Author Archives: Jessica

About Jessica

Just someone trying to find balance between the professional and parenting world.

30 Rock is back! jyeah!

One of the best compliments I received was from a friend who said I reminded him of Tina Fey.  Granted, he was a little drunk when he said this, but the truth comes out after a little alcohol, right?

After a long hiatus, I’m excited to for the new season of 30 Rock, one of my favorite TV shows.

(image source here)

Now I’m only waiting for Mad Men to debut its new season and life will be good.  So good.

Jillian Michaels, Pressed Juice Cleanse, and me crying

A. was born in September 2010 and I ambitiously set a goal to get myself into shape before his 1st birthday.   My husband and I even made a deal that I would get a Rolex watch if I met this goal. Well, it’s been 15 months and that Rolex watch doesn’t seem any closer to being in my possession.

Nursing, going back to work, and generally having no time to do anything in between (like eating) helped shed the first half of the weight really quickly.  I thought, pssh this is going to be a piece of cake.  Obviously, I was delusional.  Although I was fortunate enough to lose most of the pregnancy weight, the last 5-7 lbs have proved to be very, very stubborn.  They’ve pretty much parked themselves in my midsection and butt and have made themselves quite comfortable without any intention of leaving without a fight.

Working out regularly has never been something I enjoy but I need to suck it up and go to the gym on a regular basis.  I’ve also purchased this:

It’s actually quite a good workout – it’s just that I haven’t been that great about following the plan as laid out by Jillian (who’s tough in a surprisingly charming way in the DVD).  A more detailed review to come soon.

Finally, a coworker and I are ambitiously planning to try a juice cleanse for a fresh start to a new year.  I’ve never done a cleanse before, partly because I love food but mainly because I have little willpower to stick to anything, so this will be interesting.  More to come once these action items are put in motion!

Product reviews Part 1: Baby gear I love (months 1-6)

Was anyone else overwhelmed and a little stressed out by the millions of baby products that companies state parents simply CANNOT live without??? I know I was.  Researching everything from boppys to strollers to teethers to onesies was fun at first, but after looking at 10 different strollers, they all started to look the same.  And the sticker shock on some items…yikes!

So to justify those countless hours of research, I’m posting some reviews of products that I truly love, with the hope that it can help other parents (current or future)  help differentiate and ultimately select the ones that are right for them.

Since every family and child is unique, reading product reviews from people with similar situations as ourselves really helped. So here’s a little bit about us:

– Lifestyle: first-time parents, both working full-time
– Baby gender: boy
– Help: minimal help from parents/relatives; A. in daycare starting at 3 months
– Housing: single-story house with front & backyard; minimal storage space
– Feeding: breastfed with occasional formula supplements

So on with the reviews!

Love #1: The First Years Close & Secure Sleeper

Our friend let us borrow this for a few months and swore we’d love it.  I, in my pre-mommyhood ignorance, had no idea anything like this even existed.  But she was right  – little A. was super snug in it during naps and bedtime, and its portability made it easy to have him sleep anywhere from the living room in the day to his crib at night.  We tried co-sleeping with him but after a week of us getting zero sleep, we moved him into his room, and he was perfectly happy sleeping on his own when he was snuggled up in this co-sleeper.  We used the co-sleeper until A. was about 2 months old.

Love #2: Boppy

I had a really, really tough time getting the hang of breastfeeding (more on that painful experience in a future post).  Every mom swears by the Boppy when feeding infants and it was definitely super useful, especially in the first few months.  Having a support pillow helped reduce the strain on my back and shoulders from hunching over and contorting into awkward positions during feeding time.  Another item borrowed from a friend 🙂

Love #3: Summer Infant Color Video Monitor

Omg, this was and still is the best thing we received on our baby registry.  The LCD monitor is perched on our bedside table, and the handheld monitor goes everywhere around the house with us when A’s sleeping.  Screen resolution is excellent with lighting and the night-vision is pretty good too (just a little eerie at first).  You can turn the screen on/off and adjust noise level/screen brightness  very easily.  Battery life on the portable unit is pretty good, too.  We still love watching A sleep at night 15 months later!

Love #4: Ikea Gulliver Crib

The bedrooms in our house are quite small, and we had to keep our guest bed in the room that we converted into A’s nursery.  Given this constraint, we decided on the Ikea Gulliver crib and absolutely love it. We were a bit concerned that it might be too small, but even now at 15 months, little A. still has plenty of room to toss and turn all night. Along with the Spelevink mattress, we’re extremely happy with its design and functionality (not to mention the awesome price tag!)

These items all exceeded my expectations, and I heartily recommend them to everyone.  Let me know if you want more details and I’ll be happy to provide more information!

New year, new blog

Regular blogging has been on my new years resolution list for the past…three, four years (probably longer) but like anything that requires discipline and maintenance, it inevitably moved down the priority list as the year went by.  Ever since I was a kid, I’ve kept journals and diaries, and years later, I find it extremely amusing to read about the “drama” I’ve endured in life, like as a seven year-old newly minted big sister, or during my days of emotional turmoil as an angst-ridden middle child teenager.Buying a website domain and actually paying for it will hopefully make me feel more compelled to post regularly.

Ever since becoming a parent, I’ve been obsessed with finding the best baby products through internet and word-of-mouth reviews, and the myriad of websites, blogs, stores, etc. can be quite daunting.  I have pretty specific tastes (simple, modern, whimsical with a retro/vintage vibe) so my goal is to share my thoughts and resources with others that have similar style.  in addition, as a working mom, I’m continually striving to find a balance between my professional and personal life, and hope that this blog will help myself and other mothers, in all walks of life and all stages of parenthood, to share tips and resources to find this balance.

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to share your comments/thoughts/products/advice with me!

– Jessica –

My little man turns ONE

The little man had his milestone 1st birthday last month, and seeing what a blast he had (despite his initial shyness with a crowd of people he didn’t know) was worth all the time, energy and occasional bouts of stress that went into the planning.  I’m still waiting for pictures from the big day but I do have one from the dohljabi that never fails to put a smile on my face when I see it:

No pressue buddy…this only determines the course for the rest of your life.

1st birthday party inspiration ideas

It’s almost little guy’s first birthday…I still can’t and won’t believe he’s growing up SO fast.  I remember last year at this time I had just started maternity leave and was pretty bored out of my mind for the first week or so.  In order to take my mind off of feeling swollen and heavy, I perused 1st birthday ideas for fun (did you know I like to plan ahead?).

Korean tradition makes a big deal out of the first birthday (or dohl) as its original intent was to celebrate an infant’s survival back in the time of high mortality rates.  Over the years, especially with the rise of the internet and photography blogs, people have been one-upping each other to put together an even bigger, highly styled, more whimsical bash.  I won’t even try to keep up given my already crazy life, so I’m trying to keep things simple and easy. 

So for those curious to know what a dohl celebration is like, I thought pictures could explain this better than any words can 🙂

From uncleowly – an example of a traditional dohl table. 

from – one that combines tradition with a modern flair.

From – whimiscal princess theme

from – simple and elegant

 It’s been difficult narrowing down the design elements from so many insipirational blogs and photos online, but I think I’ve put together something simple and fun at the end.  Pictures to follow after this weekend’s festivities!

It’s been a LONG time

…since my last post.  Juggling work, family, baby, friends, and miscellaenous other stuff (like trying to maintain a tiny fragment of a social life), really eats away at the time I planned to allocate to updating this blog.  I can’t believe the July’s ending soon – summer is halfway over already (and so is 2011!)

One of my biggest challenges in blogging is re-learning how to write in a open and engaging way, especially given that the bulk of any writing in the last several years has been very cut-and-dry stuff like emails and application review comments.  I hope that this blog will help me develop a stronger writing style which infuses more of my own personality within its contents!

Moving onto another topic, I’ve belatedly started planning A’s first birthday party (called the dohl), which is a pretty significant event in korean culture.  I like to call it “my second wedding,” as it entails just as much planning and stress (many moms say even more).  With the event less than 2 months away and nothing really done, I’ve got a ton of stuff to do.  More details on dohl planning in future posts!

Decoration-less for Xmas

I love the holidays, but this year it seems to be passing by in a big blur.  With the little one and now the anticipation of returing to work, I’ve barely had time to acknowledge the fact that Christmas is only a few weeks away.

Cluttered rooms make me feel claustrophobic, and I’ve always liked minimal, simple decorations for the holidays.  With our small living room already filled with furniture and miscellaneous baby items, getting a tree is out of the question.  However, I still want the house to feel a little festive and this picture from Ohdeedoh would be great for our space.  Unfortunately, we have a big flatscreen TV above our mantle, but the stockings, twinkle lights, and knicknacks might work. 

I love the chalk-drawn fire in the fireplace!  So cute…

2 month update

At the beginning of the year, one of my resolutions was to be more consistent at writing blogs.  I’ve failed somewhat miserably at this.  Though I tried justifiying this because of the pregnancy and being a first-time mom, they aren’t the best excuses because I see lots of pregnant and/or FTMs that somehow find the time to update their blogs.  These women must either have clones of themselves or not sleep more than 2 hours a day. 

Every year around this time, I say the same thing – “I can’t believe the year’s almost over!”  What’s really scary is that time seems to go faster on a daily basis.  I clearly remember writing my first blog post  back in September 2009 while traveling for recruiting trips, and now it’s already been over a year since then.  Ever seen the episode of “Twilight Zone” where a man finds a stopwatch that stops time?  I need one of those.

November has flown by and Aaron’s grown tremendously.  He’s almost double his birthweight – currently at 10 lbs. 11 oz.  Granted, he was a tiny baby…but still!  I’m a little sad that he’s no longer the wee little newborn swimming in his baby clothes.  My eyes got a little watery as I put away some of the clothes that no longer fit him because he’s outgrown them. 

I’m returing to work in less than 2 weeks, and each day my heart aches a little more thinking about it.  The first few weeks of motherhood, I was itching to get back to my old life and return to work, craving that sense of normalcy and the “good old days” because I was so tired and overwhelmed.  I missed the silence of our house pre-baby, and the prospect of a solid 8 (or more) hours of sleep after a long day of work.  How things have changed…how I’ve changed!  I don’t mind getting up at 3AM to the sounds of Aaron’s cries for food.  Squeezing in a shower during naptime and wearing the same spit-up stained clothes for days on end isn’t so bad either.  Hanging out at home amusing Aaron with faces and babytalk isn’t boring – the smiles they bring forth are worth it. 

I’ve always feared that I was born without a maternal bone in my body, and the first month of motherhood almost made me feel like this was confirmed.  It took a while to bond with little Aaron, and now I can’t imagine life without him.  Gladly, I give up sleeping in, drinking alcohol, and my overall independence for him.  Being a mother is the hardest thing I’ve done, but the rewards are totally worth it!