when is it good to talk to kid about birds and bees ?

I want Honeybee to know about the "birds and the bees" but not sure what age is appropriate.  I myself didn't know where baby come from until I was 15. !  I'm a bit of a late bloomer in that department and I so want to avoid that for my daughter.  I'm sure as you're reading this you're thinking how stupid can I be ? or laugh and wonder how the heck can I not know ?  thing is, if you don't know what you don't know and no one tells you, you will never know what you don't know.  Simple as that. 

My conservative, strict, asian family wants to ensure that I am not exposed to anything about "s e x" that they refrained me from participating in sex-ed class.  To them, topics related to "s e x" are considered shameful.  It's something to never ever be discussed about at home or anywhere else.   I did once ask my mom where I came from and she said, her armpit !  And it can only happen after you get married.  OK ! And I wasn't thinking about getting marry anytime soon so I never doubted her or inquire more about where baby came from.

The internet wasn't around then so I couldn't just google up a question and get thousands of sites responding with answers.  Majority of my friends were asian, we don't talk about "those stuff" ...come to think of it...they might be just as clueless as me !  So there I was, pretty much in my own bubble, venturing through high school, at lost on a lot of things.

Looking back at my teenage years, I am glad the Lord watched over me.  I'm quite glad my insecurities about myself and not knowing how to kiss prevented me from dating. If someone likes me, I make sure it's a phone "relationship".  And I usually end it within a week so we don't have to go on an alone date. I was terrify of one on one date. Hence I never been on one. Which was good ! Man, with my cluelessness and teenage boy hormones, I could be a teenage mom with a few kids already back then !!!!!!!!!! yikes !

Things are a lot different now.  We're pretty much living in an x-rated world !  The onscreen tv kisses that my mom used to make me shield my eyes from, are now child's play.  On top of tv shows stretching their limits, we now have access to everything at our finger tips.  Adult ads are EVERYWHERE on the net.  I can't keep Honeybee in a bubble even if I want to !!!  Kids are exposed to all sorts of things at such a young age.  I know I know, not everything is bad but surely one must have to do their diligent to filter through the bad to find the goods (tv shows, internet sites, apps, games, etc) 


As a parent, we just have to keep up with all the technology changes, have to keep watch over our kids at all time.  If we don't, no one is.  At times I wonder if it's even worth my time to talk about abstinence-until-marriage to Honeybee (which I will).  I believe in it strongly and hope she will at least hear me out and hear the reason for it.  Just because society say what is now the NORM doesn't mean it is.  Just because everyone is doing it doesn't mean we should participate.  People know about AIDS, about STD, about herpes, and about other sexually transmitted disease YET there are many still think 1 night stand with a stranger is completely OK and acceptable.  Condom isn't 100% !  ok, 99% "safe" most of the time, but you can be the 1% !!!  I know I sound like prude but I so long for my daughters to give themselves away to the right guy  :)

I am planning on getting some books on how to effectively talk to my Honeybee about sex.  I need to convey it to her in an honest and factual way.  My upbringing might cause me to either overshare or under-share, so a lot preparation is needed.  As of now, I found myself still not comfortable talking about the subject  :-S  yes, even at 33 !  Sad I know !

career and love interest

I was reading a column on the 24hours talking about "dating" your current job, bringing the romance back into it and I couldn't help but chuckle.  I started to think about it and realized there are many similarities in the beginning of your job search and love search.  First there's the attraction, then the "get to know" and last is the "dating" period, where we constantly evaluate and assess the situation to see if we've made the right choice, and if there's a future for you two.

Soon after the inital attraction, you will reach the "get to know" phrase.  Here is your chance to really get to know what you're getting yourself into !!!  ask a lot of questions.  If anything makes you feel uncomfortable or iffy, address it right away.  Show your interest but don't give too much away.  Desperation is a big turn off.  When hiring, I never consider those that over sells themselves and willing to do anything to get the job.  I know they're at a dead end and would take whatever come their way > and to me that means temporary and I am looking for long term commitment.  So even if you're at the end of your rope, don't show your desperation !  Know your value and your worth.  Never ever ever settle.  You'll be wasting your precious time and risk loosing out on the perfect opportunity when it comes your way.  All because you're not available to take it.

Easy goals aren't soul satisfying.  We tend to not treasure those achievements.  It's not the best way to go at it but for many of us, it's encoded in our brain.  My expensive shoes gets better care and treatment than my cheapy ones.  Reason for my behaviour is, I can replace the cheap one anytime !  they are a dime a dozen.  Same goes for career and relationship, I think if we can easy get both, we would take them for granted, and chances are, we can easily leave them too.  Set your standards and don't take anything less.  Don't jump at the first job offer that comes your way. Take time to think it over.  If you're interested in someone then you got to put effort in getting to know them. But don't give all of yourself away too easily and too soon either.  Leave room for them to get to know you, to wonder about you, to guess, to imagine.  No one likes people who play "hard to get", but no one likes an "easy to get" person either !  balance, moderation is key :D  Just be yourself, no games, no motives !

The dating phrase is the evaluation period where we get personal !  After the first few weeks or months of the "honeymoon" period where everything is "wonderful" !  you will soon see and discover new things about the position/the person :D  Perhaps our job is nothing like the descriptions, some items were definitely left out.  The person you're interested in is actually not who you thought they would be.  You had your first blow out, your first disagreement.  Ugly skeletons are one by one slowly coming out of the closet.   Some will surprise you and some you're prepared for because you've been paying attentions to all the signs.  Take time to analyze and ask yourself  "Do you see/want them in your future ?"  Do you see them backing you up, partnering up with you or leaving you to fend for your self.  Don't make excuses, don't try to drown out your inner intuition, be honest.  You owe it to yourself that much.  If there're potentials, give it a shot and run away with it.  If there isn't, walk away before you get comfortable, then settle and will be that forever unhappy employee or unhappy wife/husband.


Lastly, you can always change job and yes, can change partner too, but to me, relationship is way way more important than a 9-5 job :-)  because it requires a lot more time and effort, heart and soul !  you can turn off work after you get home but you carry your love with you in your waking and in your sleeping.  A relationship that gone wrong can cause many heartaches, requires many bandages and a heck of time to heal from.  And time is an expensive EXPENSIVE commodity, know it's value and spend/invest it wisely !

Mr. Romantic

I'm a romantic so naturally I hope to marry someone who is romantic.  You know, the dreamy main character in all romance books and movies.  I would imagine scene of me and Mr. Romantic walking hand in hand in the pouring rain, then out of blue he would turn and look deep in to my eyes, smiling with crystal rain drops dripping off his glossy hair, rolling down his chin, and slowly he would pull me closer, lower his head down to kiss me passionately...

Unfortunately, I did not marry for romance :-(  I love and marry Collin despite the fact that he is clueless to all things I deemed romantic.  No seranating of songs, room filled flowers, long walk in the pouring rain.  One time I asked C to go for walk in the rain, he said to me "I don't know about you Trace, but when it's raining, I like to get out of it.  Try it and let me know how it goes".  I did and lasted about 30 seconds.  I realized I'm not crazy about getting soaked either.  Those people in the books/movies are crazy for standing and embracing so long in the wet cold rain.

On our first Valentine together as a couple, I was so looking forward to all the Valentine stuff like roses, stuffed animals, candies, etc.  At 14, what girl doesn't like those stuff ?  Instead C came over with a dozen of paper roses.  I thanks him for them and pretend not to look disappointed.  The flowers that took C 2 weeks to put together, gluing each petal carefully one by one to form into a rose, lasted only a few months.  My mom thought they were a craft project I did at school and recycled them. 

The next Valentine together C out did himself.  He came over with the biggest of big flowers bouquet.  It was beautiful.  Fire and ice roses.  When I asked how much he spent, he refused to tell me but after bugging him about it, he told me the price.  I told him to please never ever spend this much on flowers again.  He said nice flowers cost money.  I told him it's a waste of money !  He was like "I thought you said you love flowers ?".  I guess I don't.  I only like the idea of them :-)


The beauty about aging is that I discovered and learned a lot of things about myself.  I REALIZED I am not the romantic person I thought I am !  how shocking right ?  I am NOT a romantic at all.  I like the mushy fluffy romantic stuff in books and movies BUT I don't care for them in real life.  I'm very practical and a realist.  I hate the rain (it ruins my curls), I never even lit one candle in our house (I don't like the smell and the flickering light), I think flowers are a waste of money, I'm not crazy about surprises or surprise gift, don't like public display of affection, and don't like those gross nick name (angel, precious, sweetie, darling, < just typing them right now gives me goosebumps).  And I'm so glad C put up with me and all my romantic notions !

What I discovered over the years knowing C, is that he's is sweet and romantic in a different kind of way.  He makes me stuff.  He buys me little treats he knows I like.  He's the quiet caring kind of guy who does things without flaunting it.  Many of times, his thoughtful gestures go unnoticed by me :-(  And to be fair, he does spoil me with fancy gifts, in which I always return the very next day !  I like them but they are not worth the money.  I rather buy a pair or 2 of shoes and keep the rest of the money in our account.  (I've collected too many shoes over the years that C swears he will never buy me shoes).

Talk about sweet, about a year a go, I was telling my bestie Kim how I couldn't fit into a pair of tights so I jokingly ask C to wear it to stretch it out for me.  I left the room to talk to her in the office then I went back to our room, looking for something and to my surprise, I found C sitting on our bed, in his boxer, playing game on the ipad with my tights pulled up only to his thigh (he can't pull it up any higher).  He's trying to stretch it out to fit me !!!  It was so sweet and very manly of him to do so :-D  (if you know C, he's a man's man, so to see him wearing my tights it's simply awesome and funny).

For a while I've been wanting a little garden to plant my own veggies and fruits.  Then one early Saturday morning, Collin woke up to to tell me he's heading out for a bit.  I assumed it's his usual Sat. morning routine > a trip to the coffee shop and Home Depot (or Rona).  By noon I didn't hear from him so I called to check in.  He was like "I'm in the back yard".  "Doing what ?" I asked.  "Building a garden, come out and look" he replied.  I grudgingly put on a jacket and went to look.  I can't believe in that short period of time he built me a small garden with wooden fence around it and already planted the blueberry brushes.  Nice.

Lately, being pregnant with our second child, I often feel drained and sleepy.  I really appreciate that C has been taking Kaila out to give me some time and space for myself, to rest and read and watch movies :-)  it's exactly what I needed, not a walk in the rain or flowers or fancy gift !!!

That's Collin.  Not outright Mr. Romantic for people to see but a practical sweet guy that just go about his ways.  I can live without all those fluff stuff because thoughtfulness is what makes a relationship worth while and makes it last.  Luke, a friend of ours, once made a very good observation of us.  He said on the surface Tracy seems like the romantic type of person but it's Collin that is the one that's romantic.  And he's right.  I guess I did marry Mr. Romantic after all.

Many storms before the calm

While cleaning out my closet I came across some old pictures and diaries ! Since our anniverary is coming up, I thought it would be nice to venture back in time. Wow, reading these diaries gave me such a bad headache ! I was full of DRAMA.  I sure wrote a lot though.  If I knew you back then, you can be sure you had a page or 2 in the book. I still write a lot now too !!! Some things don't change !

Here's a summary on my relationship with Collin ! it's really long but we were together for so long, this is the shortest I can sum up of our years long courtship !!!

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When Tracy first met Collin at church, she didn't know he was Mr. Right. She wasn't looking for Mr. Right. She was 10 years old. What does a kid know about the "right one" anyways at that age. She knew she didn't like him much though, from what she saw and heard about him.

Collin was full of attitude, very mouthy, a bully and a hyper kid, who, some how, always managed to get every other kid to listen to him.  They would participate in whatever silly games he came up with, or follow him where he goes and do whatever he does. He would pick on younger kids, stuff his mouth with food and play pranks on people. He was so bratty and Tracy disliked everything about him.

Tracy's family moved away, then a few years later, when they're both in high school, Tracy bumped into Collin at Johnny Zee's arcade. She found him less hyper, more calm, nicer, and looks better too. Although she did think his lips are too big for his head. Through the accidental meet up, they found out they have mututal friends. That summer they saw each other often and started to become friends.

One uneventful summer afternoon, Collin's friend, Flav, let Tracy in on a secret that Collin is interested in her. She wasn't sure how she felt about him. Despite her confident appearance, nobody knew that Tracy was actually a very insecure person who had many moments of low, and felt like she never fit in anywhere. Tracy also never had a real relationship, didn't know what it is about, didn't know what to do on a date, and had never kissed anyone. Being insecure, she was worried he might find out about the real Tracy so she just left it as that. She's not going to do anything about it. But with the friend keep on rooting for them, encouraging them to be brave and give it a shot, Collin and Tracy started to date.

It was all rosy for about a month, and then they go promising each other to be honest with each other at ALL.TIMES. It was the worst thing that ever happened. They fight practically every day, she would tell him what she doesn't like about him and he would tell her what he doesn't like about her.  She would tell him what to do.  He would tell her what to do. Honesty was so not the best policy.

Tracy felt that Collin was too tall for her and dresses too clean.  Collin thinks Tracy needs to wear less dark make up and needs to be less friendly to everyone she meets.

Tracy was naive, doesn't think about consequences and opinionated. Collin was too careful, over thinking everything and mr. know-it-all.

They tried to change each other and failed every time and each time their frustration level turned up a notch.

Tracy also spent countless hours crying because she was unsure if Collin still likes her or finds her attractive. Collin was going out of his mind reassuring Tracy everything is fine and that he still likes her much.

Then Tracy broke up with Collin because she was afraid he would break if off with her first. She's too prideful to let that happen.

Then Tracy asked Collin to take her back. And he did.

She then broke up with him again because she thinks he's a spoiled brat and cheap. Then they would get back together.  He's not cheap, just poor student with little money, working part time at Pizza Hut.  He's also not spoiled either.  Just a misconception.

There were so many things about Tracy that Collin doesn't like. There were so many things about Collin that Tracy doesn't like. So they broke up many times, but time and time again they found themselves back together. They realized they like each other very much despite all their imperfections.   They enjoyed each other's company and loved to talk to each other.  Their longest phone conversation was somewhere around 14 hours. 

There were more storms than sunshines at the beginning of Collin and Tracy's whirlwind courtship. But they kept hanging on, holding tight onto the commitment they've made to each other > to try their best to make things work and always keep the communication channel going.  Sometimes the future looks dim. They prayed a lot for their future.

As the days and months passed, instead of focusing on unpractical expectations, each other's outward appearance, and unrealistic ideas they filled their head with, they focused on getting to know the person, who Tracy and Collin really is.  They learned of each other's thoughts, hopes and dreams. What excites them, what makes them sad, what they hate most. What makes them laugh, cry and what they want in life. They grow together through their bumpy teenage stage and came out in one piece after, together, as expected.

From liking each other's as a person, they then falled in love with each other.  In their time spent together, their bond became tigher, they became a team and focused on the same life and faith goals.  They agreed that God has to be the center of their relationship, as He has been there for them supporting them from the gecko. He was the one that brought them together, closer and helped them bring out the best in each other. They both each have grown into the person that the other are proud to call their life partner.

And that "honesty" policy they had at the beginning of the relationship, though at times they thought was the worse idea, was actually a great idea.  It just needs to be done at a right time.  Despite the wrong timing, they kept it going and shared with each other often what's in their heart and mind.  They believe that by being honest with each other, they're keeping each other in check, accountable, and that if there's issue to work out, it can be done right away.  No bottled up feeling, anger or hurt was allowed.

They rarely argue now that they've confronted all the issues earlier on the relationship. However Collin and Tracy still disagree on a lot of things!  Simply because they are different people with different views.  Their differences add dynamic to their relationship, makes it better. It's quite fun not to think alike all the time.  They bounced ideas of each other and learned much from the other.  What was important is they shared the same life goals and agreed on the major things in life, like God and family. And they knew from experience it's the major things that count, that mattered, not the small stuff.

They were on a good track. After graduation from high school, Collin was thinking of becoming an auto mechanic and Tracy was thinking of becoming an accountant. They weren't really sure what they want to do, and weren't ambitious people.  They pray continously for God to help them find a career that they would enjoy.  They pray to make just enough, so they can save enough to get marry, to start spending their life together.

What they both didn't know was the LORD has a completely different plan for both of them, now that they're ready for marriage. And His plans were perfect and good.

Realistic view

If you're going to brag, please have something for show.  It's my pet preeve to hear people brag and brag and got nothing to show.  Why are there so many people with unrealistic view of themselves ?  not even a grain of modesty.  And feel no shame blowing up their own image.  And what makes it worse, is no one breaks out the honest truth to them that, um, "YOU SUCKED !!!"

OK, so there were a few times I do feel like I'm "IT" but trust me, it never last very long because I, fortunately and unfortunately, have a pretty clear idea of who I am and I also have people who make sure I don't get carry away with it. 

I've seen countless of bad singers on American Idols who came out crying and their friends would comfort them and most always, say stuff like "they don't know talent" !  I want to yell to them "Dude, they (the judges) don't know talent that's why they're making millions of dollars !!!".  "Dude, I saw your friends, I would never buy an album from him.  He sucked so bad !!!"

So, why aren't more of us give our honest opinion ?  BECAUSE we're POLITE !  because we don't care, we're not responsible for you.  Why would we go out of our way to point out your short comings when you think you're amazing ?  Why should we pop your bubble and watch your fall flat ?   We don't have time to deal with you > so we will never say to your face:  your party is boring, I want to poke my eyes out !  or you aren't that successful, or your design needs to have a design, your cooking sucks, you have no fashion sense, why are you bragging about what you have, your parents paid for it !  did you work and save for it ?  no ?  then shut it !!!!

Maybe I'm going through a phrase, where I about just have enough of people bragging about what they have, about their kids, about the amazing rocks in their garden !!!  I refuse to listen and waste my brain cells and time, which I will never never get back.  If you're good, if your work is great, if your creation is beautiful, if you're talented, if you're successful at what you do, PEOPLE WILL NOTICE !  no need to toot your own horn, no need put yourself up on a pedestal.  Parents, *take note*, please don't brag about your kids.  Because no matter how great your kid is, MINE IS BETTER THAN YOURS X 10 !!!  Joking aside, when you brag (different from being proud of your kids' achievement), you're opening door for people to judge your kids.  It's good to think your kid is great, amazing, one in a million, etc.  Every kid is unique and great, so please let's not lift yours up and put others down. 

I know I repeat myself alot of the kids and parents but I have annoying people I know who brags about their kids ALL.THE.TIME when their kids (adults) have nothing to show, has nothing great going on, can barely hold a job.  And it urkes me sooooooooooo much.  I know it's done out of insecurity but still, to sit through it is brutal and I so so so wanted to burst their bubble with a loud *BANG*.  I feel bad for the kids but I can't help disliking them in the same time because of their parents bad behaviours.

I know honest words are hard to swallow.  Like when my friends tell me the outfit I'm wearing isn't flattering, my home decor is boring, my hair is too big, etc !  Though tough to accept at first, I appreciate them all in the same time.  Friends that can be honest to you are TREASURES, they are GOLD !  being too blunt is a different story, but honest words with affection are always always welcome.  And you got take them with a grain of salt !  Because beauty and design is very objective, so these are what they are, COMMENTS, one's personal observation !  however they're not saying it for you to go changing !!!  YOU have to make that choice for yourself !!!

So upon reexamining it, it's true the dress I'm wore last is making me look shorter than I already am, so that will be stored away until I can get to altering it !!  as for my home decor/my hair, well I love coming home to my house, I love my big huge hair, and wish it can be bigger !!!  that's why it's my house, my hair NOT yours.  And knowing my friends, they would say "so be it, I love you just the same".  If I go bragging about it then that would be a different story.  No one likes a bragger.

When typing up all these I was reminded of Luke 14, when Jesus was at some important Pharisee's house (a group of people who think they're experts in everything and better than others, my own translation), where He shares about having compassion for people despite their status, their wealth, their illness, what is deemed "right" by certain group of people.  Basically, it's about being humble and not to think we're better than others.  Verse 11 said "For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."  It's true.  It happened.  And being the emotional person I am, no matter how much I dislike braggers, I often feel sorry for them when I either find out the truth about their situation or if someone knocked them down. 

I learned something while ranting about this topic !!!   God gives me wisdom to choose my battle and this is one I will choose carefully.  If I care enough and decided to honest to a certain someone I have to do it lovingly and not while I'm raging with annoyance and perhaps with jealousy just because I can't make my lips praise me as much as them.

leave my baby alone

Not all babies are born chubby.  Did you know that ?  it seems a lot of people out there doesn't.   I know it first hand because people always say to me with a puzzled look "your baby is skinny ! ????????"  A rhetorical question that makes me feel like the worse mother on the planet.
 
People would ask me questions like "does she eat ?", "do you have issue feeding her", "is she well", "do you use formula", etc.  I know many of them formula feed their kid (hence they're really big in size) YET somehow their comments make me feel guilty for breast feeding mine > The most natural way and best way I know for my baby.  When around the asian parents, they would comment stuff like bigger baby means they're healthier.   The caucasian parents are more polite, they would say stuff like "don't worry, she'll catch up" !  I think my daughter is fine the way she is.  My baby is healthy even if she isn't fat.  Who makes up that standard anyway ???

I do feed my daughter.  I feed her a lot in fact.  I don't know how to go about proving it because she's got little meat on her.  She's really active...if that justified anything.  I really don't know why she's not meaty or overweight looking.  Some day I let it slide, some day I found myself babbling on about what I fed her.  Thing is, I can't believe my daughter is already judged at only few months old.  I have to bite down my lips, not wanting to say some mean things back.  I don't know how many times I have to tell people "she eats, she eats a lot"  yes, despite what she looks like, she DOES eat and loves to eat !  I DO FEED my baby !  After countless times repeating myself, I gave up !

I wish I can say that those people's comments don't get to me because they do.  I find myself in a rut some times, slipping in a baby meal replacement here and there, and pray that she would put on a few pounds.  I just want people to leave us alone.  I am a good mom damn it !!!  I don't need to fatten her up to show to people how great she is, or how great of a mom I am.

As a woman, I realized our weight image and issue will follow us for as long as we live.   Which is quite sad isn't it ?  My Honeybee knows, and understands words now, maybe not the whole context of thing, but she understands words.  I just have to politely ask people to be careful with what they're saying around my daughter.  Today might be "she's skinny", in the future might be "she's overweight" or "she's chubby" or "she's short".  People need to guard their lips and careful about their words around kids.

Simple

I think we like to complicate things, making it into something more than what they really are.  For many of us, we can easily list out things we like to do, and who we like to do them with without having to give it much thoughts.   It's unfortunate that we take too long to go after them !  We tip toes around the idea, waste time playing games, over analyze, make way too many assumptions,  and something so simple is no longer so simple.  When feeling overwhelmed, I always have to remind myself to clear my head and get back to basic !!!  what do I want !  Us girls like to confuse ourselves and overthinking little things.  We all know what makes us smile, makes our heart flutters, makes us excited, what gets our adrenaline going, what wakes us up in the morning and what makes us happy.  Yet most of the times we let people dictate to us what we need to do to be happy or who will make us happy !  it's funny isn't it ?  they are not us but yet they act like experts in knowing exactly what we ought to do, what we're missing out, what we should try. 

Not all advices are bad !  you just need to filter through them, to determine if they are from a good friend, or from someone who is careless about your happiness.  Only words from a trustworthy friend should be taken to heart.  Sometime it's not easily to digest but you and I both know,  most of the times what they said are true and right.  At the end of the day, we know ourselves best and what is best for us.  Live honestly and we have little to regret !

"Braking the ‘breakup backslide’ "

I have zero experience in adult dating and breaking up.  I sympatize with my girlfriends when I can but often feel quite helpless in the advice department.  Listening is pretty much all I can offered and most often is all that is needed from me but what is a friend without a few words of advices right ?  After all we know our friends most and some time it helps having a 3rd set of eyes to give an observation into the situation.  What I lack in the dating department I do know in relationship, friendship.  The hurt and pain of loosing someone important.  I have had my fair share of people hurting me.  And one thing I walked away from it is to learn to LET GO !  I can't control the other people and how they treat me but I can control myself.  And myself is telling me I need to move on.  If I don't let go, it'll be something like emotional hoarding, taking up uneccessary space and choking the life out of your heart. 

One morning on the train ride to work I saw a clip on 24hrs newspaper on breaking up and sliding back in !  found it quite interesting, maybe not seeing every point eye to eye but nonetheless good to know !!!  here it is after much searching for the online article:

Braking the ‘breakup backslide’
by Sarah Rowland for 24Hours

Try this simple test: Ask yourself, “If I sit down for lunch with my ex, will hearing about his/ her new date A) grind my heart into minced meat or B) set me free, knowing he/she has truly moved on?” If the answer is A), then clearly, you’re not ready.
So before you start thinking of new and creative ways to reopen the lines of communication between you and your ex, be warned: There is no slope more slippery than the breakup backslide.

Here, then, are three classic regressive moves to avoid:

Banter baiting

This is when you try to re-engage your ex with private jokes and references. The underlying hope is to rekindle that intimate connection you two once shared. And you might think you’re being oh so clever when you send that cute little text, but the truth is if your ex is over you, then this ploy will be totally transparent.

On the other hand, if your ex is not over you, then you might be heading for a relationship relapse, so think twice before you press “send.”

Extending the exchange

There’s no getting around it — you’ve got to return each other’s belongings eventually. But whenever possible, try doing the handoff in one big exchange — as oppose to breaking it down into several drop-offs and pick-ups.

Otherwise, you’re just prolonging the inevitable, as well as risking re-engagement.

So before you call up the ex to ask, “Hey, did I leave my $10-fake gold hoop earring at your place?” ask yourself, “Is is really about the missing inanimate object or is it more about making a lastditch effort to reconnect, and therefore, dragging out our breakup?”

If you don’t know the answer, here’s a hint: It’s almost never about the “things.”

Swan song sex

You might be thinking, how much harm could one more romp for the road do? Well, a lot, actually. After all, it could lead to more postbreakup sex, which may seem hot at the time, yes; but before you know it, you’re in that dreaded grey area, where you’re having no-strings-attached sex with someone you once shared a life with.

And honestly, is that kind of relationship downgrade really what you want, or are you selling yourself short?

a girl and a dog

Kaila loves Toby.  She wants to hold him and make him her baby all the time.  When together, she would be trying to hold him still and he would try to accomodate her without making himself feel uncomfortable.  They share food and milk whenever we're not looking. 

The other day I have to sit her down to explain to her that we don't share food with pet.  He likes his own food and her food might make his stomach go "aw wee".  I also have to tell her Toby likes to run around and doesn't like to be held and squeezed.  She fake cry for a bit then asked Toby to come up and sit next to her on the sofa.  He did just that and she cornered him and held onto his legs.  He fought for a bit then gave up and let her have him.  So much for our talk.

I'm quite surprise at how great Toby is with Kaila.  Some day she would pull him on his tail or his wee wee, and sometime his two hind legs, and he would growl at her but never try to snap at her or anything.  If it's me yanking on his tail he would turn around so fast and nibble at my hand to let me know "let go, it hurts".  But he doesn't do that with her.  I think he knows she's baby and me, adult.

I don't remember who I trained first, Kaila or Toby on how to co-exist peacefully together.  But by rules of common sense and elimination, I think it's Toby first because he was with us before Kaila !  Yes, the memory is coming back to me now.  When I first brought Kaila home from the hospital I took time out each day to let Toby sniff at her.  I talk to him regularly and let him know that she will be an additional member and he needs to watch out for her.  When Kaila was old enough not to be trambled over if Toby was to run into her, I let her pet him and sit next to him and play catch with him.  Before I know it, they accepted each other and became friends.   Now I just have to teach her to be gentle or else Toby will not play with her (more like removing her from his presence because he will always want to play ! even if she hurts him) !

Get out of here


Whether you're travelling near or far, to sit around or dive into the deep blue sea, there's much to learn and absorb when you're out of your house.  When we take ourselves out of our comfort zone we start to experience things we are not used to, and it's good !  we learn new things, embrace new cultures, expand our view, and become more aware of ourself.  We adapt, discover and at the end of it, life is a bit richer and we see things a little clearer. 

Travelling does that to me.  Whether it's a ferry ride away or across the ocean, each city has its own uniqueness, its own vibe and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.  One of the thing I like to do most when I travel is to schedule in free time to sit at a coffee shop, park or at a central gathering place, and pay attention to the world I'm in.  Listening then filtering out noises, noticing my surrounding, things, people, the change in the air, the wind, the sun, the ground, the soil, watching life happening infront of my eyes.  I found it intriging.  The world is such a big place and there are so much to learn for all of us. 

Whenever I come back from a trip I feel like my eyes gotten a little bigger.  I see and appreciate little things I've been blinded to like clear water, wide open roads, blue smog free sky, green trees, green grass, spacious bus, the variety of sauces I have in my cupboard.  Of course we don't need to be travel to another land to appreciate what we have here.  I think even a walk out of our house can give us a new perspective on things.  Some of us can grow "locally" and for some, a trip out of our cozy shelter is needed to learn/discover things about ourselves, to develop and grow as a person.  Any change of view is good !

fear of height

I'm terrify of flying. Although I fear it, I did managed to force for myself to travel a few times, sitting calmly on my seat and did only the screaming and nervous breathing and panthing inside my head. Then life happened and things like getting a job (which limit the time you can travel), getting engaged, then married, then buying a house coming on the picture. Life takes a big left turn when we have kid and suddenly the possibility of travelling to far and away land are lost in the horizon ! Not like I would go at the beck and call of a great deal anyways, but I like to have the option to. I noticed though, my fear of height increases as I get older.  It doesn't help that hubby is too.  We don't like flying and the thoughts of travelling with a 2 year old who cannot sit still on her seat, needs many small breaks, snacks, cannot walk long distances, and whines/cries/yells out of the blues > these squashes out any rosy ideas I have of a good vacation.

Though we cannot fly, there are many near by places near by that we can travel to. We live in the lower mainland of Vancouver, in BC, so around us there are more than plenty of great travel destinations. Travelling is a time for me to relax and enjoy so I don't like to travel with anyone I can't put up with and vice versa, they need to be able to put up with me. I like to have an itinerary for the day with some empty time slots for "spontaneous" activities. Of course we can change it on the go, but both hubby and I like to have a plan to start with so time is not wasted.  We are foot travelers !  meaning, we like to explore the city on foot, discovering interesting nooks and crannies.  We don't like to be in the tourist areas so if we can avoid it, we would.  Hubby and I are like minded in many ways and enjoy conversing a lot so any type of travelling is such a treat for us !! We really enjoy this time together so when it comes to travelling we prefer just us 2 ! well, now there's 3 !

Travelling anywhere is expensive. I remember one weekend we decided to go to Victoria, on Vancouver island, it costed us over $2500 for 3 days and 2 nights there, on just food and accomodation and ferry cost !!! That's what happened when you plan on the fly. Hotel and food takes up a big chunk of $$$$ so we learned to always make sure we plan well in advance for hotel deals and research on good local eateries. Locals know best and they have proven that to us every time. Research on hotels location, read reviews from many sources, google earth to view the surrounding areas/neighborhoods are a few things I do now in preparation for a trip.


We have couple of plans for this year, one includes a drive down Oregon Coast (a place we love and go quite often), but with weddings, amongst other important events, to attend we might have to do to some picking and voting and last minute packing.  Sometime you know what you need to do but life doesn't always give us that option so we make do with we have :-D

How to turn off annoying Java updates

It seems Java updates itself every week and it was so annoying I made it my mission to find a way to turn it OFF ! 

In Window XP you just have to go to Control Panel > locate Java Plug-in > click to open it > then click on the Update tab to turn it off. 


I recently upgrade my laptop to Window 7 and well, turning Java off takes a bit more work !  I took the long way, going through C: drive, Programs x86 (because my laptop is 64 bit), then Java folder and then the search for the cpl file everyone is talking about !!

1.  Go to Start and select Search
2.  Type in Javacpl.exe and press Start to commence the search
3.  When the file is found, right click on it and select Run as Administrator
4.  A Java window will come up, click on the Update tab


5.  Click to UNCHECKED the 'Check for Update Automatically' and another window will pop up:


6.  Click on Never Check, then this window will collapse
7.  Click Apply, then OK to close

Updates should not appear anymore !  I have mixed feeling about Disabling Java as I do want the latest and greatest from them.  So whenever I remember I would do a manual updates and I think you should too !  Java updates installed the lastest stable version of it (or so I'm told by them).  Well we will always need Jave so you decide what's best and convenience for you !  Enjoy !

Upkeeping

There are few personal possessions I actually value and take care of in my life.  I should have realized the value of it when I have it, not until it's no longer readily available when I need it.  Luckily these are things so they are replacable !!!  What isn't replacable are people in our lives.  We take them for granted and when they are no longer around for us that's when we wish we cherish them more when they are around.

When we brought our house, our neighbour, June, encourages us to continously upkeep it.  Even if it's new she says, you have to do yearly maintenance so small issue doesn't become big.  June's house is over 40 years old.  Despite the years, the house is in pristine condition, inside and out.  Keeping June's advice, and being one who loves all-things building, Mr. C would walk around our house often to check up on things.  When summer comes he check into the pipes, drains, and foundation to make sure they are in good shape.  Every weekend, if not raining, he would be outside doing something for the house.  Inside the house, I keep up with our schedule of cleaning, scrubbing, wiping and dusting are being conducted.  This summer we hope to paint a fresh new layers in each of our rooms and retouch the trimmings outside.
We enjoy our house very much. We brought it because it had a lot of what we want.  It's a perfect house for us to raise our children.  We are greatful for it and we want it to continue to shelter us. By taking care of it, we're prolonging its life.


Relationships are more complicated but the same idea applies.  Whether it's love or friendship, each needs constant care and attention.  To keep it spurring forward, you need more than love, it requires time, effort, patience, kindness, understanding, acceptance, gentleness, sense of humour, a heck load of hard work and then more. Communication is key.  Don't stop talking ! Without communication you will grow apart before you know it, and by then it might be too late to mend the gap. So keep the communication channel going !

Like my husband would say to me "preventive T, preventive !  you don't want to wait until something happened then fix it.  You don't want anything to happen period.  You eliminate problem before it becomes an issue !" This can be applied to many things but I rather not tell him as I don't like that's he right too often !!!

We can't afford IT !

As parents for the first time, Collin and I can't help but spoil Kaila.  It's so easy to because we're so in love with this little girl.  One smile and we'll buy her the moon.  We both have been very good managers of our money but when it comes to Kaila, all senses go out the window !!!  I'm sure many first timer can parents relate with us on this "spoil" subject !  baby stuff is so darn cute.  Also for us, because the fact that we both grow up with so little and now that we can afford it, we go all out with her.  The thing is though, at almost 2 years old, Kaila is at the discovery stage so everything is new and exciting for her and it seems that she likes EVERYTHING !!!  then in about 30 min. she's done with it and move onto other activities.

The other day, when I was watching Kaila playing in her room, for a brief slice of time I couldn't find her amongst her toys.  In a moment of shocking revelation, I see that my good intentions of wanting to encourage her to learn and play, I have overwhelmed her.  I decided I'm going to pack some toys away and re-introduce her to them later on so it'll be like a new toy for her when I take them out.  Kaila has many toys that is recommended for 3+ so we should be able to go for a year without purchasing new toys for her.  And when that time come, I want us to limit what we buy too.  Kaila understands and knows alot of things right now.  She's testing her boundaries with us everyday, over everything > eating, playing, sleeping, reading, listening.  As parents though we want to give her everything, we must NOT !  we need to teach her that she cannot have everything.  It will be a learning curve for us but we must commit to it if we don't want rotten spoiled kid !  the kinds that we see at restaurants and malls and shook our heads at !!!

I once was a poor manager of my money.  Before marrying Collin, I use to spend all of my pay cheques on clothing and shoes.   I shop every week and then stash my goods in the closet the go out again the next week hunting for more "things".  It was somewhat of an addiction.  The buying process would put me in a state of euphoria so I always feel the need of buying.  I didn't realize how bad it was until when I got married and have to confess to Collin that I'm thousands of dollars in debt.  Collin, a non-believer of debt, went throught a state of shock I'm sure as my debt is now his, ours debt !  He put me on a financial diet and we eventually paid if off !  But it was a rough ride for us as I was going through widthdrawal.  There were days where I would purposely go home early before Collin, recycle the shoes box (destroy purchasing evident) and hide the goods somewhere in the house. New clothes were stuff under the bed and drawer and sometime I doubled up clothes on the hanger so he doesn't see the new shirt.  I never lie to Collin so my justification for all these hidings was, if he doesn't ask I don't have to tell.  And when he noticed something new I would tell him, "I got them a while ago".  Which was true. 

I thought my spending habit was harmless because I pay all my bills on time, no interests were incurred.  However, I also spent alot of our money on wasteful things which can be saved up for bigger things.  Collin is really good with our money so somewhere along the way of our marriage, I pick up habits from him and slowly I shop less, say NO to things I don't really like, fight the impulse buyer's urge, shop around, etc.  I didn't stop shopping but I shop smarter.  I buy what I need more than want.  I look for deals and coupons.  And instead of feeling bummed out over an item that's not avail. I'm now happy to see money grown in my account. 

I remember reading a clip from the Wealthy Barber (personal finance books) about how important it is to acknowledge to yourself that there are things you cannot afford.  Because many people cannot acknowledge to their self that "I can't afford it", people would live outside of their mean, use their credit card or get a line of credit to buy what they want, then put themself in a debt hole that takes years and years to dig out of.  We don't want Kaila to be one of those people.  We think it's important to teach her to save and make decission with what she wants to purchase with her savings.  She needs to know that money is limited and that she will have to make a choice to buy whatever she likes now or save it for something else she really likes later.  And because kids copy their parents, we know we need to model good spending behaviour too !!!  Which we are trying and practicing everyday.

temporary stabilizing toddler's decayed rotten teeth

When Bee was around 19 months, one day I noticed there were holes on her 2 front baby teeth.  Within 2 days, the top part of both of the teeth broke in half.  I freaked out and we bought her into see a pediatric dentist.  She wouldn't open her mouth so the dentist couldn't do anything.  He sent us home with a brush and toothpaste.  He told us to come back when she's 2 year old.


I can't wait until she's 2, I can't wait for the cavity eat up all of the teeth, all of what's left.  I did what I know to do at such time like this, I googled "baby with cavity" !  and that's the start of me reading countless articles, mommy's posts, blogs, etc.  I was online days and nights, searching for a way to stop the bacterial from partying hard on my daughter's teeth, eating them away !!! 

With my "dentist" hat on,  I spent the next few days examining Bee's teeth :-)  After all, I'm the only one whom she would allow to see what's going on in her mouth.  After checking her teeth, I suspected that she has dental caries (tooth decay).  We do brush her teeth but only morning and night.  During the day, when she eats the most, we forgot to brush her.  All the crackers, milk (no juice), and sugar she consumed in the day coated her baby teeth and caused them to rot - my own conclusion !


Most of the sweets we consume in our house are made with organic sugar, and we don't drink juices/pop so I can only imagine how bad her teeth would be if we eat food and drink juices loaded with refined sugar from the "ose" family, like fructose, glucose, maltose, or sucrose ! 



My poor baby has rotten teeth at just barely over 1 year old.  I cried.  Hubby and I feel so bad, so guilty, so ashamed to let such thing happened to our baby.  We're bad parents :(  Our dentist consoled us, and told us this might be genetic, and perhaps lack of calcium from me (since she's exclusively breastfed) caused her teeth to be weak.  It doesn't matter !  what mattered now is that she has a decay and we need to stop it FAST !


During my "research",  I came across fluoride (controversial subject), and I'm on the fence on this topic.


Some stuff I read on fluoride:

“Dental or enamel fluorosis occurs when excess amounts of fluoride are ingested during tooth development (1-8 years of age). It is characterized by increased porosity (or hypomineralization) of the subsurface enamel and well mineralized surface layer of enamel. Mildly fluorosed enamel is fully functional, but may be cosmetically objectionable. As the severity of dental fluorosis increases, the depth of the enamel involvement and the degree of porosity increases. More severely fluorosed enamel is more porous, pitted, and discolored and is prone to fracture and wear because the well mineralized zone is very fragile to mechanical stress.”

SOURCE: Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry [ATSDR]. (2003). Toxicological profile for Fluorides, Hydrogen Fluoride, and Fluorine. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.


“Any use of fluorides, whether systemic or topical, in caries prevention and treatment in children results in ingestion and absorption of fluoride into the blood circulation. The mineralization of teeth under formation may be affected so that dental fluorosis may occur. Dental fluorosis reflects an increasing porosity of the surface and subsurface enamel, causing the enamel to appear opaque. The clinical features represent a continuum of changes ranging from fine white opaque lines running across the tooth on all parts of the enamel to entirely chalky white teeth. In the latter cases, the enamel may be so porous (or hypomineralized) that the outer enamel breaks apart posteruptively and the exposed porous subsurface enamel becomes discolored.”

SOURCE: Fejerskov O, et al. (1990). The nature and mechanisms of dental fluorosis in man. Journal of Dental Research 69(Spec Iss): 692-700.


I'm not a dentist but what I do know is that my daughter's 2 front side teeth both broke apart and exposed the surface underneath that once white, now are light brown/yellowish color.  Upon reading more articles on fluoride, I decided to chuck away Bee's baby toothpaste with fluoride !  She's too young for toothpaste w/fluoride anyways.  Which makes me wonder, if flouride is good for kids, why can't they swallow the toothpaste ?  I understand the different between external use and ingesting it, but either way, the fluoride is in her mouth, she is ingesting some even if she did try to spit out.  After thinking back and forth, I decided to opt out of fluoride for Bee.  It's a risk I know, but we got little to loose now !  I mean, we're been brushing with fluoride and her teeth broke in half. 


I searched for natural toothpaste and came across Xylitol.  I talked over with Bee's pediatric about the use of Xylitol toothpaste(http://altmedicine.about.com/od/teethandmouthconditions/a/Xylitol-Toothpaste.htm) instead of the usual baby tooth paste.  She told me xylitol is good, and to give it a try.  So, with that confirmation, I thought we give xylitol a shot, and monitor her teeth to see if there's any improvement.


There's xylitol and there's "xylitol" !  there needs to be sufficient amount of it in the toothpaste to make a different.  It should be listed as the main ingredient, not way down on the list.  I noticed in many baby/kids' toothpastes, they contained xylitol AND sucrose or fructose !!!!  I supposed they want to make the toothpaste appealing to kids (taste good) ?  but what's the point of cavity prevention if the toothpaste is full with sugar ?  Hum....I did more digging around and settled on Spry mint xylitol toothpaste !  it's cheaper to buy from USA so I went to vitacost.com and order 5 boxes of these brand to be shipped to my mailbox in the states.


In the few weeks after I received my toothpaste packages, I religiously brush Bee's teeth with Spry, even though she hated the taste and said it's too spicy (minty" !!!).  By month 2, she's ok with it and doesn't mind it.  I also make her rinse with sea salt water at night.  I don't know the science behind it but I remember my grandma told me that's she does it every night, to clean her teeth.  I'm desperate to save Bee's teeth so if it's natural and isn't too crazy, I'll try it !!!


When we took Bee back to the pediatric at 24 months (5 months from the first visit), she was well prepared !!!  I think all the poking around at home by me and her daddy makes her quite comfortable with opening her mouth wide and let the dentist poke her with their explorer, to check her teeth. 

I was very anxious.  I pray so hard, hoping for some good news.  And good new it is !  the dentist told us the decay are not active, and that they are stabilized.  Yay !  but before we can do our celebratory dance, they found a cavity in one of her molar !?!?!?!  And it's active !!! oh man oh man !!!  Since Bee is too young to sit in a chair for a filling, they asked if we want to put her to sleep and get that fixed.  They said they do that kind of procedure all the time, there's no need to worry.  We thought about it and feel she's too young to under go general anesthesia.  We told them NO and that we rather just monitor it until she's old enough to sit still for a filling. 


That day we went home and decided to put all of us on a candy/chocolate/cracker diet !!!  The dentist showed us Bee's molars, how they have very jagged/ridged surface.  Crackers are her worse enemy because the crumbs get stuck on there and normal brushing won't get them all out.  It's best to avoid it. 


Here we go again with fighting yucky ugly bacteria !  Stay tuned for the next chapter of Toddler Cavity fighting !!!