Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wreaths make me happie

I have a board on Pinterest for wreaths called "Wreaths make me Happie". I love wreaths. One thing I want to do is to have a wreath on my front door all year round. Of course, the wreath would have to be season appropriate. I would have one for Winter, Valentine's day, Spring, Easter, Summer, Canada Day, our birthdays, Fall, and Christmas. Currently, I only have one for Winter but I'm always on the lookout for other wreaths. I just haven't found another one that I like enough to purchase yet.

The other day my son came home with a craft. When he got home, he went straight up to my room and taped it to my door. He made me a wreath! I will happily keep this one up year round on my bedroom door. It brings a smile to my face everyday. It truly makes me happie.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

AZUL Sensatori....here we come!

Last year, we went to the Grand Sunset Princess in the Riviera Maya, Mexico and it was our family's first all-inclusive vacation.  We went with 2 other families with the same aged kids (6 adults and 6 kids, aged 1 and 4) and we had a blast.  The resort was beautiful and we hung out by one of the kiddie pools most of the time.  The desserts were consistently not great but there was lots of other good food including many a la carte restaurants for dinner, a beach BBQ at lunch, a sports bar, and a few buffet restaurants.  The kids loved the kids club and my son still talks about it 10 months later.

We just booked another all-inclusive vacation from itravel2000.com.  We are going with Sunwing again this year but to another resort called AZUL Sensatori.  All the reviews on tripadvisor are very good.  It's a 5-star resort 20 min from the Cancun airport.  I am looking forward to getting away and enjoying the food which is touted as "gourmet".

We are going this year with one other family so there will be 4 adults and 4 kids (ages 5 and 2).  I'm really hoping to get connecting rooms so that the kids can play together while we are in our rooms.  There's an adult only restaurant so my plan is to take turns going there while the other couple takes care of the kids (good time to try the 24-hour room service).  The kids club looks amazing.  It has its own splash pad, water slide, kiddie pool, FisherPrice room, in-door rock climbing wall, gym equipment, video games room, etc...  I've been reading all the tripadvisor reviews and watching all the Youtube videos that I could find about this place.  I even started a list of things to pack.  Can't wait!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

@arthurchristmas was great!

We just watched Arthur Christmas on Rogers On Demand (ROD) with my 5yo and 2yo in the comfort of our home with our own freshly popped popcorn and snacks. My husband, my 5yo and I really enjoyed the movie and my 2yo really enjoyed the popcorn!

ROD - where have you been all my life?! No wonder Blockbuster went bankrupt!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dukan diet - end of week 20

I've now been on Phase 3 - Stabilization for 5 weeks (35 days).  I am supposed to be in this phase for 100 days (5 days for every pound I have lost).  According to the diet, I can be on PV days everyday except for 1 day a week where I go back to PP.  I'm allowed to eat 2 slices of whole wheat bread and one fruit everyday.  I can eat 1 serving of starch per week and 1 celebration meal per week.

I haven't been fully following the prescribed diet but I've still maintained my 20 pounds of weight loss.  I have been doing PV days almost everyday and instead of being restricted to eating 2 WW bread and 1 fruit everyday, I've been randomly eating carbs/starches throughout the week, sometimes I eat more than the equivalent of 2 slices of WW bread and 1 fruit and sometimes I eat less.  I think it all averages out in the end and as long as I'm not gaining back the weight that I've lost, I will continue this way for another 65 days.

I've convinced so many people to be on this diet now and it's amazing to see other people have the same or even better results as mine!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Are you doing an advent calendar?

You know it's time to start preparing for Christmas when all the Christmas stuff comes out in the stores.  Last year, I bought an advent calendar on sale after the holidays (SCORE!).  This year, I'm going to try to fill it with activities for the family to do each day leading up to the holidays.  I read from a few other blogs that the best way to do this is to pre-write the activity but don't put them in until a day or a couple of days in advance so you have control over what you do each day depending on your schedule.  I think this is a good idea but i have to remember to sneak in the activity everyday which may be a problem for me.  So I think a hybrid idea is to slot in something that is totally manageable everyday and when we have time to do something more time consuming (like bake cookies), then I'll sneak it in that day.

Here are some of my 'everyday' activities:
  1. Read the Christmas story from Luke
  2. Sing a Christmas carol together
  3. Give everybody a hug and a kiss
  4. Listen to Christmas music during dinner
  5. Call someone and sing them a carol
  6. Dress up for dinner
  7. Thank God for Jesus
  8. Hide something special in each other's beds
  9. Make paper snowflakes
  10. Do something kind for a family member
  11. Take turns telling the Christmas story
  12. Draw a Christmas picture for a family member
  13. Tell each other what is your favourite thing about Christmas
  14. Pray for a friend
  15. Read the Christmas story from Matthew
  16. Pop some popcorn
  17. Make an ice cream cookie sandwich
Some of the more time consuming activities:
  1. Set up the tree
  2. Bake cookies for family and friends
  3. Write Christmas cards
  4. Write a family Christmas letter
  5. Play a family board/card game
  6. Watch a Christmas movie
  7. Take a drive to see Christmas lights
  8. Take some family Christmas pictures
  9. Make a card for your teacher
  10. Decorate a gingerbread house
  11. Go to the Santa Claus Parade
  12. Make ice cream
  13. Borrow a Christmas book from the library
  14. Make a list of things we are thankful for and post it up
Hope this works out!

Any other ideas for me?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This is the best gift you can give to your kids

I was recently at a work event where one of the speakers talked about prioritizing your life to achieve harmony.  She said that we have so many different roles as a wife and mother and we often prioritize this way: mother, wife, woman.  As a mom, we often take care of others first before ourselves.

However, she challenged us to reprioritize our lives so that we are a woman first, wife second, and mom last.  I have always believed this.  One of my favourite pieces of advice that I've received and given to a lot of new moms is this: The best gift you can give to your children is a good marriage.  And one of my all time favourite quotes is what they tell you on the plane: Put on your own oxygen mask before you assist others.

Do you agree?  How do you prioritize?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dukan Diet - end of week 17

I'm in Phase 3 now eating PV everyday and PP once a week. Instead of eating 2 slices of whole wheat bread and 1 fruit everyday, I've been eating 1-2 gingerbread cookies and sneaking in other carbs everyday so i think it all evens out. :). I'm still at my true weight +/- 2lbs which is okay in my books.

I baked a banana bread with a sugar substitute and it tastes pretty awful so I don't think I'll do that again. It's Christmas soon so I'll need a lot of self-control and will power to stay away from all those baked goods...my weakness.

I also had my first celebration meal yesterday where I had a bowl of my favorite Vietnamese beef brisket and tomato rice noodles and spring rolls as the appetizer. I had a couple of my homemade ginger bread cookies for dessert. Delish!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Eye of Round Oven Roast - Use Dry Heat

Since I've been on the Dukan Diet, I've been eating a lot of meat. I have mainly been eating beef tenderloin, t-bone and striploin steak cuz they are so good and relatively lean enough for Dukan requirements. But I also noticed that my grocery bills have increased since these tend to be the more expensive cuts of beef. This month, I was determined to learn how to cook less expensive cuts of lean meat. I bought an eye of round roast (one of the leanest cuts from a cow) and brought it home not knowing exactly what I would do with it but figured I would ask the Internet and find a slow cooker recipe.

Fortunately, I attended a blogger conference last week and someone from Canada Beef (beefinfo.ca) was there. I learned that there are oven roasts and there are pot roasts. Oven roasts are best cooked in the oven with dry heat and shouldn't be cooked in the crock pot with 'wet heat' (I don't think they actually said 'wet heat' but you know what I mean). She gave me this very simple recipe for an eye of round roast.

What you need:
Eye of Round roast
Salt
Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450F
2. Wash and dry the roast with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Stick a meat thermometer into the roast
3. Put the roast on a rack in a pan and into the oven
4. After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 275F.
5. Bake until meat thermometer is at 140F.
6. Let roast rest for 10 minutes before cutting into it.

My roast was small so this whole process only took just over 1 hour and it turned out amazing! Where has this been all my life?! My kids and I ate half of it before dinner even started!



Eye of round patted dry
Added salt, pepper and inserted thermometer set at 63C/140F

Done after 1 hour!  Let rest for 10 minutes.
Done to medium rare - perfection!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dukan Diet - end of week 15

I lost 20lbs in 15 weeks.  I survived the first 2 phases of the #Dukandiet and I feel great!  It feels so surreal every time I look at the scale and I'm back at my wedding weight from NINE years ago.  I can't believe it!

I officially started Phase 3 of the diet today by adding 1 serving of fruit and 2 slices of whole wheat bread (or 1 ww bagel in today's case) to my daily diet.  I don't think I'm going to add the 1 serving of starch/week yet and I'll wait for very special occasions to do the celebration meal rather than doing it once per week.  I am going to keep a close eye on my weight to make sure it doesn't go back up just because I am reintroducing carbs.  If it does start to creep back up, I will most likely cut it out again and go back into Phase 2 for a bit.  We'll see!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dukan diet - Middle of week 15

I'm happy to announce that I have reached my True Weight as of Oct 16 and have maintained at this weight for 2 days now.  In total, I have lost 20lbs since I started the Dukan journey in July.  I'm beyond excited and amazed at this result.  I've been telling everyone who will listen about this diet.  I've managed to convince 4 people to start the diet so far.  It truly has transformed my life.  I feel so empowered over my body now.  I went from a size 10 to a size 6.  I feel like I have the tools and know how to control and manage my weight - something that I've never felt before.

Starting this weekend, I will move to Phase 3 of the diet which means I can move to PV days everyday except for 1 day a week where I have to go back to a PP day.  Each PV day, I can also have 2 slices of whole wheat bread and 1 serving of fruit.  Once a week, I can have 1 serving of starch and once a week, I can have a 'celebration meal' where I can eat anything I want but only 1 serving of an appetizer, main course, and dessert.  No seconds.  I have to be in Phase 3 for 5 days for every pound I lost so that would be 100 days or just over 3 months so by the end of January, I should be able to move to the final Phase 4 of the diet.

Thank you Dr. Pierre Dukan!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Homemade Ice Cream Cake


My husband loves ice cream cakes and since ice cream cakes are so expensive, I googled "ice cream cake recipe" and discovered that we have been spending way too much money on buying ice cream cakes from Baskin Robbins.  I made a trial cake last week for my FIL's birthday.  The crust turned out too thick, I added chocolate turtle bits to the ice cream which made it too sweet, I only had a 9" spring form pan which made for slices that were too big, and I didn't put a layer of icing on it so it didn't look professional.  I modified my recipe (even bought a smaller spring form pan) and made this cake yesterday for my daughter's birthday and it turned out much better than last weekend's version so here's the recipe.

1 cup oreo crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2L ice cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Mix oreo crumbs with butter.  Press into bottom/sides of an 8" spring form pan.  
  2. Bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes.  Allow to cool completely and put into the freezer.
  3. Defrost the ice cream at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Next time I'm going to try to make my own ice cream to make it a real "homemade" ice cream cake. But for now, Kawartha's Moose Track ice cream (so yummy!) from Costco works just fine.
  4. Scoop ice cream into the chilled pan with the crust.  Ensure ice cream is packed into the pan so there are no air pockets.  Put into freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight.  
  5. Beat heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks.  
  6. Take the cake out of the spring form pan.  Frost the cake on the top and sides and return to freezer for another 2 hours or overnight.  I don't think I beat this enough so the whipped cream became kind of soft when I started to frost the cake but after I froze it again, it was fine.  i'll have to work on making a stiffer whipped cream next time.
  7. Write a message on the cake and decorate with some buttercream icing if you wish.
  8. Defrost for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Happy 2nd birthday Ainsley!

Mui mui, you turned 2 yesterday.

Two years ago on Oct 7...
9am - mommy worked from home.  It was supposed to be mommy's 2nd last day of work before starting mat leave.
11am - mommy went to my 38 week doctor's appointment and the doctor took my blood pressure 3 times before telling mommy that it was a bit high.  He checked and found out that mommy was already 3cm dilated.  Then he asked if mommy could go to the hospital to have you today.  Even though you weren't supposed to come for another 2 weeks according to mommy's due date, mommy said yes and the doctor called NYGH and they told mommy to come in at 3pm. 
12pm - mommy and daddy enjoyed a nice long lunch at a restaurant, our last meal as parents of one child.  We were about to have a baby.  It was a bit surreal.
1pm - mommy and daddy picked up goh goh from daycare and dropped him off with goo tse.
3pm - mommy and daddy arrived at the hospital
6pm - mommy got induced
8:30pm - mommy was still only 4cm dilated
some time after 8:30pm - mommy's contractions started in full force
9:30pm - mommy was 10cm dilated (!!)
10:18pm - you were born

Your birthday is always going to be around Thanksgiving which means you are always going to have turkey for your birthday.   It also means that we are always going to be reminded of being thankful around your birthday which is so appropriate because mommy is truly thankful to God for bringing you into this family.

The past 2 years have gone by so quickly but you have grown so much.  From a little lump weighing 6lb 7oz, you are now a little person who has your own personality and likes/dislikes.  We call you mui mui all the time so I wonder when you are going to figure out that your real name is Ainsley.  You can barely pronounce Ainsley yet - just like most of your relatives.  :)

You bring so much joy to the family already with your ever expanding vocabulary and repertoire of songs.  You recently learned how to make a rocket sound and you have learned how to say grace before meals.  Mommy and daddy finds it so funny when we ask you a question and you say "umm...[pause as if you had to think about it]...no".  You sing all the time, especially in the morning after you wake up in your crib.

You like to eat and you always want to try mommy's food.  You have the cutest way of asking for food: "shum?".  You get it from when we ask you "do you want some?".   Mommy is often surprised at how much food you can eat and you like vegetables more than meat, especially steamed broccoli, which is opposite from goh goh.

You admire your goh goh so much and you try to copy whatever he does all the time.  You always tilt your head when we take pictures - something that you learned from goh goh.  Today, he was trying to show you how to throw a ball.  He is going to teach you so many things as you grow up.  I love how you and goh goh play with each other and have each other to play with all the time.

Mommy looks forward to falling in love with you more and more as you grow older, if that is even possible.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dukan Diet - end of week 13

Wow - it's been 3 whole months since I started the Dukan Diet.  I've lost 17lbs so far and I'm still trying to lose another 3lbs.  My weight loss has certainly plateaued but I've also not totally been sticking to the plan.  I am still on alternating PP and PV days but I've also had other treats that I just couldn't resist, including an oh-so-yummy ice cream cake that I made for my FIL's bday last week!

I guess the secret is not to make anything that I can't eat.  With that in mind for Thanksgiving, our extended family is coming over to our place for dinner and to celebrate my daughter's 2 year old birthday.  Everything I'm serving is Dukan-friendly.  My MIL is making turkey (check) and I'm making all the sides: sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli, roasted carrots/zucchini/tomatoes (check, check, and check!).

I will be making another ice cream cake (no check) for my daughter but I bought a smaller springform pan so that we won't have leftovers to tempt me.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dukan Diet - end of week 11

As of this morning, I am happy to announce that I've lost a total of 17lbs so far so only 3 more lbs to my True Weight goal. This is amazing considering I've been eating A LOT.

I watched an episode about binge eaters on the Dr. Oz show and felt like sometimes I binge eat too. Not to that extent but I can certainly pack a lot of food in. I guess I'm still losing weight because I have been generally good about only eating from the list of 100 allowable foods.

I went to get a physical check up this week and everything is good. My weight, waist line, BMI, blood pressure are all within normal or average range. In fact, my blood pressure is the lowest it has ever been. Not that I've ever had a blood pressure problem before (except for at the end of my 2nd pregnancy) but it's great to know that this diet hasn't made my blood pressure go up. :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My top 8 favorite Dukan Diet foods

I've lost 15lbs on the Dukan Diet so far! Here is a collection of my own Dukan Diet recipes and tips. These recipes are mainly for the PP days because it's easy to add veggies to any of these recipes to make it a PV meal.

1. Every morning I look forward to having my breakfast of 2 tbsp oat bran and 3/4 cup lactose free skim milk. I microwave it for 2 minutes and let it cool and thicken for 5 minutes. It becomes a bowl of satisfying, creamy, deliciousness!

2. Silken tofu is an easy and portable protein that I bring to work for lunch. I just drain it out of the package, put it on a plate, microwave for 3 minutes, cut it into 12 chunks, and pour 1 tbsp of soy sauce over it and voila, eat it with a hard boiled egg and you have a perfect PP lunch!

3. I am a steak lover and recently discovered how to prepare a whole beef tenderloin into steaks. I've been doing this and individually freezing the steaks so I can have beef tenderloin (aka filet mignon) steaks whenever I want. I defrost individual steaks in the fridge for 2 days and pat it dry before I generously grind on fresh ground pepper and kosher salt. Then I put it on a hot pan for 1-3 mins a side, including the edges (so 6 sides in all). Let it rest for a couple of minutes and then enjoy!

4. My husband made a chicken souvlaki the other day using lemon juice, lemon zest, and oregano as seasoning. Skewer and probably baked at 350F for 30 minutes or until edges are slightly brown.  There's something about eating meat on a stick. It was delicious with a salad, even without the tzaziki sauce and pita bread!

5. Smoked salmon is also a very easy protein. Just defrost in water for 10 minutes and serve it with some firm tofu slices with a squeeze of lemon juice.

6. The tilapia filets from Costco are really great too. I cook it like a steak. Take it out of the fridge for 30 min to let it come to room temperature. Make sure your fish is dried off with a paper towel. Right before you cook it, just grind some salt and pepper on each side, spray a non stick pan with some oil (not too much), and pan fry each side for 4 minutes on med-hi heat. The fish should brown nicely on the outside and still be moist on the inside.

7. Grilled chicken with stir fry veggies with shirataki noodles are very yummy too. Just pan fry the chicken to get some browning, add the veggies until they are almost cooked through but not too mushy, add the rinsed shirataki noodles, add a splash of soy sauce and cook through.

8. Hard boiled eggs make great PP snacks. I usually bring one to work and then have one in the evening. I make 6 hard boiled eggs at a time and keep them in the fridge so I have 3 days worth of hard boiled eggs ready to go.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy 5th birthday Keith!

Keith, today is the actual day of your 5th birthday. We have already had 2 birthday parties for you, one with daddy's family and another one with your friends. Mommy loves to celebrate your birthday because you have grown so much in 5 years. You have become an intelligent, funny, kind, compassionate, genuine, polite, respectful, talkative, obedient, friendly, outgoing and an overall amazing boy. I'm so proud of you. I'm proud to be your mommy (or 'mom' as you call me now). I love you so much and want you to know that.

Five years ago yesterday (Sept 13, 2007), mommy went into labour around 3pm, 3 weeks before your due date. We went to the hospital around 10pm and you were born around 5:30am on Sept 14. Mommy and daddy were very excited to finally meet you after waiting for 9 months. We had pretty much decided on your name before you were born but we waited until after we met you to finalize. You could have been called James or even Jude - Jude Law like the actor - that's what daddy wanted to call you which obviously mommy veto'd! You were so tiny as a newborn (5lb 13oz) that you didn't fit into any of the clothes that we brought for you to the hospital. Getting you to eat was difficult because you were so tiny and a bit jaundiced which made you sleepy all the time. Somehow mommy got through all of that and you started growing really well and became a chubby bunny over the next 6 months. Mommy took you to do so many things during her year of mat leave. We did Ontario Early Years classes where we met your friends Sophie, Jared, and Jayden. We did sign language classes, music, swimming, and had playdates with mommy's friends from church and work who were also on mat leave. Everyday was an adventure. We also went stroller walking on the 10km Leslie trail almost every week - that was a lot of fun cuz you would nap and mommy would chat with her friends the whole time.

We took you to NYC when you were only 5 months old. It was your first plane trip and you did great. When you were 11 months old, we took you to HK to meet kai ma and mommy's side of the family. We stayed for 3 weeks and also went to Thailand with the whole family. You didn't like the sand on the beach but you enjoyed being in the pool and we took lots of naps. We came back to Canada after our HK/Thailand trip and mommy went back to work when you were 13 months old. You started daycare at Mrs.Bond's home but by 18 months, we had to move you to Pineway (I'll blog this story another day if I haven't already blogged it before). Pineway was amazing and you had so many friend's there and the teachers loved you. After mui was born, we took you out of Pineway for the summer before you started JK and we went traveling as a family all over the place - San Diego, Las Vegas, Muskoka, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Hong Kong, Macau. Then mommy went back to work again after you started JK. In JK, you also had lots of friends and your teacher, Ms Chui, loved you. You loved school and you learned so much. You learned how to hold a pencil properly, how to write letters and words, how to read words and simple sentences, how to count to 100, how to play, how to take turns and how to share. You learned so much in just 1 year. We went on a trip to Mexico in February with Sophie and Jayden and you said that Mexico was your favorite country. :)

After JK, you and daddy and mui spent the summer going to Wonderland a lot. You also went to 4 weeks of VBS which you loved.

Daddy wants to take you to Chuck Cheese today and Mommy wants to take you out for ice cream after dinner. It's your special day!

Mommy can't imagine life without you and mui now. You and mui bring so much joy, laughter, and purpose into mommy and daddy's life. I love to plan things for you and we consider your needs in everything we do. I love giving you hugs and kisses everyday and I cherish those moments because one day, you will grow up and you won't let mommy hug and kiss you anymore, at least not in front of your friends. :) I love you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dukan Diet - end of week 10

This week, I was back on track (except for a couple of homemade peanut butter cookies and i don't think Menchie's no fat yogurt is allowed) and lost another pound so now I've lost a total of 15 lbs.  Just 5 more to go to get to my True Weight.  I have dropped 4 dress sizes from 10 to 6!  I don't know if it's just because I was trying on clothes while I was in America so the sizes there are larger but I can't remember the last time I fit into size 6 clothes!

I'm going for a full body physical check up next week so I'm hoping that my doctor will check my cholesterol levels and stuff just to be sure that everything is still within normal ranges.  I feel great though so I'm sure everything will be fine.

My 5 yr old son is my own person Dukan coach.  He asks me everyday whether it's my protein day or protein+vegetable day.  When I eat something that's questionable that's not meat or vegetable (like tofu or yogurt), he will ask me if I'm allowed to eat it.  It's good to have someone to keep me accountable, even if it's my 5 year old!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Keith!

I did a Rocket themed party for Keith this year because Jeremy has been launching rockets with Keith all summer.  I had a lot of fun planning, organizing, and decorating.  

Homemade rocket-shaped cupcake cake

The party guests

Happy Birthday!

Enjoying his birthday party - Priceless

Dukan Diet - end of week 9

I fell off the wagon a bit in week 8 because I took a staycation and we celebrated some birthdays. I ate ribs, sausages, chicken wings, vegetables grilled with olive oil, grilled pineapple, watermelon, a half piece of ice cream cake, and a cupcake or 2. The good news is that I maintained 13 lbs of weight loss. I've gone back to my PP and PV diet this week and I lost 1 more pound so 6 more pounds to go!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

11 tips for Grove city outlet shopping from Toronto

Three girl friends and I recently went on a cross border shopping trip to Pennsylvania where there is no tax on clothing and shoes. We had a great time. Here are some tips:

1. We crossed the border at Peace Bridge which was much faster than going through the Queenston-Lewiston bridge.
2. We stopped at a McD's which was conveniently located just off the highway for a bathroom break about 30min after we crossed the border. There was also a gas station there where we could have gotten some US (cheaper than Canada) gas.
3. After about 3.5 hours, we arrived in Erie, Pennsylvania for our first shopping stop. We had lunch at the food court at the Millcreek Mall. I had a huge salad at Fuddruckers which was delicious but so big that I couldn't finish.
4. There was nothing much at the mall other than a good sale at The Limited so I would suggest skipping the Mall next time.
5. We also went to a nearby TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Designer Shoe Warehouse, and Target. I would prioritize Marshall's and DSW next time although I did find stuff at TJ Maxx and we walked off our TGIFridays dinner at Target since it was the only store that opened late.
6. We drove another 1.5 hours and stayed overnight at the Hampton Inn Grove City which was clean, comfy, and spacious for the four of us. They also had a pretty good spread for the free breakfast buffet.
7. We spent the day shopping at the Grove City Premium Outlets. Be sure to join their mailing list and print out a voucher for their coupon book and additional coupons. It's worth it especially since the four of us pooled our purchases so we got additional discounts at many stores.
8. Some stores will give you an additional discount if you sign up for their credit card. You just need to give them your SIN and drivers license. You can pay it off right at the cashier so you don't have to remember to make the credit card payment layer.
9. We had dinner at Primanti Brothers, a Pittsburgh local chain right beside the outlet featuring famous meat, coleslaw, and french fries sandwiches. 10. On our way home, we stopped at the same McD's rest stop and filled up on American gas (cheaper than Canada) one last time.
11. We got charged 13% tax on our way back into Canada because we all went over our $200/person limit for less than a 48hour stay. Kids clothes are only taxed at 5%. You are taxed on the full amount once you go over the exemption. It still worked out to be slightly less than an extra night of hotel stay. So depending on how much you are planning to spend, it may or may not be worth it to spend an extra night in the US.

Even though we had to pay for the hotel ($40/person), 3 meals ($50/person), gas ($30/person) and taxes (13%), the trip was well worth it. I forgot how much fun it was to go shopping and just to hang out with girl friends.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

#insomnia

I have been waking up every night the past week around 4am and can't get back to sleep usually until 6am. It's annoying when I have to work the next day. I picked up this bad habit when I got pregnant with my son about 5 years ago and have not been able to shake it off. I would go for weeks without the insomnia but then it would come back. I don't know what is triggering it: stress, exercise or lack thereof, diet, work, ...? I have no idea.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Canvas Print

Shutterfly Canvas Print
Cheerful Christmas invitations for your friends and family.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tips for cross border shopping from Toronto

We are planning a trip to Pennsylvania. We are stopping at Erie first to hit @marshalls @macys @tjmaxx @target. Then we will stay over night in Grove City for the premium outlets. Any tips for us?

Backyard transformation

We recently renovated our backyard.  I'm so happy with how everything turned out!  Here are some photos of the process.

Before the work started
Removed Interlock 
Removed grass
Installed gravel
Started installing the stones
All Done!

Dukan Diet - end of week 7

I've only lost 1 more pound this week so I've lost 14lbs overall. Even though my rate of weight loss seems to have slowed down, I can't get over how easy it has been to lose this weight so far. Where has this diet been all my life?

Although it has been thrilling to see my new weight and have clothes fit so much better on me, I think these PP and PV days are starting to wear out on me. I better get to my true weight soon or I might just move on to the Stabilization phase sooner.

I only have 6 more pounds to go!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin - a book review

Since Where We Belong was such a good read, I decided to pick up Baby Proof by the same author. I burned through this book almost as fast as WWB - 2 days instead of 1.5. I liked WWB slightly better maybe because the ending in Baby Proof was more predictable.

Baby Proof is about a couple who got a divorce because he wanted kids and she didn't. She goes on to explore a new relationship, gets asked to be an egg donor, and to support her best friend's pregnancy and miscarriage. Her interactions with her friends and family forces her to reassess her decision and she finally comes to terms on how she really feels about her ex-husband. [spoiler alert] in the end, they get back together. Big surprise (insert sarcasm).

To me, the theme of this story is that the grass is not always greener on the other side. True love often comes with compromise and sacrifice but if both people are committed to each other, every problem has a solution.


Where We Belong by Emily Giffin - a book review

I picked this up the other day from the library's "best bets" section. I burned through it in 1.5 days which is quite a feat considering I have a full time job and 2 kids to entertain at night.

The book is about the ripple effect of 1 secret/lie, how it affects all parties involved and the reconciliation process of undoing the secret/lie.

I really enjoyed this book as it caused me to think about my own family secret which started almost 30 years ago and remains a secret to some to this day. It made me think of what would happen if/ when this secret gets exposed in the open. What will happen to each person affected? How will everyone react to it? When and under what circumstances would this occur?

Don't worry, even if you don't have a deep dark family secret, this is still a good read.

Dukan diet - end of week 6

I have lost 13lbs! My target is to lose 20lbs so only 7 more to go. I can't believe the scales. It's like my fat is melting away everyday. I went for a 5k run this week and I felt so much lighter. We only did 5min runs/1 min walks but I was able to keep up a conversation the entire time. I felt great afterwards. I can't believe what a big difference 13lbs makes.

I am planning a cross border shopping trip with some girlfriends to buy some new clothes - very exciting!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mug

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Mug

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Reframing children's ministry


Pastor: I brought 2.5 people to Christ today
Pastor's wife: that's great! 2 adults and 1 kid?
Pastor: no, 2 kids and 1 adult. The kids have their whole life ahead of them, the adult only has half his life left.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dukan Diet - end of week 4

It's been 4 weeks of doing the Dukan Diet and I've lost 9lbs so far.  I'm still feeling great.  I'm still doing alternating PP and PV days and I've gotten into a great routine.  I start with oat bran in the morning.  I mix 2 tbsp of oat bran with 3/4 cups of  lactose free skim milk and microwave it for 2 minutes and let it cool for at least 5 minutes.  As it cools, it expands and becomes creamier.  I've grown quite a liking to it. In the first couple of weeks, I was also eating a 2-egg omelette for breakfast but this past week, I didn't even need that.  I have been taking Metamucil capsules every morning and sometimes even at night when I remember but constipation hasn't really been a problem.  I am enjoying the unlimited protein and veggies.  Every night, I eat 1 serving of fat free yogurt for dessert to end my day.

The positive reinforcement that I get each morning when I weigh myself is amazing.  I can't believe it.  My clothes fit me better and I feel great.  I don't have any carb or sugar cravings.  I don't really have the urge to reach for that slice of bread or whip up a batch of cookies so despite the limitations of this diet, it has actually been very liberating.  My plan is to continue Phase 2 until the end of Aug and then reassess how I feel.  I'm supposed to lose a total of 20lbs to reach my true weight.  If I haven't reached my true weight by then, I may just proceed to Phase 3 or I may continue Phase 2 until I reach my true weight.  So 11lbs more to go!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bad experience at Payless Shoe Source

I bought a three pairs of shoes at Payless Shoe Source on July 6. One was a every day item with no discount the other 2 were $34.99 but there was a buy one get one (BOGO) at half off deal at the time so I got one pair for $34.99 and the other pair for $17.50.

Unfortunately, one of the $34.99 shoes broke after a couple of weeks so I went back to the store today to get an exchange. The shoe is no longer in stock so the store clerk told me to find something that is $34.99 for the exchange.

After a long search, there were many shoes on display but not many that I wanted to buy, I finally found a pair that was $29.99. Upon further examination of my receipt, he told me he could only exchange for a $17.50 value because the receipt didn't say the shoes were bought on a BOGO deal.

I told him it was for sure a BOGO deal or else I would not have purchased 3 pairs of shoes that day.  He eventually agreed with me but then he told me that he couldn`t give me the sale price of the shoe I found today.  The original price of the $29.99 shoes is $39.99 so he told me I could get 50% off $39.99 which meant he wanted me to pay $2.50 for the difference.  I didn`t think it was right because the shoes are currently on sale for $29.99 so I should get 50% off $29.99 and actually get a $2.50 refund.

After arguing for a couple of minutes, I didn`t want to waste my time and the time of the couple of people who had formed a line by then.  In the end, I asked to get a refund for $17.50.  I will never purchase shoes at Payless Shoe Source again. They have just lost a customer for life over a couple of dollars.  I also buy shoes for my husband and 2 kids so they actually have lost 4 customers.  I'll be taking my money elsewhere from now on.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dukan Diet - end of week 2

Yesterday was the end of week 2.  I lost another 3lbs this week for a total of 8 lbs.  So far so good.  I have been alternating PP and PV days with very little deviations.  I don't feel hungry which is great.  I can eat all the meat I want, even on PV days.  I'm drinking lots of water.  I'm eating 2 tbsp of oat bran every morning.  I microwave it with about 3/4 cup of skim milk and it's very creamy.  I eat fat free yogurt for dessert.

This week, I am going to a Brazillian steakhouse which is all you can eat meat.  I will be able to eat unlimited meat and not feel guilty about it!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dukan diet - end of week 1

I did 4 'attack' days and now i'm in the 'cruise' phase of alternating pure protein (PP) and protein+vegetable (PV) days. I've lost 5lbs this week and I have 15lbs more to lose to get to my target weight. I've been feeling good. I'm eating and drink water a lot so I never feel hungry. I started taking Metamucil to get things 'moving' but I don't feel any discomfort or bloating so I'm not too worried...for now. My clothes are fitting better. I wore a fitted t-shirt to work today and didn't have to suck in my tummy. I look forward to the PV days so I can have a bit more variety.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Dukan Diet

I was at the library last week and saw this book called The Dukan Diet Cookbook.  I wasn't specifically looking for a diet book but this one caught my eye because of the delicious dish of shrimp on the cover.  So I borrowed it from the library and started reading it when I got home.  I started to consider trying the diet myself after reading so many positive reviews online.  So on Saturday July 7, I decided to start Day 1 of the Attack Phase.  I've never been on a fad diet because I know they can be bad for your health but I'm kind of tired of carrying 10 lbs of excess baby weight.  I've been walking to work most days for 8 months and running 5K one to three times a week for 4 months but I haven't lost any weight.  According to this plan, I have 20 lbs to lose to get to my 'true weight' (incidentally it's the same amount I weighed at my wedding) and it's going to take me 6 months to get there.

During the Attack phase, you can only eat lean proteins, e.g. eggs, chicken, beef, fish, tofu; 1.5 tbsp oat bran, and fat free dairy products.  You can eat as much as you want - awesome!  So I went out and stocked up on chicken, fish, smoked salmon, tofu, fat free yogurt, skim milk, and oat bran.  Today is Day 4 of my Attack Phase and I've lost 3lbs.  I don't feel hungry, I don't miss the carbs, and I can already see my muffin top starting to shrink.  The only problem is constipation... Other than that, so far so good.  

Tomorrow I start the Cruise phase which is alternating days of protein and protein + low carb vegetables.  I can now eat 2 tbsp of oat bran and I can still eat fat free diary products.  Can't wait!  We'll see how long I keep this up.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baby gear

When I find out people are pregnant, I often have an urge to tell them everything I know about baby stuff, e.g. what to buy, etc... I realize that this can be somewhat annoying if they are not looking for advice because I can go on and on about this topic.  So instead of being annoying, I`ll just write everything down here so my pregnant readers can peruse at their leisure.

Pre-birth
- Lansinoh Lanolin cream - it's much easier to prevent cracked nipples than to treat them
- Kushies anything - I especially liked their burp pads, change pads, crib sheets, swaddling blankets
- Bebe au Lait nursing cover - this was the one must-have item in my diaper bag.  I couldn't have breastfed for 13 months without this
- Diaper genie - we tried to do without one for our first child but I ended up caving and bought one for our 2nd child.  What a great investment!
- JJ Cole bundle me - especially good for winter babies
- Graco Infant car seat - they are lighter than the Peg ones
- D-drops - the sunshine vitamin
- Beco carrier - I had a Beco Butterfly 2 but the Gemini is newer and looks great too

Bravado designs nursing tank tops - didn't own one but wished I did
Medela Electric breastpump - didn't own one but wished I did
Skiphop Pronto travelling change pad - I have a similar one but it's not Skip Hop.  Always wished I had this one instead.
- Stroller frame - I had a Graco stroller frame before I committed to buying a Bugaboo Bee.  I loved it because it fit my Graco car seat perfectly.  It was lightweight and had a huge basket underneath.
- Stroller - I ended up buying a Bugaboo Bee about 6 months after my son was born.  I liked how easy it manoeuvres even with one hand and how it folds in 1 piece.  However, I`ve had a lot of problems with it and the customer service sucks if you live in Canada.  The handle bar lock is now broken, suspension is rusted, 5 point harness buckle is broken.  The stroller still works (thankfully!) but it`s just slowly breaking down bit by bit.  I contacted customer service and they said they can`t ship me the parts because I`m in Canada and their only Canadian retailer that sells parts doesn`t have what I`m looking for.  So now I tell people to research how easily you can get replacement parts before committing to a stroller since it`s such a big investment.  
- Graco Pack n Play - Good to have a playpen for travelling or napping at other people`s homes.  I had a basic Graco one which worked fine.  There are more fancier ones out there but probably not necessary.


0-3 months
- Books: Canada`s Baby Care BookHealthy Sleep Habits Happy Child, Lullababy Sleep Plan, The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems
- Braun ear thermometer
- J&J nursing pads - I went through so much of these that I decided to get reusable ones for my 2nd child.

3-6 months
- can`t really think of anything right now...

6-12 months
Fisher Price booster seat
- Baby Bjorn soft bib
- Heinz Baby Basics spoons
- Munchkin suction bowls
- a small food processor - there are a lot of special baby ones out there now like the Baby Bullet but any small one will do
- Gap UV shirts for swimming - these UV shirts and shorts really are good quality.  Even better if you can get them on sale.
- Britax carseat - you`ll need this when your baby grows out of the Graco bucket car seat
- a waterproof camera because you`ll want to take pictures of them swimming or at the beach or at the waterpark when they are older.  There are lots of different ones in the market.

1-2 years
- Baby Bjorn potty chair - when they first start potty training, they need a chair to feel like they won`t fall in

Baby Bjorn potty seat - when they get older, they can use this one with a matching step stool

Stuff to borrow if you can because you`ll only need these for a few months max:
Bumbo
Swing
Bouncy chair
bassinet

I'll update this list if I think of anything else that was useful for me.  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day in the life of a mom

Here's what I did yesterday:

1. Woke up at 7am
2. Baked cupcakes











3. Baked cookies












4. Fed kids breakfast
5. Removed all the weeds in the backyard
6. Had lunch
7. Bought a bday present from ToysRUs and gift bag and tissue from Dollarama
8. Attended a bday party with present (see above)
9. Bought groceries
10. Bought grass seed
11. Sowed grass seed in backyard
12. Baked banana bread
13. Made and ate dinner (store bought tourtière and steamed broccoli)
14. Made fruit skewers for party tomorrow 














15. Made icing for cupcakes for party tomorrow

Amazing how much can be accomplished in one day.




Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hooked on haiku

I attended a workshop today called 90 Minutes to Improve Your Writing.  One of the exercises was to write a haiku, the traditional Japanese form of poetry that consists of three lines of text with 5, 7, 5 syllables on each line respectively.  

We had to describe our jobs and here is what I wrote:
Respond to emails
Run around like a chicken
With its head cut off

I learned that:
Haikus are powerful
To convey the right meaning
Choose words carefully

Here's my new out of office message:
I'm out of office
Will respond when I return 
next Monday.  Thank you

And in summary:
I'm hooked on haikus
I'm going to Haiku-ize 
everything I write!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Flowers are gross?

I play this game with my son where I will say a category "something in the garage" and he will give me the answer.  Here's how our game went today:

Me: Something gross
Him: Flowers!
Me: Flowers are not gross!
Him: [laughing] Oh, I thought you said 'grows'!

:)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Amazing week

We went to Carriage Hills Resort just north of Barrie this past week. Surprisingly, this was the first trip that we have ever taken that was just our own family of four. All of our other trips since my daughter was born have been either with family or friends.

As always, I researched the area before we went. I found a few local events that we went to including an Airshow at CFB Borden and the RCMP Musical Ride which both just happened to be in the area in the past week. Amazing.

The weather cooperated and we went to Wasaga beach, Elmvale Jungle Zoo, and Centennial Park (playground and beach). We ate at restaurants that were recommended by tripadvisor including Tiffins Curry in a Hurry and Casa Mia.

We got in-room massages every other day (thanks to health benefits!) and went swimming at the resort's indoor/outdoor pool almost every day. I even fit in a couple of workouts on the treadmill.

We were in a 1-bedroom unit with a full kitchen so we cooked most of our meals. I love cooking breakfast because it's something i don't usually get to do. There's something special about sitting down together as a family and eating a hot breakfast. And with 2 young kids, it's not too enjoyable to eat out anyway. I must say I have a pretty good breakfast repertoire. Breakfast was different every morning: French toast, egg in a hole, scrambled eggs, over easy, sunny side up, toast, sausage, bacon, hashbrowns in the form of smiles, fruit, and usually served with a fruit smoothie.

The best part: we were able to do most of our laundry before we came back with the washer/dryer there so I don't have to do a week's worth of laundry after coming back home.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Excited

Friends of ours just offered us their 1-week timeshare cottage.  I couldn't turn down the offer for a free 1-week vacation so without even checking my calendar, we jumped at the opportunity.  I love that we are now so flexible to take trips.  Such a blessing!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One year anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of our family's adventures with a stay at home dad. With me being on mat leave for five of those months, here are some of the adventures that we had as a family over the past year:
- traveled to San Diego and Las Vegas and went to LegoLand, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park and Seaworld
- spent 2 long weekends at a cottage in Muskoka on Lake Healey
- went to Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City with my sister's family and friends
- traveled to Hong Kong and Macau for 1 month
- went to a 1-week all-inclusive vacation in Riviera Maya with 2 other families
- went to Rochester's Museum of Play
- bought season's passes for Canada's Wonderland for both summers
- did weekend family activities like Maple syrup festivals, Wizard's World, and biking/picnics at Sunnybrook Park
- had many backyard BBQs and playing outdoors with the kids


It has been an awesome adventure and privilege to be able to do all this stuff. Looking forward to more adventures to come!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saying goodbye

I've never been good at saying goodbye. If it's someone that I'll never see again, all i can think of is "bye, have a good life" which probably isn't the best way to drive closure to an 'acquaintanceship'. So I end up not really saying anything at all.

If it's someone that there's a possibility that I'll see again, I don't see the point of a long drawn out goodbye because chances are, our paths will cross again some time in the future, specially considering how easy it is to stay in touch with FB/social media nowadays.

If it's someone that I will truly miss having regular contact with, I also don't say much to belabor the goodbye because I tend to tear up easily and I don't like to cry in public because my face becomes one big swollen mess.

So if you are someone that I have to say goodbye to, I apologize in advance for the brevity of my goodbye but know that it's not because I don't care, it's just because I'm bad at saying goodbye.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Reading to my kids

My parents never read to me when I was little. In fact, I remember my parents bringing me to a library for the first time when I was in Grade 2 because a friend of my mom's told her that it was a good idea to get me to read. We got to the library and I was expected to choose a book. I had no idea where to begin, i didnt even know which section of the library to go to. Fast forward a few decades and as a mom, I'm now reading to my children (almost) everyday and bringing them to the library regularly. I'm trying to inspire a love of reading in their life because I really believe that reading is so helpful in one's future success from vocabulary, comprehension to imagination and creativity. There's a saying in Chinese, literally, it is "there's a golden house in every book".

My son loves his reading time every night. It has become a special time that we spend together before he goes to bed.

My daughter doesn't like to go to bed but she gets really excited when I say "let's go 'tai shu shu'" which means "let's go read a book" in Chinese. She will pick up her favorite book and run to the couch in her bedroom so we can read together. It's so cute.

I hope I'll be able to continue to inspire a love of reading in their lives so they can each find their own 'golden house'.

Friday, April 27, 2012

No more manicures for my 4.5 yo son

The other day, I come home and my husband tells me that our son cut his own fingernails. I was happy that he can now do it by himself which is a good sign that he is growing up but at the same time, I have gotten to really enjoy sitting with him on my lap, cuddling really close, holding his little hands, and cutting his little nails. It made me think of all the other things that he will eventually grow out of like running to the door everytime I come home from work to greet me, wanting me to read him a bedtime story, wanting me to stay in bed with him for "just a little bit" but then I end up sleeping with him the whole night. One thing I won't miss though, is having to help him wipe his bum.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Photo Book

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Cavities

Keith got his first two fillings last week.  Never even got to have his picture in the "No Cavities Club".

Monday, March 5, 2012

started running again

Over the past year, I've been trying hard to lose that last 5lbs of baby weight.  Unfortunately, after our 1-week vacation at an all-inclusive resort in February, I actually gained 5 lbs.  This motivated me to start working out again.  I started doing a few days of My Fitness Coach on my Wii.  It's still the best workout game.  I was so sore the first couple of days I could barely walk up and down the stairs.  Then I started running with a friend who wants to do her first 5k.  She's a beginner runner and I'm a relapsed runner so we are a perfect match.  My goal is to do something longer than a 5k but I don't want to commit to anything just yet.  I downloaded Personal Running Trainer which is a pretty good app for the iPhone.  Each run comes with a voice prompt to help you keep track of your run/walks and it also allows you to still listen to music.  The 5k program starts with 30 minutes of 1 min runs and 2 min walks and progresses all the way to a 30 minute run over 8 weeks.  Since I only plan to do 10 min run/1 min walks, I am going to take my time to build my endurance back up to a 10r/1w.  We even discovered a free indoor running track close by so we don't have any excuse not to run when it's cold outside.  The track is above an ice rink so it's freezing when we first start out but once we get running, it's the perfect temperature.  I'm hoping I can keep this up and lose some weight along the way.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Parent Teacher Interview

Keith had his first parent teacher interview today.  Not so coincidentally, it was also my first parent/teacher interview.  Unexpectedly, I was slightly nervous walking into the classroom.  Perhaps it's the realization that my son is growing up and that this is the first of many parent/teacher interviews i will attend as a parent.  Or maybe because I was nervous about what the teacher will say about Keith.  or maybe because I'm not familiar with how to interact with a teacher as a parent.  Should I be friendly, should I be concerned, should I have been prepared with a list of questions to ask the teacher?

It turned out that there was nothing to worry about.  Keith is doing just fine at school.  The teacher is really pleased with his progress in all areas.  She showed me some examples of his work - his drawings and writing.  He drew a picture of 6 stick figures and he wrote something like this as his caption: ON FML D W M HS.  Which was his way of writing "On Family Day, we went to mama's house."  The teacher explained that he is starting to sound out words and he wrote all the letters by himself, which is a huge accomplishment for his age, especially considering he couldn't even hold a pen properly at the beginning of the school year.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Costco

I have a love-hate relationship with Costco. I hate them because every time I go and just want to get eggs, milk, and bananas, I end up getting hundreds of dollars of things that I never knew I needed or wanted. I was there today and considered getting a life jacket for my 4 yr old son. Why does my son need a life jacket? I don't know.

But I love Costco for their amazing return policy. I bought the Quick Tax software last week and noticed today that they were selling it for $8 less. I was fortunate to have kept my receipt in my wallet and with just my receipt, I was able to get the $8+tax back. That's pretty awesome!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Loblaw's highest ROI activity

Loblaws has a really smart and effective strategy to drive store traffic - they offer a free cookie to each kid 12 and under.  Whenever I ask my 4-year old son if he wants to go to Loblaws with me, he usually replies with an enthusiastic "yes!".  Of course, when I go with him to get the free cookie, I usually end up with a shopping cart full of groceries that I would not have bought had I not gone to Loblaws that day.  Who would have thought that a cookie would be one of their highest ROI marketing activities?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My 15.5 month old daughter walks for the first time

We've been waiting for my daughter to walk for a couple of months now.  My son walked at 11.5 months so I kind of expected my daughter to walk around the same time.  I really wanted to capture it on video because we captured my son's first steps on video.  Everytime she looked like she was going to walk, I would whip out my iPhone and start recording.  But each time, I just got a dud.  Yesterday, after CNY dinner at my in-laws, she finally walked for the first time..  Both my husband and I were there to witness it and he even caught it on his phone which was exactly what I wanted.

.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mui mui really loves music



Whenever she hears music, she will sway side to side. Even if it's really bad Chinese music. :p

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chiropractic medicine


I never knew a whole lot about chiropractic medicine.  From what I had heard before, I didn't really believe in it.  But tonight has completely changed my perspective.  My friend practices an alternative form of chiropractic care called NSA (Network Spine Analysis) that doesn't involve cracking bones.  It's a very gentle form of care that can even be performed on babies!

My 15-month old daughter has not been sleeping well for about a month now.  This is unusual because she had been sleeping through the night since she was 3 months old.  But for the past month, every time I put her down to go to bed, she would start screaming.  We would try to let her 'cry it out' but usually after 30-60 minutes of serious screaming, either Jeremy or I would go rescue her and then she would stop.  We had no idea what was wrong.  Last night was the worst when she screamed for almost an hour before I went in to get her.  I held her for a bit but she started crying again when I tried to put her back in the crib.  So I ended up bringing her to my bed but she was very restless and didn't sleep until well past 1am.

Anyway, Leo, from our small group, is a chiropractor and he offered to give Ainsley some care.  As I laid on my back with her on my tummy, she was very squirmy but after just several contacts, she started to settle down.  It was very amazing to me but I kind of thought maybe it was a coincidence.  After that, I put her to bed like how I usually do and then walked out of her room.  I was still skeptical so I was totally prepared for the screaming to start up but she only cried a few soft cries and then that was it.  She went to bed for the night.

Now I'm a convert.  If you have back pain or if you are not sleeping well or if you have a fussy baby, give my friend Dr. Leo a call.  Even better if your benefits cover chiropractors.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Poutine to start the new year

It's a Sunday today. A day of rest.

So we drove all the way to downtown Nathan Philips Square just to eat poutine...because we can! It's good to spend family time together doing totally random but enjoyable things.