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We are in the middle of a crazy heatwave for the past week!  This year, the jet stream has been dragging up moist, hot air that typically goes from Baja California straight to Arizona.  So we've been getting extremely hot weather.  This has been one of the hottest summer we've had in a long time.  Thankfully, we have AC at our new house.   Otherwise, the evenings would have been unbearable.  It's been so hot that I'm actually looking forward to winter starting!  Hopefully the heat will let up a bit in the next week.

It registered 104 degrees in our backyard and we're only a few blocks from the ocean!
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Posted September 16, 2014


Last Sunday, I took the kids out for a slice of cake at our local bakery and then taught them a new French word, bouquet.  I made each kid their own tiny bouquet out of wild flowers and pine needles for twine.  It was a beautiful day!  

In search of wild flowers.


Buzz's first encouter with a bouquet of flowers.

Ahgoo liked her all-white blossoms bouquet.
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Posted September 13, 2014


As we come to another year of remembering the events of 9-11, I want to focus on growth and the beauty of our home.  I am very thankful for the life we have and the beauty of our home.  I love our garden so I want to show you a little of what's been happening to my plants.  

Last month, Ahgoo came home from school with a tiny little paper cup with a little brown dirt in it.  Mr. BAW had picked up the kids that day and told me that the teachers had planted a corn seed in the cup.   I didn't think much of it and kept the little crumbled (from Ahgoo squishing it) cup by the kitchen sink and add a few drops of water to it each day.  After a week or so, something started to sprout!  So I transfered it into a small pot and took it outside.  Well, fast forward to a month later and this tiny little plant has become a giant!!  Literally, it's looking like the giant bean stalk!  I showed a picture of the plant to the teachers and everyone was shocked!  They all thought that most of the parents probably threw the tiny dirt cup into the trash!  We'll see if we get any corn, I've never grown corn before!

Then there's our tough little strawberry plant.  You may recall that Grandma and Buzz had planted this together over a year ago.   Well, I never thought that it would live this long, let alone continue to bear fruit!  And the strawberries continue to get bigger.  For a while, I had the pot sitting on the ground until one day I realized that Toby had been sticking his big snout into the pot and eating the tiny strawberries!!  Now, the plant is safely sitting on a tray table next to my basil plant.  

Speaking of basil, I've managed to keep a Trader Joes' basil plant growing and producing for months now.  This is my second attempt at growing basil.  The first time, I was inexperienced and didn't properly prune the plant to prevent flowering.  This time, I made sure to keep the plant in check and prune often to prevent it from getting too tall and flowering too soon.  One night, I pruned a stem and instead of throwing it away, I stuck it into a glass of water, hoping to just keep the leaves green for a few more days until I need to use the leaves.  After a few days, I noticed that the stem has sprouted roots!  So I planted the little guy into its own little pot.  We'll see if this little guy will grow.  

Back in July, we spent a night at the kids' Great Aunt's house and she planned several activities to keep the kids busy.  One of which was baking cookies.  The other activity was planting a pot of succulents using cuttings from her garden!  She got each kid a small pot with soil already filled in.  Then she allowed each kid to pick out various succulents to stick into their pots.  The kids got to take their pots home and were instructed to water the plants daily.  Well, they did in the beginning but I sort of been "helping them out."  Now, the plants are huge!  They are literally growing out of their pots.  So I'm thking of transfering them into larger pots, but they may no longer be my table settings!

Lastly, all of my flowers are doing well!  I must admit that keeping geraniums is a pain.  Caterpillars LOVE geraniums.  I don't use any pesticides so the only recourse I have is to physically look for the bugs and removing them from the plant!  But those buggers are hard to find, I guess that's how they survive!  Most of my geraniums have been half eaten by fat caterpillars.  But when they flower, they are quite beautiful.  I've also successfully propagated a rose plant which has been producing amazing flowers.  I also have an azalea plant that I was going to give up on because it wasn't looking so good.  After I moved it from the backyard to the front balcony, it started to thrive and has been rewarding me with gorgeous deep pink blooms.  But perhaps the easiest flowers to grow has been the begonias.  They are thriving on my front balcony and I've been letting them cascade down.   By the way, all of the flowers were left by the previous home owners, both have since passed and were the original owners and builders of the house.  One day, I'll blog a little about the story of our house.

So all in all, I'm pretty happy with my garden and can't wait to see what happens in another year.  So far, the kids have proven to have pretty green thumbs! :-)  
 

Appropriately, corn is Ahgoo's favorite vegetable!

Look at the corn plant!!  I've had to transfer it to a bigger pot already.

The little strawberry plant that could.

TJ's basil plant.

Post-pruning ward for the stems.

Another stem has sprouted roots too.

Hopefully, this little basil stem can grow into a nice basil plant.

The growing succulents are bursting out of the pots.

My pink geraniums...if they are not half eaten by fat caterpillars!

Beautiful azaleas.

The delicate but resilient begonia flowers.


The begonias are thriving on my balcony.

My propagated rose plant.
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Posted September 12, 2014


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!  I have been so busy with life lately that this Chinese holiday just crept up on me.   Funny enough, it was at the kids' Chinese class that I was reminded about this day.  Even I'm learning in Chinese class!  The young teachers even told the little kids (ranging from two to four-year-olds) of the classic tale of Chinese Moon Goddess named Chang'e.  The kids even got to take home little  lotus seed moon cakes.  One year, I would love to take the family to China during the Mid-Autumn Festival to witness the beautiful Lantern Fairs.  

You may be wondering why I've been so busy lately.  As I mentioned in the last post, we recently took a trip and we celebrated Mr. BAW's big birthday.  But the main reason is because we are going through round two of the terrible two's!  It seems that both of our kids excel at the terrible two's.  Aghoo has fully embraced being a terrible two.  She's just as fierce and just as determined as Buzz to drive me crazy.  When she's tired, the storm comes on suddenly and fiercely.  But one she gets it out of her system, the sun comes out as suddenly as the storm forms.  Then she becomes the sweetest and smartest little girl I've ever met. The whole epidsode is emotionally draining on me!  I only hope that this is no indication of what her teen years will be like!  I can only count the months left of her two's!  So there's little energy left for me to blog at the end of each day!   I'll slowly show you some of the activities we've done over the past month, there are so many!  With the trip and the Labor Day weekend, we did so much!  Oh, I also want to share this with the mommies out there.  So funny!

Lastly, I had a great time watching SC vs Standford!!  Wow, what a nail-biter and, hopefully, a great new season for SC!

Full moon view from our backyard.
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Posted September 8, 2014


Guess who turned 40?!  Back in August, Mr. BAW celebrated his 40th birthday.  This partially explains my lack of blogging lately because we took a trip to Michigan visit my In-Laws to celebrate Mr. BAW's big day with his entire family.  My MIL baked a cake, as usual.  I took the liberty to decorate the cake.  I wanted to do something different.  I also knew that Mr. BAW is a huge Star Wars fan.  So I turned him into Darth Vader and all of the kids into Storm Troopers!  Since we were at my In-Law's house, I didn't have my laptop handy.  So I just hand-drew the figures and taped faces onto them.  Turns out that all the kids loved their characters so much, especially our 10 year old nephew, that they all kept the characters after the cake has been eaten!  

Darth Vader has turned 40!


My version of a Star Wars cake.

Mr. BAW opening gifts, this Opus print was from his big brother.
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Posted September 3, 2014










































































































































































































































































































































































































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