Friday, June 30, 2006

Wow.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/30/AR2006063000332.html

Craziness. The Tour starts tomorrow and last year's top 5 finishers are gone from the race. The two heavy favorites are gone. 1 team has been decimated. It's crazy. I suppose no one is really clean in the sport of cycling, but I'd like to hope that it's still possible to win without doping. I think it's probably much much harder to, but I'd like to think it's still possible.

I've been reading "Game of Shadows" about the BALCO investigation. Man, all the drugs invariably do make you go much much faster than being non doped.

Of course, I suppose the question is that if last year's spots 2-5 were doping, how did Lance end up beating all of them? Hrm.....

Driving woes.

I've been driving for a bit now, and I find the road manners to be almost equivalent of my experience riding the public transport. Everything seems orderly and mannerly at first, there are lots of clear announcements and everything runs on time and is very clean and efficient. However, unless there is a police officer or metal bars that are exactly one person wide, everyone will just push and shove to get on the train first. I have had people close doors in front of me while I'm carrying Edda and leading Vince while holding a half gallon of milk. I've had people close elevator doors in front of my face. There is a word for this, kiasu!

The thing about driving in Singapore that irks me the most is this:

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I'm merging on to the freeway and the person behind me is also merging onto the same freeway. He/she will merge first and then accelerate into the lane, thus preventing me from merging onto the freeway because he/she is pretty much right next to me as my merging lane ends. Sigh. What can you do?

Of couse, after I wrote about how we are all in the groove, Edda's caught a little cough, which was not bad enough to keep her home from school, but bad enough to have her wake up a bunch at night, so we all are working on a bit less sleep. That is, except for Vince, who sleeps like a rock and then is much too much energetic for his sleep deprived parents and sister.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tired of our car already.

I picked Jeremy up from work today with the kids loaded in the back seat. On the way home, we had this conversation.

Vince: "I don't like this car anymore."
Jeremy: "Oh really, what don't you like about it?"
Vince: "I'm just tired of it."
Jeremy: "So what kind of car would you like to have instead?"
Vince: "A Lexus."

!?!?!?!?!?!

Doris: "Well you'll have to get a job and save up for that because I don't think we'll be getting a Lexus anytime soon."
Vince: "But I don't have a job and I don't know how to drive."

On another subject, we finished the jar of peanut butter recently and I always laugh when Ruby tries to get every last bit out of the jar.

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Open-minded knitter.

I'm pretty much game for knitting anything. I have a little bit of experience knitting lace. I'm using pretty heavy yarn (aranweight) and knitting Branching Out from knitty.com - you know, just as an experiment - to see the little holes forming and to see the lace growing without straining to see the yarn or worry too much about knitting fine, fine yarn. I do have a ball of Kid Silk Haze that I bought when I just started knitting that I'm eager to try out, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to do that yet. I have no pattern and I'm a bit intimdated by the difficulty of frogging lace with actual laceweight yarn which I have heard is kind of difficult and also, I don't think I have the right extreme pointy needles.

Summer is the time for lace - did you join the Amazing Lace KAL? I did, but I haven't actually entered any of the challenges. It's always summer in Singapore. I'm looking forward to moving back to the States and enjoying some winter (sweater) weather someday.

I don't often post about knitting because I'm a really slow knitter and I don't have that many finished projects, but here are a pair of baby socks I just finished and mailed to a charitable organization.

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I did get a comment today about how cheap socks are to buy and why spend so much time knitting little socks. I usually answer something sappy, like they are made with love, but with my abilities, I almost always still prefer the store bought socks (but actually, I don't wear socks here in Singapore - so it's pretty much just useless knitting). I like knitting socks and things just to see things emerge from a string and two sticks. Today, I've been working on socks knitted from the toe up and I'm learning about short rows. I just follow some instructions and string becomes 3 dimensional, it becomes the toe part of the sock and I can stick my big toe in it and marvel at how clever people can be with string.

Same Old

Well, first off, Mom and Pop, do you know a Wu Long San from Tai Da, class of 65? mech e? I just found out that I know his son. Do you guys know him? Apparently he remembers you both - or at least your names.

I have to say, i bought a nice jacket. On sale at Sports basement. One of Ray's friends scored a shopping party there - free beer and 20% off everything in the store. I got this jacket for $55 bucks, and I've gotten 3 complements on it so far. Too bad it's still like way too hot to wear it, but whatever. it hasnt' stopped me. :P



Nice Jacket Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Same old, same old.

Things are groovin' here at the Lee-Martin household in Singapore. Everyone is back on their regular schedule, so there is nothing really exciting to report - nothing exciting to blog about. We are just living our lives out, each day the same as the other. OK - we've only had 2 days that are the same. But, but, but, I take what I can get.

I think I'm gaining weight. I really like my weight now, I'm the same weight I was when I started college. I feel good at this weight, like I'm not carrying around extra stuff and at the same time, not putting a huge effort to control my food intake.

Now that Jeremy and I are getting more comfortable with Edda's situation, we've been indulging in extra calories. It always happens this way, when we are stressed, the pounds are shed. When we are happy, we get fat. There has been a steady stream of desserts after dinner (usually ice cream) and cookies in the house. Usually, I don't allow such luxuries in the house as I know I will eat them, but Edda's school and therapists want Edda to practice eating cookies so there are extra cookies around the house. Edda eats very few of them, we eat most of them.

Did you know that British for cookie is biscuit? Everyone was telling me to buy biscuits for Edda and I would walk up and down the grocery isles looking for bland biscuits when what they wanted was a good ol' Oreo or Chips Ahoy... Have they managed to get rid of the trans-fats yet?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Back to school!

Vince's summer vacation is over! Woo hoo for us! Vince is happy, I'm happy.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

What a nice weekend!

The family had a nice weekend, very busy which is how we like it. On Saturday, we went to the Botanic Gardens for the first time. Ruby's allowed to come to the Gardens, it was very nice. Edda loves plants and spent almost the whole time walking around, which is a big deal for her. She made her way up and down various hills (very small) and some uneven terrain and made efforts to not eat any of the plants which was nice. Ruby also was on her best behavior. Not too much barking at other dogs.

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Then Edda had a nice therapy session and I went off for the evening with my friend Kate and Jeremy and the kids went to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in our local park. Kate and I spent the evening at Holland Village at a pasta place and shared a bottle of wine and had a nice time, talking and gossiping. I was on my third glass of wine before I remembered that I was suppose to drive home from Kate's house.. So I didn't do that, I took a cab home and I went over this morning to pick up the car.

As for Jeremy's evening, Vince wanted to leave the play as soon as the wicked witch showed up, so they left early and watched some kids playing soccer near our mall.

Today we dropped of the kids at Gowri's house and went to have lunch and walk around a nature reserve. We saw fish, birds, a crocodile!, at least 3 monitor lizards and a big ass spider (it was as big as my hand).

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Fast moving lizard:
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We didn't get close enough to the croc to take a picture of it. I was a bit scared of it.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

My Engineering Major and My Uncle

Danald asked how much my father influence me on the choice of majoring engineering. My answer is not at all.

My Daddy was in Taiwan when I graduated from HS- the high school you all visited. I communicated with my Daddy by writing letters. The letters must go through Hong Kong through the Big Brother who helped us for over 12 years to keep my family in touch. We did not have telephone or computer then. My Daddy wrote us probably 4 times a year. In one of them he mailed us a check of $100 or $200. It was more than enough for three of us to live for a year. My Mom was a very good budgeter. My Mom could read my fathers letter, but she could not write. So, my Mom asked my to write letter when I was only 9 or 10 years old. Even all the neighbors asked my help to write letters to their sons or daughter in Shanghai, just across the river.

My uncle - my Mom's younger brother had the best education in our extended family at that time. He was a high school graduate. He did not have chance to go to college due to family financial difficulties. After he graduated from HS, he became a pharmacist since he knew a little bit English. He always wanted me to go to college. As a matter of fact, he wanted me to go to Soviet Union for further for studies in 60's. I was very happy and eager to learn Russian when I was in high school and college. I majored Engineering because it had good job prospects at that time.

Life sometime is hard to say. Few years later I left Mainland and went to Taiwan to learn and finish my college education. Then I came to the USA to earn my graduate diploma.

Friday, June 23, 2006

It's a Bad Day When,,,,

- You have to bike to work in 95 degree weather cause your car is broken
- You hit a car on the way to work. (I nudged it. nothing serious)
- You get to work and find out you forgot your underwear
- Find out that the tape system you were planning on using is even more complicated and headache fill than you originally thought.
- You find out that the Stanford Bookstore doesn't sell boxer shorts.
- And the zipper is broken on the beloved day pack that your sister and brother-in-law bought you a long long time ago.

In other good news however. It's Arif's birthday (Friday) and we went the Planet Granite where we took a lesson. It was nice. I think I might have to pick up climbing...hrm

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Prata shop off NUS campus



This is the cheese prata shop that is right near Edda's school. I go here almost everyday to eat breakfast. I thought it wasn't anything special until I read the Makansutra, the Singapore guide to good eating, that it's one of the top prata shops in Singapore! And now I'm a regular! Recently, there was an article in the newspaper about the "Prata Millionaires" - the owners of a few prata shops around the island who have made a fortune selling these little flat pancakes with curry sauce. After coming to this shop for about 2 months, I've finally met my "Prata Millionaire", he was in the shop this morning while Vince was watching the Rugrats on a TV brought in to show the World Cup - although not at 9:30 am. He and I discussed children and their love of cartoons.

Uh oh...

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later. My clutch just died today. Yup. Nothing to do about that. I guess it's had a good life as I've put 135k on my car. In a way, it's actually really good timing cause I've been having problems starting my car lately. It's either the starter or, hopefully, just the battery. I've been puttingoff calling the repair shop for that too, so now I can do it all at once. Wow. Maybe I'll be nice and give my car it's annual car wash now too!

Also, it's good incentive to bike into work tomorrow. I watched An Inconvienent Truth, the Al Gore movie on global warming last week, and today I went by a sign that said, "Spare the Air, take Transit tomorrow".

I will do just that.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tupperware!

When I first started dating Jeremy, we used to go on hikes around Los Angeles and he
would pack a crusty loaf of bread, a tomato, an avocado, cheese, a
roasted chicken and a knife and cutting board. Then we would head out
in his old Toyota to a beautiful spot and walk in the woods for a few
hours and he would pull out this feast and start preparing a
delicious lunch for me. It was very sweet.

So today when I told him that he needed to pack snacks and lunches for the three of us, he sprung into action and this is what he produced:

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The tower of Tupperware! It was all very good and much appreciatedsince we were running around all day.

Edda's whole school went swimming and Vince and I tagged along.

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It's so much work to bring 40 kids to the swimming pool. I gotta
hand it to the teachers at Edda's school, they know how to pull it
off. Vince overloaded today. He does love doing things, but when
it's too many days in a row of new experiences, he just kind of
crumbles emotionally.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

World Cup Fever!

Wow. Everyone's going crazy over the World Cup. I just walked into Tressider Union which is where the main eatery is. They have 2 large screens that usually just broadcast the news, but today, it was all World Cup Action. I swear it was packed more than I have ever seen in in there today. Nice. I think I'll have to TIVO a game. Apparently the Brasilians are good.

Hey secret pal!

So we are all curious...what the heck do you do?!? A secretary and an assistant, hmmm - whoo hoo! You go girl! We think that you gotta be a lawyer in a rocking law firm, I think that it also could be sales or marketing . Maybe running a medium size business? It's gotta be something that you have to dress up for and have working lunches at nice restaurants. It seems like a lifetime ago that I thought I'd have a secretary and an assistant, but it turns out that I'm not well suited for any of the jobs that I listed above. I tend to be a quieter worker, I like to do behind-the-scenes work and I hate meetings and convincing people of anything, that they should adopt my plan, accept my offer, invest in my company, or listen to a plea bargain. I love work which a lot of people disdain - it has taken me a long time to admit that because many, many people have taken my school aptitude and translated it into potential which I'm always trying to live up to (go to law school!) and I think in order for me to be happy, I just have to realize that those high-visibility jobs are just not for me. I'm such the little worker bee. I love being part of a collective hive and doing my little part competently. I love to find hidden bugs in programming code, to be part of a team of engineers fixing a manufacturing problem together, to have a charismatic leader to follow - I'm great at follow-though, not so good at initiation. Right now, I'm not even so good at finding paid work, but I intend to go back someday, dammit.

So secret pal, did we get anywhere close to what you do for a living? Or are we totally in left field?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Weekend Update...

Sorta a busy weekend.

Friday night was games night at my place. Everyone came over and we played Taboo, Mah-Jong and Go. People were really excited about playing Go for some reason. They also sampled some of my cheesecake as it was Ghim-Hong's birthday and he requested that it be made.

Saturday was working at the shop and they handed out an employee manual which doesn't allow blogging about work. :P ha Saturday nigth was nap time since games night didn't end until 3am.

Sunday was Father's Day. Lindsay had a BBQ up at her house in Castro Valley. I biked up there for the hell of it. Of course Linz lives on the top of a fairly large hill. I'm glad I rode up it once at least. We ended up watchin the Mavericks vs the Heat and again, played mah-jong till the break of dawn (10pm).

Well, let's drag the whole family into it.

This is the last week of summer vacation for Vince. He's decided to attend Edda's school, he calmly told me that as soon as I put Edda down to wander around her classroom.

I felt that since now I have 2 kids in Ms. Eden's class, one of which is a freeloader, I should do my parental duty and help out. None of the kids in Ms. Eden's class are really capable of following complex verbal instructions, so helping out is generally needed and appreciated. This is how I found myself at 10:30 in the morning knee deep in green fingerpaint. Argh! I swore to myself when I became a mother that I would not become a room mother and hover around my children's classroom. Oh well, I should just never say never, because as soon as you say never, you just end up doing whatever it is that you said you were never going to do.

But, just for now, I'm doing what I thought I'd never be doing and I'm fingerpainting with a bunch of little kids. I even wore new pants to school today and I promptly got both curry sauce and paint on them within 2 hours of putting them on.

I hate crafts that involve paint and I hate having the kids doing painting at home because it makes a terrible mess and I hate having to watch them like a hawk so that the paint doesn't get on the walls and sofas. Ms. Eden laughed and said that I have "sensory issues" (lots of autistic kids hate getting their hands dirty because they have "sensory issues") and practically made me dip my hands into a bucket of gross finger paint. Bleh!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My Father (Your Grandpa)

Today, during the noon time, Mom and Dad called grandpa and said Happy Father's Day to him. He is 97 now. He was very excited when we called. That made me to recall, last X'mas, we (Joseph. Diana, Arlinda, Cassandra, Big Brother & Sister) had dinner together in a restaurant. He was very slow but managed himself with the help of his two lovely grand daughters. We were very glad he was there. He was very emotional and almost choked when Mom handed a red-envelop to him. Mom was really shaken up even when the dinner was over. I could see the sweat coming out on Mom's face & neck when grandpa struggled to take his breath back. Mom was really scare at that time. Althoug, it was okay few minites later and Grandpa did enjoy the dinner.

Your grandpa is a very strick man and bad temper, with little self-control, I think. He only receives elementary school education and with fewer means than I have. But, without him, I could never have the tools that I have today because he emphasized and insisted on education. Sometimes, just a little bit too much. Once I challenged him about my math. Basically, I said don't expect me to have better math scores if you never had one. I got your bad genes. He was really mad and I got a lot of bruises on my body with pain everywhere which lasted several days.

As you know I was far from the favorites among our 8 siblings. And I believe I still am. Even with that, I always think that it is not easy to raise 8 kids even-handedly. Looking back, I think I was really an outcast, nobody-likes-type when I was young. In addition, grandpa probably did not have a lot of other options to begin with. It wasn't that bad considering that all his 8 kids received higher education. For that, I am really in debt to him (your grandpa), even though I still have had strong feelings and disagreements with him about his ways of raising us.

But in short, I am proud of him and hope he has a wonderful Father's Day this year and many more years to come.

Happy father's day.

We took Jeremy to the beach for Father's Day. Vince promptly went
running to another family to see if he could integrate himself into
their little group. Sometimes he succeeds fantastically and he meets
great new friends. Today he played with another family for quite a
long time, but I couldn't figure out if the were even really talking
to him. He is not daunted by people ignoring him. He will sit right
next to anyone and just start playing with them. It was a really
great day, not too hot and we even brought Ruby who hasn't been
swimming in a long, long time. It was her first time seeing the
ocean. She loved swimming in the water and rolling around the sand.
I'm also never sure what Edda will like, but it seems like the beach
is one of the things that she loves. She likes to sit in the sand
and have the waves come over her legs and she likes to grab the sand
and eat it. All smiles today at the beach from our little soybean.


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We also went out for our Sunday afternoon date. Gowri, our
babysitter, put a little dot on Edda's head for protection from evil.
I told Gowri that we need all the protection we can get these days.


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Happy Father Day

Today is Father Day. Every one has a father. My father was an ordinary man. He did not talk much, he just worked very hard to support family and educated his kids. I was born few years after my parents married. At that time, people should have baby soon after marriage. Otherwise, husbands had the right to have another woman in oder to have his kids. I heard from my relatives that mom begged my father to wait a couple more years which I thought my father did and, under those circumstances, I was born. My Daddy was very happy to have his first child. My mother told me when I was sick with running nose, my father used his mouth to clean my nose. There was no Kleenex those days. My Daddy specially designed and made a carriage to fit his bicycle. He carried me from village to village when I was an infant. My grandfather passed away when my Dad was very young. I did not see my grandfather.

Since my father was the eldest son in the family, he had to take care of the family- his mother, younger brother, and two sisters. So he left village to learn how to do business when he was a teenager. Three years later, he opened his own store. But, it was not easy for him to run a business. One of my father’s friend suggested to find a job on ships since my father was a very handy man. So he left home to work on ships. For first 6 months, he was on probation and had no salary and, in addition, he had to pay his own food. It was a very difficult time. My mother helped to take care of me and ran family farm at village. Six months later, my father had his first pay check and our life changed for the better. He bought my mother and me lots of fancy stuffs we had never seen before. All these stories were from my mother. He never said anything about it.

I only remembered one thing he said about his work at ship. Once the machine to make the drinking water on the ship was broken, he had to fix it. However, there were no parts available. He had to make the part from scratch. He made it with few tools availabe on the ship and his boss was very happy and impressed.

Life on ship was very boring. I visited his ship and stay overnight when I was a graduate student at the JHU. It was in 1967 or 1968. My roommate gave me a ride to New York city and dropped me off on the street nearby the terminal. Then I took a taxi to my father’s ship. It was pretty dangerous area. I did not think I would have the courage to do it now. My Daddy let me used his suite and we made Wanton soup for snake that night. I wrote him the first check out of my scholarship. He joked about check and I knew he was very happy and proud.

Although my father did not have much education, he did provide his kids with education. Secondly, my father did not like me to marry a man working on ship. Since our family has lots of friends who worked on the ships and they would like me to get married to their sons instead to going to college. My parents did not do that. Especially, my father did not like that idea. He wanted me to marry a man working in the office and be home every day. He said with both college graduates, working together are the best.

I just stop here and say Happy Father Day.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sweet things.

A momentary lull in the weekend's activities initiated a downward
spiral of our moods. Sometimes when you don't know what to do next,
everyone gets a bit grouchy and moody. Then I take a longer nap than
I should and end up feeling groggy and uninspired.


It all started when Edda slept through her therapy appointment.
One moment she was looking at soap bubbles, the next moment, she was
asleep in her chair. While she slept through a session which they
generously offered not to charge us for, Jeremy got a laundry list of
things that we should be doing with Edda and a long discussion about
how far she is from achieving object permanence – which
basically is the ability to remember that an object is there even
after you cover it with a towel - a skill which any competent
8-month-old can do. It's pretty distressing to hear how far
intellectually your 27-month-old is from an 8-month-old, enough to
send one into a funk. But lack of cleverness aside, I'm feeling
better now, about 6 hours after the botched therapy session and we
made dinner, had ice cream and went to the park and filled our
evening with regularity and good times and hugs and kisses. I'm even
pretty philosophical about Edda's lack of object permanence. She's
like the Buddha. She's past material things, she has transcended the
need for objects and nothing is permanent anyways. Perhaps she knows
better than the rest of us who hang on desperately to our material
possessions and try to remember where object were last placed. Now,
where did I put my keys?


A bright spot this afternoon was the gift from my secret pal!
Hooray for packages! Everyone got into the act...


The first thing we saw when we opened the package was Pop Rocks!
(Mom and Dad – Pop Rocks are candies that go Pop! Pop! Pop! on
your tongue) Jeremy was pretty excited and the kids have never had
Pop Rocks before and Vince was excited to try it. We dredged up that
old urban myth about the kid who ate 5 packages of Pop Rock and then
drank a Coke and his stomach exploded.. Ha ha ha!!


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Vince loves the Pop Rocks!



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Here we give Pop Rocks to unsuspecting Edda.



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She didn't enjoy it as much. She looks a bit worried.


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Secret pal, you are so sweet. So generous! Thank you for being
the highlight of my gloomy day. Jeremy signed for the package and he
was sure that he knew your secret identity because your name was on
the receipt, but then I told him it was your secretary and not you.
Jeremy is very jealous of people who have secretaries. He really
needs one, he's pretty disorganized and forgetful and doesn't really
know how to spell, but he's never had a job that came with an admin,
I think he'd have to be promoted at least 3 times to Vice President
with Large Budget of Something Very Important or something. Jeremy's
dad has a secretary in New York and it is not infrequently that we
call her in New York from Singapore to do us a favor with random
paperwork crap that we have to do being Americans without an American
address.



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Friday, June 16, 2006

Making a mess.

The week is over! I have to say, this was a really relaxing week.
The kids were well, Edda had a short days at school and Vince had no
school, so there was almost no rushing in the mornings, we got to
take our time and make it to school, no problem. Today was the last
day of Edda's 2-week intensive therapy at her school and on this last
day, Vince fully participated. We had slowly encroached on Edda's
school activities until Vince finally realized that hanging out with
Edda's class was more fun than anything I could offer.


Here's Edda with her teacher Ms. Eden before class started.


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Then there was occupational therapy with Alan, balloon grabbing
and kicking and tossing.


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The best part of the class was the finger painting part. Oh what
a mess. You see Vince making the mess too? Vince is great at Edda's
school. Most of the kids in Edda's class are not verbal and some of
the kids are a bit odd with their unusual behaviors, but Vince take
it all in stride. Today he sat next to J. (the blonde kid between
Edda and Vince) and for most of the class and J. would be tapping or
grabbing Vince's shoulder or arm over and over again and Vince would
calmly take J's hand in his own hand and hold it for a while until
his hand calmed down and then let it go gently – all without
looking away from the story that Ms. Eden was telling.



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In the afternoon, we went to our therapy center for a session,
Edda had a nice time and Vince joined in at the end. Sometimes when
I go to this therapy place and I wait in the waiting room, I listen
to the other moms talk about their kids and I can just hear the worry
about their kids and I usually want to tell them to put it all in
perspective and that it isn't all bad. Many kids who go to this
therapy place seem to have no visible problems. They seem to
walk/talk/play well while they wait in the waiting room. I know
that some problems are invisible and a few minutes with a kid won't
tell you everything that it complicated with their lives. Today
there was a mom there who was worried that her daughter liked playing
by herself alone in her room and that, even though she's completely
affectionate with her parents, it takes her 2 or 3 visits with a
person before she feels comfortable enough to open up to the new
person. Her daughter is very bright, just likes keeping to herself
(an engineer perhaps?). The mother was actually so concerned about
this behavior that she could not consider having another child
because she isn't courageous enough. The other mom was concerned
because her son goes up to other kids on the playground and yells
obscene words at the other kids, but can't figure out why no one will
be his friend. I know that everyone's problems do fill up the space
in their heads so even if you have a small problem but it's your only
one, you can brood about it forever. I'm still hoping that someday
Edda will be able to climb stairs and say a few words, or if she
can't say anything, I'm hoping that we'll be able to figure out a way
to understand each other. Maybe somehow indicating a yes or a no to
a question. That would be great.



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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Flowers















Here are the flowers and daddy at office. Daddy gave me a dozen of roses. He said without me he can not be a father. Thanks.

Summer school.

I'm really enjoying Vince's summer break. I feared that with all that time off from school, he'd be bouncing off the walls, but it turned out not to be the case. We get a few hours together without Edda while she is at school and both of us enjoy the time together. Vince plays with Edda's classmates before school starts and also sits with circle time and sings a bit before he and I scoot off to do other things.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Clematis & Mom














Last weekend, we were home. What a surprise to see such beautiful clematis. I was in a good mood and, therefore, replaced our mailbox to go along with it. Mom is always very sweet. Here is the proof.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Off to the airport.

Katherine left yesterday for Hong Kong. I had read on the airport website that there were nature trails and playgrounds in Terminal 1 where Katherine's flight was going to leave from, but all the attractions were located inside security, but you could see them from the non-secure part. Vince wanted to purchase a flight so we could go inside, but we didn't do that. The playground was a McDonald's playground and the nature trail was a glorified smoking area, so I don't think we missed much.

We got Edda's blood drawn to ship to Texas. We arranged it through the Children's Hospital here. We got our geneticist to come in first thing Monday morning to look through the paperwork and also we got the head of the lab to come and personally take the blood samples for labeling for the courier, we even got the tracking number for Fed Ex and everything. The paperwork from Columbia was full of errors, our mailing address was wrong, Jeremy's ethnicity was wrong and they indicated the wrong test! So we went through everything carefully and corrected all the paperwork and then sent it off. We needed to wait to do it early in the week because they didn't want the sample traveling to the US over the weekend or to get to Texas on Friday. But Jeremy reports that Edda's blood is on a van heading to the hospital as I type this...

Hmmm, what else is going on? Not much.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Jeremy's home!

Well Jeremy came home with a surprise for Vince:

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His first "adult" legos. Hmmm, I sense we are entering a new era.

Jeremy brought me back this interesting-looking thing from Johanna:
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It's a banana guard! Any sized banana will fit into it and I can stuff it in a diaper bag without getting it all squashed! Pretty clever...
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Today, during our Sunday date, Katherine, Jeremy and I went to a really good vegetarian restaurant and ate fake meat. They did a really nice job of it for both texture and taste (fish and pork). Then we tried to go hiking, but it was pouring rain, so we went to the Bukit Timah Nature and hung around their visitor center which was just filled with monkeys trying to steal food from hikers lunches. We even saw a couple of mother monkeys with babies clutching onto their tummies by grabbing onto their fur. We tried to take pictures, but they were very fast and it was a bit dark and they were about 10 feet away which means they were pretty close, but not close enough to get a good photo.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Peanut butter and mustard sandwiches.

Edda came home with a bunch of crafts today - a pink pig mask, a hat made from a bowl and construction paper and a horse made from Styrofoam cups. It's so cute to have these little art projects in my house that are from Edda even though I know she didn't really do most of it. I know that the teachers patiently take Edda's hand and dip it into paint and smear it all around so that she'll have a chance to touch the different textures and then they take the time to carefully cut out all the eyeholes and the teeth and do all the gluing and then carefully put it into bags for us to take home. It's really sweet and I can't believe I get so emotional over random pieces of kid art.

Edda slept so well this afternoon, I thought something was wrong with her. Usually she startles awake pretty easily, but she was asleep when it was time for therapy and I practically buckled her into her car seat asleep. But she's her regular self now, so I guess she was just really tired. I even had a chance to take a picture, she looks like she did when she was an infant.

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Vince made peanut butter and mustard sandwiches for dessert. He was very proud of them, but thankfully, he forgot to make us eat them. After he went to bed, we noticed that the bread was also moldy. Not the best dessert ever.

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Thursday, June 8, 2006

Another nice day.

We had a nice playdate at Ethan and Eugene's house. It started a bit rough because Edda was crying, but once the air conditioning was turned on and she got some porridge into her and a nap, she was peachy!

Katherine and Vince made dinner together...
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Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Bored at Ronnie's

Well, last night I went over to Ronnie's cause I was bored out of my mind. I cooked a pizza there, and his oven's lower heating coil is broken. So my pizza came out with a toast top, and a really really soft doughy crust. Not exactly the pizza i had in mind, but whatever.

We watched the pilot episode of "How I Met Your Mother" where we find out that Robin does not end up with Ted, altho the writers make them into the whole Ross/Rachel dynamic.

Also, here's a photo of all our Apple equipment. From left to right, my 15" Powerbook G4, Ronnie's 15" Macbook Pro, Ronnie's 20" Intel iMac, and Ronnie's work machine, a 17" Macbook Pro. Of course, our iPods are there - 2 60gig iPods with video, and 1 3rd gen iPod. All told, some $9500 worth of Apple junk. They did a good job brainwashing us.

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Kiki is here.

Katherine made it to our apartment at 2 am last night. Ruby was so excited to see her that she jumped and jumped and one of her claws caught her skin and tore a little bloody hole. Ruby... bad girl.

The kids were really excited to see Katherine in the morning. Vince more obviously than Edda, but Edda did seem quite content to have Katherine feed her breakfast.

We dropped Edda off at school where Katherine got to sit in on her class for a little bit and then - guess where we went! TO THE SCIENCE MUSEUM! AGAIN! This time Vince had to introduce the whole thing to Katherine. It was fun. Here's us in the helicopter. I tried to get Vince, but I missed.

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We did other stuff too, eat at the prata shop, go swimming, eat macaroni and cheese.

I used to not mind being at home by myself when Jeremy traveled, but now I'm a bit off my game, so I'm glad that Katherine is here to keep me company..

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Don't rain on my parade.

Today I am a bit blue. No hubby here and I feel like crap. I'm not
sick enough to stay in bed and I'm not really well enough to be
walking around and climbing 4 flights of stairs. Blah, blah, blah!


Vince and I went to the science museum again today. Today we flew
helicopters.


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When we left to go pick Edda up, it was pouring and I parked in
the furthest (farthest?) spot in the lot. We ran and ran to the car
laughing the whole time getting incredibly soaked. No worries. He
ran into Edda's classroom to sing the last songs with the class and
the teachers saw how wet he was and mopped him up with a towel, took
off his wet shirt and found a spare one to lend him! They are more
prepared than me...

Monday, June 5, 2006

Cat (food) burgler.

Jeremy leaves for Germany tonight. He was sweet enough to book the
midnight flight out of Singapore so he could be home for dinner and
help put the kids to bed. I just hope for a week when no one gets
sick! He also stayed home today to prepare which allowed me to sneak
a few hours out by myself this afternoon to hang and chat with Kate
at her house which was fabulous because 1) I love hanging and
chatting (especially if it's Kate), it really is the best thing to do
and I do so little of it with anyone else besides Jeremy and 2) it
will be 24/7 with the kids for a while.


Today, Edda started summer school which is 2 hours long instead of
the regular 3. As Vince and I walked out of her school to go eat our
daily prata, I noticed a few signs posted at in front of different
shops, each one saying:


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I was confused. Do people throw away cat food on the sidewalk? I
had never seen any cat food anywhere around Edda's school. I just
thought it was a funny sign, so I took a picture of it. I am strange
this way. But then, 6 hours later, on the way home from my friend's
house, miles away from where I took the picture of the sign, I see
this:


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Look! Right beneath these bikes, I cute little pile of cat food!
Ahhh, the cat food litterer must be traveling fast!

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Pooping in the bushes.

Well, no photos of the kids today, somehow the camera stayed in my
purse all day. So I'm posting a picture of my sock pal Nancy's feet
wearing the socks I knit for her. She sent a very kind email to me
thanking me for the socks which was much appreciated because I think
I underperformed. I ordered the yarn online and I thought the colors
were a little bit more subtle than they turned out, also I'm not such
a talanted knitter that I can say that there were no issues with
handiwork, but I did come through in the end and complete the pair.
So there.


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We went on our Sunday afternoon date again, it's very nice to have
a few hours during the day without dragging the kids along. We just
got some coffee and ate lunch at a restaurant without the
whining/crying and ordering of the blandest/whitest food on the menu
and then browsed some shops. Nothing very exciting by anyone else's
standards, but exciting enough for us. At some point, I asked Jeremy
for permission to use the potty because it usually has a hidden
meaning of, “Can I leave you a moment with two unpredictable
kids by yourself so I can pee?” But then I realized that I
didn't have to ask for permission, because, hey! No kids! and I just
got up to find the toilet.


After dinner, we went to the park where there was one little boy
wearing no pants, which was a little strange but OK. But then later
I saw his mother holding him in the air so he could shit in the
bushes. I saw the little turds leave his butt and fall into the
bushes next to the sand pit. I've seen little boys/girls peeing in public before, but never before the poop. There are signs all over the park
telling one to pick up after their dogs, but nothing about picking up
after shitting kids. Hmmm, what's also strange is that the bathrooms
were about 100 feet away from the bush!

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Mom















Here is Mom with her new dress for the wedding in SF.

Look guys! I'm learning how to post video!

Vince

Look a video!

You will get slaughtered

Sorry for not blogging yesterday, I was down with a chest cold and
I thought sleeping was better than typing.


Yesterday, Vince and Ethan had a power breakfast at McDonald's.
Play dates wear me out – the constant negotiation about sharing
and behaving is a burden I do not like carrying, but it probably
because I was kind of sick and a little grouchy.


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And apparently the play date wore Vince out because he had a car
nap on the way to Edda's occupational therapy appointment and woke up
in the most foul mood. Crying for 45 minutes, bringing up old, long
forgotten arguments - “Mom, I hate Chinese class, they all
speak Chinese and I don't understand it. Whaaaaa!” Huh? You are
on summer break kiddo! You haven't had Chinese class for 10 days and
school is out another 3 weeks! Whatever.


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Today (Saturday), we had a nice day. We went to the Science Museum
for the 3 time in 5 days. As we were in the car park (Singlish and
British for parking lot) ready to leave, we ran into our next door
neighbor (not with a car!). Jeremy asked him if he knew of a place
that would repair the scraped paint on the car. He said that he knew
of a few places not too far from here, but he cautioned Jeremy, “You
will get slaughtered.” I think he actually made chopping
motions in the air with his hands. Chop, slash, slaughtered.
Meaning, one look at a pasty white guy and the amount for the repair
may be doubled. So our neighbor will be kind enough to take me to car
shop to get a quote and disguise the fact that we aren't locals.


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And we finally found out what was screwed up about the one, last,
excruciatingly most important genetic test. It's only the most
important because it's the syndrome that a bunch of professional
people think that Edda has, but that other professional people think
that it's unlikely Edda has it. But it isn't important immediately
because, like Down's syndrome, there is no medical treatment to
reverse the effects (no pills, surgery, radiation, diet, injections,
etc..) – only all the therapies (occupational/physical/speech)
and Early Intervention that we are already doing and such things to
help her gain skills. In New York, our neurologist ordered a
bazillion tests and we saw this master sheet that listed all the
possible tests and we saw her check off this one particular genetic
test. We waited the appropriate 6 weeks for the results and nothing.
We called Dr. Ackman last week and asked her about it. It took a
week to find out that someone in the lab in New York overlooked the
genetic test and forgot to order it. The blood did not even leave
NY. It didn't go to Texas. It didn't go anywhere. So we are back
at the beginning. We're going to go back to the Children's Hospital
next week here and get the blood FedExed to Texas which is what we
should have done in the first place but we didn't because we were
leaving for NY in 3 weeks (4 months ago) and we thought they would have facilities
in NY for the testing. Argh!

Mom's Classmate
















Dad and I met our classmate Frank and his wife Linda over the Mother's day weekend. Linda was my dormitory neighbor in room 307 during the Tai Dai years. Lee Pei and I were in Room 308. We had Mother's Day dinner togehter at Golden Bull restaurant in Gaithersburg with their daughter. She is very nice and is my alumni at JHU, majoring International Studies right now. She was a graduate of the Wharton Business School, UPenn several years back.

Thursday, June 1, 2006


















The left handside picture was our high school class 61 mini-reunion. Our seatings were fixed for any subject and were 33, 34 & 35. The picture was taken in Stevens, Washington State along the Columbia River.

The right hand side picture was a happy Mom with beautiful flowers from her wonderful son-in-law, daughter, son, grandson and grand daughter.

Oops, I did it...

OK guys, nobody laugh. I scratched the car today. I ran into a
pole in our parking garage and scraped the paint on the rear right
wheel-hub thing. I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. I was
just hoping it would be later rather than sooner. It's not too bad
and Jeremy says it looks worse in this picture than it does in real
life. I hope they can just buff it out. Boo for Doris.


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But the good news is that I got to go over to someone's house
today! I know it doesn't sound like much, but I don't get invited
often and since we've been on this whole Edda saga thing, I've been
isolating myself from people which – I know, I know - isn't
good for anyone. She's another mom from Edda's school, so we always
run into each other (hopefully I will never literally run into
her, sheeze – one fender bender at a time) at pickup/drop off.
Tomorrow, we will gather our NT kids (NeuroTypically developing kids
– formerly known as “normal” kids) and go to
McDonald's and swimming, while the NU (NeuroUntypically) developing
kids are at school. Hooray for Doris!


Vince took many, many photos today, here's one of them:


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Notice the 2 bottles of Ranch Dressing. Vince will pretty much
eat anything if it has ranch dressing on it. Today he ate a whole
bowl of salad of the weediest plants I've ever seen without stopping
because it was covered in Ranch. Hooray for Hidden Valley!