My Photo
Location: Northern California

Thursday, June 30, 2005


What's gross is

What's gross is when you lick your fingers after eating salted nuts, taste diaper wipe, and realize you didn't wash your hands after changing your kid's last poopy diaper.

But that's never happened to me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Grande breastmilk latte

Yesterday while reading my favorite mom-centric websites I came across a story about a woman in Maryland who was asked to either stop breastfeeding or cover her baby while trying to enjoy a coffee at her local Starbucks. This story struck a chord in me since I am currently breastfeeding Thomas and I often do so in public restaurants, parks, stores, malls, or wherever we are when he feels like eating.

Apparently Starbucks had picked a fight with the wrong Mama, since this woman wasn't about to cover herself and slink away to the bathroom to breastfeed her kid in shame. Oh no. This woman staged a Nurse-In and got hundreds of nursing moms and their supporters to demonstrate at various Starbucks. Cool! She got tons of press coverage. Go here to read all about it.

Even though I caught this story a year too late to participate in a Nurse-In, I figured it was not too late to be an armchair lactivist (lactating activist) and to write a letter to Starbucks telling them how I feel. The wording of this letter was suggested on the website.

Letter emailed to Starbucks on June 28, 2005.

Dear Starbucks,
I am writing this in response to the horrible treatment of Lorig Charkoudian, the woman in Maryland who was asked not to breastfeed in a Starbucks store by a Starbucks employee.

Please be advised that breastfeeding mothers are protected under national policy and that they have a right to breastfeed in any Starbucks they chose without being asked to move, hide, cover up, or leave.

Please train your employees that breastfeeding is different from other behaviors that customers might complain about (such as loud music, offensive language, etc.), and that employees are never to ask a breastfeeding mother to move, hide, cover up, or leave. Instead employees can advise the complaining customer to avert their eyes or move to a different part of the store.

Yours truly,
Mary Tsao
A breastfeeding mother and Starbucks customer

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Halfway past some New Year resolutions

Like many other Americans, I made a bunch of New Year resolutions this year. According to Wikipedia,
a New Year resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain until the set goal has been achieved, although many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set.

As we approach the halfway mark of 2005, I'm revisiting my New Year resolutions to see if I've succeeded or failed in my promises to myself.

Resolution #1: Exercise every day. Failed. Mike and I bought an Elliptical trainer right around January 1 and while I haven't been on it every day, I usually get in a twenty minute workout no less than 5 times a week. That seems good enough to me. If there are other opinions out there about the right amount of cardiovascular exercise one should get in order for it to be effective, I don't want to hear them.

Resolution #2: Lose baby weight and achieve goal weight of 141.5 pounds by May 15. Failed. I still have 8.5 pounds to go. I would like to put the blame on the fact that I'm still breastfeeding Thomas, but the reality is that I rarely (OK never) say No when confronted with a cookie, a piece of cake, chocolate in any form, or any other yummy treat.

Resolution #3: Get my hair done every six weeks. Succeeded. I may not have the most glamorous hairdo around, but it certainly looks better when I cut and color it regularly. I'm a no-frills kind of gal; I get my hair cut by the Google onsite hairdresser and I color it myself. It costs me $15 + $5 tip for the haircut and approximately $10 for the color. Spending $30 every six weeks equals spending $260 a year on my hair. Not bad considering I once spent over $300 on one cut and color at a trendy SF salon that shall remain nameless because I forgot the name.

Resolution #4: Exoliate my face twice a week. Succeeded. This one sounds easier than it is. Don't forget that most of my showers are interrupted by either my toddler or my baby. Have you ever showered with a six-month-old clinging to the glass shower door and crying because he can see you (naked, too!), yet he can't figure out how to have you?

Resolution #5: Pumice feet often enough that when I look down and catch a glimpse of my foot I'm not repulsed. Succeeded. We don't need to get into the details of this one, but even if nobody else ever touches my feet I am happy knowing that they're ready for a massage at any moment.

I probably made more resolutions that I'm forgetting to list here: Be more patient with the kids, be a better mom, loosen up about spills on the rug, live for the moment more, etc. As the second half of the year goes by, I am going to continue to work on my resolutions. I think my success/failure rate is right around 50%. It's quite possible that I'm actually doing really well and that for a mom with a toddler and a newborn, I'm doing extraordinarily well. Maybe one of my resolutions should have been to not be so hard on myself. If it's not too late, I'm adding that as Resolution #6!

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Party Mama

After all of my years of throwing parties, I feel like I've met my greatest party challenge...and won! Today was Emily's 2nd birthday party and it was so much fun and went off without a hitch. I'm glad I had all those years of hosting my own birthday (kegger) parties under my belt so I knew what to expect. The only difference is that this time I didn't have a house and yard full of happy friends drunk on beer, but a house and yard full of Emily's friends drunk on energy and juice. "JUICE, JUICE, JUICE," is a two-year-old's mantra. The kids huddled around the ice chest filled with the wonderful colorful boxes and entertained themselves by sucking on ice chips and box after box of that sweet sweet stuff.

The key to hosting a successful kids' birthday party is to keep it short and simple:

  • Put a start and end time on the invite. I like a two hour party.
  • Serve the food 30 minutes after the start time. Don't bother with a complicated menu, hot dogs and chips are everybody's favorite.
  • Sing Happy Birthday and serve the cake no more than 90 minutes after the start time.

    By the time 120 minutes (2 hours) have passed, everybody's either eaten cake or smeared it somewhere, the kids obviously need to go home and sleep off their juice high, and your house is a mess. Congratulations, you've just hosted a successful kids' party! Hand out gift bags as the kids leave.

    We asked that people not bring gifts to Emily's party because she's still too young to fully understand the concept of gift-giving. I wonder if she'll be up to the challenge (and I do think it's a challenge for a young child to graciously receive gifts) next year? We'll see...
  • Tuesday, June 21, 2005


    Morning in Paradise

    Monday, June 20, 2005


    Mother of six-month-old survives airplane trip

    Today was a long day. I've been up since 5:30 AM Chicago time which is 3:30 AM San Mateo time and I'm running on fumes at this point. But it's 8:00 PM, both kids are asleep, the toys are picked up, and I just wanted to get in writing that I have the best kids ever.

    Thomas and I arrived home today from our whirlwind trip to visit family in Chicago. And I just have to say, Thomas was SUPERB on the airplane! I took early morning flights both coming and going and it worked out that he was ready for a nap as soon as we boarded the flights. He nursed and slept almost the entire way there and back. I think he figured out very quickly that it was boring confined to my lap and his best bet was just to doze. Man, was I happy. Thank you, Thomas!

    Thursday, June 16, 2005


    The highlight of my life as of last Wednesday

    I'm having a hard time finding the time to write in my blog. Correction, I'm having a hard time making the time to write in my blog. So I have a new resolution: I will write three times a week in the evening instead of watching TV. I can do this. I'm not going to worry about what to write about. I'm just going to sit down and write. There's got to be some nugget of something floating around in my head that I might want to write about and that you might want to read.

    For example, let me tell you what happened to me last Wednesday. I was doing my weekly grocery shopping at Trader Joe's and I decided to buy a bottle of Frangelico hazelnut liquor. mmmmm. I wanted a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, but I couldn't find it in the one minute I had left before Emily was officially done (as only a toddler can be done) with the shopping experience.

    I was more than a tad surprised but certainly delighted when the checkout clerk carded me. I thought for sure that a six-month-old strapped to my chest and a two-year-old whining about balloons in my cart would prove that I was at least thirty. Not to mention the fact that my cart was filled with healthy things like salad mix, veggies, and fruit, and I was trying to buy FRANGELICO, for God's sake. Hardly the drink of the young, although certainly the drink of the young at heart. A few moments after carding me, the clerk told me I looked only twenty-three or twenty-four. I momentarily contemplated the fact that he might be flirting with me, but who would flirt with a woman schlepping around two kids? And then he told me about this great drink called a Nutty Irishman. It's Frangelico mixed with Bailey's. Sounds good, I told him, but I didn't think they sold Bailey's. He assured me that they do and asked me if I wanted him to get me a bottle. Why yes! I've come to terms with the fact that when you're hauling around crying baggage like I am, you can't be proud; If help is offered to you, certainly accept it. After he ran back with my bottle of Bailey's we conversed about the appropriate time to start imbibing. He suggested 11:00 AM was ok (It was then 5 minutes til). I think I may have giggled at that point. It's downright embarassing what a simple compliment (if you can call being carded a compliment) can do to a person who spends most of her waking hours trying to guess what the word na na means.

    So that's the story of how my spirits were lifted on a Wednesday morning. It was good to have a little lighthearted flirtation on an otherwise trying grocery shopping adventure. Oh, and you have got to try this drink. It's especially good with a squirt of whipped cream. Yum!