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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Practical and Functional

Hi Everyone!

It's July already! Where did the year go? The kids are out of school, and we just celebrated Canada's 150. We went downtown with some friends and partook some festivities downtown. We started at the 104 st market, and then checked out Rogers Place for the first time and saw some multicultural shows, such as wu shu, lion dance and shumka. Then we proceeded to City Hall where it was super busy inside. We had come through the back north doors, and when we went out through the front the doors, it was crazy busy! Churchill Square was packed. Too bad fireworks are so late, it doesn't get dark in Edmonton until 11 pm, so I knew that was way too late for the kids especially if they were out and about all day. Heck, that's late even for me on a day I was out and about, haha.



Mmm, pig roast. We had lunch at 'Ono Poke and tried the yummy shaved ice cream special.

Statue came to life and Number 1 got a handshake!


I had this post partially envisioned in my head back near Father's Day. Are you easy to shop for? Are your parents easy to shop for? I think I'm pretty easy to shop for, anything amuses me, and for most ladies and women, I think that's the case. New soap or scented cream? Love it. New nail polish, jewellery or cosmetic pouch? Awesome. I love food and coffee cards. Meanwhile, my parents are the worst to shop for. My mom is so not girly, so I'd moved to functional gifts awhile back. I started with gift certificates and did that for a couple years until my mom whispered to me once that if I'd been thinking of getting them a gift cert, cash is better and easier. Fair enough, cash is king, so for birthdays I'll give them cash in a lucky red envelope. Then even the more practical gifts were given back to me, such as a clothing steamer. (Hmm, I should actually use that more often.) But the past Mother's and Father's Day, I think I did well.

For Mother's Day, I got my mom a small purple Kipling purse, and socks. First, the purse. Amongst my mom's senior citizen ladies group, it sounds like Kipling and Le Sportsac are the bags of preference. Leather and bags with heavy hardware aren't too popular any more, apparently they're too heavy. (I saw one of my friend's mom and an party and noticed she was sporting a lightweight Le Sportsac bag too, haha. Senior trends.) I don't think she commented on the purse to me afterwards, but the socks she liked. And these weren't just any snazzy socks. They were circulation socks. I know my mom only has a couple pair of prescription circulation socks, so I bought her another pair from the travel section from Winners, and she loved them. Hahahaha, practical gift at its best!

For Father's Day, I got my dad one of those portable battery chargers for his cellphone, and some sort of glue kit that involves UV light. He was pretty happy, especially with the battery charger, since they're going on vacation in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of vacation, we're going to Vancouver, Victoria and Sidney next week. We're so looking forward to it! Any suggestions on where to go or where to eat? The kids haven't been to British Columbia before, and it's actually been years since I've gone too. I think it may turn into a foodie trip, the kids are already looking forward to food in Richmond. I'm looking forward to just relaxing on the island, we don't anticipate it being as fast paced as previous vacations. The girls have music camp this week, and then next week we head out!



Thanks for reading, have a great day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

There was an Old Lady...

Hi everyone!

Some days I feel like an old lady. I'll be turning 39 next month, so I know I'm not ancient by any means, but the wrinkles are coming in, the joints creak, and the white hair is here. I was at my parents' house a few months back, and watching their Chinavision shows, when an Asian brand hair dye commercial comes on. "Look how convenient that is," I commented, as I watched the hair dye be placed on a brush for spot coloring. My mom says she has a couple boxes upstairs, and I ended up taking one of them.

1. You know you're old old when you're mooching hair dye off your senior citizen mother.

And I still haven't used it because I procrastinate.


2. You know you're old when you have to look up vernacular on the Urban Dictionary. I professed my love to the current Lana Del Rey song in my last post, and when I was looking at the comments to the video on You Tube, I noticed so many people saying "I'm shipping these two!" in reference to Lana and the Weeknd. Now, because of the context, I kinda get what they're saying, but nonetheless, I went to look at trusty Urban Dictionary. (In case you don't know what shipping means, the verb form means to endorse a romantic relationship, while noun usage is short for romantic relationship, ie, 'ship.)

3. You know you're old when current vernacular that you had to look up in the Urban Dictionary, annoys you and makes no sense. Also, youngsters, what is with typing words and putting extra letters, eg "I loveeeee it!" I get if you typed looooove for emphasis, but why the extra e's? It's a silent letter! I don't get it.

3a. You know you're old when youngsters make you cranky.

4. You know you're old when you're training your 7 year old to turn on various electronics. I will turn into my mother right away when I don't know what video component goes with what source of television.

5. You know you're old when sweets hurt your teeth now. Man, I can't eat Turtles anymore, it's actually been years since I've eaten them. Plus, my gums are starting to recede.

6. You know you're old when you can't eat as much now. I was blessed with good metabolism until I was 25 and at a desk job. It's been going way downhill from there. Now I find I don't eat as much, which is a good thing, but I was disappointed when I went to a wedding a couple weekends ago, and didn't eat much of the buffet, even though I really wanted to.

7. You know you're old when you say 'tape', as in tape a tv show. Sometimes I remember to say PVR.

8. Speaking of tape, you know you're old when you're at your child's in school field trip, and a set of science cards for the magnet unit shows a VHS tape and VCR, and all the kids say, "I've seen those at my grandparents' house."

9. You know you're old when kids of legal age (that's 18 in Alberta) were born in 1999. Yikes. I was almost done university then. And actually partying like it's 1999.

10. You know you're old when 1996 doesn't seem that long ago. That was 21 years ago. I graduated high school 21 years ago, that's a whole person who can gamble in Las Vegas. Here's a side story though. The last few years I've run into random people I've gone to school with. This year, my daughter joined an after school club/lesson for STEM (science technology engineering math), which we all called Lego club since it involved Lego. Well, the person running it always seemed familiar to me, and I finally realized we went to high school together. We didn't know each other back then, which is why it wasn't obvious. One day, she asked me if I went to the same high school, as she recognized me too. She said to me that we must look pretty good still, since over 20 years later, we recognize someone from school who we didn't even hang out with back in the day! Which, you know what, is very true!

11. You know you're old when your children are becoming little independent people. C is going into grade 3 next year, I think that's the big kid division at their school! And A will be in the school system in kindergarten!

It's been a long time since I've gotten IDed. It used to annoy me, but wouldn't that be nice now. Actually, I got IDed at the Madonna concert a few years back, so that's still pretty good, right? Maybe they were just humoring us.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!






Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summertime Happiness

Hi hi everyone! I know, it's been almost a month since I last posted. And you know what I'm going to say, it's been busy busy! In a nutshell, it's been busy with school field trips (between the two kids, John Janzen Nature Centre, Telus World of Science, and upcoming ones to Ukrainian Village and Jackie Parker Park), my number 2 had her preschool graduation and concert, plus the husband had a new business venture go into play at the end of May, so we really have been busy here!

I can't believe it's June and that there's only about two weeks of school left! Thank goodness, I haven't been wanting to get up lately, plus I think I'm over packing school lunches and snacks, haha. Bring on lazy summer days! I talked about teacher gifts in my last post, and I have done nothing since then. Nothing. I think for the preschool teachers it will be cookies plus something felt, I'm thinking maybe felt flower magnets, and for the grade two teachers, it will be Chapters gift cards. I still have time, right?

What kind of music are you guys listening to these days? Gone are my days of devotedly listening to one album, though I still play fave songs on repeat. My current favorite the past few weeks now is Lust for Life, by Lana Del Rey and featuring The Weeknd. I love this song. I actually love Lana Del Rey too, I played her Born to Die album over and over. Okay, I guess I do still have days of devotedly listening to albums. Born to Die was the last hard copy CD I bought. Even my kids are used to that album, and number 2 always fell asleep to it in the car, now I wonder when she listens to one of those songs as an adult, it will automatically put her to sleep.


 

I'm sad that I can't play Lust for Life while the kids are around though. There's a line that is repeated, "Take off, take off, take off all your clothes," and it's slow and distinct, so I'm sure the kids will be singing that all the time. The last thing I need is for them to break out in song with that particular line at the grocery store.


Now that my kids are getting older, I'm a little more conscious about what they hear in songs. Overall, radio is still safe, but once in awhile, especially with hip hop music, I'm waiting for them to question a lyric. It was throwback Thursday one time, and they were playing Shaggy, It Wasn't Me, on the radio, and the lines 

Honey came in and she caught me red-handed, Creeping with the girl next door, Picture this we were both butt-naked, Banging on the bathroom floor

Auggh, fortunately neither of the girls noticed the lines. Ed Sheeran, Castle on the Hill, was on the other day though,and number 2 asked me what 'drunk' meant, after hearing 'Running from the law through the backfields and getting drunk with my friends'. I gave her my standard response of 'Don't worry about it', haha.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day everyone!



Monday, May 15, 2017

Cactus and Donuts, oh my.

Hi Everyone!

It is officially spring! It finally warmed up a few weeks ago, (literally went from my puffy jacket to tank top in a span of six days). Did some yard clean up and moved some succulents around. I haven't planted anything except for some new ground cover so far though, I'm used to waiting until May long weekend to be safe, but it looks like we're actually good this year. Unfortunately it's been cool and cloudy the past week, so I haven't felt like flower shopping. I'll probably go sometime this week, I only have three or four small planters to work on. Oh, plus vegetables. What kind of vegetables do you like to plant? My favorites are varieties of tomatoes, and zucchini. I planted kale last year too, but the wild bunnies nibbled on them. I think I'll try lettuce or kale in containers this time to deter them this year.

Two more months of school! I can't believe the school year is almost done. My kids will be big kids this fall! C will be in grade 3, and A will be in kindergarten! Wow. Anyways, end of the school year means I need to start thinking of end of year gifts for teachers. For A's preschool teachers (5 of them), I was thinking coffee cards and a handmade cactus for each of them if I can get my act together. I've made them gingersnaps in the past and they seem to like them, so probably a batch of those too, since it's A's last year with them.


Or maybe I should do felt donuts. Have I ever mentioned I love working with felt?


For C's teachers, probably a Chapters bookstore gift card, and maybe something hand made, it depends how much time I'll have.

How about you, what do you get your kids' teachers?

Have a great day everyone! I look forward to this long weekend. Lessons are cancelled, I hope the weather is good, and the kids get a few more days off, so there should be some good family time. Or they'll drive me crazy, hahahaha. Have a great one!



Thursday, April 27, 2017

T-shirt

This is a t-shirt that I bought my eldest daughter the first time we took her to San Diego when she was 18 months old, back in 2011. We were worried that she would be fussy on the plane ride, but she was such a good girl. When we landed, even the people sitting around us commented that she was so well behaved on the plane.

I bought this t-shirt at one of the outlets near San Diego. I had accidentally picked up a size 5 instead of a size 3. What was I thinking, now we would have to wait such a long time before she could wear this!

My daughter is now 7. I stretched out how long she could wear this shirt, and now it is too short. I take it out of the t-shirt drawer of her dresser. How did this happen? This shirt was so large for her before, and now she can't even wear it anymore.

Where does the time go? It is so cliche, but they really do grow up fast. It seemed like yesterday that I grabbed the wrong size shirt, with my husband shaking his head at me for being sloppy, that I was waiting for her to turn 5 so she could finally wear the shirt.

The shirt will get another life soon. My little daughter will be turning 5 this summer, so it is waiting patiently in the closet to be worn again.





Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Mini Me

Bonjour mes amies!

I know, it's been awhile (again) that I haven't posted anything. I hope everyone had a good Easter break. Ours was good, we had turkey dinner at my parents and saw some relatives that we hadn't seen in awhile...Speaking of Easter, I just had a Twix egg from the Easter candy stash, and now my teeth hurt. Sigh. Sweets aren't the same now that I'm older. Anyone else feel the same? That's probably for the best though.

I've been busy with appointments these past two weeks, it's just that time of year. Doctor check ups, acupuncture, hair cut, and saw the dentist yesterday. I go to the dentist literally once a year, and that's when Little A doesn't feel well and I miss calls from the teachers at the preschool, miss calls and texts from the husband asking where I am (clearly he doesn't pay attention to when I say I have appointments) and in the end the husband ended up having to leave work to pick up A at school. Though I think he may have secretly been happy to leave work for a couple hours.

Do you find it funny or eerie when your kids say things that you say? It really is 'monkey see, monkey do' sometimes. And it's starting to span generations, I don't know what's worse, that I'm turning into my mother or my daughters are turning into me. Does this mean we're all turning into each other?

Things my Mini Mes say:

"Fine." What I always say when I reluctantly let them do something.

"Seriously?" Just something that I always say.

A three year old C years ago also used the word "gong show" to describe the playground, hahaha.



Things that I say now that my mother says/used to say when I was a child:

"What kind of name is that Mom?" "What kind of name is your name?"

"Just because someone else says/does that, doesn't mean you should too."

"You're my child and you play by my rules."

**Some of these are loosely translated, as my mom speaks Cantonese to me.

I always thought my mom was paranoid for checking the stove and such before we left the house. Now I find that I do it too, and if I don't, I'm paranoid I'll come and find that the house has burnt to the ground.

I need to start picking up the kids soon, and that reminds me, I better check the stove to make sure it is off before I go. I was cooking some broth for tonight's dinner, we're having ramen and wontons tonight, yum!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's Spring Break!

Hi everyone! It's spring break for us here in Edmonton, I noticed on some other blogs that some other areas just finished, and they had two weeks of spring break! We just have one, and it technically started early for my oldest daughter C, she had some sort of flu bug and had to stay home on Thursday and Friday. She was on the mend by Saturday, and we were able to head down to Calgary to visit my brother and sister-in-law. We hung out at their house and went out for dinner on Saturday night, stuffing ourselves with some yummy Chinese food.

We went to Banff the next morning, but a few hours later, little A was not feeling well. We headed back to Calgary to pack up our stuff, and then back home to Edmonton. A was sick a good number of times in the car on the way home, good thing I stocked up on plastic bags from my brother's house. We stopped by my parents' for dinner, and after some magical congee/jook, A seemed to be better. Indeed, by Monday, she was back to normal.

It has been awhile since we'd been to Banff, it's too bad we weren't able to stay longer. We had grand plans for the rest of our trip, stay in Banff for a bit, then get take out pho from Calgary. Monday would have been Cross Iron Mills. Oh well, next time.



The first day of official spring break, the girls and I did some painting on canvases. Today we had a play date with a friend from school and whose mom I am friends with. I made some play dough this morning in anticipation of letting the girls play with it this afternoon. It was the first time I'd made play dough at home, it was neat to make and felt really nice. A friend had made it before at a different play date and passed me the recipe. I'm not sure where online she got the recipe, but if you know, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

Play Dough Recipe

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar (found in baking or spice aisle)
1 tbsp oil
1 cup water
food coloring of choice

*rubber gloves (food coloring stains the hands!)

1. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a pan.
2. Add water and mix well, cooking over medium heat. Stir constantly for about 4 minutes. Dough will become stiffer and form a clump.
3. Remove from pan and knead for about 5 minutes; add food coloring. Separate into different clumps for different colors as desired.
4. Store play dough in a covered container or sealed plastic bag.


Clearly the first color I made was blue, ha. I actually made two batches of the recipe, so I made two colors with each batch (green is missing from photo). Look how pretty my play dough looks! I've heard there are other recipes where you can use Jello or Kool-Aid to make the color and which also makes the play dough smell nice. I may have to try those next time.

Yawn, it's time for bed. Tomorrow I need to take my girls shoe shopping. C has one new pair that we bought last fall, while A has nothing, her shoes are either too small or still too big. She's been wearing her boots all week. 

Have a good night!