Today is an extraordinary day. Jason and I wanted to share with you a glimpse into our sweet daughter Olivia’s birth story and Red Egg and Ginger party!
Olivia Janet was born on Monday, October 9, 2017, at 9:54 pm, 7.9 pounds, 17.5 inches. She arrived about one week early on one of the craziest fire events we have experienced near our home in Orange County, CA.
We call Olivia our fire baby, and how appropriate that she was born in the year of the fire rooster in the Chinese lunar calendar. We chose her American name to signify peace and strength, and her middle name is after my beloved mother, Janet.
I had been feeling contractions since the weekend and learned from my first experience that once they started coming, it wasn’t too far from arrival. With our son James, we waited a little too long and didn’t want such an epic experience. But the way our luck goes, we happened to get evacuated from our home that afternoon because of a raging fire.
Luckily my dad was in town to help, and I had my hospital bag already packed in the car. We got our family to safety and eventually to the hospital with plenty of time. We like to think that she saved us, giving us a place to take refuge. Olivia was the ray of light and peace to an unsettling day.
During the pregnancy, we didn’t find out the gender because we love the surprise. On my side of the family we have eight fun and fearless boys, so we thought we were destined to keep the streak going. When Dr. Candace Howe announced, “Are you ready for your little princess?” Jason and I were in disbelief. We both had tears of joy as we got our first glimpse of our baby girl.
Olivia’s cheeks were big and rosy (still are), just like a little cherub. When she was placed in my arms, there was a sense of calm and contentment, she was made for us, and I was so happy she was finally here.
My favorite moment was when Jason was holding here for the first time and softly spoke to her, she already had him wrapped around her finger!
James has taken well to his essential role as big brother. He lets us know when she cries, needs to be fed, and sometimes allows her to play with his toys. He is protective of her, making sure that all of his friends know that it’s “his baby sister Ho-lib-ia” (he’s still learning how to say O-liv-ia).
Olivia loves to watch James like a hawk and is quite entertained by his shenanigans. Her laugh is pretty priceless to see and hear. Her personality is already budding. She has the biggest smile that melts your heart, only cries when she’s hungry or tired, has a sweet demeanor with an underlying strength.
We couldn’t wait to introduce Olivia to our family and friends in the Bay Area. My dad Rick and stepmom Lynne hosted a Red Egg and Ginger party at there beautiful home. It’s a tradition that has been passed on to each child in my Chinese family.
We honor the first 100 days of the life of a newborn with a celebration with our dearest family and friends. We had a similar party for my son James a few years ago, if you want to learn more about the traditions during the ceremony. My favorite part is always when the baby gets carried on the backs of the youngest children in the family with a red carrier that has been used for all of the kids in our family. It signifies them taking Olivia to “play” for the first time.
We were also honored to have my dad spend a lot of time and thought into selecting Olivia’s Chinese name. After some fun conversations and important consideration, my dad crafted the beautiful name that fits her perfectly; Waih Tìhng 慧婷
Waih (Cantonese) or Huì (Mandarin): Intelligent, bright and wise.
Tìhng (Cantonese) or Tíng (Mandarin): Pretty, attractive and graceful.
Olivia is 4 months old now and is thriving! She is working on tummy time and rolling over, recently found her feet and hands, and has the most adorable laugh and a smile that is infectious even to strangers. She’s been cooing a ton, and we just saw two bottom teeth start to surface.
The fun thing about having a girl is all of the cute clothes and explosion of unicorn, heart and rainbow decor. Her grandma’s and aunties have already spoiled her with a closet full of adorable clothes, and have even gotten fun tutu’s passed down.
We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for her and sharing those experiences together as a family. I’ve been dreaming of having a little girl, and I must admit, I was scared at first knowing the challenges that she may endure in the future. However, we are ready to guide her, and give her all of the love and support she needs and more.
Olivia, remember to be fearless, brave, strong, follow your passions, and show kindness to others. You have so many incredible role models who love you, especially strong women to be your compass on life’s adventures. We will always be here to root for you and cheer you on! Nothing is impossible, with hard work and determination you will find the answers you need to live your dreams. Keep shining baby girl.