Saturday, March 31, 2007

Two and a Baby

So last night was the first night in a LONG time that Mike and I got to enjoy a nice, quaint dinner out by ourselves. And I have to admit, it was nice to sit through dinner having adult conversation without worrying about sippy cups flying in the air. A couple of hours without the baby was refreshing, even got to take a nice little stroll downtown filled with college kids killing time on a Friday night and even just for a couple of minutes, I almost felt like one of them again -- where hanging out at the bookstore sipping mocca lattes is cool and sneaking a kiss or two in the parking lot feels unruly and exciting.

But those "date nights" are few and far inbetween. Most of the time, it's us three musketeers.

Eating out has become such a challenge lately. Before we even contemplate going to a restaurant with Ethan, we have to run down the checklist --it's almost like preparing for a battle. Sippy cups, check! Extra toys and books, check! Extra snacks, check! Extra pacifiers, check! Whole lot of patience, *sigh* check.....

Depending on his mood, the coloring books and crayons entertain him for a good 5 minutes or so until he realizes they don't taste all that good. We've learned that ordering an appetizer is best, because his patience never quite stretches until our main dishes are served. The downside to that is by the time our dishes come, he had already finished his dinner and wants to get out of the high chair and say hello to everyone who would remotely pay attention. Such a politician. Now, I know my son is uber cute..... but I'm sure there are people who just don't want to be bothered in the middle of their meal by a little person uninvitedly peaking to their booth. Luckily, everyone's been polite so far... even the times when Ethan threw his little temper tantrums.

Best appetizer in the world? Mozzarella sticks!!!!! They're solid enough not to crumble in Ethan's little fingers... and the cheese actually keeps him busy for a while.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Cool Like Mom

Last Sunday, we decided to check out the Tamarack Outlets south of where we live which was about a good hour drive through the mountains... only to find out that West Virginia's version of an "outlet" isn't exactly what we had in mind. We're used to the outlet malls in California where mainstream stores like Nike or Gap pile their last season's overflow or rejects for deep discounts -- instead, we found ourselves looking at Blenko glass and coffee tables made out of fish bones (which, pardon my ignorance, must be an intricate process since they were selling tables for a whopping $5,000 -- either that or the species they harvested the bones from are close to extinction). In any case, we ended up just having a nice, hefty lunch at Logans and headed back.

The highlight of our trip was seeing Ethan sport my shades at Logan's sidewalk...

Yes, dear, you look REALLY cool in mommy's shades.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Day at the Park

Ethan's feeling a little better (thank God)... and when the sun finally came out this afternoon, it would've been a shameful waste to spend it indoors. So we hurried down to the nearby park -- where they were also having the Annual Civil War Re-enactment. We missed the re-enactment by a couple of minutes... but we hung around for a while at the playground and walked around to look at the "camps".

Naturally, history was a little outshined by the huge playground, and Ethan cared more about getting chased through the tubes than anything else.

and going down the slides...

He even got to watch some ducks.

But his MOST favorite part of going to the park...

is he could run around as much as he can until he gets tired!

Swim Baby Swim

I know it's a little late, but I haven't gotten around to loading any videos until now. This was Ethan's first encounter with the pool about three weeks ago. The "lessons" were postponed because of some swim meet but is due to resume next Sunday... we can't wait! The boy's a natural!

Life comes at you fast

There are many misconceptions that people embrace, especially when it comes to new marriages. It's easy to get caught up in thinking things should automatically be a certain way when two people are in love. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work like that. Sure we had other plans as a couple... wait to have a baby, perhaps travel the world, settle with six-figure careers. But I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that God would not give us something we can't bear... so when we were blessed to have Ethan, I knew that we were meant to be a family.

Having a baby during the first year of marriage has been tough. Our attention had been so focused on becoming the best parents we could be, that we've somehow lost sight on becoming the best couple we could be. Don't get me wrong. Despite the mommy/daddy duties, we still manage to have great times, but more often they are short-lived. I guess life has a way of interrupting those serene and special times. Mostly, we deal with these facts and simply look forward to the next beautiful moment, while dealing with demands that come our way. After all, life would be boring if we lived the same monotonous drill all the time, right? If there's anything that I've learned, happily ever after is not a destination. It's a journey, a work in progress. Hitting a few bumps is normal... it's how we overcome those bumps together that defines us as a couple.

I ran into this article: 10 Tips for a Happy Marriage and thought I would share. Although I find it ironic that the author who wrote this has since gotten a divorce, I still found it useful to revisit.

1.Instead of trying to change something, he or she does - change you! Far too often, people get married with the belief they can simply change the person they married, molding him or her into the "perfect" mate. Instead, you need to accept your mate for the person he/she is. If a behavior needs to be changed, then provide support and encouragement. For example, if your husband complains about not having clean clothes, rather than nag at him, show him how to launder his shirts, jeans, or whatever it is he needs.

2.Communication is a key ingredient to any successful marriage. That means talking through situations rather than bottling up or yelling. By showing respect, you can work together as a couple should. With this, the two of you can talk to understand the other person's side better.

3.Keep intimacy as a part of the marriage. Remember, this person is the one you love, the one you want to share your life with, which means letting go of inhibitions. Intimacy is an excellent way to stay close, doing wonders for any marriage.

4.Accept the flaws in your spouse. Since no one is perfect, you want to learn to appreciate the differences between the two of you. If your husband wakes up with bad hair or your wife is grumpy, love him/her, in spite of the flaws.

5.Learn to ignore the small stuff. Every marriage faces challenges, some big and some small. Remind yourself that life is precious and short. Therefore, focus on the larger battles, working through them as a team while letting go of the incidentals that in the big scheme of things does not matter.

6.Make sure you choose your battles wisely. If you are going to pick something apart, make sure it really matters. Unfortunately, unresolved arguments are a big issue in marriages, often leading to divorce. Therefore, unless the issue is something significant, learn to let some things roll off your back.

7.Time for friends is also crucial. Once every other week, you should both take one day or evening to spend time apart and with same-sex friends. This will help you maintain your own identity and appreciate the time you have with your spouse.

8.Never take your spouse for granted. Again, life is too precious. Instead, find things that your partner does well or things that please you and let him/her know. If your husband is outside working on the car, take time to bring him a cold glass of tea or lemonade...just because. If your wife has been home all day with the children, hire a babysitter and surprise her with a dinner out.

9.Date...just because you are now legally married, you should not stop dating. Every Friday or Saturday night, even if you have children, make a date. This could be something as simple as bowling and beer or a romantic dinner and concert. The activity is not important, just that you get time for just the two of you.

10.Be forgiving with your partner. You will be faced with tough times and you have a choice of forgiving him/her when a mistake happens or carrying it in the marriage. Obviously, if you do not forgive, the marriage will suffer. Therefore, if resolution is found, swallow your pride and forgive your mate, letting the new day be another beginning.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Hot, Hot, Hot what Ethan felt like all night and most of today. He woke up at 2 in the morning screaming and who could blame him? He was burning up with a fever of 101. He was due for a follow-up this afternoon for the congestion in his lungs (which has eased up some from the breathing treatments), but we ended up going earlier than expected because his fever wouldn't let up after a couple doses of Tylenol. Turns out he has another nasty ear infection, so he's --- yet again --- on another antibiotic, and we're supposed to bring him back next week if he doesn't get any better.

Poor thing has slept all day today... and the short times that he was awake, we spent practically forcing him to drink some pedialyte so he won't get too dehydrated.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Birthday Party

Is this the most FABULOUS 1st birthday cake you have ever seen or what? I can just imagine what this girl's wedding cake's going to be! Then again, I could be partial to the pink... This weekend was Sophie's 1st birthday party, which Ethan was graciously invited to. (Kim, you did an awesome job!)

Here's the birthday girl trying on her presents.. only for about a minute (*sigh* kids and their short attention spans) then she decided she was DONE opening presents and wanted to move on to more exciting things.

UNTIL, of course, she realized that Ethan had relieved her position on Kim's lap and had gladly taken over the gift-opening duties... then she wanted the job back!! Poor Sophie was jealous!

The kids had a great time... Ethan especially loved playing with the girls. Too bad we had to jet early since we were expecting our new couches (I'll post photos of those soon). It's a shame we missed the cake but I bet it tasted as fabulous as it looked!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Australians, Nebulizers and My Little Leprechaun

There's nothing worse than not being able to understand exactly what's wrong or where it hurts when Ethan's sick. I like to think that I'm "in tune" and know all the symptoms for every little thing... but truth is, I haven't got a clue. His ears started draining 2 weeks ago, so gave him the ear drops the ear specialist prescribed. Then a day or two after that cleared up, he started to cough. When it didn't let off after a couple of days of over-the-counter meds, I took him to the doctor and they put him antibiotics. Turns out the congestion in his lungs need a little more umph* so the second time around, so they put him on steroids for a couple of days and then sent us home with a machine -- or the neb, as they call it.

Really, it's this obnoxiously loud, tiny little box that blows a mist of medication through a tube and a mask that I'm supposed to keep on Ethan's face for at least 10 minutes three times a day -- the same Ethan that can't sit still for 3 seconds. EXCEPT (I found out over the weekend) for when the Wiggles are on, then he'd willingly sit still for at least 30 seconds at a time (hey, I'll take what I can get). Imagine that... four men in their forties dancing in pastel-colored shirts singing with pirates with Australian accents have become my saving grace when it comes to giving Ethan his breathing treatments. Of course, the night treatments are harder since the Disney executives feel that the Wiggles should only come on during the day... in which case, we've found that Ethan doesn't respond very well to the mask if Law and Order is on.

Either way... he's only supposed to be on it for a week and his follow-up appointment is on Friday where I'm sure we'll find out if we have to start recording the guys from down under.

Oh and is it too late to say Happy St. Patrick's day? :) SADLY, these are the only St. Patrick photos I have of Ethan (taken at the checkout aisle at Walmart, lol). Promise I'll try to do better next year.. :)

Never Marry But For Love

Never Marry But For Love
By William Penn

Never marry but for love;
but see that thou lovest what is lovely.
He that minds a body and not a soul
has not the better part of that relationship,
and will consequently lack
the noblest comfort of a married life.

Between a man and his wife nothing ought rule but love.
As love ought to bring them together, so it is the best way
to keep them well together.

A husband and wife that love one another
show their children that they should do so too.
Others visibly lose their authority in their families by
their contempt of one another, and teach their children to be
unnatural by their own examples.

Let not enjoyment lessen, but augment, affection;
it being the basest of passions to like
when we have not, what we slight when we possess.

Here it is we ought to search out our pleasure,
where the field is large and full of variety,
and of an enduring nature; sickness,
poverty or disgrace being not able to
shake it because it is not under
the moving influences of worldly contingencies.

Nothing can be more entire and without reserve;
nothing more zealous, affectionate and sincere;
nothing more contented than such a couple,
nor greater temporal felicity
than to be one of them.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Dear Mother Nature,

This "rain first thing in the morning" is really wreaking havoc with my Friday morning. I'm just saying. It's a little hard trying to strap a one-year-old in the backseat while the half of my back that is unfortunately uncovered is getting drenched... and then unstrapping him again only to carry him running in my heeled boots to the door while trying not to trip from the puddles you've ingeniously created. Not to mention, I have to walk 2 blocks from the parking garage to my building with my teeny little umbrella from the dollar store (it was the only one I could find this morning in a rush since you seemed to have forgotten to leave me note last night warning me about the rain).

You may not know this, but my life can get pretty busy during the work week. I have to get out of the house by 730 in the morning to take Ethan to daycare and I work from 830 to 430 in the afternoon. Then, it takes me about an hour and a half to pick Ethan up and fight with traffic to get home. I usually try to start on dinner by 7-8pm, so that only really leaves me a tiny window of opportunity to play with Ethan and I would much rather do that outside because that's what he loves to do. But we haven't been able to do that because....... well, because of you!

I understand that this could be a very busy time of the year for you, but I was wondering if you could refrain from doing that afternoon thunderstorm deluge thing you love to do in the springtime during my little window of opportunity? Not that I mind the rain, that feels kind of nice especially on the weekends when we could sleep in, but the lightning! Could you cut us a little break on that too, if it's not too much to ask?

On the flipside, I can't wait until everything is green and colorful again.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Preview to Spring

We have been graced by some t-shirt weather recently so we, too, are trying to take advantage by getting some playtime outside! Ethan LOVES LOVES LOVES the outdoors. He would much rather run around outside and pick up rocks and acorns than play inside with his million dollar Fisher Price toys. I couldn't get out of work a little early today but we did get to enjoy some sun before it finally set this afternoon.

Daddy even got to take his spanking new bike trailer out of the box that mommy got him for Christmas! Him and Ethan went for a short ride and you could tell by the time they came back, that Ethan was pooped. [We're hoping for a long uninterupted sleep tonight...]

Too bad the forecasts are calling for rain the next few days and then the temperature's supposed to come back down to the 40s over the weekend. Grrrrrr... is it Spring yet????

Sunday, March 11, 2007


So I've been on a hunt for a particular foyer table to put in a corner as you walk in our front door... I've searched high and low... and have been unsuccessful. On a last ditch effort, we went to the flea market this afternoon in high hopes. Still came up empty, but I did run into some very interesting stuff. I tell you what, flea markets in West Virginia are NOTHING like flea markets in California.

As a matter of fact, I'm not sure where else in this country would you find oversized underwear meant to be for wall decoration (or at least that's what Mike and I thought they were). Where exactly would one hang something like this? I mean, it doesn't exactly go with any motif... unless you have lamp shades made out of bra cups.

[Pink underwear reads "It's not how deep you fish but how you wiggle your worm." and red underwear reads "I'm retired. This is as dressed up as I get."]

I apologize now if this image causes some disturbing reaction (physically and psychologically) but I find it really baffling that someone will actually pay $19.99 to hang this anywhere!!!! And I thought the singing bass was ridiculous!

On that note, this is my Photo Challenge for Day 3... also taken at the flea market.

Bumps and Bruises Galore!

The past few days, it seems like everytime I turn around, Ethan's sporting a new shiner or scratch or bump.

Yesterday, he was running around the living room and tripped over his own feet and landed face-first on the side of the couch. It took the bruise but 2 seconds to well up, and he looked like he'd been in a fight. Then this morning, he woke up from a nap with a HUGE scratch that lined from his left eye almost to his ear. He took a nap in his crib which had nothing remotely close to being "dangerous" and the only logical explanation is that he had somehow taken his shoe off, and the mark must've come from the velcro. And don't even ask me where that red mark from his nose and another scratch on his forehead come from.

Ah, the joys of being a mom of a VERY busy, VERY curious, VERY active little boy.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Photo Challenge: Day 2

Ok, I didn't say I wasn't going to post ANY photos of Ethan for the challenge! :)

Daddy finally came home today, so needless to say, Ethan was anxious to play. It took me a while to get a good shot of him holding the ball because he just wanted to run around and throw it around so badly... imagine that. It was too cute, I decided to make it my Day 2 shot.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I See You!

Ethan's got a new bestfriend, "Puppy". Actually, he's been reunited with an old friend. He found him a couple of days ago digging through a mound of abandoned toys while on expedition on the far corner of his room. Since then, they've been attached to the hip. I usually don't mind... I bought him after all. Puppy teaches ABC's, 123's, body parts, and sings 10 different nursery rhymes that Ethan loves to dance and sing along to. It's a great learning toy...

...except during the times when mommy forgets to turn the little switch behind Puppy off... and it goes off in the middle of the night (without anyone touching it) screaming "I see you!" and "You're my friend!". Um, it's freaky. It reminds me of that movie where the toys come alive in the middle of the night and starts killing people.

Those are the times that I wish I had hidden it better.

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30 Day Photo Challenge

I've accepted a very ambitious challenge to take a photo a day for the next month. I'm a little late since the challenge started at the beginning of March but I'll give it a shot anyway. You're probably thinking, that shouldn't be too hard, you probably take photos everyday. Well... not exactly. Not as much as I want to anyway. I mean I do take a lot of photos of Ethan, but not much of anything else. I used to bring my camera with me to work everyday, but I was afraid I would leave it or it might get damaged so I stopped for a while. Although I ought to start bringing it again, since the weather seems to be getting warmer and I could go and get some shots during my breaks.

But I digress. The rules are simple (in case any of you want to join along):

- Take a picture every day for the month of March (or another month if you want to participate later in the year)

- Tag each image with " 30dayphoto "

- Then post that image to this group so we can all see your work.

- If you like, please also include in your Flickr notes some information about the creation of your image. Let us all learn from your cool pictures.

On that note, this is my photo for today: Day 1

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Night Night

Since Mike's been out of town, Ethan's been sleeping in our bed with me. What can I say... I hate to sleep alone when I don't have to. Mike says I shouldn't let him do that since his sleep routine gets all out of whack, but I beg to differ. He gets back into his own bed when daddy gets back... it's like he knows that he's just keeping me company -- even if it means kicking mommy in the spleen at 2am. Besides, I like snuggling with the little fella... I really ought to do it more often before he gets any bigger! On that note... I'm off to bed. And I leave you with this.....

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Electronic Leash

I did something incredibly stupid over the weekend. I thought it'd be a good idea to clean my car (way overdue anyway). So I was trying to grab a handful of garbage from the backseat -- which was a disgusting mixture of fastfood paperbags, toy wrappers, junk mail, abandoned sippy cups and missing pacifiers -- and then I tossed it all over to the trashcan (that had at least an inch of water from the rainstorm the day before) and didn't realize I had my cellphone in the same hand.

After much sterilizing and "quick fix" with the blowdryer (which I probably just made worse by frying a circuit somewhere), my cellphone gave up on me. So for TWO days, I had to live without it...... two stinking days, and I thought I was going to die.

On Sunday, I had to take Mike to the airport (which is half an hour away from home) only to get home and find out that I had to drive all the way back to pick him up because he had missed his flight and wasn't leaving for another 7 hours. That's 60 miles wasted on my gastank that could've been saved had I had my cellphone. And this morning, I was stuck in traffic for an hour because of several accidents on the highway and I couldn't call work to let them know I'm going to be late because I didn't have my cellphone. Not to mention I don't like to go anywhere with Ethan without it, in case something were to happen and I needed to call for help.

I hadn't realized I was so dependent on it. Sure I was going berserk because of all those things mentioned above.... but really, deep inside, I was mad because I felt robbed without my camera phone. That camera phone can go where my digital camera can't and some of the most adorable photos, I have to say, were taken at the most unopportuned time with that little 1.3MP.

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But the world is right again... I got my replacement phone today and I am a satisfied woman. :)

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I don't know what it was about today... Ethan spent half the time either without a shirt on or just in his diapers. He ate naked, played naked, even read naked -- I'm pretty sure he'd run around buck naked all day long if we let him, but Mike's too afraid Ethan would leave us little presents around the house. I just think he gets it from his dad.....

A New Obsession

So I've been toying around with this whole idea of digital scrapbooking for a while. I've always felt guilty jumping into it because I haven't even started Ethan's baby scrapbook that I want to make for his first year. I'm horrible, I know. I have all the pieces together, I just haven't had a chance to lay everything out the way I want them to.

Last night, I got a really bad creative itch and I initally entertained the idea of going outside to photograph the stormy skies. But it was too cold for this California girl, so instead I started perusing through the digital scrapbook pages I've downloaded within the past month and I came up with this.

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Last weekend, I was very fortunate to photograph little Miss Sophie for her 1st birthday. I felt *pink* last night so I used her as my inspiration for my first digital scrapbook page. Kim: In case you want this file, feel free to use it on your page :)

I have to admit, I've enjoyed putting this together that I'm pretty convinced after (if ever) I finish Ethan's first baby book, that it'd be easier to do digital scrapbooks than the traditional one. No more glue sticks or scattered paper scrap debris. It's really kind of addicting!

More to come!


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