Auntie Mimi

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Our first year in NC, none of our family members were nearby. The closest were my parents who were still a 5-7 hour car ride away (depending on traffic). But a year ago, my SIL moved from Chicago and she now only lives three hours away. We are fortunate to have Auntie Mimi (Emma calls her that) nearby so she can visit often! Em loves her so much, and you better believe it’s serious fun whenever she comes for a visit.

Not having any family nearby when raising a child is tough. I didn’t realize the importance of having extended family, especially for Em as she grows up. Both Steve and I are very close to our siblings, so we are super lucky that Emma gets to experience that bond. And of course they spoil her rotten with unconditional love, so that’s a huge plus.  😀 This blog post is titled “Auntie Mimi”, but really, it’s for all of our siblings, Mary and Paul included. Thank you for always being there for our little family and loving Emma like she is your own. Em is so blessed to have y’all in her life! We miss you and love you!

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Now enjoy some pictures from Mimi’s last visit when we went to the Museum of Life and Science!

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It’s a Girl!

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No, we are not pregnant. Haha. Now that’s out of the way, we attended our dear friends’ gender reveal party for their second baby! You probably saw tons of adorable pictures of Emma and her newest friend, Camden on my social media. Well, Camden is going to be a big brother and Emma will have another girlfriend in the neighborhood! All my girlfriends and I are super excited for the baby girl to join our gang this August. Can’t wait to meet the little nugget! 🙂

Ever since moving to our neighborhood, we made some really good friends. Without having family nearby, I’m so grateful for these girlfriends who are like family to us. And with all the babies close in age, there’s always lots of room for fun family time! After all, it takes a village to raise children! 🙂

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To Emma (Letter #1)

Our dearest Emma,

You came into our world a year ago on October 2nd, 2015. Your grand entrance was as dramatic as it could be, just like the bright star you are! You gave us a scare with malrotation and emergency surgery, but mama and dada knew you would be as strong as ever. The past year, you have been thriving, surprising us with your appetite and developmental growth. Everyday with you was something new even when we didn’t sleep for the first three months. 😉 Despite the lack of sleep, you always brought so much joy in our household and we are so thankful to have a healthy , happy and sweet, sweet baby.

When we found out that you were going to be a girl, we knew Emma would be the perfect name. It was daddy’s first choice and the meaning of “whole” and “universal” fit so perfectly with what we wish for you to be one day. We want you to explore the world, in tune with everything around you – the best life lessons come from travelling and experiencing different cultures and people. And we hope that you too will enjoy travelling as much as we do. This will make you a well balanced person and it will make you whole.

Always follow your heart and your passion, and don’t hesitate to understand others before yourself. Being selfless is one of the best characteristics to have. Don’t get caught up in greed because greed will always make you think you don’t have enough, and you will never be able to stop and breathe. Even though we’d like to shield you from all things negative, you will find yourself in a slump one day, there’s no way around it. But please know that it shall pass, it always does. Things happen for a reason, and bad things end to make room for good things. Change isn’t always bad, it can be good, we promise. And always remember, no matter what, we will forever love you.

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Happy first birthday, baby girl. We are so lucky to be your parents.

-mama and dada

Nine Months Postpartum Update

Hello world! I know it’s been complete radio silence from me, and I’m embarrassed to say I have not kept up with the blog in a long time. But I have a good excuse. We bought a house and moved! I have a separate post lined up on this big milestone of ours, so please stay tuned! Anyway, it’s been super hectic, moving and getting settled into our new house. On top of that, I had to travel for work – first travel since giving birth! This will also be a separate post. I tell ya, I have all these posts lined up, I just need to polish them and post. 😉 So you see? It’s been quite busy in our household!

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Alright, so onto our 9 months postpartum update (I had already written this when she was actually 9 months old, so the timing is kind of off) –

Oh my goodness, is she really turning one in three months? Cue the anxiety overload of planning her first birthday/돌. 😛 Weighing in at 20 lbs at her nine months checkup, she is 27.5 inches tall with her head circumference still at 94th percentile. Now at nine and a half months old, she is a little firecracker! Miss wannabe independent is on the go! She can’t yet walk unsupported, but she can stand for several seconds on her own AND get this, SHE TOOK THREE STEPS on July 19! (Video here). We were all in awe. All this little pumpkin wants to do is walk around the entire house. She still isn’t a fan of tummy time so she is late to the crawling game. She isn’t quite crawling on her hands and knees yet. She gets her little tooshy up in the air and gets on her knees; however, she has not mastered the coordination of moving forward. She does army crawl, but of course, gets super frustrated because she’d rather walk. She is a curious cookie too, she likes to open up all of the cabinets she can get her little hands on. We need to baby-proof our house pronto!

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She now has three teeth! The bottom two which sprouted when she turned 6 months old, has a little neighbor 🙂 The third bottom tooth (left of her front two teeth) has sprouted at 9 months but is not yet fully out. The third tooth took a lot longer to poke through her gum than the first two. Thankfully, she didn’t teethe as bad as when her first two bottom teeth sprouted, but she was a bit cranky for a day when her third tooth was starting to erupt.Her top two teeth are still MIA.

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“photoshoots are tiring, let me lie down”

I think the most exciting thing about Em at this age is that she is so animated now! And she is starting to pick up everything and learn what certain gestures mean. She gives kisses whenever we say  kiss, “bbo bbo”/”뽀뽀” in Korean; waves bye and hi; gives high five; claps; dances to music and says “mama/umma/dada/appa (Korean for dad)”! And let me say it for the record, her first word was “umma”/”엄마” which is mom in Korean. It is beautifully captured here in this video. 🙂 There’s never a dull moment with her, she is always doing something new trying to explore everything in her line of sight!

As for me, not much has changed since the 6 months postpartum update. Maybe at my next postpartum update, I have something exciting about myself to talk about… Whatever that may be. So until then.. ta-ta~

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Baby Talk: Starting Solids

Starting solids is both super exciting and super nerve-racking! I debated between traditional weaning and baby-led weaning and decided to do both. I felt more comfortable giving her purees and incorporating chunky foods for her to pick up. We started solids when Em was about 5.5 months with rice cereal per our pediatrician’s recommendation. Bad move. Em immediately got constipated even though she only ate it twice! After that, we never went back to rice cereal. It broke my heart to see her struggling with constipation not to mention constantly worrying if it has to do with her malrotation. Thankfully, with apple juice and prunes, she went back to having regular bowel movements. Post rice cereal episode, we gave her food that helped with her bowel movements – peaches, peas, pears, prunes (all the “p” foods). Then we gradually incorporated everything else. She loved everything we fed her except eggs and avocados. She literally cried when she first tasted eggs – video here. It’s hilarious.

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5.5 months old – first time trying solids!

highchair – Graco Blossom 4-in-1 Seating System in Winslet

Now at almost 9 months, she eats pretty much anything allowed for her age (she still doesn’t like eggs). She chews and swallows pretty well and is crazy about food! It’s so much fun seeing her get so excited about foods she tries for the first time. We gave a slice of watermelon because um, what’s summer without it? And she LOVED it! Can’t wait for her to get more teeth, it’s going to be a fun journey enhancing her palate.

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Summer Babes

It’s officially summer, y’all! Although, here in North Carolina, it’s been summer for a while with temperatures averaging in the high 80’s. At one point last week, it even hit 100. I’m definitely not a summer person due to heat. I don’t do well with heat. Last summer when I was massively pregnant, I lived at the pool after work and on weekends. So you won’t be surprised if you find me at the pool escaping the heat this summer too. Except this time around, I’ll be with my little babe ❤

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Swimsuit – Gap | Sun Hat – the North Face

The first time we took Em to the pool, there were tons of kids from the neighborhood there. I think she got scared with big kids splashing and making a lot of noise. Needlessly to say, she did not have a pleasant experience.

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not a happy camper

Second time around was a success! There weren’t many people at the pool and she even got in her float. We found this baby float at Costco (similar found on Amazon), and it is amazing! We love it and so does Em. After making sure that she enjoys the pool, we even had an afternoon of playdate with her new friend, Adair. The babies were so cute together talking and splashing (video)! So glad that Em enjoys the pool as much as we do! Next thing to tackle is the beach. Hopefully she’ll like the beach even more!

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Hope everyone’s enjoying their summer!

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Father’s Day

Father’s Day means so much more to me now since I get to celebrate the love of my life on this day too! I always knew Steve would be a great dad, but I had no idea he would surpass all my expectations of what it meant to be a father. No words need to be said about how wonderful he is with Emma, a few minutes of observing these two, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about! My heart explodes when seeing these two together!

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Em and I wanted to make Steve’s first Father’s Day special by making him a present. We made some finger paint pictures to put in a shadowbox and he LOVED the present! Em and I also had fun getting a little messy. We used Crayola’s non-toxic washable finger paint I purchased from Target. It was her first time playing with paint and though she was more confused than anything, I like to think she enjoyed it. 😉

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After church on Sunday, we went to the Tumble Gym in Raleigh with our new friends we met at church and their 14 month old daughter. It was our first time there, so we didn’t really know what to expect. Though the gym is for ages 0 and up, it is definitely geared towards kids and not babies, but there was no one at the gym so we were able to let the babies roam freely. Em had tons of fun bouncing on the trampoline and hanging from a bar (video). We are still amazed that she hung for a few seconds on her own. Strong girl!

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always wanting to practice walking… are you going to skip crawling?

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our best attempt at a family photo. -_-

After the gym, we said our goodbyes to our friends and headed over to Pullen Park since we were in the area. We heard so many great things about this park, and the park definitely lived up to its hype! There were TONS of things to do for children. Em was a bit too young to take full advantage of the park, but we still had a lot of fun exploring and trying new things. She even got on her first carousel ride, well..sort of. She got scared once the ride started and didn’t want to sit on the horse. But she still wanted to grab onto a poll and pretend she was riding it. So I had to hold her while she held on to a stationary pole next to the horse (video). It was pretty funny. Silly girl. ❤

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the parentals while the baby naps

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Spending time at the park was a perfect ending to Steve’s first Father’s Day. The only regret is that we completely forgot to grab the memory card case for our camera. I was hoping to take some nice pictures of Em and Steve for Father’s Day, but we had to settle on phone pictures. 😛

Happy Father’s Day again, Babe! I hope you enjoyed your day with us gals! 🙂 You are such an amazing man and seeing you with our daughter reminds me every day how lucky we are to have you in our lives. We love you so much! 

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