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Lilly On-Ling at Twenty-Three Months!

Less than a month our little baby will be two years old.
As everyone has said, "Where has time gone?"
All I can think is, "Time flies by."

Lilly On-Ling is trying to be an independent
little girl. She has her own ways and will fight
to do it her "way." As long they are good habbits
and doesn't endanger herself or others it's fine.
She will wrestle you, and you will lose.
She is a little fighter that is strong and stubborn.

She is learning to say and add new words to her
volcabulary. Pretty much accomplished putting her
own shoes on. Working on dress herself on her own.
She is always trying to figure out putting socks on.
She's a quick learner.

She is also becoming quite the tiny dancer. I have
taught her some moves from my years of dancing.
She is very clever and will listen to the music
to feel the beat. It's quite amusing. When she is
up later, we do what call the midnight dance. We
put music on or a video and she will start to dance.
It's quite fun to watch.

And if you are curious she has put her potty on her
head and dance...just like I used to. In fact, she
does a lot of the same stuff I used to. Eric calls
her a mini me. But trust me, she still looks a lot
like both of us.

Early June came and we were getting ready for our
first family vacation slash work vacation. Last August
I was asked to be one of the presenters to lecture
at the Magic Collectors Association Weekend. It would
be held in Cincinnati, OH. As we were nearing the
day we planned to leave, I was working on my lecture.
I will write a seperate entry devoted to the MCA weekend.

As the time was nearing, we were packing and working to
get ready. I did a double on the Sunday so we could leave
early afternoon to get into Ohio by the evening. It's
about a 6 hour drive. This was our first getaway not just
as a couple but as a family. Eric and I never went on a
honeymoon and it was due time. We had dealt with so much
since before we got married and up until his grandfather's
memorial. We really needed that time to get away. In fact,
we deserved it. So I got home, did what ever last minute
packing and get reading to leave. We left at two and it
was a hot humid day. We already looked at the forecast
and it was going to be the same down there...as it seemed.

We drove straight out of Illinois. It costs us $3.00 to get
of out this silly state. We made one stop just north of Layfette
where a wind turbine farm is located. We were jumping out of
our seats knowing this excited. Then we had some dinner at
a subway in Greenburg, about an hour from the Ohio border.
We got into Blue Ash, Ohio and stayed at a Red Roof Inn.
We spent Sunday night through Wednesday morning there. We
were only 20 mins from downtown. It was a quaint area.
Very enjoyable.

Came home in time to watch the disappointing OT end to
the Blackhawks game.

We rested up and got up early and went to the Cincinnati
Zoo and Botanical Gardens for Monday. We arrived around 10a.
It was just as hot as when we left home. Quite humid.
But we enjoyed the walk around despite being a bit
difficult. It was beautiful. Lilly loved it. It was her
first Zoo. She saw a baby giraffe and camel. We saw soo
many interesting fun things and they also hat a lot
petting of different animals. It was just too much fun.
Especially feeding the goats and brushing them.

We left after about 3 hours and we decided to pick up
some goods a Kroger near by. It's the first time we
have ever shopped at a Kroger. It was pleasantly wonderful.
We see them on Extreme Couponing all the time.
Since our room had a fridge and microwave we can pick
up some snacks and such. So we did. I swear the deli
guy gave enough to sample on that it was like eating
dinner.

After got back to our room, an hour later, it poured.

Tuesday we devoted our day to Newport, KY to spend
time at the Newport Aquarium. The Newport Levee is
an amazing place that has a lot of fun to offer.
It was still quite hot and humid but not as much
as Monday.

Lilly enjoyed herself greatly at the aquarium. There
was soo much to see and touch. A lot of tunnels to
go through. They were celebrating 15 years on the levee.
It was great. There many exhibits. There biggest was
the shark and shark ray exhibit. But there were plenty
of other exhibits that were just as fun. Turtle Canyon,
the Frog exhibit, Alligator Alley, the Penguins and our
favorite was the Jellyfish exhibit. So calming and
beautiful. We exited out through the top of the shark
tank where you can look through a scope below.
It was quite neat.

We left and we stopped at a candy store, then spent
some time at B&N overlooking the water above. Then we
stopped for a snack at Tom & Chee aka Tomato and Cheese.
I recognized the place from being on Shark Tank a couple
of years ago. They guy started it in a kiosk on the
Levee and opened a store. They specialty is Grilled
Cheese Glazed Donut. It was yum. We walked around
the mall spent sometime at Gameworks and saw where
Wizardz Theater is. And the great thing about the Levee
is the underground parking. It was only $2!!!

We left and we stopped by the Magic Shop. Owned by
Artie Kidwell. Such a good man and friend and an
avid admirer of my parents. He was so shocked that
I took the time to stop by. It was indeed a highlight
as we ended up getting near the reason why we were
heading to Covington, KY. Afterwards we headed to
Kroger again to pick up some yums and then back
to our room. Where again, an hour later it began to storm.

We started to gather out stuff that night and I woke
up the next morning putting stuff in the car. We planned
on checking out fairly early. My friend Kathy reminded me
of Jungle Jim's. The largest grocery store in the nation.
We went to the location in Eastgate which is the newer
location. It was a lot of fun being there. Lots to see.
It was pouring like an SOB you wouldn't believe. Not like
the storms we have had lately but still it was like
driving through a waterfall. We spent a bit of time
there before heading to Covington where we had lunch
at Skyline Chili and then we called the Marriott about
checking in earlier. Which was perfect time. We were able
to check in at 2p and was able to get a room facing the
Ohio River.

This hotel was beautiful. It is connected to Convention Center.
From across the river you can see Paul Brown Stadium where
the Bengals play, the Banks, Great American Ballpark where the
Red play and US Bank stadium. There was a game every night
and we can watch it from the room on the Jumbotron. We saw
many barges and boats. Fireworks on Friday night. It was
a beautiful skyline. Just for being a corner room on the 3rd
floor.

We took a walk around the Covington area near the hotel and
enjoyed a few things nearby. By Wednesday night Thursday morning
people for the weekend started coming in. Lilly met many and
Eric met more people and everyone adored our little girl.

More on the MCA weekend again in a seperate entry.

We were quite busy during the gathering and it was just a delight.
I don't think going elsewhere would have topped off out vacation
as a family together for the first time so perfectly.

Lilly was delightful and she adapted well in new settings and
loved every moment of it. I feel we are giving her the best upbringing
possible. Almost like what I had with my parents.

We left Sunday morning after having brunch on the deck of the hotel
overlooking the river. Checked out around 11 and got on the road
soon after. The entire week didn't go by quickly, in fact we were
able to soak it in day by day. Lilly did great on the way home
and we arrived back around 4p.

We took our stuff out of the vehicle and went out to get some
goodies since we pretty much cleaned out the fridge before leaving.

It only took two full tanks to drive down there. Hybrids are awesome.

I had a day and half to unwind before starting up my concert schedule.
It was so wonderful.

I'll be finishing about the MCA weekend in a few days and will talk
about the 4 days of our trip before driving home.

Enjoy the photos of our trip and our little gooer who will be
turning two years old in less than month.

Now to start planning another trip for us to explore together with her.

o/o


On our first charter bus on the way to Salon de Magie in Loveland, OH


Met her first horse, a racing horse


Dancing in the lobby of the Marriott by the Quilt foundtain


Enjoying the King bed at the Marriott


At Jungle Jim's in one of the amusing retired rides


The big cheese with the cutest mouse of all


















Lilly On-Ling at Twenty-Two Months!!

Our babbler is two months shy of two years old.
She is a boat load of fun every single day.

She is becoming more 'model' like. The photos
I chose this month reflect her fun personality
as well as her beauty. I'm not just saying that
because I'm her mommy. I'm saying that because
the photos are just amazing. Like this amazing
naturalness when you take a photo and she just
poses naturally without hesitation of who she
is. We are always in awe.

So scroll down and see them all. They are precious!

She loves being outside playing in her turtle sand
box, washing her rocks, getting them sandy then
talking to them. She loves her pool on these
recent hot days. Fascinated by the cause and
effect of objects, especially water. She is
not afraid to try something. Particularly when
we are at the playground. She figured out how
to do the rock climbing on the first try.
Loves the slide and the water park at Veteran's
Acres.

She loves picking flowers. Even the weeds of
dandelions and grass. Loves to dance and do
sommersaults.

She figures things out way too quickly. Like way
too quickly and the mystery is all over. She'd
be a good magician. She is also extremely observant.
She knows her Thomas and McQueen from far far away
distances. She found Red the Fire truck at the Goodwill
yesterday. Now that we have a train table for her,
she has plenty of room to play with her trains and
cars characters.

She is learning to put on her own pants, and loves
helping me dress her every morning. She pretty much
knows how to put her own clothes on, she just needs
a bit of help with some coordination. She knows how
to put her shoes on, particularly her hello kitty
boots. And she is already trying to get her socks on.

I don't know the normality for such a timeline for
a child getting dressed on their own, but she's been
doing a lot the "shirt work" since she was 3 months old.

Her vocabulary is growing and her understanding of what
these are expanding quickly.

As we prepare for our first vacation as a couple and family.
We are thinking about all the family fun we will have
while we are away. I'm anticipating a great time. We plan
to go to the zoo and the aquarium and have all sorts of
fun at the hotel. She'll be meeting my extended magic
family. And I know they will adore her as much as they
adored me when I was a tot.

The drive is long but I think the way we are planning it
will be great fun. We want to give her a wonderful upbringing
and experience of what Eric and I both had when we
traveled with my parents and his grandparents. There's
so much in the world to see, and this upcoming event
I've been honored to lecture at will be a great starting
point. We've known about this since last August. Although
we have gone through a lot of stuff this past year, a much
needed vacation is in our books. It may be a bit expensive,
but we've been working hard.

Eric and I never had a honeymoon, babymoon or a vacation together
in general. So this will be our first honeymoon, babymoon and
family vacation that has been in the making for six years.

I can't wait to share the photos with everyone!

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o/o

Lilly On-Ling at Twenty-One Months!!

I'm a bit late one this.
So much goings on, so I apologize for that.
On the 23rd Lilly On-Ling turned 21 months.
T-minus 3 month until she is TWO YEARS OLD!

Since the weather finally warmed up a bit,
she has enjoyed playing outside. She loves it
so much, she doesn't want to go in. She keeps
herself busy playing with a sand table I built
for her. Walking to what was once the pond to
pick up rocks and wash them in her mini-wheelbarrel.

She loves to pick flowers and see the wild life.
The birds have been visiting our yard frequently.
It's nice to see our Certified Bird Habitat back
up and running, to the way it was when my mom was around.

Her new obsession is putting her shoes on.
We bought her a pair of Hello Kitty rain boots,
and she will spend many hours practising putting them
and taking them off. It's really cute.

She also helps me dress her.

She has mastered helping me her tops since she was 3 months old.
Now she helps me to put her pants and shorts on.
Just trying to teach her to pull her pants up.

I know with her it will click, and once that it does,
we can potty train her really quick. She is very aware
of her body and has indicated when she is or has gone.

Lilly also got her bangs trimmed last month. So now everyone can
see her face better instead of her hair.

She babels a lot and forming words. Learning so much.
She plays with the pre-school 3+ age apps and figures
things out so quickly. And her attention span is amazing.

Something will click and all of a sudden she'll be this prodigy.

My budding little Amadeus.

o/o

21
2012-12-24 10.21.11

Yesterday's devotional for spiritual meditation was quite interesting.
It was about inheritance.
Not just monetary but family.

Read here:
http://www.todayintheword.org/titw_devotion.aspx?id=133481

I was touched by this personally because sometimes you do
realize that other inheritance out weighs monetary inheritance.

The devotional talked about relationships with your elders.
Family members that are your grandparents and great grandparents.
It's very true.

Yesterday an article surfaced from Parenting magazine about how
grandparents are an integral and social part of ones childhood
and upbringing. Then this devotional just helped round it all out.
LINK: http://www.parenting.com/parenting-advice/relationships/more-just-cookies-why-grandparents-are-important-to-your-kids?socsrc=ptgfb1405014

I wasn't as fortunate as our daughter Lilly On-Ling to have
grandparents and great grandparents around. My one and only surviving
grandparents lived 3000 miles away in Hong Kong. The one grandfather
that was alive until I was 8, lived in LA. My mom didn't even know
he lived that long. I longed to have at least met my Grandma Chin.
She was very close to her boys, and especially my father, her favorite.
The one she chose to come to the United States with her father and brother.
I also longed to know my Granny Franny, even though she passed away in 1970.
My mom always said we were two of a kind.

When I married my husband Eric, I was welcomed in his family and referred as
a granddaughter by his grandparents. It felt good to be called a granddaughter.

In this devotional as I read to out loud, I started thinking about a lot of
things. And realized how lucky Lilly On-Ling was to live with her grandfather
for the first 7 months. We taught her who her grandmother is and she knew.
She recognized it, like it was some inate within her. With Eric's grandfather's
memorial coming up soon, and all our work on the poster and video...our frequent
visits; Lilly knew there was something different when we'd visit. Just like she
knew her Ye-Ye wasn't sitting in the recliner and not in bed when we wake up.
Or she didn't say good night to him with a kiss. No more "Bless the Baby."

She was walking to her toy box at her great grandmother's house and saw memorial
cards of Bert on the side table. She picked them and walked over to her
great grandmother trying to say grandpa several times. Like she was asking, "Where
was he?" It touched her great grandmother so much...

Just today, when I was closing the door, she pointed to the newspaper article of
her Ye-Ye. She was so excited, saying 'Oooo Oooo' as if she is saying
"I miss you Ye-Ye."

Lilly has lost two grandparents within a year. Saw them both ail before they past.
When they had left us, she knew they weren't here. Although not even the age of two
she recognized both.

She inherited a bond of sorts with both of them. Knowing that they were someone special.
No matter what. Someone who has left a legacy with her that she will live on within her.

That is an inhertence no one can take away or spend. It is for a lifetime.

Read the devotional, you'll understand how touching it can be after reading about
how Lilly On-Ling acknowledges her grandparents.

o/o

The Kitchen Parody in my Head

I was watching The Kitchen on Food Network one morning and over and over in my
head I couldn't help but see a parody done on Saturday Night Live.
I mean SNL has the right actors to pull it off so well.

Geoffrey Zakarian played by Taran Killam
Jeff Mauro played by John Milhiser
Katie Lee played by Cecily Strong
Marcela Valladolid played by Nasim Pedrad
Sunny Anderson played by Kenan Thompson (sorry but they look much alike)

I can totally see them do the 'double duty' segment.

I hope they write a parody on this theme and perform it someday.
It would be funny.

To The Greatest Couple in the World!

Happy 42nd Wedding Anniversary!
As Uncle Jay said, "The marriage will never last!"
Well, it still is.

The world loves you and misses you both.
It's not the same without you here.

On Tuesday, it was so beautiful out, I decided to cook the Jenni-O
turkey breast we got the day before at Jewel (reduced to sell).

I choose to do it on the grill but not on a roasting pan. It was
just under 5lbs and it fit perfectly on a small skillet that Eric
had when he moved in so long ago. A cast iron one would be perfect.
I don't have those any longer (need a really good one tho).

One and a half hours later, it came out perfected.

10171108_628181970594709_4067910519111001730_n

The skin was brown and crisp and the meat was super tender.
It was a success!

All I did rubbed oil on top and under the skill and some kosher salt
to dry it out.

Started the grill with all four burners until it reached 350 degrees.
When it did, I turned off the two middle burners and placed the skillet
in the center and closed the hood.

About 45 mins later I turned the Turkey around and closed the hood and
let it hood to let it cook it's remaining time. After the allotted time
I check the temperature and it reach 165-170 degrees and it ready.

Let it rest off grill for about 10 mins and started carving it.

That my friends is a fried turkey not fried but so yummy.

Try it yourselves and let me know how it went.

o/o

Lilly On-Ling at Twenty Months!!

The 23rd marked 20 months since the day Lilly was born.
we now inch closer to the two year mark. I think about
how it seems to impossible that she is going to be 2
in four months. She is our chi in the family that keeps
us going.

On March 6th, it marked a year since my father passed.
So many people said to me that they couldn't believe it was
already a year. Maybe 6 months but not a year.

As I did on the anniversary of my mom's passing I cut
my long locks. 20 inches. its the shortest I've had it
since I was probably 2. In fact Lilly now has longer
hair than me. the girl styled it in subtle layers and
its longer in the front and shorter in the back. Eric
said I look like a teenager. haha.

My one year phone call from my bereavement conselor
was interesting. I realized many things that have
happened to me in the past year. Most importantly
I realize that it was not just the first year without
my father but both my parents.

In realizing that, having both Eric and Lilly in my
life has made a huge impact. Because the other alternative
would be being alone.

Now that Lilly is getting more mobile we are struggling
with her not to be such a crazy bird. When I say that,
she loves to play and run around the stores. Especially
home improvement stores. The only places she wants to
be held is when there are a bunch of strangers around her.

Other than that, I can't get over her ability to understand
things so quickly. She sees it done once and she figures
it out, most times. Currently her obsession is trying to
put her own shoes on herself. And when she struggles,
all hell breaks loose. I am sure as she gets closer to
two she will get everything she's been trying to figure
out it in one big swoop.

Then she'll be for sure, 'super baby.'

o/o
20-02
20-04

20-05

20-03

20-01

Lilly On-Ling at Nineteen Months!!

Who needs a gym when you have at toddler running around the house...
the hardware store...the grocery store.

She likes vacuum and mow.

She likes to dance.

She keeps growing and learning.

Most importantly she keeps us on our toes.

As we approach the end to this dreaded winter.
We neared the one year anniversary of my father's passing.
It has been a real depressing and stressful since Bert passed
in January and realizing that it's not just my first year
without my father, but also a year without both my parents.

Lilly On-Ling is a joy. She makes us laugh and smile.
She knows when we are not ourselves, and trust me, I have
not been myself at all these last few weeks.
But she cuddles and just makes you realize that everything
is OK. That is because she is with us.

I don't know what we would do without her.

She is growing into this amazingly beautiful little girl,
and those winter rosey cheeks glows as much as her spirit.

I know she misses her buddy. When we are in the magic
room, she point to Ye-Ye. She knows who he is. She opens
the videos on my iPad and watches the magic show with me
doing my box jumping thing with my parents. Her cheeks just
get big.

As she flourishes into the unique flower, she reminds us
how special she is in our hearts. Not just for us but for
the many people who cross paths with us. There's not a
moment that goes by when people see her and just go
'awe' still.

Everyday I tell her how much I love her and tell her
how we are so lucky to have her in our life.

Because that is exactly the honest to goodness truth.

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Happy Yum Yum Day!

Happy Paczki Day!
(happy fat tuesday too)

Don't forget some of these...


tag: http://pics.livejournal.com/mai_ling/pic/000acf39/g6

I've already been eating my fill, Just too good not too.

Mai-Ling :: Pioneering Alternative-Classical Pianist

Frances Mai-Ling is pioneering the genre of Alternative-Classical music; taking classical piano to new level giving it a fresh sound of the traditional and the current trend of rock, pop, alternative. Creating a new genre that is powerful, for people of all ages can enjoy. Since 2001, she has taken her creation of Alternative-Classical merging the sparkling qualities of classical music with the emotional melodic style of many generes, all within an intimate setting of Mai-Ling and her music. She got her first start in show business with her parents magic show , but chosed music over magic. Mai-Ling is a trained classical pianist, with only having two years of piano lessons under her belt. Performing a program of original music. Mai-Ling is co-founder of EastWestNow Records. The first record label & collective that promotes artists of Asian Ethnicity. Focusing on artists who are half-Asian. Mai-Ling is HAPAnese (a term she coined being 1/2 Chinese & 1/2 Polish). She is also one-third of "The Shake n' Poe Project", where she write music to the text of Shakespeare. Founder of the creative artists group "Notes & Poets: Bringing the Creative Artist to the Stage." She has scored music for theatre and film, along with a various amount of side projects to her credit. Besides being a published composer, she is also a published writer and visual artist. Mai-Ling is an independent artist.

In addition to her creative arts efforts, Mai-Ling works with the American Heart Association and its division the American Stroke Assocition. As an Go Red For Women ambassador and American Stroke Association ambassador. Mai-Ling formed the "Take Heart Awareness Cause" in 2005 to help bring her personal crusade of helping create more awareness of heart disease and stroke to the public forefront.. She has been recognized regionally and nationally with the "Heart & Stroke" Hero Award for her "outstanding efforts to create a healthier community, safe from the devastation of heart disease and stroke." She help's create awareness of the #1 and #3 killers among men and women in the United States. A portion of every CD she sells includes information and a portion is donated to the AHA for research and eduction programs. One of the first pioneers in merchandising her CDs for a specific cause.

She is currently working on a new release for the winter, a book project for next summer, and continuing her line of hand painted purses and jackets.

For more information about Mai-Ling please download her complete 40 page press kit at her website.

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