Friday, October 29, 2010

Good Manners Have Nothing to Do With Status

I was walking to Starbucks this morning with Vanessa in her Snap N Go stroller (the baby car seat snaps into this). Feeling tired like most mornings (since my wake-up time is 6 a.m these days), I had my hair pulled back in a messy ponytail and was wearing a black fitted sweater with comfy yoga pants. suddenly I noticed a very polished looking tall slender blonde in a perfectly tailored royal blue dress and a classic pair of black Christian Louboutin pumps (pictured here). I spotted the red shoe soles immediately-my own CL pumps have been collecting dust in the closet for over a year now. She was crossing the street from the opposite side of the street from me walking in a brisk pace towards the same Starbucks cafe as I was. She looked beautiful and confident holding a blackberry curve in a perfectly manicured hand and I noticed my immediate reaction of trying to nervously pat down my own messy hair strands and thinking about the day when I finally would lose these last extra 12 pounds to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes especially all my cute jeans that wont go up past my thighs anymore. I smiled at her kindly as she approached the Starbucks cafe right before me. Her mind seemed preoccupied with work matters as she bearly glanced at me, opened the door and let it shut right before me hitting the front wheel of my Snap-N-Go stroller. How rude! was my immediate next thought. All the sudden, a homeless man who was standing right outside noticing me trying to reach for the door with one hand on the stroller still, rushed over a couple of steps and opened the door for me followed by saying " here you go miss". What a defining moment. If I ever thought that manners have any correlation with one's status in life, this moment was like a paradigm shift, making me realize in an instant real beauty which I consider good manners and compassion is all about how you treat the world around you (especially when no one you know is looking) and has absolutely nothing to do with physical appearances or status. Happy Friday y'all!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Our Day at the Museum

Today, I took Vanessa to De Young museum to see the exhibit: Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay. It's a rare opportunity to see these works of art in the same place not to mention this is the last time this collection will be featured outside of France. Normally, babies aren't allowed in this exhibit but I got special permission from an inside connection to take Vanessa in. The weather in San Francisco was 20 degrees colder today than yesterday and the exhibition was a heck of a lot more crowded than I had anticipated but it was absolutely breathtaking. Vanessa handled herself pretty well too. She seemed intrigued by Vincent Van Gogh's famous painting: Starry Night Over the Rhone. The shimmery blue and yellow definitely attracted her attention but soon after she fell asleep in her bjorn. I was fascinated learning about Van Gogh's short-lived one decade career that was filled with so many highs and lows: elations that sparked creativity and times of depression which led to hallucinations and insanity. Had no idea he took his own life, how sad. His creativity was truly genius. Renoir's A Dance in the Country was also one of my favorites. It was so joyful and I loved the brush strokes in this painting. Speaking of brush strokes, my other favorite pieces in this exhibit were actually not Van Gogh, Renoir, Gauguin or Cezanne. They were in fact the intricate collection of pointillist paintings, represented by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Pointillism is a neo-impressionist style of painting using thousands of brush stroke dots to create an image. Unless you are standing close to the painting, your eyes can't tell the difference. You can see all details of the image as if it was painted with long brush strokes and only when you are near, you see that the brush strokes are in fact small dots in various colors creating all the amazing details. Absolutely beautiful!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


There's a saying "People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime," I have mixed emotions about people that have come and gone in my life. The ones who bug me the most are those who ride the good times and reap the benefits of what you offer them but when something changes whether there's conflict that arises in the relationship or somehow you're just not as valuable to them as you used to be, they take the easy route of checking out on you. What that shows me is those people were never true to begin with. For them, relationships and friendships are about what benefits them. Then there are those who pleasantly surprise you by being there for you during the most challenging times-those who instinctively know when you need the most support and give that to you without having to ask for it. Those relationships have touched me. Since being pregnant and having a baby, I've had so many positive experiences of people reaching out by calling, e-mailing, sending gifts, coming over and bringing snacks or dinner and even offering to babysit when I need a break. I will always remember and cherish those random acts of kindness and the people who showed their true colors. I feel blessed to have such wonderful people in my life. It's easy to have a huge network of friends when people find you beneficial to their goals but it's truly rewarding to maintain those relationships and have so many awesome people in your life who are there simply for you, not what you offer them. I'm lucky to have that:)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Weather is Here FINALLY!

All I need is a good night's sleep and beautiful weather to feel on top of the world these days-life's simple pleasures never felt so good. The weekend was fabulous. The weather started to warm up and I got to see one of my close friends Alana and her husband Matt who were in town (his band was playing a gig at the Independent on Saturday night). We had an awesome time catching up with them in Japan Town over a bowl of soup and Vanessa made me so proud, no fuss and no crankiness all weekend. She let mom and dad socialize, took her day naps like a good little baby and even slept for 5-6 hour stretches at night. Her bedtime routine is now starting at 7 p.m. and she can then sleep straight for 6 hours till she wakes up to be fed at 1 a.m. She then goes back to sleep till 4 a.m, eats then sleeps again and finally wakes up for the day by 7 a.m. I am learning to sleep when she sleeps-well not the entire time-usually somewhere between 9 and 4, I get about five hours of sleep and then another two to three hours in the morning if I'm so lucky. I hadn't realized how sleep deprived I was until I noticed feeling so much happier when I got 6 1/2 to 8 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Now I have the energy go on two hour power walks all around Pac Heights, the Marina and Russian Hill. I am running errands and getting much more accomplished than I thought I could with a one and a half month old baby. With the last couple of days' good weather and the selection of new music in my iPod, life seems full of new possibilities!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Priorities

Today marks exactly 1 month and 18 days since the birth of my beautiful sweet daughter Vanessa Skye and life has been nothing short of the most challenging and exciting moments since. Vanessa is definitely my proudest accomplishment in life. It’s not the kind of achievement I can compare to finishing my MBA with honors while working full-time, landing the perfect job at a great company or buying my first home and second home. It is a different kind of happiness that has completely redefined my priorities. I love watching her sleep peacefully for hours, listening intently at the cute and eager sounds she makes when she is feeding, and noticing little changes and progress in her development day to day. My life has done a complete 180 and I'm enjoying the ride. Just in the last year alone I went from working in a corporate setting, to getting married, starting a business plan, and having a baby in a span of 14 months. Now, I am seriously considering renting out the condo in SF and moving to a quieter suburban neighborhood. Those who've known me well during the last 10 years are certainly aware that having a social life has been a close second priority in my life after focusing on work. Though I've lived in bay area since age 16 (with the exception of a few years away during college), I moved to the heart of the city 6 years ago to be closer to all the entertainment options such as the best restaurants and lounges, ballet and opera and all the great neighborhood to hike and shop at. But having a baby definitely impacts having a social life. Not only is there no time for entertainment these days, there is not even enough down time for me or couple time for me and my husband anymore. I maximize every minute of my free time while Vanessa naps doing the necessary chores such as pumping, washing and sterilizing bottles, catching up on mail, bills and thank you cards, making lists, doing laundry and cleaning because when Vanessa is awake, it might be possible to start tasks but impossible to finish most of them. Of course, my husband and I are still in the first two months of parenthood when we're quite sleep deprived and adapting like newbies to the high demands of a newborn. I hear things will get much easier before they get crazy again when babies start to walk. For now, life is all about prioritizing what matters most and that's Vanessa's needs. One of my action items these days is hiring a great house cleaner. I've been bribing the best cleaning lady I know with designer clothes for her and her teenage daughter in addition to offering her more cash than other customers just to squeeze me in her busy schedule but even my bribes aren't working anymore since her schedule is booked solid with her long-time clients. I should have scheduled her twice a month when she had client openings but at the time, I didn't know I would need that kind of deep cleaning on a regular basis. On a positive note, Vanessa slept for a 5 hour long stretch and I got a total of 6 1/2 hours of sleep last night-the longest amount of sleep I've had in 2 months. I am also learning these days how to multitask much better. I put Vanessa in her favorite stroller and take her on exloratory walks while I take care of my banking, grocery shopping and getting exercise all in a block of an hour and a half time. On weekends, I pack up and head to San Mateo where my parents live so they get to spend time with their only grandchild and I get to nap, veg out, watch TV, enjoy sunshine in their backyard or just simply relax, something I don't do often. For now, life is as hectic and exciting as can be. I spend majority of my mornings in the nursery, feeding and playing with Vanessa, reading her books, changing her, and organizing her toys and closet. I make lists of the things I need to do such as researching homes and tenants, ordering fabrics for the baby book and at times, I write, whether it's simply just thank you notes, blogging or bits of content for an online course I'm creating. Ask me tomorrow and my list might just be growing longer without anything scratched off it but today I feel productive and stress-free. My baby turned 7 weeks old today and I had 6 1/2 hours of sleep last night. Now, that's something to smile about:)