Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sweet Sixteen Update!

Playing ketchup, as always... :>

Nui Nui had trouble falling asleep tonight so I'm pretty behind and hard-pressed for time. She seemed to be gnawing so I'm guess she's teething. I gave her Sophie, whom she gnawed on for a few seconds but isn't really a fan of her for teething. But, nonetheless, she took her to bed anyway.

There's so many things I'd like to do but so little time. Sigh. But I'm not going to complain. No siree. Little by little, I'll just do it.

16 months! Sweet sixteen! Can you believe it??

There's so many things I forget to include in these videos but they're fun to do anyway and I know I'll fondly look back on them. One thing I forgot to mention is that Nui Nui knows Barnes so well that a) she knows to look for Elmo when we're there and, more impressively, b) she knows exactly where the bathroom is! She always leads the way, it's hilarious :>

What are the latest developments in your sweet life? Comment below, we'd love to hear! :>

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

One Year X-Country Anniversary

Mom reminded me tonight that we have something to celebrate: It is our one year anniversary since we've arrived. We survived one year in California.

My goodness, I thought. She's right. How could I forget? ...well, my nausea and eyes make it easy but still. :> My. One year.

My reaction: A lot has happened in this past year. Nui Nui was only four months when we got here. She could barely sit up by herself, barely hold up her head. She was so little.

I remember our trip and first night here. I was worried about how Nui Nui's feeding and sleep schedule would handle the ride over. She ended sleeping a bit on the airplane and was still awake when we got here late at night, which, in east coast time, was pretty late. The first night or two was rough. Somehow, she knew we weren't home. She had trouble sleeping. Her crib [or any of our things for that matter] hadn't yet arrived so she slept with me— a good thing for a strange place, I think. Good thing she wasn't rolling all over the place like she is these days :>

We had hardly anything in this place. A mattress, folding table, and two chairs.

I remember interviewing when the POD finally arrived and we were still sky high in boxes. I didn't know if I'd even have clothes to wear to the interview.

One year later, I'm gainfully employed, Nui Nui is strong and in school and we have a great group of friends. My o my. How time flies. Is this it? I wonder. I must say, even after a year, I still feel like this is temporary, like this isn't really really home. I miss east coast... but hearing about their 12degF weather makes me shutter at the same time :>

No matter. Wherever Nui Nui and Mom are, I'll always feel like I'm home :> #lovetopieces

Where is home for you? Comment below, we'd love to hear :>

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Cinderella Story

It's been a while since writing... My eyes needed a break, I guess you can say, after they get sliced and lasered— aka. after getting Lasik. I experienced/have been experiencing nausea, which is the worst of it, but am not sure if it's from the Lasik or germs from the office. Either way, it's pretty darn miserable. I got some of my appetite back today (barely, though) and made it through an entire work and school day, so I think I'm on my road to recovery...

As for my eyes, I don't see crystal clear yet but think my eyes are on their way. The overall trend is better, I think, though my bloody eyes have left many concerned and even myself self-conscious. 'I'm not diseased, I had Lasik', is what I want to tell them. That or, 'I was in a catfight', which I have already :>

Anywho, Nui Nui continues to grow bigger, smarter, and more beautiful. Some latest developments: 'up and down'; playing with other kids— today, for example, picking up a ball and handing it to a boy, who kind of seemed clueless and or didn't want it; not crying after I leave as long as she doesn't see me leave, which has been kind of going on for a little while; saying 'thank you' to her teacher; continuing to identify 'hot' and 'cold', which is really helpful on my end; knowing nearly (if not all) every part of our daily routine, including setting the dinner table to washing her feet at night; letting me know she played with bubbles today in school. I asked her what she did today and she responded bubbles. I thought she was 'joking', er, didn't really know what she was talking about and just saying the word because she just took a shower but then I read her daily report and there, in fact, it did say she played with bubbles! How crazy amazing??

Looking at her today, she's grown so much. Mondays, I'd say are the toughest. After a weekend together, I always miss her the most on Mondays. Plus she's not with Pau Pau.

So anyway, I haven't been on my computer since my surgery and am trying really hard to get back into the swing of things. Finally posting this video here... again, my, how much she's grown! I swear I'm so thankful to have video, else I'd totally forget what she looked like... eating my own words, I shouldn't ask why my mom doesn't remember things about me when I was young... :> :> #ancient :>

So I slept nearly all weekend— productive for my eyes, not much for this story... What did you do this weekend? Comment below, we'd love to hear! :>

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sweet Sixteen!

There's so many things that's been happening within these last few days of fifteen...

I started weaning Nui Nui off the bottle on Monday. By 'weaning', I mean cold turkey. She started biting them to the point that she broke two, so that was a sign (for me at least). I know many her age have been off the bottle for a while but it just wasn't something I felt the need to drive. So far so good. The thing is, is that she knows how to drink from a sippy cup, a straw, a regular cup, even a plate! (The latter is for the leftover juice from the oranges she eats).

Yesterday, we received news that she was accepted into a school I applied her for (one out of two, and my top choice at that). I was kind of in shock, I have to admit. I called the directora today asking if we could do part-time and a-ok! She's in! Omg, this is just the beginning...

Nui Nui continues to amaze us with her language and knowledge of everyday things— fixing the rug when it's folded, identifying hot and cold (and saying it!), cheers-ing cups and drinking after, taking toys out and knowing how to put them away (though that's not always the route she takes), and letting us know she wants us to 'sit there'! :>

Happy Birfday, Babe! Toot toot! Momma loves :> pieces!

What are the latest developments in your life? Comment below, we'd love to hear! :>

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Fast And The Furious Puzzle Nerd :>

I just tweeted this: 'Rice', 'ring', 'help me', 'off'... add these to Nui Nui's vocabulary :> #15months #food #playingwithmommasbracelet

Nui Nui is learning fast and furious, I can barely keep up :> Or maybe I just plain old can't :> :>

I know it's true and obvious but it really doesn't hit you until you're actually a parent or at least around a child as much as a parent is— children are sponges!, as Mom points out. They really are. Everything you do, say, have, eat... they absorb all of it. That's one of the reasons why parenting makes you a better person, I think. You are thrown into role model-dom. I strive to be constantly-laughing, bubbly, healthy, energetic, social, patient, intelligent, creative, confident, strong as can be because that is the kind of woman I hope to raise.

Smart, intelligent, energetic, healthy, laughing, and lovable... here, I present you... :>

What kind of person do you strive to be and/or raise? Comment below, we'd love to hear! :>

Monday, January 21, 2013

Supper Club - @Taste In Mediterranean Vid! :>

Supper Club @Taste In Mediterranean Food video up! :>

These videos are totally worth it. You get to refer back to good times you shared with friends, delicious food, and Nui Nui just loves watching and remembering what she did. #relevant :>

I was surprised she a) found my videos and b) enjoys watching them, over and over. She continues to yell Ma Ma when she sees me :> Really cute, really funny :>

Enjoy and thanks for watching!

What delicious food did you eat today? Comment below, we'd love to hear! :>

What A Nutritionist's Daughter Eats - HealthyButJuicy

Check out the post to this pic over here! :>

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Supper Club - Taste In Mediterranean Food!

First Supper Club of 2013! Woooo!

We had trouble deciding where to go and finally chose this tiny gem - Taste In Mediterranean Food— the restaurant name accurately describes what we had :>

For the four (or 3 1/2? :>) of us, we ordered two dishes to share. One was the Mediterranean Platter Comb— a sampler of mezze, including Hummus, Baba Ganogh, falafel, dolmas, Tabouly salad, moroccan eggplant salad, mediterranean tomato cucumber salad, feta cheese, olives and olive oil. The other was the Taste In King Platter— a sampler of meats, including, lamb, chicken, Kefta and Shawarmas lamb and chicken with open face grilled spicy pita and flavored with homemade garlic sauce. The lovely waitress even gave Nui Nui a complimentary hummus and pita as we waited. All was delicious.

On Yelp, the place is rated 4.5/5 stars according to 347 reviews, as of this writing, and it totally deserves it. Service is counter and then served to your table. The place is small yet cozy and by 7:15pm on a Thursday night, I'm glad we made a reservation. Service and staff were sooper friendly. Going with the crowd, I also give it 4.5 stars :>

Nui Nui reigns the straw :>

The goods :>
Then for dessert, we got some baklava! How can you have mediterranean without baklava, right? :> This entire case is full of different kinds— walnut, pistachio, mixed nut, diamond-shaped, cigar-shaped... I don't know if I've ever seen so much baklava in one place... or, if in NYC, it's been a long time. As we were paying, I ordered a rice pudding too :> Can't pass up rice pudding if I still got room :> :>

Vid to come! :>

Have any restaurant recommendations? Leave them in the comments below, we love to hear about good food and great places to try! :>

Friday, January 18, 2013

Down With The Magna Doodle :>

Probably the best part of my workday is coming home from work.

When I get home, I open the door ever so carefully and slowly, a) in case Nui Nui is behind and/or b) for that surprise factor. When Nui Nui was little(r)— before she could walk, she would get really excited to hear me come home and would express it with a smile, ma ma, arms reaching out, and legs kicking like a little tadpole.

Now when I open the door she could be anywhere. She doesn't necessarily immediately run up to me anymore, as she used to when she first started walking but does have the look of surprise and happy when I am finally home. One day, Mom and her were waiting for me for the front and they yelled surprise when I came in, which it was... a surprise and full of laughs :>

Recently, she's been in the middle of some activity with Mom in the living room. I see them doing learning activities, with Mom on the floor, like with a puzzle or at the piano, or with a book. Yesterday it was with Nui Nui's magna doodle she got for xmas. It's new in the sense we've been disperse-opening her gifts over the weeks following the present explosion.

It makes me so happy to see the quality time Nui Nui gets to spend with Mom and I am so grateful to know Nui Nui is in the best hands possible for when I have to be away. I am lucky, I know, and so SO in love. #thisiswhatrecoverylookslike

What's the best part of your workday? Comment below, we'd love to hear! :>

Thursday, January 17, 2013

DIY Baby Gift - Book Of Awesome!

I finally finished making one of my best friend's book for her handsome, new baby boy! I was planning on getting this done before Baby Kolya arrived but despite his late arrival, I was even later! Ah well, no worries. As a result, I got to customize the gift even more! :>

I love DIY things, I just don't have a whole lot of time for them. I'm also not a perfectionist. There are a lot of really stellar craft bloggers out there— moms, no less, who get to do what they do for a living. #envy

But... I really wanted to make this gift extra extra special. Have you ever had one of those friends with whom you've been friends with since you were little? Whom you can go months, even years without speaking, yet easily pick up right where you left off as if no time has gone by? Who know you so well that it makes it easier than easy to not have to explain yourself? Who supports and remains with you through thick and thin no matter what? Who accepts you as you no matter how weak or how teased or how broken you've been?

I am unlucky in a lot of areas of my life (not trying to complain here, just sayin' :>). But this girl, ahem, woman, (though to me, we will always be girls :>) I am most lucky, most fortunate to have in my life. She is probably the third most important person in my life, next to Nui Nui and Mom. For the longest time, she was my 'in color', where everyone else was 'in black and white' (a My So-Called Life reference :>). A, if you ever read this, I heart you dearly, kiddo. Always. :>

Thank you, Serving Pink Lemonade, for the tutorial and inspiration.

Below you can watch my video showing you the book and check out close-up pics of the pages themselves.

Enjoy and thanks for reading/watching/consuming imagination and the world of possibility! :>

Who do you love, value, cherish, and why? Comment below, we'd love to hear! :>

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Smaks And 'Winnows' :>

This is the exact reason we're here. Because we give out free kisses :>

As I've been saying, Nui Nui has been blurted out words left and right. And the funny thing is, is she realizes her accomplishments. It's amazing to witness. Just like when you think you can see wind, you really can see one's brain develop before your very eyes. I swear, Nui Nui is just trapped. She's a very smart, intelligent girl with a bright brain and strong, capable body. It's only a matter of time she'll be contributing great things in this world. if she's not already :>

'Window'— that was the golden word of Sunday :>

I really enjoyed last Sunday. We came home early and just relaxed. Hung at home, recuperated from the very exhausting week. I need that sometimes. And with a beautiful girl to share giggles with... it's like a little piece of heaven :>

Enjoy and thanks for reading and watching! :>

What makes you laugh? Comment below, we'd love to hear! :>

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Urban Sprawl

Omg. She's developing like mad. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record— I imagine this is part of what trains you for those teenage years :>

Yesterday, when I was strapping Nui Nui into her carseat to take her home from school, she was quiet and all of a sudden looked at me and said, 'Home'. Home! Yes, home! She knew we were going home and/or wanted to. It's so freaking amazing to be able to actually communicate with her. Or, rather, her communicate with us.

On our way home, she pointed out, like she did last week, 'M'. She was pointing at the Golden Arches of McDonalds. So maybe it's not so bad after all :>

Also on our way home... 'Airplane'. Yes. It's cool to have her sit forward-facing&Mdash; she can see so much more. And looking out the window, she wants to identify things. 'Airplane'. 'Tree'...

Tonight... our typical night routine is that we go into our room. I turn off the light and she walks to me in the dark to my bed. I feed her some milk. She drinks some. She points and says 'clock'. She drinks some more, maybe points out the clock again, one or time more times. She drinks, er, sips. Then looks up at me and says 'bed'. I take her to bed etc...

Sometimes, she drops her blanket when walking to my bed in the dark. I usually pick it up because she insists she has it. Today I didn't and she allowed it. Mid-sipping though she stops and says 'buuh kiii'. To me, it sounded like 'brush teeth', so I keep asking her if she wants to brush teeth— she likes to because she gets to play with the water in the sink. But she didn't grunt her yes, like she normally does. Finally (finally) I figured out she was asking for her blanket. 'O, you want your blanket?' Grunt ('yes'). Once she got it, she said, 'bed'. :>

...still catching up on photos and footage... here she is from Sunday, ready to go out to lunch. I call it, Urban Sprawl Never Looked So Gorgeous. :>

What amazing things did the people in your life do lately? Comment below, we'd love to hear! :>

Monday, January 14, 2013

An Unexpected Trip To The Puh-Park!

We went to lunch with a dear old friend yesterday. Indian food. I haven't had indian food in a really long time. It was pretty good. The naan was good and the chicken wasn't dry. I guess I only wish they had more varieties of dal? ...or am I thinking Ethiopian food? Me and my love of dipping bread... :>

After we finished lunch, the weather turned for the warmer and, it being early despite my tiredness, I decided to take Nui Nui to a park we had passed by on the way to the restaurant. Parking was easy, it was on the way!, and kids were playing— it was a no brainer.

Nui Nui was quiet in the car. I asked her if she wanted to go the the p-park. (That's how I call it— Puh-Park— emphasizing the Puh to learn the letter P. :> It just stuck. :>) Nui Nui knows what the puh-park is and she knows what wheeee is, but when I said it I think she thought I was talking non-sense. Then, when I opened her door (and now that she's forward facing and can actually see things) she saw the puh-park and got so excited that she started saying Puh-park Puh-park!! herself. Not because she wanted to emphasize learning the Puh sound of P but because she was stuttering over the word in excitement.

It was hilarious and duly remembered. :> O, how much she loves the puh-park!

Beautiful sunny day, I share with you, and a beautiful girl, I dote :>

What fun did you have this weekend? Comment below, we'd love to hear :>

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