Sunday, April 30, 2006

2 Years Ago Today

Today is Golf's and my 2nd wedding anniversary! We were married in a Thai temple in Bangkok, near Khao San Road with his family in attendance. Monks presided over the ceremony and we took our vows in Buddhist tradition and we also exchanged wedding rings and exchanged our vows to each other in the Western tradition. Here's a photo of us inside the main temple, although we were married in a pavilion next door, but still on temple grounds.

That evening we held our reception at a great little restaurant called Reflections. Last year, for our first anniversary dinner, we went back. I was in my 9th month of pregnancy then! You can see photos of our night out here. This time since we have no babysitter, we're going to get Vietnamese take out, enjoy some champagne, and put the baby to bed early!

Happy Anniversary, Golf! I love you so much and the time just slips by so fast. Here's to many, many more years together. :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Some pictures of Aidan

I haven't posted pictures of the baby in a while, so here are some cute ones taken within the last few days. Here he is stretching out before he starts his crawling workout. :)

This is an adorable outfit my friend Michelle gave me and he's just now able to wear it, though still a little big. It will fit him perfectly for summer, so good timing!

He loves getting into the fridge and seeing what's in there.

Helping Mommy fold his clothes.

Reasons for my slow blogging

It's been a very quiet week for blogging. I've been doing alot, but not worth blogging about every day because it's all the same stuff. Basically I'm educating myself and becoming financially literate, specifically with the stock market and retirement options. I look at it as the only job I can do while still at home with Aidan full time. I've read a book by Phil Town called Rule #1 and it's gotten excellent reviews and I did some internet searches on him and he's got a solid reputation and not a slick salesman out to make a buck off some get-rich-quick scheme. I've spent a lot of time this week researching businesses and learning formulas in Excel. Once I get the hang of crunching the numbers it will become a breeze and I'll have more confidence. I'm just taking baby steps, which is what all beginners must do. I just love exercising my brain and it's quite exciting learning something new that will greatly benefit our family.

Before Pictures

I can't believe I'm posting these pictures on the internet! Golf took them of me on April 15, but I didn't start my diet til a week ago. I deliberately look like this with the no makeup and frumpy dumpy clothes. These are the only shorts that fit me right now -- that's enough incentive to get this weight off!

OK so as of April 19, when I started my diet, I had actually gained a few more pounds and I weighed in at 175. Good God. I'm ashamed of that number and it makes me feel disgusted. My goal weight is 140 or lower. I have already lost nearly 5 pounds and have another 30 to go! Hooray!

By making myself publicly accountable for the food I put in my mouth and the exercise I do every day, I think I can get this weight off. I also have a closet full on decent looking clothes that I miss wearing!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Strike never happened

Thank you for all your well wishes for my possible teaching gig, but it never happened. There was no strike, which is a good thing, but negotiations ended so late at night that school was cancelled that day anyway. Too bad for all those students because Oakland has got some SERIOUS problems with underachievement and lack of funding. :(

My next item on my agenda is to take a proficiency exam on May 12 to become a teacher's assistant. I hope to do that on a regular part time basis. That should finally get us our own car and some money to put away in investments (like save up for our home!)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I might get the call today to go in to teach at the upcoming teachers' strike. Half of me wants to do it and the other half of me does not want that phone to ring because I'm nervous about going into a classroom! In Thailand I taught in periods, just like we have in jr. high and high school. Different subjects different teachers, it was just the teacher who came to class instead of the kids all going to different classes like here in the US. In US elementary schools, of course, the teacher has them all day, except probably for PE, music and art (do they even offer such classes these days? shame). So I've never had to be there on the ball for the entire day, and that's what I'm most nervous about. 50 minute periods were a breeze in Thailand, but all day long, I don't know!

100th Anniversary of the big earthquake

San Francisco is commemorating the devestating earthquake and fires that happened on this day in 1906. They had ceremonies this morning, at about 4:30 AM when the time of the earthquake hit. People dressed in period costumes, and I especially liked the Chinese opera ones, they're so beautiful! Of course I'm watching this all on the morning news. I especially like the then and now shots at different streets in the City. There are even some survivors still alive today who have been on and talked about their experience. Of course at that time they were just tots, and it amazes me that they would have any memory from that age, but it's neat to see centarians (sp?) talk about that.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Applying for a temp job

Saw a job posting in Craigslist yesterday. Oakland school district is hiring emergency teachers for $300 per diem in case there is a teachers' union strike in the near future. The job ad said you just need 2 forms of ID, a bachelor's degree (with sealed transcripts) and no teaching experience necessary. Well, I have no teaching experience in America, but 4 years under my belt, just the same. It will be some good income if a teacher strike happens.

But the poor kids! The district is hiring emergency teachers with no experience! Basically they're hiring babysitters, and that's sad. I hope to actually do something constructive in the classroom. However, these are Oakland schools, which have the worst reputation in the whole Bay Area. I may get to see first hand how bad it is.

My biggest problem (and I mean literally big) is my own body! I have one pair of maternity pants that fit me that's suitable for work. I'll have to get creative with shirts and before I go to interview, I will have to stop at Payless Shoe Source and get a pair of emergency nice shoes. My new eating plan MUST go into effect by tomorrow!!!

I'll start getting ready once Aidan goes down for his morning nap in about an hour or so. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Teaching again

Oh my god, I've tossed around so many ideas of where to take my career now that I'm back in the States. It makes me feel almost embarassed at how indecisive I've been and how I've stated publicly on this blog that I'm definitely going into real estate, and other such ideas that felt like firm decisions.

I do know that I enjoyed teaching in Thailand. I know that in America it's quite a different ballgame, but America is desperate for teachers. Our kids are falling behind and it's only getting worse in the world market -- we're #1 only in resource consumption nowdays and that's sad. Oprah did a show on the state of our education system and part 2 comes on today.

I would like to head in the direction of becoming a classroom teacher. I plan to start out as a teacher's assistant or a substitute teacher. Just found out yesterday that the minimum proficiency exam to become an instructional assistant in my county is this Friday, so that's a bit too early to prepare for the exam. I'm sure it's very easy, but I need to review math just the same. So I will have to wait another month. I'm bummed about having to wait such a long while, but I don't want to rush in with no preparation.

I also have to take an exam to become a substitute teacher, and that exam is on June 17th. Both a substitute teacher and a teacher's assistant will give me insight to what elementary school classrooms are like in America today. Talking with teachers will give me an idea of where to go from there. I think I should travel in the direction of ESL, since I have experience and certification in that field.

Yeterday I was considering applying for Starbucks and Barnes & Noble bookstore because we need extra income. It was more of an emotional grasping at straws, and after some communication in a web forum, I got some sense knocked into me and decided it would be wisest to continue down my educational career path in some form. I originally wanted to be a stay at home mother, but we need the extra income and since Golf works from home, our childcare options are quite flexible and Aidan will still be with a parent. I also plan just to work part time until Aidan is school age. So that's where the last few days have taken me and it's been a bit of a rough and rocky road.

Friday, April 07, 2006

My yearly Duran Duran kick

I've been a Duranie for almost 25 years now! Once a year I get in Duran mode, and with me it happened yesterday when I received the DVD Arena in the mail. I won it on eBay. I have the VHS tape but wanted a copy in DVD format, obviously. I needed to build up my feedback score before selling my yard sale finds, so the way to do that is to buy some things and get feedback as a buyer. I also want their Sing Blue Silver video on DVD, but I haven't found any great deals yet, so I'm waiting. But I did win an auction this morning, their Live in London DVD, which is their reunion performance.

The original 5 members broke up in 1985 and for me they've never been as good as their first 3 albums. I followed them for a few years afterward and got to make it to their Notorious concert in 1989, but with Roger and Andy gone from the band, they were incomplete. I didn't follow them any more in the 90s til now. I did buy their Pop Trash album, but never cared for it. I just sold it on eBay last week!

Well last year all five of them reunited! I was beside myself with excitement, but at the same time devestated that I wouldn't be able to see them live. They were even playing at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. I was living in Bangkok at that time. It even made front page news of the San Francisco Chronicle!

So anyway, I've been spending my eBay profits but I will get it out of my system soon. I haven't gotten anything fun in awhile.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Don't worry!

A number of you have expressed concern about the breastfeeding. No worries, I have not stopped bfing Aidan. Nursing has been extremely important to me, for all the health benefits given to the baby and it's how nature intended. I am nursing him in the mornings and in the evenings. Even just this morning he started to bite me, and I pulled away from him. But I gave him a second chance on the boob about an hour later.

I had extremely hard resolve when I started out breastfeeding when Aidan was first born. It was excruciating for the first five weeks. A month and a week of torture umpteen times per day and night with no help or advice until at the very end. (No lactation consultants in Thailand). I'm very proud of myself for that because I know most women would have given up.

But I feel a little bit differently now. I've done it for over 10 months and when he bites I can't tell you how badly it hurts. I don't know how a mom can resolve to get past something like that. Mornings and evenings are the times where he is less likely to bite me because in the mornings he is too hungry and evenings he's ready for bed and relaxed. At least he is still getting some breast milk.

My mothering instinct is telling me that my method is OK and it's working for my well being and my baby is doing just fine. We will continue with part time breast feeding until he's at least a year old.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sold a couple tee shirts

I just sold a couple of OLD concert tee shirts on eBay. One was a Jane's Addiction shirt from the late 80s and that went for just over $20. But the real kicker was this Red Hot Chili Peppers concert tee shirt I got at their concert back in 1990. This old thing has multiple holes in it and the fabric is thinning. I took pictures and also described how many holes and their sizes and location on the shirt. I honestly didn't think I'd even sell it. But sell it I did, for a whopping $66!!!! I could not believe it!

Man I love eBay. Wish I had even more stuff like that. What I have bought will hopefully net me some profit, but I think that was a real rare occurance. :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Some sad news (but certainly not SAD sad)

It's with a heavy heart that I must announce Aidan's weaning. We've successfully breastfed since his birth -- over 10 months -- and that's quite an accomplishment for such a painful, frustrating beginning (for me anyway). But now he's got teeth and just about EVERY time he nurses, he bites. I thought I could train him to stop by yelping out, showing him it hurts mommy, but it doesn't help. I've even squalled like a baby at him when he does it and that makes HIM squall, and I thought that since that upset him, he'd stop. Nope. This morning he bit me again -- both boobs. I mean every time. And I'm scared to put my boob into his mouth now! There's nothing else I can do and it makes me sad.

So that means formula for the next few months til he turns a year old. The manual breast pump I have isn't strong enough to take enough milk out to sufficiently feed Aidan. I'll still nurse him to sleep at night because he doesn't bite me then and MAYBE nurse him in the morning.

Do you know what this means too? Once he's completely off my boob, I can go on a diet!! I can get my figure back that I so desperately miss. My hormones will align again properly and shed this fat that has been covering me since my first trimester well over a year ago. I really REALLY miss my old clothes and I have TWO pair of pants that I wear -- one maternity jeans and another sport pant that I wear around the house EVERY day. I'm sick of them. I am SO looking forward to having my body to myself again, but at the same time, I will miss the bonding breastfeeding relationship Aidan and I had together.