The time we keep

Mom’s second day in SAn Diego has been a nice break for her. She has been taking care of my niece and nephew while my sister-in-law was going through pregnancy sickness that last into her 4th month. When she arrived yesterday I told her that she does not need to do anything and just let me take care of her. But I think, with mom she wants to be needed and when she stays with us she gets bored since my kids don’t speak English and they aren’t as attached to her as my niece and nephew with whom she lives and they need her to take care of them. To be honest, I do get envious at times seeing how much she enjoys being with her other grand children than with my children. I mean, it’s inevitable for me to have these kind of thinking, although I have never vocalized it directly with her. I am just happy that she has the time to spend with us whenever she could.

This morning I made her breakfast and then took her to the trail for a walk. She likes these kind of activities and it seems I am the only one among my siblings who shares such interest. We walked and talked and laughed and she talked to my boys. We later took a round at Costco to grab some household essentials. For lunch she ate what I made and enjoyed eating what I made. Later in the evening Mr. O came home and we all ate dinner together. She said it has been a while since she eats dinner at a family table like this. At my house we don’t eat in shift and my number one rule is dinner time is a family-eating time with no TV and iPhones and no other distractions; just a focus on family time. She misses that kind of warm feeling.

The treat of the day was taking a nice walk at the beach and watch the sun setting. However, it was too cloudy and sunset was not as magical as I expected. Nevertheless, taking a walk at the shore was a nice time for her to relax and enjoy. I brought my camera along and snapped photos for her.

Tomorrow we are going to see my brother’s family in Garden Grove. I am excited to meet my newborn niece and squeeze her for the first time.


Full Moon

The moon is supposed to be full and bright tonight but we went to bed early and didn’t get to see it.

Mom is here; she flew in at 5 p.m. today. She didn’t want to come at first but I convinced her to come. This weekend we are celebrating my niece’s first month and that’s the reason she is here.

The boys are happy that their grandma is visiting for a few days. They offered their room so mom can have her own space. For the next few nights they are sleeping with their sleeping bags but on the sofa-bed.

Today is also the full-moon of the seventh month of the lunar year. Ten years ago on this lunar day PP came to me as my first-born child. I remember holding him that night and looking out the window and watching the full lunar glow but I was having mixed feelings as a new mom. Anyway, it’s been ten years!

I made vegan bún riêu for mom because she eats vegan food on the 15th and 30th of every lunar month.

I don’t know where to take her tomorrow. Maybe she wants to see the shores.

Self check

The other day I was so inspired to take the camera out of the bag and take some photos. I earnestly asked the boys if they could pose for me at this one good lighting spot during the soft late afternoon in my bedroom but they refused. I have to accept the fact that they are now at the age of being my models at their will, and no longer at mine. After a few begging and offering bribes they still didn’t want to be photographed.

Oh well, I still want to take some photos. No model? No problem. I did it myself.

I pulled a gray bed sheet out of the drawer and hung it over the iron board to make a background because without it my background would be the busy bedroom furnitures. Then I used a laundry hamper and popped up some of Mr. O’ books as my tripod. I have a tripod but it was hidden deep in the closet and I was in a rush to dig it out (it was almost time for making dinner!) so I resorted to the hamper and books. They worked out well. Next, I slapped on some foundation and powder and the only lipstick I found in my drawer, enough to cover my skin flaws and blemishes, mostly sun spots. My hair was a mess because I have’t washed it in two days; it was so oily but then I didn’t have time to do much. The final bang was choosing a shirt that would give a color pop and I have one and only yellow mustard blouse. It was Ann Taylor blouse from a consignment store I bought a few months sgo.

With all of that done, I set the camera right where the light spilled into this tight and small corner of my bedroom and using the remote control I started clicking and posing. Many awkward poses later I came to having these few decent ones.

I edited the photos in jpeg files using Lightroom app for Iphone. Just a few tweaks for contrast and tone for highights and shadows and that was it.

There is it, my random self check on a random day of random inspiration.

And I love my yellow mustard blouse.

sowing the seeds

We are counting down the remaining summer days to spend with the kids. We talked about places that we have not taken them to visit, such as Sea World and Lego Land in San Diego, and then Universal Studio or Disneyland in L.A. area. I am a bit reluctant to take them to these places because I am afraid of the crowd and standing in long lines waiting for turns. Sometimes my own hesitations and flaws become drawbacks for fulfilling their childhood. But then I remind myself that I did not grow up with easy access to these places and attractions and I still turned out normal and sane, so I think they will be too. 😀

Our annual membership to various museums around Balboa Park is still sufficient enough to find activities for them. Today we took them to Fleet Science Center and spent most of our time exploring many different and fascinating discoveries. We also watched The Turtle Odyssey to learn the life cycle of native Australian green sea turtle in our ecosystem. One of my life goals as a parent is to expose the kids to these kind of educational programs, more so I want them to be have an awareness of our environment and be informed of information available to us to make better judgment and right life choices. It seems farfetched and lofty, but I believe the seeds need to be sowed at this early age when they are absorbing information at utmost speed.

After spending five hours at the museum we ended up going to a seafood place at Point Loma marina. It’s a beautiful day and we had a tummy full of fried seafood, which I usually try not to eat too much fried food but I did anyway because it was such a beautiful day.

My happy kids.

They have gotten so tanned after spending a week of soccer camp, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. They look strong and healthy. 

Two old farts. 😀 We are approaching our 11th year of marriage next month — still in love and still are the best of friends. 

Mr. O and the kids didn’t want to go to Museum of Arts, although I really wanted to. Next time I will just abandon them and go here by myself. The front entrance has a beautifully crafted facade.

So much learning and fun play inside Fleet Science Center.

Point Loma Marina on a beautiful day.