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...

Monday, January 28, 2008

almost 33 months

Every mother believes that her child is the most amazing, little human being, but I have to say that I think I have the most unique one. Now that he is certifiably a little boy, I've noticed some very odd, yet cute things about him. I have been making notes for the past couple of weeks and will attempt to list them below:

1. Roan does the cutest little happy dance when he is very happy. He spins around and shakes his little bootee. Sometimes, he also says, "Shake-it, shake-it..."

2. It doesn't matter when we go to PBK, for some reason he always ends up with #2 in his diaper. I don't know if it's exceptionally calming there, but it works, every time. Thank goodness, they have very family friendly restrooms.

3a. Anyone who knows Roan, knows that he loves his blanket(s). He is actually very aware that he has more than one (we had two made to be identical). Sometimes, he'll pretend that one is, "Eww, dirty..." and proceeds to make a sound with his tongue that it's icky, just so that he can have them both because. Usually, we put the other one and his other back-up ones up high so that he cannot see or get to them.

3b. Lately, if his blankets are not around, he'll start chewing on his hat, scarf, mittens, my sweaters, and he'll even take his shoes off, just so that he can get to his socks and put them in his mouth. It's gross, but he usually wears slippers and shoes so I'm not too concerned about dirt.

4. He is intent on taking showers now, but not alone. He insists, "Too Mommy. Too Daddy." He loves his family showers. Unfortunately, our shower is not made for the whole family.

5. Roan's been referring to me as "Mom and Dad." It's really quite cute.

6. And this one I don't mind too much because I like that he is independent. Ever since he was little, he has always needed his alone time, much like me. Lately, however, he's been attached to me, but there are times in which I hear no noise so I go looking for him to see what mischief he has gotten into only to find that he is laying in his bed or on his playroom floor, chewing away on his blanket, just chilling out. I wonder what it is that he is thinking about in those moments.

7. Roan has this amazing ability to be able to separate the foods he likes from the ones he doesn't like inside his mouth. We have been trying, unsuccessfully, for about a year now to vary his food intake. We really want him to eat rice so that when we go to other people's homes, he will at least be able to eat something. Tonight, after trying the usual things, I hid a few grains in with his eggs and he ate it, but a few seconds later, he magically spit out the rice, fully in tact. I guess that'll be his party trick.

8. Roan is obsessed with spiders, except he calls them spiderman. He asks me to draw spiders of all different sizes.

9. Roan talks in his sleep. I didn't realize that there was a gene for this, but apparently, I passed it onto him.

I've been missing him a lot lately even though we are together as much as possible. I adore him and feel so blessed to be his mommy, even though, he cried for 30 minutes yesterday on the ride home from our museum trip without Choua. I still have no idea how it started. One minute he was contently watching a movie and then the next he's full out crying. Fun times...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

lensbaby...and footprints

I realized that I had not posted any pictures from the free seminar I went to in November with the Bogen Cafe. I found this picture that I took using the lensbaby lens that they were promoting and I didn't really care for it at first, but now I really like it. I'm not sure I used it correctly, nor do I think I'll ever buy one, but it makes a neat picture...especially with the antique preset in LR, which am loving!

Here is the original.

I also learned how to add a texture to pictures. I re-did one of the Michigan Dunes pictures with a rust texture.

Here is the original.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

...and the winner is...

...Jen! Please send me your email so that I can get the gift card out to you.

A special thank you to all of you that left a message. I was actually surprised. I thought maybe only a handful of visitors would actually leave a note.

I started this blog out as a means to keep all of our family and friends who are far from us updated on our everyday life and a way to document my budding photography hobby. Our lives are so mundane that I never thought that anyone would be interested with the exception of my family and close friends. Now, I can at least say that I have a few more friends in my circle...even if it is just virtually.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

blogiversary contest: OPEN

Contest is officially open! Please leave a comment. P.S. The blue thing is a bubble wand in the shape of a shark.

Contest rules:
1. Leave a comment in today's (1/19/08) blog entry.

2. On Wednesday, next week, I will pick a name from the list of those that left comments and announce the winner in the next blog entry.

3. If you are the winner, you must send me an email at: kaosongvang@yahoo.com, so that I can arrange sending the prize to you.

4. Double entries will not be accepted.

The Prize:$15 gift card to Borders Books (and an envelope and postage).

Good luck!

Friday, January 18, 2008

blogiversary contest

It's been just under one year since I started this blog. I can't believe it! In honor of my blogiversary, I will be holding a contest tomorrow. I still have no idea who visits my blog so this is a great way to meet "readers" AND thank you for taking time out to look at my pictures and read my entries. I'm sure it's minimal and the prize is not huge, but I'd like to hear from anyone who visits.

Contest rules:
1. Leave a comment in tomorrow's (1/19/08) blog entry.
2. On Wednesday, next week, I will pick a name from the list of those that left comments and announce the winner in the next blog entry.
3. If you are the winner, you must send me an email at: kaosongvang@yahoo.com, so that I can arrange sending the prize to you.

The Prize:
$15 gift card to Borders Books (and an envelope and postage).

The chances are in your favor. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

i left my heart

I have been on a business trip since Sunday night. Tonight spoke with Roan on the phone. I couldn't believe it because he was actually talking to me. Choua put him right on the phone with me and he started talking right away. He asked me, "Vere ah you?" I almost cried. And then he told me that he missed me and that he loved me. I can't believe that he was just having a little person conversation with me.

I miss the guys so much! I can't believe how tired I am. I have spent two nights in a very comfortable, king-sized bed and I have not been able to sleep. I just am so homesick. Two more nights.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


We finally got the chance to try out one of the three trian sets that Roan got for Christmas this year. We are trying it out to see how he does with it. He pretty much destroys everything. Keeping our fingers crossed...

He loves his Piderman t-shirt. He always picks it out to wear.




Everything seemed good...until...you can imagine my disappointment when I came back into the room and Roan had pulled the entire set apart.

I love these pictures because Roan's hair is just so perfectly him...mangy.

Friday, January 11, 2008

blessed new year

It's been quite a ride already and we're just in the second week of the New Year. I am filled with a wealth emotions right now. Thanks to my husband for letting me be evil and still snuggling with me in bed and telling me that I'm smokin...even though I am far from it.

This week, I learned that I was given the biggest raise that I have ever received. I work for a not-for-profit so it's not huge, but it's nice. I also learned that I was one of the people in our department that was given a little extra boost of a raise to acknowledge my hard work in 2007.

However, with this raise, I found that I am already knee-deep and very stressed out at work and I don't see relief anytime soon. In addition, there are a few things that I am handling on the home and personal front as well.

It's funny, two people have already asked me if I am mad at them because I've been short with my responses to them. Sorry peeps...not mad, just buried. So now, I am nervous because I just started getting my life back in order and fighting the victim mentality that sometimes creeps into the cracks of my brain. I am tired, frustrated, and stressed out. I was afraid it was going to bust at the seams.

And then I took a breath and realized, I'm not really that important. Nothing that I do is not something that every other working mom/wife does. I just need to get through the short term demands, plan for the obvious and realize that there are lots of things that might pop up. The up will eventually come down...smile...it'll make me feel better. If anyone has any other tips, I sure would like to hear it.

On a lighter and happier note, my mom will be visiting from Laos in a couple of weeks. I haven't seen her since their 35th wedding anniversary last (that's 2006) November so I am excited to go home and really be home. Even at this age, Mom is still home. My dad could not accompany her this time. :(

Monday, January 7, 2008

the tease

Last Tuesday, when we returned to Chicagoland, the weather was below freezing. Sitting in our broken down car, waiting for the tow truck, I was lucky to have my ball of fire child warming my lap. We probably had close to one foot of snow on the ground, some of it fresh from the frigid night before.

Fast forward to yesterday, we had 60+ degrees. It was overcast and sprinkled sporadically, but it was such a tease. Later this week, we're supposed to get at least a dusting again.

We took advantage of the nice weather and took our first trip to the Botanical Gardens. It's such a beautiful place. With our membership to the Morton Arboretum, we get in free here as well. I can't wait until Spring to return. We couldn't go until after nap, so we had a very short time with light. They still had all of their holiday lights up. It felt like Arizona again.

Boys being boys:

Starting to get too dark

For some reason, I really love this picture:

One of my new favorites. I wish the people on the left weren't so obvious. I guess I could try to clone them out or something. I hate over Photoshopping though.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I had the best intentions to post a detailed summary, but now I think highlights is all that is needed...after all, it's 2000 freakin 8 now!

We met up with my siblings at my oldest sister's house the Friday before Xmas. My parents are still overseas doing mission work. They were truly missed. We all went sledding in the foggy darkness. I haven't done it since I was little. It was so much fun. Roan absolutely loved it! My heart skipped a few times seeing him go down the hill by his little lonesome, but Choua was close by...running. It's moments like this that make me feel so warm and happy inside. I'm sure a big darn smile is planted on my face too. I'll post pictures up, I promise...the fog was amazing!

My siblings and I (except Paul) spent Xmas Eve Eve at the airport. The weather was bad so we wanted to make sure we saw our littlest sister off to her new hometown. We just sat around, drinking hot chocolate on the floor and chatting and laughing until she finally had to board her plane.

My sisters and me:

The siblings, spouses (except my SIL, Phoua,--she's 9 months preggo and couldn't make the long trip), and grandchildren.

I couldn't resist including this picture. After opening presents on Xmas morning. My littlest niece, Aleah, wanted to put on my next littlest niece, Ayden's, new fancy straight from the Hmong flea market sandals on. Look at her sassy stance.

It looks really bad because I didn't take many more pictures after we left my siblings. There was too much random sickness afterwards though.

We headed to the Dells to meet Choua's family at the Kalahari. It was sweet! I saw a movie with my in-laws and Choua and I made Xmas dinner. It takes a long time to make a big and varied dinner, when you only have a few pots and pans to use.

Next, we headed up to the Twin Cities and just lounged until we took Roan to the ER due to "something he caught from the Dells" said the ER Pediatrician. On the day we were to return, Choua got sick so I drove and didn't realize we had lost power steering. I'm dumb...I hardly drive his car and I just thought that maybe his car was more physical than mine. Plus, on the interstate, you don't turn much so I didn't really notice it until we stopped for gas.

Needles to say, we had to spend the night in Rockford. We risked it the next day because apparently no rental cars or car mechanics are open in Rockford on New Year's day. We were about 15 miles from our house, when the car finally died. We had it towed and Roan liked riding on my my lap in the big truck.

It was such a wonderful time even though we didn't go anywhere warm or did anything exceptional. It was one of my favorite holiday season ever. I feel like I got my family back. I feel hopeful and happy. I also got the opportunity to get closer to Choua's family and that is really important to me.

I don't really do NY resolutions, but I feel like this is going to be a wonderful year, personally and professionally. I can't wait to start living again.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

belated happy holidays

I have been MIA since before Xmas and in the pre-holiday rush, I didn't have a chance to post prior to being sure that everyone who was meant to receive one, got one. Here are our holiday cards: