Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 years and 6 months

It's been quite awhile since I've had time or the energy to sit down and blog. Finally, all the business is on a hiatus and well, here I am.

Over the past few weeks, I've definitely had moments of, "Oh, I need to write that on the blog." or "That would make a good entry." Unfortunately, I didn't write any of it down, so now I've forgotten what those things were. =)

No matter. There is still plenty to write about and plenty to be thankful for.

Yesterday, November 29, 2011, was my dear wife's 30th birthday. Being that it was such a milestone of a birthday, my brain started to kick into gear about two months before her birthday, trying to figure out the best way to celebrate. First, I was worried because I was involved in a musical at the time, and that coupled with my full-time job and also being the parent of a newborn, I had very, very little mental capacity to do any sort of planning or masterminding for a big celebration.

Second, having a very young child who we needed to keep away from large crowds, it became an issue of how do we have a party, but limit the number of people who come. Also, there was thquestion of how to celebrate, do we have dinner, dessert, stay home or go out? So many different things to consider.

Thankfully, God gave me the inspiration to do a week of pampering for Linda, which in a way is easier to plan because it helps with the crowd control, but also allows for the extension of the celebration for a whole week. =)

Since I'm trying to keep each day a surprise, I won't go into many details about what all of it entails. But thus far, she's gotten a hairwash, dinner with yours truly, and right now she's away getting a facial. There are still five more days of pampering left for Linda to look forward to.

I think more than anything Linda has enjoyed having time to herself, without needing to worry about feeding Alicia, or changing her diaper, or making sure that she's taken care of. We have been blessed with wonderful friends and family who have taken Alicia under their wings for a few hours so that Linda can get out. I think that's been good for Linda. I think one of the hardest things about having Alicia home for the past two months is that she hasn't had a break. As any full-time parent knows, taking care of a newborn is a 24-hour job.

Speaking of our baby girl. She is an absolute doll. What a testament to the power of prayer and faith and the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father.

Seriously, looking at her now, one could almost forget that she was ever in any medical danger. All vitals are functioning 100% normal, and she is as active as all get out. I feel like when this little girl is awake, and happy, she is constantly on the move kicking her legs, waving her arms. And she is truly one happy, happy baby. She has started to respond to our smiles and cooing, with her own smiles and coos which I absolutely love.

From a young age, she would often smile, but over the past month, she's begun to smile in response to things that we do, and seriously, every time her little face lights up with a grin, I just want to envelop her with my love.

It seems that I'm not alone. There is just something about Alicia that people are just enamored by. I'm not saying this to be proud, because honestly, I had very little to do with how she is. But there is just something about her that people are just captivated by and attracted to. People are drawn to her in a very odd and inexplicable reason. =) Which I have to say, makes this Poppa's heart proud.

So what are some of the most common things that we hear about Alicia when they see or meet her for the first time?

Usually, the first thing people mention are the size of her eyes. She has these really large doe eyes with the biggest pupils I've ever seen. I could stare into her eyes for days. More than one person has mentioned how it looks like she's wearing those contacts that make your pupils look bigger. Her eyes are pretty amazing.

Next most common thing we hear is that she looks mixed or white. I can't quite place my finger on what it is that makes her appear that way, but since we hear that from practically every person that meets her for the first time, there must be some truth to it.

People also often comment on how quiet and peaceful she is. Which is really, really true. I think I mentioned in a previous post, that the only time I ever really hear Alicia cry is when she's hungry. When she's well-fed, she's usually pretty quiet and smiley. She doesn't even cry when she's got a dirty diaper. This is definitely, definitely God's gift to us. I don't know how I would handle it if we had an inconsolable, colicky child. I mean we'd definitely deal with it for sure. But to have Alicia be so happy and content makes me happy.

One thing that I've observed is that Alicia really is secure. She doesn't seem to have any sense of trauma or abandonment issues. She really seems to be very confident and secure. She knows that she is loved and that she is cherished, and I think that that is a great gift.

So I guess what I'm trying to say through all this "boasting" is THANK YOU! Your prayers and thoughts and well wishes have made the biggest difference in our family, and especially in the life of the little miracle we call, Alicia.

Now if we could just get her to sleep 8 or more hours at night, we'd be set! =)

Friday, November 18, 2011


It's been several weeks since I've updated. So sorry about that. It's in part due to the exhaustion of having a newborn around the house, and also in part due to the fact that there really hasn't been that much to report.

Life with Alicia has been fantastically, exhaustingly normal. Looking at her now, other than the fact that she's a bit smaller than other kids of her adjusted age, you really wouldn't know that she was ever a preemie. In fact, it almost takes a conscious effort to remember those first few months when our little girl was in the hospital.

Our little girl. Such a precious, precious gift.

I have to say though, there were several moments over the past few weeks, when I really nearly lost it on her. For the most part, Alicia only cries when she's hungry. Which is a huge blessing. The problem was that there were a few days when though she was hungry, she wouldn't eat, and she just kept crying and throwing a tantrum. It was so frustrating.

I couldn't help but think back to one of my earlier entries where I was ranting about wanting Alicia home with me. I think I even said, "Wake me up in the middle of the night. Cry! I don't care." Haha. Yeah... well, I had no idea what I was talking about.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I cherish each and every moment I have with my darling little girl. In fact, right now, she's sleeping soundly on my chest as I type. I treasure these moments. But there are definitely those moments that just drive you crazy.

Thankfully, the biggest blessing came last week when she started sleeping "through the night". For the longest time, I was starting to wonder if we were ever going to sleep for more than three hours at a time. But by God's grace and amazing providence, if we feed her at 12:00, Alicia has been able to stave off the hunger pains and let us "sleep in" until 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. We've been trying to keep her on the "eat, wake, sleep" schedule and so far, it seems to work pretty well. I think the key is consistency and putting in an extra bit of effort to keep her on schedule.

Speaking of which, I have to say that my wife has been doing an amazing, amazing job being the sole caretaker of our baby girl. Linda's life is pretty much 100% wrapped up in taking care of Alicia now. These days, she doesn't step out of the house but one day a week to take Alicia to the hospital. I mean, I don't know how she does it, but she literally doesn't go out 6 out of 7 days. I would go stir crazy, I mean seriously. But she does it, and I barely ever hear a peep of complaint out of her.

God's grace is amazing. AMAZING. I tell you. God told me before Alicia was born that the word over this next generation of our family would be grace, and he confirmed it, when my father on his own accord chose "恩" (grace) to be the recurring character in the name of all the kids in Alicia's generation.

It has been an amazing privilege and satisfaction to watch my little girl get bigger and bigger each day. She's even started to out grow some of her preemie clothes which at once gives me a sense of pride and also comfort knowing that we must be doing something right.

At this point, she is still growing a bit slow, but we believe that she will catch up soon. She's doing so well all other areas, we have no doubt that she'll continue to thrive in all aspects.

Her eyes are stable and ROP hasn't gotten worse, so that's a praise. She's continuing to go through her rounds of vaccinations and she takes each shot like a pro. She is also absolutely social and loves to interact with people. She's even started to smile in response to our voices or faces, which just absolutely melts my heart. She's also so, absolutely smart and full of life.

I couldn't be prouder of my little girl! =) She is a miracle and a testament to the power of our great and MIGHTY GOD! =)