Tuesday, December 31, 2013

goals for the new year

Note the word “goals” in the title and not “resolutions”. Something about the word “resolution” makes it sound like I’m about to sign my soul away. Seriously. A goal sheet is a fun project I can look forward to but a resolution sheet looks like a huuuuuge commitment that I’m just not ready for… even though the list may be the exact same.

Anyways, it’s been a while since I’ve done anything like this. In fact, I think the last time I made a list was in middle school for an assignment.

So here it is in no particular order:

-run a 5k. I call it a mini marathon, Ariel calls it cute. I keep calling this 50k and if it wasn’t for Ariel, I would have wrote 50k instead of 5k. Why 50k? 5k, 50k. They both sound like it would take forever to run.

-take photos of my kids once a week. I’ve seen some of my favorite bloggers do this but it didn’t seem right  for me to just jump in mid-year. But keeping a photographic memory of my growing children? Genius.

-more time in front of the lens. I know I’m not the only one who prefers to be behind the lens. It’s a bit of a challenge for me because I’m really, really shy and don’t know what to do when I become the subject of a photo. Seriously though, what are you supposed to do?

-learn to cook a new dish every week. This is embarrassing but Ariel cooks so much better than I do. I have a few dishes that I’m pretty darn good at (or at least I think I am) but it’s only a few dishes. Ariel once said, “oh boy, how are we going to survive if you don’t cook? We’re going to starve” and it kind of hurt my feelings. So I’m going to change that this year and demand we have a cook off at the end of this year. ;)

-finish 20 books. Now I can easily finish 20 books in less than half a year but that was before Leo. I barely have time to finish one book these days and I miss it.

-spend more time with friends. I was a little hermit the entire year of 2013. I’ve cancelled out on friends so much more than I can count and it’s kind of hard to believe that they still consider me a friend. Sorry guys! I met with two of my closest for lunch a few days ago and I had not realized how much I missed them until I saw them! It was also nice to have a few hours to myself (even though I had both kids with me) away from home.

I tried to make my list as realistic as possible and I think I succeeded in that! Now here’s to a brand new year!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas at the Arellano’s

//Leo did not like the camera//

Merry late Christmas everyone! I hope your holiday was jolly. Christmas here at my house was full of joy, smiles, and lots of wrapping papers. So. Much. Wrapping papers.

Fall and winter has just whizzed on by here at the Arellano’s. I like to savor the winter holidays but it’s gone by so fast! I guess it’s what happens when you’re raising a new baby. :)

//Orlando making wrapping paper angels//

//i’ve been eyeing a Keurig since my visit to VA two summers ago & now I have one!//

_MG_6356//Ariel has this newer coat and the original vintage coat exactly like this. needless to say, he loves Seattle Sonics!//

//first time seeing Trina actually speechless over a gift! It’s a telescope. Ariel and I love bringing out the geek in her. :)//

//see this mess? that’s with my somebody picking up after them.//


Friday, December 27, 2013

mrs arellano, could you shout?


Trina: “my friends think you’re the coolest mom in the world.”

Me: “why?”

Trina: “because you were the first parent to stand and shout.”

It was during a winter assembly at Trina’s school. Being in Honors choir, it was a pretty big deal for her that I show up. It would have been better if Ariel and I both attended but this was my first attendance at one of Trina’s assemblies this school year.

As the grand finale, 3rd to 5th grade students spread out in groups of 11 with each group representing one of the days of the song “12 days of Christmas” (Honors choir was day one). The parents were then instructed to shout the line with the group we were sitting closest to. I was sitting right next to the group “three french hens”. Before the song began, one of Trina’s classmate tapped me on my shoulder and said,

“Mrs. Arellano? Could you shout with us?”

When the song landed on us, I got up and shouted our line the loudest I could.

“four~ calling birds.”

and once again, I was the only parent. Again, and again until the school’s music teacher stopped the song at “six geese a laying” and asked the parents once again, to follow suit like the “lady over there by ‘three french hens’”.

Everyone chuckled. The students laughed and the teachers clapped. Me? I was proud and so was Trina.

Friday, December 20, 2013

six week postpartum

_MG_5734 copy

I’m going to ask the most ignorant, dumbest question that doesn’t need an answer. Why do men become gynecologists? Seriously.

On to the next.

I got the green light to proceed with my regular pre-pregnancy routines! That means I can run, jump, and lift to my heart’s delight. I currently weigh 118lbs as of last night –that’s 7 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight –so I think I have a pretty good head start on this whole get-back-in-shape thing. I do feel a little flatter in the badonk area so there’s going to be a lot of squatting going on around here.


[my stepmom: “if you were born a boy, he is what you would look like.”]

Leonardo has started to sleep through the night! We have a routine going which begins around 6-8pm depending on when he wants to stir awake. If he doesn’t stir awake by around 8:30pm, I wake him up myself and bathe him. He usually falls asleep by 11pm and well wake up around 5-7am depending on when he fell asleep. I guess you can say I’ve been a happy little chap lately. A well rested mama is a happy mama afterall, no?

Breastfeeding. Oy vey. I don’t remember it being this difficult with Trina. During the first month I just fought with Leo to keep nursing even though I knew he wasn’t getting any milk because that’s what I was told to do. That made for a very frustrated baby and an incredibly sleep deprived mama because IT WAS NOT WORKING. Instead I figured out something that does work for me. I was recommended Fenugreek vitamins by a friend I grew up with long ago. I take two of those three times a day with Blessed Thistle and have been doing so for nearly the past 2 weeks. It is working but it’s a slow progress so to avoid an angry baby, I pump every 2 1/2 hours and supplement with formula for the remainder of oz he needs to be kept happy. I can pump a little over 3oz now from barely 2oz a week ago. :)

I need to go change out of my shirt because I can smell spit-up milk and it’s coming from me…

an early start


So the kids started their winter break a day early due to snow. I was supposed to finish wrapping up their gifts today… The price I must pay for procrastinating. Wonderful.

Which reminds me. My nephew walked in my room and saw his gift that has yet to be wrapped. He doesn’t know that it’s his but I panicked when I saw his face light up in joy at seeing a new toy. My response? I yelled at him, told him it wasn’t his, and told him to get out. I’m such a jerk. I can’t wait for him to open it on Christmas morning so I can see that happy face again. He has such a cute happy face.

As for Trina… I can’t waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait! It took us a while but Ariel and I picked out a perfect gift for our little geek.



It’s raining now and the kids are inside enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and cookies. They don’t seem too bummed out about the snow being rained away so I guess it’s safe to say they had their fill of snow for now. They did play in the snow for a few hours but they didn’t even get to slide on the snow! Shucks.


The hairy snowman is winkin’ at ya.

There’s something about snow that makes you feel so at peace. I just want to cozy up on the couch right next to the twinkling Christmas tree. Maybe throw on some soft pajamas and a pair of fluffy bunny slippers.

Has it snowed where you’re at yet?

Monday, December 16, 2013

The smallest thing.

My nightly routine used to be very, very simple. Have dinner, remind Trina that it’s time for her to wash up, and watch television while waiting for Trina to come downstairs to say goodnight. Now it’s wait for Leo to wake up, feed him just enough to keep him satisfied, bathe him, massage him with some lavender lotion to calm him, feed him some more, and rock him to bed and hope that he stays asleep. This all takes a good 3-4 hours of my evening but it doesn’t stop there because I have to run back downstairs to tidy up and finish remaining chores.

So when I came into the restroom ready to bathe Leo, I was surprised and delighted to see that everything has already been set up for me.

:) Thanks Trina. You’re pretty freaking awesome, you know that?

PS – the note says “For Leo”

Saturday, December 7, 2013

one month postpartum

Honestly? I kind of miss being pregnant. I miss the moments that I got to share with Leo alone but I wouldn’t trade that for the moments I get to hold him in my arms now. I guess you can say I’m kind of jealous that I have to share him with everyone else now but that just sounds downright dumb, doesn’t it?

I haven’t hit postpartum depression and it’s a little surprising because I went down that road pretty hard with Trina. Maybe the support system I had then (which was nil) compared to the support system I have now (which is huge) plays a major factor. I don’t know, but I’m just grateful that I may have slipped through the web of postpartum depression this time around. /knocksonwood

I think I may have fully and completely recovered now. My 6-week appt isn’t until next week but I have a pretty good feeling that I’ll be given the green light to do whatever I wish. Like running for example. I miss running so. Much.

Leo recently hit a growth spurt which drove me a little crazy for about three days. I nurse him on demand and he demanded to be nursed pretty much every hour. I’ve been having trouble with producing milk (I breastfeed) so it was pretty difficult and frustrating for the both of us. I was recently recommended an herbal vitamin and I’m waiting for it to ship in soon. I’m crossing fingers that it’ll help because I don’t want to supplement with formula –it just wasn’t part of the plan and I hate it because of that.

Trina is a natural when it comes to being an older sister. She adores her little brother and loves to hold him. She never forgets to say hello to him in the mornings and g’nite to him in the evenings. She’s slowly learning how to do certain things like dressing him, feeding him, and changing his diapers and it’s great having an extra help around! She talks to him like they’ve known each other forever instead of those goo-goos and ga-gas and most people consider a “baby language”. She’s still concerned about me and tries to be the best help she can be so that I can take a nap (which is heavenly when I allow myself one!) or a stress-free shower. I’ve gone without washing my hair for four days straight once because I stress that Leo might be crying or would need to nurse. I’ve never done that before and Trina once called me out and said that my hair needed to be washed because you know, it smelled. /sadface I thought it still smelled like shampoo but whatever.

Cloth diapering. I don’t know why I stressed so much before because it’s super easy and actually kind of fun. I’ve been using mainly pre-folds saving the pocket diapers for Ariel to use. I’ve been slowly working on my pocket diaper stash and have fourteen of them so far! I like that I don’t have to worry about running out of diapers and/or wipes and love that Leo hasn’t had a major blowout accident yet. If you’re currently a mom or a veteran mom, you know what I’m talking about when I say “blowout accident”. We haven’t had any of those accidents yet because cloth diapers really, seriously keeps all of that in! /knocksonwoodagain

Leo at 3-weeks

I’m probably just really attached to Leo or maybe I’m just an overly protective mom but I haven’t been able to stay away from Leo for too long. I’ve also been very iffy about having visitors over because I’m afraid that Leo might contract something. Plus we’ve had a measles outbreak recently in a nearby city from an infant who went overseas and was too young to get vaccinated for measles. I want to safely tuck Leo away in a bubble until he gets all of his vaccinations. I know that there might be ladies that are against vaccinations reading this but I vaccinate my children. If you’re against my choice , please keep it to yourself and enjoy your stay.

Leo's belly time with Ariel

Happy one month Little Lion. I love you so, so much squirt. :)

P.S. Leo grunts when he poops and it’s so, so, sooooo cute!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

november in photos






_MG_5478 _MG_4330 


_MG_5377  Our Thanksgiving here in WA was pretty foggy! _MG_5439


_MG_5381   _MG_5502

November was quite busy with a newborn and all so I don’t have many photos! Sad.

P.S. The first three photos of Leo were taken by none other than Trina.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

my little lion.

My Little Lion, Leonardo, was born on November 7, 2013 at 7:13 AM. My labor was approximately three and a half hours long but I only pushed for eight minutes of it. I’m very proud to say I didn’t curse at my Husband and have given birth naturally for the second time. I even broke out into laughter mid-push and apologized to the nurse assisting me for seeming like a crazy lady. I high-fived the doctor that delivered Leo and thanked every hospital staff incessantly. I didn’t get a wink of sleep that night or the night after. Heck, I average about three to five hours of sleep nowadays but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve been peed on, projectile pooped on, and puked on within the first week of having Leo home.

The moment I heard his cry was the moment I became a mother all over again. A family of three has become four and everything revolves around this little boy. Trying to juggle being a mother to two is something I’m still trying to master and I’m blessed to have my Husband by my side to help me through this process. I don’t think I could have survived the past two weeks without him. The transition of adding the care of another little person has been surprisingly smooth with the help of Ariel.
Thank you, Merman.


It took Leo and I a while to get to know and understand each other. I’m still getting used to reading his cues for specific needs and wants. He is overall an incredibly easy child only crying for milk and a gassy tummy. He likes to sneeze and let out a long sigh afterwards as if it was the most difficult thing he’s ever had to do. He tends to stare out into distance as if he was deep in thought and has the most delightful squeal of laughter.

salad by Ariel.

For the first week I’ve had my breakfast, lunch, and dinner served to me in bed. My Step Mom has worked incredibly hard to make hearty soups for me to drink so that I may regain my strength and health back as soon as possible. The support system I have is beyond amazing that I feel incredibly blessed and forever grateful for everyone. It makes me appreciate and marvel all the mothers doing it all on their own. Bravo to you ladies out there.

_MG_5226what started out as a tummy time turned into Leo crawling all over Ariel

I have almost five more years of parental experience than Ariel but he’s far better at this than I am. The way he balances his duties as a father, husband, and my support system is amazing and admirable. The way he connects with Leo is something I am a little envious of because unlike the needs Leo has of me as his nurturer, Ariel has quickly become a lifelong friend with Leo.


My No.1 has been incredibly helpful with Leo. The look in her eyes as she adores her little brother is a testimony to the unspoken bond that has tied these two together forever. She never forgets to say good morning and good night and will never leave for school without giving Leo a kiss g’bye. She’s the extra pair of hands that comes to the rescue when I’m juggling more than the most prestigious clown could ever handle.


Thanks Mom, for everything. Thank you for being by my side when Leo was born and thank you for mothering me back to health afterwards. Thank you for the endless hours of sleepless nights for the soups you’ve poured your love into to help me regain my strength. Thank you for being the maternal figure in my life that I can look up to, learn from, and have always needed. Thank you, for loving me as you would your own child and so much more.


When Ariel and I was thinking of a godparent for Leo, we both agreed that the best person was Misun –one of Ariel’s closest friend. Actually, I had thought of her from the very beginning of my pregnancy and when Ariel mentioned her as someone to ask, I told him to “get out of my head”.

Thanks Misun, for accepting to be Leo’s Godmother! We really couldn’t have come up with anyone better to ask and we are honored and grateful that you said yes. :) Thank you also for working so hard on Leo’s blanket! Also thank you, for making the long drive and going through hurdles of checkpoints to visit us at the military based hospital.



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Her first song, to us.

Yesterday morning while Trina was getting ready for school, this song came up on her iPod. I had personally downloaded it for her because well, it’s kind of cute! Little did I know that it had quickly become one of her favorite songs and before it hit the chorus, Trina blushingly said “this song reminds me of you and Daddy.”

Awww… :) I mentioned this to Ariel and while listening to the song himself, he held my hand and said “Trina just dedicated her first song to us.”

That’s when I realized that even though Ariel and I may argue (although pretty rare), we’re probably doing it right.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just a little over two weeks left!

That’s right~ I have just a few days over two weeks left of this pregnancy and I’m just about ready to give birth and yet, willing to wait it out until his due date. The physical demand of this pregnancy is much more difficult than my first and having experienced every bit of pregnancy I’m just about ready to wave the white flag. If the baby was born this month however, October is going to be one busy month for me in the years to come with the many birthdays and Halloween as its closure. I’m just planning ahead for the future guys. I mean I wouldn’t mind it if the baby decided to join the world in the next few minutes but like I said, I am willing to wait.

My body has been gradually and mercifully preparing me for labor though. I’ve been getting early pregnancy symptoms for the past week and a half with nausea being the first. Then came the “lightening” or “dropping”, sharp lower back pains, mood swings, and finally menstrual like cramps with added pressure on my lower back. I’m feeling all of these things I listed right now this very moment. It’s bearable but it drains so much energy out of me and I’ve been hibernating like a bear in winter. I have my 38th week prenatal appointment set for tomorrow so we’ll see how far along I am, or how closer I am to going into labor.

Ariel and I finally settled on a name! It took us the entire pregnancy to agree on a name because while I fancied biblical names, Ariel was more geared towards names that resonated strength and difference. Now, coming up with a middle name was a far more difficult task because I wanted a part of my lineage to be represented in his name.

Btw, I can trace my family ancestry all the way back to the late 800 AD. Pretty cool right? I kind of came across this knowledge while trying to come up with a middle name for the baby and I’m surprised I never bothered to ask my Dad about this! The clan that I come from is the Haepung Kim Clan that was started by some Koryo emperor that abdicated himself in favor of some other guy or something. I’m still not quite sure about the whole story of it all but it’s pretty darn neat knowing where I come from.

Okay, back to the name thing.

In Korean tradition, each generation is given a name/letter/syllable according to some clan chart. It helps keep track of which generation the baby might come from. In the case of this baby, it’s “Hui” or “Hee”. Then the child is given a true name where the name giver looks at the birth chart and balances out his/her weakness. Then there’s the surname for a total of three syllables. The name that I was given is Kim Yi-Rang [pronounced ee-rL-ah-ng]. My generation was supposed to be given the name “Jang” or something else (I think it was Chung?) but my Father opted out of this tradition because he thought it sounded hideous. Plus being born a Daughter, I don’t think it was really necessary. Kind of sexist but whatever, I’m happy my Dad opted out of that. I love the name that I was given.

I’ve been really struggling with Hui/Hee because it sounds a bit too feminine in Korean. All of the names I know with that in the syllable (I say syllable because Korean names are usually three syllables) are all females names. Having said that, I might opt out of this tradition as well and pull a letter/syllable/word out of my Grandfather’s name instead. My mind is still not set on this whole thing obviously…

wrath of a soccer mom.


Last month during a Jamboree, I found myself behaving in sorts of an angry soccer mom. Trina got shoved by an opponent girl who must have really wanted that ball because even Trina turned around to give this girl the meanest look her face could ever have conjured up. Then the whistle blew… on our girls. I was so angry I was looking for every opportunity possible to yell at the opposing parents –as they were doing to us. I feel a little ashamed of that day… I was being an incredibly immature parent ready to elbow drop somebody over what was supposed to be a fun game for the girls. I’m telling you though, the competitive shouts started from the other side! I swear!

Just yesterday I received an email from a fellow Pink Panther parent regarding the girls’ behavior during practice. Now, I almost always attend every one of Trina’s practice minus about three out of about twenty when I had to squeeze in some grocery shopping or other errands nearby. Because I was feeling incredibly out of sorts, I sat in the car yesterday crocheting. While I was still there within view, I wasn't sitting on the sidelines like usual. This email was a mass email sent to all Pink Panther parents and while I should have just shrugged it off, I was ready to give this woman a piece of my mind! I don’t really like being confrontational but I was ready to set this woman straight. Pregnancy hormones? I don’t know. But reading this email now, I can totally see I was just looking for someone to release my grumpiness out on.

I just wanted to give all the parents a head’s up that coach has been increasingly more frustrated with the girls’ behavior during practice over the last few weeks. We have talked to Mindy in the past about being too goofy and not following coach’s directions. Today her behavior was a problem again and she will write an apology letter to Coach. I hope I am not overstepping my bounds by sending out this email, but I wasn’t sure if you were aware that this has been an issue for coach over the last few weeks.

Mindy has really enjoyed being on this team. She loves all the girls and coach Steve. I feel lucky that he chooses to coach this great group of girls and I certainly want to give him incentive to coach again next year!

Mindy’s Mom

To which I drafted

​I'm (Trina's Mom) almost always at her practice and I can assure you, while the coach may get frustrated he handles our hyperactive, mouth-running-at-100mph girls accordingly and appropriately. Although there were a few times Trina had to be reminded to be more attentive to Coach’s instructions, I kind of find it unfair that all the girls were grouped in your email as needing some sort of discipline. I'm also pretty positive that Coach Hair understands that these girls are just that, (young) girls, and has his level of expectations set for this age group.

I understand why you must have felt the need to send out a mass email but I am appalled by your assumption that some of us parents may not be taking notice of what takes place beyond our supervision with your self-righteous need to remind "all the parents" to better discipline our children. Perhaps I'm taking more offense to this because of my pregnancy hormones (I'm suffering through the last few weeks of pregnancy now) or it's probably because a line really has been crossed here and I'm just giving you a nudge back over that line. Whatever it may be, I'm sure the coach is more than capable to type out a complaint email and would have done so if he felt it necessary.


Trina’s Mom

As stated, my reply is in my Draft folder. I had clicked “send” but there was an error and the email came back landing itself in my Outbox. I decided to fix the error the next day and reading it now, I’m so glad that the error occurred. I can be such a bitch sometimes!

In all I’m so glad we’re pulling Trina out of soccer after Spring season (Ariel and I want her to be more involved in sports with her schoolmates). I can’t imagine Trina going into a select team and me having to do this soccer mom thing on a much more serious level.