Tuesday, June 19, 2018

nykeiko eats: Los Tacos No.1 at Chelsea Market

A few weeks ago (so this post has been sitting in draft since March 2017!), I took a day off to take my daughter for a checkup and then got the rest of the day to enjoy. My plan was to check out the Story sample sale  which I wrote about here. But before I got there, I wandered around. First, I got free coffee from Terremoto. I got out the subway and was attracted to floating gold balloons outside their coffee shop. I go in and notice no prices so I ask, how much is a latte? To my surprise, the barista says that everything was free for the day because they were celebrating their one year anniversary! The balloons outside spelled "Free Coffee" but because of the wind, it was just jibberish. One latte to go please! What a great start. I then wandered into Chelsea market looking for food. I tried these popular tacos from Los Tacos No. 1 and got some vegan sushi from Beyond Sushi for the little one.

A couple of weeks ago, we visited Chelsea Market during the weekend and it was very packed, as usual. I noticed a long line of people waiting for something and I naturally wanted to jump in but due to time restraint, I didn't do it. Dave informed me it was for tacos. Tacos?! I don't love tacos so I wasn't too bummed about missing out. Well, on a week day, there was barely a line. I waited five minutes and was able to order. My credit card was declined so I was distracted with fixing my declined credit card that I missed the instruction from the cashier telling me that I had to give my ticket to the kitchen staff for my order. It was not until I saw others bring their tickets did I realize I needed to do the same in order to be fed. Soon after I handed my ticket, picked flour or corn tacos (the guy said corn was better so I went with corn), choose the garnish, I received my tacos. I ordered the Adomada (marinated pork) and the Carne Asada (beef). Both were very good and I think I could have ate more! I think this is the only time I ever enjoyed tacos. I don't know if it tasted good because I had a day off but I bet it had something to do with it. Food always tastes better when you don't have a toddler to worry about.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Dear daughter post #3, Swimming

Dear daughter,

I wanted to talk about your love for the pool.

I swam with you when you were still inside the womb. I did my best to swim at least 1-2 times a week and felt really good about the pregnancy the whole time. I want to say that it helped with the quick almost perfect delivery we experienced.

When you were about 4 months old and got all your shots, I decided to introduce you to the pool for the first time.

May 2016

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Dear daughter post #2, Bronx Zoo

This post is dedicated to my baby daddy! Happy Father's day. Dave asked me last week if I was ever going to blog again. Well, I mentioned how hard it was to blog if it wasn't about the person I spend the most time with (other than him) so I've decided that I'll do a couple of these posts for memory safe keeping and go back to no blogging at all. I've also decided to show some pictures of my daughter but with her face partially hidden. She may or may not appreciate this when she's able to read one day. Since I'm a morbid person, this is what I am thinking now to justify sharing a glimpse of her on the internet. If something were to happen to me today (or any day now),  then these would be the only words she will see from mama about you to remember by! Then you will be thankful I wrote this after all versus embarrassing you. Hashtag time: #lifeisshort #shithappens #thankful

Actually, now I remember that we have been sending her emails which we will give her access to when she will appreciate it (post teen?) but it has been a while since I last wrote to her! This post will be sent to her as well. Phew xoxHappy Father's day!

Dear daughter,

You are almost 2.5 and I love you more and more every day.

I am at work and I am surrounded by your pictures yet I still look for more pictures of you on my phone whenever I get the chance.  Today is Monday and I'm looking at pictures of our weekend together. I try to capture you in as many pictures as possible because you are growing up so fast and I have a hard time savoring moments when I am with you because I'm thinking about a hundred random things (did you pee, did you eat, did you snack, did you nap, did you put sunscreen, did we bring back up clothes...). As I scroll through my albums, week after week, you look just a little bit different and it's always bittersweet to say goodbye to yesterday's you. Every day you pop a new word and I am so impressed by every little thing you learn and do. Yesterday, I put you in Time Out but when I gave you the ultimatum to continue your Time Out or leave but get no cake, you choose to go back into Time Out so you can get a piece of cake. I was surprised you understood me but I shouldn't have been. You know way more than I give you credit for. When you came out, you refused the cake and ate banana instead. You just keep surprising us in good and bad ways.

This weekend, we brought you to the Bronx zoo and I hope you got something out of seeing the animals you read about, in real life. You don't know now but some of these animals are incredibly endangered and you may or may not have the chance to ever see them in the wild one day. In fact, mommy and daddy has not seen most of the animals we met at the zoo in real life. We are seriously worried about the fate of our planet.

We saw a lot of cool rare animals such as a sloth, rhinos, ferrec fox, an ant eater, spider monkeys, a kiwi bird!, flamingos, a snow leopard, pelicans and lots more. Basically every animal we love to watch on Planet Earth.

One memorable event was when we said Goodbye to the brown bears. You said "Bye bye Brown Bear" and continued "Brown Bear , What do you see.."

Rhinocerus pee pee, splash,  water, niao niao -you said when you saw the rhino pee

Daddy and mommy did have the great opportunity to travel to South America to see penguins in Punto Tombo and also see flamingos in the wild. We've also seen real puffins in Iceland which was exciting. We hope for you to have the same adventures when you grow up. We hope that all the glaciers will stick around long enough for you to hike them and of course, see as many animals in the wild as possible.  It saddened me that the only way for us to see these exquisite animals are in a zoo but it also reminded me how important it is for us to protect them in the wild by doing our part every day.

I think you had a pretty good day at the zoo. During lunch time, you turned to me and said " Mommy, I like the zoo". Although I was convinced it was because we were letting you munch on french fries and hot dogs, I hope deep inside it is because you were really have a nice time with us.

Your curiosity is so precious to me. I love to see the world through your eyes even though it means the chickens and ducks from the children's zoo made you most excited.

Happy Father's day!

Surprise! I am blogging and it is to write about how great my baby daddy is.

Dear Dave,

I have also written a few posts which will follow this post and they are dedicated to you but written as letters for our daughter.

I wish I can write down every little quirky thing she says but that would mean I need to invest time that I do not have.  I know you don't want me sharing pictures of her on the internet but I really wanted to write down some anecdotes and stories you can smile about.

So this is your third father's day! How do you feel so far? Do you feel like an expert parent that can give good advices to other daddies out there? Do you love this second job you have? Is it getting easier? Do you want a second kid? Do you want to do more? Do less?

Here's what I have to say to you:

1. Thank you for always being a little more strict than I am with her. You remind me that I cannot always let her get away with shit.
2. Thank you for reinforcing the usage of cloth diapers. I think we have saved a lot of money and the planet in general for using cloth diapers for this long.
3. Thank you for always getting up early to play with her so that I can sleep in a little more but can you keep the noise down please?
4. Thank you for brushing her teeth at times even though you really don't want to.
5. Thank you for bringing her to so many museums around the city so that I can have some mommy time.
6. Thank you for taking great pictures of me and her. You have a good eye and the gift for taking 100 pics with one being great enough for Instagram!
7. Thank you for carrying the stroller up and down the stairs in subways. MTA sucks.
8. Thank you for cleaning up her pee on the floor during potty training.
9. Thank you for jumping into germ infested ball pits with her.
10. Thank you for making sure she always gets some time with your mom and dad who love her to bits.

Here are some things we can do today:
1. Let's go eat some fried chicken
2. Let's go eat some fried chicken
3. Let's go eat some fried chicken

Dear daughter post #1, Taiwan and Tokyo

Another post for father's day...

Tokyo, May 2018

Dear daughter,

Remember our last trip to Taiwan and Japan? Hopefully yes since it is only about a month ago. I make you look at pictures all the time from our trips hoping it always stays a not so distant memory each time.

You like to point out to the pictures with the strawberries which might indicate that it is your favorite fruit or the most memorable part of your trip to Japan (certainly was for me!).

But first, let's do a really quick recap of Taiwan.
Here are some picture from our day trip to Wulai (about an hour from Taipei) taken by grandpa who tries very hard not to capture people/buildings in his nature shots. Daddy has not seen these so I hope he likes it too.

I want to feed the koi fishes

Jiu Fen was pretty nice too. Daddy has always wanted to visit this place so I'm glad we made it happen. We made a day trip out of it. We took the MRT and bus straight there. You were a trooper on the bus and didn't mind the long ride.

Sometimes you purposely don't look at the camera knowing we are taking a pic
 Right on top of the steps, you spent countless minutes staring at the mist maker.
You were most mystified by this mist maker and didn't want to budge at all. Maybe we should consider buying you this for Christmas or something.
mystified by the mist maker
 I even brought you to eat where grandma always took us to eat when we visited Jiu Fen together. A-Gang Yi Yu Yuan. The taro balls was one of her favorite snacks and I'm sure she would have brought you if she was with us today. You liked the big red beans best. You did not care about the taro balls.

Do you remember this trip to Fuji fishing port just north of Danshui?
You were napping for most of it but when you woke up, we showed you a lot of fishes you can eat except for the blowfish which was for show.

After a week in Taiwan, we flew to Tokyo for a quick 5 days 4 nights trip along with grandpa. We were there during Golden Week which meant that some restaurants/stores were closed but since we stayed in the heart of Ginza, everything was most definitely open. The day we arrived, the street was closed to traffic and we got to walk down Ginza's main shopping road which was neat.

Here you are crying and disturbing the peace because I wouldn't carry you.

Your first meal in Japan. Ikura!

You get your own little plate of Ikura

Here you are, not crying, picking up some pebbles from the gravel path leading to Meiji Shrine.
Visiting the Meiji Jingu shrine 
We did a day tour outside of Tokyo to visit Mount Fiji and its surroundings.
At Shiba Sakura festival near Mount Fuji

You learned about a variation of purple and pink colors that day. 

Lake Kawaguchiko I think  

First sight of Mount Fuji from afar. You kept grandpa quite busy during the two hour long bus rides.
Back to Tokyo, we visited the gardens of the Imperial Palace. We tried to visit the palace on a Tuesday which was the only day the gardens were closed.

The gardens at the Imperial Palaces

You love ramen

One day, we were on our way to the imperial palace and we passed some food truck event at the Tokyo International forum. I got this rice don covered with Hokkaido baby fish and shrimps and you ate up all the fish. You are the ONLY human I do not mind sharing my food with.

We brought you to the Tsujiki fish market and you stared a tunas worth hundreds of dollars. We made sure to visit the market since it is suppose to move for the Tokyo olympics. Therefore, you might never see these sights again in person one day.

Look at those old vintage signs

I have a lot more pictures but I wanted to post the more candid ones which will spark great memories of our trip when we look back at this post.

You have penned in 6 countries already in your passport which is pretty good for your little age.  We don't bring you to many playdates or pay for kids gym, sports or dance classes but we hope we make up for it by taking you on our travel adventures.

Reasons why we're okay not paying for ballet or music classes:

1. You petted a wild Icelandic pony > Petting zoo animals (both cool)
2. Hearing French speakers in Montreal >  Language classes (actually, you don't even know how to say Bonjour!)
3. Hot spring bath in Iceland > Pool (although you probably prefer the swimming pool).
4. Visiting Paddington station in London > Reading stories about paddington bear being found in paddington station
5. Visiting Mount Fiji > Eating Fiji apples (you really love your apples though)
6. Traveling in a plane, train, bus > Playing with toy cars (You always ask to go on a 'fei ji')
7. Visiting Jiu Fen in Taiwan >Watching Miyazaki movies (We will wait a little while before introducing you to 'Spirited Away')
7. Visiting Taiwan 3 times = Meeting grandpa every time (Worth that 15 hour + flight to Asia)
8. Seeing a beluga in Mystic > Singing baby beluga (although I like that song)
9. Strawberry picking in Japan > Eating Whole Foods organic strawberries
10. Being with mommy and daddy 24/7

Another pic taken by grandpa and we had no idea!

You have been the best travel companion. You don't mind being thrown off your routine (we think) and adjust pretty well to new environments. As long as you have carbs on your plate, you don't tend to skip meals and you're okay with trying new food. You can sleep on the plane, bus, and even sandwiched between mommy and daddy on a tiny double bed in Japan. I mean, you probably hated it which you made clear when you tried to me push me or baba off. Yes there are times you are a monster but we can easily coax you with snacks or distract you with street pigeons. You still love front facing on the carrier which makes traveling with you easy even without a stroller. You're much more vocal now about what you want and where you want to go. So even when you're in the carrier and you are totally controlled by me, you will definitely kick and scream when you want me to 'Go outside' (if I'm looking at something too long) or 'Go off the bus' (if we go on a bus) or 'Get up' (when I sit down to rest)! Every time we travel, we come home very exhausted but the memories we had make up for it.

Yesterday you build a lego plane and said "Zhuo fei ji (Take the plane) to Taiwan" which answers my question about if you remember our travels.

And to daddy, mommy's partner, who makes traveling a lot better by doing the heavy lifting and watching you while I go pee/poop.