Friday, January 28, 2011


My hubby's BFF has two boys. The three year old has been singing the Autobot song, about destroying the Decepticons on repeat. Which would be annoying after awhile, except I used to watch that every Saturday morning with my brothers when I was a kid. Then we'd head down to our basement and pretend we were the robots in the indoor playground my Dad had built out of wood.

That was totally rad.


Leave a message

...and I'll call you back.

Well, not right away. I'm busy, doing nothing, and everything.

Tiempo de vacaciones sin acceso a Internet. No está seguro de cómo voy a sobrevivir. Deséame suerte.

Just reminds me of No Doubt's Spiderwebs.

Sorry I'm not home right now, I'm walking into spiderwebs, so leave a message and I'll call you back. Unlikely story, but leave a message and I'll call you back.

Hasta luego!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happiness Post:: Post 12

This is my little '50s gal for spirit day at school.

I love my 6YO, Avant Garde Gal - she is my constant artist and author. From the moment she enters the home from school, she is creating books, pictures, letters, cards, you name it. She loves to create characters, with her imagination, her hands, her voices. She loves having a Flip camera to giggle at all her replays. I am amazed, and often humbled by her spirit.

She is a sponge, motivated by an innate curiosity. She is wise beyond her years - she is always teaching me.

AGG is a little silly and a lot of funny.

Some of my favorite things she's said recently - which we have adopted into our family lexicon:

That was a silent but death. (referring to silent but deadly in farting)
Stop erupting me! (instead of interrupting)

She was a happy, much anticipated baby. She still is such a loving, kind and happy girl. She makes me happy.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Speaker for the Dead

I just started reading Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead.

The book begins with an introduction by Card. In the second paragraph of his 14-page intro I found something I have always felt, but have never been able to articulate so well. I feel chagrined as I have not even cracked open a Card book until recently when I could not put down Ender's Game. Although, I think at this age, I am more able to enjoy, ponder and unravel my own thoughts more clearly thanks to his storytelling.

This is what I found:

How did Speaker for the Dead come to be? As with all my stories, this one began with more than one idea. The concept of a "speaker of the dead" arose from my experiences with death and funerals. I have written of this at greater length elsewhere; suffice it to say that I grew dissatisfied with the way that we use our funerals to revise the life of the dead, to give the dead a story so different from their actual life that, in effect we kill them all over again. No, that is too strong. Let me just say that we erase them, we edit them, we make them into a person much easier to live with than the person who actually lived.

I rejected that idea. I though that a more appropriate funeral would be to say, honestly, what that person was and what that person did. But to me, "honesty" doesn't' simply mean saying all the unpleasant things instead of saying only the nice ones. It doesn't even consist of averaging them out. No, to understand who a person really was, what his or her life really meant, the speaker for the dead would have to explain their self-story--what they meant to do, what they actually did, what they regretted, what they rejoiced in. That's the story that we never know, the story that we never can know--and yet, at the time of death, it's the only story truly worth telling.

That's how I feel about funerals. About all the glossy, nipping/tucking of words and personality that happens at funerals. I don't want that at all. I try my best to live a genuine life. I want to be someone with which there is no guessing. Someone who you know exactly where she stands. One where no matter who I am with, I am the same person. I grew up watching adults act one way in front of certain people, and then another way in front of others. I saw adults who would excite our hope by saying they'd invite us over to their pool - and feel crushed and betrayed when we discovered that's only "polite conversation". There's nothing polite about insincerity. Nothing.

So I hope, that at my funeral, my girls, and whomever is around, will do this for me. Perhaps I should take the time to write one myself one day. I want a true accounting of my actions, both good and bad. I want people to know where my intentions lay and how I succeeded in those, and how I misstepped, so that hopefully, the next generation can learn from my life in some small measure.

I am so grateful for authors who take some nagging thought that has been bothering me for years, and speak it for me. Perhaps, when I pass, my story will be one worth telling.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

'Twas a Tale of Two Zoobies

disclaimer - I do not rhyme. I'm no poet.

'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house, a Momma and Dada were hemming and hawing.

Their little ones were patiently waiting for Santa to make good on their turtle pillow pets, and jewelry for Christmas.

But Momma and Dada knew Santa would agree, that another pillow pet for each, would be two pets too many. A unicorn and ladybug were already taking up space. So they sent a quick note to the North Pole to see, if Santa could possibly have some other option for their darlings to open on Christmas day.

Elfie Star, the girls' Elf on the Shelf, came bearing an envelope with a small request. The girls were to visit two sites on the Internet, with Momma to help them of course. They visited the pillow pet and Zoobie site. They were to pick their most favorite one, and then send on their request to Santa.

'Lo and behold, the girls fell in love, with Olivia and Spot.

With the time winding down, Momma and Dada knew that Santa was swamped, what could they do? So Momma sent an email to Sarah the Zoobie Elf with a frantic request. Sarah the Elf was prompt, kind and thoughtful. She knew Santa would be able to make it in time for the first week of January.

Elfie Star made another visit with envelope in hand, to prepare the girls for a present come January. He let the girls know, that their Zoobies were special, and the elves would take extra, special care to make them just perfect.

When Christmas day came, the girls were all a flutter, to discover jewelry from Santa, and surprise Charlie and Lolas. They also received a note from Santa, thanking them for the carrots, cookies and milk. Santa wrote that they would receive one more delivery from him in January.

Sure enough, the girls continued to be filled with anticipation even after the joy, and the fun of Christmas.

And then... wouldn't you know it. Elfie Star begged Santa to leave the North Pole on a specific mission to deliver the Zoobies. As you can see it was a grand, very, happy affair.

But what is a Zoobie, you may ask. Well come close, and I will tell you.

Zoobies are more than a pillow pet. More, much more, you will find. A Zoobie is a cuddly friend, but wait!

A Zoobie is also a pillow. There's more.

It's a blanket as well. And that blanket can also be removed. The quality of a Zoobie is quite fine. In fact, Dada and Momma were happily surprised. We are so glad that Dada and Santa, found a great find, from Zoobie land.

ps. I was not paid, nor asked to talk about Zoobies. We found them last minute. They were all out of stock of Olivias - Sarah the Elf promised she'd call us and ship Olivia and Spot the Dog (who comes with a book) out as soon as their stock came in, and she did. We are impressed by the quality of the products and service. Our girls have a pillow pet and a Zoobie...and we'd pick Zoobie over pillow pets, each time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A good book

Imagine me reading your favorite book title!

I'm starting to run towards the bottom of my pile of books I'm reading. I'm starting to panic because I don't want a reading lull.

So... what are your favorite books you've read in the last year?

What books are you planning on reading?

What are your all-time favorite books?

Here are some I recently finished/past year, and some all-time favorites that I am a fan of.

Immortal Beloved
Faerie Wars (four book series)
The Name of the Wind
The Help
The Sookie Stackhouse series (10 books)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
A Wrinkle in Time
The Mistborn Trilogy
The Last Chinese Chef
Keturah and Lord Death
Princess of the Midnight Ball
Princess of Glass
Dragon Slippers (series)
Princess Academy
C.S. Lewis... anything
Jane Austen ... anything
The Woman in White
A Girl of the Limberlost

This is my PLEA - share the titles you have read, will read, will always read that you love.

From a book lover to you, dear Internets... thank you for all your help.

ps. I am working on regaining myself - and since the summer I have only lost 7lbs. Most of it achieved in the last month - because Nov/Dec are my frenemies. I can easily gain that 7lbs in two days, but it's taken me half a year to lose it. Insanity isn't it? Well - only 15-20 left to go!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Boys are Stinky

Daddy was in the shower, when our 4YO DD started talking to him.

DD: Daddy did you hear that?

Phantom: No.

DD: I farted.

Phantom: Was it loud?

DD: It was really loud, but the shower was more louder.

Phantom: Was it stinky?

DD: No! Girl farts aren’t stinky! Only boy farts are stinky.

...some wonderful surprises on my camera from my 4YO.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Feasting on His Words: Lehi and Sariah

"Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." - 2 Nephi 32:3

This year the Primary is focused on daily scripture reading.

My 6 year old, Avant Garde Gal (AGG) and 4 year old, Dauntless Daughter (DD) are totally excited about this. We started the program this past Sunday and have read 1-2 chapters a night, from the Book of Mormon. The girls beg for it the moment they wake up and beg for more reading after each chapter. I am... so grateful. They are making this easy on me. I honestly, don't know what I did to deserve this. I believe the Lord knows how distracted my husband, Phantom, and I can be, but when it comes to our girls - we actually pay attention. So he gave us really great girls, who love to listen to me read (with inflection and dramatic intonation...naturally) the scriptures.

Tonight we read 1 Nephi 5 after Lehi's family have left Jerusalem. After Nephi slew Laban and returned with his brothers, Zoram in tow and the brass plates. My girls are completely engrossed in this story. I am inspired by their attentiveness. I am awed by how easily, readily and faithfully they understand and can articulate why the scriptures are important, and why God commanded Lehi to send his sons back to Jerusalem to retrieve the precious records.

As I read, sometimes I pause and explain things in layman's terms - and sometimes my husband pipes up too. This is how 1 Nephi 5 began:

1And it came to pass that after we had come down into the wilderness unto our father, behold, he was filled with joy, and also my mother, Sariah, was exceedingly glad, for she truly had mourned because of us.

QS: Sariah mourned, because she worried about her sons.

Phantom: She was sad.

2For she had supposed that we had perished in the wilderness; and she also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a visionary man; saying: Behold thou hast led us forth from the land of our inheritance, and my sons are no more, and we perish in the wilderness.

DD: Yeah, like Laman and Lemuel.

QS: Yes, but she was worried about her kids, and... this is what wives do. Phantom: Trust me girls, Daddy knows.

3And after this manner of language had my mother complained against my father.
Phantom: Every man knows this.

QS: That's right girls. It's our job.

4And it had come to pass that my father spake unto her, saying: I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God, but had tarried at Jerusalem, and had perished with my brethren.

QS: Lehi tries to comfort Sariah, even though she says, "You. YOU! You VISIONARY MAN!"

Phantom: That's right. You knew who I was. You married me. Then you decided to procreate with me. Twice. I mean...

I love that the scriptures offer real marital relationships. I love that we can find humor in theirs, and our own.

I am so grateful to have daughters that inspire me. They are a very real manifestation of God's mercy towards me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

15 minute Snow Day

To be fair... we drove 1.5 hours for a 15 min Snow Day.

It's been something like 13 years since I've rolled around in the snow, like a dog trying to get the clean off himself after a bath.

I grew up in Bountiful, UT. We had snow. Lots of it.

In fact, my parents baked a lot during those winters blanketed by snow. Mostly, Chinese bun baking (it sounds secksy/naughty fun - but that's not the kind I'm talking anyway...although I was born in July). Lots of mantou, red bean buns...and even some bread making and cinnamon roll making UT-style. We asked my parents once why they didn't make that bounty of goodness anymore, and they said, "we live in California, it's not cold here. In UT there's nothing to do in the winter."

In elementary school in UT, my brothers and I would walk to school in the snow. (I can actually use that story on my girls... in my day...) It was quite a long trek for a bunch of little kids. We did this in the winter, through snow drifts half our size and higher. We had to walk down two big hills to get to school. Since the hills were covered in snow and ice, we slid down them... in our jeans. Yes, in our jeans. I was often the sled for one, or both my brothers. Why? Because I am the anointed eldest child in a Chinese household. Not only do we get in trouble for everyone's mistakes, we also get to be used any which way that is convenient. Also, I am a sucker, a softie... a real big sister. With that compassion comes the bossy boss.

The point? Right. There's a point here somewhere.
Hubby in black high-tops, girls in Boden rain coats, and long sleeve PJs, long sleeve T, vest, double socks, three pairs of pants... we are so unprepared for cold.

Back to the present. Our little family drove up to the snow from our house on New Year's Eve. Turns out we got to the snow park about 15 minutes before closing time. Which worked out great, since we didn't have to pay the 15 bucks to park. (the Asian inside me *squeals* with delight)

We happened to meet some guy who happens to live near our neighborhood. He kindly lent us his sleds, so we wouldn't have to rent them. (more Asian *squealing*) In return I baked his family cupcakes (they are really that good). They then called a few days later, at some ungodly hour in the morning, waking us from our slumber to say thank you. Good deeds, always come with punishment. (I kid!)

I thought my three pairs of pants, double socks would keep the snow from creeping in the snow pants. Turns out, wearing hiking shoes will give you great traction, but cold ankles.

A little note. I was getting a bit nervous and grouchy the further we drove to the snow. The further we got, the colder and more snow there was. I could feel my insides begin to freeze to stone, as if the white witch in Narnia had gotten her gaze upon me.

Once we hit the sled runs... whoo boy! It was awesome. I was disappointed we arrived so late. I want to go again, and again, and again, and again... you get the drift (har, har)... and again, and again, and again.

Our 6YO enjoyed the first run. But then when Daddy suggested a steeper run, she refused. On the next run down some of the snow flew in her face. She was horrified. Horrified! Tears! Snow! Cold! Imagine! On.My.Face. She then made it clear that she will be requesting a babysitter next time we decide to traverse back into snow country.

Our 4YO loved it. Giggled the entire time. On our second run the sled slid out from under us and I caught her before she did a face plant (I should note that my sister, when she was 3-4 YO was sledding with me when the same thing happened, but she really did do a face plant into powder. She however, did not giggle. I did. It's just so cute.) Her face had snow shavings...and her rosy cheeks glistened as she and I giggled. Then we hurried and ran back up the hill. She also made snow angels and begged to make a snow man... but by then the park folks were kicking us out.

My husband commented that "You looked so happy!"

There's something so exhilarating about sledding. As you whoosh down the run it's like you leave it all behind, and you're a kid again. Nothing matters but sliding down the run and getting back up just to do it all again.

Perhaps 15 minutes was just enough to whet our appetite.

Next time though, we need to invest in some real gear. The rain boots, rain coats, my hiking shoes, and hubby's high-tops, are not going to cut it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happiness Post:: Post 11

If it hasn't been obvious. My family, and pajamas make me incandescently happy.

Here we are on Christmas Eve in our Christmas pajamas. We have the tradition, like so many others, to open up our present of pajamas the day before Christmas.

...and making faces. That makes me happy too.

ps. Dude - Post 11 on 1/11/11 at 1:11am Holla!


Monday, January 10, 2011


Last week - no posts.

Not sure if I should apologize, as I am not even sure how many eyes are watching, stalking, or reading my little blog ditty on the Internets.

This year I am determined. (I hope)

I am determined to get to sleep earlier. Preferably no later than 10pm. For a woman (that's right, not just a girl) who gets to bed around one or two (ahem) in the morning, this is one gigantic step in the right direction. (I also hear this helps the round tire part of our bodies)

I am also determined to spend less time online. (kind of, hopefully)

I have been online since I was in middle school/freshman/sophomore year in high school, and I will turn 34 this year... so you do the math. Seriously - you do it. (I am the one lazy Asian you will meet who loathes putting numbers together and extracting them from each other)

I am also determined to bake less, in an effort to say adios to my ba-dunk-a-dunk, pear-shaped lower half of me. It's too bad I can't just rearrange it all and do a bit of shifting to give the upper ladies a bit of a boost. Maybe I can make that happen when I, you know, become a goddess and create my own world of people. Dude, the women and the men in my world would worship me. (please let those last two sentences offend some busybody somewhere)

I am also determined to find more time to write. The less time online should help.

All of this requires that I adopt discipline. I had a lot of it growing up. Like, mucho, mucho, beaucoup, I'm suffocating kind of discipline. So I think as part of my joie de vivre in adulthood, I've sort of taken the discipline, rolled it into as tiny a ball as possible, dug a deep, dark cavern and buried it. I might have spit on it too. Literally.

So here goes nothing 2011, or something. Dear Internets please hold me to it.

ps. In the meantime check out what's been buzzing around the Internets. If you get a chance read them. I may be posting my thoughts sometime...TBD, or not.