Hidden Perks of Mommyhood

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

1.  Dancing and singing to oldies in Trader Joe's is ok as long as there is a baby strapped to you.  Looks like I'm just lulling her to sleep when really I'm grooving for me and me only :)

2.  No need to feel guilty wasting gas and taking joy rides.  If baby is sleeping in the back seat, and you know she'll wake up as soon as you turn the engine off, then it's ok to take a wrong turn and drive through the canyons with the windows open.

3.  Motherhood gives you time to think.  Especially when your easily distracted baby needs to nurse in complete silence- no phone, no TV, no nothing.  Yes, I spend plenty of time with me, myself and I.  Wish my brain wasn't so fuzzy these days!

Totally off topic, we finally weaned babygirl off the miracle blanket swaddle. I had this silly sack shipped all the way from New Zealand after reading tons of praises about how it helps with the swaddle transition.  The night it arrived, we simply replaced the swaddle with the Peke Moe, and she was able to fall asleep on her own in the crib.  She stayed asleep for most of the night, waking up just once in the early morning (she's been doing this lately, even when swaddled. 4 month sleep regression, anyone?)   I was so nervous that whole night, thinking she would wake up in a panic.  But when we peaked in the nursery, she was sleeping peacefully, stretched out like a starfish enjoying her new freedom.  I highly recommend the Peke Moe!

She looks like a baby shark.


Random Recent Reflections

Friday, May 27, 2011

I have two obsessions: constantly checking and posting in a forum of mommies with babies born in January, 2011, and tracking Siena's naps/nursing to the minute.  While both those habits have done me some good, I've decided to take a little break from them.

The forum, while being a wealth of knowledge, is kind of a time-waster, and tends to bring out my insecurities as I compare Siena to what all the other 4 month olds are doing.  So what if she hasn't rolled over yet?

The purpose of the obsessive tracking was to help me understand Siena's natural rhythms and get to know her sleep and feeding cues better. And it really has helped me be mindful of giving her enough sleep/feeds.  But it was also my foolish attempt to bring order and predictability to our days.  Frankly, recording the chaos of our life in minute detail does not make it any less chaotic. So for now,  I'd rather stare at my baby than stare at my smart phone.

After trying in the beggining to have NO schedule/routine with Siena, and then trying to fit her into a "perfect" schedule, I've decided to park my behind somewhere in the middle.  Consistency whenever possible and a respect for her natural rhythms, but goodness gracious the ability to relax and go with the flow because she deserves a mommy who's not insane :)

The picture above is Siena's first visit to our favorite restaurant in Thai Town, Hollywood.  We stopped there for a bite on our way back from a friend's wedding in Santa Barbara.  I made the bouquets and bouts- so much fun to handle flowers again!  Of course, it took me 1 1/2 days when it used to take me a few hours.  I only had Siena's little 45 minute naps to work with.  Siena did marvelously on the trip, sleeping much of the time on the way to and fro. I nursed in parking lots.  The wedding was in the middle of the wilderness, but she's a sturdy little thing and held up just fine.  We left the wedding early because I was nervous about how she might sleep in the hotel.  We brought her swaddle, moses basket, and night night doll, and set her up under the desk with a dark blanket draped over it.  It looked ridiculous, but she slept 10 hours straight and woke up happy :)  Had I tried to stick to our "schedule", that weekend would never have happened.


Modern Glam Wedding Shoot

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I was worried that ending The Treasured Petal meant losing touch with good friends in the industry.  Turns out I had nothing to worry about!  I love taking part in styled shoots to keep up with what's new in the wedding world and give me an excuse to hang with my industry buds.  Thanks Christina from Simply Modern Weddings and Trista from Trista Lerit Photography for reaching out and asking me to provide some funky accessories. The theme:  Modern Glam Tron-inspired Wedding.  I had to wikipedia "Tron" since I don't watch TV and am living under a rock :)  It's a science fiction film from the 80s, with an arcade game and video game that followed. 

I hand stitched this tulle and rhinestone hat, and added a black bow with vintage crystal brooch.  I actually created it to face forward with the tulle veil along the eyeline, but thought it was fabulous how Carina from Flawless Faces flipped it and used it as a fascinator to accent the side-swept 'do. Cocktail hats are so versatile, so whatever works with the look!  Real brides can easily steal this idea- face the hat forward with the veil in front for the ceremony, and flip it for the reception. 

Carina also incorporated my tiara headbands into the bridesmaids' updos.  On the left she is wearing the Milky Way Tiara (made of milk glass beads- soon to be listed on etsy!) and the right the Mercury Glass Tiara.

And I have NOTHING to do with the decor for this shoot, but I have to give you a glimpse at this insanely cool ceremony setup.  Inviting Occasion, way to rock it! I thought making hats was intricate work, but goodness, a huge grid made of straws?  Too awesome.

A big THANK YOU to Green Wedding Shoes for featuring this shoot here! Check it out for all the gorgeous details and full vendor list.



Friday, May 20, 2011

Ok, if this is one of SiSi's famous 45 minute naps, she's due to wake up in approximately 5 minutes, so I'll make this quick.

This morning Joe took these pics of her at exactly 4 months.  We are officially out of the newborn stage, and I'm always waking up thinking, "What new things can Siena do today?"  She really is growing up fast. I really can't resist her!

In your opinion, is she starting to look more like the hybrid image we made before she was born?
I actually think our hypothetical baby looks way more asian than Siena does. 

Wow, I just realized that Siena is still asleep.  SCORE!  Catnaps are so annoying, especially when you have this elaborate ritual for each one.

Have a lovely weekend!!!


Missing Dad

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tomorrow, May 16th, is my dad's birthday.  I remember exactly how we spent it last year.  We all met at Lucille's BBQ and ate way too many biscuits with apple butter.  I gave him an iron gym and a workout outfit to encourage him to keep up his physique :) I was barely pregnant.  In fact, I don't think I even knew I was pregnant at that point.  It seems like just yesterday, really. 

And now he's gone.  He died unexpectedly last August.  When I found out, my whole body went numb, I couldn't breathe, and I collapsed to the floor outside a sushi restaurant.  I feared I would never ever be the same again.  I guess I'm not.  I've definitely grown from it, and learned how important it is to be there for people in their grief. I read and reread every sympathy card that was sent to me numerous times, just clinging to words to help me survive. You better bet I send sympathy cards now!  I never used to before.  I think I'm more compassionate. I'm less surprised when tragedy strikes, and quicker to fall on my knees and pray. 

But on a day to day basis, I do feel like myself.  Life did go on, and I've made it out of the heavy grief stage.  But the grief does come back from time to time.  Last night I cried, wishing my dad could hold my beautiful baby girl who definitely has his nose and his smile.  At his graveside service, we sang the hymn "Rock of Ages Cleft for Me", half the crowd singing it in Korean and half in English- it was sooo hauntingly beautiful. When I hear that song, I inevitably break down.  I imagine this will happen for the rest of my life. 

Missing you Dad, and wishing so badly that you could cuddle with your grand daughter on your birthday. 


The Wonder Weeks- storm clouds and sunshine

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Attention!  New moms who feel insecure because their babies are happy and independent one day, and fussy and restless the next, please go buy The Wonder Weeks right now.  It will save you a lot of, "What happened to my cherub?" and "Am I doing something wrong?" and "Is this just a phase?"

A "wonder week" is a period of developmental growth in an infant, where they're learning an awesome new physical or mental skill.  Right before they've mastered this skill, they undergo growing pains in their brains as they struggle to figure it out.  That week can be hellish for babies and parents.  Many babies become easily frustrated, unable to settle down for sleep, too distracted to nurse (or wanting to comfort suck all day long), etc. The book calls it the 3 c's- clingy, crying, cranky. 

Sisi and Grandpa, at 3 days

Just last week, my little burst of sunshine was putting herself to sleep in her crib with a smile and a few coos, napping for 2 or 3 hours at a time, entertaining herself all day long, and in general making this motherhood thing wayyyyyy too easy.  In fact, our running joke was to look at her and say, "Oh, I forgot you existed!"  And I'll admit it, I got a little cocky.  I thought I had her all figured out. 

Hip hip hooray, like clockwork, at exactly14 1/2 weeks, my little textbook baby started acting funny. She started hating to nurse and she acts like I'm torturing her (the last time this happened was wonder week 12.) She's been moody and hyperactive. Today it got worse. She screamed when I tried to put her into her crib to fall asleep on her own.  I had to rock her for every nap, which I thought was history.  I feel like she's regressing, and it gets me down and makes me insecure about my mothering. 

Then I take a deep breath and reread the chapter of Wonder Weeks about "wonder week 19", which actually begins around 14 or 15 weeks, and lasts through week 19.  It's an intense but exciting period, where she'll learn to roll over, respond to her name, pass toys between both hands, even recognize words.  She'll really be a skilled little person.  In fact, she's already begun turning book pages, sticking toys in her mouth, and is trying with all her might to roll over and crawl, getting nowhere by the way.  It's quite adorable.

I know once her little mind and body mastered these skills, she'll be my little cherub again.  It takes a little faith, but I know this will pass.  She'll be occupying herself with her new abilities, and we'll be able to say, "Oh, I forgot you existed!" again.  Just kidding! 

With babies, it really is all about phases.  Luckily, the phases aren't as random as they seem.  There's a reason for all the madness. You can't cure your little one of these phases, just help them get through these storms as smoothly and quickly as possible.  And I do believe Siena needs extra loving and cuddles and patience and grace as she struggles within herself.  She's just a baby, and the world is so overwhelming, especially with mommy and daddy doing obnoxious kitschy-coo in your face all day and blowing raspberries on your tummy.  Come to think of it, Siena is pretty darn patient with us :)


Back to Work!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My maternity leave is officially over.  This morning, I just felt ready to reopen Petal and Thorn. I feel like I'm now coming out of Babyland and reentering the world.   I realize I need to take advantage of her newfound napping habit by doing something productive. (As of now, I've been watching Scrubs all day and obsessively putting my ear to her door in between episodes to make sure she's still sleeping because it's just so hard to believe :)  So I relisted some items in the etsy shop and am drawing sketches for brand new creations.  For some reason, baby accessories are on my mind...  Maybe because I have the perfect model :)