30 June 2010

Paper Cup / Popsicle Flower

I have a pile of these “art” that I need to organize and put away.  But first, I have to scan or take a photo of each one of them and feature some of the nicer ones on Mini Masterpieces –a blog that I started to keep track of and document Josh’s and Zoë's creative endeavors.


Part of the enjoyment of being a parent, for me, is seeing the pride on their little faces when I ask them, “Who made this beautiful piece of work?”


For more WW fun, please visit A Beautiful Mess, 7 Clown Circus, Live and Love Out Loud, and 5 Minutes for Mom.

29 June 2010

Dragon Boat Race

We had missed the big dragon boat race on June 16.  We were planning to go and watch, but at the last minute, had decided against it.  I just wasn’t ready to brave the crowds with two kids in tow.  Plus, Chris needed to organize his office space… and the kids got to run around and have a make-believe strategy session

As luck would have it, we ran into a friend after church this Sunday.  He was in Stanley for a short dragon boat race that morning.  It was drizzling, no sun, but at least the weather was not stiflingly hot.  We decided to stop by and watch a bit. So that’s how Josh and Zoë still managed to get to see a dragon boat race despite me chickening out at the last minute a couple of weeks ago.

I’d forgotten how fun it is to watch these long thin boats surge and glide smoothly through the water, with the rowers paddling in unison, paddling to the rhythm that their leader beats out on the drum.

We didn’t stay long, though.  After one heat, Josh and Zoë asked to leave.  It was raining and both of them were more excited about getting to use their umbrellas in the rain than staying to watch the rest of the race.

Study 1 - black border (resized 150)

28 June 2010

iheartfaces – Week # 26 : Pets


As we don’t have any pets, I was thinking that I might not be able to participate in this week’s challenge.  Because I have an uncle who loves animals, I’d grown up with lots of pets –dogs, fish, a turtle, a parrot, pigeons (are they considered pets?), and rabbits.  I’d wanted Josh and Zoë to experience the joy of having pets.  But because we live in a flat (that’s “apartment” to you folks in North America), Chris has vetoed the idea.  I have to admit that appealing though the idea of having pets might be, the idea of me having to clean up after them, feed them, play with them, walk them, board them when we travel, etc. is not.  We already do that for/with Josh and Zoë --except for the boarding part, that is.

As luck would have it, I remembered this picture that I took of my sister-in-law’s bich-poo or poochon… –basically a bichon poodle.  Meet Sandy.  How cute is she?!  (I love how the light from the window behind her kind of creates a halo around her.)


Do head on over to iheartfaces for more wonderful Pets pictures!

25 June 2010

Kindergarten Graduate of 2010

Yes, it’s purely symbolic.
Yes, it’s kindergarten.
But I am proud nonetheless.

Accepting diploma1

Accepting diploma2

Accepting diploma3

no name

Josh on the far right.no face

The tassel was hanging right smack down the middle of his face!
                                                                     josh with tassel1                 josh with tassel2

Josh, together with his fellow graduates (all seven of them), emceed the Summer Concert.  They took turns introducing the various numbers from the K1, K2, Nursery, and playgroup classes.  One of them would do the intro in English and the other would do the same intro in Mandarin.  They were pretty good –no nervousness, very self-assured and confident.  A couple of them even managed to sneak in a wolf whistle or two at the microphone after their turn at doing the intro, much to the audience’s amusement.


Here’s another one of Josh, together with his partner, introducing another number.Emcee2

I couldn’t get a good shot.  We were seated right smack in the middle of the very first row (yeah, prime seats!), but they were using the mike on the right side of the stage.  That’s why every single pic that I got of Josh was from an angle and partially obstructed by the microphone stand!  Out of consideration for the other people in the audience, I didn’t want to stand and move around, so I just pretty much shot from where we sat.  I will just have to wait for the school DVD, which will hopefully give us better angles.

Have a wonderful weekend!
In keeping with I Heart Faces’ theme of Teenagers this week, we have this photo of a teen for this week’s Fix-It Friday.  What a classic teen pose:  Hands in pocket, an “I’m-too-cool-for-this” look.

The original4732169080_c6cf75d980_b

This one is a bit more of a challenge to fix compared to the previous weeks’.  I had to lighten and sharpen the overall photo a bit without the sun coming out way too bright.  Specifically, I had to make the boy young man pop more.

The rays from the sun were so gorgeous and they match they tie-dyed rainbow colors on his shirt that I was very hesitant to crop the photo to bring the subject more in focus.   So, for the color fixes, I just kept the photo as is –no cropping.

Fix-It # 1teen fix 1

Fix-It # 2teen fix 2 (70s)

Fix-It # 3teen fix 3 (bw)

Too cool, too cool
Yeah, I’m too cool to know you
Don’t take it personal, don’t get emotional
You know it’s the truth. I’m too cool for you.
~Too Cool  (Camp Rock)   



Please head on over to iheartfaces to check out other edits of this photo.

24 June 2010

Desiderata / To Josh


Josh is having his “graduation” / Summer Concert tonight.  My boy is graduating from K3.  At this stage, despite the many things I want to say to him, things that he probably would not understand now, I would probably just reach out, give him a mighty hug, kiss him, tell him that I love him, and hug him again.  Plenty of time later for this:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, 

and remember what peace there may be in silence. 
As far as possible without surrender 
be on good terms with all persons. 
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; 
and listen to others, 
even the dull and the ignorant; 
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
~Max Ehrmann, Desiderata.

I could probably slip this into his lunch box. Too long?  Hmmm, maybe one line per day… and then he will have to piece the whole thing together.  Over 48 days of school.  At five days a week, it will take him over two months to complete all the lines.  And then I will probably have to be prepared to answer and discuss and explain.  

I get carried away sometimes.

23 June 2010

Moth or Butterfly?

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish Blessing


I can’t tell.  I’ll pretend it’s a butterfly.  I don’t think there are “moth” blessings.


22 June 2010

There is a fast food joint in a couple of food courts around Hong Kong called Curry-in-a-Hurry.  I’ve never tried it myself, but Chris would always check it out and would almost always succumb and get some roti canai (click here for the Wiki).  This is what he had the other night –Double Happiness.  Double Happiness, presumably because you get two pieces of roti canai plus two servings of Indian chicken curry.

Apparently the way to eat roti canai is with your hands, although Chris’ order came with utensils.  You tear off pieces of the roti with your hands…

Then you use it to dip into the curry.   
Me? I don’t like it as much as Chris does.  So, while he was having that, I was enjoying my Thai green curry chicken with rice and tom yum goog soup from the shop next to Curry-in-a-Hurry, called Moment Thai (I love this name!*).  Have I mentioned that I love Thai food –even from a fast food joint?

*Kudos to whomever cooked up this clever name.  Moment Thai sounds like 無問題 in Cantonese, which means “No problem.”  People here say it a lot. 

Link up to Communal Global’s Tuesdays Around the World!

Study 1 - black border (resized 150)

21 June 2010


We took Josh and Zoë to Chris’ office last Wednesday (which was a public holiday here, Tuen Ng Festival / 端午節).  They both had a field day running around.  Both got to sit behind Daddy’s big desk…

Here’s little Miss CEO.  Don’t let that sweet smile fool you. She runs a pretty tight ship.Little Miss CEO 
How cool would that be if all head honchos wear muscle shirts as they sign memos?Mr
While Chris was organizing his stuff, Josh and Zoë were busy having their own strategy session.

conference -2

conference -3

conference -4

conference -5

conference -6

conference -7

Just another day at the office.  No sweat.

19 June 2010

Painted Toenails and Fatherhood

What defines fatherhood?
  • Is it bringing home the bacon, providing for the material needs of the family?
  • Is it being able to burp the baby and change its poopy diapers –competently and with nary a manly whimper?
  • Is it taking over bath time duty with the children on weekends, so that mommy can cook?
  • Is it getting down to the kids’ level, playing on the floor with them, and dancing with abandon when they ask you to?
  • Is it reading to the kids at bedtime and tucking them in?  Is it checking in on them right before you go to bed yourself, hours later?
  • Is it sitting the children on your lap while you play your PC games and teaching the children about building civilizations?
  • Is it helping to build your preschool-age children’s vocabulary with words that include cannon, catapult, trebuchet, padawan, jedi, light sabre?
image imageimage image
  • Is it quietly sitting there and trusting your 3- and 5-year olds with a tweezer to help pluck out your first few strands of gray /white hair?
  • Is it coming home for lunch almost every day so that you can also see the kiddies in the middle of the day, as opposed to just the quick few minutes before school and before bedtime?
  • Is it also asking to talk to the kiddies when you call home from overseas business trips to ask about their day?
  • Is it sneaking M&M’s to the kids behind Mommy’s back?
Chris does all of the above and more.

I fell in love with Chris all over again when I saw him sitting on the couch reading, while Josh and Zoë were on the floor by his feet, painting his toenails pink, peach, and lavender.  Josh working on one foot, Zoë on the other.  Each wielding the brush clumsily, smearing polish beyond the nails.  Chris just sat there and took it all in stride, even after I’d warned him then that I didn’t have any nail polish remover, that he would have to wear the nail polish on his toes until I could buy some –next week. He gamely let the show go on.  The kiddies were having too much fun.

That?  Is fatherhood defined.

Happy Father’s Day, Chris.

Image credits:  Jedi with light sabre – Mandalorion Hypernautics; Trebuchet – University of Cambridge; Catapult – Problem Bear; Cannon – Saul Wordsworth.

18 June 2010

Body Parts… Love/Hate

This is a vanity post.  Very much so.

While I know that I am nowhere near my pre-pregnancy size and there are loose bits here and there, I am comfortable most days with my body image.  I have, after all, gone through two pregnancies.  Never mind that Heidi Klum and Brooke Burke each have given birth to four children and both still look drop-dead gorgeous.  Four!  And look at them.

imageNot very many women –even those who have never given birth before, –would look as fab as Brooke did in that dress.
(Image credit:  DWTSshow.com)

image image image Heidi Klum, only six weeks after giving birth to her fourth child.  On the runway already!
(Image credit: Baby Bump Blog)

But I digress.  I don’t mean to talk about pre- and post-pregnancy body sizes…

I look at myself in shiny surfaces and I note the little wrinkles laugh lines here and there.  I wear a sleeveless top and I say boo to jiggly upper arms belonging to the image that looked back at me in the mirror.  (I am tempted to get the Shake Weight after reading about it in LPC’s post about tunic arms.)  I pull on my favorite pair of jeans and some days I’ve had to jump and hop before I could zip all the way up.  I am not in love with my child-bearing hips, thunder thighs, peasant calves nor my peanut toes. The list goes on and depending on how badly the hormones are raging, the descriptions vary.

But it is not in my nature to dwell on the not-so-nice.  Whenever I feel myself spiralling down the eddy of body image discontent, I try to enumerate instead the physical parts of me that I like, namely:  My eyebrows, my forearms, the shape of my feet, my skin.  I love that I don’t have tweeze or shape my eyebrows.  I like that my forearms look slim and strong (the only part of my body that is slim and strong, it seems!).  I am thankful that my feet are slender and bunion-free.  I thank good genes for good skin.

Which various parts of your body would you like to trade in for nicer/newer models?  Which parts are your best features?  

iheartfaces – Fix-It # 59

For this week’s Fix-It, we have this picture of this super adorable baby.  I love this photo! 

The original:4711074338_fb302a213d_b

There doesn’t seem much that actually needs “fixing,” so I just went ahead and had some fun.  I cropped it so that the baby is off-center, played around with levels and curves, sharpened, ran some actions (PW’s Seventies and Colorized), added texture (Vintage II Texture Pack by cloaks).

Edit # 1 (Basic)Fix-It 1 (Basic)

Edit # 2 (B/W)Fix-It 2 (BW)

Edit # 3 (Seventies)Fix-It 3 (Seventies)

Edit # 4 (Colorized)Fix-It 4 (Colorized)

Edit # 5  (The newsprint look, with texture)Fix-It 6 (Texture)

Here they are all again, at a glance:baby fix it


Head on over to iheartfaces and check out other edits of this beautiful photo. 

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