Shower

I took a shower by myself today.

That merits a blog post right?! Can I get an AMEN?! That’s big!! (How many showers have we taken with our kiddos amiright?)

Ok to clarify, I have taken lots of showers alone, but what I mean is that this shower was a kind of “normal” shower like the showers of the olden days- without any interruptions (did get a couple minor knocks and questions).

My kids are growing up!! Ahh!! It’s happening!! Time is slipping through my fingers… slowly, but surely, they’re becoming more independent and able to entertain themselves, fighting less, cooperating more. My littlest started full time school!! I’m one of those moms with all her kids in school now! The time has finally come. It’s very bittersweet!

All in all, I’m feeling good and lucky and blessed. Hope you guys are too!

The Perfect Life

I kind of had this low key Epiphone recently and I figured I’d write about it. If someone were to ask you to paint a picture for them of your perfect life, what would you say? What does A Perfect Life look like to you? (Serious question for anyone who cares to answer. Feel free to comment.)

I thought for a while about this. I realized that at this stage in my life, being who I am now, I believe a perfect life can look like a lot of different things. There’s no one type of perfect life. You can make something perfect out of all kinds of circumstances.

At the center of it all, at the foundation, the bare bones for me would be good relationships. A husband and wife who feel comfortable with each other, supported by each other, who feel free to be themselves without harsh judgement. A couple who has the qualities of understanding, patience, appreciation of the other, always trying to see from the other’s viewpoint. A couple who knows how to communicate and cooperate and work as a team. This doesn’t mean they don’t have disagreements or even downright nasty fights that last for weeks. It just means that they have some tools they know how to use to get back to a place of understanding and acceptance of each other. Maybe they learn these tools on their own, maybe through advice of friends and family and mentors, and maybe through professional therapy. All equally valid and respectable routes.

My perfect life also looks like kids who love each other and support and protect each other. And this takes time! The journey towards that goal -most likely reached in adulthood- is also a beautiful process. The steps along the way -the grabbing and the pushing and the shoving and the crying, the new sibling blues, the Me Me Me syndrome, the sibling rivalry- they’re necessary and we don’t need to be afraid of them. That’s where they learn. Altercations are not a sign that anything is wrong. People need to have experiences in order to know how to compromise, cooperate, correct their mistakes. How to reach out for help and how to lend a helping hand to another. That’s all a part of life.

If I could confidently say I have those two things, that would be Heaven on Earth. That’s true happiness. Now, those are the important things. The rest is details! I’d love a big, new, clean brick house with hardwood floors – not really that big, though, actually. 4 bedrooms or maybe 5 max. Couple bathrooms. A big yard! I want a little garden with tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, cucumbers. I want to raise chickens. I want a little rose garden. A safe neighborhood. A good school system for my kids would be great! I’m trying not to be too picky because a Wise Man told me you can’t have everything. I think he’s right. I’m reminded of this awesome quote I used to love when I was in college: “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” – Lemony Snicket (of all people)! I feel like we could also transpose this to “If we wait until it’s perfect, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”

So, my conclusion is that if I go by what I just described as the foundation of a perfect life, if I’m really honest, I’m pretty close. Ask me again how I feel next week! Lord knows how moody I am. But seriously, all things considered, I almost have a perfect life. Almost. 😉

DIY Hair Trim!

Hey, guys. I just thought I’d try cutting my own hair because it might be fun! Also, I have really “easy” hair that’s just straight and long, so. Plus, life hack for saving some serious money right! I would be down at least $25 or $35 right now if I had not cut my hair at home just now. And if I do this for the next 10 years, that’s $500-$700!

First off, credit where credit is due! I used this video as my guideline/inspiration. I only did the second part because I only wanted a minor trim to freshen up and cut off dead ends. Cut Your Own Hair video

Now, on to my super professional tutorial/review thing!

I simply parted all my hair straight down the middle and separated it onto my right shoulder and left shoulder. Then, I separated each chunk of hair into two chunks and tied them with hair elastics. Then, I took my hair cutting scissors (you can find them online or at any beauty supply store. Probably drug stores too.) and did a straight right angle snip snip snip here and there to the tips- about an inch. I definitely had a good deal of hairs that were longer than the rest, so it was obvious where I needed to cut (back when I last cut it at the salon, I had had layers done). This was definitely easy. But, you’ll be able to see why. I barely cut off anything.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…. VOILA! The before and after photos!

Amazing, right? Nah, be honest, you can’t even tell a difference. Here’s a picture of my sink down below as proof that I did do something. Cutting of hairs did occur.

One tip I have for doing this cut is to try to have a 4 year old handy. He’ll just make it that much more of a healthy, character building challenge (sporadic light switching, pulls, prods and tickles, and important questions that must be answered immediately.) Haircuts come out much better when you’re kept on your toes and you really have to work for them. You’ll feel really accomplished afterwards.

And that’s a wrap! Go try itchoself!

To Parents of Littles

If you’re like me, you’re tired. A lot. Three youngins (or two or four or however many you have) pulling, pushing, prodding in different directions all day, every day is exhausting. Though you love them. Of course you love them.

Let’s imagine for a moment that we were in another stage, another time, another reality. Imagine we lived through 10, 20, 30 more years. We had different surroundings, different struggles, different lives. And one day, in the middle of our day to day hustle and bustle with teenagers, or our back and forth with college students, or our empty nesting, or our splendid, quiet and still retirement, we suddenly longed for days gone by. For 30, 20, 10 years prior, when things were completely different. When we were overwhelmed, yet full of hope for our tiny, little people.

Imagine we were given a chance – time machine, genie, fairy, your pick – to go back. To our disbelief, we found ourselves back in the days of youngins. Of squeals and giggles and messes and splashes. And we got to hold those pudgy little hands, those warm, round bellies. We were given the gift of once again looking into those wide, wild, wonder-filled eyes. We breathed in their sweet skin again, gave them high fives again, held them close to our chests again. And we felt so, so blessed. So honored and privileged. To be experiencing all this.

Let’s play pretend and live like that today. Just for fun 🙂

Why You Should Have Exactly 3 Kids

To be honest I could probably just as easily compile a list of “Why you should definitely not have 3 kids” (Number One would be You will Never. Sleep. Again.), but why don’t we try and keep this blog positive and light, shall we?

And yes, I do sometimes find myself wondering why any couple in their right minds would CHOOSE to have their children outnumber them… but I digress…

Number One: These adorable little Ferrero Rocher packets are made specifically for your three littles!

Number Two: Mangoes are also perfect for three! Slice off both fleshy sides surrounding the mango pit to cut up all pretty and give to your first two kids. Third child gets the pit to suck on (my youngest goes for these).

Number Three: Sedans are made for families of five! At least once the third child is old enough not to use a car seat, so he can squeeze in the middle between his younger siblings’ car seats. (There’s also this tiny car seat called the Mifold we used to use, which was a really great idea and cool design, but I found that it moved way too much.)

Number Four: Families of five are the perfect sized family for restaurants with booths like diners or IHOP- one parent and one child on one side of the table, one parent and one child on the other side of the table, and littlest child at the end of the table in a high chair!

Number Five: Your family will fit perfectly in park benches.

Number Six: You have the exact right number of people to ride on the Buccaneer at Six Flags!

Number Seven: During times of comfort and attention needing, a parent can cradle one child in his lap, and pat one with his right hand, one with his left hand.

Number Eight: Similarly, at bedtime, one child can hold your right hand, one child your left, and one child can hold your foot! (I do speak from experience. You can also do this with four kids as you can tell. Eight if both parents get involved! Genius, I know.)

Number Nine: Your kiddos will fit perfectly in this giraffe ride at Chuck E. Cheese!

Number Ten: From the kids’ viewpoints, if one of your siblings rejects you, you have another person to ask to play!

Number Eleven: Kids always have a second opinion for the important questions in life. You know the ones.

Number Twelve: Jumping rope!!

Number Thirteen: Monkey in the middle!!

And there you have it, folks! Parents of three or folks with two siblings yourself, let me know if I missed anything!

Things It Never Occurred to Me I Would Say as a Parent

Just as a reminder, I have three kids ages 8, 6, and 3 1/2. Maybe you can figure out which ones refer to whom.

No bottle flips onto people’s heads!

Don’t roast the bugs! Only marshmallows!

Don’t sit on your little brother’s head!

Don’t touch the poop!

Don’t eat the poop!

Stop saying “poop”!

Don’t climb up on TOP of the monkey bars. You’re going to fall and crack your head!

Don’t touch your face! Stop touching your face! (Thanks, Corona.)

Take your fingers out of your mouth! You’re eating Corona!

We went outside today! Put your clothes in the dirty clothes bin! Corona, remember?

Yes, I do love you more than that stranger on the street I’ve never seen before.

No, sorry, I’m actually not proud of the fact that you can ride that scooter with no hands…

I can see you have to pee. Go to the bathroom and pee, please. Go pee. Go pee, NOW. !!!! GO!!!!! PEE!!!!!

Please stop eating toothpaste.

Please stop catapulting off the window sills.

Please stop writing on the walls, the books, the furniture, the toys, each other….

Spit out that skittle you just picked up off the road!

Don’t put boogars on your sister!

Don’t spit on your brother’s hair!

Oh, just do whatever you want!!

Modern Day Kids…

6 year old daughter: Umma, can you play with me with my Barbie Dream House?

Umma tries and fails because the boys try to join and upset daughter.

Daughter screaming: Umma can you play with me!!

Umma: Y, I’m trying to play with you, but the problem is that both of your brothers are trying to play, too, and you don’t want them to. You’re screaming and whining. So, now, in order for you to play with your Dream House, I have to occupy the boys and keep them away from you. I’m the only one here. I only have one body and now I’m using it to be with the boys. You can play by yourself.

Daughter: Why don’t you just hire someone?!

Hahahahaha I never saw that one coming… She presents a perfectly valid option I admit.

Share some funny kid quotes with me! And have a beautiful day 😊

More Confessions of a Tired Mom

This post is a follow up to my first Confessions of a Tired Mom post which you can find here if you’re interested! 

A few more things I never imagined I’d say. Cheers to my 3 kiddos for gracing me with all these choice memories… 

1. I’ve wiped my kids’ snot on my shirt more times than I can count.

2. I’ve wiped my own snot on my shirt one too many times…

3. I’ve wiped (goodness, parenting is just FULL of wiping, isn’t it??) spaghetti sauce, cheese sauce, smashed ants, cereal crumbs, rice, bacon grease, and a plethora of other delightful substances on whatever t-shirt I was wearing at the time. Who has time to go rummaging around for tissues?!

4. Occasionally, I will reply an enthusiastic “uh huh” to an offspring even if I haven’t heard the question…

5. I’ve absentmindedly licked what I thought was chocolate off my finger only to find the taste unexpectedly unpleasant and bitter… so I replayed my morning trying to figure out what brown food I had eaten that morning and nearly had a heart attack when I realized all I had done that morning was… changed my daughter’s diaper… #cringe

6. I have finished off an entire tub of ice cream (I would like to say this was when I was pregnant, but it wasn’t) because you can’t just leave these things out in a home full of children! We can’t have them getting into it, now can we? This stuff isn’t healthy for them! I’ll sacrifice for them; anything for the children.

7. I often allow my children to make a total mess (mess is play and play is learning, right? Trust me; I’m a teacher. *wink emoji*) of my old miscellaneous notebooks, jewelry, address labels, etc because I actually consider it being put to good use. After all, it’s just been sitting around collecting dust for 10 years. If they enjoy it and get something out of it, more power to them! Also, if it keeps them quiet for 10 minutes…

8. I’ve turned over on my pillow to look the other way while my children helped themselves to fruit gummies for breakfast.

9. I have transferred sleeping kids from the car straight into the bed- dirty clothes, unbrushed teeth, unwashed hands (First thing in the morning, I swear! I know- Corona!) and all… “Don’t wake a sleeping child” is a cardinal rule for me… Who wants to go through the whole routine and get them back down again at 11 pm??

10. At long last, I have finally become a frozen food mom… I held out for a reeeeeally long time and I’m so proud! But, those days are over…

11. Also become a bottled water mom… despite my son’s teacher’s disapproving comments (sorry! These little short cuts make all the difference!)

12. I’ve swooped in and caught my daughter’s poop in my hand in the nick of time! Ughhhhh potty training is the worst. (I’m on number 3 now; never had the chance to intentionally catch this one’s poop, but he has so kindly handed me a warm, fresh turd a couple times himself! *hand over face emoji*)

13. Sometimes, I lock myself in the bathroom just to eat chocolate or check my texts in peace for 5 minutes.

14. I’ve looked the other way while my children flooded the bathroom during bath time because at least they were having fun and getting along… Thought to myself, Eh, I have fifteen towels I can use when they’re done.

15. Speaking of towels, I have thrown a towel over a pee accident in the middle of the night and went back to bed. I’ll deal with it in the morning… Out of sight, out of mind, right? 

16. I will occasionally give in to pleads for a THIRD ice cream in order to keep my kids quiet for 10 more minutes while I finish an important call (like with my best friend to recount the details of last night’s episode of… just kidding! Work calls.)

17. When I’m exceptionally tired, instead of doing actual cleaning, I’ll just shove all the toys to the sides of the room to make space for the bedding (we sleep on the floor because we’re Korean). 

18. I count reeeeeeeally slowly during Hide-and-Seek, then go for about 3 minutes shouting, “Not here… oh, not here… hm, let me see…” while I lean on my counter and continue eating chocolate and checking my texts for 5 more glorious minutes. Or, sometimes, I even squeeze in a power nap!

19. Occasionally,  I will leave the wet clothes out of the washer in the basket over night because I don’t have the energy to hang it all.

Ok, this is taking a turn for the worse, so I think I should stop here! I hope this brought out a few knowing nods and chuckles and that no one will report me to anyone.

Comment if you can relate to any! Good night!

9 Instances that Illustrate Me as a Mom

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You may or may not have noticed (if you even remember who I am being that I post once every few months now… *ashamed face*) that I’m a no frills mom, so to speak. I am usually sleep deprived, stiff, sore, late, AND anxious or stressed about something. Despite all this, I’m actually very happy, but here are a few examples that I think paint a pretty accurate picture of my momming style. Completely technical and scientifically based of course. Hope they bring a giggle or two.

1. Kids: Can we go to the park?

Mom: No, it’s too late.

Kids: Pllllleeeeeeease, please can we go!!

Mom: No, it’s too cold.

Kids: Buuuut Uuuummmmaaaaaaaaa, we wanna go to the park!!!! We wanna we wanna we wanna we wanna!!!!

Mom: looks in their cute little faces and feels bad about yelling at them the day before. And justifies by thinking kids need fresh air and to get their energy out. “Alright, let’s do it!” Has a blast.

2. Dinnertime

Daughter: I don’t want that pizza! I only like pepperoni pizza!

Son: I want that pizza! Umma, can you make pizza?

Mom: Listen, I’m not making two different meals for you guys.

Daughter: Can I have a sandwich?

Mom: No. We’re having pizza.

Daughter: whining, wailing

Mom: screaming in exasperation

Toddler: running around in circles singing the ABCs and barking like a dog

Mom: Sigh, and what in the heck will HE eat?! *starts to tear up*

Son and daughter: arguing

Mom: yelling that Umma works so hard and does so much for you guys; please just be grateful and don’t give her even more extra work to do!!!

Mom: proceeds to make cheese pizza, turkey sandwiches, corn, rice balls, and some spaghetti just in case….

3.    — at an outdoor bazaar–

Friendly, well meaning vendor: Hello! Here is our selection of childrens’ 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!

4. Mom: Please do two things for me, Y. Pick up the books and put them in the shelves and pick up the toys and put them in the toy closet – anywhere in the closet is fine.

Daughter: No

Mom: Takes 3 deep breaths. Y, don’t say “No” to me. Have some respect.

Daughter: I don’t wanna clean. I’m too tired. Groans and lies on the floor dramatically.

Mom: I’m tired too! Groans and lies on the floor dramatically.

5. Mom: Brush your teeth and change into your PJs

Kid: Ok. Continues playing.

Mom, 5 minutes later: Brush your teeth and change your clothes.

Kid: Nothing. Oblivious.

Mom, 5 minutes later: Brush your teeth and change.

Kid: Completely absorbed in everything on the planet besides getting ready for bed. 100% distracted.

Mom, 5 minutes later: Incentive 1, incentive 2, incentive 3. Followed by threat 1, threat 2, threat 3.

Kid: Still not changed

Mom: THAT’S IT!!! LIGHTS OUT!!! GOOD NIGHT!!! (slams door) *guilty emoji* Not proud…

6. Daughter: I wanna wear this sparkly skirt to school today!

Mom: Ok.

Daughter: And I wanna wear these blue pants and rainbow shirt!

Mom: Sure!

Daughter: And I wanna wear this strawberry hat and these green sunglasses and yellow boots, and this hat too!

Mom: You’re so funny. Go for it!

7. Child: Umma, look at this! Does something he thinks is super cool.

Mom: Wow, that’s awesome!

Child, 1 minute later: Umma, look at this! Does something he thinks is even cooler.

Mom: What!! How did you do that?! *beams with pride*

Child, 1 minute later: Umma, umma, look! Does something really similar that he thinks is completely different.

Mom: watches patiently, gasps! That is so cool! You’re doing so great!

8. One of the kids: Umma, can I -insert something ridiculously messy like “see if I can crack this egg in one hand cause some show said it was impossible” or “make my own bubble soap and blow messy bubbles all over the dining room, soaking the entire table and floor” or “build a giant fort out of every last pillow, sheet, blanket, chair and basically anything else movable”?

Mom: …

Sigh…

Yes, for science.

9. Daughter: being difficult

Mom: You know what, Y, no matter what you do, ever, I always love you. I get so mad at you when you don’t cooperate, but I will always love you so, so much no matter what. I love you guys more than anything in the world!

Daughter: snuggles. Yeah, you’re always gonna love me right? Smiles. I love you super duper guper much!!

A wise friend of mine once said, “They put up with me more than I put up with them.” Thanks, darlings, for blessing me with the opportunity to be your imperfect mom.

Obligatory Quarantine Post

Damn, look at us.

I’m trying to figure out how to keep this light. A lot of people online have been really good at it. I appreciate them. We do all need a good laugh right now. Shameless plug for Jimmy Fallon – my favorite always and forever! Go watch his At Home Edition videos on YouTube. You can thank me later.

As I was saying, crazy times.

Quarantine came at a time – for me – when I really needed a pause. A breath. Funny how that happened. I wonder if others feel the same.

I just. Stopped. That’s what I’d been wanting to do for a long time. To just take a step back and simply be. Nowhere to be, nothing to do. (Besides keep my kids alive. Never getting away from that! And I would never want to.) I think a lot of us felt like we were on vacation the first couple days, right? For me, a mom of three under 8, that merely looked like a few extra minutes to scroll through my phone, a few extra minutes to do the cleaning and cooking, a few extra minutes to spoil my kids by actually playing with them uninterrupted. But that’s a lot for me; that’s Heaven on Earth.

I had been working part time. So I was in an interesting midway position between stay at home mom and working mom. When I first started working, I looked back on being a stay at home mom, about a month in, and realized, “You know what, being a stay at home mom was harder. I was more stressed as a stay at home mom because there were no consistent breaks. I always had to be “on”.” But then I thought, “Oh wait, well, I’m not working full time, though. If I were working full time, it would probably be a whole ‘nother story – constant rush, constant pull from both the work and home directions, constant stress, worry, guilt… (I did work full time for one year, but back when I only had one child. Anyway, I know everyone is different and has a different experience based on their personality and their circumstance.) But I was craving a lull. And I got it – in a twisted kind of way. God help us all.

Quarantine has reminded me of what really matters in life. (I know, I know – cliche of the year. As usual, I’m a day late and a dollar short.) But seriously, when sh*t hits the fan, when all the matter that used to be rapidly spinning all around you in a million pieces just freezes and floats silently for a while, you see clearly the things that your soul really wants and needs. I think mine are the same as everyone else’s: Family. Friends. And whatever grounds you, whatever you believe in. For me, it’s God. I know that in this life, we need money and… well, let me see now… all the other things I was about to list come from having money, so… I’ll stop there. Heh, shallow much? Eek. Am I wrong, though? So, back to it – I know we need money. But only because that money will allow us to provide for our loved ones, to protect and lavish the people we love. And then of course, we spend time on our passions and whatever makes our soul come alive. But we gotta stay dry and we gotta eat, right?

I had this surprising sensation one day when I went out for the first time after a very long time of being behind closed doors with the kids. I went out with my mask on to the drugstore to buy some Easter materials for an at home Egg Hunt – which they absolutely loved by the way. We did a second and third and fourth round! But while I was walking back to my car, the people I saw just strolling, just breathing – I felt drawn to them. I didn’t know any of them, but I felt close to them. I felt connected to them. I wanted to reach out and touch them. Because I wasn’t allowed to touch them, suddenly, I longed to. Like I was sensing what it would be like if I could never get close to a stranger again. It was as if everyone around me were being taken from me, and I had the urge to fight to keep them. I like being close to people – physically and emotionally. This sense that we are all one human family has been really magnified for me during this time.

I’ll leave you with one very profound parting wish: May you get out of this alive… and proceed to make lots and lots of sweet money!

Cheers! Love ya.