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13 posts from May 2009

May 18, 2009

Daddy is not 100!

Yesterday was Daddy's birthday.  We started the day with snuggles and four or five enthusiastic rounds of The Birthday Song.  Then Gwen told us how to make a birthday cake:

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 pounds of sugar
  • 4 pounds of chocolate
  • mix it up
  • bake it in a hot over for three minutes

 Maddy said Daddy was more than 30 but not 100. 

Maddy made daddy a card 
 Maddy made Daddy this pretty birthday drawing.   Then we headed to San Francisco for the day.

super daddy
Daddy demonstrates the super hero pose.

Reflections of San Francisco

This is a cool photo Daddy took of the Jewish contemporary museum and St Patrick's church, reflected in an adjacent window (Mommy did a little bit of post processing, perspective correction, cropping, etc).

shake man

Gwen is understandably skeptical about the extra feet and fingers on the "Shaking Man" but you really have to see the next photo to appreciate how Maddy felt about this bizarre statue...

 shake man Daddy took this photo looking over the shoulder of the statue.  Maddy's expression is priceless!


dancing in bear feet 

We call this photo "Dancing in Bear/Bare Feet"


can you feel the love 

This heart (also in Yerba Buena Gardens) is really pretty.  We wanted Gwen and Maddy to pose sweetly and this is what happened.  Can't you just feel the love?   This was one of many clues that our girls still can't really function without naps (they slept all the way home).

Minor skirmishes aside, this was a really fun day!   For Dinner, we all went out to Krung Thai (Michael met us there).  None of the girls in our family like Thai food but it's a favorite of the guys so it makes the Birthday Dinner list every year.  No worries though - rice is always good!  Happy Birthday, Daddy!  We sure do love you!

May 15, 2009

Our Fashion Princess

I thought I'd share this photo as part of M3's Fashion Friday challenge.  

I was making lunch and listening to Michael Bublé and Maddy was excited to dance.  Of course, she can't dance unless she's wearing proper dance attire and this was her sélection du jour.    Hee hee... as you can see, she's not very excited about having her picture taken when it's taking up valuable dance time!

Maddy princess grunge-000001 
Such a beautiful face!  

Speaking of beautiful faces, I just found out that there are five babies from her orphanage who need foster care sponsors.  Less than $2 per day allows a child in Qinzhou to live with a family instead in an orphanage.  Maddy was sponsored and we pay that gift forward by also sponsoring.  The updates and photos are so special! 

May 10, 2009

Laugh Every Day! (updated)

This weekend has been all about the new pool, family time, and laughter!

In this photo, I'm throwing little baby rubber duckies at Gwen and she's trying to catch them and throw them back at me (you can see one of them at the top of the photo).  She never caught any because she was laughing too hard to concentrate on the task!   I thought this photo was special because it really captures Gwen's personality -- her effervescence!

Is there anything more sweet than the sound of a child's laughter?  To me, hearing my kids laugh and seeing their beautiful smiling faces is the very best part of being a mom.  And speaking of moms, happy Mother's Day to all of my special family and friends who are moms or moms-in-waiting!

Throwing duckies! 

Update:  We recently left the heater on the spa (aka little pool) all night so it held a 95 degree temp from 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM.  Arrrrgggghhh!  How much do you think that little mistake will cost us?

May 08, 2009

Our little pool (aka spa) is finished!

After two and a half months of waiting, our "little pool" is finally finished!  By the way, if anyone can please tell me why my 500 pixel wide photos won't display in their entirety even though the body of my blog is supposedly a full 500 pixels wide, I'll be your best friend forever!  

As always, you can click on the image to see a larger version of it.

Little Pool Finished! 

Here are the kiddos all excited to take their first plunge but getting their toes wet first: 

Maddy and Gwen in their new pool!

I learned a few things during our first full pool day.

  • Those purple Speedo vests are really spiffy but they don't actually keep their head above water.  I had to drop the camera and leap into the pool almost immediately because Gwen was choking.
  • No matter how many times you have your kids pee before getting in the pool, they'll still have to pee every ten minutes anyway.  No small task when you consider all they'll have to take off and how far they'll have to run with slippery wet feet.  (now we keep a toddler potty outside).
  • My wireless Internet works just fine outside but my allergy pill doesn't.   Arrrrgh!!!

Here's something I really don't understand.  Every time we get our kids near a pool, they get an instant suntan.  I don't mean just a little bit of color but a MAJOR tan! 

I used to have to spend an entire summer at the beach to get these results but they get this tan in 30 minutes!  Granted, the "tan" fades within 24 hours but what is up with this?   It's very noticeable on Gwen but I can clearly see it on Maddy too.   Is it an Asian skin thing?   Is it a chemical reaction to the chlorine or other pool chemicals?   They get it in salt-water pools too.  If it's something in the water, then why doesn't their skin change color under their bathing suit? 

I really do have to admit that I'm envious.  If anything, I'm even more white after I get out of the pool! :)

May 06, 2009

Sibling Rivalry

My daughters fight all the time now and it's driving me right to the brink of insanity.  I keep telling myself that it's just a phase but I have flashbacks to my own childhood (with a brother not quite two years older) and I remember how we seemed to fight all the time too.  However, my brother and I are VERY close now so all that fighting was probably a very useful form of bonding!  Now we look back on it and laugh.  Some of the fights were pretty original and creative!   

David and donna over the years-000001

The pictures to the left are of my brother and I in 18 year intervals.  I love him so much and I'm so happy to have him in my life!

I can recall vivid details of many of our brother/sister fights.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, it was my brother torturing me.  He even scared the hell out of me one time when I whacked him with a toy golf club and he faked death.  I asked him if he was dead and he moaned "yessss...."   so I cried my heart out over his corpse until my tears magically made him come back to life again. 

Then there was the time he told me that my favorite pink velvet dress was actually made from the noses of kittens!   Lots and lots and lots of cute little kittens!  Can you blame me for holding an exacto knife to his chin and double-dog-daring him to move?  A dare he boldly took so I cut him!  Yep, I sliced a 1/4 inch gash in his chin and he wears the scar today!  Of course, I was immediately horrified that I'd done this and really sorry and he must have realized how much trouble I was in so he lied to cover for me and said the cut was the result of a fall.    

Not long after that, he was curious about matches and disregarded all of my warnings and threats to tell on him and finally just physically held me down and forced me to hold one while it was burning.  He did this so I couldn't tattle on him because I, technically, "did it too"    Later, when we were teenagers, he did the same thing with a joint!!

There's the gross ear wax story that I'll spare you all of the details of and the time he picked me up and dropped me and broke my tailbone.  I could probably just go on and on with these stories.  Okay, one more:  When we were little, he'd eat his cookie really fast then grab mine away from me.  While I was running to tell Mommy, he'd lick it all over until it was good and slobbery and disgusting so when Mom yelled at him to give it back to me, he could offer it with a big smile and I'd be so grossed out that I'd just let him keep it.   Our parents divorced when we were just 5 & 7 and we went to live with different families so our time together was very much limited for the rest of our childhood.  Our time together was as much love as it was hate but the love really did win eventually.

Now, back to my kids and their fights:

Maddy is happy to entertain herself with just about anything but prefers the particular glee that comes from getting what Gwen currently has in her hand.  It seldom works the other way around since Gwen just doesn't seem to care much about what Maddy is up to.  We've long joked that Maddy would insist on having a cast if Gwen broke her leg and got one.  Surgery?  Sure, she would want that too!  But this truth was really driven home when I recently took Gwen to a Doctor's appointment and dared to hope that I could leave Maddy at school without Gwen that day:

  • Maddy:  Where is Gwen going, Mommy?
  • Mommy:  She's going to the Doctor, Honey, and you're staying here at school.
  • Maddy:  But why, Mommy!  I want to go too!
  • Mommy:  (leaning close and whispering) Well, don't tell Gwen but she's going to get a shot so you probably don't really want to come and get one of those too, right?
  • Maddy:  (pondering... ) I want to come AND I'LL BE BRAVE! (meaning she wanted the shot too!)  

Of course, she would have been singing a totally different tune when shot time arrived.  Trust me, we've done this before and her courage leaves the examination room at least 15 minutes full minutes before she does!

A few days ago, Gwen slammed the bathroom door and hit Maddy in the nose.  A few minutes later, she climbed into the mini-van and closed the door and wouldn't let Maddy in.  I was so disappointed in her and I lectured her about it on the way to preschool.  So why are they behaving this way?  Don't they realize that they are so LUCKY to have a sister?  Seriously, what a gift a constant (lifelong!) playmate would be!  And they do seem to enjoy the company of one another during those brief moments between blood curdling screams of outrage over misapproapriated goldfish crackers and other equally egregious sister-imposed hardships.

Yesterday, Maddy bit Gwen I was pretty angry about it so I sent her to her room to think about what she'd done.  Maddy was very contrite although I can't tell if it was because she bit her sister or because she got in trouble for it.  Either way, this punishment really upset her and she was hysterical as she dragged her sorry little self into her bedroom and sat, wailing, in the middle of her big faux flokati rug.  I stealthflully checked in on her then returned to the playroom where I tried to offer Gwen some comfort. Did she want my sympathy?  Nope!  She just wanted me to stop being so mean to her sister

There's so much I don't understand about sisters. 

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