A Letter to My Son

5 01 2012

“May the LORD bless you and take care of you; May the LORD be kind and gracious to you; May the LORD look on you with favor and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Dear Baby H,

Happy 1st Birthday, baby boy!  Mommy and Daddy love you very much.  This day is such a blessed day because it is the day you arrived in our lives.  This day may be a cold wintery day but you warmed our hearts with your presence.  We cannot get enough of your smiles, giggles and laughter.  You amaze us more and more with each passing day.

The Lord is great.  He blessed us with you.  He trusted us enough to raise a tiny child and to be the ones to help shape you into what you may become.  We know that we will make mistakes along the way but we hope that it will never be too late to correct ourselves.  We know that we don’t always have the right answer but we hope we can make the best decision for you.

Our wish for you is a happy, simple life.  We want to give you the world and support you in all you do.  We wish for a life filled with happiness, joy and love.  We may not always be able to shield you with the downsides of life but we will be there to help pick up the pieces and we will be there offer a shoulder for you to cry on.

May you always trust the path God has put before you.  May He always shower you with His love and blessings.

WE LOVE YOU, BABY H.  You are our greatest blessing.

Love always, with endless hugs and kisses,

Mommy and Daddy





Proud Parent Moment

15 12 2011

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.  – Charles R. Swindoll

Tonight was a proud and happy moment for DH and I.

Baby H took his FIRST steps!!  He was standing right by my sister’s Christmas tree and then he moved forward about 2-3 steps.  Soon after, he tumbled to the ground.  He attempted to walk a couple of times later on in the night with a few successes and a number of fails to follow after.  DH and I were so happy to see him experience this milestone.

I love watching Baby H grow but at the same time, it melts my heart.  He is no longer this tiny baby that would sleep in our arms.  I remember just staring at him for hours.  Now, I cannot get him to sit still for a few minutes.  He is so curious and active that I knew this day would come soon.

The best thing we can do is to encourage him when he falls and trust that he will gain the confidence he needs to walk on his own.

I guess the three of us are just going to take it “one step at a time”.





Stressed… backwards

14 12 2011

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.  Coincidence?  I think not!  – Unknown

One thing that stresses me out is baking.  It seems to be an exact science and if you knew me in high school, science was not my favorite subject at all. 

Years ago, a friend of mine decided to take a cake decorating class and asked if I wanted to join her.  Silly me said yes!  All excited about the class, I bought all the necessary tools I would need to decorate (which are now mysteriously missing).  I remember the first day of class and the instructor said for the next 9 classes, we would have to bring in an iced cake.  I put my hand up and like an idiot asked, “Can I just bring in a styrofoam cake?”  The instructor answered, “It’s better you bring in a real cake so you get familiar with it, and how it feels to actually decorate it.” At that moment I turned to my friend and said, “I have to bake a cake?  I quit!” 

I didn’t actually quit because the course had already been paid for in full.  So, I cheated a little.  Either my friend or my sister and her husband would bake my cakes and ice them for me.  They also made all the icing I needed for class.  =P 

I actually had fun learning how to decorate a cake – we learned how to use the tips to write, make squiggly lines and even make roses!  That part was fun because it was more like crafting to me.  Mid-way through the course, I was watching The Shopping Channel and saw the showstopper was a Kitchen Aid mixer.  I don’t know what came over me but for some odd reason, I wanted to buy this complicated piece of equipment.  I think it was the joy of decorating that blind-sided my vision that I didn’t realize I didn’t fall in love with the actual baking part.  Silly me again… I whipped out my card and purchased this lovely machine!  =S

When the mixer arrived, I opened the box and admired its beauty and imagined myself becoming a baker and all the wonderful goodies I would make.  When I snapped back into reality, I realized I had no idea how to bake from scratch.  Heck, I couldn’t even bake goodies out of a box.  I always mess those up too.  At that point, I didn’t even bother taking it out to try and use.  Sadly, the complicated  mixer stayed in its box for close to two, maybe THREE years!  Why, you ask?  BECAUSE I DON’T BAKE!  Someone forgot to remind themselves that they have never made anything from scratch.  Someone forgot to remind themselves that they get stressed out from baking.  Oh boy… why did I not realize my love of decorating not baking?

A couple of weeks ago, my friend had a booth set up at a Christmas Bizarre.  There happened to be a lady there who sold these delicious cookies that tasted like brownies.  I got excited about these and thought to myself, I can bake these!  I looked up the recipe and thought that it shouldn’t be too difficult.  So I asked DH to get Kitchen Aid mixer out from its box buried in our basement so that I could use it to make the cookies.

On Saturday night, when Baby H went to bed, I pulled out all necessary ingredients and attempted to use the mixer.  I must admit, this mixer scared me.  It scared me so much I kept the mixing level on the lowest setting.  In awe, I watched the whisk go round and round.  For some reason, my ingredients weren’t coming together properly (like what I kept seeing in the video).  I was getting frustrated and discouraged very quickly.  Was this another failed attempt at baking?

In desperation, I asked DH if he could watch the video and see if I was missing a step (and yes, the video was not in english again – and no, I obviously didn’t learn my lesson).  DH to the rescue again!  He said I needed to turn my settings higher so that it would mix at a faster speed.  I turned the dial up and all of a sudden it was coming together.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t actually bake the cookies because the recipe calls for the dough to be refridgerated for 3 hours.  It was already late so I let it sit over night.

That same night, I attempted the crème caramel again.  I wanted to try making it again so that I could practice before making it for my brother’s birthday dinner with the family.  It almost turned out perfectly but I cannot get the melting of the sugar to turn out they way I wanted to.  The caramel sauce tasted a bit burnt.  =(

On Sunday morning, I eagerly rolled the dough into balls and finished the last steps to the cookies.  The next thing I knew, I was popping them out of the oven!  Ahhhh…. I was so excited!  They turned out nicely and the best part…. they didn’t taste bad at all!  My girlfriends that were over were loving them.  Although they didn’t taste fudgey like the ones I had bought but, I actually enjoyed them!  I will definitely be making them again.

On Monday night, I had to make crème caramel so that I could bring it to last night’s birthday dinner for my brother.  After researching how to melt sugar and turn it into caramel sauce, DH and I attempted different techniques.  After a few fails, we finally suceeded!  Oh joy!!

See below for pictures of my baking successes!





The Recipe for Failure

7 12 2011

You learn you can do your best even when it’s hard, even when you’re tired and maybe hurting a little bit.  It feels good to show some courage.  – Joe Namath

It only takes two ingredients to create the recipe for failure.

me + baking = DISASTER

Let’s remember my name here is “Far From Pefect Mom” – not, “The Pefect Mom”.  So why do I even bother trying?  You know, I fail EVERY single time!  I don’t just ruin the stuff made from scratch… I even ruin the boxed mixes – you know, the one that you just add water and eggs.  It is actually quite funny to me.  It’s just that I always try hoping to succeed one day and I actually learn from my mistakes so the next time I try, I’m just a tad bit better.

I tried to make Crème Caramel last night but I was not too successful at all.  Although, DH did give me an A for effort =)

I think I made the crème part okay but the caramel part was a disaster from the moment I started!  I found a recipe online to make this rich dessert and I thought it was great because there was a video that I could follow.

First step for failure… make sure the video is in a language you understand.  I didn’t think I needed to understand what the baker was saying but that’s where I went wrong!  The recipe calls for the melting of sugar on the stove top.  So I copied the baker’s actions in the video – stir the sugar.  For some odd reason, my sugar was forming clumps instead of becoming nice and liquidy.   After standing at the stove stirring the sugar for what seemed like an hour, I asked DH to see if he could understand the video.  DH said I should not have been stirring the sugar right away.  I had to wait for the liquid to form and then stir later on.

SIGH

So I decide throw the first batch away and start over since I still had the crème mixture waiting for me in the fridge.

I patiently waited for the sugar to melt… and SUCCESS!  I finally got the consistency I wanted.  I realize the pan I was using was too small for me to add the crème mixture so I quickly find another pan and transfer the liquid caramel before it hardens.  The pan is now the right size… I swirl the liquid caramel to even it out in the new pan.  I wait a few minutes for the liquid caramel to harden just a bit before I pour the crème mixture in.

I slowly pour the crème mixture in and I begin to steam the new pan.  Success?!

WRONG!!!!  Yet another fail  =(

Second step for failure… make sure you use/have the right equipment, such as the pans.  When I was looking for a larger pan, I grabbed a springform pan (the type of baking pan that you can remove the sides from the base).  When I poured the liquid caramel in, I checked to see if it leaked.  It didn’t so I decided to pour in the crème mixture.  I thought everything was fine and within seconds of steaming, the pan started to drip and leak.

DH quickly finds another baking dish that wouldn’t leak and we quickly pour out the crème mixture.  I was able to save that but not the liquid caramel – it already hardened.  Because it was already late and I didn’t have enough patience to make a third batch of liquid caramel, I decided to just steam the crème mixture.  That actually went okay.  After steaming it and the crème firming up, DH tasted it shortly after it cooled and said, “It tastes like it’s supposed to.  It’s just missing the caramel flavor.”

Hahahaha… obviously the caramel flavor is missing!  I messed that up!

Now that I know what pans to use and the proper techniques… I will attempt to make this for my brother’s birthday dinner next week.  I will definitely let you know how that goes!





Let the Planning Begin!

2 12 2011

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.  – Gloria Steinem

With Baby H’s first birthday approaching, I have started planning his first birthday celebration.  With that in mind, I began the hunt for a venue, decorations, favors and all things birthday.  In my search, I ran across Shop Sweeet Lulu and discovered that they have the cutest party supplies ever!  There was an awesome Cyber Monday sale that took place and I HAD to take advantage of the sale.  To my delightful surprise, within days of ordering, my package of goodies arrived (shown above)!!

I cannot wait to use the supplies at the party.  I still haven’t decided exactly how I’m going to use all the items but I will definitely keep you updated with this process.  So far we’ve got the venue booked – a cute little Thai restaurant; favors and party supplies courtesy of Shop Sweeet Lulu and an invitation set found at my local Homesense.  There are still a few ideas floating in my head but that’s the fun stuff I get ponder over.

Right now, the biggest challenge we have is narrowing down our guest list.  We were trying to keep this a small intimate affair BUT, it’s proving to be just the opposite.  Our closest family and friends have their growing families too and we just cannot avoid the larger number of invitees.  DH and I have to sit down and figure this out soon because we should be sending out the invitations within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I’ve got more internet surfing to do on my favorite event planning sites!  Off to lala land I go… =)





My Year Off

30 11 2011

Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose.  There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from. — Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Our lives can change in an instant.  Tomorrow may be a new day and we can find ourselves in a different place than where we stand today.

Rewind to January 2010:  When I first started to blog, I challenged myself to NO SHOPPING.  I had rules and I followed them as best as I could.  I did this to help fulfill a dream my Darling Husband (DH) and I had.   Our goal was to sell our tiny condo and save for a home where we could raise a family.  When my challenge was done, we began to build our future.  March 2010, we purchased a new home and would be moving in the fall of 2010.   In April 2010, we found out that we would be expecting a new bundle of joy in the winter – my due date was December 31, 2010 to be exact.  That day came and went.  We welcomed 2011 with open arms and knew that our bundle of joy would arrive in the very near future.

My contractions started in the afternoon on Tuesday January 4th.  I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness!  It’s starting.  My life is about to change.”  We actually went to the hospital in the wee morning hours on Wednesday.  I was in labor for 8 hours.  I still recall the moment the doctor said, “Next contraction, you will need to push.”  I immediately thought, I’m not ready.  I wanted to tell him that but I knew I wanted to meet my baby.

On Wednesday January 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm, Baby H finally arrived.  HE was here!  In the blink of an eye, I went from being a wife a pregnant wife to becoming a mommy.  A new chapter in our lives was about to begin.

I decided to take the full year off for maternity leave.  I left work just before the holidays in 2010 and soon (but not too soon), I will be joining the work force again.  My year off was a blessed year.  I have waited for this blessing for a very long time and I am truly enjoying EVERY minute of it.

The first couple of months was an adjustment period for DH and I.  We were getting to know Baby H and learning how to become parents.  This new role of ours was challenging but so rewarding.  I accepted that no matter how many articles I could read about raising a child, parenting is definitely more an “on-the-job-training” kind of role.  We had to listen to our instincts and hope that it was for the best.

Watching Baby H grow is amazing.  He went from this tiny bundle of joy that would just eat, sleep and poop to this bigger bundle of joy that can now smile, laugh, kiss and walk when you hold his hand.

Baby H will soon be 11 months old… and the countdown to ONE will begin.  I HOPE that next month doesn’t go by too quickly.  I’m dreading the thought of going back to work but I know I have to go back.  There are bills to pay, food needs to be bought, things to buy… blah blah blah.

In the meantime, I get to plan his birthday celebration!  Watch out for upcoming posts on that soon…





Far From Perfect

30 11 2011

I am a wife to my Darling Husband (DH), who I hope sees me as his loving wife.  I am a mother to an almost 11 month old baby boy, Baby H… and I hope for now, DH and I are his world.

DH and I have arguments and we don’t always see eye to eye.  Baby H has tearful moments and I cannot always make the tears stop.  I strive to do my best but sometimes, I know I am defeated.

I am far from perfect… and you know what, I’m okay with that.