vacation is over!

First — a recipe for homemade play dough for kids is at the bottom of the post.

Mr. O went back to work today; and our week of vacation is over!

PP has been complaining about his teeth so I took him to the dentist this morning. It turned out one of his permanent teeth is coming in while a baby tooth is still sitting on it. He was excited to know that one of his teeth is coming out in a week or so. Today at dinner he wanted to write a note to the Tooth Fairy, but he also told us that he knows who the tooth fairy is — he pointed at me!

What to do when your kid is being too realistic about it? I still want him to carry on in life with a sense of wonder…like having a childhood belief in Tooth Fairy. *sigh*

Today after picking up Peanut at the preschool I sat down at the gym area to let him ride the bike a little bit as he insisted. While waiting I chatted with another mother whose eldest daughter is Peanut’s classmate. It was her who initiated the conversation, and was intrigued about the cultural make-up of our family. I told her the authentic version of how O and I met (yes, we do make up a couple of versions, quick and elaborated, to fool friends and acquaintances when asked!)

It’s been a long time since someone has asked me about it and it was nice to share our stories. We used to get asked quite often when we first had PP, and every now and then people at restaurants would comment about the different variations of how the boys look in comparison to either O or me. (PP looks more like Mr. O, and Peanut is totally my replica!) We are not bothered being asked, and would be happy to give them the quick version. After all, aren’t we a typical American family, with cultural mixes of a beautiful tapestry?

Anyway, it turned out the mother had spent six or seven years teaching English in China, and speaking Mandarin Chinese proficiently. Currently she teaches ESL to adult immigrants, mostly Somali and Hispanics, three to four nights a week. As an immigrant to this country, I think her profession is a noble one. Without the patience of teachers like her, I would not have not the opportunity to learn English properly. (Now I remember Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Smith, my ESL teachers freshmen year of high school!)

I make new play dough for them every week. Today they had a new and clean batch to play.

While I was making dinner, they were trying to mold each other’ ears, and laughed so hard at the results.

Homemade play dough (safe, easy, and cheap!).
I adapted from a Youtube video that I watched long time ago and cannot remember which one.

    1.5 cups of all purpose flour (I bought a 2 lbs bag, Walmart store-brand for a buck)
    1/3 cup of fine table salt
    2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
    1 cup of hot water. Please be careful if the kids make the dough! Don’t use cold or room temperature water, because the dough might not be as elastic and smooth.
    1 tablespoon cream of tartar if you want the dough to last long (optional — I usually skip it, save the cream of tartar for my sponge cake).
    various liquid food colors of choice.

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredient first, mix well, then add a few drops of food coloring, then oil, and hot water last.

Mix everything well with a spatula first, and then use your hand to knead for ten minutes to get ride of the lumps. If dough is sticky, dust hands with a bit of flour at a time, then continue until the dough is not sticky, but elastic, and smooth upon touch.

Store in a zip lock bag, and put in the vegetable/fruit compartment of the refrigerator.


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