Aug 30, 2014

C's First Day of School

Where has my little baby gone? Caden's first day back was yesterday and I had a few spare seconds to snap this picture before rushing out the door. It makes me sad to see how tall he grew in a course of a year and just how much OLDER he looks. It's true what they say. Babies don't keep! So when people give me shocked looks when I tell them we still cosleep, I just don't care anymore because pretty soon, he's going to be leaving his mama!

He only goes twice a week, but he just loves going to school so much. You'd never know it because without fail every Monday and Friday morning, he just refuses to wake up and just wants to sleep in. Any other day, he's up at 7:30 on the dot. Sigh.

Now if I could only get him to actually eat the lunch I pack....


Aug 24, 2014

Home Sweet Home

We finally pulled the trigger. We are moving! Well, early next year anyway.

In typical Ngu fashion, it was a whirlwind of events and impulsivness and before the dust really settled, the husband and I signed on the dotted line to build a new house.

While some ppl might not agree, we've been in the fortunate position to live with my parents ever since Caden was about 5 months old. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but it wasn't a strange and totally absurd idea for us to rent out our house and move back in with my parents after my maternity leave was up. We were first time parents, and I dreaded each and every passing day as it became one day closer to my return date to the office. Maybe I read one too many stories about nannies from hell, but it made me sick to think about dropping off my son to a stranger. My mom had graciously volunteered to stay with us those first few months, and the solution to childcare just naturally evolved into moving back. My parents had the room, we'd be saving a ton of money on a mortgage and daycare, and homecooked meals to boot - it was a no brainer. Oh, the things we do for our children. Afterall, we can all agree it takes a village to raise a child, right?

Despite sometimes getting shocked looks and raised eyebrows from a few people, it's worked out wonderfully for us as a two way street; we've had the luxury of grandma daycare and peace of mind, while my folks just simply love their time with Caden.

Anyway, our tenant's lease was going to be up at the end of August and we were thinking about moving back after renovating the kitchen, but estimate after estimate, those plans were quickly crushed. We started looking at a few houses in a few areas, actually made an offer on a home we LOVED, but lost it due to a higher offer in a ridiculously hot market. After a lot of talk and prayer, we decided that building a new home was the best for our growing family. It's an exciting time for us as we're ready for more space and being closer to friends. Let's not forget about the Baby Deux countdown either.

We're still trying to talk my parents into moving in with us (Grandma is C's #1 afterall) but only time will tell. They have their own lives to live, but I can't help but be selfish and want them near. The older I get, the more I realize my parents are human and even older and you want to make the most of the time you have together. My mom's been our angel and we're very blessed to have her in our lives. The old man spoils Caden absolutely rotten, but that's what grandpas are supposed to do. I hope our newest little guy is as lucky as his big brother.

claiming our little piece of home sweet home


a few options from our design meeting - surprisingly not as painful as I thought it would be!

and an obligatory belly shot - 22 weeks here!

Aug 4, 2014

Our Summer Vacation - Destin 2014

Call me crazy and weird, but I really don't like beaches. #firstworldproblems
  1. I can't tan. I pretty much burn if I'm in the sun for more than 20 minutes even with spf 70. 
  2. I can't swim. My dad had a strange fear of us drowning (a totally normal parental concern that we all have) but rather than let us learn an important survival skill, he kept us from all large bodies of water. Makes total sense.
These two fundamental reasons are pretty much why anyone goes to a beach, but somewhere along the way, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to pack up the family and drive 14+ hours to Destin, Florida. We rounded up 3 other couples and their kiddos and rented a house for a week. 

Things I learned:
  1. Adjust your expectations. Vacation with kids (7 at that!) is not REALLY a vacation. . You will not be lounging in your beach chair with your adult beverage reading on your Kindle. You will be chasing your toddler who is about to eat a fistful of sand, reapplying sunscreen every 30 minutes, looking for a juicebox, and digging through your beachbag for snacks to avoid potential meltdowns. 
  2. Get a place right on the beach. We rented a house that was probably a 5 minute walk which seemed like a good idea, but with the number of bodies we had, it was such a pain to lug our gear. All our poor hubbies were worn out from the number of trips they had to take to get everything down to the sand and set up.
  3. Forget the sand toys. We brought soo many toys. Shovels, buckets, castle molds, sifters, you name it, we brought it. The kids played with ONE bucket. The rest of the time they spent in the water. Who would've thought?
  4. Make it a pool day. We are so glad we got a house with a private pool because the kids (and parents) loved it! The first two days, some of the little kiddos were actually pretty afraid of the ocean and sand and wanted nothing more than to just go home. Thankfully, they pool eased them into it and it gave the parents a little break to just sit in one place for more than 10 minutes at a time. 
 




While we were there, we took some pictures with a professional photographer, Darris Hartman, for fun. I highly recommend her. Excuse our crazy hair, it was super windy!







Of course, we had to take our first picture as a family of FOUR! Baby Deux coming in December :)



Apr 3, 2014

A Different Kind of Family Planning

Heard some very sad news today about an aquaintence and it made me just want to drop everything, go home and hug my family all night. It's said again and again, life is simply too short.

I am a planner by nature. I plan our meals, our outings, and even birthdays a year in advance. What I have not planned for is what we all think will never happen to us. Mortality. It's got the husband thinking about our wills and estate planning -- just really not fun but absolutely neccessary subjects.

It's tough thinking about the what ifs, but it's a package deal when you'e a parent. For now, I'll be hugging my kid a little tighter, kissing my husband a little longer, and laughing much much more -- because life is too short.





Apr 1, 2014

Sam & Donna's Wedding

Our dear friends got hitched this past wknd (about damn time, ya'll!). It was our first outdoor/barn wedding so there was some definite confusion over the dress attire - wedges or heels? are we going to be in the grass? why don't I own a pair of cowboy boots? what the heck do we wear to a country asian wedding?? And of course, the two dresses I rush ordered online looked terrible on so I had to make an emergency run to the mall on Friday during lunch.  The dress gods must've taken pity on me because I found a barn-yardy appropriate dress at my very last stop, H&M. 

I wish I had taken more pictures of the cute details the bride put into the wedding - the pie bar and Paciugo girl was a big hit w/ C and my hips - but it was either keep the kiddo entertained or sneak off for a drink. Priorities, people. We were the only couple who brought a 2 year old, so there were plenty of aunties and uncles around to love on him all night. I think that will be my new strategy for events from now on. Be the only mama who brings their kid. :)

It was a great night to see everyone under one roof -- most of these friends the hubby has known since middle school. I love that we are all still friends, picking up where we left off since the last time we saw each other, all a little rounder, sharing pics of our children in between shots. One of my hopes is that Caden is able to cultivate the same kind of friendships that we are so blessed to have and cherish so much. 

Congratulations Sam & Donna!! Now go make babies!









Mar 3, 2014

Back from the Dead

Damn February was a rough month! I can't believe almost a whole month has passed without a post, but we were strugglin' here at the Ngu house. We all got an awful strain of the flu and then baby boy got an ear infection and strep!  I think I've lost part of my left lung with all the coughing,  but we're finally on the mend, thank you baby Jesus!


We managed a few things before we all got the plague:
  • I took the plunge and chopped off 5 inches and it's been so nice not having to run a straightener through my hair every morning. I think it makes me look younger too, so that's alway a plus!
  • Pinterest strikes again and I made some cute little treats for little man's class. Apparently, goldfish was a popular pin because he got almost a week's supply of them from all the other kids! Valentine's Day is also the hubby's bday so grandma graciously watched C for us while we had a nice date night at one of MY favorite spots in Dallas,Victor Tangos. (it's only fair that I get to choose on Vday right?). 

  • It was also Lunar New Year this month so we took C to his first hoi cho or Tet festival at church. It usually involves lots of foods, music, gambling, and games for the kiddos. Look at how proud he looks after winning two fishies! 

  • This. Thank you Netflix for making a bed bound wknd bearable.

  • And last but not least, my BFF had her beautiful baby boy! Welcome to the club mama! Can't wait for our boys to be BFFs too!

The weather should be nice again this wknd barring any random snow/ice/sleet storm that we've been experiencing here in Texas and I'm ready to finally enjoy some QT w/ family and friends and join the rest of civilization again. This guy surely is!





Feb 6, 2014

Perks

Perk cards. I have about a million.

Starbucks, the local smoothie place, CVS, the kiddo's haircut salon, frozen yogurt...you name it, I probably have it.

The best perk of all is probably having a friend that can make me clothes. Maybe you have heard of her - Khanh of Nha Khanh -- oh you know, only a few ppl like Giuliana Ranic, the Kardashians, and Brooklyn Decker, to name a few, have worn her stuff, no big deal. :) You can find her line at Neiman MarcusRent the Runway , and Saks too.



She invited the girls over for a fun night of dress up at her studio recently. Let me tell you, it is always a chore trying to round a group of  women up with all of our crazy schedules, but this was definitely the quickest that we've all gotten together without any rescheduling or cancellations in the history of our 15+years of friendship. Pretty clothes and food, who can turn that combination down?




It's so inspiring to see someone truly love what they do and live for their craft. I've so enjoyed watching her build her growing empire over the past few years. For me, it all started with these four special dresses - custom bridesmaids gowns she made for our wedding.



Fast forward a few years -- here we all are wearing Nha Khanh at dinner recently. I can't wait to see the newest collections and perhaps add a few more amazing NK pieces to my closet. ;)