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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baby Ninja Arrives!

Baby Ninja (aka Baby E)
04.18.2011
5lbs 13oz

Ninja is here!!  I gave birth to a healthy baby boy last Monday, and I can't believe he is already a week old.  I have plenty of details to reveal and a birth story to share.  It will take me a few more weeks to get adjusted to life with a newborn, and blogging will slowly resume.  

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive throughout my pregnancy.  You guys rock!

Baby Ninja

Thursday, April 14, 2011

False Labor & How I Lost 5 lbs

The past 24 hours have been rough on my body, and I'm in the process of recovering. On Wednesday morning at 4am, I woke up to some nasty tummy pains.  I felt nauseated, but I wanted to try to keep it in.  I'm stubborn.  Well that didn't last long because I made about 5 trips to the bathroom between 4am - 6am.  It was no fun.  It was 10x worse than the morning sickness phase of my 2nd trimester.  Every time I tried to drink some water, it would just come out with my stomach acid.  Not fun at all.

Hubby was great, and he stayed up with me the whole time.  We looked up my symptoms, packed our go bag, and timed my contractions.  I still haven't gotten the hang of this whole contraction thing, and I usually can't tell when I'm experiencing them.  On the other hand, H can feel my stomach get tense and slowly release.  What would I do without him?  No worries.  The contractions were very irregular and didn't cause for much concern.  If the Internet did not exist, we probably would have went to the hospital to make sure everything was okay.  In that case, I would have been sent home for being in false labor.

After two hours of suffering, my body was ready to recover and get some rest.  H considered staying home to take care of me, but I assured him that I would be fine as long as I could physically lay down and sleep.  Well by the time I woke up, I was exhausted.  I had an appointment with my doctor, and there was no way I could gain enough energy in a few hours to drive to the office.  Of course H came to the rescue and left work early to bring me to the doctor's office.  I would have preferred to reschedule for the next day, but he wanted me to see the doctor right away.

I wish I could say that my bathroom visits stopped, but I had to make a mad dash for it after eating breakfast.  I drank a small glass of milk (stupid Yin) to recover from my low fasting glucose score, and that made my empty stomach not so happy.  I also tried to drink chicken broth.  Yup that didn't stay inside either.  At this point, I was mentally and physically drained.  I just wanted some carbs.  H let me eat a waffle.  :)

The doctor's visit went well, and she was not concerned about my not so great morning.  It is common for women in the later stage of their pregnancy to revisit morning sickness of the 1st/2nd trimester.  There is less space inside, and my stomach is getting super crowded.  It could also be something I ate the previous night that induced the not so great experience.

Oh and I weighed in at 121 lbs yesterday.  Ladies and gentlemen, that brings my total weight gain to a whopping 12 lbs.  What the fudge?  I lost 5 lbs in a week, and I'm sure those 6 trips to the bathroom had a big role in my extreme weight loss.  The low number upsets me.  My doctor says that I'll be fine, and it's common for people with my diabetic diet.  Yes, I know.  I just want to mentally think I'm normal.  I have a feeling 12 lbs isn't exactly normal for a person of my size.

My goal for today is to nurse myself back to good health.  I'm still having a difficult time keeping food and water down.  Small portions make me really full, and I need to eat tiny meals throughout the day.  I feel so dehydrated, but my body won't accept too much liquid at a time.  Sigh.

There you have it folks.  That's how I had false labor and lost a whopping 5 lbs.  Don't try this at home kids.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inspiration - Book Themed Baby Shower

It's hard not to love Rifle Paper Co.  I am addicted to Anna Bond's artistic work, and I swoon over every new collection and line of products.  The hubby was even so kind to gift me the amazing Heirloom Recipe Card Box for my wedding present last year.  I have since bought a few items here and there to admire her work up close in personal (in the comforts of my own home).

So of course I was thrilled to see her contribution over at marthastewart.com.  Mix my love of everything from Anna Bond and my obsession with baby stuff, and you get the following:

Featured on marthastewart.com

Go on over to marthastewart.com for the free download of the invitation, bookmark clip art, and bookplate clip art.  I only wish the colors were more gender neutral for the little Ninja.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Infamous "Go Bag"

I remember watching Father of the Bride, Part II when I was a kid.  There's the scene where Annie thinks she is ready to go to the hospital, and her dad freaks out.  The first thing she grabs is her go bag for the hospital while her dad is trying to determine the fastest route to the hospital at that hour.


Then there's the scene from I Love Lucy.  Ricky, Fred, and Ethel rehearse their roles in preparation for Lucy going into labor.  They are super calm, and the practice runs are perfect.  By the time Lucy comes out and tells them that she's ready, everyone is frantically trying to remember their roles.  The go bag is a mess, and someone accidentally puts the phone in there while packing it up for the hospital.

I Love Lucy - "Lucy Goes to the Hospital"

I'm considered full term at 37 weeks, and I don't have my go bag ready.  Am I insane? Maybe.  I have very little motivation to pack up stuff for the hospital.  I'm not exactly sure why because it would probably take me all of 15 minutes to get it in a pile.  Maybe I'm procrastinating because I know I'm not ready to go into labor any time soon.  

Then you have the hubby.  H is so concerned about not having the proper bag, and he is focusing his energy on purchasing one.  I'm just fine with using my ladybug suitcase.  :)

Samsonite Sammies Collection - Ladybug

So what happens if I don't have my go bag ready, and the Ninja is ready to come out? I just head straight to the hospital.  What do I need from that bag that can really prepare me for labor?  Sure, there are comfort items that I can bring like my pillow and a pair of socks to keep me warm.  Maybe a pair of slippers would help too.  I don't consider these things to be essentials.

I would like to have a change of clothing for myself and the baby, but it's not urgent to have that right away.  I need to give birth to the kid first and stay in the hospital for a day or two.  I already know exactly which outfit I would like him to come home in, and I'm debating on what to bring for myself.  Will I look 6 months pregnant after I give birth?  I'll probably stick with my maternity clothes.

Probably the biggest concern for me would be having food for the hubby packed up and ready.  I'll be screaming in pain and asking for ice chips for hours.  He'll have to deal with pregnant, going into labor Yin.  He needs food for energy to keep up with the craziness that I'm sure will be going on in the hospital room.  I made sure to buy extra yummy snacks from Trader Joe's this weekend for the go bag.  If it doesn't get packed, then I'm sure one of our awesome friends would make a food run for my hubby.  He might actually prefer fast food to all natural/organic snacks.

Having said all of that, I really should pack the go bag.  I have no motivation, but I should do it just to do it.  Maybe writing this entry is the push I need because now the Internet is going to hold me accountable.  While I'm at it, I should really read more baby books too.  Yeah that probably won't happen.  One thing at a time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Splurge - DwellStudio Comforter

Since H and I moved into our house, we haven't been doing much in the design department.  With so much going on in our lives (*cough* wedding *cough*), we stuck to buying the basics for our home.  Ikea, Target, and Costco were our best buddies, and we didn't want to invest too much money into these starter pieces.  We also had a lot of hand me down good, and some of them are super awesome.  Then there are the others that probably should be replaced (ex. living room couch).

To play it safe, I went with a lot of neutral colors for almost every room in the house. Because we didn't have the money to design each room just yet, I felt better knowing that the neutral pieces could better tie into whatever we decided to go with in the future.  One of those items was our comforter set.


It was actually really difficult to find a comforter that is so neutral.  The stripes added some character to our bedding without being overwhelming.  No interesting pop of color.  No pretty design.  We just went with plain and simple.  At the time I thought that it would be easy to paint the walls whatever color I wanted, and the bedding would always match.  While that is true, it's certainly no fun.

Last night while shopping at Target, I stumbled upon a pretty great sale on DwellStudio comforters.  I can't exactly afford the real legit DwellStudio, but Target makes it more attainable and within reach.  We even purchased Ninja's bedding from Target's DwellStudio line, and it's mighty spiffy and affordable.  At 20% off the regular price, the pretty bedding was super tempting.


Isn't it pretty?  I love the floral design and shades of blue, brown, and gray.  Even the brightness of the white is lovely and such a nice change from the wheat color of our current comforter.  H convinced me to go ahead and buy it for our room.  I convinced myself that I can always return it if I don't like it or if I get too stingy when I get home.  We also used our Target Red Card to save an extra 5% on the bedding.  Woot!


Once we brought it home and spread it on top of our bed, I was a happy camper.  All these design concepts popped in my head, and I was so eager to start redesigning our bedroom.  Even the light blue and white design under the comforter is super pretty. I love the shade of robin's egg blue!  The colors of these photos are kind of on the crappy side.  The lavender/tan looking flower is actually gray.


The stingy side still took over, and I made H put the comforter back in the bag.  I told him I needed more time to think about it.  Well I slept on it, and I'm about 90% sure that it's here to stay.  Actually I might just wash it now and start using it this week. Muahaha!

What do you guys think about painting the room a light shade of gray?  It's all the rage these days on design blogs, but I didn't think I would be one to like it for my own house.  Originally I was going to match the blue in the comforter, but it might just be too much blue in the room.  Gray would match our current furniture nicely and add a more modern flair.  It's definitely growing on me.  At the rate I'm going, I'll be at Lowe's tomorrow looking at paint chips for the room.  Hehe.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Splurge - Little TOMS

I made my way through the crowded opening of Nordstrom this weekend in search of TOMS.  I was originally going to order them online, but I wanted to make sure to get the right size.  The only way to be sure is to try them on in person.  With the glitter ones out of sight, I went with the classic TOMS in grey.  I later realized that I wear my grey J.Crew ballet flats all the time.  It shouldn't be difficult for me to incorporate another pair of grey shoes.  Hehe.

I skipped the women's section of Nordstrom and went straight to the baby stuff.  I am a sucker for all things baby these days.  I want the very best for the little guy.  He is way too spoiled.  As I passed the shoe section, I wondered if they made little TOMS, and there they were...

$28.95 at Nordstrom.com

How awesome would it be for him to have matching shoes with mommy?  Yes, I must be going crazy.  I blame it on the pregnancy hormones.  :)  No worries.  I won't buy him any shoes until he can walk, which should be over a year from now.  I must remember that the kid is still in the womb.  Silly me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Diabetes Woes -- Not Totally Defeated

I went for my weekly visit to check out the little Ninja on the ultrasound.  Everything looked great, and I even got to see a non-creepy picture of his profile this time around. My doctor said that my glucose scores have been good for the past 3 weeks, and I would not need to return for my visit next week.  Woot!  I'll be back in two weeks to get a full ultrasound, and at that point I'll see how much Ninja weighs.  Last weigh in was at 4lbs 12oz, which was about 2 weeks ago.  All the baby weekly updates say that he should be around 6lbs right now.  Woah, baby!

Baby Ninja, 36 Weeks
Profile View

Honestly, I was ready for her to tell me it's time to take the medication again.  I have noticed that it is getting more difficult to control my scores.  I can eat a very healthy, high protein dinner, and my scores aren't as low as a few weeks ago.  My fasting scores are all over the place, and it's hard to predict.  I occasionally wait longer, thinking that my score might be a tad lower.  Nope.  The amount of carbs I eat for my after dinner snack don't affect it either.  At first I it did, but now it doesn't.  I would take it easy and try to eat dessert earlier in the day if I really wanted something sweet.  It had no effect on my fasting score.  I only had 2 slightly higher readings this past week, but I saw a pattern of my inability to have full control.

Because I saw a pattern, I accepted that medication could be an option for me. Luckily the doctor said that diet has been working.  I'll just continue eating the same way, and I should be fine.  No worries.  I am still in control and my scores are still within range. So I'll be okay for the remainder of my pregnancy.

After being on my diet for the past 2 months, I have lost 2lbs.  I can't seem to gain it back, and my total weight gain for my pregnancy is only 17lbs.  I have a feeling I might not reach 20lbs.  Keep in mind that women of my size should gain 25-35lbs.  It probably wouldn't hurt me to gain around 30lbs.  No worries from my doctor though. It's normal to lose or gain very little weight after changing to a diabetic diet.  There is no harm to the Ninja.  If anything, it's better for me because I have less weight to lose after the pregnancy.  Oh and I'm still within the healthy BMI for someone of my height and current weight.  Oye.

I only have a couple of weeks left, and Ninja will make his arrival.  Well I can't predict when he'll be making his appearance, but I do know that this diet will be over soon. Diabetes will no longer take over my life, and I can worry about more important things -- like being a mother and taking care of an infant.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ninja Plotting Revenge?

Sometimes crazy thoughts enter my head, and earlier this morning I was wondering if Ninja is plotting revenge against me inside the womb.  The little one loves to move around, and occasionally all that movement starts to hurt.  There's not much room inside for the big one, and those jabs can be painful.

What did I ever do to the Ninja for him to plot revenge against his own mother?  Oh yeah.. I kind of exposed him to radiation.  D'oh!

P.S. I'm 36 weeks into my pregnancy, and in a few days the baby will be considered full term.  Eeeks!  Did I tell you that I'm not ready yet?  I have experienced a few early labor symptoms, but luckily they go away soon enough not to cause for any concern. I don't think I will ever be ready for labor or the early months of motherhood.  Oye...

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Splurge - TOMS

I've been thinking about getting a pair of Toms for a while now.  I usually just keep it to myself until I'm totally convinced that I need them.  I see them in person and worn by my favorite bloggers.  It is really growing on me, and I am in need of a pair of go to slip on sneaks.  I'm going to be a mom after all, and I'll take any convenience that I can get.  It also doesn't hurt that I can still maintain some sense of style while being on the go.  The company also donates a pair of shoes for every pair sold to children in need.  It's definitely a marketing feel good sort of thing, but I'll go with the flow of it. I'll even feel good about myself and won't worry about the price tag as much, knowing that someone else can benefit from a pair of shoes too.  Plus I haven't bought a pair of shoes in almost a year.  It's about time!  Can you tell I'm trying to talk myself into this purchase?

Now I didn't know how difficult it would be to find a pair of Toms.  I went to my usual shoe sites -- Zappos, Endless, and Piperlime.  No luck!  Only the higher end designer department stores carry Toms.  What?!?  I don't consider Toms to be high end.  Oh well.  Nordstrom to the rescue!  Not only are the shoes a few dollars cheaper through Nordstrom, but there is free shipping on all shoes now through April 15th.  I think they should offer free shipping on all shoes to keep competitive with the famous online shoe sites, but then I think every single retailer should offer free shipping for me.  I'm cheap. Extra bonus -- the new Nordstrom at the mall is opening later this week!  That means easy return or exchange for me.  Woot!

Hmm.. now what pair should I order?

$43.95 at Nordstrom.com

$43.95 at Nordstrom.com

$53.95 at Nordstrom.com

Should I go with a normal color like light beige or grey?  Light beige might stain easily. Grey should still match a lot of my outfits.  Hmm... should I add a little sparkle in my life with some glitter in nude?  Is it really worth it to pay $10 more for sparkle?  If it makes me happy, then sure!  Haha.  Just kidding.  I'm cheap but still torn.  Feel free to help me choose!  Thanks!

Pregnant & Sick

This weekend was not fun for the Ninja and me.  I used to be a warmer than average human being because I have a bun in the oven.  Lately that has not been the case for me, and I have been super cold.  At first I thought that I just lost that hot flash symptom of the 2nd trimester.  Then it got worse, and I was shivering when people were wearing shorts with a tshirt yesterday.  I was wearing my winter coat and hat.  Oye.

Also I've been slacking in the walking department.  I get tired so easily, and it's really unlike me.  I do understand that my pregnancy has a ton of stages, and I'm just reaching the one where my body just wants to rest.  Usually my body takes a drastic change (usually my tummy grows super big), and I have a few days to adjust before I'm normal again.  I was expecting the same to happen this time.  Not so much.

Yesterday after enjoying the nice weather outside (in my winter coat), I came home freezing and tired.  I went under the blanket and took a nap.  During my nap, I would still shiver, and that's not a good sign.  I started to get a fever, and my body was in super swelling mode (normal for 3rd trimester).  I had no appetite and only wanted to drink a hot cup of tea to warm up my body.  Well there is no doubt that my body got warm because I started to get super hot and sweaty by the time I was ready to fall asleep again.  For a good hour I was in bed extremely uncomfortable and sweating my fever away.  My usual thirsty self wasn't in the mood for water, but I still woke up every hour to make my bathroom visits as usual.

Luckily the sweating helped.  I woke up this morning feeling ten times better, and I'm glad that my body was able to recover.  I would have called the doctor this morning if I still felt as miserable.  I am super fortunate that this was my first run in with a fever or any illness during the pregnancy, and my body fixed itself.  Today my goal is to take it easy, but I'm finding that extremely difficult.  I can't help but to reorganize the kitchen and put stuff away.  I am trying my very best to control myself and just relax.

H was a super trooper and tended to all my needs.  He was ready to bring me to the hospital and even scared that I might be going into early labor (I also experienced some early labor warning signs).  I would have been a mess if he wasn't there to take care of me.  Thanks, hubby!

Thanks little Ninja for staying safe inside.  Stay in there a little longer, okay?  Thanks!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Being a Housewife/Stay at Home Mom: Part II

Let's revisit the topic of being a housewife/stay at home mom.  I mentioned last time that I didn't have much adult approval on my decision to stay at home, but I didn't get into specifics.  Here it goes... I feel most of the negativity from H's family.  There I said it.

A few weeks ago (or was a month or two), my MIL asked me about my plans to go back to work after the baby is born.  She offered to take care of the baby for the first three months while I go back to work.  I did my usual head nod and didn't say much.  H didn't recall the conversation, which probably meant that it was a one on one conversation between my MIL and me.  I was truly befuddled.  I have been at home for the last 7 months, and she expects me to go back to work as soon as the baby is born.  Now that doesn't make much sense.

She brought up the topic once again.  This time it was in Vietnamese, and the conversation was directed at H.  He told her that I plan on staying with the little Ninja at home, and it is uncertain when I would be returning back to join the working society.  It was a fairly simple conversation.  Now I wonder why it is such a concern in the first place.

From the beginning of my pregnancy, my parents have been a supporter of me staying at home.  They encouraged me to leave my job and stay home during the pregnancy and beyond.  It's quite amazing actually.  I don't expect that kind of advice coming from my parents.  My dad says that with the first child, it is especially important to be at home.  Okay, I'll take it!

I don't feel the same kind of support from my in-laws.  Maybe they're concerned about us financially.  How could we possibly take care of a baby and stay afloat with one income?  If that is their concern, then I would love for them to bring it up instead of me having to assume.  Instead I see disapproval of our decision.  Boo.

Then I spoke with the amazing Linda, my former boss at UD.  I met up with her for lunch a few weeks ago, and she is really glad that I'll be staying home with the little Ninja.  She was a stay at home mother herself and didn't go back in the workforce until her children were in high school and college.  Linda told me that there is this prized moment when your kid comes home from school, and all he/she wants to do is to tell you about his/her day.  That melted my heart.

H talked with someone at work and mentioned that we have a baby on the way.  The man had no idea what our plans were for childcare, but he made sure to tell H that he was so glad that his wife stayed at home with the kids.  I think that sealed the deal for H, and he is so glad that I can be home with our baby.  He wouldn't want to have it any other way.

I have nothing against those who bring their children to daycare, and someday my child may be in a daycare facility.  H and I don't know how long I will stay at home. We don't know when I would go back to work or what career path I would take.  I only know that I want to stay home with Ninja for at least a year.  If finances get tight, then I have no choice but to go back in the workforce.  Oddly enough, I think most of my income would go directly to childcare with very little extra money to help with the family income.  So going back to work isn't a priority now.  Things will change as time comes.

While I may not have as much support for being a stay at home mother, all I need are a few supporters.  My husband, parents, and Linda (she's like a second mother to me) support me.  That's all I need.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Back to the Motherland: Beijing, Part I

I spent a total of 3 weeks in China and 2 weeks in Hong Kong. Enping is pretty limited and laid back. My parents wanted me to explore a little more of China and booked a trip to the country's capital, Beijing.  I'll admit that I went through a melt down period as soon as I arrived in China.  It is drastically different from Hong Kong, and it felt nothing like the comforts of home in Delaware.  I seriously cried outside of the travel agency because I was experiencing a bad case of being totally home sick.  My dad comforted me and convinced me that it would just take me more time to adjust.  In the end it worked out, and off I went to Beijing with my dad.  My mother stayed back, which was probably best for my sanity.

The trip was super cheap -- $300 round trip, including admission to attractions, hotel, and food.  Of course I didn't exactly feel safe flying on a Chinese airline, and traveling to the airport was crazy dangerous.  Have you ever seen the highway system in China?  It is insane!  No one follows any sort of traffic rules, and everyone drives with their high beams on because there are no lamp posts along the highway.  The hotel was not very pleasant either, and I should have been worried about bed bugs.  The location was super far from everything, and it wasn't exactly in the safest part of town.

Hello, tour guide who only spoke in Mandarin and was truly hated by everyone in our group.  Poor guy.

The ever so crowded Tiananmen Square in the morning.  Everyone posed to take pictures.

First up, we went to Tiananmen Square early in  the morning.  It is a HUGE tourist attraction and extremely crowded.  Actually, everywhere we went was super crowded.  We traveled with our tour group, and I was not a fan of our leader.  The entire tour was in Mandarin, and I understood nothing.  No worries.  My dad didn't understand anything either (oddly enough he is fluent in Canto, Portuguese, and English).  Of course everyone else in this country knows Mandarin.  We were just the unfortunate ones.  I find it funny that my dad used English to communicate when he needed to.  Haha.  We were in the same boat.  If we had paid more money and traveled from Hong Kong, then we would have had the advantages of a Cantonese speaking tour guide.  I also saw that their food and lodging was much nicer.  Next time I will know to book and travel from Hong Kong.


My dad and I often found ourselves extremely bored when we weren't getting lost in the huge crowds.  So we would take pictures for fun and ignore everything around us.  I'm super dorky, and my dad was along for the ride.  Btw, he was 78 at the time.  Yeah my dad is pretty awesome for dealing with his daughter who will never grow up.  He also took me to Disneyland.  Haha.  Too cool!


Sometimes I felt like I was trapped in a sea of Chinese people.  With increase wealth, tourism has been booming among Chinese people.  The travel accommodations are super cheap, and people like to spend a lot of money on souvenirs.  Chinese people are making money and putting it back in the economy by traveling.  Plus it's a super bonus to be able to travel to all of these areas that were not within reach decades ago.

Walking, getting lost, and being surrounded by people made us super tired.

Wish I could tell you where I was, but I can't. :(

This is a very touristy market, which sold funky street food.  Roaches, candied who knows what, and little tiny seahorses.  I was not a fan.

We often were left to wander on our own for an hour or two before meeting back with the group.  It was relaxing to sight see at our own pace.  The city of Beijing is definitely booming and almost resembles the big cities in the United States.  I definitely prefer the buzzing city atmosphere of Hong Kong, and Beijing didn't impress me as much as I thought it would.

We were left to fend for ourself for a few of the meals during the week, and this gave us the opportunity to eat food that wasn't bland or gross.  Yay!

That night we were left to explore the area where our hotel was situated.  We made friends with a few fellow travelers and walked around the street trying to find a decent place to eat.  We found a hotel that served decent food, and our tummies were happy.  I had my very first authentic Peking duck, and it was pretty yummy.  The walk back to our hotel was not so great, but we made it back safely.  

One day down, a few more to go!

Previously:
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
Back to the Motherland: Exploring Enping