Gangnam Korean BBQ

Thursday, May 28, 2015

We finally got a chance to go to Gangam Korean BBQ in Hillsboro, Oregon. It opened about 4 weeks ago. We are both so excited as our friends live close to there, and we visit our friends often.

The restaurant was very clean, and the meat was plentiful. We ordered two types of BBQ meat, and also a combo of seafood tofu soup and bulgogi. The side dishes were all so yummy. The tofu soup could use an egg (they didn't put one in mine, but I'm going to ask for it next time). We're excited to have found a Korean restaurant and can't wait to go again!

A Week in Utah

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

We spent some time with my in-laws last week, and we had a lot of fun! The weather was not super cooperative, but in between the rain and the cloudiness, we were able to do quite a bit. We went on a raft. Brandon got to build a fire. We finally tried Cafe Rio for the first time. And yes, it's better than Moe's :) and lives up to the hype. We BBQ a ton! We had homemade pho! My in-laws took us to the Asian market in Provo, and boy, that place is tiny, but they packed all the good stuff there! There was even refrigerated pho! And a gentleman that spoke Hmong!

We sure miss hanging out with them!


A Beautiful Detour

Friday, May 22, 2015

It hadn't been our intention to stop on the drive back home. We had planned to drive through the night to get home. However, when the crying started, it didn't want to end. I was driving then, and Brandon was in the passenger seat. He looked back, and what he described it was a bit terrifying. Apparently, Mason's mouth was opened, and all that came out filled his mouth. He had been crying for a bit, and didn't stop. I am not sure if he cried himself into throwing up, or if he was going to throw up anyhow. But we ended up stopping, and sleeping halfway. It was a much needed rest though, and I think Mason knew best.

We had both been craving some Panda Express. Panda Express does such a good job with their food. It is always fresh, and the teriyaki chicken, let me tell you. With some teriyaki sauce of course. So while driving back, we looked up one on our way, and we ended up getting some. Sadly, it did not satisfy our cravings. The chow mein was blah, and they didn't give us any teriyaki sauce!!! On the flip side, there was a Chik-fil-A close by, and Brandon was content afterwards.

From the road, this exit was not very promising, but there was a temple close by, and the canyon, it was beautiful. My pictures does not do either justice! And this exit also has said Panda Express and Chik-fil-A. I guess they are right, you can't judge a book by its cover. And that goes for exits also!

Happy Weekend!



Things to Consider When Looking for a Daycare Center

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Back when we were looking for a daycare center for Mason, we were completely lost and overwhelmed. We didn't know what to look for, and what would fit best with our needs. I consulted with friends and families, and visited a couple of daycare centers, and below are some of the things that we considered when choosing child care for Mason.

1. Look in advance for a daycare. We didn't start looking until five months before my due date, and that was not enough time. Depending on where you live, the best daycare centers will have long wait lists, and may not have open spots for over a year. So even if you are not pregnant now, I would recommend just knowing which daycare centers are in the area you are living. If possible, as soon as you are pregnant, I would call and try to get on the wait list. We weren't able to get into the daycare centers that we wanted, and ended up moving.
2. Tour the daycare centers during the day when they have kids there so you can see how the teachers are interacting with the kids. 
3. Find out about the ratio of adult to child. As the kids get older, that gap increases. 
4. Make sure the hours work with your schedule. If you have to be at work by 6am, but the daycare doesn't open until 6:30am, that may not work. Different daycare centers will have different schedules so just check around.
5. Ask about teacher turnover. If teachers are coming and going, that may be a sign of the center and may be a hard adjustment for your child.
6. Ask about teacher background. You want to make sure that those watching your child are qualified, either by experience or by education.
7. Make sure the daycare center has an open door policy. If you want to visit your child during the day, you should be able to.
8. Could you pay with a credit card? I get miles on my credit card so I try to buy most things on my credit card. You are going to have to pay for it one way or another, so why not earn some miles while at it?
9. Will you be able to pay for it? Childcare to me is one of those things that you get what you pay for. Cheap isn't always the best, so make sure you are comfortable with the people who are actually taking care of your child. At the same time, if you can't pay for it, that will probably not work.
10. If you can't find a daycare center close to your home, consider one close to your workplace. I worked quite far from where we lived and thought about putting Mason in one close to my workplace. Unfortunately, I was not always at the office so that made it difficult. But if you don't have to travel around, consider different areas, not just where you live.
11. Ask around! Your friends, families, and coworkers will know about different places so ask them about it, and ask about their experiences.

It's so nerve-wrecking trying to find a place that will love your child the way that you do. Take your time, and listen to your gut. If you don't feel good about a place, don't take your child there. That's easier said than done, especially when if you are on a limited budget, or are in a location where there are just not enough daycare centers to pick from. 

We were very fortunate to have someone who loved and cared for our son like he was her own. I hope and pray that you will be able to find a place that fits with your family.

Happy 10 Months!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Oh hello sweet face! You cutie you! You are growing so much. You have 4 teeth, 2 on the bottom and 2 on the top. You love to make a mess. You love to take toys out of their bins and books off the shelves. You are ticklish everywhere. You love to point and touch things. You use your feet to help you with everything, from feeling things to pushing things away. You are very aware of your surrounding, and love to look around. Noise attracts you, and so does lights, and electronics, like laptops, keyboards and cellphones. You like when I read to you, and you like looking through your books. You love when we walk with you. You especially love when we run with you. Your face lights up, and your little legs turn. You are so fun, and we love you so very, very much!

Maryhill Stonehenge

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"In memory of the soldiers of Klickitat County who gave their lives in defense of their country. This monument is erected in the hope that others inspired by the example of their valor and their heroism may share in that love of liberty and burn with that fire of patriotism which death can alone quench."

These words are engraved on the memorial of the Maryhill Stonehenge located in Washington state. The memorial overlooks the Columbia River and that view is beautiful. As we are getting close to Memorial Day, I'm thinking of my late grandpa who served during the Vietnam War alongside US soldiers. I remember he would always wear his Vietnam cap wherever he went. Although he, along with other Hmong solders, did not get the treatment they deserved after the Vietnam war, they will always be remembered to me as heroes.


Stop & Smell the Cows

Friday, May 8, 2015

Last night, one of the ladies here stopped by & brought me some fresh grape juice. I'm sitting here, drinking the yummy grape juice, and thinking that this place is growing on me. I really like the slower pace here, and there isn't much to do so you end up just being. I'm not much for just sitting here doing nothing, but without a choice, I'm just taking things easy. The weather is beautiful as usual, and the backyard here is awesome. It helped us really decide that we want a yard for our house.

This morning, we joined some ladies for a walk, and they were all so sweet. The conversations were good, and learning how they all ended up here was very interesting. I have a tendency to prejudge my environments, and I'm glad I'm giving this place another chance because meeting these ladies have been great. And I'm glad that I came back here.

We are slowly getting into the rhythm of things here. Wake up, feed Mason, play, run errands, Mason takes a nap, I work or clean, he wakes up, and we start again until Brandon gets home. I miss cooking for Brandon so that has been fun. I like the simpleness of our days sometimes. Other days, I miss working, and the busyness of it. The go, go, go.

But in the mean time, I'm going to stop and smell the cows.

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