Saturday, May 4, 2013

Blah blah blah...

I'm just going to jump right in. Forget the "I'm sorry I was so busy raising three pigs..." line (excuses, excuses). We're just going to go for it. Okay? Okay. 

Highlights from our year (because, I know, I know, it's BEEN a year). 

  • We finally completed renovations and moved into our new house! Our forever house. It had better be forever because I am never doing another renovation again. Like, EVER (channeling my inner Taylor Swift). 
  • Mr. K published his first novel! It was his third book, but first novel! As in, something even *I* can/would want to/won't need a nerd dictionary for every single word in order to: read! There's a plot and characters and and and...
  • The Twinks are humongous. Not really, they are peanuts (something like the 10% for weight and 25% for height), but they are THREE. You guys. They are three and potty trained and eat with utensils. They're quintessential twins in so many ways. When they are really fired up or hyper, they start speaking this hybrid twin language where every third word is unintelligible to us, but makes 100% sense to them. They're the best! 
  • Piglet is finishing up his Pre-K year at his (amazing!) school and will be in KINDERGARTEN in the fall. What. The. Hell. Kindergarten. As in, school is mandatory at this age. Crazy cakes. What happened to my baby?! Piglet (Kidlet?) has turned into this funny, thoughtful little man. He recently took a drama class where the kids developed their own characters and wrote a play together. Piglet's character? A crab named Star who communicates only through a series of clicks. I MEAN. Bahahahahahahahaha! 
  • As for me, I'm that volunteer mom at school whose car you'll always find in the parking lot. Also, I was in an EXERCISE video. I know. ME. It's okay, you can laugh. God knows I did/do/can't stop. And I am happy. The kids are so fun and engaging and even though some nights I feel like I might not survive bath.bed.books, I am insanely in love with my boys and I am grateful, so grateful to have them. 

Sidebar: I'm trying to post photos via Flickr but for some $#%^&! reason it keeps NOT letting me which is making me NOT happy! See you soon...

Monday, April 23, 2012


You guys.

I'm such a yo-yo blogger.

I'm back.

I'm gone.

I'm back!

I'm a slacker.

I'm back.

I'm annoying as hell.

But guess what -- I'm going to try my hand at this again. Hang onto your yoga pants my compatriots, Miss MVK is re-entering the blogosphere. For the third, fourth, fifth...hopefully not the last time.

Where to start? How about a little update on how we are all faring here at Maison Piglets? First, Piglet (the original) is in school five days a week and while we take our fair share of "it's too rainy to go to school today, let's just stay home and build huge ridiculously complex train track structures" he is kicking some serious preschool booty. At our last conference his teacher told us he was working on decimals and the continents. That's funny, because whenever we ask him what his favorite thing to do at school was that day, he usually responds "Um, carrying around a bucket of water" or "folding napkins!" Those of you with school-aged children might recognize those tasks as classic Montessori work. Though Mr. K and I like to joke that it's really just a sweat shop in disguise.

"Here Piglet! These mirrors need polishing! You will acquire great dexterity and appreciation for the arts by mastering this task!"

Ohhhhhkayyy Mr. Miyagi. Whatever you say. Next, I will paint the fence.

As for the twinks, well, they turned TWO at the end of March.

I mean.

You guys.

TWO freaking years old. They are right now, at this moment, the exact same age that Piglet was when they were BORN. I just flooded their drawers and closet with clothes that Piglet was wearing when I had just brought them home. Clothes that I thought I wouldn't see again for-ever.

And yet, there they are.

Folded neatly -- oh who am I kidding, stuffed and jammed, into their dresser drawers.

Holy. Shite.

It's time to have another baby. At least that's what all the blue hairs at the grocery store keep telling me.

Suuuuuurrrre. I'll get right on that.

The twinks are so much fun right now! Feisty and opinionated and talking. Well, the talking thing still requires subtitles but it's hilarious because sometimes when I ask them to parrot words back to me, it goes something like this:

Moi: Can you say GIRAFFE?

P: Jusphfffttttt!!!

Moi: How about EGGROLL?

G: Bwabwah!

Moi: Close enough.

The thing is -- they say everything with complete and total conviction. Like they are not only saying the word I asked them to say but giving me the Latin root, full definition and alternate pronunciation. It is HILARIOUS.

I'm all. Little DUDES. You are speaking complete gibberish. And they're all.

Riiiight Mama, And SO ARE YOU.

So in a nutshell, we are having a blast with them. Don't get me wrong. We have our days, our moments, our seconds of "I am going to completely lose my Es Atch Eye Tee." But we try never to lose slight of how utterly grateful we are that we have these little boys to call our own.

On the home front, we are supposedly in the final stretch of our home remodel. Sort of. Not really. We are about six weeks away. There were some hiccups and by hiccups, I mean the people who sold us our new house, neatly checked "No" next to the box that says "To your knowledge, has there been any flooding or water damage in the basement?" And you know how this ends?

With water little pouring through a brick wall in the backyard and into our newly framed garage that, guess what? Used to be the BASEMENT. With NO water problems. Liar, liar, pants on fire former owners.

Mr. K and I, because we are not litigious (SAT word, holla!) are all zen about it.

It is what it is.

At least we found out now and not after we'd moved in.

We still love the house.

But sometimes? Sometimes it makes me feel better to say out loud -- KARMA IS GOING TO BITE YOU IN THE ASS YOU BAD PEOPLE.

Then I go back to my Money Pit line of choice "It's going to be great! It's going to be great!" whilst slowly rocking back and forth and clutching my vodka tonic.

Seriously though, the piglets are so lucky. The house really is going to be great once we're all settled in. They will have space to play and roam, indoors and out, sunny bright rooms to grow and rest in and our neighbors and their kids sort of rock the Kasbah.


I don't want to overwhelm you with too much Maison Piglets for one day, so I leave you with a few recent photos of our adventures with the promise of stories to go along with them very soon.


P.S. This post is dedicated to Mo who is kicking ass and taking names while making a baby. Even with all that going on, she found time to cajole me into returning to my blog, my home. Thank you, Mo.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Return of the Mack.

Arguably the best song ever written, don't you agree? It's also my new blog anthem. It might even be the title of my new blog. Do you like this picture of me? Am I smising (tell me Tyra, AM I?)? Look at me, getting all ahead of myself. First things first. I have news.

Guess what?

I'm pregnant!

I'm alive!

I'm back!

Okay, so the first statement is a flat-out lie. (Mr. K, if you're reading this, you can start breathing again.) But I thought I should try to get your attention since I've been away for, oh, I dunno, EIGHT MONTHS? And besides, the other two sentences are true. I am in fact, alive! And at least for now, I'm back!

Confession. I haven't even been to this site, MY OWN DAMN BLOG for months because it stressed me out to see when I last posted. I'm so sorry to have left without a word, I have had the worst bloggers block of my life. And it's not because I haven't had a lot going on, or things I've wanted to write about, but because I just couldn't bring myself to blog. It's really that simple. I've barely even been reading blogs for the past eight months. I honestly don't know what was up, but I'm back and I have a lot to say. Brace yourselves to get reacquainted with The Notorious MVK!

Among the biggest changes to take place at Maison Piglets is that Piglet started Montessori school in January. He was ready. He asked over and over when he could go to school with his cousin Carson. So we visited and he loved it so we enrolled him two days a week, which within a week, turned into five days a week. Against all my expectations (screaming, flailing, thrashing) he rocked it. He let go of my hand and didn't look back. After all, he had water to measure and letters to trace and well, thanks for all the attachment parenting, but I'm outtie yo. The night before his parent teacher conference Mr. K and I made a list of questions for the director. We prepared for the worst. What was she going to say?! The suspense was killing us.

"Piglet pushes."
"Piglet grabs."
"Piglet runs with scissors."

Not that he does any of this at home, nu-uh, no way. At home, he never ever pushes his brothers or, say, smacks them on the head when they try to drink his bevie. Of course not. Riiiight.

So we walked in and sat down and I opened up the note I had saved on my phone with our list of questions and concerns.

"Piglet picks on his cousin sometimes."
"Piglet can be inconsistent with his counting and ABCs."

The director sat down, looked at us very seriously, almost gravely and said, "I'm not sure I should tell you this." And our hearts sank. OMG. She was going to lower the boom. My mind was racing. What could it be? It must be baaaaad. I thought the worst. Piglet is delayed. Piglet has no friends. Piglet...

"is remarkable."

Oh crap! We were worried about that! We can work on it, we can, WAIT.


And then she went on.

"Never in my 40 years of teaching have I met another child like Piglet. The richness of his vocabulary, the way he infers things just by observing others, the concern he shows for his peers, his incredible memory. The other teachers and I talk about him daily. He is a very special child. We have no doubt he is going to do well in life."

And then Mr. K and I died. She said more but all we kept hearing in our heads was "Never in my 40 years of teaching..."

And as we left the school, we both could barely hold it together before boohooing a little. Our little Piglet? That round faced little monkey? Remarkable? 40 years of teaching? What. The. What. We decided that we were just going to keep this information to ourselves. Lock it away and cherish it, just the two of us. Then we drove the 1/2 mile to my parents house and ran in and told them all about it. And after we did that, Mr. K called his parents and told them too. And then his sister. We're so mature like that.

So that's one little snapshot into what's been going on over here. We've been grooming Piglet to be the next Dalai Lama, President of the United States (who wants THAT crappy job?), Nobel Peace Prize winner, you know, the usual. Also, I have been obsessively watching saved episodes of G.lee on TiVo. Oh and there's the little business of the Twinks to you know, keep ALIVE. More on that later.

For now, know that we are trotting along, growing, thriving and before I forget, MOVING. That's right, Mr. K and I are taking on a remodel. Well, actually it's really me and Mr. K feigns interest when I tell him I've narrowed the wallpaper down to three choices. So first you got to follow me as I stumbled through first-time motherhood, then trying to get pregnant, then getting pregnant with twins, then puking my brains out for 36 weeks and then dropping off the face of the earth and now the joys of REMODELING.

Can you STAND it?

Here's a teaser, at my meeting today with the contractor he told me he found asbestos in the walls. Last week it was a decommissioned oil tank with enough contaminated soil around it to fill three dump trucks. All of course, not accounted for in the original budget. HOORAY FOR OLD HOUSES! Wheeeeeeeee!

P.S. I'm so happy to be back with you, my peeps. I've missed you. xoxoxo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

To be or not to be -- a Chinese mother.


When I read
this WSJ op ed piece, I was completely flabbergasted. It enraged me. It made me cringe. It made me think. If you haven't read it, you might consider reading it, especially because the rest of the post is not going to make much, if any sense otherwise.

Then again, perhaps I never make much sense anyway.

After reading the article, I started reflecting on my childhood.

As a child, I was rarely allowed to go on sleepovers. "Why would you want to sleep at someone ELSE'S house?!" my mother questioned.

"To have FUN!" I'd respond.

"Fun? Fun?! What do you mean fun? You don't need fun. You need to study and listen to your parents." my mom would retort.

So yes, on some level, the article resonated with me because I had a typical Asian upbringing. It felt all too familiar.

I played the piano.

I excelled.

I went to church every Sunday.

I followed the rules at my all-girls Catholic high school.

But. I also rebelled. In my own way.

On Friday nights during the fall I would tell my parents I had a school function. Then I would meet my friends at the football game at the local all-boys Catholic school. Afterwards I would go get pizza with my friends -- which included (gasp) BOYS. I was always home by 10:00 p.m.

Those of you with a "western" upbringing might not see how going to a football game and grabbing a pizza on a Friday night could be characterized as 'rebellion.' Those of you who grew up in Asian households with first generation Asian parents will understand perfectly.

Just to be clear, I didn't rebel to be a rebel.

I rebelled because I wanted to be with my friends, to do 'normal' high school things like go to football games, have crushes on boys, go to dances...

I really wasn't a bad kid. In fact, if I'd been part of a western family, I might've been considered a pretty damn good kid. I helped around the house. I was responsible. I studied hard. I was on student council and sang in the choir. I never did drugs and didn't have my first sip of alcohol until the summer before I went to college.


My parents never saw it that way. Praise for doing well was never given in our home. Instead, they simply saw that I was doing what was expected of me. And to do less -- be less, was not an option. In fact the general attitude was "That's all fine, but you should really try to do and be MORE."

More helpful.

More obedient.

More studious.

More pious.

More more more.

In fairness, I will say that my parents were nowhere *near* as Crazytown as the woman who wrote the article in the WSJ. Yes, they were strict, but they were also indulgent in some ways. My mom always let me get a treat at the grocery store. I was allowed to watch (a lot of) television. I got my ears pierced when I was eight.

Of course NOW, as grandparents, they gather around and basically throw a freaking PARADE every time Piglet poops on the toilet. The first time they saw the Twinks clap? I think my mom teared up. I have heard the word "YAY!" exclaimed to my children with an enthusiasm that I never knew existed when I was a child.

My Asian mother now says YAY.

Which I am pretty sure replaced the word NO in her vocabulary.



This article has stirred up a lot inner and outer dialogue at our house. Tonight I had Mr. K read it and he said he actually liked it. That Amy Chua was in some ways, his Yoda. I gasped and said "YOU'RE A CHINESE MOTHER?"

And he said "Yes, I think am. And the next time Piglet doesn't count correctly, I am going to deny him the potty until he does!"

And right then a half-naked Piglet came streaking through the kitchen and said "Daddy! Appo juice!"

And Mr. K said "Piggy, what do you say?

And Piglet said "Pwease? Daddy? Pwease may I have some Appo Juice?"

And Mr. K said "Good job Piggy! You asked so nicely! Daddy is so proud of you!"

A Chinese mother indeed. *Snort.

A Chinese mother would have said "You want juice? You play concerto three more times perfectly and I will allow you to pour yourself one cup. If you spill, you will mop whole kitchen with rag on hands and knees."

In the end, while I do not agree with this model of parenting, I must admit, it does smack familiar. And even though Mr. K and I grew up in strict Asian households, I tend to think we both turned out okay. I would say our strong work ethic and drive to succeed (especially for Mr. K) was probably influenced by our respective parents and strict upbringings. But our compassion and broad world views? Probably a product of our formal education as well as experience in the school of life.

My personal philosophy is that discipline and rules as well as fun and nurturing can coexist in the world of parenting. Balance is the key.

And when in doubt, pour yourself another glass of wine.

Monday, January 10, 2011


If you have followed my blog for awhile, you'll know that I throw elaborate birthday parties for Piglet. And this year, the Twinks will have a big bash of their own. And by elaborate, I do not mean "real housewives of some rich place" but rather "stay at home mom hearts Paper Source." My friends always tell me that they don't know how I do it. They are exhausted even at the thought. Mr. K wanted to know why I do this. Do what?

Plan several months in advance?

Stress for several weeks?

Spend hours and hours making sure every single detail is exactly right?

Make his cake and cupcakes from scratch?

Pull an all-nighter the night before the party?

I do it for my kid...and now kidS.

Some of you might not believe me. Some of you will say "she's just showing off" or "she has too much time on her hands" (ha!) Someone I know once told me that people would like me more if I was less of a perfectionist. The thing is, that's not my goal.

Showing off or being more well-liked. Sorry, but NO. If you like me that's fantastic. If you don't, I'm not going to invite you to my kid's party so that you will.

My goal is this.

Years from now, when my boys are grown and married and reminiscing about their childhoods, I want them to say:

"Our mom used to throw us the BEST birthday parties. I still remember them. She went all out, put together this huge candy buffet and tons of food and put up signs and banners everywhere and we handed out the greatest party favors. All the kids wanted to come to our parties. Birthday parties were some of our happiest childhood memories."

THAT is why I do this. I want to create a beloved tradition in our family of celebrating the joyous day that each of my children came into the world. And I want to do it BIG. And BRIGHT. And with TONS OF CANDY.

And yes, in many ways the party is for me too. Because the day that each of my boys was born was the very best of my life. And hells yez. I want to celebrate that.

So there you have it. The reasons why I do this. I do this for my boys. To inject a bit of magic into their childhoods. I do this for myself. To celebrate the day my precious babies were born.

And also, in case you still have doubts about my motives, I do it because I love candy. (Nom nom nom).

Happy 3rd Birthday to the Original Piglet!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We'll I'll be...

*I wrote this post a few weeks ago, but then the puke and poo fest started, so I just now got a chance to complete it! Playing catch up is such a FUN game.

I would have to say perhaps my most infamous blog entry was this one.

People *still* talk to me about it and I don't mind. In fact, when Mr. K and reminisce about things, it always comes up and we always laugh our heads off. So this year for our five year anniversary, I started joking a month in advance.

"I can't WAIT for my anniversary card! Maybe it will be as personal and touching as my Mother's Day card this year [which read]...'warm wishes on Mother's Day.'" I mean, I can barely choke out the words when I'm repeating them, I'm so overcome with emotion.


And so we bantered, back and forth like that for weeks, building up to our (late) anniversary dinner and gift exchange last week. Tradition dictates that a gift on year five should be wood. So despite my, um, how should I put this -- misgivings, I went to a local guitar shop (on a day that I happened to have a MIGRAINE. Awesome!) and bought my Mr. K a beautiful, more-expert-than-his-ability-to-play acoustic guitar.

With STAND I might add.

The guy (you know...the guy... every store has a guy) kept trying to convince me that someday, Mr. K would want to play while connected to an amp. I was all "no really, he won't." And the guy was all "Totally. Every guitar player wants to play with an amp at some point." And I was like "Dude. He's far less John Mayer and much more Captain VonTrapp plus a little Mark Zuckerberg, so pretty sure about the no amp thing."

So I didn't get an amp.

But I DID get him a super nice leather strap.

Though Mr. K says he doesn't need one because he isn't good enough to walk around while playing yet.


Anyway, back to the story. Because I didn't want to drag the giant guitar (with STAND) to our romantic dinner, I gave Mr. K his present one day before we went out. He was thrilled and couldn't believe how much nicer it was to play a 'real' guitar instead of the 3/4 size $99 special he's been strumming for months now. You all might recall that it drives me kind of crazy the way that Mr. K gets distracted during clutch times with things guitar-related, so it was a truly selfless gift on my part. What's that you say? I am an awesome gift-giver? Oh, GO ON.

So you are all probably wondering now what Mr. K got me to commemorate our fifth anniversary? First I'll share an excerpt (with permission) from his card to me:

Happy Fifth Anniversary, Darling!

Thank you for creating such a wonderful life for us. Even though I'm sure that all your git will shorten my life considerably, it will have been worth it. I love Piglet and the twins (P and G that is) and can't wait for the journey that we continue to travel together."

Say it with me -- awwwwwww!

And then, without a word, he slid a box like THIS across the table.

I'm telling you, there is something about that little aqua colored box with a white ribbon that makes every single person in the room turn around and stare. I think they thought we were getting engaged! Ha! We're on year FIVE, Suckers!

I can't share the contents exactly, but the interior box was dark blue velvet held something lovely and sparkly that made me verklepmt.

Mr. K surprises me sometimes.

Actually, the truth is, Mr. K surprises me hardly EVER, but when he does, it can be really fabulous.

And every once in awhile, there's no sign of a coupon for miles.

Happy Anniversary, Babe! Mmmmmmwah!

P.S. I read the end of this entry to Mr. K and his response was "What? You don't like the coupons?!"

P.P.S. Do you all suppose I can get to 100 followers before January 1? I am dubious but hopeful as always!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Say cheese!

I know, I know. I've been a little stingy with the photos lately.

Everytime I write a blog entry with just one photo or (gasp) no pictures, I can feel you all getting a little more disgruntled. A little more disappointed. As if to say "You never write, you never call and now you don't even post pictures of the Piglets! I'm going to hit 'unfollow!' Don't think I won't!"

So to make up for my recent lack of photos. I am sharing with you here (and not even on Facebook yet) a photo from our most recent holiday shoot. We usually go the casual jeans and bare feet route, but this time I wanted something spiffier.

Something that required me to wear pearls.

And ties for Piglet and Mr. K.

And perhaps a little hairspray for the Twinks.

And here is the result.

I know it's still only ONE picture (and I still owe you a couple of twin tigers and a fighter pilot from Halloween) but LOOK! We got all gussied up *just* for you!

And also for the 150 people on our Christmas card list.

Yes. Really. 150. Better go start addressing envelopes!

P.S. I know I shouldn't draw attention to it, but you might notice the scars on my leg (that I haven't had my photographer touch up yet). Those are from my feral-cat-scratching days. Remember those? It's been eight months and they still linger. Seriously.

P.P.S. If you are my FB friend and would like to be added to my Christmas card list, just let send me a message!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It all adds up.

Mr. K and I have been a little under the weather for the past week. We had the same symptoms, which of course means I was congested and had a headache and Mr. K asked me to have the priest come administer last rites.


And he isn't even Catholic.

Apparently being on the brink of death makes him religious.

Anyway, this means we have been laying low as much as we can with three children under the age of three. Translation: the tv has been on for good chunks of the day for several days.

Give me a break! We were sick! (cough cough cough, gag, spit, rinse, repeat)

Lately Piglet has been asking for a lot of Curious George and as a result, we've all been wanting to off ourselves enjoying a lot of "e e e e ahh ahh ahh" sounds along with dialogue from The Man with the Yellow Hat.

Today OUR dialogue went something like this:

Mr. K: Oh my. He had the train conductor over...

Me: Who?

Mr. K: The Man with the Yellow Hat!

Me: Oh, for dinner?

Mr. K: Yes, or something... perhaps a little wine? Some slow dancing?

Me: OMG. You think The Man with the Yellow Hat is gay?

Mr. K: I'm just calling it like I see it. His clothes always match, they even match his car (!), he lives in the city but has a country house, he has an exotic animal as a pet and the clincher -- he has box seats to the symphony.

Me: This is a new low. We are now analyzing a cartoon and the main character only communicates by grunting.

Mr. K: Darling! I'm in a weakened state! (cough cough cough)

When he couldn't take it anymore, Mr. K took the time to go to URGENT CARE (because he doesn't like his primary). A few hours later I got a text from him that said.

"Sinus infection! They say I'm lucky to be alive!"

To which I responded "Should I call priest? Again? Also, be sure to stop by my mom's and see Piglet one last time."

As you can see, having three children under the age of three has sapped me of all sympathy. Even for something as serious as a raging sinus infection.