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It’s been a very long time since I’ve written. I think this is the longest I’ve gone between entries. I was very busy so I took a break and then I just didn’t care about updating my blog anymore.

What have I been up to?
Filling orders – Suddenly I’ve had a steady stream of wholesale orders. Some weeks were crazier than others but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. With a young son, I am seriously thinking what I would do if I had more business! Orders from my website have been pretty sucky which serves me right because I’ve done zilch in advertising this year. With the holidays coming up, maybe I can muster up a newsletter or something 🙂 Sigh…
Graphic design – I finished with a client’s CD project with its marketing materials and such. And then this is the busy season for my bro-in-law with his music school putting on a rock show. Photoshoots, CDs, flyers, etc etc.
Dodging fires – We really thought our house/neighborhood was in trouble during that week of Southern CA fires. The fire was across a big road and 6 houses away from us. It was crazy with people evacuating and burning embers falling. Luckily (I suppose), the fire was next to the Fire Authority and I don’t think they’d let headquarters burn 🙂 . Phew.
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Family – Little J turned 3 so we had some family visiting. We always have family stay with us, it just seems like a lot more these past months.
Pre-school – Sigh, it’s been ok. The first day was great!! After that, I think J realized I’m not going to be there so it’s been really tough dropping him off at school. He stopped crying after about 3 weeks and now is resorting back to crying since we just had family stay with us for a week. Time goes by so fast the 2 days that J is in school, I’m still getting used to having a couple hours to myself!

A Halloween picture. We bought his costume weeks before … it’s just a coincidence that he’s a fireman.
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My busy wave is over with. Whew! The CD project went a little longer (not on my part) than expected, but is now done and printed. Once again, I can concentrate more on Dear Monday stuff. I don’t even know which to do first… time to make my beloved lists again. There’s some new stuff to add but I just dread taking photos!

I am looking forward to September. In 3 weeks, my son goes to preschool 2 days a week. PRESCHOOL. That means I’ll have about 10 hours of free-for-all time. Oh preschool, I can’t wait. I don’t even know what fun thing to do first. Hmm, I’ll make a list for that too.

Last week my mom gave us a visit. It was especially great for Little J since it was the first familiar face he’d seen since we’ve been here. We didn’t do anything exciting and I learned that it’s okay to not go to the park everyday. Somehow I have in my head that I must take Little J out everyday, by a certain time, or else I’m a bad mother.

On Monday we made a little adventure out of riding the BART since my mom’s never been on it, although we did live around this area for 4 years. We made a fun quick stop at the San Francisco mall. There must be 6 levels and we only went in 2 stores, one of which was Sanrio.
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Sanrio stores always bring a smile to my face. It makes me remember when I was 18 and the most complicated thing then was how to finish my art projects when my old bf monopolized my time.

On another day, we did a drive by to Lafayette where we used to live. It’s such a cliche to say “everything seems so much smaller than what I remember” but it was. I’m surprised the 3 little apartment buildings are still standing because so much has changed. I vaguely remember these mailboxes. I used to hate getting the mail because I didn’t want anyone to see me. Hmm, I was a shy child.
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We even drove by my old elementary school. At the time, I was the only Asian kid there until my brother attended years later. LOL. It’s weird to see that it’s been replaced by a new private high school Bentley. BENTLEY! It sounds expensive. Nothing was recognizable except for the winding front entrance. Sigh.

My husband told me I was going to get funny feelings in my stomach when I visit childhood places. I didn’t think I would but he was right.

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Nah, Little J’s not in preschool/daycare yet. That won’t happen until mid-June once we sign up. The above picture is from his old class where I use to take him. It’s really us moms who finish up the art projects in these classes 🙂 We maneuver papers around trying to catch wielding paint brushes or glue sticks that our kids are mashing on the table. It was really a place to interact with other kids and get moms out of the house. We came to NoCal a little too late to register for the spring co-op classes, so ah well.

At first I was feeling bad for wanting to put him in preschool but he gets so excited everytime I tell him we’re gonna visit a SCHOOL. And then he asks for “Miss Stetnaly” which was Miss Tiffany, his teacher. So the kid likes school which makes me feel better. Now if June would hurry up and get here! 🙂

I pretty much do the same thing here as I did when I was in socal. Only now its more like exploring because I don’t know the area. Supposedly it’s ‘less crowded’ here and you don’t get as much traffic jam but whenever I go do errands the stores are packed! Doesn’t anyone work? haha. The parking lots at the Targets I went to have been a zoo. It’s packed inside too. Same with grocery stores. I don’t understand LOL.

Business is slow right now. I’m trying really hard to concentrate on wholesale and reps… ok.. trying semi-hard. I’m still not good at contacting stores or reps, but I plug along everyday… ok almost everyday. I wait in between days to see if there’s any bites and then continue from there.

Most my time is spent hanging out with Little J. His powers of staying awake is getting stronger now so his naps are losing out. There’s a day here and there that he takes a nap, but that’s it. I wouldn’t mind losing the naps so much if he’d go to sleep earlier at night… but no such luck. Ah well…

Here we are on one of our morning outings. Little J is fascinated with trains so we hang out at a BART station and watch the a few trains. Whenever he’s on his bike I pretty much run/jog after him for a mile. (Ha! who needs a gym membersip… not that I’d have time!) He peddles the entire time… doesn’t he know how to coast??? 🙂 Of course, the mile back home, I’m dragging him and the bike. haha
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We’re heeeeeeeeere……. It was a nice drive up north. We were hoping to enjoy the scenery and take advantage of quiet time during the drive but our son stayed up the entire time except for the last hour. LOL I was ready to pass out a couple of times but stayed awake to everybody company. He’s a stubborn sleeper, always afraid he’s going to miss something!!

Our apartment is quite small – a 1-bedroom – but I like it; feels cozy. Haha it’s actually better furnished than our house (though that’s not saying too much since we never bought anything nice knowing that there’ll be a baby around)… Husband made this new place sound worse than it actually is. Now I don’t have to run up and down stairs anymore; I can keep an eye on Little J easier. The cool part is there’s maid service and we get clean towels every week. Now if only the maid babysat every now and then, it’d be awesome. LOL!

I’ve been here before as a child when we first came to the states. Now I get a second chance to appreciate this area as an adult so I hope we’ll get to explore lots.

What did I miss? There was Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Both uneventful for me… ehhh that’s ok, I was away. It would’ve been nice to come back to loads of orders. My excuse is: “My site is new!” hehe, I’ll have to have another excuse next year.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. Ours started out fantastic. We headed towards Nevada and got to see husband’s parents, his sister & her husband. The food was great. The only thing was, most everyone had the stomach flu! Our little J got it first on Thanksgiving night. (We were wondering why he didn’t want to eat) All night long, every hour the little guy ‘got sick’. We went thru many linens and changes of clothes, to say the least. Luckily, little J went right back to sleep everytime, like it was nothing.

Two nights later, my husband and his mom both got it. Again, every hour that night they ‘got sick’. Then the next day it was his sister who got sick with the same exact thing. Grandpa and I were waiting for our turn. Luckily, we never got sick. Funny we were the only 2 who didn’t get flu shots.

Anyway, there was lots of recovery going on. We stayed an extra day since husband didn’t think he could handle the 4-hour drive back. He seemed to have gotten the worst of it. I was a bit antsy to get back because I felt cooped up. There was no internet and no one to go places with. The only thing we had was husband’s laptop with dial-up on it. I forgot how sloooooooow it was. I only used it when I really had to. Needless to say, I did a lot of (much needed) sleeping, and thinking, and making goals for next year, (and crossword puzzles and sudokus hahaha).

Overall it was a nice trip and great to see everyone. I’m so glad to be home and to get back into the swing of things. I feel like I’ve been away forever!

Our little J turned 2 last month. Yes, it’s old news but I still can’t believe he’s 2. Here he is blowing out his candle every chance he gets. We kept lighting it so we can finish singing ‘happy birthday’ but candle doesn’t stay lit.

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Also, we now have 2 cars. Yay! After 9 months with 1 car, we caved and figured we needed a 2nd car. No more dragging ourselves up to take daddy to work a couple days a week. On the flip side, we have car payments now. Dang! I had plans for the garage of making a space to work and all but after 9 months I hadn’t done anything so ah well… Now we can go to different parks and go grocery shopping whenever needed.

I’m close to getting projects done. Just in time to concentrate on my shop since it’s nearing the holidays and all. Whew.

Yep, I know summer’s BEEN gone. It’s hard to accept fall is already here. Next around the corner is Christmas. Yikes! I’ve been quite busy, so things have been just passing me by as I plug away at my to-do list. It’s getting shorter, by the way! After this next week or so it’ll get back to normal.

I’m shooting photos of bands participating in Performing Arts Guild’s “Onstage” rock school. The kids in the “OnStage” program have a concert in December and the photos are for promotion/CDs/t-shirts etc. For a couple of weeks they get to act like rockstars!

Anyway, my blog has had no pics lately so here’s one snippet of a day this summer.

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but we’re about to cave in on getting a car. Since January we’ve had one car and it’s been okay. We really like having the extra space in the garage although we’re doing nothing with it. Just nice to know it’s there.

Lately it’s been pretty tough waking up to drive my husband to work. I only take him 2-3 days, but it seems like he’s leaving earlier and earlier LOL. We leave by 6:45 and at get there by 7am (but nobody at his work really shows up till 9am). I keep asking the same question “why do we have to leave so early??”. Hahaha at his old job, my husband used to get to work by 9:30 and leave at 3:00… so this is definitely a 180 for him. I guess it’s because he has a family now. heh

His last job he had a company car, so we sold one of our cars because in our neighborhood, you can’t park your car in the street. Such a dumb rule, but whatever.

There’s a few people who are thinking of selling their cars but then when we talk to them… it’s like “well… let me put another 15K miles on my car”. ahh well.

Anyway, he is asking a friend who has car dealership connections to see if we can get a good price. The conversation made me chuckle.
husband: …so can you run a few numbers for me?
friend: dude, what’s wrong with you. You want numbers on a corolla and a BMW?
husband: (kiddingly) yeah, and before i forget … a bike!
friend: why don’t you just get a Mercedes?

Riiiiiight a Mercedes. LOL. I wondered what happened to us trying to get a super cheapie car? That was the 1st I heard about a German car. As for me, I was trying to hold out till the hybrids get affordable. I bet once we buy a car, there’ll be friends finally wanting to sell their car.

I know this post seems like it has NOTHING to do with paper… but if we did have a car, I think I might be able to visit vendors or look for supplies. So it kind of relates… Plus having a car might make me feel less nuts about feeling cooped up in the house. 😎

I almost didn’t do this week’s Studio Friday CREATIVE ROOTS (my mom). After reading several inspiring posts, I had to write about my mom.
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In my mom’s era and in a different culture, art and creativity were not considered important. But my mom showed her crafty skills by making all my school uniforms. I had several because I remember some schoolmates making comments like “another dress again??” LOL. One time a girl who sat behind me, thought I had too many dresses so she flicked black ink from her quill pen all over the back of my white uniform!! Oh well… my mom just made another one. 🙂

In the US, when I was 9 my class had a contest on drawing a flag and my mom “helped” me. (She drew it.) We got 3rd place (I’m sure the teacher knew I didn’t draw it). But to this day, I can’t believe how well my mom can draw even though I’ve never seen her do it. Many times I wonder if my mom had grown up in a different time or culture how far she could’ve taken her skills or what she would be doing now. So this post is for my mom.

Please visit Studio Friday for more inspiration.

This is the 1st time I was able to participate in Studio Friday. This week’s topic is “Music to my ears”. I have 2, one that stays put and the other is a walking sound machine.

The 1st one – I listen to podcasts or whatever I have on iTunes:
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The 2nd one – I get songs in different versions all the time from this one:
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Go to Studio Friday to see more participants.

One of the pages I have left to do on the website is the index page. It’s the most difficult… once people get there, I don’t want them to leave. It’s like “please stay and looook around!!!!!!!!!!” So… working on something that looks decent and would work with the rest of the site. Hmmm…………..

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Well my sister made it through today. Whew! That means tomorrow she’s gonna drive herself and husband to hospital. My mom will watch her kids. Boy, I don’t know anyone who has 5 kids. Speaking of kids, we should work on a sibling for Little J. heh

…for the 5th time! We’re on baby watch over here: my little sister is scheduled for Friday (that was 1st available date) but her doctor said it could happen today or tomorrow. We’re kind of nervous because it’d be hard for her to get to the hospital so I’ll be the one to take her (and I have a son too so it’ll be kinda hectic). Her husband can’t see so he can’t drive and then there are the 4 kiddies!! That means her husband will watch the kids and won’t be able to be there unless I can leave her at the hospital, pick up my husband to watch the kids and then drive her husband to the hospital. Yikes what if she’d had the baby by then. We’re hoping to see if my mom can take vacation a day earlier.

My sister drove herself the last 2 times so she’s hoping she’ll be able to do the same this time. She insists on it 🙂 unless she’s in labor or something!

We’re hoping things will happen as scheduled, since my mom has vacation starting Friday. But we’ll just see what happens! Yes, after this 5th child she’s all done 🙂

We’ve been back and well-rested from our little getaway to Nevada. We had a great time visiting with husband’s family but it sure is good to be back home. I was able to get about 8-9 hours of sleep most days (that includes a nap) but I still felt beat. Maybe it was the heat, altho the weather was pretty mild. Maybe it was the lack of humidity.

Everytime we go to the Vegas area, we always think… ‘damn, we can sell our house in CA and get one there and not have to work (for a while).’ But… my family and most our friends are here. Plus the weather is nicer in CA. The thought of financial freedom makes it sooo tempting. Sure we daydream about it, then when it does get hot and we walk out into a furnace of 105 degrees we’re brought back to reality.

From where we were, we can see the entire strip. It doesn’t translate well into pictures, but this is a partial view.
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