Monthly Archives: October 2013

Paint Nite

We hit the halfway point this week! I will not be inundating you with bump photos but since this is a big milestone and people have asked, here’s my bump at 20 weeks taken right before we left for the Sounders vs. LA Galaxy game. People think it’s small but you should see it after I eat a hot dog.

20 weeks

20 weeks

Ever since we received the news of this pregnancy, I’ve been making an effort to do things that will get me out of the house, since it sounds like free time will be pretty limited after the baby comes. In a previous post, I mentioned that I was an art history major in college. In class each day, we were taught how to analyze and examine art through composition and context and find meaning. But the weird and ironic thing is, despite my ability to view art with a critical eye, I can’t DO art. I am inspired by creative people for their ability to execute their vision and ideas and put themselves out there for the world to see, but confess that I find it very hard myself to be creative.  I have always been envious of the ones who can look and create something out of seemingly nothing.

My friend, Jen, mentioned a Paint Nite event she once attended with several girlfriends in San Francisco and how fun an evening it was. So when a Gilt City email popped up in my inbox a couple weeks ago with a local Paint Nite deal, it caught my eye. Paint Nite is hosted at bars around the country, and anyone can go, have a cocktail (or two, the more the better probably) and paint a piece under the guidance of a local artist. It’s meant to be a fun, informal environment where no one is analyzing or critiquing your work, and you are encouraged to be as creative or as by-the-book as you want to be. (Guess which kind of artist I am?)

photo 1

It was so fun! The event was held in the backroom at Von’s Spirits downtown at its new 1st Avenue location. There were tabletop easels and canvases set up around the room, with two paintbrushes and a paper plate filled with primary color paints  at each station to get us started. The teacher, Greg, showed us some basic techniques and guided the “class” through the step-by-step process on how to recreate his master painting- a landscape of a full moon over the Olympics.

photo 3

Painting in the sky, mountains, and water first

photo 2

To our surprise, it was easy enough, even though a couple of us had no painting experience. We started painting in the sky and the water, learning how to stipple and blend and dry brush to get the desired effects. When we began to fill in the foliage in the center of the painting, we were encouraged to improvise although my OCD ways didn’t allow me to go off the cuff too much from the teacher’s painting! There was a girl next to me who painted a more impressionistic view of the painting, using different paints, and her boyfriend painted a sandwich. To each his own.

Almost done...

Almost done…

Ta da!

Ta da! I know, don’t quite my day job right?


I highly recommend trying out a Paint Nite event in your area. It was neat to venture out of our comfort zones and try something different. Now that I am a tad more familiar with the process, I will hopefully be more comfortable coloring outside of the lines next time!

Lemos Pumpkin Patch

Once October gets here I already start thinking/planning when we will go to a pumpkin patch.  Pre-baby we also made a point of going to them, but I have to say since Nola came along going to them is that much better.  Yeah I’m a pretty big advocate for saying life with a kid is pretty fun!  A couple of weekends ago a group of us went and it was a beautiful fall brisk day, we were amongst great people and most importantly our sweet toddlers seemed to have a wonderful time.  So the day was a good one for sure.  Here are some photos of the day if you care to see.

DSC_0482 ^^^ all moms are biased (and should be) but i do think this little lady is pretty cute ^^^

DSC_0486 ^^^ family photo ^^^

IMG_3920 ^^^ going on the hayride ^^^

DSC_0523 ^^^ what happens when you try taking a photo of 3 toddlers at the same time ^^^

DSC_0542 ^^^ ok lets try this with the mamas, the kids still refuse to look, haha ^^^

IMG_0719 ^^^ this photo was at the same place a year ago.  and why i kiss my girl 500 times a day, they grow up so quickly! ^^^

IMG_0112 ^^^and just for fun, this photo was taken at a pumpkin farm near chicago 5 years ago!^^^

I have been laboring over Nola’s halloween costume this past weekend and can’t wait to share photos!  Hope you have a great Monday and fun Halloween Week!

Links You Should Check Out

Sometimes you come across some links that just need to be shared.

This first link is about a husband who photographed his wife’s journey through breast cancer.  It’s so moving and reminds you how short life can be.  Let’s make the most of the time we have on this earth.  I know I will be hugging my family a little harder today after seeing this.

To bring a smile to your face, check out this link.  This amazing mom created these fun adventures when her child was sleeping.  I love them so much.

IMG_4079 ^^^I can’t do another post without a photo, so here’s one when from this week where Nola and I decide to find the most beautiful place to run around outside and pretend it’s our backyard.^^^ 

Oh Baby!

Our world changed on July 13

July 13: the day our world changed for the better

The cat is out of the bag. On Monday, Nick and I made the official announcement that we are expecting! Not only that, we’re expecting a baby GIRL! So I can now confess to you that this summer was not only full of trips and outings, it was filled with baby updates as we cleared one milestone after another until we felt comfortable enough to break the news publicly. I am now at 19 weeks with a due date of March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day!) We are over the moon, the grandparents are ECSTATIC that one more year of marriage isn’t going to go by without grandbaby news, and the journey has been a wonderful, lovely one so far. Everyone we have told the news to has been so kind and happy for our growing family.

We FaceTimed my parents to tell them the news in August. They kept covering up the camera while jumping up and down.

We FaceTimed my parents to tell them the news in August. They kept covering up the camera while jumping up and down, yelling “Good job, Nick!”

Facetiming my brother, here's his I-can't-believe-it face

Facetiming my brother, here’s his I-can’t-believe-it face

Our big ultrasound was also Monday when we had the gender reveal and received the comforting news that all parts seem to be progressing well in there so far. After several months of incubating this little one and mentally willing that everything go ok, we were relieved to hear this news. As for the gender? We would have been happy with either a boy or girl (no really). Strangely, ever since that pregnancy test showed positive, I’ve been referring to the baby as a “he” for some reason. We BOTH were so wrong since Nick was guessing boy because we had already picked out a name. (clearly neither of us made any sense) Nonetheless, we are thrilled at the prospect of having a girl. I cannot wait to see Nick as a dad to a little girl. He is going to be a natural.

19 week old baby girl. Check out her little foot.

19 week old baby girl. Check out her little foot. She’s cute. We love her already.

I won’t go into much detail but not having experienced anything like this before, pregnancy took me by surprise. Obviously. There is no preparing for how your body no longer feels like “yours” anymore during this time.  But I know I’m lucky compared to some others and am very thankful that Baby Girl has been taking it easy on me thus far. No morning sickness or nausea to report, just some tiredness and the typical emotional hormones in the beginning. I don’t have any crazy cravings, but do love my carbs (as usual) along with Vietnamese food (reminds me of my mom’s cooking), salty snacks, fruit,  and hot soups. Veggies and salads don’t even stir the slightest interest, sadly, but I’m trying to get my fill of them anyway. Apparently the whole eating-for-two is bogus? Darn.

My mom's bun bo hue (spicy beef soup) which I inhale shamelessly when home

My mom’s bun bo hue (spicy beef soup) which I inhaled shamelessly when home in August

Since we’ve been keeping this news since July, I would love to tell you all that has happened since then, but that will take forever. So I will just leave you with a few photos and special moments shared since we found out and told our families. Last week, I started feeling flutters and saw a bump emerge. It’s a whole new world ahead of us and every day is a revelation as we learn or experience something new. We look forward to taking it a day at a time. All I can say is, someone up there was thinking when they decided to give parents 40 weeks to prepare for the arrival of a new little soul.


First Family Photo- Miles was clearly thrilled when we told him the news

First Family Photo- Miles was clearly thrilled when we told him the news

My OB dad gave me an ultrasound at 12 weeks, where we first heard baby's heartbeat. By far the coolest thing I've ever done with my father. Such a special memory.

My OB dad gave me an ultrasound at 12 weeks, when we first heard baby’s heartbeat. By far the coolest thing I’ve ever done with my father. Such a special memory.

The dads

The dads

Mama Vuong says hello to her first grandbaby.

Mama Vuong says hello to her first grandbaby.

We kind of went ultrasound crazy.

We kind of went ultrasound crazy.

My little sister guiding the wand- ultrasounds are clearly a Vuong family affair

My little sister guiding the wand- ultrasounds are clearly a Vuong family affair


Breaking the news to my 96-year old grandmother

Breaking the news to my 96-year old grandmother






Part-Time Daycare?

I wouldn’t want anything else the past year than me being able to stay at home with my girl.  But I’m starting to realize it could be beneficial with some time away from my sweet babe.  It would give me some time to do my own thing, give her time to be in an organized setting and also allow us to miss each other.  Clearly this situation is close to my heart since this is something I have posted previously as well.

So last week I took the time to look into daycare options.  What I realized however, trying to find a part-time gig and having a daycare you want is pretty tricky just because daycare openings (quality daycares) can be slim to none.  So trying to find both at the same time, not so easy if next to impossible.  So I thought I would share my findings and thoughts on the whole issue.

My ideal situation would be working 2-3 half days a week.  But in reality, that’s a dream and trying to do that with a nanny or daycare you most likely will be in the hole with that set-up.  I should have a disclaimer that my profession doesn’t pay a ton and we live in the Bay area.  If you have a permanent part-time spot at a daycare even if your child is sick or you go on vacation you would still need to pay.  This is typical for most established daycares/nanny set-ups, but when working part-time when you don’t work you don’t get paid.  After crunching numbers every which way, full-time is what I need to do if I want to actually take home some money after paying daycare.  Unless I could find a telecommute job, which I have also been trying to (that’s not easy either).  Of course I could work part-time just to cover daycare, but right now I just don’t think it’s worth it.

So here I am folks, back to being okay with being a full-time mommy.  It just makes the most sense until the family is ready for me to go back full-time.  Now it’s a matter of having a new attitude about staying at home.  I know there are moms out there who wish they could stay at home and vice versa and I don’t want you to think I take this situation for granted.  I think it’s important when talking to your mama friends about this that we remember we all have different personalities.  And most likely finances play a pretty big factor if not the number one factor.  I know mom’s who love staying at home, mom’s who couldn’t wait to go back to work and then there’s me who wants both.  At the end of the day I believe we are all just doing our best and trying to make it work.  And when things don’t go the way you would like doing our absolute best to make the most of it.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you!