May 5, 2013

  • Moving.

    Well, I’m finally gonna do it.  I’m starting a new blog!

    Find me at

November 25, 2012

  • Birth Log

    November 21:  It’s about 2 am and I awoke 20 minutes ago to the sound of my 3 year old crying. She doesn’t usually cry during the middle of the night, so something must’ve woken her up.  Hubby helped her fall back asleep and now they’re both sound asleep.  I’m still awake though because around that time, I start noticing a change in the feel of my contractions. 

    For the last few weeks, the contractions have come and gone at intermittent intervals, sometimes stronger than at other times, depending on how active I had been that day.  There were at least two evenings when I was certain that it was time to go to the hospital because the contractions were 5 minutes apart.  However, they always seemed to subside by the morning.  The contractions seem to start from one area and then spread from that center.  It felt like a tightening of my whole belly.  They were mildly painful but somewhat tolerable.  About 30 minutes ago, the contractions changed.  It feels more like my uterus is being squeezed as tightly as possible.  The pain wraps around from my front to my lower back.  These don’t feel like “practice” anymore.

    Had to stop writing because I was seized by a contraction for 5+ minutes, couldn’t move, couldn’t get off my chair.  In fact, I called Sam on the phone (he was in our bedroom sleeping) to tell him it’s time to go to the hospital!  He thought it was a phone malfunction so hung up on me…twice!  I texted our friend Emily who lives up the street to come over (the plan was for her to sleep over until my mom could come get our 3-year old in the morning).  Finally, when the pain was over, I wadddled into the room and told Sam, “It’s time to go!”  He leaped out of bed.

    On the way to the hospital, my contractions stopped its regularity and the pain subsided.  I wondered if it was a mistake to be going to the hospital, but it was too late, we already called the doctor, Emily was already at our house… there was no choice but to move forward!  Hopefully, they wouldn’t turn us away.   On the drive, I was chatty and in a great mood.  This was a great contrast to the last time I went into labor when my water broke and every inch on the road felt like a painful mile long. 

    We arrived at the hospital minutes later and got checked in.  By the early morning, the contractions got increasingly painful… 

    At 6:05 AM, a little baby boy let out his first cry… weighing a meager 6 lbs and 1 oz.  When the nurse brought him up to me and I saw him for the first time, I wanted to cry.  My heart overflowed with awe and amazement and gratitude as I saw a perfectly healthy baby boy.  All those months of cautious eating and prayer for a healthy baby were answered.  There had always been that knowing that I can pray and eat right and do all the right things, but the outcome was completely out of my hands.  Life is truly a gift from God and I had been keenly aware of it throughout my entire pregnancy.  The word “natan” in Hebrew means “gift”, and that is exactly who he is — a precious gift.

November 21, 2012

  • Faithful prayer

    Over a week ago while we were parked at a red light, my 3 year old noticed a man walking along the median.  She asked me, “Mama, why is the man holding a sign?”  I explained to her that he didn’t have a job and needed money and food.  There were several “why” questions and I ended it by telling her that we can pray for him and that we can ask God to show us what we can do to help him.  That night while I was praying and thanking God for all the things he has given us, my daughter interjected, “that man.”  She remembered the man on the street and wanted us to pray for him — that he could “take care of himself.”  Every night, ever since then, she has remembered that man during our prayer time.  I love this about my daughter.  She remembers things.  She cares about people.  Her faithfulness to pray reminds me what faithfulness is.  I’m so thankful for her sweet spirit.

November 16, 2012

  • Never too soon for Christmas

    Many people feel strongly that we ought to celebrate one holiday at a time.  Christmas decorations in November, before Thanksgiving, seem hurried and somewhat ridiculous.  But for some of us, Christmas can’t get here fast enough.  The Christmas tree, the twinkling lights, the velvet stockings, the flickering candles, the warm fires, the smell of pine, the celebratory time with family and, most importantly, the focus on the Word that became flesh…the entrance of the One who changed the whole world and the entire course of my life… how can I not love Christmas?

    This year, the demand for an early commencement of Christmas celebration was urged most emphatically by our young preschooler.  And how can I resist?  The awe and wonder in her heart is mirrored in my own.  And when I hear her squeals and see her face light up, I am touched in profound new ways as I experience it all for the first time through her. 

    This year, as we are putting up Christmas decorations, I find myself pausing every so often as a contraction arrests my attention.  It’s the other reason that urges us along in our Christmas festivities — the reality that by time that Christmas does arrive, so will our new baby — and at that time, there won’t be any available opportunity to do any decorating.  So as we hang up the stockings and pull out the strings of lights, I can’t help but reflect on the many challenges that we will undoubtedly face as well as the joy that will well up within me when I finally get to see my son for the first time. 

    Life is such a gift, and throughout the course of this pregnancy, I have been repeatedly reminded of what a gift really is.  Freely given.  Unmerited.  Unrepayable.  And I am an undeserved recipient.    This Christmas, more than any other, I celebrate life and grace, and grace and life, all intertwined, with the breathless awe and wonder of my preschooler.  And so how can I resist but start now?  It’s never too soon for Christmas.

October 18, 2012

  • Pregnancy, Second Time Around

    Pregnancy has not been as bad this second time around.  Nausea lasted until 17 weeks this time instead of the end of 6 months, and being a vegetarian (read: meat made me wanna hurl) wasn’t as bad during the first trimester with a close friend by my side who *is* a vegetarian.  Second trimester saw me extremely mobile and productive — unlike the first pregnancy when I was still languishing on the sofa during that time.  And third trimester, although my body has certainly taken the hit (read: exhaustion) has been an excited anticipation of holding my baby boy.  Being diabetic during third trimester once again has not seemed as devastating as the first time.  Perhaps it’s easier when you know what to expect (or easier when you expect the worse and get slightly better??).  But on the whole, this hasn’t been so bad.  And, good or bad, I am in awe and utterly grateful that we are anticipating a new addition to our family come December.

    Yet, still… Gestational Diabetes, how I dislike thee. 

    A record of my list of cravings that I cannot have right now:

    1.  Chocolate cake (chocolate lava cake sounds so good right now)

    2.  Ice cream (take me to the DQ after this!)

    3.  Smoothies

    4.  Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream chips

    5.  French Fries and mashed potatoes

    6.  A burger with both buns

    7.  Sashimi

    8.  Sandwich (w/deli meat)

    9.  Banh Mi

    10.  Vietnamese food in general (which is mostly carbs)

    11.  Noodles (Ramen and Udon and Pho which was already mentioned in 10)

    12.  Honey Bunches of Oats

    13.  French bread (with butter…mmm…)

    14.  Pasta

    15.  Pizza

    Is the sacrifice worth it?  Yes!!!  A resounding yes.  But can’t wait til I can have my chocolate cake in one hand and my baby in the other. 

October 3, 2012

  • Making Space

    What do you do when you hear bad news?  News from friends of death, illness, and loss seem to come at regular intervals throughout my week.  In those moments, I feel the sadness and the anger, and I pray for my friends — but then in the next moment, I have to move on to a task or responsibility that is calling my name.  It’s like I bookmark it to come back to it later, and later, it’ll pop back into my mind again but still I don’t know what to do with it.  And what I’ve done with it is not what I should’ve done with it.  It’s not that I’ve cursed the air or God, for that matter, when I’ve “bookmarked” the heartbreaking event, but in leaving the anguish truly untouched, I have left a wound inside and not given it the exposure it needs to heal.

    The Bible teaches us how to process difficult events.  It’s those psalms of lament and the imprecatory psalms which cause a little embarrassment and confusion on a regular day but give us guidance for moments such as these.  The psalmists knew how to express their honest feelings of sorrow, doubt, confusion and anger towards God and towards the injustices of this world.  They didn’t hold back even their most appalling sentiments of anger (Psalm 137 has a  prime example of sentiments against an enemy, “Happy are those who seize your infants and dash them against the rocks.”).  They knew that God could handle their anger and their pain.  More than that, I learn from them one other very important lesson:  They took the time to reflect on their sorrow, and so should I.  No, not just reflect but to feel the sorrow and loss.  In facing it, I make space for God to speak.  I invite him to show up in that moment. 

October 1, 2012

  • I love being a parent and I know that these days are numbered.  I will never get this time back.  It reminds me to enjoy and savor every moment… and even make sacrifices to create moments.

August 7, 2012

  • A Little Mess

    Growing up, I was scolded for making spills.  My memories of those incidents were of being harshly reprimanded.  It felt like it was the worse thing I could’ve done, and I always felt so awful about dropping something, knocking something over, or making a spill.  Honestly, it wasn’t until recently that I realized that when you spill something, you can just clean it up — and it’s really not a big deal.  That seems obvious, but when my baby first started being the author of spills, I had to tell myself that.  And now that she is older and I am giving her opportunities to work on projects with me, I remind myself that with a child, I should expect a mess.  And a mess is great because that means she is learning and participating.  We have fun working together and there is a great sense of accomplishment when we finish a task.  Why would I give that up just to avoid a little mess?

  • Death of a Fishie

    “Oh no!”  I heard Sam say while he and our preschooler went to look at the fish one morning.  I knew what it meant and was saddened when my fears were confirmed.  We had lost one of our fishies.  Our daughter is generally very perceptive to our comments and our moods.  There was no chance of hiding or disguising the situation.  And honestly, I had no plans to.  So I knelt down to her eye level and told her that the fish had died.  It wasn’t swimming anymore.  It was gone.  At first, she didn’t really know what it meant, so she just repeated what I said.  “It’s dead?”  But when she began to really understand what it meant (the fish was just not moving anymore), she buried her face into my chest and said tearfully, “Whyyyy?”  With her voice cracking, my heart broke.  Though I know the theological reasons why, on an emotional level, I don’t really know why — and I wanted to cry too.  After I gave her a big hug and she started asking me why again, I tried to explain that every thing living dies.  I pointed to the roses that she and her daddy bought me and said, “See how the roses are brown now?  They died too.”  She said, “She’s not swimming anymore?”  And I said, “No, she’s not swimming anymore.” 

    Later that day, we were talking to my mom, and I told my daughter to tell her grandma that we had just bought some fishies this week.  She informed, “We lost a fish.  It’s not swimming any more.”  That’s when I really knew that she really understood.

    Different parents have different philosophies when it comes to introducing the realities of life to their children.  For me, I realize that without understanding death, we will not really understand life.  This was something I realized as I read children’s Bibles to my daughter which skipped over Jesus’ death but illustrated the empty tomb.  I can understand the need to omit age inappropriate material, yet, the omission leaves a huge gap in the whole story.  Without referring to Jesus’ death and why, the empty tomb leaves little impression.  To me, there’s nothing more amazing than the heart wrenching fact that Jesus died and then the thrilling victory that Jesus came back to life again.  When we grasp the death, we truly have reason to sing, “Jesus is alive!  Oh, happy day!”  My daughter can sing those words now but one day, she will truly grasp how happy it truly is — and not hiding the death of our fishie might lead her to just that. 

June 28, 2012

  • God is so good

    There are many different milestones in the journey of being a mom.  The moment that you find out you’re going to be a mom.  The first time you see the little cashew-shaped blob that is your baby on the ultrasound or hear the heartbeat.  And the first time you feel the baby move and know it’s the baby and not an air bubble. 

    Tonight I felt the baby’s movements.  Last night, it was a maybe but tonight it was definite.  I even asked, “Baby, if it’s you moving, do it again for mama.”  And s/he did.  As I talked to the baby and began singing to him/her, baby moved some more.  And then it all became so much more real to me that we are going to have another baby.  I’m “mama” to someone else.  My daughter is the sister of someone.  We’re a family of four and not three.  Everything in life is going to be different from now on…

    This was the song I was singing:
    God is so good.
    God is so good.
    God is so good,
    He’s so good to us.

    He cares for you (my baby),
    He cares for me (your mama),
    He cares for us (our family),
    He’s so good to us.

    Yes, he is.

    May I always be able to sing that, come what may