Saturday, December 31, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • yummy potluck dinners with hubby's cooking
  • creating new traditions
  • adult-sized onesie footed pj's
  • having enough down time to be in the midst of book 2 in the hunger games trilogy
  • fragrant pine trees
  • a house full of little kids running around
  • finally finding a free collage app that actually looks nice and is functional
  • scoring a free drink at starbucks yesterday after the barista accidentally made the wrong drink
  • el's love of ballet and tutu's, as un-girly as i am and as much as i encourage her to be "gender fluid" (thanks for the term, c!)

she absolutely adores the gift from the h fam. =)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:

  • awesome family & friends
  • loungewear
  • hanging out with old friends and their evergrowing families
  • chocolate
  • turning on the heater at our house for the first time
  • mom's adobo
  • a day with the hubby
  • being in the middle of an awesome trilogy: the hunger games (thanks for the rec's, BFFs j & r, and for letting me borrow your set, r!)
  • cloth diapers
  • christmas decor
just started the second book

Monday, December 26, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • such a great christmas eve and christmas day surrounded by joyful people and yummy grindz!
  • spending the week at my parents' house
  • good music
  • watching little kids' faces light up & play, play, play 'til their heart's content
  • flannel pj's, especially those home sewn by the awesomely talented "auntie i"
  • redbox
  • another week off left of vacation!!!
  • the hubby's sudden streak of domesticity. he rocks!

hot, hot, HAWT!!!! =)

Thursday, December 22, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:

  • awesome family & friends
  • lubriderm lotion for dry hands
  • free "pick of the week" app/song cards at starbucks 
  • short fingernails for easier typing
  • reggae/jawaiian jams
  • witty satire
  • redbox rentals
  • this gorgeous weather we've had recently
  • the versatility of prefold diapers,  such GREAT absorbency
  • seeing legaci on tv for the bieber special on tlc last night
micah on the right!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:

  • awesome family & friends
  • el's humor
  • my cousins for helping me with our holiday cards
  • a redbox night with "the help"
  • heat
  • consideration, thoughtfulness,  & patience
  • words of appreciation
  • my sis discovering a box of old photos and reminiscing...
  • being able to live in sweats for the next couple of weeks =)
  • christmas decorations
me & el

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • a wonderful way to start off the holiday break with a yummy dinner in good company
  • a fantastic annual holiday party and hanging out with college friends in socal
  • friends who are (like) family...
  • really good coffee
  • mail merges to create holiday labels quickly
  • the way kids will always find something to entertain them, unprompted
  • an open room at my parents'
  • hubby fixing my broken purse strap with a rubberband, mcgyver style
  • two weeks off from work!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Today, I feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • El's continuing discussions with us about her love/hate relationship with Santa ("I'm not scared! I want to see Santa! He's gonna give me a present?" "I scared of Santa! Santa a scary monster!!!! Ani cried!"
  • attending the Napa Holiday Faire and having lunch at Oxbow with the Goooooooooo's. It's always fun to hang out with El's best buddy and fam. =)
  • colleagues who rock harder than granite! They are the best bunch to work with, I swear...
  • the footage of me and my fellow counselors breaking up a morning fight on Friday. Fighting isn't funny but the way we tag-teamed was!
  • Finals week followed by two weeks of spending the holidays with my fam and friends
  • Path, my newest social app addiction. It's like instagram married foursquare and their child married the child of facebook and twitter... then had a kid!
  • the dvr'd episode of "Once Upon a Time" I watched today. The show is getting so good!
  • J&J's white elephant gift exchange and holiday potluck over the weekend. I snagged an old Sega Genesis game console and game as a gag gift and a Forever Lazy (snuggie alternative), which was the gift I really wanted. 
  • getting a chance to work at Starbucks with Hubby, like old times... Woohoo, free wifi and heat!

Hard at work

Friday, December 9, 2011

today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • raisels, sour fruity flavored raisins
  • a well-deserved day off work to recharge and spend some time with the wee one
  • niceness, thoughtfulness, and consideration
  • el's singing of her faves: "'tis the season to be jolly;" "abc's;" "twinkle twinkle"
  • sweatpants & hoodies
  • caffeine
  • chicken & waffles and red curry gumbo at hue's soul food for you
  • coupons
  • el & ev's annual photo with santa at our local mall

el has cried the last two years though she always smiles with the easter bunny. go figure...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • being able to finally catch up on work, at home, school, and for the business
  • being able to dispense advice to a student that is completely fitting for my own current circumstances.. time to prioritize, make lists to shut the brain up, and take deep, soothing breaths...
  • the new community i live in and all the awesome FREE events happening for the holiday season
  • a 4-day work week for me, using comp time for a day off this friday
  • sweet dear patience, that which is given and received
  • surprise lunch drop offs by my favorite girl and guy (aka el & hubby)
  • seeing our own house lit up, even if on a small scale
  • my mom, for doing our laundry while our washer is out
  • receiving emailed photos and videos of el from my dad. how high tech of him!
my favorite girl =)

Monday, December 5, 2011


Today, I feel grateful for:

  • awesome family & friends

  • El's first dance recital: 2 dance performances with no running off stage and no tears... except for mine! I was so proud of El after she had such a rough couple of practices and dress rehearsal, refusing to get dressed or dance. She can't stop talking about it and enjoyed herself so much!

  • hubby playing the role of "stage dad" and staying with her through the recital and two outfit changes. This was probably the key to El actually performing since she gets so clingy with me. =)

  • sticky notes

  • being almost done with holiday shopping

  • a wonderful time at Benicia's open house on Friday night

  • having my sis with us this holiday season

  • Christmas lights and holiday music on 96.5FM

  • jump houses

  • Starbucks rewards program and redeeming my free drink voucher for a venti soy mocha this morning =)

Sunday, November 20, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:

  • awesome family & friends
  • study/work sessions with rox
  • my lil sis returning home tonight!
  • gorgeous skies
  • scarves and beanies
  • el's love for ballet and her impromptu "performances" wherever we go
  • dimsum brunch with hubby and el
  • car seat warmers
  • preparing for a thanksgiving feast at our house this thursday
  • 50% off sewing classes at joann fabric

Saturday, November 19, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • the outpouring of love and support in our community after the tragic slaying of officer capoot, especially that of our school's crisis counseling team and of our women's basketball team. we have some amazing folks at our school!
  • apple products
  • thanksgiving week off!!!
  • yoga pants and zip-up hoodies
  • starbucks' buy one, get one free happy hour (2-5pm) through sunday
  • hubby back home
  • a relatively clean house
  • getting done with the work i brought home on the first day of vacation! (or before the start of vacation if you don't count the weekend before)
  • watching our little girl grow right before our eyes!
left-right: winter 2009; fall 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • a very informative and timely school counseling webinar yesterday
  • the amazing department i work with
  • el being able to grow up alongside her older cousin, ev
  • hubby returning home tonight
  • massage therapists who are able to find and work out the knots (thank you michael at "e acupressure" in american canyon!
  • zico all-natural coconut water
  • being inspired to learn how to sew by "i" and pinterest and being able to find an upcoming intro class at joann fabric
  • thick minky blankets
  • one more day of work (after today) until a week off for thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011


today, i am grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • compassion
  • facetime
  • zico coconut water
  • watching el dance
  • hubby enjoying his trip in memphis and not being as homesick as his last business trip... must be all the yummy food!
  • effective presentations
  • knowing my value
  • our staff's thanksgiving luncheon today
  • my sis returning home this sunday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • pacquiao's very narrow victory last night!
  • 3-day weekend
  • celebrating bry's bday on thursday, getting to see 'nessa & d and friends in napa and celebrating al's 3rd birthday yesterday
  • hubby missing us even before each trip
  • iphone 4s
  • getting to use hubby's compact car while he's away this week
  • ALWAYS being welcome to stay at mom and dad's
  • pinterest
  • lots of mommy-daughter time this weekend

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • having enough time to warm up my car
  • "early" sunrises
  • mexican hot chocolate (or what el calls "hot milk")
  • fleece and flannel pj's
  • a day for professional development at our local community college, along with a few of my colleagues
  • patience and knowing when to bite my tongue
  • el still enjoying being swaddled like a little baby, just for fun
  • the sing off
  • eos lip balm ball

Thursday, November 3, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • h, p, and b, for giving back to our community by participating in today's speaker's bureue on the culinary profession
  • our department's hardworking ta's
  • outlook calendar
  • mini surge protectors
  • hot soup
  • to-do lists with lots of stuff crossed off of them
  • a clean home. thanks mom!
  • the small shower this afternoon that cleaned off the bird poop off my car, then stopped before i left work
  • the return of long sleeve and sweater weather

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • reasons to celebrate with friends
  • home cooked meals
  • waking up before my alarm and being able to get a head start on the day
  • the return of the red holiday cups at starbucks
  • a fantastic first halloween in our new neighborhood and all the friends who came over to go trick-or-treating with us and give out candy at our house
  • my fellow alums who are willing to participate in our school's career speaker's bureau
  • the smell of cinnamon
  • gorgeous sunrises and sunsets
  • college apparel wednesdays at my school

Sunday, October 30, 2011

kids say/do the darndest things

day by day, i am amazed by the the sponge of a brain el has. her sentence length and pronunciation of words continues to improve. she seems to have inherited her verboseness from mama and her quick humor from her dad. here are a few things she has said/done recently that have made us "lol:"

  1. me: "look! daddy cooked you potstickers!" (holding a fork full to her mouth) el: "ooh, pot sticker!"(holds up her hand to receive a "sticker," as she does after every ballet class from her dance teacher)
  2. while snacking on bugles, "it's like 'happy birthday!'" el puts the cone-shaped chip on top of her head like a birthday hat.
  3. "shake your butt butt!" wiggles her bottom.
  4. after receiving applause from practicing her ballet dance in front of our friends and having their full attention, she sticks her pointer finger into my breast and says "that's mommy's boobs!"
  5. anytime she sees a scene in a photo or show she likes, she cries "i wanna go there!!!!!"
  6. after seeing my mom wear a pair of pants similar to mine, she screams "that's my mommy's pants!!! take it off!!!!"
  7. while carrying her, she passes gas. "(giggle) i poot-poot ("farted") in mommy's hand!"
  8. el, to daddy: "i wanna draw daddy's ugly face." (translation: "i wanna draw you making a funny/ugly face") (brings him paper and markers) hubby: "what about mommy? does mommy have an ugly face?" el: "no, mommy's pretty."
  9. whenever the car stops during a car ride, "red means stop! green means go!"
  10. el, pointing to dad's shirt (see below): "what's that daddy?" hubby: "that's a pinata." el: "oh, i wanna hit that!"
hubby's fave shirt

Friday, October 28, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • hubby's maintenance of my car which i always half-jokingly say is "boy's job" (horrible, i know!)
  • catching up with friends
  • getting such great use out of the ucla bruin cheer outfit el was gifted for her 2nd birthday which she has/will used for: tailgating at stanford; trip to the pumpkin patch; halloween dance performance; noe's 1st birthday party; halloween; jus' 2nd birthday party =)
  • comfy sweat pants and shirts
  • applebee's every night happy hour at 9pm
  • a day off of work with my comp time and being able to sleep in
  • beautiful fall weather
  • our home
  • upcoming halloween festivities

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:

  • awesome family & friends

  • my good friend and colleague, r, for the wonderful microdermabrasion treatments i've received the last couple of weeks

  • patience

  • the counseling training i received from st. mary's college, which comes in handy so often in all my interactions, particularly one today

  • 69 cent tacos at chicken express. yum!

  • crunchy clean cloth diaper detergent

  • being able to fold, stuff, and label envelopes in between my presentations at work today

  • the microsoft office mail merge function

  • el's love for ballet and how she so often pulls on my hands to dance with her, anywhere and everywhere

  • planning a southern california trip this winter break to attend our annual holiday party with our college friends

Monday, October 24, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • angelina ballerina, peppa pig, and letter factory - el's fave shows to watch lately
  • a husband who adores me on my most adorable days and most unadorable (yup, i made up a new word!)
  • sweater weather
  • free family friendly community events
  • roller ball pens
  • finding some very important files which were packed and protected as they needed to be during our move
  • music, especially that which sings to your heart
  • taking turns with parenting duties
  • finding an awesome daily deal for my fave massage place on "got daily deals"

Sunday, October 23, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • a great day yesterday at the 1st annual sacramento aloha festival followed by a trip to the pumpkin patch for a photo session and bbq
  • watching our friends' kids and el grow up together. so amazing!
  • lots of cuddles with el, after she had spent the last 3 nights with lola and grandma
  • getting the big table at starbucks today
  • el's assertiveness
  • closure
  • caffeine
  • friends' connections
  • this weekend's gorgeous weather

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • el having the opportunity to spend the day with her "cousins" during a "parent play date" that hubby organized, complete with storytime at the public library, lunch, and naptime
  • a gorgeous sunrise this morning
  • a record-setting turnout for our first college application workshop that our department organized this afternoon!
  • an afternoon walk with the hubby, which i hope we make a daily habit
  • being able to have a real phone conversation with el
  • the efficiency of being able to share info through facebook
  • music and art
  • a tag team effort in getting laundry done
  • the sing off

Monday, October 17, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • a great weekend at a local halloween event, my goddaughter's 5th birthday dinner, clients-turned-good-friends' housewarming, and cheap and yummy indian food with friends from out-of-town
  • learning new functions on word and excel
  • iced soy mochas with half the mocha syrup
  • el's excitement for ballet class today, only to fall asleep in the car
  • comfy clothes and shoes
  • the abc network app for streaming full episodes of grey's anatomy and modern family
  • solid foundations
  • rear facing carseats
  • no line at kaiser's flu shot clinic. it took me longer to walk from my car to the building then it took to get the vaccine!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • a feisty toddler, who expresses her needs loud and clear!!! (positive reframing =)
  • yummy smelling cologne
  • hearing friends' great news
  • house of curries' free unlimited chai
  • people who are true to their word
  • el's jailbroken ipad
  • zip up hoodies
  • front cup holders in hubby's car
  • tears of joy

Thursday, October 13, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • learning about 4 universities i didn't know much about this morning at the hs counselors' breakfast at the sir francis drake. fancy schmancy!
  • taking myself out on a "date" this afternoon in beautiful sf
  • finding clothes that fit me well and buying them in multiple colors
  • taking the bart by myself today and not getting lost walking through downtown sf (thanks google map app!)
  • automatic iphone synching with my laptop
  • el falling asleep so easily last night and sleeping through the entire night, making for an easy morning for me to slip out to work
  • ouchless hairbands
  • gorgeous sunrises
  • tiny fuel-efficient vehicles

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • colleagues who know how to pick up the slack wherever and whenever it's needed... they are AMAZING!!!
  • value, recognition, and sympathy
  • successfully organizing and testing 400 students for the PSAT today. it's finally over!!!
  • my god daughter chey turning 5 today!
  • QT with the hubster, even amidst high wedding season
  • our good friends' invitation to a delicious steak dinner complete with fancy fixins and wine last night plus a great play date for our kiddos. thanks 3 j's!!!
  • therapists who know their ish
  • discovering that an asian soul food place will be opening up in town. hooray!
  • el finally following along for the majority of this week's dance class and seeing her practice on her own at home =)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

seattle trip gratitude

today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • my parents for watching el while hubby and i are on our trip to seattle/bremerton
  • fabulous iced coffee drinks in the city that started the country's espresso revolution
  • gorgeous washington weather
  • california king sized beds
  • having a chance to catch up with college buddies, a & b, and spend time with their fun family
  • a beautiful wedding yesterday of our clients, j & g, and being witness to their love and commitment
  • our first car ferry ride
  • seattle eats. YUM!
  • hubby =)

working with the hubby @ uptown espresso, seattle

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  •, making for easy travel arrangements. this free app automatically sorts and organizes any confirmation emails you receive for travel/accommodations per trip. so dope!
  • online flight check-in
  • the smell of freshly washed laundry
  • the hubby finding his cell phone after having lost it for a day
  • dvr'd episodes of my fave shows
  • productivity at work
  • excel spreadsheets
  • leftovers
  • our welcoming home

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:

  • awesome family & friends

  • el's increasing vocabulary and sentence length

  • invitation to hs counselor events, especially those at swanky venues and/or include yummy meals

  • pandora

  • my dad using fb like nobody's business! he learned so fast and it's a trip to get comments and messages from him

  • planning holiday events & evite invitations

  • the "copy and paste" function

  • chatting with old friends online

  • emdr

  • seattle with the hubby in 2 days

Sunday, October 2, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • the baby "dance party" that ended up happening at our neighbor's house; gotta love how all of our kids are around the same age
  • yesterday's tailgate with my dear bruin fam
  • honest and candid heartfelt conversations
  • el's fave, leapfrog "letter factory" dvd
  • yummy bbq
  • bffs who always know what to say and when to say it
  • gorgeous skies
  • comfy couches
  • seattle with the hubby in 4 days

Saturday, October 1, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • date night last night with the hubby
  • movie theater popcorn, layered with kettle corn, covered in butter (phatty mcfatster status! thanks, i, for the tip!)
  • marriage
  • timely responses
  • plans to get together with friends
  • the return of "college hooded sweatshirt" weather
  • the ucla 8-clap and being able to teach this to el today at our annual tailgate with my college buddies
  • jokes that make you laugh out loud
  • seattle in 5 days...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • absence, making my heart grown fonder, as hubby is out of town this week
  • an empty bedroom at mom and dad's house which we are always welcome to
  • hubby's well-attended and well-received mentor presentations
  • grey's anatomy, on demand, courtesy of xfinity
  • "auntie floring" becoming more normal
  • reading great news shared by friends on fb
  • hardworking and honest colleagues who know how to reign me in whenever i get carried away or overwhelmed
  • sweat pants
  • the kindness and thoughtfulness of our 5th period t.a., who brought me a vero mango lollipop today after i eyed the candy she was eating yesterday and told her how much i've loved these since my own teenage years... =)

image courtesy of:

Monday, September 26, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • short finger nails, making for easier typing
  • fast scanners
  • free coffee drinks from my local baristas
  • hubby's safe travels
  • el's silly attempt at dance class
  • southwest rapid rewards
  • big bags of miniature halloween candy
  • supportive parents, especially those of my students
  • google calendar

Sunday, September 25, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • the hubby telling me that he's already homesick before he even leaves for his week long trip tomorrow. gives me a toothache just thinking about it!
  • cool weather today
  • unprompted phrases of "please," "thank you," and "excuse me"
  • my bro-in-law getting a new job, which starts tomorrow
  • knowing that if i need childcare "on demand," it's always available at the school i work
  • planning all the fun-filled holiday events in the "-ber" months
  • automatic text message appointment reminders from my dentists' office
  • having the time to get started in organizing my closet last night
  • pockets

Saturday, September 24, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • el being able to say goodbye and go with lolo, lola, grandma, and/or uncle hammy without tears
  • online banking and billpay
  • easy change of address processes
  • a productive saturday morning
  • hubby's breakfast noodles
  • green applies with salt and vinegar
  • attending last night's homecoming game with my department and their kids
  • watching el and r's daugther, ay, cheer and dance in the stands, attempting to copy the cheerleaders
  • knowing when to let go and actually doing so...

Thursday, September 22, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • open-minded folks, willing to learn new things
  • grande soy 1/2 caf salted caramel mocha frapps with only 1 pump each of mocha and toffee nut syrups, hold the whipped cream! (yeah, i'm one of those people. don't ever do a starbucks run for me lest you become as embarrassed as hubby!)
  • sunglasses and car sunshades
  • college shirt wednesdays and red & white casual fridays at work
  • a free saturday with hubby and el
  • my friends and fellow alumni, t and l, for presenting during today's lunchtime speakers bureau
  • el NOT having a uti, as suspected last night (turns out she was just constipated) and being able to say today "no hurt pee pee no more, daddy!"
  • dangly earrings
  • the internet

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • a wonderful day at the csu counselor conference at cal expo, which is an even better venue than the sac convention center
  • funny t-shirts
  • working alongside hubby for the first time in weeks
  • cuddling
  • el now telling us when she needs to use the potty rather than us reminding her...
  • enthusiasm
  • summer dresses and flip flops
  • buying the alleged football jersey of cc sabathia, who played 3 sports in hs (we graduated in the same class), for $5!
  • plantation shutters

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • early morning productivity
  • the leftover bar of ghirardelli milk & caramel i found in the fridge... score!
  • cool evening air & window fans
  • el's dry "big girl panties"
  • spirit week dress days
  • ice h20
  • colleagues who know how to prioritize
  • discovering a new british kid show, peppa pig
  • impromptu bbq's with friends

Saturday, September 17, 2011

adoption as an option...

tmi alert! tmi alert! don't read past this if you don't like hearing about women issues! =)





today, i watched a dvr'd episode of grey's anatomy. it was this past season's finale where meredith grey ends up being granted temporary custody of a baby she and her husband are trying to adopt.

it got me thinking of me and hubby's casual conversations to adopt at some point. we always thought that we'd like to have two biological children and adopt our last child, maybe even a 4th. and now i'm really considering it as an option in the very near future, sooner than i thought.

i've always had wacky menstrual cycles since i first got my period at age 13. i don't remember there ever being two consecutive months of a "normal" period. my periods were incredibly sporadic or would last for weeks. from the age of 14 - 27, i had been on some type of birth control pill to regulate my cycle. the only reason i had stopped bcp's was when hubby had quit his job to be self-employed so we both lost our health coverage under him. hubby and i applied for private health care and he was granted coverage while i wasn't due to the 9-month treatment i was receiving when i was found to have been exposed to tb during a tb scare at the school i work at. (i succesfully finished the treatment and just recently had a chest x-ray completed to confirm tb clearance just a couple of months ago. yay me!)

anyhow, at the time i lost my medical coverage, i had a couple packs left of bcp's. hubby and i talked it over and agreed that i should probably stop using the hormones. i was tired of taking the pill each day and wanted my body to be free of any artificial hormones. we weren't actively trying to conceive at that time but not actively trying not to. during that time, i probably had a period or two that year. then there was a good 7 months where i had no period. i had always been told by my obgyn that not bleeding for more than 3 months is unhealthy and could lead to complications down the road, like a thickened uterus lining and increased likelihood of some cancers. i didn't expect to be pregnant but just in case, i would take a dollar store pregnancy test the day of a party or celebration just to be sure i was safe to drink. each negative test did not alarm me but i realize now that this was probably not a healthy sign. hubby and i were so busy that i couldn't even fathom becoming pregnant so it was a relief to see a negative result.

so i made an appointment with my obgyn in december '08. at the start of each women's health appointment, a urine sample is collected. i had just taken a pregnancy test a few days before so i knew i wasn't pregnant. i explained my reason for coming in to see dr. k and she discussed with me medication she would prescribe to kick-start menstruation and "clean" me out. before she would prescribe the medication, she checked the test strip the medical assistant had used to be sure i wasn't pregnant. then she told me she saw a faint positive line. i was shocked! i had just finished telling her that i wouldn't mind having a baby soon but was fine not having a kid yet, either. the medical assistant promptly brought in an ultrasound machine and they measured the fetus to be only 4 weeks, which is the earliest that a positive pregnancy urine test could be read. i was floored! yet, i was also cautious when dr. k described to me the risk of first trimester loss.

since i had experienced a miscarriage in 2004 and because of my menstrual difficulties, i thought it was still likely that i might lose the pregnancy so i prevented myself from being too "carried away." i told some family and friends shortly but kept this information from most people until i was well into my second trimester. i didn't even start reading the baby books until my 14-week appointment and yet throughout the pregnancy, i prevented myself from being "too excited" in the case i would not be able to carry the pregnancy through full-term. hubby and i chose not to know the sex of the baby and didn't decide on any baby names until i was in labor and delivery. i think this also prevented me from feeling super attached. i don't know if that's good or bad but i think this was a better alternative for me instead of being insanely stressed out and fearful while pregnant.

fast forward to 2011. hubby and i have a beautiful 2 year old daughter who is the light of our life. wanting children about 2 years apart, we realized the optimal time to try to conceive would be between january and july, at the latest, to have a baby in the "off-wedding season." i knew i didn't want to start trying until around the time of our vow renewal so i could fit into my wedding dress so the window for us was actually march - july.

it's now september and i have bought a number of pregnancy tests and ovulation tests these past few months. none show me the result we would like. it doesn't even appear that i am ovulating, which is disheartening. since giving birth in august 2009, i've maybe had two or three regular periods or at least regular for me... in may, my period lasted for about 4 weeks (a very light flow). a couple months past and then i had my period again. since july 9th, i have had a light flow. this is super annoying, to say the least, despite how light the flow is. after enduring this for the past 8-9 weeks, i went in on the first of this month to see dr. k again. she decided to prescribe to me the same meds she would have prescribed to me when i hadn't menstruated for 7 months. provera, she said, would help to stop the bleeding and regulate my cycle. i was to take it daily for 10 days, which would lead to a period shortly after. i was to start the treatment all over again at the start of the next two months.

the provera ended up leading to a regular period, one that was bright red blood and not the scant light brown i was used to. i didn't think too much of this but it continued through the week and didn't look like it was letting up. i emailed dr. koh and she let me know this was normal. she asked me to wait through the next 3 months before i would see regular cycles. so i waited...

i decided to use the diva cup again, which i love. it's a reuseable menstrual cup made of silicon and is super easy, sanitary, convenient, effective, and comfortable. it also is a measuring device of sorts and the one i use holds up to 1 oz. of fluid.

by last sunday, i realized how heavy the flow was. i was leaking like crazy out of the diva cup, which i found super odd. i realized i was having to empty it every 1 hour to 1.5 hours when normally i could wear it for 6-12 hours with no issues. we were on an outing with friends to the annual ghirardelli festival so bathrooms were not convenient. as much as i hate them, i ended up using a portapotty and had to remove the diva cup, opting for a bulky maxi pad that i ended up flooding. i changed again and flooded the next jumbo pad. it was embarrassing to have to tie my sweater around my waist like i had to when i was an unprepared teenager. by evening, i started to rack up the number of times i had changed out the diva cup and realized i had probably lost about 8 oz. of blood. that's a helluva lot of blood loss! i've always been on the anemic side so i began to worry.

the next day at work was monday. by mid-morning i had changed out the diva cup about 3-4 times, in addition to the one time that morning before i left for work. by lunchtime, that would make 5 oz. of blood loss. my coworkers encouraged me to call my doctor. i called the advice nurse and although the standard they normally use is # of pads per hour, she was alarmed and scheduled me for a same day appointment with the nurse practitioner i love.

np t was not as concerned when i first came in to see her. she let me know that my dr. should have told me that a lot of blood loss is normal when starting provera. she was also puzzled at the fact that dr. k wouldn't prescribe double dosage for a quicker treatment, as she would have. np t wanted to do a manual exam to check my cervix. upon removing her hands, i notices the look of alarm and panic on her face as a large amount of blood was released and she had to quickly remove her gloves from her hands to try to catch up some of the blood spillage. i know there was a big mess below me. "yeah, we're gonna do it my way this time," is what she said, referring to the new prescription she would give me that same day. she admitted that the amount of blood i was losing was out of the norm and she prescribed double the dosage of the hormones i was normally given plus something that would help stop the bleeding.

np t has me starting the treatment over again so that i will have taken the hormones for a total of 22 days when normally 10 is the max. the hormones are strong stuff and i have been out of whack lately. some of the side effects are good, like mood swings on the upside and weight loss, but others are not so good, like the horrid sleeping patterns, acne, moodiness. i am to take on this treatment for 3 months and then np t has advised me to go back on bcp's for 3-6 months, highly recommending at least 6 months. she believes my cycle is way out of whack and needs the help from these hormones to synch back up. during my appointment, she did ask some questions about trying to conceive and i almost felt like she was screening me for the possibility of infertility treatment, which i hadn't thought of before. basically, i'm recommended not to try to conceive for the next 9 months.

i can't help but feel disappointed and scared that i won't be able to conceive. i would love for el to grow up with a sibling, especially one close in age. this is why the idea of adoption is really tempting to me at this point. i have a sense that el was a miracle baby and for that, i am truly grateful and blessed.

Friday, September 16, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • having the best dentists ever!!! dr. thai & dr. tan are amazing!!!
  • casual "red & white" fridays
  • impromptu visits by my mom and el at work
  • beautiful wedding photos
  • long chats with the bff
  • honesty & being real
  • standards
  • working with super excited senior students, ready to plan out their post-secondary options
  • friday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • assertiveness, especially in those moments that count
  • portable hard drives
  • the uniqueness of my maiden last name which i am still known by at work
  • afternoon naps
  • modern medicine
  • beautiful family photographs
  • facebook, photo texts, and skype/facetime = ways i can still keep up with my distant family and friends, especially my nephew, ev
  • the chill of the impending fall season in this evening's air
  • a very productive day at work with awesome colleagues and wonderful students and teachers

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • peppa pig via youtube, el's fave new show
  • baristas who know just how i like my drink order
  • cardigans
  • the first annual historically black college and university fair held on our school campus today
  • the older gentlemen who rapped to our students with a very positive message, despite how dated he sounded when he threw in the term "gameboy"
  • cotton babies' recent announcement about new cloth training pants, all-in-one diapers, and new colors and prints. yippee skippee!
  • rapid phone chargers
  • music in languages i don't understand yet can still "comprehend" through the emotion of the vocalist
  • nurse practitioners who take the time to listen to their patients

Saturday, September 10, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • receiving updates on my fb newsfeed of my parents actually using fb. surreal!
  • planning "study dates" with my bff
  • gorgeous weather this weekend
  • a planned day off (at least through the afternoon) with the hubby and el tomorrow in the midst of high wedding season to go to the ghirardelli chocolate festival tomorrow. yippeee for family day!
  • the diva cup
  • typing with short finger nails
  • being in a super good mood today
  • adele
  • a wonderful counselor conference at my alma mater, ucd, with my lovely colleagues. go aggies!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • my dad learning how to send pictures through their new ipad
  • typing with freshly cut fingernails
  • today being my "friday" since i'll be at a conference at ucd tomorrow
  • learning how to print addresses directly onto envelopes at work
  • youtube
  • sleep
  • finding a shorter route from home to work
  • a diminished appetite lately
  • warm weather

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • a badly needed day off yesterday after an ill long weekend
  • iced coffee
  • "the secret" via netflix
  • smiles, both giving and receiving them
  • courteous people who open doors for others
  • hubby's self-initiated upkeep of our house
  • my dad, uncle, and hubby fixing our washer
  • early morning productivity
  • kids

Sunday, September 4, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • the onset of the "ber-ber-ber" months (i.e. September, October...) and the holiday season to come
  • bff's, who are right across the street, on the other side of the country, or a bridge toll away, whom i can speak with at a moment's notice when crises abound
  • honesty and reflection
  • pumpkin spice lattes and mint mojito iced coffee
  • the awesome clothing "i" made for el, after picking up the hobby of sewing from her mom
  • a thoughtful and considerate hubby who knows just what to say and how to say it when it counts
  • dinner at the roze family's house and having our little girls play together
  • a 3 day weekend and reprieve from the hectic work week
  • love, in all it's forms

Sunday, August 28, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • google chrome and the easy way to type in words in the address bar for simple google searches
  • a quiet morning to try to catch up on work at starbucks
  • cooler summer weather
  • ellie's expanding vocabulary and her ability to express her picky preferences for her daily outfits
  • remembering to bring in a sweater/jacket to every coffee shop i work in to avoid freezing my limbs off when their ac is on high
  • my parents who are always willing to provide free childcare
  • seeing old friends come by to pick up their transcripts at the school i work. always fun to catch up, if only briefly
  • the internet
  • beginning to get motivated to work out again (maybe)

Thursday, August 25, 2011


thank goodness it's almost friday! boy, what a week it has been. it feels like yesterday was only monday and yet here it is thursday. i'm excited for another weekend after a very busy week. work has been consistently HECTIC! and i sense that this will only continue or maybe even increase with the new few weeks ahead of us. our department is getting ready to try out some brand new things and also tighten up past practices, which of course, equates to more work. i'm grateful to have a job in these trying times yet i also wonder the stability of this job, as we continue to hear from the "upper echelon" about the reality of future cuts... it's scary but i try to focus on the present and recognize the importance of my job in guiding and counseling youth. the career is definitely trying at times but oh so rewarding...

i found out that the source of el's itchy soles of her feet are probably due to athlete's foot. it's no wonder when she always wants to walk around barefoot, which she had been doing often at her grandparents' house. fortunately, once i got her her own pairs of flip flops and she received the cutest croc-type skechers, she has been wearing her shoes more often. dr. yee recommends at least 4 weeks of some otc medication to cure it. guess i'm in charge of night treatments and hubby is in charge of the mornings.

i just went to visit our old home this afternoon. how odd this house looks like now devoid of almost all objects. there are a few items still around, mostly in the garage. it just looks so "quiet," if that makes sense. there are little indications of our presence there and a stranger could probably guess that a child or pet lived at our house what with the safety gate at the top of the stairs. indentations from our furniture still mark the carpet. it's a bit sad... i love our new home yet this will always be our first home with so many other firsts: our first pet together, first baby, the first location of our business... lots of memories in this home. i'm hoping for one just more photo of the three of us and with our wiener dog who lives with my parents now in our old house as a way to "close the chapter" on this home...

Sunday, August 21, 2011


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • sleeping in (kinda)
  • waterfalls, both natural and manmade
  • free wifi
  • remembering to bring a jacket with me to cold coffee shops, even in the summer
  • jack in the box's mini funnel cake
  • streaming old episodes of fave shows online
  • flip flops
  • productivity
  • gorgeous weather

Saturday, August 20, 2011

first days of school

i went back to work on the second and although it has been crazy, it hasn't been as frantic as it has been since wednesday, the first day of school. i've been loading up on caffeine which, along with my fantastic co-workers, one of whom just returned back to work with us (YIPPEEEE!), have been the saving grace and grounding force that have prevented mental institutionalization. i love my job but there are days when i might beg to differ. there are time constraints, disparity in job description and role responsibilities, and political forces up the wazoo but overall, i really truly enjoy my chosen career field.

we're still in the midst of our big move and i can't fathom when and how we'll unpack the boxes of stuff that more than likely half will need to be donated. we haven't yet moved our washer and dryer so the hamper has been even more full than usual. i'm just glad to finally be living in our new home and am thrilled to do so! a friend of ours described poignantly in a housewarming greeting card why i'm so happy to be living in "amcan." she wrote something to the effect of "welcome to vjo 2.0! amcan is like rancho when we were growing up with lots of kids playing outside and riding bikes..." jaz, you're so right! long are the days when kids roam the streets of rancho 'til dusk, without a care in the world. i have that sense when i'm in our neighborhood.

with the big move(out) almost complete, el's 2nd bday/housewarming party past, and first day of school done, i think my body had lost all of it's adrenaline and protective immunity that comes along with high levels of stress. i've heard that you're more likely to fall ill "after" a stressful period of time and not during. hubby and el had been coughing a few weeks ago and i wasn't that surprised to have not caught their illness since i have pretty good immunity. when my nose started dripping and my sinuses plugged up, i thought it was due to allergies. i blamed my cough on the fumes from the roofing going on at work, wafting into our building. and when i began to fell achy on thursday, i realized i had finally been bit by whatever bug was lingering. i was smart enough by friday to load up on zicam, my favorite homeopathic remedy which is scientifically proven, and anecdotally by me, to shorten and decrease cold symptoms. by friday night, i was well enough to take a trip down to walmart at midnight, probably helped by the 3 hour nap i took after work. today, i feel much better! =)

now to catch up on "business work..."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Today, I feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • a new office and new home
  • el's fun-filled 2nd bday party at children's wonderland and our housewarming
  • witnessing the "birth" of the next generation with so many young ones amongst our group of family and friends
  • party leftovers and sharing them
  • being oh so close to being moved out from the old home
  • large spacious vehicles for transporting boxes and furniture
  • starbucks runs and lunch with fabulous coworkers
  • hubby's time and effort in packing, moving, unpacking, delegating, fixing, etc. and all with (little to) no nagging this past month!
  • el's pre-ballet/tap class... what a hoot to watch 2-3 year olds (try to or in el's case, lay across the floor instead of) perform dances =)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

kids say the darndest things...

i knew that when el became verbal, we'd crack up at the things she would say and do. here are the recent things she's been saying:
  • "i see a boob" (while grabbing my chest) and "i see a butt-butt" (as i change her diaper/undies)
  • "eddie!" (after i call hubby's attention; she tries to say my name but can't pronounce it very while; she used to call uncle by his first name, too.)
  • "happy birthday, mommy!" (she's been saying this ever since my birthday and every time she sees a birthday cake/candles, even on her own recent birthday)
  • "i (like to) eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.." (she loves to sing this song as it's one of the kids' faves on a kids tunes cd while we drive)
  • "whoa, i fall down!" (said while pretending to fall off of furniture or off me)
  • "look mommy, i'm a princess!" (she calls any skirt/dress "princess")
  • "ha-la, HA-LA!" (translates to "hula, hula" as she tries to twirl her hips)
  • "it's/that's MINE!" (boy has she gotten possessive!)
  • "i poot-poot!" (translates to "i farted!")
  • "say WHAAAAAAAAT???" (another line from the kids CD)


today, i feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • the wonderful department of lovely ladies i work with, who are willing to put in the extra mile and make working long hours as enjoyable as possible
  • a full 8 hours of sleep last night, after having interrupted 4-5 hour "naps" at night
  • friends with pickup trucks, willing to help move furniture
  • the 25 moving boxes and packing paper i bought from craigslist for $20, locally
  • our new home slowly coming together...
  • nieces, nephews, and younger cousins who are eager to help out in anyway they can
  • lola, our wiener dog, and how she always hops in our car for joyrides
  • available beds at both moms' places
  • ellie's milestone of turning two years old

Sunday, July 24, 2011

dog days of summer

it's been a relatively mild summer so technically, we haven't had those "dog days" typical of july... still waiting for august, though, so we'll see! (because i'm a nerd, i looked up the origins of "dog days") i'm hopeful that el's birthday celebration next month will be only pleasantly warm since it's an outdoor affair.

i expected to blog more but in keeping up with 4 kids, traveling, some new upcoming changes, prepping for el's birthday party, and still trying to manage the administrative end of hubby's business, it's been hard. after our trip to panama, i checked my camera roll and realize i haven't even really been taking as many photos. i'll commit to documenting our fun-filled days more thoroughly, at least through this upcoming week, which is my last week of vacation before returning back to work. =(

here's a hodgepodge of what we've been up to, in no particular order:

1. shenandoah park

this is our new neighborhood park. i love this park! it gets pretty hot here with little shade but there's plenty for the kids to do here and it's so close to my folks' home (and our new home).

shenandoah park, on a lazy afternoon

2. crafts/diy projects

my dad is king of all things "do-it-yourself." he found the kids playing with a shipping box, wearing it as sort of a monster head dress/costume and he decided to take it one step further to cut a jack-o-lantern face into it. this kept them occupied for a good hour.


3. ice cream!

who doesn't love ice cream, especially in the summer heat? our fave places to go are the rite-aid in benicia or country creamery in american canyon. i'm not gonna lie; i will occasionally use these trips as bribes for good behavior!

we all scream for ice cream!

4. one world, many stories

our local library hosts free weekly family shows on wednesday. this past week was "magic dan." coupled with a trip to the library to return and pick up new books, it's a great way to spend the morning.

magic dan

5. lolo's pool

my dad will do anything to be sure the kids have a great time. at least twice a week, he busts out his wading pool, which is his old in-ground pond shell, cleaned out, and filled with warm water. the kids bring in their goggles, water toys, and make their own floatable toys. it's a hoot to watch them having so much fun.

on this day, my niece "r" was so excited, she forgot to put on her bathing suit. =)

yellow polka dot bikini (notice the new vinyl flooring the kids helped my dad install on his patio. they ripped this up from our house and he didn't want to throw it out! =)

6. play date!

our friend, j, had been wanting some of her mommy friends to get together with our toddlers/babies and we finally found time to get together. obviously, i only brought el. it was a great morning, hanging out in their playroom and just talking parent/baby/woman stuff. =)

a's playroom

7. movie night in the park

american canyon has a weekly kid movie screening on friday nights at dusk. we had been meaning to go but something has always come up. despite the chill, we trekked out in our hoodies, jackets, scarves, beach mat, and blanket. we were surprised to see so many families out (and some teens hanging out with friends), along with free popcorn and $1 drinks/candy. we're surely going to make it to the next one.

"alpha & omega"

8. pool party and bbq

our good friends (recently engaged "bry" and "ire" and have a son, "luk," only one month older than el) have had a couple of pool parties at their condo. the kids love their pool and i love hanging out with their family and friends. they're like our own family and we are godparents to each other's children. =) bry and i have been bff's since college and it was such a fortunate unintentional coincidence that ire and i got pregnant at the same time. it's so awesome that our kids are the same age and even more so, we have very similar parenting styles, so it's easy to bring our kids together.

everyone was surprised to see hubby able to make it out on a saturday event, as he normally has weddings on summer saturdays.

9. sleepovers

when my mom works nights/swing shift, the kids stay at our house, since r would prefer not to sleep alone. we all cram into our living room and watch netflix and on demand movies, while munching on a combo of microwave caramel, kettle, and butter popcorn. the kids end up sleeping close to or even after midnight but that makes for sleeping in so i can get stuff done on those quiet mornings.

r fell asleep while munching on popcorn one night. =)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Today, I feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • kid music CDs and how the kids always sing along with all the songs
  • Netflix streaming
  • sleepovers
  • Google calendar
  • nightly showers
  • quiet early mornings
  • flip flops
  • humor
  • the public library

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bienvenidos a Panama!

It's our first morning here in Panama. Hubby and I traveled early yesterday morning, having spent the night at Mom-in-Law's house in order to leave El there without waking her. This is probably the toughest time I've had leaving El, having had an overnight trip away in Vegas in October, a 4 day trip for the annual photography convention in February, then most recently, a 4 day trip to Seattle for a school counseling conference. She is getting easier to care for with each trip (or so say our family members) but it's a bit hard for me since I was just recently away from her not even two weeks ago. I know she's in good hands so my hesitation only lasted briefly.

It was actually quite an easy flight, 8 hours total flying time, with a 1.5 hour layover in Houston. Unfortunately, our client, Jn, who was supposed to accompany us got held up due to a ticket name issue so her husband, Ri, who is from Panama picked us up last night without her. My first impression upon landing and on our drive was how similar Panama feels to the Philippines, more specifically, Manila. The weather is humid and warm, though Panama City is much less crowded and is cleaner and more

After heading over to his family's house where he grew up in Panama City, we freshened up for a bit, called home, and got our internet fix. Ri, Ra (Ri's bro), and "I" took us out for a yummy traditional Panamanian meal at El Trapiche before heading out to I's home to meet his wife, Js, Their home is a gorgeous condo in a tall building, where we enjoyed a fantastic view of Panama City at night.

So far, we're having a blast! More to come soon!



Rum y coke!

My new wireless keyboard is awesome paired with my ipad. =)

Ready for Day 2!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Today, I feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • taking big leaps of faith
  • warm weather
  • bff and fam spending the night at our place
  • my wonderful (not so little) cousins who helped me clean our house yesterday
  • this holiday weekend, especially with lots of little ones to enjoy the festivities
  • listening and being heard
  • icy beverages
  • UPS shipments
  • saying farewell to Lolo A, who is almost a centerrian at 94 years old, and is rejoined with his wife, Lola E, in heaven...

Rest in Paradise, Lolo! You and Lola raised an AMAZING family who have always welcomed ours. We love you R Fam!

Thursday, June 30, 2011


So much to be grateful for and so much to blog after my work conference in Seattle this past week. Today, I feel most grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • lots and lots of hugs and cuddles after being apart from El for 4 days
  • wonderful coworkers who know how to work hard and party hard
  • freshly scrubbed bathroom
  • summer dresses, capris, and flip flops
  • iced espresso drinks
  • sunshine with a light breeze
  • Couples Communication class
  • crying sessions that relieve stress
  • the anticipation of new beginnings...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Seattle Bound!

After years working in education, I now have a chance to attend a conference out-of-state and whadaya know, it has to be during summer vacation! But I won't complain for too long. I've very excited to be attending the American School Counselor Association conference in Seattle through Tuesday, 06.28. This means I'll be away from the fam but I'll be joined by my lovely colleagues who are already at the conference as I'm flying a day later.

It's been awhile since I've flown solo. I'm really looking forward to sleeping as I've had a rough couple nights with El. To Seattle I go!

I'll be drinking lots of coffee at this conference for sure!

Full flight ahead. Glad I'm boarding pass B11!

Friday, June 24, 2011


It's about 6pm right now and after a Friday full of eating, playing, and swimming in Lolo's "pool," the house is finally quiet!!!

Here's why:

First one down and about 2 hours late to naptime

2nd one down and normally doesn't nap during the day anymore

3rd one down and I don't think she really ever naps anymore

Sleepy and drowsy but still holding on to wakefulness!

Three out of four ain't bad!!!! But boy will this make for an interesting late night!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Today, I feel grateful for:
  • awesome family & friends
  • El sleeping through the entire night for the last couple of weeks
  • El completing changing my mood by interrupting me while I was going on a complaining rant to say "Mommy, mommy, I love you!" (Her first time every saying that to me unprompted. Brings tears to my eyes even as I type this!)
  • looking through my catalog of iPhone photos and seeing how much fun this last 1.5 years has been and how much the kids have grown
  • online printable coupons
  • freshly laundered clothes
  • customized drinks from Starbucks
  • massage vouchers through Napa Valley School of Massage
  • summer dresses & flip flops
  • Hubby's patience

Prune Juice and Ice Packs to the Rescue!

I think we've finally found a solution for El's constipation woes! We have been introducing her to more fruit and veggies each day but she can still be a finicky eater. I had heard all the great things about prune juice being an effective laxative but never had a chance to use it. After my first taste of it with our recent jug purchase, I knew El would totally reject it, even cut with water. So I tried about an ounce of it in one of her sippy cups of milk with a small squirt of chocolate syrup. I tasted that concoction and it wasn't the yummiest but was passable. El's reaction was one of slight surprise as she pulled the sippy away to look at it but she continued to drink it up. It has been a couple of weeks and I have started to put up to two oz. of prune juice into each sippy that she drinks and she has been much less upset when #2 time comes around.

8 oz. of organic whole milk + 2 oz. of prune juice + 1 squirt of chocolate syrup = a happy bum!

With the onset of summer and our constant "on-the-go" schedule, I've had to find a way to be sure I can make her sippy cups ahead of time and have them readily available during our car trips. I like to pack at least two sippy cups in a cooler bag and have at least one to leave in the fridge for when we get home. Here's how I pack them to keep them cool:

Take n' Toss Sippy Cups are awesome! They are BPA, PVC, and pthalate free and are spill proof, relatively easy to clean (as long as I use a cut up sponge to get in all the crevices of the spout), and come with a handy removable spout lid.

A Blue Ice Can Cooler keeps the drinks from spilling over. I also add in juice packs for the other kids.

Learned this tip from Hubby: Since heat rises, put an ice pack on top of the items you want cooled for more effective cooling.

All packed up!

Having to pack up like this each day and then wipe/wash everything after makes me long for the days of breastfeeding, for sure! Talk about the most convenient food/drink "to go!" =)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Beginning of Summer

It's day 7 of my vacation and officially the first week of summer. It's been heating up in the Bay Area the last few days and I've been keeping busy, watching El, my nephew Ev (4 y.o.), and my niece, R (7 y.o.), and nephew, B (10 y.o.), visiting from Oregon (having just emigrated from the Philippines). R & B will be staying with my parents through mid-August so the four will be spending lots of time together. Although taking care of the kiddos wasn't on my summer vacation list of "to-do's," I'm quite grateful to have companions for El and Ev, especially ones who are older and well behaved. They have been quite helpful in watching over the two. As much as I want to spend lots of Q.T. with El over the summer break, I love that she'll also be bonding with her cousins. Hopefully, this fosters greater independence in her and helps her get used to socializing with other kids besides cousin Ev. Seeing how well Ev and El interact with their older cousins makes me realize how much I want El to have a sibling to grow up with.

I've felt like soccer mom and camp counselor this past week, shuffling the kids around to various local events and kid places to keep them entertained. We also have swim lessons this week and next but only for the two younger ones since I didn't think to enroll the older ones before they arrived. My parents' house doesn't have air conditioning so I've tried to find as many things to do in "cooler" places, whether it be a shady park or indoors at the library. I've also made it a personal challenge to do as many kid-friendly, educational things that are free or cost next to nothing. I've been using our local recreation guides, local event calendar, my mommy & me "meet up" calendar, the library, bulletin boards around town, and as my resources. It's been crazy but fun!

Here are just a few of the activities we've done so far:

Shenandoah Park in American Canyon

Jeremy the Juggler, part of the JFK Library's Summer Program on Wednesdays at 10:30am

In Lolo and Lola's garage. The Plasma Car is the best purchase I've made recently, as it keeps all these kids entertained for hours! Purchased ours at Costco for $25!

Hubby and El during "Parent and Tot" swim lessons

The older kids and Lola, the weiner dog, not to be left out! Lolo rigged their own "swimming pool" and its heated to boot!

$1 kid movies every Tuesday and Wednesday! Kids 2 and under are free. =)

Playdough with Auntie R's kids across the street.

And even I had a chance to have lunch with my two nearest and dearest friends, J and R. Love them to pieces and must hang out more with them this summer!