Short visit from friends & news

This past week was hectic in term of paper work. My divorce is finally finalized, and we’re all set to get married. So exciting! I’ve booked tickets for our upcoming trip to China, in which I’ll work for 3 days and vacation for 10. 🙂 good deal~~~ It would be our last trip to china for a while, at least a year because once the newborn arrives, I don’t think we’d want to travel for a while, so we’re looking forward to enjoy fully this one.

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Last Sunday evening, I made meatballs. So easy and so tasty!

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For dinner we had sautéed bok choy, mushroom and tofu soup, kabocha and steamed crabs

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Tony is an expert eating crabs, and he was showing Sofia how to do it properly

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She loved it too!

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Monday dinner: 7 vegetables soup + salad

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Tuesday: pasta with homemade tomato sauce and meatballs

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Wednesday: ricotta spinach lasagna

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Thursday: pickled cooked fish + sautéed mustard greens + steamed tofu with mushroom, vegetables and shrimp

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Friday: fall bowl made with roasted delicate squash, cauliflower, eggplant and wheat berries. Very satisfying and warming dish.

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Saturday morning Tony took Sofia to swimming class while I sipped a pumpkin latte and enjoyed the new book

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when she was back, she had ice cream. A new tradition we’ve started. If she behaves well during the week, she can have some ice cream on Saturday. It has been working well for both of us. 🙂

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then Tony’s friend’s family from Toronto came to visit us. Tony took them to see around DC in the afternoon while Sofia and I both napped 2 hrs. When I woke up, we went groceries shopping and made a pumpkin bread for the guests.

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Then I prepared dinner for us: black fungus salad

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sauteed bok choy

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spicy and sour soup, first time making it and it turned out amazing!!! It’s really easy too.

Spicy and Sour soup:

  1. 6 cups of chicken stock
  2. black fungus and shiitake mushroom hydrated
  3. 1 cup canned bamboo shots
  4. 1 cup silk tofu sliced
  5. 1 cup sweet corn
  6. 3 tbsp corn starch diluted in some water
  7. 1 egg beaten
  8. 1/4 cup dark vinegar
  9. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  10. 1-1.5 tsp white pepper

To make, boil the stock, add  #2-5 and boil for 10 min in low, then add corn starch to the soup, mix, boil for 2 min, add beaten egg. Finally season with #8-10 and voila.

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steamed large shrimp in garlic sauce on a bed of vermicelli noodles, another favorite of us. Easy to make and everyone loves it.

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sauteed mussel in ginger and green onion. Tony’s favorite dish. We are making it once a week.

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beef stew made with potato, carrot, tomato and green pepper. Perfect when served with rice.

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it was nice meeting with Tony’s best friend from Canada and his family. We’re looking forward to visit them in the near future.

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while adults chat over dinner, the girls went to play right after they finished dinner. Sofia has been very friendly, talkative, she really enjoys playing with other kids.

Next morning, I made breakfast for us… pancakes, pumpkin bread and fried eggs.

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the girls enjoyed the pancakes and each other’s company

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And finally the big news this week is that we’re getting married!!! Tony proposed surprisingly last night. I was already in bed, really tired. He went out with Jimmy with the excuse of buying fruits for their road trip. I didn’t suspect at all. All I wanted was to sleep by 9pm. When he was back, he gave me a kiss and went to take a shower. When he was done, he came to bed, naked, and said he wanted to give me a “special” proposal, a proposal by a naked man. jajajaj… talking about being creative.  It was a sweet proposal, the first one I received. I’ll remember it forever. He promised to love me, Sofia and our newborn, and I believe him. I love you, my love! I really hope we are live happily ever after.

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Pregnancy: 13 & 14 weeks

The bump is making a debut these days!!!

At 13 weeks the bump is noticeable already

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coming out straight from my absent abs

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round shaped in front

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at 15 weeks, it’s even more noticeable. And this pic doesn’t do justice because at time I feel like I’m already 7 months pregnant! 😉

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  • No more sickness but still crushing to bed around 9pm. Still getting tired very easily and all I want to do is lie down after dinner.
  • Sleep: sleeping better. For the last two nights, if I soak my feet before bed, I sleep 8-9 hrs like a baby. Gonna continue with it! 🙂
  • Cravings: none.
  • Appetite/hunger. Overall I am eating more. I eat a substantial breakfast, a small snack in the morning, a big lunch, a small apple in the afternoon and big dinner. I find bigger meals work better for me, otherwise I am hungry every 2 hrs and that’s not very convenient at work. The downside of bigger meals is that I feel full/bloated/slow after meal and need a coffee to pick me up. Oh, yes, coffee is back to life. Although I still don’t enjoy it as much as before, I like it. I’d have 1 regular coffee and 1 decaf per day. Food wise, nothing sounds nasty, and I crave more meat.
  • Exercise: the same. 45 min of low impact cardio + 2-3 times of 10 min strength work.
  • Other symptom: exhaustion/tiredness, although getting better. Next time I see the doctor, I’ll ask if I need to take iron supplement. Anemia could cause constant exhaustion.
  • Skin: good. no breakouts.
  • Pain: none.
  • Weight: back to pre-prenancy weight.

Fall festival

This week went really fast because of Monday holiday and friday off from work. I love short weeks, it makes me so much more productive and I got more time to spend with my favorite people 🙂

Monday after nap we took Sofia to her favorite playground. While Tony played with her, I got to do errands.

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Saturday morning was swimming lesson for Sofia and Tony, while I organized the house. It is a nice break for me. In the afternoon, we went to our friend Fernando’s house for an authentic argentinian asodo. He prepared a lot of meat for us!

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He has a 11 months old boy, Sofia got to play his toys

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and gave him a lot of kisses. Poor boy… couldn’t say no.

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food was ready at 6pm (yeah~ once you have kids, dinning outside the house means dinning at 6pm!). We had beef skirt, spicy and chicken sausages

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we also had asado and lamb

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It was a lovely meal… chatting with my two grad school friends over meat and wine.

Once home, Sofia decided to give me a private “concert” 😉 so cute with the mic she made for herself

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Sunday we headed out early to the Fall festival at Cox Farm. We were surprised to find a lot of parked car even before the opening time. But as long as we entered the place, it all made senses. There were a lot of activities for kids… Sofia played several times swings

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posing for pics

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and high long slides!!! She loved them.

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after few slides, she asked for food and we got fresh made apple cider donuts

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really tasty

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we already had hayride

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there were a lot of surprises along the way… including superman “rescuing” us.
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more playing with trucks

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mini trains

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by 12:30pm we were ready to head home… someone was really tired

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Food this week was random…. I didn’t have plan because it was just 3 days. Monday we had kale salad, kabocha curry soup and mussels

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tuesday we had sautéed okra with black fungus and dry shrimp, edamame with preserve greens, tomato salad and oatmeal

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Wednesday: steamed tilapia, sauteed greens and sauteed mung bean sprout with green pepper.

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Sunday lunch: salad + empanadas

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I made a new kind of bread: bagel bread! As the title says, it’s between bread and bagel, quite unique. It’s more than half gone! 🙂

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It was a lovely weekend, full of activities. Although I get tired easily and often time just want to stay at home on weekends to rest, but I always feel better when we go outdoor. Maybe it’s the sun, the blue sky, the fresh air, or Sofia’s smiles, that make me much more fulfilling. 🙂 Winter is approaching, we really need to go out as much as we can. When snow arrives, we will be stuck at home by force. 🙂

Family life 10/4

This week we had a visitor, Angus from Canada, friend of Tony. Tony was busy showing him around the city, and I was in charge of dinners and breakfasts. Work has been a bit busier than last weeks but overall is good. Although I am feeling better, no more nauseas and food aversions, I still get exhausted by the end of the day. Maybe it will get better after 4 months? I hope so.

Seeing these two together makes me so happy! 🙂

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Sofia loves playing with legos. We have more than 5 sets at home but she still loves to play it at school everyday

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and I heard her sharing the mat with other kids, good girl!

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I got a new book… so far so good

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Saturday morning is swimming lesson for Sofia (and Tony!). I stayed at home to catch some rest. It’s nice to have some time alone while Tony and Sofia spend time alone too. After nap we all went to Georgetown. It was a gorgeous day at the harbor

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Sofia had macaroon for the first time

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and she loved it!!! Who wouldn’t, right?

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Sunday morning we went to Alexandria

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we took the water taxi to National Harbor. Sofia loves getting on a boat so she loved it

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the view was very nice too…

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but this little company is the best!

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At the National Harbor, we got into the Capital Wheel again.

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and took selfies in the “sky”

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then we went to True Food Kitchen for lunch, one of my favorite restaurant in town. We shared two appetizers: edamame dumpling

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roasted vegetables with two kinds of dip: avocado and cashew dips. Delicious.

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as entree, Sofia and I shared a red chili shrimp. YUM YUM~~~

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Food we had this week:

breakfast #1: 2 ingredients banana pancake with cottage cheese + maple syrup from Canada

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#2: glutinous rice cake with black sesame filling

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#3: millet coconut pancake with cottage cheese + blueberries preserve + maple syrup. This pancake was a random creation. I had leftover cooked millet, so I added 1 cup of WW flour, 1/2 cup of coconut flour, 3 eggs and enough milk to get the desired consistency. We were all pleased by the random creation! 🙂

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I packed lunch to work once only… stir-fry quinoa with cabbage, tofu and mini dry shrimp. Still loving this combo!

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a new lunch spot: Paul. I love french baguette so I really enjoyed this chicken avocado sandwich in poppy seed baguette.

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Dinner #1: coconut curry chicken with rice

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#2: baked salmon + sautéed broccoli with black fungus, sautéed chinese mustard and a vegetable soup with egg

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#3: beef shepherd pie with sweet potato

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#4: beef braised in red wine. A classic dish at home already. Served with millet

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#5: rice cooked with shiitake mushroom and yam. A quick dinner combo that is satisfying and yummy.

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I really enjoy planning and cooking dinners for this little family. I feel that my cooking creativity is coming back! 🙂

I am trying…

This year is a year of change. I got divorced, got engaged with someone right away, and got pregnant! This process may take years for other people to go through, and in my case it all happened in months. Although I am a decisive person and never regret the decisions I’ve made, I do feel I’m in a fast speed mode with everything happening in my life. If I have to describe how I am in one word, I’d say I’m happier. I don’t say I’m happy because everything is relative. I am in a better place than I was last year, but I know I could be in an even better place next year if I set my mind and effort to achieve that. What do I mean by that? I mean I know I need to change some parts of me. Although who I am now allowed me to get where I am now, I know I could be a better. I could make people who loves and cares about me happier if I make some changes.

I started going to a therapist early this year to help me go through the divorce process. Although I have close friends who I could discuss all that, it was still really helpful to have a professional who was there to listen to my deepest struggles, and enlighten me to see things in a different perspective. Every session helped me in a certain way, it opened my mind and it assured me that whatever I was experiencing was normal, and that I had to experience it to go through this process.

Now that the divorce is almost over. I decided to see her again to help go through this transition process, and to learn how to love someone. It seems ironic that I need to learn how to love, but in certain ways I do. The years I spent with Star I felt very loved but it also made me forget how to give because I was mainly a receiver. It was comfortable that way but definitely not a healthy place for a relationship, and definitely didn’t satisfy me. Now that I am in deep love with Tony, I want to make things right, I want to give the best I can to make our relationship work. I know I have flaws that I’ve neglected to work on because I didn’t need it, but I know I have them and I really want to make changes so I could feel better of myself, be a better mother and a better wife.

Seeing a therapist is normal in Argentina, but very unusual for the chinese people. I still have doubts but I can already see results in a couple of sessions. Every time I go, I wonder what I am going to talk about, specially when everything seems fine, but then during the session, I can’t stop talking and wondering. After the session, I keep thinking what the therapist said, the things that I haven’t considered before. I learn more things about myself and others in a fast speed and it’s wonderful.

I don’t know what’s my point of this post, I guess it’s just to say that although it’s hard, I’m trying… trying to be better.

First week as family of 3

My parents left last Monday at 5am. It was a sad moment for Sofia and me, but an exciting beginning for our little family. It felt more like a family when my parents are not around. We take care of each other more, and Tony feels more like the man of the family. 🙂

Sofia opened her gifts from birthday one by one… I couldn’t hold them for long…. she loved them all!

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this week I’ve had early meetings/training, so I dropped her before 9am most of the day.
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I felt bad to leave her at the daycare for such a long day, fortunately she was easily pleased when I stayed with her few minutes, and always always welcome me with a BIG smile when I pick her up in the evening.
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Now that my mom left, I was in charge of making diners. I planned the menu ahead of time and did groceries accordingly.

Monday we had stir-fry rice vermicelli with shrimp and veggies. I had lefover for lunch the next time. YUM YUM~~~
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Tuesday: sauteed bok choy + korean style spicy squid with carrot and onion.
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Wednesday: baked salmon with onion + stir fry brown rice with broccoli and cucumber
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Thursday: stir-fry chinese mustard + sautéed green beans with potato + veggie and egg chicken soup
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I’ve been having stir-fry rice with tofu, cabbage and dry shrimp for work lunch couple of times. Really easy to make and satisfying.
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Friday: ginger carrot soup + smoked salmon and cheese panini + sautéed broccoli with black fungus
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Saturday: sautéed chinese greens + steamed tofu with egg, shrimp and veggies. Really really good, will definitely make it again.
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Sunday: we have Tony’s friend Angus visiting us so I made few more dishes. Sautéed chinese greens, steamed tilapia, black fungus salad, red sauce pork belly and sautéed mussels.
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Tony prepares the ingredients and I cook it. Usually I arrive home between 6-6:15pm, and dinner is ready in 30 min max. Tony then cleaned up while Sofia and I hang out in the couch. Sometimes we’d FaceTime with mom, other times we read a book together. I love this bounding moment with Sofia every night where I am not rushing her to go anywhere. Then around 8pm, Tony will do the night routine (use the bathroom, brush teeth and shower). By 8:30pm I put her to bed.

This week we got a worrying moment. My mom was at the hospital. She had been having high blood pressure for the last few weeks, without apparent reason although she’d feel bad. Then one day after she arrived shanghai, she felt bad and went to the hospital. They did a CT and found out she had a cerebral lacuna, a minor kind of stroke, but a stroke nonetheless. According to the doctor, 90% of senior people (60+) has it, knowing it or not. So it’s not to be worried. She just need to have her blood pressure under control. She needs to do a full analysis to find out if there’s anything else. We really hope she is fine otherwise.

The moment I knew she was at the hospital, I was at work, I wanted to cry so badly but I couldn’t. It just breaks my heart knowing that my mom might not be with us one day… although that’s inevitable, I am not prepared for it, not now, not anytime soon. And we have so many more milestones to share with my parents. I’d give anything in the world to have them for longer.