How to choose a paint color: marital tragicomedy in three scenes

SCENE 1 husband: I don't want any blue or gray colors. Our entire house is blue-gray. How about purple? wife: Purple wouldn't go with anything in our house. How about turquoise, like in our hallway? husband: Hmm, let's consider it. SCENE 2 Husband comes home from a paint store with paint swatches: shades of blue-gray-purple. SCENE 3 wife: But... what about turquoise? husband: You ALWAYS say NO to EVERYTHING! wife: <temporarily loses her mind> Bedroom remains unpainted for three more years.

Two Years

Two years ago, on the night of Monday, May 25th, 2015, I had a dream. I was driving from Boston to Bangkok to see my dear friend. I was following another car, which my friend's sister-in-law and twin brother were driving. Many people were coming to the same place in Bangkok to see my friend. By the time I got there, there was already quite a crowd. I was in the back of the crowd, and I saw my friend standing in the front with his wife, facing the people who came. It was hard for me to see him, as if he was a little bit out of focus. Then I saw a little boy, about 2 years old, standing next to me. He looked just like my friend. I woke up at 3 am, with intense pain on the left side of my neck, and all the muscles in my body were very tense and stiff. The next evening, I found out that my dear friend had died in a horrific rock climbing accident on May 25th. It turned out that he fell, head first and slightly to the left, and sustained fatal injuries. Much later, I also found out

Birth Story

It only took me 1.5 years to write this birth story... Good thing I didn’t have time to write down my birth plan because it would have gone out the window from the start. I woke up on Wednesday morning when D kissed me goodbye. As soon as he left for work, I realized that my underwear felt wet. We were in the middle of an August heat wave, so I assumed that I had sweated through my underwear. But then it occurred to me that maybe my water had broken. There was no gush, and I felt no contractions, so I was not convinced. Making the decision to keep going about my day, I took a shower and got dressed to go to work. Then, I made the mistake of consulting Dr. Google. The internet attacked me with scary factoids about the risk of infection, and I decided to call my doctor JUST IN CASE. After describing my symptoms, I was told to come in to check for amniotic fluid. Still clueless, I asked if I could go to work. “No,” said the nurse. Completely convinced that this was a fals

That time when I was clueless

The story in my family goes that I did not sleep through the night until I was three years old. Whenever that story would come up, I would chuckle and comment on how I must have been a difficult baby. That was before I became a mother. Now that I have a baby of my own, I wonder how my mother survived those three years (answer: she had lots of help from her parents as three generations lived under one roof). The point is, before I had my baby, I was completely clueless about what it's like to be a mother. This was true even despite all the stories I'd heard about my own childhood, despite the stories my own friends shared with me. In the world of science, we talk about the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns. I thought I had prepared myself somewhat for the known unknowns by reading a ton about pregnancy and childbirth, by taking childbirth and breastfeeding classes, and by mostly avoiding extreme parenting books. But then, there were the unknown unknowns. Which really c

Compartmentalized time

Parenthood has redefined the concept of time for me in so many ways. In those early sleep-deprived, hazy weeks, the days seemed so long. Getting through the day was so challenging, that I could not fathom being able to get through weeks, months of caring for an infant. Eight months later, the days are still long (though much more manageable). But the months are very, very short. I cannot believe that my baby is approaching the one-year mark, and her first birthday will be here before we know it. She is closer to toddlerhood than to her newborn days, she is starting to wean (a whole other blog post), and she is growing up so quickly that I find myself scrambling to pause and commit to memory the wonderful, fleeting moments we share together now. So, the cliche that the days are long but the years are short turned out to be true. But time has been altered for me in other ways as well. There are so many every day things that need to be done, items that need to be checked off the to-do l

Cloth Diapers

Before our daughter was born, we considered using cloth diapers instead of disposables. I did not know much about cloth diapering at the time, but I was inspired by this post at Young House Love. There is a ton of information out there on the different types of diapers, and there are even classes one could attend to learn about the different options. I found this 7-part video useful in figuring out what types of cloth diapers would best suit our family. Also, Amanda at Poppies and Ice-cream has a good overview of the cloth diaper options and some of the reasons for using them. CHOOSING CLOTH DIAPERS After educating ourselves about our options, we decided that we would go with the bumGenius Elemental All-In-One One-Size cloth diapers. We liked the ease of an all-in-one (AIO) diaper, since it requires no "assembly" or taking apart for laundry. We also liked that the insert inside the diaper was 100% organic cotton. I was also happy to find out that these diapers are mad


Remember how I wrote about leaving my job and being a stay-at-home mom for the first year of my daughter's life? Well, things have changed a bit, and as of today, I am working from home as a freelance medical writer. Because I am still taking care of my baby full time, my freelance hours are very limited. Nevertheless, I believe this officially makes me a work-at-home mom! This opportunity came about when my old company that I left after giving birth offered me to work for them on a freelance basis. This was back in November, and I was not ready then. But they contacted me again in December, and this time I was up for it. This was mostly due to the fact that my daughter was sleeping through the night. I know, I have that unicorn baby that started sleeping 11 hours at night at the age of 3.5 months. But don't hate me yet because she is going through the infamous 4 month sleep regression now, and we are no longer sleeping through the night! Even though I am now sleep deprive