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It’s been a while since I’ve posted. There hasn’t been much going on… We went on a few small adventures but lately I’ve pretty much been keeping my son entertained during the day and working when I can in the late hours of the night. Not much to write about that.

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It has been really hot here. A week ago it hit over 100 degrees a few days. Not good for park venturing but they were great swimming days! Of course when it’s that hot, the pool feels too nice and it’s very hard to get Little J out of there.

It’s official that we’re going home. Just a few more days here in the Bay Area and then we’re heading back home!

Looks like our time in NoCal will be shorter than we thought. Gotta love the great planning of corporations! We might go home end of June, not end of August or later like we were told. Ahh well, things happen or NOT happen for a reason I suppose.

What I won’t miss: the crazy guy who lives in our building. Usually he’s out on his patio smoking a cigarette and talking to his imaginary friend. Sometimes he stands in the middle of the street talking to more imaginary people and walking in circles. Today he must be totally off his medication because he was walking around naked as I was driving up to our parking. I couldn’t believe my eyes like maybe I was seeing things until my son innocently tells me in Vietnamese: no clothes on. That just made me bust out laughing. I drove off to find security but they weren’t around or to tell management but of course couldn’t find a spot to park. I later learned some lady screamed and the sheriff was called but the crazy naked guy disappeared.

Lovely! Just lovely!

On WordPress there’s an option I hadn’t noticed before under Post Status. I have the option to choose Private. haha does that mean no one can read it and it’s just for me so I can whine and rant all I want?? Sometimes I just need to vent or give myself a pep talk but I don’t need potential customers to come across it.

This post is a test to see what it does when I click Private.

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BAH! I guess it doesn’t work. Good thing I tested it out before spilling my guts. haha. I thought it was like LiveJournal where you can make a post totally private and only people you allow can read it. Ah well…

The stationery show in New York is this weekend. Best of luck to everyone who is going. It seems like so much fun and alot of stress too. I’ve been drooling over so many gorgeous designs from up and coming companies over at Hostess blog . It kinda makes me wonder… why do I do this again? haha. There’s so many designs out there that takes my breath away. (I think you have to like paper to feel that way 😉 But then I think there’s room for everyone, one has to persevere and keep at it.

Anyway, I’m not going to the NSS. Hopefully one day. I’m optimistic that one can “make it” without having to go. (Success is relative, so my “make it” is much different than someone else’s “make it”) It’ll be much slower but there’s a way I’m sure. Or maybe I’m very naive. I’ll figure it out day by day until I go… one retailer at a time.

So my progress is that I have a rep, maybe 2. New ones. With experience. It’s way too early to tell how it’ll go… but I’m further today than I was 2 months ago. I hope to put up a “Where to Buy” page and have more than a few stores… we’re talking I want to count more stores than on just 1 hand… by the end of the year, maybe I’ll have to use my toes too. Slow yes. But like I said, one retailer at a time.

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 realize in order for me to do things of interest in my previous post, I’d have to find time for it. These days I have about 5 minutes at a time, so I answer emails and maybe make some cards to add to inventory… just in case that huge order comes in 🙂 I’m optimistic! Anything else that needs thinking gets done after 11pm. And that’s getting old. I want my sleep, dangit. I miss it. I’m a nightowl by nature but since I cannot catch up on sleep, I have to change my schedule and force myself to sleep earlier. It’s a goal that hasn’t been accomplished.

So we’re thinking daycare/preschool. It’s come to that. I feel guilty but I hope it’ll be good for all of us. I want to spend weekends with my husband and son instead of having my husband watch him so I can do… nothing that important. I’m going to clear my mind so I can be more productive.

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I’m going take the focus off of getting my Dear Monday cards out there for a bit. I’m in the waiting phase for now. There’s interest from some reps and I *should* be hearing something soon. We’ll see… there’s been an instance or 2 that I never hear back after they said they love the line, and I would’ve appreciated a “no thanks, changed my mind” or something.

Anyway, business thoughts aside… what are my other interests? I’m talking about what do I want to do within my lifestyle; not if I won the lottery or had no responsibilities or had unlimited resources or anything like that.

1. read – haven’t read much except how-to books or business related articles
2. sewing – purely personal for home decorating and I hardly even do that :-p; besides, sewing machine is in Southern CA
3. screen printing – I’d like to take a class for this; I do have a Gocco but that’s in SoCal too. haha
4. block/linocut printing – actually brought all my stuff to NoCal, just waiting for inspiration 🙂
5. furniture design/building – purely personal, my friend who helped us with this got married and is busy with his wife. haha
6. music/songs – I’m not depressed enough these days to come up with anything good. haha.
7. puzzles – sudoku, crosswords; time wasters that I have cut down on
8. exercise – you’d think it’s a chore, but now since I don’t get to exercise I want to. 🙂 besides, I always felt refreshed and my mind seemed clearer afterwards.

Geez, that sure took some thought. There’s some feasible stuff on my list that I need to work on, particularly #4 and #8. Let’s see if I do anything with either one.

I’m a cheapskate so sometimes I fall for the lure of a juicy rebate or coupon… which in turn, doesn’t really save me money because sometimes I buy stuff I don’t need (yet). My husband hates rebates and warned me about how it takes forever to get them and then sometimes you don’t even get them. Did I listen?

Anyway… I’m stiiiilllll waiting for a rebate from an OKIdata laser printer I bought back at end of December. The one I sorta had buyer’s remorse for. I’m over my remorse and I just want my dang rebate.

I sent my proofs-of-purchase in mid January knowing it would take 6-8 weeks to get processed. After 6 weeks I call for my status and it’s still “not in the system, call back in 2 weeks”. Okay. At 8 weeks I call, “still not in system, can you resubmit by fax?”. Okay (I always make scans/copies of purchase proofs). I call 3 weeks later to see if they received my fax. Answer: “It’s still not in the system. It takes 4 weeks, call back next week.” And guess what, when I called a week later, it’s still not in their system. What kind of system do they have?!

I asked what else I can do besides call back? Customer service told me to re-submit a 2nd time. So I did, but I’m still gonna keep calling back. I’m really getting the run around and they’re stalling as long as they can. Sure my mail could be “lost” (I highly doubt it; all other mail I sent that day was received) but why have me re-submit by FAX twice? I’ve never had problems with rebates until now. What a pain in the arse.

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.

We were either going to leave last weekend or this weekend… turns out it’ll be this weekend. We were waiting for the DMV tags and didn’t want to drive with expired tags. They came Monday so at least this week I can plan and pack for sure instead of living in limbo.

I feel my business is part good and part burden. Good because it’s so portable since I don’t have lots of “equipment/gear” and I can base it anywhere. Bad because it’s another responsibility and instead maybe I should concentrate on family. But I’ve always thought that whether we were relocating or not. Maybe if I was making lots of money, I’d get over it but it’s something that’s always in the back of my mind. I like what I do because I want to create things, but I give myself these guilt trips.

Today my son had no nap. 😦 He’s almost 2-1/2… and while I’m thankful he’s napped this far… I wonder is this the beginning of the end? Oh no…… then I’d really need to think about getting a babysitter 2-3 hours for maybe 2-3 days. I don’t know if I can handle 15 hours of Little J with no nap. I love him dearly but eeeek… I’m far from the perfect mom (FAR from it! LOL)… and I know I’ll go bonkers!! Anyway, I’ll cross my fingers for a nap tomorrow. 🙂 🙂

It’s been over a week since hubby flew up north. I was wondering how I was going to do by myself with Little J. We visit my parents and my mom came over to hang out so that’s a big help. My back up plan for when I need a break was to have a young girl in the neighborhood babysit. So far, I’ve not had to do that. Now I’m on the home stretch. Woohoo! Hubby flies in Friday so only 3 more days to go. Wednesday should be easy… Little J’s class in the morning and then going over to my sister’s for a going-away-dinner.

I haven’t gotten frustrated in the past few days. This sounds cheesy but I think it’s because I watched “The Secret”. My friend Erika told me about it weeks ago after she saw it on Oprah. I had no idea what it’s about until I saw a link on The Switchboards where you can watch it for free. So I watched it …well I actually listened while I worked, you actually don’t have to “watch” it since it’s not a movie-movie. It comes off as a bit “new-agy” and some things I don’t agree with, but… I came away with a different attitude. I try to be more grateful and not focus on what makes me frustrated. The things that Little J does or doesn’t do that often drive me nuts… hasn’t bothered me. It’s so weird yet good for both of us.

The other week I had ‘craft day’ at my neighbor Connie’s house. It was so fun just some gals getting together and doing some stamping stuff. I had to bring Little J with me but it all worked out. At first I thought I was going to have to go home but he ended up being pretty good. He only found some glass objects and scissors a couple of times but he always gave them to Connie. Nothing broke 😎 hehe. Anyway, I’m not a big stamper but I bought some stuff that would help me do some promos… so we’ll see.

One of the projects was just the coolest! It’s like a gift tag that you pull on one side. As you pull, the other side comes out. So cool! When you push one side in, the other side comes in too. It’d be great to put a gift card or earrings or something small. We put chocolate in there. The mechanics seem complicated, but not really.
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I loved this project and managed to complete it while I had one eye on my curious Little J. 🙂

Today is Chinese New Year. Although I’m not Chinese our family celebrate it. I used to get lots of envelopes filled with money when I was younger. I still get some now but only from my parents, and it’s not as much as it used to be :).

Now it’s our turn to give out red envelopes to the little ones.
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The belief is that throughout the year, you’d continue getting money or have luck in it. I wish it were true… I would’ve been rich!! 🙂

Happy new year to everyone who celebrates it today.

Yes, it looks like we’re going up north for a while. Husband (I have to think of a name for him! Mr. Monday? Mr. Ponderer?) is leaving next week. I did write that it’s going to happen quick! 🙂 He’ll be staying in a hotel for a bit since they don’t have any apartment openings in the corporate housing.

So I asked: what if an apartment doesn’t open up? Will Little J and I stay home and he’ll come home to visit 2x a month? Hubby says no way, we’re going no matter if we stay in a hotel or apartment because he can’t live without us. 🙂 🙂 Shoooot…. doesn’t he realize that it would be like a vacation without us? I mean, he can watch TV and actually hear the dialog or eat without a little 3-foot kid climbing on his head. heehee

Anyway, I can only bring what I really NEED. When an apartment does open up, it’ll be a 1-bedroom not 2 like we were hoping. So I have to travel light, yet efficient! I sure wish I had a laptop! Stopping for 6 months isn’t really an option… it’d feel like starting over. I’ve already come to a screeching halt on contacting local stores at home. I should switch to contacting stores up north. It’ll be an interesting adventure.