Wow, two weeks went by without a WSDW post! It was kind of nice to take a little bit of a break from the blog, but it’s really crazy how fast the days go by even without “working”! With my days completely off, I was still pretty tired running errands, filling my little toddler’s days jam-packed with fun summer activities, sending out my resume and taking calls to get feelers out there for prospective jobs. It’s really surprising how even without my deadlines for blog writing, I was still very busy. Being a stay at home mom is really tiring! It’s one of those things where you can appreciate the exhaustion the other type of mom goes through – either Mom A works all day and is tired from work, cooks dinner, puts baby down to bed, packs up baby bag and meals for day care/babysitter, then passes out. On the other hand, Mom B at home gets up when baby wakes up (or earlier) and from start to finish it’s: meals, cleaning the kitchen/house, picking up after toddler, running errands to the grocery store and Target of course, meal planning, activities, driving in traffic, bedtime routine, laundry. Both are a lot of work and mom doesn’t get much time to herself. Yeesh, that was tiring just thinking about it.
With my little break from blogging and after I wrote last Saturday’s post about high-risk pregnancies, I realized how much I missed having a “purpose” after Jia went to bed. I guess it made me appreciate the work I put into my own posts. I feel like I’m doing something good, aside from raising my little girl. Doing the research and writing up informative posts is kinda energizing – as long as I’m not entirely pooped, that is.
Anyway, continuing on… Continue reading
So, Jeni did a great job introducing me, how we met, and how we came about the #SummerofDad idea. In the last (nearly) 10 years (!) since Jeni and parted ways after graduating from Purdue, I’ve done a lot of things.
I’ve traveled to Costa Rica, Greece, and throughout the US. I worked as a pharmaceutical research coordinator for a couple of years. I applied to grad school a bunch of times (three, to be exact) and even moved to New York City to attend a physical therapy doctoral program. But I dropped out after a few weeks. Luckily, a girl I knew (and liked) moved up from Austin that summer, too. So instead of heading back home, I decided to stay and hang tough in the city and see about a girl. Also, I decided that, since I didn’t know what I wanted to do for graduate school, I needed to try something different: so I got into publishing.
During my four years in New York, two amazing dreams came true: I got to work in publishing for a couple of years at Penguin/Viking (as well as some other very cool places); that girl (Jenny-with-a-y) became my best friend, partner-in-crime, the love of my life, and then my wife. We got married in Austin in 2012 and in 2013 we did an amazing 6-week backpacking trip through Turkey and Greece for our belated honeymoon. About the time we got married I was realizing that publishing wasn’t working for me. Though I love writing, I wanted to get back into science. I learned about genetic counseling and applied — 3rd time’s a charm — for grad school. I ended up getting into my top program at Johns Hopkins and the NIH.
The big life changes kept coming, because almost exactly a year after being accepted, in June 2014, my son Gabriel was born. This past year has been quite a challenge, balancing grad school, family, and my wife’s writing career. I also write, and have published fiction pieces in various places, but most recently I’ve been writing for the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Genome Advance of the Month, where we try to explain interesting developments in genetics research!
So onto the post for this week…
So I’ve been a little MIA lately, because I’ve been dedicating my energy and little spare time I have when Jia is asleep, to job searching (when it’s not collapsing on the couch and indulging in DVR’d episodes of Inside Amy Schumer after intently staring at the monitor until I know Jia’s “out for the count”). I needed some time to send out resumes and schedule phone calls without the pressure of my self-made deadlines to publish my intense research posts here on Little Sproutings.
So the News!…
So I am very excited to share with you some news that has been in the works for a couple of months – my good college friend, Kyle Davis, will be guest posting here on the blog! Kyle and I first met when we both rushed our honor fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi, back in the Spring of 2003 (I am pretty sure it’s 2003) at Purdue University. We made an instant connection – we were both goofballs with a lot of energy. It didn’t matter if he was studying psychology and I majored in dietetics, or that aside from PSP, we didn’t have a whole lot in common. After weeks of pledging into PSP, a couple philanthropic road trips as a group, and many honor fraternity-hosted events around campus, we became good buddies with an obnoxiously silly handshake and penchant for going out dancing at the Neon Cactus and singing song lyrics at the top of our lungs while gyrating in 1920’s costumes.
So, I was going to delay this topic for an unknown length of time because I wanted to write about other things – like, the nutritional changes breastmilk goes through after your baby is 12 months old, the physiological changes that toddlers undergo to indicate readiness to start potty training, etc. because I planned on nursing Jia until she was 18 months old.
But, since I’m getting a bit anxious to get my body back to myself I figured – hey – as long as I was reading up on it, may as well write about it! (And besides, we clocked in an entire 14.5 months of 4 nursing sessions a day.)
First Things First – What’s Recommended? Continue reading
Jia’s happenings as of late: Continue reading
This week has been a fun one, here’s a little recap:
- Bubble Baby: After going to her first kiddie birthday party with a little container of bubbles in her goodie bag, she’s been so entranced when I blow them for her, but she either wanted to blow them herself (which she wouldn’t, she would just put the wand in her mouth after dipping it into the solution) or she wanted to play with more pretty bubbles. So we got a bubble fan machine for her and she is so happy and entertained!
- Camera-Ready! This was by far the most entertaining discovery this week! We were at the playground at the outlet shopping center near our house and wanted to take pictures of Jia and Jeff since they were wearing matching Orioles gear. Jeff was holding Jia and I held up my phone, counting “1…2…3!” and she knows to plaster this huge excited enthusiastic smile, it’s the cutest thing ever! Such a huge smile that you can count all 10 of her teeth! haha… I love this!
- She loves walking – Never really crawls unless she’s climbing on the playground equipment. She squeals with excitement as she runs and is being chased by us or she goes back and forth from Jeff and me, showing us twigs, flowers, leaves, anything she finds that interests her. She’s just such a happy baby! We’re so lucky
- My little eater is getting a bit better! Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches on whole wheat, even scrambled eggs with smoked salmon are going well so far. Her favorite cheese so far is goat cheese (takes after her mama), she’ll eat chunks and chunks of it by itself. She likes hummus with little pieces of pita bread. Loves Boston Market’s meatloaf (doesn’t like my homemade meatloaf… sigh) and their lemony garlicky spinach. Still into homemade sweet potatoes, which I prefer her to eat since they’re purely seasoned with unsalted butter and cinnamon. I also mashed cooked cheesy cauliflower for scrambled eggs and she did well with those, too.
- Naps are still 1 hour 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes. It changes day to day, with no predicting which it’ll be. Jia still goes to bed at about 7:30/7:45 PM, we are now waking up at 6:45-7:15 AM (boy do I miss the days she slept in until 8 AM or even 8:30 AM!) and takes one nap at 11:30 AM until about 12:45/1 PM.
- Stridin’ Rite! We got her first pair of rubber soled shoes! She’d been wearing a pair of Robeez that her Gran got for her for Easter and put some good yardage in with them. Then we’ve noticed she is getting much better at walking, so we took our trip to Stride Rite and got her some pink sparkly Mary Jane sneaker-shoes on sale for $29.99. Those suckers cost around $40-42 a pair at Stride Rite! Anyway I love them, she loves to wear them and walk around everywhere now!
- Got her first boo-boo. We were walking outside before her nap and she took a little stumble to her hands and knees but since she was on the slight downslope on the driveway, she tipped head-first when she propped herself on her hands to get up. She was tough and cried for about 10 seconds but didn’t like when I cleaned up her scrape and put cold triple antibiotic ointment on. She forgot about it pretty fast.
- She is getting very mom-attached. She used to let Jeff play with her in the morning after waking up. But, now she makes a bee-line to our bedroom door to find me and is an unhappy camper if he doesn’t let her into the room. No more sleeping in an extra 45 minutes while Jeff plays with her, it’s go-time right from the start!
- Where’s the Milk?? She’s starting to tug at my shirt and play with the clips of my nursing tops before feedings. Uh oh… Hahaha…
Here’s a recap of the last week:
- She started doing this funny face when my mom was doing it – you know that face you make when you don’t want to scratch your nose but you have an itch? Like an overemphasized whistling face? She copies that face when you do it to her, hehe
- We Asian people are generally familiar with the expression “aiy yaaaaaa!” The Asian equivalent of “Oh geez!” Jia will copy this saying, it’s really funny to us Mom was saying it to her during diaper changes as she wriggled around and she would say it back!
- Generous Doggie Feeder – I filled up her snack cup with those organic rice puffs and she was playing while munching on them. The pugs came up to her and were so excited, trying to find one she’d accidentally drop on the ground as she grabbed fistfuls of puffs to shove into her mouth. So she tried to feed them individual puffs. We’d say “No! No feeding the doggies!” so she walked into the kitchen and started to empty fistfuls of puffs into the doggie food bowls haha!
- Little Baby Bum wins again – I’ve mentioned quite a few times on here how my daughter really doesn’t like car rides. She’ll never be one to conk out when buckled into her carseat. So when she is cranky or just wants to play but we have to go somewhere in the car, she’ll protest… In an effort to minimize how many times I actually have her watching Little Baby Bum on our phones, I decided to hook it up to the car tape adapter and play it through the car’s speakers. Turns out this is just as good! She is completely happy to listen to the nursery rhymes! At least, so far.
- Bath Crayons – I bought her a pack of bathtub crayons for her Easter basket, hoping it would ignite a little artistic expression in her. She loooooved them! She drew all over the bath tub sides and when she was finished with one color, she places it back into the soap holder in the wall, swapping it out for a different color. She has such a great time in the bath tub, she could care less about her toys. Only drawback is she gets VERY upset when it’s time to put the crayons away and exit the tub. This is the link to the Munchkin 5 Piece Bath Crayons Set here.
- What she’s snacking on lately:
- Plum organics Mighty 4 nutrition bars (mango/banana and strawberry are all acceptable to Jia)
- Happy Baby Puffs – the easiest and most portable snack for her to travel with
- Happy Baby Gentle Teethers for portable carseat snacks
- Ella’s Kitchen (organic) Nibbly Fingers (mangoes + carrots)
- She scarfs down Happy Creamies (I mentioned in the last WSDW post, those coconut milk snacks blended with fruit)
- What she’s turned against:
- She’s over raspberries. I guess I overdid them.
- Happy Yogis – yogurt and fruit snacks