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October 15, 2015   

I found this surfaced in Facebook memories today. I had posted this exactly a year ago. 


I had a lot of fun with the books/movies/games that have stuck with you over the years. This morning, I was listening to “I Remember You” by Skid Row, and was instantly transported to age 13, sitting at my desk at my new school that I only attended for a year in 8th grade, scribbling the words to this song and “18 and Life” into my desk, using the pen to form grooves to hold on to the words.

I remember that feeling of wanting to leave a mark, of this being such important music to me at the time. I remember thinking of the future student who would sit in my now-defaced desk thinking on the words and feeling a connection to a stranger from the past, that felt the same things.

Now I challenge you to list 10 songs that transport you. The biggest requirement is that when you hear this song anywhere, a specific memory pops into your head, and you don’t have to use google or whatever to figure out the year or how old you were — you just know because it’s an indelible part of your memory makeup and who you are. Some of these songs are going to be… dumb and embarrassing to mention, I’m sure, but be honest. 

For me, in no particular order:

1. I Remember You, as listed above.
2. Somebody, by Depeche Mode. – I’m a senior in high school. I’m at the Korean Student Association banquet. It’s not the closing song, but it’s almost the end of the dance. I’m here alone because my boyfriend is in Germany for the year. I am missing him. I almost want to dance with anyone at all because this song defines everything about love as I know it to that point. I want to weep, but I am happy that I know this kind of love. Everyone I ever made a mixtape for got this song on it.
3. Groovy Kind of Love, by Phil Collins. – I’m 12 years old. I’m slow dancing at one of the first boy-girl parties ever with a boy to this song. This is “our song” for me & my first “boyfriend”, who did amazing things like carry my books and help me vacuum my living room and remembered all the things I like. The best first boyfriend anyone could ever have had. He was so sweet and I didn’t know how to show my feelings, but I thought he was the greatest person ever. 
4. Paper Lanterns, by Green Day. – It was on the mix CD that Seppo made for me while we were still just friends. Here’s what I remember him saying to me, “I made this mix CD. If you want it, you can have it. If you don’t, I’ll just keep it.” I very clearly thought he made himself a mix CD and made me a copy just because. As such, I didn’t realize that I should be listening to these songs as things he was saying TO me and that he had in fact made this CD specifically for me. Oops. So when I listened to the words (and I listened carefully), I assumed it was about this other girl he liked. 

I listened to that mix CD in strict order for years and years. I just realized that I don’t have the full playlist on my computer right now and I’m freaking out. I need to find the CD. 🙁
Also, HOLY CRAP THIS VIDEO! It’s from 1990 apparently, when they are playing at Pinole Valley High School. WOW. I can’t imagine having seen them at my own high school. That’s insane.
5. Forever Young (Dance Version), by Alphaville. – I’m in my pastor’s son’s car, crowded in with far too many people for the size of the car. He is doing pickups for Friday night bible study. He is driving possibly a bit too fast, and the car is full of youthful energy. All the windows are down and this song is blasting. I vaguely feel like this song is blasphemous but can’t help loving it and feeling like this moment will last forever and no time at all.
6. All of Me, by John Legend. – Seppo played this for me earlier this year, and it was my first time hearing it because I don’t really listen to the radio. I’m sitting on the couch, listening to my iPhone. Out of nowhere, I start sobbing. We’ve been together for so long, and we still feel all of these words. The words hit me in the heart and I’m down for the count.
7. Bit Part, by Lemonheads. – My high school long-distance boyfriend (sorry these are so boyfriend-related) sent me a mix tape in the mail. I’d never heard of the Lemonheads before. Half the mixtape is REM and some other stuff (actually, I remember every song but I’ll pretend to be cool about it all), and in the mix is this short amazing song. It is perfect. It’s him. It’s us. I immediately rewind after listening to the entire tape and listen to this one song over and over.
8. You Got It (The Right Stuff), by New Kids On the Block. – I remember exactly where I was when I heard this song & saw the video for the first time. We had MTV back in the days when it was almost entirely music video after music video. The tv was on. It was the summer when I turned 12 years old. I saw this video and instantly, I walked right up to the tv and stood next to it. I stood there until they played this video again, not turning the channel, not looking away. It was the first time in my life that I reacted this way to any music or band. I was a tween and I had boyband fever. 
9. U Can’t Touch This, by MC Hammer. – One random day in the summer of high school, I was walking over to where I tutored a couple of younger girls. I was probably 17 years old. The walk was long, so I used to read or listen to my Walkman while walking. Yes, I used to read while walking in the street. Anyway, one time, this song came on the radio while I was on an empty street. So I started doing the hammer, as you do. I had been doing this for like 20-30 seconds, when I look up and see ANOTHER KID in the street, looking at me and LAUGHING. GAH!!!! I speed-walk away.
10. Such Great Heights, Iron & Wine cover of Postal Service song. – Our first dance song at our wedding. :’D
I’ll tag some people, but really, anyone who wants to should do it. Just tag me back so I can see it. Picking some people that share some of the same song memories as me, and some people whose musical memories are bound to be interesting. 🙂
[snipped list of names] 

21 vs 21

October 18, 2012   

Last time, at 21 weeks, versus this time:

Please ignore my horrendous facial expression and horrifying hair.

Our second baby

October 18, 2012   

In addition to the many lost opportunities to jot down memories of what is happening with our son, I am saddened about the lack of posts regarding how this second pregnancy has been going. We are in week 21, which is roughly equivalent to this point in the last pregnancy.

Major differences:

  • I got pretty huge pretty quickly. Last time, I hid it from people until after week 16. This time, people started asking questions when I was in week 10, so i think I confessed at week 11.
  • Right now, at the halfway mark, I think I’m closer to where I was at 6 months last time, size-wise.
  • Only a little morning sickness! I believe it has to do with avoiding wheat/gluten. Whenever I had even a small amount during the first trimester, I would feel violently ill. Now, during the second semester, I only feel a bit nauseated for a few hours if I have a lot.
  • Less swelling so far.
  • I felt the baby kick internally at around 16 weeks, and felt external kicks around week 18. Now, I feel kicks all the time. I think soon, you’ll be able to see them visually.

Knowing how much our hearts grew when our little boy joined us, I can’t wait for our second little boy. J constantly asks me if he can pet the baby. We try to talk as much about our little baby/his baby brother but we know he’ll never really know what’s coming. He’s very sweet with smaller kids and babies, so I think he’ll be a wonderful big brother.

It’s been a million or so years

October 17, 2012   

Such a long time since I’ve put to words our little boy’s progress… Some people start blogging when they become parents, but I have found it difficult to find the time to myself to write since the birth of our little one.

He’s grown so much. Every morning, every hour, every minute, he’s changing. His conversation is so complex now! I am in awe of how well he can communicate his thoughts.

I sat down here, thinking I could try to jot down some things that would really capture this special time in his life, but I find that I’m overwhelmed by too many thoughts and memories fighting to come out first. I think it might serve me well to simply put these photos up and do more later. Always, always, later…

Mr. Talks-A-Lot

April 4, 2011   


He sure does! Seppo posted about it a couple of weeks ago, but since then, he’s progressed at lightning speed! It’s really amazing how fast he learns and recalls things. For instance, I pointed out a traffic cone in one of his pictures just one time, then he proceeded to flip through the entire book pointing out every traffic cone, of which there are roughly a dozen.

In addition to the list Seppo made, he can do the following:

  • say nia-o when he sees a cat
  • say woo-woo or heh-heh-heh (panting sound) when he sees a dog
  • say dah-ji for “doggie” (he doesn’t make a hard g sound yet)
  • pound his chest when he sees a picture of a gorilla or I say the word gorilla
  • say pa when he sees a plane, as well as making the sign for it
  • say clah for cloud, as well as making my fake sign for cloud (I didn’t know what it was the first time I pointed out clouds to him, so I made something up)
  • say puh-pi for puppy
  • say awa or aga for water (“agua”) and milk — basically anything he wants to drink
  • say something like skoo and make the sign for squirrel when he sees it
  • say dah for duck, and sometimes kwa-kwa for quack quack
  • say bibi for baby
  • make sign for fish
  • say geckle-geckle for twinkle-twinkle, which means he wants us to sing that song
  • say ta-do for tractor
  • say wee-oo for wheel
  • say wee-oo (I wrote it it same as above, but it really sounds different when he says it) for the sound that emergency vehicles make
  • say mo-oh for if he wants more (or any) of something
  • say shi (sit), steh (stay), and she (shake) to Mobi, while giving him a treat with dinner
  • say tahs for stars
  • say no for nose, mao for mouth, tee for teeth, eye/eyes for — yes — eye/eyes!
  • point to his toes when you ask him to
  • muss up his hair with both hands when you ask him where his hair is

In his books, he can point to Little Pookie (a little piglet character), the “baby” (any small child in any story), hair, eyes, nose, ears, mouths, hats, shoes, stars, moon, sun, bunnies, cats, sheep, ladybugs, turtles, spiders, balls, wheels, buses, trucks, cones, cars, spoons, forks, and a bunch of stuff I’m forgetting right now.

He can tickle you, hide (by going into the kitchen and running back out, or by covering his face with his hands), fake tickle dolls/characters in books (and seems to know it’s make-pretend), bring books over that you name, put away his plates and bowls into his drawer, twist on caps on his old milk bottles, use a fork & spoon mostly successfully, drink from a cup by himself, find mama’s shoes or dada’s shoes and bring them to the correct person in matched pairs, army crawl under chairs for fun (he just did this yesterday), play blanket fort, rock on our rocking recliners, hit the correct button to play lullabies in his room, find his nose/mouth/teeth.

I am honestly amazed everyday at how fast he is changing! I can’t believe how much stuff he does and is aware of! I just love that kid to pieces. He surprises me everyday with his delight at the world around him. I hope we in turn surprise and delight him everyday by introducing him to the world.

Here he is in a photo from yesterday, about to go down the slide with his friend (whom he calls by name!) — he climbed all the way up by himself:

As a comparison, here is a photo of him taken one year and a day ago, having his first bite of solid food:
His first taste of food

And here is him a year ago to the day:
He loves you thiiiiiiis much!

Ok, I’m watching American Idol again…

February 25, 2011   

For the first time since season 6, solely because of this dude:

I’m TOTALLY going to be voting for him. Casey Abrams FTW!

ETA: One more!

This blogging thing

February 25, 2011   

I’ve been blogging on and off forever, and it’s mostly been off for the last year. It’s hard to find time to write, and it’s harder to prioritize writing over the million other things I need/want to get to in the day when I have a minute.

But when I go back through the last few posts, I know the value my posts have to me, because it reminds me of the little details that I’ve forgotten about my baby, about me, and about our family life together.

He’s 16 months old! That’s ridiculous! This week last year, we put him in daycare for the first time. It was a harrowing experience: I didn’t want to be apart from him and he didn’t want to take the bottle while at daycare. It was devastating to leave him behind.

With the benefit of a year’s experience in daycare, however, it is clear that he gets a lot out of being there. He gets to be around a bunch of children his age, some older, some younger, learning social skills and group dynamics. He is stimulated in different ways at daycare than he is at home, with a different kind of structure to the day, and both are a benefit to him. Frankly, he loves it there. He loves us, his parents, more than anything else in the world, but he also loves being at daycare with many people who care for him.

Randomly, I have a picture from last year today, with him all cuddled up and napping across my belly:

This is him two weeks ago at Children’s Fairyland:
Children's fairyland is adorable!

Doesn’t he look like a tiny farmer? Hee!

Another recent photo:

Here’s one of me & my friend Linda whom I just saw yesterday!

Why are my eyes so cursed tiny???!

Uh, here is the end of my incoherent post.


What an oldie!

October 22, 2010   


Our little man turned one this week. WOW! I can’t believe just how wonderful he is, and just how much I am in love with everything he does. I was just going to write “except how early he wakes up,” but even then, he’s so full of curiosity and eager get-go that I can’t help but love that too about him. 🙂

This year has been the rollercoaster that everyone talks about. Every word was true. Yes, we are always tired. No, we have no idea how we used to squander our precious “extra” time that we no longer have. Yes, it’s all worth it when he smiles.

But you know, nothing anyone ever said really quite… clicked. Nothing they had said made me understand just how awe-inspiring being his parent was going to be. So many times, I cradled him to me while he slept, just smelling the top of his head and wondering how could he be so perfect?

I remember the first crazy days in the hospital. He lay there, swaddled up tight with his silly hospital hat, and I couldn’t believe he was finally here. We were so tired, but even as we were falling sleep on our feet, we fought off sleep to just take one more look at him, to hold him one more time, to touch his little ears and nose and fingers, because we couldn’t get enough. He was finally out and I just wanted to hold him all the time.

I remember seeing his fingers and toes, and how much his toenails looked like Seppo’s. His nails were so thin that the tips would bend at the slightest touch and break off like bits of tissue paper. His eyebrow line already looked like his dad’s. His tiny nose was so tiny it was hard to tell whose it more resembled. 🙂 The little part between the nose and the mouth looked like Seppo too. Seppo said he looked just like me. Regardless, he was 100% ours and a marvel to behold.

There were times the nurses found us in the hospital room, weeping because we were so overwhelmed. We were tired and didn’t know what to do to comfort our tiny, vulnerable, helpless baby, and that in turn made us feel helpless. We wanted to do our very best for our little one, but we found we had no confidence, only heart.

We brought him home. We had help but it was still hard to learn his cues, so figure out when he wanted food, when he needed to be changed, and when he wanted just to be held. Slowly, we figured it out. As we did, we could see how he was changing, and how fast!

At first, he just started to keep his eyes open more. Then he started to stare intently at specific things, so much so that his little brows would crinkle down. He couldn’t hold his neck up yet, or really turn on his own very well, so he’d stare out sideways sometimes. 🙂

And fast forward a year, and he’s almost walking! He’s vocal, he has wants, he has a ridiculously silly sense of humor, he is curious about everything, he is fiercely independent and goal-oriented, he strives and reaches and goes. Always, he is going.

Everyday that I am with him, he fills me with laughter and joy at his weird, silly, funny, persistent self. He experiments over and over with things to see how they behave. Will this ball bounce the same as the block? Will this spoon make the same sound as this train?

He loves his rattles and xylophones and drums. He loves music, unexpected things, inside jokes, being totally nude. Oh yes, he giggles and crawls away as fast as he can when you take his clothes off to change him or give him a bath. He’s a sneaky one! He loves the wind in his face from whatever source and the rainbow-colored pinwheels at his daycare, so much so that I got a couple to put outside his window for him. He stops his play to stand up and peek out the window, waving when the pinwheels spin.

I… Seriously, this post could go on and on. I could write a whole NaNoWriMo’s worth (50,000 words) of the ways he is amazing and the ways we love him. I wish I could capture every moment perfectly, so that he can know the ways he’s changed us and made our lives infinitely better. If he ever reads this as an adult, I hope he’ll know just how much we love him and how much we love being his mommy and daddy.

I can’t even imagine what next year will bring, little one. I look forward to every minute.


I have to end with this ridiculously adorable outfit from our friends UCDV that Seppo dressed him in:


What?! One year?!?!

October 11, 2010   

Yes, our little man is almost a year old. WHAT A YEAR. WHAT? I’M YELLING, YOU SAY?

Ahem. Sorry about that. It was just so exciting. I was trying to keep from getting choked up by becoming intensely loud. What a year. What a baby. What a husband. What a crazy life. 🙂

“Stuff baby does” update (I’ll upload videos and pics in a later post as it’s late at night and I need to hit the sack):

  • He is a daredevil, our little one. Back in August, he mastered the  “flop face first into the bed by letting his hands slide out from under him, using a slippery boardbook to facilitate” maneuver. He would intentionally flop then giggle. Then sometime in the last few weeks, he mastered the art of “standing up on our bed, holding the rails of his crib, then throwing himself dramatically backwards then giggling like mad”, which scared the pants off me the first few times I saw it. It still makes me nervous that he’ll try to do this somewhere not on the bed, but so far, he’s been keeping his crazy shenanigans to the bed.
  • He eats everything and nothing. If I’m eating it, he wants some. But not enough to fill his little belly. If I make something for him, he doesn’t want it if there are too many components (either flavor or textures) at once. Mix in some chunky bits in yogurt and he spits it out, but let him bite into his own pear/cheese/bagel/whatever or give him pureed fruit in that yogurt, and he chomps down with no problems.
  • He has acquired the ability to say his M’s which thrills me to no end. 🙂 He’s had his D’s for a while now. I often hear him say, “Mamamamamamama umma mamammama umma.” Umma is Korean for mommy so I love this, even though it’s clear he’s not actually associating the sound w/ me yet.
  • He took his first steps this week! I think he might actually try to walk before his first birthday. I tell him there is no rush, that he can go at his own speed. But he sure is trying hard! 🙂 I have a video of his wobbling for 1.5 steps that i’ll upload later.
  • He’s learned to drink from sippy cups and somewhat from real cups. 😀 His favorite drinking vessels are his straw sippy cup and my sports bottle.
  • He loves the drums! Everyday, he crawls over to the Rockband drumkit and grabs the sticks to bang against the heads. If you lift him onto the stool, he loves it because he can reach the high hat. 🙂
  • He tries to kiss us by opening his big slobbery mouth and eat our nose/mouth. It’s wonderful and gross. Really wonderful, but really gross. Hahahahaa.
  • His wave hello and good-bye transformed from a really aggressive “chop chop chop” motion (imagine you are using your open hand to chop down at a 45 degree angle into someone neck, and you’ve got the right idea) to a really floppy one. It’s interesting because I think he’s experimenting with his various joints and how he can create different kinds of motion.
  • He claps when you say “jjak jjak jjak” (or maybe “chak chak chak”? — onomatopoetic word for clap), points his index finger into the open palm of his other hand when you say “gonji gonji gonji” (might actually be “kwon/gwun ji” meaning “hand” and “finger”), shakes his head when you say “dori dori dori” (means “turn”), and bops his head with his hands when you say “dol dol dol” (hilariously, this means “rock” which implies your head is full of rocks!).

There is so much more, but I need to hit the sack!

Stuff Our Almost-10-month Old does

August 10, 2010   
  • Yesterday, he waved in response to someone waving at him for the first time! He waved at his daycare provider when I picked him up at the end of the day, then when Seppo came home, he waved at him, and he waved good-bye this morning to both of us in turn. Amazing.
  • He stands every single minute he can. Crawling is just a means to an end, and the end is standing. He crawls over to a wall, to tables, to chairs, anything higher than ground level to stand.IMG_1045.JPG
  • Just a couple of days ago, he mastered clapping his hands together forcefully enough to make that, er, clapping sound! He was so pleased with himself, and kept practicing throughout the day.
  • He can pat his own mouth to make “wa-wa-wa-wa” noises now, instead of just making the noise when someone else pats his mouth.
  • If you stick your tongue out at him, he darts his tongue in and out and makes his signature “yodel” sounds in direct response.
  • He can now pick the book he wants to have read to him out of a group of books, and flip pages one at a time. He seems to do this if he thinks I’m going too slowly! Ha! It may seem like he might be picking a book at random, but if you keep reading a different book, he will keep holding, moving, and looking at the book he picked instead of paying full attention to the alternate book, and then pay close attention when you pick the book he wants.
  • He recognizes and prefers babies’ faces and voices in books and songs. His two favorite books seem to be one that has photos of baby facial expressions and one that features a baby’s cartoony face very prominently. This third favorite might be Hippos Go Berserk! I just bought two albums of children singing, and he couldn’t stop laughing at one of the albums. It was so weird and compelling. 😀

The biggest change is that not only is he gaining new skills, he’s initiating play now, whereas he used to only respond to our play initiation. For instance, he’ll stick his tongue out and look at you, waiting for you to stick yours out. Then if you do, he’ll start his yodeling.

He laughs at the drop of the hat. Anything you do that is slightly out of the ordinary makes him crack up. He spends a large part of his days with us just laughing in delight at all the surprising, crazy things the world contains. He makes me see the hilarity in tiny things and enjoy the world more.

I know there are all sorts of studies about couples being happier before having kids, but with our baby, aside from sleep issues where we get too tired sometimes (which is admittedly HUGE at times, due to a lowered ability to deal with stress), our lives have been filled with face-splitting grins at the awesomeness of being his parents. I can’t believe how much he’s progressed since the last update a mere 3 weeks ago.

Here is a cute little video of the babybear experiencing his first train set and the absurdity of a train going off the rails:

And don’t worry about anything you see in the background; we aren’t done clearing out that room and the outlets have already been covered. Just enjoy his bubbling laughter! 😀

Here’s a pic of him at at friend’s house, sitting on a rocking caterpillar:

Rocking caterpillar

Here’s a family photo from when my mom visited while the little bro was here. My cousin visited us despite his hectic schedule.