Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mah Own Quilt

I finally continued my unfinished quilt for myself. I hope to finish it before Christmas. My Christmas present to myself. It's really bright. The colors will help cheer up my mood on dreary winter season when the days are short altho' I am not sure if it will be thick enough to keep me warm.

Joann had a big after thanksgiving sale so I bought 6 yards of 100% cotton batting or so I thought. 100% cotton batting with scrim. Scrim? Looked it up and it turns out that scrim is polyester. It's used to hold the cotton batting together. Bummers. I hope it is not going to be too warm for summer and too cold for winter.

3 of my friends are having babies in 2008. One of them is a close friend whom I've known since kindy. Since she's muslim, I decided to stick to flowery patterns. No living creature patterns like cute bugs or cats. She admitted liking pastels so I'll do that. I already found a nice simple pattern that will go well with white sashing (bought 50% off at Joann's sale).

The quilt is Sashing Twin Quilt. I think I will try smaller patches instead of 5" since the quilt is for a baby.

OK .. have to continue another time. J is fussing and I have to shower them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

One of those days ...

Ever had one of those days when the moment you wake up, your ears are assailed by wails and whines from the children? Today's one of them. L's been acting like a baby ever since I pampered him during his ear infection. Not willing to talk and expecting me to do simple things for him. I scolded him all day yesterday for his unwillingness to talk and today, I felt bad so I tried to make things up by being nice again. Once he knew that I was nice again, he reverted to his baby ways and that drove me up the wall. Again, he got some scolding before school. Said he didn't want to go to school b/c his ear hurt. I felt bad b/c I forgot to give him the antibiotics yesterday. Told him that if he wants to stay home, he will have to sleep and rest. No computers or video games. He decided that school was a funner choice. Perhaps that reason or just to be away from my nagging lips.

My heart felt guilty after I dropped him off school so I decided that I would make some muffins for him. Went to Raley's with J. Started off good with all the halloween decorations getting his attention. Then he saw raspberries and got it in his brain to have it or nothing. Now, I don't think they are cheap. One small packet probably cost $3.99. So, I said no. He started wailing there and then. I bought a few items and knew that I forgot something b/c I couldn't think through all his racket. Came home and realised that I forgot to get eggs. Got me really upset then. I can't make muffin now.

J continued to cry crocodile tears. Waaaa ... no tears. I sent him to his room and turned on the TV.

This is a battle of the thoughts. One thought tells me to be upset because I have the right to. Another thought says, "What's the point? You are already upset. Try to get out of it. Think good thoughts and you will feel better." I tried to be happy but it is so hard. I tried to smile but all came out was a grim line which didn't look happy at all.

Sometimes I feel bad for just wanting to put my kids in school so I have time to myself. I guess that's just normal esp. when I don't have much adult interactions.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Had a talk with L's doctor. She said that she only prescribed singulair for seasonal allergies and if flovent & albuterol do not work. In L's case - it's different. He can remain on his inhalers without singulair since he has so much environmental allergies. So, with that, I've decided to stick with flovent and albuterol.

She also said that children generally catch up with their growing when they are off flovent. I'll try my best to keep him off it on the weekends and on holidays. I hope I'm doing the right thing.

This is definitely a load off my shoulders. I can concentrate on other things now and on fixing nutritious food for L & J.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Expiration dates of bottled pills

Cleared my pantry cupboard today. Got rid of old noodles, expired canned foods and chinese herbs. If I don't remember the purchase date then I would toss them away. I even found a package of some chinese candy I bought awhile back and was aghast to find 'aspartame' listed in the ingredients. Have I been ingesting that?? Ugh.

I filled up 1 big garbage plastic bag. I felt bad about contributing the the earth's waste with that one big bag.

Next, I moved on to my shelf of many, MANY vitamin and mineral pills. I thought to myself that surely they all will need to be thrown away since I got them a long long time ago. To my surprise, some of them haven't expired yet. Some will expire in 2008, some 2009. Most expire this year though. It got me thinking -- isn't it a bit unnatural to have such stuff hanging around for a few years in a bottle? It's almost like ... plastic. The garbage bag smelled of chemical when it was slowly loaded up with the pills. The smell is similar to the hospital hallway. Have you ever done that -- inhale a bottle of pill? Smells yucky. I can tolerate the smell of chinese herbs much better than the pills.

Oh, and a bit of update about my boys. I have been making spinach and apple juice for J. 40% spinach juice, and 60% apple juice. Fresh ones, mind you. None of that store bought pasteurized ones. He has to drink it if he wants his snack and that's the first thing he drinks in the morning upon waking up. Spinach juice is more platable than wheatgrass.

J has bad eczema on his butt -- near the opening of the anus. It gets really inflamed and itchy and would interrupt his sleep because of the intense itching. He would scratch till it became bloody raw. He also can't wear underwear because the slightest chafing of the skin would itch him like crazy.

Within 2 weeks of drinking the green juice, I see a difference on the skin. The itch and inflammation went down and the skin smoothed out a little. We'll see how it is after a few more weeks of drinking this apple and spinach juice. I am hopeful that his skin will improve.

As for L ... sad to report that he's 'reacting' to fruits. Not sure if he's developing new senstivities to fruits or the body is throwing off toxins stirred by the fruits. I am not sure. He could also be reacting to airborne allergens at school. I started making green juice for him in the morning. Sometimes wheatgrass (home-grown) and other times, whatever green leaf vegie I find in the fridge. He hates it but I explain (and threaten) that he has asthma and he needs to drink them. I drank bitter herbs while growing up ... he has to do so as well. Suffer the poor children. hehe. Anyway, he's recovering a lot faster with the green juice so I have to keep it up. I thought I could get away with it by giving him green smoothies once a day but nope, I can't. It's so much work but at least it's better than taking singulair. With the green juice and inhalers, he finally stop wheezing after 2 weeks. Keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow.

I was skeptical about fresh green juice but it does work. The chlorophyll is the key. Lots of work and money ... but instead of putting the money in pills, I just divert them to plants. We'll see. I've read about spirulina. I'm going to try that next. Oh, and raw cocoa powder too. Hehe.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Update on almost raw, school and home

Almost raw ...

Summer break is ending soon. L's asthma has improved a lot. He is able to enter grandma's house w/o reacting but not the garage where the dog is sleeping.

I've done some reading but because of the constant interruption, I don't think I retained much. However, one thing I learned is that animal fat is toxic. Why?

Liver cleans out the toxin from our food. What are the toxins? They are the additives, food colorings, white sugar, preservatives, all the by-products of cooked foods etc. The liver's job is to extract all these toxins and make them water-soluble. The cooked and processed foods contain so much toxins that it overwhelms the liver so the liver has to store all this toxins in the fat before it can clean them up.

Liver produces bile that digests fat. Vegies and fruits improve the production of bile. The bile gets sent to the intestines where it waits to be eliminated. If it stays too long in the gut, the bile will get reabsorbed into the system. We don't want that to happen and fiber rich foods will help us with that.

There's so much more that I don't know ...

I also learned that it's easier to wash pesticides off produce than to get the toxins out of meat.

I put the theory to test by reducing L's meat consumption. His nightly cough improved. I was shocked. I've increased his fruits and vegie intake by making him drink green smoothies and eat fruits in-between mealtimes. He still gets to eat his 'junk food' (usually dried fruits) as long as he keeps up with a high-intake of fresh fiber-rich food. He needs all that fiber to pull the gunk out of his system.

I tell L that soft stool (minus stomach cramps) is good so he proudly announces to me whenever he gets a good output.

I also learned that meat is bad for asthma. Starchy foods is bad for eczema. I am trying to cut down starchy foods for J b/c the eczema on his legs can get quite bad. Unfortunately, he is very resistant towards the change. I can only handle one kid at a time and so I will have to postpone my effort on J until later. However, he has renege on his previous stand against green smoothies. He drinks 4oz of green smoothies in the morning along with his brother. Just that 4oz makes a difference on his good skin. His upper body is smoother and less prone to blotches / hives.


The kids have been doing some lessons during the summer. We had 'school' a few days out of the week. J is beginning to like it too. He didn't mind sitting there learning his alphabets and numbers. It was fun. He is such a curious and creative fella. When he gets bored coloring with a single color, he would use several crayons instead.

We took him to a preschool near L's school. He liked the place. Ran around it happily until he saw a teacher yelling at a student. After that he said he didn't want to go there. I asked him why when we got home and he said he didn't like the teacher. I agreed with him. The woman's action scared me too. So, I decided to homeschool him instead. He is a joy to teach because he likes to interact.

A few months ago, he attended an enrichment class 2x a week but it made him shy around strangers after that. I pulled him out of school and it took several weeks for him to come out of his shell. BTW, the reason he didn't like school was because a bigger kid was pushing him around.

As for L, I hope there will be some more headway with his speech therapy. Currently he only achieved 50-60% of the goals in the IEP.

Home ...

DH has rented a space to put his tools and exercising equipment. Previously an entire room is taken up by his exercising equipment. Once it's cleared up, I plan to convert it to a toy room. We hope that the new plan will contain the toys to that area. The boys do have too many toys. Problem is that they play with nearly everything. Even simple packing material makes good play.

V has also taken out some books from the book room. Unfortunately they are too old for donation altho' they are all in good condition. We'll have to throw them away. I called Fremont Waste and they said it will cost us $32 per 'haul'. We are going to accumulate a big pile before we head over there.

Guess that's about it. Phew ... what a long post. I am a little sleepy after eating a packet of instant noodles. I feel bad every time I eat 'junk food' so I usually drink 2 C of green smoothies to balance the bad food.

Oh, and I've also installed Debian on my old laptop. I will need to read up on some UNIX sys admin book and I should be able to get around it with a little more ease. Currently, I don't remember anything. It's scary. What if I need to work suddenly?? So, my goal for the next 3 months (once L starts school) is to improve on my UNIX skills by getting the laptop to run various servers.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Deterioration of L's Eczcema

So, it's not the laundry detergent. Today, the eczema spread to his hands, neck and part of his cheeks. I'm really really worried. I applied hydrocortisone b/c he was itching like crazy.

I fervently hope that this is indeed a healing direction and not a signal of something gone awry. His WORST condition at 6 months old - weeping eczema from head to toe, literally on his entire skin including the palms of his hands and soles of his feet. I am not joking. He has NEVER looked SO BAD since then and he's returning to it now.

I have not done anything so different besides what I've been doing for the past month. Took about a month of an increase in vegies and fruits to bring about the positive changes in his respiratory system so perhaps it'll take about the same one month to improve his skin condition? I don't want to put HC but how else can I relieve his itch so he can carry on with daily activities?

L was on chinese herbs for 1 month before his skin improved dramatically. During that one month, his body was detoxing via lots of bowel movements. And miraculously, his skin looked much better after that. Pray that this time is no different. I would love to be able to have my son's skin smoother than mine.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Chocolate Cravings

I have been mostly raw for 1 month and towards the end of the month, my temper improved. I seldom yelled and my husband even admitted that. Then, one Saturday, I ate a BIG meal of cooked foods at MIL's. The next day, I lost my temper. It was really weird. My emotions flew out of the window and I couldn't control them. So, I resolve to stay with raw diet as much as possible. Being calm and collected towards my children will be my motivation. And of course, I SO hope to fit into my pre-preggo pants ... hehe ...

Every time I shop at the grocery store, my feet always slowed down at the chocolate section. My hands would reach out to caress the attractive coloured packaging ... w/o me knowing, I would salivate and dream of eating them. When I got home from the yesterday's grocery trip, I vowed to look for raw deserts so I wouldn't be tempted again.

I found a nice little recipe:
Carob Fudge --

2 cups raw almonds (soaked for a minimum of 6 hours. Rinse them after that.)
1/2 cup raw carob powder (Carob powder is very expensive so I used regular cocoa since I already have that on-hand. Best to use organic, as usual.)
1/2 cup raw honey
3 Tablespoons raw almond butter (Bought this at the store TJs, since I could never get that smooth consistency.)
6 pitted dates (I had medjool dates on hand.)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nama shoyu (Couldn't find it. Used soy sauce.)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
shredded organic coconut, unpasteurized and unsulfured (Couldn't find one unsulphured so I used cocoa powder and turned it into "truffles.")

Put the almonds, carob powder, honey, almond butter, dates, cinnamon, vanilla, shoyu and nutmeg in a food processor and thoroughly process until creamy.
Form the mixture into small balls. Roll each in coconut and place the finished candies in paper candy cups. Serve either chilled or at room temperature.
Makes about 20 pieces
- from Chef Suzanne Alex Ferrara’s, "The Raw Food Primer"

I froze them and just tasted some, it was so yummy. To me, anyway. My cooked-food friend didn't like it. She preferred the good ol' regular chocolate truffles.

I'm dehydrating fruit leather. I hope they'll turn out so the kids have something to snack on.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

L's first Pinkeye / Conjunctivitis

After L got back from school yesterday, I noticed a yellowish discharge from his right eye. It was yellowish sticky and thick. His eye became pink as the night progressed. I called the advice nurse and she confirmed that it was pink eye / conjunctivitis and proceeded to prescribe antibiotic eyedrops which I need to pick up from the pharmacist today.

Pinkeye could be caused by irritants like fumes, smoke, dust etc. In this situation, you should wash the eye frequently throughout the day with regular eyedrops or saline solution (the ones you use to wash contact lens), both obtainable at the drugstore. Discharge is usually watery.

For bacterial infections, the discharge is usually yellow-greenish. That's when they prescribe antibiotic eyedrops. You should wash your eye with the same things above.

For viral, it is usually accompanied with cold symptoms and nothing can be done in this instance.

Usually itch accompanies pinkeye and you should try not to rub from one eye to another b/c you might transmit the germs over. Warm compress to relieve the inflammation and cool compress to relieve the discomfort.

Last night, I looked through my homeopathic book and it was a toss up btwn hepar sulp and puls. Hepar sulph is called when the patient is oversensitive and irritable. Puls when the patient is whiny and discharge is thick and yellowish / greenish. Since L wasn't irritable, I gave him puls 200c right before he fell asleep. Next morning, the discharge was gone but he had a cough so most likely it was a viral infection courtesy of his friends at school. I gave him another dose of puls 30c b/c his eye was still slighty pink and puffy.

I am really glad that homeopathy worked in pink eye situations. There was another time when J's eye was really pink but hadn't developed pus yet. I gave him Ferum Phos 200c since it was an early onset. The pinkishness went away the next day. Yay!

At least L gets to stay home on minimum flex day and coincidently, the weather sucks today.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Green smoothie

Forced L to drink green smoothie for the past 3 days. Cut out flovent but continued with albuterol prior to school and gym. He didn't cough when I picked him up nor did he cough at night after the albuterol wore off. I am trying not to be excited b/c chances are the flovent is still circulating in the body. But, I am really hopeful b/c this is the first time it's ever happened. I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

Here is the recipe for the smoothie:
1/2 banana
1 C grapes
1 bunch of greens
Water till it covers the blade. Then liquify the suckers!

It didn't taste that yummy but I made him finish it all up. J's a tougher challenge since he's only 3 and would rebel strongly.

Then, this evening, I made another smoothie for myself:
1 really ripe pear (they become creamy at that stage)
3 ripe strawberries
A bunch of lettuce leaves
Water covers the blade. Liquefy 'em again.

This one - surprisingly tastes much better. Liem liked it and took a drink out of my cup.

One thing about smoothies is that they go through your system rather quick. I find myself getting hungry again after an hour.

Oh, I also tried this combi:
1 avocado
1 orange (peeled)
some grapes

It was a bit thick. But J seemed to like it. Perhaps it's the novelty of it. Thus far, he's been refusing to drink the other ones.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I started scrapbooking last year and made a gift to my MIL. I discovered that I really enjoyed donig it and regretted giving the book away. So, as a tradition, I decided to scrapbook every year. I collect photos over the year and organize them in monthly albums on an online photo webpage. The online photo services allow you to input descriptions and tags. So, I did just that. It is a good system because once I'm ready, I can send all the pictures for printing and they will arrive in the mail. I prefer matte to glossy type of paper.

I did buy some tools and experimented with them but I find that embossing or pattern punches are too restrictive. I get more uses out of styluses, patterned scissors and glue. I also happen to love ribbons and would buy them at sales. Finally I found a way to use them. I also love beads. All these really add to the dimension of the scrapbook.

Now, I wonder to myself ... why don't I save money and just do digital scrapbooking. Nah ... I think I like the feeling of working with my hands and being able to turn unattractive looking scraps of papers into something interesting.

Scrapbooking also opened my eyes to nature's beauty. Trees in silhoutte gives me inspiration to create a page with shadows. Large leaves with yellow spots inspire me to cut the ugly bright yellow paper into simple shapes but compiled into a pretty pattern. Flowers will never be the same. I think of ways to draw them or to use whatever scraps of papers I have to resemble them.

I like scrapbooking. Heh.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Blogger debut

I'm sitting here feeding J. Both kids are entranced by Transformers (1996) on TV. Once they are done, we have to send L to K. J & I have "Small World" class - something like a mommy and me class. Gosh, I sure hope J will get over this separation anxiety from me so I can stick him in a school.

These past few weeks:

1. A friend told me abt raw diet. So, I have decided to try it out but due to tight schedules, I can only eat raw salads for lunch and dinner. Anything in btwn will have to be quick and easy. The salads that I ate in the past were mostly "american" type - cheeses and creamy dressings over bland vegies which I didn't like. However, I've since discovered the world of fresh herbs and other flavorings that do not involve the cow. Oh, and avocado seems to taste a lot better now than before. Perhaps I'm getting old. Here is a recipe of the salad:

Organic herbal mix from Earth Bound
1 avocado
dates or nuts
Need to try to add: grape tomatoes, shallots, pine nuts...

Dressing: squeeze some lemon over the avocados, drizzle of honey & olive oil, soy sauce. Sometimes I would add slivers of seaweed & sesame seeds

This could just be a phase or it could be permanent. Whatever it is, I know I feel more alert consuming pure vegetables than my regular diet of rice, meat and vegie combi.

2. Juicing
Supposedly carrot & spinach combi is good for asthma & eczema. I've yet to see any improvements. Book recommended by a friend:
Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices: What's Missing in Your Body? (Paperback)
by N. W. Walker, Dr. Norman W. Walker

I was desperate to try juicing b/c nothing is working for L. He's still dependent on his inhalers. I know alot of modern thinking parents who believe that you can control asthma through asthma meds. I agree you can do that but my goal is to be free of them. I cannot imagine life being tied to these medications esp. when they produce side-effects of long term usage.

His dr. wants him to go on Singulair. Found these websites abt the side effects.

Since L cannot tell me if he experiences these symptoms, I'm not too inclined towards this product. I will stick to flovent and albuterol for now. And just pray that we find some alternative method of managing the dang asthma.

He's already staying away from his food allergens but it's the environmental triggers that are uncontrollable. Perhaps I ought to make him wear a breathing mask ...

So, I'll keep juicing until I get tired or my hands crack from constant washing.

3. Crocheting. Thanks to a close friend's gift of knitted scarf, she has revived my crocheting hobby. I made 5 scarfs thus far and given them to a few friends. Surprisingly scarves really help keep you warm. I go around the house in a single long sleeve t-shirt and a scarf. W/o the scarf, I'd need a sweater. Also discovered crocheting with thick yarns and big hooks really fun and well, quick. heh ...

4. Ants ... they always manage to find the teeniest of cracks to crawl through. Spray the openings with RAID or any insecticide and then spray soap water (or any cleaning solution) on the ants to kill them. Or, you can just stomp on them. Good therapeutic exercise.