Friday, August 31, 2007

Lightning Boy & Star Girl

With Taipan and Taisim being so enthusiastic about putting on costumes and wearing towels, Karen had the briliiant idea of looking for capes for them to wear! She found this great little shop called Superfly Kidz that specializes in such apparel, so we ordered 2 for our kids. They arrived on Wednesday, and we've been having a blast with them ever since!

I was deemed worthy of a cape (I used my Starbucks apron), and we all had to have superhero names. Thus, Lightning Boy, Star Girl, and Starbucks Guy were born. I told them that superheroes usually have superhero teams or supergroups (not like Cream or Led Zeppelin, but X-Men or The Avengers), so I asked Taipan what our team should be called. Being as into High School Musical as he is, is it any wonder that he chose Wildcats? So our routine is we all stand on the couch (hands on hips in true superhero fashion), and we yell back and forth...

"What team?"

"What team?"

"What team?"

"Get 'cha head in the game!"

Then we all jump off of the couch and fly around the house... lather, rinse, repeat... and let me tell you, flying around the house can be a bit TIRING... Starbucks Guy is getting too old for this :)
Where are Taipan & Taisim?Ready for action!
Action shot!Ready to climb over the couch.
Star Girl jumps over the couch...Lightning Boy does the same, gracefully.
Lightning Boy IS fast!Up and away!

Another day of foiling evil done.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

e.e. cummings quote

I know you're here for pictures and stories about the kids, but today you get a quote instead :)

"To be nobody but yourself in a world that is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle that any human being can fight."

I love it. Seems to ring true in some ways, though I find that the more true I am to myself, the *easier* it becomes to be myself. If I'm comfortable and at peace with who I am, then it doesn't seem to matter if what I'm doing is different, so there's really no battle. Make sense, or am I just full of it?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Quick update from NY

Today is our last day in NY/CT. We had a great time in Brooklyn over the weekend with Aunties & Uncle - we got to see momofuku (where Ling works) and lululemon (where both Ling & Yuli work). Next time we'll need to see where Keith works :-) We also went to the NY Transit Museum, which was really cool. Get this.... they have old subway cars that have fans in them. Taipan was in heaven. Trains and fans together! Of course the fans didn't move, but I held him up so he could spin them with his hand. I learned my lesson pretty quickly there - the blades were so so so dirty, so we only did that once.

On Sunday we drove up to Danbury and had a relaxing afternoon in our hotel, and then Monday I was up at 5:30 to get ready and be at the office by 7. So this meant Yuta was also up around 5:30. The kids slept until 7, and then Yuta took them to run around at the mall. Apparently the kids were pretty fascinated by the carousel.

So... why no pictures of all these fabulous things? Well, the camera is in Ohio. Yuta put it in my purse, because I always have my purse. Well, not this time. I planned to leave it at home since I had both my briefcase and the kids' bag to bring on the plane. I didn't realize he'd dropped it into my purse until we were on our way to the airport.

Yuta picked up a disposal camera late yesterday, so we should see some pictures of today's adventure, but who knows how long it'll take us to get them developed.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Breaking open the piggy bank

When Taipan was a baby he received a pretty cool piggy bank as a gift. A couple of times he's mentioned wanting to open it, but moved on so we didn't do it. Tonight he asked me to open it again. After struggling with some weird internal dialogue about it just not being right to open the piggy bank, I said "Sure! Let's get a screwdriver."

Now the kids are sitting on the floor in the hallway putting all of the coins into the dinosaur's mouth one by one. If I'd known how much they would enjoy this, I would have done it months ago! It's certainly keeping them busy, so I think I'll go have dinner in peace.

Leaving on a jet plane (again)

Tomorrow we go to New York. And, of course, being as anal as I am, we're all packed and set to go, even though our plane doesn't leave until 4:20 tomorrow afternoon.

We'll be spending Friday & Saturday nights in Brooklyn with Yuta's sister. We don't have a lot planned, other than to hang out and probably visit the NY Transit Museum. Apparently they have a lot of subway cars, buses and trolleys to walk around and check out.

It should be a fun trip. It's odd to me that we're traveling late in the day. Usually we wake up and rush the kids out the door to get to the airport. It will be nice to not be hurried.... knock on wood.

Thursday Adventure

Today was a fun-filled day! I asked what Taipan wanted to do today, and the first thing out of his mouth, without hesitation, was "go to the park by our house!" Not an answer I was expecting, but a worthwhile one nevertheless. With the torrential downpours we've been having over the past week, I was concerned about wet slides and mud, so we were prepared with towels and a change of clothes for both kiddos. It was all for naught, as when we arrived at the park, not only was it deserted, but it was also quite dry... so we spent a good hour at the park climbing and sliding... Taisim even walked up the big swirly slide on her own!

After the park, our next stop was the bookstore by the Apple Store... meaning Joseph Banks in Legacy Village. They have a large children's area with a wooden train table and plenty of trains, so it's no wonder that came up. It was there we found some enlightening rubber duckys, that wound up coming home with us.

We then went to the Apple Store where Taipan made a bee-line for the iPhones. This was our first visit since the renovation of the store, so we were a little surprised at the new layout. Unfortunately for us, there are no longer iPhones next to the kid's table, so Taipan was torn. He ended up checking out the iPods and the headphones, and so did Taisim!

Taipan was dancing...

and said he liked this song...

After the Apple Store, we headed home, with a stop by Starbucks and Steak 'n Shake for some refreshments. Adventure!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I'm on quite a few yahoo groups, and every now and then people share quotes that I really like. So, today I decided that I'd post some of them so I can have record of them. And, heck, I may even feel inspired to share why I like it.

"We're like actors, turned loose in this world to
wander in search of a phantom, endlessly searching for
a half formed shadow of our lost reality. When others
demand that we become the people they want us to be,
they force us to destroy the person we really are.
It's a subtle kind of murder. The most loving parents
and relatives commit this murder with smiles on their
faces. "

- Jim Morrison (1943 - 1971)

Ok, so you can guess why I like this one.... it reminds me to allow my kids to be who they are. And to love them and accept them for who they are right now, knowing that they may or may not change, and that's ok. They can have different interests, different viewpoints, and different personalities than me and Yuta (God willing lol), and it's ok. I want them to be who they are. That's it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Nothing much

Not too much has been going on this week, so I haven't really been blogging. Though now that I think about it, we've actually been pretty busy. I mean, we made three trips to Target in the past week, how could we not be busy?!?

We've also been to Amazone, lunch at my in-laws', a dancewear store, the mall, and Yuta went to the Browns' pre-season game last weekend. And we've done a ton of HSM dancing, which is quite fun.

Yuta has also been working a lot lately. He worked on Friday, Sunday and Monday nights. And now he's crashed out on the bed - totally wiped, most likely from the onset of a cold. But it could just be general exhaustion. He was up until 3am last night trying to get iTunes to work on the kids' computer.

We had planned to go to the zoo last weekend, but we've had a tone of rain the past few days, so we've been doing indoor activities.

The rest of this week should be low-key. We're all heading to NY on Friday evening - we'll visit Yuta's sisters (and future BIL) in Brooklyn Fri-Sun, and on Sunday night we'll head to Danbury, CT, where we'll stay until Tuesday while I attend work meetings in Somers, NY.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We're home

.... and glad to be here. We had a great time in Florida, but it's nice to sleep in our own bed and be in our own space again.

I don't even know where to begin really, so I guess I'll start at the beginning. We left last Wednesday, and everyone was up early, which turned out to be nice because Taisim slept through almost the entire flight down to Florida. Taipan loved pulling his suitcase through the airport, and he and I chatted and played during the flight while Yuta enjoyed some alone time across the aisle with his iPod. We had a minor drama/delay with the rental car, but got it sorted out pretty painlessly. (Y: The rental car Budget had for us was a Mustang hardtop coupe. I looked at our cart with 2 suitcases, 2 car seats, 2 strollers, & 2 backpacks, looked back at the counter agent, and laughed. Luckily, we were able to get a 4-door after waiting for 20 minutes.)

We spent our first four nights at the Oceanwalk condos in Daytona Beach. We'd stayed there twice before, and knew that the kids would love it - it's right on the ocean and has a terrific kids' water play/pool area. We checked in around four or five, got to our room to get our swimsuits on, and headed right out to the pool for a couple of hours.

On Thursday a friend of mine came to hang out for a bit with her two daughters, and we tried to do the beach/ocean thing, but my kids weren't digging it (literally or figuratively). We hung out at the kids' pool and the lazy river (oooh - that was so relaxing - the only time Yuta or I got to really sit still during the entire trip) and headed back to the room around midday. We also went camera shopping that afternoon. Why? Because on our first night our camera was plunged into the water when Yuta had to do a quick rescue of Taisim coming down the water slide. My mom came out for dinner, and after dinner we headed back to the pool! Grammy even put her suit on and had fun splashing with Taisim.

Friday was our day to socialize a bit. We were invited to a friends' house for lunch and playing, which was followed by a visit to my hair dresser, and dinner and more swimming at my dad's house.

You'll notice in some pictures from the last half of our trip that you can see Taipan's eyes again, and that's because he asked me to cut his hair while we were at the salon. He didn't want all of it cut - just the front. So I had my stylist show me the best way to do it (i.e. how to not do it all straight across), and cut a bit off. Apparently he wanted the hair out of his eyes.

Pizza night at my dad's was fun - got to see my brother and sister, and Taipan really enjoyed playing on a huge air mattress-like raft my dad has for his pool.

Saturday was another day hanging in the sun. We had a lazy morning, and my sister, niece, nephew and mom came to hang out with us in the afternoon. The cousins had a great time playing together, and Taisim took her nap floating around the lazy river with me.

Sunday was check-out, followed by family pictures, which we were an hour late for (sorry, everyone... really, we didn't plan to be late). So when we got to the pictures, things were hectic - folks were understandably kind of peeved about how late we were. But I think we still got some great pictures. We have a really nice on with my mom, my dad, my stepmom, and all the kids and grandkids, and I'm happy to have it. Gotta find a frame for it now. Maybe we'll take a picture of the picture and post it :-)

So, after pictures I took the kids to my mom's house for a visit, and for some Grammy's noodles (one of Taipan's favorite meals), while Yuta got to spend some time with one of his Florida buddies.

We then went to stay at my sister's house for a couple of nights. Oh, how Taipan loves her house. He really enjoys spending time with his cousins, but he is truly in love with her ceiling fans. So much so that he asked us to take video of them to bring home with us. We had made plans to do bumper bowling with all of the kids, but Taipan didn't want to go, so my sister and her kids went without us. And my sister hosted everyone at her house on Monday night so we could see everyone before heading home, which was nice.

The flight home on Tuesday was pretty good - Taisim slept for a good portion of it, but when she woke up, she did not want to be in her seat for landing, so there was some screaming there. I ended up holding her in my lap, but she squirmed quite a bit. Yuta's mom was at the airport waiting for us by the time we collected our luggage. It's amazing how much stuff you can pile onto a SmarteCarte. My MIL always vacuums our van while we're away - isn't that incredibly nice? We leave our van at her house, and she cleans it for us. Those kinds of things are so helpful and thoughtful.

So I think I've covered the major bits of our vacation - since we've been home we've been doing a lot of dancing. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that we were introduced to High School Musical while staying at my sister's house, so we have more dances & songs in our repertoire!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Going on vacation

We're leaving for Florida tomorrow - we're all pretty excited. It'll be an early morning, but worth it once we're sitting on the beach tomorrow afternoon.

I'm taking my computer to check in on work stuff, and I may blog a big, we'll have to see. If not, I'll post full updates when we get back home!

Dancing & costumes

For those of you who don't know, Taipan is very fond of dancing lately - and not just randomly grooving to music (though we still enjoy that); he likes to do choreographed dance moves. It started with a video called "I Gotta Go", which is all songs, and all about going to the potty. And about half of the songs have dance moves that go with them. He watched that video over and over and over, and does The Potty Dance, the I Gotta Go dance and the Pull Down, Pull On dance all the time - at home, at the park, at the store, etc. (Y: It's fun seeing the looks we get as our son is singing "Doing the Potty Dance" and dancing in public... I think people really think he needs to go!)

One day he asked me if we had any more videos with dancing. So we pulled out an old Wiggles DVD and did those dances. And a week or two later I went to the library on a hunt for videos with dances. One of those was a Sesame Street video - some sort of dance party hosted by Big Bird. And on that video were a ton of previews for other Sesame Street videos, one of which is Zoe's Dance Moves ... and he watched that preview over and over and over and then asked me if we could get that video. So we requested it from the library and picked it up about a week ago.

He loves this video - it's hosted by Paula Abdul (she actually does a great job), and she and Zoe choreograph a routine and put it together into the "Everything Dance", which consists of ballet, African dance, Asian dance, the Silly Willy Nilly dance (by far Taipan's favorite dance), tap and hip hop.

The time Zoe and Paula spend in the dance studio in interspersed with footage of all kinds of people dancing. And there are costumes. Last night he said that he needed a costume, and that we could buy one. Of course buying things is often my solution, but this time I said, "or we could make one!". So he said ok - we can make one. And he told me he wanted a cat costume. Ok, now time for me to think. Um, cat costumes need ears and tails. I can do that! So I got a headband, put some construction paper ears on it, got one of Yuta's old ties to use as a tail, and voila - our cat! And he wanted whiskers, so we painted those on too.

Taisim also wanted part in the fun, so we gave her a plain headband - she was not dressed, so I couldn't stick a tail on her. Though when she got dressed a bit later I went to find her another tie and learned that Yuta has not one, not two, but THREE bolo ties in his closet. Flashbacks, anyone?

Taipan kept asking what my costume was going to be, and he repeatedly suggested that I be a dog, but I didn't know how to do dog ears. Let's face it, Yuta's the creative one in this family. I'm sure he would've come up with something had he been here. So instead of making a costume, I told him I could be a Starbucks worker! I was already wearing black pajama pants and a black tank, so I added one of Yuta's aprons and I became a barista.... exactly what Yuta wanted to see when he got home from work.

A bit later we went downstairs, and a catalog with some Halloween costumes happened to be sitting on the counter from the mail Yuta brought in, so I showed it to Taipan. And we remembered about the Spider-Man costume Grandpa gave him last Christmas. Taipan wanted to put it on (this is the first time he wore it), and I put it on so it zipped up in the front like a jacket (OOPS!).

And then Yuta fixed it:

Dancing and costumes are fun. He also wants dance shoes, so we've talked about how you can use sneakers for dance shoes or dance barefoot.

Taipan's cousin loves costumes, and when we go visit him in Florida next week maybe he can play with Jason and try some of those costumes out too.

Monday, August 6, 2007

What's your Patronus?

A friend of mine posted this quiz on her blog. Mine's a phoenix.

I finished the new Harry Potter book last week. Yuta's more than halfway through. I loved it.

(Y: My Patronus is a Wolf, and I'm on chapter 27 of 36... quite a good book so far)

More math

Yesterday we came across a wooden train that my Nonna passed onto us a while ago. It's the only wooden train we have at our house - the rest are at Ama's. Tonight while lying in bed Taipan told me he wanted to get a wooden train at the toy store and another wooden train at the bookstore so we would have three at our house.

I told him that we have three wooden trains at Ama's house. So then he said, I want the trains from Ama's house, and one from the bookstore, and one from the toy store so we can have six at our house. More math!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


To ease the transition from leaving one place and going to another, we use countdowns so Taipan can mentally prepare himself. Just last week Karen's noticed that as we count down and tell him how many minutes are left, Taipan sometimes tells us when the countdown will be over... in other words, he's doing math!

Just tonight we told him "2 minutes left," and he asked what time it was. "It's 10:08." we told him. He then replied "Bedtime is at 10:10 then."

How about that... our boy's doing math on his own!

Friday, August 3, 2007

The United States

Last time we were at Target, we found these cardboard U.S. map puzzles for $1. For $1, why not? Well, Taipan seems to actually enjoy these puzzles, and has even learned some of the states and where they go.

"You guys were married in here.", "Yup, that's Nevada.", "It goes next to California."
"My cousins are here in Florida.", "Florida, that's right."
"And here's your state Papa!", "Yup, that's Utah."

Cute kid :)

Here's what Taipan did all by himself.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Post-It Notes!

So Monday we were having a low-key day, spending time at home, and lo and behold Taipan discovered an old pad of Post-It notes. There must be something fascinating about peeling each sheet, because Taipan went ahead and peeled each and every Post-It of the pad until it was no more. Taisim found it entertaining as well, and soon they were running around with Post-It Notes on their feet!

This adventure reminded me of when Taipan was one year old. He had some fun with Post-It Notes back then too, though on a much smaller scale...