Friday, December 10, 2010

I could have figured that out on my own.


I love recipes and I love trying new foods. is my favorite go-to. I also have a few cook books that I use as a resource. I have learned to accept that, for the most part, recipes use fresh ingredients with the occasional can or jar or packet of something. Cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom, chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salsa, enchilada sauce, powdered ranch dressing, onion soup mix, bullion cubes, canned artichoke or olives--I am willing to accept these as ingredients in a recipe.

I do, however, have a problem with some ingredients. For example, I wanted to make sweet and sour chicken the other day. The recipe called for chicken (check), bell peppers (check), onions (check), pineapple (must have, check), and sweet and sour sauce.

How is that a recipe???

That tells me nothing I didn't already know!

Today, I looked in a cook book and saw a shrimp alfredo with the ingredient "Alfredo sauce." If I had a jar of alfredo sauce, I definitely wouldn't need to look up a recipe to tell me to add shrimp and noodles!

Chinese stir fry recipe--add "stir fry sauce." I don't think even Chinese people know what that is!

Steak marinade recipe--add so-and-so's marinade or so-and-so's meat seasoning rub. This is not a recipe, it is an advertisement. And, if I had the marinade, I can pretty much assume that I'm supposed to marinate the meat in it, making your recipe pointless!

My Thanksgiving turkey gravy recipe called for packets of turkey gravy.

It's sad when the title of your recipe is also the ingredient.

What is your current pet peeve?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ancient Chinese Wive's Proverbs

My mom came to my house with some broth. She warned, "Don't eat this if you are having your period."

The fact that the broth was black and gritty and had large chunks of either root or meat (I only guessed meat after I saw what looked like bones, but that could have been a different kind of root) was probably enough to keep me from eating it, but that warning made me wonder if it was even safe to have in my house.

So, while I sat down eating my ovary-healing broth, I thought of all the other tokens of love and jewels of wisdom I have been given throughout the years from well-meaning Asian women:

--Sesame oil chicken will help your body heal after giving birth.

--Boiled peanuts will help your milk come in faster (which would explain the rapid rate of growth in my really fat babies).

--If a child pushes a loose tooth with his tongue, his teeth will grow in crooked.

--Don't eat cold foods when you are pregnant or you will do harm to the fetus. (I think the 40 gallons of ice-cream I ate while pregnant is enough to disprove that one.)

--A child must wiggle his tooth a lot or else a tooth will grow out of the top of his head (this one was said in all seriousness)

--A mole under the eye means that person will cry a lot (this one is true only if being whiny is the same as crying a lot).

--If a child crawls or walks under your legs, it will keep him from growing.

--A large forehead and large back to one's head is auspicious. If you have a child with these features, you should take him to go buy lottery tickets because he is lucky (Looks like one of my boys and I should go hit the tracks! I should bring my husband for extra luck!)

--Eating too many lychees (Asian Fruit) will give you bloody noses (Tell that to the pound of lychees I ate every other day on my mission in Asia).

--Eating too many lychees will make you fat (Tell that to the 25 pounds I gained on my mission in Asia).

--Ginger and garlic is good for your ovaries (which explained the ginger-garlic-onions-and-carrots-on-rice meal she prepared for us, but I felt kind of bad for her son who had to eat it too).

--A woman after giving birth should not leave the house or go outside for a month. And, they should not bathe during that month. And, they should stay with their mother-in-law.

After I drank the last dregs of my broth, I realized something. Each of these women that told me these things had only the best of intentions for me and my children. Each one of these women loved me. It is not in the Asian culture to express love with words, but i cant help but feel the love when someone cooks something specifically for me (and my reproductive organs) in mind. So, I eat the black broth, and the ovary healing roots on rice, and the postnatal sesame oil chicken, and the lactation inducing boiled peanut soup, and the menstrual cycle chicken and herbs because that is my way of showing these women that I love them and appreciate them.

And I'll eat the lychees, because they are good.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Confession #1:

I always thought Key Lime Pie was called that because it was a pie with kiwi and lime in it.

Confession #2

Yes, I also thought it was spelled "Ki-lime Pie."

Confession #3

I have used three sticks of butter in my Thanksgiving dishes already, and I'm not even half way through.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fashion weaning...

My mom came back from a trip to multiple countries in Asia and brought home this beauty:

Seriously, seeing this shirt makes me want to hop in a Yulkswagel and fashion wean friend kids boys happy girls earty right now!

It just feels right.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Little Truck People

I know that guys that drive big trucks usually fit in a certain stereotype, but I've been noticing a trend in little truck drivers.

They tend to have very strong opinions.

And sometimes they feel the need to put it in print.

On their automobile.

Classy, isn't it?

If you had a little truck, what would you put on the back of it?

Friday, November 12, 2010

We're so proud!

Today, my two year old said a complete sentence.

"I see Asians"

Friday, October 8, 2010


Let me take you back to my freshman year of high school.

I wanted to be a cheer leader.

I had zero cheer experience...

I had 2 years of dance experience...

when I was 4 and 5.

But, I had two things going for me.

I had a lot of energy.

And I could yell really really loudly.

So, I had my dad drive me to the high school so I could try out.

We parked in the small parking lot and sat there, truck facing the entrance to the cheer tryouts. We sat there, and saw from a distance many confident, blonde, high pony-tailed, long-banged, well dressed, chatty girls go from their cars to the school. We sat there in silence, waiting for me to open the door, waiting for me to step outside and walk alone to that same entrance, waiting for me to overcome fear and take a leap to carve my high school destiny and make a name for myself on our cheer squad.

I turned to my dad, and said, in almost a whisper, "Let's go home, dad."

Was it insecurity? Maybe. Was it a sudden realization of who I was? Most likely. I wasn't that girl. Plus, I was still able to use my two talents on the other side of the bleachers. High school was still awesome.

Now, let's fast forward to this past week.

Zumba classes were being taught at a location very close to my house.

The price was very reasonable.

The time was workable.

The need for exercise was undeniable.

So, I drove alone, oddly enough, wearing a T-shirt from my freshman year of high school.

I sat there, in my car.

I had zero zumba experience.

I had two years of dance experience, when I was 4 and 5.

And the two things I had going for me was either now non-existant of no use here.

So I sat there, in the far parking lot, watching the confident Zumba ladies with their high pony-tails and long bangs and mini belly-dancing hip-shawls enter the building.

This time, I did open the door. I did enter the building. I did pay for the class, 10 classes in fact. And I sat there, surrounded by 50 chatty women, and stared at my shoes.

The music started, and we Zumba-ed. I stood in front of the only part of the wall that didn't have a mirror. Not that it mattered...I was too focused on following the teacher's feet and arms that I didn't have a chance to look at myself in the mirror. I was in a sea of swishing shoulders and jingling hips, arms whipping to the rhythm of the music, feet twisting under floating bodies.

Then, I moved and saw myself in the mirror.

My arms moving stiffly like a rusted machine, my legs stomped like a child wearing oversized boots. Where there should have been chest thrusts, I mistakingly did arm pumps. Where there should have been hip shakes, I unknowingly did head shakes. Where there should have been curves, I was all angles. When there was movement with the right, I moved with the left. Where there was Zumba, I was doing "the robot."

And after only an hour of publicly humiliating myself, it was over.

But, gosh darn it, I did it!

Unlike the high school me, I stepped out of my comfort zone, rediscovered myself, and overcame fear.

Now, I just have to overcome it nine more times.

so excited.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby Pics!

My brother says my baby reminds him of a statue in my mom's house...

I'm not sure I know what he's talking about.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day...

We are sick.

By we, I mean three out of the four of us that are home all day long. Baby MULE is doing well.

Whenever I get sick, I always think of eating chicken noodle soup, and no, I don't mean chicken flavored ramen. I have vivid childhood memories of staying home from school and drinking down a bowl of chicken noodle soup with saltine crackers (we would also eat rice soup, but I'll save that for another post). I never liked it as a kid, but it tastes better now that it is mixed with an ounce of nostalgia.

But I have this nasty habit of ruining the eating experience by adding vegetables.

We eat our macaroni and cheese with vegetables.

If I ever cook hamburger helper, I add vegetables.

If I ever make tuna fish sandwiches, I add vegetables.

If I ever make corn bread, I add vegetables.

If I ever make ramen, I add vegetables.

So there I was, can of chicken noodle soup in hand, scrounging around in the refrigerator, looking for, you guessed it, vegetables.

And I found it! Zucchini!

Since the instructions on the soup can say, "Do not boil" I decided to grate the zucchini, that way I didn't have to cook it separately.

Well, sounds great in theory, but in reality...

Sludgy pond water, anyone?

Even I didn't want to eat it.

But then I had a stroke of genius!

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day.

Give a man a handful of goldfish crackers, and he'll eat just about anything.

What do you eat when you are sick?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


A long time ago, before I was a mom, I remember watching a talk show on parenting. It was probably Oprah ;) Anyway, the idea was to be a positive parent and to avoid using negative words like, "No," or "Don't," or "Can't." Instead, you could use positive words like, "Do this instead," or "This is safer."

I vowed to be the parent that never used negative words.

Then, I had a kid.

So while I try to use those principles of using positive phrases as much as possible...

Sometimes it is easier to tell them not to do it, instead of giving them better options.

And sometimes it's just best to let things run their course.

I'm pretty sure getting rid of a quarter in a bowel movement will be a great life lesson.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In lieu of flowers, please send bread and mayo.

As my oldest was pouring cereal for the younger siblings, I jokingly mentioned to them how comforted I was to know that the oldest could take care of the others if anything happened to their mommy and daddy.

At which point, the eldest child turns to the others and says, "OK, guys, we are having cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch and dinner after mom and dad die."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Naming Babies

Baby naming is a source of frustration for me. Since I have historically been the one to carry our babies, I like to know what to call the thing that is beating me up from the inside. My husband, since he is usually NOT the one gestating the fetus, sees no rush in finding a name for the baby.

In my efforts to speed up the process, I have written lists upon lists upon lists of names per baby, sometimes following him around the house listing off names in a baby book. However, my already elevated blood pressure usually skyrockets when he hands me the list with every name crossed off, or he repeatedly answers, "No, no, no, no, no..." and occasionally the, "Are you kidding me? You would really want to name your child that? No."

So, after a few kids, I have learned to wait until he gives me his list of names (usually a list of one). By then, I am so desperate to bond with this creature that competes with me for my own body cavity's space, that I quickly agree and then I give birth.

As the children get older, I have found that they are just as willing to give me names as I was to give my husband names. And, I found myself repeatedly saying, "No, no, no, no," or "Really? You want me to name your sibling that?"

For example:

Alison Wonderland
Jackson (not a bad name, just more common than I would like)
Dora (if it's a girl)
Diego (if it's a boy)
Boots (if it's a monkey)
Reese (ever seen Malcolm in the Middle?)

But, the best was when one of my kids came to me with a name written on a piece of paper.


"You want me to name your sibling Mule?"

"No, mom. Em-uh-lee (M-U-LE)."

So, just for fun, I'm going to refer to this kid as Mule.

Mule has arrived.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Welcome to my Blog Barn!

(Only because it bugs the tar out of me...)

If you decide to open a business and you are trying to brainstorm a name, will you do me a personal favor? Can you not have it include the word "Barn?" Unless your business directly involves livestock, or manure, or alfalfa, please don't use the word "barn" in your business name.

I have heard of "Dress Barn" and this is what I think they sell...

And when I heard of a place called "Car Barn" my mind automatically thought....

I refuse to even enter these businesses because of the word "Barn."

So, for those of you thinking of calling your store "Tire Barn" or "Jewelry Barn" or "Burger Barn" or "Sushi Barn" or "Electronic Barn" or "Bridal Barn" or "Dollar Barn" or "Ballet Barn" or "Office Barn" or "Furniture Barn" or "Fitness Barn" or "Insta-care Barn," just be warned that you have automatically lost a customer.

Well, all except for you, "Burger Barn." You actually kind of make sense.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Scary Dream

My child woke up screaming from a nightmare. I rushed out of bed because 1) I didn't want the child's screams to wake the other children, and 2) sometimes when this child screams in the night, the bed is less than a minute away from being wet.

So I pulled the child out of bed and brought him/her to the bathroom and said, "Shhhhh. You don't need to cry. Your bad dream is all over," at which point the child began to scream louder.

That's when I realized I should have cleared my throat BEFORE trying to console the child.

Friday, April 9, 2010

My Hobbies

So, I'm going to admit something that I have thus far withheld from the world wide webs.

I love quilts.

I could stare at a quilting magazine all day.

I love the piecing.

I love the free-motion sewing.

I love that people combine odd color combinations to create beautiful masterpieces.

I love the creativity that goes in every step of the quilting process.

So, it should come as no surprise that when I see a quilt at a historical center, or fabric store, or hotel lobby, I stop and stare at it, closely at first, and then once I gain an appreciation for the quilter's skill in the details, I step back and take in the whole thing.

I've even stopped women in the grocery store, and stared at the covered babies in car seats, and whispered to them, "What a beautiful baby quilt!" Sometimes I forget to comment on the actual baby.

I was at a doctor's office and noticed a quilt on the wall. I had noticed other quilts in their hallways, but I had never seen this quilt before, so I went to look at it.

The colors of this quilt are bright and beautiful. Some of the pieces we see here are about an inch in size! The free-motion quilting was done with a machine, but hand guided to make those beautiful, and complex designs that quilt the pieced layer together with the batting and the bottom layer. The stitches are small and even, and it was obvious that this was done by an extremely talented quilter.

After staring at the minute details, I took a step back to take in the whole quilt.

But within seconds, I gave the quilt a double take...


AAAAAACCCCKKKK!!! Is that a picture of a double uterus???

And those images that looked abstract, weren't so abstract anymore.

They were actual pictures....
of actual internal organs....

of actual humans.

As I stood there, mouth and eyes wide open, the quilter in me began to cry...

while the science buff in me gave it a standing ovation.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How to raise a Man-Child

Always refer to him as a super-hero, like "Captain Tree-Hugger."

Encourage him to bond with nature.

Always avoid the appearance of evil.

If you want him to grow up to be a man, you need to let him get his hands dirty...

...But he also must know when to be proper.

Let the father teach him by example.

Help him ride the waves of life.

When he asks you to paint his nails, always make sure he is wearing a tough guy shirt.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Rage.

Instacare Doctor: So, has your child had a fever?

Me: Yes. When my child woke up two hours ago, he/she was very hot so I gave him/her some Tylenol and he/she has cooled down since then, but still has a mild fever.

ID: What was your child's temperature when he/she woke up.

Me: I didn't measure it because I was more concerned about cooling my child off. I would say over 100.

ID: You can say that, but I'm not going to write that down. I'm just going to write down that your child was warm.

Me: The child was hot enough to concern me. Over 100.

ID: Look. There have been studies done testing mothers of multiple children to see how well they measure temperature. And the mothers failed miserably in estimating temperature. So, it doesn't matter how confident you are, you can say whatever you want, but I'm not going to believe you. I'm going to write down that he/she was warm.

What could I say? He was the doctor. I couldn't argue with the guy.

But if he would have looked at his chart, he would have noticed that my child had a current temperature of 99.5. Considering that and the fact that I had given him/her a fever reducer two hours ago, I think it is fair to say that the temperature was probably above 99.5. Like, I don't know, maybe even above 100.

But what do I know. I'm just the mom.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


If you went to a political party convention, and saw a lady taking notes with crayon,

If you were on a long distance flight to an Asian country and witnessed a mother holding the hand of her child who wet his/her pants while waiting for the lavatory,

If you went curling and saw a squatting pregnant woman push a curling stone across the ice like a child would push a bowling ball,

If you went driving down the street and saw a sister missionary's skirt fly up onto her face while riding a bike,

If you were at Costco and watched a mother turn her back on her cart full of 50 lb. bags of rice (and 1 year old child) only to see it crash into a car 5 stalls down at a high rate of speed and leave a huge dent,

If you were at pre-school and watched the mother cry like a baby as she left her child on the first day of school,

If you were in a Las Vegas buffet line and watched a woman hide behind a potted plant to throw up in a cup,

Then I don't believe we have officially met.

Hi, I'm Token Asian Friend.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Why teens and Adults should not be friends on facebook:

Teenage Facebook Friend: Wouldn't it be ironic if you died choking on a lifesaver?

Me: That is why they have the holes in the center.

Teenage Facebook Friend: What???

Me: The hole is there so that if it gets caught in your throat, you can still breathe...through the hole.

Teenage Facebook Friend: ?


No, seriously kid. In twenty years, that will make sense.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Kikkoman Vs. LaChoy

(I am sorry for neglecting you, blog. I feel that I owe you a poem.)

I stand in my kitchen
Two bottles in hands.
Both of them soy sauce
But of different brands.
Two types of soy sauce?
So what's the big deal?
This one decision
Affects more than a meal.

When I cook for myself,
Kikkoman is best.
I grew up pouring it on rice
(I was a bit obsessed).
Before you buy it, you should know
It has MSG.
And for those with gluten issues
It's not gluten-free.

When I cook for larger groups,
I want all to enjoy.
So for those with sensitivities,
I always choose LaChoy.
That I would cater to their needs,
I am sure to impress.
And that is why, for company
LaChoy's sauce beats the rest.

Now come back with me 10+ years ago
When I liked a certain guy.
He liked me back, we were good friends
So a relationship we did try.
I thought things were going well.
We hung out...things were great!
I never felt it weird or strange
That we never went on a date.

Within a while, things slowed down,
And the truth did soon unfurl.
While he liked to hang out with me
He preferred to take out another girl.
But thanks to soy sauce, I can now
Understand this boy.
I now know I was his Kikkoman
And she was his LaChoy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Once upon a time...Lora's story.

While cleaning the basement, I found this story on the floor. Try to read this phonetically.

Sound's like Lora's best day is about to come to an end.

Poor Lora.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thank Heaven for Post-Menopausal Females!

Fact: Most female animals don't have a post-menopausal life. Literally. They reproduce and then they die. Very few animals have been known to reach and live beyond menopause, and a lot of them were raised in captivity. It seems that female animals aren't much use after they are done having babies.

Then, we have the humans. Our post-menopausal females can live just as long past menopause as they did before menopause. Some scientists might argue that humans never have and were never meant to live beyond their reproductive years, and that post-menopausal life is a relatively new phenomenon in modern humans. Evolutionists might say that those women with a longevity trait were able to help their offspring take care of their offspring, thus increasing their grandchildren's survival rate and the post-menopausal woman's own fitness, and passing on the longevity trait to more people generation after generation until the grandmother eventually evolved. And yet others might say grandmas didn't evolve, grandmas were created.

All I know is, as a stay at home mom, I see grandmas everywhere! I see grandmas at the store pushing shopping carts with babies inside. I see grandmas waiting to get their grandchildren after school. I see grandmas take grandchildren to dance and other sporting events. I see grandmas driving with grandchildren in car seats behind them. I see grandmas eating out with grandchildren. I see grandmas on walks with grandchildren. I see grandmas taking grandchildren to the doctor. Grandmas sure are active people.

Grandmas travel across continents to help their children paint their house or take care of babies.
Grandmas run your errands for you.
Grandmas travel through all sorts of weather at all hours of the night because the mothers are sick or are having a bad day or mothers have to go to the hospital because their water broke (or thought their water broke, but they really just maybe might have wet themselves, a little).
Grandmas use their retirement money to send care packages to grandchildren that live far away.
Grandmas cook impromptu meals, just because you say you are coming over, and you're starving.
Grandmas let you leave their house with their leftovers, even though they were hoping to not have to cook the next day.
Grandmas take care of you, even when they are sick and no one is taking care of them.
Grandmas sacrifice vacation time to take care of their grandkids while their own kids go on vacation.
Grandmas sacrifice their comfort and lifestyle and sometimes their retirement to take in their wayward children's children.

And I bet if you ask any grandma why she does these things, the last thing that crosses her mind is to increase her own fitness. The first things that cross her mind, however, would be how she feels when she receives chubby hugs and messy kisses and hears tiny voices over the phone that say, "I wub you, Damma!"

If you know a grandma, show your appreciation. She's technically not even supposed to be here :) Sure, they are post-menopausal and can be a little moody at times, but we are lucky enough to be the only species that gets them, so we need to just love them, because they truly are a gift from God.

(To the grandmas in my life: Yes, this is my special way of saying "Thank you!")

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lethal Weapon

After reading this article about a chopstick going up the nose and piercing a Chinese toddler's brain, I became concerned.

My kids run around with chopsticks all the time!

This little boy was lucky, though. The chopstick had pierced 4 cm into his brain, but did not strike a major blood vessel and did not cause any paralysis. Also, his "neurosurgeon was perfect for the job since he had extensive experience with surgeries involving chopsticks lodged in eyes, foreheads, and necks."

I don't think they have neurosurgeons specialized in removing impaled chopsticks anywhere in the United States.

I might have to have my kids run around with forks, instead.

Monday, January 11, 2010

One year older, and wiser, too.

Now that the holidays are officially over, I have a few things to share:

1. The child that, three years ago, threw-up after drinking a whole can of lemonade now throws-up after drinking two Capri Suns and one red cream soda.

2. Four tearful fits before 10:00 am on New Year's Day is a child's way of saying, "Please don't let me go to another New Year's Eve party, ever."

3. Santa is no longer allowed to give our children presents after the stunt he pulled with the fingernail polish station.

4. Baby can now unscrew lids off of containers.

5. Vinegar and Windex and angry texts to husband get fingernail polish out of the carpet.

6. When eating out with husband's business associates, it is good to know that "gnocchi" is not pronounced like it is spelled. And, the biking competition Lotoja is not pronounced "Latoya."

7. There is nothing easy about an "Easy Bake Oven." It is the most stressful thing ever invented.

8. Toy accessories (clips, bows, guns, mini hair-dryers, crowns, necklaces, and shoes) will always find their way into our garbage cans.

What did you learn this holiday season?