Sunday, October 6, 2013

Me Me Me!!!

I finally did it.  I got a perm.  A wave actually.  A negative ion wave.  I think I've been wanting a perm for about 5 years.  Maybe longer...but there was always a reason.  Money, time, fear and the fact that I was told it wasn't possible to get the kind of look I wanted.  I guess times have changed because I walked into the salon and told them, "look, I wanna look like I just rolled out of bed.  Messy waves.  No ramen noodles on my head.  Can you do this?"  And she's all, " You mean bed-head?"  Say what!?  I didn't know Miss FOB knew what bed head was.  Three hours later....Voila!

You like?  Well, I like.  It's exactly what I wanted.  It's much less maintenance than my naturally straight (but not stick-straight) hair.  And it holds ponytails better and makes me look less dowdy and frumpy.  Who wouldn't like that kind of improvement, right?

I decided that I need to take better care of myself.  I'm not talking about exercising and eating right.  That is a given and I've already been doing that.  I'm talking about doing the things that bring me happiness and pampering myself once in a while.  It's so easy to let go of yourself, body and mind, when you have a family to care for.  You come last.  If we go anywhere, I feed and prep the kids and hubby is upstairs getting himself ready.  Half an hour later, everyone is dressed and ready to go and I'm still crusty-faced with sulfurous breath and wearing my ahjuma pjs from Korea.  Obviously being who I am, I hate the idea that people are waiting for me, so I basically skip any and all primping and wear the same outfit I've been wearing for the last week (smell check first) and I wash my face, brush my teeth and if I'm lucky, I put lotion on.  This is not a way to live.  Sometimes when we're out as a family, I feel like people see my boys and my husband and they think...."awwww, look a father and his boys...and their nanny."  Seriously, I think this.

And all this self-negligence can make you resentful.  Where did I go?  Who am I?  And how in the world do I get back?  I read this article about a lady who went to the doctor's and found out she had cancer.  When she got back home, she saw her family in the backyard, playing in the pool, having so much fun and living life to it's fullest. And then it hit her.  She was so focused on creating this great environment for them that she ignored her own well-being.  She realized that her family would function fine even if she took a little time for herself.  And so, that's what she did.  And she got better.  What drives me as a mom... as any other parent in the world, is my love for my family.  But right after that would come guilt.  I can't do anything for myself without feeling guilty.  And I know for a fact that many moms feel this way.  That we should be at their beckon call and drop whatever we're doing at a moment's notice.  You cook what they want, you buy what they want, etc.   You do this because you want them to be happy.  It's amazing to see their happiness.

But here's the truth.  This may sound selfish because it is.  But it's not enough to live for your family.  You end up being this singular role and, therefore, unbalanced.  And I think in the end, you take away from your family by not being well-rounded and happy.  I know some would say..."well don't your kids make you happy?  Aren't they enough? what more is there?"  To that, I would say that it's a very naive notion.  It's hard to know what you're children are thinking or know what their needs are if you don't address the fact that you once had those same thoughts and needs as well.  You become a robot.  One day, they will be 35 years old like I am now.  And I would like to be able to think back and remember what my mindset was at this age so that I can be a guide to them, if they ever needed me to be.  I don't want to think that I was only a mother and all I did was change diapers and make baby food.  What good will that do for them later?

Great example.  We have annual passes to Disneyland.  We've gone quite a few times already.  But getting ready is a marathon.  Each time I get better but you really have to know how to hustle.  There were a few times when it was really hot and crowded and just plain miserable.  And for each of those days, I got sunburned. Bad.  Why?  Because while everyone else gets sunblocked,  I forget to put it on myself.  It's the back of my mind.  But waaaaay back.  Know what I'm saying?  There are a thousand other things I need to do and think about before my own protection against skin cancer. By the time we get in the car, I'm sweating worse than a pig.  You would think, once a lobster...I would remember to put that greasy stuff on.  But again, that's how much crap I have on my mind just to get us ready for a one simple trip to Disneyland.

I'm not saying I'm going go start a rock band or do travel photography for a living, leaving my family behind.  All I'm saying is that... so what if I do?  I need to think like that a little more.  Then maybe the human race will let me be a citizen again.

This is a cell phone pic.  And please don't ask what I'm wearing.

I'm 2!!!

Actually, W is now 3 years old.  Sigh.  So soon.  Too soon.  We have been prepping for his party for a while now.  It's great because I didn't have to come up with a theme myself.  He's his own person now, with likes and dislikes.  Sometimes they are one and the same.  Don't ask.  But he LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine.  So naturally, we were going to have a train party.  I wasn't going to do anything fancy.  I don't have time for that, right?  But if you've ever gone on Pinterest, you'd know that there are just too many cute ideas out there that you cannot deny your little boy.  Even if he can't acknowledge or appreciate it now (which he totally doesn't)  I hope that one day he'll look at pictures and know that all this effort made out of sheer celebration.  There are are people out there (who's names I won't say) make their birthdays out be be some sort of week long mardi gras fest.  I never understood that because that's a little more attention than I prefer.  And you'd think someone with a birthday 10 days from Christmas would like a little celebratory recognition.  But again, too much focus in the wrong direction.  It's embarrassing.  So birthdays were never a big deal to me.  Not something to ignore, but not exactly blimp-worthy either, you get what I'm saying?

Well, I feel completely different about birthdays now.  Because the day my first son was born will always be a reason for me to celebrate my ass off.  I was soooo excited.  I could barely sleep the night before.  I kept thinking..."I hope he likes it.  I hope he likes it."  And, thank God, he did.

That isn't to say it went off without a hitch.  It started off bumpy.  Grandpa ruined the cake.  Not completely, but it was right in the middle  and in the front.  Not the side that you can hide or the back.  But the front.  I was upset because it was a Thomas the Train cake I had special ordered.  It was the first cake other than our wedding cake that I had special ordered.  I didn't even do that for his first birthday.  You couldn't be more MOM than ordering a train cake.  So I was quite bummed it got smushed.  And I got blisters on my feet before the party even started because I had to make a lot of trips to the car to get everything.  I had lots of help... but time was not on my side.  You see, they don't give you much time to prepare.  We rented out a train for 3 hours.  And you get to designate your prep time out of those 3 hours.  That's like...nothing.  Three hours will zip by at a party! (which it did.)  So I only gave myself 30 mins to set up the party, which is like a blink of an eye.  We got it done.  Barely.  And all I remember was eating for a few minutes, saying hi to a few friends, and then it was time to clean up!!!  Of course, most of the parents had taken the kids to ride the train so there were only a few of us left to clean up.  We were like a tornado ripping through a town, leaving nothing but debris.  I was actually quite proud of us.  But I was also sad because I didn't even get to see my son hang out at the train station.  I was too busy.  I felt like Steve Martin at the end of Father of the Bride, when he doesn't even get to dance with his daughter on her wedding day.  But everyone finally came back in time to get their favors and strollers and I DID get to ride the train with my beautiful son!  I got to just enjoy his birthday for a few minutes on the train while holding him.  And I started to cry.  And I was so glad I was sitting in the front row so no one could see.  He was a just a baby a moment ago.  And I realized that all of his birthdays will be bittersweet because it will always mark how quickly time passes.

I find myself looking at his face, searching for those round chubby cheeks he once had.  His hair is thicker and no longer whispy.  He's got all his teeth now.  His feet look huge!!  It's getting harder and harder to see the "baby" in my baby.  Don't grow too fast, sweetie.  Mommy is having a hard time with it already.

In true W style, he was afraid to come into his party train.

A graciously helped us set up and tried to get W to come in.

These favors were so fun to make.  

All that prep.... and yet not as big a bang as I thought it would be.  Oh well. LOL!

P made these.  Check out the wheels!

Still won't come in!

The smushed yet yummy cake.

We had California Chicken Cafe cater.  Twas YUMMY!!

The birthday boy waiting for his friends.

Look at all the grand-love N is getting!


Okay, now he's getting excited!

M, his bestie from school.

Even his first love came.  Kekekeke.

The two biggest train lovers you'll ever meet.

Waddup, B!  This guy is ready to walk!

This is W's favorite thing to do at Traveltown.  Walk the tracks.

"Mommy, I want the train!!"

I think the icing was too irresistible.  These guys just ignored their parents and kept dipping. LOL

Photobombed by A. LOL!!!

Practicing 3's with his fingers.

A was the only one to put on the party favor accessories.  Cute, right?

My happy train ride with my W.

W had fun!  Phew! It was ALL worth it!