The wonderful organization Forever Footprints puts together a 5k Walk to Remember every year in October (pregnancy and infant loss awareness month), in honor of all our babies who were now in heaven. They have been doing this for maybe 12 years now and this is my first year participating. It was an emotionally driven morning but it was very spiritually strengthening at the same time. They had a very beautiful and emotional memorial service and they called out all the angels names as well and you get a white rose for each angel. There was a memorial wall that had all the names of our angels on it’s well and it was just so amazing to see. A talented musician named Peter Brandon wrote and sang the most beautiful song called Brand New Wings in honor of our babies that really touched my heart and made me cry like a baby as well. This was the first time in 3 years that my angels got a memorial service, I don’t know why it took so long, but I finally got the courage to do it, especially with the help of my loved ones. Thanks everyone for all the love and support today at the 5k OC Walk to Remember in honor of my angels and all the other angels out there. I never got a chance to name my babies, I never even got to know their gender, but I always called them Angel1 and Angel2, and so that is their names, I will walk every year for Angel1 & Angel2 Ngo. “We walk the steps they never got to take.” I love you so much my angels, I hope I made you proud!
I love my angels and miss them so much, and on October 15th, we honor them in the Wave of Light. They will always be in my heart with every beat it takes. It’s always bittersweet for me on days like this because I’m sad from the pain and loss I feel from not having my babies here with me, but I know they are in a much better place looking down on me, protecting me and my loved ones, and guiding me through life. The pain never goes away, and honoring my angels is always hard to do, only because it always get swept with emotions. It’s hard for me to keep it together, but therapeutic and when I allow those emotions to come out, it’s therapeutic and I feel connected to my angels. I am so thankful for all the people in my life who lit candles for my angels and honored them with me. I love you my angels, so so much.
Happy sweet 16 months to my sweet little prince Leo (sorry for posting this so late Leo!)! Leo weighs in at 20lbs and stretches about 31 inches long. Leo is getting so much stronger each day and constantly making progress in his developments. He had his GI appointment and the doctor prescribed him some medication to help with his chronic constipation. She said that he needs to clean out his colon and he has to be on this medication everyday for about a year to get his system use to going number two once a day. His colon is probably enlarged due to the constipation and holding it in for days at a time, so he needs to allow himself a lot of time to get his colon back down to a normal size. She thinks that maybe if he poops more regularly, maybe he won’t have a tummy ache (even though he doesn’t see to be fussy about it, maybe his tummy has been aching) and maybe this will cause him to want to eat and try solids. Overall, the medication is working and he’s still not taking solids, but it’s going to be a process. The OT said she’s never met any non g-tube that’s be this orally defensive before. I hope you start to learn to eat solids soon Leo because food is SO enjoyable haha! Leo did have a great accomplishment though and that he’s starting to hold his own bottle during feedings! He’s not confident yet, it’s more like me propping his hands up and holding his hands in place, but it sets the motion and he would hold it for a minute or two by himself, and sometimes he’ll even tip the bottle up himself to get the last of the milk as well! He is also tucking his legs under him more when he’s on the floor on his tummy, and he’ll rock back and forth sometimes in that position too. It seems like he’s really wanting to crawl soon, fingers crossed!! He’s also getting stronger at standing. Sometimes he’ll pull himself upright but he still needs a lot of assistance and support when standing, and he’s still pretty stiff, but he’s improved a lot just in this last month. The two PT sessions a week now really helps! He also does this ridiculously cute thing where he’ll put his arm up and his hand on his forehead whenever he’s tired or doesn’t like something, and if he really doesn’t like something then he’ll pout, but it’s just so super cute I cannot resist his doe eyes when he does it! All his baby steps are huge leaps in my eyes and I cannot be more proud of my petite prince Leo!
Lily just so bright and sweet as ever! Lily is learning a lot at LePort and even though her Spanish class isn’t offered this quarter, she is still reciting numbers and words she learned and is very proud of it! She is always super silly and likes to use her giant imagination and create lots of elaborate stories during playtime. She is very loving and sweet to Leo still and still continues to give him lots of hugs and kisses and is still so good at making him laugh and smile. She also had a recent school field to Zoomars Petting Zoo in San Juan Capistrano for the first time and she had such a blast! She loves riding the school bus and she really enjoyed all the animals! She liked feeding all the guinea pigs, goats, and pigs, and she even got to brush a goat’s fur. She also conquered her fear of horses/ponies and rode on a horse with no tears at all! I am so proud of her and she even had so much fun and waves hello to me several times during the ride. There was giant corn kernel pit at the zoo too and she loved making corn angels in it haha. Lily really likes songs on the radio and is singing along to them more, I love her sweet soft little voice! She still has a slight accent when she says certain words, it’s pretty cute and unique haha. I don’t know where she gets it from…but it’s cute regardless! She’s so silly and always bursting with so much sunshine and happiness, you just help but smile and love her even more. I love you so much my precious princess, my Lily pad! Keep on shining oh so bright!!
Happy 15 months my precious petit prince Leo! Leo weighs 21.5 pounds (31%) and stretches 31 inches long (44%) with a head circumference of 18 inches (20%). Leo is getting bigger and stronger every day! Last month, my poor baby Leo had to be in the ER room and then admitted to Choc for 4 days because he was feverish for several days and then had a very bad cough. After the first trip to the ER room, he was prescribed some antibiotics but after a few days, he was not getting any better and so he got admitted to Choc. It took a couple days but the doctors finally figured out that he had a viral pneumonia and was able to give him the correct antibiotics that would help him, and he had to use the nebulizer 4 times a day to help clear up the fluids in his lungs. He is such a trooper and it’s so rare to see him so unhappy and melancholy, I knew he was not feeling so well. It was so good to see him smiling and happy a week later. His smile just melts my heart! It’s never easy to see your baby at the hospital, all hooked up to wires and monitors and poked with needles, but Leo is such a champ and is so brave through it all. He can face any challenge that comes his way, and look super cute at the same time! Leo also had an appointment with an opthalmologist and they said he’s near sighted with some astigmatism, and will most likely need glasses next year. The nerve in the back of one of his eyes was a bit enlarged I think but the doctor said it wasn’t anything to be concerned about. I’m glad that it’s nothing more serious and that he will be taken care of when the time comes! He also had a hearing test scheduled but due to his lung congestion from his pneumonia, he wasn’t able to complete the hearing test so he was have to come back in November for that test.
Leo is so much more active these days, and can sit with his legs straight out and doesn’t always have to prop himself with his arms! He is making progress and is making me soooo proud of him! He loves to kick his legs and waves his arms around, he is reaching for toys and objects so much faster. He is more interactive as well and seems to even respond when you call his name now! Since Leo still isn’t taking in any solid foods, whole milk is not enough nutrients for him, so he’s now drinking Kid’s Boost Essentials, which luckily is covered by insurance too. Hopefully this will help him grow big and strong! Leo is very happy all the time and just loves being held and played with. He likes to roll around and can almost sit up from rolling on the floor too! Leo is so mellow and chill, he still sleeps so well through the night and loves his naps too. He is such a sweet and wonderful little baby, I feel so blessed and lucky to call him mine. I’m so proud of my precious Leo, keep up all your amazing hard work baby, happy 15 months Leo!
Lily is always so sweet, silly, and loving, I cannot get enough of her. Unfortunately this last month, I wasn’t able to be with her as much as I liked due to my accident, but when I do, she just continues to surprise me with her spunky personality. She is so full of love and compassion. She’s constantly hugging me, holding my arm, putting her head on my shoulder, constantly giving me kisses and telling me how much she loves me. I feel like the luckiest mom in the world and I feel so humbled to have this sweet little girl love me so much. She understands so much, and told me that Leo is sick and remembers Choc and said that the doctors will help Leo feel better! Even when I was at the hospital, Lily was not scared to visit me and give me a hug and told me that I will get better soon. I love how smart she is and how positive and hopeful she is as well. I love her happiness and I can see the sunshine radiating from her. Lily is finally showing me what she’s learning from her spanish classes at LePort, and she can count to 10 and her favorite is still “frutas” (fruit) haha. She is warming up to Tajik Karate now too and likes to show me her punches and kicks with the sound effects! This month she will be starting gymnastics classes too. She really likes doing yoga so I really hope she’ll enjoy gymnastics, especially since I really liked my gymnastic classes when I was a kid! I’m so excited for her! She’s dancing and singing a lot more now too and I’m so excited for her to soak up all the activities that she gets to participate in at school. I sometimes feel like she’s so mature for her age, but when I look at her, I will always see my sweet little baby girl. I’m so proud of the beautiful person she’s growing up to be, I love her so much.
Enjoy this video of Lily demonstrating what she learned in her Tajik Karate classes at LePort!
My dearest Angel2 Baby,
You would have been 2 years old yesterday…I’m sorry I’m a day late, I did not forget, I never would and I never will. I think about you all the time, not just on special days like yesterday. I’ve been thinking about what wish to give you all day long, but I couldn’t get myself to come up of something that’s good enough for you. I am trying my best to be happy and positive for you, but I find it very hard because I find myself engulfed in the sadness of losing you. As your birthday approaches, I keep telling myself that I’ll be fine this time, and that I’ll be ok. Yet I end up thinking about you, what you never got to be, what I never got to have with you, and it makes me cry. I think about the moment I lost you, because that’s my last moments with you, and the pain instantly floods my heart. Some people are naive and ignorant by thinking I can’t miss someone who was never even here, but for a couple months, you were here, with me, in my womb. All those happy feelings and love that I have for you, that you gave me, that was real and that is what I miss. I miss what I never got to experience with you, I miss all the all the hopes and dreams that I once had for you, I miss you my angel2. It pains me not to be able to celebrate your life you never had a chance to live with you, and it saddens me that my tears are what makes me feel closest to you. However, your love lives inside my heart and I will always feel your love knowing that you are watching over me. I’ll never stop missing you, the pain will never go away, until I finally meet you one day. Until then, I’ll keep missing you, and thinking of you, and loving you. Happy 2nd Birthday my precious angel2.
Love always and forever,
Happy 14 months old to me precious Prince Leo! Leo weighs about 19.8 pounds, and stretches about 30inches long! Leo has been make slow progress, but still great progress! He is getting stronger with his core muscles and is able to sit propped up longer and sometimes he can even lift his arms to reach for things too. He is slowly getting more comfortable being on his knee and squatting (with assistance), and reaching for toys while sitting in his booster chair. He really like the crinkly texture toys, give him a piece of paper and he’ll be entertained for hours! He also is working on standing, you have to really prop him and hold him in place but he is starting to put pressure on his feet so that is definitely good progress. Before, he would just bend at the hips and not even let you hold his legs down, so this is wonderful progress for him! Also, he started to chew on his crinkly fabric book for a tiny bit, so that’s super great because he usually doesn’t like to put anything in his mouth besides his thumb and his bottle for milk. I hope he will start to explore the world more through taste soon!
Leo is in the process of being put on a wait list for a full time school program called Early Head Start. We don’t know if we qualify financially yet, we will know in a few weeks, but for sure we know that Leo qualifies since one of the specialty is that the program is offered for children with disabilities, and Leo’s diagnosis would qualify him, and since he is already receiving help through the Regional Center, he would get higher priority for the wait list too. Hopefully he can get in so he can get extra special attention and care while I’m at work! Grandma did a great job watching Leo but it’s getting time for him to start going to school. Leo also got his second hair cut, this time a home hair cut by Mieng and I think it looks pretty good! Leo looks so cute and handsome and very stylish!! He was very cooperative too, just hand him the phone and he’s occupied and calm. He likes to look at his reflection on the phone, or himself with you have it in the camera mode haha. Who wouldn’t like looking at that cute little face?? Leo has been sick with a fever and bad phlemgy cough for the last few days and it makes me so sad to see him not feeling so well. He would cry from feeling so uncomfortable in the middle of his sleep but even though he’s crying, I can’t help be think he’s so cute haha. I hope he feels better soon though, he’s always in happy spirits overall though. Leo is getting bigger (taller at least) and stronger everyday and I’m so proud of him! I love you so much Leo, you’re my rainbow at the end of the storm!!
Lily is so happy and always such a character, I can never get enough of her. Lily is always bursting with happy excited energy and she has a pure love and appreciation for everything! I watch her with such awe as I see her talk about things, her thought process behind all her actions. I feel like she speaks so maturely for her age. Her understanding and processing of information is just so impressive to me. All the things that I try to teach her, seems to really get absorbed by her, and she’s developing into such a beautiful little lady! I had a gift for her just yesterday and she didn’t even see what was inside but the fact that I had something for her, she was so ecstatic and grateful that she kissed the cardboard box it came in and said it’s so beautiful and she’s so excited!! haha. Lily still really loves to be hands on and help me cook. At her school they have a garden and grow their own veggies and so she learned how to wash and roast eggplants! She gets exposure to lots of different healthy foods at LePort, and it really helps her branch out and try new foods too. She loves working on puzzles too and is working on her writing skills. She knows a couple words from her Spanish class, particularly “frutas” for fruit and “bebe” for baby. She is such a sweet, smart and kind girl, and I love her pure innocence and happy nature. I cannot be more proud! I might be biased, but I don’t care, =P. I love her so much!
Here’s some video fun of the kiddoes!
Happy 13 months old my little Prince Leo! Leo weighs 19.51lbs, stretches 29.72 inches long, and head circumference measures at 17.9 inches. We just had his annual visit with his geneticist and she is confident that he would be able to walk one day, without the aid of any medical equipment, so that’s great news! He will need to have another hearing test since his right ear canal seems to be very narrow. He needs to check to make sure there’s no seroma in there or else that could block his whole ear canal which would make him not able to hear. We also need to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist to make sure his eyes are ok so that it doesn’t contribute to his balance and focus, in case one eye is near sighted and the other is farsighted or something, etc. Overall, the geneticist says Leo is about the age of a 7 month old in terms of physical development. She said we won’t know how mentally developed he is until he starts speaking and seeing how he communicates with us.
Leo is so mellow and happy and full of curiosity. Leo still isn’t taking any solids, so we are still working with the occupational therapist for that, but he is now drinking whole milk and we are trying to introduce the straw to him. I’m hoping that he will eventually learn to drink from the straw so that he can at least take smoothies to get some food content in him, if it takes a while for him to take solids. Leo can sit well on his own when he props himself. He is not crawling, standing or pulling himself up yet, but he is very good at rolling around and having lots of arm movements and kicking of his feet. Leo is also very ticklish and also loves being tossed in the air and hanging upside down haha. He is also getting better at reaching for toys, and playing with toys and my hair. He also seems to sign for milk now, but it could also be a coincidence, but it’s exciting regardless! He’s also being more social and doesn’t like to be left alone as much now, and likes to be held and interacted with. I’m glad he’s being social and he is just a great ball of sunshine to have. Overall though, Leo is growing strong and doing it all with the cutest smile on his face! Happy 13 months old my sweet little Leo!
Lily has such a cute spunky little personality that I just can’t ever get enough of. I’m constantly being impressed with lily’s thought process and communication skills. Lily is getting more proficient with the iPad since I have physical therapy twice a week, so she’s been pretty good at being independent and learning how to navigate on her own. Lily is very silly and loves to have fun and laugh. Lily is still always so sweet and loving to Leo, she’s such an amazing big sister! I’m very proud of her! Lily really likes to play new board games, draw and work with stencil works. She really likes to write her name and is starting to write out more words like all our names. Lily knows it’s my birthday soon so all of her art work at school is “for mommy’s birthday” haha. She’s so sweet! She loves arts and crafts, and also playing with her scooter and car outside. Lily also likes to play with bubbles and fireworks now too. Lily also loves wearing dresses, wearing flowers in her hair, picking flowers, and eating all kinds of ice cream (also known as yogurt haha). Yogurt and ice cream is pretty much the same thing to her, so that’s a nice little trick I was able to do and not feel so guilty about doing =P. Lily also had the pleasure of being in Lennie and Danny’s wedding last month as a pretty little flower girl!! Lily’s such a bright light in my life, her smile just lifts up my spirit and I can’t help but feel so happy when I’m in her presence. I’m so proud to call her mine. I love you to pieces my beautiful lily pad!
Enjoy a couple videos of the kiddoes below!
I cannot be more proud of my Lily pad! The other night I told Lily that I’m going to give her a hair cut, like I’ve done every year since she was 2 years old. One of the first things Lily said after saying “ok” to me giving her a haircut was “It’s just hair, it will grow back!” That made me happy to hear because I didn’t want her to be too attached to her hair and be shallow or something. It was funny though because after I chopped off a chunk of her hair, she said “that’s enough mommy” haha. But she was totally fine and just watched her show on her Ipad while it straightened out her cut. She was very cooperative and sat still and everything! So after I finished her haircut, I told her that we will be donating her hair and said she has a lot of hair, and so we will give it to someone who doesn’t have hair and needs it. I wasn’t sure if she fully understood the concept, but kids are like sponges and they soak up every information you throw at them, so I figured I’ll just tell her and if she gets it, then cool, if not, then maybe she will later. So after I told her this, she seemed to be excited and said she wanted to give her hair to “them” (people who need it), and I said we have to mail it, but she insisted she wanted to go to their house and give it to them, haha, so sweet. I told her she can put it in the mail box with me and that was a compromise that seemed to pleased her.
So the next day at school, we walked past the reception desk and the reception commented on how cute Lily’s new haircut looked and she had a big smile and said thank you very sweetly. Then I asked her what we are doing with her hair and she said “anate it”, which I translated to “donate it” for the receptionist haha. The receptionist said that’s very special and so nice of her and lily skipped off to her class all excited. When she got inside her class, she had the biggest open mouth wide eyed smile on her face, waiting for people to notice her haircut! It was so cute to see her so happy. When I picked her up from school later that day, her teacher told me that Lily went up to her and said she’s “anating” her hair. So her teacher asked “what do you mean anate?” Lily said “I’m giving it to people who don’t have hair.” So her teacher asked her “who doesn’t have hair?” Lily says “sick people and old people” (I didn’t even tell her that part, she just got that all on her own!) and her teacher told me she got all emotional to hear Lily tell her that story! Then she said all day she was telling all her friends about how she’s “anating” her hair and all the other kids said they want to grow out their hair long so they can “anate” their hair too! That story just made me so teary eyed and so super proud of my baby girl. She just turned 4 years old and now she’s already inspiring others to be generous, kind, and help others.
When I wanted to be a mom, I always had visions of what kind of human beings I wanted my kids to be; kind, generous, smart, thoughtful, active, nice, caring etc. Then when I actually became a mom, I always tried to be very conscious of how to raise Lily and Leo to be that, and try to find opportunities where ever I can to teach her how to be kind to others, share, be caring, helpful, etc. Little did I know that Lily was all that and more! It’s a continuous learning process and I don’t know if what I’m doing would do much or if it’ll make a difference or not, but I just keep trying and hoping for the best. All these years I’ve been so delighted and grateful to watch Lily grow into this compassionate little person, and she’s just been more and more impressive to me that I feel so humbled to call her mine. I have so much joy in knowing that she is my baby girl, and that story about her haircut just filled me up with so much pride. It’s encouragement to myself to keep doing what I’m doing, and see how she’s growing so beautifully. It makes me feel really good as a parent and person. Lily’s pure innocence and caring heart just boosted my belief in the beauty and preciousness of life. Here is the LINK to 360 Hair with info on how to donate hair, and the minimum length needed is only 6 inches! I cut off about 7 inches of Lily’s hair. Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to make a big difference. I’m so super proud of my Lily, and I can’t wait to see what other amazing things she’ll do. I love you to pieces my precious Lily pad!
Happy birthday to my sweetest little princess Lily! Lily weighs 29lbs (6%), and is 39.5 inches long (63%). Lily had a finger prick blood test to test her iron levels and her levels are normal! This is an improvement from last year since she was low last year. All that fish is paying off! Lily also got 3 shots on my arm and that was really tough and painful for her and she cried her little eyes out, poor baby girl. Other than that, she is doing really well and is a healthy little girl! She is definitely on the smaller side but at least she’s healthy! Lily has a very cute eccentric sense of style, it’s a mixture of comfort, colorful, and cute style. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t match, if she likes it and makes her feel good, then go for it baby girl! You be you and I strongly encourage her to explore her of style to promote her sense of self and confidence. Lily loves to snack, to name a few, she likes potato chips, cheesy popcorn (Pirate’s Booty), strawberry Special K Crisp Bars, cookies, butter popcorn, all things candy, strawberries fresh and freeze dried, carrots, apples, cuties, brussel sprouts, and lots of cheese! Lily likes going out and doing things like playing at the park, running around and spinning in circles, making silly noises and being silly, and her imagination is really growing and she likes to play imaginary situations all the time with her toys. Her vocabulary and speech and is so big and eloquent, she doesn’t seem like a 4 year old at all, maybe a 5-6 year old! You can see how she phrases her sentences that she puts a lot of thought into her communication, it’s just so impressive to see. I’m so constantly proud of her!!
For her birthday celebration, I had the joint party with Leo for Lily. She also had a celebration at her school where the class sang a nice around the world song for her as she walked around and showed her classmates pictures from each year of her life. We brought yogurt, animal crackers, and mini blueberry muffins for her classmates to enjoy for a special birthday snacks and her teachers provided strawberries for everyone too. Lily really enjoyed passing out all the snacks to her friends and I was so impressed with how good the kids are there and how much Lily wanted to help and pass out the snacks. Lily’s been excited for her birthday for months now and I’m so glad that this day finally came so I can celebrate and spoil her (more than usual) and make her so super happy! It’s a fun age for birthdays since she’s so aware of what it is now, and all her friends have birthday celebrations, so it’s just such a happy time. I’m glad she looks forward to her birthday, I will make sure I always do whatever I can to make this day special for her, and to show her how this day changed my life forever in the best, most wonderful way possible. For more pictures from Lily and Leo’s birthday celebrations, click HERE! Special thanks to Mieng for taking the beautiful photos of Lily and Leo for their birthdays!!
I feel super blessed and lucky to have Lily as my baby girl! She is super sweet, smart, silly, funny, sassy, kind, compassionate, and everything I wanted in a daughter and more!! She is constantly impress and amazes me with everything she does and I can’t wait to see what else she’s going to teach me in life and what other adventures we will have together! My heart is so full when I look into her bright eyes and sweet smile. She is such a sweet, caring, and compassionate big sister to baby Leo as well. Seeing her interact with him, all on her own too, is so touching to me. Even when she see other babies, she just says “awww that baby is so cute!” and she will be so warm and caring to them. Lily is so good at sharing too and is always looking out for me and making sure I am careful walking down the stairs and tells me to hold her hand so I don’t fall! She is just the sweetest and I’m so proud and humbled to call her mine! I love you more than you’ll ever know my precious Lily pad!! Happy 4th birthday my sweetest angel!!
Check out some of Lily’s adventures this past year!
Happy 1st Birthday to my dearest le petit Prince Leo! Leo weighs in at 19.65lbs (21%), stretches 30 inches long (56%), and head circumference is 17.5 inches (22%). At his 1 year check up, he got a finger prick and his iron level was a little bit low, so he is now going to start taking poly-vi-sol vitamins with iron in it once a day. Leo got 3 shots and cried his eyes out but took them like a champ and calmed down shortly after. It’s also so painful to watch, but it’s for his health and he luckily didn’t have any fevers or anything afterwards. Leo’s PT and pediatrician noticed some of hypertension in Leo’s legs and arms, and so Leo will be getting a full neuro evaluation and an MRI scan to see what’s going on, and if there’s anything in the brain that’s preventing him from achieving certain developmental milestones. If the brain looks good, then it’s just a matter of working with Leo to strengthen his muscles and train his mind to get him to develop. If something is going on neurologically, then we will have to go with a different approach, I’m not sure what that would be yet.
The pediatrician said he’ll probably need speech therapy later on, and I talked to his PT and usually that would start around 18 months of age. There was mention with his PT that they might add an Infant Educator back onto his early start program, but I said if he doesn’t really need it, I’d rather not because 3 hours of therapy is a lot for the little guy, and an infant educator is more broad and not necessarily specific for any particular development. So he might not have to add another hour of therapy to his already busy schedule. Leo also had to do an allergy blood test and I found out that Leo has a severe allergy to eggs, egg whites in particular. His doctor said if he gets in contact with it, I can use Benadryl to help the allergy reaction, otherwise, we will be to have an epi pen on hand just in case he gets an accident and he reacts badly. We noticed that Leo’s skin will turn red just from touching things that had eggs in it, so it’s sad that this is confirmed, since eggs are so yummy and are in sooo many yummy foods. However, it’s good to know now so that we can keep him safe and healthy! He is also allergic to nuts, particular peanuts and cashews. Poor baby Leo. He will learn to enjoy other foods though (once he starts learning to eat). Leo also got his first haircut a few weeks ago and was so cute and super ticklish too. He looks like a little boy now, where did my baby go???
I threw the kids a nice birthday party to celebrate Leo’s milestone 1st Birthday and Lily’s 4th Birthday! I baked vanilla, pistachio, chocolate, and orange blossom macarons, bavarian cream fruit custard, and Haupia cupcakes with a coconut filling. I also made a nice big 3 tier display cake in the theme of the book Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I hired a very talented balloon artist and face painter, and Khoa’s coworker, Vinh, generously set up a photobooth for us as well. I got catering from Newport Rib Company and had a lot of yummy BBQ as well. It was a very fun party and this 1st birthday means so much to me. For more pictures of Leo and Lily’s Birthday celebrations, click HERE!
Happy 1st Birthday my dearest prince Leo. You are such an amazing little inspiration. There was a time when I thought I wouldn’t even be able to hold him in my arms, to see his beautiful smile, or hear his sweet laugh. Yet here we are, it’s been a crazy long journey, from the moment you existed, and now, we celebrate you. My little prince Leo, you are such an amazing little fighter, inspiration, and miracle. I look at your sweet face, your cute sweet smile, and your innocent pure eyes, and I just can’t help get emotional and overwhelmed with feelings of love and gratitude. I love how I can just hold your hand, with your tiny fingers wrapped around mine, and you just feel safe and at ease with me. You feel like home and the ultimate sensation of comfort when you are in my arms, and I never want to let you go (except maybe when I have to pee…). I can stare at you explore this world of all it’s wonders, and listen to your sweet little voice all day! You are truly the definition of hope. You are beating all the odds, and I can’t wait to see what adventures we will continue to go on together. Keep shining bright, keep fighting, keep being my ray of hope. I love you to pieces Leo!
Check out some of Leo’s adventure from his first year of life along with his first haircut experience!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing mommies out there! Being a mom is definitely one of the hardest jobs I have, but it’s also the most rewarding and humbling experience that I have the chance and honor of experiencing. Life has been very challenging and difficult lately, and a lot of times, it’s very easy to feel defeated, diminish my self esteem, have self doubt, and lose hope. Sometimes the dark clouds roll in and the storm hits, and you just don’t know when the sun will come back again, and it’s hard amd very scary to brave the thunder and lightning due to the risk of getting hit or blown away. Sometimes, I just want to throw my hands up in the air (like you just don’t care..jk..) and give up and just accept that personal happiness is something that wasn’t meant for me. When you become a parent, you sacrifice a lot of yourself for your children, and we often think that as long as they are happy, you are happy. That’s only true up to a certain point. In the end, we are still our own person, and if we ourselves are not happy, deep down in our soul, then how can we possibly be the best we can be for them? There’s a difference between sacrificing for the better of our children and completely losing yourself in your children. I think it’s very important to still be your own self, and have your own life, outside your kids. There needs to be a healthy balance, so that your kids not only see you as their loving parent, but also as a loving person, that would hopefully inspire them to be one day. One day, my kids will grow up and leave the nest, and create their own families, and I don’t want to be lost when that happens.
We face many difficult challenges in our lives, and are dealt with many difficult decisions to make as well. What I do to try to get past those obstacles that life throws at me, is to just think about what kind of person I want Lily to be, what kind of man I want Leo to be, and make my decisions based on that. Lead by example. If I want Lily to be kind, generous, forgiving, patient, and compassionate, then I will be all those things for her so she can witness it and experience it, as her norm. Parenting is a constant battle of patience and testing of the emotions. You have to pick and choose your battles, and ask yourself what do you value more, what’s the lesson you’re trying to teach, what do you want to achieve? I’m no expert, nor am I a perfect parents, but I feel it’s a series of trial and error really haha. So I just have to trust my gut instincts, and hope for the best… Anyways, with everything going on in my life, it’s hard to stay confident in myself. You never know if you’re doing a good job, or the right thing, or doing what’s best for your kids and yourself. However, I’ll look at Lily, and notice the little things she does, her occasion head lean on my shoulder, and hugs and kisses for no reason, and just look at what a kind, compassionate, caring, polite person she is, and that gives me validation that I’m doing something right. When things were getting really hard for me a month or so ago, I got this random message from a stranger who stumbled upon my blog. Below was her first message to me, and then a snippet of an ongoing conversation I had with her via email.
“I just want to thank you for your blog that you post about your son leo. My son also has tetrasomy 18 and i read your blog for motivation to get me through my pregnancy. It gave me hope that my son would make it and that he would be okay. He is now 3 months old and he is doing great and you inspired me to continue on with my pregnancy when the doctors told me he would never make it. 🙂 thank you”
“I think your a hero for choosing to keep Leo and writing about it . . . I am so glad i didn’t listen to the doctor and abort him because he is perfect to me . . . If it wasnt for god & his fathers faith that everything would be okay and with out your blog i might not have had Angel.”
I immediately bursted into tears when I read her message. It was like my soul was revitalized, reenergized, and I had validation from a complete stranger, to keep on being me. I felt incredibly humbled by her words, and it just felt really…good, and amazing, to know that I was able to help someone, and even save a baby’s life. Who knows if I’ve helped anyone else that hasn’t even reached out to me, but wow…I was floored and so happy, that I was able to actually make a difference. I really genuinely want to help people, and I’m so glad that I’m able to with my blog, and documenting my life journey, as well as Leo’s. This gave me a lot of my confidence back, and encouraged me that I’m doing the best I can right now, and to keep on at it. I also received a care package in the mail from a friend, thanking me for all my advice that I gave her last year, when she just had her newborn and things were really hard for her. I was again hunbled by her kind words, and didn’t realize how much I’ve affected her and helped her. I feel very happy that I was able to help and make such an impact in her life. I believe in good karma, and so I will continue to spread the love and care into the world, and hope that this world will be a better place for my kids and myself, because I can make a difference, and you can too! Sounds like a promo ad, but it’s true!
So whatever happens in life, you just have to be true to yourself, and just try to be the best version of yourself possible. I live my life for my kids, but also for myself. I’m the one who has to walk in my shoes, and so I’m the one who has to live with myself. If I’m not happy with who I am, then I try to make myself better so that I am happy, and my happiness, will be reflected on my kids. If your life is dark and miserable, that shadow will cast upon your kids as well, so let the light shine bright and guide you. Kids will bring you so much joy, pain, happiness, anger, frustration, but most of all, love. As for my babies whom I never got to hold, I live the best life I can for them. I can’t teach them anything, or inspire them, or take care of them, because they are already in heaven and don’t need any of that from me. They are the ones who’s actually watching over me, taking care of me, and inspiring me. So as their mother, I plan to be happy, and be a good person, for them, to make them proud. Thank you everyone for all the well wishes, flowers, sweet treats, jewelry, and gifts. I’m definitely the lucky one to have such amazing kids. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies out there. <3
Happy 11 Months old Leo! I can’t believe this is your last month before you turn 1 years old! Leo weighs in at 19.2lbs and stretches about 29 inches long! He is still such a happy mellow calm baby, and is always a joy to be around. Earlier Leo had a really bad stuffy and runny nose that lasted a little over a week, so that was really rough on him (and me), but he managed to stay in good spirits most of the time though. The only time he was really showing any misery was when he would try to drink his bottle and his nose would be so stuff he couldn’t breathe, and then throw up all his milk a couple times too, so he would cry pretty hard, poor baby =(. I’m glad he’s all better now and and breathe a-ok! Leo really likes to look at himself in the mirror and always has a big smile on his face when he sees the handsome little guy smiling back at him. Leo is still a very good sleeper and takes to take a couple long naps a day and then do a good 12-14 hour stretch of sleep at night! Good job Leo!!
He likes to roll all over the place and kick his feet like crazy. He really wants to move around, and I feel like he really wants to crawl, it’s just a matter of getting his core muscles and arm muscle tones strong enough so he can do it. Practice practice practice. Leo still hasn’t made much progress in terms of eating solids, but he’s getting more use to the zvibe tool. Hopefully his mouth muscles will loosen up and as his core muscle strengthens, hopefully everything else will fall into place. For now, I’ve been trying to feed him homemade pureed pees and black beans, but so far he still pushes the food out and doesn’t eat. We just have to keep on working at it. Also, his physical therapist suggests we get Leo to do a brain scan, so see if there’s anything going on neurologically that’s preventing him from achieving certain gross motor skills. He tends to hyper extend his arms and extend them backwards rather than pulling his arms forward for balance. She thinks it could be neurological, so I’m going to set up an appointment to get him scanned just to make sure. This worries me of course, but it’s better safe than sorry, and better to know more so we can prepare and work with what we know. Overall though, Leo is improving on his sitting, he’s able to sit tripod style for about 5 minutes on his own now. His side sitting is getting better too and I can let go for maybe 15-30 seconds or so before he starts to tip over. He is babbling a lot more and says “mmm” a lot, I’m pretty sure he’s trying to say “mama” =). The physical therapist also tried some musical therapy to help him concentrate during therapy. Sometimes he’ll try to resist and fight her, and so she played some therapeutic rhythmic drumming music, and it instantly calmed him down, and he was able to do the task at hand, and even sit up on a box all by himself for about a minute!! Plus, doesn’t he look so cute with those headphones? So now I will add 30 minutes of rhythmic music to his daily therapy, it’s suppose to help the brain develop too. Overall, he is making baby step progresses, which is also good. The therapist said, once he learns a skill, he can’t regress, so it’s just a constant forward moving action, so that’s very encourage. Keep it up my little prince, mommy is so proud of you!! I love you to pieces!!
Lily is so wonderful, spunky, sassy, smart, funny, and amazing. She continues to shower her baby brother with love and attention and likes to keep an eye on him for me when I need to shower or do things around the house. She is also my little sous chef, and loves to help me chop whisk and prep for dinner. She really likes to go shopping now and would always pick something out for me and then look for something for herself. She is a addicted to candy, she has a major sweets tooth, got that in her blood from her mommy…haha. She really likes to eat fish, shrimp, cheese, bread, eggs, tofu, noodles, broccoli, peas, string beans, carrots, and steak! She loves to snack on potato chips, cheesy popcorn (Pirate’s Booty), and peanuts. Lily also went to the dentist this past weekend and actually let the dentist count and check her teeth for the first time, and she did so well! When he asked her to open her mouth bigger, she listened and did it, so good Lily! No tears or anything! She has 10 teeth on top and 10 teeth on the bottom, and he said they all look straight and good! Woohoo, good job Lily! Amazing too since she eats sooo much candy! Lily loves to help me water the plants and plant succulents in my balcony garden, and she also likes to help Leo read books. She even grabbed his hand to help him feel the textures on the pages and help him turn the page all on her own too, because she sees me doing it, so she does it now too. It’s so sweet and heart warming to see her do those things! I’m so proud of you Lily, I love you soooo much! You light up my life, I cannot be more lucky to have you at my baby girl!!
Check out some videos of Leo!
My Dearest Angel1,
You would have been 2 years old today. You would probably be running all over the place, talking, (and if you’re anything like your big sister Lily) eating all sorts of candy and snacks, and gifting the world with your uniquely wonderful personality. I should be celebrating this momentous day with all my friends and family after spending a good amount of time planning this special day just for you. Instead, weeks, days, and hours before this day, I spent it juggling emotions of sadness, gratefulness, loneliness, humbleness, and grief, to name a few. You should be getting showers of wonderful birthday wishes, comments on how fast you’re growing, how amazing and wonderful you are, and receiving lots of love, surrounded by lots of smiling happy faces. Instead, I might receive one or two “thinking of you” messages, and other supportive related wishes from those who are in tuned with my life, paired up with sympathetic hugs and pep talks. That being said, I’m very appreciative of any support and love I get on this day, but that’s just me, to better cope with my grief. I don’t need a room full of people, fancy party decorations, cake and presents to know how much you mean to me, and I don’t need the world to acknowledge your existence to remind me of how much I love you.
Today though, is for you, so in my heart, I celebrate you. Every year, I will try my best to spend these important dates, doing something that makes me happy, for you, to create some joy that you would have added to my life. I know your soul is watching down on my, so I will make you proud. It’s painful to imagine what you would be like at this age because it reminds me of what I’m missing, and what I didn’t get to experience with you. However, I imagine it anyways and for a brief moment, I smile and my heart feels warm and happy. But soon after, I quickly feel the pain of the dream. In a weird way though, it brings me closer to you, probably because I’m able to feel real tangible feelings for someone I never got to hold. I will never forget you. Happy 2nd birthday my angel, I know you would have created so much happiness in my life, so I wish to make myself and everyone around me as happy as I possibly can, to spread the love you have given me deep in my heart. I love you with my every being.
Love you always,
This is a my very special DNA keepsake beaded jewelry that I got made by the super special and talented Kelly from Sacred Legacy Arts. The two outside beads are her memorial beads with the Forget Me Not flower inside it for miscarriages, for those who don’t have anything tangible to represent their lost babies. The green and blue bead has some of Leo’s hair in it, and the purple and pink bead has some of Lily’s hair in it both with gold shimmer. These beads are super special to me, because I am able to literally able carry a part of my babies everywhere with me. I’m so happy I stumbled upon Sacred Legacy Arts, it’s amazing what she does for others, and giving us this opportunity to have such a wonderful keepsake item that means so much more than jewelry to us mommies. Thank you so much Kelly, I will wear it around my neck, close to my heart, always!