Life is…

Be kinds to others for everybody is fighting some kind of battle…

Taken from Yahoo Images

 We probably heard that once or few times in our lifetime. I am no exception and not to the saying either.

This year has been interesting to say the least. It starts off very good. Everything seems to start falls into places and I’m happy.

Comes March.. late march is when we heard about Kalia hearing problem. We learned that our beautiful baby girl is hard –hearing.

At that time, I don’t ever recall hearing more devastating news in my life.

I was so overwhelm with grief and guilt – for whatever reason. It wasn’t a good time.

 April came then things are slowly getting better again, both of my parents are here! I’m so happy I get to be a child again.

I love waking up to the sound of my parents talking about stuff over their breakfast.

It’s such a fond childhood memory where I wake up to see my dad with the newspaper and his cup of coffee on the table

And my mom sitting next to him while putting on make-up commenting on the news…

It’s comforting…

 Then June came, my dad have to leaves. He needs to go back to Indonesia to tidy up some business deal.

We made plan of him returning back in the fall so I can shows him beautiful CO during the fall season    

.. and its Tyra’s birthday as well.

We have so much plan….

 Then July came.. exactly one month after I say good bye to him at the airport, I have to say good bye to him again,..

This time forever…

God decided that it’s time for my dad to come back home for good. Leaving us here grieving, wondering why…

 Now we’re in October.. how time flew…

I survive the first holiday without my dad.. another one is around the corner..

 Leaves are changing, air is crispier. I wish my dad can see how beautiful it is here now..

I started remembering the plan we made…   promises I made to him.. 

 Life is cruel…

 Many – many times I wish I go back to my childhood.. When the life is so care free.

Playing and playing and playing with my friends…

 Life is cruel..

Then I remember something… a saying from Hadist

I said to Allah, I hate life.

Allah replied, who said love life. Love me and life will be beautiful.

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Should I stop grieving?

It’s not even a month yet, the wound still feel fresh, and it didn’t take much to takes me back to the painful realization that my dad is gone.

Cooking, looking at the green pan that he loves can bring tears to my eyes… seeing a jar of decaf coffee that he likes so much still sitting on the pantry is enough to break me down…

Days and nights come and go and life goes on, the world seems to be spinning still… although I feel so crushed and dead inside.

Nighttime is the hardest, when people around you sleeping and you just lay there with your own thoughts…  thinking, feeling the hurt and anger again… , wondering why. If everything happens for a reason, this is one of the occasions I wish God would’ve told me why…

God how I miss him so….

Then little voice talk to me, my Tyra told me last night… “Mommy, I don’t want to grow up. “ “but why?” “Well, if I grow up, then you and Daddy will die and I don’t want that, I will miss you so much and I don’t want to be sad all the time like you.”

I have a mixed feeling listening to that. I have been trying to hide my grief from my children. I cry on the way to work, on the way home from work, in the shower.. but somehow she must’ve seen right through me.

Should I stop grieving? Honestly right now I don’t know how or if I can stop…

Then I remember “my dad’s voice” that comes to me in a dream one night….  That tells me to stop crying and to go on with my life, how he’s still around… 

For my daughters sake and my family, I will try…  I will try to grief in different way…

God help me….

My dad June 2012. Fond Du Lac, WI

Mother knows

I’m still not ready to talk about it more in details of what happen, but I wanted to share my story because I think it is important for mother’s out there to listen to yourself and seeks for comfort and support.                             

When our daughter Kalia was born, we were thrilled to have a beautiful baby girl. All of her test at birth showed normal results, as did the second one at the age of 7 months.

Kalia had always been a very happy and communicative baby. Then, as months passed, she improved all of her skills and developing as normal and baby possibly can. Even at her 1 year checkup, her pediatricians made comments on how she actually ahead. She masters some skills that normally mastered by a 18 month old baby if not older.

But later, at about the age of 18 months, she seemed to have fallen behind her peers as far as one of her skills were concerned. People around me always assure me that she’s fine and she will master that skills later on and baby develop at different rate and how I’m being paranoid. I heard this many – many times. Even from my husband.

Despite all that, I decided to have a special test done. My pediatrician, bless her heart, support me 100%. She told me to wait until Kalia is 2 but she did say, I shouldn’t ignore my instinct. Even though my husband kinda thinks it’s a waste of time at first, he supports me as well.

We did the test last Friday – I guess because it wasn’t really a medical reason and the test was done just based on instinct; it took us almost 1 month to get an appointment with the specialist, but we finally get in. As I hold her during the test, my heart slowly sink, I just knew that she blew it.

Even though I suspect it, both my husband and I were shocked by the results, it is different to suspect something then to actually hear and confirm it. : Fortunately, the doctor was very nice and professional. She immediately informed us of what the next steps should be. She immediately forwards the results to Kalia pediatrician, to different specialist and county for moral helps and supports. She gave us the entire outlet we need on how to move forward.

It doesn’t makes it any easier, I remember sitting there and listening to the test results and look at my husband next to me who have this stern look on his face and then I glance at Kalia and Tyra who were just happily playing with all the toys at the doctor’s office, my eyes just start getting blurry and I just cry right there and then.

I started asking the why questions… what did I do wrong, what did I miss, what I could’ve done different? What is it… WHY????? Don’t play a blaming game, that’s what the doctor told me. Nothing I’ve done or my husband that causes this, she assures us. It happens….  Things happens…

Doctors told me and my husband that we should not under estimate a support group for us. While we will continue to work on Kalia and her future but it is also important for us to get some counseling and support. I thought friends will do.

While we were waiting to get the test done, I took pictures of my kids playing in the waiting room and I post it on facebook. Some of friends start calling and ask if everything is okay. Friday afternoon was a very overwhelming time for us so I don’t return phone calls until Saturday. Even then I was still mixed with anger and guilt.

After hearing of what happens, I would say most friends are very supportive and sympathetic. However there are few that shocked me more. By the way, I’m talking just a handful of people that knows about it. Some friend thought I was being a drama queen and I shouldn’t fret about it too much. Okay …. But then, some friends who was my longtime friends and I consider a very good friends actually start blaming me, her first reaction was “What the H#@#$ did you do to her? Did you clean her *** too hard that causing this?” She’s actually the only person I reach out too – beside my family. And her respond was not something I expected.

After that I just shut down. I ignore phone calls and refuse to talk. Until Tuesday, blogging friends that become facebook friends invite her friends to rant on her page. I figure none of her readers knows me anyway, I will rants….  The response was so overwhelmingly positive though…. I cry and I cry reading it over and over again….  Some even helps me relate to their situations and some just there “holding my hands”. These comes from strangers.. Literally! And yet, so far they have provided me with comfort beyond believe. I deeply touch and humble by that.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have friends here who also hold my hands an cry with me… and I’m will be forever grateful for them. But the situation between my “good” friend and “strangers”  had open my eyes that we do need another outlets than just people around us. The neutral people that will not judge us, that will listen and offers suggestions, supports from neutral perspective.

My pediatrician calls to check on ME. Not Kalia, but ME and my husbands. She’s confidence that Kalia will be in a great hands with doctors and specialist but she also want to make sure we get the helps we need in order to assist kalia. She let me cry with her and she listen. She is too in a way a stranger..  but she’s there for us.

I take comfort that Kalia will get what she needs and my husband and I will get what we need in order to helps Kalia. What happens to us is a gift, it brings everything into perspective that my children truly is a blessing to us and we will be forever grateful for them.

God trusted them in my hands and I will do whatever it takes to make sure I don’t betrayed that trust.  So far.. (so far..) if there’s any good comes from this is a realization that you should count every blessing and not burden yourself with something small. One friend calls me yesterday and thank me. She thank me for share with her my situation. She told me she can’t sleeps at night thinking what would she done if she were in my shoes. She told me I put things in more perspective for her and she thank me for it.

One thing that my pediatrician says that hits me is: “Thank God for your Mother’s instinct, we caught this early.”

So to all mother’s out there… LISTEN.. those voices that tells you when something is off… LISTEN. Who care about other’s opinion, it is you that can feel it in your heart. And use every outlet provided to you for helps.

Thank you,

Sendie

 

My holiday story

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful Holiday weekend with your family and friends. We had a great weekend filled with fun, family, friends and festivities.

My Saturday is a bit hectic, I still can’t find one gift for my friend’s daughter, she wanted a blue Angry bird and I went to three different store and they were all out! Gosh, I actually turn to be a pretty angry myself! 🙂 Then I also spend all day preparing for the feast on Sunday, I hosted a Christmas dinner this year (as was I last year as well – but this time it’s at friend’s house) so I spend most of my Saturday evening preparing for it – more story latter on. And a not so good thing, one of my dearest friend’s sister – who also a friend of ours – need to have a emergency tumor removal surgery so we also spend quite a bit of time visiting her at the hospital. But all is good. Nothing says Christmas/Holiday like a busy hectic day! 🙂

Sunday morning Tyra and Kalia literally running down the stairs wanting to open their presents. I love hearing the ooh… and ahh…. Each time Tyra open her presents, not to mention “thank you mommy, thank you daddy, thank you Santa, thank you elf and thank you God.” Hahaha… 🙂  They got a great combinations of toys, clothes and educational items for gift, so I’m pretty happy. Of course, the night before I made sure they choose their old toys to give away to goodwill. My friends notice that Tyra took little after me that she loves to cook and bake so she got her first easy bakes oven and a Hello Kitty cupcake maker! She’s way too excited to see them. Now Kalia, she doesn’t understand gift as much as Tyra, but she got excited over this one gift that my husband choose, it’s her first mini cycles. It’s pink and so cute. Apparently it need to be assembly so husband have to assembly it and she just sat there waiting patiently (most of the time) for daddy to finish putting her little bike together. Then she have a blast going all over the house with it and literally couldn’t care less on the rest of her gift.

The girls have been very blessed with their Aunties and Uncles (either from friends or relatives) with great gift their received. And I can’t thank them enough for loving my children.

As for the holiday feast, we have a progressive holiday feast on Sunday, we all agreed to have an all day eating fiesta, so instead of gathering on one place for dinner and everybody bring a dishes, we split into two places and have two family host each gathering. So we started our Sunday at 11 am with brunch at one friend’s house hosted by the homeowner and one other friends. It was so delish!! We have tons of pastry stuff (one of my friend is Hmong French so she cooks lots of French food) we have Mussels, Salmon, sandwiches and chicken, fruit tarts, etc..  I was so full and they even joked to moved dinner to 8 pm because they were all so full.

Dinner is my turn, I actually host it with one other friend and we do it at her house, however my friend is on an early stage of pregnancy and she really have a rough one. So she can’t cooked anything literally! So I cooked all the heavy stuff and all she need to do is preparing the eatery stuff, the utensil, drinks and salads. I made Roast Turkey, Roast Beef, bakes pasta and sautéed shrimp and mixed veggies, I also bakes a Christmas cake for dessert. I literally do all by myself cooked to feed about 20 – 30 people. I was so worried that we don’t have enough or it didn’t come up right etc… at the end it all went very well and they told me that I actually graduated to be a Nyab Hmong – I think it meant a good Hmong daughter in law. My husband and I was laughing so hard when they all say that. Laughing aside, I take it as a great compliment!

We really had a marvelous time together on Sunday. I love being among them, there’s nothing pretentious on our relationship,  it is mostly laughter that we shared I’m not going to lie, of course we also have our share of argument and tears but at the end we all become such a great friends that we put all aside. I think we truly become a family.

I hope you guys have just a lovely time as I was over the past weekend. Here’s to a great and successful 2012!!

Ps, sorry I haven’t got any time to load pictures yet, but I will and will share them soon.

Very blessed

I have been neglected this blog! The old ages excuses, busy with things…. 🙂

Little recap of what’s been happening (if you interested hehehe 🙂 )

We went to WI to see the family for thanksgiving. We had a great time! When we’re there we also drive around in Madison looking for area we’re thinking of moving into. As the times get closer, I get so excited over the idea of moving to WI and actually look forward to.

My husband finishes his student teaching and all of his students did a little farewell party for him. The school district where he teaches is one of the challenging school district. He was in for quite a surprise when he first started. At the beginning of the program he would come home mentally exhausted of his students’ conditions and their environment. He also faces a lot of challenge with their behavior and their parent’s lack of interest on their child! At the end, all the students gave him a well sent off and he told me some event cry and wrote him the most beautifully written thank you note. He just realize that his most difficult students is actually the one that he touches the most and have a hard time saying good bye to. He told me they are the reason why he became a teacher.

Tyra & Kalia…. Oh dear, where do I start? So many activities with so many accomplishments. One of my proudest moments is when Tyra’s awarded with an honor student the “Awesome Antelope” certificate and ‘Big Cheese” few weeks later. She went to Antelope Ridge and”Awesome Antelope” is an award they gave to their students to went and accomplished above and beyond academically. In Tyra case, she excels in Math! The certificate was given to her in a little ceremony with the principal.

Tyra is awsome Antelope

 

She’s also chosen to be the Big Cheese just few weeks later. Big Cheese is a stuffed mouse animal that the class has as “pet”.  Students that have good behavior and attitude are allowed to take it home for a week and wrote a journal on their activities. Tyra is so excited when she can be the Big Cheese and took him everywhere with her. At the end of the week the class also does a book on why Tyra is chosen to be the Big Cheese. It is so cute to see what her other classmate wrote about her.

December flew by too fast for me. As a tradition we also adopt a family for the holiday, this time we get a family with three boys! I always have a hard time shopping for boys so this particular tradition is a challenging one for me. It is all good though. I also took Tyra to do the shopping and pick up the toys and the clothes and also to pick up the wrapping paper. She kinda got disappointed because we can’t wrap them; it is part of the rule for Inter-Faith organization. But overall she has a great time and understands the meaning behind us adopting the family and I hope she see the important of it. I think she does, I gave her little gift over the weekend and she told me not to spend too much money on her because Santa will give her gift and I should save my money to give to other kids. Awww…..

I can’t recall any holiday that was not special, this is no different. One main special thing for me is how Tyra started to understand the importance of giving and sharing. She’s now know how to separate her old toys and clothes which one to keep for little sissy and which one for goodwill. I’m so proud of her!

This holiday we will also do things a bit differently this time. We will have what we call all day gathering and eating! Will start off with breakfast at one friend’s house; follow with lunch at another friend’s house and then dinner at another friend’s house. I’m in charged with the dinner together with the host. Then we’ll do Secret Santa for the kids, White Elephant for the adult. It will be fun!

And the next day, I got a very special gift from my work which is two tickets to Trans Siberian Orchestra at the Pepsi Center Box seat, with dinner included! I’m excited!!

As hard as some part of the year has been for me, as challenging as it is, yesterday, I look at the house with the chimney on, the stocking is full and presents from relative for the kids, I can say that I’ve been so blessed…. Very blessed indeed.

From my house to yours, Happy holiday!!

Happy Holiday

Will anybody miss me…

I truly does miss this blogging world, I miss reading the very informative KB’s El Morno and miss seeing another cute tea pot collection from Beth Ann, Diane’s story, what’s new with Tien and MB perspective on Hmong’s and woman’s issues and many – many more of my blogging buddies!! . Now that the turmoil in my life kinda over, I hope to be able to blog more regularly and read also comment on my blogging friend’s post more regularly.

I come across this sad news that I would like to share with you guys, it is a story of how a 3 yr old was left alone after her mom’s sudden death in New Zealand. I cry reading the story can’t help imagining how scared that little girl must’ve be!! You can read the full story here.

Luckily the uncle because suspicious after didn’t hear from the mom and contacted the neighbor and police. That’s when they find out how she has passed away and Shylah (the baby’s name) just simply told the police “Mummy won’t wake up,” tell me that doesn’t break your heart??

My husband and I, we have no relative or family here in CO, although I have shared with you many – many times, that I have great friends here but we don’t really hang out every night or everyday. I can’t help but thinking to myself, my gosh what if something like that happen to me and my husband? Will anybody miss me? My husband’s family haven’t contacted us in months! So they wouldn’t know if we drop dead or if something has going on – nor do I think they care.

It just scares me of the possibility that my child can be left alone scares. Am I just being paranoid? Probably. Can’t help it I’m a mom! J Oh… nobody told me the stress and responsibility of being a parents are so huge!!! But the perks does makes up for it and it’s totally worth it.

I better end this before I ramble more nonsense.

Motivation

Lately, I haven’t been feeling much of anything. I got so caught up in the routine that I have become so passive.

The motivation is just not there. It’s bad and I know it’s bad but man I got so lazy that I just ignore it.

Then my sister emails me a news clip from Indonesian newspaper.  The newspaper reporter went to a very remote area in Indonesia and snaps a picture of local kids on their way to school.

It breaks my heart and put me to shame. These kids have to walk 6 K to school one way also have to cross this “bridge” with the risk of falling into the river. They endure all that for school, to better educate themselves, to better their life and their future.

Judge by their uniform, these are elementary students, so they can’t be more than 12 years old.

Here I am, living a very convince life and still complaining. I realize that when things get tough instead of fighting I curl and just wish it to go away. Instead of working harder try to make it better I makes zillion of excuses to feel sorry about myself and act like a victim.

I vow to make changes in my life and instead of lay down and dreaming to actually wake up and work to make it come true.  

Taken from Kompas.com

Balance is overrated!

As summer ends, my husband and I have to make tons of adjustments. Scheduling for example, Tyra has started school back in July but we still have our niece with us to help baby sit Kalia, now she’s back to WI and Kalia need to be back at day care. Tyra will also have to go to before and after care and that brings up another adjustment, budget! Having two kids is crazy expensive!!! We have to pay $1600 just for child care alone! I don’t know how others with more than 2 kids can do it, we barely able to afford ours!

Now we all have to wake up super early I’m sure my husband beat the rooster (if we would’ve own one) waking up sleeping kids and baby are another thing I have to do, waking up Tyra is easier than Kalia, I mean, how could you wake a peacefully sleeping baby? So cute and comfy snuggle in her blanky and here’s come monster mommy waking her up? Oh.. breaks my heart every time! Good news is kalia normally wake up as soon as I’m up as if she can sense it. So I hardly have to wake her up.

 I do enjoy making and having breakfast with the family though.. even if it’s just as simple as cereal and milk. Once a while pancake or waffle is on the table, depend on my mood and how early we can get everybody ready.

The first few weeks, I got to work exhausted. Mostly mentally, thinking about what to prepare for snacks tomorrow, what the kids will wear, what’s for breakfast, what’s to cook for dinner tonight. Etc…. I drive myself crazy.

Then coming home to a messy house, the house I clean every morning and every night, it will miraculously messy again by the time I get home around 6pm. My husband is pretty helpful, he do dishes, laundry, vacuum and mop. However he and I have different concept on where toys and dirty clothes should go. It’s not on the floor!

Few weeks ago I broke down and have one of the biggest fights in our marriage life. It’s so big that it almost involve elder (it’s a Hmong thing) not that my husband believe in the elder but almost. Good friends talk to me and calm me down and we manage to get through this. I think everything just happen all of the sudden the change the adjustments we have to make and it’s all built in to the point that I can’t take it.

Finally I talked with my Mom and just cry myself out. Then, this is what my mom told me “having balance at home is over rated! There are no such things as perfect balance in life and in marriage. It’s all about give and take. The house will always be messy – you have two kids and two dogs what do you expect? – and you will always have disagreement but that’s what life is. Talk it out and work it out, that’s how you get through it.”

She said it’s okay to have a messy home once in a while, that’s mean my kids actually have fun and bring the house to live.

I always compare my life to my mom’s and have the image of a perfect marriage and perfect household should be. My mom told me to stop and remind me how even her life is not perfect. Once my mom and my dad were separated, they get back together and work it out. It hits me even my “perfect parents” have problems too.

She also remind me that she have plenty of helps back home with maid, gardener and drivers at her services.. (my dream life!) and most importantly all the family back home. She also then told me how proud she is of me and not sure if she can do the same if she was in my position. She thinks of me as a strong woman who is able to manage a family life with just me and hubby and we have as close to perfect as a life should be. That is the biggest compliments I heard from my mom! Over and over again I learned from my Mom. What will I do without her?

So last night, I let it all lose, I watch as Tyra and Kalia play together, this time instead of worrying what they will break or what they will spills, I just watch and listen. I listen as they both laugh while they were chasing each other. I watch Kalia do silly dance mimicking some TV commercial and then her laugh…

It’s beautiful and the house wasn’t all that bad. Just pick up few things this morning but I have the best night ever! As I quote my mom ‘Balance is over rated! Have fun, laugh often, build memories is more important than have your house looks like Martha Stewart Magazine.” Love you mommy!!

Tyra & Kalia being silly

Busy but happy September

Vail September 2011

There’s an old Indonesian songs called ‘September Ceria” or Cheery (or happy) September is the lose translation for it. September is the starter of my most favorite time in the year, the time when leaves begin to fall, the air cools to pleasantly crisp. Lovely time. Did I mention I got engage in September? That’s added to the list as why this is my favorite time of the year.

Labor day weekend marked up the end of summer for us and ready for any fun in the falls activity. As it’s been a tradition, we went to Vail for their Rotary Duck race festival. We stumble upon the event by accident when looking for things to do in the high country during the long weekend. This was 5 yrs ago and we’ve been going ever since – with the exceptions of last year when we have to go to WI.

The race was fun, it’s Tyra’s 5th time and Kalia’s 1st time. Each year I feel like the event draw more and more crowd. Kalia was so surprise to see thousand of rubber duck swimming down the streams he squeals in delight the whole time and Tyra just have too much fun swimming with the duck.

Labor day weekend is also normally one of our busiest weekend. We actually have to turn down 2 invitations because it was overlapping with one another and they were located in different part of the city. It’s crazy busy but also fun so I won’t have it any other way. We do spare Monday as quite family time before we go back to regular routine on Tuesday.

On top of that I’ve been quite busy lately with few projects around the house and for friends. Tyra’s birthday coming up in just few weeks and I’ve been paying with lots of ideas in my head on how to surprise her and how to decorate/create a beautiful dessert table. Also a good friend of mine will celebrate her son’s 6th birthday party in just a week and half and ask me to plan it as well. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

So Between my times I’ve been trying to create a party theme, dessert table decorations and planning the menu. The theme for my friend’s will be Phineas and Ferb, I’m keeping Tyra’s as a secret for now cause all is not finalize in my head just yet. For inspiration, as always I’ve been browsing through Kim’s website Tomkat Studio, I’ve long admired Kim’s fabulous dessert tables and always wanted to try it.

Being creative is exhausting! Hahaha… there are so many ideas that need to be put together and there are many times I found myself checking things off an imaginary list that was apparently floating above my head! But it was fun. Yesterday I finally finish designing the menu label and food label for my friend and she approved it right away and loves it! I’m having a blast!!

I will definably post pictures and after this one finish, I will finalize the ideas for Tyra’s party. It will be fabulous, elegant, sophisticated and fun!!! Wait for it!!

2011 Vail Duck Race festival

Just another day….

I was getting ready, if you thought it’ll be safe to be half naked in front of your 16 month old, think again! I try to put on makeup while I let the baby brush her teeth in the sink, then I notice that she was staring at me my nipple and tilt her head as if she examine it, finally she try to touch it! NOPE!

After I get dressed, trying to fit into my Capri jeans and walk in my 5 yrs old. “Mommy, your tummy is coming out, I think the pants is too small.” It’s not too small it’s just a bit snug – yeah I wish. Then she continue, “How come you have a big tummy? The baby is already out?” You know, she ask me this before and I swear I should’ve limit her to one questions per topic per life is allowed! And of course I can’t remember what my answer was that day… so trying to be a good parents I explain to her that mommy is lack of exercise and don’t always eat healthy. That’s why she need to exercise and eat healthy. She said “Ok.” Then off she goes.

 Finish dressing up and get the baby ready, went back to the bathroom look for a perfume, almost run out of everything, Anniversary is approaching maybe I can ask my husband to get me a new bottle so I went downstairs and told my husband while holding the perfume bottle, “Honey I need more Pleasure, you need to give me Pleasure.” His respond “Oh yeah baby come to daddy…”