fun with family & friends

having visitors never gets old… especially when they’re family, and it’s unexpected! we had celebrated my fil’s 70th birthday on july 4th.. but as the 70th birthday is an important occasion we received word from crystal and dan (dennis’ brother and our sister-in-law) that they would drive up from maryland on friday and leave on saturday!

the last time we saw them was for penny’s 1st birthday, and they had flown in for the day. it’s especially times like these when i wish they lived much closer, but at least they aren’t too far enough where they can’t make day (or two) trips.

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snapchatting


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face swap

unfortunately, we didn’t take a group photo of us.. but dan did take candids of us. our family “tradition” is to watch american ninja warrior when we wind down for the night. we also introduced our parents to snapchat and we had a lot of laughs over the various selfie lenses.

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i really like the above and below photos because they’re from two different perspectives.

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on friday, we had a low-key dinner at home with italian food and just hung out watching anw, using snapchat, and enjoying each other’s company. we went to blue back square and ate at cheesecake factory for lunch on saturday. afterwards, we came back to the house and the brothers played ping pong while the rest of us talked. as always, the visit ended way too soon 😦 but we are so thankful that they were able to come up! they should be coming up next for thanksgiving, and we hope to make it out to maryland/dc area soon.. perhaps in april when i have spring break.

the only downside from the weekend was that penny caught some sort of virus. she woke up with a fever of 102 after her second nap on saturday. usually her second naps are 1.5 hours and we have to wake her up but this time she slept for an hour and woke up on her own. the poor thing — she was so warm.. initially she was smiling and being playful, but then she started becoming fussy and crying because she didn’t feel well. we think she may have caught something from playing at a bounce house on friday. dennis and i were looking for an activity to do with penny since it can get mundane being at the house all day. we took her to jumpin’ jonny’s, a bounce house, in our town. she had a great time but it’s easy to see how germ-ridden a place like that can get with sweaty kids running around in socks on vinyl bounce houses that are probably not cleaned often (or at all). needless to say, we won’t be going back there (or any other bounce house) until she’s a bit older…

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penny met this cute girl, savannah, who’s 1.5 years old and they took turns pushing each other on cars.. so adorable!

i’ve been trying to find different activities to do with penny since we can’t always take a walk because the july heat prevents us from going outdoors during lunchtime. sometimes i’ll take her to my in-laws’ place because their condo neighborhood has a pool. it’s going to be in the upper-80s/low 90s this week so i’m thinking of taking her on wednesday.

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she prefers being in the water than being in a float

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yet another rabbit in our backyard!

on one particularl day, dennis suggested the mall and they have an indoor children’s playground so i decided to take her there. lo and behold, the playground is being moved and renovated so it wasn’t at its usual spot 😦 i ended up taking her to barnes & noble since the children’s section usually has a play area. penny liked just being able to get out of the stroller and walking around — she doesn’t find the gluxe as comfortable as the vista. she also played with the trains at the thomas the tank engine train table. a toddler joined her and they shared the trains.

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one of her all-time favorite books: the going to bed book by sandra boynton


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her current favorite: goodnight, moon

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we ate lunch at the food court – pizza and baked ziti – but penny was more interested in the carousel. i didn’t let her go on it this time (she had gone before) but i did let her “drive” the coin-operated cars… minus the coins. she enjoyed turning the steering wheels 🙂 to adults, it may not seem like much but the stimulation from being at the mall alone is a lot for a toddler. she passed out quickly for her afternoon nap after we got back and, yes, i had to wake her up.

speaking of “waking her up”, penny’s been having erratic naps lately.. and taking a long time to fall asleep. i think she’s trying in earnest to drop a nap. i know i mentioned this a few times in previous posts but the signs are coming up again. she has been fighting her morning nap like she’s not tired enough to take one. her awake time from morning wake-up to first nap had been 3 hours, and lately she’s sitting up in her crib and playing. if she isn’t playing, she nods off but fights sleep while sitting up!

yesterday, she fought both morning and afternoon nap. granted, she had slept for 12 hours straight the night before so maybe she wasn’t tired enough.. we took her out of her crib at 11am and kept her up until 12:30pm to see how a one-nap day would work. nightmare… she was overtired.. i think we kept her up too long.. reading about 2-to-1 nap transitions, it says to gradually push back the morning nap in 15-minute increments and i just shot towards a 12:30pm time.. yikes. i figured, we had to squeeze in lunch so we would have to do a later time.. well, now i know. she cried on/off and was nodding off for her second nap. she finally fell asleep and woke up after 50 minutes.

she was off for the rest of the evening. i left the house around 4pm to meet up with friends for a gno and dennis said that penny cried basically non-stop after i left. she has been experiencing some separation anxiety / attachment to me lately so that didn’t help with her being overtired. she flat-out refused dinner and milk (whoa) so she went to bed at 6pm on an empty stomach. for those that know penny or read my blog regularly, you know that penny loves her baths.. but she even cried during bath time!  poor dennis… he actually rocked her for a while to soothe her and she ended up falling asleep in his arms.. only to wake up when he placed her in the crib. but..she ended up sleeping from 6pm to 6:45am — that’s nearly 13 hours! so much for waking up at night because she’s hungry..

i still use the babytracker app religiously, and thank god for that because i can see her sleeping patterns and figure out when/how to transition her to one nap. this one’s a doozy, i hear.. and i just want to make it as least painful as i can for all of us. i’ll keep you posted!

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snapchat image


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i still had a lovely time with these ladies despite being worried about penny

the girls and i tried out bar louie, a new restaurant that opened up recently in blue back square. initially we sat indoors because all of the outdoor seating was taken, but we spied an empty table and ran outside to claim it! 4/5 of us are married and 3/5 of us are baby mamas so this was a much-needed night out. much thanks to the baby daddies taking care of the little ones so us ladies could relish time together. ❤

and last.. but not least.. for this post.. our dear friends, alice and john, welcomed their baby boy, ethan 진명 choi, on june 30, 2016. he was 19.5 inches long and weighed 6 lb. 14 oz. the pictures john took of us holding ethan make it seem like we are the proud parents of a baby boy, haha. seriously though, we are overjoyed for our friends. we love you!

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keep on keepin’ on

dennis and i are going to aruba this saturday so we have also been busy preparing for the trip. we purchased sunscreen and some clothes (well, i did) and we have to make a trip to babies ‘r us to make sure we have plenty of diapers and wipes. penny is still being super fussy about food so i’ve been making purees and stuffing food into her pouches. i still purchase ready-made food pouches too since there is a wide variety to choose from. i’m really not worried about leaving penny because this’ll be our third vacation without her and she’s been sleeping all night without waking up since she was 7 months old. she’s in great hands and i know my mil is going to make a ton of korean food to feed penny too.

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penny’s footprints from birth to one year old

summer has officially started. ( in our book, anyway.) the first day of summer is june 20th – hey, yuri’s 6th birthday! – but dennis remarked that it feels like summer after memorial day ends, and i agree. plus, we’ve been in the midst of a heat wave in connecticut. now that the weather is nice, i try to go out for walks 3x a day: usually around 8:30/9am, 1/1:30pm, and 6/6:30pm, or depending when penny is done with dinner. with the temperature being in the high 80s~low 90s along with high humidity, it’s been tough trying to take a lunchtime stroll. even though we gave yuri a short haircut, it’s still much too hot for her. normally penny loves being outdoors but she’s been whining (partly due to the heat and partly because she wants to) because it’s still stiflingly hot even with a sun hat and a stroller shade. i bring out a water cup for her now. for our lunchtime walk today, yuri barely made it around our neighborhood before i put her back in the house and let her look outside through the storm door while penny and i kept walking.

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we’ve also been taking trips to the mall to walk around with the cool ac blasting. thankfully we have central air at home and our basement is refreshing without having to turn the air on, but alas, there is no cool air blowing down on us when we walk outside.. only the occasional breeze, and sometimes it’s hot air.

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so stinking cute

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she loves to look at my parents’ wedding photo

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drinking smoothies

our family had a wonderful long weekend. we didn’t go on vacation or go to a beach but we loved spending time together. dennis was lucky enough to have a four-day weekend without requesting any days off so we spent our time taking penny swimming and hanging out with the grandparents.

on saturday night, i also had a gno with mouy and katie. we went to the claypen, a paint-your-own pottery studio. it’s byob so we drank red wine and ate italian cookies while painting. afterwards, we had dinner at rizzuto’s.

i was also able to catch up with some of my former coworkers at kathryn’s surprise bridal shower. i went to school a little early so i could catch some of the students as well.

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the bride-to-be with the apron i got her from anthro


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kathryn and heather


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made by kelly

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we bought penny a baby float for $9.99 from tj maxx


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painting pottery pieces at the claypen

penny’s 12-month appointment was last friday. she got 3 vaccines: varicella (chicken pox), hepatitis a, and mmr. she cried so much and was inconsolable until we gave her milk. even then she would stop drinking to cry. what finally helped was when i sat her on my lap and sang her songs while giving her more milk.

Penny is now 30 1/4 inches tall and 20.2 lb! She’s in the 75th percentile for her height! After a lag between 6 to 9 months, she went through a growth spurt.

i’ve been trying to wean penny from breast milk since she was 10.5 months old. i am down to 2 pumps a day but she’s drinking even more milk lately! i got the thumbs-up to give penny hemp milk as it has plenty of vitamin d, fat, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. thing is, she is supposed to get 16 oz. max a day once she fully transitions but right now she is drinking anywhere from 23-28 oz. a day! hemp milk is not cheap and we are flying through the boxes… i hope her phase of refusing food stops soon -__- i hear it’s common at this age, and it can actually last for several months so we still have to keep offering a variety of food and be patient. i have also been making smoothies for penny to drink to see if she drinks less milk but it’s not the case.. she’ll still drink both.

on tuesday, we met up with the gardners at jack & allie’s for story hour. it looks like we’re going to make it a weekly thing so that’s fun! penny still loves the green rocking chair. we were the last ones to leave the book store because she kept wanting to sit on it and touch the picture of the frog.

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thanks to genie for taking these pictures!

the pictures from penny’s first birthday have slowly been uploaded to her album via our photographer (and cousin’s husband) but they’re not all there yet. we’re eagerly anticipating the family photos and then we’ll choose which photos to develop and frame. in the meantime, i’ve also been sending out thank-you cards in small batches. i hope to be done with those tonight.

well, after penny wakes up we are making a trip to the mall to return some items and also get more exercise in! i got a fitbit recently so i’ve been trying to reach 10,000 steps every day. i have a competitive nature and i like to win.. so i hope having my fitbit motivates me to keep moving. i’ve also been going to the gym lately and i’m eager to get back into shape!

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