12.26.2012

Christmas Wish Come True

This has got to be my favorite Christmas of all time. We were finally all home from the hospital, our new little family of four. Eric was so excited about playing Santa. He had me go to bed early so he could set up our "Christmas room". The next morning, I caught him waking up early to plug in the Christmas tree lights and set up a little "Santa's corner" for Riley. He was so excited about her waking up, he couldn't sleep himself (and for parents of a newborn, that is saying a lot!)

Riley woke up and we lead her to the room, and she was all smiles from then on. She didn't quite understand the concept of unwrapping presents at first, but after a few practices, she understood and it was all I could do not to just die from the cuteness.

Checking out her stocking goodies

Opening books from Di Tu
Eric's mom was over celebrating with us. Her and Eric made us this delicious breakfast, and it was just nice to be near family for the holidays. The kids were spoiled by their aunts and uncles with gifts, we enjoyed a quiet Christmas morning together, there was not much more we could ask for.

The rest of the day was spent opening Riley's new toys for her and seeing her excitement as she went from toy to toy. We passed Connor around to spread out the snuggle time. There's nothing I can really pinpoint as to why this Christmas was my favorite, but I just think about that morning and the magical warm feelings of Christmas take over me. It was definitely one for the books.

12.22.2012

Happy Birth Day, Connor!

I was scheduled to have a repeat c-section on Friday, December 21, 2012. However, our little man had plans of his own.

On Thursday morning, I woke up and helped get Riley ready for school. I dropped her off and headed to pick up some groceries, and felt some contractions, but didn't think much of it, as I've been feeling them for the past several weeks. I got home and asked Eric out to lunch, seeing as it would be our last day as parents of one. He was busy with work so I decided to lay down. I went to the restroom before laying down and noticed that I was bleeding. My doctors told me to call them immediately if I had noticed any bleeding so I did just that, went to find Eric and told him "we might be having a baby today!"

We went into the office and Dr. Jones checked me and I was 4 cm dilated. He sent me to the hospital where the nurses were so quick to get me into the system and checked out. They were pushing for me to have my surgery at 2 pm (it was 1:50 at the time) and it was just funny how fast everything was happening. I finally got wheeled into surgery and had my spinal tap. They then laid me on the operating table and pinched me to test if the spinal tap was working-- it was not. I could feel every pinch in my upper belly. They decided to give it a few minutes and although it was a lot less, I could still feel the pinching in my upper stomach. They informed me that if I continued to feel it, I would have to be put under general anesthesia, and the thought of that made me sick to my stomach. Fortunately, the spinal tap spread enough and they started the c-section.

It was NOTHING like my surgery with Riley. The pressure of the tugging and pulling was extremely painful, and the surgery was taking a lot longer than I remembered. Finally, at 3:03pm, we heard the strong cries of our baby boy and our tears came but a second later. We were beyond happy with how healthy he sounded and were so eager to see our little guy. They cleaned him up and handed him to Eric, who was just beaming. I was still finishing up with my surgery so Eric and Connor went to the nursery. Meanwhile, I was experiencing a LOT of pain as they were wrapping up my surgery. Dr. Vasquez was working as fast as she could and Dr. Lo came in to offer me some comfort. They offered me some medicine that they said would cause slight amnesia, and I was so paranoid about forgetting Connor's birth, but it got to the point where I needed something, anything because the pain was unbearable. And with that, they gave me the medicine and the next thing I remember was being in a holding room and getting my blood drawn for tests. I don't recall how long I was there, but they finally wheeled me into my recovery room where Eric was holding our beautiful baby boy.

Connor Dao Oberly, born 12/20/12 @ 7lbs, 1.8oz; 19.5"

And with that, our family is complete. I was so worried about how to juggle my love and attention between two kids, but it is amazing how naturally it came. Riley was a little confused about what was going on, but she is making a great transition into being a big sister.

I don't have the words to express how simply awesome it feels to welcome this sweet baby boy into our family. I am just feeling so thankful and so blessed.

12.04.2012

36 weeks with Connor

I had my weekly prenatal appointment today and I'm happy to announce that Connor is doing great. My fundal height is still measuring behind, but we had a growth scan to make sure Connor is growing healthily, and he's doing even better than expected. He measures in the 79th %tile at an estimated 6 lbs and 10 oz. The sonographer told me that these estimates are usually over estimated by 6 oz. Even at that, he already measure bigger than Riley at birth.

Connor @ 36 weeks
--
Riley @ 32 weeks

After the ultrasound, I met with my doctor who also had positive things to say. He seemed confident that Connor would make it to his csection date, which makes me happy to hear. At almost full term, I am totally feeling the discomfort of pregnancy, but hopefully December will work its magic and go by quickly as it always does. I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore, but I'm even more ready to hold a sweet baby boy in my arms.

11.26.2012

Stay Put, Little Guy!

We had a good little scare over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, I started to feel some painful contractions. I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for as long as I could remember, but these were definitely different so I kept notice of them. They started to get stronger, so I decided to time them for a while and sure enough they were consistently 4 minutes apart. I have this paranoia of being "the girl who cried labor" so I just kept timing them until I was suddenly nauseous and was just extremely uncomfortable, so I placed a call to the doctor and was told to go into Labor & Delivery.

When we got there, they hooked me up to monitor Connor's heartbeats and my contractions, and the monitor confirmed that I was indeed experiencing consistent contractions. The on-call doctor showed up and explained that since we were only 35 weeks pregnant, the development of Connor's lungs were in question-- he was right on the border of full development so it could easily go either way. They pumped me up with fluids, gave me several shots to ease my nausea and I got another shot to stop the contractions which eventually worked. I was there for several hours and around midnight, the doctor asked how I was feeling and gave me the option to go home. By then I was as comfortable as I'd been all day, thought about Riley, and easily decided that I wanted to be home.

I am extremely thankful that we made it past this scary night, but now I am completely anxious about anything happening. So I'm asking for your prayers that our little guy hangs on tight for at least a couple of more weeks. Luckily I am scheduled for weekly doctors appointments now, so I'm hoping we'll formulate a new birth plan in case he does decide to show up to the party early.

Thank you to my family for all your help and your support. It was a rough night, and I definitely would not have been able to stay as positive without all your love.

11.13.2012

33.5 weeks pregnant with Connor

I had my biweekly doctor's appointment this morning. My belly was measuring behind (which I find so incredibly hard to believe) so the doctor ordered a growth scan. I got to see my baby boy and it just made me feel so excited to meet him! This pregnancy has been so different from my first. I still find it hard to believe that I'm pregnant again, even though his kicks are much stronger and I feel much more tired now than I did then. But the images of him truly made it all more real, and I cannot wait to meet him!

Will he look like his sister?
(Connor on top, Riley below)

11.07.2012

Being their Mom

Warning: this will be a sappy and lengthy post.

At just about 33 weeks pregnant, hormones have finally taken over. Tonight, I had "one of those days" where jokes I would usually laugh at just weren't funny, everything anyone said was taken the wrong way, mix that with feeling under the weather and being sleep deprived-- needless to say, it was not a particularly fun day. The whole family is sick; I spent my morning buying medicine for all of us, so by the end of the day, I was happy when Riley and Eric both decided to go to bed early, and I got to relax on the sofa and watch tv with Indy at my feet.

And then, the beast woke up (the beast being Riley, not Eric).

I let her cry for a little bit, hoping she'd fall back asleep, and that didn't happen. After internally battling myself as to whether or not I should try to soothe her, I gave in and decided to check it out, make sure she wasn't up with a fever or stuffy nose. I open the door to a crying baby, one hand on her crib rail and the other clutching her blanket close to her face, and I just couldn't help but giggle at the sight of her. I picked her up and took her to the glider, and I just cuddled her and shushed her. After a very short period of time, she closed her eyes and fell asleep in my arms. Now this might seem insignificant to you, but I honestly cannot remember the last time this squirmy baby fell asleep in my arms-- it just doesn't happen, folks. And it got me thinking to when we first brought her home, when we were trying to figure out the whole parenting thing. When we were getting to know her as much as she was getting to know us. Riley and I spent a lot of time in that glider, and tonight I realized how big she's gotten, how much she's grown and changed, and "bittersweet" is the best word I could come up with, although that doesn't seem to be very accurate either. I looked at my beautiful daughter's face and I just swelled up with pride. I held her in my arms, feeling Connor's kicks, reminding me that there isn't much time left that Riley will be our only child. With that thought, I got a slight sense of guilt-- will she not get the attention she deserves from us? Will she resent us having a baby so soon after her? And then I looked at her again and thought about the possibility that we are giving her the best thing parents can give their children-- a sibling. Another person to love and another person to love her. And all of a sudden, it felt like things were a-ok again. I let go of today's struggles and thanked the Lord for blessing me with a beautiful, healthy and growing family. And with that thought, I took a deep breath and savored that moment with Riley. She may not be a baby anymore, but she will always be my girl, my first-born, a being on this planet that has taught me more about myself in one quick year than possibly any one else I've ever been blessed to meet.

This first year of motherhood has been wonderful, challenging, frustrating, humbling but above all, rewarding. I've learned to trust myself in ways I never knew I could (or had to). I'm thankful and proud that my marriage has been strong enough to not just survive, but flourish the challenges of new parenthood. And although I have my moments of panic in anticipation of another baby on the way (because let's face it, the memories of sleepless nights and functioning like a zombie is still fresh in my mind) I get very much encouraged reminiscing of our time raising Riley, and how even the toughest of times pass by too quickly.

I don't really know where I'm going with this post, if anywhere. I just had a moment tonight where I just realized, truly realized how much I love being a mother to Riley. And now, more than ever, I am excited to meet this sweet, little boy that's growing in my growing belly. I cannot wait to see how our family will change and grow with this newest addition. Feeling so blessed!

10.27.2012

Octoberfest

Not to be confused with kind of Oktoberfest with accordions and beer, although that isn't unfamiliar territory to us either. This month has been jam packed with Halloween festivities. I'm really glad we've gotten the chance to take Riley out to do these little things, and I'm happy she's getting to an age where she can enjoy them. We won't be a family of three for much longer, and even though I know it means we are only making room for more memories, I have a soft spot in my heart for these times as well. It might seem silly, but there are times I feel guilty for Riley's short period as an only child. But that can be its own sappy blog post. This one is only for fun!

Went to ZooBoo! At the Indianapolis Zoo

Went to Indianapolis' Children's Museum to experience the Haunted House

Visited Stoneycreek Farms with Family

picked out her first pumpkin

Took Indy to Howl-oween in Gfield
It has been an extremely fun month, and its bittersweet to see it go by so fast. Our Riley is growing up so quickly, and yet as the time flies by, it means not much longer until we meet our Connor man.  This is way too many emotions for a woman as pregnant as I am now. 31 weeks now! In the home stretch!

10.18.2012

Name That Baby!

And here it is, the official name post! We will be naming our son Connor Dao Oberly.

Connor was actually the "boy option" name we had for Riley. We liked it for the same reasons that we liked "Riley"-- we found the name to be relatively uncommon, but not too weird. When we found out baby #2 was a boy, we started exploring other names, but found ourselves back to "Connor" every time, so we decided to stick to it.

Dao is my dad's first name. I like the idea of passing on some Vietnamese heritage to our kids with their middle names, and I thought it would be an honor for Connor to carry on the name of a man who has greatly impacted my life. I know my dad was equally as touched that we asked him if we could use his name as Connor's middle name.

Connor is of Irish origin, and it means "hound lover." If Connor has the same type of relationship with our beagle Indy that Riley has, the name will hold true to its meaning. Dao is Vietnamese for religion, another reason Eric and I loved the name.

So there you have it, my half Asian kids with Irish names.

10.09.2012

Riley's 1 Year Wellness

Poor baby girl is taking a much needed nap right now. We had 5, count them, 5 shots this morning, and she handled herself like a little trooper (after some crying and whimpering). At 12 months, here are Riley's measurements:

Height: 30.75 inches @ 94 %tile
Weight: 20 lbs 11 oz @ 42 %tile
Head: 18.25 inches @ 98 %tile

So she's still the skinny, tall bobble-head baby she's been since birth.

Towards the end of our appointment, we were scheduling her 15 month wellness, to which the doctor suggested we schedule baby #2's 1 month wellness as well. What a trip!

10.07.2012

Riley's 1st Birthday

On October 3rd, 2008, Eric asked me to be his wife. Exactly three years later, on October 3rd, 2011, our beautiful Riley was born . The memories I have of her birthday are vivid enough to have happened an hour ago. We spent this past week celebrating her first year of life, and also giving ourselves a little high five for surviving our first year as parents.

10/03/11 & 10/03/12
On her actual birthday, I took Riley to her weekly library reading class. She was showered with all sorts of attention by her classmates, and she ate it all up! That evening, we had a little celebration with just us and Riley's grandma Oberly. Riley got to eat cake for the first time, and loved it for all of 3 minutes.
The next day kicked off the Riley Festival here in Greenfield (name/date of the event is a total coincidence, I swear). We stopped by to kill some time before Bao and Nana got here. Once they got here, it was full on party planning mode. (We had originally planned to celebrate Riley's first birthday outdoors at a park, but the weather had other ideas. We very last minute had to change all our plans, and this little side note is a HUGE thank you to Bao and both my Moms and Erin for helping make Riley's bday possible). The change in weather turned out to be a blessing in surprise though, I think. By the end of the day, Riley made it clear that her birthday party was the best day of her life. She was all smiles all day, and babbled herself to sleep at night as if she was replaying her day. The look of pure joy on her face all day made me happier than words can ever describe.



This was, hands down, one of the most memorable weekends of my life, and more importantly, one of the best weekends of Riley's life. When I think back on this past year, I get sentimental about how quickly the time has flown by and I get overwhelmed by how generously God has blessed us. I am thankful for a beautiful and healthy baby. I am thankful for all the support, help, advice and love we've gotten from family and friends while trying to figure out life as first-time parents. I am especially thankful for a husband who is a loving father, who continues to amaze me and who I continue to grow with as our lives constantly change and our family continues to grow.

Happy birthday to my sweet Riley. I love you so much and I am thankful for all you've taught me and all the joy you've brought into our lives. There are moments when you look at me with your dorky little smile and I get completely wrapped up in awe of you. You will always, always be my number one girl and there is nothing I love more than being your mom. Love you, sweetheart!

9.20.2012

Daycare Follow Up

I am SO proud of my baby girl! She had a great day today at daycare! I'm also pretty proud of myself-- I only called once to check up on her. When I did call, they said Riley was not fussy at all and was in the middle of chomping down on some grilled cheese sandwiches. That's my girl for you, treating school like a buffet!

Eric and I got anxious, so we picked her up a little earlier than expected. Upon arriving, we watched her through the 2-way mirror, only to find her having a great ol' time:


Then we snuck in, and when she finally noticed us, she started babbling up a storm. I was so happy to see her so happy.
Finally noticing us in the room

Telling Dad about her day

Smiling for Mommy
The teachers raved about how wonderfully Riley did, especially for her very first day. I am so happy with the facility. They showed us her personalized book that details all she did throughout the day, the times she slept, the amount she ate and drank. Not only were they accommodating to my crazy mom self, but they were very sweet about it, reassuring us that Riley was doing well and welcoming my calls/visits. I feel very good about our decision to put her in daycare, and I'm beyond happy at how much Riley enjoys it.

My Shining Star

We just got back from dropping off Riley at her first day of daycare at Shining Stars Child Care Academy. You'll be happy to know there were no tears involved (from her or from me). 

Tried to get a photo of her outfit, but she was too weirded out to pose.

Hanging on to Dad while still feeling shy

Warming up to new buddy, Claire

Books are the way to this girl's heart

Hanging out with Billy before Mom and Dad left
It hasn't been an hour yet, but I miss her enough to blog about her already. I know daycare will be great for Riley though; she loves playing with other kids! I will definitely follow up with how she did by the end of day 1.

9.11.2012

Bend it like Riley

Riley is getting much more comfortable with walking. Here's a video of her "playing soccer" with Eric. I hope this really will be something they can do together someday. It would mean so much to him, and I know eventually to her too.

8.30.2012

Nursery x2


Sometimes, a picture says it all. Eric put together baby boy's crib today and the photo above  is a panoramic sweep of the kids rooms. If that overwhelms you, don't even get me started on the "community changing table" we have out in the hallway.

Sometimes, when I get a quiet moment, I get extremely nervous about the reality that we will be raising two very young children. But as nervous as I get, I am even more excited about welcoming another little miracle into this family. I look at our Riley, all the joy she's brought into our lives, and the thought of that feeling multiplying sends me over the moon. Can't wait to meet our little guy!

8.29.2012

Walk This Way

... a just gimme a kisssss! (Sorry, I had to).

We've had a hunch that Riley was ready to walk for a while now. She's become a pro at pulling up on furniture, and she cruises at record speeds. When she's not paying attention, she stands for long periods of time. The major problem is that she's scared to fall. This lack of confidence really made her reluctant to take more than one or two steps. But we've been working on it, and her progress is really starting to show. She is taking quite a few steps now, and I have a feeling that she is going to start comfortably walking very soon.

Here is a video of her taking a couple of steps. Yes, I bribed my child with television. Please don't judge me!

8.26.2012

Big Sister Riley

Riley is ready to welcome her baby brother with open arms! Here she is doing the sign for "baby"!

8.23.2012

My Famous Baby

This post is dedicated to my very first baby-- my beagle, Indy. Last week, I took this silly photo of her and posted it on Facebook:
It is unbelievable the amount of attention this photo is getting. A friend of mine posted it on reddit.com, and someone must've combed it out from there and posted it on Dog Lover's Facebook profile page, and as of this very minute, Indy has 383,230 likes, 26,904 shares, and 10,595 comments. This number continues to grow, and I love that my best fur friend is getting this sort of attention.

I do, however, wish that all these strangers could know our story-- Indy and me. How special she is, having been my companion while Eric was in Iraq, almost losing her to a horrendous seizure, living with epilepsy, and now making my daughter laugh and smile on a daily basis. I truly, with all my heart, believe that Indy was Heaven sent to us, and I am so thankful for all her and all she's given us.

8.21.2012

Kisses from Riley

This will be a short post with three quick (but cute) clips of Riley. She's starting to pick up on showing us affection. My child is not at all cuddly, but for the past few days she's turned up the charm quite a bit. She must suspect the 2nd child.

It all started with her kissing her favorite person in the house-- herself:


Then, lucky for me, she moved on to her mom. I think she hasn't kissed Eric yet because he has slightly more facial hair than I do. I apologize in advanced for the closeup of my face:


And now, a kiss for all of you!


She is getting to be at a very fun age, starting to really copy what we do and mimic what we say. I can't say it enough, its amazing how fast they grow up!

8.15.2012

Baby Talk

Just a quick little post of little milestones we're hitting with Riley and a few short video clips to show her off. She's starting to get brave and taking 1-2 steps now. She is still very cautious and would rather sit down than fall. Gotta love my careful girl.

She's picked up saying "mama", "dada", "Indy", "juice", "cheese" and my current favorite "bear":


She does call other animals (besides Indy) "bear" at the moment, but hey, I'll take it!

Here she is signing "all done" after snack time:

It's a BOY!

I had my 20 week anatomy scan this past Tuesday, and I'm very happy to announce that the baby is doing very well and is very healthy. I'm also so pleased to share that this time around, we are expecting a sweet baby boy:
Hope to never see my son's private parts online ever again.
The sonographer was great, taking time to measure all organs that needed to be measured, and towards the end of the appointment she asked if we wanted to know what we were having. I was fully expecting to have another girl (don't ask me why, just a feeling I guess) and she said "you're having a little baby boy" and I looked over and Eric and we both did a silly yelp of excitement. I wish the whole world could have seen Eric's face, he was just beaming, it was very sweet. We are very excited and eager to meet our little guy.

Our not-so-big girl is completely clueless as to what's going on, but I am excited for her to be a big sister.
After several takes, and shortly before she bit and punctured the balloon
I find myself daydreaming about what baby #2 will look like, the same way we wondered when we found out Riley was a girl. Either way, I imagine my complete family of four and my heart simply swells with joy and happiness.

8.03.2012

California Dreamin'

I don't have the words to describe what I feel when I think about this past week spent in California. Every time we visit, the trips get better and better and I miss my family more and more and this was no exception. I literally thank God everyday for my awesome family. They all took time off of work to spend time with us and made our visit so fun and memorable. I'm so happy that Riley got to spend such quality time with our family.

We got in late Wednesday night, and Riley was a champ on the airplane. On Thursday, Chi Hai, Brooke and Aidan came over to Ba Ma's house (where we stayed the entire week) first thing in the morning. Mom couldn't stand it at work so she took a half day and we all went to the OC fair. We got our fix of fair foods, a heavy dosage of giant sausages and of course the sweet sweet scent of farm animals:

That night, Di Ut and Dave with the kiddos came over for dinner, and it ended up being an impromptu party at Mom and Dad's. The next day Mom and Bao took the day off of work and we went to the pool at the Lam residence. Aidan did a phenomenal job during swim class. Its amazing to see how quickly these kids grow up. That evening, Chi Hai grilled up some burgers and hot dogs and Anh Hai Mike came home. We also got a surprise visit from Khoackie + Lily. So glad I got a chance to snuggle my new niece:

Saturday afternoon was spent at the Bay by Newport Beach for local.com's company picnic. It was such a great set up! There were food and activities galore. I think this was Riley's favorite day in California.

Later that evening, we washed up and headed down to San Marcos so that Riley could meet her Ba Co (great grandmother) and Ba Muoi and may di and duong there. Its always a good time when we visit them, and I am beyond happy that Riley got to meet my Ba Noi.

Sunday we went to an Angels game in the afternoon, followed by a spontaneous cookout at the Lam's again. These are my favorite times-- when we sit around, eat good food, and make corny jokes and laugh at them like they are the funniest thing in the world. Riley got to spend more time with all her cousins again:

And that brings us to Monday, or final day in California. It somehow became a last minute party in the evening, and several family members as well as good friends stopped by. Only my mother has the ability to throw a party together at the very last minute without breaking a sweat, while still pampering her grandchildren (and children). It was so nice to see everyone, I wish we had more time to visit with everyone.

And here I am, happy to be home sweet home but definitely with a strong case of post-vacation blues. I can't stress enough how much I love my family and how much I cherish the time we get to spend with them. There really are no words, it truly is something you just have to experience, and I am so eager for the chance to do it again. Love you, family, very much!

7.13.2012

Riley's 9 Month Wellness

We checked out the new pediatrician in Greenfield today. Riley did great! She got two vaccines and a prick in the toe to test her hemoglobin, and she was pretty darn good. A little yelp and a few tears, but all in all I can't complain. So proud of my baby girl.

Here are her measurements at 9 months:
Height: 29.5 inches (96%tile)
Weight: 19 lbs, 3 oz (54 %tile)
Head: 18.25 inches (96%tile)

Thank goodness there is a cute face on that giant head!

I'm very happy with the pediatric office. They were all very nice and very thorough when it came to her, so not much more I can ask for. This is a huge relief!

More, more, more!

Before Riley was born, I witnessed my amazing niece and nephew pick up sign language watching these DVDs that teach babies to communicate using American Sign Language. I was simply in awe of how much they knew and how quickly they picked it up. In fact they knew so much, I had to mimic the signs they were doing and ask my sister what it meant, since I didn't know any of it! But from that, I knew that if I were to ever be blessed with kids, I would definitely want to give it a try.

Now, Riley watches "Baby Signing Time" whenever I need a moment to get something done, and we are starting to see her really pick up on the signs. While FaceTiming Eric the other day, she did the sign for "dad" (sure, it might have been coincidental, but I'll take it!). But there is no mistaking that my baby is now intentionally doing the sign for "more".

Here is a little video of me singing the song from the video and Riley singing and signing along. Please disregard my singing voice at 8am in the morning, I didn't have time to properly warm up. =P

7.11.2012

15 weeks with #2

Things are really moving along here in Greenfield. Earlier this week, I set up internet in our home. Today I got my Indiana driver's license and several of our new appliances are making their way in. Riley is adjusting really well, this morning she let me sleep in quite a bit and I am so grateful for that!

I'm starting to feel baby #2's light kicks/flutters. I will have my first prenatal appointment in Greenfield this coming Monday. I'm crossing my fingers that they'll want to be thorough and give me an utlrasound and we will find out if Riley will be getting a brother or a sister.

Here's a little quick snap of me and Riley and baby#2 at 15 weeks. Riley is already so eager to rule the house as the big sister:

7.01.2012

1st week in Indiana

Thank you to all for your love and support. We are having a very smooth transition to Indiana. There is still a ton left to be done, but thank goodness for my hardworking husband who is doing it all while Riley, Indy and I are settling in here in Greenfield.

We made it into town just in time for the Hancock County fair. We met with the Pfeiffer's one day to watch the parade and support their Little Miss Riley (that's a contest title--- we don't all name our daughters Riley here)
Matt proudly driving his beautiful Lauren in the parade

The following day, we took our Riley to the fair to check out some of the farm animals. Turns out my city girl was overwhelmed by the noises (and her mom by the scents).
Eric and Riley checking out the bunnies
Its been a difficult move, but thank goodness for family and friends who made us feel so welcome and provided much needed help. Already I am feeling thankful for being close to loved ones. I'll continue to document as much as I can-- its been a crazy journey, but its definitely making for awesome memories.

6.21.2012

Oberly Fertile

I'll give you the cliff notes version first, and if you care for details, I welcome you to read on:

We are expecting our 2nd baby and we are moving to Indiana!

At the beginning of May, we found out about our little surprise blessing. As happy as I was, panic/reality struck me quick-- our babies will only be 14-15 months apart! How on earth will we be able to handle all this? So we took a breather (a short one, there was no time) and decided that we would rent a home in Indiana for a year to be close to Eric's family and get some much needed help. The following weekend, we were in Indiana to run the mini-marathon. We still hadn't told anyone about baby #2, so Eric secretly went out to look at rental homes. There really wasn't anything on the rental market to suit our needs, and upon talking to a realtor, we decided that buying was the way to go. This was going to be tricky, we were working with a very aggressive timeline because I wanted to be moved out before the belly started take over my body. So we decided to tell Eric's mom and enlist her help with property search.

Here is a video of us sharing the news with Eric's mom. Riley is wearing the shirt in the picture above, and Eric tells his mom to check out Riley's nightgown before bed:


The weeks following were insane to say the least. We found a property, liked it, Eric's mom checked it out, we put in an offer, Eric flew out for the inspection, and ta-dah-- we became Greenfield, Indiana homeowners. Meanwhile, we were/are furiously working on packing and making our Virginia home ready for rental. All this going on while chasing an 8 month old around the house and keeping our pregnancy a secret, since we were still in the first trimester. Chaos, but of the best variety.

Which brings us to present day. Riley and I are flying to Indiana tomorrow and from there on we will be making our move. There is still lots to be done but we truly feel so blessed and welcome this change with open hearts. Please send some prayers for a smooth transition and a healthy and happy baby! We need all the love and support we can get!

Baby #2 is due end of December. Here is the first photo of our babies together. My heart already melts  imagining my kids playing and growing up together:
proud big sister!


6.15.2012

Standing Tall

Watching Riley grow up has been fun to say the least, but boy has it also been exhausting! She has been pulling up on furniture, trying to walk around and obviously doesn't know how. So for the past however many weeks, I have been glued to her to make sure she doesn't fall and hurt herself. I realize how simple that might sound, but believe me when I tell you that it is tiresome. I'm not proud to admit it, but there have been times when I've found myself feeling impatient with this sweet and curious little 8 month old. But today (and time and time again), she gave me a huge reminder as to why this is so worth it and how she is just the best thing that we have ever been lucky enough to be blessed with.

Okay, a little much for a video of my baby standing for a few seconds? Probably, but I don't care! I am just seriously that proud of her!

6.11.2012

crawler

Riley has now upgraded from an army crawl to a real baby crawl. At this rate, she will be running her first half marathon next week. She's always been a really wiggly baby, she would hardly ever sit still, so we knew from the get-go that she'd be motivated to move fast, but never did we imagine it would happen this quickly. I love watching her grow up, but I wonder where my little baby went!

I love that in this video she is crawling towards me and eventually starts climbing my leg. Love my girl!

6.03.2012

Cruisin'

I'm not talking about the 24 hour buffets on a giant ship, although I do enjoy that type of cruising very much. My now 8-month-old baby is hanging on to furniture to help her walk from place to place. Is it just me or is this all happening entirely too fast?

6.01.2012

Slow down, child!

People weren't kidding when they told me these kids grow up way too fast. Riley is no exception. At almost 8 months old, she is crawling all over the place and already pulling up on furniture. We had to lower her crib because she surprised us one morning by waking up, standing on her crib, hanging on to the railing. Her top two teeth also decided to come in and join the party. She is constantly singing and her favorite noise to make is "ba, ba, ba." Both Eric and I are trying to brainwash her with "da da" and "ma ma" to no success quite yet, but I'm not one to give up easily. 

Here's a video of Riley in her new favorite toy. This girl will be so happy once she figures out how to walk on her own.

5.22.2012

DC Tourists

Now that Riley is getting older and interacting more with the world around her, it has motivated us to take her out more often. This past weekend, we decided on a whim to take her to the zoo. It was a hot day, and the zoo was a little more crowded than I had hoped, but we enjoyed our time nonetheless, and Riley was very much engaged with the animals.

Laughing at the meerkat running by

The following day was day one of the annual Dragon Boat races in DC. Eric had always wanted to check it out, so we all got up early (with Riley being our alarm clock of course) and headed to Georgetown. I'm so glad we did it! I don't know how much Riley enjoyed it, but I found it so fascinating!

Best seat in the house!

It has been so fun taking Riley out to explore DC. Eric and I became very close friends while seeing what DC had to offer when we both first moved out here and met. Its a totally different but equally wonderful experience taking our baby to do these things all over again.

5.08.2012

13.1

I am so proud and so happy to be writing this post! It has been a long goal of mine to run a half marathon, and this past weekend I crossed the finish line of Indianapolis Mini Marathon, and I am extremely stoked about it.

Coming into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Runners coming up the speedway
Nothing like a couple of accordionists to keep me going!
Victory mile! I was so happy to see this!
Sweet, sweet success
Among other things, I want to express how extremely proud I am of Chi Hai, Anh Hai Mike and Gina Pfeiffer for also completing their first half marathons. I can now say I know what type of commitment it takes to accomplish this, and I give you all the credit in the world for crossing the finish line and I am so happy to share this feeling with all of you.

For so many reasons, this race was so special to me and I although my feet may have hated me by the end of it all, I will never forget the feeling of how happy I was to finish my first half marathon.

4.22.2012

Mmm, mmm good!

I feel really lucky and thankful that Riley has been a pretty good eater and is taking well to solids. She picked a favorite food today, and made it quite obvious. Here she is, vocally approving of apples:

4.14.2012

6 Months

Where the heck did time go? How is my baby already half a year old? Riley has been just one amazing baby. We've conquered an addiction together (got rid of the pacifier), she is sleeping through the night, and let's talk about the solids she's eating! She's now had rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, green beans, carrots, peas, bananas, butternut squash and apples. There is something amazing about being able to list all the things she's ever had her entire life.

We had her 6 month wellness exam earlier this week. Here is where my little super model is measuring at:

Height: 28 inches @ 98%tile
Weight: 15lbs 12 oz @ 40%tile
Head: 17.25 inches @ 84%tile

Last week, we took a little mini-vacation at the outerbanks. She got to be reunited with her cousins again, which we always enjoy. She transitioned well there and back, which I am beyond happy about.

And a fun milestone that we've hit is her first teeth! We first noticed them on April 3, 2012, exactly 6 months from the day she was born.


4.01.2012

Family Ties

Last week, I spent a few days in the hospital due to some abdominal pains. Turns out, the doctors are still unsure what is going on, and we are waiting on some results from other tests, but thank God I am home, and thank God for my amazing family. This post is especially dedicated to my loving family.

I called Bao when I checked into the hospital so that she could keep my family in the loop. She was immediately concerned, called everyone, and put down a lot of money to send my mom out right away to help take care of me. Chi Hai provided the much needed comic relief while I was stuck and miserable in the hospital. Andrea put Ava in the car and drove 5 hours to help take care of Riley so Eric could be with me in the hospital when needed. Erin called/texted every day, making sure we asked the right medical questions (thank goodness for medical professionals in the family). My mother-in-law wrote me loving and encouraging emails every night that I read before trying to get some sleep. My Mom and Aunt came out to help take care of Riley and fed our entire family while I was recovering. And let's not talk about the superman that is Eric. He rallied up friends in the area to come watch Riley so he come come be with me. And a HUGE THANK YOU Eric Loonan, Jenna and Amy too for coming out right away to help with Riley!

There were many times while in the hospital I just felt miserable, but realizing what a strong network of loved ones I have made me feel so fortunate and so blessed, and if I've been bad about saying it, I just wanted to thank you all so much. I don't know what we ever did to deserve you, but I am so grateful for you and you helped us get over a very tough week in our lives.

I'm feeling much better, I get an occasional pain here and there, but nothing to send me back into the hospital. Its beyond great to be back with my little girl and I hope my health continues to just get better.

3.15.2012

Are you my friend?

Two nights ago I had a nightmare involving Riley. Now most of the time, when moms say things like that, their dreams are about something happening to their babies. This was not the case with me. In my nightmare, Riley was the scary, creepy little kid in those horror films. Brace yourself...

In my dream, I was putting Riley down for a nap, and we happened to be sleeping in the same bed. She dozed off, so I rolled over with my back towards her. All of the sudden, I hear, in the creepy, high-pitched children's voice, "are you my friend?" This of course startles me, because my 5 month old baby obviously cannot talk. So I turn around, and I see her. Sitting there. Staring at me. And again, I hear those terrifying words with the slight tilt of her head, eyes looking straight at mine... "are you my friend?" And in that split second, she jumped on me and clung to my back like a rabid animal...

Now pan to the real world-- I am whimpering in my sleep, Eric wakes up and hears it all happening and wakes me up out of my terror. In the morning, I tell him about my nightmare, and now he loves to grab Riley and taunt me with "are you my friend??"

Thank you for taking the time to read this silly (but scary) true story of mine. I leave you with a photo and one question to ponder...

"Are you my friend?"

3.09.2012

Mommy Kisses & Baby Giggles

Riley has been a laughing machine lately, and I am not complaining! It feels so rewarding to have her sweet little face just look up at me and smile or laugh. It really makes those long, sleepless nights seem so far away (even if they do still happen every once in a while).

Here's a video of me smothering Riley with Asian sniff kisses, and her loving every minute of it:

2.28.2012

Count Monday Hike

Both Eric and I are very blessed to have a job that allows us to have an extremely flexible schedule. Every other Monday is "count Monday" which in short is the deadline for our work to be turned in. If our work is finished, we aren't under much pressure to do anything, so on this beautiful count Monday, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and go on a little hike at Huntley Meadows Park.

Indy getting some much deserved attention

my cute little family

she fell asleep right before we finished
Eric and I always enjoyed spending time outdoors (heck, he proposed in Shenandoah) and I know Eric, in particular, was very excited to do things like this with our baby. The baby carrier back-pack was his first purchase "for the baby" and it was nice that we got to use it so early in the year.