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and here we are

I can't believe it but here we are. My original baby is now in first grade. I think it sunk in really slow because I was overthinking about her first day. What an emotional roller coaster it was for me! While most parents are excited that their kids are going to school...I am totally the opposite in some aspects because to me school means I need to slowly let go.

On Bean's first day of school I woke up extra early to figure out our new schedule. I also cooked and prepared our breakfast and her packed lunch. Adam took the day off from work to come with us. A few days before  the start of classes Bean already expressed her nervousness. Of course we understood why, it's a new environment and she didn't have friends yet. And one of her bigger concerns was, "What if nobody spoke English?" LOL! But I totally get it because she doesn't use our mother tongue.

We walked her to her classroom and as I held her hand I could feel how clammy it was...and I knew deep within me that she was going to cry. Surprisingly she held it in...until it was time to say see you later. I was worried that she won't be able to stop but once it was time to start she was already composed. And because me and Adam are weirdly attached to our kids we opted to wait for her there--sat in the car for hours until our girl came out. I asked her about her day and she said it was boring but she made a friend.

The next day, both of us went with her again and I told her we'd help her bring her books to her classroom because they were too heavy to carry but the guard wouldn't let me in because I was wearing denim shorts. So her daddy accompanied her. I waited outside. When Adam came out I asked him if she cried and he said she did because I wasn't able to go with them. I am a little bit worried because she's already almost seven and small changes in detail bother her so much but I guess she got it from me because my anxiety spikes under such circumstances.

I was still in a high from preparing her school supplies and snacks and I got a little excited when she told us she already made friends and that big school isn't so bad. Come the third day and I finally felt that I wasn't okay.

As we wheeled her stroller to the school gate, I told her they wouldn't allow me to bring her to her room anymore but I was also going to the admin to get a car sticker. We kissed and bid each other see you later then walked our own ways. But I stopped and looked back. Bean was pulling her stroller, her hair in it's usual bun. A tad bit taller, a whole lot older than she was last school year. My heart was breaking a little bit because how can somebody who fit perfectly in my arms grow into such a young lady in such a short time?! I feel that somehow time cheated and put everything in fast forward.

My bond with Bean is different from the one I have with Eleanor. I love them the same but the mother in me grew up with Bean. I became what I am because she was born. She is my daughter and my best friend....and she's the one who taught me all the things I know now as a mom.

Anyway, so I proceeded to get the car sticker and held all my emotions in. By the time I got to the car I was already crying. It's a mix of sadness, happiness and mostly how proud I am where we are now.I think as parents, me and Adam are doing a great job no matter how others judge us. I always tell Bean to just try her best at school and don't mind her grades too much. I never put pressure on her I just tell her that the most important thing for me is that she enjoys and that she is happy.

I am just so damn proud of her.

Eleanor's First Birthday

I was supposed to blog about the next part of our cherry blossom experience in Busan but it dawned on me that I haven't even posted about Eleanor's first birthday. This made me question myself on why I started this blog. This space is where my journey as a mom began; this is where you can see Bean grow up...and I feel bad that I seem to have stopped for so many dumb reasons. Knowing me, there is zero chance that I'd not document life with our littlest....oh no!

So here I am starting again.

We celebrated Ellie's first birthday at home and decided on a "jungle" theme since she loves lions so much (at that time--now she's moved on to Minions and Coco.) Because our daughters' birthdays are close to each other I really planned and prepared in advance and I am so thankful for our nanny because she helped so much in making the decorations. I am also thankful that my sister-in-law is crafty because she was the one who made the giant paper flowers that we mounted on the wall.

Her party was set in the afternoon so the food we prepared was simple and filling so that it can last the guests until dinner. This time we invited a few close friends. I decided to de-clutter my life from material things to people. This lessens my all my stress!

People always ask me why not just have my kids' birthdays in Jollibee or McDonald's...it's just that I really enjoy doing this for them. I love making the decorations and cooking the food. When I see how happy our girls are it makes me so happy, too.

Here are a few pictures from Ellie's first birthday.

I feel so lucky to be blessed with another daughter...because Bean was a poster-child for discipline and being good....Ellie appears to be the wild one! LOL. But I would't have it any other way. She is indeed a ray of sunshine who gives us so much laughter. I am still struggling with my time with the both of them but slowly we are getting there. One day at a time.

Trip to Busan Part 1 (Jinhae: Yeojwacheon Stream)

As you've seen from my posts last Valentine's day, Adam, gifted me with a trip for two to Korea. He said that I deserved this trip because I've never been kid-free since 2011...also, we never had our honeymoon after getting married. I also kept on repeating it to myself...that it was a time to unwind and relax for both of us and that we both deserved it....ah but a week before our trip we purchased tickets for our girls. Well, you know that's how parenthood is...and we are very attached to our kids.

So our original itinerary changed drastically because realistically we cannot keep up with with a strict schedule. Initially we planned to visit all the places where the cherry blossoms bloomed, nice coffee shops, the beach, and other places that you can go to in Busan but we ended up visiting just a few. Initially I was a bit disappointed but while we were there basking in the moment....I regret nothing.

Yes, I did not get some "me time" and I wasn't able to rest my injured back but having our kids there made it so much meaningful for us. Honestly, I have been having troubles adjusting to my eldest growing up. It seems that I am the one who can't let go of the baby that she was...so I am glad that during this trip I got to spend more time with her...I saw how appreciative she is and how much patience she has for her little sister and us.

Anyway, moving on to the details of our trip:

We arrived at Gimhae airport at around 8:30 in the evening and we settled in the place we rented through Air BNB at around 10. We already had dinner on the plane so we opted to buy snacks from the convenience store to eat. We gave the kids a bath and put them to sleep. Then this is the time we fix their things: cleaned bottles, prepared milk, readied their clothes. We took turns taking a bath and got to bed at a little past midnight. I set my alarm at 4:30 AM because I wanted to be able to do my hair and makeup before leaving for Jinhae.

Well, with two kids in tow we were able to leave at 8...which is two hours late from our original plan. We wanted to get there early to avoid the crowd. Supposedly, we were going there by bus (they have buses there that leave every few minutes) but we took a cab instead (a bit pricey) because it was a lot of work with our luggage and kids. 

Upon reaching Jinhae I already saw every corner lined with cherry blossom trees!!! I was instantly in love with the place! We took our time walking the streets, finding our next Air BNB rental. If you are planning to go to Jinhae I highly recommend staying at Miyoung's place. Originally we booked a room for two adults and when I told her at the last minute that we were bringing our kids she upgraded our room to the largest one free of charge. Also, when we left one of our phones at her place she was kind enough to drive it all the way to the airport before our flight. 

Now back to the trip....

First on our list was to see the Yeojwacheon stream. This is quite popular because prior to our trip this is one location I always see being posted on Instagram. The places we wanted to see were always packed with people....like "Divisoria" levels during Christmas...so I will be making a separate post on how to take your pictures in crowded places. Wait for it!

The stream was lovely and lined with cherry blossom trees! What added to the ambiance were the falling petals as the winds blew. We also had lunch here as there were lots of places to eat around the area. We decided to head back to our place so that Ellie can have her nap...and guess what...all of us fell asleep. We were supposed to go see the Gyeonghwa train station but it was already late....we still went there to just survey the place and visit it the next day. We bought our dinner and ate it at Miyoung'...we stayed in even though we could hear fireworks outside. The kids and both me and Adam were so tired already. LOL

It was such a great experience seeing these flowers bloom all around! Stay tuned for the next part of our trip!