Halloween madness, blogging baby and look who's my neighbor!

Thanks to Nicole for mentioning my post about the dreaded "when to have child #2" situation on the Blogging Baby website. Very cool! Thanks Nicole! Although, even though I am writing about it now, some people have been asking me about it from Boo's second day on earth!

So on to Halloween ramblings...Boo wore his Red Baron costume all day today. Well, except for the hat with aviator goggles - that only stayed on for a total of about 4 minutes throughout the day.
He enjoyed a playdate with his pals L, E, and C at Peanut Butter & Ellie's this morning. Love that place. Every town should have a kids cafe like this. Then he kindly took his nap while I met with a PR client of mine, who hooked me up with so many beautiful candles I could die. If you love candles and don't have a Bistro Candles candle in your home, you are missing the best candles in the world. (note:we're working on updating their website right now, so if you are interested in finding a retailer near you, feel free to email me: info@schotlandpr.com).

Anyway...then we played at home before picking hubby up from work and then switched on our porch lights and kaboom! Trick or treating fun ensued. (should mention that in the car ride on the way home Boo was cracking himself up by gagging himself...until he quietly threw up a little on his costume...what a BOY he is! God, I love him). We now live in a neighborhood with a TON of kids, of all ages. It is a magical, beautiful thing. In our old neighborhood I think our doorbell rang three times the whole night. Tonight, for about two hours, it didn't stop. Boo LOVED it!

One set of trick-or-treaters was a pair of 17 month old twin boys who lived two doors down and it was our first time to meet these neighbors. They leave after chatting a bit. The doorbell rings again. The mom is back and asks "Did you go to XYZ high school?" Why, as a matter of fact, I did. Holy crap. This woman was on my cheerleading team senior year! (shut up, I know, don't hate me for being one). She now lives two doors down! We also both lived in Boston. And now here we are, two houses apart, with 17 month old boys. Small, tiny, miniscule world. How random is that?

Boo conked out about 15 minutes before his normal bedtime. What a big day he's had. My husband and I used to really not give a dime about Halloween. Now we look forward to it. I love being a parent. You get to be a kid again.


Our son the nonstop babbling speed train

Our little Boo has turned into the little dude from the Incredibles whose name I sadly cannot remember at this moment because all I remember is Jack Jack. He's zooming all over the place faster than we can get up, and we're getting old but we're not quite THAT old yet. For crap's sake this kid is everywhere, FAST! He's climbing, jumping, dancing, swinging, pounding, up up up on top of everything. So tonight, we disassembled the baker's rack in our kitchen that he was using for a climbing tree (leftover from the old house - we really weren't using it anyway in the new house) and said bye bye. Within a couple of minutes of sending out an email to pals that we're giving it away my mother promptly snatched it up. And our old futon. We're in our thirties - the futon has to go. It's been hiding in my office away from our real furniture and it just can't hide anymore.

Anyway, Boo is most hyper first thing in the morning and about an hour before bedtime. He's insane, and honestly we can't keep up. He's up and running, laughing hysterically and talking all along the way. Babble babble babble. He's stringing words together now and playing around with different sounds. Including screaming. Yeah, he likes to hear his vocal cords hit the ceiling from time to time. Usually in between running around the kitchen and the living room, during that two second pause. I think he came with neverending batteries in his feet and the doctors didn't want to scare me.

He's getting tall too. He's a kid. Oh my god, he's a kid. He even starts trying to squirm away now when I hug him for too long. He can't be kept down by mama's hugging - there's too much to do! Just thinking about it makes me tired.

Tomorrow is Halloween and he's going to be the Red Baron. I'm going to dress up as a tired but happy mama in need of new shoes. And maybe a massage. And a nice Oregon Pinot Noir. Tonight Boo kept trying to put the hat part of his costume on my head instead of his. He thought it was the funniest thing in the world. We'll see how long it stays on his head tomorrow.

Happy Halloween everyone!


Sort of like an Englishman in New York

It is an odd and complicated skin to wear at times, being born into one nationality and being raised in another. For most of my life, I rarely thought about who I was in terms of my ethnicity. Now that I have a son and he's growing up faster than I can say his name, it's been on my mind a lot lately. My son is half Filipino American, half Swiss American. He is the most gorgeous baby on the planet, no offense to all of the other most gorgeos babies out there according to their mothers. He is the perfect blend of me and my husband, in face and in spirit.

Our heritage is his heritage, and we want to make sure he is proud of every part of his soul. We want to teach him Tagalog and Visayan (Filipino languages) as well as Swiss German. I can understand most of Tagalog and Visayan and some Swiss German but have a hard time speaking any language other than English. We also want to teach him French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese, but those are beyond our own ancestries (except we have a little bit of Spanish blood on my side).

So today I met with two other Filipinas and their darling sons. We're going to try to start a Filipino playgroup, and in the end, as much as it is for my son, it is also for me. I am hoping that he and I can connect (for me, reconnect) with this part of our lives and sustain it throughout the rest of our lives. We can learn this language together, as a team. I feel good about this, and I'm excited about it.

Plus, you know there's always going to be good food around if a bunch of Filipinas get together. Oh yeah - we love to cook, baby, and we love to eat. If I can't understand anyone I figure I can just shove food in my mouth and nod.


Read Any Good Books Lately?

I need good book recommendations. Something seriously thoughtful yet light and fast, with emphasis on character development and relationships, but no silly romance novels. Please help me read a book again before my brain melts!

Stork Bombs Neighborhood with Baby #2, Mama M Ducks for Cover

It's that time. Now that Boo and many of his play friends, cousins, etc. are about a year and a half, the hot topic of the season: Child #2. If, when, how, why, what. All around me, the mamas are talking about it, thinking about it, agonizing over it, pondering how to plan.

When I started this post a few weeks back (forgot about it-oops!), two pals in my mama circle were already expecting child #2, and now there are THREE expecting again! And the rest of the mamas are all discussing. Including moi. That's right. I'm talking about having another, and believe it or not, so is my husband. We're leaning toward having a second child, we just don't know when. I hope to God my mother isn't reading this and any relatives that are will be severely punished for repeating even a peep of this to my mother!!! You know I am serious. As much as I love her, my mother's insane baby madness is the last thing I need right now.

This is where the delicate dance gets dizzy. You don't want the kids to be too close in age (or to have your body go through pregnancy too soon again), but how soon is too soon? You don't want to wait too long, and my pals and relatives in their late 30s are feeling this more than others, because you don't want to miss that mythical "window" and then end up not being able to have more. You worry about the specific age differences between #1 and #2, about birthdays being too close together or too close to holidays, about the time of year you will be pregnant again...all issues that in the end, we really have no control over. You could start trying now and get pregnant next month...or in ten months.

Let me take this opportunity to spout a little...what the hell kind of world do we live in where we can forecast storms, cure diseases, function with ultra modern technology backed by decades of research and billions of dollars, when we still cannot control when we get pregnant and when we don't (invitro aside), and more so, why can't doctors get better about predicting due dates?!! With everything we are able to do, THIS is still a mystery. Science, you suck.

Ok, back to non-ranting. Boo has recently become fascinated by babies. He loves them all of a sudden, out of nowhere.

Baby #2. I am happy for my friends who are expecting again, and for those that are TTC. My husband and I are excited and nervous and anxious about the thought of the stork paying our house another visit, perhaps in another year or two, or so... Sssshhh! Don't tell anyone, esp. my mom. :)


The family

My in-laws are in town and we've just spent the past few days winetasting and relaxing at the beach. Isn't that sunset gorgeous? That was our view from our room! It's been great having them here, and my husband and I feel very fortunate that both sets of grandparents are able to enjoy time with our little Boo. Hubby's parents are here for a few more days, and I only hope the weather is nice during their last few days here.


F*#! it

Like my title? Thought that would catch your attention. I need to blog about the issue that eats me up at night with indecisiveness and back and forth and procrastination...childcare. We were very fortunate to have my brother's girlfriend be Boo's live-out nanny since I had to go back to work after three months. Since I was allowed to work from home twice a week (sometimes once), she would watch him at our place from about 7:30 am until about 6pm on the full days and about 10am until about 3pm on the days I worked from home. Since quitting my corporate job she has been nice enough to work whatever days and hours I needed so I could get work done for my new businesses and go to meetings, usually around 6-10 hours a week. Not a lot, but it helps so much.

Well, she's pregnant and due any day now. And I have yet to find temporary childcare. I look almost every day, and have visited one center, but have yet to make any headway. The center scared me. Yes, it's all fine and good and a couple of kids who went there are now teachers there (really, it's a nice place where both teachers and kids stay and seem happy), but it didn't feel right, you know? And I hate to say it, but there are some crazy, unstable, unqualified people out there that are trying to get part-time nanny jobs. Sadly, they frighten me away from the good ones that do exist.

I suck at this. Mostly because I really don't want to be doing it. I just want Mary Poppins to arrive and magically take care of things. Or rather, I would love to BE Mary Poppins and be able to run two full-time businesses AND take care of my almost 17-month-old son all at the same time without any help. That's not going to happen, but the guilty mother in me secretly is trying with all her might to fight it. This is what keeps me up at night and plagues me throughout the day as I plug away on my computer or as Boo and I explore new places in the city. I want to do it all, and I can't. It's not fair to my business clients and it's not fair to Boo.

Our friends and family all say "oh, you know your mother would quit her job and watch Boo if she could." Uh no, folks, she wouldn't. My mother is a workaholic who has notified my dad that she doesn't plan on retiring until she's 70. I would like to retire at 50, thank you very much.

Why is this so stressful? It is the stress of finding temporary, part-time childcare that caused the title of today's post.

Countdown to arrival of the in-laws. They will be the shining light to avert my attention away from this stress source!


Mr. Hilarious

Boo right now is Mr. Hilarious. Everything is funny to him, and he tries to play jokes, make funny faces and silly noises to make others laugh ALL THE TIME. He's always shown this side of him, but suddenly, it's all day, everyday - funny, funny, ha ha. He laughs in the car if we go up or down a hill or take a sharp curve. He laughed hysterically while watching the photo slideshow his aunt and uncle sent of his cousins latest photos. He laughs and makes faces while he is eating. He tries new funny noises while we're talking with friends and then doubles over while cracking up. He laughs as he tries to get onto the couch, and he laughs as he runs from the living room to the kitchen and back again. He wakes up doing funny things and cracking up at himself, and he goes to sleep doing funny things to make himself laugh.

Seriously - who needs to go out for fun? We have all the entertainment we need right here with our little Boo. His paternal grandparents are coming for a visit this week. We hope they're bringing a supply of endless energy with them because they're going to need it! They're in for a real treat!



and now for my useless celebrity post of the week: THIS is the new James Bond? No. I don't think so. Come on ladies, you must agree - this is no Bond worthy actor. What happened to Clive Owen?

I've been Portland Picked!

This morning I woke up to a beautiful review of my Event Bliss business in Portland Picks, the coolest local newsletter for stylish Portland women. Thanks to Kathi and the staff at Portland Picks for making me #5 on this week's list! Truly an honor. Check it out at Portland Picks.

Also, I have secretly been logging my foray into the entrepreneurial world and have uploaded my entries into a new blog: New Biz Mama. More for my own sanity than anything else, feel free to visit it as well on your blogging journeys.

Happy Friday!!! I will try to check out childcare options today. I will try to check out childcare options today. Really, I will...but maybe Boo and I will hit the Old Navy sale first...


No witty title tonight

...just straight talk. All the things I keep meaning to write but forget.

About a month ago, Boo said his first phrase, which was "Go Go Car." Sometimes he just says "Go Car." So cute. He says it when he wants to, obviously, go to the car and drive somewhere. He also says it when we're in the car and stopped, and he wants to car to Go.

Boo now has a million teeth. I stopped counting at 12, but maybe he has 15 by now. Who knows. He seems to know when I am trying to count and doesn't keep his mouth open long enough for me to get an accurate number.

The in-laws are coming next week! We're all very excited here. I'm trying to get as much work done as possible so I will have to work as little as possible while they are here with us. I love my in-laws. They're the greatest.

Boo has also started following other commands like "Please get the guerilla book" or "please bring this to Daddy." It's great! Very useful for when I want to be a lazy ass.

He's starting to mimic more words, but not saying them quite yet. I don't think he's added a work in a couple of weeks. He has started signing even more though, which is nice.

OK. That's the most boring post EVER, but it's really for me and Boo. Perhaps interesting thoughts will flow in a post over the weekend.


True/False answers

So I was on the local morning show AM Northwest this morning ever so briefly talking about my blog. It was fun, and Boo actually sat on my lap like a seasoned tv kid. He even laughed at the right moments. That's my boy!

Here are the answers to the true/false meme. Some of you did very well!

1. I am a mere 4'11" short. FALSE - I shrank an inch after giving birth, so I am now 4'10" - Mother Nature is cruel to moms!

2. I was politely kicked out of Sunday school in the second grade. TRUE - Sort of. I was not very well-behaved, asked way too many questions, and tried to get all of the other kids to convince the teacher we should have class outside all the time since the weather was so nice (I just wanted to play on the merry-go-round). It was suggested that perhaps I would be happier elsewhere. They were right.

3. I have never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. TRUE - yes, it's true. I will pause as you take a moment to gasp in horror. (pause). OK, my mom always made me turkey and cheese sandwiches for lunch, and now I refuse to eat a PB & J just for the principle of it all. My son, however, loves them.

4. My husband is two years older than me. FALSE - he is one year older.

5. I had my first child when I was 29 years old. FALSE- Boo was born when I was 30 years old.

6. When I was a little girl I knew every word to every song in "Annie," as well as all of the play's lines, and I would act out the entire play in my living room every day during summer breaks. TRUE - I wanted to be the first Asian Annie on Broadway. Couldn't understand why the producers never came calling...

7. My favorite ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip from Baskin Robbins. TRUE - oh yeah, this is the best.

8. My first Hollywood crush was Mackenzie Astin from Facts of Life (Sean Astin's brother). TRUE - oh, those sweet blue eyes of his... I once wrote him a letter...where is he now?

9. I am not a shy person. SOMETIMES TRUE/SOMETIMES FALSE - depends. In some social situations I am a total wallflower, but in others I am not shy at all. Honestly. Sometimes I AM shy.

10. My favorite colors are pink and red. FALSE, although I do like these colors, they are not my favorites.

11. My first car was a Toyota Tercel hatchback/wagon named Chewy. TRUE - Chewy was the greatest. Chewy also hated living in Los Angeles and died at least once a day on a freeway there (oh so fun), but then was revived when we moved back to Portland. The air IS cleaner here! I hope you are continuing to putt putt along, Chewy, wherever you are.

12. I have a lot of houseplants because they help keep the air clean and, living in Portland, I need to bring a little of the outdoors in with our grey weather. FALSE - I have five houseplants. I (and my mother) am amazed they are still alive.

13. I've been stuck in elevators twice, each for at least half an hour long: once with sorority sisters, so we held our meeting in the elevator; the second time with a co-worker who really had to pee. TRUE

14. I participated in two big anti-war, No Blood for Oil-type rallies while I was in high school... TRUE - don't tell my mom. She would have been downtown in a flash screaming, "where's my daughter, you crazy people?!"

15....although I was a Republican up until the last two years of high school. TRUE - I grew up in a family of Republicans. Then I started reading about the issues for myself and learned more about how government really worked, and I saw the light.

16. I once had a pet frog. TRUE - I forgot his name, but one weekend we returned from a trip to see family in WA and Mr. Frog was not in his home. We searched everywhere to no avail. A funny smell took over my room for a while. I knew it was Mr. Frog. Even when we moved, I found no trace of him... :(

17. I used to trade racer snakes with the neighborhood boys in the 5th grade. TRUE - only one summer. I had friends keep them at their houses and then I'd trade them with different people for different snakes. Racer snakes were cool.

18. In the first grade, I won second place in a contest to have my book published. TRUE - damn you, Brandon Martine for taking first place. I was convinced he won because he was a boy, but really, his illustration skills were much more advanced than my stick figure drawings on swings back then.

19. I love the show Desperate Housewives. FALSE - OK, I like the show, but don't love it. I can live without it. Now LOST - there's a show I have to watch!

20. In college my friends and I would always go to M.I.T. and Harvard frat parties. TRUE - thank you Jules for giving the answer away so quickly :) We met many interesting people at those parties. I shudder to think of the powerful positions those smart drunkards are in today.

So there you go. Now that you know more about me do you still love me? How did you do?


I've been tagged

Thanks to Princssis for tagging me on this true/false meme. I am really bad at these, but here we go...! These are 20 statements that may be true or false about me. You pick which ones you think are false and then list them when you leave a comment. ADDED NOTE: Please only list the #s of the ones you think are FALSE, making it faster to check answers later. Have fun! I will leave the answers in a post on Tuesday or Wednesday.

1. I am a mere 4'11" short.

2. I was politely kicked out of Sunday school in the second grade.

3. I have never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

4. My husband is two years older than me.

5. I had my first child when I was 29 years old.

6. When I was a little girl I knew every word to every song in "Annie," as well as all of the play's lines, and I would act out the entire play in my living room every day during summer breaks.

7. My favorite ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip from Baskin Robbins.

8. My first Hollywood crush was Mackenzie Astin from Facts of Life (Sean Astin's brother)

9. I am not a shy person.

10. My favorite colors are pink and red.

11. My first car was a Toyota Tercel hatchback/wagon named Chewy.

12. I have a lot of houseplants because they help keep the air clean and, living in Portland, I need to bring a little of the outdoors in with our grey weather.

13. I've been stuck in elevators twice, each for at least half an hour long: once with sorority sisters, so we held our meeting in the elevator; the second time with a co-worker who really had to pee.

14. I participated in two big anti-war, No Blood for Oil-type rallies while I was in high school...

15....although I was a Republican up until the last two years of high school.

16. I once had a pet frog.

17. I used to trade racer snakes with the neighborhood boys in the 5th grade.

18. In the first grade, I won second place in a contest to have my book published.

19. I love the show Desperate Housewives.

20. In college my friends and I would always go to M.I.T. and Harvard frat parties.

OK, there you go - which statements are false? Leave me a comment with your guesses. I am curious to see which ones people pick!


Someone get me a martini before suburban mommyhood swallows me whole

Here are more signs that I am getting older and entrenched in suburban life. These are photos of Boo and the front door decorations I put together today. I almost gave in to those cheesy scarecrow decorations...almost. Is a minivan next?

Martini, please. Straight up.


Wheel of Responsibility

This is too funny. On WryBaby.com, the site that offers cool modern tees for your wee babe, you can now purchase the Wheel of Responsibility. Can't decide whose turn it is to empty the Diaper Genie? Spin the wheel and let fate make the decision. We could use this at my house. Fate seems to spin the metaphorical wheel of responsibility toward Mom most of the time...hmmm...


Eat your veggies, for crying out loud!

Boo once loved veggies. Squash was his favorite, along with peas, carrots - you name it, he wolfed it down. Now, not so much. So I have become one of those Moms who resort to hiding the veggies. I must say, I'm becoming quite successful at this. A cookbook is life goal #4105 on the list.

Boo is not easily fooled, you see. I used to stick a piece of cooked carrot in with a couple of pieces of pasta and he would be fooled. No longer. Now if I grate broccoli in with pasta sauce, he actually eats the pasta and everything else he likes but somehow manages to collect all the tiny little pieces of green into one lump and politely stick his tongue out so I can recollect the offending veggie. Therefore, I've had to hide veggies even more: shredded carrots in whole wheat blueberry muffins, zucchini bread, pasta with pureed red and yellow bell pepper sauce. He loves this stuff. Oh, he did have a fluke moment of actually enjoying peas the other night. I don't know what happened there. Must have been a full moon.

I'd say having a child definitely ups the creativity factor. I'm becoming a more creative problem-solver by the minute. At least the boy loves fruit. Oh my word, does he love fruit.


My boys

Normally I don't like to post pics of my family, but look at these photos - how could I not?! Like father, like son... :)

A cozy day inside

It's definitely autumn. The leaves are changing color, there's a chill in the air, and moisture wicks at my hair, causing the ends I work so hard to straighten in the morning curl and go every which way but straight. We're all in sweaters and the thick coats are out. I wore socks all weekend, covered by closed-toed shoes. Boo's collection of hats fill our hallway and our car. Today, instead of working like a maniac, I'm determined to just hang out and chill inside with my little Boo.

The family reunion was great fun. We ate way too much, all day long, every day...Including fried chicken at 9:30 am on the morning that we checked out. We caught up with each other, reminisced, and congratulated cousin T and his wife J as they announced that they are expecting child #2 at the end of next April. Boo wanted to spend every minute out on the deck or on the beach, and whined when we couldn't do that. He also slept in the latest he has EVER SLEPT IN, ever in his life: until 7:45 am yesterday! We ate and ate and ate. We played on the beach, almost got drenched by a fast moving wave, and then were surprised by sudden rain showers. I thought I lost my keys, including some very-expensive-to-replace VW car keys along with our house and business mailbox keys, but thankfully one of my cousins ended up having it. My father tried to get us to take a different route home, convinced it would be shorter, and then was surprised to find that we were just a few exits behind him when he called us from the road -- and we had stopped to get something to eat and take a potty break, so really, we would have been in front of them if we hadn't stopped. We talked about next year's reunion, where hopefully more relatives can go. Boo will have two new cousins by then.

My great-grandmother has been released from the hospital. Turns out that afer more research, the doctors discovered her condition wasn't as bad as they initially thought, and with a few no-surgical procedures, she was cleared up. She will live to see the birth of yet another great-great-grandson in November, and to dance on her 102nd birthday. This is what we hope.

Work is going well, and I am determined to finally set some sort of schedule that creates some division between work hours and non-work hours. I don't have any clue what that schedule will look like, but for now, it's no work Monday. I shall resume business tomorrow. Today I want to relax and enjoy the change in the weather with my son and my dog. Perhaps we'll light a fire and have some hot cocoa tonight after my husband gets home. Perhaps we'll discuss how ridiculous it is that, once again, the Bush administration is determined to back someone who is completely unqualified for a high level position. Perhaps we'll just sing songs and run around the house.