Monday, November 28, 2011

Crying It Out

Jordan's been crying for 45 minutes.  I got him and fed him but then he wanted to play.  Then his eyes fluttered and you could tell he was struggling to stay awake, a laugh came out at the same time that his fists went towards his eyes....his red, red ... very red eyes.  Oh my.... what have I done?!  Back to the crib son!  45 painful heart wrenching crying minutes later.... he has finally fallen asleep...

Jordan is on the verge of crawling and is too excited for sleep.  Sleep is overrated.  I agree son!  Unfortunately, I need him to nap so he can be happy, rested and ready to work at crawling when it's playtime later (and I can finish everything on my list for the day!).

I hate letting Jordan cry it out and I'm probably the reason he has been pushing the buttons lately.  With every daytime "crying it out" session, I have been getting him, prolonging his next "crying it out" session because hey, it worked last time he did it!... Meanwhile, my heart is breaking at his lurching cries and gasping for breath whimpers, and how I long to just cradle him safely in my arms instead of making him sleep.  But wait... NO!  Because then he rubs his eyes and I KNOW he is tired, but refusing to sleep.  It's just more fun NOT sleeping.  Alas, I return him to his crib.  I let him cry.  I sit and listen and long to get him.  I tell myself no.  And then I try to distract myself but man, is it painful.

 Why would I sleep when I can eat pandas?!
 Or pillows?
 Crying it out - the most agonizing thing a parent can endure.  After 45 minutes, this is how I found him (I put the blanket on after I found him asleep).

I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer, but after that "crying it out experience," my lonely lunch by myself didn't make it any better.  Except for my lunch dates with my mom and brother (who just left for Taiwan for six months ... sad face), lunch normally consists of leftovers, lunch meat straight from the bag shoved into my mouth or inhaled (whatever is quicker), a yogurt, and maybe some fruit.  I try to remember to breathe but really my goal is to eat quickly so I can get other stuff done.  

Today, I decided to be adventurous and made myself a salad and well.. we don't really have salad bowls so here I am.  And well, the lonely lunch was made funny by my big blue ghetto bowl.  

I know, I'm so posh but a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do to get stuff done.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Being Thankful

Thanksgiving has never been very American in my family.  My understanding was always that the traditional celebration involved a grand meal of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn, mashed potatoes, yams and rolls, with some sort of fancy decorated centerpiece (a cornucopia of autumn colors, pumpkins and fall leaves right?) while my own experience was drastically different (except for the couple of years my brother and I decided to do a "white Thanksgiving" which KFC and Boston Market partially provided for us).  For all the other years that I can recall, Thanksgiving always meant a lot of food with family and friends, but our turkeys were always stuffed with Chinese glutinous sticky rice while our sides included shrimp, bok choy, duck, BBQ pork, fruit salad and eight treasure rice.

Since I became a part of the Phillips family a year and a half ago, I've experienced the traditional "American Thanksgiving" complete with family, food and football and boy, does it intimidate me to think of one day hosting Thanksgiving (probably not anytime in the next decade), but more than intimidation, the experience of new Thanksgiving traditions have reminded me of the gratitude during this time which is emphasized more as part of the "American Thanksgiving" than my own "Chinese Thanksgivings."

Gratitude is an ongoing thing so my hope in jotting some down is to consistently be grateful for it and not just while I blog about it.

Ongoing hope.  Happy laughter.  Uncontrollable laughter.  Undeniable faith.  Smiling silliness.  Joyful grins.  The Gospel.  Modern revelation.  Prayer.  My testimony.  My savior.  The convenants I've made.  My eternal family.  Andy's laughter.  Andy's encouragement.  Andy's priesthood.   Jordan's squeals.  Jordan's giggles.  Jordan's poops.  Love from family.  Support from family.  My job.  My co-workers.  Andy's interviews.  Andy's schooling.  Our home.

Technology. Cell phones.  The internet.  Blogging.  Taking photos.  Boardgames.  Dancing.  Jumping. Farting.  Skipping.  The gym.  Kettlebells.  Exercise balls.  Lululemon pants.  Sequins.  Bling.  Ruffles. Charm bracelets.  Sunglasses.  Fluffy socks.  Ice cream.  Fro-yo.  Chinese food.  Chinese cake.  Pad Thai.  Sushi.  Curry.  Hawaiian Rolls.  Rice.  Fruit Tarts.  Watermelon.  Pineapple.  Beef Jerky.  Almonds.  Blue Cheese.  Tomatoes.  Celery.  Nutella.  Beans.  Tapatio.  Sour straws.  High heels.  Books.  Movies.  Music.  Candles.  Symmetry.  Rhythm.

Monday, November 21, 2011

10 Reasons Why I Love Being A Stay At Home Mom

  1. I can go holiday shopping on weekdays.  The weekend grind is disgusting these days. 
  2. I can go to the gym during the day and wonder what these other people do for a living.. oh right, probably what I do.
  3. I get to witness all of Jordan's milestones and sometimes I forget that Andy is not with us all day when he says something like.. "oh that laugh, I've never heard that!" as he's pulling out the camera to capture it, I'm thinking... maybe I should have done that when I heard the laugh weeks ago....  much better than when I initially responded with, "That laugh?  That's old news!"  ... good going Daisy!
  4. I get to nap during the day with Jordan.
  5. I can eat out for lunch, munch on snacks all day, have lunch meat, or go to Costco for free samples!
  6. Jordan and Andy both appreciate what I do, and Andy even tells me I'm doing a great job even when I feel like FAIL FAIL FAIL all day long.  
  7. I can talk on the phone, go on Pinterest, hop onto facebook, browse LinkedIn, blogstalk or whatever else I want to while Jordan is sleeping without feeling guilty or toggling elsewhere if someone walks by.  
  8. I can clean and organize throughout the day when time permits and I run errands like it's my job, not on the weekends when I have free time.  
  9. I can lounge all day in my PJs, decide to curl my hair and put on make-up, change outfits once, twice, three times a day, or whatever I want because there's no dress code! (or stupid closed toe shoes rule!).
  10. It's the most challenging rewarding job I've ever had.  No job description can entail what being a stay at home mom is or means, nothing can truly capture all of its amazing ups, crazy downs and everything in between but it's worth it and I love it.  LOVEEEEEE it!
Disclaimer: Though I am a stay at home mom, I do work 16 hours a week from home, but being a mom always comes first!

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Movember

Secluded from the hoards of college buddies and Corporate America co-workers growing staches to raise money for mens' health in my current work locale (did I mention telecommuting is awesome??), Movember will never be the same again. Or maybe it will. ....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

5 Minute Blog Post Challenge

The boys are asleep. Jordan tuckered into bed around 8:30 PM, Andy said good night around 10 PM and I went to work. Put away some laundry, loaded the dishwasher, cleared Jordan's toys to the side of the floor space where he rolls incessantly, and finished an e-mail for work that was due by November 15th (that's today!).

I have become accustomed to getting key things done right after my boys are asleep and working on the computer with the swish swish swoosh sounds of our dishwasher in the dimly light living room with the distinct view of my Asian Japanese curtain separating the room from the hallway and the Asian scroll one of Andy's ex-girlfriend's moms gifted and is now a staple of our living room (I am quite fond of it actually .. no, seriously, I am) everytime I look up (which I do everytime I am thinking).

I decided I didn't want to spend more than five minutes blogging today so I will keep it at that and my thoughts shall spew everywhere like word vomit.

We watched last night's episode of How I Met Your Mother (spoiler alert if you haven't watched it yet), I clapped my hands together and said yeah (love that band) for the much anticipated reunion of Robin and Barney only to be defeated by love's confusion and the outcome of the episode. Andy scolded me for supporting two people cheating on their significant others as I claimed it was simply true love. Andy said there's no such thing as true love and as I struggled to comprehend why exactly he was right, I still clung onto the hope that Robin and Barney will be reunited and attempted to see what the rest of the internet world thought.

One thing is for sure - it was a good episode, I'm really heartbroken by Robin's reaction and that moment that stood still with Barney just staring at Robin as she shook her head... it struck me in the heart. I am rooting for them. I still think they are getting married because 1) Lily is a bridesmaid. Here's hoping!

2 minutes over.... oops! Good night!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pretty Spectacular

Last night Caitlin, who lives in the same apartment complex but different building (across from us) came over to use my shower because hers is out of order. On her way out, we started talking (we both have new babies about 2 months apart) about our babies, about life, about the next child, about moving soon, about our birth experiences... and somehow our loquacious selves found ourselves talking in the hallway for almost an hour when we heard a neighbor's door open and we both instinctively jumped back into my apartment, closed the door quietly and carefully and giggled like we were two college girls living in a dorm who inadvertently and ignorantly annoyed the neighbors. We then talked some more and by the time she left, it was around 1 AM.

After she left, I finished an episode of this week's The Office and then found myself waking up at 7 AM this morning, unable to go back to sleep (try as I might).

You want to know what's funny though? Yesterday, I was missing Andy (he's been away interviewing this past week) and just wishing I had someone to gab with. About absolutely nothing. About nothing significant. About everything really. You see, my BFF, who usually fulfills that responsibility (or obligation, what have you) is in Hawaii on vacation with her hubbie and some of our friends, so she hasn't been bored enough to call me, nor has she responded to my texts or voice mails. *sigh.

I'm fairly independent in terms of running errands and shopping or even working out on my own (and I'm that girl who ends up talking to strangers about random things), but every now and then, I just like to talk to someone. In the past, I've been known to call old friends... catch up, talk, and so on and so forth. Blame it on my seventh grade rule that I could only have three phone calls a day or that though I work part time from home, I don't have to talk to anyone (like I did at the old Firm when we always had teams or people coming to my office with issues or wanting to just talk) unless it's a client or vendor or the Bossman giving me an ad-hoc request.

So last night was fun. I got my talk on.

This last week has been the longest Andy and I have ever been apart from each other after getting married, but now it seems to have gone by so fast. The time was made short with the kind calls from family members checking in, work errands, personal errands, invitations to go out from friends, and trips to Arcasia to have lunch, go shopping and dinner. At home when it's just Jordan and me, we have taken a lot of photos, played a lot of games, thrown food all over the couch and carpet, cleaned the house, lots of laundry, skyped with Andy, organized our mail pile, (it never gets smaller.. we just try to maintain it), made a Christmas wreath, finished two books (The Entitlement Trap and Shanghai Girls - both of which I highly recommend!) and missed Andy. I am currently planning Sunday night dinner via Pinterest with Pandora playing my Mumford and Sons station in the background, the red autumn leaves blowing from the balcony view (when did Fall foliage get here?), Jordan peacefully asleep, and a trip planned to our fancy gym for a Pilates class in a bit followed by some shopping (despite me swearing I would not go back to the malls on a weekend, I feel like going today....)

It makes me realize that Heavenly Father is aware of me and my needs, as silly as they may be and that yesterday, when I was feeling really lonely and wondering who I could just gab with... that Heavenly Father sent me someone. And now, as I get ready for my day, I can't help but smile about that and all the wonderful acts of love and angels He has sent my way while Andy has been away. It's pretty spectacular. And so are these photos.

Mommy! I'm naked! Put that camera away!

Okay, maybe just one. ... or two.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Multitasking To The Max

They say multi-taskers are losers because instead of doing anything right, they do everything wrong.

I am currently doing Bar Method in my living room, running to answer e-mails, texting my husband good night and sorry I missed his call to say good night and pray with me an hour ago, and grabbing the book I'm currently reading (The Entitlement Trap by Richard and Linda Eyre) while recalling I need to unload the dryer and start folding those whites while I can which by the way, I put on hold so I could blog about it.

Is it sad that the only photos I have of Jordan and me are taken with the iPhone reflection option in our poorly lighted living room where we spend 90% of our time?

Absolutely in love with his face in this photo. What a goofball.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The "I Don't Care I'm Just a Mom" Syndrome

It started slowly. Creeped up on me. Didn't feel like it was a big deal. Was just one time. I was just so tired. Nobody was going to see me anyway. Who really cares, right? It's more comfortable this way.

In the beginning, I'd pick sleep over shower. In fact, I'm quite positive I did.. many many times. Then, once I mustered a bit more energy and Jordan's sleeping patterns normalized, I'd pick the internet over shower.

Nobody cares if I'm in my PJs all day. Jordan sure doesn't! Nobody cares if my hair's not done. Jordan sure doesn't! Nobody cares if I'm not wearing any make-up. Jordan sure doesn't! Nobody cares if my hair's a little oily. Jordan sure doesn't! Nobody cares if I've been wearing that for days. Jordan sure doesn't!

You know why they make kids wear uniforms? To strip them of any identity and force them into chains of uniformity! Actually, I'm not sure really, but I think it's for the same reason Corporate America enforces business casual or formal in the workplace. It's why my old Firm required closed toe shoes for females and nylons for any skirts worn (I was probably the only person who followed this rule in 2004, naive lil newbie me) - to help us look the part and thereby act the part.

There have been studies (somewhere) that show if you are dressed accordingly, you will act accordingly. I'm not sure those studies are accurate or even meaningful, but I do know that I was slowly.... tripping... then falling, then plunging into the abyss of the I don't care, I'm just a mom syndrome. This syndrome is quite different from the MILKs (mom I'd like to kiss) who have been made popular through Desperate Housewives, Real Housewives of Orange County, New York, Beverly Hills and Atlanta, and are more throwback to put on a t-shirt, barely do your hair pair it with some mom jeans, scrunchies and not hot at all. And the latter is what I became.

My toes look like I have been kicking bricks and I still can't stop biting my fingernails whilst thinking of all the stuff left to do from my massive checklists. With Jordan around, dressing up feels useless as the unknown spit-up or poop may attack at any given moment, sending my outfit into the laundry and me hopelessly looking for something else to wear. Tired and indifferent to society's restraint of proper dress, groom and etiquette, and the inadvertent sabotage from my son, I began to happily lounge all day in my oily undone hair, husband's hospital scrubs and if I was trying, my Lululemon baggy pants with an old wrinkly t-shirt.

This all changed last Wednesday. I woke up early and did my hair and even put on some make-up because I was having a headshot done for the new company (look, I'm on a website!) When I came home, my hair still looked good and my face looked more alert than normal.. guess there's something to this whole make-up thing. I liked how I looked. I felt good about how I looked. And I was happier and more productive throughout the day. (I know, I'm so vain) I even think Jordan might have wondered who this new person was holding and playing with him all day long.

So I decided I was tired of not having a reason to get ready in the morning and resolved to start doing my hair, putting on some make-up, and putting on nice clothes. I'm still working on the nice shoes and my nails are still in need of an upgrade, but so far it feels good. It feels good to get ready in the morning for my meaningful job as a mom (and that part time thing I do from home too I guess...).

Being a mom is just as important (and much more demanding!) as having a high profile job in some big Fortune 500 company... so why shouldn't I put some time into getting ready in the morning for my big and important awesome role as a mom?

We'll see how long this lasts... but so far, it feels good.

Our friends, the Rasmussens, have advised me I must have more photos in my blog. I'm not a photo blog person, but I'll see how far I can get before giving up.

What's up Mommy?! You wanna take some photos of me for the 6 month statistics?!
Oh is this a new toy for me?!

I wonder what it tastes like....

Hmmm... texture... a bit weird...

Not a fan.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How Quickly They Learn!

Jordan wakes up consistently around 7 AM and plays in the crib by himself for an hour, yelling, screaming, giggling, and completely entertained before he starts to cry for me to grab him. At 8 AM, he is okay for an hour playing in his Baby Einstein bouncer so I maximize his independence by getting an hour of work in before he gets hungry or wants to play with me.

This morning, he sat in his bouncer playing with one of his jungle playmat toys happily as I got ready to make some carrot baby food. After peeling the giant carrot I got at the farmer's market, I decided it would be cute to let him hold it (and see how big the carrot is compared to him). As I approached him with the carrot, his eyes became asphyxiated on the bright and very large orange carrot. He froze, and let go of his jungle playmat toy the moment I let on that I was going to hand him the new toy (they lose interest so quickly... so fickle). The carrot was too big for his hands to comfortably grasp so he adjusted his arms to have his elbows assist as he explored the cold bright orange toy with his mouth (as he does with everything these days).
After snapping a photo, I took the carrot away from him (so I could make his breakfast) and he instantly cried... as if on command. And it was fake - no tears, just cries. The jungle toy wasn't good enough anymore and he wanted the huge carrot toy back. I didn't budge... cutting the carrot in the kitchen as I in my sternest voice said, "No Jordan, I have to make your breakfast Jordan, we do NOT cry about carrot toys!" to which he must have sensed the tone and stopped crying. Lately, our little Jordan has been crying on command to test the waters with us, to see what Andy and I will respond to and he's been treading water quite well. On occasion, he has a glorified look of accomplishment when we get him from the crib after he's been crying. To our dismay, he is not hungry nor does he need a diaper change, but he successfully reemerges into the living room to play with mommy and daddy a little big longer and we always commit to be better the next time he cries, but my how quickly he learns and tries to test us again.