Wednesday, December 26, 2012

the best christmas .. so far.

Yes, I do realize that today is the day after Christmas but I am still blessed and thankful.  Still feeling a bit of the holiday spirit, I might say.  Tired of hearing Christmas music but still feeling the spirit nonetheless.  Growing up, my family never really celebrated Christmas.  My family was also not of the Christian religion(s).  My dad tried to assimilate by buying my brothers, cousins & I Christmas gifts each year.  Yes, we were grateful but to be absolutely honest, Christmas to us meant presents.  Unfortunately, that's not really what Christmas is about.

A couple years ago, I started cooking Christmas Eve dinner.  & this year, I decided that I'm going to keep it up & we're going to make a tradition out it.  We had dinner Christmas Eve & just hung out all day Christmas.  It was a fabulous Christmas.  The best.  & I received a pretty darn good gift!

Evan learned how to roll over from his tummy to his back!  I'm so proud of my baby boy!  & let me tell you, he was proud of himself.  After he had rolled over, he just laid there and laughed :) :) :)

So last night, after he realized that he can save himself after he rolls over onto his tummy, he wouldn't go to sleep & just rolled around in his pack & play for an hour.  He would not go to sleep & just wanted to play.  So we played for a little bit.  It was great.  Ohh, the joys of parenthood.

This was the best Christmas ever.

So far ..

Sunday, December 16, 2012

letters to evan: #1

Dear Evan,

Happy 5 months, sweetheart!  And it's been an absolutely wonderful 5 months for your daddy and I.  We survived our first week at daycare and mommy's first week back at work.  It wasn't easy for me.  Monday dragged on for me and I just couldn't wait to get off work to see you and cuddle with you.  Each day afterward was a little better.  Not easy, but better.  But I think that we're going to be ok.  I know you're going to have to grow up sooner or later and leave me.  If not now, then a few years from now when you start school.  I might as well get used to it, huh?

Each day that passes that am able to hold you and kiss you is a day that I feel like the luckiest person in the world.  Despite the tragedies that happened on Friday, I am still optimistic that you will grow up in a world that is good and just.  We only want the best for you and you had better believe we will do whatever necessary to keep you safe.

Thank you for being my son.  Thank you for shedding light in my life.  You are the absolute best thing to have ever happened to me.  I love you, always & forever.

Love always,
Mommy ©

Monday, December 10, 2012

i survived!

I survived my first day back at work & away from my baby!  Let me tell you though, it was NOT an easy feat.  We got to his sitter's house bright & early at 7:30 this morning.  I unloaded his necessities and lingered for a bit to say goodbye to Evan and to tell him to be a good boy for Miss Olivia.  He was all smiles when I left.  I wanted to cry.

But I held it together.

Then I went to see him on my lunch.  Poor baby was cranky and tired because he didn't want to take a nap. I understand though.  New environment, mommy's not there.  So he was a little fussy when I got there.  He let out a little cry and I just felt my heart breaking a little bit.  I wanted to start crying with him.

But I held it together.

When I left him again, he seemed ok.  Tired, but ok.  I finished off the rest of my workday, which in comparison, hardly even registered in my head because all I could think about was my baby.  I came home and first thing I did was pick him up and cuddle.  He "told" me all about his day.  We played airplane.  I bounced him.  He laughed.

I missed him so much.  He survived our first day apart & I did too & through it all, I held it together.

Friday, December 7, 2012

separation anxiety

I'm experiencing some separation anxiety right now.  Irony is that we're not even .. separated.  Evan's in the next room right now taking his nap and he has no idea what Mommy is going through at the moment.  We have two full days before I have to go back to work on Monday.  I keep thinking about Monday and how much I'm going to miss my baby boy and how I'm going to wonder about how he's doing and if he's giving his babysitter a hard time and if he's taking his naps like he's supposed to and if he's getting enough attention from the babysitter and if he's crying.  I can go on and on but I think you get my point.

I have never been away from my baby for more than a few hours.

I think the most was three hours one time when I went to the dentist to get a deep clean.  I came home with a numb mouth to a crying baby because he was hungry and didn't want to take the bottle.

I felt so bad.

I'm probably going to visit him every day during my lunch to see if he's OK.  I have a feeling I'm going to miss him more than he's going to miss me.

We're spending the next two days snuggling.  I don't care what anyone says.

Monday, December 3, 2012

last week

One week from today, I go back to work & leave my baby boy in the care of someone else.  I am so sad about this but at the same time, so looking forward to getting back to having some adult conversations and some adult time.  I can't believe that it's already been 4 1/2 months since he was born.  The time I was able to spend at home has been priceless and I would never trade it for anything in the world.  Going back to work is going to be good for me.  It will make me a better mother by being able to better provide for him.  It's the mommy thing to do because he has already made me a better person.

Love my crazysillysquishy Evan monster ©

Monday, November 26, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving!  Yes, I realize this is a little late.  However, we went out of town & had stayed with MIL.  She does not believe in the internet.  The only way I had access was through my phone and updating through my phone was a nightmare for me.  We had a good holiday.  My poor baby was so upset during dinner because he was tired and scared of my LOUD ASS family.  Seriously.  Asian people don't know how to be quiet when they're in a group together.  We spent the majority of the night hunkered down in my cousin's room where it was quieter and he was able to get his bearings together before we joined them for the last couple hours before we left.

Overall, it was a good trip.  Despite the trauma that I feel we put Evan through, it was still good.  We got to spend some time with my baby brother, who is currently living in Japan.  We got to see my baby cousin, who is currently living on the other side of the U.S.  Lots of family time.  I have absolutely no idea when the next time would be for us to make a visit to LA again.  Definitely isn't going to be in the next couple months, I can tell you that much!

Last year, I thought I was sick.  Turns out, I was pregnant!  I remember vividly that my cousin had jokingly said to me, "Maybe you're not sick & getting over the flu.  Maybe you're pregnant."  I laughed at her.  On Black Friday, I took a pee test just for funsies to dispel any more pregnancy jokes.  Joke was definitely on me.  I was very, very pregnant.  At the time, I wasn't prepared to have a child.  I freaked out for a while until I went to the doctor and we heard his heartbeat for the first time.  It was absolutely magical.  Black Friday is now always going to now be the day that I found out I was pregnant with Evan.  He's the reason I'm thankful for every day that I have ©

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

diy storage bin, part 2

So I finally got around to finishing my storage bins.  The space under Evan's changing table had enough space to perfectly fit 3 bins.  Since it's going in Evan's room, I couldn't make it too girly (sad face).  BUT!  I found this really cute fabric that was perfect for the boxes. It's a brown, denim-like fabric with some sparkle.  Not too much to make it overwhelmingly girly, but just enough so that it makes me happy and I could still put it in my baby boy's room for now without my husband feeling like I'm trying to feminize our son.  There's another story there too.  But we'll get to that another time.  Right now, it's about the storage bins!

see the white flecks? that's the sparkle! :)

I got one finished up yesterday and I'm going to be finishing up the rest of them today.  Here's the side by side comparison of the finished and the non-finished product.

Cute, right?!  You can't even tell that these were cheap old cardboard boxes.  I used about a yard of fabric for each bin.  I covered the insides and the bottoms of the bins because I didn't like looking in and seeing the cardboard.  My fabric came out to $2 / yard.  So it basically was $2 per bin for me since they came from diaper boxes that were going to be thrown out anyways.  Cheap!  Well, for the upcycled storage bin.  The diapers, on the other hand, are a whole different story.  We're not going to get into that today.

Friday, November 16, 2012

chinese salted steamed chicken

Ever since I moved from LA to the high desert 3 1/2 years ago, I've been dabbling a lot in cooking.  I did cook before the move, but not like I do now.  Apparently, I wasn't that great of a cook either, but that's neither here nor there.  ANYWAYS, since the high desert is sorely lacking in the Asian foods area (mmm, I'm now craving some Sam Woo BBQ and good ph *droool*), I have started to try cooking some dishes myself.

I have had some success and some failures.  Trust me, I know when I fail because my brutally honest husband will tell me.  Well, a couple nights ago while I was laying in bed, I had a sudden craving for salted steamed chicken.  I think that's what it's called.  In Chinese, it's 鹽水雞, which literally translates to "salt water chicken".  Delicious!  So today, I set out on a mission to make it.

All you need is:
  • chicken (I used chicken legs)
  • shao xing rice wine
  • coarse kosher salt
  • green onions
Clean the chicken and pat dry.  For each chicken leg, splash about 1 tablespoon of the rice wine and rub liberally with kosher salt, make sure to get under the skin as well.  Let it sit and marinade for 1 hour.  Prepare steamer by lining with green onions.  Set the chicken on top and steam until juices run clear.  Because I was experimenting, I only made two pieces of chicken--one for me & one for hubby.  I steamed for about 30 minutes.  I'm not sure if I overcooked it or not but I would rather overcook chicken than undercook it and possibly get sick.  Besides, the fact that the chicken is steamed and that dark meat was used pretty much ensured that it was moist and juicy.  And delicious!  Yes, needless to say, it was a big fat success :) :) :)

To go with it, I also made some quick pickled onions.  I lovelovelove these onions.  My mom's been making this since I was little and it is very nostalgic whenever I make these.

All you need is:
  • sliced onions
  • rice wine vinegar
  • fish sauce
  • Sriracha
Combine everything and add more vinegar/fish sauce/Sriracha to taste.  Let it sit for about 30 minutes so the flavors can get soaked into the onions.

I think we're going to have this for dinner again in the near future.  Oh yes, I did ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

four months

Happy four months to my Evan Monster!  I know every parent says it & I'm no exception -- it feels like yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital.  It feels like yesterday that I was pregnant with you & we saw you for the first time on the ultrasound.  The time has really flown by & I have to go back to work in less than a month.  Everyday that I get to wake up & see your smiling face is the day that I wake up feeling blessed.  I thank God for choosing me to be your mother.  My heart fills with so much joy just to see you happy.  I'm so excited to teach you things and experience the world through your discoveries.  Thank you for being everything that you are -- sweet, happy, playful, wonderfully weird, & the adjectives just go on & on.

Mommy & daddy love you baby ©

Monday, November 12, 2012

thank you

Thank you to my wonderful husband, who served in the Navy.  Thank you to my baby brother, who is currently serving in the Air Force.  Thank you to my baby cousin, who is currently serving in the Army.  Thank you, to all the men & women who is serving & have served, for protecting this great nation.

Thank you.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


This is what my kryptonite is.  It's absolutely oh em gee delicious.  I hardly ever eat candy but I can't stop eating this.  A friend gave me this recipe not too long ago and I just couldn't believe how easy and quick it was to throw together.  The only thing that took some time was waiting for the candy to set.  My friend had told me that I could throw it in the freezer for a few minutes to quicken the cooling process but, seeing as how I made this last night at 10pm, I figured I didn't need to quicken the cooling process.  I just let it set up on the counter overnight.  It's too good not to share.  Five ingredients and no candy thermometer needed!  

All you need for the almond roca is:
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 rounded cup of sugar
  •  2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 cup of almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of almonds, finely chopped, for sprinkling
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Grease a 13 x 9 cookie sheet.  Combine first 3 ingredients on high heat, stirring constantly, until you get a smooth caramel color.  Very important to keep a close on eye it because it changes quite fast on you.  Take the candy off the heat once you achieve caramel wonderfulness and stir 1 cup of chopped almonds. Spread evenly onto the cookie sheet.  Be careful spreading the candy on the cookie sheet because it is VERY VERY hot.  While the candy is still relatively warm, sprinkle chocolate chips on top and let them melt.  Use a rubber spatula to spread it over the candy.  While the chocolate is still melted, sprinkle finely chopped almonds over the top.

I just left it and broke it into pieces this morning.  I supposed you could score the candy while it was still warm so that when you broke it, it'll be in uniform pieces.  I liked breaking it into pieces instead.  That way, I could eat 15 small pieces and feel better about myself than if I ate 1 regular sized piece.  It's all in my head, I know this.  I couldn't find any chopped almonds so I bought whole ones and chopped them up myself.  I like biting into big chunks of almonds.  Soooo gooood!

Enjoy!  This is what the neighbors are getting this year for Christmas.  I wish I was my neighbor ..

Thursday, November 8, 2012

e is for evan

E is for Evan,
That's good enough for me.
E is for Evan,
That's good enough for me.
Oh, Evan, Evan, Evan's silly as can be.

E is for Evan,
That's good enough for me.

E is for Evan,
That's good enough for me.
Oh, Evan, Evan, Evan starts with E.

One day, as I was getting ready in the morning, I decided to put on the Toddler's Radio Station on Pandora. Cookie Monster's song came on (you know the one, C is for cookie ..) and the ingenious mommy thing kicked in and I've managed to make up a song for my baby.  Mommies are creative like that.  It's just how we roll.

My baby boy has his 4 month well check and vaccine appointment tomorrow.  When he had his 2 month shots, he took them like a champ.  The only thing that bothered him was the initial prick of each shot and then afterwards, nothing.  So proud of my little man!  But the day after the shots was a different story.  He was feeling so well and just wanted to cuddle.  Mommy didn't mind the cuddling just one bit.

Gosh, I can't believe he's going to be 4 months soon already!  Where has the time gone?!  I want my baby to stay tiny & little, forever & always :(

I always put him down straight and, no fail, he always kicks himself sideways.  It's strange to me.  But I like it.  I guess if he keeps on doing strange things, he can grow up.  But only a little.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

the day after ..

So it's the day after the presidential election & my Facebook page last night was all atwitter with rants & praises when it was announced that Obama was re-elected as President.  I was going to write a post about my feelings on the matter .. but then I decided not to.  Let's keep this politic-free for as long as possible.  Whether or not he was the candidate of my choice, he is the President of the United States for 4 more years.

On a different topic, I bought the wrong cut of pork the other day.  Instead of purchasing a pork butt, I purchased a bone in shoulder roast.  Five pounds of it.  Gah!  So I decided to make pulled pork.  I now have a crap load of pulled pork ..

I'm hoping to make posole today but depending on how Evan is, I may not be able to make it to the market and get some of the stuff I'm missing.  And now, my little booger is waking up from his nap ..

Monday, November 5, 2012

diy storage bin, part 1

I've been on a DIY kick lately and we can all thank Pinterest for this.  I found this project where you take diaper boxes (the boxes I'm using are Huggies Little Snugglers, size 2) and turn them into a cute storage bin for practically nothing at all!  Well, except for the cost of the diapers, but I'm using those anyways and the boxes were getting thrown out.  Now they're getting upcycled and I get to save money by not having to purchase cute storage bins.  It's a win-win, really.

All you need is:
  • Box with the flaps cut off
  • Paint color of your choice
  • Fabric to wrap the box
  • Embellishments (optional)

The paint is really to just mask the colors of the boxes so that the crazy colors don't show through your fabric.  My boxes are in the painted stage because I don't know what kind of fabric I want to wrap mine in and how to decorate with the embellishments but here is an idea of where it's going.  Yes, we are going to be replacing that raggedy looking black bag with another box, however, that box is currently in the garage drying.

The storage bins are going in the shelves of Evan's changing table.  We're just going to ignore the mess that's on the top shelf there.  I keep saying that we're going to reorganize and make it all look pretty and neat, but I keep procrastinating.  It's kind of the story of my life.  This is the first step I'm taking in reorganizing and overcoming my procrastination monster!  We are doing this in such a creative and low cost way that I know it's going to come out so cute.  I just know it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

sunday night

Today marks the end of Daylight Savings.  If you had asked me last year what I thought about it, I would've told you:

"Extra hour of sleep?!  That's awesome!"

This year, however, we now have a 3 1/2 month old who is used to being on a schedule.  Having to readjust his internal clock, not so fun.  Baby was not happy.

We have a month left on maternity leave and we are going to make the best of it!  We shall see where this goes and where it will take us.  Tomorrow is a brand new day!