thaoie Posts

Nolan has advanced so much in the last 6 months it’s just AMAZING! Aside from becoming a big brother he continues to be super silly, laughs a ton, talks a ton more, sleeps in his own room in his own big boy bed, developed a major addiction to pacifiers, absolutely loves cars/trucks/vehicles of all sorts. Other favorites continue to be book reading, building blocks, eating vegetables and fruits.

Nolan’s a wonderful helper and retrieves for me what I ask (bottle, pacifier, phone, blanket) and even kisses & hugs his brother without being prompted. A couple weeks ago he truly amazed us when he said on his very own a total, complete sentence, “I see the moon.” His use of “the” was totally unexpected but what blew me away was after having sneezed a few times in a row the other day he said, “bless you, mommy.” Just a few simple things that he’s starting to comprehend has us stoked to see how much more he learns in the coming year. Needless to say at the tender age of 2 we are so very proud of him already.

Photos in this post showcase his intimate birthday celebration and a quick trip down to Zoomars a couple days later for a bit of fun.

nolan's 2nd birthday - balloons in room

nolan's 2nd birthday - balloons in room

Nolan on the morning of his 2nd birthday. Balloon madness!
Nolan on the morning of his 2nd birthday. Balloon madness!
nolan's 2nd birthday - balloons in room
Look at the happy birthday boy.
nolan's 2nd birthday
Playing with Baymax, one of his favorite characters.

nolan's 2nd birthday - opening gifts

nolan's 2nd birthday
LOVED all his new cars.
Partaking in his current fav breakfast: Lucky Charms.
Partaking in his current fav breakfast: Lucky Charms.
nolan's 2nd birthday
His “cheese” is so cheesy.

nolan's 2nd birthday

nolan's 2nd birthday - with daddy and brother
A few precious moments with dad and baby brother.
nolan's 2nd birthday
Happy Brandon on his big bro’s bday.
He's slowly growing out of that baby face.
He’s slowly growing out of that baby face.
nolan's 2nd birthday pacifier addiction
Pacifier addiction and with cousin Lorelai.
Loves hanging out with Lorelai most the time.
Loves hanging out with Lorelai most the time.
Quick family photo to commemorate the day.
Quick family photo to commemorate the day.

nolan's 2nd birthday

nolan's 2nd birthday

nolan's 2nd birthday

nolan's 2nd birthday

nolan 2nd birthday with mommy
Fun selfie with mommy.
nolan's 2nd birthday
Noly shares a birthday with Auntie Jujee.
nolan's 2nd birthday
For his love of trains we took the Amtrak down to SJC to Zoomars.

nolan's 2nd birthday

nolan's 2nd birthday

Was a bit scared to pet them.
Was a bit scared to pet them.
Enjoyed the pony ride. Zoomars
Enjoyed the pony ride.
Cousin Quinn joined in on the fun and was so proud of herself for petting the guinea pig. Zoomars
Cousin Quinn joined in on the fun and was so proud of herself for petting the guinea pig.
Adults had a bit of fun too. Zoomars
Adults had a bit of fun too.
Corn pit!! Zoomars
Corn pit!!

nolan's 2nd birthday

nolan's 2nd birthday train ride at Zoomars

nolan's 2nd birthday

Video recap of both days. Enjoy!!


Nolan is growing up so fast but I guess he has to since he’ll be a big brother in just 2 short months. He’s learned so much in the last 6 months that I can’t even imagine what he’ll learn in the next 6 to come. I’m kind of sad that once baby #2 is here, I won’t be able to give him as much attention as I have in the last 18 months. At least he even got that much attention since any other siblings will not get the same amount of attention that he’s received. It will be divided between him and his siblings but I’m sure our love for our children will always be equal. Nolan’s pediatrician kind of scared me today saying having a 2nd child isn’t twice as much work but more like 3x! I guess we’re in for a big life changer real soon; too late, no looking back now.

Specs from today’s 18 month wellness visit:

Weight: 23 lbs 9 oz (46 percentile)
Height: 33.5 inches (84 percentile)
Head circumference: 19 inches (73 percentile)

Sourced from Child Growth Calculator.

Other notable things at this 18 month milestone:
*16 teeth (doubled in 6 months)
*fav foods: veggies of all kinds and fresh cut fruit
*loves: fish, puzzles, mega blocks, books, Elmo, music, bubbles
*fav words: no, moon, daddy, more, fish, Elmo, cici (for pacifier), bubble, ball, bird, wow, bye, cloud, cheese
*allergic to eggs and dogs (specifically their saliva)

I made a quick treat of a string of Snap Chats I saved in the last 6 months of Nolan doing “Noly” things. Be careful with the volume since one video could be louder than the next.

And lastly is a quick recap in photos of some of the things he’s done in the last 6 months.

8/29 – Beach Day
huntington beach 2014

9/7 – Palm Springs & Salvation Mountain for mommy’s birthday
palm springs salvation mountain

9/13 – Camping (in 100+ degree heat)

Attended 3 weddings (7/4 + 10/4 + 10/11). I photographed the 2 weddings featured below.
wedding guest

10/17 – Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch
tanaka farms pumpkin patch 2014

10/31 – Halloween at Rancho Las Lomas
halloween 2014 at rancho las lomas

11/30 – Disneyland. It may have rained that day but he loved every ride he went on: Nemo, Rockets, Buzz Lightyear and Small World.
disneyland christmas 2014

12/5 – Visited Santa–didn’t go so well but it’s just as expected.
visiting santa 2014

12/7 – Aunt Mary’s executive MBA graduation from Pepperdine University. He photobombed his dad’s photo.
mary's pepperdine graduation 2014


Nolan started attending daycare on a part time basis 3 months ago when he was just getting used to walking. He did horribly the first month. Screamed hysterically every time we dropped him off and cried every time we picked him up. He didn’t eat much, threw a lot of tantrums and was getting sick. I was so torn in the 3rd week that I wanted to take him out for good. I felt as if I was putting him thru unneeded torture having to spend time with strangers, but I knew I had to be strong because it would be better in the long run for his social skills and for his dad’s sanity. It also drove us nuts at home because he ended up becoming EXTRA clingy and SUPER whiny. We couldn’t leave a room without him flipping out that we were leaving him for good and he always wanted to be held.

Here’s Nolan on his 1st day at daycare (July 8th). He has no clue that we’re about to leave him there for hours but he does have a suspicion of it–look at those eyes!
nolan first day at daycare
A view of his classroom with some of his fellow classmates. I love the tiny human chairs and tables they have for ’em which is also where they have their meals and snacks.
nolan first day at daycare
Then, one miracle day in his 4th or 5th week he didn’t scream hysterically, just whined a bit when I handed him off to his caretaker. When we pick him up he just walks straight up to us now w/o a whine or cry. Even better, just a few days ago he didn’t even sound a peep when I handed him off. They were outside playing so he just watched me leave with a blank look on his face.  Typically I’d need to bolt out of there in a hurry to shorten the cries but this time I turned around to wave bye to him quite a few times and all he did was watch me disappear into the distance. Nowadays he’s improved a lot–eating very well, having tons of fun when they sing, read stories and blow bubbles in the play yard. I’m just so happy that he’s enjoying himself now while daddy can get some errands and chores done around the house. We try to sneak up on him during pick-up time so we can get a glimpse of how he interacts in class and with the other kids. I think Nolan will be ready to go full time once baby #2 arrives in February since I am pretty doubtful that I’d be able to handle 2 kids at home by myself.

Rob went to pick him up early one day and got a snap of him napping on his mat. He usually does not sleep with a blanket at home but they have the a/c cranked up pretty high in the classroom.
baby boy napping at daycare
Since Nolan’s in a school environment, they of course had picture day! Gosh, he’s only a year old and he already gets his very first school picture?!? We used to first get these in kindergarten as an initiation of sorts but I guess it’s never too early to get those professional school photos done. And if you’re wondering, yes, we got suckered into forking out $80 to buy copies of these. I mean they’re his 1st ever school pictures, we couldn’t resist!!

Here’s the one I like most out of the 3 taken–not a complete smile but good enough.
nolan 15 month old baby boy school picture daycare picture
The epic sad, cry baby school picture every kid has to have.
nolan 15 month old baby boy first school picture daycare picture
In my opinion he’s advanced a lot for 4 months. I don’t have another kid as a benchmark but it’s just so amazing to see how much he’s learning day to day, week to week, month to month. His first 4 molars have recently grown in and we’ve had a hell of a few weeks with lots of whining/crying late at night. He ends up sleeping in our bed to help soothe the pain.

Words he can say:
-hi (more like “eye”)

Things he can “sign”:
-gangnam style

Things he can do on command:
-close the door
-downward dog
-high five
-wave “bye”
-massage (yes, he actually gives me 2-3 good massage grips before stopping)

Favorite things:
-eating grapes
-playing with bubbles
-stacking his stars
-reading books (aloud)
-Dancing to Psy’s “Gangnam Style” & “Gentleman”
-throwing stuff down the stairs
-talking on the phone
-mommy over daddy


We made a quick getaway to hot and humid Palm Springs for my birthday. We even ventured out pretty far to Salvation Mountain in Niland, CA. It’s literally in the middle of freakin nowhere. It’s such a unique site and might be worth a quick visit if you have the time to venture out that far. I thoroughly enjoyed my quality time out there with Noly and Rob (while pregnant with baby #2). Photos to be uploaded at a later date.


We kicked off labor day weekend with a quick outing to the beach with my sisters, nieces and nephew.  I must confess: before I had Nolan I never made any concerted effort to spend quality time with my family. “Free time” was always about what kind of work I can get done and what I can do with Rob, but now, today, I’m saying this line with a lot more conviction than ever before: “having a kid TOTALLY changes your perspective and priorities in life.” I don’t compromise my “free time” anymore because that free time translates to more family time. I crave family time more than ever and accept far less photography gigs and make less appearances to events. I really want to make sure I don’t miss out on the little time I have left of Nolan being so innocent and so little because before you know it, he’ll be off on his own discovering life without me by his side. As whiny and needy as he is now, I know it will all come to pass and I may even come to miss it someday.

In the last few years I’ve been quite horrible at bringing along the DSLR to family/personal events. Nowadays it matters that Nolan gets his memories captured in the best way possible so I try not to be as lazy and bust out the talents/skills that God has given me to capture those very moments for him with the awesome equipment that I am so blessed to have. I must say, the images do turn out A LOT better than what my camera phone can take any day. This was a very short time spent at the beach but it warms my heart that I was able to capture these moments for my family to look back on.

Kortney with Lorelai…they are like totally BFF’s.
huntington beach family beach day lspace swim
Yes, kind of an L*Space fringe freak but they recently had their warehouse sale. I couldn’t help but load up the gals in my life with the best.
huntington beach family beach day lspace swim
As you can see, Nolan was a bit scared of the sand and icy cold Pacific waters.
huntington beach family beach day
We got a few moments of smiles out of him.
huntington beach family beach day
huntington beach family beach day lspace swim
My favorite Angels fans…really despise that cold water.
huntington beach family beach day angels fans
Having some fun in the sand. They buried Charlotte and Elise together.
huntington beach family beach day
Like I said, a bit L*Space fringe crazy with 2 of my sisters and 5 nieces. Me with my 13 week pregnancy bump.
huntington beach family beach day lspace swim fringe bikini
Just the nieces.
huntington beach family beach day lspace swim fringe bikini
Chasing birds.
huntington beach family beach day
Chloe and Benji play so well together–warms my heart to see them like this.
huntington beach family beach day
Elise and the wide open Pacific.
huntington beach family beach day
huntington beach family beach day

Rob has been upping his own efforts at documenting our lives as well with the GoPro. Here’s his video from our day at the beach.