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A #VeryAsian Lunar New Year

Happy 2022! What a start to the new year. I know I’ve been MIA from here for months, but I’ve simply been in a bit of a creative funk. I’ve been less focused on myself and more focused on just… my life. (But more on that for another day.) Not only did we just wrap up a second year of this pandemic, but we are going into a third year. And guess what? That omicron wave hit our household.

Now that January is basically over, we’re ready to start this year off strong. I’m not talking about the New Year to welcome 2022, but the Lunar New Year to welcome the Year of the Tiger! And because of what happened with Michelle Li over the “regular” new year, I’ll be sporting my new #VeryAsian sweatshirt for everyone to know I’m very Asian and proud of it!

This year Lunar New Year is February 1, 2022. If you don’t know, every year the start of the Lunar New Year is different because it coincides with the lunar calendar, meaning the first month of the new lunar year starts during the new moon. But don’t think you only can celebrate on the eve or first day of the new moon. Lunar New Year is typically celebrated for 15 days, ending on the full moon.

Since we’ve been stuck at home, I’ve been trying to keep us all occupied with fun activities at home. This includes finding ways for us to celebrate Lunar New Year safely from the comfort of our home. In case you’re like us and are celebrating from home this year, or simply want to find ways to celebrate and introduce Lunar New Year to your kids, this list is for you!

5 Ways to Celebrate Lunar Year with Your Kids*

*This post contains affiliate links.

1. Decorate for the occasion

If there’s one way to hype my kids up for any holiday, it’s to decorate. Each year, I’m finding more and more places are selling Lunar New Year decorations. This year I got my new decorations at Target, but I also spotted a selection at Walmart that sold-out quickly. If you’re still looking for decor, I’d grab a few items on Amazon.

2. Read Lunar New Year Children’s Books

Over the past couple of years, I’ve picked up a few Lunar New Year books to teach my kids more about the celebration and to teach them more about their Chinese culture. Here are a few of our favorites:

3. Get Dressed for the Occasion

To get super festive, I like to dress my girls in qipao/cheongsam inspired dresses. We’ve been doing it since my oldest was a baby, and each year the girls look forward getting dressed up. But you don’t need cultural garments to get festive. Simply wearing the color red for Lunar New Year is festive enough! The color red is a good luck color.

4. Do Lunar New Year Themed Arts-and-Crafts & Activities

Another way I like to get excited for Lunar New Year is by finding fun arts and crafts activities for them to do. Since my girls are both in school now and can do more hands on activities, I picked up this fun DIY Hanging Ornament Kit from Target for them. But if your kids are younger or maybe just like to color, a fun LNY coloring book will do too!

5. Make a Lunar New Year Treat or Meal

My family would tell you my love language is food. So of course for any occasion, you’ll find me in the kitchen. Lunar New Year is no exception. Because my husband is Chinese, the Lunar New Year food we enjoy are that of Chinese origin. But you can celebrate with food from so many different cultures. Just don’t forget your noodles and round foods!

Usually I’ll make my favorite egg custard tarts, but this year I’ve ventured into the world of dumplings thanks to the cookbook Let’s Make Dumplings! The kids book Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao also has a recipe for baos at the end of the book so I had to make those with the kids as well. Another great cookbook I picked up is Vietnamese Food Any Day.

Honorable Mentions

  • Give your kids red envelopes or “lucky money”. If you live in an area with a Chinatown, you can easily pick up some red envelopes in Chinatown at an inexpensive price. You can also purchase them on Amazon.
  • Attend a local Lunar New Year event. Here in the Bay Area, San Francisco will be having it’s Lunar New Year parade again after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic.

What are some other ways you like to celebrate Lunar New Year with your kids? I’d love to know more ideas for next year.

Gong Hei Fat Choy!

10 Spring Break Activities in the SF Bay Area

Happy belated one year of Covid-19! It’s hard to believe we’ve been in this for a year already. I’ve been completely absent on here, but it’s been hard to keep up with life lately. My house is a complete mess all the time, we’re in the process of moving, and I’m still over here studying for my exam. But even with the hectic moments of life, we still prioritize going on our family adventures. Since we’re still in the pandemic, we’ve still been distancing ourselves from seeing friends and family, but we’ve managed to compensate fun by finding new things to do as a family.

This time last year we were all quarantined at home so I’m sure this year more families are wanting to get out even for a little bit. One thing the pandemic has made me realize is that we’re so blessed to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I know someone families ares still not traveling outside of the area or state so I wanted to curate a list to share of our favorite places in the greater Bay Area. Whether you want to plan a staycation or day-trip, these are all places and activities for the whole family to enjoy.

San Francisco

Explore Golden Gate Park

One of our most favorite things in San Francisco is Golden Gate Park. While it may not be as large as Central Park in NYC, it still has so much to do for the whole family. Right now the park is home to the SkyStar Wheel. But even without this fun new ride, there’s so many museums and gardens to visit. One of our favorite things to do is visit the Conservatory of Flowers and have a picnic. If you’re more of an active adventurer, rent a paddle boat and explore Stow Lake or bring your bikes and ride around the entire park. The fun is endless!

Check-Out Street Art

From the mural alleys in the Mission District like Clarion Alley to random street art in North Beach (like the one pictured below), San Francisco is the home to so many amazing artists. A new favorite we checked out is the new Umbrella Alley in Fisherman’s Wharf. Make an afternoon out of visiting these murals by also visiting Ghirardelli Square and Aquatic Park while you are there. Be sure to follow them on Instagram to stay-up-to-date on their operating hours for the week.

Go for a Hike

To get your kids out and enjoying the outdoors, take them on an urban hike in San Francisco. While the City is known for it’s touristy wharf and shopping downtown, an off-the-beaten path activity to do is to go on a hike. Our favorite family friendly hike is at Lands End. If you’re hiking with littles, you can bring a stroller here, just be aware of the inclines.

North Bay

Visit the Bay Area Discovery Museum

This museum is a favorite for kids of all ages. The Bay Area Discovery Museum has something to do for babies up to elementary school kids. There are great outdoor exhibits that have been open for a few months and now indoor exhibits are open as well. Just be sure to reserve your tickets ahead of time.

Check out Muir Woods

To get a real breathe of fresh air, we love to pay a visit to Muir Woods National Monument. Nestled in the hills of Marin County, you can really disconnect from everything at Muir Woods. There are different trails for hikers of different levels. This is another place you can easily bring a stroller. Although if you want more of a “real” hike, I’d suggest bringing your little one in a carrier. The more advanced trails really take you through the woods on unpaved paths. If you plan to go here, you must make a reservation.

Explore Point Reyes

Ever wonder where people take those pictures with the row of Cypress Trees behind them? If you have, then you must take a visit to the Point Reyes National Seashore. Not only is it home to the Cypress Tree Tunnel, but you can take in breathe-taking views of the Pacific Ocean, visit a lighthouse, and eat delicious cheese from Cowgirl Creamery. And when you’re hungry, stop in the quaint town of Point Reyes Station for lunch.

East Bay

See the animals at the Oakland Zoo

While I love San Francisco as my hometown, I will admit that the superior zoo in the Bay Area is the Oakland Zoo. Hidden in the hills of Oakland, we love this zoo not only for the animals, but for the amazing views of the Bay. Our kids most favorite thing to do is ride the Gondola up to their California Trail. We recently visited during their evening event, but visiting during the day is equally as fun. Because of the pandemic, admission is with reservation only.

Wine Country

Visit Cornerstone Sonoma

And for parents who need a little wine in their lives, you get a little wine, a picnic, and garden for your littles to explore when you visit Cornerstone Sonoma. If wine isn’t your drink of choice, you can also find a restaurant and cafe for coffee, teas, and sodas. With the pandemic you might want a little adult time with some wine, but if you’re like us and don’t have anyone else to watch your kids, this place is a good option to get a mix of fun for everyone.

Santa Cruz

Take a Train Ride

What kid doesn’t love trains? Roaring Camp Railroad in Felton, CA is our favorite place to go for a train ride. There are other smaller trains in the Bay Area made specifically for kids, but the train rides here are great for adults too. There are two train route options to choose from. One train rides take you through the Redwood Tree forests, while the other takes you through the forests to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Like all the other activities on this list, reservations are required to visit.

Have a Beach Day

And last but not least, nothing says Spring Break better than a visit to the beach! While the weather in the Bay Area isn’t hella warm in the Spring, it’s nice enough to enjoy a beach day. We don’t tend to visit many of the beaches in the Bay Area because most of the beaches closer to our home get chilly and foggy, but we found our favorite beach in the Bay Area at Capitola Beach. We love the beautiful “colorful homes”, the beach was clean, and it’s walking distance to Capitola Village. If you’re looking for a staycation destination, book a beach rental in this adorable town!

And whatever you decide to do for Spring Break, don’t forget your masks and your hand sanitizers! And keep 6 feet apart from those outside of your household. Happy adventuring!

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall: Our Fall Bucket-List

Hi friends, it’s been a long time. Actually it’s been a long summer. As you’re probably noticing, I didn’t blog all summer, and it was for good reason. It was the last summer my family had before our eldest started elementary school so we wanted to make the most of all the time we had. And let’s be real, being at home with three kids all summer is exhausting so my creative juices to blog were just burnt out. We had a whole bucket-list of summer activities to do – all of which I intended to share here. But instead of sharing that list, I’m ready to look ahead and share our Fall bucket-list instead. Afterall, is Fall not the best season? And let’s be real, once Halloween is over, I start decorating indoors for Christmas so the Fall decor around here has to start super early if Christmas comes “early” too. (Fun fact: Filipinos start celebrating Christmas once the -ber months start a.k.a. September, October, November, and December. But I’ll leave that for another blog.)

While I do love summer and the warmer weather, I’m a true Fall baby. Yes Fall doesn’t officially start for a few weeks. But once the kids start school it’s basically Fall in my mind. My birthday is in October so I absolutely love Halloween. My favorite scents are Fall scents, and apples, cinnamon, and pumpkin are a few of my favorite flavors. And while I do love Christmas, Fall decor is my actual favorite, and since we’re in a new home I can’t wait to decorate for the Fall festivities from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Did I mention that the Pumpkin Cream Coldbrew also dropped at Starbucks today? You bet I got it on the first day because duh, pumpkin is the best.

But enough rambling about Fall. Here’s our Fall bucket-list! Hopefully it’ll give you some ideas on things to do this Fall with your family and loved ones.

  1. Decorate for Fall + Halloween
  2. Go to a pumpkin patch
  3. Go apple picking
  4. Carve pumpkins
  5. Visit Apple Hill
  6. Get lost in a corn maze
  7. Collect colorful Fall leaves
  8. Jump in a leaf pile
  9. Visit Disneyland for Halloweentime (or any theme park for their Halloween festivities!)
  10. Bake an apple or pumpkin pie
  11. Dress up for Halloween
  12. Watch scary movies (or Disney Halloween movies if you’re not into spooky!)
  13. Collect pinecones
  14. Make pinecone turkeys + other Thanksgiving crafts
  15. Eat all the Fall themed food especially from stores like Trader Joe’s
  16. Drink all the pumpkin flavored coffees possible before they’re gone again 😦

Obviously the last one is my favorite thing. I honestly can drink Pumpkin Cream Coldbrews all year long if they kept it around all year. Last Fall during the first year of the pandemic we were able to do a majority of this list so I’m hoping this year we’ll do all of them plus more. Hope you all have a happy start to the best season!

Celebrating #AAPI Heritage Month with My Favorite Filipino Recipes

Hi friends! Apologies again for being absent on here. (We moved! And it has taken over literally the last two months of my life.)

But with May coming to an end, Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is also coming to an end. To celebrate on my blog, I want to share my favorite Filipino recipes I’ve found online.

Unlike other Filipinos, my love for Filipino food didn’t come from all my mom’s home cooking 🙈 Growing up, my Lolo (“grandpa” in Tagalog”) was the one who cooked for us. He came from the Philippines to live with us when I was 4-years-old, and from then he became the main Filipino chef in our household. You can say my mom was lucky because she had her dad around to cook her favorite home-cooked meals. And looking back at it now, I was lucky as well.

With my Lolo

When my Lolo’s health declined, he moved back to the Philippines, and unfortunately passed away. And sadly for our stomachs, we never got to savor our last home cooked meal made by Lolo. And when this happened, my mom actually started to teach herself how to cook more, and since I was an adult by this time, I started to teach myself how to cook Filipino food as well.

And where does a college-aged Fil-Am go to learn? You go onto Google, search your favorite dishes, and it was basically trial and error from there.

Here are my 5 favorite Filipino recipes that have become staple recipes in my Fil-Am household:

1. Lumpia Shanghai

Lumpia Shanghai: Filipino egg roll

Photo from Panlasang Pinoy

I’ve tried many different Filipino recipe sites in the last decade, but my go-to is always is Panlasang Pinoy. When I’m craving lumpia, this recipe does the trick!

2. Adobo

Adobo: popular dish made with meat of choice commonly made with vinegar, soy sauce, and bay leaves.

Photo from myself

I actually stumbled upon this recipe on accident. I was watching my favorite vlogger, who also happens to be Fil-Am, when a video came up where here non-Filipino husband makes adobo with her Filipino mom. I could literally smell the adobo through the screen as I watched them so I had to try it. It instantly became a staple in our household!

3. Chicken Tinola

Tinola: a chicken soup dish made in a ginger broth.

Photo from all

Simple and delicious – my kids LOVE tinola. It’s great dinner on a cold winter night or when someone is feeling a little under the weather in my house. This recipe is truly a one pot wonder. And this recipe from all has been my go-to for years, I have it memorized.

4. Giniling

Giniling: literally translated in Tagalog means “ground beef”. But as a dish, giniling is ground beef usually with carrots, potatoes, and tomato sauce.

Photo from Minda at

Out of all the recipes I’m sharing this took me the longest to find. Over the years I have stumbled upon many variations of giniling, but I found this closest to how I’ve had it my whole life.

I especially love making giniling to make it into torta! If you make the giniling recipe and have leftovers, you can easily use the leftover meat for this “Filipino omelette” dish.

5. Pork Tausi

Tausi: a pork dish made with black beans.

Photo from

This dish is near and dear to my heart because it’s something I’ve only eaten from my Lolo. I’ve never tried anyone else’s version of it nor I have ever seen it in any Filipino restaurants. It wasn’t until a few months ago I was really craving it. My mom and I took a look at this recipe together and came to the conclusion that this was very close to how my Lolo made it, and we were right. Only difference is we’d throw a little cilantro in there.

If you make any of these recipes, let me know with a comment. Happy cooking, friends! And happy Asian-American Pacific Islander Month 🙂

Lolo with a lechon 🐷

Valentine’s Day Activities to Do During the Pandemic

I hope you have all had a good start to the year. It’s been a rough start in general with the pandemic still happening, but I am hopeful things will get better slowly but surely. With the pandemic still happening, I have been celebrating each holiday even bigger than I have before. But let’s be real, I’ve always been a bit extra so I love having a reason to celebrate anything.

With Valentine’s Day being on a Sunday this year, I wanted to share ideas to have a safe and fun Valentine’s Day, whether you’re like me celebrating with your kids or a couple celebrating just you two. And since Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday, these are things you can do anytime this month or you can plan an entire Valentine’s Day weekend of fun.

My girls and I decorated these shelves in our living room for Valentine’s Day!

*This post contains affiliate links.

1. Decorate your home for the holiday

Since you’re spending most of your time at home, why not go all out and decorate your home a little? If you’ve never decorated for the holiday before, you can easily pick up a few festive things at almost any store. My favorite places to buy decorations are Target, HomeGoods, and Michael’s. But I’ve even seen stores like Walgreens and CVS have some great options too. If you’re not going into stores right now, I’ve also found cute options on Amazon.

2. Make a Countdown

If you’re a mom and have kids like mine, you’re kids will love a Valentine’s Day countdown. You can easily make one with paper hearts, or you can use this one I found on Amazon. If you do the option with paper hearts, every day you can write a reason “Why I Love You” on each heart.

3. Make Valentine’s Day Cards to send to Family & Friends

Remember how fun it was to give and receive Valentine’s Day cards in elementary school? Go the extra mile this year and show people you miss seeing that you love them by sending them a fun Valentine’s Day card. You can make the cards yourself for a fun activity. Craft stores like Michael’s have fun kits you can purchase in case you need some help getting started. Or if you’re short on time, here’s a few of my favorite Valentine’s Day cards I’ve found.

4. Cook a Meal Together

This Valentine’s Day may be at home this year but that doesn’t mean it has to be like every other day at home. If you aren’t supporting your local restaurants with their take-out, cook up a meal together as a family or couple. In our area, places like Sur La Table are offering at-home cooking classes that can still be a romantic way to celebrate at home. If you’re on a budget, consider planning the meal together before hand and choosing recipes together that you can all make together on actual Valentine’s Day.

5. Bake Heart Shaped Treats Together

If cooking is too complex or time consuming for your liking, consider baking a dessert or heart-shaped Valentine’s Day sweet together. Some fun treats to make with kids are things like heart-shaped cookies or heart-shaped rice krispie treats. If you are a cookie mix type of person, here’s one kit that includes the mix, sprinkles, and heart-shaped cookie cutter!

6. Have a Picnic

If you’re like my family and crave to be outdoors, take your Valentine’s Day meal and baked goods outside for a picnic! I know in other parts of the country it might be too cold for a picnic, but here in California, you can definitely still have a lunchtime picnic. Doing a picnic is also gives you the chance to let your kids run off all the sugar they’ve consumed from the delicious heart shaped treats.

7. Have a Tea Party

This is actually what we’ll be doing this year with our girls. We do a lot of picnics and trunk picnics so for Valentine’s Day we have decided to switch things up with a tea party! I picked up some festive Valentine’s Decorations at Target and the 99 Cents Only Store, and I found some fun tea party things on Amazon.

8. Have an At-Home Spa Day

And last but not least, if you want to have a truly relaxing Valentine’s Day at home, plan an at-home spa day! This is activity that can be done with the entire family or as a couple. If you’re doing it with the kids, get a pedicure spa and some fun kid-friendly nail polish. If you want to go all out on the spa day for the adults, purchase an at-home spa kit that has everything you need!

Whatever you decide to do for Valentine’s Day, I hope you do it with people you love. Whether you’re a family, a couple, or single, the day is to celebrate love so enjoy the day at home doing things with those you love – and that includes loving yourself!

A Year of Gratitude

Remember when 2020 started, and we were all so hopeful for the great things 2020 was going to bring? This post is going to be just about that. Instead of dwelling on the things that should’ve or could’ve been, I’d like to dedicate my last post of 2020 for the things that are amazing in my life. While that may seem silly given the actual reality of things, I want to look back at 2020 and remember what I loved and am super grateful for about this year.

My list of gratitude:

  • Technology: Oh how I cannot imagine what we’d be doing if this pandemic happened back before the internet and fancy computers and phones. I am thankful that technology allowed us to stay connected to our family and friends. What could’ve been a super lonely year was filled with virtual meet-ups, lots of text messages, making new friends on social, and learning new things via online video platforms.
  • Teachers: Luckily for us, the girls’ school has been open since September. The 6 months before that were tough being home with the girls 24/7 so we jumped at the opportunity to put the girls back in school when we could. I am grateful our teachers that do everything to keep our kids safe and taken care of during this crazy time.
  • My husband’s business: There was a point at the beginning of the pandemic when we thought this year was about to be horrible for business. As soon as they deemed real estate essential, things picked up and stayed booming. This pandemic has been rough on thousands and thousands of people, but I thank God every day that my husband can still provide.
  • Our health: Knock on wood we didn’t get sick this year. Other than the occasional allergies, we all remained relatively healthy. This pandemic really makes you think one itchy throat is the road to something worse, but luckily that was never the case. And after having my son, I was so worried for complications, and thankfully we were good in that department too.
  • Time: If there’s one thing this year has taken from us but also has given us at the same time, it is time. We lost time spent doing “the norm” but we gained so much time together. During this year, my girls grew so much. Time allowed me to see them grow before my eyes. Time allowed us to do more things as a family. Time was a gift this year, whether we liked it or not.
  • My complete family: I’ve said this one here before, but I’ll say it again. I never though we’d have three kids, let alone a son. And now that he’s here, our world is complete. I can’t wait to watch him grow more and more in 2021.

Thank you 2020 for all the things I am grateful for. You were definitely one for the books, but we’re ready for the next chapter of this decade.

2020 Top 9

2021, please be kind to us all.

What Being Filipino Means To Me

It’s been another busy month around here. Despite still being in the middle of a pandemic, we’ve managed to celebrate a wedding, 3 birthdays, and even our baby boy’s 100-days celebration. October is already generally a busy month for us, and I am biased to love October because it’s also my birth month. But on top of all these things, October is also the time to celebrate Filipino-American History Month!

Recently a friend asked me what are 3 things I love about being Filipino. After thinking about it, I realized my answer was the perfect base for this month’s blog. But instead of simply sharing what I love about being Filipino, I’m sharing what being Filipino means to me.

Being Filipino Means Loving Food

I would have to say the biggest tie I have to my Filipino culture is the love of Filipino food. As a Fil-Am, I am thankful my mom and Lolo (meaning grandpa) always made traditional Filipino food. Growing up I sometimes couldn’t differentiate the difference between Filipino food and non-Filipino food. I simply thought it was all just food. It wasn’t until I was in school that I learned the difference. But luckily for me, I grew up in a place where there were kids from all different cultural backgrounds so eating cultural food wasn’t seen as necessarily different. Now Filipino food has a special place in my home because it’s what has allowed me to teach my kids about their Filipino heritage. While they’re not full Filipino, their palates might trick you to think otherwise. Ask my kids what their favorite foods are, and they’ll easily say adobo, sinigang, and kare-kare.

Kamayan Dinner at our house.

Being Filipino Means Putting Family First

If there’s one thing I feel like every Filipino family has in common, it’s having a tight-knit family. And I don’t just mean your blood family. Filipinos really know how to have a deep connection with people which can allow even the closest friends to feel just like family. To me being Filipino means including your family in every celebration and milestone of your life because not only is your family there to support you, but they’re there to cheer you on as well. After God, family is everything.

My brother and cousins, who are basically like my siblings also.

Being Filipino Means Spreading Joy and Hospitality

I’ve often heard that Filipinos are the kindest and most welcoming folks around, and I believe it. When Filipinos find out you’re also Filipino, they welcome you in like you’re family. And even if you’re not Filipino, as long as you’re nice and will gladly eat the food being offered to you, you’ll be happily embraced. Walk into any Filipino household and the first question is “Are you hungry?” Sometimes you won’t even be asked the question and food will simply just appear. When I started working in hospitality, I liked to think I loved it so much because the “hospitality gene” is just in my blood. 

Come to our house, I’ll force feed you my baking.

I can go on and on about what being Filipino means to me.

But simply it means food, family, and love.

To My Kids: Please Stop Growing

Happy end of September, friends! Can you believe another quarter of the year is over? Honestly with the pandemic, this has been one of the fastest years yet. Once September hits here, it’s basically the start of our busiest time of the year. Between the many birthdays in our famly plus getting ready for the holiday season, this last quarter is usually a whirlwind. Put the pandemic on top of it, and I feel like I’m going to be hit by a tornado around here.

What’s ironic about this pandemic is that while it gave me more time to spend with my children, I do feel like time went by so fast that they’re constantly changing into a newer version of themselves everyday. As I’m writing this it’s been 2 weeks since my younger daughter turned 3, and it’s 2 weeks until my older daughter turns 5.


What’s amazing with technology (wow I sound old) with apps like TimeHop, Google Photos, and Facebook, you are constantly shown throwback photos of this day “______” [blank] number of years ago. So literally everyday I’m comparing my children to what they looked like on this day “x” years ago. Don’t get me wrong I love throwback pictures, but at the same time I’m reminded how quickly these kids are growing. And it makes me sad. It makes me so sad that I even ask my kids to stop growing, but even they know that’s impossible. Whenever I ask them to stop growing, my oldest always says… “Then stop feeding us mama!”

To my kids… mama knows you’ll never stop growing. All I have are my photos and memories. So when I think back on this time of our lives, these are the things I want you guys to know/what I want to remember:

  1. During a time when we had to limit seeing people, I’m so glad you had each other. I didn’t have a sibling until I was almost 10-years-old so watching you play and laugh together while I was stressed about the world just added ease to my mind. You’ve probably heard this a million times from me, but you are so lucky to have each other.
  2. Zay – As much as Leah may annoy you now, know that she has looked up to you since the moment she knew who you are. She has been copying your every move since she was a teeny tiny baby, and I know she only has nothing but love for you. Even when she bothers you, you still show her so much love. You really are the most loving big sister, and I hope that never changes. You are our most loving child, but also our most difficult. We know you have a hard time dealing with your emotions, and while you love your siblings so much, you need more attention. Please know we are trying our best to give it to you.
  3. Leah – You are our middle child, and because your dad is a middle child, we are more aware of your feelings. We didn’t put you in school the same number of days as your sister so you could have one day a week without her around. On your solo days, we love watching you play by yourself. You love playing alone. You are constantly cracking us up with the things you have to say. You just turned 3, but it feels like we’re talking to an 6-year-old. In the last 6 months, your vocabulary has grown so much that we’re constantly surprised with the things you have to say.
  4. JJ – From the moment your sisters knew about you, they were already obsessed with you. The moment they first saw you, they never let you out of their site. You’re the first person they look for in the morning, and they are always fighting about who gets to hold you. Right now you’re only 2 months old, and all you ever want to do is be held. And because you’re my last baby, all I do is hold you. Your dad hates it, but I know I’ll never get this again. I’m actually holding you right now as I type this. You also just started sleeping 5-6 hours stretches every night. Because you’re our third child, we aren’t actually as phased as much by the lack of sleep we’re getting, but we still need you to start sleeping longer. Also know, you have completed our family.

By the time you are reading this, who knows old you are. But I hope that whatever age you are, when you think back on this time, you remember the happy times during this crazy year. And if you do remember mom and dad being particularly upset or more stressed than usual, please know it was a weird year. And please know I only say “I love you so much” a million times because I really do. I love you guys so much, and I always will. You will only keep growing, and while it’ll make me sad to think about, you three will always be my babies.

God’s Plan is Greater

I never thought I’d be a mom to a son. I actually never thought we’d have three kids. And despite how many times I joked with my husband about being a stay-at-home mom one day, I never thought I’d actually be one. If you asked me 5 years ago what my life would be like by 2020, I would’ve said by now I’d be trying for my second and last child. And career wise, I would have gotten myself promoted within the company I started my hospitality career in.

See thing is, I’m a planner. I like to plan so much that my husband gets so annoyed. I plan things down to every detail that you might think I have a control problem. And maybe I do. But despite being a planner, if there’s one thing my life and faith has taught me, it’s that God’s plan is always greater.

There’s a lot of heavy things happening in the world right now. On top of the heavy things from the world, each of us are carrying our own personal burdens so it can feel like a lot. It’s so easy to get caught up in the world, in the news, in social media, and in your own problems that you might lose yourself. You might feel like all things you’ve planned were for nothing or were a waste. Or maybe you’re afraid to do something so you don’t it, but in reality, you’re only hindering yourself. It’s during times like these that we have to remember that God’s plan is always greater.

When you trust in God’s plan, you might be surprised with the outcome. And you’ll realize that all the burdens you endured and all the plans you had made were just part of His greater plan.

So hang in there friends. I know the world is scary right now. I know things aren’t going the way we imagined. I know we miss our friends and families. I know we miss seeing traveling and exploring new places. I know sad things keep happening that seem unfair and unbelievable. But we cannot lose faith. We cannot forget why we are here. We cannot forget to spread love. We cannot lose faith in love.

A wise friend once told me “I know [this year has been scary]. Stay in love with life. With each other. God has a plan for us to rise above all of this strife. Remember who we are and to remember we are love. No matter what. Each and every one of us.”

By trusting His plan, my life has unfolded with things I never thought I’d have. While sometimes I am afraid, I am strong for these three little blessings. Thank you Lord for this life ❤️

Giving Birth During COVID

Happy end of July friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve mustered up thoughts for a blogpost. But it’s mostly been because I was getting ready for the birth of my son. As of today, he’s 11 days old.

Jeric born 7/20/2020 – 6 lbs, 14 oz & 19.5 inches

And just like that he’s here! When the pandemic started back in March, I didn’t think we’d get to July with the pandemic numbers in our area at a rise. But sadly, that’s the reality we live in. Because of this, our hospital experience had a handful of differences from my first two births. If this was my first baby I probably would have had a lot more anxiety about giving birth, but knowing other pregnant moms who gave birth right before me and asking my doctor all the right questions kept me prepared for what to expect. 

Let’s be real, all together the motherhood journey is no easy task. Pregnancy in itself can be stressful and exhausting, then childbirth itself is another level of stress. And let’s not even start talking about the challenges you can face once your baby is here. Add the pandemic on top of that, and I can’t imagine moms being anxiety free during any of this.

I feel blessed that this wasn’t my first delivery. But for any first time mamas out there, I want to share some things to help you feel prepared for your COVID childbirth.

The hospital is probably one of the safest places to be during the pandemic.

While the thought of staying in a place where there are folks potentially exposed to COVID can be worrisome, I realized that the hospital is one of the safest places to be during the pandemic. At our hospital there is only one way in and one way out, and they are screening you for symptoms at the door. And on top of the preliminary screening, your doctors and nurses are all wearing protective gear the entire time. During our stay we were also asked to wear masks, but whenever it was just us and the baby in the room we took off our masks. I also had to wear a mask during my c-section, and I know moms who’ve had to wear masks during their vaginal deliveries as well.

While you cannot have any visitors, your support person can be with you the entire time.

One of the biggest changes for us for this birth from our previous two was knowing we wouldn’t have any visitors. While this bummed us out, I had to remind myself that I would still have my husband there. Worse case would be that you’re doing this alone, so if you’re sad your mom/sister/BFF can’t be there also, remember that your partner (or one support person) can still be there every step of the way. (Note: we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, but hospital rules may be different where you live.)

During our first day with the baby we realized having no visitors actually made it a lot easier to adjust to a newborn. When you have visitors coming and going, not only do the parents get less rest when they need it, but the baby’s sleep gets interrupted as well. With both girls we remember their first nights being exhausting, but with baby boy we were able to get a lot more sleep. It might be because this is our third baby, but we like to think it’s because we had no visitors throughout the day. While we love everyone’s company and appreciate all the love and food people would bring, without visitors we had a lot more rest, a lot more downtime to sit in silence, and a lot more newborn snuggles.

Your support person might not be able to leave the hospital.

The nurse that did my pre-op appointment with me warned me that my husband might not be able to leave the hospital, and in our case it was true. He was able to leave the room to get coffee or other food in the cafeteria, but other than that he wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital building itself. Because we knew this, he packed lots of snacks for our two night stay. And also because of this rule, support partners are fed during your hospital stay as well. For both girls, my husband would make food requests from our family or friends who were visiting, but this time around, whenever I was fed, he was fed too.

The hospital has everything you will need.

Easier said than done – try not to overpack. While it might be easy to overpack knowing that your partner can’t leave to get things you forgot, remember that the hospital will likely have everything you might need. All you’ll really need to bring are:

  • Going home clothes
  • A few items for baby: onesies, socks, an outfit for going home, a blanket, and car seat
  • Slippers for walking around your room
  • A robe if you want to change out of your hospital gown
  • Plenty of snacks
  • A phone charger
  • Toiletries (but even if I forgot this, my hospital provides a whole bag full of toiletry essentials!)

Remember that you are not alone.

One of the things that comforted me through my pregnancy and childbirth was knowing that I’m not the only mother going through all of this. It’s a crazy and weird time we are all living in, but we must remember that we are ultimately going through this together.

If there are any expecting mamas reading this with more questions about my experience, I’d be glad to chat and answer any questions you might have. It’s ok if you’re feeling anxious and scared in general, but once your baby is in your arms, any worries or fears you might have will turn into so much love in your heart for the baby you just grew in your belly.

And if you have any questions about giving birth via c-section or want to see what our birth experience was like in general, be sure to check out our latest vlog from our YouTube channel.