My rough, weathered hand on her soft, innocent skin…

As I was putting my children to bed, I laid there thinking of all the things I needed to do tonight before I went to sleep. Tomorrow is the holiday party at their school – I still needed to put the goody bags together and get their teachers’ gifts together. I am a master procrastinator. But as two out of three children fell asleep, N was still tossing and turning trying to get comfortable. She took off her pjs because she got hot. That is normal for my kids. Their body temps run hot just like mine does. She laid on her stomach and had her right arm around my neck, reaching for my left ear. She is an ear person. She touches earlobes as a way to comfort herself, I suppose. Every night she has to rub my ear to go to sleep. I needed her to fall asleep so I could do all the things I failed to get done prior to tonight. So I reached over and rubbed her back lovingly. I felt my rough hand on her soft skin as I gently swiped up and down over and over. Suddenly, I missed my mom. I remembered how occasionally she would rub my back to help me sleep. I remembered her rough hand comforting me. Those hands that worked so hard all those years. Those hands that cared for me. Those hands that could make me feel like everything will be fine. In that moment, I thought, this is probably how my mom felt. The immense love that a mother could have for her child. This is probably how my mom felt. Sleep, child, sleep. I love you with all my heart and soul.

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Jane, you need to remember…

This motherhood thing is hard. I mean, I knew it was hard, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I thought the newborn stages were hard, but man, this three year old stage is super duper hard. They are a ball of emotion and drama! Their bodies are so little but their minds are gigantic, and they think they could do EVERYTHING! Patience is what I need, but patience is what I don’t have. I’m learning to be more patient. It is a skill that needs a lot of practice. I need to remember…

They are kids.

They are learning.

They are experimenting.

They are growing.

Be patient.

Be patient.

Be patient.

There will be accidents of all sorts.

Things will break.

Things will spill.

They will test boundaries.

They will say no.

They may not listen.

They will have meltdowns and screaming fits.

There will be fighting.

Be gentle.

Be gentle.

Be gentle.

Everything is all right. No need to panic. No need to worry. No need to get angry.

Just Breathe… Breathe… Breathe…

Demons

Demons. What are they? Are they real? How do you get rid of them?

Everyone must have an explanation to the word demon. Some may think they are monsters ready to capture your soul. Some may think they are evil spirits. Some may think they are fallen angels. And then there’s the metaphorical meaning of demon. Something that is haunting you, taunting you in your daily life. Everyone’s got those. Whether it’s your memory, addiction, past abuse, present abuse, your worries and constant stressors. Everyone’s got them.

I’m going to tell you a story. Something only a handful of people know, but I am beginning to open up at the prime age of 37. I was physically abused as a child by one of my sisters. She came from Thailand when she was 8 or 9 so I was 3 or 4. My parents left her in Thailand with my grandma when she was about 1 – they moved here hoping to find a better life for their daughter. Then they had me, here in the US. I always knew of my older sister and was so excited to know she was going to move to the States and live with me!

However, I don’t know what happened to her while she was in Thailand. I don’t know how she was raised, how she was treated, whether she was abused or molested or not. She was very abusive, a liar, and just an awful person. She would beat me up for no reason and threatened me not to tell anyone. I was so scared of her I never told anyone. She was brave enough to beat me in front of our cousins who also never spoken up to the adults because we were all scared shitless of her. I endured the abuse for years.

I remember once she told me to clean the closet of our apartment while she went to school. I was probably 4 or 5 years old. She threatened to beat me if I hadn’t cleaned it by the time she returned from school. I remember the closet was narrow and had shelves lined on both walls and everything was cluttered on all the shelves. Who in the right mind would tell a 5 year old to clean the closet? Of course I didn’t clean it. I couldn’t even reach the shelves. As soon as she got home, she saw the messy closet and landed a hard punch right in my stomach. I will never forget that.

When she turned 14 or 15, she went to the cops and told them my father raped her. But before she did that, she told me she was going to report my father, and if the police asked me anything, to tell them that I saw him “touching her”. I was 9 or 10, scared to death of my abuser, so I did exactly what she told me. That landed my father in jail and my younger brother and I with DCFS. I remember the sitting in the police station bawling my eyes out because I was taken from my family. I sat there, waiting, crying. Then after what felt like an eternity my little brother walked into the room I was confined in. He was crying his eyes out, we both extended our arms and hugged one another so tightly. I was so relieved he was with me, but was so scared for what was going to happen. He told me that he walked out of the school after school was let out and two men came to pick him up and put him in the car. He didn’t know them, didn’t know where they were taking him, and then ended up at the police station. Just think about what that can do to a 5 year old, a kindergartener…

We were apart from our parents for three days. It was the most traumatizing event for me. My brother and I were split up and only saw each other for a couple of hours each day. I couldn’t call home, I couldn’t hear my mother’s voice. I couldn’t sleep in the same room as my brother. Thinking about it as I write this, I can’t imagine how my little brother felt being apart from everyone for three whole days. He was only 5 years old.

Years later I got into fights, I got myself into crazy situations. I was very impulsive and could not control myself. I jumped from man to man to man, looking for true love, looking for the right man to sweep me off my feet. I attempted suicide in 2005. I was one crazy person.

Now as a grown up and having children, the kids would be kids and do things that piss me off. There are some things that are triggers and make me go ape shit. And I kid you not, the anger that I felt as a child is the same anger that I sometimes feel with the kids. My mother-in-law is a psychotherapist and ever since I opened up to her about these anger issues I’ve been able to manage my anger. It’s not an easy thing to do, but now I know where my anger is coming from. And now I am able to recognize it, shut up and walk away to cool down before I let out on the kids. I’m still working on it every second of every day. And there are times I lose it. But it takes every fiber in my being not to hurt the children. I am changing myself. I am changing history. I will not let my demons get the best of me and I will not let what happened to me happen to my children.

Music Therapy

Our pediatrician has told us on numerous occasions to play all types of music for our children. Music stimulates the full brain – not just the right brain or the left brain. My husband and I love music so hearing this was music to our ears! The best thing is that it doesn’t have to be only classical music, or jazz, or only certain types of instruments, but it’s all types of music, instruments and genres. So we have fun exposing our children to everything from classical to hip hop/rap, jazz to pop, blues, oldies, reggae, edm, Thai classical and pop music, Japanese music, Disney songs, nursery rhymes, the list goes on. One of the twins’ favorite songs right now is “Rubber Biscuit” covers by The Blues Brothers. It’s so hilarious seeing these almost three year old girls dancing like crazy to “Rubber Biscuit” 😂

The other day I was in an incredibly foul mood. I was yelling at the girls for doing things they’re not supposed to (really?! They are frickin’ two years old. They don’t know what’s right from wrong!) I don’t even know why I was so angry and frustrated – I got enough rest the night before, I had my coffee (coffee makes me happy 😁), and it wasn’t that time of the month (sorry, tmi!). But I was angry the whole day. And I feel like the girls know how to push my buttons even more when I’m pissed. Or maybe since I’m already frustrated, everything just sets me off. Whatever it was I did not like the way it made me feel and I felt guilty for taking it out on the girls. Finally I turned some music on and like magic all my frustrations and anger dissipated into thin air. The girls also just started dancing and the tantrums and meltdowns also disappeared.

That is when I realized the power of music.  It changes the brain, the mood, it brings back happy memories and feelings that have been imprinted during a certain song, whether it be happy or sad. I realized that music is like therapy which could soothe the soul. I also remembered that the girls have been listening to music since they were in the womb, and of course, it is their happiness and calm, as well as mine. Music will be on all day everyday here in this household from now on.

Mother’s Day – Just Another Normal Day

I love holidays, even if they are Hallmark days. Mother’s Day is one of those days that should be special and everyone should show extra appreciation to their mothers, people who they respect as mothers, and especially the mother to your children. I’ve always dreamed that once Mother’s Day rolls around I would be showered with love, affection, help, and some time off.

I have three kids under three. I am a stay-at-home-mom, raising my kids in the most gentle way as possible, doing attachment parenting, bed sharing, baby wearing, extended breastfeeding, bonding and connecting, all the while cooking for a family of six, having to make the grocery list, think of what I want to cook that day or the next, doing the dishes, tidying up, and of course raising my children. I am home alone with the children most of the day – 365 days of the year. All I want is ONE day, Mother’s Day, where I can sleep in a little, maybe have some breakfast made for me. One day to have help throughout the day, to lessen my load. Just one.

But, I guess I gotta continue dreaming. Today was like any other day. Nothing special at all, whatsoever. I woke my husband up at 3pm and asked whether he was ready to help out yet. His response? “Yeah, I guess.” What the fuck is that?! I already let you sleep til THREE P.M.! I texted him earlier in the day (after he woke up to go to the bathroom, so it’s not like I woke him up) and told him I would like to go to the grocery store alone so I can do something I want to do. Yes, going to the grocery store is a treat for me. How fuckin’ sad is that? I said to him, “I hope Mother’s Day isn’t going to be like this every year. This happened last year too.”

Anyway, after he comes down he’s all, “Are we going out to dinner?” Well, no, because you know your mom is sick, you mentioned that she has a headache. Why would we ask her to watch the kids?! I was getting myself AND my youngest son ready to leave – yes, I had to take the baby because he couldn’t deal with all three while I went grocery shopping. Ok, ok, he’s in a lot of pain because he injured himself recently. I can sympathize. Except, I recently injured my shoulders and my upper back, could barely get out of bed for 2 days and what did I do? Got the fuck out of bed and took care of the whole damn family. Ok, back to today. He was trying to justify his lack of interest in helping me today by saying that we don’t do Mother’s Day and birthdays and such because we aren’t “there” yet. “There” meaning, financially fit. He proceeds to try to point out that I don’t do anything for his birthday or for Father’s Day. I shot back at him, “Yes, I do! You don’t remember me throwing you a surprise birthday party one year? How bout that one year I made the artwork with the girls’ handprints for Father’s Day? I TRY…” Of course he doesn’t say shit cuz what could he say after that?

So as I was getting my jacket on I caught him glaring at me, like he was stabbing my face with his eyes. I was like, “WHAT?! Why are you glaring at me?!” He says, “Why are you yelling at me? Why does every fuckin’ thing have to be about you? Not everything revolves around you!” Huh?! Come again? You were fuckin’ GLARING at me, giving me the dirtiest of looks. I’m sorry if I thought you were looking at ME and your anger is toward ME. Well, next time don’t fucking glare my way, then! Before I left I shot him with, “fuck it, I don’t care anymore”. That for sure made him furious enough to text me so I explained…”Yes, I don’t care about needing help on Mother’s Day anymore. I’m just gonna treat it as another day of the year.”

So that, ladies and gentlemen, was my Mother’s Day – just another normal day… And I will have to remind myself that from this day forward, that’s all it is, not a special day for moms, just another fuckin’ day…

If We Were Having Coffee…

I would be drinking a Starbucks Venti decaf 6-pump mocha with no whip. That is my all-time favorite drink and has been for the past couple of years, probably since I was pregnant with my twins. What would you be having? Coffee? Tea? Hot chocolate? Whatever it is I hope it will be the most perfect cup.

How was your week? What’s new? How’s the weather where you’re at? These are probably the things I would ask you. As for me, I’ve had an interesting week with one of my twin girls deciding to not wear pull-ups anymore and potty train herself. And I found out today that the other twin, who is completely uninterested in using the potty, knows the phonics of so many letters! They are only 2 years and almost 10 months old! They amaze me every single day.

What am I doing up so late? I honestly don’t know! After I wrote in my blog yesterday I felt a peculiar sort of pleasure that I was able to write. My whole life I’ve been trying to write. Anything. Just anything. I went to school for film production and my hugest aspiration is to direct a film. It would be awesome to write what I end up directing. If I could I would crank out so many projects – writing, directing, filming. It would be badass! What would I like to write or make a film on? I really don’t know. I was hoping this blog would keep me accountable at writing. Otherwise I would not write. Maybe if you were here every weekend to listen and talk to it would make it easier on me to write and open up. So what do you say?

Well, this has been a pleasure. I know it was short, but I thank you for your time. Thank you for keeping me company and letting me speak. Will you be here next weekend? I hope so. I have to get some sleep cuz I’ve got a long day ahead of me tomorrow. Good night and sweet dreams!

 

Sickness, Milestone, and Poop

Life has been crazy. It’s been a month since I last wrote – and my goal was to write at least once a week. Ugh.

Since my last post, K had a viral infection and had to get breathing treatments. She absolutely hated the mask. Poor girl was so scared and traumatized by it. I’m so glad she only needed it for a couple of days and got over the sickness within a week. The whole time she was sick I was oiling up the three of us night and day. Diffused oils, applied oils, and took it day by day. I was praying N and Baby M wouldn’t get sick. Of course a week later Baby M got sick – croupy. He woke up with a barking cough on a Saturday afternoon and by night my husband was so worried he asked me to take the baby to the ER. Turns out he also had a viral infection and got a dose of corticosteroids and had a breathing treatment as well. He also hated that mask and I don’t blame him. Luckily the nurse was very sweet and played peek-a-boo with him while she held the mask in place. I was wearing Baby M, which made things easier as well – he couldn’t fight as much as if he would have been laying down on the bed. The steroid and breathing treatment worked like a charm. He was over the sickness in a couple days. As for N, she was safe. So was I. I’m so ecstatic the oils are helping us keep things at bay. N usually would’ve been the first one to get sick. But I seriously think the oils has kept her healthy.

Baby M has cut his 2nd bottom tooth and also his 1st top tooth. He is getting heavier by the day, but is short which makes him look chubby. His head is still growing which is a cause of concern. The pediatrician recommended to get an MRI to rule out the big heads in our family. She says she’s 99% sure there’s nothing wrong, and that it is genetic because both parents have big heads, but she would feel much better if we did the MRI because she doesn’t want to make any assumptions. If there were to be something wrong, the sooner we find out the sooner we can do an early intervention. I am terrified. The only consolation I really have is that he’s hitting his milestones at an average rate. He’s doing everything a baby is supposed to do. He is such an awesome baby – very happy and smiley and already has such a great sense of humor. He is very aware of his surroundings and wants to be a part of everything. He loves and adores his sisters and you can see in his eyes how much he wants to play with them. And the twins are absolutely wonderful with him. They try to make him laugh, bring him toys when he’s crying, they hug him and kiss him and play with him. It’s amazing, the bond that they already have with one another. I hope and pray they don’t find anything that is concerning.

As for the twins, the biggest thing going on right now is that N decided to potty train herself! One day, I think it was this past Monday, she decided to go naked. So my husband and I both said, “All right, you can be naked, but you’ll have to pee and poop in the potty!” I was washing dishes and my husband was upstairs. When he came down I heard lots of cheering and happiness from him so I was like, what, what? What’s going on? And what do you know? N peed in the potty all by herself! When my husband came down she said, pointing at the potty, “Look! Look!” It was one of the best feelings ever. Happy. Excitement. Proud. Indescribable.

I thought her first pee in the potty was a fluke. I didn’t know whether or not she was really ready. I didn’t want to push her. So the next day I put her back in her pull-ups. Lately she would poop in her pull-up and would want to look at her poop as I changed her. I told her if she pooped in the potty she would be able to look at her poop and also flush it down the toilet. I think that enticed her. The next day I came down from putting Baby M to nap and here comes N running towards the potty naked from the waist down and yells, “I have to poop!” I was like, yeah, you go, girl! Do it! She sat and sat and sat. I brought her books and she sat and looked at the pictures. No poop. Since she already took her pull-up and pants off I figured, let’s give this a go. I wanted to see if she would pee in the potty again. And she absolutely did. This girl really amazed me. Then the moment of truth came – SHE POOPED IN THE POTTY ALL BY HERSELF! It was like the sun rays beating down on me and angels singing “Hallelujah!” This girl was on FIRE! She had one pee accident that day and I think it was because she had my t-shirt on and it confused her. Yesterday there were no pee accidents but she did drop the deuce on the kitchen floor before bed time, hahaha. She wouldn’t put a pull-up on at night and was singing, “no more diapers for me, no more diapers for me!” It was so cute, but I was like, actually, diapers and night for you. This morning she woke up with a dry pull-up, peed in the potty before we came downstairs, pooped in the potty in the morning, and has been a complete ROCKSTAR! You should see her pee and poo chart filled with stickers just from the past couple of days! The most amazing thing to me is that she decided on her own that she wanted to use the potty. As soon as that clicked, she was like, aight, this is it. And I’m so absolutely proud that she can tell when she needs to pee and poop and she stops what she’s doing to go do her thang.

Meanwhile, K is uninterested at the moment. Her time will come and when that day comes, it will be GLORIOUS!