Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Hell That Is Packing...Times 4

In my single days, when I went on any kind of trip involving a suitcase, I actually enjoyed packing. I would lay out all of my outfits and coordinate footwear and accessories. I would gather up all my makeup. It took no time at all, even with such painstaking planning on the matching of garments.

Packing never seemed like a chore until I had a kid. Then, it was that new-parent headache...did I bring enough wipes? Diapers? Clothes? Toys? Snacks? There is never enough of these things, incidentally.

Fast-forward to today, where I now have 2 children. 3 if you count my husband. Who was napping earlier when I was first attempting to do this. Oh but I can't stay mad at him. He upgraded us to a much nicer room than he'd originally booked, in a better hotel with a view of the river. And right nearby it, there's a Mexican restaurant a friend had recommended to us. So Jeremy gets extra bonus points. And something else that I won't be mentioning in this blog. Ahem.

But earlier today, I was in packing hell. How much harder can it be to pack 4 people instead of just 3? Well. Let me tell you.

For starters, my in-laws had come last night to wish us well. According to them, it is good luck to eat dumplings before you take a trip. Any time we have gone anywhere, they've made us eat dumplings with them. I know it sounds corny, but I think it is a little sweet. So we ate dumplings and drank some beer and it wasn't half bad.

Until this morning. My stomach hurt. And you know who else had an upset stomach? Raelynn. Thanks MIL for your tainted dumplings. She probably did something unsanitary when she was making them. Ugh. Fortunately, it wasn't so debilitating that we couldn't function. Once Jeremy got up from napping, he picked out his clothes he wanted packed and laid them out for me.

While he did that, I nursed Seoul, who was a sleepy baby. So I put her down for a nap. Only thing was she kept waking up. And so this went on my whole day, like this:
Hungry baby. Feed baby. Baby poops. Change baby. Burp baby. Put baby to sleep. Baby goes to sleep. Mommy sneaks off to pick out Raelynn's clothes. Baby cries. Mommy comes back and puts Baby back to sleep. Mommy sneaks off again. Jeremy sneezes so epically loudly that it shakes the building. Baby cries. Mommy deals with baby. Feed, burp, change poopie diaper. Back to sleep goes the baby. Raelynn drops toy onto tile floors with earth-shattering kaboom. Baby cries again. Cranky Mommy rocks baby to sleep.

Yes. My whole fucking day was like this. I'm surprised I actually ate lunch. And you know what was the funniest part?  I started packing at about 10am and at 4pm, I was STILL packing our shit up. STILL! How hard is it to pack for a fucking baby? Harder than you'd think. Because you've got your onesies. And you should bring extra just in case there's a giant pooptacular explosion onto her clothing. Or a spit-up mess, which happened to me this morning. That's what I get for trying to see if she'd like to use the pacifier for the airplane. Short answer: no, because Mommy is afraid she'll yak up a ton of milk onto her during the 3-hour flight to Guangzhou. Then you need pajamas. And some blankets for swaddling. A burp cloth. And of course, a fuckload of diapers. I filled up the suitcase with them and then I put about 15 in the diaper bag. I know that might seem excessive but what if the flight is delayed or those buttholes lose our luggage? What if she has 10 poopings before the flight takes off? Now I'm armed and ready.

Raelynn was even harder. She has the coolest clothes. I want them in my size. For her, I picked out a cute summer dress to wear to the embassy and about 5 other outfits. We're only going for about 3 or 4 days but extra clothes for Raelynn is a must because this kid spills everything. I brought extra undies for her too in case she has an accident. I put one pair of them in the diaper bag. And then I realized I should put one of Seoul's onesies in there too for the same reason. And all this thinking made me realize I didn't have enough wet wipes so I added a fuckload more.

Remember, all of this is happening in small bursts between dealing with the baby. If only she'd napped for one long stretch, I could have had this all done in one hour. But nooooooooo. Some people (coughcoughRaelynncoughcoughJeremycoughcoughcough) can't sneeze or play quietly.

Finally, I get a chance to pick out MY clothes. I'm still losing weight from the baby so I don't have very much to work with. I sigh wistfully at Raelynn's clothes. Why can't my shit be that nice? I unearth my go-to outfits from the wardrobe and then double-check everything. Socks, underwear, shorts, shirts, skirts. Everything matches. Even my back-up items in the event of a poop splattering or spit-up situation match. I'm ready.

Of course, now all that's left are toiletries. Which I'll do tomorrow after I fix my hair and make-up. We leave for the airport at 2:30pm. So by my calculations, if today is any indicator, I'll be finished packing us up at 2:25pm. Sounds about right.

Good vibes are appreciated as we head out on our trip and of course, look for a blog post about our adventures in Guangzhou soon after our return. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Blame The A/C. Go Ahead...I Dare You!

Note: I began writing this post on Thursday and didn't have time to edit and post it, so here it is...

I'm in kind of a bitchy mood today. And yesterday I was too, come to think of it. And the day before that as well. You know why? Sleep deprivation. And as if I wasn't losing enough of my sanity from that, we have MIL to add to that one.

Earlier, I discovered she'd yet again put our rolling pin into the drawer without washing it. I showed my husband and he looked disgusted as well. We have told her and told her AND TOLD her and she STILL does this EVERYFUCKINGTIME she makes wontons or steamed buns or fried breads. Or dumplings. Which she made yesterday. THIS is WHY I don't want to eat the shit she cooks. Because she isn't sanitary. I didn't feel up to blogging about her stupid cooking. Because she just made dumplings. A big-ass plate of dumplings. Nothing else. Dumplings. Sigh.

Anyway, I didn't photograph tonight's dinner either because she basically made steamed shrimp and potato bread again. AGAIN. Same shit, different day. My friend Lynnelle suggested that perhaps she buys a lot of certain things and just keeps making them until they're gone. That theory really seems to make a ton of sense. She's just giving us a bunch of reruns when it comes to things she makes for us to eat. Though I guess I should be thrilled it wasn't cream of vomit again, shouldn't I?

But food is not the main point of this rambling bitchery. Not today.

See, Raelynn had been coughing ever-so-slightly and her nose was a little runny. I banned her from getting too close to the baby. Jeremy brought this up with his mother and you know what she said? Why, the most nonsensical thing ever, of course! She said it was the air conditioning in Raelynn's room. Which was NOT on actually. Ever since FIL cleaned out the one in our room, it runs so cold it can keep the whole apartment nice and cool. We keep the one in our room on all day because that's where Seoul usually is. Raelynn's gets turned on at night when she's in there, going to sleep. Furthermore, MIL's theory is stupider still because if it were the A/C's fault, why aren't the rest of us sick from it? What a moron. It couldn't possibly be due to her dragging Raelynn to the neighborhood park and letting her interact with her ancient, dirty, smelly bat-brained friends! Or the less-than-stellar air quality outside could also be to blame...when we'd gone to Beijing a couple years ago, the smog was so bad that Raelynn exhibited cold-like symptoms from the moment we were there until we left. As soon as we departed that city, those symptoms were gone. But what do I know? China keeps telling its' idiot citizens like her that smog is good for them so there you go.

I never was very capable of tolerating stupid people and now, I have one with absolutely no education trying to tell me that a device that not only cools the air but also removes the moisture within said air which prevents mold and mildew from developing is the reason my eldest child was coughing and sniffling.

At least we get a much-needed break from her in a couple more days when we head to Guangzhou. We'll be visiting the US Embassy to handle some paperwork for Seoul's US citizenship and begin Jeremy's visa process. Plus, we'll get to hang in another city for a few days. For those not in the know, Guangzhou is in the southern part of mainland China so it's hot there. I sure hope their attitude about air conditioning is not at all like MIL's, but even if it is, being away from her mangy-ass - even though it involves traveling with 2 children under the age of 5 - will be a blissful retreat.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Greatest Show On Earth

Come one, come all! And watch me, the amazing Jennifer and her equally amazing husband Jeremy change a diaper!

What? What's wrong? Oh, you don't want to watch that? Well, I can't say I blame you. See, I wouldn't want to watch that either. But a bunch of Chinese people at the Women and Infants Hospital where I had my 6-week check-up today sure did.

Today, Seoul is 6 weeks old which meant we were due back at the hospital for our check-ups. As we walk in, there are tons of set lights and cameras. We find out they're filming a TV pilot. Pretty cool! As the TV crew is invading Dr. Wang's office, she gabs with us in the lobby, fussing over Seoul and trying to talk me into having a 3rd kid. No. Nooooooo. NO. Let's just have this check-up, shall we?

Seoul and I are waiting for it to be my turn for the check-up. 
As we waited our turn, Seoul eventually became hungry and wanted to eat. One of the staff there offered me a more private place to nurse her, which I appreciated. As I sat feeding my baby, I listened to all the hospital sounds around me. I couldn't believe just 6 weeks before, I was stuck in the world's most uncomfortable hospital bed with IV's in my arms and a catheter in, well, you know where. And as I thought about all this, suddenly Seoul went PLTTHPPPTHHHHPPPPTHHHPLLLPPPPLLLPPPP!!!!!

An epic shit. Oh God. No. I am wearing a white skirt. I lift Seoul up and sure as shit (pardon the pun, won't you?) there is now a big, yellow blob of poop all over the front of my lovely white skirt. Thanks Seoul. Yeesh.

I head back to Jeremy who is holding the baby bag. He laughs but comes to my rescue, grabbing Seoul and handing me the wet wipes so I can clean up my skirt the best I can until I can get home to burn it bleach it. Jeremy begins tackling the diaper situation and I notice now that all the pregnant women and their annoying old-ass moms or MILs and even some husbands too are all crowded around us like are on a stage performing for them. I couldn't even believe it. I went to throw the diaper and dirty wipes out and I had to tell people to get out of my way when I turned back around. I have never seen more socially inept people all at once than I have in this country. It amazes me that these people would stand around to watch people change a diaper, especially when there is a whole production crew filming a TV show. Why aren't they looking at that?!? Sheesh!

After that, as we sat and continued to wait for my turn, I fed Seoul some more. I had my cover on but Seoul's little feet were poking out the other end. Some woman's mom who was waiting with her just came up way too close to me and was trying to grab her feet. "Leave us alone please," I said curtly and although she didn't understand English, she felt the daggers coming from my eyes and heard the tone of my voice. I can appreciate people want to be friendly but geez! This is what happens when an entire culture is raised by the grandparents. No one has manners. No one knows how to properly approach people and make friends. Why would they? When they're young, they're stuck with their idiot grandparents who only bring them around other idiot old people.

Anyway, on a positive note, Seoul and I checked out just fine and I'm all clear to exercise again. So back to my workouts I will go. And as for diet, if MIL keeps making shit like this, I should lose this last bit of weight by the time I go back to work in October.
While there, we visit with the nurses who took care of us during our hospital stay. They were so excited to see Seoul again.

Barf: It's What's For Dinner

What would you do if someone served you this for dinner?
Why, is that barf on rice with a side of overcooked green beans? It IS! My favorite. NOT!

Here it is with flash on:
 Doesn't this look like something you'd step over at the last minute on the sidewalk because you were almost too drunk to notice it before it was too late? This dish is like a visual interpretation of my college years.

But don't worry. I didn't starve completely. She made steamed shrimp which were great and oddly, steamed potatoes, which were just ok. Chinese people steam their potatoes whole while Americans bake them. They don't taste as good steamed, in my opinion, but a little bit of butter helps make it tolerable. China: ruining food for over 5,000 years. That should be the tagline. I can hear my friend Aaron Gordon howling with laughter from here after reading that one.

Maybe I should give MIL a break. I mean, I am trying to lose the last bit of baby weight here. Then again it sucks ass to be breastfeeding and feel constantly hungry every hour of the day. Like right now. I just ate and I am so hungry I could eat a house. But I could not and would not eat a plate of barf on rice. No way, no how.

This has been a Someone Made Me Eat This post. For previous Someone Made Me Eat This (S.M.M.E.T.) posts, please click here.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Life With 2 Kids Summed Up In One Very Accurate Scene

Do you have kids? If you answered no, do you WANT kids? Well, if you answered yes, I'd like to describe for you what you're in for when you have kids. Plural. As in more than one. Because handling one is cake. Add one more though and what I am about to describe will soon be your life too.

The scene:
The Intercontinental, a 5-star hotel by the Olympic Sailing Port here in Qingdao. It's a lovely hotel (though not as fabulous as the Shangri-La, in my opinion) and on Sundays, our church hosts services in the large auditorium on the 3rd floor, which I never get to sit in on because just adjacent is a room for infants and small children to play in. As you may have guessed, Raelynn NEVER wants me to leave this room. EVER. Even though she's at the point that she completely ignores me while I'm in there. Until I try to sneak out the door that is.

Church ends and everyone is milling about, talking. Jeremy and I speak to some people we know but decide to get a move on to the supermarket as Raelynn is getting crankier by the minute. How do I know this? Allow me to illustrate with our actual conversation.

Raelynn: I don't want to stand right here!
Me: Ok, let's stand over there.
Raelynn: No! I don't want to stand there!!!
Me: Ok, where do you want to go?
Raelynn: I want to stand here!!!!!
Me: Um, ok...

As we  get ready to depart, I ask her if she needs to use the bathroom.
Me: Raelynn, do you need to use the potty before we go?
Raelynn: No! I no use potty!
Me: Are you sure?
Raelynn: Yes, Mommy!
Me: You really don't have to make a pee pee?
Raelynn: No! No pee pee! Let's go!

So we go. We take the elevator down to the parking garage. We walk to our car. We get Raelynn all buckled into her seat. I get into the car with the baby (Jeremy STILL needs to get a car seat for her and please don't direct your bitchings at me that we STILL don't have one - direct them at Jeremy) and buckle up and that's when Raelynn says:
"Mommy, I need to make a pee pee."

Oh yes. NOW she needs to make a pee pee. When we are all in the car and my husband has lifted up the handbrake and is starting to shift into first and roll out of the parking space. Now, I must take Seoul, who is strapped to me and sound asleep in her carrier, along with Raelynn and me back into the hotel to use the bathroom before she pees on the car seat. I unbuckle Raelynn from her car seat and we walk all the way back into the hotel. We wait for the elevator. We take it to the lobby. We hit the bathroom closest to the elevators. Raelynn pees. I pee. Seoul cries because the sound of the flushing toilet startles her but then she falls back asleep. I wash my hands. Raelynn washes her hands. We dry our hands on paper towels and discard them. Then we wait for the elevator again. And take it down to the parking garage, where I buckle Raelynn back into her seat and get back into the vehicle again.

Yes, prepare yourselves, childless masses that want children. Because this will happen to you too. All the parents out there are laughing at this because THEY KNOW what this is all about. And you will too if you have children.

But it's not all frustration and chaos. Just some of it. Most of it, honestly, is filled with moments you cherish. Moments that make you feel so full of happiness that you could burst out rays of sunshine. And THOSE are the moments that you become a parent for. But you can't have those beautiful times without getting a few bits of shit thrown in for good measure. Remember The Facts of Life? You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have the facts of life? Ah yes. What didn't we learn from 80s sitcoms? 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Batteries Not Included

If you've ever read my blog and wondered, "Does her husband read the stuff she writes about his mother?" The answer to that question is yes. But he doesn't read everything. He does know it exists though and he's happy to let me have an outlet to express myself through rather than have me blow up and yell in his mom's face. Or worse, club her in the head with the frying pan, which, let me tell you, is incredibly tempting.

Of course, if you've read this blog for a while, you know I don't just write about her. Living in China, there's so much to write about. And being married to a Chinese man gives me so much to write about as well. So this post is about my husband, who won't be thrilled I'm writing about him but I hope he'll laugh at himself a little too. Like when he poked himself in the eye with a piece of spinach as he was trying to eat it. But that's a story for another time.

See, I tease my husband about being cheap. Jeremy does not want you to think he's a cheapskate. And I'm not just saying this for his benefit should he chose to sit down and read this particular post but he's NOT a cheapskate. But I'll be damned if he doesn't pick the absolute most random things to suddenly tighten up the wallet on.

Batteries, for instance.

You'll recall that we recently bought that wonderful chair for Seoul. It has a compartment to house one of those big batteries so it can vibrate. When you turn on the chair, it vibrates your sweet-but-noisy baby into blissful sleep quite quickly. Of course, the vibrating drains the battery almost as quickly as it lulls your kid to sleep. I figured that out the first week, so I started shutting off the vibrate button once I was sure Seoul was soundly sleeping. Normally, I wouldn't have cared but Jeremy got angry about the battery. "Those batteries are 5 yuan each!" he cried. He refused to change the battery and told me to just rock the baby in the chair. Which takes much longer than vibrating, incidentally. 

I can dig it that we shouldn't be going through batteries that cost 5 yuan a piece more quickly than toilet paper but I think it's time to change that battery, says the poor exhausted mommy who has been rocking an infant to sleep all night. Just when she thinks said infant is asleep and she sneaks back into the bed, that's when the crying begins again. Thankfully, Jeremy has found a solution that pleases us both. He's ordered a rechargeable battery for the chair off TaoBao, China's answer to shopping online. Now he won't complain about the 5 yuan batteries and I can actually get a break. It should be here in a few days. Yay!

But the chair and its' battery consumption isn't the only battery-operated item in our home that Jeremy had become concerned about. The other one was our new digital scale. I usually hate scales but was rather pleased he'd bought it (also from TaoBao) because I want to see exactly how much weight I'm losing post-baby. So today, I went to check out my weight and the scale wouldn't come on. Did the batteries go already? No. At least not in the way I'd fathomed. Jeremy had REMOVED them. Yes, really. He took them out and put them in the cabinet.

"This way, they will last a year," he proclaims. And I just stare at him. How is this little bathroom scale going to burn through batteries so rapidly that it would impact our budget? I can understand the chair batteries on some level but 2 double A batteries?!? So now every time I want to check my weight, I have to go dig these out of the cabinet and put them in first. It's not like we stand on the scale all day, every day!

The good news is the scale did say I'd lost another kilogram. That makes me happy, though not as happy as I will be when I finally get a rest while the battery does all the hard work in the chair.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Oh Come On!!!

While Seoul was napping, I managed to get a few moments in of cleaning before Raelynn came back from the park with her grandparents. I just kind of went around the house sporadically. It wasn't my's just that I seriously became distracted. I threw in a load of laundry and then attempted to get the dusting done. And then I would see something else and stop doing what I was doing until I effectively did little bits around our whole apartment.

One of those little things was to organize a shelf in Raelynn's room that had all her hair stuff on it. See, every morning when MIL picks her up, she puts Raelynn's hair into a ponytail. And then she puts 2 barrettes in to keep her hair from coming loose and getting into her face. But she picks the same barrettes EVERY day. Whether they match or not. Even though there are about 30 different barrettes she could choose. So I thought I'd tidy up the area and put all big bows and clips in one container; hair ties in another container; and barrettes in yet another container.

So as I was doing that, I could now see the rest of the shelf. Because as you know, MIL has to knock everything over and spill it and of course not clean it up. Once I put all the items in containers, I then discovered this:
I knew MIL did it as soon as I saw it. I brought it to Jeremy though and asked him if he did it. Because if I outright blame her, he'll get defensive. No, he tells me, it wasn't him. He asked me if I thought Raelynn did it. While I'll concede that's a possibility as she's broken plenty herself, Raelynn NEVER puts a broken item back where it belongs. She leaves it out in the middle of everything. Or shoves it behind the couch. She has never once put a broken thing back in its' place. So I tell him this and I tell him I think his mom did it because she's the one who does Raelynn's hair in the mornings and instead of using the brush on her hair, MIL and her pea-brain always use the comb. Because of course!

Now, I know what you're thinking. But Jenn! It's just a fucking cheap-ass comb. Get over it! Oh sweethearts, please. I don't care about the comb. It's the principle of the whole thing. She breaks the comb and then puts it back on the shelf. Who could use this thing now? THROW IT OUT! Tell us you broke the comb. We have other combs. But no. She just puts it back on the shelf like nothing's the matter. She never says sorry when she breaks things either. Remember when she broke my 2 favorite mugs?!? And all the other shit she's broken. Like the Baby Bjorn chair! Not one sorry out of her. It's not in their culture which makes me angrier every time I hear that. You know why? Because I try very hard to incorporate some of the Chinese culture in my life. I'm not always successful but I do try because I want to make my husband happy and I want my daughters to embrace the Chinese part of their heritage as much as their American part.Why is it so hard for her to say "sorry" then? She could say it in Chinese and I'd understand just fine.

And honestly, if this comb was the only thing she had ever broken in our home, I wouldn't even give a shit. It's the culmination of broken things that have been put back broken over these last few years that just make me want to scream like a banshee before punching her in the throat as I tell her "OH COME ON!!!!! JUST FUCKING SAY YOU'RE SORRY! GAH!!!!" But my husband wouldn't be keen on that so all I can do is give her a dirty look and pray even harder that we can move home very soon. Oh and of course, use a different comb.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

S.M.M.E.T.: That's The MIL We All Know!

You can check out previous S.M.M.E.T. (Someone Made Me Eat This) posts here

Aha! I knew it wouldn't last. I'm just surprised she had such a long winning streak. And now I'm sad it's over actually. It was nice to sit down to dinner and truly want to eat what was served to me. Even last night's dinner was decent. Let's look at that first...
On the left, the dish with the green stuff is celery with tons of a garlic-soy sauce mixture on it. She served that recently. Not bad. Then in front of that, steamed shrimp, which is always good. In the center, a big plate of roasted duck. She didn't even pretend to make that (not like she did with the roasted chicken) as everyone here buys roasted duck. It's the equivalent of being in the US and stopping at the supermarket for a rotisserie chicken on the way home from work. In front of that, cauliflower (again). And off to the top of the photo, more tudou bien (potato bread) which I'm now getting sick of because she's served it so much lately. Oh, and check out the xifan. It's a white version with corn in it. Which would have been so much better had she 1) seasoned it and 2) made it less gloopy. It seriously reminded me of craft paste, but with a corn taste. Hey, that could be the tagline!

So maybe it wasn't the best meal ever. But it wasn't the worst. This next photo shows my nomination for one of MIL's worst meals ever.
THIS was what she served us for dinner tonight. Ignore the glass dish with grapes in the back. Raelynn and I had been snacking on those a little while before dinner. THIS is our dinner. There are 3 bowls of the typical kind of xifan that she makes. And 2 plates full of this greasy, fried tofu patty. Just look at the oil on the plate! The tofu patty consists of 2 layers of silky tofu with a middle layer of some ground pork. This wasn't horrible but to be served just this and a bowl of shitty xifan pissed me off. Didn't Jeremy tell her to stop serving so much fried food? And where was the vegetable? She brought cucumbers, I later discovered. Why didn't she serve them?!? She also made a plate of dumplings but those were for Raelynn so I didn't take a photo of them. But they were gross too. She asked me to try one and I thought for one glimmering second that perhaps they would be good and I wouldn't starve after all but no. She put a filling in it that I cannot stand and I secretly wished we had a dog so I could throw it under the table to have snarfed up immediately. Then again, that would have been animal cruelty.

Even Jeremy was not very pleased with this meal. When he got home, I was already done with my xifan and forcing myself to eat 2 of those greasy messy things (and the one dumpling). I was starving though. To offset our hunger, he steamed us some potatoes and as I was attending to Seoul, I couldn't believe that horrid woman began eating the potatoes! You don't get any potatoes! Eat your oil-slathered crap and your fart-filled dumplings, you old bat! Gah!

Maybe I should market this as the MIL Diet. Food so gross you can't bear to eat it. Your extra weight from having that baby will just melt away! Of course, your stomach will start eating itself, so there's that, but hey, you'll look great once you can get past the sad shrieking sound that wails out from your abdominal area. Or, when she doesn't cook something properly (or doesn't clean the dishes with hot water), you can lose weight via diarrhea. That's fun too. Who's joining me on the MIL Diet? Anyone? No? Sigh. Thank God my mom is sending another package with food, glorious food. You rule, Mom. I love you!

Monday, August 18, 2014


Let's start this post off with an adorable picture of Seoul. Along with a warning: if you don't want to read about babies or poop, check out one of my other posts. If you can handle it, proceed.

I love the sweet moments I get to enjoy with Seoul when I'm breastfeeding her. Today, after a feeding, Seoul had drifted off to sleep on top of our bed. She looked so peaceful and angelic and Jeremy and I were marveling over what a darling little baby she was.

Suddenly, she awoke and cried, and I realized I'd better burp her. She's a spit-up baby though and my shirt took a direct hit.My husband held her as I changed my shirt and then I took her back. We sat on the bed, her in my lap making cute little baby faces at me. We were laughing at her and enjoying her cuteness. And I started talking about some friends from church who had just come back from a summer in the states. They  have 3 girls together; the youngest is 6 or 7 months now. We hadn't seen them in a while so the baby was so much bigger when we saw them the other day. I was telling Jeremy just how gorgeous that baby was. She has such a big, happy smile and as I was describing Baby Jubilee for him, our very own Baby Seoul decided she wasn't going to let another cute baby steal the spotlight.


I stop mid-sentence and stare down. I cannot even believe it. I've been holding Seoul upright in my lap so she won't spit up some more and this is the thanks I get. It comes out the other end. In an explosive way. Even more explosive than the first pooping incident. She has effectively shat out one of the leg holes and right onto my shorts. AND my leg. God, there is SO much on my leg! AND onto her blanket. AND even beyond the perimeter of her entire blanket, right onto our bedding. AUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

I scream in terror as I look down at the mess that is now covering me and the surrounding areas. No, Seoul! No! Bad baby! You're only supposed to poop on Daddy, Grandma or Grandpa. Or even Uncle Phillip. But never on Papa, Mimi or Aunt Kimmy. And especially never on Mommy!

My husband, who has witnessed this whole gruesome scene, is torn between laughing hysterically and helping me. I'm afraid to move for fear of spreading the poop even further. It's up to him to hand me wet wipes until I've mopped up enough to free myself from the disaster area. Once I've done that, I now must act quickly to save us all. I hose off quickly in the shower and prepare a bath for that little cute-but-evil-pooper. I also throw the pooped on items into the laundry, along with some other items that are ready for the washing machine (because now I am ALWAYS on laundry duty). And somehow, I manage to get this vile mess remedied.

Jeremy is still laughing. Hell, if it happened to him, I wouldn't have stopped laughing either. He then brings up an excellent's my fault if I last changed the diaper. I didn't close it up good enough. And then I realize...this is all my husband's fault! The last diaper change she'd had before this incident, I was in the bathroom and heard Jeremy talking about her making a poop and talking to her as he changed her. So he is the incompetent diaper-changer. Not me. He also has the stupidest habit, which I've seen his parents also do so I can only assume he picked this up from them (or other idiotic Chinese people), of pulling out the side of the leg hole to see if there's a poop. These diapers actually have a yellow stripe on the outside and when it's soiled, that stripe turns blue. And is it THAT much more work to open up the tabs real quick and take a peek? Ugh! Here's hoping the next poop-tastrophe happens to him or my in-laws.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Many Faces Of Seoul

When Raelynn was one month old, I wrote this post showcasing the adorable little faces she made back then. Except for Problem Face. That one wasn't very cute.

So let's take a look at sweet little Seoul and the faces she's made over the last month...
Here's one of the first photos ever taken of Seoul. She has hair but much less hair than Raelynn did. Raelynn totally looked like she had Jeremy's hair when she was born.

After a bath in the hospital, Seoul and I are both left wondering why the fuck they've put a onesie on her head. It's not a hat, morons!

 Mmmm...tasty hand!

Sleepy baby. Must be full from eating that hand.

Seoul's first time on the baby play mat. Wow...all these trippy colors and things!

 Mom! There's some weird baby staring at me! Oh...wait... one suspects a thing.

A sleepy smile!

One of the first (of hopefully many!) sweet sisterly moments. Raelynn gives her little sister a big kiss!
Holding her head up all by herself to get a better look at her daddy! Whoah! I did it!

 Ah, here is Seoul's Problem Face. Looks just like Raelynn's version.

Say what now? People are making videos of themselves getting buckets of ice water dumped on them to raise awareness for Lou Gehrig's disease?!? And that helps out how?!?

 I'm gonna have to think about that and get back to you, chief.

Strike a pose, there's nothing to it. VOGUE!


And now, presented without comment, these darling photos of our precious Seoul as an official one-month old baby. No more Grandpa Face!

What? I didn't do it! I swear!

It was her! Yes! My sister, Raelynn. Blame her! Muahahahahahaha!

Happy 1st Month, Seoul! We all love you so much and can't wait to see all the things you accomplish as you grow!

Friday, August 15, 2014

On Being A Mom Of 2

Now that a month has passed since Seoul was born, I'm getting more used to the fact that I have 2 children under the age of 5 to take care of. So many people have been asking me how I like it, is it harder, am I more tired, and those sorts of things. To answer your pressing questions, I thought I'd do so in the form of a blog post.

What's it like being a mom of 2 kids?
Being a mom of 2 small children is like setting fire to opposite ends of your house simultaneously to see which one engulfs the entire place first. Something is always happening and you are on your toes constantly. When I'm nursing the baby, you can bet all the money in your bank account that 2 things will occur. The first: baby Seoul will suddenly squirt out a poop that sounds like shit hitting the fan. And if I'm too quick to change it, she'll make more poop either on me (ugh), Jeremy (haha) or surrounding areas (ughhhh) or into a new diaper which I'll have to immediately throw out while enduring a lecture from my husband about the cost of diapers. The second: a small voice will arise from the living room, "Poo poo. Poo poo. POO POO!" This is Raelynn's way of asking for help once she's pooped in her little potty. She has yet to master wiping her ass perfectly so we still have to help her. She always poops when I'm feeding Seoul when my husband is not around. Now I must choose to either stop nursing Seoul for a moment to wipe Raelynn's butt and then go dump out the poop into the toilet in the bathroom or ignore the poop in the small potty and wipe Raelynn's butt, hoping to God her poop doesn't stink up our whole home until I can get to it. Or I can continue nursing the baby and risk having Raelynn come over to me, shuffling across the floor with pants and undies around her ankles with a clean wet wipe in hand so I can help her while nursing Seoul and leaving the poop for a later clean up. Neither of these options is fun.

How are you managing?
If you mean how am I managing my home, I'd say quite poorly. It gets messy in here and I cannot even blame MIL for all of it (some of it though, yes). Chores are done haphazardly. Like dusting, for example, while the baby sleeps, until Raelynn wants to play. Dust or play with older child? Of course I'm going to play with my kid. Even if that means my house looks dusty and dirty like MIL's place. I'm always blowing Raelynn off for the baby's needs and dusting as well as other chores, much as they need to be done, can wait.

Except laundry.
I've mentioned we don't have a dryer. So I have to hang everything to dry. Our bedroom always looks like this:
My laundry load has quadrupled since Seoul was born. How could it have increased so exponentially? I'll tell you how...
Raelynn is the queen of spills. Give her a bowl of ice cream and she will wind up with part of it all over her shirt. Soup with dinner? Yeah, that girl will be wearing half of it...just watch and see.

Seoul, while being a much quieter baby than Raelynn was, has another key difference - she spits up a lot. A LOT. My parents used to tell me my brother Phillip would spit up everything, so I guess she takes after her Uncle Phillip (or rather, Uncle Spit-Up). So Seoul will spit up all over Jeremy when he's burping her, forcing him to change clothes, and all over me too after another feeding. Another change of clothes. Because each of us is too stupid to remember the burp cloths Natalie sent us. And of course, Seoul's clothes get covered with regurgitated breast milk too. And let's not forget the blankets she vurps upon, or poops onto.

And there you have it: my insane daily laundry load.

Another question I love: Are you tired? 
No, I absolutely love living off a couple hours of sleep. Every time I try to go to sleep, someone thwarts my plan. Well-fed baby placed gently in the crib...5 minutes later, screaming and crying because she was apparently Houdini in a past life and has now freed her arms from my lovingly-swaddled blanket. Arms she's using to hit herself in the face because she has yet to figure out those are her arms. When I do finally get her to sleep, my husband's loud snores that people on the other side of the earth can hear are rupturing my eardrums, even with 32 decibel-blocking earplugs firmly in place. It's amazing I can still hear him over the white noise machine. When I finally start either hallucinating from lack of sleep or am actually having bizarre dreams (I'm honestly not sure which it is), Raelynn will decide she's lonely or there's a ghost in her room or something and she'll come bug us. Jeremy winds up going in there which solves my issue with his snoring and I settle in for 5 more minutes of sleep before Seoul wakes up again.

I must say though that in the morning, Jeremy is very kind with coming in and watching Seoul so I can at least get that one hour of sleep. 2 if I'm lucky.

How is Raelynn handling having a baby sister?
I don't know a three-year-old child anywhere that thinks completely rationally. Try as I might to explain things to Raelynn, sometimes she just doesn't get it. Because at her age, the world revolves around her. Sometimes, she's a great big sister and daughter, helping me get diapers and wipes ready or picking up her toys when I ask her. Other times, I'm met with great defiance, usually in the form of ear-splitting screams, particularly when the baby is sleeping. As you may have guessed, this leads to the baby waking and me having to now deal with soothing a crying infant and punish a toddler for not listening to Mommy. Add in my sleep deprivation and I feel like smashing my head into the wall. Repeatedly.  

All complaining aside though, as I cradle a small baby in my arms through the wee hours of the morning, when I look at her little face, it makes all that spit up, all that fucking laundry and all that lack of sleep worth it. Because you know what? She won't always be this little. Raelynn won't always act out to get attention either. A little over 3 years ago, I had a beautiful baby girl, and before I knew it, POOF! She grew into a beautiful little girl. And now, I'm so lucky to have 2 precious children. Time goes so slowly yet flies right by and I know that all too soon, these girls will be all grown up, too big for Jeremy and I to hold on our laps, but never too big to hold onto our hearts.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

S.M.M.E.T.: The Royal Flush

FYI: S.M.M.E.T. = Someone Made Me Eat This. Now you know.

I should have given MIL more credit. But for one thing, I'm not much of a betting gal and for another, MIL's past track record has proven over and over again that she's not exactly the best chef (except, surprisingly, during Chinese New Year). I thought for sure that last night, after 2 nights of her doing well in the kitchen, she would totally bomb. But she didn't.

When I saw the table, I immediately knew FIL was coming for a change. How, you ask? Well, there's 4 giant bowls of rice, that's how. Why she ever serves me so much rice, I'll never know. She does it every time even though I always dump out more than half into another rice bowl. Anyway, FIL never comes over anymore. He once told Jeremy that our house is boring. Yes. OUR house is boring. Not their smelly house (see the end of this post for photos). OUR HOUSE. Which pisses me off on many levels because we have all kinds of toys and things for Raelynn to play with here. You'd think he'd be happy playing and learning with her. You'd think he'd come over more to play with her period but he apparently has better things to do. You know, somewhere that isn't BORING. Smeesh.

Anyway, MIL encouraged me to dig in before Seoul woke up so that's what I began to do. Let's take a look at everything, shall we?

This is some rib dish cooked with a potato-like vegetable. I always forget what the name of the potato-like vegetable is. It's good but I call it "Ajumma Face." An "ajumma" in Korean is an old lady. So it basically looks like an old lady face before you peel it. She's topped it with cilantro. I guess she's trying out for a spot on Masterchef now. Is there a Masterchef China? There should be. That shit would be hilarious.

This dish isn't too awful. Not my favorite but definitely edible. I ate more of the "Ajumma Face" than the ribs though.

 Overcooked zucchini. In lots of oil. Oh MIL. *facepalm*

This potatoes and onions dish (sprinkled with cilantro to be artsy of course!) was great. Better than the potato dish she made earlier this week. No complaints here.

 Celery topped with 1,000 cloves of garlic in soy sauce. Not bad. Just too garlicky and salty. I tried going for the pieces that weren't completely covered in garlic.

So this meal isn't too awful and normally I wouldn't even really care to rank it. Until she busted out with this:
Oh hells yes! Fresh steamed crab! You win, MIL. You win this whole week. Nothing beats fresh steamed crab, except maybe steamed lobster. Hot damn!

So what was with the whole big dinner? Why the crabs? Why did FIL bother to show up? And then I realized why...MIL was making a big dinner to celebrate Seoul being a month old. Awwww. That is certainly sweet of her. And a big reason to have a crab dinner and take shots of baijiu (a very strong Chinese liquor, in case you were wondering).

How could we not celebrate this little face?
She's even vogueing for the photo!

And of course our original party girl was all on board. She wanted some baijiu. We told her no. She still wanted it so we let her smell it. Just as I suspected, she's not interested anymore. I'm sure that will change by the time she's a teenager though. Eek.