Forty before Forty Item #18: discovering Jammy

When I made the resolution to spend some quality time with each of my 3 kids, I knew it would be difficult. I spend lots of time with them, but it's mostly with all 3 of them. On the rare occasions that Alfie and I get our parents to babysit, or when do splurge for a babysitter, we use the time as a couple. My plan for one-on-one kid time was was to ask Alfie to watch 2 kids on some weekend, and take the 3rd one on a solo excursion, which is great in theory, but hasn't worked out too well.

Family Game Night Giveaway

None of my kids are born performers; they're never comfortable being the center of attention, and even The Pea, who participates in several dance recitals and shows each year, always confesses to feeling butterflies in the pit of her stomach whenever she gets up and thinks of all those pairs of eyes on her.

A bit too much detail, don't you think?

You know those floor plans/directories they have at malls and airports and big buildings to show you where everything is? You expect them to have signs and symbols to show you where to find emergency exits, elevators, and restrooms -- but this is the first diagram I've seen posted up in a public area (Napa's Oxbow Public Market) that actually shows you where to find things inside the restroom. For the record, the layout and number of stalls and washbasins is actually incorrect (both men's and women's -- I asked Alfie to check), so don't rely on this diagram to navigate your way around the restroom!

Seven Days of Dinner, Nov. 27- Dec. 3

I don't know if you've noticed, but I've managed to go over 6 weeks (not counting the time my mom did the cooking) without repeating a single dish for dinner! Last week was the first time I repeated a dish (the better-for-you egg salad). The variety is great, but we're starting to miss some of our favorites, so from now on you'll be seeing some repeat dishes along with some new dishes I want to try.

Here's what's on this week's menu:
* Caprese quesadilla
* Curried butternut squash soup
* Grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato-cucumber salad
* Mushroom bhaji over rice
* Chicken curry over rice
* Chicken chow mein
* Veggie burgers

Bon appetit!

Future U.S. President (and other delusions of grandeur)

Last week, while stuck in traffic on San Francisco's Bay Bridge, we found ourselves beside a tour bus with the words "John Davis for". The side of the bus pictured a man shouldering a giant plumbing wrench, painted like the American flag, beside the words, "Let's fix America". In the background was a gigantic American flag, a section of the U.S. constitution showing the words "We the People". The bus also had a giant bald eagle on the sides and back (and I do mean giant -- the eagle was bigger than John Davis).

Hmmm.. I've been following the Republican debates, and I'm pretty sure the only John I've seen is John Huntsman.

So who is John Davis?

Seven Days of Dinner, Nov. 20-26

Now that my parents have left, I'm back in the kitchen and back to planning our weekly dinner menus. It has been a delicious two weeks, but I must admit, it will be nice to lay off the meat for a bit! Of course, that's a funny thing to say given that this is Thanksgiving week. No way I'm substituting veggie turkey slices for the real thing.

When the dead come to life

I love it when someone says something that is totally funny, but is so serious about it that he doesn't even realize what he said. This latest gem comes courtesy of my dad. We were driving along the highway when I spotted a sign for free cremation....

Me: Wow, free cremation! That's a great way to spare your family the expense of a burial. But thee billboard also said something about donating your body to science, so I guess the medical schools around here need cadavers for students and research, so they use your body for anatomy classes and cremate it afterwards.

Dad: Yes, that's right! They're so short of cadavers these days. When I was a med student, our class had 40 cadavers! That's just 4 students to a cadaver, which is pretty rare today.

Me: So what do med students do now?

Dad: Oh, many schools use plastic cadavers. They're really great. It's so much easier to identify veins and other parts of the anatomy with these plastic cadavers. They're so lifelike!

Forty Before Forty Item #12: Sky High

Growing up in the Philippines, I towered over all the kids my age. Heck, I towered over kids older than me. From 1st grade until my senior year of high school, I was always the one at the back of the line, in the back row. I was always the girl who played Prince Charming in our all-girls' school plays. I was glad I wasn't short, but I felt that people who told me I was lucky to be tall had no idea what it was like. I slouched as much as I could. Heels? Hah!

Our 2011 photo session

We had our 2009 holiday photos taken by ErinLeigh Photography, and they came out so beautifully that I knew we would be using her again in the future. Two years later, we decided it was time, so we scheduled another family photo session. Erin met us as San Francisco's Crissy field and we spent a leisurely afternoon walking around, catching up on each other's lives, and snapping photos.

Halloween, the day after

I know it's November already, but I can't quite let October go without reliving some of the best moments of the month. We've had so much fun this past month that I wanted to do an October recap post last night, but after two hours of trick or treating with a two week-old cough that just won't go away, I was ready to guzzle down some alcoholic cough syrup and call it a night. I decided to savor the memories (and the Halloween candy) in the morning, so without further ado, here are the highlights of our October: