Wednesday, April 30, 2008

There it is

Okay, is officially up but I'm not too happy with it. I will soon take my brother's advice and get a web host that you pay for. can definitely help you toss together a web page quickly, but if you're very picky with appearances, you will soon discover its limitations.

Onto other things...Maylin's Chinese classes have ended to everyone's dismay, but with Grandma visiting more often and summer vacation just around the corner, she may still be able to learn some Chinese.

We are temporarily taking a break from ballet classes (a more permanent break from tap) and hope to resume in the fall at a "more serious" ballet school. Her teacher was very nice, but I was disappointed by the lack of progression in her classes. One class looked very much like the other. One session resembled the previous session. I can't fully blame her since there are beginners coming in all the time, but those who take two or more sessions in a row should start learning short, simple routines, in my opinion. I've worked a lot with children, have taken dance as a child and as an adult, and I believe we can have higher expectations for our children. They are brighter than we think. Anyways, Maylin is looking forward to going to a new ballet school and leaving tap dance behind (didn't like it much) so I've got a lot of homework (research) to do.

Poor Stefan's crying -- just won't settle down for his nap. Gotta go.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Under construction

Maybe I announced my new website a little too early. Gotta work out a few bugs first. Watch this space for more updates!

Monday, April 21, 2008

My new website! (click here to visit)

I've been secretly meditating for awhile on the thought of starting a little business from selling my handmade stuff. Today, I made the leap and bought a domain name and got free hosting from Maybe I'll sell my photography in the future, but I'd like to tackle this first since it's actually more fun for me to make things with my hands. My next step is to set up shop at Right now, you can visit my new site, which I threw together in a few minutes thanks to SynthaSite. I'll keep working on it, so you can look forward to continuous improvements on its appearance and functionality.

It may take a few days to actually appear. All you get now is an "under construction" page. Please be patient.

I am Little Turnip!

Friday, April 18, 2008

What not to read to your child when she's home with the stomach flu

*Everyone Poops
by Taro Gomi
*There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
by Simms Tabak

When I suggested the second book, Maylin, who had thrown up the night before, said, "That's going to make me sick."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Make, make, make

Inspired by a bookmaking activity on the Cal campus (U.C. Berkeley, my alma mater) on Cal Day, I began making my own books and cards today with heavy card stock, fancy origami paper, scissors, glue, a 1/8th inch hole punch (but I think I need to get the 1/16th), nylon string, and a bone folder (necessary for serious paper folding). Lots of fun, and Maylin took one of the books and began writing and illustrating her own story in it immediately. I love collaborating with her. One of her favorite things to do with me is to draw pictures for each other to color.

On Saturday, inspired by the decorations at the Picante restaurant in Berkeley, I made some tissue paper banners in the style of papel picado, Mexican paper cutting. It's a very simple activity, like cutting out paper snowflakes. I was hoping Maylin wanted to do it with me, but she let me do it on my own and was very excited about hanging them up on a string in her bedroom. It certainly looks festive. I'll try to get some photos up. [I might start a kid crafting blog. I get so much joy out of teaching kids how to make stuff.]

Saturday evening, I baked my first pound cakes. Wow -- they were amazing. I didn't know they could be so moist! I grew up on Sara Lee's which are rather dry, dense, and uninspiring (probably because they've been sitting in the refrigerated/freezer? section of the store for a long time). You have to get the Fanny Farmer Baking Book and try the Buttermilk Lemon Pound Cake recipe. Makes two loaves which will disappear in no time! I substituted fresh lemon juice for the lemon extract since our Meyer lemon trees are producing fruit like crazy. Cake has yummy, light lemony flavor.

After not making stuff for awhile, all this creativity made me feel great!

Firestation field trip

Two and a half weeks ago, Maylin's kindergarten class visited the local firestation. Maylin asked a question: "Why do you have such a big truck?" Wow. When I was her age, I didn't have the guts to ask questions of anyone in authority. So, explain me this. How can she ask a question of a firefighter, in front of her entire class, and still not be able to speak to my parents and my friends? Is she shy or not?

The highlight of the trip was definitely being able to turn on the firehose and shoot it into the street. How fun is that? One of Maylin's classmates decided to do something naughty -- point the hose at her classmates (and me!). I was able to turn away in time to save my camera, but she really soaked a couple of kids (who were actually happy to get wet!).

Beautiful firsts

Stefan, my 7 month + 1 week-old singer, has started crawling! His first three "steps" were on Friday to reach some toys. Yesterday, another three "steps" to reach the Kleenex box and pull out a couple of tissues before Mommy got to him. And this morning, he's going full force to reach toys that Mommy has strewn all over the carpet.

He shocked me in San Francisco two Fridays ago when he clucked his tongue in imitation of me. (He always lit up with smiles whenever I clucked my tongue. He thought it was the coolest thing.) Who knew you could have a baby first in the restroom of a taqueria while changing a diaper?

Yesterday, he started pulling himself up in the crib. Not on his feet, just his knees, thank goodness. My little guy is growing up too fast!

He slept 7-hours straight last night -- unusual these days since he's been waking up around midnight, again around 3:30 am, and again at 6:30 am. Means Mommy's been really tired and unable to blog! And sometimes feels like she's losing her sanity!

[Addendum: today, he pulled himself up on his feet in the crib. Yikes! Looked so cute, but boy, I was a little scared and yelled to John -- "We need to lower the mattress!"]

Sunday, April 06, 2008

My brother's photos

He did a good job with my camera. Here's Stefan with his grandma and grandpa two weeks ago.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Playing tourists in San Francisco's Mission District

We had a great day yesterday. It was beautiful in San Francisco as we strolled along Valencia Street between 17th and 21st. Some great modern furniture stores, like Monument, artsy stores like Little Otsu, and quirky stores like Paxton Gate (my favorite). Paxton Gate had just about everything that is interesting to me. Reproductions of vintage paper theaters for children, insect collections (beautiful butterflies and rare bugs), old wrought-iron nails, beautiful crystals, stuffed mice dressed up in costume, hydroponic plants and succulents...all affordable. Reminded me a lot of Deyrolles in Paris, with all its stuffed animals and fantastic preserved insects for sale. X-21 was pretty cool, too. Authentic and fake Eames chairs, large antique operating room lamps, nautical lamps, a storage cabinet fashioned as a double-bass, a 9-foot tall plaster Superman,...

We all had fun at the thrift stores. Thrift Town on Mission was good, but Community Thrift Store on Valencia was even better. Maylin scored a Barbie car for $1.50, and I found a 250-piece Tinkertoy set (nearly new) for only $2.50 (retail new $50-130).

We had a yummy taco lunch at Los Coyotes, and a pricey Indian dinner at Dosas. Pricey, but excellent. Dosas are crepes which usually come stuffed with pureed potato and spices. John ordered a lamb curry, which had a delightful punch of cardamom. Overall, flavors were very distinctive and refined, and the service was top-notch. Just be sure to use the additional lock at the top of the ladies' restroom door...otherwise, a male employee might walk in on you with your pants down.