Thursday, February 11, 2010
Change your bookmarks!
All right, as I mentioned, I had to overhaul my blog and website...and I did so last night. The blog is moving from here to the root URL:

The new RSS feed is this:

This is the last post in this location k? For those of you actually checking out the site, it's going to take me awhile to rebuild it...I'll probably play around with it a bit. For now, I'm just using a random wordpress theme.

posted at 9:37 PM | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 04, 2010
Time to migrate
I've been using Blogger for quite some time to write this blog. I started with a really old blogging tool called PITA (anyone remember that?) but that went kaputz and then I switched over to Blogger as an early adopter, way before they got bought out by Google. It's been a good tool for me and I haven't had much incentive to move. I toyed around with the idea of moving over to Wordpress 2 years ago after I used Wordpress to manage the wedding website but got lazy and never did it.....but now I must. I just got an e-mail from Blogger announcing deprecation of their support for publishing via FTP. Since I have my own domain hosted elsewhere, this is what I've been doing...and I guess I'm one of only .5% of all active blogs using Blogger doing it this way, so they made an engineering call to stop dedicating resources to support this. Makes sense....but for me, that means bye bye Blogger! I have until Mar 26th to switch over, so now I finally have the excuse to move over to Wordpress. So what does that mean?

Well, for me, it means a bit of geeking out as I dig into all of my files again and install things and get them into the right directories.

For my website, it will probably mean some downtime here and there as I convert everything, as I'll probably end up just using wordpress to manage the entire site (not that there's much beyond the blog anyway)

And for my readers, however many you are, it means either updating your bookmark to my blog or, more than likely, changing the Feed URL to read my blog in your favorite reader. With blogger, it's always been this weird atom xml file --- but with wordpress, it'll finally be RSS2. So anyway, the feel URL will change. I'll try to make my last post here announce that new URL so y'all know....but don't tell me I didn't warn you!

Meanwhile, I'm playing around with my site and already have ported over all of my blog posts into a test area. I'll probably do this sooner than be on the lookout!

posted at 7:42 PM | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 23, 2010
Pregnancy Adventure: Class, Glucola and Shopping
Well, that "Baby Your Body" class was a waste of time...for me at least. I was one of two women that was pretty far along in the class. Most of the other women were just starting their 2nd trimester and, quite frankly, had not experienced any body aches or pains yet. All the stretching movements and exercises the instructor showed us were all movements I'd seen in a ton of my Pregnancy books so it really wasn't anything I didn't know already. I feel bad but I think I'm just going to skip part 2 of this class this week---I happen to know it will be spent mostly on Kegel exercises which I've already read plenty about.

In some good news, our little girl is free of gestational diabetes! Sometime at the end of the 2nd trimester, pregnant women go through a glucose test that involves drinking this super sweet liquid called glucola---my OB's office offered it in both fruit punch and orange flavors (I choose fruit punch). The first test is the 1-hour test in which you fast and then drink the glucola 1 hour before your appointment, then get your blood drawn. The results of the blood test show how much sugar is left in your system. If you don't pass, then you move onto a 3-hour version of the test. I fortunately passed (score of 126 -- don't want to go above 139), woo hoo! I was expecting the worst as I had heard from many women how nauseous this drink made them, how it was nasty, how the 3-hour test was almost as bad as labor, etc... you get the picture. But honestly? The glucola wasn't bad -- I mean, it was sweet but it wasn't bad at all...and I certainly didn't get nauseous. Count me lucky I guess.....or for having a major sweet tooth.

In some productive news, Matt and I got some major shopping done recently! After work this week, we stopped by Merry-Go-Round in Bellevue, which I had been recommended to check out by a number of coworkers....I can now see why: they take the Microsoft Prime Card, giving 15% off everything! (except strollers + car seats, which are 10% off) Well, once we heard that, we were on a mission! Fortunately, it wasn't like a last minute decision as we had been looking at cribs for awhile as well as strollers and had a good sense of what we wanted. So here I present our new crib + dresser set:

That's not the actual dresser we got but I couldn't find a picture of it -- you can get the style though. We just got a basic 6 drawer dresser that will also double as a changing table.

And then the stroller that we got:
The stroller is the 2009 model and was on sale---after learning some minor differences compard to the 2010 model, it was a no-brainer for us to just buy this. One other thing we love is that there is a Graco Infant Car Seat Adapter attachment so that we can snap the car seat we registered for into this frame if we want (apparently, this is a great thing so that you don't have to take the baby out of the car seat if they're sound asleep). Also, the fact that there is a bassinet attachment is a great alternative so that we don't necessarily have to take the car seat in and out of the car if we don't have to. I've even heard of parents who just use the bassinet while at home.

Anyway, the crib won't arrive til the end of February but that's still plenty of time to prep the nursery. Now it's just a matter of slowly getting rid of all of the moving boxes in our house....

posted at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

Monday, January 18, 2010
Pregnancy Adventures: Childbirth Education Class
Well, we just got back from Class #1 out of an 8-week series of classes that we are taking (we're also taking some other classes, such as infant car seats, conscious fathering, etc..) There were about 20 couples in tonight's 2 hour class, most expecting in April and mostly with girls! So far, with Day 1, I don't think I learned anything I hadn't already read about it in the many pregnancy books I have except for the following: each labor room at Swedish Hospital (where we will deliver) should have either a jacuzzi tub or shower...except for one (what the hell, what's up with that one?), the average labor for a 1st pregnancy is between 12-18 hours and that with an epidural, you can't stand up at all (I really have no idea what you can and cannot do if you get an epidural). It'll be nice to slowly meet the other couples who are going through the same things we are. Tomorrow night, I've got some "Baby your Body" class that's just for me -- I presume learning about exercise and stretching techniques to deal with the general achiness of pregnancy? We'll see.

Speaking of, the constant achiness is starting to hit me. My mid-lower back is always just sore and I constantly need massages from Matt. Thank goodness for the super awesome pregnancy pillow he got me for Christmas which really helps me with supporting my back and hips while I sleep. I've apparently started semi-waddling now. Grrr. What in the world is it that makes pregnancy women waddle? I'd like to know that.

Over the weekend, we went to BabiesRUs together for the first time to get started on our registry...and man, it was overwhelming. I've only been in that store twice before, to get gifts for other friends...but that was way before I knew ANYTHING about baby needs. We still don't know what we really need...but at least we've started something. Hoping to pick a crib in the next week or two, just in case it takes some time for it to get here. It's funny how the "lifetime convertible" crib is all the rage now --- these are cribs that convert from a baby crib to a toddler bed and then finally to an adult-size full bed. The majority of cribs we've looked at are like this...and it's rare to find one that's JUST a crib. Then next is figuring out how we want to decorate the nursery. I'm hoping not to go all crazy pink and moreso just throw splashes of pink here and there. We'll see. One thing that's been a lifesaver for me is this awesome book that a bunch of friends recommended, Baby Bargains. It walks through all the different types of products, reviews brands, talks about what's okay to just borrow or buy used, and what things are totally unnecessary. Totally recommend it to all first time parents.

Anyway, I'm excited as the invites for the baby shower have gone out now --- it's like a reminder to me that this baby is really about to come here! Plus, my mom is coming out for the shower so that'll be fun to have her here, albeit briefly.

posted at 10:05 PM | Comments (2)

Sunday, January 10, 2010
Home in Seattle .... and sick
After what felt like the longest day of traveling, we're back home in Seattle....where the weather is just as cold as when we left Florida if you'd believe it! Shortly after my last post, the weather took a sudden downturn and now Florida's temperature is so low that citrus crops are at risk and even a state of emergency was declared by their governor. I think the day we left, temps were in the 50's with a low in the 40's...and getting even colder.

Anyway, it's nice to be home, although just a couple days after returning, I caught a cold and now I've just been laying at home, in my PJs and sweatshirt non-stop crying "woe is me" with a box of Kleenex and cup of tea next to me at all times. That said, it's really nice to be home and I thought I'd reflect on the things I love about this new home...and just being in a house in general (as opposed to our condo) no particular order:
  • I love that I can lay on our bed and see a gorgeous view of Mt. Rainier from our bedroom window
  • I love not hearing drunken party-goers late at night on the weekends
  • I love that we don't have to separate out our recycling (previously, still had to separate glass from other recyclables at the condo) and that we now have a separate bin for Food & Yard Waste! It really helps in cutting down on the amount of things that go into the actual garbage.
  • I love that friends can visit and not have to worry about finding parking
  • I love that there's much more room for storage
  • I love that we each get our own office now
  • I love the deep soaking bathtub in our master bath (note from previous post - I'm still trying to be careful and not soak for too long...but I do love my baths!)
  • I love that Matt can watch his football on Sundays in the basement and I don't have to hear the sound of the sportscaster in the rest of the house
  • I love not having to deal with the slow elevator from our condo anymore
  • I love not having to deal with some of the more annoying other residents at the condo
  • I love that since it's a house, UPS & FedEx will just leave packages on our doorstep, instead of me chasing down their post-it-notes and ultimately having to drive down to South Seattle to pick up the package
  • I love having a garage and not dealing with getting soaked on while bringing things in from my car
I'm so eager to really get settled. Over the holidays, we got a fancy new closet system for our master closet so over the last few days, we've really started to put our clothes away. Once I get myself a desk (we had 1 previously, which is being used by Matt now) and perhaps some more bookshelves, I think we'll really be able to start unpacking boxes.....and then clear the nursery room and actually spend time thinking about baby stuff! Eeks. My 3rd trimester is going to begin in about 2 weeks and time is going to fly by.

posted at 12:55 PM | Comments (1)

Friday, January 01, 2010
Welcome to 2010!
Happy New Year y'all! Whether it was out partying til dawn or simply staying at home with loved ones, I hope it was a good one.

As you know, we are in Key West right now where the weather has been absolutely fabulous -- sunny and in the upper 70's. We spent the last day of 2009 laying on the beach and reading which was so relaxing. Despite putting on 50 SPF, my sensitive pregnancy skin still got sunburnt...argh.
We then got the obligatory photo next to the Southernmost Point buoy down the street from us, wandered around for a bit and then had our New Year's Eve set dinner at Martin's on Duval St. We were really looking forward to this dinner after reading some good reviews of the restaurant; however, the food was a slight disappointment considering the price. It really just felt like all the food was made in batches and then just re-heated under an oven or something. It wasn't terrible...but for $95/person, I expect some really good food! On the bright side, our server was excellent and we really liked the service we got. Dinner ended around 9pm so we had a good 3 hours to wander up and down Duval St before the stroke of midnight. It's really fascinating to see how much of a party town Key West is...very much reminded us of Bourbon St in New Orleans as the theme of the evening seemed to be people up on rooftops or balconies throwing colored beads down to the crowds below in various spots. The whole stretch of Duval was closed off to cars and just full of people all night. In the south end, there was a carnival setting with cutesy games, bull riding and dunking. Right next to that was the big drag queen gay bash outside the largest gay bar on the block, with a huge red heeled shoe underneath the 2010 sign.

Further down the street was another huge bash under the Sloppy Joe's bar with a huge conch shell underneath the 2010 sign. In between there were bars open galore, cigar stands, vendors selling beads and blinking lights, etc. Quite an eyesight. Since we are staying at the very south end of Duval St., we choose to spend the stroke of midnight just south of the big gay bash so that we could easily escape the crowd and return to our room right after "Auld Lang Syne" was sung.

I am soooo glad we are staying at the south end of Duval St where it is much much much more quiet, yet still very conveniently within walking distance of all the interesting sights of Duval St (which is just a little over a mile long end-to-end). We get the peace and quiet that we wanted out of this babymoon, yet have easy access to all the fun if we care to. I have to admit that it's not quite the same being down here in Key West while pregnant -- I can't really indulge in a glass of champagne or my favorite frozen cocktail. Oh well. But it really is beautiful down here. I'll leave you with a picture of the gorgeous Key West sunset.

posted at 8:15 AM | Comments (1)

Monday, December 28, 2009
Pregnancy Adventures: Things I did not know about pregnancy before I got pregnant
Just found out today that our friends Nate & Marissa are expecting, due in July---yay! This got me thinking to writing a brief post about things I didn't know about pregnancy before becoming pregnant...many things I discovered earlier on but couldn't talk about since I was still in the "non-safety" zone of the first hopefully I can jog my memory a bit here. Now, there were a few things I knew about like how you shouldn't smoke, drink alcohol, etc...and some things I learned through some of the few friends that have had children in the last couple of years...but there are a number of things that I did not know until I got pregnant, got the "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book, and really started learning about the do's and do-not's of pregnancy. Here they are:

  • No more hot baths. I knew that pregnant women weren't allowed in hot tubs based on all the signs posted around hot tubs...but I never really translated that to hot baths. Now, I LOVE my hot baths...but once I started asking about it, my OB was like "well, try to keep the belly out of the bath" or "keep the temperature not too hot". I'm like "what? what's the point then?" Now, I know there are many opinions on this...and like with almost any of the "do-not's" of pregnancy, it's more about doing things moderately and not excessively. Still, I can't help but worry about the temperature of the water when I take a bath now and try my best to just keep it short and not make myself sweat too much.
  • What I shouldn't eat/drink. Now, I knew about things like tuna, raw sushi, alcohol, etc...but these are the food items (that I care about) that I didn't realize I had to essentially remove from my diet during these 9 months:
    • Lunch meat (this is one where I try to be "moderate")
    • Hot dogs (I'll admit I ate one German sausage while visiting Leavenworth)
    • Alfalfa sprouts (wah--salads and sandwiches aren't as good w/o sprouts)
    • Oysters (in retrospect, this should have been obvious)
    • Bananas -- this is just a Chinese thing---my mom and aunt practically ripped a banana out of my hand over Thanksgiving...I'm not really sure why bananas are banned. Again, this is something I'm more "moderate" with.
    • Caffeine -- I really had no idea about this. In reality, the advice is no more than 200mg of caffeine a day (a standard tall latte at Starbucks is about 75mg for reference) As a result, though, I've basically stopped drinking coffee (which was really tough for me initially) and have just substituted with an occasional chai latte or uncaffeinated herbal tea. It probably doesn't hurt to chill out on my bad caffeine habit anyway.
    • Unpasteurized cheese -- I LOVE cheese. Now, I have to look out to see if any cheese is pasteurized or not. Fortunately, most cheese in the U.S. is pasteurized...but what in the world do pregnant women in France do? Again, I'm sure this falls under the "be moderate" category...but it's not like there are any major cheeses I love that I can no longer eat. I just find myself paying more attention to it.
    • Items with "raw eggs" such as hollandaise sauce, tiramisu, mayonnaise. This is another "be moderate" for me....but again, most of these items are things I rarely indulge in anyway. Supposedly, pregnant women should also avoid runny eggs (such as sunny-side-up) but again, I tend to eat scrambled anyway so haven't thought much about it.
  • Don't touch the cat litter! This is one that's worked in my favor. Pregnant women are susceptible to an infection called Toxoplasmosis. As a result, when you're pregnant, ladies, time to tell the husband to pick up after the cat.
  • Dyeing your hair. Here's another "be moderate" for me -- but supposedly, pregnant women should be careful about the amount of hair dyeing that may do during those 9 months...and if you are to do it, better to do highlights rather than all-over hair color. I would also throw this into the "hold off on this during the 1st trimester" category but otherwise, I'm sure it's fine. Again, I have no plans for this.
  • Lighten up on that reflexology! This I'm a bit bummed about. There are apparently pressure points in the feet that can lead to premature a result, MOST massage therapists will either totally NOT touch your feet...or they will only give it a pretty light massage.
  • Got acne? Just deal. Now, I knew that Accutane was forbidden during pregnancy...but I figured that I'd just dab the occasional salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide over-the-counter acne treatment when I'd break out...but apparently, those are things I have to be careful with (not enough conclusive studies I some would say this is just hogwash). I think this also falls under the "be moderate with" category but I've just been too worried to choose my vanity over the baby's health.....and that lovely "pregnancy glow" that women get? Well, ladies that have a history of acne--expect it to get worse!

That's about all I can think of for now. Now, I'm not sitting here avoiding everything like the plague and truly take the advice to just do things moderately...but it's been really fascinating for me on this journey to learn about what pregnant women should or shouldn't do, can or cannot do, etc.

Only in recent weeks have I finally started feeling her kick...and just in this last week was I able to physically feel her kicks on my belly. Just a few days ago, Matt was able to feel her kick for the first time which was so awesome. The kicks come and go and they vary from a very light tickling feeling to a big jab right in the middle (it's a weird feeling, kind of like a major gas burp but in the wrong place and obviously without the gas) It will be eerie when she gets big enough that I can start actually seeing waves of baby movement on my stomach.

I still have a weird aversion to meat, particularly in the evenings. The feeling comes and goes but at times, the taste of meat can make me absolutely nauseous. One observation I made, though, was that I can almost always eat meat when made with an Asian-like preparation, such as Thai or Chinese...but for example, I wasn't able to eat much turkey during the Christmas dinner because it just sat with me the wrong way. I still can't enjoy a good steak and can only eat beef when it's stir fried with broccoli or chow fun it seems. Strange eh?

I'll sign off this post with a lovely baby picture of our friends Betina & Justin's recently born daughter, Madeleine Poppy, who came to this world on Dec. 19th---she's so cute!

posted at 9:25 PM | Comments (1)

Sunday, December 27, 2009
Hello from sunny Florida!
Happy Holidays from Florida! It is so nice to be experiencing some sunshine down here...the weather has floated between the 60's and 70's...and will hopefully get warmer when we head down to Key West next week for New Year's. We spend every other year down here with Matt's parents who have a house down here. It's been a relaxing vacation so far and pretty easy! It actually started off with us taking public transportation to the Seattle airport for the first time ever-- a combination of bus and lightrail: the bus stop right in front of our house drops us off inside the downtown bus tunnel where we get off and just wait for the lightrail. Total cost--$1.75 (free for me since I already have an ORCA card through work). Sweet! Door to door -- about an hour..not bad! The flight went without a hiccup and then we were in Florida.

Of course, we had mortgage related drama...AGAIN...the day before leaving. I don't know how we coincidentally got ourselves into this predicament (remember, the day before leaving for Thanksgiving break, we had to sign papers for the house). Well, I refinanced the condo and the closing for that happened the day before we left. Around 4pm, I finally got a phone call saying "can you be in Kent in an hour?" Sheesh. So off to the bank I went, got a cashier's check, quickly stopped by the grocery store to pick up food and random gifts for a white elephant potluck we were attending later, and then off to deal with rush hour traffic down to Kent to sign papers. When all was said and done, we turned to each other and said "well, hopefully nothing goes wrong tomorrow since we're on an airplane all day!". Sure enough, I got an email in the morning from the escrow company, frantic because they realized they forgot to have Matt sign ONE document. One document! I then called them:

ESCROW: "are you at the airport?"
ME: "yes, but my flight is leaving in an hour"
ESCROW: "what airline?"
ME: "Southwest..but I'm not dealing with security again"
ESCROW: "our notary will go to you....hold on..."
ESCROW: "okay, we're just going to email the doc to you and have you sign and scan it back"

Thank goodness that was acceptable! There was no way we were going to deal with leaving security just to meet a notary to sign one document with our flight leaving in an hour! Once we got to Florida, fortunately, Matt's parents own a printer/scanner so we were able to take care of everything that night. The next day, we got the official "YOU'RE FUNDED!" email--damn straight I better be!

All in all..very happy with the rates we ended up getting: 4.5% for the house and 4.625% for the condo (and keep in mind, I had to refinance it AS an investment property) All is well!

I had the walkthrough the tenant also and I think it went okay. I felt bad as he did notice the semi-crappy job on the walls (I decided not to paint as I thought spot painting with random "looks-like-generic-off-white-wall-paint" would just make it worse) I left him the walkthrough inspection we'll see what he writes when I get home and see the mail!

Anyway, I need to wrap up as we're leaving soon..afterall, it's football Sunday and apparently the Patriots game is not playing on local TV so we've got to leave the house...and I think Matt's mom is going to spend the afternoon with me in Venice. I just want to soak in some sun.

posted at 8:58 AM | Comments (0)

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