diapers, budgets & paint

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

kids 1, mom 0

we apologize for our mother's laziness
she'll resume posting as soon as we let her out
to use the computer again

the sisters lee

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the usual suspects

suspect #1: 3 month old, 2 foot tall female, weighing 15.5 pounds with brown hair and hazel-blue-green-gray eyes. last known address is within the packnplay township of gracoville.

- known boo-boos: needle mark on thigh from recent visit to "the doctor."
- likes: fast-moving swings. mirrors. sticking out her tongue and staring at her hands. storing nuts milk in cheek pouches for winter.
- dislikes: loud sounds, especially the crying of an older sibling. bath time with daddy.
suspect #2: 2.5 year old, 3 foot tall female, weighing approximately 28 pounds with light brown hair and brown eyes. last spotted talking with "little bunny foo-foo" and the rest of the lovey gang. also has ties to the imaginary elephant mafia boys, "mr. onk" and "sebby". may be armed and... uh, legged (two of each).

- known boo-boos: nasal bruise due to run-in with an oncoming swing. knee scrape from recent sidewalk scuffle. small lip laceration from table hit-and-run.
- likes: eating bbq chicken wings and spicy baby octopus. playing hide and seek (behind your back). reading the little quack books. blowing bubbles. drawing with "magic markers" (the color wonder kind). floam. finding nemo. cuddle time.
- dislikes: the word "no". tripping on the sidewalk. sharing mommy's attention... sometimes.
- favorite phrase(s): "wait a mitten!" and "i love you"
if you have seen these two suspects, please, PLEASE leave them be - they're sleeping at the SAME time! ah, sweet blissful silence!

working with the sketch artist

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back in the saddle again

from this little announcement, twelve weeks ago...

... to this family portrait, taken today

as you can see, we're still alive and well. blair just finished up his second year of medical school and is gearing up for the big step 1 test. emmy's almost done with her first year of preschool (gulp!) and is two-and-a-half going on thirteen. amazingly, it took nine weeks for the new baby honeymoon to end for her but she's been 99% sweet to little maddie. and "little" maddie just ain't so little anymore; weighing in at 13 pounds, 5.5 ounces at two months put her in the 95th percentile for chunky goodness. as she approaches the three month mark, she's wearing 6 month clothing, sleeping through the night (most of the time), and babbling away.

and me? well i'm getting the hang of this expanded motherhood gig, although i still find it difficult to balance the needs of two kids (and i'm sure that won't be changing anytime too soon). i've become a pro at nursing one-handed while fixing a meal, helping emmy in the loo, and doing the rest of my toddler-mommy duties. it definitely helps that i'm not headed back to work anytime soon, courtesy my maternity leave and personal leave of absence. in fact, i'm not expected in the office again until july 2009. ain't life sweet?

i hope to start posting here every now and again but don't hold your breath - it all depends on how the moons of (toddler) moodiness align with the stars of sleep in this household. until then, leave me a comment if you'd like to see our *shhhhh* super-duper secret photo site.

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a new beginning

... or how we celebrated presidents' day 2008:

in the hospital

and at home with the big sis

welcome, maddie!

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snackin' and slackin'

since a certain maternal person around here
is still too lazy to post, i'm continuing to fill in.
man, i sure hope i get paid for all this work!
(btw, this is how camels walk. learn from the master.)

so here's my mommy impersonation:
step 1. get comfy in your favorite chair.
step 2. eat.
step 3. repeat.
c'mon, you know i'm right...

but me, i'm staying busy.
i'm working on my rodeo routine.
check out my fierce beast!
look, ma - no hands!

anyhoo, we're at two weeks and counting.
either mom's gonna pop soon or someone's
been sneaking too many oreos after i go to bed.
guess she still needs to learn about sharing, eh?
(special shout-out to my peeps, miss carolyn and auntie becky!)

so that's it. me and dad, we're just chillin'.
i'll keep you posted if anything cool happens.
peace out for now, yo.


alive & kickin'

ohmygosh, my mom is like, sooooo slacking on this blog
so i finally had to take things into my own hands
silly mommy thinks i'm napping...
but instead i'll recap the past month for you guys

there was christmas, obviously
i got lots of loot
(mom must hide presents in her belly, she's getting big!)

but then the holidays were over
family and friends all went home
what a bummer

so we all went back to work
and dad hit the books at school

and i was all like, that's it?

so mom and dad took me to iceberry
(it's not a pinkberry but we take what we can get!)

and i even got upgraded to some new digs
i'm rockin' the big bed now, jealous?

i won't be the only kid in town come next month
kiki lilypad's on her way

good thing i'm ready for her!


i want my emTV

disclaimer: expect a lot of randomness here - i've had a gazillion updates floating around in my head recently but only now have the time to post some. on the plus side, my work-work is almost done, 5 paintings just got finished, gifts are done and wrapped, and my to-do list is finally almost empty. yahoo!

so our little girl has officially moved to the "big girl room" in preparation for baby #2's arrival. although her new room has been ready for quite some time, i finished moving the rest of the clothes, toys, and decorations over on monday, and emmy got her first chance to sleep in the big bed that night. i figured we'd sing an extra song or two, or maybe even toss in an extra story to commemorate the occasion. instead, we read one book, sang one song (not the usual three) and was quickly told "get off the bed, mommy. time to go sleep." snif.

and in true emmy fashion, yet another milestone was accomplished with little fanfare. she loves the new room, adores the big bed, and has even slept late every day since the move! the only slight hiccup is that it takes her a good hour to fall asleep at naptime, and that's only after a couple of stern warnings that it's quiet time. and that she better stop walking / running / bouncing on the bed.

and now i'm addicted to our new video monitor. seriously, if i'm still watching her when she's sixteen, someone shoot me. but for now, i want need my emTV.


recently, while watching the animal planet channel...

em: "what IS that?"
me: "those are ferrets, honey."
em: "actually, it's a dog."
me: "no, that animal is a ferret. it's long and - "
em: "ACTUALLY, it's a DOG."
um, okay. i stand corrected.


remember my obsession with prizey? i haven't been able to check it in ages but was extremely surprised to find that i won an old contest that i entered back in november! courtesy of the hostess with the mostess, i'll be receiving a cool new pulp factory calendar soon! it's no surprise that i picked the "a new baby's life calendar" and the timing couldn't have been better. thanks, jenn!

and i'm so excited about my NaBloPoMo painting prize in the works - matt is doing an original 8"x10" canvas for me. can you guess what i've requested? there's a certain movie that's been a favorite since childhood... and now em's inherited my love for the main characters too... mei and satsuki would be so proud! hint, hint!


oh, speaking of new babies, i've been feeling a little panicked nesty lately. i'm consumed with the thought that baby #2 will come early, throwing off our oh-so-carefully-planned delivery. in the past week, i've washed loads of em's old clothes; the nursery is now stocked with EVERYTHING for 0-9 months. i've purchased diapers in sizes newborn to 1-2. wipes are coming out of my ears. and i have more nursing pads that you can shake a stick at.

but i'm keeping my fingers (and legs) crossed that we'll make our scheduled delivery date.


i just gave copies of the green frogs: a korean folktale to the kids in our korean playgroup. the drawings are wonderfully quirky and emmy keeps begging us to read the tale. while it does mention death (which may be an early / confusing concept for a child so young), i highly recommend the book. in fact, blair and i both remember hearing the tale from our respective mothers growing up. kids, do what your moms tell you to do, okay?


after reading a farm book...
"emmy's not a piggy. piggy is a piggy. emmy is a piggy!"

while using crayons...
"i like red... because... i like blue"

in the car, after running lots of errands and skipping naptime...
"sing twinkle [twinkle, little star], mommy. i need to go to sleep."

toddler logic: priceless.

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c'est ne pas un oven mitt

thanks to the unexpected snow "storm" yesterday and em's horrible wet cough, she got to accompany me on my monthly excursion to the ob. while sitting in the examination room...

em: "what IS that? it's an oven mitt!"

have any idea what she was utterly fascinated by? yeah, the stirrups and their little "socks." seriously. and she continued to ask the doctor about them all during my exam. she even wanted to put her own tiny feet in them! needless to say, the doctor was quite amused.

between this and a little bit of bribery, the visit was an easy one. thank you, hello kitty fruit chews, and thank you, um, oven mitt.

just ten weeks to go till kiki lilypad makes her grand entrance!

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miss know-it-all

snippets from today, brought to you by the letter e and a seriously runny nose:

on the way to school, when asked what she wants for lunch...
"cole slaw. we talked about that yesterday."
(sorry, my bad - yes, we did. and no, it was just a side dish.)

while eating lunch...
"water chestnuts in there? no, lettuce? no, cabbage!" said while eating cole slaw.

after nap...
"i'm awake! time to play. mommy come play with you downstairs. daddy had to go to school to do study."

at dinner...
"dere is chocolate in there!" said while inspecting a sheet of seaweed.
when corrected and asked where seaweed comes from...
"oh, seaweed comes from a cow"
uh oh.

while playing...
"mommy read pocahontas, and emmy read this book in the green chair. better in the green chair."
moments later...
"this book is weird." said about her princess mini-book set. (hallejuah!)

and miss smartypants quickly caught on that mommy will do pretty much anything to keep her chatty daughter quiet during an impromptu work conference call. even if that means we're now running out of the chocolatey pepperidge farm cookies. oops.


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 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.


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.


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)
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...


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)


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!


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


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.


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...


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 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!


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.


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 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.


the wonder pets... save halloween

wonder pets, wonder pets
we're on our way
to help a little puppy and save the day

we're not too big
and we're not too tough
but when we work together, we've got the right stuff

goooooooo wonder pets, yay!!!!!

linny, tuck, and ming ming too
we're wonder pets and we'll help you
what's gonna work?
what's gonna work?

um, how about some candy instead?


the price of beauty

beauty can be itchy, sometimes


six degrees with a toddler

two posts in one day... practically a record nowadays, i know, but i had to get this one down before i forgot. here's our conversation from today's ride home from school:

emmy: "what kind of work? teamwork!!!"
me: "yep, that's what the wonder pets say"
e: "they save da mouse"
m: "that's right, we saw them save the mouse"
e: "mouse in da saxophone. owl plays saxophone!"
m: "well, yes, the owl on sesame street plays the saxophone"
e: "owl is very shyyyy!"
m: "um, yes, the owl in bear's new friend is very shy"
e: "he bashful"
m: "yes, but then he makes new friends and they go to the swimming hole together"
emmy smiles, seems satisfied, and tells me to drive home NOW.

so to recap:
the wonder pets - mouse - saxophone - sesame street owl - owl in bear's new friend
all you parents wondering how to connect ming ming the duck to big bird or bear's friend badger can now thank little miss know-it-all... who's FINALLY asleep upstairs. whew.


mr. onk

after dinner each evening, emmy peers over the side of the sofa to look down into a vent.
it's time to check on "mr. onk".
"onkie" is a white elephant.
and he likes to eat grass (... or maybe crabs?).
"don't eat his grass," she tells us.
we promise to leave his food alone.

welcome to our first imaginary friend.


sugar and spice... times two!

guess this is what life with 2 little girls looks like, eh?

we* can't wait!

*seriously, emmy's been certain of her baby sister for weeks now. in fact, her teacher told me today that she's told all of her classmates that "mommy has baby kiki in her tummy." yeah, she's named her "kiki lily(pad)." where did this kid come from?!

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a bloggy baek-il

in honor of my 100th post and glorious (heh, heh) return to the blogging world, here's my version of...
1. oops, i did it again!

well, just without the oops part - c'mon, i'm no britney spears. us silly ol' only children decided that it was about time to expand the family tree and give emmy the gift that keeps on giving... and giving... and occasionally taking. i'm currently at 15 weeks and eager awaiting to find out what we're having. i think that will make everything more real to us, especially once we can start calling the little one by a real name! baby #2 is set to debut next february, probably mid-month or so thanks to the miracle that we call a c-section. at least that lets us plan around blair's horrible exam schedule so we can pretend to have a reasonable birth / recovery plan in place. riiiight.

2. party like it's 1999 2007

although blair had a research job this summer, he was actually around A LOT! with all that free time, we probably accomplished a ton around here, right? well... not quite. but who cares if the backyard is still a mess - we had family fun time, all the time! with trips to see mama-ga and grampa, my best friend and her family, and a crazy busy weekend in baltimore's inner harbor, we kept very busy. it was nice to have blair around during the first trimester hibernation-and-nausea fest too (slogan: sleeping so you don't feel like puking since 2007!). and yes, that's a picture from emmy's last dance class. ain't she cute? we're taking a break from the dance for a bit since em will be plenty busy elsewhere...

3. new girl in school

yikes, where did the time go? we talked it up, we visited, we went to orientation. and today was emmy's first day of preschool! i originally planned on waiting until emmy was a little older to even think about school, but she's so darn chatty and curious that i think this will be perfect for her... and mama needs some quiet time to get work done. (yeah, i still do that part-time thing, although with fewer budgets and more, um, organizational / change management / training stuff. boring, i know.) anyhoo, emmy will be exploring the world of academia eating paste two mornings a week. today's recap: she sang a bumble bee song, read books, ate a snack, did a lot of painting, played on the playground and was practicing "blowing bubbles like avery" when i picked her up. the teacher says she briefly cried about 25 minutes after i left and sobbed "i want mommy back" but was quick to be consoled and snuggled during circle time. oh, and did she cry when i left? no. did she even say goodbye? nope. i just can't even hold a candle to the mystique of "oh my gosh! toys!" at preschool.

4. tinkle, tinkle, little pee

in preparation for preschool, baby #2, and all things related to "being a big girl," we stashed away the pull-ups over a month ago. emmy was a relatively quick study (thankfully!) and is now sporting some nifty big girl panties from haute designers including hello kitty, curious george, and the backyardigans. while we still use overnight pull-ups since she's a bit inconsistent with that, i'm quite relieved to see her, well, relieve herself on the big potty now! m&ms and stickers were the holy grail(s) of potty training in this house, and now em's just happy to see which panties she gets to wear each day. fave quote: "monkey panties say alriiiiiight!"

5. you know you make me wanna shout

my summer has been spent in absolute awe of how aware and talkative our little girl has become. here are a few random yet frequent quotes from the chatterbox:

- "emmy gets messy sometimes"
- "stellaluna hold on to the nest real tight"
- "you want some [fill-in-the-food] now too please?"
- "can i have some [fill-in-the-food] please?"
- "green light says goooo!"
- "owl plays saxophone" (courtesy sesame street)
- "reading is moooovelous"
- "carrots are crying!" (damn you, yo gabba gabba - you made her cry!)
- "mommy and daddy go sleep on a boat!" (wonder if she bought us a cruise vacation for our 6 year anniversary)

yeah, we're just that random here in the lee household! i'll start updating this blog a little more frequently now, so follow along as we see what the next few months have in store for us. and if you really, really want to waste some time, come find me on facebook, my new crack habit. i'll probably bite you. *wink*

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99 bloggy posts on the wall

99 bloggy posts on the wall
99 bloggy posts
take one down
pass it around
98 bloggy posts on the wall...

amazingly, i'm one post shy of 100 for this incarnation of kimelee.com. it's been a lot of fun posting random tidbits about the life of emmy, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones, and filling up my occasional bouts of spare time. and while i'm sneaking up on this posting milestone, i'm officially on hiatus. yup, mama needs a break. here are some recent "lessons learned" to explain why:
  • we love daddy. having blair around for the summer has been wonderful. no school, no books, no teacher's (or kim's) dirty looks. i'm getting spoiled by all of the extra attention, even down to the simple "let's veg out in front of the tv" time. we have 5 weekends left before year 2 of medical school officially begins... and we're currently booked for 4 of them. i'm sure i'll be hitting the computer like there's no tomorrow come mid-august, but until then, i'm opting to spend my nights with the man of the house.

  • i'm tired. chasing after a toddler by day, and working on budgets, reports, and everything else at night, takes a toll on you. on top of that, my current role ends in 2 months and i'm stuck playing the game to find a new project. in the past year, i've bcome quite comfy in my flexible work-at-home (at night) arrangement. going to the office to schmooze it up is no longer in my repertoir. after an hour or two, i'm dying to get home, shake my booty with the emster to a rockin' episode of jack's big music show and put on my mommy cap again. and when did my fave work pants get so darn tight? sigh.

  • it's summer. 'nuff said.

  • my to-do list is too long. knowing that we only have a few short weeks left with daddy time, the lee family to-do list is a mile long. between improvement projects, landscaping that begs to get done, organizing, em's big girl room and personal projects (that darned baby book!), i'm swamped. like i said, i'll be back as soon as blair retreats to his fortress of textbooks and i lose all motivation to be productive.
so as i said, i'm on hiatus. call it an extended summer siesta and i'll promise to write "what i did for my summer vacation" when i get back. there might even be a little show-n-tell if you're lucky.

and on that note, here are some recent pics from a private rocknoceros concert. yes, we are VIPs, and yes, we do roll like that.

front row seats, baby

put your shakers in the air like you just don't care

look at my hardcore guitar skillz, i know you're jealous

tots gone wild
(i have no idea where she learned this one)

no more fotogs, no more paparazzi - we're on vacay

and on that note, i wish you all a wonderful summer! hit the pool (or beach if you're so lucky), explore a new playground, taste a new flavor of ice cream, play without schedules and hug your kids lots - that's what we'll be doing.

oh, and in case you wanted one last glimpse of what summer laziness does to us lee folk, ponder this:

separated at birth?

hope you're having a good day at work, hon! muahahaha...

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celebrating independence

hope you hug an eagle today too

happy 4th of july, everyone!


best friends

from our trip to visit the grandparents, a delightful detour to the virginia living museum:

fish and turtles and crocs, oh my!
(and i don't mean the shoes)

look at what sharp teeth you have!

girl power: mommy and her bestest friend in the whole world,
auntie becky, with daughter victoria

well... i guess if our mommies are friends...
you're pretty cool too

someone is refusing to nap today, courtesy the booming thunder outside; good thing daddy's around to help entertain her while i work. looks like i'll be headed back into the office soon for a few hours each week. business dress in the humid heat of summer, how peachy. sigh.


tasty tidbits

life's gotten too busy lately for a proper post, so here are a few tidbits to tide you over...
  • i think we've started to hit emmy's "word explosion" in the past week or two. she's suddenly repeating multiple words at a time and stringing 2 to 3 words together to talk to us. right now, as she's tossing around in her crib, i've been listening to her practice many words like her fave "mommy up." she's picked up "blue is the sky" from a rocknoceros tune, plenty of useful phrases like "daddy come home," and has even invented a funny new game to play with us!

    emmy: "know what?"
    you: "what?"
    emmy: "what?"
    you: "what?"

    and on and on... really, it's loads of fun, even on the 632nd time of the day.

  • emmy's loving the "happy birthday" song right now. however, she insists that you fill in the name with "robbie" about 95% of the time, and will occasionally let you slip in "allie" or "andrew." we've tried to show her that it can be anybody's birthday, but apparently our friend robbie's first birthday overshadows all others. (or does she have a thing for cute little hapa boys? heeheehee, one can hope!)

  • emmy's so wonderfully korean when it comes to eating! she can't gobble down the chapchae and kong namul fast enough, and will literally try to self-serve from all the little panchan dishes. but the best part? i frequently give her rice rolled up in those flavored nori sheets. last weekend, she decided to take a lettuce leaf, carefully place it on her tray, methodically fill it with rice, roll it up, and toss it back! i never knew that the art of ssang-chu was so innate!
    on a similar note, she really likes cinnamon shikhye (cold, malted rice punch). while the regular stuff is okay, i think the cinnamon variant is a horrible ending to a lovely meal - it reminds me of christmas potpourri! at least i know where my serving will go from now on...

  • for all you northern virginia locals, the washington post had a great article about some local playground gems today. we decided to check out discovery park in sterling this morning and loved it for the 45 minutes or so that we could stand the heat. it doesn't have the wow factor of clemyjontri, but it's still a cool, more cozy alternative.

  • i'm off to work on the. baby. book. yup, emmy's over 19 months old and silly ol' mom has been VERY delinquent with this project. my goal is to have her first year scrapped over the next 2 months, while blair's around to give me the occasional bit of free time. i hope i'm not the only slacker out there... i feel like if i don't do it right this minute, it will never, ever get done. at this rate, any and all future kids will be lucky if i manage to remember their birthdate(s).

  • when i tire of the book, i'll just go slink away to the tv and immerse myself in my lovely sam-soon, the bridget jones of seoul. while i can't believe i've gotten sucked into this cheesy soap opera, i love the fact that a non-korean-speaking hapa actor, daniel henney, has risen to fame from it. wonder when that will happen to me... lol.

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in mama-ga's garden

these are beeeyoootiful

thanks for sharing, mama-ga

sitting in the tree that mommy used to climb

and now back to my plans of world domination


playing catch up

before we dive into "vacation" photos, let's play a little catch up, shall we?

welcome back, my friends!
check out a day in the life of... me!

i'm trying to eat better and watch my girlish figure
so let's check out the farmer's market

look at me, i'm a strong woman! i do all my own plowing

hmm, how did this get in here?

picnic, rice-cake style

after all that work in the fields, time to cool off
and yes, that's another rice cake... mmmm

some days, i work on my dance routine instead
(shhh, i'll be in timbaland's next video - but really, who isn't?)

who needs a pole when you've got a hoop?

at the end of the day, i just like to kick back with my peeps and go for a little drive
where's my cristal, ma?

we're halfway through the week... hope your's is going well!



...we're catching up on our sleep...


home again

the mister, tot-tator and i just got back from a last-minute trip to see my folks. since we don't see them too often, we try to reserve lots and lots of time for open emmy playtime. with the 90 degree temperatures for half the visit, it was pretty easy to opt for staying in with "mama-ga" and "gam-pa-ga." and while it was super nice to have delicious home-cooked meals and no chores to do, it's nice to be home again too.

lots more photos and tales on the way... once the laundry is done and we're unpacked.


a playgroup dream comes true

waaaay back when, one of mama nabi's posts had some of us commenting about our desire for mixed-race playgroups, or at least some way for our kiddos to see and play with kids who *big shock!* might look like them, or heck, at least look different than what's considered the "norm" in our various areas. at first, even blair didn't really understand what i'd want from such a group, but i think he mainly didn't understand just how homogenous my moms' group really is. since knowledge of the group travels mainly by word of mouth and the occasional online search, i guess it's just not getting to the more diverse communities... or those moms are all too busy with their own groups, working daytime jobs, or the million other things that keep us all super busy. i do know several korean moms, for instance, who have korean-only playgroups... and by that, i mean all of their kids speak korean, the moms speak only korean, etc. since i wouldn't exactly fit in with such a "hard-core" group, i was hoping to find a group of laid-back multicultural moms with kids around the same age who'd be interested in playtime and the random discussion about culture and such.

so i posted a note about it on my local community website.

and another on craigslist.

and i got... nada.

but then by random luck, a new mom joined the moms' group. it's such a big group that there are all sorts of sub-groups by location, interest, and so forth; sarah also joined the "world cultures" sub-group that i'm a member of and posted her introduction. we quickly started exchanging emails and amazingly, with little effort, she and i decided to put together a korean playgroup of sorts! we've been meeting for the past couple of months; after a slow start, she found a few other moms who are also interested in korean culture, so now we've got:
  • sarah, a korean mom who grew up mostly here in the states, with daughter hailey
  • linda, another korean-american mom, with her half-korean daughter ava
  • tina, a 1/4th korean and 1/4th japanese mom, with her hapa son nate
  • nikki, a caucasian mom, with her korean adopted son issac
somehow, we've managed to find a wonderfully diverse range of korean relationships and experiences among the five of us, and hopefully we'll even find a few more interested mommies and their tots out there. our kids are currently between 15 and 20-something months old and get along pretty well. in fact, the three little girls will even be taking dance class together this summer! it's been nice to learn a few new korean words, share some paht bing soo, and chat / vent / laugh over what it means to be korean each thursday morning.

c'mon, you knew there'd have to be something yummy involved, right? it all comes back to the paht. and sac sac. mmmmm...

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a day in the life

man, us celebrities have a rough life...

always hiding from the paparazzi

but no matter where you go, they find you

your days are full of book signings and public appearances

and you always have to appease the crowds
(i hate these promotional gigs - like i even cook!)

don't even get me started on the dating scene, what a pain
(but sometimes you meet a few nice guys too)

but at the end of the day, i'm still me...
i'm still emmy from the block*

now here, have some autographed rocks
i *heart* my fans

* emmy's wearing her very own little orange oven mitt here... this one's for you, halfmama!


i has chalk


corn smile

hey emmy, do you like corn?

oh yeaaaaah. you get a corn smile* for that

other recent emmy sightings...
- acting out the song "if you're happy and you know it..."
- dancing the hokey pokey
- walking like an ajumma (no joke!)
- figuring out the difference between "dog" and "puppy"
- wearing her backpack all by herself
- getting ready for her first dance class on friday... leotard and ballet slippers, oh yeah!

later dudes... i'm outtie

*yes, we call it her "corn smile" - who needs to say "cheese" for the camera when you've got corn? mmmm...


yes, there is a squirrel

time for yet another installment of "what's been hanging out on mommy's camera?"

mommy, mommy, come look!

reliving a tractor moment... how time has flown

even elmo wouldn't eat this popsicle
(yet she wouldn't let go of it, of course... why on earth do popsicle makers put so much horrible dye in their product? somewhere, those execs are laughing their butts off at all of the clothing that's been stained over the years)

with such nice weather, even the squirrels have to take a break

and finally, proof that we can still clean ourselves up and attend fancy schmancy events like we used to
(alright, i'll admit it - this was our first "date-night" since emmy was born, even if it was a med school function. it only took 17+ months. we suck.)


zoo for you

we finally uploaded the photos off my camera last night - time to play picture catch-up! and if you're wondering, yes, we do spend a LOT of time at the local zoo. today's post is dedicated to that fantabulous place, just 10 minutes down the street...

that's one hot crib... monkey-style

mmmm... roast duck, anyone?
(just kidding! i didn't bring my hoisin sauce today)

so three turtles walk into a bar and...

wow, when did she get so big???
(yes, i meant emmy!)

and happy (early) birthday to the gosselin sextuplets tomorrow - they'll be three! i am in love with their show, jon & kate plus 8, as well as their 2 previous documentaries. any parents that can handle "2 6-year olds and 6 2-year olds" totally get props in my book, and the fact that all the kids are hapas is just icing on the cake for me! aren't they sooooo adorable?

ASIAN DOLL UPDATE! one last thing, i found the perfect doll for emmy today! while browsing in the right start store, i came across the asian corolle "poupette" doll. it looks like she'll be perfect for em: she's huggably soft, easy to dress and just so darn simple and cute! i'll be stashing her away for a special occasion, that's for sure! have you found any particularly good asian dolls / toys?

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more randomness

did you know that tomorrow (may 5) is children's day in korea? i didn't - thanks for pointing this out, sarah! since blair will be buried in the endocrinology books all weekend, i think i'll try to make tomorrow extra fun for emmy. there's a big "pet fiesta" festival at the town center; perhaps we'll go and get our animal fix for the day. have i mentioned that emmy is totally obsessed with cats? seriously, sweetie, did you have to pick the one animal that both of your parents are totally allergic to? oh well, maybe i'll just paint one for her...

oh, and did i also mention that she got her first "boy kiss" yesterday? heeheehee... em's pretty affectionate with the people that are extra close to her and she'll even kiss and hug her playgroup friends from time to time. yesterday, "ben-ben" and "memmy" exchanged their first ever boy-girl smooch - it was so adorable and i'm kicking myself for missing that kodak moment!

in terms of randomness, another notable thing happened yesterday. here's an excerpt of the recap i sent to blair (who was sadly at school and missed all of the excitement):
dude, 3 police cars were blocking our court, behind l's car
i just called her - she saw a potential intruder trying to get into (neighbor's) backyard
man was dressed in women's clothing, carrying a pillow case and covering his bottom
he looked right at her and then she called the cops
um, yeah. for a very quiet, family-oriented type neighborhood, that was bizarre. and when i was typing that out, i seriously felt like i could have been playing mad libs with those underlined words up there! (so which nouns did you pick?)

now it's time for bed... i spent 2 hours outside after emmy went to sleep tonight, attempting to plant new azalea bushes in the front "yard." although my mom has quite the green thumb, mine's more brownish black... you know, the color of all those dead leaves piled up in the decaying mulch bed that we've been ignoring for months. i am totally NOT the gardening type, but the $800 estimate i got from a landscape guy motivated me to get my lazy butt outta the house and into the dirt. i managed to plant 3 small azaleas before it got too dark to work anymore; i'll have to plant the last bush and several liriope tomorrow. too bad the ginormous oak tree out front sucks the soil dry... oh how i hate digging holes and hitting roots, roots, rocks and more roots. anyone want to come dig with me?


things i love #3

(sorry for the blurry camera phone shot)

  • sharing a yummy dinner with your daughter
  • sharing a quiet dinner with your daughter, who's totally mesmerized by sitting on a deck overlooking a lake filled with boats and birds
  • sharing a FILLING dinner with your daughter, who's so entranced by the experience that she gives you extra time to eat your own food
blair's busy on campus today so emmy and i had a girls night out. yum!

in other news, just call me "mommy do" from now on. does every kid go through this stage?


a little bit o' sunshine

time to brighten things up over here...

first of all, a hearty congratulations to one of my absolute favorite cousins in the world and his wife on the birth of their beautiful little boy, yong han. i haven't seen cousin yong dae since about 1993; my last trip to korea was right after i started high school, but he and i tried to be pen pals for several years after. he was definitely a super cool guy that i always looked up to... who was also cool with the idea of having his hapa cousin follow him around all summer. welcome to parenthood, yong dae!

and in more local news...

looks like it's time to go shopping again - need anything?

chillin' with my peeps at miss shelley's crib

btw, have you seen this will ferrell short? go get your drink on and enjoy!


for more thoughts on the va tech massacre, check out the recent discussions over at the kimchi mamas site

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easter weekend in review

hmmm... now what did i do all weekend?

oh yeah, we went to that farm museum place again. horses rock!
(and i got to milk the cow again - moo!)

easter was fun but it was too cold to dress up or go outside.
check out all my loot from our living room egg hunt.

still eating...
i *heart* m&m's!

geez, where are my manners? want one?

mmm, what a tasty day!
i'm still drooling over all that choc-o-laty goodness!

now back to work - it's tax time.


getting ready for easter

dude, where are my bunny ears?


things i love #2 (ode to emmy)

some days you're sweet, my playful bunny
some days you're brave - oh crikey, honey!

sometimes you're sad to brush, brush, brush
sometimes you slow down mommy's rush

on other days, you're playful! silly!
in a tizzy, willy nilly!

and other times, you work real hard
on the farm and in the yard

you're growing fast, my little one
and mommy hates to miss the fun...

...like when she has to go to training for work
and sit through eight long hours of blah, blah, blah.
(i can't imagine going back full-time, that's for sure!)
see how inspired i get when my brain turns to mush?
hallmark, i'm sending you my resume asap.

thanks for staying home today, daddy!

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we're baaaack

grrr... i had this great long post all ready to publish and blogger ate it. ugh, how i hate you tonight, blogger. i'd try to recreate it but i'm sleepy and annoyed so we'll see how i do tomorrow. for now, a few quick updates...

wow. i never thought it would be so hard to play email/blog catch-up but it sure felt like it this week. have you ever had one of those weeks where you just don't have the energy to do much of anything? or, more specifically, where you don't want to look at anything that requires an internet connection? (i know, that's sacrilege - how could i ever turn away from my beloved laptop?) perhaps it's because daddy's on spring break this week; we're trying to make the most of our real-life connections while we can. i'm sure i'll be hittin' the blogging bar hard next week. in fact, make it a double, bartender.

in the meantime, i'm slowly catching up. for my pals in blog-land, sorry for the lack of commentary... but i'm still reading! :)

we spent the past few days visting my folks in southern virgina. we were supposed to see my best friend's daughter get baptised too but emmy's horrible stomach bug kept us quarantined for the entire trip. on a um, positive note, we now know how to thoroughly scrub and clean a britax car seat to remove stinky 3-hour-old macaroni and cheese. mmm... yeah, it was just THAT fun. emmy got lots of good bonding time in with my folks while we were there; in fact, my mom started showing emmy the intricacies of playing hwa-tu. blair doesn't play so i look forward to challenging em... of course, that might take a few more years. right now, we're just excited to point out all of the "birds!" and "flowers!"

at least she's not chewing on 'em...

now that we're home and healthy, we're trying to make the most of daddy's time. today's stops: the reston zoo and playground time...

i can't believe my baby is all grown up - look at her drive!
i dunno about her choice in friends though...

these two baby porcupines were just born at the zoo this morning;
we were the first people to see them!

every good asian learns to use the abacus from a young age, right?

riding the whale does a body good

next up: today's mommy wars discussion, or the one that blogger ate

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you know you're a mom when...
- your daughter is on her fifth set of clothes for the day because her lunchtime chicken and rice is covering the first four
- you're on shirt, um, #3? and forget about those nice suede-ish pants you were wearing earlier

and the best...
- you're naked in the tub, trying to wash both a very slippery toddler and yourself, and the smoke detector starts beeping LOUDLY because it's located right outside the bathroom door and you forgot to turn on the fan / shut the door / beat the detector with a hammer and throw it out the window

this was going to be a longer post but em just woke up. wish us luck!


a spring swing

wherever you are, we hope you're enjoying some sunnier weather too

egads! a rare daddy sighting! alert the press!

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we like ducks

hey, you there!
don't you have work to do or something?
aw heck, since you're here already... want to scrub my back?


potty sophisticate

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:
sunday: nothing
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!

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can you say potty?

wow. this has been a seriously wow day.

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? :)

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super tasty super h

we took a family trip to super h today, our local korean-asian-everything mart. it really is like going to heaven, with all of the delicious foods (samples!), knick-knacks (samples!) and hello kitty paraphernalia. the best part is that it's so much more than just a grocery store; there's "momo cafe" with its sweet rice cake desserts (and paht bing soo in the summer, mmmmm!), a bakery with more sweet bread-y goodness, a cafeteria eatery that makes awesome tang soo yuk (my special comfort food dish), a fresh sushi/sashimi area, another prepared foods section with kim bap and chiges to go, a crazy seafood department, a fresh kimchi-making aisle and, of course, the requisite non-food section (filled with korean soap operas on vhs, toys, rice cookers, kimchi refrigerators, etc.). it only takes about 15 minutes to get there, but we actually don't go all that often. today, however, mama needed a good korean lunch fix. and what a perfect time to introduce emmy to the subject of one of her fave books: bee bim bop!

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...)

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new year yummies

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!

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love is in the air

roses are red, violets are blue
you guys are so cool, i flip for you!

more valentine's goodness... smooches to everyone!


food, fashion and fun stuff

dinner was quite the success tonight: we had a delicious meal of sole stuffed with scallops and crabmeat, julienned carrots in a light maple glaze, whole green beans with red peppers and a side of rice. and the great part? not only did blair and i like it, emmy gobbled it all down like she'd been starved for days. that girl loves her food! and know what's even better? i didn't have to do a darn thing except heat the oven and serve the food! want to know my secret? shhh... come closer... closer... i totally cheated with a la zing! they're an off-shoot of the omaha steak company, and i had randomly run across some specials right after the holidays. we got 4 full meals for 2 people (well, 3 since i share with em) for less than $50, including shipping. i figured it would be way cheaper than eating out, so what the heck? now i'm excited to try the other dishes we received, but i'll save them for days when i have zero time to cook. (btw, i totally recommend googling for a la zing introductory specials before you order from their site - you can get lots of food for cheap, and sometimes even free knives! lol)

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. :)

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these boots were made for walkin'

okay, so maybe there are no boots... but baby is upright and mobile! that's right, as of today, emmy has taken her first steps!!! and best of all, our thoughtful toddler waited until both mommy and daddy were at home together - that's right, blair didn't miss out on anything! she seems most motivated to walk towards remote controls and cell phones (she takes after her daddy), but is oddly not overly motivated to head towards food... unless i'm just not offering anything enticing enough. she's up to 6 or so consecutive steps before she gets side-tracked by something else; i'm excited to see how her newfound skill progresses in the coming days! go baby!

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?

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family goodness

happy weekend, everyone!

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what the zzzzzzz

she woke up at 3:45 am.
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.


books, hanguk style

in honor of the upcoming lunar new year (february 18), i've updated "what emmy's reading" to display some of her current korean books. we just got while we were out and yellow umbrella today - thanks amazon marketplace! although we already celebrated the new year with blair's family on january 1st, i'm hoping that we'll go out and have a nice big feast for the occasion. mark's duck house or ilmee anyone?

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!

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29 candles

this is my year of red. it started with a new jacket at christmas. i feel like the color just fits me now. after years of black, charcoal gray and other neutrals, i like the color's boldness, strength and fun. it's got oomph. and so, i unveil my birthday loot - i swear it wasn't planned this way:

  • 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!
and while the gifts are super nice, the best part of the birthday was all of the extra time with family and friends. blair had the entire weekend to be a great husband and daddy, and we finally had the chance to catch up with good friends. from dinner with carolyn and henry to superbowl good eats with jason, angela and their kids, we relaxed and had fun and took a break from all things academic. we even managed to fit in a quick dinner at big bowl tonight, although it ended on a sad note as emmy was reduced to tears when her fortune cookie fell to the floor and shattered. poor baby, i totally forgot we had a couple of extras at home.

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:

emmy signing "car/drive"

blair's looking hot but feeling cold

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!

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k-u-dos to you!

our good friends carolyn and henry came over for dinner and game night. us gals have a looong tradition of absolutely killing the husbands at every game we play, of course! after a rousing game of scene it, we moved on to an old fave: taboo. during one of the rounds, blair tried to describe the word "kudos". in a final, last ditch effort...

blair: uh, what would the initials of kansas university be?
henry: K-U
blair: right! and what was microsoft's first operating system?
henry: dos!
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
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.)

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!

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little bits o' happiness

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? :)

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we *heart* books

in honor of emmy's never-ending love of books, i've added the "what emmy's reading" list to the site (on the right). i hope to keep track of her top six or so favorite books at any given moment, and if i'm good i'll even try to update it weekly. perhaps you'll find a new tome for your little one... remember, all books featured have the official emmy-stamp of approval!

p.s. - thanks for leaving such a sweet comment, rachel! we *heart* you too!

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things i love #1

i'm stealing citymama's idea, but here's a new feature recapping, well, things i love. in this first edition, it's things i've loved this past week (especially since i've been too busy to blog properly... sometimes you just have to get your housework and work-work done... and watch grey's anatomy):
  • berber carpet. six to ten of your favorite little ankle biters can spill drinks, crumble food, drool and enjoy messy-happy-fun-kid-time in your playroom and you won't notice a thing.
  • our dyson dc-14 animal. the only vacuum strong enough to suck thirteen pounds of crushed goldfish crackers and teddy grahams out of said berber carpeting. i love playgroups as much as the next mom, but man those kids can be destructive with their snacks.
  • sandra boynton at kohl's. i've never been a big fan of kohl's department store, but i do like their "kohl's cares for kids" program. they sell good, well-known books and toys for just $5 each, with proceeds benefiting health and educational opportunities for children. right now you can get 3 sandra boyton song books, each with an accompanying cd! we picked up rhinoceros tap, philidelphia chickens and dog train today. they also have stuffed characters from the boynton books but we have waaay too many furry friends for that deal.
  • lands end overstocks. i just ordered two new swimsuits at great clearance prices, and i have my fingers crossed that at least one will fit well! if emmy and i get into the aqua tots class, i'll need something to cover up my, uh... mommyness. on a happy note, as of this week i am FINALLY back to my pre-pregnancy weight! (yeah, i know, it only took 14 months... sigh.) i'm hoping to lose a little more too, but hey, aren't we all? it is amazing, however, how the weight distribution totally changes during and after pregnancy. (remember, blair - if you ever get a crazy notion to go into plastics, i sooo get the friends and family discount first!)
  • this blog. it's been a great way to meet some new friends and, best of all, reconnect with old ones.
aside from boring house stuff and work, em and i have been super busy this week with four different playgroups / playdates. we even managed to hang out with my neighbor and her two girls - they're hapas like me! her youngest looked very similar to emmy... it was so cute to watch them eat snacks together, stealing crackers and cheerios from each other's napkins. the older girl (4) was such a sweetie, giving emmy kisses and "reading" book after book to her. i only wish that we'd all met earlier and that they weren't planning to move this summer. oh well, we'll just have to make the most of the next few months!

emmy's making her papa proud in that picture - way to use an otoscope, dr. lee... and my, what keen fashion sense you have!

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kiss good night

emmy insisted that i read one of her favorite books earlier today (no surprise there, miss bookworm!). we've read kiss good night since em was still in my tummy so i happily obliged. but today, when we got to the page where mrs. bear remembers that she needs to kiss sam good night, emmy puckered up sweetly and gave me a kiss on the lips! and when sam cried "again!", i got a second surprise kiss too! sweetie pie, how did you know that your mommy needed that today?

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and then there was snow

apparently emmy and i went down for a long winter's nap today! upon waking from our (shared) nap at 2:00 pm, i looked outside to see the wintry goodness piling up around our house (as much as 3 or 4 inches can pile).

the good news? it snowed!

the bad news? it snowed!

i love snowy winter days as much as the next gal, but after four years of living in ithaca, new york i've pretty much had my fill. now i usually see snow as a pain in the butt, something else to slow down d.c. traffic and make it harder for me to get to work / stores / OUT. i'm hoping that emmy will change all that - it's definitely cool to see things that you take for granted through the eyes of your child. i think emmy enjoyed our little jaunt out in the neighborhood today. thank goodness i finally bought snow boots for her just two days ago! (thank you, target clearance aisle! and if you need boots for your little one, they're just $4.98 - what a steal!)

wait, who am i kidding? she can't walk yet - but at least her feet were warm and stylin'!

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you tube, me tube

just uploaded my first video tonight - sadly, the quality stinks since it's just from our little digital camera (not the *real* video camera... which, of course, we never remember to use). anyhoo, here's emmy from a few weeks ago: she's learning to share with her pal "melmo".

oh yeah, and we've mastered the ring toy too! (well, not always in the right order - she's more artsy that way.) em's showing a lot more interest in puzzles as well, and we just added several more sandra boynton books to the collection. i love that lady - she must be rolling in dough for writing short rhymes that are so freakin' simple, yet so amazingly catchy. i actually don't mind reading each of her books about 52 times a day. gotta love kids who like books!

today's big step: i went to a preschool open house!
don't worry, we're probably going to wait and enroll emmy in the fall of 2008, but places around here can have looong waiting lists so i figured i'd start my homework early. and anyway, why rush childhood, right? once she becomes a "student", she'll be there until she's (probably) in her 20's. we've got plenty of time to play and learn together before that happens!

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like static cling

this is my daily view of the em-ster. she's gotten a little... clingy lately. she's a big fan of mine; i hear "mama-mama-MAAAMAAAA!" many times each day, especially when strangers (or her dad) is nearby. i reassure them (him) that this is just a phase and that she'll probably want nothing to do with me in a few months. until then, it's the emmy & mommy show, playing 24-7 at a playgroup near you.

and in other news...

welcome two new additions to our socktacular sock family! first up is oscar the socktopus, a friendly eight-legged sea creature who enjoys fine dining and long walks on the beach. his snazzy red bow tie shows that he's always ready for a night out on the town, although he's slightly incredulous that you'd pick him to go on your date. this insecurity comes from years of being picked last in gym class, even though he's quite an athletic fellow with good ball handling skills. next to him is nake the snake, our happy argyle'd reptile extraordinaire. nake was born without eyes sadly, but has been fortunate enough to be blessed with an extra sensitive tongue. he spends most of his time hanging out at the local playground, hogging the top of the slide in hopes of surprising too-eager young tots.

so what does emmy think of all this? apparently she only wants her "roh-ra" (lola)! she is most definitely NOT a fan of oscar (is he really that scary looking?) so he's been gifted to the hubby. on the plus side, she does seem to enjoy playing with her "nake" and frequently drags him around the playroom. em's friends, however, seem to be more welcoming of our growing menagerie - playmate amanda enjoyed gnawing on oscar's tentacles (who wouldn't like a little calamari, really?) while andrew carried nake all around the house. so what's next? i'm thinking of doing another monkey to improve my sewing skills; i have a great pair of striped socks that look just like a "jojo" to me! (and no, that's NOT in honor of that strange little clown girl from "jojo's circus" - seriously, her yoga show kinda creeps me out.) and yes, i DO realize that i can use more than just socks for my sewing projects (thanks, honey!); i just haven't found the time to get to the fabric store, especially since target has so many cute socks on clearance.

got any sewing ideas or requests? just let me know! maybe i'll even make you a little something too!

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snippets of our day

"mooooo", she said. i'm a cow. duh!

recent cool things:
  • we had a great, great day: a puppet show and playtime with friends - mommy really needed the chance to get out of the house
  • emmy ate like a champ - from apple pancakes and bananas to ravioli and spinach and meatloaf and broccoli and cauliflower and even a clementine, PLUS snacks ("nacks!")
  • and even better: em seems to like the new variety of soy milk we bought - could this be the solution to our evil milk problem? (on a related note, i tried calling our peds today to ask what they suggested. uh, yeah, waste of time. all i got back was a voice mail telling us to try anything that's "lacto-free." um, did you mean lactose-free, perhaps? and thanks, like i couldn't figure that out on my own. sheesh.)
  • i *heart* the signing time dvds. i totally recommend them to anyone trying to teach their child sign language. we've seen volumes 1-9 courtesy of our local library system, but i may just have to breakdown and get the whole set. it's signing time with alex and leah... that song runs through my head a million times a day! and yes, the picture above is emmy signing her version of "cow." i think she probably spends a good 50% of her day signing "more - eat - cheerios - more - eat!" to us now, with the occasional "cheese" thrown in for variety. at least the kid knows what she wants!
  • emmy's starting to pretend play now and it's one of the coolest things i've ever seen! it started with her putting stuffed animals under blankets and saying "night night". then she started feeding them with a doll milk bottle. and just the other day we spent at least 30 minutes giving her tiger a check-up - she's totally fallen in love with her tiny medical bag and likes to hear mommy make the buh-bum sound when she uses her stethoscope. just a warning though: that girl is vicious with the fake syringe. her poor tiger must have been vaccinated for everything... in the eye. ouch!
and that's all for tonight, folks! g'night!

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new to the zoo

now that i've finished uploading a bunch of december pics, it's time to revisit emmy's first trip to the national zoo! we had been meaning to go for months now but we'd been a little skeptical as to whether it was worth the trek yet; juggling work/school/food/nap schedules can make any trip harder to plan, especially when you wonder how much your infant will actually see before catching some zzzzz's in your stroller. anyhoo, the recent mild temperatures finally cajoled us to head to the zoo and it was totally worth it - i recommend a quick stop here for all moms and dads, whether you're a local or just passing through.

[yes, if you're paying attention, you'd know that we live in reston, va. that's only about 20 miles from washington, d.c. and its cool touristy, sciencey, smithsonian-y stuff. sadly, do we ever bother to take advantage of it? since blair does the commute daily for school (and we both used to do it for work), it tends to become more of a chore than a treat. we need to work on that as emmy grows up; there's too much interesting stuff for her to enjoy... you know, before we finally move outta this area! sorry, i digress - point is, us suburbanites ought to stop taking this area for granted and see what it has to offer. you know, more than just those seedy clubs i've seen during all those bachelorette pah-tay nights out. heeheehee!]

anyway, blair and i had been eager to make it to the zoo ever since they opened the new asia trail; it's the wonderfully designed / renovated home to sloth bears, fishing cats, red pandas, a giant salamander, clouded leopards, small-clawed otters and, of course, three giant pandas. we started our trip with a lucky find: papa panda tian tian was comically scratching his tush against some trees, much to the great amusement of our fellow zoo goers. next door, goofy baby tai shan lumbered after mei xian, frequently rolling down a little hill to catch up to her and annoy the heck out of his poor (yet patient) mom. emmy was having a hard time viewing much from her stroller so i decided to carry her through the zoo instead - she seemed to perk up as soon as she could see over the crowds better (and my arms got quite the work-out). she was definitely interested to watch the older sloth bear pace across his rock while the cub got stuck in a tree ("bear! bear!"), and even seemed impressed to see the elephants in their home ("big!"). nevertheless, the best part of this trip were the two indoor facilities that we toured. not only did we warm up a bit, emmy could actually stand up against the glass display windows and see animals at her level. she was a hit in the ape house, where several apes and orangutans swung/walked over to sit/eat directly in front of her ("oooo ooo ooooh!"), and she ADORED the small mammal house and all of its petite occupants. the meerkat clan seemed to amuse her the most, so we'll definitely have to make a return trip in the spring when she can enjoy it more. we'll also have to see more of the zoo - we only made it through about half of the exhibits and i totally missed seeing the prairie dog enclosure - you can practically pet them!

of course, i'm pretty fortunate in the animal department - i happen to live with two of the cutest critters around:

don't be jealous - they really are that cute in person too.

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milk rant

this was one heckuva long week. with multiple cases of the stomach flu tossing us (and our cookies) around the house, emmy and i stayed in quarantine mostly. i was exhausted but hated missing our weekly playgroups - you never realize how long a week can be until you're stuck inside with a previously sick yet now super-hyper toddler. thankfully, we're all better now. so much better, in fact, that i decided to ease back into our normal eating habits... milk and all.

and that's where i think i went wrong. i can't figure out if emmy has a milk intolerance that's finally developed into a problem or is just suffering from a temporary lactose intolerance due to the most recent stomach bug. (did you know that stomach viruses can have lasting uh, diaper-related effects for one to SIX weeks?!) i know, i know, someone out there is thinking, "duh, you're asian - of course she's lactose intolerant you mean, milk-pouring mommy!" but it turns out that most kids don't develop that until the age of 3 or so, so i was hoping that we'd be able to give this whole milk thing a try. aside from the calcium and vitamins, we need those fatty calories! our pediatrician wants us to fatten up the little munchkin since she's already plateau'ed weight-wise (who was only in the 45th percentile at the 1 year check-up, versus her previous 75th-80th standing). ANYWAY, em drank milk today like there's no tomorrow... and i'll probably be hating MY tomorrow when i realize how little sleep i'll likely have had. so far she's been up all evening with gassiness and other discomfort, and i'm kicking myself for being brave / stupid enough to give milk another try (there were small warnings before too - just took a while to connect them). growing up as the only kid in my class that didn't drink milk was a pain - seriously, did the school system have to charge so much extra for that frickin' box of too-sweet fruit punch? blair tells me that our local fairfax county school system actually offers soy milk as an alternative now, but it's always frustrating to be different in such a small but annoying way. of course, it's nothing compared to some of the bad (read: peanut) allergies out there now but we're keeping our fingers crossed on those.

and yes, this IS a long rambling post, but i'm also kicking myself for stopping nursing a couple weeks ago. i figured that 13.5 months was probably enough - heck, i'd exceeded my original goal of one year! - and that em was getting all that she needed from her sippy cup and plate. *sigh* we had already transitioned down to just one nursing a day so i realize that she's not missing a lot, but in hindsight i wish i'd continued a bit longer... then i could at least tell myself that i was helping her through this milk thing a little more. instead, i'm sitting here googling which soy milks are "full/whole" fat and appropriately enriched for someone under the age of 2. oh, and trying to figure out where we can sneak extra calories into em's diet.

it's so funny how much there is to parenting these days. i have to remind myself that if we all somehow made it this far (without car seats while our parents smoked up front, for instance - eek!), that blair and i will do okay too. and on that note, let me send a quick shout out to all the wonderful blogs now listed on the right. many of them are written by some awesome mamas out there and i'm very grateful for their anecdotes, humor, insight and support. thanks, fellow mamas and friends - you keep me sane (and staying up waaaay past my bedtime)!

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the dirty side of parenthood

warning: this post is dirrrty. and i don't mean in the christina aguilera way.

i'm a pretty clean person. blair would probably say i have ocd when it comes to throwing things away; the sunday newspaper is lucky to have survived past noon each week, and god help the poor piles of paper/mail/stuff on our dining room table. (i recently realized that i'm married to PileMaker Pro - that's right, the human paper and oddities collector/stacker - but i digress...) before we got a dog, i couldn't even imagine what it would be like to clean up poop from our lawn, half-digested kibble from our bedroom floor at 3am, and other unmentionable liquids from our home (she's licking where?!). but once we got taylor ("taytay" to emmy), it was amazing how easily we could clean up all of her trespasses and accidents. even when she ripped open a 20-pound bag of rice all over our dining room. twice. and tried to eat batteries. and successfully opened and ate from two bottles of vitamins. (childproof, my tush!)

anyway, i think parenthood is very similar and yesterday was my (first) big test. sure, emmy's peed on us - what kid hasn't? and yes, i've caught her throwing up in my hands before. but yesterday was special. she was dealing with a beastly stomach flu and i was starting to come down with the symptoms myself. as soon as she told me she'd gone "puuu puu", i went to change her diaper. it was the most bizarre shade of beige i'd ever seen, thick and wet and practically overflowing her poor kirkland's diaper (yeah, we're economical!). then she started to moan and cry - dumb mommy, you should have known. you should have closed the diaper. you should have hidden behind the coffee table. you should have run. but alas, dumb mommy was literally showered by the uncontrollable fire hose of her poor baby's horrible flu-inspired poo. oh yes, i was sprayed from shirt to pants to socks. and somehow, i managed to remain composed as i finished changing her (not a drop on em, thankfully!), carefully got us both upstairs, changed, and gingerly carried the ruined clothes downstairs to the laundry room, all while other people were in the house. shortly thereafter, the same stomach flu reared it's ugly head in me. *sigh* amazingly, emmy was conveniently napping while i embraced my porcelain friend. your timing is so good, little one - i totally owe you a mango smoothie when all this is over.

part of me would love to keep us both at home for the duration of the winter months. when i called my pediatrician help line yesterday morning, they were swamped with similar calls. gotta love winter vomiting disease, rotavirus, norovirus and all of their evil friends! i soooo look forward to the day when emmy goes somewhere (playgroup, store, anywhere!) and chooses NOT to put everything in her mouth. until then, i'm keeping my fingers crossed that we survive the winter. (and i'll be gripping my purell hand sanitizer and a box of wipes in the other hand.)


blueberry all over

before i forget, guess what we learned this weekend? blueberry-stained vomit washes out of sheets, crib bumpers, pajamas and stuffed toys quite easily - even with normal detergent! hurray for the power of tide! and boo to the evil blueberry smoothie (or stomach virus?) that made saturday a stay-at-home kinda day.

next up: does emmy have a milk intolerance developing? hmmm...


back to routine

blair went back to school today; he begins his second semester of medical school with 30 credits of classes and seminars looming on the horizon. while blair toils away with biochemistry, physiology and the like, emmy and i will be working hard at playing, reading and naptime. i sure do hope we all do well!

it's tough getting back into the swing of things after such a long, lovely break. i had to crack open the planner last night to see what's on our schedule this week. we've got 2 playgroups and 1 toddler "support" group meeting, i think. i'm glad that we've decided to take a break from any classes - there's enough to do as it is! and i have resolved to get to bed earlier so that i can be more productive during the day, especially when emmy naps. that means no more mommy naps! (okay, so i'm being very optimistic... but wouldn't it be so much better for me to get my blogging, emailing and maybe even work-work done during the day so that i can get to bed at a decent hour?)

anyway, i have to admit that i really like the return of our mommy-and-emmy time each day. as great as it was to have blair at home for 2 weeks, it's nice to fall back into the ol' swing of things: seeing playgroup friends, running errands, and playing endlessly with the little one. and i'm sure that he's somewhat relieved to be back in his world of academia too! but we'll miss you, dear daddy, so get home for dinner quick! i think our little chef is cooking something special just for you! and this one's totally yours - i changed the first one earlier today. stinky!

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baby got a new pair o' shoes

happy holidays, everyone!

we had a great long weekend, celebrating with my folks who came to visit and eating waaaay too much food. i think emmy had a great time too, although all of the attention and gift opening left her a little overwhelmed on christmas day. she fought her naptime and didn't go to sleep until after 2ish, but thankfully woke up refreshed enough to spend more quality time with the grandparents.

since blair has the rest of the week off, time to make some family fun plans!


ho, ho, ho!

she didn't cry, she didn't pout
she thinks he's nuts, without a doubt!

emmy's snug in her bed waiting for santa to come... are you?


one year recap

i finally found a way to grab all the pics from emmy's one year photo shoot; some of my faves are shown above. (yup, that's my korean dress she's wearing!)

we'll be laying low until the holidays - em's currently recovering from a reaction to the mmr / chicken pox vaccination she got 10 days ago AND a nasty stomach virus. seems like all the kiddos around here have something... hand sanitizer, anyone?

on a more positive note, blair's on break until early january. yay for family time! and yay for birthdays too - be sure to wish him a good one tomorrow!


happy birthday, baby!

em turned ONE yesterday, november 18 - where has all the time gone?! i can't believe my baby is so big now (i know all parents say this but it's ridiculously true!), and we've been celebrating her birthday "season" for several days now...

we hosted em's birthday playgroup on thursday. despite the pouring rain, a bunch of the kiddos in our local mom's group made it over for an afternoon of playtime and snacks. we had lots of fun and totally tired ourselves out.
8 friends between 5-16 months + 8 mommies + 1 townhouse = ZOO

on friday, my parents came up from hampton - emmy was thrilled to see them again and i'm pretty sure they were tickled pink too.

saturday was the big day - little emmy graduated to toddlerhood! after much debate, blair and i decided to host one big party at the house for both family and friends. we wanted to set the precedent that em's american and korean sides-traditions-people can co-exist happily in one gathering. so, in true korean fashion, we held a tol (toljabee) ceremony . we did it at the beginning of the party so em wouldn't have to wear the hanbok for long... especially since the dress is almost 28 years old! yup, emmy wore the hanbok that i wore for my first birthday! (oh, how that made me sooo happy!) and when we pushed her up to the table...

emmy went straight for the cold hard cash!
the crowd was quite pleased - looks like she'll be rich one day!

and then in one quick motion, emmy grabbed both the paint brush and pencil together! what a perfect tie: she'll inherit mommy's artsy genes and daddy's more studious side. (yeah, mommy was studious too, but it was a *georgetown* pencil after all - hah!)

the party was tons of fun - we'll keep posting lots of pics as we get / upload / process them... thanks so much to everyone who made it - we love you all and are thrilled to share emmy's milestones with you!

after all of the festivities, emmy was pooped - and so am i.
good night, everyone!


catching up on the last month

things have gotten pretty busy here in the lee household and sadly, i've fallen behind in my posts. it's a slippery slope - the next thing you know, i'll be posting that blair's a doctor and that emmy is graduating from college! so, to recap the past 30 or so days...

halloween happenings: emmy's social calendar filled up with various halloween-themed playgroups and parties and the little leopard costume valiantly carried us through the whole frightful season. i've uploaded lots of gratuitous party pics in the october photo album. the dcmm fairfax iv mom's group threw a spectacular outdoor party at one of the member's houses and we frolicked with about 30 other kiddos. i do believe that emmy will grow up to be the type of person that hangs around the buffet table at parties, though, as she pigged out on snacks and melon (honeydew and cantaloupe are her fave fruits right now) - the kids must just *know* that it's a special eating day! afterwards, emmy trick-or-treated around our part of the neighborhood and got some top-shelf loot (for daddy, of course!).

emmy wore blue: on voting day (11/7), emmy helped me cast my votes for a more democratic virginia. she smacked that giant "VOTE" button like no one's business (yes, after i made my choices), and thanks to people like us virginia now has a democrat in the senate. woohoo! this was emmy's first taste of democracy in action... and the nice man even gave her a sticker of her own.

movin' on up: up the stairs, that is. emmy just started climbing up stairs and is suddenly confident enough to scale tne entire flight of stairs between the basement / playroom and the main level. she also constantly goes up the 3 steps between the living room and dining room, but since she can't figure out how to go down them on her own, is frequently stuck crawling laps around the foyer-kitchen-dining room area.

hapa pride: i read the kimchimamas' blog a LOT now, and i'm always wishing that i lived closer to them or others like us (mixed asian descent). there are just some issues / experiences that would be nice to share with a common community, and i know i always longed for kids like me growing up. anyway, at a recent neighborhood mom's gathering, i hit the jackpot! there's another family with 2 half-korean, half-american girls, and they live right around the corner!!! the mom seemed super nice and i look forward to getting to know them more. (there's also a part-japanese family in our row - so much hapa goodness!)

and lastly...

day 361 and counting... it's emmy's first birthday this saturday!!!

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pumpkins with the punkin'

we're finally starting to upload some of our fall / pumpkin pictures - more to come soon!


on the prowl

halloween season has begun! we went to our first official halloween party yesterday at the MOMS Club meeting. it was a good chance to see if em's costume still fit and if she'd be happy playing in it... we have at least 4 other dress-up "parties" to attend so i'm hoping that she won't outgrow it or wear down the knees too much.

in other news, my cousin and his wife just had their second baby on tuesday - welcome baby julia! we can't wait to meet her, although that may require a trip down to georgia over one of blair's longer breaks. if she's half as cute as her big brother jackson, my cousin's going to have lots of fun when his kids are t(w)eens. heck, i'll buy him the first baseball bat (to match the one blair will have next to our door... have to scare away the suitors somehow!) and a bottle of jack daniels.

random fact of the week: emmy's latest fave foods include vietnamese lemongrass beef, tofu marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, lots and lots of rice, seaweed and uh, kiwi. so when can we introduce kimchi? heh heh heh...


harvest time begins

first tractor ride

pumpkinville pics will be up soon...


two of a kind

on wednesday, emmy and i were enjoying lunch together at the dining table. we had just come in from running errands so the radio in the kitchen was still playing in the background (we always leave it on for the dog). as em munched on the last of her zwieback cracker and i ate chips with guacamole, i looked to see that we were both bopping in our seats to justin timberlake's "sexy back." she grinned at me, i grinned at her, and we continued to shimmy in our seats. when did she grow up so fast?

in other news, our classes are going well. music class is rather interesting; while the instructor is quite crunchy / granola / earthy, she is exceedingly structured - not quite as warm-n-fuzzy as you'd expect from a child's music teacher. nevertheless, emmy plays the little instruments as well as any of the other kids and seems to enjoy the noise well enough. this week, she even chimed in with her own "ooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhooooooo" at the top of her lungs when the instructor asked for someone to lead us in a song. musical genius, i know. the sign language class is a bit more fun for me, i think, and it has reinforced our use of some basic signs at home. over the past 2 weeks, emmy has begun consistently signing "milk" during our nursing sessions, and has even begun to ask for it at random times during the day. she's also started using a variation of "more" (or little piece of food) to show me when she's hungry. carly's a great instructor and we're eager to increase our signing vocabulary. on a related note, emmy's spoken repertoire now includes a more consistent use of "dog" and the newfound "duck". she's also surprised us with some bizarre one-time sayings of "bird", "belt", and "that's the nipple". (i swear the last one really happened one morning after nursing - it's something i'll say when she's exploring her bottle / sippy cup nipple (or me!) and it left me with my jaw on the floor.) once again, i must ask: when did she grow up so fast?

anyway, it's after midnight and time for bed. i haven't gone to bed before 1am all week but i'm determined to do it tonight. i'm currently in a vicious cycle of staying up late to do my accenture work / chores, then feeling exhausted in the morning when i get up with emmy. so then i nap when she naps in the morning, which wastes valuable time when i should be doing work / chores. which means that i get very little done while emmy's awake, leaving me to stay up late to get everything done at night. which means i go to bed late. and wake up tired. and nap. and stay up late. lather, rinse, repeat. i have this optimistic dream of breaking the cycle one of these weekends... but now when i do have free time i get sucked into surfing the web. like now. or sifting through craigslist. or better yet, my latest hobby of reading the kimchi mamas. i really need to post a comment or write to nina - i can totally identify with so much of what they have to say. i'd start blogging about that (mixed-race stuff) tonight, but i promised myself an early bedtime. so g'night.

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pump, mommy, pump!

gotta love reading about pumping at the office! i'm actually *very* thankful that accenture is so supportive of its nursing mommies - not only do we benefit from the private wellness / lactation rooms, we also get a whole packet of nursing books and a how-to dvd! lol! and now they're even sending a special gift to expectant moms! by the time we have baby #2, think they'll throw in a year's worth of college tuition? um, maybe not, but a gal can dream... of course, now that i work from home, my pump has been retired for now - yay!

tomorrow marks the start to our first "season" of classes: emmy and i have enrolled in "music friends," baby sign language, and strollerfit. oh how i love being an (almost) stay-at-home mommy!

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even sick people can be cute

em's nine month picture people scans have been posted.
and we're still in quarantine. blah.


new toys

today was a great day for new toys! the garage sale adventure paid off: emmy now has her first ride-on "tricycle" and a duck pull toy. i think i'll clean 'em up and keep the trike in the storage room for now. i figure i'll pull it out around her birthday or christmas... it's so great that emmy can see toys right now and not realize what they are (or that they're for her); i wonder when kids grow out of this oblivious phase?

since emmy couldn't have all of the fun by herself, mommy and daddy decided to pick out early anniversary gifts for each other; september 2nd is coming up quick! tradition dictates a gift of wood for the fifth anniversary. however, some couples opt to celebrate with the more modern gift alternative of silverware. kim and blair? we went straight to... cellphones. our old phones needed replacing - i mean, they didn't even have a built-in camera! - so we each got a motorola razr (silver for blair, light pink for me). so what was the first thing i did with mine? i took this oh-so-cute picture of emmy and taylor, of course.

and speaking of emmy, the antibiotics are helping her sleep at night. whew! of course, now i have symptoms... ugh.

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atypical diagnosis

emmy had her 9-month check-up today at the pediatrician's office. she's now measuring 27.5 inches long (75th percentile) and 19 pounds, 4 ounces (also 75th percentile). on the plus side, she's developing as expected and looking great... breast milk does a body good!

since emmy's been sick this week, that was obviously investigated as well. when we walked into the office, i knew that she felt abnormally hot, and surely enough she was running a fever of 102.2. since her cough seemed to have worsened since wednesday and she was very lethargic today, the doc wanted to run a few tests. ear infection? nope, they're clear. strep throat? no, the throat swab came back fine. blood testing / cbc? everything looks relatively normal there, aside from the white count that's a little off. chest x-ray? WHAT, CHEST X-RAY?! my baby needs an x-ray??? we marched down to the imaging center to get emmy's first x-ray; it was so sad to have to hold her in place while the techs did their work - she was not a happy camper. afterwards, we trekked back upstairs to the pediatrician's office to wait for the films to be read. in the end, the doc disgnosed atypical pneumonia, or "walking pneumonia", and gave us a 3-day prescription for antibiotics AND a disclaimer that she's basically treating one possiblilty (so we don't get stuck in the ER if emmy worsens over the weekend) but that it could still be a virus (wednesday's diagnosis). so who knows what emmy has for sure! i read online that some strains of atypical pneumonia can incubate for 14-21 days; she could have been exposed almost anywhere (even back at daycare). *sigh* after a dose of tylenol earlier today and the antibiotic tonight, she does seem to be sleeping better right now. keep your fingers crossed for a speedy recovery!


drip, drip, drip

emmy's nose is like a little faucet today; she's been sick with cold symptoms since last week. because of the drippy nose, wet cough, teething, ridiculous number of yucky diaper changes, and general crankiness, we decided to visit the pediatrician today. i had intended to wait until her 9-month check-up this friday but decided to go when she turned down her cheerios this morning - very unlike my hungry, hungry baby. turns out that she's running a slight fever (100.1) and has an extremely inflamed throat; looks like we'll be skipping playgroups this week.

on the more interesting side, emmy weighed in at 19 pounds, 10 ounces today. this puts her at the 75th percentile for weight, down from her 6-month high at the 90th percentile. i guess all that wiggling and rolling has slimmed her down a bit. i'm very curious to see what the doc says about her height / weight on friday - she seems very long/tall to me!


once upon a time

apparently it's a good thing i updated this site last week - the photo gallery has received quite a few hits in the past few days! by looking at all the pictures, it's obvious that little emmy isn't quite so little anymore... i'm amazed every time i see her with other kids her age, as she's definitely taller and more "mature" looking. blair and i keep commenting that we practically have a toddler on our hands (who thankfully is only semi-mobile at this point!).

so, where should i start? i suppose it makes sense to break up the recent updates by topic. those of you who follow blair's page will know some of this already, but here's the official 2006 Lee Family Update:

emmy: the big arrival and nine months more
emerson ji-eun lee arrived in this world on november 18, 2005 at 8:40 am, 8 days past her due date. although she only weighed in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and 20.5 inches, she was determined to stay in my apparently too-comfy tummy for as long as possible. we checked into reston hospital's maternity wing around 7:00 pm on wednesday, nov. 16, for the big induction. i figured i'd get settled in with my cervadil, catch a new episode of lost and have labor progress in its own magical way. turns out that even new tv wouldn't budge our wonderfully stubborn baby - in fact, 36 hours of pitocin-induced labor, 4 hours of pushing and 2 attempts with suction didn't either! on friday morning, the doctor decided to do a last-minute cesarean section and emmy was born just 10 minutes later. it's interesting: some c-section moms seem to be filled with regret that they somehow "failed" at the whole labor experience... personally, i figure i've experienced almost every aspect of labor (heck, blair even saw her hair when i pushed - she was that close!) and you know what? next time, it won't be so bad to have a scheduled c-section and skip all that pain stuff. :)

since that amazing november day, life with emmy has been wonderful! we are so fortunate to have such an easy-going baby - she started sleeping through the night by the third month, nurses / eats very well, and rarely cries. yes, we know that #2 will most likely be the exact opposite, but i don't mind that emmy's spoiling us a bit! recent highlights include her evolving vocabulary (she says mama, dada, bye-bye and sometimes dog / taytay), her first sign language communication to us ("more", of course), messy adventures with table foods, and her constant quest for mobility (she can crawl backwards and in circles, and can roll across the room... but alas, forward crawling is such an elusive thing). this coming friday, she will officially be 9 months old. we cannot believe how quickly time goes by - be sure to check out the photo gallery to see for yourself.

blair: entering the world of gray's anatomy
... will we move, or won't we?
for those of you interested in the full story of blair's big career change, wander through the blair sporadic and read his first-hand account of the past 2+ years. in a nutshell, blair ended his accenture career in may 2004 to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. from june 2004 to may 2005, he was a post-baccalaureate student at georgetown, catching up on all those required science classes that he'd taken almost a decade earlier. this foray back into the world of academics culminated with the MCAT in april 2005 and the subsequent medical school application process. while waiting to hear back from the schools, blair worked as a clinical trial data manager at the lombardi cancer center (part of the georgetown hospital center). as luck / hard work / perseverance would have it, he was accepted into FIVE medical schools - quite a happy-yet-difficult surprise for us, given blair's non-traditional background and our current family situation. after much debate, georgetown medical school won; therefore, we'll be staying in the DC area for the next four years. i'm *strongly* hoping that the residency match gods smile upon us and give us a reason to move to central / southern virginia in 2010... while DC can be a decent area, i am so done with the ridiculous prices, traffic, and competitive "type A"-ness, and i hope that emmy will have a chance to grow up closer to her maternal grandparents one day. until then, i'm eager to see how we manage to balance our personal lives with blair's rigorous school schedule.

kim: diapers, budgets & paint
as for me, plenty has changed since becoming a mommy... prior to the birth of blair's doctorly plans, we had always planned for me to become a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) once we had kids. unfortunately, that's not quite possible at this time - it's probably not the smartest thing to have two unemployed parents raising a child! anyway, given the money factor - and the necessity of good benefits / health insurance - i went back to work in february after 12 weeks of maternity leave. my previous leadership team on the irs.gov project was great; they were willing to have me come back for a flexible 20 hours per week. when that role ended in july, i was almost ready to call it quits and take a leave of absence. we had started emmy in daycare and i was just miserable - not only did she catch all of the nasty colds and viruses you hear about, i just couldn't stand to know that someone else was raising my baby while i sat in an essentially meaningless job. amazingly, at the last moment i was able to find a super flexible internal role on the global sales team. i'm now a program manager for one of our projects, working 16 very flexible hours each week. this has allowed me to pull emmy out of daycare (hurray!) and stay at home with her each day. although someone comes to watch her once a week while i attend to certain work duties, i am always here for her... and i was finally able to put away the ol' pump too! it's reassuring to see that accenture is actually trying to improve its work-life balance / flexible working arrangements / working mother policies. i was always amazed (skeptical!) to see the company "winning" all those working woman / working mother awards, so it's nice to know that they stand behind their advertised practices.

...that covers the diapers and budgets, but what about the paint?
a friend of mine convinced me to put up a website to advertise my painting hobby; he figured it wouldn't cost anything to do and that it could become a second career if it was publicized efficiently. kiddiecanvas.com is now my other site, where i showcase the children's artwork that i create in my spare time. my niche is that i can create customized acrylic paintings to match your existing decor, bedding set and/or interests. you want a hippo in a tutu dancing on a crocodile? done! or a whimsical painting to match your pottery barn kids quilt? done! of course, now i just need to find time to get back to my painting - between taking care of emmy each day and working at night, i've been more interested in house chores and SLEEP lately. hopefully that will change as we all settle into a new routine...

and yes, taylor (the dog) is still here with us right now. after a short sabbatical to study the lifestyle of a multi-dog family, she returned to find that something very exciting had happened in her absence: emmy was now experimenting with solid (table) foods! although em's aim has improved since her first encounter with veggie puffs, a fair share of cheerios, green beans and the like still sail through the air... and land directly in taylor's open mouth. at least the floor stays clean.

so now that i've embraced the life of almost-SAHM-ness, you can expect more frequent posts about our lives - everything from emmy's latest superpowers (she can wave bye-bye!) to what it's like to be married to a nontraditional medical student. although i'm sure it won't be the smoothest trip ever, i'm very interested to see where the next four years (and beyond) take us... you know, outside of the DC area, of course...

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