Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gabe's magic trick

He loves standing, he's got so much strength in his legs! What a cutie! :)

Gabe and I discovering the rainforest

Gabe loves his new playmat he got for Christmas. And Mommy too... never too old for toys :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

More Xmas crafting: our own personalized stockings :)

I made these pretty stockings for our family. Shad's, mine, Gabe's, my mom's (Mamino) and my Dad's (Papilou), all personalized. Shad's has a camera and a polaroid of Gabe, cause he likes taking pictures, mine has a Geisha, cause I love all Japanese stuff, Gabe has a blue bunny cause he can't part from his blue bunny toy. Mamino's has a cupcake for all the cooking/baking she does, and Papilou has a flying osito (private joke) :P.
Many hours of sewing there!

Blogged with Flock

White Christmas tree

Xmas crafting 2007
I am kind of dreaming of a white christmas... Took some fallen branches in our yard and spray painted them white and sparkle to create a snowy finish, and I cut out some paper snowflakes and heart baskets, and also a couple of white felted ornaments. TA-DA! It's set in the dinning room and it looks great :)

Blogged with Flock

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Early Xmas in VA

Early Xmas in VA
Originally uploaded by manueb
We were in Virginia this weekend in Rocky Mount, at Grandma and Grandpa Handy's house for an early christmas, and mostly to proudly show Gabe to all the family :) JeRena had an open house on sunday where everybody got to meet our sweet little guy. I think everybody had a great time, and we came home with a luggage full of gifts!
Gabe did great on the plane by the way, much better than his parents who are a total wreck today...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The sweetest thing ever

Gabe - dec 11 - week 15
Originally uploaded by manueb
Gabe hanging out in his Bumbo seat in front of the xmas tree - too cute for words, it just kills me :)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gabe is vocalizing...

... all day long! Needless to say he makes me laugh quite a lot :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Crazee Crafteez fabric label is out!

Crazee Crafteez fabric label
Originally uploaded by manueb
After a lot of brainstorming, designing and re-designing :) We finally came up with something that made us both happy!!!
Printed on PaperFabric, not straightforward... because the instructions say to let the ink dry for 15min. We tried, but the ink ran out, so we actually threw away a few sheets :( My guess is, let dry overnight!
Now I can sew my own designed labels on my creations!! Pretty awesome.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Chocolate goodies for thanksgiving

A liitle thanksgiving 'extra' (more of a xmas-y thing but whatever)

With pistacchios, walnuts, pine nuts, pecans, dried cranberries, dried aprictos, semi-sweet and bitter-sweet chocolates :)

Double yum!!

Thanksgiving 2007

Thanksgiving 2007
Originally uploaded by manueb
This was our delicious meal, maybe some would say less traditional:
- green beans almondine with lemon
- potatoes and red and yellow bell pepper piperade
- turkey with porcini mushroom gravy
- cranberry/pear/ginger chutney
- plain ol' stuffing
- corn muffins
- pumpkin pie
And of course a good white Becker wine :)

all the recipes from Bon Appetit nov 2007 issue

Gabe - nov 19 - week 12

Gabe - nov 19 - week 12
Originally uploaded by manueb
New this week: Gabe can grab stuff, hence, his little blue bunny rattle!

One of my cool bday gifts from Shad

Gabe - nov 23 - week 12
Originally uploaded by manueb
The swinger chair!!!! It's so comfortable, I am going to love sitting in it with Gabe! Except of course, since I got it we lost 40 degrees over Thanksgiving and it's kinda freezing on the back porch! brrrr

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Bday - Thanksgiving potluck in our backyard

We had a great time with a few friends yesterday, a nice thanksgiving potluck in our backyard... and it didn't even rain like it was supposed to!
It was a really nice day :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hangin' out in the hammock

I cleaned out the back porch yesterday while Shad was mowing - to each our own crappy task :P

I changed all the dead light bulbs, and dusted, cleaned out the nasty bugs... So we had a nice appetizer in the hammock all three of us, Shiners and some lobster terrine :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Praying Mantis vs Stink Bug ; who's gonna win?

We found both bugs on the back porch (super yuck, and what's the point of screening???). I asked Shad to kill them, but he was like "no we can't kill them, they're wonderful creatures"... whatever... He put them in a jar and we watched them for a while... They got in a fight! But we released them before any damage, Shad is soooo sentimental :P I was rather waiting to see which would kick the other's butt!!!! hehehehe

Monday, October 22, 2007

UsedisBetter is now available online!

UsedisBetter is pleased to announce the launch of our their website, They've been in the business of selling
used books now for 4 years, and have finally been able to create a
shopping experience worthy of their own online store.

They'd love to earn your business back, and in doing so they have listed
their titles below the lowest prices online, and their shipping rates are 20% less than the big online shops!!!

So don't wait and go read more books!!! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mayfield Park and Preserve

Yesterday afternoon, Gabe and I joined Ame and Azalea in the Mayfield Park, on W35th St.

It is starting to be much nicer weather to hang out with babies outdoors during the afternoon.. Maybe we were slightly under 90 yesterday?

Anyway, we got to enjoy this beautiful park almost to ourselves, and look at all the peacocks.

We'll have to go back when Gabe is in age to understand what's going on, Azalea seemed to have really enjoyed it :)

Hanging out in the back porch...

... While Shad is rescreening (and gave me the fright of my life when I saw him on the very very tall ladder...).
Thanks to my hubby we're on the way to being able to hang out in the back porch again, swinging in the hammock... Cause Gabe loves it, but right now it's impossible to sit there with all the mosquitoes...

Looks like all that work exhausted him :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gabe loves his bathtime now!

Gabe is checking out his first Halloween Pumpkin

I got pumpkins at Whole Foods yesterday... guess we'll carve them a few days before, and we'll take pics with Gabe.. again :)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Playtime with Gabe

We are starting to have a great time playing with Gabe who hangs out for lapses of 15-20min after each feeding. He just checks stuff out and looks around, and makes new cute little noises...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Gabe is slowly waking up...

... ready to breastfeed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How said three's a crowd??

Gabe - sept 21-22
Originally uploaded by manueb
When I can't even remember what life was before Gabriel ? :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gabe - sept 11th

Gabe - sept 11th
Originally uploaded by manueb
We were super proud yesterday to see that Gabe was losing his umbilical cord, to leave room for the cutest belly button (I'm still not very un-biased... it's true :))
We had a bottle of champagne in the fridge for a week, since we came back home from the hospital, and it was the perfect night to have it..
Funny to see that we're amazed by Gabe just making big poops and stuff...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Gabe is home

Gabe's home - Sept 5th-6th
Originally uploaded by manueb
We brought Gabe home barely 40 hours after delivery... a bit of a challenge, but we did it, and are now (almost) on a routine pattern with the feeding and diaper change, although what happens during feeding time is quite unpredictable: how many diaper changes, how long before he'll go back to sleep, etc... We certainly aren't getting enough sleep and spend most of the time he sleeps resting!
He's just the cutest, most charming little boy ever. And I don't just say that because he's our little boy :P

Gabriel's birth

Gabriel's birth
Originally uploaded by manueb
Our little angel is born one week ahead on Sept. 2nd! Welcome in our lives sweet little Gabriel!
What a weekend we spent! I started having contractions saturday 1st at almost midnight, I tried to sleep it off but that didn't work at all!!! Sunday morning at 6am I told Shad that we need to go to the hospital.. We arrived there at 7:30am. And they admitted us after monitoring me and Gabe for 3 hours, to make sure labor was well on its way.
Soon after that our friend/doula Steph joined us, around noon, to help us through the entire labor and delivery, I don't know what we would have done without her support!
I was induced with pitocin around 5pm, and the contractions became unbarable... then came the epidural, very painful, and it only worked on my left side... But whatever, I managed to feel my contractions and manage them to push him out at 10:55pm.. Pure bliss :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shad's 30th bday party

Shad's 30th bday party
Originally uploaded by manueb
Big year for my hubby! Got married, got his wife pregnant, got a new job, redid his entire house, and last but not least, turned 30... :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Gabe's pillow - in the nursery

Gabe's pillow - in the nursery
Originally uploaded by manueb
I made this cute little alien pillow for Gabe's room today... Just looking at it makes me smile... Impossible to be sad in a house full of cuties! hihihi

Monday, August 06, 2007

Getting ready for Gabe - 3

Getting ready for Gabe
Originally uploaded by manueb
Shad finished building all the stuff we need in the nursery yesterday... While I was resting on our "new" glider bought on craigslist...
So, the stroller and car seat are figured out, we just need to see how to attach the base in the car, but it can't be that hard, can it!?
And on this picture we see Shad folding out the Pack and Play :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Mobile for Gabriel

Mobile for Gabriel
Originally uploaded by manueb
I made this mobile (my first) for Gabriel - 7 letters and hearts, and a little mini cute animal pendulum in between each letter.
a good 4 hours to cut out all the pieces (especially long to cut out all the letters and the pieces for the felt balls). And another 3 days of assembly. But the result is so worth it, I am super happy with it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Getting ready for Gabe (2)

Getting ready for Gabe
Originally uploaded by manueb
Shad built the changing table yesterday night and had some fun putting away things in it :) Lots of diapers, baby wipes... We also tested our baby monitor. Fun fun.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Kitchen renovation is done!

After 3 weeks of hard work, demolition and reconstruction, and a house looking more like a war-zone than a home... We finally did it! It's bigger, fancier, tidier and mostly... cleaner!
This is our last home improvement for a while (until Gabe turns 18 hehehehe), no more work, besides Gabe's room, for which we still need to build furniture (of course...).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Prison Break Season 2 (beware, spams!)

Thought I'd share my point of view.
So, we're about half way through season 2, and I must say I am a bit perplex... Although a few episodes are really intriguing and have good turn of events, most of them are just confusing. I am starting to wonder if the writers wrote the show as the episodes went on screen, or if there really ever was an originial script to start with.
It just feels like the authors do whatever they want with the characters, put them on the case, take them off the case, put them back on the case, etc... to be able to introduce temporary new characters, and let Scofield get away everytime. But it just seems less and less credible as we go, how can Scofield get any smarter than he already is, how can he still get out of all these situations? What are the extents of the conspiracy they are a victim of? What are they going to come up with next: maybe the president of the US is an alien who wants to destroy the entire human race, so he chose to start with Burrows... whatever... Yes, the writers could be that twisted really.
Plus I think the show is flanked with awful actors, cf the actress playing Veronica Donovan, where did they find her? Thank you for finally killing her off at the beginning of the second season, she was probably the dumbest lawyer character ever seen on TV! She did exactly everything wrong, or everything to be caught. Also, The Lincoln Burrows and LJ's characters are sadly portrayed by the worst actors left in the show right now, and it just feels like their roles were written to have them arrested (because they're stupid, and all they do is so stupid!).

There's a great duality to this show: uninteresting characters (V.Donovan, L. Burrows: although he's the center point of the show!!!, LJ...) played by awful actors, vs very cruel criminals and tortured FBI agents who end up being the "cool" characters, because they actually bring something to the story and not only make time go buy. The only point to this season is the introduction of the FBI agent Alexander Mahone (played by the great William Fichtner) in a two-faced character with dark issues. And T-bag is as creepy as ever. Too bad they killed off the maffiozo John Abruzzi... why get rid of the good actors/smart characters?
It was way more interesting (and credible - if that's really possible) inside the prison! (So, season 1).
I just can't imagine what will be in Season 3. With Shad we're just really wondering where the action will take place: back inside the prison? Knowing that probably by the end of Season 2, all the escapees will be dead... No way to know, maybe we'll have more hints at the end of this season, but then again, it would mean watching the rest of it, which we're not sure we can do...

And on the other hand, we've started watching 24, that's why our attention is drifting I guess...

Getting ready for Gabe

Yesterday I spent the entire day cleaning all the clothes we have for Gabe. So, quite a lot of time... :)

Turns out that we really have TONS of newborn and up to 3 months clothes for him! Thanks to everyone who gifted us with all these items!

And also quite a lot of hats, bibs, blankets, blankies, toys... I think we're ok for the first months of his life

Tips I was given to wash baby's clothes

It should be straight forward BUT:
Allergen-free laundry detergent (i.e. no scent), and NO fabric softener. I was dreaming of nice flowery scents on our baby's clothes, I guess we'll have to do without it... :(
I remember Bea giving me one of Hugo's onesie when I left to Norway, it smelled both like him and also like fabric softener, very comforting! Guess he wasn't allergic.
Plus, clothes that aren't 100% cotton or close don't wash well and don't stay soft, which isn't recommended for a baby's skin and can cause rashes.
Being pretty allergic and having eczema+skin issues pretty quickly myself, I can easily picture this. And we already use non-scented laundry detergent for Shad who's allergic to regular laundry detergents...
We're both hoping Gabe won't inherit from our allergic genes...

Hello Kitty Bumble Bee

Hello Kitty Bumble Bee
Originally uploaded by manueb
I love HK, and I love bumble bees :) Gift from my hubby one night last week, after he came home from work! He said "I thought you could use a new friend :)" Super super cute!
A little plastic HK is standing next to it for scaling.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bathroom makeover - finished!

Now we've got a nice, modern, spacious bathroom to use!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

IKEA cabinets.... here we go!

IKEA cabinets.... here we go!
Originally uploaded by manueb
Here we can see my hubby fully concentrated and starting to put up the sink and dishwasher units.. Tomorrow the plumber is coming to hook it all up, good thing we don't have to do that ourselves... One thing less to worry about!

Painting red... over grey primer: so much easier!!

Finally the kitchen paint is done! It feels like the entire process took forever! We're paint pros now. To paint red colors, use a grey primar, allowing to coat once, perhaps twice only! Sooo much easier than when I painted the purple box in the dinning room (5 layers???).

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Driver's license part 2: the driving test

I got my driver's license this morning! We got up at 5:20 to queue early at DPS, got there first, and I took the test, passed with 0 mistakes!!! Hurray!!!!!!
Finally, that's done! :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Kitchen Demolition, Day 1

Kitchen Demolition, Day 1
Originally uploaded by manueb
The demolition of the kitchen started yesterday, it's a bit scary I have to admit it... on top of that, we received our new kitchen in 130 boxes.. and when the kitchen walls are back up, we'll have to deal with that..
One day, we're going to have time for Gabriel's room...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Gabe's Shower

Gabe's Shower
Originally uploaded by manueb
A big thanks to all our friends for this nice baby shower - the first ever for me :)
Thank you for all your beautiful gifts, and special thanks to the organizers, especially to Ame who hosted and prepared everything, in a Hawaiian style! :)
And also now, I know I am a size 10 in toilet paper sheets. Very valuable information!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bathroom and hallway renovation

For the last 3 weeks we've been renovating our bathroom and hallway, giving it a newer, much cleaner and modern look!
I tilled the hallway and the top of the tub, and Shad did all the rest, the cement boards, the face of the tub, tiling the bathroom floor, cutting the tiles (the worst part)...
This was by far one of the hardest jobs weve done ourselves.
Not so easy to do house work with a HUGE belly...
We're getting ready for Gabriel, with a much healthier setting.

Friday, June 15, 2007

First tile yeah!!!

Extremely encouraging and finally getting there... Shad put up the first tiles in the bathroom yesterday night! It's going to look sooooo good!

Lisa's 30th bday

It was Lisa's 30th bday this week and we celebrated with a very good cake from Upper Crust bakery... yuuuum! First time I had a cake from that place!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Here we go again!

We've started house work again. Our goal before the baby's born: tile the hallway floor and bathroom floor, repaint the bathroom, redo the entire kitchen... which means having the dywall taken down and new one put up, and then, big trip to IKEA..
Let's not forget we also need to do the baby's room...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Driver's license part 1

The count down til I can actually drive has started...
We went to DPS this morning and I took the written test that I passed :) and I now have the permit to drive, with Shad, or take driving lessons...
Almost there!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Our new (used) car

We got our new car last thursday at Carmax, it's a white Saturn, L200 model. So far, so good. Personally, I like it a lot... and it's much easier for me to sit in it right now. I have trouble hopping up in the truck! And it's also much more baby-friendly... Can't wait to be able to drive it!

Thank you to my parents who gave us the money to do it :)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Celestial Gabriel

Celestial Gabriel
Originally uploaded by manueb
That's it, it's the name we picked for our little angel! Gabriel :) Perfect!

Galveston, TX - Memorial Day weekend

We were in Galveston for the long Memorial Day weekend. When it was raining (flooding) everywhere else, we actually got pretty good weather there! It's a beautiful little town/island with a lot of history, very colorful too! We stayed at a charming and luxurious b&b, Grace Manor (, that I'd highly recommend to anyone who wants a nice quiet, relaxing stay. The Manor is held by Barb, who happens to be a great cook, we loved waking up to the smell of breakfast (served with champagne/mimosas...) and the afternoon warm homemade cookies... lovely!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

I heart Grey Bunny

I heart Grey Bunny
Originally uploaded by manueb
I've been productive lately and been making some funny plushes and decoration items for our house... Since we got our new sewing machine a couple weeks ago!
I started a new blog to post all these crafty things:
So check it out!

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden
Originally uploaded by manueb
The other beauty of the city! For me who loves asian culture, it was a great weekend!! What a relaxing, soothing park.. Although I strongly recommand going early to avoir tourist buses...

Lan Su Yuan—the Portland Classical Chinese Garden

One of the beauties of the city. In the middle of Chinatown. Too bad that Portland's Chinatown is not better maintained, it could be a really great area.