小Baby Reed!

感恩節快樂!!

好幾天沒更新啦! 原因是我感恩節四天假期回到北加州家中. 跟家人團聚的感覺真好. 每天吃媽媽煮的豐盛菜餚, 吃得好撐喔! 四天下來大概重了好幾磅吧!

之後會再補幾篇有關感恩節假期的文章. 不過在此先放上我朋友新生的兒子照片–Reed!
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很可愛吧!

聽說一出生就有8磅重, 才三個星期就長得跟一個多月大的嬰兒差不多.

我很愛叫他小老頭, 因為他老是喜歡皺眉頭, 一點都不愛笑. 他媽媽照了一張照片給我們看, 那眼神跟他爸爸實在像. 也不哭不鬧, 成天躺在吊籃裡看著來往的人, 有時又好像在靜靜沉思著, 真像個小老頭.

真不敢相信高中同學已經當媽媽了. 抱著她的兒子在懷中, 感覺這一切好不真實.

同學抱怨說帶小孩很累很辛苦, 半夜要常常爬起來餵奶. 一天24小時就是得看著小嬰兒, 幫他換尿布, 餵他吃奶. 才剛出生, 月子也沒作滿. 成天只能悶在家裡, 哪裡也不能去. 現在至少她的媽媽在這邊幫忙看顧著, 等她媽媽回台灣去, 她不曉得該如何是好. 甚至還想要她媽媽把小孩帶回台灣養.

我只能安慰她說帶小孩就是這樣, 需要犧牲許多自己的時間. 但是小孩子留在身邊, 你可以一步一步看著他成長, 看著他如何從哺乳中的嬰孩茁壯成為鴨鴨學語活蹦亂跳的健康孩子, 這種成就感與幸福感是任何事物都比不上的.

Reed熟睡的模樣. 一邊睡一邊兩手還會揮動, 似乎作了什麼夢, 身體有時會忽然抖動一下.
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這一兩年來身邊好多朋友開始生小孩, 現在至少有五,六個了吧.

眼看朋友一個個都開始建立起自己的家庭, 心裡好生羨慕. 即使許多朋友都紛紛勸我不要那麼早生小孩, 說帶小孩很辛苦, 我應該多多珍惜現在自由的單身生活. 但我還是會很嚮往, 期待將來某一天我的夢想能夠實現.

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媽咪生日快樂!

今天是媽媽的生日,

媽咪, 生日快樂!

最近讀了兩本有關親情的書, 九把刀的”媽, 親一下“, 以及日本作家Lily Franky的”東京鐵塔: 老媽和我, 有時還有老爸“. 兩本書都是描述母親生病, 兒子照顧年邁承受病痛的媽媽, 而寫下令人感動到鼻酸的故事. 尤其是東京鐵塔這本書, 悲傷的結局讓我看了不停地掉眼淚.

離開家也已經10年了, 這中間雖然時常有回家探望父母, 但相處的時間還是不多, 雖然孩子大了總歸還是要離巢, 但心裡偶爾還是會愧疚自己沒有住離家近一點, 可以隨時隨地就近照顧爸媽, 多和他們相處, 有時也感到難過自己賺的錢不夠多, 沒辦法回饋一些給他們.

但是我相信現在只要我們健健康康, 快快樂樂地活下去, 不要給父母太多煩惱, 經濟上獨立自主, 不仰賴他們的支助, 這就是給他們最好的禮物了.

希望爸爸和媽媽能夠永遠健康, 青春永駐, 長命百歲!

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母親節

早上開車上班時, 習慣性地打開收音機聽KISS FM的Ryan Seacrest節目.

母親節快到了, 最近他們舉辦母親節贈獎活動, 參加者首先要寄封email給節目製作, 描述他們的母親有多麼偉大, 寫得最好最感人的故事, Ryan則會在節目中親自打電話給孩子及母親, 把孩子寫的信唸給媽媽聽, 再頒發獎品.

第一個聽到的故事, 是一個高中女生投信給Ryan, 講述她的單親媽媽如何含辛茹苦地帶大她們幾個孩子, 總是毫無私心地奉獻自己, 照顧別人, 甚至還把自己的工作辭掉, 當起社工媽媽, 幫社會局養育那些無人照顧的可憐小孩. 幾年下來也照顧了十幾個孩子. 此等愛心讓自己的女兒感到十分驕傲, 也認為自己的媽媽是最偉大的.

今天早上聽到的故事, 是一位拉丁美洲裔的單親媽媽, 辛辛苦苦地帶大五個孩子, 每天從早到晚不停地辛苦工作, 兼職兩份工作, 只為了給小孩最好的, 每天從早忙到晚, 從沒有休息的時刻, 讓女兒十分感動, 也很感謝自己的媽媽如此地養育她們.

每回聽到那些媽媽在了解了自己小孩的心意喜極而泣時, 我也會忍不住跟著熱淚盈眶. 作母親最感到欣慰的, 不過就是聽到自己的小孩說一聲感謝.

這讓我想起自己的媽媽, 隨然我不住在家裡已經很多年了, 但是在我心中, 我的媽媽一直是支撐我們家庭的主要支柱, 她是個很獨立, 堅強, 聰明, 能幹的女性. 前幾年家裡經濟不是很好時, 我們家靠著她辛苦工作, 才讓我們度過難關. 即使經濟不好, 但是我和妹妹仍舊衣食無缺, 要什麼有什麼. 媽媽自己省吃儉用, 很少上街買新衣服給自己, 只為了讓我和妹妹擁有最好的生活.

媽媽在我們有疑難時, 總是會適時地給我們意見, 不論我們碰到什麼事情, 她總是會站在我們身邊陪我們度過一切. 即便我們兩個小孩時常耍任性, 不聽媽媽的話, 常常嫌她煩或嘮叨, 她還是一樣愛我們.

母親節快到了, 在此我想跟媽媽講一聲, 我愛你, 也非常感謝您為我們所作的一切!

也希望全天下的母親, 都有個愉快的母親節!

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朋友

朋友對我來說是很重要的, 我是個很珍惜緣分, 重視感情的人, 從小到大, 如果有碰到談得來感覺對的好朋友, 我都會努力地去維持那份友情, 即使分離得多遠, 我還是會保持聯繫. 這就是為何我到現在還有和我的國小, 國中, 高中及大學同學保有連絡.在我的人生觀中, 感情, 朋友, 及家人一向是我的top priority, 事業, 金錢,名利對我來說一直都是擺在最後的.

要能夠維持友情其實不容易, 在這個快速轉變的現代社會中, 每個人都忙於自己的家庭事業, 能夠真正地不斷保持聯絡並沒有那麼容易. 有很多時候因為忙碌便漸漸地失去聯繫了. 我能夠盡量做到的只有靠寫信, 通電話, email, 或網路上聊天來互相了解對方的近況. 並不一定每次都會有回應, 但是我很高興我有許多朋友保有跟我相同的想法, 不管多忙碌, 也會試著來與我保持聯絡.


在此我想感謝我身邊每一位朋友, 在我人生最低落時支持我, 扶持我, 帶領我走出最難過的時刻. 沒有你們, 我走不到今天! 我想對大家說:

Red heartRed heartRed heart~~~~~我愛你們~~~~Red heartRed heartRed heart*^___^/*   (((hugs)))

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Bad News in the Morning

This morning, I received several emails from relatives in Taiwan, notifying us that my great-grandma has passed away at 8:15 pm last night, at the age of 97.

When my uncle emailed us yesterday that great-grandma wasn’t doing well, I somehow had prepared myself for the worst. Just didn’t know that it had come so soon.

I hope great grand-ma went peacefully and she didn’t suffer too much. She had already struggled for the past 6 months with her stroke and other illness. Now she doesn’t have to suffer anymore.

At age 97, she had almost went through a century of life. She had 9 wonderful children and hundreds of grandchildren and great grandchildren. In Chinese way of  thinking, she had a “prosperous” life that most people dreamed of.

I don’t see her too often. But in my memory, we would go back and visit her in the country whenever we had holidays in Taiwan. Even after moving to US, we would still visit her if we go back to Taiwan. She has always been very kind to me. Everytime she saw me, she would asked how I was doing and secretly give me a red envelope. We don’t really communicate well because my Taiwanese is pretty bad, but I know she cares about me very much. I remembered sitting in her little room and watching TV with her, while she excitingly shared all of the dramas she has watched recently with me.

Oh I do wish she could hold on a little longer, at least wait ’till we have our kids and she’ll have a 5 generation family. But I know it wasn’t meant to be. I haven’t drop a tear yet, but I know sadness will catch up with me soon.

Oh dear great grandma, we all miss you here and we wish you’re peaceful and happy wherever you are now.

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Pray for my Great Grandma~

Oh no…I just got an email from my mom: my 96-year-old Great Grandma in Taiwan is in critical conditions….she’s been unconscious for 3-4 days now. Doctors decided to turn off the respirator. They’re not too optimistic about her condition  …..please pray for her….

My mom is considering going back in the next couple of days if things do get worse. If any emergency, I would want to go back too…..oh no…I’m so hoping my great grandma could still be alive when I have my first child. Then we’ll be a 5-generation family! Hang in there, great grandma!

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Dinner with My Carpool Buddy

Last night, I finally took my carpool friend D and her husband to San Gabriel for Chinese food. We’ve been planning to go out to eat for quite some time now, but never actually set it up. D came from Lithuania and her husband is a native Californian. They both like to try different exotic food, and they were wondering where they can find unique authentic Chinese food around LA (they came to the right person!). Originally, I wanted to take them to Kingswood tepanyaki in San Gabriel. But since they requested authentic Chinese food, we ended up taking them to the Shanghai restaurant in Focus plaza.

We ordered their house special meatball, fried eggplant with soy sauce, black mushroom with cabbage, and crab tofu casserole. They were most impressed with the meatball and the tofu casserole, saying both were very tender and have great flavors.

After the dinner, we took them downstairs to a candy and snack shop. The store put a bowl of each snack on top of the container for tasting. They tried every single strange item that they never seen before and commented on how they taste. D loves those dried squid snack as well as those preserved plums. Unlike some Americans I know, they’re actually more open and accepting to all kinds of different things. I felt they’re more Chinese than I am because I don’t even eat most of the stuff there myself.

Afterward we walked to the big 99 Ranch Market in the plaza. For Americans who have never been to this kind of major Chinese supermarket, it was like a trip to fantasy world. They stopped to look at every single thing, fascinated at all those strange food they never heard of before, and picked out the most exotic items on the shelves. They joked that if it wasn’t the market was about to close, they would’ve spent hours cruising in every aisles in this supermarket. It was fascinating for me as well because I have never spent this much time in 99 Ranch before. Every time I go there, I just grab whatever I need and leave. I couldn’t even tell them what most of the stuff in the store are or what they’re made of. In the end, I think they bought a couple small pumpkins, bok choy, peanut tofu soup, dried seaweed, different kinds of Chinese herbal tea (they love to drink tea) and some taro cakes.

It was quite a fun and interesting cultural night for all of us. We decided to do this cultural exchange thing more often and they will take us to the Russian district in Hollywood next time. Really looking forward to it~

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Coincidence

On Monday, I had the most random moment in my life. I walked out of the office to go to the post office. As usual, I walked with my head down, not paying attention to my surroundings. Then I heard someone called out my Chinese name. I looked up and wondering who could’ve known my Chinese name here in the middle of the campus. Then I saw my friend, Wendy, from Taiwan!!  We both screamed and asked each other “What are you doing here??!!” Wendy was here visiting her USC friend for a few days before leaving for East Coast. We have lost contact with each other for a few years, so she didn’t know I work here.

Wendy is a very close family friend of mine. Her father and my dad grew up in the same village and were best buddies when they were kids. They used to share interesting childhood stories with us, like stealing sausage in the middle of the night and both got stomach ache..etc.  We used to hang out a lot when we were kids. Wendy was like the other sister to me. Her mom even thought about adopting me as her god-daughter. After we moved to US, her family would fly over to visit us. Only these few years we gradually lost touch with each other. But once in awhile, I still hear news about her family from my parents.

Wendy came from a highly intelligent family. Both parents are professors at prestigious universities in Taiwan. All of her uncles are either doctors or PhD’s. Now Wendy and her brother both go to medical schools. She recently won a scholarship for a 3 month medical internship at Duke University and she was the only one chosen from her school. That’s why she came to the States this time and stopped by LA for a few days.

Last night, I picked her up from her friend’s place and had dinner together. We talked about our fun past memories and update each other’s lives. It was really great to see an old friend from my childhood. Sometimes life is really full of surprises. If I hadn’t walk out of my office on Monday, I would’ve totally missed her. This was definitely the biggest coincidence of my life!

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Study Abroad

This past weekend, my junior high friend from Taiwan came to US to study English. I went to pick her up at the airport and drove her to San Diego State University on Sunday, where she’ll be staying in their language school for 6 months.

A lot of people in Taiwan, like my friend, think that study abroad is a must in their education path. Most of them felt that even without a degree, acquiring the necessary English skill and experience in a different country would help them locate jobs easily. Following the international trend in the world today, English is the #1 foreign language required by most companies in Taiwan. Sometimes interviewers would even conduct interviews in English just to test the language skills of the applicants.

I really admire those young students coming to a totally different country all by themselves. It would be very difficult for them to adjust to the strange environment and adapt to the culture, food and language here. I went through the transition myself so I understand how hard it is to make those adjustments at the beginning.

Luckily for my friend, she already has some relatives here in the US and she also has friends like me who can help her along the way. Thanks to her, I also got to visit San Diego State University. It’s located close to downtown San Diego. The surrounding area didn’t seem too nice but the campus is quite beautiful. San Diego has such a great climate and pretty scenery. I think she’ll love it there. One question struck my mind while walking around campus : how come it’s not Cal State University of San Diego (CSUSD) but San Diego State University (SDSU)?Are there two different systems of State University? just curious….

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Friends Gathering

This past weekend Homer & his buddies were planning on going to ski on Sun. They also planned a little gathering at a friend’s house to sing karaoke on Sat night. This friend lives in Placentia. We have never heard of this place nor been to that place. We only knew it’s somewhere close to Brea and it’s in Orange County. It took us awhile to find the direction and get to that friend’s house. She had a karaoke game that is similar to Dance Dance Revolution, but you have to sing right on tone and on beat. It gives you a score depending on how correct you sing. A lot of the songs are oldies from 70’s or 80’s, but there are some newer songs like Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated”. I tried a medium level song “Wind Beneath My Wings” and only scored mediocre. Guess it wasn’t that easy to sing exactly right on the tone.

Afterwards we tried the regular karaoke machine. She has a machine that contains thousands of English, Chinese, Cantonese, even Vietnamese and Japanese songs. Most people there only speak English so they were all singing English songs. Too bad I didn’t know that many English songs. The machine also give you a score but it’s based on how loud you sing. All of the guys were screaming at their lungs off to get a higher score. It wasn’t a pretty sound and I bet the neighbors were complaining.

Towards late night, we decided it’s not a good idea to annoy the neighbors anymore. So we all went out to play bowling. Unfortunately the first bowling alley we went to had a private party and was closed to the public. We went to another one but they all ran out of women’s shoes. I guess it just wasn’t meant for us to play bowling that night. One of the friends suggested shooting pools and took us to this Billiards Club in a hotel next to Brea Mall. All of the pool tables there were taken and we had to wait for 1 hour to get a table. We ended up sitting there drinking at the bar and chatted. The guys began to threw darts and they asked us the girls to join them. It turns out I totally suck at this game. Most of the darts I threw bounce off the board or didn’t even reach the board. But later on I got my dignity back at the pool game. Most of our friends suck at pool. It took us 1 hour to finish the first round. The balls just wouldn’t go in and they kept on bounce off the corners. I was lucky enough to shoot in 3 balls straight and helped my team to win the first round.

We played until 1 am and didn’t even get home until 2 am. Of course none of us had the energy to wake up early next morning to go skiing. We had to cancel the ski trip at the end.

I haven’t stay out this late recently. My bedtime is around midnight and I usually get very sleepy around that time. If it’s past my bed time, my eyes begin to feel heavy and I would start losing focus during conversation. Man, I’m really getting old…

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