Letting go, bit by bit – today is the first time I let the boys walk to school by themselves (though I followed behind, without them knowing of course.) I caught up with them after a couple of blocks. For the past year or so, I don’t know how many times I’ve gone through safety rules and stranger danger with them. Always stay alert, always make good judgments when or when not to cross and always be street smart. Observing them crossing the streets, mingling with each other, I surprised myself by letting them assert their independence. Is it too young? Is it still safe? I do enjoy the walks with them every morning. Besides getting my exercise, this is a great time to bond and chat with them. For some reason, Ah Lo is very much a chatter box in the mornings which really I enjoy.

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Here’s what we had last night for dinner. It’s common to find 3 dishes and soup (and rice) in chinese families, not a norm in a crib. However, these three dishes were requested by the boys and girls, so their wish were granted: broccoli beef, sesame string beans, and steamed eggs.

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Why is it that I often see parents pat their kid’s back for a job well done after a sports game when the score was 30-0 (and their kid so happens to be the losing team)? Why do they shout out good job when the kid constantly misses the ball and strikes? Why do they still approve or cheer for performances loaded with obvious mistakes? It’s ok, you did great, because there is always a next time.

Realistically, I ask myself, are they trying to build their self-esteem or setting them up for failure? Too much praise can back fire and can limit what the kids can do, I think. If my kid is boys can do, but at the same time, if they screw up, I point them out, straight up. Sure they might not like to hear it. When they get older, the word becomes harsher. If you strike too many times, you won’t get to play, period. When you keep making mistakes, you just have to  learn how to be more careful.

Truthfully, I think sometimes parents should be a bit more discriminating when dishing out their praises to their children.

Roasted onion sandwich with cherry tomato salad for dinner tonight. The boys absolutely loved it. Pretty simple to make and economical too! Threw in the avocados just because I am a bit fan, the sandwich is just as good without it.

Two thumbs up from my food critics.

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This Sunday with no games for the boys, I managed to squeeze some me time to run some errands in the morning. After lunch, we strolled around our neighborhood, made smoothies with the boys, took them to the park afterwards. Came back and baked some more, made some dumplings and off to cooking dinner.

The pick for tonight is of course spaghetti. Luckily I had some romaine tomatoes and some minced port in the frige which saved me a trip to the grocery store. I roasted some red potatoes with some garlic as the side dish. Either the sauce was that good or everyone was hungry, we didn’t have enough to go around.

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We are making breakfast, literally (from scratch). Well, we started last night with the kneading or “dough playing.” Again, when the boys asked can they help, never turn them away, even when it means delaying their time to shower. They had so much fun it was hard to come wrap it up and let the dough proof.

We let the dough proof overnight, Ah Lo was excited this morning to start baking the buns. After helping me brushing the beaten egg on top, he carefully loaded the buns into the oven. Seriously, I couldn’t ask for a better helper. After half an hour, the boys enjoyed their breakfast.

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Inspired by Soule Mama:

A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember - {this moment}.

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It was fairly warm today, so I decided to try something new – sesame soba noodles. These noodles are to be served cold. It is easy to make, but just entails a lot of details. It didn’t help when I only had 50 minutes to prepare everything! On Thursdays, I tried to have dinner ready by 6:00pm so we can leave the house by 6:50pm to get Dai Bee to his lesson.

In 50 minutes, I had to cook the noodles, sliced the carrots, cabbage, and snow peas (luckily the shrimp was defrosted the night before), while ambitiously making the minestrone soup at the same time. Timing wise, I was a little off since I had to stop my momentum to pick up the boys from school. Anyhow, glad everyone enjoyed dinner, well, maybe except Ah Lo who asked “why are the noodles cold?”

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Just found out through Facebook today is National Siblings Day.

To me, siblings bonds are life-long relationships.  It is usually the longest relationship (usually lasting from cradle to grave) of a person’s life and typically much longer than any other relationships including mother’s and father’s.

To my boys who are lucky to have each other, Happy Siblings Day.

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Getting ready for yet another birthday party…

Shirts were made with plain old white envelopes. Used colored papers to fold the ties, tug in the invitation from the bottom, and voila, invitations are made!

Since we can’t invite everyone in the class, Dai Bee only chose a few close friends to the party. He wanted me to pass around the invitations this morning during drop off.  I walked around class to discretely give out the invitations. A boy who was uninvited asked “Do I get one?” #AwkwardMoment

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Tried mango-strawberry salsa over tilapia today. Can’t really replicate this dish if anyone should ask. All I remembered was that I pan fried the tilapia. For the salsa, I had some of this, some of that (some lemon juice, honey, green onions, dijon mustard, soy sauce, sprinkle of sugar and salt) and mix well in a bowl. It was quite refreshing dish on a hot day.

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