Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Our three little Halloween pumpkins.

Danielle, aka Primero

Primero was reading my blog one night and she asked
P: "Who is Pamelo?"
Me: "That's you."
P: "I don't want to be Pamelo. I want to be Danielle. Can I change my name to Danielle?"
Me: "I'll change your name to Danielle from this point forward (for the blog).

We had a good homework session last night. After piano lesson, she read for me and was eager to spell her sight words. She struggled with spelling the word "through" so she underlined the word and called it an outlaw word.
Her latest game with Secondo is training pony. Danielle is the trainer and Secondo is the pony. Each of them hold on to one end of a jump rope and walk around the house while Danielle asked Secondo to trot and stay.

Monday, October 30, 2006

1st fight of the week

Switching to a new job means having new insurance company which translates to getting used to working with either a) Incompetent people who don't understand the policy or b) Competent people who tries to get away with not paying for services that are covered by the policy.
Secondo had her shots months back and I got a bill from her Dr. saying that my new insurance doesn't cover immunization. That is very odd and I don't recall that was the case when I reviewed the policy. I checked with HR and HR verified that immunization is covered so I called the Insurance company back and told them that I'm confident that shots are covered; however, they still insisted that on their paper work it showed that immunization is not covered. I asked them to fax me a copy of that paper but they said it's agaist their policy. With my 3rd phone call, I asked for the Supervisor right away and they put me on hold. When the claim person came back on line she still didn't give me the supervisor and tried to understand why I'm upset. I told her the whole story again for the 3rd time and she said
Insurance Lady: "Maam, immunization is covered under out policy. I'm going to resubmit the claim."
Me: "If it is then why did the other two folks I spoke to earlier told me that it's not?"
IL: "The policy was now written clearly so newly trained people may interperted differently."
Me: "The last guy said he's confident that it's not covered because immunization is not covered was highlighted in red!"
IL: "Red highlight means there has been a change not necessarily that it's not covered."
Me: "Precisely the reason that I want to speak with your supervisor so that he/she is aware of how frustrated it can be when I get different answers from different people. I don't want to do this again with my next Dr. visit."

IL: " Maam, we made a mistake and I will send an email to the account manager so that they will rewrite the policy to make it easier to understand"

It's unfortunate that this lady gotten the wrath of Sam eventhough she was the most helpful one of all 3 that I spoke with today. I actually thanked her at the end for resubmitting helping me out. I don't have the warm and fuzzy that I'm home free yet.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


All the ladies in the house have a cold. Secondo got it first then it spreadd to Primero and I. We all have sore throat, stuffy and runny nose.
Today, Primero's school asked that each kid donates a brand new teddy bear for Children Hospital of OC (CHOC) so we picked out a cute bear last night. Funny thing is that when Secondo was born, she had severe case of Jaundice and had to stay at the Neonatal ICU for several days. I noticed that there was a peach beannie bear in her room but not sure who gave it to her. Now I finally have the missing piece of puzzle and I'm glad we are able to continue the circle and give back to kids in need of some moral support.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sisterly Love

Icee, the blue dog in the stroller is Secondo's favorite Stuff animal. If I put another animal in the stroller, Secondo would take it out and put Icee in instead. Do you see the determination in this child's face? Icee was actually gift from Bulleye to Primero long ago but Primero was never interested in any other stuff animals besides her Green Bear. Speaking of Green bear, Primero took this picture and is very proud of how well it is holding up after 6 years. Green Bear is the only toy she will not allow Secondo to play with. Everything else she's willing to share.

It's fun when I asked Primero to pose next to Secondo. The disadvantage of being the older sibling is that when the younger one hits the older one, Primero can't hit back. From experience I know how unfair and frustrating it can be.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Next week: Red Ribbon Week

Every Thursday, We get lots of flyers from Primero's school. Yesterday, as I was feeding Secondo, I asked her to read the flyers to me.
Primero was reading them and asked
P: "What does 'Turn your back on drugs' mean?"
Me: "It means staying away from drugs but drugs can be also be medicines that we take when we get sick"
P: "Oh.. like Sav-On Drugs?"
Me: "Yes, that's one place to get medicines"
P: "Then why do we turn our back on drugs?"
Me: "We turn our back on bad drugs"
She lost interest and moved on to the book fair flyer.
This morning, after reading the flyers on my own I realized that her school wants parents to discuss the consequences of drugs to a 1st grader.
Now that I'm more aware of that's going on, I'll do a better job explaining the reasoning behind "Turn your back on drugs!" Sigh...
I assume it's better for her to hear it from me than from her friends at school but on the other hand, it's scary to think my child could be exposed to drugs at 1st grade.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Secondo: 17 month old

After Secondo passed her 1 year mark, I have not been keeping track of her age on the monthly basis so I would say she's 1.5 years old to strangers when they asked.
At my company picnic last Saturday with the kids, one of the moms asked, "How old is your baby?" After I replied, she said "My son in 20 months so she's only 2 months younger than Lorence.." Gauging by the size differences between the two kids, I had to correct myself and admit that she's only 16 instead of 18 months old.

At this age,
  1. She loves to sing. Her favorite songs are : ABCs, and Elmo's World. When she naps at the sitter, she plays lullabies to put them to sleep. Lately, the sitter told me that Secondo would hum to the songs before falling asleep.
  2. Her favorite toy is the stroller. She loves to stroll her favorite blue dog, Icee around the house and bumping into walls.
  3. She's temperamental and can't take no for an answer. When she's frustrated, she would throw what ever she has on hand and then hit the person around her. If it happens to be me, I would scold her and walk away and she would cry and conceded that she did something wrong.
  4. I need lots of help from hubby

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Farewell tooth #6

Primero finally lost baby tooth F lastnight. It had been sticking out saying "hi" to everyone for a long while. She refused to wiggle it herself or let me get near it.
Last night, she was changing into her pajama smiling and I accidentally snapped off her loose tooth as I pulled her shirt over her head. Next thing we noticed was lots of blood on her gum, in her mouth and her tooth landed safely on the shirt. She didn't cry as she bit down on 2 Q-tips ( I didn't have any gauze handy.) to stop the bleeding but was somewhat relieved that it wasn't painful.
When I dropped her off this morning her teacher Tasha said "Yes! Finally.."
Now we are able to see part of her permanent front tooth which is about 1.5 times larger than the baby one.
On the piano front, she'll be finishing up Alfred's prep course by next Monday and she has a couple more pages on Dozen a day-minibook before moving on to the next level. Practice is more difficult during the beginning of the week versus the end after she learned all the songs. Next fun song to learn is Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars while polishing up Ode to Joy.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Communication breakdown

Below is conversation between Hubby and I this morning via email.

H:"Dung came back from his 10 days fishing trip in Cabo. I got some Mahi. It should be good for dinner tonight."
Me: "LOL. Don't call him dung. It's Doug. Make sure the fish is refrigerated."
H: "His name is Dung, He's Vietnamese. The fish is frozen. I'm thawing it for dinner."
Me: "I didn't know you have a coworking name Dung.. Sorry"
There's an incetive to have an American name if your given Vietnamese name is Dung.

Below is the dictionary definition for those who don't get the joke.

Definition of Dung:
1a. The excrement of animals.
1b. Manure.
2. Something foul or abhorrent.

Friday, October 13, 2006

What does it mean?

I don't remember when I last dreamed but I had a stressful one early this morning.
I was running late taking Primero to school so when we got there, we rushed to her classroom and I left the van in the parking lot with the doors open and everything inside including the car key. The thought was that I would run back in a flash. In the dream a body of water surrounded her classroom. To reach the classroom, we hopped on the stepping stone path that took us to the doorway. After saying hello to the teacher, saying good bye, I was ready to run to the van. As I open the door, I noticed the body of water gradually started rising and covering half of the stepping stones. Unfortunately there was another parent in front of me and she was going remarkably slow and I felt that she was intentionally blocking my path. I attempted to go around her many times and she would not let me pass by her. As I struggle with her, the water has risen to the point where I can no longer see the stones anymore so I can either get wet or wait until the tide goes down. I decided to wait for the water to subside but then the stones were replaced with industrial carpet. I ran to the parking lot and the van was replaced with an old lady standing in the spot with another man.
O Lady: "I saw an unattended van so I valet parked it" (In reality, there's no valet parking at school)
Me: "Thank you, may I have the key"
Man: "I also left my car here a while ago"
She showed us the key chain and it wasn't mine. I was still in denial so I went along with the man and when he put the key in the ignition, he started the car and drove away happy. Next think I know Secondo woke me up.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Preparing for winter

I had been contemplating about the decision for a while and finally decided to get a flu shot. The next decision would be if I should give the kids flu shots. Hopefully the decision makers guess the right killed virus for the flu shot.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Before having kids, I had better memory. Now days, hubby would say
H: "Do you remember the movie love story?"
Me: "Hm..."
H: "We saw it when we were dating starring Tony Leung?"
Me: "Vaguely.. I remember he was wearing a white suite but don't remember much about the plot"

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The blame game

I've noticed lately that Primero likes to play victim. If she played the wrong note on the piano it's because I was singing along in the background and throwing her off or the scooter was hitting her legs. This morning, she had a minor episode. We put a safety gate by the top of the stairs to prevent Secondo from tumbling down freely so as Primero came through the gate said
P:"Mom..the gate pinched my finger"
Me: "Really.. How did it do that? Does it have crab like pincher?"
P:"NO. I opened the gate and my hand is too small so it pinched me"
Me: "Oh.. So the gate has a brain and said here comes Primero's tiny finger and I'm going to pinch it today because I'm not just a gate. I'm an alligator gate!"
She started to laugh a little and said "The gate doesn't have a brain"
I also told her that she controls her finger and can't blame the gate, anything or anyone else for her own action.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Another lightning speed weekend

I anticipated this pass weekend to be busy but it completely surpassed my expectation.
We went Holloween costume shopping Friday night. Primero got hers but there wasn't much of a choice for Secondo. We tried on an Elmo costume but it was too tight and uncomfortable for a walking toddler. While shopping, Secondo didn't want to be in the shopping cart so when I put her on the ground she had fun exploring and pulling stuff off the shelves left and right before I took her out of the store.
Saturday morning,I went to the Bootcamp class and burned off 500 calories knowing that I will be eating fun food such as chili dogs, burgers and ice cream at the company picnic. After bootcamp, my whole body was sore but there's no time for whining so I bathe both kids and off we went to my company picnic. The little voice in my head was saying I'm not young as I used to be. There were tons of food and games for kids and adults. Primero jumped on the swing and Secondo went into the bouncer. Secondo doesn't know how to jump yet or even stand in the bouncer so it was entertaining to watch her interact with other kids who were bouncing and summersaulting in there. Primero's favorite parts of the day were the puppet show, getting her face painted and arm tatooed via sticker.
Hubby and I were hoping to win the grand price of video ipod but my lucky co-worker took it home instead. When we got home, hubby worked on the yard while I watched the kids and he was surprised by our next door neighbor who invited us over for dinner. We accepted her invitation so the kids played and have fun while the adults chated about Dream Dinners, Speed racers over food wine and beer.
On Sunday morning, we had breakfast, dropped the kids off to grandma's house prior to our date to the car show. Now days when the kids are not with us, I consider our precious time alone a date. We looked that cars that are in our price range and also cars that we would love to have but don't want the responsibility. I really like the body of the new CRV. Hubby said it's a mixture of BMW, Volvo and Mercedes. Lately we've noticed issue with the new model of Camry so new CRV may have similar problem. I was hoping that by going to the car show, it will help us decides on which model to get but on the contrary, there are more research to be done before going for a test drive.
After the car show we hung out at my parent's house shortly , I got my hair cut, went grocery shopping, had dinner at my inlaws, went home, gave both kids a bath and put them to bed.
Today is Primero's picture day. She has two big gaps where her front teeth used to be so it's going to be a memorable picture.
Tonight is piano lesson and she didn't practice all the songs yet....
Note to self:
1)Set one day of the weekend aside to stay home and do chores.
2)You are an athlete in training. Healthy food helps you get stronger.

Friday, October 06, 2006


I went and got my mamogram done yesterday. While in the waiting room, I see women coming out the door cheering "Yes.. I'm good for another year".
Part of the paper work was a disclosure for women with implants (Not me incase readers didn't know). It mentioned that in some cases implants would interfere with the xray and may not provide accurate picture of the breast tissue. The amount of pressure that is used to convert boobs in to a flat pancake was non-trivial and I thought it would cause implant boobs to burst and deflate. I didn't have enough courage to ask the technician if she ever popped one.
My result will be available in a week or two so hopefully everything is normal. Since October is breast cancer month, I want to do my part to remind my fellow lady friends and family to do self exam or mamogram.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Self torture

As I'm working hard to eat healthy and workout, I find my self checking out food blog pages, watching the food channel and start craving for stuff that's not going to get me to my goal. Why do this to myself?
The open eating season has started. We have halloween candy bowl by the receptionist and it's going to be Thanksgiving feast, Christmas get together & New Year celebration. The logical mind is saying to eat in moderation so by New Year, there's no guilty feeling and wider waist line.
I"m going to my company fall picnic this Saturday where they'll serve chili dog, burger,Tri Tip etc.. Primero will enjoy the lollipop Tree.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One month milestone

It's amazing how fast kids adapt to new environment and changes. Primero has been in her new school and she made some friends and got the hang of her teacher's schedule. There’s a girl in her after school program that has the same name as Secondo and she really likes Primero. She hugs Primero when they 1st see each other and said "You are finally here !!!" and showed lots of excitement where as Primero barely says hi to her with her anonymous waive of the hand. It must be her personality because no matter how hubby and I coached her, she's persistent about her own way of greeting people which is non-verbal and that pushes me over the edge some times. All I asked is that she says hi back to those who say hi to her. Mom in on me on this one but I've tried many different ways and no solution yet.
Piano is going well, her teacher (E) praised her weekly and that seems to motivate her to practice more this week. There's a boy who's lesson is ahead of hers and he hadn’t been practicing so they are at a standstill for at least 3 weeks. E spoke with his dad about stopping the lesson if he doesn’t learn the song by next week. Primero was there when this happened so I reiterated the fact that if she doesn't practice, she could be kicked out of the Miss E piano school. Her next assignment is to learn "Ode to Joy" and "Are you sleeping". Learning new songs seems to get easier for her compared to 2 weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The magic number 8

Since my last feeling fat blog, I've been working out at least twice a week and cut out rice when I can. (Thanks hubby for watching the kids while I hit the gym) Sucking in my gut is still a chore but it's not as big as before.
In boot camp, I'm able to do more of the drills that she dished out but there are still some drills that takes my breath away. My legs had always been my source of strength but the amount of squats she made us do, made my quads shakes. Another drill she made us do is jump in the air spread eagle style and that is something I can't do continously 25 times yet. I believe a month from now I'll be able to do it in ease if I practice at home twice a week. Bootcamp instructor is 5 months pregnant so she can't do some of the exercise that we do in class. She kept us motivated by telling us not to waste time by cheating or not giving our 100%. She said also that it's not what we say aloud that keep us going but the little voice inside which rings true for me. When the going get tough, the old little voice would says "Pain.., I can't stand this anymore..take a short break and catch your breath". The new little voice now says "Just 8 more counts. One more phrase of the music" Once I get pass that then "8 more counts" until I can't breath anymore.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Family Stuff

When I got home from Vegas, I wasn't sure how Primero's piano practice sessions went so I asked her to play the songs for me and she did pretty good. She did practice with mom so I made minor correction on the tempo. She tends to count faster than her teacher and me. Her teacher is also stressing the need to play the notes instead of punching the notes which I'm guilty of doing my self. Last night, after she finished with her practice, I played a Sonatina for her and she liked listening for once. I would like to take piano lesson too in order to keep up with her. I can see that she will surpass my level in a year or less. It will show her that practice is necessary to play well and seamless.
On Saturday, I had dimsum with mom and dad then, we went to a BBQ/Karaoke party which was consist of mostly people with out kids. There were lots of flies in their backyard so Primero was not able to dine in peace. She covered everything with napkins and was making sure the flies didn't not land on our food. After the BBQ, we went back to my inlaws for dinner.
On Sunday, I took the girls to the library and it was abit stressful. Secondo wonders around the isles while Primero did not like any of the authors recommended by her school. We borrowed several books that she picked out and I picked out a couple for her.
I wanted to stop by borders to order a yoga CD but didn't have time. Sigh..

Exercise log

Bootcamp: 60 min
Cal: 404

Spin: 65 min
Ave heart rate: 150 b/m
Cal: 534