Kid Quote of the Day

Mom: I need to floss.

6 year old: You mean like the move floss, or floss your teeth?

πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚kids these days…

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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

Image result for legos

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.

Theft

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So, while I was in CA, I had my bag stolen. My Handy Dandy Helpful (anyone know that book?) diaper backpack from Lullababy (Thanks, guys! And…sorry, guys…). What happened was we were wrapping up our little exploration of the downtown San Diego area, and were getting loaded into the car, when Y said she had to pee. You know how we are when our 3 year olds say they have to pee: we drop everything, grab their hand, and run. So, I quickly said to my husband YoungJoon (Ooh P.S. Congratulations to him for becoming a citizen! You can call him Kai now! hehe…), “Can you put the stroller and the backpack in the car?” and he said “Yeah”.

I had left the bag on the floor (Cue eye roll. Yes, yes, I know, I’m setting myself up) right next to the tree we were parked in front of. So, Y and I use the bathroom at some random business I walk into that I happened to actually study a bit while I was waiting – it’s called Hostel on 3rd (anyone ever stayed there?) and it looks pretty interesting, but I’m not sure I would ever trust staying at a place like that. Anyway, we walk the 15 steps back to our car, jump in, and leave. When we get to our destination, an In N Out about 20 minutes away, I ask my husband for my bag.

“What bag?”

“My gray backpack with all W’s stuff in it”

“Oh I don’t know; did you leave it in Hwajeong’s car?”

“No…I left it by that tree…and I asked you to put it in the car…”

“You never said anything about a bag, just the stroller”

“…”

“…”

“… If you didn’t pick it up and put it in the car, then it is not in our possession. We’re going back.”

“Are you sure you brought it from the house? Or did you leave it somewhere while we were walking around?”

“No, I didn’t. I’m 100% sure. I know sometimes I forget things and can be absent minded, but in this instance, I have 100% recollection that I took the backpack off and placed it next to that tree back where we parked.”

So, I pray the whole drive back that the guy that told me Californians are all heroically friendly and kind (certainly nicer than New Yorkers) was right.

Doo doo doo doo doo

*Twiddling thumbs*

Pulling up to previously parked at spot

Exiting vehicle… hoping… praying…Β NOPE. Nada. The bag is gone.

*Sigh. I mean, of course it is. Life is cruel. People are heartless and pathetic. Oh well, nothing surprises me anymore. So, I start to accept my fate – the most valuable things in there were my $300 Benz key and my iPhone. I waved a symbolic goodbye. It does sting when people take things from you, but at least I still had what really mattered – my husband and my kids. At the end of the day, that’s truly, truly all that matters – the people. I hugged my baby extra tight when we got back to the In N Out.

But then! My brother in law is so smart. He reminded me of the Find My iPhone feature. So, we went to a Best Buy and tracked it down. Found an approximate location. The police said they would be willing to meet me and just supervise as I approached the house and asked if they would please return my phone. That’s all they could do.

We decided it wasn’t worth the trouble and tried going ourselves. My husband and his friend knocked on the door and asked and were denied. Not sure it was the right house, cause the location is only approximate. BUT they proceeded to use the Play Sound feature (that works even if the volume on the phone is off) and lo and behold, the phone started moving, so hmmm. The phone was speeding down the highway and ended up at a shopping center with a Starbucks and a sky diving place and I don’t remember what else. There was no point going into the Starbucks and searching for someone looking guilty…where would we start? How would we even do that? Walk up to each customer and yell menacingly, “You! It was You! Give me my diaper backpack!” Actually, I did have this idea that I thought was pretty smart: Run into Starbucks in a huff, make a huge scene, scream something like “Everyone, stop! Freeze!” until the place was quiet, and then play the sound on the phone and try to figure out where it had come from or look for someone jump out of their chair (we totally should have done that!)

At this point, I leave and my husband and his friend and brother stay to search. They said the phone did move around a bit, and then finally, it just stayed still, at which point they searched in the bushes where the navigation seemed to indicate.

Two hours later, we’ve all given up. It’s 6 pm. We all reunite and move on with our lives.

Then, around 10:30 pm, we’re all in our hotel room after our dress rehearsal (our trip to CA was mainly for my sister in law’s wedding) hanging out and chatting, when my sister in law hands me her phone and says, “Diane! You’re calling me!”

???

“Hello?”

“Hi, yeah, I just found this phone, so I’m calling you.”

“You found it? Where did you find it?”

“After work when I was walking out to my car, I found it in the bushes.”

“Oh wow, thanks for calling me! Can I get it back from you? Can I come meet you now?”

He agreed and gave me an address, but then I was waiting in the car with my brother in law and friend (I’m not a total idiot), and we look at each other and are like hmmmm let’s think this through. It’s late, it’s dark. What if this is the same person who stole the phone and this is part of his plan? What if he’s a professional phone thief that just goes around looking for phones, then calls people to meet him in the middle of the night, then when they show up, he jumps them and takes their money- or worse?”

We decided to call him back and say listen, it’s late, can we meet tomorrow. He said sure. The next day, however, was my sister in law’s wedding, and it was just crazy. I had no spare moments to call or to meet anyone. That afternoon, he calls me asking so are we going to meet? I say I’m really sorry, I’m so busy, can we meet tomorrow? We decide to meet at his job (a restaurant) right before he starts his shift.

Next day. It’s around 12 pm. I call from my husband’s phone (which I’ve been using to communicate with him the past 2 days) when I arrive, and walk out with my brother in law to meet him. He explains again how he was just walking to his car and saw the phone in the plants. (For the record, throughout the course of our smattering of short conversations, I did ask if he had also “found” a gray backpack, but he said no)

My best guess is that whoever took the phone originally got nervous somewhere along the line, whether it was from seeing the same car following him/her around, or seeing a bunch of guys searching in the bushes, or hearing the alert sound play a thousand times as the phone spastically switched between Lost Mode and Found Mode. The location Caesar (the phone returner’s name) found the phone at was the same approximate location we had tracked the phone to earlier that day – the same shopping center as the Starbucks. Maybe the thief really did decide to just toss it and be rid of the stress.

I dunno; I believe Caesar. He never acted suspicious and he was very communicative. I never felt like he was hiding anything. I mean I guess when I saw him in person, he didn’t say much, and barely looked me in the eye, but maybe that’s just his character?

So, Yay! I got my phone back! The thing that made me the most sad was the thought of losing all the great photos and videos from our trip so far (SeaWorld, Lego Land, San Diego Zoo, etc.) I have a really cute video of W clapping to one of the songs during the dolphin show.Β  I’m super grateful!

Also, fun fact: my phone had a smudge of chocolate on it. At least I hope it was chocolate… didn’t care to taste test it. But how weird is that?? That was not my chocolate… I didn’t have chocolate the day I lost the phone (hard to believe, I know). But like what kind of person doesn’t even do a quick wipe on a phone if they spill something on it?… Or maybe when he found it in the bushes, the chocolate was already on it. And he didn’t want me getting pissed that my phone wasn’t exactly how I had left it and blaming him like, “Hey, where’s my chocolate?!! I was saving that!!”

I’ve noticed I have a pattern of stubbornness when it comes to being a theft victim. I instinctively put on a defiant face, hold my head up high, and proclaim to the universe that I will not let these instances affect me. It reminds me of the way the Divine Principle (my church’s main Scripture) explains that God simply cannot acknowledge anything evil. Evil is not in His Plan, and therefore he has no choice but to ignore it. Addressing it is acknowledging its legitimacy. (Not calling myself God, ha! Just noticed the comparison. Also, I’m actually very forgiving of criminals. I try to consider what may have happened in their lives that caused them to resort to crime. And I hope with all my heart they somehow find a better way and find real meaning and real love.)

But to sum up my philosophy, I refuse to change my life in any way (besides what’s necessary, like canceling my credit cards and getting a duplicate driver’s license). I am NOT going to spend money on a new diaper bag when that money rightly belongs to something else. I’m going to make due with what I have. I have enough bags lying around. One of them will be my new diaper bag – right now I’m just using a plain tote bag I got free from Victoria’s Secret last year. Not the sturdiest thing, but it’ll work fine if I don’t stuff it to the brim or put a brick in it (maybe I should start carrying bricks around seeing as how thieves seem to be drawn to me…) I will not let this experience affect me emotionally or financially any more than it needs to. I will not buy a new diaper bag, because then the thief wins!! Never! Over my dead body.

Any ex phone thieves out there? Care to weigh in? Was it Caesar?! Am I completely naive?