Mommy and Mini

February 27, 2015

I love Zara. My love for Zara started when I entered the work force and needed business casual attire. Zara has basic pieces with neural colors which works perfectly with my style. I don't do much accessorizing and I don't really wear much color. You'll see me wearing a lot of blacks, grays, blues, whites and stripes (I love stripes). So naturally of course, that's what I put on Erin. I discovered Zara's adorable children's clothing line while I was pregnant. They have the cutest clothes. It's basically all the adult clothes made smaller and anything that's small/mini is just way cuter.

Here are some cute pieces at Zara right now:

I've been looking around for a cute white dress and found this one:

This look is for mommy and son. 


Here are some other pieces I really like that I found at places other than Zara: 

1. HM Jacket/ Old Navy Jacket 2. Whistle & Flute T-shirts 3. Vans 4. H&M Women's Jeans/ Kids Jeans

I wonder what kind of style Erin will have when she gets to the age of wanting to choose what to wear herself. Right now, she could care less about what I put on her, so I'm milking it. The only issue she has at the moment is with what shoes I put on her. She prefers wearing shoes that require socks. It takes a lot of convincing and a lot of brute force to put cute sandals or flats on her. 

Here are a few of my fav shoes that we have right now.

1. Minnetonka 2. Salt water sandal 3. Nike
These are on my wish list. I've been eying these babies for a while now. They always run out of Erin's size! They're just so cute (but kinda expensive).

So...until Erin starts rejecting the clothes I put on her, we'll be twinning it as often as possible. yippee!

Here's a cute one of the princess and giant. Matching T's for father's day. =)


Parent & Me Class: Dance

February 24, 2015

We tried out a dance class this past weekend. Erin loves to dance, so I thought she'd enjoy a class dedicated to moving around and dancing. She did a lot of  standing around and staring at people than actually moving around and dancing. All of this was to be expected. The class started at 11am, later than what I wanted (Erin is usually taking her nap at this time) so I could tell she wasn't all that energized. I also wished the class had a little more structure and less of just running around with music on. 

Her little outfit was pretty dang cute.



The Baby Blues

February 20, 2015

The first few weeks postpartum were the most difficult for me. I was filled with a mixture of emotions and my hormones were ALL over the place. As a new parent, you are majorly sleep deprived. My schedule the first few weeks with Erin looked something like this:

(Do you see what happened between 7:30pm - 3:45am?!? That would be cluster feeding and Erin would want to do nothing but EAT)

Erin just a few days old.

Babies do nothing but sleep, eat and poop the first few months. People told me that I should nap whenever the baby napped, but I couldn't get myself to do that for some reason. I was never much of a napper and I guess that part of me didn't change even with the lack of sleep. Also, I don't fall asleep quickly, so I hated it when I did end up trying to nap and would end up having to wake up only just 10 minutes after I had just fallen asleep (I'm jealous that Ken can fall asleep in 0.5 seconds. It's truly a gift). On top of the sleep deprivation, my body was recovering from labor and adjusting to nursing, and I was constantly thinking about how I was now a mother. There was just so much going on all at once. I remember I would randomly want to cry and then would suddenly be overjoyed and thrilled. I was extra (by extra, I mean a lot) irritable and moody. The baby blues are quite normal and I think every new mom has some degree of it (baby blues and postpartum depression are very different, so if some of these symptoms last longer than a few weeks or if they get worse, you should call your doctor). The baby blues for me was like having a major case of PMS. I had a "stay out of my way" mentality (poor Ken). I really had to take time to think and process things. I'm more of an introvert so I process things better alone. There were a lot of pep talks to myself and a lot of "Am I doing this right?!?" In general, I don't do well when I feel overwhelmed and it doesn't help that I'm also super stubborn and find it hard to express my needs for help. This all made the first few weeks a roller-coaster for me. 

I'd say about 2 weeks postpartum, things got a whole lot better/easier. My body was healing properly, nursing wasn't a huge challenge anymore, Erin had somewhat of a schedule and was taking longer naps, and my hormone levels weren't all whack. Being a new parent is definitely a challenge, but so doable! It's such a joy bringing a baby into this world. Seeing your baby grow and smile and knowing that no one else knows the child better than you do is the best feeling ever. You'll also learn that babies are more resilient than you think!
Here are just a few tip/points that might help new moms:
  1. It's OK to say No. Like I mentioned before, I'm quite an introvert and I get overwhelmed easily. The thing with having a baby is that everyone wants to meet him/her. For me personally, I found it harder having company over (especially the first few weeks). We lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment at the time and when people came over, the apartment felt more tiny to me. I didn't want to be rude and just veg out while people were over so I felt I needed to entertain them, which turned out to be more tiring. I assure you that no one will take it offensively if you asked them to hold off a few weeks before visiting. Everyone will get to see the new baby eventually. For me, it was important that I had the first few weeks for my family to adjust and learn things on our own.
  2. It's OK to ask for help. It's so hard asking for help. I was so stubborn and I felt like I was supposed to be doing everything on my own. I was so determined. Ken stayed home a whole day before heading back to work and due to his work schedule, he didn't come home till around 7:30pm every night. I was so grateful for all the people who made short visits the first 3 months and brought me yummy food! 
  3. You can survive off little to no sleep. Believe it or not, you don't need much sleep to function (Of course a full nights rest will make a more happy, less irritable person). Once my body got used to sleeping in 2 hour increments, I was able to function properly. Even with no naps during the day, I was amazed how much my body could do/endure with such little sleep.
  4. Get some fresh air. All doctors will advise that you keep baby at home at least the first few months. I lasted about a week before I started getting cabin fever. I just wanted to get out, get some sun, drive my car, walk around, get some fresh air, etc. So I really advise new moms to get out. With Erin nursing around the clock and not taking the bottle (also our neighborhood was not a safe place to walk around), I ended up taking Erin out with me. We went to the mall to walk around, went out for some coffee, and made stops at 85 degree bakery for some yummy bread. It doesn't sound like much, but getting out of the house for even just an hour really saved me. 
Baby Erin. :)

They seriously grow up too fast!!


Parent & Me Class: Gymnastics

February 17, 2015

I finally got to check this off my to-do list. Erin and I tried out a trial gymnastics class this weekend (Parent & me classes are great for kids like Erin). My mom put me in gymnastics when I was a kid and I did some tumbling when I was in high school. I loved it. I ended up coaching for 3+ years and my favorite classes by far were the ones with the little toddlers. Gymnastics can really help with coordination and muscle development. I wanted to see if Erin would like it too. 

Erin wasn't all that thrilled about gymnastics class, which I expected. She was very cautious about the things the coaches wanted her to do. She'd freak out if the coach came too close or tried to assist her. She didn't really put any effort into holding on to bars or jumping when I asked her to. First classes are always hard because kids are doing things and seeing things for the first time. She did however enjoy forward rolls and putting chalk on her hands, yay!
(pc: Ken)

Trying to get her to jump. She ended up just walking around the french fries.

She flipped out after getting to this point and didn't make it to the top.

She did well on the beam.

She wouldn't hang on to the rings. She just thought it was funny when she touched them.

She tried eating a piece of the foam block.

Trying to show her how to finish properly.

Loving the chalk.

She's been doing forward rolls at home!

We have a trial dance class next week. I'm going to see which she likes/does better and hopefully enroll her in it.

Gymnastics Class

February 15, 2015

My Breastfeeding Journey

February 13, 2015

I didn't know much about breastfeeding before I was pregnant with Erin. I think I just thought: every woman will have lots of milk after having a baby and the baby will drink and everyone will be happy - The End. Breastfeeding is definitely not that simple. Maybe it's because more people focus on the actual birth/labor, people don't really tell you the part about what happens after the baby arrives.

Here's how it went down for me.

Erin arrived August 10, 2013 (birth story here). I was exhausted and completely overjoyed. After we had moved into the maternity ward and Erin was all cleaned up, I was ready to breastfeed. I remember while I was attempting my first real nursing session I was thinking, "um, where's all the milk?". I just assumed that there would be a plentiful supply of breast milk once the baby was out. I was wrong. After giving birth, women have colostrum in their breasts for the baby to drink. It's still considered milk but it has a different color/consistency and it lacks in volume (colostrum is actually very good for your baby). I learned that it takes a few days for your milk to actually "come in". I remember leaving the hospital wondering if Erin would have enough to drink, but the nurses reassured me that she would be fine just drinking the colostrum. Unfortunately, Erin had issues with jaundice so we had to supplement with formula. I waited and waited for my milk to come in and finally, the fourth day after giving birth, the milk finally came in. It was in the middle of the night that I woke up to a soaked shirt and really really painful, rock solid breasts and a slight fever. Not.Kool. You have been warned, wear a nursing bra or you'll have a mess. 

I never imagined breastfeeding would be painful. It's actually very painful. The first few weeks your body is adjusting to how much milk needs to be produced so you'll have some uncomfortably full breasts. Some women get mastitis, which is an infection in the breast so make sure to keep your breasts from getting too engorged! Poor Erin couldn't keep up with all the milk that was coming out. She'd be squirming, choking and spitting milk out. I had an over-active letdown and it would not be a pretty sight. I said I wanted to quit just about every other day (Ken can confirm). I'd say it took a solid 2 weeks for my milk to adjust and a  solid 4 weeks for Erin and I to get a rhythm down. We had issues with latching on one breast in the beginning, but after seeing a lactation specialist, Erin was taking milk on both sides. (Lansinoh nipple cream will become your best friend because your nipples will hate you in the beginning)

1. Nursing bra 2. Nursing cover 3. Nipple Cream 4. Nursing Pillow 5. Medela Advanced Double Electric Pump 6. Nursing pads 7. Bottle cleaner 8. Milk bags
Erin was a slow eater and when I say slow... I mean really slow. She took her sweet time. It was more of a comfort thing for her than it being about getting full. One nursing session would take almost 45 minutes and at night (cluster feeding), I'd be nursing for over 2.5 hours with maybe a 15 minute break somewhere. It was hard going out with her the first few months and if we did go out, she'd be attached to my boob the whole time. But it all goes up hill from there. Erin got bigger and started to learn to eat better and faster. Oh, and the pain goes away. It was during that time I really got to enjoy spending time with Erin during our nursing sessions. She'd almost always fall asleep nursing and I loved just sitting there and staring at her. It was bonding time and I love that we were able to experience it together.
I stopped breastfeeding once Erin turned one. I think both Erin and I were ready to stop, which turned out great because it made weening so much easier. I cut down a nursing session every few days and then a few weeks into it, I completely stopped. Please note though, weening will be painful for your breasts. They will get engorged once again and will feel uncomfortable and painful, but in a couple of weeks, all will be well again. I had my highs and lows when it came to breastfeeding, but I'm so glad I was able to experience it. (btw, it's so nice not having to sleep with a bra anymore!)

Here are a few tips:
  1. Massage, Massage, Massage. Your breasts will get engorged and full quite a few times. It really helps to massage them or express a little milk. What really helped me was applying a warm compress and sleeping with it.
  2. See a Lactation specialist. These specialists are here to help you, so if you ever run into any issues/questions, go see one. They're so helpful!
  3. Get a nursing pillow.
  4. Breast milk has magical healing powers. We put breast milk into Erin's eye whenever she had an eye infection. Her eyes were always better the next day! Breast milk is very precious, save every job!
  5. Drink lots of water! I had really dry skin postpartum. Wasn't sure if it was due to breastfeeding, but I do remember being constantly thirsty and hungry. So make sure you hydrate and eat lots because breastfeeding burns calories!
  6. The car was my go-to place for nursing. Once Erin became aware of her surroundings she hated the nursing cover. She'd always try to kick at it or grab at it and frankly it made me so hot (nursing in the summer = not fun). She was so easily distracted by any noise so it would be so difficult trying to nurse her in the open. I ended up doing a lot of nursing in the car. I didn't mind it. It kept her focused on eating with no distractions.

Just as an FYI, a baby drinking breast milk has a mustard like color poop. It's some pretty explosive poop too. She'd always leak out to her back. Fun stuff.

Back when she was somewhat chubby. Knocked out after a meal.

She didn't fall asleep nursing as she got older. We'd try to make each other laugh while she was eating. She loved sticking her finger in my nose.


18-month Update - Erin

February 10, 2015

Already 18 months old! Her second birthday will be here in no time. CRAZY.
Not too much has changed with Erin since her 17-month update. 

Sleep: Still co-sleeping about 80% of the time. She's been waking up in the middle of the night these days insisting to play. Don't know why she's waking up, but she has such a hard time going back to sleep afterwards. This means no good nights rest for momma.

Eat: Erin has been eating well lately. She's almost 19 lbs (she's still pretty tiny in general)! Unfortunately, she got terribly sick and hasn't eaten much in the last week. Hopefully she starts eating well again and gains back her weight. 

Words: She knows how to say "oh no"  and "ow" now. It's pretty cute because she always says them in such a dramatic way. 

Play: She's really into balls, balloons and bubbles right now. 

Milestones: She has mastered walking backwards!


Understanding my Child's Personality

February 6, 2015

It's amazing how quickly/early a child develops their personality. Erin was showing stubbornness at just a few days old! We're seeing more of her personality as she's getting older. If I had to describe her in just 5 words, this is what I'd come up with: sensitive, stubborn, goofy, dependent and cautious.

Separation anxiety started really early on with her. I'd say around 4-5 months, she was crying bloody murder every time someone other than mom or dad tried holding her. See below:

Classic Erin.

Everyone who has met Erin knows the above face very well. I'd often times had people asking me "What's "wrong" with her?" and I'd be thinking to myself, "Uh, nothing's wrong with her!" (yelling in my head). I had to explain to people that Erin was on the sensitive side and she just needed more transition time than most. She's definitely more of an introvert.
She's the same at almost 18 months. She still prefers staying by Mom and Dad at all times, we're her security blanket. She's doesn't choose to play with others, but I think that's pretty normal at this age. She's not good when people approach her with force or abruptly take her away without giving her a chance to decide if she wants to go. She starts crying if someone just slightly pushes her the wrong way or if we scold her with even just a slightly raised voice. Babies who crawl too fast scare her. She's an observer and totally analyzes people. She has already mastered the death stare. 

Erin is one stubborn lady. She's a girl who knows what she wants and she'll be quite bratty about it. She's especially stubborn when it comes to her food. She's the queen of spitting her food out. Freaking drives me crazy. I wouldn't say that Erin is a shy kid. She can actually get quite loud. Once you give her a chance to settle, she'll approach you and interact with you. She tends to like people who ignore her. She's just a little cautious when it comes to people and her surroundings. She's been having nightmare these days and I feel like she's having bad dreams about people taking her away! If that's true, poor kid. 

But my favorite thing about her is how much of a goof ball she is. You can find her dancing to any beat (she'll dance in public too!). She'll drop whatever she's doing to squeeze in a little booty shake or arm flap. She loves it when we tickle her (especially her feet), she loves cleaning everything (floors, your foot, tables, wall, etc) and she has so much fun rolling around on the floor acting like a drunk person. She enjoys teasing us with her food, pretending to give us a bite but would end up eating it herself. She's constantly playing hide-and-seek with us, whether we're in the car, eating dinner or when it's bedtime. She loves it when we put Vaseline on her little bum bum. You'd be surprised at how much she smiles and laughs. It's the cutest. 

Caught her cleaning the ground at Disneyland.

Erin has such a distinct personality at 18 months. I won't lie and say it hasn't been a challenge. I can already see future struggles because of the differences in our personalities. I myself am not a very sensitive person. It's actually a flaw of mine in some ways. I have a hard time understanding someone who's more in tune with their feelings. Funny part is I married a sensitive guy (we've had our share of fights regarding this topic) and I've got a sensitive daughter as well.  I often times find myself quick to reacting in frustration/anger. I'm sure Erin's just as frustrated with me as I am with her, she's probably thinking "Why doesn't my mom understand me?" What's crazy is the fact that she'll be constantly changing. Who knows what she'll be like when she's 5 years old, when she's 12? or when she's 18?!? But for now, this is who Erin is.

A few things that has helped this mama:
1. Make small changes/adjustments. Making minor adjustments can make all the difference. We remember to take Mr. Bunny (her lovey) whenever we travel. It keeps her feeling secure and content when she's in a new environment. We try our best to accommodate with Erin's nap schedule. A well napped Erin means a somewhat happy Erin, which means she's just a tad bit less likely to have a freak out.

2. Nudge, don't be too forceful. I try not to force her to like or do something she doesn't want to. I think when she was younger we just assumed that Erin was going through a phase, but we eventually realized that it was just apart of her personality. It's tough because everyone around her wants to love her, but she's just not for that. I'm sure Ken and I have traumatized her many times by just thrusting her on someone and left her wailing, wondering why on earth we would do that to her. Sometimes I just sit with Erin and whisper to her that she'll be OK and that mom isn't going anywhere. She may not understand everything I'm telling her, but I think she's getting there.

3. Be Patient and Be Gentle. I always thought I was a patient person. I don't think I am anymore or maybe its because I'm dealing with a child. I try not to get frustrated with her when she refuses to interact with other people or when she refuses to leave my side or when she won't let me eat. I noticed I've raised my voice more often than I need to. I've been telling her to "go away" often and I'm sure that upsets her (she runs off crying - how mean am I right?). Erin has to do things in her own pace and I just have to keep reminding myself about that. React with love, not anger.

I wish people could see Erin the way Ken and I see her. She's all sorts of sweet and sass. =)


Penny Penny

February 3, 2015

Penelope Olivia Hsu (Grandchild no. 11) will be here soon! I spent Saturday hosting a baby shower for my sister. Went with a black/white and gold color pallet, with hints of pinks. All DIY stuff to keep it simple. Everything turned out great except a little mishap with the "P" balloon. Freaking P. 

Flower favors


Stupid P

The mom-to-be

Sisters, minus 1.



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