Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Anna @ 8.5 months

Anna is 8.5 months old.
push faster papa!
Almost on the same day that I wrote in her 7.5 months old post that she has been waking up at night, she decided to sleep through the night again. Yay!

On weekdays, under Grandma’s watch, she takes two naps a day. Wakes up around 6:30am – 7am and goes to bed around 6:30pm – 7pm. Very structured and I like the routine we have established.

On the weekends, however, she can be up for 4+ hours before she needs a nap. (Maybe she knows we are easier to manipulate?) Then by the time she needs another nap, sometimes I just keep her up until bedtime, which may be as early as 6pm! I give mad props to Grandma for putting Anna down for naps so easily on the weekdays. I, on the other hand, struggle to do so.

Either way, she seems to be happy and well-rested.

I am still making baby food for Anna. It takes about 1.5 hours of my Sunday to make enough food for the week. I am trying to introduce her to new food all the time – new this month is yogurt and oatmeal. To save money, I buy a big tub of organic yogurt and mix in homemade apple sauce prior to each feeding. I also bought a box of steel-cut oats that will last a long time. They are more economical than buying baby-specific yogurt or Gerber oatmeal. I refer to this website for all things baby food.

Anna eats 3 meals a day:
Breakfast: Oatmeal + Fruit Mix and/or Yogurt + Fruit Mix
Lunch: Rice + Veggies + Meat Mix
Dinner/Snack: Bits and pieces of whatever we are having

In between the meals, she’s offered four 200cc bottles a day. Sometimes she finishes them, sometimes she doesn’t.

I feel Anna is a good eater, but she’s still a small girl.

Anna definitely understands when we say "no" if she touches something she's not supposed to. She'll touch it again, and again, and again, but will stop every time we say “no”. Most of the time she eventually leaves it alone. She also knows her name…I believe.

She now crawls like a bulldog, pulls herself to stand + tests herself by letting go + lowers herself back down, and cruises along furniture. She knows how to crawl up the one step from family room to breakfast area, but hasn’t figure out how to go down without falling on her face (happened to her once and now she’s super careful). Anna is a rock star when it comes to gross motor skills!
looking so big
However.

She still only has two teeth (kids her age usually have more already!), not quite self-feeding (the dogs end up getting all her puffs), and isn’t waving bye or clapping.

I guess it just to show that everyone develops differently.

Whatever pace Anna sets for herself, she’s my sweet girl.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, November 29, 2010

the return of the gogo box

Back in our rental days, Pargo had this box by the window that he laid on for hours a day. I think it’s safe to say that it was his favorite place to be – where he napped, sunbathed, and people-watched. Eventually when Pesto joined the family, he also learned that the box was a great place to be.

{Haha, a blast from the past. Look at how young Pargo looked, still full of black hair. Dogs grow up too fast, too.}
IMG_4469
Since moving to our new place, P&P have just been hanging out in the family room (which is in the back of the house) all day long, with nothing to see but the baby terrorist and the screened-in porch.

They were bored.

So over the holiday weekend, I was about to toss away some old diaper boxes when hubby decided to repurpose them and create a new and better window box for the dogs.

He taped two boxes together, added layers of old company t-shirts for padding, and taped everything down. Then using an old bed sheet, he covered the box and pinned the corners neatly.
old diaper boxes
We put the box by the window in the foyer. Of course, the view outside isn’t as action-packed anymore as we live in a quiet neighborhood, but I think they are still happy to have it back.

The box is so nice that Anna wants to get on it, too. new gogo box

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Happy {black} Friday!

Yesterday evening, we loaded up our little family (dogs included) and headed over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house to spend Anna's first Thanksgiving with hubs' side of family. No turkey for us, but we did have roasted duck and chicken wings.

On my agenda today: chores around the house. I already swiffer'ed the kitchen floor + mudroom and Hubby is painting Anna's room as I type. No driving around for deals for us, although I did hit up CVS this morning for free toothpaste and shampoo. :)

Hope you all enjoy the rest of the long weekend.
Giddy for...roasted duck!
craft time

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

8

chasing the fishies
i love putting Anna up in front of our tank* everyday.
it’s awesome to see her chase the fish with her hands.
which just reminds me once again:
the coolest thing about being a Mama is that every ordinary thing is new again. Every little thing is a big thing.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

why, hello!

April's Visit
I have been MIA but not without a reason. My cousin (+ her hubby) were in town from Taiwan and we had been playing. Um...mostly at the mall. I do believe my cousin did her part (and probably the part of 100 others) in stimulating the economy and even I caught her shopping bug and splurged quite a bit on some pretty bowls in Anthropologie.

Fun is over and it’s back to work today, but thankfully, another long weekend is upon us!
pretty bowls at Anthro

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

messy

mess maker
It's pretty amazing. One minute she was a placid little baby, and now she's a hurricane, crawling around with noise and energy, creating havoc and mess wherever she goes, getting into EVERYTHING.

Keeping all her baby stuff organized is a losing battle and I’ve learnt to just sigh and put up with the mess.

Because if not, I will probably drive myself crazy with all the never-ending cleaning up!
hi mama
Photos: Taken just earlier today, right before she messed up my neatly arranged shelves.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The other night,

Sasha's Birthday
I had the most relaxing experience in a long time.

I was invited to a one-year-old birthday party at a steakhouse. (How fancy.)

I brushed the knots out of my hair, put on a clean shirt, and changed out of my pajama pants. I left the baby at home and spent the next two and half glorious hours pigging out and chatting with my friends.

There was a salad bar with all the trimmings and meats were brought to the table and carved in front of us. Top sirloin, ribs, filet mignon, rib eye. Everything was juicy, tender, and scrumptious!

At the end, there were no dishes to wash and a slice of birthday cake – poof! - magically appeared in front of me.

Ahhhh…I was in heaven.

The next day I wrote to my friend, telling her just exactly what a wonderful time I had.

She responded with a laugh, “Having a child really makes one appreciate these things!”

I don’t think any moms would argue with her on that.

(Thanks again Irena and HB to Sasha!)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, November 15, 2010

8 months

Anna Banana,

At 8 months, you love tearing magazines into iddy-biddy pieces, playing extreme peekaboo, and flirting with yourself in front of the mirror. You become a little terror and throw a fit if we don’t share our dinner with you. But then you switch back to a perfect angel and are the best snuggle buddy.

Over the space of a month, your development has exploded and progressed at lightning speed. You went from commando crawling, to a little hand-foot shuffle, to skillfully crawling on all fours. You crawl like a slow creeping lizard, pausing and examine your surroundings.

You are really good at pulling yourself up to stand now. So good that I don’t feel the need to watch your every attempt. You are not cruising, but love practice walking with us holding you.

One night after a few licks of chocolate, you went on a sugar high and went completely wild. You were as happy as can be and your giggles rang throughout the house. That was a fun night.

You are all about “mamamamama.” And sometimes you spit out “bababa.” Can’t wait until you actually say it TO US. You are a little girl with a sweet personality. Every day is an adventure with you in our lives.

In case I haven’t said it in the last, oh, 20 seconds, you are a delight.

I am 8 months old
magazine fun

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

a little trip to great falls park

Great Falls Park 13Nov2010
The weather was SPECTACULAR!

We were heading into DC, to the zoo, but opted to take Anna to Great Falls Park - a mere 10-minute drive from home - at the last minute.

I have been to the park more than a dozen times, but today, we climbed down jagged rocks and enjoyed peace near the water, away from the crowd.

The air was crisp. The scenery was pretty. The sun was warm. It was a great day to be out...and to forget about the house chores for a while.

Great Falls Park 13Nov2010
Great Falls Park 13Nov2010
More images from the trip here.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yellow No More

So...a couple of weeks ago, we hired the same people who painted the entire house yellow 10 years ago and had them re-paint to more refreshing colors. Something that doesn’t scream: old people live here!

But first, I will step back and say outsourcing the painting job to professionals was a smart decision. Yes, we could’ve easily (or maybe not so easily?) done the messy job ourselves, but with $1800, we only had to live in chaos for two days instead of months. Not to mention the CLEAN work that these guys did. It was money well spent.

It took them two days to apply two coats of paint to the entire first level (including pantry closet, hall closet, mudroom), the stairs, upstairs hallway, and the master bedroom. It's amazing what cans of paint can do to a house. It seems like our house has completely transformed and we are absolutely loving it.

Around the same time, the furniture set for living room was delivered. And immediately, we started putting holes in the wall and hung up some pictures.

Here is our house as it stands today:

The living room. Eventually, when we start using the room more, it will appear less like a showroom and more lived-in. I adore the muted blue-grayish color. The entire main level is in this color except the kitchen, breakfast area, and family room.

The bookshelves are from IKEA for $25 each. Best deal ever.

Living Room
Living Room
The color of breakfast area and family room is hard to describe. It's a bit of pink and purple and gray. It was close to Anna's bedtime when we stood in front of all the paint chips at Home Depot. I almost lost my mind for a moment and wanted bright orange (eeek!), but re-gained conscience and thought it would look too funky and loud. Hubby picked this color at the last minute, just when Anna declared that it was time to go.

I am not entirely sold on my desk area. I still need to find a way to get organized. Since the desk is right next to the mudroom, we use it as a place to keep our keys, rings, cell phones...things that we need to grab as we head out. Right now, they sort of just lay on the desk...which drives me crazy.
IMG_0815
We made a couple of updates to the family room since the last time I posted. Plants, pictures, and a new coffee table (no corners so safer for the baby in picture).

Oh yes, please note that we have the mini pumpkins still up on display and a bowl of ornaments on the coffee table. We celebrate all holidays concurrently around here.
Family Room
The kitchen is bright green, which I will share next time!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Holiday Cards, Personalized!

The holiday card season is upon us and, this year, I am thinking ahead.

With a baby and a full-time job, I am always short on time. So making cards from scratch is out. Even finding time to go to Hallmark is questionable. The easiest solution? Buy online!

I found some really cute ones that are ready-to-order-and-personalized-with-own-photos on Shutterfly*. Not only the quality will be great, but they will be shipped to my door. Nowadays, I find convenience the biggest luxury.

Below are some of my favorite designs, but it's likely that I will find something I love even more when it's time to order. There are so many options.

STATIONERYCARD_5x7-23046-2771-MERCHLARGE_FRONT-v1281039050000125764
STATIONERYCARD_5x7-23017-2632-MERCHLARGE_FRONT-v128103904300083644
STATIONERYCARD_5x7-23017-2548-MERCHLARGE_FRONT-v1281039202000120034
Top: Squee! Really like the festive words and the pop of colors.
Middle: Nothing beats classic black & white.
Bottom: Probably my most favorite. Love the simplicity and the fonts.

Now just need to get a picture of Anna, all decked out in her holiday gear and flashing one of her blinding smiles.

Can't wait to show you the final product!

*Psst! - I’m receiving 50 free cards from Shutterfly for this post, and if you’re a blogger, you can too! Follow this link and check it out!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

de-cluttering the sink area

I've always considered myself more tidy than clean. Clutter's a no-no, but the tub can go un-scrubbed and carpet can go un-vacuumed more than I like to admit. Luckily, hubby is the exact opposite so I consider our place in a very good shape, meaning that people can come by without us scrambling to make the house look presentable.

Anyway, to help with de-cluttering and making the sink area a prettier place to wash dishes, I bought this sponge holder that suctions to the inside of the sink. Now the sponge is out of sight unless we are standing over the sink looking in.

sponge holder
Haha, we have been buying a TON of stuff lately, but I am most excited about this $10 purchase. So excited that I am writing a whole blog post just on it.

Now I am looking for a caddy with cute soap and lotion dispensers to complete the look (and to replace that yucky CVS one).
sink area

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Meeting C

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to meet a fellow blogger. C and I have been reading each other’s blog for quite a while now. She followed me through my pregnancy, and now my (mis)adventures in motherhood. I followed C’s move from Singapore to USA, and now her life in Cleveland.

When she was going to come to my neck of the woods, we knew we had to meet up!

C was everything like I thought she would be. Chirpy, friendly, and SO excited to get her hands on Anna. My babe is usually shy with strangers, but she did so well with C. Happy and giggly. I wish C and her hubby lived nearby so they could be our babysitters. :)

C brought gifts! Among them was an outfit for Anna. The purple hat that Anna is sporting in the picture is part of the outfit.

Well, I don’t know who else would be willing to just come over to my house and help me entertain Anna for several hours, but that’s exactly what this blog friend did. On top of that, she gave the dogs lots of attention too.

I know I have added another friend to my life. And hope it won’t be long before we see each other again.
Anna & C
Photo: Normally, I would not post such blurry picture, but this is just to show how uncontrollably happy Anna was in C’s arms.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

happy birthday to pargo.

I am 5
this boy turns 5 years old today.
he is officially the oldest member of our family.
for his birthday breakfast, he inhaled a chicken jerky.
birthday dinner menu will include sliced chicken breast sautéed in basil-infused oil.
no cake this year, but a spoonful of peanut butter should do the trick.
extra tummy rub will follow. extra petting and loving, too.
and a new fleece blanket will show up…as soon as I find time to place the order.
(sorry buddy for the delay.)
gogo, time has changed. we can't give you our undivided attention any longer, but you are still the sweetest little doggie.
thank you for all the love.
xoxo.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Anna @ 7.5 months

I am a few days late, but Anna is 7.5 months old.

Ever since her fever and sprouting teeth, her sleep has never been the same. Anna used to sleep 12 hours through the night, but recently, she wakes up anywhere from 0-3 times a night. In most cases, we can put her back to sleep just by holding her, but sometimes we give her a bottle. It just depends on the situation. Sometimes if we hear her just mumbling to herself, we let her fall back to sleep on her own.

Her sleep habit isn’t horrible, but how I wish we can have uninterrupted sleep again!

IMG_0600
On the other hand, she still takes two solid naps a day.

Anna has been eating well lately. Grandma feeds her solids twice during daytime (sweet potato + fruit mix for breakfast and mushy rice + meat + veggies mix for lunch) and we give her a little bit of whatever we are eating for dinner. The other day she had tomato sauce (from our pizza, haha). She drinks 4-5 bottles (160-200cc per bottle) a day, depending on if we feed her in the middle of the night.

I am going to start offering her Gerber puffs so she can practice self-feeding. Also on my shopping list is ground oats and plain yogurt.
family
She is so cute when it comes to wanting to eat whatever we are eating. Case to point, she doesn’t like plum juice, but when she saw us drinking it, she will happily open her mouth.

Anna is a bubbly and healthy. She’s interactive – when we smile at her, she smiles back. She laughs when she sees Pesto running wild. She can entertain herself for quite a while as long as we are nearby. She has been babbling "mamamamama", but I don't think she's referring to me.

She's just a joy to be around.
IMG_0593
fall colors
Photos: We went to a nearby park, hoping to view some fall foliage. Alas, we were maybe a week too late. Nearly all the leaves have fallen.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!