Archive for November, 2009

Julian vs. The Pacifier (vs. His Hand)

At 20 weeks old, Julian’s gaining more and more control over his movements daily — particularly his hands. On the plus side, this means he’s just that much more fun to play with since he’s more interactive. He reaches out for his toys, he grabs his toes and my fingers, and he swats in the air when he’s happy. He even fights with me when he’s choking on his bottle and I try to take it out of his mouth — he’s strong enough to keep the bottle jammed into his mouth despite a heavy coughing fit. On the downside, this is bad news for his pacifiers.  We get a few Dr. Strangelove moments where it seems like Julian is fighting with his own hands — one struggling to keep his pacifier in his mouth, the other trying to fling it out.  But let’s face it, this is actually pretty entertaining as well (mostly because of all the screaming involved)…

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November 25, 2009 at 10:13 am 4 comments

Birthday Nom Noms

My birthday was on Saturday and normally I like to have something nice and low-key (with the exception of #29 when Mark threw a surprise birthday dinner party for me…and #30 in Thailand…but really, they are usually low-key). For some reason, for the better part of this year I thought that I was turning 33. So when I actually did the math and realized I was only 32, I felt like I had gained a year and was pretty happy with that already. Bad math aside, Mark knows that eating also makes me pretty happy so he planned my birthday around some pretty good meals.

First of all, there was some sleeping in. I’m not sure in what part of the universe waking up at 9 am is considered “sleeping in” but apparently I live in that part of it. Mark and Noah left so Noah could do some birthday present shopping for me, so Julian and I had a nice, leisurely morning by ourselves. At noon I met up with Mark and Noah at Sevva, one of Mark’s favorite restaurants, where we had lunch reservations. Noah was pretty tired from all the shopping so he kind of conked out in our booth, but not before he presented me with the gift that he had picked out — a modernized friendship bracelet in silver and pink:

Of course, Noah woke up in time for my birthday cake — the Marie Antoinette Crave cake. Yes, my cake comes with its own name, but then again, if you were a cake and you looked like this:

well, you’d probably want your own name too. It was a pistachio layer cake with a light raspberry cream filling, studded with different types of macaroon cookies and topped with a huge mound of cotton candy.  Naturally we all had massive stomachaches afterwards…but it was totally worth it.

Mark and I had dinner reservations later at Spoon (which is one of my favorite places…in the whole world) but we seriously needed an eating break.  So after spending some time with the kiddos at home, Mark and I did a little pre-dinner shopping.  I had seen a coat at Ted Baker a few days ago that I loved but had resigned to “strictly covet only” status, but with Mark alongside me (and more importantly, his credit card), I got to pick it up as my birthday present:

I seriously love this thing.  Seriously. There’s nothing about it that I don’t drool over — double-breasted, military-style trenchcoat with a twirly lower half — how could you not love that? And it’s red! And even the lining is cute. Of course, the cold spell has ended (for now) and we’re back to running the A/C again but this gives me just one more reason to look forward to winter.

So it’s safe to say that Mark done good. Leave it to him to find a way to make aging less painful.

November 24, 2009 at 9:53 pm 1 comment

School Picture

Hooray! School pictures arrived today and Noah is not flashing his squishy face (which has its merits…but not for school pictures):

November 20, 2009 at 12:10 pm 2 comments

Hello, Winter Knitting!…Or, Why I Won’t Be Blogging

For about 300 days of the year, I’m usually complaining about the heat and humidity out here in Hong Kong.  So when a cold front moved in earlier this week, for the most part it was a welcome change.  Well, welcome except for one thing — we are seriously lacking in the cold weather clothing area.  I took Julian out for our regular morning stroll on Monday and popped on the only cap he hasn’t outgrown.  It was cute, but made him look like a pudgy little longshoreman:

So for the last couple of days, I’ve been working on bulking up our winter gear. This includes an alligator scarf for Noah:

A little brimmed cap for Julian:

As well as an aviator style helmet complete with strap to ensure that it actually stays on his head:

For me, I need to complete the right hand for this pair of gloves:

And for Mark, a scarf. I haven’t gotten around to starting it yet — Mark wanted to design it himself so I’ve got to come up with and test out the pattern on my own so this might take a while, but hopefully it will be done in time to be worn during this winter. And on top of that, there are Christmas gifts and baby things to be knitted so if I’m not around much, well, now you know why.

November 19, 2009 at 4:19 am 5 comments

How The Kiddos Are Doing

Generally when people ask me these days how my kids are doing, my answer is usually, “Well, one of them doesn’t sleep and the other one doesn’t stop talking.”  At this point I’m not sure which is worse.

In case you didn’t guess, Julian is my non-sleeper.  Poor little guy.  He even has the really dark undereye circles going on.  See?

As you can imagine, he can get pretty cranky from time to time, but overall he’s still my happy-go-lucky baby:

If you were to ask me to describe Julian right now, I would tell you that he’s cheerful and happy, very mellow but at the same time he loves attention and looking at people. This means that if we happen to leave Julian in a room by himself, he’ll make a noise that sounds like two cats fighting until someone comes over to him and then he’ll just be the most chilled out guy ever and will sit in your lap quietly observing until he needs something else (and then cue banshee-screaming).  It’s actually quite cute. And funny since Noah was not like that at all when he was a baby.

Noah, on the other hand, sleeps…but just doesn’t shut up when he’s awake.  It’s gotten to the point where it feels like my ears are bleeding from hearing the words, “Hey Mommy!  Hey Mommy!  Hey Mommy!” over and over.  He’s also at that age where he tries to be funny, but his attempts at it are funny in an unintentional way.  Like when he tells jokes:

Noah: Hey Mommy. I have a joke for you. The chicken crossed the street. (Laughter — him because he thinks the joke is funny and me because he has just butchered the easiest riddle in the world.)

Last week at his school it was Artists In Residence week. The school had six visiting artists (a dancer, an actor, a painter, an illustrator, a storyteller and a composer) for the week and they got to work with each of the classes. Noah’s class worked with storyteller JoAnne Lower and composer/pianist Warren Wills during the week and at Monday’s school assembly, his class got up on stage and sang the song they had composed together as a class with Warren (“The Elephant’s Child” which was based on a story told by JoAnne).

Noah was just amazing to watch onstage. He was comfortable, he wasn’t shy and he sang. Loudly. When I asked him afterwards if he liked being on stage, he told me he did and that he wasn’t nervous. Keep in mind this was in front of the entire student body (preschool through high school), including parents. I was so proud of him and I hope he never loses that fearlessness.

And speaking of not being afraid, here are some pictures from last Sunday’s Peak Market:


Hey Munoz 05! That’s a nice necklace you got there. Why don’t you turn around and show it to us:

Ahhhhh! Snake! The kickass shirt, by the way, is courtesy of my awesome friend Cristina. She also sent over a matching onesie (™!!!) with Munoz 09 on it for Julian.  Ok, Noah, we get it…you’re not afraid of snakes:

But hedgehogs, on the other hand, are a totally different matter…

Oh, and my PSA this week…you know all those reports about Crocs-wearing kids getting their toes eaten by escalators? Yeah…those are for reals. Noah had a close call at Ocean Park the other day. No blood drawn, but we did end up with one very scared child and an incredibly panic-stricken mom. So watch those feet!

November 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm 3 comments

Change Is Good

That’s what I keep telling myself but, really, I dislike change.  Change is uncomfortable and messy and scary.  I prefer routine and stability — much like a toddler.  There’s just something comforting about being able to rely on something…like that you’ll eat turkey on Thanksgiving and open presents on Christmas Eve after drunken karaoke.  Still, even I have a limit to how much predictability I can take.  Such as having pretty much the same haircut for about two years.

Which is how I end up with bangs every now and then:

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This is also the first haircut I’ve gotten in Hong Kong (I tried once a couple of years ago — I walked into the salon and asked for a haircut but got a blow out instead and afterward considered it a narrow escape if the language barrier was so huge that my stylist did not understand the English word for ‘haircut’) so hooray me for jumping on the change-wagon.  Of course, now I remember what a huge pain in the butt it was to grow these things out the last time I had them.  Which is why, whenever the mood for change strikes again, I’m going to need someone to remind me that having bangs is actually kind of sucky after the novelty wears off.

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November 11, 2009 at 11:10 pm 4 comments

Enablers

As much as I would like to continue on, I’ve decided that I can’t do NaBloPoMo this year for no better reason than I’d really rather just be knitting. It was getting to a point where I was really starting to resent my blog.  Each post takes on average two hours for me to write (I get distracted very easily) and over a one month period that’s 60 hours I could’ve spent knitting instead.  Two and a half days!  Just writing!  No thanks.  Hong Kong has about a three-month window where wearing a sweater isn’t a completely insane thing to do so I’ve got some sweaters and other cold weather stuff to knit before it warms up again.  But really, I couldn’t do all this alone.  I have help — a group of enablers if you will.  Like…

Enabler #1: My mom.  Who, when she came to visit last month, brought me about 60 balls of yarns, a knitting magazine, blocking wires, and a mini sewing machine (for steeking).
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I know it doesn’t look like much now, but you’re really looking at two sweaters, a blanket and a pair of gloves. (If you squint really hard you might be able to see it)

Enabler #2: My knitting group. Yes, I go to a weekly knitting group (don’t laugh) where I sit for two to three hours and knit and talk and eat yummy pastas and cakes with a small group of awesome and diverse women. Besides the dedicated knitting time, these women also provide me with some much needed grown up time that I never really had before and it’s a part of the week that I’ve come to really look forward to.

Enabler #3: Traveller’s Yarn. Who is one of the women in my knitting circle (at least until the end of this month when she moves back to Australia) but who also runs an online yarn store and is pretty much responsible for getting me interested in dyeing my own yarn:
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And on top of the gazillion balls of yarn my mom brought over (which is in addition to the mini-yarn shop that currently masquerades as my stash) I keep ordering more balls from her store for me to dye.

Finally, the biggest enabler of all: Mark.  He is incredibly supportive of my knitting problem habit hobby — he always has a kind word for anything I’ve knit (and turns a blind eye to whatever mistakes are in it); he never tells me to stop buying more yarn, needles or patterns despite the fact that my knitting space at home has metastasized from one bulging basket to an entire closet; he doesn’t nag me about the zillions of knitting projects I have going on and instead pretends not to see half-finished projects, yarn and needles lying around everywhere in the house.  One day I might even actually knit something for him.

So there you go.  That’s why I’ve decided not to blog daily anymore.  But you really aren’t missing much anyway.

November 10, 2009 at 12:58 pm 4 comments

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