Monday, April 23, 2012

piggy back

Today was my first time flying through Washington - Dulles airport. As we were taxiing to the terminal, this is what we saw out of the window of the plane:
I was pretty amazed to see this! I thought maybe this was a common occurrence at Dulles and I was the only person taking pictures.

While we were on our outbound flight from Dulles, I found out that this was NOT a common occurrence. The space shuttle Discovery is being moved from Cape Canaveral to retirement at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Centre. It’s apparently a big deal!

Well, big deal or otherwise, I thought it was pretty cool to get to see this right outside our plane window.


OK, I stand corrected.  This is not Discovery on it's way to the Smithsonian.  It's Enterprise on it's way to the Intrepid Museum.  Thanks for the correction, Dewey.  I'm impressed that you "took a closer look"!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

happy birthday, sweetie!

Mostly, I just can’t believe Aves is 3. I can’t seem to hold on to the moments long enough. It’s amazing. She’s amazing!

I can’t believe how incredibly belligerent, stubborn and demanding she can be, but at the same time be so endearing, loveable and sweet! She truly captures the essence of how she is feeling when she is feeling it - dare I call her a drama queen?!

And growing up with Josh as an older brother, I’m quite confident that Aves will be able to take care of herself. I used to worry that I needed to protect Aves because Josh is a typical boy and can be quite rough and physical, despite our constant nagging about being gentle. More and more, I’m seeing that I really don’t have to worry about Aves. In fact, soon I think I’ll have to start worrying about Josh!

It’s funny because Josh can be quite bossy and he often likes to tell Aves what to do. I used to sit there, biting my tongue, until the bossiness got either out of hand or too physical. Lately, I notice Aves will only put up with so much. When she is done with Josh’s bossiness, she will say no. At first, she will say a whiny, somewhat irritating, “Nooooo, Joshie!”. But if Josh continues whatever he’s doing, she will say an emphatic, ’NO, Joshie!”. And if Josh continues after that, she will wind up and hit him! Hard. My instinct is to say, “That’s right, Aves, you show him!” but then I remember that I’m the parent and must set boundaries. Damn.

Aves is showing so much independence, too. I am in awe at how she carves this path for herself despite being constantly surrounded by people. I still love, love, love that she will cling to me. I cherish this. But I notice in times where I usually do the letting go or putting down first, now she is the one who will unwrap her legs from my waist first as a sign that she no longer wants to be carried. Or she will let go of my hand or hug first. Then again, maybe it’s just me trying to hold on a little longer! It truly is a bittersweet feeling for me to watch this change.

With this independence also seems to come a release of some of her cautious nature. We were gung-ho parents with Josh, enrolling him in any and every course to see if he was interested/had an aptitude. We’ve since smartened up a bit and we haven’t really put Aves in any lessons or classes because it never felt…necessary. Even when we had her in parent and tot swimming, she seemed to just cling to us. So we figured she was fine without.

Josh just started his latest set of swimming lessons. I took Aves with me to his first lesson of the set and she cried when she realized she wasn’t going swimming too. I explained that she would be in a class without Mommy and Daddy and I even pointed to a class with a couple of kids as an example. She claimed that she still wanted to go, so I enrolled her. The next week, she went happily into the class and seemed to take to it. I guess the real test will be to see if she will be OK with the second class, in a few days!

We also enrolled Aves in her first set of ballet classes. This was only after we were at the community centre and we could not drag her away from the window, watching a pre-school ballet class! She insisted that she wanted to do ballet, so, after the same “Mommy or Daddy can’t be in the class with you” speech, we enrolled her. Her first class is on Sunday. Fingers crossed! This is all quite new to us, so we haven’t really figured out what we will do if she decides she wants to bail from her classes.

I should back up a bit and say that I don’t think Aves has completely thrown caution to the wind. She just got a run bike for her birthday and she refuses to sit on it. She couldn’t figure out how to get on it, so we “placed” her straddling the bike. We tried to show her how to walk with it, but she refused. She turned to me, looked me in the eye and said, “No, Mommy.”. Indeed, she knows what she wants, or doesn’t want!

Another sign of independence that Aves has been showing for quite awhile is that she HAS to pick her entire outfit. We are talking right down to the socks, shoes and even the pull-up that she wears! That is a battle that I’m just not willing to fight. Unfortunately, Aves loves patterns and colours so she will always pick the most colourful and patterned tops AND bottoms. I find myself constantly defending my own sense of style by making it known that she is the one that picks her own clothes!

Oh, and just so she can be clear that she IS my daughter, Aves is a shoe horse. She loves shoes and loves to have a selection of shoes. She calls Jack and Lola’s “the shoe store” because I took her there to get shoes when I had a groupon. And for her birthday, she asked for a pair of Dora shoes. Yes, she asked for shoes. And being her shoe-hoarding mother, I obliged!

But to know Aves is just to see her in action. There is something so completely irresistible about her nature (yeah, ok, I’m her mother so I’m biased! But it’s true!). I don’t post snippets of conversations I have with Aves because with her, it’s not what she says, it’s the way she says it. You just have to be there and talk with her. And then you also get to see glimpses of her carefree spirit - the way she is completely content to play on her own with a bucket of sand and a bucket of water, making mudpies (yes, that’s right! I said MUDPIES!) and talking to herself; the way she runs around on her tip toes, flitting like a butterfly (maybe that’s all part of the ballet thing!); the way she wants to picked up and flung around the room the minute music starts playing; and, the way she melts in your arms when she gives you a hug. It is all so wonderful.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Aves! You make our lives so much brighter and we love, love, love you!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

josh on origins

As an aside, it seems that the best conversations I have with Josh are in the car...

J: Mommy, Miss Tess says that 'water' is 'up' in Filipino.
Y (not really buying it): 'Water' is 'up' in Filipino?  Well, we are going to Tita Liezel's house right now.  Let's ask her because she's Filipino.
J (pauses): Is Uncle Ed Filipino too?
Y: No, Uncle Ed is Chinese.
Y (wasn't quite sure where I was going with this): Daddy is Dutch and Mommy is Indonesian.  Do you know what that makes you?
J (after a relatively short pause): English?!
Y (after a hearty laugh): It makes you half-Dutch and half-Indonesian!
J (not really buying it): Mommy, does that mean English?

it's the law

As in bicycle law.

Last week, I left work and as I walked to the corner of Hornby and Dunsmuir, I noticed that there were 3 motorcycle cops stopped at the corner, talking to cyclists.  The northeast corner of Hornby and Dunsmuir is the intersection of 2 dedicated bicycling lanes in downtown Vancouver.  I cross that intersection everytime I ride to and from work.

I was curious.  Why were the cops stopping cyclists?  I noticed that 2 of the stopped cyclists weren't wearing helmets.  I suspect, but I'm not 100% sure, that wearing a bicycle helmet in BC is the law.  This made me realize that even though I ride my bike quite a bit, I don't really know the bicycling laws.

I discussed this with some friends: one thought it might be illegal to ride without a bell/horn; another thought it might be illegal to ride standing up.  I'm thinking 'wtf?!'.  So, I thought it was time to take matters into my own hands, or, rather, Google's hands.

Here is what I found.  And now, I know.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

like daughter, like mother

Perhaps the only way I can get Aves to allow me to tie her hair back, this leads me to believe I won’t be tying Aves' hair back often…


Monday, April 2, 2012


I’m sure the majority of Vancouverites know what I mean when I say I’m starved for sunshine this time of year.

Not only did we see glorious sunshine yesterday, but I heard glorious sunshine too…