diapers, budgets & paint

stay-at-home mommy by day
program manager by night
children's painter somewhere in between


day 30: that's all she wrote

tis the final day of november... the final day of this NaBloPoMo experiment. i figured i would have given up within the first week or so but i've survived. sure, some (many) of my posts were pretty lame but i made myself reconnect day after day. it was a fun ride and now i'll be hibernating for a bit to shake this nasty cold bug that i picked up last weekend.

for all those that are interested, an end of the month update of sorts...
- my maternity wardrobe still sucks but i don't care anymore. i have only about 10 weeks to go so heck, bring on the burlap sack.
- we still think way too much about toddler toys and free stuff.
- MANY stuffed animals in northern virginia have been christened "bo bice" this month.
- emmy had the most rockin' birthday ever. and i could spend my nights with a bowl of icing, food coloring and other yummy goodness.
- mr. onk, the imaginary elephant, has been replaced by much talk of these stinky barn gnomes. now they are literate and spend their days reading books.
- random pom-pom #5 has been identified as a... penguin. i think emmy believes that ALL pom critters are penguins.
- memes make for easy blog fodder when the rest of your brain is just a shriveled up (or knocked up?) walnut.

time to dive back into that strawberry-rhubarb pie i bought today and hit the sack. hope you all survived the month too.

p.s. - don't forget to break open your advent calendars tomorrow! yum! (seriously, how have i not gained like, 50 pounds by now?)

day 29: pom-pom evolution

me: "hey em, let's make some pom-pom animals for the tree. what kind of animal do you want to make?"
em: "an emu! a giraffe! a lemur!"

hmmm... so this is what happens when you take your kid to the zoo one too many times. now, when all the pom-poms were finally put away, and "ooey-gooey" glue-y hands washed, we were left with...


1. an orange and black, uh, turtle-like, 4-legged critter
2. a large (grey) beak'ed penguin
3. a "standard" penguin
4. a squirrel, in two shades on brown (i couldn't resist!)
5. a... um... why don't you tell me? and...
6. emmy's beloved caterpillar, complete with TWO sets of mismatched eyes

thank goodness for my felt stash - some of these guys might actually get feet (and scarves!) before they make it on the tree. or into grandma and grandpa's christmas gift. muahahahha...

******************

em: "how was your day, mommy?"
me: "i had a great day because i got to spend it with you. how was your day, emmy?"
em: "i had a noony-noo day and a doony day. *insert wild laughter here*"

hope your day was just as noony as ours. just one day to go till the end of november. hallejuah!

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day 28: fuzzy balls and googly eyes

...a fun title for all you random googlers out there, eh?

we'll be making some homemade pom-pom animals tomorrow, to use as tree ornaments and gift decorations. come join us, won't you? i'll even save some pipe cleaners for you.

day 27: earwax 101

at yesterday's 2-year check-up, the pediatrician remarked that em's ears need to be cleaned on a regular basis. she explained that asians tend to have drier wax due to the absence of some small oil gland in the ear, and that we'd want to address this issue before we might need to (i.e., if emmy ever gets an ear infection). the doctor recommended mixing 1 ounce of hydrogen peroxide with 1 ounce of water, then using a dropper to put some of the solution into each ear, every other day, at bedtime. she also said that we'd want to put in a little cotton plug so that the liquid doesn't drain out immediately.

ahem. okay, riiight. cause emmy would love to have that done each night, cotton and all.

nevertheless, curiosity killed the cat and there's actually quite a bit of discussion about this issue out there. so i guess we should address it... have you run into this? coming from my apparently very caucasian ears, i'd love to know how asian parents deal with the wax buildup... and if you mention the scoop, at what age did you start to use it?

yes, this is random and tmi and bizarre. it's almost the end of NaBloPoMo - so shoot me.

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day 26: the more you know

today's public service announcment, brought to you by the emerson lee foundation:

(looking at a picture of a red barn...)
"open it up"
"gnomes live in that barn"
"gnomes like to dance"
"gnomes eat chicken nuggets... with jam! and syrup! sticky!"
"gnomes are stinky - peeeeeyeeeew!"
"grandma gnome and grandpa gnome give them all a bath"

i think there was even a little something about how they just wear their underwear too.

and now you know.

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day 25: meme'd again

alright, i couldn't resist - i've almost made it through the month and these memes are just too darn irresistible. tag yourself if you're bored or need a break from holiday decorating (or turkey leftover eating); we're recovering from our amazingly frightening brush with santa at the mall today. i somehow doubt if we'll be getting a photo with mr. claus this season.

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*I give you money and send you into the grocery store to pick up 5 items. You can only pick one thing from the following departments.. what is it?

1. Produce: potatoes
2. Bakery: croissants
3. Meat: t-bone steaks
4. Frozen: sausage biscuits? frozen corndogs? something wonderfully nutritious like that
5. Dry goods: bag o' asian rice

* Let's say we're heading out for a weekend getaway. You're only allowed to bring 3 articles of clothing with you. So, what's in your bag?

1. my one pair of comfy maternity jeans
2. turtleneck / sweater
3. um, how about some undies?

* If I was to listen in on one of your conversations throughout the day, what 5 phrases or words would I be most likely to hear?

1. "emmy, you have 5 more minutes until..."
2. "what should we do now?"
3. "i'm feeling great, just need more hours in the day"
4. "what time are you coming home?"
5. "how do you ask nicely?"

* So, what 3 things do you find yourself doing every single day, and if you didn't get to do, you'd probably be in a pretty irritable/bad mood?

1. sleep whenever possible (not as much as i should though)
2. put on moisturizer / foundation
3. check email... except when i'm traveling
(and snuggle with the emster, of course!)

* What are 3 things that you have in your home that have been with you for the longest amount of time?

1. stuffed animals from my childhood that emmy has since adopted
2. books from my childhood - also adopted by emmy
3. the hanbok i wore when i was one

* If you were only allowed to listen to 5 of your CDs for the rest of your life, never adding anything else, which 5 could you listen to & be content with?

1. anything (everything?) by john mayer
2. liz phair, by liz phair
3. fumbling towards ecstasy, sarah mclachlan
4. supernatural, by santana
5. some cheesy mix cd with lots of hip hop-pop-rap faves from over the years

* Sweet, you just scored a whole afternoon to yourself. We're talking a 3 hour block with nobody around. What 5 activities might we find you doing?

1. SLEEP
2. catch up on email / web stuff
3. run errands
4. paint
5. channel surf - and probably end up on some horrible reality show

* We're going to the zoo. But, it looks like it could start storming, so it'll have to be a quick visit. What 3 exhibits do we have to get to?

assuming we're at the national zoo...
1. the small mammal house
2. pandas
3. orangutans and their "think tank"

* You just scored tickets to the taping of any show of your choice. You can pick between 5, so what are you deciding between?

hmmm... i don't think any of my top shows tape in front of live audiences. in the past, i'd pick friends hands-down. now, um... maybe saturday night live, just to say i've seen it? conan? a cooking show for the free food? a talk show for free gifts? (just call me mrs. greedy, i know)

* You're hungry for ice cream. I'll give you a triple dipper ice cream cone. What 3 flavors can I pile on for ya?

1. anything pina colada / pineapple-ish
2. oreo cookie
3. ben & jerry's cherry garcia, as of late

* Somebody stole your purse/wallet... In order to get it back, you have to name 5 things you know are inside to claim it. So, what's in there?

1. my green nine west wallet
2. some type of snacks, usually either goldfish or rice cakes
3. my work badge
4. emergency crayons
5. em's change of clothes
(helLO, it's a purse AND "diaper" bag - it's versatile!)

* You are at a job fair, and asked what areas you are interested in pursuing a career in. Let's pretend you have every talent and ability to be whatever you wanted, so what 3 careers would be fun for you?

1. painter or art teacher
2. events coordinator
3. decorative baker? (or maybe caterer?)
had i stayed with the more science-y careers, maybe something in the food sciences?

* If you could go back and talk to the old you, who you were in high school, and inform yourself of 6 things, what would it be?

1. there are much better people (and boys!) out there in the "real world"
2. don't stress out over the little stuff
3. have more fun
4. travel and make the most of your summers (i.e., make time to teach in korea)
5. you will have the amazing life that you want one day, including a most wonderful, loving family
6. screw what you think you know about sorority life and look into it earlier this time around - it's fun!

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day 24: tree traditions

yes, we decided to put our tree up EARLY this year. i'd normally wait until december but blair's exam schedule will have him swamped until mid-month, and i just can't manage the giant tree box on my own with this belly in the way. so the tree went up last night and emmy came downstairs this morning to greet it with much glee. (it doesn't hurt that grandma and grandpa were still around too.)

this afternoon, i opened up the box of special ornaments. many of these were taken from my folks years ago, and some of the critters date back to before MY birth. i've always had a special fondness for these ornaments, especially the simple plush ones (essentially made of pom-pom balls and missing the occasional eye at this point). i vividly recall waiting to help my mom place them on the tree each year when i was growing up, so i was thrilled when emmy had the same reaction. she picked her favorite - a "little blue walrus!" - and held him carefully while we did most of the tree. he was finally allowed to be hung towards the end of the decorating, but i made sure to hang him low when emmy can see him all season long.

on a related note, i've told emmy several times this week that i'm very thankful to have our family together to celebrate the holidays, and most importantly, that i'm very thankful to have her in my life. she then responds with, "what is emmy thankful for?" so i ask her the question. her responses so far:
"ms. kathy" (the teacher from our mommy-and-me type class)
"food"
"playing"
and best of all... "bucket!"

oh, and now she cocks her head to the side and sweetly asks me "how was yooooour day, mommy?" about 67 times per day. she must be buttering me up for christmas...

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day 23: stuffed

i dunno about you, but i'm pretty done with turkey for now. then again, i just saw citymama's interesting turkey jook recipe and am curious enough to think about trying it this weekend.

oh, but mom's ham? yeah, gimme some more of that.

day 22: giving thanks


wishing you a most wonderful turkey day, whether you eat it or not!

things to be thankful for today...
- currently sharing in the "water bottle harvest" with farmer emmy. "look at that!" she says, "i'm bringing you water bottles. more water bottles!"
- getting to spend time with an over-worked, needing-to-study med student
- gentle (HAH!) reminders that another little punkin' is on the way
- waiting for my parents to arrive around lunchtime for a weekend of emmy fun
- spending time with the folks we love most, and looking forward to so many wonderful things to come

here's hoping that your thanksgiving is just as wonderful - hugs to all!

day 21: black friday

right now, i'm so very thankful that i'm done with my holiday shopping. nevertheless, i'm always curious about those black friday sales and whether there's anything remotely appealing out there. if you're curious too, check out the official black friday ad site and get a head start on the shopping madness. as for us, we'll be sleeping in and debating a local christmas parade, assuming the grandparents are game for it.

day 20: tagged again

first of all, the cupcakes were a hit! emmy was very excited to tell me she picked a pink one and that she even "ate the buggy head!" i'd love to start planning for next year's confections but gosh knows what she'll be in the mood for by then... so i'll just have to start making fun snacks for playgroups instead. i'm already a huge fan of cutting sandwiches with cookie cutters - although em's been refusing to eat the gingerbread man shape for some time now. guess we're not cannibals in this house...

in other news, my childhood best friend just tagged me for another meme. this one's quick and easy so here goes:

4 jobs i have had:
tv camera operator for a local school channel, nasa intern (but for environment regulating stuff, not flying into space), resident advisor, IT manager

4 movies i love to watch over and over again:
joy luck club (cause it always makes me cry), the mystery of rampo (so beautiful), once a thief (hilarious) and bring it on (shameful, mindless cable-lovin' fluff)... there are a ton more but these quickly come to mind

4 places i have lived:
hampton, va * ithaca, ny * couple of cities in the d.c. metro area

4 tv shows i enjoy watching:
grey's anatomy, desperate housewives, the office, and jon & kate plus 8... but i could go on and on here (and i only stuck to current programs)

4 places i have been:
p/busan, korea * u.s. virgin islands (st. thomas & st. john) * the bahamas * up and down california... but i'm still waiting to see san fran

4 websites i visit daily:
gmail, google reader, cnn and my local mom board

4 favorite foods:
like i can even narrow it down to four! as of right this nanosecond, how about tang soo yuk (korean take on a sweet and sour pork dish), kalbi with lettuce leaves, hush puppies / corn nuggets, and a damn fine rack of bbq ribs with lots of sweet, sloppy sauce

4 places i would rather be:
eating from a street vendor in korea, basking on a beach in the caribbean, walking across my college campus (fall's so beautiful there), or asleep in my bed

i tag all those brave folks doing NaBloPoMo too, especially third culture kid(s), the lotus life and snickollet. the month is almost over, ladies - just a few days to go!

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day 19-2: cupcake army

super awesome bonus post o' the day:


coming to a preschool near you
(well, if you happen to be emmy's classmate tomorrow)

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day 19: party coma recovery

whew - what a wonderful yet tiring weekend! i know that baby #2 is impacting my stamina but i could easily crawl back into bed today. from catching up with old friends to preparing for em's birthday party, i was pretty much go-go-go from friday until yesterday afternoon when i finally snuck a nap in. bliss!

anyhoo, here's a quickie recap of the festivities-to-date...


saturday evening was spent making the cake. look familiar? overall, i was pretty pleased with the end product although i'm horrible at deciding when to call it quits. add more icing? add more detail? becky had to restrain me from playing with the caterpillar all night... and now i hope to get another chance to make a similarly shaped cake again. you know, to perfect the process!


the party itself went off without a hitch. thanks to the great folks at wee play, we didn't have to do a thing except show up with food. i think many of the dads - and parents of younger guests - were quite surprised to see just how adhd-like a gathering of 14 tots can be. once again, we are soooo thankful that we didn't bother hosting this at home! btw, notice how it's almost just all moms in the circle? dads sure like to man the cameras and nod, don't they?


emmy was quite thrilled with the art project of the day: making glittery green and purple dragonfly "puppets." she has since named hers "jake" and allows him to interact with her new dinosaur set. yup, she kept asking for dinosaurs so blair and i got her a set of the plastic beasts. they are doing quite well and occasionally get to enjoy a ride in her new doll stroller. emmy's also quite concerned about the darkness of t-rex's mouth, insisting that she needs to clean his teeth and tongue. perhaps we have a budding dentist on our hands?


between the circle time, art project, numerous free play activities, sweets, and all the rest, emmy came home thrilled and pooped. i think she adored being surrounded by so many friends, and we are truly thankful for the kindness, generosity, and friendship shared by all. future birthdays will be scaled back drastically but we figured, aw heck, this is the last time emmy gets to celebrate her birthday all by herself - let's make it crazy fun! (and the party let us give our parent friends the best gift of all: a long, quiet nap-ful sunday afternoon... hurray!)

thanks for all the well wishes sent via comments and email, and special thanks to carol for her sweet gift! i'm constantly amazed to see how lucky we truly are to know so many wonderful friends!

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day 18: birthday baby

you hear the door come crashing down -
those birthday monsters are in town!


happy birthday, emmy!
thank you for the best
two years ever...
you sure have come a long way!
(and we can't wait to see
what's next!)

love always,
mommy & daddy

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day 17: baking and napping

today's recap:
- dealing with 2 picky eaters
- shopping with "grumpy" and "sleepy"
- naptime for aforementioned dwarf-children
- one bundt cake almost done, another on the way

now how on earth do i find a box big enough for this freakin' cake?

day 16: good times

the melting pot. cheese fondue. chocolate fondue. great company.

what a wonderful night.

day 15: overheard

current mutterings from the crib:

"i need JAVA!!!"

"i'm a diaper, i'm a diaper"

"apple juice - apple juice - apple joo! absolutely!"

"i need to go out of the house, dolphin's house?"

"bumble bee say ahhhhhhh"

"big bunny bear and baby bunny bear think, think, think. who's missing?"

"loop-de-loop-de-loop..." (and repeat)
... all while i listen to christmas carols on the cable music station. yes, it IS freakishly early to tune in to that, but for some odd reason i get more of an urge to clean when i hear christmas music... must be all the associations with entertaining and having guests over for the holidays.

my best friend and her family arrive tomorrow for the big birthday weekend, and us girls have dessert reservations for the melting pot for the late evening! i'm already salivating over all that fondue goodness.

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day 14: birthdays, steak, and elmo

update from yesterday's cryptic post: so we opted *not* to pick a valentine's birthdate for our second baby girl after all. it's a little odd getting to pick your kid's birthdate, that's for sure, and i just kept second guessing myself about the 2/14 date. i was half-surprised that our selected c-section date was already fully booked at the hospital but we were able to settle on another safe, non-candy-heart-associated day. seriously, all i kept thinking was that the little one would potentially enjoy valentines as a kid but hate it when she's in her late teens/twenties and potentially date-less on her birthday. now everyone in the family can have an almost-holiday birthday... and since #2 claims valentine's, i guess i get groundhog's day by default. snort, snort!

em boycotted nap time today so posting time is limited. must go to bed while enjoying the lingering effects of my grilled rib-eye and fresh apple pie dinner on the town. oh how i love work-related dinner meetings... mmm...

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special thanks and lotsa hugs are being sent to a dear friend who goes above and beyond in her thank you notes. i can't wait till emmy gets to wear the shirts, esp. this one! (and our korean playgroup friends will be so jealous!)

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day 13: scheduling woes

"holiday" birthdays: fun and cool or just horrible timing?
what if you had to share your birthday with cupid?


discuss and comment while i rip hubby's medical school (exam) schedule to shreds.

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day 12: in the mood to eat

thanks for all the recent crafty kudos, ladies! yes, em's recent photos have shown her sporting some kiddie clips, and yes, i did design those birthday party invites! i do so adore photoshop and would probably curl up under the bed if i ever lost my copy. between that and the nifty printing services of vistaprint, we're usually set for party time. since this is emmy's last solo birthday year, i figured i might as well make use of my "extra" time to design something fun. i'm just thrilled that she picked the bug theme herself; i'm guessing the era of pink and princessy parties is right around the corner so i'm enjoying the gender neutral goodness. next up: baking and decorating the caterpillar cake, to be modeled after our famous hungry literary friend. (i found some good pics online as inspiration and will post photos after the party!)

speaking of food, today's cold, rainy weather has me craving warm soups and giant hunks of crusty bread. unfortunately, our cupboard is bare until i drag our butts to the store - which i usually save for em's preschool time. instead, i've decided to share one of my all-time fave soup recipes today. i have no time for cooking anymore but this rachael ray recipe is super EASY and pretty quick; the most time consuming part is just getting to the store for the fresh seafood. i also skip the celery and occasionally an herb or two (or even the mussels), based on what we have on hand or what's in season. it's an amazing crowd pleaser and i can't wait to make it for my little seafood eater. enjoy!

Seafood Cioppino


1/4 cup (3 turns around the pan in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 to 3 flat fillets of anchovies, drained
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup good quality dry white wine
1 (14-ounce) container chicken stock
1 (32-ounce) can chunky style crushed tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed (about 1 tablespoon)
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 pounds cod, cut into 2-inch chunks
Salt and pepper
8 large shrimp, ask for deveined easy-peel or peel and devein
8 sea scallops
16 to 20 raw mussels, scrubbed
A loaf of fresh, crusty bread, for mopping

In a large pot over moderate heat combine oil, crushed pepper, anchovies, garlic, and bay. Let anchovies melt into oil. The anchovies act as a natural salt, the pepper flakes will infuse the oil, providing heat.

Chop celery and onion near stove and add to the pot as you work. Saute vegetables for a few minutes to begin to soften and add wine to the pot. Reduce wine a minute, then add chicken stock, tomatoes, thyme, and parsley. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to medium low.

Season fish chunks with salt and pepper. Add fish and simmer 5 minutes, giving the pot a shake now and then. Do not stir your soup with a spoon after the addition of fish or you will break it up. Add shrimp, scallops, and mussels and cover pot. Cook 10 minutes, giving the pot a good shake now and again.

Remove the lid and discard any mussels that do not open. Carefully ladle stew into shallow bowls and pass bread at the table.

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day 11: countdown



just one week to go!

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day 10: shopping

overheard minutes ago on the monitor: "emmy make a volcano again." guess who's not sleeping right now? (and yes, emmy DID make a volcano is her art/play-type class this morning. she was in awe of the baking soda and vinegar "science experiment" and will probably want me to start recreating it at home. guess the science gene is running strong in the lee family!)

anyway, thanks to an awesome fundraiser / "new to you" sale this morning at a local preschool, i now have 4 adorable sweaters for emmy, 3 more cute maternity tops, 2 pairs of snow boots, and a partridge in a pear tree. wait, maybe i meant a pair of ladybug rain boots, i forget... and maybe there's a hello kitty purse too. regardless, em's thrilled about her new duds - and she hasn't even seen those boots yet! perhaps she'll get them next weekend for her birthday... ever since em's classmate got "buttahfly boots" i've been on the lookout for some cute rain gear, as i get reminded of the lack of said items all. the. time.

(really, emmy is just about TWO YEARS OLD. what's it gonna be like in a year? or ten?)

so now i'm just finishing up some amazon shopping and thinking about toys again. a local dc metro moms blogger just posted about the whole toy recall epidemic (from lead paint to the aquadots date rape drug fiasco) and wants everyone to join the "no china" bandwagon. while i understand that many of these horrible toys were produced in china, i think the whole anti-china thing is turning out to be a scapegoat in all this. seriously, do people not realize that we have issues in our own country? what about all the american (and other) companies that don't bother beefing up their own quality assurance teams? what about the government safety commission? it's not like we have a direct purchasing doorway to those foreign-made toys, folks - there are plenty of "supervising" middlemen that should have helped avoid these costly mistakes. so while i'm trying to be smarter about my toy purchases for emmy and her friends this holiday season, i somehow don't foresee a plastic-and-china-free holiday at our house. how about you? have you changed your toy buying habits in reaction to all the toy recalls this year?

day nine: feelin' fine

whoa! i'm sitting here, minding my own business and reading my daily bloggalicious updates, when all of a sudden i see my name on the prizey site! i'm a "prizey peep!" hurray for free stuff! hurray for shout-outs! (and can i suck up some more to win more toys? heh heh heh)

in other news, some very perceptive mommies out there have recently stumbled upon my little side gig: kiddie clips. it's a nice distraction that keeps me "busy" when i veg out in front of the tv, so drop me a line if you're interested in a little something something.

and now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

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day eight: running out of time


emmy, circa december 2005... and she's still laughing at me

had my monthly ob exam today, including the super tasty glucose test. while it's really not so bad, trying to gulp down 5 ounces of concentrated-fruit-punch-gone-horribly-wrong while taking care of your toddler's potty needs AND rushing out the door to get to school on time is just not the way i'd prefer to start my day. needless to say, i'll be reaching for that pint of ben & jerry's during grey's tonight, thank you very much. the doctor mentioned that after next month's check-up, i'll start having exams every two weeks. yikes! how did my pregnancy fly by so quickly? where did all the time (and second trimester energy) go?! and most importantly, isn't there something i need to buy for baby #2? it's pretty convenient having girls born in roughly the same seasons but i'm sure there's something that poor kiki needs, other than the giant jug o' baby detergent i lugged home this week. or the leftover boxes of nursing pads from all my mom friends. (tmi?) aside from diapers, what do you recommend getting for a second child?

oh, and i think little kikums realizes that she's going to get the shaft as the second child. she's decided to remind me of her presence 24/7. emmy never kicked this much, and i'm pretty certain that the baby will squirm her way out of the ol' c-section scar one of these days.

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in other news, i'm sending a big thanks to all you readers / commenters out there; your comments have kept me at this NaBloPoMo craziness so far (along with my all-consuming thirst for free stuff!). i've loved reading about your randomness this week and hope that we can all be graced by free chicken bObles one day. and more recently...

auntie becky - you'll always be cool in our book! emmy's already so excited about seeing "baby v" this month, although i have to keep reminding her that she's not such a baby anymore!

halfmama and mama nabi - i wish *we* could all sit around and play with those cool pretend foods and kitchens. seriously, we didn't have anything nearly this cool when we were kids! you're both invited to come "cook" at our house post-holidays... and i *guess* the kids can come too. (who am i kidding? they'd have to be there!)


lastly, thanks to superha for the shout-out idea - what a nifty way to find more to write about. peace out, kiddos, it's time for ice cream and mindless tv!

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day seven: shopping

knowing how busy this year has been (and will continue to be), i've been working on my *drumroll, please* holiday shopping. excuse me if this admission makes you ill, but i'm almost done with everyone on the list. hallejuah! i still need to place a couple of orders and make a few of the handcrafted gifts, but overall i'm pleased to know who's getting what - and to see the pile of gifts to be wrapped growing.

with emmy's birthday coming up soon, we've decided that we don't need to overly splurge on lots of gifts for her at christmas. heck, if we play our cards right, she'll still be opening birthday gifts by then! she's still too young to understand everything about the holiday but we will make it a fun one for her. to that end, we have already purchased the one big holiday gift o' the year: a wooden kitchen. after debating the large yet way cool pink retro set at costco and spending a few heady days in dreamtown, touring the oh-so-portable rose petal cottage suburban "dreamhouse" (a.k.a. throwback to the 1950s), we finally compromised on a simple wooden set that is both space efficient and provides enough storage to suit my ocd organizational needs. now, being the anal mom that i am, i intend to stock the fridge with some cool new play foods - and this is where you come in. i know several folks have posted asian pretend food reviews before, but so far the only interesting sets that i've found are either this new "feast from the east" set (what a punny name, eh?) or the standard melissa & doug sushi sets. any recommendations from the peanut gallery?

(or feel free to comment that i spend waaaay too much time thinking about toys. or holiday shopping. you're probably right on both counts.)

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day six: exhausted


not sure if i'm catching a cold or if the progression of pregnancy is finally kicking my butt, but i'll be taking a break tonight to catch up on sleep. in lieu of a real post, here's some eye candy for you.

day five: toddler conversation

tonight at dinner, emmy told me that "there's a giiiiant tarantula at ms. shelley's," a.k.a. her preschool. better still, "tarantula's name is bo bice!" i asked to confirm this naming several times and emmy stood by her tale: the spider is bo bice. given that we never watch american idol in this house, shall we just call this one heckuva strange coincidence? (and no, shelley does not have any insects in the classroom, although she did dig up some earthworms in the yard once. she tells me that emmy watched it for a long time and finally proclaimed, "worm is soooo cute!")

after this conversation, i was serenaded with the first half of san-toki; every word was dead on. the grandparents will be so proud.

and mr. onk is still around; he's finally allowed em to share in his daily grass feast. yum.

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day four: what to eat


i'm totally digging citymama's NaBloPoMo daily recipes - very inspiring. the recipes that i've tried from her site so far have been delish and super easy, so i totally want to try my hand at some more.

but as for tonight? what did i eat for dinner, you ask?

one bear claw.
one box of apple juice.
one package of neoguri ramen.
and some ben & jerry's neapolitan dynamite ice cream.

just call me the very hungry caterpillar. or a crazy pregnant woman... you pick.

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day three: i might as well be naked

why is it so hard to find decent maternity clothes that are stylish (i.e., not cut like a tent, or pushing your tatas out for all to see) and cheap? really, i know you marketing gurus out there realize that many women will pay gobs and gobs of money on all things wedding and baby related; these are our "special times" when "memories are made," and really, isn't it worth it?

well, in a nutshell, no.

you wear the stuff for a couple of months and then store it away again. if you're lucky, you pass it on to your other expanding mommy friends. with this pregnancy, i have my old tub of maternity clothes that i used with emmy, along with the generous tub of stuff from close pal angela. i was even lucky enough to inherit a couple of tops and coats from a local mom who moved away and couldn't pack it all. but seriously, seeing 90% of the same boring maternity clothes - all originating from 2005 - in my closet each day makes me want to sob a bit. and today's trip to the mall was a bust. i'm now sifting through ebay and wondering how to stay warm between now and february. think our old goose down comforter would make a nice holiday sweater?

by the way, be sure to wish our favorite little ajoshi, T, a great big happy birthday today! he's turning the big T-W-O... have a great day with the family, little man!

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day two: free stuff rocks


Z Recommends
PRIZEY
it's 9:20pm and we're decompressing from the ridiculously crazy week. emmy woke up at 5:37am this morning and proceeded to babble to herself for almost an hour when, suddenly, she was fast asleep again. score one for mommy! she then gave the absolute best gift in the whole world: the gift of sleep. we lumbered out of bed at 9:49am and it was divine. she's now fast asleep and the hubz and i are enjoying a hot friday night of... laundry. and lots of it. but just so i don't screw up this blogging thing so early in the month, i've decided to share my super special, top secret fave site of the interwebs: prizey.


i won a chicken bOble from mama speaks already. don't question it - just go to prizey and win yourself something cool too. (unless your name is nina and you happen to be super... give the rest of us a chance to win too! lol) but seriously, it's my new fave addiction. and yes, emmy does *heart* her bOble.

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day one: meme time

so i finally kicked myself in the butt and signed up for NaBloPoMo. this ought to be interesting... between work deadlines, art projects, keeping up with emmy, upcoming holidays (and a big ol' 2 year birthday), a steadily growing tummy, and, oh yeah, the need for sleep, we'll see if i even make it past week one. *fingers crossed*

anyhoo, while browsing some blogs today, i saw that i had been tagged for a random things type of meme. it's been ages since i've done one but hallejuah, perfect timing! something to write about on day one. thanks, an'd!

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rules:
once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. at the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.

  1. in seventh grade, i was convinced that i wanted to be an interior decorator. i even subscribed to metropolitan home magazine... cause i liked it! this career aspiration conveniently (or not so conveniently) coincided with a career-themed project for school. all of the teachers scoffed at me, insisting that i couldn't dare waste my brain on any job that wasn't science and math related. and thus, the college-bound engineering path was born. of course, what do i do now? make ming ming capes and think of caterpillar cakes. heeheehee. and i'm so. much. happier. that. way.
  2. in high school, i helped build a giant whale out of thick plastic trash bag material. seriously. it was easily the length of a swimming pool and inflated with your standard room fan. we toured all of the local elementary schools to teach kids about the environment, all while sitting inside it.
  3. in college, i was a member of a sorority... and a professional chemistry fraternity. eek.
  4. if i could go back to college, i would not have been an engineer. i'd consider the hotel school instead. or maybe food sciences.
  5. i've loved hello kitty since my childhood, when i got my first stuffed kitty in red overalls. emmy sleeps with her now. sadly, my fave hk shirt was stolen from a dryer in my college laundry room... by a girl who liked to poke herself in the temples (and yes, there were scabs from that). bizarre.
  6. as a teenager, my biggest celebrity love of all time was johnny depp. how could you NOT get sucked into 21 jump street?
  7. the one thing that i miss most about vacationing in korea? food vendors with their carts parked all along city streets. much tastier than your boring ol' hot dog box.
  8. i could live off of chick-fil-a breakfast sandwiches, their little potato rounds, and a giant cup o' sweet tea. with the occasional corn dog thrown in for good measure.
i tag Beloved Babbling, Bokumbop, Deliberately Random Thoughts, HalfMama, Kitchen Fire, Mama Nabi's Hwe, Superha's Speculations, and The Lotus Life. c'mon, ladies - take a 5 minute facebook break and join me in the randomness!

see you tomorrow!

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