30 June 2009

Summer Concert - Revived



Remember when I mentioned that I was quite looking forward to Josh's school's Summer Concert this June? Well, it got canceled, on account of the government's closing down all kindergartens and primary schools in an effort to minimize the children's risk of exposure to the H1N1 virus. Consequently, all other planned school events had been canceled as well. 


We were so looking forward to this year's concert because part of the program would involve Josh speaking lines to introduce a segment. Lines. Not just one, but four. 


Earlier this year, we talked about what we want to be when we grow up. I want to be a chef. What do you want to be, P?


...and when every one of his classmates had a turn at saying what they would like to be when they grow up, he gets the microphone again to say, 


What do you want to do now, S?


to segue into their next number where they perform a dance to Rupee's Jump


There are quite a number of students in Josh's K2 class who will be moving on to other schools to start P1 and because the government's announcement came rather suddenly, most of the children did not have a chance to say a proper goodbye to their teachers nor to their classmates. Many of us were disappointed that we wouldn't be able to see the cute numbers that the children have put together this year. 

But thanks to M, one of the mommies in Josh's class, the Summer Concert was revived! A part of it, at least. Thanks to M's generosity and organizational skills, the K2 and K3 classes were able to have at least their portion of the Summer Concert at the A. Club. 

So it was with great excitement today that we all gathered together for the graduation ceremony of the K3 students and the children got to perform the numbers for which they'd practiced long and hard. It was such a joy (and a hoot!) to watch them sing and dance. The part where each one had to say what they want to be when they grow up had its share of funny and sweet answers, too. Apart from the usual I want to be a teacher and I want to be a doctor comments, one child said he wants to be a "pumpkin" when he grows up; another wanted to be a "nothing" (to much laughter amongst the kids and the audience). Two aspired to be rock stars; one boy wanted to be a pet shop owner; a cute little boy wanted to be a gardener. 

I would love to upload the videos here, but out of respect for the privacy of the other children and their families, I'll just leave you with a photo of Josh taken before the program started. He was busy running around trying to collect as many balloons as he could and was happy as a clam that he got six. 

Josh with balloons, focal bw

29 June 2009

Award and Tag




Angela, over at Mom's Fortress of Solitude, has gifted me with the Humane Award. Thanks, Angela!






"The Humane Award honors certain bloggers that I feel are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn’t for them, my site would just be an ordinary blog.
Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendships through the blog world.

Link back to the person who gifted you with the award and share the love with other bloggers.”



I'd love to share this award with the following blog buddies:


Gotta Love Mom




How to Survive Life in the Suburbs


Of Mice and RaMen



JAM's Own Reality



My Life in Photos



Flying Giggles and Lollipops
Photobucket


A Pocket Full of Buttons
APocketFullOfButtons


A Nut in a Nutshell


Do drop by and say hello!
~~--~~
I've been tagged by Melissa over at Sweet Serendipity. The rules:



1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your invention, add one more question of your own.

2. Tag other people.

What is your current obsession?
Blogging

What are you wearing today?
Navy cotton shorts and a white tank

What’s for dinner?
Chicken curry and potatoes
What’s the last thing you bought?
Some hair clips for Zoë


What's your favorite food to order when eating out?

Tuna tartare on a bed of sticky Japanese rice, with scallions, ginger, and salmon caviar

What are you listening to right now?
Blessed silence (the children are asleep!)


If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Bali, back to the Ritz (now Bvlgari) and indulge in one of their signature spa treatments


Which language do you want to learn?
I would love to continue to learn French (Made it to Level 8, but stopped because I didn't have the time).

What do you love most about where you currently live?
Its exciting East-Meets-West flavor.


What style is your current home decorated in?
Fingerprints, ballpen scribbles, (finger)paint smudges, dents, and nicks


If you were a time traveler what era would you live in?
Loved the 80's; wouldn't mind reliving them. {Horrors!}


What is your favorite color?
I generally like certain shades of green (not necessarily for clothes, though).


What is your favorite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
A white cotton blouse with 3/4 sleeves --perfect for summer. Not too casual, not overly dressy.

What were you doing ten years ago?
I was sharing a flat with two flight attendants. I was working VERY long hours. Got wined and dined by TIME, Newsweek, CNN, Discovery, Business Week, The Economist, etc. Ahh, the days of unlimited advertising budgets.

Describe your personal style?
Depends on my mood.


If you had $300 now, what would you spend it on?
A nice spa treatment.


What are you going to do after this?
Draft a letter to a social worker about the benefits of using sign language, especially in inter-racial adoptions.

What are your favourite films?
The Shawshank Redemption, When Harry Met Sally


Your favourite books?
To Kill a Mockingbird, A Boy's Life (R. McGammon)
, books by Peter Mayle

Do you collect anything?
Not anymore.


What makes you follow a blog?
The posts and/or the photos - interesting, thought-provoking, humorous, witty.


What was the most enjoyable thing you did today?
Played soccer and ran around with the kids


What makes you comment on a blog?
Interesting content


What is your favorite thing to do when you have some free time?
Blog / edit photos


Homeschooling -- If you could would you? Do you agree with homeschooling?
Yes and no. Would love to, but I don't think I have the patience for it.

If you owned your own business, what would you sell/provide?
I conduct Baby Signs® classes and workshops.

My question: Who or what would you like to be in your next life?

~~--~~
Consider yourselves tagged if you want to play along!

I ♥ Faces: Just for Fun




AAA-Zoe1




We despaired of Zoë ever having hair, enough to look like a girl. Whenever we went out, people simply assumed that she was a baby boy, even though we had dressed her up in pink to avoid just that. Of course, sometimes it didn't help that she was wearing some of Josh's hand-me-downs... 




26 June 2009

My New Shopping Buddy



I had a most pleasant morning shopping at Stanley today. I knew what I wanted, I knew where to go to get them. I had my best girl with me.




We headed straight to Kathy's, tucked away in a little alley up from the main drag. Kathy's is where I go when I need to get pajama sets for Josh and Zoë.

During the 20 minutes or so that I spent choosing the right prints, checking out sizes, making sure that I got the right sizes for the tikesters and their little cousins, the little diva entertained herself. Zoë played with the toys that they have in a little nook, kept there especially for the little ones to keep them busy while their mommies shop. When Zoë got tired of the toys, she grabbed a basket and parked herself next to a display of really cute cotton underpants; each set came in a little clear mesh bag with pink piping, held together with a strawberry-print silk ribbon. She started taking the bags off the rack and putting them in her basket, in a neat little pile. She put all of them back on the rack again, except for one bag. Zoë panties. Yes, I got a set.

In between all her busy-ness, I would ask her opinion on which print she thought was nicer and she would eagerly share her opinion. Dis one, lab (love) it, Mommy. Really lab it! 

She would grab items off the shelves and bring them to me, but would put them back when I asked her to. When I finally paid and was ready to leave, she cheerily waved bye-bye to the saleslady who helped us. Then she held my hand and we made our way back to the car.

Our first Mommy-Zoë shopping trip. And you know it won't be the last.

25 June 2009

School Goodies




We had a parent-teacher meeting this morning at Josh's school where each of his two teachers sat down with us to discuss Josh's progress in school.

This meeting is done twice during the course of their 11-month academic year, but this is the parent-teacher meeting that I always look forward to, because this is where they actually hand over the goodies. By goodies, I mean --

1) Their "portfolio" : This is basically a big sketchbook that the teachers have turned into a scrapbook. Through this "portfolio," we actually get a better look at the progress that Josh has made through the year. It contains photos of Josh doing specific tasks, a record of events (Chinese New Year, Fun Friday themes, Pretend Day, Fire Truck Visit, trips to Science Museum, etc.), samples of his work. It's all very beautifully organized and makes for a very nice keepsake of each school year.

2) The "journal" : A booklet where each child draws pictures and then gets to write about the drawings on the opposite pages. At the beginning, the teacher would sit down and write down his "narration" verbatim. As the year went along, we started to see a word here and there that's actually written by Josh himself (sometimes copied, sometimes "invented"), then short phrases, then full sentences. Granted, some of the words are not spelled correctly (or even make sense), but by golly, he was writing away!

I love to see his drawings, but most of all, I love to read his journal entries. They usually give you a glimpse into what's on his mind, what he's interested in at the moment. I remember there was a time when all he would draw and write about were machines and buildings; then there was a time when he would talk about Zoë a lot. This time, his entries are more varied in terms of themes.

He talked about a chef --

"The chef bumped into the sharp edge of the table. The table fall. The chef ran but she was not fast enough. Good thing that his mommy was there to help him for the bandage."



about dinosaurs --

"The Dino Book. fo Dinosaurs lost its way. Best to bay foeeot dB aY To eeo TH Baoo eolve oetttT. zzzzz Hole Holez Yyoee"



about lightning --


"The lightning. My sister was afraid of the lightning and my sister's name is Zoë. The lightning burned down the car park. The house was burned by the fire, but my dad was not afraid. My mom saw a tomato."




We also got Josh's report card today and we couldn't be any prouder of him. He's done extremely well, with his teachers noting that he "exceeds age expectations in Literacy... making excellent progress." Well done, Josh! An excerpt --


Josh is a friendly and enthusiastic little boy with a kind nature. He appears completely confident in the classroom environment and always initiates purposeful activities when playing in the interest centers... He indicates politely but firmly which activities he wants to be involved in, but will persist with a non-preferred task, maintaining concentration despite distractions or interruptions. He tidies up after himself, without reminders. (Now, if only he`s like this at home, too.) He can frequently be heard to set goals for himself prior to an activity. His projects are often quite ambitious and original, e.g. devising written exercises for the teacher to complete. (He does this to me at home, too, giving me `homework`to complete!) He does not hesitate to ask assistance from an adult when a project has not produced the intended result. Josh is a delight to have in the class and I have every confidence that he will continue to do well in the future.
When your own extremely biased views about your own child are validated by teachers, you somehow feel an equal sense of gratitude, pride, and humility. You pray that you will be up to the task and not drop the ball, that you will do right by the child/ren with whom you have been entrusted.

24 June 2009

Baby Car




DSC01188 Somewhere in Rome, 2004.

Chris and I saw plenty of "baby
cars" parked this way all over town. 

23 June 2009

What Now?



We're on Week 2 now of no-school because of the swine flu scare. The government is supposed to announce today whether or not this forced homeschooling will get an extension. Many are betting that the schools will be closed for the duration of the summer. While I think that that is the likely scenario, especially given that most schools' academic year finishes at the end of June, I am still hoping that classes will resume. Josh still has another month to go before his school's academic year ends.

I just found out today that for some reason, the pre-nursery classes and other (non-school) centers offering playgroups and classes are exempt from this forced closure. So, on the one hand you have all the schools closing down and then you have some of the aforementioned centers opening up more classes to accommodate these suddenly "displaced" children.

From a commercial standpoint, I do understand that these centers are merely capitalizing on an opportunity. I know that at the end of the day, as parents, we decide on the wisdom of signing up our children for classes at these centers and possibly exposing our children to health risks that the government is trying to minimize by closing down the schools. My question is, what good is the government directive if it doesn't cover these centers as well?

And there's this:

"The Education Bureau (EDB) will keep in close contact with the DH on the latest developments. Announcements will be made on or before June 23 as to whether classes can be resumed as scheduled or suspension of classes need to be extended and any other necessary arrangements."

Today is June 23. It's now 8:30pm and still, no news.


22 June 2009




This is Josh at 18 months. We only realized upon getting to the beach that we'd forgotten to bring his hat, so with one of the many muslin cloths that we always seemed to have with us back then, we fashioned this cool head gear for him!





Happy Father's Day



...to a most wonderful father to our two tikesters. There is so much else to say about Chris, but I won't. Not here. Suffice it to say that we, the tikesters and I, are very blessed.

...to my dad, who reads my blog. Those who know my dad will understand why that makes me smile.

To all fathers of daughters,
Fathers of sons.
Fathers who work,
Fathers who play.
Fathers who have a lot to say
and fathers who don't.

Fathers who show love
and fathers who try.
Fathers who preach,
Fathers who teach.
Fathers in China,
Fathers in France
.

Happy Father's Day.


21 June 2009

Colorful Tuna Casserole



I'll be the first to admit that I can be lazy. So when it comes to those few occasions when I have to prepare the meals myself, I often choose the easiest, simplest of dishes to prepare. That said, I do put in an effort to make something not merely palatable, but something that is aesthetically appealing. I like having a bit of fun when I cook.

Leafing through my trusty recipe notebook this morning, I came across a recipe for Tuna Casserole, shared with me by an ex-girlfriend of a high school friend. I've never tried this recipe, but it looked simple enough. I've decided to modify it a bit by adding a few extra ingredients, just to add a bit of color and make it extra appealing to the kids.

Colorful Tuna Casserole






1.1 lbs lumachine (or pasta of choice) cooked according to instructions

1 brown onion, chopped into small pieces

1 red capsicum, chopped into small pieces

1 can of tuna flakes in brine (drained)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

8.5 oz sweet peas

1 cup whole kernel corn

8 slices of sandwich ham, diced

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper (to taste)


1) Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Drain. Set aside.

2) Sauté onion and red pepper. About 2-3 minutes.

3) Make a “well” in the center and add in the ham. Cook for about 2 minutes more.

4) Make another “well” and add corn and sweet peas. Toss around for about 1-2 minutes.



5) Make another “well” and add tuna flakes. Cook for another minute or two.



5) Add cream of mushroom soup and mayonnaise. Mix well with the other ingredients.

6) Remove from heat.

7) Toss in pasta and place in casserole dish.

8) Sprinkle liberally grated Parmesan over pasta. (You can actually stop at this step, if you want, but sticking the dish in the oven for half an hour just adds to the yumminess, especially with the melted cheese.... Need I say more?)


9) Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. (350oF)


10) Serve. Add a generous heaping of grated Parmesan if you love living dangerously. I do!




Note: This recipe makes over 10 servings, so feel free to pare down portions depending on how much you want to make.

~~--~~

I toyed with the idea of adding sultanas, but nixed it at the last minute, because I hadn't counted on how "big" (in terms of servings) this recipe turned out to be and it would have been one ingredient too many. Anyway, this recipe is definitely one that I can play around with. Plenty more opportunities to experiment with other ingredients next time (e.g. mushrooms, green peas instead of sweet peas, carrots instead of red pepper)!

20 June 2009

No Laughing Allowed



We were Skyping with my mom this morning and I had Zoë show off and sing a few songs. In typical 2-year old fashion, Zoë proudly belts out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Alphabet Song, and Row Row Row Your Boat. Mind you, she gets the tunes right, but some of her words are not very clear yet and where she doesn't know the words, she bravely makes up some quasi-words and somehow muddles through. My mom, of course, was very tickled by Zoë's performance and was practically falling off her chair, laughing, the whole time Zoë was singing.


Before we were about to sign off, we asked Zoë to sing the songs again for PoPo. She said "No," complete with a petulant pout (one of her signature looks). We coaxed and cajoled, but she stayed firm. When I asked her why she didn't want to sing again, she said, "No! Laughing." Pointing at the computer screen (at PoPo)! I had to hold my own laughter in while I tried to convince her that PoPo will not laugh again and if she could just sing her songs one more time. My mom was biting her lips, trying to keep a straight face. Zoë finally obliged.

Lesson for the day: A 2-year old wants to be taken seriously. No laughing, please --no matter how adorably funny she might be belting her heart out.

Here is a video we took of her singing Row Row Row Your Boat. She's in a swimsuit because we were just getting ready to go for a swim and she was just waiting for everyone to be ready. She's holding a toy car and using that as her microphone.






Have a great weekend, everyone!

19 June 2009

Me, Too!



On one of Chris' business trips back from Thailand last year, he got Josh and Zoë matching outfits. Zoë's, at the time, was still way too big for her. Josh was able to wear his once before the weather got way too cold. 

A couple of weeks back, we were sifting through bags and bags of summer clothes that we'd packed away and I saw these two outfits. I suggested the outfit to Josh, because it was a warm day and I wanted to get some more wear out of it before it gets to be too small for him. Zoë, upon seeing Josh put his on, quickly grabbed hers (which was lying on a pile on our bed) and said, "Me, too!" 

So here they are in their matching outfits. 

(By the way, this is one of the very few times you'll see Zoe's hair done up. Well, as "done up" as can be. She started tugging and pulling, hence the loose strands. We almost always end up losing her hair accessories.)


DSC01075

18 June 2009

My Motivation




Beyond the fact that it's long overdue that I get into any sort of regular fitness regime.

Beyond the fact that when I exercise, I actually feel better and am more conscious about eating more healthily.

Beyond the fact that summer is coming up and I really want to fit nicely into my summer outfits.

Beyond the fact that, at the beach, I don't want to be the one that people look at and think, "Oh, that's alright. She has two kids."

Yes, I do have two tikesters.

Two tikesters who join me on the mat as I huff and puff through 20 minutes of cardio/strength/abs work-out every day. Two tikesters who look so, so cute as they hop and contort their little bodies in an attempt to imitate what I do. Two little ones who give me an excuse to stop for a few seconds to catch my breath and to laugh at their antics. These two little people, my dear friends, are my motivation.

17 June 2009

At the Beach






Zoë in her itty-bitty bikini

~~ At Big Wave Bay (Jun 2009)
~~


For more WW fun, check out
7 Clown Circus, 5 Minutes for Mom, Ordinary and Awesome,and Peanut Butter & Smelly's Dad.


16 June 2009

A Taste of Homeschooling




Not counting Saturday and Sunday, it is now Day 3 of no-school on account of the forced closure of all kindergartens and primary schools here in Hong Kong. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be.

But first, a shout-out to Josh's school --

Let me just say that I really appreciated the promptness with which Josh's school alerted us about the forced closure. I think the government came out with the announcement at around 12:30pm last Thursday and at exactly 2:00pm, I'd already received an email from the school about this. When I met up with other parents at Josh's Socatots class later that afternoon, some of them hadn't even heard from their children's schools yet.

The following day, I'd received yet another email from his school with a link to the school website where the teachers had prepared activity sheets that we could download for the children to do over the coming two weeks. These are not "homework" but rather suggested activities that could help keep the children occupied. I really appreciated that they thought to do this.

I'd printed out all 19 pages for Josh's level and without me asking, he's taken it upon himself to go through the sheets and do what he could, --independently, -- and would only ask me for help when he doesn't know what he's supposed to do.

What I'm really happy about:
(1) He's doing this totally without my asking and he seems to really enjoy these.
(2) When I went through the sheets that he had finished, I realized that he could really read!

There was an activity where there were 3-letter words (pan, hat, bat, bag, cat, fan) in boxes. He was supposed to cut out pictures from the next sheet and stick them in the correct box. He did the whole thing by himself and I was just super surprised that he got every single one correctly!


Then there's a similar activity in Chinese with --

木 (wood)
車 (car)
魚 (fish)
花 (flower)
牛 (cow)


...and again, he matched all of them correctly --all on his own. I didn't even know that he'd moved on to that sheet.


What I'd noticed, though, is that he'd gladly dive into any and all activities relating to math (addition / subtraction), patterns, etc.






Anything but practicing his letters and Chinese characters. So far, this is the only sheet that he has finished with regard to writing practice... and there are six sheets for English letters and two sheets for Chinese characters.



I really can't complain. Josh has been really great and I know he will re-visit these writing sheets and do a little bit every now and then. I hope he will eventually get to the Chinese character writing sheets. It takes a bit more encouragement to get him to practice his Chinese writing. He did do this, though:




Like I said, it hasn't been bad at all, these no-school days. In fact, I'm really enjoying the extra time with Josh. Josh's being home has been great for Zoë, too. Yes, they'd sometimes fight over toys, but most of the time, we'd hear them laughing and giggling as they get into all sorts of mischief play together. And this morning? Amidst the laughter, I heard Zoë saying in a rather indulgent tone, "Silly, KoKo! Silly." Then both of them laughed. That made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

15 June 2009







I've been lurking around the I Faces site and it was so interesting looking at all those wonderful photos. I've decided to join in the fun.

This photo was taken on our trip to Myanmar (Burma) back in 2001. We were visiting yet more temples that day when I saw this old lady just sitting there on the step, with apparently no better thing to do than to light up and smoke this fat cigar.

This is one of my all-time favorites, from all my travel photos. As a Christmas gift that year, Chris had it blown up and framed. Now it hangs, nicely framed, in our hallway.

Do head on over to
I Faces for more interesting and beautiful faces!

14 June 2009

Dumplings



Once in a while, we make dumplings (餃子, Jiǎozi). It's a simple one-dish meal that's quite easy to make. I love one-dish meals. When I have to cook, I prefer casseroles and other one-dish meals, where I know that the children are getting both their veggies and their meat.

If you don't mind the extra work of cleaning up after the kids, this can be a fun activity for them, too! I remember what a treat it was to be able to help my mom and my aunt make the dumplings. They would start making the dough in the morning, --kneadng, rolling and cutting. My mom would have made the filling the night before, so once the dumpling wrappers were ready, we'd start scooping and filling the dumplings. This was always the fun part for me.

We just made some this morning. With dumpling wrappers so easily available, you would not find me making my own, but everything else we made ourselves, including the sauce. We made so many dumplings that that's what we're going to have for dinner tonight as well! Yes, you could freeze portions for use at a later date, but I prefer finishing the whole lot in one day. Nothing beats freshly made dumplings.

I'm going to try to list down the ingredients and the recipe here. Bear in mind that I'm not one for exact measurements and I was just making this from memory and pretty much winging it, so do make some allowance for the portions I list down here.


Dumpling Delight

60-70 dumpling wrappers (Don’t get wonton wrappers, as they could be too thin)

The filling:
1 kilo minced pork
2 whole stalks of Chinese celery
1 carrot, grated
1 cup mushrooms, diced (optional)
2 eggs
Coriander, chopped up finely (as much as you want!)
Some fresh ginger, grated
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
5 tsp starch
Flax seeds (optional)
Salt and pepper

1) In a food processor, combine coriander, celery, and flax seeds. Blend.
2) In a big mixing bowl, combine blended ingredients to the rest of the other ingredients (EXCEPT for the dumpling wrappers).
3) If you’re up for it, make the filling the night before and stick it in the fridge. This way, the flavours seep in more.

Once the filling is ready –
1) Have a shallow bowl of water on hand.
2) Dust with flour a baking sheet (or wherever you’ll place the dumplings on before you cook them).
3) Start scooping a teaspoonful of the filling onto the dumpling wrapper. Fold wrapper over, so that filling is covered. Before “sealing” the dumpling, dip finger into bowl of water and slightly wet the edges of the wrapper so that it will seal better.
4) You could either wait to finish wrapping all the dumplings before you cook them or you could cook them in batches.

Cooking the dumplings –
1) Boil some water in a big pot/add a couple drops of oil so that the dumplings will not stick together. If you prefer, you could use chicken or vegetable broth, too.
2) Once water is boiling, drop in the dumplings. How many dumplings you drop in will have to depend on the size of your pot. You wouldn’t want to drop in too many at one time, lest they end up sticking to each other. I usually drop about a dozen each time.
3) When the dumplings float up, you can scoop them out. Drain. Ready to serve. (I usually wait about 1-2 minutes more before I scoop them out, though).

The sauce :
1/3 cup soy sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of half a lemon
A pinch of sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
Chili pepper, thinly sliced (optional)

Just mix all the ingredients together. Easy-peasy.

~~~~
This is how they look before they get dunked. I tend to really stuff them with filling.


 Just about ready to be scooped out.


If you cooked them with chicken broth, you can serve the dumplings in soup. If not, just serve them as they are. Although they are good fresh from the pot (which is how Josh and Zoë take them), without adding anything else, I love them with our special dumpling sauce.



Ah, comfort food.

Stuck




Chris is in Bangalore (India) until Wednesday.

Josh and Zo
ë are playing downstairs. No doubt they will both come home all sweaty and smelly. Full of stories of who won the race, how fast and far they biked. Yes, my 2-yo can ride a bike (with training wheels), even though her legs are not long enough to make the pedals to go all the way around, but she is somehow able to move and steer the bike, fast and far, just like the older kids do! And before you ask, yes, both of them wear helmets --even in this ugly heat, --when they ride the bike.

Me?
I'm supposed to be finishing up two articles for a local parenting magazine (due tomorrow); I'm supposed to write a "Happy 40th" birthday message for a very good friend from university and email that to her sister for a "surprise" party that they are throwing for her; I'm supposed to put together an article about signing with babies; I'm supposed to do Day 3 of the 30 Day Shred.

Yet, here I am, stuck. Much more fun to be blogging instead.

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