Archive for April, 2006

Camp Gilead 2006

I'm just gonna post this and y'all can go take a looksee at them pictures in Flickr. Rae went for her very first Camp organised by her preschool. Needless to say, it was an exhausting experience. She is still knocked out, as I blog this.

And I'm gonna take a bath and have a nap myself too. Did NOT sleep well at the cabin (bed too small!). Still, it was a great experience, to just have Raeven socialise with her friends and seeing her have the time of her life.

Enjoy!

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Seeing double…well, almost

16 mths.jpg

Left is my older daughter Raeven, when she was 16 months old.

Right is Skyler, also 16 months.

Different, and yet the same 🙂

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Excuse me, where can I buy some time?

Yesterday was one of my busiest days here in Redmond since my in-laws went home. Didn't help that I'm sleeping later everyday because I'm just so tired. Reminds me I need to get my fit up soon or I'm just going to collapse nicely in the middle of making dinner.

Because Rae's classmate has a birthday party today, we had to shop for a present yesterday, which needless to say, disrupts our nicely planned schedule. Just managing two kids while trying to browse is a nightmare. Scared Rae wanders off and is never to be seen againlah. Scared she goes and breaks something expensivelah. Scared someone will push Skyler off when I'm taking a closer look at things, and is never to be seen againlah.

Such is the life of a mother. Almost makes me never want to shop again.

Almost.

I'm SO tempted to get one of those double strollers just to keep the girls in order but the mere mention of it summons the evil eye from Lokes. So I have to contend with putting Sky in the old Graco (Lokes: which we paid like a thousand bucks for!) and Rae has to walk next to me, and you can guess that she doesn't always walk the way one wished all kids would walk: in a straight line right next to you and NOT look and go after the rides or toys and what not.

Anyway, we found a really nice CD for her friend and before I could even – ahem – drop by Old Navy again, the clock struck lunch and I had to pack 'em all home and make said lunch. And then before I could even sit down for MY lunch, Skyler was falling asleep on her crackers again and Rae was fussing because SHE needed her nap as well. And then it was time to prepare the ingredients needed to make dinner or else I'd never have the time. And just when I'd finished chopping up meat and veggies, the girls woke up and it was time to march them to the playground to wear them out again. I even vainly brought my New Yorker there to read but Skyler is still not over her "oooh, yummy pine chips" phase so I've had to keep my eye on her the whole 1.5 hours there.

Then came dinner and then bath time and then bedtime. I had one hour of somewhat solid gaming before my eyelids clammed stubbornly shut.

Note to self: Check eBay and Craigslist for used double strollers.

And buy the gooood coffee next grocery trip.

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Afternoon delight

One of the things I enjoy most about my day is lunch.

It is the prelude to a quiet time of the day when baby Skyler will nod off to sleep after her oats or porridge and crackers, and I'll put her down for her mid day nap, and then Rae and I can both sit at the table for a quiet meal together.

Today was the same. With Doris Day crooning about what romance was to her, my older daughter and I sat down for a meal of chicken sandwiches – a favourite for both of us – and baby carrot sticks. As Rae slowly enjoyed her lunch, she turned to me and said.

"Thank you mommy, for the chicken sandwiches."

And she gave me her sweet smile, the smile that's reserved just for me when she's enjoying whatever she's eating or playing with or watching on TV. I call it her 'good girl' smile.

After a few more bites, she asked me, "How to make chicken sandwiches, mommy?" She's been doing a lot of that lately, asking where things come from and how things are made. Lokes says she's passing an invisible milestone now to increased curiosity of her surroundings. Made me want to weep.

Anyway, not really caring that she won't understand most of what I'd say, I gave her the recipe my mom gave me when I went off to college 'coz the only thing I had time (and the budget) to make was chicken sandwiches then. And then I told Rae she could make some when she was bigger.

Grinning in between bites, she said, "Yes! I will make yummy chicken sandwiches when I grow up!"

As I watched my girl nibble on baby carrots, cheeks smudged with mayo and eyes twinkling with happiness as she took her time with her diminishing sandwich, I couldn't help but wonder how I would've missed times like these had I chosen to continue working.

Quiet afternoon meals, invisible milestones, and the start of real communication.

Not a salary, but I'll take it.

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The soundtrack of my day

Each morning, one of the first things I do is to log on to live365.com (a paid radio service of like a million stations!) where I choose from about 25 of my presets and select what I call 'morning music', tunes which put a spring in my step and a smile on my face. You know, like Katrina and the Waves' Walking on Sunshine, or A-ha's Take on me.

I'm an old soul when it comes to music. I love all that old time jazz, from the 20s right up to the smooth stuff babes like Sade put out these days. I also love Celtic tunes and the classics and the 50s and 60s, and of course, the 80s, bad hair and all, up until nap time for the kids and right after, this ten-hour long soundtrack of my day just goes on until I settle back to a nice movie or a book in bed.

And then silence. I need – and have always needed – complete silence when I sleep. Perhaps it's my mind's way of BEGGING for reprieve after a day of Spandau, Bon Jovi, Sting, Sinatra and Beethoven.

But this old girl will rock on.

What is the soundtrack of your day?

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Why nuggets are crunchy

While having dinner (Jack in the Box):

Daddy: Why are the nuggets so crunchy?
Raeven: Because they're born like that, daddy.

Now we know.

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Birthday wish: A road trip, just for me

One of the things you'll quickly realise as soon as that 'bundle of joy' is out of your womb, is how little time you have for yourself.

And as time practically flies by, you'll also realise one of two things:

1. Parenting is a thankless job. And I mean the whole shindig, not the, "oh she's got to be changed or bathed – SUTI! BABY SUDAH POOPOO!!" kind because if it's just about the nice bits like reading and playing and cuddling, it would be a thankful job, wouldn't it? Anyway, you won't feel thanked for a long time, not until your kids are old enough to show REAL gratitude. And maybe not even then.

2. You cannot remember the last time you REALLY had fun. I mean, really Aruba-Jamaica-Ooo-I-wanna-take-you-to-Bermuda kinda fun. The last time I did some crazy shit was my honeymoon and that was when Rae was one year old and Lokes had to practically drag me away from her all the way to LA or I would've just told myself, it's okay, we'll do it when the kids are not so young and vulnerable, without feeling as though we've like abandoned them.

Isn't that so us? We feel guilty even if the porridge is a little burnt or if the baby gets a rash on her bottom because we think we left the diaper on a little longer than we should've. So God forbid if we should actually leave them for a whole week and go do something just for ourselves!

But that's just what I've been asked. To blog about anyway (if that's any substitute), by the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas.

What WOULD I wanna do if I had an entire week off?

Let's see…

(half an hour later)

If I had an entire weekend to myself I would take the minivan, pack up a week's worth of clothes, and drive around the entire state of Washington. I mean, I'm new to the US and all, and I hear the best kind of trip to take is a road trip, so how better to explore the country, starting with the state in which we live, than to just GO EXPLORE?

I'll make like Anthony Bourdain and stay in all the small, off-the-beaten track inns, eat all kinds of weird American food (if such a thing does still exist – that's globalisation for you, American cuisine is just so internationalised!), blog as I travel and then come home with new friends and memories.

Bold I know, but it would be really sad if someone asked me what I'd done in the US after we've been staying here for like three years and I answer with a blank face.

Now, who's gonna give me my entire week off (plus a BIG gas sponsorship would be nice)?

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