Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finally some photos of roundface

So I was going to do a weekend report, but you people have been begging me for pictures. Let's just say we had a great weekend. You can see from the pics what we did.

This is the only one where you see her face b/c she is too busy with the rocks and sand...

Eating noodles with her Baba...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I am a housewife--cringe cringe

This morning I was half listening to Maria Shriver's interview on the Today Show, while the other half of me was explaining to my 2 year old that I will be happy to play blocks with her as soon as I finished folding the laundry. Given my half-listening status, take all of the following "quotes" with a grain of salt--I am paraphrasing here. Anyway, Maria Shriver was relaying a story about how her son's friend asked him if his mom was a model and her son replied, "no, she is a housewife" and Maria Shriver was horrified. First of all, does her son's friend live under a rock? Hello? So Maria Shriver said to her son, "How could you say that? I am a journalist!!" He replies, "Not now, you are not--you are not doing that anymore." She said, "Well I am the first lady of California." He replied, "Nobody elected you, they elected dad." Anyone else want to smack this kid for being snarky? So during the course of the interview, Maria Shriver spoke about how the word Housewife just made her cringe and she didn't identify herself as such and the whole exchange made her really do some inward thinking about who she is and how she wants to spend her time. She even thought about going back to journalism, but she ultimately decided that she was just using it as a safety net, just so she could say she was a journalist. I can relate to this on so many levels. Being a housewife (ugh) is something I NEVER thought I would be, but here I am and surprise of all surprises, I love it--I have never been happier. I am 110% grateful and at peace with my decision, but I still hate the word Housewife, the description, the implications. Like I am some kind of 1950s throwback, with no power, no voice, no escape from misery. Since we just moved here, we meet new people all the time and I often feel judged for being not only a housewife (ew) but a doctor's wife (like I am some kinda gold digger) as well. Sometimes I just want to tell them that I am a scientist. I have a PhD! I am kinda smart! I have published a lot of papers in peer-reviewed journals! But I don't because ultimately I don't care that I am being judged. And at the end of the day, the piece of paper that says I have a doctorate doesn't mean as much to me as that cute little face that looks up at me and says, "Mommy, sit and play blocks...workin...workin..." (she always says that when she builds something). Like Maria Shriver, I have had passing thoughts of returning to be a scientist, but really I would just be doing that to say I am a scientist--and that is the wrong reason. Maria Shriver also said that she likes to think of herself as a work in progress and that its okay that she doesn't know where she will be in 5 years. Okay, that is totally me! I don't think I will be a housewife (ick, ick) forever--but I am not sure what I will be in 5 years--I just strive to be happy and to find something I am passionate about, as passionate as I used to be about science when I was 20. Maybe I will do something science-like, but maybe not and I am okay with that. So perhaps I will refer to myself as a work in progress instead of a housewife, b/c that word makes me cringe!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quirky kid

Lana does some weird, but funny things. She likes to wear socks like gloves--opera-length gloves and never matching. Along with her sock gloves, she puts on a pink knit hat. Sometimes, this will be all she is wearing--yes, nude with the sock gloves and hat. Strange. Another favorite activity of late is getting under a blanket like a tent and staying there for like a half an hour, asking for things like her stuffed animals, her blankie (buh-duh) and telling mommy "Nope! Nope!" if I try to join her in her tent. Bizarre. She has also been either making up funny stories, or telling me about strange dreams. I am a very avid dreamer and most of my dreams are totally kookie, so maybe she is like me--or she has a vivid imagination. The other night she told me there was a doggie in the shower, he used Lana's soap, it got in his eyes and it was an owwee. This morning she told me there was a broken car that needed a diaper and then we washed our hands. Hmmm...interesting.

Ooh, I thought of another one: In the tub, she gets on her stomach to blow bubbles in the water (with her mouth, just to clarify) and she wants me to take the plastic watering can and "water" her back. Then when I drain the tub, she lays on her tummy and blows bubbles until there is literally 1 millimeter of water left in the tub! I tell her its time to come out and she pretends she doesn't speak English and she gets mad when I lift her out. She could stay all night in the tub--until she was a prune (or a prume, according to Bill)...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to Bill

Today is Bill's birthday and although I highly doubt he reads my blog, since he pretty much knows what is going on in our household and all, I want to write about how lucky I am to have him as my husband. Also, he is 35--so its a milestone birthday of sorts. To celebrate, I am making a nice dinner tonight--I dropped a lot of money at my favorite high brow grocery store on some black cod, chinese veggies and chocolate cake. We are also having a weekend in Seattle in a couple of weeks. My inlaws will take Lana overnight and Bill and I will be going to the Seattle Symphony for Vivaldi's Four Seasons and we will stay in a hotel downtown and eat at non-kid-friendly places!!! Okay, I know NOTHING about classical music--nada, zip, zilch. But Bill really digs it, so I was a bit out of my element when I bought the tickets (as an intended surprise--but all who know me IRL know that I cannot keep surprises). I think I made it 48h before Bill coaxed it out of me that I was taking him to the symphony. I tell him, "We are going to see or hear rather Vivaldi's Four Seasons" He says, "REALLY? Awesome! Who's playing?" I am like, "The Seattle Symphony?" He says, "No, I mean who is the violinist?" I say, "I dunno, look at the website!" Duh! I am so uncultured!

Anyway, Bill's birthday is significant too b/c we got engaged on his birthday--he totally surprised me, since I was taking HIM out and he turned it around on me. See, he is very good at surprises. He is also pretty darn smart, yet humble. I love that. He is great at getting things done--very persuasive and yet he knows how to relax. He is also great at taking care of his girls. His role as father has been the most impressive to me, but it doesn't surprise me in the least. Most of the time I feel like I don't deserve him. Lucky me. I know it and I try to let him know too.

Lana is going to help Bill blow out the candles--she has been talking about it all day. She woke up this morning and said to Bill, "apple bitday" He totally melted! It was pretty darn cute.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Our weekend

We had a pretty good weekend. Busy, but fun too. On Saturday we had our first family photo shoot at Picture People at the mall. We did pictures before at Penneys when Lana was 6 months old and it was a total disaster--she screamed the whole time and we only got one photo and she looked pissed. So this time, I was nervous it would be another disaster. I totally obsessed about every detail--the clothes, the shoes, etc. We also got family portraits done with the three of us and some with my inlaws as well. I tried to buy something trendy for myself to wear for these pics since I rarely buy any clothes anymore (unless you count jeans and tees from Target). I must have tried on 25 tops and everything looked either slutty or totally doofy. I ended up wearing a boring scoop neck sweater like everything else I own. Maybe I am getting old? Anyway, the photo shoot went pretty well--Lana warmed up by the end and we got some good shots which I will post at some point. Then we went for dim sum to celebrate Bill's birthday and home for a nap.

Saturday night we tried CIO for the first time in a while to try to get Lana to go to sleep by herself. She FREAKED! It was heartbreaking and I hate it. If I didn't have success in the past with it, I would bail. I kept going in her room and putting her back in bed and she kept getting out and going to the gate--screaming bloody hell the whole time. After about 7 tries, I bailed and sat next to her bed until she fell asleep. About 2h later she woke up screaming again--it was a night terror I think b/c she was out of her mind and I couldn't snap her out of it. Then all of a sudden she stopped. Its freaky--I kept telling Bill that something is wrong with her. She woke up 2 more times that night complaining of congestion in her nose and low and behold this morning she was all stuffy and boogery and surprise of all surprises, so am I. So we have another cold! I guess we will be jumping ship on the sleep training. I think the last time we tried to sleep train, she got a cold and it was over before we started. Maybe she knows that's the way to get mommy to sleep with her. Ugh, its so frustrating. Plus I just love being sick--see previous post.

Today we met up with some old friends we haven't seen in 2 years. They were here from California, visiting family and we met up for breakfast. They have a 4 and a half year old son who is super cute and so well-behaved and polite. They are also expecting their second baby this summer, which is so exciting. It was SO nice to catch up, like no time had past. It was also nice to connect with them as parents, since when we all lived in the same city, they were parents, but we were not. Having Lana has totally altered my perspective in just about every way, which I suppose is an obvious statement, but I really had NO idea about kids before I had Lana, no matter how much I tried to get it. I remember several years ago at a dinner party (at the home of the friends we saw today, actually), one of the moms turned to me and said, "Julie, you and Bill are newleyweds. Let me tell you, the love you have for Bill is NOTHING compared to the love you will have for your children." I literally could not imagine what she was talking about, but I totally do now. I thought she was being dramatic, actually. Anyway, it was nice to see our friends and I hope we can do it again sometime.

Tonight my wonderful husband is cooking!! Homemade pasta--yes homemade. WOW! The sauce is a Giada recipe with beef short ribs and tomatoes and red wine. It smells so good. I can tell you there will be flour all over the kitchen, on every surface--the kitchen is always a bomb site after he has been cooking, but who is complaining? Not me, I tell ya!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oh, the irony!

I have been bugging Bill to stop cursing. Or at least cut back. He uses the F word like 5 times in every sentence that requires emphasis. I keep telling him that Lana is going to say it soon. Last night as we are finishing dinner I drop Lana's bib (its the one with the trough to catch all the fallout) and frozen strawberries hit the carpet and I say "oh shit". Lana repeats "oh shit, oh shit". Fantastic. I knew it was going to happen one of these days, but I figured it would be in response to Bill's foul mouth, not mine. Now I don't claim to never curse, b/c all who know me, know that is not the case. But I'd like to think I have toned it down over the years, at least a little bit.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pity Party

I hate being sick. I am almost always sick with something. Bill says I am sick more than I am well. Its nothing serious, its not like I have a terminal disease or even a chronic disease that makes you miserable, so I know it could be worse--WAY worse. But I pretty much have either a headache or a stomachache more often than not. Today I have both--not sure if I have a stomach bug, or I ate something funny or what, but the headache was a lovely bonus. Fun. Hence my pity party. For my headaches I take Excedrin--its the only thing that works and it makes me so queasy. So I trade a headache for nausea. Have I mentioned how much I hate being nauseous? I am totally paranoid and phobic of barfing--its not something I do often, so the nausea makes me nuts. I was nauseated 8 out of the 9 months I was pregnant (month 6 was glorious!) and after my pregnancy I received a diagnosis of IBS. I will spare you the gory details, but lets just say my tummy never is quite right. So between my head and my stomach, I always feel icky, which puts me in a bad mood. I just had some bloodwork done and my doc thinks I have a food allergy which is messing up my tummy, so I need more tests. Watch me be allergic to something important--like chocolate or coffee or something like wheat or butter, which is in everything. Ugh! Okay, I think I am done complaining.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


While Lana is having a language explosion, she also has invented a language of her own. Some of these words have become a part of our vernacular, but others I don't want to forget.

Bee--berry or boob, depending on context. Most often berries.

Amie--orange (color or fruit)

Anga--banana--do you see the fruit theme?? The kid eats more fruit than any human I have ever met.





Bobby--her father. Originates from Baba--the chinese word for dad. Once she started calling me Mommy instead of Mama, Baba changed to Bobby.




This is all I can think of now. I am sure there are more, which I will add later.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another fun weekend

Whew! We are totally booked every weekend in April--mostly social things, but still... So this past weekend we went to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which is about 30 min away from us. Its amazing that only a short drive from us and we are in the middle of farm land. Pretty crazy for a city girl like myself. Anyway, we took my inlaws with us and went to a tulip and daffodil farm and let Lana run wild. She stopped to smell every single freakin flower--no lie. So we have tons of photos like this one:

She had a great time and the weather was so nice. Here is another:

On Saturday night we went to our dear friends house for dinner. They have 2 kids, ages 3 and 1 and Lana just loves them. Lana enjoyed playing with their toys and petting their anti-social cat, until he scratched her--then she was none too pleased with the cat.

Sunday we went to Lana's friend's birthday party. He turned 2 and his mom threw a really nice party. She is like Martha Stewart though, so no big surprise there. Here are photos of Lana enjoying her cupcake:

Then we went to the Costco Home Store! What a fun place! How did we not know about it before? We ordered some shelves for our office that matches our other office furniture and get this--it will be delivered on Friday! Wow! No waiting 6 weeks, like everywhere else. I cannot wait to get our books unpacked and our office organized. I hate that room right now--every time I walk in there its such a mess it gives me a headache.

After our shopping we went to my inlaws for dinner. Since they moved here we swap Sunday dinners. One week at our place, the next at theirs. Its nice to get together once a week for a meal and a visit, even though we generally see each other more often than that.

All in all the weekend was fun, but busy. We are still not sleeping efficiently here. It takes Lana forever to settle down--sometimes up to an hour. And over the weekend, she did not nap--we missed her normal nap time and she would not go down later until we put her in the car--then she passed out instantly. I am at my wits end with the sleep issues. I want her to go to sleep by herself!!! I will keep repeating my mantra of motherhood, "Its a phase. Its a phase."

Language Explosion--Finally

YAY! Lana is finally talking more. I heard from my other mommy friends that it happens--they just wake up one morning and can say anything and everything, but I have been patiently waiting for Lana. I wasn't worried or anything since she is learning both English and Chinese, but it has been getting harder and harder to figure out what she wants with such a limited vocabulary. Here are some of her new words and phrases:

"Nope!" Everything used to be "no", now everything is "nope". Would you like some cheese? Nope! Please put on your pants. Nope! Close your eyes and GO TO SLEEP!!!! Nope! I tell ya, it can be infuriating at times.

"Yellow bus" "Red bus" "Blue bus" "Green bus". Apparently, here in Everett, we have a lot of different colored buses. Lana slips a gear when she sees a bus--seriously she gets so excited and she always says "hallo" to the buses.

"Owwee weee" At the playground, she fell (owwee) on the slide (weee). Everytime we pass the park she says "Hallo" to the "owweee weee"

She has learned verbs and she drops the "g": walkin, runnin, cookin, eatin, drinkin, workin, lookin, washin--you get the picture.

She can now count to 5 in both English and Chinese. She pretty much has the alphabet song down, although she won't sing it straight through. She loves to sing Happy Birthday--which is good b/c all of her friends' birthdays are in April--so we have been getting lots of practice.

She has been so much fun lately. Bill and I are both laughing our heads off at something she does or says just about every day.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Why silence is no good

As I was laying down with Lana trying to get her to sleep (again, another story altogether), I was thinking about where toddlers get their energy from and how I wish I had Lana's stamina. Even when she brushes her teeth, she is walking in circles. When watching tv, she sits down, stands up, dances, sits back down, jumps up on the sofa, etc. Me watching her watch tv makes me tired. Anyway, when she goes to sleep at night, there I lay next to her, playing dead, well not dead--alseep and she is rolling all over the place. Rolling, sitting up, crashing down (sometimes right on my head--youchie), talking to me, asking me to sing songs, etc. I say "its time to be quiet and go to sleep" like 100 times. And then...silence..... I am thinking--YAY, she is asleep. So I open my eyes and she is fully awake with her finger jammed up her nose. She then wipes the booger on my face and says "boogie". Fantastic. There are many other instances where I have learned that silence is not a good sign. For instance, the other day I bought a new sippy cup made of the "safe plastic" (I am sick and tired of cleaning those damn straw cups, so I was hoping she could drink from a regular sippy) and I gave her some water in it. She seemed to like it just fine. So Lana is in the family room watching Sesame Street and I am reading the mail at the dining table. For like 3 minutes I hear nothing...silence.... I say, "Lana, what are you doing?" She comes to the dining room with her empty cup and says "Raining!" Yep, she observed that the "safe" sippy cup was indeed not leak proof, so she made it rain all over the coffee table, carpet, sofa, etc. Thank goodness it was just water. She did help me clean it up though. I have also experienced the sound of a big bang, then silence.....then the loudest cry you ever thought possible. The last time I heard this type of silence, there was blood and a lot of it. No worries, she was fine--just banged her lip on the crib rail slicing it open. Maybe crib injury was the beginning of her decision that cribs are for babies--namely her baby brother she calls didi. I am not pregnant. We have no other children. Its her imaginary brother. I think Bill has been brainwashing her.

The sleep issues we are having with Lana are driving me insane and making me feel like I am doing something wrong, kind of like I failed a midterm. One day she just decided she was done with the crib. We put the mattress on the floor, which she seemed to dig, except that she wanted me to stay and sing to her. Okay, its a new thing, I will stay and sing. Fast forward 4 weeks and I am still in her darn bed singing and pretending to be asleep. After she is alseep I generally sneak out (unless I pass out myself, which sometimes happens too) and then sometime around 1am she screams MOMMY and I crawl into bed with her where I remain for the rest of the night. I have tried to just tuck her in and leave, but she totally freaks out--I am talking dramatic hysterics. She will sometimes tolerate me sitting by the bed instead of being in it, but after about 30 min of that crap I have lost feeling in both legs. The ironic thing is that literally 2 days before she decided cribs were for babies, I was telling my friend about how we sleep trained her when she was an infant and its one thing I am really proud of b/c I feel like I taught her something useful--to go to sleep by herself. That was a major jinx. I suppose I just don't know how to proceed. I feel bad locking her in her room and letting her scream and cry. Although we did CIO when she was little, I feel she is more aware now and she gets scared sometimes. When I come into her bed, she grabs my hand and puts it next to her face. She wants to cuddle. I love the affection b/c she has never been a cuddly baby. AHHH, I just don't know what to do. For now, I am hoping she outgrows her need to have someone in her bed, but I have a sinking feeling I should just resign myself to co-sleeping and get over myself. I do need to teach her that wiping boogers on people is not socially acceptable.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Our great weekend

Wow! What a great weekend we had! It was a great balance of getting things done and spending lots of time together as a family. I feel so recharged and ready to start the week. Saturday we had dim sum with my inlaws and we all went to my favorite high-brow grocery store. Its Whole-Foods like, but probably more expensive (yikes!). I wish I could shop there all the time, but if I did, I would probably need to go back to work. Lana pushed the mini-cart through the store with my inlaws watching her every move. I wish I had a camera b/c she was hilarious--she ran pushing the cart with a huge smile, taking things off the shelf and putting it in the cart. People were staring at her--not sure if it was b/c she was being cute or obnoxious. Anyway, once she discovered the free samples of watermelon, she was done pushing the cart. She probably ate 8 pieces. She is crazy with the fruit. Then we came home, Bill napped with Lana and I went for a haircut! Woo hoo--precious alone time getting pampered no less. Sunday my inlaws wanted to take Lana to the Japanese Garden so Bill and I had the whole day to ourselves--double Woo Hoo! My wonderful husband said, "I'll vacuum" and I seriously wanted to jump his bones right there. We spent just one hour cleaning (not sure what got into him) and the whole house was spotless. Nothing like a clean house to make me happy. Lana and my inlaws came home in the afternoon and Bill made paella for dinner. Cooking and cleaning in the same day????? whoa. Bill is a wonderful cook btw.

Now if I could only get Lana's sleeping issues under control, we would be all set. That will be a topic for another day...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I can't believe I have a blog

I am not tech savvy. Not at all. My cell phone doesn't even take photos. I don't IM, I don't text message. I have never been to MySpace. I haven't purchased a CD since 2002 and I have never downloaded a song. Can you believe I have a blog? Now the trick will be to actually remember to write a post now and then.

Why do I have a blog? Well my mommy friend Beth has a great blog, she is a terrific writer and even though we don't talk often, I love feeling connected to her through her blog and reading about her son's adventures. I am hoping that my faraway friends and family will enjoy reading about our adventures too and seeing pics of Lana, since I am so horrible about remembering to send photos. Plus it will be a nice place for me to journal my experiences as I fly by the seat of my pants through parenthood. Oh and Roundface is a nickname Bill affectionately uses with Lana since she had the chubbiest cheeks as a baby.

Now I need to figure out how to set up the rest of this blog thingy.