Life lately

Since Lizzy is still so little, we can’t do much activities outside the house. We did take her out a couple of times, but I notice that she doesn’t get good rest while on the road. So we try to minimize that. When we go out, either my mom stays with Lizzy, or Tony stays with her.

Sofia has been an incredible sister. Although we’ve given a lot of attention to Lizzy, she never showed jealousy. She’s always been very understandable. Every time that I tell her that mommy can’t play with her at that moment because I had to feed Lizzy, she never complained. She’s also very eager to help. She’d bring the nursing pillow whenever I nurse Lizzy. If we’re downstairs and Lizzy cries while sleeping, Sofia wants to check on her for all of us. She also loves giving a lot of kisses and hugs to Lizzy, and insists every night that Lizzy watches her eat dinner.

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I am aware that I might be diverted some attention away from Sofia, so I’m making extra effort to make quality time with her whenever I can.

I took her to a ballet class with her best friend one day and she enjoyed so much.

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She’s so cute in the tutu. I signed up classes for her already starting in July, I’m sure she will enjoy it. This girl loves dancing. Whenever we put music, she wants to dance.

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We also went to Teri’s birthday party.

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it was in a playground so Sofia had fun climbing up

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and face painting

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the first thing she did when arriving home was to show her face to Lizzy

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We had her friend Laura over for dinner one day. These two girls know how to entertain themselves alone.

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Almost every weekend, my mom will take Sofia to the mall for some window shopping

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I’m so grateful to have my mom here who can devote 100% of her attention to Sofia.

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Sofia started to really like dolls. She’d grab my nursing pillow and her doll and pretend that she’s feeding her baby.

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She loves to imitate everything that mommy does. 🙂

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She started to really like posing for pictures. She has almost a daily photo session with grandma at the backyard.

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We had a dentist appointment. It was the third time and she almost didn’t cry! YAY!!! I love that the place is set up for kids, all kind of distractions for them to cooperate.

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she loves going to playgrounds. She’s tiny but fearless. She’d try any equipment, even not age appropriate.

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Summer is her and we’ve been having weekly BBQs, the quickest and easiest meal ever.

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Sofia love it too.

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To celebrate Lizzy’s one month, we went to Yayla bistro, a mediterranean turkish restaurant.

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I feel blessed to have such beautiful family. Two lovely girls, one loving husband and the best mom in the world, all with me everyday!!!

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The food was delicious! It started with a turkish bread with olive spread.

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we ordered an assorted appetizers. My favorite was dolma.

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as main dish, we also ordered an assorted meat (beef, chicken, lamb and grounded beef). It came with rice and grilled vegetables. The best was the beef but the chicken was really tender and juicy too.

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and the flatbread as side.

We got a free dessert to share: a turkish rice pudding. Really sweet but tasty. Sofia had almost half of it.

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So… that’s what we’ve been doing other than admiring this face

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later …

Easter fun & ready to receive Lizzy

Life has been hectic lately… between late pregnancy discomfort, getting ready to receive Lizzy, paranoia with every symptom wondering if I’m going to labor, and preparing for a job interview… I’ve been tired, anxious and not in my peace mind lately. But… everything will be just fine… i know it will. 🙂

For Easter this year.. we took Sofia to two egg hunting events. The first one was hosted by Falls Church and there were hundreds of kids ready to “attack”

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right after it started… Sofia run.. but this little girl was picky… she only wanted pink or purple eggs…

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so.. less than a minute or so… the fun ended

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but we got to take pics with Bunny

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weather is getting better these days… although still unpredictable… we just had snow this weekend. So we’ve been going to playgrounds more often

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on Sunday we went to another egg hunt organized by the neighbor church

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there were crafting stations before the hunting

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and this time.. Sofia proudly got a basket of eggs… 🙂

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we went to a indian restaurant last Friday, called Zaika

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we got a sampler appetizer

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a lamb curry, tandori chicken and nan. We all enjoyed the meal… I really liked the chicken and the basmati rice. I’m gonna make them at home soon. 🙂

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because I’m so close to my due date, I’ve been seeing friends/colleagues last minutes at work and at home. Laura paid us a visit last Sunday, she’s Sofia’s favorite little sister so far.

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Sofia is so ready to receive Lizzy. She’d “predict” when she’ll come.. but so far no luck.

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her monkey is her favorite friend nowadays.. she takes her to sleep.. to play, to eat… everywhere.

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enjoying her Saturday treat “ice cream”.

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We are so ready!!! I stopped going to work last Thursday because I thought she’d be here by now (today’s my due date), but so far nothing happened. We’d keep waiting for her grand arrival 🙂

Life lately

As we are approaching the end of one-child family… life gets busier. Between me trying to move to another job, preparing the house for the newborn, and me being comfortable most of the days… I don’t get accomplish much. But we’ve been having fun nonetheless

Sofia is getting more and more excited about the baby sister. She’s so ready to “take care” of her.

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my friend Natalia from Buenos Aires came to visit us for few days.

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she bounded immediately with Sofia.

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although the weather was quite chilly, we managed to do some tourist outing

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Sofia started to go to swimming class again, this time alone. I was afraid that she wouldn’t go to the pool alone with the instructor as the previous time she went with Tony. But nope, the girl surprised us by being totally fine going alone

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and had a total blast

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she truly enjoys herself in the water.. and going to swimming class every sunday morning excites her

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we also went to her classmate’s birthday party, where she had fun with her favorite girlfriends Gaby and Sofia S. These girls fight and play everyday together.

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she used to be a shy and serious girl when she was a baby, but now, she’s outgoing and easy to make new friends. So proud of her.

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this pic melts my heart. Tony cleans her ears once a week, and she loves it!!!

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I’ve been cooking but forgot to take pics. Here’s a carrot cake I made

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and our new sunday tradition: homemade pizza. For this one I used Trader Joe’s pizza dough, topped with roasted chicken, pepper and mozzarella cheese. So easy and so yummy~~~

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Grandma is coming next Tuesday. So excited to have her back! She went away for 6 months… although it was great to be a family of 3, now that a new baby is coming, my mom’s help and presence will be so important to hold us all together and sane. 🙂

Playing catch up

I don’t know where my time went these last couple of weeks. Although work is not busy and we don’t do much during weekends, I still can’t find time to sit and write. Probably because I’m tired most of the time and all I want to do is to nap or just lie on the couch and read.

Two weeks ago we went to Laura’s birthday party. Sofia and Laura have became a close friend recently… they play so well together that adults can comfortably chat and “forget” about them for hours.

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Sofia enjoyed her cupcake frosting. She hates the actual cake though.

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They would sit together on the bed and watch cartoons together.

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the funniest thing is that they speak in shanghainese to each other. So cute!

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meanwhile… the pregnant mom sit and watch them play, and snack (obviously! )

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Then we celebrated Valentine’s day together. Roses + Chocolate, a classic.

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We wanted to go out for brunch but everywhere was booked so we stayed at home and a simple meal

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stopped by the mall for some shopping

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on Sunday we made tofu curd… it came out perfect and it was so easy to make! Definitely making more.

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these two melt my heart when they are together 🙂

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another meal at home: baked salmon, scrambled eggs, sautéed chicken with cauliflower and black fungus, and bok choy. As I get bigger, I only cook proper meals during weekends these days… during the week, we eat very simple, 1-2 dishes top, or even just sweet potato baked with some frozen soup.

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we had another snow storm last week… Sofia demanded for some play time

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and then, on Monday she got pink eyes. She woke up with swollen eyes but I didn’t pay much attention. After her nap, her eyes were really pink and swollen and excessive discharges. Tony suggests to take her to the ER right away. Glad we did that. She definitely had pink eyes. They gave us antibiotics and asked her to stay home for at least 24 hrs to avoid spreading to other kids.

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so on Tuesday we stayed home.

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Unfortunately I got pink eyes too, on Thursday, when Sofia was already cleared up. It is quite annoying but not painful. I’m still on antibiotic. 😦

Last Friday we went to a Chinese new year celebration organized at work

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enjoyed some Chinese food and performances

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This weekend I prepared another traditional breakfast dish… a gigantic savory pancake filled with churros. YUM YUM~~~

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on Sunday we went to the zoo. The weather was nice at first but ended up raining

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but we did have a lot of fun

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because we saw BeiBei!!! She is soooo cute, although a bit dumb because she was stuck on the tree the whole time… and even managed to take a nap there

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Sofia kept asking me where was Beibei’s mom, why she wasn’t coming to help her

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to her, babies are supposed to be with their moms… and moms take care of their child. 🙂

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we also saw Beibei’s sister

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who was having a feast

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all done and going home! 🙂 WE should revisit sometime soon because we didn’t get a chance to see the monkeys, Sofia’s favorite animal at the moment.

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I enjoy a lot outings with Sofia and Tony… I really want to do more now that the weather is getting warmer. But at the same time, I’m getting more and more uncomfortable these days… so I’m exhausted by the end of the week…. a tricky balance.

Snow play and Chinese new year

The past two weeks have been low key due to snow storm and me being more tired each day. So we stayed in most of the time, just relax and do some readings. I feel conflicted sometimes that there are only two months left before the new baby arrives, which means I’ll divide my attention to Sofia with a newborn. I feel guilty about it so I want to spend more quality time with Sofia. But at the same time, I’m getting tired and exhausted so easily these days that I can’t think nor have energy to take her out to play. I get mad at myself, when I look at her, I feel so guilty, just like I’m about to “cheat” on her or something. She’s so precious to me, I really hate myself for making her feel bad in any kind or form, even it’s just a little. Everyone tells me that I’ll love the second child just as much as I do love my first one, but Sofia has became more than my first baby, she’s everything to me. I love her for being her, not just because she’s my daughter. So… I’m perplexed and full of guilt these days.

Sorry… I had to vent out. Prepartum worries? maybe.

Anyway… let’s recap the good time we had together in the last two week.

After the snow was more or less cleaned up, I still didn’t have to go to work, so we went to shopping mall after being stuck at home for 4 days so Sofia could get some play.

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we also did a snow man for the first time

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that was fun! We used spicy caps for the eyes, a toy folk for nose and kabocha for mouth.

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I finished few more books. The dinner was a quick read… quite shocking about the ending, and reminded me again the influence parents have over their kids. Really need to be careful.

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Although we stayed at home most of the days for a week, Sofia behaved really well. When I’m reading on the couch, she’d grab a book and read by my side. She’s such a nice company these days. Although I put a lot of pressure on me to do more for her, actually I realized that being with me is all she wants. That gives her comfort and happiness even it means staying at home doing nothing. It’s hard to believe it but it seems to be the case.

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Last weekend we went to a chinese festival as a pre-celebration for the chinese new year. Sofia had fun cutting papers and making play dough monkies.

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With another parent in Sofia’s class, we organized some activities for the kids for them to learn about chinese traditions. She read them books and gave red envelope to each kid

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that’s a tradition that we do every year, I had fond memories of it. We kids get so excited to get the red envelopes (usually it contains money inside) that I’d wake up early and wait for the moment.

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I did a mini-cooking activity with the kids, making rice balls with aduki. It ended up messy but the kids and the teachers loved the balls.

I cooked a chinese dinner this Saturday to celebrate the new year just with Sofia and Tony. Following the tradition, I made fish,meat, chicken and some vegetables. It was a yummy, hearty and filling meal, with tons of leftovers for the week.

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on Sunday we went to our friend Susan’s house to celebrate the chinese new year eve. Sofia was excited to play with Laura

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we snacked and chatted

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had dinner: marinated duck feet made by me, red sauced beef two kinds, eggs & cucumber salad and a soup made with cabbage, pork filled egg omelette and vermicelli noodles.

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Gone are days that dinner are busied with kids… yesterday the adults had dinner by themselves, while Sofia and Laura spent time alone in the room watching cartoons. As Sofia is all about big sister now, she was busy feeding Laura with crackers

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and Laura who refuses to eat anything these days was surprisingly willing to take what Sofia gave her. Win-win for all of us.

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I left their house so full, which is part of chinese new year tradition. 🙂

On new year day (today), I’m taking a day off from work, just to relax and catch up on household duties.

Recovering: food, reading and snow

The last two weeks have been really low key in this house because the main goal was to recover from the blood loss, so I took a lot of rest at home. With extra time at home, I read +10 books already. Don’t mind my book selection, I simply enjoy the act of reading. It’s such a relaxing, self-discovering experience. I’d have 2 books open at the same time, and read them depending the mood of the moment. It happened to be all chinese because I bought +20 books from china.

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I’ve been cooking more too.

Macro plate with tahini sauce

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oat bran with cottage cheese and almond butter

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macro plate with chicken

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teriyaki salmon with frozen veggies

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homemade whole wheat bagel

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it was my first time making them and they turn out great! I’ve been having way too much too often of them though 😉

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I’ve been eating a lot of scrambled eggs too… loving protein packed breakfasts.

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Sofia enjoying her korean rice cakes, one of her favorites

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I’ve started making batches of steel cuts too, both Sofia and I enjoy it for breakfast. It’s so easy to make and so filling. This one has frozen berries, cottage cheese and almond butter.

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last weekend we went to iceskating again. Although her favorite instructor was not there again, this time she agreed to play with the older kids. Really playing, not skating.

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on Sunday (last week) we went to Huihui’s home for dinner, her husband prepared a delicious meal for us.

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when we’re at home, Sofia find things to do by herself most of the time, like cutting papers

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We invited Susan’s family over for some wonton last weekend… it’s such a good activity for the crowd

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while the adults wrapped the wontons, girls played

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wonton was ready. filling was greens, pork, mushroom and pickles.

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final product…  delicious and warming bowl of yumminess.

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I made aduki porridge for dessert. A perfect sweet ending for the evening.

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DC area was hit by a snow storm, the biggest one in 40 years, so we got prepared. Went to groceries store twice to stock up on food and stayed in the house for three days. Tony and Sofia played with snow everyday… what a fun activity!

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and I cooked and baked. Made two banana pecan breads

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so filling so good. I’ve been eating 1-2 slices every morning as snack (too big for snack but can’t blame myself for how good it is! :))

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continued to enjoy steel cuts with homemade marinara and egg

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snow reached 2 feet after 24 hrs of continued snow

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chinese meal to reward the hard working snow cleaner Tony: garlic shrimp over vermicelli, sautéed mustard greens, and stir fry lotus root with broccoli and black fungus.

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turnip and lamb stew, sauteed bok choy, always served with brown rice. Lamb is a the meat of the winter, to warm the body and the soul, and good for anemic pregnant lady. 🙂

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belly is so evident these days.

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this afternoon after the snow has stopped, Sofia and I went out for a walk to explore how’s neighborhood….

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it was filled with snow!!!! but our driveway is clean thanks to Tony after 4+ hours of cleaning.

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Ready to get back work? Not ready, just got a message from work saying that office will be closed tomorrow. Another staycation, YEY!!! 😆

Scary 24 hrs!

We had a terrifying episode last Thursday. I had severe nose bleed, just as what happened when I was pregnant with Sofia. But this time it was worse, much more blood was lost!

On Thursday, I felt tired the whole morning, I even told Tony over lunch that I might be getting sick. And then I went back to office, making time to be ready to go to the OB for my 25th week’s appt. Suddenly I felt something weird in my upper nose, and immediately I thought, oh no, I will bleed. Last time with Sofia, I had the nose bleeding at 30 weeks, so I was not expected it to happen so early, but was somehow waiting for it anyway. The blood came out in a rapid stream, not a little bit of blood, A LOT OF BLOOD, NONSTOP! Immediately, I put the trash can in front of me to catch it because papers would not do it. Meanwhile, I called a friend whose office is just in front of mine to call Tony and 911. Tony came in <2 min, shocked and scared. He didn’t know what to do but giving me more papers. More colleagues showed up to see what happened and offered help. But at that point, nothing could be done but wait for the ambulance. 20 min later, the ambulance showed up and I was transported to the GW ER. By then, although I was still bleeding, it was less than when started.

When we arrived the ER, I told them my weird history of nose bleeding during pregnancy only. The doctor came pretty quickly, checked the situation and suggested to put some medicine before they can take a look and cauterize the bleeding points. By then, the bleeding stopped. We waited for half hour and I asked Tony to call him again, when the doctor showed up again, I started to bleed again. So he put a cotton pack in my nose and the bleeding stopped. Half hour later the doctors came back to take out the cotton, and check for bleeding points. They suspected two places, one in each nostril, so they put local anesthesia before they cauterize them. The procedure was painful in a scale of 7, but it didn’t work. 3 min later they were done, I started to bleed badly again. So bad that I felt I might faint at that point. They immediately moved to packing my nose, which has pain scale of 11. The first attempt didn’t work, I was still bleeding quite a lot, blood was going to the back of my throat and I was splitting blood and blood clots. So he had to take it out and put an even bigger one…. so painful!!! Fortunately after the second one was put in place, and injected with some liquid to make it expand to the max, the bleeding kind of stopped.

Due to the blood loss and recurrent bleeding, they wanted an ENT doctor to check me before sending me home. And the doctor was in surgery at that time, so we had to wait for 2 hours. By then it was close to 6pm, time to pick up Sofia at the daycare. First I asked Sarah to pick her up so Tony could stay with me, but Sofia refused to go with her, so Tony had to go. When my baby showed up, I was afraid that I’d scare her with my bloody face. Fortunately, she was fine, she’s a strong girl. She just looked concerned.

The doctor showed up around 7:30pm, checked on me, and suggested to reposition the packing to make sure it gets to the bleeding point. It was painful again, but I had no choice. Then we waited for another 30 min before we were more less sure that I was not bleeding anymore. We weren’t sure because although there was no bleeding, I was coughing mucus with blood, red blood. The doctor wasn’t sure either. He could repack it again and make it bleed again during the process, or send me home and go back in case I still bleed. We decided to go home.

The whole evening was PAINFUL. The packing caused me severe headache, not being able to breath at all, painful when trying to eat or drink anything. I couldn’t sleep but I was exhausted, so I just lied on the bed trying to rest. But I was scared, I was scared that I might bleed again, I was scared that I was continuously bleeding slowly as I still see blood in my mucus. IT WAS A BAD NIGHT.

The next morning, I decided that I needed to go back to the ER because if the packing wasn’t working, I didn’t want to spend 3 days in misery. If I had to pack it again, so be it, at least I needed to be sure that the bleeding stopped. My blood count was already in the borderline, I didn’t want to risk it.

So we took Sofia to class and went to the ER. I was admitted and checked by the doctor immediately, but the doctor suggested we wait for the ENT doctor since he wasn’t sure he wanted to move the packing. That was 10am, and the ENT doctor finally showed up close to 3pm. He is a great doctor, btw. Very patient, understanding and caring.

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He checked on me and decided to take out the packing. He’d first clean out all the mucus and clots inside my nose, which could prevent the healing and cause more bleeding, and I’d be able to breath again. If I still bleed, then he’ll pack me again.

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Taking out the packing was not as nearly painful as putting it, so I did fine. Then he cleaned my nose with suction to take out all the clots and mucus. He said i was not bleeding anymore, and he didn’t have to pack me again. I was so happy and surprised by this outcome!!! I was able to breath!!!!

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this is the packing, it’s like 20-25 cm long when fully expanded.

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I was discharged, ordered rest for at least few days, not carry anything heavy, no picking the nose and keep the environment moisture. I was feeling quite weak, due to the blood loss, not sleeping, not eating well. That night I slept for 12 hrs. It felt so good.

The next day I told my family and friends, they were all scared and worried about me and the baby. I told them I was fine, and that I will take care of myself. I had a business trip on Sunday that I cancelled. Nothing was more important than health and the baby at this point. Fortunately my boss was very understanding, sent me an email the following day, and his wife (Sofia’s friend’s mom, even offered to take care of Sofia over the weekend). Several colleagues also wrote me to ask me how I was. It was really nice.

In addition, I had Tony who was by my side ALL the time, giving me all I needed and more. During the whole process, I was scared but not too worried because I had him, I know I was safe.

He also did a great job taking care of Sofia. Usually I’d put Sofia to bed, but I was so weak for two days that he basically took care of Sofia all by himself. Sofia also understood that I was sick so she didn’t ask for me and did what we asked her. What a great daughter, so understanding and caring of her mama.

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Nobody knows why I have nose bleed during pregnancy. The only explanation they could think of is that blood amount increases 40-60% during pregnancy, and the vessels are more fragile. But nose bleed is not a common pregnancy symptom, so it’s still a mystery. I’m scheduled to see the OB this Thursday, hopefully everything is fine with the baby, and maybe even give me a clue of why this happens.

2015, year of changes. 2016, year of excitement.

2015 came to an end, way faster than expected. So much happened this year.

I got divorced.

I met with the love of my life.

Tony moved in.

I got pregnant.

We got married.

I would never thought that my life could change so much so quickly, nor any of my family and/or friends. But I AM HAPPIER. And that’s all that matters.

Looking forward into 2016, more changes will come. First, we will receive our new baby girl this April… soon we need to add a new person to the car

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Sofia will become big sister. She has been patiently waiting for her arrival. She asks for her little sister everyday. When the baby moves/kicks me, she’d ask me. She also says she’ll take care of her, change her diaper, give her to eat, play with her, and even sleep with her.  I am so proud of Sofia. She has became a person, a happy, caring, loving little girl.

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I truly love being her mom, and feel so proud of her. Although many days I wonder if I’m doing things right, if I’m too harsh or strict with her, but deep inside me I know that I’m loving her in a way that I think it’s good for her, and I think she knows that too. She often asks me: do you like me? or she’d say: I want you to like me. I know where she’s coming from… she’s afraid that her action will make me stop loving her. So I repeatedly and patiently tell her: I love you no matter what, I will always love you, I just don’t like this thing that you do. Hope one day she’ll understand this concept.

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Despite all the changes in my life, she continues to be a happy girl, or even happier than before. She laughs and smiles all the time, and invites me to join her everyday. She brings so much joy to me, specially on days that there’s something else going on that affects me negatively. But when I see her smile, I forget about those problems.

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Tony has entered in my life, and he’s here to stay, hopefully forever. I know how much he loves me, I am one of the pursue of his life, I’m what matters to him the most. I feel grateful to have him in my life at this point. I wouldn’t appreciate it earlier, but now that’s all I need. With him, I’m relearning how to love, how to compromise, how to accept the person just as he is, and how to make things to work when life gets complicated. With him, I see a vision for our family. With him, I want to spend more time as a family. With him, I want to travel, to see the world, and most importantly, to see our children to grow, and to age together. For him, I want to be a better wife, a better mom, a better lover, a better person.

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Looking back at 2015’s goals:

Read more books (Goal: 26 books a year): Accomplished. I ended up reading 34.

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Blog more (Goal: post at least once a week): Accomplished.

Do more yoga (Goal: once a week): Failed. I preferred to bump my heart rate up.

Shop minimal (Goal: set a budget for non-essential purchase, and spend $ in experiences). Failed. Still spent too much in non-essentials.

Stop stressing over Sofia’s eating. Half-way. Overall I’m better at letting it go but could do better.

Be more loving: Half-way. Could do more to show love to my parents.

Travel. Accomplished. I travel for work to Peru, went back to China three times, and went to Yellowstone as a family.

Develop family traditions/hobby. Half-way. We did Halloween candy picking, gingerbread house in Christmas.

Cook more (Goal: prepare 1-2 special meals a week): Accomplished. Since my mom left in September, I’ve been cooking everyday exploring new food recipes, and both Tony and I enjoyed the adventure.

Goals for 2016

Read more. I try to read everyday, even few minutes. But when I travel I could read 2-3 books in a week. So, I plan to read at least 30 books this year.

Shop minimal. I’ve decided to make a saving target for this year, at least 15% of the income (including retirement saving). This implies shop minimal in non-essential (clothes, fancy food, eat out) but maintain a quality of life that is healthy for the family, and a family trip.

Be present with Sofia everyday. I often feel I rush her to do things and don’t listen to her demands. Many times she keeps talking to me or asks me whys, they are just signs that I’m not present for her. I need to change that. Even if it’s 5 mins in the morning to hug her, 20 min after dinner to read her or just hide in her “house”, I want to be present when I am with her, 100%. Not checking cell, not thinking about work or the to-do list, but to focus just on her. This will be specially important once the next baby arrives, so she doesn’t feel that I abandon her or even stop loving her.

Have dates with Tony. For the moment it’s hard to do because we have no one to leave Sofia with. We have alone time when Sofia is at school on Fridays that I don’t work, or afternoons when she’s taking nap, but we don’t have any time for planned dates. So we need to figure out a way to do it, to bound as a couple.

Continue to develop family traditions. 

Looking forward to 2016! 🙂

 

10 days with Kaffee: fabulous time

my best friend from China Kaffee came to visit us for 10 days and we had a blast together. Sofia was particularly happy to “adopt a new baby” because she treats Kaffee as if she was her baby, she’d take her to class before she goes to work, then would make dinner for her, bath her, and sing good night song to her, exactly as how I am with her. It was hilarious!!!

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The weather was crappy most of the days… not cold but rainy. But we still managed to get out many times, to visit University of Maryland, where I spent 5 years

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it was my first time going back since my graduation ceremony may 2011.

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we went to Newseum

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where we both tried being a reporter for 5 min 😉

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on Christmas day we went to the train exhibit in front of the white house

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Sofia was very excited to see so many mini trains

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it’s always nice to hang out with this guy 😉

 

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then we visited the National Botanic Garden for another train exhibit

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Back home we decorated the gingerbread house, our first one ever and so much fun!!!

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it was a team work, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to make it

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went to the outlet on 12/26, a must trip for any visitor

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on Sunday 12/27 we went to National Harbor. Sofia and Kaffee went to the wheel

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then they took the boat to get to Alexandria where we had an amazing lunch at Fontaine, a french crepe place I’ve been wanting to go

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cozzy environment

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and incredibly tasty 100% buckwheat crepe. I’m definitely going back for more!!!

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Sofia enjoyed the fresh french baguette, the salad and some crepe

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love love love this girl!!!

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in the evening, we went to Mormom church to see Christmas light. It was quite crowded.

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on Monday 12/28, we went to Annapolis and encountered with the Military bowl preparation

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quite an eventful day for the small city

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after lunch, we visited the Navy Academy and then Georgetown for some more shopping

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Food. Before she came, I’ve made a menu for her visit… basically I wanted to cook as much as possible and different variety of food for her to try. For breakfast, we had pumpkin bread, homemade WW bread, eggs
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bagel with avocado, goat cheese, egg and ham.

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we also had hash brown with eggs, yogurt with granola, and panini.

For dinner I made turkey-lamb shephard pie with potato/sweet potato

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panini with squash ginger soup

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roasted salmon with rice and broccoli

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spinash ricotta lasagna

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spaguetti with meatball

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shell pasta filled with spinach, corn and ricotta, with white and red sauces

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shrimp taco

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Other unpictured meals included arroz con pollo and noodles on my birthday.

She decided to come to visit me few months ago, and we weren’t sure if we’d go somewhere. At the end I thought it would be good just to stay in DC area, visit places that she didn’t visit last time, and spend more relax time to just be together. We enjoy each other’s company so much so whatever we do together it’s fine.

For the past few years, we’ve been getting closer emotionally and geographically. She came to visit me twice and I went back to China few times. On a daily basis we chat here and there, and we are always there for each other whenever one of us needs. We are both so grateful for this friendship and cherish it. We hope to see each other at least once a year, in the US, or China or elsewhere, we just make it a priority in our lives to keep this friendship alive, and we are both committed. 🙂

See you  next time Kaffee. :)d

Back to normal routine

After dealing with jetlag and trying to sort out things in life, we’re finally back to our routine. This means, Miss S goes to bed around 8pm and sleeps until past 7am most of the days. This leaves me time to rest in the evening, even reading for half hour, or just curl up in Tony’s arm for few minutes before he goes to work in the evening (yes, hate the time difference with China, 11hrs, which means he monitors the stock market from 8:30pm-1:30am). But overall, life is good!

We start Monday fresh and reenergized from the weekend… Sofia happy to go back to “work”, Yes, nowadays we both go to work, me to the office and she works at the daycare. Why? because if we don’t “work” there’s no food in the table. 😉

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she’s still big into stickers.. she teases them with her friends.. and only gives 1 or 2 to her friends… a no no in class 😦

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They’ve been doing a lot of work decorating the class… here are some of hers

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she draw herself….. quite scary but it makes me such a proud mama to have an artist baby! 🙂

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I’ve been quite lazy lately with cooking. This week we had whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce

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a sour-spicy soup with mushrooms, veggies, tofu and egg. Love it! I could have it every night!

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one pot rice with carrot and lamb

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Although most of the nights I sleep pretty well… from 9:30pm to 5:30am, sometimes I still have insomnia… aka.. waking up at 2am and stay awake afterwards. However, it doesn’t stress me out anymore. Instead, I take it as a quiet time to read a book and have a cup of milk.

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12/10 was Tony’s 34th birthday and we had a mini-celebration at home. I made him pig-feet noodles and bought a cake. Sofia was so excited to blow the candle and eat the cake

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it was the first time we celebrate his birthday together. I hope we do this every year for decades to come! 🙂

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On Friday the daycare hosted a secret santa gift exchange party. Parents brought food, and the kids had a sugar comma

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after the party, we went to the mall to have the picture with Santa

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last year we spent over an hour waiting on the line, this year I booked online and it took us literally 5 min to get to meet Santa.
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Sofia was very collaborative… smiling a lot, although with her tongue out most of the time.

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we all had a great time spending few minutes with Santa and to live up the holiday spirit.

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on Saturday we went to National Building Museum because it was FREE 😆

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they have a lego play area with tons of legos. Sofia was excited just to look at them… but didn’t really build anything

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on Sunday we visited a new friend in the morning, I baked two new loafs of WW bread

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We played basketball in the afternoon

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went to the playground

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and made beef celery dumpling

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Sofia loves dumplings. I usually buy them, but started to get concerned that she is not getting the nutrients from packaged food. So I figured I could make them with ingredients that I can trust. Our current food rotation for Sofia involves dumpling, noodles and rice. Although they seem monotonous, if one gets creative, it could be a balanced diet too. 🙂

I enjoy weekends that involves some outing as a family, get together with friends, alone time playing with Sofia, cooking and baking. And this one was just that! 😉