Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This is for Aunt Becca

This evening while working in the nursery at church I received a text from my sister that read “update your blog!” so I thought about it and since Collin took a 2 hour nap today (woo hoo!!) I got everything done around the house that I needed to so there wasn’t any reason that I couldn’t spend a few minutes on the computer after bedtime tonight :) 

My 3 boys…LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!!


A recent play date where Collin got to play with 2 older boys…he had fun!  Since he is usually the oldest at our regular play dates I think he enjoyed having someone else that was running around too!!

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And for an update on the “little” chicken nugget issue:

New foods that I have tried that Collin loves:

1.  kashi whole grain fruit cereal bars

2.  Peanut Butter sandwich on honey wheat bread

New foods that I have tried that Collin hates:

1.  Kiwi – mashed it with his finger on the tray but wouldn’t put it in his mouth or let me do it.

2.  whole grain pasta with cheese – spit it out.

3.  Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich – I tried to mix it up & put half PB and half PBJ on his tray.  He ate the PB ones, but every time he picked up a PBJ piece he would look at it and put it back down (or try to feed it to Beau).

4.  Broccoli – spit it out.

5.  Chicken Breast cut up into “chicken nugget shapes” – apparently just not the same.

6.  turkey breast, ham, and chicken breast lunch meat cut into bite-size cubes – these didn’t even make it into his mouth.

Okay, so that’s 2 more things that he eats now – mommy can live with that.  I think later this week we are going to try mandarin oranges, green peas again, and I am trying to think of a few other new things to try…any ideas?

Up next for the Vuong Family…a trip to Pensacola to see Son’s family and then Collin & I are going to Texas in 2 weeks…CAN-NOT-WAIT!!!

In other good news another child in Collin’s room at nursery tonight was sent home after throwing up and running a fever…this should be fun :)  Crossing my fingers that he doesn’t get sick because we have an exciting rest of the week – lunch with Annie & grocery shopping tomorrow, then another Pool Play Date on Friday!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Toddler Only Eats Chicken Nuggets

Ever since Collin was born, I have been pretty careful about what goes into his mouth.  I was adamant about breastfeeding him (which thank the Lord I was able to do), I really wanted to make his baby food, but working full time I opted to buy the best quality and mostly organic baby food.  And when he started eating finger foods his early favorites were bananas, green beans, carrots, cheese, corn, sweet potatoes, grilled pork chops, whole wheat bread, and baked apples.  Sounds like a great start to healthy eating habits, right??

Well somewhere along the way I decided that it would be a good idea to share some of my chick-fil-a nuggets with him…pretty harmless, right??  Wrong!

He loved them so much, that when I got a great coupon in the mail for frozen chicken nuggets I thought “what the heck, he loves them, and a nugget here and there isn’t the end of the world.”

Fast forward to about a month later and you have tonight's series of events…

Collin gets hungry before dinner & is offered grapes, yogurt, applesauce, cheese, carrots, strawberries, and green peas as a snack.  He eats a few bites of yogurt then changes his mind and refuses anything else.

While making dinner I offer him a few whole grain sweet potato snacks.  He eats a few bites but mostly just crumbles them up into tiny little pieces and feeds them to the dog.

Dinner is ready and Collin refuses any of the chicken & veggie stir-fry or rice that I have made for dinner…probably shouldn’t have given him the sweet potato snacks while cooking.

Collin plays while Son & I eat dinner.

After dinner we are all in the family room playing & Collin gets fussy…probably hungry.  I offer him the same list of alternatives above, but he just shakes his head “NO”, and looks longingly at and reaches toward the freezer door…we know what he wants.

Determined not to give in, I take him out of the high chair and return him to the living room to play with us.  He continues to fuss…Son says “But, he’s a growing boy, mommy” and that’s all it takes…out come the chicken nuggets and Collin quickly downs four of them.

So now I am up way past my bed time Google-ing “picky eater” and “meal ideas for toddlers” and “please help me, seriously, my child only eats chicken nuggets”.  The advice I have found so far includes generally one of the following 2 approaches:

1.  Just don’t give him the nuggets & he will eat something else when he gets hungry.


2.  Just let him have the nuggets but put other stuff on his plate too and eventually he will try the other stuff.

The good news is that I don’t think that he understands that the nuggets are in the freezer during the day, and thinks that they magically appear at dinner time because **so far** he eats a banana for breakfast and pretty much anything that I give him for lunch.  I know that by writing this that tomorrow he will demand the nuggets for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all snacks…

Tomorrow I am going to make his favorite (sweet potatoes) at dinner for him so hopefully we can go one night without the nuggets, and then we can see where to go from here.  The first day of withdrawal is the hardest part of any rehab, right??

However, also tomorrow we have a trip planned to the grocery store and I really need some frozen chopped bell pepper…but I can’t remember if the Tyson nuggets are on the same aisle as the frozen veggies and I am afraid that if Collin sees the nuggets during the day time he will realize that I have been hiding them from him and throw a tantrum in the middle of Publix!!

Any advice about getting him to eat any healthy food or suggestions on other foods to try is greatly appreciated!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The “T” Word

There have been a few clues lately, and so I am afraid that I have to admit that I now officially have a TODDLER!!

It all started a few days before his birthday when he started walking…then after his birthday my weekly Baby Center emails changed from “Your Baby This Week” to “Your Toddler This Week”…and finally he is now hardly crawling at all.

The only time he crawls is to go over a crack in the pavement in our driveway (superstitious??), when he Son is chasing him and he gets really excited, or if he is trying to get somewhere really fast…like trying to get to the electrical outlet in the wall before I can stop him.

Other reasons that I know I no longer have a baby include:

1.  I finished his baby book…very sad!  The only thing that I can still add to it are the dates that all of his teeth come in and the dates of a few more doctor’s visits with weight and height, etc.

2.  I finished the frame that my mom bought me that has a cut out for each month’s picture with a large opening for his 1-year picture.  We are going to get that hung up in the hallway this weekend.

3.  He is slowly weaning and only nurses twice a day now.  I would be okay if he was done nursing, but he is still refusing to drink the whole milk…so I am leaving it up to him to decide how long he wants to continue (for now at least) and continuing to offer him the milk several times a day.

4.  He is over 20 pounds and he is 28.5 inches tall.

5.  He loves meal time and feeding himself.  His favorites are sweet potatoes, bananas, green beans, chicken nuggets, string cheese, ritz crackers, and goldfish.  The only thing that he will eat out of a spoon is applesauce and occasionally yogurt.  He also loves ice cream!  We recently discovered this at Jason’s Deli when he practically ate my entire ice cream cone.

6.  He is now forward facing in his car seat and he LOVES it!  He just kind of sits back and “chills” most of the time, fascinated with everything that he can see outside.

7.  He really doesn’t like to be carried very much & would rather walk.  Son & I wanted to make a quick trip to the store yesterday evening, and I just planned on carrying Collin in and out really quick…well lets just say that after the quick trip turned into a few different stops, and Collin did not want to ride in the buggy or be carried, I became that mother who let her child walk around the store without shoes on…so embarrassing!!  At least we were somewhere pretty clean, although we probably would have fit in better at a Wal-Mart :).  Note to self: never leave the house without the diaper bag & shoes…no matter how “quick” the trip is supposed to be.

And now for some pictures of the cutest, sweetest most adorable baby TODDLER in the entire world!!

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Loves playing in the shower wile mommy gets ready in the mornings!




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These are for Nana & Granddaddy – they sent him these adorable cowboy boots from Texas & requested some pictures of him in them & a diaper :)

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Playing Peek-A-Boo with Mommy in the big boy car seat!  Oh, and that cover that I have been working on for what seems like 6 months…it’s finished!!  I love it & put of pics of Collin trying it out another day.

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Playing with cousin Lilo while we were in Pensacola.  She is such a cutie!!



April 2010 009Helping mommy clean the house…he loves the swiffer now & knows where I keep it in the laundry room.  He will just go an try to get it out periodically and then drag it around the house for a while.  Next time he does that I need to put a pad on it so that he can actually get up some of the dirt :)  

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Hope everyone has a great weekend!!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

In Loving Memory of Our Uncle Tuan Mai

On Tuesday afternoon we received some shocking and very sad news.  Son's uncle Tuan had been killed in a car accident that morning...

I don't really feel qualified to write about him or his passing, but all I can do is share what I know about him.

When I met and fell in love with Son one of the last things that I ever thought about was that I was about to become part of a traditional Vietnamese family.  Every single member of Son's family has been so extremely welcoming and sweet to me that I truly couldn't ask for a better relationship with his family.  However, Mr. Mai (Tuan) always stuck out to me as someone who made the extra effort to really make me feel welcome.

It was honestly pretty scary the first few times I visited the family in Pensacola.  Imagine meeting your boyfriends family for the very first time, but then throw in the fact that they all speak a different language, eat different food, and have many different traditions.  Every time we visited we always had a big family dinner one night durign our stay.  It is usually either at the Vuong house (Son's parents) or the Mai house (aunt & uncle).  I now LOVE these gatherings and really look forward to seeing and talking with everyone, but in the beginning it was a little intimidating to have about 10-15 people at a dinner party all speaking a different language.

Anyways, Tuan always gave me a great big hug, and included me on whatever the conversation was.  He would switch to English so that I could know what they were discussing.  He also always had a funny joke or story to tell me, and loved making everyone laugh.  Tuan was also the designated "duck/turkey carver" and would put on one of Son's moms flowered aprons, get the big butcher knife, put a cutting board on the counter and cut up the duck for us (or turkey if I had made the Thanksgiving dinner).  Son & I have several pictures of him in the apron cutting up the ducks, and they always bring a smile to my face.

Tuan was also loved my many of Son's college friends who enjoyed coming to their house for Vietnamese New Year "Tet" and affectionately called him "Mr. T".  He was an incredibly talented craftsman who made the most beautiful custom built-in cabinetry.  He also built their house himself and recently added an upstairs addition.

On Tuesday when we got the terrible news we immediately started to plan our trip to Pensacola to say goodbye and be with the family during this hard time.  I had been thinking about and praying for something that we could do to help.  They have such an amazing, sweet, and large family that I really didn't know if there was anything that we could do that hadn't already been taken care of.  Of course we had been praying for them, but I wanted something tangible that we could help with. 

We found out later that day that our cousin Thanh (Tuan's son) was supposed to move out of his dorm at University of Florida that week and needed help, so we packed everything up, rented a uhaul trailer and headed to Gainseville.  I know that moving someone isn't a big deal, but at least this was something small that we could do to try and show how much we loved them and wanted to help.

We spent Thursday, Friday & Saturday in Pensacola with the family.  With Collin's schedule and 8:00 bedtime I wasn't able to be at the Mai family house as much as everyone else, but I was so happy that we were there in Pensacola and that Son was able to be there for our family.

This is still tough for everyone to understand why someone has been taken away so tragically, but we must just pray and take comfort in God's plan for our lives.

Tuan leaves behind two sons, a wife, and many many other loving family members and friends.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."  Matthew 5:4