round-up 08.2008

just simplifying my sidebar a bit ...

friends + family blogs ::

  • ALH :: my BIL's fiancee
  • blog-o-rama :: our college friend's wife
  • bs and our four legged kids :: my sb pal + financial planner
  • devin's chronicles :: grad school friend
  • dottie + her papas :: great family friends
  • eric umansky :: rupert's cousin + her fiance
  • the gourmet chronicle :: my best friend's food blog
  • jakariko nikki :: my best friend from japan who now lives in jakarta
  • jhr4phd :: rupert's blog about his phd life
  • jsc's blog :: college friend's daughters
  • the journey of finding .5 :: my step-sis, D
  • kumeeks :: family friend (in japanese)
  • minimalist orgy :: JB, a friend from college who i reconnected with via facebook
  • my little mochi :: craft + cute genius
  • suzanne in new york :: rupert's other cousin
  • ttsuai :: mama friend

    • when i feel like being a do-gooder ::

    • american forests
    • change the margins
    • donors choose
    • ginga arts
    • heifer international
    • kickin' cancer 5k
    • nothing but nets
    • the one campaign
    • stop global warming
    • transitpeople
    • 8.24.2008

      going awol for awhile

      you don't need to tell me that i've been neglecting the old blog. i even forgot that it was my 3rd blogiversary on the 10th. i can't believe i've been writing for three years when i wasn't sure i could continue it for three days.

      so, where have i been? i don't think it would be on over-exaggeration to say that i am somewhere between identity crisis and the worst possible me ever, between self-loathing and self-pity. not a pleasant place to be. is it surprising that i'm feeling a bit depressed?

      this summer has not been very kind to me. i'm not sure what exactly caused this negativity. i'm pretty sure it's a combination of things :: my own propensity for mild depression (not officially diagnosed but it seems pretty obvious to me ... and rupert), being around both kids 24/7, rupert's health issue, and feeling really uncertain about my role in life.

      besides not knowing whether i should embark on a search for a career outside of the home, i'm currently extremely unhappy with my parenting, which is technically my career. i don't feel like i'm good at it and my children are suffering because of it. i've blogged about this before on numerous occasions, and if i'm still struggling with this issue it's clear that i've never come to a satisfactory conclusion about why i'm not a good parent and, therefore, how i can become a better parent.

      i know most parents have doubts every now and then about whether they are doing right by their kids. being self-critical and reflecting on parenting experiences makes most moms and dads better moms and dads. but i am seriously concerned all the time with my lack of improvement and an increased agitation with parenting in general.

      dare i say it? i don't like parenting. and because i don't like parenting i think deep down i'm resentful. not towards anyone in particular, but just in general. this is where the self-pity comes in :: the "oh woe is me, my lot in life is so tragic" mentality kicks in and i feel sorry for myself. on top of that i start to feel powerless. that leads to frustration, like i don't have control over the direction my life is going.

      and i'm afraid to admit i take my frustration out on the kids. my lack of patience with ian and maya is startling and cruel at times. i realize this, but i sometimes lack the control to stop myself. this summer, especially, i've noticed that what little interaction i have with the kids is mostly scolding them. not good.

      another thing that worries me is that i am very conscious of what i should do to be a proper parent, but i can't do it. there must be something seriously wrong with me if i can't change my actions knowing full well what needs to be done. i feel like i'm not putting my kids first and foremost; that i prefer to be by myself than to spend time with them.

      it scares me to think that, compared to other parents, i may not love my kids very much. is that possible? and if the answer is 'yes,' how horrible. would i love my kids more if i was less selfish? would i be less resentful if i just accepted the fact that with parenting comes great sacrifice? would i be more patient if i could remember that being my children is just as hard as being their parent? i feel like i need a complete overhaul of my attitude and actions in order to get out of this parenting rut (for lack of a better word).

      part of that process may be for me to get out of the house and find something for myself away from the kids, as in, finally going back to work. it's also high time for maya to start pre-school and become more socialized with kids her age and other adult authority figures. (we dropped off her preschool application the other day to get on the wait list and she was quite excited about the prospects of going to "maya's school," so i think she's ready.)

      having been out of the workforce for a few years now i'm not sure what i want to do. but, more importantly, i'm not sure what i can do. i've been looking at classified ads and i'm not sure i could get hired ... the thing is, though, i know i'm completely capable but i lack the confidence to put myself out there.

      so the actual point of this post :: i'm going to disappear from the internet for awhile to focus on becoming a better me. to become a better parent. so that i can feel a bit happier than i am now.

      my hope is that it won't take me too long ... wish me luck!


      legoland 2008

      we're getting to the end of summer and since i really hadn't taken the kids anywhere i decided a trip to legoland was in order. (it helped that we had a coupon for free kids admission.)

      ian went for his 5th birthday but it was the first time for me and maya. unfortunately, she's just barely 34 inches tall, the minimum for some of the rides. that prevented us from going on quite a few rides, but we managed to have a lot of fun walking around miniland usa, splashing at swabbies deck, and riding on captain cranky's challenge.

      more pictures here.

      what i made for dinner :: orzo with creamed corn sauce + salad with salmon

      creamed corn orzo + salad with salmon
      [i forgot to post this from a few weeks ago.]

      another yummy recipe from the august 2008 bon appetit. unfortunately, the recipe isn't online so here it is ::

      ingredients ::

      • 2/3 cup orzo (about 5 ounces)
      • 1-1/3 cups whipping cream
      • 2 ears of corn, kernels cut from cobs, divided (1 cob reserved)
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • 3 tablespoons finely chopped leek (white parts only)
      • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
      • chopped fresh chives

      directions ::

      1. cook orzo in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. drain
      2. meanwhile, place cream, half of corn kernels, and reserved cob in heavy medium saucepan. boil over medium heat until thickened about 10 minutes. discard cob; puree sauce in blender until smooth.
      3. heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. add leeks and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. add wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 1 minute. add remaining corn kernels and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. add creamed corn corn sauce and cooked orzo. bring to simmer. season to taste with salt and pepper. transfer to bowl, sprinkle with chives, and serve.

      i used fresh organic white corn from the farmers market, which was so sweet. i did too good of a job cutting the kernels off the cob, though, and got the slightly hard part of the kernel that attaches to the cob. so there were some hard bits in the dish, which detracted from the overall goodness of the texture. but all in all a tasty concoction that i will make when i have some leftover fresh corn.

      (i paired the dish with a mixed green salad topped with grilled salmon.)


      33 months.

      maya rockin' out

      maya @ 33 months :: august 4, 2008

      • sings really random songs like, "don't know who farted" ... at least, that's what we think she's warbling
      • second time at the movies :: wall-e
      • her legs are finally long enough to pedal her tricycle
      • she is a sticker fanatic. but, unlike her mother who hoards stickers, she likes to use 'em up. she sticks them all over the place :: her body, her face, the glass on our cabinets, the floor, the exercise ball, the inside of the car door, etc. luckily, she gets lots of free stickers at tj's, which i don't mind her using up immediately, but sometimes she gets into ian's sticker drawer and wreaks havoc.
      • her favorite vegetable continues to be kyuuri (japanese cucumber) sticks
      • lots of running = constantly scraped knees
      • likes her swimming "class" :: she'll dunk her head underwater if i make her but she prefers to kick around the water on her back (but she keeps her ears out of the water)
      • will take showers now but needs a bit of coaxing to look up so i can rinse her hair
      • loves to talk about her "friends," who are really ian's friends
      • hanging from the kitchen counter, door knobs, and her crib railing
      • keeping summer hours :: staying up waaaaay past her bedtime
      • her favorite movie :: little mermaid (watching it now, that movie looks really crude and the storyline is pretty weak compared to animated movies today)
      • coloring and drawing with pens and colored pencils. they're mostly squiggles, but if she shows me a random shape and claims it's me, i'll ask her where my eyes are, and she'll go back and add eyes. i also bought her some crayola paintbrushes but i don't recommend this particular item (they're frustrating ... for kid and parent)
      • miralax is really helping with her constipation; she now goes almost everyday, which hasn't happened since her first 10 months of life! she loves putting a happy face sticker on the calendar after she goes; she's very proud. she also insists on looking at the unchi in her diaper. yuck.
      • becoming a little star wars fan because of ian's obsession with playing star wars battlefront, currently her favorite video game to watch.
      • likes getting her ears cleaned with q-tips. she's always bringing me q-tips from the bathroom and i have to tell her that they don't need cleaning that often.
      • she heard ian and his friend spew, "that's not fair!" during star wars battlefront so she said it happily for a few days without knowing what it meant :: "i shwim [swim], that not fair!"
      • ian taught her how to play jyanken (rock-paper-scissor). we're not sure if she totally understands the "rules" but it keeps her occupied in the car.