1 year, 1 week, and 5 days old

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mars is 1 year, 1 week, and 5 days old.

His fourth tooth has been trying to cut through so he's been having small fits here and there. Currently, he has learned how to break out of baby jail and do all kinds of dangerous things. As I type, he is walking his tricycle by the handlebars backwards. He can also climb up the stairs on his own pretty well, and occasionally, he likes to slap the glasses off my face... 

But onto sweeter things... he likes to play peek-a-boo any chance he gets, his favorite food right now is a ground beef and cheese crescent roll that I baked, he loves reading pop-up books, he likes to play "throw the ball", he puts all his legos in our hands if we cup them and hold them out to him, and he constantly talks to us in a baby language that we don't understand. :)

Turning One

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fuji Superia 200 Film
Mars is 1 year, 1 week, and 2 days old.

These pictures were taken in our backyard a couple days after he turned one. Since then, he's been learning so many new things. It's like he's growing twice as fast now! On the day after his birthday, we tried to get him to walk with his little walker but he was unable to support himself in a standing position. The next day, however, he was just able to do it and could walk all around the house! 

Chinese New Year was this past week and we had dinner with the in laws. After dinner, he was learning how to throw and give. It was really cute :) . 

Mars turning one also means that we are turning one as parents. I'm pretty proud of ourselves for not doing a horrible job and for how we stepped up to the plate, researching and learning everything so that we can make the best decisions. Hooray, Mars! Your mom and dad are doing a good job so far! 

Mars is One!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

I can't believe how fast this day came and went. We had a fun time celebrating with family and friends, and Mars especially enjoyed his smash cake!

Quick update: In just the past week, he's been doing lots of new things. He started waving at people, he said, "Uh oh" a couple of times after dropping something, and he raises his hands up if he wants you to pick him up. He's still pointing at things, and he still dances whenever he hears music. 

I thought I'd get really sentimental and cry on his birthday, but to be honest, it was such a busy day that I didn't really have time to get sentimental. Instead, we just had a lot of fun!

Taiwan Days 8 & 9

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Day 8

On our last full day, we wanted to get more street food since we hadn't really had any at all. Our first stop was 西門町 (XiMen Ding), which was a terrible idea because there were smokers EVERYWHERE and it was crazy crowded. It was not baby friendly, at all. We pretty much decided to leave almost immediately, but not before getting some snacks.

Mandatory tea drinks:

KFC 蛋撻:

People watching while we waited for our fried chicken and green beans:

西門町tired us out so after our snacks, we went to rest in a breastfeeding room at the MRT station. J fell asleep while Mars and I played quietly. When we were ready to go, we decided to head over to 公館 (GongGuan or National Taiwan University) for more street snacks. We got a 掛包 (See pic below!) and a Sababa Pita (which was NOT AT ALL like I remember, this one was not tasty) and picnicked on the grass at the University where I studied back in 2006. 

Overall, it was a pretty laid-back day. On our way home, we got pineapple cakes and that was about it. My mom cooked a big dinner for us at home and my uncle and his family came over to join us.

Day 9

This was our last morning in Taipei so we had to eat all of our favorite breakfast foods. We went to two different places and I got a 油條 (Chinese donut) and a breakfast sandwich. Shortly after, we headed to the airport-bus station and said goodbye to my mom and aunt.

At the airport, we had such a pleasant experience. We asked the man at the check-in counter if we could have bulkhead seats and immediately, he was like, "Sure, no problem", and switched seats for us. He didn't give us the, "Hmm, I'm not sure, you have to ask at the gate" like at SFO, so that was nice. While waiting in the really long security line, a guard came up and told us that people traveling with babies can go to the special line...aka, no line at all! We walked right through a smaller security room where no one else was getting checked. Then, proceeded to wait in a special line for travelers with infants to get stamped out for immigration. By then, we had to change Mars' diaper so we headed into the diaper changing room where they had free diapers, warm wipes, filtered water, sofas, and cribs. Afterwards, we went to the children's play area where the ground was padded and there was a jungle gym for Mars to crawl around. Soon, we got hungry, so we had lunch at a restaurant where we got to sit on couches and Mars got to play next to the window and look at airplanes. When it was time to board the plane, we were told to get into the priority line again, AND a fellow passenger and crew member even waved us down because Mars had dropped his C3PO toy. It was probably the best airport experience ever.

Taiwan Day 7: 大安區 & 東區 & Dinner with Friends

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Day 7

The next day was my sister and Arden's last morning in Taipei so we went over to my dad's house with them so that he could drive them to the airport. Afterwards, it was just me, J, and Mars, which was a nice change of pace because we got to just wander around with no concrete plans. 

They have these single serve double shots at 7-11 now, which I found amusing. This one is a B52 which is Kahlua and Irish cream:

Yam flavored Koala Yummies!

And my childhood favorite:

Then, we took the MRT over to my old apartment and felt all kinds of nostalgia:

My old door!

I used to live here!!

Then, we had another snack at Family Mart and walked down 敦化南路 (DunHua Street) to Muji, then Paul's for a light lunch:

These are my favorite Belgian waffles (yes, I like them more than the ones in Brussels). I still think about them to this day.

Finally, we made it to Eslite, which is a giant bookstore that's open 24 hours. This is where J and I went on our third night of meeting, where we browsed and chatted until 4am. We also walked past this place, so we just had to take a picture (hint: it's where it all began!)

Here, we have e181 in the background (a bar we used to frequent when J would visit me):

Then, I got my hair washed and we bought a selfie stick.

Ok, so another reason why I LOVE Taipei is because it is EXTREMELY breastfeeding and mommy friendly. Every MRT station has a breastfeeding room, and if they don't, they'll let you use the employee break room. So here we are taking a much needed break before we head out to 永康街 (YongKang Street) for dinner.

And... this is how I drink my Yakult...

Taiwan Day 6: Elephant Mountain and a Wedding

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Day 6

On this day, we decided to leave the house early to go for a hike at 象山 (Elephant Mountain). When I lived in Taipei a few years ago, the MRT (subway) was still under construction and adding new stations and lines. When we visited this time, all the new lines were open, and 象山 and Taipei 101 were new stops that I had never been to. Right when you come out of the 象山 station, you get this amazing view of the 101. 

From the station, we walked through a park and up a hill to get to the steps of Elephant Mountain.

My mom and Arden:

Freshly squeezed orange juice:

The temple at the bottom on the mountain:

The 象山親山步道 (Elephant Mountain Hiking Trail) consists of really steep stairs that are uneven and quite tiring. But almost to the top, you get this gorgeous view of the Taipei 101, so it's totally worth it.

(All photos above shot on Fuji Superia 200 film)

Afterwards, we had lunch at the Taipei 101 food court and headed home so that we could get ready for our friends' wedding. At the wedding, we were reunited with all our old Taipei friends and it really made me miss living here. And here are some phone photos:

Taiwan Day 5: Slowing Down

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Day 5

I think we were all feeling a bit tired from rushing around and trying to do as much as possible in the past few days, so on this day (New Year's Day!), we kept it low key and didn't try to cram in a bunch of activities. 

We stayed close to home and went shopping at Miramar.

And later that night we had dinner with my uncle and his family near 101, and we got Laduree macarons.

That's all.
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