Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung


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.


Life Things: Birth Plans

Life ThingsJean ChungComment

In somewhat of an Off-Topic post, I thought I would share the birth plan I made for Logan's arrival. I'm no longer the control freak that I used to be, but I still love having plans and spreadsheets and what not (much like how I'm managing my current destash challenge!).

As someone who lived her entire life not wishing to be pregnant and had no interest in babies, I had merely heard of birth plans before it was time for my own delivery. I wasn't sure whether there was a template to follow, much like how you would write your resumes, or whether the hospitals provide forms (they do, but if you do get them, know that these forms are extremely simplified versions of what you could write for yourself).

So what is a birth plan? Now that I have gone through the childbirth classes with the most amazing instructor ever and actually gone through the delivery, I think of it as how I envision my most ideal labor and delivery situation to be. 

Everyone told me that I was brave to try for a drug-free birth, how it's going to be horrible, and not go according to the plan. 

Well, that's what people as said about pregnancy too but my pregnancy was just wonderful, and people were amazed at how easy it went, right?  So I had conviction this time, that this too will work out the way I planned.


In the end, everything went according to the plan and I had a very quiet, drug-free, intimate birthing experience. My midwife and nurse were very hands off and my baby was happy, no fetal distress, I didn't even scream in pain because I was so focused on breathing through the contractions with my husband's counting. 

And I am convinced that my wonderful experience was due to how much I believed in my husband and my ability to bring this baby into the world the way we were comfortablet with, and how much we believed in our ability. I kept telling myself that my body was made to do this; that no drugs or medical intervention is needed to do something so naturally human. I was fearless because I had a great birthing partner and a baby who would know what to do on mommy's body. 

So here it is: My Birth Plan

Disclaimer: You can use the file to create your own birth plans but please do not share or distribute my birth plan anywhere. This is part of a very personal, private experience.  




Logan in his first week. Squishy but pretty skinny.

Logan in his first week. Squishy but pretty skinny.