Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Lana!

Dear Lana,
Today you turn 4 years old! FOUR!!?!? Officially, this is big girl status. Of course you will always be my baby, but you are definitely not a baby. On the day you were born, I had absolutely no clue what it was going to be like to be your mom. The doctors wrapped you up tight and brought you to me and I gave you a kiss on your cute, round cheek and instantly I fell in love. Our love for you has grown exponentially each day and I am so grateful for you and what you bring to our family. You are a treasured gift and I hope you always feel that way.

This has been a big year for you! I have seen you grow in so many ways. Just one year ago, you were so afraid to leave me to go anywhere--to your Amma's, to school. Now you have so much independence and confidence. When I drop you off at school, you just jump out of the car and wave to me as you walk on in. You tell me all about your day when I pick you up. Who was there, who was out sick, what everyone brought for sharing, who was the special leader, who you played with and what you learned about. You sing all these wonderful songs from school and you have a lovely singing voice. There is nothing better when you smile and laugh--when you find something SO funny. I especially like it when you say, "You're funny mom!" I try.

You love to play pretend. We play "Coming over to your house", "Camp Out", "Call me if you need anything" and "Tea party". You build elaborate pillow forts in our bed. You love to jump on the bed and have Baba play wrestling with you. You love to roll or toss a ball down our hallway and laugh hysterically when one of us misses.

You enjoy crafts and everything creative, including cooking and baking. I love it that you focus and concentrate so much when you are doing art. I also love your creations and drawings. You always write: TO MAMA and FROM LANA in all caps. You can write most of the letters in caps and some in lowercase. You impress me with all the information you hold in your brain and how you can say words like "acidophilis" with such clarity.

You are a happy and polite child. You always say hello to friends and teachers and you are so kind and considerate to kids and adults alike. This makes me proud.

This year you became a big sister. I honestly was a little worried about how you would adapt to having a baby in the house and how you would handle everyone giving her all kinds of attention. But you, being so mature and all, are very proud to be Lacey's big sister. I love watching Lacey smile when you walk into the room. I love all the help you give me, both with baby care and around the house. I love that you are always gentle with Lacey and that you want to teach her everything. She is lucky to have a teacher like you.

I hope you had a nice birthday this year, even though you weren't feeling well. When you woke up this morning, the first thing you said was, "Its my birthday! I don't feel four."

For these past 4 years, you have brought us immeasurable joy and happiness. I can't believe you are already such a big kid and I can't wait to see what this next year brings. How we love you, sweet Lana!

XOXO, Mama and Baba

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gimme some earplugs

I know its a good thing that Lana has an extensive vocabulary, that she can pronounce very big words so clearly even a stranger can understand her. I know she has a lot going on in that brain of hers, that she is very creative, inquisitive and imaginative. These are great attributes and most of the time, we feel pleased and proud. But sometimes, for goodness sake I wish she would stop talking--for just a few minutes. Lana wakes up telling me all about her dreams--cool and interesting. This morning she came into my bed at 6:15am and proceeded to talk loudly and incessantly about phone numbers, while my eyes were still closed and I was barely conscious. Lana: "Mom, what is Miss Jamie's phone number?"
Me: (groggily and slurring my words): "I dunno, its on my pink phone."
Lana: "Mom, what is Auntie Mo's phone number?"
Me: "I dunno, its on my pink phone."

She kept it up for like 10 minutes asking me about everyone's phone number. Holy crap, I was wishing I could pull the covers over my head. The thing is, I am pretty used to her constant talking. I love our great conversations, her questions are priceless (although sometimes I feel like I am in the inquisition) and her observations make me laugh. But when she runs out of things to say, she just makes noise. When she is tired, she goes hyperspeed bonkers with the talking. When I am paying attention to Lacey--like if I am doing something indulgent like feeding her or changing her diaper, Lana just talks LOUDER.

I recently went to my bookclub and someone said they got rid of cable and I commented that I could not entertain that possibility any time soon b/c tv is the only thing that cuts the talking for a few minutes. Then I mentioned that I have the DVD in the car so that I can drive in peace safely without hearing, "Mom, look! Mom, let's play Simon says--mom, I can't see you touching your nose." My friend looked at me like I am the worst mom ever for using the tv to shut my kid up. But my friend has never spent a day with Lana. Sometimes when my inlaws drop off Lana after watching her all day, my MIL, who barely speaks English says, "Wow, Lana all day talk, talk, talk."

Most of the time the talking is a good thing, but some days when I am tired or I am just frustrated, I seriously need some earplugs. Imagine what this girl is going to do when she is a teenager and is always on the phone.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Feeling a little funky and clucked up

I am in a huge writing rut. I can't seem to find the energy and brainpower required to write complete sentences at the end of the day. I enjoy reading everyone else's blog, and I even manage to post comments, but when it comes to writing my own blog posts, I am just empty. During my busy days, I think about things I want to write about like the sucky things about not earning money, how to instill gratitude in the girls, how Lana is in a huge lying phase which is driving me bonkers, our magical trip to Disneyland and the Korean wedding we attended. But alas, at the end of the day when I finally get a turn to use the computer, all I can do is passively look at facebook, reply to a few emails and stare blankly at the tv. So I guess, I am in a funk of sorts.

I have been trying to curb the cursing out of my mouth. I wish Bill was on board b/c his cursing is ten times worse than mine. Lana, being the rule-follower that she is does not experiment with bad words b/c she knows they are bad words. She does however tell us not to "say that". So I have been coming up with alternative phrases for the common outbursts I have. Clearly Lana is paying attention b/c she was looking at my mom's feet which are in need of a pedicure and she says, "grandma, your heels are pretty clucked up." Indeed, clucked up is exactly how my brain feels at the end of the day. Hopefully, this phase will pass soon and I can get back to writing about the very exciting things I normally post about like sleep issues. Ha! Just kidding, what could be more boring than me complaining about how my baby doesn't sleep? Perhaps this is all related somehow...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gifts from Lacey

I spend so much time complaining about how Lacey does not sleep that I feel like I often overlook all of her good points which totally and completely overshadow the fact that we are a bit tired. She has given me so many gifts and there are so many things, big and small that I love about her.

  • That smile! She smiles all day long. Especially when her Baba comes home. Sometimes I am a little jealous that she smiles the biggest for her dad, but I am glad mostly because he wanted a boy but got the world's biggest daddy's girl instead. He knows he is lucky indeed. Her smile now includes a tooth, which is so cute. She is so happy and so rarely fussy that when she is, I know its nap time. I really didn't know babies could be this smiley and happy.
  • She is content to sit and play with her toys on a blanket, in the Pack N Play, on the floor of my bedroom. Lana was never content to sit and do anything when she was a baby. No kidding, I am not remembering this incorrectly. Lacey likes to explore her toys with her hands. She doesn't immediately put things into her mouth. She loves to pick up, drop, go after it and repeat. I can see the wheels turning in her head. She doesn't get frustrated too easily either unless she belly flops while reaching for something and gets stuck. Such a happy little bugger!
  • I love Lacey's hands--the 4 little dimples over her knuckles, the pudgy wrists--ooh, I could just eat them up. I also love the bottoms of her feet. Her tushie is pretty cute too, unless it is stinky.

  • I know I have covered this before, but it never gets old: baby giggles. Enough said.

  • When you hold Lacey, she hugs you back. Love it!

  • Lacey has given me the gift of confidence. I was a stress case when Lana was a baby. I didn't know what I was doing. She didn't seem happy. Lacey rewards me every day with confidence that I can do this--I can face each day with happiness and joy. I meet her needs and the needs of the family and I can do it without having a nervous breakdown. Plus, she is growing, pudgy and happy. Its a gift to be her mommy. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think this very thought.

  • Lacey has also given me the gift of healing. She was born 4 weeks after my dad died and I know if she hadn't joined our family, I would be in a lot worse shape. It is amazing how a new life helps to heal the hole in my heart. I recently went to a funeral for my neighbor's 100 year old mother and although I clearly was not emotionally ready to attend a funeral, the pastor came up to me and Lacey, gave the baby a blessing and thanked me for bringing her to remind everyone about the circle of life. Having Lacey at this exact moment in my life has been a tremendous blessing. Its amazing what a little, innocent baby can teach us!

I can't wait to see what the next few months bring. I can't wait for the first words, the crawling, pulling up and walking. I can't wait to see Lacey interacting with Lana more. I do believe they are a gift to one another. While I have always been happy to be an only child, when I was growing up I often had fear that if something happened to my parents I would be all alone in the world (morbid, huh?). I do find comfort that if something happened to me, the girls will have each other. It is my wish that they are friends and have each others backs, although I know this is not always the way it is. When I was pregnant, I couldn't imagine what life was going to be like with two kids. I still often look at them and think, "Wow, I have TWO kids!" I certainly didn't anticipate all of the gifts Lacey would bring to our family and for that I am eternally grateful. I can't wait to see what the future holds for her and for all of us.