Tuesday, July 28, 2015


A week after Logan was born, Ken's mom, grandmother and sister came up from Virginia Beach to visit us as new family of four.  Over the years, Ken's family has felt more and more like my own and I think it became more the case as we shared the experience of watching Sloane grow up together in recent years.  Welcoming a new addition is wonderful in that way, it strengthens family ties and binds everyone closer together in the loving of a tiny being.  

Before we met Logan, it was hard to imagine what it would feel like to have two kids - would our love for Sloane need to diminish in order to give some to the second one?  People told me that the love multiplies and that there is a sort of magic in how that happens, and now I see how true that is, and also how humbling it is, to realize that my capacity for love is not dependent on how much I have to give but on the nature of love itself, with its ability to multiply and give without measure or calculation.  

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Going to the farmer's market is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. The one that we go to gets really crowded so you kind of have to make a resolve, take a big breath and just dive in; understand that there will be a lot of sweating and just commit. This past weekend, with my mom being here, we made it out there (with baby in tow!) and had a great time checking out the goods.  It was extremely hot that day, and I was worried about the baby getting overheated, so it was a quick outing but it felt great to get out and wander about with my mom and daughters for that hour.

My favorite thing to get at the market these days are seasonal fruit and vegetables (peaches! And tomatoes! I couldn't get over the tomatoes), whipped honey from Alfonso, granola from Flower child, and baked goods from Dalkohm. We also like to occasionally treat ourselves to Popsicles from King of Pops or kettle corn from the popcorn guy, because...summer! Sloane also loves going to the market because of aforementioned snacks, but also because it's a dog-lovers world. It seems like all of Richmond's dogs come out to parade around the market, and checking out the different ones (and getting to meet and pet some of them) is Sloane's M.O. 

Monday, July 20, 2015


It's been a little over a week (10 days, to be exact) and it's been...pretty blissful, believe it or not.  The bliss mostly comes from being smitten with this new baby, being surrounded by family and having renewed appreciation for Ken and Sloane.  I'm appreciating every drop of newborn smell, savoring the tiny fingers and toes, and noticing how she changes from one day to the next. The first few days back from the hospital consisted of almost no sleep (first night back: 1 total hour of sleep, second night back: 2 total hours of sleep) but once my milk came in, and she started sleeping longer between feedings, we found ourselves in a rhythm that feels doable. I'm sleepy and happy.  

The wild thing is that she reminds me so much of Sloane - from the way she looks to how she nurses and  sleeps - so I feel like I'm getting a chance to do something that I thought was long gone, all over again. 

It's been wonderful to have family here; my sister was here for the weekend and my mom has been here with us since the baby.  Thank goodness for mothers, their wisdom and how just their presence makes life feel easier. 

It's almost as if I didn't realize how big Sloane was until I saw them together. I look back and forth from one to the other and it's still hard to believe - really, that baby becomes that little girl??

It's a good day when we all get to nap.

I resolved to take daily walks around our neighborhood and I find myself looking forward to this time each day. My mom has been walking with me, and sometimes Sloane or Ken, and I love being able to move around and get a little sweaty. The recovery for this one has been much faster than with the first, so I'm already feeling anxious to start working out but I'm reminding myself that I should take it easy....

Sloane is at home with Ken for these weeks (because his work offers great paternity leave) and he's been keeping Sloane busy with an outing every day.  He has been wonderful with her and I know that this time they are spending together is such valuable time for both of them. 

We've been eating more Korean food around here since my mom has been cooking for us. There is also more Korean being spoken around here and I'm hoping Sloane gets influenced even if in small increments. Here is Sloane making kimbap with my mom for lunch one day. 

I'm making sure to also take time to really enjoy Sloane right now. She amazes me constantly with her vocabulary, questions and ideas, and I want to make sure to always let her know how special she is. Her thing this week is choreographing dances that she instructs me through. She has been really into ballerinas recently, and her dedication to these 'ballerina' dances are impressive...and hilarious.

Just as we expected and hoped, Sloane has taken to her role as a big sister extremely well. I'm still watching out for any jealousy issues, but so far, it's all love for baby sister and she seems to understand all the time it takes to care for a newborn.  Sloane asks to hold and take care of the baby every day, talks to her, wants to show her toys, and is eager to help in any way.

After just one week, I already have so many (too many??) photos of these two on my phone. But I mean, come on, look at them! I can't help myself....

The transition into a family of four feels natural - maybe because it felt like we waited so long for her to come ! - but like everyone says, the new addition seems to just give us more reasons to love each other as a family.  I get to see Sloane in a new light as a sister, and to observe Ken again as a new dad, and now as a dad of two girls, which is going to be pretty dang amazing... I can already tell.  

You guys, I'm a mom ...of daughters! I don't think I'll get tired of saying that. I love these girls so much and I'm looking forward to more adventures with the two of them.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


After a false alarm the Sunday before,  I found myself on a Thursday night, feeling depressed.  My doula was going to be out of town on Saturday so I had officially one more day left to get this baby out if I wanted my doula to be at the birth.  I sighed dramatically to myself all over the house that night, before resolving that even if the baby decided to come 10 days late (like Sloane did), there was nothing that I could do about it but wait and learn my lesson in being patient.

Around 9:10 PM, as I was getting ready for bed, I felt something like a contraction and then it happened again about 20 minutes later. I wasn't sure if it was a contraction because I had been feeling a lot of pressure on my back and on my pelvis throughout the day, and I guessed it might be just more of that. After a few more sporadic ones, I started having what felt like regular contractions around 11PM - every 12 minutes or so.  I tried my best to fall asleep but I felt wired and hungry.  After tossing and turning, and counting contractions and then wondering if it really was a contraction,  I went downstairs and made myself a sweet potato, bacon and green onion hash with a fried egg on top and siracha sauce all over it.  It was 1 AM at this time, and I washed the food down with some watermelon and grapefruit agua fresca and ate two cherries while watching the Nina Simone documentary on Netflix (FYI, it's really good). I climbed back into bed around 2AM and eventually fell asleep.  I woke up around 5:30 AM (every day that week!) but was able to fall back asleep until about 7AM when I woke up and felt contractions happening every 20 minutes or so.  I started to keep closer track of the contractions and found they were happening every 6-7 minutes, but the intensity level was moderate. I made myself, Sloane and Ken's mom the same dish I had eaten the night before, toasted some bagels, and then logged into work.  I was planning on working that day, but I was so distracted by the contractions that I couldn't concentrate and told work that I would take off that day. I also (it gets graphic here....) noticed blood and what I guessed was mucous plug in the toilet when I went to the bathroom, so that seemed like progress.

By 11:00 AM, the contractions were still about 6-7 minutes but had gotten significantly more intense. I had been texting with Taylor (my doula) to give her updates and by 11:30 AM, I made the call to go into the hospital. In between contractions I felt fine and felt like I could wait longer but then I had a few that were so intense and the pressure on my back was so strong it felt like the baby was going to come out of my back that very instant. There was some delay due to one of Ken's friends stopping by (!!) but by noon we were on the road and we got to the hospital around 12:15 PM.

We got settled in our birthing room, I breathed through the contractions (which felt like they were all in my back), I got in the tub, and two hours after we arrived at the hospital, Logan was born.  There was a lot that was different about this labor than with my first - different hospital, daytime as opposed to the middle of the night, different midwife, harder contractions, much shorter pushing time, and sitting on a birthing stool as opposed to sitting on the bed - but there were a lot of similar things too. Both Ken and Taylor were there with me, providing incredible support, and there were points where I truly felt like I wasn't going to be able to do it, but lo and behold, I did do it. As soon as Logan was out and I held her in my arms, waves of love and relief washed over me. And then my next thoughts were immediately went to all the women who have done this before and how incredible they all are for going through this. I felt this overwhelming sense of awe for the process of labor, birth and motherhood. Again, I had the privilege to be a part of that and despite all the pain, I wholly felt that privilege and honor.

A few hours after Logan was born, Sloane came to visit us in the hospital with Ken's mom. I wanted their meeting to be special for both of them, but I especially was concerned that Sloane didn't see this new addition as a threat to her. Before Sloane came in, I put Logan down in her bed (read: plastic box) on the other side of me and greeted Sloane as she entered with hugs and kisses; I had missed her! Sloane climbed into bed with me, asking me questions and I couldn't help notice how big and grown up she seemed. She was eager to meet baby sister so we brought the baby over and it was the sweetest thing seeing Sloane greet her sister for the first time: she touched her nose and hair, wanted to see her hands and feet and gave her little kisses. Sloane instantly took to her big sister role and it was amazing to witness.

Thank goodness for Ken's mom being there while we rushed off to the hospital. She had been with us all week and her presence and help around the house helped with all my antsyness earlier that week. 

My mom was flying in from Korea that day and landed at about the same time that Logan came into the world. She made it to the hospital the next day on Saturday morning to meet her second granddaughter and it was wonderful to have her there knowing that she was going to be there when we returned home. My sister, Eunice, and her husband, Val, also came down with my mom and I loved seeing that tiny hospital room filled with family members greeting the baby for the first time. 

My mom, my sister and my daughters!

Monday, July 13, 2015


Logan Thea Lu, arrived on Friday afternoon, July 10, at 2:15 pm... and I am so smitten.

Waiting for her felt like forever, but the labor and delivery was quick and then she was in my arms- both of us shivering and in a haze, clinging to each other. 

I loved her immediately... and I realized in large part it was because she reminds me so much of when Sloane was first born. My love for Sloane then, throughout these past few years, my love for her currently, and then now my love for Logan - it's all interwoven and connected in a way I could never have fully grasped until now. 

I'm in awe ...and incredibly grateful that I get to do it all over again. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015


I've been listening to this Ingrid Michaelson song on repeat. I don't know, it just gets to me.

Also listening to:

Nina Revisted....A Tribute to Nina Simone (currently found at NPR's first listen): it makes me want to watch that Nina Simone documentary on Netflix. 

Amos Lee's Mission Bell album: lots of goodies on there (and the whole thing is on Youtube).

Morning Jacket's Waterfall album: seems particularly good for a summertime soundtrack.

Matt Pond PA's State of Gold album: great energy but not in an annoying way.

Hillsong UNITED's Empires album: terribly soothing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


So here we are again, waiting.

I feel a bit like I am walking underwater. My brain and body are so geared up for this huge thing coming up that it's hard to focus on anything else. I truly am enjoying this time and have been relaxing a lot (naps galore!) but I'm tired of being pregnant and the not knowing when it is going to happen is really throwing me for a loop, earlier this time than last time.

During this time of learning how to be supremely patient, I found myself referring back often to past entries of this blog and delighting in the memories that I have been able to store here over the years. I'm going to share a bunch of links here as a round up, because man oh man, the perspective!

Throughout this pregnancy, it's been fun to be able to go back to see what I recorded about the pregnancy with Sloane during the same mile markers, like when I first got pregnant, the letter I wrote to Sloane about Ken, that time of waiting for Sloane in July of 2012 when I hit 40 weeks (that's tomorrow for this one), that time I walked to the museum, and 41 weeks.....and then this video slide show I made when Sloane finally got here!

Also, throughout this pregnancy, as this new baby grew inside me and I started to wonder what this baby would be like, it was wonderful to be able to look back at what Sloane was like at certain times in her life and get excited that I was going to be able to do it all over again: 4 days into her life, 9 days old2 weeks, 5 months, 9 months, then when she turned one and two.

I love July, and once July 1 hit this year, I started looking back at the other Julys in recent years. Like our outings to Texas beach last summer of 2014, summer of 2013 (and Texas beach in 2011 before baby !!), a beach trip that summer of 2013, and our beach trip last year of 2014.  Then a birthday weekend with my mom and sisters summer of 2013 part 1 and part 2 , and a weekend with my family in ellicott city part 1 and part 2.

It's also been great reminders reading through entries like this one I did about a day with Sloane and about how love is patient.

This baby raising thing, it is quite a ride....and despite all sorts of anxieties that inevitably pop up here and there... I'm excited to do it again.  So come on baby #2, make an appearance!

Thursday, July 2, 2015


I said here before how Sloane and I are obsessed with smoothie bowls, and this week we tried a different version with peach, mango, banana, greek yogurt, chia seeds and almond meal - topped with granola, apricot and blueberries - so good!  This green version is what I'm going to try next...

Also, in lieu of a cocktail, I want this grapefruit and watermelon agua fresca, bad. This might be the one thing I try to get done this weekend. And drink it up while finishing a book.

If I'm feeling ambitious, which I'm not, but if I were, I would make giant portions of this Mexicali Chopped Salad for next week and eat it everyday for lunch.

....what I want to eat after this baby is out: Ahi Tuna Poke bowl.  With a giant glass of Cremant wine.