diapers, budgets & paint

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


day nine: feelin' fine

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

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

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

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day four: what to eat


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

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

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

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

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day three: i might as well be naked

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

well, in a nutshell, no.

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

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

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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:

blair.
magikarp.
separated at birth?




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

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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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fun in a box


a father-daughter moment, courtesy an old cardboard box
(should i paint / decorate the box? hmmm...)

just a few random items for tonight - i'm almost too sleepy to think anymore!

did you know that next week is apparently national work-at-home mom week? i, for one, choose to change outta my pajamas though... makes me feel too sloppy / unproductive otherwise...

a good college friend of mine sent me an article about moms getting organized to fight for their rights with groups like moms rising. has anyone actually seen their motherhood manifesto dvd? what do you think?

i'm reading happy birthday or whatever: track suits, kim chee, and other family disasters thanks to beloved's recommendation. the author, annie choi, is freakin' hilarious - i can't count the number of things that "make mommy krayjee" but it's all so painfully yet ridiculously true.

and i'm still stuck on nina's last meme challenge... i'll post my response this weekend but it might be a little wacky. (who am i kidding? it's just bizarre!) see you then!

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the interview meme

sorry for the short hiatus, folks - the warmer weather has been keeping me super busy with emmy lately. i'm starting to forget how to play indoors; gosh i sure hope it never rains again! i was definitely an indoors child growing up, but i am amazed (and thrilled) by how easy it is to take emmy outside and explore for a good hour or two each day. she's currently obsessed with swings ("wheeee!"), "flauw-wers" and "durt." oh, and bubble blowing is pretty cool too.

anyhoo, i figured it was about time for another meme and voila! here's the interview meme, courtesy of my friend lien. this one's a little different: instead of being tagged, you ask to participate! tag yourself in the comments with the note, "i am an ego maniac," and i'll send you 5 one-of-a-kind, hand-picked questions to answer about yourself. lien sent me these questions a couple of days ago so here goes...

what is your most favorite work of art and why?


oh boy, what to pick, what to pick... i guess the piece that jumps out at me the most is a sunday afternoon on the island of la grande jatte by georges seurat. it's a terrific example of the brilliant colors / effects developed in the pointillism style; seurat painstakingly depicted precise contours, geometric shapes, proportions and distances with this piece. but that's part of what got my attention in art class: have you ever noticed how each face is a ridiculously perfect full, three-quarters or half view? and how they're all so darn... emotionless? critics speculate that the painting shows the middle class at leisure, or perhaps the social tensions between all of society's classes, gathered in the same space but not interacting in any way. i love the way that this presumably noisy, hectic space filled with families, children and pets is too organized, calculated, controlled... just too quiet and reserved to feel right. that contradiction has always amused me.

what do you enjoy most about being a part time sahm?
i love the fact that i am able to raise my daughter myself - there's no reliance on daycare, friends or family (not that we really have much of the latter in this area anyway). blair and i are very independent people and while i totally wish that my mom lived closer to help us out, i am thrilled to be the one that catches all of emmy's milestones, her ups and downs, her new words, everything. i am very selfish here; em's my baby and i can't imagine missing ANYTHING. my mom was always a full-time sahm to me so that's the "norm" in my head. you get many chances to try different jobs in your lifetime, but the window to be with your children while they are the most open, loving, teachable, attached, defenseless and innocent is so very, very small. and while life changes prevent me from becoming a full-time sahm right now, my current set-up is the next best thing.

btw, i do appreciate the fact that i have been able to find / create such a flexible work arrangement. i'm very impressed that my company has lived up to the claims that got it on the working mother's 100 best companies list.

has little emerson had any phases that you particularly enjoyed? what other phases are you looking forward to?
lol, how about all of them? it seems like every phase is just a little cooler than the one before it, but then i'll have days where i would give anything to hold her brand new teeny-tiny baby body once more. i am really enjoying our days right now - her vocabulary (both spoken and signed) is growing by leaps and bounds, her memory astounds me and i absolutely adore watching her pretend play. the one thing that i really look forward to is that big jump in vocabulary and comprehension that gives her the ability to speak in (mostly) full sentences. i can't wait to figure out what's going on in that little head of hers!

in your experience, what are the most positive and negative aspects of being someone who is mixed race?
positives: awesome food. exposure to a broader range of people, cultures and standards of living, leading to a more open mind and greater empathy for others. a reason to travel abroard in my childhood years. standing out in a crowd. the feeling of being connected to a family structure that's much larger than the average, and knowing there are people that span the globe who know and love you. that kinship / excited feeling i get when i spot another hapa. did i mention double the awesome food?
negatives: racist / uneducated people who ask ridiculous questions (i.e., "are you north korean?"). always getting the "what are you" question and being expected to disclose my family story at the drop of a hat. not fitting in with either culture completely. standing out in a crowd. second guessing other people's actions towards me (see carol's "decompression" post). knowing that there are still people out there in the world that treat me (and others) differently / poorly because of race. worrying how emmy will answer this question.

what 5 words would you use to describe yourself?
nurturing. artsy. dedicated. waiting. sleepy.
...or, as liz phair sang in extraordinary, i'm just your "average everyday sane psycho supergoddess." :)

and how convenient! that brings me to my next topic - nina's best songs ever meme! but i'll save that for this weekend's post... i have some more work to do on that one; it's quite the challenge!

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i'm a weirdo too!

for the first time EVER, i've been tagged by lien for the "six weird things about you" meme. since i'm a newbie, i've decided to be gentle on myself. unlike motherhood uncensored's version, i'm bringing you...

six weird things about me: food edition

1. this goes horribly against my korean roots but... know what i consider the perfect comfort food? a bowl of sticky white rice, a plate of crispy hot bacon strips and a pile of ggaktugi kimchi. i know it's freakish, but there's something delicious about getting that mix of hot, sticky, crispy, salty, spicy and crunchy in my mouth all at once. (and re-reading that sentence makes me wonder if people will start to randomly find this blog via googling gone astray. ew!)

2. growing up, i thought tang was actual, honest-to-goodness orange juice. when people would give me real, fresh-from-an-orange juice, i would shudder at how sour it tasted. i have no idea why my parents decided to buy tang instead of regular oj. it was only during college that i was forced to face the horrid truth: tang really isn't that good for you after all, with all of its sugary goodness. since then, i've switched to real juice for my health... but every once in a while, i'll dip into the sunny d california (smooth) style for a quick hit. btw, if tang was good enough for astronauts, it was good enough for me, right?

3. in another hit to my korean pride, i went through a short phase where i thought peanut butter and jelly tasted great when mixed with... kimchi and rice. *shudder* sorry about that one - i have no explanation. all i can say is that i was young and foolish.

4. if you take a look at zenkimchi's list of strange korean foods, i've eaten numbers 11, 10, 7, 5, 4, 3 and kinda 1 (see #5 below). personally, i'd rather eat live octopus in a pusan seafood warehouse than ever taste fresh, raw sea cucumber or sea squirt (mung-gah) ever again... one mouthful of salty water, gushing out of squishy sea flesh, was more than enough for moi.

5. back in late spring - summer 2004, the rare 17-year cicadas emerged from their lengthy underground hibernation in many areas of the united states. i think one of their club hideouts was directly under our front yard tree, as the front wall of our house was COVERED in the buggers. the local news carried many stories about how local chefs were "harvesting" and serving the cicadas. blair, being the uber-adventurous eater that he is, suggested that we try it too. after much convincing, we conducted our own cicada harvest, plucking the white cicada nymphs off the wall and quick-killing them in the freezer for a few minutes. after that, they were breaded, fried and eaten by us and several friends. it went over so well that i did a fear factor-esque "cicada cook-off" at work; co-workers actually ate ALL of the cicada scampii (fried without batter), chicken-fried cicadas and cicada sashimi (raw!!!). my verdict: a little nutty but not that great. and anything breaded and fried will just taste... breaded and fried. NO, i did NOT eat the raw ones. yuck!

6. after #5, i'll end on an easy one. i do not have much of a sweet tooth (except during pregnancy). my idea of a perfect dessert (or heck, breakfast) is a leftover hot dog, cold slice of pizza or the like. anything, pretty much, that's savory and filling. (and on the breakfast note, i had a streak in high school where i ate microwaved corndogs for breakfast before school. mmm... what a way to start an academic day!)

if you had the patience to read this loooong post, i totally ought to treat you to something yummy. i tag halfmama, beloved and superha - let's see your weirdness too!


oh goodness, did my mommy actually eat all that stuff???

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hair dye rant

first off, my closet purge went quite well - and someone's coming to pick up my giant bag o' clothes in the morning. woohoo! time to move on to other closets / cabinets...

if i move on to a certain bedroom cabinet, for instance, i'll come across a box or two of hair dye. i'll be the first to admit that yes, i do dye my hair. it's a tragedy. my paternal grandmother was completely gray by the age of 30, and my dad definitely passed along that trait. my mother's korean genes have bravely battled the inevitable, so it's not like i have a whole ton of gray; it's just enough to be rather noticeable on top, especially against my dark hair. now that i'm too cheap to visit my old colorist, i make do with the clairol natural instincts semi-permanent line. it washes out after several weeks, but i'm just too darn scared to make the jump to permanent dye on my own. (it was also the brand of choice in high school when my friends and i wanted to go brighter / redder... oh the memories!)

anyway, it seems that the marketing folks over at clairol are re-packaging their product. the new label has a "new sense of style", according to their website. well, am i the only person to notice their new lack of diversity too? they've gone from 3 asian models to just 1 (from what i can quickly see) and that just stinks. i know this sounds silly, but part of the reason i picked this line is because of the models on colors like 28B and 38! and it's not like all of the models were replaced so what gives? i really don't see what's so great about the replacement gals; sure, they're pretty and all but they don't offer anything more than the old models and 28B sure was nice. am i just crazy to even notice this?

okay, rant over, back to tidying up... i hosted my first ever selling-type party tonight. i've never really been a fan of any of the at-home type shopping shows, like mary kay or longaberger baskets or partylite candles (although pampered chef is pretty useful at times), but i ADORE usborne books! usborne makes some terrific, highly interactive children's books; a sample board book may include touch-feely accents along with flaps to open, or you might just find that puzzle pieces are embedded within the actual pages of the book. i got a few last november and emmy's loved them ever since, so i figured i'd host a party for my local mom friends and reap the benefits of a few free books too. lots of fun was had by all, especially with all of the desserts and wine that we enjoyed. if you're interested in learning more or checking out my e-show, just drop me a line and let me know. since i was such a bookworm growing up and can already see that mirrored in emmy, i love to spoil her with these great, imaginative books - i'm so excited to send in my wish list order!

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cleaning house

late the other night, i randomly caught a rerun of oprah winfrey's show. i normally never watch the show, but the topic was something about improving yourself this year and heck, i just wanted some background noise while i got ready for bed. anyway, the guest happened to be the home/personal organizer from one of those tlc shows, clean sweep i think. (i used to be hooked on the tlc network, especially trading spaces, but i no longer have time to procrastinate my house chores by watching shows about those house chores!) the guy was giving lots of statistics about how in the past x years, americans have more than doubled the size of their homes... and how those same people have also been relying more heavily on long-term storage facilities. his lesson: basically the more space you have, the more junk you fill it with - but it doesn't have to be that way! (or so he says, at least.)

now, i've always dreamed of living in one of those pottery barn catalogs. you know, where the furniture and paint and accent pieces all coordinate so well, and everything is just so. i fantasize about the day that we'll have furniture, clothes and pretty much nothing else - no clutter to pile up on tables and desks, or to hide behind cabinets and closets. of course, i've changed that dream since emmy came around; after all, her "clutter" is important stuff: toys to play with/learn from, one-of-a-kind artwork, board books to read 56 times a day, and so on. but i still hold on to that clutter-less dream for myself and the hubby, my pile-maker extraordinaire.

the guy on oprah made one statement that totally hit home with me: of all the stuff that you have, the great majority of it falls into one of two categories. it's either 1) stuff you plan on using one day (or think that you'll find a use for, like those jeans that are one size too tight, or that extra box/appliance/tool/etc.) or 2) stuff that you hold on to because of the memories (like that special lucky shirt you wore in college, but not mementos like photographs - they're sacred!). so... this means that you're always living in the future or the past, but never living in the present. and since you're not living in the present, how can you make the most of your life / reach the happiness that you want now?

personally, i have totally been plagued by the constant nagging of so many organizational chores around here. and hey, a lot of that would go away if we didn't have so much stuff to organize! my first step: purging and re-organizing the bedroom closet. i emptied 2 giant totes of clothes today. so much of it was corporate-business-casual work clothing that i put away when i got pregnant with emmy. since i haven't had to work in the office since last summer (i *love* my flexible virtual work arrangement), i figure i should be really, truly brutal and purge as much as possible. and i figure if/when i ever do go back to an office, i'll need to update my wardrobe anyway, right? so between all that and the actual closet, i'm amassing quite the bag of reject clothes and accessories. looks like i'll be freecycling a lot this week!

oh, and it was a nice ego boost to actually fit into all of those work clothes again! plus, my closet has been re-stocked with nice outfits that i haven't worn in almost two years... it's like going on a free shopping spree!

anyhoo, i'll be heading back upstairs tonight to continue the great clothing sort of 2007. hope you're having as exciting a friday night as i am! more home organizing to come...

...cause where exactly are you supposed to store all those tiny pairs of toddler shoes, for instance?

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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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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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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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inspired

i ran across this site, loobylu, earlier tonight and am totally inspired! first of all, i *heart* all of her original illustrations and paintings. second, she's a mom who totally loves her little girl; in fact, she's making a one-of-a-kind ugly doll-esque doll for her daughter, inspired by the child's own artwork!!! i never would have thought of doing something like this, but what a cool idea - so original and so meaningful, both to mommy and daughter!

and then i saw another mom's original doll, ruby - how i'd kill to have that for emmy! the doll totally reminds me of em, especially with the uneven hair and adorable poses. i've always just assumed that i'd paint for emmy (and i have - just check the playroom), but perhaps i'll be driven to take up stitching and other such crafts too.

but wait, why give one gift when you can show your love on a daily basis? that's right, i could take up the art of making personalized bento boxes! elementary school emmy could open up her box at lunchtime and be greeted by a family of totoro! who knew that so many mommies have time for this?!

okay, this is where blair usually stops me and says that either 1) i'm crazy or that 2) all those moms are crazy. but i prefer to think of it as being inspired. and artsy. and in love with our kids. and well, yeah, a little nuts. with a dash of ocd thrown in for good measure. heeheehee...

oooh, and i'm working on a paid commissioned painting right now - yay!

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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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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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marital bliss

congrats to melissa and seth; they joined the married folks club this weekend! and oh what a weekend it was...

melissa and i have been good friends since college; living in the chi-o house gave us lots of time to get to know one another and we've managed to live quite close ever since. she was actually a bridesmaid in my wedding back in 2001, and when she asked me to be one of hers, of course i said yes! so this past weekend, i left emmy at home with blair and traveled to new hampshire for the big event. here's what i learned:
- i hate it when the airlines lose a plane. and i hate it when they misplace a pilot. heck, i hate it when they can't find a first mate! someone needs to invent a giant lost-and-found desk for the airport because it's so annoying to have your travel plans torn to bits when planes / people go missing... and the whole "the crew is going to expire" line is getting old. someone could really stand to optimize this process a bit.
- the united airlines "customer service" desk at dulles is a total joke. you'd think they'd hire friendly, helpful people to be the client-facing department of their airline, but alas, i could get more information out of an eggplant. by the time i made it to new hampshire, i had just enough time to get my dress back from my stand-in (yes, they already picked one - i was VERY delayed) and shimmy into position. whew!
- in this day of tighter security screenings, it is NOT fun to set off alarms at the security checkpoint. i was quickly whisked into a glass booth and left on display for a good 15 minutes before security could find a female wander to pat me down. and do you know what evil, dangerous item set the alarm off? the enormous number of bobby pins in my hair. hah! apparently, updo's are very threatening.
- melissa and seth will make very pretty babies one day - they looked gorgeous!
- hurray for chi-o reunions! hi michelle, kristen, sarah, tali, sue and carrie - you gals looked great!
- and most importantly, i CAN leave emmy with blair for an overnight trip. yes, all was well when i came back home: she was fed, clean and happy, and amazingly the world didn't fall apart. i missed her like crazy, but blair helped by sending me photos of her every few hours. god bless the camera phone.

oh, and saturday was not only melissa and seth's wedding day - drumroll, please! - it was also our 5 year wedding anniversary. it's hard to believe that we've known each other for over 10 years now - that's almost a third of our lives! love ya, blockhead!

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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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