Joanie’s Cafe


I depend on yelp when it comes to stepping out of the house. (where to go)

This time it’s for breakfast. 7 minutes drive; we reached the cafe at 9am sharp and it was crowded! (like why?) So the first thought was the food MUST BE GOOD! And indeed it didnt disappoint us. We ordered egg benedict (for myself) and some parisian french toast (rou ern) and it was soooo good… am still thinking about it. But the portion is too much (as usual) and I keep forgetting that its American portion here. So we had to doggy bag the rest – which is a very common practice here.

There was an evening when we were out eating in a restaurant, the food was oh so good but we were sure that we had enough to call it a day. There were leftovers and the server suggested for us to take away the rest which we declined and she went “Oh why? was the food not to your liking?” “Oh you can microwave it the next day.” (we dont have a microwave….) “Oh the next time when you come again you may request for a half portion…”

As I have observed, Americans usually take their time with the food, wine and usually finish their food. They take it slow and easy. I want to… but not easy with kiddos around. These days Zi Ern can be really cheeky. Even when she is strapped onto her high chair, the next moment you will see her standing on it with a big grin on her face that says “I did it AGAIN!” So sometimes taking the girls out on my own is like having my very own acrobat show, with one hand feeding myself, another hand feeding zi ern and another hand (??) holding her when she stands up. With my mouth chomping on the food and “another mouth” reminding ern not to play with her food… ok it’s not the most glamorous scene here. Relax, take it easy with the food and chill? Ha! But it STILL IS enjoyable nonetheless, in a more exciting kinda way.

Some pictures taken this morning:

Joanie’s Cafe

405 California Ave, Palo ALto, CA 94306







It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s palo alto duck pond!

Ask any child and feeding animals like rabbits, horses, sheep, goats, cows, BIRDS etc will most likely excite them. With just less than 20 mins drive from where we stay, a chance to repurpose stale bread; it’s a must visit.

At first glance, Palo Alto duck pond doesn’t look very impressive, with its scruffy looking appearance and less than fragrant aura but look it through a child’s eye and you will see that it’s a quiet setting with its sparkling water, full of activities going on as the seagulls swoop in for a feed, the aggressive goose (only one) fending its food, the ducks moving expertly in the water searching for food.

Breathe easy I told myself as I take a breath of old fashioned “fresh air”. Taking it all in, we saw planes after planes coming in for a land. Palo Alto duck pond is right next to the palo Alto airport so we got really good view of the small planes. This place was initially build as a swimming pool fortunately however due to siltation issues it was eventually turned into a duck pond.

It isn’t the migrating season yet so we didn’t get to see the migrating birds. That didn’t bother ern at all of course.


Here’s a short video of ern feeding the birds:

The gulls are really fast. They flap their wings and eat the feed even before the food can touch the water. The poor ducks can only wait patiently. I came up with a few ideas with ern to feed the ducks. So I will throw out a piece of bread to lure the gulls away and when I’m doing that, ern will throw the bread at to the ducks! It worked really well and ern chuckled at the silly gulls. she also tried to pretend to throw out a piece of bread and then quickly released it to the ducks and that requires a lot of speedy movement so after a while she just fed them altogether.

A place we will visit again for sure.

The Baylands and the Duck Pond
2775 Embarcadro Road, Palo Alto, California 94301 | 650-329-2506


Science centre – mega bugs

Totally awesome experience. Especially the mega bugs 3D show. It’s a must visit if you haven’t already done it.

Ern was thrilled to finally see the new born caterpillar eating its egg shell first before munching on the juicy leaves! (The baby caterpillar was so cute!) The images were super magnified and as such the visual appeal was perfect. Very interesting documentary I must say. The whole show took about 45 mins and it went through the life cycle of the butterfly, gives children a good feel of the food chain, it show cased different insects (praying mantis, rhinoceros beetle, caterpillar, bee.. Just to name a few) and how some of them camouflage itself in the rainforest and lots more. Ern was so excited and kept asking questions throughout the movie.

Zi ern was cooperative and sat through the movie without much fuss. When the movie ended ern kept asking for more. : )

Here are some pictures taken while we were at the exhibition area:

(Save me!)







Details of the movie and exhibition can be found here

She did this drawing. Most likely inspired by the 3D movie ; )



Play date – bear workshop

It’s not easy (logistically) to plan a play date when it involves 4 families and we did it finally!

It is ern’s first bear workshop and I thought she will enjoy the process but as it turns out, she just wants to get it done and over with and join her friends in whatever games that they were playing. But who can blame her? They haven’t met for months!

(Stuffing the dog she chose)

We had ours stuffed real hard as Ee fann planned to put it on skates for ern’s dog. We can go back to stuff it again anytime we want as there’s a lifetime warranty. Cool huh?

(Giving it a heart. How cute is that?)

There’s a ritual to it. “Rub it against your cheek so it will too have rosy cheeks” “rub it against your eyes so it will too have big beautiful eyes” etc… At this point ern is way too distracted. So distracted that she skipped the bathing of the dog and went to chase her friends. But she did pick an outfit for her dog. Princess belle. ; )

After dinner the children went for a train ride!

(Waiting in the queue)

(They took the last train ride)

It’s not the children’s first train ride independently by themselves. They had taken train rides in Lego land (Malaysia) and fire engine (Kidzania – Kuala Lumpur) but its the first time they were completely out of our line of vision. The train ride lasted about 10 minutes and it went around vivo city. While waiting, the adults chilled at Starbucks.

They resumed their play immediately after the ride.

(Walking the dog)

(Checking if the dog is alright after the walk)


Ern and Victoria basically stuck together throughout the gathering. They even accompanied each other into the cubicle and has endless things to say. Even when answering nature’s call.

(That’s the best shot I can get)

As usual when it’s time to part ern can never bear to leave her friends… Till the next meet up! Soon!!!


To the ZOO we go…

It was a fantastic day at the zoo today… great weather, fantastic company!

Brayden was there and so was Matt! Met at 12noon and ended the day at about 6pm! We went to every corner of the zoo and saw ALL the exhibits! and the biggest accomplishment is that I took her in my arms the entire day! No beco carrier and no pram. (ok granted she was in the beco carrier for 30mins when she was napping) I wanted her to SEE things and so I decided to train my arms muscles. Talking about muscles… oh… how my calves are aching now… and my gal is sound asleep : )

We saw so many animals..from the  majestic elephants to the humble otters. Ern was so captivated by all of them. I love it each time I point to draw her attention to the animals and she will have that kind of face that seemed to be asking “mummy what’s that?”

When we were having our dinner together berlinda said “so fast.. its gonna be 2010″  To which I said ” yeah tell me about it. It makes me wonder what I have achieved this year” and Chris “She is right next to you”. To me that statement really meant ALOT. It hasnt been smooth for me since 2007. Got myself into so much trouble and the only thing that I can be proud of and smile about is really ern.  2008 was really a hell year that I wish to forget and if it wasnt for ern I really doubt I will pull through. 2007 I lost what meant alot to me. 2008 was the year I had to face the music and 2009 I finally smiled when I saw her face. Everything happens for a reason and I’m still wating for that reason. But whatever it is I am sure that 2010 will be a better year for all of us. : )

Was 2009 a fullfilling year for you? : ) Wishing all my dear friends a blasting 2010. FORGE AHEAD!!


Julia Gabriel’s School Holiday Program!

It’s soooo much FuN… I wish it was longer : p

With the end of the school holiday program it also marks the end of the term for her regular classes. It’s with lotsa hesitation and unwillingness that I have to let ern take a term break from her regular classes. It’s really a little shiong to take her there 3 times a week and thereafter rush her to my parents place.. its really stressful having to make her sleep before her class and I feel that I am not really spending time with her in the class (I wonder why..) WEll  teacher Lin said that ern seems to understand what’s going on in class as she will focus and look and her attention span is good. hahha I damn proud la..now whenever I sing ern will clap along: ) I might consider taking her for swimming class once a week instead. (still struggling within me to let go of julia gabriel)

Here are the pictures! and yes on the last day we went to sentosa – underwater world : )

new discovery..

posing with mummy

stripping down for swimming

her favourite activity - swimming

underwater world - sentosa

See you soon jellyfish!


Macritchie Reservoir

Took ern ern to Macritchie reservoir the moment she wakes up this morning hoping to capture some monkeys! real monkeys I mean. (She loves the two monkeys (woo and ah) on playhouse disney.) Was a little hot when we reach there, daddy F went for his run and I carried her in my carrier and all set ready to go! BUT… we didnt see any along the way…Weekends are all packed with people strolling… running… brisk walking… tai chi… some just gather around for a chit chat session… some settles happily with a little picnic under shady trees. It was quite comforting to see people actually taking the time to relax; slow down a litle and smell the roses.Rather scenic huh? When I was walking along the track some aunties saw me with a baby and said some passing remarks “aiyoh… why bring a baby here” with a face that kinda implied “what’s wrong with parents these days”?! To which I replied with just a smile. : ) Their intention was kind but I guess no explanation was really necessary. : )

Ok. When I saw this I just had to shoot it. Isn’t this a classic one? I bet your parents would have come to this very same spot for their wedding picture!
We continued walking back to where we started kinda resigned that we are not able to capture any monkeys today and then it happened!
The first monkey we saw. I was a little wary of this monkey coz it was staring at me when im taking it’s picture! After I blast m shutter i just stood still hoping it won’t attack! hahahha… ern ern didn’t see this one..She saw this one! Then there were more running about; totally oblivious to the crowd of humans!
Daddy met up with us after his run and took a picture with ern ern inhis “slimy arms”. hee hee…
Next stop… BREAKFAST!!!Went to six avenue – Guthrie haus for one of daddy’s monthly craving – WAFFLES!
Looks not bad right?! I just stick to my old fashioned poached eggs with sausages served with freshly squeezed OJ. : ) and ern ern … her boring cereal. wahahhaha…
That was how we started our Sunday. Hope yours kicked off well too! Enjoy your weekend… or whatever that is left of… ahhaha