Friday, July 26, 2013

Sleep Tight, My Love

Eyes shut tight,
Surrendered finally
To her exhausted body.
Counting her long eyelashes one by one,
Watching her lips tremble slightly,
Listening to her soft, sweet breath.
A perfect face.
The most peaceful space.

Her little fingers clutching her baby bear,
She stretches her arms,
She rolls over and back,
Her legs cycle couple times,
Gradually settling back into her fetal position.
Sound asleep once again,
In the safest, the most familiar place.

If her angel face,
Shall be startled
By the whistle of the passing train,
I shall wipe her little tears,
And gently whisper,
Into her little ears,
"Sweet baby Omi,
Do not fear,
For mommy is here."
I will sing a lullaby,
I will say my little prayer,
till she rests her bewildered eyes,
Dozing off soundly in no time.

Keep her sheltered
From the evil,
the wickedness of this world.
Let there not be
One moment of darkness.
For if there shall be
Nights with no stars,
Days with no sun,
She shall still find
The little sparkles
You left in her heart.

Originally published on Wikinut:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

You know you are Asian when ... Part II

Before I continue my "You know you are Asian when ..." series, I should clarify that when I say "Asian", I am referring to mostly Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean and Japanese.

So here it goes ... you know you are Asian when you have close family members (cough cough ... like your mom) or relatives (no matter if they are close or not-so-close ones you know like the wife of the cousin of your dad's cousin) who would not hesitate to tell you that you have gained some weight recently (or "you are getting fat/chubbier!!!!" if they are more direct). And they are not afraid to make a remark like this in front of other relatives.

Now my parents won't say such things to me, but I still remember coming to the States for college and gaining about 15-20 lbs in the first year by eating junk food. You can't blame me, really. Dorm food sucked so bad and since we did not have a kitchen in our dorm and I could not really cook either, my friends and me frequently went to Royal Farms for fried chicken or those "2 for $5 " ice-cream specials. Sometimes we would also order pizza or Chinese takeout or those Jamaican wings at night. Man all those good memories! Needless to say, when I went back to Hong Kong the next summer, my relatives were quick to point out that my face has gotten chubbier, that I could lose some inches off my waist and that I had "fat thighs". Thanks Aunt XXX for the honesty and sharp observation!

Now these family members/relatives are not necessarily mean people, and they really don't mean to hurt people when they make such a comment about your body. It's just that it's such a socially-acceptable thing to say that other people won't even raise their eyes at such comments (even though it's very hurtful to that person to say the least).

Here in the States, a lot of people think that Asians are "genetically or naturally skinny"? Ugh, yes some of them are, but I have to tell you, a lot of them are pressured to be skinny. Body image (being skinny) is such a big thing in Asia and if you go to Hong Kong/Korea, you can see all those advertisements about diet pills, diet management program, body slimming and beauty products, plastic surgery everywhere, seriously and literally, everywhere. You can even see them in all the subway stations. Not to mention that some of the cutest clothes that they have there is one-size-fit-all, so it's almost like they are telling you that if you are not skinny, you are not worthy to be wearing their designs. Because of such misconception ("Of course you have to be skinny, you are Asian!"), a lot of my Asian American friends still feel the pressure to be slim from their family and friends even though they are in the States.

So if you are Asian/Non-Asian and you are reading this and are struggling with body image issues, you really need to take a step back and think for a moment - you know, nothing is more important than your health. It's really not worth it to wreck your body by taking all those diet pills or by going on those extreme diets. Being sexy is not about being skinny. Being sexy is to have a healthy body, a healthy mind and a smile on your face!

Originally published in Bubblews:

Image source: google search - label for reuse, even commercially

Things that I do when I am stressed ...

Things that I do when I am stressed:

1. Eat, eat and eat nonstop. Eat, eat, eat till I drop.
2. Forget to eat and starve myself
3. Bite my nails
4. Clean, declutter and organize things
5. Move furniture or stuff around
6. Drink many cups of coffee
7. Take a mid-day shower (has to be a hot shower)
8. Go onto blogs and read as an escape
9. Vent to friends through google chat
10. Drink soda (no Diet please)
11. Eat an entire bar of dark chocolate (so I guess that's part of #1 LOL), preferably with coffee
12. Take a day off and do nothing
13. Go shopping
14. Tell my baby to give me a hug and give me kisses
15. Take it out on hubby (*shame on me*)
16. Read Harry Potter again
17. Stay up and won't sleep (mmmm I kinda of do this regardless but it's worse when I am stressed)

Originally published on Bubblews:

Image Credit: morguefile

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gratitude Project #7 - Having health Insurance

Now we all know that the health care system in the States is really broken. Our hospital bills lack price transparency. Our drug companies charge ridiculous markups to the patients. Affordable individual insurance is non-existent. Medicare kept cutting reimbursement to our physicians, causing them to drop Medicare patients. I remember reading on the news that something like 60% of bankruptcy is due to medical bills. The premium of the group insurance that I have through my job keeps increasing, while the co-pays and out-of-pocket maximum keeps increasing every year too. But I am still grateful that we are able to have and to afford health insurance. Because the only predictable thing in life is that you can be sure that it is unpredictable. You will never know when you will get sick. I am grateful for all the prenatal care and all the well-child visits for my baby that we were able to have because of our insurance. I still remember how shocked I was when I opened up the bill from the hospital where I delivered my baby - just one week of NICU stay for my baby amounts to $25,000 without insurance! My heart definitely skipped a beat when I saw that!

Original published on Bubblews:

Image Credit: morguefile

Monday, July 22, 2013

You know you are Asian when ... Part I

You know you are Asian when you have been told by someone (well, your parents, grandparents or other elderly) that icy water/drink and cold food is not good for you, especially when you are menstruating and when you are pregnant. I have been told that cold drink and cold food lead to indigestion because it disrupts our system and our digestive systems becomes more stagnant as it has to first expend energy to bring the icy water/food back to normal body temperature. I was also told that during menstruation, women usually are at a stage where they don't have sufficient Qi (they called it YIN which means internal cold) so cold drink and food only make it worse, contributing to more cramps and more pain. Hot drinks and heating pad will alleviate the symptoms as you are balancing the internal cold in your body with external heat. I was also told that pregnant ladies should avoid ice cold drink during the first trimester especially as it may lead to miscarriages.

Now I am not sure if this is an old wives' tale or not, but we have 5000 years of ancient Chinese history to back this up LOL. All I know is that when I have my period, a cup of hot yummy chocolate certainly makes me feel a whole lot better (I am not sure if it's the 'hot' part or the 'chocolate' part that does the trick though). Oh I also forgot to mention that I couldn't live without ice or popsicle when I was pregnant (I think it's because I was anemic) and oops, and I had a few popsicles during my labor also .... I better not tell my grandmother about this. And, if our body has to expend extra energy to counteract the icy drink/food that we intake, wouldn't that be a good thing as it helps burn more calories? Anyway, next time if you go to a restaurant in Hong Kong, you shouldn't be surprised that instead of water with ice, you would be greeted with hot water or hot tea instead. It's all part of an ice-phobic culture.

Originally published on Bubblews

(Image Credit: morguefile)