Friday, December 17, 2010

Jumping on the Bandwagon

If you don't know me, there is one word to describe me: shopaholic.  I presume that is a word.  If you need to know my number one weakness, it is handbags.  A lot of women like shoes, clothes (jeans come a close second to me), makeup, jewelry (I should spend my money there instead), and the list goes on...  But for me, I completely fall prey to handbags.

Last night, I found myself walking into Neiman Marcus wanting to return my new Burberry trench coat that I have not even owned for 6 weeks...6 weeks people!!!  Prior to even cutting off the price tags and wearing it for the first time, there was one measly button literally hanging by its last thread.  So last night, I was determined to return the coat since it was my second time in 3 weeks having to get buttons sewn back on.  Yes, I said buttons...more than 1 button.  Surprisingly, I was weak and the sales lady coaxed me back into keeping the coat and having their seamstress reinforce all 20 buttons.  Is that a lot of buttons for a coat?

Anyways, after dropping off my coat I found myself looking at all of the sales racks in the store, and they had a lot of sales racks.  We all know I love to find me a good bargain!  I thought to myself, if all the clothes are on sale then what about the handbags?  Sure enough, there were tons of handbags on sale.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) for me, nothing worth buying was one sale.  There were a couple of Prada handbags 40% off and there was only one Chanel handbag on sale, but all of them were too trendy for plain jane me.

After perusing the handbags, I probably should have hopped in my car and went back home to my testosterone filled home but no, I found myself outside in the courtyard of the Bravern wandering over to Louis Vuitton.  I have been mentioning to my lovely husband that I want a Louis to add to my collection and he always takes it lightly when it is mentioned.  But no, I was serious and now was a prime time for me since I was boy free!!

So without further to do, here is a picture of the newest addition to my family of handbags:

The Artsy GM
Isn't she a doll?  I love her and it feels good to have something aside from Gucci (which I still love) in my closet.  Now if only, I can muster up the courage to tell the hubs that I actually bought it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Public Transportation HATES Me!!!

There is something about a bus that hates me.  Whether it be a Greyhound (yes, I have ridden them) or a public transportation bus, anything related to a bus has some sort of hatred towards me.  How do I know this?  Let us examine the three following cases:
  1. This morning was my first time commuting on the bus all by myself to downtown Seattle via the park and ride.  I managed to find a decent parking spot and as soon as I got to a bus, it was standing room only.  No worries, I had to remind myself that the busses come frequently and that another one would be on its' way shortly.  Luckily that was actually the case since the next bus came literally five minutes later, unlike last week where I fell for the "5 minute" trick when the next bus was literally an hour away.  After five minutes of waiting in the freezing cold wearing a skirt (my bad), I was able to get on a bus and actually score myself a seat.  Unfortunately for me, the bus driver was new and missed my bus stop which was supposed to be at my building but instead dropped me (and about 20 other people) 4 blocks away.  I guess it could've been worse...
  2. Last Monday was my first day back at work.  Granted it was snowing but I spent a good 3 hours trying to get the measley 10 miles between my work and home.  One hour was spent trying to actually get ON a bus and the last 2 hours was spent on the bus.  I can't complain though, there were others who had a 6+ hour commute on their bus rides home the exact same evening.  No complaints from me...
  3. Five years ago (time flies), I had a bright idea that I would surprise my then boyfriend for his birthday.  It would have been a great surprise if my parents had shared that same opinion and decided to actually let me drive over to Tri-Cities rather than forcing me to take a Greyhound.  I am blessed with wonderful friends that paid for my ticket and actually drove me 30 minutes to the closest bus stop.  Sounds easy right?  Wrong.  Apparently, the huge storm that was dumping rain in the Puget Sound area was also dumping massive amounts of snow on the mountain passes.  Thus, closing the pass to traffic.  That included trains, which also became an option in my desperation as I sat at the Greyhound station in downtown Tacoma.  Now you see why I got desperate?  So as I sat stranded in the "finest" area of Tacoma, a stranger and I get this wonderful idea that we should rent a car together and just drive over the pass.  I tell Jessica, May, and Ryan the idea and each of them frantically think I am out of my mind and that it really is NOT a good idea.  I am so oblivious sometimes.  Long story short, the Greyhound finally arrived in Tri-cities at 3am, a lengthy 16 hours after I initally embarked on my surprise trip.  In the end, it wasn't much of a surprise but Ryan appreciated the effort and we had a great time celebrating his birthday safely.
I tell you, busses hate hate HATE me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snow Day Decisions!

As of late, my newest obsession is reading decor blogs which has lead me into another nesting phase.  This time it is actually a nesting phase, except it still does cause me to spend unsurmountable amounts of money on buying extraneous things in my husbands eyes.  Given that we took today off for a "snow day" I had plenty of time to catch up on my favorite pastime.

The past couple of weeks I have been searching for the perfect rug for our living room.  I have seen some pictures with rugs that have caught my eye however I had no idea where to start looking.  After perusing Emily A. Clark's blog I came across Shop ten 25's website where she had the cutest rugs that were right up my alley.  Below are a few of the rugs that I liked from the website including a couple comparables that I was able to find on other websites as well.  Let me know what you think!  (Oh and keep in mind that the walls of our living room is a pale yellow)

I figured this burnt orange would add a nice warm tone to the room (or I believe it is a burnt orange).

Lately I have had some green tendencies.

But honestly I am truly wanting a grey rug, pale gray to be precise.

Not too sure about this one but figured I would give it a chance since it had raving reviews

And finally, this one has an awesome name.  I mean who doesn't have fond memories of Fez from That 70's Show.

Anyways, I would truly love to get your guys' input!  I mean, do you truly trust an engineer to decorate your space?  No offense to engineers...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hiatus: Over

I am a bad horrendous blogger.  In fact, I am typically bad at anything that requires commitment.  In high school I was a part of the tennis team, band, swim team, and manager of the boys soccer team all for one season and only one season.  Thus, having the responsibility of being a blogger is still a challenge to me.  Now being a good blogger...that is a whole different can of worms (reminder: I am an engineer).

So I have taken somewhat of a hiatus from blogging only because I have been consumed by reading other people's blogs.  I somehow stumbled upon a blog regarding interior design and all of a sudden I find myself nesting once again.  And yes, if you remembered correctly I somehow surpassed the nesting stage of my pregnancy by only purchasing unnecessary things for our house (which I did not fail to do once again this time around).

Now I have managed to add a blog roll to my page so y'all can see what I spend my day doing: reading other blogs.  After reading all the thrifty DIY blogs, I have managed to channel my inner Suzie homemaker/thrifty housewife side.  Gasp.

I have yet to locate our camera but I am truly ecstatic to share with the blog world what I have accomplished.  My dear friend Katy hates the new thrifty me, and my new inkling to decorate our house has also made my husband and pocketbook cringe; but it makes me happy and you should always do what makes you happy, right?

On a more somber note, today is my last official day of maternity leave.  I think I just shed a tear.  So to bring you up to speed on life, here goes my attempt to summarize what has happened during my absence to the blogging world:

Andrew can roll over.  Aside from him rolling from his belly to his back around 8 weeks of age...this week he managed to roll from his back to his belly.  They say the second kid develops more quickly and boy howdy is that true.

After turning three, Tyler has somehow figured out how to speak more clearly.  Now he is a non-stop chatterbox from telling me how to take care of Andrew, to how his whole day went, and my personal favorite...telling Andrew how much he loves him like literally every 5 minutes.  It's truly precious and the sap in me sheds a tear every time I hear Tyler tell Andrew that he loves him.

Both boys spent their mornings at their new daycare this whole week.  Andrew has not fully adapted well to the bottle (my bad), Tyler loves playing at our "neighbors", and I still have not managed to get our house fully clean.  I swear it is a never ending task.

I went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago and turns out my toothache that I had attributed to sinus pains was actually a chipped tooth.  Seriously, I the heck does one accomplish to chip her back tooth?  Well, I was capable of doing it and so I had that repaired this week as well.

So, those are a few of the major happenings in my world as of late.  One of my coworkers told me he is looking forward to my return.  That makes me somewhat happy but I still feel as if my return to work is like a girl's first day of high school...I am really really really nervous.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Tribute To My Best Friend

I will admit that I have a lot more guy friends than girls. In fact, I think the guy to girl ratio is about 3:1 so I always feel bad when a guy wants to meet my friends. Hahaha, joke's on him. Anyways, I love my girlfriends...the small amount that I have. So today's post is about one of my longtime, dearest friends (who also happened to be my maid of honor): Mayflor.

As I spent my afternoon holding a sleeping 3 month old and doing one of my newest favorite pastimes (reading diy decorating blogs), I get a phone call from Mayflor. Here is how the conversation panned out:

May: "So guess what the lovely security staff at the hospital did..."
Me: " clue" (as I am thinking her car got towed)
May: "They put a stinking cone in front of my car and I ran it over and now it is stuck under my car"
Me: " did you not see this? You drive a versa"
May: "I really can't reach it, maybe I should try backing up my car." (She is shorter than me fyi)
Me: "Wait, backing up wasn't the first thing you tried?"
May: "No...does every car come with a car jack? I see my spare tire but where is my...oh found it"
Me: "You're using your car jack? Is that really necessary?"

So long story short, she eventually got the cone out from under her car. How she did it...not sure since at that time my 3 year old decided that water is his new toy and my 3 month decided to turn on the waterworks.

I love my friends and the silly things they encounter.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Career Change?

I feel as if every time I have gone on maternity leave my job is in jeopardy. Before you tell me that I am covered under the Family Medical Leave Act, I want you to understand that I worry about having a job to return to due to the lack of work. We are all aware we are in a recession and have been for the past three years now, and we just watch our bipartisan government point fingers at the other party when it comes to who is to blame for this recession. Which has lead me to believe that I too can run for a legislative position and probably do well.

What spurs this career change at 6am aside from the fact that my career is at a standstill? Watching Obama give a speech to last month's jobs report and realizing that most voters vote without thinking. I can try to ride the popularity bandwagon the same way Obama did. I just need to have charisma and fake some interesting in sports and there we have it! What does JFK and Obama have in common? They are probably two of the most popular presidents not known for their policies but rather being different from the president mold of being white AND protestant. What do I have to offer? I am not protestant AND I am not white...score.

I plan on working my way up to the oval office by running against Maria Cantwell. The republican party needs a new face aside from Dino, and while I have voted for him the last three times...I think he has literally struck out. The republican party in Washington State needs a change. Once I make it to D.C. I plan on doing what Patty Murray has done the last 18 years...blend in with the crowd and just vote along my party's lines. How hard can that be? At least I will have job security for six years.

On a serious note, I will probably have a lot of lobbyists at my doorstep which I wouldn't mind the free 3-martini lunches and dinners. That is a mighty fine dinner plan if you ask me. But in my short time as an engineer, it has made me have a better understanding regarding the importance of infrastructure. What made Rome so successful? Well just take that government issued check, hop on that government subsidized overpriced airline, trade-in a lot of your US dollars for very few Euros and check it out for yourself. So while I am busying galavanting with the intern or aide that will be assigned to me, I will make an honest attempt at getting funding for our nation's ailing infrastructure.

In Obama's speech this morning, he mentioned that he wanted to focus on high speed rail because upgrading to high speed will be beneficial to our economy in making it run more efficiently. I believe I need to take a course on this high speed rail because I just thought it was meant to primarily transport people at high speeds...not goods. Also, how is having high speed rail being "green"...we know we do not want to make the environmentalist unhappy. They will protest the sh*t out of it considering they do nothing but sit in trees and wetlands helping to "protect" them. Okay, enough with my rant.

I can assure you that working on capitol hill is a lot harder than I think, but we can all dream right? Did I also mention that if I were president, I would create jobs by having my face carved on Mt. Rushmore. Yes, it would probably have to be an executive decision considering it would never make it through checks and balances. I would also make our economy and government more efficient by decreasing the size of it. We all know the jokes about government employees, so why do we still try to figure out why our country is not ran efficiently?

Oh and my last selling point, I'm asian and we all know we have a good work ethic. Hahaha, I just made myself laugh. Happy Friday and have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Facebook Withdrawals?

After a six year courtship, facebook and I decided to part ways on Sunday. Do I miss it? There are certain aspects of it that I miss such as the witty statuses some people post. But other than that, facebook just isn't the same as when I started my account. I don't hate facebook, in fact, I will forever be greatful for it as that is how Ryan and my relationship blossomed. Yes, I just said blossomed since I had no other way to describe it. We didn't meet on facebook, it was a way of communicating to each other (while drunk) since we were unable to do so without any liquid courage.

Since getting rid of my most time consuming past time, I figured I would have more time devoted to my blog. After spending a good two hours writing my halloween post to have it all deleted because I cannot figure out how to add a picture, I took a mini hiatus from my blog. RIP halloween post, when I muster enough patience to sit down and write it all over again you will all be informed.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What is in the Pentagon?

My morning routine, outside of the kids, consists of checking my email and bank accounts. I never get any emails since I am out of the office and my bank accounts are just diminishing, it is quite sad. What caught my eye was the homepage for my bank: "visit our newest branch, now open in the Pentagon".

Okay, so that wasn't alarming to me considering my bank is thru the Navy which is military thus it does deserve a place in the biggie. It was the subtitle that really caught me off guard: "look for us in the concourse, across from Best Buy". Um excuse me...Best Buy? What else is in this said concourse? My whole life I have thought the Pentagon consisted of the highest posts in the Military, the department of defense, and other important government positions relating to the military. Obviously I must have missed something along the way. Wikipedia also must have missed it considering that it only mentions the twenty, yes 20, fast food restaurants in the food court.

I want to take a tour of the Pentagon, I also want to shop in their Best Buy and eat at their McDonalds. Perhaps I can instill a piece of the Northwest in the Pentagon by opening up an REI, or maybe the Department of Defense needs a Cabellas.

Monday, November 1, 2010

AJ is 11 Weeks Old

Happy 11 weeks birthday to my baby AJ!! That means only 3 more weeks of being a stay at home mom. I am eager to start earning a paycheck again and I am extremely excited to finally be working in downtown Seattle.

Working in downtown will be my first true downtown experience, unless you count the year we lived in Queen Anne. Looking back, it has been nice to gradually build up to big city living. From growing up in little Silverdale, taking a step back for four crazy years in Pullman, to moving and working in the suburbs of Bellevue, and now working in the tallest building in Seattle. Then again, it is nothing to brag about considering we're only on the 11th floor.

On the kid front, Tyler is officially out of daycare and is under my care five days a week. I cannot tell you who you should be frightened or Tyler. It will definitely be a new learning experience for me. I think we should be fine though, Tyler truly and genuinely cares for AJ. It is quite the site to see the two of them interact with each other, I can only hope this carries on as they grow up together.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Everyone's Doing It...

Remember in high school when everyone wanted to be their own person? Well I have figured that we never grow out of that feeling. We always want to be somewhat different from everyone and heaven forbid we follow the crowd.

I will be the first to admit that I am extremely stubborn when it comes to pop culture. It took me sometime to warm up to Abercrombie clothes in high school, I swore to never wear UGG boots (ha), and believe it or not I was anti-Juicy Couture at first...I mean who really wants "juicy" printed all over their ass? And yes, I did rock some pants that exclaimed that with my UGG at least three times a week. I'm so cool.

I am going to blame this on the hormones but not wearing my engagement and wedding rings is my newest form of rebelliousness. I mean, everyone is now engaged and/or married and I am a firm believer that the rings are not a symbol of their love and fidelity but rather their most expensive form of fashion. So for me, it is my way of showing that I don't need any fancy rings or anything materialistic to prove my love for my spouse. Then again, I never wear jewelry and if you really know me, that has always been the case. Once recent actions seem crazy but I am blaming it on the hormones!

I really am a plain jane, and being an engineer could never be more fitting for me. 23 more days of being solely a full-time mom...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy 8 Weeks Old AJ!!! And More...

AJ is eight weeks old today and he is doing quite well! AJ's two month birthday is this Saturday which is also the same day we are celebrating his big brother's third birthday (coincidence, no lie). The nose congestion has gradually went away and AJ is still the happy baby that he is.

This past weekend we went over to Spokane for my dear college friend's wedding. In doing so, I decided that it was probably a good time to do some self maintenance conisdering I have spent very little time for myself since having AJ. The weekend before I went and got a haircut, this time getting bangs similar to Snooki (yes, she was mentioned in my blog) even though I originally got the idea from Tyra Banks. Let's just say, nothing is more awkward than getting a haircut and the noticing the person right next to you is getting the exact same haircut (bangs included). It was extremely awkward and I felt I was on the losing end since it looked better on her instead of me. Note to self, never get bangs also started giving me bad flashbacks to my high school days.

So days before we left for the wedding, I also decided to get my eyebrows and upper lip groomed and I went ahead and got eyelash extensions for the third time. Please note the keywords in that last sentence: third time. The morning after (Friday morning) my eyelash extensions, my left eye was completely bloodshot and would not stop tearing up. I thought this was due to my contact since my eye had stung after taking out my contacts the night before. Like always, I tried not to rub my eyes and thought my eye will get better. As the day progressed my eye did not improve and eventually my right eye decided to join the misery. By the time we reached Spokane at 8pm, I looked as if I had been into some sort of drug escapade. So as I perused the Walmart supercenter in Spokane you can only imagine the looks I was receiving. I was hoping people figured it out when I was buying benadryl along with the numerous things I had forgotten to pack, I always forget to pack about 10 items each trip.

To add to the awkwardness, we had pulled up to the wrong valet at the Davenport because apparently we were staying at the Tower instead of the Davenport itself. Mind you, these two places are kiddie corner from one another with their self-park garage occupying a third corner. However, there is no skybridges linking the three buildings which I found quite odd. So here we were walking the streets of Spokane with our bell cart riddled with our belongings including my nursing pillow, our 10 pairs of shoes we decided did not belong in its on bag, and of course I am pushing our stroller, bloodshot eyes and all. Hey, it is pretty hard traveling with a newborn. Low and behold the Davenport Tower must be the place to hangout because it was packed with people enjoying drinks, waiting to check-in, grabbing a bite to eat, waiting for a taxi, etc. Everyone dressed up in Spokane seemed to have congregated in the Tower's lobby. While walking over to the Tower, Ryan and I realized that we had forgotten to break our $20. So all we had to tip our poor bellboy that had to walk us over was $1. There is no way to make $1 seem like a lot of cash, especially if he had a long walk back to realize it was only one measly dollar. FAIL. Ryan and I are now thinking how frugal we look pulling up to the Davenport in a luxury SUV wearing designer clothes and pushing one of the most extravagant strollers currently on the market, except we only tip $1. We either look like arrogant bastards or we probably belong in the pool of people that foreclosed on their homes because we bought ours during the boom and now we live in our car. I'm unsure which one I would rather be considered to be a part of. Finally we were ablel to get settled and I was hoping the benadryl would help my eyes they would look better in the morning.

Saturday morning I awake with my eyes swollen and crusted shut. I am convinced I have pink eye except I knew swollen eyes isn't associated with pink eye. After taking a shower and trying to blot my face dry, I realize that my eyelids are in excruciating pain. I look in the mirror and I swear that I resembled Will Smith in Hitch. Well that is an overexaggerating since my ears were not swollen, but my eyes definitely resembled Hitch's. I explain to Katy what is going on and have her look at my eyes when they meet us up for lunch that day. Her and Wayne literally walk into our room and I wish I had captured her face on camera, I knew my eyes were bad. I somehow managed to still appear in public by going to the mall, I think I just tried avoiding eye contact with everyone. I also used the same approach at the wedding. Unfortunately, there are some pictures with me in them and you can definitely tell there is something wrong with my eyes. Ugh, what a way to make my first official public appearance after having a baby memorable.

On the other hand, the wedding was beautiful. I cannot be more excited for Holly and Erik, especially because they have decided to take their honeymoon in Fiji. They are also staying at the same place Ryan and I stayed at, Lomani Island Resort (which I highly reccommend)! Holly and Erik compliment each other really well and I cannot wait to watch where their new life together takes them!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wallet-less AGAIN!!!!!

It must be a Thursday thing because for the second Thursday in a row I have left my wallet at home. This morning I had the plan of running errands after dropping off Tyler at daycare. I got Tyler to daycare at a reasonable time and I was soon on my way out to Issaquah to do three things: get gas at Costco, go to Target, and peruse the kids consignment shop.

My drive out there was interesting, it always boggles my mind why people slow down to a cruising speed of 25 mph on the on-ramp from southbound I-405 to eastbound I-90. You're getting off of a freeeway and trying to merge onto another freeway!! How do you expect to merge with cars going 60-70 mph when you're doing speeds that is adequate for a residential road. Nonetheless, it is not like that on-ramp isn't designed for 60 mph, so it really is not necessary to slow down to a sluggish pace by car standards.

Enough of the nonsense complaining, so upon my arrival to Issaquah I notice that westbound traffic on I-90 is stopped. Literally no cars were moving due to an accident and I was thinking in my head, "well hopefully that will clear up by the time we go home". Joke is on me though. After waiting in line for gas at Costco (yes, there was a line at 9:30am), I am now the next car to pull up to the pump and as I lean over to grab my wallet in my purse. Of course, I would leave my wallet at home AGAIN! Last week, I had a lovely lunch date with a girlfriend and I had left my wallet in Tyler's daycare bag all because I had to pay daycare earlier that day. I was so embarrased that my girlfriend had to pick up our lunch tab. It is all gravy though, we just compromised that i would pick up lunch next time.

My mom would give me a 3 hours lecture if I tell her what has happened. I am aware, it is illegal to drive around without a license, and I know it doesn't bode well when you have your kid in the car as well. Then she would go on about how that is irresponsible on my part and how i should be more organized. Sorry mom, you only had to juggle little old me with no siblings and besides, you had my grandma there to help you.

All ends well though, granted I never got around to any of those errands I had originally planned on accomplishing but I did get AJ home in time for his next feeding...without an accident or getting pulled over (thank you Mr. Officer for being nowhere in sight).

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy 7 Weeks Birthday AJ!

Today AJ is 7 weeks old! He is still the happy baby (smiling since week 5) except he had a rough night last night since he has developed one stuffed up nose. I definitely should be getting mom of the year now, what kind of mom am I? I am assuming he probably developed the congestion from our little outing on Friday to Redmond Town Center. Not only was he only wearing a short sleeved onesie, his blanket wasn't that thick and he did not have a hat. Maybe I should go out and buy him some clothes. I finally have a legitimate reason to shop! I thought I had enough hand me downs from big brother except they are all onesies and tops. Poor AJ has no pants and it is unfortunate because my favorite place to buy kids clothes has closed shop in Bellevue Square. Well, I guess I will just have to explore new stores now too (once AJ feels better).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fisher Price

Ever since I had my "nesting" period when I was around 34-36 weeks pregnant, I started growing a slight hatred towards Fisher-Price. I knew from my first child that I should probably invest in them and any battery company considering that those two are most likely never to fail as long as people keep in procreating. That is besides the point. Having a kid is expensive, and so I had managed to save a considerable amount of baby paraphernalia from my first kid. That would have worked fine except a lot of our Fisher-Price items seemed to not work at all even after giving each problem item a battery change. We, by all means, did not put these items through the ringer and if you really knew me then you would know that I like to try and keep a lot of my belongings in pristine condition.

So going into today, I was already not happy with Fisher-Price and I wake up to the morning news telling me about a massive Fisher-Price recall. Oh goody. Turns out four items are recalled: a bike, high chair, play mat, and a toy (all items can be found here: As you can guess, we own one of each of the products.

Aside from the playmat which my hubby decided to dispose of after our first move, I have been recently looking for a reason to get a new high chair. Luckily I now have a reason to look for a new one!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Tribute to Jessica Simpson

Some argue that Jessica Simpson really knew that Chicken of the Sea really was not chicken but in fact, tuna. I gave her the benefit of the doubt since the label is somewhat misleading. I do not eat tuna so I could see how one would be confused by it.

I am unsure how that was brought up at AJ's 2am feeding but it was, and it lead to me confessing about how I was confused by buffalo wings (alongside Jessica). I remember watching that episode with my high school boyfriend at the time (poor guy but what a good sport), and when the topic of buffalo wings came up I couldn't help but ponder the same exact thing Jessica was. I also had not had buffalo wings by the ripe age of 16 so I had no clue that it was actually chicken. Then she went onto asking about the boneless buffalo wings and by then I was completely lost too. For all I knew, boneless buffalo chicken wings were actually buffalo but called chicken wings because they had the same consistency as chicken. I thought that was a legitimate conclusion but my husband just shook his head in shame. He couldn't believe that my mind had once gone through that thought process to come up with that conclusion. I also think he was ashamed because I would always make fun of that boyfriend for not being the brightest crayon in the box. For heaven's sake, he tried copying my SAT answers, as if his test were the exact same as mine. It didn't work out too well for him considering the score that he got. But I was 16, that is young compared to 26. OMG, that was 10 years time flies. I would like everyone to know in the past 10 years: I have had chicken of the sea and concur that it is tuna, and I have also had buffalo chicken wings (both bone-in and boneless) which is possibly one of my favorite foods of all time now.

Screw pregnancy brain...raising a newborn and dealing with the lack of sleep gets to you more.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy 6 Weeks AJ!

AJ is 6 weeks old today! I cannot believe it has already been a month and a half. I did a back of the envelope weight check and AJ is about 10 pounds now! That is right on track considering newborns are supposed to gain half a pound each week.

Our Monday has been nothing out of the ordinary. Tyler is loving being able to stay home and go to the "playhouse" which is a gym class we take him to each Monday. There was a new girl in his gym class whose mom describe her in two words I would say high maintenance. Now pardon my bitterness but if it wasn't for her bleached blond hair, I would say she is a prime contestant for Jersey Shore. She had a lovely orange glow, caked on makeup, fake nails, and a white headband that had a flower the size of my head. Now don't get me wrong, I am by no means jealous of any of her physical features...hahahaha. I mean she seemed physically fit but she also had that demeanor of "I am better than you", perhaps it was the headband that screamed it. Who knows!?! Now getting to the point, her daughter and Tyler were in the ball pit with the "terror" of their class. I have deemed one kid in that class as the "terror" because he has no sense of respect for others. The kid doesn't know how to wait his turn, share, and if he wants to touch (more like claw) at something...he will go for it. With that said, the "terror" had managed to grab at the girl and ended up ripping out her earring. His mom promptly removed him from the ball pit and gave the earring back to the J. Shore mom and then ran off after her terror. Little did I know, J. Shore mom thought Tyler ripped the earring out so here we are both watching our kids in the ball pit and she is glaring at me. How did I know she was glaring, you ask? It was the fact that I literally could not see her retinas anymore, all I could see was black eyeliner with some lashes. The terror and his mom interrupted the moment as she mentioned that the terror wanted to apologize for ripping out her earring. J. Shore mom seemed confused as she replied, "oh...he was the one that ripped it out?" Like WTF lady? My son wasn't even near your sweet daughter (she must get that from her father). For heaven's sake, there are 1 year olds that are bigger than Tyler so what makes you think he is capable of ripping out your daughter's earringj as he is minding his own business and doesn't even acknowledge your daughter. She is a cutie but obviously my son isn't attracted to her...and let me tell you, when he likes what he sees he crushes hard.

That is my blurb for today. We've spend the last 3 years raising Tyler to be polite, courteous, and respectful for others. We know for a fact it has paid off considering that he always says his please and thank you, and always answers with sir or ma'am. You can make fun of us all you want saying that we are wannabe southeners but we would rather have offspring that is more of an asset to society than your spray tan, thank you very much.

Spray tan out...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thank You Astrology

Growing up I was a firm believer that my horoscope could for tell how my day would pan out. I would get upset if it told me I would have a bad day and sure enough I would end up having a bad day. Maybe it really was in the stars but I am also sure it was all in my head and that I caused my day by having it in my mind that it would go bad.

In college, our school newspaper had the daily horoscope and it also had a star rating. Of course, I would let those little stars dictate how my day would go and on the days where I only had one or maybe two stars I would go about my day in a bad mood. I will admit my horoscope was right on the day I started having a crush on who would end up being my future husband. Maybe I should take my horoscope seriously.

Nowadays, I do not read my horoscope as religiously as I did in the past. It does show up on my homepage and every once in awhile I will see what the stars has to say about my day. When you put things into perspective, how can this horoscope pertain to a Virgo in Seattle as well as a Virgo in the deserts of Africa? Perhaps that is the reason why I take horoscopes so lightly.

My horoscope today told me I would feel nostalgic...okay, they got me there. Horoscope: 1 Vanessa: 0. That is beyond the point though. The whole reason behind this post was the last sentence of my horoscope which read: "Ultimately, you will succeed by looking forward, not backward." I have no idea why I am so profound by that. It essentially just retells the old saying, quit looking back at the door that just shut because you will miss all the new ones that open. From time to time I do forget to look forward, so the reminder from my horoscope was definitely welcomed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Um Hello?!?

So yesterday I mentioned that having my mom stay and help could either be heaven sent or catastrophic. Well, it is definitely more on the catastrophic end. My poor dad has to hear about it from both of us over the phone, actually I know he finds it comedic considering that he knew this would happen and the fact that he is hundreds of miles away and doesn't have to witness it firsthand.

So my mother and I get on each others nerves almost instantaeneously, and this time was no exception. I am getting hammered about how AJ doesn't nurse for very long and that he could be losing weight, so here we go to the lactation nurse. I actually don't mind seeing a lactation nurse because I am still not very confident with breastfeeding but that is besides the point. Turns out AJ is fine and has exceeded the amount of weight gain that was to be expected. So that is good news, and it was nice to get some time away from mi madre.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hello World (Wide Web)!!!

Today is absolutely gorgeous!!! I was able to get Tyler to school on time, paid a visit to the coworkers, stuff my face full of chinese, and set up the stroller in our backyard for me and AJ to enjoy and soak up some sun rays...all before noon today!! To top it all off, my mom is coming today to stay with us for a couple of days. This could be great or it can be a catastrophe, we will see.

On another note, we now have the laptop and all we need to do is activate our internet connection again. No more perusing the internet from my phone!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Stomach Hates Me

Ryan, bless his heart, took the extra time out of his morning to go and drop off Tyler at daycare. This equated to one extra hour of sleep for me this morning. I even was able to sneak in a shower after Andrew's first feeding. The only downfall, when I was getting out of the shower it felt like there was a little gnome in my stomach trying to bring death upon me. Perhaps that is an overstatement but it definitely felt anything but good, or normal. I ended up talking Ryan into coming home after only four hours of work. My poor husband will be out of paid time off before I even return to work.

As the cookie always crumbles, my stomach was feeling much better before my hubby even stepped foot into the elevator. Given that he had already informed everyone he needed to be home to take care of me, he decided to still come home instead. Gosh, I love him. I love him even more because he decided to stop by and pick up some Vietnamese sandwiches since it was not pressing for him to be home in a hurry. We all know how much we both love Vietnamese sandwiches (seriously, go try them).

We had gone and looked at laptops last Sunday since Bestbuy had some decent advertised deals. After being at home for a week without a computer or internet we finally succumbed and decided to buy a new laptop. With Tyler being in daycare, it only made sense to go back and take our time to look at the laptops.
We decided on the cheapest Toshiba laptop Bestbuy had to offer. It didn't bother us that it was only a 14" screen and that it had less memory and the hard drive was mediocre compared to the rest. We essentially only needed a netbook and this laptop was cheaper than most of the notebooks in the store. The only downside, the Bellevue Bestbuy was sold out of the laptop we wanted. Of course that would happen to us! Even Burlington didn't have any in stock either (one of my longest and dearest friends works at that store). Bummer. The sales guy helping us did mention that some place called Silverdale had them in stock. In fact, they had 5 in stock. Granted he didn't know where Silverdale was and was hesistant to even pronounce it correctly. How does one not know where Silverdale is? Then again, most people do not know it even exists.
God does indeed love us and we will be able to have a laptop considering that my dad would be able to pick up the laptop AND my parents are on their way to our place tomorrow! My mother has willingly (sort of) taken time off of work to come and help us out. So tomorrow we will be connected to the world (wide web) again!

Monday, August 23, 2010


I somehow got Tyler off to school/daycare at 9am today! It is different driving into downtown Bellevue later than 7:30am. It was even more weird to not drive to work after leaving daycare. When leaving the parking lot I turned towards my work since it is habit but luckily I can still get home by going that route.

Even though Tyler was dropped off at 9am, he was only the third kid in his group (the group consists of two classes). Everyone else also decided that 9am was a good time to come in that Monday. All the other parents were amazed that I was up and around and out of the house. Then again, this is also the daycare where the families still have nannies at home too (gotta love Bellevue). I will admit, that I do feel bad at times that the other families have so much more to offer but I have to remind myself that all the other parents are about a decade older than Ryan and myself. If only you saw the other expecting mothers at my OB's office, apparently the newest fad is to have kids when your 40. Perhaps that has always been the case and I just missed the memo.

With Andrew being the chill kid that he is, being home alone with him is like sitting around and listening to crickets. It is such a nice change of pace to have a mellow kid. I still cannot believe he is a week old today! Also, I still cannot believe that he still has his umbilical cord. His plastibell fell off during my second diaper change with him. If you do not know what that is, I suggest you just google it but be aware that it might not be what you expect it to be.

The highlight for today has been Andrew's newborn photos. We were able to get one with Tyler and Andrew wearing their big and little brother shirts, respectively. Andrew cooperated the whole time with the lovely Kristen taking his picture. We are definitely blessed once again to know someone that does an amazing job taking pictures and dealing with kiddos. She has done all of Tyler's pictures since birth and we are lucky she had time in her busy schedule to squeeze in Andrew now too! Below is just a peek at what Kristen was able to capture, I am so excited to see the rest!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Eve of My First Day Alone...

...As a new mother of two of course! This week has flown by too quickly and I can't believe tomorrow Andrew will be one week old! It has truly been a blessing that Ryan took the whole week off to help out at home. He only took two days off when Tyler came, and with everything that has happened this past week I am so thankful that he was able to take more time off this go around.

I had a good laugh today when checking facebook through my phone since we still do not have a computer and internet. It is almost like we are living in the stone age! Anyways, one of my friend's status was regarding the current events going on in Seattle which included the Seahawks game, hempfest, and Lady Gaga. Needless to say, that made for a great mixture of people which I am sad to have missed!

Well, tomorrow should be interesting to say the least! Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's the Only Proper Initiation

My husband was a bubble boy when he was an infant/toddler and since then his immune system has been, well, non-existent. The same can be the same for my eldest son. Within his first year of life, he was hospitalized twice and let me tell you that Children's Hospital in Seattle is not known for their food for a reason. Not to mention we also had to visit the emergency room with him not even 12 hours after we were discharged from the hospital after giving birth.

The day started with us running late to Andrew's 3 day old appointment and I hate being late. Ryan and I were not on the same page as Ryan thought we should keep Tyler at home while I was all about taking advantage of us paying for daycare and therefore we should have dropped him off. So we were off to Ballard since that is where Tyler and Andrew's pediatrician is. It really doesn't make sense anymore since there are about 200 pediatricians between Ballard and where we live but we are still not ready to part with their pediatrician.

The appointment was at 10:10am and as always we hit the morning traffic into downtown Seattle however we were only a little less than 10 minutes late for Andrew's appointment. All his vitals seemed fine and he looked healthy regardless if he did weigh 7 pounds and 1.5 ounces. Luckily that was a weight gain from the previous day where he weighed 7 pounds even at our postpartum checkup. Phew, we dodged one bullet. So Andrew's height and weight was in the 50th percentile with his head size being in the 15th percentile. Once again, complete opposite of his older brother considering Tyler's height and weight was in the 15th percentile with only his head size being average. I guess you can't win them all.

Andrew seemed healthy witht he exception of the pediatrician seeing lessions in the back of his throat. Another pediatrician in the practice also took a look into Andrew's throat and also saw these so called lessions. Since they commonly see this as a virus in older kids they wanted to be safe than sorry, and so we were off to the ER at Children's hospital.

Fortunately, we can still count on one hand how many times we have had to leave the doctor's office and head straight to Children's hospital (sad, but true). There was definitely a tension in the car ride all the way through the U-district and it definitely got more awkward when we had to take the detour since the 45th street viaduct was still under construction. The detour took us to Montlake Boulevard which is one road that never sleeps. I was still upset that we had not dropped off Tyler at daycare and so now Ryan ended up having to drop off Andrew and myself while he drove all the way back to Bellevue to drop Tyler off at daycare.

By the time we got settled into a room at the ER it was almost 11:30am and by then Andrew was starving. Literally starving and my milk had come in that morning. Starving infant plus my body wanting to explode...I was not in a good mood. The nurses and doctors wouldn't let me nurse Andrew until they had all the leeds hooked up to him and they were getting consistent vitals. Can you imagine a blood pressure cuff small enough for a 3-day old? They don't exist and when an infant is hungry they are definitely not going to cooperate. After 30 minutes of struggling they were able to get consistent vitals but now all of Andrew's vitals were low and they deemed him "lethargic" and considered having to hook him up to an IV. Well shit (pardon my French) but this kid hasn't eaten in 4 hours now, of course he's lethargic, he's hungry and tired of fighting you guys in just his diaper.

I am unsure of how I finally convinced them to let me nurse him, maybe it was the nurse that was pro-bono nursing that convinced the nazi-like nurse practicioner that essentially grilled me to see if we were abusing our 3 day old. I know it's protocol at Children's to see the living conditions of each kid that comes in to make sure they are not getting abused, but I can assure you I am not one to abuse a kid if I am trying to feed him. Sheesh, so finally at 12:15am Andrew was able to get his morning feedings that he had missed and his lunch. The nurse was also kind enough to get me a pump to relieve myself of the pressure, God bless her.

Long story short, it took a team of 2 doctors (1 ER, 1 dermatologist), 2 interns, 1 nurse practioner, and 3 nurses to determine that Andrew has a "red rash" and none of them saw what the two pediatricians saw in his throat. Needless to say, the two interns not only did not know where the supplies where they also did not know how to get Andrew to open his mouth. Ryan was pissed, and neither one of us really had confidence in the team's conclusions. Now we just wait for that ER co-pay bill.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Say Wha?!?

Today I had my postpartum visit at 1:40pm. Guess what time I showed up for it...1:45pm! I hate being late, but once again trying to rally up 2 kids is not an easy task. I have no idea why Ryan thought it would be a good idea to have Tyler stay home from daycare. Apparently when Tyler was dropped off yesterday he had a major meltdown and he NEVER has separation anxiety when being dropped off. When I say never, I really mean it...can I say how odd it is when your kid enjoys being dropped off at daycare and every other kid is sad to see their parents leave? That is a definite sign that we should get parents of the year (please note the sarcasm).

The postpartum appointment went well, Andrew weighed exactly 7 pounds and now we are on weight watch since he has dropped more than 10% of his birth weight. I received a rave review for my breastfeeding even though I am still not that confident that I am doing it properly. I mean my kid is losing weight, there must be something I am not doing correctly. Whatever...but on a better note, Andrew passed his hearing test. I knew he would pass, he would startle every other time his big brother would start crying and pitching a fit.

After the appointment, we were able to squeeze in a grocery run to Fred Meyer and Costco. Mind you, this is my first true public appearance since having the baby. I do not count picking Tyler up from daycare yesterday as a public appearance. They always suggest your going home outfit should be something you fit into when you were 6 months pregnant, I think that is a good rule of thumb. Unfortunately, I must have really loved my belly bump because all of my maternity clothes literally hugged my belly. Thus, wearing my maternity clothing will just hug my postpartum belly.

So here we are "grazing" away at Costco when one of the vendors makes a comment of our newest addition. She does the typically "how cute, he is so tiny", and then asks how old he is. I politely tell her Andrew was born on Monday (so he is now 2 days old) and she commends me on handling a toddler, a new newborn, and then having one on the way. Um, if I just had a baby on Monday how the hell am I pregnant again? I make an attempt to try and point out that the baby was born two days ago but the light bulb was not coming on in her head. I just smiled and pushed my cart away.

I was surprisingly not upset by that encounter, probably because I felt more sorry that she lacked common sense but who knows. It did bother me that I did look four months pregnant but I knew it was temporary and that my belly will shrink down to a saggy but manageable pouch. Sorry for the mental image but it is the truth. I am confident that even Heidi Klum did not have her supermodel figure the days following the birth of her kids. I would still die to have her body though. All of those things aside, I am truly amazed how I handled that situation. Then again, it is those situations and comments that motivate me to better myself.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Discharge Day!

We made it through the first night and it only confirmed that Andrew is a mellow baby! It took a 3am snack run for me to realize how lucky I am to have such a calm child as every room I passed had a baby crying at the top of their lungs! Been there done that! It was so bad for us with Tyler that the nurses took him to the nursery for us, lol.

So Tyler stayed the night at the hospital with us and it was quite interesting watching him and Ryan share the fold out recliner. Let's just say it did not work out too well. The good thing is that Tyler slept through the night when Andrew would fuss and vice versa. Tyler definitely cried more than Andrew that first night! I am sure our neighbors in the hospital probably wondered why the crying did not sound like a newborn cry.

Andrew did fine for his first PKU test, they just poke them in the heel and let them bleed on tiny circles. Due to my lack of medical knowledge, I have no idea what it tests for nor what PKU stands for. Andrew's bassinet said he would have his PKU test at 7am but the lab decided that 5am was better, luckily I was awake and eating away.

My doctor was prompt as usual and did his rounds at 7am and at 9am he came back to whisk Andrew away for his circumsicion. Yes, we had our little AJ circumsized and no, we did not want our kid to have the opportunity to be called Rumpled Foreskin. How daunting would that be?!? This is our 2.5 time going through this procedure and Ryan was the only one to accompany Andrew. It's a guy thing, and I wouldn't know what I was looking at anyways. We had a botched first circumsicion for Tyler and Ryan was definitely confident Andrew's was done correctly the first time. Once again, my doctor rocks and if you need an OB on the eastside I would reccommend him.

Post circumsicion we dressed up Andrew in a long sleeved one piece suit complete with mittens and covered footies. We know it's August but the weather is also struggling to make it past 65 degrees. I did enjoy the mild summer considering I was large and in charge but I must admit the weather was pathetic. We had to take his picture at the photobooth, I must admit I prefer the people that come around and take the baby's how the heck are we to know how to get a newborn to look at a camera and keep their eyes open. I am sure they strategically put this photobooth by the nurses' station for their pure entertainment. Ryan and I probably spent about 20 minutes to get 4 pictures of Andrew. At least these pictures were free for us to keep.

We finally finished getting discharged around noon and realized that we probably should have just stayed around for lunch. So there we were at 12:02pm sitting in the parking garage with a fully loaded car of balloons and flowers...hungry, nevermind we were starving. Thank goodness for drive thru's and we were back in our game of unhealthy eating. That didn't take long...but it does feel good to have everyone at home, just me and my boys!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Birth Story: Is There a Labor/Childbirth App?

All things aside, I have determined to turn this blog into my memoirs of my maternity leave. As all things must have some catchy name, I have decided to name it "The Maternity Leave Monologues". That is catchy enough, right? Either way, cut me some slack...I'm an engineer by trade. Without further to do, let me get to the birth story (this will be long, they usually are):

After my first pregnancy, I made sure to always sleep in my bed especially in my last few weeks of my pregnancy. Given that the weekend was consistently in the 90's, we decided to spend Sunday night sleeping on or aerobed in our basement. You can guess what happened next.

I awoke at exactly 1am to my toddler tossing and turning around, but what made me truly awoke me was a slight gush of you know what and you know where. I just laid there without moving in hopes that I didn't feel what just happened and sure enough I finally got up to check what was going on. Was this labor or is it just false labor again? Am I sweating or did my water just break? Is there an app for childbirth? I mean there is an app for everything else, there has to be one and why do I not have it.

As I finally made my way to the bathroom, I realized that I had the 3rd symptom of labor. I guess I would have considered it my 2.5 symptom of labor since I still was not sure if my water had broken. Either way, I started to freak out since my 3rd symptom showed up a day after my false water broke (my term for my first bag of water breaking) during my first pregnancy and now my 3rd symptom decided to rear its ugly head an ungodly 10 minutes later. After waking up my husband, my fellow squirrel friend, and my parents, I finally decided to call my doctor. Big mistake...or so I thought at the time. After trying to convince the on-call doctor that I must be experiencing false labor, my OB must have made it clear in my chart to send me to the hospital at the onset of labor, false or not. So once again I took my time to finish packing my suitcase, deciding what to wear and whether or not I should drive myself to hospital. This was starting to become a nightmare because we had nowhere or no one to watch our son, and what kind of parents would we be to have our 2 year old witness childbirth? You think I would have learned my lesson after my first pregnancy but once again I finally showed up at the 3am. That was also after my husband grabbed the car seat on our way out the door and I yelled at him that we might not need...deja vu #2.

Once at the hospital, the triage nurse was convinced that my water hadn't broke and that I was just experience false labor. Somehow, my lab results came back positive that my water had broke however since I had symptom #3 it made the results somewhat questionable. I hear the nurses talking about my lab results and I was certain we would get sent home. I wasn't even having any contractions but after another hour of being monitored I was starting to get pissed since I was thinking I would still need to be at work and it was already 4:30am. But at 5am when the nurse finally comes back, she announces the news that I was going to get admitted. My response: "does this mean I don't get to leave the hospital until the baby is out?" If only I had a picture of the nurse's look when I asked that question.

So as I am getting led into my labor and delivery room, all I could think about is that everyone must be making a mistake. My due date was still 11 days away! I had just discovered gelato and there was still one more pay period between now and my due date. How could the baby want out right now? What do I do's 5am, I have a deadline and cannot call anyone at work, and I have nothing to help me endure a long labor. I was still able to laugh, I couldn't feel contractions, I don't own an ipod (as if there is a docking station in the room), and my toddler is still with us. I finally wrangle my dad to drive out and pick up my son and I learn that I have a small window time frame as to when I can get an epidural since all the scheduled c-sections would be making their way into the hospital around 8am.

So I spend 5am to 7am debating whether or not to get an epidural. I did it once without any pain meds and I am still alive, so why not try it again? Turns out a reason why I was not in active labor was because my second bag of water was still in tact. I was told that my doctor would make his rounds starting at 7am and if it hasn't broken by then my doctor will go in a break it for me. Okay, maybe this epidural sounds like a good idea. The icing on the cake came when I finally asked my doctor how big he thought the baby was and he guesses 7 pounds. Okay, well bring on the meds.

Getting the epidural was a bit of a challenge but I am still here to tell about it. Once my doctor broke my water, my labor went just as quick as my first pregnancy. Well I guess I am glad I went to the hospital, my water probably would have broke at work and I would have had to deliver the baby without any pain meds again. But Andrew John Shelton graced us with his presence at 9:42am at 7 pounds 12 ounces and 19.5 inches long. We couldn't be blessed with a more calm, mellow, and perfect baby! But we'll see how his first night outside of the womb goes...

Monday, July 19, 2010

It Must Be Monday

I have had quite the Monday morning which included my wee one throwing a fit and himself onto the sidewalk this morning, to my usual parking spot at work being taking (again), rolling my ankle and falling short of my chair, and to top it all off I spilled ice water all over my desk when I somehow dropped the glass. All things aside, my day is going alright and I've had worst Mondays so I definitely can rule out having a case of the Mondays.

Perhaps all these things have happened to me today considering that I think I have invented what I would deem as "sleep shopping". There are sleep walkers and for me I shop in my sleep. I had somehow managed to buy a Burberry trench coat at 5:20am this morning after Nordstroms was unsuccessful at fulfilling my last trench coat order. I am convinced the lovely lady (who was also named Vanessa) on the other end of the line was well aware that I had just woken up as I could not read my credit card information clearly. Then again, I hope the Nordstroms call center isn't in Seattle as she might think I must be out of mind to call at 5am. Oh well, I look forward to receiving the newest addition to my winter wardrobe next week! Then again, the way this Seattle summer is turning out I might just have to use that coat as early as next week! But let's just all hope for clear sunny skies!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why Hello Summer

The other day I was pondering the thought as to what I can do to speak my mind without having to worry about what others think. With twitter, you are limited to the amount of characters you put in, and on facebook, no one wants to read a novel I am writing a blog.

To start my first entry on a good note, and to quote the wonderful Ice Cube, I would say today was a good day. The weather outside is beautiful, my son left the house this morning without throwing a fit, and with respect to work today was an extremely good day. I learned that my first ever bridge widening project was successful this past weekend, my company was shortlisted for an upcoming proposal, I finished the preliminary design of the tunnel lids, and a bridge I worked so hard on last summer has won an award. It sounds like a lot of nerd speak, which it is, but I can assure you that I have ever felt so accomplished at work as I have today. And with that, I think I can end my first post ever!