Thursday, December 17, 2009

Identity Crisis

This is NOT a bitch-fest about the struggles of parenting. I love being a parent. Period.

This IS a real life question of who I am, who I was, who I thought I was and who I want to be.

So here I am voicing my struggles and fears. Why? Because writing is way cheaper than therapy. I need to get these thoughts out of my head and onto 'paper'. And I know I'm not the only one out there. I've met others like me. And maybe I'll get a few words of advice from some of you out there?

I've quit my job, moved across the country to a very cold part of the world and have become a stay at home mom. I have never not worked and was a bit apprehensive about this new adventure but really looked forward to spending uninterrupted time with Sabrina.

I definitely have a much deeper level of respect for stay at home stay parents. This is not all fun and games, people!

Not too long ago my evenings consisted of choosing which restaurant/bar to meet my friends and these places were usually ranked by how good the dirty martinis were or what the happy hour deal was. Or maybe I worked late. Or had a date. Or I just went home and relaxed in the quiet with my cat in my itty bitty studio. I have always been and always wanted to be the career girl. I enjoyed and very much identified with being the girl who wore the clickity-clack stiletto's up and down 7th avenue and dressed to the nines.

Since I got pregnant and married (in that order, ha!) my life and body changed entirely. I have not worn most of those clothes or shoes since. Chasing after a toddler in heels is NOT easy. I've tried. I've donned a daily uniform of jeans and trapeze tops and Converse. Let me specify that this uniform is usually my 'out of the house' uniform. Even better is my 'not gonna see anyone today so I'll just sport my yoga pants and zip up sweatshirt' uniform.

Hot, right? I KNOW!!!

I would like to point out that I do still make time for an eyebrow wax. Can't let EVERYTHING go. Good God, that is a scary image.

I have definitely been struggling. Struggling with self identity, time management, MONEY management (down to 1 income), patience and an ever fluctuating level of self respect. I am constantly berating myself for not being a better mother or wife or person or woman or whoever and whatever it is that I happen to need to be.

Let me be clear about one thing, though. Would I trade my marriage, husband and child for anything? No. Not a chance.

I love my husband who is awesome beyond words. Thinks I'm hot and tells me so. He works hard for us.  My kid is hilarious and I love that I know and understand her better than most. I can translate most of what she says, no matter how gibberish-like it sounds. We watch morning cartoons and eat our peanut butter oatmeal wrapped together in a fleece blanket. We read books, color, talk, argue, go grocery shopping, fight, go to museums, play in the yard, etc... We make each other laugh. A LOT. My favorite most recent memory is of us going on a quick trip to Trader Joe's. She insisted on bringing her pet (wooden) cat that is on a leash. She walked it across the parking lot and all through the store. She talked to it, pet it and comforted it when it tipped over. She was the absolute center of attention everywhere we went that day and was clueless to it all. So awesome. 

What I could live without? The terrible 2 tantrums, the words "no" and "mine!" consistently pouring themselves out of my lovely daughter's mouth, judgmental people, freezing temps, my home being permanently decorated in cheerios, broken crayon bits and Mr. Potato Head body parts. 

What I would absolutely LOVE? To be able to pee in private. Seriously, I don't need an audience. That is #1 on my list. The next are in no particular order - another child/sibling for Sabrina, a maid once a month, to live in a home that was built after the 80's with good insulation and windows that keep cold air OUT, radiant heated floors, and a jacuzzi bath tub. I am pretty low maintenance, if you ask me.

I miss having daily interactions with adults. I miss conversations that are not wrapped around talk about our birthing experience or our kids, how to discipline, potty train, get them to sleep, etc... Or about breast feeding.

To feed via boob or formula? THAT is the question. Oh the controversy!

Everyone thinks their way is best and the only way to do it. Because of this I have made it an absolute rule to not offer unsolicited advice. And even then I preface my answers with, "I'm not saying this is the best way or that it will even work for you but this is what I did/do/have heard works..."

Wait. I lie. I do have two pieces of unsolicited advice. 1) DO NOT tell pregnant women your horrific pregnancy/birthing/miscarriage stories. Yes, many people need to be told this. I don't get it. And 2) DO NOT tell a woman that the choices she is making are wrong. For example, if you think breast feeding is the only way to go and your friend is not interested in breast feeding please keep your opinion to yourself unless asked. That bolded part is very, very, very important.  You know who you are. Trust me, most pregnant women are quite educated in this area as we read anything and everything we can get our hands on about pregnancy or raising a child. The bottom line is that things like this are a personal choice. I'm sure I'll get an angry email or comment about this. 

Can you tell that these are two very big points of contention with me? Yes. Yes they are.

But I digress... :)

I've never been one to put much weight in what other people think of me. Never really gave it much thought, to be honest. I mean, why should I care if someone likes/dislikes me? There are plenty of people I don't like what?

But now that I have a child suddenly there is a little more weight to this. While I still don't care what people think of me in terms of my faith, or what I wear, or where I shop or what I drive, I have found myself worrying about doing or saying something that will alienate my daughter from her peers. I don't know why this is a fear...but it is.

My struggle these days is in figuring out who I am now that I'm a parent with this enormous responsibility. As much as I hate to admit it, things have changed a lot. More than I anticipated. How do I get some of who I was and liked being and combine it with my current world?

Usually my posts end with some kind of conclusion or realization. Sorry to disappoint, but this post will not. I feel a bit lost and am trying to deal with it. Most days are awesome. Some days can't go by fast enough for me.

Just sayin'...

Monday, December 7, 2009


Yes, we/I disappeared for a moment there...but we're BACK. Lots of changes in our lives in the past 6 months and I'll give you a glimpse of some of the highlights soon. Just starting to come out of our little bubble up here in freezing New England.

In the meantime, there's nothing like the following clip to kill writer's block in a single moment. Seriously. It's one of the funniest Taiwanese news clips I've ever seen - and my fellow Taiwanese news watching peeps will agree that they give us plenty to heckle. Yes, it's in mandarin but trust me that you do not need to speak Chinese to understand what the reporter is saying. It may even make it funnier!

A picture is worth a thousand words in any language.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Recently I have noticed changes in my face and body, results of both age and childbirth. I've been thinking about all my years of working out, not working out, losing and gaining weight (not always in that order), years of hair colors, facials, mani and pedi's, all the times when I really gave a shit about my appearance and did everything I could possibly do, and the times when I burned out on all of that and said screw it - gimme a slice of pizza and a beer...or 4.

I hardly ever get carded anymore. When I do get carded it's by a cashier who is wearing a pin stating, "I card if you look younger than 50." Apparently I look younger than 50. This is a good thing.

I remember being at a friend's wedding when I was 28 or 29 and sitting at a table filled with her friends from high school. They were all easily 5 years younger than me and I was the only person who was carded by the server when they served the champagne toast. THAT was a compliment.

Want to know what ISN'T a compliment? When the punk ass kid in the security line who checks the passports and id's looks at my passport, looks at me, looks at my passport a little longer, looks at me, looks at the passport AGAIN (seriously), looks at me and then loudly exclaims,

"Wow! When did you take that photo?"

I start to smile.

He continues,
"You look so young in it! You should really get an updated photo in this thing."

Um, first of all I'm not old. I am, however, old enough and quite capable of kicking your ass.

Second, the photo was taken only a year ago and it wasn't even that great of a photo. So, bite me.

Third, it is 7a.m. and I have literally just rolled out of bed and into the airport. You won't let me come through with any liquids which includes coffee. Coffee, which my husband knows, is also known as my early morning attitude adjuster and facelift. So I wasn't looking even remotely close to my normally fantabulous self.

Who says that to someone? I was speechless. Speechless.

If only...

If only I had that hot steaming cup of coffee warming the palms of my hands as I came through the line. If only I'd been more prepared for your early morning verbal bitch slap. I'm a bit clumsy, you see, so there is a high probability that my cup may have "accidentally" fallen out of my hand and onto you.

Accidentally, of course.


Monday, March 16, 2009

The Countdown Begins!

Two weeks from today Dave leaves with a big ol' truck that will be packed to the gills, a friend who's flying up from Park City to accompany him, a car on a trailer and a cat. Quite a list, huh?

He will be driving approximately 3,100 miles to our new home in Nashua. Good thing he really likes road trips.

As of today, I have one month left before I leave. Sabrina and I will be staying with some friends for the few weeks in between which I think she will really enjoy because they have the sweetest 4 year old daughter. They speak French at home so maybe she'll pick it up and we can teach their daughter a little mandarin. It'll be like the UN all under the same roof.

A month from tomorrow Sabrina and I leave Seattle (boo hoo)...but we have decided to take the 'scenic' route, if you will, and will be arriving in Boston's Logan airport the first weekend in May. If all goes well and the weather cooperates we will be quite tan by the time we arrive.

Here's a hint about where we're going - they have perfected the many ways to eat poi. Do you know where we're going? If you are the first 3 to guess correctly I will bring you a 4 oz bottle of the AMAZING Maui Babe Browning Suntan Lotion. It is made with Kukui Nut Oil, Aloe, Kona Coffee Extract and Antioxidant Vitamins E, C and A.

I should warn you, however, that I'm PRETTY sure that there is absolutely no SPF in this stuff...but you'll look awesome. I promise. I like to mix it with a little spf suntan oil/lotion so that I don't burn. Just a suggestion. I hold no responsibility for any misuse of this product.

We have been purging and packing machines these past few weeks. We have donated quite a bit already to the department of family services and have more from this weekend.


I'll try to keep this blog updated while Dave is travelling so that we can all follow along with him on his road trip.

See you soon!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

*Live Free or Die*

I know you've been waiting patiently by your computers hitting the refresh button every few minutes with the hopes of seeing what our big news is, right? RIGHT?!?!

Let me just start by saying the following: NO, I am NOT pregnant. Goodness, does everyone have sex on their minds or something?

The B.I.G. news is this. We're moving. Again. Back to the east coast. Where on the east coast, you ask? I have provided a fairly obvious hint of where we're going with the photo above. Still not sure? It's NEW HAMPSHIRE!!!!!!!!

Dave was offered a position with a company in Manchester and he has accepted. He is really excited about this opportunity. Congratulations, Dave!

This is VERY exciting because Dave will be doing the kind of work he wants to do. I will be able to stay home with Beana and focus on some things I've been wanting to do for a long time. We'll also be much closer to family and friends.

On the other hand, this is not exciting because we are going to leave the most incredible group of friends here in Seattle. All of Beana's aunties who love her and care for her like Dave and I do. We love them all so much and love it here.

The east coast winters are the other reason this is not exciting. Have I mentioned that I grew up for the most part on tropical islands? Have I mentioned that cold weather for long amounts of time make me crazy? :) Aaaah, I'll get over it. I lived in Manhattan and Philly long enough to know what to expect and I'll be able to teach Sabrina how to make snowmen! See, there is a light at the end of every tunnel.

This past weekend, while in NH, we had a couple of opportunities to spend time with old and new friends. It was awesome. A friend had suggested that we look for a place closer to our friends and not the beach areas we were looking. After seeing/meeting everyone Dave and I decided our friend was right. Being close to friends would make a huge difference. I can always drive to the beach. We will be living in Nashua. We found a great house this past weekend with the help of an awesome realtor from Remax. We sure got a lot done during our 72 hour long (touch down to take off) house hunting trip.

So...we're packing a little every day. Dave will be there by the beginning of April and Beana and I will be there shortly after.

See you soon, everyone!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dream a little dream...

Our new president keeps making cameos in my dreams. No, not really a cameo...more like a co-star.

Ok, to be honest in my dreams we're having an affair. Yeah, it's H.O.T.

How weird is that? Do I have a crush on Obama? And if that's not crazy enough, read on.

The first time it happened I woke up, looked at Dave and said, "I just had the weirdest dream. I was having an affair...with Barack Obama."

Dave started laughing hard and then said, "Wow, you really like that guy!"

I said, "I guess so...but that's not even the weird part. Apparently I really like Michelle Obama too because in my dreams I'm having an affair with her too!"

All of my lesbian friends are laughing at me right now, I just know it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Yes, that is a black eye that my daughter has in the pictures above.

If you think she looks bad, you should see the OTHER guy!

Just kidding.

Seriously, this kid is going to give me a heart attack one day. This past Saturday she was sitting on a dining room chair and playing with some paper that was on the table. I was washing dishes and was about 2 feet away from her.

I hear a sound, look over and watch as she somehow tips over to her left and proceeds to fall out of the chair. This would have been ok as the chair is not very high. I mean she trips and falls all the time, right?

The OTHER chair that was in the way of her face on the way down was the culprit.

Oh my gosh. At first I didn't realize that her face had caught the corner of the chair. She was face down and started SCREAMING with her face buried into the floor. I rushed to pick her up, looked at her face quickly and didn't see anything wrong. I held her tight for another minute and then looked down again at her face and there it was. This small cut next to her eye.

I hugged her once more then looked down again and this time could see the swelling begin right by the bridge of her nose.

She was quickly consoled by bottle and I frantically called Dave. I didn't know if I should bring her to the hospital or just let it be. Dave fractured his orbit a while back and needed plastic surgery to keep his eye from sinking into his head. I had a crowbar fall off the top of a ladder and land square in the middle of my head resulting in a beautiful concussion that to this day I swear is the reason I get massive headaches. So, needless to say, we're a bit nervous about any head or face injury.

Long story short, I was able to get a same day appointment with our pediatrician who had us do an x-ray and all is well. She was laughing and playing by the end of the day. I, on the other hand, could have fallen asleep standing up by the time we left the hospital. All that adrenalin and nervousness finally at bay made me sooooo tired.

I do have to admit that I'm still yelling at myself in my head for not having anticipated that the other chair was too close. I know it's not rational but when you have someone who depends on you 150% and then things like this happen you can't help but automatically take some or all of the blame upon yourself. Welcome to the world of parenting.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

Chinese New Year, that is!

The year of the Ox has arrived. Are you ready? Last year was a little rough around the I'm seriously rooting for a good one.

So sorry for the LOOOOONG delay between posts. Life...was...happening.

So let's start fresh, shall we?

We had an awesome New Year's celebration on Sunday. About 10 friends came to hang out and celebrate. And the main thing we did was E.A.T. This is Chinese New Year and if you ever visit my family in Taiwan during a holiday you'll see what a feast really is. So I thought I would follow suit.

I made striped bass steamed with ginger then *flash* cooked with hot oil, mandarin beef, sesame noodles, ants climbing trees (cellophane noodle dish with pork), shrimp egg rolls, string beans, eggplant, rice, marinated cucumber salad, bean sprout salad, and the traditional dish of steamed dumplings. I also served a roast duck, but that was from Chinatown. It still counts though.

It was a big meal and I'm pretty sure everyone enjoyed it. At one point as I kept bringing out dishes Rhianna said, "It's like we're at Dim Sum, Maria! It just keeps coming!"

I really like to cook, but being my mother's daughter, cannot seem to make a dish that serves less than 6. I don't quite know why I do that but I always have. I don't cook often...I call it my yearly cook off.

The best part of the night was Sabrina (of course). She was running around in her chi-pao dress looking cute as ever. My aunt bought this dress for her while we were in Taiwan and it finally fits. I think you'll agree!

I'll write more soon...

Happy New Year everyone!!!!!