Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chinese New Year

This year, Chinese New Year fell on the same day as Austraila Day - January, 26th. It wasn't difficult to decide which holiday we should celebrate. There's a huge emphasis on food whenever Chinese New Year rolls around! So, it was imperative that CNY became a priority! (sorry, my Aussie friends...I did think about making meat pies and pasties, though!)

Oh, Joshua is wearing a traditional Chinese boy outfit in the pic above. It fits him better this year than last! 2009 is the year of the Ox. So, Baby Girl will be one, Joshua is a dog, Jared is a horse, and I'm a rat (lovely).

We started off the CNY celebration by inviting Jared's parents over for dinner Saturday night. We cooked a few dishes - I made wonton soup, chicken rice, bak choy with oyster sauce. That was all I had the energy for. Jared made szechuan beef with snow peas! I'm so proud of him!!

On Chinese New Year day itself, we went to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch, the Penang Restaurant in Rolling Meadows. Here's a pic of Joshua and Jared by one of the windows where you could see them make the traditional dishes. It was a yummy lunch!!

The day after CNY, we were invited to my cousin's house for dinner. Jennifer made a feast! It's always fun to get together with family, especially for Chinese New Year. The kids all received red packets, and Rebecca even wore a traditional Chinese blouse.
Some of the traditions include:
  • wearing red
  • wearing new clothes (we didn't adhere to that - maybe when the economy picks up!)
  • red packets for kids
  • no cleaning on CNY (I love this!)
I'm sure there's more, but I can't remember them at this time...
I really hope that we'll get to spend Chinese New Year with my extended family in Singapore one of these years. I desire for Joshua to know his heritage and to embrace the beauty of the Chinese culture, of which there's so much. I know I'm not doing a good job at that, partly because I feel so westernized. I do want to impart all that I know and learned from my parents and grandparents about our heritage, and perhaps Joshua, Baby Girl, and I can rediscover the uniqueness and beauty of being Chinese, and to thank God for blessing us with a rich and vibrant heritage.
Happy New Year, or as we say, Gong Xi Fa Choy!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Joshua's First

Joshua went to the movies for the first time this past Friday! We drove to the Buffalo Grove Theater to watch "Magadascar 2". Since it's a $2 movie theater, we figured we could afford to take the risk in the event of a major meltdown in the middle of the show. But, Joshua did great! He was mesmerized by everything that he saw, especially the enormity of the theater screen (which we called the Big T.V.). At one point, he wouldn't stop saying "Mama, look!" over and over again! We also HAD to get popcorn to make this an authentic movie experience!

So, here are some pics that captured this momentous occasion! (yes, I'm the dorky mom who brought her camera to take pictures of her son at the movie theater...but hey, the other parents there were very supportive of my actions!)

Buying tickets

At the ticket booth

Buying popcorn!

Walking down to our theater room

Posing in front of the Magadascar poster

The Ahrens' at the movies!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Votes are in

I guess it's inevitable...the votes are in (and Jared is doing the Happy Dance!). I joined Facebook yesterday. I guess I'm glad that I did it on our nation's historic Inauguration Day!

I still don't think it was right of Jared to solicit votes through is Facebook page or wall or account or whatever. Needless to say, I have a lot to learn! My email has already been flooded! I told myself that I'll check Facebook in the evenings, after Joshua goes down to bed. That way, I can manage any potential addictive behavior. We'll see...

See you in cyber space!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Facebook Dilemma

Okay, so Jared just joined Facebook, and he's been trying to convince me to join too, along with many others - my sister especially!! Well, I have to say that I'm hesitant. I see how addicted Jared is to it, and I really don't want that. I'm already busy enough, and don't want to get sucked in (cos I know I will!). However, Jared reminds me that I am on bedrest, and so, I'll have the time! (what, and give up mamasource and Ebay?!) Besides, I'm already blogging, aren't I? And that took us a while to even set it up.

Also, what if I don't want to be friends with someone? I know that sounds mean and terrible. To an extent, I enjoy my privacy. Besides, Jared already has a Facebook account, and people can find out what's going on with us through him, right?

Anyway...I created a poll, and I'm going to let you all help me decide. If no one responds, I'll take it as "don't waste your time". So, there!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Best Birthday Ever!

Jared had asked me if I wanted a birthday party, and I said no. I feel that I'm passed the "let's have a party for me" stage, and besides, I don't like the attention anyway. Despite all that, I still had the best birthday ever! Thanks to my beloved and highly creative husband!

I am such a huge "Amazing Race" fan, and knowing this, Jared proceeded to create an "Amazing Birthday Race" for me. Beginning first thing last Saturday morning (on my actual birthday), he handed me an envelope just as I was sitting down for breakfast, and he played the theme song of the "Amazing Race" on his laptop. Immediately, my eyes went wide and I screamed "Did you sign me up for the Amazing Race audition?!?!" My mind was whirling with countless questions...I was ecstatic, yet confused (cos why would they let a pregnant lady participate in the race?). Jared cooly said "no", and asked me to just open up the envelope. I received my first clue, and it said that I had to make my way to the Jewel in Addison (address provided), head to the produce section, and wait there to receive my next clue. And so started my Amazing Birthday Race!

I received clues throughout the weekend. Yes, weekend - it was a 2-day race, and I loved it!! Some of the things that Jared had arranged included breakfast with one of my best friends, dinner at Claim Jumper, choice of movies to watch, manicure and coffee with another girlfriend. It was just too much fun!!

I didn't want presents for my birthday - all I wanted was to go to Drury Lane in Oakbrook to watch my favorite Broadway musical, Miss Saigon. And we did just that last night (oh, and Jared bought me the soundtrack on CD for me. I guess he didn't listen to the "no presents" request. But it wasn't hard for me to accept the CDs!). Also, every year, my good friend, Jolinda, and I always do something to celebrate our birthdays, because our birthdays are exactly a week a part. This year, it was Miss Saigon. So, last night, we all had a great time! Another couple, Chuck and Laura, from our small group, joined us too. So, the six of us had dinner before the show, and had wonderful adult conversation (it's amazing what you're able to talk about without children around!). And the musical was great!!

Despite the 8 inches of snow that we've received this weekend (and it's still snowing out!), nothing was able to dampen all the fun I had on my birthday! Thanks, Jared! You're the best, and I love you so much!

Jared and I at Drury Lane before the show.

Jolinda and me

The Raymans and us