happy holidays

i had my 24-week checkup this morning. it was brief and everything went well. i’ve been keeping track of my weight gain like i did for penny, and i’ve gained 6.3 lb. so far. at this point with penny, i had gained 10.7 lb. and 18 lb. overall, right up until penny was born. i thought i would gain more during my second pregnancy but it’s not over yet so we will see how big this little boy grows.

img_4274

img_4515

the ob measured my fundus (part of the uterus) to determine growth rate. it measured at 23cm which is fine because i’m at week 24. you want the measurements to be around the same as the number of weeks you’re pregnant, so i’m about a week behind which is still great. i have a long torso so i know the baby has a lot of room in there. this is also the reason why i haven’t shown until about a few weeks ago.

my next appointment will be the 28-week checkup where i have to take a glucose test to check for gestational diabetes. i’m not worried about this one at all since my blood pressure is excellent and my weight gain has been minimal. plus, i was fine with penny. the only annoying thing is drinking this sugary orange drink in under 5 minutes.

with that said, these weeks are flying by; much more faster than when i was pregnant with penny. my friend and neighbor, yan, is expecting her second (also a boy!) on january 12th but she said she is already 4cm dilated so the baby could come any day now. it’s exciting and comforting to be going through my second pregnancy with friends who are also expecting their second around the same time. now we have to learn how to adjust to taking care of a newborn while also having a rambunctious toddler around. i’m eager to receive valuable tips from friends that are due before me, but i’m also grateful knowing that i will have lots of help from family members as well.

it was a busy christmas this year: we traveled to boston to celebrate with my family and then came back christmas eve so we could go to church on christmas morning. penny got baptized along with our friends’ son, ethan, and then we opened gifts in the early evening with dennis’ parents.

img_4201

homemade meal upon our arrival!

img_4203img_4204img_4227img_4207img_4208img_4170img_4212img_4213img_4220img_4219img_4221img_4223img_4224img_4225img_4226img_4234fullsizerender

penny’s baptism

img_4284img_4289img_4519img_4517img_4518

img_4288img_4259img_4282

opening gifts

img_4354img_4355img_4381img_4382img_4380img_4377img_4376

img_4374

she also received another baby doll for christmas (from my mom). this one i picked out: baby says “mama” when you squeeze her hand and she sucks on the magnetic pacifier when you place it on her mouth. penny knows how to do both.

img_4368img_4362img_4359img_4385img_4389img_4357

img_4520

i forgot i bought her two wooden puzzles and a pizza kit so i gave them to her the following day

to top it off, i won fantasy football this year! i limped into the playoffs as the #8 seed (out of 12) and basically had no hope of even advancing into the next round. my first and second picks this year were rob gronkowski and dez bryant – both were huge disappointments this year although dez sealed the win for me in the end with a great game. most of my lineup were waiver wire pickups as well so it was amazing how i came back to win it all. this is my first victory after having been a runner-up a few times (most recently, last year) so i feel even more triumphant.

it has been hard to keep track of all the of the things penny has been learning because it’s at such a faster pace now. she’s saying more and more words. a few weeks ago she had added 뽀뽀 (kiss), 멍멍 (puppy), ball, wow, and 이모 (aunt) to her vocabulary, and most recently she has added “no more”, “one more”, “all done” (she only used to gesture), and 지지 (dirty). she is also sorting her colors by putting matching colors together. as one of her christmas gifts, i got her do-a-dot markers and she likes to screw the caps back on to the markers by herself. she correctly places the matching colored cap on the marker and twists it on! during bath time, she also places the colorful dolphin toys into their matching colored tubes.

img_4532

img_4523

new straw cup

img_4536

braving the cold to get some fresh air!

img_4540img_4543img_4544

img_4553

on my way home from my ob appointment today, a house had free toys set out on the curb so i took a coffee maker and this big rig auto transport.

penny’s top molars have broken through! i only noticed them a few days ago when i was changing her diaper and she was yelling/talking. currently she has 5 teeth but her top lateral incisors have been trying to poke their way through for almost a month now! she is a very slow teether. xD at 19 months it looks like she will soon have 9 teeth; but it seems that she’ll be closer to 20 months by the time they fully come in.

i can’t believe it’ll already be 2017 (year of the rooster) in a few short days. i’m excited to see what the new year brings (besides a baby boy!

  • i plan on adding more photos (52 total!) little by little. i just really want to post this entry before penny’s nap is up and the pictures take forever!

 

family, friends & fun – oh my!

holy smokes, the 18 month sleep regression really is a killer!

they say that god never gives you more than you can handle but i honestly think he overestimates me sometimes, or maybe it’s all a cruel, cruel test. i had read about this regression for months in anticipation but it’s no joke when it happens. i’ll talk about it a little more later on but first i wanted to share our weekend in boston. we finally made a long overdue trip up to my home state to see my parents, sister, and grandma. while there we were also able to meet up with a few friends — the kim family and movie night with the byun brothers.

we ate well and we played well.. and we are going back up in two weeks from the 23-24th. we didn’t celebrate thanksgiving with my family (again) so we are celebrating an early christmas with them. and it’s my mom’s birthday on christmas day. the only reason we are heading back early is because penny is getting baptized on christmas morning with her friend, ethan.

okay, back to the weekend trip. we embarked around 9:30am and arrived at 11am at my parents’ home. penny had time to see her grandparents and auntie jen, play for a little bit, eat lunch and take a nap. while she slept, my parents left for work and dennis, jen, and i watched the secret life of pets. it was funny though not as good as zootopia, and definitely not appropriate for little children as they talk about “whacking off humans.” o.O

img_3804

after penny woke up we went to go visit my grandma. jen even brought along charlie and logan, her dog and her boyfriend’s dog. the last time penny saw grandma, she wasn’t walking on her own yet so my grandma was marveling at her speed and her height. penny was in a kissing mood and wasn’t shy about giving her great-grandma kisses much to her delight. (lately when penny’s feeling generous she will kiss everyone in the room. multiple times.)

img_3970

만세!

img_3811

giving great-grandma a kiss

img_3818

img_3817

copying daddy with a playdo mustache

img_3821img_3822img_3823

we kept busy the rest of the weekend. mornings, for the most part, were spent at home with my parents since they had to go into work in the afternoon.

img_3861

giving kisses to grandma, grandpa and daddy

img_3860

img_3827

lunch!

img_3829img_3830

on saturday, we went to go see santa at the burlington mall. we were able to book a time in advance (3:20pm, and they book fast!) but we still arrived early anticipating a crazy holiday crowd. and.. we were correct. there was a lot of traffic and parking was sparse so dennis dropped off penny and me at the entrance closest to the santa meet ‘n greet. when penny and i got there, the line was wrapped around the entire santa section! there was a shorter line where people were waiting to pick up their photos. i asked a woman in that line if she had booked a time online and she said she did; she told me to flag down one of the employees so that we could cut in line since everyone there had not scheduled a time.

whew! i’m so glad i asked because it wouldn’t have made sense for us to wait in line especially since i paid a $10 nonrefundable deposit towards a photo package. santa took a bathroom break and as he walked by, he patted penny on the shoulder. after he came back, the whole photo shoot took about ten seconds. we didn’t want to risk penny crying so we decided to take a family photo.

img_3944

img_3863img_3862img_3867

after that, we left and met the kim family at their home for a short play date before dinner at island creek oyster house.

img_3880

olivia & penny snacking on blueberries

the food at this restaurant was really good and i’d love to go back. this is the second location; the first location is near fenway.

img_3874

olivia enjoying homemade pesto pasta

our friends, alf and ben (brothers), came over for a movie night after penny had gone to bed. last time, we had watched spotlight and snacked on doughnuts. this time, we watched the jungle book (the most recent one) and snacked on macarons. it was great to see them because we had been trying for a few months to schedule a movie night. (being carless in the city makes it even more difficult to make it work, too.)

img_3881

after spending some time with my parents on sunday morning, we took penny to vinkari safari in woburn, a children’s indoor playground. i had looked up kid-friendly indoor activities to do that are in the area and i found vinkari. penny had a great time and we did too. currently she’s really into cars and trucks so she spent most of her time playing with trucks and riding in cars.

img_3882img_3883img_3888img_3889img_3891img_3894img_3896img_3900img_3902img_3903img_3908img_3910img_3911img_3912img_3914img_3915img_3917img_3919img_3922img_3925

we left a little after 11am and the place was getting packed! we left at just the right time.. there probably wouldn’t have been enough cars for the kids! i look forward to bringing penny back when we go back to boston. admission is $10 per child and up to two adults are free.

it’s interesting how the activities we plan for our family are geared towards penny. there really isn’t anything for us adults to enjoy at indoor playgrounds like vinkari but just to see the joy on penny’s face and seeing how engaged she is is enough for us — and i know there aren’t too many parents that would disagree with this. if the kid’s happy, you’re happy. i did tell dennis though that i hope we can go into boston at night the next time we’re up. maybe my parents will be home early enough so they can watch penny while she sleeps and dennis and i can do our own thing…

img_3943

dinner at buk kyung, my parents’ restaurant, before we head back to connecticut

img_3929img_3942img_3934img_3927

back to the sleep regression. it seems like every other day penny will wake up around 4-5am and then go between modes of being awake and asleep. she’ll stay up for a while calling out for me (but not crying) and talk to herself. it’ll be quiet for a half an hour — maybe she fell asleep or she’s trying to — and then i’ll hear her yell out again. dennis and i actually haven’t gone into her room at night since she started sleeping all night at 6.5 months and we hope not to. she’s great at self-soothing (she is attached to her lambie lovey from pbk) and loves her crib so for the most part she’s fine by herself even if she’s awake. the hard part is dealing with her crankiness in the morning while i struggle to stay alert.

it’s not particularly the sleep part that is taxing (though it’s a huge part) but now that she’s a full-on toddler she’s developed her own personality and is more vocal and demanding of her opinions. most of the meltdowns occur because of miscommunication or because she isn’t getting what she wants. she’s still young enough where you can’t really discipline her since she won’t understand but our pediatrician suggested a time-out of no longer than 1 minute just to remove her from the situation. it can be as simple as placing her in the pack ‘n play and walking away for a minute. i’ll have to remember this for next time.

anyway, tuesday morning was no different. while we were playing on the floor near the dining area, she stood up. i saw that she was about to hit her head on the marble table so i reached out to create a buffer but it was too late. the tears and screaming that quickly ensued had penny in a rage — she lunged at me and was trying to pinch my face! no matter what i did she would not calm down. ashamed to say i lost my cool and screamed back at her which caused her to cry more. ugh.. i struggle to stay cool in situations such as this. i walked away and sat on the couch to try the ‘ignore method.’ i quietly ate my bagel while she continued to scream. she followed me to the couch and kept screaming in bouts to get my attention and touched my foot. after i finally looked at her, she became quiet and let me hug her. she asked for milk and while she was drinking, she would pause to say “na na” which is what we say for “sleep” (night-night). i guess she was telling me she’s tired because i brought her upstairs for an earlier-than-usual nap and she passed out a few minutes later at 11:45.

while she slept i had time to reflect on that morning.. and how i reacted to the situation. i have to keep reminding myself how frustrating it must be for penny to not be able to fully communicate to us what she wants and needs. i, as her mom, have to be more accommodating (to a certain extent, of course) and understanding…. but boy, is it tough. i should’ve just walked away sooner when i saw the tantrum coming but i kept trying to hug her and say soothing words instead. i pray i can deal with this better the next time it happens because penny (and her brother) need me to guide them on how to respond during exasperating situations.

tomorrow she’ll be 19 months and penny’s surprising me every day with things she knows.

some things penny knows and likes to do:

  • colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, white, black, and gray. she points to the correct colors when prompted and also says “blue” and “purple.” she tries to say “yellow.”
  • points to the letter “o” and says its name
  • points to certain animals in books when prompted such as dog, cat, bunny, turtle, lamb, and cow. also points to certain objects when prompted such as rattle, book, star, moon, flower, and tree.
  • her vocabulary is about 20 words – english and korean. she still says “abba” (dad) and “umma” (mom) most often and she signs for “milk” instead of saying it. she loves to say “lambie” (her lovey).
  • she likes to help us do laundry (putting in/taking out clothes in washer & dryer and pushing the buttons) and cook eggs (one of her favorite foods).
  • she loves cars and trucks – riding them and playing with them.
  • she loves to snuggle and kiss stuffed animals.
  • likes to switch the lights and her toys on/off.

there are probably a lot more but i’m getting tired. i need to upload the pictures and hopefully rest for a little bit. until next time…

maryland & dc

penny’s hit another milestone – 18 months! this means in six months she’ll already be two years old. what?! this also means that in six short months she’ll already be a big sister to a one-month-old. oh boy.

this post will be about our family vacation to maryland & dc; and i will also share tips and advice on how to make traveling with a toddler a little bit easier on everyone. we came back home around noon on monday and put penny down for her nap right away. we planned everything around penny’s nap schedule and it worked out perfectly. our days went like this: wake, quick continental breakfast in the hotel lobby, morning activity, lunch/nap, afternoon~evening activity, dinner, penny’s bedtime, and adult time.

we really looked forward to penny’s nap time because that meant we could nap too! what made this trip so much easier on everyone was that we booked a 2-bedroom suite. penny got her own room, mil stayed in the other room, and dennis and i slept on the pull-out couch. the hotel provided a pack-and-play and we brought our own mattress and sheet for it after finding out the hotel doesn’t provide that. initially we were going to buy another one and have it shipped to crystal and dan’s apartment but dennis found that we could fold the mattress in half, stuff it into a dry cleaning bag, and check it in as luggage. we flew southwest which provides two free check-in bags for each individual.

of course, we made sure to bring along the baby monitor and the white noise machine. we also made sure to pack her favorite books, cars & trucks, tons of snacks, pens, paper, and the ipad. it was a short 45-minute plane ride from hartford to baltimore. she did great during take-off and landing because we had her either drink milk or eat a fruit & veggie pouch. the ipad was a lifesaver – since we hadn’t been giving her screen time on the ipad ever since her 15-month checkup it was like she was using it for the first time. she was entranced and had even forgotten how to use it until dennis touched the screen with his fingers.

another thing that helped was that mil was randomly selected to go in the pre-check line going to and returning from baltimore, and she was able to bring penny through the quicker line. while she waited for us, she entertained penny by having her look out at the windows to watch the planes take off and also fed her snacks. much better than having to deal with a feisty toddler in a slow-moving line!

when we arrived in baltimore, our luggage was already waiting for us so we didn’t have to waste precious time waiting and sifting through the baggage claim. it was also an 8-minute shuttle ride to the car rental place. the only thing that took a little bit of time was installing the car seat. it was pretty beat up and dingy (word of advice: bring lots of wipes – not baby wipes but sanitizing ones. we used wet ones to clean the baby seat). penny also sits in a rear-facing convertible seat back home (connecticut law is until 2 years of age) so she really enjoyed facing forward during the car rides on our trip.

one thing i really wanted to see during our trip was the national mall: the lincoln memorial, the washington monument, and the white house. we thought about it and decided to nix it because it’s a lot of walking and it would most likely be difficult to find parking on a weekend particularly veterans day weekend. hopefully i can cross these off my bucket list in the near future. it’ll be much easier sight-seeing when penny’s sibling is, at least, three years old.

most of the activities were catered towards penny but we had just as much fun seeing her experience new sights and sounds. best of all, we were able to meet up with crystal and dan (despite their busy schedule); we also enjoyed our adult time after penny went down for the night by playing games, eating ice cream, and talking. we’ll be able to see them again next monday when they drive up from maryland for five days!

on one of the days we met up with my childhood friend, clara, and her son, barrett, for breakfast at founding farmers. i hadn’t seen clara in well over a decade! it was so great to catch up with her and meet barrett. i completely forgot to get a group photo of us especially a few snaps of penny and barrett together. it’ll be some time before we see each other again but hopefully i don’t forget next time.

day 1: travel/playseum/dinner/sleep/adult time

img_2642

she loved watching the planes


img_2650

goodbye, connecticut!

img_2651img_2659

img_2655img_2657img_2649

img_2716

on our way to the hotel!

be with me, a playseum in bethesda

img_2662img_2663img_2664img_2666img_2667img_2668img_2669img_2670img_2671img_2673

fullsizerender

touching various herbs and spices at the chinese market

img_2675img_2676img_2677img_2678img_2679

img_2680

this was a neat room – “grandma and grandpa’s house.” it was full of vintage items


img_2682

a tin box featuring a young queen elizabeth II

img_2683img_2703img_2688img_2687img_2685img_2684img_2683img_2700img_2699img_2697

img_2689

princess room

img_2694img_2692img_2690

dinner & after-hours:

img_2704

dinner at a nearby korean restaurant

img_2705

img_2706

ice cream for the adults! dan and i got toasted sesame brittle and crystal and dennis got caramel coffee. vanilla for mil!


img_2707

teaching crystal, dan, and mil how to play blokus

every night we went to bed around 10:30~11pm. we were tired way before that but wanted to spend time with crystal and dan since they were busy during the daytime. and, of course, we tried to sleep as much as we could since we had to wake up when penny did. aforementioned she did very well sleeping in the hotel though.

day 2: wake/breakfast/brunch with clara & barrett/nap/port discovery children’s museum/dinner/penny’s bedtime/adult time

img_2712

playing basketball at the hotel after breakfast

img_2713img_2711img_2710

img_2715

stuffed french toast at founding farmers

port discovery children’s museum in baltimore

img_2717img_2718

img_2719

she liked climbing on top of the drum


img_2721

toddler room

img_2722img_2726img_2727

img_2728

interactive floor

img_2730img_2731img_2734

img_2737

she enjoyed cooking at the diner

img_2738img_2739img_2740img_2741

img_2744

she loves cars and trucks


img_2747

spinning display of dancers during chu’seok (korean thanksgiving)

img_2748

img_2750

souvenir: fire engine

img_2752

we got back to the hotel around 6pm where crystal and dan were waiting with italian food for dinner. after penny’s bedtime routine, crystal and dan taught us a card game called bang and we played until 10:30.

img_2852

img_2888

praying before penny’s bedtime

day 3: wake/breakfast/smithsonian national zoo/lunch & nap/playground at silver spring/dinner at 옛골 (yett gol  – korean restaurant)/penny’s bedtime/pack & adult time

note: going to the zoo right when it opened was a great decision. there were very few people there until we were getting ready to leave around 10:45 – then it started getting packed with groups of school children and families.

the zoo is free. we spent 2.5 hours there and it was well worth it. parking is $22… they have to make money somehow.

img_3030

right when we parked we saw two squirrels fighting


img_3029

looking at the zebras in the way back

img_2904

img_3011

we were very excited to see the pandas!

img_3028

img_3026

this panda is getting treats out of the ball

img_3025img_3024img_3023

img_3008

img_3021

family of wild deer making their way through the grounds


img_3020

turtles and lemurs (not pictured)


img_3019

tiger


img_3018

casually observing the llamas

img_3017

img_3016

cute goats perched on stumps

img_3015img_3014img_3013

img_3012

penny was having a meltdown here


img_3010

much-needed family photo

img_3009img_3007img_3006img_3005img_2987img_2954img_2930img_2918img_2912img_2894

the only downside to coming early was that we weren’t able to see all of the animals. some of the enclosures were being cleaned so the animals weren’t there like the lions.

in the evening, we took penny to a park that had a huge playground. there were really tall slides and after going all the way up to the top to slide down, i chickened out. that’s how tall it was!

fullsizerenderimg_3041img_3039img_3037img_3035

img_3042

dennis and dan walking up the rubber hill

img_3084

img_3050

bedtime routine


img_3053

reading with uncle dan

img_3054

we didn’t get to hang out with crystal that day because she had a lot of assignments for grad school. we only saw her briefly when she came to pick up dan at the hotel. after penny went to bed, we played blokus and went to bed.

day 4: wake/breakfast/travel/home/lunch & nap

i didn’t take any pictures of us making our way back home.. i guess i was just too tired. after coming home around noon and putting penny immediately down for a nap we quickly ate pizza and napped as well.

it’s always great getting away but there’s nothing like home!

before i close, here are some helpful tips for traveling with a little one(s):

  1. start packing two days in advance. i packed all of penny’s clothes, accessories, and pajamas two days before we left and left things like her lovey, sleep sack, and baby monitor until the end.
  2. book flights first thing in the morning. (or red-eye if it’s a long flight.) our flight from hartford -> baltimore departed at 8:45am. we loaded up the car and waited until 6:30am to wake penny up, changed her, and left. we wanted to make sure she still got enough sleep. thankfully our flight was short so we made it to the hotel in time for her nap.
  3. find out what the hotel provides and doesn’t provide. the mattress pad for the pack and play was a lifesaver because she definitely would not have slept well on a thin pad that comes with the pack and play. the continental breakfast was also a HUGE plus! we had one less meal to worry about and it was so convenient. also, find out if the hotel is near restaurants and stores. ours had babies ‘r us and target across the street. we made a trip to target twice to buy snacks, milk, water, and cheap toys from the dollar section for penny.
  4. plan an itinerary and keep in mind of the distance to/from hotel, the hours, and admission. while researching for baby-friendly activities i came upon “be with me” a playseum for children in bethesda. it was about a 20-minute ride from our hotel and we brought her here our first day in maryland.
  5. be realistic. you won’t get to do everything you want to do and you have to be okay with that. little ones get tired really easily and is it worth dealing with their meltdowns because you absolutely had to check out a certain museum?the trip was definitely a lot easier on us too because we had an extra pair of hands from my mil. at the smithsonian zoo, she didn’t want to stay in the stroller at one point so we took turns carrying her and letting her walk. see if you can get your parents or in-laws (or other family members) to join you on your vacation. the extra help helps!

sweet news

img_1964

i’m back. and with big news. the so family is expecting baby #2 on april 16th, 2017. currently i’m in my second trimester (14w 4d) and feeling infinitely better than i had been the past few months.

the reason for my blogging hiatus was due to my morning sickness. with penny i experienced nausea, fatigue, and food aversion to name a few but i never threw up (though i was close a few times). with my current pregnancy, weeks 5-11 were pure hell complete with toilet-hugging. at times i couldn’t even get out of bed and, fortunately, on days that dennis works 2-10 he would wake up in the morning with penny while i rested. it was really difficult to play with penny and cater to her needs when all i wanted to do was lie down. but again, i had help from dennis and also my mother-in-law. she still comes over several days a week to help prepare meals and take care of penny which i’m entirely grateful for.

like my pregnancy with penny, i couldn’t eat a lot of foods particularly meat and anything with red sauce (pasta and pizza). dinner was always a battle because dennis would bring home food and i would look at it and gag. there were many nights where i would go to bed hungry because i couldn’t stomach anything – even water was gross; it tasted metallic.

i didn’t do much the past few months but attempt to eat and sleep. i got nauseous when watching tv or reading a book, and all i wanted to do was nap when penny napped so i put off blogging for a while even though there were so many things i wanted to share. hopefully i get back into the groove of things and i can record a detailed pregnancy journey for penny’s little sister or brother.

baby #2 wasn’t entirely a huge surprise. we had been planning on trying for another one around fall because we were thinking of the age gap between penny and the baby. we weren’t intentionally trying but we also weren’t being super cautious.

and then we found out about baby #2 on august 4th.

i had a feeling i was pregnant because i had experienced a stuffy nose for over a week. this was my first symptom with penny too. no matter how much i blew my nose, it was constantly stuffy and impacted my night sleep. then, i started getting acne on my forehead which is rare. oddly, my hair started falling out; with penny, my hair had started growing thicker. a day before i was due for my next period, i took a pregnancy test (at night) and voila – instantly positive. i took one again the next morning and it was the same result.

even now we are still in disbelief that we will soon be parents to two children. boy, life goes by so quickly… in the meantime we have been cherishing penny even more as her status as an only child will soon expire. a newborn requires so much attention and care and we are praying for a smooth transition. as hard as it has been dealing with morning sickness and caring for a rambunctious toddler, i can only imagine how much work it will be once the baby is here!

img_1439

img_2065

here’s a photo of me (and the baby) at 14 weeks.

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.

IMG_2154

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

IMG_2149

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

IMG_2147 IMG_2146 IMG_2145

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

grandma and baby groot

grandma and baby groot

IMG_2179

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

IMG_2152

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!

“ohana” means “family”

it’s been a busy month, clearly. i was surprised to see that i hadn’t updated my blog in two weeks.

the sleep regression finally ended about a week and a half ago. penny is back to sleeping about 12 hours a night with one feeding around 3am. thing is, she started a new leap recently (that will last a MONTH!). with every development leap, come the 3 c’s: cranky, clingy, and crying. i still get impressed with how accurate the ‘wonder weeks app’ is at describing the abilities penny will pick up during this phase, and what signs are indicative of her leap.

IMG_2062IMG_2067

perfecting her grip... hmm, a future pharmacist like dad??

perfecting her grip… hmm, a future pharmacist like dad??

visit daddy at work

visit daddy at work

for instance, one sign of penny’s leap (“relationships”) is that she will “sleep less, sleep worse, and eat less.” she sleeps fine at night (thank god!) but her naps have been affected, mostly her second nap which used to be 2-3 hours. now, i’m lucky if i can get her to sleep 1.5 hours for her second nap. on days that she naps poorly, i try to squeeze in a fourth nap to compensate for her long awake time between her third nap and bedtime but most days it’s unsuccessful. she will fight me tooth and nail to stay up; it’s as if she knows she shouldn’t be taking a fourth nap.

i also don’t want to push up bedtime because she hasn’t been eating much during the day. some days she’ll have consumed less than 10 oz total and it’s 4pm! she’s been teething recently so it’s uncomfortable for her to eat but it’s also because of her leap. the good thing is that penny ends up consuming large amounts in a short period of time just before bedtime. it’s as if she knows she has to sleep a long stretch and she really should eat. the other night, she ate 9.25 oz an hour before she passed out! i never know how much she’ll eat so i just have milk ready for her and refill the bottle as i go. again, i’m just relieved her nighttime sleep isn’t affected.

speaking of sleep, daylight savings ends this upcoming sunday. supposedly, we gain an hour of sleep but this is so not true for parents. we’re up whenever the baby is up. still, there are preventative measures to keep your baby from waking up at 5:30am and wanting to party.

this article informs us how to make sure your baby doesn’t confuse the time change come next sunday. a week before daylight savings ends, you push back your child’s bedtime in 10-15-minute increments every night or every other night. penny has been going to bed around 6:30, if not sooner, recently so tuesday night i put her to bed at 6:50pm instead of 6:30pm. last night was 7:07pm, and tonight was 7:15pm.  it’s already working because she’s waking up a little later to nurse for the motn (middle of the night) feeding and also for the day. hopefully by the time sunday morning rolls around she will wake up at 7am instead of 6am. this’ll mean that i may have to put her to bed closer to 8pm on saturday night which is really late for her.. i’m worried about keeping her up and making her overtired especially with penny rejecting the fourth nap. i guess that’s why the article suggests short increments so the baby gradually gets used to having the bedtime extended. we’ll see how this goes *fingers crossed*

i’ve been working on this post since yesterday. my sister came down tuesday night to visit and stayed until 4:30pm today. i’m really thankful my sister was able to visit for a few days not only to help take care of penny but also for the adult company. my parents and sister actually came down to visit last friday and brought a ton of food from the restaurant and home. hard to believe, but they hadn’t seen penny since penny’s 100th day celebration back in august! even though they live only an hour and a half away, they’re so busy tending to their businesses they don’t have much time for anything else. i do hope my parents can find more time to visit though. they were amazed at how much penny has grown, but they’re also wistful that they missed out on so much already. that’s why my sister decided to visit again – she doesn’t want to keep missing penny’s milestones and developmental growths, or have her be a stranger to penny.

dad feeding penny

dad feeding penny

FullSizeRender

so curious

so curious

IMG_1933

IMG_1925

she LOVES her rainforest jumperoo

she LOVES her rainforest jumperoo

penny and i worked on halloween crafts several days ago. we created halloween cards using her hand-and-foot prints.

IMG_1959

IMG_1962

IMG_1970

today, genie and olivia came over for a play date. it had been a few weeks since i had seen them both so it was great to catch up. olivia can now sit up unassisted and has two teeth! so many changes in such a short amount of time… we plan to get together soon work on christmas crafts! can’t wait!

olivia :)

olivia 🙂

IMG_2089 IMG_2090

penny has been aware of, and tracking, yuri for quite some time now but she also gets so amused by her. she’ll laugh and kick her legs whenever she sees yuri. what’s funny is that olivia is just as entertained by yuri. we noticed today that olivia would laugh and get excited whenever she spotted yuri; it was the cutest thing. at one point, both girls kept staring at yuri but she could care less. in fact, she hates it when penny tries to pet her no matter how gently she does it.. i think it’s because she’s still a bit jealous of penny.

IMG_2068

face/off

face/off

speaking of ‘olivia’, my friend, esther, became a first-time mom to a baby girl, olivia, three weeks ago. now i have two baby mama friends with daughters named olivia. congratulations, esther and william! here’s a picture of the beautiful family 🙂

IMG_2058

although i take pictures, and record videos, of penny nearly every day i have very little photos of penny with both dennis and me. i asked dennis to take photos of me with penny, and a neighbor walking by with her dog asked if we wanted family photos. of course we do! hoping we can take some decent photos soon for christmas cards as well.

IMG_2029

IMG_2041

IMG_2028

IMG_1988

IMG_1998