Friday, December 30, 2011

Year in Review 2011

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?
I gave birth and became a mother. I think that encompasses everything new I've done this year: being responsible for a human life other than my own, breastfeeding, diapering, etc.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't have any specific resolutions but I do have some for the next year. Something I will do instead of talking about it.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Me! It's the best thing I've ever done in my life.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
No international travel for us this year, but hopefully within the next few years. :)

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
I would like to have more love and compassion towards others, especially those that are different from me. Not just in theory but in my life.

7. What date(s) from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 15th . . . the birth of my son. So unexpected but so wonderful.
August & Oct/Nov . . .  visiting family & friends with tokki was a lot of fun! I love seeing my parents & grandparents with tokki, there are so many smiles and laughter together.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Breastfeeding successfully (and we're still going strong)! It was hard the first couple of weeks but we both got the hang of it in a few months and now we're even bfing in public without a cover. I love the connection and closeness I have with tokki through breastfeeding. It also keeps me aware of what I'm eating and how I'm taking care of my body because it all goes to tokki. And it helped me lose a LOT of the baby weight!

9. What was your biggest failure?
Taking better care of my husband. He took very good care of me & tokki and I plan on being a better wife in the new year because he really deserves it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
None of us did! We only suffer scratches from tokki's sharp baby nails.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
iPhone! It's nice not to carry around a cell phone and an iPod, it's all-in-one and with a way better quality camera.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sister because she finally realized how great it is to be with someone who truly respects and cares for you & treats you like a princess. :) It's a good, good thing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
skip.

14. Where did most of your money go?
On tokki's clothing and toys and books and many other cute and pretty baby things I couldn't pass on. He's not completely spoiled but we are restraining ourselves haha!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The first poo, the first smile, the first laugh, the first roll, the first sitting, the first solid food, the first crawling, the first clapping, the first waving, the first dancing, the first standing, the first steps; just about everything tokki does! It's all so exciting as a first time mom.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Wonder Girls - Be My Baby because whenever that song comes on my son's face lights up and it is too adorable when he starts bopping and swaying to the beat.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Wiser? Infinitely.
Healthier? Definitely! Coconut oil & fermented cod liver oil/butter oil & farmers market visits have really helped.
Richer? Yes. Daddy works hard ;)

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Nothing! I'm already doing it.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Nagging Tare. The jansori ajumma in me really came out this year. I'm going to fix it!

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
We spent Christmas at home again this year.

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Yes. I fell in love with the baby in my belly last year but I've fallen head over heels in love with the baby in my arms who has such a bright and positive personality. He melts my heart.

23. How many one-night stands?
This question just doesn't apply.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
The Vampire Diaries! & Running Man, I'm A Singer.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.

26. What was the best book you read?
I've just started What Mothers Do: Especially When it Looks Like Nothing by Naomi Stadlen and I'm sure it will be on my best books list.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I've rediscovered my own voice as I sing to tokki all the time. Our current nap time lullaby is Amazing Grace and it works every time. I want to sing more like I used to...

28. What did you want and get?
An iPhone~

29. What did you want and not get?
Clothes that are not nursing friendly. :( But I'm over it.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I enjoyed Harry Potter, but I only watched about six movies this year so I don't know what was really good.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I blew out candles on a cake and received pretty flowers from my husband and smiles from my 6 month old son. I turned 24 this year!

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
My fashion concept was nursing friendly which means I wore a lot of pull-aside, button-up, easy up dresses and shirts.

34. What kept you sane?
My husband's encouragement that I'm doing a great job with tokki and being able to nap during the day with baby even though that means I don't get any household chores done. But being present for my son is much more worthwhile than dishwashing or dusting so I'm fine with that!


35. Who did you miss?
I'm starting to miss Aji a little bit now. I never mentioned here, but we decided to move her to my parents' house when we last visited because I couldn't give more attention to her. I wish I was a better owner who could give lots of attention and love to the dog with the baby but... I'm not. So she is with family who are better able to take care of her and play with her. She's doing well there and I'm so glad but I do miss her furry little face sometimes.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
I am the best mother for my son. And another mother is the best for her child. 
I made a lot of different choices when it came to childbirth from most people and I make specific choices about  how I want to raise my child. It's what will be the best for my baby and I'm confident in that. But that confidence led me to being judgmental of other mothers and the choices they made for their child; sometimes it just really bugged me. But I have no say in what's best for anyone else's child than my own, to each their own, there is not a single answer to parenting! Some ways are better as a fact for babies, but it's not my choice to make and it's not my choice to judge. It's something I struggle with personally in my mind; I've never said anything to anyone about it, but it's wrong just the same.
We're all just loving our baby and that is what is important.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
My chains are gone, I've been set free.
My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, amazing grace.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
 Best of luck to you in 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Final Week of Advent

Advent
Our first year counting down to Christmas with an Advent calendar.

NineteenTwenty
Twenty-oneTwenty-two
Twenty-threeTwenty-four

19. Give to World Vision. (This year we chose to give towards providing clean, safe water for children in Africa.)
20. Grant each other a wish. (Mine was sorta silly & his I haven't yet granted, will soon though!)
21. Eat out for dinner.
22. Share goals & resolutions for 2012 and pray for the coming new year.
23. Give the neighbors a gift. (I baked a yummy apple yogurt cake for them & we took it over; well received so I'm happy!)
24. Attend Christmas Eve service at church.
25. tokki woke us up and we let him unwrap some books that were presents from halmuni & auntie B. We went to church then came home for a very laid back afternoon. We enjoyed a delicious roast chicken with veggies dinner at home. 

Looking forward to a new activity every day in December was fun for my husband and myself who didn't grow up with American traditions for Christmas. Christmas is not about trees, decorations, carols, gifts, or Santa, but all of the fun was like celebrating Jesus' birthday a little bit each day. 
Jesus is the greatest gift given to us by God and we hope to continue celebrating Christmas in a way that tokki will grow up knowing this truth.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Lights at CALM

CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights

the lights were beautiful. 
the night was cold. the hot chocolate was warm. 
the merry-go-round was fast & the train ride was fun.
all in all 'twas a wonderful night.

CALM Holiday Lights
CALM Holiday Lights

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

3rd Week of Advent

Advent
Our first year counting down to Christmas with an Advent calendar.
TwelveThirteen
FourteenFifteen
SixteenSeventeen
Eighteen

12. Bake cookies.
13. Do a kind deed with Christmas cheer. (I organized husband's side of the closet & made little dividers to help him keep organized.)
14. Build a box for Operation Christmas Child. (We used to build a box and volunteer at the warehouse every year with my old church. We'll just have to continue the tradition on our own now!)
15. Send Christmas cards. (We made calendars filled with memories from 2011 for all of our families too!)
16. See the holiday lights at CALM zoo.
17. Enjoy a mug of hot chocolate.
18. Have a Christmas dance party!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

tokki watch: Ten Months

40-43 Weeks

My little tokki, how quickly you are growing and time is passing us by!
You now have three teeth, two of which make you look quite goofy when you smile. You click-clack them together as you're still trying to get used to them too.
Your balance is improving as you've grown more confident in standing and even taking a few steps!
You are a mover and shaker, active as can be and dancing along to your favorite beats (nothing beats the Wonder Girls!).
You are so observant and reserved in new places but once you get warmed up, there's no stopping those smiles and flirting.
You treat books with a little more care now as you flip the pages carefully and look at the pictures intently. It warms my heart to see you quietly "reading" throughout the day.
I love to hear you sing along to the Christmas tunes we listen to as you rest your head against me before your nap times, it's one of my favorites parts of being a mommy.
You're a quick learner--once you figure out how to do something new, you pick it up and do it like you've always known how. Mommy & Daddy are going to have to do some more baby-proofing around the house!
Mama's milk is still the best but you love your meat!

10 months

I love you all the way to the moon and back, my little bunny. ♥

Monday, December 12, 2011

2nd Week of Advent

Advent
Our first year counting down to Christmas with an Advent calendar.
FiveSix
SevenEight
NineTen
Eleven

05. Decorate the tree. (We have a mini tree atop the freezer to keep away from curious hands.)
06. Sing a Christmas carol. (Tare didn't grow up in the US so he doesn't know any carols. He finally learned Jingle Bells!)
07. Decorate stockings & hang them up. (Handmade stockings.. can you tell which one is my husband's? Haha!)
08. Make an ornament.
09. Eat a candy cane.
10. Take Christmas family photos.
11. Watch a Christmas movie. (I love this movie!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday 2011 Unique LA

This past Saturday was a busy day! We started out by volunteering with our community group at Pacifica (senior living) which was lots of fun because we made paper plate Christmas wreaths. A lot of ladies stopped by (more than usual) to have some fun arts and crafts time and they all expressed their thanks to us visiting them, like they always do. It's such a short period of time, about two hours one Saturday, that we spend with them each month and they make us feel like we're doing so much when we could be doing so much more. It makes me think again about how much my time or my giving (whether monetary or whatever it is) could be a gift to whoever is receiving it and that I should be doing a lot more of it.

Afterwards we headed down to LA to visit the Unique LA handmade market. There were so many people and so many cool handmade goodies! tokki was hanging out in the Ergo the whole time and we walked around for at least two hours.
Holiday Unique LA
Holiday Unique LAHoliday Unique LA

We picked out some cute clothes for tokki and ourselves and had lots of desserts like macarons (pistachio FTW!), s'mores muffins or "smuffins", bread pudding, and creme caramel. We left stuffed!
Holiday Unique LA
Holiday Unique LA
Holiday Unique LA
Holiday Unique LA
Holiday Unique LA

Finally we headed to IKEA to pick up a new TV stand and dresser. Our previous stand was way too short and open which was a great temptation to tokki. It all barely fit in our Forester but we made it and tokki even fell asleep on the way home which was perfect. (He usually loathes night car rides.) The new set-up looks great and has made my life much easier because I'm not spending the whole day picking him up and placing him away from the TV a hundred times.

On a separate note... I find myself leaving my camera at home and using my iPhone to take lots of pictures these days. I don't know if it's because I'm excited to play with my new toy or I'm too lazy to take pictures then transfer them to the computer then edit/upload them. Anyone else in love with apps that let them share pictures easily like Instagram and Path? It is all I do these days and I enjoy the ease of it. Technology has come so far!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

First Week of Advent

Advent
Our first year counting down to Christmas with an Advent calendar.

OneTwo
ThreeFour

01. Buy a Christmas storybook for tokki & read to him.
02. Decorate the house.
03. Volunteer with the community group making Christmas crafts.
04. Decorate a gingerbread house.