Italy

Erin’s first international trip is in the books! The flights went well, but the first four days in Italy were rough – Erin had a hard time adjusting to the foreign land and was constantly clingy and refused to eat. Thank goodness Grace packed some microwaveable Korean food for her to eat. Otherwise she literally would have only eaten bread and gelato.

Speaking of gelato, it was the highlight of our trip! We ate it at least once a day (it was only two euros!), and Erin devoured it every time. The girl has some high-class taste buds!

Rome was great in its own way (Colosseum and the Vatican were awesome), but it was extremely crowded (even though we went before tourist season) and the food was mediocre. The latter was mainly because we weren’t able to go to the nicer places that friends recommended or the places that the locals go to because they were out of the way and/or opened too late for us (Erin’s bedtime was 7pm). I guess Grace and I will have to go back in twenty years sans kids.

When we got to Cinque Terre though, on the fifth day, I feel like we all were able to relax and enjoy the trip. The five small towns were so quaint and homey… you immediately feel at ease. We hiked to all five towns in the three days we were there, and Erin actually opened up to a handful of locals in the towns and was a lot more adventurous. In fact, over the course of those ten days, Grace and I felt like Erin had grown up considerably. See? Traveling is good for everyone. 🙂

Looking back, the trip was really tiring because we had an infant/toddler, but overall we had absolutely no regrets. Would we do it again though? Mmm, we most likely won’t do an international one again until we’re done having kids and they’re all at least 6-7 years old. Countries outside of America are just not very child-friendly, which makes traveling a lot more difficult than it could be. I wouldn’t discourage others from doing it, but I would be cautious in talking to them about doing it.

Anyhow, here are some of my favorite photos from the trip. And be sure to watch the video at the end of the post! Ciao!

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-K

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Happy Receipts!

One of the first times I went to Costco with Erin, the person who checks receipts on your way out drew a happy face on the back of our receipt for Erin. She loved it.

To my surprise, the next time we went to Costco, Erin remembered that they draw happy faces on the back of the receipt, so she grabbed the receipt from my hand and gave it to the employee, who then proceeded to draw a happy face on the back. Again, Erin loved it.

The third time, Erin took the receipt from me yet again, and handed it to the employee. But this employee didn’t abide by the rules; she just drew a line on the front with her marker and gave it back to Erin. As we walked away, Erin kept flipping the receipt from front to back, wondering where the happy face was. I couldn’t stop laughing.

Little things like this continue to amaze/amuse me. I know babies learn things quickly, but it just blows my mind to see it happening in person. She observes everything around her, and minor things don’t escape her. She’s really just soaking up all the wonderful things that surround her, and I love it.

I can’t wait to go back to Costco with her.

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19 Months!

Just look at these pictures. I can’t get over them. Compare her Month 2 photos with Month 19. She doesn’t even look like the same person!

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Such a big girl.

She’s starting to say more words now (‘up,’ ‘umma,’ ‘yes,’ ‘bubbles,’ and ‘dog’ are her current favorite words). She insists on feeding herself. She’s showing strong signs of being left-handed. She loves coloring. She’ll hold up one finger when you ask her how old she is. She recognizes animals based on pictures in books (she’s been obsessed with pandas for a while now… she’ll go crazy when we pass by a Panda Express), but she still prefers animals keep their distance from her. And she’s getting a little better at interacting with people, though it still takes her time to warm up.

Because she’s getting so aware of things now, I think our trip to Italy should be pretty fun. I’m sure she won’t remember this trip, but she probably will take in a lot of the things she’ll observe.

She’ll be two years old in the blink of an eye. CRAZY.

-K

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Photo Update

It’s nearly impossible to find time to update this blog. Even now, I have a little bit of time, but it’s almost 9:30pm on a Sunday night and all I can think about is getting to bed ASAP so I don’t feel like a zombie tomorrow morning. So this update will just be a few pictures from the past couple months that I failed to post.

Erin’s first time seeing snow:

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Erin at Mommy and Me Gymnastics:

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Erin at Twinkle Toes:

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Miscellaneous:

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BTW, just one month ’til Italy!

-K

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Daycare Pickup

Ever since Erin started going to daycare, Grace had the unfortunate role of dropping Erin off in the morning, and I had the pleasure of picking her up in the evening. When Erin was younger, she obviously didn’t know what was going on. But as she got older, she knew the routine and she knew that Daddy would come and get her at the end of the day.

Now you would think that she would always be happy to see me (or at least be excited to go home), but she didn’t always seem that way. Some days I’d be welcomed with a smile, and on other days, she would seem really sad. I’ve come to understand that even when she “cries,” she’s not really crying, nor is she actually sad. It’s not like she got into a fight at daycare or she necessarily had a bad day; she probably was just tired and really wanted to go home. Or maybe she didn’t want to be at daycare that day and she was upset that I didn’t come sooner. Whatever the case, I thought it was funny that she would have such varying reactions.

For the record, these videos were recorded a couple months ago; I just never got around to making a video collage until now.

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Mommy and Me

Grace was a gymnastics coach years ago, so it was only fitting that she wanted Erin to do gymnastics. There are Mommy and Me classes (technically Parent and Me) everywhere, and they start from 18 months of age. The first class is free, as it gives the parents a chance to see if their child even likes it. In our case, we think Erin enjoyed it… at least some of it. She loved tumbling, which she did over and over again, and she liked jumping on the trampoline, but only when we stayed in one place. She also loved chalking her hands. She did not like hanging on the bars or the rings, and she cried once when she accidentally bumped her eye on Grace’s knee. But other than that, I think she was really curious about all of the equipment and all the other girls that were there.

We’ll officially enroll her in classes in the near future. It’ll give her a chance to develop some muscles and coordination, listen to and follow directions, and make new friends.

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…

As we start the new year, I thought it would be fun to look back at 2014 one more time and list some of Erin’s favorite things. We’ll see what changes in a year.

Favorite Doll

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When Erin was hospitalized for pneumonia, Auntie Joyce visited and gave her this doll. We’ve since named him Mr Bunny (clever, I know), and he’s officially become Erin’s security “blanket.” She can’t sleep without him, so whenever we travel, we have to make sure we take him with us. I don’t mind that Erin wants to take him everywhere… I would just like to wash him one day; he’s definitely not as white as he was on Day 1.

Honorable mention: Mr Bear, Mr Fox

Favorite Snack (“caca”)

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Erin loves to snack, but this one is her favorite. It doesn’t taste like anything really (it’s very similar to styrofoam in texture), but she loves holding one in each hand and crunching her way through them. Whether it’s 1 in the afternoon or 1 in the morning, this will usually keep her quiet for a while.

Honorable mention: Goldfish crackers,

Favorite Food

Even before her molars started coming in, Erin loved meat. Now that they’re almost fully in, she’s become a carnivore. She loves meat, but she loves galbi in particular. Who can resist that sweet, savory, and tender beef?

Honorable mention: Spaghetti, Mac and Cheese, Rice and Soup

Favorite Book

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Erin loves it when we read to her. She has her favorites, which she’ll always grab and give to us to read, but she’s loved Oh The Places You’ll Go! in particular. I had never read this prior to Erin receiving it as a gift, and I have to say it’s one of my favorite children’s books as well. Not only is it catchy, it actually teaches about life. I have new-found respect for Dr Seuss!

Honorable mention: Corduroy, Stuck

Favorite Shoes

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She has a lot of shoes, but for some reason, Erin would always grab these. They actually have a candy-like scent to them (no joke), but I don’t think that’s why she liked them.

Favorite Toy

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Erin may have a lot of shoes, but she was A LOT more toys. I had a hard time deciding which one was her favorite, but I think this little ball that lights up was definitely one of her favorites. Before she knew how to light it up, she would smile when Grace and I lit it up and put it to her face. When she figured out how to light it up on her own, she loved doing it over and over again (and showing us how she did it).

Honorable mention:

Favorite Song

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I should have figured God would give me a child who was exactly opposite of me… one who loved to dance. As soon as Erin hears music, you’ll see her start shaking her hands or her body. So it made perfect sense that her favorite song of 2014 was Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” If you play that song, it’s guaranteed that you’ll get some sort of reaction from her. She hasn’t gotten tired of it yet… and surprisingly, neither have I. Either I love Taylor more than I thought I did, or I just really enjoy seeing my dancing baby.

Honorable mention: Let It Go

Favorite Person

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Well, this one is a no-brainer. It’s Mom. If the only people left on Earth were Grace and Erin, that would be perfectly fine for Erin. If Erin were to be glued to Grace 24/7, 365 days a year, she’d be content. The existence of other people serves no purpose in her eyes. This makes me sad, and it tires Grace out, but that doesn’t matter. Erin wants Mom, Erin needs Mom, Erin loves Mom. End. Of. Story. It makes no sense why “dada” was her first word.

Honorable mention: Dad, both Grandmas

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