Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy 4th Anniversary to Us!

Wow!  I cannot believe that Son & I have been married for 4 years!  It seems like just yesterday that I was packing up all my things and my dad was driving me halfway across the country (literally) for what was supposed to be a short-term training position…and here we are, 6 1/2 years later :)

There are so many reasons that I love my hubby, that I could sit here writing for hours…but since I only have about 15 minutes until nap time ends, here is a summary of 10 of the top reasons that Son is so AWESOME!!

1.  He puts God first in everything he does! (And his family is a very close #2)

2.  He is the most wonderful father I could ever imagine!  I seriously don’t know what I would do without him.  So many times he has seen me frustrated, unable to think of the right thing to do to make Collin happy, and come along and had the perfect answer/suggestion to the situation.  He is also a strong calming influence…I have a tendency to panic - “Oh no, Collin was supposed to eat at 4:00 and it’s now 4:15 and he’s not eating anything, what am I going to do, my baby is starving to death!”  And then Son will be the voice of reason saying, “Maybe he’s just not hungry yet.  Try again later.”

3.  He is passionate!  Let’s just say that if you have ever met Son you probably know how passionate he is about FSU Football…and he is just that passionate about other things as well.  I love this about him, that he can care so deeply about something!

4.  He is always making me laugh!  And everyone else around us too :)  He is also a practical jokester & is teaching this to Collin as well.  Several times I have gone to turn on the kitchen sink and been sprayed with water because “Collin” put a rubber band around the sprayer handle.

5.  He is outgoing!  I really have a hard time being shy sometimes, and I can always count on my hubby to break the ice for me in a new situation or around new people until I can warm up.

6.  He views our marriage as a partnership!  He is without a doubt the head of our household, but he exercises that authority in a loving and gentle way…always asking for my input and relying on me to take care of so many of the day-to-day decisions and functions for our family.  He makes it easy on me to be the submissive wife God calls us to be :)

7.  He always shows & tells me how much he appreciates me!  Even more so since I have been home with Collin.  I think every day he comes home and tells me something sweet like, “you are such a  great mom/wife” or “thanks for getting the dry cleaning/doing laundry/cooking dinner” or “the house looks great”.  Hearing that just makes me want to try even harder the next day!

8.  He made me a mother!  Enough said – the most amazing gift ever!

9.  He is smart!  Much smarter than I am…let’s just say that if he hadn’t helped me out measuring the yard & house to design our sprinkler system that I would still be out there with the tape measure trying to get it al to add up :)

10.  He is all mine!  He is so committed to me and to our family that I never have to worry about the future.  I know that no matter what happens or what I do that he loves me unconditionally and he will be right here beside me for the rest of our lives.

Here are some pics of me & my Prince Charming :)

Son & Beau 

When Son & I were first starting to date seriously my mom asked me to send her a picture of him so she could see who it was that I was always talking about…Son’s idea was to take a picture of him holding Beau-Beau since my mom loved Beau so much that surely if she saw Beau loved Son that she would love him too :)  I think it worked!

Gene's Wedding 003 

One of our first big weekends together – traveling to Gainesville for a friend’s wedding.  That’s where I met all of his college friends and his brother for the first time!



Our rehearsal dinner (left) and our first dance (right).


The Vietnamese wedding ceremony :)


Our honeymoon in Turks & Caicos

 Blue Angel Show 004

A trip to Pensacola shortly after we were married to see the Blue Angels show & visit with Son’s family.

Cruise Vacation 005

  Cruise Vacation 029

Our cruise vacation in January 2008!


So excited to meet Collin!


Our first family picture!

The past 4 years have been a dream-come-true for me – and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

Monday, April 26, 2010

We're Walking...Here's the proof

A video of Collin's latest achievement :)

And while we are on he is with his bday cake :)

We also recently received 2 exciting packages in the mail.  First, was a table & chairs set from Aunt Becca & Uncle required a little assembly, but it is ADORABLE!!  And I am so excited because I know that this is something that all of our children will enjoy for years to come!

Then, we received a Little Tykes Cozy Coupe from Aunt Tram, Uncle Brian, and Cousin Jaeden...I was soooo excited when I saw the FedEx man deliver the box.  I had a cozy coupe growing up and it was so much fun!  Collin already loves it because there is a floorboard insert that you use for smaller kids until he can use his feet to push himself...too cute!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Collin’s First Birthday Celebration

Growing up I always had the most amazing birthday parties…

A “My Little Pony” themed party complete with a VERY large pink & purple My Little Pony castle cake (courtesy of the cake making queen, my Nana – seriously, she was the original “Ace of Cakes”).

A Hawaiian Luau themed party with grass skirts for all the girls and a live hula dancer that gave us all authentic hula dance lessons (never mind that it was snowing outside in March and we were all wearing bathing suits – that’s what the heater is for, right?).

And I could go on and on…needless to say that my parents set the bar pretty high for birthday parties.  So naturally, I wanted to go all out for Collin’s big day…because the level of effort that goes into his party is equal to how much his mommy loves him, right?

I decided to do a beach theme with lots of bring colors & a baby pool for the babies to play in…sounds fun, right?

I am sure you are all tired of hearing this, but it is really hard being so far away from my family, so I was really glad that Son’s parents were able to come in town for the big event.  Son’s twin & our sister-in-law has a couples weekend with friends planned in Charleston, so they made the trip from Pensacola with Son’s parents, and our niece, Lilo, was able to stay with us in Jax for the party!  She is such a sweetheart!!  Here are Lilo & Collin playing with Collin’s tub toys at bath time Friday night…


Ong Noi & Ba Noi (Vietnamese for Grandfather & Grandmother) with Lilo.


The party favors (which doubled as some of the decorations) – bright colored beach pails with he kids’ names painted on them.  Each beach pail had animal crackers, a pinwheel, bubbles, and a sunflower seed to plant inside them.


The “Happy Birthday Collin” banner – that took me several hours after bedtime last week to complete, but I love how it turned out…it’s actually still hanging up in the house.  Son asked me last night if I was going to take it down.  I guess I probably should, but I really like it.


View of most of the decorations.


Collin & Lilo loved the beach balls that I hung from the ceiling!


Daddy and the Birthday Boy.


Our friend Brad enjoying all the food – I set up a buffet on the kitchen counter.  We had Pork kabobs (made by Ba Noi – yummy!), Hawaiian ham & swiss sandwiches, spinach dip with bread, and a fruit and veggie tray.  I set everything out on a beach towel & used beach pails, and sand/beach toys as platters and serving utensils :)


Baby play area…Collin was too interested in what was going on to spend much time playing with his friends.  Pictured are Maxwell, Dallas & Brookelynne.  You can also kind of see Clara’s legs :)


Family Picture :)


Pool Time!!  Collin, Clara & Lilo.


Clara, Lilo, Maxwell & Brookelynne


Clara is such a doll – she has fun just sitting in the beach chair like a big girl.  Love the swimsuit!


Beau enjoyed being outside & watching the babies in the pool.


After the baby pool, Collin gave all of his friends rides in his new wagon…I am going to have to help him out with his conversation skills when talking to girls because, as you can see, he put Dallas right to sleep.  Although he probably shouldn’t feel too bad b/c this is the same girl that regularly falls asleep in her high chair also – too cute!


Cake time!  I was really hoping that Collin would put on a good show with his cake, and he did not disappoint his mommy!  Some of the guys were joking that he looked like braveheart with his blue icing streaked face.


Of course, he wanted to share the fun with mommy :)  This might just be my favorite picture from the whole party!  He was so covered in icing that the bath water turned aqua blue!


Overall it was a great weekend & lots of fun.  I still can’t believe that my tiny little baby boy is one year old!  Here is a picture of him on Sunday morning ready for church…doesn’t he look like a big boy??


Monday, April 19, 2010

Windy Wagon Ride

I had decided this morning that due to the fact that it is cooler than normal today that we would postpone our wagon rides for the day. Let's just say that Collin did not like that plan...

So naturally we dug the jackets out of the back of the closets and headed out.

Collin also decided that he did not like my plans to clean, do laundry, and everything else that needs to be done after the party and our guests. He expressed that dislike by being very fussy this morning (I think due to teething) and refusing to nap for more than 30 minutes.

So we have changed plans and decided to play/wagon ride/snuggle all day :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dear Collin, Happy Birthday. Love, Mommy

Dear Collin,

Tomorrow is your first birthday!  I cannot believe that my little itty bitty baby boy is one year old.  How did  this happen?  I am so blessed to be your mommy.  I thank God several times a day for choosing me, out of all the mommies in the world, to watch over you for Him.

This past year has been amazing, truly the best of my life.  We have been experienced so much together, and this is just the beginning...

  • your amazing arrival
  • getting to know you
  • breastfeeding <3 <3
  • experiencing all of your "firsts"
  • seeing hubby become a daddy <3 <3
  • your surgery at Wolfson :(
  • your developing personality
  • lots and lots of diapers
  • your obsession with dog food & doggie doors
  • flying together
  • teething
  • rocking you to sleep every night <3 <3
  • big open-mouth slobbery kisses
  • trying new foods
  • your love of music
  • becoming a stay-at-home-mom
  • parks & swings
  • wagon rides
  • bathtime
You are such a sweet boy, always giving mommy and daddy lots of hugs and kisses.  I always heard the saying that "you'll never work a day in your life if you love what you do" but until I was able to become a stay-at-home-mom with you I really didn't understand that.  Every day is filled with endless playing, chores, cooking, cleaning, more playing...and I can't wait to get up each morning and do it all over again.

I pray that I will be the mommy that you deserve.  And most of all, the mommy that God wants me to be.  Please be patient with me because I know that I am not perfect, but also know that I try every day to be a better mommy than I was the day before.

No matter how many siblings you may or may not have as you get older, there is always something special about being the first.  No matter how old you are, you will always be my first little baby, my "baby bird", my "lovie", my "bugaboo", my "honey".

Little boy, I love you with all of my heart, my mind, and my soul.

Love always,


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Security Ice

This morning I was trying to fold some laundry while Collin was awake (mistake #1), and he was in the laundry room "helping". He bent down to pick up a dryer sheet that had fallen to the ground and in the process he hit his face (lip) on the open dryer door on the way down. Poor baby!

I picked him up and noticed a little blood so immediately I was thinking about all of the baby ice packs we had received as shower gifts...all of which were NOT in the freezer. This is why I will again not be in the running for Mother of the Year :)

Anyways, all of the cute boo-boo bunny and ploar bear ice packs weren't going to us any good room temperature so I got a ziploc baggie and put a few ice cubes in it. For a while Collin was happy sucking on the ice whil I held the baggie, but after he calmed down he decided that he wanted to hold the ice himself.

After a few minutes I felt cold drops on my legs and realized the baggie had a small hole, so I tried to take it away (mistake #2). Let's just say that in the previous 5 minutes Collin had become very attached to his baggie! I even tried to replace it with a new one with fresh ice...but it just wasn't the same. Every time I even reached for the baggie he would cry and clutch it so tight that even more water would come out!

So now Collin has his "security ice" that he refused to let go of, and we had cold water dripping all over him, me, and the floor.

Fortunately I was able to pry it out of his fingers as he drifted off to nap time...but I know when he wakes up I am going to get a look and a whine that says, "where is my baggie of ice mom?"

And yes, the boo-boo bunny and polar bear are both in the freezer now :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Almost-1-Year-Old Boy


In some ways it feels like it was just yesterday that I was pregnant, but in other ways it feels like Collin has been a part of our lives forever.  Here is a quick update on what my little lovey & I have been up to lately:

Eating: Collin is now drinking 1 bottle (8 oz) of whole milk each afternoon.  He is still nursing about 4 x a day also - I know I am going to have a hard time giving this up, and I think Collin will too.  We're not in a rush, but we have started the process by offering one bottle/day.  He also will hardly eat baby food at all anymore.  He would much rather eat whatever Son & I are having for lunch/dinner.  He eats an entire banana and usually some scrambled egg with cheese or part of my bagel each morning for breakfast.  Some of his favorite "big boy" foods are chick-fil-a nuggets, almost any type of fruit, steamed carrots, and he is totally in love with Cheerios!  He also drinks water from his sippy cup with each meal.

Getting Around:  He is a really fast crawler now...his little legs get going & I can hardly keep up with him.  He loves to stand on his own, but hasn't taken any steps yet.  He absolutely LOVES to push around his push toy cars, and has learned to turn corners pretty good.  The only problem is he can't back-up yet, so when he runs into a wall or furniture he will stand there and cry until I come and turn him around.  It is really cute :)

Favorite Activities:  Collin really enjoys bath time, and would stay in the tub with his toys until he turned into a prune if mommy would let him.  He also still really likes to go on walks in the stroller (as long as we keep moving) and likes pretty much any other outdoor activity.  His favorite toys are a musical keyboard that his Aunt Tram bought him for Christmas, stacking blocks from my parents, and an empty milk carton that Son filled with cherrios for him that he can shake around...

Our Routine: Collin wakes up every morning between 7 and 7:30, he nurses, then we go eat breakfast.  We usually play until his morning nap time which is around 9:30 or 10:00.  He is unpredictable on his napping - it has been anywhere from 30 minutes up to 2 hours.  While he is napping I get dressed, fix hair, etc then I start on chores that I want to get done for that day.  It is so nice to be able to split it up and get stuff done durning the day so that we can just play in the evenings when Son gets home and our weekends are free too!  When Collin wakes up we play some more, and then we run any errands that we need to do for that day.  He usually takes either 1 or 2 more naps throughout the day depending on how he slept that morning.  I try to get most of the prep work for dinner done during one of his afternoon naps, and then daddy gets home around 4:15 or 4:30.  Bathtime is around 7:30 and he is usually in bed by 8:00 or 8:30.  I am still rocking him to sleep every night, and I know that eventually he will have to learn to go to sleep on his own, but for now I love snuggling with him while he drifts off to sleep.  He is such an active little boy that it is about the only time he will let me cuddle with him :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from The Vuong Family!!

We had an exciting Easter weekend - Collin's First Easter!!  On Saturday morning we had breakfast at Chick-fil-a (yummy!!) with several friends from church, and then we all went around different parts of the St. John's Town Center passing out flyers and inviting people to our church's Easter services.  Of course we got to make a few stops in some of the stores, so that was fun too!  We also went to Toys-R-Us to buy Collin's birthday present...a littel red wagon!!  I was so excited!!  I had NO IDEA how expersive they were (I was thinking maybe $30 dollars)...boy was I wrong!  But, they were having a sale, plus I had a few coupons, so it actually wasn't that bad.

I can't wait for Son to put it together so that Collin can try it out...of course not until his birthday :)

That afternoon we went to a reception for a couple in our church who had been married for 50 years!  They are such a sweet couple that really were involved in Son & my early realtionship - they were the mentor couple in the Singles' Class at FBC where I met Son.  Such a sweet couple!  Here is a picture of Collin & me at the reception.

Easter morning Collin got a visit from The Easter he is showing daddy his Noah's Ark Easter Eggs.  Son took the candy out and replaced it with Cheerios!  Collin had so much fun once he realized that is he threw the eggs down Cheerios came out - it was too cute!  He also got the movie Over The Hedge and a Easter Story book that we read to him while he was eating his breakfast.  I think that may be a new Vuong Family Tradition - it was really sweet.

Collin had the cutest Easter outfit...and one of his best friends Max had the same one!  Here is a picture of the "twins".  Collin has a silly expression on his face...not sure what he is thinking :)

After church we had lunch with The Kays' and their family.  It was so sweet of them to invite us to share a family lunch with them - and there was so much food!  Mrs. Kay had even made homemade cupcakes - yummy!  Mr. & Mrs. Kay had a sweet little easter basket for Collin too!!  We went home for a quick nap, and then headed over to Brad & Whitney's house for Easter Dinner with them and Dustin & Angela (of course the 3 babies were there too).  We had a great time, with some great food.  Then there was an incident with a poopy diaper that had everyone rolling on the floor laughing...let's just say that I was trying to do a quick change on Collin before we went home and I got a BIG SURPRISE! 

Being so far from family during the Holidays is REALLY HARD for me (even after 4 years), but having such amazing friends makes it a little easier.  They are such a blessing to us!!