Family: Sofia 4 years old

Sofia turned 4 and I’m still beyond shock how time flies. I still browse her baby pics and those moments are like just yesterday, so vivid.

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But at the same time, I know she’s a big girl already. She knows so well what she wants. She can communicate almost perfectly (with all 3 languages she manages) what she wants, how she feels. Sometimes she talks a bit too much. She can literally talk nonstop since she wakes up, specially when grandma is around. The bound she and grandma has is so unique. Grandma does her morning and evening routines, and takes her to the mall almost every weekend. Those are their things. I’m sure Sofia will remember them for a long time.

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Sleep: Sofia still naps at home (1.5-2 hrs) but she almost never nap at school. She just plays with toys or read books while everyone else naps or do the same. At night, she starts bathing/teeth brushing at 8pm. We read 1-2 books around 8:20pm, and by 8:30pm light is out. In the morning, grandma wakes her up at 7am. On weekends, sometimes she sleeps in until 8am.

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Eating: she eats like a kid. By that I mean she doesn’t eat as good as I wish but not worse than kids at her age. Unfortunately meal time battle is a constant in our house mostly because she eats very slowly, likes talking and playing while eating and always ended up last on the table. She’s not picky in what she eats although she does prefer certain food. She likes fish, noodles, dumplings, mango, watermelon, beets, milk, pan fried eggs with soy sauce, green beans. She started to like meat recently so that’s good. Her breakfast recently has been either yogurt with cereal, milk with cereal or toasts with PB and blue berries goat cheese. For few weeks, she liked oatmeal with PB and honey but hasn’t asked for it for a while. For meals, she eats what we eat. Usually rice with fish/chicken/meat and 1-2 types of veggies (small portion though). Half hour after meal, she’d have fruit as dessert. She snacks at school but not so much when we’re at home on weekends. If I have a snack (nuts/fruit/crackers), then she’ll have some, otherwise she wouldn’t.

She likes:

go to school. They do so many activities (crafts, gym, music, writing, singing, dancing, museum, soccer) Sofia is always excited when we go in the morning, and still wants to play a bit more when we pick her up. She has her favorite friend in the class, another Sofia. They’ve been classmates for 3 years. They are always together in school pics. I hope they continue to be friends for coming years. Friendship is so important for girls.

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ballet. we started during the summer and she loves it so we continued.

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swimming. She’s in Pee Wee Paddler III. She absolutely loves it and looking forward to it every weekend. Tony takes her, so that’s their activity.

go to playground. I take her to playground whenever we have time in weekends. That’s our girl time.

reading. She always asks me to read her. Reading before bed is her treat for the day, she’s so looking forward to it. I need to do more!!!

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play with her friends. whenever we don’t have anything planned for the weekend, I’d arrange play dates with her friends.

dresses. oh mine!!! She wants to put on dress EVERY DAY!!!

do whatever mom does. Now that I’m running, she wants to run too! She goes with Tony to see me racing and says wants to run too. We plan to take her to a race where she can run too.

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watch cartoons. I only allow her to watch on Sundays so she enjoys it so much when she does.

cook with mama. when i was on maternity leave, we did one baking project every weekend. Now that I’m back to work, weekends are hectic, but we need to do more baking together, it’s bounding for us.

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she will like climbing as soon as she tries it. I’m sure. She was so focused seeing me climbing. 🙂

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going to festivals. We went a couple this summer and she had a blast.

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going to watch shows. We went to a concert and twos shows. She love them all.
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Her favorite people:

her mama

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little sister

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she absolutely love Lizzy. She loves playing with her, read her, hold her, give her kisses and hugs. When we go home in the evening, the first thing she does is to wash her hands so she can play with Lizzy. And whenever Lizzy is crying for something, she wants us to give that to her ASAP because she hates seeing Lizzy crying. She’s so protective.

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grandma. I’m not even sure if she loves grandma more or  less than her mama.

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her friend Sofia at school

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She dislikes

  • rushing her into eating
  • not having activities on weekends
  • take naps


I’m constantly feeling I’m not a good-enough mom. I should spend more time with her, be more patient with her, and have our special time more often. But life gets busy and if we want to accomplish everything on schedule, I often ended up rushing her. I guess I still need a lot of work to do.

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Next year she’ll start kindergarten, so it’s gonna be a big change for everyone. I hope she enjoys fully her last year at daycare and the innocent childhood without school pressures. These moments are so precious.

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I love you Sofia, so much! I know I don’t show it to you all the time and that I’m very strict with you. But trust me, I love you deeper than you can ever imagine. All I want and do is to give you the best, prepare you for the life journey for happiness and sense of purpose.

Life: catching up & apple picking

After a low-key weekend, our schedule got packed up again last weekend. Well… life of two kids just got interesting.  First few recap of past few weeks

Sofia had a birthday party at her school on her actual birthday (9/26).

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we sing a song, all her classmates gave her either a hug/kiss/good luck, and we had chocolate cake.

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but then the teacher told me she lost the pics of that day so we had another party last week… the teachers brought cupcakes for the kids

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this girl had two chocolate cupcakes with frosting and all.

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Lizzy is loving mama’s milk. She’s taking 6-7 oz. twice a day while I’m at work and could probably take another one if we let her. To save her appetite for when I’m back home, grandma gives her 4-5 oz. instead.

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she’s so happy these days… smiling at us all the time as long as her tummy is full

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oh… she loves exploring with her mouth

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I took Sofia to have dinner with a friend one Friday as “girls’ night out”, she loved it!

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had adult-like meal and finished it all

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she had shrimp with grits and I had sea scallop with corn, mushrooms and spinach. Delicious both of them.

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she behaved really well during dinner time while I chat with my friend

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post running fuel lately: toasts + eggs + goat cheese.

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want to eat this face too!

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I took a Friday off to relax after the weekend of Sofia’s birthday party which left me exhausted. So Tony took Sofia to daycare by taking the metro. Sofia really liked the experience and asked for more.

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Last week’s lunch at work: quinoa + cauliflower/eggplant/zucchini/tofu cooked in tahini/miso/ginger sauce. YUM~

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Weekend activities:

Saturday: Tony and I went to IIF to see my advisor giving a talk. It was really interesting. And meeting with my advisor was even better! I missed her and it was really nice to reconnect. We might visit her in Boston this coming Thanksgiving.

Then I took Sofia to ballet class.  After lunch and nap, we were ready to go to a colleague’s birthday party with my girl

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again she got her face painted in butterflies.

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Sunday started with 10 miles run for me and a swimming class for Sofia. After that, we went to do groceries with grandparents. Lunch, nap, and had friends over to make and eat wonton together.

Monday started with a BIG EVENT, starting solid for Lizzy.

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we introduced kabocha mixed with breast milk.

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she DID great! making funny face and finished 1/4 cup worth of food.

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then we went to apple picking

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first time carrying her and she didn’t complain

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unfortunately the kind of apple we liked (cameo) was out… so we didn’t buy any but we did have a lot of fun. Sofia had fun eating apples on the spot and feeding animals

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My friend Susan also took her family, so it was a nice family trip.

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Loving the pumpkin season!!!


Family: Sofia’s 4th birthday party!

Happy birthday my baby!!! We had an amazing party!

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Now that she’s 4, I had to think about activities for the kids other than just running out with her friends. Since we’ll going to have a big crowd, I still wanted to host at home, so I hired a lady who does face painting and balloon twisting. It HIT the spot among the kids!!!

We started the day with nail painting, a long time promise for the special day

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then party started at 4pm!

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we ended up having more than 50 people in the house, so I was really happy that the deck was an attraction with the balloon lady.

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younger kids were happy playing in the play area while parents hang out

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kids had face paint one after the other… without parent intervention, they formed a line

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the second round was balloon twisting with their favorite colors!

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my baby was the princess! 🙂

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we hosted the party on Saturday 9/24 (her birthday is 9/26) so I took Friday off to prepare the food

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green tea magic cake

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Argentinian empanadas

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bite size cheesecake

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aduki bean rice cake

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cheese, hams, nuts and crackers

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apple pie

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we also had fruits, chips with guaca and hummus and puffs. Once again I baked the cake, a lemon cake filled with strawberries and lemon cream cheese frosting. I wanted to make the cake pink (Sofia’s favorite color) and didn’t want to use artificial food coloring, so I used beet juice and it really turned out pink. I was quite pleased with the end result. Cake had the perfect moisture, not too sweet and tint of lemon flavor. I use 1/2 of powder sugar for the frosting so it didn’t turn out too sweet. Almost all the guests finished their piece. That’s a good indication of how it turned out, right? 😉

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Kids had a lot of fun and I truly enjoyed every minute of it from watching kids jumping around excited with their painted-face, chatting with my friends, and simply soaking up another milestone of my baby girl. Although it takes a lot of thoughts, preparation for this moment, it so worth it because Sofia loves parties and more if she’s the center of attention. As long as it makes her a bit happier than she started her day, I’ll keep making it happen!

At 6pm, guests started to leave, and it was gift un-wrapping. Look how excited Sofia was.
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Life: first race with Tony

It took me 10 days to write this post, a living proof of how busy I have been. On 9/17, Tony, Sarah and I run the Clarendon down hill 5k. First time running with my favorite people!!! It was so much fun. But first let’s see what else have been happening lately

Lizzy is as cute as always!!! 🙂

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We leave the house around 7:45am. If I want to run, shower and change, then it means no time to have breakfast at home. So I’ve been having oatmeal in the office, in peace, slowly, without rushing. Love oatmeal in a jar

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specially when there’s plenty of PB in the bottom

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I went to a seminar about how to connect with your kids. Quite interesting.

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with Lizzy I only need to connect through touching and milking … heheh….

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on Saturday 9/17, Tony and I went alone to the race. It was his first time ever running a race. I was super excited… maybe even more than him. So happy he’s sharing my passion for running.

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and what a great way to hang out with my good friend Sarah. We’ll be running/racing buddies for many years to come.

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I didn’t plan to run fast because I was still recovering from the half. But the route was all down hill, so I just went with what my body felt like. And I went fast! I finished with 24’15”, that’s almost 2 mins down from my PR. Wooo!!!

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That weekend Sofia had two birthday parties. One at Little Gym

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in which kids had organized activities and free play

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then the next day we went to her favorite playground for another of her friend’s party

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oh… someone turned 5 months on 9/18!

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I almost forgot to take pic that day, so by the time we took it, it was her bed time already, so she didn’t give us a smile. But… she’s lovely nonetheless, especially when all she wants to do is turn/turn/turn.

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Time tracking day 7

4:15 awake and couldn’t fall back into sleep 

5:25 got up. Pump 

6:00 8 oz out. Went to nurse Lizzy 

6:15 oatmeal and small cup of decaf 

6:45 out the door for long run 

8:15 back home after 8 easy miles. Felt strong 

8:20 prepared Sofia to go to swim class 

8:30 shower / compression socks 

8:45 breakfast (breads with guacamole and eggs)

9:00 nursed Lizzy 

9:15 put ingredients into the bread machine to make buns for parents 

9:20 organized the house a bit post party 

10:10 Sofia was back 

10:20 went out to do groceries 

12:00 back home. Made lunch (another quinoa salad with Japanese sweet potato)

1:15 nursed Lizzy 

1:45 napped

2:30 got up. Had some cereal and mixed nuts 

3:00 change/ make up for the photo session 

3:15 changed Lizzy and Sofia with grandmas help 

3:30 out the door 

4:00 arrived Costco. I went to buy with Sofia while Tony got gas 

4:25 heading to the photo session place 

5:00 photo session 

5:49 way to home. Lizzy was quite annoyed by then since she didn’t nap since 1:15 

6:15 bath Lizzy, nursed her

6:45 dinner (sautéed zucchini with broccoli with olive preserve, water melon)

7:20 rest a bit while Tony took Sofia to buy cake for tomorrow‘s party at class 

7:30 took off makeup / put Pj

7:45 ate kabocha 

8:00 Lizzy woke up screaming, nursed her again 

8:20 read a book with Sofia, song, kiss and hug 

8:40 chocolate milk in bed 

9:10 transferred Lizzy to bed 

9:20 time with Tony 

10:00 zzzz

Time tracking day 6

5:45 got up 

5:50 water, pump 

6:10 nursed Lizzy 

6:20 pumped  

6:30 put 8 oz of milk into bags and freezer 

6:35 MUTU 1 and core 1

7:20 played was Lizzy and Tony on bed 

7:45 prepared breakfast for the family 

8:00 breakfast together

8:45 started organizing the house and preparing for the party

9:00 take Sofia to buy paper plates and cups, balloon and nail polish for her 

10:00 back home and painted her bail 

10:40 rest. Was feeling tired from the day before

11:00 nursed Lizzy and played with her while had apple and cereal 

11:30 made empanadas with mom


12:20 lunch time . Empanadas and sweet potato for the family and another salad for me.

1:15 nap for all 

2:15 got up 

2:20 hungry again so I ate a corn and chocolate milk 

2:40 nursed Lizzy 

2:50 set up the table, drinks, last minute arrangements 

3:30 change and put on some makeup

4:00 party!!!

6:30 cleaning and eating. I was starving 

7:00 nursed Lizzy and put her to sleep 

7:30 gift unwrapping 

8:45 sing song to Sofia 

9:00 still hungry so I had kabocha 

9:30 in bed, exhausted and excited how well the party went 

10:00 zzzz

Time tracking day 4

2:50 up and checked Lizzy. She was again awake eating her finger. Back to sleep 

3:00 back to sleep

5:25 got up

5:30 water, pumped while having cereal and coffee 

5:55 done with pumping (8 oz) and went to nurse Lizzy. She was awake all this time but didn’t make any noise 

6:20 changed cloth

6:25 elliptical for 45 min

7:10 prepared breakfast for Sofia and Tony. Finished packing lunch for Tony and breakfast for me (oatmeal with Pb)

7:20 change/ make up / had half muffin 

7:40 out the door 

8:20 drop Sofia at the daycare while Tony parked the car 

8:35 met tony and way to see podiatrist for him 

9:30 finished the appt. goodbye kiss and walked to office 

9:50 oatmeal and coffee ricotta cheese 

10:30 pump 6.5 oz while working 

1:00 lunch meeting with A friend who got caught up in a meeting so I got a lame salad and ate at desk

2:00 work

2:30 pump 6 oz

3:30 hungry again, had oatmeal with PB

4:30 went to get ice because I forgot the ice pack. Got a cereal bar too

5:30 left office 

5:45 picked up Sofia with tony. Terrible traffic

6:45 home finally. I was starving!!!! I asked tony to do bath alone with Lizzy because I needed food!!! I had rice with sautéed cabbage and tilapia cooked with soy sauce 

7:00 nurses Lizzy 

7:15 pack lunch for tony for next day. 

7:20 ate corn, then 2 slices of bread with laughing cow, ricotta cheese and some Aduki bean. I don’t know why I was so hungry! Maybe is the breast feeding, maybe the lame salad.

8:20 read a book with Sofia, kiss and hug and told her she was my life.

8:30 transferred Lizzy to bed and nurse new minutes 

9:00 in bed with chocolate milk and runners magazine 

9:25 zzzzz