Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from our little butterfly!

Well...I wasn't going to do anything for Halloween this year - hubby is away on business and I am getting too big to move. But at the end, I couldn't let Anna's second Halloween pass by without some sort of documentation, so we got this last minute costume and off we went to trick-or- treat. So glad we did. It was fun.

Anna did well. She let me put on the costume without complaints and walked door to door for treats. Maybe it was a school night, but we only saw a pint-sized cheerleader along the way. And only a grand total of 3 kids came by for candies! Hmmm...maybe I should take the leftover candies to work before hubs comes home.

After we got home, she took the candies from her tin can and put them in our candy dish for re-gifting. I am so proud of her -- thinking like her Mama already. :)

Happy Halloween to all!
Happy Halloween 2011

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

The 6-Weeks Project (Week Two)

I am taking a picture of Anna each day until the new baby arrives. I explained the project and posted Week One here. I am back with the photos from Week Two.
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
28Oct11
The 6-Weeks Project

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

#%*^%Pargo*&%$%Broccoli*&%

Hello. I don't have much to update - am still just chugging along at work. As of yesterday, I am 4 weeks away from my last day in the office. I. Can't. Wait. I am so over getting up at the crack of dawn. And so over sitting RIGHT NEXT to my psycho client. I am ready to just get the heck out.

On the pregnancy front: I had my baby appointment today. Baby B is still measuring ahead. The doctor isn't alarmed, but I am getting a sonogram to see if they can get a good estimate on the size of the baby. If measuring too big, I may be induced! Yikes.

Anyway, enough about me. Here is a little Anna video. She's so cute and funny to me. I love being her "mummy".

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

The 6-Weeks Project

We are so close in adding a baby boy to the family. Anna is about to become a big sister.

To document our last days as a family of three, I am taking a picture of Anna daily and writing a few sentences about each. I did something similar the week before Anna turned one. The 6-Weeks project will be tougher - it's longer and I am heavily pregnant - but I am going to give it my best shot. This idea was borrowed from here.

I will be sharing the pictures weekly with all of you!
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
The 6-Weeks Project
10.21.11 - The kitty piano that you received on your 1st birthday is becoming one of your favorite toys. You enjoy bopping to the beat.

The 6-Weeks Project

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Funny Thing About Love

by Guest
I haven't posted anything in a long while, but this is something that has been floating around in my mind for almost 2 years now. And yup, it all started with Anna. Well...let me take that back - it actually started 15 years ago with Anna's mama.

You see, when I first saw Joyce many moons ago, it was her looks that hooked me (yes, I'm shallow, but I'm honest - that cancels out each other, right?). As I got to know her, it was her personality that began to soak into my concrete soul. Several years later, it wasn't just her that I enjoyed so much, but the way she made me feel about myself and about life in general that became my drugs of choice. I simply enjoyed her company so much that I knew I needed and wanted her by my side for the rest of my days. Of course, having said that, it was a long a bumpy road. And there were many times when we both could've walked away from one another. But now, I'm not really sure what she would have to do for me to seriously walk away from the life we have now. I'm sure if she cheated on me or something along those lines, I would have a hard time keeping this marriage together, but deep down inside me, I would still have a spot in my heart for her.

So what's the point of this? It's simple, it took a lot of time and effort before love decided to set up shop in our relationship. We both made sacrifices and will continue to make sacrifices in both our lives because it's worth it. But the ironic thing is - and this is a big BUT - when Anna came into our lives, love was automatic.

I had always heard about this mystical creature called "unconditional love", but had never crossed paths with it. Not until 3.14.2010. That was the day a little round baby fell into our arms and with no effort whatsoever, managed to make two strangers fall in love with her in a heartbeat. WTF right? I don't get and I can't explain it. And you know what, I don't even think it's fair. Anna can do pretty much anything, piss us off all to hell, and we can't stop loving the little thing. I'm sure that will get tested to the extreme once she gets older, but I still think she'll be carrying around this "Get Out Of Jail Free" card that she can always cash at the bank of Baba&Mama.

Armed with this new found knowledge, I began to reflect on my own behavior towards my parents. I'm definitely still an ass at times, but it's just so damn hard to be a good son, though I do try. So Baby A and Baby B, when you guys are old enough and if your eyes ever grace the text in this post, please oh please for the love of all that is good in this world, be kind to your mom and dad, because no matter what you guys do, we will always love you.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anna - 19 Months

Anna turned 19 months old last Friday.

Talking: Her favorite word of the month is uh-oh. She drops a toy – uh-oh. She sees a spill – uh-oh. She sees something missing – uh-oh. Needless to say, we hear uh-oh all the time. She first put two distinctive words together at 18 months, bye-bye, beach. Now it’s bye-bye, TV, bye-bye, blocks, bye-bye [insert a word she knows here]. Recently, she’s also saying, more noodles (except she says noodles in Chinese), more cookie, etc.

New words for the month: mouth, teeth, toes, feet, eyes, egg, rice, corn, apple, bottle, draw, Pargo, duck, hat, girl, kiss, pee pee, yo-yo (yogurt), big, kitty, brush….and I am drawing a blank.

Sleeping: Hubby is a pro at putting her down for the night. After books and brushing teeth on our bed, he takes Anna to the crib. All he has to do is drop her in and say, bye. After she waves bye back, he walks out and she falls asleep on her own. We used to have to wait in her room until she falls asleep – sometimes up to 45 minutes. So happy those days are over. She sleeps from 7:30p to 7:00a, and takes an 1.5 hour nap.

Eating: Feeding Anna continues to stress me out the most. I still struggle to get her to eat a variety of food. Sometimes, the only way to get her to eat is sit her in front of TV while she mindlessly eats. It’s not a habit I want her to develop, but right now, I choose not to fight it. Luckily, for lunch and dinner, she sits in the booster seat and it’s only during breakfast and snack that we turn on the TV. She’s also back to drinking milk and eating yogurt.

Personality: Anna has the sunniest personality ever. She is a happy toddler and her smiles & giggles prove it. She’s developing a sense of humor that she knows what makes us laugh. She’s also a silly girl. The other day after she ate an ice cream sandwich, she had a piece of the cookie part stuck on her face. She didn’t know that, of course, but when I laughed at her, she laughed hilariously back. Tantrums are not a daily occurrences anymore. It happens maybe only once or twice a week, but I can see them making a comeback so I am not getting any hopes up.

Daily Schedule: Life is quiet, but full for our family. I am glad that hubs’ mom is still able to come care for Anna every day. Next to Mom and Dad, I think under the care of Grandma is the best. Back when Anna was younger, I thought I would put her in daycare by now to get the socialization she needs, but now I want to wait until she’s old enough for preschool. I’ve heard stories about how daycares can make kids thrive, but I prefer Anna to have a stable, focused home life where she can nap and eat in peace, and not being chauffeured around.

Anna spends 7a to 3p with Grandma. After I get home at 3p, I am busy with cooking and feeding, but after that’s out of the way, we spend time with Anna on the floor. Then bath time, followed by books and snuggles. Every day is similar, but different, too.

Education: We try to teach Anna as much as possible. Not just ABCs and 123s, but also being gentle and helpful and putting toys away.

I love this stage in Anna’s life. She loves to help, she wants to play, and she wants to impress. She wants to try hard and be good and learn new things. I think it’s all about letting her try, letting her express herself, letting her be heard, and letting her explore. I think that’s the best education of all.
Anna - 19 Months

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Monday, October 17, 2011

a "fall foliage" outing

Hubs and I don’t spend carelessly, but there is always room to trim our spending. Sometime last week, we decided that we should see if we could live off on one salary, even with a 15-year mortgage that we want to pay off sooner, and still go on vacations and save for rainy days. So here we go with our challenge….hope we don’t fall off the bandwagon after two weeks.

This weekend we spent time doing housework, yard work, and preparing for Baby B. I completely understand why people choose to hire cleaners or lawn maintenance people, but we are just not ready to spend money on things we can do ourselves…even though it does take away family time. However, whenever we clean, we involve Anna so she isn’t left alone to watch TV. When hubs does yard work, we let her run around outside. Who knows, maybe she will pick up cleaning habits along the way. As for Baby B, his pack n’ play is all set up in our room and I washed and folded his clothes. I want to pack for the hospital this week.

We took a break and went to our usual spot, Meadowlark Gardens, on Saturday. It was still too early to see fall colors, but there were leaves on the ground that Anna happily picked up. I want to see fall foliage this year, when everything is vibrant orange, yellow, and red, but who knows if I will still be able to walk by then! Last week at my 33.5-weeks appointment, I was measuring at 36 weeks. Oy vey. No wonder I feel really blown up and I find myself out of breath. So anyway, I am counting this as our "fall foliage" outing. I mean, we did see some non-green leaves.

As many times as we have been to Meadowlark, we had never seen so many fish and turtles as we did on Saturday. It was a good 1.5 hours spent to see Anna enjoying herself. Good to get some fresh air, too. Best part – all for free.
Meadowlark Gardens - Oct 2011
meadowlark Oct 2011
Meadowlark Gardens - Oct 2011

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baby B! The home stretch, but not quite...

I just counted – I am 46 days away from Baby B’s expected due date. However, I am huge and uncomfortable so I hope it won’t be 46 days before the little man makes his appearance.

The pregnancy is still going well, but it hasn’t been easy physically. Walking up the steps and getting up from the floor is getting harder, more so when I have Anna in my arms. I won’t be surprised that in a few weeks, I won’t be able to pick her up anymore. Sleeping, surprisingly, is still good. Maybe it is because I am so tired by the end of the day that I can snooze through an earthquake. Hubs has been a superstar in waking up for Anna’s middle-of-the night fusses so I still get a full 8-hour sleep.

I looked through my previous pregnancy posts and, apparently, when I was 33 weeks pregnant with Anna, I already had my hospital bag packed! Here I am 3 days past 33 weeks and I haven’t done a darn thing to prepare for this baby. I don’t think there is much to prepare, but I do want to have bottles/nipples ready, his clothes washed and folded, burp cloths at every corner of the house, and pack n’ play set up. All these things won’t take long once I put my mind to it, which is why I have been procrastinating.

Baby boy is moving ALL THE TIME, which is annoying. Haha, but I remember one day at work, I suddenly noticed that he hadn’t moved in a while and I kept on pushing on my tummy to make him kick. I am such a typical mom.

As far as I know, Anna has no clue what’s going on. I point to my tummy and she says “baby” or “didi” (younger brother in Chinese), but she also says that to hubs while poking his stomach. Rather than kissing me on the face, she prefers to kiss my tummy instead. I can’t wait to see them grow up together.

So a little bit less than 50 days to go...hopefully less...before our lives will never be the same again...again.

--Side note: I realize that it is lame to post about pregnancy without a belly shot, but this post has been sitting in my draft folder for almost a week now. If I wait until I get my act together, Baby B will have already popped. So this will have to do.

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Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Fall Weekend

Our second weekend of October was a good one. It involved two balloons, one train ride, seventy-one Legos Duplo pieces, three orange pumpkins, and one shopping spree.
A Fall Weekend
A Fall Weekend
A Fall Weekend
A Fall Weekend
A Fall Weekend
A Fall Weekend
A Fall Weekend
A Fall Weekend
Up next on our agenda: Fall foliage? A picnic? Apple-picking?

What are your favorite fall activities?

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

FINISHED!

We are thoroughly loving our brand new walkway and stoop. It's much better than before, don't you think? No, it didn't come cheap, but at least we will get to enjoy it as long as we live here. I especially like to sit on the step and watch Anna and hubs play. Or sit on the step with Anna and blow bubbles.

We still need to go pick up a few pumpkins to complete the fall decoration, but for now these mums will do. Hubs got them for $7 each at Walmart. Walmart really is the cheapest all around.

Oh, the little square area next to the door is the herb garden. Hopefully they will all survive after the transplant. Remember Anna's maple tree? It also got moved - to the side of the house - due to all these remodeling.
IMG_1404
IMG_1407
Hubs requested easy-to-maintain plants...and I hope they really are easy to maintain. The tree on the very right is dogwood.
IMG_1394
Now, no posts are complete without at least a picture of Anna:

After a rainy September, we have been having really good weather lately. Today was even warm enough for Anna to play with water. She had so much fun.
IMG_1379

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This is a big one.

About 2 weeks ago, we gave Pesto away.

We were all just sitting down for dinner when we saw Pesto with ears folded and tail tucked between his legs, looking scared. We investigated and saw a trail (really? he couldn't just stay in one spot?) of pee from the family room to the mudroom. Obviously, he knew what he did was wrong, but instead of telling us that he had to go (which I know he’s fully capable of), he made this mess that resulted in hubby yelling and Anna crying. It wasn’t the first time it ever happened, but it did finally push us over the edge.

The truth is – We haven’t been happy with the dogs for a long time now. We talked about giving them away, like I wrote about it here, but never did anything beyond talking because we hoped things would get better. I can go on and on about how much work and energy it takes to care for two small dogs on top of Anna, but I won’t. After all, we signed up on this entirely on our own, so I shouldn’t complain.

But I had to face reality. Our growing family couldn't care of two small high-maintenance dogs. One of them had to go. And since Pesto is more happy-go-lucky, warms up to anyone, and the root cause of all the yelling and screaming in our household, we decided that he would be the one.

Fortunately, I don’t need to feel too guilty. We gave Pesto to hubs’ sister, who has two dogs of her own. She is kind and patient that I have no doubt that Pesto is safe & happy there. In fact, she wrote me this the other day, “Pesto's a lot of fun, he's cheery and happy all the time, never seems to be bored. We love this little guy.”

Whew, so glad to hear.

I never expected us to be one of those who give their dog away after the kid comes into the picture. But we tried…really hard…for 18 months...and it just didn’t work out.

I am okay with that.
Anna & Pesto
Photo taken back in July 2011.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Ken and Yi-Hsin Got Married

Despite Anna’s runny nose and fever, we all made it to my brother’s wedding in Pennsylvania this weekend!

At first we considered hubby staying home with Anna while I attend the wedding solo, but by Friday mid-day, after some meds, she seemed to be feeling better so we packed up the car and left a little after 2pm. Thank goodness the ride was nothing eventful. She watched some baby shows and then fell asleep. Despite traffic, she made the almost 4-hour trip without any tears. Success!

Although rain is supposed to symbol good luck, I don’t think anyone complained that the weather turned out to be beautiful on the wedding day. Ken and Yi-Hsin said their vows under clear blue skies. Our little family sat in the back, just in case Anna decided the attention should be on her instead. Hubby ended up playing with her on the big grassy field while I caught bits and pieces of the ceremony. One thing that the Officiant said that stuck with me was that we should treat our spouse with the same kindness and courtesy that we do to our friends. So 100% true. Often we forget to do that and that’s something I plan to do better.

Oh, Anna and her little cousin (my cousin's daughter) were the flower girls. With both under the age of 2, there was no way that they were going to walk down the aisle while tossing petals. So the extent of their flower girl duty was to wear matching dresses and look cute. I think it was a job well done.

Dressed and ready to go. Why are her eyes red? See here.
Ken & Yi-Hsin's Wedding
Ken & Yi-Hsin's Wedding
Ken & Yi-Hsin's Wedding
Ken & Yi-Hsin's Wedding
Ken & Yi-Hsin's Wedding
Ken & Yi-Hsin's Wedding
The reception part of the wedding was all about keeping Anna under control. She was still sick and due for a nap. With a combination of taking her outside every now and then and hubs’ cell phone, we miraculously made it to the end. Although I do believe that the final group shot has Anna’s cry face in it. Haha.
Ken & Yi-Hsin's Wedding
Our family with the bride and groom.
Ken & Yi-Hsin's Wedding
My brothers and I.
Ken & Yi-Hsin's Wedding
That night we all went to the newlywed’s house, where Anna found herself a new BFF in my brother’s friend from Taiwan. The stickers saved the night!

We stopped by their house again on Sunday morning before we left for home. Anna’s new BFF rode with us back down to Virginia and it was another smooth ride. Maybe Anna is finally getting used to traveling long distance, but regardless, I am glad that we have no more road trips planned in the foreseeable future. Everything we had been looking forward to had come and gone…now it’s just waiting for Baby B’s arrival. Less than 8 weeks to go!

I still can’t quite believe that my brother is married. It is weird to see him wearing a wedding ring. I guess it is because he had always been a bachelor until he met his wife. Anyway, best wishes to the newlyweds! Anna and Baby B are waiting for cousins to play with!

See more images from the wedding here.

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