About Kathy Tuan-MacLean

Anger, Laughter and Grace with Smushed Spanakopita

I’m 6 months away from having 3 teenagers, and boy do I feel it.Recently, an unnamed child threw a spanakopita triangle across the living room because this child didn’t want to give a sibling a crab Rangoon.  For New Year’s Eve I had copied my sister’s habit of buying up Trader Joe’s frozen appetizers and testing them all.  It was a failed experiment—Trader Joe’s appetizers just don’t stack up against homemade—but the kids were a lot less discriminating.Anonymous child is … [Read more...]

New Years Resolutions–Don’t Eat these Ginger Molasses Cookies

Happy New Year Everyone!For those of you who read this blog regularly, you'll see I've fallen off the blog-wagon for the past couple months.  I'm supposed to move to a new blog on Patheos, but it's just taking time to set up which was the perfect excuse not to write. But here we are in the first week of 2013, and it's time to make my resolutions, including those around writing. Now I don't know why I make New Years resolutions, because like 92% of other resolution-makers I always eventually … [Read more...]

Good News or Bad News?

Instagram by Lisa Calderon60 days after my last period and the day after I’d taken a home pregnancy test that gave me the blue plus sign, I called my OB/Gyn’s office.  “I think I’m pregnant.”The receptionist paused, and in a careful voice asked, “Is that good news or bad news?”“Good news!”  I said.“Great!”  I could hear the relief in her voice.  “Then we’ll set you up for an appointment and start taking care of your baby.”Over the years, her words have stayed with me.  “I … [Read more...]

Dealing with Disappointment

Sometime in the very near future, half our country’s going to feel disappointment.  You may fall in that camp, or maybe me. Because my husband and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, someone in our marriage is going to be disappointed. How can we deal with our disappointment in a way that helps our kids (and ourselves) learn resilience?Some weeks ago, 2 out of 3 kids faced major disappointments. Weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued.  One got the worst part he’s e … [Read more...]

Making “Special” Time

Back when Kai-Kai was born, my pediatrician told me I needed to have “special time” with 2 year old Ling-Ling—time set aside just for her even if it was only 10 minutes a day.  “Then when you can’t give her attention, you can remind her that you will have special time later in the day.”Well I didn’t do it.  And it wasn’t like Ling wanted any time with me—she coped with a new sibling by ignoring me for an entire month—wouldn’t look me in the eye, wouldn’t let me hug her, wouldn’t le … [Read more...]

What Top 5 Attributes Do You Want to Pass On?

Tonight Kai came home with a homework assignment and said I had to help.  “I’ve been through 9thgrade, I don’t do my kids homework,” said I, the loving, supportive, full of energy Mom of the year.“Mom!  You need to help me—it’s an assignment.”“Where?” Suspicious.  “Let me see the assignment.”“Mom!  I’m so hurt!  You don’t believe me??  Nobody else’s parents don’t believe them!  This is supposed to be a learning experience between us.”She showed me the assignment … [Read more...]

Can You Take the Heat?

Before they married, Mama told Baba she wanted to raise her children as Christians.  He agreed, neglecting to tell her until after their wedding that he was actually an apostate.  Throughout my childhood, Baba’s apostasy brought out the energy in him.Baba and my son at Tuanapalooza 2012–a Disney cruise celebrating Baba’s 80th birthday“I,” he would proclaim, pointer finger in the air, chuckling with glee, deep dimples carving grooves into his round cheeks, “am an APOSTATE!  Ha ha!”I … [Read more...]

Sex and Superglue: Talking with Kids in a Hook-Up Culture

I was a virgin when I got married at the ripe old age (back then) of 28.  I’ve kissed fewer men than the fingers on one hand.  I didn’t have a “serious” boyfriend until graduate school.  And for all those sexless, boyfriend-less, not being the sought-after-object-of-mens’ desires years, I felt pitiable, like a loser.  Even though Jesus was my boyfriend and I staunchly wanted to be a woman whose self-esteem didn’t rest on how men regarded me, it was hard.Now my personal history … [Read more...]