Motherhood Myth #618: You Won’t Be Needing Your Young and Hot Wardrobe Anymore

all my outfits
Nearing the Danger Zone to pop out my first child, my nesting included prepping clothes for the pending child soon to take over my life for the next many years. I washed, prepped, folded (ha!), and organized all the tiny little articles of clothing for Humnoy. Nesting is the phenomenon of pregnancy where your body jolts you into severe prep mode. Not just for the baby but for myself too. All my life I noted how pregnancy forever changes your body so you know what I did? Crying whilst I got rid of all my tiny clothing as a 24-year-old mother-to-be fresh out of college because I’m gonna be forever pregnant, right?

Humnoy is born and I’m a mother. A tired and exclusively breastfeeding mother. Not anyone– no one told me the toll breastfeeding would take on me. Actually, it’s because I did not have anyone in my life that told me about breastfeeding. As an American-born, Laotian, I saw zero breastfeeding in my community. Sadly, the refugee generation was subjected to the medical model of parenting and we all know that’s not very child-friendly. So, essentially nobody told me nothing about nothing. Everything I learned, I did by instinct and the Interwebs. This particular group of nobodies definitely did not tell me about the physical toll breastfeeding takes on your body.

Just the other day, I was coming home from work and GH pointed out something about my body that not only embarrassed me but made me angry all over again. Well, not my actual body but how my body does not fit my clothing well: my work pants were so ill-fitting that it took my husband, The Man Who Surface Cleans And Calls It Good, to notice. I no longer could fill out my work pants that I’ve had since college, which is also the last time I went clothes shopping. I eat like a caveman and have been breastfeeding straight through for the last three years. It’s gotta be that, right? Do I have tapeworm?

Anyway, my point is this: Don’t throw out all your clothing and budget some money to buy brand new clothing so you don’t look like you are wearing your husband’s pants. Also, breastfeeding does fickle shit to your boobs so plan to buy tops and good nursing bras from said budget. Plus side, I got to go shopping for <emmyself in many, many years. I don’t even know what’s hip or hot anymore but I tried my best and got to finally have some flattering clothing for once. #Breastfeedingfriendly, of course.

*stay tuned for all the pants that I could fill out in tomorrow’s post* Go to the blog sidebar and click ‘FOLLOW’ so the blog is sent straight to your inbox 💋 breastfeeding extreme weight loss

Are skinny jeans still hip to the hop? What about ones with faux zipper pockets?

Back-to-Back-to-Not-Back Pregnancies

23 months apart siblings.jpg According to a fancy website, my date of conception was anywhere between June 16-24th and second time around was May 11 to May 19 and … in 2012 when I was the mother to just the first conception baby. Yesterday, Lanoy the Second Conception turned 14 months old and I remembered that she is the same exact age as her older brother when we got surprise pregnant (again). Humnoy was just closing in on his 14th month of life when Bébé #2 was conceived. Whoops. We were in the middle of moving to the other side of the Cascades to Seattle from Spokane so clearly were pretty ahem excited for all this change. I mean, we wanted change and we sure got it. She was born February 5th, 2014 in a place where we had only been for less than two years.

Life has been much easier now that La has been a wee more independent with my working. Humnoy and Lanoy are more engaging with each other. For us, ‘engaging’ ranges anywhere from sharing snacks to tolerating each other long enough so I can go poop. Given the past dozen months of fun sibling love and reliving all the best newly-toddler moments, I’m still not trying to repeat no back-to-back pregnancy again. Hell no. It was so hard. It is worth it but so. damn. hard. So, for sake of known patterns of fertility I’m congratulating myself for not getting pregnant again at this time. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Happy Sunday. Oh, and happy belated monthday, Lanoy.

Are you able to pinpoint when you conceived?

Pii Mai Lao, No Twitter Lao

laotian meme

It’s that time again. I get drunk and I want to wipe my existence off social media again but good news, I’m not drunk (why not, right?) but do I want to wipe my face off of social media again? I’m back on Instagram but still am very uninspired from that so I’m still figuring that out. Still no Facebook because fuck Facebook. Then there’s Twitter. Oh, Twitter. Now that IG is on my shitlist, Twitter is my favorite form of #socmed because I learn a lot and I laugh even more. There are so many clever, hilarious, and very smart people #onthere from (literally) all walks of life. I’m not joking, look at my list of followings and you’ll see a variety of parents, activists, and more cool Lao people I did not know existed. It has ignited the activism bone that I always had but never knew how to express. Seriously, Twitter is awesome.

It is so awesome that I want to be a better twit …. terer. Sometimes I really think it’s great to walk away from something you love so you can step back and love it even more. Now that April is here, I have that excuse more now. April is the month of Pii Mai Lao (Lao New YearApril 13ish-15ish), which is arguably the biggest celebration of the year for Laotians, and I guess this would be the exact equivalent of “out with the old, in with the new” sentiment. Water is a huge symbol in celebrating Pii Mai so, for the month of April, I’m dousing the shit out of my twitter to take a hiatus from my favorite platform.

That’s where I feel guilty: the Lao online community is already so limited that I feel like I am removing another unknown perspective. I’m quite possibly many people’s only source to a Lao-American perspective in modern parenting, interracial marriage, refugee experiences, public education, and anything else you didn’t know Lao Americans were a part of. As sad as I am to leave this month, I know you’ll be in good hands. To follow the Lao Twitter experience while I’m gone, please check out @thaoworra‘s Lao Voices and Nicky Chaleunphone‘s Lao Community for fellow Laotians online.

If you want a visual reminder then my Instagram can showcase the Lao American experience in a few filters. If you need more details with lots of frilly word vomit, my blog has that tiny little unknown Lao voice so you won’t ever have to say, “No, I don’t know a Lao girl who writes about motherhood, marriage, and the world around her. Never. Nope.” because you’s a liar since I’m still here.

Am I the only Lao person you ‘know?’ Online or otherwise?

Follow my now vacant twitter hereFollow my nearly-discarded Instagram hereFollow my neglected blog on the sidebar

If You Love Your Friends/Family, You Need Social Media Or At Least That’s What I Tell Myself

social media for friends and family.jpg

Pic from http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/science-you-and-social-media/

As much as I loathe The Man and the stranglehold of social media, I seemed to have forgotten about the real people, who I care about and know. I actually do have real-life friends, believe it or not. Believe it because I’m a good decent one, at that. Well, that was until I decided to just vanish off of personal social media and dive into an online alter ego: Theek. Just one word. Like Madonna or {Symbol}.

I deleted my personal Facebook in spring 2012 and then just a couple months ago, my personal- turned semi-personal/blog’s Instagram with over 1100 followers. How many of those followers had ever met my family? Not including creeping stalkin ass stalkers, I’d say just a handful of real-life friends and family having to compete with 1085 other online users as their only chance to get to see their nephew, niece, cousin, or best friend. Poor Far Away Aunty got muffled by the Other Mommy Blogger.

You would hear shit like “Well, if you’re truly close then the phone works both ways” or “We spend too much time on our phone than real life.” To that I say, “No fucking duh, that’s the only way!” I don’t know if you’ve noticed but my schedule isn’t wide open like it would be negative two kids and balls deep in student loans. Unfortunately for my IRL friends, I have been quite nomadic since 2008 through college, both pregnancies, and many jobs so no, I can’t just “meet up with them.” I need social media for that. I at least convinced myself of the best one.

Not Facebook Facebook requires your mom’s birth city and dog’s social security number so that’s still a big fat nope. Ok. I lied but I know you gotta get past the CIA breach to register.

Not Twitter I would probably die the day my mother discovers twitter. She already knows “Fatebook” so I’m thinking in a couple years, she might say the word “tweet” in its context.

Not Google+ No one’s (still) on Google Plus. Nobody.

Instagram Ahh, my go-to app to quickly share a single photo and you can find out all about it in the capture and caption.

- Nice that you can choose any (available) username you want so go ‘head and choose ‘BigBooty69xxx’ I checked; it’s available.
- Also nice that you can quickly make your entire account private.
- It’s becoming more popular meaning it’s accessible to more users i.e., more far away family and friends.

So, what did I decide to do? I made a super secret Instagram account for our private lives: silly milestones, non-epic adventures, simple daily things that make up our life. Our life does include the people who have been physically a part of it therefore respect that part of intimate details. So super secret that it’s for the select few that know Humnoy’s household nickname. Yes, the kid’s got a Lao name, a Lao nickname, and a household nickname. I think this is a prime example of how social media can be used for good, not evil.

For family/friends, please let me know your username so I can add you to the private family account.

Dear awesome readers, please follow my blog IG: @LaotianCommotion

Is your Instagram for both IRL friends/family and online friends?

Perks Of Being An Annoying Sick Person

parenting while sick.jpg

I knew I caught the kids’ cold virus when a stream of ninja mucus would show up on my lip with no warning. My nose was running so much that I could not blow my nose fast enough so it would just keep coming out. So, enter Phase: Tissue Plugger-Uppers just to go ’bout my domestic duties. My day including two young kids under the age of three and a husband, who loves my “sick” attire of days-stretched yoga pants with little else due to my high body temp. Parenting while sick can buzz all the way off.

Both GH and I got sick right when Humnoy was feeling better. Seriously though, the kid was sick like 1.25 days and I swear his energy level got a massive reboot since then. How in the f— anyway, Lanoy is the saddest little sickie: marbled snot bubbles, red, hound dog eyes, and little to no solids appetite. Week-long illness does not mean there isn’t a positive spin on things. I had to make the best of one of the shittiest situations experienced in parenting so here are a few benefits of being sick while caring for sick others:

In Sickness and In Health “No, babe, I really have a headache this time” just is more believable when your congestion has moved to your head and apparently to my crotch. “Til death so us part” isn’t the same as “through dry, red nostrils from abrasive wiping”.

Maybe She’s Born With It I don’t know about you but I could never quite cover up my look of death with makeup so I don’t even bother. I mean, if I’m going to do this illness act justice, go big or ho home, right? I let it all hang out so to make it a bit easier for others to deduce I’m sick and why I look like shit.

Sick Person of Walmart Before you judge my Christmas fleece, please see up at my Look of Death. I’m sick so you can fuck all the way off, Judgey McJudgerson. I’m gonna wear these same pair of pajamas for the rest of the week too.

Ill Introvert Since parenting, I have not been much of a people person like my dress-over-the-head party girl days. Sickness is yet another introverted way out of social engagements. The sick hermit inside you smiles when your contagious presence part crowds upon crowds. Sickness gives introverts everywhere a huge congested sigh of relief.

The Television Cure I would feel a little guilty that the tv has been on a lot more than usual but if it means I get to rest a bit then Disney Junior show marathon is just what the doctor ordered. Illness and near-death brings down the parent shame down to penance levels though.

Up The Fluids Any excuse to hop in a hot shower multiple times a day is just the biggest perk around, amirite? Steam helps relieve congestion by breaking up the mucus so this was the only time we will justify a high water bill.

Comfort Food Measures OMG, GH brought home Panda Express for dinner one night and made me almost reconsider my sinus headache. There is a lot of comfort in eating artery-clogging food. When you’re mouth-breathing to save your life, the last thing you want to inhale is a house salad.

Vitamin V for Vodka Did I already mention food? Wash it down with a beverage. Illness and stress along with it can be the perfect excuse to have a screwdriver in the AM for the vitamin C and the slew of vita-mins and minerals Smirnoff has, which is like a ton. Cheers. You deserve it.

How do you survive being sick?

How Lao Parents Avoid Buying Children’s Clothing

TheLaotianCommotion.com // School shopping with cheap parents was the worst, right?

Growing up Lao, our clothes were either hand-me-downs, thrift, or too big. Too big because my mom would buy us the next size(s) up so “we’d grow into them.” I would be wearing size 9 women’s shoes in 5th grade sounding like a scuba diver walking in the hall. Embarrassed as little Theek was, my mom was right in sticking us in oversized jackets and clown shoes. Not only because we were poor but because kids grow like fucking weeds and you can’t catch up with them. If I’m gonna buy these snotty-nosed womb-squatters brand clothing, they better wear it for longer than that size range on that tag. Knowing that they can’t, forget me spending money on it.

There are a rare exceptions when I pay for new children’s clothing but mostly the stars have to align above that Target, where I find that nice clearance sticker on something that I already wanted. Well, that happened when Humnoy screamed “Spider-Man!” at a pair of footed pajamas swinging about in the shitty tangle of a clearance rack. I don’t even care that it’s a shitty tangle of a clearance rack because I’ll sift through it all day long to not have to pay full price. I need to thank my mother for passing on the frugal gene because overpaying for kids’ (and anybody’s) general clothing is just not smart. How to shop like a Laotian mama:

1) Avoid eye contact with shiny, organized racks up front Just keep looking ahead. Never left, never right, just ahead toward the back to the clearance section.

2) Check each and every item I just go for anything not white because KIDS.

3) Check the size The clusterfuck of clearance is that it’s an OCD nightmare so make sure you look through it all: the tag, eye-ball it on your kid, etc.

4) Check the price If at least half off, get it. If not, I make a face then put it back. Unless it’s really cool then we can get away with maybe 30% off.

5) Repeat for off-season, next size, and staple clothing items. ‘This’ll be the shirt that they won’t eat in!’ – said no one ever.

Lo and behold, the Spider-Man footies were more than half off and came in Lanoy and Humnoy next-year size, respectively. They rang up for ~73% off original price so <$10 total for two awesome pairs of footie pajamas. I say they were a great deal because this wouldn’t have happened:
spider man pajamas.jpg

How do you justify your and kids’ clothes shopping?

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My Lao Village: 20 People Who Helped Me Survive A(nother) Year of Parenting

Lao-Americans celebrate everything and I mean everything basically the same way: with Lao food, with alcohol, and with an entire community. If you’re an outsider, you would not be able to tell apart if the goat feast in the backyard is celebrating a Lao wedding, a Lao housewarming, a Lao funeral, or a birthday. No age of birthday is safe from such a drunken atmosphere, even little ones’ own days. I think the Lao have the right idea by celebrating a ‘village’ rather than focus on a single person. Many coo over the precious Bébé yet very few actually consider other people, especially one of whom whose hoo-hah was deeply affected by such existence, that all helped raise a child. Yes, sure “happy birthday” but can we give it up for everyone else?First birthday

20. Birthday Kid We sang her a song, baked her a cake, and made that day all about her. Lanoy gets her day and a shout-out because she is a sweet baby girl, who makes me proud every damn day to be her mama.

19. Mama I think it’s safe to say none of us would be here if it weren’t for a womb of steel and mighty loins doing the hefty work. So, I am giving myself a huge ass pat on the back and a strong ass cocktail.

18. Dada It takes two to tango-parenting? Here’s to Gym Hottie for kinda, sorta helping out in the year that was the first year of Double-Trouble Parenting. Kinda.

17. Big Bro I cannot be any more proud yet guilty of Humnoy being thrust into this role. He’s shown us how much he’s grown when he tries to soothe his sister or when he tackles her for touching his toy. Seriously, Dude’s getting huge.

16. Grandparents GH and I would like to give a major shoutout to my and his parents for being the best grandparents many, many, many miles away. Our kids might not recognize you on the street but they love all the love you send anyway.

15. Aunts, Uncles, and Other Obscure Family Tree Members I can’t tell you how many “aunts” and “uncles” I had growing up. Get this: my mom only has three yet only two non-estranged siblings but I have 30 times the amount of “cousins” through various family-friend connections. My real-real family are the greatest people I’ve ever known and the -Noys’ Aunts and Uncles: The Next Generation.

14. Neighbors Living in apartments, we get to be really close but not all our building mates are all who we (want to) interact with. The kids (Hum since little toddlerhood; La since birth!) have a strong connection with our apartment home community office girls. Yes, even Clingy McClingerson.

13. Ergobaby You have carried me through two kids and I don’t know how I could have been a mom to a toddler and a newborn if it weren’t for the carrier. It’s old and worn now (label fell off) but I got it in the perfect color: Black (aka Stain Disguise).

12. YMCA Daycare Confession: I haven’t been to the gym in months but it’s nice to know I can drop off the kids to go “work” “out” “in” “the” “gym.” The option is good for a mom mental health day. Me, in the gym in 50 years

11. Fast Food Worker Man, not only do you give me hot, weird-for-you food but you do so with a sympathetic ear. Speaking of ear, sorry for the shrieking children from the backseat but I gotta make sure we eat before grocery shopping. Never Go Grocery Shopping While Hungry.

10. Asian Wax Salon I love that they always try to convince me to cut Humnoy’s luscious locks every time I’m in with the kids, which is always because my lip and underarm hair grows like a muth. I also love that they accommodate my kids with lollipops and comfy chairs as I accommodate the shit out of that hair.

9. Random Old Ladies Thank you for commending how well-behaved my babies are as I’m trying to get the fuck out of the store before these well-behaved babies aren’t so behaved. Don’t tell these sweet little old ladies, but I bribe the shit out of my kids.

8. Grocery Bakery Does your grocer’s bakery give out freshly baked cookies as you’re shopping? Our favorite one does and this helps my bargaining leverage so I can have those well-behaved babies every old lady notices.

7. Little (Big) Kids How adorable is it when big(ger) kids try on the Mommy or Daddy role and try to take care of little kids? Our community has elementary-aged kids at our playground and they love the -Noys! I’ll just be over here Instagramming tweeting.

6. Supervisor Huge appreciation to you giving me a job that is flexible around my schedule and availability. Also, thanks so much for providing a justified (and paid) break from motherhood. That shit be so nice.

5. Public School Students I mean, if it weren’t for these kids, I wouldn’t have a job. After a day teaching though, I run with open arms to the Double-Trouble Team back at home. Hormones on a prison schedule makes toddler tantrums sound like a melodious chart-topping hit rather than a banshee.

4. Real-Life Strangers I don’t know you and you don’t know me but I really appreciate you not acting like you do on the Internet out here in real life. As long as you don’t helicopter my ass or harass my family, you can judge my parenting at a glance all you want.

3. Internet Strangers Huge, huge shoutout to the fake friends that I made online (<— hahaha, like I’m making paper dolls or some shit) and the trolls that proved to me that I do not need to feel validated in others like you do to be comfortable in my own skin and voice. Bye, Pholicia!

Bye Bitch Pocahontas funny gif photo ByeBitch.gif

2. Third-World Parents I used to turn to Facebook groups and online discussions but I now ask, “what would my grandmother do?” and I know the answer. Thanks for always being with me and the children long after you passed.

1. You Yes, you. Thank you for being there on the other side of this screen reading these words. Thank you for being interested in my culture, my family, and myself even when it’s not popular. Again, thanks for acting like you do on the Internet. Keep that shit up.

Happy birthday Parenting Survival Anniversary!

Who’s in your village?

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Season 5 ‘Archer’ Invasion: 6 Things You Need To Know To Appreciate Laos and The Series

Just two episodes into the 5th season, FX’s Archer still got me locked in. The spy animation comedy did the normal run with forever favorite one-liners and crazy longing for Super Agents Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin; Bob’s Burgers) and Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler; Talk Soup, Ghost Whisperer) to just have sex already but also revealed an otherwise special location plot. It wasn’t until the very end of the premiere episode (“White Elephant”) where Archer is envisioning the only viable direction to go is to “Go Vice” thus revealing where in the world the ISIS crew Sterling has haphazardly landed; a place that is very dear to me and the inspiration of this blog: Laos!

archer in laos
I am not saying that Laos will cover the rest of the season or if Archer will be in Laos for more than an episode but it got me all fan-girl over the mention of the motherland. What I am most excited to see is how Laos will be portrayed geographically, culturally, and linguistically. I can only hope the designers for Season 5 did the Land Of A Million Elephants some justice so here are some things I noticed from the Archer premiere about Laos:

1) Lao Leader

archer invades laos 1 leader
Instead of Whore Island, it’s just Laos (Landlocked). It looks as though Archer is leading a band of brown men again much like in Season 3′s piracy vacation on Pangu Island. With Chi (Chi Duong, yeah, I know) and what looks like Laotians by his side, Archer is leading one group of brown people to blow up another group of brown people. Where else in history have I seen this?

2) Lao People

archer invades laos 2 bomb
It will be interesting to see why Archer is leading one pack against another. Mainly, I’m interested in seeing how physically similar the characters resemble any family members of mine. (The kids’ Lao Grandpa, ahem) It’s not a deal breaker for me if I can’t recognize anybody I know used as a visual model.

3) Chi

archer invades laos 5 chi
The last time we saw Chi was in 4.9 (“The Honeymooners”) playing the oh so stereotypical manicurist for Archer in the Tuntmore Towers Hotel, where he joined Lana as pretend-newlyweds (we all wish!) to stake out the North Koreans. In the premiere vision, we now see Chi as Archer’s Asian sidekick.

4) Lao Language

archer invades laos 4 chi
I’m not exactly sure what Chi was saying because it did not resonate as any part of the Laotian language to me. I’m no linguist but trust me when I say I understood not a damn thing. Sure, it could be another one of the four specific dialects in Laos but I’m still not so sure. Wait, the visual model/designer is Vietnamese, not Laotian. Ruh-roh.

5) Lao Landscape

archer invades laos 6 tiger
Lao looks legit, I guess. It reminds me of Predator more than rice fields and mud roads. Okay, I had never been over to Laos so I don’t have much to say other than “Look! A tiger!” Here’s to hoping the landlocked country’s lush floodplains and high atop mountains make a cameo.

6) Lao History Lesson

archer invades laos 7 go vice
If you are a huge U.S. history buff then you may know that the Lao Secret War was a horrific moment in the small country’s history and a shame on the United State’s. It would be neat if the show led into a history lesson of how damaging the Vietnamese invasion was to the neutral country of Laos. Oh, wai– you didn’t? Well, now you know.

Watch Archer on Mondays, 10 pm on FX

Do you watch Archer? What do you know about Laos?

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Raising ‘Em Lao: Letting Your Biracial Kids Dance With The Other Culture

Perhaps the biggest perk of being raised bi-culturally is that it is double the fun. Lao culture has a strong footing in how I would like to raise the -Noys to experience the world but lest us not forget the other identity:

Photo courtesy Perfect Moments in Time Photography in Seattle, WA

Photo courtesy Perfect Moments in Time Photography in Seattle, WA

Humnoy and Lanoy are half-Caucasian (or white, whichever PC term you prefer) and I cannot forget that. I once heard that “Asian genes are strong” and I was vainly excited because that part of my identity is so strong for me. It has influenced every bit of life I intentionally plan for my kids down to their names. We live in America, the kids will have American friends, and we dominantly speak English in our home. If I wanted the kids to hear full conversations in Lao, we’d need at least another Lao-speaking person in the household. If I wanted the kids to learn to write in Lao, I’d need to have my mom teach them. If I wanted to let the kids embrace the songs of my people, I would need to stand through Lao lam (pronounced ‘lum’), a form of Lao folk music, and admittedly not particularly my favorite aspect of the Lao life. I just had to let it happen and it did in one moment with their dad.

What happens is a show of what I stereotypically place on the spectrum of “shit white people like.” I didn’t even realize that the Other Culture’s appreciation would come without such effort until one quiet evening after dinner when GH entertained the kids long enough for me to clean up. All GH did was turn on his white guy playlist to see first-hand how The Other Culture is strong:

Which aspect from which side of family is the strongest for you or kids?

For further reading, please go laugh and laugh at this Yahoo Answers thread: “White people songs

Year 2013 In Review: Naked Babywearing June and Eye-Pad November

Laos is 15 hours ahead so they are celebrating the New Year already. It may be New Year but it is not Lao New Year, which is arguably the biggest celebration in the culture. The days-long holiday begins on the last day of the year, April 13th and drinking, merriment, and super-soaking commence. Water resembles the act of renewal in order to reflect in the new year. I guess you’d say it’s really no different than the Western New Year: party, drink, super-soaked in the bar club from creeper sweat to really take inventory to what is your 22-year-old life. Long gone are the club sweat days for me! I gave up the creeper life but chose the good things about new year celebrations: reflecting on year’s past and new year’s future.

I am both a genius and shitty blogger: full of ideas but lack the time. I enjoy documenting my journey in this crunchy life to my little biracial brood but this brood sucks the life out of me. I have never been a lovey-dovey mom blogger so this is where I’m taking the antithesis to the next level. Before I take get to that, here are some top and forgotten moments from the past year from our family to yours!

Year in review { TheLaotianCommotion.com }

or more wrong, in my case.

January: I was 36 weeks pregnant and was turrified of it. No, not my easy-breezy pregnancy but the child that would soon come out. I felt so bad for Humnoy and I vowed that I would try my best to still be his mom as best I could. I may or may not have turned to Netflix for some help this year to do that.

February: 40 weeks and 2 days, our little gender-surprise baby came known to be Lanoy, which means “last little.” She was born on February 5th in our bathtub and we became a family of four just like that.

March: Humnoy turned the big 2.0 and was still nursing. He really loved riding his bicycle (and helmet, of course) during the nice weather. You can see him in his cycling glory here as well: tandem cyclist!

April: The hardest time after a baby is born is the first few months. Breastfeeding around the clock is hard enough and throw in a still-nursing toddler in the mix and it is difficult-as-shit to the nth degree. You can see how I truly fail at this mom-of-two life here: big brother-little sister love.

May: Humnoy is such a social child and he loved meeting up with his “big kid” friends at our apartment community’s playground. We had a run-in with a bully but they became fast friends after bonding over a Batman costume. Lest us not forget my run-in with a helicopter parent here.

June: There was a legit heat advisory for Seattle this summer. It was so hot here that it shut down streets. It was also so damn hot here that it made me a shitty attachment parent. Lanoy was miserable during this heat wave and so was I because babywearing in 90+ degree weather is ridiculous. What did I do? I took both our shirts off and popped that ergo back on (and made sure to stay inside).

July: The only relief for that darned heat was our community pool. Humnoy, the child who was not born in water, loved going to the pool. The child, who was born in water, was “meh” about the pool. I can count the number of times we actually frequented the pool on one hand because Hum threw the biggest tantrum one night when I wanted to go home at 9:30 pm. Horrible mother.

August: On a random whim, GH and I decided to do a family outing other than air-conditioned malls. I am not a camping gal at all (why would I want to act poor aside from having been poor?) so we rented a yurt. It’s like camping but with a circular cabin and not like camping because you’re in a yurt. It was a lot of fun but bedtime sucked.

yurt sleeping with kids

September: When I had that gnarly clogged milk duct, I took care of it by doing these super graceful methods to relieve plugged ducts. I will warn you: the one position requiring you to be on your knees is an open call for toddlers to climb on you.

October: Then there was that one time where we went to the pumpkin patch and bought a 20+ pound pumpkin and never carved that bastard. It was also the same time where I made the mistake of trying to get an obligatory pumpkin patch picture of my family:

awkward pumpkin patch  TheLaotianCommotion.com

ridiculous.

November: This month highlights when Humnoy was pretty obsessed with feminine hygiene products. Well at least the adhesive kind.

December: We got the first and only snowfall so far this year on the last day of the first month I started working outside the home! It is only part-time but I am grateful I can work on days GH is home. Can you say “no daycare please?”

What was your favorite parenting moment of 2013?