Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not So Sweet Dreams

Last night I had the weirdest dream. I've had it on my mind all day. I was in college again, oddly, and I was going over to a good college girlfriend's house. Only I was driving up these creepy hills, straight out of a horror movie, and it was not where she lived in real life. When I got there, it was a huge spooky mansion, decked out in old velvet drapes and furniture. Then I ended up in a weird bathroom of some sort figuring out how to pee on some elaborate throne of a toilet and there was a bathtub with all this blood in it. Then the doorbell rang and it was a couple of detectives and we were trying to cover up the bathroom with the blood by distracting them. It felt like I was in a movie.

What was all that blood anyway? I can't stop thinking about it.

Throughout the day I also started remembering other fragments of the dream. Or perhaps a different dream all together in the same night. My favorite high school teacher - I ran into him in this huge lecture hall/auditorium, which had an open ceiling and we could see the stars through it. For some reason there was loud music blasting and people were in it like a party, but I swear it was supposed to be a college class of some sort. Not dance party music, like KOIT 96.5 soft rock kind of music. That's all I could remember of that one.
Yeah, I have the STRANGEST dreams. Always been the case. Some nights it's me having a secret affair with Usher (yeah, Raymond. That is the only recurring dream I have.). Once I gave birth to cupcakes. I've been stabbed and woke up screaming. I fall a lot and wake up with a kick, but I think a lot of people do that. I've actually died in my dream and woke up, so don't believe that you can't.

So that's been on my mind. Weird dream. Especially since my friend's house is nothing at all like that. She does live in the hills kinda, but it's in the suburbs, in the most WASPY community you can think of. Not at all creepy. I'm also trying to remember if maybe there was a dead body involved, but I can't recall. I do know that my friend seemed strangely stoic throughout it all, with me frantically trying to lead the detectives to another part of the house.

Anyway, I hope you had a great Christmas and have a fun and safe New Years! May 2009 bring you more love, laughter and good fortune than you know what to do with!

From our family to yours . . .

And if you have a moment, you have got to see my little tantrum thrower in action. I anticipate tough days ahead . . .


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The happiest place on earth

Who needs Disneyland when you have a doorway jumper?

I doubt her Christmas gifts are going to live up to this one.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Crying it out, Part II & some happier thoughts

So I guess HP has been talking to all his parent friends and learning their CIO and sleep training methods. He comes home tonight saying he knows how to "do it" now and is ready to let her cry it out again. But we will not skip her feeding, just make sure not to play with her in any way. Feed and back to bed.

I wasn't so sure, but I was planning to go out shopping anyway, so he was on his own to try it. Turns out he actually managed to let her cry, for an entire hour he said. She was going crazy in the crib, going "MA, MA, MA" as she normally does when she cries, exhausting herself to the point where she would fall asleep for a few seconds then wake up and start wailing again. Then he feeds her and she ends up pooping so that takes another 20 minutes to get her all clean. I arrived home at that point.

Miraculously, she only cried for about 2 minutes and went right back to bed again. So cute, arms spread eagle and limp on both sides.

I am so glad I wasn't here to listen to her. But this CIO thing only works if you're consistent. And tomorrow I'm designated baby watcher as HP goes out to the city. Can I stick with it? Guess we'll find out.

On a happier note, I thought I'd talk about something other than baby for a bit . . . It's the holiday season! Ever since I met HP, and now more than ever with Tylo, I have really learned to love this time of year.

Here are my top 3 favorite reasons to love the holiday season:

1. The lights! I am in love with our xmas tree. It's decked out with a couple hundred dollars worth of ornaments, but there's something very special about picking out that beautiful ornament when I take a trip somewhere and the anticipation of putting it up in the tree that year. This year, I splurged on some Hallmark Keepsake ornaments, all for Tylo's first christmas. I also love seeing the lights in malls and on homes. Around here, only one in like 20 homes are decorated, but it still lifts your spirits a bit when you see it.

2. Mint - Chocolate Combo. I don't know how they decided mint and chocolate should only go together during the holidays, but that's what makes it extra special I guess. I love seeing the Mint Mocha Latte up on the chalkboard "Specials" menu at Starbucks, the mint M&Ms on the shelves. Oh what a wonderful flavor combination. My favorites include mint malt balls at Harry & David (available year round actually), Brachs mint nougats and Minty Bells (which must be retired, because I haven't seen them in like 8 years. Yes, I check for them every year.). I also learned how to make peppermint bark this year - sooo worth it to avoid paying $27 a box at Williams Sonoma. Except I can't figure out how to layer both white and dark chocolate without it separating.

3. Food Gifts & The Fact that it's OKAY to indulge. Maybe it's just me, but I love gourmet food gifts. So much better than stuff I don't want, will never use, will never wear. I love getting that gourmet chocolately popcorn (think Moosemunch), cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil in a pretty bottle, almond toffee made in Colorado that costs an arm and a leg (Thanks Jen!). All stuff I wouldn't buy for myself unless it was on clearance after the holidays are over because it expires in a week. I'll admit it, I'm the first one to raid the food gift baskets at work. Alright, so I don't want the cheese, the smoked salmon, the pepper jellies or the fruit (seriously, gourmet pears??!!!), but if it is sweet and full of ingredients I can't afford myself, I will love you for it.

And during the holidays people always say "eat more, it's the holidays!" Hopefully, no one is thinking "geez, 6 months and you still have all that baby weight?"


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Wow, it's been a week since I've blogged. That flew by fast. Interestingly enough, I am at it again, just finishing up two days worth of dishes. This time it's 12:45 in the morning. Not quite as bad.

These days Tylo hasn't been going to bed until very late. Like midnight. Which means me getting to clean up after dinner, showering, getting ready to bed, all gets pushed back until after she goes to bed. So I used to have the energy for a post after midnight when all is done and I'm ready for bed. But now it's like 2 am and I'm too tired. Straight to bed I go. Not that I can fall asleep. There's nothing I hate more than working then having to go straight to bed without the couch potato down time.

The last two days Tylo has been a nightmare come bedtime. She loves to play too much and fights being put to bed, even though she's rubbing her eyes and yawning like crazy. It started maybe a week ago. Usually she goes to bed between 5-6 for two hours, wakes up at 9 for a feeding, and is back to bed in an hour. These days that hour has stretched to three. For some reason, she wakes up earlier too. 5 am, instead of 7 am. I adore playing with her with her daddy around, but she can't be coping well with all that missed sleep.

So her doctor suggested that Tylo was old enough to skip the 9 pm feeding and we should try to let her cry it out. She just turned 6 months and that's supposed to be old enough for the CIO method. I felt bold when I got home yesterday, and was ready to try it that night. Up until this point I pretty much gave in to every peep she's ever made. I rushed to satisfy her every need to eat, be held, be smiled at. Most of the time she was great anyway, and not like I had a job I needed the sleep for. I almost felt like I didn't deserve any normalcy, and I was obligated to make sure she got whatever she wanted. But it must be true - babies need their uninterrupted sleep, and lots of it.

Anyway, to start off slow, I didn't skip the feeding, but put her to bed right away. When Tylo first started crying around 12 last night, it was more like a frustrated yelling. I watched the clock for 5 minutes, amused really. Two more minutes and she was asleep. I couldn't believe how easy that was.

Somehow, she started up again 15 minutes later. Then it got louder and louder. The wailing, high pitched cry. Then came the tears, and the hoarseness. I kept peeping in on her, making sure her blanket wasn't pulled over her face and suffocating her, or that her head wasn't trapped against her crib rail. None of those. It got worse and worse. Babies have this way of crying like they're in the worst pain in the world, completely abandoned and scared to death. I started watching the clock. I told myself to wait 10 minutes. I secretly wished HP would ask me to pick her up because he wanted to sleep. I managed to wait 12.

As soon as I rushed to her crib and started patting her chest she stopped wailing but she was still shaking and sobbing. I picked her up and held her tight and it took a several minutes for her to calm down her sobs, even though she started smiling right away.

When I put her down again, she went to sleep pretty quickly. Probably tired herself out with all that crying. But she woke up several times later, and went to bed pretty easily each time.

Tonight we tried again, and the cry fest happened all over again. This time we rushed to her faster but it took a lot longer to calm her down. And she did not sleep quickly after that. It was probably 3 when she finally fell in a deep sleep.

Sometimes, after I watch a really sad movie, or have a bad fight with HP, I cry pretty hard. I get the worst headache afterward, my nose and ears are completely clogged. When I wake up my eyes are still swollen and the headache is still there. My skin is irritated from all the salty tears. And I'm not even wailing until my voice is gone like Tylo is.

They say the cry it out method can take an hour of wailing, sobbing uncontrollably, even choking and vomiting. But in three days or even less, your baby will sleep through the night. I haven't heard of a single case where it didn't work, when the parents stuck with it.

Maybe it would save me some sanity, and some much needed time to sleep and to myself. But I am definitely not ready to subject my baby to that.

To be continued . . .


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's 1:15 AM and I just finished washing a sh*tload of dishes so I started thinking . . .

Remember those days when you spent hours of your plentiful time just to save a buck? I'm reminded of photocopying pages off of borrowed textbooks to avoid paying even the used price, or driving to three different grocery stores in one day to get the best prices at each. Or how about eating at home first before going out to birthday dinners so you could just share an entree when you got there? Some of us also remember taking shots of vodka, tequila, whatever, in the parking lot outside the club to avoid paying for drinks once inside.

Well, somewhere along the road time became money. Anytime I bought something or did a chore, I thought about what that time meant in terms of hourly salary and how it just wasn't worth it anymore. Should I pay a shipping fee, or spend an hour and a half driving to get that book? Should I spend two hours washing my car, or eight bucks for someone else to do a better job? And, now with baby and all, should I bite the bullet and get a housecleaner, or torture myself with a dirty house 28 days out of the month?

I know several people that have already gone that direction. Maybe getting someone to do the deep clean once a month or so. Most recently, I even know of someone that had a dinner party of 12 and had someone come and wash the dishes while we were eating! (Yeah, that was a bit awkward. The guests didn't know if the Chinese lady in the kitchen was their mom or what, we were never introduced.) It certainly makes sense - having the time to spend with my husband and child is well worth it, instead of driving HP crazy making him take full responsibility of Tylo while I run around like a mad woman, trying to dust, organize and disinfect every surface of my home every two weeks.

But of course, there lies the deeper reason behind me not wanting someone else to clean my home, touch my stuff. I mean, even HP doesn't get to touch some of our things without me checking that his hands are washed first (I'm sure he does anyway when I'm not looking). Yes, yes, you already know. And of course, I'm working hard to reverse the mind workings of the germaphobe in me, and I've come a long way, but I'm not sure I'll ever shake it to the point where I can trust someone else to do my cleaning.

Let me tell you, I know someone that cleans houses for a living. They don't come with an arsenal of washrags, one per surface. That same towel goes from toilet to kitchen counter. And it sure doesn't get washed out or even disinfected first. I mean, I don't even use the same duster for the tv as I do for Tylo's stuff. Can you imagine? I'm reminded of HP's Taco Bell employee story. He had the lovely job of cleaning up the blow-out mess left in the men's restrooms on certain occasions (and I'm sure you've all walked in a public restroom and seen that before), and he had no idea how to go about it. Well, he took his trusty mop and swished it around the toilet, the rim, inside the bowl. In and out of the mopping bucket it went. Same mop that later goes to mop the restaurant floor. So don't you even dare think about letting your kids eat off the floor. ANYWHERE.

I guess I could go the route of providing all the supplies, require the use of paper towels versus cloths, listing my expectations clearly, then watching the cleaning person like a hawk as they went about the cleaning. But yeah, they would last about 5 minutes before declaring me crazy and annoying as hell. Or I could ask HP to help more, but then we'd have that same conversation again of "why don't we just hire a cleaning lady?". Not that I like the results of his "cleaning" anyway.

And I suppose there are some isolated cleaning chores that can be done without worry of too much contamination. Like taking apart the stove and cleaning all the grooves (I can just surface disinfect afterward) or maybe scrubbing down the shower. Cleaning the leaves and dirt from our neglected balcony. But those items would last, oh 30 minutes, and I doubt anyone would come out for that.

So, it's back to square one. And I should quit complaining about all I have to do because I just brought it upon myself anyway. I am jealous of those of you out there that have other people cleaning for you.

I gotta go fold the laundry because I promised myself I'd be in bed by 2.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Baking a Warm Home

I've been baking up a storm the last two days. I decided that baking 1) keeps our place warm, 2) is relatively cheap to do, depending on the recipe, and 3) satisfies my intense craving for carbs during the cold months. And, as much cleaning as I have to do afterward (muffin pans are a b*tch to wash!) it is very theraputic for me. I would love a career as a baker. Except that for some reason you have to bake in the wee hours of the early morning to have fresh goods for the day so that may not work out so well for a night owl like me.

Yesterday I made blueberry muffins, oat snack cakes, and bran muffins. I'm supposed to help HP lower his cholesterol and I thought he would hate the "healthy" muffins I made him. I love bran but the oat cakes weren't my style. Turns out he really likes them! Ate way more than he should have, which kinda defeated the purpose. I think on the next batch I'll sneak in the applesauce instead of butter and see if he even notices. If not, victory! These are great to freeze and have on hand when there is nothing else to eat.

Today I made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and chocolate cupcakes with caramel frosting, to take to a dinner party tomorrow.

You can't tell but inside they're a deep chocolately-red.
Now, I'm not one to pat myself on the back (not in public, anyway) but I made some damn good red velvet cupcakes. The recipe is from Emeril Lagasse on I made a couple of changes to make it more chocolately (they had a wimpy 2 tsp cocoa versus my 1/3 cup) and using ingredients I had laying around. They are rich, dense, moist and have this odd crisp crust that is so yummy. The frosting is simple and goes perfectly on top. I am in love with these cupcakes.

[I don't know if you care but if you make cupcakes, don't spend a fortune on pretty cupcake liners. They just end up taking on the color of your cake (my martha stewart pastel ones ended up brown) so look even worse than the cheap liners.]

So now our home is nice and toasty thanks to my baking. Kitty and Tylo thank me, I'm sure.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The wrong way to put up christmas lights

What happens when you have a few extra strands of lights and a laundry list of chores you are trying to avoid?

Apparently, if you're me, you get a 5 foot tall gaudy as hell neon candy cane.

I didn't want to do any more cleaning. I wanted to "take a break" during Tylo's nap and watch a movie. Usually during Tylo's nap I'm trying to decide if I should get dinner ready, do the laundry, or do some other type of cleaning. But I really wanted to avoid all that, just for a few hours. The tree was already set up (and GORGEOUS, I might add), and somehow I got the notion that instead of stringing the remaining strands of lights around the window, I would create some sort of holiday shape. A candy cane seemed easy enough. I thought I had red and white lights and it would be perfect.

Well, turns out I only had the multi-color and the white. No problem, it would be a colorful candy cane. I knew they sold things like this, pre-made, but I figured it wouldn't be so hard and what else would I do with the extra lights. I got to work. A little over an hour, lots of little strips of packing tape, and many re-dos later, I had a big bright candy cane. I was so proud.

I thought this big giant candy cane would bring so much joy and warm the hearts of all the people that would drive by on their way home from work. I thought HP would enjoy it the most as he got home after a long commute each day.

Well, he got home and called it gaudy. He noticed it right away when he pulled in the complex and was surprised it turned out to be our window displaying what looked like a giant question mark. Not just surprised, kinda embarassed.

He was right. That night we had the blinds pulled up and that giant 5 foot tall candy cane was always bright in the corner of my eye. Then today when out with Tylo on our walk, I look up at our window and realized that the damn candy cane was backward! I didn't think to put it in the direction for the outsiders looking in. Now every freakin person is looking at a backward candy cane. I mean, you don't see candy canes that look like this, do you?

You don't see any multi-colored candy canes either.

Sigh. I haven't taken it down yet, but I am too embarassed to turn it on again. I should have just stuck to doing the laundry.


"It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15"

Wow, I was forwarded this article and I'd like to plaster it on my forehead.

Now I admit it, I didn't get it either. I didn't necessarily complain when I saw friends become mothers and disappear off the face of the earth, I thought we simply stopped having things in common.

Now I do. I think, quite possibly, my overpacking ways make it even worse (see previous Mother = Backpain post).

Every waking moment with Tylo is work. When she's not awake I'm still planning, cleaning, packing. I coordinate my day to make sure she doesn't wait too long for the next feeding, the next diaper change, the next nap. I make sure I don't take her in and out of the car too much because god she hates being strapped in tight. I also have this constant need to teach my baby. Tell her about the world, explain what I do, describe everything around us. So she can pick up language and TALK to me. I want to have a conversation with my daughter and I can't wait for it.

I can't even begin to describe it but it is a lot of work, and it's exhausting. I was less tired when I was working 11 hours a day without a break and planning a wedding. And trust me, and trust us. We REALLY miss our friends. We miss talking about you and your lives. I want to hear about your dates, the loser guys, the work drama. Notice how you ask about Tylo and I quickly change the subject? Sure sometimes stuff happens and I like to tell you about her being constipated or how she started rolling over, but I think your life is way more interesting than mine. I really wish I had time to call everyone I cared and hear all about what's going on. (And if you're thinking about when I have time to blog, it's between midnight and two am. If you're up, let me know!)

But hey, we SAHMs know better than to complain. We know we are getting the better deal.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

The perfect gift

What do people buy for their baby's first Christmas? Seriously, you already buy every article of clothing, toy, book, chair, stroller accessory, jumper, exersaucer or other thingamajig they could want or not even know they wanted. What do you get them? Do you not get them anything?

So, I came up with the idea to buy my baby girl a cute mouse doll, since she is a mouse (sounds better than RAT). As I guessed, people don't really make mouse dolls. I searched all of the internet, avoiding Mickey and Minnie along the way, and these were the top two contenders. One is more cartoony, one is more organic looking (I was leaning toward the organic one). My goal is to make this doll her go-to doll when she gets a little older, and it will be dragged along with her everywhere. I had one of those. It was Nurse Bonnie the Bear. God I loved that thing. It was so ratty it might as well have been a rat.

I really like the one below (if it had a girl version) but I can't buy it. It's simply a crochet pattern for sale that makes a mouse doll like the one below. Do you think I can pay the seller to make it? Or if I get the pattern, and miraculously learn to crochet, maybe I'll have it done in time for next Christmas. But that still doesn't solve the dilemma of what to get Tylo THIS Christmas.

Then, while online shopping today, I suddenly remembered - ETSY! They have great handmade stuff and maybe just what I'm looking for. I found this gem:

This is Margie the Mouse and it is absolutely perfect, and one of a kind. And, because I'm a sucker for sales, I ended up with a second one as HP's gift to Tylo, for half off.

Meet Libby the Cat. How cute are they? If you're interested, search Tiddlywink's shop on etsy.com. I am so excited!

This marks the first Black Friday that I "shopped". Ever.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Season of Eating begins tomorrow

I love Thanksgiving!

I really really do. I LOVE Thanksgiving!

I like how my big crazy extended family gets together. We all make a ton of food, probably more than 3 times what we could possibly eat. Most of it is already cold, I hate cold food, but the newly cooked stuff was so yummy. There's the adult table and the kids table. I'm 28 years old and I have a daughter, but I'll probably still be sat at the kids' table. Can't say I mind. At least now I can have wine without my parents' watching over me. Last year I didn't have any alcohol because I was pregnant, but no one knew anyway. And then when we all proclaim how full we are and how we can't eat another bite, someone (usually me) declares it dessert time and we make sweet soup with sesame mochi dumplings and ginger. YUM. And then there's cake, homemade Chinese pastries and lately, cookies and brownies (courtesy of me).

Since I'm an "adult" now (adult in Chinese is married with baby) , I decided I should cook too, not just bake. So, I slaved away all night making pot roast and mashed potatoes. I had to cheat and make it the night before because we have to leave early tomorrow, far drive and all. We'd be lucky to get out of the house by 11. If it turns out good, I will bring it. If not, HP and I will be eating it for the next month because I made a hell of a lot of pot roast!

Funny thing, how our Thanksgivings grew. Used to be like 5 families, or 20 people. Then it was 9 or even more families. Like 40 or more people. We started inviting everyone under the sun. We'd cram into booths at my parents' restaurant, all eating at the same time but having a million different conversations, no one really listening to one another. Maybe the loudest ones are heard. This year we're all going to Sacramento to cram into my parents' new house, which I haven't seen. It will be a small, intimate Thanksgiving this year, which are my favorite Thanksgivings anyway. Just 5 families =)


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mother = Back Pain

Oh how I envy those moms that say they love their little diaper pods because all they need is a small pack of wipes, a couple of diapers, and they're off on their strolls, errands, whatever it may be. Their kids must not drool. Or spit up.

Why is it that whenever I leave the house I carry like 3 different diaper bags and a gigantic stroller with me? Ok, the stroller is because I don't think it's fair to put my baby in an uncomfortable umbrella stroller that has no padding and makes her sit upright while she naps. I like the features of my freakin heavy 30 lb stroller that I can't weave through narrow aisles with. But my back pays the price. You'd think I would have lost more weight getting that thing in and out of the car every day. But what excuse do I have for packing half her belongings each time we leave the house?

I've always been an over packer. I bring at least one extra outfit, two pairs of underwear, a few extra days worth of toiletries. I have sensitive skin so I can't use hotel stuff. I even bring snacks because there's nothing worse than not having chocolate in the middle of the night. I refuse to raid the minibar and overpay for anything.

So it's no surprise that with daughter in tow, I am now an even worse offender. I have to pack twice as many diapers as I think I need in case I change her diaper after she poops and then Tylo decides she's not done, which causes me to use more diapers than usual. I pack an extra change of clothes because she might spit up all over the place or she might have a "blowout" (for those that don't know, it's when the poop gets EVERYWHERE and literally blows out of her diaper, up her back, through the leg openings, mashing into her pants, onesie, whatever. I pack two extra pairs of socks in case they fall off or strangers touch them. I pack enough formula and bottles so that she could eat every two hours if need be, even though she eats every 3-4 hours. I pack one extra bottle on top of that in case something happens and I end up being out later than expected (even though I have spare ready-to-drink bottles in the car). I pack one bib and one burp cloth for each feeding, with one extra of each. I pack a book, a blanket, her giant spider toy, two extra backup toys in case she drops her spider toy. I have two pacifiers in case one gets dirty. Of course there are diaper wipes, tissues, antibacterial wipes and foam for me, and a washcloth just in case there's a really big mess. The changing pad is a must, and a disposable liner for public changing tables. And the biggest thing of all - her Baby Bjorn. Because she gets fussy and won't sit in her stroller and I can't carry my baby and push the stroller so I have to strap that giant baby on. Then there are separate Bjorn bibs. That sucker is a lifesaver but it takes up a diaper bag on its own!

Seriously, this is to give you an idea of what it's like if I want to go to the mall or something. If I go to grandma/grandpa's, then I add to that her infant chair and a swaddle blanket.

Why do I pack a farm? Because it's always what I didn't bring that I end up needing the most. And I hate being unprepared.

But I have a system when I'm running errands. Once I get it packed most stuff can sit in a car. I gave up carrying a purse and now carry a mini diaper bag with just one bottle, burp cloth, bib, paci, whatever. Then I go back to the car between stores, change Tylo there, and replenish. It's tougher when I can't keep going back to the car and I have two diaper bags in the gigantic stroller basket (it still isn't big enough).

So there you have it, a day in the life of a neurotic SAHM. I hope you're not as bad as I am and you manage to take your baby out without looking like you're taking a week-long vacation!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Joys of Motherhood

(Tylo after bathtime)

Today was a tough day on Tylo. I dragged her to an insanely long meeting with a real estate agent to sign the listing/disclosure papers for my parent's house. Sure, she enjoyed the first hour because I think she liked our agent, but two hours later, she cried harder than I ever heard her cry because she was exhausted and the 20 minute nap she had that day wasn't cutting it. Then we had dinner at grandma and grandpa's and when we finally got home she didn't even get her relaxing bath.

So tonight instead of trying to put her to sleep early, HP and I sat on the couch, making silly faces and noises to make her laugh. She laughed so hard and loud and was so happy from all the attention. And I thought to myself - how wonderful it is to have a little person who can be so angry with you one moment and then adore you the next. She really does love us so very much, even if we do occasionally (okay, more often than that) keep her up too long.

I love her big silly toothless smile. There's nothing I wouldn't do to get it out of her. There is no greater joy than to make your daughter REALLY laugh. Makes all those no-sleep nights totally worth it.

You know what else motherhood teaches you? To appreciate your own parents so much. Makes me want to do everything I can to help my own parents. Too bad now I have a baby attached to the hip and I don't have the time to do it.

Do nice things for your parents while you have the time to put in the effort!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No time for a post, but . . .

Been super busy lately. Working on a couple of special projects. Yah, don't work, so I create special projects for myself =). Plus Tylo doesn't sleep, so that doesn't help.

Anyway, no real post, but I thought I would introduce Tylo's new friend.

Here's Na-Na, the organic stuffed banana. How cute is this?

I tried to take a pic with Tylo holding Na-Na because it's the perfect size for her cute but oddly gigantic baby hands, but she had this huge boogie in her nose and I can't let my baby be published that way =P

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What did we do before YouTube?

My mom told me the other day that ever since I showed my dad how to look up Tylo's videos on YouTube, he's been watching them every night to see if I posted new ones. And they ask why I haven't posted more.

That is so darn cute. Being their first grandchild, I imagine they would miss Tylo quite a bit and wishes they could see her more. Now that they're moving to Sacramento, it will be just once a month or even two before they get to see her. I used to make a weekly trip to SF to see them. Gave Tylo and I something to do and gave me some time to run errands without her if I had them. Tylo is just starting to get stranger anxiety though, and the other day my mom said she wouldn't stop crying and went from "Ma, Ma, Ma" to "Ba, Ba, Ba". It's great to pretend she was calling for HP and I, but no, those are just the noises easiest for babies to make.

So yes, YouTube saves us. Even late at night, like now, when I miss my baby girl, I pull up the YouTube videos and watch (over and over and over). I watch how much she's changed since her 1st, 2nd, 3rd month. I guess it's my dad and I that make the "times viewed" number keep going up!

For her grandparents, I will try to add more videos. To find on YouTube, just search by Tylo's first and last name.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You know you're anal when . . .

Today I was in line paying for my temporary (I hope) "fat" clothes at Old Navy when Tylo was getting frustrated sitting in her stroller waiting for me. The kind lady behind me was trying to make her smile, and she was successful. Tylo forgot she was in line forever and smiled a bit. I thanked the lady for her help.

Then, GASP, she reached out and tickled Tylo's toes.

Now, mind you, this is not the first time it has happened, someone trying to touch my baby. I have thought about making a big sign that says "It's flu season - PLEASE DON'T TOUCH" but I was worried it might seem assumptive, like everyone wants to touch my cute baby. Then I thought I would make a sign that says "Please ask before you touch", but that might not be any better.

Every parenting magazine will tell you that it is ok to protect your baby and ask people not to touch. Especially during flu season. But so many people out there just want to touch my baby! Don't they know babies put things in their mouths? Don't they know babies can't get flu shots and have more vulnerable immune systems and can't handle the germs???!!!! I tell myself every time that I would be brave enough to stop these well-intentioned people from touching Tylo. I have a great excuse after all, it's flu season. But some how I just fall dead silent as I see them reaching for her. A couple of times I managed to duck away, or hold an object in front of her to block the hands.

Today I cringed, but I didn't say anything. I am such a wimp. I let her toes get tickled and went to the car afterward to change her socks.

A few minutes after a little toddler boy, maybe 1.5 yrs old, came at Tylo's stroller and tried to reach for her birdie toy, the one that she ALWAYS HAS IN HER MOUTH. I didn't even think as I started pulling the stroller away from him, but he kept coming toward us. We were still stuck in line and I felt genuinely silly and bad because his parents are probably thinking I'm a freak or just super mean for not letting their baby touch my baby's toy. I ruined a perfectly cute baby moment and Tylo's chance of making any friends because I am a germaphobe.

He managed to get a swipe at her stroller and I wasn't sure if he touched the birdie or not. So I scrubbed down the front of the stroller with a diaper wipe and then switched out her toy (when I was out of sight of course). Can't take any chances.

Seriously, am I sick or what? He was just a freakin kid. I think I need help.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Election Aftermath

This post is a bit late, but I'd like to comment on last Tuesday's election.

It's hard not to get emotional. I didn't run out and buy a newspaper the following day like many others, but I was glued to the tv and had to grab quite a few tissues when Obama was declared the victor. It was definitely an inspirational moment, and I look forward to telling my daughter all about that day. My husband asked me yesterday if I thought having a black president would change anything. Of course it does. Children, especially non-white children, will get to watch tv and see that someone of color is the president of our nation. It is going to change EVERYTHING. And I'm so glad. Because race is always in the foreground of all non-white people. We are always very aware of the fact that we are not white. We might not notice it so much living in California, but I am always reminded of my Asian skin anytime I step out of my comfort zone. Even if you're not an Obama supporter, your heartstrings probably still got tugged at a bit. Will we get universal healthcare and solve the economic crisis in the next four years? Probably not, but his victory has given new dreams to the next generation.

The next big issue was not as clear cut. I watched the polls all night for the Prop 8 results and it wasn't clear until I checked again the next morning. It passed. In fact, it passed in almost all counties outside the bay area. It looked like a fight in most counties, but in the end, I saw people on tv cheering that same-sex couples will not be allowed to marry. How can you cheer to tramp on people's rights? Why are people so adamant about controlling the lives of others? What harm can two men or two women marrying possibly have on you, on your children? No argument against gay marriage makes any sense. I remember the very rainy weekend before the election. There were so many people out on in the pouring rain carrying signs for both sides. I understand the No signs, but surprisingly the Yes sign holders were in larger numbers. Why the passion over something that is not your business?

Here is a link to an online petition to reopen Prop 8: http://www.petitiononline.com/seg5130/petition.html

I'm glad Tylo isn't old enough to understand that this world still has so much to learn. I hope by the time she grows up this nation that claims to give independence and civil rights to all of its citizens actually lives up to it. I hope one day a president will actually have the nerve to speak up and give equal rights to gays and lesbians and all the in-betweens. I don't think they are even against it - they just are afraid of losing votes. It's disgusting and very sad.


The Great Indoors

Been a little busy lately, running around town trying to take advantage of the last few days left of semi-warm weather. Babies seem to love being outside - the colors, movement, sounds, it stimulates them and all their senses. I don't even have to move around - Tylo would be happy on the balcony looking out. Anyway, it's getting pretty darn cold out and I worried about her our entire 30 min walk, even though she was bundled up well. And if it's raining - forget about it. Not that I'm afraid she'll get wet and cold, which I am, I'm more afraid of all the drivers out there. Just like all the other dangers out there, drivers seem that much worse when you have a little one to protect.

The other day while I was walking around our complex a very large male boxer (dog) got away from its owner and came right toward us. I had Tylo in my Bjorn and had enough sense to wrap my arms around her dangling limbs and turned my back to the approaching dog. It seemed more playful than intimidating, but I wasn't taking my chances. When it got to us, the dog actually stood up and placed its paws and tried to push me down! I knew it didn't mean harm but this was a huge muscular dog and if it wanted to, it could knock me down and maul us both. Luckily the owner caught up to us right away and pulled the dog away from us. He was genuinely sorry. Still, dog owners, no matter how well behaved you think your dog is, keep it leashed. How bad would you feel if your dog tore a limb off a baby? It doesn't help that I am NOT a dog lover. Maybe because one of my earliest memories of a dog was this little tiny one with white curly fur that bit me right on the hand.

Anyway, so I'm worried about what we will do every day during the colder months. There's only so many times you can go to the mall. And I'd go crazy if we stayed home more than two days in a row. There's only so many times you can read "Mimi's Toes" to a baby. Any suggestions?


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Homeless. FOREVER.

So we didn't get the house. We heard the seller wasn't willing to budge on his too-high list price, but we didn't know he would be so unreasonable. He's probably stubborn because he bought it two years ago, at the top of the market, and put money into it for the remodel so he's in way too deep. We bid a price that would be accurate if the market kept falling, even though comps in the past few months have been higher. Oh well, let him deal with the additional mortgage payments even though he's long moved out.

Maybe in another 3 years HP and I will find another house we can both agree on.

Time to go vote!!!! NO ON 8!!!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Homeless, forever?

So HP and I have been house shopping for, oh, 3 years. Of course we took a break here and there, during the winter months, when I was in the last few months of pregnancy. He is actively on all the MLS sites, and if I had to count, we've seen no fewer than 300 different homes in this time. No joke. Yet we're still homeless.

I blame all those people out there that drove up home prices. So don't get me started on whether I feel sorry for any one that has foreclosed on.

Prices have come down, but they didn't tell that to the sellers in our desired neighborhoods. Peninsula home prices are still so overinflated, you can't get two bathrooms for under a million. And if there is one thing I must have in a home, it's that second bathroom. I'd prefer 2.5, but will settle for 2 if need be. I just like the idea of keeping the guest bath clean and doing whatever I want to my own. I'll admit it. Since becoming a mom, I have let my bathroom get near gross before cleaning it. (I am THIS close to hiring a cleaning person but I think that would gross me out more.)

But you know what I would REALLY love? What gets me more excited than square footage and even a well-manicured back yard? A walk-in pantry. Oh, to have an insane amount of kitchen space. To have the crockpot, the hand-mixer, the food processor, the waffle maker, the flour sifter, the potato ricer, and my "good" skillet, all within hand's reach, clean and ready to use. I am so sick of clearing out the 15 pots and pans from the oven when I feel like baking, piling them onto the counter just so I can preheat the darn thing. If only . . .

Yup, that's what I want in life. So today we took a huge step - we put an offer in on a house! Our first offer on a home together (and my first ever). We actually both really like the house, not love. But if you knew how much trouble we've had finding a house we both liked, you would know this is such a rarity. The neighborhood is gorgeous, San Mateo Park. We are definitely one of the ten cheapest homes in the entire neighborhood, I would say. Tylo is going to be dirt poor compared to our neighbors, and I'll be the only one without a bugaboo at the park. I happily report that the neighborhood's Obama supporters outnumbered the McCain supporters, so I shouldn't become Republican any time soon.

It's a real charming house, very modest. Doesn't have much of a backyard, not an inch more square footage than the minimum that we need. It's been remodeled and is move-in ready, which is so wonderful, and I can imagine HP, Tylo, and Baby #2 there for a very long time, enjoying cozy family moments. So, keep your fingers crossed that we get the home, even though we did low-ball the offer.

The kitchen is not my taste (I dream of a white airy kitchen with cornflower blue walls), but newish and well kept, and very functional.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I wanted to have a fun day out today but the weather hasn't been so great and it's been wet. I can't risk getting Tylo all wet until my stroller rain cover comes in (they think of everything, don't they?) so we went for a quick walk when it stopped raining.

You can't see her Halloween outfit since she's all bundled up, but here she is, ready to face the cold:

I was excited to put her in a coat for the first time. We have several of them and it hasn't been cold enough so she will outgrow them soon. Turns out that even though it was rainy, it was pretty warm outside, so she didn't really need the coat after all.

Speaking of cute clothes, I would love a job creating them. There are some witty creative people out there. I mean, what mom can resist buying this for her baby?

I smile every time I see it. So darling. No one will even see her in it but me and HP because she only wears it to sleep. She'll get to wear it maybe four times before she outgrows it (yes, even past Halloween), but it is so worth it. Shopping for baby clothes is definitely one of my favorite motherly duties.

Here are some more pics to share since I finally uploaded a few:

She is the splitting image of her dad here (soooo not a good thing for a girl). I feel like I'm staring right at him!

Happy Halloween Everyone!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I like Tuesdays

Today was supposed to be a bit more exciting. Bottle Shock was supposed to play for baby night at the movies and I got Tylo all ready with an early bath so we could head out as soon as HP got home. Right around 5 pm I checked the listing again and they were playing something else that didn't look the least bit interesting. Bummer. I was totally looking forward to it too.

Luckily, Tuesday is one of our favorite tv nights. House is one of the two shows we enjoy watching together. True Blood is the other one. And, I'm so excited, 24 is coming back! It's been a long, agonizing wait thanks to the writers' strike, but it should be worth the wait. Tuesday is also 90210 night, which I'm just having the time to watch, at 1:30 in the morning. I know, I know, don't give me grief. It's my guilty pleasure and it's super addicting. Even if I am like 15 years older than the characters (well, close!).

So what else exciting did I do tonight? I cleaned out my pantry! I had microwave popcorn, hot chocolate and gum from 2007. Guess it's been a while since the last cleaning. I had like another 3 boxes of popcorn that are going to expire by November 2008, from my pregnancy days. Guess I'll be eating a lot of popcorn in the next few weeks. It felt great to clear out the junk, and it really wasn't as bad as it has been. I am super guilty of overstocking my pantry because I hate to run out of stuff and I these days I can't just run to the store that easily. I just have to learn how to eat/use it all.

I also realized that half a pantry shelf is full of tea/coffee products. I don't know why, guess I used to be addicted to caffeine.

Other good news - Tylo has finally learned to use her arms and has better body control now. So, bed time has been a million times better. Last night, even though we dragged her out late to our anniversary dinner, she slept through the night without a peep, and didn't even try to roll over! That was an entire 10.5 hours. It was GLORIOUS. Tonight so far hasn't been as great, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


Monday, October 27, 2008

One exciting year

One year ago I married the man of my dreams.

One year ago I also found the words "PREGNANT" on my test at 5 am in the morning of the biggest day of my life so far.

It's been the most life-changing year of my life, the hardest, and the happiest. This post is dedicated to my dear husband:

Because I forget to say "I love you" when you first get home and I'm busy feeding or bathing Tylo, and instead I say "did you wash your hands?"

Because we don't get to say good night to one another, and I find you passed out in bed while you're "comforting" her.

Because I almost never say "I love you" back at the end of our phone conversations and you are always so sweet to.

Today I say I love you a million times over. I hope you never fail to hear it even when I don't say it.

Can you believe it's been an entire year since we've been married? Tylo is the best thing to ever happen to us, but I do wish we had more happy you and me time alone.

You'll probably never read this because you're too busy reading your wine sites, but Happy Anniversary Honey-pie. I love you.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hanging in there

It's been a tough week. Last night was the worst of it, with Tylo barely sleeping until 6 in the morning. I think I spent half the night putting her back to bed over and over again. I'm running on less sleep than the first month, because at least then I had HP to relieve me in the morning. Now, it's just me. Poor thing, I can't even get mad at her. She has no control over her little body, because her natural instinct is just to roll. She's probably just as frustrated as I am.

So far tonight seems to be better. I tried to exhaust her during the day and she went to sleep without a peep at 6:30. She woke for her 9 pm feeding and it took 2 hours to get her down again but she's been quiet for about 20 mins now. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some sleep finally.

So some exciting news to share:

Let me preface by saying I never win ANYTHING from raffles or anything else where I'm picked from a drawing. NEVER. NOT A THING. It could be a drawing where there are 10 prizes for 12 people and I'll be one of the two people that leave prize-less. (Yes, that was from experience). I don't even bother with them anymore.

So I started following
coolmompicks.com for baby items to covet but can't afford and they always have these giveaways. The very first time I visited, I entered a drawing for this cute little apple bib:

And, I won! My name is on the website and everything "Congrats to XXX for winning the apple bib!" How cool is that? I guess you could say that it wasn't me winning it, it was Tylo. (Even HP wins stuff when I enter him in drawings)
Needless to say I've been entering for more prizes ever since. If only I entered to get something bigger, and more expensive. =P

It came in the mail over the weekend - can't wait to give it to Tylo. She's mommy's lucky charm!


Monday, October 20, 2008

The beginning of the end

They warned us, those parents that have already been through it. They said to enjoy the newborn phase because then they start getting into everything. Well, it's starting. And it's exhausting.

Goodbye to the 3 hour morning naps. Somehow that got moved to the afternoon, meaning bedtime was almost midnight, meaning mommy got no time to herself to eat dinner, clean up, shower, catch up on my DVR recordings. Just like that, everything changed. Last week I was bragging about what a good sleeper Tylo was.

This week, she can roll over. On a whim. I set her down in her crib, the next second she's rolled to the edge on her tummy, with feet sticking through the rails. Practically stuck, then she starts wailing because she doesn't like being on her tummy all squished against the rail. Well then sweetie, why did you roll in the first place? I put her on her back again, she rolls right over again. We do this about 12 times. How do you get a rolling baby to sleep? You don't. It was 8 in the morning and I was not ready to give up a morning nap. So I let her exhaust herself on her tummy. Funny she rolls from back to front with almost no effort now, and once she gets there, she doesn't know what to do with her limp little arms. She doesn't even try to get back, even though she hates it on her tummy. And she's gone from front to back before, I've seen it. But all that knowledge goes out the window when you're cornered against the rail I guess. After about 5 mins crying on her tummy she fell asleep when I laid her on her back again. It's a little evil I know, but it's one of things you will understand when you're a mom (like when I let her cry to fish her boogers out).

So bed time is much more of a challenge and the middle of the night is a complete nightmare. It takes 30 mins to lay her to bed, instead of the usual 5-10. If she wakes up in the middle of the night? Another hour, minimum, instead of 5. Over and over and over. Cause when she wakes up, she just starts rolling.

Some one tell me this rolling thing is a novelty and they will tire of it. Soon.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Donate for Free

Ugh - I'm so mad at myself. I keep telling myself to remember to shop through Maatiam.com so a portion of what I buy online is donated to my favorite donation recipient, the Summer Search Foundation. I just spent $250 at Macys online, which would have meant a $10.68 donation. I also spent like $100 at Amazon this week too (there's always something to buy on that freakin website and the free shipping is the sinker). That is no small potatoes!

Anyway, if you're an online shopper, please shop through the Maatiam website. It feels so good to know you're helping a good cause with your shopping habit. Even if your favorite non-profit isn't one of the groups that work with them, you will have no problem choosing another worthy one.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Just like the old days

Tylo, HP and I had a wonderful day today.

We finally made it out of the house around 2:30, after I got to sleep in (as HP took care of Tylo) and enjoy a hot cup of coffee (I NEVER get to have hot drinks around Tylo. Nevermind the safety issue, by the time I get to it, whatever drink I have in hand is lukewarm at best). We went and walked for two hours around Piedmont Avenue strolling through independent gift and baby shops with Tylo in the Bjorn and stopping to eat things that looked yummy (fried potato balls, pizza, frozen yogurt). Then we visited Whole Foods (I'm so in love with that store even though I can barely afford it) and got a delicious 21-day dry aged rib eye and asparagus to cook for beef and veggie day (we're still kinda on the diet), got brie for pre-dessert, and a huge carrot cupcake (a steal for $3) that I'm going to dig into in just a few minutes with some very expensive tea. I even had an entire glass of wine.

This is one of my favorite types of days. It is just like the type of day HP and I used to have pre-Tylo. Funny how it always revolves around food. I know it's no where near as exciting as the days most people have, but for me, it's just perfect. I'm a simple girl. That really likes food.

And by the way, it is totally worth paying $25 for ONE dry-aged steak. It tasted way better than most steakhouses! HP and I have mastered the way to make great steaks at home, thanks to America's Test Kitchen (love that show).

I should add that this must be a lucky day for us because we parked right in a "TOW AWAY" no parking construction zone because HP didn't read the right freakin sign when he got out of the car for the exact purpose of reading the sign and we didn't get towed!
I also got the coolest hologram bookmark that looks like the animals are moving to include in a certain person's upcoming bday card. I wish there was a way to show it here, it seriously is SO cool.

I hope there will always be days like this. Nice to know Tylo enjoyed it too.

And, here's a cute little faux magazine cover I was able to create for Tylo:


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Being a mom makes you no less vain

So the diet didn't work. I will worry about my weight later. Tomorrow I have a 4 pm appointment to get my first cosmetic procedure done (and I truly do mean first because I plan to get more later): mole removal.

I've always hated my moles. I know it could be a lot worse but I always felt like people weren't looking at me, they were counting my moles, or connecting them. I vowed to get them removed since I was like 14. Never really found the time or did the research.

Then four years ago, two darker, larger ones sprouted up. These suckers were awful. I wanted so bad to get them removed before my wedding day but I was told that the scars would not be worth it and then I simply ran out of time. HP said he didn't even notice them. But I know Tylo would one day get to the age where she would innocently say something like "Mommy I'm going to count the moles on your face" and by then I'll be too wrinkled to get the work done. So I made the appointment (it helps to not be working and being able to stay at home hiding from the world while I heal).

I have to be realistic. I've had at least 3 consultations and everyone tells me there will be scarring. They will be cut out and stitched. Lasers will not work because the pigment runs deep. I am prepared for the scarring. Wish me luck that nothing goes horribly wrong. No one seems to make mole removal their speciality, guess there's no money in it. If it helps, Dr. Javaheri seems to do some amazing work with boobs. Might come back to him after I'm done with baby #2.

So, since I can't make my body any more appealing, at least I can do something about my face.


It just wasn't meant to be

At approximately 3 pm today (Tues), the Cabbage Soup Diet that I tried so hard to adhere to, was no longer. I stuck with it for all of a day and a half.

I don't think it was just the fact that I had to eat the same thing over and over. I was so sick all day. I can't believe my body reacted so badly to having no meat and no carbs, but it did. I was so miserable and I had no energy for Tylo, so I decided first to just cheat a little so I could feel better. I had some turkey, then some cheese, then some shrimp, then a big bowl of cheerios. I still didn't feel better. So I just blew it all entirely and went for cookies and milk. I think I'm finally my old self again.

HP had a couple of shrimp, but I convinced him not to give up. After all, I still have a ton of Cabbage Soup left. He is pretty tired of it all, but I said he couldn't quit until he was literally sick.

So what I really want to do is make some brownies and red velvet cupcakes (which I don't even like, but I have an odd craving for), and go buy a shitload of ice cream, but I promise not to until day 7 is over and HP can eat indulge with me. All he wants is a steak, and lucky him, that day is just around the corner.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cabbage Soup - Day 1

Last night I excitedly bought all the groceries I needed for the first 3 days of our diet plan.
Day 1: Fruits and Cabbage Soup
Day 2: Veggies and Cabbage Soup
Day 3: Fruits and Veggies and Cabbage Soup

It took forever, but I made the Cabbage soup, which is actually a mix of many different veggies - lots of bulk. Cooked it for 3 hours. I made 2 huge pots and 1 smaller one, so I could try a curry version (not good). Bland, but edible.

It's 1 am on Day 1 (Day 2, technically) and I'm starving. I've been eating all day and I'm still starving. What does that tell you? I may not make it through the night.

I knew it would be tough, for someone like me who so savors her variety, who eats based on cravings and can't plan meals more than a day in advance because on that day, even that hour, I might feel like something different. But I did not know exactly how tough it would be.

I'm munching on a pear right now, which brings me no satisfaction. Today I've had 3 big bowls of soup, half a cantelope, half a watermelon, a bunch of grapes, a pear, an apple, a glass of juice, and now my second pear. I've peed like every 10 mins because I don't think my body is used to all the fluids.

At around 10 pm I literally got sick. My head got whoozy and nausea overwhelmed me. I feebly laid across the couch and begged my husband to get me an apple. I fought urges to vomit and quickly ate half of it. When I couldn't take it anymore, I went to bed and laid down, trying my darndest not to give in and throw up the fruit that is currently poisoning me. I managed to fall asleep for a couple of hours and then I woke to shower. Now I'm trying to stuff myself to get full (semi-satisfied) so I can make it through the night. This is totally like my second month of pregnancy, during our honeymoon in Japan where I got hungry every 20 mins and I made HP get me bland food. Miserable.

I'm not exaggerating. It really is that brutal. HP's friend sent him a text around 9:30: "I can't eat another bowl of cabbage soup". Man, that's how I feel. Who's going to give in first?

I finished my pear, still starving, and now I'm digging into the veggies I prepared for tomorrow: steamed broccoli, stir-fried broccoli, boiled carrots, sauteed spinach, sauteed tender greens. It is a depressing sea of green I tell ya. I always liked veggies and hated fruit, so maybe the worst is over? There is some light at the end of tomorrow's dark tunnel. We get to have baked potato and butter!

How is HP holding up? He is pretty sick of fruit, but otherwise great. He has no qualms about eating the same meal daily. He decided he likes the soup after tons of pepper and garlic powder is added.

I would kill for a nutty, fudgy brownie right now.

Will we make it through the week? Stay tuned . . .

Friday, October 10, 2008

The rules we break.

There are sooo many rules to keep our babies safe and healthy and sanitary. Last week I witnessed a mom of 4 feed her baby food that dropped on the ground. Not at home, mind you, but at a restaurant! Being a (former) germaphobe with ocd tendencies, of course I was shocked (that post is to come later). But really, by my 4th child, I might come around too. So, we laughed. But I was secretly mortified.

People always say how anal they were with their first child. Then the second child is left eating off floors and from unsanitized bottles, sitting around in their wet diapers for hours at a time while mommy is chasing after the first one. Me? I decided not to wait before I broke a few.

Rule #1. No bibs to sleep. I know they are a strangulation/suffocation hazard. But my baby was a spittup machine. Without the bibs she would have had to sleep with one or both shoulders wet. REALLY wet. And her neck. And her chest. I swear she used to move so little and was so well swaddled the bibs never would have moved very far. I have since stopped that. She ends up so far from the spot I set her down in I know it's not long before she knocks her head against the crib rail. Which brings me to -

Rule #2. No bumpers. I blame this one on HP. I wanted nothing but a fitted crib sheet (elastic all around) and Tylo in the bed. He wanted a "prettier" crib, so I gave in and bought an adorable ladybug crib set. The bumpers aren't pillow-like and at least they have ties on the top and the bottoms. And, in my defense, they really have saved her from knocking her poor head against the railing. Another great side effect was that it kept the light out of her bumper and she can't see outside and get distracted by us walking around. I literally duck under them as I move past the crib so she can't see me. I promise to remove them soon. HP also wanted sleep positioners and to give her a nice soft pillow. I told him I would literally KILL him if he dared put a pillow in my daughter's crib.

Rule #3. No Q-tips in ears. I don't know what it is, but cleaning out a dirty ear (or booger-filled nose for that matter) is super gratifying to me. And Tylo, like her daddy, has that crumbly dry wax, and sooo much of it! Twice a week I get out like 10 Q-tips and I clean all around the ear (don't worry, I don't push it in the hole) and I get so much stuff. I'm sure it doesn't bother her in the least but it makes me feel so good to get them clean. Then I go chase her daddy down with some Q-tips too.

(That said, I will also now admit that I let her cry for a few minutes sometimes so her nose will get nice and wet and I can twist a tiny piece of tissue into a point to stick up her nose and "fish" for boogies. It's such an art - you gotta slant it just the right way. Words can't describe the feeling I get when I pull out that piece of tissue and see a big ol' booger stuck to the end of it.)

Rule #4. Don't leave baby alone on changing table. Now this one I will NEVER do again. Why? Cuz my baby girl actually rolled over today! Back to front. BUT I DIDN'T SEE IT HAPPEN. Isn't that terrible? I take my eyes off her for like 1 minute and there she is, on her stomach, looking like "Whoa, how did I get here?". I was so worried that she might have twisted her arm I scooped her right up and we just sat there, staring at one another, amazed at what just happened.

Things that are not mandatory but we guiltily have stopped doing them to preserve our sanity:

- Warm up her formula. When that girl is hungry she will not wait even 2 minutes for us to warm her milk before she screams bloody murder. We were happy to stop that one, but you should see the looks of "what kind of mom are you" I get when I feed Tylo room temperature milk.

- Boil her bottles after each use. This one lasted about a month and stopped when HP went back to work. I mean REALLY - who has the time? It is way too dangerous to be holding a baby near boiling water and the microwave sanitizer is a joke.

This list could totally be longer, but those are the ones that come to mind because I broke them today =P.

By the way, I think Tylo must be on the cabbage soup diet. There is no other explanation for why a little baby girl has that much (super stinky) gas.


"I'm not into working out. My philosophy: No pain, no pain."

I'm so excited I can barely contain myself. On Monday, HP and I are starting the cabbage soup diet. (http://www.cabbage-soup-diet.com/eating-plan.html) I've heard first-hand accounts that it really does work. Lose 10 lbs in a week? I'll take THREE of those please!

Seriously, I've lost weight before. It took a lot of work. A lot of chicken breast and spinach, carrot sticks and whole wheat. It was slow going, but I successfully lost 25 lbs and was in the best shape of my life (snagged HP at that time too). I worked out almost daily, and had arms even Jennifer Aniston would be jealous of. But I still had dessert! And I did it the healthy way. I didn't starve myself and still indulged in one fantastic, calorie-loaded meal a week. I also allowed myself a pretty good dessert at the end of most days.

It's probably been 15 years since I went to bed without a big dessert (unless I was high, ate an entire bag of chips, and fell asleep by accident) so I never thought I had the willpower to commit to a fad diet that had so many restrictions. But with so little time on my hands to do it the "right" way, this is probably the best thing I can do to jump start the loss of all that leftover baby weight.

I'm using this weekend to eat whatever I please so I can commit well to the diet for the 7 required days and then work on a sensible diet/exercise routine to maintain the loss. So join me (if you need it). Let's make cabbage soup together and watch the scale!

Btw, I don't eat a lot of cabbage but I heard it has a pretty awful side effect of flatulence. Let's hope I'm an exception. I don't deal well with gas . . .


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hopes and Dreams

Toward the end of my pregnancy, HP and I were so excited about the unknown that was Tylo. At least once a week we would lay awake, 3 feet apart in our king bed, wondering what our little daughter would be like. Now, at 4 months, we're not any closer to the answer. Sure, we now know what she looks like, but even that seems to change each day. Her temperment is definitely demanding. She knows what she wants and puts up quite the fight until she gets it!

The dialogue was almost always the same, each and every time:

ME: I wonder what our daughter is going to be like.

HP: Yeah, me too.

ME: I hope she's smart.

HP: I hope she's good looking. It's more important that a girl is good looking.

ME: I hope she's funny.

HP: I hope she can be good at a sport. Maybe golf.

ME: I hope she's a nice person and good to her parents.

HP: Tennis is good too. Girls can make a lot of money playing tennis.

ME: I want her to be happy.

HP: Yeah, I hope she's good looking.

Geez, shallow much?


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hillary, come back!

Election Day is coming up. I used to be very political, passionate about so many different issues. I was always excited to vote and read through my booklets thoroughly, making sure I made a good decision with each. But that passion kind of died with two Bush victories. I felt so defeated when no presidential candidate I ever voted for made it to office.

I was so excited for this presidential election. A huge fan of the Clintons, I was excited to see Hillary come so darn close to the nomination. That lady sure is classy. If any woman was deserving of becoming president, it was her. And I'd love to see Bill back in the White House. Now that Hillary is out of the picture I have no idea who to vote for. I can't stand Obama. He strikes me as arrogant and naive. I came THIS close to siding with the McCain camp (despite Palin), but then I remembered the Republicans and what they stand for and came back to my senses. As much as I dislike Obama, it is a much greater evil to let the Republicans have office again.

So, feeling all political, I thought I would use up these iron-on transfer thingies I have to make witty little political onesies for Tylo.

Come Back!

don't like

NO on PROP 8
and mind your own f**king business!

Get the F**K out of here!


Okay, just saw debate #2 and Obama isn't as bad as I thought. Maybe I didn't give him a chance. Makes me a feel just a bit better about our options. He's no Hillary though (and yes, he does look like the little boy from MAD comics).

Does McCain seem mechanical to anyone else? He's a funny looking stiff old man.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Job Chae, any one?

Do you have to be a good cook to be considered a SAHM? I've been trying to learn to cook since the beginning of time. My parents are in the restaurant business. I have been told I own more kitchen gadgets than most and my kitchen is overrun with garlic mincers, potato ricers, and a variety of spatulas to spread frosting or flip a whole fish. I try and I try and for the life of me I can't even make a handful of successful dishes to have a home cooked meal for my family each night of the week with one night remaining for going out or ordering in take-out (i.e. pizza), and one night to skip dinner and just eat cheese, crackers, and a lovely, 2000 calorie dessert.

So far I have been told these were semi-successful (in HP's order of "not bad" to "I'll eat it again"):
1. Quiche (but that's not really dinner, is it?)
2. Baked chicken (cheating, using Williams-Sonoma Marsala sauce, totally worth the 15 bucks)
3. Most things covered in lots of cheese (not a healthy option)
4. Garlic Pasta with Sausage and Salami (making this dish once a month has been deemed acceptable)

I should add that a lot of things I make HP will eat and I will not. I don't even like my own cooking! And I'm running out of time. Tylo starts solid foods next month and it's only a matter of time when she realizes that Mommy's food tastes worse than Gerber "turkey" jarred baby food. Please help by sending me your super successful SIMPLE dishes in detail!

In my defense, I am trying to cook healthy so usually take successful recipes and omit like half the butter and oil and that's why they don't taste good. Yep, that's my story and I'm stickin to it.

Anyway, I was semi-successful with a couple of Korean dishes I've tried recently thanks to my discovery of maangchi.com. This super cool Korean lady has videos of her making a variety of Korean fare. With the price of Korean restaurants these days (not to mention the smell that won't quit in your dry-clean only clothes) I thought, hey, why not? I made Job Chae and Korean Pancake. The Korean pancake was okay, but I didn't have a cast iron, so though tasty, didn't get crispy enough. And I am a lover of some darn crispy Korean pancake (see photo). I will fly to Vancouver and back to get some of my beloved Korean pancake, the best you will ever taste! Also, for the life of me I could not get the dipping sauce right. The Job Chae was more successful, I was told, but it was way too much prep work for the mother of a 4 month old. I'd rather pay $13 for less in the take-out greasier version that is mighty tastier.

So, those did not make it in the Fab Five (Five dinners). Again, please help!

SAHM I AM - My first attempt at blogging

I've been a stay at home mom (SAHM) for exactly 4 months now. Well, 4 months and 2 days to be exact because that's how long it's been since I've been at work (Yes, I'm crazy, I know, and got enough grief from the hubby already for that).

What was I doing before I earned the SAHM title? I was an office manager and executive assistant for a very busy man at a property management company. I loved my job. I loved the people, I loved taking 4 hours to finish a salad while trying to meet a deadline that was 2 days ago, I loved being smart and feeling needed, like if I left, the gang would miss me. DEARLY. It's been 4 months and 2 days and sure enough, they moved on. I'm not as special as I thought. My kind boss tells me it ain't so, but he's just being kind. And, dorky and loser-ish as it sounds, I kinda miss the long hours!

Today I was at a birthday party for the kids of one of HP's friends (HP = the husband) and about a million and three people asked if I was still working. And I answered that I was a SAHM (again, Stay at Home Mom). Not that I feel deserving of the title. Somehow it seems you need 3 difficult labors and 3 screaming kids with soccer practices and piano lessons to drive to in order to deserve that title. One little baby girl? Not quite . . . more like lazy woman who doesn't want to work.

Either way, deserving or not, it's a new title and I'm going to live it to the fullest. So, I decided today that I will start a blog. A blog to talk about my daily life, to talk about other things going on around me, to brag about my dear baby girl Tylo. I tried it once back in the day when Xanga was popular and got bored. What did I write about? I think Prime Rib and Fried Chicken and maybe a guy here and there. I think 2 people read it. Or maybe one person read it twice. Yup, life used to be about food and dating. Now it's about endless hours of folding tiny things that get used up in the next day anyway. (Jen, I'm still thinking about your advice on not folding Tylo's laundry, but the SAHM in me won't allow it!). Since being a SAHM I've been addicted to blogs by other funny, smart, interesting moms. (Did I just call myself a "funny, smart, interesting mom"?)

So, I hope you will read this blog, to keep in touch with me, to learn about mom/baby stuff (if you care for it), to keep you from being bored if you have a horrible job or if you can't sleep late at night and sleeping pills aren't doing the job. I promise the future posts will be much, much shorter (fingers crossed).