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Friday, February 25, 2011

Support PBS: Mister Rogers

Mister Rogers Defending PBS to the US Senate in 1969

I can honestly say that national and world news scares me.  I like to be sheltered in the world of not knowing (odd for a history loving person like myself), but at the same time I cannot be blinded by some of the news that comes my wayThe House of Representatives have approved for the elimination of funding for public broadcasting (along with Planned Parenthood), and I cannot stay silent.  Really, what's wrong with them?  I want every single member of the House to watch this video from 1969 where Mister Rogers defends public broadcasting and actually played a part in increasing funding from $9 million to $22 million.

Oh and Nascar means a lot more than funding for PBS and Planned Parenthood.  What the fudge?  Take a stand.  Let your voice be heard.  Save PBS!  Save Planned Parenthood too!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ultrasound: 30 Weeks 6 Days

Since I am being monitored for my diabetes, I have to have a few more ultrasounds to keep track of Ninja's progress in the womb.  That seems to be the one benefit of my health condition because I miss seeing the little guy on the screen.  Be warned that this post may contain a disturbing/odd/weird/crazy 3D ultrasound image, which I wasn't even prepared for at the appointment.

Ultrasound: 30 weeks 6 days
Baby Ninja

Wowzors!!  That's one big head on the screen!  He is developing so rapidly now, and I love that we can see his profile so well.  He was sleepy at the beginning of his photo session, but he quickly realized that he was being poked at.  So he retaliated.  Good little Ninja.

Now here comes the scary looking 3D ultrasound.  We didn't exactly want to see it because all babies look like aliens.  Don't tell me I didn't warn you...

3D Ultrasound: 30 weeks 6 days
Baby Ninja

Run away!  It's a Ninja!  Hehe.  Okay so I still think my baby looks weird in a 3D ultrasound, but it'll be fun to show him when he's older.  Checking out his facial features, he looks a lot like H.  That nose!  Those lips!  Yup, our baby is going to be a smaller version of H.  Hehe.  So the nose really takes after both sides of our family -- probably resembling my dad's nose the most.  

The little Ninja weighs in at around 3 pounds, and he is getting bigger everyday.  He is healthy and safe from danger.  Yay!  I cannot wait to see him again next month!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gestational Diabetes - Update

I have been tracking my blood glucose for almost a week now, and it's still a roller coaster ride.  Everyday I learn something new, and I have been eating healthier overall.  I would like to think I have gained control of my glucose levels, but that could easily change with just one high reading.  Here are a few things I have learned...

While I was concerned about my first prick in the morning fasting results, I now know not to worry so much.  All of my morning readings have been consistent and low.  I can eat my after dinner snack and not be scared of it affecting my first reading.  Phew.  The nurse scared me last week, telling me that I should stick with low complex carb snacks after dinner.  Pshh.

My glucose levels are super high after breakfast.  I learned that I had to eliminate all carbs from my breakfast, or else I would get results of 150 mg/dL or higher.  Eeks!  Reminder - I have to stay 130 or lower.  Instead of drinking my glass of milk with a piece of toast, I have switched to eating 2 eggs.  I get the nutrition I need without the carbs that make my glucose sky rocket.  Why so high in the morning?  I think it has to do with my metabolism.  It hasn't started up just yet, and my body needs to "warm" up for the day.  I can't process the sugar fast enough after my first meal, resulting in very high glucose levels.  No worries.  I still try to drink my glass of milk, but I drink it about 2 hours after breakfast.

I get my lowest readings at lunch.  I'm not sure why, but I like it.

Dinner is a toss up.  The first 3 nights were normal, between 100 mg/dL and 120 mg/dL.  I try to be super careful and eat very little carbs at night, mainly protein and some low carb veggies.  I figured that my metabolism has to slow down a bit around dinner time, and I adjust accordingly.  Now I'm not so sure about that speculation of mine.  I have had a reading of 93 mg/dL and 85 mg/dL for the past two nights.  Yay me!

Snacking.  Maybe this is cheating, but I "splurge" between meals and enjoy snacks that would normally make me feel guilty at an actual meal.  I know that my body is capable of processing the sugars in due time, and it does not affect my after meal results.  What do I eat?  Orange, yogurt, peanuts, apple sauce, and other yummy foods.  I also know this is when I can take a few sips of a milkshake and be okay.  I am slowly learning to spoil myself with little treats if I am doing well.  Last night I ate a Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie, and it was delicious.  Ninja even enjoyed it.

I check nutrition labels like no other.  I have no other choice these days.  It helps me get a better understanding of serving size and how most foods have a ton of carbs in them.  Before I would only check ingredients because that was all that mattered to me at the time.  Give me all the carbs and calories.  Just make sure it's not highly processed and does not contain any high fructose corn syrup.  Now I just focus on serving size and carbs.  It doesn't make me very happy, but I survive. 

How's the pricking?  It's annoying, but I have gotten used to it.  It does hurt, and each prick causes a different pain reaction.  I have to carry my blood glucose meter with me everywhere I go, and that's what my purse is for.  Some days I feel like I have such a horrible medical condition since it requires constant monitoring.

I wish I could say that I'm at the end of the bumpy road and accepting my gestational diabetes.  I have good days when my numbers are low.  As soon as I get one high result, I fall apart.  Seriously, I will sob like a baby because I hate my body's inability to process sugars fast enough.  Luckily my low numbers outnumber my high numbers, and the road isn't too bumpy after all.  I'm still reaching the stage of acceptance.

I'll just keep in mind that this is all for Ninja.  I love the little guy.

My Anthropologie Dress on Glee!

While catching up on this season of Glee, I noticed a familiar dress on the screen. It's my white Anthropologie dress!! How did I know?  It was the straps that clued me in!  It looks great paired with a red sweater and brown belt.

Glee Season 2, Episode 12 "Silly Love Songs"

Sporting my Anthropologie dress on my 24th birthday
Purchased on sale of course :)

Want to know a little secret?  I actually tried this dress on two weeks ago, thinking that I could possibly fit into it with my preggorz body.  Well I wasn't exactly too crazy because it did zip up.  Unfortunately, the bottom was way too short in front due to the baby bump.  Oh well.  At least I know I can wear the dress after Ninja arrives.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nursery in Progress - Paint Goes Up!

H had off yesterday in celebration of President's Day (shout out to all those awesome presidents -- my all time fav is FDR), and that meant a super special three day weekend for us.  Our goals consisted of seeing our family and getting Ninja's nursery ready, and we accomplished both!!  I was also in the search for diabetic friendly food, and we stocked up the fridge with lots of yummy food.  To top everything off, we even went to the court house to drop of my name change paperwork, and I have a court hearing scheduled for next Monday.  Woot!

With Ninja's crib and mattress arriving in the mail on Monday, we were motivated to get his room painted and ready for furniture.  Even though we have been in our house for over a year, we have not painted a single room (laziness).  So we lack experience, and this was our first major painting project.  Eeks!  Luckily, it turned out beautifully, and I am going to convince H that we need to paint every single room in  the house.  :)

First, H patiently put up Froggy Tape everywhere to make sure our paint stayed in place & not on the white ceiling or molding.  It was a lot of hard work, even for pregnant me who sat in the corner watching him the whole time.  To give myself some credit, I made some curtains for a kitchen cubby space.

froggy tape prepped & ready to paint

Next up, paint!  We went with Olympic no VOC paint from Lowe's, which is environmentally preferred with very low fumes.  It is great for a pregnant woman like myself, and it is super affordable.  I had a difficult time deciding on a color, and I went with the softest color from the bunch H and I had chosen.  I purchased a gallon of Olympic paint color matched to Glidden's Lemon Ice.  The color was pretty spot on, and I absolutely love it!!  

I'm also a fan of slickdeals.net, and I purchased all of our painting supplies (5 piece paint kit, 2 additional brushes, 3 extra rollers - Behr from Home Depot) for $12 with free shipping.  Yay!  We figured that all of my cost savings could go into the canvas tarp like thing to cover our hardwood floors during the painting process.  Not too shabby.

H hard at work painting the walls

We painted a layer, waited 4 hours (or was it 3) and determined that a second layer would reassure us that there would be enough coverage.  H spent the remainder of the night painting, and he did a great job.

Of course that would not be enough for one night, and H assembled Ninja's crib as soon as he finished painting the second layer.  Silly husband.  Instructions were fairly simple, and the crib came together in no time.  I absolutely love the quality and construction of the crib.  I highly recommend all Million Dollar Baby cribs!  (Refer to my post on mattress and cribs for further details.)

H diligently putting together Ninja's awesome crib

Knowing that the color of the room would look different in the morning, we took a peek at it this morning.  It looks even better than I imagined, and I absolutely love the color.  It is the perfect amount of softness and exactly what I had envisioned.  The style of the crib fits perfectly, and I have a feeling Ninja will love his room.

Nursery basking in the sun -- oh how beautiful!

While this is just the beginning, I am loving the progress H and I have made to Ninja's nursery.  I cannot wait to add a dresser, possibly a rocker, and some awesome wall decorations.  Oh Ninja, I love spoiling you.

Why Save PBS?

I am who I am today because of it.

"On Saturday, February 19th, the House of Representatives voted 235-189 to pass a continuing resolution that eliminates funding for public broadcasting. I put together this handy chart on why PBS is worth saving. Find out how you can fight back at 170 Million Americans.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am Creative Director for PBS KIDS but a life-long supporter/watcher of PBS ;)"

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gestational Diabetes - Roller Coaster Ride

This gestational diabetes thing is putting me on a roller coaster of emotions.  At first, I was pissed that I had one more thing to worry about.  Then I just accepted it and dreaded all the upcoming additional appointments for the remainder of my pregnancy.  Well yesterday was even more crazy because I came face to face with the fact that life is no fun with a limited carbohydrate diet, no fun at all.  I was starving after dinner because I had already eaten my allotted grams of carbs for the meal.  I still had room for a after dinner snack, but nothing was ever good enough (aka low enough in carbs and sugars).  I felt doomed.

While tossing and turning in my usual manner last night, I was actually thinking about how great breakfast would be.  I couldn't stop thinking about eating food.  Maybe because I was hungry at the time, and I still had many more hours to snooze before wake up time.  It was horrible because all I wanted to do was eat, eat, and eat some more.

So I decided to test out a higher carbohydrate breakfast to see how that would go.  It's my normal breakfast -- full glass of 1% milk with a piece of toasted whole wheat bread.  Sounds simple, right?  Well my after breakfast results were not so great, 20 mg above the good range.  Eeks!  How do I lower that number?  I should probably be drinking half a glass of milk and not a whole (but, but, but... I love my morning glass).  Now I've learned my lesson.  I cannot win.

I'm hoping for the best this weekend.  I have to keep my numbers low and eat meals higher in protein and fiber to make up for the absence of carbs that my body usually needs to keep full.  Sigh.  I have a feeling I will be losing weight in my last 10+ weeks of pregnancy. 

Preggorz - Week 30... Eeks!!

This post was written yesterday in the nice 60 degree weather.  I had pregnancy brain and never hit "publish."  Oops!  Enjoy!

Today I am 30 weeks along in my pregnancy!  30 freaking weeks!!  Gahhhhh!!  I don't think I can wrap that number around my head.  I liked being in the 20 something week range.  It was fun because I was far enough along to have a belly and out of the dangerous 1st trimester zone.  I had plenty of time to plan out the rest of my pregnancy and prepare for Ninja's arrival.  Now that I'm in my third trimester with only 11 weeks to go, I am freaking out.  That's 70 days remaining folks, and I am not ready (not even close)!  Ninja, please make time slow down or stay in there just a tad longer.  Thanks, dude.  I would appreciate it.

On a brighter note, the mattress, crib, cloth diapers, and painting material should be arriving early next week.  By early, I think all of them have an estimated delivery date of Monday.  Woot!  That means the room should be ready by the end of next week if we are super troopers.  By the way, ready does not really mean ready.  It only means that it should start resembling a nursery.

On a health related note, I had my gestational diabetes consultation today.  I think it went fairly well, but I will admit there were some scary parts.  Going over the diet made me feel like I would never be able to enjoy food ever again.  Seriously, I have had to give up so much already, and I'm not exactly ready to get rid of everything else.  I love eating without feeling guilty, and now I have to evaluate every single thing that enters my body.  No worries though.  I have a fairly healthy diet, and I am by no means gaining any extra weight.  My total weight gain thus far is 19 pounds, which isn't too shabby (recommended weight gain for me is probably closer to 30-35 lbs).  Then I pricked my finger and saw the nice low number on the meter.  This is after I had my lunch too.  Woot!  So I figure I'll give the testing a try and see how it goes from here.  If I stay relatively on track, then I won't be so hard on myself.

On a Ninja related note, he is doing such a super job.  The kid loves to move around, and I can't do much to stop the little guy now.  I sometimes wonder if I am being a bad mom if I don't acknowledge each and every one of his kicks.  He just moves around so often that I can't give him my full attention.  Oh and my full attention just means staring at my belly in total amazement while he does his thing.  Hehe.  Plus we get to see the fella next week for another photo shoot (aka ultrasound).  Yay!

I will begin this paragraph by saying something other than "on a _______ note."  To sum it all up, I am scared of being 30 weeks pregnant.  We are making progress with the nursery.  I am not so scared of my gestational diabetes, and Ninja is having a fabulous life in the womb.  Yay!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nursery in Progress - Mattress & Crib

On a happier note (refer to not so happy note in last entry for reference), I did make some progress with baby planning.  I went ahead and purchased a mattress and crib!  This will put my mind at ease for a bit, and I am actually super excited for their arrival at my doorstep.

I briefly mentioned how stressful planning can be because each product requires extensive research.  It can be a real pain, but it is so worth it knowing that H and I can provide Ninja with the safest and best products out there.  

Crib Mattress
While I won't go into the super details of a safe mattress (refer to Our Little Haus & Young House Love's post), I needed to look for one that would be free of the following:
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): most toxic & environmentally unfriendly plastic
  • Phthalates: can leach out of plastics & associated with reproductive harm, premature birth, asthma, early onset of puberty, cancer, and kidney and liver damage
  • Polyurethane Foam: health risks include possible cardiac arrhythmias, breathlessness, chest discomfort, irritation of mucous membranes, headache, coughing, asthma-like allergic reaction, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, and reduced pulmonary function.
  • PentaBDE: exposure is linked to numerous adverse health effects, including immune suppression, hormone disruption, learning and memory problems, behavioral changes, and cancer (banned in Europe & California)
Eeks!!  Bad mattress!  This is a bit tricky because there are very limited options out there for those who want to avoid all of those bad chemicals.  We went with an organic mattress, inside and out.  Many were super expensive, around $300.  I found an organic mattress from L.A. Baby at Costco.com for only $179.99, which includes shipping and an organic waterproof cover.  Not too shabby if I say so myself.  If we don't like it, then we can return it our local Costco without any hassle.

Crib
Again, please refer to Our Little Haus & Young House Love for all the details.  They really did a great job on keeping this new mother super informed.
  • Composite Wood & Formaldehyde: composite wood products have added formaldehyde (formaldehyde is naturally occurring in wood but not at such high levels), which is a known carcinogen, and has been linked to an increased risk of asthma and other respiratory diseases
  • Toxic Finish: not safe for baby to ingest (obviously since it is toxic), must be careful 
It can be a tad difficult to figure out if a crib can satisfy the standards of being made of solid wood with non-toxic finish.  You must be able to read it in the fine details and descriptions of the product.  If it doesn't tell you enough, then move on to the next option.  For us, it was easy to choose a crib made by the company Million Dollar Babies.  The company focuses on safety, and their cribs are made of solid wood with non-toxic stains.  Phew.  Some brands under the Million Dollar Babies company include Davinci, Nurseryworks, and Babyletto.

Now deciding on the actual crib was a lot of hard work because not only do we want a safe crib, we also want a good looking one too.  Since we plan on having a few kiddos, it only makes sense to invest in a great crib that will look classic for years to come.  I don't want to look at it in a few years and wish I had chosen something better.  At first we had our hearts set on the Davinci Kalini crib.  Take a look...

regular price $329, found online ranging from $225 - $250

I wasn't exactly sold on the style because it is too fancy for my taste.  It reminds me of a more adult spin on a crib, similar to what you may find in a Pottery Barn catalog.  The style is nice, but it doesn't fit our home very well.  The price was just right and under my $300 budget I had set aside.

Next I took inspiration from Young House Love and fell in love with their daughter's crib, which they purchased online at Walmart.com.  The lines are just right, and the style is a bit more modern but classic.  Their crib is no longer available, but I do love Baby Mod's newest model, Olivia 3-in-1 Baby Crib, priced at $299.88 with free site to store shipping.
 
Source: ohdeeoh.com

I definitely love this crib more than the Davinci Kalani, but do I love the price or the fact that it's from Walmart?  The crib is a good $50 more expensive, and it's from a store that lacks good values.  Wait, is Baby Mod made of solid wood & non-toxic?  Why, yes it is, and the Olivia so happens to be an off branded Babyletto crib made by the Million Dollar Baby parent company.  Want to see a comparison of the almost identical crib from Babyletto (darker stain & more rectangular legs)?


Why not buy from another company with values more aligned with mine?  Well the price tag of $400 is a tad too much for this new family to swallow.  While I understand that each product we buy the little Ninja will be an investment, it's hard to part with an extra $100 that could go towards his organic crib mattress.  The quality is the same.  The product is nearly identical.  Plus it's the style that I'm yearning for, and honestly, I like the Baby Mod version better with the lighter wood stain.  Wouldn't it go nice with this rocker from Urban Outfitters?

originally $289, sale $189.99

Fine.  I'm sold.  I went with the Baby Mod Olivia crib from Walmart, and I will be happy once it is fully assembled in Ninja's nursery.  He is one spoiled little baby who is truly loved by his mommy and daddy.  Only the best for my child.  :)

Today's goal is to make a final decision on paint color and purchase a gallon of Olympic no VOC paint.  Again, only the best for the little one.  I'm just super happy that Lowe's carries an affordable no VOC paint option.  

Research is a lot of hard work.  It's all worth it in the end.  There is a huge sense of satisfaction knowing all the research and thought that goes into every little detail.  

P.S. In the baby world, I think most people want to go crazy and shop at Pottery Barn Kids for baby goods.  Let me just say that their cribs might look very classic and stylish, but they are not exactly super safe.  Cribs I looked at were not made completely of solid wood but a mix of solid wood and wood veneer.  Eeks!  H and I went to the PB outlet this past weekend and saw a crib that was chipped, and we could actually see the layers of stuff that most certainly did not look like solid wood.  Boo, Pottery Barn.  Your products are super expensive, and it's not high quality.  Shame on you!  Plus there is no evidence that the stain is non-toxic.  Internet description only states that it is a high quality stain, which will match the rest of your PB furniture nicely.  Psh.  It's sad when Walmart carries a higher quality product.

Monday, February 14, 2011

News Just In - I Have Gestational Diabetes

I am supposed to be running errands now, but I need to vent a little to get some stuff out of my system.  I just got a call from my doctor telling me that I have gestational diabetes (read about my 3 hour test here).  Woot.  Okay so it's not a big deal.  I never had it high on my list of concerns, especially with my family history.  Both of my parents have diabetes, and my mom had gestational diabetes with my younger sister.  My dad has been a trooper controlling his glucose levels, and I have always looked up to him.

So now it's my turn.  It's not a huge concern because it will go away after the baby is born.  The baby will not be overweight like some babies to mothers with gestational diabetes.  Have you seen me?  Seriously, I am not overweight (total weight gain - 15 lbs), and my baby is growing normally.  I was only 6 pounds at birth and so was the hubby.  I have been keeping an eye on Ninja's health by going to my doctor every month, and each time I leave the office being told that everything looks good. 

So what is my concern now?  I can't be a happy pregnant woman who enjoys the indulgences of satisfying cravings with no guilt.  Don't get me wrong.  I actually eat less food now than I did before baby.  I have a super high metabolism and can eat as much as my husband at the dinner table (usually but count me out at buffets) before pregnancy.  With baby, there is just less room inside, and I eat normal sized meals (or slightly smaller).  I even started out my pregnancy with little to no appetite and ate very little in the beginning.  I don't eat the bad stuff (fried foods give me heartburn).  I eat enough of the good stuff.  I only eat the 300 extra calories I need a day as recommended.  Okay I don't even know if I eat the extra calories a day.  I just don't eat literally for 2 grown up sized people.  As for the sugary stuff, I don't eat much of that either.  I enjoy one sweet item a day as a treat to myself (having a bun in the oven is hard work), and that is pretty much it.  I don't drink the sugary stuff and stick with my glass of water (probably drinking double the amount recommended a day). 

I'm mad that I have one extra thing to worry about.  I already have enough on my plate.  Preparing for the first baby is hard work.  There is so much to buy and so much to research into every single product (ie. crib & mattress have to be completely free of all toxins -- organic mattress & a solid wood crib with non-toxic stain).  I still need to learn how to give birth to this baby and how to take care of him once he arrives.  I have no idea!  I am a first time mother, and I am so behind on everything.  I don't need to add gestational diabetes to my list of worries right now.  It is too much for me to handle.  Remember how I need to keep the stress levels down?  Well this diabetes thing is not helping.

I was actually having a decent day.  I had all of these wonderful plans to run errands in the afternoon and cook dinner at night for the hubby.  Now I'm just kind of depressed by everything & mentally exhausted.  The news of my gestational diabetes threw me over the edge, and I can't recover.  Ugh.  This is no fun.  I had planned on making cute Valentine's Day cupcakes from scratch, and now there is no use.  I can't even eat them with my hubby.  I may just forgo all plans and just stay in bed for the rest of the day.  That's usually my solution to a crappy day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Auto Show = Search for Family Car

H and I went to the Philly Auto Show last week, which was quite an adventure.  We skipped last year's auto show, mainly because we were wrapped up in wedding stuffs and forgot.  This year we actually had a few reasons for going.  We are sort of in the market for a new car, but it won't be for another couple of years before we're ready to purchase.  We are also trying to fit in as many cool adventures before Ninja makes his arrival.

To be super awesome, I took the bus to meet up with H at the mall.  It turned out to be more complicated than I originally planned in my head.  Imagine pregnant Yin walking with a huge tote full of camera gear, water bottles, and snacks.  There was still leftover snow and ice on the ground, and I had to navigate the neighborhood walking on the street instead of the sidewalk.  Then I ran into a huge problem going over the bridge to get to my bus stop at the Municipal building -- the sidewalk was never shoveled and super icy.  Eeeks!!  H would have had a fit if he saw me grab onto the guard rail for life as I tried crossing the bridge with a tote full of heavy gear and a Ninja in my belly.  Well I made it safely to my  bus stop, and it only took me 20 minutes.  I ended up waiting over a half an hour for the actual bus to arrive.  I also learned a few new lessons since the last time I took the bus, as I sadly glanced at my intended bus drive right past me.  Luckily there was an express that came shortly after.  Phew.

Back to the auto show story -- soooo H and I like to go every year if possible.  We also have a strategy to go on weekdays to ensure that there are less people, better availability for parking, and it's cheaper!  This year we spent a total of $8 per person for admission and $0 on parking (free street parking on the other side of Vine Street). Woot.

Circa 2006

Circa 2007

With a little bundle of joy on the way, we are in the market for a family vehicle.  I'm a tad picky, and SUVs and minivans are out of the question.  I told H a while ago that I wanted a station wagon for our family and how awesome it would be to take on family trips.  Oddly enough, he was on the same page, and we hope to be a station wagon family.  Hehe.

First up, we saw the Toyota Venza.  I'll admit I had my heart set on one car and one car only, but I tried to keep an open mind.  It was quite a crowd pleaser, and I was pleasantly surprised by what this wagon had to offer.  The back trunk space is super spacious, and the back seats go down with ease with a spring release.  Our small car lacks the trunk space that we are increasingly yearning for these days after our trips to Ikea.  I also loved the roominess of the back seats, which I happily imagined our little kiddos sitting in on our long road trip adventures.  The front passenger seat (I love being the passenger) was nice and comfortable.  I'll admit the trunk space and back seats won me over.  I can't remember the rest.  Oops!

Thumbs up!  Yin approved!

As a side note, we also took a look at a hideous looking car called the Scion tC.  Five lovely years ago, this car was an integral part of my relationship with H.  This year, the car looks sad, boxy, and pretty pathetic.  Boo!  I also am not a fan of this color, which I have been seeing on dealer lots trying to sell this bad boy.  Poor decision Scion, poor decision.

Thumbs down.  Yin disapproved.

Next up we have the swoon worthy Acura TSX Sports Wagon, which debuts this year.  Now this is the prize that I have been eying for months, and I could not wait to get inside this car.  I absolutely love our 2006 Acura TSX, and what's not to love about a wagon version of our car?  I could live with the familiarity of a TSX and gain the advantages of a wagon all in one.  Sounds like a super sweet deal, right?  Unfortunately, it just did not live up to my expectations.  (insert sad face)  The trunk space was smaller and narrow at the wheels.  This is one of the problems that we currently have with our car, which limits our ability to lug around wide cargo.  The back seats were even more disappointing with less room than our car.  Eeeks!  The middle seat has no leg space whatsoever because it has been compromised to to have back seat vents.  I sadly envisioned our kiddos being cramped in the back on our long road trip adventures.  All was not completely lost because the familiarity of the car was regained in the front seats.  It felt like home to me, but unfortunately it could not make up for all of its other faults.

Yin gives stink eye.  Yin disapproved.  Boo.

We also took a look at the Honda Crosstour, but I have no pictures to show you my reaction.  From what I remember, there were still a lot of room for improvement.  I didn't see it as our future family vehicle just yet, but I hoped that it would get better in years to come.  Of course I did like the familiarity that can only be found in a Honda/Acura, but that's not enough to win me over.

Of course if H did a recap of the auto show, I'm sure he would have more to tell.  I'm all about the station wagon right now, and I hope that there will be one in our driveway in the future.  For now our lovely Acura TSX will continue to keep chugging with almost 100k miles on it.  Hehe.  This will be Ninja's first family car, and I cannot be happier.  H and I have so many memories and adventures in our car, and we hope to continue that with our family.  It makes me smile to imagine Ninja coming home from the hospital in the back seat of our TSX.  :)

Being a Housewife/Stay at Home Mom

I am very fortunate to be able to stay at home with the Ninja through my pregnancy and beyond.  Financially, we are pretty well off with no debt in our names, except for our mortgage.  We are living comfortably with one income, as long as we continue to be smart about our spending.  So what's there not to love about my situation?  I get to stay home and relax through my pregnancy.  Once the baby comes, I'll still be here by his side 24/7.  It sounds pretty good, but this is how I'm actually feeling...

I feel like a disappointment.  So many other people are working while pregnant, and it is completely possible to juggle baby and work, especially when the baby is still inside.  I decided not to work because my pregnancy symptoms were getting the best of me, and I couldn't function properly during the 1st trimester.  Sure, I did get better, but I didn't want to go back to work either.  It was a great job to get me through my dry spell, but it wasn't my forever job.  I knew that I had to pursue something else, but I just didn't know what at the time.  I honestly still don't know where my career path could possibly lead me, or if I will ever have a career path at all.  H wants me to go back to school after baby arrives.  I don't know how that is going to work out, especially when I still don't know what I want to do with my life.

It must be nice to be at home with nothing to worry about, right?  Wrong.  Being at home now is similar to being at home when I was unemployed.  While it's nice to think of all the things one can accomplish without having to go to work from 9-5, I don't get much accomplished.  Sure, I clean up the house and try to cross things off my to do list, but it's not as lovely as it sounds.  I don't run errands because I don't like shopping alone.  It's sad.  I think my solution to this problem is simply to create a schedule for myself.  It can vary from day to day, but I should organize my days better.  I say this now with 2.5 months of pregnancy remaining.  Ha.

Then I go back to feeling like a disappointment.  No one looks up to a person who stays at home all day. Trust me.  Only the same people who want to be stay at home mothers look up to you.  Everyone else wonders what the heck I'm doing at home.  I can honestly say that I have not had any adult approval on my decision to be at home, except for my own parents.  So I pretty much feel like crap for being at home and not being a productive member of this society.  I also don't have much support on being a stay at home mother once Ninja arrives.  Everyone assumes that I will go back to working right away.  Eh?  Once Ninja is born, I feel like my role as his mother is even more important than finding an unfulfilling job to pay the bills (aka childcare).

As a result I can have days when I'm constantly doing stuff around the house to make up for my status as a housewife.  There are even times when I put myself and Ninja in danger because I am overworking my body and get so easily exhausted doing the simplest of tasks for an extended amount of time.  There are so many moments when I think, "Oh shoot.  H is going to yell at me when I tell him what I did today."  I constantly feel like I have to prove myself so that I can stay at home without feeling guilty.  Does it help?  Not really.  I still feel guilty, but the levels of guilt does go down a few notches.

What gets me through all of this?  My husband.  He supports me 100%, and he wants me to be at home to take care of Ninja.  I am super lucky, and I wish there were more people out there who would support us instead of looking down on us.  Sigh.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Preggorz - Week 28

Gahhh... I'm already 29 weeks along (as of today)!!  Ninja keeps getting bigger, and I am turning into a whale.  Wanna see?


2 weeks ago I looked a little more like this...


Today I took my 3 hour glucose test since I failed my 1 hour glucose test over the weekend.  Boo.  It was extremely painful, and I had wishfully hoped that I passed the first test.  The test determines whether or not I have gestational diabetes, which can have effects on Baby Ninja.  I could give you a whole lesson on what that means, but I would rather not think about it.  Honestly, I'm not so worried about having gestational diabetes.  It's not that rare, and it will go away after pregnancy.  So today I had to fast for 12 hours, drink a nasty & super sugary glucose drink, get stabbed at with a needle 4 times to have my blood drawn every hour, and I almost passed out/threw up.  It was not fun at all.  After 30 minutes of drinking the highly concentrated nasty stuff, I was so close to throwing up, but that would have ruined the test!  Noooo!!  I was determined to keep it in, and I did.  Phew.  I was too queasy to do anything other than sit in the chair and wait for the timer to beep every hour for my blood withdrawal.  Ninja was a trooper along for the ride, and he stayed pretty calm.

Now I just sit here and wait for the test results.  I don't want to get poked at with a needle for at least another month, and I am going to treat myself to a lot of yummy food tonight.  Ninja and I deserve a good meal after the morning we had today.  :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Must Eliminate Stress

With the little Ninja inside, I have to make an effort to prevent stress from entering my life.  Easier said than done.  If I induce stress, then my little one will feel the effects too.  That's not fair.  Being at home does take away a lot of outside stress that I might normally encounter.  Unfortunately, I cannot be completely sheltered.  Enter stress.

My family is always full of surprises.  There is never a dull moment, and that means that there are always problems.  I see my dad pretty often.  He drops by the house almost everyday to pick up my sister (she uses the bus stop by our house).  He never drops by with great news that leaves me calm and relaxed.  Instead I have to hear about problems x, y, and z.  Not only do I have to hear about them, but I even have to get involved.  I am currently in the process of preparing taxes for them, which can be a real pain when they neglect to keep any documentation from the past year.  I am also in charge of Project Picture Album.  My dad brought over 3 albums that I have made for him in the past couple of years, and he wants them updated.  Ughhh.  Taxes and photos have to be done very soon because my parents are leaving the country in less than a month.  Don't forget about the slew of other problems that I have to hear about...
  • the car that is a piece of 9 year old junk & constantly needs repairs
  • not replacing said car (after H & I brought them to 4 dealerships and asked for quotes) & having to complain about $$ for repairs
  • constantly asking if H knows a mechanic who can fix said problem (we have never brought our car into the shop & it has almost 100k miles on it)
  • listening to rental house problems on a daily basis
  • how much they are dreading going to court to deal with rental house problem
  • their ridiculously high Verizon bill
  • how much their utility bill costs even though the house is freezing inside
  • .... okay I could go on forever
So yeah.. I have to listen to all of this and even deal with their problems.  It is not easy to stay calm, and most of the time I go crazy.  Honestly, I do not need extra stress right now.  Why?

I'm already stressing out about entering my 7th month of pregnancy and being completely unprepared to Ninja's arrival.  I am so behind on everything, and I feel like there is no feasible way to be prepared.  I can't even finish reading my one and only pregnancy book.  I have so many more books I need to read about breast feeding and taking care of a child.  Then I have to worry about insurance because that's always complicated.  The insurance plan has changed, and it will change again once H gets hired on directly (he's currently a contractor).  The new insurance will be a heck of a lot more complicated and expensive.  My OB doctor does not accept this company either because they suck at paying.  Ninja's room is still a complete mess, and we haven't bought anything to prepare.  Yeah... please add more things for me to worry about.

Then I get the news today that I didn't do so well and tested kind of high for gestational diabetes.  I have to go back for another test to determine if I actually have it or not, and that test is 3 hours long (super long).  I could barely take waiting an hour for the first test over the weekend.  How am I going to keep myself sane for 3 hours??  They also need to poke my arm multiple times to draw blood in those 3 hours, and every single time I get bruised. I should have scored 11 points higher and be a shoe in for gestational diabetes so that I don't have to take the 3 hour test.

So this entry is just me venting like no other.  Lo siento.  I am stressed and having a horrible day.  Poor Ninja.  He does not deserve this.  Someone magically take all the stress away.  I will be forever grateful.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Name Change in Progress!


Remember how I said I was taking the necessary steps to change my name over a year and a half ago?  Well I never got around to it.  Surprise, surprise!!  It has been 8 years since I discovered my not so fabulous hyphenated legal name, and I am finally taking the proper steps to make my name right again.  I had intended to change my name before getting married, but I always put it on the back burner.  There were just so many other things going on in my life, and I never made this a priority.  I did get married, and the name on my marriage certificate reflects the one I have lived with for my entire life (thank you, driver's license).  So far only my birth certificate, social security card, and some tax information have my birth given name documented.  Everything else (driver's license, passports, marriage certificate, etc) reflects the awesome non-hyphenated version of my name.

So why the sudden urge to change the name?  It is all for my baby Ninja of course!  He deserves to live a life with no name confusion, and I want to make sure that my name is all sorts of awesome and correct on his birth certificate.  Currently, my hospital records are all over the place because of insurance name confusion, and it's just not very pretty.  Before we got married, I told H that I wanted to keep my maiden name.  He assumed that I would just add his last name to mine, making my last name two words long.  So that's what my insurance card says, and I have to keep all of my health records in line with that new name.  My original plan was to just move my maiden name up in the middle name slot and take H's last name.

To make sure that happens the right way, I'm going ahead with my legal name change.  I will try to correct all the confusion that could possibly be made with what I thought was a simple name consisting of only 9 letters.  Now I gain 3 more letters through marriage and rearrange the position of those names to the proper place.  Oye.

Above you will find evidence that I did take my first step in changing my name.  Yay me!!  I went to my local newspaper, filled out a form, wrote a check for $59.25, and went on my way to patiently wait for the name change announcement to be made in the next edition of the paper.  I did censor my maiden and married name.  I have to keep some secrets from you guys after all.  Hehe.

Wish me luck on the rest of my name change process.  I hope I can get all of this done before Ninja's birth.  *crosses fingers*

Thursday, February 3, 2011

24 and Pregnant

I am 24 years old, married, and pregnant with my first child.  That sounds like a lot for a 24 year old.  I wish I could say that I'm turning 25 very soon, but I still have over 7 months remaining.  Now here's the bummer.  I feel like such a loner.  My friends are slowly getting engaged and married.  Many don't have plans of starting a family very soon, focusing on a career and life as a married couple.  I am alone in my boat.  I can't even relate to my sisters, who are all 9-13 years older than me, married, and without kids.

Am I too young?  I don't think so.  Society tells me otherwise.  Of course I did everything in the right order -- find a man, fall in love, engaged, married, and then made a baby.  In America it is so common to see people finding love later in their lives and getting married in their late twenties and early thirties.  Most couples like to wait a few years and enjoy married life before starting a family.  So does that mean it is normal to start a family when you're in your thirties?  Am I 6 years too early?  Does it help that my husband is turning 28 this year, and he is closer to the thirties end of the spectrum?  Do I really need society's approval?  No. 

Am I ready?  Yes!  I know it may sound silly to those who have other priorities in life.  Mine are different, and I have always wanted to start a family relatively soon after marriage.  I will admit that I thought it would take a year for us to prepare, but sometimes life has a way of sneaking in some surprises.

So I'm 24 and pregnant.  I have a baby who is my constant companion (he doesn't have much of a choice).  Yet, I feel so lonely because I am such a rare kind and have no one to relate to.  Sigh.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Gene Machine

Have you ever imagined what your children will look like?  Dave & Buster takes the guess work out with their accurate/not so accurate Gene Machine.  Hubby and I tried this machine out three years ago, and this was our result...


Eeeks!!  I thought we would have the cutest little Asian babies, and this is what the Gene Machine gives us?  The girl looks kind of creepy, and now we have very low expectations.  The good thing is that parents are super bias.  Our Baby Ninja will be the cutest baby on Earth, even during those first couple of months when he will most likely look more like an alien than a baby.  He is still in the womb, and I keep telling H that Ninja is so super cute.  How do I know?  You're going to think I'm crazy, but I think he is so stinking adorable from the way he kicks.  I told you parents are bias!