Tag

love

A Portrait And A Poem For My Birthday Girl

IMG_20150106_230309533

It all began with mornings so sick .

Then turned into a heartbeat, a flutter and kick.

This little life growing inside of me.

A boy or girl, which would it be?

When you came to me that winter’s night.

A new mother unsure and so full of fright.

Dirty diapers  and nights with no sleep.

Often, I would cry and would weep.

With just one smile, one laugh, one kiss.

All tears were erased and replaced with pure bliss.

Crazy antics, milestones.

A heart full of memories overflown.

Time went by in a blink of an eye just like they said it would.

I would pause it all and slow time down, if only I could.

You have filled my life with happiness each and every day.

I love you more & more my dear. Have a Happy Birthday.

An Ode To Our 2014

IMG_20140927_184204116

On this final day of 2014, I find myself looking back at all that has happened during the year. This year was filled with some milestones, great moments of joy & many memories that will stay with me for a lifetime. Here is a recap of a wonderful year…

In January, we celebrated as our daughter turned 2. ..

We took our first vacation setting sail on the ocean blue…

1525556_10202040041915866_114082923_n 1526846_10202125008199970_171938168_n

In February, for Valentine’s Day we made some hearts for baking…

1901598_10202278869926417_1025983956_n 1947994_10202278870206424_274744124_n

While March showed us that we had a little diva in the making…

1798520_10202517286766689_1137274972_n 1959709_10202334071666426_2134318707_n

In April for opening day, we cheered on our favorite team…

10002916_10202594644340580_1918979752208211219_n

In May we realized that clowns aren’t as funny as they seem…

10336808_10202773895941758_8440418287356799186_n

June welcomed our bathing beauty with the summer sun…

While I trained & participated in my first 5k run…

10489642_10203149294526488_1354842808122040596_n 10259834_10203111416019549_5289931697431985363_n

In July, I entered my 40’s & celebrated into the night…

And thanked God for my greatest gift wrapped in my arms so tight…

IMG_2520 10509512_10203283663965640_3059036348221803985_n

August brought more summer fun & many bubbles blown…  

10599339_10203521417989342_3426847917872111925_n

In September, our big girl got dressed for the first time on her own…

10629586_10203662714961678_7713903392007667342_n

October brought us Halloween & a pumpkin sweet as pie…

1401572_10203994682060648_6273252762126977141_o 10348591_10203993963802692_5561660993389671601_n

In November, it was time to give thanks  & list all the reasons why…

1460097_10204164580548004_5811637157584804679_n

December brought a memorable Christmas filled with magic & cheer…

10676117_10204322941306924_7519644779002346619_n

Today brings happy memories of a fantastic year. 

10485987_10203487878630879_1120942969839215897_n

Happy New year to all. May 2015 be filled with love & family.

A Mother’s Resume

Resume

Yesterday I did a post about the irrational fears of mothers. A reader commented that these irrational thoughts are part of our job description. This made me chuckle. My response was that our job description is far too long, that sometimes I forget what is on it. It got me thinking. Being a parent is a difficult job. It is demanding, keeps long hours & you never get a day off. Our list of responsibilities is a lengthy one.

A Mother’s Resume

12/18/2014
The Pinterested Parent
https://www.facebook.com/thepinterestedparent
Thepinterestedparent.com

——————————————————————————————————————

OBJECTIVE:

To successfully raise our child to be a sweet, smart, well-mannered young lady with family values, respect for others and a strong sense of self, without screwing it all up.

EXPERIENCE:

Mother to Mai (January 2012-present)

Child Care Manager 

  • Nursing with no regard to sore breasts, bleeding nipples or mastitis
  • Changed thousands of soiled diapers & cleaned poop out of clothing, hair and sheets on several occasions.
  • Endured sleepless nights comforting a crying baby, a cranky toddler, a sick kid & a scared child
  • Over-protector and dirty look wielder to playground bullies
  • Kissed and bandaged many boo boos & ouchies
  • Wiper of runny noses, poopy bottoms, dirty hands & tears
  • Personal chef to the most finicky of eaters
  • Washed, bathed, shampooed & brushed the teeth of a squirming child daily
  • Hairdresser & stylist specializing in pig tales & Elsa braids
  • Responsible for transport by either horsey ride, piggy back, carrying, stroller or car
  • Diffusing tantrums & meltdowns

Education Director

  • Teacher of colors, objects, animals, math, reading, sign language, problem solving and geography
  • Acting as a role model trying to accomplish all of the things in the above objective without passing on all of my own bad habits and short comings
  • Professor of arts & crafts with a deep focus on paper plate art, painting, Play-Doh sculptures & macaroni art
  • Assists in the progression of crawling, walking, talking, potty training & riding a bike
  • Responsible for discussions on God, love, sex, death and other various subjects pertaining to life

Purveyor of memories

  • Amateur photojournalist chronicling the life of my little girl from birth to present day
  • Collector of art projects & drawings
  • Archiver of cute, funny & beautiful moments that I will hold securely in my heart & head

Head of Entertainment

  • Skilled at Peekaboo, I got your nose & shadow puppets
  • Builder of sheet forts & puzzles
  • Lead singer of popular children’s songs & silly made up ones
  • Tea party guest and Play-Doh cake taste tester
  • Master story teller and book reader
  • Knock Knock joke aficionado

Housekeeper

  • Washer of dirty laundry (no sir, that is actually daddy)
  • Dishwasher
  • Sweeps up dried up Play-Doh, glitter, crumbs, chunks of crayon, etc…
  • Wipes up juice spills and potty training accidents
  • Picks up toys, and then picks them up again and then again and again
  • Instructs our little housekeeper in training how to be responsible for all of the above chores

SPECIAL SKILLS

  • Carrying a diaper bag, pocket book, juice boxes and stuffed animal while balancing a child on the hip
  • Giver & receiver of unconditional love
  • Demonstrating patience when my patience wears thin
  • Expert at hugs, kisses & cuddles
  • Mind reader during incomprehensible crying fits
  • References are available in crayon upon request.

10563015_10203591621864395_5107110619492089424_n

A Mother's Resume

 

Easy DIY Personalized Ornament

IMG_8034

This weekend was filled with Christmas parties & breakfasts with Santa. We were on the move all weekend long trying to make sure that the big guy knew that Mai really wanted that train set for Christmas.

The parties had a ton of great activities and projects for the kids to do and as we all know my daughter loves her projects. There was a cookie making station that Mai took full advantage of. They had assorted sugar & gingerbread cookies for decorating along with colored icing and assorted candies & sugars.

IMG_7989IMG_8000IMG_8002

There was also a watercolor station, a sticker station & an ornament making one. The crafts just kept coming. My artsy little girl was in her glory. She brought home several cookies, a few new crafts & a new dolly from Santa. The ornament making reminded me that I had bought a couple of cheap clear plastic Christmas balls at the beginning of the season. I had completely forgotten about them. We kept our craft momentum going when we got home with our quick & easy personalized ornament.

What you will need:

Clear plastic Christmas bulb ornament

A black sharpie

Kid’s paint (We use Crayola’s water based non-toxic paint)

Directions:

With a sharpie draw on the name of the person you are making the ornament for. We made two, one for Mai & one for her Nana.

IMG_8018

After you write in the name, draw random lines & closed shapes all over the whole rest of the ornament.

IMG_8019

Paint each shape in a different color. Mai chose to just mix her colors for her ornament for her Nana because “Nana likes a rainbow.”

IMG_8020  IMG_8025

Let the paint dry & hang your ornaments on your tree & admire. I touched up the Sharpie lines on Mai’s Nana ornament after it dried.

IMG_8031 IMG_8107

30 Holiday Season Activities For Your Family

IMG_7615The first snow fall of the season inspired a fun snow-filled weekend. We had a fun family day yesterday complete with more snow angels & snowmen. Even though the temperatures have dropped there are still a lot of fun things that we can enjoy with the family through the winter & holiday season. Whether it means bundling up & hitting the outdoors or keeping warm & cozy in the house there is a long list of things that you can do together with your children.

Outdoor Play

1. Build a snowman– Building snowmen has been a winter favorite long before Frozen ever came out. Do you want to build a snowman? You bet I do.

2. Go sledding

3. Make snow castles

4. Have a snowball fight – It turns out that my daughter loves snowball fights. I threw one at daddy & that was enough to have her sold. She laughed & jumped in excitement at each ball thrown.

img_7625

5. Paint the snow- Put food coloring & water in a squirt or spray bottle & have a little bit of artistic fun in the snow.

6. Make snow angels

7. Build a snow fort

8. Use beach toys in the snow- Keep those sand pails & shovels out for the winter. They are wonderful for snowy days.

9. Go for a hike

10. Ice skating

11. Have a snowy photo shoot– A camera with a timer & a tripod are my family’s best friend. Most of our family photos are shot this way. Don’t forget to capture each of these moments while you can.

img_7594

In Home Activities

1. Drink cocoa around the fireplace-  What is better than snuggling up with your family around a warm fire on a cold day?

2. Write a Christmas list to Santa

3. Watch Christmas movies

4. Bake holiday cookies– I adore baking with my daughter. She is baking up pure joy.

img_7215

5. Decorate the Christmas tree

6. Elf on the shelf- – That sneaky little elf is back. You better watch out. He tells Santa all.

7. Bake a gingerbread house

8. Make homemade Christmas cards

9. Make winter & holiday crafts– I will be honest, this is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. I love holiday crafting with my daughter. Here was our latest over the weekend… Mini muffin liners strung up around a pipe cleaner & topped off with a pipe cleaner bow.

cupcakelinerwreath

10. Read Christmas stories

Family Outings

1. Go Christmas light peeping– I love the twinkling lights during the holidays. They are beautiful. There is always that street that is filled with the best Christmas lights in town.

2. Pick out a real Christmas tree

3. See a Christmas show

4. Go on a sleigh ride– There are places that do this. If you are lucky enough to find one, grab your family a blanket and some cocoa and go.

5. Go caroling

6. Visit a winter/Christmas bazaar

7. Visit Santa– My daughter is still pretty skeptical about the big guy in person, but she stepped up & asked for that train set that she wanted.

img_65141

8. Donate toys or gifts – Teach your children that it is better to give than receive. Help those less fortunate than you.

9. Go Christmas shopping

I hope everyone embraces all that the holiday season brings this year.

IMG_75681

 

100 Things That I am Thankful For

66959_10203700102216336_7780072121175294854_n

Why is it that it takes the holidays for us to reflect on the things in our life that are most important? On New Year’s we resolve to better ourselves, on Valentine’s Day we show appreciation for our spouses & lovers and on Thanksgiving we give thanks for all of the gifts that god has given us. We should resolve to be better every day. We should celebrate our love & all of these gifts every second, but with the stresses of work, bills & daily life often we do forget. The holidays do offer a great nudge. This week is Thanksgiving. There are many things that I am grateful for but often take for granted. I challenged myself to make a list of 100 things, some are things that I cannot live without, some are the little things that make me smile, but all are things that make be thankful. These are not listed in any particular order.

1. My husband & daughter and my extended family

2. Life and health

3. A good-natured debate

4. Watching my daughter sleep

5. Low fat frozen yogurt

6. Weekends off

7. My memories

8. Sweatpants

9. Art

10. My daughter’s laughter

11. Owls

12. Changes of season

13. My mother-in-law

14. Spanx

15. Meditation

16. The money in my wallet

17. Beauty in unexpected places

18. Our travels

19. Chocolate

20. Inspiration

21. My sister

22. Color

23. Day dreams

24. Heated mattress pads

25. Inside jokes

26. Home movies

27. Forgiveness

28. Good friends that are always there

29. Books

30. Unsolicited compliments

31. Thunderstorms

32. ‘The Princess Bride’

33. Tears of happiness

34. Hugs

35. Upbeat people

36. Decaf coffee

37. Foot rubs

38. Singing when no ones listening

39. Raw honey

40. Our dog

41. All the I love yous

42. Old photographs

43. A good sneeze

44. The blogs that I follow & the ones that follow me

45. Peppermint Patties- Get the sensation

46. My mother visiting in my dreams

47. Pinterest

48. Central Air

49. Post-It notes

50. The Beatles

51. Water

52. My snooze button

53. Dance

54. Finding a solution to a problem

55. Bubble baths

56. The warmth of the sun

57. Cherry blossoms

58. Swiffer

59. Baby feet

60. Traditions

61. Drive through windows

62. “The Big Bang Theory” nerds

63. Naps

64. Movie quotes

65. Moments of silence

66. Kisses

67. Brie & jelly

68. Dimples

69. Anti-bacterial wipes

70. Netflix Streaming

71. Internet shopping

72. Sunsets

73. Family outings

74. That perfect little black dress

75. Herbal tea

76. Pearl jewelry

77. The sound of bagpipes

78. Respect

79. Moments of clarity

80. Snow Days

81. Looking up at the stars

82. Cuddling on the couch

83. Our home

84. Christmas Carols

85. The sounds & smell of the beach

86. Toe socks – Have you ever worn a pair? You would be thankful too.

87. A blank canvas

88. A quick-witted comeback

89. Girls’ nights out

90. Kindness of strangers

91. Nutella

92. The lessons I have learned from the mistakes I have made

93. Puns

94. Musicals

95. Vicks Vapor Rub

96. A lit fireplace on a cold night

97. Hair colorant

98. Over-sized sweaters

99. My glue gun

100. God for blessing me with all of these gifts

What are you most thankful for? Can you list 100 things that you are grateful for? I challenge you to post your list. Link back to me if you do so that I may see what makes you thankful.

Talking To The Angels

image

It has often been said that children can see the angels among us. Our daughter has been surrounded by two very special angels her whole life. Sadly my mother and my husband’s father passed before ever getting the opportunity to meet their first grandchild. That did not stop us from introducing Mai to them at an early age. She wakes to their faces every morning. Their photos guard over her while she sleeps. She recognizes their pictures.

It has been many years since I lost my mother. My husband’s loss is fresher. The start of every football season sends my husband into a tailspin of emotions. Football was something that he shared with his father. I can remember the exchange of phone calls after plays. Sometimes they were screams of victory, other times they were filled with obscenities and anger about bad plays, poor calls and a plethora of other football related things that I know nothing about. Those calls are something that he misses.

My husband is in a football pool at a local Legion hall, one that his father had frequented in life. Every week he goes to play his picks for that week. Recently, he needed to take Mai with him. They went into the hall, made their choices and headed right back out the door. As they were leaving, Mai pointed behind them. “Look, it’s Grandpa Mike.” My husband stopped. “Where? Where do you see him?” “Right there.” she said, pointing back at the empty doorway again. There would be no reason for our daughter to make the connection between that building and her grandfather, but she did.

Last night as we were relaxing before bed, Mai began talking about her grandfather again. She was telling us a story about Grandpa Mike. I asked her “Do you talk to Grandpa Mike?” “Yes” she replied. “What does grandpa say to you when you talk to him?” “He says I am growing bigger & bigger.” My husband & I fell silent and looked at one another. We didn’t need to speak. We both already knew what the other was thinking. I didn’t ask another question. I just reflected on our little girl’s answer.

All this time I have felt so much sorrow that she never got the chance to meet her grandparents, but it seems as if they have been with her all along.

 

 

Through The Eyes Of A Child

IMG_6561

This weekend we took an early trip to Santa’s workshop to beat the crowd and get in our Christmas lists. My daughter asked Santa to bring her a train set this year and some more Play-doh. She made certain to reiterate that she wanted a train set two more times before leaving his side.

IMG_6514

Outside of his workshop there is a room, a magical room filled with twinkling trees & falling snow. I watched my daughter & her friend as they ran through the fake snow. As the snow formed small piles around them, they tossed it up into the air, giddy with excitement. At first I began to object, but the objections trailed off. Have I ever enjoyed anything as much as they do right now I wondered? I stared at my girl, unable to blink. I didn’t want to lose a precious moment. I felt my eyes well up with tears. I hoped that nobody saw me. I felt silly to be crying, but I just couldn’t help it.

IMG_6565

There are moments when a mother cries. The tears are not from sadness, they are from joy. Sometimes there is so much happiness, so much love that your body simply cannot contain it. When it finally bursts, it can bring forth an explosion of smiles & laughter and at other times it flows out as tears. These tears are not bitter, they are sweet.

IMG_6547

I felt as if I had never witnessed anything quite so beautiful. I could feel her wonder. It was magical. Her energy was contagious. I found myself grabbing a handful of snow as well. Before I could throw it, I was hit in the face with a small handful of white flakes. My assailant was a dimpled face angel with braids in her hair. She laughed uncontrollably. “I got you, mama.” She giggled & then ran away.

IMG_6544

I looked around at the disapproving looks from the other mothers at our antics, but I simply did not care. Let them look. Today, I see life through my child’s eyes. Today, I am innocent and free and I don’t care what others think. With tears in my eyes, snow in my hair, a smile on my face & love in my heart I realize that this is my happy place. This is what life is all about. This is why I became a mother.

IMG_6563

Why Isn’t Mommy In Any Pictures? (A Letter To My Husband)

Wheresmama.jpg

My dearest husband,

Do you notice how I am conspicuously missing from the montage of beautiful photos above? The reason that I am missing is of course that I am always the one behind the camera.

It is no secret that I love pictures. Not to be stereotypical, but maybe it is because I am Asian, maybe it is the artist in me that sees the beauty in all art forms or maybe just maybe it is because I love the feeling that I get when I look at a photograph. It takes me back to a different time and place. It brings me back to a moment that has passed and allows me to relive that memory and emotion.

Whatever the reason, I love photographs. I adore the candid joy and laughter on the faces of my loved ones, the look of wonder and excitement when experiencing something new and the sheer love that is seen in the eyes of you & our daughter when you look at each other. The problem is there are seldom any photos like this with mommy. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of posed photos of our daughter trying to escape from me while I shove the camera in your hands and then force out a smile while saying “Baby, say cheese.”

I realize that I will always have my own memories carefully tucked away in my mind and in my heart, but once I get older and my mind starts betraying me, it would be nice to have a token to help jog my memory. With one look I am holding my new baby again in my arms, teaching her how to ride a bike & seeing her in her wedding gown for the first time. So my darling, the next time you see a precious moment, please free to pick up the camera because us mommy’s want to be in the pictures too. Tell your friends.

Countdown to 40 – Bucket List For The Second Half Of My Life

befunky_artwork.jpgI talk often about how quickly time has flown by since the birth of my daughter. In 1 1/2 weeks she will be turning 2 1/2. It seems almost impossible. Almost stranger than that is on that very same day, I will be kissing my 30’s goodbye & turning 40. Ouch! This has been a hard realization for me. For me entering my 40’s finally signifies to me the end of my youth.
I look in the mirror & the face looking back is different than the one I remember. There are more lines. The grays from my head seemed to have spread & set up new residency in my eyebrows. My skin is now much looser and things that once were higher… well are not quite so high or perky anymore. It makes me sad, but is reality.

We all grow older. Our faces & bodies age, our looks fade, things begin to ache for no reason & you wake up in the morning feeling hung over even when you don’t drink. You become more forgetful. You become more forgetful. Oh & you tend to repeat yourself. I am certain I have told the same stories to my husband about 101 times. Sex symbols from your youth begin to grace the covers of AARP & even worse than that people now call you ma’am.

My first 40 years on this planet have had their ups & downs. In my life I have made a lot of mistakes. I have been good and been bad. I have had my heart broken and also broken a few hearts. I learned that soul mates are real & married mine. I have seen people I love die & I have brought life into this world. I have laughed, cried & felt utter joy.

I’ve been lucky enough to have seen many places & have done many things…

226425_1834263269601_5715577_n 205047_1026030104277_2430_n  1934809_1179554622294_6423635_n

But there is still so much left I want to do. What things do I still want to accomplish, see or learn? It seems as if there is so much. My bucket list is a long one. Here are a few highlights of an otherwise long list…

1. Be there for my daughter’s wedding

2. Go to Cambodia

3. Learn another language

4. Hike Macchu Picchu

5.Write a children’s book

6. Hold my grandchild

7. Learn how to fence

8. Visit all the U.S states

9. Grow old with my husband

10. Go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan

11. Run a marathon with my husband

12. Go to a masquerade ball

13. Learn to belly dance

14. Pay off our home

15. Get a tattoo that represents my mother

I have not lived a perfect life, but I have lived a pretty good one. I can’t wait to see what the next half will bring.

What’s on your bucket list? I would love to hear.

66920_1520074375075_1817326_n 164306_1648638709103_3990793_n