Six years, three kids, a bajillion neuroses

Even though I could positively karate kick every single person who feels compelled to tell me that my baby doesn't look like much of a baby anymore, they're right. At some point in the last few weeks Emma Cheung morphed into the next version of herself. She's not two yet, but for all the whining and demanding and temper having and sheer personality getting thrown around, she might as well be. And it's as I suspected - there's a loud, assertive, charming little extrovert inside that kid and I admit it, I'm a little intimidated. 

I thought my other kids were full of personality at this age too, but I think they were personalities I understood a bit better. Maybe a little more like my own, or easily handled. I see a lot of myself in Jack, and Molly is a sweet, soft, delicious little spoonful of girly whipped cream. Or maybe it's because I'm familiar with them, I know what to expect, and Emma's self is suddenly exploding all over the house. Even Jack and Molly seemed stunned by the force at times, unthinkingly handing over a toy or snack, immediately giving in, yielding to the emotional noise that is their baby sister. 

Just this last week she's begun to choose walking - a drunken stumble, really - over scooting, and she's high on the experience. "LOOK AT ME!" her face says, as if she started walking at 9 months instead of 20. She talks. Constantly. Repeats everything we say. Yells it. And if she can't form the words she emits this awful mind-numbing "Eh-ehhhh!" until we figure out what she wants. She is sweet and darling and cuddly and loving until the instant she is not, and then she is furious, offended, indignant, and spilling white hot tears of HOW COULD YOU?!?!?!

And while she is still very clingy and attached to me, she has absolutely no fear diving (literally) into her siblings' games and toys and carefully structured pillow forts. Aren't all of these things here for her own amusement? Including the older siblings? Is not this entire house and everything within it simply existing for her own personal enjoyment? 

I feel sorry for my kids sometimes, having as they do a mother obsessed with Myers-Briggs and enneagrams and birth order and various other personality theories and assessments. I don't WANT to assign them traits and characteristics before they can pronounce "enneagram" but dudes, if Emma Cheung doesn't have YOUNGEST CHILD oozing out of every pore. I see it in action every day. She studies Jack and Molly, she takes note of what gets a laugh, and she'll do those things over and over again. She REMEMBERS those things, weeks and weeks after they happen. I'm afraid she'll be playing "steal Mommy's napkin" for laughs until she's thirty-five. Even at not quite two she's the ham in this family, though admittedly she doesn't have much competition. I fear for this child, growing up the lone noisy extrovert in a family of rule followers. But see - I'm doing it again. Who knows what she'll be like! Who knows what the other kids will be like! I don't blame her for capitalizing on being Super Cute Funny Baby Sister, a role I've often envied. 

I think of all the times growing up when I swore to myself that if I ever had kids I would be FAIR! And EQUAL! And I would remember how old the oldest was when she got to shave her legs and not even CONSIDER letting the youngest do it until she was AT LEAST the age the oldest WAS etc. etc. etc. But I cannot fathom a time when Emma won't be my BABY and so much younger than her siblings and therefore needing special treatment and attention. HORRIBLE! But even Jack and Molly fall into this line of thinking, getting irritated when people would try to get Emma to stand on her own and walk, taking over, protectively grabbing Emma's hands and barking, "SHE CAN'T WALK." 

How am I encouraging Jack in his "oldest" role and Emma in her "youngest"? How am I neglecting Molly as the "forgotten middle"? 

It is such a BIZARRE and AMAZING thing to have three brand new never-seen-before individuals living in your house. Where you're observing every minute detail, recording many of those details in a BLOG for heaven's sake. WHO ARE THEY? More importantly, HOW AM I SCREWING THEM UP? 

What the kids are wearing these days

Being proper Seattleites, my children demanded to go to the indoor pool on this beautiful 83 degree day. "How about the sprinkler!" I suggested. "I'll fill up the pool!" That was good for maybe half an hour. "Mommy it's too hooooottttt." After that it was, "Can we go to the YYYYYYYYYY?" 

Damn the Y. But also GOD BLESS THE Y. Best ridiculous monthly bill I've ever signed up for. Now if Emma could just suck it up and stop crying in childcare we'd be golden. 

While Phillip took the big kids to the Y, Emma and I stopped at the nearby Fred Meyer. OSTENSIBLY I was looking for flip flops for the big kids, but I ended up buying, ah, summer wardrobes. I keep being delighted with all the clothes I already HAVE for Emma, and wondering why my big kids have nothing summery to wear and/or shoes that fit and/or jeans without holes and/or skirts that aren't scandalously short. I really did mean to buy JUST FLIP FLOPS, but I left the store with something like forty-seven shirts and thirty-nine pairs of capri pants for Molly. Oh, and a few shirts and shorts for Jack. We just finished modeling everything for Daddy and I'm pleased AND horrified that everything fit perfectly. I kept thinking, "Oh, that'll be too big, but better too big than too small! She'll grow into it! It has an adjustable waist, so we're all good!" (WE DID NOT NEED THE ADJUSTABLE WAIST.) 

But you guys, this was the first time I shopped in the Bigger Girl area. Not the infant and toddler section, the 4-6X section, and DUDES. There was exactly one rack of the type of clothes I would dress my kid in. The rest was Mini-Teenager, Mini-Hoochie-Teenager, Branded Sparkly Horrors, and Just Plain Ugly. I have some definite Feelings about age-appropriate clothing, but other than that I don't think I'm too picky. I often let Molly pick her own clothes, I'm learning to get over it if it doesn't match perfectly, and as long as it's clean and fits I will abide the layers upon layers of hot pink tulle. HOWEVER. I was surprised at how many things I would never ever let her wear, on account of Hideosity. Is that a word? It is now. There are always a lot of hideous clothes, but in the Bigger Girl Section at Fred Meyer, the hideous was about 90%.

What was not hideous? The teeny little Carters section where I bought the heaps of t-shirts and capri pants. And one pair of shorts because they were the only Not Booty Shorts That Also Matched The Shirts that I could find. SHEESH. These are just play clothes and all the colors and patterns mixed and matched and they don't SAY things, they aren't BEDAZZLED, they aren't trying to be sixteen. Carters 4Eva! 

I thought I should probably buy Jack some things too, as he's just in need as Molly, he's just not as... well, honestly, he and I are both fine if he wants to wear his googly-eyed shark t-shirt four days in a row. (Not to school. I have a nice assortment of brownnosey polo shirts for school.) But he needed a few pairs of shorts and some new t-shirts and I bought the only three t-shirts in the store that were not 1) camoflage or 2) stamped with skull and bones graphics. NO SKULLS AND BONES. HE IS [ALMOST] SIX. NO NO NO. YUCK. 

Sorry. I have opinions. 

I also don't want things smothered in sports pictures or dirt bikes or motorcycles or cutesy-tough sayings. YUCK! There are certain things Jack likes. For a while I was buying bug or sea creature shirts. Dinosaur shirts. Now I'm on the lookout for superhero shirts that aren't nine hundred dollars. But they still need to be CUTE. These shirts are TERRIBLE. 

And it's not just Fred Meyer, it's anywhere where kid clothes are relatively inexpensive. There are always cute things at the cute stores, but sometimes I just want a stack of five dollar t-shirts he can get dirty at the playground. Is it too much to ask that I not hate whatever is pictured on the front? ANNOYING. 

I feel like I have the rest of my life to disapprove of what my children are wearing. I don't need to start NOW.

Anyway, this is why I buy five dozen plain colored t-shirts from Old Navy before school starts. Of course these are worn out immediately, but at least I don't actively dislike them. 



My neighbor? The parking police? She made a point to smile at me as I drove by yesterday. What do you think THAT means, hmm? 

I'm going to go put my kids to bed, open a Beer of Mexico, and make my husband sit on the deck with me and appreciate the weather. Happy Sunday evening. 

Slip 'n slide

Molly had her first ever swim lesson this morning. Of the five kids she was probably the oldest, but also probably the least familiar with water. Whatever. I decided not to let this reflect on my parenting. Molly is the type of kid who starts screaming bloody murder and you run across the house and into the bathroom where you, irresponsible parent that you are, have let your 4- and 5-year-olds play in the tub and oh. Jackson got an eensy weensy drop of water on Molly's face. OH THE TRAUMA.

So I wasn't really expecting it to go super well to begin with, but I was honestly too stressed about GOING to swim lessons to think about the actual lesson. I feel very new at the Y, I don't know how things work, I'm not always sure where to park or when to arrive and I made Molly take a shower before she got in the pool like all the Firm Signage demanded even though it was clear none of the OTHER kids' mothers made them do this. My ultimate plan is to drop Jack at school, go to the Y, stick the kids in the play area while I run, then get them both out for Molly's lesson at 10. But Emma is the clingiest whiniest baby EVER right now and I WAS JUST STRESSED OUT, OKAY! So getting us all there, on time, in the appropriate clothing, in the right place, without having done anything embarrassing or stupid? I WAS ALREADY WINNING. 

Molly was game for everything though. I was so proud of her. I mean, this could be the kid who refused to get in the water without me. But she got right in with the others and ALMOST put her face in the water when all the other kids did. I mean, this was progress. Then the instructor had them stand on the side of the pool and jump in (with him right there of course) AND SHE DID IT. YOU GUYS MY KID JUMPED IN THE POOL. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. 

Aaaaand she IMMEDIATELY burst into panicky tears, fuh-reaking out all over the place, UGH. Water got up her nose! Ack! Ack! And I couldn't put Emma down to deal with her because then I had TWO screaming children. So I'm kind of hovering over the edge of the pool, hoping I don't drop Emma in, trying to calm Molly down, trying to act like it's No Big Thang in front of the other moms even though I seriously just wanted to hand one of them my baby and take myself out for a latte. The other moms were actually super nice and encouraging. I suppose Molly is not the only drama queen in our family. 

EVENTUALLY I coaxed her to at least stand NEAR the other kids in the water for the last 10 minutes of the lesson, but jeez. I may have to resort to bribery next time. Have Phillip take her on the weekends or something. I don't blame her, though. I don't know how to swim, nor do I have any interest because I AM AFRAID OF WATER. I just understand that it would be better if Molly were NOT like me in this particular instance. 

Jack will have his first lesson Thursday night with Phillip as his chaperone. I expect that to go much better. Jack is a smidge more daring, plus he likes to show off. Peer pressure!

As for the DECK SLIDE...

Okay people, the thing about slides is: 99% of the slides you see on or whatever are made for 5 foot decks. It might say "Ten Foot Slide" but that just means the slide is 10 feet long. It does not mean the slide is made for a 10 foot deck. SO. The majority of slides I've looked at online are made for 5 foot or 7 foot decks. I've got an 8. The difference in price between a 7 foot platform heigh slide and an 8 foot is, oh, $1500. I DON'T KNOW WHY. I can find a gajillion 7 foot slides for $500ish and the 8 footers start at, like, $2000. With tax and shipping. Is ridiculous. I KNOW. 

So my contractor was telling me that I can either purchase a slide that costs more than the stairs, or they can build the slide deck a foot down from the actual deck and pay $750 extra (7 foot slide plus tax and shipping) - it's just that the actual deck stairs project will cost more. 

Anyway, I did some googling and I found one single solitary option under-$1K for an 8 foot slide, a slide that comes in pieces and you can order as many extensions as you want. Enough extensions for an 8 foot deck comes to about $800. I also found a seven foot slide on Amazon for $500ish, which would work nice because we have an Amazon credit card and points to burn, making it even cheaper. I emailed those options. I haven't heard back, but I'm supposing one of those will work. My contractor's first thought for where to purchase a slide was Rainbow, which I already know is the priciest swingset out there. All those $100ish slides you see are for 5 foot decks. I know. 

Of course, we could do away with the slide altogether except NOPE! I am in it. I feel the same way I did about the fireplace. It's a lot of money for something that isn't necessarily going to increase the value of our house, but it will improve the USE of our house SO MUCH. Like, remodeling the kitchen would be super duper nice? And remodeling the bathroom would be even better? And make our house a lot nicer? But not to the extent that deck stairs (AND A SLIDE) will make my children more inclined to play outside in the backyard this summer which is infinitely more helpful for a SAHM's quality of life, yes? 

SLIDE! SLIDE! Stay tuned! 



I am a FIRM SUPPORTER of bangs - the start-from-the-top-of-your-head blunt cut bangs - on little girls. When else in a non-celebrity's life can one pull off what I like to call The Rainbow Brite? Blunt bangs are CUTE, they are AGE APPROPRIATE, and they are PRACTICAL. Tweenage me is cringing as I write this, but I've become one of those ladies whose inner shrew is constantly shrieking, "GET THAT HAIR OUTTA YOUR FACE!"


Bangs are a pain. You either have to haul your child to the salon every couple weeks OR you trim them yourself. I've been trimming them myself AND IT SHOWS. I hate doing it. I do it BADLY and it's just a MESS. So I've neglected them for a bit and we're back at the Do We Or Don't We stage, AKA the stage where I start to wonder if my child can even SEE through that curtain of hair. 

If we grow them out, we will have to suffer growing them out. That's no fun for a grown up and I might not survive the process as the parent of the person growing them out. And when they are grown out you still have DO something with that hair, and poor Molly inherited MY hair which is, well, uncooperative. Super straight, super fine, with wispies all over the place. It's not going to smooth back into a ponytail, is what I'm saying. 

Also, she looks OLD when I pull her bangs back. NO LIKE. 

But she won't have blunt cut bangs forever. Is this when we give them up? Or do I hold fast? I did, after all, wear MY blunt cut bangs until AT LEAST age twelve. Thanks Mom!


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She's talked a little bit about having LONG hair, but NOOOOOOOO, not until you can wash it yourself, girlie. 


It begins

I sent Molly to her second first day of preschool this morning. Heh.


Things are so different this year. Things are amazingly wildly different than three or four years ago, when I had two little babies at home - it wasn't that long ago, you know? I used to write here about my timid little boy getting bossed around by all my friends' little girls, how he'd break into tears at the slightest thing. And now he's marching into kindergarten without even saying goodbye, getting annoyed when I ask him how his day was, raising his hand, speaking out, swinging across the monkey bars. That's MY kid. 

Molly happily disappeared into her classroom. It went exactly how I expected - completely anticlimactic. She's older, bigger, not at all intimidated this year. It's awesome! It's also sad. It makes me squeeze Emma when I get home and make deals with her to stay squishy and babyish forever. 

Phillip is going to be out of town the last week of the month, and today he told me he most likely has to go part of next week too. I'm just putting that out there, in case anyone has any sway with the sleeping-through-the-night gods.

I don't feel like I have much in me right now, only what absolutely needs to happen - so the driving back and forth, the making of meals, the folding of underpants. I feel like things are getting dirty and forgotten about. I tried to get a few things done while the girls napped this afternoon, but I gave in to my eyelids, set the timer on my phone, and passed out on the couch. Lamest part of my day: waking two very tired girls to go get their brother. 

Best part of my day: getting dinner on the table - dinner everyone will eat - and Jack is chatty and talking about how they were sorting at school today and the way he says "sorting" in his little Jack accent just makes me melt. 

In which I start missing my five-year-old

I'm feeling like a bit of a mean mom tonight. The princess birthday party is tomorrow and when I envisioned this whole thing, it was all about Molly (OR OKAY, MUCH ABOUT ME) and how we would decorate and what we would wear and eating PINK things and DRINKING pink things and WHEEEE!!! I totally failed to consider the small boy who also enjoys cake and party games and, yes, princess dresses. 

To his credit, there's been no whining. Just a lot of anxious curiosity. He saw me printing out pictures for a game and asked me all about it, informed me he played the same game with Grandma, were we going to use candy at the birthday party too, was I going to make sure everyone could win, ETC. ETC. He wants to know about the cake. He wants to know who's coming. He wants to know if the cookies we decorated today are for the party. AND I JUST FEEL TERRIBLE.

I didn't have any qualms about a no boys allowed party, but I really did not think through how to PLAN a no boys allowed party with a boy hanging around 24/7. 

Anyway, the idea is for Phillip and his dad to take Jack out for dinner (he's requested the McDonald's Playplace, if you had any doubt) and to bring him back before the party is over so he can have cake at least. I'm starting to wish I'd gone along with Molly's original plan, which was, "No Mommy, we have to have Jackson, so we can have a Princess and SUPERHERO party." She was so much smarter than me. 

BUT WHATEVER! We have pink felt princess hats and heart-shaped finger jello and what better use for my parents' ancient Bavarian china, with the dainty pink rosettes and gold trim? 

This was a week I was worried about, what with No Plans and No School Yet, but it turned out okay. Despite the nasty cold I picked up yesterday, despite the never knowing what we were going to do each morning. Things worked out. And this morning Emma slept late, so I got the big kids ready and then when the baby woke up, we all went out for coffee and muffins for breakfast and THAT is why being a SAHM is awesome. You can just DO stuff like that. Sure, you're beholden to the baby's schedule and everything's a hassle with three car seats, but just sort of picking up and going wherever and deciding that on this random Thursday morning you're having blueberry muffins and hot chocolate for breakfast instead of staying home and eating oatmeal - it's not a bad gig, is what I'm saying. 

We have one more week of this, then Labor Day Weekend, then SCHOOL. I already have fifteen School Events on the calendar. And I'm slowly filling up our week with friends and coffee dates. It's a tiny bit weird to think Jack is going to be completely out of the playdate picture after a week and a half. No more weekday overnighters to Grandma's house, no random coffee shop breakfasts, no more Target at 8:30 AM. It's good - we're both definitely looking forward to school, oh yes - but it's also the end of an era, at least for Jack, and somewhat for me. I've still got a long time with Emma, but my near-daily semi-freakouts about What Are We Going To Do This Morning?! are practically ended with the big kids. Molly will be gone three days a week. (And when she's home she's easy: doughnuts and shopping.) 

So hopefully I won't be tearing my hair out these next few days. Hopefully we can do some fun stuff? Enjoy ourselves? Not that HE'S aware, but I am. And not that there's really anything to commemorate or DO, even, but I want to notice, pay attention. He won't always be the little boy so interested in his sister's princess birthday party. 

Ballerina babies

My anniversary was even lower key than I expected. I spent most of the evening on the couch under my giant zebra-print blanket, shivering, my teeth clacking together, and cursing whoever gave my baby Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. Because, according to the doctor at her 9-month ped visit that morning, it was likely the rest of us have it too. SUPER!

Oh well. We're saving all the awesome for next year anyway. And Emma's mostly back to normal, as evidenced by the smile and gigantic mess:

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The ped visit was basically an Affirm Everything I Am Doing As A Parent session. (I love my doctor.) Controlling her naps, giving her Miralax, the swaddle situation - the ped's reaction to all of these things was "heck yeah, why not?" The one place that got sketchy was the No, Seriously, I Have Not Seen This Baby Roll Over Even One Time. And no she's not scooting, crawling, pulling up, or anything. I haven't stressed much about this, here or offline, because this is a STRONG baby I've got here, and it's clearly not an issue of muscle tone. It's my professional opinion that what's going on is a severe lack of motivation. LAZY BABY. But you know, it bugs me just the same. The doctor told me about a state program where I can have a physical therapist COME TO MY HOUSE and evaluate her. Not because either of us are SUPER worried, necessarily, but maybe PT could give me some ideas of how to encourage her? Also, did you read the part about COME TO MY HOUSE? Also I believe it is FREE. (YAY HEALTHCARE!) 

So I'll be doing that. Eventually. I'm kinda swamped right now. This grown up version of a baby disease is not helping matters. 

ALSO yesterday, I took Molly to her much-hyped first ballet lesson at the community center. 

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Molly's pretty shy around new people and places, especially when her brother isn't around, but at home she believes she is the most beautiful princess in the land and we are VERRRRRRY EXCITED about "ballet school". Because I wasn't feeling well Phillip came home early and I didn't have to take the other two along. Not that it mattered because they kicked the parents out! Here I was thinking of what things I could bring with me to keep Jack and Emma occupied for 45 minutes, but I guess we'll just be headed to the community center playground or the library or the mall across the street. It's a nice set up for that reason, I guess, but I was pretty disappointed I didn't get to watch. 

As were all the OTHER mothers. There were a lot of other mothers. I had kind of sort of glommed on to one of them, our daughters being the most ballerina-looking of the bunch (by which I mean we had obviously gone out and bought brand new ballet clothes while the other kids were wearing princess costumes and leggings - ie: smarter parents than me). But a few minutes later a whole bunch of other mothers showed up and these were all friends of hers and it was instantly clear that I had done this wrong. I was supposed to sign up Molly with a FRIEND. So that I would have a friend in the waiting room. Bad move, Maggie!

Whatever. I took myself to the mall and bought a dress, just because I had 45 minutes to myself and I felt like it. 


Source: via Maggie on Pinterest


What was that I said the other day about not liking spaghetti straps and and ruffles? Huh! I want to wear this with a navy cardigan and red shoes. (I have a lot of red shoes.) 

Here's Molly with the ballet bag my mother made her:

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I'm not gonna lie, Internet. It's really fun having a girl. 

Molly didn't have much to say about her lesson. They ran around and picked up flowers? Something like that? She did take note of a lot of the NAMES in her class. (Do your kids do this? Molly's "ownership" of the name Molly is pretty intense. THAT IS HER NAME. FYI.) So I guess there was an Olivia and a Sophia and a COCO. We were THOROUGHLY AMUSED by the existence of a little girl named COCO and the discussion led to a very serious disagreement over whether we should get some COCOA PUFFS or maybe HOT COCOA on the way home. Oh, that makes it sounds like we (she) was making fun of the name. OH NO. This was an IMPRESSED and SLIGHTLY JEALOUS amusement. COCOA is quite possibly Molly's favorite thing. 

Anyway, I should probably get back to parenting, eh? I have to make cookies for a church function, tiny bite-sized desserts for my sister's birthday party tomorrow night (we are having a Daria marathon WOO) and wrap a bunch of presents. Onwards and upwards!


This is about baby sleep. I'm sorry. But at the end there is a picture of a three-year-old in her flower girl dress.

For no clear reason I decided, at 2:30 am, that this was going to be the night I sleep train Emma. HA HA HA. More like she trained me to never do that again. 

Usually we stumble into the kitchen, make a bottle, stumble into her room, feed her, rock her, and pray she goes to sleep. We know she doesn't need the bottle, but it's the fastest way to get her back to sleep, which is pretty much all we've cared about. Except now she'll be awake for another hour even WITH a bottle. So. My goal last night was to 1) not feed her and 2) not pick her up. 

I was already awake and thinking about it. READY for the eh eh eh whimpering to begin. I was ON IT. I went back and forth to her room I don't know how many times, patting, shushing, kissing her forehead, saying "night night Emma!", even sitting in the chair in her room just so she'd know she wasn't alone. 

Phillip slept through most of this, but somewhere in Hour Two he woke up and we had a perfectly reasonable discussion about "sleep training" and I was bound! and determined! that we would not feed her! 

And people she didn't even WANT to eat. If I gained one productive thing from last night it's that I'm pretty sure she doesn't want/need to eat, but she has a CRAZY hard time putting herself back to sleep. That much was obvious. Other nights I've thought she's just happily awake and ready to play, but last night she was TIIIIRED. (Why don't tired babies go back to sleep? Seriously! IS IT THAT HARD?) 

Anyway, none of my tactics were working. And she was getting more upset. I tried holding her, even though I said I wouldn't do it. I even let her cry for a bit even though I am 100% sure she is a tension escalator and crying has NEVER come CLOSE to working in the falling asleep department. So yeah, I got up again, I made a bottle, she made a face like, "THANK GOD", sucked down three ounces and fell instantly asleep. 

It was just me up for another half hour wondering what the heck else to do. 

She was super fidgety and squirmy last night, which made me think she'd have an easier time of it if she wasn't swaddled. But 1) she STILL hasn't rolled over 2) she gets mad if I ever try to put her in bed unswaddled 3) she instantly takes her pacifier out and plays with it if her arms aren't pinned down 4) THIS SEEMS LIKE MADNESS. (There was no Unswaddled Boot Camp this weekend, obvs. Like you thought we'd pull that off anyway.)

I think I am finally ready to admit that EJ is a Bad Sleeper. I've been SO against "labeling" her for some reason... I think because she HAS slept through the night. She often falls asleep on her own (unlike Jack who I rocked to sleep until the day before his sister was born.) She'll take super long naps. It's great! But actually it's mostly not great. I can't remember the last night where Phillip and I weren't trudging back and forth to her room between the hours of two and five. WE ARE SO TIRED. 

IN OTHER NEWS (yes! let's talk about something else!) my sister, the one getting married, asked Molly to be her flower girl. Molly was uncertain about this until I found some wedding videos on YouTube and showed her what flower girls do and then she was IN. The dress, the flowers, the pretty hair, Molly is all over that. This morning she asked me if she could carry her princess wand down the aisle. (No.)

This is the [super cheap, TJ Maxx] dress I bought for her to wear to the wedding and we've all decided that it will work great as a flower girl dress:


In case you can't tell, this is a BALLET pose. FYI.

And after a consultation with our favorite lifestyle and fashion blogger, Princess Nebraska, I scored these shoes on Amazon: 

Aunt Third Grade Teacher has approved, her being a Shoe Girl just like her goddaughter. 

I think we're going to have the florist make some sort of flower wreath for her hair and my mom will make a basket and then I am going to die of cute. That is, if I don't die of sleep deprivation first. 

Birthday eve

I had an attack of virtuosity tonight, so I put on my running clothes and found my Kindle beneath the couch cushions (running requires an episode of Felicity, natch), but then Emma woke up. And I had to heat up a bottle and put her back to sleep and NOW I have lost my mojo. Blast.

But didn't everyone see the article going around today about why Americans are so fat? Forget about exercise, just stop eating sugar! I did, at one point, lose 30 pounds without doing one odious minute of exercise. Personal experience does back up every word of that article. I guess right now I'm finding it easier to exercise than give up chocolate chips. Double blast. 

Tomorrow I'll have a five-year-old. I thought about doing a weepy Dear Beloved Boy post, but eh. Maybe tomorrow. When I can include pictures from his birthday dinner at... MCDONALDS. Hey! That's what he wants!

He had cupcakes at preschool today. Tomorrow, for his Actual Birthday, we'll go out for dinner (HE PICKED MCDONALDS) and give him his present (a bike). Friday night we'll have a party. That is a LOT of birthday for someone who is only five years old, don't you think? I might be jealous. 

He's too big for his old bike, so we got him a bigger one, and the plan is to secretly spray paint his old bike pink and give it to Molly. Molly actually HAS her own bike - a pink and pricey balance bike over which I agonized and asked many questions via Twitter - but she won't ride it. AT ALL. I think this is partly to do with being a little bit scared, but mostly because the balance bike doesn't have pedals. Which is the entire point, right? And all my friends with kids who have balance bikes just RAAAAVE about them. But for Molly, it doesn't have pedals like JACK'S bike, therefore her own bike is persona non grata. SO. ANNOYING. 

No way am I going to buy her a new one. Even if I wanted to give her one for her birthday, her birthday isn't until the end of the summer when there is no more opportunity for a Seattle child to RIDE a bike. So I'm just going to paint the old one and hand it over and DONE. And if she doesn't want to ride THAT? Whatever. She can stay in and watch Felicity with her mom. 

I know I've been pretty angsty and woe-is-me lately, but I have to say, my kids have been pretty awesome. I mean, there is just as much fighting and sobbing and snack demanding as always, but they've also been really fun. Today they even convinced me to stop weeding and toss a whiffle ball so they could hilariously miss with the bat. (Hilarious until Jack pegged me in the thigh. I have a bruise. LAME.) While I made dinner they sat on the couch in their respective princess dresses poring over Jack's I Can Read book about Transformers. (Take a crack at that, gender studies students!) (Someone is a TINY bit proud of his son's newfound interest in Optimus Prime.) (He doesn't know about reading-it-while-wearing-a-dress.)

Okay, I have to go help put a bike together. And print out wedding invitations. And throw away the chocolate chips. 


Jesus is Risen. Also: snacks.

Here are the Cheung Kiddos, post-sugar crash. 


Chapped Upper Lip, Super Tired, and Needs Her Bangs Cut OMG

Jack is on Spring Break this week. What am I going to do with us? I look forward to a week of, "I want to do an ACTIVITY, Mommy" and "What project are we going to do TODAY, Mommy?" and "Can I have another snack? What about now? Can I have another snack NOW?"


Perhaps now is a good time for a snack?

Also, I worked my much-larger-after-three-children derriere off this last week and lost a few pounds and I am ENTIRELY CERTAIN I gained them all back today, thanks to my diet of Chocolate and More Chocolate. It was delicious and I do not regret it. But I still have heaps and piles and mountains of chocolate in my house and if it STAYS here I am going to eat ALL OF IT. A few days ago people on Twitter were talking about discount Easter candy on Amazon and how they like to stock up their candy drawers and GOOD LORD a candy drawer around here lasts all of a MORNING. I am seriously for reals no kidding when I say that I have absolutely no self control around chocolate, and I can eat a lot of chocolate. Either Phillip is taking this stuff to work or I am throwing it away. I know. It's terrible. BUT MEASURES MUST BE TAKEN. 


WHAT? You're going to throw away OUR candy?


Try to throw away our candy NOW.

We had a really lovely Easter. I continue to think my family is awesome. I cannot wait for Baby FPC to make her appearance (late May!) I AM VERY TIRED NOW. GOOD NIGHT.


THIS will be my snack, thankyouverymuch.