Shower Time! & Being a Supermodel for a day!

Whoa, I haven’t written anything in 2 weeks? Wow! There’s been a heat wave these past few weeks in San Diego and that has kept me trying to stay horizontal in the coolest area I can find!

A few nurses at work threw a Baby shower lunch party for me. I tried to say no but I was overruled. I have only been at this hospital as a guest anesthesiologist for a little bit over a year. So I was deeply touched that they had wanted to organize a party for my little bundle.

The party was beyond my expectations! I was expecting some food and that was it! There was a sweets table, tablecloths, decorations- everyone contributed to making the party a huge success. One of the nurses should be a party planner/decorator on the side. She does a lot of parties for her children and had this carnival/candy theme that fit perfectly as well for a baby shower.

The food was amazing. One of the main party planners ordered some Filipino food and ordered lumpia special (only beef, no pork) and it was the best lumpia I ever had. I went back for seconds even though I was pretty full after my first plate. I was super touched that some of the nurses had also gotten Dos gifts. I opened the gifts and was beginning to realize that this baby is real and is coming soon!

Some of the nurses who are like Aunts to me and bought baby girl clothes because they hoped I would have a girl. My Aunt also did that with Jacob- she bought floral/pink onesies praying we were going to have a girl. The gender-neutral onesies, blankets, toys were super small and adorable and I almost cried at how cute everything was. I almost cried also at how sweet and generous they were!

We literally have not bought any items of clothing for this child yet. All of Jacob’s baby stuff had been donated to charity or friends. After this shower, I finally put some clothing items onto a registry for the sole purpose of receiving a completion discount when it’s time to buckle down and prepare for this baby.

It’s also that time of season again where I want to take some maternity photos and some family pictures before we become a family of 4. When I was contemplating booking this photo session with the talented photographer who did the first set of maternity and newborn photos with Jacob, Jeff asked me, what did we do with the pictures from the first photo session? To which I could only smile and say, Nothing.

In my defense, I did have these plans to blow up some pictures canvas easel style and frame them for our house. Somehow I never did. And almost 2.5 years later, all the ‘professional’ photos we’ve done from our wedding, maternity photos, newborn photos, Easter Bunny, Santa and Jacob’s 1st year birthday photos are still in its original packaging and stored on a computer somewhere. J

I did do something with these photos. I made a few albums a la Shutterfly and incorporated said maternity and newborn photos into Christmas cards and birth announcements! So the photos weren’t a total waste. Knowing how I am, however, I know better than to try to find the most expensive photojournalist out there nor do I order their albums, prints, packages for this reason!

Preparing for photo shoots is stressful! I want to look semi-decent which is hard because (1) I’m almost 35 weeks pregnant, (2) I’m no expert at hair, (3) I’m no expert at makeup. Three strikes against me!

I accept that I can’t ‘diet’ or ‘exercise’ enough in the weeks leading up to the photo session to slim myself. I researched and bought a bunch of dresses (mostly Amazon) that I thought would look good in photos by the beach. I ultimately had to consult my friends because I am not good with decisions.

 

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She used a flat iron to create these beach waves! I could never do this! And these lashes make me want to get lash extensions again (but I won’t!).

I also decided to enlist the help of a professional hair and makeup expert to help create beach waves and some dramatic eyes. It was a stressful day! I didn’t want to eat too much because I didn’t want to be rounder/bigger than normal. Is this what supermodels think before shoots or shows? Or do they not have to worry thanks to their stylist teams and photoshop?

We waited until the last-minute to get Jacob in his outfit. He cried unhappily as we tried to put a shirt on him. Oh boy, this isn’t going to go well if he throws tantrums before we even get started. This boy, having Jeff and my genes, is not a big fan of having his photo taken. I think back to his 1st birthday party where the photographer was in his grill and most of the pictures he was crying or had a tear down his face. His lack of nap and strangers could’ve also contributed to this phenomenon. Regardless, all these factors put together did not make him happy.

The photo shoot went well- it was a mix of posed and candid shots. Jacob managed to stay relatively clean until the very end when we were nearly done and he just wanted to play in the water like he does everyday when he’s there. I was surprised that I thought I looked semi-decent in the previews and Jacob and Jeff were good sports about it as well!

This weekend is a Brunch Sprinkle with some friends. Showers aren’t really my thing but I didn’t want Dos to feel like he/she isn’t getting celebrated as much. This brunch is Ladies only. Woohoo! As much as I would’ve loved a brunch buffet, I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to control myself and would’ve been crazy uncomfortable. I love my husband and kid but I would like to be able to enjoy a meal with some friends without the distraction of my kid, other people’s kids, just food and catching up. I’m sure we will talk about kids nonstop but that’s okay!

The countdown is happening. Almost 35 weeks and feeling it!! This heat wave isn’t helping my wanting to get horizontal situation!

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Testing out the baby car seat for his baby brother or sister
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Making the car shiny
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Newborn photos (Shoot #1)

What special events or traditions did you partake in before your babies came? Showers or photo shoots? I’d love to hear your stories!

 

 

 

 

I’ve Fallen & I Can’t Get Up!

On Tuesday, I had time between cases for lunch so I wandered down to the cafeteria to check out what soups were being offered that day. Yummm soup. As I’m walking down the stairs, I thought to myself, you know? In my current pregnant status, I probably shouldn’t be texting and walking down the stairs.  The next thing I know, my left foot starts to slide down the final two stairs and as a million thoughts are going through my mind, I’ve landed on both knees with coffee spilled all over my arm and floor.

As I’m kneeling there stunned, I thought (1) Oh my gosh, is Dos okay, (2) Holy S, thank goodness the coffee was NOT hot, (3) did anyone see me, (4) how am I going to clean up this coffee, (5) that could’ve been so much worse, (6) Ow, my knees hurt, (7) I wish someone could help me get up!

I’ve never considered myself a clumsy person but I wouldn’t call myself the most graceful person either.  After a surfboard fin to the head December before my wedding, I decided to stick with land exercises that were safest for me.  Unfortunately, I would still trip and fall over uneven grounds, hills, slip on slippery greenery while hiking and end

up with scabs and bruises. Okay, so maybe I’m more on the not graceful side of things.  My dress was long so it covered all my wounds.

After I somehow managed to get myself back on my feet and wiped the coffee from the floor, I really thought of the potential damage I may have caused to the baby inside. I fell/landed on my knees not at a super high velocity but enough to feel some pains on my kneecaps.  Was that enough to jar the baby?  At 32 weeks, I thought, well, let’s see what the baby does. Dos was quiet for a little bit so I ate some soup and drank some cranberry juice to give him/her a little sugar. He/she does a little happy dance after I eat.  Whew, he/she woke up after I ate some food and did her his/her normal routine.

I texted my sister-in-law and told her what happened. She said the concerns re: the trauma would be abruption, if my bag of water broke and she started asking me about Rh status and if I needed Rhogam.  She also said she typically would monitor patients for 4 hours but wouldn’t ultrasound the baby.  My bag of water seemed to be intact still and since Dos was moving around still, I didn’t think I needed to call my own OB.

I didn’t know my Rh status or whether I had gotten a Rhogam shot after Jacob was born. She said it’s a pretty painful shot so I would’ve likely remembered receiving such an injection.  I asked Jeff if he knew and he didn’t remember anything about my blood type or Rh status.  Is it ironic that I’m not on top of my –ish? Not really!

IMG_1982She then mentioned I may need to get a Kleihauer-Betke test to see if I needed a booster because I would need to get a booster with 72 hours of the trauma to prevent complications.  Thanks to EPIC and a charting system that lists all my lab work and doctors’ visits notes, I looked up my chart and saw that I was Rh negative. I must’ve gotten a Rhogam shot with Jacob unless Jeff was also Rh negative.  I sent my SIL and Jeff a screenshot of my test results and was ready to call my OB.

(Kleihauer–Betke (“KB”) test, Kleihauer–Betke (“KB”) stain, Kleihauer test or Acid elution test, is a blood test used to measure the amount of fetal hemoglobin transferred from a fetus to a mother’s bloodstream. It is usually performed on Rh-negative mothers to determine the required dose of Rho(D) immune globulin (RhIg) to inhibit formation of Rh antibodies in the mother and prevent Rh disease in future Rh-positive children (Thank you, Wikepedia).)

Jeff sees the screenshot and says that I have nothing to worry about since I am Rh positive.  And I said,

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no way, it says right here that I am Rh positive. He circled the Rh status part. And I stared and stared and then it finally dawned on me. I realized he was right and that there was no blood flow going to my brain for the last few hours or so. Well, I can cough this all up to ‘pregnancy brain’ and hormones. Whoopsies!  I assure you I am a doctor, mom and can read!

At my 32-week OB visit on Friday, the OB said I should’ve called and he would’ve done all the things my SIL said to do- blood test, monitor for 4 hours. I was somewhat surprised because I didn’t consider this something for which I needed to call my OB. I also didn’t want to be that patient who calls about any/everything that makes her nervous!  We already know what wonderful patients people in the medical field are!

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At the OB office, patiently waiting. He wanted to touch everything in the room! ACK! A germaphobe’s worst nightmare!
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Lunch date with my #1 on this hot hot SD day!
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Post-Jjajangmyun smile (Black bean sauce and noodles)

Well, now I know. Mamas to be- if you fall down or have any questions, call your OB!  If anything were to happen to you or baby, we’d never forgive ourselves!  A lot of moms have told me they have tripped/fallen or bumped into things because their center of gravity is off.

Do you have any stories about falling or brain farts while pregnant? 

It’s been crazy hot here the last few days. I hope everyone had a great 4th and has  a wonderful and cool weekend, everyone!

 

 

30-week Funk Phenomenon

I had no idea 30-33 weeks was supposed to be a tiring time. That would explain a lot. Maybe it is because the baby is growing? Maybe it is because I go to bed around 10-10:30 pm, wake up around 4 am to pee, and then have trouble falling back asleep? Maybe

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I’ve been trying this little wedge pillow for my belly bump and so far it’s been wonderful! I have my big body pillow in the corner for now!

because I’ve been busier/running around at work more these days? Or maybe because I’m not really exercising much? Or my husband sets an alarm for 4:40am on a day when I could sleep in until 6:40? All of the above?

I found myself feeling kind of low, to be honest these last few weeks. Kind of grumpy, tired, negative, feeling large and frumpy. People say you shouldn’t compare your current to your last pregnancy because every pregnancy is different. I looked back at my status when I was pregnant with Jacob and I look sort of similar? But I was also starting from a place where I was (1) younger, (2) more in shape (after coming off wedding exercise/diet) and (3) could home from work and nap when I wanted to.

I considered a makeover and/or new haircolor.  Studies looking at pregnant animals exposed to hair dye show no cause for alarm.There are no reports of hair dye causing changes in human pregnancies, despite the fact that many women have colored their hair during pregnancy. Very little hair dye chemical is actually absorbed into your system. Still, hair dyes are chemical substances. (Even some “natural” dyes contain synthetic chemicals).

And makeover wise, am I really going to wear more makeup or start a new routine at this stage of my life? I barely/rarely wear makeup as it is. I almost considered getting eyelash extensions again because they do make you look more awake and you don’t have

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Eyelash extensions + eyeshadow only (No mascara)

to put on any eye makeup. But while I had them for about 4 months, I vowed never to do them again when I noticed how nonexistent, uneven and broken my real eyelashes were.

So I had to sincerely reflect as to what was going on in my mind. Was I depressed, tired and/or simply in a little funk? Pre-pregnancy depression is correlated to postpartum depression. I didn’t have any depression issues with Jacob but that doesn’t predict what this second pregnancy may lead to.

I had been having a little pity party for a little while. I was feeling like a bad mom because I was always tired and when I’d come home from work, I was too tired and physically limited to take Jacob outside. So we’d spend our time indoors playing, coloring or my favorite- catching up on episodes of Curious George, Tumble Leaf, or Moana. My breaking of the screen time limit also contributes/contributed to my feeling like a bad mom!

I also felt like ‘weak’ because I was so tired at work and didn’t feel like being at work. There are many physician women who worked full-time without any restrictions until their baby was born! I sort of wish I did/could do that? I transiently get anxious about finances since I won’t be earning money while on leave but I know that financially we have nothing to worry about thanks to our monthly budget meetings. So then, the only person who is judging me is myself. Who cares what other people think? Everyone has her own story! And I don’t care about anyone else’s opinions!

What do I mean by physically limited? After a bike ride a few weeks ago, my pubic symphysis started to feel uncomfortable again so I had to walk even slower than my current pace. Jacob can outwalk me. He gets so excited to go outside that he can take off and there is no way I can ‘run’ after him without pain in my back/pelvis and peeing in my pants a little bit. It’s not sexy but it is the truth! I’m hoping some pelvis and pelvic floor physical therapy can retrain some muscles before #2 is born. I had one session thus far and am Kegel-ing as I write!

But, I realize how fortunate, blessed, and lucky I am to be in this pregnant situation and I need to enjoy it! I am only pregnant (with #2) once. The baby is growing and healthy! I need/want to cherish the time I have with Jacob and keep a positive attitude for my and everyone’s health around me! On my day off on Friday, I got a little alone time to reflect on this and also pamper myself a little bit with a prenatal massage. I also took advantage of a spa gift certficate that was a birthday gift from my husband (then boyfriend at the time) from 2012!   It’s amazing what a good massage and quiet time can do! I highly recommend it!

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My attempt to beach wave/wand curl my hair = poofball! You can see Jacob in the background- he is into no shirts these days

I have 4 weeks left of work and that is about how much longer our current nanny will be staying with us. The update of the nanny’s situation is that although her daughter didn’t get accepted into the pre-med-type program out east, our nanny is looking for a job that pays more money like in San Francisco where the wealthy Silicon Valley families will pay for their housing and pay more for childcare. She says she will have more information about her moving/job situation sometime this month but will stay with us until August 1 so our family can have peace of mind about Jacob until I start maternity leave.

It makes me kind of sad because Jacob finally refers to/calls our nanny ‘Mumbo’ (her name is Mirela but he can’t seem to say that at the moment). As some point of reference, Jacob refers to/calls his grandpas ‘Bumbo’ for some reason. It’s cute. On the other hand, I realize there is no reason to pay for a full-time nanny while I am on maternity leave. I’ll have to adjust my activities and am looking forward to really having some quality time with Jacob before #2 comes.

People say I’ll need/want extra help when #2 comes but we shall see how it goes! Stay tuned for how Jacob and I survive these last few weeks of Mom + #1 bonding time.

Does anyone have any tips to get out of a little funk?

Happy Monday, Happy Summer and Back to the grind for me!

Road Trippin with a 2.25 year old

It’s taken me a while to write about our fun road trip because I’m still recovering from last week’s ‘vacation’ to Monterey and Big Sur.  This is a long entry so you can read the whole journey or stick to the high-yield summary and pictures.

Saturday: AM: leave SD, meet in LA for lunch with my big sib and family, then drive to Santa Barbara by way of Malibu (bathroom stop at Neptune’s Net), PM: Santa Barbara

Sunday: AM: Hearst Castle, PM: on to Monterey

Monday: AM: Santa Cruz, PM: Chill at Monterey

Tuesday: AM: Aquarium, PM: 17-mile Carmel drive, dinner at Pebble Beach

Wednesday: AM: Aquarium, leave and lunch at Carmel, on to Big Sur, PM: explore Big Sur

Thursday: hike, PM: Leave for Solvang, PM: Dinner in Solvang

Friday: Leave for SD! Stop at Monkish, then home by 6 pm.

 

One of my closest friends lives in LA. The plan was to meet for Korean food (LA Korean food is DIVINE!) on the way to Santa Barbara. Unfortunately, early in the week her 21-month-old son was questionable for Hand-Foot-Mouth (HFM) Disease so we decided to postpone our meeting until our return back to minimize our exposure.

It just happened that my big sib from med school and residency and his family were vacationing in Palm Springs and spending the weekend in LA. His son was born 3 days after Jacob and we had been wanting to get the fellas together since in the womb so it worked out great! It was wonderful to see my big sib, his wife and meet their son. The boys weren’t too interested in playing with each other but I was happy to see the family and meet this cutie pie!!

Korean BBQ and the side dishes (banchan) were DELICIOUS! I tried not to eat too much because I didn’t want to be uncomfortable on the drive up but as usual, this intention is never executed according to plan. The dwaenjangjjigae (soybean stew) and kalbi (marinated ribs).. soooo good. I highly recommend Parks BBQ in LA! Bonus also is that they accept reservations!

There’s only so much and so rapidly I can eat hot food with a 30-pound toddler and big belly physically hindering my ability to shovel food in my face.

We drove another few hours to Santa Barbara while Jacob napped comfortably in his car seat. Thankfully he LOVES to nap in the car. He inherited that gene from me- anything that has a quiet hum/motion makes me so sleepy. I can fall asleep on the jetway before we even take off for a flight!

It was an expensive and busy weekend thanks to being Memorial Day weekend. Our ‘cheapest’ and ‘closest’ hotel to Santa Barbara was an Extended Stay America in Goleta (about 10 minutes away from SB). Soooo… I’ve never really considered myself high maintenance… but the second we walked into our room, it had this musty/BO smell that I knew I would not be able to tolerate thanks to my hyperosmia superpower status. So we had to switch rooms.

This next room smelled better BUT it had a ton of hair left in the bathtub drain and there was a smudge of bl

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Hello? Can you please send up a juice box and fruit snacks? Thank you.

ue toothpaste on the bathroom mirror. Oh well, we were only going to stay for a night, I was too tired and Jeff was tired of sherpa-ing everything around town. So, we hung out on the bed for a little bit to rest and then took off to explore SB and get some food.

The last time we had been to SB was when we were PJ (pre-Jacob) and explored the urban wine trail. As we explored Main St., it all sort of came back to me. We ate at various restaurants, had drinks with each meal, explored all the shops. With Jacob, it was a slightly different story! We had to walk slower than a snail’s pace as he wanted to explore (aka touch) any and everything in sight!

We didn’t bother asking for a pack n’play because the last several times we tried to put him to bed in it, he would cry and would kick and he never made it into the pack ‘n play. So we didn’t bother. Not having him go to bed earlier and in a separate area made it very hard for Jeff and me since we didn’t want to go to bed at his usual 8-8:30pm bedtime. I mean, I totally could have but we like to have a little wind-down time after he goes to bed as well.

So, we indulged Jacob and let him stay up a little later while we watched Minions together and hung out. Sleep… much was not had this night. After lights out (after protest that he wanted more Minions), he kicked around, crawled over and around me

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McD’s has the best breakfast!

for about an hour. I finally couldn’t keep up with him and fell asleep. The night, as predicted, was him sprawled in the bed, looking for contact with me, we slept like an H. We thought maybe he’d wake up later since he went to bed later? Haha, NO WAY!

After some free coffee and ‘breakfast’ of packaged muffins and instant oatmeal (Jacob did not eat any of the oatmeal), we decided to take off for Monterey! WOOHOO!!! After a quick stop through McD’s drive through (they have egg white McMuffins!), off w

e went!! I was so excited to go somewhere and settle down for a few days!

Sunday we stopped at Hearst Castle. I’d never been in in a castle before so I was curious what that would be like. How does someone become that wealthy?!?

We didn’t book any tours ahead of time ($25/adult, kids under 3 were free, yay!) because we didn’t know what time we’d arrive. The closest tour to our arrival was the Cottages and kitchen.   The tours are not meant for young curious toddlers, let me tell you! You have to stay on these 3×4’ rugs throughout the cottages and everything is real so you can’t touch anything. Can you imagine trying to enjoy the intricacies and décor while trying to make sure your toddler doesn’t destroy anything!? Not a fun time! The kitchen and wine cellar were cool. Sadly the huge pool was being fixed so we couldn’t see the marvelous pool in all its glory.

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Watching ‘Minions’ on the “Big one!”

After a few hours of carrying Jacob and trying to keep up, I was ready to drink something cold and sit in the car. Jacob fell asleep in the bus ride back from the castle (you have to take a bus to the castle itself from where the visitors’ center/gift shops are).

Next stop, Monterey! I prayed that our next hotel would be a step up from our SB/Goleta venue and I was excited to be able to stay put for a few days and do some walking/exploration.

Jeff and I are not big spenders when it comes to hotels. We’ve splurged at Vail (because we had to) and a little nicer than usual for our honeymoon (but not too much). We’re usually out and about all day so there’s no point in spending a lot of money on a hotel. We decided to splurge a little for this trip since it was our babymoon, anniversary and probably last trip for a while!

The Intercontinental hotel in was right by the water, beach and walking distance to the aquarium and Cannery Row (the main drag). It was wonderful!  We walked to dinner at the famous The Sardine Factory where Jacob ate bread and steak while enjoying a movie.

Monday we explored a little bit of Monterey and Pacific Grove and then decided to check out Santa Cruz. Jeff wanted to check out this famous surf town. It’s an hour north of Monterey and the drive was easy. Unfortunately, this was the holiday so everyone in the world had the same agenda and traffic was a biotch! We got to the beach and checked out the surf- it reminded me of an older, hippier, more drunk/smoking marijuana crowd of Ocean Beach in San Diego.

After trying to drive through the main beachwalk and sitting in traffic, we said, let’s blow this joint and get back to Monterey! All the restaurants near there were tourist traps and didn’t look that appealing. Of course, being close to the water meant the seafood was fresh (and aromatic) but I wasn’t into seafood these last 6+ months . PJ I would’ve loved all the seafood but now… noooo thank you!

Jacob fell asleep on our drive back to Monterey and we went back to the hotel. I was over sitting in the car and dealing with crowds so after Jacob’s nap, we explored the town, went to the beach and just chillaxed. Tomorrow was going to be a big day! Monterey Aquarium Day!!! WootWoot!!! Our Monday night was a continuation of the previous nights- Jacob resisting sleep and kicking/tossing around for an hour. Me or Jeff waking up every few hours to make sure we weren’t smooshing him or that he had fallen out of the bed.

Tuesday was another early day. We had some coffee (Nespresso coffee is very delicious and easy) and then ventured out to a nearby café/deli for a light breakfast before getting to the aquarium. So.. there is only one café/deli that is right before the aquarium entrance and their breakfasts/food is EXPENSIVE! A breakfast sandwich (nothing too exciting- eggs, sausage, cheese) was $10.50?!? Say what?!? A fruit cup was $6.50?? I couldn’t believe the prices! But I figured our hotel and the aquarium cafeteria was even more expensive!

I had high hopes for the aquarium. So far, the Shedd Aquarium is the best I’ve seen. It’s huge with tons of exhibits, fish, sharks, 3D and 4D movies, a dolphin/manatee/polar bear exhibit. I love San Diego but the Birch Aquarium is no match for the Shedd. Also, Finding Dory was based after Monterey’s aquarium. We have watched this movie a million times and the aquarium in the cartoon looks AMAZING! So I had high hopes!

Monterey Aquarium charged $50 for an adult ticket and thankfully kids under 3 are free! $50!!??! That is insane! I told Jeff we’re going to stay there ALL day to get our money’s worth!

The aquarium is great- it’s clean, there are bathrooms everywhere, water fountains too. The displays are SO clean – there are no fingerprints, no dirty/murky waters, super clear! They have huge aquariums for their Open Sea, Kelp Forest and lots of little tanks instead of overcrowding their tanks. Now, as a mom and pregnant lady, I’m always looking out for kid-friendly zones/activities, bathrooms, changing tables and lactation rooms. Monterey definitely did not disappoint in that arena!

After a few hours of trying to chase after Jacob, I was ready to go home and get horizontal. Jeff also loves all things ocean and water. The aquarium’s open sea exhibit is HUGE and they have sharks, turtles and Jeff’s favorite, tuna. He was mesmerized and kept coming back to that tank. Sigh.

Later that afternoon, we decided to do the 17-mile drive through Carmel and check out the Lone Cypress tree and Pebble Beach.   Jeff is amazing at golf. I am not as into golf as Jeff is. I’ve heard (through Jeff, of course) how shi-shi Pebble Beach is and how expensive it is to stay there let alone play a round of golf. So going to Pebble Beach was a must do activity.

The drive through Carmel did not disappoint. There are only a few entrances and you have to pay $10 to get in. If you spend >$35 in the town, you get your $10 reimbursed to you. The drive is gorgeous, the homes are gorgeous, the water is beautiful.

We made it to Pebble Beach and got out, walked around and found a place that looked good to eat. It’s been hard (first world problems) for me to crave anything because I feel so full all the time. Jacob enjoyed running around the beautiful greens and laughing/making noise while Jeff ran after him and tried to make sure he wasn’t disturbing people as they finished at the 18th hole.

Dinner was delicious, the customer service was great, I couldn’t imagine living/being in that world, though. I’m simple and low-maintenance, I think. I felt pretty bougie while I was there. Bougie, according to urban dictionary, means Aspiring to be a higher class than one is. Derived from bourgeois – meaning middle/upper class, traditionally despised by communists. This is not to be confused with the medical term, bougie, a thin, flexible surgical instrument for exploring or dilating a passage of the body.

That night, I noticed Jacob breathing kind of heavy and having the sniffles. I thought, could the aquarium be that powerful with its germs to start a cold less than 24 hours exposure? Those are some plentiful and infectious germs‼

Wednesday was anniversary day! We had a lovely breakfast at our hotel (slightly overpriced but delicious) ventured back to the aquarium thanks to the ticket type we purchased through our hotel that allowed a second trip back. By now, Jacob’s nose was spontaneously and continuously spewing thick green/yellow production with a mild, occasional, nonproductive cough but luckily no fever or irritability. Sometime a few months ago he learned how to blow his nose and he can definitely wipe his nope with this shirt sleeve or find Jeff or my pants/clothes to wipe his nose on.

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After a few hours of crowd, walking and germs, I was over it. Am I the worst mom in the world? I wanted to get going on the next part of our trip.

Carmel is a 20-minute drive or so and it’s a cute beach town like La Jolla. Jacob fell asleep in the car on the ride down and I was worried because he hadn’t had any lunch yet. We found a street close to where we needed to go look for some art for Jeff’s mom and parked. Dametra’s Cafe was Mediterranean food and it was good (though overpriced). Jacob stayed asleep in the stroller so Jeff and I finally got a meal to ourselves and without Jacob sitting on one of our laps (usually mine).

I have a habit of eating really quickly because I needed to take advantage of this quiet time- you/I never know how long this moment of peace will last! So I shoveled food in my mouth and then get overfull really quickly! My belly has gotten big so usually one meal or two a day is a salad.

At lunch, we realized that we could not drive straight down the 1 highway to our hotel so we’d have to drive a roundabout way that would take 3.5 hours or so and we’d miss the pretty curvy drive. Luckily, we were able to get out of one night at least and possible a second night from this hotel so we found a last-minute deal at a ‘nice’ hotel in Big Sur. We stopped at CVS for some snacks and Children’s Advil and left for the 2-3 hour drive to Big Sur.

I had no idea what to expect from Big Sur. A few of my friends had been there. One couple were avid hikers and nature lovers. My other couple friend also enjoys hiking but also told me there wasn’t much to see or do. The drive was gorgeous. Lots of hills, mountains, the famous Bixby Bridge (from Big Little Lies).

We get to our cabin room at Big Sur Lodge and next to our parking space is a turkey! A big turkey making lots of noise! And I thought, he’d better not touch my car! And what if he attacks us? I made Jeff unload all the luggage into the hotel room and make a clear path for me to “run” into our room. This sentence makes me laugh because if you know my current status, you’ll know there is no real running of any kind.

Inside the cabin room, it’s nice and spacious. No TV (as advertised) but we go to the bathoom and the towels are thrown on the floor and toilet and the toiletries were open (soap on the dish). I said, oh no, not again, we’re going to have to call the registration desk and get another room and move our stuff again! Sigh! I just wanted to get horizontal and put my legs up!

Jeff risked his life going to the car and getting us another room. He has video of the turkey chasing his car like the velociraptors from Jurassic World. Our next room was across the street in another cabin and it was a quick move.

Dinner was at Nepenthe- our friend told us it was high above so you could look out at the cliff/mountain. According to the website, it was not cheap! But that I was still not hungry so I ordered some tofu/vegetarian dish that was ooookay. Jeff got steak that was undercooked and overpriced! But the view was beautiful!

One of the perks of this hotel was that it included park fees for a few neighboring state parks. There was a nice hike that was on the hotel premises so we did a quick 3 mile-ish hike. It was pretty vertical on the way up and with my big belly and lack of shape-ness, I walked slower than a turtle! The views were gorgeous and there was only one other couple hiking so it was like we had the whole mountain to ourselves!

On the way back, our turkey friend was back! This time we had no car to be our barrier so I was scared! Somehow the turkey ventured on its own somewhere and I “hustled” back down.

Breakfast was at the lodge restaurant and then we were going to take off toward SD! We were going to have to stop near SB though because otherwise it was an 8-hour drive for which no one was mentally prepared or invested at this time.

IMG_0880On the drive to Solvang or SB, we tried to make a stop at Paso Robles for lunch. Too bad I could not enjoy any wine tastings! I do love some wines from Paso Robles. L Most of the wineries didn’t have lunch though so we stopped at Wendy’s and drove to Solvang, a cute little Dutch town our friend told us about. We found a website called hotelstonight.com that gives you deals (better than nothing) for last-minute hotel stays!

Our hotel was $100 and it was as nice as our most expensive one (Monterey). Jacob was acting very unruly at dinner, climbing over furniture and running around, and not eating anything. And by Thursday, I was in need of something other than American food. Solvang had a pho restaurant but I figured we were going to get Asian food in LA on the way down so I thought I could handle another night of hamburger and fries.

Friday morning, I was happy to get moving closer to home! We were going to stop in Torrance at Monkish Brewery. Luckily Torrance had a lot of Korean restaurants to choose from! Unfortunately, by the time we got up and ready to go, traffic was a beast toward LA so it was going to be a 3-hour ish drive! So we hustled out of there, got some McD’s breakfast on the way and off we went!

We got to Monkish around 1pm and my desire to go home outweighed my desire to eat Asian food. We spent some time at Monkish and then started our 3-hour drive back to SD.

I missed my friend in LA on the way back too. She had to work and wouldn’t be able to meet till 6pm or so and we also didn’t want to expose her son (who just recovered from Hand-Foot-Mouth) to Jacob’s powerful cold.

We finally arrived home around 6pm and I was SO happy to be home! I can’t even remember what I ate for dinner but didn’t want to drive in SD Friday traffic to get some Asian food. Jacob was ready to get out of the car as well and kept saying ‘Beach’ so we

went to the beach where he could run his legs and we could all get some fresh air!

I was nervous about how he’d do with bedtime and being back in his own crib. My friend who did a week road trip with their 2-year-old last year, said after this trip all the sleep training went out the window. I was scared. Thankfully Jacob did AWESOME and slept through the night by himself and I finally got a nice solid evening of uninterrupted sleep!

A couple of things I love about being home is (1) my bed, (2) my coffee, (3) my liquid soap (which I packed with me because I abhor bar soap so much), (4) my towels and my favorite- my awesome, soft and wide toilet paper!   And after a week of eating out, I was ready to cook and eat some healthier, home-cooked food!

We survived a week of driving and being away from home! Some people are professional travelers and love to travel. I don’t think I qualify as one of those people. Traveling is stressful- packing is stressful, the crowds get to me, I have little patience for anything, I get antsy/bored in the plane, I worry about finances with hotels, food, activities even though I shouldn’t worry!

Road trips are great because other than the decreased cost of not having to buy airplane tickets, you can pack anything you want into the car! You avoid germs of airports and airplanes and long waits! Although traffic is a pain but you can time the trip so

Some things I learned after this road trip:

  • Time your meals/travels around your kid’s naptimes
  • Bring plenty of snacks and hydration, movies, activities
  • Bring a lumbar support/neck pillow
  • Be thankful that your child loves the car and doesn’t get motion sickness when watching a movie.
  • Be thankful that your husband is a good sport and good sherpa.
  • Be flexible with your itinerary and meals, keep your expectations low
  • Be flexible with your and kid’s bedtimes and meals.

So much for a shortened version of this trip! This was as high-yield as I could get!  Thanks for exploring the North California coast with me. Now, it’s back to the grind. Although to be totally honest, I haven’t downloaded all the photos from my ‘real’ camera yet.  I’m so happy we did this trip for our anniversary/baby moon. I have to wonder, how is it going to be traveling with 2 kids? I don’t anticipate traveling for a while!

What fun family trips did you and your family go on? What advice/tips do you have for traveling families?

 

Preschool Decisions

TGIS and Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! Happy 2.25 years birthday to our little man!

The week went by so quickly and blurrily! Going to bed at 9:30pm doesn’t help me feel like I got a lot accomplished during the week but the Chicago trip and interrupted sleep caught up to me. This week and next week were some pretty important weeks.

This week was pivotal because the first payment for Jacob’s preschool was due yesterday. Of all the schools that I toured and had availability, we ultimately chose a preschool that was (1) walking distance for the nanny and/or me (so the nanny wouldn’t have to drive two kids), (2) Montessori. I don’t have that much experience/expertise with the Montessori way but what I did appreciate was the organized education and curriculum philosophy and the cleanliness of the school. It also happened to be the most expensive preschool that we saw in all of San Diego! And we were only sending Jacob for 3 half-days a week.

If you have a job that requires you to leave for work at 6:30am, your options for childcare, daycare and schools are limited. And even if we send Jacob to school everyday of the week, we still need someone to help us with the dropoff (100% of the time) and pickup (100% of the time while he is in a half-day program).  While budgeting (my favorite activity to do), seeing how much monthly expenditure goes to childcare and then school is nutty. It makes me transiently feel pressured to work more just to afford this! I work about 4 days a week and some days are busy/slower than others but I love the day off to spend some time with Jacob and doing some me stuff especially before Dos’ arrival.

Somehow I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask/ get in touch again with a preschool that was (1) closer to our house so literally a 5-minute walk), (2) significantly cheaper than the Montessori school, (3) verified by our friends as being a good school, (4) faith-based (we’re Catholic but this was a Presbyterian preschool). We thought, maybe there will be an opening soon at some point and we can start the process to put Dos on the waitlist for when he/she turns two. The pressure was on because the Montessori deadline was Friday and if there was no chance of us getting in, I needed to pay the first payment or else face a late fee! Paying late fees, interest charges, parking tickets kills a little part of my soul.

After a long tour and Q&A session, she tells me there is availability for Jacob for this fall! I was starting to worry that after spending 1.5 hours there, she was going to tell me there was no availability. It turns out, she considered my place in the waitlist from my initial email to her in September 2017. I never heard back from her via email or phone and I just assumed they were full, I was slightly turned off by the lack of response and then I kind of forgot about the school.   I wasn’t 100% sure if I wanted to do this school but when I crunched some numbers, it was pretty obvious!

  • We save $700/month !!! Seven hundred dollars!!!
  • The walk is literally up the street
  • Faith-based school would provide some Christian guidance
  • At 2 years old, how much will Jacob be learning about read/writing/math esp at 3 hours x 3 days a week? The learning/education will have to come more from home
  • This preschool has 10 students and 2 teachers in its class (vs. 16 students)

The answer seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Worst case scenario, we pull him out of the church preschool and start him in the Montessori preschool. We had to eat the $300 registration/application fee but we already make up for it with how much we save at the new school. Plus, this $300 maintains Jacob’s spot if we decide to send him there in the future. It made me sad to have to call the Montessori school especially since they remembered how much Jacob loved the teachers and the environment but… le sigh… we shall see how it goes.

PSA: Ladies and gentlemen, if you are even thinking about having a child, start touring schools and putting your names on the waitlist. And some schools charge $25-100 to put your name even on the waitlist! Also, some places make you tour the program before they’ll even reveal the tuition rates, availability, etc. There is high demand for schools, let me tell you, it is serious business!

This upcoming week is also a big week for us. To start, we are going on a babymoon/anniversary trip up the coast to Monterey and Big Sur. We are dividing up the trip and stopping along the way (no choice because of my bladder and minimizing risk of stir-craziness and DVTs (blood clots in the legs)). I am SO excited to see beautiful Monterey (thanks to Big Little Lies) and its aquarium!!! I never get excited about museums and things but I’m excited about this place!

Wednesday is the big day. Our 3-year anniversary, our nanny is having a urogynecological procedure, and she’ll know if her daughter gets accepted into a pre-med type program that’ll move them all out east to D.C. Talk about a not stressful week! Her definite moving if her daughter (30 years old, married, but that’s a different story) gets accepts was solidified to us a month-ish ago so I have been mentally preparing for this change. The fortunate or unfortunate timing of this could be a blessing though. The program starts July 7 so she’d move before then. My maternity leave starts August 1st though so we will have to see… Stay tuned… Talk about lots of changes coming up!

If you have a chance, please watch Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife stand up specials on Netflix. She is HUH-larious and the stories/jokes she makes about pregnancy, breastfeeding, postpartum life, and being a mom/wife is right on!!! Instead of napping when Jacob napped, I watched these and I’m so happy that I did!

How did you and your family decide on daycare/schools for your little one(s)?

 On the bright side, I am on vacation!!! We are going to have a wonderful time exploring this must-do trip! Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend!!!

Eating my way through Chicago

I was born and raised in Chicago and even after moving to San Diego 8 years ago, I found myself going to Chicago every few months. A handful of my closest friends are there, my family is there as well and it’s always nice to go home.  This was the first trip  where we had to pay for Jacob’s plane ticket.   I almost cried when I had to pay for the ticket.

Flying/traveling is stressful to me for two main reasons:

First, packing for Jacob and me. My packing requires a spreadsheet/list to be prepared a few days in advance, laundry must be done and folded to have fresh clothes for packing day, the day-of timeline must be mentally visualized (e.g., locking windows, throwing out trash, walking out the door), you get the picture. Trying to pack for the two of us to fit into a <50-pound bag is a challenge! How many shoes can I bring? What about makeup and accessories? Am I really going to wear heels and fancy clothes? With my current limited physical abilities (weak back and growing belly), how much will I be able to carry with me? Do we need the Ergo? Umbrella stroller? Will the Ergo even fit around my midsection right now? These are the questions that weigh my mind the days leading up to travel day.

Second, the germs. Jacob loves to touch everything. I can’t wipe everything down and even if I think I have, he finds something – like the floor!

I’m no expert traveler. I can’t imagine having to travel frequently for work- it would drive me insane. But I do feel like I have traveled enough to try to be more efficient and courteous to people around me so we can all find room for luggage and try to get to where we want to go as quickly as possible. I’m also confident that most people around me have traveled a few times and so I’m baffled by a few things. Some tips for people:

  • If you’ve got the aisle seat and your row isn’t full or people are still boarding, don’t fasten your seatbelt. And please don’t act annoyed/surprised when you have to get up because someone is sitting next to you!
  • Throw your carry-on below your seat and put your carryon overhead (wheels out, people!) – it does NOT go sideways!!! And then SIT down, don’t dilly-dally in the aisle and block people from passing you to get to their seat.

It’s not rocket science or is it?

I look at families with more than 1 child and all the stuff they have to bring and I am scared! I told Jeff we’re going to have to rent a Smart Carte and he refuses! He says I have to pack lighter. Ummmm, sure! No problem! Now I have to fit 3 people’s things into one carry on?!? Luckily we won’t be thinking about that for a little while!

IMG_0090The main reason I wanted to go to Chicago now was because I missed my grandmother and wanted to visit with her. I’d miss her 1-year memorial since at August 10, I’ll be ready to pop and won’t be able to fly at that time.  Going to Chicago isn’t quite a vacation since Jeff has friends there as well. We try to meet with his friends, my friends, my family and driving between the suburbs and Chicago.

We miss you, Halmunee (Grandmother in Korean)

 

 

 

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Jacob was great on the plane now that he loves to watch movies. We have snacks

and beverages ready for him , his Taggies to help him nap

 

and his own seat so I can ‘relax’ a little bit too! It’s not ideal to travel later in the day when you want to get somewhere but it’s helpful to your and your child’s sanity when you pick an itinerary around your kid’s nap.

Chicago was fun- we got to spend time with our friends, family, visit with my Grams, Jacob was still on ‘San Diego’ time so we could stay up later to eat and hang out with people. I couldn’t gorge like I usually do because of the limited belly space but I still managed to indulge!

Now we’re back home, Jacob is sleeping normally in his crib and we are back to the grind.

Do you have any travel tips or stories to help us impatient travelers? Things that drive you mad and wish people would make PSAs about when it comes to travel?

I hope everyone has a great week!

 

In Your Dream World…

What would you be when you grow up?

Somewhere since the beginning of medical school, I enjoyed organizing events/parties. I organized our post-exam parties, Match Day celebration and that continued into residency where my BFF and I organized socials and dinners/events for potential recruits.

When it came time for wedding planning,  people recommended that I hire a party planner. But if you know me, you know I have some control issues and like to handle all the little details myself.   I did research on florists, cake, music, churches, reception venues, bus rentals, etc. and updated my timeline/To Do list/spreadsheets religiously.  I had a binder that was my ‘Bible’ for the 6 months pre-wedding.  Since I was in San Diego but the wedding was in Chicago, I did hire a wedding planner/coordinator to help with details like contract/agreement reviews and weekend and day-of coordinating.  After the wedding was over, I went into party planning withdrawal!

I organized socials for our hospital subgroup and am currently Co-chair of the Social Committee of our group of 250+ physicians. We have an annual Welcome party for the new physicians, a holiday party for our group and a bigger party with the surgeons for 600-700 guests every 3 years.

This past Wednesday, San Diego National History Museum hosted an event for people in the event industry with their preferred vendors of caterers, florists, linen rentals, furniture rental/decor, DJ, etc. The museum is amazing and I had no idea what to expect. I had been to a wedding expo and food festival (Poke Fest in SD) before so I was expecting teeny tasting portions. I wish I had come hungrier and thirstier because the food portions were big and delicious! They also had wine, beer, signature drinks and provided generous pours! I had a great time! I got super full super fast but kept eating anyway! I had to make sure I did a thorough analyses!

The timing of the MET Gala and this vendors event made me wonder, since I love to plan events, would being an event planner be my next choice of career?  The MET Gala was a separate topic- I look at celebrities’ elaborately flawless makeup and outfits and daydream what it’d be like to be able to get ready for, participate and party it up as a celebrity!

My patience and customer service is not what it used to be. I used to work customer service at Bloomingdale’s in high school.   On certain days,  ‘high-maintenance’ patients can test my patience.  Weddings, for instance, bring out the best/worst in people depending on the day. I don’t think I’d want to deal with myself when I was planning my wedding. I’d have rolled my eyes a million times. I know my husband and bridal party did!

I LOVE being an anesthesiologist- there is no other field/career that is more perfect for me than my current gig.  If I wasn’t an anesthesiologist, what would my dream job be? Be an Asian Beyonce? J.Lo? A talented singer/performer/actress/ and just overall amazing woman (and super wealthy)? Or maybe I can use my doctor knowledge to be the next Dr. Sanjay Gupta?  And then be a party planner on the side?  The celebrity and paparrazi pressure would drive me nuts (considering I rarely wear makeup and am all about comfort these days- thankfully pregnancy is my current excuse!).

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Laser goggles! I sort of/not really miss my eyelash extensions

I forget sometimes to add ‘Mom’ to my current CV. I still feel like the same old me (literally and figuratively) but have a little 2yo cutie pie attached to me and a little Dos about to make his/her entrance into the world.  That is also a dream gig I never really imagined loving as much as I do.   I’m living the dream!

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Happy Mother’s Day to the BEST Grandmother and Great-Grandmother in the world! We miss you, Halmunee!!!
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What a difference a year makes! Stay tuned for a collage from Mother’s Day 2018

Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing moms who have raised any kid or furry child. It is a job that fellow moms can appreciate and commiserate.

What would your dream job be?