Lunar New Year

Happy New Year! 新年快樂!恭喜發財!吉祥如意!It’s the start of the year of the pig. Did y’all celebrate? We didn’t do much. Actually my parents always say that Lunar New Year is more festive in Taiwan (and presumably in the other parts of Asia that celebrate it) and it’s just not the same. But we try a little: A bit of cleaning (it’s supposed to be massive cleaning :D); red string around our wrists; haircuts as I said; red clothes; and mandarin oranges.

Oops I forgot to hit “Publish” yesterday. And I don’t know if I was finished. Oh well, I’m publishing. :)

Rebooting, maybe

Leaf says I need to post to my abandonblog so here I am! Actually I have been thinking about posting … for two years. I think about it and sometimes I get as far as composing something in my head but when I get a moment I’ve forgotten! Then it feels like well a bunch of time has passed and what’s the point. Death spiral of negativity ensues, blog post does not get written. But whatever, this is the point of a personal blog. Also I installed the WordPress app on my phone so let’s see if that helps.

Lunar New Year is coming up on Tuesday. I got a hair cut. My understanding is that you’re supposed to trim away bad luck, so a small trim at least. And it has to be done by New Year. If I don’t manage to get a haircut by New Year, then I avoid haircuts for at least a month. (This is easy to do.) But often it’s the impetus that I need to get to a salon, so I go. This year I wasn’t in dire need of a hair cut so I thought I’d just get a trim but then I got a bunch of hair lopped off and now I have what my sister and cousins are telling me is a lob (long bob). I forgot to take a before and after though so this is a fail of a blog entry.

Speaking of pictures, I used to use Flickr for pictures. Is this still a good place or should I try something else? What are my choices???

Best Board Books

The thing is, when Beez likes a book, sometimes we have to read it a lot. A lot a lot. I take it this is normal, but some of them are easier to stomach than others — sometimes I even try and steer towards one of them over another. I tried reading poetry or longer books (whatever I happen to be reading for fun), and it’s ok, but the thing is, she likes the pictures. So, a short list of some board books that we like enough not to mind repetition too much. I think these are books that really could belong in any library. (Board books are sturdy and the pages are easy to turn.) Also, these are my favorites from the ones that she likes. If it was best board books according to the toddler, it would be a somewhat different list.

Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
Moo, Baa, La La LaFun! We love the dancing pigs. Sandra Boynton’s quirky sense of humor really works. This one is simple and easy to read and understand, I think.

But Not the Hippopotamus also by Sandra Boynton
But Not the HippopotamusAlso fun, with that trademark humor and art.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram
Guess How Much I Love YouSweet and cute.

Potty by Leslie Patricelli
PottySo far no luck, but hope springs eternal. To be fair we haven’t really tried to potty train…yet.

My Friends by Taro Gomi
My FriendsThis might be my fave. The art is so good, and the text is too. It’s falling apart from how much we’ve read it. I think I might buy another if it ever really comes apart; it’s that good. I also think I want it in Mandarin. And I hear there’s an English/Spanish version too.

I have to mention one more thing: a custom board book. The day care asked us to put together a little book of photographs for our kid because they said that infants and toddlers like having a book that’s theirs, about themselves. They didn’t care if it was a board book, or if you just printed a regular photo book, or even if you printed some photos and stuck them to a page — they’d laminate and hole punch or whatever to make a book (also probably the sturdiest). But one of the teachers mentioned Pint Size Productions which prints custom board books. Pricey but irresistable. I should imagine that other companies print them too, but anyway, this is the one we used and considering they are printing a thick one off photo board book, I guess it costs what it costs. We have no regrets — she loves her book.

Any suggestions are welcome too!


Surveying Her Domain

The thing about Foof is that there was never a moment when we didn’t love her, from the moment we met her. She was so sweet. (Actually that’s a word that comes up a lot when people talk about Fluffleupagus.) I think she probably licked almost every human she ever met. Mostly our feet, because she liked to stay on the ground, but anywhere she could reach was fine. You could trust her with babies, rabbit noobs, anyone.

Coming Downstairs to Greet Us

She had a sense of adventure. If you let her, she got into everything and went everywhere.

Bunny in a drawer

As she got older, she had a lot of health problems (she was a pure bred Flemish Giant we got from a breeder, with all of the concomitant problems). She had glaucoma by the time she was three — her doctor thought it was possibly congenital. And cataracts too, so she didn’t see very well. Then this last year or two she got arthritis, or something similar.

Fluffleupagus at the opthamalogist

She dealt with her daily eye drops (cosopt, diclofenac, and edta just like a human would for glaucoma and her other eye problems) with so much patience. And when we had to give her antibiotics she submitted to that too, although she didn’t like it. You know what she did like though? She ate her Metacam (for pain from arthritis) with gusto; it was never a problem to give her Metacam. Although she was a big bunny (15 lbs. at her most heavy) she was easy and mellow.


This past year, something caused nerve damage and she lost the use of her back legs, especially the right back leg. She was reduced to crawling around instead of hopping. Then she lost control of her muscle that peed. She could still hold her urine, but she had to have her bladder expressed at least once per day. She also started to get eye ulcers that didn’t heal. She still ate enthusiastically, sipped up her Metacam, crawled around all over (we put yoga mats down to give her extra cushioning and traction). We stopped putting litter in her litter box, just lots of hay. Not that she was ever a fastidious bunny. Fluffle always thought close enough was good enough.


Fluffleupagus passed away on Tuesday, September 6th, 2016. She was six years old. At the end, she had acute kidney failure. Dr. Harvey (a great rabbit vet) put her in an incubator, gave her fluids (through her ear), and a catheter to remove her urine since she couldn’t pee, but still. She was tired, and not feeling well. We decided to put her to sleep, but we were so grateful that she held on for us to say goodbye. Rest in peace, my beautiful, sweet bun. Kisses.


We bought crayons lately since Beez is one and we thought she might like it. She likes to put everything in her mouth and it’s impossible to be absolutely certain she won’t eat something. She does things so fast that one second you’re saying, “n—” but the next second it’s done, and you never even finished your single syllable. So I thought I’d better buy something relatively non-toxic. Not that Crayola crayons (are there better crayons?) are toxic, and I’m sure they’d be fine, but they’re made with paraffin? wax, and I just thought, eh, why not try something “safer”. There are tons of makers all over the web and on Etsy that are made using soy wax or bees wax or other more edible waxes, so it’s easy enough to buy.

So we bought a couple of them to try out.

Clear Hills Non-Toxic Crayons are made with beeswax and “non-toxic pigments and clays” according to their site. The crayons are the large size kids crayon size. The coloring action isn’t as smooth as I remember my old box of 64 Crayolas were, and of course there’s only 5 crayons. What I mean by smooth is that sometimes when you draw a line, there’s darker parts of the line and lighter parts, and it doesn’t feel completely smooth with no bumps while writing. She tends to play with them like sticks (trying to hold as many as she can, throwing them around), although she does also draw random lines. Not bad!

Wee Can Too Organic Veggie Crayons are made with soy wax and veggie dyes. There are 5 blocks and it’s very smooth, but it tends to be light. Also if you bang the block little pieces will fall off. Because of course she plays with them like blocks — stacking, banging, etc. The ingredients make a lot of sense with the colors though — like the yellow is colored with cumin amongst other things and it is a bright, almost chartreuse yellow, like the edges of curry. These are super smooth.

Anyway, I like them both. I guess if you want the more pencil like shape then go for the Clear Hills one, and if you like the less expensive one then get the Wee Can Too crayons (after shipping and tax I think they’re less expensive). I do think that she doesn’t totally get that pressing harder will create more color yet, which is part of why we didn’t get markers because we thought it’d be good for her to play with pressure. Since the Clear Hills crayons have naturally more intense color, she uses them more, but she plays with both.


I drew the 8 straight lines (one of the blocks and one of the crayons were in another room and I didn’t go get them), the other marks are her. The four on the left are with the Clear Hills crayons, and the ones on the right are with the Wee Can Too crayons.


Well, it turns out, I am terrible at predictions. Or I’m not as bad as I thought. Or … gosh, IT’S JUST ALL CRAZY!

The championship game is tonight at 7pm Eastern (4pm Pacific) between Villanova and UNC, but … it doesn’t even matter. None of us picked them for some reason. I mean, in hindsight, why not UNC? They’re a 1 seed. But we collectively didn’t, so the standings now are the standings for the Know Nothing No Downside Not Much Upside contest/pool/thingie 2016.

Me: 66 (Michigan St. over Kansas)
misa: 62 (Kansas over Michigan St.), Kay: 62 (Virginia over Kansas)
Lew: 60 (Virginia over Kansas)
Seth: 55 (Kansas over Michigan St.)
YuHK: 52 (Michigan St. over Oregon)
Leaf: 51 (Virginia over Kansas), Yut: 51 (Michigan St. over Kansas)

YUP, I won. It turns out I really am a basketball genius. And misa (who mentioned that her sister-in-law has a Kansas dog bed in the facts she knew column) and Kay (gosh, gone are the days when she picked Air Force all the way) are tied for 2nd. Lew is third (if only Virginia did better). But there’s very few points differentiating first from last. It’s like we really (don’t) know basketball or something.

Anyway… so I think in terms of tradition, I coincidentally will get a trip out of this. New York in September, right? :)

Holy Wow

Um, I haven’t even posted an introduction post yet about this year’s March Madness. BUT OMG! Michigan State is out!!! They’re a #2! It’s not unheard of for a 15th seeded team to beat a 2, but it’s rare. AND a bunch of us picked them in to the finals! AND I picked them to win it all. So… new prediction: I am not winning this year, despite my basketball genius-ness. :D

I haven’t watched any games but I periodically check the scores, and OMG I just… I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! My bracket is already all messed up. My entire Midwest region just … poof (I also picked Purdue to go far)! Some of you Virginia fans (Lew, I didn’t even have to look to guess that you picked Virginia all the way) are safe but gosh for the rest of us, wow. Okay that is all.

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