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Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Dreaded Question...

Now that Little E is nearing his 2nd birthday, I am being asked the dreaded question of when we will plan for the next kid. I either turn the question around (So when are YOU having a kid?) or smile nicely, nod, and look away.

I remember the weekend that I was going through my miscarriage. We had to attend H's cousin's graduation, and it wasn't the best time for me. Since family members traveled to attend, literally every family member on H's side was there. People started to ask that very question that I was dreading. I tried my best to keep calm and just smile, but I broke down and had a little nice cry fest outside. I think my father in-law saw me cry, but he didn't ask any questions. It took a few months before I could pull myself together and not break down every time someone asked.

I am not pregnant now and don't plan on being pregnant for a while. I am completely content with Little E and our small family of three. After giving birth and taking care of a baby, I almost ruled out having more kids altogether. It was so difficult, especially when I felt like we were doing it all alone (not true but that's how it felt at the time). I couldn't imagine having more than one baby to take care of, and having mental break downs on a daily basis for the rest of my life didn't sound so enticing. Now that Little E is a toddler, he is so much fun to be around. Everyday is a new day of discovery, and we love being part of it. It definitely gets easier.

Ocean City MD - July 2012 
being a family of 3 isn't so bad when we're having so much fun

Am I ready to tackle taking care of both a baby and a toddler? I'm not so sure. I know that Little E is ready. He is so kind and gently towards his baby cousin, and it makes my heart melt when he tries to comfort her when she cries. What about me? Can I really focus on two kids at once? I watched my niece for two days, and it was the most difficult two days of being a parent. I had no breaks, and one child was always being neglected. It was the worst feeling knowing that Little E didn't have my full attention and that he was told to wait for so long. While it will be a challenge, it has to be manageable, right?

09.12.12 Instax
Little E meeting his cousin for the first time -- he wasn't so nice to her that day & it took a few more meetings before he warmed up to her

I know I'm not ready mentally for the process of getting pregnant again. Having experienced a miscarriage, I will always live in fear of it happening again. Honestly, H and I have never tried to get pregnant before so this is a whole new ballgame for us. It can take months, and will I be okay emotionally each month that it doesn't work out?

How much longer will people pester me about having another kid before they just stop asking? How do you deal with the dreaded question?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Being a SAHM - 21 Month Update

I have been a SAHM for the last 21 months, and I have gone through a lot of ups and downs. The first year was tough. Taking care of a newborn is a full time job in itself, and I couldn't find much time to do any household chores or even find the time to cook myself a meal. Time for myself was out of the question. There was too much to do and never enough time. When Little E transitioned from baby to toddler, I noticed differences in my day to day routine. He was becoming more independent, which allows me to let him explore. I had time to take care of a few items on my to do list and try to get Little E to engage and help me when possible. I shifted from worrying about pumping to worrying about how to feed him the most nutritious meal (with diet restrictions nonetheless).

Elliot & Mommy
normal Little E one moment and tantrum throwing Little E the next moment

I still worry about what others think of my title. When a stranger asks me what I do, I tell them that I'm a SAHM. They usually don't say anything else and end the conversation. It's so awkward. I shouldn't have to feel ashamed but I do. I can't get rid of this feeling of being completely useless. Our society has shifted, and now working is the only acceptable thing to do. Daycare is normal, and I've heard people tell me how great it would be for Little E. I feel pressured to go back work, but where would I go? How can I ever make enough money to actually contribute?

I'm working on finding time for myself, but I haven't made too much progress. Nap times are usually my quiet times in front of the computer. I zone out of being a mom and just focus on being Yin again. Okay that's not true. I'm watching Little E on the other screen as he sleeps, and my eyes get glued to the screen every time he makes the tiniest movement. I'm also thinking about what I will make for dinner tonight and when I should get started on cleaning up the toys all over the kitchen floor. Other days I'm doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, prepping dinner or sweeping the floors. Note to self: find more me time!

Sleep? Nah!
watching Little E during "nap time"

I need to get out of the house more often. I tend to stay home most days because I'm a homebody and so is my kid. Whenever we leave the house, he will ask to go home. He comes back to his playroom and kitchen, and he is completely content with the rest of the day as long as he stays in the comfort of his space. Maybe I've trained him to be that way? I go through phases where we will leave the house every single day, and now I'm in this phase where we stay inside every single day. I lack motivation because the stress of planning how to leave the house and finding time to make a home cooked meal for dinner outweighs any fun that could possibly happen from leaving. [edit] I made sure to get out of the house today with Little E. It's winter, and the temperature was 55 degrees (must be global warming b/c last week the temperatures were in the teens and twenties). No excuses. The easiest way to leave the house and cause less stress for me is to stay local or simply go outside and play.

Playing Outside
playing outside and enjoying the abnormally warm winter

While it may sound like I don't enjoy being a SAHM, I actually do. I am grateful that I can stay at home and take care of my baby. I want to protect him from the world and give him everything. Although I may not enjoy cooking every meal, I love seeing him eat a very nutritious meal. I like knowing and setting his schedule everyday. I have so much fun playing with him and seeing him grow into a little man. Little E is my little buddy, and I would not trade our time together for any job in the world right now.

Mommy & Elliot
fun times with my little man :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Video Mondays: Puppets

Here we go again with Video Mondays! I have so many videos that I keep hidden on the hard drive, and hopefully this will give me the motivation to bring some back to life. 

Little E and H playing with puppet
Little E - 16.5 months old
September 2012

My Sesame Street loving boy loves puppets! What a surprise! Hehe. Last month I stumbled upon a Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop by Playskool (circa 1993) and snatched it up for $15 at the comic book store. Honestly I wanted to wrap it up and put it under the tree with my name on it. Of course Little E got to it first, and he loves interacting with the muppet. He plays it with daily and enjoys putting on as many eyes on the muppet as possible.

Jim Henson's Muppet Workshop - Circa 1993

Friday, January 25, 2013

OMG.... AM I STILL ALIVE?

Yes.

Where have I been hiding for the past 3 months? I must have been under a rock somewhere in order for me to abandon this blog for so long. I guess life just takes over, and most of my days are spent being a "housewife." Can I hire a professional chef? I'm getting so tired of cooking and washing dishes. Maybe I'll take a babysitter too. Toddlers are not easy to take care of. Mine likes to run and jump around everywhere. I rarely see him walk, and when he does it's to avoid all the toys on the ground.

Quite honestly, a few personal things have taken up my time, and it's difficult for me to find the right time to open up. When I do find the time to sit down and blog, I tense up and click out of the tab. I'm just not ready. So why not just forget about it and pretend like my life is on the path to happiness and success? I don't want to sugar coat my life.

So here goes... about 8 months ago I lost #2. I only knew I was pregnant for a few days before I experienced my miscarriage. It was the worst week of my life. I didn't have anyone to turn to except for H, and he couldn't understand the pain I was going through. I felt paralyzed and could barely function. I was angry with myself. I was so happy to see the positive test result that I jumped into baby mode. I wrote down plans for the next couple of months and envisioned what life would be like as a family of four. I forgot to be cautious. I let myself experience this joy only to have it followed by pain. 8 months later, and I feel better. I can't ever forget, but I can live in the moment and enjoy the thrills of seeing Little E grow. When the time is right, we will try again.

The next couple of thoughts are even more difficult to type. I have spent a lot of time digging my feelings deeper and deeper so that I don't have to come face to face with them. My dad is 81 years old, and he is starting to reach that stage of old age that scares me. Without getting into too many details, I think he is experiencing dementia as well as depression. He has been in a constant state of panic and worry for the past year and a half. It changed him. Now it is much worse, and I don't want to accept it. Last month he fell down a flight of stairs and had to stay in the hospital for a few days. Luckily there were no broken bones and only a few fractures in his face. Every hospital visit affects his mental condition, and it breaks my heart. I do my best to avoid experiencing these feelings of sadness because I have to be strong.

I have good reason to take a break from blogging. It feels good write down the biggest changes in my life. I will try my best to update on my life and probably back track a bit for my own recording purposes. Don't be surprised to see pictures of the beach followed by pictures of Santa and snow. I'll even throw in some deeper posts about my current state and how I'm doing. Thanks for everyone out there who reads my blog or stumbles upon it. You guys are awesome.

Because no post should ever be without a photo, this is my family :)

Photo Booth 2012