happy birthday, penny

grapes

penny is 2! some of the things penny is doing these days is counting to 15, pointing out the numbers 1-4 on signs and pictures, and recognizing letters like c, e, and o (C.E.O. – hmm, i wonder if that will mean anything ). call me crazy but since penny was born i’ve tried to keep track of all of her milestones, tooth eruptions, illnesses, nap transitions, you name it. i even recorded every word penny has been saying since she uttered, “엄마 (mom) and 아빠 (dad). it’s practically impossible to keep track of her vocabulary now since she picks up new words on a daily basis and is stringing them into 2, 3, or 4-word phrases.

the reason why penny is counting up to 15 is because we practice counting while going upstairs for nap and bedtime, and we have… 15 steps. recently i bought her a counting book, “pinkalicous 1, 2, 3” so she can practice counting up to 20.

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as tiring as it is dealing with her mood swings and endless energy, we do enjoy witnessing every little thing penny learns every day. we are constantly amazed whenever penny utters a new word or phrase, and all four of us (dennis, me, and my in-laws) erupt in a round of applause!  i hope we are just as amazed when ezra starts talking, too.

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opening gifts

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penny was just as excited about the little tikes basketball hoop (not pictured)

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dennis made blueberry doughnuts this morning using the doughnut maker from olivia li!

 

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ezra is 6 weeks old and he has started cooing and social smiling.  he also turns his head, and not just his eyes, to follow movement. he is also “playing” with the green stars that hang over the pack and play. we place him on the boppy lounger and he will bat at the stars. i refer to the wonder weeks app to read up on upcoming developmental leaps; ezra started his first leap last week and it’s interesting to see how on point, and specific, the app is with what ezra will be learning.

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i remember how tough it was when penny was six weeks old. she was fussy in the evening (almost inconsolable at times) and wouldn’t sleep. six weeks is when the witching hour reaches its peak, and babies go through a growth spurt and somewhat of a sleep regression.

although it’s too soon to put ezra on a strict schedule, it’s never too early to establish a bedtime routine. we have been bathing ezra anywhere between 7:30-8:30pm, feeding him, and then putting him down for the night. usually he’ll sleep until after midnight (later if the routine is pushed back). two nights ago, he woke up every half hour until i finally fed him again around 11:30! half of the time he fell back asleep on his own having tried to self-soothe.. but other times we intervened with a pacifier or by rocking him. as for the late-night feedings, he was waking before he was hungry because of gas pains.. again! i had to soothe him by doing bicycle kicks, rubbing his tummy, and giving him gripe water. the latter helped significantly and he slept longer after that.

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last night, dennis and i went out see guardians of the galaxy 2.  it was our first date since ezra was born. (we loved the first movie and the sequel didn’t disappoint! a third one is in the works! )to make it easier for my mil, we put penny to bed so all she had to do was ezra’s bedtime routine. ezra woke up 40 minutes after going down so she tried soothing him in different ways, changing his diaper, and putting him down again. she ended up feeding him an hour later because it had been 3 hours since he had last eaten.

what is interesting about last night is that ezra only had one feeding. although ezra had difficulty falling, and staying, asleep (he didn’t end up falling asleep until 11:30pm and that was because i ended up sleeping with him in my arms.) he woke up to feed around 3am, and again, had trouble staying asleep so he slept in my arms until 8am! this shows me that ezra can stretch his feedings; it’s just a matter of him staying asleep.

at one point when he woke up crying, dennis suggested i check his diaper. if it’s only a wet diaper, i hadn’t been changing them lest i wake up him fully. but i need to start changing them once they’re really full because he does seem to be uncomfortable. after i changed his diaper, he was calm and fell asleep in my arms.

thankfully dennis wakes up and helps me when i really need assistance. one night, i had fallen asleep while feeding ezra at one point and milk had soaked the front of his bodysuit. dennis had to go get a new one from ezra’s room while i cleaned an unhappy and hungry baby.

having a baby will make you realize even more how important, and precious, sleep really is. i was also thinking the other day of how effective sleep deprivation is as a torture method. i recalled how one of the ways navy seals tortured a detainee was through sleep deprivation in the movie zero dark thirty. sometimes i’m so tired i feel like i’m losing my mind and just feel like crying. during night feedings, i find myself desperately shaking my head back and forth in a futile attempt to wake myself up. i also browse the internet using my phone but i’ve started to develop cramps and carpal tunnel in my hands from trying to access my phone in awkward positions.

anyway, i could go on forever sharing more anecdotes but i need to end this post at some point. penny went to her 2-year checkup yesterday and she’s 75% for height and 25% for her weight: tall and thin. the pediatrician wasn’t worried about her weight noting toddlers can be finicky eaters. he wanted to know how penny was doing with her vocabulary and was pleased to see that she speaks very well. as for ezra, he was 9lb. 14.5 oz and 21.5 inches at his 1-month checkup, and has moved on to size 3 month clothes.

dennis has a 4-day weekend coming up thanks to memorial day. we are spending friday-sunday in massachusetts. my grandma will finally be able to meet ezra; and, we will also spend time with the kim family and see their new addition, micah! he and ezra are one month apart.

i’ll be sure to share how our weekend went. hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

5/14/17 (mother’s day)

we spent mother’s day going to church in the morning. in the afternoon, we went to the mall to check out sneakers for me.. but i couldn’t find any that i liked. we ended up buying new balance sneakers for penny. afterwards, we ate dinner at seoul bbq.

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5/16/17

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checking out ants

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5/17/17: play date with parker

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parkerpenny

5/19/17: mom and jen visit

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grapes

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“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.

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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

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so curious

so curious

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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.

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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 🙂

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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.

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face/off

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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 🙂

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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.

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