Not Sure Which Is Worse


Being the mom of a good gymnast and hoping that her daughter sticks all her moves so that she can get one of the medals or the mom of the girl who just learned her moves and wishing that her daughter can just complete the competition without tears.

I was that later mom today and I think I quit breathing each time M did her routine. Even though we knew that Emma had a minuscule chance of winning a medal (note: she’s not a lazy gymnast, she’s new to “real” gymnastics and still playing catch up still with girls her age), we knew that M wanted to finish the competition well, which in her case: Stick her big jumps on the floor and beam, make it over the vault, and not fall backwards on the bars.

So I watched and oh so hesitant to capture her moment since I was terrified of making her nervous.

I think the other moms knew I was anxious and I got a chuckle out of them when a few said, “Ok, you can breath now.”

It’s just difficult to be casual about the whole thing. Despite knowing that M going was purely for the experience, I wanted her to do well. Not for me, but for her. I noticed how shattered she was after her vault. She did her second vault great but the first was a complete fail. I don’t know if she knew that only the best was taken into consideration for scoring purposes but I could see that she was holding back tears. She did bounce back. She has fabulous gym friends you see. And she finished the competition with not too bad of a total score.

There was no medal but I hope from the experience she learned how strong she was. Yes she made a couple mistakes but after each one she managed to get back up and finish. She also learned to be a good loser. She congratulated her gym mates and thanked her coaches.

I know there will be a few more competitions for her. Her next one is in April and she’s confident about that one. And she has a whole year to try this competition again next year!


The Girls and Nice Restaurants


Maybe we’re lucky, but we’ve been able to take the kids to nice restaurants (places that most people would only go on anniversaries) since they could sit on a high chair. Even with Jovie’s pickiness, I never ask whether they have a kid’s meal or not. While I do ask what the kids want to eat for lunch/dinner (if I am cooking that is), when it comes to eating out, mom and dad gets to pick and they eat whatever is on the menu.

I remember when Emma was about Jovie’s age and I booked a dinner at a French restaurant. On the notes section I wrote: Two adults and one VERY well behaved 3-yrs-old. After dinner the owner stopped by our table and commented on how true I was about M’s behaviour. Not only was the owner impressed by M’s table manners, she was also impressed with the fact that we didn’t order a kid’s meal AND that M ate the escargot and cheeses. So for Emma’s good behaviour, the owner treated M to dessert.

Fast forward to a month ago when we were in Paris. I booked lunches and dinners at restaurants that food bloggers (well, mostly David Lebovitz) and Chowhound folks were clamoring about and the girls sat nicely throughout the meals (I think one was a two hours meal). Fast forward again to a few weeks ago. We were at a casual restaurant and in the middle of our meal, an elderly gentleman stopped by and praised us on how well the girls were eating and how great of a job raising them I did. That comment made my day and M (Jovie doesn’t get stuff like that) was pleased too.

Earlier in the year a book was published by an American living (or maybe used to live) in Paris: Bringing up Bebe. I haven’t read the book, but the WSJ article made me believe that if we were to live in France, our kids would just fit in. At least in terms of eating and playing.

What have we done to make the girls this way? Well, I’m not quite sure but we do the following when we eat (with special days here and there):

  • We always eat together as a family at the table
  • There’s no slurping (although I told hubby that in Asia, slurping is a sign that you love the food, but then he argued that we’re not in Asia)
  • There’s no chewing and talking
  • There’s no leaving the table unless you’ve been excused
  • We eat everything that’s served, even the yucky vegetables (or in M’s case: Fish)
  • We respect each and every food (so no food playing)
  • There’s no TV (and this is where the special days come in, we watched the Olympics opening while eating a few weeks ago)
  • We all talk about our day and whatever else that comes to mind (nothing negative or work issues – we save those for hubby and I time)
  • We practice our pleases and thank yous
  • And we do punish during meal time for table misbehaviors

They’re all pretty basic and I have to admit that without hubby, the girls wouldn’t be as good (he’s louder than me). It’s kind of cute too because when Jovie’s done she’d go, “Can I be excused?” and if I said yes, she’ll go off an play quietly until we finish or if I say no, she’ll just sit there and as long as I keep talking to her, she’ll be just fine.

There is one nice restaurant tip for toddlers/preschoolers. Always give them something to do, always interact with them, and give them something to eat that will last a bit. Jovie’s favorite is bread and butter, which most restaurants (at least here in Europe) serve.

Jovie + Bread

Yes, she likes posing with her food.

Also, let the kids use the same glass and cutlery you’re using (sans real knife unless the kid’s old enough) and they will feel pretty special about eating with mom and dad at a nice restaurant.


Yes, she drank water from a wine glass, got her own gaspacho, and spreading butter on her own bread.

I did make a few projects too a few weeks ago. Presents for M’s twin friends. And matching cards. I enjoy a bit of stitching now and then and I always think that hoop art is just fabulous. I used Waltzingmouse’s stamps for the little girl and I just winged the rest of it.

Hoop Art


Thinking of You

Back in the days, mostly before Jovie was born, I used to talk about poo every so often. I think somebody even said (jokingly) that I probably had one of the most poo blog posts {::SMILES}. So today, just for old time sakes, I want to share this older but still happy news: Jovie is completely potty trained. She did her first toilet poo on July 24th. She cried each time she wanted to go after that, for about a week and a half (or maybe more… it’s been about two weeks now since she’s been ok with the whole toilet experience… *sigh* I should have kept a better poo record, huh?), and a few times I gave in and put a diaper on, but after some creative persuasion, she now ask to poo in the toilet.

J: Mommy, I need to go poo
M: Ok, let’s go to the toilet.
(hops on and put hands on her chin — with her boney elbow on my arm, ouch!)
J: Mommy, look, I am happy (BIG cheesy smile to show that she’s happy) and I am not crying (another BIG cheesy smile).
M: Good job, baby girl! So proud of you. Now let’s focus and concentrate, ok?
J: (Focuses…) Mommy, I am done. Can I watch Peppa Pig now?
M: Yes you can!!
J: YEA!!!

If dad’s home

J: Daddy, daddy, I did it! I poo’d all by myself. I didn’t cry. I was happy, see (BIG cheesy smile again)? Now I can watch Peppa Pig!!
D: Good job, baby, keep it up!

See what happens when you deprive your children from watching TV? {::SMILES}.

So thank you iPad and Peppa Pig for helping my kid poo in the toilet!!

Oh, this post wouldn’t be complete without a photo of the toilet trained kid.


PS: Card created for Waltzing Mouse Sketch challenge using WM’s pretty stamps.



Lookie, lookie, a card!

I’ve been neglecting my craft room. Mostly because I need to do some major purging and I have not been motivated to do it. I should though. It’s feeling a bit crowded and I think it’s about time I part with my 2008 paper.

I’ve been feeling guilty about not scrapbooking as often as I used to. So many Jovie pictures I need to do and of course there’s still always something new with Emma to scrapbook about.

I can’t clean this coming week but after the 5th I should not have any lame excuse.

Card created using Waltzingmouse’s sketch and stamps.

Until next time!