In Your Language

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Balancing Act

This blog is my selfish labor of love. 

It steals from the other areas of my life. I have a serious college career I need to go all in on. Most importantly, I have a 1 year old that needs all of the time I can give him until the crucial developmental age of three years old. I want to give him as much attention as I can since I am so blessed to be able to stay home with him until I finish my schooling.

With my daughter, I went to part-time work at nine months. By thirteen months, I took on a full time position at the company and became a single mother. I spent as much time as I could with my daughter, but I still felt like someone else was raising her and seeing her firsts. 

She was a late potty trainer and late talker. To be honest, I was very concerned. It wasn't until I quit my job when she was 3.5 years old that she made a turn around. She quit diapers and started talking within a week. It was miraculous. I wasn't even a perfect mother, and yet, it was ME that she needed.

So now, I have a new chance to relish my son's firsts. I don't have to miss a thing. I learned that child development and brain development thrives off of strong and loving attachments (relationships) with the parents. I am a healthier person than I was 10 years ago. I'm wiser. I want to capitalize on my life experiences, budding wisdom and the books I internalized.

I'm struggling to do everything (blogging, schooling, parenting, wife-dom) well (as if I ever did). But, I have to confront it and recognize that since I'm not making money off this endeavor, that I will have to ease off on the time and effort I pour into it. 

I'm going to catch up on my comments because that is one of my pet peeves about leaving comments on other posts that are never responded to. (How else are people going to reciprocate for the shares?) I want to back off with my blog register "balanced." 

I will continue writing one post a week if I have the time. I appreciate the support thus far. Everything I've done with this blog has been worthwhile. But I am one of millions. Whereas, at home, I am the only mother, the only wife to "show up." I might have more time to write more posts while my husband deploys next year. But even then, I will be the only parent to make things happen.

If you are still mouse hungry, check out my links in the right sidebar. I had another blog You can see my archives in the interim. 

Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Do the invaluable. Make ripples. Stand for something. Stand out. Sing. Write. Don't just vent, connect. =) 

Best wishes to you.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reaction to "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" Movie

First of all, AWESOME MOVIE!

[Elle] You can't blame the apes. 
[Carver] Who the hell else am I going to blame?

Looking at Monkeys to Find Humanity:

in movies and in labs

Disclaimer: If you haven't seen this movie, don't read my post. Skip to the video at the end.

First Impressions:
  • I identified with Caesar; I was taken from my mother and raised by a family of a different culture. 
  • The portrayal of monkey politics shocked me. 
  • I was touched that Caesar wouldn't turn his back on humans. 
  • Caesar's trust was based on actions, rather than species.

How would Social Workers Handle Koba?

I'm trying to think and act as if I'm already a social worker based on what I learned up until now. I imagine Koba as one of my diverse clientele. We are taught to put our biases on a shelf and see the good in everyone. We would have to ignore the fact that he shot someone and staged a war. We would have to take the holistic view of what lead up to that decision, considering the decisions as meeting a goal or need.

I see Caesar as Koba's "social worker." He freed him from the institution (experimental lab) and gave him community that he never had before. Koba would go through cognitive behavioral counseling and anger management classes if he were a human instead of being thrown off the tower (monkey management). Human services strives to rehabilitate through their involvement.

Planet Ape Culture 

Social Construct

"Ape not kill ape" was their construct of "social contract theory." It is a collectivist culture where they all care for each other and the interests of the group supersede that of the individual monkey. 

Great Philosophers: Thomas Hobbes: social contract

Home and Family 

They were the only things worth fighting or not fighting for. Caesar forgave the shooting of his son Ash to spare a war that would kill even more of the monkey troop (still staged by Koba). Their home was the Redwood Forest, largely undisturbed by humans. The forest was a pocket of their native habitat surrounded by "civilization." Their home was built in a primal style, the way I would expect an apes with human mental facilities would. 


Spears were used to hunt for food and to defend against humans. Sign language was used as a shared language to make them unique from other monkey communities. They tamed horses for their use to symbolize they are not just "animals" but that they can subdue other animals like humans did to them.

A Scenario of Monkeys Revenge for Captivity

The screenwriters were careful to show a range of human behavior toward the lab monkeys, as well as to the freed monkeys. They purposefully showed that some monkeys saw the best of humans and some only saw the bad side of humans. 

Koba saw the bad side of the humans and manipulated the situation to incite a war of revenge. The human survivors were caged just like he and his fellow monkeys had been. The monkeys who didn't support his crusade were imprisoned. It was hard to tell if Koba was more monkey or human at that point. His overall platform was to seek justice and revenge for monkeys but it also seemed like a coup to take Caesar's position in the troop whilst shackling the dissenters. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How I stopped living paycheck to paycheck

Money as a Brick and not as a Shovel...

Behaviorally, we had to discipline ourselves to our reality: income level and wealth. Psychologically, we needed to stop indulging our every last "want." Spiritually, we needed to value things that have no price-tag.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed financial advisor. I hold no degrees in finance or economics. My husband is completing his masters degree in Business Management with a concentration in Economics. He has a bachelors degree in Finance. I am speaking from what worked for us. We started with a small inheritance and used it to pay off our cars and credit cards. We are committed to staving off remission of bad money habits.

Aside from those core things, I...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Equal Opportunity Pain

I no longer think that abandonment is an orphaned person's plight.

But, now I see that there is an epidemic of abandonment.

 Children abandoned by one parent

There are generations of people who were abandoned by one of their parents due to divorce and remarriage. In olden days, blended families were not as common. In other cultures, blended families are unheard of and many parents have severed their relationships with children from previous marriages. Abandonment of one parent is as painful as abandonment from both.

Children of Divorces with Sole Custody

Some individuals have court ordered parental abandonment. This is many times in the best interest of the child. But the circumstances are not understood or internalized in a healthy way by a lot of children. Then again, could any child be able to negotiate how it is better not to see a parent?

Children Living with Emotional Abandonment

I think that one of the most painful experience in life is to be with someone but to be denied relational gratification. It is not healthy for parents to look at their children "person needs" (emotional needs) as nuisances. If parents don't give their children the affirmation, they will seek it in less healthy places. 

Children Living with Parents Enmeshed with Addictions 

Usually addictions take center stage. That is why they are often unhealthy, especially at the expense of a developing and valuable child (all of them). Sadly, the children will seek marriage partners that treat them the same way in adulthood. I just wonder if the alcoholic parent hopes the child will marry another alcoholic person.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My life is Good: June

Life is Good

I'm going to make you tired of hearing how good my life is. (wink)

 June must be one of my favorite months. The weather is beautiful. The clothes are more fun. The grills are smelling great. We get a breather from the "big" month of May in our family. There are 3 birthdays in 3 days, Mother's Day, an anniversary and all of the end of school year activities in May. Recovery time = June

Developments with Family:

I hear some parents dread the summer with the kids home. And, I was tempted to feel that way too. But I've felt led to use it as an opportunity. When my daughter goes off with her father for summers, I am no longer grief stricken, but use that time to spend quality time with my other kiddos. We're going to go back on similar school schedules rather than staggered. But even then, I've had a time optimizing strategy. 

It's nice that the kids are more able to help around the house than last year. I've grown in my love for my other kids since the baby has been around. I love them because I am seeing a new side of them as role of big sister or big brother. 

Personal Developments:

I played around with the photos I shot with my new camera that I got for my birthday. I was also getting used to my first class at University of Phoenix and the way they set up their modules. I'm of new to this online AND team project stuff. I know I will have to work in teams in the future, so-be-it. My mind is on fire with processing my life and my studies. I feel on the top of my game, mentally.

Blog in Review:

I've made some new blogging friends by meeting in person. I had a Guest writer whose story was so compelling that it appeared on my "most popular posts" list. I wrote a guest piece on life after adoption for Psychologist Bob Brotchie at He was responsible for the I.C.E. Protocol for the cell-phone contacts list. I did 21 posts in June which is about 5 posts each week. What do you think about the variety? I had a slight dip in Alexa but I've maintained strong standing (whatever that means, smile). 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Irish?    <+>   Czechoslovakian?   <+>  Korean

 I was doing this project on the profile of adolescence for my Human Services Human Systems and Development class. And I couldn't help but consider myself in how I compared to the rest of teenagers of the past...

So I hope you see that I got the concept "Identity I.C.K." from Irish, Czechoslovakian and Korean. It is so apropos because I did feel much "ick" from my adolescent phase in life. The identity part just about did me in. It was hard enough being an early bloomer and Asian gal with a "rack." 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful July 6

I made a TToT Calendar

 DIY Marriage Conference 1. Marriage Conference: We were on the  waiting list for this conference funded by the United States National Guard. I was stoked when I heard that they had a spot for us WITH childcare. We've been blessed by a number of marriage and family programs offered through the military.

2. Surprise Card from my Mother in Law.

3. Lunch with Husband at Rumbi Grill. We found out that Gabriel does not like iced tea. LOL

Coffee Lovers Only®
4. I got to have Cold Stone twice in one week. Booyah! 

V-day 2012
5. Breakthrough with Husband:
He was attuned to my emotional well-being and had the courage to ask what was bothering me. I was able to talk to him about something that I was holding inside for a long time. He listened and we both came up with a strategy to put it past us. He said that it helped that I didn't seem angry at him. I felt safe in respectfully sharing something that bothered me. In the past, we would have been in a huge fight. I feel like we're in a really healthy stage in our marriage-- for the long haul. It feels amazing. I'm so blessed by him.  

My Cause

 I woke up this morning to this fundraising promotion. There was no hesitation on whether or not I would participate. If I were bringing in income, I would have donated more. I'm premeditating what my future income will fund: college educations for my children, a wedding that we have  yet to have, and more donations to causes that are important to me.
I've mentioned Jessie Hogsett before in a post called Response to Baby Moved to Tears. I believe I also suffered from this detachment with my adoptive family. I remember having separation anxiety when I was 13. If you ask me, that is extremely old to have such strong feelings towards being left by your parents. 

I don't talk about my ugly young adult stage that much because its, well, ugly. I should rephrase that. My inward existence as a young adult was ugly. On the outside, I was too busy playing musical instruments, writing and studying. But on the inside, I was reeling. I felt neglected and like a non-person in my own home. 

When I went off to college the first time, I started having horrible nightmares, insomnia and a relapse with an eating disorder. All of that led to what I refer to as a mental breakdown. I was a useless mess. I stopped taking my family's phone calls and I decided that I couldn't be healthy AND be in relationship with them. I'm not saying it's all their fault, but I still maintain that I did the right thing for me knowing that I was the only one who was looking out for me.

When my mother came to campus to confront me, she assumed the worst in me. She thought I was pregnant and on drugs. That was far from the truth. I knew at that moment that she didn't know me after 15 years of being "her daughter." I was struggling to make sense of the crap I went through without villainizing my parents whom I was supposed to go back home to over the summer. I just couldn't go back home. And- I never did go back "home." 

I knew that I had nothing going on with my adoptive father after an incident that is burned into my head. I was going to see this therapist when I was around 13 or 14. She kept talking to me like an idiot about her tea and rice. She was not very "culturally competent" and I picked up on it right away. ["Cultural competence" is a theme in my Human Services program.] 
My dumb teenage mouth told her how I'd tried to kill myself by taking a whole bottle of sleeping pills. I remember that day. My parents had no idea that I was "out." But, God intervened and pulled me out of that "sleep." I was disappointed and that was why I told my therapist. 

She was legally bound to tell my parents since I was a minor. That particular session, my father was picking me up. She told him that I had made an attempt on my life. All he could muster to say to me (in the most disgusted and unloving voice) was "How dare you do that to our family!" 

I couldn't handle that response on top of the numerous times he told me I should be "thankful," "grateful," and everything else speaking to the fact that he didn't think I deserved the parenting he was providing for me. I was emotionally done with them in that phase of my life. I knew I couldn't survive with that attitude from my parents. 

This was after I had nursed him to health after open heart surgery. I worked for my mother so she could have her dream flower shop. I dutifully mothered my mother the way she always begged me to fawn over her. I was emotionally dead

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

HELP is a four letter word

Robin Williams Checks into Rehab

(click link to view source)

[ This post is in no means an effort to judge Robin Williams. I consider him a gifted actor who needs help like anyone else. I thought I'd write about it since he's probably entered your mind recently. My admiration and blessing goes to him for being proactive with his struggle with addiction. When I am a Social Worker, I will be helping people with a range of challenges, alcoholism being one of them. ]

 HELP is a Four Letter Word

But I, and Robin Williams, don't want you to treat it as such. It doesn't involve violence. It gives rise to an opportunity to improve and to allow someone the honor of stepping into the "gap." It's acknowledging the limits of our personal skills and abilities. We were made with deficits that others could fill in for us in the context of relationship or a helping relationship. In turn, we also have skills that can plug into the deficits of other people. It is the basest reason for why we need each other. We lack and are skilled in different areas. I'm envisioning interlocking puzzle pieces.

Here I am Again

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