Year of the Horse

Chuc mung nam moi, ba con oi! This is our second tet in Greenfield, and although this city has a lot to offer us, the Vietnamese population is not-so-high and so on this day, more than ever, I miss being in California. But even with Vietnamese resources being low, I try hard to give the kids some of the cultural experience-- even if its something simple, like dressing them up against their own will.

Here's a little tet greeting from Riley:

Wishing everyone lots of luck, prosperity and happiness this year of the horse!


Poop Happens

I vowed to never be one of those moms that posted about bowels. I am breaking the rule once (and possibly one more time in the future) to document a huge developmental milestone for the kids-- potty training.

Shortly after Riley turned 2, we knew it was time to ditch the diapers. She was showing all signs-- she told us when she had to go, she hated being in her dirty diapers, she'd asked to be changed right away. I, however, dreaded the idea of losing the comfort of diapers. I can tell you with confidence that I am a diaper-changing pro. I can change both kids and get us out the door in record breaking time. So, to me, potty training meant a change in our routine and that was a huge turn off. I made all sorts of excuses as to why we couldn't commit to potty training-- we had lots of traveling to do, we were finally sleeping through the night, etc. So I took a very non-aggressive approach and started Riley with pull-ups. She did great-- she willingly sat on her training potty chair and she told us when she had to go. The pull-ups lasted for a couple of months and finally, we ran out of pull-ups and I decided to let go of my crutch and let Riley be the big girl that she is. And I am so proud of how well she is doing with it.

whatever works, ok? 

On a side-note, we bought some m&ms to reward Riley with, as recommended by several sources. Turns out the m&ms are really for me, to cheer myself up after having to clean up her accidents. The method totally works, I highly recommend it. 

School is Cool!

Connor man has now joined his sister at daycare full time. It was extremely bittersweet for me; oddly enough, it was a different feeling than dropping Riley off. I was the crazy, call-3-times mom with both, but 1-year-old Connor is so much different than Riley when she was 1. He is such a giant baby. Or maybe I've just gotten softer with my little mama's boy.

We have the huge advantage of being familiar with the 1-year-olds' teacher. She was great with Riley and has babysat the kids after school hours occasionally, so she sends me pictures of Connor during school hours.

Big boy working on his art project

Naptime is still a struggle
(don't let this pic fool you)

He LOVES ride-on toys
Dropping him off at school is totally dramatic. He cries, grabs on to me, yells. I know it is something that will change as time goes on, but at the same time its nice to feel so loved by my baby boy.

I really can't say enough about our daycare. They treat us like family, they have impacted Riley so much and I know they will do the same for Connor. I am so very thankful we found a daycare facility that we love and trust so deeply.


So long, 2013!

I usually write a New Year post, and I didn't intend to write this tonight but I got caught up browsing pictures from last year and it compelled me to stop and think "wow, what a great year!" Last year, having 2 kids under the age of 2 should've been a completely sleepless blur. Don't get me wrong, we are exhausted, the year was full of adjustments for me as an individual, for our whole family, but God has definitely been keeping a close watch on us and has blessed us so graciously. As a young family of four, I am simply amazed by all we were able to do. In his first year of life, Connor has already visited 6 different states (not including some of the states we drove by to get to these states). We have gone hiking… yes, hiking with babies! The kids got to spend time with their great grandpa and their ba co. I look back at this year and all the wonderful memories we made completely overshadow those tiresome, new-parent moments. How blessed are we?

I'm starting actually realize that every year will be filled with different challenges and more adjustments, as the kids continue to grow and change (very rapidly, I might add). And my hopes for 2014 and every year hereafter is to truly cherish moments-- the ones that we will never get back.

I like to make New Year's resolutions. I have to admit that mine usually are all the same-- some form of work on self, work on relationships, work on faith. With that in mind, I think this year I just want to focus particularly on two things-- being kind and being grateful. I'm hoping those two things will inevitably cover the usual bases as well.

We are only 6 days into the new year, and I am just bursting with excitement thinking about what this year holds for us. Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2014!


Healthy and Walking One-Year-Old

With all our travels over the holidays, we had to get Connor in for his 12-month wellness a little late, but either way, big guy's numbers are looking good. Here they are:

Weight: 22 lbs 10 oz @ 42%tile
Head: 18.75 in @ 88%tile
Height: 31.25 in @88%tile

There is something I find so interesting about how different our kids are. When Riley was learning to walk, she was very cautious but determined and was able to walk by herself by 10 mos. Connor has shown evidence of the strength in his legs to walk for a long time, but he has shown absolutely no interest in it (and why would you, when you are so stinking cute that everyone just wants to hold you?) But this morning, our guy got a little adventurous and took a little step towards me. And by the end of the day, this was happening:

So amazing. I am such a proud mom, but at the same time there is something so bittersweet about your baby walking. I am still excited at the thought of Riley and Connor running around together.