We drove down to Murrieta ~2 hours south to take the kids horseback riding for $50 a horse on an hour trail, and pick up a half cow.
Sunday, 18 September 2016
Tuesday, 13 September 2016
My darling Eddie turns 4 years old next week. Gosh that was quick. He’s no longer a chubby toddler… But rather a lanky, quick witted, full on boy. I can hardly believe it.
Today I took Ellie to the mall to have lunch and a snack so she could spend some quality time with her dad and I. I swung by his classroom afterwards to drop Ellie off to class and he greeted me, gave me a hug, and went along his merry way. He’s come such a long way since we began his preschool at 2 years old.
I never realized that social problems start as early as preschool. In fact, perhaps it is aggravated because of children’s lack of restraint and social decorum. It’s a learning process for me to help them through it. Ellie is a tough little cookie but Eddie has always been more sensitive and less aggressive (except towards his sister hah)
Soon, Ellie will be out of diapers and on her way to girlhood. She is already so talkative. Ellie is on the last of his baby babble days. He still has somewhat of a baby speech but it’s less every day. I’ll miss their baby voices.
We’re on our way to Hawaii next weekend because my grandmas husbands daughter and granddaughter are visiting. And Eddie is intent on having his birthday there like Ellie did in May.
I’m nearing the end of my second year of law school. Half way done. Eek! It hasn’t been an easy journey but I’m very happy with things. Life in general is satisfactory.
I’ve been on a health & cleansing kick. I purchased a half of a cow this week, for pick up this weekend. Sharing half with my girlfriend Liz so that’s 75 pounds of organic grass fed halal beef for both of us. Excited!!! $400 each. Hubby driving us to temecula this weekend to pick up.
I didn’t realize central air conditioning filters had to be changed. So I purchased a washable filter, and also a stand alone air purifier for our room. Kids were coughing for a while and I wanted to reduce allergens and dander from our two Persian cats. Yay to clean air.
I’ve been cooking for a month straight!!! Instant Pot changed my life. It’s become so easy and simple to put together meals and we went from eating out more than in, to eating in almost every day. I used to have to grab lunch every day, now I eat leftovers.
Upgraded our grill this week to a 22″ Weber. I have grilled 5 times in the last 1.5weeks. Delicious. USDA prime tri tip from Costco… With corn in the instant pot, mushrooms and sweet pepper for a feast!
I started my 3rd Invisalign tray today. 3 of 33 trays. Glad to fix my teeth which have progressively gotten worse over the last couple of years.
I have a new obsession with scavenging for goods at thrift shops. I’ve found some amazing deals like a $3 bodum tea press, $6 for a large box of Legos which included a working moving train and tracks, $6 chair for Ella, $18 for a set of Williams Sonoma canisters, $6 for a crate & barrel cookie press… The list goes on. It’s my stress relief after a long day of studying. I even found a brand new Weber chimney starter for all that grilling I’ve been doing (which is exactly what I was eyeing on Amazon but didn’t buy)
The two larger canisters are Williams Sonoma, the smaller one isn’t but very similar. I was looking for canisters like this!!
Right before the mall, I picked her up a bag of clothes w lots of matching sets off $20, including this cute outfit 🙂 had to justify it bc even though she has so many clothes, she needed jackets bc winter is coming up and this bundle had a few!
I didn’t even know what a cookie press was but I’m sure glad we found one. Look how pretty!!
Monday, 12 September 2016
I’m well traveled, but relatively new to nature. Ironic, considering I grew up in Hawaii. However, my parents were city dwellers, and I spent much of my childhood in a high rise condo. Not leaving much space for gardening. I took up gardening about 3 years ago and though we now live in a house, the entire backyard is filled with cement. So, I had to build a garden box to start gardening. The first year, I started with tomatoes, basil, lemongrass, mint and a few other things. The tomatoes grew amazingly well shooting up over 5 feet, and started to hang down from the stand but were soon consumed by spider mites.
The second year I tried gardening, I also added chickens and built a huge chicken coop for them. They had free range of the backyard and so, every time I tried to start seeds, they got eaten. Our garden didn’t fair so well that year, however, we did harvest 3 very dried up carrots which was quite amusing. We discovered them only as I was clearing the garden box for our 3rd year of planting. I had thought the carrots were cilantro, and thus, never harvested them. We also had a kale plant that did exceptionally well, but never got eaten much.
Now in my 3rd year of gardening, albeit this is not in consecutive months, as my garden has been left neglected for months as a time, I seem to be pretty consistent this summer. This year, we had a random volunteer tomato plant grow on the side of our yard, which grew quite nicely until it too, got taken over by spider mites (remind me to figure out how to manage that next year!) however, the random amazing growth of a tomato plant, prompted me to plant some seeds in our then empty garden box. Soon after, we found a squash plant growing to the side of the chicken coop. I’ve never planted squash before so it must be a lovely gift from our chickens that were ultimately eaten by the neighborhood coyotes :(.
Gardening & chicken keeping is definitely not for the faint of heart. A lot of mistakes to be made before you get things right, and you get a quick glimpse at the circle of life.
I planted carrots again this year, kale, a few various other things that I can’t seem to identify at the moment, corn, and sunflowers. I planted the seeds rather late in the season so our mammoth sunflower seeds never got to be. They’re a comfortable height, reaching just over my head, but ever so pretty! Can’t wait til they’re ready to harvest.
Love gardening 🙂
Thursday, 8 September 2016
There’s a kid, Nicholas, whom Eddie had some problems with last year in Yellow room. The kid is a bit rough and tumble, and moreover, enjoys telling other kids they’re “not his friend” at any particular moment. Eddie who’s particularly sensitive would get really hurt by his words.
Now that Eddie has moved on to Orange room, and Ellie is now in Yellow room, they both play in the same playground during afternoon playtime. I love that the older kids get to play with the younger kids, but as I was picking them up this week, Eddie tells me that Nicholas has been hitting Ella.
His behavior seems to be consistent among “friends”. I spoke with another mom who said her son had the same complaints as Eddie. However, even though Nicholas does not play nicely with others, the other kids still want to play with him. Eddie insists Nicholas is his friend, even though he complains about the things that Nicholas does.
I had a talk with the principle and she said to tell the kids that if someone is hitting them, it’s okay to hit back in defense. Good advice, I guess! Ellie is not the type to let someone pick on her, so I’m surprised it was a problem to begin with.
I am not properly equipped to handle preschooler problems. I was not aware they even happen!
Sunday, 28 August 2016
-best pizza, ever
-single waterslide unlike the ship we took last year
-took 4 kids for 7 days and survived
We did breakfast and dinner in the dining room every day with a beautiful view of the ocean. Lunch was on Lido deck, and as I’ve mentioned, they had the best pizza we have ever had. Surprisingly!! The last Carnival cruise we took did not have pizza like this so perhaps it’s unique to this ship.
On sea days, they served filet mignon for breakfast… delish.
Beautiful strip… which was eerily deserted. Had this been in the US, it would be PACKED! The rest felt like a downtown-ish place, with a mountain and jungle. We took a private minibus tour so got to hit up this strip, the church, and up the mountains and into the jungle.
Basically what everything looked like, off the main strip.
Honestly, we had no idea where we were. He dropped us off at this landmark church but in reality, he could have taken us to any church and we would have never known lol.
Stop up the mountain which I assume pays taxi drivers if we actually stop to eat or drink.
Look at these cuties.
Last stop was this jungle. It was so hot that when the rest of the family went all the way up and found a parrot, Eddie and I hung out at the bottom.
BACK ON THE CRUISE THEN CABO SAN LUCAS
Kids had so much fun jumping from the window to the bed. This room had a bunk bed and they LOVED climbing up. They fell asleep on the top bunk several times but for fear of falling off, we always transferred them down.
I have been obsessed with real churros since we had them in Ensenada. I’ve come to the conclusion that there aren’t any real churros in the US, and even in mexico, they’re not that great other than in Ensenada at La Bufadora. Best churros ever!
This guy was so rude, we didn’t even buy his tacos… but they looked good haha.
Arriving in Cabo.
Cabo definitely feels like our favorite city. Much more of a beach town and absolutely gorgeous. Waking up to this view was definitely a memorable moment.
An abundance of fish. After we took the boat shuttle to land, we took another “glass bottom boat” for a tour of the natural rock formations in Cabo. So… pretty.
After the tour, hubby and I took some alone time and went snorkeling and took our own little tour to the Hacienda Resort which boasted of the most amazing view from lunch. The guac and ceviche were awesome!! The churros were good but not like my favorite ones from Ensenada.
Tip: If you plan on snorkeling in mexico, bring your own snorkels. The one they gave us were rinsed off with some cleaning solution and you could taste it while you snorkeled. Gross.
Jan 2015 v August 2016.. how they’ve grown….
We hired a guy to bike us to the Hacienda for lunch.. nice to get a little tour of the town. I enjoy cruises but the off ship parts feel rushed because you are constantly aware of the time so that you don’t miss boarding back onto the ship! We had two days in Puerto Vallarta, but only half a day in Cabo. If I had to choose a single city to fly back to, it would definitely be Cabo.
Fishing in Mexico must be amazing!!!
View from the Hacienda Cocina. From here, you can walk down to the beach and call a water taxi back to the docking area… which we didn’t know before coming so had the bicycle take us here which was probably the long route haha.
Place was EMPTY. #1 rated resort in Mexico… pretty expensive at $500 a night for a mexican hotel. I’m baffled how they stay open but I guess at these rates, you don’t need alot of patrons? It was very secluded and the food was awesome.
These were about $10 each so US prices but I’m pretty sure they were much fresher than US guac and fish!
That pool! If we weren’t rushing to get back onto the boat, I would have loved to take a dip 🙂
HEADING BACK TO LONG BEACH
Ellie is a little TKD master =P you know, after watching her brother take two lessons from afar.
Ultra windy hehe
Saturday, 20 August 2016
Sunday, 7 August 2016
Saturday, 30 July 2016
Second annual trip to WDW for the Florida Med Asso conference. Best conference ever! The usually $400-800 rooms get discounted to $200 a night, + $75 3PM entry tickets to Disney parks. The first year, I accidentally didn’t complete the reservation and we had to stay at the Dolphin hotel next door. This year, I checked, double checked, and triple checked to make sure everything was done properly. Tonight is our third and final night.
My awesome aunt flew in from Philadelphia to see the kids and she paid all expenses on the trip. We’re so lucky to have such a loving aunt!
Last year when we came for the first time, the character dining was the highlight of the trip- Eddie went CRAAAZY and lost his mind when he saw the characters. This year, he’s almost 4 and although he enjoys it, he’s a little too cool to lose his mind (which is disappointing for us haha).
Ellie wasn’t into the characters- she liked looking at them from afar but was not cooperative for photos!
This is the last year I’m going to be able to pass both of them off as a 1 year old and 2 year old and have free entry and dining. haha.
Since the hotel is so nice, we only went to Disney parks once and I chose Epcot because it’s unique to Orlando, unlike Magic Kingdom which feels very much like Disneyland. The kids loved swimming in the sandy pool, which was the perfect height for little toddlers. Both of them could reach the bottom with their feet and got very comfortable in the water. Ellie submersed her head into water several times, and Eddie didn’t freak out when water got in his eyes. Ellie even went on the giant water slide!!! And loved it!!!! She is an amazing, brave girl. Almost too brave lol. We went on the slide once the first day, and she kept saying “again, again!”, then twice today.
We love the Cape May Cafe. Their breakfast isn’t amazing, but great characters, however the seafood dinner has the best mussels I’ve ever had! We had it the first night, then again tonight.. I had ~4 plates of mussels for myself!
The magic being on the Disney Magical Express 🙂
Love at first splash. They got so comfortable, they didn’t need their floaties.
Eddie wasn’t happy about having to leave the interactive walls in the back of this shark haha.
Wednesday, 27 July 2016
Between the amount of photos I’ve taken of the kids (tens of thousands in the last few years) and the abundance of things I have to do for school, it seems this blog has been put on the backburner. Every time I notice that it needs an update, I do a major photodump and tell myself I’ll go back in and caption the photos, but by the time I have time to do so, it’s just another photo dump! Really gotta get into the habit of regularly adding photos again. I’m afraid there’s a bunch of photos missing and lost into storage oblivion.
Spent the day trying to catch up on uploading photos, rather than studying. We’re off to Orlando tonight for our second annual conference at the Disney Yacht and Beach Club. My aunt is meeting us there. Should be fun! We had a blast here last year, but there was a problem w our booking so we ended up staying at the flamingo next door… but this year I got everything right, checked, reconfirmed. Yacht Club here we come! (no alligators please)
You know you’re going to have a good day when you wake up to your kid whining and have to drag him to school, then while walking by the other kids during water play, one kid repeatedly jumps in a puddle, splashing mud all over you.
This morning I gave Eddie two spoonfuls of honey for his cough and he says “two servings of honey!”
Yesterday his dad called him fei jai (fat boy) and he says I thought you said I am tinny (skinny) boy! then when his dad said he’s going to eat his (pig stomach) he said “i am tinny boy, i don’t have jiu tou!”
Few weeks ago, we get into my Maserati and he asks “Does this car use alot of gas?” (yes) “Then don’t bring me in this car! It use alot of gas!”
“Mommy my favorite is Eric (from Little Mermaid). Can you buy me an Eric toy?” “Oh come on! Just work again so I can get Eric Toy! Ella you and Ariel toy? Okay mommy. Go to work and buy me a toy” (I used to bribe him to let me go to work at my internship by saying I’d buy him a toy with the money I earn)