Tag Archives: mom

Living with Mom

My mom has been staying with us over the past week while some renovations are being completed in her home.

In that time frame she has…

(1) Criticized me for not cooking dinner for Jeremy. Whaa?! I don’t recall having family dinners EVER. And I try to tell her again and again that I just don’t really cook because Jeremy does not like my cooking. It doesn’t offend me. Believe me, I’m not that great. Jeremy is the cook in the family.

(2) Told me my house is dirty. This is coming from a woman that I have found to be a borderline hoarder. However, she did clean up some crud in my fridge so that was nice.

(3) Strangely rearranged items. I’ve come home to see Annmarie’s blankets hanging strangely around her crib, towels in weird places and a water bottle that was on my bedroom dresser in the fridge. Does it weird me out that she’s going through my house? Sort of but at the same time, she lost the spare key so she’s essentially stuck in my home for 9+ hours a day. I’d probably do the same thing.

(4) Told me my hair isn’t shiny. This came up yesterday. She said, “I noticed your hair isn’t shiny anymore. It is because you don’t use enough conditioner.” Thanks, mom.

(5) Overheard my neighbors having sex. She’s been sleeping on a futon in our basement. It is butted up against the wall we share with our neighbor. I guess their bed is also butted up against that wall. She said she heard the “squeaking sound” of “you know what”. Hilarious. She asked if they were young. They’re not. And not that I picture lots of people doing the deed… but these are people you NEVER want to imagine doing the deed.

(6) Complained about my diet. She has told me that I am “so different” from how I was raised because I don’t eat meat. She thinks I eat weird things that aren’t her “style”.

(7) Taught Annmarie the word “candy” because she gives her a lollipop ALL THE TIME. Now Annmarie sees Grandma and asks, “Candy?” Fantastic. I see a future filled with cavities (like I had).

(8) Lost track of Annmarie IN THE HOUSE. Perhaps I am exaggerating here (and that she was still waking up from a nap) but we had asked if she was okay watching Annmarie Saturday morning so that we could quickly run some errands (all related to the renovations). She agreed. We said we’d be back around 11am so we could feed her and put her down for her nap. We got home at 11:10am. My mom was fast asleep on the sofa and Annmarie was nowhere in site. Upon being asked, “where is the baby?” she responded half-awake, “baby? what baby?” Want to talk about panic? Annmarie was napping in her crib but it was filled WITH EVERY GD TOY IN HER ROOM. She basically had nowhere to lay except on top of her toys. I still have no idea what happened there.

All in all, however, having my mom stay with us hasn’t been nearly as annoying and awful as I thought. Sure she annoys me but I thought I would have strangled her by now. Maybe living together won’t be as awful as I imagined? (fingers crossed)

And because I prefer posts with pictures, here are some recent photos of Annmarie:

This probably isn’t a good parenting thing but I let Annmarie play with some of our gadgets. I’d rather show her NOT to throw these things or how she can sort of use them in case she gets to it and I’m not around. She’s been really into the point and shoot camera lately. I was impressed when I caught her taking a photo of herself.
Taking a self-portrait

And then laughed out loud when I saw the result of her self portrait:
Result of AM's self-portrait

The other day she insisted on wearing her bike helmet to daycare. I actually tried to take it off of her head before she left and she flipped out. So off to daycare she went…
Safety First

She’s really into sitting in the utility sink in our basement. She saw us bathing the dogs in it and now thinks of it as a fun new spot in the house.
Hanging in the sink

She’s really into putting on our shoes. Strangely, she LOVES putting on my rain boots. Her legs are barely tall enough to fit but she loves it. I love it because it keeps her still for a minute.
Rain boots

AM grabbed this pillow at Ikea over the weekend and wouldn’t let it go. I tried to switch it out for a smaller and cheaper pillow. She wasn’t having it. It has become her new thing at the house.
New pillow

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Mommy Monday

Last week I complained that I felt like a lame mom. I even declared to people that I was going to make an effort to be social.

Guess what time I went to bed on Saturday night? 8:15pm. You read that correctly.

It was a packed day full of running, a trip to the farmer’s market, grocery store, a 1 year old’s birthday party and dinner with a good friend. I was POOPED.

Onto Annmarie stuff…

Annmarie has moved on from just rocking back and forth on her knees to trying to push forward on her toes. She looks like she is doing yoga poses…

Planking?
Plank

Downward dog?
Downward dog?

Soon she’ll be doing p90x.

As for other things Annmarie is into right now, she loves to hit things to make sounds: slapping a hand, banging a toy drum, smacking different surfaces, etc. When she is about to hit something and she is unsure of what the sound will be, she’ll hesitate and close her eyes in anticipation of a loud bang (example: she hit the toy drum with one of her large rattle thingamabobs but wasn’t sure how loud the sound would be so she shut her eyes tight as she brought the rattle thing down onto the drum).

She’s also really into these small rubber and plastic squeak toys. First it was Sophie the giraffe and then this stupid squeaky pig my mom gave her… But then we picked up 2 others (a hippo and a plane) at the birthday party…
Friends

Chewing on her friends

It would be great for my wallet if she stays really into these small inexpensive toys but I have a feeling that won’t be the case.

I’m also trying to figure out what I want Annmarie to wear for Halloween… But I am painfully cheap and the idea of spending $20+ on something she’ll only wear once is killing me. I’m struggling here. But I did buy her a skeleton jumper that glows in the dark. Maybe I’ll cop out and just make her a skeleton. Jeremy wants to dress her as a cow since we already have adult cow costumes. We could be a family of cows (or as Jeremy pointed out, lesbian cows that adopted a calf).

Any suggestions on what Annmarie should be for Halloween?

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It’s Raining… Baby Stuff? (or Yippee – my friends are throwing me a baby shower)

I just wanted to share the super cute invite that my friend created for my baby shower.  She had sent the majority of the invites through Evite (I told her to since it is a green and cheap way to invite people) but had created some paper invites for family.  Family required paper invites because (1) I doubt my mom and mother-in-law have any idea what an Evite is and (2) my mom doesn’t even know how to use a computer.

a photo of my shower invite

How frickin’ cute is that invite?  My friend is aware of my recent obsession with owls in the nursery and specifically sought out an owl baby shower graphic. 

And can I tell you how much anxiety I have over the idea of my mom in a large social setting?  I love my mother dearly – I really do… she is the source of much comic relief and other mom stuff (you know, like love).  But when you put her in a social setting with a large group of people, she acts like a complete nut.

Or she’s just really shy (as Jeremy has pointed out).

My mom is a Chatty Cathy.  And she will tell you if you’ve gained weight, lost weight, lost hair, have gray hair, have a pimple, look beautiful, etc.  I think it is an asian mom thing.  She’s really comfortable with a few of my friends (most notably the ones I’ve been hanging with for 15 years… or in the case of some, over 20 years).  But then there are new people.  New people are people that I’ve known less than 10 years.

Jeremy thinks my mom is just very shy and self conscious about her English.  She is the absolute WORST around my in-laws.  She hardly speaks and she acts like she doesn’t really know English half the time.  It KILLS me.

My in-laws are surprisingly very understanding (or at least to my face).  They’ve lived in various countries (including Korea and Japan) and have a lot of experience with asian women.  They don’t find her to be “weird” – in fact, I think they’ve also indicated that she just seems shy.

At my bridal shower, my mom was chatty.  She was thrilled about the occasion but didn’t do a lot of socializing with folks.  And she also proved that she doesn’t know anything about me.  You know those cutesy little games like, “How well do you know the bride & groom?”  Well apparently my mom doesn’t know me or Jeremy AT ALL.  (and btw – I found that to be hysterical)

I’m not sure how she’ll do at a baby shower.  She is over the moon about this baby but again – she’ll be in a social situation where there will be silly games and whatnot.  God help me.  I begged my oldest friend (not in age, but in length of time I’ve known her) to come because my mom is SUPER comfortable with her and I think my mom needs some social support.

So am I alone in the “my parents mortify me in social situations by how awkward they behave”?  Please tell me you’re in the same boat and tell me how you manage it!

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Having a Korean Mom isn’t always easy (or the story of soy bean paste)

I talk a lot about my mother to people.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore her.  She’s one of the most generous and loving people on the planet.  That woman would take a bullet for me.  She’s also one of the most unintentionally hilarious people I know.  A lot of her hilarity stems from being Korean and the cultural barrier is sometimes too much for me to handle.

Lately, however, she’s been driving me absolutely crazy because she never remembers anything!!  She is the prime example of why you should “exercise your brain” or your memory will totally slip.  My conversations with her end up being me repeating the same stuff over and over and over again because she never remembered me mentioning it previously.  A friend, who also shares the experience of having an Asian mother, said that my mom is probably watching TV and playing cards while she talks to me on the phone.  This is SO TRUE.

Being pregnant – I’m not getting a ton of crazy cravings for anything but what I have wanted for awhile now is good Korean food.  There are specific Korean dishes that I love and I look to my mom to hook me up.  The things I’ve wanted include:

  1. vegetable dumplings (Yachae Mandoo)
  2. radish salad (I have no idea what its called and while I realize it sounds gross, it is quite refreshing)
  3. soy bean paste (Doenjang) – this is like the Korean equivalent of hummus.

My mom has tried to claim that Yachae Mandoo does not come in a vegetarian form (LIES!).  And then she said she forgot how to make it.  Regardless – she still picked me up a frozen pack of these delightful dumplings.

As for the radish salad – getting her to understand what I was asking for was like pulling teeth.  She finally got it and hooked me up.  YUM!

But the real pain in my ass has been explaining the soybean paste that I so dearly love.  Again, I realize this sounds disgusting to most people but this paste is delightfully salty and sweet and magical.   I have gone around and around trying to explain what I wanted.  For awhile I thought that I was making it up because she just didn’t know what I was talking about.  I googled it and found it.  She then claimed to know what I was talking about so when I went to her house – she presented me with Miso.  MISO?! 

Don’t present the wrong food to a pregnant lady.

I was fed up.  So I looked it up again on my phone (oh how I love you, smartphone) and when I showed her the picture she said, “OOOH!  Doenjang!  Why didn’t you just say that?”  I almost had a nervous breakdown.  I’ve been wanting this stuff for the last 3 weeks.

My mom then went into her basement and came upstairs with this:

What.the.fuck.  While I give my mom a hard time about her English – she CAN read and that jar clearly states, “Soy Bean Paste”.  And this is like the Costco industrial sized jar of it!  

Needless to say, I got my damn paste this weekend.  I wonder if I’ll be just like my mom in 30 years.  God help my daughter if I do…

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Forgetful Mom

I love my mother dearly and she provides hours of entertainment and great stories (all unintentionally of course) but I have to say… there are some qualities about her that irritate me.

The biggest irritation I have with her is how she forgets everything or doesn’t pay attention to what I’m saying.  She claims old age but I really just think her brain is getting lazy.  She needs a better hobby than slot machines because I imagine the mind-numbing dings of the machine, blinking lights and constant button pushing (she doesn’t pull the handle anymore – apparently that’s for amateurs) aren’t helping to keep her brain engaged.

Some examples of things she forgets…

  • Whenever I tell her I’m going on vacation.  I’ll tell her weeks in advance but unless it is written down somewhere, she is ‘shocked’ when I come back and tell her I was out of town.
  • most of my friends’ names.  If she knew you well while I was in high school – she has somehow managed to retain your name.  everyone else?  Not so much.
  • my husband’s name.  I wish I was kidding.  If she’s in a hurry, she’ll refer to him as “what’s his name” and I make her take a minute to say it or I refuse to address whatever it is she’s asking.  She remembers once I force her to… but seriously?  I worry about how she’ll fair with grandkids.

But I’ve started to notice that she doesn’t really pay attention to what I’m saying.  I called her on Sunday to let her know I wasn’t stopping by (yes, I visit my mom about once a week… usually for 10 minutes because if I don’t, I end up getting a phone call about how much she misses me and how bad I’d feel if she died).

Me: Mom, I wanted to let you know we won’t be stopping by today.  We just got back from camping so we have a lot to do.

Mom:  Oh?  You’re not coming over?  Okay…

Me: How are you?

Mom: I’m tired and don’t remember anything anymore.  So – you went to your in-laws?

Me: What?  What are you talking about?

Mom:  You said you went to your in-laws.

Me: You weren’t listening to what I was saying, were you?

Mom:  No, not really.

I think this trait of hers is irritating me so much because I’m starting to see it in myself.  I half listen to people these days and forget so much (but I suspect it is more about not actually listening in the first place so I didn’t really forget, I just never bothered to pay attention when something was said or committments were made).

I think I need to learn Sudoku or something…

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Technology and Old People (most notably my mom)

Don’t tell my mom I called her old!  As far as the world is concerned, she is 39 (and is perfectly okay with the idea that her daughter is turning 30 because, you know, the rate of 9 years olds getting pregnant and giving birth is really out of control).

There are tons of studies and millions upon bajillions of dollars spent on researching/developing technology that will benefit the elderly.  A lot of my graduate classes focused on the need for developing technology for children, disabled or the elderly.

Think about it.  How many “old” people do you know that frequently use computers let alone things like Twitter?

I’m actually kind of appalled by the number of people my mother’s age that are on Facebook.  Stop sending me friend requests!  It creeps me out.

But what I find really funny is seeing who is adopting this technology versus who is the stereotypical target audience by which the elderly studies are focused.

I’m referring to the stark difference between my mother and my mother-in-law (who are roughly the same age).

Computer:
Mother - she doesn’t know how to turn on the computer
Mother-in-law – can create documents, send e-mails, and who knows what else… but she can turn it on.

E-mail:
Mother
- she doesn’t know how to turn on the computer however she did recently learn of the term “e-mail” and understood it to be a form of communication
Mother-in-law – uses e-mail frequently

Digital Cameras:
Mother - she doesn’t know how to load pictures from a digital camera to a computer (it would help if she knew how to turn it on)
Mother-in-law – uses a digital camera often, can upload pictures, print pictures and even burn pictures to a disk

Cell Phones (this is by far my favorite of the differences):
Mother - can dial and answer phone calls but that is about it.  She does not know how to retrieve voicemail messages.  She sure as shit cannot send or retrieve text messages.  Don’t get me started on her trying to take pictures with her phone.  She actually spent a large portion of my best friend’s wedding (I was the matron of honor) trying to take a picture of ME (not the bride) during the ceremony.  She loudly fussed with her cell phone (much to the embarrassment of Jeremy) to snap a photo.

And yet she wants a smart phone.  Riiiiiiight.

Mother-in-law – not only can she dial, answer and retrieve voicemail (the basics), she is the text messaging queen!  I have a great texting relationship with her and it cracks me up.  She can even send video messages!  She sent me a video of my nephew playing to cheer me up (when my back was hurt). 

My father and father-in-law are both tech savvy people (although I will say my father-in-law is a bit savvier… I think that has a lot to do with the fact that my dad had a stroke 10 years ago).

Are your parents tech savvy?  Do you text your parents?  Are they on Facebook?  Twitter?

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A Conversation with my Mom

I just celebrated another good friend (my maid of honor) turning 30 last night.  Holy hell – two 30th birthday celebrations two weekends in a row… KILLING ME.

Anywho.  Back to the topic.

I called my mom on Thursday to chat and mentioned that I was buying a gift for my maid of honor’s birthday.  Then I mentioned that my other good friend (a bridesmaid!) turned 30 the previous weekend.

Me: “So [friend 1] and [friend 2] just turned 30.  You know what that means, right?  I’m turning 30 soon.  How does that make you feel?”

Mom: “Me?  I’m okay but you’re getting old…”

Me: [laugh]

Mom: “… but don’t feel bad.  I didn’t have a baby yet at your age either.”

Me: “Well I didn’t feel bad until now.  Thanks!”

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