Chinese New Year: Year of the Rooster

Over the weekend many people around the world celebrated Lunar New Year. I am so thankful for all the fun and enriching cultures around us.  My bff Jen came over and gave C her very first red envelope and this little one was not the least bit interested.  *eye roll*  BUT we were able to eat chinese food, celebrate the weekend in honor of lunar new year and make lots of plans and hopeful wishes for the new year.

Happy New Year Everyone!! xo

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Somi Somi

Omgggg if you guys are in ktown check out this delicious dessert place called somi somi.

Fish shaped bread  (like a soft cone) filled with custard, Nutella, or red bean and then filled with Milk, green tea or banana flavored ice cream.  GAHHHHH so good.

My recommendation would be to get a cup with you fish.  The ice cream melts pretty fast so if you want to slowly enjoy your treat, get a cup!

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Mommy Mondays: Best Ways to Disinfect Toys and Bottles

one of the things i was obsessed with when i had charlotte was disinfecting the world around her.  (not kidding)  so now that cold and flu season is here (AND we had quite the bug go through our home)~~ I’m sharing a few tips on how to disinfect our toys, bottles, everything!

Disinfect Bottles, Teethers, Pacifiers, small items.

-This is the thing I did CONSTANTLY the first 8 months of C’s life.  Since then… eek not so much. But we have a huge cuisine art sanitizer that takes about 5-7 minutes per batch.  I used to throwing all of C’s bottles, teethers, pacifiers, nipples, breastfeeding accessories, pump parts, and EVERYTHING related to C’s mouth.  I disinfected about once a week and it was INSANELY easy.  I know a lot of people don’t believe in these sanitizers but I thought it was totally worth the extra counter space it took up.  I was way too paranoid to use bleach or anything like that to disinfect and for some reason putting all of that in the microwave didn’t seem right (radioactive waves?? I dunno…).  AND I didn’t trust myself just boiling a pot of hot water.  I swear I would have melted all my bottles and nipples together.  Sigh.  So with this bottle sanitizing machine I literally “set it and forget it”.

Disinfect Toys

-With toys that can be totally submerged, I fill the tub up with a few bottle caps full of bleach and water.  Then I drop all of C’s toys in there and mix it around for a few minutes.  Afterwards I drain the bath and rinse all of her toys thoroughly and lay them out to dry.  For toys that cannot be submerged, I wipe them down with wipes (see the last item) or I use baby wipes or I use a homemade disinfectant spray and then wipe down afterwards.  Toys are what she spends most of her time playing with and touching so I take extra time to make sure this is done well.  I am also super paranoid about her eating bleach or disinfectant products so I rinse everything 3x longer than you’re probably supposed to.  Some people disinfect in the Kitchen Sink or in a huge container~ but the bath is huge and I can do it all at once (including her bath toys!).

Disinfect Bedding/Plush Toys

-After C is over the flu/cold, I open her window and let in fresh air and do a complete wipe down of her room.  I also wash everything with super hot water and a full dry to kill anything else that could be in her room.  It’s possible to say that she won’t get sick from what she just got over or that germs don’t remain in fabrics for long.  But for my own peace of mind, I do a complete wash down.  I also want to make sure her bedding/blankets/plush toys don’t have her snot/drool all over them.

Other surfaces and areas

-For car seats, strollers, and surfaces that your baby touches often~ use disinfectant wipes.  They are easy to use for all surfaces/textures.  If you’re worried about your little one (or yourself) touching items that have been recently disinfected, take a clean and wet wash cloth and wipe all the same surfaces afterwards.  Same idea if you want to use a disinfectant spray for toilets, door knobs, etc.  When C was an infant I also opened all the windows while I was spraying/disinfecting so that she wouldn’t breathe any extra chemicals in.  After all the surfaces had dried, I would go through with wet wash cloths and wipe it all down.

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2017 Goals and Resolutions

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Every year I always make resolutions and every year I break them.  LOL  It’s not that I intentionally break them, I just FORGET!  Life gets in the way and I fall back into the normal rhythm of things.  Boo.

But this year I would love to make only one very intentional resolution:

Relationships

For about 3 years now I’ve been either pregnant (with the worst morning sickness EVER) or caring for a baby.  I think I even used those three years as an excuse to be lazy and “do me”.  Only…I’ve woken up to find that I’ve become a terrible friend to so many of the people I love dear.  I’ve forgotten to send birthday cards, call, check in on their lives, meet up for dinner, and just…BE A FRIEND!  So my resolution for 2017 is to be more intentional with my time, be a better friend, and focus on the friendships that I hold dear.

My small group takes a number of personality tests and I always come out with an E (for Extrovert).  But these last few years, I feel like I’m an I (Introvert) or even… L (Loser).  I’m so tired and stressed that I’ve forgotten who I used to be!  Thinking back on this resolution and my goal to see my friends more brought back a light and joy in my life that I’ve forgotten about.  It’s like of like a fond memory that comes rushing back.

I used to love hosting and making grand plans to see friends.  These days I’m lucky if I get to sleep in or see my friends for a drink once in a while.  Boo.  The picture from above is at my 30th birthday party in Palm Springs.  We had a huge getaway weekend and it is the best birthday and celebration I’ve ever had.

I’m hoping to take a many more photos this 2017 year with friends and loved ones.

ok and side note: I’m also hoping 2017 is MY YEAR.  Not just to expand my family and do better in life~ but to finally take chances and live a little.  (more thoughts to come on that last note…)

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Motherhood: The 20 Month Journey

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C is 20 months right now and MANNNN did time fly.  But what has been the most shocking to me is how much EASIER she is now than ever before.  It’s like something clicked and a huge weight has been lifted from our home.  I noticed a change at 18 months but now that C is 20… it’s official: things are FINALLY getting easier.  HALLELUJAHHHH.

Up until about 14 months, I listened to parenting podcasts religiously, I emailed/texted/snapchatted everyone I knew about this strange new milestone we were going through, and I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on to explain how to raise a little human.  I guess what I was really looking for was a step-by-step manual.  Alas, no such manual exists.

The first 18 months were insane and only looking back now do I realize that.  As C grows older, stronger, and more capable~ I find myself breathing more and loosening up.  She touched the dirty ground?  Meh, let me spray some hand sanitizer on there.  She wants a chip?  Hm…let me just brush the salt off and give you one?  You sat in a high chair that I didn’t get to sanitize first?  Crap… oh well.  You want a bite of pizza?  uh… ok just a little.  LOL  the list goes on and well…it’s a huge relief not to worry about what perfect puree I’m going to feed her or how many bottles must be sanitized just so for the next morning.

What is also incredibly funny is that I now feel competent and capable as a MOTHER.  Like the first 14-16 months I seriously had no idea what the hell I was doing.  I just knew that I had to follow the books and everything had to be incredibly clean.  These days…I see C growing up beautifully and becoming her own person and I just feel “I’m doing it!!!” pulsating through my veins and mind.  I am FINALLY a mother and I feel GOOOOOOOOOD.  I’m not constantly doubting myself and running to people for advice.  I’m learning to follow my gut and do what is best for my little one.  SUCCESS!!

18-20 months has been the absolute CUTEST age EVERRR.  C can sing, babble, talk, copy/mimic, do hand motions to all songs she loves, is really expressive, very strong willed (which i like), and just overall has the most bright and FUNNN personality.  one day she just all of a sudden started to understand everything we were saying (in English and Korean) and was also able to communicate her own feelings/desires/needs.  I LOVED IT!!  It’s been both refreshing and freeing to negotiate with her rather than have her scream and cry.  It’s awesome to hear her opinions~ like how she ONLY wants to hear us sing “wheels on the bus” or “old macdonald had a farm”.  Or how she will only eat certain foods now~ and only at her will.  *awesome…*

I’m writing this down (instead of just thinking it in passing) to remember this the next  time we have a baby AND to help other mamas out there who might not see the light at the end of the tunnel.  18 months!!!  Just wait until 18 months and you will see a whole new world open up.  You will sleep again.  You will have alone time with your husband.  You will have time to meet with friends.  You will  watch a netflix marathon AGAIN!!  *hip hip hoorayyyyy*

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Mommy Mondays: Do Toddlers Need Toddler Formula?

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this whole milk vs formula vs toddler formula was SUCH a confusing disaster.  toddler formula is something new and people have SUCH different opinions about it.  this post is from my experience with C and our journey figuring out which is right for us.

what i know:
-babies drink formula or breastmilk for the first year.
-babies only start drinking tiny bits of water when they start solids.
-babies shouldn’t drink milk until after 12 months b/c their livers cannot digest milk proteins and it may damage their growing/forming livers.
-after 12 months babies can drink cow’s milk (or any milk you feel is best for your baby) OR they can drink toddler formula.
-toddler formula has vitamins and nutrition that milk does not have (that your baby should be getting in food).
-our Dr provided a vitamin liquid (this one here) that we should be giving to C when we can since toddlers don’t always get the nutrition they need in milk + food and after the transition your baby might lose needed vitamins.  if you don’t want to give the separate vitamins or you think your baby is underweight/malnutrition~ then give them toddler formula.
-when transitioning c from formula to milk, i was worried about how c would react to cold milk and wanted to do the transition method (1/4 milk + 3/4 formula, 1/2 milk + 1/2 formula, 1/4 formula + 3/4 milk, and then finally 100% milk).  mike on the other hand said we should give her cold milk and if she doesn’t like it ,then we’ll try the transition.  c loved the cold milk straight from the fridge and so we never had to do the transition method.  (go figure that mike would be right after all of my research.  =T)

 

conclusion: it looks like toddler formula is a new thing and it works for some families.  it’s also very convenient since formula doesn’t have to be refrigerated the same way.  toddler formula is more expensive than milk, but has tons of nutrients and vitamins for growing toddlers.  choose whatever is best for your family. =)

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Top 3 Wine Bottles

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Going to a dinner party or hosting a special event?  Here are three bottles you can’t go wrong with!  These babies are my all time faaaave red wines. =)  They are all dry, bold and heaven in a glass. <3

2014 J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon ($14.99)

The Prisoner Red Blend ($34.19)

Pillastro Primitivo 2013 ($13.99)

 

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Mommy Mondays: Best Milk for Babies and Toddlers

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finding the right milk for your baby can be so confusing when you go to the grocery store.  AND you’ll find that many households use different milk and have different philosophies on milk: soy, cashew, organic, whole, almond, etc.

for our family, we did some research online and found multiple articles that helped us know which milk to buy C and which milks to avoid.

(if you want to geek out like we did, here are some articles: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5)

best organic milks that we found in LA:
Organic Valley, Clover, Whole Foods

organic milks to avoid:
horizon, trader joe’s, target brand, costco brand, vons brand, walmart brand, alta dena, and the list goes on.

i think this discussion goes on and on, but this is the short version of all the research mike and i did when c was turning 1.  of course nothing bad will happen to your baby if you give them organic milk from the avoid list.  and i think organic in general is better than non-organic milk for growing babies. so after the basics, i think it is up to each family to choose what is best and most feasible for them.

i hope this helps for you mamas looking to do the same research and find the best milk for your little ones! =)

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Must Haves for Sick Toddlers

My baby is sick today :(.  Her first serious bought of the flu this school year and her first illness as a toddler.  She’s been such a good sport about her stuffy nose and crazy fever.  This week was the worst for mike and I to miss work and we are SOOO grateful that her daycare let us send her.  They took such good care of her and kept me up to date during the day so we could pick her up early.

Since this is the first time with a sick toddler, here are some clutch items we needed this time around:

  1. Children’s Motrin (not Baby).  Children’s motrin is for 2 year olds and up.  But Baby motrin is only for kids up to 23lbs.  Something so small but random we had to think about right?  (and side note, i bought some from Vons and it turned out to be EXPIRED.  ugh.  always check the expiration before you buy!!)
  2. LIQUIDS!!  I ran out and bought pedialyte and coconut water (in addition to the milk and water we have at home).  C doesn’t love water (like me) so it’s always hard to get her to drink it when she isn’t feeling well.  Giving her options of coconut water, milk and pedialyte was such a god send.
  3. Cold Pouches.  These were so clutch.  They were cold, sweet and easy for C to swallow with her sore throat.  Thankfully I had a few different kinds in the fridge she could eat throughout the week.  (c hates eating the same thing.  any other toddlers out there like that??)
  4. Matzo Ball Soup.  I don’t know about you but I love this soup!  Whenever it is cold out or one of us is sick, this is the first thing we cook. =)  Anyway, the specific reason why I also like this soup for C is that the matzo balls are soft and easy to swallow.  The soup is salty and hot to soothe her throat.  A nice change from all the sweeter liquids/baby food options.
  5. Yogurt and Frozen Yogurt.  I always have frozen yogurt pops in the freezer for C since she’s teething.  Both the normal and the frozen were so helpful when C wouldn’t eat anything but her fever was spiking.  Both kinds of yogurt helped cool her body down and were super easy to for her to eat.
  6. Watery Oatmeal.  C loves oatmeal and making it extra liquidy helped me get more liquids in her, and it made the oats incredibly soft for swallowing.  This was my go to meal for her this week since she wouldn’t eat much of anything else. =(  Poor baby.
  7. Nose Frida–a mama’s best friend.  A little saline spray and water wipes/tissues~~ I was doing my best to unplug C’s sinus’ so she could breathe better.  She’s been snoring like a man this whole week!  BTW, I’ve also been massaging C’s sinus’ when I can to help unclog and relieve the pain there.  She obviously can’t tell me how she feels but the way she lets me do it makes me think it’s feeling better.
  8. SNACKS!  During the few moments during the day that C WOULD eat something, I had a ton of  options for her to choose from.  Ones that she actually ate: raisins, cheerios, and seaweed.
  9. and Finally~~ the thing that C needed most was her Mama/Dada.  She needed tons of cuddles, kisses, songs, and cartoons during the day while she was feeling sick.  C is always on the go, but this past week all she wanted to do was lay on your chest or lay next to you. <3

Some sleeping photos from C’s naps during the day.  Seriously broke my heart seeing her this sick!!  I know this is just for a moment and it’s so weird to say this, but i love these little pockets of time I get to spend with her.  C is growing at such a rapid pace and I always feel like I’m missing out!  It was nice to spend one full day with her in my arms.  <3

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Best Girls Night In Ideas

img_2080-1Bachelor Night

-OMG CORINNE??  need i say more??  i really hope she stays on for a while b/c she is dra-maaa.  the best part of watching this show is doing a huge fantasy bachelor league/pool/bracket.  my picks were corinne and liz (who went home already. ugh)

Tuesday Night Bravo Line-Up: Vanderpump Rules, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Ladies of London

-could this BE a better lineup in one night???  (imagine chandler bing saying that)  i am a remote nazi on this night and don’t let anyone talk during MYYYY shows.  puhahaha

Pizza, Wine and Clothing Swap

-oh my who doesn’t freaking love these things above.  all you need to do is insert girlfriends and wa-laaa.  recently i went to a pajama party with girlfriends and it was SOOO fun.  we ate food, hung out, drank way too much wine and had a clothing swap.  this is my favorite activity with girlfriends since you get new clothes and accessories without spending a dime! =)

Thai Food, Chick Flicks and Manicures

-again…who doesn’t love pad thai and freshly painted nails with girlfriends?  this is probably my faaaavorite go to activity. =)

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Hawaii 2017

oh my, this post is way too late.  i went back to work on Jan 3 and well…life happened and my posts on Christmas, Hawaii and New Years are still coming.  Sowy friends.  on a positive note, at least i’m stretching out the holiday cheer and new year?

well, our trip to Hawaii came and went SOO FAST.  makes me sad.  this was my first trip with C at this age and i seriously loved every second.  i feel like i’m missing out on so much of her life during the week and then on the weekends we are CONSTANTLY on the go.  so these 10 days of just us girls in paradise was more than i could ask for. <3 =)  is that too cheesy??? puhahaha

ok so if you read my past posts (here, here, here and here) you already know a lot about our trip.  so instead of boring you with the same details~ here is a fun photo dump of our time.

i feel so blessed and lucky to have had this blissful 2 weeks with miss C.  she is such a trooper and one of the best things in my life.  <3

AT THE AIRPORT~~ C HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON, ONLY THAT SHE HAD TO FOLLOW EVERYONE AND BE THE FIRST ONE THERE.  LOL
img_5665 ON THE PLANE C WAS SOOOO GOOD.  HERE IS HER PLAYING AND HAMMING IT UP.  <3
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BLESS MY DAD’S HEART.  HE ALWAYS HAD FRESH POKE FOR ME WHEN I WOKE UP.  HE PICKED IT UP FRESH DAILY!! XOimg_5696 img_5700 img_5733 OUR FIRST BIG TRIP OUTSIDE THE DAY AFTER WE ARRIVED.  C HADN’T SEEN SAND AT THIS AGE AND WAS MESMERIZED (AND FREAKED OUT).  HEHEimg_5741 MY LITTLE BABE HAD THE SNIFFLES AND I WAS FREAKED OUT THAT SHE WOULD GET SICK.  SO SHE HAD A KICK OF VITAMIN C IN THIS JAMBA JUICE DRINK.  SOOOO HARD TO GET A DRINK WITH NO JUICE, ICE CREAM, EXTRA SUGARS.  SIGH.img_5742 IN ALL OF HAWAII~ THE THING THAT C WAS MOST INTRIGUED WITH WERE THE KOI FISH AT ALA MOANA MALL.  PUHAHA  NOT THE WHITE SAND BEACHES OR THE AWESOME CITY VIEWS…JUST THE FISH.  img_5747 GRANDMA MADE CORN A BUNCH OF TIMES AND C LOVED IT.  SHE LOVED WATCHING MY MOM HUSK THE CORN, LAY THEM OUT, COOK THEM, AND CUT THEM UP FOR C TO EAT.  IT WAS TOOOOO CUTE.  MY MOM AND I WOULD EAT THEM FROM THE COB AND C WANTED TO DO IT SO BADLY THAT SHE WOULD SNEAK BITES WHEN WE WEREN’T LOOKING OR WHEN WE PUT OURS DOWN.  HEHEHE TOOOO CUTE.img_5749 img_5764 I BROUGHT SO MANY TINY THINGS FOR C TO PLAY WITH THAT SHE HAD A BLAST.  SHE HADN’T EVER SEEN THESE TOYS BEFORE WHICH REAAAAAALLY HELD HER ATTENTION.  C ONLY GETS TO SEE MY PARENTS 2X A YEAR SO IT WAS REALLY FUN TO SEE THEM BOND WITH HER AND HAVE HER GET TO KNOW THEM.
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NOOOOOODLES.  MY FAVORITE THING TO EAT IN THE WHOLE WORLD.img_5821VIEWS FROM MY PARENTS PLACE.fullsizerenderC EATING BLACK BEAN NOODLES. img_5880CELEBRATED MY BROTHER’S BIG 3-7 BIRTHDAY WHILE WE WERE THERE (ATHIS OFFICE).img_5898img_5908img_5911img_5918THE BEST PARK EVERRRRR THAT WE WENT TO DAILY.img_5934img_5970MORE KOI FISH.  HEHEHEimg_5979img_5996C IS A TOTAL FISHY.  SHE LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT THE OCEAN AND WAS OBSESSED WITH POURING WATER INTO THE SAND.  C (JUST LIKE MAMA) DOES NOT LIKE SAND BEING STUCK TO HER SKIN THO.  SO WE PROBABLY SPENT MORE TIME WASHING SAND OFF OF HER HANDS AND FEET THAN PLAYING WITH IT.  ^^img_6014C WAS OBSESSED WITH THIS SHOWER AND BOGARTED 3 OF THE NOZZLES.  WHEN PEOPLE TRIED TO USE THEM SHE WOULD TELL THEM VERY CONFIDENTLY IN HER BABY TALK, WHILE WAVING HER HAND AT THEM, THAT THOSE NOZZLES WERE BEING USED.  IT WAS SOOO HILARIOUS THAT I DIDN’T STOP IT.  PUHAHA BAD MOM??  C SPENT THE MOST RIDICULOUS TIME WASHING HER TOYS AND HER FEET OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.img_6036img_6038img_6046UGH I’M SOOOO IN LOVE WITH THIS BABYYYYYimg_6047MORE NOODLES!!img_6054img_6059img_6068img_6084img_6091img_6099img_6108WE WENT TO THE ALOHA STADIUM FOR THE SWAP MEET (MY FAAAAVE PLACE TO LOOK AROUND) AND C GOT TO TRY HER FIRST TASTE OF SNOW CONE. <3  SHE WASN’T A FAN.  LOL  I WAS SO OBSESSED WITH C OVERHEATING THAT WE OVERFED HER WATERMELON AND ICE AND WATER.  img_6117img_6129C WAS GETTING ALL FOUR MOLARS IN HAWAII AND SHE HAD A TINY BIT OF A COLD.  =(  EVEN WITH ALL OF THAT SHE WAS ALWAYS SO GOOFY AND IN GOOD SPIRITS.img_6159img_6181C WENT TO THIS CHURCH FOR THE FIRST TIME AND DEFINITELY LEFT HER MARK.  LOLLL img_6183img_6205ISN’T IT SO CRAZY HOW MUCH SHE LOOKS LIKE MY BROTHER, MY DAD AND MY MOM???  BUT WHEN YOU SEE HER WITH MIKE SHE IS OBVIOUSLY HIS MINI-ME???  CWAY…img_6260
WE TOOK C TO A TOY STORE AND WHAT DID SHE CHOOSE?  HOT WHEELS AND ARMY VEHICLES.  IT WAS ADORABLE.  SHE WAS VERY VERY INSISTENT AND PUT THE TOYS IN THE STROLLER SO WE DIDN’T FORGET.  LOLLLLimg_6275THEN MY ADORABLE TOM BOY GOES TO THE MALL WITH US AND GRABS EVERY CLUTCH SHE CAN AND WALKS AROUND LIKE A SERIOUS SHOPPER.  GOSH ALMIGHTY~~~ MY HEART BURSTS WITH LOVE FOR MY SILLY BABE.img_6276img_6312ROUND TWO WITH SANTA PHOTOS.  OBVIOUSLY DIDN’T GO WELL… =Pimg_6316HELENAS.  HOW I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!!img_6329img_6332img_6339img_6343img_6350img_6403MORE BEACH!!!!!!img_6415img_6416img_6448img_6454I NEVER GET TO C SLEEP LIKE THIS.  IT FELT AWESOME TO CHECK IN ON HER AND WATCH HER TAKE AN AFTERNOON NAP.  MAN I SERIOUSLY DID NOT WANT THIS TRIP AND THIS BREAK TO END.img_6907C’S FIRST BUBBLE BATH AND GF WAS NOT A FAN.  SHE COULDN’T GET THE SOAP OFF HER HANDS AND FREAAAAAKED OUT.  LOLLLL  SHE’S A LOT MORE LIKE ME THAN I REALIZE SOMETIMES.  HEHEfullsizerender

goodness, looking through these photos again makes me miss hawaii.  sigh.  until next year when we go back! xoxo  so grateful for this trip with my family and my baby girl!

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Mommy Mondays: DIY Breastfeeding/Pumping Kit

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when i had c, everything was SO new and so confusing that i was never prepared.  only after i started pumping or breastfeeding did i realize, “shoot i’m thirsty” or “crap i need X”~ but there’s nothing you can do for the next 30-40 minutes…so…you’re screwed.  and one other big thing i’m already worried about (i’m not pregnant tho), is how i will do that with C running around.

so, i’m creating a list of what i plan to make the next time around so that it may help all ya’ll who go through it or will be going through it soon!

first, get a basket or easy to move bin.  i kinda had to pump on the fly everywhere and didn’t have a set bag/basket/bin and that totally messed me up.  next time, I’m going to use the same bin/basket for this one purpose so that i’m READYYYYYY.

items to add to the basket: WATER, snacks, iPad or magazine, hand towels and towelettes for leaks/spills, extra (clean) pump bottles, pumping bra, cover, nipple cream, breast pads, hand sanitizer, and some special toys for C (only to be used when i pump/feed).  and if it can fit, the breast feeding pillow.

i recently inherited two pumps from friends and i think this will SAVE my life the next time around.  i’ll be able to keep one in my “home” bin and have one in my car for work and on-the-go events.

with c i was only able to feed her for 11 months (just barely) and it really killed me.  i wish i could have feed her more and for at least 12-14 months.  i was really bad about drinking water and i didn’t take enough time or effort to make sure i was producing enough.  it’s kind of a full-time job for me to even make the 70% of c’s diet i did those 11 months.

soooo, for future baby blair, i hope to drink a ridic amount of water, eat oatmeal everyday, drink mothers milk tea everyday, and pump on the reg.  i also need to learn how to breastfeed c in public.  i was so embarrassed that i didn’t get to do it the first time around and acquiring that skill would have seriously saved me from so many bad situations.

AND one very very important thing i’ll have to figure out is how to keep c entertained while i’m doing it!  i don’t want her to be jealous that i’m spending extra time with the baby or left out that she’s not a part of this bonding moment.  i’ve read that i can have special snacks, toys or movies or apps that she gets to use JUST when i’m feeding/pumping so that it is a positive experience for her.  not sure what that is quite yet~ i’ll probably have to figure that one out on the fly whatever age or stage she is in then. =)

hope this helps all you mamas out there struggling with pumping/breastfeeding!

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Productivity Tips for the New Year


2017 is here and one of my biggest goals is to be more productive.  over the break i did a lot of self-reflection and i feel like i’m half-assing life, work, friendships, relationships, and me.  i’ve lost a lot of my sparkle b/c i’m just so darn TIRED!  here are some helpful articles and tips that i’ve come across to help me add a few routines and tricks to my life to help me stay on track and really focus on what i’m doing when i’m doing it.

Productivity Boosters

The Purpose Driven Work Life

and one important value that i’ve recently been reminded of is…what is the purpose of MY life?  why am i here and what am i living for?  i feel like i’m only going through the motions of life but my mind is dull and i’m not focusing on anything.  i forgot the most important thing: God.  i’ve been living without purpose.  i started to read the book of Psalms and it’s been SO encouraging.  i want my sparkle and my zest for life back.  i want to feel motivated and passionate again.  if any of ya’ll are tired and just plain burnt out like me, take a look at this and feed your soul: Book of Pslams.

=)

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Mommy Mondays: Traveling with a Toddler (Post-Vacation)


 

i did it you guys.  i traveled ALONE to hawaii and back with a 19 month old for 10 days.  i had my family in hawaii to help during the trip but they are no michael blair.  for most of the time i felt like a single parent since c was clingy and adjusting to a new environment/family/time-zone/climate.

here is a short account of our trip in hopes that it will help other mamas and families traveling with babies under 2!

the flight
we flew out at 7:45am from LAX.  i had 1 stroller, 1 backpack, 1 duffle bag, 1 huge parka, and an ergo with me.  everything in the backpack and duffle was for just the flight TO hawaii: 5 busy bags, snacks galore, 3 chargers, 1 iPad, 1 iPhone, 1 muslin blanket, 2 changes of clothes for c, 1 shirt for me, and wipes/diapers.  i got an extra comfort seat for the flight (window), which allowed a lot of leg room plus an extra 5 inches or so of space for me to store things all around me.  honestly, this extra room and window seat were SO CLUTCH.  babies are allowed on the plane first so i was able to wipe down all the seats/window and put all of my things where they needed to be before the regular people boarded.

i was able to shove 2-3 busy bags between the seat and window area and i put snacks/drinks/the iPad in the little pocket in front of us.  this range of activities allowed me to quickly grab something new when she was antsy or fussy.  i also had my backpack in the overhead bin and my big duffle under the seat in front of me.  the extra leg room gave c enough room to stand, sit and have limited mobility.  this tiny bit of room gave c a different change of scenery and position that SERIOUSLY bought me extra time before any meltdowns or screams erupted.

the first four hours, c was AWESOME.  she was in total awe of the plane, snacks and iphone.  then after 1.5 hours, she took a 1.15 hour nap in my arms.  i could tell she was getting sleepy and i quickly put on my ergo and rocked her in my seat while quietly singing in her ear.  while she slept i took out my thermos foogo out, put a packet of oatmeal in there and asked the flight attendant for hot water.  By the time C woke up, I knew she would be starving and this oatmeal was the PERFECT in flight item for her to fill her up and smell pleasant for the people around us (it was apple cinnamon flavor). <–such a random note about the for but i put a ton of thought into it for C (healthy snack, filling snack i knew she would eat) and for the people on the plane (those who smelled it wouldn’t want to barf and it wouldn’t linger in the air too long).

the last two hours C was really nasty and the busy bags were loosing it’s appeal.  the thing that really hurt me was getting up to go to the bathroom.  before i did that, c had no idea we could even leave our confined spot!  so once she figured out that the plane was big and there were tons of people to look at~ game OVAH to quiet charlotte.  sigh.  so the last two hours were more of a struggle where i tried my best to switch out the busy bags, show her as many shows/apps on my phone as possible and bribe her with snacks.  on the flight to hawaii, hawaiian airlines gives you a bag of maui potato chips.  i would NEVER normally give her chips but the last 60 minutes of the flight was HARD for c to stay quiet so i pulled out my phone and let her eat chips from the bag.  best decision of my life.  she was SOOOOOOO quiet for about 20-25 minutes just eating chips and watching shows.  thank you Jesus.  when we landed the people around us gave c tons of compliments for being so good and how they hardly knew a baby was on the flight.  YES!

(for luggage + car seat, i didn’t have any of that with me.  my bro took my bag earlier since he flies back and forth so much.  the car seat i ordered on amazon and had it shipped directly to my parent’s house.  we needed a new one and it was nice since they had it installed in the car when they picked me up.  i also pre-ordered all the things the baby would need and shipped it to the house so that i didn’t have to bring that.  for clothes, i planned for us to do laundry at least one time, so i barely brought stuff.)

the trip
hawaii is only 2 hours behind us and with the flight, it wasn’t to hard to get C on schedule for the trip.  we didn’t have a crib for her so she slept in bed with me the whole two weeks.  that wasn’t easy and it was definitely not the way i like to sleep train her, but whatever works right?

i found that keeping c on a schedule (even if it’s made up) and taking her outside at least twice a day was the way to go.  she woke up at around 6:30-7am and was ready to go.  so we went to the park or the beach (both 1 block away) and spent about 4-5 hours outside.  i got coffee, we walked around the mall/shopping centers (my parents live in the middle of these really popular area), and played at the beach or park.  c often napped in the stroller or we came home for her to take her afternoon nap.  then around 4-430pm we went out again for about 1 hour to get the last of her wiggles out.

it was GLORIOUS having no schedule and just spending time with c.  made me want to be a housewife or stay at home mom SO BAD.

the hardest part of the trip was not having mike.  i was “on” 24/7.  no one knew c like i did, she was super clingy in this new environment, and no one was going to discipline her or “parent” her like me. i think just not having a partner to tag-team with was hard~ but the trip itself was AWESOME.  c was able to swim at several different beaches, see tons of different shows/scenes, and play with local kids everyday.  i brought some toys/books that i KNEW she would love but they were kinda hit/miss.  like she obviously played with them, but being in a new environment led her to play with a whole bunch of new things.  so had i not brought any toys~ she would have been fine.  or i could have just bought a couple while we were there?  toys/books were one thing that i thought would be HUGE, but it ended up being a minor detail.  next time around i wouldn’t have brought so much.

for the entire 2 weeks, unless my family was with me, i didn’t drive anywhere on my own.  i walked literally everywhere in ala moana and waikiki.  in hindsight i should have taken c to different parts of the island like turtle bay, dole plantation, lanikai and on some picturesque hikes.  sigh.  next time?  when i’m braver?

return flight

on the way home, i took the red-eye.  AWESOME idea since C slept the entire time, but hard for me.  our flight was at 9:45pm and i let c run around and play like a maniac until we boarded.  about 20 minutes into the flight c passed out HARD in my ergo.

(one tip with the ergo, i rock her to sleep with her facing my chest and she she is out cold, i flip her around so she leans back and sleeps the rest of the time.  that way i can be her “bed” or “car seat” while she’s strapped in.  i also put a blanket on her so that she’s wrapped warmly and has the freedom to move around a bit.  having her sleep with her head on my chest is comfortable but her legs get squished in my seat so that’s not comfy.)

anyway, c slept HARD for the entire flight and i did not.  i probably slept for like 1-2 hours tops.  why?  because if c was in a comfy sleeping position, i was not.  if i was in a comfy position, c would wake up pissed.  i stood in my seat and just kind of rocked for a little bit to ease my back and stretch a bit.  sigh.  if i could do it all over again, i would have still taken the red eye.  having c sleep the entire flight and THEN SOME was too good to pass up.  even when we were getting off the plane and i was trying to open her stroller~ she was OUT.

 

i was SO STRESSED OUT over this trip and it could not have gone better.  this is probably the one and only time c and i will travel alone like this and i seriously treasured every second alone with her.  working full-time comes with so much guilt and feeling like i’m not enough.  long breaks like this seriously fill my soul and help me recoup from being so darn burnt out.

can’t believe winter break is almost overrrrr.  i’m totally dreading it but hoping this 2017 brings many joys and wonderful changes to our family.  xo

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