Recent Posts

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eliminating Nap Time

Napping  
{napping on daddy in the car}

About a month ago we eliminated naps from Little E's schedule. Some days it was a battle to get him to go down, and he preferred to play instead. Other days it was easy for him to fall asleep, and he showed signs of being tired midday. Battle or no battle, he had a nap everyday that would last anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours. The problem came down to his inability to fall asleep at night. No matter what we did, he would not fall asleep at a decent time. He would leave his room and demand one of us to come upstairs to his rescue, and this would last for hours until 10 PM almost every night. It became even more difficult when he kept pushing his bedtime and would fall asleep close to 11 PM. He was getting about 10 hours (sometimes less) of sleep combined, and everyone in the house was cranky.

Sleeping Elliot
{toddlers sleep in the oddest positions}

By eliminating his nap, Little E will consistently go down around 8 PM and wake up around 7:30 AM. It was difficult at first for him to adjust, and he would break down around dinner time, constantly rubbing his eyes from being overtired. On occasions he will still get a nap, usually on the weekends when we're busy and running errands. It's easy for him to fall asleep in the car, but he wakes up super upset which is no fun. Luckily napping only pushes his bedtime back by an hour, which is manageable for us.

Sleepy Little Gentleman
{napping after attending his cousin's birthday party}

While I'm pretty strict about no naps, there are times when I let it slide. Last month Little E felt under the weather after getting a shot from the doctor's office. He was so exhausted but didn't want to give into his nap. I convinced him by having him nap in bed with me. Yesterday he was having issues pooping and probably very constipated, which is rare for my little guy. He suffered so much and was still unable to poop. I carried him for comfort, and within minutes I heard Little E breathing heavily. He fell asleep on my shoulder! I honestly can't remember the last time he fell asleep on me, and there was no way I was going to wake him up. I soaked in our moment for 15 minutes before I realized that it wasn't feasible for my body to keep him sleeping on me. We moved upstairs and napped together for another 2 hours! E didn't go to bed until close to 10 PM last night, but I was okay with that. He had a lot of fun with us after dinner, and I enjoyed our nap.

Napping After a Rough Day

It's not ideal to eliminate nap time from a 2 year old's schedule, but it works for us. I do miss the extra 2 hours I had each day, but I have managed to survive without it. Instead we have quiet time where E will play in his room, and I usually take a quick nap in mine. It gives him down time and a much needed break from the day, which allows him to stay up until bedtime.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Photos From Earlier this Year

I have been slacking for the past year in editing photos. I blame pregnancy and dropping nap time from E's routine. Today is my day off, and I'm trying to go back and edit a few photos from earlier this year. I can't believe how much Little E has grown, and I wish I could go back in time just for an hour or so. He changes so fast, and I just want to hold onto some of those old memories. Take a look at my silly little guy at 22 months old back in February:

Playing
{play dough}

Eating an Apple
{eating a pear}

Sitting on Rice Container Sitting on Rice Container and Hiding Sitting on Rice Container and Hiding Sitting on Rice Container and Hiding
{sitting on top of the rice container}

I'm so thankful that I can stay at home with him and cherish these moments together. At the end of the day I love to recap the highlights of the day with H. More recently I add in conversations I have with E, which I didn't think would happen for another couple of months. His language development has accelerated so fast, and it amazes me how much he can communicate with us in full sentences now. I miss my little guy, but at the same time I look forward to him growing up and continuing to amaze us with his little personality.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Baby Negi - Weeks 28 - 31

Less than 9 weeks left before my due date, and I'm starting to get anxious. In the beginning it felt like I had all the time in the world to prepare for baby to come. Now it's starting to hit that time is dwindling, and I have to cross off more things off my to do list. E came almost 2 weeks early, and I'm more or less expecting the same from Negi. Maybe we'll have a Halloween baby?

Baby Bump - Week 28
{Ikea}

The past month has been treating me well, just like most of my pregnancy so far. Negi is truly behaving in the womb and being a super baby. Hoping this translates to an easy going baby outside of the womb to help us transition to a family of 4.

I'm still able to control my diabetes with diet, which seems surprising to doctors since my GD was diagnosed early. Most people have to take medication by now. While I have been pretty positive about my diet restrictions this time around, I'm starting to miss carbs more and more. I would love to pick figs off the tree in the backyard and eat them right away instead of having to wait until after my meal score. Sigh. I'm already coming up with a mental list of foods I want to request while I'm in the hospital and free to eat whatever I like. Sushi and bagels are on top of my list. 

Baby Bump - Week 29
{Lowe's}

Since I'm still keeping up with my diet, my weight hasn't moved too much. I did gain a whole 2 lbs, bringing up my total weight gain to 7 lbs. I'm still under 120 lbs, but I will probably go over soon. Negi is weighing in at 3 lbs 1 oz, which is a bit of a concern with the doctors. Normal GD patients have to worry about big babies. Instead I have a small one. The doctors tried to assure me that I'm probably okay since they're comparing me to Caucasians who generally have bigger babies than Asians. Quite honestly, I'm not worried. Little E weighed 5 lbs 13 oz at birth and perfectly healthy. Since Negi is on the smaller side, I have to see maternal fetal doctors every 3 weeks instead of every 4 weeks. Boo. I'm getting tired of having so many ultrasounds. So tired that I actually fell asleep during my last ultrasound. Oops!

Baby Bump - Week 30
{Federal Donuts}

Sleep has been great as usual. I'm so lucky that I don't need any additional pillows and can sleep comfortably in bed. Insomnia hasn't reached full force yet. H is in charge of middle of the night wakings from E. If I wake up to tend to E, I end up staying up for hours and unable to fall back asleep. I have been getting up more frequently to visit the bathroom in the middle of the night, but it doesn't bother me. I am able to fall back asleep without any issues.

This past week I have been feeling more pregnant than usual. I am realizing my limitations and inability to bend down to pick up items on the floor. While cleaning up after E, you can usually find me scooting around on the floor because getting up and down is too much work for me. I do have to be more careful with my stomach, which has been feeling some abuse being brushed up against walls, chairs, and other objects. Fatigue is coming back, and it's hard for me to stay awake without my midday cup of coffee or a nap during quiet time.

Baby Bump - Week 31
{open field}

For a while I have been thinking about how my pregnancy with Negi differs from E. Being the second child, I know Negi won't get the same kind of one on one attention his big brother has had for the past two years. Hopefully he won't mind, but sometimes it bothers me. I had a baby shower with E, and it wasn't so much about the presents as it was about family and friends getting together to celebrate the pending arrival of E. I won't be having a baby shower this time around. I certainly don't need anymore baby gear, but I feel bad that we're not celebrating Negi's arrival. Maybe I'll throw a mini party at home with cake and balloons for the three of us. We will talk about our excitement for Negi and stare at dozens of photos of him from my ultrasounds. That sounds like a plan. Hehe.

Baby Negi
{ultrasound}

Negi, I hope you stay inside and bake for a little longer. Thank you for squirming around all day long and sleeping at night for the most part. We're thrilled and scared at the same time for your arrival. You already fit perfectly in our small family, and I can tell you're going to be a great little brother and son. Keep growing and stay healthy my little one.

Pregnancy - Week 31
{for comparison -- week 31 with Little E}

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Painting Negi's Nursery

We finally cleaned out my former craft/office space and are preparing for Negi's nursery. It was so much work to get the room cleared out. It became the "dump everything in here" space, and sorting the mess was a headache at times. We took our time to put away everything in the proper spot. H prepped the walls, and I chose the paint color -- Benjamin Moore Robin's Nest color matched with Olympic paint. Our trip to Lowe's was much needed for extra painting supplies. 

Baby Bump - Week 29
{shopping at Lowe's}

Little E spent Friday evening and Saturday at Pop Pop's house while H and I tried to be productive on Saturday. We ran errands in the morning and came back home to start our painting process. Can you believe we have been in our house for 4 years, and this is only the 3rd room painted? 

Painting the Nursery

Froggy tape went up along the ceiling and window frame, and I was in charge of cutting the trim and half of the doorways. H took care of the rest of the doorways, cutting along the ceiling, and painting the walls. Our goal was to finish both coats of paint before having to pick up E. Luckily plans changed, and he was going to be dropped off instead. It gave us the extra time to get the second coat of paint on before the sun went down.

Painting the Nursery Painting the Nursery Painting Negi's Nursery

Painting can be a lot of work, but it's so satisfying seeing the walls transform. The room changes so much with a fresh coat of paint and adds character to an otherwise boring white space. With less than 9 weeks remaining, I am relieved to cross another thing off of our to do list. Looking back on pictures from painting E's room, we painted around the same time during my pregnancy with him. I can't wait for more of the room to come together. We bought E a big boy bed over the weekend, and the crib will soon move into Negi's room. H is in charge of painting furniture, and I have to figure out the decorations for the space. Maybe we will have the room ready by the end of the month? That will be our goal.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Maui Honeymoon/Babymoon - Day 2

We have never been morning people, but that changes quite a bit when you have a kid. You can't tell your kid to go back to sleep for a few more hours (trust us, we've tried). Days of sleeping in until noon are long gone. While on vacation we kept a pretty good sleeping schedule, sleeping earlier at night and waking up at a decent time in the morning. Even though we would love to sleep in, it seems like hours wasted on a beautiful island like Maui. We would wake up to the sounds of the birds chirping (they can be pretty loud) and waves crashing against the shore. It was the perfect wake up call. Since being diagnosed with GD, eating breakfast every morning is very important for me. We made sure to have all the ingredients on hand to cook breakfast, and H was the chef for this trip. It was glorious to be able to wake up, shower, listen to H making breakfast and be able to enjoy our food uninterrupted. 

This morning we decided to explore the beach, and it was such a beautiful sight. I'm not a huge fan of water. Okay, I'm scared of water and assume that it's going to attack me at every opportunity. I love to get my feet wet, but that's the extent of my enthusiasm with the water. Maybe I should learn how to swim again to conquer my fear. H explored the water and enjoyed snorkeling. I relaxed on the beach and had fun doing absolutely nothing. As a parent, it's difficult to justify sitting around and doing absolutely nothing. Vacation is the perfect time to just lounge and not have to worry about a thing.

Napili Bay Napili Bay Napili Bay

After our morning on the beach, we were hungry and ready for lunch at the Honolua Store. I chose the fish sandwich with curly fries (yum), and H picked the special for the day -- the laulau platter. Laulau is tender pork wrapped in taro leaf. Oh so delicious, and I wish I could have another bite.

Honolua Store

Once our tummies were full, we hit the road for some exploring around the city of Kahului. H and I are fans of Costco, and we visit them on vacation when we get a chance. We have been to Costco's in San Francisco and by Niagara Falls. From my limited research I found that people liked to buy souvenirs at Costco (macadamia nuts, chocolates, etc) for a great price. We picked up a bag of Hershey's kisses with macadamia nuts, which you can only buy in Hawaii. At home I split up the chocolates into individual bags and gave them to our friends and family. 



Having been to a Costco in Canada, we wondered if their food selection would be any different since we were so far away from the mainland. Well their food court menu was identical. H indulged in a piece of pizza, which tasted just like Costco pizza at home. Some things are meant to remain the same.

Costco - Maui

Some notable items that were picture worthy -- Maui Gold pineapples (very cheap at Costco and double the price everywhere else), lots of Spam, and Asian ingredients like premium oyster sauce in bulk.

Costco - Maui

Mmm... then there is the fish. I wanted to gobble up the whole tray of tuna sashimi, especially for the price and quality. Instead I wanted to try their poke (marinated cubes of yummy tuna). Poke can be found throughout the island, but I wanted to see how Costco's version held up. Yeah it was super delicious. You can't go wrong with cubes of tuna with spicy mayo. They had a huge selection of different varieties as well.

Costco - Maui

Shopping made us work up our appetite for more shave ice! This time H wanted to try the rainbow, which was very pretty and delicious (all the syrups were top notch) but not as yummy as my haleakala. We later learned to add macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom for the perfect combination with the haleakala. 

Ululani Shave Ice

This is where our picture story ends for the day. We went to visit the town of Paia for dinner at the Paia Fish Market. The line was out to the door, and we were standing there figuring out what to eat from the menu. I had my eye on one of the fish platters. Now here is where we get down to the real side of marriage. We have disagreements, and they can even happen on our delayed honeymoon/babymoon. H mentioned that we should share a plate of fish tacos. I thought that was kind of weird. He also seemed a bit annoyed by how crowded the place was, and I could tell something was off. Being hormonal and hungry, I didn't know what to take of this and assumed that he didn't want to eat here. He tried to convince me otherwise, but I didn't believe him. Why would he suggest to split a plate of fish tacos with pregnant, diabetic Yin? So I was upset and decided that we would leave. Now I'm very stubborn, and I blame my dad for this side of me. Not only was I hungry, I was disappointed that we went out of our way to visit Paia for dinner and leave empty handed. I just wanted to go back to the condo at this point. We continued to talk about what happened, and H continued to defend himself. I continued to fight back on my point of view.

I ended up falling asleep in the car. H tried to redeem himself and drove us to Star Noodle for dinner. I wouldn't budge and just wanted to go back to the condo. The restaurant was also crowded with many people waiting for tables to open up. Finally H gave up and drove us back. Once we were at the condo, I was ready for the night to be over and went to bed without dinner. H needed to cool off and think things over in the car. It was weird to be apart for those few hours, but that's what marriage is about sometimes. We get into disagreements. There are misunderstandings. We go to bed on an empty stomach sometimes too. It's not the best part of marriage, but it's realistic. The next morning we woke up in better spirits and apologized to each other about the night before.

So there you have it folks. That was day 2 of our adventure in Maui. It ended on a rough note, but I'm okay with that. Life isn't always perfect, and there are some not so happy hours in a marriage. What's important is that we can learn from our disagreements and talk about our problems openly. Also H needs to remember that a well fed Yin means a very happy Yin. E is the same way. We both get grumpy when we're hungry. Hehe. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Being a SAHM - Reflecting on the Past 3 Years

Elliot Sleeps on Mommy

Three years ago I decided to stay at home while being pregnant with E. It wasn't an easy decision but something that H and I discussed years ago if it was financially feasible. Of course money was tight at first, but we made it work. My body changed a lot during my pregnancy, and the extra time at home helped me adjust. Once E arrived, all of my time was devoted to taking care of him. The first year was difficult, but we survived and E thrived. Now that E is 28 months old, and we're expecting another on the way, it's about time to reflect on the past three years.

1st Family Photo 

Being a stay at home is truly rewarding. Yes, it can be damn right draining and exhausting. I spent every other day breaking down in tears for the first year. I found it hard to balance being a mother, wife, and being just me. While it was difficult to see past all the struggles, everyday I witnessed my little baby grow into a little boy. I was able to provide him a year of breast milk by exclusively pumping, giving him the best nutrition I could possible pass on to him. By being at home I had the dedication to go through with cloth diapering full time and doing laundry everyday. I was there for all his major milestones -- smiles, laughing, rolling over, crawling, pulling up, walking, and talking. Everyday I sit down with E at the table to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. We talk about silly things and anything that is on his mind. It's those special moments that I wouldn't give up for anything in the world.

NikonFE2-007

One of the things I struggle with most is the perception of being a stay at home mom. Fifty years ago I was part of the norm. Now I am looked down upon because my role is insignificant. I don't contribute to the working society. My son would benefit more from being in daycare than staying at home with me (that is what I'm told). Pretty much being a SAHM has a bad reputation. Every time I'm asked what I do, my response is never acceptable. The reaction is usually silence. No one has anything to say and usually steer the conversation in a different direction. I don't need people to praise me for what I do, but their silence is treated as disappointment that I'm not doing something better with my life and for my family. Our parents have spent their lives in America working towards the American dream of earning money. Both my parents and in-law's worked hard and don't exactly understand my role at home.

Taking a Break by the City Skyline

This past weekend a comment really rubbed me the wrong way. H was telling his aunts and uncles about the famous triangle fold plastic bag trick and gave me credit for it. His uncle quickly concluded and said out loud that I have so much time on my hands staying at home to be able to fold individual plastic bags. The aunts ignored the comment and wanted to learn how to fold, which I appreciated. Yes, I do have a lot of time at home, but it's not easy to take care of a child and household every single day. I cook two meals a day and reheat leftovers for lunch. Every meal is specifically made with E's health in mind, and that takes a lot of time and energy when you calculate his allergies into the equation. It's so much work that many are too intimidated to even try to cook for him, which leaves me in the kitchen making bentos every time we leave the house. Plus my kid eats pretty much every hour, and I'm not the type to resort to processed boxed snacks (I do occasionally give it to him but mainly stick with healthy fruits and nuts). So that's just the cooking aspect of my day. Throw in washing dishes for all of those meals that I cook (no dishwasher), laundry for the entire family, and general up keep of the house. Oh and don't forget that I have to care for my child and give him the attention he needs to thrive. Sigh.

Elliot's 2nd Birthday

I don't need an award or trophy for my title, but a little appreciation would go a long way. I constantly feel like I'm letting others down by being insignificant. Maybe it doesn't help that I don't know other SAHMs, and I don't make the effort to try to meet them either. None of my friends have kids, and here I am with a toddler and a baby brewing inside. It's difficult not to have the support system from others. Luckily H is there for me and reminds me constantly how much he appreciates me staying at home. This is part of his dream for our family, and it's perfect in its own special way. I also am lucky enough to be part of an amazing community at Hellobee and have met people through forums and blogs.

Newark Day 2013

A year ago I would say that I have lost my identity and not sure how to classify myself. Being a mother is a new role, and being a stay at home mother is even more challenging. The first year was full of struggles, which made me question who I was. With little time to dedicate to myself, I became lost and wanted to figure out exactly where I fit in. I am a mother 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don't get many breaks or any vacation time for myself. I can't leave the house and be "human" for 8 hours a day and come home to throw on my mother hat. Fast forward 2.5 years later, and I identify myself as a mother and wife. I know I need time to focus on myself, but sometimes I don't want it. I would rather be with my husband and kids. Family is what I live and breathe for every single day.

Baby Bump - Week 28