This is a big year for us with lots of life milestones, but turning 30 is definitely a milestone that stands out for sure. For my birthday this year, my work threw me a nice party, with a giant cupcake cake! They totally went all out this year with decorations too! Then I got to celebrate with my other half, since she come down from Canada so we can celebrate together!! I then had a nice family day at the Irvine Great Park, then a nice intimate dinner at the Orange County Mining Company, which had an amazing sunset view of the city. For Khoa’s birthday celebration, I threw him a raving dance party at our clubhouse with a bartender and DJ, with laser lights and tons of glow in the dark accessories. We also had nice dinners with our families, still waiting on the dinner with Khoa’s parents for his birthday, but that will happen soon. At the end of the day, parties are fun, but it’s all about being able to celebrate with the people who love you most. Being surrounded by so many great people, feeling the love and care in the air, really makes you feel like you’re so rich in life. Who needs presents when you have this lovely bunch of family and friends? You guys make life so much more fun and better =). Also, it’s so cute and fun to see Lily getting the hang of blowing out candles now, she can blow out all our candles from now on, we’re definitely gonna need help doing so! Haha.
Birthdays are always a good time to sit and reflect on what you’ve done with your life the past year or so and see what you’ve accomplished, or not accomplished haha, and milestone birthdays tend to make people heavily analyze what they’ve done with their lives since their last milestone birthday. As for me, I feel like so much has happened in my 20’s, but the best part was obviously 2 years ago when my sweet Lily pad was born. The last year in my 20’s was probably the toughest year of my life, and everything I knew about life and myself got challenged and I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever recover from it. However, although it was the hardest year of my life, I am very grateful for my experiences and what came from it, because there’s a silver lining to everything, even if it may not seem clear at first. I’ve found a new love and appreciation for life, and the phrase “cherish each moment” have never meant so much to me than it does now. Life is about going on adventures with your love ones, battling the bumps on the road together, and getting through and onto the next adventure. Creating fond new memories is what I aim to do in this next new chapter of my life and I can’t wait to see what life has in store for me. Life isn’t perfect, but as long as I have my angels, my lily pad, and my love with me, I’m one lucky and happy gal! =)
You can check out more pictures from my birthday HERE and from Khoa’s birthday HERE. Also, check out this video of Lily, Emmy and Skye having the time of their lives at Khoa’s dance party bday! They’re so stinking cute!!
This year for Halloween, Lily casted her spell on all of us with her bewitching costume that my aunt gave her! Lily got to participate in her school’s Halloween parade for the first time, and she did so well! She is quite a character! Check out the video below!
We also took Lily to Mickey Mouse’s Trick or Treat Halloween Party at Disneyland for the first time this year too! Lily dressed up as a Minion, one of her favorite characters, and totally got spoiled by all the candy Disneyland gave out! It was literally handfuls of candy at each station! What was nice was that they didn’t just give out chocolate candies, but they also had healthy alternatives like baby carrot sticks, apple slices and yogurt craisins! Way ta go Disneyland! We will definitely come back next year! You can view more pictures here. We also took Lily to go trick or treating for the first time at the South Coast Plaza Mall. I like it a lot since it’s so safe and easy and Lily got the hang of it really quickly, and even said “trick or treat” before they gave her the candy!
We also took Lily to the pumpkin patch again at the Irvine Regional Park with her friends Emmy and Skye! She enjoyed riding the fake pony, rolling the pumpkins around, and playing with her friends more than the pumpkin patch itself. Maybe next year she’ll be big enough to drive the little motor tractors and enjoy doing more activities! She’ll probably be able to carve her first pumpkin next year! That’ll be something fun to look forward to! You can see more pictures and videos here.
Last year we lit 1 candle, now this year we light 2. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about my angels. They were only here for a little time but they brought a lot of joy and happiness to our lives. They forever changed my life, our life, and I am a better mother, and better person because of them. They taught me so much about compassion and love, and I will be forever grateful for them and how they’ve touched my heart so deeply.
So I invite you all today, on October 15th, to light a candle at 7pm, for at least an hour, and participate in the worldwide “Wave of Light” in observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness/Remembrance Day. So many people worldwide suffer the pain and loss of their lost babies, and too many do it in silence. The Wave of Light is a way to help spread awareness, to honor our angels, and to support all those grieving, since the grieving never ends, it is a part of who we are now. We will never forget our angels and the love and joy they brought to our lives in the brief time that they were here. I will light my candles for my angels, and all the other angels smiling down on us.
“We quickly find there are no words to describe the experience of losing a child. For those who have not lost a child, no explanation will do. For those who have, no explanation is necessary” ~ Mary Lingle
”The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, suffering, struggle, loss… and who have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep, loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
For my angels, a poem by an unknown author with a few modifications:
To “let go” does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To “let go” is not to cut myself off,
it is the realisation I can’t control another.
To “let go” is to admit powerlessness,
which means that the outcome is not in my hands.
To “let go” is not to care for,
but to care about.
To “let go” is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To “let go” is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To “let go” is not to be in the middle, arranging the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own destinies,
To “let go” is not to be protective,
but to permit another to face reality.
To “let go” is not to deny,
but to accept.
To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take every day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.
To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To “let go” is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To “let go” is to fear less and love more.
It’s been a whole year yesterday since my first angel left us. Instead of filling my day with sadness, I decided to do something to positive in honor of my angels. We got some balloons, and two special balloons for my angels, and I wrote the words “I love you” “my Angels” on the them. I chose yellow for them because they symbolizes pure happiness and are my shining stars. We went to a nice park and sat/laid there on the grass, watching them move peacefully move with the wind. After a moment, it was time to let them go. It was very hard to me, I know they’re just balloons, but they symbolize something much more to me, my angels. I never got to say goodbye, and I never wanted to say goodbye, so it’s just an “until we meet again” instead. It took all my strength to let go of the strings, it felt like a part of me flew away with the balloons, but I know they are flying high to a better place. Although it’s only been a year for my first angel, this was for both of my angels. As I look up to the skies, I know they are smiling down on me. I love you my sweet angel, I always will.
I lastly leave with some really beautiful poems, some by unknown authors, and some modified by me.
Last night two little angels
Came and whispered in my ear.
And this is what they told me
“Don’t worry Mommy, we’re right here.
It feels like a long time
Since we last felt your touch.
And we wanted you to know
We miss you, Daddy, & Lily so very much.
We know that you love us
and think of us every day.
And it makes us very sad
that we had to go away.
But we know that our memory
will never ever die.
And we know that sometimes
when you think of us you cry.
But don’t worry Mommy
There’s so much here to do.
And every day remember
We are watching over you.”
Then my angels kissed me
As tears rolled down my face.
And I knew we’ll all be together again
Another time. Another place.
AN ANGEL’S KISS
We go through life so often
Not stopping to enjoy the day,
And we take each one for granted
As we travel on our way.
We never stop to measure
Anything we just might miss,
But if the wind should blow by softly
You’ll feel an ANGELS KISS.
A kiss that is sent from Heaven
A kiss from up above,
A kiss that is very special
From someone that you love.
For in your pain and sorrow
An ANGELS KISS will help you through,
This kiss is very private
For it is meant for only you.
So when your hearts are heavy
And filled with tears and pain,
And no one can console you
Remember once again…..
About the ones you grieve for
Because you sadly miss
And the gentle breeze you took for granted
Was just……… “AN ANGELS KISS”
By Peggie Bouse
I REMEMBER YOU
The world may never notice
If a rosebud doesn’t bloom
Or even pause to wonder
if the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be
Touches the World in some small way
For all eternity.
The little ones we longed for
Were swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do
Every beating of my heart says
“I Remember and I Love You”
Lily (2 years and almost 3 months old) just started the new school year at LePort last week, and she was showing me all the things she learned and can do at school during parent visitations, the day before the new school year started. I’m so impressed by all the things she knows how to do and all the things she understands as well. I’m so in awe watching her work and showing me all her skills! I’m so proud of you Lily, mommy loves you so much!!!!
Lily also Lily played on the iPad for the first time and loves it!!! The game is called Forest Flyer! Thanks Mieng for the recommendation!! I love seeing her crack up!!
Lily also loves to draw and can’t stop talking. I think her favorite shape is the octagon, but does anyone speak Lily because I barely know what else she is saying! Haha, her voice is so cute though!
Happy Father’s Day to Khoa!! Here’s how his day was from his words:
Oh my did I have the best father’s day weekend ever. Friday night Jackie suggested we let my mom watch Lily so we can have a nice peaceful dinner out. I said sure, I’ll give her a quick call. She politely declined and said she would call. Turns out, she never called her because my mom was in on some secret and already knew she’d be watching Lily! Sneaky sneaky. We had our dinner and when we got home, I was getting ready to relax when the doorbell rang. It was An… strange because usually I know when he’s going to pay us a visit. He had this look on his face like… I don’t know what I’m supposed to say here… lol. Then Jackie hands me a piece of paper and says “Surprise!” Turns out a while back, she bought me tickets to this show, Hollywood Babble-On. I’ve listened to over 100 episodes of that popcast so I was super excited to finally be able to see it in person. It features Kevin Smith, writer/director of Jay and Silent Bob, Clerks, Mallrats, etc…, and Ralph Garmin, part of the Kevin and Bean show at KROQ. The show was even better in person, and I thank Jackie for sitting through it because I know it’s not her cup of tea. Also thanks to Steve Le for also sitting through it since it’s not really his thing either. An… enjoyed it so no thanks needed there! Hah jk, thanks An for being there. It was a small venue so afterwards, Ralph was just hanging out (thanks An for pointing that out) and I actually got a picture with him. As Jennifer and Alvina pointed out, I was so happy and star-struck lol. As if the night wasn’t great enough, Steve “proposed” for me to be his Best Man!
Saturday started out with Father’s Day for my and Jackie’s dad and then a 1 year old Birthday Party. Afterwards, Jackie just told me to drive and gave me step by step directions as we went. Finally we pulled up to a Men’s Warehouse! Apparently they are having a BOGO free sale! She’s so sweet; she knows I have been wearing the same two suits for over 5 years and getting a new one is way past due. I chose two, in my opinion, really nice suits that will fit many occasions. I’m really excited to put them on and flaunt their awesomeness around town.
Come Sunday morning, Jackie had another surprise for me! Again she gave me step by step directions on where to go and we finally ended up at the Discovery Science Center where they just started their Mythbusters exhibit! My baby knows me and my nerdy side so well. They had a stage show that was pretty cool; they shot a paintball gun at a target and asked if we all thought it was possible for a person to dodge it or not. The whole premise was to explain the Scientific Method and how there are so many variables that you have to have very deliberate and controllable tests. The variables they decided to experiment with is a person’s reaction time and the distance (simulated by delay) of the gun. Long story short, they had someone up there with a riot shield and they eventually dodged the paintball given a 1 sec delay. The rest of the exhibits were pretty cool; some notable ones were a “blind driving test” where you just have a wheel and pedals in front of you and someone else is looking at a screen trying to give you directions. I was really bad at that. Another one where you can see if you can pull a tablecloth off a table without pulling all of the glassware with it (in this case it was plasticware). There were many others; I would highly recommend anyone to check it out.
After the Discovery Science Center, we went to eat for my Grandpa’s father’s day celebration. After that, my mom took Lily and Jackie said we can do whatever I felt like. A movie seemed like the perfect way to close out this weekend. We went to the theatre expecting to watch Godzilla but it was sold out. We went to our 2nd choice which was a million days to die in the west. It was really funny, but I don’t think the movie (as a whole) was as good as Ted, which was Seth Macfarlane’s last movie. It was pretty cool that Ralph Garmin had a few lines in the movie though since we just met him in person on Friday! There was definitely some memorable lines that I see Jackie and me repeating to each other from time to time.
Finally for dinner, we decided to go to the Anaheim Packing House. It is a new, hip place 10 minutes walking distance from our house. We went on Saturday night too and saw that there was a Shabu Shabu place so we decided to come back on Sunday to try it. It was pretty darn good, but the only thing is they don’t have traditional Ponzu or Goma because they consider themselves a “hot pot” restaurant. After eating there and seeing their offerings, I really would consider them a Shabu place rather than a Hot Pot place. Either way, it was good eats. After that we got some really good popsicles that were dipped in our choice of chocolate and toppings. We tried to go there on Saturday but the line was out the door. We had much better luck on Sunday night. I’m really excited that the Anaheim Packing District opened up but am a bit scared at how close it is to our house. There are so many good food choices there that I may go broke and fat pretty quickly.
The night ended with Game of Thrones, as we both were pretty excited to watch the Finale. Jackie had one last surprise for me; an official Game of Thrones beer. It turns out I actually had some at the b-day party on Saturday but it was still a really nice surprise! You’re the best honey! I know she went through a lot of trouble finding it and hiding it from me so I appreciate that very much!
Thanks again for the awesome Father’s Day honey! You really went all out and I really appreciate it! I love you my sun and stars, forever and a half.
One last shout out to the reason I am a father to begin with. Lily, you are one of the biggest and best things that has ever happened to me. I am so honored to call you my daughter and to be called your “dada”. You force me to be a better version of myself and I love you for that. I am constantly filled with happiness every time you smile or run to give me a hug. I love it when you surprise me by doing something amazing that I didn’t know you could. I am really excited knowing that you will always be growing and learning new things and making me the proudest father alive. Today is Father’s day, but to me, every day is Lily day. Oh and how can I forget, thank you for making this for me at school
Thank you to my wonderful family: Jackie and Lily. You light up my life!
Happy 2nd birthday to my sweet little Lily pad!! Lily is about 23 pounds (8 percentile) and stretches about 34 inches tall (average percentile). At her 2 year check-up, she got a finger prick to test her hemoglobin and lead and the doctors said her levels are really good, and she got 1 shot in the thigh and she cried at first but then stopped and was a happy camper shortly after! She even said thank you to the nurses and waved bye and when asked how old she was, she’ll put up 1 finger and say “TWO!!” haha! Her pediatrician said she is developing really nicely and acts like a 3 year old instead of 2 year due to her openness to everyone and how cooperative she was. She listened really well and is talking so much, and picks up on language super fast! She’s starting to go through a mimic phase and will copy her friend’s actions and she loves to hold her friend’s hands! She’s getting smarter each day and is growing so fast! Where did the time go baby girl? She also started potty training 2 weeks ago and is making really great progress!! She’s at the point where she’s really good at telling us she needs to go and we take her and she actually goes! Her favorite phrase right now is “I go poopoo choilet!” I love the way she says toilet haha. “Choilet!” She talks so much now and her vocabulary is exploding! Just last week she knew the word “octagon!” We are so proud of her and all her accomplishments in her first 2 years of life!
On Friday, June 6, Lily had a little birthday celebration at her school. We had a special circle time with all her classmates where her teacher, Mr. Monica, showed her classmates 3 photos of her (1 of her at 1 months old, 1 years old, and now 2 years old). They had a special music box that plays the Happy Birthday song when you wind it, but Lily didn’t want to wind it so we just sang to her without that. Then we all went to sit down at the table where the kids got to eat sugar free cookies and apple slices! The sugar free cookies were actually pretty good, who would have thought? Haha. I also made origami lilies from various designed scrapbook paper, and used floral tape to tape down little party favor bubble wands inside the flower. I tied a gold ribbon and tag to the top of the bubble wand, and the tag says “Roses are red, violets are blue, blow some bubbles, Lily is 2!” All the adults seemed to really like it, they weren’t going to pass them out to the kids until they leave for the day, but I’m hoping they liked the bubbles, who wouldn’t? Lily also got to enjoy some refreshing watermelon before it was time to go home from school! She had a great day celebrating at school!!
On Sunday, it was Lily’s actual birthday, and that’s when all our family and friends gathered to celebrate our little angel turning 2 years old! I made all the desserts with the help of my lovely assistant Sarah! Desserts included milk and white chocolate mousse, tiramisu, panna cotta, chocolate kiss nutter butter acorns, macarons (green tea, raspberry, and fruity pebbles), and I made this balsamic mozzarella cheese tomato appetizers too. My aunt made chocolate dipped strawberries and had the creative idea of sticking them on the top of pineapples! My super talented and crafty dad made all the wooden dessert stands too! I also made Lily’s display cake as well! We ordered the usual lot of Vietnamese food (nem nuong, fried noodles, egg rolls, banh beo), and my family made some clear noodles, soy, fried rice, pasta salad and cut up fruits too. Lily had a super great time this year because she’s older and she had a blast running around the grass with the balloon sticks and playing with all the other kids! I love watching her play and laugh her little tooshie off. Her happiness is my happiness!
My friend Mieng also did a really nice photoshoot of Lily for me for photos to be displayed at her birthday party! I was also able to use them to print out thank you magnets to send to everyone as well! The photos came out better than I could imagine and I’m so grateful to have these beautiful photos that I can share and hold onto forever. So special thanks to Mieng for all your talents! We are lucky to have you! =) You can view more pictures from her birthday party from my simple camera and photos that Mieng took HERE!
Look at all the presents! She was so excited to open them but there was so much that she just wanted to play and got tired of opening them, so I had to step in and help her open them all haha. She’s really spoiled with so much love by everyone! She deserves all of it and so much more!
Lastly, Khoa selected a bunch of video clips from Lily’s past year and Jennifer put them all together in this lovely video! Thank you Khoa for combing through the hundreds of video clips and thank you Jennifer for creating this video that we will be able to share with Lily when she’s older! It’s so wonderful to be able to watch our sweet baby girl grow from being a 1 year old baby to a 2 year old toddler! Get ready to smile, laugh, and fall in love with Lily all over again in the video below! She is the greatest joy of my life! Lily I wish you the most wonderful 2nd birthday! I love watching you grow everyday, and you made me the happiest mommy in the whole world! You brighten my days, my life, my soul. Baby I love you so much with all of my heart, forever and beyond!
Happy 23 months my precious Lily pad!! Right now she weighs in about 22.4 pounds, and stretches about 33 inches tall! Lily loves to talk now and starts to mimic our words we say! She is picking up so many things so quickly and is getting so smart so fast! She is talking so much more these days and picking up new wordings really fast! Right now she can count to ten, but she likes to say the next number in the sequence. For example, I’ll start with saying 1, then she’ll say 2, I’ll say 3, then she’ll say 4, etc! It’s so cute and I’m so impressed with her! She likes to hold things for us and say “I hold it!”, “that’s funny” or she’ll plug her ears and say “It’s loud” when she hears loud music or something haha. She is super good at spotting parks miles away and saying “SLIDE!!” and “PLAY!” She’ll also point things out like boats, trucks, trains, dogs, bunnies, stroller and say what they are too! It’s amazing how fast she picks things up! Also, we would ask her what does a cow say, and she’ll say “moooooo” and we’ll ask her what does a bird say and she’ll say “kaaa!” like the seagulls she saw in Seattle. Then we asked her what a dog says and she goes “dooooog!” hahaha! So cute! We’ll work on that haha. She will also point to my jacket and say “mommy jacket” or point at Khoa’s and say “daddy jacket!”, or point to our shoes or feet and say “mommy shoes” etc! She also likes to bring our shoes to us to tell us that that she wants to go out to play! She also knows who to say “this is heavy” and she’ll say “oh!” a lot too! She surprises us with new vocabulary everyday! She’s a non-stop talking and is so smart! I can listen to her voice all day long, she never stops amazing me!
We also went on vacation to Vancouver and Seattle from May 1-6! Lily was such a great traveler! She loved seeing all the new sites and playing at all the parks! She especially liked Maplewood Farms where she got to pet a bunch of animals like baby goats, cows, and guinea pigs! She made herself at home at the hotels as well and loved playing hide and seek behind the curtains and jumping on the bed haha. We took her to various parks and let her play and run around, and she loved seeing all the new things she hasn’t seen before! You can see all our photos HERE!
This past weekend we also celebrated my 2nd Mother’s day! It was really busy but overall very nice! Lily came home on Friday from school with a special sweet gift she made for me! She made me a really nice card, and a frame with her cute little foot prints on it that made a shape of a butterfly!! Her teacher said she worked really hard on it, and I know she put so much love into it! I’m going to make sure I hang it up in a nice spot so I can see it everyday! =) later that night we had dinner for Khoa’s mom for her special mother’s day celebration. On Saturday, we had lunch and dinner for our families, and here are a couple pictures of 4 generations from Khoa’s mom’s side, and 3 generations on my side! We had a nice lunch with Khoa’s mom side and a nice dinner with my family later that evening! We appreciate and love our moms for all that they’ve done for us all our lives. We would not be here without them and we love you so much! Thank you for all your hard work, caring for us, and showing us what love is. Happy mother’s day mommies and Bà Ngoại!
On Sunday, my sweet little Lily pad came into our room with this huge heart shaped balloon that says “Mom is the Best!” and sings “Simply the Best” when you tap on it! It was so cute seeing her walk in all excited with the balloon. She lights up my life and makes me so incredibly happy! Khoa then surprised me with a brunch buffet at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach. Everything was decorated Hawaiian/Polynesian style and at the end of brunch they had a Polynesian show with Polynesian dancers and a fire dance too! I was very pleasantly surprised! Good job baby cakes!! Afterwards, we had a nice relaxing stroll along the Bolsa Chica State Beach! Not many people were there so it was really nice not having to deal with the crowd. After Lily got to play in the sand for a bit, and picking up all the tiny trash items in the sand (gross haha), we dropped her off at her grandparent’s house and we saw the movie The Neighbors! It was really funny and better than I expected too! We then went to church and got my special mother’s day blessing. We then had dinner at Gyu Kaku where I ate an entire s’more even though I said I’d only have 1 bite…whoopsie! =P We then picked Lily up, put our sweet angel to bed, then watched Game of Thrones! Thank you Khoa for a wonderful day, I love you! Also, big love and thanks to my special baby, my sweetheart, my love of my life. When you came to be, you became my everything! I would not have this wonderful gift of motherhood without you, my Lily pad. I love you with all my heart my love, and I feel your love everyday, and it warms my soul, you complete me! Also to my angels, I love you, and thank you for watching over me. <3
Happy Mother’s day to all you wonderfully fabulous mothers out there!
Happy Easter! This year we did something new and took her to an Easter Egg Hunt at Pantera Park in Diamond Bar with Mieng and Sandy and Emmy! Lily was too shy to go to the 4 years old and under kid section for the egg hunt so we had to take her to the parent assisted section, and Khoa took her in while I stood outside to try to take pictures. I said “tried” to take pictures because once the announcer said “GO!”, everyone just swarmed into the center of the field and grabbed all the eggs within seconds!! I was so shocked I didn’t get any pictures! haha. Then Khoa was lost in the crowd for a bit and so there was no point in taking any pictures. They did get 2 eggs though, they had a candy in each egg haha. I think Lily felt very overwhelmed by how many people were there, so she wanted to be held the entire time. I think next year will be better if we don’t go to the parent assisted one. However, due to my lack of photo abilities, Mieng did get this nice photo of me and Lily!! Thanks!! =)
After the egg hunt, which lasted like 2 minutes haha, we decided to go to the park nearby to let the kids roam around and burn off some energy before lunch! Lily looooves the park and made a few friends at the park too. She saw some kids and just sat down in the sand box and started playing with their toys haha. What a social butterfly! After a good hour or so at the park, we went to eat lunch at one of Khoa’s favorite Shabu places called Paper Pot! Lily was so tired by then that she took a nap in her stroller while we ate! We then did a quick milk tea run and then headed over to Goat Hill Junction Railroad in Costa Mesa for a free 15 minute train ride! Lily was still snoozing like the sleeping machine she is, and so the Saetia’s went on the train ride first, and then finally Lily decided to join the party haha. The train ride was pretty cool, it was this cute little train that you would straddle, and it takes you around this big park with random little ponds and bridges. It was really nice and relaxing! After the train ride, the kids had a blast running around and playing with the rocks on the floor haha. Thanks Sandy for inviting us to come, it was such a cool and fun experience!! It’s always nice to create new memories with such wonderful people! =)
On Easter Sunday, we went to church just the three of us and then went to have a nice lunch at Ajisen (ramen) at Diamond Jamboree! I got Lily this Lychee Raspberry Yogurt Juice, and boy she sure loved it!! She wouldn’t put the juice down!! It was a very large cup too and drank more than half of it! Haha. We went home and stay home for the rest of the day and enjoyed a nice and relaxing Sunday at home, watching the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and then a bunch of TV since Lily took a majorly long nap that allowed us to do so haha. Easter is a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and therefore the celebration of renewed life. It’s like a clean start after all the sacrifices he made for us. So this year’s Easter, is a celebration for life, not just for Jesus Christ and mankind, but for our family as well. We’ve had two losses this past year, and after this Easter Holiday, I am trying my best to start anew, and celebrate the life we do have now. The loss we suffered won’t be forgotten, but they’ll be forever in my heart. As I look to the future, I must embrace and enjoy the present. I’m so grateful for all that I have, and even though I don’t know how I got to where I am now, I cannot be more happy and am super humbled to have the wonderful life I have. We only have 1 life to live, and so we must cherish all the moments and live it truly to the fullest. I’m lucky to have so much love in my life, love from my family, friends, Khoa, and most of all, my Lily pad. I will continue to give love and be loved, and make sure that Lily has the best loving life possible. I love you so much my love!! Happy Easter everyone!
Happy 22 months my sweet Lily pad!!! She is currently around 22 pounds (FINALLY) and stretches around 32 inches tall! She is such a vocal baby and had such a spunky personality. She is a very happy baby and she loves music and is starting to sing a long a little more to a lot of songs. She currently loves the Disney movie Frozen and would point to the TV and say “let it go!” haha. She is learning to say a lot more words too. She will point to her shoes and say “shooos.” We also taught her how to saw “I love you”, I just love her voice! You can see her progress here:
Lily also likes to point at baby pictures or babies she sees when we go out and say “baby!!” It’s so strange to see that because she’s still MY baby! haha. Her favorite activities are to color and draw, and when she’s done or sees her art work that’s she’s done in the past, she likes to point to it and say “I did it!!” She also likes to dance and play with bubbles, ride her trike to the park, and play on the slides! She’s fearless on the slide and likes to go on the big kid’s slide now too. She is turning into a little fashionista and loves jewelry, sunglasses and hats as well haha. If she sees a hair bow, she’ll take it and say “bow” and try to put it in her hair! So cute! We love her so much!! Happy 22 months our sweet precious Lily pad!!
Lily also had Children’s Night at LePort and she got to see what she’s learned at school. We got to follow her around her classroom as she showed us her doing some “work” (activities). She really loves to paint, and do puzzles! I’m so impressed with how much she knows. She knows where everything in the classroom is, and she’s got the routine down really well. She’ll take the activity to the table and set it up and start working, then when she’s done, she’ll clean up her work and put it back on the shelf she got it from! She also really likes to put on the apron when she paints and she can put it on herself too. It’s so cute! She never ceases to amaze me!! Here is a video of her completing the butterfly peg puzzle! We are so proud of you Lily!!
It’s been 3 months… I found this quote that I feel is very real and true…
I never got to hear you cry, I never got to feel you kick, I never got to hold you close or see you smile, but you will forever be missed. When you love something from the moment it exists in your heart, and it’s taken from you in the blink of an eye, it hurts. Then when it happens again, it hurts even more…
A lot of people I know don’t deal with these situations, thank goodness for that, and from the outside, sometimes you just don’t know what to say. This article is really helpful on what NOT to say, HERE. This article I found is also super helpful on how to help someone who is going through this loss and pain, HERE. Everyone means well but sometimes at a vulnerable state like this, words needs to be express with caution and I think sometimes less is more. A simple hug for me is more than enough. I am lucky to have so many people around me who love and care about me, and I’m blessed to have such a supportive and loving group of family and friends. It was really rough at first, initially I thought I would never recover enough to live again, but motivations like my precious Lily pad woke me up inside and insisted I try to be myself again. It took a while longer than it did the first time around. I was in a deep black hole for a long time, and it took a lot of patience and encouragement from my loved ones to help me see the light again. Khoa was a major part of that. He stayed strong for the both of us, even though I know he was hurting inside as well. He remained my rock, and I am forever grateful and lucky to have him. As time went on, I’m glad to say that I am ok and happy again. I’ll never forget, and I will always bring my angels with me as I continue my journey and adventures in life. Anyways, I love you my angels, thank you for watching over me and your family, we will meet one day, but until then, I will make you proud and live and smile for you.
One of my favorite Vietnamese dishes is Bánh Bột Chiên, a common street snack in certain parts of Vietnam, that consisted of this rice cake that’s fried with green onions and eggs. I wanted to make it for Khoa since it’s Lent season and he doesn’t eat seafood and we can’t eat meat on Fridays. I wanted to buy the premade rice cake and just cut it up and fry it, but they didn’t have it at the asian market I was at, so I had to make it from scratch! The recipe says to steam it but I didn’t have one that was big enough, so I made my own contraption with a large shallow pot, a wire rack and lots of foil and stuck it in the oven at 200 degrees F haha! It worked so I’m happy with that! It came out super yummy, and I’m feeling more in touched with my Vietnamese roots! I found the recipe here on Helen’s Recipes (Vietnamese Food) Youtube channel. Her Youtube Channel is amazing for authentic Vietnamese food recipes! She has a website for all her recipes too here. Click here for the recipe! The only thing I changed was instead of using Black Soy Sauce, I used Thick Soy Sauce (not sure what the difference is but my Mom told me to use Thick Soy Sauce so I did, mother know’s best!). I also used red vinegar instead of white/black vinegar for the dipping sauce. Khoa loved it, and Lily does too!!
We were eating out on beautiful Saturday morning, and we let Lily eat some noodles for the first time! She LOVED it and had so much fun playing and eating all the noodles. So, I was feeling adventurous, and I decided to attempt to make Phở Bò for the first time, and from scratch! I always wanted to be one of those moms who make amazing homemade phở from scratch, but I always thought it was way out of my skill zone. However, I have to remind myself now and then that I must try otherwise I’ll never know what I’m capable of! So once again, I used the recipe from Helen’s Recipes found here. I don’t eat phở since I don’t like the noodles, but I do like the broth and beef. I figured I can make this anyways for Khoa and Lily to enjoy since I love making them happy in anyway I can! TIPS (that I found useful when searching for all the ingredients): Cardamon (an indian spice plant) is also labelled as amomum in the asian supermarket. I spent so much time in the spice aisle looking for cardamon, it was driving me crazy that I couldn’t find it! So when you search for cardamon and can’t find it, try looking for amomum! Also, you need a large empty tea bag to put the small spices in, but you can also use the little mesh tea balls as well! Those are more secure and your spices won’t risk falling out. Lastly, if you don’t have easy access to a grill like Helen does in her video, my alternative was to lay my ingredients on a cookie sheet or tray, and put it on the top rack in my oven and broil it will it’s a little charred! My house smelled amazing really quickly after I did that! =P Traditional phở bò is cooked overnight to bring out the rich flavors from the beef bones (or chicken bones, whichever flavor you’re making), but I was a little worried about leaving the stove on overnight. (After I’ve seen the broth simmer for hours…I can now see why it’s not TOO big of a deal). So instead, I let it simmer for as long as I could before Khoa got hungry =P (about 4 hours total instead of the basic 2 hours if you don’t do it overnight). It was finally time for Khoa to taste test, and to my surprise, Khoa loved it and said it was REALLY REALLY good and flavorful! I’m so happy, I feel like I’ve achieved something grand!! Lily had difficulty eating the noodles for this one since it was so slippery but she LOVED the broth!! She liked to drink it up straight from the bowl! The most important part of phở is the broth too, and it was very clear and flavorful, big success!! YAY!