31 May 2009

A Good Brother



Josh attended a classmate's birthday party yesterday and we got permission to bring Zoë along as well. She was over moon. Pardy, pardy! She absolutely loves it whenever she gets to do stuff with Josh.

As soon as we got to Josh's school, she immediately made her way to The Village (the play area and where the party was being held), took off her shoes without being told, ran through the gate, and just got into the thick of things. Up the mini rock-climbing wall, up and down the slide, swinging from the parallel bars, bouncing on the trampoline... she was into everything. She's been to Josh's school before and more or less knows her way around, but I was thinking that she might be shy around the older kids and might hold back a little. No such thing.




When it was time to play Duck, Duck, Goose, she got right in there as well and sat down next to Josh. Zoë would stand up and run around every time the Picker tags someone Goose. It was so sweet to see Josh patiently telling Zoë to sit down and wait until somebody tags her. 


Of course, all the older kids would tag their friends and pretty much ignore "the babies" (Zoë and the little sister of one of Josh's classmates). When it was Josh's turn, he went around tapping each of his classmates on the head, saying Duck. When he got to Zoë, he tagged her Goose, so she got her legit turn to run around and chase him, which also earned her the next turn to be the picker and tag somebody Goose

I mentioned to Chris when we came home how Zoe played Duck, Duck, Goose together with Josh and his classmates. Before I could even mention how good Josh was to look out for his sister -- 

Josh: ..and I let Zoë be my Goose! Me: Yeah, you are such a good brother, Josh.
Josh: I know, Mommy. You don't have to tell me!


30 May 2009

Loving Hong Kong #1 - Transportation



I've been here 14 years and it is as 'home' to me as it gets. We used to come here almost every summer with my parents and even then, as a young(er!) girl, beyond Ocean Park and the shopping malls, I've always loved the bustle, the brisk pace, the colorful cauldron of characters that make up Hong Kong. I love its East-meets-West flavor.

One of the many things I love about Hong Kong is its transportation system. I daresay it's probably one of the best in Asia and possibly ranks up there with the best in the world. I love that I can easily hop on any number of modes of transport and get to where I need to be. The connectivity, the convenience, the efficiency. Love it.

Sometimes if I know that parking would be a problem at the place that I need to go to, I'd just take public transportation. If I bring Josh along and if we are not pressed for time, we would sometimes make a game out of it and see how many different modes of transport we could squeeze in getting to where we would need to go. The other day, we were able to get on (1) a double-decker bus, (2) a taxi, (3) a mini-bus, and (4) the train. That only leaves the tram and the ferry that we hadn't taken that day. Isn't it cool? How many places in the world can you very easily take so many different modes of transport in an afternoon?

Here is a quick glimpse of the smorgasbord that we get to choose from:

1) The public buses
Most of these are double-decker buses, with only a few that are not. Josh always asks to go to the top deck whenever we ride in the double-deckers.



There is one that takes you to the Peak Tram terminus in Admiralty that is an open-top one, the 15C. We used to see this bus parked at a bus terminus near where we live and Josh would always cry out, "Look, Mommy. The bus with no roof!"


2) The mini-buses
These are officially called "public light buses," but everyone here just calls them mini-buses. They usually serve areas that main bus lines cannot reach as efficiently. The mini-buses get you to where you need to go - fast! Some of the mini-bus drivers drive like maniacs. I don't know if it's voluntary on the part of the mini-bus companies, but some of the mini-buses have installed a visible digital display of its travel speed, so that passengers can easily see if the driver is keeping within speed limits. Some of the newer buses also have lap belts installed and the government has made it compulsory that everyone puts on the seat belt if the mini-bus is equipped with them.


3) The taxis

They're everywhere! One of the easiest and most convenient way of getting anywhere. Generally it's very easy to hail a cab, except during rainy days and rush hours. Flag-down price is HK$18 (US$2.3). Taxis are color-coded according to the areas they serve:
Red for urban taxis; green for New Territories taxis; blue for Lantau taxis.


4) The trains
Our "metro." The MTR (Mass Transit Railway). One of the most efficient, traffic-free ways of getting around Hong Kong. It's hard to get lost here in Hong Kong, but if ever you are, all you need to do is to have someone direct you to the nearest MTR station and you're pretty much "back on track," so to speak.



Oh, do check out the special train that takes you to Hongkong Disneyland. Instead of the usual rectangular windows, they have Mickey-shaped windows! Talk about the Disney experience. They really reel you in even before you step onto Disney grounds.




5) The trams
Locals call these the "Ding-Ding," because of the ding-ding-ding sounds it makes as it rumbles by. At HK$2 (USD0.25) per ride --regardless of distance, --this is probably the cheapest way to get around Hong Kong Island if you are not in a rush.



And... you can rent one of these trams for a private party while it ding-ding-dings its way around Hong Kong Island. Check this out:


6) The ferries
I'm not a big fan of ferries. Only because I easily get seasick. BUT. I do love taking the Star Ferry whenever I can to get from either Wanchai, Central, or North Point over to the Kowloon side. At least on the Star Ferry, I can feel the wind blow, unlike the enclosed DB ferries and the other ones that take you to the other outlying islands.


Technically, there are still other modes of transport, but these are the main ones. You can easily while away an afternoon just hopping on and off different rides. Stopping in-between rides to take in some local "culture." It makes for a fun adventure with the kiddies on a lazy day!


Photo credits:
1) Buses, taxis, ferry: Hong Kong Transport Department
2) Tram (left photo): Wikipedia
Tram (right photo) and party tram: Mine!
3) Mini-bus: Wikipedia

A Handful



... of awards, that is. A huge thank you to Jenjen at GottaLoveMom for these wonderful awards that she's heaped on me. Jen is one of the sweetest mom bloggers I've met. You could simply tell that from her posts about her crumbcatchers, her family, and from her beautiful photos. What's more, she always takes the time to leave thoughtful comments and kind words.



Hop on over to check out her blog say hello!

29 May 2009

Award





Sara from Ordinary and Awesome has given me this lovely, lovely award for being one of "the moms who blog that post beautiful pictures/stories of their children." Sara is a graphic designer and is the wonderful host of Mostly Wordless Wednesday. Do pop over to her blog and visit for while.

What's an award for if not for passing along to other mommy bloggers whose posts about their (soon-to-be) children make me smile and sometimes laugh out loud? I'd like to share this award with:

1. Jen at GottaLoveMom
4. Dawn at Rylee for Life
5. Tonggu Momma at Our Little Tongginator
7. Sarah at Becoming Sarah
9. Lindy at Future Blackmail
10. Mon at Holistic Mama
11. Shelley at I'm Still Standing

Happy Friday!

28 May 2009

Accident, Mommy



Scene 1

Living room. CD and DVD cases strewn all over. A messy pool of silver disks on the floor. Another Josh and Zoë double trouble moment.

One look at my face, Zoë picked up a disk, came over to me, handed it over and said, "Me, Mommy. Accident. Sorry, Mommy." *Kisses and more kisses*




Scene 2

Six o'clock in the morning. A little voice was chirping excitedly next to me: "Look, Mommy, look!" I reluctantly peered through still sleepy eyes and immediately sat upright. Right there on my bed, on the bed sheet, was a thick white glob, about 1.5" high. Zoë was sitting proudly in front of it with a tube of my lotion in her hand.

Me: Zoë! Who did this? (Silly question, I know, as the culprit had been caught redhanded.)

Zoë: Me, Mommy. Sorry. Accident, Mommy. Love you. *Kisses* *More kisses*




Scene 3

Josh and Zoë playing hide-and-seek. Closet doors opening and banging shut. Lots of giggling. Suddenly, "Mommy! Zoë peed in your closet!" Ugh!

She still has the occasional 'accident,' especially when she's busy playing and can't be bothered to stop to go to the washroom. After we cleaned up the mess, she came to me and I told her that she needs to tell us when she has to go to the washroom. She looked at me, all innocence, and said, "Okay, Mommy. Me, accident. Take care, Mommy. Take care. Love you." *Kisses and kisses*

Zoë's very good at saying "sorry" even without prompting. Lately, as if she's trying out the word "accident," she's been owning up to every mischief around here, whether or not she was the perpetrator and saying that each one was an "accident." It's hard for me to keep a straight face when she does that... and she's so earnest, too! Not to mention the kisses and the love-you's that she dishes out whenever she apologizes.

It will take a lot for me to get mad at this little diva. She knows just what to do to butter me up!

27 May 2009

TIME Magazine's Babies of the Year




Perks of working in media / advertising.
One of the best baby gifts I ever received.

26 May 2009

Top Ten Tuesday - Looking Ahead





I don't know what the future holds. I can only hope. I hope that Chris and I would have raised both Josh and Zoë well, that they grow up to be individuals comfortable in their own skin, happy at where they are at any particular point in their lives, at peace with whatever decisions that they make, and ready to take on anything life throws their way. All these, I hope and pray.

What I do know, though, are the things that I will miss when I look back at "now" --years down the line, as Josh and Zo
ë grow. These are the things that I would look back on years from now and say to Chris, "Remember when..." The Top 10 things on that list:

  1. The sweet baby smell. And Josh and Zoë actually letting me hold and hug them hard just so I could sniff them.
  2. Believing that Mommy can kiss away boo-boos.
  3. Thinking that Mommy and Daddy know everything.
  4. Josh and Zoë climbing onto our bed at 6am and snuggling next to us (if we're lucky!) or them cheerily calling out, "Read book, read book!"
  5. Playing hide-and-seek, when they think that just because they don't see us that we don't see them either.
  6. Unexpected phone calls in the middle of the day telling us, "Where are you? Come home now." We'll probably be the ones making these calls when they're teenagers.
  7. Those cute little stick drawings.
  8. Their little performances, put on just for our benefit. Followed by a demanding "Clap hands, Mommy!"
  9. Chubby little hands that hold on to mine. Chubby little baby hands that try to manipulate crayons, puzzle pieces.
  10. Swinging Josh and Zoë as they walk between us and hearing their squeals of delight.
There are so many more. Notice I didn't mention about the kisses and the hugs? With any luck, they should still be there even when Josh and Zoë are in their 20's and we're in our 50's. I can only hope.
~~--~~

Top 10 Tuesday meme by Jennifer at It's a Beauty Filled Life.

25 May 2009

Only Babies Are Cute




Zoë was "sitting on the throne" and we were looking at the pictures on her potty seat. She was pointing to the pictures and telling me what they were. Then she moved on to a sticker of Marlin and Dory and pointed at Marlin and said that he's big.

Me: Yes, he's bigger than Nemo. Marlin is Nemo's daddy.
Zoë: Nemo baby. Cute.
Me: Yes, Nemo's the baby. You think Nemo's cute?
Zoë: Yeah. Nemo cute.
Me: Well, I think you're cute, too.
Zoë: No. (Frowning)
Me: You're not cute?
Zoë: No, Mommy! Big girl.
Me: Oh yes, you're a big girl.
Zoë: Yes. Big girl. Babies cute.
Me: Oh, only babies are cute? Big girls are not cute?
Zoë: Yeah. (Nodding earnestly)


I just realized that every time she says something is cute, they're small stuff, or in her words, "baby" stuff. Apparently all things "baby" are cute and because she is now a "big girl," I cannot say that she is cute anymore.

Button Is Up



Yay, I finally have a blog button! I had a lot of fun creating it, but just didn't figure that it would be so time-consuming. Thanks heaps to Jen at Jenieshell's Design Challenge ;for the wonderful tutorials on her site... and to DawnS at Rylee for Life (where I first got the link to Jen's site).



<center><a href="http://buckeroomama.blogspot.com"><img src="http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs094.snc1/4692_113785504740_650359740_2770541_4060743_s.jpg"/></a></center>


Please feel free to grab the code/button for your blog if you like. I'd be happy to put yours here, too, if you have one.

I had so much fun creating that that I want to do some more, so if anyone of you wants a simple (read: I'm no graphic designer) blog button created, please email me or leave me a comment. No obligations. I just want to practice (and you might have to be patient).

Have a great week, everyone!

A Button for a Blogger Buddy





Joanne over at Week of Menus has kindly allowed me to make her a blog button. Joanne and I know each other from way back... but we've never met! She is the one that I have to thank for getting me started on the Baby Signs® Program. We "met" at one of those online mommy forums and together with another mommy (JRC) have started trading parenting tips, even way past when we no longer are regular visitors of that mommy forum.

Go visit Joanne's blog and be prepared to be overwhelmed by the wide array of delicious treats that you will find there...mouth-watering dishes, really yummy baked goods, beautiful fruit mosaics. Go on, go!

24 May 2009

Making Up



Zoë knows just how to push Josh's buttons. She would grab his things, knock down stuff that he has "worked so hard" to build, draw on his paper even when she has her own, go after something that Josh has announced that he wants. Then she runs away, giggling. Expecting Josh to chase after her. Giggling some more. For the most part, Josh lets Zoë get away with it. He has a very gentle and easygoing nature. He usually just verbally expresses his frustration and moves along.

Sometimes it's just a game where Zo
ë wants to have the upper hand and be the one to say, "Here you go, KoKo" and hands back what she grabbed from him. Sometimes, though, enough is enough and Josh gets really upset. He would try to grab back what Zoë has taken and a tug-of-war would ensue.

Today, Zo
ë made Josh so upset that he cried. He went to his room, locked the door, and sat in the Quiet Corner. When I finally convinced him to unlock the door, he was still crying. Zoë immediately went in and sat down next to him, leaned in close, and said, "No more crying, KoKo, okay? No more crying." Josh cried harder. He always does, when someone is being kind to him when he is crying. He told Zoë, "I can't stop crying. It's tough for me to stop." Zoë then gave him a kiss, another kiss, and hugged him and said sorry. Then Zoë lifted her shirt and pointed to her tummy and said something about eggs in her tummy, which Josh suddenly found hilarious and laughed. And then they came outside and played together again.
~~--~~

Side note: I've modified my blog header. What do you think? It took me the whole afternoon, just tweaking and reworking. I never thought it could take up so much time to do up a simple header! I've done up a button, too. Just haven't figured out how to work the code so that I can put it on my sidebar.

23 May 2009

A Happiness Meme



I feel so sluggish. It's been raining the whole day. I actually don't mind that; I love the rain. What made today a bit yucky is the high humidity (95%). Ugh. Sticky. Damp.


I came upon this meme that Mon did and I decided that I want to play along. Enough of the yuckiness, bring on the happiness.

I'm supposed to list six things that make me happy and then tag six other blogger buddies to do the same.
  • Listening in unexpectedly to a conversation between Josh and Zoë. There is nothing quite as adorable as hearing Zoë trying to engage Josh in a conversation and nothing quite as heartwarming as hearing Josh chatting indulgently with her.
  • Snagging one of the few choice parking slots. Anywhere. You know, the ones where you won't have to trek a mile to get to where it is that you need to go after parking?
  • Chris, home safe and sound from his business trips.
  • Mrs. Vickie's chips --Jalapeno or Honey and Roasted Garlic. I only have these once a year. Unless we visit Canada more often.
  • Reading in bed before turning in for the night.
That was nice... listing down things that make me happy. The smile is back.

Do play along if you feel like it. Have a great weekend!

22 May 2009

Doll Dress





Zoë got this lovely dress in the mail from my friend in the U.S. and wanted to try it on right away. Including the dress, she had on four layers of clothing on her: a sleeveless shirt, a white cotton turtleneck onesie, a blue sweater, and the dress. She didn't want us to take off her sweater and tee before putting the dress on. I guess it was just as well, because the dress was a bit big for her and the layers helped pad her up. She loved the polka dots and the dress so much that she was twirling around for quite a bit before she even settled down to allow me to take a few photos.

The dress actually came with an identical itty-bitty dress --for a doll. When Zoë finally fits into the dress, I'll have to remember to take a few snaps of her in her dress, together with one of her dolls in the same dress.

Thanks, B, for the lovely, lovely dress(es)!

21 May 2009

It Takes a Village



Today at Josh's Socatots class and also at Zoe's swim class. Most of the parents (and helpers) were cheering on all the children, including those not their own. Well done! What a goal! Great save! Good job. Good try. Kind encouragement was given to all. This is how it should be.
~~--~~

Outside of the immediate family, all the other "grown-ups" in our children's life play a role in helping to shape how our children turn out. From the more obvious ones --the grandparents and other family members that you might see regularly, the teachers, and in our case, our helper, --to the not-so-obvious ones, the other "uncles and aunties": the "people in our neighborhood" (the mailman, the security guards, your priest/pastor/minister, etc.), the other parents in the playgroups and classes that our children attend, our neighbors, the caregivers (nannies, etc.) of the other children that our children play with, our own sets of friends.

Hillary Clinton wrote It Takes a Village over 10 years ago where she acknowledged how the people outside the family can affect our children's well-being and how we need to take an active role in our children's lives. She talked of how "children exist in the world as well as in the family"; that our children depend "on a host of other 'grown-ups' ...who touch their lives directly and indirectly"; that each one of us "plays a part in every child's life: It takes a village to raise a child."
I find that to be so true.
~~--~~

In the elevator. When someone greets you or acknowledges your presence, it is but polite that you return the courtesy. When a child greets you "good morning," it's even more of an imperative that you respond. Parents can teach their children good manners, but when children see other grown-ups not practicing good manners, it can get a bit confusing. I remember clearly one time when we were in the elevator, Josh greeted a lady "good morning." She totally ignored him. Josh, not one to be deterred, said it again, only louder. Still no response. I told Josh that maybe she didn't understand English. So Josh said good morning in both Cantonese and Putonghua. She didn't even deign to acknowledge. I was biting my tongue lest I say something really rude when Josh looked at me and said, "Maybe her mommy didn't teach her manners." Bingo.
~~--~~

Parenting is challenging enough in making sure that we teach our children the right values, that we model the correct behavior, without having to constantly undo "lessons" that we'd rather our kids not have learned from "the village."

20 May 2009

Zzzzzz's



This happened quite often when Josh was between 18-24 months old.






19 May 2009

Little Magic



For me, one of the many joys of having children is the rediscovery of the wonderment of little things. Of seeing the world through eyes not colored by disillusionment, of processing knowledge in a most pure and simple way. Of accepting that every little thing has its own brand of magic.
Zoë was gleefully shouting, "Look, look! Jumping, Mommy. Jumping!"
We hurried over to see what got her so excited.
I wasn't sure what she was referring to and tried to look around at what might be "jumping." I couldn't see what caught her attention, so I asked her what was "jumping."

She said, "Baby bubbles jumping. Look, Mommy!" and pointed to my glass of freshly poured Coke.

The fizz. Little bubbles jumping.
There you have it. My discovery of magic today. Courtesy of my 2-year old diva.

18 May 2009

To Be Needed Again




For a whole year, when Josh was in K1 last year, I would ride the school bus with him to school, hang around in Stanley with my other mommy friends, and then go back to school to pick him up and ride back home on the school bus with him. He was three years old (heck, he was only 31 months when he started K1!) and neither Chris nor I could bear the thought of his 3-year old self alone on the bus, even though there's a "bus mother" on board who would help look after all the unaccompanied children. (I hadn't yet gotten a Hong Kong driver's license then.)

Then this school year, when he started K2, he told me the night before school started that he would go on the school bus "all by myself, because I'm in K2 now." I had to convince him to let me go to school with him, at least on the first day. He grudgingly agreed, but got me to promise that he would go by himself the next day. I tried to bargain for a few more days. He suggested that I should just follow his school bus in my car all the way to school instead. (I didn't know whether to cry or to hug him. I think I did both.)

So I saw him off when the school bus came by to pick him up. Waved bye-bye, started to tear up. I couldn't help myself; I rushed to our car park, got in the car, and pretty much tailed his school bus all the way. I saw him queuing up with the other children as they got off the bus and headed into school. I hid behind a counter and watched as he changed into his "school shoes" and put his other pair in his cubby, before heading toward his classroom, bringing along his water bottle and his handbook. I can't even begin to tell you the emotions going through me that day. I felt proud of my boy's independence. I was a bit sad that I had to let go so soon. Couldn't he tell that I needed him to still need me a bit longer? I was relieved that I have my mornings back. I felt guilty for feeling relieved. I felt some sort of defiant embarrassment at having just done what I did --so what if I finally lived out my "follow-that-car" fantasy?

So. After all that drama last September, Josh has been going on the school bus by himself every day. On the odd days when I had errands to run around Stanley and on Fridays when I'd take Zoë to her Socatots class, I'd drive him to school myself. He made sure to remind me that he wanted to ride the school bus home after school, though. Later I found out that it's because his school bus driver would give him goodies (biscuits, crackers, little trinkets, and yes, the occasional 'sweet thing').

Imagine my surprise when he announced that he wanted me to drive him to school this morning. I told him that I'd drive him on Friday, drop him off before taking Zoë to her Socatots class. He then said that he wants me to do it more often, because "otherwise, I don't get to chat with you." Huh? Where did that come from? I still drive him to his swimming lessons and Socatots class and we chat plenty along the way. We chat plenty at home. A lot, I might even say, considering how he literally doesn't stop talking until he's finally asleep.

I kept thinking about this, but couldn't come up with any reason for his sudden imperative. Regardless, I'm honored. Honored that my presence has been requested. By none other than Mr. Independent himself. Happy to be needed again. For however long this might last.

So Sweet of You




I started blogging only this January, so I'm pretty much still a newbie here in the blogosphere. I blog mainly to keep a journal of my adventures in parenthood.

Blogging has given me an outlet for my varied musings and self-indulgent ramblings. It has led me to many a scintillating read on a wide variety of topics. Best of all, I have stumbled upon a community of wonderful fellow bloggers who have become "good neighbors." You know, the ones that call out "Have a great day" with a warm smile, the ones who give you a friendly wave as you drive by?

Some of these wonderful blogger buddies have given me wonderful encouragement by way of *ahem* awards. To all of you, I say a hearty "Thank You." Do allow me to award you back. *Cheeky grin*


I could not resist.



I have shamelessly copied this from Tonggu Momma -with her permission, of course.

17 May 2009

Long Overdue Thanks



...goes to Veronica from Of Mice & RaMen and to Heather at Living the Good Life in Bklyn for this sweet award. Two wonderful blogger buddies.

Do drop by and check out their blogs.

Veronica's blog features a collection of the most interesting and most amazing photos --body art, X-ray art, leaf art, funny photos, book art, cute animal photos, etc. Visit and be wowed.

Heather's blog talks of life with her Little Miss and also features a JibJab video of her muy macho husband prancing around in a hot pink leotard doing rhythmic gymnastics. Sorry, Heather, but that just had to be mentioned. I was laughing so hard! Please say that I'm still your blogger buddy.


I'm sure there are award rules. But this award has been passed around a few times that some of the rules have been either dropped or modified to suit the giver and/or the recipient --as evidenced by the two different sets of 'rules' from both Heather and Veronica. So, in keeping with not adhering completely to the rules (and because there is a tiny bit of a rebel in me), I am going to say thank you, gracias, xie xie, salamat, merci, danke, grazie... and then reserve the right to pass it along whenever the mood strikes me. Over and out.

Color My World




Because it's Sunday, because I'm feeling lazy, and because I love this photo, I am re-posting here a Note that I wrote on Facebook (19 Jul 2008):

I was busy working (okay, Facebooking!) when Josh announced loudly beside me, "Mama, look --I'm an alligator!" Imagine my shock when I turned around and saw this green face grinning up at me. No wonder he was so quiet... I should've known!


16 May 2009

Birthday Card



I think that from now on, I'm going to make Josh do all his cards - birthday cards, Christmas cards, thank you cards, etc.

Having him print his own name on store-bought cards adds a bit of a personal touch, but nothing says "You matter" more than a carefully designed, handwritten card with illustrations done up by the sender himself. It doesn't really matter all that much if your child is not a budding Picasso. It's the effort and the heart that he has put into making the card that makes all the difference. The best thing about this, too, is that your child gets a sense of pride at completing something that is worthy of being 'gifted' to another.

Here is a card that Josh did for Bailey, whose birthday party we attended today.

Back cover / Front cover

Back cover: Bailey is at a soccer field. She's the goalie and she just saved a goal by stopping the ball with her foot. That's her scooter in the foreground.

I particularly love this drawing. Bailey's one of his classmates at Socatots and one of the things that they learned in the class is to stop the ball with their feet. Doesn't she look like she is doing just that in the drawing? Check out the little squares in the net, too! I don't think I could draw this well when I was 4! Psst, I still can't draw.

Front cover: Bailey picking flowers. He wanted to show Bailey doing that because "Bailey loves flowers."


The inside of the card

I had to cover up a little mistake on the right page, because Josh insisted that he didn't want to make another card. Everything else on the card is totally his (except for the additional names I put in under his and Zoë's.)


Josh is into making block letters lately... and lots of exclamation points!!!

He tells me what he wants to write and I spell out the words for him. In the short note above, he could spell out his own name, Zoë's and also "happy." *Proud mama*

I'd love to receive one of these cards myself! Wouldn't you?

15 May 2009

Trying on for Size



You ever remembering wearing your mom's dresses or clunking around in her shoes? I used to do that a lot.

Here are some pics of my tikesters doing what I used to do.

1) Josh
These were taken when Josh was around 18 months old.


In Chris' shoes

In my shirt (looking like Yoda)


2) Zoë

These were taken when she was also around 18 months old. I don't remember what the parenting books say, but maybe this is when babies start wanting to be more like the adults..?


In Zoë's case, there's also Josh. An older sibling. She looks up to Josh. She also believes that she should be able to do everything he does.

In Josh's shorts and shoes
(She actually got into these herself!)

Trying on an old pair of my shorts --this way...
and that way...

Have a great weekend, everyone!


For more Fashion Friday fun, please visit Salsa in China.

13 May 2009

The Baby Store



Because a couple of his classmates have new siblings and because our godson, X, has a new baby brother, Josh told us that he wanted one, too.

Josh: "I already have a baby sister. I want a baby brother now."
Me: How are we going to get you a baby brother?
Josh: The doctor will put the baby in your tummy.
Me:
Really? From where will the doctor get the baby?
Josh: Well, the doctor will go to a baby store, buy the baby, and put him in your tummy.


Easy-peasy, apparently.

~~--~~
Where do your children think babies come from?


Picture Me




Zoë runs over to the gate and poses.

"Picture me, Mommy. Picture me."

Zoë wants more "pictures" and refuses to move along.


12 May 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do



We're at this really fun and sometimes exasperating -- but mostly fun, --stage right now where both Josh and Zoë will try to copy whatever it is the other is doing. I was expecting that of Zoë --that she would want to do everything that Josh does, but I wasn't counting on Josh also sometimes wanting to copy Zoë's antics as well. Most of the time, when they do that, it's rather amusing and cute. But it gets really exasperating and sometimes downright annoying when both of them are up to no good.


Yesterday, while our helper was vacuuming, Zoë decided to turn the power bar switch off. And then back on again. And then off again. I quickly removed her from the scene of the crime and firmly told her not to do it again, quickly explaining why not. I got a meek, "Sorry, Mommy" from my sweet girl (without prompting!). I had barely finished giving Zoë a hug when the sound of vacuuming got interrupted again and this time, it was Josh who was gleefully turning the switch on and off. Arrgh! He just heard me tell Zoë off for doing the same thing. That was what he did which prompted me to sit him down and give him the talk-that-never-happened, because I got sidetracked by our what-are-mommies-for conversation.

I don't think I have "double trouble" photos of the two of them. I would have been too busy putting out fires to whip out the camera. Instead, here are a couple of shots of them mirroring each other, taken on Sunday, when Chris and I took them out for a walk after breakfast.

Josh loves to sit on these balls. Zoë, for some reason, loves to kiss them, which totally grosses me out. Maybe I shouldn't react so much, because Josh thinks it's funny and then he starts kissing the balls, too. Thankfully, they refrained from doing so this time and instead, were content to just bum-wipe sit on each. and. every. ball there was. 


After trying out each of the 15 or so balls, they decided that they wanted to pick flowers. We told them that they could only pick the flowers from the weeds, so here they are busy looking for "baby flowers."


I wonder how parents with more than two children deal with situations when ALL of the children get into mischief one after the other (which is worse than when they get into mischief all at the same time, I think). Not something I am eager to find out myself, thankyouverymuch. But I am honestly curious.

11 May 2009

What Mommies Are For



One thing that really drives me nuts is when Josh would go right ahead and do whatever it is that I just told him not to do.

After another such occasion today, I sat him down and asked him, "What do you think mommies are for?" Intending to follow through with how I'm here to teach and guide him and keep him safe and make sure that he does the right things, etc. To explain why I tell him No and why I don't want him to do certain things and why he must learn to listen. Blah, blah, blah. See, sometimes I tend to forget that the shortest distance between two points is a direct line. Anyway...

Josh: Mommies are for giving us love.

I don't know what answer I was expecting him to give, but it certainly wasn't that. I decided to pursue this further and see where it would lead.

Me: Yes, we are here to love you. (Hugs) What else are mommies for?
Josh: To hold us.
Me: What else?
Josh: They help you do stuff that you can't do.
Me: What else?
Josh: Feeding babies milk.
Me: Anything else?

Josh: Wiping tears from babies.


He had given me five really sweet answers. I wanted more.

Me: What else, Josh?


Josh: To finish the food on our plates.

Ah. There it is finally. My raison d'etre.

10 May 2009

Award



LPC over at - Privilege has made me Queen. Queen of ALLL Things Awe-summm. Wow. (Thanks, LPC!) I should be the one giving her this award, but someone already beat me to it. LPC is "a 52-year old executive and mother, brought up in privilege." If I were to choose one word to describe her blog and how she writes: Eloquence. I love reading her posts. It's not just the topics, but mostly it's the way she writes. Oh so eloquently. Her blog is filled many things High WASP. Intrigued? Visit her site to find out more.

I'm supposed to
say seven things about myself that make me awe-summm and pass this award on to seven other bloggers.

Hmm. How to do this? To publish just seven items out of a list of 1,728 things that make me awesome
would not give an accurate picture of yours truly. To pass this award on to just seven other bloggers, when there are so many bloggers who I think are deserving of this award puts too much pressure on these fragile shoulders of mine. I will, instead, share this award with all the bloggers whom I think are awe-summm. Okay? Okay.

09 May 2009

Being Like Ma



My mom and I have a pretty good relationship, I would say. I could talk to her about pretty much everything. Growing up, I knew that my friends wished that they could talk to their moms the way that I could talk to mine.

What characterized our relationship is a level of trust. She operated on the principle of trusting me not to break her trust in me. A very brave (and wise) thing to do, I realize now --especially now that I am a mother myself. I never really had to beg for permission to go out with friends, have sleepovers, etc. Implicit in our relationship was the agreement that I would let her know of my plans, with whom, when, where, etc. She never had to grill me about details --whether before or after the event. She trusted me enough to use good judgment regarding what was or wasn't kosher. I don't recall having to sit through sermons either. She's not the type.

I remember the one and only time I got stinking drunk and went home reeking of alcohol and had dried-up vomit on my shirt, fully expecting to be told off and lectured on how irresponsible that was, etc. All I got was, "Now that wasn't fun, was it?" No, it certainly wasn't. And I never misjudged my tolerance for alcohol since then.

I grew up wanting to be like my mom --not just be the kind of mother that she has been to me, but also be like her in the person that she is. If I could share with our tikesters the joy of learning; if I could instill in them an adequate sense of self-reliance; if I could help them gain a healthy sense of who they are and what they stand for; if I could model courage, strength of spirit and character; if I could laugh and cry and keep moving along; if I could be genuinely pleasant to others no matter how shitty I might feel, then perhaps I just might be able to come close to being a little bit like my mother.

Happy Mother's Day, Ma!

08 May 2009

Socks and Underwear



When Josh was around 2.5 years old, he went through a short phase of not wanting to get dressed / changed. As soon as we'd take off his clothes, he would sprint away. We used to have to chase after him just to put on various pieces of clothing on him. The socks were usually easy, because for some reason, he liked to help pull them on, but once on, he'd squirm and run off again.

Here he is, running away from our helper, who was trying to get him dressed to go out.

During those times, sometimes when the weather was warm enough, we'd just let him run around the house in only his underwear/diaper and socks, nothing else. Gotta pick my battles, man.

Here he is on one of those days. We actually used this photo to make a calendar for the grandparents two years ago.

Have a good weekend!

07 May 2009

Goodbye, Bubble Tea




I am not a coffee drinker. I can say no to soda (most of the time). Not into juice. Not really big on tea either. I like my water.

BUT if someone offers me bubble tea (other names: boba, 珍珠奶茶, pearl milk tea) she becomes my BFF.

I think I had my first bubble tea around the time I first moved to Hong Kong, over 10 years ago. It's them tapioca balls that done me in. Not so much the tea itself, which is nothing special. I think I've tried pretty much all the different types of bubble tea available and I've found my favorite: Honey green tea with pearls. Technically, honey green tea with pearls does not exist. It is not on the menu. But I'm such a regular customer at this shop that they will add the pearls to honey green tea if I ask them really nicely. And I do. Because I want my honey green tea with pearls. Lots of pearls, please. Cold, but hold the ice. And please don't make it too sweet. Yes, a large order, please. I'll have it to-go, but no need for the plastic bag.

Over the years, it's been my feel-good drink. There is something comforting about the oh-so-chewy tapioca balls. I still have not found where I can buy these tapioca pearls, so that I can make my own bubble tea. Maybe I haven't really tried hard enough, because it's so convenient to just pop down and get a glass of bubble tea from the shop.

But last week, when Chris and I drove by just to pick up a couple of glasses, we found our favorite bubble tea place all boarded up. Gone. Just like that.

The shop is part of a chain that makes the best bubble tea in Hong Kong, in my expert opinion. Says the self-declared bubble tea connoisseur. They used to have shops all over town. I went online just now to check where else I could go to get my poison and noted that they only have four shops left, and only one on the Hong Kong side. The rest are in Kowloon and in the New Territories. Ugh.

Maybe it's just as well. In my research into where I could get the same tapioca pearls that are used in bubble teas, I found that these bubble teas are very fattening. Mainly because of the condensed milk that they use in the milk tea. But I don't drink milk tea. My bubble tea of choice is honey green tea. Still. "A one-way ticket to Obesity Boulevard" was how the writer of the article put it. Enough said.


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