Category Archive: Lucia

Lucia’s Monthly Photos: Eleven Months Old

Dear Lucia,

This past month marked one year since our maternity photo shoot and your baby shower. This past year has been filled with so much that it’s hard to believe it was only one year ago that all of us were celebrating your upcoming arrival, anxious to find out what you looked like, so excited to see who you were and what role you would play in our lives. One thing we seemed to have guessed right–you sure lived up to the “Little Miss Sunshine” theme of your baby shower!

Here are some of the fun things you’ve been up to this past month:

  • You took your first steps on Mar 16th! You were SO proud that day (and probably a little frightened the way Mama squealed when she saw what you were doing!) You love cruising on furniture and you have taken up to 6 steps in a row on your own so far.
  • You moved into your own bedroom a few weeks ago and it has made a huge difference in your sleep (and my sleep). You’re sharing a space with the office and we’re guessing in the next 6-12 months you’ll move next door into Sirena’s room and this room will become the office/playroom. It’s been so fun decorating your space.
  • You’re understanding so much: Like when I say, “Kevin look” you know I want him to look at something you’re doing so you look at him and ham it up big time; you will open your mouth when I say, “What’s in your mouth?” or “Not in your mouth”; you follow directions when I say, “Come here, Lucia,” “Can you do it?”, “Can I have it?”
  • You injure yourself far more often than your big sis ever did at this age and we’re guessing it’s because you’ve been mobile at such a younger age. The photos at the bottom of this post were taken to use in  your birthday party invitation and I’m (somewhat) embarrassed to say that I photoshopped your boo-boo’s out of the photo used on your invite! Every other day it seems we find a new scratch or mark on your face. Oof!
  • You’ve stopped fighting naps so badly (hallelujah!) and you will sleep a solid 45-90 minutes twice a day (around 10/10:30 and 2/2:30). So far we’re still able to get you and Sirena to nap at the same time during the afternoon and that is a freaking lifesaver. The funniest thing is that most times you get put down to sleep, you will roll over and sleep with your booty up in the air.
  • This past month you have been so silly when nursing–you’ll pull the arm that normally goes around my waist under my chest and out in front of you and immediately start clapping your hands together (all the while latched on). Hilarious!

The part of your personality we have really enjoyed seeing come to surface is your love for music and dancing (just like your big sis!) Your favorite song to date is “If You’re Happy And You Know It” and you get all excited and start clapping away when prompted by the song. If you (or me for that matter) are ever in a funk, I can easily put some music on and it gets both of us in a playful, silly, fun mood. For your first birthday, we’d like to start you in some parent + me toddler music classes to encourage this passion of yours which I’m really excited about and I know you’re going to have an absolute blast!

Your first birthday is right around the corner (um…exactly 13 days from the date I’m publishing this post). I feel mixed emotions about you approaching such an incredible milestone–so excited for what’s to come but a little heartbroken that this baby stage is coming to an end, especially given the fact that you are my last baby. You have been such a dream these past 11 months and I am so grateful that you chose me to teach you, learn from you, and tag along with you on this journey in life as your mama.




The Eleven Month Rundown


  • Drinking water: You love to drink water–be it from your little straw cup, my water bottle, or even the bathtub (ha!)
  • Airplanes: We live in the flight-path for the small, private planes that fly out of the Long Beach airport and when you hear one overhead you look up, point, and make a cute “ooh” sound. You could not have made your Daddy any happier having a second airplane enthusiast daughter!
  • FOOD: I mean, you really, really, really love food. When you see me sit down to eat you will immediately drop whatever it is that is in your hands and turbo crawl over to me, stand up holding onto my leg, and do the sign for “food” until I feed you. You do this silly thing sometimes where after I give you a bite you will cruise over a few steps while humming and chewing, then cruise back over to me for another bite, and then cruise over a few steps back while humming and chewing (over and over). You also do a super silly thing where you will lean over and eat food directly off of your highchair (no hands). Hahah!


  • Being in the car for too long: You are great in the car seat for the most part but you’ve got your limits. About 45-60 minutes after being in the car (either straight through or in and out while running errands) you are quick to share your discontent with us by screeching. Yeesh!


Monthly Photos

11 monthsAnd here’s Sirena’s eleven month photo in the armchair for comparison’s sake

The Many Facial Expressions of Lucia

Lucia’s Monthly Photos: Ten Months Old

Dear Lucia,

What a little love muffin you are! We cannot get over how engaging and curious and sweet and responsive and adventurous and hilarious you are. Each day we learn a little bit more about who you are and what kind of person you are becoming and it makes us so proud to know that you’ve chosen us to come along for the ride.

Here are some of the exciting things you’re learning and doing lately:

  • LOTS of gross motor development this past month:
    • You started crawling on Jan 25! And boy you sure haven’t slowed down one bit ever since. Your favorite things to go for are shoes and Lola’s toys…and then proceed to put them directly into your mouth. Oy!
    • You can stand for a long period of time without assistance and you even have great enough balance that you can bend over and pick up a toy and right yourself again afterwards.
    • You like to practice walking while holding our hands. It’s only a matter of time that you start cruising and then start taking steps on your own!
    • You’re quite the climber, climbing up on top of boxes, on top of us, etc. This isn’t anything we’re used to because your big sis really didn’t try any of these maneuvers so this is all new to us.
  • You LOVE to eat food. So far the only thing you’ve spit out was a kalamata olive. Other than that, you gladly chow down on any food that we give you. For a short while you would pick a piece of food up in your right hand and leave it there, eating the rest of the food with your left hand, and then saving the piece in your right hand for last. 🙂
  • Your communication skills have also sky-rocketed lately:
    • You point at things you want, people you’re excited to see, and places you want to go
    • You have the “milk,” “hungry,” and “all done,” signs down pat. We’re working on “more” and “please.”
    • About 50% of the time you’ll wave hello or bye-bye on cue
    • You make the cutest chirping noises, especially in the car seat just talking away to yourself
    • You like to copy us barking like a dog and roaring like a dinosaur

One of my most favorite things that you’ve been doing lately, especially after your afternoon nap, is resting your head on my chest. It is the sweetest, most loving thing you could do and I melt every time you do it.

Looking back at your sister’s pictures when she was your age, I am reminded of how easily it is to forget how precious babies are once they’re running/talking/spunky toddlers. Although I miss a full night’s sleep like you wouldn’t believe, I do my best to really soak in all of the good parts of babyhood, of which there are many. Only two more months of official babyhood for you and then you’re well on your way to big kid status. This thought simultaneously makes me so excited and makes my heart ache. All I know is that right now, you are incredibly perfect and we love you times infinity.




The Ten Month Rundown


  • Cruisin’: You are a HUGE fan of the red plastic Little Tikes Cozy Coupe car. We bought that for Sirena’s first birthday and I’m so glad it’s held up so that you can now enjoy it. You love to stand near it, checking out the steering wheel, horn, wheels, etc. and you love when we put you in and go for a ride on the patio or around the block. You can tell you really feel like a big kid riding around in it!


  •  Diaper changes: It has become the Diaper Changing Olympics around here lately–you twist your body and pull yourself up on your knees or even up to standing. The changing table’s days are numbered, I think…


Monthly Photos

10 months

And here’s Sirena’s ten month photo in the armchair for comparison’s sake

The Many Facial Expressions of Lucia

Lucia’s Monthly Photos: Nine Months Old

Dear Lucia,

You’re nine months old. We’re only three months away from your first birthday. How is this even possible? It’s both crazy how fast these past nine months have flown by but also hard to believe that we’ve only known you for nine months because it feels like you’ve been a part of this family forever and a day. Was there ever life before Lucia? 🙂

Here are some of the exciting things you’re learning and doing lately:

  • You’re not yet crawling in the traditional sense but you sure know how to get around. You scoot on your butt, twisting yourself in circles to get places. And when on your tummy you push yourself backwards and often get yourself stuck under things (which I find kinda hilarious in all honesty).
  • You’ve learned to pull yourself to stand which you are so happy about! You first did this on January 14. We’re practicing helping you sit back down because you tend to get stuck standing up. 🙂 You’re also getting really strong and confident on your two legs and can stand unassisted for a few moments before toppling over. When holding your hands you have started to lift your feet ever-so-slightly which means that walking is not too far off!
  • You still like to pretend you’re a puppy dog with your tongue hanging out but you’ve also started to do some cool tricks by rolling your tongue thisaway and thataway, I’m quite impressed.
  • The past month you have transitioned out of your baby bath recliner and you’re now sitting upright on the bath mat. You are SO active at bath time, splashing around, twisting your body around chasing toys, and even trying to pull yourself to standing on the edge of the tub! You’re way more active at bath time than Sirena was as a baby, that’s for sure.
  • You’ve pushed bedtime back a half hour (from 6pm to 6:30pm) and it’s nice to be moving in the direction to you and Sirena sharing the same bedtime (which I know is still a ways off but it sounds so much more enjoyable!)
  • You understand the concept of kisses and you make the cutest puckered lips (sometimes sucking in your top lip to make a kissy sound). Sometimes when we ask for kisses you’ll go right for it and sometimes it’ll seem like you’re going to and then you dodge us at the last minute! What a character.
  • You are a very proud baby. You know when you do something cool and you’ll look around for people to see you and beam when they notice you.

I often think about how so very lucky I am to have you and I hope you always know that.




The Nine Month Rundown


  • Other babies! We went to Sirena’s friend’s birthday party and the friend’s baby sister was there and you got SO excited to see her (making squealing noises and flapping your arms around, it was adorable). I hadn’t realized that you really haven’t been socialized with other babies, you’ve been around big kids for the most part! We need to get you some baby friends. 🙂
  • When you’re really hungry you have a tendency to nose-dive at my chest which always cracks me up!


  •  You’ve been extremely distracted lately when nursing so I have to make every effort to go into our bedroom to feed you with no audience (Sirena is the worst distraction, for good reason!)


Monthly Photos

 9 months

And here’s Sirena’s nine month photo in the armchair for comparison’s sake

Lucia’s Monthly Photos: Eight Months Old

Dear Lucia,

You are pure joy, little girl. No matter what life throws your way (like a fourth cold in your short existence, wecannotevenbelieveit!), no matter how off your schedule is due to the holidays, no matter if your needs have to occasionally take a backseat due to your sister’s needs, you are always a pure joy.

Here are some of the exciting things you’ve been learning and doing lately:

  • Your first word was Sirena!! You call her “Na” and it was the most heartwarming moment when I realized your “na, na, na” was referring to Sirena. You said this on Dec 11. Other new sounds are “bla” and “ma”
  • Your tongue continues to be out all the time! We call you our little puppy dog. You have started to curl it up lately too.
  • You’ve transitioned yourself to two naps a day which is so much better to work around. Luckily your second nap coincides with Sirena’s so occasionally we get a moment of peace when both of you are napping!
  • You love playing “Where’s Lucia?” where we put a blankie over your face and you pull it down to show yourself, you get so happy when we “find” you!
  • You are so close to crawling it’s not even funny. You get on your hands and knees and rock back and forth but always plop down on your belly after a minute or so.
  • The most exciting thing this past month was celebrating your first Christmas! You had such a blast at all of the holiday activities (Breakfast with Santa at Rancho Los Alamitos, Christmas light viewing in Naples, Big Red Bus ride with Santa, not to mention the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day festivities).

I can’t help but compare what’s going on in your life at this age with what was going on in Sirena’s life at this age and a huge difference is that we moved from Oakland to Long Beach with Sirena when she was 8 months old. We feel that you are so lucky that you’ve had all eight of these months to build relationships with your family and friends down here whereas Sirena was really starting anew at this age (not that she didn’t quickly solidify those relationships!) It is so apparent to us that moving to Long Beach to be close to family and friends was the best move for us (even though we miss the Bay Area something fierce!) Your life and your sister’s life is that much more full of love because of the people we are surrounded with here. My hope is that these relationships continue to grow and strengthen as each year goes by and that you know how truly loved you are by everyone around you.




The Eight Month Rundown


  • When you’re super happy you rub the bottoms of your feet together


  • When you’re annoyed at something you’ll make a squishy, scrunchy face (not to be confused with “crinkle nose” that you do all the time which is usually when you’re happy) and you’ll made a screeching sound (lord help us)
  • Being sick (again!!) We were dumbstruck when you started coughing and your nose


Monthly Photos

8 months

And here’s Sirena’s eight month photo in the armchair for comparison’s sake

Lucia’s Monthly Photos: Seven Months Old

Dear Lucia,

I don’t know how you do it but each day you just keep getting cuter and smarter and more and more amazing! It seems that you’ve really matured this month (our little sophisticated baby 😉 ) and that you’re not just a little chunky baby anymore (although you’re still plenty chunky)…you’re a gotta-get-in-on-the-action, full-of-life, so-much-fun baby.

The most memorable thing this past month has to be your first flight ever when we went on a family vacation to Oahu, Hawaii! You were such a great travel companion and we had an absolute blast exploring the island with you and your big sis. You were a few weeks younger than Sirena was when she went on her first flight.

Here are the latest and greatest things you’ve been up to this past month!:

  • Baby sign language: When you turned 6 months old I started using the sign for milk each time I fed you and Daddy would do the same. Just the past two weeks before you turned 7 months you’ve started using the sign yourself! At first I thought it was a fluke but you have consistently used it when appropriate and I am just blown away. I need to dust off my baby sign language and try to remember the other good ones we used with your big sis–it makes communicating so much easier before oral language really kicks in!
  • New noises: Blowing raspberries, gargling milk (hilarious!), smacking your lips together over and over, shrieking (this one isn’t our favorite, we gotta admit), and you’ve started making the “ba” and “da” sounds
  • Lots of new teeth: You’ve got a third tooth finally poking through on the bottom and three (count ’em THREE) more coming in on the top (this is in addition to the two bottom teeth you’ve had since 3.5 months old)
  • New physical abilities: You can clap your hands (which you love to do), you try to grab at everything, you rub your belly when you’re eating milk (adorable), and you’re very close to crawling–you lean your upper body over, sway your torso forward and backward to propel yourself onto your belly (although most times your feet get stuck underneath you so you’ve still got a lot of practice to do)

We love the big personality you, the littlest member of our family, has. We love the light that you bring to our days. We love YOU, Lucia.




The Seven Month Rundown


  • Trying out solids: We’ve jumped into the realm of solid foods and so far you’ve been enjoying the experience! We started out with banana, avocado, sweet potato, scrambled egg, oatmeal with almond butter/milk, and whole wheat bread (the soft middle part). You find the entire experience of tasting new foods and mushing it in your mouth fascinating although you’re still trying to get the hang of it (most of it ends up sliding down out the sides of your mouth, haha).
  • Lola!: You are a big Lola fan, making chirping noises when she comes around. You like to sit next to her and rub your little fingers through her fur (and try to grab a handful but we’re working on a more gentle touch). When I ask, “Where’s doggy?” you look around for her.


  • Being sick as a dog: You got hit with the second cold of your life and this one was a doozy. Sirena got croup, then a cold, then an ear infection and a week later when Sirena was finally on the mend, you, me, and Daddy all got hit with the same cold but of course it affected you the worst. You were so congested you could barely breathe laying down in bed so Daddy and I had to take shifts holding you upright so that you could sleep. And then you developed a double ear infection (and come to find out you were cutting 4 teeth at the same time to top it all off). It was 2 weeks of almost complete misery in our household and boy are we glad to be on the other side. More than anything, we felt so awful for you because you are still so so young to have to deal with a cold like that. I guess that’s what happens with second children when you’ve got germy older siblings around!
  • Separation anxiety: Just the past few days you have become really upset when we walk away from you, even if for only a minute. This is a very common stage for babies your age but it breaks our heart to hear you cry out and to see the big fat tears streaming down your cheeks!


Monthly Photos

7 months

And here’s Sirena’s seven month photo in the armchair for comparison’s sake

The Many Facial Expressions of Lucia


Family vacation to Oahu, Hawaii!

Over the summer we decided to take a family vacation in October which is typically off-season for a lot of places so it’s not as risky to fly standby using Kevin’s flight benefits. Initially we had the grand idea of taking the girls to Spain to visit my good friend Heather and her family. We expedited the processing for Lucia’s passport (paying an arm and a leg!) and had every intention of going until Kevin looked up the flights and saw that the flight from Newark, NJ to Madrid was filling up fast so we couldn’t take the chance of not getting on the flight there with two little munchkins in tow. 🙁 We then had our hearts set on visiting another good friend, Sneha, in New York! We were going to stay a few nights at the beach on the Jersey Shore then a few nights in New  York City. We had only decided on NY about a week or so before our intended departure date and we found the hotels were filling up really quickly and that they were exorbitantly priced. We were so stressed about finding a hotel that could accommodate us (we needed at least a suite so that Lucia could be put to bed early and we could hang out in the living room area without disturbing her) and that wouldn’t break the bank and that was in a safe area and we had to make the sad decision to cancel those plans as well. 🙁 🙁

So what to do with less than a week before our departure date with no idea of where to go? Oahu! We found a hotel two blocks from Waikiki Beach for 6 nights for just a little more than we were going to pay for 2 nights in NYC so we knew it was meant to be. Kevin and I have been to Maui (that was Sirena’s first trip to Hawaii) and the big island (for our honeymoon) but never Oahu and there are multiple flights to/from there each day so the chances of us getting on a flight flying standby were looking good. Less than a week after deciding on our destination we were there! Now that’s the best kind of travel planning, no months and months of anticipation. 🙂


Tues, Oct 20 (my birthday!)

We woke early that morning to get on the 8:40am flight from LAX to Honolulu and we were lucky that there were over 80 seats available so we got the entire 5 seat middle row to ourselves! This was Lucia’s first flight and she was a dream! This was Sirena’s upteenth flight and she was an old pro. We couldn’t have asked for better travel companions. A woman in the aisle across from us even commented to us that she didn’t realize the kids were there the entire time and how well-behaved they were. 🙂

IMG_0963Can you tell they’re tired?


Lucia’s first flight!

We picked up our rental car and immediately drove to get some lunch at Soon’s Kal-Bi-Drive-Inn, a Korean/Hawaiian restaurant. We then headed to our hotel, Aston Waikiki Sunset, to get settled in.

IMG_0976The girls enjoying our awesome view from the 14th floor!

We decided to check out the pool area which was beautiful but the hotel cast a shadow over the pool in the mid-afternoon so it was pretty chilly and we couldn’t hang that long.

IMG_0983(1)Birthday photo with my girls <3 after our quick dip in the pool

In addition, Hawaii is 3 hours early compared to California so the girls (and us!) were getting tired pretty early on–Lucia actually went to bed at 4pm! Sirena and I took a walk down to Waikiki Beach once little sis was in bed to pick up some Subway to take back to the hotel for dinner and of course we couldn’t resist putting our toes in the ocean for a few minutes.


Sirena did NOT want to get out of the water

That night, the three of us were in bed by 7pm (10pm CA time so it was a looong day!).


Wed, Oct 21

So what happens when we go to bed ridiculously early? We’re all up and at ’em at 3:30am!

IMG_6335In case you ever wondered what Honolulu looked like at 3:30am…you’re welcome.


This is what we do at the butt crack of dawn

We decided to make a short drive to Nu’uanu Pali Lookout to watch the sunrise. Both girls fell asleep on the way there so we had to go out in shifts: Kevin first and then I took Sirena out on my own while Lucia continued snoozing.


You snooze, you lose Lucia! 😉


My glamour shot girl


It was sooo windy there but Sirena didn’t care, she had a blast running around since we were the only ones there!







 A rooster calling on the chickens (one of which Sirena decided to name “Butthead” haha!)

At LAX the day before we met a woman named Madonna who had just been visiting her grandkids in Cerritos (one of which was Sirena’s age which is how our conversation started) and was on her way back home. It ended up that she worked at the hotel across the street from where we were staying and she invited us to their breakfast buffet the following day so we decided to take her up on the offer this morning and boy are we glad we did! It was all-you-can-eat and she only charged us for one adult meal. She also gave us a doggy bag FULL of food which was so awesome.

After our crazy early morning and huge breakfast we went back to the hotel for a family nap (me and Lucia in the bedroom, Kevin and Sirena on the sofa bed). After getting some much-needed rest we made our way down to Waikiki Beach for some late afternoon fun. It was so awesome being just walking distance from this amazing beach!



Me and my favorite 3 year old



Seaside nap


Lucia’s first time in the Hawaiian waters



That face! Poor thing.


Much better!



Thurs, Oct 22

Before we all fully adjusted to our new time zone we decided to capitalize on another early morning wake up call and pack up the girls for a drive to the North Shore.

As soon as we got off of the freeway (Oahu is the only Hawaiian island with actual freeways most of which are found in Honolulu) we felt like we were on the two-lane highways that we were used to in Maui and the big island–beautiful, lush surroundings, roadside fruit stands, turquoise waters only a stone’s throw away from the highway–ahh, paradise.

We grabbed an early lunch at Mike’s Huli Huli Chicken, a permanent food truck that had incredible chicken (Kevin was a fan) and the most amazing garlic shrimp (yummy!)


Sirena was in heaven with our Blue Hawaii smoothie

With Lucia’s random naps and feeding schedule we spent a lot of the drive sightseeing while on the road. It was definitely not the way that Kevin and I prefer to do Hawaii (we love to do a lot of excursions, using the awesome guidebooks by Andrew Doughty to find the gems and must-see things of the island, stopping every few miles on the long drive to check something cool out) but we had decided before we left to focus on the girls this trip and that we’d just have to go on our own another day to see everything.

In the North Shore our destination was Shark’s Cove which is a kid-friendly tide pool and beach. Kevin and Sirena were the only ones that ventured out into the tide pool while Lucia and I hung out in the shade of the palm trees.


Crinkle nose, my favorite!


IMG_6378That night after putting Lucia to sleep, the three of us celebrated by birthday (belatedly) with a yummy confetti cake (and another earlier-than-normal bedtime…we know how to party!)

IMG_6406 IMG_6405

Fri, Oct 23

For breakfast we were invited one more time to Madonna’s hotel for a breakfast buffet and she ended up comping us our entire meal…so awesome! We were so grateful for her generosity.

Our big breakfast fueled us up to walk a few blocks to the Honolulu Zoo! We spent a couple of hours there and really enjoyed the quaint and well-kept grounds–not too big to be overwhelming, just the right size for a family with two small kids (it reminded us a lot of the Oakland Zoo!).



Wild peacocks out roaming the grounds, these were arm’s length distance from us




The highlight was the Keiki (Kids) Zoo with a great playground, petting zoo, and rest area.


Sirena had the most fun climbing on and around this huge tree with the greatest above-ground root system.





Our only family photo of the trip!

After the zoo we walked back towards Waikiki Beach to have lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise–my mom’s husband Steve is related to one of the owners and graciously gave us a gift card to enjoy a meal there (just like he did when we were in Maui!) We then went back to the hotel for a much-needed family nap.

We decided to go back to Waikiki Beach (you can’t compete with walking a few blocks versus strapping the girls in the car and driving to another beach when it comes to simplicity!) but this time we left the phones and cameras at the hotel thinking the whole family would take a dip at the same time (and we didn’t want to risk leaving valuables on such a crowded beach). It turned out to be a little too chilly to put Lucia in the water so once again Kevin and I took turns going into the water with big sis and hanging out on the beach with little sis. The lighting was INCREDIBLE–we were there from 4-6pm so the sun was making its way to the horizon the entire time we were there and it cast the most amazing warm light on the girls, I was really kicking myself for not bringing anything to capture the moments on camera!

That night after putting Lucia to bed the three of us stayed up until (gasp!) 9pm watching the movie “Boxtrolls” that we rented from the lobby.


Sat, Oct 24

We wanted to do one last beach day so we headed out to Ko Olina Lagoon near the Disney Aulani Resort. There are 4 lagoons in this area and we went to Ko Olina Lagoon #4 which is the farthest from the resort. It had the most amazing, clear, warm water perfect for wading with little kids!











Another seaside nap for the little munchkin






After a fun (and tiring!) morning in the sun we had a really nice lunch at Monkeypod Kitchen just a few minutes from the lagoon. We then treated ourselves to some yummy ice cream at a shop around the corner and of course the girls crashed on the drive back to the hotel!


Island girl

After putting Lucia to bed, I decided to take an evening walk with Sirena to do some shopping in Waikiki. I put her in our umbrella stroller and ended up walking over 2 miles total until a little after 8pm! We had a blast checking out some fun Hawaiian souvenir shops, buying clothes for the family and gifts for a few folks back at home, and just spending some one-on-one time together which we very rarely get any more.


She was STOKED to get a Spiderman balloon animal from one of the street vendors. Spidey even came home with us!


We checked out this awesome underground t-shirt shop called 88 Tees and brought a few shirts back from there


This was in front of Nani’s Gift Shop which she found hilarious (Nani is what Sirena calls my mom)


I let her drive me around the block a few times 😉


Sun, Oct 25

Our last full day on Oahu we decided to visit Pearl Harbor–we knew we couldn’t come all this way and not visit such an historic site (Kevin for the military aspect and me for the significance to US history). Sirena loves airplanes so we decided to focus our visit on the Pacific Aviation Museum (there are quite a few museums/attractions to visit at Pearl Harbor).






They had a ton of mannequins dressed up, this was a silly photo I took over the shoulder of one peeking out and seeing Kevin and Sirena in the distance


Sirena was so happy to find “the shark plane” from the museum’s advertisements…and there was even a mini one that kids could pretend to fly. Score!



Can you see Sirena in the cockpit?


They were in their element, that’s for sure.



Afterwards we were all pretty exhausted but needed to get some food so stopped at Young’s Kalbee, a delicious Korean restaurant. Sirena was so wiped that she actually remained asleep when Kevin got her out of the car and stayed asleep sitting on his lap for a good 15 minutes at the restaurant (unheard of these days!) She woke up in time to eat some lunch and then passed out again at the hotel for a couple of hours during family nap time.

The night before on our shopping excursion, Sirena and I bought two Hawaiian dresses for her and Lucia that I really wanted them to wear on the beach at sunset so I could take pictures of them. We just barely made it to Waikiki Beach for the last 10 minutes of sunlight. Sirena wasn’t in the best mood (come to find out she was sick, more on that below) and then Lucia faceplanted into the sand after only a few photos (and we had to rush to the water fountain to rinse the sand out of her eyes, poor thing) so I didn’t get any stellar shots of the two of them together but I am happy with how they turned out overall.





IMG_6688Before heading back to the hotel we took a 10 minute walk to get some Hawaiian shave ice–no trip to Hawaii is complete without shave ice!


Mon, Oct 26

This will go down in history as the day from hell (Isn’t it funny that each of our trips to Hawaii has one of those?? In Maui our day from hell was when Sirena got an ear infection on the Road to Hana when we had zero medicine and had to drive hours to the nearest Emergency Room. This day wasn’t nearly as bad but it was definitely comparable…)

We were up at 2am because Sirena said she has to use the potty. After 10 minutes of being up she threw up unexpectedly. She was able to go back to bed but I was wide awake by that time and patiently waiting for our alarm to go off at 2:45am.

Kevin and I got ourselves ready, packed up, and then woke the girls up at 3:15am. We all got into the car at 3:30am and dropped the rental car off at 4am. We made it through security without any incident and made our way to Gate 11 to check in for our 6am flight to LAX which we had checked that morning and it had over 100 seats available for standby so we thought we were in the clear. When we checked in with the gate agent we were told that an earlier flight to SFO had been cancelled so many of those passengers were moved to our 6am LAX flight and that it wasn’t looking promising for us to make it. Kevin was taking it all in stride while I was silently panicking because our luggage (me/Kevin/Lucia’s suitcase) and our two car seats made it on the 6am flight and we didn’t and because Sirena proceeded to throw up a second time at the gate. Luckily we kept Sirena’s suitcase as a carry-on so we had an extra set of clothes for her. We had 5 hours to spare until the next flight to LAX at 11am that we were hoping we’d get on somehow so we took our time cleaning up, getting breakfast, and looking at some of the shops.

IMG_1096You sure can’t tell here that she was sick as a dog (our tough girl)


Lucia was completely oblivious to what was going on, haha

By 10am we made our way to Gate 12 to check in with the gate agent. It wasn’t looking promising for this flight either but we waited around anyways. During the time we were waiting Sirena proceeded to throw up again and made a mess of her clothes (and the carpet). Wardrobe change #2 for Sirena. After all of the passengers were boarded, they called our name and said that there was ONE seat available and that we had to choose right away if we wanted it. Initially we were going to send me and Lucia if there was one seat available but the next flight at 12pm was looking really good (still over 100 seats available) and we took a chance and gave my seat away in hopes that we’d be able to be on the same flight at 12pm. We had to walk at least 1/2 a mile, me carrying Lucia while she was napping in my arms (not in the carrier) and Sirena’s suitcase over my shoulder and Kevin pushing Sirena in the stroller with two backpacks on, to get to Gate 16 where the 12pm flight was taking off from.

IMG_1105At Gate 16, Sirena was trying to nap on Kevin in the weirdest position

While waiting at this gate, Sirena proceeded to throw up a THIRD time and again made a mess of her clothes and the carpet. Wardrobe change #3 for Sirena! This of course happened as the plane was boarding and our row was being called…talk about stressful! In the end we were so grateful to be walking onto that plane, that our plan had worked out, and we actually ended up getting an entire row to ourselves.

We had spent 8 hours at the airport and then had another 5 hours on the airplane. Somehow (miraculously!) the flight was pretty uneventful–Sirena was in good spirits and didn’t have another throw up episode and Lucia was a dream (as always). So from being awake at 2am to landing at LAX at 8:30pm and home at 9:30pm I think it’s safe to say that this crazy horrible day more than made up for our amazing vacation! 😉 It definitely gave me a real look at the realities of flying standby (with kids) but in the end we are so happy we made it to a destination that’s been on our wish list for a while, we got to fly there for free, and we had such an enjoyable and relaxing time with our wonderful little travel buddies.

IMG_1111Until next time, Hawaii…aloha!

Lucia’s Monthly Photos: Six Months Old

Dear Lucia,

Here we are, half way towards your first birthday (I know, I’m crazy for putting it that way)…I really can’t believe it! It’s amazing how it both feels like it’s gone by incredibly fast but it also feels like you’ve been in our lives forever. You’re pretty magical in that way. 🙂

Here are the latest and greatest things you’ve been up to this past month!:

  • At your 6 month doctor’s visit you weighed in at 19.14 pounds and you measure 27 inches long. You are growing like a champ!
  • Just this past week you’ve been able to sit up unassisted and what a game changer it’s been for you! You immediately smile and your eyes light up when we lift you up to a seated position, it’s given you so much more independence to be able to sit up. You like to reach out for things seated in front of you and every now and then topple over sideways if you lean too far one way or another. Getting you into the car seat has become slightly more difficult because when we sit you down you immediately sit up and lean forward trying to grab at something so we have to gently push you back in your seat to strap you in.
  • Your hand and eye coordination is off the charts–you are already grabbing at your pacifier and have successfully stuck it back in your mouth a few times (your Auntie Jessie was blown away when you did it the first time!)
  • You respond when we call out your name, it’s incredible. Kevin and I noticed it a couple of weeks ago and Nani and Auntie Jessie both made the same observation separately recently too.
  • You’ve begun following very simple directions/mimicking–Nani helped out during your 6 month photo shoot and you kept putting your hands up into your mouth (see 6 month photo below!) Nani told you, “Lucia, put your hands down,” while she put her own hands down slowly and you copied her. We thought it was a fluke but you proceeded to do it three more times! I’ve been testing this out in other situations (like pointing to something and saying, “Look over there, Lucia,” and you will proceed to look to where I’m pointing).
  • You are moving like crazy! While on your back you will push down with your feet and scoot backwards…and you move FAST! We can’t leave you on our bed anymore and I learned that lesson when I turned my back to put something in the dresser and when I looked back at you your head was hanging down over the side of the bed upside down, scared the bajeezus out of me! You, on the other hand, found it hilarious.
  • Sirena continues to hold a very special place in your heart–I was doing something silly with a sweater on my head and you were chuckling at me. Sirena copied me and did the exact same thing and you were laughing SO hard at her! Sirena totally upstaged me but I have to say, she’s the only person I’d rather you laugh harder at than me. 😉

There have been a few times while driving in the car that you’ve been crying really hard and nothing would work to calm you down but then I would start singing to you and you’d immediately stop crying. It warms my heart that you can find comfort in my voice and I hope that continues for many, many more years to come.




The Six Month Rundown


  • “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” song: I don’t know what it is about that song, but when we sing it to you (especially if we move your arms for you like a dancing pirate at the same time) you get so happy!
  • Rodeo girl: When I sit you on one knee facing out, as soon as I let go of your torso and just let your hands hold onto one finger on each of my hands, you start moving your body like crazy and it reminds me of a rodeo cowgirl! I need to get you a little cowgirl hat and do a short video of it, it cracks me up!


  • Distractions during mealtimes: The days of distracted nursing have begun (oh joy!) It is so hard to feed you when big sis is around, let me tell you. I have to be pretty strategic in scheduling our day so that I can nurse you with some privacy, otherwise you can barely focus and finish a feeding.


Monthly Photos

6 months

And here’s Sirena’s six month photo in the armchair for comparison’s sake

The Many Facial Expressions of Lucia

Lucia’s Monthly Photos: Three Months Old

Dear Lucia,

It’s official, you’re not a newborn anymore! You’ve been growinggrowinggrowing like a chunky little weed (we unofficially weighed you at 17 pounds!) and we love each and every squishy, loveable inch of you. It’s amazing how every day you’re becoming less of a bobble-head newborn 😉 and more of an interactive, engaging baby! Here are some of the fun things you’re working on:

  • You’ve started getting excited by toys and try to reach out and grab them
  • You like to arch your upper body back to roll on your side (once you rolled completely over from back to tummy on your own!)
  • You’ve been drooling like a fountain and chewing on your fingers like a champ which can only mean one thing: teething! You’re not in any real discomfort yet (as far as I can tell) and it can be a few months of drool/chewing before any teeth pop through, but the process is definitely starting
  • You’ve been sleeping for longer stretches most nights (Mama thanks you immensely!!) and generally only wake up once

What we love most about you is how smiley you are. You dole out big, gummy grins all day long and nothing makes us happier. You are super flirty, you smile with your whole body, you chuckle and squeal when something cracks you up, and you’ve got a big personality already which we are enjoying getting to know better day by day.

With your three month “birthday” comes a bittersweet reality for me: my maternity leave is officially over and I’m returning to work. I’m grateful for the time that I’ve been able to spend with you, my sweet squishy baby, and wouldn’t trade it for the world.




The Three Month Rundown


  • The great outdoors: Nothing calms you down like being outside and looking up at the trees. When you’re having a rough time for whatever reason, I whisk you outside to our patio and sit you down on a cushioned chair to stare up at the purple flowered tree blowing in the breeze and you are immediately calmed and content for quite a while.


  • Sleeping on the go: Something me and Daddy have been struggling with a bit is getting you to stay asleep once we leave the house. You don’t fall asleep in the car easily (something we could guarantee would knock your sister out) and when we’re out during nap/bedtime so not doing your typical routine, you have a really hard time tuning out everything else to fall asleep. Timing our outings for when you don’t need to sleep has been something I didn’t think I’d have to worry about so early in the game!


Monthly Photos

3 monthsHere’s Sirena’s three month photo in the armchair for comparison’s sake

AND Sirena wore the same onesie that Lucia’s wearing here at 3 months…but in her SIX month photo!


The Many Facial Expressions of Lucia

Lucia’s Monthly Photos: One Month Old

Dear Lucia,

I am at a loss for words to describe just how incredibly fast this first month of your life has flown by! All of those days (and weeks) we were impatiently waiting and waiting (and waiting!) for your arrival seem like a lifetime ago.

You are a really amazing newborn, if I do say so myself. 😉 When you’re awake you’re super alert, checking out the world with those big, blue eyes of yours. You have incredible neck strength, already lifting your head up to look in the direction of your big sis when she calls  your name or sings to you. You have gained an amazing amount of weight (we unofficially weighed you at home and you’re around 12 pounds already!) which can only mean that you and me are a great team, baby girl. You’ve been testing out your voice and making some cute “ahh” sounds, trying to communicate with us in a way other than crying (so thoughtful of you). You have already begun to dole out some adorable baby smiles which makes me so incredibly happy. And I cannot thank you enough for being a really great sleeper. I feel light years ahead of how I felt when your big sis was a month old because you give me much longer stretches of sleep during the night.

Already you have taken a liking to your big sister and her silly antics which brings me so much joy. I know you two are going to be the best of buddies (not to mention Lola, although you haven’t really noticed your furry sister yet!) We’re only a month in and we already LOVE having you a part of our family.




The One Month Rundown


  • Swinging: You are not a fan of the bouncy chair we used for Sirena but we borrowed a swing from our friend and it has been a true lifesaver! You like to chill in the swing a few times a day and it’s been such a game changer, allowing us a bit more time to get things done around the house or with your sister.
  • Dance parties/Music: Your Daddy is the king at calming you down by putting some tunes on and having a dance party, it’s so cute. Sirena and her baby doll Nine join in on the dance party most times as well.
  • Your right hand: There’s something about your right arm, you love having it up near your face as much as possible for some reason. When nursing or when you’re sleeping, your little right fist is either just below your chin or next to your cheek.


  • Being still: (See first three points above) When you need help falling asleep there is no way in heck you’re doing it with us just sitting down. You need us up walking/dancing around with you.


Monthly Photos

I’ll be taking a photo of Lucia in this little brown armchair each month for her first two years of life to see how much she grows and changes! I did the same thing for Sirena and treasure these photos so much. Here’s S at 1 month old for comparison’s sake.

1 month

The Many Facial Expressions of Lucia

Life with Lucia (her first month)

Lucia’s first day of life

When Lucia was placed on my chest I was completely overwhelmed with how much she looked like Sirena! It was as if I had given birth to Sirena a second time, I was blown away. When Sirena was born she was pretty alert but it didn’t compare at all to how alert Lucia was. She just stared at me with her big eyes for those first 5-10 minutes in my arms and I just stared right back at her. Just a few minutes after she was born my sister and Sirena arrived and it was surreal telling S that here was her brand-new sister, after all those months talking about it! She and Jessie left the room and Kevin took L while the midwife and the birth attendants joined forces to help me get out of the tub and onto the bed. After I was settled, Kevin brought L back to me so that we could attempt breastfeeding and she latched on immediately which I was so happy about.

For the next couple of hours the birth team allowed us bonding time and all of the visitors (Nani and Bopa, Grandma and Papa, Auntie Jessie, Brianne and Brian) got their chance to hold L. Kevin and I were finally able to eat the dinner my mom had bought for us at Hole Mole 5 hours prior and boy did it hit the spot! Turns out L was born on “Taco Tuesday” so my mom and Steve had to fight the crowds and wait an incredibly long time to get the food in the first place. Maybe L is destined to be a foodie just like her big sis (and mom)?? After a couple of hours Jessie took Sirena back to her place so that she could get some rest from the crazy evening she just had.

Vickie came back into the room to prep for L’s newborn tests. It was such a difference from the hospital experience–she laid a blanket out on the bed right next to me and performed everything (other than weighing her which was done on the scale just a couple of feet from the bed) right there with all of L’s family surrounding her. All of us were anxious to find out how much L weighed and Libby, one of the birth attendants, commented that she had to be at least 9 pounds. All of us were shocked and said there was no way! Libby was certain that she was at least 9 pounds and I had a hard time believing she knew what she was talking about because L seemed so itty bitty compared to my now big toddler! The moment of truth arrived and L weighed in at a whopping 9 pounds, 9 ounces!! She measured 21.75 inches long and her head circumference was 15 cm. (For comparison’s sake, S weighed 8 pounds and measured 21.5 pounds, not sure about head circumference). Libby commented that L’s head was the biggest she had witnessed yet and was amazed at how well I did (if you think about it, a woman’s cervix dilates to 10 cm). Up until L’s birth she said that the largest head she witnessed was 14.5cm which she says was a “doozy.” It was at this point that she told me that of all of the midwives I could have been paired with for L’s birth, Vickie was the best one for me. She said that Vickie was the best at coaching moms through the pushing stage so as to minimize tearing and I know now that with a baby’s head as large as L’s, if I had birthed in a hospital and not had a coach like Vickie working with me, I would not have had the healing birth that I had set my intentions on and I would have had a much longer and painful recovery. I am so grateful for Vickie, my birthing team, the birth center, and Kevin of course for supporting me in my decision to birth there. It was so nice to hear all of the positive feedback from our visitors, everyone commented about how different the experience was even for them as visitors from a hospital experience and it was so wonderful hearing those comments.

Three hours after she was born I started getting restless and exhaustion was starting to take over so I asked Kevin to ask Vickie if we could start wrapping things up. Our visitors began leaving so that I could get cleaned up and dressed and so that Vickie and the team could talk with me and K about what our next steps would be with a brand-spankin’-new baby at home. It took about an hour for all of that to be taken care of and at just 4 hours old we made our way out of the birth center and on our way home. My mom and Steve caravaned behind us so that they could help us get settled in the house and Steve commented about how amazing it was that I walked out of the birth center, into the car, and walked into my home just 4 hours after giving birth (with Sirena’s hospital birth I used the wheelchair to go anywhere those first 2 days). In every way imaginable, birthing at the birth center was a much more calm, pleasant, empowering experience than my previous hospital birth and I cannot say enough good things about it!

We greeted Lola (who had held down the fort for us since we left at 6pm) and she gave Lucia a good sniff and quickly returned to her bed (she loooves her sleep). Kevin, Lucia and I made our way to the bedroom as well and were able to sleep peacefully, without any interruptions from nurses/doctors or beeping machines or bright fluorescent lights like at the hospital, for a few hours.

The next morning Jessie brought Sirena home to get acquainted with her little sis. It was so emotional seeing the two of them together finally after imagining it for so long!


Her first Week

Lucia had three doctor appointments within her first two full days of life–it was somewhat overwhelming to get us all out of the house on time for three appointments with a 3 y/o and a 1-2 day old! But somehow (somehow!) we did it. We first saw her pediatrician when she was not yet 24 hours old and she wanted to see her again the following day as well. When the nurse practitioner came out to the lobby to get us and she asked us how old she was she couldn’t believe that she was less than 24 hours old! They don’t get many babies coming in who are born in a birth center so it was a new way of doing business for them, seeing a brand-new baby like that (babies born in the hospital are generally observed around the clock by nurses/doctors for the first 2-3 days of life). She had lost some weight those first 24 hours but it was a very minimal decrease so there was no concern there at all. By her second appointment she had gained the weight back and then some (she was born at 9 lbs, 9 oz and by day 3 she was 9 lbs, 13 oz!) Our pediatrician was super happy about her weight gain and she said she was an overall healthy looking newborn! The third appointment Lucia had was back at the birth center where they conducted the newborn screening. It was surreal being back in the room where she was born just days before.

That first week we stuck around close to home either at our house or at my mom’s and we welcomed a nice group of visitors to the house to meet the little nugget throughout the week. Here are a few photos from L’s first week:

IMG_3994Snuggles with Daddy


First time taking the new double stroller out for a ride! We walked the block at our annual neighborhood garage sale when L was 4 days old.


A very unhappy baby getting her first bath!


Another attempt at a siblings shot


Other Adventures

We were out and about a lot more after her first week which felt really nice.

We took a trip to the Long Beach Main Library (which Kevin and I hadn’t been to in years). Sirena had a blast in their huge children’s section and Lucia, well, she just slept through the whole excursion. 🙂




Sisters both passed out in the car

We surprised Sirena after preschool one day and took her and L to Rancho Los Alamitos for an afternoon visit.



Lead the way, big sis!



We also made a trip to Royal Palms beach in San Pedro–this is a really special place for my family because my mom grew up spending a ton of time at this beach with her family and she took me and my siblings there a bunch growing up as well. It was really special to take my girls there to continue the tradition. My mom, Steve, Jessie, Derek, and Steve’s grandson Christian joined us for a very nice (but super chilly!) afternoon.

IMG_4041Jess and I stayed on the rocks so I could feed L and keep her toasty while the rest of the gang went to the tide pools.




Auntie Jessie holding L


My First Mother’s Day With Lucia

My one Mother’s Day wish was to go to the Renaissance Faire with my family which I am so happy to report we were able to do!

That morning my mom invited us over for some coffee and pan dulce and it was a really nice, relaxing Mother’s Day morning. Then Kevin, Jessie, the girls, and I were on our way to the Ren Faire. It was Faery Day at the faire so Sirena was happy to dress for the part.




Sirena was a bit taken aback by the people in character who would approach us but she did agree to wave her magic wand for this lady 🙂



Jessie trying on some amazing masks!


Lucia’s first concert!





The one photo that was taken of me and both my girls–me changing a diaper and helping Sirena with her drink. Typical “mom” moment, right??



Sirena wanted Mama to ride the giant swing with her. I gotta be honest, it was a spooky ride! Those guys pushed us sooo high, I almost thought I’d slip out at one point but I had to keep my cool in front of Sirena to not freak her out, haha!



Queen Sirena at your service



My little munchkins