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Friday, September 23, 2011

It's Not Grey's Anatomy

In honor of the Grey's Anatomy season premiere, I thought I would include a funny picture of myself down below.  But, it first needs some explanation.  One of the things that always bothers me about Grey's is not their mispronunciation of medical terminology, or even the crazy plot lines or incestuous relationships amongst each other (after all, my hubby was my co-resident.  Though, actually, I guess technically, I was his senior resident, so I was more like Sheperd to his Meredith?).  Anyway, what bothers me is their scrubs.  Their scrubs are so tailored and figure flattering.  Let me tell you, when I wear scrubs, I look like I'm playing dress up in clown clothes and have to roll the pants up at the waist and try to tuck the shirt in a bit to look more professional.  Also, why do none of these surgical residents wear clogs?

So, getting back to my picture.  I was operating last week at Kapiolani where I usually get my size XS scrubs from the scrub machine, automatically programmed. The Kapiolani scrubs actually run small and the XS make me feel like I'm on Grey's Anatomy.  Though I would need to get up early and put my hair in hot rollers to really achieve Meredith or Christina's look. However, I did forget that it had been 4 weeks since I last operated there and now at 32 weeks, I perhaps may not fit into my usual size scrubs.  I was running late, I tossed on my scrubs and felt a bit drafty.  If you look closely, you can see that my scrub shirt doesn't exactly cover my belly.

Well, I figured that this midriff baring scrubs look may not exactly inspire confidence in the parents of the patients I was going to operate upon, so I figured out how to change my size in the machine and was able to retrieve a more appropriate size. 

And, then, I just had to include this pic of our son.  He put his pants on by himself on this day.  Usually, he has trouble getting the pants over his butt, but not this time.  What I loved, is how cutely he posed when I asked him!

Monday, September 19, 2011

How Low Can You Go

Our good friends, Erin & Jon invited us to their family house up on the North Shore today and it was exactly what we needed.  We decided to take the Nissan Leaf because the trip would have cost us a lot of gas in the Highlander.  But, the Leaf has roughly 100 mile driving range and their place on the North Shore was 40 miles away according to google maps, so that would put us at 80 miles round trip.  Now, all the Leaf forums out there say it's really difficult to know exactly how much driving range you can get out of the car at different times.  So, 80 miles could be the limit.

Here's what the dashboard of the Leaf looks like (this is not our car)
On the right there's little electricity gauge which tells you how many miles you have left.  But, it's very inexact.

This has all the makings of a disaster...Pregnant wife at 32 weeks who is prone to frequent contractions and 2.5 year old in the backseat...

We decided to try the trip anyway.  We knew there was a Nissan dealership on the way home and we could always stop there and charge on the way back if absolutely necessary.

So, we started our trip 100% charged at 100 miles.  We were literally about 10 miles into our trip on the Pali Highway, when our gauge looked like this:

Uh oh.  I think it was because we were going up hill.  We started to get nervous.  But, we still felt confident that we certainly had enough juice to get us to the North Shore.  We passed the Winward Nissan dealership about halfway through our trip there, so at least we had the safety net.

We arrived at Erin's place with the gauge reading 50 miles.  At their place, we looked for an outlet to charge the car, but we couldn't find one and we thought we'd be ok.

We had a great time at the beach.  Nikhil and Elliott played together and found a huge pit that someone else had dug in the sand, which kept them occupied the whole time.  We all swam in the water
Jeff wearing my sun hat since I left his in the other beach bag

The men carrying our stuff back

Nikhil loves the beach, but he hates being sandy    He stood with his arms by his side, not touching anything until we rinsed him, all the while asking for a "hot shower"
After we showered, we then hit the shrimp trucks for some lunch.  If you haven't been the North Shore of Oahu, there are many, many shrimp trucks there.  It's the equivalent of Ray's Pizza in New York, there's backstory about the different trucks and who started them and underhanded dealings.  Anyway, we went to Kahukus and enjoyed their garlic shrimp.

Nikhil and Elliott had a great time and at the end of the day when Nikhil was back in our car, he asked, "Where is Elliott? My friend."  So sweet!

But now we had to get back home.  Jeff plugged in our home address into the GPS.  Yes, even though Jeff grew up here, he still uses a GPS.  And, it took us a different route then the way we came.  At this point, I asked him if the Nissan was still on the way home, just in case (foreshadowing).  We literally had 47 miles left on the electric gauge and I'm not one for cutting it close and with the trip back home being 40 miles, I didn't want to take a chance.

Well, I dozed off for a moment and I awoke because it was really hot in the car.  I automatically went to turn the AC on and Jeff said not to do that.  I looked at the gauge and we had 8 miles left and we were more than 8  miles from home.  Unfortunately, the alternate route no longer passed the Winward Nissan, so we were on our own.  There is a feature on the Leaf where you can use the GPS to find nearby charging stations.  Our car informed us the closest one was out of driving range.  Great.

Of course, at exactly this moment, when I'm starting to panic a bit, Nikhil wakes up and wants water because it's hot.  Jeff didn't want us to lower the windows because it would increase the drag on the car, making us need more energy to get home.  Like I mentioned, the makings of a disaster.  I was trying desperately not to say "I told you so", though I'm not sure if I was successful (sorry, Jeff!)

Thankfully, we were on a stretch that was all downhill, so magically, the 8 miles, climbed to 11 miles and finally to 16 miles and then we knew were safe.

Here's our dashboard as we pulled into our house.  7 miles. 

Though the return trip home was a bit stressful, we made it and we had an awesome day at the beach - thanks Erin, Jon and Elliott!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chalk it up

As you may be able to tell from my earlier posts, I am infatuated with chalkboard paint. I know, chalkboard paint hit the mainland in 2009, but as a friend said, trends take 2 years to get to Hawaii, so I'm just now discovering it. Or maybe it's because I actually have a toddler who likes to draw, that I have found a use for it.

Anyway, you may remember the little table and chairs that my sis-in-law gave me when she was moving.
So, I primed them and then applied 4 coats of chalkboard paint in blue to the table and legs. Rustoleum sells like 16 different colors of chalkboard paint so you aren't restricted just to black or green. Then, I painted the chairs in a semi-gloss light green which matched the PBK chair in the room. After 3 days, I "primed" the table, which meant I used a piece of chalk lengthwise to draw all over it and then cleaned it. Apparently, that helps you be able to remove marks in the future.

So, here it is in the playroom.
And, of course, what's the first thing Nikhil wants us to draw on it? Thomas!

Since I was in the chalkboard mood, I decided to tackle one more DIY project. I wanted to make chalkboard to do lists for myself and Jeff for our home office. So, you can see why Jeff is not overjoyed at this thought.

Throughout our relationship, I have tried many different ways to remind Jeff of things that need to get done. When it was time to plan our wedding, Jeff insisted that an online list was the best way to go, so we used Interestingly, Jeff seemed more into exploring the idea of these online lists - like you could add tags, labels and even use your cell phone to call jott and a person in Indian would literally add your message to your to do list. That's all well and good, the features were great, but if you kept hitting postpone on your "tasks" well then, what's the point? 4 years later, I bet if I looked at our wedding tasks, I think Jeff probably "postponed" the majority of them.

So, I wanted to go simple. A chalkboard that he couldn't ignore, right on his desk. So, I took some old frames I had lying around the house.

Then, I painted the glass with black chalkboard paint.

And, spray painted the frames white with 2 coats of gloss white Rustoleum paint. I didn't use any primer or sand the frames at all.
Then I just inserted the glass back into the frames and presto - instant honey do list.

Do you like how "hang the linen pinboard" is on there? Yup, it's still on the floor of our home office.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Raising a Chindian (or two)

When I was pregnant with Nikhil, I always wondered what he would look like. I have lots of Indian friends who married Caucasian spouses, but only knew of a few Indian/East Asian couples, only one of which had kids. So, I used to google "Chindian" the combination of Chinese-Indian, that people of these 2 cultures call themselves. Apparently, there are a lot of Chindians in Hong Kong and Malaysia, there's even a facebook page devoted to them.

Here's our little Chindian. He started out looking very Chinese when he was born and over the past 2.5 years, he has started to look a little more like me (at least the eyes).

3 weeks

7 weeks

7 months

9 months
1 1/2 years

2 years

Though, though there are many people of Chinese descent here in Hawaii, there are not too many Indians - we only make up 0.21% of the population in Honolulu, which is the highest percentage compared to neighbor islands. East Asians comprise 40% of the population. This was the main reason that I wanted Nikhil to have an Indian first name. I figured his last name was Chinese and growing up in Hawaii, I didn't want him to lose all of his Indian culture, since being Chinese is so much more common. I can't exactly say that I've held on to my culture all that well, since I'm second generation, and can't speak my parent's language, but it does sadden me that for Nikhil being Indian may just be a footnote.

We try to tell Nikhil that he's Indian and Chinese, and he knows that, but he thinks it's extremely funny to say that instead, "I not Chinese or Indian, I'm Jumpenese" ( meaning Japanese). And, then he tells us that Mommy and Daddy are also Jumpenese. Oh well!

In the effort to bring a little more Indian culture home, I've bought a few Indian-American books and toys. In our multi-ethnic society, I'd think most Indian-Americans raising mixed race kids may find these interesting.

I found these cute Tamil alphabet blocks online here. They have Gujurati, Hindi, Telugu and Malayalam also. They're eco-friendly and made from teak.
My parents bought this super cute book on the Hindu gods and godesses (available on Amazon). The pictures of are in the style of Japanese anime, created by an Indian-American Pixar animator and the descriptions are nice basic (though probably still a little too old for Nikhil now). My nanny was even reading it one day !

And, here are some books that a patient was kind enough to bring back from his latest trip to New Delhi.

So, we'll see if Nikhil ever figures out that he isn't Jumpenese and what exactly his mixed race means here in Hawaii, where 25% of the population is mixed race. Overall, it's a wonderful place to raise a family and I'm looking forward to seeing what Baby #2 looks like!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cleanin out my closet

In the immortal words of Eminem, we are finally cleaning out our closets.

Here's the Nursery Closet before.

Kind of a hot mess as Nicey Nash would say on 'Clean House" back when we used to have cable and I would watch the show. The problem is that our nursery is really small, a little less than 8 feet x 8 feet and there is this weird niche thing on the left side of the closet making it hard to get useful storage out of all of it, which we desperately need. Plus, who really needs 2 closet bars in a nursery closet? We tried some cheap solutions, wire shelves and a little storage system, but everything just ended up getting crammed in. (You might make out some girl things in the closet, all things I bought for my niece Maya, but forgot to mail! So, if you're reading this Julie - sorry!)

So, the first thing I did was to remove the doors from the closet. That helped tremendously to open up the room. Then we had the closet system installed, and now I have more storage space than I know what to with! Add some boxes from Target, made some labels to store baby clothes by age and we're all set.


And, here's the before closet of Nikhil's playroom, which is soon to be his big boy room. Again, mainly just a place for me to store my winter coats for our once a year trips to Boston.


And, I really feel so much better, so much more organized, now that I have rid myself of the clutter of the closets. And, though it's only one item on my Never Ending List, it's actually on Part 1 and Part 2, so I think it counts for 2 tasks.

As for the rest of Never Ending List Part 2, this would be the list of all the things that need to get done before Baby #2 arrives.

1. Organize closets - Done

2. Create new custom name art for baby - I did these squares for Nikhil before he was born.

Actually we hadn't settled on a name for him, we were down to 2 names and we just saw what he looked like and Jeff decided he was Nikhil and so that's who he was. So I did all the different letters in both names and and created the squares for the letters that were in common between both names. When we came home from the hospital, I finished off the last 3 letters and hung them. I just bought very inexpensive fabric and binding from Walmart and cut the letters out of cardboard and painted them with leftover paint from the playroom. I wanted to make something for baby #2, but this time I think we should settle on the name because it is way too labor intensive to do this twice.

3. Hang mirror above changing table. These silhouettes that I made that are currently hanging over the changing table are also for Nikhil and the main problem is sometimes when it's very humid, the AC drips. It has damaged the Nikhil silhouette 4 times and I have re-done it 4 times.

So I'm giving up on the silhouettes there, moving to Nik's new room and figure a mirror will be easier to wipe off condensation.

4. Change the curtains - I love these gingham curtains that my Mom made, but I found this cute chevron fabric on sale, that I thought would really be fun for new curtains. The blackout liner will stay.

5. Add wooden blinds to the windows.

So, actually not too much to really do, more things I'd like to do to make the room special for baby #2. If we were having a girl, I had planned on changing everything and I don't want the space to be any less unique just because we're having another boy.