…and ezra makes four

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baby boy is already 13 days old! after i wrote the last blog post, i ended up calling my ob who told me to go to the hospital right away. we made a pit stop to grab some snacks, drinks, and magazines. then we arrived at the hospital around 1:30am. i was immediately ushered into the triage room where i found out that i was 4cm dilated and 80% effaced. i got my membranes stripped again to get the labor moving along. my contractions were anywhere between 5-8 minutes so i wasn’t able to get the epidural until 3:50am. the hardest part in both of my pregnancies was trying to withstand the ever-growing contractions – the pain that radiates from your back to your abdomen is unexplainable. it makes you behave like a rabid animal- a teeth-gnashing, body-flailing, wild-eyed creature.

after i got the epidural, i calmed down considerably… but so did the progress of my labor. whereas with penny i was ready to push two hours later, i still remained at 4cm at 6am. finally my ob, nurse, and attending student started getting ready for delivery at 10am. i was told that ezra’s head was visible so it would probably be a quick delivery! i glanced at the clock and it was 10:05am when i started pushing. five minutes later, ezra was out! the agonizing contractions, and the wait for them to be consistent, were totally worth the easy delivery. we were all amazed at how quickly and effortlessly ezra came out.

here are the deets: ezra 하민 (ha-min) so born on april 11, 2017 at 10:10am. he weighed 7lb. 1oz and was 20 inches long.

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he loved getting his hair washed

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he seems so much smaller though… maybe it’s because we forgot how small newborn babies are but he definitely is smaller than penny when she was born. penny was only 8.5 oz heavier than him but it seems like she was more. she was also only a half inch longer but when she was born we all commented how tall she was.

currently he weighs 6 lb. 15 oz (babies always lose some weight afterwards because of fluid loss – it’s not a big deal as long as it’s not over 10% of their body weight.) we didn’t get too many newborn clothes because we remembered how briefly penny wore them, but ezra has been drowning in his 0-3 months / 3 months size clothes so i had to go out to purchase a few more newborn clothes.

 

our first visitors

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the grandparents and penny came the day ezra was born.

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our friends

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our friends, the choi family, and katie and mike came later on in the evening. genie came too but i wasn’t able to get a picture!

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4/12/17

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my parents and sister drove down the following day

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pastor james and his wife, hera, also came to visit and pray for us

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getting ready to go home

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auntie jen got her the ‘big sister’ ribbon

like penny, ezra has a really cute nose. everyone from doctors to visitors commented on ezra’s nose. a lot of asian babies tend to have wide noses but penny and ezra both lucked out and ended up with pretty noses. penny’s nose actually resembles dennis’ and ezra’s is more like mine. ezra also has 속 쌍꺼플 (inner folds on eyelids) that resulted in him having big eyes. his tiny face makes his eyes look even bigger.

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his long fingers also get a lot of compliments such as, “he should play the piano!”

penny had a lot of acid reflux when she was a newborn and was constantly spitting up milk. we don’t have that problem with ezra, but he is really gassy. we try to alleviate this problem by propping him up to feed him, burping him frequently, lying him on his tummy, doing bicycle kicks, and giving him gas relief drops. these methods have all been helpful especially tummy time. most nights he has trouble sleeping because of the discomfort (and i have difficulty sleeping because of the noise!) so i found that when he’s sleeping on his tummy, he sleeps better and longer. our pediatrician okayed supervised tummy sleeping during the day so if he’s not napping in his swing, he’s usually on his stomach. this position also helps him to maintain a nice, round head. with penny, i was afraid of sids so i rarely had her sleep on her tummy even though my mil wanted to have penny sleep that way. penny ended up with a flat spot on one side of her head so afterwards we were diligent about switching positions.

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daddy and son both fell asleep during a late-night feeding

since ezra has been home, our daily life consists of dennis waking up with penny, making her breakfast, and doing activities with her until i come down with ezra – usually between 10-11am. i do all the nighttime feedings and diaper changes since dennis needs his energy to take care of penny in the morning. because of this, i take a nap with ezra after his first morning feeding. when he wakes up, i feed him again and then we come downstairs.

my mom came to visit for the day

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dinner in the sunroom

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our first walk as a family of four

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like i mentioned before, nights had been rough because of gas (and a growth spurt between 7~10 days old) but last night was a lot better. he woke up only twice at night and one was a 4-hour stretch! he had trouble sleeping peacefully after his morning feeding so i took him out of the rock and play and placed him tummy side down on our bed. he slept for another hour and a half after that.

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one of the questions family and friends have been asking us the most is “how is penny doing?” well, she has had a hard time adjusting, that’s for sure. she, along with my in-laws, came to visit us at the hospital the day ezra was born. she was a bit apprehensive at meeting the baby although she did make a few remarks such as, “baby nose” in korean. she got really upset when grandma held ezra, but not when grandpa held him. it has been like this at home too. she starts crying hysterically whenever grandma or i hold the baby but she’s fine with dennis or grandpa holding him! penny also had a meltdown when i tried to pump in front of her (with a cover on) and when i was starting to prepare ezra’s bottle.

it has been difficult for all of us as we get used to having a newborn around but it seems as if penny is having the hardest time. still, she is slowly warming up to the baby with each passing day. she will give him kisses and hold him if we ask her to, and she doesn’t cry when she sees me holding him (although sometimes she does request that dad hold the baby instead). another thing that has been helping is the equal amount of attention we try to provide for both ezra and penny. grandma and dad make sure penny is well taken care of while i look after ezra. we also involve penny in our everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and helping take care of ezra.

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i purchased all of penny’s easter gifts before ezra arrived, thankfully

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she LOVES the mickey mouse clock: she already can identify every number on the clock and say it.

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fun at church as always

4/17/17: daddy’s birthday

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d’s favorite: ice cream cake

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as the weather gets warmer, we love to eat our meals in the sun room

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penny also turns two next month and the terrible two’s seem to have already started. she has been more vocal in what she wants and gets incredibly upset (e.g throwing tantrums) when she doesn’t get her way. her “stranger danger” is at its peak right now so it’s difficult to bring her to restaurants or anywhere with a lot of people. for instance, after ezra’s first doctor visit we all went to ihop for breakfast afterwards. as it was a saturday morning, ihop was, well, hopping. penny started crying and freaking out because there were so many people there. she wouldn’t sit at our table until dennis took out saltine crackers. she became a lot more relaxed after our server brought the booster seat too. lately penny has been resisting her high chair and wanting to sit in the “big chair” at the table with us so we ordered a booster seat for our home.

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brunch at ihop: in a better mood

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we pray together as a family before penny goes to bed, and these days our biggest request is for us to have patience and empathy for penny as she gets used to having a younger sibling. and although dennis and i are both exhausted, we do have each other (and his parents) to help one another out. i’m so worried on how i, and the little ones, will fare once dennis returns to work. even though his mom comes over as much as she can to help take care of penny she also still works thursday-saturday. if it happens to be dennis’ long week, i will be alone these three days and i’m panicking just thinking about how the day will go particularly if penny isn’t cooperating with me.

for now, i’ll just have to focus on taking it one day at a time and seeing how today will go.

valentine’s arts & crafts

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

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

materials needed

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

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

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

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first, you generously sprinkle baking soda onto the heart.

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

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make sure to cover the entire heart.

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she liked seeing the baking soda and vinegar mixture bubble

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

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

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

materials needed

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

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

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

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

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

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less colors the second and third time around

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

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

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she loves stickers!

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10/12 magnets

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

materials needed

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

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

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

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

happy valentine’s day ❤