Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Happy birthday, Eric & the PTO Bake sale...

We flew home just in time for Eric's birthday...the kids loved giving their dad breakfast in bed with homemade cards

goofing around before giving dad their cards....

taste testing the pie before we put it in the refrigerator...

Max (in pretzel) I love 'u' (in fruit loops-the I and love were consumed by younger sisters) to mom (in pretzel)
Max is such a sweet boy...he often times will leave little notes and messages for me and his dad...for his grandparents, his Pua-Pua & gong-gong, his teacher & friends...he's a great boy!!!

I also got to do a second Bake sale with the PTO and it was  lots of fun and pretty lucrative...well, the generous gave lots...the cheap...well, there might have been a penny given for a treat and just a whole armful of treats taken with barely a thank you from another...but in the end, it was well worth the effort! Go Sage Fox...though we are going to be StAGEcoach  next year...so, really...go Stagecoach!!!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy Year of the Sheep!! Chinese New Year 2015

  My mom and I  decided to go to SF Chinatown to the Chinese New Year parade...really because we wanted to go to the King of Dumpling house!!!

This picture was just such a funny juxtaposition...

 We also went to Lake Merrit and Children's Fairyland...Kiri is such a girly girl!!!
 the girls had such a fun time running around...it usually take my mother and I about 40 mins to walk the entire 3.2 miles of the lake...it took the four of us about 3 hours since the girls kept stopping and wanting potty breaks and snacks...
 It's funny how an image can bring back so many memories...as we drove from the lake to Lakeshore Ave to get some Noah's and Trader Joe's (both of which were not there when I was growing up) I saw this mural of the side of the underpass...it immediately brought me back to being a preteen in my mom's Volvo , listening to New Kids on the block, dreaming of the exciting adventures I would have one day as an adult...
 Here is my cute, cute nephew Parker, giving his teacher flowers!!!
 Kiri eating Max's favorite salt & pepper fish...
 Lia, also, eating Max's favorite salt & pepper fish...in an act of sisterly love, they thought we should send these pictures to Max so he could see that they were enjoying it without him...
 we went out to eat with cousins...Kiri, Devon, Parker & Lia...we ate at a  southern restaurant with Beignets, fried fish, & Bayou Burgers with Blue Cheese...
 This was their favorite part of the meal...
 This was our favorite part of the meal...baby Sierra!

at the New Year's dinner, my cousin Angela couldn't make it due to the horrible weather they've been having in the East Coast...Lia was still happy to show off her increasing talent with Chopsticks.

 The girls showing off their Chinese New Year spoils...they love getting their 'hong bao's!'
This is always how I will remember them on flights with me...Lia with her shrimp chips and fan tuan...Kiri with her san zha piens...then, right before the plan lands...

Heaven sitting one on each knee...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pizza with the principal, Potty & Muffins with Mom

 Max has thoroughly enjoyed kindergarten so far...he has his super days and he has some days where he just wants to be at home...but he diligently gets up, gets ready and gets on his bus which drives him about 1/2 a block to the school. 
You can imagine my surprise when I picked him up one day and he said he was sent to the principals office...he said his teacher gave him a note for me to read in his backpack...I wanted very much to riffle through his ninja turtle backpack and find the note immediately...instead I patiently waited until we made the four minute walk home...
I was happy to find out that he had been chosen to have Pizza with the principal by his teacher for being an exemplary student and example. I. Love. This. Kid.

 He's singing, 'I tricked you, I tricked you!'

 Then, "I get yummy pizza! I get yummy pizza!"

 This is his principal, Mrs. Searle, she not only served it...I believe she made it!

Here he is with two fellow pizza with the  principal attendees (all three are part of the Mrs Merlee preschool crew!) 

While Max has been having his adventures at school without us...the girls and I have been having some of our own. When I potty trained Max, he was barely two and had shown the first signs of being ready as he routinely woke up in the morning with a dry diaper...the force was strong with him and he had no problem understanding and wanting to be out of those wretched diapers. He also loved Elmo's potty time....and that was that...  

The girls are three and started sleeping through the night with a dry diaper about a year ago...but one was more consistently dry than the other...one of my first real attempts to potty train them was last summer, I had heeded the advice of many successful moms and just let them run diaper free in a contained area and would routinely put them on the potty...since I don't have a bathroom with two toilets...I had them separated by a hallway...after deciding that I would wait it out and that certainly my will would be stronger than theirs...Kiri finally said that she went potty...so, I left Lia on the potty in Max's bathroom and ran down to the girls' bathroom...after putting a diaper on Kiri and feeling defeated (as she had NOT gone pee and merely stuffed the toilet full of toilet paper)... Lia then came running down the hall yelling that she had gone poo...after cleaning her up, I went back to Max's bathroom to find the toilet: empty...following the scent I can't logically explain her reasoning for getting off the potty, wandering to her brother's room and defecating on one of his favorite books...and I was defeated...so defeated that I didn't even try again for 6 months....

Alas I was shamed into a second real attempt and surprisingly, it only took a total of about 10 days and they have never looked back!!!!
 Lia and Kiri conversing about where the poo goes after it gets flushed...Lia quickly answered, "with the ninja turtles!"
 Celebrating our outing to buy big girl panties!

Kiri got an array of princesses and Lia chose Kai-lan, Team Umizoomi, Wonder Woman
& a few princesses

 Muffins with Mom...being on the PTO has given me a real appreciation for all the goes into these activities...I love seeing Max enjoying and adapting so well to school...And I love muffins!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Max turns 6!

 Max turned six this year!
 My mom surprised him and came to visit after Christmas and stayed until his birthday...his birthday spoils
 I love this kid!!!
 His teacher Mrs. Lewis is so great...every week I go volunteer in his class & I take something that I can use at home...she's just so clever!!!
One of the things she does on each students' birthday is that they get a whole poster filled out at home about them and the other classmates get to go over it with the birthday student...then if treats are brought (what cruel parent doesn't bring treats on their child's birthday) the birthday student gets to request the song sung in any style (Max chose Chinese, which the other kids vetoed!) and then the birthday student gets to stand on the chair and after they are sung to, gets to take the first bite. I think Max thoroughly L-O-V-E-D it.
 This kid still loves Ben 10..so he requested green Pistachio cupcakes with Pistachios/Almond custard

 I have a shockingly similar picture of me in preschool...
 Then, a week later, we had his birthday party at the legacy gym...I am in love with these parties where there is a finite amount of space, time and activities you can take up for the party, the parents can freely drop off their kids and can pick them up knowing they will have been watched, fed and exhausted...and there's no mess in your home to clean afterwards!!
Everything was green, silver and black for Ben 0 which worked out alright because all of the stores were clearance-ing out all of the Christmas items...I just have a lot of red candy and paper items left over!
It was a Nerf Gun party and the instructor was a man who was so spectacular with the kids and really was passionate about Nerf Guns...the kids had a blast! I took a few shots of each child that would let me...
 Max & Leah
 Faith & Max
 Andy man!!!

One of Max's favorite parts of his birthday: presents!!! He made a haul this year...I think I say that after each holiday or birthday...so much more than I ever dreamed of when I was growing up! I was most pleased with how much fun Max and his friends had and that Max felt loved. He is without a doubt the happiest, sweetest, most clever and imaginative boy I have the honor of knowing and raising...he already helps  his sisters pray and reminds me to have family scripture study, he is so eager to please everyone and forgives in a heartbeat, we LOVE him so much and can not imagine our family without this boy!!!!