welcome, 2018

and just like that, another year has gone by.

in previous years, like millions of other people, my new year’s resolution used to be to lose weight. although i would love to get my post-pregnancy bod back into shape i really want to focus on my emotional and mental state as well as my overall happiness and well-being.

my close mom friends know what i’m talking about because i’ve discussed this with them on many occasions, and they certainly can relate to the emotional and mental toll motherhood can take on you. some of you may wonder what could possibly have such an effect on me when i am blessed to stay home with healthy children who sleep well. that is certainly what my mom and sister wondered aloud when i had a breakdown at my mom’s house a few months ago.

no matter how well your children sleep, you’re always going to be tired. that’s being a parent. i think the chronic tiredness just becomes a part of you until your child moves out. i know i’m always tired because i choose to stay up late. every night i tell myself i’ll go to bed earlier, but i rarely do. if i happened to fall asleep at an earlier time it’s because i fell asleep on the couch while reading a book, trying in vain to update my blog, or while watching netflix. if i don’t stay up, i won’t get the chance to indulge in adult activities such as reading uninterrupted or even just getting to linger over a meal. these are all things i took for granted before i became a mom, and it’s the simple things i yearn for the most.

i’m going to try to put myself first sometimes. or even better, put dennis and myself first over the children.. for certain things. as parents, we sacrifice so much for our children but having a decent meal, for one, shouldn’t be one of them. sometimes i’m too tired to cook because of all the time i spent catering to penny’s ever-changing palate, but take-out isn’t usually healthy nor financially savvy.

i also used to love reading books and was reading a new book every week/every two weeks for a while until i hit a rut again. i got caught up in all of the things i had, and wanted, to do during my downtime like attempting to update my blog! i’ve had to renew two books three times already because i was having difficulty finding time to read. one of the books is the handmaid’s tale and i’m still only a quarter of the way through even though i just renewed it again.

i had also recently gotten a haircut, something i hadn’t done in 14 months(!) and had also recently wrote about. jjust having that done made me feel really good about myself. now i just need to get a massage soon as well as a mani/pedi 🙂

what i really aim to do is just be more h a p p y. this is tricky because you can’t exactly will yourself to be happy, you just have to be. by happiness, i mean… to relax a little, let things go, revel in whatever it is you’re going through, and enjoy life. nowadays with social media, it’s hard to actually enjoy the now because we’re so busy trying to document it for… later. i’m totally guilty of this as well. sometimes i have to restrain myself from whipping out my phone to take yet another picture to add to my library of 15,000 images.

i also have a bad(?) habit of building great expectations… for events, but mostly for people. i can hold a grudge like my life depended on it.. so i want to be more, not really forgiving, but more… understanding, and empathetic. often times i fret over certain friendships and wonder if the effort is really worth it. i feel like i’m usually the one reaching out to certain people, even just to ask how their day was and i just want to stop. i’m tired of wondering how they are. i’m just tired! i want to try to focus on the few great friendships i have instead of trying to cultivate a bunch just to feel like i’m part of a certain group. basically, this calls for me to be more loving to myself.. to be comfortable in my own skin and not feel like i need the validity of others – friends or family.

even with all of these revelations, 2017 was a wonderful year with the most memorable moment being the birth of ezra, our darling boy. it was also a challenging year as our family adjusted to a new family member and also having to endure the newborn demands once again.

it was a huge year for miss penny. not only did she lose her only-child status, but she also got potty trained in a week and a half; night-trained in a week; and begrudgingly gave up her nap/bedtime pacifier all within several weeks of each other. i blamed most of penny’s sudden mood changes and behavioral issues on the “terrible twos” but penny experienced many developmental growths and achieved big milestones (no diapers!)

i definitely can be too hard on penny sometimes. i’m just an impatient person to begin with, and i have a short fuse. maybe it’s because i get easily flustered and frustrated but i find it so difficult to understand, and empathize, with a two-year-old. i feel like a terrible mom most of the time because i get unnecessarily angry and annoyed at her behavior. it’s not like she’s an awful child; she has typical toddler behavior: jealousy over the baby and hangry meltdowns, to name a couple. my reactions sometimes make me wonder how i ever even enjoyed being a teacher until i remember i had specifically chosen elementary over early childhood for the reasons above. (and my experience at home is also why i don’t want to go back to teaching.)

every day i pray for more love, more patience, and more understanding. i want to love myself more so i can teach penny and ezra to love themselves more, too.

2018 – bring. it. on.

[ these are some pictures i took from new year’s weekend in massachusetts. ]

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dessert crepes for dinner at burlington mall

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double duty: cleaning the floor and entertaining little brother

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a “typical” lunch made by my mom

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we forgot yuri’s booties so we used ezra’s socks

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it was stiflingly hot in grandma’s room

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grandpa lee and ezra passing the ball back and forth

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grandpa lee playing the fishing game, one of penny’s favorite christmas gifts

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ezra has been pushing himself forward for a couple of weeks now. he still can’t crawl; he has trouble lifting up his belly so far. he is over 23 lb so maybe weight is one of the reasons! he seems pretty content on moving around this way or just wanting to stand even though he can’t do that on his own.

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ezra on the move!

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happy new year!

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a whole new year with penny. she’s growing up so, so quickly. her first birthday is in 4 months!

what?!? :O

the overzealous mom that i am, i started a pinterest board for her birthday when she was 3 months old adding ideas here and there… but now i really have to get the ball rolling. dennis and i settled on a theme – secret for now – and i need to start making decorations and deciding how i want to set everything up. my parents recently moved and generously offered us their home as the location. since the party will be held in boston it will be more convenient for my family and friends that live in mass to attend especially my 94-year-old grandmother who hasn’t been able to see penny in several months.

i’m hoping to work on the birthday projects little by little to ease the stress factor. *fingers crossed*

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korean tradition to eat ddeok-guk (떡국), or rice cake soup, for the new year

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she loves piggyback rides

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playing with her lion rattle

penny is continuing to sleep wonderfully on her own. she started leap #6 a few days ago so her naps have been back and forth from being short to long but she’s still doing great. (i.e no rocking and no going in to pop the pacifier back in her mouth.) sometimes she’ll play with the pacifier and fall asleep with it at her side.

the only thing that slightly worries us is her moving around in her crib. she isn’t crawling yet but she scoots on her back and often times spins 180 degrees so all we see is the back of her head on the baby monitor. she’s still in her merlin sleep suit which adds a little bit of weight so penny rolls onto her side and scoots around. she’ll kick the crib rails and play with the mesh bumpers then, eventually, fall asleep. i don’t know why but she also likes to sleep facing the crib’s sides. i’m not sure if it’s because she feels snug but i get worried that she’ll wake herself up because her head and feet are touching the rails. sometimes she does but she usually falls back asleep, thankfully.

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this is usually how she falls asleep nowadays

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how i found her after her nap

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look at her legs! she’s not sleeping here.. she fell asleep shortly afterwards

one of my next posts will be about homemade baby food and penny’s feeding schedule. she loves to eat solids now after having a rocky start. penny also can’t get enough of water. we limit her daily intake to 3 oz. and only during mealtimes to wash the food down, but she gets so excited when she sees her sippy cup! she picks up the cup and puts the spout in her mouth but can only drink it if it’s nearly full as she doesn’t yet know to tilt her head back to get the water to flow.

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practicing feeding herself yogurt

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yum!

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this sippy cup was $10 but totally worth it

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good eats, good sleep. these two things have contributed in my feeling much more energized and happy these days. what a great way to start off the new year!

 

 

here’s to 2015… and parenthood

happy new year!

i say this every year, but i can’t believe another year has come and gone. 2014 was an amazing year for me. i had thought that 2013 would be tough to beat since that was the year i got married to my best friend, dennis. little did i know 2014 had even more milestones in store for me: a new job as a kindergarten teacher and impending parenthood!

dennis and i found out the joyous news on september 4th, but it didn’t become *REAL* until we discovered the gender on Christmas morning: we are having a girl!

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my reaction, along with my in-laws

giphy (3)Dennis’s reaction

ah, well.. like many men, Dennis wanted a son first. After the -brief- initial disappointment, Dennis was, and still is, ecstatic. All that matters is that the baby is healthy. †

here’s what we looked like on christmas morning:

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a former colleague suggested that we have our ob place either a pink or blue pacifier in a box (depending on the gender) and not open it until christmas morning. we are so fortunate that our gender reveal appointment was only 3 days prior to christmas making the agonizing wait not as painful. my father-in-law, also wanting a girl, suggested we open gifts on christmas eve but we were insistent on waiting until christmas morning.

some of my readers may have been loyally following my now-retired tumblr blog, and i thank you for your continued support and words of encouragement… particularly when i had been overwhelmed with my job and grad school, and hadn’t had the motivation nor energy to maintain my blog in the past few months. i guess the exciting news of becoming a first-time mommy re-sparked my desire to keep a blog. that, and my love for fashion and writing needs an outlet as well.

why not continue the tumblr blog? i initially chose tumblr to showcase my style since the platform is geared towards a more youthful audience and is more visually-oriented: i let the images do the talking. i still want to share my fashion and style ideas, but now that i will become a mommy i want to share that journey as well (especially inspo on ways to still look fashionable and chic with an ever-burgeoning belly). 

my blog isn’t just for current or future mommies, but for anyone that is interested in learning and sharing fashion and lifestyle ideas. i eagerly anticipate picking up great tips and ideas from my readers as well.

thank you for your support and i look forward to your feedback – please feel free to leave a comment on my posts. also, you can keep in touch and chronicle my journey on facebook and instagram as well.

facebook: jacqueline nayoung so

instagram: so_nana_whatsmyname

xoxo