Thursday, January 29, 2009

Parking Wars

When I came out to the parking structure after a doctor's appointment earlier this week, I was sent into an ANGRY RAGE. That's really the only way to describe it.

Some jerk in a Ford Excursion had parked so close to me on the drivers side that our rear-view mirrors were literally stacked on top of each other. There was NO way I was going to squeeze in the driver's side door--even if I wasn't preggo. I was so mad. Mad isn't even the right word. I was even in a spot marked "compact." I tried to climb over the through the passenger side, but I bumped my belly on the gearshift so hard that I have a still have a bruise.

Meanwhile, Abby is strapped in the back and starting to get fussy. I had to find some RANDOM guy walking by to climb over the seat for me and pull my car out. I wanted to use my keys to etch words into the side of that stupid SUV I can't type here on the family-friendly blog.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Taking on the Ox!

"January 26, 2009 marks Chinese New Year, and also the beginning of the Year of the Earth Ox in Chinese Astrology. The Chinese sign of the Ox evokes stability and dependability. The Ox is a practical work animal, while the Earth element is steady and firm. Together, they create a kind of plodding energy that can be exasperating. "

That's how the "experts" are summing up the change in the Chinese New Year. Exasperating, plodding energy? Check and check. But here's where it gets worrisome...

"Creative professionals may have a lean year in 2009. Actors, journalists, writers, models and dancers will have to work extra hard to find jobs, as such work seems superfluous to the ultra-practical Earth Ox."

Smells like trouble for a writer like me. I'd like to think of us creative types as the glue holding this frazzled country together. A visit to the movies offers a welcome respite from the chaos of real life. And could you imagine the last couple of weeks without our dear journalists???

Superfluous? I don't think so. So fellow wordies and grammar geeks unite--here's to showing the Earth Ox a thing or two!

On a side note, the Chinese gender predictor (based on the Chinese Lunar calendar) said I would have boys both times. And so far, two girls. So maybe it isn't totally scientific.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far...

Granny Nanny, Abby and I went to "The Desert" this weekend to visit Aunti Kelly and Uncle Johnny. We spent an afternoon at the mall, and Abby had a great time. She's really getting the hang of high chairs and it's pretty cute. And who doesn't love a mid-afternoon snack of Cheerios and her first lil' bit of a Cinnabon? Dee-lish.

And as we passed racks of clothes at Baby Gap, Abby grabbed her favorites and held them in her lap. Too bad she's not a boy's size 3T. Oh well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year's Resolutions of a Commitmentphobe

Inspired by my friend dear friend Lisa at, I am going to post my New Year's resolutions in a public place where maybe I'll be more accountable. I realize that this can all sound very trite, so I am trying to keep this to a minimum of goals that are actually achievable.

1. Be more "present" when it comes to the limited time I get with Abby. Between being EXHAUSTED after a long day at work, and her newfound love of actually going to sleep at a reasonable hour, on any given weekday I only get to spend 2 or 3 hours with her. So let's do some quick math--that makes 12.5% of my day. And that's on a good day. But I am so tired all the time (thanks to baby #2) and from dealing with Abby's overnight cries when she does wake up at about 4.
I find that by the time I get home, I am wiped out and it's easy to just put her on the floor to play and zone out. Or count the minutes until she actually goes to bed so I can relax. But I am suddenly very aware that my alone time with Abby is ticking down, and that I need to really engage her and enjoy the time we have just the two of us. I know that I'll love this new baby just as much as I love Abby. But right now, that's hard to imagine. So I want to soak up every last minute that we have together before life gets even more complicated.
2. I need to spend more time with my friends who have kids. It can be hard to find the time (or energy) to make plans, but the result is that I end up feeling isolated. The truth is that I know I'm not the only woman who has ever become a mother and worked full time, but it's nice to have friends to commiserate with.

3. Rob and I really need to spend more quality time together. He has been working really long hours to keep us all afloat. And I have plenty of other stuff going on to keep me busy. But I miss him and I miss who we used to be. And I know it's never going to be the same, I mean, we are somebody's PARENTS now! But I really want to focus on making our limited interactions more meaningful. And we need to find a way to be loving and supportive of each other, even when we are both so stressed and tired.

4. We need to get back to church. I know that God has to be at the center of our lives for anything to work at all. And He still is. But I know that "the devil does his work on Sunday morning." I can always find a reason why we shouldn't go. And our attendance has been hit or miss since Abby has been born. But I want to raise my children in a Christian home, with parents who are solid in their faith and walking the walk. In our busy lives, it might just provide us with the quality family time I've been yearning for. I also find that even if I don't feel like going when we leave the house, after the service is over I am ALWAYS glad that I went. For me, it's always a safe place to put my guard down and be reminded that I don't have to be in charge of everything all the time. And praise God for that.

So there. Like Lisa said, it's out there for everyone to see. Wish me (well, us) luck.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Crazy Christmas!

I know, this post is really belated. But things around here have been VERY busy. We plowed through the Holidays, full steam ahead, even amongst dueling illnesses and daycare drama. And we went on Abby's maiden voyage in the motorhome for the long New Year's weekend. Which we will not be doing again anytime soon, she is way to wiggly to be trapped in a motorhome in the desert all the time.

But all in all, it was a fantastic time. And I am REALLY sad to announce that there might not be many posts in the near future. My camera has died, and our kick you-know-what video camera has also somehow kicked the bucket. I can still count on the Brashear stalkerazzi to record Abby's every move, it's just harder to get the pics onto my laptop and onto this blog. But check back once in a while. I promise to fix the camera situashe ASAP.

Here are some pictures of little Abby's first Christmas present--she's opening it with Grandpa Bob.
Here's a picture of the pure-blood De Jongs. Remember, if it ain't Dutch, it ain't much! That's Abby's Great Grandma Bernice (Beppa) and Grandpa Bob, Daddy Rob, Auntie Kim and her cousins Mason and Grant.

Here's a little walker-thingy that Abby got from, ehm, Santa. Since she's been toddling around, it is perfect for her to practice. But she still needs a little help now and then. She hasn't figured out that it's easier to walk if you aren't on your tippy toes all the time.

For good measure, I thought that I would throw in a picture of Abby from Halloween that never made it onto the blog. Rob, Abby and I went to "Boo at the Zoo" here at the Santa Ana Zoo. Abby had a great time, but Rob and I were sorta bummed that there weren't any actual animals to be found. I guess it's just trick-or-treating for the little ones.

This picture was from Abby's first carosel ride...