|when you're a sophisticated lady like emmy, you expect the finer things in life: premium goldfish crackers, top-shelf whole milk lactaid and clean diapers. here's our week in review:|
monday: 2 pees, 1 poop w/pee
tuesday: 2 pees, 1 poop w/pee
today: 1 poop w/pee so far...
okay, so maybe that's a little tmi(!), but our laid-back approach to familiarizing ourselves with the potty seems to be working well. i know we need to jump to training pants to really get this underway, but i hadn't expected that we'd be doing so well so fast. perhaps this weekend... i even bought a pack of cool alert pull-ups last night in case i'm too lazy to keep up with the cotton ones...
oh, and just try to guess how many "oh my gawd, that lady is CRAZY" stares i got at playgroup this morning when the topic came up. there were also a couple of embarrassed "my kid is waaaay older and we don't even HAVE a potty" looks too. lol, i'm sure they think i'm pushing emmy too hard but seriously, she's doing this on her own! all i do is take her diaper off and help her climb on the seat, i swear!
I would like to introduce myself. My name is Fred Cross. I am a professor of genetics at the Rockefeller University, of Caucasian background, married to Elizabeth Kim, who arrived from Korea at the age of 12. We have a son, Sam, who is currently a senior at Harvard. Over the winter break he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He has been undergoing extensive chemotherapy. It is possible that a final cure for this deadly disease may require a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, even though there are currently more than 7 million donors registered internationally, none are an exact tissue typing (HLA) match for Sam, since he has a relatively rare Caucasian haplotype from me and a more typical Asian one from his mom. Therefore, the most likely source for a perfect match for Sam are people with both Caucasian and Asian ancestry (1/2, 1/4 or 3/4 Asian could all be fine).i just ordered home test kits from aadp for me and blair. this particular plea really struck a nerve in me: what if one of our children needed help one day? what if i needed a donor? would we be able to find a match in time? whether you're ethnically mixed or not, take a minute to order your own in-home donor test kit. you might just save my child's life one day. or hopefully someone like sam.
Since your organization is interested in issues arising from mixed race and culture, I am writing to ask if there are any of your members who might be interested in registering as bone marrow donors. Registering as a potential donor is completely painless, involving filling out a form and taking a cheek swab. Most potential donors are never asked to donate, but the donation process itself involves only some moderate inconvenience and possible discomfort, and of course has the potential to save a life. The removed stem cells are rapidly regenerated by the donor’s body so there are no medical consequences at all for the donor.
Kits for registering as a potential donor are available from DKMS Americas including a pre-paid FedEx package for returning the material. DKMS Americas will provide HLA testing and entry into the registry for absolutely anybody independent of racial or ethnic background, for no fee.
DKMS Americas will also help you organize a local drive if you are at all interested in doing this. Mostly they need a local contact person.
Another organization that will provide kits through the mail, and that also helps organize drives, is AADP. AADP specializes in people of Asian or part-Asian extraction.
Sam is registered on Facebook, and you can also get some information about him on a website generated by his uncle: http://www.helpsamiam.com.
I would like to emphasize that our interest here extends way beyond just finding a donor for our son. In the U.S., only about a fifth of patients needing bone marrow transplants can find donors, and this problem is particularly acute for those of mixed racial backgrounds, due to differing distributions of HLA types among human sub-populations. We encourage people of all ethnic backgrounds to register.
so emmy has been telling us, off and on, when she goes poopy for quite some time. i knew that i wanted to start familiarizing her with the concept of a potty chair, so we picked up the bjorn one this past weekend. i've also been reading diaper free before 3 for some tips, as it comes highly recommended by some of the folks on the dc metro mommies board.
yesterday, i had emmy sit on the potty chair twice, when she first woke up and right before bedtime. nothing happened, but she enjoyed herself and we read books for a bit. i was happy to see that she didn't mind the chair and that she had the patience to sit and play for a bit.
this morning, blair took her to the chair when she awoke. while brushing my teeth, i heard him exclaim that there was pee! pee!!! what a big accomplishment! we were both very happy but figured it was just luck. em wasn't fazed a bit: yeah, so i made pee. now let's play!
after our morning snack, i figured it was time for a diaper change so i had her sit for a second. almost immediately, there was pee again! AND POOPY! woohoo!!!
and then again, before i put her down for her nap: more pee!
i was going to approach this process very slowly and wait until em was closer to 18 months... now it looks like emmy's getting the hang of this pretty quickly - and i don't want to miss this perfect opportunity! so we headed out to tar-jay this morning and bought a second, cheaper potty chair for downstairs and lots of training pants. this should be a super exciting week!
since i forgot to post these last week, here are em's stats from her 15 month check-up: weight is 21 lbs, 10 oz (35th percentile) and height is 30.5 inches (50th percentile). it totally seems like yesterday when she was at the 75th percentile for each of those but she's definitely plateau'ed a bit. she's come a long way from our little 6 lb, 13 oz babe, huh? :)
i'm down with this, yo!
emmy gobbled it down like a seasoned veteran AND i even mixed in a little gochujang to ease her into the world of korean spice. next up: kimchi! muahahaha... anyhoo, afterwards we did a little shopping. our first stop was at the mom-and-pop run pung twi gi stand. bags of the puffed rice "cookies" are sold for $2.50 each (or the advertised 2 for $5.00 - uh, duh?) and em demands lots and lots of "pung!" here's a pictorial of our adventure...
snackin' by the bakery department
thoughtfully pondering the history of pung, near seafood
taking a break to examine durian... and yes, we've eaten that too
(verdict: blair likes it, i think it tastes like burning rubber)
still eating, while the ajumma make fresh kimchi
upon arriving home, em went down for a nap... and blair and i dug into some snacks of our own. i love me some ddeokbokki! and i found a type of rice cake that i haven't had since i was a kid visiting my family in pusan ages ago! the label translates it to charggurthang (wtf???), but the korean characters are more like chal-kuul-dukk. i just know that it's sticky and honey-ish with black beans and dates on top. yummy.
every korean meal tastes better with sweet tea, duh!
i dedicate this post to all of my blogging friends who can't get this stuff where they live. if you're ever in the d.c. area, let's meet for lunch! (and dinner! and leftovers! and...)
six weird things about me: food edition
1. this goes horribly against my korean roots but... know what i consider the perfect comfort food? a bowl of sticky white rice, a plate of crispy hot bacon strips and a pile of ggaktugi kimchi. i know it's freakish, but there's something delicious about getting that mix of hot, sticky, crispy, salty, spicy and crunchy in my mouth all at once. (and re-reading that sentence makes me wonder if people will start to randomly find this blog via googling gone astray. ew!)
2. growing up, i thought tang was actual, honest-to-goodness orange juice. when people would give me real, fresh-from-an-orange juice, i would shudder at how sour it tasted. i have no idea why my parents decided to buy tang instead of regular oj. it was only during college that i was forced to face the horrid truth: tang really isn't that good for you after all, with all of its sugary goodness. since then, i've switched to real juice for my health... but every once in a while, i'll dip into the sunny d california (smooth) style for a quick hit. btw, if tang was good enough for astronauts, it was good enough for me, right?
3. in another hit to my korean pride, i went through a short phase where i thought peanut butter and jelly tasted great when mixed with... kimchi and rice. *shudder* sorry about that one - i have no explanation. all i can say is that i was young and foolish.
4. if you take a look at zenkimchi's list of strange korean foods, i've eaten numbers 11, 10, 7, 5, 4, 3 and kinda 1 (see #5 below). personally, i'd rather eat live octopus in a pusan seafood warehouse than ever taste fresh, raw sea cucumber or sea squirt (mung-gah) ever again... one mouthful of salty water, gushing out of squishy sea flesh, was more than enough for moi.
5. back in late spring - summer 2004, the rare 17-year cicadas emerged from their lengthy underground hibernation in many areas of the united states. i think one of their club hideouts was directly under our front yard tree, as the front wall of our house was COVERED in the buggers. the local news carried many stories about how local chefs were "harvesting" and serving the cicadas. blair, being the uber-adventurous eater that he is, suggested that we try it too. after much convincing, we conducted our own cicada harvest, plucking the white cicada nymphs off the wall and quick-killing them in the freezer for a few minutes. after that, they were breaded, fried and eaten by us and several friends. it went over so well that i did a fear factor-esque "cicada cook-off" at work; co-workers actually ate ALL of the cicada scampii (fried without batter), chicken-fried cicadas and cicada sashimi (raw!!!). my verdict: a little nutty but not that great. and anything breaded and fried will just taste... breaded and fried. NO, i did NOT eat the raw ones. yuck!
6. after #5, i'll end on an easy one. i do not have much of a sweet tooth (except during pregnancy). my idea of a perfect dessert (or heck, breakfast) is a leftover hot dog, cold slice of pizza or the like. anything, pretty much, that's savory and filling. (and on the breakfast note, i had a streak in high school where i ate microwaved corndogs for breakfast before school. mmm... what a way to start an academic day!)
if you had the patience to read this loooong post, i totally ought to treat you to something yummy. i tag halfmama, beloved and superha - let's see your weirdness too!
oh goodness, did my mommy actually eat all that stuff???
|happy lunar new year, everyone!|
in true lee family fashion, we decided to celebrate today with food - and lots of it. since we always do the traditional korean new year's gathering / sebae on january 1st, the day was wide open... and our tummies needed some fillin'!
for an early brunch, we met up with our old friends abbie and jack and enjoyed yummy dim sum at mark's duck house in falls church. it's a good thing we had reservations because the place was packed. the restaurant is definitely a hole in the wall in your typical strip mall, but the washingtonian always gives it good reviews, both for the quality of its food and its affordability. even better, it's filled with asian folks - always a good sign. we all pigged out and enjoyed a relaxing lunch, and even emmy had more than her fill of dumplings, tofu and turnip cake.
as we parted ways after lunch, blair and i looked at each other and shared one simple thought: banh mi! so we drove around the corner to eden center and arrived just in time for the vietnamese new year festivities. the lion dancers were in the midst of going from store to store, lighting off firecrackers at each entrance. emmy enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the crowd, as well as the dancers, but she was a bit perturbed by the loud (and lengthy!) firecracker banners. we ducked into song que (the deli owned by the huong que / four sisters family, i believe) and got some yummies for the car ride home. you just cannot beat their crispy grilled pork banh mi, especially when each one is only $2.50 - what a steal! between that and our taro boba, our tummies were finally topped off, yum!
|if you were in the celebrating mood, i hope you all had a wonderfully tasty new year too! i'll leave you with today's message of the day, brought to us by our lovely boba "lid": Some People. Example is better than precept. it's accompanied by a picture of a sassy nurse holding a very large syringe. i'll let you figure that one out - we still haven't!|
if i move on to a certain bedroom cabinet, for instance, i'll come across a box or two of hair dye. i'll be the first to admit that yes, i do dye my hair. it's a tragedy. my paternal grandmother was completely gray by the age of 30, and my dad definitely passed along that trait. my mother's korean genes have bravely battled the inevitable, so it's not like i have a whole ton of gray; it's just enough to be rather noticeable on top, especially against my dark hair. now that i'm too cheap to visit my old colorist, i make do with the clairol natural instincts semi-permanent line. it washes out after several weeks, but i'm just too darn scared to make the jump to permanent dye on my own. (it was also the brand of choice in high school when my friends and i wanted to go brighter / redder... oh the memories!)
anyway, it seems that the marketing folks over at clairol are re-packaging their product. the new label has a "new sense of style", according to their website. well, am i the only person to notice their new lack of diversity too? they've gone from 3 asian models to just 1 (from what i can quickly see) and that just stinks. i know this sounds silly, but part of the reason i picked this line is because of the models on colors like 28B and 38! and it's not like all of the models were replaced so what gives? i really don't see what's so great about the replacement gals; sure, they're pretty and all but they don't offer anything more than the old models and 28B sure was nice. am i just crazy to even notice this?
okay, rant over, back to tidying up... i hosted my first ever selling-type party tonight. i've never really been a fan of any of the at-home type shopping shows, like mary kay or longaberger baskets or partylite candles (although pampered chef is pretty useful at times), but i ADORE usborne books! usborne makes some terrific, highly interactive children's books; a sample board book may include touch-feely accents along with flaps to open, or you might just find that puzzle pieces are embedded within the actual pages of the book. i got a few last november and emmy's loved them ever since, so i figured i'd host a party for my local mom friends and reap the benefits of a few free books too. lots of fun was had by all, especially with all of the desserts and wine that we enjoyed. if you're interested in learning more or checking out my e-show, just drop me a line and let me know. since i was such a bookworm growing up and can already see that mirrored in emmy, i love to spoil her with these great, imaginative books - i'm so excited to send in my wish list order!
now, i've always dreamed of living in one of those pottery barn catalogs. you know, where the furniture and paint and accent pieces all coordinate so well, and everything is just so. i fantasize about the day that we'll have furniture, clothes and pretty much nothing else - no clutter to pile up on tables and desks, or to hide behind cabinets and closets. of course, i've changed that dream since emmy came around; after all, her "clutter" is important stuff: toys to play with/learn from, one-of-a-kind artwork, board books to read 56 times a day, and so on. but i still hold on to that clutter-less dream for myself and the hubby, my pile-maker extraordinaire.
the guy on oprah made one statement that totally hit home with me: of all the stuff that you have, the great majority of it falls into one of two categories. it's either 1) stuff you plan on using one day (or think that you'll find a use for, like those jeans that are one size too tight, or that extra box/appliance/tool/etc.) or 2) stuff that you hold on to because of the memories (like that special lucky shirt you wore in college, but not mementos like photographs - they're sacred!). so... this means that you're always living in the future or the past, but never living in the present. and since you're not living in the present, how can you make the most of your life / reach the happiness that you want now?
personally, i have totally been plagued by the constant nagging of so many organizational chores around here. and hey, a lot of that would go away if we didn't have so much stuff to organize! my first step: purging and re-organizing the bedroom closet. i emptied 2 giant totes of clothes today. so much of it was corporate-business-casual work clothing that i put away when i got pregnant with emmy. since i haven't had to work in the office since last summer (i *love* my flexible virtual work arrangement), i figure i should be really, truly brutal and purge as much as possible. and i figure if/when i ever do go back to an office, i'll need to update my wardrobe anyway, right? so between all that and the actual closet, i'm amassing quite the bag of reject clothes and accessories. looks like i'll be freecycling a lot this week!
oh, and it was a nice ego boost to actually fit into all of those work clothes again! plus, my closet has been re-stocked with nice outfits that i haven't worn in almost two years... it's like going on a free shopping spree!
anyhoo, i'll be heading back upstairs tonight to continue the great clothing sort of 2007. hope you're having as exciting a friday night as i am! more home organizing to come...
...cause where exactly are you supposed to store all those tiny pairs of toddler shoes, for instance?
roses are red, violets are blue
you guys are so cool, i flip for you!
more valentine's goodness... smooches to everyone!
so that solved today's dilemma of what to feed emmy... from my previous post's comments, it looks like we're all running out of interesting, tasty ideas for the kids. perhaps i'll make that a continuing series of this blog - and i would love to hear from you if something yummy has crossed your table recently! last night's thai red curry chicken was super easy and em seemed to like it, but i did have to rinse some of the spices off first. (growing up, i fondly remember my mom doing that with kimchi for me... oh, the memories!) i'll try to post the occasional recipe too, once it earns the emmy-stamp of approval, of course.
on a totally different note, head over to beloved babbling and check out a great future gift idea for your little multi-culti cutie! i knew that the american girl doll company lets you customize a doll to look just like you / your child, but this just takes the cake! emmy already has 2 hanboks of her own (one inherited, one just sent from my korean relatives) and will inherit several more from my childhood collection, so i can totally see getting her a doll and this outfit when she's a bit older.
|for now, she already has this awesome build-a-bear hanbok - we got it for her first birthday last november. i have to say that i was mighty impressed with the amount of detail that went into that outfit. just from browsing online, it looks like all of their international collectiwear is very well done, from the traditional red cheong-sam to the boy and girl kimonos... and even to their arctic fisherman(bear?)! as you can see, we totally love our toys in the lee household. :)|
in other news, i just got back from my first cooking club group. it's an off-shoot of my local moms group and it was lots of fun! i usually can't make their meetings since they're frequently on weeknights (my work nights, boo!) but i finally made it a point to go. tonight was "ethnic cuisine" night; i made my thai red curry chicken and it seemed to be a nice, spicy hit! i was really intrigued by the north african stew (lots of sweet potatoes, beans and nuts) and chicken biryani with raita sauce. i can't wait to get the recipes and try 'em out - i'm so darn inspired to get in the kitchen and test out some new dishes on emmy and blair. hey, does anyone else out there feel like they're in a rut when it comes to feeding their toddler / child?
and then at 4:26 am.
and then around 5ish, with wide open eyes and a playful grin.
so i put her in our bed, thinking she'd love to sleep with her mama and papa.
and she did... at 7:00 am.
what to blame? teething? a cold? the howls of some poor frisky cat outside? the weather?
aw who cares, let's all take a nap.
and while on the topic of food... emmy ate her very first hot dog today. now, now, before you wag your finger at me and exclaim things like "nitrates!" and "sodium!", i did buy the healthier, less fatty turkey hot dogs at least! i had previously let her taste my hot dog when we were at the national zoo in december, but she quickly spat it out and begged for more crackers instead. therefore, i was very surprised to see her gobble down an entire dog* at lunch today... and then ask for veggie booty too! i swear she ate more than i did! and since we were snowed in (barely) with no car (blair borrowed mine), i made chocolate chip cookies too. yum. fun was had by all... especially after we took that 2.5 hour nap together!
* perhaps emmy is taking after mommy... i didn't have too many cravings during my pregnancy but hot dogs (better yet, corn dogs!!!), strawberry ice cream and chick-fil-a breakfast combo #1 with sweet tea were my mainstays. and i'm not the only weirdo!
on a book-related note, check out the rice daddies and their first anniverary contest:
To celebrate our first blogaversary, we're having a contest. Send us a review of your favorite book from your own childhood that you want to share (or have already shared) with your own kid(s) and we'll publish them as we get them. Each reviewer [you can submit more than one review, but you'll only be entered once] will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win some awesome books from Kane/Miller Book Publishers. With the motto "open-minded books opening young minds to the world," Kane/Miller has been bringing acclaimed international children's books, often in translation, to a U.S. audience for years. You probably know them for such classics as Japanese author/illustrator Taro Gomi's "Everyone Poops," and they have titles from countries on every continent except Antarctica.you have until the end of the day friday, february 23, to get your submissions in. i, for one, will be submitting at least a couple of reviews of my fave childhood books. heck, maybe emmy could benefit from adding everyone poops to her collection before we start potty training!
- the new mesa red vera backpack is courtesy of my folks. now that emmy's getting older, her accessories take up a lot less space than they used to... i look forward to using this one over the summer, especially on errands and trips to the park. hurray for hands-free storage!
- the hot red 8gb ipod nano is from my sweet baboo. he saw me lusting over it at the apple store months ago... i'd never buy such a thing for myself so the gift came as quite a surprise! it replaces my old green mini ipod - a retired "relic" from early 2004, lol. guess who's using that now? (no, not emmy - she has her own playlist on my red nano. we like to share!)
- the awesome fuzzy red hat and scarf set were handmade (and hand-delivered!) by carolyn. i love 'em!!! and they match the pink set she made for emmy - we're going to be quite the pair this valentine's day!
anyway, back to real life - one year older. this is going to be a great year! i can't wait to see what's coming my way over the next 12 months. after all, i'm lucky enough to be surrounded by these hotties:
p.s. - blair gave the keynote address at today's georgetown medical school donor mass. afterwards, he was even interviewed by washingtonpost radio - you rock, sweetie!
blair: uh, what would the initials of kansas university be?oh man, there wasn't a dry eye (or pair of underwear) left in the house! poor blair and henry, maybe next time you should skip the wine! (and if you don't get how incredibly silly this was, maybe you just had to be there.)
blair: right! and what was microsoft's first operating system?
blair: right! so put 'em together!!!
henry: K-U-dos? K-U-dos? K-U-dos! K-U-dos!!! ...and repeat until timer runs out
in other exciting news, emmy signed 3 new words for the first time today: shoes, socks and apple! then tonight, carolyn gave her a belated christmas gift: a pink hand-crocheted hat and scarf set. they are the perfect size for little emmy; as soon as i put them on her, she grinned as wide as possible and knew she was stylin'. thanks, miss carolyn! i'll have to post some new dress-up pics soon!
|i found one of those tiny hand-held shopping baskets that comes with plastic fruits and veggies and bought it for emmy today. i want to get her a play kitchen later in the year, but figured this will be enough for now. after dinner, she emptied the entire basket, put the basket on her head, and squealed with delight as she signed "crab". um, yeah...we have NO idea what that means, you silly girl.|
anyway, i was browsing through some photos tonight and came across one of my favorites from last april... i cannot believe how big emmy is now! she's even cleaning up her toys and putting them away when we ask - what a big girl! i think her spoken vocabulary is up to the 40-50 word range now, and she loves to ask for songs by name ("row-row-row" or "star!" for twinkle, twinkle little star). you make us so proud, emmy baby!
not much else to report right now... but i did have an awesome ego boost last night! i was cleaning up our guest room closet, looking for formal dresses to donate (the local community center collects dresses for prom season). after finally getting back to my pre-emmy weight, i decided to try on a couple of the dresses and see how they fit. oh goodness, i fit back into all of them! even the dresses i wore to my sorority formals! even the bridesmaids dresses! even the gorgeous dress i got from the ann taylor loft clearance rack years ago and never found an occasion to wear! so i'm definitely feeling pumped... and looking for an excuse to dress up. want to go on a date? :)