Family updates

It's been a while since I last post !  Life gets in the way :-)  things are going well.  I am now home full time, lots of things lead to this decision, but work politics surely motivated me to make the bold move.  I was going to down 2 days a week to be home more with the kids, but decided to leave before the new schedule kicked in.  As you know I love my job but I can't keep up with the constant changes at work in management and uncleared directions.  I made through the restructuring but the aftermath of it, even 2 years after, still lingers on with all those who stayed.  Morale was low, I couldn't pull them up and I got too tired and they pulled me down with them.  In the past 10 years, never once a day I woke up dreading work.  The one day it happened and then again, I knew my time is up.  Then one manager I looked up to and admired left early this year and a lot of what she shared stuck with me.  I saw it coming, it's inevitable.  I really thought I would retire here.  One thing I learned is that we can never be so sure of things in life.  We might not change, but people and situations around us do and that changes the dynamic of things and you start to lost trust.  It's unfortunate.

In a way I am glad though, if that even makes sense, that things happened the way they did so I can be home full time with the kids.  Now that I am home, I really wished I quit earlier.  I feel a little guilty for loving my job too much.  I didn't realize how much I am needed at home.  Even just making lunch or watching them play, they love that I am there with them.  And that makes me want to kick myself for missing a few years spent with them.  I also know this is a priviledge not a lot of people get and I am grateful for it.  I am still trying to get use to setting schedule for each day and to take things slowly.  My husband is worry I am might get burn out at home, as I am not one to sit around and rest.  I think I vacuumed everyday, some day twice.  I really need to learn to pace myself.  My order for me for the summer month is to have lots of fun with the kids at home but also lots of quiet time for me to rest and allow the kids to have their "boring" moments.  Those monotonous time are important in a child's development !  It's in that space of time when there's nothing to do but to look inward to imagine, to be creative, to explore, and discover.

Other family news is C is now made principal at his architecture firm, he's more busy but always home for dinner and for playing with the kids after.  He's got a good heart that one, a very considerate manager and leader, I am super proud of him and believe that he will do well.  Bee has her first crush and asked me if I had a crush before.  I said yes, I liked a friend of mine but he didn't like me back.  I told her, her crush might not like her the same way and it's OK.  Not everyone will return our feeling.  She said "yes, he might not like me, but I can like him because it's my feeling".  Very wise that one.  Lovebug is preparing for kindergarten and is very sassy and girly like always.  She also has short temper too so I am working with her, helping her to learn to handle her feeling.  Peanut, sweet destroyer of things, is talking now, lots of words and lots of expressions.  He's particular, very particular, of things, from clothes to food to toys to what he wants to watch.  I try to not give into him, despite his puppy dog eyes and big grin that reaches his eyes when he says "please mama".  The kids are all well, play well, fight well, and sleep well.

Summer break starts in one day !  I have a few things planned and in between are lots of "no plan" slot where we can fill it with whatever we feel that day !  Hello summer hello sun hello blue sky !

Honolulu Hawaii family vacation

Our first plane trip out of country as a family of 5.  C and I were quite nervous about the flight. Our kids are super active and rarely sit in one place for long.  First we were thinking of going to San Diego, Anaheim, or LA, mainly for the short flight.  However after reviewing hotels and distance between hotels and attractions and the beach, we would need a car to zip around all those places. C doesn’t feel comfortable driving in unfamiliar places so after going back and forth on it, California is off our list. I then looked around for other warm places and Hawaii came to mind. Flight is longer than we would like but it’s the only way if we want warm summer-like weather.  This trip is meant for spring break and for Bee's birthday.  She told us months in advance she would rather we go some where, like previous year, than have a party at home.  Although this time, while opening her presents from us, she came to the realization that without a party, she doesn't get many gifts :-D

We picked Waikiki, Honolulu.  Reason is that we been there before so the familiarity with the place is a bonus.  We also like the busyness of the place :-)  other islands are just so quiet, so serene, so calm.  It's not us !  We like noise, we like lights, we like to be in a city that doesn't shut down at 9pm, we like to walk around and explore (with coffee and snacks on hands), and Waikiki is all that and more.

Lots of screen time and sugar to keep them stay put

For those who likes numbers, we booked our trip as a package, 8 days/7night, flight for 5 people + hotel (Hyatt Place, 2 queen beds and a pull out sofa, 1 bathroom (no kitchen)) + tax all add up to $6500 Canadian.  We are going at the tail end of spring break so prices came down a bit for flight & hotel.  Exchange rate is 1.31 CAD to 1 USD when we left.

The weather in Waikiki this time of year, March, is already quite hot !  Like our August afternoon weather here.  What I love about this place though, is the water temperature !  There's no water hole around BC that quite reached 26/27 degree like here.  The rain here is even warm and is short lived.  So if the forecast predicted it will rain or be cloudy the days you're here, don't be discouraged.  The weather and water temperature is still be way warmer than the North West :-)  We swam everyday, morning and afternoon.  It's quite relaxing just watching the waves crashing in.  Depending on what beach you're at, some section of the beach that has no rocks divider (acting like speed-bump), the waves are really strong.  It pulled Love in once and scared her a bit.  Might be dangerous for toddler.  If you stick to the main beach area of Waikiki, the water is pretty gentle and calm.

Grabbed a set of snorkel for $8 for the kids.  Great to use on any beach.  We were at the main beach on Waikiki and saw an octopus, schools of white fishes, a zebra print angel fish, sea urchins, corals and lots of silver and black color fishes.

The main strip on Waikiki is very busy and vibrant.  There are a lot of places to take a seat and let the kids blow off steam.  We hang out often at the Royal Hawaiian Centre.  At the back of this place is a koi pond next to a big outdoor green space; this area connects to the Royal Hawaiian hotel and to the other side is the Sheraton hotel.  It's a nice area to rest and enjoy some live music or show at the outdoor stage there.  There are many greenery and flowers here they're so pleasing to the eyes.

Waikiki has many market place or center, each has their own specialty and all have nice big seating area.  The city and buildings' designers did a good job on making them an engaging space.  We like to walk up and down here when the sun is at it's highest, grabbing shaved ice, ice creams or snacks and just sit around.  Mid day is sweltering hot, the kids and I can't handle it, so we hit all these centers to enjoy their AC :-)  If you like to shops, this is the strip to be on.  From high end stores to affordable ones, they're all here.  I didn't shop so am not sure if prices, after conversion, are similar to Canada.

Clear warm water
What I learned quickly about Waikiki is that food is quite expensive !  Food court meal ranges from $10-19USD (for comparison, $10 get you 2 chicken drumsticks with corn and a drink, $19 will get you some grilled chicken over bed of kale salad and some sides and a drink). Ice cream is between $5-10 USD ($5 for something like store bought and $10 is gourmet style). Restaurant items are $15+. There are lots of ramen restaurants around here ($7-$20 a bowl) so if you like noodles, this is heaven !  

Dukes Lane Market and Eatery - great little place for quick snacks and ice cream.  The outdoor market sells trinkets and Hawaiian t-shirt and dresses (geared towards tourists).  The restaurants at the back looks promising but we didn't get to try.

Ramen from one of the Japanese food court

Yummy green tea ice cream.  I can do without all the toppings though.

Island Shave Ice - homemade style natural syrup with bits of fruits.  Not overly sweet.  Worth a visit !

What we liked about our hotel, Hyatt Place, is that it has free hot skillet breakfast !  When deciding between this and the Hyatt Regency (2 blocks away), the price/night is almost same but this one won over due to free breakfast.  I know my kids, ever the early risers, and my husband, late riser.  

True to themselves, the kids were up and asking for breakfast at 6AM - YES 6 AM in the morning !  I forgot about time differences and I am so glad to able to take them down for breakfast that early.  Everyday the hot skillet menu change while some stable items remain the same (oatmeal, cereals, drinks, fruits, yogurts, asian stall (miso, rice & asian side dishes)).  Seriously, this buffet breakfast helped ease our morning and make it less stressful for both C and I.  We don't have to all wake up at the same time, get ready and decide where to go to eat.  Here we get to take turn sleeping in and get to eat breakfast in our jammies.  So if you got early/late risers like us, this option would greatly help you out.  

Outdoor patio at Hyatt Place.  Lots of room for our youngest to move around, while waiting for us to finish our food.

Waikiki has local farmers market event happening a couple times throughout the week. Ask locals or hotel concierges for info. I enjoyed some sweet fruits from the market ($5/fresh coconut, $5/soursop, $3/mango, $5 for a cup of fresh pressed sugarcane ($7 if no ice). I lovedddddd the sugarcane juice. Reminded me of summer in Vietnam.  Sugarcane juice was my hot weather staple there.  You can ONLY get fresh sugar cane juice from the farmers market so keep that in mind, if you want to try it.

Here are some tips and suggestions:
  • Hawaii is very busy so to avoid line up, go earlier or after the lunch (noon) or dinner rush (around 5pm).
  • Popular locations and attractions (Pearl Harbor, Hanauma Bay, etc.) and are busy on the weekend as locals visit them also, it is best to do those during week day. 
  • If you want to rent a car, book it 4-5 days in advance of the day you need it. We tried to book 1 day before and it was sold out EVERYWHERE downtown and vicinity. Who knew !  A few of our plans fell through because of it. 
  • If you like pineapple then the Dole Plantation is a nice visit.  Yummy ice cream and fresh pineapple are avail. for purchase.  It's worth a stop from a trip but I wouldn't make it the main event of a day. 
  • All day bus pass is really cheap in Waikiki, great to avoid walking from one end of the strip to the other.  It's also great for a visit to Alamona Shopping Mall (biggest mall I ever been to, with really high end stores (Prada, Gucci, etc) affordable ones like H&M, Gap, etc). Buses here are NOT baby stroller friendly. You can take umbrella stroller, but will have to fold it and store under your seat.
  • MUST visit Kailua and Lanekei beach !  They are next to each other.  About 40 min. drive away or 1 hour and 15 min. on bus.  Kailua is a bigger beach.  Powder soft almost-white sand with turquoise water.  It's the highlight of our trip.
  • MUST visit the Honolulu Zoo here.  It's at the end of the Waikiki main strip.  It's a huge 42 acres piece of land with so many species.  It's organized into 3 tropical zone:  Rainforest, Pacific Islands and African Savanna.  You will need a full day to explore.  Lots of interesting info. on each species and cool tropical plants all around.
  • FOOD - we ate at various restaurants in Waikiki and they were pretty good.  I would suggest you read reviews online before walking in to any eateries.  The restaurants below are worth a mention because they were dishing out some quality food that are tasty and doesn't cost too much !  
    • Marukame Udon - self serve Japanese eatery. You cannot sit down to save a table unless you got your food. NO EXCEPTION.  Pregnant or with an infant, they will ask you to wait outside until you get your food.  Other than that, this place is tasty, great with kids, lots of different type of tempuras, and also super busy!  There will be line up outside during lunch and dinner so go off hours. Example: We went at 1pm lunch and 4:30pm dinner and both times were less than 5 min. wait.
    • MEE Korean BBQ - eat in or take out, quick service, tasty and big portions.  Ignore the not-so-friendly counter lady.  She's not there to make friends :-)
Now back home, I wish we did less things and lounge more at the beach.  Just laying there on the sand and let the world pass by is pretty relaxing !  When we go to check out this or that, visiting places, etc., we are not relaxing.  I think if we have 2 weeks here it would be better :-)  NExt time.

Marukamen Udon - sweet tasty broth and thin slices of beef.  Lots of added toppings to choose from.  One of my favorite place here.  It has AC so the heat is bearable :-)

The highlight of our trip must be Kailua beach.  It's simply beautiful.  I highly recommend a trip to this beach.  Honolulu is really a slice of paradise.  The air, the water, the sun, the waves, the sand, the friendly people, the great food, I can go on !  We definitely will be back, maybe next year :-)

Kaillua Beach

Keeping pace with our kids

Our kids are growing and changing so much this year.  Peanut can identify all body parts (in vietnamese), and say Ba Oi, Me Oi, Daddy, Down, Bad, No.  He loves to dance to Charlie Puth and Baby Shark.  They are the only songs that can put him to sleep.  I was hoping for quiet times and rocking him to sleep with vietnamese lullaby (like the girls) but nope, he likes to sleep to dance music, and no rocking.

Lovebug is silly like always,  still very much attach to me but this year, she's a handful !  it was supposed to be Fantastic Four year but it's like Terrible Two + Troublesome Three.  She has a lot of attitudes and would get really upset and scream-cry when she doesn't get her way.  It could be something simple as, the washroom is being used and we told her to use the other one and she would just lost it.  Usually leaving her to expense all her emotions and tears and she's good again.  About 10-15 min.  We try to figure out what instigate it, but can't find one.  It's random and out of the blue.  My thinking is she's having a lot of pent up emotions without the words to describe it and a venue to release it.  We try to give her more words to help express herself and it's all we can do at the moment, without giving into her demands and expectations.

Bee is in gr. 2 now, she is full of words and smart-Alec comments.  She's into science at the moment and ask me all sorts of things about the air, gas, state of matter, etc.  She asked me to rubbed my hands together yesterday to create thermal heat and then to smell it !  "Isn't it stinky ?  that the heat from your hands !"  She excitedly tell me.

Vietnamese Bo Kho beef stew with carrots


2 lbs boneless beef chuck (any type of stew beef cut is ok), cut into 1.5 inch cube
2 stalk lemongrass, but into 2 and bruised the white part,
1 tablespoons fish sauce
1 table spoon of organic sugar (white or brown should be ok, use about 3/4 of tablespoon)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
1 cup of tomato sauce (250-300 ml is good)
4-5 medium carrots, peeled, cut slanted into 1 inch pieces
2-3 star anise
3 cups water
1 cup of coconut water (omit if doens't have any and up the water to 4 cups.  There should be just enough water to cover the meat in the pot)

1 1/2 tablespoon of fish sauce (I used the 3 Crabs brand)
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder (or 1 table spoon of the packaged Bo Kho powder)
2 teaspoon of paparika
1 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 1/2 table spoon of minced shallot
a dash or two of pepper

Thai basil

Mix the marinating mix, 1 1/2 table spoon of fish sauce, 5-spice powder, paparika, ginger, shallot, pepper together, pour over beef cubes and marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably over night.

Over high heat, in a non stick pan or pot, heat the 2 tablespoon of oil and sear the beef pieces (in batches) quickly then remove and put into a slow cooker.

Using the same pan or pot, add 1 tablespoon of oil, cook the coarsely chopped onions until translucent then add tomato sauce and lemon grass and star anise.  Add in a teaspoon of salt.

Pour this mixture over the beef cubes in the slow cooker then add the water, coconut water, and 1 table spoon of fish sauce and the sugar.

Let it cook on low for about 5-6 hours (longer is ok, if you plug in before heading out to work).  1-2 hours before serving, add the carrots to the slow cooker.  The beef and the carrot pieces should be tender, they should fall apart when cut in !  Before serving, taste and adjust by adding more fish sauce or sugar (if you like it sweet)

Remove lemongrass and star anise before serving.  You can top the dish with cilantro or basil.  Enjoy with french bread, baguette or over thin rice noodles or even eat with rice !

If you don't have a slow cooker, cook the stew in a pot and let it simmer on low for about 3 hours, or until the beef is tender.  Add the carrot an hour before the beef is done.  You don't want to add the carrot in too early because it will get too soft and mushy.

I like the sauce thin, the way it is, but if you like it to be thick, like stew thick, you can achieve that by adding in a LITTLE mixture of cornstarch or tapioca starch (starch mixed with water).  If you do this, remember to add the mixture in a bit at a time, don't pour all in at once because it might thicken up the sauce way too much and will taste starchy.

Words of gentleness

I'm a straight as narrow type of person.  What you see is what you get, no agenda, no game, no anything.  I am not malice or cunning.  If I come across as one, then you're giving me way too much credit !!!  I have a hard time fibbing, even white lie, and never would you see me sucking up to a person.  Not that I don't want to ;-)  the thoughts and desires are strong, it's just the Spirit in me would whisper, "don't do it !!! it's not who the Lord made you to be", and I listened.

I feel at this age, almost half of an average of a life span, I am still learning how to communicate effectively.  I assumed people know my intentions, and it proves over and over again that's not the case.  I need to constantly communicate my good intentions in words and actions.  This week, being on the other side of the fence, witnessing some unkind words and twisting of facts, it makes me feel crappy.  I don't know why people do that, they gained nothing, and loose more.  They lost people's trust, respects, and worst, people don't want to be around them, and steer clear of at the sight of them.  While I am no where near their league, it makes me think hard about how I communicate.  Our words are so powerful, more than we even know.  We can put a smile on a person's face or shame and crush their spirit, all with words.   Proverbs 15:1 came to mind, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger".  It is so true.  A great reminder for me to think hard before I speak.  Are my words building up or crushing down ?  It's always always better to encourage and lift someone up because it has a longer lasting effect on them, and it flow to the people around them.  I know this first hand, being the one who received kindness and gentleness.  Dear Lord, oh how I desire to be more like You !


Spectacular Seven

Bee worked with me on this picture, learning to erase and add layer on Photoshop ! 

March brought in a lot of rain this year.  It was dull and cold and blah.  The only thing to look for this month for me is the birthday of our eldest girl.  Weeks before her birthday, Bee asked if we can stay at a hotel for her birthday instead of having a birthday party.  She loves staying at hotel and go swimming.  Subconsciously I know she wants us all to be together, spending time together and do fun stuff.  She wished she doesn't have school and that we don't have to work so our family can just play all day.  I told her, me too me too !  A short getaway is a brilliant idea.  I couldn't agreed more.  No chores ?  Sign me up.

We decided to go to Victoria as it's the only island around here that has hotels with big pools !  We booked the hotel Grand Pacific based on the location and its' 3 pools - large swimming pool, hot tub, and a kiddie pool.  My hotel booking criteria are all about pool temperature and distance to food options nowadays. 

The girls packed their luggage the day before and were so excited we couldn't get them to eat dinner or  sleep.  It was chaotic.  C struggled trying to put all 3 kids to sleep while I was trying to make Bee a birthday card, wrap her presents and clean up the house.  Who wants to return home to a messy house ?  Not I !  Then when all this is done, I still need to pack too, for me and all the kids (I don't think the girls packed enough warm clothes).  Arrrrgggg !!!

1 am on the clock when I slipped into the bed, body and mind exhausted.

Morning came without a bump.  Travelling to and boarding ferry was smooth.  Peanut cooperated while we had lunch.  Yay !  It already feel like an amazing trip.

We stopped by Gonzales Bay before hitting our hotel as check in is at 3.  From the street parking it doesn't look like much, but as we descended down the stairs pathway, the little beach unfolds in front of us and it was delightful.  The kids went into busy mode and run amok while C and I surveyed the area then place Peanut in a safe sandy spot !  He dug right into the sand the moment we put him down.  

Dotted along the border of this little beach are charming heritage houses.  I love myself a heritage (but fully updated to today's code) house with a porch on the front so I can watch the world go by.  C and I talked about perhaps we can buy a little place here and going to walks in the morning and afternoon.  This of course, was before we look into real estate cost around here :)  Baby Peanut entertained himself for over an hour, digging into the sand.  He loves it so much.  I suspected he ate a bit of sand..or maybe a lot..I don't know :-/ but he left some evident on his lips :(

We got to the hotel close to 3 and checking in was a breeze.  The hotel looks nice and grand outside, like its name.  The location is perfect, close to lots of restaurants and close to the wharf.  The inside interior of the suite, the decor is kinda dated for our taste.  The travel agent told me she went there and loved it and that it's a solid 4 star hotel.  We often don't use many of the services so that doesn't really matter to us.  We do like the location so we decided to try it out !  Beside the cosmetic stuff, chairs and beds are very comfortable.  The room is big enough for us, around 450 square feet, and very clean, no dust behind headboard or window sills.  For family of 5, however, I think the Parkside Resort hotel is better for us because of the kitchen.  Not that I would be doing any cooking, but it's more for the convenience of warming up food and/or for breakfast as we all wake up at different time.  However there are lots of restaurants nearby here so there's no worry of starvation.  The hotel also has an 24 hrs cafe on site too.  As for C, he likes the easy access to Starbucks across the street.  

The weather during this trip has spring written all over it !  Sunny and cool with a couple of cloudy periods.  It was rainy back at home (we check our home security camera) so we are quite thankful for the time here.  I thanked Bee for praying for the weather because I forgot to. 

First thing we did after settling in was to surprise Bee with presents.  She thought the trip was a present for her so she didn't expect anything else.  We got her Lego superhero sets (Catwoman, Batgirl, Robin, and Wonderwoman) !  Bee mentioned she needed superheroes to protect her castles and cake shops.  She lovesssss the Lego and the card I made for her so that's a high note for me :-)  I haven't drawn in a long time.

Bee has been such a great sister to Love and Peanut.  Sometime she takes her role so seriously, that she sounds like C, and it's quite entertaining to watch.  She fusses over things that doesn't line up (like me) and gets frustrated when her items get removed and not put back where she had it last (like C).  Bee loves to be tickled everyday and she tells us pretty much everyday how much she loves our family.  Sweet thing ! She also reminds me often to tell Jesus that I love Him and that is so precious.

Bee loves to sing, silly dance and read.  She read everything, from signs to newspaper to books to instructions on a bottle !  She is generous with her smile and are slowing coming out of her shell.  When spoken to, she would quietly answer.  So brave my girl !  Bee can read my brain, she claimed, and that she knows what I like and what makes me happy.  Some night when C and I switched chores, she would whisper to me that she wanted to give me a break !  So she would ask C to help her ready for bed instead.  She said to me "You get a rest now mommy !  Let's tickle me, that's a nice rest right ? ".  Little miss smarty pant :)

All in all, we enjoyed our time away, together, and got plenty of sleeping in.  The best food I had during this trip was at Nourish, a heritage home converted to restaurant, for brunch.  It's cute little place but has no high chair.  We managed as C and I took turn holding baby Peanut.  Not like we have any other option right ?  Food was dddddelicious.  C was like this is totally your kind of place Tracy, all healthy and vintage feel.

Morning Scramble w/ side of bacon:  soft scrambled eggs, roasted shallots, butternut squash, arugula, lentil hummus, seedy toast

No high chair for baby  :-(

The highlight of this trip, as I don't think anything can beat it, are the seals at the fisherman wharf.  I seen them before in San Fran but this was very up close, mere meters away from me.  I can almost touch them !!!  They are so fat, so round, oh so cute !

This adorable sweet thing loves to wave !  I waved back frantically "Hello hello"

Vacation, mini or long, seems to fueled my kids with an extra pack of energy, because they don't seem to get tired at all.  We walked all over town and they never once complained.  Thank goodness Victoria never seems to run out of things to do with kids.  The kids can burn their steam off at the countless playgrounds around here, then there's the vast space at Beacon Hill park, we can walk along the seawall, walk around the fisherman wharf, and going up and down the many steps at the parliament building (guaranteed to burn off some energy).  If you want brain stimulations, there's the bugs zoo, the crystal garden, miniature world, Royal museum, and maritime museum.  

Most evening, at around 9pm, after a long day of walking and running and swimming, the girls seems to calm down and willing to sit around with us.  We would attempt to watch a family movie and before we know it they all fell fast asleep, about 5-7 min in.  When the kids passed out, it's party time for us hard working parents ! We break out the snacks, snuggle on the sofa, we might kissed ! but it's a bit of a blur for me now.  We both fell asleep just as fast as the kids :)  Sleep is wonderful.  We are romantic like that !

We been to Victoria many many times but never really visit the parliament building so we feel obliged to take the girls there this time around.  It's a beautiful building with lots of intricate details.  C gave them a brief 101 on how our government and house of common works, etc.  Bee asked is she can run for prime minister and we said yes.  We ran up and down the stairs there about 5-6 times, the girls think we're playing tag, I was really trying to burn my belly fat :)

If you are planning to take your kids to Victoria, do take a drive out to visit Willow beach and Cadboro park.  You can read about Willow beach here.  As for Cadboro, it's a huge playground with sea creatures inspired play structures. 

Cadboro and Gyro park/beach is a wide open space with all sorts of play structures for babies and grown kids.  When we were there, the park was packed with lots of kids running around and there were also a lot of sail boats on the water.  A hub of activities on land and sea !!!  

Looking for smooth rocks to collect

Super mommy socks !

I am glad for this short getaway, a time to unwind and watch the kids do their kiddies things.  Sure there were some stressful times, it`s not all rosy :)  People often say to me (seeing the pictures) that (where we go) the trip looks great and the kids are so great, and that their kids won't behave like ours.  And I would tell them, just do it, go on mini trip !  We have many not so great moment during out trip, I just don't capture it.  When my kids are crying or screaming, first thing to do is bring balance to the force, not pulling out camera to take pictures :)  I assured you, any trip with kids comes with some stress, but I also find the fun of being away from home and room-service everyday out weight the not-so amazing time.

Talk about stress, this trip, meal times was a bit of a pain in the noggin !  Peanut won't sit still in his high chair to eat so C and I pretty much gulp down on our food as fast as we can and get out.  We went to 2 restaurants and gave up !  We opted for Red Fish and Blue Fish for the rest of the trip, our trusty solid go-to place because it's no fuss good food and the kids can run around and make as much noise as they want.  This place and the wharf is great to grab some food to enjoy if you got noisy kids like us !

Some things I learned and take away from Bee this weekend:

- Flowers are not blooming yet because they are in their sleep state
- First there's an egg like an eye, then it become a tadpole, then the arms formed then legs then become a frog.  Then when ready, the frog comes back to where they are born and  leave eggs there.
- She can eat 2 boxes of 6 pieces of McD nuggets for snack !
- She loves just hanging out at hotel suite and play 
- She's creative with making up games
- She tried plain toast and likes it
- She doesn't like whipped cream (I can't believe it)
- She doesn't like cake (what ????? Who's kid is this ?)
- She might be loving C more than me.  She told me "daddy works so hard you know mommy ?  He doesn't take many breaks, maybe just lunch.  His work is very hard so he has to think a lot.  I love daddy so much and I miss him all the time."

Such a daddy's girl (rolled eyes) but I love love that she loves her daddy so much !  I too love him so very much.

When it was time to leave the island the girls weren't ready and wanted to stay 10 more days.  Bee said she didn't like this whole trip because it's so short !  She wanted to stay longer, because she loves going out for breakfast, swimming and playing in our suite.  She loves the bolster pillow so much, she said.  Bee asked that we do the same for her birthday next year but she wants to stay at least 10 days because 4 days is too short.  I am glad she likes to celebrate her special day with all of us.  On the way home, Bee reminded all of us to thank her for her great idea and for all the fun we had, in which we all did.  Now if she pick up all the bills for this trip then that would be awesome :)  
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