Monday, April 23, 2012

Another blog meme

I received a few complaints about numbers 5, 6 and 7 of the last blog meme.  Apparently my dreams are not all that fascinating, or at least not worth 3 of the 7 'things you didn't know about me'!  Haha!  So, to finish off the last one, here are numbers 6 and 7, as number 5 I will count all of my dream stuff rolled into one!

6.  I love picnics.  One time, my siblings and I microwaved hotdogs and took them to the park.  I don't really remember much else but that it was a lot of fun.  One summer, my siblings and I travelled all around the UK by train.  We would make chicken drumsticks and sandwiches for our trip.  I remember Bern falling asleep in Oxford and having to carry her everywhere, and people looking at us and wondering what a bunch of young kids were doing wandering around town.
7.  I watch movies from the middle to the end.  Gary hates it when I do that, but sometimes there's a movie on and I'll just turn it on.  Or, it's a movie I've seen that I've either forgotten how it ends, or I liked the ending so I just watch the end part!

That's all I've got.  Onto the next meme!!
Well this blog meme was sent to me by my sister.  This is very much a motherhood-themed meme as the questions imply that we don't have much time to complete the tasks as we're too busy looking after the kiddos.  So that being said, I won't be sad if you don't read this to the end.

Some ground rules to start:
  • Post the rules
  • When answering the questions, please give as much detail as possible
  • Leave a comment on Sex, drugs, rocker and stroller, baby so we can keep track of the meme and totally steal your routine tips to make our worlds a happier place
  • Tag 3 or more people and link them to your blog
How and when do you find the time to ....

... do your laundry?

Usually on weekends, although I sometimes do a load mid-week that sits there for a few days before I get it folded and put away.  I have about 3 loads of clothes I need to hang up in my closet.  I won't say no to some help if someone wants to come over!

...write a blog post?
I used to blog once a week on  Then that changed to once every couple of weeks, to once a month, to totally not.  Now I have this new blog.  I worried about consistency of posts at first but when I feel obligated to blog, I find I have no creative juices at all.  So now I blog whenever I have something to say.
...look after yourself?... i.e. wash your hair, paint your nails, take a bubble bath etc?
I don't particularly care for bubble baths.  Washing my hair isn't really a luxury - isn't that just a necessity in the course of hygiene?!  So I do that every other day when I'm in my daily morning shower.  I do paint my nails and have done so since I was 14 years old.  I've probably only gone a few months since then without nail varnish on my nails.  I have noticed that I am less inclined to freak out when my nail varnish is chipping off though.  I probably do my nails once a week, as in  I do them myself as I don't trust anyone else to touch them!

...spend time with your other half?

We spend every evening together, unless I'm working.  We usually get a couple of hours after Lydia goes to bed.  We rarely go on date night.  Even before Lydia was born, we rarely had date nights.  We went places and spent time together, but it was rare that it was a planned night out for the purpose of romance and love!  My reasoning is: 1. We're content with being a family all the time.  2. My husband is incredibly unromantic.  You can try to change him if you want - I still try even after 12 years fun stuff with your LO?

All the time.  We try to go somewhere on the weekends.  We go to hockey.  We spend time in the evening playing.

...spend time with family?
I see my father-in-law at least once a week.  My family is all in England, so maybe once a year.

...socialise with friends?

Usually a couple of times a month.  Not too often as I don't really need it and I talk to lots of people at work.  Every time I go back home I get to see friends too.

...prepare an evening meal juggling a baby/toddler bedtime routine?

I call it, 'My husband'.  I am really irritable when I'm hungry, so if I'm trying to spend time with Lydia too, it's even worse.  If I'm not rushed (like on weekends) I don't mind cooking, or if Gary really really doesn't want to cook for some reason.  Otherwise Gary's pretty good at cooking if I tell him what to cook.  This is probably the best thing about my husband and it takes a lot of stress off me because I get home from work a lot later than he does and I used to hate having to figure out dinner to eat half an hour after I walked into the door because I wouldn't have time to even sit down.  He eventually just fell into the routine of doing it most of the time.

...deep clean your house?

I have no idea what that means.  If you'd like to come to my house and show me, please feel free to do so. the food shopping?

Gary and I go food shopping usually on the weekend. 

...bulk ironing?

Seriously?  No way.  We had to iron masses of shirts for my Dad when we were growing up.  I don't think there's anything I detest more.  My brother hates painting because we had to paint the house every summer too.  I still have a few items of clothing that I haven't worn for about a year because they require ironing.  The only reason I iron these days is if I have something I'm sewing that needs to be ironed!  Why iron when there are dry cleaners?  And I don't have enough money for dry cleaners so I just buy clothes that don't need to be ironed, or things that will straighten themselves out once they've been hung up in my closet for long enough!!

That's all, folks.  I'm not a very good tagger so if you feel like filling out these questions, feel free to do so.  Follow the rules better than I do ;)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bet you didn't know this about me

I've been tagged in a couple of blog memes so before I'm told I'm a complete blog snob, I figured I'd give a nod to some of my dearest friends and family and answer the questions.  I'm quite an open book so this first meme will be rather difficult.  Apparently I'm supposed to share seven things about myself.  I'm guessing they have to be interesting and not things you already know.  I'm fairly certain you already know my name and what I look like (um, hello, pictures all over the blog?).  You may not know about my penchant for spotting spelling mistakes on any document that whizzes in front of my face for a millisecond, but that's just old news to people who spend any time with me.  Anyway, I'm procrastinating.

1.  I know a little bit about every sport.  I love to watch sports in general.  I think it's because I have no sense of balance myself and no athletic ability at all, so I cheer on my favourite teams instead.  I've noticed that I can connect with all types of people with my rudimentary knowledge about sports.  Sometimes I know random facts about sports and wonder why that's taking up space in my head.  It's irritating yet awesome at the same time!

2.  I'm really nosey.  Call it curious, interested, inquisitive, whatever you want.  I am genuinely interested in many different things, but mostly in your life.  I love to learn how people are managing, coping, thriving, living... I like to know what makes people who they are. 

3.  I think my true calling is helping people to see themselves.  I find myself drawn to  helping people see their strengths and how to harness them.  I love to help people feel comfortable and happy with who they are.  Hate towards other people and towards ourselves takes too much energy away from living life.  

4.  I don't really drink alcohol.  I don't really like it or how I feel and act with it.  I get a lot of lip and pressure from people when I don't drink.  It irritates me that people think this is up for discussion and not my choice.  I have my reasons.  If you want to drink, drink.  Don't think you'll ever make me feel like I'm letting myself down by not drinking alcohol.  How ridiculous is that?

5.  I woke myself up last night laughing.  Seriously.  In my dream, there were people popping up - out of a hat or something - and it was making me laugh.  I snorted whilst laughing in my dream which actually woke me up.  I think I was probably snoring really loudly!  Anyway, I woke up and couldn't stop laughing.  It was really strange.

6.  The other night, I had a dream that I was on a plane that suddenly started plunging at a 90 degree angle into the sea.  At first I thought we were crashing, then I realised we were actually going underwater.  We ended up going to the bottom of the sea where there was this entire undersea world.  We got there and it was like that new show, Terra Nova.  You could go to this new land but you couldn't go back.  There was a girl on a cell phone and they told her she couldn't talk on it because there was no contact allowed with the 'other' world.  Yeah, I have no idea where this dream came from either.

7.  I have really vivid dreams.  Some of you have heard my Chili (our beagle) and roast chicken dream.  I'll tell you about it if you haven't!

Ummm I guess at this point I'm supposed to tag some peeps to participate.  How about I send this out to the blogosphere and just see who wants to respond?!

Monday, April 9, 2012

What to teach my child about being multicultured

My co-worker posted this video to her Facebook page the other day.  It's Anderson Cooper talking about a study that looks at the way black and white children perceive each other.  I thought it was incredibly enlightening particularly when it addressed bringing up children to be colour-blind.  I know it's a difficult subject to broach, but I do think it's important to talk to our children about diversity and its challenges.  It's unrealistic to think that if we don't talk about it, it doesn't exist.

I know people mean well when they say things like, 'Oh, I almost forgot you were Chinese!' or 'Oh, I don't even see you as Chinese, you're just Sonia to me!'  I imagine it's true for those who say it and they say it as a compliment as well as a sign of their own growth - they see me as a person, not just the colour of my skin.  Yet for someone who is Chinese, who lives and breathes and can't escape my own skin, I can't help but wonder how that possibly happens.  How do you separate my being Chinese from who I am?  I know I can't.  I mean, seriously, my being Chinese is pretty in your face.  As in all over mine.  And in my bones and my soul.  

Now if you've never met me and you hear my English accent and see my Irish last name, my being Chinese is probably not what you expect.  I often get curious questions like, 'So where are you from?'  which typically means, I want to know where you got that accent, and where you got those features.  Some people find that offensive, but I don't mind it as it usually means I've piqued someone's interest and they're genuinely curious about me.  I even have a canned response for that question these days, a 10 second rundown which inevitably leads to, 'So how did you get here?'  which of course leads to the, 'Yes, I really did meet my husband on the internet' story which sparks an entirely different line of questioning!

I identify myself as being Chinese, yet I live the dilemma that many second generation Chinese like myself do.  Brought up by eastern philosophy parents in the western world, people often call us bananas - yellow on the outside, white on the inside.  It can be disconcerting to not quite fit in when you're in your 'homeland', and not quite fit in where you were brought up either.  Our western viewpoints and ideas often clash with those of the east.  This can be incredibly confusing and difficult to reconcile; we can't be expected to hold the same views when we were brought up in a different environment.  It can be particularly difficult to hear other Chinese people criticise us for not being 'Chinese' enough.  I'm not sure how to explain that, but I guess that's for another blog.

So I'm not quite Chinese enough, yet I'm not English either.  Even when people say, 'Oh, you're English!'  I always correct them because, well, that's what the English would do.  It doesn't feel quite right claiming to be English.  I was travelling in Europe once and an English guy asked me where I was from.  I said, 'England' and he responded, 'Oh, you're a scotch egg'.  I am proud to be a Brit though.  I can't imagine not being British because I think that's in my bones and my soul too.  Growing up in a multicultural city like Manchester really equipped me with the knowledge and sensitivity to be comfortable around people of different temperaments and backgrounds. 

I know Lydia will encounter difficulties growing up. She'll be asked where she's from as well as where her parents are from. People will say mean and hurtful things to her about the way she looks. She'll be told to go back to where she came from.  There will be a whole host of questions, judgments and opinions that come with having parents in an interracial relationship.  It's also difficult because we live in South Carolina, not exactly the most diverse place in the world.  It's a place where you often have to find those mulitcultural moments rather than being automatically surrounded by them.  Actively seeking out opportunities to teach my child about diversity seems so counter-intuitive to me.  I still have a lot of learning and growing to do. 

I often talk about race relations with people.  My hope is that people feel comfortable asking questions without fear of offending me or saying the wrong thing.  I'm hoping that my experience will help me talk to Lydia too.  I often hear comments from interracial couples that they worry about the racism their children will have to deal with.  I know these are valid fears, and most of us in this day and age come through it relatively unscathed.  I still encounter racism to this day and unfortunately it's just a part of life.  It's not that we are born with an innate ability to deal with mean people though.  We have a community of people standing by us.  There are friends and strangers who are willing to stand up for us when we're feeling weak and beat down, and there are friends and strangers who are willing to stand next to us when we're fighting the fight.  It sure does feel like a battle some days.  But without the support, it can be a lonely road and a losing battle.

One Love.