Friday, December 18, 2009

Shameless plug for my spending habit

So, I'm entering a contest to win some cash... it's from a site I visit every day, because they are a daily deal site with baby/kid items. I'm kind of a nerd in that I log on to the site every day as soon as it updates (almost every day at least.) But it's not good to be tempted every single day to buy something, especially since I'm still on mat leave. Oh well! :)

Here's the link in case you're curious!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Random bits about my life

...So I've had a rough couple of nights with the baby. I'm not sure what's up, he's just waking up several times a night and I'm not used to it because he was such a good sleeper before. Nothing to worry about, he isn't sick or anything - just wakeful. Last night he was up at least 3x between bedtime and 11pm, then he was up from 12:30 am to 1:30 am, then up from 3:30 am to 4:30 am, then again around 6am. And I don't mean happy awake - he was screaming and clearly unhappy about something. I'm contemplating some sort of "sleep training" right now, although most of the methods seem to be based on at least some form of "cry it out" - which just breaks my heart. But everything I have read suggests that sleep training can help him nap better AND sleep through the night AND stop feeding at night when he might not really need to eat. Sigh! I don't know what to do. L still uses his soother for naps and bedtime, plus often I have to do at least a partial swaddle so he doesn't rub his face until he wakes up. (And he has to wear socks on his hands so he can't scratch. Poor kid! Such humiliation.) Most sleep training methods want you to get rid of the soother and the swaddle. Bah. I much prefer the lackadaisical, kids-will-be-kids method of parenting. It requires so much less work. But I have to return to work in a few months and I need to be functional during my long commute and workday. Pray for me!

On another note I was reading today about kids who have just discovered that Santa Claus doesn't really exist. Have I blogged about this already? I am too lazy to search my archives. Anyway, the hubs and I had a conversation about this, whether we would let the kid believe in Santa or not. I was pretty adamant on NO since I think the whole idea of Santa is ridiculous and trite. However, I also don't want my kid to be the one telling all the other kids that Santa is just made up. I never believed in Santa growing up.

You know, I also can only recall one occasion of dressing up for Halloween and going trick-or-treating. I was young, maybe about 4, and I dressed up as Yoda from Star Wars. I recall some sort of costume that looked like a garbage bag. I also recall tripping and ripping a hole in said costume. I don't think we ever really went out again, and I remember my mom saying that Christians don't believe in Halloween, so we shouldn't "celebrate" it. I don't feel like I missed out on anything, but I wonder if my kid will feel left out if he doesn't get to dress up, etc. I don't think I have much of an opinion on Halloween at this stage of my life, though. I've never been to a Halloween party and my favourite part of the whole holiday is the day after, when candy is on sale. This year, we bought the baby a dinosaur costume. I should say, the hubby bought it. I am far too practical to buy things like that.

Ummm.... hmm. Oh yes, the dog turned two years old this past week! She's such a good dog. One of the nice things about going back to work is that she'll get to come with me again. That'll be nice. We thought about getting a second dog, but we might wait until she's a couple of years older, so she will be a little more calm. Every family should have a dog, they are awesome.

I'm making dinner tonight - that'll be an adventure. Let us hope no one gets sick and the food is tasty. I am trying to be a more tidy and clean person, like my mother, but I don't think I'll ever reach that level of cleanliness. How she gets everything done, I'll never know. Yesterday I vacuumed and mopped the floor and that felt like an accomplishment. Anyway, I'm starting off small, by committing to cleaning up the kitchen before bed every night. You're probably horrified, aren't you, after all, who leaves dishes in the sink overnight? Me, that's who. But no more!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Accepting change

Sometimes I feel like I'm just not ready to accept that I am a grownup. Sometimes I even feel like I missed out on some portion of young adulthood... for example, I never really lived on my own, I just lived at home until I got married... I never was truly independent... and I even wish we'd travelled more and done more in our double-income-no-kids life. I find that this motherhood thing is strangely lonely. I want to hang out more with friends, but I always find some reason not to - I don't have a car, I don't feel like going out, I don't want them to have to tolerate my kid, the kid is fussy, the kid might scream, etc.

This afternoon, I took the baby and the dog for a walk to McDonalds, about a 40 minute walk (maybe less, I tend to walk slowly.) Everything was fine until we got to McDonalds. The dog wouldn't stay in her "down" position, so I saw her trying to be friendly with a cyclist who was just trying to get at her bike (the dog was tied to the bike rack.) Apparently the cyclist did not view my dog as friendly. (Really - she would never hurt anyone, she just thinks that all humans want to pet her and be licked.) I had to go and get her, at which point the baby started to fuss and scream. He was inconsolable until we were almost home. He wouldn't take the pacifier and there wasn't really anything I could do. I couldn't carry him and push the stroller home AND hold the dog's leash. It became overwhelming. At several points I stopped to try and comfort him, and then the dog would wander instead of sitting by my side as she is supposed to do when I stop walking*. So then I had to yell at the dog. I felt like a terrible parent/dog owner, first my kid is screaming and then my dog is misbehaving, and I can't fix either one, and I am getting angry at both. I prayed all the way home that I wouldn't lose my mind entirely.

When we got home, the baby was fine - just tired and in need of a nap - and the dog was also fine. And I realized that part of my frustration was that I'm not certain I'm cut out for being a mom, and the more the baby cried, the more I felt inadequate. When I went to pick him up out of his stroller, he gave me a teary smile. I don't know if God might have a lesson in this story. Maybe that I don't have to be a supermom for my kid to love me anyway. Maybe that we are all imperfect. Maybe that if my kid can love me and smile at me even though I let him cry for 20-30 minutes, how much more does my heavenly Father love me despite all my inadequacies. Sigh. It's so hard sometimes.

*My dog is really well-trained... but walking on a leash has always been her toughest "trick". Part of her training is that she only walks on our left hand side, right beside (not in front nor behind), and when we stop walking she is supposed to stop and sit right away.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ohana means family.

I know, it's been ages since I've posted ... at least I've worked harder on the boy's blog.

Recently we went down to the States for a family reunion with my mom's side of the family. As the extended family members are spread out all over North America, it is rare that a big group of us can get together. Most of my cousins were there. Today, some cousins who couldn't make it to the reunion came and visited us here. I think my family is pretty darn awesome.

Here's an example: My uncle, who is now retired, has spent many years researching the lives of missionaries to China from China Inland Mission. He's written a book that highlights a number of missionaries who were not well-known, but who served the Lord faithfully in a land far from their homes. Really, these missionaries who brought the word of God to the Chinese people carried a legacy with them that continues today among Chinese worldwide. I've read some of the stories and am amazed by the faith these men and women had. I mean, I *am* Chinese and I still can't really imagine picking up my life in Canada and moving to Asia. These folks learned, in some cases, several dialects in order to minister to the local people. If it weren't for my uncle and his painstaking research through extremely old books, letters, and records, we might never know of the work these missionaries did. Pretty cool, eh?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

1461 days

If you had asked me last year what I thought I'd be doing on our fourth anniversary, here is a list of what I would not have said:
  • doing a load of dirty diaper laundry
  • typing with one hand because I'm holding the baby with the other
  • searching craigslist for items like a nursing pillow
  • brushing my son's head to loosen those stubborn cradle cap flakes
  • washing the spitup out of my hair
Boy, life sure has changed in the last year. In my post last year about our anniversary, I mentioned that having a dog trumps having a kid. Well, I still think there are several advantages to having a dog. For one thing, the dog is much easier to train. She knows way more tricks than the Spud does. For another, the dog will always listen to us. I dread the day when the kid turns against me. Oh, and I never had to teach the dog how to eat - she's always been good at that!

Of course, I'm thrilled to be a mom and to have our little guy in our lives. God has really blessed us with a great kid. He looks particularly sweet when he's sleeping and not yelling in my ear! I think he's the best baby ever. If you asked me what I thought of him at 4am, maybe my response would be different. It's pretty hard to be coherent when he's screaming in the middle of the night and all I'm trying to do is change his diaper. Sigh. The nice thing is that the hubs will always take over if I need him to, and sometimes he's just got that magic "fall asleep" touch.

Happy anniversary, honey. Thanks for taking this crazy ride with me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

20 years

Dear Spud (your stomach isn't the size of a chickpea any longer, so I'm going with Spud),

You might be wondering why the title of this post is "20 years" and not "almost 2 months", which is your age. Well, that's because I'm going to tell you about your grandfather in this post. As it happens, today marks 20 years since your grandpa (gohng-gohng) passed away. Mommy was only 10 years old at the time, so you'll have to forgive me if my memories are a little jumbled and vague. Maybe one day when you are bigger, your grandma (poh-poh) will be able to tell you more.

Mommy was very sad yesterday upon realizing that it was Father's Day, because it would have been so nice to celebrate with your gohng-gohng. Alas, God called him home much earlier than any of us wanted. I think he would have been proud to have a grandson, and I imagine that he would have delighted in getting to know you.

Grandpa was a man devoted to God and to his family. He was a lot like your own dad, in fact - very social with many friends, enjoyed cooking, very family oriented. Mommy still remembers when he would make treats like green onion pancakes. (Daddy hates these - but mommy will teach you to love them!) Grandpa was the sort of guy who knew someone no matter where he went, and could make conversation with just about anyone. He served as an elder at church for many years, even when mommy and kow-fu (?) were young, and he taught Sunday School to people who later taught mommy in Sunday school.

Mommy hears you fussing right now so I'll keep this short. I wish you had had the opportunity to meet your gohng-gohng. Maybe you already did in heaven? I'm not really sure how that all works, but one day our God will make it all clear. In the meantime, I praise the Lord for how He has blessed our family in these 20 years, and I'm looking forward to telling you more about your grandpa soon.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

8 days

Dear baby,

Hooray! You're finally here!!!

I don't want to post your real name on this blog, so I have been trying to think of a nickname for you. For now I think we'll go with Chickpea. That is what they said was the size of your stomach when you were born, so it seems like a good name for you.

Chickpea, Mommy went through a lot to get you out. First of all, you were late. Late, late, late. Mommy was given oxytocin to induce labour, but it didn't work as quickly as expected... then (I'm really shortening up the story here) Mommy and Daddy found out that you were "ROP" - which is to say, you were totally not positioned correctly. So the doctors had to open me up and haul you out by hand. Let me just say that you are lucky you will never have to go through labour as the pain is almost indescribable. And thanks to your positioning and the resultant c-section, I got to experience both the pain of a major surgery and the pain of labour.

Of course, all that fades away because you are a fantastic baby, and I couldn't ever have asked for a better kid. You are a good sleeper, you don't cry a lot, and now that we have worked through some of your feeding issues, you're gaining weight at a champion rate. I must tell you that the feeding issues have been extremely difficult for me. I felt as though my body was failing me, because I couldn't feed you properly. All the hormones are really not helping either, as I have been so emotional lately. I feel guilt over not being able to feed you the way I wanted to, I feel guilt over not being able to spend as much time with the dog as I wanted, I feel easily irritated at the smallest things ... ugh! Motherhood is a difficult thing. I'm so grateful that you are a happy, calm baby. Chickpea, you are the joy of every day now, and we are incredibly thrilled that you are finally here with us. Welcome to the world, little one. Mommy loves you more than you'll ever know.

Here you are having a little bit of tummy time. PS: sorry for all the yellow and green clothing. From here on out, it's boy stuff for you!

Love, Mommy