Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Better mood today

Although I didn't really talk to hubby about the situation to get closure with my anger, I felt better yesterday after listening to Danielle played the piano and saw how proud her teacher was of her. She's currently learning the "Entertainer" beginner version and she has mastered half of the song so far. I don't mind being the nagging mom when it comes to practice as long as the result is that she's a good and confident piano player. I've heard from so many folks who wished their mom didn't give up on them when they refused to practice as a child. We have many moments of stress and frustration for both parent and child but I do explained to her right before bed that it's natural to be frustrated on a new piece of music. During Summer break, she has more time on the piano to explore & practice but during the school year, I'm less lenient on her.
As far as swimming, it's amazing how 2 private lessons and lots of encouragement was able to do. I know Danielle is more comfortable in the water because she's tall enough to stand up when she's out of air or sucked in water by accident.
Now we make an effort to go to the pool twice a week to play/ practice in hope that she's able to swim this year.
Secondo will start her group lessons in September. I took her in the pool on Sunday and she was holding on to my bathing suit straps for dear life. I tried teaching her the basics and hopefully she'll learn some basic skills this year also.

My right eye was blood shot since Saturday and today it looks like it's going away. I was feeling pressure on the eye and also on my temples so I hope it'll going away soon as well.

Monday, July 30, 2007


I'm still in a bad mood that's lingering from yesterdays event at our house. Hubby doesn't help the situation by minimizing my anger towards the situation. There are some people from his side of the family that I can't stand but for the sake of our marriage, I must tolerate, endure their presence.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

New Discovery

I've decided to divert my attention from reading food/restaurant review blogs to book review blogs. It is best to balance my exterior fitness level by doing some brain weight lifting as well. Another benefit is that I won't be thinking about food all day.
I just downloaded 1001 must read books before I die from Arukiyomi so that will keep my mind busy working out for the rest of my adult life. Based on the formula from his Excel spread sheet, if I'm 7 years old today, I'll be able to complete the list if I read 14 books a year.
My next book after Memoir of a Geisha is going to be "The world is flat".

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Good reading

I've been listening to Memoir of a Geisha on CD and it's a really good book. It made me realize how complex a life of a Geisha really is. I listened to it with Danielle was in the car with me and it put her to sleep. I was told the movie didn't do justice to the book so I'm going to watch it after finishing the book.
Danielle started her private swim lesson yesterday and she chucked down some water when trying to go under water to pick up toys. She asked me why is the pool water salty? Why her hair still smelled like Chlorine after being shampooed? She's starting from scratch again so we'll be going to the pool more often to get her comfortable in the water.
I realized that I've been spending too much time drooling while reading food blogs so I'm going to limit myself to reading them every other day.
I recently discovered Ebisu and they have the best Green tea

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What's left of Summer Vacation

I can't believe that in 6 weeks, Danielle will be back to school a 2nd grader. There are still many things we want to do before going back our routine.
  1. Swimming lessons
  2. Going to the Beach
  3. Legoland and may be stay in San Diego for a day
  4. Visit my friends in Moorpark and go wine tasting in Santa Barbara
Bulleye came down for a visit on Saturday and he was amazed at how talkative Secondo is compared to Danielle in general. Danielle and Bulleye bonded by playing StarWars together. Bulleye got bored after a while but Danielle kept on playing for hours. Hubby grilled the chicken Sate, I made Thai papaya salad (with the help of my Thai friend) and Mom warmed up stir fried noddles & tofu she brought over. Thai version of the papaya salad has lots of garlic and chili and it was too spicy for mom and dad.

We went to the OC fair on Sunday with my Thai friend's family (4 adults, 2 kids, 2 toddlers and 3 strollers). The kids didn't notice how hot and humid that day was and around 4 PM we felt some sprinkles of rain which didn't last long.
After watching the Hawaiian dancers performed, we checked out the arts & crafts area, looked at the animals ( pigs, sheep, cows, rabbits, chickens, etc..) and headed for food.
We ate grilled corn, hot dogs, chili curly fries, cheese fries, and some sausage dog. The kids had cotton candy, and kettle corn and rode roller coasters. My friend's husband wanted to eat something deep fried.
He said to me "You can get a deep fried Krispie Kreme chicken sandwich there"
Me: "I've never heard of such thing."
Him: "It's a sandwich with doughnut dough as patty instead of bread and deep fried"
Me: "It's doesn't sound appetizing ."
Him: "I want a deep fried Twinkies"
Me: "How about deep fried Orios?"
Him: " They deep fried everything at the fair don't they?"
I felt sick after eating all the fried food and he didn't get deep fried Twinkies after all.
It was fun but tiring event for Sunday.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It's been a long week

One of my neighbors J, gets organically grown vegetables regularly from a local grower and she asked me if I want to split the basket with her because it's way too much for her family alone. I agreed to try and we got our 1st basket yesterday filled with veggies, fruits, herbs and small bundles of flowers. For dinner, I made salad with the lettuce and put the baby carrots in the soy sauce chicken that was already on the stove.
The lettuce and carrots were very tasty. They were more flavorful than the standard ones that I usually get from our local grocery store. It’s my 1st time trying organically grown veggie and I can't wait to experiment with the other veggies that I'm not familiar with tonight.
Before bedtime, in anticipation of my Friday AM workout, I was too lazy to get Secondo her milk prior putting her to bed. Usually hubby would bring it up right before bedtime but he didn't last night and I figured he was as tired and exhausted as I was. The consequence of not going through a set routine was Secondo waking up at 2AM crying "Milk, I want MILK!". I offered her the sippy cup filled with water and that irritated her in to a louder cry.
Still half asleep, I went downstairs, opened the fridge, poured some milk, placed it in the microwave and pushed a button I thought was the 1min button. My plan was to take the milk out when there was 18 sec left on the timer. While waiting, I realized I was thirsty so I went by the sink and got some water. By the time I walked back to the microwave, there were only 2 seconds left on the clock. Naturally the milk was too hot so I had to get ice out of the freezer and made a little ice water bath to cool the milk to an acceptable temperature. By the time I got the bedroom, Secondo was asleep so I woke her up to drink the milk which took quite a bit of effort to fetch. The next thing I remember, Secondo woke up crying again and by now hubby walked in quietly and woke me up for my workout. I looked at my watch and it was bloody 3:30 AM. I got ready and got to the gym by 3:40AM. The lady in red who workout with a trainer arrived at the same time as I did. I discovered that she starts her training sessions at 4:00 AM sharp. I did 30 min of elliptical, 10 min of stair masters, some cables work for my arms. I tried reading while exercising on the elliptical machine but didn't work for me.
My brother will be visiting tomorrow and I'll marinate some chicken tonight so it'll be ready for Sate tomorrow. I can’t remember the last time I saw him. Was it when Secondo was 1?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fitness update

A few weeks back, I shared my frustration of not seeing any signs of progress towards my fitness goal with hubby and his assessment is that I don't have enough cardio sessions during the week to increase my metabolic rate. Let me remind you that I've modified my goal to be baby goal not the quantum leap one that I set months ago. Current baby goal is: One pound per month or 0.25 lb/week or 0.03 lb/day
Me: "By the time I get home from work, pick up the kids, cook dinner, and give Secondo her bath, then it's time for bed "
Hubby: "I don't go to the gym @ 4:00 AM on Mondays and Fridays so you could go and you'll get 4 cardio sessions in a week. Get your workout clothes ready the night before and I'll wake you up at 3:50 AM if you like." Hubbies are so good at solving problems.
Me: "O dark 3:50? Are you out of your mind! "
Hubby: "There are others who go to the gym that early. I'm not the only one"
Just like Bridget Jones, I said to myself with a British accent "Am I committed enough to sacrifice 1.5 hours of beauty sleep so these jiggly bits are less jiggly? Well, if Oprah Winfrey worked out everyday @ 5AM why can't I do it @ 4AM? Besides, it's only 2 days out of 5 so why not."
The monumental milestone of my 4AM workout was Monday, July 9th, 2007 . To my surprise, I'm not the only person who sacrificed sleep over a goal. These 7 people appeared to have been there for hours judging by the sweat puddles these men had generated. There's a lady who works out with a trainer before I get there, so she could have started @ 3 or 3:30AM. I'm so glad she's there because she's the only distraction I have while I'm on the elliptical. The other distraction is an older man who does the elliptical at lightning speed.
I felt great after 30 min of cardio with some weights and sit ups. When I got home @ 5:00AM, I ate breakfast in peace, made lunches for the girls and showered. I didn't feel rushed with the extra 30 min I have before waking up the kiddos.
The side effects of being such an early bird is that I feel sleepy in the afternoon. It's especially difficult to say awake during my drive home. To keep my self awake, I munched on snacks and drink water. By 8PM it felt as if I've been up for ages.
I'm not really looking forward to this coming Friday 4AM workout session but I'm going to do this for 1 month. Official date to check progress is on 8-6-07 and my vision is that I'm 1 pound lighter.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Teletubbies Crazy

For the past few weeks, Secondo had a cold so she's been watching Teletubbies and lot of it. She pronounced it "tubby tubby" and Danielle replied with "I don't know what you are talking about. It's TELLE TUBBIES!" Every time we are downstairs, she said "Tubby tubby mommy, watch tubby tubby, come on..." We are so bored of the same DVD played many times and she loves it. I bought her another one for $4.00 on Saturday when I went to Toys R us to get her a potty. Danielle was quite patience yesterday, explaining to Secondo, the process of peeing in the potty. We got the training pants on and off many times but she doesn't quite get it yet. It'll be a toy for now and I hope she'll be ready for potty training when she's 2.5 years old.
I finally signed Danielle up for Summer reading program at our local library. She gets a prize when she reaches 12 hrs of reading. If she reads 20 min a day, she'll get a prize in 36 days. They asked if Secondo wants to join since the program is for 0-12 years old. I think about it, we do read at least 20 min on a sitting so I may sign her up after all.

Monday, July 09, 2007


If you've followed my blog lately, you'll know that I've been working hard to get by abdominal muscles back by eating low carb, lifting weights and minimizing temptations by not reading food blogs etc. After staying on that track for 1 month or so, I felt deprived and craved to go back to my old habits.
At work I've been learning about lean manufacturing and one of the lesson that hit home is that for professional or personal goals, I can take a smaller steps to change instead of big dramatically quantum leap style which they call "innovation". '
An example of innovation is the cabbage soup diet where you can loose 10 pounds if you eat only cabbage soup for 1 week. The solution requires an individual to drastically change a behavior to get the result yet less likely succeed because you'll be hungry for real food.
To implement Kaizen (Continuous improvement), one would make small changes and gradually reach the goal. For example, if I've never floss my teeth in my entire life, I'll start by flossing 1 tooth a day for a week and 2 teeth a day for 2nd week and gradually progress to flossing the whole mouth. It's not as flashy as the innovation strategy but likelihood for backsliding is also less. The concept of a long steady journey isn't anything new. It's just that I'm used to and prefer instant gratification.

For stronger abs I'll commit to
  1. Exercise: Abdominal plank, once a week for 3 x 1 min hold
  2. Hold my stomach in when I'm typing and walking
  3. Diet: Eat 1 bite less of all fatty food

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Thank you Mir

Thanks to mir, who tagged me for meme which I still don't know what it stands but it's not too hard to list 5 things

5 Things in my bag
  1. Car keys
  2. Cellphone
  3. Business cards
  4. Napkins and Tissues for kids
  5. Receipts, lots of receipts from grocery shopping
5 Favorite things in my bedroom
  1. Painting of white flowers painted by hubby
  2. Bathroom mirror which I use to see practice my cha cha routine that I'm learning from this DVD
  3. My old bed which we bought together 11 years ago
  4. See #1
  5. See #2
5 things I've always wanted to do
  1. Be a contestant on ballroom boot camp and win the competition
  2. Live in Mexico for 1 year and learn Spanish and Salsa
  3. Work in Asia for 1-2 years
  4. Learn chi-gong
  5. Learn reflexology
5 things I'm currently into
  1. Nintendo DS Avitar game
  2. Cooking Thai and Indonesian food
  3. Teaching my girls to speak Mandarin
  4. Getting my abdominal muscles back and get fit
  5. Taking babysteps to change my life
5 people I'm tagging
  1. Santi of Triligual
  2. CC of alphabet blog
  3. Sundry & Electic
  4. Fresno's hot because he hasn't blog for months
  5. Nenoy from paperboat who hasn't blog much either