Category Archives: Family


Discipline Without Damage by Dr. Vanessa Lapointe

I finished reading the Discipline Without Damage – How to Get Your Kids to Behave Without Messing Them Up book by Dr. Vanessa Lapointe.  It was a good read.  Coming from a very strict and disciplinary family and background, I needed new strategies to discipline my kids.  I do not want to apply what I went through on them, but the whole Western culture is just too “loose” in my opinion.  I needed a balance.  This book was perfect.  I want to share the nine key stepping stones to discipline without damage in the moment:

  1. Respond with connection: Have children feel your intention to understand them and do right by them.
  2. Stay low: Respond with calmness and control in an intensely caring way.
  3. Drop a flag: Provide a very quick and simple direction of what needs to happen (aim for 5 words).
  4. Maintain firmness with kindness: Hold your line and have compassion.
  5. Give no explanation: Avoid explaining your position to children.
  6. Choose your moments: Be mindful of your children’s zone of need and set boundaries intuitively.
  7. Exit gracefully if needed: Maintain control if you need to abandon the boundary.
  8. Keep relationship as the bottom line: Do nothing that will interfere with the relationship you are cultivating with your children.
  9. Debrief the incident once calm prevails: Start at the beginning and move through to the safety of the ending.  Avoid blame or shame.

February 29th

Four years ago, today, February 29, 2012, we took possession of Crownwood.  Anya and I moved in this big, empty house, had takeouts for dinner and champagne after, and slept on our mattress in the kitchen.  It was a tiring and exciting day.  Four years ago seems like forever ago.

Today is the first 29th of February since the last one.  Another leap year.  Boy, how things have changed within this gap of four years between the two 29ths!  I wonder how things will be when the next February 29th comes in 2020.

Four years prior to that, we were new graduates, engaged, and planning for our wedding.  Isn’t time a tricky thing?  We don’t feel it, but life just keeps on rolling.


Mt. Washington Family Trip

We spent the past three days at Mt. Washington with my mom, Anya’s parents, and Aunt Corrie’s family.  It was a lot of fun.  I like going on family trips.  The weather was a bit too cold for my mom’s bones, but she was glad she went.  She was admiring how beautiful the mountains and trees were when they were covered in snow.  We were lucky that the backyard of the chalet was right next to this hill that was perfect for tobogganing.  Mike, Jackson, Ryan, Matt, Aunt Corrie, Anya and I had a lot of fun sliding down the hills overs and over again.  Back in the chalet, Jungle Speed was definitely the game of our stay!

We took Serena to her first skiing lesson, but she refused to continue after two rounds.  S was really looking forward to it before the lesson.  I think the instability of being on the skis shocked her.  She looked pretty darn cute in her skiing gear.  I thought she did well, considering she’s only two.  To be honest, I was secretly hoping she would love it and had a ton of fun and didn’t wanna leave and we would take lots of selfies at her first ever skiing lesson.  Despite the early finish, I was really proud that Serena put on them skis and went down the hill with her teacher, Kailey, twice.  I love it when she’s brave, curious, and willing to try new things.  I was a bit upset when she wouldn’t walk back to the rental office on her own.  I forced her to walk for a bit, but she forced me to carry her, with her loud and innocent cry.  I looked like a child abuser dragging this two-year-old in the snow.  There were some tears shed and feelings hurt.  That night when I tucked her in, she whispered in my ears, “I’m sorry Daddy. I’ll try skiing again next year.”  Tears were filling up.  This time, they were in my eyes.

Here is a clip I posted on Instagram of Serena going down the hill with Kailey’s help:

BC Family Day 2016

On Family Day 2014, I was driving my family (mom, dad and sister) to the Vancouver Airport to catch a plane back to China.  I remembered it was ironic that I sent my family away across the Pacific Ocean on family day.  Mom had been living in Victoria since September 2013; shortly after when Serena was born.  Dad and sister came to celebrate Chinese New Year together in Canada.  It was Serena’s first CNY.

On Family Day 2015, we were either flying to China or already in China for Chinese New Year.  It was Serena’s first trip to China.

This year, in 2016, Family Day falls on the first day of the Year of Monkey.

I love Family Day.  It’s nice to have a holiday between January and February to take time off from work to connect with family.  Mom is here this year.  I like having her around.  I feel like I’m the only one who gets her and understands her craziness.  I’m a little worried when her arthritis gets worse and has to go through the health system here.  I’ll have to take her to appointments and translate everything for her.  That’s a huge responsibility.  I think we will be okay though.

Later in the afternoon, we went on a family walk to the Summit Park.  Anya made yummy fried rice using some of the leftovers from the Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner the night before at mom’s house.  My father-in-law made excellent spicy pork.  It was a nice and mellow night together with family.  I love my family.


















The Last Day in the Year of Goat

It wasn’t a good night, but it was a good day.  Both kids were extra needy last night.  Multiple wake-ups to screaming baby and clingy toddler.  After a broken sleep, I was up at 7:30 to get ready for countdown in China with Mom, Dad and Yuhan.  WeChat has a cool feature for multi-screen sharing, so we used it to be together virtually to say goodbye to the Year of Goat and welcome the Year of Monkey.

Later in the morning, Anya and Serena went to Nana and Opa’s house for a visit.  Griffin was sleeping and I was reading in hopes to finish the Think and Grow Rich book.  For some reasons, I really wanted to finish it on this last day of the Year of Goat.  Perhaps the idea of closing a book on the last day of the year was attractive to me.  I ended up finishing the last chapter.  It felt good.

I spent the whole afternoon helping Mom cook Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner.  We made eight dishes together.  It was great fun learning how to cook Chinese dishes from Mom.  I think she enjoyed my company.  She told me a lot of family gossips that I’ve missed over the years being in Canada.  It was a nice bonding time with Mom on such an important Chinese holiday.  I felt bad about having my Mom here so far away from our families and friends.  That sad feeling quickly evaporated when my in-laws came and we all enjoyed good food, good drinks, and great companies.

Some recollected random thoughts of the day:

  • Goat also stands for the Greatest of All Time.
  • Griffin is a goat.  My Mom is a monkey.
  • Which book should I read next?
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