1 month old!

Our little Nico turned one month old a few days ago. It feels like it was just yesterday and also a lifetime ago that he was born. Sometimes we just look at him and feel like we should pinch ourselves, because he doesn't feel real yet.

Month one brought a ton of growth: Nico was born at just 6 lbs 7 oz and was drowning in his teeniest newborn outfit when we brought him home from the hospital, and at his one month appointment he was a whopping 9 lbs 2 oz and that very outfit is too small for him (my mama heart can't even handle it). We're lucky because he's been an amazing eater and sleeper from day one. He latched on immediately and gained weight so rapidly that our pediatrician told us to let him sleep vs. waking him up at night. He only wakes up one time per night to feed, and while I'm sure he'll regress at some point, we're fully embracing his amazing sleeping habits while they last (he gets his love of sleeping from me). He's calm and sweet natured (he gets that one from his papa), and completely melts us inside whenever he smiles or makes eye contact with us. We're fully obsessed with his little wrinkled old man forehead, soft teeny feet, dimpled chin, and fuzzy head of hair.

It feels like such a huge milestone to reach a month (we kept him alive!). And I'm so insanely proud of him for growing, but I'm already nostalgic for this teeniest phase, when he snuggles up on our chests for hours and needs us for everything. I guess I can finally understand how parents can spend the entire day just staring at their babies and kids. xoxo

Introducing: Nicolas "Nico" James Puente

Our first family picture, which still makes me weepy whenever I see it.

This is the longest I've gone without writing a blogpost since I started this personal blog 10 (!) years ago in my college bedroom. I started writing in it to document my experiences and it still comes in handy when I want to remember a recipe or places I went while traveling. But I failed to document some of the most amazing experiences with my friends and trips of my life over the last few years: Mexico, Thailand, Italy, Tanzania, Hawaii, South Africa, and more. I've already forgotten some of the life changing things I did on those trips and I regret it. The truth is that work and life got in the way, and when I did remember, it always felt like an arbitrary time to pick it back up. And blogging is such an eyeroll inducing hobby now that it felt ridiculous to add one more amateur blog to the mix.

Nico melting my heart from Day 1.

But having a babe was the kick in the butt that I needed to return to this online journal of sorts. Not because I want to be the next mommy blogger (did I miss the boat on turning blogging into a career because that would be cool too, TBH...), but because I never want to forget these days and I want to share my experiences and learnings in motherhood with my family and friends, many of whom are far away. So I've learned my lesson, and I'll be back! xoxo

Our 2015 Trip: Bangkok

I just realized that I drafted this blog post about our trip to Bangkok a few years ago, but I never posted it. Reading through it, I'd already forgotten about most of these things, so I figured I'd post it now for memory's sake: 
We just returned from two weeks in Thailand, which has been at the top of our bucket lists for a while. In stating the obvious, Thailand is really.far.away. We had to fly from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Tokyo to Bangkok. 24 (!) hours later, we landed in Bangkok tired, but ready for our trip.
While in Bangkok, we stayed at the Ariyasomvilla hotel, which we loved. Bangkok is a really crazy city - loud, smelly, and exciting. Ariyasomvilla was located in the middle of the city, but it was on a private street, so it felt like a quiet oasis tucked away from the noise. They have a pool, spa and vegetarian restaurant on site, so it was a great place to hang out on our first night when we were too tired from jet lag to venture out.

Taxis in Bangkok are inexpensive, but they are super unreliable (some drivers will flat out refuse to drive you if your destination is too far away), so aside from the taxi we took to and from the airport, we largely used the sky train and water taxis to get around from point A to point B.

We only spent two days in Bangkok at the beginning of our Thailand trip, so we wanted to make the most of our time there. We made sure to hit up the must see spots: the Emerald Buddha / Grand Palace and Wat Pho / Reclining Buddha temples. I was totally in awe of the architecture and grandness of these historic and religious temples, but I have to say I was underwhelmed with the experience of visiting them. If I had to do again, I would go at a more quiet time of day.
The Grand Palace cost 500 TBH / person to enter the grounds, which is super expensive by Thai standards. It was incredibly grand, but it was hard to appreciate because of how crowded it was. Most of the tourists were not there to worship, so it was hard to appreciate the holiness of it all. If I had it to do over, I would take a guided tour that allowed you to enter the grounds early before the official opening hours. I walked away with the same feeling I had when I visited The Vatican for the first time -- tired, hot, and claustrophobic. I think it's totally worth shelling out the extra dollars to tour it privately.

Was Pho was less crowded, but still packed to the brim with tourists, which made it tough to appreciate the grandness of it all. If you go, make sure you do your research and dress appropriately for the temples. Since it was scorching hot the day we were there, I was really happy to have a dress to wear (vs. long pants).
We ended our long day with a trip to the spa for Thai massages. I can't think of anything more relaxing after 24 hours of travel followed by a long, hot day of playing tourist. There are tons of cheap foot massage and Thai massage places, but we went to Baan Sabai Spa, which was a little more upscale (but still quite affordable by US standards). The perfect way to end our time in Bangkok before jetting north to Chiang Mai.