Thursday, December 27, 2012

Family Photos 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas with their loved ones.  Ours was amazing, and it has been so much fun to experience the magic of Christmas through the eyes of Leah.

On the 24th, we celebrated with my family in Orange County. The minute Leah saw her cousins, she was pretty much in heaven. She kept giving them hugs and kisses and followed them all around the house. The older cousins are so good with her. 

After everyone arrived, we ate dinner which always stars my dad's famous prime rib. I'm craving left overs as I type this. Then we had a grab bag/white elephant gift distribution which looks like the start of a new tradition. My uncle always brings a TON of assorted items from work {a sporting goods retailer} such as golf items, sunglasses, swim gear, exercise equipment, flash lights, and other knick knacks. Each family has a number, and we just go down family by family and choose an item. The little ones really get into this. I'm also realizing I need to do a better job of taking photos of these events.  

Leah was starting to get super tired by this point, so we quickly took some family photos and started to open gifts.  Once I get a hold of the big group shot, I'll post it. We knew it would take forever to go through all the gifts, so I let her open one gift, then let her explore all the other toys people got. She didn't really get the idea of opening presents, but she definitely gets the idea of new toys.  She pointed, shook, and dragged around any toy around her. We left shortly after opening gifts, and stayed over at my parents' house that night since we were headed to San Diego Christmas day. 

This morning, we woke up and Santa arrived! ;) Since I've never missed a Christmas morning at my parents' house, my mom still packs a stocking for me. She also has one for Matt and Leah. It's one of my favorite Christmas morning traditions. We opened our stocking gifts, and then let Leah open the rest of her presents. 

Afterwards, we packed up and headed to San Diego to spend Christmas with Matt's family. Matt's mom recently moved to a house on the same street as his brother! We toured the new house, then walked over to his brother's to meet up with everyone else. We opened more presents and ate lunch from Bucca Di Beppo. Leah has had a jam packed 2 days, but she loved every second of it. She was so playful with everyone, and even when she was tired, she powered through it and wanted to keep playing! With all these tragic events occurring in our world, this Christmas was extra special. To be able celebrate the birth of Jesus with our families is truly a blessing.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Baby Kayla!

Part of the fun of the holidays is being able to catch up with friends who are coming back in town. On the 24th, my college gfs and I reunited for a Korean BBQ lunch in Cerritos and then visited Baby Kayla! She's 2 weeks now and so tiny and adorable.  I definitely miss those days when Leah was that tiny. Can't wait for future playdates with Leah and Kayla.  My have times changed since our college days!  

Friday, December 21, 2012

13 Months!

Photo by Bob Cho

Photo by Bob Cho

Since Leah turned 1, I kind of forgot about monthly updates. It's been hard keeping up with this girl! Here are some updates:
  • Says "mo" for "more"
  • Starting to shake her head for "no" now.  Hopefully, it will be awhile before she actually says it. ;)
  • Starting to get a little picky with her food. One day she'll love peas, the next day she'll throw them on the floor. She will often protest now at the start of a meal, but once she gets the food in her mouth, she'll want more. Mealtimes are definitely not my favorite time of the day anymore.
  • Loves to brush her own teeth
  • Really starting to understand instructions and follow them
  • Loves to walk/run when we're holding both her hands, but is a lot more hesitant when we let go of one of her hands 
Leah: You are becoming a lot more independent now that you are 1. I can put you down at daycare without you clinging onto me or crying. You don't even flinch when I leave. At the park, you will start crawling all over and barely notice if I'm there. At night though, when we put you to bed, you always want mommy to hold you first before you start pointing to your crib.  You're also a very curious little girl, just like your mama was. You examine your surroundings, your toys, people...everything. It's so cute seeing the wheels in your head turn, and I know you're learning new things everyday. We love you!  xoxo mommy and daddy

Monday, December 17, 2012

First School Picture!

Sorry for the ginormous photo, but I wanted to share Leah's first school picture! It cracks me up! Leah's bed head, crooked smile, and somewhat demure body position - I can't help but get a goofy grin on my face.  She was also the only baby in her class photo smiling!  Love this girl so much.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I thought a lot today about the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary. I teared up picturing myself in that situation and held Leah a little bit tighter and a little big longer throughout the day.  My heart is broken, and I am also saddened by those who questioned the existence of God as a result.  I think the image above really sums it up - prayer has the healing power to help us recover from this horrific event.

Monday, December 3, 2012

My New Nephew!

Today my sister-in-law gave birth to my beautiful nephew, Michael Jeffrey So {basketball fans - yes, named after Michael Jordan}.  He came in at 5 lbs 15 oz and 19 inches.  

The picture above is big sister next to little brother as newborns.  Crazy how similar they look!  Welcome to the world, Michael! We have so much love for you already!

Gift Giving Ideas: ArtKive

Unfortunately, this idea is actually just a teaser because I don't think the product will be ready for Christmas.  This is a super cute idea if you have kids so bookmark the website ArtKive and download the app!  Kids come home from daycare/school with art projects pretty much everyday.  I already have a stack of "artwork" from Leah that I've been collecting, and I was trying to figure out where I'd eventually store all of it as she grows up. This app allows you to take a photo of the art or project, label it, and store it.  Afterwards, you can use the images to create an album or other type of keepsake.  You don't have to feel guilty for throwing away your child's art!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

This weekend we experienced our first night away from Leah. We went to a wedding at Colony Palms Hotel in Palm Springs.  The Colony is a small, boutique hotel which has old school Hollywood charm. It's the perfect romantic getaway for a couple but not very kid friendly. In their confirmation email, they specifically state that the hotel caters to an "adult experience" and that it's not always ideal for children 3-16.  

While we enjoyed our weekend away to celebrate our friends' marriage, we totally missed Leah and constantly looked at pictures/videos of her.  We tried not to be those parents that only talked about their kid though.  ;) We briefly Facetimed with her, which I think made her a little upset that she could hear and see me but not touch me.  My parents sent us videos and pictures of her (like the one above) to ease our anxiety a little.  So now that we survived one night, maybe it's time to plan a longer getaway....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gift Giving Ideas: OMG! Another Awesome Use for Instagram

I just found out about Castagram last night, and I already made a purchase for myself - oops.  Although I already have people in mind to give these to too.  This site let's you make a custom case for your iPhone, iPod, or Samsung Galaxy using your Instagram or Facebook photos!  My current iPhone case has a picture of Leah when she was a newborn, and I was thinking about getting a new one because it has a small crack which keeps snagging my clothes.  Can't wait to get mine in the mail! has a special where you can purchase it for $15-35 (original price starts at $34.99).  You can use my referral link and get an additional 20% off!  So um yeah... pretty good deal.  I also just realized that I have signed up for way too many of these types of sites.  

Here's the link for the referral:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gift Giving Ideas: A Different Kind of Photo Album

I've been in full Christmas shopping mode the past couple days thanks to Cyber Monday.  I no longer have the patience to brave the crowds, so I mostly do everything online.  I've found some cool stuff out there, and I'll post them to hopefully give you guys ideas too!  

Photos are always a popular and sentimental gift to give loved ones whether they be on mugs, ornaments, albums, calendars, etc.  Instead of the usual photo gift idea, check out Stickygram!  Stickygram takes the photos you've created through Instagram and creates photo magnets!  You get 9 magnets for $14.99 and free shipping.  Each magnet is about the size of how your Instagram photo looks on your phone.  I just ordered some yesterday, and I can't wait to get them!  

If you're interested, use the code FRIENDEVUL and get $2 off your first purchase! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Matt and I have been very fortunate that our families live so close together (as in 1 mile away from each other).  As a result, we've always gotten to spend the holidays with both families. His mom is moving, however, in a couple weeks, so holiday planning is going to get a little bit more interesting.

We spent the afternoon with his family, and Leah pretty much played with Julia the whole time.  In the evening, we went to my parents house.  Again, Leah had a great time playing with all the kids, but she also enjoyed crawling around and exploring the house.  It was pretty cute watching her crawl amongst all these adults.  She also let everyone carry her for a little while!  She got totally overstimulated though and wouldn't sleep until 4am!! She was wide awake and wanted to play while I kept trying to put her to sleep.  Yes, I was a very tired mama the next day.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday!!

Leah turned 1 on the 21st!!  This year has gone by in a blur.  It still feels like yesterday that I gave birth to her, and we had a Thanksgiving lunch at our home since she was too young to take out.  In just the past month Leah has changed so much.  She has really started to imitate the things we do and say, and she's enjoying being more mobile.  We had her 1st birthday party on the 17th, and I'll post pictures once I get them.  Here are some updates:
  • Weights 19 lbs 5 oz and is almost 30 inches
  • Size 3 diapers
  • Has 2 top teeth and 2 bottom teeth with 2 more about to break through
  • Blows kisses 
  • Does the hand motions when we call "Gymbo"
  • Points to her hair and brushes it when I give her a comb/brush
  • Points to her feet and tries to put her shoes and socks on herself
  • Figured out how to climb downstairs sideways
  • Will do the motion of washing her hands
  • Can sign "more"
  • Does the hand motions to "Itsy Bitsy Spider"
  • More willing to cruise rather than whine to be picked up
  • Plays a lot more independently with her toys instead of needing us to entertain her
Leah: This has been the most amazing year of our lives.  God gave us an amazing gift, and we are enjoying every minute of it. I have experienced my most tiring days this year, but also my most joyful. I love getting kisses and hugs from you, and it melts my heart when you rest your head on me when you're tired. When we put you to bed for the night, we always want to give you one more hug or one more kiss as you squirm and point towards your crib, and we wake up in the morning excited to see you.  Mommy and Daddy look forward to the years ahead, but don't grow up too fast okay?  Happy 1st Birthday!!  We love you so much!  xoxo

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Precious Moments

I took Leah out of the car after we got home from Gymboree, and she immediately fell asleep on my shoulder.  I could hear her tiny breaths, and all I wanted to do was keep holding her forever. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thailand: Ko Phi Phi

Our final destination in Thailand was Phi Phi Island.  This place is truly paradise.  In order to get there we had to fly to Phuket.  The guide picked us up and drove us around the island to see the 3 main beaches and then we stopped for lunch.  We were then dropped off at a marina where our hotel arranged a speed boat to take us to Phi Phi Island.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thailand: Chiang Mai

We left for Chiang Mai on the 9th.  We were greeted by our guide at the airport and went straight to the Doi Suthep Temple.  It's perched high above the city and offers amazing views of the city and countryside.  Leah took a liking to the guide, and she let the guide hold her without any protest!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thailand: Bangkok

After Hong Kong, we went to Thailand.  First stop - Bangkok.  Leah has now gotten used to planes and knows people sit behind us.  When we board the plane and put her down, she will stand up on the back and smile at the people behind us.  We also caught her sticking her hand through the crack to touch them.  She made friends quickly with everyone around us.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hong Kong: Family

The main reason we went to Hong Kong was to visit my dad's side of the family.  My dad has 11 brothers and sisters and most still live in Hong Kong.  My 94 year old grandma also moved back a year ago, so I was excited for her to meet Leah for the first time.

On the 3rd, we met up with my cousins Ken and Rowena.  Row took us to a members only Shanghainese.  Leah got to meet her 2nd cousin Chantal and received a super cute Hello Kitty backpack.  Leah has so much fun finding things in her backpack and pulling them out.  

My grandma with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, & Leah exhausted

On the 4th, we had dim sum with the rest of the family.  40 people attended!  I only knew a handful, but it was really special to see so many family members.  There was 4 generations worth of family, and I can't wait to show Leah the pictures when she gets older.  I'm not sure when we'll get a chance to go back to Hong Kong again, so I'm glad we were able to take this opportunity.

On the 5th, we left Leah with my parents and went out to dinner with Ken and Row at 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo.  I'm really bummed I didn't take a picture but the food was delicious.  We had homemade ravioli, rack of lamb, and beef tenderloin.  Yum!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hong Kong: First Few Days

On November 1st, we left for Hong Kong.  Our flight was at 1am, so I was super nervous how Leah was going to be.  After we went trick-or-treating, we did our normal bedtime routine with Leah.  We then woke her up and left her in her PJs when our van arrived at 10:15pm.  She napped a little bit in the car, but was awake the entire time at the airport.  I carried her in the MyCarrier, so I think she stayed pretty calm because of that.  While I wish she would have just slept the entire flight, she still did really well.  She slept in 3 hour chunks, either on me in the carrier or lying on the seat between Matt and I.  When she was awake, she ate and played.  No meltdowns!!  When we arrived, all the passengers around us complimented her on how well behaved she was!  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Birthday Parties

Since Leah's napping right now, I thought I'd catch up on some blogging.  We've attended a bunch of kids' birthday parties the past couple weeks.  My how life has changed now that we have Leah!  

On October 20th, we had Ruby's 1st birthday and Alyssa's 4th birthday.  I also had Jane's baby shower to attend in between  those parties, and it was Matt's birthday!  Whew!  Ruby's was at Grand Park, a new park built in the middle of downtown LA.  Joy brought in food from Heirloom LA which was delicious! Leah got to play with a bunch of her Gymboree friends and then we had to take off and let Leah nap before we went on to the next event.

After Leah napped, Matt and Leah met back up with me at BounceU for Alyssa's birthday.  Leah had so much fun going down the slides with us and bouncing around. There are 3 different bounce rooms with a variety of activities and then everyone goes into a room for pizza and cake.  I can't wait to take her back once she can actually walk and bounce around on her own.

On October 28th, we went to Jihoon's 1st birthday and then Axel's 1st birthday.  Jihoon's party was at Orange Grove Park in South Pasadena.  Lisa had a taco station and snow cone station.  After an hour we left for Axel's party at his parents' store Broome St. General.  Sophie outdid herself with the food. They had the mimosas, lobster mac and cheese, lumpia, a whole rosted pig, and 3 different cakes from Cake Monkey.  Yes, after these two parties, I'm not sure I ever felt so stuffed before.  The next party will be Leah's 1st birthday!!  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

We're in Hong Kong right now, but I wanted to put up some Halloween pics before it's way too late. The whole family dressed as Laker Girls this year, and Matt might have been a bigger hit than Leah. When I saw the baby Laker Girl outfit, I knew I had to get it for Leah so we could match with my old uniform.  Matt said he was going to be a Laker player, but he went out secretly to find his Laker Girl outfit.  He wouldn't let me see him get dressed so he could surprise me. We went to Gymboree in her outfit, and then in the evening we hung out with Bob, Joy, and Ruby to go trick-or-treating.  We definitely enjoyed our first Halloween as a threesome!  
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