diapers, budgets & paint

stay-at-home mommy by day
program manager by night
children's painter somewhere in between

a playgroup dream comes true

waaaay back when, one of mama nabi's posts had some of us commenting about our desire for mixed-race playgroups, or at least some way for our kiddos to see and play with kids who *big shock!* might look like them, or heck, at least look different than what's considered the "norm" in our various areas. at first, even blair didn't really understand what i'd want from such a group, but i think he mainly didn't understand just how homogenous my moms' group really is. since knowledge of the group travels mainly by word of mouth and the occasional online search, i guess it's just not getting to the more diverse communities... or those moms are all too busy with their own groups, working daytime jobs, or the million other things that keep us all super busy. i do know several korean moms, for instance, who have korean-only playgroups... and by that, i mean all of their kids speak korean, the moms speak only korean, etc. since i wouldn't exactly fit in with such a "hard-core" group, i was hoping to find a group of laid-back multicultural moms with kids around the same age who'd be interested in playtime and the random discussion about culture and such.

so i posted a note about it on my local community website.

and another on craigslist.

and i got... nada.

but then by random luck, a new mom joined the moms' group. it's such a big group that there are all sorts of sub-groups by location, interest, and so forth; sarah also joined the "world cultures" sub-group that i'm a member of and posted her introduction. we quickly started exchanging emails and amazingly, with little effort, she and i decided to put together a korean playgroup of sorts! we've been meeting for the past couple of months; after a slow start, she found a few other moms who are also interested in korean culture, so now we've got:
  • sarah, a korean mom who grew up mostly here in the states, with daughter hailey
  • linda, another korean-american mom, with her half-korean daughter ava
  • tina, a 1/4th korean and 1/4th japanese mom, with her hapa son nate
  • nikki, a caucasian mom, with her korean adopted son issac
somehow, we've managed to find a wonderfully diverse range of korean relationships and experiences among the five of us, and hopefully we'll even find a few more interested mommies and their tots out there. our kids are currently between 15 and 20-something months old and get along pretty well. in fact, the three little girls will even be taking dance class together this summer! it's been nice to learn a few new korean words, share some paht bing soo, and chat / vent / laugh over what it means to be korean each thursday morning.

c'mon, you knew there'd have to be something yummy involved, right? it all comes back to the paht. and sac sac. mmmmm...

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milk rant

this was one heckuva long week. with multiple cases of the stomach flu tossing us (and our cookies) around the house, emmy and i stayed in quarantine mostly. i was exhausted but hated missing our weekly playgroups - you never realize how long a week can be until you're stuck inside with a previously sick yet now super-hyper toddler. thankfully, we're all better now. so much better, in fact, that i decided to ease back into our normal eating habits... milk and all.

and that's where i think i went wrong. i can't figure out if emmy has a milk intolerance that's finally developed into a problem or is just suffering from a temporary lactose intolerance due to the most recent stomach bug. (did you know that stomach viruses can have lasting uh, diaper-related effects for one to SIX weeks?!) i know, i know, someone out there is thinking, "duh, you're asian - of course she's lactose intolerant you mean, milk-pouring mommy!" but it turns out that most kids don't develop that until the age of 3 or so, so i was hoping that we'd be able to give this whole milk thing a try. aside from the calcium and vitamins, we need those fatty calories! our pediatrician wants us to fatten up the little munchkin since she's already plateau'ed weight-wise (who was only in the 45th percentile at the 1 year check-up, versus her previous 75th-80th standing). ANYWAY, em drank milk today like there's no tomorrow... and i'll probably be hating MY tomorrow when i realize how little sleep i'll likely have had. so far she's been up all evening with gassiness and other discomfort, and i'm kicking myself for being brave / stupid enough to give milk another try (there were small warnings before too - just took a while to connect them). growing up as the only kid in my class that didn't drink milk was a pain - seriously, did the school system have to charge so much extra for that frickin' box of too-sweet fruit punch? blair tells me that our local fairfax county school system actually offers soy milk as an alternative now, but it's always frustrating to be different in such a small but annoying way. of course, it's nothing compared to some of the bad (read: peanut) allergies out there now but we're keeping our fingers crossed on those.

and yes, this IS a long rambling post, but i'm also kicking myself for stopping nursing a couple weeks ago. i figured that 13.5 months was probably enough - heck, i'd exceeded my original goal of one year! - and that em was getting all that she needed from her sippy cup and plate. *sigh* we had already transitioned down to just one nursing a day so i realize that she's not missing a lot, but in hindsight i wish i'd continued a bit longer... then i could at least tell myself that i was helping her through this milk thing a little more. instead, i'm sitting here googling which soy milks are "full/whole" fat and appropriately enriched for someone under the age of 2. oh, and trying to figure out where we can sneak extra calories into em's diet.

it's so funny how much there is to parenting these days. i have to remind myself that if we all somehow made it this far (without car seats while our parents smoked up front, for instance - eek!), that blair and i will do okay too. and on that note, let me send a quick shout out to all the wonderful blogs now listed on the right. many of them are written by some awesome mamas out there and i'm very grateful for their anecdotes, humor, insight and support. thanks, fellow mamas and friends - you keep me sane (and staying up waaaay past my bedtime)!

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catching up on the last month

things have gotten pretty busy here in the lee household and sadly, i've fallen behind in my posts. it's a slippery slope - the next thing you know, i'll be posting that blair's a doctor and that emmy is graduating from college! so, to recap the past 30 or so days...

halloween happenings: emmy's social calendar filled up with various halloween-themed playgroups and parties and the little leopard costume valiantly carried us through the whole frightful season. i've uploaded lots of gratuitous party pics in the october photo album. the dcmm fairfax iv mom's group threw a spectacular outdoor party at one of the member's houses and we frolicked with about 30 other kiddos. i do believe that emmy will grow up to be the type of person that hangs around the buffet table at parties, though, as she pigged out on snacks and melon (honeydew and cantaloupe are her fave fruits right now) - the kids must just *know* that it's a special eating day! afterwards, emmy trick-or-treated around our part of the neighborhood and got some top-shelf loot (for daddy, of course!).

emmy wore blue: on voting day (11/7), emmy helped me cast my votes for a more democratic virginia. she smacked that giant "VOTE" button like no one's business (yes, after i made my choices), and thanks to people like us virginia now has a democrat in the senate. woohoo! this was emmy's first taste of democracy in action... and the nice man even gave her a sticker of her own.

movin' on up: up the stairs, that is. emmy just started climbing up stairs and is suddenly confident enough to scale tne entire flight of stairs between the basement / playroom and the main level. she also constantly goes up the 3 steps between the living room and dining room, but since she can't figure out how to go down them on her own, is frequently stuck crawling laps around the foyer-kitchen-dining room area.

hapa pride: i read the kimchimamas' blog a LOT now, and i'm always wishing that i lived closer to them or others like us (mixed asian descent). there are just some issues / experiences that would be nice to share with a common community, and i know i always longed for kids like me growing up. anyway, at a recent neighborhood mom's gathering, i hit the jackpot! there's another family with 2 half-korean, half-american girls, and they live right around the corner!!! the mom seemed super nice and i look forward to getting to know them more. (there's also a part-japanese family in our row - so much hapa goodness!)

and lastly...

day 361 and counting... it's emmy's first birthday this saturday!!!

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