A break from work

The last time that I took a break from work was when we went back to Taiwan in March 2006, which is about 15 months ago. This week I finally had the feel that I am not functional at work and need to take a break so I decided to do so.

Guess it's time to relax (and maybe do something crazy...).


Watch out with that remodeling!

After the first bird family moved out of their nest on top of the motion detector in our front porch, a second family moved in. Apparently these are different species (some sort of swallows this time) and have different preference about how to build a nest. The original one was made from moss and dirt. The new comers decided to do some remodeling and build something out of twigs and grass on top of the original nest. Unfortunately they are not very good at this, the whole added part fell off today. The good thing is that this failure did not seem to bother them, they just stay in the old nest and get on with their life.


David called grandma!

David said "grandma" in Taiwanese today for the first time. Alyssa was sitting next to him talking with gradma on the phone. It is a routing now she always starts by "Hi grandma, I'm Alyssa." When David heard that today he just keep saying "grandma, grandma, grandma" in Taiwanese.

Grandma must had a very good start for the day.

The confusion of being bilingual

Alyssa and Vivian are both truly bilingual now. They are doing very well in most situations but still make some interesting/cute mistakes.

Today they were both saying "I want to drink water in the car" in Mandarin (the correct grammer should be "I want to/in the car/drink water"). I guess something they are just thinking in one language and then just say it in the other. Their Taiwanese is not so good yet so we don't know if they'll have similar problems with a third language.

Appalachian Trail!

When I read Bill Bryson's "A walk in the woods" several years ago, I decided that I want to visit Appalachian Trail at least once in my lifetime. And today I'm mvery happy to check that item off on my "once in a lifetime" to-do list.

Lisa's dad suggested us to take SR60 to the Woody Gap, where the road crosses with the Appalacian Trail so it is easily acceissble for us with 3 little kids. The place was actually very nice with a big parking lot and a nice view from the overlook. We went for a short walk for a little bit more than 30 mins and we all enjoyed it a lot. The only not so good thing is that Ann got a very bad allergy to something there.

The road on the mountain is very enjoyable to drive and should be great for motorcycle ride. I guess we saw at least a hundred motorcycles on the way today. I'll have to come back again on my bike soon.


Bike ride with Alyssa and Vivian

We went to Sandy Creek Nature Center again this afernoon for a bike ride. We brought Alyssa and Vivian's bikes along for them to ride with me. David stayed in his stroller with Ann. We rode for maybe one hour total and I'm really surprised that they can ride for so long. Alyssa can ride almost as fast as my relaxed pace and Vivian gained a lot of confidence to go by herself.

Another interesting side note. While preparing the bikes before we head out, I realized that I've become an "18-wheeler" (i.e., a man with 18 wheels to take care of). Now we have 2 cars, 1 motorcycle, and 4 bicycles. At this rate, I'll be promoted to a "20-wheeler) next year when David gets his own bike.


Vivian's disappearing pajama

Vivian came to us this morning after she got out of bed and was very pruod of herself, saying that she woke up and changed out of her pajamas all by herself. We asked if she has put her PJ back in place and she quickly realized that she missed something that she should've done (as usual). Five minutes later she came back and said she couldn't find the bottom of her PJ anywhere. So I went to her room with her and spent a good five minutes with her to check her room. Finally we realized that she still has her PJ on when she put on her clothes.

This silly daughter is really a great fun to have aroung the house.


A dad's parenting blog?

While reading Lisa's column today, this question suddenly occurs to me: why almost all the parenting blogs/columns are written by moms? It's not like men totally absent from the whole parenting business.

Anyway, this blog of mine has something to do with parenting so I guess I am doing my part for reducing this inequity.


Happy birthday Nina!

Nina turned (approximately) two today. Because she was a rescued dog, we are never quite sure about her exact age. Based on what we know at the time of adaption we decided May 22 will be her birthday. She is more mature now for the most part but is still childish in many way. *SIGH* I guess that's what it is with the Labs.


Little angry lizards

Inspired by a lizard they saw in the Botanical Garden awhile ago, Alyssa and Vivian came up with the idea of putting a partially inflated balloon under their chin and squeeze the balloon while keep saying "I'm an angry lizard". They are really silly.

Sandy Creek Nature Center

We went to the Sandy Creek Nature Center for a walk this afternoon. We walked from the center to the northern end of North Oconee River Greenway. The trail was paved and maybe a good place for all of us to ride.

Bike ride at Southeast Clarke Park

We took Alyssa and Vivian to the Southeast Clarke Park to ride their bicycles.


Bike ride with kids

Today I took Ann's bicyle and gave all three kids a ride in the back around our neighborhood. David went first and seems really enjoyed the ride. I am kind of surprised that he can enjoy this withour getting scared.

It has been a long time since the last time that I took Alyssa and Vivian out for a ride. They both enjoyed the ride a lot, Alyssa is getting really heavy and she probably won't be able to fit into the baby seat soon. It's amazing how fast they grow.

My first Ninja250 GRR meet

Today I rode to Greenwood, SC to meet with Payne Seal for lunch at the Lttle Pigs BBQ. This is my first Golden Rule Rally meet with people from the Ninja250 club. We had a good lunch and a good meet. I rode about 200 miles today, which is a record for me. I've never ridden for more than 100 miles round trip before. Knowing that I can do this gives me a great sense of accomplishment and self-confidence.

The view of Savannah river is great and it's very nice that they designed the bridge for people to park on bridge to take some pictures. Another interesting experience from today's ride to see a whole town turned into a giant flea market. The first town on Route 72 after I passed GA/SC boarder is Calhoun Falls. The whole town just turned into a giant flea market, almost everyone has somethings for sale in their front yard and it's people/car everywhere. It took me about 20 minutes to ride the 2 miles strech across the town.


Free messenger bag from Buell

After seeing the ad in the magine about Buell is giving out free messenger bag to get people to test ride their motorcycle, I went to Cycle World of Athens today to ask for that. I was thinking to test ride the Blast since I've read so much about it. Too bad the only demo bike they have is a 1200cc monster which I found too intimidating. But I was lucky that they decided to just give me a bag. The bag is actually quite nice, I probably will use it for short rides that don't call for my tank bag.

Itchy itchy Vivian

Vivian, like her mom Ann, uncle Richard, and grandma Aina, enjoys scratching all over herself a lot. The scratching apparently is deep in her subconscious that most of the time she has no idea about what she is doing. Now that summer has come and mosquito bites are part of life, her extensive scratching really becomes a big problem. It just taks an awfully long time for ANY mosquito bit to heal. This evening Ann plan to put a band-aid on the mosquito bite to prevent her from scratching off the scab and asked Vivian which one she scratchs most often. After thinking for a long time (you can see her mind is struggling just by looking at her face), Vivian finaly said "all of them". I guess a rope to tie her hands or a roll of linen for warpping mummy would be a better solution than band-aids.


Parent's observation day at Alyssa's ballet

Today is the last day of Alyssa's ballet class this year. The dance studio invited parents to stay in the classroom so I took Vivian there. As usual, Alyssa did very well on just about everything. In the end they has a "silly dance" session and Vivian joined Alyssa to do lots of silly dance. They both had a great time.

Crazy dog drives me nuts!

For some reason Nina decided it was a good idea to scratch her crate all night last night. I know this is silly but I got REALLY MAD about the whole thing. Ann said that I probably get mad once every three years since we are together. I wonder what is it with this dog that I can get SOOOO MAD over some seemingly trivial things. Maybe it is my insecurity or something, everytime she disobey my command I feel deeply betrayed by a family member (which she is...)


Standing long jump

Inspired by Alyssa's track day at school, we are practicing standing long jump in our screened porch today. I'm really suprised that Vivian can jump for almost 3 ft! (I can jump for about 5.5 ft.)


Nana as in Nina

David called Nina the first time today. He said "Nana".

Gift exchange on Mother's Day

Last night I took Alyssa and Vivian to Publix to buy a marble cheese cake (one of Ann's favorites) as a surprise for the Mother's day. Unexpectedly, when they woke up this morning they both kept bringing all kinds of toys to Ann. When Ann asked why they are doing this, they both replied that "because we shared all our toys with you, you should share your cheese cake with us" :)

Alyssa's ballet performance

Alyssa had her year end ballet performance today. She did very well and we enjoyed the show a lot.


Alyssa's track day at school

Alyssa had her first track day at school today. She can run a 30-yard dash in 7 sec, throw a beanbag to 19ft., and do a standing long jump to 3ft. She enjoyed the activities a lot and is very proud of herself.

Massage can be really painful

As title.


Strawberry picking, round 2

We went strawberry picking for the second time this year. David went to bed after dinner so I took Alyssa and Vivian with me while Ann stayed at home. They strawberries are sweeter than last week. The girls are very happy and we had a wonderful trip.



I've been using Wikipedia for a long time now and just registered to make my contribution for the first time today.

My first entry is a page for Theileria. I'm really surprised that there is no entry for this important parasite genus that have two genome sequencing projects.


My last committee meeting

Today I had my last committee meeting. The next time I see all of them together in one room will probably be my defennse. Just the thought of this is kind of scary, am I really going to graduate soon?

We went to the Ru San's for dinner as a way to celebrate this. The sushi there is good and kids loved it too.


The hairy leg theory

Vivian just came up with a theory about why mosquitos always get her but not me. It is because.... "daddy got hairy legs!"


Athens Human Rights Festival

We went to the Athens Human Rights Festival at downtown today. The drumming session by Dr. Arvin Scott and Drumming For Success is very impressive.


Strawberry picking

We went to the Washington farm for strawberry picking for the first time this year. The strawberries are still small but conditions are good. David fell asleep on the way there, so I took Alyssa and Vivian with me while Ann stayed in the car with David. It is amazing how good they did. Vivian learned how to pick strawberries without squeezing them (it was such a mess last year) and to tell good one from bad ones. Alyssa is very helpful to Vivian and them both had a very good time. Too bad it didn't occur to me that this can be an oppurtunity for me to enjoy a motorcycle ride until we are half way there.

Teeball time!

We bought a teeball set yesterday for the kids. Alyssa has been playing baseball at the school and seems to like it, so we think it might be fun to try this at home too. And with the tee even Vivian can join the play. They both like it a lot, even David gets really excited just watching his sisters play. He just keeps jumping up and down in the stroller, waving like crazy, and screams really hard when his sisters hit the ball. It was very fun, but we probably need to get a plastic bat for Vivian. The metal one is still too heavy for her for extended play.


"Baby" tomotos

Upon Alyssa's request, we started a small vegetable garden in the front yard last week. We got the plants from Lisa, We got squash, cucumbers, and two kinds of tomatos. Today is the first time we see two little tomatos hanging on the branch. Alyssa and Vivian are so excited about the "baby tomatos" and just couldn't resist to see them again and again.


Crawling 101 for David

David started to crawl very well. After getting used to the speed of Alyssa and Vivian, David seems to be in slow motion. He just goes one step at a time and try to get every step right, almost like doing a demo video. He is just so cute.


Yes, they can fly now

As it turned out, the birds that live in our front porch have 3 hatchlings this year. The young birds learned how to fly today and left their nest right when I come back from work. They still hang around on the big oak tree in our front yard but don't go back to their nest.