Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hiatus Until Then...

The other day I ate moldy bread. I didn't even know until I was about to eat my second (yes second) piece days later, that the light white spots on the wheat bread I ate a few days earlier might have been mold. I actually recall the first time around thinking, hmmm that's a spotty weird thing on my bread, before taking big bites of it to quickly engulf it before I got onto other things. Oh well, at least I didn't eat a second piece of super moldy bread. Maybe I'm just not focusing enough because of other things.

Our son has torticollis which means we have to work at getting him to turn to his left (he prefers the right) and until then, he has an asymmetrical head and very possibly a flat head. I'm not sure what the ramifications are for having a flat head but it doesn't sound great. We are doing exercises with him everyday and if that doesn't work, we'll have to go to physical therapy which is costly and if that doesn't work, he might have to wear one of those soft helmets you see kids wearing who aren't playing contact sports. It's for their head to shape normally. Currently, Jordan's ears are crooked but he still looks absolutely adorable to me.

Our son also won't take the bottle yet. I even tried using a nipple shield so he'd be used to the plasticy taste but the shield was too big and he just gagged on it and cried until I gave him his regular food of choice. We got the Tommy Tippee bottle that everyone raves about - that was the tip that didn't work. Oh well. Not sure if we should try more bottles or just let him starve.

Our house is a mess. There is laundry to be put away, dishes I let sit in the sink until the morning and stuff to be ironed. It feels like there's never enough time in the day to get stuff done when in reality, I just need to manage my time better.

My desire to get back into pre-pregnancy weight has stopped 10 pounds short and absent making time to work out (besides a gym visit in a blue moon and walking around the neighborhood and burning 150 calories after an hour), it is not going to get there. Everytime I get dressed to work out, he gets hungry or wants to play and I have resorted to 25 minute work outs with a DVD and the pause button frequently.

Defeated. Dejected. Depressed. Demotivated.

And then I realized... I just need to take a hiatus from blogging, facebook (except I will be uploading photos and going back to find messages I sent, just no new messages or commenting or liking other peoples' statuses from here on out) and linked in... but blogging is the biggest sacrifice because it's something I love and find therapeutic. I guess it sounds ludicrous to some but for me, it's a huge sacrifice that ends up being quite small and only until I get things in order. Truth be told, taking myself away from it will give me a lot more time that I unintentionally waste every time I find myself at the computer.

I'm hoping this will give me the ability to truly focus on getting Jordan to look left and take the bottle and that the next time I blog it will be to tell you about our successes with Jordan, our fabulous neat and tidy home and my skinny and healthy body. I'm on a hiatus until then...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Must Get Out Of California ASAP!

I am so outraged by the ballot proposition to ban circumcision in San Francisco, California, that I am eating away my anger with a bag of crunchy cheetos Andy got me from the hospital vending machine and cup o' noodles for lunch.

The arguments I have heard for the circumcision ban include asserting it is "genital mutilation" and that it is dangerous, painful and parents should not "force it upon their children." Right.. like how parents who decide to get an abortion force their children to never enter this world. But wait a minute, proponents for that one also claim a baby is not a baby (tell that to the six week ultrasound that says otherwise to me!) when an abortion is performed (which could be up to three months...). I think it's interesting that the citizens of San Francisco have not only banned happy meal toys (utterly ridiculous, parents need to watch their kids, not put the burden of responsibility on fast food restaurants!) but now they are eager to impose a $1,000 fine and a year in prison for parents who want to circumcise their boys. I've even heard some proponents for the ballot say it is because pediatricians want money (get your facts straight people, the OB gyn is the surgeon who performs it). And lastly, comparing it to females and claiming it is genital mutilation is just ludicrous - tell that to all the grown men who are walking around with their genitals mutilated. Does that mean they can't have kids? HAHA .. clearly insane. I wonder if it's painful for men with their genitals mutilated to produce offspring or if it's even possible. Oh wait - it is. Duh.

I could care less if a child gets circumcised or not, but ultimately, the fact that they want to strip parents the right to decide and tell us that it is cruel and completely purposeless - well that is just a lie.

I really hope we get to leave California for residency... at this rate, the state is going down faster than you can say circumcision.

Oh and Governor Brown just decided gay and lesbian history will be part of US history taught in schools from now on. Last I checked, there was not a chapter in my history book growing up that taught me about sex so why it is part of the curriculum now is beyond me. I also do not recall a chapter on bi-racial marriages so why is this a necessity? Oh right, because California is going downhill. Duh.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Weekend of Firsts for Jordan

I owe a little more credit to the fun and memorable times since Jordan has been in our life. The hilarious oh my my, this could only happen with a baby once in a lifetime "firsts" and experiences. Because without them now, life would not be as fulfilling or as satisfying and I would never trade him for anything (not even one million dollars!...imagine that with a pinky on my chin like Dr. Evil)!

Andy and I sometimes point at Jordan and say.. "that's my baby" with so much pride it's probably worth repenting immediately. We get excited about taking him out for firsts like this last Friday when we took him to his first baseball game at Dodger Stadium. As I reviewed everything in my diaper bag before we left - the normal wipes, boob feeding cover, diapers, changing pad, an additional two outfits (in case something should happen to soil his current outfit), plastic bags (to house any soiled messes) and even a bottle (just in case he somehow miraculously decides to take it while out), I could not stop thinking if I had missed anything. I always want to be prepared but sometimes you can't prepare for everything, a lesson I am learning everyday from Jordan. I am going to commit to enjoying the moment more and stop worrying so much (although lesson learned is it does get quite cold at night games, even though it's brutally hot during the day!).

At the game, Jordan was great - slept a bit, and then just sat there, mesmerized by the lights and everything else going on. Our friend Cassy asked to hold him for a bit and within mere seconds of transferring him over to her, a loud gaseous fart sound with a bit of moving liquid was heard and Cassy, Andy and me looked down towards Jordan and saw a blowout all over his cute baseball outfit AND Cassy's hands and pants. In that immediate moment, all I could think was did he really have to blowout on someone else? He was JUST on Andy's lap - ughhhh man, really baby?...... as we profusely apologized to Cassy who was so easygoing about having liquidy poop on her. I'm not sure I would have been as okay about it.. but then again, I never held a baby until Andy, my then boyfriend, plopped his newborn niece into my arms. (Besides that one time, I never held a baby until my own.. so if I can do it.. so can you!)

Saturday did not stop with the firsts for Jordan. It was his first time going away from home for more than 5 hours (including commute time!). That morning, I did not stop with making sure we had everything we needed for an entire day away from home. This meant five additional outfits, a mat, a pack of diapers and an assortment of blankets. Andy was amazed that we needed that many additional outfits but I advised him that Jordan goes through a LOT of clothes in a day from spit-ups to blow-outs to peeing during diaper changes. And sure enough, we went through four outfits throughout the day (and an additional outfit for Andy - we both brought two outfits just in case).

The drive over was about an hour and though Jordan started off by crying a bit, he was quickly distracted by a vibrating birdie (that came all the way from my friend Jen from Michigan!) and soon fell asleep within minutes of hitting the freeway.

We had a blast in Corona (think 909 Inland Empire) with the Bluths (Jen and Bryan) and Jen's extended family. We got there and basically pretended we were part of the family, refusing to leave (luckily they didn't kick us out) from mid-morning until after dinner. We tried our best to help out with the wedding open-house preparations that were going on for one of their close family friends' daughter and enjoyed Jen's amazing and aesthetically pleasing cupcakes (she had glitter and fillings and an assortment to choose from - yes we tried them all!) and I admired the landscaping and logistical set-up and pairing of turquoise, soft pink and the bird theme (bird cages, birds' nests, etc.). It was absolutely breathtaking and even though most of the design was the work of Jen's mom, I secretly thought, Jen is definitely going to help with our kids' weddings because I know she has her mom's same talent!

In between open-house prep, we got a chance to hang out and enjoy the pool. Jordan was all dressed in his water diaper and super cute surf top I got at Baby Gap on major sale (tis the season folks!) and Janie and Jack fisherman's hat (didn't get a photo) but he did not enjoy the water or the sun (he gets it from me) and instead, preferred to sleep on the soft cushioned seat in the shade outside. Inside the house, Jordan became enthralled with the ceiling fans, the older women (little girls ranging in ages 4 to 11) smiling and wanting to play with him and Jen's black and white damask themed bedroom and soft matching bed (babies don't have excellent eye sight so black and white contrasts are very engaging for them). He did tummy time on Jen's bed and even got to play with Bryan's cubs hat and only had one pukey moment and one blow-out - pretty good for his first time away from home!

Once home, Andy and I realized we are indeed getting old. We didn't do much that day except hang out, swim, eat, drink (we don't have much to drink besides Brita water and milk at our house and Jen's parents' home had seven-up, catcus cooler, Fresca, and bottled water), but we were simply exhausted when we got home. I was and am still so tired from Saturday that when I got back from Church today, I took an hour nap (for someone who doesn't normally nap, that's a lot!). I can't believe how tiring it can be to go on outings with your kid. And we only have one who is barely mobile! How does everyone else do it? And am I the only one who thinks that all the time?

Here's hoping our bodies adapt and we aren't so tired because the rest of the summer has even more "firsts" in store including a trip to Orlando Florida (hellooo Harry Potter world) and a camping trip to Big Sur.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's Official....

We will begin sending Christmas cards this year. I always told myself I wouldn't send them until I had a family and as much as Andy is family to me, who cares what we are doing? So the first year flew by with no card but now that Jordan is in our life, everyone will care... right? Hahaha...

Well, even if not - too bad. I started off by sending birth announcements to family, friends, co-workers, etc. and it was quite a task! It was like wedding invitations... thank you cards nightmare all over again... only this time when I stuffed the envelopes, I sighed and thought... hehe, that's my son! I'm sure I missed a ton of people, I tried my best but it was just impossible. I can't believe how many people come in and out of our lives throughout the years. I already know I left out a lot of Church buddies (so please don't be offended if you didn't get one), but our Ward is so large with so many awesome couples, it was basically a cost differential that I wasn't willing to invest in until Christmas. I know.. I'm cheap. I prefer frugal.

I still need to obtain all my parents' friends addresses as they often get left out in the more American traditions such as this yet they shower us with gifts, gift certificates and money without fail.

Anyhow, enjoy the baby announcement via the online world of fun and free (postage costs so much!)!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Good Tool Goes A Long Way

I ironed for the first time since I have been married two days ago. I actually had to ask Andy how to iron the shirt sleeves. You see folks, I've actually never ironed... with success. Growing up, my mom taught me once, but my shirts never seemed to de-wrinkle themselves and flustered, my mom offered to do it for me. I have never hesitated to let her iron for me and as such, the iron and me are not really well acquainted.

I probably never would have gotten the desire to iron or even upgrade our iron if it hadn't been for some prime examples in my life.

The first is my sister-in-law Tammy and her husband, Jeff. Whenever we visit them up north and stay with them, Sunday mornings are always the same - they are both in and out of the garage where the ironing board resides. And... they actually use the iron! At home, Andy pops his shirts into the dryer and BOOM - they are wrinkle-free! Okay, maybe not completely, but most of the time he wears a suit over his shirts. Other times, the shirt is fine, just not crisp. Meanwhile, yours truly wears wrinkle stuff without shame. A little embarrassing....

Second, when my mother-in-law, May, was staying with us, she not only helped us take care of Jordan, change his diaper in the middle of the night as I fed, cooked, folded laundry and helped with the dishes, she brought out our ironing board and ironed a ton of shirts for both Andy, Jordan and me. Immediately, I was not only grateful but a little ashamed.

Third, when Jeff and Tammy came for Jordan's baby blessing, Jeff used the iron and told us we need to get a new iron. I figured he just had a very high standard for irons being that he does iron on more occasion than myself. Or so I told myself....

Having all these examples, I was already mulling over potentially diving into the act of ironing. But I still hesitated.

Then, one morning while May was still staying with us... before Church, I woke up early to shower and went to iron Jordan's outfit that we had planned earlier for his Sunday best. I slothfully dragged out the iron and thought about taking out the ironing board. Instead, I decided to lay a towel on the floor and iron his outfit there instead. I then went to get ready. As I was feeding Jordan, May was getting ready to dress Jordan. She went to get out the ironing board and began ironing his outfit....the one I had already ironed. At this point I was mortified. She had no clue that I had ironed it already, and by the looks of the outfit, no one else would have either. That is how I knew I was definitely a bad ironer. I secretly told myself I needed to 1) get a new iron and 2) learn how to iron.

So we finally got a new iron and I not only learned how to use it by reading the instructions, filling the water and asking Andy how to operate the steam function (hey, the instructions weren't that easy to follow!) and then....I used it! And I must say, a good tool goes a long way. If I had a good iron to use when I was growing up, I might never have given up and defaulted to my mom ironing for me.

I'm thankful for the examples who slowly - not immediately - got me to change my ironing ways. They planted the seed... and now we will have non-wrinkly shirts - all thanks to them!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Painful But Delightful

I had my first official post-partum work out yesterday. I say "official" because doing exercise videos at home and walking around the neighborhood was considered a work out until yesterday so I guess those were all poor excuses for getting off my butt but this actual work-out was one that kicked my butt.

Kick seems like an understatement.

I got my butt whipped.

It was a studio group fitness class at Equinox (where the motto is "It's Not Fitness, It's Life") with one of my favorite instructors from two and a half years ago (the last time I was in this gym). She does her entire class with weights and a bosu ball and usually has really fun music and has us up and down all over the ball working our core, our thighs and our arms. It is fabulous!

Or so I remembered....

Yesterday was horrific. I was heaving and hoeing, my heart was racing, my head was pounding, sweat was dripping down my face, and I was unsure if I'd make it through. I felt like hurling many times, and used this as an excuse to walk to the back of the studio to get my camelback and slowly sip some water. I drank so much water that I was even able to sneak out of the studio twice to refill my water bottle. Halfway through the class, I started thinking of excuses I could use to leave the class.

The music was too loud to speak over it so I could gesture something to the instructor, maybe about my ankle or knee or... I could just faint. The aftermath might be too messy to deal with. I could whisper VERY quietly but LOUDLY WITH MY LIPS that I had to go... but it all seemed rude unless I really couldn't make it.. which I very well might not have...

So I stuck it out. For the reps I could do full out, I did, the rest I just breathed and watched others in awe. At one point she had us jumping down to a plank on the bosu ball which was upside down (so you had to balance since the ball side was on the floor), doing a push up, jumping up to a position with a lunge, standing up and then lifting the bosu ball (it is quite heavy!) and doing a press-up into the air - ugh - and she did this in repeat 6 reps first with 4 times, then 2 times and then 1 time. I was DYING.

To make matters worse, I had obtained a 3 lb weight because I knew I was not ready for anything larger than that - the instructor had also obtained a 3 lb weight. But she reminded the class repeatedly that she was using "sissy" weights since she had injured herself over the weekend but hey, that's what she got for being 50 years old and going mountain biking. First off, her body is a ROCK and she looks more like 40. I could not believe it. I wanted to yell, "I just had a baby!" but there was no nonchalant way of doing so. Instead, I sucked it up and tried my best.

Through my eternity of "I'm not ready to work out at a gym suffering" of one hour last night, the abs and cool down felt so satisfying. And once I was done, I was ready to do it again just not today or tomorrow...I need time to heal first. It's true what they say about challenges building character and how rewarding it is to overcome them. I'm definitely far from overcoming my lack of aerobic strength and utter usefulness in the gym but I am ready to tackle it, one horrific work out at a time. To sum it up, it was quite painful indeed... but now that I'm done and had the endorphin rush yesterday.... it was also quite delightful too.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Super Clutch Save

This Sunday, Andy had post-call so I was going to Church with Jordan alone. I embraced the opportunity to be punctual on my own (this will probably be a normal situation once we're in Residency) and prepared by taking a shower at 7:15 AM which gave me ample time to feed Jordan at 8 AM. One thing about Jordan these days is that he is becoming sillier when he feeds, often smiling, stopping to stare and ensure I am paying attention before he continues to eat. He will come off of the boob, look at me with his puppy eyes waiting for me to respond, and when I say something to him, he will smile, look around and then latch on again. He cracks me up but I try not to smile and instead sternly advise him it's time to eat, not play, and surprisingly he always looks as if he understands until the next time around.

Following his 8 AM feeding, I geared up to get him into his Sunday best but as I was getting ready to dress him, we were joined by the loud blast of his poop. His face was priceless - a sort of clench in his jaw which immediately turned into a glorified sigh of relief. I waited a couple of minutes, because he usually has more poop on its way and going too quickly to the diaper changing table spells trouble. As predicted, within mere seconds, a second blast of poop was heard. So I took him to his favorite place these days, the diaper changing pad.

Once on the pad, he looked up at me with excitement, probably because he now recognizes the routine and understands he will feel a lot better down below soon. I prepared by taking out two wipes which were to my right, then opening a new diaper to my left, proceeded to unbutton his onesie, opened his soiled diaper and carefully placed it to my right. He was all smiles and giggles as I changed him and then, his expression immediately changed. I braced myself, already knowing there was a huge possibility this meant more poop and without disappointing me, he started to poop more. Since his poop is not yet solid as he is only drinking milk, imagine a shade lighter than peanut butter (like almond butter) with a consistency of tomato soup - thick but still creamy and liquidy. At this point, my left hand is holding his two feet in the air and my right hand is holding a wipe, his butt is stil covered with poop, the clean diaper is to the left - ugh, too far, the soiled diaper is to the right - ugh, also too far, so I quickly think what else I can do. This is when I decide I will meticulously try to balance the one wipe I'm holding to rest on my palm instead of between my fingers and try my best to balance his watery poop.

Have you ever tried balancing a book on your head and walking down a straight line as you do so? That's how it felt... only my mind was racing with - please don't poop so much that there's no way I can catch this. Please don't kick too hard with your feet, I can do this (wouldn't have been a huge deal if I didn't - just messier and more time consuming to clean), please hurry and finish pooping! And then, just like that he was done. Only now, I had to carefully, with every ounce of balance and precision, move the wipe covered with liquified poop to the soiled diaper and drop it in. I even slowly moved my body with it, so that the jerk from my arm to the hands holding it would be smoother. I got closer... and closer... and then BAM - it was in!

I did it! The third poop was safe and sound in the soiled diaper, and I finished cleaning Jordan up. I dressed Jordan, changed my mind on outfits about five times (it's still hard with most of my stuff too tight!), quickly braided my bangs, put Jordan into the carseat, and off we went! It's as if Jordan knew Daddy was missing and was on extra good behavior getting to Church, through Sacrament and even the second hour of Church. He didn't start to get restless until the third hour, probably missing his Daddy who has been taking him to Elder's Quorum during the third hour for the last two weeks, and then, he just wanted to go outside and lay on the couch and stare at Jesus.

I am still smiling at my clutch save of the diaper that morning. It made my day! On the drive to Church, we even sang (well I sang but he was happy about it) made up songs about being punctual to Church according to the melody of "I Will Survive." It was pretty sweet. It went a little bit like this....

(keep in mind I improvised it...)

At first we were late, we never made it on time... Kept taking too much time to find out what we was gonna wear, we shoulda gotten ready sooner, we shoulda picked our clothes before, we shoulda prepped better, coulda made it to Church on time BUT NOW we are! We're on our way! We're gonna make it there before it starts, it feels so good on time! .....

It's what we did at the Ronald McDonald Camp for Good Times all the time, only our stuff rhymed more but hey, Jordan loved it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Because Harry Poter Rocks!!!

When I used to stay up almost every night to feed Jordan (since it took him an hour or so to eat and he ate every 2-3 hours so really, why even go to sleep only to wake up in mere minutes?!), I spent a lot more time online playing with social media platforms like facebook and linked in and watching television on hulu and trailers on youtube too!

One beautiful afternoon, with the sunlight peaking in from the outside reminding me of the little time I spent away from the apartment, instead of taking a stroll outside and enjoying nature, I dove deeper into the abyss of my online world and spent a good hour watching summer trailers - one after another. I have no regrets. It was glorious. Don't judge me. Okay, go ahead....

I was, however, slightly disappointed that I'd be missing so many great summer blockbusters -X-Men First Class, Transformers 3, Captain America, Crazy Stupid Love, The Help, Sherlock Holmes 2, Smurfs, Larry Crowne, Monte Carlo.....

But the one I was and am truly sad about... the one that patience has no hold over (Fall seriously seems so far away) and I am dying to think of how we can sneak away to of course, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two.

Harry Potter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Expelliarmus! Luminos! AHHHHHHHH!!!!

My obsession with Harry Potter dates back to 2000, the summer after I graduated from high school and was working at a small CPA Firm on boring bank reconciliations and data entry for my mom's friend. To say the job was boring is an understatement beyond belief. Lunch was my highlight - I would eat the bento box my mom sent me off with at my desk and read Harry Potter (at the time, books 1, 2 and 3 were out). For years before that, I had been making fun of my brother for reading the book with a boy on a broom on the cover. He told me I had no idea how great the books were (he was part of the early fan base from the UK as the gamers introduced it to him) and I scoffed and mocked him only to repent and eat my own words later as I myself became hooked (but only did so after Harry Potter started getting press from everyone about how great they were... yes I'm a follower, not a leader). After reading not even one chapter, I was hooked. Muggle? Wizards? Owls? Fantastic!

Lucky for me, Andy and I shared this common love for Harry Potter and when we were still just friends, we watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince the summer of 2009 at Universal Citywalk and later Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One in November 2010 as husband and wife!

So of course we attended the Harry Potter Lego event at the Americana Brand a few months ago. I mean... legos and Harry Potter? Andy was in heaven but he was bummed Jordan was not old enough yet to enjoy the displays and building stations available. And since this event is about as close as we will get to the final movie (unless we can get someone to watch Jordan after he goes to bed at 10 and make a late showing... maybe when we venture out to Florida for Harry Potter world with the fam bam? any takers?), I leave you with these photos this beautiful Friday, July 15th, the day the final installment of the Harry Potter series makes its debut.

Ten years in the making and a little over ten years for me since I started reading 'em. Yay for Harry Potter!!!!!!!!!!!!

Harry Potter and me
Jordan enjoying time in the Bjorn on Daddy instead of the Harry Potter lego stuff everywhere!
Hagrid! He was really HUGE just like in real HP world!
Hogwarts... those are ALL legos!

Close up of the lego action for your viewing pleasure

And then this morning, with all the Harry Potter hype, I saw some hilarious "Yo Momma" Harry Potter jokes from my G7 buddies, Stames and Chacon. I am still laughing outloud from these so I just had to share 'em. Yo momma jokes feel okay cuz I'm a mom now, sorta like how racist Asian jokes always seem okay coming from me. ..... If you're not into Harry Potter or have never seen the movies or read the books, these might not be as funny.

Yo momma's so fat, her patronus is a cake!
Yo momma's so fat, the sorting hat put her in the house of pancakes!
Yo momma's so ugly, instead of kissing her, the dementor gave her a handshake and promise to call sometime
Yo momma's so fat, she tried to eat Cornelius Fudge
Yo mama's so dumb she thought that she could talk to snakes if she put parsley on her tongue
Yo Mama so nasty, everybody call her “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Naked​”
Yo mama's so stupid, she drowned in a pensieve
Yo mama so fat the core of her wand has a cream filling!

Hope you enjoyed those as much as I did! LOVEEEEEE!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Do You Boolean?

Recently, I learned a new phrase that I would like to share with my internet buddies. If you already know what it means, please do not put me to shame with my ignorance. I will blissfully deny your existence!


Doesn't that sound hip? Do you boolean? Heck yeah I boolean! I be booleaning all day long. I'm so tired of booleaning, man booleaning got me so busy today! What a boolean! Boolean that! Boolean don't even know what booleaning her. Boolean!

Basically, it's a way of advance searching with key phrases such as AND and OR.

If I want to search for baby advice that contains ("bottle") AND ("baby" OR "toddler"), all results will show either baby and bottle OR toddler and bottle. You learn something new everyday.

Boolean it!

He's a Boob Guy

When people ask me how my newborn son of nine weeks is, I really don't know how to answer. Without having any other children, do I really know good from bad from ugly?

What I do know is, he is pretty happy most of the time. He cries 90% of the time because he is hungry, 5% because he wants to fart or poop and 5% because he thinks he is getting hungry. With that said, 95% of his unhappiness can quickly be soothed with some milk. His bedtime is at 10 PM and he usually wakes up to eat at 3 AM and 6 AM (though this only started two weeks ago) so overall, no real complaints.

Except... well, there is one thing.

You see... my son, well ... errr he's kinda sorta a boob guy. He absolutely loves eating and he loves getting his food - breakfast, lunch, linner, dinner, afternoon snack - all from mommy!

So of course the only real frustration so far has been his refusal to take a bottle (I am constantly amused at this given the lactation Nazi consultants who always instill fear in you about what if you give him the bottle and he refuses the breastmilk? but somehow, nobody ever talks about the what if he won't take the bottle? situation) It almost feels like this situation is taboo and that is why nobody ever warns you about it, just like hemorrhoids after birth (I know, nobody told me either but you push for hours upon hours so it only makes sense...)

We have now been through five different bottles (Avent, Playtex, Playtex flow with the bags, Medela, Tommy Tippy), six different nipples, attempts while he's not so hungry, starving, or somewhere in between, and along the way, I have lost count of all the different ways we have attempted to coax him into taking a bottle. I have researched it in depth (google counts..) and I know they can smell their mommies 20 feet away so I have to be out of the house, I know I can't be the person with the bottle because it'll confuse him and I know I am definitely NOT alone. Countless other women have dealt with the same issue today, yesterday and tomorrow.

Hopeless. Dejected. Rejected. Wanted. Needed. Trapped. Loved.

These are just some of the emotions I go through, and after a while, it's really not so bad. This may be the one time in my life Jordan needs and wants me more than anyone else (take that future wifey of my son!)

Gag. Puke. Grimace. Cry. Stare.

These are the motions Jordan goes through when we give him the bottle. And as of late - biting down on the nipple and staring at us until bottle is removed is his thing. At least he's smart, that much I'll give him credit for. I guess there's no way around it - my baby is definitely a boob guy. Typical male.

Fortunate for us, the power of prayer is really helping me stay calm and I know without a doubt that progress is on its way. In just a mere two days, my sincere prayers feel like they've been answered despite Jordan puking up one day and not taking more than .5 oz the next day. That's how I know prayer works... when there's not much improvement yet I feel good about it, like I can deal with it and it's not going to bring me down. And in a few weeks, I'm hoping that means he will take the bottle and I can be apart from Jordan for more than two hours at a time. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We Are Huge Dorks But We Love It!

Over the weekend, as we drove to the Grove with our friendly neighbors, the Whiteheads, I asked if "hemorrhoids are a pain in the butt" was a pun, only to have the guys scoff at me as Blair kindly offered that she thought it worked (thanks Blair - I know you were just trying to be nice). That led to a slew of other brainstorming of puns, one of which was, "There's a hole in the wall that is worth looking into" which I have made a note of and plan to use often going forward.

This conversation of vernacular fun eventually led us to palindromes (a word that reads the same front to back like racecar) which then led to a game of, how many palindromes we could come up with. It was a very intense competitive brain simulating activity, something definitely worth revisiting with Jordan when he's older. And, it was no surprise that the first words we came up with were poop, tit, boob, and toot along with mum, dad, mom, and pop. How many can you come up with?....

As we progressed and became better at the game, bigger words like redder, radar, madam, noon, level and pull-up joined the litany of palindromes and we thought we were a pretty big deal. Unfortunately, we were put to shame when we got to the restaurant and our friend Danny joined the game effortlessly with Malayalam, which he claimed was an Indian language. Incredulous looks and accusations were shot at him as our fingers simultaneously and very quickly navigated the smart phone research capabilities to see if indeed he was correct ... which I will admit now, he was (at the time, we kept suggesting he had added an entry to Wikipedia before we had a chance to find it...).

Even funnier was the fact that none of us seemed able to fully let go of the game and instead of concentrating on the menu or allowing ourselves to dive into other conversation topics over some food, random inserts of suggested palindromes infused the dinner party throughout the night. It went something like this..."Oh, this paella is not what I expected but-- REVERE! - no, that ends with an E! - oh.... ok... yeah this paella is pretty good. And I don't remember who, but at one point, someone's failed palindrome was pointed out as an onomatopoeia (no, we did not start playing that game too) That's simply grammar-ageous!

Yesterday, as I was using my phone to scripture study while feeding Jordan, I saw a page from when I had searched "palindromes" from the weekend that was neglected when we decided to play a game of palindromes instead of scrolling through the list. I quickly scanned the listing, seeing words like kayak, sagas, civic, and rotator. "Man!" I exclaimed out loud to Andy, "there are some good words we didn't come up with" and as I proceeded to tell Andy of these, he exclaimed, "Oh man!" It was amusing how excited we got about the game of palindromes and it made me realize we find joy in very simple things like palindromes.

It's the small things in life that make it worthwhile, like playing a game of palindromes. Or wearing matching ugly Christmas sweaters that we made ourselves cuz we were too cheap to buy some. Yeah... we are huge dorks... but we do indeed love it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where Did My Baby Go?

I know I'm over analyzing, over thinking and over reacting.. (typical girl...)... but my baby is no longer a baby! He's a big baby, he doesn't even fit (comfortably) into his newborn clothes anymore! The baby baby days (yes, I just used the noun as an adjective) are gone and now my cute bundle of joy can coo, smile while awake and in response to our silly faces, try to talk during storytime (he adores There's a Wocket in My Pocket and doesn't care too much for other books though he appreciates the stories we improvise), focus his eyes on inanimate objects or people (he has a thing for older beautiful women) and hold his neck up while on his tummy for long spouts of time!

My baby is already so different from just eight short weeks ago. He was nine weeks on Saturday, and already there are so many notable differences in him. Here are just a few that come to mind.
  • Baby used to cry every time we changed his diaper, probably because he had no idea what we were doing - we mitigated his fears by buzzing constantly or talking to him and towards the end, he would just stare at us - now, he is relaxed, observes us, sometimes even smiles and just waits to get is diaper changed.
  • Baby used to cry every time we changed his clothes, the climax would be when we put the shirt over his head, but even once the shirt was on, his cries would continue and drone out our attempts to calm him down, even getting his hands into the arm holes was a difficult challenge given his already crying and unhappy mood - now he knows it's coming and even during those few instances when I couldn't quite smoothly get the shirt over his head, he just stuck through it, as if he knows it will be over shortly and I am just trying to dress him.
  • Baby used to grunt and moan in his sleep as he tried to relieve some gas, something his butt was not yet acquainted with. We often helped him fart by raising his legs for him and gently pushing down as he lay on his back and the farts would escape on their own but now he grunts on his own and it's always followed by some tooting (in his sleep!)
  • Baby used to cry when we started to swaddle him and calm down only once he had been wrapped partly, once swaddled he would be content and patiently await transportation to his pack n play for sleep time - now, he never cries when the swaddle begins, just excitedly waits to be swaddled so he can go to bed.
  • Baby is sleeping less which means more interaction during the day and more sleep at night! Hooray baby!!!
Speaking of sleep, the joy that comes with more (except for the weekends when we still stay up until 12 like we're without a child! and then yours truly pays for it Sunday morning and all afternoon) is absolutely terrific! I'm also able to cook meals again (frozen goods are so much easier right?), do dishes, clean, put loads of laundry in (so thankful for our laundry IN the home), fold the laundry, and we even bought a new iron that I may take a crack at (versus the ol' throw the shirt in the dryer routine).

I've also learned a few tricks from when May was here helping - one of which has made our grocery tab decline and my "what the heck do we eat this week?" conundrums disappear. Food Nanny taught me to plan my grocery list ahead of time, and to always be armed with the knowledge of what we were going to eat for the week. Food Nanny had a great concept but May advised me to check out the sales at the grocery store first - and then think of what I could make for the week (I used to go into the store wanting fish and no matter how much it was, I would get it...). This newfound concept has really made a difference in our weekly grocery tab and though I wouldn't recommend it to any working moms, a stay at home mom has more flexibility to make multiple grocery trips during the week and therefore, can actually accomplish this! In addition, I am still using leftovers to make a new meal (Sloppy Joe leftovers become spaghetti, Cafe Rio salad becomes pulled pork sandwiches) and loving it. Cooking is so much more enjoyable when you have a plan and it's a cheap one and grocery shopping in multiple short trips makes Jordan a lot happier too! Guess my baby is still here just changing everyday, but then again, so am I to adapt to him and our new family - it's oodles of fun!

Already wearing a tie at 9 weeks old!
Sunday afternoon nap with Daddy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Andy Used The "D" Word!!

Today, as Andy and I were enjoying a sweet summer Sunday dinner of BBQ chicken pizza, Andy accused me of being ditzy. Somehow, the accusation is not new and did not come across as a surprise, but I of course made a big deal about it, metaphorically stomping my feet demanding to know why while laughing because I actually know of many instances that support his claim of my "D" ness.

My defense: I am positive. Energetic. Animated. Overly dramatic. Sometimes full of gestures. Somewhat of a speedy talker. And.. I just might speak faster than my brain can think. It is just like sound which travels faster than light, right?!

I suggested to Andy that what he perceived as "ditzy" was simply an attempt to mask my true intelligence in order to help others feel more at ease with my superior brilliance. I mean, let's face it, it's pretty hard to surpass mediocrity when you're around me. Andy laughed even harder when I offered this explanation.

Of course when I asked him for an example, he could only note the ONE time I refereed a game night and added 10 + 17 to get 37 points and crowned the losing team the winners, and asking outloud how that could be since they had done so bad throughout the night. I was truly perplexed. Meanwhile, the true winning team laughed hysterically at my obvious error and pointed out my mistake - through their muffled stomach griping laughter, I realized a big oopsie but, to add insult to injury, yours truly is a California certified public accountant. Guess the National Board of Accountancy just lost some of its credibility. Hope they don't take my license away!

On second thought - whatever! That's what calculators are for, not accountants.

Come on folks...we all have ditzy moments. You'd be lying if you claimed otherwise!

In fact, I remember one instance when a friend of mine was having computer trouble for a long time and thought it was broken. She couldn't figure it out so she finally begged our computer savvy friend to come and help her out. He came over, armed with all his computer fixing armor, only to point out that her computer was simply out of battery and needed to be plugged in. Funny thing is, after it happened, she just played it off as a blonde moment (no, my "friend" is not me!).

Unlike her, I refuse to perpetuate untrue stereotypes which is actually why I made that huge mathematical blunder! Yeah... that's exactly what happened.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Another Lesson From My Audit Days

Back when I used to be an auditor.... (seems so long ago now), our hardest time was always busy season, a wreckless 3-4 weeks of endless detail testing, project management, team lunch and dinner, gaining the audit 20 (cuz we ordered appetizers, main entrees and dessert for lunch and dinner...), audit methodology, ridiculous digressions not about work, office gossiping, facebook updates during breaks (and even myspace back then), team update meetings, sleepless nights and nightmares of the audit area you hadn't yet finished. When I was lucky enough to be the senior, also known as the person that the crap rolls downhill to, I always reminded my team not to be a Debbie downer or a negative Nancy. In some instances, I was guilty as charged - but the reminder always emerged among the sorrow and pain we felt as we fought our way through the audit areas, lackluster client responses and support and hard to read managers and in exchange we had memorable times and hey, I'm still alive and have not had my CPA taken away (yet). But the lesson learned was that the spirit of being positive always shined through even our most gloomy of days of no end in sight. The innocuous determination to persevere with high morale always challenged us but we never gave up because it was far better to work with a happy team.

It's something I've thought much about lately - especially with my new role as a mom. As much as I love it (see prior blog entry), I can't deny that it is challenging, an emotional rollercoaster at times and draining, even for me who has too much energy more often than not (who am I kidding, all the time really!). I know I freak out, I know I don't filter information enough and I know I try to do too much without always focusing on the most important (like why am I blogging instead of using the time to shower...? cuz showers are overrated!) But I choose to remember not to be a Debbie downer Negative Nancy poopy Patty because even though misery loves company, the first person in that company is Satan who just wants us to be miserable like unto himself.

Meaning, as much as I can detail the hardships of motherhood, I choose to celebrate in the upside because happiness loves company just as much as misery, but is so much more delightful. It does not me I'm unrealistic and do not see the difficulties of motherhood, it means I do not choose to magnify it, only reminding myself and dragging myself deeper into the abyss of unhappiness. I managed my expectations correctly when I got pregnant - I knew life would change, but I also knew it wouldn't. I knew things would get harder, but I also knew they would get easier. And I knew with proper planning, team and project management, plus a lot of good food, I would get through it - just like I got through every single horrific audit (including one said toy company who will remain nameless that was oh so NOT fun).

As much as audit tortured and aged me (still blame my eye wrinkles on a job in Pasadena that had us working through Christmas break...again shall remain nameless), I would never trade my audit days for anything. I learned a lot from it and some of my closest friends were gained through those experiences. Audit helped me grow and molded me into the person I am today. Thank you audit.. yet another lesson has been learned and applied to motherhood. Who would have thought. Plus, I can let the other bloggers vent and just read and laugh at their experiences that I can empathize with. HA!

Friday, July 8, 2011

LOVE Being a Mom

When you were growing up, did you ever think - this game I'm playing called "house" and this padded pillow inside my stomach I am calling "baby" and the stuffed animal I'm pretending is my actual "baby" will one day be real? Or, did you ever think, this rearranging of the furniture* that uplifts me so much will one day be whenever I darn please? I don't think I ever thought about it.. but guess what? I'm living it.

My day starts with some play time with Jordan interspersed with getting ready with my morning bathroom rituals. I then proceed to some list checking and making (I look at my list from the prior day and then go from there). There are some things that are on the list everyday such as making the bed, doing the dishes, etc. and some that are on there often like laundry (I count washing, drying and cleaning as one but we all know they are three separate lofty tasks). Among the normal are scripture study, lunch, snacking on whatever + fruits, calls to my mom and/or Grace, blog stalking, facebook status checking and of most recent - pinterest. I also like to consult for Grace with her new business and spend some time on linked in, expanding my network (hey, you never know!). Jordan sleeps, gets up to eat, poops, likes to go in the swing to sleep, and listens to a story... then repeats it. We sometimes go for walks though phone calls have gotten in the way lately. We also go out once a day for some errand - grocery store, mall, etc. but today, Andy came home ea and I got distracted and we never made it out. Plus, with the heat it's not really worth it if we don't have to. I usually get dinner started late afternoon and I'm lucky to actually eat dinner with my husband without the stress or burden of getting home in time to have time to make it! Maternity leave is awesome.

I wish I could explain in words how freaky obsessive I am with Jordan because no matter what he does, I think it's cute and revel with joy.

He farts - I gawk. He poops - I giggle. He burps - I laugh. He stares at me - I sigh. He smiles - I squeal. He opens his eyes wider - I clap my hands.

I guess I'm a simple person and instead of playing house, I'm living it - and loving it.

*Refer to this post for my furniture moving obsession. And yes, on Wednesday, I rearranged Jordan's room cuz I can. It was fun!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Is My Skin Sweet?

They say nothing is free in life. I should have recalled that cliche when we scored sweet seats to the free fireworks show Monday night at a small park behind the high school where admission was $7/person.

We brought a small bamboo mat to sit on, a blanket for Jordan and that was about it. No flashlight, no cover up (it was still pretty hot at 8:30 PM), nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. But none of that mattered since the weather was nice. The firework show was fun and great minus the lower ones we missed due to the large building obstructing our view.

But when we came home, I discovered not one, not two, not even three bug bites.. but twenty (I lose count after 17....). My skin is crawling with itchiness, I cannot help but scratch every single spot close to the actual bug bite, and on occasion, have accidentally scratched the bite itself resulting in a yelp of pain. We finally got some medication (Andy has about ten bites) to soothe the itchiness, but instead, the clear substance just creates a funky peel reminding me of my childhood (you know when you use Elmer's Glue just so you can peel it off afterwards?!).

What is perplexing is... Andy was wearing shorts and my capris went BEYOND my knee... he had on a polo, I had on a tee. So was my skin sweeter? I had avoided my normal lotion and body oil due to the immense heat... but apparently my natural skin is bug-a-licious!


Luckily, Baby Jordan didn't get ANY bites - I'm sure the towel and smell of spit up helped repel the bugs. Although, if I were a bug and I saw this face... I'd pick that over Andy or me.

Now, the commercial for the clip on bug repellant is very appealing!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Much Needed Workspace

I've been labeled as a neat freak, type A and even anal but but I'd like to think I am just a fan of organization. I like symmetry, right angles, pushboards, checklists and putting things inside of boxes, inside of boxes, inside yet more boxes. I like open desk space and I like alphabetizing or categorizing books, CDs and DVDs. I like knowing how much money we bring in and spend each month, and I like to know the trends of our monthly spending and the average amount we pay for gas, groceries, dining out and entertainment over the course of a year.

For the past few months, our dining table has become our working table. Both Andy and I have decided that is where our computers will reside and along with our computers, magazines, bills, mail, to do lists, and pens have accumulated. This does not make Daisy happy. But there is no other space in our apartment and the last thing we need is another piece of furniture to add to the collection of items we will have to move in a year when we depart for residency (wherever that may be). How I long for a normal workspace. How I long for a table to work on. How I long for a dining table that does not need major clearing and reshuffling of items before eating on.

Andy must have known this was bugging me because yesterday, I received the best gift ever. He cleared up our guest room so that the extra desk which we have stored under the bed and to the side, is now my workspace (his too if he so chooses!). I am elated with joy! I LOVEEE my workspace. I have already put up my Korean Blue Bear corkboard and I plan on transporting my old college one to the wall above the desk as soon as I get it from my parents' home! I have neatly organized piles of "bills to pay," "letters to go through," and "coupons to review" and even my box of pens and fake Prada pen bag and stapler. All I need are some assorted binder clips, paper clips, scotch tape and stapler remover but I prefer a nice clear case for all of that.

It's amazing how a little workspace can excite me so. I get really giddy just looking at the newfound space. It's like I have a new room to go work in! I am so thankful to Andy for making the time and space for this. He is so good to me and our little house with lots of stuff.

You're A Grand Ol' Flag!

You're a high flying flag and forever in peace may you wave.....
You're the emblem of... the land I love... the home of the free and brave!
Every HEART BEATS TRUE for the RED, WHITE and BLUE where there's never a boast or fear....
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, keep your eye on the grand old flag!

I'm not sure WHY but growing up, this was my FAVORITE patriotic song. Yankee Doodle had nothing on this song because it was so fun, especially to sing it as fast as you possibly can and to bang your heart as hard as you could on all the "HEART BEATS TRUE" (three beats please) part. How I love this country and that I'm America in American (said with a Texas slang). How I love the freedoms that we enjoy. I don't think we stop to think about them long enough nor do we recognize how amazing it is to have these freedoms. It is this freedom that allowed the gospel to be restored, this freedom that led my parents here to seek a better future for their future family, and this freedom that allowed me, an ABC (American born Chinese) to get an education, go on to work, find the gospel, get baptized, get married, have a baby, and blog right now as I wish! That is insane if you truly think about the many places that are still fighting for a simple freedom such as religion.

I love love LOVE the Fourth of July. And for someone who absolutely LOVES this holiday that celebrates our country and the many freedoms we have, you'd expect some more festive planning on my part (think red white and blue desserts, matching outfits for the family, etc.). Instead, pragmatic and cheap ol' me made lemonade (pretty American, no?), banana pudding (more Southern), cut up tons of fruit (more from my Asian momma), and made a ton of sorta salsa (my mother in law's recipe that is easy, delicious and delightful!). So sadly, my Fourth of July did not consist of much cuteness but there is always next year! Instead, it did consist of some good ol' family fun with BBQ-ing, pooltime, miserable eastside LA heat and lots of sun!

For the record, it was absolutely scorching. There was just no escaping the rays of sunshine shining down on my pockets, keeping them full but hey, there's been worse situations. Unfortunately, my rainbow flip flop tan has only worsened but some whitening face masks ought to do the trick of my face getting darker (it's a Chinese thing for me, I just hate getting dark in the face). The only disappointment besides getting darker than I wanted was not taking the spontaneous adventure up north to see the McKissicks. It's always hard to plan with Andy's med school schedule and we found out Tuesday before the weekend, that he was getting the Fourth of July off and subsequently, that he would also get the Friday before the weekend off. That's a four day weekend for us with him! But for once, we had plans (for the ENTIRE weekend.. we're such social butterflies sometimes...) and even with the lure of them sponsoring our trip with paid gas, food and even tickets to the A's game and fireworks show, we had to regretfully decline the generous offer.

Here in la-la land, we did enjoy hanging out with Andy's med school buddies, watching all three parts of the trilogy Infernal Affairs (which is what The Departed was based- sorry, ripped off of), discovering Jordan absolutely adores nature and will do tummy time forever if he can look at the trees, watching Andy play in a softball game (he had some awesome plays we missed but we caught the last catch of the game!) BBQing, and as I mentioned above, soaking in the rays (I got a pocket got a pocket full of sunshine.....) and one of my favorite moments - watching the South Pasadena High School firework show for free from a park nearby that Andy recalled with Jordan sleeping through his first ever firework show (way to go son.. hahaha).

Next year, I'll aim for more red, white and blue food and a flag or star theme, matching outfits for the family and maybe Jordan will stay awake for the firework show and we can have some patriotic song singing too! - first on the list, You're a Grand Ol' Flag! I am so terribly thankful for my freedoms. I hope you are too. Happy Fourth of July!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Watch TV Criminal Law Television Much?

Ever watch a CSI marathon or consecutive episodes of rerun Law & Order episodes because you can? I distinctively remember carbon monoxide poisoning episodes .... scary stuff! Well, on the news today, I saw that all new buildings are now REQUIRED to have carbon monoxide alarms in addition to smoke alarms! Old buildings will not have any way of being held to this new law but as a law abiding citizens, we should all make a trip to Home Depot or and get one for our home now! For those who have never seen a criminal law sitcom or episode concerning carbon monoxide, it is odorless, colorless, flammable (but who has a ton of candles always lit around the house?!) and toxic!! Deadly! Dangerous!!! Granted I am definitely more paranoid than normal, I think it's a smart buy and addition to your home!