Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the s-word, the f-word and instincts

When I came home from work the other day, Josh informed me that he was no longer saying the s-word and he was working on not saying the f-word.  Ha!  Seriously?!  How in the heck were we going to find out what s-word and f-word he was talking about?!  And the fact that he picked the 2 letters of the alphabet for which this statement truly applies left me feeling somewhat dumbfounded.

It took some patience and carefully worded questions but we managed to ascertain that the s-word is stupid and the f-word is (thanks to Mommy) fricking.  When Josh latches onto a word, it's so hard to get him to stop saying it.  We try to ignore it and not make a big deal of it, but I guess he hasn't just been saying it at home.  And it's a little more difficult to just "ignore it" in a school setting.

So, I'm glad that he has stopped/is working on stopping with the s-word and f-word.  Though I think Josh's method of stopping is to replace the interesting mot du jour with another equally interesting word.  Luckily, Josh's new mot du jour is 'rubbish'.  It is ridiculously funny listening to him use that word.  But as far as words go, I much prefer the r-word to the s-word or f-word!

On a side note, I have to mention an article that I just read.  Time and again, I have proven to myself that my maternal instinct is there for a reason.  I have felt for a long time that we have a challenging road ahead of us in a particular area and then I read this article.  My kids are not "technically" in school yet, but this article spoke to me.  Loudly.  I wanted to share it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I'm a bit delayed in this post because I hadn't watched the skating that I PVR'd.  Now that I've watched Patrick Chan skate both his short program and long program at the 2012 Canadian Figure Skating Championships, I am literally speechless.  I don't quite know what to say.  So, I'll do a blog post about it!  Hahaha...

Patrick's score speaks for itself and though I'm not about the scores when it comes to skating, I think his performances this time around deserved it.  I may be wrong, since I haven't done my research, but I think this may be the first score over 300 in the "new" ISU judging system.  His performances were remarkable and if you enjoy figure skating in the least, you need to watch these ones.

Watching Patrick Chan tonight renewed my appreciation of men's figure skating.  The last time I enjoyed men's skating was when Alexei Yagudin was skating.  For the men, I think there is fine line between technical and artistic.  I lost interest because men's skating seemed to get too technical (maybe this was in response to getting used to the new scoring system).  I think I've posted previously about this, so I won't go into it again.

I remember seeing Patrick skate for the first time when the Canadian Championships were here in 2008.  I went with my mom-in-law and it was such a pleasant surprise to see this up and coming skater named Patrick Chan.  Even before his long program ended, I couldn't help but stand up and applaud because his performance was THAT good.  That was his first Canadian Championship title.

For me, Patrick's skating is reminscent of Brian Orser.  There is something in his style.  Or it could just be that I connect with these skaters in such a way that I feel their love of skating in their performances.  I get that from all my favourites - Orser, Browning, Yagudin, Witt, Baiul, Kwan, Torvill&Dean, Anissina&Peizerat, Underhill&Martini, Gordeeva&Grinkov, SalĂ©&Pelletier.  It's such a joy to watch them skate.

Of course, the music helps too.  Patrick's long program was done to the adagio from Concierto Aranjuez.  I love the music and I think both Brian Orser and Michelle Kwan have skated to it in the past.  Wonderful.  And on that note, I think I'm going to go and watch Patrick's performances again...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

she's got the moves

OK, you really had to be there to appreciate this, but I got such a kick out of it, I had to post it.

We were at the optometrist for Josh’s bi-annual appointment. I’m quite militant about getting my kid’s eyes checked because of our family history of RP. Aves was playing with some of the fancy toys they have and as I listened to her mumbling to herself, I realized she was singing Maroon 5.

Check it out. If you listen closely, you can hear her say that she has the moves like Jagger!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


My girlfriend forwarded me an email recently about Oprah's 'Who am I?' journal.  The important question here was: 'When I was born, what was the plan for my life?'.  Wow.  That is WAY too big a question for me.

Then, today, someone posed this question to me: 'What is the purpose of your life as you see it?'  Same sort of question, re-phrased.  And put in the context of today - if I examine what I want from my life as of today, what is the purpose of my life from here on?  This seemed to be a much more manageable question, and it is not phrased in such a way that leads me to believe that when I was born, there was already a plan for my life.  Because that leads to way more questions than answers.

So, I tasked myself with thinking about what is the purpose of my life as I see it.  Wow again.  At first, it seemed like a manageable question.  But now, I'm not so sure.  And I wonder how many people ask themselves this question and continue to ask the question as they evolve?

Have you?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

21 questions, take 2

This was MUCH harder the second time around!  Josh just doesn't seem to like being asked questions these days. Couple that with asking Aves the same questions and the 2 of them choosing to mimic each other and this took much more sittings to get an answer that wasn't "I don't know".  In the end, some of the answers were funny, but some left me feeling kind of heartbroken...

1. What is something mommy always says to you?
J: I love you.

2. What makes you happy?
J: When you help me with Lego. / A: Good.

3. What makes you sad?
J: When mommy cries. / A: Mommy go to work.

4. What makes you laugh?
J: When someone tickles me.

5. How old are you?
J: 5 / A: 5

6. How old is Mommy?
J: 50 / A: Good

7. How old is Daddy?
J: 40 / A: Good

8. What is your favourite thing to do?
J: I like it when Mommy and Daddy stay home and I play with Mommy and Daddy.

9. Who is your best friend?
J: Elijah and Charlotte and Owen from school.

10. What do you want to be when you grow up?
J: Legomaker / A: I wanna be a fairy.

11. What are you really good at?
J: I'm pretty good at building Lego.

12. What are you not very good at?
J: I'm not very good at helping.

13. What did you do today?
J: Go to school, come home, nothing really exciting. / A: Go motoring munchkins

14. What is your favourite food?
J: Perogies, pizza and oranges.  I like lots of different foods.  I don't like some foods too.  Like tofu.  I don't like mushy foods. / A: Bread

15. What is your favourite song?
J: The 3 songs (he's referring to Marry You, Just the Way You Are and Bad Romance that I have back to back to back on our car CD) / A: Baby Beluga

16. What do you want for (holiday or birthday) this year?
J: I don't know yet, Mommy (which is a reasonable answer considering he JUST had his birthday AND Christmas!).

17. What is your favourite animal?
J: Dogs and cats / A: Cat

18. What is love?
J: Love means I love you.

19. What does mommy/daddy do for work?
J: Mommy goes to the office.  I don't remember what Daddy does.

20. Where do you live?
J: In a red-front house / A: motoring munchkins

21. Where is your favourite place to go?
J: Crash Crawly's and the monkey place (Jungle Jack's)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

stuff i'm into, volume 2

OK, it's been awhile since volume 1, but gimme a break - life has been a bit busy!  I've put together a list of a few goodies that I've recently found/re-found.  I apologize that there are no photos, just lots of links.  This post would have taken forever if I had to go and search our photos!

#1 oil-popped popcorn.  Bri and the kids got me a stove-top popcorn popper for Christmas.  First, it's a great gift idea; one of those things that you would never buy yourself, but if you like popcorn, it's a nice treat.  Second, we've been eating popcorn almost every night since Christmas (I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing!).  Right from the first time we used it, I knew I would never go back to microwave or air-popped popcorn.  And it even gives movie-theatre popcorn a run for it's money!  Mostly, we've been popcorn purists and just popping the corn in canola oil and then tossing with butter and salt.  I'm sure we will experiment with kettle corn soon.  But as a segue into #2, I recently bought coconut oil from Trader Joe's (because it is arguably better than other cooking oils) and we tried this to pop the corn.  It was most delicious and highly recommended!

#2 Trader Joe's.  Many people have been telling me about Trader Joe's for years.  Being a frequent traveller to the Seattle area, I have had many opportunities to check it out.  But, for whatever reason, I've never made it there.  Until my recent trip to NYC.  S&B introduced me to the Trader Joe's in Brooklyn.  It was hard for me not to bring home a shopping cart full of stuff!  So many interesting products and the majority of it is Trader Joe's branded.  My current favourites?  Let's see...the snacks.  I can't narrow down the list because it's all good!  On my first "real shopping" trip there, I spent $60 alone on snacks!  A couple of honourable mentions are the roasted seaweed snack (which I seem to buy by the caseload!) and the cranberry oatmeal dunkers (because I love dunking stuff in my coffee).  I also like their dried fruit and nut selection; I like trail mixes and they have a really good variety of mixes.  I guess I can't really recommend things because it's better if you just go yourself and see the interesting things they have there.  Oh yeah, and if you already frequent TJ's, I am always looking for recommendations of yummy things to buy there!

#3 Anthropologie.  I don't know that I need to explain loving this store.  I have recently bought boots and a top there.  I'm not sure what it is about their style and fit, but I constantly get compliments on both the boots and the top!  Check out their Web-site and you can get an idea.  Better yet, go to the store - it's hard NOT to find something you love in there!

#4 lingerie from Nordstrom.  More specifically - bras.  I posted a little while back about the revelation of finally finding a bra that fit me.  I would hazard to call myself "mammarily-challenged" - it is beyond difficult for me to find bras that fit me (come on ladies!  empathize with me, please!).  Well, Nordstrom's lingerie department solved all my bra-finding problems.  And at reasonable prices!  Everytime I need a new bra now, I will go to Nordstrom first. Yes, this is my second shout out to Nordstrom (I raved about their shoes in my first post).  What can I say?!  Their buyers have their sh!t together!  I gave up on department store shopping years ago, but everytime I make a trip to Seattle, I try to make it to either Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack (and apparently now, Trader Joe's!).

#5 good books. I'm making time to read again because it's good for my soul.  I had actually forgotten how much I love to read!  I started a book club with my girlfriends a couple of years ago, but it only lasted a couple of books.  We were mostly all mom's of young kids and we weren't finding time to read.  I am only just getting back into it now.  Book recommendations are the best way of finding good books to read, too.  I used to be able to spend copious amounts of time searching out good books to read, but who has time these days?!  So, I'm always looking for good book recommendations.  Please!  I'm recommending the following 2 books that I've read recently that were recommended to me:
- The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Between Interruptions: 30 Women Tell the Secrets of Motherhood, edited by Cori Howard

The Namesake was a remarkably well-told story.  I think I identified with it because the main character is a first-generation American and I am a first-generation Canadian.  The story of him growing up and trying to find himself amidst a culture clash of his Bengali heritage and his American upbringing rang so true with me.

The title of Between Interruptions speaks for itself as to why it spoke to me!  If you are mother (especially a mother of young children), this is a must read.  Now, I can't say that I identified with all the stories (and the great thing about short stories is that you can skip some parts and still continue reading the rest of the book!).  But each time I read a story that resonated with me, it brought me to tears.

Oh yeah, and if you are reading your books on your iPad these days, BC Libraries has an eBook service where you can install an app on your iPad and borrow books from the eLibrary.  All you need is your library card.  I'm not sure if you can download books to eReaders like the Kobo and Kindle because you need an app called OverDrive Console (can you download apps to an eReader?).

The process of borrowing eBooks is still a bit clunky and needs some kinks worked out, but it's worth checking out if you are trying to read on your iPad.  Some of the challenges for me were: 1. they don't have the vast selection that the library does, so sometimes you can't find what you're looking for; 2. you can only borrow a book for 3 weeks at a time, no renewals, and after 3 weeks, they yank it from your app automatically (even if you only had 10 more pages to read!); 3. the only way to get a book back is go back to the eLibrary and check it out again, hoping there isn't a wait list and somebody else has checked it out; 4. most books have a wait list.

Having said all this, I've tried eborrowing and I've gone back to the old-fashioned way of going to the library and checking out the actual book :-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


This is kind of gross and not very flattering for me, but a 5-year-old can somehow manage to bring out one's vanity and innocently squish it like a bug...

Last night, I was helping Josh brush his teeth.  He was staring at me as I brushed away.  After he rinsed and spit he said:

J: Mommy, you have dots on your face.
Y: (looks in the mirror and notices 2 ugly zits forming right betwixt the eyes) What dots?
J: (points at the zits) These dots.  Look...1...2.
Y: Those are called pimples.
J: (pauses and stares) Do pimples always have that yellow thing in the middle?


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

lotsa holiday 2011

I was quite surprised by Josh's extensive list of questions regarding Santa this year. Let the questioning begin!

The kids wanted to visit Santa so while we were at Metrotown, Josh asked if Santa brought his sleigh and reindeer and if so, where were they? I asked Josh what he thought the answer was and he said yes, Santa brought the reindeer and sleigh and they were on the roof of the mall!

I didn't realize that Santa was at the Stanley Park Christmas train, so when we saw "Santa's house", I declared, "Look! There's Santa's house. Let's go inside and see if Santa is there.". Josh promptly asked me if we were in the North Pole because we were at Santa's house!

And then, one day, Josh built a small railroad track using some of his train set and then he dismantled it, put it in a box with a couple of trains and asked us put it under the tree as a gift for Santa! He really wanted to give Santa a gift. I, of course, told him that Santa can't take presents because he already has so many in his sleigh to give out, so perhaps we could just give him and the reindeer a snack. He was satisfied with that and on Christmas morning when he saw most of the cookies and carrots were eaten, he was quite pleased with himself!

So, I've been trying to think of what else to say about the holidays and it has been hard for me to put into words how I felt about this holiday season. So, rather than try, I decided to put together a collage of photos from our holiday happenings through the month of December (below is just a partial collage so make sure you check out the set in Flickr!).

P.S. Thanks to J&C for letting us "house-sit" in Seattle while you were gone. Also, thanks to Patrick for the DIDO and Christmas train photos and Liezel for the Seattle photos.

big josh reads to the kidsdido offspringkris kringle for the kidsgift-opening requires concentrationmerry christmas!dido gang 2011

donk gang 2011josh's christmas concertjosh loves to singhi guys!d and avesgoing in the tunnel
lewong's and van dop'strain shotlotsa lightslights on watermovementthe "abdominal" snow monster
lotsa peopletreesthe kids wanted to go again!wonderful displayskids liked miniaturesscary santa?!
Holiday 2011, a set on Flickr.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I still have a holiday post to do, but I wanted to do a new year's post on New Years day.

After the way 2011 unfolded, I am a firm believer in what a change a day can bring.  However, I will never profess to believe that significant change will come about with the changing of the calendar.

So, my hope for 2012 is that by taking things one day at a time, it will evolve into a rejuvenating year.

Happy New Year from our family to yours. I hope you have a wonderful 2012. Even if it comes about one day at a time.

my favourite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favourite things.

Oh yeah, and these things...