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Last week I had one of the most delicious lunches in a very long time: half of a toasted French baguette sandwich, a small mixed greens salad, a small cup of smoked paprika flavored potato chips, & a bottle of lemon sparkling water. That lunch really made me feel so satisfied. It put me in a really good mood that day. Eh, but that’s beside the point. The main point of this blog post is that Jian & I took our little bean on her first vacation-slash-road trip.

Jian took a week off of work during the Memorial Day holiday, & we planned a trip to Los Angeles to visit my extended family down there. Yes, I know the Memorial Day holiday was quite a bit of time ago, but with this little bean taking up so much of my life, & Jian occupying our one & only shared desktop computer, I haven’t had much free time for myself other than to play a quick level of an app game on my tablet whilst sitting on the toilet. (I don’t dare stay in the bathroom for too long, lest my mother scream bloody hell that she can no longer carry or distract her grandchild for another minute. My mother has just as short an attention span as my little bean, & even less stamina to keep up with her.) This is all completely frivolous information & totally beside the point. Let’s get on with the main topic, shall we?

Jian & I had carefully planned a road trip down to Los Angeles to visit extended family whom have never seen our little bean in person up until now. Our little bean has only seen aunts, uncles, cousins & the like through a tiny little screen on mommy’s smartphone. Jian & I of course made sure that the both of us were fully Covid-19 vaccinated before we decided to travel anywhere outside our city bubble. Luckily for our little bean, she got to get her vaccine through me & my delicious breast milk. Yes, you heard me right. My breast milk contains antibodies, which can transfer to the babe through breast feeding, which shares with the babe the benefits of mommy’s vaccine.

Both Jian & I were a little worried (me more so than him) that our little bean would not be too happy being confined in her makes-the-baby-too-hot car seat for several hours. So we made plans to take frequent breaks to let the little bean stretch her legs & get some fresh air outside of the car. It turns out that we didn’t really need to take so many breaks. We only stopped for gas, one extra diaper change, & a quick lunch break at a designated rest area. Otherwise, the little bean slept in the car for most of the drive down the interstate. She did complain a little bit about being too hot in the car, but once we blasted the air conditioning, she went back to her regularly scheduled napping.

This is little bean & me after eating lunch.

Originally, Jian & I had planned on staying at one of the super hipster boutique hotels that we’ve heard so much about through Instagram. There was one hotel in particular that we were excited about staying at, but it was a little bit out of the way from where our family lives, so we ended up taking the practical route & stayed at a hotel close to family. That hotel ended up being the best decision & made our trip so effortless & enjoyable. We were close to craft coffee shops, restaurants, & a huge shopping mall, yet also close by to family. Also, having a mini kitchenette in our hotel room made it so much more convenient to take care of a little babe who is still bottle feeding.

Our little bean instantly acclimated to hotel living & fell in love with our hotel room the moment we stepped through the door. She made herself right at home on the king-sized hotel bed, rolling around & playing with her blanket from home. We just plopped her down in the middle of the bed, & she was making all sorts of happy cooing sounds & playing all by herself while the two of us casually unpacked all of our travel gear. Normally at home, our little bean would’ve been whining as soon as we put her down on the bed. At home she won’t even give us two minutes to change out of our pajamas in the morning before she starts crying to have us pick her up from the bed. At the hotel, she immediately would entertain & amuse herself while Jian & I would do our own things like taking a bathroom break or grabbing a drink from the fridge in the kitchenette.

This is little bean & Jian in our hotel room.

Over all, we had a great time visiting family. The two of us were quite pleasantly surprised that our little bean allowed us to do all of the usual things we do when we visit Los Angeles, like hang out at coffee shops, go shopping at our favorite trendy neighborhoods, & eat at various types of busy/crowded/loud food places. This little girl was super chill the entire duration of our trip, except for when she was feeling hot & restless. We thought the weather in Los Angeles was going to be raging hell fire hot, since it is…well…Los Angeles in early summer after all. I even bought the little bean a portable stroller fan, but it turned out that I didn’t really need to use it on most days. The weather was very warm, but not unbearably hot like we were assuming it would be. It turns out that I’ve been using the stroller fan more at home than I ever did on our travels.

Our little bean had a great time with all of the grown-ups (aunts, uncles, and grandparents). I thought she’d see little kids in our family & immediately warm up to them, since they are small like her, but she was actually nervous around the other little kids in our family, her first cousins. Also, as it turns out, our little bean isn’t really afraid of dogs (as long as they’re not the size of Great Danes or German Shepherds). She’ll tolerate them running around the house or sniffing her, but she won’t put her hands close to them or pet them at all. A few of my cousins each have a dog of their own, & our little bean was just fine around them. I thought she would be a little freaked out by them since she’s never really been around animals before, but she took on the situations like a champ!

Well, we’ve been home for a couple of weeks now, & we just realized that we spent most of our time in Los Angeles hunting down the next craft coffee shop to quench our caffeine addiction. Along the way, we unintentionally hauled a bunch of coffee beans to make drip coffee at home. Jian & I are already extremely familiar with all of the local coffee roasters in our region, so finding a new & interesting bag of beans while traveling outside of our area is always something we enjoy doing. When we first started our journey into frequenting craft coffee spots, there weren’t more than just a small handful of roasters based in Los Angeles; a lot of the beans we tried were all imported from Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, or Santa Cruz, CA. Now there’s a lot of local coffee bean roasters based out of Los Angeles, & we were excited to try these new beans at home.

Our coffee bean haul

Wow, I can’t believe my little bean has been napping for nearly 2 hours, giving me time to sit down & properly write this post. I better wrap this up before she wakes & demands all of my attention. I am currently snacking on French Comté cheese & listening to lo-fi music on Spotify. (Check out my playlists & send me a follow if you’re there.) Now it’s time to cook dinner & send my brother off to the airport. Oh, did I forget to tell you that my brother has been in town this past weekend? Oops! Well, I gotta go now, but until next time… santé!

Today’s song of the day:

Disclaimer: All graphic images courtesy of the Happy Color game app.

Hello! I’m just popping in to write another check-in post. It’s been hard to squeak out any personal time to write anything since I’ve birthed my very own tiny human. This girl takes up 95% of my time & attention, but I love it & wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world. The only “free time” I have to myself is that little chunk of time at night between when I put the babe to bed & when I plop my head down on my pillow to sleep. Even then, I get lost in playing my favorite hidden objects game on my tablet or the color-by-numbers app on my smartphone.

So far, I have been spending these first three months sleep training my tiny human, & building a solid routine with Jian. It gets a little difficult when a certain live-in grandparent wants to do whatever they want with the tiny human & all of your best laid plans, rules, habits, & routines go flying out the door. This grandparent has admitted openly (on several, well-witnessed occasions) that they are not confident in taking care of a tiny human in today’s modern world. However, whenever they feel like Jian & I are parenting in a way that they disagree with, they will throw around the fact that they’ve raised THREE humans of their own, & have taken care of multiple grandchildren in the past. It gets frustrating, but we take it one day at a time, & really try to reinforce our status as the parents/guardians/ultimate-and-final-decision-makers.


The holidays have come & gone, & if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll remember my previous declarations of love for Christmas. No, I didn’t get any new tree ornaments (per sé), but I did the cliché thing & ordered family holiday cards with the tiny human’s photo printed on it. So, I dropped a couple of extra bucks & sprang for the fancy cut-out cards that comes with fancy ribbon so you can hang the card like an ornament. I mean, who wants another postcard of someone else’s kid(s) pinned to the refrigerator along with all the other postcards of other people’s kid(s)? At least my cheesy family holiday card can be used as a temporary tree ornament.

All of my siblings came home to celebrate the holidays (& our tiny human’s first Christmas) with us. My oldest brother & his family did not stay for any festivities/food due to the fact that he works in an industry where he has to physically interact with people on a daily basis, & he was trying to be responsible & courteous by social distancing. He dropped off gifts, said his hellos to the family & spent the rest of the holiday at home with his family. My other older brother COVID tested negative before coming home for the holidays, & really got to bond with his new little niece. My unpredictable sister also came home & brought along her entire brood, which means her two kids & her new husband. I was so thrilled to see both my teenage nephew & niece really get along & try to play with my tiny human. Those kids are the best cousins my tiny human could ever have.


Since our tiny human has been born, Jian & I have been more addicted to coffee than ever before. We are coffee lovers by nature, but since coffee has become a vital part of keeping us alive while taking care of our tiny human, we have been investing more time (& money) looking into getting a top-of-the-line drip coffee maker & artisanal coffee beans from our favorite local coffee roasters. Jian used to be a one-cup-&-done kind of coffee drinker, but now I see him going for that second cup in the morning, or having an extra iced coffee in the afternoon, made from the leftover morning coffee. I am usually a two-to-three cuppa kind of gal, but since getting pregnant & then jumping on the breastfeeding wagon, I’ve had to cut back my caffeine intake & only stick to one and a half cups (meaning one full morning cup, plus a top off). Our morning breakfast routine wouldn’t be complete without a steaming hot cuppa Joe.


My plans to teach my tiny human about music have been a success! she absolutely loves listening to music, & we try to play music as often as we can when she is around us. Of course we’re not blasting the music at a high volume, but we’ve been openly introducing our tiny human to all different genres of music. Jian predominantly plays Japanese pop, western hip hop, & alternative music for her, but I’ve been introducing her to all the other genres like: 90s rock, jazz, lo-fi chill beats, 80s new wave, etc..

One genre of music our tiny human really enjoys is bossa nova. No, not Frank Sinatra, but artists like: Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, & Joao Gilberto (along with his wife & daughter, Astrud & Bebel). I have always been fascinated with bossa nova music ever since I first heard them in the movies from the 50s & 60s. It takes me back to those golden days of those movie stars jet setting to Rio de Janeiro to vacation at some posh beachside resort while drinking a tall gin & tonic. I’ve been playing this type of music for my little one ever since she’s been in my womb, & she’s been enjoying it so far. Her favorite song recently has been (So Nice) Summer Samba by Walter Wanderly featuring Astrud Gilberto. She’ll kick her feet and smile every time I put this song on.


I don’t know how I was able to amass a small stationery haul during this time of nesting with my tiny human, but I did it somehow. I got a couple of extra stationery supplies that I use frequently to write thank you cards to all of the people who were gracious & thoughtful enough to send a little something our way for this tiny human. Here’s a photo rundown of all the things I got recently…

Aside from this small haul of goodies, I was still able to get my yearly batch of calendars from my favorite store in Japan, Tokyu Hands. I usually get 3 calendars to put around my house: one in the kitchen, one in my bedroom, & one in the room that has now become Jian’s home office. This year, I got a mouse themed desk calendar illustrated by Leo Lionni, a Japanese illustration wall calendar (that is waaay too huge, & I accidentally bought the wrong size), & a cow themed mini desk calendar by orientalberry Inc.. Sorry for the lack of calendar photos. First off, I forgot to take any pictures of them when they I got them. Second, I am too lazy now to take any pictures of them. They’re already being used anyway.

Every year I also get an extra large desk pad calendar from Paper Source that I always put on my dad’s home ofice desk. Yes, we still keep my dad’s corner home office setup in the exact same place it has always been, & now it has unofficially become my mom’s home office desk which I will semi-often use as well. The large desk pad calendar is easy for my mom to read & write down all of her appointments & notes. Jian calls me the calendar queen of the house. Every year he likes to see which new designs I will choose.

Well, that’s about all I can write for now. I don’t have much more to update you on. Plus, the tiny human has woken up from her nap & is demanding my attention at the moment. I must attend to the queen or else. Until next time, cheers!


Today’s song of the day:

Taking care of a tiny, dependent human being takes up 20 hours of a single day. The other 4 hours are allocated to shopping online for diapers and Costco-sized tubs of formula powder. I really have to tip my hat & give a heartfelt thanks to all of the nurses, midwives & pediatricians who helped me through my delivery process in the hospital. It was through their routine harassment check-ups, day & night, that my little bean learned right from the start to eat & sleep on a fairly regular schedule.

Many, if not all, of the pre-existing parents in my life forewarned me about a severe lack of sleep once this little bean officially arrives, but so far (*knock on wood*) Jian & I have managed to get a decent amount of sleep. We go to sleep & take regular naps at the same time, & we both get up together whenever our little bean wakes up. We also do all the baby tasks together, like changing diapers (one does the changing while the other makes sure she doesn’t spit up any residual milk all over her clothes).

So far, with all of my accumulated knowledge of taking care of a small child, I have been able to navigate motherhood without much doubt & insecurity. One major helping factor is that Jian & I have been training our little bean to stay on a somewhat regular schedule. This has made her moods & routines quite predictable & on-time (which is approximately every 3 to 4 hours).

It takes many hands on deck to take care of this little one. So, it’s an absolute blessing that, due to COVID-19 restrictions in my area, Jian is now working from home for the foreseeable future. Also since his work schedule is pretty flexible, he is able to help out & not have to take any paternity time off. We are super blessed & grateful for this family bonding time together.

That pretty much sums up my current life for the past 2 months. Even with an extra set of hands at home to help us with emergencies & extra tasks, it’s been more of a challenge (to put it lightly) than relief… but that’s a story for another time. I have to go now and fill up another days worth in the diaper pail. Until next time, cheers babes!

My little bean!

Today’s song of the day:

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