Tuesday, January 31, 2006

24 Hours of Politik

Ahhhhhh!!

So a bunch of us are doing this 24 Hours of Adrenaline. We mostly work at the shop, so everyone getting the day off on a Saturday to do the race is a reasonable issue. So apparently a deal has been brokered... We'll get the day off, if we wear our shop's cycling jersey. But there are a couple issues.

1) who's paying for the jerseys?
2) who's paying for the entry fees?
3) the jerseys are butt fugly ugly.

it seems like we'll be paying for the entry fees, which is a bit unusual for being "sponsored". I hope to get the jerseys for free, but the owner might make us by them, which I would find to be unreasonable.

of course, one of our guys is making a big hoo ha, out of having to wear the jerseys and pay for the entry fees. so everyone's got an agenda. ugh.

-don

Teaching an old dog a new trick.


So I'm trying (not very hard) to teach Ruby to balance a biscuit on her nose.

Not crying at parties.

Well today we were invited to another Chinese New Year party - this time for a noontime steamboat lunch. This was given by the couple who came over in November with their 2 children about Vince and Edda's age when it became obviously apparent to me that Edda was falling fast off of the normal development curve. Edda and I bailed on the party, Edda because she didn't sleep very well last night and me because I thought I had done enough crying at parties recently. Jeremy and Vince went, Jeremy wasn't much up for it because he spent most of the night up last night with Edda, but I felt bad that we've been cancelling things at the last minute with these people and I knew Vince would have a fabulous time.

Well Vince did have a fabulous time, but Jeremy ended up pretty emotional when he got home. There were 2 kids younger than Edda at the party and the contrast between her abilities and theirs was striking and Jeremy spend a lot of the afternoon and early evening in tears and sad. It's nice that we usually aren't too sad at the same time but it takes a lot of energy both to be sad and to help the other person not be too sad.

Well, perhaps we'll find a therapist soon for both me and Jeremy, either seperately or together. I love therapy. And we'll take Donald's suggestion of a support group seriously too, although I don't know if they have such things here though.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Crying at parties.


Tonight, we all went to a Chinese New Year Party and I ended up crying on the floor in the middle of the party. I kind of knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but I didn't figure it was going to be tonight.

The host and hostess were very sweet, but I hadn't told them about Edda before I went to the party. Now it's pretty clear that Edda is an odd duck now that she's almost 2, so there is no hiding the fact that she has some "issues" she has to - you know - "work out". So I told the hostess about Edda and the whole party (at least from my perspective) became a test for Edda's abilities or lack of abilites. Bells ringing behind her head to see if she'll turn around, asking Edda "where's your mama?" to see if she'll point, suggestions about using walkers or how to say words clearly to her, people asking Vince, "Do you play with your sister?". THIS WENT ON FOR OVER AN HOUR. And it was all in Chinese so Jeremy couldn't rescue me at all. Finally I couldn't take it anymore and sat down in the middle of the living room and cried. Then the hostess said that I drive away potential friends because I cry every time I talk about Edda. Gosh, so reassuring. Jeremy scooted me out of the party, Vince didn't even complain about leaving even though he was in the middle of watching Sponge Bob Square Pants. I'm hoping not to do this at every single party I go to for the rest of my life.

So you think I look tired.


Just take a look at Jeremy enjoying his McSpicy Chicken.




But luckily, after having some chocolate pudding, he perked up considerably.

Artist Painting

Well, Mom's artist friend gave me a classic Chinese painting of boys she had in her bedroom. I like it very much and is going to hang on our Sheets Farm house.

We had a wonderful time here. She is also from Chung Ming and from same background as Mom's. As a fact of fact, her son also graduated from MIT and had a brunch with Doris and us in Marriot during graduation ceremony. Doris and Donald, do you still remember that?

Yesterday, we went to the local restaurant called "Bob Chinn's". Their sea food was excellent.

Today, we will take a detour toward west again to visit "Nauvoo", IL where Mormons started migrating westward. And will then take 70 to see our farm before going to Washington DC. There are lot of changes there. I like to show Mom.

Edda look good and hope the best.

Just something fun

http://drawapig.desktopcreatures.com/

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner

Last night, Li Pei Zin invited me over for dinner to celebrate Chinese New Year. Honestly, I really actually enjoy the dinner's with their whole family. Ching Mao is alwasy pretty talkative. We had a good time discussing the reasons why you parents are crazy to move all over the country.

of course, most of the kids are over too for the dinner. Emily and her bf Ben, Jeffery and Leigh and their kids Christina and Eileen, who are about Vince and Edda's ages.

It's sorta weird, I actually end up talking to Leigh the most. Perhaps she's the most talkative of all in that generation? whoo knows. The funny thing also is that all the kids are into biking. Leigh bikes the kids to school, and has signed up for a marathon. Jefffery is biking a lot for fun. both Emily and Ben bike also.

This kids are pretty fun too. Christina ended up climbing all over me at the dinner table and putting things on my head, and sticking things down my shirt. Kinda reminded me of the vince-man. Apparently she also really finds Garfield comics to be extremely funny. she made me read her this one comic over and over again... it went something like this:

Garfield sleeping next to a clock.

TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK
TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK
Garfield - this clock is driving me nuts!
Garfield - I'll have to move it.
TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK
Garfield - I'll put it in Jon's underwear drawer.
* garfield is asleep in his bed
* Jon come over to the bed,
Jon - Garfield, wake up! It's almost....
BRIIIIIIIING! (as jon's butt rings)
garfield - seven o'clock?

Also Ching Mao and I had a long discussion about housing prices and leveraging you money. He does a lot of real estate investements and I tried to get out of him whether he thought that the market was worth going into or not. I didn't quite get a straight answer. He was basically like you never know what's going to happen in life. whether the market will go up or not. but he said at some point, if you know the market is going to go up, you should buy regardless, because you can leverage your money in real estate. He said he wants the housing market to raise only 7% every year - a sustainable growth rate, because then if you put 20% down, you've made 35% of your money back in the first year. 7%/20%. I tried to frame it as a cash flow problem since i'm sorta interested in rental properties, but i dunno that i got thru to him that way.

oh yeah, Li Pei Zin and I are still working on the gf. mom, that 2000 dollars is stil on the table right?

I'm not tired!


To prove to my parents I'm not tired, I took this picture of myself today on a geocaching adventure. See, I don't look to bad for a mom with 2 kids under the age of 4. Actually, I think I look pretty good. Not to wrinkly or pouchy.

Cram session.


It's like we are studying for the SAT in the Lee-Martin household. Let's see if Edda can push a button on a Sesame Street toy! Let's see if Edda can find Peter Rabbit if he's hidden under a blanket! Let's see if Edda can walk from one couch to another! Let's see if Edda will say mama in return for a Cheerio! Let's face it, would any of you do anything in return for a single Cheerio? I think not.

Actually Edda can do a lot of these things, it's just unclear to me if she wants to do any of these things. A lot of what the therapists told me involve finding a "motivator". Much the same way a grown person will toil day and night as a corporate lawyer to get that way cool flat-screen TV, I have to find things that Edda wants to make her do things that I want her to do. I told Jeremy that Edda's like the Buddha and has transended material wants. She doesn't really want anything. Only food when she's hungry, sleep when she's tired and a clean diaper - and some company - she does get fussy when left in a room by herself. Toys? Not necessary. Treats? Nope. Games? Not that interested. Keeping up with other kids? Not important. She's the Buddha I'm telling you.

Roasted Duck & My Thought

Uncle Louis last night treated us with his roasted duck together with a mixed vegetable plater. They were delicious.

Whole day, we talked about our Lee's family past and present, including a lot of our family dark side. Well, some of them, you probably know. By looking back, it was dangerous close to total disaster for me. Maybe, Mom unconscientiously helped me a lot. She probably did not realize that. Of course, maybe, it was me. I got to give me some credits :)

I think , upstreams are only a couple of inches away along the continental divide (ie., critical moments). But, the downstream outlets are miles apart.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Chicago

Well, you are in Chicago area with Uncle Louis. He is preparing a duck for dinner tonight.

Tomorrow, we will stay with a Mom's long time friend in Chicago. She was a buyer for many department stores for a long time. She knew all the stuffs in a department store, fairly interesting person with a lot of store buying & selling experience.

After that, we are heading to Washington DC and SC. Happy Chinese New Year to all of you.

Therapy.


We went to Edda's physical therapy today. I thought it would be an uplifting session, everyone encouraging and optimistic and hopeful - we'd finally start on Edda's individualized physical / occupational / speech therapy plan. But instead it was kind of depressing. They assessed Edda at about the 9 month-old level and that we're suppose to start working on the 10 month-old milestones. It's discouraging that she's more than a year behind on her development and not yet two. All this stuff that is suppose to come naturally to kids I'm suppose to spend hours teaching Edda. It's been such a mind warp to think about staying home with the kids full time and enough to think about homeschooling in general, but when you have to teach eye-contact skills for hours, it's really pretty much a bummer for me!

Might as well throw a pity-party for myself - where's the gin and tonic?

OK these are the things I get to work on this week:

  • Peek-a-boo
  • Take peter rabbit or a favorite toy and she has to look at me first and then I give it to her.
  • Object permanence which means that she has to remember that something is there when she can't see it. Hide Peter Rabbit under a blanket and ask "Where's peter?"
  • More physical play, swing her around more.
  • Putting things that she wants out of reach and waiting for her to indicate that she wants them.
  • Getting a push toy to help her walk.
  • Getting her to feed herself more.


Bummer.

Once in a blue moon.


This hardly ever happens. Both napping at the same time!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy New Year

Hi,all

Happy New Year to All.

IOWA

Well, tonight, we stay at Davenport, IO. It iss pretty modern that along Iowa highway 80, all the rest areas have the wireless internet connection.

Iowa has a lot of hilly farmlands, not as flat as I thought.

We visited John Wayne's birthplace, those covered bridges in Madison County that were in the movie featured Clint Eastwood (?) and President Herbert Hoover's birthplace and his burial site in West Branch, IO just west of Davenport.

Guess what, Mom even won $38 in the casino along route 80 called Prairie Meadows.

My house is a disaster area. Please call FEMA.


This is what my house looks like a lot of the time. Why is the bicycle in the middle of the living room? Well, I had to bring it inside before it got fogged with pesticide which kills mosquitos and prevents us all from having dengue fever. Vince has been playing "fort" which he, unfortunately pronounces it "fart". Sigh.

Choa Chu Kang Cat..


Our pal, the Choa Chu Kang cat. He lives on top of the ice cream lady's push cart. We always say hello to him.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Lincoln, Nebraska

After 500+ miles, we are in Lincoln, NE where Mom did some consulting work years back. Along the way, we visited Buffalo Bill's Scout Rest, a Pony Express Station and Fort Kearny.

Such a beautiful day!


The light was so nice today, such a change from the stormy weather we've been having for about a month now. I took a picture of myself while waiting with Edda for the MRT. Kate and I have a weekly morning get together while Vince is in school.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Our Last Day Working in Denver, CO

Today is our last day working in Denver, CO. Too bad, there is no relatively permanent job here. This is a lovely city with beautiful snow capped mountains on the westside. People are friendly too.

Well, we are heading to Chicago tomorrow and will stay there for the weekend to celebrate the Chinese New Year (Year of Dog) with Uncle Louis and a good friend of Mom. May be Aunt Helen.

After that, we are heading to Washington DC for a party with friends with cancer. Try to cheer them up. Life is always not perfect, for some reasons.

February 6th, we will start working at Aiken, SC. On the road, probably we will check our laptop occasionally. Cell phones are always with us.

Great, we are going to visit last State that we have never visited before - IOWA.

Product designer request!

Hello! Anyone there? I'm looking for a product designer! (Psst - that'd be you - Donald).

Hey bro, I could use some help here. I've been trying to teach Edda to drink from a straw with very little forward progress. This is really the first step towards weaning her, she's not taking any liquids except from me and I'm tired of it. So what I've been doing is putting a plastic straw into orange juice, holding my thumb over the end and capturing some liquid in the straw and then placing it into Edda's mouth and releasing the suction and she usually sucks the liquid into her mouth OK. There are a few problems with this..

  1. When Edda sucks from the straw, the liquid is on the "bottom" of the straw, my hand is usually above her head at the "top" of the straw trying to maintain the vacuum and she remembers this position and can't translate this to sucking a straw from a cup in the normal cup/straw position.
  2. When I place the straw in the "normal" cup/straw position, she tends to bite the plastic disposable straw and mangle it so it doesn't really work.
So I was wondering if you could make a contraption for me...

It would involve a cup with 2 straws protruding from it. I would blow in one straw and Edda would be at the other straw and so the cup/straw would be in the normal position and I could force liquid into her mouth and maybe she'll learn to drink from a straw. I have seen her at least twice pull liquid from a cup through a straw, but she can't remember to do it again.

A few requirements:
  1. Non-breakable parts
  2. Washable parts
  3. Rigid straws.
Jeremy says that you can go to Target and buy a sippy cup that has a straw in it and drill a hole in it and blow into the hole, but I want it a little more easier to use. Can you help me with this? I'd need it as soon as you could make something. Thank you! Thank you!

Little Miss Edda


We're trying to improve Edda's eye contact as a first step for speech therapy. At meal times, we hold a spoonful of food right up to our eyes and wait until Edda looks at us to give her the food. We've been doing this for a few days now, it was the first suggestion given to us by the speech therapist, it's going OK, but mealtimes are slower.

Woo hoo!

My auction is complete!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Learning mozilla blogging.

Well look at this fancy thing.

Grocery shopping.


I'm hating grocery shopping these days. Edda hates being trapped in her stroller. Vince runs off in some direction and starts pulling chocolate milk off the shelf. And the grocery store is so full of boxes of bad chinese desserts for Chinese New Year, that going down the lanes is incredibly frustrating. Here's Vince sitting down in his school uniform enjoying KFC french fries while I wait to pay for my toilet paper.

Monday, January 23, 2006

And, my knitting...


DSC01930, originally uploaded by dturnip1.

I gave up on the socks, it turned out I did the first one completely wrong, so I pulled both of them apart and so now I have no socks and just sock yarn. I'm knitting this basketweave scarf. Easy, no brainwork, just keeping myself occupied while Edda learns to walk and Vince plays computer games.

Dinner at the Delifrance.


DSC01936, originally uploaded by dturnip1.

Today we went to the Singapore American School to meet with the head of the Early Childhood Center. She was very encouraging and helpful with the recommendations of therapy centers. We have an appointment for Saturday to start therapy! Hooray! Finally...

We love the internet.


DSC01942, originally uploaded by dturnip1.

My family, looking at Thomas the Tank Engine beds. (and a super secret gift, maybe a joint birthday gift!)

Camera Choices...

Well the body maybe the easy choice...

a D200 or a D70s

The D200 is new, sealed like the F bodies. Allows use of the apeture ring. of course it's almost 2x more.

The more problematic choice is the lenses. The new DSLRs don't have a 35mm size sensor. They have an APS size sensor, dubbed the DX format. This of course changes all the focal length factors by 1.5x. a normal lense for a DX format is about 33mm..

So the lens choices..

17-35mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S
12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX
17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX
70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR

G - no apeture ring
DX - only for DX size sensor. Won't cover the whole 35mm frame
VR - vibration reduction
AF-S - Motor is in the lens
ED-IF - lens is coated and only the glass on the inside of the lense moves when it focuses

I like the apeture ring on older Nikons lenses. only the D200 will let you use the apeture ring. I hate G lenses, tho I might have to buy the 70-200.

I'd like to get non DX lenses. I'd still like to shoot film. or at least the option to. The downside is that i'll never get truely wide angle photos with out a DX lens.

the 17-55 might be the most useful lens for everyday shooting.

I lust after the 17-35. It's the one lense that I would buy for a 35mm camera.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What is she saying?


Edda complaining, originally uploaded by dturnip1.

Edda's lack of communication skills really manifests itself in many ways. She doesn't really turn her head in response to her name; when she bites someone and you yell "No!", your displeasure doesn't register in her brain; when she wakes up in an odd place (a friend's house, the mall or even facing the wrong way on her bed), she's frightened and I will stand 3 inches away from her face and say, "I'm here, mama's here.." and she won't realize that I'm there with her and that she doesn't need to be scared. I'm afraid that these are all autistic tendencies.

I've been reading a few blogs about mothers raising autistic children and the stories and images give me pause.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Korean Soap Opera...

Mom, have you seen this Korean soap opera about a palace girl in the kitchen of the king? We are watching it an enjoying it quite a bit, we have 3 seasons and almost done with the first one, so if you haven't seen it we'll mail it to you. There is a lot about cooking and it is super popular in Korea.

Struggles..

So it's been a struggle for me today. I've been seriously thinking that Edda may never be able to communicate with me in the way that I had imagined when I became a mother. It is a sobering and depressing thought. It's funny about these mood swings, yesterday I was perfectly fine and OK with the fact that Edda's going to be different from other kids, today I feel less strong. What happened between yesterday and today? Dunno.

We have an appoinment with a speech pathologist on Monday afternoon at the American School and then an assesment at the therapy place on Friday.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Vince making dinner.

Vince and I made a huge mess in the kitchen making empanadas for dinner. He loves to make dinner, he just doesn't like to eat dinner. Tonight he made a big show about serving himself dinner and waiting for it to cool off and then cutting the empanadas in half and then finally not eating a single bite!

Edda learning to walk

This is how Edda spends her day, but these past 2 days or so, she's been letting go of the little shelf. She also enjoys eating legos.

Behind on the laundry.

As you can see, I have a mountain of laundry.

Edda's thyroid

Her thyroid is just fine, doing it's thyroid thing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Speak

Well, we just knew a kid could not speak a word until he was 3. Right now, he is as normal as anyone.

So keep up the faith while trying the best :)

I can't leave the house!

Edda is using the little shelf that holds the computer to learn to walk. Today she spent hours just holding on to the shelf and then letting go and shifting her weight from one foot to the other. I figure if I leave the house it'll be 2 fewer hours of her practicing her balance, so we are stuck at home. Vince played computer games all afternoon and managed to turn our computer screen a rainbow of colors with a magnet he found. Jeremy had to work late today as things are heating up with BIG meeting happening on Friday and projects are coming to a head. We are making an appointment with a speech pathologist at the American School on Monday who will help guide us with the therapy options here in Singapore. We are starting to fill out long paperwork for the therapy place and hopefully we can start that next week. Blah.. I'm tired, but nothing really scheduled for the rest of the week...

I had to copy you.

Okay, so I stole one of Doris' New Year Resolutions - I'm selling something on ebay.

I'm in the middle of reorganizing all my stuff since Choon moved, and I had half my stuff at his place. Now I have all this junk I don't need or use.

Here is the link to my auction

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The knitting olympics.

I decided to join the knitting olympics - goodness knows I need something to distract myself. Wish me luck. Maybe mom would like to join me... Click on the icon on the left to find out more information.

Vision testing...

OK, so we were in the hospital from 9 am until 1 pm and we got Edda's vision looked at by the senior doctor in charge of the eye center at the Children's hospital. Everything is fine, nothing abnormal. So, hearing is fine, vision is fine. Those 2 things check out OK, yah!

There were a lot of people in the waiting room, at some point it seemed as if there were over 150 people waiting, you have patients, siblings, parents all milling about the place and you can see that lots of kids have lots of problems and everyone is dealing with it and is OK. We pretty much saw it all, kids with Downs syndrome, developmental problems, wheelchair-bound, surgeries, etc, etc, etc. It kind of reminds us about problems that everyone has, that not everyone else is perfect and living problem-free lives.

Now our priority is getting Edda into physical/speech and language therapy. The doctor at the clinic is referring us to public physical therapy places, but these places will take 2 months to get through the waiting lists. I'm working connections at the American School to figure out what private programs are available.

Also, on Thursday, we are suppose to talk to the developmental pediatrician who is going to refer us to a neurologist to do an assessment on Edda.

Edda was a trooper today, lots of eye drops and people shining bright lights into her eyes, but hardly any complaining from her. Vince also did great with the babysitter next door, no complaints going home with her and eating lunch at her house.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Babysitting.

So as soon as I realized that I'm going to be spending a lot of time in doctor's offices, I needed to find someone to take care of Vince. Auntie Helen, our neighbor, is so kind to help us out. She actually runs and home-based child care thing-y. She's raised 4 kids (all grown) and usually has 2 toddlers in her care. She's going to pick Vince up from school today and look after him until we get home. This is what we packed for lunch today.

Soy milk
PB&J sandwich
Banana
Apple
Carrot sticks
Yogurt
Gronola bar
Cashews

It's a lot, but Vince loves packing lunch.

"Schedules to SC" as of Today

We are leaving one week later as scheduled, next week. Will report to work in SC on February, 6th.

Hospital tomorrow again..

So tomorrow we head back to the hospital for a vision test for Edda. I guess if the initial vision screening is OK, then it won't take that long, but if something is wrong, it may take 2 hours or so. But now that it's been a few days since the diagnosis, we also need to talk to them about getting Edda into therapy ASAP. Last Thursday, we could only hear the words "mental and physical retardation" and the rest of the details were a little lost on us like who was going to call when and where these programs were. The doctor mentioned something about waiting lists and we looked on some
web sites and we might not even be eligible because
we aren't permanent residents or citizens. But I
don't know if that's only the public ones or if
there are private ones available as well. We will know more tomorrow.

Trivial Things...

As requested, here's the summary...

It went reasonably well. Her name's Anna. She's a product manager at a wireless startup. She teaches aerobics on the side. She's a talker that's for sure. :P

We met up at Verdi's, a bubble tea place in downtown Mountain View. She almost got away with paying. That would have been a bit of an embarassment. We talked a bit about our family's. Apparently her father is from Penang, and went to the same high school that my friend Choon went to. It's basically a big frat, with social events all around the world. She's from Toronto and apparently her father had dragged her to all these high school events. Apparently, at some point, she was trying to find a job in Singapore to improve her Chinese.

Other than that, we commiserated on the fact that all of our friends are married and have mortgages. We had a fairly nerdy conversation about computer games. She found out that I was 29. (She's 32.) She sounded surprised, tho I can't imagine that she didn't know. It's right up on my friendster profile.

I'm unsure about what's going to happen now. We had a good talk, but dunno if there's a lot of chemistry. Then again, Choon thinks this is my problem in that I never think right off the bat that I have chemistry with someone. So I'm thinking at least a second date would be in order.

It's funny how you have to shift your mode of dating when you get older. It's less about hanging out with single friends than it it trying to make conversation and figuring out something interesting to do on a date.

anyhow. we'll see.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Stuffing one's hand in one's mouth.

As you can kind of tell in Edda's picture I posted a few days ago, she has started trying to stuff her whole hand into her mouth. I don't know why this started happening, I figured that her back molars were growing in and that it helped to ease the pain. It makes a big drooly mess, usually slobber covers her whole chin and her shirt. I was pretty sure that she was going to give it up after the teeth came in, but now I'm not sure that it's going to stop. It's not really a pretty sight, doesn't really add to her allure.

Before we went to see the doctor and got Edda diagnosed, I was trying to convince her not to stuff her hand in her mouth, it's pretty disgusting and a bit germ-y, especially after crawling on the floor. But now that I understand that she doesn't really understand me as a 21 month-old would so I'm letting it go right now. I think it gives her some comfort and I'm all for making Edda happy these days, so I'm letting her do it for a little while longer, no pestering from me.

While I was dropping Vince off at nursery school this morning, I had Edda in her stroller and another mother looked at her and said, "She's putting her hand in her mouth." First of all, it's hard not to notice someone trying to stuff their whole hand in their mouth and second, I've got other things I'm concentrating on this morning, thank you very much.

Donald, a post on the coffee date would be much appreciated. We are all curious...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Such a stressful week.

Well, Edda has been diagnosed as having both mental and physical disabilities. We took her to a specialist at the Children's Development Clinic at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital downtown and the doctor did a full hour-long assessment on Edda. So what we had suspected for many months finally got medically diagnosed.

So, what will Edda be like when she grows up? Will she walk? Will she dance? Will she talk? Will she read? Well, these are questions I want answered, but I won't be able to answer for a while. Lots of crying around here, but also some sort of relief as we go forward with therapy, testing, etc, etc.

She's a happy girl and enjoys being with us. Well see what happens.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I hate Conferences

hrm... okay I went up to a conference yesterday, and I know you're supposed to go around talking to people, sharing ideas and whatever, but I don't want to do that at all. I've got very little interest in it for some reason. Plus i suppose it doesn't help when I feel like everyone is talking over my head. Talking about random projects or people that I don't really know very well.

Today we had another day long meeting with santa barbara folks, and I also had very little to add to the conversation. Dunno. I just sit there, half zoning in or out. It's sorta depressing. I know my boss wants me to be proactive and talk to people, but it doesn't seem like me.

incidentally, I've got a "coffee" date for Thursday night.

The Best

The best car we drove during vacation is a Benz S320 Series. Wing let us use his car when we were in FL. The handling was perfect and the car hugged on road very well. However, we rent an All wheel drive Subaru in Portland, it was a good car and it was half the price of the Benz we drove.

The best fruit is the papaya we picked up at the Garden in Kawai.

The best Chinese food was in Vancouver.

The best crab was in FL. Wing BBQ them and tasted good.

The best music is the CD I bought in China and I made a copy for MingMIng's mother

The best place we went is the beach at Kawai

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Vacation is over

Vacation is over and it it time to back to work and take care of daily routines. We had great time.

My new year's resolutions.

Gosh darn it, now that Donald wrote his, I guess I have to write mine.


  • Call friends more often.

  • Go out more, by myself or with others without the kids.

  • Eat a durian before I leave Singapore.

  • Sell something on Ebay.

  • Make to do lists everyday, just like Donald.

  • Row more, just like Donald.

  • Eat better, just like Donald.

  • Lose weight, just like Donald.



Donald, you are so cool!

Monday, January 9, 2006

We are at Washougal ready to go to the airport

We dropped Big Brother & Sister off at Vancouver International and drove all the way back to Washougal. It was raining heavily all the time. But we made it. Mom cooked dinner and we finished eating and ready for the airport. 3 week vacation was over. Well, there is always the next time.

Last night, those relatives (a family of almost 17) of Big Brother suched him in to have very expensive meal in downtown Vancouver. I did not like those relatives taking advantage of him but I did enjoy the meal :) After meal, Big Brother evidently knew what was going on said, once in a while, no problem. But, if it were frequent, then it is entirely different story.

Mom told me last time about 5 years back was even worse. It costed US$1,000.00. This time, just about half.

One more thing...

The iPod is fixed nd works really nicely now. Took me about 5 minutes to pry the thing open, replace the screen and pop everything back on. Not too bad. I even removed some of the scratches off the screen with Brasso. It worked okay. Cleaned up a lot of the shallow scratches...

Mt. Hamilton

Went all the way up Mt. Hamilton for the first time yesterday. This is The Mountain That Broke My Collarbone. Dick, the Sales Manager at the bike shop got married on the mountain on New Year's Day. He and his wife were going to ride up the mountain on separate bikes, and then come down on a tandem. :P It never happened since there was a 40mph gale going on then. So yesterday was a make up. 4600' of climbing in 20 miles or so... my legs are toasted today.

New Year's Resolutions

Some Random things I would like to do this year...

- 24 hour race. - 5 guys taking turns riding a course for 24 hours.

this'll lead me to

- ride more
- eat better
- lose weight
- buy about $600 dollars worth in lighting equipment. (I'll sell it later)

some other randomness.

- put some effort into meeting women
- I think my time at the shop is coming to an end... I need to figure something else out for me to grow with.
- I think I need to be more responsible. I'm making todo lists everyday for work. (Arif is too)

Did you like school?

Vince has been complaining every day that he doesn't want to go to school. Today he said that he was sick and had a headache and that he really, really, didn't want to go.

Jeremy came home from work and he and Vince had the following conversation

Jeremy: Something smells good!
Vince: It's bacon!
Jeremy: How was school?
Vince: (Pause) I seem to like it.

SP7 Q & A

To my secret pal, welcome to my blog. This blog has 5 contributors, so don't be alarmed if you get confused with the story line. Doris is me, Jeremy is my husband (he hardly ever writes on here), Donald is my brother (he's in California), and Noel and Rena are my parents (they are natives of Maryland, but work all over the country).

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?

I am not a yarn snob. Each and every yarn has his/her specific use.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I have one beautiful spindle, a bunch of roving (both from my parents for Xmas) and about 10 crochet needles but this does not mean that I spin or crochet. Yet.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I do have a lovely knitting needle case.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting since SP6. If I had to rate myself, I would say that I'm in the highest part of the lowest quartile. Or the lowest part of the 2nd quartile. Basically, I know the rules, but I have trouble with the execution.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I think I do, but I don't keep it up, so it's probably filled with self-help books when I was in a blue mood. Don't use it.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

I like citrus.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

My brother came over to Singapore for Xmas (I'm and American living overseas for 2 years) and apparently the candy that you can not get in Singapore is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I hadn't notice, but now that I know, I'm obsessed about them, KWIM?

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I have lots of Do-It-Yourself things that I do in my spare time away from the computer, including the cleaning, cooking, grocery shoping, dental appointment making, laundry, boo-boo kissing... Knitting is the only craft thing I do for myself, although I do lots of crafty things with my kids.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

In 2004, I had so many people tell me that their iPod changed their lives. Well, I was all up for changing my life - who doesn't want their life changed for a few hundred dollars, so my husband went out and bought the little do-hicky for me for Xmas and on Xmas day, I unwrapped it and promptly handed it to my husband who did all the computer-y stuff for me and I tried to use it, I really did, but I couldn't hear it over the kids screaming and my husband kept borrowing it from me ("Just for today, OK?) so then finally after a few months, I gave it to him and then later my son dropped it. So that was the end of that. I do much better with a "regular" CD, but if you want to send MP3s, I'm sure someone around here could help me out. I'd love some recent upbeat music that I can dance to.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love all colors.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I have a lovely husband who I have been married to for 7 years, a 3 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. We also have a dog and 2 goldfish. My husband and I are both engineers by training, but now I'm at home with the kids. We are living in Singapore for a 2-year assignment with his company. Since we've been together, we've lived in southern California, northern California, Austin TX, Taiwan, upstate NY, and now Singapore. We're gypsies.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I would wear all these things and I love all these things, but if you send them to me, I might not wear them for a while as it is 80 degrees and this afternoon, I'm going swimming outside. It's always summer in Singapore.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

I love all yarns. Ok, I haven't been knitting that long to know, so if you've got a favorite, send it my way!

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

None.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

Socks.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Socks.

17. What are you knitting right now?

Socks. OK, OK I have to admit that I'm a slow knitter and for my first project after the required garter-stitch scarf, I started a pair of socks that my SP6 pal gave me and I'm still working on it. I'm almost done with the 2nd sock.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yes.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

No preference.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I've only knitted with bamboo.

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

No.

22. How did you learn to knit?

By a book.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

It's about 3 months old now.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

I love little farm animals.

25. What is your favorite holiday?

I love Labor Day. Hooray for all the people who work!

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Just dust.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

None.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Any book by the yarn harlot.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

After I finish my socks, I'd like to learn lace, or felting, or how to make mittens, or how to knit with 2 colors.

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Let's see, I like socks, my foot is 9 inches long, is there any other measurment?

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) September 14

A final note: Please take the suggested spending limit to heart. I mean, we don't even know each other, so no need to go overboard! I won't mind if you use the cheap-o way to send packages - just tell me that you did so and I'll look out for them a month or so out if you are shipping from far away. Also for the SP items, I'm a big fan of regifting and recycling. So books/magazines that you've read and liked and are now sitting around your house, knitting supplies that are in your stash that aren't to your liking, "vintage stuff", recipes, etc. are much appreciated!

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Xmas Vacation is Over

So yesterday, Katherine left for the airport. She was the last person to leave, both Bob and Donald left about a week ago. It was a wonderful holiday, Vince loved seeing everybody and I loved having some help around the house. It made Vince really miss New York. Vince started his school last Monday, it's why Katherine stayed an extra week, to help his transition into school. I have to say that it didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. Vince is really frustrated by the use of Chinese in the classroom, there is a 45 minute Chinese class, but they give simple instructions in Chinese during the English part of the lesson. Anyways, he is quite happy at the end of class, just getting to school is a problem. Vince reallly misses his old school in New York.

Also, we are getting more concerned about Edda and her developmental delays, this week, we are setting up an appointment at a Children's Hospital for an evaulation and assesment for her.

In Vancouver, BC

So, we are in Vancouver, BC right now. Will drop them off at the Airport early tomorrow morning before driving back to Portland to catch plane to Denver, CO. Should be at office Tuesday morning.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

OK,

OK, so now you can't read our blog. It might take a few days. Be patient!

Messing around..

Just fixing up the blog a little bit..

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Back Home Also

Well, just to let efveryone know, that I too am baack home. My ride home yesterday got the days wrong and thought that I was returning Wednesday at noon, not Tuesday. So I had to foot to Bart -> Caltrain -> Stanford Bus -> Another Stanford Bus. I arrived right before 2pm when our staffr meeting was supposed to be and, of course, it was cancelled. Sigh. I had stayed up most of the flight watching the movies since they were the new ones for Jan. I think I watches like 4-5 movies. Charile's Angels - Full Throttle, The Transporter 2, Kung Fu Hustle, Wedding Crashers, April Snow, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

I didn't stay are fwork very long as I went home and crashed around 7pm. Today I woke up at 4am.

Back to Portland, OR

After several days stay in Ft. Lauderdale, we arrived at Portland late last night yesterday. We are sighting seeing for a couple of days here with Big Brother and Sister. Then we are heading to Vancouver, BC on 6th to drop them the airport for Hong Kong on 9th. And we will come back here on the same day to catch our flight to Denver, CO.

In Florida, we had airboat ride and visited Everglade National Park. Next year during fall, we may organize some family get together in Singapore. May tour Australia. Just maybe.

Monday, January 2, 2006

Knitting the second sock.

Well, promptly after I finished knitting my first sock ever, I was hit with the dreaded second sock disease which prevented me from picking up those DPNs and starting the 2nd sock. Actually the second sock disease was caused by a bum thumb which in turn was caused by another debilitating disease that I have called "internet addiction". Jeremy had just purchased me a brand new laptop and the way I hook my thumb around the case as I scour for new and interesting web sites for hours while neglecting to feed my children made my thumb all weak in the knees.

Anyways, my thumb is better now and I'm working away on my 2nd sock and I'm slowly realizing that the first sock that I've been so proud of these (two) months has been knitted incorrectly! Should I take apart the first sock or should I just let bygones be bygones and get on with my life?

No! I won't!

Vince's favorite words these days. Sigh.

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Danger! It bites!

We are slowly running out of things to do in Singapore. There is pretty much just shopping and eating and we are trying to avoid both of these enjoyable activities mainly because of the kids and their hatred of shopping malls which don't have a toy store and restaurants which don't serve Ribena or chicken nuggets.

Today we traveled to the famed Chinese Gardens which according to the Lonely Planet Guide isn't worth the MRT trip from downtown to see. I guess you should just spend more of your time in downtown eating and shopping. Housed inside the Gardens is the world's largest collection of turtles and turtle artifacts. We did see a lot of turtles - even one with two heads and 6 legs. There were also a lot of turtle "artifacts" which seemed to be all the turtle-shaped things you could buy on eBay.

Oh and I thought the picture is funny because it's what Vince always says when introducing Edda.

A quiet moment.

I am alone in my house. Well it technically isn't true - the dog is here and so are the fish. But everyone else is on an adventure. I am luxuriating in the silence.

Kouign-amann, pancake practice, bacon.

Ohhhh, I love these Kouign-amann.  It's like a croissant covered in a crunchy sugar coating. I'm eating poorly these days, snackin...