Friday, February 26, 2010


I am known for my practicality and lack of spontaneity but on the rare occasion (like literally once in a blue moon) I get taken by in by something I'll hold to it like a starved dog to a bone! Shake me all you want, but I ain't lettin' go! Such was the case with the Five Fingered Shoes.

Yeah, yeah, I know toes don't have fingers, but hear me out. Years ago I read an article about a track coach you watched a young woman running barefoot out on the street. He was amazed by her speed and agility and offered as spot on the school team. Unfortunately all practices required shoes and the moment she donned the shoes she lost any of the edge that he saw in her before. The key laid in running barefoot where she felt her toes were able to spread and 'grip' the ground.

Which is the philosophy of these shoes ... well, not quite. But the theory is that our mother nature has given our feet with the ultimate design but our shoes hinder it's performance by adding 'support' in areas that don't really need it when our muscles are simply weak. It's like putting a cast on an area that simply needs mobility to exercise and get stronger. These shoes are designed to do that. They offer little at all in the way of padding, the toes are free to move around much like a baby's is. They fit like skin on your feet with a slightly thicker sole. Really when you think about it humans have been running for thousands of years before shoes.

When a friend showed up at my home with these amazing shoes - I was that hooked dog! I had to check them out and more than anything I had to try them out. It's been amazing the difference I feel in running. I took time to work my muscles up so that I could run in them but now I feel like a fleet footed Pocahontas in Suburbia. They were only $85 and are machine washable! (way to appeal to my practical Asian side!) For more information check out:

These are my newest love!

You Are Asian If ...

You know those old jokes where they list off quirky qualities of a particular group of people, such as You Know You're a Redneck If ... or You Know You're a Teacher When... In college we had a perpetual list for 'You Know You're an Asian If' and I found myself fitting practically all the qualities. Not that I'd want to perpetuate stereotypes, but they do exist for a reason. Classic examples, are: You're An Asian If
you like $1.50 movies.
you like $1.25 movies more than the $1.50 movies.
you read the right column of a menu when ordering. (Hmmm, oh, that's only $4, I'll take that! If you haven't gotten the picture yet, we tend to be extremely frugal (okay, cheap) individuals that thrive on deals. The better the deal, the greater the joy. So the following made my day:

This was a free headboard someone left out. We'd been wanting something for Isaac that had bookshelves. You know me, must be functional and practical! Kent says he's going to try cutting it down to fit a twin bed. As you can see, Isaac happily claimed it for his own and spent hours rearranging books on it.

I don't typically go garage saleing, but this one was just around the corner from me and the kids weren't fussing so I thought I'd just drive by. It's in beautiful condition and only missing the side boards which can easily be replaced. I got the headboard and foot board for $20. You can't even buy wood for that cheap!

Needless to say, I was feeling very happy and very Asian! I've been wanting to furnish our house but to do it inexpensively ... seek and ye shall find!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Be Mine!

Now that Isaac is older it's fun to prep for the holidays. We take out books from the library and make cards or special treats. He was excited about Valentine's Day and early on we went shopping for a card for Baba. The one he wanted to get was $5 and consisted of a ladybug magnet that opened up to say, "You hold a big spot in my heart". I explained economics as best as you can to a 2 year old (ie, you could buy a lot of candy for $5 if you made the card instead!) and the following was our creation together! The wings even open and close like the one in the store.

Unfortunately due to the pneumonia, Isaac missed all the festivities. It's too bad since he prepared Valentines to hand out that he personally signed 2 weeks in advance. Thankfully a friend of my filled out some Valentines in place of the nursery kids so that Isaac could feel he had a real Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


We have an ancient 20" TV that was given to me by my parents when I was in college. This relic is so old that it only has a single input and outputs. Through all the residency moves it was nearly replaced twice with the up-to-date flat screens but somehow Kent managed to fix it. With all our friends having larger screens, we began moving our couch closer for movies to produce a similar effect. It doesn't quite do the trick, but when you're cheap and TV is one of the last sources of entertainment that you have time for, you always forgo it in the end. Kent and I are quite accustom to it now, but Isaac has noticed a big difference. The Wizard of Oz on high def is so much more life size, a vibrant green and 'Wonderful' that he gets sucked in completely. It's rather amusing to see.

So when I discovered that PBS hosts a kid show on a movie screen monthly at certain theaters, I thought we'd take the opportunity to try the 'real' experience. We tried explaining that 'Super Why' would be big. "Bigger than our TV?" "Oh, yes! Much bigger." "Bigger than the Abby's TV?" (everything is measured against what the Bakers have) "Yes, even bigger than Abby's TV." He couldn't quite conceptualize it until we walked in and the first commercials came up. His eyes grew to fill his face as I whispered, "Is this big?" He nodded the affirmative as he gripped my arm. It took him a bit to adjust to the disorientation that someone 'sensory deprived' experiences when they've been turned onto full overload but in the end he enjoyed himself.

The stadium seating was spotted with 4 families and a total of 6 kids. It was fun to see Isaac point out the giant alphabet letters, spell words with them out loud, cheer enthusiastically for Super Why and the other heroes as they defeated the Eraser. When it was over he had that 'drunken' effect while walking out. I'm sure it will be a 'big' memory for days to come!

A picture of him using Kent's phone.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Half Birthday!

Keila is officially 6 months old and going through clothes like a teenager on the first day of school!She now fits into 9 month clothing and just Isaac sighed a deep sigh today while on the way to Target, "Shopping for Keila ... AGAIN!" I hope this isn't an indication of what lies in the future. Her second tooth also popped in about a week ago and she's finally eating her cereal without the 'tongue thing' going. Mind you, she does like to tease me and push all the food out with a grin and a giggle when she's just bored and full.

Her stats put her back again in the 98 percentile for height (28 inches long) and still in the 50s for weight (14lbs and 11oz). She's a funny girl and we're starting to see some personality. She's calmer than Isaac but when she gets mad, she's flaming mad and will lecture you till she feels satisfied you understand your big offense. It tends to make me laugh and unfortunately this only makes her more upset. She adores Isaac and his every move makes her laugh (well, with the exception of the boinks she gets on her head when he's feeling rather jealous) She can sit up on her own now, but with a lot of complaining, and shows a preference for standing. She still hates tummy time which makes us wonder if she'll be a late crawler, or simply skip the stage and move to walking instead.

She's just such a joy to us and we can hardly believe we've all been together now for 6 months. If time passed quickly with Isaac, it's disappearing all too soon with Keila. Happy Half Birthday my angel heart!

The famous Cheerio making it's first impression on Keila.

What is it about a child playing with her toes that is absolutely so endearing?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sick of Being Sick

Everyone talks about how having another child or one that is in nursery or playgroups is a ticket for months of sickness during the winter. I'd heard it tons of times before, but never though of the implications of it - how that means endless days in house suddenly too small for bored, tired, grouchy children, mounting piles of laundry, throw up that goes on FOR-EV-ER, hourly battles about medication, and a mother that's on the verge of being admitted because she's on the edge of insanity. Actually, I take that back, I think I've been there and back several times throughout the day depending on whether they're sleeping or not.

Isaac has pneumonia and I now know why this is such a scary thing in a young child. He was fine up until last Saturday when he began having a tiny cough. I kept him home from church Sunday and then Monday he began having fits of cough, such that he couldn't stop for over an hour. He threw up his breakfast and juice and then had the dry heaves for the remainder of the time such that his lips and fingers were looking blue. I couldn't do a single thing. We managed to calm him down with a warm bath and Kent took him to the ER. The wait was so long that Kent took him home to sleep instead and we went to the Pediatrician. X-rays confirmed everything and they went home with a nebulizer and some antibiotic. For the next 2 days we went back to have them check his oxygen levels and then we were finally done. Isaac was such a trooper and became a 'mini-doctor' in his own right since he became so familiar with all the instruments.

Amid all this Keila had her 6 months shots and was dealing with a cold. If I wasn't holding and comforting one, then I was doing it with the other. We're finally seeing the end of it ... knock on wood - I hope anyhow. Kent just got back from his first Scout campout and they didn't have enough tents so he spent the night out under the stars and woke at 1 am with the dew icing his sleeping bag! Murphy's Law states he'll be the next one to get sick! Prepare for an onslaught of posts as I try and catch up before the next wave of illness hits us!

Here's Isaac playing with and alphabet and number foam puzzle. Our neighbors, the Eriksons were gracious and kind enough to bring over movies and toys that would keep a boy occupied and still enough for the medication to stay in his stomach. I was surprised at how well he knew his letters, better than his numbers!