On to 2019…

Where do I begin… It has been nothing short of a hot mess since I last wrote anything.

The boys have been nothing but great. Cameron is growing and eating like a champ. He rolled over, is able to soothe himself to sleep with very minimal moaning/crying. Jacob is becoming a better bigger brother and seems like a little man!

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Jacob’s first professional school photos- Who is this child? My heart explodes looking at this picture every time.

After a week of trial and after my first day back of work, our new nanny quit for reasons that did not make any sense. What followed was a bit on the terrifying side- she came to the house the next day (uninvited) with her spouse, demanding money and refused to give our house keys and preschool FOB. There were a few other details to the story that still give me some anxiety so I will leave that out. But Mamas, trust your gut. During the interview process, there was something that didn’t quite feel right. But I said, maybe I’m being overly sensitive and think that no one will be good enough. And even if someone says they have a clean driving record and no crimes, do your homework and get a background check. Looking back, it all made sense.

Thankfully our first nanny was able to squeeze in a few days to help us out. We paid a pretty hefty price but we were desperate and she was doing us a big favor. We were happy we had someone whom we could trust.

We took our first trip as a family of 4 to Montana to visit Jeff’s brother’s family for Christmas. It is a whole new world of packing, sherpa-ing, coordinating as much stuff as possible with our arrival crew so we could minimize packing. Staying at a house vs hotel makes life SO much easier. It was a white, cold Christmas but so much fun sledding, trying ice skates for the first time and sitting by the fire admiring the beautiful tree and snow.

We got back and it was back to business. We had to interview a few nannies and also decided to potty train Jacob the next few days… Potty training is one of the hardest thi

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There was a lot of resistance the first day and I thought we were going to have to abort.

ngs of parenthood. No joke. There is a required level of vigilance to reading when your child is ready to pee. Day 1 also required a lot of Dreft laundry stain remover, mini M&Ms, lots of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (Thanks, Costco!) and tears (from Jacob and me both). By Day 3, his peeing was 100% and poops were about 85%. At least he’s not holding his poop, right? And after day 7, he only needs/wants the big potty!

 

We were about to hire a new nanny when our old nanny asked if she could stay on longer with us.  There were too many unknowns one of which was that her daughter is due with her first grandson in May. And as much as we could try to plan to give her time off, as we all know, the baby comes when the baby wants to come! So after much number crunching (she was asking for a lot more money) and emotional turmoil and guilt, we had to say it wouldn’t work for both parties.  It made me sad but I know it was the right thing to do for our family.

img_8622For Jeff’s birthday trip, we went to Mammoth this past week. It went so much more smoothly than I anticipated- with potty training, we did some fluid restriction and only needed a few stops sans accidents. Cameron slept the whole time, ate during a few stops, and we made it in excellent time (8:30am-3:45pm). The way home was a little different- there was a huge snowstorm when we left at 9:30am or so. It was a slow drive for a few hours until we got to Bishop. I’m glad Jeff drove! Cameron slept again and Jacob finally napped- when he woke up he had to go to the bathroom and by the time we got to a bathroom, it was too late. Poor guy was so distraught as were we for him. L We’ve been having some regression this last week. We’ll have to decide if we want to proceed with Pull-ups or something for nighttime. Apparently, it’s very common for boys to need Pull-ups for several years. We shall see…

When I was growing up, my parents used to tell me to not go out in the cold with wet hair. We lived in Chicago and it got cold in Chicago! There was/is no scientific evidence to support this theory; however, any time I go out in the cold with wet hair, I get sick! And this last time was no different! I never shower in the morning but felt the need to feel clean on the long drive home. The next day, I start with my usual prodrome of sore throat, then that night I had fever, chills, myalgias, felt cold, it hurt to swallow, it was a hot mess. Advil, Tylenol and Mucinex have been my best friend these few days. Literally and figuratively, a hot mess, I am!

And for the icing on the cake, I was bending over yesterday and sneezed strong enough to cause sharp back pain… This pain felt all too familiar to me as in September 2016 (7 months postpartum with Jacob), I bent down to pick up Jacob and felt this excruciating pain in the middle of my spine and ended up having a herniated disc. I improved with rest in a week but tweaked it again after a sneeze and this time the recovery and pain was much worse- I couldn’t walk, couldn’t work, lift Jacob – it was humbling, debilitating and I haven’t recovered since. It doesn’t help that I have a cough so every time I cough, it felt like my spine was going to rip out of my rear end.

Pregnancy also brought back some back pain- unfortunately that is expected with pregnancy but with my previous history, it didn’t help… So, I am afraid of going down this path again. So after some more reflection, I have decided to wean myself from nursing/pumping so my body can eliminate the hormones (relaxin) that makes everything so loose-y goose-y. I will miss the joy that Cameron gives me as he looks for me as he nurses, how he strokes my breast as he’s eating, smiles at me as he is full and content… Sigh, I have some stash stored and I will ration that out as long as I can.. and I have to wean my pumping so I don’t get a clogged duct or mastitis.

I need to get my body healed so I can keep up with the boys and get my back recovered ASAP. Wish me luck, it makes me sad… I remember being sad when I had to stop nursing Jacob but that was more on my end/guilt. Jacob did great! Hopefully Cameron will too. Formula is expensive but so is my being debilitated and inability to work!

That is the ‘short’ synopsis of what’s been going on in our lives. Time sure does seem to fly… A lot faster than with #1. I will try to be better about keeping up with the blog. I hope everyone is having a great new year! Happy 2019!!

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Does anyone have any potty training advice? Or how to slow time?

Back to our old new place

Tonight is our last night in our ‘new’ place.  Our old place will have new paint, carpet, shower and no more water damage in the walls of the kitchen and master shower.   Despite all the buildup and chaos leading up to the move back, I’m feeling kind of sad to have to leave our current home.

What will I miss about our current place?

I’ll miss living in the village where we can walk to restaurants, cafes, the gelato store, my favorite boba café, an awesome breakfast café and bakery… Ill also miss the new appliances- the quiet dishwasher, fast washer and dryer (that’s also on the same level as our living area), and all the space (we’re moving from a 4-bedroom to a 2-bedroom).

You may be wondering why don’t you just stay there then? Well, to start, our old place is right by the ocean! The view just cannot be beat. Secondly, the rent for this place is almost twice of what we currently pay.

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We’ll finally be able to settle into what was supposed to be our ‘new’ life of four. But I can’t help but feel somewhat attached to this home that we made for ourselves these last three months. The people who helped us find this place and make this our home will always have a special place in our heart. This was the home we brought our brand new, 1-day-old son.  This was where our parents met this cutie pie for the first time.  And I’ll always remember how Jacob pranced and skipped around this place these last several months.

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Some balance skills
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A man and his hog
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Always has to offroad on our way home
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I love BOBA! He knows the bank is where to get the good lollipops!

 

Thanksgiving is next week, I can’t believe how quickly time has passed. Then our new nanny starts the following week and then I’m back to work the week after that. I am not looking forward to being away from these kiddos. I jokingly say I’ll be okay leaving Jacob since he is a whole lot of toddler these days. I look at him and am nostalgic for his baby days. I can see why people have babies after their little ones grow up.

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Jacob through the years
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Jacob vs. Cameron

It’ll be another adjustment. We’ll take it day by day and see how things go. Stay tuned…

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Jacob – Aug vs. Nov
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Cameron – Aug vs. Nov

 

Terrible Twos going on to Three-nager

My goal to keep up with weekly blogs has not been fulfilled since Cameron was born. It seems like ages since he was born and it’s been only 2 months. We’ve only been just the 4 of us for two weeks now. My parents, Jeff’s parents and friends have come to stay with us.   Both sets of parents were incredibly helpful with entertaining and giving attention to Jacob, meal prep and clean up, and household chores (laundry, garbage, cleaning) that we didn’t have enough hands/hours to do.

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Happy 2 months birthday, Cameron!

Now we’ve been on our own for almost 2 weeks and the house is a hot mess. That may be our new norm. Dishes are done at the end of the day, meals are whatever is fastest and easiest, laundry piles up until we need burp cloths and blankets. Thankfully, Jacob is entertained MWF morning at schools. I’m trying to find things for him to do the other days.

Jacob is on his way to becoming a three-nager. He had a few serious tantrums/meltdowns and acts of defiance this past year (Mammoth Village when he wanted me to buy a carton of coconut water when I had already bought/he drank from a bottle is the one that sticks out in my mind). Most recently, he decided to spill all the Goldfish onto the couch cushion and when I asked him to put them back into their bag, he proceeded to crush the Goldfish, scatter them everywhere and laughed as he ran away from me.

Because I was nursing Cameron, I was helpless to do anything other than talk in a stern voice and try to give him my stink eye. Neither worked and I was increasingly becoming impatient. I put Cameron down, brought him to the couch and tried to get him to pick the Goldfish up. He protested, cried, screamed and I raised my voice. Nothing was working nor did I think to consult my brain for the notes I had written from How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen

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Jacob likes to stay close

were far from my mind.

While this is going on, my mind and emotions are all over the place. I’m frustrated that Jacob is not listening, I’m annoyed that there is a big mess of Goldfish, I’m wondering how I’m going to teach Jacob to respect food and take responsibility for making a mess, I’m fast forwarding to his three-nage years and wondering how I’m going to handle more frequent/worse tantrums, and I’m mad at myself and feel guilty that I’m upset and raising my voice at him.

There is life-long reflection and learning to parenting. Will there ever be a day where I don’t feel guilty or lacking in some kind? I’m not sure. I would like to be a gentle, patient parent who focuses on the positive and is able to redirect with humor or distraction. That doesn’t happen easily especially in the heat of the moment. Next time, I must be mindful of these emotions and try harder to be calm and positive.

Later on when both parties were calmer, I had a conversation with Jacob to try to relay to him the importance of respecting food (e.g., Goldfish is food for eating) and cleaning up if we making a mess. He seemed to understand and we haven’t had any further Goldfish incidents since then.

Jacob is being himself: a toddler- learning so much and quickly, wanting to have fun outside and doing everything he wants to do (eat candy, watch TV). I mean, who doesn’t want to do all those things all day long?

I need a refresher course on how to talk to toddlers so they will listen. I have a few other books in my library that I haven’t read yet – No Drama Discipline and The Whole Brain Child.  I’ll add reading and praying to my daily To Do list.

Stay tuned for future blogs about preparing to return to work, picking a nanny and dealing with diaper rash.  Cameron is 2 months old now and is eating and growing like a champ.   Until then, I hope everyone has a fun and cute Halloween! This weekend’s task is to get Jacob a costume! He refuses everything!

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Cameron at 1 month vs 2 months (I got confused as to who was who!)
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Jacob at 2 months vs Cameron at 2 months. Cameron barely fits in this layout!
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Pumpkin carving 2017 vs 2018
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Cameron is happy it’s Friday!!!

What funny stories or advice do you have about the terrible twos and threenager tantrums?

 

One month later… List of Things to do

I survived the first 30 days of the newborn period. Cameron is about 5 weeks old and we’ve had both sets of grandparents here for over a week each. It’s been a little bit of an adjustment which is one of the reasons I haven’t been able to write.

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Look how little he is!!

And this morning, as I dropped off Jacob at preschool and went for a short walk, I said I was going to catch up on my blog. As I write, it’s 11:21 and I have to leave in 20 minutes to go pick him up. Where does the time go? Well, the first hour was spent going on a leisurely stroll through town. Then the next 30-45 minutes of the 3 hours I have was spent nursing Cameron and then talking on the phone with Anthem Blue Cross.

I have been trying to get reimbursed from Anthem for the Willow breast pump since its original purchase date of 7/12/18. It’s not 10/1/18 and I have been submitting claims and appeals since then via email and snail mail as well. Insurance… it has its good and bad days, doesn’t it? The Willow breast pump is a new electric breast pump that enables a mom to pump wire-free. It tucks right into your bra and collects the milk into a bag within the system. It sounds great, doesn’t it? In theory, yes. I haven’t been able to exactly get the hang of it yet so so far it’s been a pain (literally and figuratively) on my lactating breasts and trying to get some reimbursement from insurance.

My in-laws left this Monday morning after a 1.5 week stay with us. I love them- they’re super nice and great with Jacob. They try to help however they can with meal preparation and/or clean up, changing diapers, household things like laundry, etc. They’re inherently kind and generous people and very low-maintenance. They did, for the first time ever, make me appreciate my parents and my upbringing. For instance, my parents are not very chatty people. My in-laws are very chatty and like to ask a lot of questions because they’re naturally curious.

There are some things that all grandparents/family seem to have in common. When the baby is crying, grandparents like to sing the baby’s name repeatedly and increasing in volume in hopes that the baby will stop crying. Sometimes they’ll even clap and make funny noises at the baby. They also like to come very close to you when you are holding the baby. It’s kind of surprising when you realize that someone has sidled up to you. I thought it was just my parents who did that. Nope, it seems to be a common theme (though my n=2 sample size may be small).

Our new routine.. is not yet having a routine. With our 4-bedroom temporary housing situation, we have the space for the in-laws to stay with us. Which saves us a ton of money since we usually foot the hotel bill. It does mean that I get the master bedroom and Jeff sleeps in an air mattress in the 4th bedroom downstairs. Cameron is adjusting to sleeping in the bassinet at night.

Health-wise, he is growing like a champ. Thanks to his tongue-clipping he is eating like a champ and so efficiently (<10 minutes per side). Our current concern is his jaundice. Before our hospital departure, his jaundice levels were normal. Then with the incoming of breastmilk, he developed some jaundice and we noticed the whites of his eyes were slightly yellow and the pediatrician noticed some jaundice on his torso. Other than the whites of his eyes, Jeff and I didn’t notice the jaundice since we figured, he’s half-Korean.

The recommended treatment for this current level was 24 hours of formula and await symptom improvement for a week. During that 24 hours, I was to pump milk. If this was the first baby, I would’ve felt like a total failure in giving the baby formula. With Baby #2, I did not feel as guilty- not totally guilt-free but felt less bad because this was a medical treatment. And I also thought, great! I can try out this Willow pump and start a little bit of storage! Double bonus!

I have to admit, *Cameron could go 4-5 hours without needing to be fed and he was sleeping like a champ! I was pumping every 3-4 hours with my old Medela Pump in Style Advanced. This would’ve been a great time to practice with the Willow pump but that’s a story for a different day.

That night, Cameron ate 3-4 oz. at 8:30pm and went to bed. I went to bed after preparing my pump parts and a few bottles of formula. The next thing I know, it’s 2:30 am, my breasts are huge and feel like rocks but Cameron is still fast asleep without a peep. Usually he’s grunting and trying to kick out of his swaddle! I pumped and got ~3 oz/breast which made me super happy! (On average, you produce about 1 oz/hour and I never became nor would I want to be a superproducer.)   Other than trying to find some quiet time to pump (in-laws were with us) with Jacob running around in circles so I had to lock the bedroom door, the next annoying thing was cleaning the bottles and pump parts.

Twenty four hours went by quickly and thankfully we were back to breastfeeding.   I’ve never been so happy to breastfeed again! Pumping is a pain! My nipples felt like 5 layers of skin had been ripped off and they HURT!   I thought my nipples were used to pumping after my time from Jacob. That doesn’t seem to be the case. How am I going to keep up with pumping when I’m back at work? Hmm…

Now we have to wait a week and see if his jaundice/scleral icterus improves.

My in-laws left, we had a few days of me being sola with the kids and now my parents are here. Jeff is going on a diving trip to Mexico for a few days so it’d be nice to have some help and also for my parents to spend more time with the grandkids.

Jacob has been loving the attention from the grandparents. He’s been getting better with the school dropoff transition. He is such a fun and happy toddler. He has a fierce independence and spirit. I love looking at his baby pictures and comparing his and Cameron’s age. Poor guy, it’s hard to do everything he wants to do. First it was when I was pregnant and I couldn’t walk/carry/do much with him. Now, it’s hard to do stuff because of having to feed Cameron. As Cameron gets older and his eating spaces out, we’ll be able to do more things.

Stay tuned for more tales from the life of a hotmess mom of 2.

What fun grandparent stories do you have? Any advice for how to manage 2 boys?

 

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Jacob loves my brest friend as well
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Treats to celebrate TGIF and surviving another week of school
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How to put 2 kids on your lap while one sleeps and the other needs a flu shot. Jacob didn’t cry at all! (& neither did I)

*I finished this blog on 2.5 days on Thursday night.

 

A Week in the Life…

… as a Family of 4. Cameron is now 11 days old but it feels like a month has gone by. Being awake more hours of the day than asleep- ahhhh, I had forgotten what that feels like.

The timing of it all-

8:30am: Arrive for check in, get paperwork, labs drawn, IV started

10am: Pitocin started, 4-5cm, contracting every 2 minutes, no pain

10-1300: hang out, get some CMEs, send some texts

1300: epidural placed (high likelihood that labor would progress quickly after this)

1309: break bag of water (LOTS of water)

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Day of Life 1

1400: feel rectal pressure, getting ready to push

1509: Baby is born!!

Cameron’s first week of life was a whirlwind. He was born at 15:09 on Friday, August 24, after an hour of going from 4-5cm to being complete and an hour of pushing. When he was born, the OB turned the baby upside down so we could see the undercarriage and see if the baby was a boy or a girl. I was expecting to see girl parts and was shellshocked to see boy parts!

Cameron’s head seemed to not want to come out so my OB said if she made a little episiotomy, his head would pop right out! I was almost going to agree but asked for one more push. And WABAM! His head popped right out! It’s like when you’re a resident doing a difficult spinal placement or a-line and you ask for help from an attending, and then you succeed on your own!  He was 8 lbs, 7 oz, although he looked so teeny to Jeff and me, maybe 7 oz. But no, he was a good normal size.

We were discharged home Saturday around 1600, after all of Cameron’s testing was done (newborn screening, jaundice check). Monday was another pediatrician visit where he was 7 lbs, 11 oz and needed to get some formula supplementation until my milk came in. With Jacob, my milk came in on Day of Life 3. People say your milk comes in faster/earlier with #2 but that wasn’t the case with me. I felt defeated and anxious wondering if my milk would ever come in? What if giving him formula would cause nipple confusion and he didn’t want the breast anymore? Why, oh why, had I forgotten to order my ‘favorite’ organic formula ahead of time? Oh yes, that’s right, because we were in a hot mess of a situation trying to find housing, moving and keeping this bun in the oven until we were settled into a home.

Wednesday was another Weight Check (aka WCW aka Weight Check Wednesday), Thursday AM was the circumcision, Thursday PM was a tongue tie evaluation and possible tongue clipping procedure, Thursday PM was Parent Orientation for Jacob’s preschool, Friday AM was a ‘Meet and Greet’ for Jacob’s school and picnic afterwards. And thankfully within all this, my milk came in on Tuesday and Cameron was a better eater and napper.

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He loves the markers and all the fun toys and friends at his new school!

Jeff has been home the last few weeks as well and it’s a lot of work even with 2 people. Jacob resisted his afternoon naps and thus pushed back dinner and his evening bedtime back a few hours. Jacob going to bed late meant there was less debriefing time for Jeff, Cameron and me and later ‘naps’ for me before my midnight shift. But it’s a huge help to have Jeff’s extra hands to help us all bond and get used to this new lifestyle.

Jacob is still not into Cameron which is understandable. He’s been spending a lot of time with Dad. There’s not much I can do with Jacob right now that includes only the 2 of us but I’m going to work on that as my body recovers and we start to get our new routine under way. Tomorrow is Jacob’s first day of preschool and the beginning of a lifelong journey of education. And for me, tomorrow is the beginning of a lifelong journey of being a mom of someone in school- making new friends, PTA, parent-teacher conferences, etc. It’ll be a whole new world for all of us.

Jeff goes back to work Monday and my folks arrive Monday night. I’m somewhat nervous about being alone with the kids. How do I corral one super active and strong toddler? I will have to pray about it and all I can do is my best. Stay tuned for all the adventures ahead of us.

 Do you have any advice about adjusting to life with a new baby? I welcome any and all advice! I hope no one labored too hard over Labor Day weekend!

The “Last” Day- 08/24/18 6am

Edited 08/28/18: Since this entry was written, our new addition, Cameron Sung Min Chisdak, was born on Friday, 08/24/18.  It’s been a transition so a blog is pending.. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Yesterday was the “last” time for a lot of things. Our “last” day as a family of 3, my “last” time putting Jacob to sleep as he is the only child… I had a good cry or two yesterday feeling sad/guilty to Jacob. As much as I know eventually he will be the best of friends with his brother/sister, I can’t help but be subconsciously traumatized at how not the best of friends my brother and I became and worry about Jacob and Dos.

We had a good day out for a boat ride, lunch at the Barefoot Grill. It was a gorgeous day and we all had a wonderful time.

Today’s the day, Dos. Today is your eviction day!

As a normal human being and previously induced mom, I should’ve known better than to stay up until midnight watching TV, but Jacob went to sleep late (thanks to late nap from 2:30-6) and me wanting to spend more time with him. I also wanted to spend some QT time Jeff just the “two” of us before the big day today.

My stomach was all in knots as well. Jeff and I talked about the handful of times we’ve been up late or felt this feeling of anxiety/nerves/excitement- the day before MCAT, the day before our wedding. I couldn’t remember what I felt the day before Jacob was induced…

What if…

… I go into labor in the middle of the night?

… Jacob freaks out while he’s at Mike/Kathy’s house? (He probably will, poor Liane!)

… Jacob freaks out because I’m not around all day/night? This’ll be the longest in a while since he’s been alone.

The medical reality of me also thinks about worst-case scenarios… What if… I need a c-section? What if something happens to me? Are all my things in order? Jeff knows where all my ID and passwords are for everything.

As you can see, my brain is all over the place right now and my stomach and innards are in IBS mode.

My OB said I could have a light breakfast before going in today at 8:30am. I’m an anesthesiologist and still have no idea what that means?! Light breakfast for me? I remember one patient had one ramen, one corn dog and that was her ‘light’ breakfast. I also, being the bad patient, had a smoothie and kimbap for breakfast while starting the induction.

Okay, buddy #1 and #2. It’s go-time soon. It’s 6:08am. Time to shower, pack some of Jacob, my and #2 things.

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Jacob and his fish rod
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Selfie time with #1
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My Munchkin and me
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Snack time, gotta stay nourished
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Watch out!!
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Tuckered…

Is today the day?

Dear Dos,

Is today the day you’re going to be born? You’re now in Virgo territory.

We went to the OB Tuesday, 08/21, and I was convinced that was going to be your birthday. He ‘disturbed’ the zone and the rest of the day I was filled with some cramping and Braxton-Hicks contractions so I thought yep, this was it! But alas, all you did was drop a little bit so I could eat some more and you’re still comfy.

Thank you for being so awesome these last 39+4 weeks and especially the last few weeks staying put while we found a new place to live and settle in. I’m sure you miss our old place but with this one you’ll have so much more room.

This entire pregnancy I was convinced you are a girl. Maybe because I feel like God wants me to experience what it’s like for a Mother-Daughter bond. I thought that when I was pregnant with your brother as well so who knows? But remember this pregnancy was different- I had more nausea for the entire first trimester, craving more spicy things (and I didn’t consider them spicy), a lot more crankiness and irritability and some more weight gain (32 pounds).  Everyone else also wishes that we have a girl as well.  Are you a girl or boy?

And then I thought, what if you’re a boy? I will be super excited for that as well. Either way, we win! And there’s nothing I’d want to change or be able to change at this point.

Thank you for growing so heathily and these last few weeks, having me wake up every 2-hours and staying up since 5am so we could practice being up to eat.  You’re keeping me on my toes.

Even though I don’t feel ready, I am so excited to see you!!!  I promise to try my best at being the best mom to you and Jacob.   Maybe today’s the day! If not today, for sure tomorrow?  We’re going to get induced at 8:30am tomorrow.  I hope everything goes okay with your brother when we drop him at Eemoh’s house. Let’s pray for him as well.   We’ve been eating  yummy gelato and other delicious treats as we walk around and try to get you moving.

Love,

Mommy

To my little Jacob

My Dear Jacob,

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind as we’ve had to find/move to a new place. I wish we could’ve spent our time together playing and having fun instead of running around like chickens with our heads cut off like running errands, moving, packing/unpacking, etc. You have been amazingly calm and go-with-the-flow about everything- your diet is off, your sleep is off, we had NO AC for a few days, we have no bathtub. You obviously have received that gene from your dad.

I can’t help but feel guilt and sadness that you’ll have to share Mommy’s attention in a little bit. Everyone ask me if you know what’s about to happen and I tell them you don’t have a clue. But maybe you do- you have been very into Mommy these days- looking for me, only I can put you to bed, wanting to sit on my lap. You make me feel super special, loved and wanted. I love how you whisper ‘Okay’ when I offer to sing you a song, how you look for and hold my hand as you drift off to sleep, you’re the cutest person in the world to me.

Do you remember how I cried Christmas Eve when we found out we were pregnant? I felt so sorry and guilty that day whenever I looked at you. Jeff and people say that I shouldn’t feel any sadness or guilt because soon you’ll have a best friend and someone to play with. That reassures me to some degree. Your little brother/sister won’t be able to fully participate in playing together until he/she is a little bit older. I pray you love your sibling and get along together.

Thank you for making Mommy’s birthday yesterday so fun. I thought you’d love the steak at dinner but instead your dinner was that puffy huge bread.

Today is 39+2 weeks. Any day now is the story we’ve been singing for the last few weeks. I’m sorry I’ll have to be away from you at the hospital. Believe me, it makes me cry thinking about being away from you. I apologize also in advance if I am grumpy from fatigue. I promise to try and be positive and happy!

Remember Mommy loves you and thinks about you all the time. You are my first-born and my #1 Baby!!!! Be good to Daddy and whoever watches you at night, K?

Love,

Mommy

One year ago today

Today is the 1-year anniversary of the passing of my grandmother. I remember exactly where I was, exactly how I found out, exactly how much tears were shed, how I went to church to look for her… Every single detail is fresh in my mind.

She had just celebrated her 97th birthday with the family and passed a few weeks later. How she passed is still somewhat traumatic and creates some PTSD. So, putting all the medical knowledge and experience aside, I shift my focus to believe that she passed painlessly, peacefully feeling loved and not alone.

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Here she is at my uncle/aunt’s house for her 97th birthday celebration. How beautiful and adorable is she?!?

I never truly understood what it means to think of someone everyday until her passing. I think of my husband and child everyday but I mean to miss and think of someone everyday? And I never really understood what it means when people told me that the pain decreases over time and you become at peace with it. She has been in my dreams this past week- looking happy and relaxed. In one of my dreams, I dropped her off at the hair salon so she could get a haircut and perm. I asked the lady to please take care of her and pamper her. Then I woke up from my dream.

My aunt says that Korean people prefer to celebrate the person’s last day of life. That made a lot of sense to me. I went to mass to pray for and with her. After mass, as I sat and prayed, I realized that God had answered all my prayers throughout my life. I always asked Him to please let Halmuni (Korean for grandmother) live a long life and a healthy life. And she did. She was 97 years old, had a clear memory, was able to walk, eat, laugh, pray- she was the most with-it 97-year-old.

So, with this realization, how can I be too sad? He listened to my prayers all this time. I was lucky to spend 37 years of my life with her. I got to learn from and share her love of family, friends, and Church. I also was lucky enough to have tasted her Korean food- she was the best cook I have ever met. She lived to know 2 of her youngest grandchildren who brought the biggest smiles to her face, which in turn, brought the biggest smile to my face.

She is/was my favorite person. Am I allowed to say that? I know I have a husband and child but my grandmother was someone who truly holds a special place in my heart. I spent most days with her until I was 6 years old and I owe her so much. I am comforted knowing she is with her BFF, Jesus, and reunited with her husband and children she lost in Korea.

Amidst some drama/distraction, I have too much to be thankful for to be upset. It’s a challenge with this heat and hormones! But I am healthy, Baby #2 is chillin in my belly, Jacob and Jeff are healthy.

Let’s take a moment to have/show gratitude for all that is good in our lives.

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My bridal shower- 02/2015.
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Facetime with Great-Grandma!
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Celebrating Jacob’s Dohl (1st birthday) with his favorite Great-Grandma

Shower Time! & Being a Supermodel for a day!

Whoa, I haven’t written anything in 2 weeks? Wow! There’s been a heat wave these past few weeks in San Diego and that has kept me trying to stay horizontal in the coolest area I can find!

A few nurses at work threw a Baby shower lunch party for me. I tried to say no but I was overruled. I have only been at this hospital as a guest anesthesiologist for a little bit over a year. So I was deeply touched that they had wanted to organize a party for my little bundle.

The party was beyond my expectations! I was expecting some food and that was it! There was a sweets table, tablecloths, decorations- everyone contributed to making the party a huge success. One of the nurses should be a party planner/decorator on the side. She does a lot of parties for her children and had this carnival/candy theme that fit perfectly as well for a baby shower.

The food was amazing. One of the main party planners ordered some Filipino food and ordered lumpia special (only beef, no pork) and it was the best lumpia I ever had. I went back for seconds even though I was pretty full after my first plate. I was super touched that some of the nurses had also gotten Dos gifts. I opened the gifts and was beginning to realize that this baby is real and is coming soon!

Some of the nurses who are like Aunts to me and bought baby girl clothes because they hoped I would have a girl. My Aunt also did that with Jacob- she bought floral/pink onesies praying we were going to have a girl. The gender-neutral onesies, blankets, toys were super small and adorable and I almost cried at how cute everything was. I almost cried also at how sweet and generous they were!

We literally have not bought any items of clothing for this child yet. All of Jacob’s baby stuff had been donated to charity or friends. After this shower, I finally put some clothing items onto a registry for the sole purpose of receiving a completion discount when it’s time to buckle down and prepare for this baby.

It’s also that time of season again where I want to take some maternity photos and some family pictures before we become a family of 4. When I was contemplating booking this photo session with the talented photographer who did the first set of maternity and newborn photos with Jacob, Jeff asked me, what did we do with the pictures from the first photo session? To which I could only smile and say, Nothing.

In my defense, I did have these plans to blow up some pictures canvas easel style and frame them for our house. Somehow I never did. And almost 2.5 years later, all the ‘professional’ photos we’ve done from our wedding, maternity photos, newborn photos, Easter Bunny, Santa and Jacob’s 1st year birthday photos are still in its original packaging and stored on a computer somewhere. J

I did do something with these photos. I made a few albums a la Shutterfly and incorporated said maternity and newborn photos into Christmas cards and birth announcements! So the photos weren’t a total waste. Knowing how I am, however, I know better than to try to find the most expensive photojournalist out there nor do I order their albums, prints, packages for this reason!

Preparing for photo shoots is stressful! I want to look semi-decent which is hard because (1) I’m almost 35 weeks pregnant, (2) I’m no expert at hair, (3) I’m no expert at makeup. Three strikes against me!

I accept that I can’t ‘diet’ or ‘exercise’ enough in the weeks leading up to the photo session to slim myself. I researched and bought a bunch of dresses (mostly Amazon) that I thought would look good in photos by the beach. I ultimately had to consult my friends because I am not good with decisions.

 

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She used a flat iron to create these beach waves! I could never do this! And these lashes make me want to get lash extensions again (but I won’t!).

I also decided to enlist the help of a professional hair and makeup expert to help create beach waves and some dramatic eyes. It was a stressful day! I didn’t want to eat too much because I didn’t want to be rounder/bigger than normal. Is this what supermodels think before shoots or shows? Or do they not have to worry thanks to their stylist teams and photoshop?

We waited until the last-minute to get Jacob in his outfit. He cried unhappily as we tried to put a shirt on him. Oh boy, this isn’t going to go well if he throws tantrums before we even get started. This boy, having Jeff and my genes, is not a big fan of having his photo taken. I think back to his 1st birthday party where the photographer was in his grill and most of the pictures he was crying or had a tear down his face. His lack of nap and strangers could’ve also contributed to this phenomenon. Regardless, all these factors put together did not make him happy.

The photo shoot went well- it was a mix of posed and candid shots. Jacob managed to stay relatively clean until the very end when we were nearly done and he just wanted to play in the water like he does everyday when he’s there. I was surprised that I thought I looked semi-decent in the previews and Jacob and Jeff were good sports about it as well!

This weekend is a Brunch Sprinkle with some friends. Showers aren’t really my thing but I didn’t want Dos to feel like he/she isn’t getting celebrated as much. This brunch is Ladies only. Woohoo! As much as I would’ve loved a brunch buffet, I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to control myself and would’ve been crazy uncomfortable. I love my husband and kid but I would like to be able to enjoy a meal with some friends without the distraction of my kid, other people’s kids, just food and catching up. I’m sure we will talk about kids nonstop but that’s okay!

The countdown is happening. Almost 35 weeks and feeling it!! This heat wave isn’t helping my wanting to get horizontal situation!

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Testing out the baby car seat for his baby brother or sister
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Making the car shiny
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Newborn photos (Shoot #1)

What special events or traditions did you partake in before your babies came? Showers or photo shoots? I’d love to hear your stories!