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I Love…

3 yrs 6 months, Nessness

  • The quirky things she says that reveal her personality a little more, like “this is my hand, you don’t move it for me”
  • When she expresses appreciation without being prompted, like “Mommy, thank you for making scrambled eggs today”
  • Her laugh when we have a tickle fight
  • Her love for places like Costco and Ikea
  • The way her eyes and face light up when she’s excited about something. I hope she will always find things in life to be excited over.
  • When she entertains Obi-Wan and they are laughing together. I hope they will always be good friends to each other.
  • When she says, “Mommy give me a hug!”
  • How she offers to kiss my or daddy’s owies better and pray for us
  • Her eagerness to have a turn at saying Grace at mealtimes
  • Watching her run and scream to the door when Baba comes home from work
  • Looking at “Where’s Waldo” books together. She notices interesting things as she searches for the different people or objects.
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I Love…

15 months, Obiwan
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  • that he still smells sweet (I hear little boys get stinky eventually)
  • when he rests his head on my shoulders
  • the way he reaches for my hand or arm in order to hug it, or grabs my shirt to pull his face into it
  • his developing sense of compassion. He’ll cry if his sister cries and will go try to hug her.
  • that he’s so chill
  • how he gets hangry and yells for more food, faster during meal times
  • his determination. If he’s set his eyes on something, I can’t distract him from it easily
  • the way he walks like a little drunk man, teetering, stumbling and recovering
  • his big smiles with all eight teeth showing
  • his hearty laughs
  • how he giggles when he farts and says “booot” (boy thing?)
  • how his early vocabulary is so different from his sister’s. First words are “boh boh” (ball), mama, baba, booot (when he farts)
  • the way he pats his own chest when he coughs or chokes on something
  • how he points to himself when we ask “who is Ji Man?” (his Chinese name)….and how he also points to himself when we ask “who is mama?”…and how he points to his mouth when we ask where is nose is. We’re working on it.
  • how he run/waddles and lauches into my arms
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If I have to do this one more time…

  • Sweeping the floor
  • Doing dishes
  • Laundry
  • Figuring out the next meal, right after the current meal is eaten
  • Answering Nessness’ endless “why?” questions
  • Keeping the living room rug visible
  • Wiping sticky faces/hands/chairs/toys/tables/floors

And I DO have to do it one more time…every day. To not do these things would make my surroundings too chaotic for me to be sane in. Alas we can’t afford to outsource these tasks yet. It’ll take a few more years before the kids can do it themselves too. So, I must just KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON…ONE MORE TIME.

What’s on your list of never ending things to do?

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Got my answer

I was mulling and wrestling with whether or not to go back to work. Last Friday, I received my answer. From the end of March until last week I hadn’t received any sort of reply from my manager, director or the HR coordinator for my department. And then I received an email to phone in regarding my employment at the Company. It felt ominous.

Well, in short, I got laid off. In part because policy changes no longer allow for remote workers, and because there really wasn’t much left for me to do. Even before going on this mat leave, 85% of my work was getting automated. Which is why I asked for part time, but I guess it’s cheaper to give the little I had left to someone already there.

It feels…..weird…for lack of a better word, to have this decision made for me. As I mull over it however, I realize it’s a gracious answer to prayer. It’s a clear answer. And, because this comes with a severance package, I’m getting much more than I would’ve if I made a decision to resign. It’s bittersweet though. Last Friday was also my 12th work anniversary date with the Company. I even received a card congratulating me on my years of service from the CIO. Haha. I’ve come full circle. Twelve years is a good run.

What’s next? Not sure yet. It’s a whole new chapter.

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Dang it Graves. Hello again.

I’m almost 10.5 months postpartum, my cycle is back and I thought I’d check on the thyroid since my body is nearing pre-pregnancy normal. Well, the TSH levels tell me I’m hyperthyroid again. D@mn. I’m not feeling symptomatic yet, so perhaps it’s still early stages of relapse. Some symptoms I’d feel when full blown hyperthyroid include:

  • shortness of breath such that singing or conversation leaves me gasping for air
  • fast resting heart rate, above 90 bpm, and I can hear it pulsing in my head all day long
  • muscle weakness in arms and legs
  • rapid weight loss, like 14 lbs in a couple weeks
  • incredible hunger towards meal/snack times and a voracious appetite (I can out eat my husband)
  • trembling hands
  • insomnia

I still feel strongly about trying to manage this as naturally as possible (read: No radioactive iodine to permanently disable my thyroid). This hyperthyroid condition is a symptom of an autoimmune issue. While some treatment to manage the symptom may be necessary, the main focus is supporting and improving my immune system. When I had relapsed after having Nessness, my naturopath advised three main things to do to best support my immune system:

  1. Avoid dairy and wheat products (in addition to just eating less processed foods). These two things probably cause the most immune/inflammatory issues for most. While I don’t have anything that western medicine calls allergies, or even intolerance, to either of them, I know I develop dry itchy patches on my body when I start to regularly eat dairy (namely cheese and ice cream in my case).
  2. Sleep before 11pm and get at least 8 hours of sleep. Why the timing is important is because the body naturally starts to detox the liver from 11pm to 3am, so for immune support, my body best be resting and allowing this detoxification to happen. I count myself blessed that I can get 8hrs of sleep usually, but getting those hours starting at 11pm is HARD. As I type it’s already 1am.
  3. Exercise daily. For it to count I need elevated heart rate and be starting to break a sweat. Vacuuming or mopping will almost do this for me. This is probably the hardest item for me because I’m not naturally active and it’s hard enough to get downtime much less find time (and energy) to exert myself on purpose. This is important however because physical exertion gives stress a way out of the body.

I bet anyone who does these three things regularly will enjoy improved health. But it’s. So. Hard. To. Do. But I will try. And I will try hard before losing an organ (to RAI). I appreciate all prayers and positive thoughts! Thanks Friends.

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To work or not to work?

That is the question.

My first day back should be July 4th….American Independence Day. Not sure if that’s a sign I should actually break free from the yoke of employment (and daycare drop off/pick up schedules) to be the primary influencer and educator to my young children in these highly formative years.

Why do I want to go back?

For the pay…to maintain our comfort. Except after paying for childcare, I’d be netting what we spend on food each month. And we’d likely have to find two day cares since the only one near us that takes both Nessness and Obiwan’s age groups already told me before Obiwan was born that there’s no chance he’d get a spot. That’s TWO drop offs and pick ups to coordinate. So I’d be paying a lot of late fees. I bet someone will always be sick as well. I guess there isn’t a lot of comfort in that sense. Plus in the 12 hours that the children will be awake, I’d only see them for three of them. An hour and a half would be used in meals. Thirty minutes in driving. Leaving one hour of real “together time”. The thought makes me sad.

And also for the “work from home” job. It’s been a god-send and a very enviable position to have. Short of having a home business, it’s not likely I’ll find something like this again. But going back to work so I can say I work from home isn’t exactly logical either.

Then Ms PR sent me this article on “Ten bad reasons to get a job” and well, I don’t really have a reason to go back to work. If I found my job thoroughly fulfilling and enjoyable then I can justify returning…but that’s not my case…so why is it so hard to decide? Even though the author gives me permission not to work, there remains a nagging voice that a modern, university-educated woman like myself should continue to work. Am I just waiting for my husband to affirm my inclination to dedicate this time to raising our kids?

Meanwhile, I talked to my manager and requested returning on a part time basis. Historically no one’s gotten this before. He said he’ll take it to the Director and HR. Will see what happens. And I will cross that final work/no work bridge when I get there.

Did you go back to work? Why/why not?

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Nursing top hack

Maternity clothing stores make a killing. And your choices are limited. I never like to buy something I can only use for one season unless I really need it. I only bought 5 pregnancy tops (on sale) for my two pregnancies. Thyme Maternity sells nursing tops for $35+ and I thought I found a deal on Amazon for $18-$24 until I realized I can hack my own using clothes I already have.

If you use the nursing bras that have the front clips, as opposed to the pull-aside kinds, then you take any spaghetti strap tank top, pull it down to your belly without putting your arms through the straps, then loop the straps around the part of the bra that unclips, throw whatever shirt you want on top and Voila! nursing top! You can lift your shirt to feed without exposing your midsection to drafts or stares. And in my case, my tank is now long enough to hide how I still can’t button some of my pre-pregnancy pants, resorting to the elastic band trick or a belt to hold my unzippered pants up.

What other clothing hacks have you tried?