The first official outing we made was to Christmas at the Zoo. It opened early for members so it was perfect to take Abby to. We didn’t have to worry about it being crowded or germs galore. Essentially we could test things out and everything went smoothly! Emi enjoyed going out as the four of us and we saw familiar animals (when we use to frequent the zoo, just the two of us): meerkats, Reggie the alligator, flamingos, an elephant, and the Rainforest exhibit. We even paid a visit to Santa! Emi was on the brink of tears, but I reminded her that Santa is Hat’s friend and Emi was able to muster through a photo with him…not smiling, of course. I’m just happy we got a picture and that Abby…I survived our first outing and even squeezed in a ride around the carousel!

Every year my brother’s work has a holiday party for its employees and family. It’s actually pretty nice – arts and crafts for the kids, face painting, balloon animals, kettle corn, cookies and an array of coffee and tea, a green screen for photos, and Santa. We waited in line to take photos with Santa – I wanted one with my mom in it since we have done this for two years in a row – and once it was out turn, Emi had a meltdown. She ran away from Santa, tears and all, and my brother captured it all on the camera. In ways it has become a tradition and I feel like the crying you have to get me out of here picture is part of the holiday spirit! My brother did get a good picture of me, Abby, Santa, and his elves so that was nice. All in all, we had a good time at Edison and we look forward to it again next year.

Every Christmas Eve we go to Morton’s for dinner. It really has become this great tradition that we enjoy and I always look forward to steak! This year my cousin Sean joined us (He is attending UCLA and didn’t go back to Singapore for the holidays.) and we all dived into steak (Emi enjoyed her chicken.), sautéed mushrooms, brussel sprouts with bacon, and mashed potatoes with horseradish (Yummy!). We ended the meal with raspberry soufflé and it was a successful dinner with both Emi and Abby! I have to say that taking Abby out so far hasn’t been too difficult. She actually either sleeps through most of the meal or sits in her stroller checking out her surroundings. Crossing my fingers that this will continue!

This year, Emi enjoyed opening all her presents. Even for her birthday, Emi refused to tear into the gifts. However, I  think it was because the gifts were sitting under the tree and she had to look at them every single day so she couldn’t wait to open them. Emi didn’t even wait for me to begin (I was giving Abby a morning bath.) and when she opened the first one – Thank you Fong family! She had her eye on that gift for weeks! – she ran into the bathroom and yelled in delight, “Look, Legos!!!” Emi shook the box and ran out to the living room so Taro could open it. Emi had picked up the present the day the Fong family left it under our tree and she had asked, “Is this Legos?” because it made the sound of Legos and it made me laugh. I, of course, said, “I don’t know,” so Emi was definitely happy to see it was.

We spent Christmas Day at my parents’ house and enjoyed a great spread: ham, potatoes au gratin, shrimp, vegetables, albacore sashimi (courtesy of Taro’s dad), sticky rice (My fave!), and countless desserts from Porto’s. We had our annual Secret Santa gift exchange and this year, Emi gave out presents. I stole the idea from my BFF, Julie, who takes her kids to the dollar store to pick out gifts for family and friends. It’s to teach the idea of giving and I thought I could start this with Emi, too. Taro suggested taking her to Daiso so here is what Emi picked up: a snow globe for Grandmama, a frog shaped deodorizer for Grandpapa, sushi erasers for Fufu, sushi erasers for Jichan, a banana eraser for Uncle Daisuke, and star washcloths for Auntie Vivian. It was funny as I watched Emi select gifts for everyone and I look forward to doing to again next year!

The holidays were great and 2015 is going to bring more excitement, growth, and change. It can’t top 2011 and 2014 since those are the years my girls were born, but it will definitely be exciting with Abby and Emi growing up together and becoming their own individual selves! Here is to a great new year!


So the big news with Emi is she is fully potty trained! It finally happened and it is such a relief. She was going on the small potty only at home (both pee and poop), but eventually the poop just became…gross, especially in the small potty. So we definitely negotiated (luckily with the help of Hat, who I will explain later) and Emi started to use the regular toilet. I quickly put the small potty away and it just happened – everything in the big toilet! And then she started going at school, too, and her teachers were SO happy! It took peeing on one of her teachers first, but she eventually became comfortable and now she pees at school all the time. So no more pull-ups and just underwear! Emi still doesn’t poop at school, but that’s fine. And even more exciting is that Emi actually will use the toilet when we go out! I told her if she wants to go to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, she has to use the toilet and of course, she did it. It’s amazing how the promise of something fun instantly makes kids immediately do something and continue to do it.

So this year we introduced the Elf on the Shelf to Emi. I read the book to her and asked her to name him. She named him Hat…because he wears a hat. It made sense so Hat it was! Emi looked out for him on a daily basis and would sometimes give him the eye…the “Are you watching me?” and I can see you out of the corner of my eye look. There was intrigue, some confusion, fun, and hesitation with Hat. Emi understood Hat relayed information to Santa so once she started using the toilet, she made sure Hat knew about it, especially because she requested Jake and the Neverland Pirates lego and Peppa Pig Mega Bloks (Obsessed with it from Youtube of all places!) for Christmas. It was fun watching Emi look for Hat and I look forward to Hat’s shenanigans next year.

This was Emi’s first time participating in the Holiday Extravaganza at her school. We knew that her class was going to sing Christmas songs in front of the parents and we were definitely worried she would freak out once she saw the audience. After all, the class practiced with nobody watching them so we didn’t know what to expect when the curtains opened. Would Emi flip out and run off the stage? Would she even sing? Even though Ms. Doris said she loves singing, there is definitely a difference once an audience is present! So when the curtains opened and I saw my little Emi up there singing, I was so happy and I seriously had tears in my eyes. She sang along, did the movements and gestures, and was just absolutely adorable up on stage. Once they completed all three songs and the lights turned on, Emi saw me and I could see her think about running off the stage, but she remained at her spot…and survived! I was really proud of Emi and she has come so far in her progress at school. If you told me on day one that Emi would sing on a stage I would not have believed it. Emi is still shy, but she is definitely coming out of her shell.

Emi is still a chatterbox (not always in front of everyone), a goofball (like the way she says Grandpapa), and a smarty pants. (She corrected my mom’s pronunciation of a word.) Even though she is testing the limits and boundaries at home at times, she makes me laugh and smile, especially when she says, “Give me a hug.”

We will see what 2015 brings…one thing is definitely Disneyland since I promised we would go once she started pooping in the potty! Until then…



As I am writing this, a complete curveball was thrown by Abby. Her sleep schedule was perfectly fine, stretching to one four hour block a night. Occasionally it would go five to six hours and I would wake up feeling like a champ…and ready to face and conquer the world. But now she is up – 4:30 am, up since 3:12. Maybe it was the explosive poop. Maybe it was because we had an errand to run yesterday and she refused the bottle so when I came home, it was such a relief that she slept peacefully…only to be up at this hour. Growth spurt? Party animal? A quick reminder that babies are unpredictable? Whatever the case, I am up and sitting on the floor, hearing Abby coo like mad which is super adorable. Don’t get me wrong. I am hoping she will fall asleep any minute now, but at least she is making me smile with all the cute sounds coming out of her little mouth.

So as you can tell, Abby is starting to “talk” and is much more alert now. She is up longer during the day, but still sleeps for a good chunk of it. She is much more aware and senses people more. I love that she smiles and laughs. Up until this point, she would only smile while asleep or at the brink of falling asleep (I would be happy, too, taking a nap.) and it would be hard to capture it in a picture. But now Abby does it when she is up and it is the best thing. Paired with a laugh or a coo (oooo and ahhhh), it reminds me that is just the beginning of the fast development in babies.

We are definitely working on strengthening that neck, but Abby hates being in her tummy too long and prefers to lie on her back on the playmat and stare at her reflection in the mirror (totally makes me think about how Emi used to kiss her own reflection). Abby is able to sit up pretty well when propped, which allows for plenty of pictures with big sis Emi. Having two girls means I can buy them matching outfits and Emi loves dressing alike with Abby and taking pictures! I am glad that Emi loves Abby so much and the sweet thing is she tells Abby she loves her.

I think Abby’s favorite time of the day is the morning because she gets a bath. She loves it and splashes around in the water and gets even me wet! She likes to throw the water (picture throwing salt over your shoulder) and enjoys soaking in the tub. Abby is such s chubster that she looks like a little Buddha in a hot tub! Super cute and I love her rolls!

So at two months, Abby is close to 12 pounds and is 22 1/2 inches long. She measures longer and weighs more than Emi in comparison. Abby’s head size is also larger. I call Abby a chunky monkey (I have Emi recorded at 12 pounds at 3 months!) and she is going to start wearing size 2 diapers after this box of diapers. This definitely shows that kids are not alike, especially since I have to watch what I eat since it is not always agreeable with Abby. In addition, we had to deal with eczema, cradle cap, and fussiness and pain after Abby’s vaccines. However, Abby is a very efficient eater and does not require a lot of rocking to go to sleep. A tight swaddle and she is good to go! The differences make each girl special and regardless of the challenges or ease, I love that I get to stay home and deal with everything (from both kiddos)!

It was great celebrating our first Thanksgiving with Abby and we look forward to her first Christmas. She took pictures with Santa and of course dealt with it better than Emi (stay tuned for Emi’s update). We took Abby for her first outing at the zoo and it was a success! It was also really nice to be able to go out as a family and to do things with Emi. Even simply riding the carousel with Emi made her extremely happy. My fear so far has been taking the two of them out by myself and I conquered it. Emi, Abby, and I went grocery shopping at Mitsuwa and it was a success! It was a little hard navigating the stroller with one hand, holding on to Emi’s hand, and throwing groceries into my recyclable bag, but I did it without any meltdowns (from any of us). I even tried it again with Pavilions and everything went smoothly. I rewarded myself with an iced decaf soy caramel macchiato (Remember how I said I had to watch what I eat/drink? No dairy with Abby!) and now feel confident that going out is manageable and not scary. The next thing will be to have a meal at a restaurant, but that will definitely have to be with Taro or my parents or both. I definitely won’t try that alone!

Soon it will be January and Abby’s Red Egg Party will be right around the corner! Until 2015…