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 over eating 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.

Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas, a place where you can travel the world, yet remain on a strip. This past September (which was perfect weather), I accompanied my parents, and their friends, for a four day getaway.

We did NOT rent a car, but we did take advantage of the shuttle services, monorails, lyft or uber (whichever wasn’t surging at the moment…,) and the occasional taxi cabs.

We stayed at the Rio, which wasn’t as I remembered it to be, but it did OK. Every morning, we took advantage of the overpriced coffee at the Starbucks downstairs because there was no free coffee in the room (also, they charge you $0.75 for iced tap water!) The Rio isn’t on the strip…but isn’t too far away either. At that time, Rio provided a free shuttle every 30 minutes that drops you off to the strip. However, we didn’t have the time or the patience to wait each time…so we would either grab a cab or a lyft.

What parts of the world can you reach from the strip? Well, lets start at the U.S. You can go to NYC, and see the Brooklyn Bridge, have a bite of their famous burgers in Shake Shack, ride their roller coaster, and then head over to Europe. You can get a piece of these European cities: Paris, Venice, and Rome. Then head to Africa by going to the Luxor and feeling like you’re in Egypt. By the time you’ve ventured through at least three of these countries, you’ll feel exhausted and would want to retire to the comfort and coolness of your hotel room.

If you desire to venture off the strip, there is the Hoover Dam, that is about 50 minutes away. Hoover Dam has been featured in many movies such as San Andreas, Transformers, and Fools Rush In with Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry. Definitely worth checking if you’re tired of the same scene.

Another advantage to Vegas is, it’s also not too far off from the West Rim portion of the Grand Canyon. The West Rim belongs to the Hualapai (WALL-uh-pie) tribe, and isn’t part of the national park. That being said, the West Rim is still a beautiful and unique experience. We were able to see Eagle Rock and get on the Skywalk. It was truly a Magnificent experience! (I can share more about the details of the West Rim on a separate blog post.)

Overall, Vegas is a great thrill! You don’t have to be into gambling or casinos to enjoy the place…because no matter what you like, you’ll find something for yourself in Vegas!

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Tieks, Please!

https://instagram.com/p/zymTKIGVYq/?taken-by=islanderinheelsFor many years, I’ve seen those Dr. Scholls foldable flats in stores like Walmart and Target. I always wanted a pair, but never bought one (because of lack of color choices..it only came in the safest and most boring color…black!)  I have been one of those helpless victims who have gone barefoot because of excruciating pain resulting from the desire to be tall and five inch heels. Yes, I was one of those. I refused to wear anything but heels, and only wore sneakers to the gym. Nothing else.

Then, I got older and wiser, and discovered tieks. Tieks are handmade shoes crafted with Italian leather that are foldable and come in an assortment of colors. Any color you can possibly imagine. The soles are teal colored and provide a decent, but not the best for my flat footed friends, shock absorption to your feet.

The shoes do well on light rain, rough terrain, and long walks. If you are looking for a good pair of ballet flats that are convenient to carry, I highly suggest investing in a pair of tieks. They are functional, comfortable, and fashionable.

Five Star Rating below:

Overall: ****

Comfort: ****

Style: *****

Convenience: *****

Travel Friendly: *****

Rain: **

Mud: **