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January 31, 2004

I Spy With My Little Web Cam

My sister and I have recently been having fun with web cams. It's great for the kids and it's FREE!

Since we've been hooked up, I haven't had to make as many long distance calls because we've been able to connect with audio. My Dad on the other hand seems to have technical difficulties yet again and can only get his video working. Today, we tried forever with no luck - if only we could read lips! Still, it's fun for all to keep in touch visually, especially since Oliver seems to be changing on a daily basis.

Oliver recognizes the faces and voices but can't quite figure out how they all fit into the computer screen. It's funny to watch his expressions. I highly recommend it to anyone that has a computer and children or family living far away.

Posted by penny at 11:12 PM in All About Oliver | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2004

Singers Wanted!

I joined a community choir last year, after a friend of mine saw an ad in the Georgia Straight. We rehearse every Tuesday night, and then go to the local pub if enough people are around. Members of this choir have not only sung together, but we've also gotten drunk together, gone dancing all night together, formed bands and performed on stage together, and gone to Japan together. Yup...this is the best choir I've ever been a part of!

If you love to sing and meet new people, you should check us out:

Pacific Spirit Singers is a fun, inviting, gay-friendly, performing choir. We sing folk songs, love songs, jazz and some classical, and perform twice a year. All voices welcome.

Rehearsals meet Tuesday 7-9:15.
Starting in February 2004.

Tracey Classen
Musical Director

Our upcoming concert:
Saturday, Feb. 7th, 8 pm
Quaker Hall 1090 W. 70th Ave, West of Oak
$7. Refreshments served.

Posted by tomi at 01:05 PM in The Sound of Music | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 29, 2004

Happy Birthday!


Posted by penny at 06:55 PM in Too Cute for Words | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 28, 2004

Let Them Eat Cake

Perhaps we would let the kids eat their own birthday cake--if it were made of carrots or rice. But the cake that go-Daddy-O just finished baking is a chocolate one, with creamy chocolate icing. So now it looks like the adults are the only ones who will get a piece of this tasty treat. It's the thought that counts, right?!


Posted by tomi at 11:00 PM in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2004

Dancing Hands & Baby Faces

This past October, the Milk Factory Moms (and two Dads - Kevin & Nyal) strolled down to the Baby Fair - Western Canada's premier baby event. Of course, each of us entered our darlings in the Face of 2004 contest.

baby_fair_ella.jpg baby_fair_oliver.jpg baby_fair_samuel.jpg baby_fair_the_gang.jpg

Adorable aren't they?! (Sorry Mason - I don't have your photo!) You'd think they would have picked one of ours!

Anyway....in re-visiting the Baby Fair web-site, I came across the guest speaker Bios. Although I missed the seminar, I found Paula Fisher's site Dancing Hands very interesting. For $65, you can learn over 100 signs in just 3 hours. AND, she'll come to you if you book a group of more than 4. Her next workshop is February 28th and the last one sold out!

Posted by penny at 10:20 PM in Too Cute for Words | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 26, 2004

Sex in Vancouver: Episode 2

From January 29th until February 5th, Grace (one of the Milk Factory moms) is showing off her many talents as a returning cast member in the play, Sex in Vancouver: Episode 2.

In Episode 1, Grace amazed all of us. She not only took on the challenging role of "Elizabeth", the female lead, but she also managed to look fabulous in only her bra and panties--less than 7 months after giving birth to Samuel. While she's no longer breast-feeding, I'm sure she still looks fantastic in whatever undergaments she may have to strip down to. How's that for a pre-performance teaser?! Don't miss the show.

Posted by tomi at 10:42 PM in All Work and No Play... | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2004

Did You Know?

The world's first pizzeria, Antica Pizzeria Port Alba in Naples, Italy opened in 1830 in and is still in business. The modern Pizza was created by Naples baker Raffael Esposito. In 1889 he created a pizza for King Umberto and the queen, topping the pizza with red tomatoes, white cheese and green basil to depict the Italian flag. He named it in honour of Queen Margherita - who also became the first person to have ordered a take-away (take-out) pizza. Today, more than 5 billion pizzas are sold annually.
Pizza is closing in on the hamburger as the world's second most popular fast food. About 5.5 billion hamburgers are sold annually.


Posted by penny at 11:25 PM in Questions and Quotations_ | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2004

Don't Blink

Today I wandered into our local eyewear store, Blink Optometry, to enquire about getting an eye examination for myself. The person who greeted me at the door was extremely pleasant.

"Yes," he said, "we have two optmetrists who work here. They can examine your baby's eyes too....how old is she?"

Apparently, now that she's almost a 1-year-old, Ella is more than ready for her first eye exam. Eye exams. Dental appointments. Cripes! The next thing you know, she'll be going for her annual Pap smear.

Posted by tomi at 10:05 PM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2004


For the first time in years (or perhaps it's the first time ever?) go-Daddy-O rented a documentary for us to watch: Spellbound.

From the movie's impressive Flash-enabled website:

Who would have thought the most suspenseful competition on television could revolve around a bunch of 14 year-olds hooked on spelling? SPELLBOUND, the award-winning film, proves why the National Spelling Bee is one of the highest rated specials on ESPN -- a nail-biting face-off among hundreds of teens who train as rigorously as any Olympic athlete on their heroic quest for glory.

I've actually seen one of these national spelling bees on ESPN--and indeed, it was a nail-biter. One of the critics' favourites was eliminated because she misspelled the letter "H". The poor thing kept twisting her hands and rolling her eyes upwards, searching for a clue. "Can use that in a sentence, please." The sentence was something lame like "H is one of 26 letters in the alphabet." As if that was going to help! This particular competition was a few years ago, but if I recall correctly, the speller thought that the first two letters were "ei" like in "eight". Ding!

The audience groaned as the bell went off. A look of gut-wrenching disappointment spread over this young person's face. I, personally, felt like she had been denied a fair shot at the prize. She had made it to the last round by correctly spelling numerous incredibly difficult words, only to be eliminated by misspelling a word that was so common, but at the same time, so elusive.

BTW: The correct spelling is...


Would you have gotten that right?

Posted by tomi at 10:12 PM in All Work and No Play... | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 22, 2004

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

So it is officially the year of the Monkey.......again.

And being the only Monkey in the house, the blogging has fallen to me today. Ella is a horse (and can't type yet) and Tomi is a rooster (and has blog block). As it is, the whole barnyard is splashing around in the tub as I write this, so I thought I'd mark the Chinese New Year by thinking about New Year's celebrations that stand out in my mind.

I've never been a big fan of December 31st--New Year's Eve. In fact, I generally go out of my way to avoid attending (or hosting) parties to mark the occasion. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that the "traditions" most North Americans observe include heavy drinking, over-priced / champagne-soaked meals, and forced kisses with strangers at midnight. Growing up, it always struck me as being very fake--a made-up holiday. Too many people wake up the next day hung over, remembering stupid things they did the night before, and wondering if they've already made the first big mistake of the New Year.

Generally speaking, New Year's resolutions are abandoned by mid-January. The vices we had promised to give up just weeks before soon become the only things that can get us through the post-Christmas depression.

Maybe this is why I find myself looking to other cultures to find a New Year with meaning. Both the Chinese and Persian New Year's celebrations come to mind. Both holidays are focused on thoughts of family. There are all sorts of wonderful Chinese and Persian traditions steeped in both a belief in family and a belief in spirituality.

I remember my first Chinese New Year's celebration with Tomi's family. Lots of food, lots of stories, lots more food, and then lucky money to top it all off. Absent were the pressures to drink and socialize with other drunken strangers. Absent also--thankfully--was the need to plant one on somebody you didn't know.

The Persian celebration of Chahar Shanbeh Suri--or--the eve of Red Wednesday is another tradition that makes me think I missed something special growing up. The thought of gathering with friends and family to jump over an open fire and ring in the New Year in a purified state just seems more meaningful than dancing until dawn in smokey, boozy, sweaty haze.

Then again. I suppose a little monkey business is what it's all about for most people.

I guess I'm just very happy that Ella is a horse.

Gung Hay Fat Choy everyone! Happy Chinese New Year!!

May yours be filled with family, friends, happiness, good health, and good fortune

Posted by go-Daddy-O at 09:11 PM in Reflections | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack