Good News, Everybody!

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and a brilliant beginning of the Year of the Dog! Our Chinese New Year celebration was even more spectacular than usual this year, not only because it was Penny’s first, but because…

Good things come to those who wait…

Posted by Ben Powell on Friday, February 16, 2018

Ben & Taylor (my brother and sister-in-law) made a very important announcement: they’re expecting a BABY!!!! Click here if you can’t view the video embedded above — it’s worth it! (Plus I make a cameo at the beginning, hehe.)

We could NOT be more excited for the two of them — they have been waiting for this little bebe for a while, and my sister-in-law in particular has been admirably and wonderfully open about their struggles to conceive. I am so excited to be an aunt again, and for Penny to have a little cousin so close in both age and distance to her!!

Anyway, clearly we had a lot to celebrate on Friday, which we did via a huge Chinese New Year feast that my hardworking mama prepared!

 
 

We invited Taylor’s parents and Sean’s parents to join in on the celebration this year as well, which was wonderful. Penny got showered with many good wishes for the new year… as well as some very generously gifted hong bao / lai see (red envelopes) to fund her dreams (and her college savings account!)

 
 

I also picked up a new toy for her: a bumper jumper! It’s the kind that hangs from a doorframe — something that was initially a bit panic-inducing, but it has rave reviews, and once I clipped it up, I felt confident in how secure it is. She’s still getting the hang of actually jumping in it, but seems to like twisting around and lifting her feet off the ground so she can swing back and forth, lol.

This type of jumper is much more portable than the other, stationary jumper we have (which is this one from Skip Hop), which I had brought to my parents’ house over Christmas and never taken back because it’s so cumbersome to move. But my parents are set to be going out of town quite a bit this Spring, so I wanted to take back that jumper and get something we can more easily move back and forth between our houses.

 

And things are otherwise going really well with our little mischief-maker! She’s been trying all kinds of new foods — so far she mostly likes everything, including sweet potatoes, oatmeal, bananas, green beans, pears, and broccoli! And she has thus far not seemed to enjoy strawberries (too tart — we’ll have to try again when they’re more in season) or mashed potatoes (maybe a texture thing?)

 

When we first started solids, they seemed to wreak a bit of havoc on her sensitive li’l tummy, which affected her sleep. (And, in turn, affected our sleep, lol.) She would wake up screeeeeeaming after a couple of hours, and it was almost impossible to calm her back down without nursing her back to sleep. So it was a bit of a rough week or so in that department, but thankfully things are really looking up — I guess her digestive issues are subsiding (for now at least!), because the past couple of nights have been great again!

 

I’m always hesitant to celebrate her sleep accomplishments tooooooo loudly, since it’s all still very unpredictable (and will likely remain that way for a while still, haha), but the past few nights she’s been back to sleeping 7 PM to 7 AM. Woo-hoo! Naps are still a bit of a struggle, as she usually only naps for a single sleep cycle (30 – 45 minutes), although randomly and rarely she’ll sometimes sleep 1.5 – 2 hours. Now that I have a more consistent schedule with childcare help and whatnot, her short naps aren’t as much of an issue for me (just for her, since they mean she gets tired again super quickly!)

So yes! Lots of good things happening — Penny’s new cousin is baking (due this summer!), I’m getting into a really good groove with work, and I’m feeling so much more carefree and content about the state of our house since I started my decluttering project. I’m still nowhere near done, but I’m continuing to make strides in clearing out junk, reorganizing our living spaces to be more functional, and trying to create joy where there was only chaos, hahaha.

Plus, clearing out my closet has been super freeing — I’ve donated like 10 bags of clothing, but also have been able to sell many of my nicer/higher end pieces on Poshmark! So, yes, I’m feeling really good about the progress made so far, I just hope that I’m not losing momentum. I wasn’t able to get very much done this past week with how busy things were work-wise, so I’m hoping that since I have a bit of a lighter schedule this week, I’ll get back on top of things!

 

Here’s to a productive and happy week ahead!

Year of the Dog

Happy Chinese New Year!

I’m half-Chinese, so CNY is a pretty big deal around these parts. My mom usually cooks up a huge celebratory feast to ring in the new year, and typically this is done on New Year’s Eve. This year, however, we pushed it to New Year’s Day (so, tonight) so that both my brother’s and my in-laws can join in on the festivities!

We can’t wait to introduce our little quarter-Chinese, quarter-Korean dumpling (Sean is also a halfie like moi) to this little slice of her heritage. She’s already developed a (literal) taste for hong bao — the red envelopes that are filled with monaaaaaay… that’ll be going straight into her college fund, lol.

 
So happy new year, guys! May your years be blessed with good health, good fortune, good times spent with friends & family, and some damn good food, too!

Bee My Valentine?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

I’ve always liked Valentine’s Day but can’t say I’ve really ever been THAT into it. I’m a pretty emotionally expressive person, so it’s not like I don’t show Sean how much I loooooooove him on a pretty regular basis, hahahahaha. But it’s always nice to have an extra excuse to put some extra love out into the world! And obviously, today is especially love-filled this year, since we have our little lovebug to celebrate with!

 

(Do you think I said the word “love” enough in that last paragraph? Lololololol.)

Aaaanyway, Penny’s going to be celebrating with her grandparents this evening, as they’ve graciously agreed to babysit again so Sean and I can go out to dinner and have a little V-Day time for just the two of us. Hope you have a lovely day!

Focusing on the Good

Whew, is it Friday already? It’s been a busy week!

My mom’s birthday was Tuesday, so the fam celebrated by having dinner out at True Food Kitchen in Mosaic. Since dinner wasn’t until 7:30, which is just about Penny’s bedtime, I thought that if we put Penny in her PJs that maybe she’d fall asleep in the car and sleep through dinner. Well, I was half-right — she fell right asleep in her carseat, but woke up as soon as we got inside the restaurant and was simply not interested in going back to sleep. Womp womp.

 
I think the days of us being able to dine out with her snoozing peacefully away are officially behind us. She just finds everything far too interesting now. Oh well, soon enough she’ll be able to sit in her own high chair and participate in meals with us when we dine out!

And speaking of dining… Penny’s been really enjoying eating oatmeal (we’re using the Happy Baby Organic Baby Oatmeal), so after four days of her demolishing each bowl of that, we’ve moved on to trying out sweet potatoes!

 
I boiled two sweet potatoes and processed them with about half a cup of the water they were cooked in, then divvied up the puree into 2 oz portions. (The containers are from Babymoov, if you’re curious.)

Penny loved it, of course! She took down a whole container with gusto — my good little eater! Of course, the fact that she loves solids so much isn’t something I could just celebrate outright. Nope, I just had to get anxiety about how this is going to affect us in terms of nursing and my milk supply. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve had a ton of work to get done this week, so I’ve spent less time in the house (sadly, even if someone else is taking care of her, I’m much more productive when I’m not around Penny ::sob::) which means, of course, I’ve spent less time breastfeeding.

Plus, during the times when I have been able to nurse her over the past few days, she’s been much, much fussier than normal. And pair that with the fact that yesterday I had a pumping session where I produced less than 1 oz of breastmilk total (I had typically been producing 2 – 4 oz per breast previously), and I found myself in a bit of a tailspin:

Am I not producing enough anymore? Is it not coming out fast enough? Have I not been pumping often enough? Is she still hungry? You hear about babies who lose interest in breastfeeding once they start solids — is that what’s happening? Does she prefer bottles to nursing now? Am I going to have to start power pumping? Exclusively pumping? Should we start supplementing with formula?

Aaaaand so on, and so forth. There’s just always something, y’know? No matter how smooth a breastfeeding journey you’ve had thus far, how easy a baby you’ve got, or how just, well, good becoming a mom has been (all of which I know I’m already insanely lucky to be able to say about myself), anxiety and fear always finds a way to creep in.

But I’m trying to take a step back and remind myself that one or two days does not a pattern make, and that she’s going through another developmental leap, and that since I haven’t had any issues up to this point, I shouldn’t jump to conclusions… but that doesn’t mean it’s not tough to keep things in perspective sometimes. I really am trying, though! Continuing to force myself to focus on gratitude and all the positive things I have going on in my life definitely helps when I start to spin out like this — because I really do have a lot of good going on!

 
And speaking of good things, I am excited to announce that our new part-time nanny started! She’s great, and we’re thrilled to have found someone that we feel comfortable taking care of our Lucky Penny. And Penny took to her right away, too, which really made everything even more reassuring.

Our nanny actually has an 11-month old daughter who she’ll be bringing with her to our house (so it’s kind of like a nannyshare, in a way), and I know it sounds so cheesy but I’m really excited for Penny to have a li’l baby friend to watch, emulate, and hopefully play with very soon.

Double the cuteness, double the fun!

I hope everyone has a relaxing and/or productive weekend, depending on what your goals are, hehe. Mine will be spent pumping (lol sigh), cleaning, snuggling with a certain baby, and helping out my bro on a music video shoot! And hopefully sleeping too…

We’ll see you on the flipside!

Starting Solids!

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend — mine fell 100% into the productive vs. relaxing weekend category, and I’m not mad about it. My lifted mood from last week is still going strong, and is helping me stay motivated in continuing to declutter our home, figure out my schedule, and generally just get my life in order! I feel like I accomplished a ton, from cleaning to childcare to cooking (I’m making a big concentrated effort to plan meals more and eat out less as part of both my weight-related and finance-related goals, lol), and I’m feeling pretty good going into this week.

I was able to check another area off of my KonMari to-do list: my office! As you know, I work from home, which up until this point has meant working from my coffee table because my desk had just become one giant catch-all for random crap. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case anymore, and I can look at my workspace as a place to actually get work done now. Huzzah! Penny is clearly very excited about it:

Okay, okay, maybe her excitement isn’t stemming so much from my recently decluttered office, but the fact that she started solids yesterday!! Upon her pediatrician’s recommendation, she had her very first taste of baby oatmeal yesterday. We followed instructions to mix 1 tbsp of oatmeal with 4 tbsp pumped breastmilk for a super runny consistency since it was her very first time.

And while she was a but confused upon first bite…

 
She ended up getting really into it! She took to the spoon very quickly, didn’t push it out or turn away, and certainly didn’t seem to have any trouble taking her food down.

 
She ate the whole bowl! She really is my child.

Lol, she just looks so satisfied with herself! I’m sensing we’ll also be seeing more baths in her future now that we’ve hit this particular milestone… and not gonna lie, I’m not looking forward to how this is going to change what comes out from the other end now, hahahaha.

But I AM excited to be able to get into making other foods for her now that this went so well! I’ve already got some sweet potatoes, so I think that’ll probably be her first “real” food, as we continue having fun with the baby oatmeal as well (and lowering the ratio of oatmeal:milk as she gets better with the texture.) And from there? Sky’s the limit! It’s a whole new world of flavor and texture out there for Penny now!

What was your baby’s (or your!) first food?

I think mine was bananas. My parents tell me that it was my first word, too! Baby Gretchen must’ve loved her some ‘naners.