Happy Two to my Sweet Josephine

Happy big two to the two of us!  My daughter just turned two on July 2nd this year.  Truly amazing how fast time goes by. I didn't do much for her first so made it up by hosting not one but two birthday parties this past month.

Two in itself is such a huge milestone (big HELLO to terrible two's)!  Up until recently, in my pre-parent mind, I naively thought that the "terrible twos" were over-hyped and filled with hyperbolic toddler stories. Boy was I ever wrong! Josephine had showed signs of independence and strong determination since birth.  Although I know these next few years will be filled with battles, lots of tears, tantrums and exhaustion, it is deep joy to witness this little human learn, discover and welcome new skills of doing more things on her own.  She is learning to count in German and Vietnamese.  She is forming new sentences everyday, my new favorite is "mommy is preetty!"   And she is even cracking jokes these days.

How can your heart not e…

Happy 2019 - What a difference a year makes!

Happy 2019 to all the dear mommies near and far!  New Year is a good time to pause and reflect on your last trip around the sun.  A year ago, my daughter and I closed 2017 with alot of uncertainty ahead of us.  I had just lost my job during maternity disability leave just before the holidays, and still struggling with severe PPD, something that I feel is just not talked openly enough about today.  As I jump-started my job search--everything was on the table, including moving in with my parents, leaving the Bay Area and/or moving out of state.  2018 marked a big transition year.

In February 2018, I accepted a job opportunity at a small, boutique woman-owned firm in San Francisco providing outsourced CFO services to the Investment Management space.  I had returned to work after unexpectedly taking a 10-month leave. I had a lot of emotions about not only returning to work but starting a whole new job as a first time mother.  Returning to work is indeed so much harder than one would expect…

A Letter to My Daughter on her First Birthday

My Dear Josephine,

Happy First Birthday.  This day feels so surreal and so amazing.  Part of me can't believe it's already been a year; the day of your birth was the most traumatic and also the best day of my life.  I will never forget the rush of emotions when the doctor eventually helped place your fresh tiny warm body on my heart. You are my greatest gift and my biggest lifelong dream come true. 

I am deeply grateful for you. I asked, wished, and dreamed for a daughter almost my entire life. And then I waited and waited.  And here you are.  Not only here but you are so remarkably special in so many ways.  You are quite possibly the “magic baby” that every parent dreams of.  You're very happy, constantly smiling, giggling and always looking for your next adventure. You’re curious and inquisitive, sweet yet determined and very much an independent little human. Every day I watch you develop into a new, more mature version of yourself and I’m so proud of your milestones.  You…

Where is your Daddy?

As a choice mom, one of my biggest worry is around my daughter one day answering to her friends and strangers to the inevitable question, "Where is your daddy?"  I never want her to feel inadequate or less than in any way because she has a different family structure as a consequence of the decisions I have made.

My daughter just turned 10 months this May, and I feel like I am barely coming out of the fog of new motherhood, and naively thought I had at least a few more years before I come up with a rehearsed story for her.  No, I should have been ready, likeyesterday.

Baby J was playing with my friend's 4.5 year old son, completely absorbed with his trucks and legos.  It was a precious, sweet moment to witness the two parallel play together until he abruptly turned to her and asked, "Where is your daddy?"  My heart dropped.  Of course, he didn't comprehend that she didn't know how to talk yet so he repeated the question the 2nd time, and eventually the 3…

My Buddha Baby, Magic Baby and Miracle Baby

Some Babies are easier than others, right?  For those who have met Baby J, she definitely falls in the "Easy Baby" Camp.  Friends and Family have termed her Buddha Baby, Magic Baby and my favorite Miracle Baby.  Although I paid my price with a 62 hour labor, I wouldn't have it any other way as I was gifted the easiest and happiest baby ever.

Baby J was the perfect newborn.  She was born exactly on her estimated due date.  Exactly 40 weeks in utero. No signs of colic. Zero risk for jaundice. Upon birth, she latched immediately. Both sides. No assistance required.  She had a very healthy appetite and liked to eat, both breastmilk and formula.  She took it from a bottle and a syringe.  She never refused a nipple or a pacifier.  She didn't cry much or for long or for no apparent reason.  She was even kind to my body.  I had lost most of my pregnancy weight by week three.  By seven weeks, she slept in her own crib in her own bedroom.  By nine weeks, I dropped her nighttim…

Returning To Work After Maternity Leave

I finally return to the workforce in two days after taking nearly 8 months of leave that was comprised of 28 weeks of disability plus 6 weeks of paid family leave.  This couldn't be more different than my original plan of returning to my job after 8 weeks of delivering a baby. (What was I thinking?)

To start, I had a rough and traumatic labor, 62 hours long to my first baby at 38 years old. I was lucky to have my (former) Mother in Law in the delivery room with me and she stated that my labor was by far the most difficult and scariest that she's witnessed and honestly didn't think I was going to survive.

My recovery was just as difficult and challenging, both on a biological and emotional level.  I was diagnosed with moderate/severe Postpartum Depression and this was so hard for me to understand.  I had dreamed almost my entire life for a baby---so why do I feel so completely empty and lonely now?  Here I have this absolute gorgeous and healthy girl in my arms and all I wa…

First Thanksgiving

This year marks my first Thanksgiving with Baby J.  Despite some of the stresses and the negatives at the moment, my heart couldn't feel more fulfilled.  Thanksgiving is a day to simply count your blessings and focus on the really important things in life. I thank my lucky stars that I get to be Baby J's mom EVERYDAY.  FOREVER.   And I just love witnessing first hand the happiness and love that she brings to my parents, my extended family, child-hood friends, new friends, neighbors, and even strangers.  Baby J can instantly light up a room full of people.

It was a wonderful first Thanksgiving weekend: 5K Piedmont Turkey Trot, Thanksgiving in Alameda, Friendsgiving(s), and a Warriors Game.  We were stuffed and happy.