Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Days

I just got home awhile ago from my wonderful mother-in-law's place. We have had serious communication break-down today! Jerry came in from Oregon last night at about 9ish. He was supposed to come in around 8:30, and then come to our place for coffee and some face time with Chris, because Chris couldn't make it to dinner tonight due to work. But the half hour delay in his landing cause us to have to reschedule for another day entirely. So we chose Saturday at 10am, cause Chris is working later on in the day and would be home at that time.

So you can imagine my surprise when the doorbell rang this morning at 10am, and I opened the door to a Barb, a Jerry, and a home-made plate of Monkey Bread (you make me SICK BARBARA!) Fortunately for everyone, Chris was just coming downstairs, and didn't have to leave for work for another hour and a half; Chris was also very lucky his mom came cause I was going to make him eat cereal again. This whole not-having-to-make-dinner thing has made me super-lazy and made me not want to make any meals at all for anyone, ever. I have obliged my children with a few meals here and there, cause as their mother, I guess that's what I am supposed to do. Anyway, I don't know if Barb was just feeling bad about the mistake or what, but she offered to come for breakfast tomorrow 'as planned' and bring food tomorrow also! Score! I just can't say no to free, yummy food. It's a weakness of mine. My kryptonite if you will.

Then dinner was supposed to be at 5pm, but I thought Barb had said 6pm, so the kids and I were literally just farting around the house, killing time. Then we went to the grocery store to get milk, bread, and bananas (the only things we need to physically survive in this house) and on our way home we got a call from Jerry asking where we were. Oops! Made everyone, Chris' grandparents, Robert, Lindsay, Barb and Jerry wait to eat dinner. Really big oops. One of these days I am going to try this new thing I have heard so much about, it's called 'paying attention'...

Anyway, our three-day Thanksgiving celebration-extravaganza marathon has come to an end, and I realize how much I have to be thankful for. Really and truly. My kids are so awesome. Really. I have gotten them all dolled up for three days in a row, and they just sit there and let me have my fun. They've gone to bed late, and in different houses because of different sporting events, and they've just been so great about it all. I so enjoyed just hanging out at home with them today. Chris and I have had plenty of hanging out time too, which never gets old. It's too bad that he missed dinner at his mom's, but I am pretty dang thankful for his awesome job that he loves and is able to thrive at. Everyone who cooked and slaved and sweat so that I could eat like a dirty fat pig- I am so thankful for you all! God has truly blessed the crap right out of our family and friends, and to Him, I am forever thankful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I used to not be a big fan of 'Christmas Time'. I think I was a grumpy old man in my youth. I didn't like seeing all the lights on the trees lining the busy streets of Toronto, I hated hearing Christmas Carols on the radio, I hated the extra millions of people in the malls (ok, that's legit. no one likes that.) I was an all out little Asian Ebenezer Scrooge. I don't know why. Christmas was always nice, but not a very big deal at our house growing up. We got math books from my dad while we were in grade school. Then when we got older, if you asked for something at the right time when shopping with our mother, you would get it. But if you didn't ask for anything, you didn't really get anything. Not a big deal cause if my parents didn't really ask for anything, then they kinda wouldn't get anything either. We'd go to church for Christmas, which is only right cause that's the reason for the season! But it would always be a joint service for the Korean and English congregations, which meant you had to come early (read:on time) to church to find a seat, and then you would have to listen to a super-long sermon because it would be in Korean with someone translating it in English. The worst sermon was by this one pastor who was American, but he lived in Korea for a couple years, so he not only did the sermon in English, but in Korean too. I could feel my dad's eyes of judgment on me and my siblings the whole time. "That guy is not Korean and he speaks your language way better than you do..." Really, Christmas time- not that great for me. But my mom did always make an amazingly lavishly, delicious feast for us and all of our friends. That was probably the best part of Christmas.

Anyhoo, my perspective on the Christmas Season all took a drastic turn for the better when I met Chris Watson. First of all, the whole Thanksgiving turns into Christmas Season is amazing! Though Chris did not invent this phenomenon, my being Canadian and celebrating Thanksgiving in October in the days of yore was very different. So now I celebrate Thanksgiving with a ton of people every year and eat a ton of amazing food too. I am planning on being in a turkey-induced coma for the next three days which is why I am blogging at 12:30am. (I am awake and alert and non of the kids are. Perfect).

My first Chris-Watson-Christmas was amazing. Actually, no, my first American Christmas was amazing. My first official Chris-Watson-Christmas was in Korea, and technically it was just December, and Chris was about to go back to America for good, so we were 'celebrating' Christmas together at a Starbucks on base just a day or two before he was about to leave. That Christmas kinda really sucked. But my first real American Christmas was in Oregon the year after. I was there with Chris, and Robert and Lindsay, who had just gotten engaged on that trip. So awesome. But we had awesome food, and awesome presents, and I 'opened' my first ever stocking from 'Santa'. I felt like I was five years old. It was so great!

I think that since then holidays have been so fun and exciting! (How lucky am I to have a husband who has breathed joy into every part of my life?) We just put up our Christmas tree yesterday, we are going to our first of three serious Thanksgiving feasts tomorrow night, and I had my first guilt-free egg nog latte two days ago. (Apparently you are not supposed to have those when you are pregnant and seeing as how I have been pregnant for two Christmases in a row, I have not been able to enjoy this amazing once-a-year Starbucks offering. I had one last year, and didn't finish it cause I was riddled with guilt.)

Last year was Lily and Sungu's first Christmas, and this year it's Topher and Gabe's. Being innundated by food and family is probably what makes this the most wonderful time of the year. It also helps to be out of my angst-ridden teen years when I was too cool for the holidays, and all that extra joy that was floating around.

Hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving with all those who are near and dear to you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

On My Heart: Mommies galore

I am not sure as to why, but God has placed moms on my heart in such a huge way over the lst two years. I don't know if it's because that's when I became one, or what, but nothing makes me happier than seeing a new mommy with her baby, and nothing breaks my heart more than when a mommy-to-be, can't-be all of a sudden, or when a mommy-who-wants-to-be, can't be- YET.

If you are bored, or you just love to pray- then here are some women/families you can pray for with me:

The Vs: Have been trying to get pregnant for over three years! Due to some very serendipitous circumstances, they just found out Mr. V has some slow swimmers and are now working in that direction to fix that issue. (Back story: Mr. V had tests done over a year ago and the lab guys read the results incorrectly and said there wasn't an issue there, even though there really was.)

The Bs: Have been trying to get pregnant for almost two years. God has such a special plan for them, and they have been waiting so patiently it makes you want to throw up because you are looking at such faithful followers of the Lord.

The Ts: Just lost their baby after being pregnant for 17 weeks. Mrs. T is hopefully getting out of the hospital today after a pretty intense surgical procedure on Monday. Molar pregnancy. Never heard of it before this, hope to never hear of another one again...

The Zach: I've mentioned this munchkin before. Please check out his blog for more details on the sidebar under "The Brantons". Again, another family that is so good, and so trusting in the Lord. Just knowing them makes your faith stronger. It's kinda gross actually.

and for some praise-

The Ls: Just welcomed their little boy into the world last week! Everyone is healthy and doing well. Now if only they could get some sleep...

The Bs: (a different family) Are expecting their first in two and a half more months! They are trying to bank up as much sleep as they can now...

And those are the families that have been on my heart for a long time now. Thanks for checking in and caring for those that we in the Watson home care about.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby Passport: Shoot Me Now

So I am trying to get Topher a passport. I think it would be easier for me to get my Ph.D...

My sister and Sungu are in Toronto right now. Jeehon got a cheap ticket from a friend of her's that still works at US Airways (Jeehon used to work there.) The friend thought Jeehon needed two tickets, and so that's what she got her, though Jeehon only needed one (cause even though Sungu may look like a two year old, he is still considered a lap-child). All of a sudden the possibility of me and a child going to Toronto came up.

My dad still has not seen Topher yet, so he was my number one choice (plus he is lighter, still breast-feeding, and less fussy than Lily... but that's besides the point). But he doesn't have a passport yet. So I started looking into getting him one...

Last year we got a passport quite easily for Lily. Her birth certificate was mailed to us, so that was easy. The only sucky thing was that both Chris and I had to be at the passport-getting appointment together, but that wasn't too bad. It was kinda the same scenario where I was going to go to Toronto kinda soon, but it all depended on the availability of a cheap ticket from a friend of Jeehon's, and of course when the passport for Lily would arrive. The passport is already kinda expensive- over $80. But there are a extra fees you can pay if you want the service expedited. They told me that if I did it at a 'normal speed' then it would come out in about three to four MONTHS. But if I paid an arm and a leg and my appendix, I might be so lucky as to get it in two weeks. We decided it wasn't worth amputating most of my extremities for a passport, so we decided to pay the base price and wait it out. The passport came in about two weeks.

And now my little Tophman needs a passport too. We do not have his birth certificate for some reason. I looked in our safe where all our important documents are, and I came up short. In fact I came up super-short because I noticed my passport wasn't in there either. Hysteria ensued. Then I looked all over the place for mine, and it was in the junk drawer in the kitchen. Oh that blasted/blessed junk drawer. But now I have to drive up to Phoenix one day and get this missing birth certificate. (Bless Barb's heart, she is going to watch the baby's one day so I can make the trip solo.) Then I made an appointment for us to go apply for this pain-in-the-butt passport, and the earliest date I got was for Wednesday next week, but of course Chris is working, so I have to get this other document notarized saying that Chris consents to his son getting a passport. And then I have to pay about $100 when everything is said and done. Boo.

A word to the wise who may need to get a passport at some point in the distant future for their baby: do it now while you have no pressure to do it. Get everything ready at a nice and leisurely pace so that you don't give yourself a heart attack. And whatever you do, do NOT pay the extra fees, or give them your kidney, or the right pinky on your left foot (even though you are pretty sure you aren't going to miss it). It's not worth it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

That Darn Apple...

What is it about apples that get such a terrible rep? Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the fruit that Adam and Eve ate was an apple, but everyone just assumes it was. And then there's the saying about the apple not falling far from the tree. I guess people could use that expression for positive things- ex. "Wow, your daughter's toots are pretty explosive" "Well, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" (that would be Chris' response, with a giant grin.)

Well, my post today is a painful one. I have been wrestling about whether or not I would even post it, but this is supposed to be a look inside my journey as a parent. So here it is: I have anger issues. Or a hitting issue.

The other day ago, Lily kicked Topher in the head. Intentionally. All morning she just did not like having him around. She is usually quite sweet to him, but lately she has been extra needy when he is around. When he is in his room taking a nap, Lily doesn't care if she is on my lap, or in another room playing by herself. But when Topher's on my lap, she needs to be on there too. Even if that means being on top of him. So anyway, I was already getting annoyed with her, but when she kicked him that was the last straw. I didn't even take the time to grab her chubby little hand to smack it. I smacked her in the face! What kind of a disgusting person am I? FORTUNATELY for everyone I did not connect 'properly' so my fingers ended up grazing her face. She didn't flinch or cry or anything. BUT STILL. The unintentional intention was to hurt her for hurting Topher. Yikes. (I hope CPS isn't reading this.) I then put her in time out and this is where her punishment is always felt. But it really should be the only place it's felt. For the most part.

Chris and I always talk about the difference between punishment and discipline. We are all about disciplining by spanking, time outs, and rational conversations. We try hard to simply discipline and never punish our kids out of anger. Chris and I were punished by our dads BIG TIME. My dad was particularly big on drawing out the punishment. Report Card time was always a tense season in our house. All the sticks, and sporting gear would have to be hidden. When we got in trouble though, my dad always asked us to get a stick, then bring it to him, kneel before him while he lectured us for about an hour, all the while holding the stick in front of him and us. Oh it was not nice. Sometimes he wouldn't even hit us with the stick, but holding it in front of you for an hour is pretty rough stuff. But, my dad also had a nasty temper when we were growin up, and I can recall a small handful of times when he lost it and would hit one of us kids in pure anger and frustration.

And that's what I did to my little girl! What is wrong with me? And it's not the first time either! I smacked her in her belly once too. Chris just looked at me like "who hits a person on the belly?" Well, it was the first thing that I saw. It was just sticking out there, waiting to be smacked. Anyway, I clearly have a problem. And this is something I need to work on asap-styles. Counting to five before acting on anything is a good suggestion. Not spanking at all for now is probably also another good one till I get myself in check. I could blame all this on all those bad apples out there, or the Power Rangers and how I watched them when I was younger, but I will take this one upon myself and come to grips with the fact that sometimes I am a very undisciplined parent trying to discipline my kids.

Parenting is amazing. There are moments of excruciating difficulty, like when both my kids are crying cause they equally need and deserve my attention simultaneously. And of course there are priceless moments that you would not trade for all the precious metals in the world. I realize that the painful moments should just be painful for me though, and not physically painful one for my kids. I hope you haven't judged me too harshly today reader. Just wanted to give you a truthful dose of my life.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vegas Baby!-less...

That would be- 'Vegas Baby!"/"Babyless!"
Chris and I just got back from Vegas today. It was kind of an early anniversary getaway slash free vacation for going to a seriously stupid timeshare presentation. The thing was only supposed to be for two hours but we were there for two and a half, but it really felt like seven. Fortunately for us, being trapped there meant we were not in a casino losing our money.

We drove up on Tuesday morning, leaving the babies with Jeehon and Barb, aka angels from the Lord! They did such a great job keeping my kids alive and well over the last three days! I have to admit I felt absolutely horrible about leaving them with the kids overnight, mostly cause Topher had been waking up two to four times in the night, but fortunately he was better for my sister than he normally is for me- can't complain about that!

The weather was so perfect for driving. Windows down, sun roof open, no a.c. running, listening to the soundtracks of R.E.N.T and Les Miserables, or Christmas carols (two of Chris' favorite muscial genres. No he is not gay. But man does he walk the line sometimes...) We checked into our hotel room at the timeshare place- very nice and comfy. And close to the strip too! Then we ventured out into the heart of sin city. We were on a pretty strict budget for everything- food, gas, gambling, so we had to be very careful about everything. Driving the Sonanta was perfect cause we only spent $40 on gas going there and back. Eating however, proved to be a much more expensive beast of burden. Even when we tried to eat cheaply- it was still kinda expensive. We drank lots of free coffee and water at the casinos though!

For me, the name of the game was 'do stuff I can't normally do when I am at home.' So I ate at Chipotle's one night for dinner. Sure we have plenty of Chipotle's here in Arizona, but I never go to them cause that means getting the kids out of the car and ordering and eating, etc. I also wore earrings, which I can't normally do cause Topher is quite the curious little monkey and he LOVES to grab and tug and tug and tug at stuff. Namely earrings. And I also wore high heels, which I refuse to do if there is even a remote possibility that I have to carry another human being which would add to the weight on the balls of my feet. (Which by the way are still sore even now as I am sitting here barefoot at home. Why do we women torture themselves for fashion's sake?) The craziest thing I did without my kids- swimming. I swam for the first time in two years! No kid hanging off of me, no one to watch as a potential drowning victim. It was so dang fun!

Anyway, Chris and I gambled together (won and lost), shopped together, ate together, watched the Suns lose on tv together, did everything together. It was a blast. I am so very fortunate to have such an incredible husband who I absolutely LOVE hanging out with. It was a great anniversary trip- a first on a few different fronts: our first anniversary trip where we went somewhere. And our first anniversary not pregnant! It's our third anniversary, but our first one not pregnant. Isn't that crazy? Sure our anniversary is actually next month on December 19th, but I can assure you that it will still be new-baby-free!

Friday, November 7, 2008

No Pain, No Gain

It's been an interesting time of growth and development in the Mallotson house these days. Topher has been sleeping better for the most part, which is both good and bad for the both of us. Good cause we are getting more uninterrupted sleep. Bad because I think it has been messing up my breastmilk supply. I know that in all God's wisdom he made women so amazing that their bodies just simply understand the economic principles of supply and demand. The more your baby eats, the more milk your body makes; the less your baby eats the less it makes. The only problem is that Topher is still wanting to eat like a champ during the days, but more often than not I feel unable to satiate the little guy.
Anyway, Topher seems to have taken it upon himself to get as much milk as he needs by sucking so hard that he now has blisters on his lips, and my milk-makers are supersore! No pain no gain, right?
Then the other day ago, I was vaccuuming the downstairs, and I had to unplug a lamp to get to a conveniently located outlet. Of course, after I was done, I forgot to replug the lamp. So, Lily being the helpful little girl that she is decided to try to do it herself. FORTUNATELY for all of us, nothing fatal or dramatic happened. But Chris was the first one to get to her and he gave her his stern-est 'NO!', and smacked her hand, AND put her in time out. Tears ensued. For both daughter and daddy. Ok. Chris didn't cry. But he said he felt 'sick to his stomach.' Mostly because he had to hit his precious little girl, but also because he could see a tiny little red mark on her hand from where he had disciplined her. I told him he did a great job, because he did! It was an important lesson that she had to learn.
Chris got Lily some juice, and played and played and played with her upstairs. Jeehon asked me why the prune juice was out on the office desk, and I told her I didn't take it out of the fridge. Then it occured to me that Chris must have given Lily prune juice. Lots and lots of prune juice. You know how you're only supposed to give kids half juice, half water? Well, Chris' mixture is usually more like 80% juice, 20% water. And you know how you are only supposed to put a splash of prune juice in with apple juice and water when your kid is clogged up? Imagine what happens when your not-clogged-up kid has 80% prune juice and 20% water. It ain't pretty. So Lily has had some insane diaper rash for the last two days because her dad felt so terrible about disciplining her. But hopefully, the only thing that will go through Lily's young mind the next time she wants to play with an electric socket is that she will get a smack on the hand, time out, and two days of overactive bowel movements. No pain, no gain, right?

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Pics

Here are a few more pictures from our Halloween Party...

Here is Topher and his Uncle Robert's udder. A very disturbing picture for so many different reasons. It's like my little guy has died and gone to milky heaven...

Here are our wonderful friends, the Dezagos. Erin was 'Fruit' and Dan is still 'Loops'. Check out Erin's blog on the sidebar. She is one gifted photographer!

Cambry's first Halloween! What a cute monster!

Found one! My nephew Gabe as KungFu Panda. He even kept that head piece on for a long time! Very impressed by all the babies this year.

Anti-Climactic Halloween

Remember what I said about bragging and how it gets you nowhere fast? Well, we had our annual small group Halloween Chili Party. It was a great night filled with INCREDIBLE costumes. I thought our family was pretty dang cute, but Jeehon bragged about our secret costumes and so everyone stepped it up a notch or two. We were not even recognized in the group votes! At least Chris got three votes in the individual category. Thinking of what we are going to do next year already...

Mike and Drew as the 'Ambiguously Gay Duo'. They won the 'Group Costume'
The 'gay duo's real life wives- Christin and Cindy as Tina Fey and Sarah Palin. Amazing! My favorite costumes of the night. My favorite moment of the night was when high schoolers came trick or treating and asked if they were stewardesses... Maverick stewardesses maybe...

Lindsay and Robert came as the Kungfu Family. Gabe was Kungfu panda. So cute (I don't have a good pic of him though. I will have to get one and post it later). Lindsay was Kungfu Miss Piggy and Robert was Kungfu Cow.

Lily and Sungu as Dorothy and The Tin Man. This was from the Borders Costume Contest we won.

Our Wizard of Oz family pic. Topher was the Cowardly Lion, Jeehon is the Scarecrow, Chris is Glinda the Good Witch, and I am the Wicked Witch. Jeehon and I proudly made CHris' dress by hand. It looks like crap up-close, but we are proud of all the ghetto hand-made costumes.