clothes
  • “talking” a lot more and yelling out
  • bangs his toys around
  • loves looking at the ceiling fan and penny’s chandelier (as she did when she was an infant!)

IMG_4804IMG_4885IMG_4792IMG_4791IMG_4790

penny

  • vocabulary (english & korean) rapidly growing every day
  • speaking, up to, 6+ word sentences
  • counting ability and number recognition is on par with a 4-5 year old according to connecticut standards
  • identifies and says all 26 uppercase letters
  • memorizes oft-read books
  • can sing 8+ songs on her own including the abc song; twinkle, twinkle, little star; i’m a little teapot; and korean songs
  • talented at drawing!
  • still loves mickey and minnie mouse
  • sudden interest in her donald duck doll (dolls altogether) and taking care of him
  • loves to sort objects and line them up/put them in order
  • plays more with her kitchen than she ever has before
  • still gets jealous of her brother; controls what toys he plays with
  • fully day-trained for the potty and has been diaper-free at night for almost a month now
  • has been pacifier-free for nap/bedtime for about 3 weeks now. still asks for it now and then, and can get whiny, but she’s slowly getting better
  • transitioned to a toddler bed due to nighttime potty training. she’s doing great and loves her bed!
  • used scissors a few weeks ago for the first time
  • overall, a great eater. loves korean food especially different kinds of soups and fish; vegetables like onions, broccoli, and spinach; fruit such as golden kiwi, grapes, and clementines. hasn’t liked pasta and cheese for as long as i can remember (which kills me because pasta is my favorite)
IMG_4886

penny wearing her new vest from zara

IMG_4887

IMG_4831

cute activity at a playgroup

IMG_4880

for some reason, penny is really possessive of this toy (even though it’s ezra’s). i have to let him play with it when penny isn’t around otherwise she throws a fit.

IMG_4781

80-degree temps in october!

 

blooms & custard

pwithflowers

did you know there are farms that allow you to pick your own flowers? i sure didn’t. i’m constantly looking for new and fun activities to do with penny and i found out about a flower picking farm in south windsor, ct from a mom’s group in my town. recently, i joined a mom’s group; i discovered this group through our town library and, not long ago, i saw the group on my instagram newsfeed. for an annual fee of $25/year, moms and their children participate in weekly activities, organized and spontaneous playgroups, monthly moms’ night out, and participate in board meetings.

it’s always great to meet other moms and provide our children more opportunities to socialize with other kids. the first activity i attended via the mom’s group was a music & dance playgroup at a local nursing & rehabilitation center. the children participate in organized activities during the hour-long playgroup and can interact with the residents if they choose. penny was shy at first because of all the people but she loosened up when she saw that the children were playing with big balloons. i thought that was a wonderful way to keep the kids preoccupied while waiting for the program to begin. some of the residents asked penny to hit the balloon to them so they could hit it back to her. it was really sweet to see how much joy the children brought to these people.

FullSizeRender_7FullSizeRender_6FullSizeRender_5FullSizeRender_4FullSizeRender_3FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender_8FullSizeRender_2FullSizeRender_1

this playgroup consisted of a sing-along, interactive reading, musical instruments, bubbles, parachute, and a snack. penny was engaged the entire time and was excited to move on to the next activity. although she really enjoyed everything, i could tell penny was particularly pleased with the cup of juice at snack time. we rarely let penny drink juice so it was a real treat for her especially since she was thirsty from all of the activity. overall, i was really pleased with the whole event and can’t wait to go back next week.

tuesday morning, the mom’s group went to petersen farm in south windsor to pick our own flowers. visitors can park right on the grass. the farm provides cutting tools, buckets, and water although it’s recommended you bring your own bucket to safely transport the flowers back home. flowers are $8/lb (which is an excellent deal) and i initially scoffed at the price thinking, “who gets a pound of flowers?” well, i ended up getting two. the flowers are all so gorgeous that you can’t help but want each one. i might have gotten a little scissor-happy.

startingsunflowersviewfieldyellowshearspandbucketpomspinkrainpandpinkflowerspinkflowerFullSizeRender_5IMG_2018FullSizeRender_4FullSizeRender_3flowersclosebigpurplepinkwhiteFullSizeRender_2FullSizeRender_1FullSizeRendermonetquote

the only downside is that it was misting when we went so the grass was wet, soaking our sneakers. i had been thinking about purchasing rain boots for penny and now i have more of a reason to do that. fall is around the corner and they’ll be useful then, too.

we both enjoyed ourselves and i look forward to going back. fresh flowers certainly brighten up a room (and a mood!) and also smell divine.

tuesday was also “national custard day” so rita’s was having a .99 special for a kid’s size custard. i intended to meet some moms from the group around 3:30 but we didn’t end up arriving until after 4pm. i had to wake penny up from her nap because she was sleeping so much. ezra’s naps were off today because he’s been rolling over. since he was awake, we all went to rita’s.

3ritasgmapritasritaspennycustardezandmeritasezraritas

as for upcoming events and activities, there is a tolland 4-h fair this weekend so i’m thinking of bringing both kids to that.

valentine’s day + penny’s 9 months

happy 9 months to penny! she’s 3/4 of the way to being a one-year-old!

IMG_4415

this past month has been a whirlwind! penny is keeping us on our toes 🙂 she’s always been a fairly active baby, but now that she’s moving around we have to keep a close watch on her. she’s sooo close to crawling but hasn’t quite gotten the mechanics down yet. she does, however, creep around. that’s a weird word – creep, but that’s what it’s called when a baby moves around on her belly, and penny goes forward, backward, and all around. she does lift up her belly and bend her knees so she’s getting there!

she also goes from a sitting position directly to her belly so we aren’t always placing her on her stomach to do tummy time and practice. plus, she sleeps on her tummy so when she’s awake in her crib she’ll practice moving around as well.

penny is eager to see and touch everything as is evidenced in the photos below.

IMG_4413IMG_4412IMG_4414IMG_4409IMG_4411IMG_4410IMG_4408

she had her check-up today and thankfully no vaccines were involved. she did get her big toe pricked for a hemoglobin test but she was fine! she just sat there looking around =D she also had a vision and hearing test – she passed both – and got measured and weighed: 27 3/4 inches long and 19 lb. 2 oz. respectively. i was surprised at her height though because she was 27 inches at her 6-month appointment; i thought she’d be a lot taller especially since she’s wearing size 12 months. still, happy that she’s growing and is healthy.

we asked our pediatrician about penny’s eczema. she’s had it for almost a month now, i’d say. at first, it started off as tiny patches behind her knees and near her inner elbows, but then they increased in size. she also had a little patch on her chest (gone now) and now she has spots on her thighs and armpit area. 😦 they don’t seem to bother her as she’s sleeping well and not being fussy during the day but it makes me sad.

at a friend’s suggestion we started apply aquaphor and it helped a lot. however, sometimes it would flare up again; i thought it might be a food allergy so i cut out certain foods like yogurt, eggs, and peanut butter but when i slowly reintroduced them there weren’t any flare-ups. there was a flare-up when we applied coconut oil to the problem areas per my mil’s suggestion. then, i thought she might be allergic to coconuts but i ate coconut almond yogurt the other day and penny was unaffected. (whew.) it just might have been too greasy for her skin… i guess?

penny takes a bath every night as part of her bedtime routine so instead of bathing her with soap, some nights we will just splash her with lukewarm water. this seems to have helped because taking baths can be very drying for the skin especially during the wintertime. we also slather her in burt’s bees body lotion. aquaphor 3x a day and lukewarm water baths have worked thus far *fingers crossed

IMG_4283

penny in our backyard

we had a lot of snow last week. the groundhog (for groundhog’s day) had predicted an early spring but look at us now! december had record-breaking mild weather and we’re making up for it in february. this past weekend’s weather broke records in the new england area as well but for frigidity, not warmth: nights, and parts of the days were in the negatives! walking yuri was brutal and usually she wants to linger outside but after she did her business, she ran back to our house. no complaints there.

although it was too cold for walks, we did go outside in our backyard for a few minutes on the days that were in the 30s just so we could get fresh air.

IMG_4262

this picture reminds me of old-school korea

IMG_4274IMG_4272IMG_4275IMG_4278

penny’s first time touching snow. you can tell from her facial expressions that she’s not a big fan of the cold white stuff. it was good snow too; the kind you can pack into snowballs.

FullSizeRender_1

i LOVE to do arts & crafts – i have bins and bins full of different kinds of paper, stickers, and all sorts of goodies from michael’s. valentine’s day, of course, called for some crafting!

dennis, penny, and i made valentine’s cards for some friends and family. we used ink pads to make thumb people on the cards and i wrote “thumb-body loves you!” i can’t take credit for this cute idea since i found it on pinterest, but the layout of the cards i did myself – definitely not hard to do.

the cutout paper hearts were easy but they were a leftover decoration from my baby shower (made by genie) and i had saved them, yay! i also used 4 different crafting scissors to cut out the card and give each one an individual look.

dennis held penny’s thumb while i pressed it onto pink, gold, and silver inkpads to make a thumb baby. dennis and i took turns stamping our thumbs as well. i had a lot of fun making the thumb-people as you can see! ^0^

IMG_4239

another project that i did was making footprint art. my mil was here to help me with this one. she held penny while we dipped her foot in paint and then i firmly planted it onto scrapbook paper. we tried to do handprint art but it didn’t turn out well.

again, cute ideas via pinterest!  i gave the butterfly one to my mil because that one also had a polaroid of her and penny. 🙂

IMG_4130

when genie and olivia came over a few weeks ago, we also did crafts together. genie had prepped these canvasses back in december for a future art project. since we already had done two christmas crafts together – mistletoes and handprint ornaments – we decided to save them. genie has this cool embossing kit so the word “love” is textured.

FullSizeRender

a lot of wipes were used during this project! we used their handprint and footprints to help spell the word “love”. i’m sad i don’t have a picture of the finished product for both canvasses but it makes an appearance in a valentine’s day picture i took of penny.

IMG_4378

i used black paint for the letters “l” and “e” and i also decorated it using more paper hearts made by genie, a pink fuzzball tassle, and writing penny’s name along with the year using letter and number stamps.

IMG_4375

penny also got a mickey mouse microphone as a valentine’s gift from daddy! it plays music and lets you speak into it when you hold down a ‘talk’ button.

IMG_4377

penny was fascinated when my voice came out of the microphone. i had her try it out and she tried by licking it, hahaha.

IMG_4381

lucky penny also received a gift from her grandparents! leapfrog came out with a new toy recently. it resembles a bingo or lotto wheel but when you spin it, and a letter lands on the arrow it tells you the letter, the animal and sound, or plays music depending on the mode. penny really likes to spin wheels so this is a great gift.

she’s so funny.. she recognizes cute animals and figures so when we hold up dolls, she goes nuts especially over miffy, a bunny. the animal above is a blue elephant that my friend, ben, bought for her.

it’s also cute that penny’s hair is long enough to tie back into pigtails.

this should be another busy week! a friend may stop by tomorrow for lunch and on thursday we have two play dates. one friend and her 14-month-old daughter will stop by for lunch as they drive home to massachusetts from new jersey. later in the afternoon, penny and i will go to genie’s house and work on olivia’s dol (first birthday) preparations as well as getting things underway for a friend’s baby shower in may.

it’s also dennis’ short weekend thus his long weekend 😀 no big plans this weekend as of yet; just looking forward to relaxing together. we are huge fans of the walking dead and the mid-season premiere was this past sunday. it started off with a bang! can’t wait to see it next sunday!

IMG_4417

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.

IMG_2433

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.
IMG_2432

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

IMG_2441

practicing sitting up unassisted

IMG_2437

hope you get better soon, cutie…

keep on rollin’

FullSizeRender_1

penny before church. she kicked her shoe off.

the above picture is how i felt all of last week. dennis works 7 straight days biweekly and those weeks are tough for both of us. last week felt dreadfully long as i tended to penny mostly by myself from monday-sunday. it’s not even just being stir-crazy from being holed up in the house but also constantly battling sleep deprivation. normally i can count on penny’s second nap to be 2~3 hours long. i really look forward to this nap so i can eat as much (and quickly) as i can and try to get some shut-eye myself. however, this whole 4-month sleep regression has thrown everything off – sometimes she’ll wake up after a half hour and scream.. so i’ll have to lug myself upstairs to try to put her back down. if she does end up falling back asleep it’s only for another half hour or so.

i knew it was pretty bad at one point when i was nodding off, in broad daylight, while bottle-feeding penny. my eyes would fly open to see penny staring curiously at me. i felt terrible that penny had to see like that but that’s how tired i’ve been lately. for the most part, she’s been getting back on track with her nighttime sleep schedule. she still wakes up once a night but that’s typical of babies her age (and a whole lot better than the multiple wakings we had been experiencing recently!) the past two nights have been unusual because she skipped her third nap. though we tried pushing up her bedtime she still fought sleep (no crying, at least) and had been awake for 3~4 hours!

every day is an adventure…

IMG_1654

lately whenever penny wakes up, this is what we see on the baby monitor. she hasn’t rolled over from back to tummy yet but she’s trying in earnest even with the merlin sleep suit on! once she starts rolling over in the suit, we have to stop using it. definitely dreading when that day comes. we will have to start sleep training her soon… only to have it thrown off once she starts teething, has the 6-month growth spurt and starts sitting up… it never ends!!!

IMG_1708

look how cute she is, haha. she’s looking at yuri in this picture. what we do is try to grab her attention using toys and encouragement. she almost has gotten the hang of it; she just needs to figure out how to throw her back leg over to roll.

IMG_1710

penny gets captivated by yuri. i’m sure yuri is an intriguing sight, what with all that fur and physical features so different from ours.

IMG_1693

here she is, practicing again. she seems to prefer her left side. i think this is because she’s drawn to her bedroom window. though we try to keep her room as dark as possible light still filters in and it attracts her attention. often times when i’m rocking her to sleep, she’ll try to face the window so i turn my body to accommodate her.

IMG_1665

this is a common sight nowadays

IMG_1673

dennis and i had been looking to get more toys for penny so she won’t be bored, and he suggested ‘once upon a child.‘ if you haven’t heard of this store, it’s a nationwide chain that buys/sells gently used baby and children’s clothing, toys, books, and gear. i couldn’t believe the racks and racks of clothes! we actually purchased a hoodie and bottom set for penny’s halloween costume (it’s a secret; you’ll see in a future post.)

after carefully perusing the toy section, i chose a bright starts activity ball and the classic xylophone. i washed them both with warm water and soap before letting penny play with them. she especially loves the activity ball because it’s easy for her to grasp. she does like the sounds the xylophone makes and grips the mallet, but isn’t yet able to hit the plates on her own. she whacked herself on the head accidentally and cried >.<

IMG_1729

at penny’s 4-month check-up, we were told that we could slowly start introducing penny to solids. initially i was hesitant because i wanted to wait until she’s 6 months old, but it really wouldn’t hurt for her to get acclimated to the tastes and textures of solids. plus. she’s been consuming nearly 30 oz. of breast milk recently and still wakes up hungry once a night. furthermore, she’s been showing great interest in food and stops what she’s doing to watch me eat.

i’ve been giving penny a spoon so she can get used to it.

IMG_1729

hm.. doesn’t taste good

IMG_1731

IMG_1732

IMG_1733

how adorable is she? 🙂

mother-daughter moment at church

mother-daughter moment at church

penny will be 5 months on thursday. my beautiful baby girl will already be 5 months. every time i try to savor each smile, each new skill, each sweet embrace, time flies by that much quicker. i love you so much, penny!!

it ain’t over ’til it’s over

remember how i had declared, with much relief, that penny’s sleep regression seemed to have ended? yes, well, forget that, because it’s still in progress. after talking about the sleep regression with my friend, jisun (언니) at church yesterday, she confirmed that the regression can come and go – one night your baby will sleep wonderfully and then the next time she will have multiple wakings.

an important thing that i need to keep reminding myself: penny is just a baby.

watching yuri, our dog.

watching yuri, our dog.

she loves feeling different textures

she loves feeling different textures

she doesn’t intend to wake up, and stay awake for hours. she’s exhausted too – this is obvious because she makes up for lost sleep during the day – and is still trying to figure out how to transition to the different sleep cycles. sometimes she’s successful, and other times she’s not.

saturday night, for instance. she woke up at 1:30am and was moving around, but didn’t cry.. and her eyes were still closed. i was pumping so i let her be. she became more and more agitated that she couldn’t fall back asleep and began crying and trying to self-soothe by putting her hand in her mouth. when her cries escalated, i finally attended to her at 2:30am. she had been trying for an hour to fall back asleep! i ended up rocking her for AN HOUR AND A HALF. during this time, penny’s eyes were wide open but she was quiet. my chronic cough hasn’t gone away and my throat started to tickle, threatening to wake penny up. i put penny down too early because her eyes flew open and i had to start the rocking process over again. by the time she fell asleep at 4am, it was time to pump again!!!!! as i finished pumping, she woke up! this time she was hungry, and had a very wet diaper. she downed 5.5 ounces and when i rocked her, she fell asleep and stayed asleep for over 4 hours.

the first time that i tried putting penny down in her crib, i had noticed that her diaper was full but didn’t want to further stimulate her by changing it so i left it alone. in hindsight, it’s possible she woke up because she was uncomfortable, and that made her realize she’s hungry too.. who knows? again, she’s just a baby. she’s not waking up to annoy us. this is my mantra that i’ll just have to keep repeating to myself when i find myself getting agitated during these frequent wakings.

out of desperation, i had been googling about the 4-month-old sleep regression the past few weeks. a great blog post i came across is found here: help! my 4-5 month old is sleeping like a newborn again!

this post helped me understand what penny is going through developmentally, and empathize with her. around 4 months of age, the “fourth trimester” ends (the first three months of a baby’s life is referred to as the “fourth trimester” because those months are like an extension of life inside the womb.) and suddenly, the entire world is opened up before their eyes. anything, and everything, is fascinating and you may find (like i did) that your baby is highly distracted to even eat which results in night wakings up make up the calories.

FullSizeRender

penny has been pursing her lips a lot 🙂

taken just before we left for church this morning

taken just before we left for church sunday morning

IMG_1646

what i also liked about this post is that the writer reassures us, the parents, that we aren’t doing anything wrong. it’s easy to blame ourselves when we are up for the fourth time in just as many hours trying to put the baby back to bed. just like how i had thought if i had changed penny’s diaper, she would’ve slept longer… maybe, maybe not.. she IS going through a sleep regression so she could have woken up around the same time even if she had a dry diaper.

just keep doing what you have been doing: feed/nurse (if necessary) and comfort them. this, too, shall pass. babies especially need you during this challenging time. another helpful point to remember is that soon your baby will be crawling, then walking, and then running… sometimes the days can drag on but as a collective time really flies by… as you cradle your wide-eyed child at 3am, try to keep in mind that she won’t “need” you as much as she gets older and learns how to self-soothe. she won’t hug you for no reason or cling by your side.. she’ll want to be with her friends, or play games on her ipad instead of wanting to be held by her mom. though difficult to appreciate now, please try to cherish these moments with your sweet little baby.

i’m talking to you, jax.

summer daze

with school in session and it being the second week of september, you may think fall is just around the corner. as the official first day of fall is september 23rd, you would be correct. but this month has still been summer strong. new england has been having record heat the past few days. i didn’t dare take penny and yuri for a walk today, but the mail carrier came to the front door with a certified letter and i was able to feel the sweltering and suffocating humidity from just standing in the doorway. it’s so bad a bunch of towns and cities issued an early dismissal for their schools today, and some have already announced early release for tomorrow. the city that i am employed in has 8 elementary schools but only 2 are air-conditioned so all elementary schools ended the day at 1pm and the middle school ended at noon. the high school has ac so they had a regular day – bummer for them.

currently, it’s 3:56pm and penny is taking her last nap of the day. she’s been sleeping for just about an hour now. penny’s bedtime is around 7pm and last night she woke up after only a half hour! she must have still been hungry because i nursed her to sleep while she was still wearing her magic merlin suit. she ended up sleeping from 8pm-6am!!! her longest stretch ever!!! i have been setting my alarm to wake up to pump but i kept putting it off from 2am on because i kept thinking penny would wake up and i wanted to nurse instead of bottle-feeding her. well, when she ended up waking up at 6am i was engorged 😦 i just recently started getting my supply back so it wasn’t a smart move neglecting to pump. my issue with bottle-feeding at night is that she’s more awake because i have to pause to burp her and make sure i’m pace feeding. with the boob, it’s more likely she’ll fall asleep and i can gently place her in the crib without having to spend extra time putting her to sleep.

dennis is back at work today after having had a 4-day weekend! on friday, we drove up to massachusetts to visit my family and grandma. we stopped in boston first so dennis could get a haircut and then we had lunch at my parents’ restaurant. we had to interrupt penny’s nap to make it to dennis’ hair appointment in time and penny was overtired. she actually ended up falling asleep while bottle-feeding but woke right up when dennis tried putting her in the stroller. my mom took her for a walk while dennis, my sister, and i ate and penny ended up falling asleep again.

IMG_1271

yummy!! i got 짜장밥, or jajangbab. it’s fried rice with a sweet black bean sauce on the side.

IMG_1270

after lunch, we drove another 45 minutes to see my grandma and aunt. my dad was also there so we were able to see him as well. my grandma wasn’t able to make it to penny’s 100th day celebration and i really wanted her to see penny.

this picture was taken just before she started crying

this picture was taken just before she started crying

penny’s not comfortable with unfamiliar faces so she gets upset when anyone other than dennis and i hold her. she used to be great with dennis’ mom, my mom, and sister but she doesn’t see them on a daily basis… and she has her preferences.

sadly, we didn’t stay too long because we wanted to stop by my parents’ house and also had a 2-hour drive home ahead of us. what should’ve been a 45-minute drive from boston to my grandma’s house took nearly 2 hours because of labor day weekend traffic! we had to pull over and change penny’s diaper and outfit too because she had had a blowout -_-

my parents recently purchased a new home and my dad really wanted to show it to us. my parents have been wanting to downsize for years but couldn’t find a condo that they liked in boston. after a year of living in an apartment, they decided to purchase a 5-bedroom house 25 minutes from boston. my dad’s reasoning: condos in boston are around the same price.. so might as well purchase a house. right… not sure how that’s downsizing, but they seem pretty happy.

here's dennis feeding penny in my parents' family room

here’s dennis feeding penny in my parents’ family room

snoozing on the way home

snoozing on the way home

on saturday, i drove up to massachusetts solo to attend my friend, esther’s baby shower. although i had said i was attending i kept having second thoughts because i was nervous about being away from penny for so long. plus, with the supply issue i had to make sure i pumped during the middle of the shower. anyway, i ended up going and had a great time. penny also slept for the majority of the time i was gone so that was easy for dennis! he ended up cleaning the entire house: vacuuming, laundry, dishes, and organizing every room. he was vacuuming the couch cushions when i came home! (penny was up by then.)

one thing i never really thought about until i had penny was being able to find a place to pump. the baby shower was held in a restaurant and when i went inside the bathroom to pump, i saw that the only outlet was near the sink. a server very graciously stood guard by the bathroom door while i pumped. oh, the joys of being a mama!

we relaxed the rest of the weekend by staying at home. we tried going to church on sunday but penny ended up taking a 3 hour nap. our friend, john, came over after church to visit instead. he arrived right when penny woke up from her nap; that’s when she’s the happiest so when john bent over the crib to see her, she was smiling. (otherwise, she probably would’ve cried.)

IMG_1288

penny’s first time on a swing – she was falling asleep!

IMG_1285

yesterday, we tried hanging out on the field behind our house but that lasted, maybe, 15 minutes. penny was fussy so i brought her inside to feed her because she seemed distracted outside. well, it turns out she was super sleepy from not sleeping well the night before. she ended up napping for 4.5 hours! i had to go wake her because it was interfering with her feeds and i didn’t want the long nap to keep her up at night.

IMG_1312

it would’ve been nice to be able to chill outdoors 😦

any time there is a sweltering heat wave or an icy snow storm, people are quick to complain about the weather on social media: “i can’t wait for summer/winter to be over.” having lived in new england all of my life, i truly appreciate having four seasons. not only does it break the monotony of having the same kind of weather over and over again but it makes me appreciate each season that much more. still, spring and fall are relatively short in comparison to summer and winter. out of the four, people seem to complain about fall less, if at all. it’s easy to see why with the cool, crisp weather; gorgeous foliage; fall activities; and comfort food to name a few.

though i haven’t been able to “enjoy” summer this year in terms of activities and events, it still was my first full season with penny. many days i would stare wistfully out the window wishing i could make an impromptu trip to the beach or pool or meet my girlfriends for happy hour. as penny gets older i’ll be able to do all these things once again but this will be the only summer where i was able to see penny at one month, two months, and three months old… and that is worth everything.

just before daddy started dancing with penny

just before daddy started dancing with penny

bath time

bath time

i see you!

i see you!

IMG_1351