Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mother/Daughter Bond

The bond a mother has with her child is beautiful. It's the best feeling in the world to know I'm Leah's favorite person. She lights up when she sees me, and her biggest hugs and kisses are reserved for mama. I'm trying to soak it all up before she becomes a teenager. ;) This post by Joanna Goddard explains that magic of a mother's touch so well.

And I've watched this video at least a hundred times now.

Monday, April 29, 2013


I love weekends. Even though I'm a SAHM, I still look forward to weekends because it means the whole family is together. Leah loves it when she's hanging out with both mama and dada. We had a pretty low key weekend filled with Gymboree, chasing dogs, church, and a TON of smiles and giggles like the photo above. I seriously can't get enough of that smile. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

What I've Learned from Being a Stay At Home Mom

*Here is the third part to my posts regarding being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). Read part 1 here and part 2 here

What I've Learned: 

1. I learned to plan ahead. In the early days, I didn't have a schedule and just went with the flow. This was fine in the beginning when I was adjusting to mommyhood, but I eventually felt like I was in the movie Groundhog Day. I found myself getting bored, the days became long, and I no longer knew what day or time it was. Also, if I decided to do something last minute, by the time I got Leah ready and all her stuff together, she either wanted to take a nap or wanted to eat.
  I eventually figured out that I'm a person that likes to have things planned and organized. I implemented a flexible schedule for each day, so at any given time, I had a sense of what would be going on. For example, at 9:30am Leah would be napping, so I could shower and do laundry or 11:30am is lunch, so I could schedule lunch dates at that time or figure out what I need to make. I really began to enjoy being at SAHM once there was more structure in my life.

2. I learned to take time for myself. Being a new mom, it's really easy to get consumed with all things baby and even easier to forget to take care of yourself. There would be days I stayed in sweats all day or when I forgot to eat lunch. Then I would walk past the mirror and wonder... who is that?!
    Once I put Leah in day care twice a week, I really took advantage of this time. Not only did I use it to get all my errands done, but I also would meet up with friends for lunch, get a pedicure, go to the gym, or do some shopping. I felt refreshed, and when it was time to pick up Leah, I missed her so much, I smothered her in hugs and kisses. It also felt nice to look and feel put together for my husband.

3. I learned to find a group of mommies with kids close to Leah's age. I was one of the first in my group of girlfriends to have a baby. While I love to meet up with them for dinner or get togethers, occasionally I did feel disconnected. This article does a really good job of explaining the feeling.
    When I signed up for Gymboree, I ended up finding a group of mommies that I really connected with. Since then, we've been on numerous play dates where the kids have buddies to hang out with and the moms can have some adult conversation. We've even had a few "Mom's Night Out," and let me tell you, the topics we cover are hilarious!

4. I learned to really appreciate my parents. I've always had a pretty good relationship with my parents. Of course I went through some rebellious teenage years, but I've actually always enjoyed hanging out with them. Even before Leah, I knew my parents worked very hard in order to support the family and give us a comfortable life.
    My parents as grandparents, however, are amazing! They constantly provide us with food that's pre-washed and pre-trimmed, they never turn down a request to babysit, they'll walk around with Leah if she gets restless at restaurants so we can eat, they've traveled with us, and they've watched Leah overnight. We're really blessed that they live close by, and Leah is super attached to them.

5. I learned to appreciate this time I get to be Leah's primary caregiver. She is growing up way too fast, and I find myself taking a moment everyday to mentally note every aspect of this rapidly changing little girl. I may eventually decide to go back to work once the kids are older, but right now, I'm soaking it all up. Today, she'll be a little monkey and want me to carry her all day. Tomorrow, she'll be off to college. ;)

What have you learned since becoming a parent?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Changing My Blog Name?

Leah is also thinking a lot. ;)

So I've been thinking about this a lot, and I'm leaning towards changing the name of my blog. First, there are a handful of other blogs with a similar name like "kelly's kronicles" or "the kelly kronicles." Second, a good friend of mine with a successful blog mentioned people may think my first name is Kelly. While that's not the end of the world, it's definitely not ideal. 

What do you guys think? And any name ideas?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

17 Months!

Dress by dotdotsmile

Leah is 17 months! I feel like we just celebrated her 1st birthday yesterday. She's becoming quite a sassy little girl, and currently, her favorite word is "No." Despite the No's, she continues to give the best hugs and kisses, and she has an amazing sense of humor. She loves to try to trick us or hide from us, and of course we always let her think she's successful. Here are her latest updates:
  • New words: Yes you {bless you}, thanks, yes, ap-be {apple}, please, stinky, puppy, dirty, this, abcd
  • Starting to put more 2 word sentences together like: hi daddy, no more
  • When you ask her to sing, she says "row, row, row"
  • She has started to memorize the stories of her favorite books and knows what to expect on each page. When we read Goodnight Moon, she'll say "Mooo!" right before we turn to the page with the picture of the cow jumping over the moon, and she'll say "shhhh" when we turn to the page with the old lady whispering hush. In The Going to Bed Book, she'll "Grrr!" when she sees the lion and rock back and forth the minute we turn to the last page. 
  • She has started to point to her butt or say "uh oh" when she poops. Maybe she'll be able to tell us before she actually goes soon???? Or is that wishful thinking? 
  • Had her first dental appointment which was a bit traumatizing for her
Leah: You're only 17 months, but you're already starting to want a little independence. You don't always want to hold our hands when you walk, and sometimes you test how far you can go without mommy or daddy stopping you. You can be quite stubborn when we try to steer you in another direction. You love po-po and gung-gung {grandma and grandpa}, and they love the fact that you do. You have such a strong bond with them which hopefully means a nice little vacation for mommy and daddy! ;) It's exciting to see your personality grow, and it's a constant reminder to cherish every moment we have with you. Thank you for being the sweet little girl you are! Here's to another amazing month! xoxo

Friday, April 19, 2013

First Dental Appointment

Unfortunately, Leah's week didn't end as well as it started. I booked her first dental appointment for this morning. When we arrived at the office, she kept saying "Bye! Bye!" to the receptionist. She was occupied by the toys in the waiting room, but continued to say "Byeee!" 

When we stepped inside the office, she immediately started to whine. I got on the chair, and she started saying "Noooo! Noooo!" Once the dentist approached her, it was full-blown crying. I think that actually might have helped the dentist since her mouth was wide open! They were really quick and even managed to get a cleaning. I was impressed with how calm and sweet they were despite her crying. She got her toy and balloon, and we were out.

Hooray! She survived her first trip to the dentist! 

Last but not least, thoughts and prayers go out to those in Boston. 


Over pictures by this point and wants to get on the rides!

Leah started the week off well by getting to go to Disneyland on Wednesday.  We need to take advantage of our annual passes! My parents joined us, and of course, we had tons of fun. My mom agreed - an instant smile comes across your face the minute you pass through the gates. 

She doesn't look like she's having fun, but she's just too focused on her surroundings!

Having an annual pass is really nice when you have young kids. We got there, went on 4 rides, had lunch, and left. We didn't feel obligated to spend the whole day there to make up for the $87 1 day ticket price. After every ride, Leah clapped her hands! It was cute to watch, especially since some of those Fantasyland rides can be a little on the scary side. 

When we got on the Peter Pan ride, it actually ended up stopping! The lights went on, and they announced they were having technically difficulties. It was cool to see some of the behind-the-scenes work. Those clouds you see during the ride look like they're made out of trash bags! The staff were super nice and asked if we were okay. I was nervous Leah wouldn't be able to sit still that long, but she did great! After about 15 minutes, they had us safely back to the starting point. 

Grandpa celebrating the end of tax season with his granddaughter.

After we were done with the rides, we headed to Downtown Disney for lunch at Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria. The restaurant was super kid friendly, providing Leah with crayons, a small bowl of fruit , and milk in a cup with a lid. We headed home after lunch, and Leah passed out by the time I exited the parking lot. 

Did I mention how much I love Disneyland??? :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Life as a Stay At Home Mom

*Here's the second part to my posts regarding being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). Read about my decision to stay at home here

Wonder what being a SAHM is like? I'll break down what life has been like by Leah's age since it has changed as she has gotten older. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

An Afternoon in Griffith Park

I sometimes wish we had a flat backyard where Leah could freely run around and play. However, we actually do have the most amazing backyard that just requires a short 5 minute drive. Before Leah, we usually just hiked in Griffith Park and occasionally went up to the Observatory. This past year we have been discovering all the different gems inside the park, and it really is one of the best LA destinations.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cheers, It's Friday!

After having two crazy busy weekends, I'm hoping this one will be mellow! I'm dreaming of sleeping in, breakfast in bed, and lounging on the sofa watching tv. Wait... who am I kidding?? I have a 16 month old. We don't have any specific plans, but I'm sure it will be full of adventures! 

What are your plans? Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Deciding to be a Stay At Home Mom

*Since it's Thursday, I thought I'd have a throwback of some old photos, as well as my story of how I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). Warning: this post is super long.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Weekend in iPhone Pics

My little monkey

I'm obsessed with pigtails.

This weekend was another blur spending time with another cousin from Hong Kong. Saturday, after the boys played golf, the family got together for dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill.  I'm not always a fan of these big chain restaurants, but I must admit, they are usually awesome at creating a family-friendly environment. I have a new appreciation for crayons and table cloth made of paper. 

Spring Street Smoke House: This photo does not do this place justice

Sunday, the family came up to our house for lunch and to watch the Laker game, which was a big disappointment. I made shrimp tacos from this post, and it was so easy to make for a larger party! I don't think I can ever get tired of looking at these pics of Leah and my niece. They really have so much love for each other! Leah also tried to give lots of hugs to my baby nephew, but I was too busy making sure she wouldn't smash him that I wasn't able to get a photo. After the game, we headed to Spring Street Smoke House to give my cousin a taste of some BBQ. 

Monday, I dropped my cousin off at the airport, and Matt and I headed to Redondo Beach for the soft opening of Rita's Ice! I guess Rita's is a Philly favorite, and since Matt lived there for a few years, he was excited to hear about this opening. The combo of the ice and the custard is delicious! The tanginess  of the fruity ice is such a complement with the creaminess of the custard. 

And on a totally different note: Have you watched Fashion Star on NBC? I'm totally addicted and already bought two items.... oops. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mom Meals: Pot Roast

Pot roast is one of Matt's favorite dishes. While it can take up to 4 hours to make, with a little help from Trader Joe's, you can significantly decrease the time. When I don't plan ahead, I just throw all the ingredients in a pot over the stove and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Since I did plan for this post, I used a slow cooker to let the juices get extra flavorful!

Pot Roast
Serves 4

1 package Trader Joe's precooked Pot Roast
1 package Trader Joe's Teeny Tiny Potatoes {perfect size for little hands}
4 Carrots, peeled and cut in 2 inch pieces
1 pound Green Beans
2-3 cups Beef Stock
1/2 cup Red Wine {optional, but it gives the sauce a richer flavor}

1. Place potatoes (including the rosemary in the package), green beans, and carrots in a slow cooker
2. Place pot roast on top
3. Add in beef stock and red wine
4. Turn slow cooker on low, cover, and heat for 2 hours. Break the meat up 30 minutes before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste
5. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The 2nd Happiest Place on Earth

I believe Disneyland truly is the happiest place on earth for young and old. You instantly stand up tall and get a big smile on your face the minute you pass through the entrance gates! California Adventures (CA) is a close 2nd! 

Cousins from Hong Kong were in town and wanted to check out CA yesterday. This was Leah's first exposure to the magic of Disneyland. Even when we exited the freeway on Disneyland Dr. she yelled out "WOW!"

The cousins had such a good time hanging out with each other. They patiently sat through parades and waited in lines, and they often held hands as they walked through the park. How adorable is that?! 

Leah really wasn't sure what was going on when we boarded the first ride. When the ride finished, however, she kept saying "More! More!" After that she was itching to get on any ride she could. Since she wasn't tall enough to go on all the rides the bigger cousins went on, she stayed back with my mom a few times while the rest of us stood in line. Every time I saw them after a ride, my mom bought her something new (juice, frozen lemonade, etc.). Lucky granddaughter! 

So we had such a good time, I gave in and bought annual passes! I can't wait to go again! Seeing the excitement on Leah's face brought an entirely new sense of happiness about Disneyland. She only took a 30 minute nap the entire time we were there, because she didn't want to miss anything. When I finally put her in the car, she fell asleep in probably 0.5 seconds! Until we meet again, Mickey!

P.S. We all know Disneyland is super kid friendly, but here are some services they provide to make the experience as convenient as possible.
  • Stroller rentals: We brought our own stroller, but I saw a ton of people using them. They looked super clean and sturdy!
  • Locker rentals: Bringing young children often means lugging around a ton of stuff! You can rent different sized lockers and have unlimited access to them throughout the day. 
  • Baby center: The center provides areas to nurse, pump, and change diapers! Every restroom also has a diaper changing area. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!

What a weekend! 

We started it off with a visit to the Easter bunny at Americana in Glendale. As you can see, Leah didn't really enjoy the bunny too much. haha She did, however, LOVE walking into the Tiffany & Co store over and over again. Future boyfriends... take note!

Saturday, we headed down to Orange County for lunch with the family and an egg hunt. This was Leah's first time egg hunting, and she had a blast! She picked up the concept quickly, and it was so fun watching her! The big kids were sweet and left the low eggs for her to find. 

We came back home and had a date night at Red O and The Groundlings. The Groundlings is an improv & comedy theater with some amazing alumni like Will Ferrell, Kristin Wig, Maya Rudolph, and Lisa Kudrow. This was our first time there, but definitely not our last!

Sunday, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Afterwards, Leah decided she wanted to do some dusting.  :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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