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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hair Transformation

I finally got fed up with my super long hair, and I scheduled an appointment for a haircut.  It's a shame, but the last time I cut my hair was almost a year ago for the wedding.  Taking prenatal vitamins only makes my hair grow longer and stronger.  Oye.  It's not a good combination, especially when it gets in the way while sleeping in my boat every night.  Good thing I am very open to drastic haircuts.

So there is this stylist that every single one of my sisters go to, and it's pretty sad how much we love her.  It started out years ago, over a decade.  Sometimes one of us would go elsewhere because she is rather pricey, and we're not all made out of money.  Well we always come running back because there is no other person who can even compare.  I have been the only one who is too cheap to go to her regularly.  No worries.  I have returned!  By the way, I said the same thing last year too, and I returned a year later.  Haha.

Ready for the reveal?

I am loving the shorter hair!!  I feel like a new woman.  Would that be the new look for a new mom?  Haha.  At least I look a tad older, right?

Oh do you want to see the disastrous before photo?  Yeah I am ashamed it took me this long to cut it.

Eating at Home - Update!

Since some of you guys gave some wonderful suggestions on how to eat at home, I wanted to report back that we have been doing pretty well in this household.  It did take us a while to get there, but we started to plan our weekly meals again.  I no longer wait for H to come home and try to put together some crazy meal.  Instead we plan over the weekend and buy groceries accordingly.

Because I'm super awesome, I even made a freezer inventory list that I go to pretty often.  Sometimes you just forget what is in there, and it pains me to forget about all that yummy food.  This week we made a good effort to plan our meals around freezer items.  We also try not to buy any additional freezer items to free up some space.  I figured we would need that space once the baby arrives.  No, we're not going to put the baby in the freezer!  We'll be cooking and freezing meals for our own convenience.  There will be no time to cook with a baby around.

created by yours truly in Excel

H had a great idea to put a chalkboard up in our kitchen so that we can write down our meals for the week.  The hardest part was finding a chalkboard!  You can find dry erase board and cork boards, but no one carries chalkboards anymore.  We did have the option of painting our walls with chalkboard paint, but that just sounds like too much work.  Luckily, we did find one on our crazy trip to a new Ikea two weeks ago.  Now it has a home in our kitchen, and H loves looking at the board.  I'll have to jazz it up with some washi tape (Japanese masking tape made of rice paper) and some colorful chalk.  :)

It is perfect for our menu, a picture of a ninja turtle, mail, and keys.

We also have a lot of motivation to keep up with our meals.  My sister is staying with us for the duration of my parent's annual trip back to China and Hong Kong (about 1.5 months).  It's really difficult to make another person have to suffer due to our inability to cook at home.  Plus we have to keep her healthy too.  I can't just feed her junk food at every meal.  That would make me a horrible sister.  My diet also plays a factor, and I have to have food on hand with little to no carbs.

So far, so good!  I think we can continue this until Ninja's arrival.  Once he comes, there is no guarantee this system will work for us anymore.  We might just be too consumed with the little guy.  I'm happy that we were at least able to get to this point and save money by eating at home.  No worries.  We still go out plenty.  This is our last chance to go on dates without having to hire a babysitter after all.  Hehe.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Defeated -- Take That!

My last diabetes related entry was not a very happy one.  Well DCMFM called my doctor's office to tell them that I refused to take the medication that was recommended to me.  While that is correct, I wanted to give it a few more days before accepting medication.  It is my last resort after all.  It feels like I'm being treated like a kid without a mind of my own, and that sucks.  Oye.

How have I been doing so far?  Pretty great actually.  My scores have been between 59 and 100 with only one "bad" score of 90 after a fasting.  Keep in mind that I need to stay 90 and  below after fasting and 130 and below after a meal.  I will admit that I kept my after meal scores below 100 to spite that crazy office for making me think I was crazy.  No worries.  I'm not starving myself or anything.  That was probably 2-3 weeks ago when I couldn't stand my repetitive diet.  I'm just eating protein with veggies or veggies with protein (salads).  I have eliminated all carbs because it's just useless when all the doctors care about are the scores.  Regardless, I do treat myself to very little carbs between my meals, usually in the form of fruits.  While I shouldn't be eating dessert at all, I still do.  I am human after all.  Plus I had a fasting score of 59 on the one night that I didn't eat dessert, and under 70 is not very good.  I probably should have passed out that morning.  Oh well.  I was fine, and I made breakfast right away.

Oh I did give up my morning yogurt, and that does make me sad.  Instead I eat eggs with veggie sausage.  I hate eggs, but that's the only thing that can keep my breakfast score low.  I can't drink milk, eat oatmeal, or toast.  It's pretty sad.  I found yogurt as a way to have a small but satisfying breakfast, even if it is a super small portion.  I'll just continue eating my eggs for the remainder of this pregnancy.  :(

I wish that this could be a completely happy post, but I have a feeling that the doctors at DCMFM will make me feel bad tomorrow for some reason or another.  Maybe they will accuse me of starving myself?  I also might get in trouble from my own doctor for not listening to those doctors who are supposed to be the experts.  I don't know.  It's not like I did Ninja any harm by not taking the medication since I was able to keep all of my scores fairly low this past week.  Must remember.. I can never win.

Update -- Both of my appointments went rather well.  I had a biophysical profile to make sure the little Ninja is doing well since I chose not to take the medication last week.  He surely is a champ, and the results were great.  The doctor also approved of my glucose scores from this past week, and I was given the okay to continue controlling my diet.  Yay!  Maybe there are some days when I can win, even if it is just temporary.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Preggorz - Week 24 vs. Week 34

Going through my photos on Flickr, I noticed that I have a 24 week pregnancy photo.  I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison of me at 24 weeks and 34 weeks. I'll even throw in a photo of me at week 12, the day after we saw Ninja on the ultrasound screen.

I just look bloated after eating dinner.  There is a tiny little Ninja inside!

Back then I thought I was huge...

Week 24 tummy fails in comparison to Week 34 tummy.  I am HUGE!

Preggorz - Week 34

Today is technically my 35th week, but I will go back in  time and recap last week for you guys.  I did make sure to have H take this picture two nights ago on the last day of my 34th week.  Time sure does fly, and I'm not exactly happy about that.  Please give me more time!!  I'm not ready for a baby!

big belly at week 34

compared to slightly smaller version of big belly at week 31

I've had quite a few ups and downs this past week, and we'll start with the not so great part of pregnancy.  Diabetes.  Yes, I cannot stop talking about it.  Those stupid glucose scores pretty much consume my life.  Argh.  I decided that Asian food does not work with my diet at all.  No more noodles and rice ever again!  I didn't eat much of it, and my scores were sky rocket high.  Lesson learned.  Too bad the doctor never let me explain how my diet affected my higher scores.  Boo!

Then there is the increased trips to the bathroom.  Ninja is upside down, and he is probably waiting to come out.  Well his head bounces up and down every single time I take a step.  What does that mean?  I have turned into a peeing machine!  I don't mind so much at home, but it's a major bummer when I'm in public.  One of my biggest fears is losing my bladder control and peeing in the middle of aisle 3.  Oye.  To prevent that from happening, I never take any chances and visit every single bathroom I pass.  I try to make a game out of it and see how many times I use the bathroom in a single location.  Also my nightly bathroom trips are hovering around 5-6 times a night.  Oddly enough, I don't mind so much.  I wake up, visit the bathroom, and fall right back to sleep.  I would like to think this is my body preparing for baby in the early weeks of feedings every 2 hours.

I have reached the point in my pregnancy where I am in panic mode, and I worry about every single little detail.  Can you blame me?  There is just so much to do and never enough time.  Procrastination worked fine in school, but how can I make it work right now with a Ninja in my belly?  No worries.  I constantly make lists of things that I need to do.  Some days I feel somewhat accomplished, and then there are other days when I feel like I didn't do enough.  Yesterday I spent over an hour researching the cheapest price for Seventh Generation newborn diapers (the BumGenius one size fits all does not fit newborns).  I calculate and recalculate so many times to see if I'm getting the best deal.  This is all to save a few bucks.  I'm sure most people do not obsess over prices like I do.

On to the good stuff!  My sisters threw me Ninja and me an awesome baby shower, and we are so super duper loved.  The best part was really being surrounded by such amazing family and friends.  I wish I could have a party every single day.  I don't need to be the center of attention or receive any gifts.  I just want to spend time with my friends.

Liz and Brippy!!

On the days when the sun decides to come out, I get really happy.  Maybe it's a mixture of  the pregnancy hormones, but it really does pick up my mood quite a bit.  It's even better when we're experiencing spring like weather, but I also don't mind having a little cold mixed in.  Just give me some sun to keep me warm.  The wind can also go away.  :)

With only a few weeks remaining before Ninja's arrival, I'm spending a lot of time with my husband.  We're trying to fit in the last minute dinner dates and shopping adventures before we officially become parents.  I've been the passenger in Delilah more times now than ever before.  This is our last chance to be crazy, wild adults.  :)

Farewell week 34.  Hello week 35.  I only have 5 more weeks until my due date, and the little one can come out whenever he is ready.  I doubt that will coincide with when I am ready.  Oye.  Please make time super sluggish slow. 

This picture did not make the final side by side comparison cut.  Hehe.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Defeated -- Bad Day at DCMFM

I went to my appointment at the Delaware Center for Maternal and Fetal Medicine this morning. Did I have to spell it out? Probably not. I'm just not very happy with them. It's been a month since my last ultrasound, and I'm supposed to go every 4 weeks. They scheduled me for today at 8:00AM. I jot it down on my calendar. Well I came in for the woman to tell me that I'm not on the schedule for today. Eh?? When I made the appointment, the computer system was slow. I'm assuming that they never correctly scheduled me but gave me a date and time anyways. Strike one. They still honored my appointment, but it was a rocky start.

Next the technician rushed through my ultrasound, which I didn't care so much. The technician who usually does it for me wasn't there, and I guess I'm just used to her ways. As long as everything is accounted for and the measurements are correct, then I'm a happy camper. She kept saying that my ultrasound results were good. I'm led to believe that Ninja is growing at a good rate and healthy.

Doctor comes in, and she automatically tells me that she would like to prescribe me with a low dose of medication due to a few high scores I had this past week. I ask to see if I can wait a few more days to improve my scores, and she sounds upset. Maybe because I'm going against the doctor's order? She said it's normal for women to have higher scores further along in their pregnancy because hormones are increasing even more so. Then she said that I don't have to listen to her, but I will have to come in next week for another appointment. Ugh. She leaves the room, and tells another person that I am not going to take the medication. She sounds frustrated. Umm... I can hear you. The only thing separating you from me is a piece of cloth in the form of a curtain. Speak a little louder.

Shall I elaborate on my scores? Okay well she picked out a total of 5 scores in the last week (out of 28 readings). 3 of those scores are my fasting scores, which I test for in the mornings, about 8 - 10 hours from my last meal. I have to stay below 90 (or is it 90 and below?). 3 of those mornings I had scores of 90, 95, and 93. I've done my own research prior, and I know that some doctors recommend scores of below 100 and not to have too many in the mid 90s. Those higher scores didn't worry me, especially with normal readings for the remainder of the day. Then there are the remaining 2 readings, which occurred after meals. I know exactly why it was so high, and it was my own fault for testing my limits. I'm pregnant after all, and I want to splurge. I want to eat out at a nicer restaurant because I won't be able to once the Ninja is born.

So I'm certain that I can control my numbers. I know that most of it has to do with my diet, and I just need to stop trying to test my limits. I'll just eat my protein and vegetables. I won't eat any snacks, even though they really don't affect my after meal scores. I'll stop cheating with my after dinner dessert, even though I have found no correlation with the morning fasting result. All I'm asking is to have a few more days to test out my numbers. If I consistently have results that I'm scared of, then yes, I will listen to the doctor. I just didn't find that to be the case today. *sigh*

What did I do as soon as I left the hospital? I cried. I cried even after H left to go to work. I was a big mess. I don't think I was being stubborn, and I only asked for a chance to give it a few more days. As a mother, I don't want to expose my baby to any medication unless absolutely necessary. As a somewhat intelligent woman, I wanted to see a stronger pattern of high glucose results, and I didn't see it from this past week. I don't understand how a doctor can just throw out the other 23 perfectly normal scores from the week and just focus on 5 scores.

Why didn't the doctor mention anything about the results from the ultrasound? Is the baby growing at a good rate and healthy? As a technician, they can only tell you so much because it's the doctor who is supposed to be the true expert.

What does this mean for me? I have to start going to the office every week, and they will monitor the baby and me for about 20 minutes I believe. It sucks. I honestly thought I could have this all under control. I only wanted to come in to see Ninja on the ultrasound screen. I can't do anything now.

Correction. I can be more careful with my diet and keep my scores low. I'll prove her wrong.

As a side note, Ninja weighs approximately 4lbs and 12oz. Last month he weighed approximately 3lbs. In that same period of time I have lost 2lbs with no additional weight gain in the last 2-3 weeks. My obstetrician shows no concern and says that it is normal for someone with gestational diabetes to lose a few pounds and not gain any for the remainder of the pregnancy. My total weight gain is only 17lbs.

Sorry for the long rant. I'm upset at how horrible this day is turning out. I usually experience nice weather on my doctor appointment days, but today is not the case. I live for sun therapy, which works better than retail therapy. I tried the retail therapy today, and I was not successful.

This will all be over soon. I have to remember that.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Baby Ninja Shower

I told you it wouldn't be long before I returned (a whole week to be exact).  I'm actually buzzing with a ton of potential posts in my brain.  Now how am I going to justify the time to write and edit them?  Hmm... I'll make some excuses and make it work.  With Ninja's party this past weekend, there was no way I could deprive you guys of pictures and commentary.  :)

My sisters threw me an amazing baby shower, packed with yummy food, pretty decorations, and amazing friends and family.  Everyone practically spoiled the little Ninja. 

Got diapers?  Can you guess how many diapers are in the tub?

Vi did a great job of organizing the baby shower games and  got everyone involved.  Guests first walked in and played "Got Diapers?" where they had to guess the number of diapers in the tub.  Can you guess?  The winner won the famous Snuggie blanket.

 An empty family room waiting for guests to arrive

Thanks to my sister Lynn for letting us use her home for the afternoon.  She did a great job decorating, and I love the animal safari theme.  I guess it wasn't too difficult to pick up the color scheme for Ninja's nursery, especially by looking at the baby registry.

Yay!  The guests start to arrive & conversations started to flow.

Chau, Ty, Bac Thanh, and MIL

Lena, Little Ninja, and Me

We had a great turnout of family and friends who were able to come and celebrate Ninja's first party.  It was great to see and catch up with great friends, some of which traveled quite some distance to come to the party.  Shout out goes to Liz, Brittany, and Cynthia for making that voyage.

Let's start eating!

Every party has to have yummy food, right?  Well the food most certainly did not disappoint, and many of us went back for seconds and thirds.  The food was provided by Cacciatori's, and everything was delicious.  I even splurged and had some pasta and tomato pie, which oddly enough didn't hurt my glucose scores.  Yay!

Time to open presents!

After stuffing our faces silly with food, we were ready for presents.  Many of the guests came during lunch, and they arrived with plenty of time to eat and enjoy watching me open presents.  Okay just kidding about the watching me open presents part.  I'll admit it is very weird to be the center of attention, opening all of Ninja's presents in front of everyone.

Getting excited over bibs... hehe.

Baby bottles, bibs, and cute booties -- baby stuff is so darn cute!  Thanks Auntie Lena!

It's kind of odd how happy I can get over the simplest of presents.  Who goes crazy over bibs?  Well I do!  These are baby essentials, and Ninja will love drooling over bibs for quite some time.  He also needs some baby bottles to drink that yummy milk and grow to be a healthy, strong baby.

Big hug to Auntie Liz!  Check out how I've perfected my hug while protecting the Ninja.

I also wanted to give every single person a hug after opening each and every present.  I was afraid to get in trouble for making the gift opening session way too long, but I did get a chance to hug a few people.  I think I have perfected the art of hugging with a big stomach in the way.  What do you think?

Graco Pack 'n Play!  Woot!  I have a feeling Ninja will be spending a lot of time in there.  Thank you Aunt May (who is expecting a little one of her own  this year too)!

I kept a close watch of the baby registry because I had two with duplicate items.  The first to be purchased was the Graco Pack 'n Play, and I knew it had to be my super organized sister May who had generously bought this for us.  I love my reaction, even thought I knew what was under the wrapping paper.

What a cute froggy outfit for Ninja!  There's even a frog on the butt!  Thank you Bac Tap & Trammy!

Isn't this exciting guys?

Smile for the camera!

I'm sure our family and friends got tired of seeing me open presents, but they put on a happy face and were super troopers.  Thanks guys!  My sisters Lee and Ching helped jot down the gifts and putting them away after each one was opened.  Shout out goes to Vi who took pictures and documented Ninja's party.

Ninja's very first book!  Thanks Auntie Melissa!

I hope Anthony doesn't follow my blog, but if he does -- "Hello!"  Anthony and Melissa gifted us a security system for the house, which will provide Ninja with the peace of mind that he will  be safe at home.  After all, he won't be able to use his Ninja skills until much later in life to protect the familyMelissa also gifted Ninja his very first book, which is super adorable.  I seriously wanted to flip through the pages, but then I realized everyone was looking at me.  Oops!

It's a Bumbo & the cutest outfit from Janie & JackThank you Aunt Lynn!

I had a strange feeling that my sister Lynn would be buying Ninja a Bumbo, especially after her recommendation to register for the tray to go with it.  Hehe.  I absolutely adore the outfit she purchased for Ninja from Janie & JackSuspenders!!  Oh Ninja is going to be a cute little one.  He even has his very own pea coat for the winter months.  Too cute!

 Yay!  Ninja has a stroller!  Thank you Aunt Lee!

This was another gift that I knew about in advance but only because my sister had asked me to take it off the registry so that she could purchase it online.  I still got excited opening the present and seeing the stroller in real life.  I had registered for a few items without physically seeing them in person, and the stroller was one of them.  H had a great time putting it together, and he pushes it around the house for fun.  I had a weird teary eye moment imagining Ninja inside the stroller.  Oh mommy hormones get the best of me.

Auntie Brittany, how did you know we wanted onsies? 

 and chocolate too!  You must be reading our minds.

Did you know that I am in love with onsises?  The week leading up to the baby shower I was actually super sad to see that no one had bought us anyNo worries!  Brittany came to the rescue and Ninja will be set for his first couple months of living.  She even bought the ones with side snaps, which will be perfect for our skin to skin time.  Hehe.  Oh and I love me some Japanese chocolate. 

Ninja's 1st Bath set.  Thank you Bac Trang, Ty, & Chau!

More bath  goodies for the Ninja!  Oh such a spoiled little boy.  I'll teach him how to recycle with his first eco-friendly bag.  Thank you Cynthia, Celia, & Maria!

With Bac Trang, Ty, Chau, Cynthia, Celia, and Maria's gifts combined, Ninja will be set for quality bath time at home.  Hehe.  Seriously, I think he is completely set with wash cloths, toys, and a pretty awesome tub set.

Ninja will be spending some fun times as a baby inside his Little Lamb Infant Seat.  Thank you Bac Thanh!

This Fisher Price bouncer/infant seat got awesome reviews, and I honestly registered for it because it was cute.  Okay there was another reason -- portability.  This is the only one that I found that could be folded up and ready to be in the trunk for on the go travel.  Yay!  Ninja will look super cute and pretending to be a Ninja lamb.  Hehe.

Thank you Grandma & Grandpa for thinking of Ninja's safety in the car!

Yes, this would be another item that I never saw in person until I went back to Babies 'R Us to register for more items.  We wanted a Graco Snugride car seat to work with our Joovy stroller, and this one fit the description.  Basically it wasn't ugly, and it is compatible with the stroller.  It also happens to be the Snugride 35, which has some great reviews.  It's just a tad heavy, but I don't plan on using the car seat/stroller combo for long.

Yay!  A booster seat for Ninja at the dinner table.  I was really excited about the Aveeno basket of goodies, inspecting what was in it too.  Oh silly me.  Thank you Auntie Cynthia!

Oh how I get excited over surprise items.  Cynthia went out to buy Ninja's presents that morning, and I had no clue that we would be getting a booster seat.  This was one of the must have items on my list because of a recommendation from Young House Love.  I didn't want a high chair to take up a ton of space, and this booster seat is perfect!

Group photo time, part I!
from top left: Chau, Ty, Bac Thanh, MIL, Lynn, May, Lee, Melissa, Celia, & Lena
from bottom left: Brittany, Ching, Anita, Liz, Me, & Cynthia

 Group photo time, part II!
from top left: Chau, Ty, Bac Thanh, MIL, Lynn, May, Lee, Melissa, Celia, &Vi
from bottom left: Brittany, Ching, Anita, Liz, Me, Cynthia, & Raven

Check out all of these awesome people who came out to celebrate Ninja's party!  I seriously have the best family and friends ever.  I am so glad I brought H's camera, even if we didn't know how to fully use it to take a photo with the timer.  Oops!  I guess I'll have to have him teach me that soon.

Lai Sisters!  Can you spot the two pregnant women in this photo?
from left: Lynn, Ching, Me, Lee, & May

It's such an odd opportunity for us sisters to get together for a photo and not be dressed up in wedding attire.  I love how we're all wearing dark colors, except for Ching who is hiding behind Lynn and me.

Dan Family! Vi, Me, and MIL

Dan Family 
from left: Bac Thanh, Vi, Me, Chau, MIL, & Ty

Amazing Friends!
from left: Cynthia, Brittany, Liz, Me, Anita, Melissa, Ceila, & Lena 

Time for cake!  Red velvet brought to us by Sweeney's Bakery.  Yumm!

I'm not so good at cake cutting though.

Cake time!!  I made sure to test my glucose levels right before cake time, and I was satisfied with my numbers enough to eat a whole slice of yummy red velvet cake.  I just need to learn how to cut cake and not waste a ton of frosting.  I let Lynn take over after this shot was taken.

Shortly after we enjoyed some baby shower games.

Can you guess how wide I am?

I found this hilarious apparently.

The baby shower games continued, and guests had to guess my tummy size.  It was a bit awkward, and Ninja got a ton of loving.  Everyone overestimated by tummy size, and they had to go back to guess my bra size.  Eeks!  Well everyone thought I was on the tiny side (I usually am), and not a single person overestimated my bust.  Haha.  No pictures of that since I want to provide my boobs with some privacy.

Great time was had by all, and the party soon came to an end.  Thank you to my sisters who organized and planned this amazing baby shower.  Thanks goes out to all of my friends who came out to celebrate and generously gave Ninja some amazing presents.  I can already tell that he will be loved by so many family and friends.  He's one spoiled little boy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blogging Break

With only 8 weeks left before Ninja's due date, I am overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done before his arrival.  As a result, I will be taking a temporary blogging break and focus on preparation.  I have a feeling that it will be too difficult to leave cold turkey.  You'll probably see me around sooner than you think.  :)

No worries.  Our adventures will continue.  Soon we will be super hero family of three.
Photo courtesy of Jubilee Photography ©

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Defeated -- I Want Carbs

I am on this roller coaster ride called gestational diabetes. It sucks, and I cannot stop talking about how much it sucks. I love food, and I always have (except for those high school years when I wanted to be skinny... a story for another day).  I cried last night because I miss eating waffles.  Yes, I shed tears over waffles!  It's one of Ninja's favorite foods, and he loves to have them at lunch, dinner, and in between snacks (not so much at breakfast).  He also loves the calcium in milk, and we miss our tall glass of 1% milk in the morning.  My kid is Irish, and potatoes are his absolute favorite.  It can be in the form of mashed, fried, or baked.  He loves them all.  Poor kid.  I feel like I'm depriving my own child of the foods he loves to eat.  Sure, you could say that these are just my cravings, but I think that ultimately he has control of what I want to eat.

It was difficult at first learning about my pregnancy and the related food restrictions.  My days of raw fish were over, and all of my meats and eggs would have to be fully cooked.  Lunch meats and hot dogs were out of the question.  Of course I wanted to have all the foods that I wasn't allowed to eat.  It took time, but I moved past it.  I had alternatives.  No more raw sushi for me.  Instead I'll have my rice, nori, and cooked fish and/or veggies.  It wasn't too bad.  I did pay more attention to food labels to make sure that I was eating the absolute best for the little Ninja. 

A low carb diet is a totally different story.  I've been on this diet for three long weeks, and I have been dreading it almost every single day.  I eat healthier, but there are some days when I don't.  Yesterday I wanted to rebel, and I did just that.  I snacked all day, and I didn't eat an actual lunch.  I didn't even plan on eating dinner, but H spent an hour in the kitchen slaving over the meal.  I couldn't just ignore his efforts.  By snacking, I really mean that I just ate carbs (typically fruits) in very small portions throughout the day.  My 8 ounces of milk is also considered a splurge for me.  Milk!  It's the calcium that my kid needs for strong bones, and I actually feel guilty drinking it.

There has to be a way to change this, right?  I just feel constantly deprived.  I'm pregnant, and I feel like a prisoner of the food world.  I'm losing weight when I'm supposed to be gaining.  I have only gained 17 pounds total (losing 2 pounds since the start of my diet), and I doubt the scale has changed much since my weigh in last week.  This isn't fair.

So this isn't forever.  It will go away as soon as the baby is born.  How do I cope with it while I have another 2 months to go?  I'm not sure.  I get so depressed.  I cry over waffles!!  I'm eating less food.  I almost cried in front of a waiter the other night because I felt so defeated.  Sigh.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back to the Motherland - Exploring Enping

It's been over a year since my Motherland series, and I was inspired earlier this week to continue.  I printed and put together a photo album of my trip ages ago to show my parents.  They kept my album and only recently returned it to me so that I could fill it back up with the photos they had taken.  I want to be able to go back on my blog and recall my awesome adventure.  Here goes the second installment!

When I last left off, I had just gone back to my roots.  I'll continue with my exploration of Enping!

my parents with my mom's aunt -- my grandmother's sister

We went back to my mom's village in hopes of finding her aunt.  We were in luck because she is quite the gambler during the day.  The house was very grand in comparison to the rest of the homes in the area.  My mother's aunt is in her 90s, and she is very lively with lots of energy for her age.

my parents with their friends

It was very important that we visit my dad's friend who lived in the city area.  He was a government worker who played a huge part in my uncle leaving China.  As the story goes, my dad was already in Hong Kong.  He desperately tried to get his brother out of the country to join him, but it was rather difficult at that time.  My dad had a plan, and that involved the help of his government friend who stated that my uncle had a mental condition.  The condition could not be treated within  the country, and it required my uncle to leave for Hong Kong to survive.  The lie worked out, and off my uncle went to join my dad in Hong Kong.  My dad is forever grateful and always visits every year he goes back to Enping.

visiting my grand uncle's family home

I stayed with my grand uncle in Enping, and we spent a day visiting his hometown (my maternal grandmother's original hometown).  It is drastically different from my parents due to the wealth of the village.  It is the home of many scholars who would come back, take care of their families financially, and educate the next generation.  In  the photo above, I especially love the door safety contraption.  Unfortunately it is not fool proof, and there have been attempted home invasions in the past.

The rooms are pretty neat, but they are on the short side.  I'm a good 4 inches taller than the doorway in one of the rooms upstairs.

I love the pretty lush green rice paddy.  This is on a much smaller scale than what you will find in most villages.  Since this is a more scholarly community, there is very little to no farming.

parents enjoy getting weighed in

admiring an extremely old tree

standing in front of a statue/memorial?

admiring our surroundings

My grand uncle's hometown is rich in history and culture.  It is now a tourist attraction, and visitors pay a fee to get in.  Since he is a resident, we did not have to pay for admission.  We spent the whole afternoon walking around, and there was so much to see.  I really enjoyed taking my time and having my grand uncle tell me so many stories. 

spending some time with the zoo animals :)

Next up, we went to the "zoo."  It had one actual live animal in the form of a monkey in a cage.  The rest were statues, which was kind of awkward.  I had never been to a zoo full of animal statues.  I can see the educational benefits for a small town to be able to discover animals, even if they are in statue form.

I wanted to take a picture of my parents and grand uncle.  I turned around, pointed the camera, and told them to pose.  Hehe.

propping the camera on a ledge to take this awesome photo of myself.. haha

memorial dedicated to... *forgets*

The zoo was a tad more than just a zoo.  There were many trails leading to hilly paths, and we ran into a few memorials along the way.  It was a very peaceful walk, especially during the day when kids were at school and parents were working.

Being in a small city, I didn't think there would be much to explore.  My grand uncle really made me feel at home, even if it was a very foreign home for me.  I learned a great deal about where my parents came from, and a lot of things started piecing together and making a whole lot of sense.  This is part of my family history, and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go back and learn so much.

Back to the Motherland: Leaving on a Jet Plane
Back to the Motherland: Arriving in Hong Kong
Back to the Motherland: Adventures in Hong Kong
Back to the Motherland: Going Back to My Roots, Part I
Back to the Motherland: Going Back to My Roots, Part II