14 December 2010

December update

The Christmas festivities have begun. Ed, Sophia, and I attended my work Christmas party last Dec 3. Since I am on maternity leave, I have seen my coworkers only a handful of times since August. It was great to see everybody and have a chance to catch up with my colleagues. Sophia got passed around the whole evening and she was such a good sport about it. She didn’t cry or whine at all. She looked so cute in her lovely red polka dot dress. (Thank you to my Tita Baby for the dress.)
Sophia and her red dress.

The following evening, we asked a friend, Kiran, to babysit Sophia so that Ed and I could attend his work Christmas dinner at Chambar. It was the first time we have left Sophia with somebody else. Kiran and Sophia had a very good evening together, thankfully! And it was such a treat to be able to sit and eat dinner leisurely, with adult conversation to boot. The food was delicious, too.  Thanks, Kiran, for looking after our baby girl.

Sophia sleeping on Kiran.

On my birthday, Ed took the day off work (the best gift ever!) so that I don’t spend the day taking care of Sophia by myself. He also gave me a lovely present - a beautiful Mikimoto pearl necklace pendant. We went to the Secret Garden in Kerrisdale for high tea. I am a big fan of tea and going for high tea is always a special treat for me. It was Sophia’s and Ed’s first high tea! Unfortunately, I brought the camera but forgot to put in the memory card (mommy brain!) so no pictures of us enjoying our tea. Boo.

Sophia is 4 months old now and she has started to grab things with her hands. I mean actually focus on something and direct her hands toward the object. She has also started to squeal and giggle and “talk” more. I think she has realized that the sound she is hearing is her own voice. She sucks on her fingers and “talks” to herself. Sometimes it sounds like she’s singing. So cute. She also makes a clicking sound with her tongue, which she plays with a lot. We have started to put her down and get her to fall asleep without being rocked and swayed. This is a big development for us! And she usually falls asleep on her own, with some crying and whining, but it doesn’t take her long to do so. She’s figuring it out. She still sleeps longer when I am holding her compared to when she’s sleeping on her own. But I’m sure as she gets more accustomed to it, she’ll sleep longer and more restfully on her own.
She's getting taller!
Still small enough to fit in a pail.

Touching Neo for the first time.

Go, Canucks, go!

21 November 2010

She's rolling!

We've reached a new milestone with Sophia; she is able to roll from her back to her tummy.  And once on her tummy, she can wiggle and spin around.  It is an awesome milestone, however, it means I can't just leave her on the change table or the sofa any longer.  And it also means a more challenging time getting her diaper and clothes on her.  She is a lot more active now and she loves to sit upright or be on her feet.  I've started to put her in the Bumbo seat and she seems to enjoy that.

For a video of Sophia at eight and fifteen weeks, see http://www.flickr.com/photos/liezel/5196768997/.

A lot of development for our baby girl the last couple of weeks.  People often comment on how tiny Sophia is (she's in the 5th percentile for weight) but as Lori, a paddling-mate said, Sophia is big in other ways.

12 November 2010

Living room

When we moved into our townhouse five and a half years ago, I said “no more Ikea furniture”. I love Ikea, don’t get me wrong, but I was done with the particle board furniture. I want real wood furniture. So slowly and little by little, we’d buy a piece or a set to fill a room. The biggest purchase so far has been our bedroom set. The downside of real wood furniture, of course, is the price. I’ve been wanting to complete our living room for years but based on my research, it would cost around $2500 for an entertainment cabinet and a bookshelf. Now that we have a baby, gone are the days when we can spend that kind of money on furniture. So, I decided to check out Ikea. I found the Hemnes collection which is made of pine wood. At least it’s not particle board! We bought an entertainment cabinet, a wall shelf and a bookshelf for $750. Ed, with little assistance from me, has assembled the furniture and finally, our living room is looking pretty complete! That only took five and a half years to do. I’m very happy with how it has come together. The furniture doesn’t even really look like it’s from Ikea. We’ve also created space for a play area for Sophia. I’ll post pics soon.

Next up, the dining room. Maybe by 2012 we’ll have that done too.

30 October 2010

Bye-bye car

I had my Saturn coupe for ten years.  Ten years!  It was a part of my life for so long, that I was teary when the new owner drove away with it last week.  He assured me that he'll take good care of my car.  He said to me, "She's going to a good home", as he saw how sad I looked.  So funny. 

Bye bye car.  Thanks for all the memories!

22 October 2010


Sophia started to smile about a month ago. At first, they were random smiles - I don't think she even knew that she was smiling. In the last couple of weeks, she has started to smile as a response to something I do. When I talk to her or pinch her chin, she smiles. When she wakes up in the morning, she is very smiley. I love starting my day with her smiles. I finally was able to photograph her smile the other evening. So cute!


12 October 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

It wouldn’t surprise anybody if I say that Sophia is at the top of my “what I am thankful for” list. She truly is a wonderful blessing. Of course, Ed would be a close second. He’s been very supportive at home and is taking to fatherhood very well. And to round up our little family, I am also very thankful for our cats, Bob and Neo, who always provides me such comfort and companionship (even when I have a lot less time and attention for them these days).

I didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving. It was only when my family moved here to Canada that I got introduced to this holiday. And one of the things I will always be thankful for is the opportunity given to me by my parents to live here in Canada. Since I am an immigrant, I will always have something else to compare life in Canada with. And we really, really have it good here in this country.

As an example, the day after we came home from the hospital with Sophia, the community nurse came to our house to check up on us. There were a couple more follow-up visits and then follow-up phone calls to make sure I am doing alright. There is a 24-hour baby hotline that I can phone to ask the nurses any questions about baby care. And at the community centre close to my house, there are weekly parent/infant sessions (and they are free) where we can learn about baby nutrition, immunizations, infant developement, etc. Support like this does not exist in the Philippines! So I am very grateful that these support measures are in place for moms and I am very grateful to live in a city that have these things in place.

16 September 2010

Six weeks

I can’t believe it’s been six weeks since Sophia was born. In some ways, time seems to move slowly but for the most part, time zooms by. The day is broken up into 3 to 4 hour increments now - this is Sophia’s feeding schedule. I just go from one feeding to another and I don’t think much farther than that. If I can squeeze in a nap in between feeds, I consider that a big win. If I can put the dirty clothes in the washing machine in between feeds, that’s another win. If I can post something to my blog, that is a huge win!

My friend Yvette told me after she had her first baby three years ago that you don’t really know what tired feels like until you have a baby. Yvette was right. I have had days when I feel so tired that I think, “I can’t do this anymore”, and yet I get through the day and night somehow. An hour nap here, a three hour nap there, and somehow the day does go by. And I say a “thank you” to the universe for letting me survive another day.

Sophia is amazing. It’s so interesting to watch her develop. Each day brings a new thing, a new development. She has gained 2 lbs since her birth (current weight is 8.6 lbs). Her eye lashes are thicker and her eyebrows are now thicker. She can hold her head up a bit. She can plant her feet and kick up, especially when she is upset (she’s wiggled up a few inches while on the change table). She can communicate - like sucking on her fist when she’s hungry, grunting in a satisfied way to say she’s had enough milk, and crying to let us know she’s not happy about something. When everything in her world is cool, she likes to hang out and look around. She likes to watch the mobile in her crib and she likes the swing. The thing she really, really likes is to be held by me or Ed. That may sound like such a wonderful thing (and it is) but it makes life challenging when we want to get some stuff done (like shower!) once she has fallen asleep. She senses it when we put her down. She wakes up and cries for us to carry her again. I’ve been told that this will pass or at some point, we will have to let her cry it out. For now, we give in and hold her.

Ed and I are getting better at this with each day that passes. Things are getting easier, that is true. I do try and enjoy each moment because I know that they are precious. Sophia will never be six weeks again so I constantly remind myself to focus not on how tired I feel but on the good stuff. Her cuteness makes it easier to do so.

20 August 2010

A time of change

On Aug 4, our baby girl Sophia Nelida was born at BC Women’s Hospital. Ed and I are totally thrilled to have her and our lives will never be the same again. We came home on Aug 6 and we’ve been adjusting to life with baby Sophia fairly well. She has inherited Ed’s very heallthy appetite and also his ability to sleep very soundly. Both good traits to have in a baby. Our life revolves around her feeding schedule, which makes doing other stuff (like sleeping, eating, showering, etc) a challenge. But she’s been quite good so far and I won’t complain about anything. She’s a joy to have around and provides us with endless entertainment. I can’t believe it has been two weeks since we came home. The days and nights have gone by very quickly. It’s fun getting to know her better.

Ed has been home with me and has taken the rest of August off from work. Both Sophia and I have kept him quite busy. My job is to feed Sophia and it is Ed’s job to feed me. He’s been my chef at home. And from Aug 9 to 14, my niece Sabrina stayed with us to help out. She was a huge help and we really enjoyed having her with us. And I was so happy that she got to spend time with Sophia, too.

We also have had to buy a bigger, more suitably sized car since my sports coupe just doesn’t work well with a baby. I hung on as long as I could but it’s time to replace it. So this past week, we ordered the 2011 Subaru Outback and it should be here in a couple of months. For now, we use Ed’s car, a 4-door sedan, as our main baby vehicle. The Outback is my first ever brand new car puchase! How exciting.

The next change has to do with my hair. At the end of 2006, I decided to grow my hair long and I’ve enjoyed having long hair. I have been mulling over cutting it since last spring and finally, yesterday, I gave my hair stylist permission to chop it off. I’ve had my hair in a pony tail the last two weeks anyway. I still have the bangs but now have a bob to go with it. It feels so light having it this short!

Lots of exciting changes, for sure. Kids grow very quickly, though, and so I try to savour every moment and every change brought on by our little baby. And as I said earlier, our lives will never be the same again - and that’s a good thing.

20 July 2010

A beautiful, lazy day

Now that the baby’s birth is coming soon, a common advice we get these days are along the lines of “get as much sleep/rest as you can” or “go out and do as much as you can”. Once the baby is born, we know that our lives will not be as carefree anymore.

The one thing I really wanted to do before the baby’s arrival is to go for a paddle around English Bay at least one more time. Ed and our paddling friends were busy training for their races until earlier this month but now that those races are done and the weather in Vancouver has been fantastic, I thought it would be a perfect time to do it. So bright and early last Saturday morning, Ed, Vivian, Eugene, and I took out the 4-man outrigger canoe for a light paddle from Burrard Marina to Jericho and back. We were out there for about an hour. The weather was perfect and I was in heaven. It felt so good to be out on the water again. I’m pretty sure I had a smile on my face the entire time. Afterward, we headed to our regular after-paddling breakfast place, Flying Swan, for some delicious pancakes.

The good thing about paddling first thing in the morning is you have the rest of the day to do other stuff. With the sun shining, a cool breeze going, and no interest in doing any chores or errands, we decided to head to Spanish Banks for some beach time. Good thing we had blankets in the trunk of the car. So, we picked our spot, set down the blankets and lounged for the rest of the day. We watched our friend Bryan play beach volleyball. I drifted in and out of sleep, ate ice cream and cheezies, and watched people come and go. Vivian arrived at some point and joined Bryan in the volleyball area. Later on in the afternoon, Eugene arrived. He and Ed went off to play volleyball, too. I went back to sleep.

To finish off this beautiful, lazy day, we decided to pick up some bbq from Memphis Blues and head over to Eugene’s for dinner.

I’m sure once the baby is born, it will be a while before Ed and I can enjoy a day like this again - where we just laid around, didn’t do much, and didn’t worry about anything. I’m glad we were able to squeeze in a day like that before the big day. Kind of like the calm before the storm.

22 June 2010

Football fever

In April 2008, I was in London for work and I went to a pub for dinner. Manchester United and Roma were on the telly for a Champions League knock-off game. The pub patrons were all very much into the game, except me. I’ve never really watched much football and I was reading a very interesting book at that time. Half time came and it struck me that the atmosphere in the pub was like the pubs in Vancouver when the Canucks play an NHL play-off game. Then I realized I really should put the book down and watch the game, too. This is so British, so London, and I should be present in the moment and take advantage of the opportunity to experience something so local.

So I watched the second half with great interest and I found myself really enjoying it. I didn’t know the rules, although it wasn’t hard to figure out what was going on, and I could not hear the commentators but it didn’t seem to matter. I was engrossed in the game I was watching.

This World Cup finals, I’ve been watching many of the games. Brazil is fun to watch and so is Argentina. Portugal’s goal extravaganza was very entertaining, although at 4-0, I felt really bad for the Koreans. This is like watching hockey during the Olympics when the level of play is so good that you can’t help but enjoy watching, no matter who’s playing. Too bad the World Cup and the Olympics come around only every four years. Would be great to have them every year... but I’ll probably get fired because I’ll never get any work done!

7 June 2010

With my mom and sister

I don't have many photos with my mom and sister. We just never think of it when we get together, I guess. We had a nice, long lunch this weekend and I finally remembered to take a photo using my Blackberry. Yay!

Lunch with the girls

5 June 2010

Papa's birthday

Today is my dad’s 79th birthday. He lives in a care home in Manila because he has Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. His dementia has progressed enough in the last two years that he doesn’t remember who I am, which makes the decision to phone or not to phone him on his birthday a tricky one. I haven’t phoned him in a while, to be honest, because the last time I did, I introduced myself a few times to try and make him remember me. But he just handed the phone to the caregiver and walked away. I felt bad that I may have made him feel bad for not remembering me. So I haven’t called again, which also makes me feel bad because I feel that I should be phoning him. But if he doesn’t even remember me, does it really matter if I phone or not?

I remember my dad, the way he used to be. He was a difficult man to grow up with but I will always be grateful for the opportunities he allowed me to have. I have a pretty good life now because of his hard work and because he pushed us hard. So even when he can’t remember me now, I still wish him a happy birthday and a good year ahead.

4 June 2010

Not so fragile

As part of our prenatal classes, I attended two classes on healthy pregnancy. The topics covered included the ailments and discomforts we feel during pregnancy and the remedies we can do, proper nutrition, and exercise. Another topic was about the myths versus real risks during pregnancy. Busting the myths was liberating! I found out that:

- In BC, it is safe for pregnant women to eat sushi because our health code requires that the fish be flash frozen. This kills the parasites that are the main concern for people (not just pregnant women).
- It is fine to eat eggs with runny yolks because the salmonella is found in the egg shell. So as long as the egg white has been cooked enough, it’s safe.
- I read on the Internet that green tea shouldn’t be consumed when you’re pregnant. Total myth.
- Sleeping on your back is fine! If the vena cava artery does get affected by the extra weight of the baby, my body will feel it well before the baby is affected in any way and instinct will make me turn to my side, even during deep sleep.

And on and on it went. I’ve heard and read so many “pregnant women shouldn’t blah blah” from many different sources the last few months that it’s hard to know which ones to believe and which ones to ignore. Pregnant women are not as fragile as a lot of people believe! Of course we can’t carry on with everything as we normally do but all the “don’t do/eat” rules are also not necessary.

Just today, I went to a shoe store in the mall and I wanted to try on a pair of sandals with 2.5 inch heels. The sales lady paused, looked at my tummy, and said “you want to wear shoes with high heels?” Both my mom and Ed’s aunt had told me already that wearing high heels may cause a miscarriage (a total myth, btw), so I knew what the sales lady was alluding to. I just chuckled and replied “yes, I do”. When she brought the shoes out for me, she pointed to another pair on the display, a pair of shoes with flat heels, and said that I should wear shoes like that instead. I didn’t argue; I just went about trying on the shoes I liked. I’ve been warned that this is just the beginning, anyway, of people offering their opinions without being asked. It’s a good time as any to start practicing my Teflon reaction to it all.

10 May 2010

Buying baby stuff

It is starting to sink in that it’s already May and the baby’s due date is 14 weeks away. It’s also starting to sink in that we should start doing and buying stuff to prepare for the baby’s arrival. I asked my friend Yvette if she had a list of essential stuff to buy for a new baby and she laughed. There is no list, she said. I insisted that millions of people have had babies; there must be a list somewhere. Fortunately, the Internet and Google agree with me. There are lots of lists out there and I’ve managed to put one together for myself. I like lists. I function better when I have a list to work with.

But before we go and buy the baby stuff, we need to clear out the baby room. Well, it’s still called my craft room. I designated a room in our house as my craft room in the hope that it will inspire me to be more crafty. Hasn’t really worked and it’s become more of a storage room than a craft room. But soon, it will be the baby room. Time to clear out my junk so all the new baby stuff will have a place to go.

A few weeks ago, Ed and I were in a baby store looking for a gift for Yvette’s daughter. We decided to look at the cribs and strollers while we were there and we looked like deer caught in headlights. This is definitely a whole new world, full of lingo we don’t quite yet understand. It is intimidating but I’m sure we’ll get the hang of it soon.

9 May 2010

Ed's birthday

Ed got this as a birthday gift from our friend Lester. It says on the package, “If the Weener Kleener ever becomes stuck, soak area with COLD water”. Hilarious gift! Happy birthday, Ed!

A bday gift from Lester

3 May 2010

My bedfellow Neo

My snuggling cat Neo
I am sick today and my cats are keeping me company in bed.

27 April 2010

Costco, thumbs up; Dyson, thumbs down

The hose that connects the canister to the vacuum head split open last week. We bought this Dyson vacuum in May 2009 so i was pretty disappointed that it would break already. Prior to the Dyson, I had a Beaumark vacuum that I used for 10 years. In fact, Ed’s brother is still using it to this day. The Dyson vacuum is way more expensive than the Beaumark one so I guess my expectation was that it would be trouble-free, too. Fortunately, Dyson has a 5-year warranty and we bought the vacuum from Costco, who are so good about taking the product back and replacing it with a new one. Hassle-free, really. I hope they don’t just throw away the old vacuum, though, because aside from the hose, it works just fine.

I’ll have to keep a closer eye on the hose this time around. Hopefully, this unit will last longer than the last one. But if it does break down, I hope it happens before the warranty runs out!

14 April 2010

Easter in Chelan, WA

We spent Easter weekend in Chelan, WA with our friends Lizza and Pat. Lizza is my best friend from grade school and we try to meet up at least once a year. Lake Chelan and the wineries in the surrounding hills are the main attractions in Chelan. The weather, though, was not yet warm enough for any swimming or boating activities but it was great for visiting the tasting rooms in the wineries. We visited four wineries - Vin du Lac, Bensons Vineyards, Tildio, and Tsillan Cellars. According to Ed and Pat, they liked the wines from Tsillan Cellars the best. We had a late lunch at Tsillan Cellars and the food was delicious, too.

We haven’t seen Lizza and Pat since last July, when they came to Vancouver for a visit. This was the first time Lizza saw me with my baby bump and she was quite excited about it. She even took a photo of my belly only. My head was cut off from the picture! I guess that’s a sign of things to come anyway.

I love having these get-togethers with them. Old friends truly should be treasured and that’s how I feel about Lizza and Pat. And even though we don’t see each other very often, it always feels like we just saw each other yesterday when we do meet up. Lizza and I always amuse Pat and Ed with stories of our high school escapades. Always great fun being with them and we look forward to the next get together.

Lake Chelan Easter weekend at Lake Chelan At Vin du Lac Winery At Tsillan Cellars

29 March 2010

Happy 7 years!

Seven years ago, today, Ed and I got married. At the ceremony and luncheon that followed, we had just over 60 guests, mainly family and some close friends, . Then we had another 40 to 50 people, our work mates and paddling buddies, join us for a house party that night. The majority of the day was spent with our bridal party - Yvette, Jenny, Lizza, Josh, Kei, and Mark. Ed and I rented a huge SUV that can fit all of us. Ed drove, I sat up front with him, and everyone else squeezed into the two rows of seats in the back. I remember laughing a lot throughout the day. We had so much fun.

Main things I remember about our wedding day...
- The cherry blossoms had started to bloom.
- It was cold that day! But for the photos, we had to look like it was a nice summer day.
- Sipping congee through a straw. This was my breakfast.
- As my dad and I finished walking down the aisle, Ed stood there a few feet from me with a smile on his face, his mind in la-la land, his gaze towards some faraway place only he could see. He totally ignored my dad and me until I called his name to bring him back to reality!
- The tears during the vows! I think the whole room was crying.
- The founders of Navarik (where I work) - Bill, Marty, Dono, and Orvin - bought a keg of beer for our house party. I remember getting *very* tipsy that night. Fun, fun!
- I didn’t want the day to end. Ed had to drag me out of the house party, into the huge SUV, so we can spend the night at the hotel.

And since that day, Ed and I have been continuing to have fun together. There are ups and downs, just like all relationships, but the ups certainly outnumber the downs by a large margin. Traveling and paddling have been the main things we do for fun. And after seven years of living the carefree life of DINKs, we will be welcoming, in a few months, a baby into our little family. I’m sure the next seven years will be different but just as fun, if not more.

Thank you, Ed, for being my partner in life. I’m looking forward to many more happy anniversaries. I love you!

2 March 2010

2010 Olympics, part 3

Week 2 of the Olympics was more quiet for me and Ed. We had tickets to one more event - the 4-man bobsleigh on Saturday, Feb 27. I was grateful for the break, though. I was exhausted from the late nights spent downtown watching hockey games in pubs and the victory ceremonies we attended. I watched the Olympics from my couch for a few days. My cats enjoyed having me home, too.

Then just like that, it was Thursday and we were at the airport picking up Mon and Natascha, our out-of-town guests. Mon is an old university friend of mine and my brother’s. Ed and I were a little late picking them up because the women’s gold medal hockey game was on and we wanted to see it to the very end. Canada won, yay! My brother and niece who live in Edmonton were also in town to spend time with Mon. We all enjoyed a delicious dinner in Richmond then went to the Richmond O Zone, which is Richmond’s celebration site for the Olympics. The Holland Heineken House is there and there are concerts every evening. The Heineken House was full so we couldn’t go in and the band playing that night was Wintersleep, a Canadian indie rock band from Nova Scotia.
Out of town guests

On Friday, Mon and Natascha spent the day in Whistler watching the alpine skiing. Ed and I, with several of Ed’s co-workers, headed to a pub downtown after work to watch the Canada-Slovakia game. Mon and Natascha joined us at the pub. Watching a must-win hockey game in a pub in Canada is definitely an experience. Team Canada was able to hang on to a one-goal lead to win the game and advance to the gold medal game against the US. Whew! And the big bonus was Canada won four medals that evening - one in women’s curling and three in short track speed skating. Downtown was going nuts! Everyone was so happy.

On Saturday, Day 16 of the Olympics, Ed and I took the bus to Whistler to watch heats 3 and 4 of the 4-man bobsleigh event. We enjoyed some crepes for breakfast, walked around Whistler Village, then rode the gondola up to the Whistler Sliding Centre. Heat 3 was just about to begin when we got to the venue. We decided to walk along the track to watch the bobsleds as they go zooming by. The higher up the track we went (closer to the start area), the easier it was to take pictures of the bobsleds because they haven’t reached their top speeds yet. But the last three turns before the finish, the bobsleds were just a blur as they went by. It’s very exciting watching them live. There’s something about the speed or the danger of going that fast on an icy track.
Canada 2 at turn 12 Ed and Liezel at the Games

Sunday, Mon and Natascha headed back to the US. It was such a short vist but lots of fun. Today was the last day of the Olympics and the whole city was gripped with anticipation of the gold medal hockey game, Canada vs USA. The game started at noon and people started lining up at 9am outside pubs and restaurants to watch the game. You could hear a collective cheer every time Canada scored a goal. The game went to overtime and everybody held their breath. Then Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal and the entire city went crazy. In fact, the whole country went crazy. Wow, what a moment!

Ed and I then settled on the couch to watch the Closing Ceremony. We were both sad that the big party was coming to an end. It was such a great experience for both of us. We will miss the atmosphere and the energy the city had during the Olympics. I saw acts of kindness everywhere. The Olympics brought out the best in us and I think that’s the real gift of these Games. I’m so happy that I was here when the Olympics came to town. I’m extremely proud of Vancouver and feel very lucky to be living here.

26 February 2010

2010 Olympics, part 2

Mens’ Curling, Day 8
Ed and I went to see mens’ curling on Feb 19. We both took the day off work because the event started at 2:00pm. There were four games going on at the same time - Germany vs Switzerland, Denmark vs Canada, France vs USA, and Norway vs China. With four simultaneous games, I actually found it hard to focus on anything. Too much stuff going on. Ed told me to just watch the Denmark/Canada game but I felt I was missing out on the other games. Denmark made a major mistake in the 4th end which game Canada a big 7-2 lead. Canada scored 3 more points in the 6th end. That finished up the game with the score of 10-3 for Canada. Interestingly, I found it a lot easier to watch three simultaneous games. Who knew one game would make such a difference. Anyway, the three remaining games were all nail-biters, with the outcome coming down to the last rock in the last end. Switzerland had a chance to tie with the last throw but the rock came up just a little short of the target. And the USA skip threw a brilliant last rock to score 1 point and win the game. All very entertaining games!

The highlights include the pants of the Norway team. They look like jesters! And the Swiss contingent in the stands with their big (and loud) cow bells.
Norway's fancy pants

Figure skating practice session, Day 9
Yvette and I were back at the Pacific Coliseum. This time around, the women skaters and the pairs ice dancers were practicing. The women were on first and we were excited to see Yu-na Kim from Korea and Joannie Rochette from Canada. They didn’t disappoint. They were both really good. Yvette explained the different jumps to me and how to spot which was which, but it went over my head. I know there are toe jumps and there are edge jumps. But to spot a toe loop from a lutz from a flip, well, I’ll leave that to Yvette.

I took a video of Yu-na Kim practicing her program.

The ice dancing pairs went out next and it was like a dress rehearsal. The women skaters wore work-out clothes but the ice dancers were in their full costume, complete with make-up and hair-do. It was entertaining to see all the blingy and the weird-looking costumes. Unfortunately, the skaters came out according to the standings from the compulsary dance, from lowest to highest, and we didn’t get to see Moir and Virtue from Canada. The actual practice session went on past 1pm but the audience was kicked out of the Coliseum at that time. Boo!
German pair

Victory Ceremony, Day 9
I went home to nap, then it was go-go-go again. We were heading downtown for that day’s Victory Cermony at BC Place. We parked the car at Navarik (just a short walk away) and walked along the sea wall to BC Place. Our seats sucked but the usher said we can move to better seats once the ceremony started. There were no medal events that day in Vancouver but there were a few in Whistler. We watched the video feed from Whistler and celebrated as Jon Montgomery of Canada got his gold medal for men’s skeleton. After the medals were handed out, Stereophonics put on a show for about an hour. I wasn’t familiar with their music but I liked what I heard. They rocked it and it was a good show!

Victory Ceremony, Day 10
The next evening, Ed and I were back at BC Place for another Victory Ceremony. We were pros at this now and we knew that we can pretty much just sit anywhere. So we picked our seats and hoped that nobody would come later to claim it. Thankfully, no one did! This evening, there were medal events in Cypress and Vancouver and we got to see it live. Vancouver and Whistler alternated handing out medals. I forget which events had medals handed out in Whistler but I do remember Bode Miller from the US getting a bronze medal for something. In Vancouver, medals were handed out to the winners of the 1500m men’s long track speed skating, 1500m women’s short track, 1000m men’s short track, and the men’s ski cross. It was very cool to see these athletes get their medals, their faces just beaming with pride and happiness. It didn’t matter which country they were from, I couldn’t help but feel so happy for them for winning an Olympic medal.
Speed Skating - Men's 1500 m

After the medal ceremonies were done, it was time to rock on. Trooper and Loverboy each played for 45 mins each. They may be older but these guys can still deliver a good show. Both bands sounded great. People were on their feet, dancing and singing along. We had a great time!

I took a video of Loverboy belting out "Turn Me Loose".

18 February 2010

2010 Olympics, part 1

Torch relay on Day 1
On Feb 12, the Olympic torch relay passed along our office building. This was Day 1 of the Olympics and we are all pretty excited in the office. Some staffs’ family and friends came, too. We wore red and whatever Canada gear we owned. At around noon, we all headed down to the street to line up and secure a good viewing spot. The Coke truck passed by and they handed out cans of Coke Zero. Then the security cars passed by, followed by the security people who were on foot. We then saw the flame approaching and we started cheering and clapping. Everyone snapped away hoping for that perfect picture. The torch was carried by a lady whom I didn’t recognize. She was pretty pumped, as were we. But as quickly as she came, she was gone.

It was then time for some lunch (Navarik brought in sandwiches and salads for lunch) and the Navarik Wii Olympics. There were two “events” - ski slalom and ski jump. The top finishers were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. It was a very festive atmosphere in Navarik and it was a great way to start off the Olympics.

Figure skating practice session, Day 2
Yvette and I attended the practice session for the pairs and men on Feb 13. It started at 7am (we arrived at 8am) with the pairs going first. I haven’t been following figure skating that closely in recent years so I who was who but it was easy to tell who the really good ones were. The Chinese pairs were impressive!

The men started their practice at around 10am. Patrick Chan is the Canadian champion (I knew who he was) and it was exciting to watch him skate. He’s very good. There was one Japanese dude (don’t know his name) who was really good and Lysacek from USA was really good too. The audience got kicked out at 1pm which was good because we were pretty hungry. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the practice sessions but it was a lot of fun and you get to watch the skaters for much longer than during actual competitions. Thumbs up for that!

Hockey game Sweden vs Germany, Day 6
I was so excited for this! Navarik rented two suites for the staff to watch the game. The celebration started off at 1pm in the office when we had hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Some ex-staff members were coming to watch the game and it was great to catch up with them. Everyone mingled. Some watched the men’s halfpipe competition in the boardroom. Some just sat and enjoyed their beer. At 3:15pm, we made our way to GM Place which is now named Canada Hockey Place. The sun was shining and it was a perfect day for a walk along the seawall.

Inside GM Place, the suites were sweet! Great vantage point. I made myself comfortable, got my camera ready, and waited for the game to start. Sweden is the stronger team but I thought Germany put up a good fight. It was 0-0 at the end of the first period. Mattias Ohlund scored a goal in the second period to put Sweden ahead 1-0. Then Eriksson scored in the third period to give Sweden a two-goal lead. The crowd was really into the game, which was pretty entertaining. I cheered for both teams which confused Remick, my coworker who was sitting next to me. Whoever had the puck, i cheered for. I was just in a cheering mood.

After the game, we went to the Irish House for a little bit of partying. It’s really a big tent and inside, an enormous amount of alcohol is consumed by revellers as they enjoy the live music and watch the Olympic coverage on numerous, huge TVs. Yeah, it was pretty fun.

At 10pm, my friend Yvette and I headed out but before going home, we made a detour to the Japadog hotdog stand on Burrard St. We shared an Okonomi and it was pretty yummy. We walked to the SkyTrain station, feeling like tourists in our own town. Downtown was alive and the energy was infectious. That was an awesome day!

Check out my Flickr site for more pics.

10 February 2010


There’s a woodpecker that is pecking away at our house. I have woken up to a knocking sound a few times already and finally, last weekend, I ran outside to see where it was coming from. I saw a bird on a small perch, tucked away in a corner just under the roof, heartily pecking the side of our house. It stopped when it heard my voice but didn’t fly away. I threw a pebble towards it. The pebble hit our house, close enough to the bird to scare it away. I saw that there is bird poop cascading down our house under the perch and that the wall right under the roof has been damaged. Our house was just painted last summer! Darn bird!

The complex caretaker, Theresa, came by this morning to check out the damage. She said the woodpeckers have been terrorizing a few of the units. There are many trees all over our neighbourhood. I wonder why they like our houses better. Anyway, Theresa’s on it and hopefully, she finds a way to keep the bird away. Otherwise, does anybody have a BB gun?

27 January 2010

Sweden vs Germany

Navarik has rented two suites at GM Place so the staff can watch the mens hockey game between Sweden and Germany. How sweet is that?!?! I didn’t think I’d be able to go see any hockey games during the Olympics as tickets are quite expensive. And I’ve never been in a suite before either. I’m very excited. Unfortunately for Ed, the invite is for staff only. Sorry, babe.

Who to cheer for? Sweden’s roster looks pretty impressive so maybe I’ll cheer for Germany. They will be easier competition for Team Canada.

All of us also got a pair of the red 2010 Olympic mittens. I already bought a pair for myself a few weeks ago so I’ll give a pair to my mom. I think she’ll look cute wearing red mittens.

26 January 2010

Sick again

I picked up a cold/cough this past week and for the second time in two months, I am sniffling and coughing away in a big way. I am so freaking tired of being sick. It’s been a bad winter for me, definitely. I even got the flu shot but this winter, it doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference for me.

I missed a couple of weeks of work last December and have missed a few days again this past week. I’ve discovered that there is nothing good on tv during the day. We have over 200 channels but good shows are really hard to come by. So I just turned off the tv and listened to my podcasts instead. This American Life rocks.

So, I am keeping my fingers crossed that I recover soon from this cold, don’t get sick again, and that I feel good again. It’s been a while since I have felt energetic and healthy. Soon, I hope.

15 January 2010

Rainy Olympics?

It’s been raining a lot and it’s been quite warm (around 8degC). The snow at Cypress mountain is being washed away. I hope we’ll get some snow and cold weather in time for the Olympics only a month away.

I’m geared up for the Games. I have a Canada hoody, toque, and red mittens to wear to the events. We have tickets for curling, bobsledding, and a victory ceremony. Should be fun...