August 28, 2008


This weekend I'm heading to Palm Springs for my sister in law's bachelorette party. While I am so excited, this weekend will be a huge step and test: for the first time in 11 months, my husband will be in charge. Fully in charge. Baby-Ko has only slept away (at grandparent's houses) TWICE and we were pretty much there until he fell asleep and there after he woke up. No biggie. But THIS TIME, mama's leaving bright and early Saturday morning and not coming back until late Sunday afternoon. This means, DADDY will have to navigate through breakfast, lunch and dinner, nap times, bottle times, and diaper times, and of course EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING in between.  So I thought it would be helpful for me to write him up a little manual, entitled "WHILE MOMMY'S AWAY," fully loaded with details of a typical day.  I know T-Ko's going to do a great job ... but feel free to check on him. Or at least offer to bring him coffee. I have a feeling he's going to need it...



5AM- 5:30 AM- WAKE UP #1; Sucks for you. First offer pacifier; if still up , offer him THREE (3) ounces of formula then put him back in crib

5;45- 6:00 AM- WAKE UP #2; Yahtzee. Bye-bye bed.
1) Change Diaper
2) (if
hasn’t had any formula) – offer FOUR (4) ounces of formula

7:30 AM – PREPARE BREAKFAST (see list of food for options)

7:45 AM- BREAKFAST. Use this opportunity while he eats to wash the bottles (and do a line of speed). You’ll need both.

ISH AM- DONE W/ BREAKFAST; clean his hands and face, despite his horrific cries as if you are torturing him. Take him out of high chair; while you clean up kitchen (and take the food off the floor that I promise he WILL find and eat), he plays (and hopefully poops). If he’s really fussy take him into bedroom AND….

8:15 AM- Change his diaper. Change him out of
PJ’s and in to tee shirt and shorts. He will want to play a little bit on floor of bedroom then. He loves the stool with the puzzles. Sit there with him and catch your breath. Don’t look at the clock. You’ll want to cry.

8:30 – 8:45AM NAP TIME. Turn off lights. Make sure you have plenty of pacifiers standing by. He likes to throw them at nap time. Sit in the rocking chair. Give him his
blankie and READ. Moo Ba La La La, Brown Bear Brown Bear, What’s Wrong little Pookie and END with Goodnight Moon. Read all of them softly with very little enthusiasm. He will pick all of them up and chuck them over the side of the chair at one point. Keep reading (even without the book in your hand. Trust me). Once he gets squirmy put him against your chest or just put him in crib. He may or may not fall asleep so you might have to go back in and pick him up. Sit down, rock him and then put him down again. (We’ll get it right with the second kid).

9AM- Once he’s down, prepare a SEVEN (7) ounce bottle (just with water). And leave it on the counter so it’s ready for you when he wakes up (and you don’t have to warm it.). You can use this time to go back to sleep OR, I recommend SHOWERING, getting dressed, eating some breakfast, and having more coffee (you HAVE had coffee by now, NO?) The bed WILL call out to you, but trust me, in 4 hours from now, you’ll be wishing you had showered. ***

9:45- 10:30AM- WAKE UP FROM NAP. (His, not yours). He gets his SECOND BOTTLE FOUR HOURS AFTER THE FIRST. (so, if first bottle was at 6AM, at 10 you can give him second bottle – 7oz; OR upon wake up if after 10am). IF you haven’t showered, put him in the swing WITH his bottle (he can give it to himself). He also can drink this bottle in the car if you leave…

10:30- 12:00AM- PLAY TIME. Or leave. Make sure you are not driving or in car PAST 12. He will fall asleep in car and nap is not until later! (he may want a snack during this time, especially if you’re out. See list of snacks).


12:30- 1:00PM- LUNCH

1:15- 1:30PM- If you are home, clean up lunch, let him play (and once again hopefully poop). Then CHANGE DIAPER.

1:45PM-   SECOND NAP. Same routine as nap #1 (again, you will prepare a 7oz bottle with water so it’s ready for you when he wakes up).

2:30-3:15PM- WAKE UP FROM NAP. Offer him THIRD Bottle. This one he usually only takes about 3-4 oz of. Whatever time you start bottle, just make sure that by 4pm he is not having anymore so as not to interfere with dinner.

ishPM- PLAY TIME. He may want a snack during this time too. (see list of snacks)

5:00PM- PREPARE DINNER (see list of food options).

5:30PM- DINNER. (Smile. The day is
alllllllllllmost over)

6:00PM- FINISH DINNER. PLAY FOR 15-30 min depending on mood and what time he woke up from nap. PREPARE 7oz bottle (just water) so it’s ready for you after bath.

BATHTIME (you’re almost at the end!). After bath, diaper with A&D, PJ’s, brush hair.

PACIS. Turn on nightlight. Grab his blankie and sit down (for the first time all day). I actually love this time. It’s so peaceful. You may or may not have to read to him and do the nap routine…

7:15PM- NIGHT NIGHT!!!! Go pour yourself a stiff drink. And call me to tell me that you can’t believe how exhausting it really is.


***You should also use this time to PACK UP HIS DIAPER BAG and make sure it’s all set for you to go when he wakes up so you don’t have to run around the house AND make sure he’s not eating poison and sticking his fingers in electrical outlets. When leaving the house , You need the following: 3 1/2 scoops of formula in the already sectioned container; one bottle for his afternoon feeding filled with water to 7 oz; and extra EMPTY bottle, because you never know; an EMPTY
sippy cup, pacifiers, 3 diapers, wipes, some small toys, a burp cloth, and anything else you can think of.... that is, if you have enough brain power at this point to even think!

August 26, 2008


Whoever wrote "Chicken Soup for the Soul" hasn't met my MOTHER IN LAW. The 4'11" Hungarian, proud mother to my husband considers "SOUPS" (plural) as a food group. It's as vital to life as water. It can be consumed at any and every meal. It needs to be served and eaten a certain way. And if you don't like her soup or you dare to turn it down, something is wrong with you.....

For months, she has been asking me if I give Baby-Ko soups. She gave her boys soups and they loved it. And now that Baby-Ko is on solids and pretty much eats everything, I should give him soups too. Despite the fact that you generally need a spoon to eat soup and Baby-Ko seems to dislike anything mushy or in fact requiring a spoon, I HAPPILY accepted my MIL's offer to make soup for Baby-Ko after his surgery.

SO, the day after his surgery, she came over with a big container of chicken noodle soup and said she wanted to stay through lunch to WATCH Baby-Ko eat her soups. The soup was fully loaded with chicken, of course... carrots, cauliflower, and noodles (on the side, because apparently that's how they do it in the old country). I really WAS happy to give some to 
Baby-Ko as it seems like the perfect "feel good" food to have right after a surgery (and frankly, she DOES make a delicious soup). But when I started to DECONSTRUCT the soup, I was met with some concern.
"Vat are you doing? Just pour heem eh niiice bowl, not too hot. And he vill love eet," she said standing over me.
"Well, I'm going to put the broth in a separate bowl, and then put the chicken and the veggies on his tray so he can pick them up and eat it."
"Well, I'm concerned if I put it all on a spoon at once, he'll swallow it (at once) and choke. I think it's better this way. For now."
"Vell, I never heard such a thing. But give heem like this and next time do it my way." Okay. Your way. Fine. Sure. Soup. Next time. Probably High Holidays. Let's cross that holy bridge when we get to it, lady.
Luckily, Baby-Ko LOVED her (deconstructed) soup, and all seemed forgotten.... Or so I thought....

SATURDAY NIGHT, we brought Baby-Ko to my In-Law's house to spend the night (yippee!). My MIL said she had leftover soup in the freezer and could give it to Baby-Ko for dinner since he "loves Grandma's soups sooo much because she makes it soooo nice." SURE. No problem. Stuffing my son with "soups" brings you joy and it's less for me to shlep. Great

SO, we get Baby-Ko all set up and decide to stay for a few minutes while he eats (and then we'll take off and hopefully have time for a "Sandy Koufax moment") before we have to leave for our dinner reservations. As I put Baby-Ko's bib on and begin to step away to let my MIL take over, she says, "So, I know you geeving him my soups deefrently, but I think you should geeve him soups like this," and points to a little bowl of soup with mushed up, shredded pieces of chicken and veggies.
"Hmm. I really think I'd like to give him the chicken and veggies SEPARATE."
"But, VY?" she asks, this time agitated and hostile.
"Umm, because, once again, I think he will sip the broth and instead of CHEWING on the food, he'll swallow it all at once. He's not the most advanced eater. He's only 11 months old...."
"Vell, I don't understand. I gave my boys..." She starts in on the "my boys" thing. Now I'm annoyed. I look to T-Ko for back up.
He says unenthusiastically, "Mom, we'll try it once your way, then we'll just do it J-Ko's way." Not what I was hoping for but I'll take it for the time being.
We give Baby-Ko the soup my MIL's way. He GULPS it. Then lunges with his hand and grabs the stuff in the bowl sending it everywhere.
"Uh uh. No. Not comfortable with it, " I say. "He's gonna choke and he wants some on his tray so he can eat it himself."
My MIL shakes her head and says something under her breath in Hungarian. As I take her precious chicken out of the broth and put it on his tray, she gets fired up, "So this eez sometheeng you reading or you just don't vant ven I geeve the baby my soups. My vay."
"No, I didn't read this, but I'm sure experts would agree. It's just a safety thing." 
With every mouthful of dry veggies and chicken, she shakes her head in disbelief, "Vell, I deed this all the time, and T-Ko turned out just fine." Really? I'm not so sure. Apparently your soup has made him a mute.
Trying to contain my anger and not snap at her the way I would my OWN mother, I take a deep breath, "Well, you know what, every mother has a different comfort level. And I am just not comfortable with him eating your SOUP like this. He LIKES the soup and is eating all of it. So I don't think it matters REALLY how he eats it, as long as he eats it." SILENCE. Ooh, did I get through?
Baby-Ko tries to shovel a handful of chicken into his mouth. It lands on his lap. I think she may have a heart attack.

The next morning, it definitely felt a little tense when we picked the baby up. I'm not sure if it was the chicken soup saga or if it was that Baby-Ko decided to wake his grandparents up at 5am and they were exhausted. Either way, the Soup Incident of 2008 made me think... Whether or not I'm being too careful or Baby-Ko can or can't eat the soup her way really isn't the point. The point IS is that she wanted to win. She wanted to know that she is a good mother (which she is) and she still has some control, in some way, over SOME things. When I think about it like that, (and less about her being a soup obsessed foreigner that needs to get with the program), I actually can relate to her....

Even though love, marriage and kids are obviously, a loooooooooooooong ways away for Baby-Ko, ONE DAY, I TOO will be a mother-in-law and probably feel inclined to tell MY daughter-in-law all the great things I did with my son and how great he is because of it.... "I used to let him crawl all over the floor at Nordstrom and HE turned out just fine...."

August 21, 2008


Tonight, as Baby-Ko finally settled down and drifted to sleep in my arms, I took my first (easy) deep breath of the week. Sitting in the dark, with Baby-Ko ‘s head now on my chest, I closed my eyes. What a week. Emotional. Exhausting. Relieving. It occurred to me that I hadn’t written or posted anything new all week. I like to think that I write humorous, light, and certainly candid posts… But, nothing "light" or fluffy came to me this week (with the exception of my new boredom with the Olympics and the fact that all I can think about is how Misty May and Kerry Walsh never get wedgies during their matches).   I’ve got no juice,  I thought.  It’s been zapped…

Driving to the hospital on Tuesday morning was surreal. It was exactly 11 months from the day I went into labor with Baby-Ko. And to think that now, I'm driving to the hospital WITH my beloved baby, who I now KNOW and adore, was very strange. However, from beginning to end, Baby-Ko's spirit was so unbelievable. I don't know if all babies are as excited by hospital lights, beds, and doctors and nurses in blue as Baby-Ko was, but his amazement and joy in his new surroundings made the transition into surgery (for me at least) a lot more bearable.

Once Baby-Ko changed into his hospital gown (yes, they make pint size gowns and while I hope no one ever has to see their child in one, I must say, they are pretty damned cute), and his vitals were taken, it was time for the Pediatric Anesthesiologist to administer what they call "Happy Juice." It's like a fast acting Valium that "chills" the baby out and makes the separation from parents and transition into more anesthesia and surgery easier. We were told that it might make him wobbly and "drunk," and sure enough, after about 10 minutes, our little baby boy, was flying high. Knowing that in just a few minutes, he'd be taken away in the arms of a strange, but sweet nurse, back in to an operating room where I have absolutely no control over what is happening to my child or what of this experience is being stored in his subconscious, I held him in my arms. I kissed him. I smelled him. I told him mommy and daddy will be there as soon as he wakes up. I wanted him to feel comfortable and safe in every way.

As he sat in my arms, I started to read "Sam The Dog" and T-Ko captured this on our digital camera....

The answer to my question was “Sometimes. Every baby is different...."  Needless to say, the surgery went great. Thank god it was a routine, out-patient and minimally invasive procedure; Baby-Ko's recovering like a champ.  However scared I was, when I watch this video, the anxiety, the fear, the concern about Baby-Ko’s surgery completely melts away.  I’m reminded of his health and how perfect it really is when so many children are truly sick. I’m reminded how lucky I am to live in a city (and country) with such tremendous doctors and technology. I’m reminded of how much he looks like his Daddy. I’m reminded that it’s the little things that will always make him giggle. I’m reminded of his resilience and spirit. And THAT is THE happiest “juice” I can think of…

August 17, 2008


It's here. The week that I've been dreading for almost 11 months.... On Tuesday, Baby-Ko will go in in for a minor, but necessary procedure in which he will have to "go under." It is minimally invasive and fortunately out-patient. But obviously, as a new mommy (or any mommy for that matter), the idea of your child undergoing surgery is terrifying. On top of the surgery (and an ear infection we've discovered he has too... poor guy!), I've also been a little stressed as I've come to the realization that staying home full time with the baby is just not that feasible anymore. So trying to wrap my head around the surgery, searching for the right job, AND trying to organize and host upcoming birthday parties, bridal showers, and just day to day "to-do's," has left me feeling a little overwhelmed.

In spite of my general state of stress, I realize that there is so much to be happy and unstressed about. So after reading a recent post on Go Nicole Yourself, I felt inspired to jot down a couple of "silly things" that also make me happy. While I do agree with Nicole that "making a really good doody" IS definitely up there with things that make me happy, I will spare you the details and discussion on just how delighted it makes me, and hopefully try to offer some other random J-KO happy-inducing thoughts....

1)  Listening to the monitor as Baby-Ko calls for me... "mama... mama!"

2) Coffee and Matt Lauer. Mornings are so much more bearable when I combine the two.

3) Wearing a tank top and accessorizing with a scarf.  In the summer. (I love L.A.)

5)  Poop/fart humor. It gets me every time.

6)  They know me at Whole Foods. I've got peeps at every counter. (Wait, that may actually be a bad thing).

7)  Knowing that Lucy is coming home!

8) Finding the perfect position within seconds of climbing in to bed... my arm between the two squishiest pillows, and my fluffy down comforter between my legs.

9)  Saying to Baby-Ko, "Can I have some?" and his sweet (and messy) attempt to feed me.

10)  Sprinkle Cookies.

and one more for shits and giggles, literally....

11) Being pooped on by a bird yesterday and not wanting to slice off my arm, but instead thinking of it as good luck!

August 14, 2008


Well, what do ya know. I'm in to week FIVE of my four week diet. Whatevs. Shit happens. The good news is that I'm highly motivated now and I have actually lost a few pounds. The bad news is with the Olympics on all day and night, I feel like a sloth when I look at all these crazy ripped bodies. I mean, I don't want to be ripped like the freaky little gymnasts with voices like Minnie Mouse, or like the female swimmers (frankly, having shoulders that broad would really fuck up my style). But I WOULD like for one day in my life, just to know what it's like to have a riiiiiiiipped abdomen. One like Michael Phelps. Specifically, that PELVIS "T" that he has. He should win a gold medal just for that T. 

I know he spends like 8 hours every day swimming and training, but still, his daily diet is so off the charts, it's almost unfair.  I read today that his typical daily diet consists of:

Breakfast: Three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise. Two cups of coffee. One five-egg omelet. One bowl of grits. Three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar. Three chocolate-chip pancakes.
Lunch: One pound of enriched pasta. Two large ham and cheese sandwiches with mayo on white bread. Energy drinks packing 1,000 calories.
Dinner: One pound of pasta. An entire pizza. More energy drinks.

Well, I may not have a T, but I have a T-Ko. And in my book, that's as good as a gold... or at least an entire pizza.

August 11, 2008


When I got home from Whole Foods tonight, I found T-Ko and DH doubled over, laughing.  They had the Olympics on when I left and I figured that one of them had just made a crude joke about the synchronized divers.
"What's so funny?" I asked.
"J-Ko..." DH said with tears running down his face, "You've got to see this."
T-Ko rewinds the DVR and shows me a clip from Bob Costa's post breaks. He was covering the U.S. women's beach volleyball game against Japan from Sunday. 
"Watch, watch," T-Ko says. He turns the volume up as Bob tells how when Kerri Walsh went up for a block, her WEDDING RING came FLYING OFF. 

"Why is she wearing her wedding ring during a match?" I ask. The clip goes on and shows how when the match was over, a team of volunteers tediously searched through the 17,000 ton SAND court, trying to find her gold wedding band. 

"Where the hell is she?" I ask, wondering why Walsh, who was apparently more distraught over losing the ring than defending the block, wasn't on her hands and knees looking frantically for her beloved ring.  I would be going CRAZY trying to find it. The match is over! Unless she's competing in another event, doesn't it seem like she should be the one digging through sand?

What seems even crazier is that when volunteer Sung Zhendong did finally FIND the ring, (and he graciously returned it to her the following day), Walsh gave him an AUTOGRAPHED VISOR, some OLYMPIC PINS, and a PAT ON THE ASS.  A. Pat. On. The. Ass. Seriously??? That's it? I mean, I know the dollar isn't worth much these days, but how about a little reward or at least a photo opp? Nothing! I mean, Olympic friggin pins?! If they're anything like the kind that my mom bought me on the corner of Figueroa and Exposition during the 1984 Olympics from some guy hawking cheap chatchkes, I can tell you they're not worth much. 

I don't know. The Olympics are supposed to be made up of super heroes. People that break world records. Role models. GRACIOUSNESS.  I just think she could have shown a little bit more gratitude. "Kvel" over the guy if you know what I mean...

That said, I am now quite interested in Olympic Beach Volleyball. I thought that the swimmers had the best butts in Beijing, but the volleyball players definitely take the gold in this area....  

And with that, Mommy is soooooo dragging her ass to Tae Bo tomorrow. 
Without my ring on of course...

August 6, 2008


As I sat at my desk, desperate to conquer some of my ever-growing, never diminishing "To Do List," I realized IT WASN'T GONNA HAPPEN.  It was 1:30. I hadn't even showered,  I hadn't eaten lunch, and I certainly hadn't called the woman to "handle the thing" (I assume in every marriage, someone always is obligated to call someone about "the thing." Right?)

I climbed out of the chair and sank to the floor,  strewn with random "toys" from my office... a remote control, a roll of tape, an old calculator and a giant stuffed Elmo.  I turned to Baby-Ko. He squinted and smiled from ear to ear. Finally, Mama. Didn't you realize 11 months ago that you'd never be able to do anything else but pay attention to me?  Jeez.

Feeling a bit defeated and saddened by the fact that my old "do it/ get it done fast" way of life is officially no longer, I decided to take Baby-Ko back out to living room, where his real toys are. All of a sudden, from the TV speakers I hear, "Welcome to Signing Time!" I remembered that I had recorded it (I usually have  the XM classical station on the TV playing softly) and the DVR must have switched over. 

I felt a little guilty as I pointed to the TV, encouraging Baby-Ko to watch. At first he didn't seem to care. Then all of a sudden, he zoned....

And zoned...

and zoned...

Within minutes, I was watching him from the kitchen, checking my voicemail(s), preparing AND eating my sandwich, and taking my first breath of the day. Am I a horrible mother? It's not the "evil" Baby Einstein at least, right? AND look, he's trying to mimic their signing! (Ironically, they were working on the sign for "TV.")  

After I scarfed down my sandwich and Baby-Ko discovered that the taste of the foam guard on the coffee table was more interesting than Hopkins, the signing frog, it was time to put Baby-Ko down for a nap...

I still haven't tackled the "important" stuff on my To Do list and I doubt that I'll be able to get it done tomorrow, or even any time soon for that matter... I'll try to embrace it... or at least take it as a sign...

August 3, 2008


 While nothing extraordinary took place, this past week did feel like a busy one, leaving me with a few things on my plate and on my mind...

 T-Ko and I finally got the chance  to go see a movie. We went to see "Dark Knight" and it freaked the shit out of me. The entire time, I had my sleeves covering my eyes and my nails digging into T-Ko's hand. When we left, I thanked g-d that I wasn't pregnant because I would for sure have had to call the doctor the next day, convinced that my shpilkes during all of  The Joker's scenes had caused something terrible to happen to the baby. Of course, I was also convinced that at 7 months pregnant, I had caused my baby to go deaf after seeing another summer blockbuster. Seriously, "Ratatouille" was very loud...

Wacky's lecture this week was about "not labeling" your baby. For example, if your baby falls and bops their head on the floor and starts crying, you don't want to say "You're okay, you're okay," because in a way, you are telling your child that they have to be okay (and not have their own emotions). Instead, you want to say "Oh, you fell. That looked like it hurt..."  OR another example, if your baby tends to get physical when playing with other children, you don't want to say that he/she is "aggressive," as they will personify that label and start to actually act like it. Instead you want to say that they're "excited" and "engaged."  

SO, I have been thinking about Wacky's lecture and trying to apply it to my marriage, and I'm pretty sure I've got it down: I shouldn't say T-Ko is  "lazy" because he doesn't do the dishes." He's just "not a good helper." 

My cleaning lady acted like she was solving a crime when she looked at me suspiciously and asked me if I was pregnant. 

(I will take another minute to let you digest this. AGAIN). 

YES. For the second time in a week, I was asked if I was pregnant (which I am not). She is a very kind, sweet lady, but I was less than thrilled  when she pointed to my dress and said, "Yaay-Ko, you skinny, but I think you pregnant in that dress," (say in Spanish accent).

It's official. The Empire Waist Gods have it out for me.

I took two Tae-Bo classes this week, watched what I ate, doubled up on Colace and voila: lost 2 pounds. It's not as much as I had hoped for, so as I go into my final week of my 30 day diet, I am happy to announce my 30 day diet has now turned into a 60 day one.  

When I asked T-Ko how I should end a blog that really has no end (or beginning for that matter), he said I should talk about how much I love him....

T-Ko, I DO love you. You're my best friend. And the funniest person I know. Now please go do the fucking dishes.

The end.