Yearly Archives: 2013

Christmas 2013

Sirena’s second Christmas was a total blast–it was so amazing to see how much she had grown from last Christmas (see photos at this link) and how much she started really understanding what was going on!  The funniest thing was that every time she saw a picture, a toy, a lawn ornament, whatever of Santa she’d call him, “Ho, ho, ho.”  🙂

However, she was not the Jolly Man’s biggest fan in the slightest. Case in point…photos from out front of my mom’s house where a Santa on holiday was hanging out for the month…



Trimming the tree with Aunt TT…


We decorated reindeer sugar cookies before getting started on the ornaments.


Just like Mama, she couldn’t resist!


I’ll give you two guesses to choose which ones Sirena made…


Admiring her work


Making silly faces in the ornaments with Mama



Showing TT some ornaments


Hanging out with Dee too!


Breakfast with Santa at Rancho Los Alamitos…

The weather turned downright nasty the morning the Breakfast with Santa event at Rancho Los Alamitos was scheduled but we didn’t let it get us down and made a fun (albeit muddy) morning out of it.


You know you’re at a rancho when they decorate with farm animals, lol!


Sirena’s not looking too impressed…


But what did impress her?…


A horse, of course.



Isela, baby Luna, and Christian trying to keep dry



Mom and Steve dancing the rain away




Christmas Eve with the Delmar family…


She wasn’t quite sure what to do with all of these things wrapped in paper, but eventually she got the hang of it!







Tina’s looking less-than-excited that I got a pocket knife from my Mom, lol!


Christmas morning with Mom, Dad, and Auntie Jessie…





Christmas Day with the Edmonds family…



Loving her Hello Kitty piano book from Grandma and Grandpa


One of many new airplanes she inherited


Cuddling with Grandpa


Needless to say, all of the holiday festivities wiped this girl out!

Our 2013 Christmas card:

Xmas card 2013

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: 18 Months Old

Dear Sirena,

I really can’t grasp the fact that we have an 18 month old on our hands!  You’re a full-fledged toddler now and the little person you’re becoming is pretty amazing.

Unfortunately, your eighteenth month started off a little rocky.  For four days you were vomiting and had diarrhea, you couldn’t hold any food down and that led to you being really dehydrated.  We took you to the doctor’s and we had to make the decision to give you an iv to get fluids in you.  That experience was one of the hardest so far in this adventure we call parenting–it was downright torturous for you but it was also pretty traumatic for me and Daddy who had to help pin you down while they put the needle in and then try to comfort you as much as you could handle while the iv did its job.  Luckily the torture was not in vain and you recovered pretty quickly after that.  But then you developed a double ear infection (your first experience) so now you’re on antibiotics (your first experience with that too) and it seems that you’re finally on the mend.

On a lighter note, Daddy and I are blown away by the vocabulary you’re picking up on each moment of the day.  You’ve begun naming things yourself and some of me and Daddy’s favorites are: Baby (blankie), baba (pacifier), boo-boo (booty), Lalo or Laloo (Lola), and “Maaah-meee” (Help please, More please, Yes please, Up please).

Christmas is only a couple of weeks away and you are really getting into the holiday spirit.  Every time you see anything vaguely related to Christmas (picture of Santa, Christmas tree, Christmas lights, etc.) you quickly exclaim, “Ho, ho, ho” like the little Christmas elf you are.



Monthly Photos

See past photos in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months ::  Eight Months ::  Nine Months

Ten Months ::  Eleven Months ::  Twelve Months

Thirteen Months ::  Fourteen Months :: Fifteen Months

(No Sixteen Months!)  ::  Seventeen Months

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: 17 Months Old

Dear Sirena,

Lately you have been the littlest walking contradiction–one minute you are in the very depths of your (early) terrible twos and the next you are mama’s little helper and little miss manners.

You get frustrated really easily when you can’t do something (like lift a heavy object and place it on a high step or you can’t open up a drawer on your own) or you don’t want to do something (like some mornings you are just so famished you are too tired to walk yourself to the kitchen and just want me to carry you there) and at times you proceed to cry the biggest tears and loudest wails I’ve ever seen/heard.  It’s gotten bad a few times where you throw your body on the ground or against the wall of your crib and, to be honest, it’s pretty unsettling to watch you do that.  But after getting down to your level, giving you a hug (which you always so desperately want in those moments) and validating your frustration and telling you what good things are on the horizon for you, you luckily shake it off and are back to your happy-go-lucky self after a few minutes.

On the flip side, you are one of the most helpful people I’ve ever met.  Anytime I ask you, “Can you help Mama with __?” you are quick to stop whatever you are doing to come to my aid.  You help clean your highchair after meals, you pick up and put away your toys and books when I ask you to, and you help feed Lola her food every day (which I consider your first chore!)  And for the past couple of months we’ve been working on your manners by saying “Please” (“More, please!” and “Help, please!”), “Thank you,” and “Excuse me, Lola” (instead of pushing her when she gets in your way).  In the last two weeks I have heard you say “Help, please!” and “Thank you” completely unprompted and that has made me so so so so so so proud of you!

There are so many parts to your personality that we are discovering each and every day and although at times all we can do is cross our eyes in total bewilderment by your quirky behaviors, overall we consider ourselves so proud and lucky to call you our baby girl.



The Seventeen Month Rundown

Milestones (The list is longer this time ’round because I missed her sixteen month post, oops!)

  • Tiny dancer: You love to move and shake your body and you have got the best rhythm and moves I’ve ever seen.  Your absolute favorite song to dance to is Cookie Monster’s “Share It Maybe” to the tune of pop song “Call Me Maybe.”  As soon as that music starts up you start shrugging your shoulders, lifting your arm back, tapping your feet, and shaking your booty.
  • Friends: Your friend Amelia and you are two peas in a pod because you spend two whole days together at daycare each week.  Amelia calls you “Suri” and when I say her name you get all excited.  She has taught you how to spin around in circles and you two give each other high-5’s which is so adorable to see.
  • “No”: You say this word a lot lately and you are very matter-of-fact when you say it.  In addition to saying it when you don’t want something, you also say it when you’re uncomfortable or scared.  At Halloween when people had masks/hats on, you would say “No” meaning you wanted them to take it off and be normal again.
  • “Mommy”: You also say this word a lot, but not necessarily meaning me as your mama.  You say it when you want something or when you’re excited about getting something.
  • Other words you can say: Bubbles, Moon, Ball, Banana, Lola, Shoes, Eyes, Nose, Mouth, Names of some people
  • Buckles: You are getting really good at buckling yourself into your car seat, stroller, and grocery cart chair (and luckily you haven’t learned how to unbuckle yourself yet!)
  • Night, night: Around 7pm every night you get really sleepy and the way you show us that it’s time for bed is you get your blankie or pillow or Dumbo stuffed animal and lay down on the floor with your booty up in the air.
  • “Milkie”: At 16.5 months we stopped breastfeeding.  I knew the end was coming for about a month or so because my supply had dropped quite a bit and it was hard that month emotionally to come to terms with it.  I was sad that we wouldn’t have that sweet, quiet bonding time any more…it was the only time I could get you to sit still and just be with me and it was the only time I could watch you fall asleep.  I had to go away for 3 days to Sacramento for a work trip and the timing was just too perfect so we basically stopped cold turkey the day before my trip.  It was physically painful and uncomfortable for about 5 days but when it was all said and done it felt like the right thing for us to do.  I am so proud that I was able to breastfeed you for as long as I did and I am so grateful to have all of those memories with you.

Monthly Photos

See past monthly photos in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months ::  Eight Months ::  Nine Months

Ten Months ::  Eleven Months ::  Twelve Months

Thirteen Months ::  Fourteen Months :: Fifteen Months

(No Sixteen Months!)

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: 15 Months Old

Dear Sirena,

You have been testing out your independence more and more these days and it’s really fun to see you attempt to navigate the world without Mama or Daddy right by your side showing you how to do things.  You’ve begun giving yourself tasks to accomplish and it’s entertaining to watch you–you will go into your dresser and grab out a handful of diapers, carry them across the room, and pile them on top of your little armchair; or you will tear up little pieces of toilet paper and stuff them into a container and dump them out to start all over again; or you will take out every item from the shelf and then stuff yourself into the shelf afterwards (but you haven’t quite grasped the task of clean-up afterwards).

You’re a busy little person who’s got a mind of her own with a whole lotta people to see and a whole lotta things to do.



The Fifteen Month Rundown


  • “No”–You have quickly mastered this word and everything it signifies.  Sometimes it can be frustrating (“Did you go potty?” “No” even though we know you did) sometimes we have to hide our expressions of amusement when you use it because it is so entertaining to see a little person who is so sure of herself and what she wants (or doesn’t want).

Monthly Photos

See past monthly photos in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months ::  Eight Months ::  Nine Months

Ten Months ::  Eleven Months ::  Twelve Months

Thirteen Months ::  Fourteen Months

Halloween 2013

For Sirena’s second Halloween we decided to dress her as Goldilocks and Mama and Daddy could go as Mama Bear and Papa Bear (and don’t forget about our Lola Bear!)  Here are some photos from the Halloween festivities in October.

Her first visit to Pa’s Pumpkin Patch (and old Long Beach staple)…




Halloween Carnival at Point Fermin Lighthouse with Nani, Bopa, and Christian…


The Bear family



Her first time trick-or-treating! With her entourage… 😉



Her buddy Amelia came along for her first trick-or-treating experience as well! Along with her mama and daddy Kim and Frank, Nani, Grandma Dorothy, Aunt TT, and cousin Katelyn

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: 14 Months Old

Dear Sirena,

There are so many new things that you are learning every day and it just blows me and your Daddy away how much you soak it all in like a little sponge.  Your love for airplanes, helicopters, buses, and trucks has truly blossomed this month and it is so neat to see how much joy those big machines bring to you!  Every time you hear an airplane you point up in the sky and search for it and that could not make your Daddy, the-airplane-mechanic-who-runs-out-of-the-house-every-time-he-hears-a-jet-fly-overhead, happier.

The sweetest moment happened last week when I picked you up from daycare–it was a Tuesday afternoon, trash day, and you started shaking and made a “hmm” when you saw the big recycling truck approach so I decided to pause and let you watch it do its thing.  You watched in total and complete awe as the big mechanical arms came out and picked up the recycling bins and dumped their contents into the back of the truck.  Then when the truck approached I told you to “Say hi” and you waved and then the driver excitedly waved back at you and honked his horn which made you so happy!  It was such a neat moment and you seemed to have both made each other’s days.

I can’t wait to see what your interests are…if you’re going to be a little scientific, mechanical thinker like your Daddy or someone who loves art and the humanities like your Mama.  Heck, why not both?  We don’t want you to ever feel limited in what you can do and feel passionate about.



The Fourteen Month Rundown


  • She’s a walkin’!! She took her first 3 steps on 7/19, then took 10 steps on 7/30, and by the next week she was walking across the room. She still looks like a drunk sailor when trying to keep her balance but she’s getting the hang of it more and more.
  • Blowing kisses & giving people high-fives when they ask for one
  • Nodding her head “yes” and shaking her head “no”…she even says “yeah” when she’s nodding her head
  • Copying us and saying “mooo” when we ask her what noise a cow makes
  • When we chase her she sometimes “plays dead” by laying flat on the ground and waiting for us to approach her
  • She went on her first amusement park ride (the carousel) at the OC Fair!
  • She’s a turbo eater–she will stuff some food in her mouth and then ask for or grab another handful and try to put it in her mouth without having swallowed the first bite! We’re trying to teach her to chew what’s in her mouth first and she will mimic the chewing noise we make and then when we say “Let me see” she’ll stick her tongue out to show us that her mouth is empty.
  • And I think we might be entering some early stages of the “terrible twos”–she throws a tantrum every time we want to change her diaper (arching her back, squirming around trying to escape while crying really loud) and she occasionally will get really upset when she doesn’t get her way (once at a grocery store when I wouldn’t give her the balloon she wanted and once at the park when I told her we were all done with the swings). We’re doing our best not to give in to her demands because we feel she’s just testing our boundaries and we’re hopeful it will pay off in the end.  😉

Monthly Photos

See past monthly photos in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months ::  Eight Months ::  Nine Months

Ten Months ::  Eleven Months ::  Twelve Months

Thirteen Months

Sirena’s 1st birthday party!

Here is a collection of photos from Sirena’s first birthday bash! The days leading up to the party the weather was glorious…and then that morning we woke up to the gloomiest June day you could imagine! Super chilly winds, no sun to speak of. We kept the plans to host it at the park in the afternoon but it sure made for a different vibe than we had been expecting! But we all made the most of it, including the birthday girl (who had to cover up her special birthday dress which we bought when we were in Mexico over New Year’s…oh well!)


Nothing like last-minute cupcake decorating to get a party started on the right foot! We even had to defrost the frosting (which had just about frozen in our ice chest) on the car’s engine. Talk about a memorable experience, lol!


Me and Bri frantically rearranging the cupcakes as guests arrive.


The decorations for the day were mostly colorful streamers and ribbons.


The birthday girl’s special crown (made my Bri!) and her highchair all done up and ready for the cake smashing.


We made a fun display of some photos of Sirena over the course of her first year with little party hats. We also asked guests to guess what career path Sirena would choose during her doljanchi ceremony (a really neat Korean tradition for first birthdays that we borrowed for the special occasion!)









We had plenty of park games for the kids and big kids…water balloon toss, three-legged race, and some other fun games.


Of the 5 career paths Sirena could choose and crawl to she chose…education (just like her mama!) Her second choice was actually mechanical (just like her Daddy!)


Oh the presents!




Her royal highness ready to entertain her subjects.


She’s not so sure about it…


“Here, Daddy, YOU try it.”


Family photo



Delmar family


Edmonds family

The party invitation I created:

Party invite

The thank you cards we sent out:

Party thank you card

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: 13 months old

Dear Sirena,

It’s true what they say: something magical happens after a baby’s first birthday and they become a little kid!  But in addition to trying to be more independent by testing out your legs and attempting to walk (with the help of furniture or an adult’s hands, not on your own quite yet) you have also become a whole lot more clingy with me and your Daddy and nothing makes us feel more loved.  This past month you have started to do something so special and loving: at night after I finish feeding you just before bedtime you reach your arm up, grab me around my neck, and pull my face towards yours so that our noses or cheeks are touching, then you fall fast asleep.

Pure sweetness.

Love you tons,


The thirteen month rundown


  • She uses the sign language sign for “please” every time she wants something (she still doesn’t quite understand what the word itself means because she can be demanding when she does the “please” sign when she really wants something!)
  • Giving us big, sloppy kisses, not only when we ask for them too, sometimes on her own just ’cause!
  • Eating full meals at breakfast and dinner
  • Walking around while holding onto furniture and pushing her car around
  • Crawls up and down stairs
  • Feeding herself with a spoon
  • Turning the tv on (Ahhh!)
  • Drinking from a straw like a pro
  • Going to daycare twice a week like a brave, big girl

Monthly photos

Our little Coppertone model…this girl tans so well!

See past monthly photos in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months ::  Eight Months ::  Nine Months

Ten Months ::  Eleven Months ::  Twelve Months

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: One Year Old!!

Dear Sirena,

I could never have imagined the mixed emotions I would feel writing this post to celebrate your first birthday.  I write this note to you beaming with pride, excitement, anticipation, and a little bit of sadness too.  No longer are you our baby girl but instead you’ve become our little rambunctious toddler basically overnight.  Writing this both excites me for the adventures that are to come and chips away at my heart just a little.

You know, every month when I sit down to write these notes to you I feel like what I want to say is what I’ve already said to you in every post–you’re growing like a weed and it is such a joy and a true privilege watching you become the independent, entertaining, adventurous, sweet, lovable, strong, brave, and hilarious little girl that you are.

Each new day with you brings a whole new appreciation for what you’ve brought to our lives.  There is nothing we love more than watching you learn a new skill or making you laugh.  You make us want to be better people so that we will lead by example and be the best role models for you.  We strive to be the kind of parents that allow you to be yourself, give you many opportunities to learn and grow, while also providing you with a warm and loving home filled to the brim with laughter.  We hope you are at least satisfied with our first year’s attempt at this.  🙂

The end of an era has come and even though I’d be lying if I said it had been a breeze this past year I am already feeling nostalgic about your days as a squishy, squirmy baby.

Life with you is a true JOY and we cannot wait to celebrate a lifetime of birthdays with you, our beautiful little mermaid.



The twelve month rundown


  • Standing on her own (“Look, Ma, no hands!”)
  • Listening to us when we say “no”, puts grass down before putting in mouth
  • Playing fetch with Lola (although Lola doesn’t get quite the workout when you throw the ball three feet away…doesn’t mean she doesn’t appreciate the attention though!)
  • Dumping things out of boxes
  • Reading books on her own (she just hums and grunts as she turns the pages)

Monthly photos

See past monthly photos in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months ::  Eight Months ::  Nine Months

Ten Months ::  Eleven Months

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: 11 Months Old

Dear Sirena,

Every day your Daddy and I are so amazed by how much of a BIG girl you are becoming.  It’s amazing how you can be such an independent baby while still finding comfort in being in Mama’s or Daddy’s arms when you get scared or hurt.  Your baby days are quickly coming to an end but I think you are ready to be a toddler–you want to talk and move and play like all of the big kids you so admire.

We are in complete disbelief that you are nearing your first birthday but instead of feeling sad for the end of babyhood we are looking forward to the amazing adventures that are yet to come!



The eleven month rundown


  • Second plane trip–You and Mama took a trip up to Oakland for Mama’s work and were fortunate enough to be able to make a visit with Auntie Jessie.  You are such a good traveling buddy and I was so proud of you being such a good baby on the plane.
  • Telling us what you want–After a couple of months of pointing with your index finger like E.T. you’ve learned that pointing has a purpose and you’ve learned to point at the things you want.
  • Pull-ups–You pulled yourself up to a standing position all on your own on 4/8. The first few times you did it we didn’t actually see you pull yourself up, we just turned away for a moment and  by the time we turned back around we couldn’t believe our eyes that you were standing. Now, you’re a pro!
  • On the move!–You crawled for the first time on 4/10! At first you would drag one leg underneath you (you reminded us of Quasimodo a little bit, hehe) and you were pretty slow but you are a turbo crawler now.
  • New words–You have learned Lola’s name and will call to her and, since playing with Lola, you have learned how to say “ball” (sounds more like “ba”).
  • “Feet first”–Auntie Jessie taught you to crawl down from the bed or couch “feet first” and now when you approach the edge we say “feet first” and you understand that you need to get on your belly, turn your legs back, and drop down slowly with your feet first (with assistance, of course!)

Monthly Photos

See past monthly photo posts in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months ::  Eight Months ::  Nine Months

Ten Months

The many facial expressions of Sirena