How Do We Make Our Kid(s) Clean Their Room?

This looks and sounds like useless attempts.

1. Speak nicely. “Go clean your room, hun”. Replied by a whiny sound coming out of their mouths, followed by a delayed action, resulting a half-done picked up room.

2. Speak with demanding, threatening tone. “Now I’ve told you to clean your room, get up, do it now, or no play date this weekend. Why? Because I told you so.” Replied by a whiny sound coming out of their pouty mouths, followed by stomping sounds, resulting a messier room since the kids will be throwing stuff all over the toy box. In the other spectrum, the parents will feel a boiling blood, higher blood pressure, deep breaths to take and ask for a patience from God.

3. Checking the room and repeat number 2. Resulting, no clean room.

4. Grabbing the trash bag, filling up with whatever your eyes see on the floor, dragging the filled up bag to the backyard. Resulting  crying kids.

5. Mom and kids don’t talk momentarily.

6. Speak nicely. “If you love your toys, better take care of them. Now put this bag back to your room and put them away.” Replied by a hopeful voice from the kids, dragging sound and resulting a trash bag sitting at the corner of their bedroom, half spilled to the floor.

7. Wait a couple of days, repeat number 1.

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Highlights, Pictures, and Thoughts: the Baptism

Dear readers,

I had a wonderful weekend. Baptism went smooth, followed by dinner at Japanese Steakhouse with some friends, and in the next day I received my Holly Ghost that was so overwhelming I went to 5 hours sleep right after church. Here’s few highlights:

* Joe McIntyre’s songs and Vina Panduwinata’s songs calmed me down right before baptism. I cranked it to the max in my computer, that is right beside my bathroom.

* It was rainy, thunderstormy afternoon. Perfect weather for me!

*There was love in the room and everyone was so nice. Couldnt ask for better day.

* My dress was a total see-thru and it floated like a mushroom in the water I had to tucked it between my legs and they had to close the divider right after I stood up after immersion.

* I still have to work on my cussing.

* One elder, as agreement between the two of us, had to eat octopus sashimi and the other got pranked by birthday cake brought up by the restaurant staff. His birthday is nowhere closer than another 2 months. Awesome sights and thumbs up for being such sports and played along, both of ya!

Here are few pics…

My little family with the AMAZING elders. My boys!


Me and Elders. Not sure why it had spaces between us, but we're not hating each other. Really. Guess we were just nervous. Or was it just me?

My bestbuddy came for a support. Yay!

 And here is my thoughts… The whole thing is unthinkable. Me, changing religion? Never crossed my mind. And I had been wondering why we kept inviting the Elders over those weekends and why I kept slicing and dicing and why all those nice people gather at that little church and why the presence of Holy Ghost is strong and why I felt so ‘homey’ there.  There are so many unanswered whys still, and I know baptism is just a beginning, and my journey has just started. A lifelong journey and beyond to the next world and past my graveyard. But this feels right. I know it is right. Something called Faith has overcome my little way of rationalizing things and faith has brought my home some peace, hopes and togetherness. We are no longer splitting our ways to 3 different churches. We found our church. In the world that is full with uncertainty, it is reassuring that this path is truly true.Many thanks to all that has led me and my family to this church. You know who you are. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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Day Eight: I Can Feel It.

Day eight. I hopped on the bed this morning, feeling quite good about what is going to happen tomorrow, I couldn’t stop talking. “Go to bed,” my hubby mumbled. “Dont walk into the door and start talking to me when I’m still sleeping.”

Managed to make short list of all the itty-bitty of important stuff that I might need (I am a chronic list maker but unorganized executor). Charging the camera’s battery? Check. Get a lint roller for my son’s black pants? Check. New lipstick? Check. (For those who doesn’t know, lipstick shopping is a mood booster for me. Yea. I’m THAT weird. But at least I don’t do drugs for boosting the mood). Chicken in the oven? Rice? Check, check.

Guess I’m all set, but when I’m laying face-down on my bed, kitty on top of me (she likes to sit on my butts, she makes herself a buttwarmer), there is this emotion again, surging to my chest. Feel like I’m overloaded with mixed feelings, ready to explode. Explode of what? I don’t know. I’m just feeling it. I guess it’s the excitement slash nervousness slash anticipation, combined, mixed and swirled.

Go ahead, weird feelings. I’m ready. I am here and I’m feeling you. Because when it’s all said and done, I might miss you around. Yea, I’m talking to you, feeling.



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Day Seven: Worries Subsides.

Day Seven. Man, time flies.

I am really grateful to have my mentors, the Elders, around. Being as young as they are, they have been my comfort zone that I can go to. And being as busy as they are, they manage to provide me soothing words that I need.  Yesterday we talked about my anxiety, my worries about what is happening, and one thing I’ve overlooked from the whole thing is: I am not alone.

“Sri Hicks, go pray”.

Short message that stopped my in my track of worrisome and put everything on hold to talk to the Lord.

As the afternoon rolls in, I can hear my husband’s cutting grass in the front yard. Windows are open and the ceiling fan sends  cool breeze around the room. My cat sleeps in one corner of my bed, my son footsteps in the hardwood kitchen floor. I am not alone. I am surrounded by things that I love and people who loves me. Why am I worry?

I am counting my blessings.

Worries slowly subsides, excitement walks in.


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Day Six: All Over The City.

Day Six: I do not quite have a time to wake up.

After my usual sleep deprivedness (5 hours of sleep or less), run to the shower – pick up my son – church interview – take him to Tae Kwon Do – run to work. When I get home again, it will be Thursday morning.

The pattern will be like a pinball bounced all over that shiny box. All I need is that loud, annoying sound and it will be perfect. And the flashing lights, of course.

Here I am with a bowl of leftover soup for my breakfast+lunch+dinner altogether, bare feet still and no lipstick on, and 10 minutes before I march to my truck. Was worrying about the interview this morning before I fell asleep, but I guess if you are multitasking and have places to go where you can not be late, you don’t have time to worry.

Just launch.

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Day Five: I Wish My Parents Were Here…

Day Five: Been thinking about my parents since dawn broke.

They are wonderful parents: we were never rich but they managed to put both daughters thru college, without any single dime on debt. There were hand-me-down clothes, hardly any family vacations but my mom would pick me up any time of the day, rain or shine, my dad would call me by 9PM when I didnt show up in front of the door. Even when I was 22.

There is their bed to share (read my previous blog: The Bed That Never Sleeps), a stack of magazines in the corner and a sewing room that belongs to my mom, where we the daughters like to hang out when we had nothing better to do. Mismatching the fabrics and tried to sew a button to make our Barbies pretty.

Choosing to marry my husband was a hard things to say to them. They were expecting that I’d choose a local guy, settle down in nearby area and help my parents out as they grow older. Instead, I chose an American guy, hopped on the plane and did not look back. My parents still threw me a farewell party, with all neighbours, friends and church people attended. They spent all the money that they had in the pocket, knowing that their oldest daughter was leaving without any certainty when she’d come back.

So, they missed my wedding. My spring courthouse wedding. My autumn church wedding where I wore the ivory dress that my mom sew for me. They missed the birth of my beautiful son. They missed the moments. My important moments. Their important moments.

This Saturday I’m getting baptized. Again, they’re going to miss it. Oh I wish my parents were here….

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Day Four: I Dreamed of Coffee

Day four. I have let go some of the things for few weeks now. Coffee and tea, working on cussing and swearing ( I tried cuss jar, a dollar each cuss, but the thought of letting go a dollar bill over my unnecessary action  is scary enough for me to stop cussing, apparently).

I’m not an expert in human psychology, but I’ve read somewhere that if you suppress an urge, it might pop up in the dreams  channel to get out. So, last night I had a dream of having a cup of coffee. With milk and sugar, freshly poured from a big black coffee maker… still warm and smelt good and so yummy.

Then I took a sip.

Then I remembered, even in my dream, that I am not to drink coffee anymore. Surprisingly enough, I threw the coffee away.

Guess I can’t get away, even in the dreams.


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Day Three: Don’t Forget Towel

Day three. My original plan of keeping this as small as possible might not be, well, possible. Elders talked me into having this announced, so it was, so here I am, already nervous about myself- now I have to face the fact that on top of that, I am anxious having a fact that a bunch of people might attend.

I’m trying to look at the better side of it: That I will be surrounded by people who actually cares. That actually will spend their time on the weekend, and their gas in their cars, to support me being baptized. That’s a good sign, right? Now I just need to work on my nervousness. Gee, a lot of people will see me soaking wet!

Between the classes, I asked one of the church official, “what is the most common thing that people forget during the ceremony?” After giving a moment to think, he replied “Don’t forget to bring towel.”

Good advise. I have a picture in my head, shaking myself dry like a dog out of the bath. Now that would be a ceremony the attendees do not forget, would it?

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Day Two: Thinking stuff.

Day two, thinking of the itty-bitty stuff that are not important at all.

Thinking of making my own hair chopsticks. It’s pretty much chopsticks that you’d find when you order noodles in Chinese restaurant: but this is for your hair. The Elders want my hair up in a bun so I think it will be neat to ‘lock’ it with a chopstick or two. So, got my freebie chopsticks from a friend of mine, went to Hobby-Lobby store for the stuff and when I get home, I remember I’m not Martha Stewart.

Thinking of wearing my gold cross jewelry from my mom during baptism. Checking with the Elders, got a green light. Yay!

Thinking that I’d best browse around about baptism over the internet. Tried for fifteen minutes but then I still can’t figure it out how to immerse under water by bending backward. Will he push me down? Will he hold my back, will he pull me up, will he make sure that I’m totally under water BEFORE he pulls me up? What if I have panic attack? Am I having panic attack NOW?

What if a strand of my hair float?

What if my dress turns out to be a see-thru?

What if I’m having my period?

I should have played Angry Bird instead.

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A Week Before My Baptism: A Day-to-Day Journal

Dear Readers,

A week before my total immersion in the water and submerge as a new me. I will try to pay attention to what is happening within me and outside, as I’m jotting down a note of it, as a record for a selfish reason. One day, when I’m not having the best day or when I’m standing against the world, I will have this little note as a reminder.

Friday. Day One.

Feeling totally calm, which is weird. I always cook something up in my head (and that’s why my brain is well-fried) and being a hot-tempered gal,  I just need little thing that doesnt go as I want it to go, to make me upset and ruin my evening. I feel the total opposite.

I had been worrying about my parents’ reaction. I always seek for their approval. Yep, I’m 35, married and with child, but I always, always, discuss anything big and small with my parents and whatever they say, agree or disagree, will overall affect my decision. I owe them the world and I’ll try my best not todissapoint them, in any way. They might have some says regarding my decisions and I was worrying sick that I might have to hear what I prefer not to, or me saying something that they prefer not to hear. But the conversation went smooth… they let the decicion to be all mine and as long as I’m happy, they have nothing against it. They. Want. To. See. Me. Happy.

I am.

So it feels like a surge of cold stream in my chest… the calmness sensation that I’ve been trying to remember and identify. Feel like some weights that I’m feeling, not the heavy kind that presses me down that I cant breathe, but more like the kind that fills my lungs they’re about to pop. And add that stream running. Feel so peaceful.

Day one almost ends.


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