Category: Personal

Max’s 11 Month Update

Wow…I keep saying it but this month just flew by. I can’t believe only 1 more month and Max will be a one year old!!!!

Max really started walking a lot more this past month. He’s gone about 5-6 steps unassisted now. I think maybe by his 1st bday he will be full on walking. I hope so!! I really hate the stage where they want you to hold their hand everywhere as they try to walk. Either that or he is crawling all over the dirty floor. Or you are worrying he’s going to fall and hit his head. Yup…not my favorite stage.

I feel like he is understanding a lot more when we talk to him. He knows to point to where he wants us to carry him and he definitely understands “mum mum” means food! He is a total terror when it comes to diaper changes. He kicks and squirms so much that half the time I have to change his diaper while he’s upright and pray that he doesn’t pee!

He also still hates the carseat but he is a little better about it. He’s getting better at falling asleep in the car if he’s tired….before he would cry so much because he would be sleepy but couldn’t sleep (what a weird baby! they are supposed to love falling asleep in the car). Now we can usually go short distances without him crying but I still get stressed out every day and get all rushed every time we get in the car because of him 🙁

I’ve been so bad with pictures as always. Here are the few I managed to take!

This guy is seriously such a trouble maker compared to his sister!
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Speaking of his sister…these 2 are the best of friends. BTW we totally faked this photo…Max doesn’t use the iPhone yet!
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He’s really good at drinking out of a straw now! Just wish he would drink more milk. He is a great eater though and will eat pretty much anything. I can’t wait til he turns 1 and we switch him to whole milk…hoping he likes that more than bm or formula!
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This guy loves water! BTW – no he is not THAT dirty…it’s an oatmeal bath because he has some eczema
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Max is still not sleeping through the night and even though he’s not a big fan of bfing…he does rely on it at night. And since he is such a lightweight I feel bad weaning him off of it right now. I am counting down the days when I get to stop pumping though!

Check out this video of Max walking. I love the face he makes at the end. He always makes that face after he makes a few steps….the “I did it” face! So cute!!

This guy is a total momma’s boy and he loves to cuddle with me. Sometimes he crawls over to me and just gives me a big hug and lays his head on my shoulder and grips my neck super tight. My heart just melts! Love you Maxie Poo!!!!

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Recovery and Adjusting To Life With Two

This labor, delivery, and recovery has been so great compared to last time. It’s only been about a week since I gave birth to Max and I almost feel 100%! Last time it took me weeks to feel somewhat back to normal. Overall, everything has been easier. Last time we were so worried about everything: jaundice, breastfeeding, getting Emma back to her birth weight, learning how to soothe a baby, how to swaddle and change a diaper, etc. This time Max has NO jaundice! His weight has been on track (even though I personally feel like he still needs to gain more weight!!), breastfeeding has been a breeze and actually hasn’t even been painful at all! Max has a great latch. He is also, in general, a much easier baby than Emma was. All he does is sleep, and when he’s awake he’s content to just lay there and observe the world. Emma never just laid there…if she was awake, she always wanted to be picked up! If Max cries, it’s because of one thing…he’s hungry! And feeding him is all it takes to make him happy again. It might be still too early to say, but Max is pretty easy!!

The only problems we’ve had with him have been diaper leaks. For a few days I was going through his whole wardrobe in one day because I had to change his outfit so often! We tried different brand diapers and finally settled on some Huggies in preemie size. This has cut down on his leaks a lot….now he only leaks once or twice a day. We are still getting used to changing a boy’s diaper. Honestly, changing a girl’s diaper is infinitely easier!!

A few things I am doing differently this time is not feeling guilty about supplementing with formula and using a bottle with Emma. We had such a hard time getting Emma to use a bottle that we are all traumatized. So far Max has had no nipple confusion and has been eating like a champ. We couldn’t ask for more.

I think so far, the hardest part of adjusting to life with two has honestly been Emma. She is going through her terrible twos and fighting her naps which makes for a tired, cranky kid sometimes. Also, since she is used to sleeping with me at night sometimes she wakes up now looking for me and gets upset if I am not there. She has also been waking up a lot earlier because she is looking for me in the morning too! We used to have a great sleeper and it all went downhill in the past few weeks. But luckily since Max has been so easy, we are able to tend to her a little more.

And now for some pics of Max!

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First car ride – he slept like a baby of course
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For awhile, the last thing I was was calm when changing him!!!
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Love how chill this baby is
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And a few pics of Emma whose new favorite hobby is blowing bubbles. Love her cheeks!
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Emma Meets Max

The days leading up to Max’s birth I was super nervous about how Emma was going to react to Max. She is a total momma’s girl and I wasn’t sure how she would like having to share my attention! Luckily, I had nothing to worry about…Emma loves Max! It’s actually really sweet and heartwarming to witness. I credit her willingness to be a big sister because of all of her cousins and how much fun she has with them. I have always said she is the most social, shy kid ever! She loves other kids, it just takes her awhile to warm up. But once she gets used to you, she has no problem actually even leaving us and going off on her own. She has even asked if she can spend the night at her cousins’s house before! She definitely prefers to be around a lot of kids…so I’m glad we were able to give her a sibling at least.

Emma first met Max in the hospital. It was kind of a rocky first start but turns out the hospital setting just scared her a lot. She was even scared to get near me! I think because I was laying in the big hospital bed with a hospital gown on. It took her awhile to even sit on the bed and even when we got her on there she was itching to get off.

You can see some of her curiosity shining through in these pics.

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After all of our hashing back and forth on what to get Emma as her present from Max…we settled on a Lightning McQueen tshirt and flashlight. Even though she’s never even seen Cars…she loves Lightning McQueen (her best friend and cousin’s influence). It was a hit!

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I had to stay at the hospital another day after that, so when we finally came home we went to grandma’s house to pick up Emma. When we got there she was super excited to see “baby Max”. She started singing Happy Birthday to Max out of nowhere! This girl just kills me.

Emma loves Max!  Her reaction to him has been so sweet and loving. She surprises us every day!

She also wanted to help feed him and kept trying to make him laugh by jumping around.

When it was time to go home, I asked Emma if she wanted to stay at Grandma’s or go home with us. She said she wanted to stay (because all of her cousins were there). She immediately said “Bye Daddy, Bye Mommy”. As we got up to leave, taking Max with us, she starts throwing a tantrum and yelling “MAX STAY MAX STAY”….whaaaaat? It was so hilarious. So we ended up all staying over there for awhile so she could bond with Max a little more.

Since we’ve been home, she has shown so much concern and care for her little brother. The first thing she says some mornings are “Where is Max?”. And when she wants something and I can’t do it because I’m holding or bfing Max, she patiently waits her turn. The only bit of jealousy she has shown has been if one of us is carrying Max or sitting with him, she wants us to use our other arm to carry her sometimes…but she never makes us put Max down.

Excuse Daddy and daughter’s messy hair. 🙂
I think 2 kids has been a lot harder on Minh than me lol. #superdad #messyhairdontcare

Overall, I’m extremely happy with how this has gone down and I can’t wait for Max to grow up so he can actually play with Emma! She will love having a live-in playmate since mommy and daddy can be boring sometimes 😛

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Max’s Birth Story

This is a pretty boring, typical birth story. But I thought I would post about it in case Max wanted to read about it one day? hehe. BTW, boring and typical makes this a perfect birth story to me!

With both of my births, I have always gotten a lot of Braxton Hicks (fake contractions) early on in my pregnancy. On the Friday before Max’s birth, I had my weekly appointment with my DR who told me I was already 2-3 cm dilated. My DR told me it could be soon, or it could be several weeks since some people are stuck at that stage for awhile. I figured it would be sooner than later though since Emma also came so early and honestly I was SO huge at that point that people would stop me in the store predicting that I was going to give birth any day now! The next day early in the morning I started having more constant contractions. Enough so that I started timing them. Turned out they were about 8 minutes apart for about 2 hours. (You are supposed to head into the hospital when they are 5 mins apart!). They weren’t painful yet but actually felt just like Braxton Hicks to me still….but at that point I couldn’t remember what the difference was. I woke up wondering if today was going to be THE DAY!

But, after I got up and started moving around…the contractions stopped. Or they returned to how they had been for a few weeks. Random. So I figured they were all Braxton Hicks again. Throughout the day I did start to notice they got a little stronger but again I wasn’t sure if it was my imagination. I told Minh I thought it would be soon though. We decided to watch our last movie for awhile and went and saw X-Men! Throughout the movie I got some more contractions which usually happened more often when I was sitting still (again, another indication they were Braxton Hicks and not real contractions). I kept imagining my water breaking somewhere in public and what I would do! But alas, nothing happened.

That night, I went to bed wondering if I was going to make it til morning. I knew once I laid down there was a strong possibility that my contractions might start up again. I was really hoping they wouldn’t since I had a birthday party to go to on Sunday! Unfortunately, sometime in the middle of the night my contractions started up again. They were definitely stronger and I started to vaguely remember what real contractions felt like and thought these were real. I decided to get up and walk around to see if they would stop. They sort of eased up but were still somewhat constant so I continued to time them. Once they started getting in the 4-5 minute range and a little more painful, I woke up Minh. “I think it’s time!!!”. I think this was around 4 in the morning? I can’t really remember. We decided to call Minh’s mom to come over and stay with Emma since she was still asleep of course.

Oh I forgot to mention that earlier that night our plumbing went kaputz. The bathtub was backed up and it was SO GROSS!!!! We tried to get a 24 hr plumber to come out but they kept delaying and finally canceled on us and told us to wait for the next morning. Unfortunately that was when I went into labor so I couldn’t even take a shower before going to the hospital! Bad luck!!!

After Minh’s mom came over, we headed to the hospital. I contemplated eating something before going in since I knew they wouldn’t let me eat once I got there. At first we were going to eat McD’s since it’s one of the few places open at the time (also what I ate before having Emma!) but when we were about to go through the drive-thru I had a painful contraction and suddenly McD’s was the last thing I wanted to eat so I told Minh to skip it. But of course as we drove away my contraction stopped and then we saw Del Taco so we went there instead. I ended up eating 2 crunchy tacos. Wish I had eaten more!!!

We pulled into the hospital and was able to get a pretty good parking spot. We walked in and they immediately asked me if I was going into labor. “I think so?”. So they checked me in and wheeled me into a room. The whole time I was paranoid about not being far enough along and getting turned back which I hear happens to a lot of my friends. This was a completely different experience for me since with Emma my water had broken first. Let me tell you, it is so much nicer when your water doesn’t break first!

They got me in a room and immediately hooked me up to an IV since I tested positive for Strep B and needed to get antibiotics. I didn’t really like where they placed my IV (in my wrist) and it sort of bothered me the whole time I was there. Oh well. I immediately asked for an epidural when I got there since I felt like I was nearing that hump where the contractions get super painful and definitely wanted it before I got to that point. I had no illusions about not getting one this time! 🙂 Epidurals just make the labor experience much more enjoyable for me…I can’t imagine not getting one. For the next 10 hours I was texting people, playing candy crush, and watching soccer. If I did not get the epidural I think I would have been pretty miserable and cranky. ha!

Rocking the double chin. I had a few photos where more of my body showed…OMG I was so huge!
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When they checked to see how dilated I was, I was only 3-4 cm but 100% effaced. I remembered from last time I was very slow to progress even when I was pumped with pitocin so I wondered how long this one was going to be. Several hours went by and when they checked me again I was only 4-5cm. At this point, they asked me if I wanted pitocin but since we hadn’t been there that long…less than 6 hours? I didn’t really see a point yet. Especially since my water hadn’t broken yet. This is when I kind of got annoyed with my nurse and DR who were both pressuring me to take pitocin. I stood my ground though and said I wanted to wait a little longer. A few hours later, my DR came in and asked if I was ok with breaking my water. I said yes and she said we’ll see how that goes before discussing pitocin again. After she broke my water, she measured me again and said I was a 5-6 but that they would give me an hour before giving me Pitocin. Luckily, when the hour was up, I jumped to a 10! She said the baby was also in a really good position and I might not even need to push. I was like “You can do that??” The pushing part was my most dreaded part of labor since last time it took me 2 hours to push Emma out. When it was finally time to push, I pushed 3-4 times and baby Max came out!!!!! It was soooo easy compared to Emma. I couldn’t believe it!

Hello world!
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6 lbs 9 oz…pretty hefty for such an early baby!
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Family photo….really missing Emma here 🙁
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I’ll write more about Emma meeting Max and how we are adjusting in another post!

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Enjoying Maternity Leave

For people who know me, I didn’t really get to enjoy my maternity leave last time when I was pregnant with Emma. I got a total of 1 day off before she arrived! This time I’ve already enjoyed a whole week off….and it has been SO NICE!!! I’ve gotten so much done and have really enjoyed this one on one time I have gotten with Emma before baby #2 comes.

I took a few days to really reorganize my house and throw out a lot of trash. I cleaned out my freezer and cupboards of everything that was expired. I sorted through my craft/office room so now I can actually find things when I work on my crafts! I even started reorganizing Emma’s toys and am attempting to do a toy rotation for her so we don’t have toys out everywhere. I cooked a little bit and have attempted at eating a salad a day while I’m on maternity leave and also made beef broth from scratch!

I just hope I last through the weekend because we have 2 big bday parties to attend this weekend and I really want to go! I love bday parties! If I make it to next week, there are some arts and craft stuff that I wanted to work on including making Emma’s felt play mat (will be great for her to play independently when baby #2 comes!), finishing Emma Project Life book and start Max’s Project Life, and also work on my anniversary present for the hubby. We’re celebrating 5 years in a few months…I can’t believe we’ve been married for that long. So happy to have him in my life and by my side as we turn the next chapter in our family. 🙂

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Emma’s 2nd Year Birthday Questions

You can see her “answers” from last year here. I had to answer most of these questions again since I’m not exactly sure she knows what the word “favorite” means yet. 😛

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1. What is your favorite color? yellow (this is only a recent thing….normally I would say pink although she ALWAYS wants to wear green pants hehe)
2. What is your favorite toy? Probably her rice box or her Thumper stuffed animal
3. What is your favorite fruit? strawberries
4. What is your favorite tv show? Caillou
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Pizza
6. What is your favorite outfit? This changes daily. Sometimes she will want to wear one thing and refuse to wear it the next day but there is one consistent thing she likes and that is her green pants!

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7. What is your favorite game? Pretending to cook and feed people
8. What is your favorite snack? Baked sweet potatoes or chips
9. What is your favorite animal? I think she is scared of all animals right now
10. What is your favorite song? Brave by Sara Bareilles
11. What is your favorite book? Let’s Go To The Farm (Lift The Flap) Book
12. Who is your best friend? still Mommy I think
13. What is your favorite cereal? We haven’t been feeding her much cereal but she likes Rice Crispies
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? people watch, blow bubbles, and eat
15. What is your favorite drink? cow’s milk (oh how much this has changed from last year!)
16. What is your favorite holiday? I don’t think she has a favorite holiday yet but she really enjoyed Easter last month!

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17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Mommy/Thumper
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Paleo pancakes or oatmeal
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pizza
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a chef!

A video of Emma saying cheers with her cousin Xander. It probably only cracks me up to watch this.

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The 2nd Time Around

My due date is getting closer and closer! I’m excited and definitely scared of the changes too. This post about letting go of your first baby really hits home. I know it will be great for Emma to have a sibling but a part of me is sad for her in that she won’t get our full and undivided attention anymore. I’m not really sure how she will adjust, especially since she is such a mama’s girl and I will undoubtedly be very busy with her brother since I will be bfing again. I hope we are able to balance having 2 and giving both kids the love and attention they deserve. I know the first few weeks will definitely be a time of adjustment for all of us.

A few other things I’m not looking forward to:
– Random wakeups at night and just the whole newborn “schedule”. Even though I am not sleeping well right now because of the uncomfortableness of the 3rd trimester, it’s a totally different story when you are in a deep sleep and get woken up by a loud cry!

– BFing. I love and hate breastfeeding. Not looking forward to pumping again that’s for sure! And I’ve always had milk supply issues so it’s always a lot of work for me in the beginning to get it going and to have enough.

– Doing the whole bedtime routine with a newborn. We’ve really gotten into a groove with Emma and it’s been pretty fast and easy to put her down and we get the whole evening to ourselves! I remember in the beginning it would take an hour+ sometimes to get her down. I hope this baby is not as fussy as she was! Maybe this time we will sleep train? hehe

– Using the crib. Husband won’t let me switch the crib to a floor bed and since we still cosleep with Emma in our queen sized bed…that means the baby is stuck in the crib or cosleeper which means when baby cries I have to get up to get the baby and feed him. The reason Emma sleeps with us is because I was too lazy to do that the first time around! And if this baby is like Emma, he won’t sleep more than 15 mins at a time in a crib. I am thinking of getting a topponcino. Has anyone had experience with one?

– A crying baby that won’t be soothed. Sometimes a baby will just cry and none of the normal tricks will work. I dread those.

– Postpartum recovery. OMG. I am really dreading this. I thought this was the worst part and I kept wondering why nobody told me how bad this part was. Labor is a piece of cake compared to this! I just hope recovery is easier and faster the 2nd time around.

What I am looking forward to:
– BFing. Again, I have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding but I have to admit that since it’s my 2nd time around it should be a LOT easier! I had a lot of problems the first time around and it probably took me WEEKS before I was able to comfortably do it. It was actually pretty stressful and I almost gave up! Now I know what to expect and the “right” way to do it.

– Not being so clueless about everything. Man, we used google like crazy that first time around. We did everything “by the book”. We woke up the baby every 4 hours to feed because that’s what the DR and books told us. Now I’m totally of the opinion of don’t wake a sleeping baby!! We also delayed giving Emma a bottle and listened to our DR to “bird feed” her with a syringe for like a week so that she wouldn’t have nipple confusion. OMG. after a week of that we gave up and used the bottle and it was like 100x easier. I am never doing the syringe feeding again! Same thing with the pacifier. They told us wait 6 weeks to give her a pacifier….by that time she refused to take it and ended up using me as a pacifier! There’s just so many things I know better about now…you don’t always have to listen to the DR or the books or google. Sometimes you just have to listen to your gut!

– Being able to enjoy the newborn phase. I think last time I was too worried about everything and just trying to adjust to being a mom. I didn’t go anywhere and barely left the house if I wasn’t with my husband. This time I feel like I can enjoy my maternity leave better and really bond because I’m not going to worry about the stupid stuff.

I am really nervous about what this 2nd baby is going to be like. It can really make/break how fun/easy the newborn stage is if you have a mild mannered baby or a colicky baby. PLEASEPLEASE DO NOT HAVE COLIC BABY#2!!!! I do notice this baby moves like crazy in my stomach…much more so than Emma did so I’m kind of nervous that he’s going to be a typical boy and be rambunctious and a handful. We’ll see I guess!

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Remember This – September 2013

I just want to freeze Emma right now. There’s so many things about her I just want to remember forever:

– the way she says “mom” and “da-da”
– how she calls bananas “ba-ba”
– how when she wants to watch the itsy bitsy spider youtube video she does the spider motions with her little hands
– how when she farts she looks at me and smiles and then says “DIT” (fart in vietnamese)
– the first time she enjoyed wearing her sunglasses and walked around the house with this look on her face like “i’m so cool”
– the way she hugs with her arms really wide
– when she walks around like an old man

She is the cutest thing in the world.

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An Intro Written By Emma’s Mom

By starting this blog, I am hoping to instill the same love for writing/blogging that I have, in my daughter Emma. Hopefully, as she gets older she will contribute more and more to these posts! Currently, she is only 14 months old and is just starting to learn some words here and there. I’ll try to capture her thoughts on a variety of adventures we go on, the food we eat, and the toys she plays with. It is also an easy way for me to document her life and share any tips I learn as a new mom with other parents as well.

 

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