Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tristan @ 10 Months

This little monkey is growing so fast. Remember his two-month post

This baby boy is a curious little one. He'll fall into buckets, pull open drawers, and climb under tables. Nothing can stop him. He will crawl from corner to corner and pull himself up along tables, chairs, walls... any other object he can find. He loves smooshing his face against window panes and playpen netting. He is one big ball of energy. Leaving him in his playpen means he'll end up in a boxing match with himself, bouncing from side to side. The best of all... he's a happy little one. He'll get into these long contagious giggle fits that only makes you want to giggle along with him. His laugh is so ridiculously cute.

Love this little monkey. Can't wait to watch him continue to grow.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Because There Is Passion

I still have a whole lot of passion.

I complain about work. Who doesn't. I have extremely horrible days at work. Like some do. Somedays, it really tests my limits. And yes, there are days I question if what I do is what I really want to do. It can be pretty tough. What frustrates me most is with all the cutbacks and budgets, I don't get to practice how I'd like to practice. And if you could understand what that is, you'd see that I don't hate what I do. Instead, deep down, I have a whole lot of passion.

With the McPharmacy that I help to run, it leaves me no time to think about anything else but the prescription at hand. Today, I forgot about my appointment with a patient for her smoking cessation consultation. I'm stressed beyond belief. I have an hour wait for all the prescriptions coming in. The phone is ringing off the hook. The doctor on the other line is mad that I had him on hold for five minutes. I'm already backlogged. And now, I'm suppose to step away from the pharmacy to do a one-on-one minimum 30-minutes consultation with a patient... and watch the pile of prescription grow behind me. It's absolutely insane. And the next patient I'll get the counter will complain about the wait being longer than 15 minutes and question my customer service because in the middle of all the chaos, I forgot to smile.

But back to my smoking cessation patient. At that moment, I really didn't want to do this consultation. Right now? Really? Is she sure the appointment was for RIGHT now? I checked my schedule. Indeed... appointment booked for right now.

I sat down with the patient. Pulled out all my counselling material. Ran through our questionnaires and info gathering session. And all the counselling tips I picked up from training and my PCP meetings came pouring back to me. Like a broken record being dusted off.

But once I get started, my heart goes into it. She talks about guilt. Her husband quit 30 years ago cold turkey, and all he keeps telling her is "I can do it. Why can't you?". She wants to. She really wants to. But it's kicking off a 30 year addiction, and for some reason, cold turkey hasn't worked for her.

I tell her... on average, it takes a person four to six tries before they actually quit. Each time you attempt to quit is a step closer to actually quitting. You tried quitting, and you failed? That's great. You tried again, and you failed again? Even better. Because every time you try, you're that much closer.

I could see a change in her facial expression. She gets it. I could almost feel her guilt lifting off her shoulders.

She tells me that she knows she shouldn't be smoking. Every time she smokes, she thinks about all the horrible things she's doing to her body. She knows it's bad. But she still can't help but smoke.

I told her...we all know what smoking does to us. There are enough cancer posters out there. But let's concentrate on the positive. Did you know that within eight minutes of quitting smoking, the oxygen level in your blood increases? Did you know within minutes, the temperature in your hands and feet goes up?

She applied all the information I was giving to her to herself. Yes, she told me. That her hands are always cold.

Did you know that within 24 hours of quitting, your chances of a heart attack starts to decrease?

Within 24 hours... wow, she said. She was surprised.

By the end of our conversation, I could read it in her that she was pumped to quit. There was less guilt, less pessimism, and a whole lot more confidence. She asked me when should she set her quit date to be. That's how everyone else does it right? You set a date. And from then on, you stop smoking. She said she's tried it many times before. It never works. This is a 30-year addiction after all.

I told her... this month, you're going to cut down from your 20 cigarettes a day to 15. If you can do more, that's great. But we're going to try 15. She seemed pretty happy. No great expectations and realistic goals, she said. Not sure if the comment was directed at me or to herself.

I realize that once our conversation is over and she returns to life, she will come across bumps and obstacles ... with a bit of that guilt and self-blame coming back. But that's when my follow-up calls and appointments will hopefully get her back on track.

Will I be able to help her kick her 30-year addiction once and for all? Maybe. Maybe not. But if I could at all inject a little be of positivity or self-confidence to perhaps bring her closer to her goal, then I believe I've done my job.

And that is my job. Why I don't hate my job. Why I still have passion.

It's true that 99% of the time, I get the frustration and McPharmacy practice... and time spent as an actual health care profession providing care is minimal. Frustration boils over me. And I get exhausted. But getting to do something you're passionate about doesn't always come easy and without bumps in the road. The rewarding feeling of using the knowledge I have as a pharmacist and being an educator to my patients is actually somewhat indescribable.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sushi Bella

Bought a Living Social coupon almost half a year ago. With Japanese restaurants, I'm always in search for any hidden gems. These coupons let me try them out at a decent price. I always look up reviews and their website to check them out first. This time, it was Sushi Bella located on West 4th. 

The decor of the restaurant was nice and comfortable. The menu was neatly laid out. They have quite a few of their own innovative rolls. We tried most of what was recommended by our waiter. In pictures are : the Bella Tower, agadeshi tofu in three different styles, the Ocean Dream roll, the Lady Mango roll, and the original sushi pizza. I found everything quite fresh and delicious. I quite liked the marinated mushroom layer in the Bella Tower, and enjoyed the three flavours of agadeshi tofu. The crunchy yet chewy rice of the "crust" for the pizza was different. 

We got there pretty early when the restaurant was still empty. By the time we ordered, the restaurant was packed. If I was in the area and craving sushi, I'd definitely go back to Sushi Bella again. 


It's 2am, and I'm still up watching the Olympics. Specifically, rowing. I love it. You can hear people yelling and cheering them on. You can hear the swooshing of the water against their oars. I have a soft spot for water/boating sports since I've done a bit of dragonboating, ocean canoeing, kayaking and rowing.

I took rowing lessons at Elk Lake, Victoria BC, where the national team practices. It's a beauuuutiful and scenic place. Lucky us... because it's the ultimate training site, we got to watch some of the then olympians practice and meet some of the Olympic coaches. (Pro rowers are super muscular with gigantic thighs!) Our very own coach was a co-coach that worked alongside an Olympic coach. But even as hardcore as they could be, our coach knew to take it easy on us. It was a LOT ... a lot a lot ... of fun. He always told us to leave our worries, stress, and our shoes at the dock. While we're on the water, it's all about rowing. It was so refreshing.

Taken from my old blog about day one of practice : First, it was the erg machines to familiarize ourselves with the motion. Quickly thereafter, in the boat. Then, it was all about balance. Stabilization. Begin with all arms. Squaring the blades. Skim the surface. Catch. Drive. Finish. Recovery. Catch. Drive. Finish. Recovery. Then work in the legs. The back. The sequence. In TIME! CATCH! CATCH! CATCH! Next, the feathering. Feather the blade. Square the blade. Feather the blade. Square the blade. All of this done first in pairs. Then threes. FASTER! MORE POWER! CATCH!Then all four of us. Together. In a quad.

Here are some of my old photos of our last day. Our coach took my camera and took some of these photos from his coach boat.


Omigosh, I can feel an ounce of their adrenaline just watching it on TV...

Friday, July 27, 2012

London 2012

Ahh... I love the Olympics. Growing up, it was one great family affair where we'd glue ourselves to the TV watching every sporting event we can. We rooted (of course) for Canada, but also end up rooting for other athletes after getting to know them through competition. After the weeks of medal counting and a great spectacle splattered across our TV screen, the closing ceremony always brings a bittersweet kind of feeling... not wanting it to end. Then we'd wait another two years for the next one.

Love the sports. Love the stories of dedication and perseverance. Love the hardcore. But what I also love most is the many countries around the world getting together to share these moments and celebrate. All through sports.

Watching the opening ceremonies for London 2012 brings back the great memories of Vancouver 2010. Ahh, it was seriously one of the most joyous and vibrant the city has ever been. I soaked it all up visiting as many Olympic sites as I could. When I wasn't at work, I was out there celebrating with the world. My friends and I enjoyed the Coke Pavillion so much, we must have went there at least three times. We went around collecting the pins as they were handed out. We got to watch free outdoor concerts. We ziptrekked over Robson St. We got together and watched Sidney Crosby score the winning goal for the hockey gold medal. We lost our voices screaming. The entire city exploded. We got to watch some of the paralympic events live. We watched the figure skaters practice. At the end of it all, my brother and I paid a shiny penny for tickets to the closing ceremony. We both reminisced on it today, meaning money well spent. It was all so memorable.

While watching the opening ceremony on TV, I jumped on my rotary disc. It helps work on your core. It's been hiding for a while now, packed away since my Victoria days. Time to whip it back out. Perhaps the Olympics will serve as motivation.

If you're curious about the rotary disc, here is a link from livestrong.com.

Go Canada Go!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sarah @ 7 Weeks

I can't get enough of this lil' munchkin. But I need to start working out my arms to carry her.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My New Love

I've waited so so so long... and finally, it's at home with me!

(Yes, fully aware the seat is too low. So kindly pointed out by a couple cycling buffs. Will raise the seat once I get used to my new ride).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Absolutely All About Love

Marian and Justin... some of the most cheery, happy, and selfless people you could ever meet. Today, I was so lucky to get to attend their wedding.

It was a beautiful day. Even with the forecast showing rain, the sun came out to play. We all arrived at the church, settled in, and the musicians started to play. The flower girl and ring bearer were so cute but shy, slowing making their way down the aisle with everyone oogling at how cute they are. Marian walked in with her father... smiling (as always) and saying hi to everyone she walked passed. She was absolutely stunning. Down the aisle, you can see Justin choking back tears. As Marian approached, he gave her a big, teethy grin. It's so Marian and Justin. Always happy. Always playful. 

The priest told personal stories about each of them, making a lot of people in the room cry happy tears. He threw a few jokes that made everyone laugh. He even did an impersonation of Marian. He copied her energetic spirit and her peppy voice and said, "I still remember the day she came in, and said 'Hi! I'm getting married!'", waving his hand just how Marian would. 

He also said "Marriage isn't all about clouds, rainbows, and cotton candy... there will be days when you will feel "auuggghh"... and during those moments when you feel "aauuuuggh", ask yourself, 'Is this really a big deal?'. If it isn't, then let it go." 

When the time came to exchange vows, Justin lost it. Tears streaming down his face. Marian fanned Justin's face with her hand to no avail. Then the priest also fanned Justin with his hand.... and the whole church chuckled.. Throughout the entire ceremony, beautiful church hymns and vocals filled the air. 

Once the ceremony was done, and Marian and Justin walked out of the church together as husband and wife, the church was still quiet. We all heard Marian outside proclaiming, "Hehehe...Yayyyy!", in her ever so chirpy voice. Again, the church broke out in laughter.

That seems to always be the case when you're around Marian. At work. Outside of work. Anywhere. There is always laughter. 

This was exactly what her mother said in her speech at the reception. Her words put together so well. Expressing how very thankful and happy she is to have a daughter like Marian. Always so kind and caring, and brings happiness wherever she goes.

The banquet hall was beautiful. The head table had a backdrop of sparkles and was adorned with white orchids. Each guest table had three floral arrangements of white, pale pink, and soft romantic colours. On the side of the room, there was a yummy candy bar labelled "His" and "Hers". Outside in the lobby was a  fun photobooth. Their delicious tiramisu and champagne cake was from Thomas Haas. And on top, it was open bar. 

But the most beautiful thing was their speeches. Every word so touching. Every story so heartfelt. Marian tells the story of how she rejected Justin the first time. Even calling him a "sister" ('cause she thought him girly) to keep them in the friends zone. But later thanked Justin for being persistent. Their friendship later turned into love... and now marriage.

As the couple came around to toast every table, they didn't do it just out of tradition. They paused at every table and chatted their guests. Marian, the bride.. on her big day... made time and asked about my ankle/knee. That is Marian alright.

By the end, everyone was having a good time on the dance floor. I was spent. It was simple and fun. . It was absolutely all about love.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Card Making

Late night card-making. Trying to pump out a few wedding cards. I had just cleaned up my desk last week. And now... a tornado blew through it. I got this desk upgrade I believe when I went to university. It's a desk that's the size a 4-seater dining table. 'Course, this is only the work station. Not pictured is my wall of supplies. Tonight, it's only me and my Cricut.

Friend Like You

Matty and Glow Worm are best friends. Look at those cute, chubby fingers and dimples in his hand. He's so cute - I want to smoooosh him. Matty that is, not Glow Worm.

When you want to bake up an experiment, she'll lend you her kitchen. When your leg is injured, she'll go swimming with you to hopefully make it better. When you're blue, she'll take a walk with you. When you need someone to listen, she'll lend an ear. When you need company, she's ditched her plans for you. When you haven't eaten, she'll make sure dinner is ready for you. When she sees your true desire, she'll eagerly force you in the direction (even if towards a bike shop). I hadn't said much about what I needed. But somehow, I got it all. 

When you drop by to visit, you find her working on a project at home. " It's not finished. Something for you," she says. I didn't say much in return.

Honestly, the past two weeks have been nothing short of wonderful. I never said much of anything. Just going with all the spontaneity that we had. But deep down, I felt every ounce of your care. When there comes a moment when you realize a friend isn't as close to you as you thought they are, it stings. But when you do find a friend who cares about you as you them... it's amazing.

Thanks, Kat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Crab King

It's Maria's birthday today! But we celebrated it over the past weekend.

It was warm every other day, but on a cooler night, a bunch of us headed out to Steveston to dine at the Crab King for the celebration.

The sun was setting and the breeze was blowing. The Crab King is a floating restaurant right next to the famous Pajo's. 

The seating is outdoors facing a view of the marina. Everyone gets their own special utensils.

That's Karen being nice to the birthday girl.

The seafood is literally fresh off the boat. Hah.

The food was so fresh and yummy. There was crab, muscles, clams, corn, sausages, potato, fries, shrimp, and corn. Unlike Crab Pot in Seattle, the food isn't dumped onto the table, but rather just served to you in a large bowl. Mmm... 

Karen looks confused.

Even baby Sarah made it out (sitting in her carrier underneath the heat lamp which the parents spent a good deal of time arranging for her). 

I would go again. Maybe on a hot day. And finish it off with some Steveston ice cream.

This time for dessert, we got a delicious mango cake. 

Happy Birthday, Maria!

Never Say Never

I never take photos of flowers.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Not a good picture at all. There is no focal point. Or anything to see for that matter. But while walking out of a floating restaurant at Steveston, I got a glimpse of this. I love the colours. The greys... almost purpley... with a peek of peachy orange.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Random Act of Kindness

I was tidying up my room and I found this. Every time I catch a glimpse of this, it makes me smile inside. It's because it reminds me of a random act of kindness from a long while ago. 

I ran a different blog about a decade ago while I was going through university and then living on the island. Much like this blog, it was about very random things. I can't remember how I got into a conversation with a friend about the MoMA in New York, and I began to surf their website just for fun. I don't necessarily "get" modern art, but I appreciate it. Very random and sometimes unexplainable things that people find attractive, what's wrong with that? 

Anyway, on their website was this salt and pepper shaker. Back 10 years ago, I somehow fell in love with them. I don't really get it now, but I suppose it's cute. C'mon, they're hugging. And no, I don't use salt and pepper shakers at home... so why I would want one, I really don't know. Regardless, I posted a picture, much like this one, on my then blog... raving about how cute I thought it was and how much I wanted it.

Months later, a friend handed me these salt and pepper shakers, and told me it was from a friend of his. Someone I've heard of because of our mutual friends, but I've never met. I believe she was a stewardess... I'm not really sure still. But I know she traveled a lot for work. My friend said to me, "Don't get too excited. It's not from New York. I think it's a rip-off from Thailand." 

I didn't care. What I love even more than the salt and pepper shaker now is that random act of kindness. She read my blog. I had no idea. And during her travels for work, she spotted these and decided to get it for me. Someone I don't know at all wanted to make my day... and she totally did. Because she didn't know me at all, she passed them on to a mutual friend to give it to me. To this day, I haven't formally met or talked to her. I did pass back, through our friend, a thank you card.

I still keep these visible in my room. And every time I see it, it reminds me... there are some really cool people in this world. Has anyone surprised you with a random act of kindness?

 It still means a lot to me. Thanks, Veronica.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Out of all activities I love to do, swimming, especially in a community pool, wasn't one of them. The last dozen times I swam was probably somewhere tropical. Or, a pool on a cruise boat. Or, even in a tank of sharks. But not in a community pool. Don't like the chlorine. Don't like the crowd. Don't like the big ordeal of lugging a lot of things to change and shower.

Anyway, things change. I was craving to do something active. Since running, yoga, and a whole bunch of other things are out of the question because of my injuries, my physio gave me two options : swim or cycling. I tried yoga on my little getaway to the Okanagans, and I did most of the class with several variations of different poses from the instructor when she found out about my injuries. I was so disappointed and sad when I couldn't even do a simple child's pose, since bending and sitting on my knee like that did not feel right. Anyway, I did yoga. And I felt great that I did. But by night, my ankle was twice the size.

So... since I need to go and pick up my bike in order to go cycling, I had no choice but to go swim. I just needed that kick in the butt to go. Kat did just that by being my swim partner.

And y'know what? Swimming in a community pool isn't so bad after all. It felt really nice to be in the water again. Even if there was a bit chlorine. Luckily, it wasn't crowded. Being in the water gives me that feeling of freedom. We did several laps. Stopped and bobbed around in the water. Then went back to do more laps. When we both got out of the pool, our legs were a little wobbly. Hey, it's been a while...

I felt my injuries when I was in the water. Now and then with a kick, I felt a twang in my knee or my ankle. But, I strongly believe it helped it. Can't wait to go again.

(Bought those goggles when I was in Singapore. Did a bit of swimmin' there. Everytime I wear it, it brings back the memories of the good ol' times).

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Visiting Sarah @ 5.5 Weeks

I can't get over how cute she is. I couldn't keep my eyes off of her. I think I can seriously stare at her all day.  Chubby wubby Sarah is soooo cuuuute! 

Her mommy might kill me for taking this last photo. I took this while she was busy feeding Sarah. I just had to. It's hilarious. The last three times I've visited Sarah, there was always a half-eaten Chinese bun sitting on their coffee table or side table. I kid you not. Every time! Ahh... how having a baby changes everything. There never seems to be enough time to even finish a bun... poor mommy. But it's all worth it I'm sure. Baby Sarah is so darn cute! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Contagious Happiness (High Tea at the Fairmont, Aberdeen, And Screamers)

I was invited to share a lovely afternoon at the airport Fairmont Hotel indulging in some delicious high tea. I went with Kat and met up with Tina, Lyla, and a bunch of their friends that I've never met before. Tina is Will's wife; Will was one of my former dragonboat coaches. Lyla is their almost three-year-old daughter. Don't even know why I still mention that fact that he was my former dragonboat coach. We've been friends longer than we were coach and student. But anyway, this was an all-girls event. Will so eagerly declined to join us too. Their friends all brought along their daughters and we were going to have a blast at tea.

We started off with a very refreshing fruit cup.

We got a chance to smell the tea leaves before we chose which one we wanted. Some of us went with earl grey. Others went with a maple black tea. And I went with chai. 

With high tea, I always enjoy the savories the most. Along with a good pot of tea. And these savories at the Fairmont were actually some of my favorites. The scones are always delicious with the devonshire or clotted cream. By the time I get to the dessert, I'm already too full. Too bad high tea is not quite like how it is in London... where the savories are refillable and you can choose several different flavours of tea (to one person). No, I'm not greedy. Hah.

If Karen saw this photo, she may exclaim, "Have I taught you nothing?? Jam before the cream!". The proper English way to do it is apparently to put the jam on first. I'm too used to buttering it like my toast... fats first, then jam.

The food was delicious and the teas were yummy. Unfortunately, the service was horrible. Our tea pots were refilled with water from the coffee pots so our teas ended up tasting like coffee. We didn't get any napkins. It took forever to flag someone down. 

Kat had brought stickers and water tattoos for each of the girls. Of course, they wanted to put them on right away. So in the midst of high tea, the moms were all busy patting on tattoos for their daughters.

Lyla wanted a flower on her leg. 

I thought it was pretty funny. But they were all so cute. 

Then moments later, this happened. Everyone disappeared. The girls all needed a potty run. Ahh, the joys of motherhood.

I don't know if I want kids myself one day, but I do enjoy listening in on their parenting stories. Modern moms and their modern parenting skills. It makes for great stories. The kids were so cute. Even when they were fighting over a single cupcake. 

After high tea, we went over to Aberdeen where all the boys and the dads were chilling. 

Look who I found at Aberdeen. This is Owen... Lyla's brother. Is Owen eating my hair?...

We put them all on the merry-go-round. 


Lyla sticks her tongue out at baby brother.

They all had so much fun. Who knew... at the Aberdeen food court.

On the way out, Lyla tugs on her daddy when she spotted this place. Put a token in, spin it, and a toy comes out. While everyone was waiting outside, I heard someone shout, "YES! I got one!". 

It wasn't Lyla. It was her dad. Will : "It's GUNDAM! I collect these!". Yah, okay. Who's the kid again?

... which of course leaves the duties of getting Lyla a toy to Kat. 

What Will did get for daugther Lyla is a big honkin' screamer. (Screamer : Ice cream + Slurpee). We left Aberdeen and headed down to Francis Rd. and Garden City where there's a corner store called Danny's. Lyla's screamer was the size of her head. And I got to try a screamer for the first time...

Do you think that's enough sugar for a two year old?

Mmm... Lyla enjoying her pineapple screamer. It matches her yellow dress. This was right before their long drive home to Redmond. Surprised if Lyla wasn't bouncing off walls or going for many potty runs after that drink...

No screamer for Owen but he's just as happy.

This looks like Will abusing his child but he was really trying to get Lyla to give him a fist pump. Lyla was too busy slurping on her screamer and couldn't be bothered. After many pleas to Lyla to give him a fist pump and being rejected, mommy Tina comes over and takes the screamer away from her and tells her she can't have it back until she fist pumps daddy. 

Hahahaha... they're hilarious. At least I found it funny. Lyla on the otherhand not only denied the fist pumping but threw a fit for her screamer. Oiy. :)

She was happy again. 

I wanted the orange crush creamsicle but it wasn't cold enough, so they gave me the melon instead. It was actually pretty good. Surprisingly not too sweet. But... I think I'm good for now. Not craving another.

It was one happy summer day.