Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Piano Theory?

When my mom tells me to do piano theory, I would tell her, "How can I make a prediction for this piano theory?"

She would be confused. Then I would tell her, "That's what 'theory' means. Check the dictionary. Theory means an idea or opinion based on some facts or evidence but not proved, to make a prediction."

Then she would say to me, "Theory has many meanings. What you said is one of the meanings. The other meaning is 'the rules or principles of an art or a science rather than its practice'."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Not Too Smart

Mom's note:

Brandon did something not too smart this afternoon.  And I want to put it down so this will remind him in future. 

He was supposed to finished his homework - language & art and math plus a few sentences to report about a book he read.  He was supposed to have a playdate this afternoon with a friend.  But I told him that he has to finish his homework to be able to go.  He finished his language and art and then math ... whilst doing them while standing up.  He also wrote the report out on his SURF log. 

I was looking for Fact 5 math homework for him to do.  Then I saw him busy erasing his SURF log.  Next I saw he wanted to staple a homework pass which he received before the winter break from his teacher.  O_O

I took the homework pass away.  I told him, he could have saved the homework pass for another homework and NOT erasing his finished homework to attach a homework pass.  That is not a smart move.  He got angry and threw a fit.  He wanted to break the drawer, throwing things on the floor and want to try make me more angry.  That's when I crumbled his homework pass.  Of course, he got more angry.

I told him in a calm voice that what he did was wasting his time - to do the homework and then erasing it.  Isn't it better just to use it for a another homework instead?  Why can't he think this way?  I am very disappointed in him.  I also had to call the friend to cancel his playdate because he was rude.  This is a hard boy to teach.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Dear Yeh-Yeh

My yeh-yeh (paternal grandfather) passed away peacefully in his home at Gardena last night around 11:45pm. The last time I saw him when he was still able to walk and talk was on December 28th, 2014.  To me, he looked as healthy as he was me although he was having a slight difficulty in walking. 

I didn't cry when Mom told me this morning after I woke up.  I will stay strong.  I don't want to let people see me cry, that's what I told my mom.

Mom's note:

My father-in-law passed away at his own home last night.  Mother-in-law, my husband and his sister were there with him.  We actually visited them yesterday afternoon, after Brandon's Chinese school.  When we arrived, all we saw was father-in-law sleeping and snoring on the bed.  There was an oxygen pump attached to him to help him breath.  But he was already in deep sleep due to the pain medication that was given to him. 

We usually visit my in-laws in Gardena on the weekend.  Last Saturday, Brandon woke up continuously coughing, so we told them that we would not be going up, didn't want passing the cough germ to FIL.  He had been weak due to anemic issue and his lumbar vertebrae fractured/collapsed.  Last I heard was his kidneys were failing and the doctor had yet to find out the problem my FIL was having. 

On the Sunday morning (1/4/15), SIL called and told us that MIL wanted to take FIL to the emergency.  She said FIL was not eating, no appetite and he was tired and restless, no energy.  He probably was in pain too.  Since Brandon was still coughing, we weren't allowed to visit the hospital. 

On Monday, they found out there was fluid in his lung and he was given medication to drain the fluid.  He also had swelling on his feet but after he was on the medication, the swelling reduced.  My husband was told to visit FIL after work and he went up to Torrance Memorial. 

While at the hospital, there was many tests to find out what was going on with FIL's condition.  Initially, the doctor said FIL may have bone cancer because they saw clouding/shadow on his chest x-ray.  MIL and SIL has been staying at the hospital overnight to accompany FIL. 

On Tuesday early morning, Brandon woke up with cough that woke me up too.  So both of us didn't sleep well that morning.  On top of that I had to go to DMV at Laguna Hills to renew my driving license.  My husband stayed home with Brandon.  Brandon skipped school because of his cough.  After I came home, we went to J-Zhou for brunch and packed two 'loh mai kai' and one BBQ steamed bun.

That morning, SIL asked if my husband could stand in for her for Wednesday night as she needed to return to office to pass her work to other co-workers.  Also on Tuesday, FIL was sent to do a biopsy on a lump near his neck.  SIL said it took a long time before the medical technician could find the lump with the ultrasound.  They were able to safely took out some cells for biopsy.  The result would take a few days.  My husband told me later that FIL finished the dimsum he had brought to the hospital.  He had better appetite and looked more alert.  When the nurse asked if he needed any pain medication, FIL said he had no pain issue.

The doctor already suspected Multiple Myeloma (the biopsy result later confirmed it), a form of plasma cell cancers that had aggressively spread all over FIL's body.  During the CT scan, they found FIL's abdomen has several abnormal growth as well as one behind his heart.  They also found his bones had a lot of fractures.  Even his skeleton had many fractures.  We were speechless when we heard it.  We didn't know FIL was in this worse condition.  Coincidently, the symptoms of Multiple Myeloma is similar to any old age symptoms - anemia, back pain, renal (kidney) problem and calcium loss (osteoporosis).

During the month of December, after FIL and MIL returned from Macao, FIL has been going to the doctor every week to find out what was going on with his body.  He was weak and had little appetite, but the doctor only said he had anemia and osteoporosis.  He was sent to different doctors to be examined and blood was drawn for tests, every week! 

He already has anemia and yet the medical professional had to draw more blood from him.  That I think took a toll on his body as his body was not able to produce blood fast enough.  When he was sent to see the kidney doctor, they found out that his kidney function had deteriorate to only 25%.  If it gets lower, he would need dialysis.  After that result, more blood work was needed.  I believe all these tests and emotional anticipation on the result took a toll on FIL's body.

When my husband was staying overnight at the hospital, he Facetime with us.  We were able to see FIL and he did look more alert.  I remember the words he told us over Facetime.  He said this time he lost the battle (in Cantonese - 'Yeh yeh ta bai jeung').  As he was tired, he wanted to sleep and I told him to take a good rest.  Not knowing, that was the last conversation we were going to have.

On Thursday, the doctor at Torrance Memorial told the family he has the confidence to treat FIL's Multiple Myeloma with 80-90% success with chemotherapy (a pill and shot).  But as FIL's kidneys were failing, he might need dialysis after.  Also he had a lot of fractures on his bones, his quality of life might not be good anymore.

After a long consideration, the family decided to opt-out of the treatment.  FIL started to have pain over the bones.  He was giving pain medication and since then, he has been sleeping.  The doctor discharged him from the hospital with hospice care at home.  FIL was sent home on Friday morning.  They rented a hospital bed and set it up in the family room, near the kitchen.  FIL was transferred home sleeping.

On Saturday, after Brandon's Chinese school, we drove up to Gardena.  There were many relatives dropping by on and off.  FIL looked peacefully sound asleep.  SIL said she received the duty to administer the morphine for FIL every hour.  She also said that morning, FIL was mumbling in his sleep and shaking his arms around.  When the hospice nurse came by that morning, he said to have people come to see FIL for the last time as he didn't have much time left, may be two or three days. 

We left Gardena around 7 something in the evening.  It was raining through out our drive back home.  Back in Irvine, I was still texting SIL back and forth.  After a long (may be 40 mins?) Whatsapp, I told her to go to sleep.  She said she needed to give FIL his morphine and that's why she needed to stay awake and she also wanted to spend some quiet time with FIL.  I texted her "Good nite."  And added another text below it saying, "Please tell Daddy that we all will miss him dearly but it is OK to let go."  I felt so sad until tears came rushing down my eyes; I didn't press the send button.  About an hour later, I received a phone call from my husband that FIL has passed on. 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Bye Bye Camry

Mom trade-in her clunky old 2002 Toyota Camry yesterday and bought a new Mazda CX-5. This post is a tribute to our Camry. I rode this Camry home from the hospital when I was born. It served us since Jan 2003 (before I was born).
I had changed many car seats while I was riding in this car, from a carrier (when I was a baby) to a booster seat now. You'll be missed!

A good 118,462 miles


I am sick. I have a cough. But whenever I cough, it was so bad and I had to cough many times. It started off with a light cough on Wednesday or Thursday but overnight Friday, it was so bad that I coughed so often during the night time.

Mom let me stayed home from Chinese school on Saturday morning.  I had a little happy feeling that I skipped Chinese school. hehehe ... But I didn't feel better. Mom got me some cough medicine. I had it on Saturday night before I go to sleep. At least I wasn't coughing like the night before and was able to get a better sleep.

Mom's New Car

Mom's old car, the Toyota Camry, has been having this weird sound coming from the engine.  It has a high pitch noise whenever the car is in acceleration.  Dad sent the Camry in to the mechanic to check but the mechanic said it was something wrong with the transmission and it cost a lot to fix it.  The cost estimated to be around $1,500 to $3,000 to fix it.

That car was a 2002 Toyota Camry, Sand Desert exterior with a Beige interior color.  My parents bought that car early in 2003 to replace the 2-door Honda Accord.  If mom remembers it correctly, she said they paid about $22,000 for that Camry.  So it has been used for about 11+ years now.  She said it is about time to change car. 

Yesterday, we went to the Mazda dealership to test drive the Mazda CX-5, a crossover SUV.  I kinda like that car during the test drive.  We left after that and returned only after mom finally made up her mind on the exterior color of the car.  Initially, she had wanted a silver with a beige interior.  However, Madza doesn't make a CX-5 with that color combination.  The silver CX-5 comes with a black interior.  Bummer!  So finally, Mom decided to go with the pearl white exterior that comes with a beige interior.  So back to the Mazda dealership we went.

The process of the purchase was long.  Mom and dad negotiated for the best price with the saleman, Kevin.  Finally our out of the door price, including the taxes and car registration came out to be $33,138.80.  Camry was traded in and we got $1,250 for it.  The car was not in good condition.  They fair value was $2,500 but after all the deduction (paint/dent) the value was brought down to $1,250.

Anyways, we drove the car off the Mazda lot around 6:45pm.  We had dinner and we went home.

This morning, Mom drove out her car for some pictures.  Here is me in our new car, the Pearl White Mazda CX-5 GT model!

It has a moonroof!!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Year's Lunch at Cheesecake Factory

Happy New Year!!

To start the new year 2015, we went to Irvine Spectrum and has lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Mom ordered the lunch spaghetti with meatball, dad ordered a soup and salad combo and I ordered a pepperoni pizza kid's meal. But in reality, I had my mom's spaghetti, and my dad had the pizza plus his own combo. We had some leftover which we brought home for dinner tonight.

My mom and I, we-fie!

After lunch, we grabbed some cheesecake to go. As usual, mom ordered her White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle and dad ordered the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Christmas Tree

Here is a picture of me and our 2014 Christmas tree before dad takes it down.