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in loving memory of
Oliver Yu-An Nam
Feb 1 - May 20 2014


God, angels, karma, coincidence, luck.

today, I was supposed to complete another neurotic packing list. my husband was supposed to drive the kids to my mother's house and our dog to our good friends'. we were supposed to go to the airport, probably have a quick McDonald's lunch there and take a charter flight we've booked a couple of days ago. by 1pm we would have been patiently waiting in the boarding line treasuring every moment of our indecently romantic trip with great complacency and talking about what to eat at Wagamama's and how to get to our hotel located near King's Cross station. and at approximately 4 o'clock this afternoon, we would have been in London.

God, angels, karma, coincidence, luck. whatever it really is. I feel  immensely grateful. and I feel deeply sad.


public embarrassment


how did the miraculous testimony of God showering us with love turn into two obviously-on-amphetamines bundles of intemperate agitation? why do my boys lie down on the supermarket’s floor? why do they throw legos out the window? and why, oh why do they have to run into easily irritated old ladies and new mothers who definitely need vitamins and constrain Mommy to clumsily mumble apologies, like, a thousand times a day?

it is insanely disconcerting and humbling to watch your own sons publicly misbehave and disobey. especially when you've been openly condemning and disapproving passive parenting and eulogizing the importance of discipline with such arrogant confidence. last week, a woman told me that I should lower my own voice and teach my children what a decent and appropriate public library behavior is. what a slap in my face.

I'm telling you, the momster cannot take public embarrassment anymore.


wines have tears

it took us a couple of days to sober up. but it has been a good trip. a glorious journey with a prodigious combination of personalities: a photographer, two painters, a teacher, a reporter, a commercial film director, a model/actress, a writer, a producer and a blogging stay-at-home mother of two.

a road trip punctuated by bugs splashing on the windshield and typical manhood car talk. the unexpectedly agitated clouds. the waves of rain storms. the 100°F. the Burgundy (Bourgogne) wine road. Romanee Conti. the fine restaurants and the wines, Nuits-st-Georges, Pommard and Volnay.


the ramen noodles and cucumbers in improvised rest areas. the dirty jokes. my celebrity friend relishing anonymity like a rare entity. enchanting fog that seemed to wrap us like a magical spell in Harry Potter-esque woods. the sight of my husband being merely happy. and the endearing satisfaction of watching someone you've loved for 8 years and still learn new things about him. bundles of common sense. the shadow of a  full-of-my-blood-giant-belly mosquito. visiting a wine cave and learning about the preciousness of mould. and that wines have tears. the things you remember the most are rarely the most significant and meaningful ones.

going on this trip while my marriage was sagging has been redeeming. I've figured out a lot of things. and I've learned a lot. so I'm back. in many different ways.


going away

it's summer now. people are skipping with delight happily displaying toes and bra-less cleavage and basking on benches in the sunlight. I'm telling you, summer should be sold in pharmacies. right now my mind is pacing up and down. we're going away for a couple of days, no twins, no dog, visiting vineyards in the south of France. and of course, my famous neurotic packing and to-do lists (as Marilyn likes to call them) are displaying on the family table. I wish you all a fabulous week, with endless opportunities to laugh out loud, love with boundless tenderness and fun summer memories to recollect.


it's a jungle out there

"my dear sons,

yesterday Daddy and Mommy attended the kindergarten informational meeting. and here's what you have to know: it's a jungle out there. right now you struggle with occasional biting and a dozen grovelling babies at daycare, but in a couple of months you will be thrown into the department of public education arena with 362 other children age 3 to 6. you will no longer have 7 but only one person to supply answers to your daily inquiries and demands. someone who will obviously be on Prozac. you will have high objectives to achieve and new skills to learn during the next three years. you will have to conform to a new set of rules without shading your creativity and imagination. but you will also have a lot of fun. some of your little friends will leave school earlier than you. Mommy will pick you up at 4pm and deal with the guilt every day. and if some kids make fun of you it's only because you're so handsome and they're jealous. just ignore them. but learn from it. Mommy will not be there to put instant Band-Aids on every bump but I know it's a good thing. don't forget what Daddy and Mommy have taught you for the last 40 months. always say "please" and "thank you", ask permission to touch, if you break it say "sorry" and mean it, share with others and wipe your little bootie. twice. you are wonderful boys and I love you and I've never been prouder to be your Mommy."


now what?

ENT (ear, nose, throat specialist) : "see, despite medical treatment Will still has recurring bouts of otitis media and a chronic ear infection. I really think that an adenoidectomy should be performed to remove the adenoid tissue. July 13th would be great because I go on vacation on the 14th. you have to come to the hospital early in the morning. the procedure itself only takes about 40 minutes and your kid will be asleep the whole time. you will be able to leave the hospital about two hours later. with your son, of course. here are the papers for the blood test and appointment with the anaesthetist. and make sure your son has eaten nothing. this is a really simple procedure. don't worry. Mrs.? are you okay? you're turning kinda white right now."


when the honeymoon is over

yesterday, my husband and I were walking in the neighborhood when I realized that we were not holding hands. was I offended? no. angry? no. did I want to hold his hand? I don't know. but then I was terrified by the fact that not holding hands in public places had become something meaningless. normal. acceptable. my husband and I aren't cuddling and smooching and giggling all the time anymore. we don't ask "please" and barely mean it when we say "thank you".  I need my space. he needs his Playstation. when we discuss important issues, I yell from the kitchen and he yells back from the bathroom. we don't argue. we state facts. romance is missing. lounging is ruling. but we still love each other. the honeymoon is over. fine. but what's next?


a note to myself

"dear Mrs. I-have-to-pack-everything-control-freak me,

the next time your husband suggests you all go on a weekend to Deauville and stay at the I-can't-believe-Nicole Kidman-was-here Normandy Hotel, do not stress out. do not panic because you only have 12 hours to pack. do not make a list. just kiss the guy and know that you're a lucky woman."

"the next time your mother says she can't look after your dog and her poop while you're having fun on the beach, do not get mad at her for being the most selfish person in the world. just remember how you cleaned your dog's nose for 20 minutes after she'd plugged it into the sand. and that dogs just want to have fun, too."


"remember that Deauville is a dog-friendly place."

"the next time you witness the miracle of a beautiful sunset, let your fears and doubts vanish with daylight."

"the next time your boys get ecstatic and run barefoot on the sand screaming with delight and greeting the ocean, do not worry about how the cold wind is going to affect their asthma. go and run with them. and thank God for having a moment like this."

"the next time you have dinner at the hotel restaurant and your sons jump on the chairs and play with silverware and have to go pee every 5 minutes, do not look around anxiously at other guests feeling like the next potential candidate for Super Nanny."

"the next time do not get mad at your husband for staying at the hotel casino for 3 hours and losing 50$ while you were being held hostage with the kids in your room. the next time you go on vacation do not expect too much from your family. and don't feel depressed on the way back to your dull routine. instead, be grateful. because there will be a next time."


party of four


by 6.13am yesterday morning, as I was -again- sandwiching between my two boys I heard my husband open the front door of our apartment. Sean and Will got up like pop-up toys and ran to their father screaming "Daddy!".

party of four. reunited. at last.


to be a momster

to be a mother is to bare your soul. to open your self to a greater truth. it is to see with your heart, hear with your eyes and feel with your hands. to be a mother is to embrace responsibilities and adversities with bravery. and face life with unfailing hope. I'd forgotten to be brave. I'd forgotten to hope. but most of all I had forgotten the power of these two.

on Sunday night, at 3.30am, Sean had an asthma attack. he couldn't stop coughing for about an hour. confusion intruded my head. and my thoughts were completely disorganized. I wondered what Caroline Ingalls would do. I wondered what Tony Miccelli would do. I was anxious and restless. but most of all, I was powerless. and I hated that. I watched my son sleep with his open mouth gasping for air every 20 seconds. I begged God for healing. I even tried to negotiate with Him. but the coughing didn't stop.

Sean woke up early in the morning and grabbed my face with his small hands. he looked at me as if he was sensing my exhaustion. I could see myself in his eyes. vivid and real. and I thanked God that my child could see. and hear. joke and talk. cuddle and run. and then it hit me. I gently rubbed his airplane sleeper and prayed. I prayed for my son's trachea, lungs, heart, colon, liver, stomach and kidneys. I prayed for a long and valuable life.

gratitude overflows as I see things with intense clarity now.