Monday, May 27, 2013

Mom's First Non-Prescription Sunglasses! :>

Now that one of Mom's eyes are near 20/20 (if not that already), she can actually buy non-prescription, run-of-the-mill sunglasses, which is kind of a treat. Mom got these sunglasses today from Forever 21— $5.80— 'you can't beat that', she says :> #mymomiscoolerthanyours

What kind of sunglasses do you wear? Share below or Tweet or Instagram me a pic :>

Passport Photo Shoot! :>

We're planning a trip to Hong Kong for my uncle's 70th birthday. It's kind of a big deal— his birthday and the trip. Fourteen hours. I'm trying to wrap my head around it and imagine what it'll be like— each way.

In the midst of planning, flights and hotel aside, are getting Nui Nui a passport and seeing if she'll need any shots, what her insurance covers overseas, and what the latest is on the virus going around HK, which is really scary to think about. Nevertheless, I'm excited to bring her there and meet my uncle. I myself haven't been back for ages.

Morning's tend to be the easiest as Nui Nui is the most mellow. It's a main reason why I give her showers in the morning on weekends (so much easier). I took today as an opportunity to take her passport photos headshots. I tried once before when I got back from work and, well, I had to take them again. It's too hard to get them to sit still, facing and looking into the camera for the shot you want.

So if you're looking to do this, then I definitely recommend trying it first thing in the morning. They've had enough rest and should be content as a bee (...unless they wake up ravenously hungry, in which case I recommend pushing it back until after a little bit of breakfast). As with all photoshoots, I also recommend doing it during the day, near a window, as nothing beats natural lighting.

You can tell by the end result, I had to do some photoshop nonetheless— because I don't listen to my own advice (today was cloudy) but take this as an opportunity to learn from my mistakes :> I used 6"x4" photo paper so pared her head down to fit in a 2"x2" (less than 1 3/8", as directed) and fit 5 more heads on the sheet. I printed it to the highest quality possible with what I had.

I'm happy with the results and loved how the whole shoot turned out. We have lots of fun, which is easy because she is :>

Check out the raw shoot:

When's the last time you got headshots/passport photos? How was your experience and did you like your final pic? Share below, we'd love to hear! :>

Sunday, May 26, 2013

15-Year Reunion! :>

It's hard to believe it's been 15 years (15 years!) since I graduated high school. A part of me feels like it was just yesterday. My lack of memory of the many years in between has served me well. High school was one of the best times.

I went to the same school since second grade and I vividly remember— as I'm sure most of my classmates in eighth grade do too— 'community' was the buzzword that was ingrained in us. We were a small school, my class the smallest, hovering the upper 60s in numbers. And 'community', I'd say, is something that was accomplished. We are nearly all reconnected via social media, the same of which could not be said for those I met in university.

Today, on the opposite side of the country, a few of us reunited. It's interesting to hear about the different paths and journeys people have taken. High school is not end-all, despite the feeling at graduation. It's no where near it. My senior yearbook said I'd probably 'end up popping out numerous babies'. It was a line we each filled out for ourselves. Numerous is not even close but I thank every day for the very #lovestar I have. Getting this far took a lot of work, it'll be interesting to see the story continue to unfold over the next 15 years.

Did you go to your last reunion? What was it like? Share below, we'd love to hear! :> :>

Friday, May 24, 2013

20 Months!... And A Cryptic Message From My Inbox :>

I have 924 unread messages in my inbox— Nui Nui's exact birthday. It's a sign :>

Moreover, today, we celebrated her 20-month birthday. My, how fast time has flown, and/or, rather, how much I have flown since she was born. My friend asked, '20 months since what?' I responded, 'Since I fell in love.'

Look how happy she is...

...that happiness is infectious. And it's made me a better person. I'm sure most (if not all) have that effect on their parents. It's their gift, as are they. Kids and parenthood are the bomb! #loveofmylife

Who is the love of your life, the person that makes you an even better version of you? Share below, we'd love to hear! :> :>

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How To Cook Bok Choy! :>

I posted a pic on Facebook via Instagram and a friend asked: How do you cook the bok choy? Looks yummy!

This is what I wrote:
Heat some oil in a pan. If you want to give it even more flavor, add some sliced garlic and let it infuse a little-- but not brown-- throw in the bok choy, toss a little, cover. Let it cook via the heat from the bottom and steam through the top. After the steam condenses on the lid and before it starts to brown, mix it a little. Add a little water to give it some steam-room so it'll soften and prevent it from getting brown (ahem, burning) on bottom-- veggies have sugars too :> Cover. Pierce with a fork til it's the tenderness you want. Todds like soft.

This is the pic/post: Electrifying greens. Broccoli, Shanghainese bok choy, @costco roast chicken, rice. #dinner #semihomemade #nom #nutrition

I cooked tonight, well, partially anyway because Mom had her cataract surgery done to her left eye. It went well, which was such a relief and she was even up and about a little. Clearly, she is warrior, stronger than me. When I got Lasik I was completely out same day and sort of out the following days after. Perhaps it was a different procedure but still...

So I was thinking all day about what I should cook for dinner and thought I would do a mac-n-cheese— a real one, homemade sauce and everything. But it was the thought that counts.. I didn't have time to look up a recipe but I went to Trader Joe's anyway, after I picked Nui Nui up from school. I was thinking pasta and chicken or chicken and rice, and then some veggie like broccoli or zucchini. Turned out they bought Costco chicken instead, keeping the broccoli and adding bok choy. It was ok, I guess, aside from the crazy salty chicken. It's what you get when you put a little less effort in. Still, I was exhausted as heck after dinner.

The thing, though, is that cooking is actually really relaxing... if you don't have to wake up at six in the morning. I really shouldn't complain and I'm actually not.. but I think the hardest thing about being a mom is not the physical labor or the crying but the fact that you never have enough time. I mean, on one hand, I prefer it to be that way— it means your busy and busy is good. Well, it can be. On the other hand, there's this lingering sense that you could do more but you really can't. Sleep and rest isn't optional.. though the wee hours of the night are very seductive... and quiet. Anyway, that was off on a tangent. What I meant to say was... I realized, hey, wait a minute, I actually know how to cook and I used to do it— often— but don't do it as much. I'm not really that hung up about it but there are things that I really would love to do more of but really just. do. not. have. the. time. Sigh. As long as she's happy, that's all I really really care about :>

Look! The Sticker Lady! :>

What veggies do you like to cook? Share below, we'd love to hear! :>

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chevys-- The New Cheers! :>

Nui Nui is getting smarter by the day, if not minute. We realized we can now start (nearly) having a conversation with her. This past week or so she's really progressed to the Subject-Verb phrases, even singing some songs like Happy Birthday and parts of Old MacDonald.

Tonight we went our usual run to Chevys. It was nice to take a break from the food last week but the place has really become our mid-week sanctuary to hang out, see each other, laugh, and enjoy the understanding company. For me anyway, it really helps take my mind off things and it's nice to have company in this foreign land.

These next coming days are expected to slightly stressful. Mom will be getting cataract surgery on one of her eyes and crossing my fingers everything goes well. Nui Nui will be going an extra day to school, which I know she can handle as she has in the past, but the funny-not-so-funny thing is, is I feel that the more she's better able to communicate and understand what's going on, the better she is at, well, understanding what's going on and communicating her feelings about it. Lately, drop-offs have been rough. I don't know if it's because her good friend moved away or because she knows I'm going to leave. She's known in the beginning of school, when she was younger, but then for a good while, I was able to sneak out without a tear. Sigh. Drop-offs are the worst. The funny thing is, I'm sure it'll be just as sad when she wants to me to go :< :>...

A taste of our Chevy adventures tonight...

What's your go-to, or Cheers, where everyone knows your name, meeting spot? Share below, we'd love to hear! :>

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day 2013! :>

What did you do this Mother's Day? Share below, we'd love to hear! :> :>

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pre-Mother's Day Bonanza!

We went to a new park on Saturday. It was the beginning of a gorgeous weekend.

I tell Nui Nui when she's at the top of the slide to wave Hi to the park and everyone she sees :>

She happily drove a train with her boyfriend..

Swung with him... 

Pushed him...

Played Legos with him... 
And even helped buckle him in... :>
It was a really good day :> 

Nui Nui is growing just so big... even clobbering Pau Pau :> Here she is being a Gruffalo while reading the story about him... :>

Then we had a pre-Mother's Day dinner with family, which a mix of Chinese and Portuguese food...

Nui Nui played with more boys :>
She ate ice cream :>

And played with woof woofs... 

You wonder why moms get so tired by day's end... :>

Saturday was beautiful? How did you spend it? Share below, we'd love to hear!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spring Toddler Haul! JC Penney, H&M, Marshalls, Kohls, & More! :>

We haven't been shopping, or purchasing anyway, much but have been on a recent kick with the seasons changing and weather getting warmer. We are completely stoked. It's a best feeling to breath in the fresh air, running around free and with weightless clothing :>

It's Saturday and you can tell I'm stoked. This week has been in the drab 60s and slightly windy, this weekend is forecasted in the 70s, only to go back down to the 60s on Monday. #ishouldbeaweathergirl

So, finally, here we have it— our latest collective haul of Nui Nui's goodies from JC Penney, H&M, Marshalls, Kohls, and more :>

Enjoy and thanks for reading and watching!

Do you get as excited as we do for the weekend? What're your plans? Share below, we'd love to hear! :> :>

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Strawberry-Picking Adventure!

We went strawberry picking today down in Watsonville, which I believe is home to Driscoll's, the best strawberries on the market. It was a beautiful sunny day. Upper 80s up in the Bay and just slightly cooler down south and perfect under the sun.

We took about 1.5 hours to get to the fields and met a few of our friends from school. These last few weeks have been something I ache about not posting more often. It'd be nice not to have to mention it but neglectful if I ignored it too. Apologies, dear readers, you are dearly missed.

I've started an Instagram as an additional means to connect. Please come with me on a momstagram adventure full of smiles, friends, laughs, inspiration, and adventure! @mdesenna

Here's a peek!

Nui Nui continues to grow and develop and amaze us every day. Her latest feat is counting to 20, saying short phrases of 2-3 words, and speaking better Cantonese than me :> Update to come!!

I was so proud of Nui Nui today. The strawberry field was laid out with alternating rows of plants and ditches. I, being the ya ya I am, wore flips flops. #dumdum. But, luckily, Nui Nui was totally independent, walking through the ditch herself and even carrying the basket. What. A. Kid! seriously. My daughter, she grounds me :>

After the picking, we went to pick up pies! Apparently, I was over-excited but what's not to love about pie? The pies were made on site fresh and came in a variety of fruits. I bought two :> A classic Apple Pie with skyhigh top (something like 4 inches!) and a Peach Olallie Pie, olallie being some type of blackberry or relative of. We waited around 20 minutes for that one to come out fresh from the oven :>. It was a long ride. These pies made it worth it :> :>#imridic

Here's the slideshow of the day!

What did you on this lovely start of the summer season day? Share below, we miss you and would love to hear!! :> :>

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