Tag: mommy blog

A few photos to mark 52 weeks of life. If you want to know what a day shy of a year old looks like, just look at Nolan here:

nolan 52 week old baby boy

nolan 52 week old baby boy

I’ll save my long sappy blog for tomorrow. For now, let us recap the big party from Sunday and a video of Nolan taking his first few steps last week!!!

We started setting up at 10:30am for a noon time start at Atlantis Play Center in Garden Grove. Rob and I have lived around here pretty much all our lives and only just found out about this hidden gem a few months ago. On a regular day it’s open to the public with a $2 entrance fee per person 3 years and older. During summer months a fabulous splash pad is on for the kiddos to run around and cool down in–such an affordable way to entertain the kids for the weekend. We were able to secure it for a private all day rental which gives us rights to the entire park for 8 hours (in whichever block of time we designate). Being a Garden Grove resident also entitles you to a discount. If you’re looking to host a private event here during the summer, you better do it months in advance. They only allow 2 private rentals per month and it books up quick! So glad we booked it cuz it looked like all of Nolan’s guests had a wonderful time. Thanks to everyone who came out to mark the grand occasion!!

Blessed to have such great help for the few, but crazy events I throw.
set up of lego theme birthday party

Doesn’t look like it but that cake was heavy! From Rebecca’s Cakes in Temecula. Yes, those are real LEGO storage boxes we used as decor.
We made the birthday banner and put together lego pieces to spell NOLAN.
lego theme birthday party

We even made these cupcake toppers to go on these Sam’s Club cupcakes.
lego theme birthday party

The numbers 0-11 were also made with lego pieces to mark each monthly milestone next to it’s corresponding photo.
lego theme birthday party

Nearly 50 goody bags for all the kids in attendance. What’s inside? Each kid received a lego set appropriate to their age/gender. I was very particular about which toy each child received and was adamant that each name was typed up in the infamous LEGO font.
lego theme birthday party

Yes, we also made those drink signs, but the lego brick cookies were ordered.
lego theme birthday party

Some of the fun was “guess the # of lego pieces”, splash pad wetness to cool down and a photobooth, of course! Courtesy of Instant Party Pix.
lego theme birthday party

Some of the cute, happy kiddos at the party.
lego theme birthday party

A balloon artist was also on hand as well as a taco cart cooking up fresh tacos and quesadillas.
lego theme birthday party

Popbar, newly minted in Anaheim, provided refreshing strawberry gelato on a stick. Pss..the owner is pictured below, spot her!
lego theme birthday party atlantis play center garden grove

lego theme birthday party atlantis play center garden grove

Singing “happy birthday” to Nolan. He was so confused so he looked straight at me instead of the crowd.
lego theme birthday party atlantis play center garden grove

Nolan was kinda scared of his cake.
lego theme birthday party atlantis play center garden grove

Me dishing out the cake while Rob passes out favor bags to the kids.
lego theme birthday party atlantis play center garden grove

The grand finale was the pinata! We found a shady tree to hang it on so the adults could comfortably watch as the kids go at it.
lego theme birthday party atlantis play center garden grove pinata

It was Nolan + cousin Lorelai’s first time.
lego theme birthday party atlantis play center garden grove

A few other cute kiddos giving it their best shot.
lego theme birthday party atlantis play center garden grove

The knockout hit by an older kid of course. And the mayhem when Rob dumped the contents out.
lego theme birthday party atlantis play center garden grove

The beheaded guy…poor dude. At least he’s still happy.
lego theme birthday party atlantis play center garden grove

instant party pix photobooth lego theme birthday party

His gigantic mountain of gifts. Thanks everyone!
first birthday presents

I had a lot of fun at the party but I’m so glad we agreed on just one party for him. Each of our kids will only get one major party–their 1st birthday. All subsequent ones will be small, intimate, affordable and stress-free for mommy and daddy.

We’re excited to say that Nolan took his first few steps on June 4th. Didn’t think he would for a while with that big head of his but I guess watching other kids his own size roam around freely has only made him more determined to learn how to use those legs. Since then he’s taken a few steps here and there on his own and stands for long periods of time.

Nolan also understood “kiss” for the first time and kissed us each 3 times on the lips. Too bad we were unable to capture that on video. He just wouldn’t do it again when the camera appeared.

Events

Yay! Nolan is back to his old playful, fun-loving, whine-free, happy self. The 2 weeks after we got back from Europe were so rough. Super whiny, wasn’t eating well and caught a cold but now he’s all better and luckily, just in time for his birthday party this Sunday! We still have lots to do to prep for the big event. He’ll have about 45 friends (kids) at the party and many more adults than that. This momma is scrambling to make it a memorable event. I know he won’t remember it but hopefully we’ll get some great photos and video footage in so he can relive it when he’s older. This will be his one and only party, the rest will be small gatherings with the immediate family. Once he turns 16 or 18 or 21, he can decide what kind of party he wants, if any.

Here’s a sneak peek of his birthday party theme, can you guess what it is??!!
nolan name lego font

Nolan got his first professional barber haircut at a salon today. I was not there to witness it but from the photos he looked to have been well behaved. Another “milestone” of sorts this week is his accomplishment in using a straw–he can suck up his own water now! He really enjoys it and has the biggest smile on his face after every sip–he’s very proud of himself! Nolan’s confidence in walking is progressing quite well too. He doesn’t hang onto things as much and if he does it’s with one hand to just help with balancing¬† in between steps. He likes to push his own stroller and cruise furniture holding one item in one hand and the other to help balance–like a boss! And of course with all that comes the stage of getting into everything and pressing all electronic buttons. Will open every cabinet, every drawer, grab the highest thing he can reach, throw all the shoes off the rack, toss all the clothes out the drawer and repeatedly turn on/off the receiver, computer and NAS. Man, he’s becoming quite a handful

I leave you with these images taken before he got a haircut.

51 week old baby boy thao vu photography

The many funny expressions of Nolan.
51 week old baby boy thao vu photography

My lovable baby boy!
51 week old baby boy thao vu photography

After haircut shots courtesy of his dad:
51 week old baby boy thao vu photography

 

Events

We’re almost at the finish line! Just 2 more weeks til Nolan’s 1st birthday. Whoopee! He’s been a tiny bit less whiny despite having a fever the last 3 days mulling around 100-102 degrees. His first fever ever. This morning it seemed to have gone back down to normal. Saturday and Sunday night were no fun with him keeping us up. If baby ain’t happy, ain’t nobody in the house happy either. Ain’t that the truth?!? We tried feeling his gums to see if he was teething, but no signs of any teeth from what we can tell. He already has 8 so that’s plenty for a little guy under 12 months.

Noly continues to watch baby signing time and picks up on a few new ones every week. Just this morning he sat up on our bed, looked out the glass sliding door and signed “day”. He knew it was a new day with the sun shining outside! What a little smartie pants. He smiled immediately when I asked “day?” His way of confirming that that was exactly what he was signing. Keep in mind that I also have to watch these episodes to learn what he’s learning so we can sign and communicate with each other. A lot of learning for this momma to do, too!

Pushing along his walker, climbing up the stairs, pretending he can read books and getting off the bed are a few things he’s mastering the last couple weeks. The hardest one is getting off the bed. Most the time he lands a bit hard on his butt. Luckily our bed isn’t too far off the ground so it’s easy practicing. I think he’ll have this under control in no time, probably in time for his birthday even. As far as walking, I’m thinking he’ll do it after his 1st birthday. I don’t mind if he’s a late walker just so he can stay out of trouble longer. Speaking of which, we started baby proofing outlets and cabinets yesterday. Anticipating the wrath of Nolan for the next couple years.

Well, I hope you enjoy these last few weekly blog posts–only 3 more! The ending couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ll be busy shooting and editing during the busiest time of the year with wedding season in full swing. Hoping to do monthly updates from there on out, but we shall see.

He LOVES books!
nolan 50 weeks old baby boy

There are many times where I’d catch him quietly sitting there flipping thru one of his many board books. When we read to him he sits thru til the very end, quietly listening to the story, looking at all the images as we flip the pages. Certain points in the story he would glance up at us with a huge grin on his face. Warms my heart to see his growing love for books–just like his mommy!
nolan 50 weeks old baby boy

I was playing around with a couple of new photo editing apps and came up with these 2–loving the 1980’s vintage film feel.
nolan 50 weeks old memorial day 2014

Events

Cry baby alert!! Ever since we got back Nolan has been SUPER DUPER whiny. He’s never been this whiny, EVER! I guess we can now officially call him a “cry baby”. Ugh. Does it make me a bad mother that I am annoyed being around him when he’s like this? Seriously, he has an entire 2nd floor to explore but he insists on crawling up to me (whining while he’s at it), pulls himself up to a standing position and begs (whines) for me to pick him up. Then 3 seconds later he wants to be put down. Repeat in 2 minutes. It’s been driving me up the wall the last few days that I can’t seem to concentrate and concentration is what I desperately need. His 1st birthday party is in less than 3 weeks (lots of planning and things to do) and I am at the cusp of the busy wedding season again. Oh and our TiVo is completely maxed out with shows we have not watched in the last month. I guess that will be put to the back burner til Labor Day. =/

We’ve been home for almost a week now and on reflection, I’ve come to find a brighter side to lugging the kiddo around Europe for nearly 3 weeks. I can seriously say that any day trip in SoCal with him along is now a piece of cake. I’ve done arguably the toughest thing with this kid, I can now do almost ANYTHING. A day at Disneyland, bring it on! I’ll even take 2 other kids along. I knew there had to be a bright side to all that pain + suffering. For now, enjoy these images of my little cry baby.

49 week old baby boy

Here’s your cry baby.
cry baby

This smile makes all the whining worth it.
happy baby boy 49 weeks

His playful and serious look. Reminds me of…ME!
baby boy 49 weeks old

Our silly little guy eating pho earlier today.

One day this summer I will try my best to backlog the missing dialog/photos/videos from our EuroTrip. At this point, I’ll have to say that August/September looks promising. Let’s hope I don’t get sidetracked and never post the photos.

Events

Lots have gone on within the last week but only enough time to blog about what went on this very day. We had a jam packed day starting our all day tour at 9am and ending at 8pm–yep, 11 hours! We visited Windsor Castle, City of Bath and Stonehenge. Since most of the day consisted of traveling from one location to the next, we were able to rest our feet and eyes in between tours. We were even able to leave a lot of our belongings on the bus so it was less cargo to lug around at the various sites which helped a lot with our actual tour experience. When we visited places in the other cities we had to lug around everything all the time. It would quickly drain our energy and made for the actual experience less enjoyable. You can’t imagine the amount of things we need to bring along for a child let alone for ourselves for an all day out. Thank goodness for this last day of touring to be a lot less painful.

Windsor Castle is actually actively in use by Queen Elizabeth and is probably the largest inhabited castle in the world. She visits mostly on weekends and hosts large events there. We were able to experience the castle setting up for an event and even got up close to one of the famous guards.

48 week old baby boy windsor castle

City of Bath was quite interesting with its well preserved Roman Baths. I’m actually impressed with their water pumping advancements so early on over 2,000 years ago.

11 month old baby boy city of bath england

Noly and his daddy, videotaping from above.
city of bath

Nolan encountered a lady bug and was not scared at all. He was more intrigued than anything.
city of bath

city of bathroom

Stonehenge was a bit eerie, but great to see and mark off my bucket list. It’s in such a rural area and so daunting of a task to create that it makes you wonder its true purpose. During our 45 minutes there the weather changed drastically from overcast, windy and cold to warm + sunny the next.

This would have been a great photo if Nolan wasn’t so cranky about it.
stonehenge baby boy 11 months

This one also would have been great if the old lady wasn’t in it.
stonehenge baby boy 11 months

You can see that it was overcast in this image versus the previous 3 which were nice and sunny.
stonehenge baby boy 11 months

Nolan’s showing off his 2 front buck teeth.
stonehenge baby boy 11 months

You can see from this barrier that we were not allowed to get up close. Over the years people would vandalize or chip away at the stones so now it’s off limits.
stonehenge baby boy 11 months

Isn’t it an awesome site to see??
stonehenge

This was our very last day in Europe and we were glad to be heading home. I was starting to get really stressed, frustrated and near a nervous breakdown with all that we had to go thru to have Nolan along on the trip. Every night I would have to pre-plan what to pack for the day (# of diapers, meals, snacks, water, etc), what he’d wear, what I’d wear, admission tickets, how to get there, what time to get up, what’s for breakfast, etc. My mind was running at such an alarming speed every day trying to plan everything that I was really in for the breakdown at the end. It was hard at times to slow down and enjoy the moment. I relinquished a lot of photographing during our site seeing just because I was so drained from everything. For future trips they will be a lot less than 3 weeks–I’m thinking no more than 7/8 days, closer destinations to home and possibly a helping hand to come along. This momma wants to enjoy trips too so it will need to be planned a lot better.

All of our belongings (5 of us) before heading to Heathrow for our final flight home.
11 month old baby boy with luggage

Events Trips