Baby

Dear Daughter, I’m Sorry For…

Guilt. It’s a feeling we all have at multiple points in our lives. But in all honesty, I feel as if I have more guilt now as a mother than I had before my little baby came into this world. There are so many things that I feel guilty about, so many things I would like to apologize for. But she’s too young and doesn’t understand what happened. She still smiles at me and doesn’t hold any grudges. I know she still loves me the way she wants me to hold her when she cries and the way she puts her arms around me when she’s ready to sleep. But as a mother, I can’t help but feel that I’m not good enough for her. I could have done this better or that differently. So many things run through my mind as I look at my beautiful daughter.

First of all, I want to apologize for the first night I took you home from the hospital. I wasn’t used to staying up most of the night caring for a nursing baby and the lack of sleep was getting to me. I thought your cries were cries of hunger when I should have checked your diaper to see that you made a stinky. The look of horror on my face and the way my heart dropped when I realized it in the morning made me feel like such a failure. The first night at your new home and I was already screwing up. I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of guilt even though the poop in your diaper was no more than a smear of color.

I’m sorry you fell off the bed…twice. The first time, I was in the study room while you were sleeping on the bed. The sharp cry that echoed through the house made me jump to my feet and rush to your bedside. I turned the light on only to see you not on the bed. I immediately broke out in tears and rushed to pick you up. What’s worse about it was that there was a ladder next to the bed since your daddy was storing things in the attic and haven’t moved it yet. The leg of the ladder was on your neck and I had no idea what to think. I didn’t know if you got a cut there or if you were choking or if you were crying just from the shock of it all. I picked you up and texted your father right away telling him I’m bringing you to the ER. He called me and told me to check if you were fine, which you were. But still I sat there crying and feeling like such a failure.

The second time you fell off the bed was, in my opinion, preventable. So many what ifs in that situation. What if your daddy and I didn’t get into an argument and what if we were in the bedroom instead of the living room hashing it out. What if we just dropped it and went to bed. But those what ifs were too late when we heard a thump in the bedroom when we were in the middle of talking it out. We didn’t hear you cry but rushed into the bedroom anyways only to see you on the floor, wide-eyed and awake where you were once sleeping soundly on the bed. Pillows in both cases did not help. You’ve learned to crawl over it in your sleep. The only thing that could block you was me or your daddy sleeping next to you. But yes, the guilt we felt was a hundred times more than the shock you must’ve felt when you fell. So for that, dear child, I’m very sorry.

I’m sorry for the time you hit your head on the coffee table. You were just learning how to walk with the help of grasping onto furniture. You were just walking along while I was sitting right behind you. You lost your grip on the table with one hand and fell, your cheek hitting the bottom level of the table where we keep our random magazines and toys. I was right behind you and saw the whole thing. It was as if you were falling in slow motion but it happened so fast I didn’t have time to catch you. The bruise on your beautiful face was enough for me to swear to be a buffer between you and any hard objects that surrounded you for the rest of your life. But the way you smiled after the pain subsided alleviated my feeling of guilt. You got back up and continued with what you were doing as if nothing ever happened at all. That moment made me feel proud of what a brave baby girl you’re becoming.

I’m sorry for letting strangers…well only one or two (so far) pinch your cheeks. You are just so adorable with those chipmunk cheeks that random moms and grandmas will come up to me to tell me what a cute baby I have. Most are respectful and will keep a good distance away. But one grandma at a laundromat touched your cheeks while playing with you and another lady who had a young son pinched it while telling me how cute you are. I don’t think it’s a horribly big deal but I don’t know where their hands have been. If you grow up to be a clean freak, I hope you’ll forgive me. I’ll try my best to be more assertive next time and tell people “please do not touch my baby.” I just don’t want to seem like a mean mommy b!tch when someone’s trying to compliment me on my outstanding genes for creating such a lovable offspring.

I’m sorry for that time at the grocery store when a lady mistook you for a baby boy. She was an old lady who said I had a handsome son. I didn’t have the heart to correct her so I just said “thank you” and went on with the rest of my shopping trip. We don’t want to pierce your ears as a baby and we buy gender neutral clothes just in case we give you a brother in the future so it’s hard for people to tell if you’re a girl or boy. I’ve purchased ribbons and bows for your hair since that incident so people would know your gender. But still, I’m sorry for not correcting her when she called you a boy.

Of all the things to be sorry for, I’m most sorry that this world is filled with so much pain and hurt and disappointment and there’s no way to shield you from all of it. I can’t protect you from everything, but I’ll definitely try my best to. And in the rare occasion that mommy can’t save you from the world, I promise to arm you with a strong heart and a loving spirit. For even if the world is cruel to you, does not mean that you can’t reciprocate with gentleness and kindness. I hope that as I guide you in this journey called life, I’ll teach you how to love and how to live. How to let go of negative things and hold on to happiness. I hope to teach you to always believe in yourself and never underestimate what you’re capable of achieving. In this big world, you might be just a drop of water in the ocean, but that drop, when it enters the ocean, can have a rippling effect that lasts for miles and miles. I hope to help you face this world with confidence, strength, and courage. Raising you and watching you grow up, there’s no rewind button or take-backs. So as you get older, if I haven’t instilled these qualities in you, well, that would be something I’m very, very sorry for.

The list for this can go on and on. But one day, if you ever find this (or if I tell you about it) and you’re interested enough to come and read it, just know that I love you. I love you with a love that I didn’t know could exist. A love that started the day I found out you were in my womb being formed and created. I can’t promise you that you’ll never feel another bump on your head or a scrape on your knee. I can’t guarantee that your heart will never be broken. But I can promise you that I’ll be there to kiss away all the tears. I promise to be there when you need guidance, when you need laughter, and when you need tough love. I also promise to walk away when it’s necessary, even if it pains my heart. You are my first-born and I am a new mother who hasn’t had much experience with this parental thing at all. But just know that I tried my absolute best and if it wasn’t good enough, well, I’m sorry…

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TORC

So this past Saturday, my hubby took the fam bam to TORC (Toyota Owners Restoration Club). It’s basically a car show for Toyota fans. We’ve been going for the past few years but only as spectators. This year was different because my husband decided to enter his car into the showing. So that means waking up at 6 am…on a Sarurday…to drive to Long Beach…and sit in a long line of cars to wait your turn to be staged.

I’ve been to many car shows with my bubba but this was definitely a new experience. Usually, we would be able to just come and go as we please but since his car was in the show, we weren’t able to leave until after the show closed and all the spectators left. Knowing that we’d be there all day, we brought fold out chairs and mats so we can claim a territory under what little shade the trees provided. We marked our spot then headed out to look at all the different cars.

Here’s me and my baby just taking pics to pass the time.

It was extremely hot (maybe not that hot but the sun was burning on my skin) so walking around for even 10-15 minutes was absolute torture. I made sure to sunblock my fair-skinned child and myself. And even with the sunblock, I was walking around covering my baby up with an umbrella haha.

we looked at a few cars then went back to the shade to get some rest. And because we didn’t pick up any breakfast (we were running a bit late) i headed to the booths all the way at the other side of the venue to grab a bite to eat. Needless to say, the price for a teriyaki bowl and sausage link was up the butt. I spent a total of $20 and got meager amounts of food. And to make it even worse, as I was holding the very expensive bowl of chicken and rice, my lovely child decided that she wanted to play with it so it tipped over and all the food spilled 😦

Everything else that day just consisted of waiting…waiting for the show to be over, waiting to go home. And so just to kill time, I decided to take a nap when baby was napping. I slept for a good half an hour or so and woke up to one of our friends telling me that my hubby’s car won 2nd place. I thought she was joking at first but nope, she was serious. So surprising since the car has nothing major done to it. Maybe the judges just liked the simplicity of it.

So after all of that, we were all absolutely exhausted but the hunger definitely superseded the exhaustion so we headed to one of Korean BBQ spots for some grub. After an hour or two more of socializing, we went home and did what everyone probably did…sleep 🙂

Until next time,
Mrs. Uncle Bob

The First Few Weeks

The first trimester of my pregnancy was absolute H-E- double hockey sticks. I had all the symptoms that indicated there was a life forming inside my womb. From morning sickness to odor sensitivity, I experienced it all. However, if there was one word that can sum up that entire 12 weeks, it’d be hunger. Oh yes…hunger. The one thing all living, breathing creature had, pregnant or not, was something I felt to the 10th degree.

For those first three months, the amount of food I consumed literally determined everything, my mood, my level of friendliness, my tolerance for other people’s stupidity, and the amount of affection I was willing to show my boyfriend. The hunger I felt was not the ordinary I-skipped-breakfast kind if hunger. I would eat a full meal and half an hour later, it would be as if I hadn’t eaten anything at all! My jaw was working overtime trying to eat enough food for my starving baby. I remember waking up two to three times in the middle of the night just to eat. I would keep boxes of cereal (the healthy whole grain kind like kashi) near me so when I’m too tired to get out of bed, I can just eat without having to get up.

But just because I needed to eat, doesn’t mean that what I ate would stay down. As I’m sure all you prego ladies out there know, there are just certain foods, whether it’d be flavor or consistency, that would just make you puke like there’s no tomorrow. For me, it was anything mushy like strawberries and mashed potatoes. Yep, those things were stricken off my diet during this time. And it wasn’t just that, eating too much of the same thing would make me throw up as well. One night for dinner, my honey decided to treat me to Olive Garden (oh how I love their unlimited salad and breadsticks!) and at that time, they were having a buy one take one special which basically means you eat a meal at the restaurant and they give you one to take home. Well, that night I finished all my pasta at the restaurant and upon my arrival at home, I nuked up the food I took home because I was hungry again. Biggest regret ever. My body was completely rejecting the food that I had consumed too much of. I was in the bathroom for a good while as the contents of my stomach was emptying itself into the toilet.

It was during these few weeks that I realize how important it is for a soon-to-be-mama to have a really good and caring baby daddy. My boyfriend (fiancé soon to be hubby) was the absolute best. He would take care of all the chores while I just relaxed and deal with the symptoms of being pregnant. Because of my odor sensitivity, he would wake up before I did just to brush his teeth. He loved me through my tantrums and my annoying need to eat every hour. He endured through every tear that sprouted from silly arguments and every emotional outburst I had. Lucky for him, that period of “oh my gosh I’m secretly killing her in my head” was over right when my 12 weeks was over. I guess there is a light at the end of every tunnel.

Saturday Morning Cars and Coffee

Waking up early on a Saturday is definitely not the business. But this past Saturday, that’s exactly what I did. I still wake up 2-3 times a night to nurse my daughter. So when she woke up at her usual 3:30 to eat, I was just praying to nurse her back to sleep as soon a possible. Well, right when she started dozing off, I breathed a sigh of relief, turned off the lamp next to my bed, closed my eyes and started to enjoy the view of the back of my eyelids. The beautiful nothingness I see when I’m tired and I’m telling my mind to just shut off and go back to dreamland. And I slept for the next few hours….not. My alarm went off at 4 am, not really waking me up since I wasn’t lucky enough to get any sleep at all after feeding my baby. The first thought that ran through my head was “I regret this, I regret this! Who in their right mind would plan a 4 am outing to go look at cars and drink coffee?!” Yep, that’s exactly what we did.

Needless to say, I was sleeping the entire ride from La Habra to Irvine. Despite the fact that my bubba’s car is bouncy like heck and lowered to the ground like an Amish lady’s skirt (his car sparks on the freeway), I was tired enough to get some shut eye as he drove us to our destination. When we got there, I still slept. Not like a baby though. I was sleeping in such an awkward position that my right butt cheek went numb. And the thought “I regret this” came back into my head as I woke up and felt the tingly numbness from my right leg falling asleep. But baby Rachel was still sleeping and it was a good excuse to just stay in the car. Well, Rachel woke up about ten minutes later and my excuse to stay in the car was out the window. I text my hubby to get the stroller out of the trunk and out into the cold we went.

When I say cold, I mean it was freezing (at least to me). I was afraid my baby would get too cold so I layered her daddy’s sweater on top of her blanket. We walked around for a few minutes, looked at some fancy cars, and she got hungry so I went back into the car to nurse her. After she was done, I went back outside to finish looking at the last few rows of cars. Since daddy already put the stroller back in the trunk (he wanted to push that thing around the parking lot with no baby inside -___-“) I had a BRILLIANT idea. I carried Rachel against my chest and put daddy’s sweater on BACKWARDS! Yep. It kept both of us warm and since the sweater was supporting her if she were to lean backwards, all I had to do was support her weight on my forearm which saved so much muscle strength in my biceps haha. Anyways, my bubby was too busy taking pictures of the cars there but he did manage to snap one picture of me and Rachel in front of some cars 🙂

And a couple more pictures before we left. The sun was in her big beautiful eyes so she couldn’t open it all the way.

This is the only picture where her eyes aren’t closed.

So after cars and coffee, we were starving since I doubt any of us had any breakfast. And so we all made a unanimous decision to go eat brunch at Denny’s. Nothing much to mention about Denny’s except that the restrooms were exceptionally clean (I usually dislike going into public restrooms but this was definitely much cleaner than most). And before we left, two of our crew members, Lance and Eric, decided to play with the claw machines by the doorway. I never have any luck with that, I’m terribly bad with judging distance and what not through windows, but they sure did. Uncle Eric won baby Rachel a cute little colorful bunny 😀

And Lance won Eric a Star Trek doll. Here’s the sexy couple with their cute doll baby haha. They didn’t have time to buy a doll car seat so what’s the next best thing to do? Hang it by its earlobes (doll had plugs…weird) on handle by the passenger door.

So after Denny’s, we all just headed home.  I slept the ENTIRE way home. I was so tired I drooled in my sleep. But all in all, a very productive Saturday.

Till next time,
Mrs. Uncle Bob

Spontaneous Sunday Disneyland Trip

So this past weekend my hubby and I decided to take our daughter to Disneyland. It wasn’t our first time there with our little one but it was the first time we were there and there was still sunlight (better for me since my vision sucks at night). As a nursing mother who feeds on demand, there were a lot of concerns for me going there. I was worried that I would get a lot of glares and stares from random people when it came time to feed my baby. Yes, I do nurse with a cover. However, I’ve heard just about enough stories about women getting harassed for NIP to not want to do it. I personally have absolutely nothing against it, cover or no cover. Feed the baby, she’s hungry. Simple as that. It doesn’t matter what others think. But anyways I digress. The point of all this is because I’ve discovered a wonderful little center designed just for mamas and papas. It might not be news for some parents out there but I certainly didn’t know.

There are two baby centers, one in each park. In California Adventure, it’s located at the fisherman’a wharf right past the Ghirardelli chocolate store.

In Disneyland, it’s located at the northeast end of Main Street. (left side is the child care center, right side is the end of Main St.)

You can change, feed, and nurse your baby here!! Can you believe it!? And they have sanitary paper, the kind from the doctors offices, that they use as a cover for the diaper changing tables. (There’s my hubby changing our daughter on the right side of the picture.) The curtain on the left side of the picture is a private room where mothers can nurse their babies.

There’s even this cute little toilet for toddlers who are in the process of getting potty trained.

And I forgot to take a picture of it (darn) but they have a little cabinet full of baby stuff you can buy from diaper rash cream to baby formula. Good to know if I ever leave an essential baby item at home.

So after a quick diaper change, we met up with a friend of ours and walked around for a good half an hour or so trying to find a baby-friendly ride we can go on. And we also had to take into consideration the wait time since it was so packed this weekend. We finally decided to ride Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train. It was 35 minutes of waiting for a two minute ride.

Here’s baby Rachel on her throne aka daddy’s arms.

Us on the ride.

Would have been more worth it if baby Rachel looked like she was having fun. She was looking around but no smiles or oohs and aahs. Maybe she’s still too young for that.

So after this fun and exciting ride, we headed to Fisherman’s Wharf to watch the parade but baby got hungry and fell asleep after her tummy was satisfied. So we just stopped by the Ghirardelli store to score some free chocolate. They had cute Easter egg ones this time.

And then we headed home. We didn’t do much this trip but it’s ok. Many more trips to come since we’re annual pass holders 😀

Day One

 

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The day I found out I was pregnant is a day I’ll never forget. My boyfriend, Billy, and I had a trip planned the last weekend of March. I, of course, was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Aunt Flow. After all, who wants to go to Vegas whilst on their rag. Well… one day passed, two days passed, and all I kept thinking was that it’s completely normal for it to be late sometimes. The thought of being pregnant didn’t even cross my mind.

By Wednesday, my period has yet to come. Knowing that I was going to meet up with my sister for her weekly comedy night in Long Beach, I texted her and asked if she could bring some pregnancy tests (who wants to pay for those things, they’re way too expensive -_-“). When she handed it to me that night, I was still thinking in my head “I won’t be needing this, I’m sure my period will come soon.” And even though we were joking around the rest of the night about me being prego and her being an auntie, I still didn’t take it to heart because I just felt so… unpregnant.

So March 27 comes around and there was still no sign of my period approaching. That night when Billy and I were talking, he finally said, with attitude might I add, “Why don’t you just take the test?! You have it right there!” Apparently, even though I wasn’t giving it a second thought, he was getting more than a little concerned. Just to appease him, I told him I’d take it the following morning. So I did. I went to the restroom at work, cup in one hand, pregnancy test in the other, but all I could think about was how this test would go to such waste. But a promise was a promise and I was determined to prove to him that his concern was out of place. Well, waiting that minute in the restroom was definitely not the longest minute of my life. That second line on the strip showed up clear as day and fast as lightening. You can imagine the shock and dismay I felt staring at the tiny little thing telling me I might, just might, be pregnant. I must have checked the package ten times to make sure what I was seeing was correct. I took this strip to show the one person who played a part in this supposed baby (Billy and I worked together at the time so there was no need for texting or calling to deliver this news). Each step I took to my boyfriend’s desk was heavier and heavier. With a shakey hand, I showed him the result of my test and walked back to my desk.

I sat there for a good minute trying to register this information into my brain. Then all of a sudden my phone lit up in the corner of my eye. “Are you okay?” And that’s when my facade of courage and okay-ness all went away. And yes, in a professional, business-like environment, I was balling like a baby. I ran into the logistics department and cried to Caryn, the logistics manager, who was like a big sister to me. All I kept muttering was “I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant how did this happen?!” I rushed to the restroom to have a moment to just wash up and breathe. Caryn went in there after me, offering words of comfort and telling me everything would be ok. I gather my composure and sat back at my desk, staring at the screen still in a zombie-like state of shock. The grandma of the office, Marilou, came up to my desk to tell me everything would be ok and that it’ll be the happiest time of my life. She was in the stall In the restroom and overheard everything (ninja status since neither Caryn nor I heard anything). She told me not to worry about anything, that what happened was meant to be. The rest of that work day was spent googling the validity of pregnancy tests and false positives. I can’t even remember doing any actual work that day. I was just letting the information sink in.

When I got home that evening, I took another pregnancy test which again confirmed that I was definitely not going to get my period before this trip. But now, instead of fear filling my heart, it was just a feeling of happiness and worth.

The funny thing about all this is, a few weeks before this happened, Billy and I were visiting a good friend of ours in Lake Forest to do a car photo shoot. His girlfriend, Candy, and I were chatting and the topic of periods and protection came up. She asked me if I was on the pill. I wasn’t. She stared at me in astonishment when I told her the only method we used to prevent a baby was the pull-out method. “What if you get pregnant?” She asked me. I just shrugged and smiled and told her we’d just keep the baby. Maybe God was using her to drop a hint, maybe she jinxed us. Who knows. Sure, it was unplanned and unexpected. But as one of my colleagues said, better to not plan and have one than to try for one and fail month after month. A year down the road, on the monthiversary of my joyous baby news, I couldn’t be happier and my life has never felt so complete. I thought, somehow, my life was ending when I was going to have a baby. But in actuality, my life didn’t start until she was born.

Mrs. Uncle Bob