Happy New Year!

Sunday, February 2, 2014 Posted by
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It’s day 3 of Tet. I can’t say it been overly festive or eventful but it has been happy and quiet. Caroline Trinh’s first Tet. :-) We all got our good luck li xi for the year.

I was slightly worried we were going to have a little bad luck. For the new year, the house needs to be clean and fully stocked with food. No arguing, yelling or getting mad. There was an incident on Day 1. But I was so proud of Brian for not getting mad and blowing up. He stayed calm and logical and I’m proud of how well he is able to control his anger today vs the Brian that his friends describe. If he keeps this up, he may be off his blood pressure medication this year! That would be awesome.

Looking back on last Tet’s goal, I wanted to spend 2013 entertaining less drama from family, friends and co-workers. For the most part, I succeeded.  Family has been receptive to our honest feedback about the drama they bring. We still have a few friends that bring some drama, but we’ve been more no non-sense about it. So there is an impression that we have changed. But we are just telling everyone what we would have said between the two of us behind closed doors. Now we are being more honest with ourselves and those around us.

Chuc mung nam moi, van su nhu y, suc khoe doi dao!


We are not walking zombies.

Friday, January 31, 2014 Posted by
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With a new infant at home, apparently everyone assumes that Brian and I are sleep deprived. Fair assumption. Why not, you hear from many parents that infants don’t sleep long periods and require regular feedings.

Infants eat every 2-3 hours (on average). It can take anywhere from 15-60 minutes to get him/her fed and back down to sleep. (If they want to go back down). Let’s go with the 3 hour feeding (the better scenario).  So now you have two hours till the next feeding. Sounds like that should be plenty of time for a nap, right? But who is going to put the bottle away? Prep the next one? And most importantly, how quickly can you wind down to nap? Let’s face it, being up with an infant does not put you in a restful state. You either look at him/her and think “you are so cute” and want to kiss and cuddle. Or they are screaming in frustration over something which causes you to be wide awake!

With this knowledge we were pretty sure the stories were all true. No sleep for us. So we came up with a plan to at least get some sleep. However, its worked out better than expected.  I got to bed first and get in 3-4 hours of straight deep sleep in a room away from Brian and the baby.  Then I get up and tag Brian out. I head to the guest room where the baby has been sleeping in her crib. Brian heads off to get 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I nap easy, so during my shift, I am able to get in a few 1-2 hour naps.

It’s definitely a change and it sucks that we can’t sleep in the same bed and cuddle. But if we did that, then we’d need the baby monitor in the room with us and each time she woke, we’d both wake. No uninterrupted sleep for either of us. It wouldn’t matter if we traded who needed to go tend to the baby or not.

We have not relied on my mom to help at night. In fact we limit the amount of time she currently helps while I’m not at work. We chose to have a baby, then we need to take care of her.

So to all those that think its weird that we don’t look sleep deprived, that is our secret.

And to all those that thought we were not sleep deprived because we use our mom to care for Caroline Trinh so we can sleep, you are SO WRONG. We care about her too much to burden her in that way. We are fortunate enough that she is offering to watch Caroline Trinh while we are both at work.  So we are working on a plan so that she only has to be home alone with baby for no more than 3 days a week and for those days, its for as short a time frame as possible by shifting our work hours.

She should be able to enjoy having grandchild, not feel like she is the provider for the grandchild.

We are not walking zombies and we do it on our own because we are willing to take sacrifices and we work on making sure those sacrifices don’t break other aspects of our family.

We got this!

How different is a friendship from a romantic relationship?

Thursday, January 16, 2014 Posted by
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I would argue that they are not very different at all in how you handle your interactions. No doubt that there are different goals for each type of relationship. My goal is not to marry all my friends.

But in both relationships, you start off cautiously. You are getting to know each other. You are more willing to deal with characteristics you dislike in order to have time to find out more characteristics about a person. At some point you feel like you have devoted enough time to figuring the other person out and you make an evaluation of how well you feel like you fit with the person.

The different categories are (depending on the relationship you are seeking):

1) Perfect match. This one is a keeper. [ Best Friend or soul mate]
2) Not so bad. I totally click with this person. I would totally call this person up to chat if I’m having a bad day. [Good Friend]
3) We have fun together but clearly we disagree on some major things. Perhaps about politics, etc.  [Friend]
4) They are really nice, but we really have nothing to talk about. [Acquaintance but we hang out sometimes.]
5) This person really gets on my nerves, but they mean well, so how to do I get rid of them. I can tolerate them for sure. [acquaintance]
6) I can’t stand this person. [non-friend]

Once you have evaluated them, you hope that along the way they have or will evaluate you and that your categorization of them matches where they put you. Or at least pretty close.

So what happens when you think they are a #2 but you are only a #4 to them. Awkward. This can cause many many problems. You are going to want to know everything going on with them. You are going to want to share all your problems with them. But they view you as a #4. They feel there is nothing to really talk about because, you don’t share interests, beliefs or opinions.

Ideally, overtime both sides compromise and you meet in the middle at #3. But many times compromise is not an option. Then sadly you just become a #6 on both sides.

If we were not a society with too much pride/ego/selfishness then we could all be honest and blunt about how we view the other without hurting anyone’s feelings. Then there are no assumptions  about how the other person should behave. If we don’t assume how we will get treated but know how we will get treated be someone else then our feelings won’t get hurt, right?

If you were dating, and a guy or girl could say, “I think you are really nice and awesome but not my soul mate.” Then the other side should change their view and instead of losing a boyfriend/girlfriend, they gain a really good friend.

If you have a friend, and constantly invite you to their house or to dinner and you really prefer them to only be a friend or Acquaintance, you should be able to tell them. Then they would not call you all the time to make plans which will only annoy you more and cause frustration to build.

Why do we as humans get so offended that someone else may rank us differently than how we rank them? I personally would rather know.

In the past few years, I feel like I’ve been really bad at determining who really is my friend.  Someone I thought was a good friend, picked up and moved to another state, leaving everything behind. Literally! I have lots of friends that live all over the place. But when this one moved, she stopped answering calls/emails. We were traveling to her town and wanted to see her but never heard back.  We have friends that make plans with us but then just forget and ironically invite us to some other event on the same day. Umm…. We’ve had folks stand us up two nights in a row when they suggested coming to our house for dinner. Yay leftovers.  In all these scenarios, perhaps I thought they were more of a #2 or #3 and I was only a #4 to them. :-(

And then I have folks in my life that view me as a closer friend than I view them. *sigh*

Shhhh….don’t tell

Thursday, January 16, 2014 Posted by
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So I know that I did not go out and read everything humanly possible about pregnancy before or after I got pregnant. I figured, people have been having babies for how long now?  Between modern medicine and the classes I was taking, I should be covered.

For me the classes, were quite informative. And everyone and their brother had information to share, whether I wanted to hear it or not.  Between all of that and the little bit that I read online, I felt prepared for the labor and delivery.

Epidural…I got this. I’m not scared of that. Contractions, breathing, pushing, I got this!

Well, no one really talks about the Cervix exam. I mean, they say that one needs to occur to check dialation, etc. But no other details beyond that. So I figured, it will likely be like my annual exam with the OBGYN.

Umm….NO. It is not! In no way is it similar. My doctor does not annually shove her fists up my vagina. It hurt! In fact, if I were measuring on a pain scale for any given time during labor/delivery, the cervix exam was the most painful or at least equal to the most painful contraction. OMG! And they have to reach up in there more than once!

The other thing that is not highlighted is what happens after birth. They show you all these video of baby comes out, clean baby and baby is handed to mom. In class, they do talk about phase 3 which is delivery of the placenta. Okay, seems easy enough. If the baby can come out then I’m not worried about the placenta.

Wrong! Pushing on the uterus, etc, to get placenta and blood out was not comfortable. Granted, I had to get a crap load of stitches all around down there but that was not related to the pain from delivery of the placenta. Apparently they do not renew your epidural pain meds at this point if it runs out. That or they turned the machine off.  Between placenta delivery, stitching and more stitching in the Operating Room, I did not get to hold my baby until about 4 hours after delivery.

But let’s not talk about those points.

Looking back on 2013

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 Posted by
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2013 has been such a crazy and busy year for us. The biggest and most time consuming thing has been the pregnancy.  I remember the day very clearly when I told Brian that I thought I was pregnant.  He had told me early on when we decided to start trying to conceive that he did not want me to take an early pregnancy test.

We’d been trying for a decent amount of time. Long enough that my doctor ran a few test to see if we had any fertility issues. I did find out I was insulin resistant, but everything else seemed in order. I just was not ovulating regularly due to the insulin resistance. So I was tracking my basal temp to make sure I was ovulating. It was very frustrating and hard to not think about conception when you are taking your temperature every morning. It’s a constant reminder.

Imagine my surprise when I took a pregnancy test and it was a faint positive. What does that mean? It’s always been blank!  I wake up early on the weekends so I went to my laptop and started googling.  Hmmm….it says faint is still positive. Okay….so, I’m really pregnant?

As Brian woke up, I wanted to refrain from telling him about the test. I would have only been 4 weeks pregnant according to my calculations. Well, I was not very good. He felt something was up so I told/showed him. Brian said, “I told you not to take the test so early.”  I had a follow-up appointment with my OB the following week.   So I went to my appointment and told them I thought I might be pregnant. Their urine test showed the same as the home test. So they took a blood test. Progesterone levels were looking good. They had me come in for 3-4 follow-up bloodwork of the next few weeks to make sure hormone levels were going as expected. Things were looking great so they scheduled me for my first Ultrasound/New OB appointment for week 7.

Throughout the bloodwork, Brian stayed cautious but optimistic about the pregnancy. He did not want to get too happy since mis-carriage is common this early on. For all we know, I could have been pregnant before and mis-carried.  Brian attended the first ultrasound. As we heard the heartbeat, I turned to Brian and I could see tears. He still remained cautious. It’s still early.

Week 12, I had another ultrasound scheduled, but Brian could not attend. The Technician took a video clip during the ultrasound. I had to go into the office that day while Brian worked at home. An odd schedule for us that day. I shared the video with him. We could see more than just a dot and it was moving!!!  That evening when I got home, he greeted me downstairs with a big hug/kiss. It was “real” for him now. He was so happy.

Now we need to start thinking about what life will be like if the baby really arrives. Eeek!

Pregnancy was actually very pleasant compared to the horror stories we’d heard from others. The entire time, I felt more loved than ever. Brian was constantly watching over me. He noticed the little things and changes in me along the way and made sure I had whatever I needed. Fortunately, I didn’t need much.  It got a lot rougher towards the end as my ligaments started stretching/moving. I waddled. It got harder to walk long distances. People were worrying me about my weight. By week 33, I had only put on 10 lbs. Was I not gaining enough? Doctor did not seem worried. She made a random comment once but never told me to gain weight or adjust my eating.  But in the next few weeks, the weight finally started coming on. Then it was just depressing to put on weight. :-(

By end of week 38, I had gained a total of 23 lbs. We went in for an ultrasound after 18 weeks to verify the baby was in the right position and to see her size. Everything looked good except she might be a bit big and I have been gaining at an increasing rate. Her head measured really big. Dr. gave us the option to induce after week 39 or waiting. We opted to go ahead with induction.

I won’t go into the details of the hospital stay since its on the baby blog. But on Monday, Dec. 16 at 7:12 pm, we welcomed Caroline Trinh MacLeod into this world.

It has been amazing to watch how its changed Brian. I have to admit, I’ve changed some too but not in the way people told me I would.  You can clearly see how much he loves Caroline. His life is forever changed and I have no doubt he will be a wonderful Dad. I want them to have a very close relationship.

2013 has been wonderful and crazy but nothing really matters looking back other than our “little bundle of joy.”


She is the best Christmas present we could have received. She is so alert and interactive since day one. Her facial expressions are priceless.


Close call…

Monday, October 21, 2013 Posted by
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Statistically, it was bound to happen that I would finally know someone that was in a close call related to flight issues.

I am always worried on a certain level when I board a plane. I wonder how family and friends will be notified if something happens.  Last week a friend’s boyfriend was on a Spirit Airlines flight from Dallas to ATL when and engine caught fire.

We are not that close of friends so I wasn’t there for her as soon as she heard and throughout the scary time. I can’t imagine how she felt. I’m not sure how I would feel if it were Brian in that plane and I got a call or text  from him saying his plane engine just exploded.

You see it on the news, in movies, etc. But to know know someone that experienced it brings it too close to home for comfort


Thursday, October 17, 2013 Posted by
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I find it very disappointing when people choose to say/do things due to their own selfishness. Do they really think that there are no consequences? It may not be immediate, but it will come. You can’t do anything you want to those you consider to be friends. You can’t just say stuff if you don’t mean it.

You don’t get a do-over every time. You may not realize how hurtful your actions/words are.  Perhaps you also do not realize how many will hear about what you have done. People talk and no one wants to be associated with someone so selfish. *SMH*

Are you saying I’m fat? Seriously?

Monday, October 14, 2013 Posted by
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So this has happened to me a lot since dating Brian so I feel like I need to write about it.

I drink regular coke. Brian drinks diet coke. So why is it that when we are are restaurants, the wait staff always messes up our orders. They hand him the regular coke and me the diet  coke. And really, its not just when I’m with Brian.

Typically, if there are females and males at a table and there is a mix of diet and regular soda drinks, everyone assumes that the diet drinks are for the ladies. Why? Are we fat? But the women are no always thicker. In fact sometimes, they are fairly thin.

Oh, it must be that as a society, we must re-enforce the concept that women need to always be thinking about their weight. Focusing on losing as much weight as possible no matter what size you are. *sigh* What a depressing world it is indeed.

Don’t get me wrong….I don’t want for us to all be obese and unhealthy. But re-enforcing that all women need to watch their weight even while super healthy or to imply that men don’t need to watch their weight is not right in my opinion.

Learn from others

Thursday, August 22, 2013 Posted by
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So yesterday we heard about what one of our fellow co-workers was up to. Let me set the stage by telling you a little about this guy.

He is  a senior manager at my place of employment. Married with a kid. Spouse works and makes pretty good pay. Together they take home in the 6 digits. They had owned two homes. One in her name and one in his. Kind of like how Brian and I are set up now. They are currently trying for kid #2.

They decide they will just stop paying on house owned by wife. They live in his. So they will just pay that mortgage. They come to the decision that they are paying more that what the remaining house is really worth.  So they investigate loan modifications. Okay…logical plan. Too bad the modification deals are for those struggling and can’t pay their bills.

So he decides that he will just stop paying his mortgage. Not because he can not afford it but because he wants to get a loan modification. (braver than me. I always pay my mortgage so I have a roof over my head.) Anyway, three months pass and the bank calls. “Sir we noticed you have not paid your mortgage in 3 months. Is everything okay. Is there something we can do?”

Exactly as he hoped! So he quickly asked to be considered for a loan modification. After a little waiting period, they call him back with good news on getting caught up. They will increase his monthly payments per month by 300+ dollars and then he’ll be all caught up in six months. Then he can go back to his normal payments.

ROFL. Nice modification. Did he not realize that they would consider his overall debt and his family income in their decision to help or not? I’m sorry, your choice in an expensive lifestyle does not count.

*sigh* Brian and I sometimes wonder if we are doing the right things financially. Hearing stories like this helps us feel good about ourselves but worry about humanity.



Why you can’t have good things

Saturday, July 13, 2013 Posted by

So I’ve always been one to try and be friends with unique individuals. Sometimes this means they are socially awkward at times.

So when I started working at my current job, there was a guy that worked on the same hall with Brian. Very quiet but seemed to want to be friends. So we took him in. It took a while for him to be willing to join us for lunches. After two years, he finally started coming over to the house or out with us and our friends.

He seemed happy. He claimed to be happy. That he had struggled to make friends most of his life and really wanted to have more friends.

Things were going well. We were very happy to see that he was starting to make other friends beyond just us.

Where we went wrong is when he asked to be a fellow tenant and live with my brother. I figured he seemed clean and could live with my brother.  We set some clear rules early.

  • Only signing a 6 month lease
  • Brother must like living with him
  • No shoes in house
  • No smoking in house

First 2 months was good. They are getting along okay.  Four months in the roommate is not cleaning the house at all! Keep in mind that my brother is seldom home. And by seldom, I mean maybe 2-3 days a week. Sometimes not even home for 3 months at all.  Roommate was telling us about drain issues in his bathroom so we went over to check in out. In the process noticed the condition of the house. the kitchen was dirty. Dishes not washed. Dirt tracks on carpet up the stairs. Cigarette butts on kitchen floor.  I’m not going to comment on his room and private bathroom since its only used by him. But everything else is common areas that is shared. Ughh….

So while Brian is working on stuff, I decided to use the restroom. I go into the half bath that is a shared location. It was so nasty. Urine all along the outside. It was so bad, worst than any pubic gas station I have been in. I could not use it. Yuck.

A few days later, my brother was on his way home for just 24 hours. When we went to pick him up, we had a long discussion with him and asked how thongs were going with roommate.  He said, “Well, you know I can get messy, but he is just dirty!” *sigh*
So we told him the condition of the house we saw and he decided to just spend the night at our house since it was one day.

So here is another test. We always tell roommate when brother is coming home since we see him daily and usually know a day or two in advance. This was a unique stop. We went to get the truck from their house for my brother.  So the truck is missing and my brother is not home yet the roommate says nothing to us. Ummmmm….what if it was stolen!!

Though my brother had left, we had not had a chance to bring the truck back to the house for two days. This entire time, roommate continues to see us at work daily but does not ask if my brother was home or mention the truck is missing.  We bring the truck back when the room was not home. Two days later at work he says, “You know whats weird. Your brother’s truck was gone for a few days but I didn’t see you brother.” Umm….really? *sigh*

So I decided to have a talk about the condition of the house and it was not okay. He apologizes about the kitchen and says he definitely needs to vacuum. But he says the half bath is because of my brother. I’m sorry. I think I know my brother. Secondly, is it just a coincidence that the half bath looks nasty in the same ways as his private bathroom whereas my brother’s private bath is perfectly clean. Don’t lie!  This is his problem though. Every time we mention something that is not good that he is doing, he finds something to complain about. We stopped by to get mail for my brother (after two weeks) and he had not gotten it from the mail box. It was full.  I guess he has no fear of identity theft. So when I said something, he complains that the lawn is not mowed frequently enough.  When I said I could smell smoke in the house, he said, he is thinking about moving out to be closer to work. Dude…that would be a blessing if you move out early!

End of the lease arrives and we decide to renew for 3 months to give him a chance to find a new place. We give him a 60 day notice that we will not renew after that.

He waits to literally the last minute to move out. The very last day and then had to clean. He dropped off the key a bit late but whatever, I was just happy he was out.  The following weekend, we make it over to the house to check mail for my brother and also inspect the house. I’m sorry…it was definitely not left in the same condition that he moved in.

  • His bedroom had two large spots on the carpet of about 4×5 ft each that was filthy. He rented a carpet cleaner and you can tell he used it but it is just still that nasty. It is going to have to be replaced. I would have thought someone that worked as a mechanic with oily, greasy shoes walked on that carpet.
  • The stairs are dirty and stained. So is the main walkway into the kitchen.
  • The stove is filthy.
  • The sink is stained with coffee.
  • The dishwasher is full of stuff. Have of which is clean and half dirty.
  • There are coffee splatters on the rice cooker.
  • Kitchen towels are filthy
  • Kitchen rug mats are filthy
  • Kitchen floor is dirty
  • Some kind of splatter on the bedroom wall
  • The bathroom was just wiped down, still dirty.
  • Left a random food in kitchen (fridge and counters)

Needless to say he did not get his deposit back.

I guess what really pisses me off is that as a friend, he totally disrespected us by treating our house like that. His apartment was much better kept up.  He came by and asked, “Hey, so did you see the carpet in my room? I don’t know how it got dirty. I didn’t wear shoes in the house.”

He has been avoiding us at work. I will assume because he is embarrassed. Honestly, I don’t care if he ever talks to us.

We knew that renting our home out would risk getting it damaged. That is just the nature of the business. Which is why we went with our brother. Then if you are our friend and you ask to move in as a favor because you are trying to save money…then you would treat our house with the same respect you would give to a random landlord.