Zoey and Nathan are in preschool two days a week, and I selfishly look forward to these mornings because I can squeeze in mundane errands, plan girl dates, have alone time with Izzy, or myself when she's napping (if I'm lucky). This week Izzy and I had MOPS one morning, and we got the oil changed for our minivan and visited Cafe Barjot on the other. Being the biggest dummy ever existed when it comes to anything car-related, I always feel stupidly accomplished after an oil change. I had such a great experience at the grease monkey right by U Village. Their waiting area is clean, the people there are super friendly (which is rare in my experience), and they're huge seahawks fans too :)
Cafe Barjot is an interesting place hidden in a residential area. It is so many things at the same time in a small 800 sqf space: it's a coffee shop, a bakery, a bar kind of, and also a restaurant. I'm not sure how I feel about this mixture of vibes in their interior design choices, but I do appreciate the quietness and the neighborhood feel on a slow weekday morning. The barista knew the names of every customer who came in that morning and remembered each and everyone's usual coffee orders. Izzy woke up shortly after I sat down, and got to try some of the cheese biscuit (just teeny tiny bites), but what she really wanted was the flower, haha! We started her on solids a few weeks ago, and while she likes it, she isn't a big eater, at least not yet. She usually loses interest after 4-5 spoonfuls.
We've had some beautifully sunny, foggy, and reaaaally cold days in Seattle this week. I took the kids to Volunteer Park one morning and they had such a great time. It's always fun to visit places we haven't gone to in awhile. I especially love the conservatory there, mostly because it was so warm and comfortable inside, ha! I brought a pencil and a sketchbook so Zoey could sketch down things that she saw and wanted to remember. I know I'm a biased mama, but our little 5-year-old is so talented. She can draw so well based solely on her wild imagination and creativity. She truly has a heart and love for it too, and I love being amazed and surprised and praising what she has done. Some days she'd lay out all the drawings she did in the afternoon while I was teaching on the stairs, so I can see them first thing when I come home.
Since the weather is still cold here (for my inner Taiwanese at least), I guess I can easily justify all the coffee-shop pictures on my phone ;) I'm not a coffee connoisseur, but I love the coffee shop scene here in Seattle (if that's not already obvious!) Whether it's to work, study, have a good conversation with a friend, or just to people watch and hang out, you can find a coffee shop for that here - one of the many other reasons I'm in love with this city. We've been able to plan more playdates with Mary and Daniel lately too, which makes us so happy! The kids love one another, and watching them play and run around and laugh together is just so good.
I hope you all are having a restful weekend with the people you love. Thanks for reading and following along!
Izzy turned 7 months old last week. How did that happen?! I know I always say this, but time really flies by with a baby, especially when there are two older siblings around. I still vividly remember going to the hospital at 4am and the birth story that followed, and the morning Z and N came to meet Izzy for the first time in the delivery room. Both of them were instantly in love. Neither of them were the jealous type, and they just took her in like she'd always been one of them. It's really sweet. Zoey helps me out with Izzy so much, and is always so gentle and considerate to her needs. Naynay never forgets about Izzy either. No matter what he's doing, he always checks up on her here and there, and makes sure that she isn't left alone and has something safe to play with. I cannot be more thankful for these two little angels of mine, because of them, my own adjustment as an exhausted mother of three has been much smoother than I could have ever expected. It's funny, but I am getting teary-eyed as I'm typing this :) Time goes by so fast, not just with Izzy, but with Zoey and Nathan too. I feel like they have also grown SO much in the past 7 months!
I know this is an old video, but it is hands down one of my all-time favorites. Here Izzy was 3 days old. Naynay was 2.5. He was singing Amazing Grace to Izzy in his poor English :) At the end I was telling him to blow a kiss to Izzy and that he can't kiss her (he must have been sick or something) and I love how he ended up just cupping her face. Haha.
One another note //
Once in awhile, I'd have some really sweet and dear people tell me that I seem like a wonderful mom. And to be completely honest, I am far from being a wonderful mom. Some days I struggle with anger, negative emotions and frustrations over the little accidents, mistakes, and tantrums that come with a normal mom life. And some days, I constantly feel a lot of guilt. But one thing I've learned and have been trying to do is to give myself and my kids more grace in our daily lives. While I'm on this learning curve to be a level-headed, God-fearing mom, they are learning to grow up and be little humans too. At age 3 and 5, Z and N deserve more credit, acknowledgement, and patience from me. I know that very well, but it's not always easy to live it out. But praise the Lord, I am deeply humbled and reminded of his love whenever I think about my relationship with Him. He has had endless love, patience and grace for me, and will always have. That really helps put everything in perspective for me, and in turn, it gets easier to stay calm and not sweat over the silly little things (even though at heated moments, nothing is silly or little :)
One more video before I head to bed. I shared 15 seconds of it on Instagram a few days ago, but I really wanted to put the full version up. Last night, Zoey was using her silly deep voice to say "daddy fell asleep" in Mandarin, and it just cracked Izzy up! She loves her big sister so much lately; she smiles and laughs so easily whenever she sees Zoey.
I love Saturdays. Especially more so after I started working because it's the one day I can take a break from thinking about work. A question frequently asked by Z and N every morning is, "Do you have to work today, ma?" and I love that on Saturdays I get to say, "Nope, not today...and not tomorrow either!" We ended up having a pretty full Saturday this weekend which was pretty rare for us. And I took pictures throughout the day, which was even more rare. But I love that I did, thanks to this blog.
Dark and early at 6:30, we woke up with Naynay in between us, as usual. Actually what wasn't the usual was that Gary was still in bed with us. He's often forced to make his way to Naynay's bed or the couch in the middle of the night because Nay loves sleeping really close to him, sometimes way too close for his liking ;-) Thankfully Izzy likes her crib so far, and sometimes will sleep in it through the night. Zoey is good with sleeping on her own now, after a few years of tough sleepless nights. But really, as a parent, I live for moments captured in this blurry picture. All the hard times are easily cancelled out or forgotten when sweet ones like this happen :)
Gary's been working from the office in the Columbia Center for a few months now and we'd wanted to take the kids up there to see this view for a long time. We finally did on Saturday, and even though the weather was a bit gloomy, it was still beautiful.
After downtown, we stopped by the Land of Nod at University Village for a craft event hosted by our dear friend, Erin (from The Indigo Bunting). She recently came out with her own craft book, and everything she makes is so ridiculously cute. The kids had fun coloring and making candy necklaces, but also had a hard time refraining from eating those candies. Haha!
After U-Village we squeezed in a bubble tea break at the newly opened ShareTea. Gary doesn't like tapioca, so it was just me and the older two enjoying. It was delicious! Probably the best I've had in Seattle (I still have this daydream that some day I should open a hipster bubble tea place in Seattle too, ha!)
Lucky kiddos got new crayons from auntie Erin and we opened them right away while waiting for our bubble tea. These korean crayons are SO nice! They have the creamiest texture than any other crayons we've tried (Zoey was very intrigued) and can be scrolled up and down easily.
We stopped by the Meridian Playground briefly afterwards and this is probably one of my favorite pictures of Naynay. He found this hat, which he didn't like and refused to wear last year, from a deep hidden corner in his room yesterday and decided to love it now. He kept it on all day today! Our 3-year-old boy has a slight obsession with hats, gloves, aprons, and sunglasses right now (he usually wears them altogether.) I'll try and take a picture of that ensemble next time :) Hope you all are having a great weekend, too! <3
Ever since Zoey turned 5 (which was a few weeks ago), it has really dawned on me that our free time together during the week will soon come to an end. She's going to be in kindergarten full time this fall, and while I'm sure she is going to love it and I will cope with her being gone just fine, I've been feeling this rush and urgency to make the most of our weekday mornings together. Sometimes I wonder if I'm overly possessive, but when I remember how they are going to be in school all day everyday for the next 10+ years, I feel better. ha!
One of my favorite things to do with the kids is to explore different parts of town. I've gotten much lazier though after having Izzy and Naynay being potty-trained (it's so much easier to be out and about when they are still in diapers, in my opinion!) but I've decided to be more active again as weather starts to warm up.
We came down to Pioneer Square this morning, which was new and interesting for us because we don't usually go out there. I love all the old brick walls in this area - so picture-friendly :) We paid a visit to Elm Coffee Roasters, a newly opened independent coffee shop I've heard about from a good friend. While we were there, someone stopped me and guessed we were Taiwanese! Not sure why but that always surprises me. You know, the slight distinctions between Taiwanese and Chinese...are usually much appreciated :) Ha!
I was talking to Gary last night about how difficult it is now to find time to read to the kids. In my vague memory, it was never really a problem before; we seemed to find ourselves lounging on the couch often and reading through stacks of books. But with me working now and Izzy being so little still, it's gotten a lot harder to drop everything to just read. Being quite ambitious this morning and counting on Izzy's morning nap, I intentionally brought some of our favorite books to read together over coffee and hot cocoa.
I know I am not the most patient or loving mom (there's always room for improvement), but I really love nothing more than spending my days with these little people of mine. So, so thankful for a morning like this, and here's to more this year!