About Me

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Thank you for visting my blog. When I started this blog, it was just the vehicle for which I had hoped to share photos of our life in Chicagoland with our loved ones, but it has turned into so much more for me. Life is ever evolving in our household and time no longer stands still. Every moment is precious and worthy of being captured and treasured. In addition, through my love of the camera, I have had the opportunity to meet and also capture moments in others' lives. It is my hope, with this blog, that when my memory fails me, the words and photos on this blog will remind of where we were. History...Through My Glass...

Friday, November 30, 2007

tree trimming, part i

It has already been three nights now and we still don't have our tree and living room decorated. On Tuesday, we took our tree and holiday decorations out and set the tree up. Thank God the tree is pre-lit! On Wednesday night, we starting putting ornaments on, but for some reason never finished.

Since we've returned from our trip home, I am still in the process of doing a million pieces of laundry, designing our holiday card, and etc., in addition to my normal responsibilities. I feel really fatigued. It is my night tonight, but I decided to just hang around the house, and tie up loose ends, go to bed early, and sleep in late.

We're supposed to get some snow/sleet/rain tomorrow. Most years, I'd be dreading it, but now that I have a DSLR, I'm looking forward to the photo opportunities.

Below: just some shots of Roan putting ornaments up on our tree. We have no breakable ornaments. Roan's never really pulled them down, but just in case, I never bought any. In due time, we'll have nice ornaments...when the boy is a little more mature.

Below: one of Roan and me from tonight as I was setting up and testing self-timer. Don't be surprised if you don't see some form of this picture in our holiday card.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

morning in court

I spent the morning in court. Don't ask why because I am still sore about how this all happened and this is a wound that I'm sure will open on it's own in due time. I digress...so back to the story.

As I walk in, I notice that there are about 200 people in the room so it's mass court. Being as I have never been to court before, I was surprised. I thought that the appointment time, meant that was set aside for me. Well, the truth is that all 200+ of us were all set for the 8:30a slot. I also notice that the room is filled with about 90% minorities, excluding the judge, police officers, lawyers and the bailiff.

So I start wondering why this is? I would like to give some credit to the officers who gave us all our citations and believe that maybe minorities, due to lack of language comprehension, fail to obey laws more, but as I watch the spanish court translater only assist at most 20% of the minorities in the room, I don't feel too confident about this.

Now I am not accusing anyone of anything, but it sure does make one think. Of course, I am also in the minority there as there are only about a handful of Asian Americans in the room and I am counting what appeared to be middle eastern americans in this group. Of course, I was there for what I considered a minor violation. Maybe in a major violation court, the mix of races would be different?

Monday, November 26, 2007

thanksgiving reflections


I meant to post while I was on my "vacation" but I didn't have time to load CS2 onto a laptop so I wouldn't have been able to post pictures. I also meant to post about all of the things that I am grateful for, but I royally messed up timing on that one as well. I just can't seem to keep it together these days. How will I survive the holidays?

Roan and I spent the entire week with family. I didn't pick up my camera until mid-week when Choua arrived and joined us. A quick summary of events for anyone who cares. For those that don't, skip to the pictures. :)

SUMMARY: Visited Aunt A and family and also got my Grandma Vang thrown in, celebrated Gabe's "Big" 2nd birthday and ate a lot, visited Roan's Grandparents and uncles, chatted with one my favorite photographers about photography, Daddy arrived, first Thanksgiving Turkey came on Wednesday with Yang Grandparents, Turkey day...too much eating...again! Tais Ne arrives from Denver and then, finally, Ethan arrives (Roan had been asking for Ethan since we left on Friday night), more eating, chatting, laughing until we left for "home" Sunday afternoon. All in all, it was wonderful! In the end, I only gained one pound...surprised!

Above: The first Thanksgiving "Dinner".

Above: Why is this kid always eating Cheetos?
Above: Ayden showing Roan her "Horsie".
Above (L to R): Ayden, Roan, and Taylor.

Above: Adyen shared her "Ipod" with Roan. I found them sitting on the kitchen floor sharing. How lovely?
Above: Jalena, spinning for photos.
Above: Acelan and Roan.
Above: Yang Clan...guys only...except Jalena.

Above: Jennica smiling as usual.

Above: Gabe at the Children's Museum. It was supposed to be his 2 year photos, but he was too sad to have to spend time alone with Nyaaj Ong.
Above: Tais Ne and the 2 year olds.
Above: My sister, Kaohly, and her daughter, Taylor.
Above: The 2 year olds with their lovies.
Above: Shoot, what happened to the borders? Tais Ne again and Ethan and Aleah. Aleah was fake crying for the camera.
Above: More of Tais Ne and Taylor.
Above: Aleah--we thought it would be cute to give her some hair. It was too cute!
Finally...Tais Ne and Gabe (being adorable).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

speedlight sessions

After my session on Saturday and now that there is much less natural light to rely on, I realized that I need a lot more practice with a speedlight. No...I didn't buy one, but Christine lets me borrow hers sometimes (Thank God!). I think I figured it out and really, it can be your friend!

My unwilling subject again. I had to bribe him with a DVD, his blanket, and his sword. I tried some different angles.
He loves this blanket. The funny thing is that we have two of them and he knows it, but he doesn't care. He also has two white crocheted ones that he'll use as "back-ups", but the green and blue ones are his favorite(s).
He's really been into Sesame Street again, which I prefer. He's getting all of the letters and songs now. He sings and acts out the songs. It's surprising to me that he is remembering the sequence of the segments.
The most amazing thing I learned tonight is that I need to up my ISO (not really what you want to do with a Nikon camera, but mine was set at 400 for these) and lower my SS (which was at like 1/50). I tried several different variations, but the best exposure came from this combination. I probably could have upped my ISO more, but I decided to play it safe.
Right after this shot, he asked to stop. He was done.

Roan in his big boy bed. I don't know if I should be so proud to say this, but Choua and I picked up the frame of his bed on the street in Mt. Prospect after the weekend city-wide garage sale. My memory is not so good, but I remember it because I gave birth to Roan the next morning.
It was brown wood and so I bought some white spray paint and cleaned it up and then started spraying. I think it turned out great!
We've still got tons of pillows lining the bed and a bed rail on so that he doesn't fall out. He's too much like Choua, when it comes to sleeping. Roan has decided, to my delight, that he wants to use a blanket (and not for sucking on) so I pulled out the Hmong flea market blanket from his Grandparents and he loves it! When I check on him before I go to bed, it's usually cast to the side though.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

almost over

I really need to get to bed, but I just really wanted to remember my thoughts tonight.

Thank you, Choua, for letting me nap, even though Roan was not napping. I am still recovering from this nasty "thing" I've had for about a month now and I think it really helped.

I think I have myself a little alien child. We went to get his flu shot this morning and he remembered the doctors office so when I went to put him on the table to pull his pants down so that they could give him the shot in his thigh, he was scared. However, I told him that I would "huggie" him and so he bravely let me lay him down.

He was scared, but then started giggling when the nurse put the cold alcohol patch on his thigh and then laughed when she poked him with the needle. Before we knew it, it was over. I was so surprised that he didn't cry...and actually enjoyed the experience.

I can't wait for vacation. I am so burnt out at work right now. Only one more week...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

proud momma

I've been really torn about whether I should write anything, but I know that if this blog is any reflection of this time in my life, I will want to remember how I felt when this started. I have written before about my concerns over Roan's speech. I kind of set it aside as he started talking more and is even singing these days. However, I just never felt comfortable about my decision to forget about it.

A few weeks ago, I had him evaluated through his pediatrician's office. Although, time ran out, the speech therapist recommended that I get him tested through a state funded program, since they will give him a global assessment and the program is around him and his natural environment. She said that from what she could tell, his delay was not significant, but that he was not at the level that she wanted him to be.

I had a flurry of emotions following that meeting. I walked away feeling like I had failed my child. How could I have missed those essential needs of his? I tried to do all of the right things...to the capacity that I could have. I didn't have the ability. On the other hand, I was relieved to know that I was not just one of those paranoid parents. And now, I can get the help that is needed to give me the skills and tools to help my child.

I knew I wanted to proceed with having him tested through the state program. We have had two of the four assessments now and in both, the OT and the Speech, he is somewhat behind; although he does not qualify in the OT.

I fought with whether to reveal the results on here; not because I am ashamed, but because I am afraid that some will feel sorry for us. I don't in the least. To me, I still know that Roan is the most amazing, capable, intelligent, and perfect child. It's funny how when you go through something like this, you realize just how proud you are of your child(ren).

He has two more assessments, Nutrition and the Global Developmental Assessments. They are both on Monday morning. I can't wait to learn more. I am so intrigued by all of this and how much these things are intertwined.

Sorry...no picture(s) this time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


One of Roan and me. Choua took this picture of us on Sunday. I have some thoughts I want to put down, but I don't have time right now.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

busy saturdays

Every Saturday was a lazy one for us before Roan arrived. I remember Choua and I used to sleep in and then watch PBS all day. We've never had cable so it was the next best thing. I remember the weekend flying by, but we had nothing important to do.

These days, it's go, go, go. It's the only day that I get to actually catch up on all of the things that really need to be tended to around the house. Marry that with the guilty Mom syndrome I have and you've got a stressed out woman on your hands. I was going through a rough patch with myself and I think I just needed some R&R. As I posted before, the uglies beat me up pretty good, but I think I'm ready to rev it up again.

It was my morning to sleep in and so I did. I needed it, since I am still fighting the cold/allergies/sinus infection that I've had for the past three weeks! After I got up, I spent some time with Roan, building castles out of Legos and cleaning up the mess that he had made.

When I got up to his playroom, it looked like a tornado hit. I looked at him and he looked at me and said, "Mess". He must have noticed the 'you are so in trouble' look on my face because he started singing the "Clean-up" song and putting away his wooden blocks.

In the afternoon, I went to put him in day clothes so that we could go out and noticed that he had turned the TV on and was watching Godzilla Contra Mechagodzilla, which BTW, is a Japanese film dubbed in Spanish for the Spanish channel. It was hilarious. He saw me and said, "Wow" excitedly and pointed to the TV. I knew he was a little scared, but he was also very interested. I watched the rest of it with him.

Roan and I finished the evening at the Mall, where he played at the children's area and hugged and wrestled strange children again. I love how excited he gets when he is playing. He runs around in circles and pretends to tickle things all the while speaking that little language of his. You would think that this child never gets to play.

He also rode in the train and we visited the candy shop, where we watched "The Incredibles". The scenes that were on when we were there were the ones where the mom and the kids are in the plane and it gets shot down by the missiles. I don't know why, but that scene always makes me cry...even before I had a child.

Well of course, I can't seem to post without pictures so here are a few more from last weekend when we visited the Arboretum.

I lied, this one was from Graue Mill. I just loved the red tree in the background.

I had to post one picture with his "Chaw Chaw", which is the sound that swords make when they go through the air. It's actually a carrot bat.

I would have loved this shot, if only he would have turned to look at me.

My little monkey.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Roan didn't want to be a superhero long so I only got a few snapshots. We went around the block once only because he was more interested in chasing the other children than he was with the prospect of getting lots and lots of sweets.

Thank God for Ms Mary! She is the only one that could have gotten it on him.

Should have bought a little blond wig.

Batman (Drew) and Dash (Roan). The Dash costume is borrowed from Drew. He was Dash last year. His mom had to pass me the costume on the sly as she was sure he'd not be willing to share.

Random early trick-or-treaters.

BTW...I am not proud of myself, but I let the ugliness win. My body is weak from battle.