Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

Here's our Christmas/Careese birth announcement/New Years/Make up for last year's/E-Letter. If you'd like a paper copy and do not have a printer, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to us. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited (usually includes Puerto Rico and Greenland). Letters shipped to Hawaii will be quarantined with the pineapples for 48 1/2 hours.


- Download -

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Finally, a moment of peace

Yes! They are ALL asleep, including the dog. Note that I said a "moment". Unfortunately, Evan slept for only an hour. That gave me time to eat lunch and clean up. Oh well, it's a cute pic.

Monday, December 17, 2007

product recall you need to know about

Here's another children's item that I'm personally declaring a recall on, that's made in, you guessed it, China. Mark bought this Miffy plate and bowl set from Japan, at Don Quixote, a few months ago. It had an official holographic sticker of approval from the Miffy people, so why would I think twice about the quality of the items?
Well, take your plates and bowls back ASAP people! This dishware will explode. That’s right I said explode. Much like the made in China batteries that have been causing people's cells phones to spontaneously catch fire in their pants, these dishes will suddenly turn your happy little boy's snack time into D-Day. Thankfully Evan was not using them at the time. :)
We're not sure why these dishes just one day decided to warp and at its breaking point explode in our cabinets. In fact, another little bowl was sitting in this bowl when it exploded and that other bowl was thrown clear to the other side of the inside of our cabinet causing it much distress, and now it will not go near our other dishes.
They were being used in normal circumstances. Not in high temperatures in the dishwasher. My only thought is that the plastic must have been effected by the dry weather here, because plastics don't like to travel far from home I guess!
The bowl was the first to go. I noticed that it had a small crack at the bottom, and thought someone [Mark] had loaded the bowls in the dishwasher too tightly together. Then later that day, while I was upstairs giving Evan a bath, I heard something that sounded like dishes crashing. That's when I saw the bowl like this. wow. The next day I found the plate with a similar crack and by the end of the day it too exploded.
It was kind of crazy to watch these dishes over the next few days slowly self-destruct more and more. I think they've reached status quo for now. But I'll keep you posted when they spontaneously combust.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Santa and the kids

Santa stopped by to visit the kids at the church building on Wednesday, and I thought Evan should go since he is old enough to actually understand more about the wonders of Christmas. He had a late nap so we kind of had to wake him to go. I told him before he took his nap that we'd go see santa later and that he'd get candy from Santa too. He seemed excited about it. But the poor kid was so grouchy when we took him, he just wanted to watch the other kids. Of course it doesn't help to see other little kids screaming and crying on Santa's lap. But we made our way to the front, and Santa asked Evan to just stand by him. Still no reaction from Evan. He just stood there. Then Santa pulls out a candy cane, and next thing you know Santa is Evan's best bud. He goes right up and stands next to him. But won't look at the camera or smile. That's not unusual though, he does that on a regular basis.
Then one of our girls, Maddie, from nursery showed up to see Santa, and both Evan and her were dressed in similar colors, so we couldn't resist taking pics of them. Maddie's such a cute little genius, we love having her in our nursery class. Of all the kids in our class, she's the most advanced in her speech and you can have a complete conversation with her. Once she was sitting at the table eating her snacks while the other boys were playing under the table with their snacks everywhere, and she laughs at them and says to us, "silly boys!" hahaha
Maddie was so cute when she tried to get Evan to smile, but he still didn't crack.
Anyway, we got a decent picture of Evan and Careese with Santa this year. Glad Careese was in a good mood for the picture.

It's that time again...

Your tax dollars at work. Use our aerospace warning and aerospace control mechanisms to your benefit: Track Santa.

MLB -- Santa Claus is not Real

Ok, we all know that Santa Claus is definitely real. But after reading the 409-page report on the use of steroids in the MLB, or the Mitchell report, named after Senator Mitchell, responsible for the investigation, it's just like discovering that Santa Claus isn't real. Yes, I did read almost all of the report -- in the last year or so, I've gained a new found love for reading legal documents. Especially when dealing with investigations. It's cool to see how they spin the web. Anyone who has used i2 Analysts Notebook knows what I am talking about. Anyway, it was quite disappointing to read through the list of players involved, especially because these aren't just minor league players trying to make the jump into the big leagues because there's more money involved--there are Cy Young award winners, Most Valuable Players (MVPs), key players that brought teams into the playoffs, key players that made key plays that places them, in one's mind, on an elevated level, into an elite group of cool baseball players. Then you see his name in the Mitchell report and how the player became roped into the scheme, and you're left with an empty feeling. Anyway, those of you who are CSI, Law and Order, NCIS types, will enjoy reading this report. Maybe over the holidays I'll create an Analysts Notebook chart to give you a visual representation of the investigation -- to show you what's going on in my mind when I read it!

As far as I can tell, Ichiro's not in the report, nor are the Matsuis (Kaz / Hideki), Dice-K, and maybe Santa Kurasu is still real in Japan.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Photo post

So, life with two kids has been um.... interesting. I can't tell you how many times I've started to write a post only to be interrupted. Here's an example of how interesting it can be...
One day Evan had a bloody nose, from the dry weather and him picking it probably, and Careese was being needy and wanted to be held. So I pinned Evan down with my right leg and pinched his nose with my right hand to stop the bleeding, and with my left I held a pacifier in Careese's mouth and tried to rock the infant carrier with my elbow. I think that qualifies me for the multitasking hall of fame.
Anyway, Careese has been such a sweetie, when she's asleep! hahaha She goes through a few hours, at anytime of day or night, of crying. We feed her, burp her, rock her, pat her, bounce her, walk around with her until she finally sleeps, then she wakes up 5, 10, 30 mins later crying like we didn't just spend so much time getting her to sleep. And we do that over and over and over for hours. And she knows when she's put down and wakes right up. We figure out that if she doesn't move or make a sound for over 30 mins then she's really asleep and we can put her down. yeah, we hope she out grows this soon.
So, that's all for now. Careese is in need of being held again. enjoy the pics!
dec 11 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Snapfish Deal through

Here's a deal I stumbled on today when I registered at
1) click on this link to get to's photo center powered by snapfish.
2) register as a new member
3) upload at least one photo
4) get 20 free prints, a free 4x6 flipbook, first free hi-res photo (I'm not sure what that means?), and a free photo mug.

The modernmom site also said it included free shipping, but I don't see a credit for it in my snapfish account... maybe it shows up at checkout? Anyway, it's a great gift idea for Christmas!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

When to Charge

I don't remember if it was Jerin, Andrew, or both who I was having this conversation with, but found an interesting blog entry discussing the merits of charging batteries 1) whenever you can, 2) once a day, or 3) after full discharge. It concludes that batteries should be charged whenver you can...details here.

Sorry to disappoint those who were looking for a baby update :) Ok, ok. Careese has some nice lungs. She can also poop. Doctor said for every day that the baby is alive, that is about how many diapers he/she will go through, true for the first week. Well, if we followed that, then at 2-3 days old, Careese should have actually been 20 days old.

Evan can soak through diapers in the middle of the night. He came over at about 0330 and said he was cold. I felt his pants and they had soaked all the way through, and half his shirt was wet. Went back to his bed to discover a HUGE wet spot on the blanket (good thing it wasn't on the bedsheet, because we haven't bought a mattress pad for the twin bed yet! At the same time, Careese was either looking to eat or change, or both, so Bev and I had a little party at 0330. Then I found myself competing for space with Evan, since Bev can't move with Careese by her side. Lucy, for a little while, was sleeping in her usual warm spot (my bottom or crotch, couldn't remember), that is, before she was told to go back to her kennel. By 0600 I was wide awake, and figured, guess it's time for work.

Actually made it to work on time today for the first time in a looong time. I think my coworkers sabatoged the diapers we bought or brainwashed Evan to push me off the bed in the middle of the night. That bugger.

Note--We have a queen size bed. But I don't think it'd be any different with a king. Evan's just a kicker and toss-turner when he sleeps.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Welcome Little One!

Careese Chang

October 25, 2007
6 lbs 8 oz
19.25 inches

Friday, October 19, 2007

What am I reading today?

My daily news read the past 24 hours has left me scratching my head more often than not (I think just getting my haircut at Ft. Belvoir has something to do with it as well). I feel like I'm reading The Onion, but nope, it's real news. Wanted to share some news snippets with you:

From Reuters: "After a three-year hunt involving cutting edge technology and police on three continents, it was dogged detective work and a Thai transvestite that finally led officers to Canadian pedophile suspect Christopher Neil."

Now I don't want to bring light to the situation, since this guy has done some horrible things that will undoubtedly impact those he has victimized...I guess case in point, it was his Thai transvestite companion that ended up being key:

"His companion at the time of his arrest was a 25-year-old "katoey" -- the Thai word for transvestite or transsexual -- a friendship that proved key to the manhunt. ...Transvestites in Pattaya said they had seen him with a 25-year-old cross-dresser called Ohm.
But the pair had already fled the eastern seaboard town, dubbed "The Old Whore of Asia" since the days of the Vietnam War, when American GIs would come in their thousands in search of euphemistically phrased "R&R"."

Link to the article

This next article, while not surprising, is still a little disturbing, in a totally different way:

From AP: "The Air Force is planning to fire at least five officers for violations of nuclear security rules that allowed armed missiles to be mistakenly loaded on a B-52 bomber and flown over the central part of the United States, officials said Thursday. ...The B-52 flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana with six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles mounted under one wing. A total of 36 hours passed before the missiles were properly secured, officials have said. ...The officials declined to say what procedures were not followed. But the mishandling in August would have required not one mistake — but a series of lapses by a number of people in order for armed weapons — as opposed to unarmed ones — to be inadvertently taken out of a storage bunker, mounted on the B-52, misidentified on a flight manifest and flown across the country for three hours without anyone noticing."

Let me highlight a few things: Five officers? Nobody noticed it was armed versus unarmed? Do they put them right next to each other? 36 hours passed before missiles were secured...well, that's because they weren't real, but if they were real, how long would they have taken? Series of lapses...can you imagine how many people routinely signed off on this particular training flight? You'd think the movies were exaggerating when people are sleeping on the job, but I guess they're not too far from the truth!

"The weapons involved were the Advanced Cruise Missile, a "stealth" weapon developed in the 1980s with the ability to evade detection by Soviet radars."

I guess they were so stealthy that we didn't even notice.


Ok, here's my last one. Anyone who's been following the ALCS and saw last night's Red Sox-Indians game knows how amazingly Josh Beckett pitched last night. An AP writer says, despite Kenny Lofton throwing a fit and his ex-girlfriend singing the national anthem, he still concentrated and threw a knockout game. I would think that would fuel the rage. Beckett's quote definitely supports that. I love it when us guys say we're (expletive) over somebody...are we, really?

From AP: "The Indians insisted it wasn't intentional, but the club invited country singer Danielle Peck, an ex-girlfriend of Beckett's, to sing the national anthem and "God Bless America" on the night her former beau took the mound. Peck was a fill-in for another singer, but her appearance didn't seem to break Beckett's concentration. "I don't get paid to make those (expletive) decisions," Beckett barked. "She's a friend of mine, that doesn't bother me at all. Thanks for flying one of my friends to the game so she could watch it for free.""


Ah, another day of transvestites, misplaced nukes, and (expletive) ex-girlfriends. Hey, it definitely beats listening about the Hollywood trash trio - Spears, Lohan, and Hilton!

Friday, October 12, 2007

21 days to go!

And I'm defiantly done being pregnant. But I'm not sure how ready I am to have Baby here. I was gonna post one of those counters, but I think it just makes me anxious to look at it, so I threw it out.

I've been spending my days organizing the house to make room for the little one. I've dug up Evan's old clothes and picked out the clothes that could also work for a little girl. Its made me nostalgic to think that Evan used to be such a little guy. I'm so excited to have a little, little baby in the house again. So sweet and small and helpless. And so great to watch her grow and make small little firsts milestones. Although, I'm wondering if those firsts milestones will seem not so great as watching Evan's firsts. "Oh, good job you rolled over! But your big brother was doing that weeks before you..." :)

This pregnancy has been going well compared to the first time. Besides that incident of placenta previa, its been good. I didn't have strange bumpy patches of dry skin on my hands and feet, no red itchy patches on my legs, and no swelling or puffiness on my hands, legs, or face. My only complaint this time around is how Baby seems to be growing up into my rib cage. Its not all that pleasant to be kicked in the ribs from the inside of your ribs. With that, I've got some weird muscle strain/tension that starts in the front of my ribs and extends around my right side to my back. So annoying to have a constant pain in your side. I got sick with a bad cough for almost a month, and every cough/sneeze caused SO much pain from muscle spasms! I'm so glad that it's gotten better, and I can handle the soreness over the inability to move my right arm.

So, now I'm just anxious over thinking about what labor and delivery is gonna be like this time around. Everyone says that the second time around is faster and easier. I hope they're right. 12 hours with Evan was enough for me. My OB is predicting that this one will come earlier than Evan did, he was 9 days early. And she thinks this one will be smaller. But I thought that babies got bigger with each pregnancy? We'll see I guess.

I can't really remember what the contractions felt like, but every time I feel Braxton Hicks (practice contractions) I get so worried that this is it! Because with Evan, I just woke up at 6 am with really steady strong contractions, and was in the hospital a hour and half later. My biggest thing is I hope I can manage the pain like last time. I didn't want to get an epidural last time until I felt like I needed it. And after 9 hours, my OB recommended that I should get it to rest and have energy to try again. So, I guess really my biggest worry is since each baby is different, I don't know what will happen this time, and that makes me so anxious!

Evan is slowly understanding that there are things set aside in the house just for Baby. And if I go back to rearrange the baby's things, he'll even tell me not to play with it cause it's for Baby! Evan's growing up so fast. It's most evident in his vocabulary and interests. He used to just throw puzzle pieces all over the house, and not have any care to put it in it's place. But lately, he'll actually sit there for a while taking them apart and put it back together on his own! And he makes me laugh, cause with each piece he puts in the right place, he'll cheer for himself with a hand waving above his head! He loves to sing nursery rhymes to himself. He'll be playing on his own, and you'll hear him singing to himself, even doing the actions too! And sometimes I've heard him making up his own songs. So cute!

What has he been saying lately? SO much. I can't even remember all the things he says that stuns me daily. Where does he learn these phrases/sentences? Its usually the phrases he says that apply to what's going on around him in the moment that surprises me, cause he's so aware of his surroundings, people's emotions, and changes.
Every once in a while, he'll see us pulling out the laptop, he'll come running up asking, "I want podcast! I want PODCAST!" huh?! This kid is defiantly growing up in a different world that we did as kids.

Bedtime has become SO nice too. He'll say he doesn't want to go to bed, but he knows he's tired, and before I need to even fight him to go upstairs, he'll grab his "bear bear" or his train, and start heading upstairs. We'll go through our routine of brushing teeth, PJs, reading, prayer, and "tuck tuck" (tucking him into his big boy bed, then he'll tell me to turn off his bedside light, and if I don't leave, he'll push me and say, "goodnight, mommy!" Can you believe it?! This is a total 360 from what bedtime used to be like. I couldn't even stand by the door without reassuring him I was still there! He wouldn't let me leave the room, asking for water, more songs, or more hugs! He's such a big boy now. *sniff*

Well, that's about it for now. I've got some pics coming, from the last month, that I'll post soon. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cooling off

Fairfax county has issued a water use restriction until it rains again, and with the unsual 80-90 degree weather we've been having, this is my resolution to the problem.

He's just the right size to have some water splashing fun.

Remember these popsicles from when we were kids? Its flavored ice in plastice tubes that you squeezed to eat.

Lucy insisted on being out on the deck while we were out there too. It was time for her to get a bath anyway.

Poor Lucy, even I didn't want to be out there with Evan throwing water.

Doesn't our deck look fabulous? While Mark was in Japan/China, his brother David was staying over at our place for a few weeks and he scubbed and weatherproofed our deck for us. We've been needing to do it for years, but never got around to it. Now, I'm not afraid of Evan getting spinters in his feet when he runs around bear foot on it. You should have seen it before, it was gray and dirty and had patches of green algae growing on it. Now it looks like a brand new deck! Thanks David!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Where'd Madeleine come from?

Lets clear up some confusion... Andrew likes and suggested the name Madeleine for our yet nameless little girl, but everyone seems to think that's the name we've decided on from the comments on a previous post. Well, we didn't, and sorry Andrew we're not naming her Madeline, cause there are WAY too many Madeline's running around here these days. So you can still use it to name your little girl!
As for a name, I'm gonna have to wait to see what she looks like before deciding. I think it's so much harder to name a girl than a boy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Evan's in the Big Boy Bed

Ok now for non-politics...

Another sign of a sad day: Our little Evan has now been sleeping in a big boy twin bed. We were just talking earlier this weekend about transitioning him from the toddler bed (crib with one side off) to the bed. Evan must've overheard us talking while in his sleep, because the next evening he just wanted to sleep in the big bed, and has not gone back to the little bed since. Bev says she's going to cry. I think it's the pregnancy emotions talking. Picture to follow (*hint hint, bev*).

Evan looks to little in such a big bed!
Almost 2 weeks and Evan's hasn't fallen out of bed yet! But he has only slept a full night in his bed without coming over to our room in the middle of the night. Any ideas?

The Whole Taiwan Thing

So, I'm not going to say whether I'm for or against Taiwan joining the UN, because I really don't have an opinion one way or another, and even if I did have an opinion, I'm not going to disclose it (so there). I did make an observation during my last trip to Taiwan and was a little disturbed by it. Those of you who have been through Taipei probably have noticed that the Chiang Kai Shek International Airport is now named Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Minor detail? Yes. But think about the resources, both human and monetary, that had to go into changing this minor thing. Hold on, let me detail:

Chiang Kai-Shek, for those who care (well, those who care already know), is associated with the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, KMT, or pan-Blue). Local Taoyuan County officials, pan-Green (Democratic Progressive Party/DPP), and mainland Chinese media, who either resent the Nationalist occupation of Taiwan (DPP) back in the day or don't recognize Taiwan as separate (PRC), refer to the airport as Taoyuan International Airport. So the Executive Yuan of Ah-bian's administration got together and officially approved the name Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on September 6, 2006. The KMT and its allies held a one-vote majority in the Legislative Yuan, decried the change, and proposed "Taiwan Taoyuan Chiang Kai-Shek International Airport" instead. In the end, the pan-Green party won and all the signs have changed.

Back when it was being built in 1979, it was planned as "Taoyuan International Airport".

Well, glad that's all taken care of. Let's talk about some more pressing issues now, maybe? Like dealing with corruption, etc etc, in the government? Sheesh.

Well get this, though -- Terminal 1 was designed based on the main Terminal of Dulles International Airport. Who knew?? I knew they copy video games, software, movies, but who thought they'd be copying airports?!

Fukuda: Well, he ain't no Richard Gere

So the newly appointed Prime Minister for Japan, Yasuo Fukuda, breaks the younger-aged PM trend, but maybe that's what Japan has been looking for: after scandals and waning party popularity, Fukuda and the LDP are going to revert to the old way of doing things, evident in his selections for the cabinet -- "heads of internal party factions that supported him in the race". Fukuda will be good because he "is by temperament an arbiter between conflicting views and interests", which, for the party, it will be good to have someone pick up the pieces and rebuild...but he is "not a bold initiator like Mr. Koizumi".

I was hoping for a Koizumi comeback. Not for anything other than his looks. He's the slickest PM I've ever seen. The lion-mane hair is amazing--I hope when I am in my 50s I can grow that hair.

Never thought the day would come...

I guess there's no reason to go to Canada anymore...such a sad day. :(

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Last of the Seattle pics uploaded

Seattle Aug 07

Ok I finally added the last of the pics from my Seattle trip to the slideshow. I know, its really late. oh well. I tacked the pics of Canada and the beach picnic to the end of the slide show.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beijing: Pardon our construction.

So Beijing is a HUGE city. It's quite expansive, compared to typical asian cities, which are building up because they're out of space. I guess Beijing is building up as well. It seemed like half the city, not to mention all the tourist sites, were under construction, everyone preparing for the Olympics in 343 days (there are countdown tickers all over the city to remind them how much longer they have to get that building done!). Some of these projects they are undertaking, I have no idea HOW they will have them completed, functional, operational, and SAFE in under a year. But I guess with a virtually unlimited workforce that works around the clock, it can be done.

Just some thoughts, observations, etc, before I go to work (they're a work in progress, forgive me):

Subway: There is currently a Line 1 (Red), Line 2 (Blue), and Line 13 (Yellow). Red goes west to east, blue is a loop line, and yellow is a spur off of the loop line. Thus begins the mystery of lines 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. According to Faye and other Chinese insiders, all the subway lines have been planned in advance; these three are the only ones that are done. In one subway station, I saw plans for lines 5, 8, and 10. And the other day in Zhongguancun, I saw a crane that said something like "building the future line 4". Thus remains lines 6, 7, 9, 11, and 12. Interesting, though, that a city this big is just beginning to get a subway system.

Bus: It's because everyone depends on the bus. These cans are packed like sardines all the time. But it can be cheap: Some buses charge .40, some charge 1, some charge per km or per stop. How this is determined? Who knows. But buses can get you anywhere, it's great. Too bad most of them stop running after around 10 or so.

Nightlife: Maybe it's because I'm a family man now, but it seems like, unlike other asian cities, there's not much that happens after 10 or so. No night markets, karaoke, etc. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong place.

Tourbooks: Anyone who's traveling to Beijing, don't count on a travel guide book like Frommers or Lonely Planet, especially if it is out of date--like 2006. I got one from the library that was 2006, and had trouble finding places because a lot of places have moved because of the Olympics. There was one store I really wanted to go buy stuff from, I told the taxi driver to take me to a place close to it, but just to make sure, I asked him if he's heard of the store, and he said it was no longer there, it moved to make way for a highrise. And this book was dated 2006!?! Argh. So I told him to go to the airport instead because traffic was horrendous anyway.

Cars: Interesting conversation on television was talking about reducing pollution by telling people to take public transpo, while at the same time, cars are just becoming more and more popular, people are trading in their bicycles one by one for a car, and the novelty effect probably hasn't worn off yet. So they have a little "Maodun". Another thing: Black Audis and Black VWs seem to be the status symbol around here. If you have money, you most likely have a black Audi. They're nice, but when everyone has one, where's the novelty in that?!

Foreign vs Domestic: I went to a fast food beef noodle shop (wasn't that great, but oh well) and got a can of coke for 5 RMB (about 70 cents or so), which I already thought was a rip off, since a can can cost about 2-3RMB usually. But then I go back to the American-owned hotel I was staying at, and was a little thirsty, and since I was sitting in the lobby lounge mooching wireless internet, I felt bad that I was sitting there not ordering anything, so I ordered a can of pepsi. Can anyone guess how much I paid? 34.50 RMB (5 bucks or so). Crazy. The same type of charges can be seen in transportation costs as well. Taxis are 10 RMB to start, and then 2 RMB for every few KM (I don't remember exactly how it works, but it's still relatively cheap). Pretty much it costs about 20 RMB (about 3 bucks) to get places in town (on average; going across town is another thing). Cheap, yes? But get this. Taking the subway to go across town is 3 RMB (less than 50 cents). That's cheap, right? But wait, there's more. Taking the bus (well, I wrote it earlier) is only .40 RMB to as much as 2 or 3 RMB as well! (so 5 cents to about 50). And one wonders why everyone takes the bus.

People: It's funny, these people are always scrambling to get places. Not the most orderly, but I was told by some Malaysians that it's worse over there. I can't even imagine. The way people drive is the way people get on and off the subway, on and off the bus, and in and out of food lines. Drives me crazy! I like Japan because it is the exact opposite--a lot more orderly. Makes DC traffic look like cakewalk, that's for sure!

Another comment: You wouldn't think China was a communist country. Did anyone else notice that? I mean, other than Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall and all that out there, it would be hard to tell. I bet it's even harder to tell in Shanghai.

Well I'm out, I'm completely out of clothes and need to get the laundry done--it needs to last another week or so!

More later.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Groban Concert

Yes, I am a Groban fan. I've been a fan since I heard him sing "You're Still You" on the radio the summer of 2002. And I remember clearly being blown away by his amazing voice.
Anyway, since then I've made my sister a fan too, and we decided to go to one of his concerts here in Seattle. And to be honest, it's my second Groban concert this year. I'm embarrased by it cause it's like I'm one of those crazy stalker fans! Well, the cheesy-ness doesn't end there...
Let me first say that the concert is still great the second time around. Although, I knew exactly the jokes he would say and what to expect during the show, I still enjoyed it.
Ok, so before the concert, while we were driving around the Key Arena for a parking spot, we found out where the performer's RVs were parked out back. We were already being silly, realizing that Josh could be in one of those RVs right then! So I jokingly said to my sister that we should come back after the show to see if we can see Josh leaving! Of course, its so out of character for us to chase celebraties down. We believe there's a line between being a fan, and being and OBSESSED stalker.
At the beginning of the show, my sister drops her cell phone and the back cover to her Razr is lost somewhere, being kicked underfoot, by everyone in section 208. There was no way we'd find it till after the show when the lights were back on.
So, after the show, while the crew was dismanteling the stage, we finally found it 6 rows down from us. *whew*
Then, I, being 6 months or so pregnant, needed to find a bathroom asap. And of course there are lines into all the women's bathrooms everywhere! Don't event planners know that twice as many women go to the bathroom than men?! So we kept walking around the inside of the arena looking for a bathroom. We finally found one that was empty, and when we were leaving looked outside the arena to see that the RVs were still parked outside. So, just out of curiosity, we decided to walk past the gates to maybe catch a glimps of Josh.
Just as we were getting close, I heard a security guard yell out, that everyone needs to get in line behind the barracades. Then we see a rush of crazy fans coming at us, cause we were standing at the entrance to the barracades. So, without much thought of WHY we were getting in line, we got in line! If a hoard of people are rushing to get in line, there must be something good at the front of the line right?
There were these two old ladies, 60+ yrs old, in front of us, and we asked them what this line was for. They said that sometimes, as tour buses leave, the artist may stop and get out to meet the crowd and sign autographs. Really?! Wow we got in a good line!
These two old ladies were SO funny. They were telling us about how they've tracked down Ichiro Suzuki of the Mariners at spring training hoping for an autograph, only to see him speed off in his shades and black sports car. And how when they were younger, at 50 yrs old, ran after Barry Manalo's car as it was leaving a concert! Can you believe it?! These two old ladies have one crazy hobby!
We waited about 20 mins in the drizzle of Seattle rain with these 2 old ladies and a lot of underaged, acne prone, hormone raged, stalker fans that knew WAY TOO MUCH about Josh and his dog and other usless facts. We DEFINATLY did not want to be associated with this crowd.
Just then an RV pulls up and, YES, Josh Groban steps out in a hoodie to sign autographs in the rain. Well, that was nice of him. So, as it turns out he went to the back of the line first and worked his way forward, back to the RV. I made my way toward the back of the line, where there was less of a crowd, and took some good pics and got him to sign my concert ticket. Whoo Hoo! My sister stayed in the front, and mangaged to get a signature too under all those crazy fans. Looking at the video tape afterwards, I realized she was the second to last person to get an autograph in all that madness. Lucky her.
We both were too star struck to say anything more then "Thanks, Josh" when we got his autograph. We're so lame.
Michelle K.: I think that whole evening is right up there with your latest cheesyness.
But, it was a great experience to top off our Groban concert, and we came away with a great souvenir too. Especially since we were sitting in the nose-bleed, cheap seats section surrounded by a lot of Josh's geriatric fans. Who knew his demographics spanned that wide of an age group?! I almost felt weird cheering at the beginning of the concert, cause a lot of the people around us just didn't have that type of energy level. There was, however, a very metro 20 something seated a few rows in front that was freakishly too much of a Groban fan. Let's just say his "enthusiaism" for Josh kept us entertained.
Groban Aug 07

Friday, August 17, 2007

NYC through Uncle Brian's Lens

That's the last of the pics from Mark's childhood friend Brian from our NY-PA-DC trip. Brian must have some mad skillz cause even his point and shoot comes up with some nice photos. That or else I really don't know how to maximize the functions on our camera. Enjoy!
NYC DC Brian pics

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A few more Seattle pics

I added a few more pics to the end of the album.
I'm doing it this way so Mark can see what we're doing while he's away.
Seattle Aug 07

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Ok so, I'm posting these pics of Seattle a little prematurely. I was gonna wait till I was back in DC, but I'll just keep adding to the web album as I upload more pics.
I feel like a schmuck again for not taking more pictures! There's not nearly enough pics of when Jerin and Wami and Taisei were here. And there are no pics with Lisa, no pics of my old friends that I've been hanging out with, and no pics of Mark's 10 yr high school reunion! The reunion is the biggest reason we were even in town. *sigh of dissappointment*
Well, imagine with me a large dim lit room with green and white balloons, filled with about 150-200 27-28 yr olds with glasses of beers in their hands, loud 90's music blasting from a DJ in a corner, "heavy" appetizers on the tables, and Mark's slide show he put together for the reunion looping on the big screen in the back. There were a lot more people that showed up than expected, and there weren't enough chairs and tables for everyone. That's ok cause most of them congregated around the bar. Being that I only knew 3 people at the reunion, all Mark's friends, I did OK making small talk with the others there accompanying someone that did go to that high school. I'll let Mark post his thoughts on his reunion...
My 10 yr high school reunion is in 2009, and after going to Mark's I've reconsidered not attending mine. I know there aren't going to be many people there that I'll talk to, cause I already keep in touch with the ones I care about. But I would be curious to see who's lost hair, gained/lost weight, who's doing well, and who's still never left high school mode. Funny that even after 10 yrs, there were still noticable cliks at Mark's reunion. If you weren't tight with a certain group in high school, you still didn't talk to them at the reunion.
So, I guess after going to Mark's, I know what to expect going to mine. And I have 2 years to start a business or get my masters or do something HUGE before then. :)

*I'll post the slideshow again when I add more pics to it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

July = Visitors!

July was one crazy month of visitors coming and going, family and friends, but its fine by me to play host to great visitors.

For Evan's birthday, we got to see Andrew and Liew and Andersen, Abbey and Da and Brennan and Clayton, and David and Alexis. I posted a pic of Evan's strawberry guava cake in a previous post. Evan loves strawberries, and pretty much picked off all the strawberries and left the cake and frosting behind! I decided to make it a kiddie pool party since we'd been having insanely hot and humid weather this summer. The kids, mostly Brennan and Evan, loved splashing around in the kiddie pool and getting the non-swimmers wet. I feel like a schmuck, cause in my busy-ness playing hostess, I didn't take many pictures! Here's a link to the Zhou's site and of the pics they took of the kids splashing around.
I don't have pics of opening presents either cause I was busy video taping... but "Thank you for the gifts!"
Half the people I invited never showed, but I think, in the end, it turned out just right for Evan.

Mark's old childhood buddy Brian came for a visit too. Its becoming a yearly thing now for us to get together and travel. Last year we went to Taiwan together. We drove up to NYC for a few days and did touristy type stuff cause Mark and I haven't done it the last 2 times we've been. Evan did pretty well in NY given the extreme heat. He's in love with "choo choo trains, choo choo!" So he was in train heaven getting to see and ride on the subway everyday, everywhere, all day long. Simple pleasures.
We stayed at the Marriot at Newark airport for super cheap. The only downside was that it takes us a while to get into NYC on bus and train.
Someone please explain to me why Newark is SO ghetto and SO nasty? You'd think that being in such close proximity to NYC that it would be at least OK. But it makes SE DC look like paradise! Anyway...
I never get bored of NYC. I always like to imagine what life would be like to live in one of those grand old townhomes next to central park and have some fabulous design job. I can dream.
On the drive back, we stopped in Philly for, what else, Pat's Philly cheese steaks. There's a whole other language you speak just to order, of which Mark has figured out. So that's 5 languages he speaks now?

Here's some pics we took. Brian's pics of course are WAY better, and I'll have to post them separatly cause mixing his with ours would be wrong. :)

Brian stayed a little longer with us to see more of DC and play with Evan. Brian got well aquainted with Evan's "mickey mouse" trick. Evan made up his own sign for Mickey Mouse one day. And also has been on a kick to teach people sign too. So he's been teaching Brian how to sign his own sign for Mickey Mouse. It consists of taking your thumb and forefinger, and placing them on either side of your/someone elses nose and pinching while saying "Mickey Mouse" at the same time. Silly boy. I think Brian's got a pic of Evan giving me the "mickey mouse" demo.

Liew and Andrew and Andersen came up for our monthly temple trip and to celebrate mine and Liew's birthdays. I like when they come cause it gives us a chance to trade babysitting so we can go to the temple too. Plus they keep us on track to visit the temple at least monthly. :)
I've also come to really appreciate how Liew is always right there with me in the kitchen, cooking or cleaning. And she's willing too! That's something I don't see everyday. And she always goes above and beyond what she needs to do. She's the guest, but everytime I turn around she's loaded the dishwasher, or wiped down the dinning table, or put leftovers in tupperware and in the fridge! I don't ask her to do any of this and I'm always amazed she knows what I needed to do. And its not just meal times. She keeps an eye out for Evan too, along with Andersen. When we're over at their place, I know I don't even come close to doing as much as Liew does.
Liew, I don't know where you get the energy, and you're so quick too, for housework and you have so much patience with the kids, and keeping an eye out for them, like you have "eyes on the back of your head", I really admire you.

So, that's about it for July. Stay tuned for a post about our trip to Seattle (where I still am right now), meeting up with Jerin and Wami and Taisei, and Mark's 10yr high school reunion.

I can't believe its almost the middle of August. Where does the time go?! The baby is gonna be here before I'm ready for it.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Beverly & Liew's Birthday!

Liew and I have birthdays only 2 days apart. So we celebrated together. Liew and Andrew made some super yummy fried springrolls for dinner. And I made another fruit cake too. This time I added white chocolate to the cream cheese frosting, and it was DIVINE! Afterwards, I ended up eating the frosting with the left over strawberries. mmmmm. My next thing is to find the perfect cake recipe. I've just been using the store bought box type, but it isn't as fluffy as I'd like. I tired whipping the egg whites before folding it in the batter and it helped a little. Maybe I just need to use a sponge cake recipe and modify that? If anyone out there has a white cake recipe that's half cake and half sponge cake consistancy, please share!

I mentioned before that I was taking on a new hobby of crochet. I'm happy to report that I've completed my 2nd project! That's amazing for me! I almost let this one collect dust in my craft closet. But it's done and it turned out well for trying to make up my own pattern. Evan likes it a little too much. He thinks its for him, and will ask me to cover him with it when he's watching tv. I was planning on giving it as a gift, but now I'm wondering if I can part with it? I worked so hard to complete it. What if I never finish a project of this scale again? I'll have nothing to prove to Mark that I do get craft projects done!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

"Two Two Two!"

Happy 2nd Birthday, Evan!

Friday, June 29, 2007


7 random facts about me... (Beverly)

1. I like eating plain cereal with milk, like corn flakes or rice crispies or rice chex, with nothing else... maybe a cut up banana. And I like toast with butter by itself too.

2. I have a running dialoge in my head about things I'm doing everyday. It sounds like much like a journal entry or blog entry. Maybe it started from when I was a kid and would make believe I had a friend to talk to in my head.

3. I've kept a journal since I was 8. I've been pretty good about writing often, and I'm on my 6th or 7th book. But my handwriting and spelling hasn't improved much. ;)

4. I love looking for unique blank books to buy. Probably because I'm usually looking out for my next journal. If I love how the book looks, is a good size to write in, and has sturdy blank pages in it (no lines), then it motivates me so much to write more often. Even if it's not journal worthy, but I love it, I still get it. I love the idea that there is so much hidden potential in a blank book.

5. I can't donate blood. Not because I don't meet their weight requirements, but because I almost pass out everytime I have to give a blood sample. Both times I've had to give a blood sample at my OBGYNs, about 5-6 viles, I feel myself go weak and lightheaded, then my hands go numb, I break out into a cold sweat, and then I throw up. its great...

6. I love the smell of gardenias, waffles, babies that just bathed in baby shampoo, the air in the northwest, and IKEA.

7. When I see something I love, my first thought is, "I can make that".

I'm supposed to tag 7 people, but I don't feel like picking, so consider yourself tagged if you read this. :) hehehe jk. Do it if you like. It's a good time to stop and think about how boreing or weird you are.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


They say that fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent on your car insurance. So I guess since I spent forty minutes, I was able to save forty percent!

I love you, gecko. Back with you again.

Sorry, David Palmer. I tried.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's a girl

I'll spare you the other many blurry black and white arm/foot/hand pics, and just show what Baby looks like. I just hope Evan hasn't taken all the cute genes, i.e. long eyelashes, big eyes, good hair, etc. ;)
But it does look like she's gonna have a large head like Evan too.
Also, incase you didn't notice the two new photo album links on the right --> Mark took a quick weekend trip to Boston while Evan and I were in Seattle. And I've got a few pics, not as many as Mark's huge album of Boston, from our Seattle trip posted there as well. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Behold, the nasty eye!

I've posted this pic small on purpose. If you'd like to see the nastiness in high def, you may click it to enlarge. But I'm warning you...
This wasn't even at it's worse. I don't think I had the stomach to take a pic of it myself.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Lets Catch Up

We're in Seattle this week/s. Its kind of an annual thing for us now. We always manage to find cheap tix for us to fly to Seattle over Memorial weekend, for the celebrating of birthdays, mothers day, and our anniversary.

We celebrated Mark's birthday back on the 11th. Andrew and Liew came up the weekend before to celebrate with us and to make their monthly temple trip. They surprised Mark by decorating our dinning room and picking up a chocolate and peanut butter birthday cake while we were at the adult session of stake conference at church.
Speaking of stake conference, Elder Scott, an apostle of our church, came to speak. Its rare for a church leader that high up to come visit, especially since our stake is just another stake, but I'm glad he did, cause he gave some really good inspirational talks about being better parents/spouses/people in general.

We celebrated our 4 year anniversary in Seattle. We've come back every year and always spent part of the day doing work in the temple. This time we spent a lot more time then usual and I thought I'd be so tired the rest of the day, but actually it was the best way to spend our anniversary. It just put us in the right frame of mind to remember the covenants we made when we got married, and the rest of the plans that day just seemed to play out perfectly. We didn't do anything extraordinary but it still felt like the perfect day. We went to grab a bite to eat along Lake Washington on a beautiful, sunny and warm Seattle day. Stopped by Frys Electronics store for Mark to get his fix. Went to Ivar's waterfront restaurant in Mukilteo for delicious king crab and seafood dinners and see the sunset. Then stopped by Cold Stone to buy an anniversary raspberry cheesecake ice cream cake. YUMMMMM!!! That's a new tradition I think we'll keep. Then went back in time to put Evan to bed, and played Nintendo Wii! Simple, but a wonderful day.

Segway... we got a Wii!! Finally. Who would have thought that the game section at Hollywood video would be selling it? I'm not a video game player, cause I guess I have bad hand eye coordination. But I can actually kick Mark's trash at tennis! Its the only thing I've got going for me, but I'm hooked. I've been sore ever since we got it. ;)

This past weekend was so busy. I feel bad that we didn't get to visit with some people we wanted to see while we're in Seattle. My brother is in town from UT, and Mark's brother and wife are in town from HI. So, we can't cut out time with family on a weekend they're all in town. I don't remember the last time my whole family has been home having dinner and playing games together. It was nice. Mark's aunt was in town too from Taiwan, visiting with Mark's cousin, so we had a family dinner on that side too. And to top it off, we got both our families and friends together for a big BBQ at Mukilteo beach on Memorial day. Another beautiful sunny day in Seattle too. I like this tradition my parents started, I think we'll keep that too.

Mark flew back to DC on Tuesday, while Evan and I are out here in Seattle for a few more days. Mark's luggage never got on his flight, and his medications for his eye/eczema problems were in there. The airlines gave him $25 to buy toiletries and anything he needed. He finally got his bags the next evening at a different airport. Oh, and the adaptor for the Wii was that suitcase too. Poor Mark had no Wii to play.

Evan has seemed to grow so much on this trip. I know I say he's grown leaps and bounds all the time, but now he says SO much. Don't ask me how many words, I lost count along time ago. He's saying little sentences and gives us directions and asks us questions too! Like where we're going. Where someone went. Asking for help to find things or do something. He went as far as to grab me around the waist while I was playing the piano to help him find his tennis ball in the pile of pillows he made in the living room. He'll play 'where's it?' with my mom, hiding something behind his back and asking her where it is, then showing it to her and saying "there it is!" We were sitting at the dinner table waiting for my sister to come and he calls to her in Cantonese to come eat.
Evan has started to call me Bev too. Except it sounds more like "Bec". He probably learned it from Mark. He'll yell out "Bec" from far away, at home or playground or store. I think he thinks it means "come here", because he sometimes says it to other people too. I've been correcting him to say "mommy" or "ma ma" to get my attention. He's getting better, but sometimes he slips and says "Bec, mommy!"

Continue below...

Lets Catch Up cont.

I mentioned in a previous post that I was learning how to crochet. And I'm proud to say that I stuck with it and I finished my first project a week ago. Mark will tell you that I have a hard time finishing crafty projects. I've got a closet full of half done projects/ideas.
I'll post a pic of my first shawl. It turned out well for a first try. The only problem is that because I chose a pattern that stretched easily horizontally, than vertically, my shawl is a little wider than I would like. It's ok, lesson learned and it still looks fine. I'm currently finishing up a yellow and white baby hat. Its hard to discribe... so I'll have to post that pic when I'm done. Lets just say its cute!

I don't know if I'll give this baby hat away or keep it for a future baby. Even though it's yellow and white, I think it looks better on a girl than a boy.

So, now I will make the offical blog annoucement that we're expecting! Due November 2nd, with a 60% chance it's a girl. We don't know yet offically cause its still alittle early to tell and Baby's legs were in the way.
The reason why we have a good guess, and why we've waited SO long to say anything about being pregnant (almost half way there), and why Mark mentioned in a previous post that we were going through "health issues", is because there was a chance that this pregnancy could have turn for the worse.

I've been debating for a while whether I wanted to post about such personal matters. I could hold off making the announcement till we were certain things were normal but then I thought it would have been odd to suddenly post that we had a baby.

We did tell family and a few friends we were expecting, thinking that since everything with my first pregnancy went by the book, that we didn't have anything to fear about telling everyone right away. Maybe that jinxed it for us too.

Without getting into too much detail, I'll explain what happened... a little over a month ago, out of the blue, the pregnancy started showing signs that it was going to miscarry. But not all the signs were there, I was not in pain, running a fever, or anything that I physically felt was wrong. It was enough to send me into panic mode because I was flying home from Seattle alone with Evan, and I couldn't contact Mark because he was on his flight back from Japan. I called my uncle, who's an OBGYN, about whether I should cancel my flight or not. He calmed my fears and said that whatever is happening has already started, and all I can do is bedrest and take it easy. So I might as well get on this flight, go home, see Mark, and see my own doctor asap. The next day my doctor took an ultrasound and found the baby alive and well, but recommended that I take things easy until we knew what the problem was. We set up an appointment for me to see an ultrasound technician to get a better idea of what was going on a week later. I had another sign of miscarriage a few days before meeting with the technician, and I really took it easy after that.

After my appointment with the ultrasound technician, I was diagnosed with placenta previa, and my doctor put me on "strict bedrest" until things got better. With a husband in bed with his eyes itchy/in pain and kept shut, and a very active 2 yr old, "strict bedrest" was impossible. I did my best to do just the bare necessities of things that needed to be done day to day and take it easy, but I'm sure my doctor would have shaken her head. I needed to be on my back because while standing or just sitting gravity was working against me getting better.

Placenta previa occurs 1 out of 250 pregnancies. Its when the placenta, what feeds and filters food and oxygen to the umbilical cord to the baby, grows and develops close to/partially over/completely over the cervix, where the baby is to exit. So, any physical or strenuous activity could pull the placenta right off the uterin wall causing baby to lose its lifeline to food and oxygen. Our placenta was completely covering the cervix, and thats what was causing bleeding. Because this was discovered early on, there was a good chance that things would resolve itself as the baby grew that the placenta would move out of the way; and I wouldn't be on bedrest for the entire pregnancy or have to deliver by c-section.

I have to say thank you so much to Liew and Michelle for being so great and taking care of Evan for me when they visited us/we visited them. I think I needed someone to step in there and make me take it easy cause I have a hard time asking for help and not being able to do anything.

It was an emotionally tough time for me. I felt alone with my problems and Mark's eye problems; that I was being the good wife and mother and taking care of things around me but no one was taking care of me. And the thought that I could loose this pregancy scared me and it would be the worst failure I ever experienced in my life, even though it was out of my control. And what if the baby did loose partial food and oxygen, would it develope problems later? To top it off, Mother's Day was shot.

I'm glad that the worse of Evan's problems during that time was just a runny nose and cough for a few days. It was kind of nice to have him sit in with my 10/11 yr old Sunday school class instead of going to nursery.

I'm glad I typed up a very well written letter to convinced my doctor to let me go to FL to visit Michelle and Jason and Elias. It was a nice distraction and great to be around friends again. I'm sure I looked weird being pushed around in a wheel chair at the airport, because I didn't look like anything was wrong.

A few days before coming out to Seattle, I had another appointment to see the ultrasound technician. And we found out that the placenta previa resoved itself. My doctor said its amazing, because she's never seen or heard of placenta previa resolving itself so quickly. I'm so glad this cloud has passed, but maybe I shouldn't have told Mark anything about not needing to be on bedrest anymore, since now his eyes are better?

My doctor still recommends that I take it easy since its hard to tell if the placenta will reattached itself where it wasn't before. I've got another appointment when I get back to DC, and then we'll know for sure if its a boy or girl too.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Eye

***CAUTION -- this story may not be for the weak in stomach***
So now that my eye is finally getting better, let me tell you the complete story. You may need to grab a drink and a comfortable chair, because it's a long one. I'll tell it in journal form to give you an idea of how long this problem has lasted!

February 14/15 - Well, we tried to leave for Hawaii on the 14th, but because of the snow, yada yada yada, we didn't fly out until the 15th, but it was a long couple days because the flights were really early and of course, we are always up late packing. Thus began the eye rubbing. While in Hawaii, my eyes were getting more and more itchy, as was my elbows and legs, as it usually does when I experience super warm, humid weather after being in the cold for so long. This time, though, my eyes were non stop itchy, starting to get flaky eyelids. I thought, well, just put some ointment on it and it'll be fine. Should go away by the time we get home.

March 16/17 (I think) - Eyes were getting considerably worse, now it seemed to be getting rather red and puffy. But only in my left eye. So put some Burts Bees Ointment on it and felt okay, drove up to NYC with Jerin, Wami, and Taisei, and felt fine for the most part. Just kept putting that stuff on, and felt like it was going to get better.

End of March - Saw the eye doctor, since I needed a new contact lens prescription anyway, and she recommended using Vigamox, an antibiotic eye drop usually used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis, or pink eye, and also Erithromycin on the eyelid to heal/prevent infection. The eyelid doesn't get any better, now it looks like a cyst of some sort has developed, almost looking like an open sore. But not bad just yet, I just thought it gets worse before it gets better. Little did I know.

April 7 - Eye doctor says the pink eye is gone, but now the 'secondary infection' of the eyelid was getting uncontrollable. She recommends that I see a dermatologist, but I was leaving for Japan the next day so was unable to do so. Gives me Bacitracin, a more stronger and general antibiotic, for my eyelid and sent me on my way.

April 8-16 - Eyelid gets significantly worse, since in Japan, I am out and about the whole time, and unable to clean around the eyelid, so it gets more and more infected, and the little open sore begins to overtake the eye.

End of April - Tried Neosporin, thought it looked like it was getting better, but it actually wasn't. Flew out to Jacksonville to see Jason & Michelle & Elias, and the heat and humidity there made the eyes worse, and actually started to spread to the other eye. Rest of my body starts to get itchy as well - elbows, legs, chin, neck.

Early May - Realizing that I didn't want a gimpy eye for my birthday, I finally call to see a dermatologist, and he recommends taking Doxycycline (a tetracycline) antibiotic and then using Bactroban ointment on the eye. Takes a viral and bacterial sample for testing to see if it was positive for any of those. Sends me on my way within few minutes. Efficient, I thought, typical of a former Navy O-6. Also told me I have eczema, which is why my eyes, elbows, legs, were rashing up whenever I go from dry to humid weather. This was the cause of all my problems.

May 10 - Early morning, I thought, hmm, should my face be feeling fat everytime I take the antibiotic? I look up symptoms for allergic reaction, and face swelling is a symptom, but I'm not getting anaphylactic shock or tongue swelling, etc etc. This is eight days into taking the ten day prescription. I've been home all week. Call the doctor, he calls back and tells me to stop immediately, that it could've gotten worse. Also says that both tests came back negative for bacteria and virus. So I realized that everytime I took an antibiotic, I took an allergy pill at the same time, so as my allergic reaction began, the allergy pill would also kick in; that morning, I guess it was just slower to kick in, and I was in a world of hurt.

May 12-14 - Thought hmm, should my eye be dried under a fan and allowed to crust up/scab so it can heal, or should it be moist all the time? Tried both. This weekend we tried the crust up thing, but then I couldn't open my eye at all. So was at home all weekend in bed. Right eye keeps getting worse. Getting rashes around it, and the eye doctor yet again gave me Vigamox because it looks like I have pink eye in that eye as well. Did it for both eyes. Eek. Oh and by the way, Evan got us all sick with the cold over the weekend.

May 15 - Realized hmm, maybe since there's no bacteria, no virus, that maybe the Bactroban wouldn't be effective since there's no bacteria to kill! Tried going without anything, and seemed to be healing better. Sat under a fan all day (been doing this fan thing for a few weeks now, so lame), so it was nice and dry. Seemed to be getting better. Tried sleeping without a fan at night, couldn't sleep at all, so tried with.

May 16 - Woke up with the eyelids bleeding and oozing. It didn't work. I'm guessing I wasn't supposed to keep it dry, but when it was wet, it never stopped oozing! My supervisor at work had given me a name of another dermatologist a few days back, called them and got an appointment with the Physicians Assistant there that afternoon. Went there, and she instantly gave me a handful of new prescriptions to take. Told me that with eczema, can't have the skin too dry (so no fan), and needs to be well moisturized. Prescribed some Keflex antibiotics, Desonide topical ointment for the eyes, Predisone to cool the eczema, and another allergy antihistimine to let me sleep at night without scratching too much. She also noted that this should go away by Sunday, if not a marked improvement. I'll see it when I believe it.

May 18 - Right eye is pretty much all better. Left eye is still a little pink, but much, much better than before. Went into work for a good five hours or so. Eyes still get a little dry, but as long as I keep it cool and wet, it feels pretty good.

May 20 - So now you're up to date. The problem with the Desonide is the side effect - itching. So I would rub my eyes while sleeping, so it hasn't been the most effective, but I can't complain. It's much better than it was back in April! Still itchy, but at least I can go back to Seattle looking semi-decent. It was a tough time for me in April/May, because anything we did to try and make the eye better, it seemed to work one day, and get worse the other. It was depressing, because on the internet, it said if I had something like flaky eyelids, I would have it for the rest of my life, and would be treating these types of problems all the time. Good thing it's just eczema, and I can treat it easier. But through those times, it was hard because physically I felt fine, I felt I didn't need to take a "sick day", but in doing so--in going to work, I was exposing my wound to germs, etc etc, the environment that made the eye worse. Was home for two weeks. Some nights I couldn't take it anymore and would go into work late in the night for a few hours just to catch up on e-mails, etc. After the PA prescribed the new stuff, and it started working instantly after that, it was a new beginning. Things became more optimistic. I didn't have to sleep all day, and didn't have to wipe the ooze dripping off my eye all the time anymore!

FYI May 20 is also the day I went into the Missionary Training Center...NINE years ago. Wow, how time flies. Ohhh yeah it's time for church. Better hop in the shower. Will beef up the story later when I have more time, but wanted to give you the skinny up front!

I have some pictures as well, if you'd like to see some. I don't have any of when it was super bad, when it was all crusty that I couldn't open my eyes. That was the worst.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Jacksonville, FL

Sorry for the delay. I don't know why we had SO much trouble uploading these pics to picasa. But here's pics from our trip to FL. Jason managed to get Mark to be a guest speaker at his training meeting, and so Evan and I tagged along for some fun in the sun. It was nice to get away from the killer amounts of tree pollen in DC.
Thanks so much to Michelle for being such a great hostess and taking such great care of us and for introducing us to mochiko chicken. We're hooked. Mark's gotten pretty good at making it at home now. Thanks Michelle for getting my husband into the kitchen! ;)