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Happy Chinese New Year!!  It's the Year of the Goat/Sheep and since Chinese New Year happens to fall near a four-day weekend, we decided to take a quick trip to Las Vegas.  We had some friendds and family visiting Las Vegas, we decided to pay a quick visit.  We purposely skipped Valentine's Day and drove back two days after Presidents' Day to avoid all traffic.  It worked!  Plus, with my In-Laws there to babysit for us, I got to really enjoy two nice dinners, one of which was a buffet dinner at the Wynn.  During the day, we all visited some amazing Chinese New Year decorations at all the big hotels.  Enjoy my pics and "Gong Xi Fa Cai", which literally means "Congratulations on getting rich." 

The animatronic goats at the Bellagio, yes, they move and talk!


The Laughing Buddha at Aria.

My dragon girl with this jaw-dropping Chinese dragon at Caesars Palace.

The dragon is so amazine, it's worth another photo!

Dragon dance at the Wynn.

The family of sheep at the Venetian.

Wealth represented at the Palazzo.

Lion dance at Aria.

Ok, this has nothing to do with Chinese New Year, but it's too beautiful not to show!!  Desserts at Aria!
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Posted Febuary 19, 2015


Prior to last year, I have never been to DC.  Then I got to go there three times, twice for business and once for personal travel.  The first time was last May, our whole family went.  The last trip there in early December, I went with Mr. BAW and has a nice long weekend of just sight-seeing without the kids.  My favorite part of the trip was seeing the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, dining in Alexandria, and seeing the Kogi Truck inside an LAX terminal.  

So tempting!  But sadly we had to board before they started serving lunch!

The weather was cold but crisp and clear!

Outside the American History Museum.

I LOVED the Natural History Museum.
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Posted Febuary 12, 2015


Dispite being in the throws of the terrible two's, I wanted to make the effort to go out and enjoy the beautful weather we were having.  Last weekend, we headed down to Newport Beach and visited Balboa Island.  I love the area, it's absolutely beautiful!  It is a little piece of Sausalito in Southern California.  The island is tiny, but full of charm.  There is only on bridge to drive onto the island.  The island has one main street lined with cute shops and restaurants.  The rest of the island are filled with gorgeous vacation homes with private docks and you can walk along the entire island and watch boats go by.  As you can from the pictures below, even the grumpy kids were happy and had a blast.  Buzz was especially happy because we all got ice cream for a treat in the afternoon!  We did have to abandon plans to eat dinner on the island due to more TTs.  But we'll definitely be back for more visits.

The skies were beautiful!


Lovely...

The kids insisted on knocking on the door of several private docks.

One of the homes had these adorable bird houses!

A random dinosaur in front of one of the fancy homes along the water!

The kids walked along the dock walls around the entire island.

Sunsetting...
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Posted Febuary 5, 2015




Here we go again with round two of the Terrible Two's (TTs).  The past week has be difficult, to say the least.  It's as if we had an alien abduction and they've replaced my good-natured girl with a deranged monster.  She's not a monster all the time...she is great all day long at school.  The second she sees me at pick-up time, she starts her melt-down, oh lucky me!  She instantly cries, screaming, "I want mama to hold me!"  I would have to continue to hold her and if I put her into the car seat she starts screaming the same phrase over and over again.  She also sticks her entire right hand into her mouth as she cries and screams.  This will go on the entire rest of the night, through bath and dinner.  This is a daily occurrence the past week.  I'm so mentally exhausted and drained.  Ok, so maybe Buzz went through the same thing...I blogged about it then.  But I think Ahgoo's tantrums are even more fierce and lasts longer than Buzz's.  In addition, with two kids, it's just more exhausting.

So I scoured the internet to see why American kids throw so many tantrums!  I asked my mother if I had thrown these tantrums as a toddler and she, without hesitation, told me, "No, you were such a wonderful kid, hardly ever even cried!"  Maybe she just had selective memory, who knows!  Well, unsatisfied with that answer, I probed deeper.  Turns out that when I was two, my family had servants, as many well-to-do families did in Asia back in the days.  So the servant/nanny held me all the time.  Ergo, I had no reason to throw tantrums!  Well, fast-forward to our modern, American, nuclear middle-class family life.  Holding a two-year-old all the time just doesn't fit well with having to make dinner, clean kitchen, and bathing her brother. 

So maybe it's our own fault for not being able to cater to my toddlers' every desire.  But I do know one thing though, my kids are definitely spoiled even by my standards!  After immigrating to the US, growing up, money was tight, we knew that even from a very young age.  I remember being four and knowing not to ask my mother to buy me this paper doll I really wanted because I knew she had use that money to buy food.  I still remember coming home from kindergarten one day and my mother had surprised me with a small stuff puppy.  That was my very first real stuffed animal, at four!  I cherished it so much that I still have it to this day!  But my kids??  They have so many toys that I think the number of toys exceed the toys a person living in another country has their entire life-time!  I don't even think they appreciate anything they have because they can't possible even remember what they have! 

I have a co-worker friend who used to chat with me about his little boy who is about two years older than Buzz.  He is like me, an immigrant from another country.  He came from Vietnam and basically his parents had to move their family to the US due to the Vietnam war.  Though I never had to escape war, my parents had to work hard to give my brother and I a better life in the US.  So we both used to talk about whether it is possible to instill values into our children without them experiencing all the difficult times we experienced in our childhood.  How can our children learn the value of money if they've never been poor, how can our children appreciate a free education if they've never been denied the privilege, and how can they learn to protect themselves if they've never lived in a bad neighborhood?  But we don't want our children to have to be poor, be mugged, or not be educated!  I try to get them to donate some of their toys but it's an uphill battle, somehow the in-coming is always greater than the out-going.  But part of the struggle is within ourselves.  Mr. BAW told me that it makes him happy to give the kids presents.  I certainly do not want to deny him of the pleasure of having kids.  It is a tough balance to strike.

So I digressed and rambled on about more than just TTs.  What is my near-term solution?  Earlier bedtime!  We'll see how well it works, wish me luck!
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Posted Febuary 3, 2015
















































































































































































































































































































































































































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