Excitement

When I realize that one of my children has finally fallen asleep, my stomach makes the same nervous leap of joy that it used to make in high school when I saw my crush… What does that say? *insert crying laughing emoji* #whydoesn’twordpresshaveemojis

Emotional and Social “Firsts”

We put a ton of emphasis on children’s “firsts” but generally only the physical ones – first smile, first roll, first step. I think we should also be celebrating the emotional and social “firsts” – the first time he handed the toy in his hand to another child, the first time he stopped, and thought, and decided not to hit. The first time he looked at Mom for a moment, took in what she was feeling, and reacted to help and to serve.

These are just as meaningful. ❀

T said: “Umma, are you still tired?” I said “Yes”. He said, “You can go back to sleep. I’ll take care of W.” *melt*

Successful Momming Day

*Note* This is from the beginning of the Summer. Just never got around to finishing my draft. Working full time with 3 kids is a total CIRCUS!! #notimeforanythingever

There are days when I feel like I’m running on empty. I’m trying to keep going – the chores, the school drop offs, the breaking up of fights, the life lessons – because, well, I have to! It’s my ultimate responsibility in life. I try to stretch myself so much that I get to my breaking point and I snap at everything. I just yell and yell and I’m so emotional that I can’t parent properly. I can’t parent the way I want to, the way I know I should, and then at night when everyone is asleep, I feel guilt on top of guilt for it.

But every once in a while, days just go right. I have just a little more patience. My kids talk just a little softer and get along just a little longer. The sun shines a little brighter and the breeze blows at just the right times.

Today was one of those days. A friend and I spontaneously decided to schlep our 3 kids each to a nearby farm for strawberry picking. We were bold and daring. The open fields were calling. So many things could have gone wrong, but nothing really did. We found our way just fine, found a parking spot just fine, walked to the fields just fine, picked a thousand beautiful strawberries, took a thousand beautiful pictures. Everyone was smiling, eyes wide in wonder. I guess nature (and good friends!) will do that to you. Especially in this area, we need it more than we realize.

 

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We had lunch in a little picnic area where the 6 kids raced around and around in circles laughing their heads off. Then we visited the petting zoo. The kids loved watching the fuzzy bunnies hop around, bouncing into each other like fluffy snowballs. They giggled and trembled as the giant llamas hobbled over and ate pellets out of their hands with their funny, wobbly, lips.

I felt so good. I felt like, “Hey, wait a minute, I am a good mom. Look how happy my kids are. Look how they’re so content and just living this moment to its fullest in the glorious present.” I was patient and kind and poised during the whole excursion. This is the kind of day I want my kids to remember. That relaxed, smiling face is the face I want them to remember when they think back to their childhood.

And after a long, stressful week, now I’m just so at peace. Today was a successful Momming day. Virtual high five!!

Tell me about a Successful Momming or Dadding day you’ve had! πŸ™‚

You Guys Would Tell Me If I Were Growing Into A Bitter Old Woman, Right?

So, I’ve been stressed. Like, really stressed. Feeling like I’m drowning, I can’t keep up with anything, snapping at my husband and 3 kids, angry at everyone (mostly myself). Last week, I was volunteering to run a Sunday morning young family service that involved making pancakes and I ended up setting off the church fire alarm. #Wow #Whyme #Everythingthatcangowrongwillgowrong. I think I’m going to have to blame my youngest. Through no fault of his own, he’s now in the stage where he can get around really well, he wants to get into EVERYTHING, and he’s FAST. So, I spend most of my time turning from the right to the left, bending down, standing up, and doing somersaults and side blocks on repeat. Side note: would have been manageable if my husband could have come with me, but he had to work, as people have to do.

Transitioning into working mom (though only part time) has been a huge challenge. I didn’t really realize it the first six weeks or so, but slowly, things started to catch up to me. And it was just a snowball. Everything started to slip: laundry piled up, dishes piled up, library books piled up, headaches piled up.

I realize I need to get organized if I’m going to survive this. I can’t wing things anymore (That was basically my mode of operation up until now). I have to really sit and think and plan and write down each and every step. I need a meal system, a cleaning system, a bathing system, a discipline system, a kids’ chores system, a clothing system, a shopping system, a phone call system, a meditation system (and while we’re at it, a medication system HA), a system for floor towels vs. table towels vs. kitchen towels vs. bathroom towels, a system for eating my kids’ leftovers (eyeroll), a system for not losing the work lunches I pack for myself deep into the abyss that is my work backpack, etc. etc. – you get the idea. Lord help me; if any veteran moms have any life hacks they can share, please, please, do, I beg of you! A couple of things I’ve learned: it’s ok to eat frozen food, it’s ok to send bottled water instead of refilling thermoses, kids need to do as much on their own as possible so Mom doesn’t lose her mind trying to be in six places at once. An example of that last one: I have on my list to buy small pitchers to fill with milk and water, so my two eldest can pour for themselves when they’re thirsty (which is a lot). I learned this trick from my job, actually (I work at a pre-school!). I mean it seems like it should be obvious…but I never thought of it. *Shrug. Also, I finally got myself a real full size broom and dustpan and mop and stopped with the cave woman style: on hands and knees with a tiny handheld broom and dustpan and wet towels. Life changer. What was I thinking??

I’m on a schedule now. Kids need to be up a certain time, fed a certain time, out the door a certain time; I need to be up/fed/out a certain time too. I have to be Captain Organized. I start today. Pray for me. Will let you know how it goes.

Silly Sleep

So…Y turned 4 in October… It is now April…nearly 6 months later. I’m finally forcing myself to finish this post. I mean, this is just embarrassing. What can I say? Uuuuhhhmmm….nothing, really. I have no excuse. Welp, no use whining about it! Here it is!

Silly sleep memories from Y’s third year of life:

That time she was sick and decided this was the most comfortable place for her to sleep. She pulled those chairs together herself. Whined and cried and couldn’t sleep any other way until she set this up. *Shrug. Girl knows what she needs.

And here she is snug as a bug in a rug with her pillow plastered onto her body. Anyone recognize our “dol chimdae”s? Traditional korean “rock beds”. Sounds like the worst idea ever, I know. But they’re a hot commodity to those traditional Koreans! Halmoni gifted it to us beaming with pride. Anyway, my kids will sleep anywhere; they don’t care.

That time she pulled her shirt up over her head and stuffed herself into a pillowcase…in the middle of the night…sleep-moving?? #ummmm

This girl and her pillowcase shenanigans. She hasn’t even grown out of them yet. She’s obsessed with them. I never appreciated the “That’s my pillowcase!” line in the “All About That Bass” parody by MyLifeSuckersΒ (a positively accurate picture of motherhood, by the way) until Y started removing ALL THE PILLOWCASES IN SIGHT. Here she is, yet again, in a pillowcase. She had rolled herself off the bed onto the floor all the while managing to stay stuffed into the pillowcase alongside its resident pillow… (don’t mind the gray carpet stain. It’s paint from a great idea she had earlier in the day).

So, that’s my girl when she was 3! She really liked to sleep in all kinds of funny, contorted positions. This was one of her favorites- who knows why. She must be a yogi at heart. (We moved her to the floor by this point since she never stayed on the bed anyway.)

Ah, 3 year olds. Gotta love em.

Random, Unimportant Facts You Don’t Really Need to Know About Me

Because all my avid fans asked (ha), I’ve put this list together to give them a glimpse of who I really am. In no particular order of importance or relevance whatsoever, here’s what kind of person I am:

1. I don’t have any notifications set up on my phone. Lord knows I don’t need something constantly dinging or popping up – or worse, squealing “katalk!” at me (the Asians will get that one) – I have enough noises startling me and begging for my attention as it is.

2. I’ve always wanted to be a mom. In fact, I’ve always wanted to be a stay at home mom. Ever since I can remember, the thought of running around raising babies seemed blissful and fulfilling to me. (Yup, I was crazy! But also, I was right πŸ™‚ )

3. I am borderline obsessive-compulsive. I like having certain foods together in one mouthful in bite sized portions. For example, chocolate (or anything sweet) must go with milk. One bite chocolate, one sip milk. If I’m out of milk, but I still have one remaining bite of chocolate, I have to go to the fridge and pour myself exactly one more sip of milk. Very similar with Chinese food (or any Asian food really). The ratio of savory food in my spoon to plain rice (to balance out the flavor) needs to be 1:1. I could go on, but I won’t. *Shrug. Beats me. We all have our quirks.

4. I have been known to finish entire bags of baby carrots and tubs of hummus in one sitting. Yes, one tub of hummus is 8 servings. But I’m eating all those carrots!! They cancel each other out, right?

5. I will carry every single grocery bag I have in my trunk into my home in one trip, or I will die trying. I mean, two trips?! Back and forth?! Seriously, what a waste. I have more important things to do.

6. I officially found my first white hair six months ago, thought about writing about it, and then forgot. Anyway, it was a sad, sad day. It’s these kids, I tell you! Darn them! *Sigh… The things we go through for those little pudgy faced rascals… Oy, they’re really so cute though…

7. I really enjoy scheduling time with people. I literally gain satisfaction (maybe even a rush of endorphins? Would have to get my brain scanned and come back to you) fromΒ  going into my calendar and writing down “Lunch with Leslie” or what have you. I guess that’s why I’m pretty good at keeping in touch with people (well, admittedly it’s getting harder the more kids I have…). But I’m usually the one to send that extra text asking, “Hey, you said you were free next week? What day is best for you?”

8. My world came alive when I had kids. I see everything in more vivid colors now. Basically, everything is beautiful to me. I find beauty in everything….except….those decorative cabbages hotels like to plant in their yards…I just can’t…cabbages as flowers? I don’t get it.

9. I am very good at ignoring and shrugging off small, insignificant details. Most of this came about since becoming a parent. Some things simply don’t matter to me. Whether baby’s socks match, whether my hair is properly styled on any given morning, whether I’m wearing pajamas as I rush to get my son to school the second before he has to sign a late slip. Having children (also, losing my mom) has made me really come to the decision that some things just aren’t worth stressing over. Like, at all. A good segue into…

10. I’m a “no frills” mom, as you may or may not have noticed.Β I am usually sleep deprived, stiff, sore, late, AND anxious or stressed about something. Despite all this, I’m actually very happy, but here’s an anecdote that I think paints a pretty accurate picture of my mom style.

— at an outdoor bazaar, a while ago, back when I only had two kids —

Friendly, well meaning vendor: Hello! Here is our selection of children’s socks! Are you looking for boy’s or girl’s?

Me: Boy’s. My daughter will just use his when he grows out of them.

Nice lady: Ok! What does he like? We have Spiderman, Paw Patrol, Ninja Turtles…

Me: Oh, we’re not picky.

Nice lady: Any particular colors?

Me: I’d really like just a bunch of the same – like 20 of the same exact sock. No colors or shapes is fine. Actually, black is good. That way the stains don’t show. The short kind that he can pull on and off himself.

Nice lady: Here you go!

Me: Perfect, thanks!

Yup! My mantra in life is essentially: “Keep it as easy and simple as possible”.

And that about wraps it up! Ooooh, speaking of presents! Happy early Christmas!! And whoever loves me the mostest, please buy me for Christmas 1) a dishwasher 2) 10 pairs of women’s large socks in blue, 10 pairs of big boys’ socks in black, 10 pairs of medium girls’ socks in pink, and 10 pairs of baby socks in green. (My most updated genius idea for sock organization – they’ll take 2 seconds to identify, right? Total time saver!) oooor choice 3! Paper towels!! Loads and loads and loads and loads of paper towels!! Thanks, you da best πŸ™‚

Steady Improvement

For those of you who haven’t heard, I’m on child number 3 now. It’s been….real. It’s been real. Humbling and excruciating and glorious.

But considering I feel my level of sanity (insanity) being home every day has on average, stayed about the same despite the fact I have ADDED A KID I think says something!! πŸ˜‰

I’m getting the hang of this parenting thing. I’ve learned a few tricks. Gotten faster. Gotten smarter. Definitely gotten cooler. 😏😎

And here’s a picture of my third doing yoga in wolf ears, just cause. πŸ˜‚

I Hate Legos

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I have a love/hate relationship with Legos.

That’s not true. It’s just hate.

Ok, I should specify. I mean the small legos. The ones that come by the hundreds and thousands in a box. That have the pointy edges and are just the perfect size to crunch and stab right into the small of your foot or between your innocent, unsuspecting toes. That always seem to find their way perfectly into the exact path you walk in the middle of the night from your bed to the bathroom. Or the crib. Or the table to get the whining toddler the water.

Yes, I love creativity. Yes, I believe children should let their minds run wild and free, and CREATE and HAVE FUN! Let them be kids, for God’s sake! Yes, yes. I just can’t do Legos anymore. I tried for so long. Off they go. All of them. Into little plastic baggies and readied for the next donation opportunity. God bless the mom who courageously accepts them into her home.

Sorry, Legos, you’re just not making the cut. At least not for now. Maybe I’ll bring y’all back when all three of my kids are over 4 and can clean up in a more consistent and orderly fashion. We’ll see.