to blog or not to blog

it’s been nearly three months since my last blog post. sheer laziness was the big reason for not blogging, but I also seriously contemplated forgoing it altogether. I wasn’t, and I guess I still am, unsure if it’s really “taking me anywhere.” I’m just not certain if the benefits outweigh the time spent curating the photos and thinking of what to say. by benefits, I mean the sole purpose in which I had started this blog: to share my life with, first, one child, and, now raising two little ones.

I had had feedback from friends and strangers alike that my posts have helped them personally which is very rewarding, and wonderful to hear. that, for a while, gave me the momentum to keep my blog going; but it is a very time-consuming task especially with a very s l o w MacBook. (mine is from 2009!) it took ages for me to upload photos and write one entry. (now that Dennis has a brand-new MacBook Pro – thanks to our family and friends for the generous gift – technology won’t be the piece that prevents me from blogging.)

recently, I rebranded my instagram page – I deleted (gasp) most of my photos. (I ended up archiving most of them, but I also made chatbooks using all of my IG photos: grand total $160!) I want my page to have more of a cohesive look and also appeal to a particular niche. although the photos I have uploaded since the purge are similar in content to what I’ve had before, I’ve been focusing on the layout and look of my page more than ever. I’m trying to have similar colors via filters and also focusing more on myself as well. before kids, my posts were generally ootd and lifestyle which I really enjoyed. of course, I will post pictures of my kiddos now and then but, for the most part, the focus will be on mom style and lifestyle.

since I rebranded, I attended a first birthday party and went on a double date to the movies. this past Saturday, penny and I went to lorelai’s first birthday. the weather was beautiful on Saturday – warm enough to remove my blazer and it was *only* 11:30AM. (warm and sunny weather hasn’t been easy to come by in New England this year.) penny was fascinated by the Canadian geese that were swimming in the pond so I took a few photos of her as she checked them out.

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while at the party, penny really enjoyed playing with a homemade dollhouse: she spent the majority of our stay playing with it.

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some of the girls eating pizza together

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yummy homemade cake

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birthday girl checking out the cake!

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big sister & little sister

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excited to eat a macaron

for the occasion, I decided to wear an oatmeal blazer from anthropologie with skinny jeans and ultra-feminine flats that I had purchased in Hong Kong. I’m not sure if I was being foolish or brave wearing light colors to a toddler’s birthday, but I left the party, unscathed!

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I love the polka dot liner and the elbow patches on the blazer! details are everything

 

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close-up of the lace top from forever 21

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I stuck with the color scheme by pairing the outfit with light tan flats from Hong Kong 

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that same day, Dennis and I went to go to see a quiet place with our friends. I did a wardrobe change: from light to dark (day to night). I wouldn’t have carried such a big purse with me but I thought we were going to sneak in Wendy’s (!) until Dennis told me that it was too loud to eat during that particular movie because of its, well, quietness. we ended up eating McDonald’s in the car, haha! (all four of us thoroughly enjoyed the movie – go check it out!)

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“darker” neutral colors for a night out.

the black shawl from Nordstrom doubled as a blanket while watching the movie since I get cold easily. suede grey wedges were a comfortable choice as well.

I hope you enjoyed my post, and continue to follow me as I revamp my content.

punta cana – destination wedding

we returned last week from vacation #2 without penny. our friends, mayra and evan, held their wedding in punta cana and, of course, we had to go!

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the beautiful bride and groom!

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the adorable flower girl – the bride’s niece

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the lovely bride and her father

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the bouquets

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dennis and i were much less worried about penny this time around due to the success of the vegas trip.. mil reassured us with lots of photos and updates via kakaotalk (a korean messaging app). however, this trip still wasn’t without a lot of headaches…

we were supposed to depart at 6am on friday, january 15th, and arrived at bradley airport a little after 4. after getting our boarding passes, we should have stood in the security line but we kept our friends company because one had left his passport in his mom’s car and was waiting for her to come back to the airport with it. we were with them, maybe, ten minutes tops but that time could have been spent waiting in the security line… because by the time we got there we realized just how insanely long that line was: it reached all the way to the other side of the airport! needless to say we missed our flight by MINUTES… the plane was still at the gate but they wouldn’t let us board the plane 😡 dennis and i debated driving down to newark, nj because that’s where our connecting flight was but with morning traffic and dennis’s dad having to come back to get us, we knew we wouldn’t make it. our luggage got on the flight so we had to hope that they wouldn’t get misplaced in newark since we now had to fly out a day later.

initially, i was angry about missing our flight but i got over it fairly quickly. dennis wasn’t that upset either. i guess it’s because there wasn’t anything else we could do, and it was just nice having that extra day spending it with penny. if this had happened even a year ago, i would have probably thrown a tantrum but after having a baby, i suppose i grew up a little, no? since dennis and i had been awake since 3:40am dennis’s mom stayed for the day and took care of penny while we napped.

after a lot of phone calls and being put on hold, orbitz agreed to let us stay an extra day in punta cana to make up for the day that we had lost. we also got the ‘okay’ from hard rock hotel to stay another night with no additional fees. success! 

everything was fine now, right? it was until we got to our hotel. upon checking in, the front desk said we would be charged for friday night because the room was “empty” and we were a “no-show”.. and no, we could not stay until wednesday. after explaining that this had been dealt with and getting orbitz on the phone, we finally got to our room and had an hour to get ready before the welcome dinner at 6pm.

we had a very enjoyable time in punta cana but the changes to our trip didn’t get resolved until monday – two days later – so until then we kept worrying that we would have to leave on tuesday. not something you want hanging over your heads.

pumping, this time, was less of a hassle than it was in vegas. i’ve been pumping every 4-5 hours lately so that gave me plenty of time to be on the beach and do other activities before heading back to the hotel room to pump. i’ve been renting the medela symphony pump (hospital-grade) because my ameda purely yours has been losing suction. i get a lot more output with the hospital pump. the only downside is that it’s so heavy and cumbersome, but i did bring it with me to punta cana. i brought back over 150 oz., or 9.3 lb., of milk! the milk was mostly the reason my luggage was over the weight limit by 10 lb so i had to put the milk into a different carry-on.

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pumping in the security room at the airport in punta cana

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our layover was in dc on the way home and that airport has nursing rooms!

it was so wonderful to get away from the cold and be able to relax. we got a tan from lounging on the beach, celebrated our friends’ beautiful wedding on the beach, and even swam with sharks and sting rays!

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i took this shot of people walking on the dock during our excursion

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last day in paradise

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sun and wine

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we’re on a boat!

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cerveza!

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cabana life

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dennis relaxing on a hammock

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dennis enjoying some meat at a brazilian joint

 

 

still, nothing beats home.. especially if you’re under the weather. most of the wedding party and guests caught a viral infection, and many were sick during the trip too – mostly diarrhea.. maybe from the ice in the drinks and brushing their teeth with tap water. i drank mostly beer so i wasn’t affected until i came home. dennis has had a really bad sore throat for over a week now. he got it checked out and it’s not strep so that’s a relief.

dennis goes back to work on thursday so we’ve been spending time together as a family, and taking turns sleeping in while the other tends to penny first thing in the morning. i wish every day was like this. i love my family!

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sunset during our first night

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our room was less than a minute’s walk to the beach

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the rooms have a spacious 2-person jacuzzi in the middle of the room. it was hard to get out of the tub, let me tell you!

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this arden b jumpsuit is perfect for the beach

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outfit for the wedding

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like many women, i fretted over what to wear to the wedding and ended up going to the mall twice to find an ensemble. i bought an off-the-shoulder forest green top from forever 21 for $12.90 and paired it with a gold maxi that i had already had!

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danielle, roberta & me

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the reception was held on the terrace – straight up gorgeous

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mother-and-son dance

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father-and-daughter dance

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cake cutting

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the flower girl and her daddy

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penny’s 2 months

baby girl is already 2 months old. cannot even believe it.

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i wish these pictures were bigger in size. if i try to stretch them or change the dimensions, they come out blurry so i have to leave them as they are.

the above photos were taken on the 14th, the day before her two months’ milestone. i began taking photos on the 13th just in case they didn’t come out well or she was being fussy.

here are some from the 13th:

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even with filters, the lighting in the first photo is a lot better than the above.

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the ballerina slippers were a gift and are so adorable. they’re still too big for her so i left the tissue paper in the toe area so they wouldn’t fall off.

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my cousin got penelope the pink tutu and a coworker gifted the ballerina slippers – perfect! in fact, penny’s entire outfit were all gifts. we were very lucky to not have purchased most of her clothes.

not only is she growing in size, but intellectually as well. it seems as if she’s learning something new every day. i try to keep up with recording her milestones but it’s difficult to do when there isn’t much spare time. penny has been sleeping through the night – hooray! – since the 7-week mark but her daytime naps have been decreasing. a speculation may be that the daytime naps are declining because of the increase in nighttime sleep but newborns are still supposed to get a good amount of daytime nap hours as well. by a “good amount”, i mean that two-month-olds supposedly should be napping about every 1.5 to 2 hours. penny had been doing this up until week 6. in my previous posts, i discussed how the 6-week growth spurt was a tough hump to get over… and i thought we were done with the cluster feedings and short naps. well, it turns out that though the sixth week can be brutal one of the baby’s major developments can span from the 6-week mark to the 8-week mark. of course all babies are different but they’re right on the nose for penny.

where am i getting all of this information? usually, i’m no longer up every few hours at night because she’s sleeping through the night – again, hooray! – but whenever i am feeding penny i’m typically browsing my phone; and i research current issues or problems that we may be experiencing at the moment. plus, i downloaded the free app “wonder weeks” (there’s also a book) that informs when a baby makes “leaps”, or new developments. it provides guidance on what to expect and how to help the baby. penny is currently in leap 2 which is recognizing patterns. she’s recently discovered the use of her hands and has been putting them in her mouth to self-soothe particularly when she first wakes up. her newborn reflexes are also slowly disappearing such as the grasp reflex. her hands are much more relaxed instead of being in fist-mode all of the time. (this is also because she has discovered the use of her hands.)

another helpful app is ‘baby tracker.’ i’m obsessed with keeping data and we’ve been tracking penny’s feedings and diaper changes since day 1. we ditched the paper and pen method when i realized that an app is much easier to use since i always have my phone on me (and we’re not wasting paper!)

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again, i wish these images were bigger. i did stretch them a bit so they’re blurry here. i love this app because i can track her feedings, diaper changes, sleep, activity/milestone, and pump sessions. there’s also a week-by-week graph to compare the stats so you can notice any patterns.

penny was finally able to meet most of her extended family last weekend. we went up to massachusetts on saturday to attend my cousin’s (technically, first cousin once removed) high school graduation party. it was great to see many of my family members and have them see penny for the first time.

the commute was a nightmare initially because of standstill traffic due to an accident. we were 4 hours late for a housewarming party in new hampshire that we were planning to go to first. granted, we did leave the house around 1:15 but we arrived at my cousin’s graduation party around 4! penny was tired because she didn’t really nap in the car (she needs the car to be in motion and much of the time was spent crawling at a snail’s pace). her feeding time arrived and since we were going so slowly, i ended up nursing her in the backseat. not safe, we know but it had to be done. i also had to change her soiled diaper on the car seat while i sat on the floor. good times.

 

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trying to keep penny entertained in the car

gathered around penny

gathered around penny

the girls kept commenting on the smallness of penny’s hands and feet.

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she was overwhelmed and stimulated, to say the least.

being a first-time mom, i’ve been tired and overwhelmed. lately, i’ve been slowly going out more and resuming my social life. i purchased this chambray jumpsuit maybe 3 weeks ago and i finally got to wear it last saturday. the espadrille wedges were purchased before penny was born and they made their grand debut at last.
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the reason we left our house late was because penny was sleeping. never wake a sleeping baby! sleep is so precious.. for everyone. when she finally woke up, i nursed her and we tried to leave as soon as possible so she would be in a good mood and she wouldn’t have to eat in the car (that didn’t happen). at least we were able to take advantage of the sale target was having on baby items.

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we spent $200 on baby items (diapers), so we got a $40 gift card. for every two diapers (had to be same brand and size), we also received a $15 gift card. organic brands = $10 gift card. we got $80 in gift cards and then purchased more diapers with them… and got more gift cards. penny’s currently wearing size 1 so we purchased sizes 2-4. interestingly, size 4 was sold out for pampers and huggies so i purchased babyganics instead.

penny’s 100th day is august 23rd and i’ve slowly started gathering ideas on how to celebrate it. long ago in korea, childhood diseases were common and infant mortality rate was high. to protect their children, parents wouldn’t bring them outdoors until their 100th day. the 100th day celebration is a way to celebrate the baby’s health. today, many celebrate it because of tradition but more so for photo opportunities. with pinterest and instagram in our lives, it’s easy to want to go all out and make everything a big deal.  we plan on having the 100th day celebration be family members only. the first birthday, or dol, will be the grand(er) party.

here’s one final pic of penny to close:

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so ladylike…