Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gong Hay Fat Choy!

There's no doubt about it - despite teaching my son how to articulately express his Chinese New Year greetings in Mandarin with gong xi fa tsai! - the Cantonese version is much more fun to type and say... gong hay fat choy!!!!!

I am so ecstatic about Chinese New Year.  Ever since Jordan was born, I've been excited about sharing the story of the Chinese Zodiac and the Monster Nian, as I remember hearing it so many times at Chinese School growing up.  I also have been excited about having an excuse to share a bit of my culture with my son, who let's face it, will be American.  There's something about knowing your culture will slowly disappear into the melting pot of America that makes it kind of neat to celebrate and learn about.  There's also a certain amount of appreciation I have for how less common being Chinese is when you aren't living in Arcasia or LA, how little people seem to know about Chinese food and traditions, and how much I want to remember it all.

Chinese lion dancing...?  Seen it, been there, done that.. big whooop.  Chinese yo-yo's?  Seen it, been there, done that.. big whooop.  Chinese ribbon tying?  Seen it, been there, done that.. big whooop.  Stinky tofu?  Seen it, been there, done that, watched my cousin puke when he got a whiff of it... big whoooop.  8 treasure rice?  Yeah yeah... lobster noodles?  Yeah yeah... sesame ricballs? ... what's new.  BBQ pig... roasted duck... what's new.

But outside of Arcasia (and probably Fluschings New York), it really is not as common!  It really is kind of a big deal.

Have I told you how lucky I am to be in Salt Lake?  How much family we have here to celebrate with us?  After a year without a real Chinese New Year celebration, today was just what I needed.  We started off New Year's Eve (that's when our family celebrates.. always) by having a party with Andy's cousin and her three kids (with boys ages 4, 2 and a girl about 2 months... oh and another Chinese friend I made randomly in Salt Lake too) eating dumplings, green onion pancake, freshly made soy milk (she made it, not me), almond cookies and clementines, coloring a horse photo, opening lucky red envelopes and playing together.  And that wasn't even the end of it!  For dinner, Andy's mom got the entire family together for some amazing Chinese food and then we even got fireworks too (because in case you didn't know, we're connected to a firework VIP)?!  uh---mazing!  Terrific!  Wonderful! I was sooo stoked!!!!

So gong hay fat choy!  Hope you have a year full of prosperity and good fortune.

NOTE: Still learning my camera, had it on auto but apparently it was too slow for my son's insane movements.  Also, the toilet paper rolls - a craft we never got to - making Chinese firecrackers.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

These Two Boys

When I found out I was having another boy, I was a bit nervous.  I had heard horror stories of my co-workers' two boys and the older one finding ways to hit the younger one when the parents weren't looking, to feign love but harbor resentment and disdain for the little brother that ruined big brother's days of royalty as the sole heir in the home.  From the beginning of our pregnancy with number two, we got books from the library about brothers, siblings, and baby.  Jordan couldn't even talk much then, was communicating with signs, a lot of gestures, and seemed to get it somewhat.  He'd have days when he'd be really into the "big brother" book we got, and other days when it was the last thing he wanted to read.  

And then I was in the hospital for two weeks before Bubba came.  Still not talking a lot at 23 months, Jordan just knew Mom was gong with Bubba and that Bubba was inside my stomach.  He had a great time with Grandma while Daddy worked and then... Bubba was here and Mom was back.  While Bubba was in the NICU for a month, Jordan still just heard about Bubba, would say "I love you Bubba" as we drove by the hospital, and finally... after almost forever, he got to meet Bubba through the looking glass of the NICU.  And boy.. was he excited.  And that excitement for his baby brother... maybe increased because of how long he was unable to see him and had heard of him, has only seemed to grow.  

Sure he pushes the limits from time to time.  Sure he doesn't understand why he can't just hold his baby brother whenever he wants.  Sure he tries to roll Bubba over and gets put into time out.  Sure he takes toys away from Bubba and makes him cry.  But most of the time, he's just learning and it's pretty dang sweet to see him look out for his baby brother.  Jordan will go grab a toy (albeit it a not so cool and lamer toy) for Bubba, will tell him his planes are not baby toys.  Likewise, he will eat Bubba's snacks and say he wants some baby snacks too, but then tell me that avocado is Bubba's food, not his.  He becomes really defensive anytime other people are around Bubba or other kids are trying to touch Bubba's toys.  Bubba is for the most part, his and Mommy's and Daddy's and everyone else is okay touching him, unless he's sick or tired or hungry.... then nobody can touch Bubba!  

I've been enjoying the perks of being able to witness their love for one another.  Bubba LOVES watching Jordan, he is a pretty great eater and generally focused, but the moment Jordan finishes eating and asks to be excused, Jordan runs out of the kitchen in the morning leaving Bubba cranking his neck here and there in an effort to catch a glimpse of big brother running in the hallway.  It's absolutely adorable.  You can tell he's got an inner struggle of - stay and eat, see what big bro is doing.  Bubba loves being with Jordan and if he's in the car without Jordan, he almost looks anxious until he can see Jordan sitting next to him, and then it's as if he's letting out a sigh of relief and then gives in and goes ahead and falls asleep.  If he's awake, 90% of the time, his head is turned left to stare at Jordan.  

Bubba had his 9 month appointment today, so Jordan got two lollipops and a sheet of four Superman stickers that he has transferred to his PJs to sleep with - it was a great day for Jordan! But it was also so so cute to see Jordan express concern for his baby brother - first while he was getting his shots, telling him "don't be scared Bubba" and "you'll feel better after" and then in the radiology room where he shouted from the next room (where the technician asked Jordan to sit and gave him a lollipop to help occupy him), "it's okay Bubba, don't be scared" (Jordan was just in the x-ray room over Christmas so he might have recalled Andy saying that to him). 

These two are (hopefully) going to be the best of friends!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How Do You Do It?

Those five words should be a compliment of sorts, but the reality is, whenever someone asks me how I do it (stay home with two kids, work, and whatever else I find myself interested in ... photoshop, budgeting, organizing, cleaning, etc.), I secretly am thinking and laughing to myself... if only they knew.  My secret......?  I sacrifice hygiene.  Yeah, it's pretty disgusting and rather pathetic to admit, but it's the truth.  I don't wear make-up everyday consistently, I sometimes forget to brush my teeth, my hair is a nightmare, my favorite go-to outfit is jeans with a big ol' sweatshirt, I barely shower until I really need to (you'd be surprised how long you can go when you're just kicking it at home all day long), and I live in my baggy Lululemons (kind of fancy, but not if you've seen mine) that are too long and make me trip sometimes - but I don't care, they're just too fabulously comfortable to care!  The only thing I am quite particular about is getting my kids diapers' changed every morning before breakfast, changed into real clothes after breakfast before we head out (if we head out), and lathering onto my own face: toner, serum, moisturizer, and SPF 25.  Yes, I'm a typical Asian - we take our skincare very seriously... well, at least I do! 

When I was working, I always took my showers at night, slept with wet hair in hopes of it coming out fantastic in the morning or being wet enough that I could style it with it only actually doing that miraculously 1 out of every 10 times.  So on the all hands office meeting days when I would actually make the sacrifice to wake up early to shower and do my hair, I would get these odd compliments about if I had just gotten my hair cut or changed it somehow.  Go figure.  

When I began working out consistently and not just for a lousy 10 minutes (mid 20's), I began investing in some fancy work out gear and found myself showering a lot because if you really work out, you can't really get away without a full shower.  That was probably an anomaly in my life to date.  And these days.. even if I do sweat, by the time I get the kids all in order and home to a shower, the sweat has dried off and I seem to forget that I'm in need of one.  Yuck right?  Truth!

When I was dating Andy and I met his family for the first time as his "girlfriend," I'd shower and do my hair everyday.  I remember thinking as I was getting ready one time, looking into the mirror in his sister's bathroom, how odd that I was putting so much effort into getting ready when this would not be a normal part of my day in the future.  But when everyone in the family showers a lot, you kinda feel pressured into doing the same.  Needless to say, how quick we fall... I sure hope Andy doesn't mind or doesn't think his wife has let herself go, because she kind of has.  

The exception would be when I'm back visiting Arcasia and with my mom.  There are high standards for the rare chance that you run into someone you used to know in high school or one of your mom's friends and *gasp, heaven forbid, you embarrass your mother because you aren't looking fabulous and like you were still in college (the good third and fourth year, not the freshman 20 really tired studying for finals kind).  So it makes me laugh when I think about how Andy has chillaxed to my level of laid back slothfulness and how we lost our luggage once and had to hang out all day in Arcasia with him in Nike sweat and Sperry boat shoes.  It was not a pretty look and I feel bad admitting that even I was a bit nervous to go out with him in fear of running into anyone I knew from high school.  HAHAHA.  He kept asking me why I cared.  I couldn't quite explain that it was just a different standard in Arcasia.  Puh-lease, I have a reputation to uphold here right?  HAHAHAHAHA.  

Why do we care so much about what other people think sometimes?  I'm not sure I know the answer, but I do care from time to time.... it ebbs and flows...and I'll let you in on a little secret... even when I'm in my baggy Lulus, I think I look pretty smoking hot.  Those pants sure are flattering, me thinks, though they probably are not.  Even when I'm sporting jeans with a big ol' sweatshirt, I'm thinking - yeah, I wear this sweatshirt well, a sweatshirt never looked so good before!  But I think that is the key to success and confidence sometimes... thinking you got it when you might not.  

At least that's how motherhood and parenthood works sometimes.  HA!  So in conclusion, I don't really do it.  Nobody really does it.  They just fake it until they make it.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Momma's Boy

Andy has a theory that our second born, Bubba, is more of a momma's boy because anytime Andy comes home to play, that leaves Bubba and me while Andy and Jordan are playing.  Unsure if that's true or not, he smiles everytime he sees me no matter what he's doing.  I sure enjoy our time together when Jordan's at pre-school.  I finally didn't have a conference call on Friday this week, so we took some photos, just me and Bubs.  One of these will be his 9 month photo for my milestone tracking... yeah, I'm just not as good with the second child, but A for effort.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Kid Is Awesome

At least that much he's quite confident of.

Me: Jordan, you're handsome.
Jordan: No, I'm not!
Me: Oh, okay, am I pretty?
Jordan: Yes, you're pretty.
Me: What are you then?  Not handsome?
Jordan: No, I'm just awesome!
Me: Oh, are you also a big kid?
Jordan: Yes, and awesome!

He really thinks he's awesome.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Kid On Fat

Jordan: What's that Mommy? pointing to my stomach and watching it ebb and flow
Me: That's fat.
Jordan: Oh, when is him coming out?
Me: Hopefully soon.
Jordan: I want to play with Fat.  I want Fat to come out and play.
Me:  Okay.

A few days later.

Jordan: I miss fat.  When is him coming out?
Me: I'm not sure.
Jordan: Fat's mine.  He's my friend.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lack of Posts.....

I love writing.  I love blogging.  I even consider myself a blogger because I like to blog, not because my blog generates any sort of huge number of visitors, hits, or revenue (like the typical definition of real bloggers hahaha).  It's therapeutic.  It's fun.  And I just enjoy it!  But lately, when free time permits and I want to be on the computer, I don't feel so much like blogging when I could be working on my book (this thing I started for my senior college thesis ten years ago....) that I hope to self-publish on Amazon in 2014 or playing on photoshop (I'm learning so much through tutorials and experimenting).  So sadly family and friends... I guess.... it's come.. the time when our blog has died.  Or is dying.  Is slowly enduring to its end.  Those fatal last posts.  The time separation between each posts grows longer... and before you know it... it's not you, it's me.

Oh well.. be on the look out for my book when it gets published.

Also, my company website got a refresh with rebranding and I have had the opportunity to write a lot of fun articles or edit ones written by others, so that's been keeping me busy too.  Hehe.  Haha.
Peace out homies!