The Orange Rhino: AKA the non yeller.

Parenting & Musings

Just over a month ago I was a yeller. It had been an awful start to the year. I was in a bad mood almost every day, was tired, annoyed and to boot, Amazing M was going through some things as well. Perhaps she picked up on my mood and was acting out but it seemed I just could not make her happy and she would not easily listen to my requests. Sleeping was one of those requests.

What’s a mother to do when she’s on the end of her tether? Yell. Man, was it god awful. Tears on her part, tears on mine, yelling from mama, screaming and I mean ear deafening screaming from M. We could have easily been a family from the Supernanny series. And it was clear that the yelling was not working for either of us. So what does DM do best in times of crisis? Google.

Type in ‘How to stop yelling at todder’ and you’ll find a link to a blog called The Orange Rhino. The blog was borne out of a mother’s resolve to not yell at her children for 365 days straight. What she said resonated with me and I immediately downloaded her book on my Kindle as well as the app to go with it a few days later.

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From the Orange Rhino App. Doesn’t apply to husbands, but really, I could do this with him, right? via deliciousmother

 

I am excited to say that I’ve reached my goal of a month of no- yelling. That’s not to say it’s been easy. There were times where I really needed to gather my strength and apply some suggested techniques such as talking in a robot voice. Not cool when out in public, but I’d say it’s quite a lot better than yelling.

I hope to continue my non-yelling approach for as long as I can. But in order for that to happen, I need to care more for myself and ensure that my cup is full. In other words, be vigilant with self care. Very vigilant.

 

 

 

I adore you.

Relationships

Mr B, it’s been seven long years and a day since we said, “I do”. Long doesn’t necessarily mean bad. I think I say that because we’ve been through a lot.

A cute card from Paperchase, available at Karstadt. via deliciousmother

A cute card from Paperchase, available at Karstadt. via deliciousmother

Breaking the cultural barriers of marrying a non-Korean was a toughy. Moving to the other side of the world, just as my mother and father did as newly-weds, was a mega toughy. Then came the baby, and a few years after that, Germania <toughyemoticonfaceadfinitum>*.

But let’s forget about the toughies for now (hard to when I have just repeatedly written them), and think back on the incredible experiences we’ve had and memories we’ve made.

Best friend, I am so grateful to you. You’re my teacher**, my grounder and the love of my life. I am so stoked to be able to say that I still fancy the pants off you***. Literally. I’m envisaging it now. TMI, friends.

Happy Anniversary, meine Liebe. Looking forward to three more incredible years with you. Then, I will get to wear a really nice flowy wedding dress in Thailand when we renew our vows for our 10 year anniversary. You promised. And obviously after that, I will be looking forward to many more years of togetherness.

Lova ya long time,

DM

*I’m only half serious about this. I love Germany, I really do. I’ll love it more when I’m fliessend (fluent). ** in the general/abstract/philosophical sense, not Germanic. Thank goodness I’m going back to Goethe. *** in my youth I just could not fathom how a person could be attracted to the same person for more than a few years.

Dear Daughter,

Parenting & Musings

Dear Amazing M,

I’ve wanted to write an open letter to you for a while but something would get in the way, like German homework, housework or something like a whole month of being in a really shitty mood (I’m talkin’ to you, January).

Although I wish this letter will be full of warm cliches of you being the best thing that has happened to my life and other lovely things that nice and lovely mothers would say, I have to be honest. I am your mother and if I want to raise you to be an honest human being, I must model it.

Fear not, my beautiful child. You are the best thing that has happened to me, perhaps even more so than meeting and sharing my life with your beautiful father. But god is it harder than I have ever imagined motherhood would be.  There are times I feel rapturous joy in looking at your sweet face while you sleep. There are also times I want to smack your bottom as hard as my upper body strength would allow. I would if I knew for sure that doing such a thing would result in complete subservience. Forever more. But I don’t know for sure (and logic tells me that eternal subservience from corporal punishment is not very realistic). I was smacked a lot as a kid. I don’t feel traumatised for it and I suppose it was standard Asian disciplining back in the day. But as a dear friend once told me, it’s not right for a big person to hit a little person.

I’m digressing.

There are times I crave solitude and sometimes I find myself fantasising about a life as a fearless nomad, travelling and collecting romantic adventures the world over.

better

via deliciousmother.com

But then there are times you hold me tight, telling me how much you love me and admonish me not to be sad when tears are streaming down my face from the sheer exhaustion of being a mother and recovering perfectionist. Those are the times I would not exchange my life for someone else’s.

Thank you for forgiving me for my flaws, for the times I’ve raised my voice to shame inducing levels, for the times I’ve cussed and acted in ways that are quite frankly toddler like. Please don’t banish me to the toddler room. I’m not sure I’d survive three hours in a room full of 15 two year olds.

The ease at which you forgive me encourages me to exercise more of my self compassion muscle. I’ve been working on that, you know. For my sake, your sake and for the sanity of your father, God bless him.

I’m done for now. A nice bowl of Ben and Jerry’s awaits as well as an evening of yoga, book reading and chucking out a few things.

I love you “all of it”, as you would say.

Your loving mother for eternity,

DM

p.s. please sleep through the night, again. I’d highly appreciate it.

Simplicity, please.

Miscellaneous

I love stuff. I love beautiful and unnecessary stuff. Think Diptyque candles (Baies is my all time favourite), Alessi metallic fruit bowls which are waaaaaay too overpriced in my opinion, and beautifully made German wine glasses. And I don’t even drink that much wine (yet – give me time). I could go on about homewares but the blog post could span thousands of words before apparel is even mentioned.

And whilst I don’t consume a lot, I do spend a bit of my free time pondering over decorative items for the flat (unfortunately most items costing “say what??” a lot) or thinking how much more relaxed I’d be if the bathroom was adorned with dozens of previously mentioned candles (I’m thinking the WHOLE range) and luxury bath products. I could create a sanctuary to wash away the stresses of daily life, complete with lusciously fluffy and decadent gazillion euro towels. Deludedmother more like.

Now imagine this space with a massive bath in the middle. That's what I'm talkin' bout! via

Now imagine this space with a massive bath in the middle. That’s what I’m talkin’ bout! via

I know things don’t make one really happy. I know it. I experience happiness and unhappiness regardless of the stuff I have. Sometimes having too much stuff overwhelms me. I get irked when the flat is full of bits and bobs and really unnecessary stuff, but I’m not helping myself when I hold onto old dish towels my mother bought me (which I secretly loathe). Because obviously the dish towels represent my mother, and god forbid I chuck my own mum in the bin…

So yes, DM has a bit of de-cluttering to do, and even though living minimally is really the ideal, let’s start with binning a few things each day: What is not needed, used or loved goes!

Watch this (hopefully empty) space!!

The year of Self Compassion.

Parenting & Musings

Amazing M is sleeping on the couch, recovering from a tummy bug as I blog. Bless her heart, she was sick all of yesterday afternoon and her body is now trying to burn the bug out of her little body. The alliteration with “b” wasn’t intentional, but I kinda think it’s cute, being the English nerd I am. The past few weeks were tumultuous to say the least. I had a few little issues to work through which I don’t particularly want to go into detail but picture a sleep deprived and angry woman googling English speaking therapists in Germany. Deliciousmother was anything but.

Somehow I got myself out of that funk primarily practicing self compassion. As a recovering perfectionist, I do relapse and lose myself to the “be the bestest version of yourself” cycle which actually equates to trying to be perfect. The perfect woman, wife, daughter, mother, sister, friend and human being. It’s a recurring theme for me and a great source of stress and anxiety. Each time the big troll of perfectionism arrests my mind, I have to fight back with more self compassion. CBT techniques are great for this, for getting into the framework of being able to be kind to yourself. And before you start suggesting self-esteem work as well, I feel it’s different to self esteem which in the Western world is based on being unique/extraordinary/awesome/special and anything short of that is grounds to feel unworthy. Why is it so uncool to be normal? When did it become unacceptable and shameful to be average?

No, self compassion/being softer on ourselves is letting go of external circumstances [such as having this AMAZING job, or 100, 000 Facebook likes, or a wardrobe filled with DESIGNER clothes, or having a ROCKING SIZE 00 body ( yes, the 00 size does actually exist…)] and giving ourselves the slack to acknowledge any personal failings or things we don’t like about ourselves with kindness and understanding. It means giving ourselves permission to be imperfect and honouring our humanness.  

So I suppose the theme for Deliciousmother in 2015 is to really zone in on the self compassion. It may sound like I’m approaching this in perfectionista Type A style, but I feel it’s something I need to develop as well as sitting comfortably with normalcy. Normal is ok, DM. You don’t have to win Nobel Prizes for literature or peace or science (though I would fancy a lit one, thanks) or get the mother of year prize. Amazing M lets you know you are the mother of someone’s lifetime each time she tells you she loves you. And that’s AWESOME.

Hello 2015.

Miscellaneous

I could offer many valid reasons as to why I’ve not blogged for a while, but I won’t. Suppose it was for the fact that blogging was not really on my priority list and the writing itch was just not itchy enough for me to indulge in scratching it.

Our little family has been bumbling along, experiencing lots of laughs, fights, tears, joy, frustrations, hopes and inspiration. You know, the normal stuff. All in all, we’re doing ok. No, we’re doing marvellously!

Even though some of my thoughts on what I’ve achieved in 2014 have been a bit average, I gotta acknowledge that I have done some mega stuff this year, including:

– relocating to Germany.

– learning the basics of the language. It is a special language, indeed. I have to cut myself some slack about my abilities. I took in total 23 days of half lessons, and I can understand most things. And I can complain. Auf Deutsch. So, I have to tame the high achieving, perfectionist Asianista in me and just relax.

– making new (and extremely fabulous) friends. So lucky to have met such amazing people here in Frankfurt. Looking forward to nurturing these relationships.

– And the most exciting and scary thing of all: registered myself as self employed!!

Though I don’t have any concrete New Year Resolutions, I hope for myself this year to make self care a priority. And doing lots of things that bring me joy! And drink more good wine (in moderation)!

Happy New Year!

October in a quickie post.

Food & Travel

Quick recap of the past few weeks: -Felt like I needed some intervention of some sort – whether it was alcoholic, therapeutic, medicinal or all of the above. I was homesick, I was tired, I was stressed and I was fighting the German grammatical rules like WW2. And I was very unimpressed with rudeness I encountered in Frankfurt. Boo. So thank goodness for… -A well needed long weekend in London for a friend’s wedding. It was so much fun. I drank and danced like I was 18. Thanks, P. It was an awesome wedding. I also squeezed in a get together-come-baby shower (not for me) with my delicious London mummy friends over some lobster, had a gut busting sushi feast at Roka and let’s not forget about the silly shopping spree.  Damn you, pretty things in London. German things are very robust and functional – pretty, they are not. Buyers for Kaufhof Galleria, you need to up your game. Some of the stuff you sell should not be allowed on your shelves. Just saying.

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Amazing name card holders. Apparently Bride and Mother of the Bride spend hours spray painting and sawing these creatures. What we do for weddings, hey? via deliciousmother

– Finished German lessons for the year. Hurrah! Level A is completed. :) – A lazy weekend with my lovely jubbly family. No plans, no stress. Lots of hummus, falafel and warm cinnamon scrolls (Zeit fuer Brot have amazing scrolls).

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Came with warm pitta bread. At 8.50 euros a pop, it makes for a very delicious and filling meal for the family. Aroma is my favourite eatery of the moment (in Frankfurt). via deliciousmother

All this fun and frolic post manic and murderous moments means that I am feeling refreshed and ready for more fun, learning ( I will conquer you, German, god damn it!), eating, blog posting and more importantly, more baking!!

Slowing down.

Miscellaneous

Eek! It’s been a while since I last posted anything.

A few reasons:

– I was doing waaaay too much.

-Mr B was abroad for work for seven weeks (mon-fri) which is why I stuffed my calendar with stuff to do to keep myself busy, not feel lonely in a new city, getting by on my current level of German. Yes, I know Frankfurt is a very international city and everyone speaks English. But, I’m not into speaking English to a German person in a German shop. To assume that they should be able to communicate to me in a foreign language is a bit out of order, in my opinion.

-Mr B fell ill, then Amazing M, then Deliciousmother.

-Deliciousmother is not feeling so crash hot, due to a sudden breakout of those pesty things called pimples/spots/acne. Spots sound so much nicer to me, bordering on cute. Kind of. Anyway, it’s such a vain and petty thing to feel upset over, but that’s just how I feel. I’ve never had it worse than now, so I’m trying a few things to remedy it internally and physically by

S   L   O   W   I   N   G down, eating more healthily and getting the sleep that I have deprived myself in the past two months. Time to decrease the levels of cortisol. Yoga, gym and reading trashy books are in order.

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Like my method of learning? :)

And even though I cleared the past week of things to do except for German lessons and getting over a cold, I managed to create some stress inducing situations over the past few days. Which is why I’ve decided to just have a lazy Sunday evening, play a bit, get on the blog and not do any German homework.

So that’s my fortnight in a nutshell.

I’m enough.

Parenting & Musings

This morning was just one of them mornings. You know the kind where everything and everyone irks you, especially your amazing kid and husband (who coincidentally just didn’t have their shizzle together). The volume of my voice reached shamefully high decibels at seven thirty in the morning. Why couldn’t M listen to me and sit down to eat the breakfast I prepared? Why couldn’t Mr B make her sit down and eat the breakfast I prepared? Why was Mr B complaining about the lack of yogurt selection in the fridge? Why couldn’t I control this anger that was spewing forth like a broken fire hydrant?? I did not like what I was projecting to the world. It was time for a breather and it was time to be kind to myself.

So I put off the housework and German homework to sweat it out in the gym. Whilst I was checking my emails, I came across this great video that was well needed by this undelicious mother. Enjoy!

 

 

Pink Cake, Blue Baker*.

Cake!

Now that things are (fingers crossed) A-OK with the granddaddy, I feel I can blog about stuff again.

The past few weeks were jam packed full of studying, housework, socialising, worrying and baking. I volunteered my baking services to another expat lady who wanted a fondant cake for her daughter’s first birthday. Seeing some pics of my cakes changed her mind and I ended up baking this…

via deliciousmother

via deliciousmother

Six layers of vanilla butter cake frosted with vanilla butter cream. Took me a few hours and I thought it would be a good exercise to gauge how much one could make in selling cakes.

taken by said expat lady. via deliciousmother

taken by said expat lady. via deliciousmother

This ‘baker’* is blue is because I discovered this afternoon that I’m not legally allowed to sell cakes unless I have the title, ‘Konditorin’, which is the term used in Germany to describe a pastry chef. This involves three years of instruction and apprenticeship.

But that won’t stop me from baking. It just stops me from making any pocket money from a much loved hobby (for now). My pipe dream of bringing moist, sweet and yummy crumbs to many in Germany who aren’t too fond of German cakes may take a while longer. Boo!

*I am not a formally trained baker. I’m just describing myself as a ‘baker’ not “Baekerin” in this post because I partook in the act of baking. Just saying, as it seems Germans are very protective of titles. For good reason, but still…