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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Technology

Hello Everyone!

Ahh technology. It's come a long way in my lifetime. And I'm not even that old! (Right? Right.)

In elementary school, we had computers. Black screen games with green graphics. Remember Oregon Trail and Number Munchers? I learned to type on an actual typewriter in junior high. Not even an electric model like the one we had at home, but an old school IBM clunker. And in high school I took computers and learned some basic coding. And ten years later, was still playing Oregon Trail. ("You have dysentery!")

Internet wasn't mainstream. It was only in 1996 when I entered university that we had access. For a small fee we got a disk to set up and access the small pool of lines offered by the UofA. We would all spend potentially hours dialling in, waiting to hear the glorious screeching sound of the internet connection via phone line. Heaven forbid that someone would call the phone line and if you had call waiting, disconnect you.

It was so exciting! The world at our finger tips! Using the Netscape browser and Eudora email. Chatting in chat rooms with people I don't know in real life. Learning to build my own webpage about my favourite 90s Canadiana bands. Email forwards and sending virtual gifts (Happy Birthday! Here is virtual balloon bouquet present, ie a picture of balloons.)

I thought it was so cool and limitless back then, but wow, has the Internet grown in leaps and bounds. The amount of information out there is astounding, I can look for anything online, I can buy anything online. I could barely text 10 years ago, and now we only text; I don't remember the last time I spoke to a friend via telephone.

Our kids only know smart phones and tablets. Tape decks and rotary phones are antiques. How handy it is to view photos all in one place. "Mom, you should take a picture of this and post it on Instagram." C is learning to use Chromebook at school, and is adept at making slideshows. A knows how to load her own photos on her kindergarten share app, Seesaw.

And my parents and parents of my friends. With the ease of touch screen technology, the seniors have embraced technology with open arms. Sometimes their addiction to it seems even worse than the younger generations. If you had told me about ten years ago that my parents would have smart phones, have tablets, and would be texting me, I wouldn't have believed it, not in a million years. I think it's so great that the seniors have kept up with technology, as it will keep their brains alert and keep them continuously learning. Sometimes I just have to show them something a couple times, and they'll get it. (On the other hand, my mom managed to throw out her default email icon on her iPad. Not sure how she managed that.) My parents have just discovered emojis, so each text is usually accompanied by a string of various emojis. One of my friends says her mom's favourite is the strong arm emoji, haha 💪💪 💓

Image - Bloggers of Canada

Thanks for reading, have a wonderful weekend! We're having gorgeous weather this weekend, and it was a lovely day to have my parents over for a Mother's Day bbq this evening.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there!

E :)

Friday, April 27, 2018

Messy Mess (and exercise!)

Good day! Is everyone else's house a mess like mine? I'm (usually) resigned to the fact that it is, but it still irritates me a lot. The kids are such a mess. They're so mo sau mai, which in Cantonese literally means 'no hands, no tail' but connotatively means 'not putting things back where they belong'. I'm not sure why the saying involves tails. And laundry. Why is there always laundry? As we speak, I have three baskets to fold, and I need to do two more loads either today or tomorrow. I don't feel like it today, so that means it will be tomorrow.

Have you seen those signs? They say 'Excuse this mess, we're making memories'. I get what they're saying, and I like that it's trying to excuse the mess, but they're a little too cute for me. Sure, we're making memories, but the mess isn't so much because we're making memories, it's because the kids are slobs and I'm too lazy sometimes. ha.

Don't even get me started on Lego. Do your kids play Lego like this, stuff sprawled everywhere?? Seriously.


Breathe. The kids are constantly reminded that they're so fortunate that they have so much stuff, most being gifts, and that they are so fortunate that so many people love and spoil them. And yes, I need to be reminded too that we are so fortunate that we are able to provide so much for our children and so fortunate that they have grandparents, aunties, uncles and non-family aunties and uncles that who love and spoil them.

Breathe again. On a positive note, it's Friday! I had a good start to the morning, met a friend for breakfast and coffee, and then came home and did a quick workout. It's a puny workout compared to most of you, as I'm pretty sedentary. But I downloaded an app that leads me through a workout, and it's getting me off my butt. It actually started with doing yoga with the kids at home. Little A mentioned they do Cosmic Kids Yoga at school via YouTube, so I checked it out at home with them and enjoyed it, it was the first time that I'd done yoga. Plus the warmer spring weather has been good, a lot of walks and outside activities with kids and family.

Yay! It's like summer here! It was like -5 last week and today it's supposed to be 25, 28 tomorrow! And long weekend to boot, the kiddos have a PD Day on Monday.

Thanks for reading, have a wonderful weekend!

E :)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Feeling Blah

😝

Hello everyone! Hope you are well.

A few posts ago I mentioned I was feeling off, and feeling blah. The possibility that it was my thyroid acting up was very possible. I also thought anemia, which is low red blood cell count, was a good possibility and had googled anemia symptoms. Now before you slap my hand for self diagnosing, I did end up going to the doctor's. More on that after. Now, back to Dr Google. Symptoms for hypothyroidism and anemia are actually very similar. My symptoms included:

✅thinning hair -my hairline was definitely missing some hair, and who knows, maybe even the rest of my head of hair too, but I have a lot of hair and haven't noticed any bald spots thank goodness.

✅tired - tired throughout the day ready to crash mid afternoon, sleeping early even for me

✅brain cloud/fog

✅headaches

✅cold intolerance

✅shortness of breath

Now I'm going to talk about my period. Possibly TMI for people, so you've been warned. My period has always been heavy, but the past year or so, it's been very heavy. Change pad after an hour or two heavy. Get up in the middle of the night to change my big overnight pad heavy. (10 hour protection my a$$!) I've always had clots, but more and more now and bigger and bigger. I'd mentioned this to my doctor before, and knew a couple years ago there was a little polyp in there. Now it's a little bigger, so I got that removed in early February. It was benign and all is good. And I was hoping that removing that sucker would mean a lighter period, but alas, no luck. If anything, the period after the removal came with a vengeance. Ugh.

So that's why I started looking at anemia symptoms too. I eat enough meat so at first I didn't think it would be an issue, though we don't eat a lot of beef. But those heavy periods could mean I'm losing a lot more blood than I should be.

✅pale inner bottom eyelids

✅lightheaded

So after self diagnosing, I went to the doctor's. I'd actually just gotten my thyroid lab work done, so the numbers for that were good. Dr. L agreed it could be anemia, checked my eyelids saying they were on the pale side, and sent me home with a medical lab form. I went and got bloodwork done a couple days later, and then the office called the day after. Not urgent, they said, but I should go see the doctor in a week or so. You know when they call back regarding the results that something was up. But this was good, if it was anemia, at least it explains why I'm feeling off and I can look to the road of recovery.

So yup, my iron levels are low,  women should have 12.0 to 15.5 g/dL grams (g) of hemoglobin per deciliter (dL) and I was sitting at 11. I am now taking over the counter iron tablets, plus some pills to lighten my period, I think it lightened it a little bit, but I still had one really heavy day/night. Let's hope I start feeling better, and then I will do more bloodwork in June. Fingers crossed, will keep you posted!

And it looks like spring has finally sprung, though it's windy and not so nice today. But there is no snow and the temperature is above zero, so we will take it! Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and have a great week. Thanks for reading! :)



Monday, April 9, 2018

April Showers...? (And Spring Break in Review)

Hmm, April showers? More like April snow and will spring ever come? At least the days are longer and we get a lot of sunshine now.

Hi everyone! How was everyone's Spring Break? (I know, I'm a week behind, better late than never, right?) Ours went by fast. First day was to relax, second day we had play dates at our house --6 kids, but they were pretty good considering there were so many of them, and one mom stayed to hang out with me. Then on Wednesday we went to a friend's for a playdate, got to catch up with my friend and check out how her new house is looking, she's got it looking great since the last time I'd popped over. And Thursday through Saturday we went down to Calgary, to visit my little 5 month old nephew! Oh, and my bro and sil too, haha.


Baby toes! A took this pic for us.


So I don't know how the weather in your area has been, but it's been brutal here. The Monday of Spring Break the girls got to go outside and splash in the puddles, with the temperature being a balmy +8. But it got more miserable as the week wore on, and we had to keep checking the weather to make sure there wasn't a snowstorm on our way down to Calgary, and then back up to Edmonton.

We decided to do a more touristy trip to Calgary this time, we usually hang out with family, especially if my parents are there at the same time, or just meander around town. This time we went to Telus Spark and Bow Habitat Station, and both were lots of fun!

It was Good Friday when we went to Telus Spark, which is a science centre. Similar to our Telus World of Science in Edmonton, though I think Calgary's is bigger and definitely newer. We got there around 9:30 and it was already busy! We could have spent all day there, but we grown ups were getting tired. We were there for almost 5 hours and will probably go back again in the summer, we will have to see what the new exhibit will be. The Spark is split into different areas:

Creative Kids Museum: This is a great fun area kids, especially the littles. There is a big treehouse to climb around, though my 8 year old found herself too big for this area. There are other neat science things to do there such as experimenting with ramps, playing sink and float in the water area, and even a bubbly water piano.



Special Exhibit: C, my oldest was pretty excited to see this, Whales Tohora from National Museum of New Zealand running January 20-June 20. I wasn't able to take pictures in here, as they want to protect the artifacts from camera flashes. There are skeletons and so many displays to check out. There is even a life size whale heart where kids can crawl around in, I think there must have been 6 kids in there when we were checking it out, gives you a good idea of how large a whale is.

Energy and Innovation: Learn about different types of electricity.

Open Studio Workshop: Lots of hands on activities, including tinkering with electronics, building structures, and our kiddos got to do silk screening, A made a planet and C made a whale.

Earth and Sky: Check out Alberta geology and weather.

Being Human: Explore our senses and feelings.

Dome Theatre: We watched a documentary on bugs which was projected on the dome top in the theatre. Neat!

Live Science Demos: We didn't time this right and didn't get to check out this time around. Looks like they do live experiments in front of an audience. Next time!

Brainasium: Outside play area, we'll have to check it out during the warmer season.



More information is available on their website. If you pre-buy tickets online, you can save a few dollars.


Bow Habitat Station was really neat. Situated near downtown is this little gem which also has a hatchery; unfortunately there currently isn't a hatchery due to renovations. The hatchery will be back up and running in November 2018. C has been on a fish kick lately (eg. she's been watching Bob Izumi's fishing show, which kind of puzzles me since no one in our family fishes, but also kind of amusing) and wanted to check this out as soon as I mentioned there was a fish place that we could visit. My sil who was born and raised in Calgary had not heard of this facility. It's been open a number of years, and looks brand new inside. There, you can learn about Alberta fish and aquatic life., as well as environment and how we humans affect the environment. There are tanks of fish to check out, and lots of interactive displays. We are going to go again in the summer, because you can learn about fishing outside in their pond.







All in all, we had a good few days in Calgary. We've definitely been down there more because of Baby Z.

Whew! This is the longest post that I've written in awhile! Thanks for reading and have a great day everyone!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

In Like a Lion...

...and out like a lamb? That's the saying right? It is what's happening here in Edmonton. What a cold long winter it's been. We had a slight reprieve, only to have another dump of snow and cold snap, though it wasn't even as much as originally forecasted. But the days are getting longer, we're getting more sun, and the daily high is pretty good, even though the morning is still cold and crisp.

Hi everyone, my unintentional winter hiatus is over. So Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Valentine's Day, and Happy Chinese New Year!

🎄🎇🎉💖😃

I am looking forward to spring, I always do better with more sunlight. I've been feeling blah lately, and was downright anxious, cranky and moody a few weeks ago. I got over it okay, and went for acupuncture. Have I mentioned that I love my acupuncturist? So nice, I always enjoy seeing her. I'm slowly feeling better, I think I need to devote some more time to things I like to do instead of just house and kid stuff, so finally hunkering down to write is a good first step.

I have hypothyroidism, specifically from an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's disease. I was diagnosed after I miscarried my first pregnancy, so probably close to ten years now. I was put on Synthroid medication, and all has been pretty good. But lately I've been feeling off, and I don't know if it's because of my thyroid. I just went to get my biannual bloodwork the other day, so will need to go for a check up right away.

Now I'm starting to look at my diet. For the past months, my skin has been terrible, pimple after pimple. My acne is the worst it's ever been in my life. Is it perimenopause? My thyroid? My diet? I've been taking it easy on junky food (I'm a chip eating machine), and my skin has finally settled down a bit for the first time in months. I'm trying to drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables. I went and got some chia seeds and flax seed for the whole family. I've done some research online, and some say that gluten isn't good for Hashimoto's, so I'm going to see if I can cut back a bit, though I'm not sure if this is an all or nothing type of thing I should be doing. And yes, I will consult with my doctor before doing any major dietary changes :)

Anyways, that's it for today. I should probably go prep dinner before going to pick up the kids. Or maybe I'll just go watch Scandal on the PVR or read Ready Player One. One of the latter two first I think!

Thanks for reading!
E

Photo credit Bloggers of Canada


PS. Oh, coffee! I haven't had coffee! I should go do that first!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Chinese Food

Hello everyone!

I don't do a lot of Chinese cooking at home. Usually we just go back to my parents' for traditional food, and it tastes better, ha. If we do 'Chinese food' at home, it's usually stirfry, or more usually, it's noodles, congee, or various dumplings such as potstickers or wontons. (Does anyone know why woh-teep are called potstickers?)

I'm old school and usually do congee, or jook, on the stovetop, that's how my parents do it, and I just followed. We went to a friends for lunch over the summer and she made us congee for lunch in her rice cooker, and it turned out really good. So I've done it at home a few times now with my rice cooker, and am pleased with the results. So easy, and the portion size is perfect for our family. Usually with the pot, I measure too much rice, then the congee gets too thick, so I have to add water, then it gets too thick again. It's a vicious cycle and then I end up with too much congee. I like my congee smooth and not grainy, so I just whip it with a whisk and it's perfect.



(Above is actually too lumpy for me, I don't think I'd whisked it yet.)

I have a Buffalo rice cooker. I just follow the ration lines to make congee, then add stock and dried scallops for flavour (needs to be soaked overnight first). My rice cooker also has a secret 'quick' code for rice, it was mentioned in Chinese on a loose piece of paper in the box, so my parents had to translate for me. It makes no sense, it's under 'steam' for 5 min. Note the stainless steel liner, much better than a teflon coated one, my previous rice cooker was teflon and got scratched. How do you like your congee? I like it with thousand year old egg, peanuts, and long Chinese donut. Yum. Today's a dreary day, it would have been a good day for congee.

Along with congee, we usually carb it up with dumplings, woh-teep and xiao lung bao, my kids' faves (these are just store bought ones):



Yum, now I'm hungry! 

What's everyone dressing up as for Halloween? My girls will be a pirate and a cowboy, I need to finish up their costumes. I was able to put together or revamp some of their existing clothes for their costumes. I fee like dressing up when I go to their school, I'm thinking witch, or mad scientist.

Anyways, have a great day! Thanks for reading!

E







Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Books, Books, Books

The more that you read, the more things you will know. 

The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

-Dr. Suess


Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving long weekend!

The above quote is great, I have it hanging in my girls' bedrooms. And it is a good segue because I want to talk books today. Coincidentally, last week was Read In week at the schools, and I actually went in and read to A's kindergarten class. I read What If? by Robert Pierce. It's silly and I like the retro style of it.


On Saturday, we went to West Edmonton Mall, and took the kids to Chapters since A still had a gift card from her birthday to use up. I've heard that there are events for kids at Chapters and Indigo on Saturday mornings, but we've never gone to check them out. Well, as the kids were hugging a taller-than-them dinosaur in the toy area, one of the workers came by to tell us that it was a Hatchimal event today in the kid area if we were interested. So off we went, where one worker was finishing reading a book to the children already there. The kids got a little treat bag with Hatchimal stickers and a Malala pencil, and a ticket to enter the draw for some Hatchimal prizes. Next up was a craft. Score, this was already a good event!

After their craft, the kids looked around for some books, and the crowd was waiting for the Hatchimal to emerge from its shell. While A and I were looking around, we heard a draw taking place. We came out of the stacks to see C emerge with a prize, a Hatchimal egg containing a puzzle! Yay, we never win anything. My husband gave me the remaining raffle ticket, in case we win again and people wonder why he has two tickets. I told him it's not an issue, as we clearly have two kids, plus, what are the chances of us winning the big twin Hatchimal egg. Well, during the next draw, I was watching the numbers on our ticket...and we won! A went up to collect the prize. Wowzers, seriously, we never win anything. After we finished buying books, we had lunch and then got a lotto ticket, haha. (Of course, we didn't win that one.)

Craft: DIY Hatchimal

We had Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' that night, so the girls got to hatch their Hatchimal there. It's nice that it's an egg that contains twins, so each of the girls will get one Hatchimal. 

Prizes! I was happy with a craft and free stickers!

Warming up the Hatchimal egg.

And...they're twins! They have since been named Pinkfoot and Purplefoot.

 Close up.

We didn't really join the craze of Hatchimals before, was it last year or the year before? In any case, it looks like toy companies are pushing Hatchimals as one of the it toys this year. Since C can read, she was responsible in advising herself and her sister on how to take care of the Hatchimals. I actually don't know too much about them, but I guess you have to take care and nurture them to let them grow, and they respond and play too. Kind of like Tamagotchis? (I'm too old for that craze, but one of the nieces was into those years ago.)

The gift card that A received got her a lot of books since she's still a young reader. She got two Peppa Pig books, an Amelia Bedelia, and this ballerina book below. Now, A is a rough and tumble kind of girl, but is really into princesses and ballerinas, go figure. So when she chose this book, I reluctantly said fine, shaking my head at her girliness. I didn't realize until we read the book that it is about a real life ballerina, Misty Copeland. It's a mini biography, and such an inspiring story. Misty didn't even start ballet lessons until she was thirteen, battled through family issues and physical issues, and made principal dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, the first African-American to do so to boot. So I took back my reluctance of this book, and told A that I'm glad she chose this one, it was a wonderful story to read. And then I went off to Google Misty Copeland that night.




Anyways, that's it for me today, have a wonderful day. Stay warm, it's supposed to flurry here today!