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“Kids! I am beginning to really like yoga.” I happily announced my new hobby to my teens a couple of weeks ago.

My favorite yoga pose

“Oh, NO!” the kids answered in unison.

“What’s wrong with yoga?” me.

“Soon you will become one of those women wearing yoga pants to go shopping at Whole Foods, and buying yourself kale smoothies.” my 17 year-old was quick with imagining this escalating doom for me.

I am used to teenage girls’ negativity. I fought back by adding fuel to their fire…

“You know, I finally understand why people like to wear yoga pants to go everywhere. It is not just because they are so sexy. They are just so comfortable! I am going to start wearing my hot yoga pants all the time too.” me.

The kids ran upstairs screaming. Ha ha ha.

Yesterday afternoon, I picked up my 14 year-old at a local golf course, after her high school golf team’s practice.

“How was golf today?” me.

“Fine.” my teen produced a barely audible, lackluster reply.

I guessed that she did not want to talk to me about her day all that much.

So, I proceeded to tell her about my day, “Hey, I did yoga this morning!”

“Oomph!” eye roll. “Yoga is so stupid! Why do you even like yoga?” she charged at me.

“Well, yoga is a low impact exercise. It helps with flexibility, stretching, strengthening, toning the body a bit. Yoga helps with muscles that get very little workout. The first time I did yoga, I was sore in all the weird places. I didn’t even know that I had muscles in some of those places!” me.

“If you didn’t know you had muscles in some places, that just means those are the muscles you don’t even need!” 14 year-old educating me.

I have succeeded at engaging a moody 14 year-old in a conversation with me. My superior mothering skills clearly still intact.

“Instead of doing yoga, why don’t you just go to play golf for an hour! At least, with golf, you are doing a real sport.” 14 year-old. “Yoga is so pointless. It is nothing more than a warm up, as if you are preparing your body to do a sport, but then, when you are done, you don’t do the sport!”

“That’s exactly why I like it!!” I was looking at her all excited. “ I spend a hour warming up my body. And when I am done, I don’t have to do a thing! I go home.”

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I have done something totally wicked, and I am mighty proud of myself.

If you haven’t already, you must first read my previous post “The Do Nothing Pit”, to fully appreciate my triumph here.

It was week 4, and my avocado pit sat in its water cup, refusing to be productive.

My children took time out of their busy school schedule to make fun of my sorry pit, and suggested for me to toss the pit out.

I refused to give in. “Just need more time!” I would say. Then they laughed at me some more.

“I will give you $10 if your pit has root by Sunday. If no root, you give me $10!” my 16 year-old offered me a bet.

“You are on!” I was very stubborn.

My teen smirked, undoubtedly anticipating easy cash.

Last Friday, I glared at my do nothing pit, willing it to grow a root, and failing. This is hopeless.

To make myself feel better, I went outside to tend to my new herb garden.

Herb garden

I pulled some weeds from around my garden.


Hum…A devilish idea came to me. I am a freaking genius.

I cleaned out some roots.


I took my pit out of its cup.

Do nothing pit

I used a toothpick, and pushed a chosen root into the bottom of the pit.

Just add root

Later that night, I showed off my newly improved pit to my kids, and watched their jaw drop! Ha, Ha, Ha.

Can you see the root!

Mom: $10 vs. Obnoxious kid: $0

Ten dollars for me

Hey, the bet is for the pit to have a root. No one said anything about it has to be the pit’s own root.

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Last week I had the best week ever! All thanks to a wacky idea I dreamed up the week before.

Two weeks ago:

“I really miss when you guys were little! Living with teens is not nearly as fun.” me.

“Because we are not as cute as before?” the baby.

When they were still cute

“That is true! But it is not even that. You guys act all moody on me for no reason at all. ALL the time!” me, and continued with an angry passion, “you take your anger out on me, and I didn’t even do anything to you!! I don’t even know why you are mad!!!”

“Like what?” said my 15 year-old, with an air of being falsely accused.

“Exactly! I have no idea WHAT. You gave me the silent treatment when you are mad, and won’t tell me what is bothering you.” me.

“I do NOT!” teen.

“You do too.” the baby beat me to it.

“And you!” I pointed at the baby, “you are not even thirteen yet, you are already giving me teen attitude.”

“Like what?” said the 12 year-old, look innocent.

“You make ugly noises, and grunt at me for no season when you are in a bad mood.” me.

“I don’t do that!” the baby.

“Yeah you do!” 15 year-old shot right back at the little one.

“I don’t deserve any of this. And I am quite bored with your moodiness.” me.

“What do you mean bored?” teen.

“You guys are in bad moods a lot, so it is always the same every week. The same silent treatment, and the hollering.” me.

Then an idea popped into my head…

“Hey, how about we mix it up a little? If you guys want to use me as a punching bag, at least make it interesting for me.” me.

“Like how?” the kids.

“Next week, when you are mad,” pointed at the baby, “ you give me the silent treatment for a change.”

“And when you are mad,” pointed at the 15 year-old, “You holler and grunt for a change”

The kids exchanged a look with one another, and said, “Okay.”

One week ago:

When baby got mad, I reminded her of the silent treatment, then I went on like this:

1) No, no, too angry. You are to give the aura of anger, without displaying too much anger on your face.
2) No, no, not pouting. Pouting looks like you are just trying to have your way. It is not proper silent treatment. Flatten out those lips.
3) No, no, never direct eye contact with me. Direct eye contact looks like you are angry at me. Silent treatment is very vague. I just know that you are unhappy, but I am not sure why or with whom. Then I try to think really hard, and go crazy.
4) No, no, that is just not it. You go to your sister, and practice with her. She is really good at silent treatment.
5) No, no. Angrier. Angrier!!!

When the official teenager got mad, then I went on like this:

1) No, no, that just sound constipated.
2) No, okay, you don’t sound constipated anymore. You sound like you are succeeding at pooping.
3) No, not that kind of grunt. You sound like you’re in pain. We don’t want pain here, we want anger.
4) Louder!! It needs to sound more like a howler monkey. A very angry howler monkey!Hollering and showing off big sharp teeth!!!
5) No, no, the corners of your mouth are curving up. There can be no smiling here.

The kids failed miserably with their cross anger display. They quit trying, and were nice and pleasant with me for the rest of the week.

This week:

The kids came up to me, “Mom, this week, we decided that you and dad should switch roles.”

I considered it for a brief second.

“He can’t play me! I make all the food. Your dad can’t cook. He only knows how to use the microwave.” me.

“That’s okay. He can buy food.” the teen.

“He has very little to say. He can’t make talk to you guys all day, and for a whole week!” me.

“And you have to be quiet all week.” teen.

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Every Second Counts

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I wished I had a picture to show you. But I was too busy holding my stomach and laughing to think to snap one…

Last weekend, my teen and I drove to a popular Chinese shopping center for a late lunch. As expected, the shopping center was packed. I was resigned to drive in circles a few times in order to find a parking spot.

But I was lucky! As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, a car further up was spotted to be pulling out. Even better, it had no stalker car following it! Mine!

Just as I drove to the open stall, a middle aged lady wearing a flowery dress stepped right into the middle of it, and was yapping away on her cell phone.

I flipped on my turn signal to let her know that I wanted to park where she was standing.

She glared at me. Shook her head. Pointed at the ground with her index finger, then padded her chest.

WHAT?! But you are not a car!

I glared right back at her, aided by a deep frown, then waved at her to get out of my way.

She stood her ground, and refused further eye contact with me.

I decided against mowing her down, only because I don’t want to go to jail. I drove off.

So I started to patrol the the large parking lot looking for an open spot. Just as I feared, I was driving in circles looking for people to leave.

I came around her aisle two more times. She was still standing her ground there. And she was pissing off other drivers who also thought that they could park there. I even saw a closed fist waving at her out of a rolled down window.

This lady must have skin thick as a hippopotamus to be guarding a parking spot like that for an extended period of time, with many cars circling the shopping center for parking spaces.

Finally, I found a parking stall somewhere in the middle of the shopping center. As I exited my car, I saw in the distance a small crowd had gathered where that lady was standing, and a black car was clearly trying to get into her standing spot.

Uh…I would love to see someone finally chase this obnoxious witch out of “her” stall. I quicken my pace to go see the big show down, dragging my teen behind me.

After walking around the shops, I finally got to where this lady was. I quickly noted that the crowded has dispersed by then.

The lady was still standing there, looking angry, but more wide eyed and stunned!!!

Then I held my stomach and laughed out loud. This was the funniest thing I ever saw.

The driver of that black car had parked his car horizontally in front of “her” parking stall, and left.

Ha, ha, haa….

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Category: Humor  Leave a Comment

“Dinner is ready!” I shouted upstairs to the kids.

I heard them running down the stairs. My teen plopped down at her usual chair at the dining table, while the baby ran to the corner that contained all the diabetic medical devices.

“Carbs please.” 12 year-old.

I leaned over to the kitchen island, and looked over my notepad that detailed all her meals and carbohydrate information, and reported, “85.”

Daily carb count notepad

A few minutes later, the baby walked over with her insulin pump in hand. I could hear the very faint clicking sound the pump was making, indicating that it is delivering insulin into her body.

“What’s your number?” me.

“100.” baby.

“100! What a nice round number!” me.

It always hurts a little whenever my baby has to prick her finger to check her blood glucose level. The poor child has to do this several times a day.

An idea popped into my head, “Hey! How about I give you a dollar whenever your BG is exactly 100. That would be kind of fun, huh?”

“No. You should give me one hundred dollars when my BG is 100.” the baby.

So bloody greedy.

“If I give you one hundred dollars, then you will be spending hours doing math with your carbohydrate and insulin ratio counting to try to hit 100, you will go crazy.” me.

“Actually, if you give me $100 for a 100 BG reading, then I will spend hours doing complicated algebra, and eating a mad amount of carbs to reach ONE THOUSAND!” said the young genius.

I stared at my baby, speechless.

My 15 year-old chimed in, “Knowing how rude your disease is. After doing all that math and eating, you are more likely to end up with a BG of 999. You will get no money, except a helicopter ride to the nearest Emergency room.”

“I will take that dollar, mom.” the baby.

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“So, how was your workout this morning?” my teen.

What?! The kid never asks about my day. But this was not an ideal time for the teen to start maturing on me.

It was the first day of school in the new year. I made a huge production about me going to hit the gym, devoured a huge pastry for fuel, and shipped the kids off to school extra early in the morning in the drenching rain.

I had blabbered to them enthusiastically about how I was going to hit the stair climbing machine for 30 minutes, then the bike machine for 30 minutes.

So, there I was, on the stair machine.

ARGH!! Walking endlessly on the stair machine is not fun at all. Really tiring too. I constantly eye the uncooperative timer on the machine, cursing it for ticking away so slowly.

The constant stepping felt like forever, but the digital timer was only showing 18 minutes.

This stair climbing machine must not be for me, I eyed the bike machine. That machine has a seat!

I am NOT a hamster, I can stop when I want to. As soon as the stair machine hit 20 minutes, I hopped off of it.

I started to spin the wheels on the bike machine.

3 minutes into it, a thought came to me…My problem wasn’t with the stair machine. It was just my lazy behind.

I didn’t feel like biking either. As the timer ticked at 4 minutes and some seconds, I hopped off.

I am NOT a hamster, I can stop when I want to.

So, how is your New Year’s resolution going?

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Category: Humor, Parents  One Comment

Every day this week, I have suffered a sporadic sense of regret for having my hair cut too short.

Last Thursday, I went to a new salon to get a haircut. I have sported the same boring hair style for almost 20 years, when it grew long, I cut it shorter, always to about shoulder length. But my young stylist suggested to cut shorter, to the neck line. I carelessly said, “Yes.” Why not? It grows back!

My stylist cut and snipped at my hair very swiftly and confidently. I was impressed. She then spent a very generous amount of time to blow dry and style my hair. When they charge you a great deal of money just to cut your hair shorter, they always spend a lot of time brushing it to justify the cost.

I looked good! I beamed into the mirrors as she positioned me to look all around my head.

See, I never bother to blow dry my hair. It is not that I don’t care to look good, but that my laziness trumps my desire to look pretty on a daily basis.

That late afternoon, I went to pick up my 15 year-old from school.

“Wow! Your hair is so short.” teen.

“What do you think?” me, turning my head this way and that for her.

“I like it!” 15 year-old.

“Really?! I am so glad you like it. I was kind of worried. It is so short.” I said happily.

“You look VERY Asian.” the teen.

“What do you mean? I look very Asian everyday, even without this haircut.” me.

“Well. I usually see you as a white Asian, but today, you look like a F.O.B. Asian.” 15 year-old.

I was STUNNED!!! How could I ever be considered a white Asian?!! I am fluent in Chinese, versed in Chinese home cooking, I love stinky tofu, and for crying out loud, I own a business called!!

I glared at the teen, whose charm was taking a nose dive right before my eyes. I am even less happy to be called a F.O.B. Asian.

“What??” 15 year-old asked weakly, sensing maternal displeasure.

“I thought you said that you like my new hair cut!” me.

“I do. You look good, in a very Asian kind of way.” 15 year-old.

“You called me a F.O.B.!! It is generally considered an insult, in a name calling kind of way” me.

“I don’t mean it as an insult. You look like people in China, Taipei, Hong Kong.” 15 year-old.

“You never even been to Hong Kong!” me.

“I was in their airport once.” the teen.

I turned to stare her down.

My teen stared back at me, then broke into a big smile, “Now, if you just dye your hair reddish color and walk around wearing a mask, you would perfect that look.”

Reddish haired Asian woman wearing a face mask...

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“Mr. Fairweather would say that you are not critically thinking.” the baby said judgmentally to me.

Mr. Fairweather is my 12 year-old’s Logic and Reasoning teacher at the her new middle school. He has only been teaching the baby this subject for a grand total of 3 weeks, and already Mr. Fairweather has had a lot to say about me.

I have a whole bag of tricks to deploy whenever my children are acting all sassy toward me. One such trick is to play deaf.

“WHAT?” me to the sassy baby.

“Mr. Fairweather would say that you are not critically thinking!” baby shouted louder from the family room.

“What? What?” I shouted right back from the kitchen, pretending that the stove fan was too loud to hear her.

“OH!!”, the baby dropped what she was doing, and walked over with a great deal of fanfare, pointed a finger at me, and accused me with: “you never listen to your children!”

“Why do I have to listen to you?! I don’t have to listen to you kids.” me.

“Then why did you have us?” the sassy one demanded.

“Oh, I did not have you so I can listen to you.” me, paused to let the message sink in, “I had you so you can listen to me.”

HAaa ha ha…

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I don’t know about you. But I hate making a call to any big corporation’s 1-800-Customer Service line. They all seem to have this exceptional ability to suck out any positive energy I have, leaving me livid by the end of the call, and ruining the rest of my day.

I had to call Capital One, my VISA card company this morning. I had no reason to sweat this call. I had a very simple request. A request they have been known to enjoy performing. I wanted a new VISA card.

I cheerfully dialed the 800 number on the back of my card. First, their machine picked up and played a series of phone maze with me. I played along nicely and correctly, and was rewarded with a member of my own species on the other line.

I answered all of Tracy’s security questions, and got to state the reason for my call.

“My family will be traveling to Europe this summer. I found out that many of the businesses there can only process credit cards with smart chips on them. So, I need to get this card replaced with a new one with smart chip.” me.

Smart Chip Credit Card for travel aboard

“Oh, that’s great. We are in the process of replacing all our customers’ credit cards with smart chips.” Tracy.

See! An easy call. I happily interrupted, “ All my other credit cards and ATM cards have been recently replaced with smart chip ones. This is the only card I have left without it.”

Tracy, “Yes, yours will be coming in the mail soon. Any time between now until the end of this year.”

“But I need to use the new smart chip card this summer. So, I need you to send me this new card now.” me, still happy.

“Oh, I am sorry. I can’t just send these cards to you. It is all been processed by a system, and I can only tell you that you will received yours before the end of the year.” Tracy stated in that deliberate even paced polite tone that I have come to dread.

I think that deliberate polite tone in a live person is not better than speaking with a robot. I was against having my day ruined by Tracy, so I asked to speak with a supervisor.

Brian came to the line after a few minutes and identified himself as the supervisor. He stated the same message as Tracy about smart chip cards.

“You are seriously telling me that you can not send me new cards?!!” me, in total disbelief, and no longer happy.

What kind of twisted company is this…

This is one of the companies that have been terrorizing my mailbox and spam folder almost daily with new credit card offerings. Now, I personally call them to send me one, and they refuse!

“I can send replacement new cards, but the smart chipped ones are done by our system.” Brian.

“…” I was speechless.

“If your new card doesn’t arrive in time, you can still take this card to Europe. VISA and Mastercard have contracts with the merchants to honor the old cards until the end of the year.” Brian.

“That is not true. I have tried to purchase train tickets with local operators in Europe with this card, and I have already been declined multiple times. This is why I called you.” me.

I learned from a travel forum that many European merchant processors can only process credit cards with smart chips.

“That is against VISA rules. When this happens on your trip, you can write down these business names, and report them to VISA when you come home.” Brian.

“That does not help me. When I take VISA on a vacation, I just want to use it to pay for things. I don’t want to go to Europe to write down all the businesses that are in violation of some rules, and report them.” me.

“Okay, I understand.” Brian.


“I always thought that you are in the business to send people your credit cards. Just tell me why you can not send me my smart chipped card now, because you are about to send me anyway.” me.

“Well…” Brian, then finally, “We have millions of customers. So, I can’t just pull you out of the line.”

Ha, ha, ha… I had to laugh.

I always felt insignificant when dialing these 800 numbers. I was thrilled to finally have my feelings validated.

“Okay Brian. I don’t have millions of cards, but I do have 8 other credit cards (already with smart chips). I will just take one of my other cards on the trip.” me.

“Thank you for your help today.” I tapped the end call icon.

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“Time for dinner!” I shouted out to the kids.

Kids came running down the stairs, and plopped down to their chairs.

After a couple of gulps of milk, they busied themselves with piling food onto their plates.

“Hey! My cousin just moved out of her parents’ house last weekend!” I said.

The kids nodded.

“It is about time! She is 28 already.” me.

“Well, she did just finish graduate school.” me.

Kids ate rather quietly.

“I did encourage her to move out. Young people must establish their independence, and learn to live on their own.” me.

Kids chewing.

“I love you kids, but when you grow up, you must learn to be independent.” me.

Every now and then, I found myself conducting a conversation all by myself at the dinner table, so their silence wasn’t unusual. (In case you were worried about me.)

“Your mom and dad can not take care of you forever, so you must learn to live on your own, and do it well.” me.

“Just like those cute lion and cheetah cubs you saw in South Africa, those cute little things will need to master the skills to kill and hunt on their own someday to survive.” me.

“It is actually not much different for us humans…” me.

“Mom.” 14 year-old interrupted.

I looked up at my teen.

“When I turn 18…” 14 year-old paused for dramatic effect.

It worked, all eyes were on her.

“You guys are moving out.” 14 year-old.

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Category: Humor, Kids, Parents  2 Comments