Monday, April 30, 2012

Angry Ape


I swear, my toddler becomes more and more like his father every day!  Will someone please come and help me teach this boy how to SMILE for the camera?!

All joking aside, we spent a wonderful and FUN day at the zoo on a play date with my good friend and her son.  I survived 5 1/2 hours at the zoo with my two little grizzlies and I was beat by the time I got home.  Luckily - so were they!

Ever wondered how a giraffe drinks water?  Awkward!!!!   -Shirley


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

4-Month Update!

Photobucket It's been 4 months!  Where has the time gone?  At first I was counting down the days to when you would sleep through the night, and now four months later I've gone back to work and you still wake up about 1-2 times in the night.  But honestly, I'm happy to have survived the first few months of sleepless nights.  1-2 times in the night?  Piece of cake!

Ma-TAY-to's 4 Month Tidbits:

You weighed 17lbs at your 4 month check-in!
I put you in a Carter's 9 MONTH one-sie the other day... fit you like a glove...  9 months!
You're above the 90's percentile for weight, height, and length
You go to sleep around 9 pm and wake around 7 am (with a couple wakes in between)
You like to grasp things and prefer to put cloth toys vs. hard toys in your mouth
You flirt...  look directly in people's eyes and smile your dimpl-y smile
You have a proud smile on your face when you bear your own weight on your legs
You prefer being in a carrier vs. a stroller (which is opposite of what Mama likes)
Your warning-cry sounds more like you're chuckling to yourself (then you start to wail!)
You love when people play with your feet
You love watching your big brother at play
Sometimes you fall asleep crying; like when Mama puts you in the crib to cook dinner
You're not sure what to make of wind (you take a deep breath and tense up when a gust blows)
You suck your hand and Mama wonders if this is a sign for future thumb-sucking
You are not the best car-baby.  Aren't babies supposed to fall asleep in cars?  Not you!
You're much more tolerant of bath time than your brother was!



 Enjoying the precious moments! - Shirley

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Fashion Friday 4.20.2012

 Linking up with Girlymama for Fashion Fridays!

Did you know that insulated wine sleeves are a fashionable way to discreetly store milk for a working mom on the go?  Neither did I!


Here are a few of my outfits this week: 

Week started off pretty boring if you ask me.
Might not look so great, but this was my fave outfit this week. If I could have a celebrity BFF it would be Nicole Richie for sure.  The more boho, the better.
I wish I could be the girl who wears hoop earrings 80% of the time, but I always forget to put them on!
Purple and yellow.  Going a little bold on a Friday :)

Tomorrow is slated to be an awesome 80-degree California day!  I might just take the plunge and wear a skirt or dress to the zoo with my boys  :)

 Wishing you a HOTT weekend!   -Shirley

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Golden Thoughts

This week's writing prompt is going to the dogs dog.  I keep promising more posts about Qori, and the poor little huge furball gets robbed of a post every time!  So today, it's all about him.  It's more of a photography prompt rather than a writing prompt because we all know that communicating with our pets goes beyond a spoken language...

List 7 things your pet thought about today.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012



I feel like I've just been initiated into the Mother's Room gang!  LOL.  Despite the state-of-the-art online calendar to personally reserve time in the room, and despite the keypad lock on the door, and despite the "Vacancy/Occupied" sign on the door, I was still walked in on by another mother as I was about to handle my business yesterday!  Awkward!

I cannot think of too many things that look more awkward than a pumping mother.

OK, maybe this:

But that's about it.

I have the room reserved at 4pm every day.  I arrived at the room maybe 3 minutes past the hour to find the "Occupied" sign on the door.

'OK,' I thought.  'I'll just go to the women's room and powder my nose.'  I spent extra time in the women's room trying to observe the 10-minute rule.  When I went back to the room, the "Vacant" sign was now showing.  'Great!'  I entered, switched the sign to "Occupied", and then started to set up.  Just as I was about to press the pump onto myself, I heard the door open and turned my head.  GASP!  Thank goodness the chair was facing away from the door so I'm not so sure how much she saw, if anything.

I was so stunned that I barely managed an "Oh!", before the woman sincerely apologized, lowered her eyes, and closed the door.  She was probably more ashamed than I was.  Honestly, after giving birth to and nursing 2 kids I'm used to other women seeing my goods on occasion.  And by "other women" I mostly mean my mother.  LOL.  But don't get me wrong, I'm still not the type to freely show it all in the ladies' locker room if you know what I mean!  

I finished my business and on my way out the door, I checked the vacancy sign to see if maybe it was faulty.  It appeared to be fine.  I was trying to give her the benefit of doubt.  I looked up the woman online who had the time slot before me on the calendar and it was definitely her.  Maybe since I was new, she was not used to having a rigid 1/2-hr time slot.  But still - it had been over 10 minutes into my 30 minutes.   How would you have reacted if this happened to you?

I guess I'm going to need that nursing cover after all! - Shirley
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Cousin Face Time


Diego spent some face time with his 6 year old cousin this weekend.  We went to an awesome park near his cousin's house that had a train, carousel, AND a petting zoo!  Too bad we didn't make it there in time for the petting zoo  (sad face).  But Diego had fun nonetheless!  Look how many smiles I was able to get on the record (except the train; he HATED the train ride for some reason even though he loves trains - look at his shirt!).  His little brother Mateo was asleep throughout the entire park experience. 

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket After the park, we had dinner at the local Elephant Bar.  Dinner was delicious, but by the time we made it back to the city my stomach was aching.  Hubby was worried because after I nursed Mateo for his last nurse of the night, I placed him in his bassinet and I crawled up into a ball.  I was in so much pain that I couldn't coddle Mateo to sleep.  I heard him next to me, crying.  It was heart-breaking, but I knew he could fall asleep on his own.  And he did.

But it still reminded me how important the mommy role is.  I'm not allowed to have a down day.

Feeling better now! - Shirley

PS.  A few years ago, his cousin hated taking pictures.  Now look at him!  He was basically posing for every photo!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mama's Fashion Fridays

It's been a hot minute since I even wanted to think about fashion.  I tried my best to stay "looking cute" during Mateo's pregnancy, but the words "pregnancy" and "looking cute" could only be combined for so long.  Now that I've rejoined the working world, there is a need for me to play "dress up" again.  I plan to post a little something about fashion or beauty every Friday (mostly to keep me on my own personal fashion track), so stop by on Fridays for a little beauty fix!

Here are the outfits I chose to wear on my first week back to work (I started on Wednesday, so I only had a 3-day week.  Nice!).  You'll notice that I really love to shop at Nordstrom Rack and lately I've been into thrifting AND that I don't wear skirts and dresses, though I try to every Blue Moon.

WEDNESDAY   Pants: Victoria's Secret Christie Fit pants in 34-in inseam ~$60; Shirt: Nordstrom Rack; Turqoise Necklace: ~$50  [Yes, that's Mateo screaming his lungs off in the background!)


THURSDAY      Motherhood Maternity leggings: $15; H&M Herringbone turtle neck, thrifted $5; Gray Cotton Blazer: Marshalls $11, Black beaded necklace Nordstrom Rack

FRIDAY     Beloved brown Steve Madden Boots, $120, Dark wash skinny jeans: Nordstrom Rack, Black Top: Gifted, Ring: Nordstrom Rack $25, Badge: Free from my company LOL!  Faux Leather Motorcycle Jacket: Nordstrom Rack

Trying to start looking cute again! - Shirley 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mother's Room

Shirley's Workplace's Mother's Room:  My that's a lot of possessive apostrophes!

It's so eerie and yet like getting back on a bicycle after 5 months.  The early morning commute, the traffic, the old parking garage, forgetting which floor to press on the elevator, swiping my badge on the door to get to my desk.  I've done it a million times before and the day is turning out to be a day like any other.

Except it's not.

It's my first day back to work from maternity leave and there is a gut wrenching feeling of sadness and guilt as I leave my children to go to work today.  It seems that this gut-wrenching feeling gets stronger with each kid I have (thank goodness I'm stopping at two).

And on this day like any other, I'm trying something brand new.  I'm using the Mother's room that my workplace offers.  I must admit that with my first child, I intended to use this room and yet never did.  I even bought a portable pump to use in the mother's room, but I had an underlying weird feeling so I never pumped at work.  I only nursed my first son after work hours.  I think this is a major reason that he became a formula-only baby at 5-6 months of age.

I want to last longer this second time around, and I knew this meant I would need to get over my "weird" feeling and use the mother's room.   I went to the room today fully equipped with my pump, batteries, nursing cover, milk storage etc.  I'll tell you exactly what I was expecting to see when I opened the door (note that the only basis I had of a "mother's room" is the one that is available at my local Babies R Us).

I was expecting a conference-type room without any locks with a few chairs where multiple women could sit and semi-privately pump simultaneously.  Nothing else.  I thought I would need my nursing cover for extra privacy, I would need to wash the pump in the bathroom afterwards, and take my milk along with me and hide it in the freezer of the break room.  If you are laughing at me; go ahead.  I don't mind.  But it's true.  That's really what I thought.  I never bothered to actually SEE what the Mother's Room was all about at my workplace.

Instead what I found today was a room that I needed to reserve using our online calendar system, a numbered lock pad on the door, a pump provided by the company, one nice comfy chair, a sink and all the washing needs, permanent markers to label the milk, and even a fridge!  The other nursing mothers had comfortably left their washed pump parts drying on the counter (so they LEFT their stuff here?  A novel idea!).  I counted three other women, judging by the number of drying parts.  And they were using the pump provided by the company. 

I felt like such a newbie, dragging along all these unnecessary things I thought I would need.  To make things worse, when I tested the company pump I found it was much, much more quiet than my pump.  I embarrassingly wondered if folks could hear me in the halls with my clunky pump!  If they could, they were probably thinking, "We got another newbie today!"

The company pump is Medela, and one of my good friends just so happened to temporarily loan me her Medela Pump In Style pump months ago, so I have some of the parts already. I ashamedly have yet to even use it!  (I'm not sure what's wrong with me and why I procrastinate with anything related to pumping)  Day after day I've just been using my clunky old pump.  That ends today.  I cannot believe that I waited this long to use the Mother's room and Medela pump!  It seems that my goal of nursing longer this time around might be a little easier than I thought!

Moral of the story:  Check out your damn Mother's Room! - Shirley

Surely You're Joking!

 Linking up with Mama's Losin' It for a weekly writing prompt:  
Prompt:  What did you want your name to be?

Person: "What's your name?"

Me:  "Shirley.  You know, like the child actress drink: Shirley Temple?"

And if this conversation were taking place with a cynical or sarcastic person, my name reveal would be followed up by one of the following responses:

"Shirley?  Surely you're joking!"
"Shirley? That sounds like a big black lady's name"
"Shirley?  As in Lavern's Shirley?

And if I were talking to a Latin person:  "Churley?  Cheerlay?"  - They would never get it right since my name didn't require rolling your R's or end in a vowel like all my high school friends: Cynthi-A, Odili-A, Monic-A, Silvi-A, even the white girl's name was Sarit-A.  Can you tell I was bitter about my name in high school?  Imagine what it felt like to hang with a bunch of Latin girls and be the only one that looked Asian yet had an Old English name (my last name is even worse!).  There was nothing Latin about me.  I even did the permed hair thing for a few years to feign that sexy,curly Latin hair.  I remember once, a guy in our group suggested I start being called:  Shirl-lisa - so that my name could at least end in a vowel.  Sadly, that name never caught on.
Honestly, although I often complained about how unfitting my name is, I never really stopped to think what it should have been.  I was always just "Shirley".  No fun nickname.  Not even "Shirl"; just "Shirley" and I accepted it.  But if I could change my name to any other, it would most likely be the name that I had saved for the baby girl that I never had:


Short. Sweet. Easy to spell and ends in a vowel (score!).  "Mia"

"Surely, you can't be serious!"

I am serious.  And don't call me Shirley....

Bad Leslie Nielsen pun on my own name just now! - Shirley Mia

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Neanderthal Speech

I don't know who is having a harder time with speech therapy:  me or Diego.  He has been going to his therapy sessions once a week for 4 sessions now and the only new word he has said is "cookie".

Speech therapy is different than I expected it to be.  We arrive for the session and Diego is taken to a room with the speech therapist while I wait for him in a waiting room for 40 minutes.  The last 5 minutes are then spent with the therapist summarizing to me what she observed during the session.  And the session itself?  Well, I don't know because the door is closed, but when walking by I can hear her talking.  She told me that she has spent many-a-session just talking the entire time (in general, she wasn't specifically speaking about Diego's sessions).

When she said that, I admired her for being so chatty.  I often I wonder if Diego has this speech issue because I'm just not chatty enough.

Back in my college days I had a part time job working at the Fraud department of Bank of America.  There was an older black woman from the South who also worked there:  Ms. Lily May.  Man could that woman TALK!  She talked for hours and days on-end.  She would amuse me with her uncanny ability to come up with the perfect sayings for any topic, which I would later note that Dr. Phil can also do.  Is it a southern thing?

"Give a man enough rope, and he'll hang himself" is just one example of things she'd say.

My point is that if I knew where Lily was today, I would call her up and tell her that I knew the perfect profession for her!  Lily May: speech therapist.

I'm sure there's more to it than just talking though.  Diego's therapist seems to have a different agenda each session.  During the first session she focused on getting him to sign, and she said he was signing "more" by the end of the session.  The second session, he seemed to regress and was shy around her.  The third session, she was noting the exact consonant/vowel combinations that he was capable of and honed in on those, and the fourth session she tried to get him to imitate sounds, but he didn't do it for her.  This surprised me because he's great at making monkey, dog, and even fish sounds.  When she handed me some cue cards to take home I realized that the sounds she was going for were different than what he was used to.  For example:  he knows dog as "wow-wow" not "woof-woof".

I feel like they just don't know or understand Diego yet and 40 minutes is a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things.  Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to devote additional time since I'll be heading back to work and these sessions are going to require me to sneak away during my lunch hour.  I'm doing what I can to help him with his speech.  Here are couple of helpful tips I've received since speech therapy began:

-If your son is within hearing distance, talk to yourself about what either of you are doing.  E.g. "Diego pick up ball", "Diego throw ball", "Mama wash dishes"  (Don't be afraid to sound like a Neanderthal!)
-If you don't understand what your son is saying when he speaks gibberish don't pretend to (even if you know what he wants)  say, "I don't understand what you're saying." shrug your shoulders and try to get him to vocalize a little more before you give him what he wants.    

Even with four sessions under our belt, he is still just getting to know his speech therapist so it's too early to expect any real results.  And yet I was a little miffed to receive Diego's progress report.  It was a formal request for Diego's pediatrician to provide an updated prescription for continued speech therapy.  OK fine.  But in the summary were written the words:  "Expressive language disorder" and although that's probably a term that is often used for anyone needing speech therapy -  I still wanted to use "Expressive Language" in a "disorderly" way when I read that!  What mom wouldn't?

Me Shirley, Me no like speech therapy! (Grunt!) - Shirley

Diego's Speech Therapy Goals:
  1. Imitate/produce consonant/vowel combinations and be able to imitate 80% of the time.
  2. Learn functional sign language to express needs 80% of the time.
  3. Label nouns 80% of the time.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mom the Veteran

It's still hard for me to believe that I have two children now.  I run into old friends or see celebrities on TV that had kids way before me.  I saw them as mothers, and saw myself as, well- as just me... solo me, not a mom.  A lot of these people stopped at one child or are just getting pregnant again now.  I realized that at some point, I passed them up and I didn't really notice.  The turtle won the race (unless they go for three; then they can take the prize).

I finally felt like a real veteran mom of two during Diego's last speech therapy session.  Armed with my new sit and stand stroller, I felt ready to take on my first outing - solo.  I mean really solo.  No hubby, no parents, no other friends with their children.  Just me and the boys.  Absolutely no one else.

The therapy session outing was a success!  The new stroller really helped me.  On my way out I happily strolled my boys through the sliding doors of the the hospital and turned to pick up my car from valet parking.  I noticed there was a small line forming at the valet, and as I found myself taking my place in line I literally laughed out loud.

"I guess this is the stroller line," I said as I realized that I was third in a line made completely out of moms and their strollers.  They laughed along with me.  I took a moment to note that I was the only one with 2 kids.

The first woman's car was returned to her.  As she got ready to load up her car, she hesitated and instead turned timidly toward the other two women who were second in line and asked,

"Do you mind helping me put my baby in the car?  This is our first time out."

I couldn't help but smirk to myself.  I had been in that woman's shoes not too long ago, too intimidated to even try to understand how a stroller and carrier worked.  And now it was as if I were a seasoned pro with my nifty, specialized stroller taking on the world all by myself.  OK - to you it might seem like I was just ready to load my car, but to me - I was conquering the WORLD at that moment!  I felt great!

But then the two women started making gaga-eyes at Mateo, and he started crying. All my world-conquering emotions were instantly suppressed with the one goal of getting my baby to shut the hell up.  And I was failing.

So much for conquering the world.


Working on getting Mateo into some speech social therapy - Shirley

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sweet Easter!

We hope you have a SWEET Easter!

Some-bunny got their chocolate fix for the week! - Shirley

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tomee Tippee Bottle Review

My return to work is just around the corner (enter sad face here).  One of my goals has been to be better/last longer at providing breast milk this time around.  For Diego, I lasted about 5, almost 6 months before I made Diego a formula-only baby.

My return to work means that daytime nursing will need to stop for Mateo.  So a couple of weeks ago, I started "training" him to drink breast milk from a bottle during the day.

Before that he occasionally drank from bottle when I would supplement with formula.  I assumed that he just wasn't into formula as much as breast milk because he would fuss the entire time while finishing his bottle.  Sometimes I assumed that he just wasn't hungry anymore.  I used the same brand of bottle that I used for Diego: Avent. 

So when I started bottle feeding Mateo breast milk a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that he had the same fussiness over the breast milk while it was in the bottle.  Could it be that the problem was not the formula?  Did he just not like the bottle?  This was going to be bad.  I was going back to work soon, and he needed to learn to take the bottle.

After a few days of trying to bottle feed him using the Avent bottle, I knew I needed to try something else.  If only they made a bottle that was shaped more like a boob!  So I went to Target in search of a boob bottle, and lo' and behold I found one!  Tommee Tippee and their slogan sucked me in:  Closer to Nature (i.e. "boob")  Just look at the difference between the Avent bottle and the Tommee Tippee bottle. It's basically a boob!

While at Target I had to make the choice between the anti-colic type or the regular bottle.  Since the anti-colic bottles did not cost much more than the regular bottle, I figured I'd try the anti-colic ones.

As of right now, I maintain that decision to be a mistake.  I don't think my son is a colic-y baby, and now I have all these extra parts to clean and 3 of them require a small wire brush on the anti-colic attachment (the wire brush comes with the bottles).  I'm no scientist, so I still can't understand how the anti-colic attachment works, so since I swear I'm a genius I assume it doesn't work.  The anti-colic attachment also has a blue temperature-sensitive strip in the middle that turns pink if the temperature of the milk goes above the recommended 98 degrees.  However, the packaging clearly states that you must always check the temperature yourself.  Also there is a small nub at the bottom end of the attachment which has a slit.  The packaging also clearly states that you must pinch the nub before each feeding to ensure proper ventilation.  To be honest, I forget to do this half the time: probably because I decided it doesn't work. At some point, I decided that I'd rather not use the attachment at all.  That's when I found out that the bottle will not close properly without the attachment, so I'm stuck with it.  

Enough with my complaining, because believe it or not I am giving this bottle a good review.  That same day when I brought the bottle home, I was so eager to use it.  Mateo took to the bottle right away!  Even when filled with formula.  The nipple is shaped more like a boob, it is made of silicone for a more realistic feel, and retracts during nursing like a nipple as well (or so the box states).  The box also states that the nipple provides slow release: just like nature.  This sucked me in too, since Mateo had been using my goods as his own personal dream machine.  He would latch for an hour and eventually fall asleep, so I needed something that would deliver the milk slowly.  I'm not saying that this bottle lasted an hour, but he does fall asleep after drinking about 5 oz. from this bottle.  Hallelujah!

Another thing this bottle boasted was its hour-glass shaped design.  Tommee Tippee claims it was made for the comfort of both mama and baby, helping baby learn to hold their own bottle.  Well, I personally can hold any bottle:  I don't suffer from carpal tunnel or anything and Diego didn't hold his own bottle until he was almost 10 months old, so the helpful design didn't interest me one bit.  Although I did like how it looked.  But then one day when Mateo (almost 4 months) was really hungry:

I was NOT expecting that.  And it wasn't a fluke because he's done it a couple times already.  And he even gave me enough time to go get my camera and take a shot.  Amazing!  I am now a Tommee Tippee convert...

Now if they can just make a boob-pacifier!  Anyone know of any?  Google is no help.


Nipple shape and feel
Bottle Shape

Anti-colic attachment has too many parts to clean
Temperature strip is too sensitive, and what's the point if I'm still checking on my hand anyway?
Easy to forget pinching the nub for ventilation

Recommendation:  Good for babies that prefer the boob, or if you're worried about nipple confusion.  If you know your baby is not colic-y, just buy the regular kind so you don't have to clean so many parts.  You know I'll be hitting up my local Target again soon!

P.S. Sometimes when Mateo starts to fuss while bottle feeding on this bottle, I warm the milk and he takes it.  Sometimes he's just not hungry.

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