life with kids

I'm not a kid person.  Before being a mom I (choose to) spend very little time around the wee ones.  I have no interest in baby.  Unlike my 2nd cousin Cynthia, who loves and adores baby.  She would squeals at the sight of a baby, would ask to hold them, would ask if it's ok to kiss them, and would ooh and ahh and cooo over them.  I'm the opposite of all of that.  I held maybe 2 or 3 babies (before my own) in my life and it's because the parents insisted I try to hold them (saying that they're helping to train me to be a mom).  I don't dislike or like kids, just indifferent to them.

When Bee came into our life, she was the prettiest little thing to me.  She's my precious.  Then Lovebug came, and my heart grew larger.  She's exquisite.  I love looking at my girls, cuddling with them, talking to them, and the best part, kissing them.  Oh I'm addicted to my kids.  Our girls add hours of entertainment into our lives.  The things Bee said to me some time make me laugh for days on after.  Our kids also make us think, make us give full attention to the little things, make us brave (I touch a spider with my bare hand !!!), and make us feel like superman/woman. Their hugs and their kisses are very addictive.  I go back for more each time.  Our kids teach us to enjoy the ordinary thing in life, like a rock or the flight of a bird.

However, being the wonderful kids they are, they do come with some quirks  !!!   Somewhere in my head (before kid), I pictured them sitting quietly sipping milk and gently playing with their toys.  How naive.  KIDS ARE SO LOUD  !  and smelly (ugh, solid in diaper, nuff said), and hyper and loud, and jumpy and indecisive and sneaky and demanding and they test you and push the limits all.the.time.  They cry when they're happy and when they're sad and just because.  Our home is a chaotic battle field and we, "the judges", must ensure that all is always fair, or else there will be lots and lots of tears.

People often commended me on all the activities I do with my girls !  I get the "you're such a fun mom" comment a lot.  Little do they know, doing activities, whether it's craft or art, reading or playing games, out in the garden or at a park, they are done to help me keep my sanity while entertaining the girls !  they help our little energizer bunnies to have a focal point to focus all their energy on !  instead of pulling on my pants, my hair, my arm, hanging on my shoulder, my leg, or jumping on me and see if they will stick !!  And not all activities are a hit with the kids.  They will alter stories, make up things and expect me to do something about it. What am I ?  a puppet ?  Aish !  One can't deny their children of their creativities.  So it goes, we're always up to something :) for everyone's benefit !

In addition to the family activities, there're always work awaiting for us parents !  toys to clean up, clothes to pick up, laundry to do (there's always so much laundry), dishes to clear/clean, tables to wipe, snacks to prep, milk to pour, hands to wash, nose to clean, bodies to bathe, bums to wipe, etc. and the never ending conversation regarding their development, health concerns, bad habits, what they like/don't like, and on and on it goes. 
I head into being a mom some what prepare for hard physical labor work, and that, I can say now, is the easy part.   It's the mental and emotional work that I didn't expect, along with all the hormonal stuff !!!  I find I'm always looking for the common factors that work for me, them, us, our family as a whole.  The challenges we face change through season !  but they don't end :)  we will be mom and dad our whole life.  That title isn't for the faint at heart  :)  I must say though, that I have a better handle on things now than before.  I learning and getting to know my kids by listening to them, watching them, talking and playing with them.  The more we know our kids the better problem solver we become.  I can identify by the sound of Love's cry if it's for comfort, sleepy or for attention.  We gained so many skills over these past few years.  
Our days are unpredictable and some days are so bad we feel like a failure. If the thought of "what did I get myself into?" flashes across your mind, it's OK !  Just remember it's temporary pain :). Remove yourself from the situation, take a min. out alone and breathe.  If you lost it, forgive yourself and carry on.  All moms have one of those day and when the screaming and tears stop flowing, a smile, a giggle from the little ones will make all awesome again.  We're all going through learning pain together, you and your kids.  Not complaining here, just simply sharing the thoughts of a mom.  I hope it doesn't turn off those who's planning for kid/s or parent-to-be or new parents !

Some day Mr. C and I feel like we're running a relay race.   It's a whirlwind of one activity after another.  We each are an activity station for the kids and when one is exhausted, heaving for oxygen, the baton gets handed over to the other.  Our ultimate goal is to drain all the energy from the kids but sometime, most time, it's us that go down first !  some day we bribe and beg the kids to go to sleep.

Our days are eventful until the kids are tucked in bed.  Then we hold each other and talk about how cute they are and the things they said.  We would kiss them til our heart is content.  My 4 yr. old doesn't give out enough kisses :(  Kids are a lot of work but nothing great and worth while come easy right ?  I ingrained that fact in me and it helped me to be more accepting and relax/chill a bit !  C and I know all these are temporary and as each day, week, month, year passed, the kids will grow independently from us and no longer they will fight over who hug us first or kiss us the most.

And when that day come, we will miss them and we will long for days like today !  Loud, messy, and silly !   It's important to look for joy in our everyday.  Whenever other parents tell me "enjoy them !  they go by fast", I know exactly what they mean.

HOMEMADE | How to make safe finger paint with cornstarch

Jeremiah 17: 7, 8 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water and sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

The girls wanted to do some finger painting and I just finally picked up some food coloring the day before so it was perfect timing.  My eager helpers and I set out to make some home made paint !  10 min. of taking turns stirring the mixture, rearranging (they like to rearrange things) the paper plates lay out, and debating over what color we should have, we settled on 5 colors:  blue, green, red, purple, and yellow.  We divided the mixture onto each plate, put a drop or two of food coloring on top and the girls take turn mixing the color in.  It was nice seeing all the swirls of colors.

The kids had a great time playing with the paint !  squishing paint between fingers, drawing on paper, painting on paper, and then they took their kitchen toys out and pretend they're cooking with them.  There were drops of gooey color all over the floor, table, and their aprons.  It's very very messy but oh so much fun !  I was mushing them on my fingers too.  It's like playing with sticky goo :)  We make a lot of messies around here :D  Anything fun will come with some kind of mess !  The kids love it and I love it.  The best part about this is that, cleaning is just as easy as making it !  you can wipe the paint off all surfaces with a damp cloth and all is nice and all is good again.

For this safe-to-eat paint, you will need corn starch, cold water, boiling water, and food coloring.  1/2 cup of corn starch, about 1/4 cup of cold water, and depending on how you like the paint texture to be, any where between 1 1/2 cup of boiling water to 2 cups.  Although the paint is safe to ingest, I still discourage the kids to put in their mouth.  I rather them think that paint is not food :D


Non cook method:
  1. put 1/2 cup of cornstarch into a measuring cup
  2. pour in 1/4 cup of cold water on top of the starch - DON'T MIX it just yet.  Just gently swirl the hand whisk around, for the water to mix in with the TOP LAYER of the starch, the bottom should be dry still.
  3. slowly pour in 1/2 cup of boiling water in (it should immediately thicken up the liquid), with the hand whisk, slowly mix all the starch into the water.  Pour in another 1/2 cup of boiling water and mix around, make sure you get all the dry starch at the bottom.  It's very thick and uneven texture right now but it's just temporary.  Pour in another 1/2 cup of boiling water in and mix well.  Repeat this with the rest of the boiling water.  It should slowly loosen up and turn into a translucent smooth jelly like consistency.
  4. divide mixture into individual containers (or paper plates) and add food coloring to each.  Use a paint brush to mix the color around.
Cook method:

Another way to do this is to mix 1/2 cup of corn starch with 1 1/2 cup of cold water in pot.  Put the pot on the stove, turn heat on to medium and continuously stir the mixture around until it reached your desired consistency.  If too thick, add more water and stir well.

Enjoy !

ipad withdrawal | day 1 & 2

It's day 2 without the ipad.  I didn't notice anything on day 1 as I was a bit busy with the kids and after putting them to sleep I fell asleep shortly after !  usually this is the time I'm on the ipad checking up on emails and fb and reading a variety of things.

While waiting for the pot of water to boil so I can start cooking my vietnamese sweet/sour fish soup for dinner,  I had to stop the urge of wanting to use the ipad.  By habit, I went to grab it, then I remembered what I'm trying to do so I put it down.  Everything can wait.

What I noticed about me (from being disconnected less) during this withdrawal time is, whenever I have some free time, I'm plugged in the net :(  I'm reading news, articles, scriptures, responding to posts/comments, and shopping.  They are not bad activities, they just consume a lot of time, time I already don't have too much of.   However, taking some time off, made me realized that I overload myself with both useless/useful information and the cycle starts again after I wake up.  Like a machine, I spend a lot of time "downloading" and have very little time "processing" them.  All these time on the net and I must say it added very little beneficial qualities to my life.  Many of them are just distractions, fruitless entertainment, aimed to keep my brain busy.  What I really need is less brain activities !  I need quiet down time to reflect and pray.  To examine, to give thoughts in my daily plan, and to pay attention to where God is leading me.  Because my life is so hectic, I need to spend more time with the One who knows my tomorrows, my source of wisdom and who is my strength.

Tonight 5 min. into story time and Bee was out, shortly after Lovebug followed.  While they were sleeping I kiss them repeatedly.  Hubby wanted to hold them a little bit longer before taking them to their bed (which is next to our bed :)  I must say night time is the happiest time of my day.  Us four snuggling in bed together, giggling, talking, listening to Bee praying.  Such sweet time.

Usually after they sleep I would go online and check emails & messages and do some reading.  Keeping to my goal of using the ipad less, I've added a few more hours of sleep the past 2 nights which I'm sure my body and brain are very thankful for.  So far so good !