Hooked on ME!

It’s been a while since I have written a post on my blog. Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve done anything for my self. For the past 20 months, ever since having my first baby, everything I have done has been around him. My daily routines, outings, chores, cleaning, EVERYTHING has been around him and his schedule. If you’re a mom, I’m sure you completely understand and agree with me: there’s just not enough time.  I’m not complaining, or venting; simply stating a fact that baby consumes most, if not all, your time. I, personally, got lost in the moment and forgot about the most important person I have to take care of: ME! If I don’t take care of myself, who will? I got so caught up in making sure my baby and my husband are well taken care of, and have everything they need, that I forgot to take care of myself. I’ve spread myself so thin, that I don’t make time for myself, and don’t do much for myself anymore.  Well, tonight, for the first time, in a long time, I am sitting at my kitchen island, and doing something that has been on the back of my mind for a while: writing this post while enjoying some “Jamoca Almond Fudge” ice cream from Baskin Robbins while my husband is playing soccer and my sister-in-law is watching my son, who is watching his dad play soccer. I actually have the house to myself without a baby monitor turned on, and not worrying how much time I have before he wakes up from a nap.

I would have given up on my blog long ago, gotten rid of my domain, put it behind me, and moved on with my life, but there is an itch in me saying it’s what I am meant to be doing. Sharing my life, lessons, and everyday activities with the world. You see, I started this blog over a year ago in the hopes of documenting our journey with a newborn, writing about products that made first time parenting a little easier, giving advice to other first time parents, as well as writing about lessons learned with growing babies. Well, that didn’t go as planned since I got caught up in the moment, and lost way of my time management skills. Ironically, I am known in my family as the person who loves to have a schedule and live a very planned life, and have everything done in a timely manner. So who is to blame? No-one, but me. Well, it’s never too late to start something over again, so here I am.

Hi! I’m Hermie-Jane, and I am a stay at home mom with my toddler, Michael, along with a baby on the way (due August 2017). Everyday brings a new adventure whether its digging up interesting worms in the back yard, spending the day at the zoo, (we love our membership to the zoo), or exploring Los Angeles by finding toddler friendly places. My favorite time of the day is the moment when Michael wakes up from his afternoon nap: he hugs me tight for a good five minutes, when he’s had enough, we walk up to his book shelf, pick out a book and go read in his teepee. The way he brings the book to me, turns around and sits on my lap just melts my heart. He loves books, and has a great collection of Dr. Seuss and Sesame Street books, along with other books he picks out when we go to the bookstore. Since he loves books and will actually re-read a book (or in his case, look at the pictures) over and over again, I don’t mind getting him a new book every now and then. Lately, he’s actually been into flashcards with pictures of animals, numbers, shapes, and everyday objects. He’s learning faster than I thought he would, and although he speaks less than other toddlers his age, he does communicate with me in sign language which I don’t mind one bit. He will speak when he speaks.

I try to get Michael out of the house at least three times during the week by either going to the park, visiting grandparents, exploring the nearby gardens around town, or making spontaneous trips to visit daddy at work. Even when we are home the other days of the week, we try to spend as much time outside as possible. We have 2 dogs, a German Shepherd, Fallon, and a Labrador, Charlie, along with 2 domestic cats, Oreo, and Cookie. Michael loves to go play with the cats and give them their lunch, while he is still intimidated by the dogs since they are larger in size than he is. I’m sure once he gets older he’ll love playing with the dogs more since the cats like to spend most their day asleep under the rose bushes.

Aside from spending most my days entertaining and raising my son, I have a few hobbies of myself that keep me sane. First and foremost, I am a gymnastics junkie! I have done gymnastics since the age of 3. In my gymnastics career, I have competed in countless local competitions along with finishing top 15 for state and regional championships. My gymnastics career had to come to an end due to a vaulting accident that left both wrists broken, and hip issues that took several years of therapy to adjust. Although I was physically unable to continue with the sport, I found other ways to be involved with the sport and continue my dream of being a role model that students would love to look up to. My other hobby that is my therapy is crocheting. Sitting on the couch with a yarn and hook really calms me down. It brings me peace and tranquility because while my husband can be watching his favorite TV show, I can enjoy the show with him while creating a work of art that can double as a blanket. I picked up crocheting about 2 years ago when my husband’s cousin was at our house and told me to give it a shot. While it took several weeks to get the hang of crocheting, I’m glad I did not give up and continued learning. What was a struggle at first, is now my output during stressful days.

This much for now, since I hear Michael and my husband, Arthur, walking up the stairs. They’re home. That’s all the ME time for tonight.

Until next time.


Hooked on Photography

“OMG! Take a picture, he put a toy in his mouth.”
“Wow! You’ve got to see this picture I took of him sleeping.”
“OMG! Babe, hurry, take a picture of him sitting.”

Do any of these sound familiar to you? Are you one of these moms/dads?

I’ve never really been big on photography or taking pictures, but after having Michael, I have become “that mom” that takes countless pictures and video tapes every moment. Why? I asked myself that same question. I take so many pictures of Michael because I dislike the fact that my husband and I do not have many pictures of ourselves as a baby.

When Michael was first born, we tried to see who he looked like more, and we dug through old albums to find baby pictures, but we both came out empty handed. We do have pictures of us a little older, but none as babies and for some reason that really bothered me. So I promised myself that I would take pictures of Michael very often and create albums that he can have and look back on. After all, he’s only going to be a baby once.

Thanks to my very talented sister-in-law, Michael has little photo shoots every few weeks. It’s crazy how we can see his growth during every photo shoot. From month to month, we notice his developmental growth, along with his physical appearance maturing. Now, the big question is, what do we do with these pictures?

Sadly, we live in such a “social-media world”, where we take these pictures, post them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and that’s it. Nothing ever happens with these pictures. Snapchat is even worse since pictures get deleted after 24 hours (unless you save them). Something that was effortless for our parents, and grandparents, is ‘so much work’ for us. To order prints, make and album, get creative with pictures. Who has time, right? As busy as life gets, and not matter how caught up we get in the moment, we have to make time for something that our children will thank us for later in life. I will make time, I want Michael to have baby pictures, and milestone pictures to look back on.  Next stop: Shutterfly.

We recently took Michael’s 6 month photos. Here are a few of my top favorites.


Hooked on Nesting

As our countdown to baby is fast approaching, our nesting has become a part of our daily life. Every other thought we have is baby related. My husband and I keep thinking baby is still months away when in reality, baby is only eight days away. It’s crazy to think that in only eight days, our lives are going to change. Our lives will never be the same again. Instead of putting each other’s needs before our own, we’re going to be putting our baby’s needs first.

After watching a lot of HGTV home makeovers, and seeing before-and-afters of room transformations, our baby’s room was our own “makeover” room inspired by our favorite designers from those shows.  From the theme, to the colors, to lighting, we drew out the room and pictured what we wanted the room to look like. Our goal was to make the room a very peaceful place where baby can be calm, and relaxed (along with very exhausted parents to find peace and quiet).  Our baby’s room includes:

Theme: Airplanes

  • Light grey walls (inspired by “Flipping Vegas” @Amie_Yancey) who taught us that grey walls are perfect for small rooms becuase it makes it look larger and brighter.
  • Dark blue accent wall with hand painted clouds drawn by my sister-in-law @elinasinanyan 

Other Accents include:

One of my favorite parts of the nursery is the bookshelves that my husband and I created. We used basic spice racks from Ikea, spray painted them white, and started his Dr. Seuss and Elmo Collection.
My favorite feature of this wall is the “M”. It’s dark brown stained with gold finish which brings some warmth to the room since everything is mostly white, grey, and blue. With the colorful books, it really stands out on its own.
Here is little Ms. Fallon anxiously waiting for baby’s arrival. I feel like she knows he’s coming soon. She came in the room (which she never does) and sniffed every corner of the room. Even though I told her to leave the room, she sat on the rug for a good twenty minutes and would not move. She was smelling the rug and constantly looking backwards at the crib. I wonder if she knows something we don’t…
I wonder what their first meeting is going to be like.

Hooked on Maternity

As fun as the past nine months have been, my husband and I are ready to welcome our son into this world. With only two weeks until delivery, we decided to do a maternity shoot and have some maternity pictures for ourselves to show our baby in the future.

We loved every moment of the process, and had lots of laughs and giggles during the process.

Here are some of the pictures that stand out the most to us (even though we love them all, and can’t choose a favorite)

This picture pretty much sums up his room decor with a little hint of mom and dad. 
He’s got an airplane themed room complete with a hand painted accent wall of clouds, airplanes hung from the ceiling, and bookshelves with the Dr. Seuss collection. The only thing missing in his room is a family portrait, which will get done when he arrives. 
We decided to take our pictures at a peaceful location where we could feel relaxed and calm. We went to the Descanso Gardens, in Foothill, CA. Not only was the location very scenic, but it was lush green and very earthy. We even saw lots of fish in the ponds, and could hear some frogs. 

This is my personal picture from our session. Ok, truth be told, I’m kind of obsessed with this picture. It is the true definition of my husband taking in parenthood, and showing his soft side. I think everything about this picture sums up our relationship. We’re always there for each other, and always put the other’s needs ahead of our own. We have come to the point in our lives where we are completely ready to put someone else’s needs ahead of our own. Baby Michael is exactly what we have been missing in our lives. 
The very first item we bought for baby, even before we knew he was a boy. They have made several appearances throughout all the baby photos we have done. 
Our Little Cowboy! This was the very first outfit Arthur got for Michael. 
Our family is growing by two feet, and we can barely wait. 

Hooked on Breaking the News

One of the most exciting news to break to family is baby news. Since both my parents, and Arthur’s parents do not have any grandkids, this is a very special announcement to both parents.

We had thought over and over again as to how we would break the news. The traditional ultrasound picture, little baby bottle gifts to the parents, and even the baby bibs for the grandparents, but they just weren’t “us”.

Arthur has really grown a passion for the quad-copters, and is getting pretty good at controlling the copter in mid air. We decided we would make a movie type of announcement. We started by filming the scenery in Los Angeles, along with the trees, sky, and the park. Very slowly, the copter lowers down and in the middle of the screen, we are standing with a poster that reads, “GUESS WHAT”.

We leave the the “guess what” part of the poster  showing for about 5 seconds, and then I turn it around to read “WE’RE PREGNANT”.

It took several seconds to click with our family members… but once everyone realized this was not a joke, and we were serious about our news, everyone started to applaud, cheer, and run to us and give us a squeezing hug.

After all our planning, we can both proudly say we had a great and successful announcement for both our parents.


Hooked on 5 Weeks: Baby Chip

Guess who is going to have a beating heart by the end of the week?? Yup! thats right! Baby Chip is going to finally have a beating heart! I still cannot believe all this is happening to me.  I asked Arthur to think of a nick name for our little future baby, and we both couldn’t think of one. After thinking about it for a few days, “Baby Chip” came to Arthur’s mind when we were reading the daily baby scoop, and said “your baby is the size of a mini chocolate chip”. So until we find out if our little one is going to be a girl or boy, we will call it Baby Chip. 

Here is a computer generated image I got from www.babycenter.com  that shows what the fetus looks like at this point. How cool is it that this is happening inside me?! 

This is such an amazing experience that I am going through. It’s all true what they say, “you don’t know what someone is going through until it happens to you”. When my best friend was pregnant, she was the most positive pregnant lady I had known, and since it was such a new experience for the both of us, we spent many hours doing research, finding the most informational apps, and looking at pregnancy in a different view. We learned so much more about pregnancy than we never thought we would learn. And yet, now that I am going through my own pregnancy, it’s even more different than I could have imagined it to be. And, of course, just as I was there for my friend, she is there for me every step of the way: from the silliest questions to my biggest fears.

These are my thoughts/concerns this week:

  1. When does the baby bump start to actually show? 
  2. I wonder what my first appointment is going to be like.  I know I have chosen the right doctor for me becuase she had all the qualifications I was looking for in my OB-Gyn. 
  3. I’ve been going back and forward on my biggest fears, and deepest worries, and nothing too serious is coming up (which I think is pretty awesome!). At this point, my fear is the same as everyone else’s… THE PAIN!! 
On a total side note, I finally got the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and am excited to start reading it and getting my husband more involved with the pregnancy. 

What were your thoughts and concerns in your earlier pregnancy days? 

Hooked on Baby

What a Happy Happy day for us!!! Arthur and I are going to be growing our  family by 2 little feet!

We are beyond excited to announce that we will be expecting a new addition to our family by the end of September 2015. It’s official, we are pregnant!!

I don’t think it has really hit us yet, but we are slowly taking all of this in.
After going through several pregnancies for my cousins, and friends, now that it’s happening to me, I feel like my mind is blanking out and I feel lost. Maybe this is all the new excitement. First things first, we have to take this moment in, enjoy every second of this blessing, and prepare ourselves to be the best parents we can possibly be. 
Where to begin…. oh boy.. this is where it gets difficult…

Hooked on Blankets

One of the hardest things to do is starting a new project. New projects are always left with unfinished projects, which are often times pushed off to a corner and forgotten about (trust me, I’ve got several of those in a corner which I intentionally forget about).  The inspiration behind this afghan is the fact that I wanted to prove to myself that I can actually read a crochet pattern and do it correctly. I’ve tried so many times, to crochet by reading the pattern instructions. That has always left me frustrated, annoyed, and many little pieces of blanket attempts in the trash. This one I plan on finishing! I am going to be my own inspiration. 
You can find the written pattern for this blanket at:
Please keep in mind that I am only following the written pattern, and not following the color schemes, or the yarn used. At first, I tried to use the Pipsqueak yarn, but found it too difficult to get it started. Maybe one day I will try this pattern with Pipsqueak yarn. For now, a simpler, softer yarn will be easier for me. 

At this point, I started to feel really proud of myself for even doing the first 2 rounds correctly. After going around twice, I decided to change into the white yarn. (I am using Caron Simply Soft in Autumn Red and Off White)

I went 4 more rounds and added my second row of off white. By the time I had finished the second round, I was so excited that I decided to get comfortable on the couch, and crochet the night away. 

After the 4 rounds, I decided to go 8 more rounds of the pattern before adding another round of off white. I am now pretty stuck.

After working on my blanket and getting stuck for a while, I decided to finish off the blanket with 14 rounds of red yarn and giving it a nice white finished edge. 

Here is the final product. 


Welcome to Hooked On Stories

Have you ever had an idea, and wanted to bring it to life, but no matter what you do, you can’t seem to do it?

I can honestly say that I have had so many different ideas, and started countless different projects, but have never followed through with them. I have tried to think them through and come to a conclusion as to why it is the way it is, and after re-evaluating myself, and my day to day life, I think I have found my answers:

1. We (as a society) are so busy, and have so many responsibilities and obligations, that we don’t have any “me” time.  When we finally have a little of that “me” time, we use it to catch up on things we didn’t have time to do in the first place.

2. We live in a society where there is so much negativity going on, and people try to put others down to make themselves feel better, that we are so busy trying to impress others, we forget about ourselves.

I want to change all that!

I am going to dedicate this blog to unfinished projects, ideas, and thoughts that will find their ending because every project, idea, and thought is inspired by stories. I am Hooked On Stories but they seem to be unfinished. The ending to these stories are incomplete, and I will give them the ending they all deserve. After all, isn’t our life an ongoing story itself?

Maybe by giving my unfinished projects the ending they deserve, my own Life Story will develop and create mini stories within itself.

After all, I am Hooked on the stories these projects have started for me. Lets see where the rest of the stories lead to…