Jitters

Today I went to the Dr’s clinic for some appointments and I was honestly scared to walk in. As I pulled into the parking lot, there were several marked “Reserved for Respiratory Patients.” This made me a little nervous.

Then, as I walked in with a face mask on (a requirement in most places,) a nurse standing by the door was prepared to ask me a series of questions. They were similar to the questions we were asked upon check-in at Guam prior to boarding the flight for Korea:

Have you had a fever for the past few days?

Have you experienced any shortness of breath, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.?

Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID19?

Are any of your family members positive for COVID19?

Then, she took her thermometer and placed it near my forehead, and scanned for my temperature. After that, I was given an orange piece of paper that said “Screened 6/9/20.”

The app I have on my phone allowed me to check myself in but I still had to check in with the front desk person on the floor I was going to. After that, I was called in pretty quickly, as I noticed they limited the number of patients to be seen per day.

They had a few new rules such as taping my face mask at the bridge of my nose since it fogs up the Dr’s lens. Also, no talking while Dr and the nurse are checking the eyes. And, basically, just keep the mask on at all times. It was hard to breathe during some points of my appointment, but I definitely have more sympathy for the Drs and nurses as they have to wear them for their entire shift.

I just wanted to document this day, because it has been different from all my other appointments. And, it’ll probably be this way for awhile.

It would’ve been the best-kept secret

June has arrived…This would’ve been the month that we brought a new human home. To understand what I mean, I probably need to take you back a few months ago. 

On October 12, 2019, Winfred and I walked into a Walgreens after the Love Builds Up Circuit Assembly in Fremont, CA. I hadn’t gotten my period yet and my body was feeling off. My doctor advised me to take a home pregnancy test and so I did. All three tests read “Positive” or “Pregnant.” We were utterly shocked and beyond belief. 

That evening was our Pioneer Appreciation dinner and our newfound knowledge was looming over our heads but we still couldn’t believe it ourselves and so we didn’t share the news with anyone. The following day, I had a scheduled blood test appointment and I asked the Lab Technician if she can draw additional blood, if needed, to test for my pregnancy. She agreed after consulting with her Supervisor, but she also made me message my doctor right away to send a request for the test.

A few days later, my doctor wrote and told me “Congratulations! You are pregnant. Please take prenatal vitamins as soon as possible, iron supplements since your hemoglobin is low, a prescription was sent to your pharmacy for thyroid medicine, and please schedule an appointment with an OBGYN right away.” 

That message was the starting point of this new reality hitting us all too quickly. We had never anticipated being parents, and at first, we were a bit saddened about how our lives would change drastically but eventually, we became overwhelmingly excited and thrilled about it. Winfred went into daddy mode straight away, and I into mommy mode. I threw out all my acne medication and facial products that contained salicylic acid, I avoided sushi and fish that had high mercury content, and I slept so much! I remember my body always feeling so tired. During my lunch hour, I would go to my car and sleep. I had preferred it overeating and yet, I still packed on the pounds.

Fast forward four weeks later, (which meant I was already eight weeks pregnant) and I had my first OB appointment. This would also be my first ultrasound. Prior to the appointment, I felt better. Less tired and I was really taking good care of myself. I had no inkling of a miscarriage happening. When we heard no heartbeat and when we saw my doctor’s face look a little sad, we just knew we lost the baby. It was one of the saddest feelings ever. A feeling that lingers and stays with you.

If the miscarriage had not happened, I would be 39 weeks right now. He or she would’ve been the size of pumpkin in my belly. And, I could have kept this all under wraps because, at 12 weeks, I went to Guam to take care of my mom. I stayed there for three months.  When I came back to California, within a week, a stay home order was placed for the state of California. Weekly meetings were being streamed online and everyone was preparing to work from home if they hadn’t already. Then zoom meetings started and the stay home order was extended. I have not seen some people for over six months. Imagine the shock and awe on their faces if the next time they did see me was with a newborn in my arms. That would’ve been a pretty impressive best-kept secret! But, the reality is, I won’t have a newborn in my arms, but at the least, I’ll have a memory of what could have been. And, having that memory is enough for me to cling to and to go about my day.

Training Tips that Worked for Us

Update: I drafted this post a few weeks back and just this past weekend Brutus was attacked by a Pit Bull while he was about to go on his walk. The Pit Bull broke free from his home and came at Brutus while my husband and him were about to go for their morning walk in the in-law’s neighborhood. We are observing Brutus and he is scheduled to see his vet this Friday.

Tip #1: Be consistent.

This is key for potty training and any type of training in general. When he was a pup, we had made sure that he always went outside right after a meal, before we went to bed, and right when we woke up. He knew that this was the routine and, although he had a few accidents, he quickly learned to potty outside. Also, we taught him to “ring the bell.” We made sure that before we opened the door for him to go outside and potty, he had to ring the bell. This, in turn, taught him that to get our attention to bring him outside…he had to ring the bell. And, it still works until now. He no longer has his bell, but paws the door stopper or anything near the door, to get our attention.

Tip #2: Be firm and let him know who is boss.

This doesn’t mean you have to be a tyrant. But, when he’s bad, You have to give a firm,”NO!” Don’t be giggling or laughing or smiling…because they will definitely think you’re playing with them, and not giving them a command.

Tip# 3: Praise him when he’s good.

Reward good behavior. Don’t emphasize so much on the bad behavior but know that when he makes you happy and proud…say the words, “Good Boy/Girl!” or even a gentle pet on his head or a treat.

Tip #4: Have play time.

This is part of being consistent, but when your dog knows he gets to have play time, he doesn’t get too crazy. For instance, he won’t run away from you or try to escape the house because he knows there’s no better place than being home with great masters.

These are the tips that worked for us…there are great dog trainers out there, haven’t tried any of them yet, but the way I see it…most of the dog’s behavior is a result of how the owner handles them. How much time we spend with them, how much love we show them, and the interaction we provide for them.

 

Our Puppy, a Cane Corso

When my husband and I hit our two-year mark we decided that we were ready for a dog. I knew this would not be an easy feat, but Winfred was dead set on it. He had been putting himself to sleep with doggy videos on YouTube and doing a ton of research on different kinds of breeds. He finally settled on the Cane Corso, also known as the Italian Mastiff. I must admit, I was VERY hesitant about getting a big dog. I previously had a Pomeranian, and I felt that she was an adequate sized dog. However, there was no changing my husband’s mind.

The day came when Winfred finally picked up Brutus. Winfred had a dental appointment in the afternoon, and because he traveled almost four hours, he was running late. So, he brought Brutus with him, and I met Brutus at the parking lot of our dental office for the very first time.

His big blue eyes gazed at me and he made puppy noises that were just so adorable. I instantly fell in love. He was eight weeks old and 15 pounds. Not quite heavy yet, but he was the same weight, or more, than my adult sized Pomeranian.

Because his breed is dominant, my husband worked hard on showing him who the boss really is. But, at the same time, we shower him with lots of love and kisses. He started off by sleeping in the living room in his crate, but had separation anxiety because he wasn’t in the same room with us. Eventually, my husband gave in to letting him on the bed when he left for work at 6am. That habit stuck. Now, Brutus prefers to be in the bed with us. Granted, he can be left at kennels and with the grandparents… and does just fine. But when we are around, he wants to be with Winfred and I, snoozing by our feet.

He is now three years old and 120 pounds of pure love! On my next blog post, I’ll share tips of how we trained him and how we provide him with exercise and fun.

Continue reading

A Foodie’s Dream Come True…Dallas & Austin, TX

Back in December, my friend Rachel, my husband, and I took a quick trip to Texas. This was the first time for all of us to visit the Lone Star State. We were there specifically for a wedding…but…simultaneously, we ate our way thru Dallas and Austin.

To get a taste of Southern Food we visited Ellen’s Southern Kitchen. The mac and cheese along with their fried okra was the highlight of that place.

Next, to get our liquor and grub on…we visited Meddlesome Moth. Excellent service, superior tasting food, and booze everywhere.

A visit to Texas wouldn’t be complete without having Tex-Mex. That is: Texan influenced Mexican food. For that, our local friends took us to Torchy’s. After having it, I realized I have a special spot for authentic Mexican food.

Now, let me tell you this…Texas, or possibly just Austin…has an infatuation with licking. We visited two very different establishments with “lick” in its name. One of them was Salt Lick BBQ. A visit to Texas also wouldn’t be complete if you didn’t have some of their BBQ. Salt Lick has many claims to fame, including a feature on the show Man vs. Food, however, the locals also like their food. We had to go there! And it truly did not disappoint.

The other establishment was called Lick Honest Ice Cream. They have such unique and classic flavors…something to please everyone’s tastebuds.

And now that I think about it though…they had every reason to include “lick” in their names. Its exactly what you would do with your fingers or lips after having anything on their menu.

As you can see…we ate our way (figuratively speaking) thru Dallas and Austin in three days. We definitely went through a cleanse afterwards.

However, if you do visit Dallas or Austin…definitely try one of the places mentioned above. You won’t regret it entirely. Happy Nom Nom!

 

 

Destination: Nepal

For today’s blog post, I thought I’d do a quick fact info on Nepal. Unfortunately, this past Saturday Nepal suffered a devastating earthquake that was measured at 7.8 on the richter scale. More than 4,000 people pronounced dead and many more injured.

Nepal is located southwest of China and northeast of India. It is a landlocked area with about 120 different languages. More than 10 million speak Nepali as their first language and many others speak it as a second language.

The population in Nepal is over 29 million inhabitants.

I have never been to Nepal and only imagined what it would be like in my mind by viewing pictures and surfing the net.  I did discover there is a BIG spiritual need in Nepal because the 2014 yearbook showed that there were only 1,911 publishers with an average bible studies of 3,890. And there are still many more interested because Memorial attendance was at 5,556. Definitely something to think about…

May we continue to have Nepal in our mind and to pray for our dear brothers and sisters there.

References:

jw.org

cnn.com

welcomenepal.com