Friday, September 30, 2011

and the award goes to....

I feel special!  I received my second Versatile Blogger award!  It has been bestowed upon me by Emma from {Race&Emma}.  She's not my Emma, of course, but she's just as sweet!  She always has a happy word for me and brightens my days with her sweet, sweet comments.  If you don't already read Emma's blog you should remedy that right now!

The rules are simple.  I just have to divulge 7 random facts about myself and pass the award along to other bloggers.  So here goes!
  1. Scary movies just aren't scary to me.  I thought Paranormal Activity was the most boring movie I have ever seen.  I'm watching Let Me In right now and while it's a good movie, interesting, it's not scary.  I can't remember the last really scary movie I saw was....
  2. I love Jack the Pumpkin King.  The Nightmare Before Halloween is not one of my favorite movies, but I love everything about Jack & Sally & Zero.  I've mentioned before about my little shelf dedicated to them.
  3. I love to play video games, but not the cool ones.  Well, games like Halo and Gears of War or Madden I just can't get into.  I play alot of Nintendo games like Super Mario anything, Zelda and junk like that.  I do like hack and slash games like God of War & Dante's Inferno and I love Little Big Planet.  So I'm more like the geeky gamer that the real gamers make fun of.
  4. I was totally not into Ted Danson joining the cast of CSI.  In fact, I figured this would be when I finally gave up on the show that I once loved so much, but I will readily admit, 2 episodes in ... I'm liking him there.
  5. I think I've seen every Disney cartoon movie and have cried each and every time.
  6. I would kill someone for a Cherry Coke.  Or a Cherry Dr. Pepper.  SO GOOD.
  7. I do not have one creative crafty bone in my body.  Were you to give me a bunch of craft supplies I would just sit there and stare dumbly at them.  I read all these blogs that have cute crafty ideas, but unless there's a tutorial it's not going to happen with these hands.
Well there it is.  I'm supposed to tag a few other bloggers to pass the award around, but since I've tagged before I'm going to bow out of the tagging!

Happy Friday everyone!


Thursday, September 29, 2011


I realized the other day that being a stay at home mom sometimes blows for little reasons.  Like, not going out to lunch with friends/co-workers to a place that isn't kid friendly.  Or maybe having drinks after work at a bar that definitely isn't kid friendly.  But those really aren't important things and granted, if I wanted to I could go meet some friends for drinks one night and now that Emma is in school I could dart over to meet them for lunch at a non-kid establishment.

This time, being pregnant I realized with the utmost clarity yesterday that I will not get maternity leave. 


Every day I have something going on, whether it be appointments or getting Emma to school or a play date.  When I was pregnant with Emma I took one or two (I can't quite remember) weeks off before my due date because they paid me to and it was great.  I sat around the house since everything was ready and waiting for Emma to get here and watched TV.  I mostly watched A Baby Story on TLC until I started really getting freaked out.  That show is better watched AFTER baby arrives.

Well, she was 2.5 weeks late so my pre-birth maternity leave lasted almost a month and it was glorious (though uncomfortable).  My work environment was unpredictable and unhappy so to have that time away from all the drama and angst was wonderful.

I'm at the point in this pregnancy where it is incredibly uncomfortable to do most regular things.  Getting up off the sofa is actually painful and when the baby moves around, though I am always relieved she is moving, it hurts every time.  I would like to spend a day laying in bed on my side because honestly, that's the only time I am comfortable.  Until my arm falls asleep.  Then I roll over to my other side (which takes me about 3 minutes to do).

Though I realize how incredibly lucky I am to be able to stay at home with my kids there are times when I wish I could go back to that first pregnancy when everything was all about me.  How selfish does that sound?!?!  But I mean it more in the sense that I just had to worry about me.  What I was eating, what time I got out of bed, picking up dinner instead of making it ... all that stuff. 

So maybe a day goes like this:
  • Get up & check my glucose
  • Get Emma up and dressed, teeth brushed
  • Fight her to get her to eat some breakfast
  • Make her lunch
  • Eat my breakfast
  • Get on our bikes and head to school
  • Come home & check glucose again
  • Head out to a doctor's appointment
  • Run some miscellaneous errands (library, Target, grocery store, etc.)
  • Get some lunch
  • Get on my bike and pick up the munchkin
  • Check my glucose
  • Get her home and either finish the lunch she didn't eat or get her a snack
  • Get her working on her homework
  • Make dinner
Once dinner is made there's a breather.  Then we eat, I try to clean up the kitchen as I cook so I don't have a mess on my hands.  I check my glucose one more time and space out my pills.  Force myself to eat that last snack of the day and take my last pill and go to sleep.

Granted, not every day is like this.  I only have doctor's appointments twice a week and usually Thursdays (today) I have little going on so I can sit here for hours while Emma's at school and do nothing important.  But still, if someone offered maternity leave I don't think I'd turn them down!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

please look after mom

So since I took 462 (after deleting the ones I didn't like so much) it's going to be awhile before I get that post ready.  Until then, here's another book review!

I get a shit ton of emails about books.  From Barnes & Noble, the library, several e-reader stores & some other book people not to mention the book bloggers I read.  Somewhere I read a brief synopsis about this book when it first came out and put it on my list of books to get, but then forgot about it.  I saw it at the library and picked it up again.

Normally I try not to read more than one sad book at a time.  At the same time I was reading Thirteen Reasons Why and it sounded like an overload of sadness for this hormone crazy preggo, but I did it anyway.

Park So-nyo lets go of her husband's hand at the subway station in Seoul and life is forever changed for her husband and children.  The story starts off from the perspective of Chi-hon, the eldest daughter, a novelist.  She is desperate to find her missing mother and while she's busy posting and handing out flyers everywhere she can think she's traveling back in her mind through her memories of her mother and her own childhood.  It's a bit awkward getting used to the way the story is written, but once you do the story flies by.

Reviews of the book have said that you'll never treat your mother in the same way again.  When I began reading I thought, well I can't relate because I don't think of my mother this a burden, as uneducated ... but as the book changes perception I started to understand what people were saying.  I know that I love my mom.  I respect her, I am amazed by her all the time, but I understand that I don't know her as someone who isn't my mother.  Does that make any sense?  That she has secrets, dreams, that she had a life before us kids that we know nothing about.

The book was, at times, slightly confusing and I don't know if that's a product of being translated from Korean to English or if that was just the writer's style, but I loved it.  It was sad, heartbreaking and despite leaving with a sense of hope the book doesn't have your traditional happy ending.  It's not a feel good novel.  It is full of regret and remorse of things not said, not done, not shown.  And it's like Aesop's Fables.  There is a lesson within the pages.  You just have to read it.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

th1rteen r3asons why

Still getting our vacation pictures together!  So in the meantime, here's a review on a book I finished while en route on said vacation.

For about 5 seconds I thought about being 'cute' and listing 13 reasons why you should read this book, but this isn't a cute book and it shouldn't really be taken lightly so I nixed that idea pretty quick.

Clay arrives home one day to find a package addressed to him.  Excited about the prospect of a gift he didn't know was coming quickly turns into horror as he finds several cassette tapes with the voice of Hannah Baker, a school mate and Clay's crush who recently died.  Hannah goes on to explain that these tapes are the 13 reasons why she took her life and if you're receiving these tapes it means that you had part in one of the reasons.

As Clay wanders the streets of his town, following the map that Hannah provided, his dread grows deeper and deeper.  He cannot figure out what his part in Hannah's suicide could have been and the idea of listening to the tapes until he gets to his name is almost unbearable.

I think this book should be mandatory reading for middle and high school students.  Well, not just the students, but teachers and parents as well.  The book isn't just about suicide, but of the effect everyone has on everyone around them even if they are not intending on being hurtful.  It also showcases the people who are left behind.  Who are wounded by the actions of the person who committed suicide.  The immeasurable guilt that is left behind.  The permanence of such an act.

My depression started when I was about fifteen.  I honestly don't know what, if anything, triggered it or if I was just meant to feel that way.  Nothing I said or did felt right.  Despite being surrounded by friends and family who loved me I felt alone and sick.  It ebbed and waned but it stayed with me throughout most of my young adult life.  I spent a short amount of time in the mental ward when things quickly spiraled out of control and while now, I can look back on that time with a bit of humor, it was still a very dark time in my life.

One of the things I've noticed about blogging is the number of people who pour themselves out onto the screen.  People who feel the way I felt those years back.  I want so desperately to reach out and tell them that it does get better someday.  That maybe your pain doesn't disappear completely, but that there are always these rays of sunshine that pierce through the haze of pain and it's so worth it.  And for the most part, I do reach out.  But I wonder at times if it's enough.

Sometimes these type of books are hard for me to read.  Much like Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted I read this book in fits and starts.

Hannah's story escalates throughout the book.  At first you think she's just an over dramatic teen who put too much stock into what people said about her, but as her confessions go on tape after tape you are left to honestly evaluate what you would have done in her situation and you ache for the child she was who was made to make a decision that an adult would struggle with.

What do you think you would do?


Monday, September 26, 2011

home sweet home

Yay we're home!  We took a quick vacation down south to Carlsbad and Anaheim - no, we didn't go to Disneyland :(.  It's quite wonderful to be back home.  I'm uploading my pics and will have a much better post for everyone soon!  Have a fabulous Monday in the meantime!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

no more buckets for this boy!

My nephew Dominic has been taking skating lessons for awhile now to prepare him for his illustrious career in hockey.  My brother-in-law played in college and then went on to coach for awhile so it was always a given that Dominic would follow in Daddy's footsteps.

The first lesson set he had they give them Home Depot buckets to use to keep them propped up on the ice.  Supposedly, by then end of the set of lessons the kids graduated from buckets.  Dominic did not think this was a good idea and decided he would hold onto his buckets for awhile.  We got to see him skate on his last day of lessons and Emma got to skate with him for the last half hour.

Even holding onto the buckets he was fast!  Well, he's finally done with the buckets and even skates backwards!  He's 4, by the way.  I don't think I ever learned to skate backwards on ice.

So last week was his last lesson of the current session.  We went to see him and let Emma skate (she has not had lessons).  Now he's like Wayne Gretzky out there!
There he is!  No buckets!  Isn't he so cute in his little hockey helmet!?!

Here's Emma with her buckets.  She was pretty unsure at first, but then she got the hang of the buckets and had a good time trying to keep up with her cousin.

Chloe seemed to have fun just waving at them as they skated by.  She'll be out there soon enough!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

family fun night....oh yes it was

Emma's school held a Family Fun Night last week.  It's a little fundraiser for the 6th grade science camp.  They have some carnival style games, food, bakery goodies and other fun stuff.  I invited my niece and nephew and they brought my sister and my parents stopped by too.

They tried out some games.
 Emma is not a natural when it comes to holding a golf club, but she did get a hole in one!

Thanks to his rigorous hockey training Dominic is much better at holding the golf club.

Chloe decided against golf and showed us her mad sliding skills.  She was so proud of herself when my sister got there she ran over and said 'Mama!!  Watch me!!'

The carnival games lost their appeal for a brief time when they decided playing on the playground was a much better idea.

Afterwards we went over to Hanami for some sushi.  Dominic was worn out.
 But a good time was had by all!  And the school raised a little over $5,000 that night!  Pretty impressive when you think that for $5 you got 25 tickets and all the games took just one ticket.  Yay Science Camp!


Friday, September 23, 2011

things that made me happy this week

This week has been a pretty good week.  I've felt relatively good all week (thanks to the bijillions of medications I'm taking).  And I finally feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that the end of the tunnel isn't as far away as it felt last week!

These are some of the things that contributed to my yay week:

Ok so this wasn't necessarily a yay thing.  All of a sudden a nice little crack showed up on the screen of my iPhone.  When I say 'showed up' I mean to say mysteriously.  I didn't drop the phone or anything and the strangest part was that the crack was on the inside!  You couldn't feel the crack on the outside glass of the screen.  And where it was situated was directly over the phone icon in that corner making it very difficult to make calls (or choose the letter 'v' when playing Hanging with Friends with my sister).

So Ray called Apple and they said that any crack in the screen voided the warranty and it would cost somewhere around $250 to get a replacement phone.  BOOOOO.

We went over to the Apple store to get someone to take a look at it.  The guy looked at it and said it was a single line crack and was probably a manufacturer's defect (though he'd never seen anything like it) and replaced my phone for free!  Whew!

So here's my yay phone picture! crack!

After the discovery of the sugar free awesome Oreos I didn't really think anything would be as wonderful.  I was wrong.  I've been splurging on Skinny Cow products (which are delicious), but they still contain about 10-12 grams of sugar per serving.  We found these at the grocery store and they only have 3 grams.  I tried one out suspiciously, sure they would taste like iced milk or something horrid like that.  I was wrong.  They're rich and creamy and completely wonderful.  Yay chocolate fudge bars that won't spike my sugar!!

For some reason this week I've been especially infatuated with my Hermione book mark.  I love it.

I realllllly good after dinner glucose level!  Yay!

My friend recently joined up with Wildtree food products so being the awesome friend I am I went to the party, tasted some food and purchased said food.  Apparently, grapeseed oil is fabulous for you.  Even better than olive oil.  So I got some to try and used it for the first time the other night.  I used it on my steaks and to saute the spinach, mushrooms & green beans.  It was so good!  If you can find a Wildtree rep in your area you should tackle them and get some of this stuff.  They have a bunch of different infused oils too (like bacon!), but I really liked this Roasted Garlic one and felt like it would be the most versatile.

And last but not least, my favorite yay thing of the week.  Crystal Light's little drink packet thingys.  I started with Iced Tea with Lemon and enjoyed it.  I also got some Green Tea with Lemon and Honey and I liked it (though not as much as the Ice Tea with Lemon).  Then I tried the Orange one and really liked it so I thought I'd try some other fruit ones.  Today I got Strawberry, Fruit Punch, Pomegranate Lemonade & Pomegranate Cherry.  So far I've tried the Fruit Punch and LOVE IT.  I'm not a big drinker of the plain water.  I will drink it and do, but sometimes I just want something with flavor and since I really shouldn't be drinking soda or fruit juice these are the perfect subs for me.

So there you have it!  Stuff that's made this week a little more sunshiney for me!  Is there anything that's brightened your week??


Thursday, September 22, 2011

ten day challenge, day ten!

I did it!  It's day 10!  Woo Hoo!

Now if you missed the other nine days, never fear!  You can go back and read them here:

And today's?  One photo of yourself.  Ugh.

Since some friends who live out of town have been asking me to please post a picture of my giant belly all you lucky people get to see the monstrosity.

I think I should take a picture of it from my perspective.  I swear it photographs much smaller than it is in real life.

So that's all she wrote about that folks!  I finished my 10 Day Challenge.  Now what?  You ask?  I have no idea!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ten day challenge, day nine

Ten secrets, nine loves, eight fears, seven wants, six places, five foods, four books, three films, two songs and one photo of yourself.

Almost done!  Today's challenge is picking two songs.  Two!?  Whoa.  So these are songs that I'm obsessed with right now.  I couldn't possibly pick my all time favorite two songs.  That would just end up being Dave Matthews Band songs or I would spend hours here trying to decide....

1.  I discovered Meghan Tonjes on You Tube one day whilst perusing around.  Eventually, when it came out, I bought her CD and love every single song on it.  She's one of those who literally got her start by uploading video after video of herself singing on You Tube and it certainly paid off.  She's got a fantastic voice and writes some great songs.  This one is my favorite off her CD Be In Want called The End.

2.  I was sad when Blink 182 went off into the sunset.  I loved them.  I tried watching Travis's MTV show with his then-wife (can't remember her name), but he's not my favorite.  I listened to Angels & Airwaves and +44, but it wasn't quite the same.  I love Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge is just okay without him.  When I heard their new song Up All Night I died.  And now I am anxiously awaiting the release of their new CD Neighborhoods (it comes out in a week!!)  Since I refuse to buy the single I just listen to it on You Tube pretty much all the time.

Only one more day to go!! 


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ten day challenge, day eight

Let's just jump right into it, shall we?  Three movies.  These are probably not your favorite movies!  I have weird taste in movies I think.  Now, I've already briefly discussed these movies way back in the day so if you're a regular reader of the blog sorry for the repeat!

1.  Dream for an Insomniac.  Sounds silly, but this movie literally changed my life.  I was living in Texas where my ex-husband (before he was the ex) was attending his A-School for the Navy.  I watched this movie 100 times.  I was Frankie.  Literally, everything that came out of her mouth I could relate to.  The way her friends saw her, well, that was me.  To top it off she was an insomniac and guess what??  So was I!  But it was the line 'Anything less than mad, passionate, extraordinary love is a waste of your time.  There are too many mediocre things in life to deal with and love shouldn't be one of them.'  Here I was living in this horribly run down pay-by-the-week motel in a town where I knew no one, basically all by myself to be closer to a man that I just didn't love anymore, if ever.  When I thought about those words I realized that I was wasting my life away, living for someone else and I just wasn't going to do that anymore.  So I didn't.  And I made the best decision I've made in all my life.  And I'm sure that at some point I would have come to that conclusion myself, but hearing those words on my little tiny motel TV just made it happen sooner.

2.  Another dialogue centric movie.  Kevin Smith's third movie and the third in the Jersey series, part of the View Askewniverse.  Chasing Amy is probably my favorite Kevin Smith movie maybe tied with Mallrats.  I love Alyssa's reasoning for being bi-sexual and Silent Bob's Chasing Amy's story.  Where Mallrats was pretty much hilarious all the time, Chasing Amy has moments of poignancy that seemed to resonate with me.  And just like the other two in this list I could, and have, watch this movie over and over again.

3.  A Place in the Sun was the first black and white movie that I watched of my own choosing.  I stayed home sick from school on day and Channel 36 was showing classic movies.  This one started and I just didn't get up off the couch to change the channel (we didn't have a remote control).  But I was quickly engrossed in the movie.  The plot was suspenseful and full of irony, but more than that Elizabeth Taylor at 19 years old, was flawlessly beautiful.  I spent years trying to figure out what this movie was called (again, beside not having a remote there also was no  It definitely jump started my love for the classics and though I've not seen too many Elizabeth Taylor or Montgomery Clift movies the black and whites will always be among my favorites.

If you missed the first seven days and are curious about them you can find those:


Monday, September 19, 2011

ten day challenge, day seven

Day seven!  Who could have predicted I'd get this far??  Ten secrets, nine loves, eight fears, seven wants, six places, five foods, four books, three films, two songs and one photo of yourself.

Now, this one might be a hard one because how can I narrow down the number of books that I've loved down to a paltry four???  Well, here's my best attempt!  I'm going to try to name books that I haven't blogged about before so please don't yell at me for not including Twilight or Harry Potter.  You know I love those books already!

1.  What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg.  I read this at least ten years ago and it was the first time that I fell in love with prose in book.  It was the first time that imagery in a book captivated me.  It was the first book I read by Elizabeth Berg and honestly, I don't know what made me pick up this book, but after reading it I picked up more and read several more of her books and loved all of them.

2.  This is more of a love of this series.  There are five books in this series; The Camel Club, The Collectors, Stone Cold, Divine Justice & Hell's Corner.  The series follows a strange group of friends led by a man who calls himself Oliver Stone.  The Camel Club is what they call their group in which they record and discuss the strange things they see happening around the White House.  Their 'job' is to examine the conspiracy theories they hear and decide if they're worth attention.  Of course, nothing about them is official and no one would really take them seriously until they discovery a theory that is more conspiracy than theory.  Oliver is one of the best bad ass characters in literature today.  He's up there with Jack Reacher, but almost better because you only get to learn bits of his life book by book.

3.  The title says it all.  Intensity by Dean Koontz was ridiculously intense. There was a so-so TV movie based on the book, but really, you must read the book.  Chyna is visiting her college friend's family for the holidays in Napa.  Sometime during the night she's awakened by strange, ominous noises and discovers her friend's family brutally murdered.  She hides from the intruder (who has no idea she's there) until she realizes her friend is still alive and the murderer is going to take her with him.  Determined to save her friend she begins a harrowing journey chasing after a madman.

4.  I accidentally read this book before its predecessor Women of the Silk.  Gail Tsukiyama is half Japanese, half Chinese and has written several books that follow either Japanese of Chinese characters.  The Language of Threads takes place before and during Japan's occupation of Hong Kong in the 1930's.  I never knew the history of Japan and China during the war.  I was always focused on the U.S.'s history of Japan and Japanese Americans so reading about the things that Japan had done in China was quite eye opening.  But beyond the history lesson The Language of Threads was rife with Pei's loyalty and true honor despite the hardships she must endure to take care of the people who, though not blood relatives, are the truest of family to her.

Yep, that was hard.  Maybe someday I'll do my list of all the books I've ever loved.  That would be an epic post!

Stay tuned for the last few days of the Ten Day Challenge!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

ten day challenge, day six

Still working on the ten day challenge.  Now we're at day six, which is five foods.  This should be both super easy and ridiculously difficult!

1.  Sushi.  I love my sushi.  Always have, always will.  Japanese food in general is comfort food to me.  I grew up with.

2.  Italian food.  Tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, pasta...what could be better than that??

3.  There's a Thai restaurant here in Morgan Hill called Siam Thai.  He makes a marinated steak called The Crying Tiger.  They don't always have it, it's best to call ahead to see if they're serving it that day and if they are you need to run over there and order at least one.  IT IS SO GOOD.  I also love their panang seafood.  I'll pretty much eat anything in coconut curry.

4.  I'm a big fan of pretty much anything that has lemon in it.  Savory or sweet I love it.

5.  My ultimate favorite restaurant is La Fondue.  I love the combination of cheese, red meat and chocolate.  Just talking about it makes me hungry.  Maybe I can convince Ray to go again before the baby gets here....

If you missed the last ones...
6 places

Happy Comment Love Day Everyone!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

ten day challenge, day five

We've made it to day five!  So exciting, right?  Right.  Anyhoo....we're down ten secrets, nine loves, eight fears, seven wants.  Today is six places.  Since there's no real rules I'm going to do a mix of my favorite places I have been and places I would like to go.

1.  My first favorite place, of course is Disneyland (and California Adventure).  I think we've already discussed this so I won't blather on.

2.  Someday I'd like to go to Japan.  I've always wanted to and then a couple of years ago I read Japanland by Karin Muller and I really wanted to go and see even just a portion of what she saw.

3.  Of course, what kind of Twilight fan would I be if I didn't trek out to Forks, WA someday? 
4.  Someday, when the kiddies are a bit older I want to go to Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida.  Mostly, to Disney World and the Harry Potter world.  Even Emma who hasn't seen the movies or read the books yet wants to go to HP world!

5.  I loved going to Arizona.  Yes, it's hot and no, it doesn't matter if it's a dry heat.  It's still freaking hot.  But I have the best memories from my visits there and so much was so beautiful and I saw such a small part of the state.  

6.  Going to Tahoe with my parents, sister & her family and my brother and whoever else can come along is one of my favorite vacations.  We usually go every other summer, but we skipped this year.  I'm not a gambler, but sometimes it's fun to play the penny slots.  I like going and renting the water bicycles and zipping around the lake, hanging out at the condo and getting massages at the spa.  Mostly, I just like being there with the fam.

Emma & Ji-Chan going for a hike in 2009


Friday, September 16, 2011

ten day challenge, day four

Onto day four!  So far we've done ten secrets, nine loves and eight fears.  Today is seven wants!  Let's see how this one goes...and I'm warning you right now, it's just going to read like a wish list.

1.   Lenses.  I want all kinds of lenses for my Nikon.  I want a 50mm, 40mm & an 85mm.  And that's just to start out with.  I'm debating on whether or not I want to get some lenses for the Canon film SLR, but I think I'll wait on those.

2.  I want all of the Harry Potter LEGO sets.  I want my own little Harry Potter world on my shelves.

3.  I know it'll probably be a waste, but I really, really want this Zoku Quick Pop Maker.  There's also a kit that you can get to make faces on the pops!

4.  Of course, I must have a Fuji Wide Format Instant Camera.  I used to have a couple of polaroid cameras but who knows what happened to those over the years.  Now I'd like to get some instant pictures going!

5.  I want a bigger bathtub.  I love taking baths, but our bathtub is really shallow.  It's quite strange.  And annoying.
6.  I reeeeeally want this bike bag for my bike.  Preferably two of them, but they're on the pricey side.  But they would be so very helpful someday when I decide to go grocery shopping on my bike, right?

7.  I want to go eat at La Fondue again!!  Soon!


Disqus for know-it-not-so-much