Saturday, May 29, 2010

Look Back Saturday: Water Baby Playdate

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  Let's take the time to remember all the men and women who have fallen protecting our freedom and way of life.  The hubby served in the U.S. Navy for 8 years and I am proud and thankful for his service to our country.

Well, it's the 3rd posting in my "Look Back Saturday" series.  This picture was taken May 31, 2009.  Believe it or not, I didn't have a photo from May 29.


Taylor and I hosted a water playdate with some close friends.  The kids were still pretty young, so I opted for a little splash pad and water table instead of a baby pool.  They kids had so much fun!  Here is Taylor and her friend Cameron.  Cameron is about 6 weeks younger then Taylor, but he's much bigger and taller.  When I look back at this picture it makes me think of a child's innoncence.    This is a hard post for me to write because it makes me worry what kind of world she is going to have to grow up in.  Let's face it, today's world forces kids to grow up faster then they should and I know that I can't protect her from everything.  I just hope that I raise her with good values so that she can make good decisions on her own.  Guess that's the best any parent can do.  Sorry for keeping this post short, like I said, this is a hard one for me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sneaky Fruits & Veggies!

If you know anything about Taylor, you'd know that she is a VERY finicky eater!  She loves her carbs: tater tots, french fries, hash browns, rice and pasta.  She'll indulge in chicken nuggets and fruits once in a while, but vegetables will not pass her mouth.  A friend suggested giving her V8 juices which offers a full serving of fruits and vegetables.  I thought it was brillant!  Until I realized, Taylor doesn't drink juice either (she's a water or milk kinda gal).  Needless to say, it's a stressful situation for me b/c I feel like she's missing out on an entire food group! 

With the weather becoming warmer, Taylor has enjoyed the occasional popsicles we give her.  While we were at the Dollar Store this past weekend, the hubby spied one of those popsicle molds so you can make them at home.  Then I had an idea!  Turn the vegetables into popsicles!

We started off with some orange juice (for the fruit) and V8 (for both fruits and veggies). 



Pour into the popsicle mold, freeze and voila!  Fruit and veggies on a stick!  Much cheaper then the store bought version and much healthier too!

Taylor seems to enjoy it and mom is happy that she's finally eating her fruits and veggies!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Look Back Saturday: Blossoming

My second "Look Back Saturday" posts and I'm already a few days behind.  Better late then never I guess.  So let's pretend I posted this on Saturday May 22, 2010.

Here's #2 in the series:  May 22, 2009


This picture was taken at my mother's house on a beautiful spring evening, right before the sun was about to set.  My mother LOVES gardening and during this particular year, her peonies had blossomed so beautifully.  When I look at this picture I think of my parents and how much they too have blossomed and changed since Little Muon was born. 

When I was pregnant, I promised myself that Taylor would have a relationship with her grandparents since I either never met or did not have a close relationship with my own.  I make an effort to have Taylor visit with my parents at least once a week.  It's been amazing watching them interact with her.  Growing up, my parents were not the affectionate type.  The first kiss I remember my father ever giving me was on my wedding day after he walked me down the aisle.  And the kiss was under the instruction of the preacher!  Even to this day, it sometimes feels a little awkward to hug my parents. 

I guess as they've gotten older and are no longer raising a family, the daily stresses of life has changed alot for them.  It's amazing to watch them shower Taylor with kisses and hugs when my sister and I really never had that kind of relationship with them.  Like the flowers, my parents have blossomed into wonderfully, loving grandparents.  Upon reflection, I realize that the day our Little Muon was born, we all were thrown into a new role in life and have blossomed into a mother, a father, a grandmother, a grandfather, an aunt or an uncle.  How amazing that one tiny human being can bring upon so many wonderful new changes and adventures to an entire family!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Little Muon & A Big Red Truck!

When I first became pregnant, none of my close friends had kids (actually, they still don't).  I didn't think they would be able to relate to stories of sleepless nights, screaming babies and the excitement of a poopy diaper (really, i'm being serious)!  Plus, since I was new to this whole "mommy" gig, I really wanted to find a way to connect and learn from other mothers.  I googled "mommy group" and up popped Meetup.com.

Meetup is a site where you can find a network of local groups.  Are you new to the area, interested in photography, gardening, or whatever? Meetup probably has a group that's just right for you.  And no, it's not about meeting a bunch of strangers online. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. Yup, FACE TO FACE!  And that's how I found the local Mommy Groups in my area.

I've met some really great friends thru these groups and they've helped me feel not so alone in my new role as a mom.  Plus, it's a great opportunity for Taylor to interact and socialize with kids her age.  Unfortunately, these groups are usually catered to stay at home moms, but Daddy is willing to step in for me on occasions.

My Ellicott City Mommy Group hosted a visit to the firestation today.  Taylor and Daddy had a great time!  Here are some pics from today's outing:




And one last one that had me laughing.  Taylor is in this phase where she HATES getting her picture taken.  Dad blames it on us taking too many photos of her and scarring her for life from a camera!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sneak Peak: Taylor's turning 2!

A sneak peak at Taylor's 2nd birthday.  Can you guess the theme?  I'm loving the invitation!  Thanks to my 'lil sis for coming up with such a great design.  Click on the image to view larger.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Look Back Saturday: Miss Sassy


Since Taylor's been born, I've made sure that I've taken atleast one picture a week of her.  I know, a little excessive, but pictures can be pretty powerful.  They capture a moment in time that can evoke feelings and emotions that you may have forgotten, bring back a smile or laughter and sometimes even a few tears. 

I want to create a weekly post called "Look Back Saturday".  I know, it's not a great name, but it's a pretty basic concept; I'll post a picture of Tayls from this week LAST year and share my thoughts and feelings on what the picture is about.

Here's the first in the series:  May 17, 2009


Taylor is 11 months old here, getting ready for her first birthday in about 3 weeks.  She's been walking for about 2 months already and has become pretty good at it (even though she gets unbalanced easily).  As you can tell, she also has her two upper and two lower teeth.  I love this picture because you can really see her personality coming thru.  It's not a great shot, but she's already becoming Miss Sassy!  We were playing in the basement when I took this picture. She was walking every where and wouldn't sit still.  Several attempts were made to climb the stairs (thanks to grandma who had been teaching her this whenever we go to visit).  I should have known that once Taylor became mobile, it was no stopping her.

Taylor will be turning 2 years old in a few weeks and this picture makes me feel a little sad.  I can't believe how fast time has gone by!  She's changed so much in a year.  Physically, she is still a very petite little girl, but so rambunctious and energetic.  She loves to dance, jump, and run.  She is so incredibly loving.  When she gives me or her dad a hug, it seems like she's cradling our face in her hands and gives us the biggest, most loving embrace.  She's still very sassy and is no stranger to the time out corner!  She is constantly changing and learning every day.  She is quite the chatter box and sometimes I have to stop and ask her where she learned to say that word.  I am amazed that she can verbally interact with us now.  It makes my heart melt whenever I hear her say "I love dya". 

I love dya too Taylor!   

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shadowing: Baby E's Photo Session

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I've always been interested in photography.  My father LOVED to take photos of us growing up.  My mother kept every single photo and neatly organized them.  I would spend hours going thru photo albums, smiling, laughing and remembering all those wonderful moments that Dad captured.  But, I never took photography on as a serious hobby until Taylor came along.  I wanted to give her the same gift my parents gave to me; capturing her life thru the lens.  And hopefully, one day, when she is older, she too gets the same warm feeling I get whenever I open a photo album. 

My sister, Trang has been teaching me about photography; taking pictures on manual vs. auto, lighting, composition, texture, etc...  It's a lot harder then it looks.  I've had the privilege of "shadowing" her on a few photo sessions.  This allows me to practice my photography skills as the second shooter.  This past weekend, I was able to shadow at Baby E's 1 year old photo session.  What a doll!

Some of Trang's images below.  See her blog about E's session here.



Here are some of my shots.  Mom and Baby E are so photogenic!


Mom has an affinity for feet.  I thought it was a strange request at first, but I'm actually digging this shot.


And nothing like matching pink shoes!  Happy Birthday Baby E! 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A New Appreciation for Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I hope everyone enjoyed this very special day. I didn't realize how special it was until I became a mommy myself. Seriously, I'm not being bias! I've always had a rocky relationship with my mother. I think it's because we are so much alike! All this changed the day Taylor was born. I now felt all the fears, worries, hopes and dreams for my Little Muon that my mother must have felt for me. And I finally understood why she was always pushing me so hard to be better, work harder and aim higher. I thought it was her being overly critical, but now I know it's because she only wanted me to have a better life then she did. And being a mom to Taylor made me understand that same desire. So today's post is dedicated to my mother. Thank you so much for all that you've done and continue to do! I love you mom!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Role Reversal!

I am lucky to have a very close relationship with my sister, Trang.  Although we are different in a lot of ways, we're also alike in many others.  Not to mention, she ALWAYS laughs at my jokes because we have the same silly sense of humor.  I'm proud to call her my best friend.  I've blogged about her in the past (here, here and here) and her many talents; many of which I've used to my own advantage!  She has been capturing beautiful images of Taylor since she was born, so when she asked me to do a photosession for HER, I was more then excited... and nervous.  I'm an amateur photographer, but have never really taken it seriously as a hobby until Taylor was born.  Trang's been teaching me her skills so that I can take better photos of Taylor myself.  This role reversal would be a true test of what I've learned so far, but Trang is so gorgeous that it's hard to take a bad photo of her.  Here are some of my favs.




Blessed

I am so blessed with such a wonderful family.  This includes extended family as well.  As financially ready as you try to be, you don't realize how expensive kids are until you have one.  When it came time to look for daycare, I knew it would be as much as my monthly mortgage!  Thank goodness for my Aunt Lan who recommended her sister in law.  Taylor has practically grown up with Co Nga and sees her as her Grandmother #2.  She is tripley spoiled between my family, daddy's family and Co Nga's family.  I am truly thankful that my daughter has so many people in her life that love her.  Wanted to share a post from Lynn (Co Nga's daughter) about Taylor.  It made me want to cry! 

Here's a snippet of the post:

Drove about 40 minutes to get home and it was all worth it!! I love Taylor. She excitedly ran to the door with a big smile on her face and screaming. (Brings back memories of grandma...not the screaming lol, but grandma would always be at the door when I came home from school and greet me with a big hug. =) ) Walked in the house, didn't even take my shoes off yet and she had her arms up for me to pick her up...so I did. And out of nowhere, she gives me a kiss. How can you not love her? She followed me around, tried to put on my heels and walk, and when I stood still she'd come by and hug my leg. I didn't want to leave, but I had to get to class. She gave me a kiss before I left, and wouldn't let my mom hold her. She just held onto me and wouldn't let go. haha. When I did leave, she blew kisses from the door. Taylor made my day. No matter what happened I was content. Had a smile on my face all the way back to school and home and kept me going for the remainder of the week. (Wish she was here right now so I could squish her!)

Oh how the simple things can be so great! We sometimes forget, but the small things and simple gestures are often the most meaningful things.

What are some small simple things in life that are most meaningful to you?
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