Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Wine tasting & New babe in the family

One of the memorable activites this pass weekend was picnic & wine tasting at the Wine Country with friends. It was our first time to a winery so our friends were our guide. I learned that I like sweeter type of wines. From Orange County, the shortest path was going east on Ortega Highway and south on Hwy 15.
Brother and Sister inlaw had their 2nd boy Harrison on 2/22/07 and he weighed 8 lb and 11 oz. He had jaundice just like my two girls when the were 3 days old and had UV light treatment when we visited them on Sunday. Hopefully, he's a good eater and able to flush the billyrubin out on his own.

Friday, February 23, 2007


I wonder if Journey from The Fall will be worth seeing at the theater. From the poster, I'm sure hubby would not want to see it. I still have not seen this movie yet and it's not playing at theaters anymore. Has any one seen letter from Iwo Jima? I'm so behind with the movies.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I volunteered several hours in Danielle's class yesterday and I was able to observe one of the teaching technique the school uses called "Hear it, break it, write it" What they are suppose to do is to write the word as it sounds so for example, the teacher will say Music and some kids would spell it muzik or mewsik. They are not graded by how many they are able to spell correctly. It's more of an exercise so kids learn phonics. Most of the words were not new to Danielle so she spelled them correctly but the exercise showed me that the English language isn't phonetically friendly.
Here are some of the variations the kids came up with
  1. Human: Hoomen
  2. Fuel: veul
  3. Cute: qute
One kid in class cried when she found out she spelled most of her words incorrectly and said that she didn't like making mistakes. I explained to her that we all make mistakes and that is part of being human. She didn't really get my silly joke and continued to cry. She said that her mom felt sad when she mades mistakes and she didn't want to make her mom sad.

After that exercise, I quized half of the class on their spelling and most of the kids got stumped by the word "Enough" They tried to sound it out and spelled "Enogh" or "Enugh". When it was Danielle's turn, I didn't know what to expect because we did not review the new list since president's day break and I've been working late the night before. She got stuck after the 2nd word and she was quite upset. I promised her that we'll study at least 15 words this week and I will quiz her again next week.

She also has to learn that making mistakes is part of learning.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bleak outlook

I've been checking the internet to see what good fortunes the year of the pig will bring to us but all I found were negative predictions of epidemics and disasters for 2007. Never the less, we must stay positive while carrying on with our daily lives and pay attention to the good things.
During our morning ride to school today,
Danielle:"Mom, what is a budget?"
Me: "It's a plan on how to spend money wisely."
D: "I don't get it."
Me: " If I have $100, I'll spend it on food, shelter, bills, and other things that we need as a family"
D: " I still don't get it"
I got to find a better example for "budget" considering that it's an important word for her financial future.

Before school, we stopped at the market to get flowers for her teacher and saw lots of other parents with kids doing the same thing.

Happy Chinese New Year !

This pass weekend was full of activities which made the long weekend zoomed by quickly.
Hubby worked Saturday so the kids and I spent the day at home. I had a cold so I took a nice long nap with Secondo which gave me more energy for the latter part of the day. She seemed to nap longer when I nap next to her. Danielle is really in to playing Star Wars video game. She could play for hours and doesn't even get tired of it. The weather got hot enough for our neighbor to pull out their small outdoor kiddy pool and the kids had fun playing water. The water was too chilly so I brought out gallons of hot water to make the pool a bit warmer. Toward the eveing, Secondo didn't want to get out of the pool even when her lips turned blue.
On Sunday, Danielle and I went to Legoland while hubby stayed home with Secondo. We got to the parking lot by 10 AM and there was already a huge line. She was really grumpy when we lined up for the sky cruiser saying she didn't want to go on. Once we finished the ride, she wanted to go on again. She really enjoyed the boat ride and pirate ship ride where we squirted water to people around us. Luckily we did the wet ride early in the day when it was sunny. Toward the afternoon, it got windy and cold so we headed home around 4 PM. Secondo was really happy to see us when we got home.
On Monday, the kids and I went to wish my parents Happy Chinese New Year and had lunch together. The got lots of red envelopes from my parents and my parent's friends. Mom cooked the best fried rice and I ate a big bowl of it. When Hubby got home from work, we took him mom and dad out to dinner to celebrate mother inlaw's birthday. After visiting with them for a while, we headed home, gave the kids baths,played littlest pet shop with the girls and went to bed.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Driving habit

We've recently got a 6 cylinder Camry and sold my old Honda Accord. It was difficult parting with the Accord after it's been commuting with me for over 10 years but managing 3 automobiles is more work than we have time for.
One of the features of the Camry is that it calculates gas milage on the fly. When hubby drives it, he's able to get up to 28 miles/gallon where as when I drive it, it goes down to 24-25 miles/gallon. He's able to get higher miles because he drives 65 miles/hour and no rush hour traffic in the morning. For me, I get rush hour traffic going and leaving work. To save time, I sometimes go faster than 65 miles/hour when there's no traffic. Hubby challenged me to modified my driving habit and see if I'm able to get higher than 28 miles/gallon. This morning, I was able to get 26 miles/gallon so I'm for the challenge.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Danielle

Danielle is very excited about turning 7 to day because a) we're taking her to Legoland this coming weekend and b) She thinks she'll be getting a pet (dog, hamster or fish) as a birthday present. Hubby and I are still contemplating about what to get her so I was very vague this morning when she quized me on what pet she'll be getting today. Yesterday, she checked out a hamster book from her school library and asked me to read and learn about it. She's very persistent in getting what she wants.
Hubby took her to school today and helped out in her classroom for an hour of so. I do enjoy being a parent helper in her class and see her day to day activities.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


On my way to get gas for the van, I noticed men were coming out of this warehouse with flowers and baloons in their hands and I saw the sign on the building "... Flower Warehouse" with "Valentine's day special offer" in red. I had to checked it out especially because today is Valentine's day and next week is teacher's appriciation week at Danielle's school. One of the things on the list was to shower her with flowers. I looked at the various arrangements and anything decent and small were over $25.00. 2 dozen red roses were $90.00. I was hoping to find some bargains but walked out empty handed.
Back in the office, I shared my discovery with my male co-workers also about giving flowers to hubby and they clued me in that men really prefer electronics as gifts rather than flowers.
I guess they weren't keen enough to see my ploy of getting flowers for me and use hubby as the cover up.
Happy Valentine's day everyone!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I desperately needed a haircut for the pass few weeks and I normally would go to this lady's salon near my parent's house. Lately, mom and dad had been visiting us instead so I've decided that it's time to find someone local to cut my hair. I went to Supercut yesterday because it's close to work and not super expensive. In my single with no kids days, I would have never even consider Supercut. Now I'm older, wiser and have less cash to spare on me,I've convinced myself that it only gonna be a one inch trim so don't be a drama queen about it.
When it's all said and done, I was happy with the overall result but I saw 2 inches on the floor. This always happens to me no matter who the hair dresser is. Their mental 1 inch is really two inches if you use a measuring tape. The hair cut with out a wash was $15.00 and blow dry was $14.00 (I was shocked that it cost almost the same the cut) so it ended up to be $29.00 plus tips. I was disappointed that hubby didn't noticed my new cut but my boss did noticed it.

Danielle had been making Valentine's cards for her classmates the pass week and she finished the rest last night. She didn't like the store bought cards and had to make them from scratch unique with her own designs. In math she's also learning addition and subtractions with 2 digit numbers.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Saturday was Danielle's recital and there were 17 performers. Danielle did pretty good for the 1st time. She made 2 errors but made correction quickly, continued with the piece and finished. She didn't bow as I taught her but no one else did either. One kid got really nervouse that it took a while to get it together and continue the piece. The picture above is not the best picture but it captured the moment of her performance. Imagine 17 kids with 2 parents and some with 2 grandparents there so the place was packed. They raffled off a chocolate piano key board and gift certificate to Mc Donalds and Danielle won the gift certificate.

Secondo had a hard time sitting through the performance. Luckily, the hosting family had a four year old son who was watching cartoon so Secondo was able to watch TV with him during the recital. After the performance, we had some refreshments, mingled with the other parents and shared stories about piano practice naggings etc..
At the end, I asked Danielle if she was nervous and she said not really. She did enjoyed the recital especially the "freshment" portion of the recital where she had cookies and fruit juices.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Food & Music

Eversince I got back from Texas, I had been eating lots of my comfort food which are meat balls noodle soup, mom's stir fried noodles, and pad see yew noodles. If I'm stranded on a deserted island, I could live on noodles, coconut juice and may be some seafood from the ocean. Starting tonight, I'm going back to my healthy routine of veggie and protein. I still got lots of rice noodles left in the fridge so I may convert it to pad ke mow this weekend and share it with my neighbor.
Mom cooked a bunch of food for us yesterday so we are self sufficient while she and dad travel to Fresno & San Francisco to visit friends and Bulleye.
In our fridge, we have:
  • Chicken curry
  • Soy sauce short ribs
  • Chicken chow-mein ( Kid's favorite food)
  • Tomato stir-fry shrimp
  • Tofu-kan with fish cake (Kid's favorite food)
  • Cilantro Tofu skin
  • Winter melon meat ball soup
With mom's help, Danielle and Secondo are able to eat dinner right when they get home while I make rice and stir fry a veggie dish for dinner. When I'm done cooking, Danielle is done with dinner and she can practice piano while we eat.

Last night, Danielle voluntarily practice her performance piece on her own and attempted to make no mistake through out. She was able to play the piece with making only 2 errors but her tempo was not consistent through out the piece. I set the metronome to 144 and she was able to stay on the tempo after several trials. I tried playing the song with the metronome and it wasn't as easy as I had thought. She noted that I made 6 errors during the whole song which made her feel more confident about her piece.
The other day, Danielle asked
D: "When will I be done with piano?"
Me: "After you play for 30 minutes"
D: " No.. I mean done as in I don't ever have to play piano again."
Me: "18 years from now"
D: "I have to play piano until I'm 22 years old? "
Me: " 18+6=24 so until you're 24 years old."
D: " Wow, that's a long time.."
Me: " You're right, what about until you're 18 years old?"
D: " That's still a long time from now. Can I take a break from piano?"
Me: "Remember when you took a break during winter, it was harder for you to get back into the groove?"
D: "Not really..."
Me: "Let's think about your piano break after your recital"
D: " OK.."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Plea for pet

Eversince Danielle was 3, she's been asking for a dog or a cat or a bunny as a pet. I'm allergic to cats, she's not old enough to care for a dog and we've tried having fish but was not able to keep them alive for longer than 2 weeks. Her latest plea is for a hamster or a rabbit. One of our neighbor kid has one and Danielle would go over to her house and spend time with the little hamster. I should look into it more before commiting to new member to the family. My concern is the when the novelty wears off then it'll be one more chores on mom and dad's to do list.
I understand her desire to have a pet friend because when I was a kid, I also wanted to have a dog as a pet so I have someone to play with but my parents were not big fans of dogs, cats or any type of animals. They bought me little chicks as pet but they were not as cuddly as a dog.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


On Saturday we got new tires for the minivan, went grocery shopping at 99 Ranch and ate pho beef noodles at our favorite restaurant for lunch. Pho is one thing that Danielle really likes and she finished a child size bowl and wanted more. Hubby tried a salmon curry dish and it was pretty good. We've decided that we're going to replicate that at home when we get some salmon.
On Sunday, we watch the big game with our neighbor and their friends. Hubby and I made eggrolls for the party which came out very well considering it was our 1st time making his mom's recipe. I'm not much of a football fan so I wasn't too sad that the bears lost. I spent most of my time munching on chips with 7 layer dip, BBQ chicken wings, spinach dip, & beef sate. Those 5 pounds I lost last Friday has gotten back with all the party food.
This coming Saturday will be Danielle very 1st piano recital. We are all very excited about the event. I'm going to bring juice boxes for the kids and I hope Secondo will be able to sit through the whole performance with out having an episode.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Home at last

I was in Texas for business for 2 days and I'm so glad to be home. Yesterday, I had food poisoning so it was a miserable trip home with connecting flights etc.. Luckily on my last leg, I had all 3 seats to my self so I was able to lay down and get in the fetal position when my stomach was hurting like hell. My guess is either the salsa or the eggs I had for breakfast that got me sick.
I lost 5 pounds from this food poisoning incident and I've never lost this much weight so quickly. It's rare that the sight and smell of normally tasty food would send me over the edge.