health care...

i never realized how important and valuable health benefits are until recently (which also seems very appropriate w/ the health care bill that's been such a hot topic)! s' company completely covered our health care 100% - we had no deductions out of his paycheck. it was great; we only had to pay for the copays for my entire pregnancy, delivery and the 1st year of aaron's appointments. we definitely saved thousands of dollars in health bills. however, w/ s' recent company issues (that involves another blog entry), we had to switch back to my company's coverage. we had family coverage with blue shield hmo and that same coverage under my work would be almost $300 a pay period!! health benefits were never a big deal when i was younger and s and i had our individual coverages w/ our companies. however, w/ a family and having so many more appointments and expenses, i never appreciated how much a company covers their employee's health coverage. ummm...as my boss says, "i guess no more new sweaters for you!"


lions, tigers, bears...oh my!

i took friday off and s and i decided to take aj to the zoo. the weather forecast called for rain but luckily there wasn't any! s took him to the zoo a couple of months ago but now that he's a bit older, he definitely appreciates seeing the animals more. one new experience that didn't go over so well was his ride on the carousel. first, he wouldn't even get on the horse. he finally agreed when i sat down first. we picked a horse that moved up and down and he was not a happy camper. after a couple of rotations, he started yelling, so we sat him on the bench instead. oops. i certainly hope he isn't like mommy and doesn't like roller coasters either! but i do have to admit, that carousel was going fast!! aj really enjoyed the zoo and after 3 hours there, he was knocked out on the drive home!

we had to take him off the horse and seat him on the bench

aj was NOT a fan of the carousel

seriously, once s walked toward the feeding machine, all the sheep crowded around him

aj enjoying the farm

s feeding the goats...

it took a couple of minutes for aj to warm up to the goats


15 months old...

this past thursday, aj had his 15 month appt. he is now:
height: 32.75 inches (90th percentile)
weight: 26.4 lbs (75th percentile
head circumference: 19 inches (75th percentile

i was a bit concerned as he only gained 1.4 pound since his 12 month appt. however, the doctor said it's completely normal; he's more active now and is just getting leaner. lately, s and i have been a bit stressed about his eating habits. he's so consumed w/ trying to feed himself w/ his fork and spoon or w/ his fingers that he hasn't been eating as much. meals are hit and miss w/ him recently so we just try our best but we aren't too concerned since he's at a healthy weight. the pediatrician says it's fairly common and just gave us a list of things to do to encourage aj to eat.

this stage is one that most of my friends mention as one of their favorite as this is when you really see their development progress incredibly fast. things he didn't quite get a week or so ago, he understands now. things we ask him to do or attempt to say or even how he plays w/ his toys, you can just see how things are starting to click in that little brain of his. this is also when you really do see how toddlers can manipulate gullible parents (that would be me)!

a couple of things that he does that i'm just so amazed by. i'm sure these things are part of this stage in any child's growth but you know, when it's your own child, it's just so cute haahaa.

- he knows to grab my iphone, press the button and slide to unlock my screen.
- he loves to go outside. if you ask him for his shoes, he'll look for them and bring them to you to help him put them on. sometimes, he tries really hard to slip his feet into his shoes.
- when you ask him to smile in chinese, he gives you the cutest scrunchy face
- if you ask him to give something to someone, he will. however, it's only to these people and in cantonese (because he sees them at least once a week):

- s and i (of course)

- my parents
- my brother

- my sister, her hubby and her 2 boys

i do want to get a photo album so we can start to have him remember s' side of the family, our extended family and friends
- when he's ready for bed, he'll grab one of our hands and leads us to the bed
- when anyone touches me, he gets very defensive and starts screaming. for example, if s hugs me, he starts yelling at s. when my cousin was pulling out my white hairs, he started yelling at her. it's quite comical.
- he loves my baby nephew (4 months old). whenever he sees him, he starts smiling and waves hi to him. he always just wants to be near him.

for the most part, everything he understands is in cantonese. my parent's speak to him in cantonese and many words are just easier to say in cantonese than english (or it just sounds cuter)!

this pic isn't that recent but i love the boys holding my sister's hand!


aj's new ride...

s and i couldn't take it anymore...we had to buy a new stroller. it's such a joke how much we spent on our original stroller...which i do love by the way.

some background....so even before i got pregnant, i always knew i wanted a bugaboo stroller. yes, i know, it's not exactly practically priced but s couldn't say no to me since i was pregnant and paying for the stroller myself (key words to our successful marriage *separate accounts*)! i was actually debating between the bugaboo or the orbitz. however, w/ the infant car seat that my sister was letting us use, the orbitz just didn't make sense. we have a couple of friends w/ the bugaboo and they really enjoyed the stroller so we just went for it.
we've loved our cameleon. it rides so smooth and the maneuverability is awesome! the bugaboo is also very sturdy. i've thrown it all over the place and it is awesome. that is probably why it's not exactly the lightest stroller. one of the biggest reasons we love the stroller is because when it's upright, you can actually use it if you are at a restaurant and they don't have a high chair. it's extremely useful when you are sitting outside!

the only complaint about the stroller is the weight and the fact that it's in 2 parts and takes up a lot of space. since we switch back and forth quite a bit between my car and s' truck, it was just becoming a hassle to lug the 2 pieces between vehicles. also, we have a couple of trips planned and we wanted a new stroller that is lighter and easier to travel with.
so the new winner is...the baby jogger city mini! diapers.com is awesome...no tax, free shipping and i found a coupon for 10% off woohoo. we'll have to see if aj likes his new ride...

our 1st love...the bugaboo cameleon (we have the khaki cover...not red)

our new city mini!


biggest loser...

to encourage "wellness" and a healthier lifestyle, my work has been great about setting up a mini gym in our building, ping pong tables in the cafe and hiring yoga instructors to teach classes in our office. we've had wellness fairs w/ external companies to offer home deliveries of organic foods / vegetables, gym discounts and other such things. so the latest activity is our own biggest loser competition. we have 8 weeks and the winner who has the largest percentage weight loss wins 2 round trip tickets to anywhere in us or mexico and 2 free nights in a hotel!!
my entire planning team along w/ several other colleagues on our floor decided to have a side competition as well. none of us are really that large to win the entire competition so we wanted to give ourselves another incentive to participate. we each put in $20 and the biggest loser after the 8 weeks wins the entire pot (which is currently valued at $220). if you actually end up gaining weight after the 8 weeks, you will have to double your entry fee hahaa.
so i'm a pretty competitive person but really, who has time to work out? i'm making better decisions about what i eat and picking healthier alternatives. i do try to take walks during lunch and walks w/ aj in the evenings. i'm definitely a little less lazy about running errands or taking the stairs at work. also, since aj loves going out now and walking around, it's helped me to be a bit more active as well.
so it's been 3 weeks and i've lost 4.6 pounds! i weigh less now than pre pregnancy! woohoo. let's see how long i can keep this up for; temptation is quickly approaching. it is superbowl sunday this weekend and then chinese new year the week after!