Monday, November 17, 2014

Premie Baby Club

For reasons unknown to the medical professionals who have assisted me during my second and third pregnancy, I am officially part of a very important club known as the "Premie Baby Club."  Being part of this club means I had my third child early, after having my second child early also.  And because of that, I came home after giving birth without a baby, I pump every three hours, make multiple visits to the NICU whenever I can, and am once again with dry hands and a hopeful heart.

The sounds of the NICU are so familiar to me.  The beeps and alarms that go off, the constant humming of the monitoring, the little shriveled up cries from the babies lying all around, and the shuffle and hustle of the nurses that take care of these little angels.  The sting of the dryness that has become my hands have become numb as I am eager to wash my hands, the first thing I always do before signing in and going to see my baby girl.  But the trips have become increasingly painful as the wait to bring her home becomes more drawn out each time.

At first, the emotional and hormonal whirlwind of just giving birth had me sometimes crying about the fact that I didn't have my baby girl with me.  Thoughts and confusion about why me, or what had I done to, repeated themselves over and over again in my mind as I reviewed all the events leading up to my hospitalization and then labor before the medication had sunk in (magnesium and steroids).  Why was I stuck with such a cruddy cervix?  Could I even have another child knowing they might be stuck in the NICU again?  Perhaps this is how most people think when hardships are upon them, wondering why me, but I've learned it's not helpful.  It's really damaging and useless to think about such things.  Instead, turning to the silver lining, being grateful for all that you have, a baby girl albeit it in the NICU, but healthy and coming home eventually, family and friends pouring out support and love, a hospital nearby, technology for my to be hands free during pumping, and the financial means to pay for this very expensive but necessary hospital stay.  I am indeed grateful.  It's just so easy to forget when in the midst of something difficult.  But this too shall pass.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

Life Changing

When you put Destitin or any diaper cream on your kids bum, you will notice how disgustingly thick that stuff is - you can use a wipe to try to remove it before you wash your hands, but it's pretty powerful stuff.

My new life changing epiphany of a hack?

POPSICLE STICKS.  I have a bunch leftover from making airplanes for Jordan's birthday (planes theme) so now, they sit in my diaper basket and when I need to lather up my son's bum, I just use that stick - give it a whirl in the Destitin cream and wooosh.  Wipe it all over his bum WITH the popsicle stick and my hands stay clean.

Best solution ever.

I'm a freaking genius.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Life As I Know It

I've noticed a lot of internal changes lately.  Mostly, my life has become more "mom" centered, which for me is a lot less "me" and a lot more "kids".  I still enjoy my alone time, I still try to do my nails at home and I take good care of my skin with a strict skin care regiment and face masks about once a week... but I just don't care about things the way I used to.

I used to be really into celebrity gossip.  If I look at an US Magazine these days, I don't even recognize half the faces on the cover.

I used to work out 4-5 times a week.  Now, I'm lucky if I get to the gym once during the week or do an at home workout once.  Truth be told, it means I don't care anymore.  There's no excuse, I make time for other things... I just don't make time to work out anymore.  So sad.

I used to shower everyday.  Now, if I'm not sticky or sweaty and it's been a day... no shower means more time for everything else I do want to do.  HAHA.

I used to be really into heels.  If I have to wear heels for more than one hour (usually for Church on Sundays), my feet start to long for some flats.  Give me some Sperrys, some flip-flops or even ballet flats (which I don't actually find particularly comfortable but aren't high so I'll take it!).  This coming from someone who used to wear heels with everything including jeans.  Yikes!

I used to hate cooking.  Now, I rather enjoy it when I get to come up with meals that I know my kids will enjoy and I won't detest too much.  Jordan loves penne pasta, it's his favorite - doesn't matter what you put on it, shoot he will even eat it plain.  Bubba loves fruit, any type of fruit you give him, he'll take it!

I used to hate having a disorganized home.  Now, I've learned to live with it... for a longer period of time than I would have before.  But it's still fun to go through and organize stuff every now and then.  HAHAHA.

I used to love working.  Now, I'm kind of over it.  I mean, I still put my all into it when I'm doing it, but I definitely don't look forward to it the same way I used to.  I'm sort of looking forward to the day when I get to be a full time mom and utilize nap time or quiet time to clean the house, cook a meal, do a craft, or read a book.

The other day, as I drove home from a fireworks show our uncle put on that didn't end until around 11 ish (while Andy was working), I thought.. man, this is so late... my kids are exhausted and though I'm not, I just want to get them into bed asap!  Oddly, I realized this is the same "prime" going out time of my 20's past.  Weird.  I am officially old.. not by age, but by what I am doing and prefer doing.  Like going home and putting my kids to bed, slapping on a face mask and reading or watching TV.  Hehe.  SOOOoooo much more relaxing.

But I guess that's part of growing up.  You can't always stay the same and you have to understand that change is inevitable.  It's not good or bad, it's just different.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Move 'Em On Out!

Our house has been driving me crazy lately.  The dishes are a never ending cycle that continue to perpetuate into a pile of disgusting need to wash even though we eat at my mother-in-laws at least two to three times a week.  It's completely baffling to me.  The crumbs that have manifested itself on the floor everywhere, poke me and actually hurt me sometimes.  We try to vacuum once a week but apparently that's enough when you're not able to put your foot down and the kids go running with their food towards the carpeted living room.  The toys are categorically placed into different bins, supposedly making it easier to clean up at night, but none of this matters when friends come over and the game always seems to be "let's take out EVERY SINGLE TOY he has and then see what we want to play with."  My kids love this game, it's not one they're allowed to play often.  The only thing I've been able to get under control is laundry, and right when I think I've got it down by doing only one load a day - from start to finish - the boys' room stares back at me taunting me, telling me to dare to fit more junk into those trunks.  What I really need is to invest in some transparent bins and store up all our winter clothes, making room for the summer ones - and I really need to find out if #3 is a girl or boy because then I can either put away some of these boys clothes until the next son comes along or what I'd really like to do is take my chances and trash 'em with the thought that I'll only have daughters here on out.  The reality is, we've got a room with a pretty good closet, jam packed with clothes from newborn to 3T and it's starting to get insane.  We also have an entire closet of Church dress shirts in itty bitty toddler sizes that are wrinkly and finally got hung up by Andy (I left them in a pile, telling myself I'd iron them one day... that day has not come yet nor will it ever...)  Can someone start inventing some iron-free toddler dress clothes already?!

I try to keep our bedroom toy free.  And I try to keep my desk clutter free.  I learned from my college roommate that a desk without much on it - really feels clean and good.  Instead, my desk is overflowing with bills I'm behind on (I missed my CPA renewal AGAIN .. dang it), photos I printed and am not sure if I should trash or keep, and ticket stubs for Jet Blue because my reward account is still under my maiden name (yet another task to do.. ugh).

So since we moved into our new home, I had been sharing my office space with the boys as their playroom.  The intention is to clean up the playroom every night before bed.  Of course, the reality is this doesn't always happen and most days, mom and dad are cleaning it up so mom can be sane.  I don't even care if it gets messed up right away the next day.  The bigger problem I noticed was that my desk was always gross.  My kids decided they wanted to work at my desk, color at my desk, and basically take over my desk.  And then I never really actually work at my desk.  I take conference calls from our bedroom so the boys can't break in while I'm on the call and the sitter can keep them occupied.  I rarely work in the designated office desk because it's easier to have the comp out in the living room while they play if I have to send an email and really, I try not to work unless I have to when they're around.  So what's the point right?

Except my sanity!  So... after having a really messy dining room cluttered with stuff we'd just throw when we got home and a really messy playroom, I made an executive decision to move their playroom to the dining room.  Let the mess be contained and let me have some sanity in my workspace.  I still need to get some type of shelf for a bunch of files that now sit neatly on the sides of the wall, I need to put up some frames (a year later and counting) and I need to pay my overdue bills... but it feels good to look around and not see any toys (okay.. there's a stuffed animal and a helicopter).  So I basically moved 'em on out.

Jordan asked me, "who's room is this gonna be now?"  I said.. mommy's work room and maybe baby?  And he asked, "but baby isn't gonna share with Bubba and me?"  So cute.  If we can fit em, I'm sure they will all share a room... especially since I often have an inkling that it's another boy.  Only time will tell!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Utah Things

I feel pretty at home at Utah.  We have a lovely home, my kids, husband, and husband's extended family is mostly here, and I've learned the roads and freeways (sorta) enough to get by and am slowly learning the areas (North Salt Lake = Davis County, Lehi, American Fork, Draper, South Jordan are all out towards Provo but not quite yet.... Brickyard, Midvale, Cottonwood Heights, Holladay, etc.).  But I still find it absolutely fascinating when very what I'd like to call "Utah-esque" things happen.  I've compiled a few that come to mind.

1. When I'm asked... "to stay or go?  - in California, NOBODY says that.  I believe the correct phrase is "for here or to go?" but everybody in Utah loves the word "STAY" and I can't help but smirk everytime I hear it.

2. Fry Sauce - dude, I hate to break it to you Utah but it's basically mayo and ketchup, add some relish and it's called THOUSAND ISLAND and you seem to want to put it on everything.  Hahahaha.  I personally prefer ketchup over fry sauce, but I am simply fascinated by how ubiquitous it is around here.  They even have it pre-packaged with bold "FRY SAUCE" letters all over.  The state is pretty dang proud of it.

3. No hard alcohol is sold in any grocery stores.  When Andy told me the alcohol laws had changed recently, I assumed he meant hard A and beer.  I've seen beer everywhere in grocery stores so I didn't think much of the missing Grey Goose bottles with the stringent black protective locks on 'em.  And then I started wondering what people did in this "liquor stores" that are not like your average California small ghetto liquor stores - no, these are LARGE and in CHARGE and usually have an entire parking lot to accompany it.  And then I realized... no hard alcohol is sold in grocery stores.  I think the same for wine, but I'm not sure cuz I haven't needed it yet (you know, for cooking cuz I've been sober since 2009 baby!) but now that I think about it, I haven't seen two buck chucks the few times I've been to the Trader Joe's so maybe not...?

4. Momo mommy bloggers - did you know they sorta all started in Utah?  And a lot of them show up on local KSL morning show All Things Utah or something like that - I've only seen it a couple of times but Asians in Arcadia is to Momo Mommy bloggers in Salt Lake (and greater Salt Lake which I've learned is NOT Salt Lake).  They're everywhere!  It has become fun to start following some of them on Instagram and realize they go to the same places I go to - but without traffic, everything seems much closer and the chances of actually running into them are much greater than any bloggers in LA.  They are a range of bloggers too - food bloggers, how to save money, crafty ones, how to raise kids (cuz Momos have a lot of 'em so advice is much appreciated) and then a bunch of fashion and lifestyle bloggers.  Okay, side rant - bloggers just crack me up period cuz they post photos of what they eat (okay, I do that too but it's still funny to me cuz they're not Asian and it's more hip than a way of life their parents taught em from childbirth - yes my dad still takes photos of all our food before we eat it just cuz...), where they go, what they wear, hahahaha.  My question is, who takes these photos for them when they're not obvious selfies?  Do they have remote controls for their phones?  Hehehe.  I laugh but I still follow.  The commentary is mostly silent.

5. Everyone has family from here - no, seriously - everyone.  Or at least everyone we seem to meet, mostly because we meet a lot of Momos and since Salt Lake is the Momo capital - everyone we meet seems to have family here - somewhere somehow.  I've met quite a bit of non-Momos from the neighborhood, most of them don't have family from here but if they're Momo, they usually have some family connection here.  We're part of that statistic but it's still just fascinating to me!

As you can see, little things fascinate me.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jordan Our Lil Singer

Jordan loves singing.  His favorite song from our vacation was Best Day of My Life of American Author, he can sing the entire chorus, and hums along with it and got so excited everytime it was playing, followed up by confusion about why we can't play it again (we tried to explain it's on the radio.. he's not quite getting it yet).  My favorite part is his "life ah-ife-ife" part.  It's so funny.  Of course, he also roars along with Katy Perry's song.  And his favorite kid songs are Nothing Can Stop Me Now from the Planes soundtrack and Let It Go from the Frozen soundtrack.  Recently, he started saying "all my friends...." and I immediately thought oh no, is he singing the first line from Sleeping With a Friend - Neon Trees?  I haven't listened to the lyrics close enough but I assume it's talking about sleeping with a friend.  Can't be good right?  Hahahaha.  This morning, while lying in bed with Bubba and me, he said - clap your hands and say yeah! And then proceeded to clap his hands and say yeah.  Yes, that Indie band title is quite unique and appealing to children.  He kept trying to get Bubba to clap his hands and say yeah, but Bubba could only muster a tiny yelp of a "yeah."  Then at breakfast, Jordan kept telling me "we're safe and sound!" and then humming the chorus to the Capital Cities song that we love oh so dearly.  What a riot.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bubba

It's crazy to think this time last year I was on bedrest, watching Parenthood.  Once I was done with that show, I would go onto Revenge.  I had never seen both shows and I managed to make the most of a boring time in the hospital by watching my shows, napping, and looking forward to eating breakfast, lunch (normally with Andy or he'd drop off something) and dinner with Jordan and May.  Time flies by so quickly but it isn't until you're at the point of now looking back that it feels super fast.

I'm grateful that I'm going to bed at 11:35 tonight just across the room from my two healthy boys.  I wish I could go back and tell myself a year ago that everything would work out, not to worry, and all that despite the hard road ahead that would be the month Bubba was in the NICU.


Jordan-isms

Jordan is such a fun age... at 35 months, he is just full of things to say and input, and if you're in the car talking to someone - whether it's on the phone or in person, he will say, "I want to talk too!" as he really does want to be part of the conversation.

Lately, he's had some hilarious Jordan-isms.

The other day, he walked over to where I was in the restroom on the toilet (sorry TMI), and said, "Mom, you're beautiful!" and then he proceeded to turn the door inward - since there's a mirror on the outside of it - so that the mirror was facing me - I could see myself on the toilet - not a sight most people want to see, and he said, "see?"  I wasn't sure if he was being sarcastic (too young for sarcasm) but it was hilarious.

Lately, he's picked up his pre-school teacher's tendency to say "that's perfect!'  I'll tell him we're going to have lunch and then go out, and he'll respond with, "Oh mom, that's perfect!"  I love the enthusiasm.  Other times, it's, "Oh!!  That's just perfect!"  So funny to hear him assert himself so positively.  I love it.

He also still doesn't understand that he can be something besides Jordan and a big boy.  We played a game today while perusing through Costco where I'd ask him if he was a burrito?  or a rice cake?  or a sushi?  or a chicken stock?  or a jelly bean?  He would say "No!" loudly to everything except big boy and Jordan.  If I asked if he was a big brother, he would say "No-es" - after realizing Mom had tricked him, but other things like my son - a kid - none of those would get "yes" responses - only, "No!  I'm a big boy!!"  HAHAHA.

He also loves to recap whatever you told him.  He loves repeating what he hears, our Church had a conference this weekend where we watched the broadcast online and he would mimic what he heard, word for word, almost entire sentences.  It was quite impressive.

But of course, as the first born, he's also quite bossy and will tell his baby brother what to do.  But most of the time, he will catch himself now if he's being mean and say, "Oh, I'm sorry Bubba!"  it's so funny to hear him apologize without me prompting him.  A few times he has done the same to me too.

He also loves to say, "that's awesome Mom!" and I think it's cuz we do say it a lot haha.  He is currently a little slow with all his colors and numbers but that's okay, because we're also working on them in Chinese.  We just started having a Chinese tutor who comes once a week and helps me reinforce speaking Chinese with him more (it's always better with someone else)  He seems so much more open speaking it with anyone but me!  Hahaha! We're learning our colors together (me the characters that go with each, him the pronunciation of each) with fun apps (check out Fun Chinese if you have a bilingual Chinese speaking kid) and trying our best to learn some songs too - Chinese and Church because he absolutely loves singing.

That's it.  I just wanted to record some of what is going on as most of my free time (when I have it) has been dedicated towards working on my book.  It's such an arduous process, I've only got 17 pages written so far.  It's going to be a long time before that thing sees the end of the tunnel hahaha.  

Monday, March 31, 2014

Being a Mom

I’ll never forget the time my mom asked me for a bite of my Mickey mouse ice cream on a stick and I refused.  She took the ice cream right out of my hand, took a bite, and proceeded to eat the rest of it while I threw a mighty of all tantrums on the hard wood floor, pounding my fists in revolt and anger, yelling at the top of my lungs and crying out for mercy. 

To this day, I have never forgotten to first offer my mom a bite of anything I am having as long as she is nearby.  Ever.  A little bit out of respect.  A little bit out of fear. 

And now as I am in a similar stage of motherhood, trying my hardest not to yell and scream and demand why my son has decided to poop in his pants when he knows very well how to make his way to the toilet, I wonder in retrospect, why I can’t seem to be a bit more calm.  I wonder why I can’t remember I am damaging a bit of his self esteem with my over zealous yelling and I wonder why I can’t recall the calm composed nature I told myself I’d be when the day started. 

I’ve never been an emotional crying type of mom.  While other moms were basking in the cuteness of their firstborns, I was wondering when I would fall in love with this little wrinkly being that kept crying and pooping.  Motherhood wasn’t natural to me, in fact it was overwhelming, uncomfortable, and suffocating at times.  Instead of feeling sad when my kids cried themselves to sleep, I wondered how long it would take, only seeming to have a bit of compassion when my husband was nearby and even more strict than me.  Instead of crying when my kids got their monthly shots, I logically tried to explain to them that the pain would go away shortly (my oldest never seemed to care, my youngest had his face turn beet red everytime).       

And now that I’m almost three years into it with two kids, I seem to have softened and feel this thing called love a lot more consistently towards my own kids.  But now, now I  have to remind myself to be more patient.  To be more loving.  To be careful when I am teaching with a disapproving taint.  It’s a hard balance between disciplining and loving, establishing rules and principles, enforcing them, and also being the loving mother that I want to be. 

Nobody likes to fail.  I sure don’t.  I’m pretty sure my son doesn’t either.  And yet as I think back to that moment tonight when I was just so angry, yelling, questioning him about why he had decided to poop a nasty diarrhea consistency blob of a poop in his undies (which also transferred to his pants and all over the bathroom floor as he made his way out of his clothes), all I can see is my anger and his sadness.  I’ve read all the articles about how to control your anger with kids, how to commit beforehand not to get upset and plan for how you’ll react.  But you know what?  Easier said than done.  Because in the moment as I was scrubbing away stinky poop and telling him he should not be doing this, I couldn’t for the life of me fathom how to lovingly help him and be more nurturing and positively reinforce his potty training abilities.  All I could do was err in anger and apologize later, tell him I’m sorry and hope he’ll forgive me and not remember his mother as the scary demon who would put on her angel halo after all the steam had cleared.  And the other part of me is wondering if I should have just stuck to my guns and been the mean mom to help him remember it more. 

I’m not quite sure. 


Motherhood is so incredibly hard sometimes.  Tonight seems to be one of those nights.  As soon as I cleaned the poop up… my other son peed all over the carpet for the millisecond he was naked between diapers, and then proceeded to poop right after (his third poop of the day).  Someone please tell me, when is this poopy stage of motherhood over?  And why does it all have to happen the one night my husband is working late?! 

He Makes Me Do Things!

Disclaimer: Sappy post to follow

I'm not a huge fan of bucket lists.  At the same time, I am so excited about doing so many new things in my 30's and most of the reason for that is my perfect husband.  Okay, so he's not really perfect but his mom might disagree and I might as well.  HAHA.  He inspires me to be better, to do new things, he's patient and positive and absolutely the best life coach one could have.

When I was a kid, I wasn't always allowed to go hang out with my friends on the weekdays.  The rare times I was allowed to go hang out, I was always a crappy roller blader.  A bad bicyclist.  A horrible basketball player.  Kids can be inadvertently cruel with their not always harmless teasing and joking around, but no positive impact was ever had.  I just got more insecure and wanted less to do with those things that I sucked at.  Instead, I devoted my time to reading a lot and doing my homework.  I was pretty good at those things.

At 28, I went snorkeling and camping for the first time.  At 31, I learned how to ski.  With skiing, it's mostly because Andy pushed me - I would have been fine giving up after the first time (and I only fell a few times too...) but I'm glad he made me stick with it because this past weekend, I got to ski alongside Jordan and it was the best ever.  No more fear of falling off the ski lift getting on or off, no more falling, and it was actually exhilarating and awesome!  With camping, I'd probably be okay never going again - I'm not a huge camping enthusiast, but it's also not enough of a deal breaker that I can't just go along and try to have some fun.  And some fun I have had, it's especially fun with lots of family members who bring amazing food and stuff.  With snorkeling, I was beyond scared to go - but glad I tried it and am not afraid anymore.  And it was pretty neat seeing all the different fish in the water.  I'd do it again.  Sure!

And because I haven't posted about our awesome vacation to the Bahamas yet.. here's just a few photos.  I want to go back!!!









Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Help a Brother Out!

To be precise, my brother.  Little brother that is.

Growing up, my brother LOVED comic books.  Everytime we went to the book store (which was about once a week), he would come out with a comic book.  He poured over those things.  We have literally cases upon cases of heavy big boxes with comic books in them.  So it only makes sense that he took his passion and created a comic book!

As a NYU grad in film, writing by day and tutoring random kids by afternoon, Ray has been working on this project for the last two years and it is so exciting to see it come to life!  But to get it started, he needs EVERYONE's HELP!  So please please check out his page, spread the word, and if possible - donate $1!  Every dollar counts.  And everyone has a dollar to spare, right?

I am quite impressed with the artwork.  I can't even wait to read the story.


Ray is on the right - that's my brother.  Please support!  Find out more here.  


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Question on Book Titles...

Which book title intrigues you the most?

Yellow is a Color Too

Somewhere Between FOB and Tiger Mom

Memoirs of an ABC

Growing Up ABC


I'm currently devoting some time to that book I've been meaning to write since 2004.  Ten years is quite a bit of time, so in commemoration of my upcoming ten year college reunion in May, I'm making it a goal to finish the book I intended to write way back when I graduated college.  It was actually my senior thesis that prompted this, but I never got around to doing anything about it, and now with how easy it is to self-publish your own book on Amazon, I think that is the way to go!

So here we go!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Reflections of Ourselves

The other day a friend posted a video of her son frustrated - at the age of 3, it was absolutely adorable, but the description below the video made fun of the fact that kids are really just reflections of ourselves sometimes - eerily so, especially those of us who stay home with our kids all day.

So I got to thinking... and here's what I realized....

Jordan is exceptionally bossy.
Jordan has too much energy.
Jordan is quite loquacious.
Jordan likes to always be doing something, is easily distracted and focuses on things he loves.
Jordan over exaggerates his emotions, just for kicks (e.g. he will say he's really sad but it's almost a natural reaction rather than the truth).
Jordan is happy (outside of the emotional "I'm sad Mom" or "I'm sick Mom")
Jordan is silly.
Jordan tries to be funny and sometimes actually is.

Jordan is very much like his mom.

As for his talented side - the part where he's a pretty quick learner and athletic side - that's from his daddy.  And as for his disdain for sleeping and eating - yes, I actually remember quite vividly my parents forcing me to take another bite of this or that, of laying in bed listening to the sound of television outside at 9 PM (after we watched America's Funniest Home Videos and Simpsons on Sunday night... and I was sent to bed)... which in my later years would just be me reading at night while my parents slept ... until odd hours of the night to finish a book (not every night, but if I had a good book, then yes...) and how food eventually found its way to my heart and made a place for itself.  Things I liked... egg tarts and chicken feet at dim sum or chicken nuggets and spaghetti and cabbage or any greens for that matter - I ate a LOT of.  Everything else?  Not so much.

I wonder what Bubba will be like.




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Life With Kids....

It's not always pretty or fun or even clean for that matter, but is always quite awesome.  We are having so many fun moments everyday and I am enjoying being a stay at home mom more and more everyday.  I am really lucky to have a part-time job that I can do from home and recognizing that more and more with each passing day.  There are some days when I really don't want to balance both work and being at home anymore - when I wish I was 100% working or 100% at home but overall those moments are far and few these days.  I really am enjoying being home with the boys and I love grabbing my camera to capture some of it.

It makes me think that having one child is great - but for my personality type (whatever that may be), it is so much better to have two.  To have two to be busy with, to play with, to be there for, and the more the merrier!!!  To see them interact (I know - it will be fighting one day...) is so amazing and really just tickles my heart.  To see them sit there and make sounds at each other and then laugh - it is hands down my favorite thing to observe.  I love that my sons love each other and I hope they always love each other, support each other, and are each other's best friends.


Monday, February 24, 2014

So This Is What It Feels Like!

I was quite nervous during my weekly call this morning.  Jordan's been potty training and though he's had success, it's been met with accidents as well.  He had pooped once in the potty but who knew if it was luck or not?!

I came out of the room in between calls and noticed he was already in the bathroom...on his own.  What?  Kristy, Andy's cousin who comes to help me out during my conference calls, was nowhere near.  I saw she was in the living room but wasn't sure why she wasn't in the bathroom with him.  I had given her explicit instructions to continually ask him if he needed to go pee pee or poo poo and advised Jordan that we do not pee pee or poo poo in our undies.  Maybe he was playing "pee pee" or "poo poo" (where he goes in and makes a sound like he is peeing but nothing comes out, takes some toilet paper, puts it into the toilet, and flushes).  I asked him if he was pee peeing and right as I did, I heard a tiny tinkle and then he said, "yeah, but I done" as he started to go for the toilet paper.  As I reached over to help him, I noticed some pretty big poop in the toilet!  How happy I was... not only had he PEED and POOPED, but he had gotten the initiative to go ALL ON HIS OWN.  I couldn't believe it.  I've never been so proud of my kid.  So I figured... if this is how poop feels like... I wonder what everything else feels like!  I'm hoping it's not the peak, but it sure felt good.

Of course, we're still having accidents - but the fact that I didn't have to clean up poop from the undies today makes it a great day.  I can't wait to see what it feels like when my kid accomplishes other milestones just as great and independent as peeing and pooping!

For the record, he has been potty training since Thursday, and has gotten 11 pee pee stickers and 2 poo poo stickers.  Way to go Jordan!  Keep it up because potty training while we travel is going to be quite interesting....

The scary thing is.. Andy and I got to talking and we discussed how you really just have to wait until the child is ready.  Our kid was clearly not ready the other 3 times because even after preparing and reading all the 3 day training guides and forums online, our child was simply not ready.  We aren't really doing anything differently, but he seems to get it now.

If that's the case... is that how the rest of child raising is going to be?  Will my child need some time to be ready to go to college and become financially independent and responsible?  How much can I prepare and help him and how much will it be just him deciding yes or no?  Kind of scary to think we are just a bit of an influence (we certainly kept talking to him about being a big boy and using the potty which is more than not talking about it at all right...?) - give 'em wings and let them fly... but fall they may and crash they might.  Yikes!  Parenthood is one scary feat and the learning curve sure is steep, but boy does it feel good to know they've accomplished something that you helped encourage.  


p.s. He decided to stop using that little potty (thank goodness!) and instead use the big boy potty with one of those lil seats that go on top - much easier to clean and the restroom has stopped smelling like a typical public mens' restroom (used a pretty solid combination of baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar to wipe down that bad boy), and when we're out without the seat, he likes to stand on the seat (though I've been afraid of his shoes falling in a couple of times).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Apparently I'm a Symbol...

Sometimes I wonder if my mom gave my name much thought - but she actually just named me after a fellow co-worker she admired.  I was doing some volunteer work for the Power of Moms website and came across this on their "About Us" page.  HA!

What is the significance of the daisy on the Power of Moms logo?

Is a daisy a very “powerful” symbol?  Well, we did have that whole “flower power” thing going on in the 60′s…
Daisies are tough flowers. They don’t wimp out easily and they out-last just about any other flower in the vase. They don’t attract the most attention out of all the flowers at the stand, but they are consistently beautiful, bright, and happy. The daisy (named in the 17th century by Carolis Linnaeus) represents purity and innocence. Moms are the bearers of and leaders of the pure and the innocent.
American colonists treated cuts and bruises with a daisy lotion, and American books from the late 30s still refer to the daisy’s medical power for hearts. Daisies are described as durable, adaptable, and as a symbol for excellence. Mothers, like daisies, heal cuts, bruises, and hearts. They are tough, adaptable, and committed to excellence in all areas of their lives.
We love daisies.

I knew I loved the Power of Moms for a reason.  In a weird narcissitic way, probably because of their logo...! 

They're having a Utah County retreat in Highland soon and I'm helping out - excited to be a part of this amazing website again.  I hope some people I know end up going!  Everyone who really wants to go is probably too busy.  I know it's hard to find time .. but it is worth it.  I come back wanting to be a better mother every time and always have lots more ideas for how to do it. If you're in the Utah area, you should join me by getting more info here

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Things We Do For Our Kids...

At the ripe age of 31, I have been snowboarding once and skiing once in my entire long existence on this here earth.  My first attempt at any snow sport was at the young naive age of 20 with snowboarding.  The attempt was mild, ineffective, and I was a quite sore in the arms from pushing myself up for the entire hour (at most) that I was there.  I never quite learned how to "carve" the snow to stop myself, but instead fell to a halt every time.  Following that experience, there was no desire to return and no apparent reason to go back.  Seven years later, I'd have another go at a snow sport, this time with skiing.  The boots hurt, I hated coming off of the lift, and don't recall much more, except that I looked like a man in my snow gear.  It was pretty uneventful.  So when my husband, who has been skiing since he was a kid, told me he'd like to take me skiing with our boys while we're here in Utah for the next 4-5 years, I thought ignoring him would result in no such action.

This last weekend... he got really gung-ho, and we went to a consignment sporting goods store where I somehow let him convince me to buy a pair of ski boots.  We learned about an awesome deal with Utah Ski & Golf for Jordan's ski gear rental (boots and skis) so headed there right after.  And after the boys' naps, we headed to the Park City outlets for some Presidents' Day weekend sales and got some more snow gear.  I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get pink or purple pants since my jacket is black and white, but the colored pants were so expensive, even at the consignment sale, so I'll continue to look like a man while I ski.

I was still nervous.  I didn't have an awful experience the first two times, but not ones that I wanted to repeat or redo and plus, who wants to learn to ski at the age of 31?  Some things can just be avoided forever right?  Plus, I honestly had no interest in the sport at all.  I'd much rather prefer to go shopping, sit on my bum and watch Parks and Recreation, or play with photoshop or the Internet.  You know, the more productive things in life that mean something.  I know.. I'm simply fascinating like that.  But what eventually changed my mind about going was how excited Jordan got when he got home.  He kept putting his ski boots on, asking to put on his skis, and walking around the house.  He even tried to undo his own ski boots, ripped quite a bit of skin on a finger, and even that couldn't stop him.  He was so anxious to get onto the snow.  We watched some Olympics with ski jumps and he immediately asked to put on his skis again.  He just could not wait.  At night when I asked him if we were going skiing the next day, he said "yeah, and Sophie and Violet too" - his dear cousins who are in Angola and had already gone skiing this Winter (Jordan saw videos but hadn't gotten the chance to go with them yet).  I'm unsure if part of his excitement was knowing he was going to get to do what he had seen his cousins do at long last.  But he was definitely stoked.

I wanted to be there to witness Jordan's first time skiing.  What a milestone right?!  Andy's aunt and uncle, Jan and Ike, both experienced skiers, came along with us, and devoted their time to helping me learn.  There were many times when I would have given up had my son not been there to witness it.  Lead by example right?  Get up when you fall down son!  Don't be embarrassed by how utterly stupid you look when you can't figure out the tow rope, get your glove caught on the rope and end up getting dragged for oh say ten feet until you finally rip the glove off and fall with one ski still on into the middle of the tow rope.  Don't care about how stupid you look when your uncle is yelling "LET GO!" and you're trying to yell back that you can't while trying to focus on removing the caught glove trying to hold back your mortified hilariousness of the whole situation (a grown woman being dragged on her back and butt up the hill) while realizing you may very well die or get very very injured.  Don't mind that there are kids born while I was in my 20's who are more advanced and waiting for me to slowly maneuver the tow rope up and kindly allowing me the time to do so.  Don't be defeated when you finally get onto the tow rope and have no idea how to come off, only to fall and take forever and a day to get up again.  Just don't.

Jan and Ike took turns helping me while we were up there.  They kept yelling at me to "pizza!" my skis to carve the snow to a stop, taught me how to get up when I fell on my bum, tried to teach me to properly position myself on the snow to avoid slipping down the hill unintentionally, and encouraged me to keep at it.  I fell the whole way down the hill twice.  A lot of trying to get up and feeling absurdly old and feeble and wet snow seep up my back.  But then I somehow figured out the whole "pizza" thing just mean pressing my thighs inward so hard that it resulted in intense pain and then I would somehow come to a halt.  And two more trips down the hill without any falls!  Success was mine!

Oh and I went really really fast.  So insanely fast.  Faster than the speed of light.  Zooming down the hill.  Or so I thought.  I saw some videos afterwards... I was like a snail.  Creeping down the hill.  Barely moving at times.  HAHAHAHA.  Oh but how fast it felt though!

But I did it.  And I'll probably be back again.  When in Rome right?

I don't think I would have ever gone again had it not been for my kids.  The things we do for them.

Jordan?  He did AWESOME!  He absolutely loved it.  Kept asking to "do it again" and can't wait to go back.  He seemed to figure out his own balance, wasn't afraid of falling, and really got the hang of his pizza and plane arms.  He exceeded our expectations and was absolutely fearless.












A Moment of Spiritual Learning

Sometimes I have to work on Sundays.  It's normally because I have a deadline and my dumb self couldn't figure it out before then.  Every year, there are two large moments when I inevitably will hit a deadline that means me working on Sunday.  Quarterly, it's usually when financials are due, but annually, it's when our tax information is due.

A few Sundays ago.. I was feeling quite dreadful, knowing that there was so much to data input and then analyze, and that I'd have to figure out how to reconcile it without too big of a difference.  On Saturday night... late.. I had about a 60K difference, a small number from my days of auditing big companies where materiality was more, but a large number for me now.  I was dumbfounded.  Frustrated.  Defeated.  Sad.  Depressed.  And sick to top it off!

On Sunday morning... still coming off a rough cough and illness, I suggested to my husband that since I wasn't teaching that weekend, and since Jordan was still getting over a cold himself, that maybe we should stay home and rest.  Deep down, I had plans of reconciling the bum out of that spreadsheet....  I had some hesitation.  But really, I just kept thinking how great it would be to sit down and figure out the spreadsheet with three hours of church time.

I was lounging around in the morning with Jordan when he asked me where Daddy was.  I said, "Daddy is showering so he can go to Church."  Jordan then declared, "I want to go to Church too!"  That sort of kicked me in the butt a little.  I realized.... I was sick, but I had been sick, and had been doing a lot of things while sick.  If anything, I should go to Church, avoid working and renew myself spiritually, and hopefully the Lord would help me out with my huge reconciling difference.  I also realized that Jordan was his messenger for me that morning, reminding me that there really wasn't a good reason NOT to go to Church.  So I put the stress of a spreadsheet I still hadn't figured out aside, got my boys dressed, got dressed myself, and surprised Andy who thought we were staying home to recuperate.

Church was good.  Nothing life changing, but good nevertheless.  But what happened after really shocked me and continues to be yet another reason I know coincidences are just part of the Lord's way of showing us He's there and aware of us.  I got home.. we ate lunch... the boys went to sleep (all three of them) and then I sat down with the dreadful spreadsheet again.  For some reason, I had an inkling that the error was in the gross wages... so I started investigating that area.  I did some ticking and tying and the next thing I knew... I had my difference from 60K down to less than 1k.  It was indeed a miracle.  I was still sick.. but Jordan didn't have a fever anymore that day and both of us were on the road to recovery.

Sometimes... I think it's easy to be tempted to stay home... to do it on your own even if it means trying over and over again.  But other times... if we realize the Lord can help us more than we can ourselves... we save a lot of time and energy.  I truly believe the Lord consecrates our efforts... helps us where we can't.  I'm not saying don't try and just rely completely on the Lord to do everything, but that if we put in a bit of effort the Lord will make up for where we lack.  I do believe in that and humble testify to it happening in my life a few Sundays ago when staying home to work felt more appealing than going to Church.

But the real reason I am blogging at 12 AM is because we just came home from cleaning the Temple.  Now let me tell you something... cleaning the Temple at 10 PM on a weeknight?  I was not in good graces when my husband told me he had signed us up.  In fact, I was a bit irate.  Really?  Doesn't he know I work at night when everyone's asleep?  Plus, I had to make some changes to the very spreadsheet mentioned above and send it to my bossman tonight.  So that just meant I'd go to the Temple with Andy, come home and then work.  So off I went.  Very begrudgingly.  I vacuumed for a long time.  On a really clean carpet and squealed with joy every time I saw a piece of lint get sucked up.  I sweated.  I got bored.  I wondered if we were done yet.  My eyes got misty with fatigue and boredom but I kept at it.  And then we left to go home.  I started working on my spreadsheet almost immediately when we got home... and within 10 minutes, it was done.  WOW.

Pretty dang awesome if you ask me.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Our Sunday Best

Even though I'm already dreaming about ways to dress my future daughters and their bedrooms, Sundays have become a fun opportunity for me to dress up my boys.  As for the weekdays, Jordan isn't a huge fan of dressing up and prefers work out pants most since they give him ample room to run as fast as he can (without them falling since he's so skinny).  So I've slowly moved away from collared shirts and nice sweaters and have instead opted for long crew neck shirts and comfy pants.  He prefers PJs most, but of course - we can only get away with wearing those for so long... after having my 2 year old ask me where we were going and why we were getting dressed, I decided it was okay for me to lounge all day in comfy pants, but that I should make it a habit to dress my kids even if we are just staying home to avoid a long discussion and rebellion.  

So now Sunday bests are a fun chance for a photo-opp!