Month One

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Dear Charlie,

In our family, we like to write emails. Your dad and I wrote letters to each other when we were dating. We exchanged letters on the day we exchanged vows. And though we have moved on to texting these days as our preferred means of talking throughout the day, once a year we sit down and write letters to each other on our anniversary. When your brother came into our lives, I started writing letters to him because this one blogger I love wrote these incredible monthly letters for her kids that were heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Not because everything was perfect, but because it was real. My 23 year old self vowed to do this for my future offspring. This time I want to write to remember. The good, the bad, the whole of it, in hopes that one day you will see that God made our crazy imperfect stories into something beautiful.

I will never forget the day you came into our lives. It happened to also be the day that we moved out of our home into a rental for the year so we could embark on our remodel. Your dad and I hoped and crossed our fingers (and legs – hah!) that you would wait until after we moved, but #MurphysLaw you came right after packing day and about the same time as when the movers pulled up to our house that morning.

The night before your birth day, we went out for dinner after a full day of packing. We went out to Beijing House for some black bean noodles and sweet and sour pork (jajangmian and tang su or aka, your Father’s guilty pleasure). During dinner I started to have a crampy feeling in my back but I just chalked that up to moving around too much during the day. I went home, put Wes down for bed and decided to go lay down for a bit. Usually when I would have contractions, lying in down in bed would stop them. This time they hung around for a bit. I was in denial so I scrolled around on Facebook, probably watched some makeup and home organizing tutorials on Youtube and then my friend Sally happened to text me and ask me how I was doing. I told her my contractions were about 10 minutes apart and then she slapped some sense into me.

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I waddle out to the living room and see Tim on his laptop doing some work and I say “I think we need to go to the hospital?” Tim is usually the freaker outter between the both of us, but in that moment, he flashed a smile and said, “Really?” Yes really. He closed his laptop and said “Let’s do this.” (har har how cute that he used the plural pronoun aka the royal we when we all know who is going to have to push a baby out.) In an hour his parents were over ready to camp out in our empty house void of furniture and food (bless them) and we were on our way to the hospital.

We parked in the lot and walked over to the delivery floor beneath the light of the Super Moon. I recall a conversation with someone telling me weeks ago that she would bet I would go into labor during a full moon. I gave her a courtesy giggle. “That’s cute, woman. Yes, the moon’s orbit around the Earth has the power to cause my uterus contract.” I stand corrected. Being veterans, we tried use the door that was closest to the elevator we needed but it was already locked for the night. Cue waddling mama back to the ER entrance. We walk down the very long hallway and shared an elevator with some nurses who were coming back from their break.

“Ooooh, 3rd floor! How far apart are your contractions?”

“5 minutes!”

“Yay! It’s happening! First kid?”

“No, it’s our second.”

“I knew it! You can always tell by how little you pack the 2nd time around. First time parents always look like they are moving in!”

(I recall when I had Wesley how I brought TWO LAPTOPS with me. I am relieved to know I am a cliche.)

We were admitted at 11pm on November 14 and within an hour, I was in my delivery room getting hooked up to an IV and 5cm dilated. I spent a couple minutes thinking how long I should wait until I asked for the epidural and then I looked at the clock and it suddenly dawned on me that I could either be in pain, or get some sleep. This doesn’t seem like a big deal but as a parent, you learn that the phrase “get some sleep” comes with a big ass asterisk at the end of it because any given night, you just have no idea what kind of sleep you are going to get. Will it be a nightmare? A faulty diaper that soaks the pjs? A scary light? A tooth cutting?  Just being alive? Any of these things are fair game for a kid to cry in the middle of the night. For the first time in many nights, I wasn’t going to be under the same roof as a toddler. In addition to that, I was just about to add a newborn to the fold. This was quickly becoming a non-issue. Nurse Gladys, call up the anesthesiologist! Nurse Gladys was great. I felt like I made a new bff in the few hours she took care of me. She was from San Diego, was a mom of 2 boys (same age gap as mine were going to be) and had a love for English names like I did (her boys were Edward and William). Together we could’ve formed the roster of a prep school in Oxford, England. The epidural was in at 1:30am and Tim and conked out for the next couple hours. He definitely got better sleep than I did thanks to the arm pressure cuff that would death grip my bicep every 15 minutes, but all in all I was still getting some good rest.

At 6 am a doctor and a nurse come in and tell me that there’s a lot of activity going on. (This is the best part about an epidural. People tell you when you are having contractions!) I am now 8cm and the doctor breaks my water to help things along. I thought it was going to be much more involved, but he literally took what I thought was a crochet hook and in a second, it was all done. And then there was Amie. Amie came in to take care of me and exclaimed “Ugh. You are all wet!!” Woman. How is this my fault. The doctor broke my water. And even if he didn’t… this is Labor and Delivery! Not potty training camp! Everything here is wet!! I was so afraid that she would be my push nurse since Gladys just left. Thankfully she came by 30 minutes later to say bye and I bid her a very enthusiastic goodbye.

Tim woke up and we decided to kill some time and watch Shark Tank. The new nurse Debi told me that when I feel constant pressure, to let her know and it’ll be time to push. Sounds good. I didn’t really know what this should feel like because with Wes, I was woke up at 10cm and told to push. I asked her what it should feel like. “It’s like you have to poo.” Oh. Awesome. Tim goes to get coffee around 7:30 and I start to feel more pressure but I didn’t want to cry wolf. Actually it was because I wanted to keep watching Shark Tank. So after 20 minutes of Mr. Wonderful and 3 unsuccessful pitches, I call up my Nurse Debi at 8:30am and tell her I think it’s time. They take one look and say, “Oh yes it is!”

I do a push or two and she says, we are going to have this baby before 9am. Sweet!! She was right. I guess being a L&D nurse for 15 years, you get pretty good at predicting how things will go. You came into the world at 8:55 am, screaming your way into the world.

Before you came, I was really nervous about having the emotional capacity to love. I would ask my friends of 2+ kids in a whisper… “Can you really love another kid like your first kid?!” They would always reassure me, yes. Don’t worry! I am so glad they were right. I can’t explain how it happens other than it just does. The minute you were placed on my chest, it just felt right. Even though your name still seemed too new to “suit” you and in that moment, I probably couldn’t pick you out of a room of Asian babies… I loved you for no good reason. That may sound totally awful. But son, it’s one of the best feelings to be loved for no reason. You were loved before you even had a personality, achievements and good looks. Your very existence prompted us to love. Our family of three that I was so content with minutes ago expanded by one little six pounder, and it was just perfect.

We love you little guy. Welcome to our family.

Love,
Mama

Stats

9 lbs 6 oz (you were 7 lbs 2 oz at your two week check up so Grandma Lam was OVER THE MOON to know that her efforts of fattening the dairy cow (that’s me by the way) had paid off)

Noteworthy Charlie

  • While the doctor was getting ready to snip the umbilical cord, your little hand grabbed the shears! The sharp part! Oh boy. “I’ve never seen a baby do that!” exclaimed the resident. Greeeeeat. I am imagining having to baby proof everything or crating you as a toddler.
  • You grunt a lot. You don’t really cry, you just grunt. We tried sleeping next to you in our bedroom but your gratuitous grunting made it hard for us to sleep so you got kicked out to our living room. You’ve been sleeping swaddled up on the Baby Bopper Lounger on our sectional – simultaneously breaking about 35 rules about infant care.
  • Getting your nails trimmed is THE WORST. It may or may not be because you have PTSD from the time one of your parents nicked your index finger.
  • Current sleep/eating thing: Every 3 hours on the dot.

Nicknames: Sir Grunts a Lot and Baby Brother

 

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Hello Baby!

Dear Baby Boy (2),

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Wes: That’s baby brother! He is in a dark place.

 

I promise this will be the last time I will call you a number. Next time I write about you, hopefully you will have a name. Feel free to give us some ideas if you have a preference. We tried asking your older brother what we should name you, and he keeps saying, “Baby AND Brother.” Which makes sense. He also names his other stuffed animals very literally –  Alligator (alligator), Monkey (monkey) and Pola (polar bear).

Today you are 37 weeks and 5 days! Babycenter (aka an app that is only good for comparing babies to vegetables and fruit) says you are the size of swiss chard. Many people have asked how this pregnancy has compared to my last. Here’s a quick summary of the last 9 months.

Different:

  • I am always tired. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with living with a two year old that doesn’t quite understand the joy (and frankly, the necessity) of Netflix and Chill. Major difference: Toddlers do not care that you are pregnant. They will ask you to carry them, head butt your stomach when going in for a hug, demand that you get on your knees and pick up that figurine that rolled under the couch and chuck balls at you while playing catch because they think it’s funny.
  • I got huge fast. I remember having the luxury of waiting until I was 5 months pregnant until I told people. I think soon after week 13, I was only in maternity pants and felt like I had to tell everyone you were on the way because I looked so pregnant. We’ll see if this will translate to you actually being bigger. Last pregnancy I gained 28 lbs. Imagine the disappointment when I birthed a 5lb14oz baby. What. Someone please recalibrate that scale.
  • You are sparing your parents from heart attacks of joining the party early. Thank you for staying inside. Feel free to come anytime. I’d much rather hold you in my arms rather than have you do headstands on my bladder and hips 24/7.

Same:

  • I love fruit. This time, stone fruits, apples and grapes were MVPs.
  • I love ice. I think I may have a mild Pica because I am obsessed with the sensation of crunching on ice. I may need to grab some now.
  • 1st Trimester: I was a major sleepy head. 2nd Trimester: I got some energy back. 3rd Trimester: I hate moving. A year ago, I was obsessed with getting 10k steps a day. Now my goal is to be sub 3k every day. Because I am a pregnant American.

I have to be completely honest with you that this year has been a little crazy in our world. (Today we are electing a new president.) There have been many moments this year that I second guessed our desire to bring another life into this world. And you are here. In some ways, in having you, we are doubling down in our own commitment to be engaged, compassionate, humble and generous citizens who live for others. Your dad and I haven’t arrived, but we are working towards it. Thanks in advance for being our kiddo and putting up with our foibles. It’s our deepest hope that you’ll see that we aren’t perfect, but that we have a great Savior who is and who loves you deeply.

We love you so much already and can’t wait to hold you and tell you that. See you soon, kid!

Love,
Mama

 

 

Two Years

Dear WesWes,

Happy 2nd Birthday Wes!

Just in case you are wondering why we call you that, you actually told us you wanted to be called that. It was really cute and amazing how that went down. Your dad called you Wesley and you said “No Wessee. WesWes.” (L’s are tricky for you) And just to make sure we would understand why we should call you WesWes you said “No Daddy. Dada.” Did you really just use the Commutative Property on us?

It’s so much more fun this year celebrating you now that I actually know you. Last year we cut out dozens of ‘W’ and put them on the wall for your birthday party. Now you probably would find it confusing why we didn’t choose B because you LOVE the letter B. Last year we made you a cake and you wanted nothing to do with it. This year I know you will be over the moon with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a candle on it that you can blow out. And relight. And blow out. And relight. And blow out. Last year all you drank was milk (and some water) out of a bottle. This year while walking through the aisles of Trader Joe’s, you spotted Orangina and asked “Mama buy Orange Coke?” (Thank you Paris for introducing you to the wonders of Orangina.) Last year you could barely sit still for a board book. Now you are a voracious “reader” and would read 10 books before bed if we let you. Last year we bought you your first pair of shoes… even though you only crawled. Now every morning you make the decision whether it is a blue Nikes kinda day… or a gray one. Last year we were desperately trying to teach you sign language and I think you were just beginning to sign more, please and thank you. Last week while you saw your dad inserting a credit card to pay for gas and out of the blue, completely unprompted you said “Thank you dada pay.”

Your dad and I can’t get enough of you.

It took being a foreign country and surrounded by a majority of people that didn’t speak English to come to this realization: You are becoming my friend. And a good one at that. You’d think that it would be extremely isolating being alone with toddler when no one else can understand you, but it was surprisingly bearable – even enjoyable at times. I could tell you what I’m doing and how I feel and you get it and for the most part, you get me and I’m so thankful for that. I cannot wait to see what the next year will hold for you and our little family. I am sure there will be ups and downs, but we’ll take it day by day. As long as we have each other’s hands to hold (and snacks in the other hand) I think we will be more than okay.

Love you so so much,

Mama (not Mommy)

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Taken today 3/1/2016. Wes wanted to celebrate his last day of being one by going to a farm,  pooping 4 times (one of them being a blow out), and happily refusing to nap (pictured here) even though he was in his crib for two hours. A day in the life.

 

 

 

 

 

My first infograph.

Now that I’m officially a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM), the questions went from “When are you going back to work?” to “So… how is it…staying at home.” I never know what to say. 95% of the time I respond with, “I am really enjoying it.” But to not to risk sounding like a total Polyanna, I do say that there are good moments and bad moments, but I am generally really enjoying the time I spend with Wes. This post is not about about whether one should work or stay home. I vow to never pen that post! This post is about how maybe I haven’t left teaching at all… because being a SAHM is eerily similar to being a classroom teacher. Let me count the ways.

(I was feeling extra motived last night so I tried my hand at making my first infograph! I had a lot of fun! Brought back fond middle school memories of searching through clip art for the perfect picture to put next to every copy block.)

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Month Eleven

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Dear Wes,

Happy Eleven Months big guy! Let’s first talk about this couch that you are sitting on. It’s not the couch we normally sit you on for these monthly portraits. In fact, we’re not in the same room, zip code or even city. We packed up the home we brought you home to, bought a new one and sold our first home all in a month.

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Escrow Day! (Look at how happy we are to be in debt!)

Since this post is not entitled “Our Homebuying Story” or “The Masochists: Moving with a Baby” or even “How to Pack” (That post would be easy. Don’t. Hire packers. The end.) this post is going to be all about you.. and how oblivious you were to all of this.

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This was happening while I was trying to pack up our bathroom. Worth it. All day. Errrrday.

One of the great things about having you around is that there is a rhythm to our days. You are blissfully unaware of the craziness of buying/selling a home. You just did your thang*. There were so many moments that I would think about all that I had to pack, all the places I had to clean and all the preparation that needed to go into making our home seem like a pristine model home (not to mention all the feels about moving)… and these thoughts triggered fantasies of being in bed with a margarita, kleenex box and a TV running a Friends marathon. Had you not been here, I would have been a mess. Having you around was like having a very blunt friend shake you and slap your face while saying “AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. NOW WIPE MY ASS.”

Thanks for teaching me that it’s okay to hang out and play. You could not care less about the piles of laundry or dishes,… you just want someone to laugh with when you wiggle the door spring for the 20th time. In the midst of a move, those times we spent hanging out getting nothing done were so good for my soul. I always thought that it would be my job to care of you but in your little baby way, you really took care of me this month. You are turning my world upside down and I could not be more grateful for it. And for you.

Love,

Mama

*thang – eat, poop, play, sleep

Month Nine

9monthsDear Wes,

Hello sweet guy! Happy 9.99 months to you!

(Mommy blogging procrastination really hit the fan this time, but my very subjective logic tells me that as long as you are not really 10 months yet, which is tomorrow, I am not late.)

This has been such a crazy month in your life. To sum things up in numbers…

  • 5 flights
  • 3 countries visited (Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong)
  • Hugged 1 Great Great Grandma, 2 Great Grandmas, 1 Great Grandpa and many Granduncles and Grandaunties
  • 3 shots (flu x 2, pre-trip mmr)
  • 162 diaper changes
  • 2 episodes of hives  -__-
  • Rode on subways, trains, taxis, minivans, planes and buses

One day I will regale you with stories of how you would charm flight attendants and passengers like a cheesy car salesman, but my favorite flying memory has been this picture of you:

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We are flying somewhere over the Pacific Ocean and it was 3am PST and they turned on the lights to force feed us breakfast. You popped up from your bassinet and gave us this precious face.

This month we got into our first fight. I was on my way to Palo Alto to run some errands and somewhere along the 15 minute drive you pulled your car seat sunshade down to cover your face. I was not a fan of this because it blocks my rear view mirror view of you. (Which is incredibly valuable when trying to figure out if you had fallen asleep). During a stop light, I reached back and pulled your sunshade up so I could see you. Five seconds later you pulled it down again! We went back and forth: me pulling up, you pulling down… part of me was just amused at the whole situation and wanted to see how long you would play. Well I found out you are quite persistent. We kept fighting until we reached our destination and when I came around to get you, this was the silly face I got:

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You totally know.

The naughtiness has begun.

I know at this age you must just feel like Mommy and Daddy are just killjoys. In addition to pulling up sunshades, we take away your favorite teething toys (read: pulling wires out of your mouth), scoot you away from ledges, cup sharp corners with our hands, wipe your poopy butt 5-7 times a day, make you go to bed and suck boogers from you nose. These days you get the angriest about the butt wipes and booger vacuuming. Son. This is only the beginning. One day you will get angry about curfews, computer time, chores, homework and eating your vegetables. We kinda think it’s cute that you get so angry at us. Lately I have been snarking back at you saying things like “Sorry for clearing your nasal passages SO YOU CAN BREATHE.” (You usually just look at me like I’m crazy and then proceed to complain). I am going to join the cliché chorus of many parents before me and boggle at how parenting your own child makes you marvel at God’s love for us. Even though you and I pretty much get into an MMA fight every time I change your diaper, I will not stop doing it because it’s good for you. And yes in a perfect world I wish you would burp rainbows and giggles every time I changed your diaper, but regardless of his perception of the matter, I am committed to keeping his butt clean. Yes there are times (so many times) parenting is so exhausting, draining and life-sucking. But even in those moments, you never want to stop giving your kid good things. I hope I remember this more often this year. One day I hope you will know the love of your Heavenly Father and how He has given you everything. Then we can laugh at how silly we must look fighting the “diaper changes” in our lives.

Love,
Mama

Milestones

  • 19 lbs (You are heavier, but you look skinnier. Please share your secret.)
  • Baby Puberty Hit Big Time. In a span of 12 days you crawled, pulled up to a stand, cruised, popped out your top two teeth and sprouted your first chest hair. Okay one of those may not be true. But everything else is true! Parenting is all hands on deck now.
  • Favorite Words: Dada (everything is Dada), “T” (the consonant sound), Ah-Da (we think she’s your girlfriend), AHHHHHHHH, EHHHHHHHH,
  • Clothing Size: 9 month-12 month clothes fit the best
  • Latest sleep thing: We are a officially down to two naps a day with you still doing a big 11-12 hour chunk at night.
  • 4 teeth. And the top two are really gappy. It’s kinda cute.

Toy of the Month

cups

I don’t understand the magic of these things, but I am just rolling with it. I have gotten really good at stacking them and nesting them quickly. My trick is to remember that it goes by stoplight colors and then blue!

Current Nickname

Little Man Man

Month Eight

Dear Wes,

Congratulations! You are officially two thirds of the way done with your first year of life.

More than ever, I wish I could be Ms. Frizzle and travel into your brain. Every day you seem to become less like a baby and more like a little human. Though I do miss the days when your eyes were closed for 75% of the day (which meant lots of cuddles all day long) this new eight month you is so much fun.

(I was taking these pictures on my own that day hence the un-portraity look we got here. #thisis8months)

Wes 8 Months

 

 

The days when you would generously smile for no reason are long gone. Your brain realized that smiling requires work on your end and in turn should require some measure of effort on us to earn those smiles. This month turned your dad and me into groveling jesters. We will deny this to any other living soul, but we may or may not have engaged in strange behaviors such as booty popping dancing, operatic singing and violent raspberry blowing in order to get a laugh from you. I would go as far as to say that I would give up my first-born son to see you laugh but then that would be self-defeating.

 

 

We have been calling you Puppy lately because we will find you chewing on wires (woops), nibbling our toes (gross), and our couch looking like this (ugh):

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Your dad and I held off on getting a dog because we knew it was a lot of work and we just thought we would just have kids instead. I guess we get the best of both worlds in you!

 

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Love,

Mama

Ps. Yes this newsletter is short. No it is not because we don’t love you. One day when you have a 8 month old, you will understand why.

Milestones

 

Since your debut, you have grown about 10 inches and more than tripled your weight. For any adult, this would be horrifying. But this is totally acceptable (and even commendable) for you. Live it up son because take it from me, there will come a day when people won’t think that having chubby cheeks, muffin tops and thigh rolls is essential to being cute. What is worse, one that day you may have to wear pants that aren’t elastic. (I know, it’s a cruel, cruel world).

 

  • Size 3 Diapers. This happened many weeks ago, but I don’t think I have mentioned this officially. We are most comfortable wearing 9-12 month clothes.
  • Weight: Actual weight – 18 lbs 4oz; feels like 25 lbs.
  • New foods: chicken, greek yogurt, parsnips, mom’s leftover penne with meat sauce, apricots, baby mum mum rice crackers, raspberries, happy baby puffs in green apple, sweet potato and purple carrot + blueberries
  • Drinking: Wes is really good at getting water out of the sippy cup. Wes is not so good at knowing when to swallow. He often gets too much water in his mouth and gags and drools water. During mealtimes, I feel like the cautious goodie goodie cautioning a frat boy at a party, “Okay Wes, that’s enough drinking. You don’t want to puke!”
  • Chewing: I have nothing remarkable to say here except that it’s happening. Hurray!
  • Hand to mouth coordination. This was a struggle for Wes for a long time. I would place a puff in the palm of my hand and either he would face plant into my hand in hopes of reaching the puff or push my hand up into his mouth. Wes quickly realized that his pincer grasp was not his forte and would result in only a 30% mouth retention rate. Thankfully with more practice (read: 2 cans of puffs later), he can now grab multiple puffs at a time and bring them to his mouth. The hope is that upon releasing his grasp, one of the four puffs will make into his mouth. This has been relatively successful.
  • Crawling: For the first 2 weeks of crawling, Wes would do the worm in which he would face plant and thrust his hips into the air and inch his way toward us. (This kid will be awesome at dance parties) Though lots of fun to watch, this method of locomotion is exhausting and he was not inclined to crawl unless the reward was really good (like our phones). Now that he is army crawling, he is more willing to move for mundane items like name tag stickers, paper, puffs and sometimes a parent.
  • Our current sleep thing: Bedtime around 6:30pm, pre-dawn milk guzzling around 4:30 am and then back to bed until 7:00 am. The Tiger Mom in me says this is not perfect but the realist mama underneath says I am SO GRATEFUL.

Likes

  • Tags are still a hit, but this new toy has been fun for him (Thanks Uncle Y and Auntie C!)

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  • Undivided attention. Unless you are going to share your computer, phone or ipad with him during play time, Wesley would like to say “Give your alllllll to me… give me allllllll of you”

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Gripes

  • Being asked to stay still during diaper changing times. Wesley will stay still all the way up until the final wipe and then he starts flipping and arching his back. “HOW DARE YOU put a diaper on me!! Clothing is an abomination of my freedom!!!” Newest Future Nudist Colony Resident?(This was taken after Wesley was put in his first time out for an especially rebellious changing session. As you can see below, it went over a little too well.)

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Month Seven


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Photo Credit: Auntie Tina Photography, 2014

[This month I invited Wesley to be my guest blogger.]

Thank you for inviting me to blog! I appreciate the acknowledgement that even though I don’t say anything remotely intelligible, it does not mean I do not have profound thoughts running through my 80+% head.

Dear ______,

Sorry, I don’t really know your name. I know it’s been over seven months that we’ve been living together (you insist that it’s 16 months but whatever, I don’t remember seeing much during that time). It’s definitely gotten to the point in our relationship where so much time has passed, it would be painfully awkward to ask you what your name really is. Thankfully I’ve never really have had an occasion to say your name because you are always following me around. I wake up and you are there. I eat and you are there. I run errands, and you are on the other side of the car listening to Taylor Swift. Heck I can’t even take a poop without you pantsing me within minutes (This is especially embarrassing when you do this in public places. In front of my friends. Even the girls.) The only time you will leave me alone is if I take a nap or go down for the night. What is really puzzling is that when I wake up from my 35 minute nap or anytime before 7 am, you groan like you’re unhappy to see me. Excuse me? Who is the one who won’t leave me alone during the day?

Thinking back on this past month, I would have to say my favorite thing has been hitting up the gym. Gymboree that is. It’s nice seeing other people my age and hanging out together to get a break from just hanging out with our grownups. My favorite thing is this thing they called the Air Log.

 

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It’s this awesome contraption that rocks back and forth. The point of it is to maintain good tummy time posture while the log moves underneath me. As this picture shows, I am kinda awesome at it. Look at that vertical my double chin is getting. My buddy next to me is in awe. Who can blame him? (Hey bro, you gotta lock out those arms.)

Foam Shapes

My second favorite gym activity is when they bust out the foam shapes. We all make a grab for them and stuff our faces with them. Sometimes we take them from each other and then grownups say “Shaaaaare.” I never really hear this word at home. I think it’s what you’re supposed to say to someone else when you take their stuff.

Another fun thing this past month is all the new things I’ve gotten to try. I think when I decided to sit up and grow some teeth, it gave me the license to eat other things. (Don’t get me wrong. I still love milk. There’s nothing like warm milk that makes me go omnomnom.) But when I want something to cleanse my milky palate, it’s been nice to be offered some fresh local fruits and vegetables cubes zapped in the microwave. So far my favorites have been butternut squash, carrots, apricots, peas, sweet potatoes, peaches, pears and bananas. A non favorite of mine is green beans. Blech!!

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I hate green beans. Despite my obvious distaste for them, I know you sometimes you hide them amidst other vegetables. Because I don’t want to offend my personal chef, I often oblige. May I suggest hiding them in ice cream? I hear that’s a winning pairing.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Hugs and drooly kisses to all,

Wes

[back to Candy blogging]

Milestones

  • Weight – 17.8 lbs (home scale approximation)
  • Sitting up! We think that bringing him to Gymboree actually accelerated this milestone as he saw everyone else around him sitting and crawling. hahaah he was shamed into sitting!

 

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  • Longest sleeping stretch 6:15 pm to 7am. Hallefreakinglujah. I definitely do not claim to have any idea on how to replicate this with any consistency but will be more than happy to share my experience in a future blog post to provide fodder for discussion or encouragement to the sleepyheaded parents.
  • But long sleeping stretches mean shorter naps all day long. Crap. I am realizing that I need to get to bed a lot earlier so that I can spend all day playing with Wes.
  • We have 2 teeth making their way through! They are definitely visible! We are now regretting the teaching Wes the game of letting him gum our fingers now that those gums have very very sharp incisors attached to them.

Likes

  • Tags. Babies love tags!! This toy is currently getting so much love in our household:

 

Gripes

WARNING. POOP TALK.

  • Pooping – When we started solids, it naturally made his poops solid. Wes was not into pooping solids. There is this relaxation that needs to happen before pooping. Well when you are scared of pooping and clench, it only leads to discomfort and trauma when trying to poop. There was definitely an afternoon on the changing table when I was holding his legs while he was crying, tears streaming down his face and pooping while I yelled “Push!! Push!!” TBT to labor and delivery!

Month Six

Dear Wes,

Happy Six Months sweet guy!

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At six months you are charmingly social, unreservedly friendly and unabashedly gluttonous. The biggest news that happened this month is that you get to wear a helmet! Let me back up and explain how we ended up in this predicament in the first place. Well it was no secret that you came into the world with a generously sized noggin (all that gray matter has to go somewhere)! When you were younger, you would always prefer sleeping on your right side. Despite our efforts to turn your head, you would always find that side. At your 4 month appointment your pediatrician referred us to a specialist. I was grateful that she gave us the warning that it would be PLASTICS that would be calling us to make an appointment or else I would’ve hung up on them. When the plastic surgeon measured the diagonals of your skull and told us there was enough of a discrepancy that he was going to recommend helmet therapy, I cried all the way home… and continued to cry at home. Cognitively I knew it was just cosmetic (after all, we did see the plastic surgeon) and thankfully you are in good health, but the momma guilt hit hard. I thought of all those times I’d let you sleep in my arms… on your right side… because you were so snuggly and happy. And of course I was so sleepy and tired that I would do anything to help you sleep longer. Your dad and I got so distracted by your cradle cap, eczema and itchiness that we kinda let this one slip on our radar. Sorry Wes. This is the burden you bear as our firstborn. (Hey at least you know we followed the AAP recommendation of putting you on your back to sleep!) Not to worry, we are making up for it by getting you the most kick ass helmet in the world.

We sent your helmet to this wonderful woman in Washington that paints baby helmets. I feel like I need to explain the SF patch on your helmet. When I was in tears, your sweet father told me that I could make your helmet a Chargers helmet. But seeing as you were born in the Bay Area and we currently live in the Bay, I thought it would be appropriate to show some hometown pride. Sigh. I could not bear the thought someone booing you for having a Chargers patch on your helmet! Anyway you will be glad to know that you are wearing your helmet like a champ. Everyone (including your mom and dad) worried that the helmet will be uncomfortable and that you would be miserable. Well, that just hasn’t been the case. The first time it came on you cried for a couple of minutes and that was the end of that.  The upside to all of this is that I am less worried about you hitting your head on something now that you have protective gear on 23 hours a day!

Maybe one day you’ll want to shave your head. And when you do, please rub that right side your head and think of your mommy’s tears that were shed to make that side round. (juuust kidding)

I love you flat head.

Mama

Milestones

  • At your 6 month weigh in, you were at 16 lb 15 oz (so. close. to 17!! Had you not had the biggest poo an hour ago, I think we would’ve hit 17). You are 27 inches in height and your head is 17.5″ in circumference. Your percentiles are 38th/53rd/81st respectively)
  • Rolling – You are now able to roll from back to front! That was REALLY exciting when it happened but we quickly retracted our enthusiasm because we (including you) realized that you actually hate being on your tummy but YOU LOVE ROLLING. This is something we are hoping will kick into your brain sometime soon… if you don’t like being on your tummy, don’t #$@% roll onto your tummy. Or at least roll back to your back! (You used to do this all the time but you conveniently forgot for a good two weeks which resulted in me waking up multiple times at night to flip you back to your back because SOMEONE put you on your tummy. And that makes you SO ANGRY.)
  • What cradle cap? That was sooooo last month. A huge blessing with you getting a helmet is that the plastic surgeon wanted us to aggressively treat your cradle cap because that + helmet = no bueno. We saw a dermatologist and she prescribed magical drugs that literally changed your skin and scalp overnight. OVERNIGHT. It was unreal. Your eczema has also improved so drastically you sleep unswaddled at night!
  • You have a natural bedtime of 7pm these days. It’s a little bit of a damper for eating out at night… but now we just do things like go to Yard House at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon for linner (the meal between lunch and dinner)! You’ll usually sleep for 7-8 hours straight and then wake up to have some milk and then sleep until 6:30-7:00 am. We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! Well until you decide that you’d like to venture into another tunnel.
  • You are playing with toys appropriately. You are grabbing for toys on your activity mat, putting teething toys in your mouth and rolling balls around.
  • You have preferences. Yesterday I was driving home and out of the blue you decided that you HATED BEING IN THE CAR SEAT. So you started crying and screaming. You did this for 20 minutes until we arrived home. The moment I parked in the garage, the screaming stopped. I opened the door to your seat and you just looked at me with these eyes that said “Who was screaming their head off in there?!” And of course then you proceeded to flash me a gummy smile. 
  • Drool. Oh my goodness, we are at the stage where bibs are utilized less as spit up receptacles and more as drool absorbers. If you are not wearing a bib, your shirt will be completely soaked through in about an hour.
  • You really should size up to size 3 diapers but we bought too many size 2 so we will hold off onto the size 3 for another month.
  • You are wearing 6-12 month clothes. I still prefer dressing you in onesies bc normal shirts just don’t stay down!

Food

  • We started feeding you solids and YOU LOVE FOOD. You have had rice cereal (not your fave). You much prefer carrots and bananas. We cannot get the food in your mouth fast enough. Sometimes you grab the spoon and “assist” us in getting it in your mouth. I am finding great satisfaction in making ice cube baby food. I don’t know why but I love popping out color cubes and putting them in a big bag. I’m also glad I am finding new uses for the vitamix!

First Word

“Okay!” (at 13 seconds)

First Recorded Laugh

Fact: This is the video your dad will watch over and over again every night after you have gone down for bed.

Likes

  • Sophie (Now you are more into her legs than her ears)
  • Fake keys aka gum massager
  • Long walks
  • CeraVe massages and pedis/manis at the Cambridge Spa.

Gripes

  • Being out past your bedtime

Nicknames

  • Mochi Cheeks
  • Bunches (This was originally truncated from Honey Bunches)
  • Leslie (For the times you shriek and scream at a high frequency)
  • Vesley (When we feel like speaking in a German accent)
  • Booboo (Mommy’s friend calls you this and it’s so cute it grew on me! No correlation to Here Comes Honey BooBoo whatsover)

What do people say about you when they see you:

  • THOSE CHEEKS.” (I’m telling you son, your cheeks are incredible)
  • “He has the cutest toes!!” You have really cute feet. They are not as chunky as baby feet goes… but they are adorable because you have these long toes. I kinda love them. This is why you never wear shoes or socks because I love looking at your feet.

Here is a shot of your toes. You are doing ankle circles during church.

Month Five

Dear Wes,

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Hi Handsome!

Happy 5 Months to you! Every month seems to top the other month in excitement and development. I remember 3 months ago when we would be THRILLED to see you half-smile at us. We used to ask each other, “Have you seen him smile today?” “No.. not yet.” Fast forward to now when we can make you smile for the camera on demand (granted you are fed of course).

Your new experiences this month include:

  • Your 2nd wedding (and donning the first of many bow ties)
  • Seeing an allergist
  • Your first overnight at grandparents without Mommy or Daddy
  • Your first flight to Oahu

Daddy and I have settled into a routine of taking care of you. I usually get the 11pm-6am shift which includes a feeding or two. (Both of which we are both half asleep for). It is no secret that I love to sleep and am pretty awesome at it that sometimes I wake up in the morning not having remembered if I had gotten up in the middle of the night. In the morning, your dad picks you up while I sleep in. But too often I hear you two giggle and laugh and I get up and join in the fun because I hate missing out on your morning happiness. We usually put you down around 7:30-8:00pm and you cry for about 5-10 minutes before you conk out for the next 5-6 hours. We have been weary of aggressively sleep-training you to get rid of the middle of the night stuff because you have been an itchy guy this last month. And crying usually leads to clawing your face/scalp which leads to more eczema and cuts. We are grateful that despite your skin drama, you manage to still be a delight Wes. You are responsive, happy, easy-going and fun.

So something new in my life is that I decided to take a year off of teaching to hang out with you. It was surprising how bittersweet this decision was. For some reason I thought it would be a no brainer. After all everyone told me that something would feel right and I would just know. Well nothing felt quite right. Being the occasional over thinker I am, I could see both sides of the coin. I admired my friends who were full time moms and had full time jobs outside of the house. I admired my friends who were full time moms and stayed at home during the work day. If I were queen of the world, I would love a part-time job with a live-in chef. (Still waiting for the world to acknowledge my royal highness…) At the end of the day, for now, staying at home with you seems to be the right thing for all three of us. I have to admit that I am more comfortable lesson planning and teaching than being a SAHM. But if you will have me and all my foibles, I’ll give this stay at home stuff my best shot. At the very least we can cuddle and cry together in the afternoon until Daddy comes home from work!

WesTrio

Love,
Mama

Milestones

5 days ago you weighed in at 15 lbs 11 oz. aka heavy and squirmy. These days you wake up between 6:30-7am. You eat and play for about 1.5-2 hours. Then a switch turns on and you just HAVE TO NAP. Most naps last for about 45 minutes and every now and then you are out for 1.5 hours. You still like to eat and now average about 32 ounces of milk every day!

Tummy Time Success! – You still have a big head, but finally your neck muscles have caught up. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is your favorite position to hang out in, but we have gone from crying and whining to tolerance and sometimes even a smile!

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Rolling

Toys – You now play with toys appropriately! Before we would hold toys in front of you and you’d stare at them… or not. We weren’t quite sure what was happening in your brain. A couple of weeks ago, we gave you Sophie and it was love at first sight. You held onto her neck and nibbled on her ears and her giraffe nubs (Just googled it. Those nubs are called ossicones). It was so cute to see you so excited about Sophie! Those French people really know how to make a toy!

Likes

  • Doctor visits – I think it’s because you get lots of attention from everyone.
  • “Standing”
  • Daddy’s funny noises. He makes you belly laugh like no one else can.

Gripes

  • Being itchy
  • Being ignored
  • Story time :(:(:(  – We probably start story time a little too late. By the time we pick up a book, you are ready to sleep and try to wiggle out of our arms! Hopefully this is only a stage.