Since Emma can’t talk yet, I’ll try to answer the best I can…so it *might* be a little biased…haha
1. What is your favorite color? red (Emma always reaches for red things we noticed!)
2. What is your favorite toy? containers that rattle, lids or Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes
3. What is your favorite fruit? strawberries, pineapples, and grapes
4. What is your favorite tv show? Do Youtube music videos count?
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Butternut Squash and Pear puree or chao (rice porridge)
6. What is your favorite outfit? Blue dress with hearts on it (she could probably care less what she is wearing but we seem to put her in this outfit a lot because it’s easy to wear, soft, and comfy!)
7. What is your favorite game? peek-a-boo
8. What is your favorite snack? PUFFS
9. What is your favorite animal? indifferent
10. What is your favorite song? “Outdoors” by Jason Mraz
11. What is your favorite book? Pat The Bunny (or Goodnight Moon but I think she is liking Pat the Bunny more these days)
12. Who is your best friend? Mommy!
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios (only cereal she is allowed to eat but she does love it!)
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? people watch
15. What is your favorite drink? breastmilk
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Mommy!
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Paleo pancakes
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Breastmilk
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A software engineer (she loves the laptop!)
I keep saying this but really….I can NOT believe my daughter is 1 YEAR OLD! She is no longer a baby…she is a toddler. Before I know it she will be a teenager, going off to college, getting married. OMG things are moving too fast!!!
As I navigate parenthood, I find myself fluctuating between wishing she would hurry up and move onto the next stage while at the same time savoring every minute knowing this time is so short. She will not always want to cuddle with me, she will not always be so happy waking up in the mornings, she will not always be the innocent baby that could do no wrong.
I remember while I was pregnant, just constantly wondering what being a parent would be like. Let me tell you…what everyone tells you is exactly right. But no matter what people tell you, you won’t truly understand until you are going through it. NOTHING could have prepared me for this adventure that parenthood is.
(I can barely remember her being this tiny)
At the hospital, I remember thinking how surreal everything was. This little person was our baby. It still did not feel real. Let me tell you when it finally felt real. I think it was maybe a week into it, a few days after we came home from the hospital…Boyrobot and I were up in the middle of the night feeding Emma. At the time I was having trouble bfing and so we were feeding her formula with a syringe. Through the hormonal fog that is the first 2 weeks after giving birth, I remember thinking “OMG I cannot do this!” and “there’s never a break” and “how in the world have so many other people done this and gotten through it??”. I don’t remember what Boyrobot told me exactly…something along the lines of “we can do this”. And this we did.
Those first few weeks, I’m not sure if I felt “love” yet but with each milestone, each smile, each cuddle, that feeling that was so small I wasn’t even sure was there has grown to be bigger than anything I’ve ever known. My heart swells just thinking about her. Cheesy but totally true.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
I won’t lie though…those first few months were HARD. As in, I was counting down the days until I returned to work! It did help to finally get the hang of bfing. That has been one of the most enjoyable parts for me surprisingly. I am not good or comfortable with kids. Bfing helped me gain confidence as a mother. It is not for everyone but if you are able to…I highly recommend it! Isn’t it cool that you can feed and soothe your baby with nothing but your body? Very empowering and it will automatically make you a favorite parent between mommy and daddy…haha!
Anyways, parenting is ultimately made up of a lot of hard parts and of course very sweet parts. Luckily, the good does outweigh the bad.
The hard parts
- Being woken up at 3am, in the deepest part of your slumber, to a crying, unsoothable baby. Babies can’t communicate so it’s a total mystery why they are crying sometimes and usually the 3am wakeups are the ones where none of the usual tricks are going to work. This is especially hard after you have gone back to work and your baby keeps you up for hours in the middle of the night!
- Going out to eat is never the same. In the beginning you hope and pray the baby sleeps through the meal. If not you are forced to get things to go and eat your cold, soggy food at home. Once they are older, you alternate eating with your spouse so the other one can entertain and tend to the baby.
- No breaks. Parenthood is a full time job.
- Entertaining them. The good part is pretty much anything and everything will amuse them. The bad part is their attention span is short so you quickly run out of things to do. And Emma was one of those babies that needed constant attention. There was no leaving her to play by herself without instant whining/crying. Also entertaining them can be really boring in itself. At this age, they can’t really “play”. For awhile Emma was really interested in having me stack some blocks and she would knock them down. It was hilarious the first 5 times…not so much the next 50 times.
(Back when Emma couldn’t sit on her own and had to use a Bumbo…playing with my measuring cups that are now her toy)
- The dreaded art of “putting down baby without waking them up”. This is one of the reasons why I cosleep. I never did master this! So you finally get baby to sleep and the minute you try to put baby down, he/she wakes up! It’s pretty much the most annoying thing EVER!
- Random fussiness about everything. Have you heard of this blog, Reasons My Son Is Crying? It’s pure genius and totally Emma. For awhile she would cry every time we changed her diaper, every time we put her in the car seat, every time we were in the car and it stopped, any time we weren’t holding her, if we tried to put shoes on her, if we tried to put a headband on her, if we gave her a bath, if we got a bottle within 3 inches of her mouth, if we tried to feed her formula, if she was in the stroller/baby carrier/carseat etc.
(Emma crying because we took her to the beach)
(Emma crying because we bought this new bouncer for her that she liked the day before)
The best parts:
- Her first smile and every smile thereafter. You will do anything for one of these smiles.
- Hearing her laugh really hard at something you are doing. Usually boyrobot really gets her going and it just cracks me up to see/hear them.
- Noticing parts of you and your spouse in her. This baby really is a mix of the two of you and you hope that she takes after the best parts!
- Watching her grow and start to interact with you. One of the first things I think babies like to do is to play peek-a-boo back at you. When they first start doing it, they always smile really big like they just learned the coolest trick. It’s awesome. Every milestone they reach is so exciting!
- Watching her develop feelings and showing love towards you. I pretty much just died when Emma started hugging her stuffed animals and kissing pictures. Also love when her face lights up after we come home from work!
- Having conversations with her. I can’t wait til we have real conversations but for now our babbling sessions are pretty entertaining! I wonder what she thinks she is saying to me! :)
- Experiencing new things with her. It’s so fun being able to introduce her to new things, foods, outings for the first time. The simplest things can completely delight her! Boyrobot and I keep talking about all of the places we want to take her and the things we want to do with her.
(first time on a swing)
It’s really hard describing the best parts of parenthood. The love you feel for your kids are indescribable. Especially at this age when they are just pure sweetness and innocence. It kind of makes me sad to think about her growing up and one day losing that. I really hope to make her childhood as fun, memorable, and magical as possible. Maybe then she won’t want to grow up so fast?? :)
So this past month has been pretty exciting. Emma has finally started really crawling…no more belly crawl. She has also started cruising and pulling herself up. This all means she is super mobile. I swear while we are sleeping she does a complete 360 throughout the night and ends up back in her original position by morning! This comic meant nothing to me before I had a kid and now I pretty much think this is the most hilarious (and true) thing I have ever seen.
Emma especially loves “The Neck Scarf” and “H is for Hell”.
Some more pictures from this month
Emma and her cousin Xander. They are best buds!
Emma is too preoccupied to notice she is standing all by herself! As soon as she realizes she is, she gets really scared and cries. So cute!
A funny comic we made of Emma and her friend Jacob. If you are on Facebook you’ve already seen this but it brings me a smile whenever I look at it. The 2nd picture is so hilarious because it totally looks like she is trying to sneak her arm around Jacob!
Emma enjoying her 1st birthday present from her Auntie Tran (my sister). She loves her rocking elephant!
Today was her birthday and we had a fun filled day which I will blog in another post since this is getting long enough. :)
I’ve seriously been debating making my own laundry detergent. I keep seeing recipes everywhere and how much cheaper it is! Ever since Emma was born I’ve been very careful with what kind of laundry detergent I buy. Those eco/natural detergents get to be very expensive! The hardest part about making your own laundry detergent is probably the part where you have to grate a soap bar which doesn’t sound that hard to me. The most popular recipe is as follows:
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 (3 lb) Container of OxiClean
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Fels-Naphta
1 (5 lb) Bag of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
All of these ingredients can be found in the detergent isle at your local grocery store, except for the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, that will be on the cooking isle.
1. Using a cheese grater, grate the Fels-Nephta soap. Once it’s grated put it in a blender, or food processor, and pulse until it’s a powder.
2. Add the Fels-Neptha powder to a large bucket (at least 2 gallons), then add remaining ingredients. Stir well with a large spoon.
This makes about a year’s worth so you only have to make it once a year (of course dependent on how often you do laundry). Most people store it in a large container and scoop some in a smaller container to leave by the washer. All you need is a measuring spoon and a load just needs 1-2 TBSP of detergent.
I was kind of skeptical about how well it would work but every review I’ve read says it works as well if not better than commercial detergents! All of the blogs I’ve been reading say this soap will cost you about 4 cents a load….versus traditional Tide which is about 12 cents a load. Or even more if you use the fancy schmancy stuff. The best part is it’s all natural and safe! It will also work with your HE washers. As soon as I run out of our current detergent I’m definitely going to give this a try!
I know it’s silly but I can’t wait to put my detergent in a cute glass jar like this one! hehe
Friday: Japanese Style Linguine with Clams – what makes it japanese? The use of sake, shiitake mushrooms, and nori sprinkled on top! I might have to take a shortcut and use canned clams though…hope it’s still tasty!
Monday – Sauteed Shrimp With Coconut Oil (with rice): I love cooking shrimp when I need a fast dinner. It cooks so fast and is always available in my freezer! Boyrobot and I love to eat the really big shrimps.
Wednesday – Bulgur With Mushrooms and Asparagus: I bought some bulgur for one of the salads from the NYTimes 101 salads (which was excellent!!) so now I have a bag of bulgur left over. I’m really hoping boyrobot will eat this…he’s never tried bulgur but he loves asparagus and mushrooms so we’ll see!
Friday – Flank Steak Noodle Stir Fry: Week of Menus is one of my favorite food blogs that I follow. I think she has kids that are picky eaters so a lot of her recipes work for us too (since boyrobot is so picky ha ha).
I can NOT believe we are 1 month away from Emma turning 1!!! She still seems very much a baby to me. It doesn’t help that she is definitely on the small end of the scale (weighing around 15 lbs!!) and not yet walking. Where she is lacking physically she is making up with her personality! She has started copying a lot of the things we do and it’s just so adorable! It started with hair brushing. She has her own set of hair brushes and when I brush my hair, she always “brushes” her hair too. She also always takes my glasses and tries to wear them. Her favorite thing she does that just kills me every time is I will hand her a stuffed animal and tell her “huggie”?? And she will give it the biggest hug and smile. She also loves to kiss her toys and pictures. ADORBZ!
It’s moments like these where I wonder what happened to that little blob we came home with from the hospital who just ate, slept, and pooped! It’s so incredible how interactive she is now and so much fun!!! Sometimes I’ll babble with her and it’s like we are having our own secret conversation. I wonder what she is saying to me?? :)
(Emma likes to pretend she is talking on a cellphone using her hand)
Emma is still quite shy around strangers. I do hope she outgrows this. We are constantly around our friends and it will take her some time before she is comfortable but she never is as animated as she is when it’s just me and boyrobot.
She has started becoming more adventurous with her eating although she is still quite picky and of course she still hates the bottle. She has started taking it from her grandfather now but refuses it from me or boyrobot unfortunately. She has become quite good at drinking out of a straw cup…no more dripping! So I am hoping when we switch to whole milk it will be a somewhat easy transition. Her favorite foods are those Gerber tomato flavored lil’ crunchies, yogurt drops, puffs, butternut squash, and cheese. Not exactly the healthiest right? I made her some paleo pancakes that she really likes. They are sooo easy to make too! Just blend 2 eggs and a banana together and add a dash of cinnamon. You can even freeze them!
I forgot if it was this past month or the month before but Emma now has SIX teeth. 2 on the bottom and 4 on the top. All 4 on top came in at the same time and she was pretty miserable when it happened. I noticed she is chewing on things again and drooling a lot so I wonder if more are starting to come in. It will be so great when she finally has a full set of teeth and I don’t have to worry about the size of the food we feed her!
Her signing is getting better. She pretty much has “milk” and “more” down. I wish I had taught her sleep earlier on. I keep forgetting to teach her that one. She is definitely babbling more but still refuses to say “daddy” or “dada” to boyrobot’s disappointment. She does love to say “baba” though! Maybe she thinks she’s saying “dada”?
Lastly, Emma has finally started crawling. She was crawling last month but now she is a lot faster. Her favorite mode of transportation is still in her parent’s arms though :P
At a Gymboree class with Jacob
Emma’s first carousel ride!
I think this was the moment Emma decided she did not like dogs!
I just realized that all of the photos this past month were taken with my phone. Luckily our friend Giang did a photoshoot of Emma this month so we have some real photos to share!!
Look at that devilish grin!
At dinner, all grown up and sitting at the table ready to eat!
We’re busy planning her first birthday party around here! Hope you’ll be able to make it!
Chicken broth was a success. I really enjoyed sipping on the broth every morning and it was honestly so much yummier than anything store bought! It made the chicken soup with rice “the best chicken soup you’ll ever have”. I thought that recipe was so simple but really it’s golden if you make your own broth! and I’ve decided I definitely prefer my chicken soup with rice rather than egg noodles. The chicken, spinach, and bow tie salad was also really good. A good salad really depends on the dressing and I absolutely LOVED this dressing. I have a thing for sesame oil though…I pretty much inhale anything that includes it. Lastly the chicken tacos were pretty tasty as well and I don’t even usually like chicken tacos! I took a couple of shortcuts so this recipe ended up super fast. Love quick and yummy recipes!
***Below was written around the 10 month mark and I got so busy that I never finished til now***
I can’t believe the only time I ever update this blog is when I force myself to do Emma’s monthly updates. That just tells you how busy being a parent is!! Emma has been a little under the weather and extra clingy so it’s been ultra time consuming lately. I’m so tired!!! But I know if I don’t get this update in I’ll forget everything. Don’t worry, I am just doing these updates for her 1st year. I am doing a Project Life album for her first year and I am SO behind on that….this helps me remember for when I catch up later. Thanks for sticking with me…I am sure these updates are probably boring for people who don’t really know me…maybe year 2 will be easier? I can only dream right? :)
At the beginning of February I was put on a jury case so I got to spend a bunch of time with Emma. It was SOO nice and totally made me wish I worked part time. I took her to the park, went shopping with her, and it made me wish that maternity leave had been as relaxing and fun for me as this was! Maybe the 2nd time around it will be now that I sort of know what I’m doing ;)
As Emma gets older, we are sort of getting a glimpse of her personality. She’s still very stubborn (we had lots of trouble with the bottle again this month), has quite a temper, and can be very shy! She’s actually like me in that way….quiet around strangers but once she gets to know you she warms up quite quickly.
This month we took Emma to the park a few times. She got to swing for the first time and we tried to get her to feed the ducks but she just kept putting the food in her mouth!
Don’t worry we didn’t actually let her eat this proscuitto sandwich!
We went to another Mommy and Me class. I love going to these but I wish they weren’t so expensive and that I had more time to take Emma. This particular class we went with Emma’s friend Sydney!
We took Emma to get her very first haircut at one of those kid salons. She seemed to enjoy it! Ever since then she likes when we put clips in her hair. So hilarious! She will hold her head very still as we put them on which is weird because she is so fussy whenever we try to put anything on her like clothes/hats/socks etc.
Emma’s first valentine’s day
Every Sunday we go watch daddy play basketball!
Loves sitting on dad’s shoulders
Milestone-wise she doesn’t have many new things. She started semi-crawling, playing peek-a-boo, and saying hi/bye while waving. Well more like making some noises that sound like hi/bye while waving. :)
Ok that’s enough pictures….hopefully I’ll get her 11 month out this week too!
Ever since I started reading about the benefits of bone broth, I really wanted to start incorporating it in my family’s meal plans. I know growing up in an Asian household we always had some type of soup at dinner every day. Since I don’t usually eat or cook Vietnamese food on a daily basis, this isn’t a reality. But turns out people sip bone broth in the morning or even throughout the day! I think I’m going to start doing that with boyrobot using this crockpot method. I don’t think I will have it going all week though…maybe 3 or 4 days at most! But I will refrigerate or freeze what we don’t drink right away. Anyways, this is just to preface that I am going to be using a whole chicken for the broth so I will have a lot of shredded chicken for dinner!
Monday Chicken Tacos – We like cheese, lettuce, and salsa on ours. and maybe some avocado if I’m feeling fancy!
Last week’s meals were pretty good. I especially loved the melon and prosciutto salad…can’t wait to try that one again with figs when they are in season. And I ended up making sushi burritos instead of the clam pasta dish. They were so easy and so delish…I think next time I will have to combine two of the soy wrappers though because my burritos weren’t fat enough!