Archive for » May, 2012 «

Most days, I love my children to pieces. Not yesterday. Yesterday I wanted to wrap them both up and ship them back to the hospital where they came from!!!

Earlier yesterday, after a busy morning at’s warehouse, I rushed to a local shopping center to buy lunch. I walked past a beauty salon and saw empty chairs. I desperately needed a haircut.

“Hi, how much to cut my hair?” I quickly stepped in and asked.

“Fifteen dollars,” one of the three stylists replied.

Instinctively I thought, so cheap!

Of course, I don’t spend the kind of fortune like John Edwards on hair cuts, but I was concerned about entrusting my precious hair with a $15 cut. I preferred a stylist who wanted to charge me at least $30. I am a strong believer in You Get What You Paid For.

Then, I thought, I have straight hair! How hard can it be to cut 3 or 4 inches off of straight hair.

“Okay, I like to get a haircut.” me.

I even splurged a little, and got my hair shampooed and washed for two dollars more. Sweet!

Then I spent most of my haircut session with my eyes closed. My stylist was stressing me out.

She was a nice woman who appeared to be in her 30’s. Her snips were cautious, much measured, and painfully slow.

Scissor & Hair

Even worse, she constantly turned my chair, moved me up and down in the chair, and hovered herself all around me in clumsy positions.

Occasionally, I took my left arm out of the covering, and looked at my watch. I was supposed to eat lunch. But my stylist was eating up all my lunch time.

My eyes blinked open, when suddenly, I heard her say, “Excuse me!”. She then rushed to put down her scissor and brush in front of my mirror.

One of her fingers was bleeding!! She mumbled about needing a band-aid, and quickly disappeared into the back room, leaving me in my chair looking stunned.

“You get what you paid for!” was blinking in bright neon colors in my head.

A few minutes later, she returned. There was no a band-aid on her finger. Instead, her entire injured finger was wrapped in a large white medical cloth, tied together by strings.

“Hee, hee..the scissor is very sharp.” she said to me apologetically as she leaned over me to pick up her tools.

I was too polite to request another stylist, and decided to just suffer through the rest of my haircut. Plus I felt kind of sorry for her. She was just trying to make a living in a trade that she does not belong.

She was even more careful after that, and I was grateful. I even quit checking my watch to rush her.

Finally, she was done with me.

I handed her $25, and said to her, “I am sorry about your finger.”

She thanked me profusely out the door.

I will never go back there again.

I had to skip lunch, and immediately rushed to my children’s school to pick them up. I got there just in time, and were greeted by my baby’s happy little face.

“Oh, you cut your hair!” baby.

Feeling self-conscious about my hair, I summoned my kind motherly smile, and asked, “What do you think of my new hair?”

My 8-year-old examined me a bit, then blurted out, “You look creepy.”

CREEPY!!! No one has ever used the word “creepy” to describe my hair, not even on Halloween or during my teen years.

Then my 11-year-old appeared before us out of the crowd.

“Hey! What do you think of my new haircut?” I needed a second opinion.

My 11-year-old acknowledged my shorter hair, then declared, “You look weird. ”

Too bad my husband was out of the country on a business trip. I really missed him on a day like yesterday. He has been properly trained to say nice things about my hair.

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Category: Humor, Kids, Parents  One Comment

Last week, I picked up the children from school, and was feeling happy about something…

“Hey, Mother’s Day is this Sunday!” I inherited my father’s habit of reminding people of special dates for oneself.

“Yeah!” the kids cheered from the back seats.

“You should take us somewhere nice for dinner and buy us presents.” 11-year-old.

“No, it is Mother’s Day. Not Kids’ Day. It is Kids’ Day every day around here. On Mother’s Day, it is your turn to do something nice for me for a change.” me.

“But, without us, there is no Mother’s Day for you. So, on Mother’s Day, you should especially celebrate us.” 11-year-old.

I sighed.

The kids giggled in the back seats.

Luckily for me, I didn’t count on the kids to properly celebrate Mother’s Day. I counted on my husband for that. He was their ringleader on Mother’s Day celebrations. He bought the cards, got the kids to sign them behind my back, and made reservations at nice restaurants.

But, my favorite mother’s memory has nothing to do with him at all. It was at the Mother’s Day celebration at my baby’s pre-kindergarten class. Hubby wasn’t in it, because only the mothers were invited.

At the Mother’s Day cupcake party hosted in their classroom, each child got to introduce his/her mom, say a few nice things, and present her with a special handmade Mother’s Day booklet keepsake.

The kids were supposed to open the booklet, read a page or two from the book, shown us the pictures they drew, and give the booklet to his/her mom, while everyone clapped and admired the cuteness of it all.

The classroom air was filled with warmth, love, and the sweetness of cupcakes…until my 4 year old took the center stage.

My baby clutched the book tightly, and totally went off script.

“This is my mom,” my baby said, pointing me out to everyone. All the moms from the class already knew me.

I mustered my nicest smile to the class.

“She is a drinker.” 4-year-old said deliberately.


Bloody HELL…

The air was immediately sucked out of the room, the grown-ups in the classroom were shooting awkward glances at each other in every direction.

My nicest smile went quiet, with a lingering smile momentarily frozen in place. It wasn’t pretty, my face had that kind of sorry expression that was menaced by complete horror and embarrassment.

My cheeky 4-year-old was utterly oblivious to my trauma and the eerily silent classroom.

The devil child announced, “She drinks black coffee ALL of the morning,” gave pause, then continued, “and she drinks green tea ALL of the afternoon. That’s my mom!”

Whew…. The awkward tension disbursed. The moms and teachers exploded into laughter and everyone clapped mighty hard.

My baby looked around, then beamed with pride with her awesome Mother’s Day speech.

Mother's Day book from my then 4-year-old

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Last Thursday was crazy busy. I worked at’s warehouse until well after lunch, then ran off to do the errands that were becoming impatient with me. At 3:00 P.M., I attended our elementary school’s Parent Volunteer Appreciation Party and inhaled some cookies and lemonade at the party to fight off starvation. Before the party ended, I rushed to pick up the kids from their after-school activity to taxi them to their piano teacher’s studio just in time for their piano lessons.

Finally, at 5:30 P.M., I picked the kids up from their piano lessons, and I was glad to be done with that day.

Just as I turn on the ignition, I remembered something…

“Shoot….I totally forgot about dinner. What should I feed you guys tonight?” I usually had the day’s dinner all planned out early in the morning, and meats that should be defrosted would be pulled out of the freezer.

“Pasta Night!!” the kids shouted together from the back, with their fists raised high above their heads.

Bless them!

Pasta Night, a.k.a. Spaghetti, is such a quick and easy meal for me to make. It was the perfect family dinner after such a long day.

I swung by our local produce market, picked up a few things that I needed, and was ready to have dinner cooked and served under 30 minutes.

Please do not interpret “cooked and served under 30 minutes” as boiling the spaghetti, nuke the spaghetti sauce, and dump the sauce over a bowl of spaghetti. Oh no, my spaghetti is much more exciting than that! It has a restaurant quality look and taste, with lots of homemade goodness.

Paste sauce loaded with fresh vegetables

That’s why we don’t call this one-dish meal just spaghetti: we called it the Pasta Night.

I proclaim my “Pasta Night” dinner easy, quick, and super yummy! Great for those hectic days. Here is how…

This is a list of ingredients that I usually get for my pasta night:

1) One pound bag of thin spaghetti
2) One jar of spaghetti sauce (I have no brand loyalty, I always buy the on sale jar)
3) One jar of Alfredo sauce (also the on sale jar)
4) One pound ground beef
5) A few links of Italian sausage (chicken or pork)
6) A bundle of spinach
7) A couple of portabello mushrooms (or other mushroom)
8) One white onion
9) We will also need olive oil, salt, and pepper


1) Clean the spinach and mushroom. Slice the mushrooms.
2) Finely chop half of the onion.
3) Pan-fry the sausage until fully cooked, then slice them
4) Warm a large cooking pot with olive oil
5) Place the chopped onion into the pot
6) Add the ground beef into the pot
7) Add cooking wine to the pot and cook the beef-and-onion mixture until the redness of the beef is all gone.
8) Lightly season the mixture with salt.
9) Add the sliced sausage to the pot.
10) Empty the entire jar of the pasta sauce into the pot and stir.
11) Empty about a third or half of the Alfredo sauce into the pot and stir.
12) Bring the sauce to boil, then simmer.
13) Add the spinach and the mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes more.

*As you prepare the sauce, bring a pot of water to boil, then follow the cooking instructions on the spaghetti bag to prepare the spaghetti. Usually the spaghetti is cooked for about 6 to 8 minutes.

cooked pasta

My kids LOVE Alfredo sauce, but the amount of fat in Alfredo sauce is obnoxious. I learned to add about a third of the jar of the Alfredo sauce to the regular tomato based spaghetti sauce to give them that rich flavor, without contributing to our nation’s childhood obesity problem.

I usually serve this dish with bread and butter.

Dinner is ready!!

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Category: Parents  One Comment

“Mom, can we go to Michaels?” 11-year-old asked from the back of the car.

“We don’t have time for Michaels. We still need to go carpet shopping today.” me.

We got up blissfully late this Sunday morning. After a late lunch, it was already past 2:00 PM. That gave us only 2 or 3 hours left to visit flooring stores.

“But I need to go to Michaels!” 11-year-old demanded.

“Why?” me.

“I need to get something for my Greek journal project.” 11-year-old.

“I thought you are practically all done with putting your journal book together.” me. I am usually on top of the kids’ school work.

“Yes. But my teacher said that if we do extra things to make our book look extra nice, then he will give us extra credit.” 11-year-old.

“You would want me to get extra credit, don’t you?” 11-year-old added with a big grin.

Yes. I am a sucker for those extra credits.

“Let’s do a quick detour to Michaels.” I instructed my husband, who was driving.

I love going to Michaels. It is mainly an arts-and-crafts store. I go there often to buy art supplies and various school project supplies.

Sometimes, we go there without a hint of an idea on what to get for a specific project. We will simply walk down the aisles and come out with plenty of creative ideas for the projects. They have things that I don’t know I need until I see them.

The kids loving going to Michaels too. As soon as we reached the door, the 11-year-old bolted towards our favorite section of the store, with my 8-year-old running to catch up.

Hubby and I caught up with the kids. “What are you looking for? We will help you look.”

“I am looking for a ribbon.” 11-year-old.

“Oh, I know where that is. Follow me.” I lead them to the opposite side of the store.

“Here! A whole section here devoted to ribbons.” I have bought ribbons before. We have used them in the past to frame the boarders of their projects.

Their ribbons selection was like the jellybean aisle at a candy store. Many fun colors with many types of prints instead of flavors to choose from.

“What sort of ribbons are you looking for?” me.

“I want a ribbon with olives on it.” 11-year-old.

“WHAT?! You got to be kidding!” me and hubby together.

“The olive tree is what Goddess Athena gave to the people of Athens to become their patron god! So, the olive is a big part of my book. I want to use an olive ribbon to make a bookmark.” Then she added, “To get extra credit.”

“Okay! You are not going to find an OLIVE ribbon. WHY would anyone make an OLIVE ribbon!?” me. 11-year-old’s wants can be so ridiculous.

I turned to the ribbons to see what we could choose from.

“NO WAY!!!!!” me.

There they were….3 rolls of ribbons with olives on them sat on their aisle and stared back at me.

“I can’t believe this. There they are. You are SO going to earn extra credit.” me.

The goddess Athena herself must decided that my 11-year-old should have an olive ribbon that day.

The Olive Ribbon

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