Separated by the Pacific

30 Aug 2013 09:33 am | Category: Elsa, Eric, Ethan, Travel

Last Saturday, Eric and EJ took an 18 hour flight to Hong Kong, leaving Elsa and me all by ourselves! It was a last minute spur of the moment decision. Crazy (for Eric)! Elsa is now sleeping beautifully through the night, 12 hours and more. I’m not gonna ruin a good thing by traveling to Asia for the second time this year! So I opted to stay home and spend some quality bonding time with my little girl. πŸ™‚

I thought I would break down and cry when my little boy, who hasn’t left my side for more 24 hours in his whole life, would leave me for almost two weeks! I was all teary-eyed at the airport. But I wasn’t bawling my eyes out. I guess deep down I am independent of him! Haha.

Saying our farewells at the airport.

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Eric said EJ did a good job telling daddy he needed to potty while they were on the plane. One of the things we were worried about was regression from potty training. We did have a couple of accidents since then. But can you blame the boy? He’s so tired from being jet-lagged that he can’t control it!! Not looking forward to that when they come back.

EJ, quite the seasoned traveler. Flying since he was two months old!

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Whenever we get the chance, we Skype. Elsa gets really excited to see her brother. She starts climbing onto the table towards the laptop and just squealing in delight when she sees EJ. She loves her big brother!

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Eric’s family in Hong Kong are enjoying their visit as well. EJ gets to see his grandpa (visiting from Australia) and great-grandparents (lives in Hong Kong) and great aunt (visiting from the UK).

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And of course, Eric and EJ are enjoying being a tourist in Hong Kong! Even though Eric speaks pretty fluent Cantonese, locals can still tell that he’s a foreigner (in his own motherland, lol) because of the way they dress! And of course, EJ doesn’t speak a lick of Cantonese.

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Riding the ferry across the Hong Kong bay, overlooking Hong Kong’s city skyline.

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On top of Victoria Peak overlooking the city.

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With Eric’s favorite childhood/adulthood cartoon character, Doraemon.

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A huge 4-storey Apple store next to the train station.

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Macaroni noodle soup at MacDonalds. Yum!

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Potty Training Day 3

13 Aug 2013 01:12 pm | Category: Ethan, Potty

The second night, we decided to be brave and go without diapers. Well, I changed the bedsheets at 3am and again when EJ woke up around 9. He didn’t even have anything else to drink between 3am and 9am! How did he wet the sheets again?!?! Must be all the fluids we’ve been giving him during the day. So, nights are still not a success.

Day 3 was great, though! No accidents! Yay! However, I think it has become a power struggle with EJ for him to TELL me he has to go. He just won’t tell me. I know he has to go, but he won’t say it. So I ended up just saying to him, “Ok! Let’s go!” Thankfully, he follows willingly. But If I have to ask, he won’t. He’ll fight it and refuse to go. Grr!! Anyway, I’m getting him to go. We had no accidents on Day 3 (except at nap time…), so it is a big step from where we started on Day 1!

Nap time. He peed before going down. But still, he managed to wet his bed. πŸ™ So that was the third time changing the sheets within a 12 hour period. Sigh. Maybe we’re just not ready to go without diapers when sleeping? The author of the book was very confident in saying that if your child is 22 months, they’re ready. We’re trying again today.

At the end of Day 3, we went out. We have been cooped in the house and I wanted OUT! We had to get some things at Target anyway. I was very VERY nervous. This is EJ’s first time out without diapers! I made sure to pack extra pants and underwear. It was a success! No accidents! And again, this morning, we went to the park. No accident! He has an amazing ability to hold it in! He refuses to go in the public toilets. I wouldn’t either, it’s so gross, so I’m really glad he has good bladder control. Haha πŸ™‚

As I laid him down for his nap just now, I asked if he wanted his diapers. He confidently said “NO!” We’re definitely a big boy now! We just have to deal with night times (and naps) now….. He’s never ever ever had a dry diaper in the mornings, so this might take a while :/

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Potty Training Day 2

11 Aug 2013 08:20 pm | Category: Ethan, Potty

I didn’t think I would survive today, but I did! Barely. It really isn’t fun being stuck at home. Worse. Being stuck at home for two straight days and having to say “Remember to tell mommy if you have to go pee pee” or “Is your underpants still dry?” every few minutes. I think EJ’s sick of hearing it and I’m definitely sick of saying it!

On the up side though, we’ve progressed! We only had two accidents today. The first one was at the start of the day when I was brushing my teeth and EJ was out in the living room by himself. He came running to the bathroom telling me had to go pee pee, but he’d already gone on the carpet. Well, he’d left a trail on the carpet, as he was running to the bathroom. -_- The other time was when Eric had fallen asleep on the couch and EJ couldn’t wake him up in time to take him to the bathroom (I was nursing Elsa in the room). So really, EJ had a legitimate excuse for having both accidents. Haha. We have gone from EJ not even telling us he had gone and just sitting in his own mess, to telling us he needs to go AFTER he had already gone, and now to a little tinkle in his underpants and telling us he has to go. So, I would say, it’s progress!!

I have to say though, he’s still very stubborn! We can avoid the whole “little bit of tinkle in his underpants” if he would just go right away. He would hold it until he can’t hold anymore, then tell us he has to go. You can totally tell that he needs to go, but he fights it. Eric tried making him go once, and he was just legs flaring and kicking and won’t go. He’ll go when he wants to. Ahh!!! So stubborn! The book did talk about how it is harder for older kids to be potty trained because they can get set in their ways. I thought it would be easier! Many moms have told me not to even bother potty training boys until they’re at least 3 years old. Oh well, we’ll see what happens after tomorrow.

About the night time dryness. I cheated last night. After he went to sleep, I kept checking on him every half hour or so. The book said to wake them up an hour after they’ve gone to bed and bring them to the bathroom. EJ was completely out! Snoring in deep sleep. I couldn’t wake him up! He would be so mad. So I cheated and snuck a diaper over his underpants. Eric got mad too. “We’re not following her instructions!” But I really don’t want to change sheets in the middle of the night!! About 3 or 4am, EJ woke up and wanted milk! We didn’t give it to him. I believe he was still dry then. Even without the milk though, he still woke up wet. He’s not ready for night time dryness! ….. Tonight, he’s gone to bed with just his underpants. No diapers (yet). We’ll see how far into the night I can last before I give in and put a diaper on him.

Right now, I’d rather be changing diapers. -__- We just have to persevere! It’s too late to turn back now!

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Potty Training Day 1

10 Aug 2013 09:45 pm | Category: Ethan, Potty, sick

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I’ve blogged! Yeah, not so motivated these days. I’ve been visiting all these preschools trying to decide where to send EJ. He’s not quite 3 yet, but he went to school when we were in Singapore and thoroughly enjoyed it. Tuition was only $155/mo there (2 hrs/day 5x/wk), which is a steal compared to here! We’re looking at at least $400/mo and only twice a week. Boo! Don’t know why it’s so expensive! We’re also trying to find a bilingual/immersion Chinese school for EJ. We haven’t been very vigilant about speaking Chinese at home, so hopefully he’ll learn some at school! Anyway, it’s been a headache. I’ve been spending most of my spare time researching schools and visiting campuses. Most bilingual schools don’t offer part time programs. And also most preschools require the kid to be potty trained. Which brings us to the potty training blog….

I’ve heard great things about the 3 day potty training ebook written by a mom in Utah with 5 kids. Her results are 100% guarantee or your money back! You just have to follow her instructions and stay home for 3 whole days! It’s potty training for both day and night. Woah. Day and night?! I’m thinking it’s too good to be true. EJ wakes up with a FULL diaper every morning. And he loves playing so much that he won’t tell you that he has to go! Anyway, we’ve just come to the end of Day 1. Here’s hoping EJ doesn’t completely ruin his mattress tonight with his pee.

We started the day by throwing away his diapers. He cried! He was devastated that we were throwing away his Mickey diapers, even though we have Lightning McQueen underwear. We eventually convinced him that he was a big boy and we were done with diapers. He participated in throwing the diapers away, but still fought the underwear. Thank goodness we have other patterns to choose from, we went through a few before he gave in and picked one out to put on. We basically drowned him with fluids. Juice, popsicles, water, smoothies…. I could tell that he was holding it in. I had a feeling that he was holding it in. We kept telling him to make sure his underwear is dry and to let us know if he needs to go. For the first half of the day, he would say no when we ask him to tell us. Eventually he was ok with it. Anyway, long story short, he had accidents on the couch, the carpet, and the bed. We made it to the toilet only once. He even had a poopy one. Let me just say that cleaning poop out of underwear is DISGUSTING!!!!!!!! I kept asking him, let me know if you have to go! And he kept saying no…. But the one time I caught him in the act, we ran to the bathroom and he finished up in the toilet was a moment of victory and pride for him. I hope it will click with him by tomorrow or at least have things better by tomorrow! It’s tiring (Elsa also broke out in roseola today, luckily nothing too bad yet). We have to keep by his side and be focused on him the whole time. I let my guard down once, and that’s when he had the huge accident on the carpet. (We got some pet spot cleaner for that, recommended by other moms.)

Our carpets are lined with blankets and pads, but he’d missed it every time. Kicked the padding off the pad during his nap and woke up completely soaked in his own pee. Eric went in to check on him and he said, “Daddy I need to go pee.” Yah, sure you do! Anyway, it’s only day 1. The writer of the book said her 1st son didn’t get it until the end of the third day and had like 20-50 accidents a day (he sure pees a lot!) Right now I’m supposed to go lie next to him, and throughout the night, if he starts stirring, asks him if he needs to go pee. Wow. EJ sleeps like a log, so let’s see if this is gonna work. We might be changing the sheets a few times tonight. Wish us luck! … actually we’re gonna need a miracle! -_-

 

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Elder Woo

15 Jul 2013 11:14 pm | Category: Church, Family

We have another missionary in our family! I’m so proud of my brother for being willing to take two years to serve a mission. He’s in Sydney Australia, speaking Mandarin. I wish him all the best!

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Flying Solo

15 Jul 2013 11:05 pm | Category: Family, Travel

I’ve been back from my Singapore trip for over a month now and I really need to blog about it! It was the first time for me to fly by myself with my two little kids. It was quite a trip! I had to go back to Singapore to be with my family at a difficult time. My grandmother had passed away, so I was going back for her funeral. I had actually booked the tickets on a Monday, to fly out on Thursday. I was hoping my grandmother could wait for us to get there, but she passed away on the Wednesday. It was 3/14/13. “Pie Day”, actually.

Singapore airlines is the only way to go when you’re flying with children. You really feel like they make you a priority. I was bracing myself for the worst flying experience ever. 18 hours + layover + 2 kids = Potential catastrophe. In reality, it didn’t turn out that bad!

We took the midnight flight out on Thursday. Elsa had her little bassinet. She slept like an angel. EJ had his own seat. They gave him toys before take-off. And he had his own bright-colored headphones that matched his shirt.

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He was enjoying his shows and his way-past midnight meal. He stayed up until probably about 3am before crashing.

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The most annoying thing about flying is the turbulence. Every time there was turbulence, the seat belt sign would come on and I would have to pick up Elsa and buckle her in, risking waking her up. Thankfully there wasn’t much turbulence.

The landing part of the flight was pretty crazy though. EJ was crying because he didn’t want to be buckled in. Elsa then woke up and also started screaming cos EJ was screaming in her ear. Since I can’t carry both in my lap, one of the cabin crew had to sit in EJ’s seat and take Elsa on her lap while EJ sat on mine. Both of course crying at the top of their lungs all the way through landing. That was probably the craziest part of the flight. Other then that, I suffered some bruises on my arm from carrying both EJ, Elsa, and our carry-on luggage.

The good thing about traveling by yourself with kids, you get to cut all the security check lines and go right up to the front.Β Elsa was a great flyer. It was really a blessing that we all survived the flights and layovers.

Oh, and again, a plug for Singapore Airlines. On the way back, they couldn’t give me a bassinet seat for Elsa cos they were all taken by other babies. Instead, they gave me an extra seat. So EJ could take up two seats and sleep. Elsa took one seat. Not super comfy for me, I guess. πŸ™‚ They didn’t make him wake up at landing, instead they just buckled him in. Landing on the way back was much much better.

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It was nice to see family again. Hopefully next time they’ll come see me instead so we don’t have to endure the long, torturous flight!

 

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My 30th

17 May 2013 01:12 pm | Category: Birthday, Sharn

Oh gosh. That is so old πŸ™ I can’t believe I’ve entered a different decade. I guess it’s all part of growing up!

We kicked off the celebrations by heading to Cattlemens for their big, juicy steaks. I was a little disappointed. They weren’t the melt-in-your-mouth steaks I remembered. Nonetheless, I still finished it. Yes, all of it. πŸ˜‰

Me and my 20oz cowboy steak

Me and my 20oz cowboy steak

Delicious blackforest cake

Delicious blackforest cake

I’ve never had waiters sing me a birthday song. I find it terribly embarrassing. The whole restaurant’s staring at you. But I guess there’s a first time for everything. At least I got a free cowboy hat. But I think Elsa looks better in it than I do.

Then on the actual day of my birthday, we went for another pig-out session at Tomi Sushi Buffet. All you can eat sushi and seafood in two hours. Highly recommend that place! Plus, it’s a free meal for the birthday person (with ID) if you bring three other paying adults. I wasn’t disappointed. πŸ™‚

My favorite part of the birthday was my wonderful birthday present! Oh, and of course that I got to spend it with my family πŸ™‚

 

I actually found it a week before my birthday. We’d just gotten back from Singapore and I was putting away our suitcases. I found a suitcase in our closet that wasn’t supposed to be there. It was supposed to be in the closet in the kids’ room. So, I yanked it out and realized that it was heavy! What on earth could be inside? It’s supposed to be empty. So, of course, I opened it, and lo and behold, found it. Eric had tried to hide it, but nothing escapes me in this house. Haha. I love it! I’ve just been taking photos of our kids and the photos really do turn out so much nicer than the ones we take on our phone.

I’m so thankful to all that made my birthday extra special! πŸ™‚

 

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My Brave Little Boy

17 May 2013 12:40 pm | Category: Ethan

The pollen count had been really high and EJ was hit with bad allergies. We went to see his doctor about his red, swollen, watery eyes. We didn’t know what you can do with a 2yo with allergies. Thank goodness there are eye drops for that. While we were there, they took his height and weight. He’d actually lost weight and had only grown about an inch since his last appointment in October. We were worried that he wasn’t growing, so the doctor suggested we test for metabolic illnesses (like thyroid, diabetes, etc.). That meant taking blood. I really hate to do that, but I wanted to be sure that he was ok. So we went ahead with the testing.

He sat in my lap, and I held him really tightly so he won’t jerk. The technician put the needle into his right arm, and to my horror, blood didn’t come out. And to my even greater horror, the technician moved the needle around (while it was still in his arm), trying to find the blood. MOVED THE NEEDLE AROUND! “Where’s the blood? I can feel the vein. The vein’s right there, right? Come take a look. (to another technician)” HORROR. But, I’m blessed with a really brave little boy, because EJ didn’t cry and didn’t try to pull his arm away. If he was crying, I know I would be, too. Then I suggested, “Please try the other arm!” which they did. And this time, blood flowed out, and again, no tears from my little superhero.

Tests results have come back, and nothing out of the ordinary. Thank goodness. Doc says EJ is just a tiny little guy. He’s happy. He’s healthy. We don’t need to really worry about anything. Thinking back about that day, watching the needle being prodded around inside his arm, just breaks my heart. We did say a prayer together before the procedure, and I like to think our little boy was blessed by his Heavenly Father that day.

Bandages on both arms + red, swollen eyes

Bandages on both arms + red, swollen eyes

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Mother’s Day

15 May 2013 03:08 pm | Category: Celebrations, Family, Food

My third Mother’s Day so far. For myself at least. This one was the best yet. Last year Eric wasn’t even around. He was on a business trip. This year, not only did he make breakfast, he also made lunch!Β And I also got flowers. Lunch was a potluck at church. All food made by the men. This has been a tradition for the past few years, and I love it! As requested by me, he got Krispy Kreme doughnuts and made laksa fried rice. Yummy! I was so impressed with his fried rice πŸ™‚ The only downside to that special day was that I broke out in hives! I had no idea where it came from. It happens to EJ sometimes, too. Nasty stuff.

This year, the EQ also came into RS and serenaded us with the Primary song “Love is Spoken Here”. And guess who was the pianist? Of course, none other then my dashing hubby, Eric. They did such a lovely job. They sang so beautifully.

EJ made me a little handprint-flower bouquet. We started sending him to school. Just for 3 hours, twice a week. He’s been loving it so far.

 

I love my little angels.

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Oh what a week!

02 Mar 2013 07:38 am | Category: Baby, car, Ethan, Food, Friends, sick

Eric went to Cleveland for a business trip. EJ and I got sick. I got a flat tire. EJ got a toenail infection. And our friends had their baby! Yep. Crazy week!

Since we got sick and Eric was out of town, I was planning to just hibernate at home. I had enough food for week, I didn’t need to go out. We did that on Monday. Then on Tuesday, I realized that I hadn’t mailed in my rent check yet! Grrrr! So I had to pack the two kiddos in the car, drive all the way to the post office to mail one stinking check. You have no idea how hard it is to get EJ out of the house. “No! I want play cars. No, I don’t want wear socks. No, I want bring iPad.” Blah blah blah. Then when we’re all finally in the car and I’m pulling out of the driveway, “I want go home.” This kid!

After mailing the rent check off, EJ decided he didn’t want to go home. He wanted to go to the park. Fine…. Only thing was, I hadn’t planned on leaving the car (since the post office has drive-through mail boxes), so I was only in a T-shirt and sweat pants. I looked completely bummy. Anyhow, EJ wanted to play at the playground. So we went. It was a nice, warm day anyway. I have to admit that it was nice to be outside after being cooped up for one day. On the drive home, the tire pressure warning light on my car came on. Whaaaaat!! Man, I hit the sidewalk on Sunday and it’s coming back to haunt me. Sure enough, as I pulled into the garage, I heard a loud hissing sound. I looked at the tire and air was coming out from a huge tear. I quickly backed the car out again so we could get the spare tire on. We’re so blessed the tire didn’t blow out on us on our drive back from the park. SO blessed. I called AAA, they came within 20 minutes and helped me put my spare on.

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We had to miss story time on Wednesday morning to go to the tire shop to get a new tire. Sad. I wasn’t looking forward to sitting around and waiting at the tire shop. I made sure to pack enough toys to keep EJ entertained while we waited. I also made sure to make an appointment before going. But then when I showed up, there was only one other guy there! EJ didn’t need toys to entertain him, he was just fascinated that they were fixing mommy’s car. He kept staring at the window and saying “Fixing car? Fixing mommy’s car? Black car?” So cute. And best of all, since we had a warranty on the tires, I only had to pay $18.25 to renew the warranty. Yay! It was turning out to be a better day than I thought, so I brought us all to the mall!

I thought EJ would enjoy playing at the play area at the mall, but he only wanted to hang out at the Disney store. Then we had CPK for lunch cos EJ wanted pizza.

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I got the California Cobb pizza for us to share. It was interesting. Not bad, don’t think I’ll ever get it again. Lettuce on pizza is kinda weird. Haha. So that was Wednesday.

Thursday I had my friend over for lunch. Her baby was due THAT DAY, but no sign of labor, so we had a little lunch date. That night, as we were reading together, I noticed the corner of EJ’s big toe was all swollen and infected!

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He had peeled off the side of his nail and I had to cut off the flapping piece of nail that he peeled out. And the exposed skin got a little infected. I debated whether or not to bring him to the emergency room (yes, very dramatic!), but decided against it since it really wasn’t that bad. I called the nurse and they told me to put some antibiotic on it and we made an appointment to see the doctor the next day.

EJ knows the hospital and remembers he gets shots when he goes there. So on Friday morning when I turned into the hospital parking lot, he said, “Not this one, mommy. Not this one. No go this way! NO GO THIS WAY!!!!” He was frantically crying all the way to the front desk, but then he saw some toys and stopped. Miracle of toys. Haha. When we went in to the doc’s office, he refused to take off his shoes unless I did too. Doc confirmed it was an infection, and prescribed us some stronger antibiotic. I went to the pediatric pharmacy and waited to pick up our prescription. Waited and waited. And waited…. Finally I decided to check in with them. What was taking so long?!?! They told me my prescription is at the discharge pharmacy by the Emergency at the hospital section. Whaaaaaat. How in the world?!?! We had to walk all the way to the other end of the hospital to pick up our prescription and when I did, I realized I already had a tube of that same topical antibiotic at home from the last EJ had an infection. Oh well. By the time we got home, Eric had already came home from the airport. EJ and I made use of the nice, warm weather outside and played in the backyard.

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Then later that night, our friend, whom I had the lunch date with the day before, finally had her baby! Yay!!

Oh what an eventful week!!! To think all I wanted to do was hibernate at home all week because of my cold. My neighbor came over to check on us a couple of times because she heard very loud crying. Thank goodness for our wonderful neighbors! My visiting teacher also came over with yummy udon noodles that fed us for a few meals. Thank goodness for awesome VTs! Well, I’m glad Eric’s home and it’s finally the weekend. And we’re all feeling slightly better. I can’t wait to meet my friend’s baby!!!

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