Friday, February 29, 2008

Borders bookstore & our newest book

Last night was an Unschoolers Parents' Night Out at Borders - it happens every month, and a lot of folks bring their kids. Yuta had said that he'd come if the kids wanted to go so that we could tag team with the kids and both spend some time chatting with the other parents.

Taisim and Taipan had a pretty great time, and so did I. And I think Yuta did too. Anyway, I wanted to share the book that we brought home. It's pretty awesome, and Taipan and Yuta both love it. I was going to buy it for Yuta's birthday, but the guys were too into it.

It's Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy. This is Taipan's favorite page - it's got Darth Vader & Luke and both of the light sabers in the upper corners light up!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Back home

I got home on Friday night. Even though I drove myself to the airport Yuta and the kids came to the airport - primarily because the only parking space I could find when I got to the airport on Wednesday morning was on the top, uncovered level of the parking garage, on the opposite side of the walkway, and it had snowed and was icy on Friday... and because I was going to Texas I didn't have socks or a jacket. So Yuta met me so that I didn't have to trudge through the icy parking lot. I love him.

Yuta and the kids seemed to be ok while I was gone. The hardest part was bedtime for Taisim I think. She's used to having me nurse her to sleep, and throughout the night as needed. Yuta said she'd fall asleep, and wake up and want to be carried around in the middle of the night.

I talked to Yuta 2-3 times a day while I was gone, and every time we talked the kids were happily playing or sleeping, so it made me worry less while I was gone.

Over the weekend we all tried to catch up on sleep, and I enjoyed being home again. Taisim was constipated, but I think (and hope) it's passed.

I'm back to work today. Yuta said that the first thing Taipan asked when he woke up today was, "Where is Mama working today? Is she working in Texas or at home." I'm glad that the answer is "at home".

Monday, February 18, 2008

Going to Texas

I'm going to Texas on Wednesday for a business trip. I'll be gone until Friday night. It will be the first time I've spent a night away from Taisim, and the last time I was away from Taipan was over two and a half years ago.

I know they will be ok, but if anyone wants to call and give Yuta some encouraging words, or stop by to play with the kids while I'm gone, I know they would appreciate the company.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


The kids and I made shakers Friday night. Cups, tape, rice & beans. Taipan decorated his with stickers after we took this picture.

Taisim wasn't much interested in hers the night that we made them - no picture of her playing with it, because she wasn't. Today she was really enjoying her shaker, and was practially chasing Taipan around to give him his so that they could do their shakers together.

Yes! Baby fish!

It seems as if a couple of the baby fish survived. They can hide really well. They're growing very fast, and Yuta is able to spot them most of the time. I have trouble. He caught a picture of one of them (look at the bottom of the plant):

And it looks like one of our other fish has eggs, though we're not sure yet.

Taisim reading to Bear

Taisim loves to read books out loud. She likes to read to us, and also to her bear:

Happy Valentine's Day to Mama

Yuta and the kids had a great Valentine's Day surprise for me. Each of them made a secret puzzle message for me. They wrote with invisible ink on a puzzle, then put the puzzle pieces into envelopes with a decoder pen.

Taisim drew me a lovely picture; Taipan wrote "I love you Mama" and signed his name, and Yuta wrote a nice message. They also bought me a jumbo mug, knowing how much I prefer to use large mugs for my morning coffee & evening tea.

Happy Birthday on the chalkboard

Taipan writing Happy Birthday to Taisim on our chalkboard....

I was cleaning off the chalkboard to write Happy Birthday, and Taipan asked what I was doing, so I told him. While I was in the kitchen rinsing off the sponge, Taipan ran up to me and said, "Mom! I wrote an "H" - the first letter of happy. For Taisim!" So we wrote Happy Birthday Taisim together:


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Basements are great

And ours isn't even finished. But it's about 1000 square feet of open space, and it's not too chilly down there either.

We have some boxes being stored down there, and we also put a lot of our big huge movement toys there. Big bouncy balls, beach balls, the PowerWheels VW, the ride on toys, etc. Yuta showed Taipan his officially licensed light sabers earlier in the week too, and we've been re-enacting Star Wars battles for hours each day. We've got a double-sided Darth Maul light saber, and a green and a red one. They're too big for playing upstairs, and the basement is perfect for them. Our favorite battle comes from Episode I, Chapter 6: Darth Maul. We take turns on who gets who, and sometimes we'll need a droid, so we alternate being R2 and C3PO.

Since we didn't need our big shag rug in the house, we put that on the basement floor so there's a comfy place to sit. We played on the rug for a bit last night too.

I've been anxious and in a hurry to get the basement finished. We know it won't happen any time soon unless we get some unexpected cash, and after the play we've done down there this week I don't think it's so bad to wait and have it finished later.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I dug this up yesterday to send to someone - it was posted by to a yahoo group I'm on. I read it every now and again - I think Kelly did a wonderful job of articulating a philosophy that we share. She's much more eloquent than I am.

If you respect your children, they will be respectful.
If you trust your children, they will be trustworthy.
If you are generous with your children, they will be generous.

If you are patient with your children, they will be patient.
If you model curiosity to your children, they will be curious.
If you are kind and gentle with your children, they will be kind and gentle.

We are easily conditioned.


If you are controlling of your children, they will rebel.
If you are disrespectful of your children, they will show no respect.

If you are distrusting of your children, they will lie and sneak.
If you are impatient with your children, they will dawdle.

If you force your children, they will resist.

If you are stingy with your children, they will steal.

-- Kelly Lovejoy

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

No baby fish

Well, by 8:00 last night there were no more fish. They all got eaten.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Baby fish

So, when we chose our fish yesterday, all of the Mickey Mouse platys we had to choose from were female. I specifically asked if they would be able to tell if they were pregnant. The woman said, "Oh, yes! Their bellies are super big when they're pregnant. It's really obvious." Apparently it's not all that obvious. We have at least five baby fish today. They're cute. Hopefully they'll fare well in our tank. I actually thought that the fish that turned out to be pregnant wasn't acclimating very well, because she's been very still and not swimming around or eating as much as the other fish. Turns out she was just in labor!

Pictures from the party

Taisim gets a head start on the cupcakes:

Playing before the party:

Taipan hanging out with Ama, Akon & Grammy:

Present time! Present time! Open the present, see what's inside:

Cake & candles:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Taisim!

Taisim is two today, and we've had a pretty great day. I was looking at a picture taken on her first birthday, and boy, has she grown up a lot in the past year.

She woke up just in time to take Grammy and Uncle Chris to the airport, then we met up with Yuta's sisters at the mall and played for a bit. After that we went to PetSmart to get that aquarium I wanted. We got a
12 gallon tank and two dalmation mollies, two mickey mouse platys, an algae eater and a snail. The snail (named Schmeepy) is far and away the star attraction. Taipan says we have a snail tank. The original plan was to set it up on top of a shelf in our downstairs playroom, and then Taipan pointed out that it wasn't low enough. He could see them if he was standing, but not if he was sitting, and Taisim would have had a hard time seeing them either way. So they're in the upstairs playroom instead.

After the tank was set up the kids and I spent the rest of the evening playing. Taisim has spent a lot of time with some of her new toys (Belle, music box, stickers, castle, princess book), and hanging out with Taipan.

Our party last night was nice - it was great to have so many of our friends and family celebrate with us. My mom was was awesome in helping get ready for it, and my brother did most of the clean up. I'm grateful to both of them!

I'll be posting pictures in a separate entry sometime over the next couple of days.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

It's Party Time (almost)

Tomorrow we're having a combination housewarming/second birthday party (Taisim turns 2 on Sunday). We're feeling pretty settled in and less stressed than I expected about having a party so soon after moving in. That's not to say that there weren't stressful moments along the way. Yuta's been fabulous with helping reduce my stress and getting the townhouse ready to sell. I think it'll be on the market next week. Let us know if you're interested ;-)

My mom and brother are here. Auntie Ling is in town, but at my in-laws', and Auntie Yuli & Uncle Keith will be here tomorrow. We're going to have a great family weekend. It's really great to have my mom and brother with us - the kids are really enjoying their company. We all watched High School Musical 2 tonight, followed by Star Wars Episode I, and at the same time I made the birthday cake. Maybe I should have been making popcorn as well.

Speaking of Star Wars, Taipan has watched Episode I about 3-4 times now. He looks forward to the parts he recognizes as chapters from the Lego Star Wars game. We tried to watch Episode III with him, but he prefers Episode I. It might be because it has Qui Gon in it.

The kids slept until 1pm today, so we're all still awake now. Taisim will probably be sleeping within the next hour or so, and I hope Taipan follows soon after. I want to get up early to run to the store. Amongst everything we have going on, I'm obsessed with getting an aquarium. I have the perfect spot for it, and can't quit thinking about getting one. No, don't really need to spend money on it now, and I have lots of other things to get done tomorrow... but I'm hoping one of them is to get an aquarium.

Friday, February 1, 2008