Til We Meet Again, Kitchen!

“When will you cook for me again?!!” Ever since I became a mom, err… ever since I became pregnant, the hubby has been begging me to cook again.  I stopped cooking way, way back. It started with me on bed rest for 4 months, then the baby came along, and now that the baby is 2, it’s now the getting my-life-and-work-back excuse.

So when will I cook again? I’m not quite sure… but for now, the hubby will just have to settle for old food pics I took when I used to cook. Pardon the pre-instagram/pre-iPhone food pics taken before. Maybe if I do decide to get my butt back to the kitchen, the food shots will definitely be better this time. (Hopefully the food will be better, too!) 😉

chicken tikka masala
chicken tikka masala
korean namul
korean namul
chx teriyaki
chx teriyaki
crab cakes
crab cakes
rosemary chicken w/ apple slices
rosemary chicken w/ apple slices
chicken adobo
chicken adobo
eggs ben w/ hollandaise sauce and german sausage
eggs ben w/ hollandaise sauce and german sausage
steak w/ peter luger sauce
steak w/ peter luger sauce
scallops in white wine sauce
scallops in white wine sauce
grilled beef w/ mushrooms
grilled beef w/ mushrooms
lamb chops w/ mint jelly
lamb chops w/ mint jelly
beef salpicao rice
beef salpicao rice
egg omelet surprise
egg omelet surprise
grilled salmon
grilled salmon
shabu shabu soup
shabu shabu soup
shabu shabu
shabu shabu
blueberry cheesecake w/ vaniilla ice cream
blueberry cheesecake w/ vaniilla ice cream
choco-banana pancake
choco-banana pancake
hickory spare ribs (salad?)
hickory spare ribs (salad?)
most requested: blueberry muffins
most requested: blueberry muffins
our version of banana split
our version of banana split
steak AGAIN! :)
steak AGAIN! 🙂

Hmm… I’m suddenly hungry and missing my cooking LOL.

Can’t wait to get back to the kitchen… or maybe for a change, hubby can cook for me! 😉

Personalities and Quirks

Do you believe that the personality of babies are made and not born with or born and not made? I think at the start, they were born with their own set of personalities but it is up to us, as parents, to try NOT to shape but to HONE these personalities. My husband and I both have more or less the same personality type. Suffice it to say that the apple does not fall far from the tree.  Baby Bear has our personalities. This is a double-edged sword for us. This can be good because at least we know how we like and don’t like things so it is easier to adapt to her. This is also bad because, hey it’s hard enough to change ourselves as it is, let alone get someone else to change too.

Baby Bear is a bit of an introvert like us. I scoured around the internet looking for the best description of what an introvert is. It’s hard to do so because there is a lot of misconception surrounding this specific stereotype. Here’s the best definition I was able to get that was a bit close to home of what an introvert for me is.

So what makes Baby Bear an introvert?

1.) She tends to think things through before doing – If I ask her to look for things in the room, she really looks first before pointing. Just recently, I asked her where the wall clock is in the office of her pedia. She looked around first then pointed to where it was hung. When I ask her to grab me toys from her room, she doesn’t just go and randomly throw around things looking for the object that I asked for. She will survey the room first, and when she finds it with her eyes, then she goes for the object.

2.) She observes first before diving head on – She is enrolled in Gymboree Play & Learn 3 and Music  1 class. She doesn’t participate at once because she studies the teacher intently.. and by intently, I mean if looks-can-kill type of stare. After she gets the hang of it, she practices at home, preferably when she is alone. We see her doing the stuff she learned in school via our baby monitor.

3.) She is very shy and reserved. – She shies away from people who shower her with lots of attention. She doesn’t like to “do tricks” in front of other people and literally, burrows herself when people applaud her.

No, I don’t think she is anti-social. Neither is she “gifted” in the negative way. That’s just how she is. Different strokes for different folks. This is how she moves, this is how she learns and plays. I can enroll her in all the classes I can think of or even schedule her all the playdates that she wants but I think this is how she really is. She is super happy to see her room when she comes home from the mall, classes or a trip. She plays with all her toys as if she hasn’t seen them for a week. This is her way of recharging and being herself.

Do I wish that she was more of an extrovert? Yes, I do sometimes wish that but only because I know my Baby Bear has so much talent to share. She knows so many things already and I am just a bursting proud Momma Bear who just wants to show her off. I think though, we just need to take a step back and remember that though our babies are ours, they are still their own person. They are living their own lives and we should let them live it by supporting them and not changing them. We should foster an environment wherein they will feel safe and secure enough to grow and blossom.

Here’s a list of rules for caring for an introvert that a friend of mine emailed me.

how to care for introverts

An introvert or an extrovert will have their own ways of learning and living. At the end of the day, trust that they will arrive at the same answer… just a different road. To the moms out there, who also have introvert babies, let your tiger mom instinct take a step back. You may not be able to show them off the way you would an extrovert child who loves the crowd and knows how to work them, but your baby will know if you are proud of them… and at the end of the day, that is all that will matter! Your child is uniquely yours and only a mother can love and understand their own kids the best way they know how – quirks and all! 🙂

How about you? Is your child an introvert or extrovert? Do share us your stories about your own kids 🙂 Happy weekend!

Sneak Peek!

One of my baby businesses is about to launch and I would like share with you some of the excitement I am feeling. Here are some teaser pictures. I hope they tickle your fancy!

Cabinet Dresser PENELOPE Collection - customized to meet the exacting needs of an OC momma 🙂
Bedside Shelf KAYLA Collection - for those important items you need easy access to... but don't know where to place 🙂
Safety Gate MATTEO Collection - customized design for another OC client 🙂

Let me know what you guys think. Your honest feedback is most welcome!

Do let me know what other furnitures you’d also love to have in your own nursery. 🙂

My Second Alterego: StartUp Mom

I gave birth 10 months ago to a baby girl. To prepare for that momentous event, I prepared by reading the bible of all pregnant mommas, What to Expect While You’re Expecting!.  If that weren’t enough, I even downloaded apps for that and had an overload of google searches ranging from pregnancy, baby names, nursery rooms, etc. I was a research nazi.  With all the preparation in the world though, I was still taken by surprise when the actual day came.  We were setting up the nursery during my 37th week when we had to go to the hospital because the baby wasn’t moving. With no luggage packed, no baby stuff, not even a piece of overnight clothing, we gave birth that day via CS. Talk about a dramatic entrance to the world! She truly is my daughter!

Fast forward to 10 months, I am a struggling momma. I sometimes feel inadequate when I can’t make my baby go to sleep… when she doesn’t seem to want me and would rather have the nanny feed her. I am jealous of other moms who have happy babies who make cute googoogaga sounds. I envy mommies who have babies who quietly sit on their strollers or car seats. I feel guilty when the baby is crying her heart out and I just want to tune her out. I wonder how other moms do it… and still look so fab at the same time! I wonder what I did wrong along the way or why I have such a fussy baby. She is one feisty girl… she truly is my daughter!

I have heard the same complaints from my mom about me.  I was also such a hard-to-manage baby, always inconsolable.  I was never the “cute one” or the baby that makes you want to go “aww…”. But look how I turned out, right mum? 😉 Every day is a learning experience for me with my baby. There are days when I just want to crawl under the sheets and take a break. It’s really tiring to take care of a fussy young one but we have to make it work. I am one determined momma… I truly am my mothers’ daughter!

What have I learned these past 10 months?

–          In doubt, ask Google! We’re lucky to have the internet!

–          In doubt, ask your mommy friends! Been there, done that – experience is still the best teacher!

–          In doubt, ask your mom! They say you never truly appreciate your mom until you have kids of your own. 

–          Lastly, that you are not a SuperMom – not at the start, that is. We need help and we should never hesitate to ask for it…   especially from your husband.  It will actually surprise you how strong he can be for the both of you. 

My journey to Mommyhood is just unfolding. Each kid has their own personality.  I’d like to believe that I can be a good and patient mom… be responsible enough to help mold her to being the best person that she can be. As parents, we all want what’s best for our kids, we do the best we can — or we die trying! My baby is uber fussy, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.  I wouldn’t want to trade my baby for a cute giggly one, because she is mine and she is ME! They say, we have until the age of 7 to build a good, solid foundation for your kids. I am a StartUp Mom… I still have 6 years to screw up or make things right. Hopefully fussy turns to FUZZY feelings of love, because at the end of the day — THAT’s what makes it worth all our while.  🙂

All You Need Is Love… and Respect!

Happy Hearts’ Day Everyone! 🙂 This time of love brings me back to my honeymoon days. The first few years of newly wedded bliss makes your head feel light and takes your heart up above in cloud nine.  They went by with a blur with so many magical first moments with your husband. The first time he introduced you as his wife… the first time someone called you Mr. and Mrs…. (yes, I have even have the first wedding invite I got that said so too!) … the first time that you sat in the middle of your new place… curling up with your husband and de-stressing the hectic work day by watching movies together… playing hooky… sleeping in together… breakfast in bed…  these are just be a few of the many magical moments that will happen during the first years of marriage.

But sometimes, the first few years also seemed sooooo long… living together is so exciting but there are also a lot of challenges, adjustments and “giving in”.

Some of the adventures and challenges we faced:

1.)     The Kitchen is the most challenging room in the apartment.  Culinary skills – zero!  It’s so hard to distinguish frozen beef from frozen pork, allocating space for all kitchen appliances and trying to find out just how many cooking utensils you actually need.

2.)     the Bedroom (?) – NOT! 🙂

3.)    When the in-laws come to visit and when your parents come to visit — there is always that need for the house to look well-kept and to impress.

4.)    Household Help! Need I say more… this deserves a whole new other blog post.  =P

5.)    Juggling work with your married life and your social life.  Gone are the days when you can say YES to any social event.  Now you need to check in with your husband to make sure that he’ll be okay being home alone while you’re out on the social scene with your gal pals.

6.)    Still staying as beautiful and fun as you were when you were single.  Ask any newly wed man what he fears the most about getting married and top box answer would always be “my wife will let herself go…”!  A good friend of mine once told me… don’t forget to fix yourself up even around your husband.  It’s not just because we have to please our better halves… but we feel better, look better and are happier when we take care of ourselves.

How to deal with the challenges that would come your marriage way is not about who gives in or what adjustments need to be made.  It’s just a simple paradigm shift of how you make things work and how to go about everyday life with another person. Below are some thoughts from other couples that might be a good guide to ease through the birthing pains.

1.)    Whatever habits existed before the marriage will still be there afterwards.  Don’t expect too much change.  If he was a slob the night before marriage, he will be that same slob the next morning.

2.)    Thou shalt not project yourself onto your partner and get mad if he doesn’t do it your way… be it cleaning up, cooking, washing the dishes, paying bills, etc.  Work it out and just try to settle on who likes or doesn’t mind doing what.

3.)    You will be exposed to habits that will annoy the hell out of you. You can nag about everything, but that will just be a total drag – for you and for him!  If your husband, no matter how many times you ask him, never seems able to put a new toilet paper roll in the bathroom, then it might better for your sanity to just know that you’ll be the designated toilet paper replacer in the family.

4.)    It’s not really about compatibility but rather, being respectful to your partner.

5.)    Yes, you are a couple now, but you still need to nurture your individuality.  It’s OK and encouraged to have separate interests of your own.  Discover a passion that is hidden in the depths of your soul.  And if that’s too deep for you, grab a purse, your girlfriend and go shopping.  Hello, Retail Therapy!!! See a movie, get a massage, read a book and catch up on some sleep.  Do something (except bitch at him), that will make you happy too!

These are but just some of the adventures and misadventures. So often it’s the drama that stands out in our minds, when it should be those special irreplaceable times… those magical moments  that make a marriage. It’s the journey of making yours and mine into ours.  Live, love and laugh… laugh together!!! 😀 It’s so easy to get caught up in the mundane things, just enjoy each other.  Today, take the time to go back to that happy place and do something now that you enjoy with your husband and have a good laugh. Happy Valentines’ Day y’all! 🙂 XoXo!

My First Alterego: StartUp Wife

What comes after “I do”??? After that amazing walk to remember, it’s a walk down the clouds to usher in a life that’s fab but also full of challenges.

I got engaged years ago… and started life as a newly wed wife. As a former glowing bride, I found my wedding day to be the happiest day of my life. I was happy to have found the man I wanted to start a new life with… and the man I wanted to grow old and gray with. Like all brides-to-be, I must’ve read every bridal magazine I could get my hands on to help me execute my dream wedding.  (And I’ve got expensive photos to prove it… ;)) The problem was how little information there was on what to do after your husband carries you over the threshold of the door to your new place. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exciting to be married and I was looking forward to what comes next, but it’s also a bit terrifying to take on a new role and take your relationship to the next level.

There will be some stories shared about wifely duties, mommy responsibilities, anecdotes about transitioning into the different roles and other what-nots. After all, there will come a time that the honeymoon stage will be over and the real “work” is needed. Yup, you read me right, work! Ask any old married couple and they will tell you that they got to where they are through hard work.  Having a household that runs like clockwork entails the utmost attention to detail and effort.

The “newlywed year” (married less than 5 years) is an important foundation to a happy relationship. It’s a year to settle down, adjust to life as a couple, get used to each other’s weird OC habits and try to figure out where things go in which cabinet. Basically it’s just simply how to go about your daily habits without killing each other. It’s a constant struggle to juggle your duties as a wife, as a homemaker, and now, as a mom to a 9 month old baby. Add to that the adjustments to be made as a dutiful daughter-in-law while yet remaining to be a good daughter to your own mom. As if learning to share a bathroom isn’t enough! 😉

The posts in this blog are all first-hand experiences in being a newly wed wife AND a new mom. Hope you guys will enjoy the stories.  Feel free to leave your comments, share your thoughts and heck, free advice is always welcome.  🙂

Welcome to the married life and here’s to a marriage filled with live, love and happily-ever-after.  🙂