Just in case you were wondering where I've been, here is a little life update from me. On Halloween I went off social media for 2 weeks ... or so was the plan. I wanted to enjoy the time with my visiting family and Baby Zand's birthday. I didn't want to worry about getting the perfect food shot, but just wanted to enjoy my food in good company and with great conversations. I wanted to be completely present with my mom and dad, who flew all the way across the world to be here with us. And I so thoroughly enjoyed this time that I went completely offline. I didn't even answer emails, and extended this hiatus for almost the whole month. However, I did miss the community online that is always there with support and inspiration. So I am back with many fun holiday surprises here on the blog and over on Instagram. And just in case you're curious about what I've been up to, here are a few of the highlights:
I promised I would share this year's Halloween costume, so here it is. Baby Zand has been obsessed with fire trucks, so we built her one, and she was the chief. My red feet from all the crazy painting are just recovering now!
Baby Zand's birthday
This time is always bitter sweet. On the one hand I love seeing how excited Baby Zand gets to finally be the one, who gets to blow out the candle (she got to blow out a total of 9 candles throughout the week!). On the other hand it always reminds me of my own journey of healing from pregnancy, birth, and trauma. While I have my energy levels back, and am able to jump out of bed at 5.30am in the morning again, there are still a lot of emotional and physical scars that continue to require attention and love. The last 2 years I have spent on filling up my nutrient storages again. This coming year I will spend on working on the emotional component of becoming a mother. Let's see where that brings me... I might share a bit of the journey here.
So much family fun!
Every time my parents come to visit, we have an absolute blast. Baby Zand absolutely adores them, and is still talking about the fabulous adventures she shared with them. It also means we have to say goodbye every time, which seems to get harder and harder. This time around I got sick the day they left, and haven't been able to shake it properly. I feel a little depressed not living close to my mom, who is the best life and baby helper of all times! So I have been throwing myself into helping others these last two weeks to take away from my own lonely thoughts. Giving love always helps :-) .
A big Shanghai surprise
Sunday night, 8pm, the doorbell rings, and Arman tells me to go get it. Me?!?! At 8pm?!? On a Sunday?!? I mean it is dark, no one ever rings the door bell, and this is creepy. Arman is obsessed with cameras and technology everywhere, he wouldn't just send me to the door like that. What is going on?!? Well, I open it and there stood my two besties from Shanghai, Pritica and Ann! For 56 hours we spent endless hours catching up. It's been almost 3 years since we left Shanghai, and yet our Shanghai family is as loving and wonderful as ever. It was the best surprise ever!!! Having moved all over the world, not many friendships last the distance. It is hard to keep in contact with every day life taking over with so many miles in between us. I am so glad we had time to re-connect, but it also made me realize I am very happy living in Berkeley and feeling settled for once in my life.
A weekend getaway
When you become parents, you fall into a routine that revolves completely around the baby... no matter how much you try to keep your relationship at the top of your priority list. Between school runs, meal times, and spontaneous tantrums, there is barely any time of a loving touch, a moment to rekindle anything that used to be there or to catch up on each other's lives. Baby Zand is 3, and so far we have never left her alone for more than one night. I have NEEDED it badly, because my love language is quality time :-). So with my parents in town, we could leave Baby Zand and puppy Haigo in excellent hands, and we went all the way across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco for two nights. We were tourists in our hometown, which in itself was amazing. We went out for drinks, we rode electric scooters through the city, and visited Alcatraz - all things we haven't been able to do with a child in tow. We had the best time, and actually realized we have more to talk about than potty training and nap times.
So there you have it. I love my social media free time, but I am back for the next month with lots of holiday tips. So make sure to check in every day over on Instagram and here on the blog!
Lots of love,