Goodbye, Summer!

7 Sep

Summer 2016 has been SO good to us. Endless pool days, bike rides, ice cream, and a family trip to Hawaii! Sad to see it end, but it just means the¬†holidays are right around the corner (yay!). Also, Milo will be 18 months old by Christmas (whaaaat?!). Our baby is turning into a toddler, and it’s all going by too fast. But it’s also getting more funūüôā




Milo is ONE!

27 Jun

I can’t believe we have a one year old. I still have flashbacks to the day he was born, and I’m in awe of how far he’s come this past year. Look how teeny he was 365 days ago!


I haven’t updated in a while, so here are the monthly updates since my last post!

8 months: He’s crawling FAST, standing on his own, and finally sleeping through the night with just one waking/feeding! His favorite thing to say is “dada” and his newest thing is banging stuff together and smacking stuff out of your hand. He’d rather play all day than eat or sleep, and he’ll let you know exactly how he feels when you take something away from him.

99 months:¬†He has 4 teeth and is officially weaned off the boob. Lots of firsts this past month – first time to Disneyland, first swim class, first steps! He loves opening/closing things, pushing toys across the floor, and knocking things down. Such a boy. He hates bedtime and laying still (diaper changes are becoming impossible). Fun fact: he likes to make a beeline for the dog’s bowl and crawls real fast when he hears me coming after him.

10 months:¬†Lately he’s been reaching his hand out to the sky and saying “ba” a lot (not sure what that’s about). He’s walking like a pro, eating table food, and is curious about everything! He loves when the wind blows in his face and gets overly excited when you put a burp cloth/blanket over his head or pour water down his face during baths. We’ve got a thrill-seeker on our hands.

11 months:¬†He is so curious and observant, and while it takes him a while to warm up to people, his personality makes everyone laugh. He has 7 teeth, and he loves being chased, squeezing into small spaces, and dancing by himself. There’s only DAYS left until he turns 1, which seems impossible since I literally just gave birth to a tiny loaf of bread yesterday!

12 months: Happy birthday Milo! By God’s grace, we made it¬†–¬†alive, healthy, and happy. He gets a kick out of mimicking everything we say; his favorite phrase right now is “uh oh!” He will spin in circles to music, and he loves loves loves books – he’ll bring one over and climb into your lap asking you to read it to him. Raising a child¬†truly opens your eyes and makes you wonder what you did to deserve such a privilege.

We celebrated with friends and family at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Our little sailor received so much love! Thank you!


Happy 1st birthday, Milo! We love you so much. Here’s to year two!

Adventures in Sleep Training

17 Feb

Well, we did it. We bit the bullet and started sleep training our precocious, persistent, 7.5 month old.

The term “sleep training” gets a bad reputation¬†because it sounds like you’re just letting your baby cry himself to sleep. But our goal was to not focus¬†on the crying, but instead¬†establish healthy sleep habits for him¬†by allowing him to practice falling asleep on his own. I’m led to believe that it’s¬†actually a positive practice because sleep deprivation is just as harmful as a nutritionally deficient diet. And for Milo, this was very much the case.¬†He was waking up¬†every 2 hours and needed to be nursed back to sleep. So, he was still eating several times a night at 7.5 months (which is not necessary), and he would often sleep¬†in our bed because if I tried to transfer him to the crib, he’d wake up and cry, and I’d have to start all over again.

After reading Dr. Weissbluth’s book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” and doing some extensive research behind the different methods and outcomes, we decided that “extinction with a cap of 45 minutes” would be our method. Babies are much smarter than we give them credit for, and Weissbluth says that anything shorter than a 45 min interval will teach them to learn the cry limit and be rewarded with parental soothing if they can outlast the parents.¬†We also had to go with extinction with a cap (instead of graduated exctinction or check-ins), because soothing has the opposite effect on Milo. It only causes him to become more hysterical when he sees us.

The extinction method is supposed to take 3-5 days until the child “gets it.” So far, it’s been 5 nights for us. Here’s the breakdown of each night:

Night 1:
– Cried for 38 minutes and then fell asleep at 7 pm
– Woke around midnight for a feeding and fell back asleep
– Woke at 3 am for a feeding, but this time he wouldn’t go back down and stood and cried for TWO HOURS.¬†By then it was close to 5:30, which is about the time¬†he¬†normally wakes up for the day, and he wasn’t backing down, so we just got him out.

Night 2:
РCried for 43 minutes and then fell asleep at 7:15 pm
– Woke up 3 hours later,¬†but¬†I had decided to cut out his first feeding since he technically didn’t need it. He cried for about 30 mins and put himself to sleep.
РWoke again 2 hours later, and this time I fed him because he was doing his hungry cry (or maybe I was just imagining it).
– Slept 4 more hours and woke up for the day.

Night 3:
РCried for 20 minutes and then fell asleep at 8 pm
– Woke up 4 hours later. He cried for about 30 mins and put himself to sleep without eating.
– Woke 2 hours later, and I fed him.
– Slept 4 more hours and woke up for the day.

Night 4:
– Cried for 40 minutes and then fell asleep at 6:30 pm
– Woke at midnight. This means he slept for 6 hours straight (!)
– Fed him, he only fussed a little bit, and then he slept for another 6 hours.

Night 5:
– Cried for 45 minutes and then fell asleep at 7:20 pm
– Slept for 8 hours straight (!!!)
– Fed him, he cried for about 45 mins, and then he slept for another 2 hours.

Night 1 was the hardest, Night 2+3 were very similar, and Night 4+5 were progressively¬†better. As you can see, there hasn’t been much of a decrease in his crying before falling asleep at bedtime. BUT there has been a significant improvement in him¬†staying¬†asleep longer and being able to put himself back to sleep when he wakes at night. Plus,¬†they say that healthy babies will (and should!) normally fuss for 5-20 minutes before falling asleep. I’m still nursing¬†him once at¬†night, since I didn’t want to cut him off cold turkey… but we’ll be weaning off that nighttime feeding in the next week or two.

Do I wish I started earlier? Sort of. Maybe not THAT much earlier, but probably¬†as early as 4-6 months. It would have been easier if he wasn’t able to crawl/pull up yet.¬†It’s pretty heartbreaking to see him on the baby monitor standing in his crib while holding onto the crib rails, wailing. But he does eventually sit back down, and then lay down (on his tummy) when he’s tired.


I know we’re¬†not finished, and that there are a lot of roadbumps ahead (infant/child sleep is such an unpredictable thing), but I’m still really glad that we stayed consistent for these last 5 nights and gave him the chance to learn that he doesn’t¬†need¬†mama or milk or a pacifier to fall asleep. He definitely surprised us with how quickly he caught on. Yay Milo!

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

30 Jan Chung Family PF

…¬†And just like that, it’s 2016.

Our little family has grown so much in the last 7 months, and we’ve learned A LOT from each other in that short amount of time. I am so thankful for my husband’s willingness to help out around the house – laundry, dishes, dog duties – he does it all without complaining! I’m pretty sure I would’ve gone crazy by now without him there to keep me sane.

Chung Family PF

We’ve fallen¬†into a pretty good rhythm with work and school and home. Milo is a very well-adjusted kid, and he handles¬†pretty much everything life¬†throws at him. I’m so proud of him! Whenever we go out, everyone comments¬†on how we have such¬†an easy baby, and I’m grateful¬†for that. He doesn’t sleep through the night¬†(and probably never will), but I’ve come to terms with it … Lord, give me strength. Haha.


He eats really well, though! So far, he’s tried a few pureed veggies/fruit¬†(peas, sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, zucchini, pear). He’s shown some allergic reactions mainly because of the contact against his skin (around his mouth). This poor boy suffers from sensitive skin and eczema, so we have to be careful when it comes to introducing new foods.

Chung 4

MONTH 4: This guy wants to MOVE. He doesn’t like sitting or laying down for long, he prefers to lock his legs and stand. He’s discovering his voice and likes “telling” you how he feels about XYZ. He used to be a doll in the car seat, but has recently begun screaming bloody murder on the way to/from daycare.¬†It also looks like the teething fairy has arrived, and we’ve paid for it dearly the last few nights. Let’s hope we all come out the other side of this in one piece!


MONTH 5:¬†He likes to claw at your face as he tries to fall asleep, grabs the plate in front of you and pulls it hard so that food spills everywhere, and dressing him is like trying to wrestle clothes onto an octopus. He’s also starting to show stranger anxiety by screaming, just in time for the holidays. Little angel.

MONTH 6:¬†He’s blowing raspberries, loving his solids, and trying to crawl aka scooch on his bottom. He likes scratching his fingernails against different surfaces when he’s bored. He also just cut his first tooth! It takes up all my energy to take care of this spunky, active, non-stop mover, but it’s my greatest joy.


MONTH 7:¬†He gives the cheesiest, happiest, crinkly eye smiles, and his shrieking has turned into full on yelling for attention. He loves ripping apart tissues and napkins, and he can chew through cardboard (don’t ask how we know this). He can pull himself up and tries to sidestep while holding onto something. Quite a few times I’ve walked into the nursery to find him standing up in his crib, grinning at me. Oy.


Man. It’s going to be his first birthday before we know it! I need daily reminders to slow down, savor, and cherish these moments. Milo is already a little light to others, and my prayer for him is to grow into a kind boy with a soft¬†heart.ūüôā I love him so much!


Our (Crazy) Life with a Baby

29 Sep

Sorry I’ve been so MIA! The first 12 weeks of Milo’s life were¬†filled with ups and downs, and we’ve finally gotten into the swing of things. He has grown so much in the first 3 months, and it’s been a lot of fun bonding with him at home. But now I’m wrapping up my maternity leave and going back to work this week, which means Milo also starts¬†his adventures in daycare. It’s so bittersweet.


MONTH 1: He’s overall a pretty mellow baby (thank goodness he didn’t inherit my temper), but he’s constantly fidgeting and definitely has his fussy moments – especially during his growth spurt this past week. Loves being swaddled but can kick his way out of one in 30 seconds flat. Hates diaper changes and baths. He’s already making great eye contact and trying to crawl during tummy time! Here’s to many more sleepless nights ahead.


MONTH 2:¬†His crazy wild hair goes every which way, and he fidgets so much it’s like watching him ride a bike. He’s getting more expressive and vocal, and he’s as stubborn as a mule yet endearingly patient. His favorite pastime is staring at the shadows on the wall. He is 24 inches long and weighs 13lbs, which means he has already doubled (!) his birth weight.


MONTH 3:¬†He loves sucking on his hands, and he’s turned into a drooling machine. He’s rolled over from tummy to back 6x. He laughs and squeals when he’s in a good mood, but boy, can he let out a mean scream when he’s mad about something (usually when we’re dressing him after bath time). He also makes these hilarious piggy snorts when he cries, and either the hair dryer or vacuum cleaner will stop his crying promptly.

Here are some short tidbits/tips I’ve learned from the first 3 months of parenthood:

  • Once you have a baby, you will never sleep again. But it’s true when they say that your body will adjust. As someone who used to LOVE sleep, I’ve learned to deal without it.
  • You will¬†learn to do a lot of things one-handed, or sometimes it just won’t¬†get done. And I’m slowly learning to be okay with that.
  • Breastfeeding is HARD.¬†But I’m so glad I stuck with it, and now it’s one of my favorite¬†ways to bond with my baby.
  • Going out is waaaaay harder, with all the stuff you have to pack, and possibly¬†needing to nurse in public or find a place to change baby’s¬†diaper. Sometimes it’s not even worth leaving the house!
  • Acid reflux will make your life (and your baby’s life) miserable. So. Much. Spit Up.
  • Explosive poops are a thing. And if¬†you have a baby boy, you WILL get peed on during a diaper change.
  • Pumping sucks. Especially when you have to pump¬†constantly in the first few weeks of baby’s life because they’re not gaining enough weight. And now that I’m going back to work and need to provide Milo’s daycare with breastmilk, it’s going to become a necessary part of my daily work routine. Sigh.
  • While a baby doesn’t need much, here¬†are a few items that I would highly recommend getting:
    • Several lightweight¬†blankets. You can use them to swaddle at home, or cover the car seat when you’re outside, and even lay on the floor if you need somewhere for baby to hang out in public.
    • A good odor-absorbing diaper bin. This was something we didn’t think we’d need, but it’s super convenient to keep next to the changing table¬†in the nursery.
    • A pack&play or portable bassinet. If you’re not planning to use the crib for the first few months, this is the perfect alternative to keep in your bedroom.
    • Burp clothes and bibs – we use so many of these, especially with all of the spit up and drool.
    • Portable changing pad. This has been a life saver when we need to change baby in public (public bathrooms seem a million times dirtier¬†once you have a baby).
  • Last but not least, every milestone will seem like the biggest accomplishment – every little smile, the first time he rolls over, when he starts babbling and “talking.” Your heart will just explode with joy and love for this tiny human. It makes it all worth it!