Happy First Father’s Day ♡

My husband had his first Father’s Day today… I spent all day yesterday crying and having a meltdown… and then went on some crazy shopping spree buying mostly junk to calm myself down.

I forgot it was Father’s Day today, and rolled out of bed at about 10a.m., and by the time I showered and crawled back to bed, it was almost 11 — my daughter was disappointed that she wasn’t able to use her Father’s Day McDonald’s breakfast coupon. (I only remembered after seeing the presents I bought last month on the kitchen counter.)

I quietly went into my daughter’s room and shut the door and told her today was Father’s Day, but it was too late for her to use her coupon to take daddy to breakfast. Since we had such a crazy busy few weeks (our wedding, honeymoon, relocating… now waiting for the rest of Danny’s furniture and buying new furniture) — I’m disappointed that my husband’s first Father’s Day wasn’t better for him. (He spent most of it doing homework for his MBA — I spent most of it sleeping.)

We didn’t even get him a card, and I was too lazy to make him a card (I’m quite a card-making expert, if I do say so myself), so I had my daughter draw him a Father’s Day picture on her art easel (which she calls her “big X” because the legs on the easel look like a big X to her). Thankfully I like to do things ASAP, so I had at least gotten him presents in May for the occassion.

He has to go back to Texas to move out of his apartment, so we are dropping him off at the airport tomorrow. His furniture will arrive by the end of the week, and he bought me the dining set I wanted today; we looked at living room sets also, and once we buy a living room set we’ll be complete. (We still need a washer and dryer too… it’s been so crazy, it’s hard to believe it’s only been three days at our new home.)

A most happiest first Father’s Day to my wonderful husband. We love him so much. He goes broke spending all his money on us, and we are spoiled rotten by him. He does everything he can to make us happy. We are so grateful to God for such an amazing man. ♡

Happy Mother’s Day ♡

Happy Mother’s Day to me! ♡

Pictured is my annual Mother’s Day bouquet. No filter by the way, my bouquet really is this lovely; some of the flowers are still budding, but will open in a few days… I just noticed the flower-pick looks like the Twitter bird, ha!

And a huge congratulations to my SIL for earning her second master degree; she now has a master in nursing (besides from her first master in theology). We are all so proud of her. ♡

Alpha Dog, or Beta Fish?

I knew my Captain was my real prince charming when he met my daughter. I had to go pick her up from her great-grandmother’s, and I told him I was going to go get her. I was expecting him to say he’d wait for me to come back, but instead he just went with me — as if I wasn’t telling him that I’d be back, but was telling him it’s time to go get my daughter. (I’m not sure if I adequately explained that.)

Hardly anyone meets my daughter, and even less get to meet my son.

I get asked a lot from my readers about why I stayed with my ex-fiancé for so long; a guy I didn’t love, or why I said yes to his proposal when my heart wasn’t in it… there’s a lot of reasons, I supposed; but one of the main reasons was he was actually a very nice guy to me… only, he wasn’t a very confident person.

He loved appearances. He loved telling people I’m a history teacher, especially since his last serious relationship he was dating a waitress. He was this insecure guy who I gave so much confidence to — (the man was wearing tighties before I made him change to boxers!) And I think he had some sort of Marine complex over being a soldier. I mean, it’s the usual bantering between the two branches, but I always felt he needed to prove to me (and himself?) that he was at the fore-front of a battlefield… only, he wasn’t. So really, how much combat can the guy pretend to have been in, right?

Again, all appearances. It’s like when you see someone living some made-up-life according to Facebook or Instagram. The filters make everyone’s life look a little better; but in reality, it’s all impressions. Impressions that people make to impress others.

I felt bad to even tell him how bad the sex was. I mean, he eventually found out when he saw a text I had sent to another guy saying how freakin’ lame the sex was (that was how we broke up, actually).

When we first started dating, I had to build up his self-esteem by lying and saying I called him “Captain Snapple cap” to my friends — the truth was, I told my girlfriend Emily how terrible the sex was, and we came up with that name because I told her I read the Snapple caps afterwards from boredom.

Confident people love to shine on others to build up their own self confidence too; it feels good to make others feel good about themselves. An apex woman needs an alpha male; two betas can be together, and an alpha male can be with a beta woman; but for an apex woman, only an alpha dog will do.

I knew he wasn’t the one, when after we got engaged the thought of him meeting my brothers (especially my brother John) and my son, gave me anxiety. Oh, don’t get me wrong — he was a very nice guy, and sweet to me, and he’s smart and very accomplished in his own right — but I felt I always had to build him up.

My ex-husband (the Marine) used to rag on my ex-fiancé to me all the time. Of course he had no idea what he looked like or who he was, except when he asked, What does he look like? My ex-husband, to prove my point on an alpha male, one day put my chain-lock (when I asked him to install it) all the way on top of where the door frame was, out of reach unless you were around his height or standing on a chair. Now, he didn’t do this because I’m 5’3″… he did it because he knew my ex-fiancé was 5’6″.

Yet, my Captain actually saw my ex-husband, and vice-versa, one day. We stopped by my ex-husband’s house to bring my daughter home… talk about awkward. One was in the car, the other at his front door, and they were both kind of measuring each other up — it reminded me of when unfamiliar male dogs circle around each other. They were about five yards away from each other, but the testosterone was so thick in the air, you could smell it! Like, what do men even think about when they size each other up like that? — who would win in a fist fight? A measuring contest? Who could dead-lift more weight???

I bring this all up because I remembered feeling like my ex-fiancé could never be a father to my daughter, and I never even wanted him to meet my son. When they say it takes a real man to be a father, that motto is so true — a real man would show the world that he doesn’t mind being a father to someone else’s kid. I knew that when my Captain came with me to get our daughter; he didn’t think I was telling him I’d be back after I picked her up, he thought I meant it was time to pick her up. ♡

Blooming Blossom Coaster Crochet Pattern

I received a really great crochet pattern project book from Amazon.com; Crochet One-Skein Wonders, edited by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman. There’s 101 pattern projects for just about everything.

I recently did a pattern from the book, it’s the first one in the book actually.

I used bulky worsted yarn (size 4), and a 5.5mm hook (the pattern design, by Melinda Miller, recommends crochet thread size 3, 2.75mm hook.

  • Chain 6, slip st to make ring
  • RND 1(RS): Ch 1, 12 sc in ring, slip st to first sc
  • RND 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc), dc in same st, 2 dc in each sc around, join with slip st to top of ch-3 (now a total of 24 dc)
  • RND 3: ch 1, sc between next 2 dc posts, ch 3, skip next 3 dc, *sc in space between last dc skipped and next dc, ch 3, skip next 3 dc, repeat from * six more times, join with slip st to first sc (total of 8 sc and 8 ch-3 spaces)
  • RND 4: ch 1, sc in same sc, *(hdc, dc, 3 tr, dc, hdc) in next space**, sc in next sc, repeat from * around, ending last repeat at **, join with slip st to first sc (you now have 8 petals total)
  • RND 5: ch 6 (counts as dc, ch 3), *sc in center tr of next petal, ch 3,** dc in next sc, ch 3, repeat from * around, ending last repeat at **, join with slip st to 3rd ch of ch-6
  • RND 6: slip st in mext ch-3 space, ch 1, 4 sc in same space, *5 sc in next ch-3 space**, 4 sc in next ch-3 space, repeat from * around, ending last repeat at **, join with slip st to first sc. (72 sc total)
  • RND 7: ch 1, sc in same st, *sc in next 3 sts, hdc in next 3 sts, dc in next 2 sts, 3 tr in next st, dc in next 2 sts, hdc in next 3 sts, sc in next 4 sts; repeat from * around, omitting last sc, join with slip st to first sc. Fasten off. You now have 20 sts on each side. Weave in ends.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss ♡

Happy birthday to my favorite children’s author!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you 
know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!!! ♡♡♡

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!!! ♡♡♡

Goodbye to the Pony

I think every woman’s goal when she meets a man is to get him on to her spider web. Ha!

Well, my man is definitely all tangled up in my web! Not only am I unbelievably spoiled rotten by him (I mean, I did choose my own obnoxiously priced engagement ring), but since the first day I met him, I’ve been working on removing every last bit of single-free-manhood from him (insert devious, sinister laughter) — my wonderful manly grunt drives the very symbolism of man, a Mustang.

So he’s a gym rat, and every time I call him he’s either running or lifting, at the gym, or playing on his Xbox (man-child!)… I can deal with certain Peter Pan syndromes in a grown man… but the Mustang, no.

There are only 3 types of men who drives around in performance cars — ridiculously rich men, men going through a mid-life crisis, and bachelors. Because no young man under 50 with a two-door car has a wife and kids waiting for him at home… how’s he going to put a car seat in something like that anyway!?

The mister did not want to get rid of the pony. He bought it brand new and it’s only four years old. It only has 30,000 miles on it, practically a showroom demo car with that low of a mileage; but lately I’ve been crocheting baby blankets for our non-existent baby because my baby fever has been through the roof.

He called me on Skype this morning and while we were talking he asked me what car he should get next. My man-child is trading in his Mustang for a much needed SUV for our little growing family. I said Jeep since it’s a very affordable line of SUVs, but he likes the Ford Explorer instead… one victory at a time, I suppose.

I think every man wants to hold on to being single forever, it’s like their dream of being a space cowboy or something. But eventually they fall in love with a woman and do boring things like get a 401K, and trade in their coupes for a vehicle that can seat 7 people and/or has a 60/40 split seating cargo option. I love him so much for always doing everything he can to make me happy… including putting away his space cowboy ideas.

Happy Mother’s Day to Me ♡

♡ Happy Mother’s Day to me… I love my flowers. ♡♡♡

My little man called me to tell me he has a Mother’s Day surprise for me, but he won’t tell me what it is. So I will have to wait until the summer to find out what it is. And my mini-me came home with a gift bag for me (Grandma helped of course). ♡

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(Oh, and I kept getting Instagram notifications today… who are all those 215 people following me on Instagram!?!?)

Going to the Fish Market with Mom

One of the things that I miss the most about home (NYC) is the foods.  You just can’t compare it to anywhere else in the world.  NYC is home to every culture and ethnicity there is, you don’t even need to know how to speak English because you can always be certain that you will find a community from ” back home” somewhere in NYC.

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What I love the most about going home is having REAL Chinese food!  I love all of the Chinese vegetables that aren’t available in Iowa, and I especially love the fresh seafood that’s caught right from the Atlantic Ocean.  When I am coming home, my mom always knows to get a fish to cook for my first night’s dinner.  I love my mom’s fish.

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One thing I love doing with my mom is going to Chinatown with her to buy groceries.  She’s most comfortable in Chinatown and Flushing (Queens) because there she can find people from the same village as her from China, or from nearby villages.  It’s that feeling of cultural communion with another person in a faraway land that makes my mom take a train ride into Manhattan instead of just walking a few blocks to the supermarket by the house.

So when my mom buys groceries she takes the M train into Chinatown and buys from the vendors who have their fruits and vegetables displayed in barrels and bins outside (I guess the Midwest’s version of a farmer’s market, only it’s year-round and no one selling it grew it themselves).  My favorite thing about dinner shopping with my mom in Chinatown is going to the fish markets, I LOVE seeing all of the freshly caught seafood.  I can’t even describe the vibrancy of it when I’m at home compare to frozen fish in a bag when I’m in Iowa.

I remember when I was little and my mom would get crabs, I’d play with them; I try picking up and poking at them to see if they’d snap their claws at me, sometimes I’d even get them out of the kitchen sink and put them on the counter to see them walk.  If I was with her when she was in Chinatown to buy them, I choose one myself and it would go into the big, brown paper bag (one of the rare occasions that you don’t get a red plastic bag); during the train ride home, I’d peek into the bag to see what they were doing because I just liked watching them snap their claws and move their legs.  You can’t do that with a bag of frozen, process crab in a supermarket … Food is so much fun!

Mom’s Home-cooking ♡

I know there are just certain things that people are bias to — like, your kid being the smartest and the cutest and the most behaved; and your mom being the best cook ever… only, my mom really is the best cook ever (in my eyes anyway).

There’s no restaurant or food in the world that can compare to my mom’s cooking; her cooking is one of the things that I look forward to when I’m home.  Besides from the dinner shopping that I tag along with her in Chinatown for (usually consisting of some sort of fish/seafood, vegetables, and fruit), she also grows her own vegetables and herbs in her garden in the back of the house.

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One of the many winter melons that my mom grows in her garden. She usually makes soup out of it or stir-fries it.

My mom has such a green thumb!  She grew up in a rural village in China, where the livelihood of the villagers was farming.  My mom said we use to own dogs, cats, fishes in a pond, hogs, chickens, etc. (I imagine she grew up in a place that’s probably like Iowa! — but how I grew up would be comparable to a place like Hong Kong instead).  Anyway, she grows Chinese vegetables in the backyard — things like chives/scallions, cilantro, winter melon, green beans, and other things that I don’t even know what their names are.  She has an abundance of vegetables and herbs, so much that she is always giving some to my aunts and uncles, to my sister-in-law’s mom, to extended family and friends, basically to anyone.  It’s also a part of the communal sharing that is exhibited, especially in the past in rural areas of China under Communist influences for crop sharing (before what historians now term as the evolution of “modern China”).

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One of the many winter melons that my mom grows in her garden. She usually makes soup out of it or stir-fries it.

My mom cooks everything (except for soups) in a wok.  Seriously, whether stir-fried or steamed, it is cooked in a wok.  It’s crazy because I hardly know how to use one!  You’d think since I grew up seeing one every day of my life I’d know what I was doing with the thing!  I don’t know what the best type to buy is, and I don’t know how to properly clean it so that it doesn’t rust.  I’ve never seen my mother doing anything other than washing it like you would normally wash any other cookware; but online they have instructions on how to “properly” wash a wok — things like “seasoning” it by coating it with oil and rubbing it down and cleaning it up with paper towels.  The funny part is, all of these instructions are usually from a white person!  I mean, would anyone seriously listen to a Chinese person giving cooking instructions for Italian cooking?  I supposed she’s never had to do any of that because the wok is constantly in use, so there’s never a concern for it rusting because it would never be “put away” in the cabinets.