My Journey Through Postpartum and Life After I Kicked It's A$$!!!

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My Mentality

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***(I got a new computer so I decided to write again… I don’t have many uploaded pictures yet, so this image will have to do! Bear with me while I navigate through the world of technology and learn how to use this computer the way it should be used!)!!!

I realized I was an addict. I was addicted to people. I was one of those people who didn’t know how to lay off the toxic stuff until it became unbearable and I became intolerant of myself and the things I couldn’t let go of. Yes, you can have a thing called, “people-itis.”

Here’s the thing I discovered in the past year and a half (two years, really), I learned that you need to really, really, really, let go of toxic people, situations, and things in your life in order to feel truly happy and confident with the person you are and aim to be.  You can’t muffle through it or fake the funk.  Or else, you will end up slamming the door in your own face if you do. The hardest part about letting go is being truthful with yourself and your 100% organic thoughts and feelings. It’s hard to bear. Some moments become hard to even remember to take a breath through because it feels so scary and isolating. But let me tell you, in the end, it is so worth it.

I had to let go of people I felt like were the world to me. But I realized I made them the world… when they never were. I knew I was giving them way more than they would ever think to return to me. It was not about tit-for-tat for me. It was about committing their time and energy to me as I would do for them. For whatever reason, needing validation from people who you really shouldn’t crave it from, comes with a huge price. You wanna know what that price is? It is your self-worth, your confidence, and your power. You give it all away when you seek validation from people who you feel is for whatever reason… better than you or more important than you.

If you have “like-me-itis” like I used to … you will never be happy.  Whether it be in romantic relationships, friendships, and/or even with your own offspring… you will never be happy because you will constantly feel worn the f out from jumping over insurmountable hurdles that you have created for yourself. It’s vicious and unwarranted self-abuse.

So take a moment and do an inventory check, are you keeping something or someone around because “one day” something might change and you will decide to wear that pretty dress that’s been hanging in your closet with the price tag still attached? More than likely, you won’t. So give it out, throw it away, donate it… because it just may be a better fit on someone else. It’s hard but that is the truth and the road to freedom I’ve learned.

I realized I was happy when I could let go of these people… like really and truly let go… because I was not relinquishing my power over to them. I said “goodbye” and I wasn’t staring at my phone willing them to call and reach out.  I wasn’t hurt by the lack of communication or contact. I didn’t feel less than because they were no longer in my life. I could wish them well and pray for their safety and happiness and move about with my life… what’s the difference, you ask? My ego no longer gave a shit. That’s when you know.

It’s also because I have accepted that I no longer needed them in my life because they were never meant to stay long. They were here to show me what I didn’t want in my life, so that I could have a greater appreciation and love for those people and things who wanted to be a part of it. I used to push away those people who were so willing to walk along side of me, because I was too busy chasing after shooting stars that left me feeling lost and lonely.

Now, I just look around me and feel so blessed because I am so loved and needed by the people who “dig me” for just the way I am at this moment and the person I aim to be. Letting go of the negativity and toxicities in my life has made me a better mother, friend, and person… I’m still working on the better “daughter”and “sister” part (gotta keep shizz real :)), but I’m happy. I’m still a work in progress and will always be.

There are still monumental ups and downs… but I no longer feel like I allow myself to sit in an abyss of darkness and isolation. Change your thoughts; change your world-Ghandi.


IMG_5288

I talk to my best friend and friends all day long.  We are each other’s lifeline to sanity. One day, my BFF and I were talking.  It had been a particularly trying week with my kids and I was at my wits end and feeling inundated by noise and the sense of drowning was becoming overwhelming. I needed a break. I have yet to go away anywhere by myself since my six year old was conceived!!! This is in no way a woe-is-me type of blog.  Rather, it’s a blog to show you what is possible and why guilt should not wear you out when all you are trying to do is stay afloat and not just survive… but thoroughly enjoy this one life we are granted. My husband gives me every arsenal I need to conquer the day, conquer my demons, and win over what my mind sometimes (and very often) tells me I cannot accomplish.

So on this day, I was texting with my BFF and I was telling her I need to get away, but giving her all the reasons why I couldn’t. She then just said, “why? why can’t you? It’s not like you can’t afford it. It’s not like you don’t have help with the kids, so why don’t you just go or go buy yourself those shoes you’ve been wanting?” She continued to tell me, she is all about “self-preservation parenting” because if she doesn’t do that, she wouldn’t be useful to herself or to her family. (She’s a little wise one, that best friend of mine… she really is). And so, it clicked.  It made so much sense.

I pour on guilt because my husband works hard so I can stay home and raise my kids, so I don’t want to spend his hard earned money on “extravagant things,” just because I can.  I can. Yes, to a certain degree, my life has been blessed but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a sense of consciousness and gratitude for the amount of work my husband puts into affording us this lifestyle.  That being said, I do feel like what all parents need is to allow themselves certain freedoms and pick me ups here and there just to make this journey more manageable and fun. My husband needs his friends and Vegas as much as he needs air and water… I need alone time and my girlfriends just as much with an occasional splurge on something nice. I believe not every day has to feel like a sacrifice for the kids.  No, it doesn’t make me selfish. It doesn’t make me less of a mother with no sense of priorities.  It makes me a happier mother, wife, and woman. And that is worth its weight in gold.

Here’s the catcher, always live within your means. Do not compare your lives to others. My husb and I were just having a conversation during dinner with some friends last night, and it’s so true that everyone else’s lives seem prettier and greener from the outside but that is not always the case.  Live within YOUR means. Do not crucify yourself or your spouse if some things others have isn’t in your cards. Appreciate what is yours.

People get so caught up LIVING OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES that you really forget to just live your own. That is so disingenuous to the life you were meant to live. That steals away from your sanity and your ability to preserve a sense of authenticity in your life.

Life is good.  It’s meant to teach you about YOU. You can’t do that when you are living a life that is not organic to you. So while I’m all about leaving something for yourself, make sure it’s something worth the effort, time, and money. Because if it’s not, it’s just not worth wasting moments with your family and loved ones.  It just isn’t for me.


I didn’t know. I didn’t know a great deal of things prior to having children. Mainly, I didn’t know myself, my boundaries, or even how I wanted to raise my children. I wasn’t a planner. I didn’t know I would turn out to be what society is now calling “attachment parenter.” I was just doing what felt natural and almost customary in Asian households. You know, just things as I had seen and experienced growing up.

Nowadays, as I sit through play dates, therapy, and parenting classes, I start learning about what I like and can not tolerate by as an individual, a wife, and a mom. I learn more about who I am and who I refuse to become because the world puts so many pressures on moms these days.

I also realize that I’m no longer a product of my environment because I am now in control of building a healthy, happy, grateful, and loving environment for myself and my family.

People ask me all the time, “how come you aren’t resentful that you’re a single mom half the week and how do you fill the void?” Before I would become defensive and then become bitter towards my husband but now I just explain (if I feel the need) that this is “my” family’s dynamics and we make it work. I realized the more accepting I became of the “now,” I allowed myself to be happier, more content, and more grateful for the life I’ve been given. I choose to not wallow in self-pity or view my life as tormented as I had done in the past because it isn’t. I don’t know if that makes much sense but that’s the essence.

It’s like this. I can be content with the time apart from my husband because my husband supports me in anything I want to do and accomplish. He gives me the tools I need to 1) be a better person to myself which in turn allows me to be a better person to my kids and family and 2) he helped me create the life I’ve always wanted and I realized I only have this one life … And I really really really just want to enjoy it NOW.


ImageI like this post card.

 

It’s been a long time since I last posted.  Lots has changed.  I’m expecting my second baby in about two months.  The pregnancy was easy and hard at the same time for various reasons.  I was expecting twins, but one did not make it.  That will be something I get into at a later time.

But I’ve been practicing the art of putting “me” first.  I don’t have time to worry about what other people are doing.  I keep trying to make other people happy to the point where I leave no reserve for myself and that turns out horribly in the end.

I read this great interview from Julie Bowen from Modern Family about how much to give to your children.  Image

This was the interview.  It says to only give 70% of yourself to your children, because if you give 100% you will end up hating them.  Haha.  But I really think that this rings true.  No other person will understand this feeling unless you are a parent.

My therapist says I tend to guilt myself too much for things I have absolutely no control over.  Things like other people’s happiness, their health, their wealth, and I tend to feel guilty if I am not able to provide those things for them.  So I have to now make a concerted effort to really not give a sh!t when there is nothing I can do.  I literally have driven myself to physical exhaustion and at the end of the day, I don’t even get a “thank you for helping me.”  Life lessons are hard learned sometimes.


Most people never disclose what’s going on in their marriage.  For the better part of life, we pretend that every thing is picturesque and we hide behind our pain with smiles and laughs in front of others.  Maybe in fear of judgment.  Maybe in doubt of ourselves.  Maybe in doubt of our abilities to be able to handle life.  I  don’t know what it is.  Why we feel the need to front that life is great.  That we are unbroken. That we are happy.

I think as we get older, we find a median.  A middle ground of solace.  A place of comfort.  A place where we feel we fit in and are safe.  I don’t know where that is for you, but for me… it’s wherever my daughter is at.

I love how people give glimpses of their happy moments.  They post the happy pictures on Facebook and Instagram.  And everything seems peachy-keen.  They forego taking pictures of the temper tantrums and meltdowns because at those times, they are too busy dealing with the chaos than having time taking pictures.

Life.  It’s not easy.  And no one knows what’s going on in your life.  At times, we feel attacked.  At times, we feel judged.  At times, we feel insecure. But knowing that we have a core group of friends who have our best interest at hand… should give us strength. And that in no way do we judge, do we mean you harm or pain, or that we believe we are in a better situation than you.

I am so fortunate to have such a great circle of women who have given me strength when I didn’t have enough on my own.  I am so forever grateful to have people to break bread with and share the woes of life.  Thanks, Netters, Jenn, Allison… life became that much simpler because of you gals.

This is my core group of friends who give me strength and hope…


"Holiday Cup:

I love it when these cups come out!!! It’s Official… the Holidays are here!!! Now just waiting for KOST 103.5 to turn on holiday music 24/7!!

Look at this picture!!! What a sight!!!  Ahahahahaha.  I know, I’m such a loser.  But I can’t help it.  Who can deny a cute Snowman, right?  My husb sent this to me.  He said it reminded him of me.  Sweet, unusual gesture from him… hehe. It could possibly be reminding him how crazy I am. 🙂

I love it.  It’s official.  The holidays are upon us.  Yahoo.  I know some people do not look forward to the holidays… bad memories maybe?  I don’t know.  But change that.  Make it yours.  Don’t let the past weigh you down.  Build fun memories for yourself.  That’s what I am trying to do for myself.  Who knows… maybe because I drown family and myself in it… O will not enjoy it later on… but that’s something for her to decide.  But while I’m still in charge… I want my memories with her to be festive, fun, and bright.

Last night, we went “Trick-or-Treating.”  (Yep, I write these way in advance!!!).  It was fun.  Hard to coordinate with 6.5 kids and 10 adults, but it was fun.  Hancock Park area goes all out.  I wish the streets were blocked off for better safety, but nonetheless, it was fun.  No hills makes it even better. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a nice group photo of everyone, but trust and believe… all the kids looked amazeballs.

My gf daughter had thee best costume on.  It was Snow White… and she was dressed perfectly to the tee.  Snow White wig and everything.  Perfection.  I loved it.  My other gf, Jenn, made her kids Batman and Robbin costumes.  They looked store bought.  I swear, some of these moms are crazy crafty.  Me… I will let the manufacturers do the work.  Haha.

My daughter made a last minute decision to change her costume from Princess Jasmine to being a Pink Power Ranger Samurai (but I stood my ground and said no… because I knew there was no way to find a costume in a day!!!  Good job, mom!! Patting myself on the back) to being Strawberry Shortcake.  This was the initial costume fitting.  Hilarious.  She was good about wearing the wig for about a minute.  Then started complaining about it being itchy.  Thankfully, she wore it during her school parade.

"Strawberry Shortcake"

Loved that she was a good sport about the wig for the first 10 mins. Haha

These were the costumes from the morning:

"Costume Party"

Bestie and another friend from class…

The girls had a costume parade (a walk around the block), then fun crafts and games afterwards.  It was fun.  Nice and cold too.  I helped at the “Decorate a Pumpkin Scone” table.  I ate a few… I will admit it.  Charmed Scones, you are too yummy. Love Momma Val.  She makes the best scones ever.

"Strawberry Costume!!!"

The Dwarf Costume was handmade and hand drawn by my gf, Crissy

O’s counterpart C… couldn’t stand to wear the same costume twice (ahahahahaha… jk)… so she changed from a Doctor and became the most perfect little Snow White ever.  I wanted O to wear her Princess Jasmine costume so the girls could have a theme… but my stubborn little O said “no.”

The Perfect Snow White

O’s Bestie… as thee most PERFECT SNOW WHITE!!! I love this picture of her little finger in the air and her expression. These two are so cute together.

That’s C.  Isn’t she a doll?  I swear, her costume just made my night.  The best part… I asked her mom, “dude, how’d you get her to keep on the wig?  O refused.”

C’s Momma: “I told her I’d give her $20 bucks!!!”  Ruahahahahahahaha. Later while eating on Larchmont… her dad said, “I’ll buy you a puppy if you sit down.”  Ahahahahaha, they kill me. The things a parent has to do.

How was your Halloween?  Fill me in.  Post pictures.  I don’t have FB anymore, so you can post it onto my O’s Momma FB page or leave a comment here.


"The Cart with the Car"

They need to build this monstrosity better… It was a workout!!!

What once was a leisurely activity of perusing aisle after aisle at my own pace… has now turned into a strategic, goal oriented mission.  Taking a toddler to the grocery store poses many challenges, for me at least.  First and foremost, it’s this cart!!! The one with the car!!! Why???? Why does it have to be at the front of the store????  Why, I ask???  In plain view, so you can’t even lie to your kid saying… “oh no babe, it’s not available today!!! Rats.”  Haha.  I’m a small girl.  It takes brute force to maneuver these bad boys through crowded aisles.

Yesterday was no exception.  Just the sucky part was I was sore as heck from my run.  After literally going through every aisle looking for quinoa… I just wanted to plummet to the floor and weep.  Like a cranky, whiney baby.  I wanted to shake and stomp my legs and just let out a wail.  I was just exhausted.  I wanted to hang my head and just sob.  And sob loudly.

Not only was my body sore, I had my little munchkin spilling things in the car, so I had to bend up and down numerous times.  I had to continuously tell her to keep her head and arms in the car.  I had to stop the cart every time she wanted to “look” at something.  While I love my grocery shopping experiences with her, yesterday was an entirely different experience.

I love the laughs I got from the men in the store.  The comments, “oh that looks like a lot of fun.”  Really?  “Then, why don’t you push this beast while I walk pleasantly next to you without breaking a sweat.” (That of course was my own internal dialogue with my irritable hamster running wild). There are the sweet, understanding people who just give you that look like… “girl, I feel you.  Been there.  Done that.”  A nice, super buff guy was like… “wow, I feel you.  I have to do that with my son.  It’s hard.”  It’s comedy when you think about it, but going through it was agony yesterday. I don’t know how many times I bumped into something.  And the best part… when I got stuck like Austin Powers in the aisle because I put the cart horizontally.  So here I am trying to squeeze past the handle and the shelf while trying to get the cart to turn around!!!  Ahahahahahahaha.

You can tell too… the people with kids and without.  The ones with kids…they smile and move out of the way in sheer empathy and comradery. The ones without… eye roll.  Stand until YOU MOVE.  Wth.

Anyways, all this was for the sake of making a new dish my BFF with four kiddos told me about.  A healthy hamburger steak.  I know.  You hear HAMBURGER and think how can this be healthy.  Well, we put in QUINOA (took me on a mission to find), kale, spinach, shallots, carrots, and celery.  I always use organic meat and the leanest possible.

Here’s the result of all my effort while I maintain an inkling of sanity!!! It was delish!!! The best part… O just gobbled it up without knowing how many veggies were inside.  The white leafy vegetable is white kimchi… made by my mom.  O has now ventured to eat peanut butter sandwiches and white kimchi.  Hooray.  So now, lunches are getting easier to make.

Hamburger Steak Dinner

The picture doesn’t justify how tasty this meal was… It was simple and just so yummy.



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