Day at the Beach

Elaine began showing cold-symptoms on Friday night. She couldn’t go to preschool today because she had a lingering cough and stuffy nose. Since she was caged inside the house all weekend, we took a short trip to the beach for some sunshine. (Plus, the weather’s been unusually warm (70s-80s)). She enjoys playing in the sand, often rolling and crawling on it. One hour flies by when she’s playing with her bucket full of water and sand, stirring the mixture and scooping a shovel-full for us to “eat,” and by the time we have to go home, she wants to take sand home. I told her she could take it home as long as she could hold it in her hand. She tried piling as much as she could in her tiny palm as most of it slipped between her fingers. Again and again she scooped and tried to hold onto it, but she eventually realized she couldn’t hold much of her beloved sand in her hand so it wasn’t worth taking. That was my art of manipulation. With kids, you learn to choose your battles. “Let’s get changed.” [runs away]. [chase after the kid, yell, or wait]. Some days I chase her, some days I yell, some days I wait. Sometimes I lose, sometimes I win, and that’s how it goes. Today, I won. ;)

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Field Trip: L.A. Zoo

Elaine really wanted to see the jaguars. Fortunately, the jaguar was the most interesting compared to the other big cats (i.e., lions, tigers, etc.) who were in deep slumber. There was a monkey family (mom, baby, and dad) that was also fascinating to observe. Overall, it was a fun day. I forgot how large wild animals could be, like the zebras and hippos. My recommendations would be to go on a weekday (it was so crowded today (Saturday)), purchase tickets online before coming (which we did and we bypassed the long line for tickets. We also received discounts through my husband’s work but I’m sure there are other discounts available online, such as Groupon), bring a stroller for your little ones, wear a hat and/or sunscreen, bring snacks, and be prepared to walk a lot (i.e., wear comfortable shoes).

 

Much Ado About Nothing

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Elaine started preschool, which means I now have some time to myself. I can look up at the sky, the trees, the flowers and take them all in. Oh, what leisure! haha… But I miss her dearly and days are still busy. She’s been crying at drop-off the past few days and my heart breaks every time I see her little teardrops and scrunched face. “My dear, this is just the beginning. You have at least 19+ years to go,” I think to myself.
“…and there
live we as merry as the day is long” (Much Ado About Nothing, Act 2 Scene 1).

This is 34.

The night before my 34th birthday, I felt a bit haggard and gray.  I felt too lazy to go through the cream face mask routine that requires washing in 20 minutes, so I smothered my face with a sample cream from La Mer. The next day, my face was aglow like Christmas morning (haha!). It felt bouncy, firm, and hydrated. I didn’t even know my face was droopy until it felt bouncy. The truth is, my dry skin cannot be compared to other mortals; it is something of death itself. Every year I shed tons of dead skin off my face (and body) during winter months and have been searching for a product that would deliver its hydration promises. I have tried many creams from different brands (within $100), but none have delivered. That is, until this past year when I learned about oils. I’ve then layered my face with serums, creams, and oils every night. It has helped with the flakiness but not so much with helping me look less like a zombie. Chemo has made my zombie-ness significantly worse, draining every living color out of my hands, feet, and face, making them literally grey-brown. I came back to life the evening of the 3rd of January, the night I discovered crème de la Mer moisturizing cream, the miracle cream. I woke up looking less grey and convinced of the power of pricey skin care. How can I go back? Sigh. Alas, I am not rich. So. I will cherish every drop of that sample and continue with my old routine. And that’s okay. At least for my birthday, I felt/looked alive. This post is not sponsored. I know; I can be ridiculous.

This is thirty-four.

Some highlights: breakfast at Bottega Louie (one of my favorites), free birthday Starbucks drink, Santa Monica pier and the thrilling Ferris wheel (that is, watching my sister cling to the pole because of her fear of heights), free birthday Pink Berry frozen yogurt (went into the store at my daughter’s request and later surprised by the free offer), hanging out at the Hammer Museum to kill time before dinner (free entry, small but valuable collection, ping pong tables and discovering my mom’s table tennis talent), quaint Italian dinner at a random spot in Westwood (great parking spot on a busy street),  and delicious triple layer berry cake from Sweet Lady Jane.

Photos in random order:

 

 

(Poor husband was working all day until late at night so he missed out on the fun. But we’ll have fun this coming Saturday at Cicada. Woohoo! Might as well celebrate my birthday all month! hehe)

“These are the days of our lives.”

In March, we went to Huntington’s Rose Garden Tea Room and didn’t get a chance to walk around the entire park. This time around, I snagged us free admission that the park offers every month (sign up is first-come-first-serve every 1st of the month prior) and walked around in the blazing heat. Elaine enjoyed the desert garden, then opted to ride the stroller for the rest of walk. My tip would be: 1) Be sure to wear a hat and comfortable shoes, 2) Parasols are also good if you’re not pushing a stroller, 3) Create a scavenger hunt for the little ones or let them take pictures on a cheap and durable digital camera, 4) Rest in the indoor galleries (esp. if you want to escape the heat), 5) On warm days, bring swimsuits or waterproof clothing/shoes for kids who want to run around in the children’s garden.