The Village

There is so much truth to the phrase “It takes a village!” It truly does. My daughter has just turned 4 years old and I am 9 months pregnant with my son. I had two birthday parties for Fi because I have a large family and lots of friends and I just could not fit everyone in one party. So I did what any logical and sane expectant mother would do, I had two! One for family and one for friends!

I have always been the person that doesn’t ask for help! I always need to do things on my own! I feel bad asking people for help, like it actually hurts me to ask for help. I have high anxiety and I never want to put anyone out. But this past week celebrating my baby girl just proved to me that is really does take a village. There is no way I could have thrown two parties and tackled Halloween, because why not have a holiday thrown in the mix, without the help of my family and friends. They helped me clean, set up, pick up food, take care of disasters that had occurred (like a wine spill all over my living room and the birthday girl,) and giving out cake and leftovers at the end of the parties. I honestly don’t know how I would have made Fi’s birthday so special!

I probably didn’t need to go all out but right after turning 4 her baby brother is going to be born and her world is going to be forever changed. It will no longer be just mommy, Appa and her. She will no longer have our undivided attention and with her personality I know that it will be hard for her. So I think that is why I went all out. One last hurrah before she becomes a big sister. Sorta of like a bachelorette party before the big day lol. But I wanted her to have this before everything changes.

I know that it is changing for the better, as does she, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a lot for a 4 year old. I am just glad that I was able to last without going into labor until after her week long birthday celebration. I knew that I could not do that to her since she was so excited to celebrate being a big girl 4 year old!

As all of this was happening I was just in awe and amazement at my friends and family that went out of their way to help me. They MADE me sit and rest and just shout out orders to them while they did everything! You never realize what amazing people you have in your life until you don’t even realize that you need them! They step up and show you just how much you matter to them! If you have a village, embrace them, have some wine and know that you are loved. If you don’t have a village, find one, or hell join mine! I think I have the best village out there. I know that any one of them would drop everything for me if I needed them and they know that I would do the same for them! Here’s to the village because every mom needs hers!

Evil Mother

Have you ever had that moment when you feel like the worst mother in the world? I am sure that you have! You tell yourself that you are doing the right thing. That you are teaching them how to behave in the world. But when all is said and done you feel horrible! Well today was that day for me, and believe it was not the first time, but this is the first time when I feel like I have crossed the line. My daughter is turning 4 in about a week but she already acts like she is 8. She has the attitude, the swagger and the brains. She is ridiculously smart. Yes, she is my daughter and I am supposed to think that but many people tell that she is way ahead of her years. I am the mom and does homework with her every night, even when school does not send any home. I turn everything into a teachable moment and when she asks a question I give her a real and honest answer. She asked me why it rains. So I googled it and we talked about how the weather works. She told me she was disappointed that she couldn’t read so I began working with her every night to learn her letters, sounds and sight words. I struggled a great deal in school and I don’t want that for her. So I began with her at a young age. People think I am crazy, my Aunt thinks that I am doing too much. When she gets upset we sit and talk about it. We talk about what happened, how she is feeling, why she feels that way and what we can do to feel better. I am doing my best to raise a well rounded child. I set limits, I say no and I don’t treat her as my friend. Most of the time things go well. Not perfect but for the most part there is little yelling and just a few tears. But then, there are the days when nothing works. No amount of talking, calming, soothing, reasoning, explaining, or yelling (from her or me) works.

Today, we went to the mall because it has gotten cold and they have an indoor kid’s play area that she loves. She was hogging on of the activities so I told her needed to get down and share with the other children. She did not want to so her father went to talk to her about it and she MELTED DOWN! Right in the middle of the play area, screaming, crying, hyperventilating and anything else you can imagine. Now I know that when a kid acting like that you need to give them a minute to process and calm down. You need to let them work through it on their own because the are in no condition to understand anything you are going to say to them. But that is exactly when all the dirty looks come from the other parents, and the stares and the shaming and the shaking of heads. So I try to reason with her and I try to calm her down which just makes it worse. Her father then spanks her bottom, just 1x to snap her out of it, and we get even more looks. (I am not looking for an argument on spanking vs not spanking.) She finally calms down and we leave to finish the things we need to do the rest of the day. However, we did tell her that she lost her screen time for the rest of the day, no TV and no tablet.

Cut to this evening. My MIL now lives in Georgia (we are in New Jersey) and has to Skype with us to see her granddaughter. Well, we apparently interrupted Fi during her “play time” when Fi is the one that asked to call her. She got an attitude with me and so her father put her in time out and I hung up the call. She MELTED DOWN AGAIN! Just like in the mall but this time add in kicking the floor and throwing her toys. It was insane. I screamed “No!” louder than I think I ever have before but this went on for about 15 minutes. Finally, she calmed down and we talked about what happened and why she didn’t listen and why she gave me attitude. We took showers and got ready for bed.

Normally, she has a story and a song every night before bed.  She had already lost her screen time and her father decided that her further behavior warranted no story. So we told her no story and had a conversation about why she was losing her story. I explained how important it is to listen to us when we ask her to do something, tell her to stop doing something or reprimand her. I explained that she lost her story because she didn’t listen but she could still have her song but we needed to get ready for bed. Instead of getting ready for bed she proceeded to play with a balloon animal balloon and refused to put it away. I asked her 3 times and told her that play time was over and it was time for bed. She responded with, “No it is not over and it is not time for bed!” This is where is lost it. I took the balloon and popped it right in front of her. In that moment I heard her heart break and my anxiety skyrocket. I heard my inner voice say, “I CANNOT believe you just did that! You crushed her soul!” I walked out of the room and into the living room and sobbed. I felt like the worst mother in the world. After a few minutes in her room she came out still sobbing. She came to me to cuddle and repeated over and over, “I want a noodle balloon! I won’t have one for tomorrow! How can I get another one? I don’t have another one!” Which just made me feel worse. After she finally calmed down enough for us to talk, her father asked her if she learned her lesson. She said, “Yes, I need to listen better.” Then she looked me dead in the eye and said, “Did you learn your lesson?” I replied, “I didn’t need to learn a lesson.” She then said, “Yes you did. You need to learn not to pop balloons when we can’t get another one!” It was so hard to hold back the tears because I did not want her to see me crying. We all calmed down and she got into bed, sang her song with dad and went to bed.

I feel like I crossed a line popping that balloon. I feel like I could have done better, chosen a different response, just taken it away and hid it but I didn’t! I popped it right in front of her and now she cannot get it back later when she is better behaved. My husband agreed with what I did. He told me that if I hadn’t done it he was going to but my husband is a little bit cold-hearted. He wanted to break the tablet in half that my mother bought her for her birthday last year but I wouldn’t let him. I just wish there was a way to know if you are doing the right thing! A way to know if you are being a good parent and raising them well. Sadly, there isn’t so I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens when she becomes an adult is out in the world on her own. I guess I just have to pray for the best!

Double Standard

Recently, I have been reading a lot about how white children should not be allowed to dress up as Black Panther or Moana or any other “ethnic” character because it is considered racist. REALLY???? Many of these “characters” are not real. They are fiction. Yes, some are based on real people but they are fiction characters.

Charles Caleb Colton, in Lacon: or, Many things in few words, 1820 said “Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.” These are children that want nothing more than to dress up as their favorite character or superhero on the one night of the year that they can. They just want to idolize their favorite character or superhero. They want to emulate them. They aren’t mocking them or attacking their message or lesson. They want to BE LIKE THEM!

My daughter is half Korean and half white. What these people are telling me is that the only people my daughter can admire and dress as is someone who is half Korean and half white. She chose to be Owlette for Halloween. She adores her for her bravery, for her powers and for her ability to fight for what is right. These are amazing qualities for my 4 year old to admire and want to emulate. There is no way in hell I am going to tell my daughter that she cannot dress as Owlette because my daughter is half Asian and Owlette may or may not be. Because that is what this new argument/campaign is saying. Children can only dress as the characters that are the same race/ethnicity as they are. So white children cannot dress as Black Panther (a fictional character created by a bunch of white men in the 1960’s) or as Moana, so then by the same token black or Asian or Hispanic children should not dress up as Captain America or Iron Man. But no one would dare say that. It is perfectly acceptable to tell white children who they can and cannot dress as, but no one would dare say anything like to a child that is African American or Asian or Hispanic or anything other than white.

I am so sick of the double standard. I am a white woman. My husband is Korean (like off the boat Korean) and so my daughter and future son are half white and half Korean. I am sick of feeling bad because I was born white. I am sick of people telling me that I am terrible person because I am white. That I am not allowed to do things because I am white. How is that not racist? I do not believe in judging a book by its cover. There are just as many asshole white people as there African American, Asian, Hispanic and every other race/ethnicity but no one speaks about that. It is just “all white people are evil and they owe everyone else everything.” I am tired of it. I don’t owe you shit. I never did anything to offend, oppress, insult or hurt you and I will be damned if I am going to apologize for something I didn’t do just because I am white. There are way too many sensitive people in this world that get butt hurt over everything. Toughen up and maybe society can actually grow and solve some of the bigger problems that it is facing like poverty and homelessness instead who is hurt over what.

My kid can dress as whomever she damn well pleases and I won’t apologize for it.


We have all been there. We have all had that moment as a parent when your child is playing and something happens with another kid. And be honest, you secretly hope it is your kid doing it because that is the easier situation to deal with. You correct, reprimand or redirect your child, apologize to the other parent and move on. But how do you handle it when the fault is on the other kid? We had that moment today. We were at the mall in the kid’s play area near the food court. This is my nearly four year old daughter’s favorite place to go. And to be honest, it is also kind of mine as well. I can grab a venti iced latte and have a seat on the soft benches while my kid plays to her heart’s content in an enclosed area. No need to worry about the weather because we are inside. She gets hungry there is a Chick-Fil-A and a taco place right there. Need a change of clothes because she dumped Polynesian sauce all over her pants, no problem, Children’s Place is right downstairs.

Today, however, this was not her favorite place to be. Hubs and I were sitting at a table right on the outside of the play area watching her play and discussing school options for the next school year. You know, because we can’t have adult conversations unless she is distracted. She climbs up on the bench and leans over the wall to tell us that a little boy pushed her and it upset her. So we talked about it. She pointed to him and he was a least half her age, maybe even younger. I explained to her that he is a baby and he probably has not learned yet how to behave with other children. He is still learning not to push and to take turns. She understood but told me she needed a few minutes before she could go back and play. (We talk about how we process our feelings and that it is OK if you need time to process before you continue with what you were doing.) I was very proud of her for recognizing she needed time.

So for the next 5 minutes she leaned over the wall talking to us and playing with Billy & Tracey (her lovies that were once part of her Wubanub binkie when she was a baby.) When all of a sudden I look from my husband to her to see the same little boy, half her age, hitting her on the head and on her shoulders and she starts screaming crying. I completely expected hubs to freak out on the kid. However, he just said, “Hey! No!” and went to find the child’s parent. When he did find him he was sitting on the ground, with his nose in his phone while his 3 children were running and screeching throughout the play area. Hubs said, “Your child is hitting my daughter repeatedly so could please keep a closer eye on him?” I was very proud that he stayed as calm as he did because I probably would have lost it (especially with all my pregnancy hormones raging right now.) Thankfully the dad came over and spoke to him. However, my daughter is now inconsolable. She is sobbing that this little boy was hitting her, she doesn’t understand why and does not want to play anymore because she is afraid that another kid is going to hit her.

She finally calmed down when another parent who was sitting near us and saw that whole thing, introduced his daughter to Fi and asked if they wanted to play together. Fi was very excited to do so. She loves to make new friends. The two played very well for the next 15 minutes until the little girl had to leave. As they were playing, I watched the father chase his 3 kids around, especially the little boy, because they were just so rambunctious. The little boy was pushing and hitting many of the other children as well and the dad had to keep scolding him. One parent of a different girl that he pushed/hit said, “Do not let him push you like that! You push him back!” Finally, the family left and Fi felt comfortable to go play by herself again.

I said to my husband that we don’t know that boy’s situation. Maybe he has some difficulties in social settings. Maybe he is non-verbal and does not know how to express himself. Maybe he is delayed. Or maybe he is brat. There could be any number of things going on, we just don’t know because that is not our family. I try to be patient and understanding but when it comes to my own child everything changes. How do you explain to your child when they are barely 4 years old why another child is hitting them when they did nothing to provoke it? How do you calm the fear and anxiety that suddenly arises from it, she doesn’t want to play anymore because any kid might hit her again? Navigating the world of parenting is so difficult and scary. You never know if you are doing or saying the right thing. You want to teach them to stand up for themselves but you also want to be sure they are being kind and respectful at the same time. It is such a fine line. All we can do is our best and hope it is enough.

Full on Exorcist Twist

Welcome to 2018! It is only the 2nd day of the new year and I have already had it! My personal inner resolution WAS to be calmer this year! Lower my cholesterol, try not to scream so much, eat healthier and not lose my cool! Welp…3 of the 4 those things are out the door already (and who knows my cholesterol could be up and I just don’t know it!)

We were having a nice dinner that I made in the InstantPot and AirFryer, Fiona was watching her show after eating her dinner, we were relaxed and eating healthy. Things were looking good! Then it was time for a Fi to brush her teeth! She refused! I stayed calm and nice and tried to negotiate, because all parenting a pre-schooler really consists of is honing your negotiation skills to the point of perfection!

Turns out I still need a little more practice. After making her cry and throwing her book across the room (I did the throwing because she tried to take it from me) I brushed her teeth and put her pjs on her. I chose princess pjs but she wanted Elsa. Too bad kid, you should have done what I asked. She screamed in her bed for a good 5 minutes. That’s when I heard her run across the room! We don’t get out of bed when we are in trouble in my house. When I told her to get back into bed she responded with “NO!!!!!!” Well… that sent me into a tailspin! I grabbed every single one of her dolls (she sleeps with quite a few) and took them all out of her room!

Enter the best impression of Linda Blair, minus the pea soup vomit, I have ever seen from a child! We were full on possessed! I am talking speaking in tongues, head twitching side to side, high pitched wales, body contortions that would make Cirque Du Soleil look like amateur hour, rolling, kicking, grabbing, biting, throwing, and finally exhaustion!

When the demon had left her body we were able to talk so she could understand why she was in trouble and why I took her dolls away. She told me it was because she didn’t listen! Whew, that was close! She got it right! I let her pick 2 dolls to take to bed with her but I told her she had to earn the rest back by listening and doing what she is told! She seemed to understand. But we will see how long it lasts!

When I finally put her to bed, with no story, no song, pjs she didn’t want to wear and only 2 dolls she still said she loved me! Once she was in bed I walked into the living room and sobbed! Right on my couch into my husband’s chest! I sobbed because she was so sad and upset when I yelled at her. I sobbed because I was exhausted. I sobbed because I felt like a terrible mother for upsetting her. I sobbed because I have no idea what I am doing. I sobbed because I didn’t cave and stuck to my guns! I sobbed because the weight of the responsibility of raising a human is sometimes too much to take. And I sobbed because after all that she still loved me!

After all those emotions running so high, I ended the night with a huge piece of my Aunt’s pudding pie because sometime you just have to! Being a mother is hands down the hardest job in the world. There are no instructions, no one telling you that you are making the right decisions, you could be completely screwing up and ruining your kid’s life! You are constantly tired, stressed, messy and lost but I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.

Vacation…(as a mom)

I have been looking forward to this vacation since we booked it months ago. I could not wait to get away for everything and relax. Sit on the beach, lounge around at the beach house, wake up late, eat so much yummy food and not worry about anything! What I have come to realize though is…As a mom you never truly get a vacation!


Our first morning here my 2.5 yr old completely leaked through her diaper all over the bed! Thankfully there is a washer and dryer in the house that we rented. We had to wash everything and clean it all up. After visiting with some friends we headed to the beach. We get settled with our spot all set up, Fiona starts playing in the sand with Harrison and I get comfy in my chair. I look at my mom after 5 minutes and say “this is nice,” at that exact moment Harrison’s exclaims, “Uhh I think I need to go back to house!” Fiona, playing in the sand throws sand directly into his face. Not on purpose but it stills sucks. So now he can’t see anything and I have to guide him back to the house to get his eyes cleaned out. IMG_2414.jpg

Later that night we head out to the boardwalk for dinner and rides. We stop at this little place on the boards, Angelo’s which I highly recommend, and as I am placing my order, Fiona spills my entire 16oz water ALL OVER ME! I am soaked! She gets upset and starts to cry. We calm her down after I dry off and we eat our meal.

Many people would look at all of those things that happened and think, “Oh man this vacation is not a vacation at all. Things just keep going wrong!” But what I have come to realize is that all of those little mishaps do not ruin your vacation they enhance it. These are little things that happen that make it memorable. They make the amazing parts of your vacation that much more wonderful. When we returned to the beach after cleaning out Harrison’s eyes we had a blast in the ocean teaching Fiona how to use a Boogie Board. After the water incident we watching Fiona eat a salad and cheese ravioli with such pleasure because she loves food. IMG_3925.jpg

At first she was terrified to go on the rides at the boardwalk and we thought we had wasted our money on the ride tickets, but she overcame her fear and had the best time riding with me and Harrison. Our first two days of vacation had its share of ups and downs but it has been an amazing time so far! IMG_3953.jpg

So remember, all those little things that you think ruin a vacation, or a party, or an event, really enhance it…it all depends on your perspective!


I just had to do it…

OK world….I had to do it! I just had to! There are many reasons that I could give you. I can get high and mighty or even self deprecating. But the real reason is because I wanted to. That’s it…the only reason…I simply wanted to. For me, myself and I…no one else.

What exactly did I do you ask…

I became a Thirty-One Independent Consultant!! Now, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “Oh wow big deal! She joined a direct selling company just like so many other moms out there! Whoopee!” Well, I will say you are partly correct. I did join a direct selling company. But not for the reasons that you are thinking. Yes, I will be able to bring in extra money for the luxuries that I desire. Yes, I will get a discount on products that I genuinely love and use on a daily basis. But these are not the reasons why I signed up.


I signed up to be me again. I now technically have 3 jobs. I have my day job working in HR for the Department of Navy, I have my all-the-time-job of Mother to my darling daughter and now I have the fun part-time job as Daria Lee, Thirty-One Independent Consultant. And I love it! Being Mother will always be my favorite job. HR for DON is good job, it pays well, I have great benefits and I like the people. But Thirty-One Independent Consultant has given me back who I am. The outgoing, fun-loving, people person I always was. After I had Fiona I started to just be Mommy or Wife. I lost a little bit of Daria.

Always working to make sure that house was clean, dinner prepared and lunches made I stopped worrying about who I was and what my passions were. Thirty-One has given that back to me. Not only do I get to meet new people constantly but I am running my own business. I am able to show my daughter what it is like to be a leader, and thrive. I have always wanted to run my own business but I have always been too afraid to make the leap. Thirty-One has given me the opportunity to be my own boss, to grow as an individual and lead by example. At first, I joined Thirty-One to make some extra cash when my basement flooded immediately after we finished it, but it has given me so much more than I have ever expected!

So yes, I am a working mother with 2 more jobs but I know that my daughter is learning so much by watching her mother be the person that she was always meant to be…a woman making her dreams a reality!

She is Me

My darling daughter, oh how you test me! You push every single button and push it perfectly! You push me right to the edge and the moment before I burst a blood vessel you flash that winning smile and my rage increases exponentially! You know you are adorable and you know that you can get away with murder. But since I am your mother, the person whose job it is to raise you not to be a little shit I will take a deep breath…or 10 and as calmly as humanly possible, tell you to knock it off because “you are not an animal” or that “I swear to God you will go to bed with no story.” 

I hate to do this to you but you have become such an obstinate little panda that I must. I feel that many of issues today stem from parents trying to be their child’s friend. “I can’t yell at them, that are too cute!” Or “how can you be so mean and punish them?” Ummm because I am the parent, not their friend!!! I will punish, reprimand and scold my children when they are wrong or out of line but I will also teach, support and praise my children when they soar or accomplish great things. 

My main job on this earth is to ensure that my progeny grow up to be useful and productive members of society. If that means I have to put you in time out when you refuse to apologize for hitting your father in the face, so be it. If I have to put you to bed with no story because you threw the book at my head, I will. I will do whatever I have to do to make sure you are polite, kind, caring and respectful to the people around you. And I pray every night that I can. So when you are wailing because I threw your milk away after you poured all over table AFTER you watched me clean the already spilled milk, know that I am doing it for your own good and because I love you. (Man, I never thought I would say that, but then again, I guess all woman turn into their mothers when they have children…love you mom!)


My darling daugter,

I am sitting in the living room with you while you watch Pororo for the 1000th time. I finally got tired of saying no to the 1000000 other things you have gotten into; pots and pans, cereal, soda cans, trash etc. After you napped for only 40 min I decided that I just couldn’t say no one more time today. I just didn’t have it in me. I love you more than anything in this world. But you have no idea that after you woke up and I tried fruitlessly to put you back down for a nap I sobbed while holding you on my arms. You wanted me to sing 3 little monkeys, which I did through blurred eyes and sobs. You gave me hugs, smiled and laughed as I sang through my tears. I worry daily about 9 thousand different things. And today I broke a little. For that I am sorry but mommy is not perfect! I do my best everyday and I pray that it is enough!


Your mother


My darling daughter,

From the day you were born you were never much of a cuddler. Never needing anyone for help. You were always independent. As your mother it made me both proud and sad. Proud to know that my spirited daughter will be handle anything that comes her way but sad because I was feared you wouldn’t need me. But this past weekend things changed. You began hugging me tight, grasping for me and not wanting to let me go. This made feel two separate emotions as before. Happy that you wanted me near you but afraid because I did not know what was wrong or how to help. Something else you have had since you were an infant is night terrors. You will randomly cry out in the night, for no more than 60 secs, then go back to sleep. Recently, however, you have been doing it more. I fear now that your night terrors are getting worse and I don’t know how to fix it. I have spent the past two night hugging you while you calm down for bed and then rubbing your back until you fall asleep. Something I am ecstatic to do but at the same time I am worried about what has caused this change. I hope that it is just a phase, you will move passed it and mama is just being paranoid (which I am most of the time when it comes to my child.) But always remember that no matter I will always protect you, even if I don’t know how, I will find a way.

Love always,

Your mother