Well this was unexpected…

First off, thank you all so much for the support and kind words about the incident at the park. It made my spirit crumble seeing that other family got to keep their dog at the playground and I was the “rulebreaker” asked to keep my dogs out of the park. I felt worse that my 1.5-year-old was part of this incident. I felt compelled to explain to her why world can be so unfair even though she won’t comprehend what I’m saying.

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Door number 1, 2, and 3

** Warning: Long Post **

I just see a person

On Saturday my husband is off to a robotics competition. He’s a coach/mentor for a local high school. BIL #1 and BIL #2 are going to see their mom since it is her birthday. They offered to bring Lana because it would be nice for her to see her grandmother and it would free me up, but I told them she had dance classes and we had other plans. Honestly, I am less enthused about Lana going to MIL’s birthday because I am still bitter about that one spontaneous visit where she compared her with her cousins. But that was only part of it.

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Play hard

The Comparison game

I think one of the worst things a parent, a grandparent, or a relative could do to a child is to compare them with other children. I am thankful my parents never did that. I am also thankful my parents advised me to never compare myself to other people. I am sure I started this self-flagellation of comparing myself to others as early as elementary school…maybe even sooner? I think into my 20s it was pretty bad because I was concerned about career and life satisfaction. Now in my 30s, I am actively fighting against it.

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What has Mocha the Travelling Bear been up to?

This was originally posted back in 2017. Scroll past the grey box to see what Mocha has been to up to!

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Halloween weekend

I know, a late #weekendcoffeeshare post. It will be short too. Hopefully, I can expand more the following weekend.

It was a busy weekend. We went to my cousin’s kid’s first birthday in San Diego. That was a lot of fun. Later we saw some old friends. We intended to stay at one of our friend’s place for the night and go back home to LA the following morning but Lana could not get herself to sleep. She kept crying and tossing and turning. We decided it was best to leave and go back home. We arrived home this morning at 2 AM.

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Birthday week

Another week in the books! Lana is officially one year old! On her birthday we bought mini cupcakes for her classmates and staff members at her daycare. For several days I kept telling myself “don’t forget to go the grocery store to pick up the mini-cupcakes.” Yesterday was her birthday party with immediate and extended family. Most of the work in planning was going back and forth with my husband on what food to serve (should we order from a restaurant or should we make?) and how much food to provide. My husband tends to overserve, while I tend to underserve (“are you sure this will be enough food?”). For me, the way I see underserving is that we get to clean up faster because most of the food is gone. But also through my years of experience in event planning, I always anticipate that about 20% of the people who initially planned to go end up not going. In contrast, my husband likes to overserve food because he knows he has many family members and they are big eaters. He sees that some of our family members are coming from far away, so we need to provide more than enough.

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Unsolicited advice: You’re doing it all wrong

This post has been sitting in my drafts for ages. As Lana approaches her first birthday, I’ll be releasing a few posts about motherhood. At first I thought to do a monthly recap, but I decided let’s wait because I have other posts too. I want to showcase my hobbies and other things on my mind. Then this post quickly grew more into this very stream-of-consciousness post with various topics around motherhood. But now after reviewing, I broke them down and made several smaller posts around motherhood. This post is more focused on receiving unsolicited advice.

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I tell myself “It’s only temporary”

I wonder if dads get some sort of postpartum depression? Well the dad may not have gone through the biological process of having a baby, but life changes for them too. Some days I describe matrescence as a death of a former life and welcoming a new one. Matrescence is the best word to describe this feeling because it sounds like adolescence but for moms. (Which also reminds me…high school never seems to end when it comes to adulthood. But that will be saved for another post.) The pandemic has compounded some of the “low” moments of new parenthood like cancelling leisure travel plans.

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Let’s have vaccine clinics in the lobby!

Happy Friday everyone! This week flew by — thank goodness! A lot has developed over the past week especially at work. Visitors seeing patients staying at the in-patient floors must have COVID vaccine or COVID negative test in the last 72 hours. The lines to the information desk are getting long. I think maybe while we are at it, we should have a vaccine clinic at all our lobby areas so if they get turned away, they can get vaccinated and not leave feeling empty-handed.

Also at work, all employees (including volunteers and contractors) at my work must have the COVID vaccine by September 30th. If they don’t get vaccinated, they can’t go to work. I’m not sure what the ultimate decision will be for those who won’t vaccinate. Is this an experiment to get more employees vaccinated? In the meantime, unions are negotiating for those who continue to not vaccinate to do weekly COVID tests in order for them to continue working but my employer will remain rigid with their decision. There is an exemption but that applies if the person is reported to get an anaphylactic shock from the vaccine. Honestly I don’t mind that my work won’t budge. As someone working for a public employer, is it financially responsible for tax payer dollars to continue to pay for employee COVID tests? Have my coworkers seen how much COVID tests cost? Also, I’m tired of holding the secondary title of contact tracer at work — it eats up a lot of time from my regular duties.

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Exhausted and disillusioned

I finally made it to the end of the week and why did its arrival feel so freaking slow?! It’s been quite a week and I could not wait for it end! Well as of last Friday, my husband was off for two weeks for military training. Over that past weekend, I was working on Lana’s room — decluttering and reorganizing. Then…well let’s break this week past week down:

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A Heavy declutter weekend

It’s great day to have a coconut sundae! Yup, I am still writing about ice cream for my July “Eat Around the World” challenge. Don’t be intimidated by how indulgent it looks. It’s less of a sugar bomb compared to the ice cream sandwich I had the other day.

I can’t wait to share the other ice creams I’ve had this past month! I even made a couple of ice cream popsicles.

Continue reading A Heavy declutter weekend

Just a grain of salt…

Happy weekend coffee share! Let’s have a light brunch at Huckleberry in Santa Monica. I’ve been hearing great things about this place for years. I even borrowed their cookbook from the library to try out some recipes even though I’ve never been at the time. The jam-filled brioche loaf on the cover page caught my eye and that’s why I borrowed it. I was ambitious to venture into brioche-making. When I was about to return the library book, my miniature Schnauzer, Teddy, ruined the cover. Maybe he thought eating the cover page was a delicious idea. The library did not want want the book back in that condition (obviously). I had to pay for a replacement and got to keep the wrecked version.

To be honest, the damage is not as bad you think. Thank god for hardcover. Plus the pages are in great condition.

I guess I never bothered going because there are many other great brunches between there and where I lived. This morning I decided to finally go because it’s hot where I live. I wanted to escape the heat of the Valley for a little bit and hang out at Santa Monica. I am happy to say I am glad I made the small trek. This quiche gruyere and mushroom quiche is amazing! I also had their fruit crisp. This place definitely lives up to the hype. I’ll definitely go back to re-read this cookbook and replicate these dishes.

Anyways, if we were having coffee, I want to share a thing that bothered me. Background: my daughter’s daycare is at my work in the hospital so I get to see her during my lunch breaks. The other day, I decided to have lunch at the daycare to watch Lana do waterplay because it was first time doing waterplay. I like to see her have fun and engage with the other kids. I asked the daycare supervisor if I could eat lunch at the daycare and he said it was ok but as long as I’m not eating chips or other junk food in front of the other kids. He was explaining the importance of modeling good eating habits for the kids at the daycare. Also, he did not want to have some kid say “hey I don’t want to eat this watermelon, I want to chips because she’s eating chips!” I understood where he was coming from and I am not against this policy. Funny thing was that I had a bag of chip with me. All I had to do was walk a few feet to the staff cafeteria and eat them away from the kid’s sight. No big deal.

But that is not the part that frustrated me. After work, I met up with my husband for dinner and his friend tagged along. I shared with my husband about their lunch policy because we don’t want Lana become a picky eater as she gets older. But his friend exploded saying “Oh my gosh…ugh…they’re social engineering your kid. This is why you should not put your kids through public school, blah blah blah. This is why homeschool is far superior blah blah” Side note: this friend does not have any kids. And if you think public health and teaching kids and anybody about healthy eating (and washing your hands, brushing your teeth, etc.) is social engineering, then sure… Then hope you have one or all the things as a result of not doing any of these healthy habits. Also daycare is not the same as public school because I pay for daycare. It’s completely ridiculous. As much as I am ok with hearing other perspectives, I prefer to keep them at arm’s length. I commend my husband for taking these comments with a tiny grain of salt, while I am a little bit more sensitive.