Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Yesterday for our Date-versay #8, hubby and I (and Anna) went on a hot date to Ledo Pizza, Trader Joe’s, and a nearby playground.

Dinner was all about entertaining the little one. Anna is all about pointing and letting us know what she wants nowadays. No, she doesn’t want water. Yes, she wants the ice cubes instead. No, she doesn’t want pizza. Yes, she wants that piece of lemon instead. It was exhausting! Highlight of the meal was when she popped a jalapeno pepper in her mouth. Haha, we all had a good laugh.

Then we went next door to Trader Joe’s. Just to browse and have Anna point to more things.

At the playground, Anna had a ball getting pushed on the swing.

We were home by 6:15pm. Bath, followed by books, bottle, and sleep.

Eight years after our first date, we are just two typical parents, doing our best in raising a little girl, leading a very ordinarily life.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
8th date-versary
anniversary date

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Monday, April 25, 2011

planting anna's tree - 4.24.11

We had a very fun and happy weekend that included planting Anna’s tree – a Japanese Maple!

Am so excited to watch it grow.
planting maple
Photo #1 with Maple Tree

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Anna - 13 Months

Slowly but surely, the weather is warming up and Anna is spending more time outside.

Need to kill some time before dinner? Outside! Need something to do before bedtime? Outside! As long as she can explore the outdoors, have a stick in hand, she’s good as gold.

Being a working mom, I am so lucky to be able to spend as much time as I do with her daily.

Anna is developing a strong, yet also sweet, personality. When she wants something, she screams! If something is taken away, she screams! I suppose it’s not really a scream…it’s more of a loud frustrated complaint. On the other hand, she brings me books and climbs right in my lap for reading time. She just recently started doing that and it’s the sweetest thing.

Such simple moments… and these words will help me remember it forever, after she’s grown up and got a say in her outfits.

It’s one of the reasons I keep blogging, I guess.
Anna the Explorer
Anna the Explorer

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Cruisin', Part III

In Belize, we opted to take a snorkeling excursion through a local tour company. The excursion included a 45-minute boat ride to some coral reef (in the middle of the ocean) and then an 1.5-hour of relaxation at a private beach/island. Sounded good and we even haggled down the price!

Well…this turned out to be the most awful experience ever. The one-hour wait for the excursion to start ended up being TWO hours because the tour company waited (and waited and waited) to get more customers. It made sense – to fill up the boat in full capacity to get the maximum return – but I was one angry customer. The smiles in the following picture? Probably fake.

Once we finally got on the boat, it was a choppy ride to the coral reef and that was when I realized that it was not a good snorkeling day. I was right. The water was muddy, waves were strong, and we hardly saw any fish. Oh, and to top it all off, we lost our drivers license somewhere along the trip.

snorkeling in Belize from sugarlens on Vimeo.

After the snorkeling part of the excursion, I was ready to just get back on the cruise boat, but was forced to spend another 1.5 hours “relaxing” on some private island. I sat on the lounge chair the whole time. Worst. Excursion. Ever. Grrrrr. (Hubby was still happy and went to snorkel even more.)

I wanted to see a Mayan ruins in Cozumel and we did just that. Instead of going to the more popular one in Tulum, though, we just settled for a smaller one nearby. I believe it was at the San Gervasio archeological site. Our local tour guide was nice and even drove us around downtown Cozumel.

After 4 days of port, we spent another day at sea before returning to Miami. By then, we were itchy to get off the boat and go home to Anna!

Finally we disembarked and got to the airport. It was a happy surprise when we got on an earlier flight home!
So I know I probably made it sound like I didn't enjoy the cruise at all. Not true. We did have fun and were completely refreshed after 7 days. It just wasn't perfect. But regardless, I wish I could go on another cruise right this second...but bring Anna along, of course!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cruisin', Part II

Our cruise itinerary included two “Fun Days At Sea” and four port stops. Our first full day was at sea and we did a whole lot of nothing. Therefore, hardly any pictures got taken and nothing to share.

The second day we tendered at Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman is supposedly famous for turtles and stingrays and a town called Hell? Or at least that was what I concluded after reading the shore excursion options. But since we just wanted something relaxing and cheap, we took a cab to the nearby 7-mile beach instead. It was fun – we got to play in the water and bask in the sun. No waiting, no lines. A great day! Later we walked around the shopping area near the port a bit before heading back on the boat.
Our next port of call was Roatan and it was right about then that our complaint session started. The area where we docked was nothing but duty free shopping and trinket shops. Totally commercialized. The beach directly accessible from the port was overcrowded with people since there were two other ships that docked there that day. To get anywhere, like a popular beach with snorkeling, we had to pay top $$$ for the cab ride. Not only that, we saw on the map that to get to other places that were further than the said beach, it was actually cheaper! I am not sure if I am explaining it well here, but it was basically one giant rip-off.

So we decided not to be victims and just went back on the boat and had the whole pool to ourselves!
Up next: the rest of the ports!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cruisin', Part I

Once upon a time, hubby and I went on a week-long cruise and I never blogged about it. Well, since this blog serves as a diary for our family, I thought I would rewind to September ‘10 and share a few pictures and stories from our trip!

To sum up:
// We booked the trip shortly after Anna was born. Girlfriend was sleeping all the time and I didn't give a second thought about leaving her for a week.
// So we booked it – a 7-night cruise to the Western Caribbean on the Carnival Valor. To me, it was our post-baby babymoon.
// Fast forward to Sept: We had just moved to our new home, baby was six months old, and I DIDN’T WANT TO GO ON THE DARN CRUISE!
// Up until days before we left, we contemplated on whether to stay or go.
// The night before we were scheduled to leave, we haphazardly tossed t-shirts, shorts, and bathing suits in a suitcase. We left early the next morning…Anna wasn’t even awake.
// We got on the boat. Ate. Complained. Slept. Relaxed. Played. Whined. Ate. Slept. Talked (a lot) about Anna.
// We got off the boat. Arrived home, gave Anna a million smooches, and swore to never leave her again.

So…that was our vacation in a nutshell.
port eat sleep
It was our first time cruising with Carnival and while some people may label it as the "Walmart in the cruising industry,” we received good service and good food. No complaints. Haha, it’s funny, though, because I remember complaining A LOT while on the boat. But looking back now, it was never about the ship/Carnival itself, it was more about the ports (which I will write more about it next time) and the Port of Miami staff. Yes, the Valor wasn’t luxurious by any means nor it had a fancy shopping promenade, but we it had all the food we desired and our balcony cabin was heavenly.

Up next: the ports of call!

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Monday, April 11, 2011

tape strips!

I have been a sporadic blogger lately and I don't like it one bit. While I get my groove back, I thought I would post a picture of...who else...Anna!

But there is more to this post!

I found some masking tape and washi tape embellishments that I really like and will be using them as decorations as much as I can from now on.
Anna doing the model pout.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

my Spring post

signs of spring
I am seeing a slew of Spring-ish posts around the blogosphere and I thought I would join the fun with some pictures of our garden.

With this being our first Spring at our new house - it is especially exciting because we get to be surprised by whatever magically decides to pop up around the house – and we finally get to see what our property looks like "in full bloom".

The daffodils have been around for weeks now.
Tulips are next.
baby green thumb
In addition to the tulips that came with the house, we planted some more this past weekend. It was Anna's first gardening experience. I think after I took this picture, she wandered away. :)

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Monday, April 4, 2011

just another day at meadowlark

It’s been a while since I’ve gushed about Anna’s latest antics. She is almost 13 months old. Pretty nuts. Walking Running everywhere these days.

She loves the dogs, especially Pesto since he’s just more interactive with her. But she squats next to both of them and have conversations, sometimes complete with hand gestures – it’s the cutest thing. She also holds Pesto’s toy up to him and play a game of tug-of-war. Sometimes we just sit back and let Pesto be the entertainer for a while.

Anna clearly knows “mama”, “baba”, and “go-ga” for the dogs. Over the weekend she repeated “wawa” (water) and “pai-pa” (paper) after us. She’s also starting to put two different sounds together to form words. I have a feeling she is going to be a sponge and learn new words quickly.

She can drink easily from her straw cups, but only for juice.

She’s developing a sense of humor. I will try to describe it here. She holds a piece of food between her fingers, opens her mouth, and brings the food towards her month. But before the food reaches her month, she jerks back and closes her mouth dramatically. She will do that several times in a row. We laugh at her and when she sees that, she laughs back and does it some more. Haha, so goofy. Oh, she also loves to feed us.

We can spend 10 minutes emptying out her Mega Blocks container and putting them -one by one - back inside.

It’s a daily habit of hers to grab her shoes and wanting to go outside. Too bad it has been cold and cloudy. But, this weekend…

sunshine finally broke through and we took her to our favorite garden. She loved it! Walking and giggling and just overall having lots of fun.
IMG_6267 cherry blossoms willow tree

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