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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Emma’s First Birthday Party: Korean Dol

In Korean culture, first birthday is a big celebration called dol (돌). There are several traditions to follow at the dol party. Both my husband and I are Korean American, and we definitely want our children to embrace their Korean heritage. So for Emma’s first birthday party,  we decided to keep as much of Korean traditions as we could. We wore traditional Korean garments called hanbok (한복); set up dol table to display traditional first birthday items and food such as rice cakes, colorful fruits, dates, and dol towers; and had an activity called doljabi, a fortune telling ritual at first birthday parties. I also wanted to incorporate modern day birthday decor, so Emma’s dol table was combined with sweets, birthday cakes and decorations. To add a personal touch, I arranged her party decor and even made some decorations from scratch. We incorporated one of her favorite books, “Oh the Places You’ll Go”, and it ended up working out pretty well – a low key themed party.

We were so fortunate to have almost all of our immediate family members join us for the weekend and even had a few of my close girlfriends fly in from Chicago! The preparation of Emma’s first birthday was stressful, but it was all so worth it seeing all of our loved ones! Emma must have felt the love and care as well because she was so well behaved the entire day – even through multiple outfit changes! 😉

As for the doljabi activity, Emma took 20 minutes to choose an item. She definitely did not act on impulse and ended up choosing pencils then money after deep contemplation. 😉

We also did the ever so popular “cake smash”. She was a bit confused at first on what to do with the cake, but as soon as she tasted it, it was game over. 😀

I really can’t say enough about how grateful I am to have spent a wonderful day with our family and friends. Thank you all so very much for celebrating Emma’s special day with us, and thanks to others who could not make it but sent gifts and lots of love! I know, I say this all the time, but Emma truly is so blessed!

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Halloween Fun

I’m not gonna lie, having a toddler (yes, she’s a toddler now!) makes Halloween so much more fun! Because we were away from home for a good chunk of October, we didn’t get to prepare for Halloween. I’m sad to report, even though Steve and I like to dress up, we just didn’t get around to it this year like we did last year. But we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to dress Em up and partake in the neighborhood’s festivity! Her costume was a no brainer. We had to go with a puppy. I mean, it’s her favorite animal. She just goes crazy over dogs!

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We were especially excited about celebrating Halloween in our new neighborhood. Our neighborhood is huge with tons of families with kids/babies, so I knew Halloween night was going to be big! And as predicted, it did not disappoint. The streets were filled with trick or treaters! The club house had a kids’ Halloween party, so we stopped by for a bit and it was jammed packed! I can’t wait until next year when Em can actually go door to door trick or treating. It’s going to be so much fun!

Since moving into the neighborhood, I befriended a couple of neighborhood moms, so I thought it would be a great idea to take some pictures of our babes in their costumes. And I’m so glad we did, because look how darling they are! We decided to make this a tradition each year for Halloween, and we cannot wait to show these pictures to them when they are older!

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Thank you so much, Morgan, a fellow mama blogger and a photographer for snapping these shots of our babes!

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Six Months Postpartum Update

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Hooray! We kept her alive for 6 months! ;D I’m joking, she has been an absolute joy, and we cannot believe she is already 6 months old! I swear I’ll be saying that every time she gets older. Little miss Emma has been growing like crazy! At 6 months, she is checking in at 17 lbs 12.5 oz (81st percentile), 26.7 inches (81st percentile) tall with a head size in the 94th percentile, no surprise there [points at Steve]. And wait for it… she has teeth!! She JUST sprouted bottom two teeth shortly after she turned 6 months old. I can’t wait until they fully sprout, it’s going to be the cutest thing ever! What other exciting news do we have? She is still sleeping through the night, still clocking in those glorious 12 straight hours of beauty rest. And she started solids! Em is such a big girl now! Her first big girl food was rice cereal. She loved it and did great with the spoon and all, but she got super constipated. [Warning – TMI] She didn’t have a single bowel movement for 4 days straight which is abnormal for her since she poos everyday, and of course with her malrotation, I got super worried when she didn’t have regular bowel movements. She was finally able to release some on her 5th day of no stool, and I had to help her by pulling it out – yes, I pulled her poop out. Welcome to motherhood. Since then, we said goodbye to rice cereal. Instead, we fed her pureed pears, carrots, prunes, and sweet potatoes thus far. She loved everything and her bowel movements are somewhat back to normal.

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In terms of her development, she is definitely more aware of her surroundings. She is super alert ALL the time and LOVES to interact. She loves when we sing and dance and make silly noises. Her favorite song is ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’, the animal noises totally get to her [Em’s animal noise vid]. She is constantly smiling and laughing, it just melts our hearts! She isn’t rolling over as much as we’d like… she surprises us here and there by rolling from her back to her tummy, but she’d rather sit or stand. She was a fast sitter as she sat unassisted for the first time at a little over 3 months old – of course it didn’t last more than 3o seconds. She can now sit unassisted for quite a while and whenever she can stand (supported) she’ll try everything in her power to do so LOL!

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Not all photo sessions are glamorous… LOL

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As for me, ever since Emma started sleeping through the night, I’m no longer a walking zombie. I’m more productive at work, and my brain is functioning better with more sleep. I feel like I’m beginning to get my old self back. I still have about 10 lbs of pregnancy weight to lose, and I have to admit, I haven’t really been trying to shed the weight..BUT SERIOUSLY THOUGH, I will be working out and getting back to pre-pregnancy body…eventually. Aside from still having some flabby skin, my hair started falling out shortly after Em turned 3 months old. You all know I already don’t have a lot of hair to begin with, so when I started losing chunks of hair in the shower, I completely freaked out. You can clearly see some bald spots and little baby hair growing out from them… I went back to taking prenatal vitamins again hoping that will help with my hair loss problem. Fingers crossed that I won’t go completely bald.

I have to say, having a 6 month old is SO much easier and so much more fun! She is a little person with her own personality, and we cannot wait until she starts walking and talking!!

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