baby, thy name is sugar!

Friday, December 21, 2012

lately, scenes around the house include me staring down a bag of chocolate blizzard cookies from trader joe's, telling myself, "i will not have another, i will not have another." baby says, "yes you will." and so the dance goes on, day after day, usually ending with me caving, and sitting on the couch with chocolate crumbs on  my chin. (note to self, must stock up on more cookies. supplies are dangerously low!) our little guy sure loves himself some sugar; that means he's going to be real sweet right?? i was pretty paranoid that i would not pass my glucose test given all the additional sugar my body now needs. yes, i said, NEEDS. but since mom and babe passed the glucose test with flying colors the other day, we treated ourselves. and it was divine. and let me tell you, you have not had caramel corn until you have had garrett's gingerbread crisp over the holidays! happy weekend!


awesome parenting

Sunday, December 09, 2012

around these parts, we have been practicing parenting and apparently, it's second nature to us, as we have awesome parenting skills.

each week of this pregnancy, husband and i read the weekly development of our baby in "what to expect when you're expecting." a little excerpt from week 22: "Though it is dark in the uterine cocoon - and even with fused eyelids - fetuses this age can perceive light and dark. If you shine a flashlight over your belly, you might feel your baby react..."

so what do we do? of course we shine a bright flash light! and no baby carlson did not react, so then we had to poke him until he woke up. yes. the husband and i definitely have this parenting thing down.

oh and yes, that's a boot on my left foot, because in classic gracie fashion, i sprained my foot - just going about my business, walking on the sidewalk. i'm talented like that.

progress report

Thursday, December 06, 2012

yes i know. i've been remiss with posts of late. but really, between emotional breakdowns over my new desire to constantly clean, there's just not that much energy left. i remain convinced though, that if husband agreed to let me make a semi-big investment into a new camera, i'd be more motivated to post (hint hint hubs), but here are some pics of our future home. looking pretty move-in ready if you ask me.

my latest handy work

Thursday, November 15, 2012

last week, i exchanged these texts with husband:

gracie: "Babe, don't yell at me. I scratched the car, pulling into our parking spot."
davey: "Seriously? how bad? and what does 'scratch' mean? Does it include dents?" (my husband the untrusting lawyer)

so far, it would seem that pregnant gracie does not have a good driving record. but in the grand scheme of things, at least i didn't wreck this one. and i guess it's a good thing we didn't end up getting the mercedes that hubby really wanted. something tells me if i had scratched up that baby, there would have been yelling, and much less forebearance.

p.s. here's me and baby at nineteen weeks

how to know everything

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

i have a theory that if you say anything (within certain bounds of reason) with enough confidence, people will just believe you. that is until your benedict arnold of a husband calls you out during one of your moments of confidence, trying to explain why the leaves have managed to stay on so long this year (surely it is because we've had so much rain right? doesn't that sound believable??) and then to prove that you are right, you research on your smart phone, only to find that no explanation for leaves hanging on longer even comes close to yours. so of course you say, "well that's just the internet. i need to find a credible source (a.k.a. my [made up] knowledge base)," when what you really want to do is glare at your husband, point and say, "et tu brute?!"

but still, i am unshaken. i still contend that if you are 51% sure of what you are saying, go for it, with bravado and confidence. and people will believe you. (doubting husbands aside).

how the mighty have fallen...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 in love! so in love with this little baby! oh yeah people, you read that right! there's a baby cooking in there and things around casa carlson are about to get CRAZY! (or CRAZIER to be truthful and accurate).

there was a time, not so long ago when i simply did not want a baby. i wanted to be free, without limits, without a poopy, whiny, needy, utterly dependent human being, who had me at his or her every beck and call. no thank you! give me freedom, glorious freedom! freedom to travel the world with my love. freedom to come and go as i please. freedom to sleep in. freedom to get in the car without thirty plus travel accessories for a baby. freedom to go shoe shopping. freedom to come home from work, ignore my starving husband, and sit on the couch watching reality tv. real housewives and kettlecorn for dinner. does life get any better than this? and so years before husband and i got married, i flat out told him, i do not want children. i do not want limitation. and i do not want to share you (with anyone cuter than me!)

but then it hit, like a monster truck. i needed a child. in fact, genesis 30:1 may have been quoted to the husband after months of "not preventing" - when rachel said to jacob: "give me child or else i die!" and the need just got more and more desperate as each month progressed with a mostly regular visit from an unwanted visitor. and then we shifted gears from "not preventing" to "trying." let me tell you, the only thing less sexy than telling your husband he's a duck-billed platypus mid make out session, is bounding into the bedroom from the bathroom, positive ovulation test in hand, announcing, "babe, i'm ovulating. get naked." oh the brutal, unromantic, unsexy truth about planned baby-making. but still month after month went by, negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test (good thing i ordered them in bulk online over a year ago!) and inner creeping accusations of infertility got louder and louder - or maybe that was me imagining momma chiang saying, "i told you to get pregnant earlier, have a baby earlier." and with each passing month, another friend would call or text with her own joyful news of pregnancy. so when, in july, a close friend told me she was pregnant with number two, when they weren't even trying, i completely lost it. it was my all time best elohi elohi moment.  that night, i lay in bed, and wept, as my husband could do nothing except put his arms around me and tell me - lie to me maybe? - that it was ok. and i summoned my remaining energy to whisper to my God, "Lord sometimes, i only want You for what You can give me. so please give me a baby."

but honestly, i had started to stop believing it was possible. i had started to stop believing in a baby  nathan adrien carlson. i had begun to resign myself to many many more months of a stressful sex life with continued negative pregnancy test results. in the process i learned, there are simply things outside of my control. all the best laid plans, all the scientific timing, and still i could not arrange my life into producing something i wanted. and although i could not quite let go of my desire for a baby, i realized, accepted a little bit, that i couldn't be in control of everything. i couldn't prevent every kind of trial and suffering. somethings just don't come so easily. sometimes, it is just hard. hard to go through and hard to accept.

and then five days later, i pulled my sad, pathetic, self-pitying body out of bed to face yet another day, when in the midst of brushing my teeth, i felt a sudden urge to vomit. and immediately genesis 30:22 came to me: "Then God remembered Rachel, and He listened to her and opened her womb."

i fumbled through my web supplied pregnancy tests and peed with a new sense of urgency and quite frankly, hall of fame worthy aiming skills, all the while trying to tell myself not to be disappointed. i had done this before, been here before. and when for five seconds there was no second line, oh the expected disappointment hit. alas another month. but then, that magical second line appeared and i couldn't believe it. i cried, this time, different tears. because finally, God remembered gracie.

if you look closely, you'll see, baby BOY carlson is due April 8, 2013!

on what NOT to say...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

when three good friends have agreed to bring a truck, and help your husband and you move a rather heavy, antique-y, upright piano, here is what not to say:

as your husband and one of your friends are trying to squeeze through the back door and down a step with the heavy piano, it is most certainly not the appropriate time to shout to your husband, "baby you are so sexy right now!" (good intentioned as it may have been for encouragement) because your friend will almost drop the piano laughing. lesson learned. next time shout, "baby, you and friend are both so sexy right now!" there problem solved!

and without further ado, here is my newest collector's item: (and the best part - it was free!!!)

oh the labor over labor day weekend

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

thanks to my nascar-like driving skills, the husband and i spent all weekend going from car dealership to car dealership. as it turns out, car shopping is not nearly as fun as clothes shopping. or shoe shopping for that matter.

armed with our limited budget in hand we traipsed up to maryland and back into virginia. and these car dealers just would not budge. generally, i think that car dealers need us more than we need them, except in this case, i happened to have wrecked our only car, so we had a little less bargaining power. but i guess the good thing about not having money is if they were not going to come down on their price, well we did not have much choice, but to walk away.

but we were undeterred. on sunday night, we found the perfect used car - at some point we decided we simply must have the subaru forester because we plan on going off-roading this winter in the snow and ice.  we searched high and low for certified pre-owned subaru foresters in our area. there are only four in the washington, dc metro area. so on sunday night, after a day of venturing out to maryland and coming home without a car, we were thrilled to find a subaru, pre-owned certified (the only way to go when buying used!) 2012 forester with only 756 miles on it for just a smidge over budget. we were pumped for monday to roll around so we could check this baby out. but honestly, we were pretty much ready to buy it, what with the warranty on a certified pre-owned, plus the low mileage and the fact it was practically new for much lower than what a new car would cost. who cared about amenities? if it was a stick shift, i would have learned to drive a stick shift for that price!! come monday morning, we were  excited, high-fiving each other down the 1, all the way in the boonies of alexandria, when we pulled up into the dealership to find out that it was closed on labor day!! can you believe it?!?! closed!!!! what car dealership in its right mind closes on labor day?? well too bad for them, because we needed a car, so we google mapped the next closest dealer and off we went. five and a half hours later, we drove off into the sunset with a brand new 2012 subaru forester. our first real grown up purchase - at least our first real one after which we had no regrets! and the cherry on top of it all, we got it in a manly black, because let's be honest, a subaru forester is barely a step above a station wagon, so we had to do what we could to man-ify it. and my new favorite thing about this forester? whenever a dinky car cuts me off, i like to scream, "i can monster truck you in this thing if you don't get out of my way!"

and because husband is a fabulous researcher, after we got home with our new car, he hopped on the computer to make sure we got a good deal. folks, we got the best deal in the entire area, lower by a significant amount than the next lowest price on a new premium subaru 2012 forester. oh yeah, we high-fived ourselves all the way into sweet dreams-ville that night.

hi. my name is grace. and i'm an asian woman driver

Monday, August 27, 2012

i never really believed (or wanted to believe as husband would say) that i'm that asian woman driver. but as it turns out, it would seem, i am exactly that asian woman driver.

as i was kicking-off my friday evening, driving down lee highway, i saw a red light and began to break, when suddenly the light ahead turned green. so naturally, i eased my foot off the break, because cars are supposed to move when the light turns green.

only the cars must not have moved. clearly they didn't move fast enough. and i just did not process the car that was literally right in front of me and boom, i rear-ended a red acura right in the middle of rush hour. but honestly, it wasn't like i was doing my make up or talking on the phone. my mind just went blank. it was as if what my eyes were seeing was not being accurately translated in my brain. and then impact! you think the car that got hit was shocked?! i was shocked. how could this have happened? i just don't understand it.

and as i was retelling husband the story, giving him the play-by-play, i said, "babe, i just don't know how this happened." to which, my ever truly supportive husband replied, "babe. you don't know how this happened? [eyes rolling] you're an asian woman driver! do you want me to recount all the driving stories??"

NO! that's not necessary although husband is suddenly itching to do a few guest posts.

here's my handy work

and because there just is not a more appropriate way to end this post, in the wise words of dwight shrute:

p.s. momma chiang, if you're reading this post, we may be in the market for a car loan soon.
p.p.s. momma chiang, we're thinking of defaulting on the car loan we used to purchase the above wrecked car. feel free to repossess.

"man day"

Friday, August 24, 2012

i have a few more hours before 12 a.m. when i will lose husband for 24 hours. you see, when the clock strikes 12, husband will turn into a pumpkin. bibbity bobbity boo! POOF! he'll be gone. not really becoming a pumpkin but off to scale the adventures of "man day." he's been looking forward to man day for what seems like weeks. what is man day you ask? well i guess you could say it's when a friend - a married friend, whose young daughter and five months pregnant wife leave town for a a few days - emails your risk loving husband about jumping off cliffs into cold water below. and then he further sweetens the deal by adding the redskins-colts preseason game to the "man day" agenda. well how is a risk-adverse wife supposed to compete with that? she can't. i can't. so instead, i'll be making a pit stop at the bank tonight. withdraw me some cash and go on my own adventure tomorrow that will most likely involve buying jewelry at eastern market. he day - she day. fair is fair.

happy friday and enjoy the weekend! man day pictures to come (hopefully!)

my matthew 27:46 solution to all serious problems

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

back during my law school years, i went through some hard times. you might even say i was depressed, except i'm asian so we like to be in denial about any mental "weakness". rather, let's attribute my suffering to a lack of character, as in, i just was not mentally strong enough to will myself out of bed each day and face another harrowing day of life as i knew it.  but basically i was depressed.  nothing was working out as i had imagined it would.  i felt alone, like i had been  abandoned in a deep well and all i could do was look up at the small dot of light so very far away.  things got so bad that big brother bankrolled a trip to barabados so i could get away and get some sun and feel alive.  so you know it was bad if big brother republican was willing to put me on his dole for the entire week!  and it worked for the week i was in barbados. but eventually i had to come back to real life.

i don't like talking about this time in my life because i feel like my super past self, as in the elementary school, high school, and college versions of me, as well as the today version of me look at the law school version of me and wonder who that person was. how did i become so drained, so exhausted of living that i actually despaired of living?

it was during this most despondent of times, or as the ever wise anne shirley would say, at the time when i was "in the depths of despair," that i really hated and yet loved the LJ. the thing is, i am a child of the Lord. i have no doubts about that, but i have had serious questions about what the LJ has ordained for me, and during this time, and still every now and then, i question the LJ's heart towards me. is it really good? because sometimes it genuinely and intensely felt like He had abandoned me in that well. i felt forsaken, left in the deep pit to survive by subsisting on grubs or simply give up and die. i think we all know me well enough to know that i went with option #2.

one night, during a particularly intense moment of grief, bewilderment, and sense of abandonment, when my increasingly fragile soul could bear no more, i laid in bed weeping. in retrospect, it really was kind of pathetic. luckily it was just me in all my glorious loneliness, emotionally naked before the Lord. as i was asking the LJ, why this, why that, before i even knew it, i found myself laid out in crucifix position, and a cry ripped out from deep within my crumbling soul: "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani." because let's be honest, who hasn't felt completely forsaken at one time or another, or possibly constantly? because i have. and to this day, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani" in crucifix position is my tried and true way of conveying the depth of my trauma to the Lord. afterall, who can understand this sentiment more than He?

years later, it occurred to me that the LJ didn't abandon me to go through my suffering, my situations, my thoughts, my feelings alone. He was there with me, suffering with me, bearing the oppressive tides of confusion, fear, and sadness with me - each step of the way.  but still, when i am feeling especially needy, alone, forsaken, scared even, i turn to matthew 27:46, to sound the alarm for the LJ - "take your positions. it's gonna be a doozy. please don't forsake me."

wuv. twu wuv.

Friday, August 10, 2012

this week, husband has worked late every single night, to midnight or later. it's hard for me. i hate being alone. and i don't have a car. so when husband works late, it's unpleasant for everyone involved, which incidentally is only me. so i was thrilled - tickled pink really - when husband called me last night at 7:05 pm to tell me he was on his way home. and to top it off, he asked me out on a date. sigh. be still my swooning, beating heart.

when husband said "date", i didn't realize he meant for me to go as a chaperon for him and his dear love, his phone, a.k.a. lolita jr. jr.
and when even lolita jr. jr. couldn't keep his undivided attention anymore, husband called comcast to discuss the speed of our internet service.

i tell you, if this doesn't get a girl's heart racing, i just don't know what does.  back off ladies, this guy is all mine (sort of).

happy friday!

carlsons' candids

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

this past weekend, the hodges came to visit. as usual the theme of our get togethers was food, food, and more food. 

i learned this weekend that i'd like to trade lives with mr. lucas kwong. what do you say little guy? interested in a switcheroo??

we saw round one drafts for the remodel of our future home last night. it's starting to feel real. and then i started to get a little overwhelmed thinking about furnishing this soon to be five bedroom house. goodness, we are going from a one bedroom condo to five bedrooms. better stock up on aerobeds galore while they are still on sale at costco!

epiphany of olympic proportions

Friday, August 03, 2012

two nights ago, husband and i watched nathan adrian's thrilling 100 meter freestyle swim for the gold. immediately after he swam, we wikipedia'd this young phenom who gave the u.s. the gold in this event for the first time since the 1988 olympics.  here are the important tid bits, he is 6'6, 220lbs of pure swimmer's muscle, and most importantly he is half asian.

here are his parents:

so the only logical and magical conclusion is that the hubs and i - we have a chance.


and we could potentially produce this!!

what with my uncannily adorable asian good looks and husband's long lean legs and broad muscular shoulders, our non-existent baby boy is going places! come on gene pool! that my friends, was our olympic moment and probably as close as husband and i will ever get to being related to an olympian. our potential - but really, what potential right!?!

oh and did i mention that he is a cal alum? husband and i are cal alum. coincidence? i think not.

happy friday and have a great weekend! 

big boy and big girl times

Thursday, August 02, 2012

are there definitive milestones that bring you from childhood to adulthood?  i use to think it was marriage, but if you spend any amount of time with me and husband, you'll soon realize, these two are not adults. they are children playing as adults! but husband and i have embarked on a no-turning-back adventure of sorts. we finally agreed to let momma chiang buy a house in arlington (for us - sort of - mostly - for now??).    (oh the emotional tax consequences that will result from this!!!)  (mom put down the down payment and we'll help with the mortgage, but no, we did not buy it ourselves/at all (even though this will cost me what's left of my mental health)...yeah did you see my post about law school debt?)
isn't our soon to be new (temporary) home lovely? very anne of green gables no? on monday, it became official -  now our future home will undergo extensive renovations because the insides need some major love and tlc.  once it's all done, we'll move in until momma chiang moves down to retire and then the carlsons will begin a whole new adventure.
on tuesday, hubs and i signed a contract with a renovations contractor and the design and permitting process begins today! stay tuned for updates and befores and afters. and of course, please make plans to come visit us.  you'll now have a guest room instead of an aerobed in our living room.  as exciting as this is, it's a little sad to think that in a few months' time, husband and i will be packing up our things and moving out of our starter home, where so much laughter and yelling took place - where our marriage was birthed if you will, through traumatic labor and unfathomable joy!  slamming your bedroom door has significantly higher dramatic value when there is only one bedroom door to slam. soon there will be three or four doors to choose from and then, well, you can see how it becomes a little less effective. because once you slam one of the four doors, there are surely three others that will remain open to the hubs. on the upside, can't wait to grow a little older with husband, passing time away on that porch!

p.s. there are some fabulous cabinets, stove/oven, granite and fridge that will be up for grabs so if you know anyone who wants these, please let me know! we can arrange a time for pick up!

p.p.s. may the LJ greatly bless this home for His Church.  of course it's wonderful to have a nice, comfortable home to live in (and oh the gourmet kitchen that i have in mind for all those cakes i will never bake!) but hopefully we will not lose sight of Him and we consecrate this home to Him.  may He use it as He wills.

p.p.p.s. the house is only two blocks from the clarendon metro so now there are no excuses not to come and play with the carlsons!

carlsons' candids

Monday, July 30, 2012

this weekend, momma chiang came into town for a whirlwind visit and and to help us with a big project (reveal to come in a few days!) as you can see, there was lots of food involved and good company too.

we ended the weekend around a lazy susan at x.o. taste - authentic, not too greasy chinese food. when the bill came, momma chiang reached for it as mark eyed the bill. but her fast, trained chinese hands were too skilled in the food check game for mark, so all mark could say was:, "ummmm we'd like to help with the bill." here's the kicker folks, and by kicker, i mean SHOCKER! momma chiang replied, "no, that is not the chinese way. i pay for it." husband and i looked at each other and busted out laughing, because this is the first either of us have heard of this new-fangled chinese way. after we stopped laughing, husband managed to say, "i feel like i've been lied to the past couple years of my life." but we'll ride on the adkins' coattails for a free chinese meal any day! thanks momma and thanks adkins! you helped us learn a very, very valuable, and might i add, new, cultural lesson.

big bro, what do you think of momma's new assertion?

on another note, who watched the olympics opening ceremony? can we give a collective shout: "i want those three hours of my life back!!!!" i'm not sure what's worse: the opening ceremony itself, or the fact that we watched the entire thing, thinking, there was a big wow factor just coming up and if we kept watching then we would not miss it. somehow, we managed to watch the whole thing, and miss the big wow of the opening ceremony. but onto the games. U-S-A!

happy monday and let the countdown to the weekend begin!