Archive for Family

Favorite Time, Favorite Place

In the evening. At our favorite park.

parkevening

Crafty Wonderland

We finally made it to Portland’s bi-annual craft fair — Crafty Wonderland! When Todd asked me if I wanted to go to this event by myself, I told him we should all go together. I said this thinking that Lucian would sleep/hangout in his infant seat on the stroller, Ashland would be chillin’ in the back of of the stroller and that Immi would walk around holding my hand. Besides, I thought that Immi would really enjoy it since she seems to love handmade things (I’ve seen her fall in love with handmade toys and wearable things made from hand dyed wool and hand carved wood and such at various local shops).

Well, as it turns out, Immi LOOOOVES handmade things a little too much and had the “I-WANT” overload. When she stepped into the huge room with 200+ vendors all selling a gillion things she likes, she wanted everything, and then got confused, and tired herself out in about 10 minutes! I didn’t suspect this becoming a problem seeing that she never has problem walking out of regular toy shops without buying anything, and she is very good about choosing just a few candies at candy shops.

So we took Ashland out of the stroller and sat immi there (she just sat there clutching big bag of kettle corn creepy quietly the rest of the time). But Ashland wasn’t into the idea of walking around holding my hand because all he wanted to do was stand and jump up and down on this metal square every time he encountered one.

At least, Lucian hang out quietly in his infant seat without complaint. Immi had fun running around ouside Hall D in the Oregon Convention Center though.

…So it wasn’t the most convenient family outing ever, but I enjoyed seeing all the creativity that is part of Portland area. Besides, I’m really glad that Immi has appreciation for things that are hand-crafted with care over plasticky mass produced crap.

 

 

Week 35

Firstly, can I just say I’m so glad to have my computer in working order? Pretty much immediately after I got everything working on it (thanks to Todd who went down the list and did everything for me knowing that I’d put it off forever) Immi bumped into my cup of tea which splashed onto the keyboard. …And unfortunately, it did do some quite serious damage. But the Apple store people were so very nice and fixed it for me free of charge (Out of sympathy I suppose! I mean this thing is literally BRAND NEW!) despite that accidental damage like this isn’t covered under warranty.

Anyhow, we had a prenatal appointment today, I’m 35 weeks along today. The baby No.3 is moving around healthily and has very good heartbeat which Immi seems to really enjoy listening to. According to the cervical exam, I’m already 2 cm along and the doctor said that the baby is sitting really really low. Now this isn’t exactly a problem, medically speaking. But we are totally not ready to have him yet, so hopefully he’ll choose to stay in for a while longer. I just might have to spend larger portion of my day sitting around, I get sensations that the baby wants to fall out of me when I walk around.

My mom who had  been visiting us from Japan left yesterday, and I miss having her around already — thank you for coming! She helped us improve many things during her short stay. One notable thing I’m really excited about being bath towels. We never minded that our towels don’t match, but we’ve been really unhappy about it taking 160 minutes or so to dry in the dryer and that we can’t really ever re-use them since they don’t dry in between use. Actually I would have never thought to try anything different to solve this annoyance if it weren’t for that she mentioned towels in Japan dry much better. So after some considerations, she got us these really thin but very absorbent and totally luxurious Turkish bath towels. We’ve tried them out already, and they are lovely to use (and to look at!) and take less than 15 minutes in the dryer. Not to mention, it’ll save us a lot of room in the closet and in electricity bill.

Spontaneously

We were all having MONSTER of a Monday morning (well, except for Ashland, he is almost always happy). Sometimes, the worst of the days are the ones with all kinds of small annoying things  — not the one with major catastrophes (we have those too, but we handle these fairly well).

Anyhow, by the time noon came around, I said “Forget this, lets just go to the beach. It’s really nice out and it’s not like we’d get much of anything useful done anyways no matter how much we try!”. And so Todd wrapped up a few things that did have to get done as I packed necessary items for a mini beach trip and out the door we went.

And we were blessed with the most beautiful of summer’s day spilled into autumn.

We aspire to live all aspect of our lives conscientiously — and that takes a lot of effort, time and relentless hard work. Sometimes we just need a spontaneous vacation from all that, even just one day goes a long way (though 2 weeks would be really nice!).

Days like this help us remember that it’s all worth it.

Autumn

I found a piece autumn at the park:

Some of the misc. things going on around here:

I. Immi, Ashland and I caught a cold. Ashland had to take baby [not] tylenol (apparently this brand got recalled, but not it’s generic versions) for fever for the first time EVER. We sat around and watched movies all day immi absolutely adored Ponyo.

2. We are battling health insurance company, again. I suppose that’s quite normal thing for people living in US. Agh. Grrrrr. Blegh.

3. I’ve organized my work-in-progress projects, putting away some I’m not in the mood for now, and terminating ones I have no interest in continuing on. I decided that I’m too preoccupied for anything that takes a lot of fussing over, so I lined up a few mindless projects for when I want to keep my hands busy.

4. We haven’t bought anything for the baby No.3 yet. The shopping list is really really short this time around but we do need to look for a new infant car seat. And some onsies (Ashland destroyed his). I have to eventually go shopping for some fabric for making extra large receiving blankets (standard sized ones are too small for swaddling. Besides, cotton flannel makes good baby bath towels too — Ashland still uses them for this purpose).

5. The iron supplements I’ve started taking and vitamins which I’m now taking religiously are definitely helping with excessive tiredness and dizziness, but these things make me queasy on empty stomach. …Which makes me eat all day when I’m not even hungry. I think that this is definitely making me fatter than necessary!

6. I’ve been consuming copious amounts of Altoids because minty things make me feel better. Immi has picked up this habit it seems, and she’ll demand one every time she hears me open the tin. You’d think it’s to minty for a three year old. I found recently that Ashland eats leafy greens with balsamic vinaigrette. What they eat and what they don’t has been continuous source of amusement to me.

7. Immi and Ashland has both been good siblings to their new little brother-to-be. Immi points at my belly and says “baby!” and then gives it kisses. Ashland loves to hang out leaning on my belly and pets it often. He also puts his ear on it like he’s listening into what’s inside —  I often wonder what he hears.

8. Todd and I both forgot about our wedding anniversary in August. And then when we eventually remembered, we thought we should do something fun, but we still haven’t managed to make time for this. Neither of us are all that into doing much for holidays or anniversaries anyways. But what we do celebrate is Saturdays, which we have decided is *our* day for all of us to do something fun. We take celebrating Saturdays very seriously.

9. I had a prenatal check-up today. When my doctor and I were talking about labor/delivery etc. pertaining to this one being the 3rd, I told her that the only thing I’m really worried about is having the baby fall out of me while getting logistics settled (since it’s really not all about *me* at this  point, I have Immi and Ashland to consider). The doctor told me that if this does happen, I can just hop over to the hospital with the new baby. She totally made that sound really easy. Anyhow, I’m glad that the hospital is only 10 minutes away.

28 weeks

Today, I’m exactly 28 weeks along which marks the first day of 3rd trimester and 12 more weeks to go until the due date. That said, no medical effort will be made to stop the labor if it starts at 36 weeks (usually), so really anytime after 8 more weeks is a fair game. Where did time go? 9 months of pregnancy feels shorter with each successive ones.

The first time around, I knew exactly how far along we were all the time — I’ve hardly taken note of it this time. It doesn’t make the baby No.3 any less special though. We already know that this little guy will be completely different from Immi or Ashland. He feels happiest to me when I’m being creative and seems empathetic when I’m feeling less than spectacular. He moves around gently all the time (Ashland hurt often — there were lots of kicks, jabs and even tugging…is that even possible? And immi hardly ever moved.) and immediately responds to touch.

It’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like with 3 kids, but I know that it will soon be as if we’d always had all of them. One thing I know is that around this time next year when I make double portion of pancakes, I won’t have leftovers (I started doubling up the portion recently because one batch is too small) and that when I make annie’s mac&cheese, I’d have to make 2 boxes and not 1.

Sauvie Island Farms

We spent our Saturday at Sauvie Island which is a cluster of farms (many of these farms have veggies and fruit picking) and markets just 20 minutes drive from our place. It’s the most beautiful summer’s day in Portland — not too hot in the sun, not too cold in the shade and with blue sky and perfect breeze.

Pretty flowers (you can cut these yourself to purchase by the bunch).

There are sunflowers too.

And then we drove around the island for a few minutes and found a U-Pick farm (they grow all kinds of fruits and veggies that can be picked and paid for by the weight — like a grocery store that grows on earth). Blueberries and Blackberries are in season now!

These are the most gorgeous black berries ever, and they taste amazing!

We were told that blueberry season is ending soon, but we still found plenty of delicious blueberries.

It makes me happy that, living here in Portland,  our kids get to experience simple and wonderful things about nature — like that yummy things grow on earth (and not in grocery stores pre-washed and packaged in plastic!) and that ever changing edible blessings comes with continuously cycling seasons.

Less Than Perfect…

…But still good enough.

My afternoon in which I’m pretending to relax with the *WORST* cup of coffee I’ve ever had (no, not the local shop, you know that place whose name start with *S*. I usually don’t have too much bad thing to say about their coffee, but they really messed up this one. I even took it back and had it done again which is something I almost never do…and the 2nd drink came even worse!) and trying to knit. It’s not all that relaxing because immi is hovering about, and Ashland is about to complain that he finished his donut already. I still enjoy coffee time out though, especially on a nice day like this.

…And here’s my lunch. I was too tired to make anything fancy, so hot dog it is. I rarely eat these things even though we keep stock of them all the time for immi who hardly ever eats any other kind of protein type foods. And it’s on a regular slice of bread, not even a hot dog bun. And sweet onions are chopped really sloppily (you might think that onions on a hot dog is weird, but I like it! It’s my fresh version of relish which I don’t like, or sauerkraut which I never have around). At least the ketchup is organic, and the mustard is locally made smoky garlic mustard which is completely delicious.

Q and A

I’ve gotten some questions regarding baby No.3 from friends and I thought I’d just answer them here for my own record and to help you procrastinate if you have a moment to spare!

Q: How are you feeling?

A: I’m feeling Ok. I felt impossibly tired during the first trimester, and queasy a lot of the time (nothing horrible like the nausea I had with immi). Generally I feel pretty good during the day, and worse in the evening. But these symptoms have gotten much much better over past few weeks. Aside from these, I get heartburn, back pain, occasional migraine, cramps (which I’m told is normal for subsequent pregnancies, I had it with Ashland and I’m starting to get it now), dizziness, and sense of confusion (like the ones you might get when you take cold medicine). Todd claims that I have mood swings (I have no idea what he’s talking about :D). I try not to complain about pregnancy symptoms at loud because I know that there are many people who suffer from actual illness or would give anything to have a chance to experience pregnancy — it just feels ungrateful for me to complain about something perfectly heathy.

Q: Any cravings?

A: I seem to develop aversion to food more than cravings during pregnancies. I haven’t been able to drink that much coffee/tea (which is really sad!) — it just doesn’t sound all that appetizing to me now. I don’t want much ice cream either. I also don’t want mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes or cheese that’s not melted. I don’t really have any specific cravings, although Chicken Tikka Masala sounded like a good idea a few times when nothing else seemed appetizing.

Q: What do  you think about age differences between Immi & Ashland (about 2.5 years apart) and Ashland & baby No.3 (will be about 16 months apart) who will be closer together in age?

A: Of course we are happy for exactly the way it turned out, but we had meant to have Immi and No.2 closer together in age — it just didn’t work out that way for various reasons. Immi loves Ashland but she treats him like a “baby” which is what she thinks he is. Immi likes to help me take care of Ashland, but she isn’t interested in actually playing with him. Ashland on the other hand really wants to play with immi but she is really too independent at this point. We are hoping that having a younger sibling (closer to his age) will get him the playmate he wants.

Q: How many kids will you have?

A: I’ve heard people say that you will know when your family is complete. I guess I can go along with this saying. When we were having Ashland, we though we might be done with 2 (after all, 2 is a really practical number of kids) but somehow it didn’t really seem right (for one, practicality doesn’t exactly sum up our personalities!). We are quite sure that 3 sounds like a good number though. Anyway, we had imagined that we’d have two girls (it’s not that we wished for two girls, we just assumed that’s what we were getting) but we ended up with a girl and a boy…so what the heck, we need a tie breaker don’t you think?

Q: There’s population problem in the world already, why have more kids at all?

A: When I was a teenager, I actually thought that when it came time for me to have kids, I’d definitely consider adoption. But you know, I think that I was naive. Most practically, in today’s world, adoption is actually a really difficult process (both time & cost). I also think that going through pregnancy and birthing is one of the most beautiful experience in life. Todd and I agree that while we loved our wedding, Immi’s birthday was definitely more special in many ways. And lastly, I believe that our world is in very sad state right now (environmentally, economically, spiritually) and we need new kind of leaders. It’s not my aspiration to raise politicians at all, but I hope that our kids — who were very much wanted from the moment of conception, and are loved exactly for what they are and what they aren’t — will grow up to be creative persons who will have positive impact in our world.

What can I say, we are doing our part in Keeping Porland Weird, and even better…making it weirder by +1!

And since that was lot of text, here’s a photo of very happy Immi & Ashland.

Announcing…

We are very happy to announce that we are expecting baby No.3 due on November 26! We couldn’t just have almost exactly 2.1 kids like the perfect *american* family now could we? I’m currently 14 weeks along today and we don’t know yet if it’s a boy or girl. We are guessing girl, but we’ve been wrong once before. Of course it doesn’t matter to us which — at this point it makes little difference. Here’s the sonogram at 12 weeks.

And here’s a much more interesting sonogram at the initial appointment at 9 weeks. The doctor got an amazing resolution and we saw the baby wiggling his/her legs and arms about. We were even able to make out the little nose (it’s still tiny but I got the impression that it looks kinda like immi’s and ashland’s). The doctor said that the circular thing on the bottom of the baby is not part of the baby but it’s an egg. This statement really confused me — I though that the egg turns *into* the little person kinda like the chick developing *inside* the egg yolk [in non-technical terms…] in a chicken egg?

I’ve already felt the baby move around a few days ago when I had a lot of chocolate and were laying down sideways in the evening.