Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey, I'm back!

Back from vacation. Bummer. We had a wonderful time. Here is how everyday went:
Wake up, eat, swim, eat, nap, swim, eat, sleep. It was great. We ate well--lots of fruit and sushi. It was luxurious and relaxing. I will post some pics and some book reviews when I get a chance, but for now, I must do laundry and clean my disaster of a house. I feel so behind with the daily stuff, so I will be back later. Oh, and I have lots of blogs to catch up on!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Time for a little R&R

I looked back at my past few posts and well I noticed that somebody is a little cranky! Good thing its time to go on vacation--off we go to Oahu!! Yay! We have been planning this trip for a long time to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. This is a family vacation, not a romantic trip and we plan on lounging and relaxing as much as possible. Usually Bill is very active on trips--"no sleeping in, we have to see everything", but this time we are just going to chill. Bill needs it--bad. Apparently I do too. See ya!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not what we needed right now

Our fridge died. Dead. Warm everything--good thing its garbage day. Sunzabitches. Its never a good time to have an appliance crap out and you have to replace it, but still. Crapola. The thing is, its not so simple. We have an under the counter refrigerator--it looks like 2 drawers. Our freezer is separate--again under the counter, 2 drawer style. I think its supposed to be fancy, but truly its a pain. We have a backup fridge in the basement b/c you cannot put too many things in a couple of drawers. So we would keep milk and fruit upstairs in the drawer fridge and all the other stuff downstairs which means I do not need to join a gym b/c I am up and down the darn stairs 100 times a day. We need to get a new fridge for upstairs ASAP, but there is no space for a full sized upright fridge in our somewhat fancy, yet totally annoying kitchen!! When we bought the house I had a moment of total panic and buyers remorse thinking we just bought a way expensive house with a kitchen with no fridge (except those stupid drawers). Anyway, we will eventually remodel to fit a normal fridge, but not anytime soon, so now we have to spend a boatload of money on a new drawer fridge that I despise in the first place. For now though its going to be many trips back and forth to the basement--I hope I don't pull anything during my workouts. Grrr.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I am so disappointed

I had PPD after Lana--well technically it was PPA (post-partum anxiety) and it totally sucked and I got treated--a little late, but better late than never. I really went off the deep end after Lana quit breastfeeding so I didn't start meds until Lana was already one year old. Anyway, treatment helped tremendously and it was time to stop the meds so that we can work on baby #2. I weaned off the meds very slowly and avoided the discontinuation syndrome that many describe, but unfortunately I can feel anxiety creeping back into my life. Dammit. So I guess I feel disappointed and crabby b/c I was hoping that I would be back to my normal tightly wound self, rather than my normal nutty self. I just hope the insomnia doesn't last because that seriously makes me crazy. I suppose this is just how I am put together and I should accept it, but I kind of liked the chill Julie while she lasted. No worries, if it gets too bad again, back to the doc I go. I am just a little bummed I guess.

Mom and Me Meme

Thanks Beth for tagging me! I enjoyed your responses and its always a fun thing to do especially if you are in a blogging rut like I have been lately.

First, post a picture of you and your kid(s):

1. How many children do you have?
Just one for now--Lana

2. What are their ages?
Lana is 2 years, almost 4 months.

3. What time do you start your day?
Between 7-8am. Just typing that makes me smile b/c last winter Lana would start her day at 5am--ready for action. The moon was still out and there was not enough coffee in my pot to keep me awake. So even 7am totally awesome.

4. What do you eat for breakfast?
One cup of coffee with non-dairy, sweetened creamer. Then, it varies--a bowl of cereal or peanut butter toast or Trader Joes frozen french toast. I hate breakfast foods, but I have to eat something or my delicious coffee will burn a hole in my stomach.

5. Do your kids watch TV?
Hell yeah! On demand Little Einsteins, Backyardigans, Ni Hao Kai-Lan, Sesame Street are current faves. She only watches in the morning while we are having breakfast/getting ready and at the end of the day when I am cooking dinner, which is totally essential. I hate to "use" tv, but sometimes its necessary.

6. What are their favorite activities?
Play-Doh, blocks, drawing on her chalkboard, playing in the play kitchen--she cooks and prepares picnics for me, going to the playground--swings are the fave, singing and dancing, gardening with her dad. I know I listed a lot of favorites, but Lana has a very short attention span, so anything that hold her interest for more than 3 minutes is considered a favorite.

7. Do you get a break during the day for some you time?
Just naptime. When it goes away or we have another kid, there goes my 1-2 hours of "me" time. Sometimes I nap with Lana, sometimes I clean (ugh), sometimes I blog or surf the internet.

8. How do you end your day?
Well Lana goes to bed very late--9:30 or even 10pm. Believe me, I have tried to get her down earlier, but you cannot force a kid to sleep when they are not tired--at least not my stubborn kid. Anyway, by the time I get her down to sleep and shower (we are night bathers), I have about a half hour to chat with Bill and watch some crappy tv. I do wish Bill and I had more alone time together.

9. What is your best parenting advice or tip?
My mantra is "everything is a phase" which helps me through the rough patches. My other tidbit of advice is to never ever stick your finger into your child's mouth to feel for that new tooth--you will be injured.

I tag
Outnumbered Gal
Jill (are you out there?)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kicking Balls

I am laying next to Lana and she kicks me in the head.
I say, "Lana, do not kick me in the head."
I get another kick.
"Lana, do NOT kick me in the head."
One more kick just to see if I will get mad.
"Lana, do NOT kick me in the head or I will not lay next to you."
She responds, "Lana only kicks in the balls."

I think she meant Lana is only allowed to kick/throw balls, but still I laughed my head off. Either that or Bill is preparing her for the teen years.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What's Inside?

I made the mistake of giving Lana a Tootsie Pop as a reward once. She was shocked and amazed to find chocolate in the center of the "lick" as she calls all lollipops. Ever since she drives me bonkers asking me "What's inside?" of everything and I mean everything.

She points to a banana--"ma, what's inside?"
Me: "inside what?"
Lana: "banana"
Me: just more banana

Name an object, she has asked me what's inside. I think she is just waiting for the day when I respond--chocolate!!!! Imagine a world where you thought chocolate might be hiding inside everyday items?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My girl

Lana is growing up so fast. It seems like just yesterday I was the frazzled new mom with the infant who cried incessantly and LOUD. I would look at the clock and count down how many hours till Bill would walk in the door and I could hand over the screamer so I could make dinner. I got very little feedback from her that she even liked me a little. Oh, how I wish I had a blog then, it would have been so great to capture the moment and therapeutic for me too. Well, times have certainly changed! Lana has become sort of like my little friend. Much like Desi described her little buddy. Lana has become so physically affectionate with big hugs and many kisses and cuddles, but verbally sweet too--"Mama, I love youuuu!" She holds my hand without too much protest most of the time, well, sometimes. So I am finally getting that feedback I desperately wished for many months ago.

We hang out. We watch tv--her tv, not mine and only in the morning before I have made my coffee. We listen to music--children's music of course. She thinks I have crappy taste in music, understandably. We dance and act silly. People who know me IRL know that I despise dancing. I didn't even have dancing at my wedding and I was never into going to clubs for shaking my butt, despite having many friends who tried to drag me onto the dance floor. There is nothing like a 2 year old to make you let go of your inhibitions and just get crazy silly--even in public. I dance, I run, I make silly faces, I sing. I will do anything for that laugh--that wonderful belly laugh that is so contagious--I dare you not to smile if you heard it. We shop--grocery of course and Target mostly where we hang out in the shoe section trying on shoes she will never wear for more than 5 minutes. We also love the pet store (cheaper and closer than the zoo), the bookstore, Toys R Us of course. My only wish is that she would not wander (I mean run) away from me so often--but we are working on that. In fact, if I have any actual purchasing to do, I will not bring Lana b/c she is too difficult to look after unless she is in a shopping cart. Once Bill and I lost her in TRU for a good 5 min and it was seriously one of the scariest things ever. We scolded her and she cried and then we felt bad and hugged her.

One of the biggest changes I have noticed recently is when we go out to eat she sits on a chair next to me and just eats. I don't have to restrain her in a highchair, entertain her with crayons, or tell her over and over to sit and eat and no you are not getting up. As long as she is hungry, she just sits and eats like such a big girl. I love it, it actually makes me feel proud and it is so much more relaxing than before. I ask her if she wants to go out for a ladies lunch and she says, "Lana want to go outin eat!" Then in the car, "Fank you Mommy for takin Lana to refurant". Aww!

Sometimes I feel bad for Bill b/c Lana and I spend so much time together just hangin that I feel like we have a special bond that he just doesn't have with her. Sounds bad, huh? But its true. I often translate what she is saying when he doesn't understand. I explain inside jokes or something new and funny. I tell him about all the silly things we do and things she said and I feel bad for him. I mean, someone has to bring home the bacon and I am happy he brings home enough that I don't have to if I don't want to, but I can tell he feels sad inside that she prefers me and wants me for comfort and basically all of the routine stuff. It reminds me of having a close girlfriend that you have to explain to an outsider all of your inside stuff. I don't want Bill to be an outsider though!! That's horrible! I have made a huge effort to disappear when he is home or I make them take a walk together, just the 2 of them so that he can get the one-on-one time I get all day long. I notice she misses him more on Mondays after they spend so much time together over the weekend.

I just love my sweet girl and I love that we can do all sorts of fun stuff together. I will always always remember these times. Its so fun to have a mini girlfriend to hang with and I almost never look at the clock to countdown how many hours till Bill comes home so I can get a break and take a breather. Whew, I don't miss that at all!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ya know what sucks?

When your acupuncturist forgets about you and you have like 20 needles in your head, chest, tummy, legs, arms and can't move. Yeah, that's right--he forgot to come back after the 30 min timer went off and I lay there motionless for more than 1h having to pee like a racehorse. I yelled, I banged my arm on the wall behind me...still nothing. I ended up taking all the needles out myself and running to the bathroom before I peed my pants. Today's session was not therapeutic.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Once in a while

Once in a while I actually miss my job. Not often, quite honestly. 98% of the time, I feel like I did my thing as a scientist, was fairly good at it, but now is a different phase of my life and I am beyond content about it. Becoming a mom has changed me to the core and this is what I want to be doing in my heart and soul--besides, I did the whole working long hours thing and let me tell you, its overrated--even if kids are not in the equation and especially if your husband works long hours too. But once in a while, I feel a tad wistful about my career. I read this article on Yahoo and ooh I wish I still had access to scientific journals to read the nitty gritty of the studies. I think its pretty awesome, but I am a nerd that way. Then I caught the last 45 min of Randy Pauch's Last Lecture on PBS, which is not only inspiring in general, but also reminded me of the idealism and sense of discovering new frontiers in academia, along with having great mentors for inspiration. It totally totally sucks that this world lost this wonderful mind and man. Then I got an email from one of the grad students in my postdoc lab and he graduated, which reminded me of the relief and sense of accomplishment I felt when I graduated.

Ah, but then after these wistful feelings, I woke up and smelled the reality. While science is an exciting field, in theory, the reality of it is a bit different and disappointing. Like in my last job, my boss was a total wack job who always could surprise me with how freakin insensitive and just plain bizzare she could be. You people in the real world would just faint at some of the stuff that happens in the ivory tower--can you say lawsuit?
My day would go something like this:
  • Wander into lab--turn on computer, check email.
  • Get results from yesterday's experiment--curse b/c it didn't work AGAIN.
  • Start next one--as one of my fellow grad students once described it, our job is all about sticking shit in tubes, pressing a button and waiting and waiting.
  • Check email for the 100th time--oh wait, its only 10am.
  • Have bizzare conversation with boss--in the ladies room through the stall, while peeing--pray she zips up her pants before she comes out.
  • Go to a meeting or seminar--zone out and plan grocery list in head. Observe strange famous scientist scratch his back and sniff his fingers after--I SWEAR its a true story.
  • Check experiment--shit didn't work again.
  • Start next one--more shit in tubes, start timer.
  • Check email and babycenter AGAIN.
Okay, you get the idea--not exactly what I pictured when I signed up. I would much rather be spending the day dancing/running/playing with Lana.

Anyway, I suppose in a weird way my career always gave me a lot of self confidence as a woman and now that I don't have it anymore, sometimes I feel a little lost. Besides, this whole mom thing does not give me confidence--I question everything I do, well less now than when Lana was a baby, but still--carrying a tantruming 2 year old out of a public place definitely does not make you feel like you totally have it together.But I suppose its all part of the process of parenting and with time and experience you get more confident, just like anything else. I just hope I am doing it right.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This weekend

We had such a great day today! Bill had to work until about 10am and then we went blueberry picking. We go fruit picking every chance we get, since Bill loves fruit and Lana is truly obsessed. This was the third blueberry farm we tried and it was by far the best. Even late in the season, there were lots of big, sweet berries. Lana's method of picking is tree to mouth--forget the bucket. Then when she gets lazy she just sits down next to the bucket and eats them like she is eating a bucket of popcorn. The first few times we went I thought to myself that she ate WAY too many and she was sure to get a tummy ache. But all was well and her only side effect was blue poop the next day, so now I just let her eat all she wants--there are worse things. After we picked 7 lbs of blueberries, we headed to the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival while Lana caught a nap in the car. The festival is nothing terrific, but is perfect for a sunny afternoon with a 2 year old. We ate fish tacos and got ice cream. Lana went in the Jumpy Thing (or whatever that is called) and made crafts. Then we went to the park with a brand new playground which is right next to the beach. We played, threw rocks in the ocean, pet everyone's doggies and just had a great relaxing day. It was the perfect day.

Yesterday was pretty fun too--we went to a birthday party at the YMCA--swimming and playing in the adventure zone! Plus cupcakes, balloons and lots of take home goodies--what is not to love about that!??! I am always so impressed with the creativity of the moms and all the work that goes into throwing a kids b-day party. It was a great party and Lana had so much fun she was asleep before I even backed out of the parking lot!

So all in all it was a nice weekend. Next weekend Bill is on call again, so those weekends are never relaxing, even if its quiet. Then just one more week until our BIG vacation to Oahu!!! I cannot wait! Poor Bill needs a vacation bad--he is a little burned out. In the past I would not be excited about traveling with Lana, but now that she is such a big girl I really feel like we can go anywhere with her. It won't be perfect, but I am hoping the painful days of the screaming child are behind us--ah, I probably just jinxed myself. I hope not!

Did I hear that correctly?

So we are watching this thing on TV about cancer via the local channel and they are talking about the first patient who received Gardasil (the cervical cancer vaccine--which is an amazing scientific innovation in my opinion) here in town. Its NOT covered by insurance and you have to pay $300. WHAT???????? Wait a minute--Viagra is covered by insurance yet a vaccine to PREVENT CANCER IN WOMEN isn't? How messed up is that? That just makes me mad.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

That pretzel is how much?

I love a deal. I am a bargain hunter, although not the crazy kind that gets a whole basket worth $100 for $1.39 after coupons and discounts. Those people deserve a degree or medal or something--I am not that good. I never buy anything full retail. Its got to be on sale and at least feel like a value. For example, a $200 purse marked down to $100 is a deal to some people, but not to me b/c I am not a bag person and I would never EVER spend $100 on a purse that will likely have cheerios, goldfish and some sticky-used-to-be-a-fruitsnack-substance pooled in the bottom of it. For items for myself I am kind of cheap--I generally don't spend more than $15 on a top or $30 for pants and never more than $30 for shoes, unless they are boots or something really special. Of course, I am a stay at home mom, so I don't need fancy clothes and even when I worked, I was in a lab with yucky chemicals, lab animals and God knows what else, so I never dressed up there either. Probably the last time I had nice-ish clothes was when I was in grad school and I cared what other people (i.e. boys) thought of my appearance. Sad, but true. My wardrobe is kind of boring, but functional and once in a while I try to branch out and do something somewhat stylish as long as I don't have to iron it and its within my spending constraints. Oh and clothes for Bill--he is happy with what he has--seriously--he still has (and wears) clothing from 1995. Thank goodness for Christmas and his birthday and all of our friends and relatives that give him little updates to his wardrobe.

That said, when it comes to Lana's clothes/shoes, I need a 12 step program. Its crazy how many cute things are out there for girls. Its crazy how little self control I have. Don't get me wrong, I do buy the $3.99 tops at Target with the cute matching leggings at the same price. I buy things for her at the consignment store. I do bargain hunt. But, the problem is that there is an outlet mall 10 min from my house with your standard Gap, Gymbo, Carters, Osh Kosh and Children's Place. Deals everywhere, so tempting.... I try to never go unless I have to buy a gift for someone or if I have a crazy good coupon. But still, I probably spend too much money there. Today I went to a real (non-outlet) mall for the Baby Sale at Gymboree. Oh geez. I tried to avoid Gymboree in general until about a year ago b/c I felt like its just too expensive for what it is. But, I have come to love how all the clothes coordinate and I can mix and match, plus they offer more variety than just pink b/c seriously people how much pink can a girl own? Oh, I know there are way fancier stores and wayyyyyy more expensive clothes for kids out there, but for me, I need to draw the line and those Target clothes are very cute and functional. Well, today at the Baby Sale, those bastards got me. I spent $130 (OMG!!!) on fall clothes for Lana. But I had a 20% off coupon and I got Gymbucks so that I can go back next month and spend another whole pile of money on clothes for a kid who likes to be naked. But winter is coming and it will be too cold to be naked, at least outside. I better stop rationalizing my guilt now.

Oh and does anyone else find it APPALLING that those pretzel places charge $3.05 for one pretzel? Holy mackerel--that better be one friggen fantastic pretzel!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Thanks to Jenn--Staying in touch with the Funny Noses who tagged me. I have been enjoying reading others' responses to this list. Here are mine:

A. Attached or single? Happily attached
B. Best friend? My BFF from grad school Rumi--the sister I never had.
C. Cake or Pie? Chocolate cake--soft and spongy--yum!
D. Day of Choice? Saturday
E. Essential item? GPS--I get lost very easily
F. Favorite color? Brown
G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears
H. Hometown? Buffalo, NY
Indulgence? gelato
J. January or July? July for sure.
K. Kids? Just one for now.
L. Life isn't complete without? Miss Lana and my wonderful husband
M. Marriage date? September 26, 2003
N. Number of brothers and sisters? Nope. Bill is also an only.
O. Oranges or apples? Oranges
P. Phobias? Puke, cockroaches and other creepy crawlies, thunderstorms
Q. Quotes? Is it weird that I don't have any favorite quotes? I seriously wracked my brain on this one. I guess I am not that deep.
R. Reasons to smile? My life has been very blessed--I am lucky lucky lucky.
S. Season of Choice? Autumn
T. Tag some peeps: Beth--Working it out and Megan--In pursuit of balance
U. Unknown fact about me? I heart McDonalds.
V. Vegetable? Potatoes--I know, not really a veggie, but I am obsessed.
W. Worst habit? I can be annoying--just ask Bill.
X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound
Y. Your favorite food? sushi, indian food--esp veggie dishes, a good burrito, raspberries, pomegranates
Z. Zodiac sign? Scorpio

Monday, September 1, 2008

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs

Ugh, my headaches have reached the point where I am seeking alternative therapies. Wouldn't it be nice if I could stop complaining about them on my blog (and in real life too)? Last Friday I went for my first treatment--some dude that comes recommended via my in-laws. Luckily, his practice was busy b/c otherwise I would have been a little weirded out. It does not feel like a doctor's office at all. We spoke about my health history and current issues in the lobby, with other patients sitting right there. Anyway, I went into the exam room--there was no physical exam--I just laid down on the table, rolled up my jeans to my knees and got a ton of needles stuck in my feet, legs, arms, face and scalp. It did not hurt AT ALL--whew! But they make you lay there for 30 min, which seems like a long time. Thankfully Bill was there to occupy, I mean annoy me. He says, "what if there is a fire or earthquake--could you run with those needles in you?" Very funny. "That doesn't look too difficult, I could probably do it myself to you at home" Umm, no thanks.

Ah, but the best part was yet to come--the herbs. I got a blend of 15 herbs that I need to cook and steep like tea for 30 min then drink 3 times a day. Sounds okay--especially if it actually tasted like tea. I took my first treatment tonight. Imagine the water in a vase of flowers that is about 2 weeks old. You know that smell? Add a couple of scoops of potting soil and stir. Drink a whole mug of it. That's what it tastes like. OMG, that was BRUTAL! Bill told me to stand over the sink in case I puke (NOT the thing to say to me) and then Bill gave me 2 M&Ms to help with the aftertaste. Not helpful unless I ate the whole bag. Okay, I just need to try it for a week.

I know it sounds like I am complaining, but I am not. I am hoping to get some relief from these debilitating headaches and tummy aches I get way too often. I am committed to try anything at this point. As Bill pointed out, these herbs and acupuncture have been around for millions of years in Chinese culture and there are a lot of Chinese people walking around that have used these techniques and swear by them. The scientist in me feels skeptical, but hey--a bagillion Chinese people can't be wrong. Wish me luck, I am going to get punctured again tomorrow.