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Why I do not feel guilty about childcare

I have been working from home since we moved to Portland at the end of summer but it has been part time. Up till she turned 3 in February, she was home with me, and that came with a lot of fun memorable moments. BUT, once first trimester hit in December with baby No2, not only did I start to feel like I was losing myself, I also felt guilty that I wasn’t being fair to her. I had just enough energy to keep my eyes open to make sure she was safe and her basic needs were met. Not a proud mom moment there!

Even with my energy back and my nausea at a manageable level, I still felt guilty and we went ahead and registered her 3 times a week at a preschool close by. At first we started with a half day and the novelty of it was intriguing that she enjoyed it. Then we transitioned her to full days a couple of weeks later. That first week was so tough. She cried so hard when she had to take her first nap that afternoon. She cried so hard I had to go pick her up and soothe her. I figured out why she had a hard day, when they asked her to sleep, she probably thought I wasn’t coming back for a long time, I mean she only sleeps at home. We had a great picnic at the park and I explained to her that I will be there to pick her up at the end of school everyday. That she gets to play, nap, eat, and learn at school and we get to play together right after. What a wonderful surprise the next day, she did just fine and wanted to stay at school even longer.

Here we are 2 months later and she cannot wait to go to school in the morning. She runs to hug me so tight when I pick her up and shows me what crafts or worksheets she did that day. She tells me about all her friends, and we recite their names so many times over. She tells me she had a good nap or she tells me she had no nap with the biggest twinkle in her eyes. She tells me about her best friend of the week. My sweet girl just loves going to school and I could not be happier.

As for me, those 3 days have been so full of work, errands, yoga and just things, that I feel guilty I do not miss her around me more. I leave the house in a flash if I need to, I go into stores and leave without having to buy a new toy or snack. I finish grading or working on the course material without interruptions every few minutes of ‘mommy watch me’ or ‘what’s this?’ I go to appointments and focus on my what the doctor has to say and not whether she is trying to swipe a tongue depressor or jump up on the examining chair next to me (I have a wildly embarrassing 20-week ultrasound story to share at some point). Best of all, when she is done, I can focus the rest of the evening on answering every ‘why’ question, look at every twirl or jump, read every book she brings to me, and smile when she follows me to the bathroom because I did miss her by now and had enough ‘me’ and ‘quiet’ moments to enjoy every energetic 3 year old moment she brings to me. I do not feel guilty, I feel lucky and grateful. Maybe soon I can make some more adult friends I can have grown up conversations while she is at school, for now I am really content. Plus I got to have lunch and hang out with the hubby at his office twice in the past two weeks.

Boy has this been a wordy post. I feel quite strongly about this apparently.

 

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Waves of good vibes: A trip to Maui 

It’s been a long time dream of mine to go to Hawaii and last week it finally happened. We finally made it there..not without some drama of course

Sophia kept us busy and worried but now we know what we are dealing with: asthma.  Poor girl just can’t catch a break with the upper respitory infections. But guess what the ocean did for her, clear out all the gunk and put the biggest and happiest smile back on her face 


My heart simply melted…

And for the first time in a long time, I finally saw Z really feel relaxed and soaking it all in and that just made my heart so full and content 


And up there at the 10,023 feet summit, we made plans to come back as our family of four..yup a little baby girl will be joining us this July ❤


Just so happy…


The seafood was pretty spectacular ..only downside was I couldn’t try the poke but Z did capture some pretty good food photos 🙂 


Just what we needed to break away from a long and tiring winter…i just felt bad for all the flight passengers on our red eye flight back north..I coughed/hacked every 5min..they must have labeled me as patient zero of some viral apocalypse..it was rough..oops…but I feel good now…thank you Maui..we will meet again soon

Xoxo 

Ocean fan girl 

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Mama is back to thinking

It has been a while, a lot seems to happen and I disappear, hide, avoid, find ways to deal but I regret the absence from this platform. Sorry for disappearing and I am back again.

A quick recap of what has been happening in the last few months:

  1. Settling into Portland just perfectly fine…minus some pretty bad colds that turned into ER visits for our little miss.
  2. Now I recall just how much rain, cold (and I guess snow the PNW-Pacific Northwest) can bring.
  3. I am still teaching courses at the University but online and from home.
  4. Our baby girl turned 3 and started preschool..aside from the germs she picks up from school, it has been such a positive experience for us all..i mean really positive (as I plan adult-only brunches and run the quickest of errands that are indeed quick).
  5. I am still terrible at taking photos, but by gosh darn-it am I earnest about documenting things.
  6. We have had a few travels, biggest/longest was to Lebanon for Christmas so I will surely be sharing some photos from that trip.

I will try to highlight some big events that happened but focus on sharing new adventures, parent/toddler moments, recipes, gripes, and goofs. And perhaps an announcement or two.


Please do forgive my absence and hope you come back for fun reads often.

 

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The ugly side of Fall 

It was such a promising start..two trails completed..ballet, soccer, gymnastics.

Then she caught one cold that turned into croup..that’s one ER visit 

Then I got what she had..instead of croup I developed laryngitis and could hardly talk so sniffly week at home it was..

Then just as she was feeling better she got sick again 😦


It feels like a she has had a runny nose for the entire month. 

Here is a list of what we have tried so far:

warm baths, orange juice, all fruits, soup, warm room, Tylenol, vaporub, gummy bears (why not right), homeopathic syrup, blanket fort, crafts, indoor racing…

Nose still runny 😦 

Hopefully tomorrow 

We have many outdoor and fun things to do Sophia we need all the energy 


But seriously how do we get rid of this cold/flu?

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Nothing says welcome Fall like a festival of Apples

I have never been the biggest fan of apples..that is until this Saturday when we joined some friends at the Apple festival held at the Portland Nursery. All apples 99c/lb and a bunch of fun activities.

We started off painting a tiny free pumpkin while sitting on a bale of hay and some face painting. I mean I don’t think I’m dreaming up this stuff. 



Then we tried to hula hoop but realized posing as sunflowers was much easier 


We watched the band play a little..made friends with a sweet dog. And being cute helped Sophia score a candy Apple slice from her neighbor on that bale of hay. #haygirlhay


Finally we skipped the Apple tasting line and went for picking one of each to buy. 


I wish I could have gotten a picture of me holding her by the waist upside down in a big Apple bon so she could pick a ‘big giant apple’. 

What a fun sunny almost surreal Fall day. 

Excuse me while I look up Apple pie recipes 

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Trails with toddler #1

Mini-me and I got almost matching hiking shoes and were all ready for the fall adventures ahead 


Lots of snacks, rain jackets, Water bottles, and lots of patience we visited Mount Tabor. 


Their easiest most kid-friendly trail is only 1 mile and not steep. So off we went..2 minutes into the trail she got hungry and ate all her pretzel bread


Off to a promising start..ok now off we go 


By now we needed some help from the jelly bean packet..it was 45min in so she got jelly beans in a guess-the-color game


Did I mention this was a 1 mile trail..1hour later we have made it halfway through..water fountains were a good 15min added distraction..good thing I came with a butt-load of patience 


We played the leaves-as-wings flying forward game and made some progress..then we saw a dog and played the catch up with him game 

Longest mile I have ever walked


She got carried some parts but my little trooper walked most of it..we made a friend along the way too..Eleanor was a sweet pup companion and helped us finish the trail..trail #1 done till next adventure 

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And this time we travelled by train

We took a trip vancouver to visit my parents but this time we took Amtrak (train and bus combo). I wasn’t worried about Sophia during the 8 hour ride and sure enough it went perfectly. 

It totally helped that we took  business class for the 8 hour trip 🙂 


Fun fact: Portland station has a business lounge and they give crayons, a coloring book, and a conductor hat.

We travelled with loads of games and crafts #momwin


The only negative on this trip was me forgetting the iPad and plugged into the wall at the Seattle station while waiting to catch the connecting bus to Vancouver. Not sure how, but I actually retrieved it from lost-and-found at the Seattle train station on the way back to Portland one week later. Thank you kind travelers/station workers.


There are trains that go directly to Vancouver but the timing was better for us with the train bus combo. The one downside is that when we take the bus we have to step down with all our stuff at the border, cross border patrol then go back on the bus with our stuff. In the day it was fine but it was a little tougher at night for Sophia as she woke up during our 11pm stop. 


At least our destination stop was only 10min away from the borer and it was teta Jeddo time 


The trip back was slight rougher because baby girl caught the flu. But business class, oodles of games and crafts, and a fellow tiny passenger to share games with..oh and a box of Kleenex..made the trip pass by. 


8 hours trip..she didn’t sleep a wink till she saw her baba and got into her car seat