Annoying My Daughter

Sometimes I feel like I have a 2 year old going on 14.  The amount of attitude she throws around and sulking she does at this age is astounding.  And hilarious.  While AM’s button pushing, stubbornness and overall ‘tude can make me mad at times, she mostly just makes me laugh.  J started to do things to push her buttons and we realized that it often results in her saying hilarious things.

Response to me incessantly trying to tie her hair in a ponytail

AM: I no wear pony hair!

I even, unsuccessfully, tried to make her jealous by putting EM’s hair in a ponytail.  It didn’t work but EM sure did look adorable.
Response to us when we say, “Say [insert stupid thing here like ‘razzle dazzle’]

AM:  I can’t say that!

Response to J when he tells her we’ll be somewhere “sha-shoon”.

AM:  No! No! Shashoooooooon!

Response when she’s practically sitting on top of EM and EM accidentally hits or kicks her

AM:  HEY!  No kick-a me!

AM has also reached that “why” phase but instead of asking “why” she asks, “What is this?”  Or just points to something and says, “a this?”

She’s also being singing a lot lately.  I was impressed with how much of the alphabet she knew…

As for potty training – I’m afraid to jinx it but so far so good.  She’s only had a few accidents and they were in the first 3 days.  She’s been dry overnight every night since Monday.  She’s gone #1 and #2 on the toilet.  I am shocked…

Overwhelmingly Overwhelmed

Do you ever feel like you have an endless list of “to-do”s and no matter what you accomplish, more keeps getting added to your list? I am tired all of the time and I think a part of that has to do with the feeling that there is SO MUCH TO DO (& I have an infant that still wakes up 1-2 times a night).

I had these grand plans of being super productive while I was on maternity leave. I was going to organize the house, finish EM’s room, finish our room, and even start a vegetable garden (as a project for my mom to help her with her Alzheimer’s). But what happened was that there was so much to tackle that I barely made any progress. And when I did want to start, I’d feel guilty about not spending all of my free time bonding with EM.

The house is a wreck. The garage is packed with junk (half of which needs to be donated or trashed) and desperately needs to be organized. I get stressed every time I’m in there.

The basement is just as bad. We had half of it redone with new drywall and carpeting so it looks great but nothing is set up or organized. It is another space that completely stresses me out.

I look around the house and just see endless unfinished projects. I see stuff waiting for a proper placement laying around in the dining room, back porch, living room, etc. it makes me crazy.

Now that I’m back at work, we only have the weekends to do stuff but with a very active toddler and an infant that is still nursing, we can’t really dedicate the time to stuff.

I constantly feel overwhelmed. Logically I know we should focus on a room at a time but seeing everything there is to do just leaves me feeling defeated and exhausted. And since J does not share my stress about it, it is hard to get motivation.

So tell me, how do you manage it all? I believe that if we get the house in order I’ll feel less stress. And less stress may lead to me feeling less exhausted.

It would make sense that I would post pictures of the chaos but I didn’t get around to it. So here are pics of my kids…

EM is super drooly lately. When she’s not sucking on her pacifier, she is sucking on her hand. I’m taking this as a sign that a tooth may be coming but nothing yet. She had her 4 month appointment and came in at the 80th percentile for weight, 83rd percentile for height and 90th percentile for her head. She’s a big girl. She isn’t rolling or laughing yet but she definitely flinches whenever AM gets in her face.

Finger Painting
For Mother’s Day, J purchased finger paints and some thick paper for the girls to do handprints. (not surprisingly, we haven’t finished this yet… Another thing to add to the list). AM has never played with finger paints so was having fun. She wouldn’t, however, play with other colors after using this blue. It took awhile to show her it was okay.

We are going to attempt potty training AM is weekend using the 3 day no diaper method. She’s been consistently going after work and likes to wear her underwear. I didn’t want to keep dragging this half potty training thing out so I made the call to take advantage of our 3 day weekend and go for it. Of course this was a last minute decision and we’ve done no prep work (e.g. Stickers, charts, prizes, whatever else parents are recommending). Fingers crossed this works!

Can’t Catch a Break

We’ve been living with my mom for 5 months now.  While I feel like we’ve worked through a lot of the kinks (like the time she threatened to burn down the house because she didn’t like that I wasn’t letting her blow her little bit of income at the slot machines), I still would like a break from my mom.  The trouble is that we have no other family in the area.  And being my mom’s only child, I can’t really pawn her off onto a sibling (my half-brother wants nothing to do with her).

My mom doesn’t have any real hobbies outside of slot machines and smoking.  She doesn’t have many friends in the area that don’t just go to the slots (& I’m really discouraging her from going right now as we try to straighten her finances).  She doesn’t belong to a church.  She won’t join any Korean senior citizen groups.

She’s been in a bit of a depression these last few years and stopped speaking with her family.  I have no idea what happened but she just started refusing and ignoring phone calls.  Since I moved in, I stopped letting her ignore her sisters.  I didn’t think it was healthy.

Recently, I managed to convince her to visit her sisters in Alaska.  My mom put up a fight claiming that she hated flying.  I think the real reason was that she was afraid to travel alone.  Regardless, I convinced her to go saying that this would probably be the only time she would see her sisters.  My uncle bought the ticket and my mom would be going for 2 weeks at the end of this month.  I was throwing a party in my head and preparing for how nice it would be for us to have a break from each other.  (side note – when I mentioned that my uncle had purchased the ticket, my mom was confused.  She had completely forgotten that she had spoken to her sister and agreed to go.)

On Saturday I got a call from my cousin.  My imo was near death.  Her heart had stopped and she was in the hospital.  On Sunday, my uncle called to say that she wasn’t going to be waking up and that they would be ceasing life support.

And all I could think is, “are you serious, universe?!”

We were so close to getting them together and then this happened.  I am beyond heartbroken.  My imo was an adorable and sweet woman.  And, as expected, my mom does not want to go to Alaska anymore (despite being able to visit with her other sister and nieces).  I can’t say that I blame her.  She’s still mourning the loss of my dad.  I don’t think she wants to be around death and sadness anymore.

My mom, being very deep, said to me, “What can I say?  Everyone’s dying.”  I’m thinking about turning that into a nice sympathy card.  She continued, “Someone dies every year.  First your grandma.  Then grandpa.  Then your dad.  Now my sister.  Maybe I’m next.”  I didn’t feel like correcting her about my grandparents’ deaths – my grandma died in 2004 and my grandpa died 7 years later.  We had a good 7 years of relatives all living.  But I’ve learned that my mom really has a hard time remembering dates of specific events.  A few months ago we actually argued over when my dad died.  She insisted he died in April (he died in June).

Will my mom remember that she was going to go to Alaska?  Will she remember why she ended up not going?  Is she just pretending so as to not talk about it or deal with it?  Who knows.  I told J to shoot me when I reach the point in life where I can’t remember these types of things.

15 Weeks – A Comparison

Since AM and EM will probably spend their entire lives being compared to each other, I thought it would be fun to take a quick look to see how their differ in appearance in their weekly photos.

I did a weekly photo with AM throughout her first year.  This isn’t a new idea and I can’t remember where I saw the comparison with a stuffed animal (so that we could clearly see her growth).  We had intended to keep this going and do monthly photos instead but totally dropped the ball.  Whoops.

Since I still worry about EM feeling like she’s constantly getting the shaft, I’m trying to keep up this weekly photo tradition with her.

So let’s take a quick look:

week 15 compare

Here are the differences I see:

  • EM is much paler than AM.  (we’ve deemed her the “white baby” – a very un-PC and probably not a “parent of the year” thing to say)
  • EM has much more hair than AM.  AM went bald around this time but EM’s hair has stayed in tact.
  • AM looks like she was a bit bigger than EM at this point.  AM was a champion eater that rarely spit up.  EM is a spitter-upper.  (Granted – AM is stretched out in the photo whereas EM has her legs bent…)
  • AM has dark brown eyes (you can’t really tell in the photo) whereas AM has much lighter eyes (dark blue/gray).  I know EM’s eyes can still change though.

Similarities I see:

  • Their faces are shaped the same
  • They have the same nose
  • They’re both stinkin’ adorable (not that I’m biased.  I’m pretty sure this is scientific fact.)

See any other similarities or differences?

100 Days Old

The second kid always gets the shaft. I think this is especially true if the second kid is the same sex as their older sibling and if they’re born somewhat close together. We didn’t really buy anything new because it wasn’t necessary. We had all the clothes, toys, blankets, etc. We did buy a crib and dresser but didn’t get around to setting up the nursery until a few days before EM was born. Even so – her room still lacks artwork and other decorative things that I recall spending an insane amount of time obsessing over with AM.

So where am I going with this? As part of Korean tradition, we celebrated EM turning 100 days old. This is known as “baek-il“:

Another birthday celebration is Baek-il (100th-day celebration). During this celebration, the family worships Samshin. They make her offerings of rice and soup for having cared for the infant and the mother, and for having helped them live through a difficult period. They give thanks to Samshin and also pray for jae-ak (wealth), longevity, and cho-bok (traditional word for “luck”). After the prayer the family, relatives and friends celebrate with rice cakes, wine, and other delicacies such as red and black bean cakes sweetened with sugar or honey. In order to protect the child, red bean rice cakes are placed at the four compass points of the house. This not only brought protection, but was also believed to bring good fortune and happiness. It is widely believed that if 100 people share the rice cakes the child will live a long life, so the family would also send rice cakes to neighbors and others. Those who receive rice cakes return the dishes with lengths of thread (expressing the hope for longevity), rice and money (symbolizing future wealth).

For AM, my mom rented a banquet hall and had me invite a lot of people. It was an awkward event since we didn’t know what it entailed but there was lots of food and traditional decor.

This time around, we had a very small and last minute celebration at the house. My mom got a quote for how much it would be to host the party at a Korean restaurant and I nearly choked when she told me. So… The second kid got the shaft. We ordered pizza and had minimal Korean food. We had the rice cake as that was the most important aspect of the celebration. My non-Korean friends and family were kind enough to choke it down as it is an acquired taste.

100 Days

AM had fun playing with her cousins (ages 2 and 5) and her friend Reid (age 2).

J deemed this Ikea tent the thunder dome since it was a madhouse of toddlers wrestling inside.

It was interesting to see AM actually interact with her older cousin instead of just screaming, “mine!”. She wanted to show him her room and actually talked about her stuff, “this my books… This my bed… This my tent…”

I really struggle sometimes with spending quality time with EM and making sure she’s engaged and whatnot because AM just requires so much attention right now. Tummy time? Pfffft. Making sure she isn’t exposed to TV? Ha! Her sister is obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba. I hope I haven’t ruined this poor kid already.

Body After (2nd) Baby

After AM was born, I was one of those annoying moms that snapped back into shape quickly. Not only did I get to my prepregnancy weight, I actually ended up losing even more weight. I was down to my lowest weight that I could ever remember and this all happened well before I returned to work. I was amazed. I wasn’t exactly eating healthy most of the time. I was also eating around the clock. While I was exercising (running + P90x), I wasn’t killing myself to get fit. I chocked it all up to breastfeeding and staying active throughout my pregnancy (I was running at least 30 minutes up until 2 weeks before I gave birth).

I, naturally, thought the same would happen to me the second time around. And I, naturally, was completely wrong.

A few things were different the 2nd time around:

  1. I wasn’t as active during the pregnancy. This pregnancy just felt so much harder. I was getting winded quickly and everything ached. My last run (and it was a run/walk combo) was around the 30 week mark and I spent the rest of the day feeling crampy and like the baby was going to fall out. I kept up light cardio twice a week (walking on a treadmill or an elliptical) but that was it.
  2. I gained more weight. I think this had a lot to do with not being as active but I gained 5 more pounds with this pregnancy.
  3. EM wasn’t a great nurser. I remember AM being a superstar eater. EM struggled a lot. She choked, she spit up, she didn’t want to nurse (or when she did, it wasn’t for long).
  4. I wasn’t as crazy with pumping. With AM, I started pumping at 2 weeks post partum. So I was nursing and pumping ALL THE FRICKIN’ TIME. I didn’t start pumping this time around until a month before I had to return to work.
  5. I’m older. Is being in my 30s (as opposed to having just turned 30) impacting my metabolism that much?
  6. I recovered much faster from the delivery. J thinks this may have skewed my perception of my body since I was expecting to snap back into shape faster. Who knows.

I am now at nearly 4 months part partum and am just getting back to my prepregnancy weight. And I’ve been busting my ass to get here.

I started doing Insanity in February. I took a 2 week hiatus when we were getting some work done to the house but am back into it (and I’m now into the 2nd half of “max” workouts and am hurting all over). I was also going to a local gym Monday-Friday and taking group fitness classes in February and March. So I was working out twice a day for awhile.

And lest you think I’ve been abandoning my kids, most of my workouts while I was on maternity leave were done during nap time or at night (after AM was in bed). Now that I’m back to work, I use my lunch break to workout. It sucks but it is better than doing intense interval training after 8pm.

I’m also eating more consciously (meaning I’m not eating junk food the majority of the time). I’m trying to adhere to the Insanity diet as much as possible but still eat treats every day (just not a ton).

When people would compliment me after having AM (“you look great!”, “you’re so thin!”), I felt really awkward about it. But now if someone pays me a compliment? I am damn sure to say “thank you” and “I’ve worked really hard to get here” because damnit, I HAVE worked really hard to get here.

I should probably end this post with a picture of me sometime in February next to a picture of me now but I really don’t have any. Instead I’ll post pictures of the kids.

She’s still a little young for this but sometimes it is safer for her to be in this than on the floor on a playmat (because it creates a barrier between her and a very excitable AM):

This is AM saying “Hi” and “Bye” to a pig statue in our neighborhood. It is one of my favorite things she does right now.

Mom Fashion (can I still pull this off?)

I returned to work 2 weeks ago and that meant that I couldn’t wear leggings and tunics all day anymore. Luckily, after busting my ass working out (that is an entirely different post), I can fit into most of my non-maternity work clothes again.

I haven’t worn a lot of my stuff in over a year so I couldn’t remember how I looked in some of them. I wore 2 dresses this week that I distinctly remember looking nicer. Since I can’t actually get completely dressed until we about to walk out the door (thanks to someone being a spitter upper), I don’t get a good chance to evaluate my outfit before leaving the house.

I threw on this dress on Thursday with the distinct memory of looking sassy in it. I spent all day Thursday feeling off in it.


Am I too old for this (I’m 32)? Is it not appropriate for a mom of 2 kids? and what is off? The length? The tights? The oxfords? The color? Am I crazy? J said he thought I looked good and he usually tells me when something isn’t right.

I wore this dress today and felt better but also wonder if a 32 year old mom of 2 can’t pull this off anymore.


I’m in this weird stage where I want to look stylish but am still adjusting to this mom of 2 thing. Something about having 2 kids just makes me feel so different about myself. I’m also still not 100% happy with my body. Oh and I’m too cheap to buy new clothes (actually, having 2 kids is expensive!)