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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:


Christmas is over. All of my relatives have come & gone. My older brother came home, & I felt tension radiating off of him, probably from the stresses of his demanding job. My sister & her two kids came crashing in like a chaotic tornado. The more time progresses, the more new things I learn about my sister, but also the more she easily irritates & frustrates me. I find myself easily becoming angry &/or flying off the handle the more I spend time with my siblings.

I try to be accommodating to my brother & sister. I try to make their lives more comfortable. That’s engrained in my personality, to take care of & to comfort others. However, I’ve learned over this past Christmas holiday, that it often comes at my own expense. I sacrifice my own happiness, comfort, & (sometimes) sanity to make other people’s lives more comfortable. I don’t ever seek recognition or much validation, but a little compromising &/or acknowledgment goes a long way.

Last year, during the same time of the year, I had a HUGE & COMPLETE meltdown. I broke down into tears & was sobbing uncontrollably for hours. I mean, I had a mental breakdown, & it scared the hell out of me. I’ve never cried like that in my entire life, not even when my dad passed away. What was I having a meltdown about? One of my “to-be-unnamed” family members disrupted my housekeeping routine, & completely LOST IT! I don’t recall throwing a tantrum, but I vividly remember breaking down into utter sobs so intense I gave myself a panic attack & lost control of my breathing. I was half crying, half gasping for breath, so much so that Jian seriously considered taking me to the hospital.

It was then & there, well, after I had regained my composure, that I recognized this episode as a genuine wake up call to loosen the reins on my compulsion for cleanliness & strict housekeeping. I could not allow myself to freak out every time someone didn’t clean the house to my standards, or didn’t do something exactly the way I would have or wanted them to. I’m a Taurus astrology sign, so I can easily become stubborn, easily dig my heels into the ground & not budge, & easily let myself get angry. I learned from a very early age in my life how to maintain a home & how to be domesticated from my mother. So, when I perform my own housekeeping in my house, I do everything exactly the way my mom taught me, & I don’t stray from her exacting steps. I realized last year that I couldn’t go through life being so rigid & straightforward like that. There’s going to be a cuss-load of times where I cannot control the steps. I had to loosen my “grip”, so to speak. People will make messes, & I will just have to deal with it accordingly. I can’t spend my whole life trailing behind others with a vacuum & a dust rag. I told myself then, I’m not giving up my controlling ways, but I’m toning it down several notches.

This year, I also had another meltdown. I finally confessed to Jian that I’ve been carrying around a cuss-load of emotional stress & baggage. He told me that it is very unhealthy to keep all of my emotional stress bottled up. I told him that I had no other choice. I wanted to protect my mother & to not put any emotional stress on her, especially since she still feels so emotional over my dad’s passing. There’s already intense tension between my sister & older brother. As much as they love each other, they can’t stop fighting like cats & dogs. That makes my mom sad, to see her older kids fight, & I can see that it worries her out a little. I try to keep the peace as much as possible, & not “rock the boat”, & to shield my mom from as much stress & worry as I can, but then all of that pressurized burden falls on my shoulders.

As much as my mom is one of my closest confidants, it’s difficult for me to talk to her about this. Sometimes I find it hard to talk to Jian too because it’s difficult for him to relate to my issues when he was raised as an only child with very few cousins to interact with. Dear, sweet Jian tries to help me sort through & process all of my thoughts & emotions in a practical/sensible way, & I try to control my stubbornness & sometimes defeatist attitude. I think I’m making slight progress.

There have been many times, this Christmas alone, where I wanted to wring my sister’s neck or grab her by the shoulders & give her a good hard shake & scream, “What the hell is wrong with you?” straight to her face, but somehow, I was able to draw upon Jian’s practicality & wisdom, & I was able to take a step back every now & again to let myself cool down. I actually went with the flow some of the time, & pushed my immediate stressed feelings out of myself in order to stop & think before I reacted. My sister is a sloppy person, leaving clothes & used bath towels strewn all over the bedroom floor. All of her belongings are in messy piles all over the place, & she can never put a dirty dish/cup in the sink to save her life. Her children, in turn, learn those habits/mannerisms from their mother, & do as she does. They are equally messy, but to add another layer to this disaster, all three of them tend to be quite careless with their belongings. For example, my niece, in her throes of rough playing around her house, stepped on her expensive tablet & cracked the screen. She gave it no second thought whatsoever. My sister has lost her mobile phone so many times, in this year alone, that she now has to buy an expensive protection plan in case of loss or theft. The kids hate wearing jackets, even if it’s minus 14 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, & they’ll throw their jackets on to the floor & walk away if they don’t want to wear their jackets.

All this time, I want to scream, tear my hair out, cry, shout, ball my fists & stomp my feet like a whiny toddler, but I was able to mentally talk myself off the edge of that cliff so many times this Christmas holiday. That made me feel like I’m clearly on my way to a more mature & composed self. That’s one of my goals for the year, to keep progressing my inner self, & to break away from my anger. I feel like I’m off to a good start. At least I think I am. I still have a very long way to go. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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