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Hello Dear Friends,

I do not have time to update a blog.  What was I thinking?  Back at full-time work while juggling mommyhood… Yeah.  Every day is joy filled and stress filled.  These days there is more joy than stress.  I am glad.   Liam is now 8 1/2 months – he is crawling, eating solids, and he is going to be going to daycare soon.  😦  I am glad that we got to keep him with us at home as long as possible.  Now, on to more adventures, Liam!

Here are some of my favorites from the last few months.  I can’t promise but I will try to post more frequently…at least pictures of the cute kid, geesh.

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Dear Dear Liam:

This past weekend we celebrated 100 Days of your life.  How much you have grown!  You are now wearing 6-9 month clothes.  You drink 6 oz of formula every four hours.  You have learned to roll over from your tummy to your back.  You laugh out loud.  You smile whenever you see a friendly face.  You still love bath time and look forward to it every evening.   Your Grandma and Grandpa Sung drove in from Los Angeles with loads of fruit, meat, furniture, and poured out so much love for you, as they prepared for this special day.  Grandma and Grandpa C drove in from Ohio to help with preparations and were so excited to see you in your Han-Bok.  Our circle of friends came together to feast on Korean food and share in platters of rice cakes.  See here:  this is how we celebrated you!!  Umma and Abba love you till the ends of the earth and beyond!!

First part-time days at work have gone well.  In my ideal world, I would love to work part-time mornings.   It looks like I will be transitioning to supervise three Admin staff and one marketing/ web designer when I go back full-time.  Our admin staff may be cut by one as she is struggling to get basics but I won’t know for a while how it will all turn out.  My Exec. Dir. (ED) asked that I quarterback our fiscal, development, and personnel depts.  I really miss the time when I just had to take care of myself and my own workload.  Just thinking about worrying about other people and their happiness at work makes me kinda tired.  Oh well.

Weekend was nice.  Hung out with Liam, watched Food, Inc. with the hubby on Netflix, began planning and sending invites for Liam’s 100 Day Celebration, and made it out to Koreatown to order rice cakes.  My parents are in-town and brought a van load of Korean food, furniture, and fruit.  Hauling it up to our third floor condo was fun for Kevin.

Looks like Kevin’s parents need to attend another funeral in Ohio so after Liam’s 100 Day Celebration they are going back to Ohio this weekend.  So we need to be a bit more flexible with our childcare plans.  My parents offered to stay another couple of days so that Kevin can make it to class.

Update on the sleep training front:  no change.  Liam is still waking up for one feeding at night.  It’s funny I asked my Dad when babies sleep through the night and he said perhaps when they are past a year old.  My mom said that I co-slept with her till I was five!! Hmm…

Blah Blah Blah

First overnight alone with Liam. I am terrified. I don’t think I am made for this whole mothering during the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t realize how much we needed to invest in long-term parenting at night as well as during the day. I think Dr. Sears says something about how parents need to teach the child about healthy sleep habits. Blah blah blah. That’s what I hear at 4am. Last night Liam slept from 8pm till 4:30am, again. We were ecstatic ’cause Kevin and I were both recovering from food poisoning – bad bbq chicken pizza from Pizza Capri. So we needed to catch up on sleep.

Poor hubby vomited for most of yesterday and then had to get on a plane to Ohio this morning to attend his uncle’s funeral. Funerals always feel so distant and surreal for me. Perhaps because I’ve never really had anyone close to me pass away. Death and its permanency makes my brain hurt. I often get into these cycles right before bedtime where I vent my existential angst to Kevin. I seem to like to pontificate on death and dying and when I run out of steam – I fall asleep!! And poor Kevin is up for another hour or so trying to get back to sleep after hearing my morbid thoughts. Despite my belief in God, heaven, eternity – my fear overtakes my faith sometimes. I want clearcut answers about eternity. Is that so wrong?

Back to work part-time on Thursday. My parents are driving in from Los Angeles. (Yes, driving in!!!): scheduled arrival – tomorrow night. My mom called me this morning to say that they were in Denver and that they would spend the night in Kansas before heading in to Chicago. Wow – my parents have many lessons to teach me about sacrificial love and parenthood as they still model it for me to this day. I mentioned to my mom that I would have to spend two nights alone with Liam and she talked my Dad into coming in five days earlier than they had planned. So that cuts down on a my alone time with Liam to just tonight. Yay. I am a little worried, though, that the “schedule” that we put Liam on will be wrecked by my parents as they are strong proponents of the baby-led schedule/ attachment parenting. I don’t think that they would even verbalize it that way but I have a feeling. We shall see.

Signs of Life

Winters are so long in Chicago.  Hate it.  I can really live without the snow.

The last couple months Kevin and I try to find ways to get Liam out for fresh air every day but some days are way too cold for his little body.  I also try to get out every day to preserve my sanity during my maternity leave.  I think winter has made the feelings of isolation during my transition into motherhood that much more pronounced.   If I was still living in Los Angeles or even Seattle I would go outside and walk (at the beach!!) but Chicago has not been so kind to us these last few weeks.  Some days are so cold that we usually do rounds around big box stores, such as Target.  But our favorite place to go has been Whole Foods.  I know, pathetic, right?  Why do we love Whole Foods.  Perhaps its the vibrant colors – the wonderful fresh organic fruits, the flowers, the ridiculous cheese section… I know some of you are shaking your heads but unless you live in a cold cold grey city  with harsh winters you just don’t know.  The cold sucks the life out of you and really all you want to see is some signs of life.

So, dear friends, I confess that we went – again tonight.  It was great.  We wrapped Liam up in the moby, walked around the store, sniffed the cheeses, and took in the sights and colors.  We ate paninis at Panera while sitting next to a warm fireplace.    Gave Liam a warm bath when we got home, kissed him good night, and settled into our couch to watch Olympics speedskating and a few episodes of 30 Rock.  It’s a nice cozy start to my last weekend before I go back to work next week.

Tomorrow is brunch with our community group, possibly a trip to the French Market downtown and an early dinner with friends.   Another way to combat the cold is to surround yourself with friends and good food.

Youth grant is done after three days of on-again and off-again working as I am watching Liam.  Phew.  Babies need so much attention.  Geesh.  Now I have to begin working on the training grant.  If I could, I would love to work from home full-time.  Nothing beats a lunch break with the hubby and playing with Liam.  I love to see Liam make silly smiley faces.  He is such a ham and it is so amazing to see his little personality develop.

I was bouncing him in my arms as I was sitting on my yoga ball this evening before dinner. Guess, what?! He laughed out loud.  It was fantastic.  I am sad that I may miss many of those those “first” moments…

As of now, I am planning on going in part-time beginning Friday, March 5th.  My full-time hours won’t start until March 15th.  I am heeding advice from a friend that it’s a good idea to transition gradually.  Thanks, Edith!!

In other news, we are preparing for Liam’s 100 Day Celebration.  My parents are flying in the weekend of March 12th.  I will post later on what it all involves.  (I actually don’t know yet what it will involve.)  I know that there will be tons of rice cakes, Liam will be dressed in traditional Korean outfit, and he will “choose” his fate.  Doesn’t it sound enchanting?

Went to work yesterday to pick up my W-2 form and came home with my work laptop.  Trying to postpone work until I go back next month isn’t really happening.  Too much going on with our new building and personnel changes – my ED is totally overwhelmed. So I will be working on a youth grant and big State training grant due next week.  I will need to carve out some big chunks of time in the next week to work at home.

I’m recognizing that I don’t really handle stress very well. It is going to be a fun year (sigh).

As for Liam’s sleep training – we are still giving him 4 oz at night.  The last two nights he has been sleeping from 8pm till 4:30am!! Whoa.  We feed him and then he sleeps till about 7:30am.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it isn’t just random chance that he is sleeping for so long the last two nights.   Liam is falling nicely into a routine of eating, playing, and napping during the day. I have to say that the “12 Weeks to 12 Hours” book has given us a good foundation in cultivating good sleep habits and a predictable routine for Liam.  I hope this schedule will continue to stick once Kevin’s parents come into town.  They have graciously volunteered to watch Liam for three months while I’m at work and Kevin is studying.  They have rented a condo in Hyde Park.  We are so grateful that we don’t have to put Liam into daycare just yet.  I think going back to work would be that much harder.