Wednesday, December 29, 2010

End of the year wrap up

Just a quick update. All is very well on my end. Rosie is strong as an ox and in the 95th percentile in height. Sufficient to say, the giant genes have taken over.


Our relationship with her dad has improved significantly. He has been reliable taking Rosie overnights now. His parents and siblings are thrilled. They can't get enough of her.

She sleeps in her crib now thanks to him. I wanted to fully participate in Shopify's Christmas party (aka. I wanted to get sloshed for the first time since June 2009) so I handed her to him for 4 nights straight. It was a beautiful weekend of blissful sleep.



I've been so caught up in the routine of daily life that I haven't had much time to write. The holidays are exactly what I need to recharge and prioritize what I want to do with my life.

I'm turning over a new leaf. I'm working on a new blog for the New Year and will post it up soon.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

In memory of my aunt

My aunt passed away this Saturday. She had been battling with breast cancer for years. I wasn't able to make it to her funeral because I had to watch Rosie. My family is superstitious and believe that being around dead people is bad luck for babies. My cousin, who's wife is pregnant, was not allowed to go either. I'm torn in my relief that I didn't have to feel that tidal wave of grief. I was able to stunt and distract myself with Rosie but I missed being with my aunt. She and I were never close but she was a steady figure in my life. She was one of the two aunts whom my mother confided my pregnancy too. She was a kindred spirit.

I saw the slideshow that was played at her funeral. Black & white photos of her teenage years in Viet Nam slowly morphed into grainy, color photos of her beginnings in Canada. She met her husband during University. You see them standing in front of school together. Suddenly, a baby appears in her arms. Then a second baby boy; a third. I watched as her sons grew up and Christmases passed. Pictures of family vacations, then single vacations when her sons met their wives. White hair starts appearing but her adventures still went on. I even got to see myself growing up in some of the photos.

It's incredible how death invigorates life. My mind has not stopped wondering since the news of her death. How precious life is.

My aunt led a full and healthy life. She swam everyday for the last 10 years. All 3 sons have grown up into respectable professionals. Her home has grown and so has her glorious garden. She had everything a life could offer. It makes me wonder what is in store for me.

I think life is all about luck. Things get thrown in your path and it's up to you to take action. People pass in and out, many leave footprints though you may not realize. I've met some amazing people through my blog, SIFE and work.

In the quiet moments of my day, I keep thinking, "How am I going to live this life?"

Life has become a routine lately. The adventure has calmed and I catch myself asking "where has the time gone?" This is no way to live life. Every second is precious. I read half of The Power of Now, and its words grounded me into the present. I went for weeks appreciating life for at least an hour (typically between the time I left work and bused home; ha ha). Time slowed and suddenly disappeared. I began to feel life.

To my aunt. May I live at least half the life she lived.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rosie Updates

The little monster pulled herself up into a kneeling position in her crib the other day and ate half a sweet potato.

Cam


Cam
Attempt # 1

Cam
Attempt #2

Photo Booth
Ok, screw the head band.

Photo Booth


Cam


Photo Booth
The story behind this one is priceless. Rosie wanted to go to sleep but my cousin and I just HAD to watch this funny Youtube video... which led to a series of Youtube sharing. This was Rosie's face as she waited. She eventually fell asleep like that and started to fall forward.


skitched-20100803-143657.jpg
This is just awesome.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The most important question you'll ever ask

We are all in search of something. We are always evolving, changing.

But what if this wasn't true. What if all that matters is something you've had all along.

Before death, you are stripped of everything and left with just one thing;

Yourself.

Perhaps the most important question you'll ever ask is who is that person?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Moment of the week

I'm at work, jamming to some music with my co-workers.

me: Hey guys? Do you ever break out into dance when you're alone in your house?

Dennis: Ummmmm. Noooo (pause for 2 seconds) but I can see you doing that.

(everyone starts laughing)

Jeremy: OMG. That's the funniest thing I've ever heard.

me (silently thinking): What the hell is so funny about breaking out into random dance?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bleak

It seems like with the end of summer, so to comes the end of my blissfulness. Rosie's dad has decided to step back into her life. It's been not even a week and I find myself completely drained. I feel depressed, I can't sleep and Rosie has picked up on my carefully hidden emotions.

I haven't slept more than 2 hours at a time in 5 days. Rosie is restless. She can't sleep and thrashes around, waking up every 30 mins and crying herself back to sleep. I lie in my room staring at the ceiling. My nerves are frayed, my attention is zapped and I feel like I'm going to break any second. Custody talks are not going well. Why is it that after disappearing for 6 months, 3 days after my lawyer calls, D appears at the doorstep of his parents begging to let him move back home? He has broken up with his girlfriend and needs a place to re-collect his life. He realizes his "mistakes" and wants to start fixing things.

A 15 minute talk alone with him is like pounding my head against brick. He still lies, he still exaggerates, and he still has his head stuck up his ass. He says all the perfect things, but I hear undertones of deceit. Something in my core is telling me not to trust him, don't give him an inch but will the necessary people see these things too. I wonder at his sudden return home. Is this a stupid scheme to devoid me from sole custody? Does he drive back to his girlfriend every evening to reassure her that I will drop everything and he'll be back soon? He is still paying rent and I have seen her calling him.

I need to protect my daughter from him but I don't know how to. Was I wrong to keep her? Would she have a better life if she had a mother and a father? I rock her to sleep in the dark, door closed, muffling all sound. Just me and her... I am humming our lullaby. The sound bounces off the walls making the small room feel bare. I feel the responsibility of her precious life bearing down on me. I feel so alone. At the end of the day, I am all she has.

The first thing my best friend's dad said when he saw Rose was, "Ah. A baby raising another baby". He lay his hand on Rosie's forehead for a minute and shuffled away shaking his head.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Miss Incredible

I'm in shock. Rosie only cried for 30 minutes before falling asleep! Ferberization = success!!!! Ok, it's really only day two but both nights, she's only cried for half an hour vs. the hour and a half last time :-)

I feels weird being "normal" again. I almost didn't know what to do with my sudden spare time. It's incredible how that one effort of pushing Rosie out of my bed has done. I can DO stuff when she sleeps. I don't quite know how to explain this shining, white light that seems to have fallen upon me. ha ha. Incredible.

However, with every up, there's a down. Rosie is behaving wonderfully but my teenage sister is not. My family is being attacked by the teenage rebellious stage. It's getting annoying. My sister is delusional and thinks that she can survive on her own and doesn't need us. If we say no to any of her commands, she disregards it and walks out. My mom pulled a leg muscle this week and had to take care of Rosie. She asked my sister if she could refrain from going shopping to stay and watch Rose. My sister left anyways. I've tried talking to her maturely and dripping with empathy but she's taking it the wrong way. She's twisting it to benefit her. I'm at my wits end. My last attempt to smack some sense into her is with "the experiment".

She thinks she can live on her own, I'm going to let her (to a certain extent). If you want to live on your own, then you better prove that you're financially able to or else the homeless shelter is where you'll find yourself. She can do whatever she wants but rent, utilities, groceries will need to come from somewhere. Oh, and feeding herself might become burdensome.

It's frustrating that in a time when she should be focusing on applying for college and university, she's going to be scrambling to realize that her knowledge of the world is a lot smaller than she thought. It's going to be a hard lesson but one she'll have to take or I'm afraid my parents will soon snap and ask her to leave permanently. I would describe my used-to-be sweet sister as the typical, conformed teenager with no passion (except texting and shopping), no goals and livin' in the suburb bubble. I was pretty stupid when I was a teenager, but my sister has surpassed me.

Another tidbit of news, Rose's dad has broken up with his crazy girlfriend and has moved back home. What a stroke of luck (this is sarcasm). This happens 3 days after he receives a call from my lawyer informing him that I have filed for sole custody. We shall see what happens. I will need to talk to D soon. I hired my lawyer to do this for me, but he made me realize that I could only hide so much from D. My lawyer won't always be there to talk for me. I am procrastinating so much. All instinct is telling me to not give him an inch, don't give him a chance to ever hurt Rosie again. My heart is asking to be compassionate and to believe that maybe, good will prevail.

It doesn't help that he's appearing in every dream again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August updates

I'm writing this as Rosie lies next to me in bed, her screams muffled by her feet. Life has passed by in a blur of work, Rosie, sunshine and family gatherings.

I regret not writing in my blog as much as I used to.

A few updates, ferberization was a complete fail. Rosie gets uber sweaty when she cries. That coupled with the 40 degree whether we had created a very uncomfortable position for Rosie. I'd come into her room to find her bed drenched in sweat which was cold from the fan blowing on her. The cooler weather is starting to come in so I will try again soon. I'm said to admit that I do enjoy sleeping with her now. It's comforting being able to sleep next to another human and wake up at her smile. I didn't expect it, but Rosie wakes up with a smile on her face almost every morning.

She rolls over now too. She just did it and I'm watching as she struggles to unpin her left arm from underneath her. It takes her a good 6 or 7 rolls before she finals has enough momentum to pull her arm out. It's hilarious. I can't leave her on my bed unsupervised anymore. She'll move quite quickly but pushing her feet while keeping her face planted in the mattress. She hasn't yet learnt the role of arms in crawling.

Life is great. I'm having a blast at work. I'm learning so much working with SIFE Carleton. Our website is soon coming up so I'll be posting that up soon. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Journey Through Adoption: The end

My counselor was a surprise. I was very suspicious of my lawyer by January. I was starting to think that she had purposely kept the profiles from me so that I would feel like I had no choice but to select from her list. There was no time left to find the other lawyer and get to know him in order to get his profiles.

My counselor pushed me hard about my decision to give up the baby. The first thing she asked was, "What's stopping you from keeping your baby?"

"Mostly money. I don't want to have to work 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet. I can't live with my parents. I'm not done school. I forfeited my maternity benefits (about $500) in order to get off work early".

"Money should not stop you. Have you looked into welfare?"

She told me about her past experiences with birth mothers. You usually stay in the hospital for a maximum of 48 hours, unless there are complications. You get 48 hours with your child before the adoptive parents take him/her. It's recommended you don't see the baby. Wait, WHAT?

I couldn't believe what her words. I thought maybe she was confused about my situation. I wanted an open adoption. I wasn't just give birth and walk away.

"The girls who stay every minute with their baby till the hospital throws them out are the ones who suffer the most. Honestly, I've had to carry girls out of the hospital because they're crying so hard. I love my job, but I hate this part".

She looked me straight into the eyes.

"Theresa. Trust me on this. You have no idea how much your heart is going to break when you walk out of the hospital room and leave your baby lying in her crib. You don't know when you'll see that baby again. Once your parental rights are gone, you have no say in that baby's life. Don't make it any harder than it has to be".

I'm pretty sure a part of me died when she said this. All I could picture was my counselor cradling a 16 year old girl slumped in her arms as if the world had beaten her to the ground and there was nothing left. Was that going to be me?

The next day, I looked into welfare. I'm going to rant a bit about how stupid the system is. Hopefully, you'll never even have to call and inquire about welfare. The system wouldn't qualify me for welfare until I had $500 in my bank account. By then, I had about $1000 left from my savings. If I was put on welfare, they were going to force me to get a job and get off welfare as soon as possible. The entire thing sounded ridiculous. The process was idiotic in itself. You had to be in immediate need of money (ie. on the verge of poverty) for them to CONSIDER you.

"Screw that", was my response.

-----------------------------------------------

I, finally, got my profiles a few days after meeting my counselor. Let me shatter your world for a bit. What comes to mind about these profiles is NOTHING like in reality. I received 8 profiles, was told to read through them and to only take, maybe, 4 of them home.

Pause.

You mean I can't even leave the office and take my time reading through them?

"No, I just don't want 4 good profiles leaving the office that I could maybe give to someone else if you're not even going to pick them", was Andrea's reason.

I think it was in that moment that I decided I was going to keep the baby. Everything after just reaffirmed it.

You would expect these profiles to be lengthy, highly descriptive and informative. Again, NO. I can't even describe to you how disappointed I was at this essential part of the adoption process. The profiles were hand-made, duotang type packages that were self complied by the potential parents. They had headings like "How I met Julie... Why Andrew is the perfect father... Why we believe spanking is wrong".

That was the stupidest column. Of course you're not going to say you believe in spanking! No one would choose you. Why do you even bother to waste space writing it!?

I felt like I was carrying fairytales in my hands. Every family sounded too perfect. Fake. Guess how thick these duotangs were? I'd say no more than 10 pages. Maybe 4 if you took out all the pictures. I was going to choose the future parents of my child based on 4 pages of fluff.

I asked to see the notes that the social worker who evaluated the parents took.

"Oh! I can't give you those. blah blah bullshit bullshit. I can read you them though". She scanned and highlighted the good stuff.

This is the part that always makes me facepalm and want to punch something really hard.

"When can I meet them?" I asked.

"Oh! Meet them?" (why the fuck are you shocked that I want to meet them?) "You need to make sure in your heart of hearts Theresa that these are the parents you're going to choose if you want to meet them. Don't break their hearts. These people desperately want children and you don't want them to get their hopes up".

I left with 4 profiles but I knew that I was done with this. I knew I could raise the baby. I knew that I was the best option. I knew that I didn't want Andrea to get one penny from my baby.

I told her a week later that I had decided to keep the baby. She asked me to return the profiles and said, "Yes. I had a feeling you'd keep the baby considering how attached you were to it".

Of course I'm "attached" to it you stupid woman! It's my god-damn child!

I returned the profiles with a fake smile saying I'd keep her updated. I've never heard from her since. My counselor emailed me once to ask why I changed my mind and never responded when I told her the nicer version of the truth.

The experience was horrible for me but, maybe, it won't be so bad for someone else. I talked to an old elementary school friend who had given up her baby for adoption 3 years ago. Her process was infinitely different than mine. Her lawyer gave her profiles the day after meeting her. She gets to see her baby whenever she is in town. Her parents are just as involved in the baby's life as they would have been if the baby had stayed with my friend.

Maybe it was fate the entire process for Rosie to stay with me. Maybe what happened to me is just the standard. Maybe this is something that we'll never know because no one wants to re-live their experience ever again.

That is my adoption story.

My Journey Through Adoption: Part 4

I guess I should continue my story.

After I came home from my failed abortion appointment, my parents shook their head and said, "Ok, let's get you a government job to raise the baby". ha ha. My parents (and I think all asian parents) believe that working for the government will end all suffering.

When I told my parents NO, I was going to give up the baby for adoption, they didn't believe me but said to do whatever I thought was best for me. So, I started the process. I had previously met with a counselor at Planned Parenthood who gave me the names of the only 2 private adoption lawyers in Ottawa.
Note: My experience at Planned Parenthood was a huge disappointment but maybe that's just me. Probably best to try every resource possible if you find yourself young, single and pregnant.


I called up the lawyer, let's just call her Andrea. Andrea was beyond reassuring. She picked up her cell phone as she was backing up her car into the garage. Needless to say, not the best first impression but she called me right back as soon as she got in the house. I remember the experience to be very prompt. She said what needed to be said, she arranged what needed to be arranged and left me feeling assured surprisingly.

We met. We talked. Things were going well.

I stopped talking to D for my entire 2nd trimester. I was done with his foolishness. Andrea told me that it was best to keep him out of the process. From her experience, the men tended to get in the way and make things harder than they needed to be. What if he didn't like the family I chose? What if he his criteria differed signifcantly from mine? What if he didn't sign the adoption papers to give up the baby?

I was terrified of D. I didn't know how far he would go, I still don't.

I dropped him, cold turkey. He texted once the entire time. I worked with him a few times at the pool but never gave him a second glance. My friends told me he would watch me like a puppy, craving any bit of attention. I laughed and felt empowered.

School came and went. December approached and I still hadn't seen any family profiles. I was starting to panic. The baby was due in 3 months and I had no family. What kind of mother would I be if I just handed off my baby to someone I had known for less than 3 months?

I wanted an open adoption. I wanted to be in my baby's life from beginning till end. I wanted visits, I wanted photos, I wanted her to know me. I knew the only way I could get this was if I had a good relationship with the adoptive parents, but I needed time to build that. Time was definitely running out.

I kept subtly pushing Andrea to get me profiles. I had to be careful because she was the one selecting profiles for me. Here's what scared me the most. There were only 2 adoption lawyers in Ottawa. Each has their own separate list of parent potentials. Those lists contained 30-70 people. If I exhausted Andrea's list, I would have to run to the next lawyer and Andrea would lose her money.

The abortion counselor had warned me. At the end of the day, the only way the lawyers get paid is if they get a baby.

Andrea was having hard times in her private life too. I understood and pitied her, but my baby's life was in her hands and she was not doing enough. As a birth mother, I'm allotted one counselor to help me get through the process. I met her mid-January. By then, all I could think of was, "I'm not going to find parents. How am I going to raise this baby?"

I had started creating back up plans. I had started planning my new life.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Good God that child can cry

Night 1: ferbrizing went surprisingly well.
Night 2: she cried for an hour and a half straight (even though she hadn't napped all day). I felt bad, and also wanted to go to sleep, so I let her sleep with me. Small steps, I keep telling myself.
Night 3: (which is tonight) She's been crying for 15 mins so far. I've already gotten in an argument with my mom that Rosie doesn't need a "nightlight". It's not going to prevent her from feeling scared, that's just a stupid preconception that people have had built into them. She sleeps in the dark in my room, it should be no different in her room. But, of course, opinions (and especially, parenting opinions) are hard to change no matter what the facts say.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Could I really be falling into time poverty?

I've been extremely interested in the theory of happiness lately. I would say I'm borderline obsessed but can still retain the pride of saying that I have a life.

The past month, all I've been thinking about optimizing my time. For one week, I observed how I spent my time. I wrote down everything that I did and discovered I wasted an average of 7 hours a week just on Facebook. And I'm not even that avid of a Facebook user. I only use it to read messages between me and my cousins. Maybe see some events. Maybe stalk a few old high school acquaintances. ha ha.

I "wasted" another 7 hours just cruising through the internet from interesting article to interesting article. But, it's almost like there are too many interesting articles and that the value of them have decreased. I come across an exceptional article once a day, I would say, but after collecting a weeks worth of "fascinating" articles, they all start to blur together. How much am I really getting out of these articles? I don't even remember half of them.

Though I hate commuting an hour to work, I've found that THAT is when I best use my time. Bus time is reading time for me. Uninterrupted, baby-proof reading. I've flown through my books (not at the speed that I'm used to) but I can now proudly return a book well within the 3 week library limit. If I don't feel like reading, I have the opportunity to listen to CBC without any distractions. They have the best programs running between 9am-11am. I've already learnt so much.

My evenings, despite being so crammed with just chores, I found that I couldn't push things around to get more free time. Baby feedings, baby baths, feeding myself, bib laundry and packing my lunch took my entire 3 hour precious evening. I've come to accept that this is just the reality of my life at this time and will eventually change when Rosie is 1 year old and no longer goes through 6 bibs a day.

So, despite my hard effort to optimize my time, time poverty is actually a legit existence in my life. It's there and I have to decide what to cut out of my life in order to maintain my steady stream of contentment.

Ferberizing baby

So it's 1:54 am and I am ferberizing Rosie.

Definition of Ferberization: "baby-training" children to self-soothe by allowing the child to cry for a predetermined amount of time before receiving external comfort.

It's been 25 minutes of crying so far. I've been walking into the room every 5-10 minutes to let her know I'm still here and that's it's okay to fall asleep. Let's see how that goes.

My decision to quit Rosie cold-turkey came out of nowhere. I've been having lots of difficulty sleeping with her the past month. She wakes up every 2-3 times a night now (vs. sleeping 6 hours before when she was in her crib). I gave up putting her in her crib when I started working full time. It was just exhuasting waking 5 metres to her crib twice a night and the anxiety attached to putting her in her crib made it almost not worth it for me. Would she stay asleep? How long before she woke up?

I would sleep at the edge of my bed with my glasses still on and fall asleep with the expectation of shooting awake anytime for another undetermined number of hours. Try doing that and working 8 hours a day with a 2 hour commute. Guh.

My decision spawned because she woke me up at 12:57 am after not falling asleep until 11. I was SURE, absolutely positive, that it was 3 am or so. I would have been happy if it were even 2 am. I guess my patience just snapped when I realized she had only let me sleep less than 2 hours.

I tried rocking her back to sleep to no prevalence. Sometimes I get lazy and feed her every hour just to stop her from crying. Then I'm drowned with feelings of guilt that I'm a wimp of a mother.

Fantastic. My mom just went and picked up Rosie. There goes 3o minutes of my work. I'm trying so hard to control my rage. I feel horrible and guilty but my patience is just running out. It's been so long since I've gotten even 5 hours of unbroken sleep. I just want to sleep again.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Just some picturesque updates

Life is fantastic. I'm doing good, spreading good and reading "All Marketers are Liars" by Seth Godin. I'm feeling inspired and am only on page 9.

Here are some pictures from the past long weekend and yes, I chopped off all my hair. I love it!




More to come. Rosie and I spent Saturday having a photo shoot with her great uncle. :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Time Project: credit card concierge


I'm on the path to optimize my TIME. I want time to work for me, benefit me and make me happy.

Credit Card concierge services is exactly what I want and need.

Know of any Canadian credit cards that will do THIS?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

There are 168 Hours in a Week



I don't know how I never really knew this, but there are 168 hours in a week. Time poverty, you hear it all the time. Like never before, my life has turned into a race for more time. There's something I have to do every minute and I still can't finish everything. I sometimes find myself sitting on the bus after work and just inhaling time. Time to just sit and do nothing. Time to appreciate little things like the tiny hairs on the neck of the guy standing in front of me.

Time runs by so fast. It seems like just yesterday I was rocking a 6 lbs Rosie in my arms at 3 in the morning.

I think one of the smartest things you can ever do in life, is to just live every moment.
Imagine how much more you could get out of life...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Do this for one day

I'm absolutely exhausted but just had to write this out. I recently watched this video and have been playing around with the word "why".
Such a powerful word contained in 3 letters.

My friend called me up today to ask for some help about his life. He basically wanted to find more fulfillment (I had just lent him The Last Lecture so I knew that this talk was going to be coming soon). So we talked and debated about how you can find happiness. Does it come from helping yourself? Does it come from helping others? What can steps can you take in life that would make you happy now, in 5 years, in 50 years, the minute before you die?

So my friend started listing out the things that would make him happy and then, I started asking him why.

Why would being rich make you happy?

Because then I could give money to my family.

Why?

Because I want my family to never have to worry about money.

Why would that make your family happy?

Because then they could do things that would make them happy.

Why would they do that?

Because then they could help people.

Why?

Because helping people is good.

Why?

Because it makes the world a better place.

Why?

Because people won't be unhappy.

Why wait to be rich if all you want to do is make people unhappy?

Why?

So, here's my proposition.
In everything that you do today, keeping asking 'why' over and over. Eventually, you'll get to the root and the answer may surprise you.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 90: First day on the job

So I got a job. A real job and I'm beyond excited about it. Today was my first day and it went so much better than my last one.
I don't know why, but this post has consistently sat as the second most popular post ever.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Best Long Weekend

Friday
Friday,I was carrying Rosie down the street to her grandparents when a random lady standing on her driveway offered me her sling... for free. I was so taken back but such a kind gesture. So here is Rosie sitting in her sling for the first time. I haven't been able to get her into it since.









Saturday


Saturday was super hot! We got all dressed up for a big family party but there was no air conditioning. Rosie was super bored as you can see.

















Before & After

Before


After

My cousin bought me a really thoughtful gift. Wall decals! She knows I've been obsessing over properly decorating Rosie's nursery. Finally got something done. We spent all day Saturday working on it.

Sunday

My cousin snuck in at 7:30 am Sunday morning to take this lovely photo of us. It was a long night of fussy Rosie, so needless to say, we were all knocked out by dawn.

Rosie woke up two seconds after she "sensed" her photo being taken. Lil bugger.








This was a card my little cousins made. "Hope you find a boyfriend". They're like 5 and 9.














The girls also chalked up my walkway. Isn't it beautiful??

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 74: Oral fixation phase

Look at that face of evil

Despite my best attempts to stay away from using a pacifier, I finally gave in last week.
Doctors recommend that the pacifier not be introduced until after 6 weeks to avoid nipple confusion.

To get back at me, Rosie has decided to become confused. She has no idea what to do now during feeding sessions.

Also, she keeps trying to shove her entire fist into her mouth. All you hear me screaming is, "HEY! Get that hand out of your mouth!!!"

Ugh. It's only going to get worse.

My sister use to eat sand. I fear the worst.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 73: Vomit in the face

Taken this morning at 6 am.

I was awoken yesterday by a tidal wave of vomit hitting me in the face and flowing into my mouth. That's it... nothing more to say.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I finished my prezi presentation


So, I finally finished my prezi presentation. I couldn't end up doing what I had originally designed.
But, the end product is still pretty good.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 70: A day in the life of Rosie

My dad took this picture of me early in the morning during a rare moment when Rosie was asleep in her crib- March 12
Rosie sleeping- Apr. 27

Rosie had her 2 month doctor's appointment today. The first question my doctor asked was: "Describe a typical day for Rosie".
My answer: "Uhhhh. Normal for a baby?"
I don't even know why I made it into a question when that was my answer.
"Soooo, eat, sleep and poop?" my doctor said.
"Yes," I replied.

That got me thinking. I have a tendency to always assume that people know what my life is like. How my days appear and the reasons behind my thoughts.

Of course, I realize this is stupid... but it happens so naturally.

So, I have decided to write down what a day in Rosie's life is like so that I will remember it forever and so that Rosie has something to read when she's older.

I don't even really know where to start. Rosie's "days" are more like never-ending circles of time. Because she doesn't actually sleep through the night, her day doesn't really "start" anywhere.

But, I guess to make things simple, I'll say Rosie's day starts at 6am. Depending on her mood, she'll either wake up, eat and fall asleep or eat and stay awake. The hour after Rosie wakes up for her day is usually the most active. She is definitely a morning person. She squeals, converses with the pillow and hyperventilates (which is her way of laughing).

My mom usually comes in to take Rosie around 8am if Rosie is awake. Bath time occurs soon after leaving Rosie smelling wonderfully of lilacs.
Followed by a brief crying session because Rosie hates being taken out of the water.... and getting dressed.

I roll out of bed between 11-12 and start my day by washing all of the clothes Rosie pees, poops or vomits on from that night.

Rosie's daytime varies depending on whether I have plans or not. Sometimes we have visitors or outings. On nice days, I usually manage to take her for a walk. I get about 20 minutes of strolling before Rosie starts crying and then 10 minutes of sprinting home.

Having everyone at the dinner table is impossible. Someone always has to be holding Rosie or else screaming occurs. Evening time is Grandpa time. He usually plays with Rosie. However, once 7 pm hits, Rosie starts getting cranky.

10pm is when we start getting ready for bed. Rosie has a quick snack at 11pm before finally getting placed in her crib around midnight. After that, she sleeps in 3-4 hour intervals interspersed with surprise spit-up sessions.

Funny story: Trying to wake Rosie this morning at 3am was like waking the dead. She was passed out on her back (a sleeping position she usually hates) and kept swatting my hand away every time I tried wake her. She is strangely coordinated for a 2 month old.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 65: The Poop Trip

Rosie looks like she wants to punch me for leaving.

Rosie is a strange one. Instead of using the guilt trip to make me stay with her longer.... she likes to use the "poop trip". For the past 3 days, every time I'm about to leave the house, Rosie takes a massive dump. Her poops defy gravity. They go upwards... I don't know how she puts so much force into them.
It takes forever to clean up.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Remebering the first week of Rosie's life


Rosie getting her diaper changed last week.

Rosie is now 2 months old.... and, even though time seemed to move like syrup, I still can't believe it's already been 2 months.

I felt like I lived and breathed every second of Rosie's first week. It was brutal. There I was, trying to take care of this baby who I didn't know. I didn't know what she liked, what her tendencies were. The first week was a constant struggle to befriend her.

I started off doing the night shift by myself right off the bat. I remember the first night went quite well, but I think that's because I didn't sleep at all and therefore, wasn't abruptly awakened. The second night, all hell broke loose.

By the time morning finally came, I had no blankets left (she had thrown up and pooped on all of them), no face cloths, and no bed (Rosie had crapped on my mattress). I remembering feeling such deep panic that night. I went and bought 6 receiving blankets that same day.

Not only was I adjusting to a newborn, but my body felt like it had been hit my at least 5 dump trucks. My feet and hands were swollen twice there size. My breasts were rock hard and sore from nursing. The pain from my episiotomy was like no other. Sitting comfortably was impossible and caused searing pain... but standing hurt my feet too much.

Despite all my pregnancy research, nothing prepared me for the amount of pain I was in (and my pain tolerance is quite high). I think women block those days from their minds and don't tell other people, because if other women knew the truth, they would never have babies.

Honestly, that week alone convinced me that I will ever have children again. Only if I have a surrogate mother and a live-in nanny.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 61: Prezi crazy


I recently got offered the Vice President position for the SIFE group at my school. I'm extremely excited for the opportunity.

First task so far, design an ah-mazing prezi presentation for the SIFE national competition. My group wants me to design a prezi presentation. I have to admit, I'm already slightly bored with prezi (they need more fonts!) but I look at the task as a challenge to do something really different.

I tackled the storyboard last night. I really wanted to create some sort of story to go along with our presentation. Stories are always more memorable than stating facts after fact.

Here's what I came up with so far:


No one will be able to compare to us.

Day 61: So hot


Today was Rosie's first HOT summer day. Holy crap, it was so hot.
She had a really hard time falling asleep. I think it was because she was too hot, but she has yet to connect the fact that being held only makes her hotter.

We did not sleep well at all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 56: Snow in April


I know everyone in Ottawa is going to hate me for saying this but I find today's snow beautiful.
There's a type of silence that only snow can bring. Everything get muted. Any noise that does occur gets muffled by the snow.

It's quiet.

Day 57: Sit back, open your heart and read


The last two weeks for me have been really tough (and not just because Rosie is crying all the time). It’s been hard because Rosie’s father finally came and saw her. He came over to “visit”, which turned out to be just an excuse to get a paternity test done. He said to me beforehand, “I feel like such a failure... I want to spend every free day I can with her”.

He stayed for an hour, just long enough to swab Rosie’s mouth, and strode out the house. It took him almost 2 months to finally take the initiative to meet his daughter... and he treats it as if were nothing. I didn’t hear a peep from him for almost 2 weeks afterwards.

I can not even describe how angry I was. Every time I closed my eyes, it was all I could think about. I was consumed with so much hate, anger and resentment. Everyday was a constant struggle to subdue my rage and force myself to feel happy.

By the time my cousins came over, I could barely keep it together. I kept saying to them over and over, “How do I get rid of these feelings? I want to stop being so angry. I want this to stop”. They could not think of anything.

My mom gave Rosie the middle name Thuan-An (pronounced twunn-aane). It means “harmony and inner peace”. She purposely chose this name to remind me that no anger is worth it. With anger in my heart, I would never find peace.

I was meditating for the first time last night after reading Eat, Pray, Love and suddenly one of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “realizations” hit me.

Don’t blame the people who make you mad. Realize that it is you letting them hurt you.

My solution seemed so blatantly simple after that. Stop letting him hurt me. Deep down, I’ve always known the truth but I never really accepted it. He is not ready to be a father... and I can’t hold it against him anymore. Just because Rosie became a reality doesn’t mean he will suddenly change. Things are far from perfect, but I need to accept his true feelings and make the best out of them. I need to truly let him walk away and love him despite it.

This was my big epiphany. Love.

Love him for who he is. Love him FOR his actions. Love him and he can not hurt you because you already knew the truth and accepted it. All the “transcended” people of history have tried to teach the same message. Love. Gandhi loved. Mother Teresa loved. Jesus loved. I’m going to love too.

Gilbert went through a horrible divorce and I couldn’t help but empathize. Suddenly the person who you loved so much is a stranger in front of you. You could never fathom the things that they are doing and the anger behind it all. Two years after the separation, Gilbert still held the guilt for leaving her husband. She was in India, meditating her heart out when she realized that all she wanted to do was talk to him. Talk to him just like she used to.
So, she did. Right there in a desert in India, Gilbert invited her husband to join her in her mind for a talk. She waited until she felt his soul join her. Souls are not tainted. Souls are pure and in that moment, in remote India, Gilbert apologized to her husband’s pure soul and he accepted it. She came out of her meditation resolved. Her guilt gone...

...and last night, I did the same. It doesn’t really matter if the experience was real. Maybe it was all my imagination, but I woke this morning feeling happy in every inch of my body. I hold no anger.

Next time I see Rosie’s dad, I’m going to take the physical and legal steps needed to ensure he doesn’t hurt us anymore; but I’m going to approach the situation with love in my heart. I want him to be happy just as much as I want to be happy.

You can not change people. You can only change how you perceive and interact with them.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 55: Nursery

I finally put the cousins to work today.... at least more physical labour than just carrying around Rosie.
I took advantage of the quiet day to optimize Rosie’s room. We removed the big bed, leaving only the crib, change table and now a lazy boy.

Highlight of the day: My cousin and I were carrying up the bottom half of the lazy boy up the basement stairs when it accidentally opened and threw my cousin into the stair rail. Funny enough but tear-wrenching when she started screaming that her ass was jammed up against the corner of the railing. It’s a miracle I was able to keep a hold on the chair while I was bent over laughing.

One of the favorite moments in life has been with my two cousins. There’s a type of laughter that only they can evoke from me.

Will upload before & after pictures when nursery is finished (hopefully by this weekend).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 52: No go crib

My favorite cousins are down for the weekend from Toronto. They came to rescue me and my mom from Rosie’s relentless crying. They’re taking turns doing the night shift with me. Caroline volunteered to do last night’s shift.

After 2 broken hours of crying from 11-2:45 am, Caroline handed me Rosie saying, “Um. Can I just lie down? Just for a little bit.... I just need to lie down”. She collapsed in my bed looking like she had just wrestled an elephant. Probably would’ve been easier to do than shut Rosie up.

ha ha ha! I couldn’t stop laughing. Rosie really is a torturer.

Project crib was no go last night.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Happiness project


I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot lately. Probably because I started reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin and “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Both books describe two women’s journey to find happiness.

Last year, while I was pregnant, I wrote a bit about happiness but didn’t really pursue anything.

Still, the idea is playing in my head again. I’m not unhappy. Quite the opposite. I’m, surprisingly, loving being a mom to Rosie. My favourite times of the day are when I see Rosie learning. She just opens her eyes so wide as she rushes to see as may things as possible. Yesterday, she was able to find the source of the music coming from her swing. What a genius!

I’m reading these books and I’m thinking, “That kind of happiness sounds cool. I want that”.

So, I’ve been brainstorming for 3 days to see what I can do to bring me more happiness. Gretchen Rubin suggested tackling the big problems first.

Things that are making me unhappy:
  • No time for myself and exercising
  • Can’t sleep (I’m not talking about the lack of sleep due to baby but just my insomnia in general)
  • Rosie’s irresponsible father
  • My ugly room

Now that I’ve written it out, these problems seem really juvenile and easily remedied but really, it’s the small things in life that bring happiness. Or at least that’s what people always say.

Since I don’t have much me-time to tackle my happiness project, I think it’s best to start small. Rosie will eventually let me sleep through the night. Then I can focus more.

So... here’s what my “happy” goal for this remaining month is:
  • Meditate- hopefully this will help me sleep better and rejuvenate my energy. Plus, in Eat, Pray, Love, all she talks about is meditation and it sounds amazing. Quieting my brain chatter would be a nice. I always have TOO many ideas running through my mind all the time. It’s exhausting.
  • Watch the sunrise- I’m up anyways and, I guess, instead of staring at my ugly room, I should take some quiet time for myself and enjoy the sunrise.

Day 51: Wow... project crib only lasted 3 days

Rosie sleeping and probably pooping by the looks of it.

I’m amazed. That didn’t take long at all.

I had it all laid out that I’d put Rosie down in mini-time intervals and even was going to fill up a glove with sand or something to mimc my hand and lay it on her tummy. Turns out the only thing she needed was to have the heat turned up in her room. A constant 25 degrees put her to sleep for hours. I get paranoid though and think she’ll overheat and die so I always turn down the heat after the 4 hour snooze. But then she only sleeps for 1-2 hours.

Mistakes along the way...

Night 1 of project crib:
I swaddled her really tightly to keep her sleeping longer. She, still, was able to wriggle her arms free of the hold... BUT not the blanket! I come in to check on her after I haven’t heard a peep in 2 hours. The child has pulled the blanket completely over her head!

“Gahhh!” I slightly scream as I rush to pull the blanket back.

She’s snoring away. Her arms were also covering her face. I move those only to discover that the sleeve is empty and her arms are curled in her chest.
Thank god the blanket is a light weight sheet that she can breathe through.

Night 2 of project crib:
Everything runs smoothly minus the monumental amount of pee that was coming out of her.

Night 3:
Rosie discover leg power so strong that she manages to kick out her swaddle, kick off her blankets and then cry because the 25 degree atmosphere has disappeared. I can’t wait until she grasps the logic of “cause and effect”.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 48: I just want to announce...

... that Rosie slept for 4 hours in her crib! FOUR HOURS!!!! 3:20-7:10 am!
Wooooooo!

I am ecstatic.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 47: Project Crib

Rosie getting burped- 2 days old

So, like every stupid parent, I succumbed to co-sleeping with my baby for a few days. Two weeks to be exact. It was my last few weeks of school and I had major assignments and exams to complete. I figured that I need the sleep more and would have time to pay the price after school was done. Little did I realize how big of a price I would end up paying.

All doctors say to make sure your baby sleeps on their back. This is to reduce the likelihood of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). No one knows what causes SIDS; there are only speculations.

Despite my heavy research in “What to Expect the First Year” (which, by the way, is thicker than the bible and I read it all), nothing prepared me for sight of my baby shocking herself awake every few minutes due to her flailing arms. If it didn’t lead to crying the situation would be hilarious.

So, the solution to flailing arms is swaddling (my new most hated word). Swaddling involves burrito wrapping your newborn so tight that they can’t move their arms. It’s supposed to mimic the womb but Rosie never liked the confinement of the womb and that trait has extended into reality. She HATES swaddling. Yet, it’s the only way to let her sleep peacefully... at least until she suddenly realizes she’s swaddled and screams bloody murder. I have to trick her into the swaddle by wrapping my arms tightly around her after I’ve speed-wrapped her. That way, she thinks she can’t move because of my arms and that’s okay because she likes mommy’s arms.

She’s getting smarter though and has learned that mommy is a shitty swaddler and if she moves her arms like so, she can release them from the burrito wrap and shock herself to life’s content.

To get back to my story, I let Rosie not only co-sleep with me but let her sleep on her side which reduced the shocks by 80%. Now, not only will she not sleep in her crib, but won’t sleep on her back. FML.

This is how project crib got started. I have concocted an elaborate scheme to get Rosie out of my bed. Details to continue next post.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 0: The birthing story (but not the gross part)

Rosie- 4 days old

My goal of the month was to start blogging again but for some reason, I could never build the effort. There were so much more fascinating stuff to learn and read about on the internet. I guess I've been in more of the learning mindset than talking mindset.

So, I had my beautiful baby. Isn't she precious? Can't believe she decided to come out the day after my last post.

I was lying in bed at 1 am when I got a sudden backache. My first thought was, 'god dammit, what did I do to hurt my back? I bet it's the mattress. Stupid baby forcing me to lie sleep on my side'. Five minutes later, another shot of backache. When the third one hit, it suddenly occurred to me that the pain was coming in intervals.... intervals = contractions.

Holy shit.

I jumped out of bed, grabbed my "What to Expect When You're Expecting", and started scanning the "Symptoms of Labor" section. First on the list: lower backache. Gahhhh.

Flip the page to "Symptoms of Fake Labor". Backache.

Great. So I spent the next 3 hours timing the frequency of my contractions. They were all over the place; some coming every 2 minutes, some with breaks of 30. After 3 am, I was so cranky that I decided I was too tired to go into labor and it would just have to wait. So I went to sleep. I have no idea how I did it.

I woke up to a huge shot of pain at 7 and thought, "Okkkaayyy. Maybe I should call the hospital just in case. Not quite sure whether I'm supposed to let myself go into actual labour if I'm due for a c-section". So I call the hospital. The nurse said that if I was able to fall asleep through my contractions, I had plenty of time left. She said to wait it out and try calling my doctor. Lucky for me, my OB/GYN refused to take phone calls before 9 am. So I took another nap figuring I would need the energy later.

When I did get a hold of my doctor she told me to come in immediately.

"Good news of bad news first?" she asked in her thick European accent.

"I don't care".

"I'll let you choose".

"Fine. Bad news".

"You're having a baby".

"Yes.... yes, I'm aware of that".

"Today", she says.

"Lovely".

By then, the contractions were pretty much making me debate whether to throw myself in front of a car and see what hurt more.

"Good news is I think I feel a head".

She dives back in and says, "Yes. Yes! I think it's a head".

She orders me to go get an ultrasound at the hospital. Six hours later, in which I think I died (not literally but I wish I had) a slimy baby gets thrown into my arms. It was total karma. I didn't bother taking any birthing classes because I figured I was having the c-section, why spend the money! And then I made fun of two women I could hear screaming in the halls because they chose not to get an epidural. (Advice of year: get the epidural). Karma got me back by giving a stuck baby. Not fun.

Rosie, my daughter's name after 4 days of dragging my feet, is a comedian. She keeps everyone in the family entertained with her weird noises, massive lungs (she came out 6 lbs and is now 9 lbs), and crossed-eyes when she tries to focus on stuff.
Oh, and she lost all her front hair and now has a massive receding hairline.

Surprisingly, I'm loving being her mom. Not much sleep, slightly deaf in one ear and always smelling like spit up, but actually really happy.

Against all odds, despite everything that has been thrown my way, and the unconventionality of my situation, I've managed to pull through with a genuine smile on my face and now a little girl who I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. If I can do it, anyone can.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Baby in 3 days

Baby is due in 3 days.
Here is what is running through my mind:
  • Am I going to forget my bathrobe?
  • I wonder if the hospital has internet connection?
  • Which books are TOO big to bring? How many books should I realistically bring?
  • Why can't I sleep?
Notice how I'm not thinking about the baby. Is that normal? Shouldn't I be freaking out about becoming a mother in 3 days? Maybe, I've just gotten so used to the idea that it doesn't seem that "new" anymore. Or maybe I'm in complete denial of the situation.

I packed my hospital bag. The baby's stuff takes us more space in my bag... which will change once I get my furry, red robe in there. I have to pack 2 sleepers, 1 sweater, socks, mitts, hat, blanket and undershirts. She's wrapped in a blanket the entire time! Why would I risk losing one of my precious socks if she's always in a blanket!?

That's the extent to what I'm thinking about the baby... except the occasional yell at her to go to sleep so that I may also go to sleep.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ways to make your PERSONAL business card stand out

Feeling inspirational today.
I'm siting on my sofa with my beautiful, new (but not really) Mac and watching Team Canada vs. Russia.
Still working on designing my business card but need to take some professional pictures of myself to put on there. I'm loving www.us.moo.com. I especially like how you can have a variety of different images in one package instead of one design.

Designing your business card.

1. Have a really interesting image... And I mean REALLY interesting. Something that stands out. Especially when making a personal business card, you don't have a logo. All you have is your name. You want to tempt your cardholder into keeping your card forever because it is so unique.

I'm a lover of quotes so I decided to put some of these quotes onto the front of my business card. I'm going to add a picture to the back. I'm a believer of customizing. If I give you a card, I gave you THAT card for a reason. Maybe it's a bit too much detail but I think it's the small details that make the difference.

2. Create a tagline. People don't know who you are or what you are offering. Keep your focus on your client. Being humorous also doesn't hurt if it is aligned with your personal brand.

3. Phone number. Marketlikeachick made a good point about putting your personal phone number on your business card. Your card could be left anywhere. Do you want to risk randoms calling your number?