Check it out, y’all. Tell me what you think!

Okay, those of you who camp out all the time. This is the list I have. Please tell me what I’m missing. 

FYI, we are camping at Lake Pearrygin in Eastern Washington. It’s a full service camp site with running water and showers and we are “car camping”, so we’re not really roughing it. But all three families are relatively inexperienced (this is our SECOND camp-out overall – we went last summer once). So here’s the list:

Accommodations and essentials:

  • Tent (of course)
  • Mattress pad
  • Sleeping bags
  • Pillows
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
  • Clothes
  • sunblock
  • Bathing suits
  • Pull-ups for Sky
  • Butane stove
  • butane canisters
  • wood 
  • charcoal
  • matches
  • bug repellant
  • bbq implements
  • toilet paper
  • paper towels
  • plates/cups/cutlery for four
  • cutting board and knives
  • wet wipes
  • one frying pan
  • kettle
  • PAM
  • spatulas
  • garbage bags
  • camping candles
  • flashlights
  • folding chairs
  • table
  • firestarters
  • tarp
  • camp erecting implements
  • aluminum foil
  • ziploc baggies
  • can opener
  • dishwashing detergent
  • sponge
  • life jackets
  • bubbles making implements
  • kitty pan for bubbles
  • kids’ bikes
  • sand toys
  • water toys
  • board and card games
  • Leapster and DS
  • books
  • crayons and paper
  • FIRST AID KID (thanks Nicole!!) How the heck did we miss this one?
  • Clothes line (thanks Mel!!) Are you Bloghering this year?
I am in charge of dinner for the first night and will also bring some beverages:
  • alcohol (crucial) and paper cups to go with them
  • one carton of sodas
  • one carton of water
  • marinated and frozen chicken drumsticks
  • sausages
  • corn
  • salad stuff
  • buns and bread
  • my special bacon-wrapped chicken salsa bbq thing (I don’t know what to call it)
  • snacks
  • canned goods (luncheon meat, fish etc)
  • watermelon/mandarins/apples/bananas
  • bacon
  • instant coffee
  • spring onions/chopped onions
  • almond accents
  • milk boxes
  • ice (to buy when we start the journey of four hours)
  • cup instant noodles (thanks Sharon!!)
Ok, what am I missing? (the other families will bring their own stuff)


After much encouragement from my family and friends, I’ve decided to take this photography thing one step further. No, I’m not ready to charge yet (although some donations to Lokes would be appreciated – the gear is burning a hole in his pocket), but I have set up a site for my portfolio and will be putting some of my work there. 

Also, I’ve signed up as a volunteer photographer for Flashes of Hope (you can read what they’re about there), and am offering up my services for anyone you may know, who live on the Eastside or Seattle downtown areas, who have someone terminally ill in the family or going through difficult final moments with a loved one who may like some positive memories captured for keepsakes. I don’t charge but in exchange, will use (with permission) some images for my portfolio. 

Of course, if anyone wants to pay me to take photos of their kids/family events/weddings, I will gladly accept the commission at a very reasonable price with the caveat that I am not a professional (yet) and don’t own any fancy equipment, but I will give you a CD of all your images and ask to use some of them for my portfolio. 

With that, I give you Jennifer.Tai Photo.Artistry. If you like my work enough, please write me a testimonial at my Flickr profile (which I will reproduce at this site of course). Or leave me some comments. 

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So Rae’s kindergarten teacher gave us (because yea, like Rae is going to go, “I think I’m going to sit down quietly now and do some subtraction,” all by herself in this fishing-fine sunny weather) a pile of work to do this summer.

Rae's homework

Homework that’s supposed to help her not lose four months of education because of two months of summer vacation.

This is how I feel about homework:

This is what I wanna do to the homework

While I can be imperfect as a mom , I’ve always been a little kiasu (not a lot, just a little). Sadly, you can’t slack off and be kiasu. Which may be why I’m so unhappy sometimes.

And so, Rae spends 15 minutes of each of her summer vacation days on homework:

Rae doing some math homework

Honestly, she loves it, but not for reasons you and I would think.

(“…so that I can have some alone time without Skyler.”)

Look, look!

A moment to treasure, for sure. Perhaps I should bring them here more often!

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Wise words

So I just finished Muffy Mead Ferro’s Confessions of a Slacker Mom.

This may as well be the book I was supposed to write, the book I would’ve written had I gotten my act together. Then again, I’m not just a slacker at mommying.


  • The example of making-do, photographed here. It’s so true that we parents give so much to our kids, thinking more is “better” – more technology, more toys, more room, more praise (but not necessarily more time or attention). Are we slowly taking away their resourcefulness? Their ability to “make do”, to improvise rocks and sticks into flying saucers and magic wands?
  • Providing more also takes away their ability to share. I’ve always been advised to buy two of everything to minimise fighting, for my peace of mind, to promote fairness. What about teaching my kids the importance of sharing, taking turns? When we assign cutlery and plates, toys and books, rooms, computers, books and cars to each of our children, are we slowly and subconsciously not just enabling the culture of entitlement (“Rae has one, I deserve one too!”), but also the “Mine and mine only” attitude?
  • Lastly, does real and sustainable self esteem really come from heaping praise upon glowing praise on our kids for the tiniest of accomplishments, or should we nurture a sense of self-driven pride and delayed gratification by remaining neutral (i.e. we don’t praise nor do we show are disappointment or criticise if the opposite occurs) unless we are really, truly impressed?

Someone needs to give Ms. Ferro an award, if she’s not already gotten one.

More water play

Thank goodness for the beautiful late afternoon weather we’ve been having. The kids have had waterplay three times this week!




Have been practising with light – and my kids.

More pics here.

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