Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung


Too many projects, Not enough time.

Life ThingsJean ChungComment

How do people do it?

Years ago, there was a movie with Sarah Jessica Parker in it. I have no idea why, but I read the book AND watched the movie. It wasn't because I was a fan of her or loved the book particularly. It was an entertaining book, but I read it in college so it just gave me a scare not to get married and have kids more than anything. Then years later, I caught the movie on TV and watched it. SJP plays this working mom, with a very ambitious career, with a husband who was supportive of her and the family but also had ambitions on his own, and she struggles to be a "good mom," you know, bringing cookies to school, trying to be polite to other moms from school... It was aptly titled, "I don't know how she does it."

I look at other moms with multiple kids and have a very successful, productive careers, sometimes in the office, sometimes at home. Work at home moms who have really great income are the ones I envy the most. I love spending time with my little one, and hate to think that one day I would have to leave him at home or at school to go work. It just tears me apart. But working at home for me is really difficult because for the most part of my life, work and home were two separate lives and never really overlapped much. 

And as much as I love our home, it's an open space layout and there is virtually no space cut out for my work, whether legal work or handmade business. It's really frustrating!

If you're a mom, and work at home, how do you do it? How do you teach kids to respect your space? How do you separate yourself from home life when you need to work?

My handknit gift to Baby's 1st Birthday.

WIPs & FOsJean ChungComment

We survived our first year together! He, as an infant, and I as a first-time mom. It was just too quick. I still feel like I just gave birth last week. But looking back, there were so many milestones both for him and for me.

As his first birthday gift, I wanted to make him something cute, and remembered this pattern I bought, Teddy

And obviously, I felt kind of lazy, and also because Logan's grip got so much stronger in the past few weeks and he will pick up and eat anything, I decided not to put any eyes or nose on it. 

He will even pick up loose thread from his clothes and eat it. ((SIGH))


The gray yarn is the same yarn I used on Marty's Unfortunate Sweater

And I decided to go with 18mo size, because he has been slowing down on gaining weight, and now just growing up in height. He's becoming quite slender (still with a lovely cute pot belly and chubby thighs) now that he has started walking since 10 months. 

Right when I cast on the sweater, as it happens, we hit 85 degrees everyday. It's too warm to wear it now but in the mornings and nights when we walk the doggies together, I make sure that he is warm. Better to be a little warmer for 20 minutes or so than to be naked and cold!

I also made a handsewn gift for him, which I'll show you in my next post!

10 Ways that motherhood is making me into a better person

Life ThingsJean ChungComment

10. I clean up more often - I do laundry every other day, do the dishes every night.

9. My insomnia improved - I just want to sleep, and not look at the phone.

8. Calories? what's that? I eat chocolate and ice cream without guilt. Because I am still nursing a 11 month old, 23 lbs baby, I am always hungry.

7. I am a better cook - we are doing baby-led weaning and we share food with the baby. Therefore, we cook everything baby friendly (no salt, no sugar) and we try to cook at home more often. Besides, the baby always appreciates my cooking.

6. I laugh more - Even as I am begging the baby to go take a nap in desperation, he always manages to crack me up with his wind-down routine aka he climbs up on our mattress, and purposefully fall back down to his mattress next to ours and laugh.

5. I think about mom more - I try to remember what my mom did when I did certain things. Baby is hitting milestones what seems like every other day, and I'm constantly thinking, what should I do to prevent him from killing himself but not discourage him from exploring? Although in my parenting style, my parents' style would have been too strict and too hands-on, I always wonder how they managed it without babyproofing gears, baby carriers, no fancy diaper sprayer, no teether, and still had 2 relatively healthy kids. My mom isn't here anymore so I can't ask and get the answers, but I think about her all the time and wonder if she's watching over us. 

4. Therefore, I don't sweat the small stuff anymore  - I was never the type to over-disinfect, "don't put that in your mouth" type of mom even from the beginning, but even more so now. I mean, so his clothes have some dog hair (since Candy always sneaks into our bed) and his cheek is stained from blueberries from breakfast. So what. If it's not going to hurt him physically or emotionally, I just let it pass and let him experience it. 

3. I am more aware of issues with our environment, agriculture practices, and safety - I was vegan before I got married, and always preferred organic and research a lot before I buy anything but even more so now that I have a baby to leave this place to when we get old. What kind of place will my baby grow up and live and have his own family in? Will there be a good government/economic system in place so he can live his life and protect his family without too much sacrifice? What can we do to ensure his safety? 

2. I am more spontaneous - Yes, babies thrive on routine. But, on the days when he is more energetic and curious, so much that his usual nap time routine fails over and over again, I just take him out to the park or gym or make a spontaneous trip to Disneyland (ah, yes, one of the few perks of living in Southern California). The car ride always makes him fall asleep, and we have a ton of fun, take pictures, and make memories. That S word would have not been part of my vocabulary 10~15 years ago when my religion was my organizer and my middle name was "Plan."

1. I appreciate and savor each and every moment - Sure, things COULD be better. I could have more profitable job, Candy could open the gate to the bathroom when I forget to leave it open for her so she wouldn't have to pee on our carpet, Bagel could stop counter-surfing, Baby could go to sleep whenever I tell him to, Husband could get less annoying... You get the picture. 

But as I watch my baby manically run and roll and bump into things instead of close his eyes for a nap, I think about how fast he will grow up and will always want to sleep and do things on his own without me. How Candy and Bagel might not always be here when they get old. How Husband could stop asking where everything is or can't remember what I said 2 seconds ago? <-- probably not going to happen, but I am hopeful. 

Then I will look back to now and wish we could go back in time. And wish we would've held our loved ones closer, given one more kiss,  and said more nice things. I remember this any time I feel overwhelmed and exhausted. But not going to lie, I look forward to getting few hours of me time when Baby starts going to school haha.