Just for Laughs

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My daughter helped me decorate the Father’s Day cake the best way she knows how…with her fingers… ūüôĄūüėā

 

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My Threenager

threenager

Ah, 3 year olds.

I’d forgotten how annoying they are… So dramatic, so illogical. Toootal divas. Everything has to be exactly a certain way (and I guarantee that way will change 7 thousand times), or they lose it.

Let me explain to you how ridiculous my life is right now. My daughter is currently passing a cup of almond milk back and forth between microwave and fridge to get it to just the right temperature. This is what I’m hearing:

“It’s too cold!” *scamper scamper *beep beep

“It’s too hot!” *scamper scamper *swoosh swoosh (what sound does an opening and closing fridge door make anyway? Well, you get the idea)

“It’s too cold!” *scamper scamper *beep beep

“It’s too hot!” *scamper scamper *swoosh swoosh

*Facepalm. I can’t… What… What is happening…

And the screaming!! What is it with the screaming!!! She is getting so sassy and rebellious these days. She looks me dead in the eye and quips an emphatic “No”. Like she’s challenging me, DARING me to say otherwise. She clenches her fists, widens her eyes, and convulses her body in rage, and screams til she’s red in the face.

I just want her to grow up.

And yet I want her to stop. She’s already learned too much. She’s learned that it’s pistachios, not “pikachus”¬†(I wanted that one to last forever!). She’s learned how to put on her own pants (working on shirts). She’s learned how to have a replacement toy ready to hand her baby brother if she takes one out of his hand, so he doesn’t cry.

I’m holding tight to her remaining adorable linguistic habits. She still says anyone instead of no one. As in:

Mama:¬†Y, who’s sitting here? (in this empty chair)

Daughter: Anyone!

She still says “cited” instead of excited, “byoofuw” instead of beautiful. She still beams passionately, “I missed you soooooo much” every time I come back to her after being out for 2 hours.

And in reality she’s really not that bad at all. I’ve dealt with way worse three year olds in this family… Won’t name any names…¬†ūüėÜ

I Committed a Horrendous Crime This Morning

All I wanted was to go about my morning simply and peacefully- my head low, keep to myself, keep out of trouble. Go through our regular routine – feed the kids breakfast, change clothes, brush teeth, off to school. But noOooOooOo, we would have none of that nonsense. Nope, absolutely not. There was no way. It was just too much to ask.

T (now 5) decided he wanted to get a haircut (who do they think they are with their little tiny brains having their own little tiny desires…well, actually in T’s case, whatever desires he has, he makes them HUGE. He makes them KNOWN. He has steadily honed his skill of pestering and prodding and aggravating and infuriating until he breaks you…). One of my husband’s good friends (we call him Samchon – “uncle”¬†in Korean) showed up to church on Sunday with a brand spankin new haircut, and T decided he wanted one just like it. I specifically explained to T that it was still too early (too cold; not yet “Spring” enough on this snow covered 23rd day of March…God, I hate the weather) to have the sides of his hair shaved and the top of it long and flowing off to the side. I asked him to wait. No, he wanted it now. I said let’s do it after school. He said I said that yesterday. I said I don’t have any experience cutting hair; let’s go to the shop later today. He said he wanted me to cut it. Sigh. This is the boy I exploded at a few days ago for being obnoxious and defiant telling me he hated my lunch and wasn’t going to eat it (I made him eat it). I still feel bad. I mean there are ways to get your message across and elicit change without losing your cool (So I hear. Any and all instructions welcome below!). So I gazed at his adorable little face (my face) and his skinny little body (when did he get so tall and skinny?) and I nodded ok. He gave me his word that he would accept a compromise of just a trim today and a more thorough, shorter cut in 2 or 3 weeks. We had 30 minutes until we had to be out of the house. We shook on it. My fate was sealed.

So, listen guys. I personally think I did a hell of a job. My first time cutting a boy’s hair! It looks half decent, no? It did take me the full 30 minutes – maybe a bit more. We were closing in on being late for school and the kids hadn’t eaten breakfast. Aiyaiyai what are you thinking, Diane, just WHAT are you thinking, really?¬†I guess I felt like a challenge?! A little race against the clock to really get the blood pumping and start the morning off right?! *Eyeroll. I was almost done. A little snip here, buzz there, comb this bit out, even that bit out. Aaaaand….. THERE! Done! Good enough. T had been smiling the entire time – very fidgety, but he made it through. He was excited.

He walked to the mirror. Of course this wouldn’t be Parenthood if he smiled and said, “Thanks, Mom, great job!” He LOATHED it. He screamed at the top of his lungs and proceeded to wail and wail as if I had just burned all of his toys.

I should have known.

I should have known.

The rest of the morning is a blur of tears and screams and threats and bribes and questioning my choice to become a parent. I thought 5 year olds were past tantrums. To be fair, though, I realize full grown adults can also have the same reaction about a haircut gone wrong. I’m sure he’s not the first person, young or old, to swear they would never leave the house until their hair grew out.

We did finally get to school. Only 90 minutes late. Ironically, I have to go to T’s school at 1:30 to watch him receive his Student of the Month certificate.

My daughter literally just looked at the hair scissors and said to me, “I want to do a haircut Umma!” Lord help me.

I GOT THIS

Having three kids has been… well, I can’t sum it up into one word. Except maybe “hard” ha!

But I am slowly, surely getting back to living life as we had known it (as much “living” as that is… some might say having your schedule -not to mention your mind- revolve entirely around very noisy, messy, emotionally unstable miniature people and being restricted from going out to party on Friday nights, traveling the world, or enjoying an uninterrupted hot cup of coffee while binge watching your favorite shows on a lazy Saturday is not exactly living the dream, but I don’t care. This is the life I chose and I love it (Ok, I love/hate it. It’s complicated.).

I’m proud of myself because two days ago I finally made my alone-with-three-children-to-the-mall debut. It started out rough because the whole time we were getting ready to leave, Baby was in the car seat wailing, but thank goodness, he fell asleep halfway through the car ride because Older Brother so generously held his pacifier in for him. He’s a sweetie when he wants to be! Actually his sweet streak continued through the whole time playing in the play area and eating his lunch. Of course I used bribery. I held McDonald’s (not even the food, just the happy meal toys is what he’s excited about) over his and his sister’s heads, and that did the trick. We made it through the three hour outing without a scratch! Woohoo!!

And to add encouragement to accomplishment (I’m coining a new term. This is the flip side of “add insult to injury”. Tell your friends.), yesterday, I got all three of my offspring to bed ON TIME, BY MYSELF (Appa had an errand). I started it all off with a desperate prayer, then I held my breath and dove in. I TRIED to put my 5 month old to bed first so I could then focus on the older two, but of COURSE he woke up 20 minutes after I put him down (it’s been this way for 2 weeks now. Lord help us.). Sooo, there I was having to deal with all three. Baby has also just been exceptionally fussy; always wanting to be held, but I had to just let him cry for a little while while I got my older two into pajamas and insured that they brushed their teeth. It had to have been a comical scene to an outsider. My 3 year old and 5 year old are rolling around every square inch of the bed and spilling over onto the couch, bookshelves, everything. Rolling over each other, laying on top of each other, whining, screaming. “That’s it! No stories!” I shout. Lights out. My baby in my arms is writhing around like a rabid beast. I am completely clueless as to what has gotten into him. All I know is he has a VERY serious case of ants in his pants! Finally, gradually, the chaos dwindles. I decide to start singing (hey, I’ll try anything!). I sing all my favorite songs in an attempt to distract myself from how frustrated I am and how my arms have begun to throb and my fingers have gone numb (remember, I’m still bouncing, patting and rocking my baby, changing his position sporadically). But I just stayed consistent and let my kids all work out whatever the heck they had to work out for 30-45 minutes, and then, finally, by the grace of God, they drifted off one by one. Man, talk about relief. *Insert emoticon of woman wiping sweaty brow*

And TODAY!! Oh my God, today I bathed ALL THREE OF MY CHILDREN. I even bathed!!! It’s been a great week.

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The sweet, sweet, gratifying image of a sleeping baby…

????

I am sort of at a loss for words. A fitting title is not coming to me.

But to my point – do you want to see something so funny?!!

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No, I did not get into a fight.

That is a hickey!!

My five month old did it!!! I am on the floor laughing.

He was so fussy and wouldn’t sleep at his usual bedtime. I’m nursing him and rocking him and bouncing him. He’s doing everything but sleep. Chatting up a storm; going back and forth between giggling and whining or crying. Finally, he started sucking on my chin and I didn’t really think anything of it and just let him, cause I figured hey, if it calms him down…. and now I have this!!! I’m laughing my butt off. I swear parenting never ceases to amaze me… Every day is full of new surprises…

Deck the Halls

It’s Christmas!!!

Ok obviously it’s not. But pretty close. I swear time just goes by so fast that all the holidays just creep right up on me and again, before I know it, they’re gone.

Once it’s anywhere near entering the month of December, it’s basically Christmas already in parent-of-multiple-children time. Time just goes so incredibly fast when you’re a parent, it’s like…you do a couple loads of laundry, you wash 72 dishes, you split up three fights, and BOOM a whole week has passed. Theoretically, this should make it so that things feel easier because they’re over sooner, but no, this is not the case. Don’t ask me why it doesn’t work out that way.

You know how they say the days are long, but the years are short? Well these days, for me, it just feels like the days are short, the months are short, everything is short! Everything goes by at lightning speed. It’s like I’m watching a movie in fast forward; the days just FLY by me…

So basically I’m trying to really soak in this Christmas thing before it slips through my fingers. I was recently commiserating with my cousin: we both anticipate something we’re excited for being over before it’s even begun. I’ve just experienced so many exhilarating holiday celebrations, church events, vacations, roadtrips, you name it – all being over way faster than I wanted them to be, and really, really missing them all afterward. I suppose I’m exceptionally sentimental…I pretty much miss every person I ever meet in my life after I say good bye. At differing intensities, obviously, but I miss them nonetheless.

Back to Christmas- I decided to decorate more than usual this year and really ring in the holiday spirit. T and Y helped me dig out and prop up our tiny tree. It’s literally knocked over on the floor at least five times a day (they can’t help themselves). We threw lights and ornaments all over it and we taped up white streamers and hand made snowflakes (ah, childhood memories) from the ceiling. Last week, we went to a Breakfast with Santa hosted by the local high school and the kids took their first picture with Santa (oh, actually second time for T, but we did skip a few years). Included in that event were some fun games and ornament crafts we could bring home. Today or tomorrow, T and I are going to build our first gingerbread house at home. I have a cookie exchange on Saturday I’m super excited about and then, of course, the grand finale – getting together with my Chinese (dad’s side) aunts, uncles, and cousins on Christmas Day.

Agree? Disagree? Does Christmas pass by you too quickly? I’m starting to think there’s something to this jumping right into Christmas mode immediately after Halloween…

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Here’s our tree. Not the most shapely thing, but it does the job. (Yes, that pipe cleaner is an ornament, and no, those are not unidentified smudges on the walls; that’s your imagination.)

Still Chugging Along!

At long last, the Mama Bear has emerged from her cave…

It’s only been 4 months… That’s about a decent amount of time to recuperate after having a third child right?

I watched a video today about motivation being a myth. The speaker claimed that people in general don’t really get motivated; they do things despite being unmotivated. Message: Don’t wait around for “motivation” because it will never come. Today, right now, go and DO whether you feel like it or not. Whoa.

So here I am. I write because it helps me to feel more “me”. It makes me feel fuller, more fulfilled, more alive. It helps me to release and to relax. To allow the twists and bends and knots and chaos to slowly, quietly sort itself out. And secondly to (hopefully) keep my brain (somewhat) sharp. To salvage whatever nuts and bolts I still have left in there and keep them from getting tarnished and rusty. I swear with each child I lose a little more of my brain capacity. I saw an absolutely accurate descriptive image floating around online:

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It’s so true you just have to laugh because otherwise you’ll cry.

A few things have changed. Our kids outnumber us, my daughter is 3, I’m now a permanent size Medium (recently chucked my pipe dream out with all my old Smalls and Extra Smalls), my husband is changing jobs, he’s back in the gym, I became Assistant Pastor at my church, I have my first homemade Thanksgiving dinner under my belt, we have a new closet rod, I’ve turned over a new leaf and am cleaning more consistently (I’m basically Marie Kondo now! … Not really. But the first step is verbalizing! I’ll get there.). But essentially I’m the same ol’ same ol’. Just slightly more frazzled if that’s possible. Ha! Lord help me…

Deep breath. It’s ok. I got this. We got this.

Sometimes We Need to Let Go

7/28/17 10:30 am

Pregnancy is crazy. Emotional. Enlightening. Brutal.

But then again, is this very much different from life in general?

I stumbled upon a video on Facebook recently that really spoke to me and reminded me of our real purpose in life. We’re not meant to do this alone. We’re meant to depend on each other, and most importantly on God.

The Power of the Impossible – Blake Templeton

I try not to get too religious or preachy in my blog, but this is so close to my heart right now that I had to share it. One thing I would add on from my own personal beliefs is that we do have to take action and fulfill our “portion of responsibility” (Divine Principle, Sun Myung Moon), but from there, we have to have total faith that God will step in and bring us where we need to go; He will make possible whatever is the best outcome for us in any given situation.

Back to my pregnancy – I’m due on Monday, so I have about 3 days. My son was born 6 days early and then my daughter was born 1 day early. Up until two days ago or so, I was obsessing over when this baby is coming and if I should do anything to help speed him along (not talking induction yet, but through “at home” methods of ripening). I’m not even sure why I felt such an urge for him to arrive faster. I guess something to do with getting more and more uncomfortable and stretched out and therefore being too impatient and harsh with my two children at home (the ones outside my belly). But then I had this realization. Why am I trying to rush things? This baby will come when he’s good and ready. I think God purposely made it impossible for a woman to know exactly when she will go into labor (medical interventions aside) as a reminder that we can’t control everything in our lives, and we shouldn’t want to. Some things are better left up to God, Nature, the Universe, whatever you like to call it. In fact, it’s incredibly refreshing to give up some of the pressure and expectation that you put on yourself to control everything; to make sure everything “goes right” (as if you always really know what’s right). Sometimes, things just won’t “go right”, and that’s okay. Life is in its entirety a learning process. We’re not meant to “solve” it or “win” as if it’s a game, but just to live every day learning and growing and bettering ourselves one experience at a time. And in turn, helping others.

7/30/17 1:30 pm

So, if you read the time stamp up there, you’ll see that I wrote that bit a couple days ago. I had it saved as a draft. That same day, at 2:20 pm, my water broke, kick starting my labor, and my beautiful baby boy was born 3 1/2 hours later. 

What are the chances! 

Anyway, here I am now in my cozy little room. My hospital stay has been lovely – as it always is. As a mom, it’s incredibly refreshing to be able to lounge around watching TV and ordering room service (albeit in the pain of recovering from childbirth) in peace and quiet and have someone ELSE wait on YOUR hand and foot for a change!

I’m basking in the glow of newbornness. His smell, his gentle sighs, the little quivers of his body and pouts of his tiny lips.

The wait is over! He came on his own time. Perfect, perfect timing.

Things I’m Going to Miss

So, I’ve been really trying to be present and appreciative and zen like; reminding myself to live in the moment and give my growing baby my undivided love and attention as often as possible.

This may be the last week I can really¬†stretch my¬†“appreciation” for this pregnancy though…¬†As time goes on, I’m getting more and more to the point of “I’m so done!” Baby feels like he’s just going to drop right out.

But I want to be able to say I really cherished each moment (to the best of my ability in between pulling my hair out running after these other two) of this last pregnancy. So, every night, I take a few minutes to pray (My prayers tend to¬†go like this, “Please help my children behave; please give me strength, patience, compassion, kindness, love, more patience…”)¬†and read Scripture and try to¬†get into Mommy/Fetus mode. To zone in and to connect. Tonight, I’m connecting through writing. Not thinking too deeply; just saying what comes to mind at this moment. With that, I bring you:

Things I’m not Going to Miss about Being Pregnant

  1. The stiffness/soreness in my neck and shoulders
  2. The extreme sensitivity of my right hip (I think it’s a pinched nerve type thing. Possibly sciatic nerve.)
  3. Pregnancy triggered hand eczema (started with my first pregnancy. Got it under control in this final pregnancy with diet restriction and creams! #Win!)
  4. Heartburn (all three, but I think my first was the worst)
  5. Lady¬†issues (This is code because I don’t want to disturb anyone with TMI. Started with my second pregnancy but I have it TOTALLY under control in this pregnancy due to…PROBIOTICS! My God, this stuff is amazing. Absolute LIFESAVER)
  6. Aching bones in pelvic area especially when sleeping (and only being able to sleep on my sides! Argh!)
  7. Being swollen
  8. Having a sore butt and thighs after any drive longer than 30 minutes
  9. Not being able to bend down properly
  10. Numb wrists and hands (this is a totally new symptom that I never experienced in my other pregnancies. Started like 3 weeks ago and it’s super weird and disconcerting…hoping it goes away right quick after I have this little one!)
  11. Lumbering around like a cave man. So….heavy….
  12. Waddling around like a duck. I’m usually pretty good at avoiding this signature move, but as it gets this close, it’s hard to avoid…
  13. Feeling all the pressure of this growing being stretching me out and moving my organs out of the way. As a result, peeing all the time, stomach feeling smaller, lungs being restricted…
  14. Trying to keep two kids unharmed, fed, clothed, bathed,¬†and behaved, while feeling all of the above. Especially bedtime OH MY GOD.¬†We fell into the habit of all lying together until they fall asleep…(long story). But both want me to face them at the same time, they’re either fighting or totally distracted by everything, they take FOREVER to¬†fall asleep, etc etc¬†(I can’t wait for daylight savings again. The light seems to make a huge difference) ARGHH

Things I’m Definitely Going to Miss about Being Pregnant

  1. The kicks! And punches and hiccups and somersaults. It’s the weirdest, coolest, unexplainable feeling…a little human squirming around inside. And¬†trying to figure out:¬†Is that a foot? An elbow? Is he making a snow angel?
  2. Trying (and failing miserably) to take the perfect video of all the exquisite, excited movements. I swear they can tell when you turn the camera on. It’s like they get stage fright.
  3. Certain enhanced body parts…
  4. Lounging around with my older two as they rub/pat my belly, feeling¬†his movements¬†and giggling; pillow talking¬†with them about what the baby is doing and what he’s going to be like
  5. Never being really alone; having a little sidekick with me at all times
  6. The excitement; the expectancy. What will he look like? What will he be like? How will the dynamic in our family change? He’ll fit right in like a missing puzzle piece we never knew we had and bring an overwhelming sense of calm and joy to our family.¬†Right? Right?!
  7. Looking at people with doe eyes and having them offer me¬†their seat or to cut them in¬†line hehe…
  8. The right to act completely b*tchy now and again and be excused…
  9. The extra warmth and compassion from my husband – more spontaneous meals out, more cuddling (his hands are definitely my favorite to have on my belly), more attention, more taking the kids out so I can relax, just all around more lovin’
  10. Watching the perfectly formed (well, after he gets past looking like an alien) tiny black and white skeleton bouncing around on the Ultrasound screen
  11. Baby showers! I had to plan my own for my first cause no one thought to throw me one… Skipped it for my second. But by my third, my two closest friends here in NJ decided to plan one! Yay! It was really small, but it was perfect. Just sitting around catching up with friends, eating yummy food, opening presents (Yay free stuff!), playing games, and overall relaxing and enjoying good conversation. Nothin else like it
  12. Hearing baby’s tiny, yet strong and reassuring heartbeat on the Doppler
  13. People being more understanding toward me (i.e. not glaring at me as my 4 and 2 year old whisk by almost knocking them over, but just smiling knowingly and forgivingly). Not everyone, though. Some people are just dang harsh!
  14. Having that ultimate feminine silhouette. Despite the general weight gain, pregnant bellies are just so cute and endearing! And one out of every 30 photos is actually quite flattering!! Not to mention –¬†absolutely no expectation to have a flat middle for once –¬†Yay! I can relax and not suck it in for 9 whole months!

There are so many fascinating, incredible experiences and stages¬†in life. Everything has a beginning and everything has an end. It’s bittersweet, but in a way, comforting. I wish all of you strength and peace, appreciation and love for whatever you may be going through right now. Every situation, good and bad,¬†presents an opportunity for growth and a¬†lesson learned. Every single experience makes us more human.

Welp! It’s an hour and a half past my bedtime! Good night!