Saturday, August 29, 2015

New School Ice Cream Social!

You can't go wrong with ice cream.

It was the hottest day of the week, hitting triple digits. Nui Nui's new school kicked off the new year with an ice cream social this week, which Nui Nui was 'so excited' to attend. 

It's taking a while to learn everyone's name but Nui Nui already found a new friend. Curious to know what attracts one kid to another, I asked Nui Nui what she likes about her new friend. Her response: 'she plays with me!' xo

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Last Time

Do you remember life-changing 'last time' moments? Like the last time you slept in your parents house before going off to college or moving out? Or, the last time you hung out with your best friend before s/he moved away?

'Last time' moments are a mixed bag. They can be a huge relief, filled with sorrow, or bittersweet. Whatever the case, though, they are usually memorable. And what do you do when you're cognizant of 'last time' moments as they are happening?

It's the case I'm experiencing now.

I am totally aware that this is most likely, like 99.9% likely, that this will be the last time I will ever be pregnant. It's not that I don't want more children, I would have another in a heartbeat but that would probably require winning the lottery or finding The One within my next few child-bearing years, which are rapidly escaping me.

That said, I'm doing my best or what I can to capture this moment, or experience. It's not that this has been an easy pregnancy, as I discussed in my First Trimester Story, but nonetheless, as most if not all pregnancies are, it's been magical.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, can replace the experience of growing life within your own body and feeling that life move around inside. It's incredible, indescribable, and such a gift, which I am thankful for every day that I carry.

And so, in these last handful of weeks, look out for more maternity photos, as I try to document this experience, this body, this journey, this last time. xo

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pregnancy Update - 32-33 Weeks! [VIDEO]

It's been a long time coming and I'm already due for another update video— 34 weeks!— in the next day or so! It's incredible how fast time is flying. We've accomplished a lot but there are still things left to do.

Amongst other things, a stranger touched my belly. I've heard about these things happening but honestly it's one of those things I just didn't think would happen to me. Needless to say, I wasn't cool with it.

Enjoy this pregnancy update and thanks for following me on this journey! Stay tuned for another video soon! xo

I've compiled my Pregnancy Updates videos in a playlist, check them out if you missed any of them! And subscribe to my YouTube channel if you aren't already, it means the world! :> xo

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Girl's First Dentist Visit!

Finally took Nui Nui to the dentist. She's almost four and I've been feeling pretty guilty about it (not that it kept me up at night though :>). I've talked to many parents and dental offices and most, if not all, said they started taking their kids at 1 or 2 years old, or it is recommended.

Nui Nui finally got dental insurance and I didn't want to wait any longer— this, like most of the other ninnies I've been up to lately, has been in preparation/anticipation of things I wanted to do before #2 arrives.

So I found this dentist, who didn't have a ton of reviews but her rating was high and she accepted Nui Nui's insurance. She wasn't specifically a pediatric dentist, though, but her reviews were better than another pediatric place I read about. Pickings are slim with the insurance she has. At the other place, I read the dentists there performed unnecessary procedures, which, as a parent, scares the crap out of me.

I went with my gut.

The visit went smoothly and I couldn't imagine it happening better than it did. Sounds silly but I hoped the dentist, in the least, had stickers.

This office didn't have a hygienist and the dentist herself cleaned Nui Nui's teeth. She was really patient, too. She showed her each tool before she used them on her, including moving the chair up and down. Nui Nui did so well and was very brave. I got to told her hand the entire time and was so proud of her.

Nui Nui got the works. Her teeth were checked, water-picked cleaned, polished, and flouride'd. She has all her baby teeth in and no cavities! All looks good and Nui Nui's smile is now even a little bit shinier :>

I was also assured by the dentist that this was a good time to bring her in and have no need to feel bad about not bringing her in earlier. That, in my opinion, is at least one sign you know you're working with an honest dentist, which I appreciate. So much so that I wouldn't mind trying her out myself.

If you have kid(s), when was the first time you brought your kid(s) into the dentist? Share below and your experience, we'd love to hear! :> xo

Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Little Girl, My Everything

This girl is truly my everything. Best damn decision I ever made.

Not even 4 yet, she made me so proud over and over again today.

She eagerly asked to play with the neighborhood kids and openly shared her bubbles.

She woke up from a car-ride nap with a cheek-to-cheek smile on her face and softly told me she took a nap. No fuss, no tantrum.

She easily made a friend while we were eating lunch, making the other little girl laugh (a lot), and both had a lot of fun.

Though she did hit a friend while playing, her immediate reaction was remorse and resolution-- she quickly pulled her crying friend into her arms and kissed him where it hurt. She felt so bad, she began crying herself as though she felt his pain.

She suggested we could put milk on the shelf below out new changing table because babies, like her, like to drink milk.

She cleaned up the toys she played with.

She was brave at the skate park, concentrated and focused, teaching herself how to use the scooter.

She talked about wanting to go on holiday and didn't complain that we hadn't for probably more than a year-- something I more than she admittedly feel guilty about. 'We never go anywhere', she said. And she doesn't lie. I suggested Disneyland in LA and NYC during the holidays, when we could see the xmas tree and ice skate at Rockefeller Center. She demonstrated patience when I told her it wouldn't be this week, as she suggested, and that we'd have to wait for the baby to arrive.

My baby's growing up and I'm proud of her values and who she is becoming. She still has a long journey ahead of her and I'm excited for every step she takes.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

This Is Not JUST A Dresser

This is a dresser. But it's not JUST a dresser. This is a dresser I built completely by myself at 32 weeks. To me, it feels like a symbolic piece of my motherhood.

Could I build this thing?, I wondered. By myself? Could I do it without a man, husband, partner?

As I mentioned in previous videos and on Instagram, we've been doing a lot of prep work in anticipation for the baby. Building this dresser was probably one of my most, if not the most, dreaded of anticipated tasks because of the amount of manual labor involved. But it's done. And the fact that it is makes me feel all the more accomplished.

This dresser is a good reminder to myself of the strength of my determination and that, yes, I CAN do this. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it's true. Physical strength has never been my forte and, sometimes, admittedly, I have doubts about my limitations as a single mom. But I do believe when there's enough love and passion, anything is possible. This dresser and my family are living proof. xo

What Happens When You Have One Sick Single Parent, One Healthy Kid?

What happens when your kid is sick but both parents work?

That's the question the author of this article, Two Working Parents, One Sick Kid, addresses. When faced with his kid sick for the first time, the author (the dad) realizes sexist cultural norms still exist today and that, by default, in situations like these, mom stays home vs. dad.

He writes:
I, on the other hand, felt the full weight of parenthood finally pressing down on me. The buck stops with me, I thought, but I am not the buckstopper... Now, it was on me, and he was sick, and he was sad. And I had work. Lots of it. Something had to give. It was exceedingly hard to say, "Hey, I need to take some time off to care for my sick son." ... And I realized I was holding onto some guilt, too. Like I had abandoned my work, which I care deeply about, for a sick kid.

It's comments and, frankly, complaints like these that make it difficult to empathize.

Abandon his dear work to care for a sick kid? A sick kid? Said sick kid isn't just any kid but happens to be his own. What do working people who love their work really think when they have kids? That they won't have to make sacrifices for the life they brought into the world?

Moreover, it's all relative. While the author acknowledges working-parent cultural norms are sexist and the privilege is in his favor, he fails to acknowledge the full extent of his privilege. That, while he might have to take a few days off, his family still benefits from a) a higher chance that at least one present parent is healthy enough to care for their child and, b) a dual income to support his family.

This is not some raging single-mom rant. But to put things into perspective, what happens when you have one sick parent, one absentee one, and one healthy kid?

“I left an abusive relationship and I have nowhere to go. I have Hepatitis C, so no one is willing to take me in. I...

Posted by Humans of New York on Thursday, August 13, 2015

The author of the above article is experiencing a completely normal situation in probably the best of circumstances. While everyone is entitled to complain, what is he really complaining about?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Republished from

Monday, August 10, 2015

Why I Took My Kid Out Of Preschool [VIDEO]

When I decided to become a parent, I didn't think about it as becoming a 'single parent', just as coupled parents probably don't really think of themselves as becoming a 'partnered parent' when they have a child. I thought just about becoming 'a parent'. Period.

And, for the most part, after almost 4 years, I still don't really think of my marital/relationship status when it comes to my kid and my role as a parent. The only time it comes up is when I'm filling out a form or application related to my kid or, unfortunately, I now know, in times like the one I describe in the video below.

I'm hoping situations like these will be few and far between. In the meanwhile, I'll at least try to share my experiences and, hopefully, make some sort of difference, even if just the tiniest bit.

Times are changing and I'm a firm believer we should all be more cognizant of all the different types of people and families out there. Not even just cognizant but accepting, or at least respectful.

This is a story and situation I thought was worth sharing in my experience as a 'single parent'. And I raise the question: What does it mean to be a father?

(Skip to 9:13 if you want to skip right into the situation.)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Baby #2 Gender Reveal! [VIDEO]

There are many ways you can discover what gender your baby is when pregnant, if you choose to find out ahead of time.

When I was pregnant with Nui Nui, I didn't have anything planned. At the time, I didn't actually know or realize some people chose NOT to find out. I didn't necessarily feel adamant about it one way or the other but did lean on the side of knowing. So I just found out at my 20-week ultrasound, when they do the fetal anatomy scan. Check out Nui Nui's gender reveal blog post!

The reveal was definitely a moment both I and my mom will remember. She came with me to the ultrasound that day. I didn't even know how they'd tell— I was blissfully ignorant during my first pregnancy. What felt like all of a sudden, the tech showed me the legs and I was told. All I can say is: shock. That was my reaction.

It's funny because I am so thankful to have a girl. I'm sure I'd be thankful either way, really, though.

You can't have too many expectations when you're pregnant. It's dangerous. Because, when you do, you have to work even harder to change your mentality to deal with the unexpected.

This time around, I gave it more thought about how I wanted to find out. Options I found and have seen been done before included:
  • Filled Dessert: Cover a cake (or cupcakes or cakepops) with frosting or hide some goodie inside the cake. You can do this with pie and other desserts with hidden agendas too :> Cut the cake and the interior will reveal the gender. ie. Chocolate or tinted blue cake=boy; vanilla or tinted cake=girl.
  • Balloons: Fill a box with a particular color of balloons to represent a particular gender. Open box to find out gender. Alternatively with balloons, fill it with a certain color of confetti and pop the balloons to find out.

You get the idea. Hide the secret information, open it up to reveal. The possibilities are endless, really.

This time around, I could have found out my baby's gender as early as nine weeks because I elected to have a blood test checking for genetic abnormalities then. This blood test is new and wasn't available when I was pregnant with Nui Nui. But I didn't choose to find out the gender until I was out of my first trimester.

I had my OB write the gender on a piece of paper and give it to me in a sealed envelope. I held onto it for about a month— I was still working on coming out of morning sickness. I didn't have a party or anything. It was just us— mom and Nui Nui— and one of my/Nui Nui's BFFs.

The idea was for Nui Nui to open the envelope and read us the gender (because I was confident she could read the words 'girl' and 'boy') :> I think when the time came though, with the cameras and anticipation and excitement, she just got nervous.

What do you think it'll be? Leave your guess in the comments before you watch! :> xo

Friday, August 7, 2015

We Are Warriors


When I was pregnant with Nui Nui back in the summer of 2011, the mother for whom I was finishing up tutoring her twin boys wrote:

'All the best to you and soon to the third female warrior in the family.'

From then on, I referred to us women of the family as Warriors. And though the reference was not my own, we own it.

We are fighters. We believe in love, happiness, and good health. We fight against illness, tough times, and the hate (or disapproval) of our unconventionalism. We fight for each other and we do it together. As individuals, we are strong but, with our combined strengths, we are even stronger. We are warriors. xo

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pregnancy Update - 31 Weeks! [VIDEO]

I must've been feeling really chatty. My days have been filled lately and I just had a lot to talk about-- OB's bad news, baby preparations, Mark Zuckerberg, and career goals, to name some.

Grab some popcorn, this is a long one :> xo

Saturday, August 1, 2015

SNEAK PEAK: Nui Nui's First Ballet Dance Recital!

This week was Nui Nui's last week of ballet. Summer is flying by fast and I'm way behind on posts, as I clean house to prep for #2.

Us parents were treated to a little dance recital on the last day of class. Since we weren't allowed in the dance room and there were no windows, all these weeks we had no idea what they were doing or working on, so this was a really big treat.

I'll definitely want to look into more dance classes for Nui Nui if she wants to take them.

Below is a sneak peak of Nui Nui's last day/recital. It's hilarious because the very first picture captures the very essence of my fail as a parent :> We've been living it up this summer and as I emerged from morning sickness, we've been going to bed later. Dance is in the morning. I guess you can say, like mother like daughter, we aren't really morning people :> xo

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