praying with a baby

Sunday, August 30, 2015

I love praying around Mason. Mainly because I can peek at him while he looks at us. If I'm within reach, his favorite thing to do is to slap me in the face. I know, rude! He does this same thing if you are sleeping. If you are not within reach, he loves to stare and see what you are doing. He'll look up at your face and stare. His curious little mind is just blown, I'm sure. Once before when we were praying with a group of us, he crawled around just looking at everyone's faces.

Happy Monday!


Milwaukee Beaches

Friday, August 28, 2015

I have flown into and out of Milwaukee, but that has been the extent of my previous time there. This time around, our situations were that we had some time to spend there. Oh, the houses! Absolutely breathtaking. When I go again, I want to walk down the sidewalk and just admire these houses. Big, beautiful, and full of character! And each one is just as beautiful as the last! Across from these houses was the beach! And it stretched, and stretched!

The day was beautiful, and everyone was out enjoying the weather. There were people laying out, playing volleyball, biking, walking, people watching. It was perfection.

Here's to hoping you have a perfect weekend!


Bay Beach Amusement Park

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

We went to Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, and it is the absolute perfect spot for kids. There were rides that Mason was able to get on as well. My favorite part is that there is no admission charge, and you pay for what you choose to ride. The ride tickets are 25 cents!!! And most rides take 1 to 2 tickets. Isn't that just spectacular? I so wish we had one of those here in Vancouver!

On Mason's first ride, I was a little nervous about him flopping around (there is belts). I asked a couple if it was okay for Mason to ride beside their son. Mason did such a good job, and his expressions and joy was completely priceless!

He sat still on this ride, and kept glancing at the little girl to see what she was doing. He rung the bell once after seeing her do it. Oh man, he is just way too cute!

Unfortunately, we got rained out before we could try all the other rides :( We so need one of these here!!!


Downtown Appleton

I never appreciated historic downtowns until a couple of years ago. And now, wherever I go, I look for these areas. I love the independent shops that lined these streets. The restaurants. The yoga studio. I just love walking up and down the strip.

Downtown Appleton was especially wonderful. Lawrence University is located in downtown Appleton so there were so many beautiful buildings all around us. I could not take enough pictures of the area. We were there after all the shops had closed so unfortunately there was no browsing to be done :( However, there were beautiful churches so that made up for the lack of browsing.


New Zoo & Adventure Park

Monday, August 24, 2015

We visited the New Zoo in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It did not disappoint. We went during a weekday so there weren't a lot of people. There were quite a bit of animals out, and the price ($7 for adults) was not as expensive as other zoos that we have gone to.

These goats had a big play area. These stairs have a walkway to the other side where the goats can also play. Just beware not to walk under the walkway if there are goats above doing their business!

Caption this!

Beautiful feathers on a peacock.

There was some zip lining involved, where someone had to take 10 minutes to relax before stepping off. Let's just keep that between you and I, eh?

My baby penguin and I.

Long Cheng Marketplace

We spent a week and a half with my brother, and we are missing him already! It's been about 4 years since I visited him in Wisconsin. Since he hasn't met Mason yet, and we had some business to take care of, now was a better time than any other!

Our flight had a layover in Phoenix. The first leg of our flight went fairly well. Mason slept for the majority of it. The second leg was a little rougher. We sat beside a couple that looked at us suspiciously as we scouted to the window. Mason slept for the first bit, then he woke up and became a bit restless. He wasn't very noisy but he definitely needed to stretch out his legs. There were two kids in front of us, and once he realized that, he kept getting up on the tray to stare down at her. She was in a car seat so she was facing him. Every once in a while she would yell, which frightened him and caused big alligator tears which I would then have to console him. Once he got enough courage again, he would get up on the tray, and once again she would yell (maybe at him?), and he would start to cry again. This happen repeatedly. I sure hope this isn't a sign of the future. No heartbreakers for my little boy, please!!!

I got to visit with the couple beside us. Turns out they were headed to the PGA Tour in Wisconsin. Mason won their hearts, and eventually ended up sitting on her lap.

Overall, I am not a fan of layovers. I would just prefer a nonstop. The layover was nice since I could rinse out his bottle, but the thought of getting him to sit still once again was daunting.

While in Wisconsin, one of the places we visited was the Long Cheng Marketplace. They had two murals on their walls that were just outstanding. We ate some wonderful food, and I got to try the fruit papaya salad for the first time. Surprisingly, it was delicious.

Pineapples, grapes, apples, green papaya, etc. Spicy, but yummy!

I love this mural, and the women with babies on their backs while at the marketplace. 

I love this picture, depicting some history on the Hmong people.

 My brother with Mason. Mason loved my brother, and the first time they met, he went straight to him. We can't wait to see my brother in December!!!

Cooking With: Black Beans

Monday, August 10, 2015

We've been experimenting a lot with beans. Dried beans in particular. You get a lot for the money. You just have to remember to soak them the night before. I do most of my cooking on Saturday so I usually soak them Friday night. There is a quick soak option, but it's easier for me to just soak them the night before.

This was a simple black bean chili, and tasted even better the second day (and the third...).

Black beans (pre-soaked)
Canned tomatoes
Black Pepper

Add water to the black beans, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to allow simmer. Add the remaining ingredients, and let simmer until the bean is soft. Season as needed.



Clark County Fair

Saturday, August 8, 2015

We went to the opening day of the Clark County Fair in Ridgefield. Fred Meyer offered free tickets up until noon on opening day, and the C-Tran offers free shuttle service to the fair so the total cost of the fair ended up being completely free. Fred Meyer also offered a free pancake breakfast until 11AM which we took advantage of.

It was a nice warm day, and everyone was enjoying all the festivities. We walked around and looked at all the animals. There were goats, chickens, horses, birds, etc. There was a circus show, and more activities happening all throughout the day. The kids went on rides, and I was amazingly surprised at the number of rides offered at the fair. The marketplace was a bit lacking though. I was hoping to see more unique vendors, but it ended up being hot tub vendors, bed vendors, pillow vendors, etc. I supposed one does not go to the fair to buy what I had in my mind, but that would be my only complaint.

If you haven't gone, go!!! There is a ton of things to do, and ton of things for everyone in the family. The C-Tran offers free shuttle service so if you have the option, I would suggest taking the shuttle. From the fair, the bus comes every hour so that's something to consider and plan for.

Clark County Fair
17402 NE Delfel Road
Ridgefield, WA 98642
August 7 - 16

Reading Corner Nook

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Our master bedroom will have a reading corner that looks out onto the balcony. My first thought when I saw that was to get a chaise to go in that corner for when I want to read before bed, or when Mason is napping, or on Saturday mornings. It's big enough so that I could fit a chaise there with a little side table for some water and a lamp.

Wouldn't this chaise from Urban Outfitters be a nice pop of color? I highly doubt Brandon will go for it but I am hoping we can find something that still pops, and that he will approve.


Cooking With: Mung Beans

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

While at Whole Foods, we were looking at the beans and lentils, and I saw some mung beans. One of my friends made this dish for us, and it has held a comforting spot in my heart. It's extremely simple, but very warming and light. I soaked the mung beans overnight.

Mung beans (pre-soaked)
Spinach (I accidentally bought a salad bag that included arugula and kale - still tasted yummy)

Add water to the mung beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook until the beans are soft. Add in tomatoes until softer. Add spinach and cook add salt and pepper to taste. Once spinach wilts, you are good to go!



What Mason Ate

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Growing up, we ate whatever was on the table. Oh the things I ate, and loved eating. Eggplant, cabbage, fried ramen, chicken heart, chicken feet, pig tongue, etc. I ate it all.

As a mom, I try to feed Mason a lot of different things, and things that we eat on the daily, which includes all sorts of food, since Brandon and I enjoy most cuisines, and unless it's still alive and kicking, I'll usually eat it. So, I hope our little guy doesn't get too picky as he grows up.



Monday, August 3, 2015

I had a couple of comments about this so I wanted to address it. In a lot of his pictures, Mason's eyes look crossed. This was something that was pointed out to us when he was 3 months old by his pediatrician. We were concerned, and took him to an eye doctor. The doctor performed a complete eye exam on Mason, and the test results came back negative for any misalignment. We were very relieved.

Pseudostrabismus sounds completely horrific, but it actually just means a false appearance of eye misalignment. Apparently, this happens quite frequently in Asian babies.

We'll continue to monitor his eyes, and get them checked annually. I do appreciate your comments, and thoughts.


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