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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Selection process

Brace yourselves, it’s going to be another hot weekend! It’s a good day for a nice cold cider.

Our electricity bill came and it is unusually high. Aside from the obvious culprit, the air conditioner, I have not been as mindful turning off the lights before I leave a room lately especially when I’ve been occupied with Lana. In the past I’ve been comically vigilant unplugging unused appliances like the rice cooker. If we were leaving town, we would unplug everything except the refrigerator.

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I stopped counting the years and count my experiences…

My hibiscus produced three flowers over the last two weeks. It’s pretty easy maintaining hibiscus indoors — all it needs is lots of sun and water. It’s growing season so it needs to be fed frequently. My kitchen window is the perfect home for the hibiscus.

Continue reading I stopped counting the years and count my experiences…

Coffee and chocolate babka

If we were having coffee, we’d be pairing it with Trader Joe’s Chocolate Brooklyn Babka bread. It’s so indulgent.

It’s a hot weekend. I planted my olive tree in the front yard. Though it was sold an indoor plant, my yard is the ideal place for my olive tree. Olive trees do need a lot of sun. Since we like to close our curtains throughout the day over the summer, keeping the olive tree indoors may be incompatible. I may consider getting another olive tree — maybe keep it in its container — for the deck area. Or maybe get a bay leave tree instead.

Speaking of hot, stay tuned for more tomato dishes. This month’s tomatoes theme is coming to an end. I was planning to make some hot pasta or some curry at some point this month, but it’s been too hot to make either. I’ll table those another time. I learned few cold dishes that have become home cook staples.

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Covered in paint from head to toe

If you come to my house for coffee, you’ll probably find me all covered in paint from head to toe but that’s because I’ve been painting my kid’s room. I know I paid someone to paint Lana’s room a couple of weeks ago, but there’s this one wall in Lana’s room that was not painted and it’s a plywood wall that scream the 1950s. This house was all built in 1953 after all. I was not sure if I wanted to keep the plywood wall or replace it with drywall. The painter said if I were to put drywall, he can come back another time to paint that wall for free. But after much thought, I decided to keep it but I’m going to paint it myself. Over the past week, I’ve cleaned, repaired some of the panels, spackled, filled gaps, and sanded. Today is the day for priming and painting. Working on the plywood wall is more work than painting the drywall. I can’t imagine how much more the painter would have charged me.

Continue reading Covered in paint from head to toe

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.

Continue reading Let’s have vaccine clinics in the lobby!

DIY vs. Delegate

This is the weekend I finally catch up on sleep. My husband came back from training — which was a relief. But of course he’s catching up on sleep this weekend because he’s going back to work to his regular job on Monday. I’ll admit the last two weeks were difficult — especially when Lana was sick and then I was sick. When my husband is away, I like to use that time to work on a bunch of projects — it could be an art project to display in the dining room, plant something in the front yard, etc. But lately I’ve been too tired to do basic things.

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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

Looking for peacocks

Today we went to the Arboretum in Arcadia looking for peacocks. Last time we went was winter time when they had their holiday lights up for Moonlight Forest. It’s my first time exploring the place in the daytime and I underestimated how large the place. We definitely did not cover all the park because Lana was ready to rest. We’ll definitely be back to explore the other gardens. I saw some wonderful ideas for groundcover for my front yard.

Peacock hanging out in the shade

It was a nice day. We ended the afternoon with a late lunch at a Chinese restaurant and had some milk tea to cool off.

I’m in the process of planning our kitchen remodel. Even though the remodeling will not happen right away, it’s always best to start off with a plan and vision. Plus, we need to budget on how much it will end up costing. I came across this blog post on how to get started.

Step 1 says to “Write your renovation vision in 3-5 words.” So far I only came up with one word to describe the kitchen and it’s “global” because I like eating food from around the world. I need to come up with 2-4 more words. Right now I am stuck step 1.

Step 2 is already done. Step 2 says to “Write how you want to feel using a few words.” I credit my husband for this and the feeling should be “My favorite place to eat.” I agree…it should be my favorite place to eat because I experiment with all kinds of food.

I’ll move on with the rest of the steps this week. We have some elements we would like to include for our kitchen like a large single basin, tiles for the backsplash, etc. I have a love/hate relationship with remodeling. There is fun in looking at different tiles and colors, but it can be overwhelming with how many choices there are. Plus the cost of remodeling! It makes me glad that my husband and I stuck with a $10,000 budget for our wedding. Yes, I credit that because imagine if that debt carried over the next several years?

#weekendcoffeeshare

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.

Keep it simple

If you live in the United States — Happy 4th of July weekend! Here’s to a nice three-day weekend. I came into Friday saying “finally!” This past weekend was a little tough because it was my husband’s drill weekend leaving me to watch Lana all weekend. At eight months old she is getting incredibly mobile and I’m exhausted. This month, my husband has his annual three-week trainings so I told him on the weekends that he’s here, I’m going to use that time to go to in-person gym. During the week, I do the digital in-person classes from home but I like to use my weekends to go to in-person exercise classes as a treat. Also I miss seeing my gym friends. But also, I like to use up my class packages. I would hate for them to go to waste.

The Fourth of July weekend will be pretty simple. Instead of going out to watch fireworks this year, we’ll be watching it from our backyard. Fireworks happen so late in the day anyways it would be easiest to just watch them from home. Lana tends to get fussy when we are out too long and we have to deal with her crying the whole way home. At least from home, she’s comfortable. Also watching them from home is never a bad idea. We can see fireworks from everywhere in our yard. The thing I’ve learn about handling a baby is choose whatever makes you and your baby’s life easier. I tell myself Lana being little is only temporary. Don’t overcomplicate plans to appease everyone.

I am currently reading So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. I borrowed it from the library, but I enjoy reading the book so much that I decided to buy it. There were so many moments where I stopped and paused to think about how I relate to her many passages. I’m not even halfway through, but it made me think about how I got to where I am. Even though people may credit my character for being a determined person, I have to admit there is a whole system that has helped me get to where I am today because I had certain privileges. I entertained the idea of a virtual book club to talk about this book but I don’t think I have the bandwidth to do so.

This month for “Eat Around the World” I’m doing ice cream. Other sweet cold treats are welcomed too! This one is going to be so much fun!

matcha beer ipa
This week try a cool matcha IPA