Tuesday, September 11, 2012

chnky mnky

K scoopped out 2 bowls of chnky mnky for her and C.

C brings back bowl.
C: I don't want anymore

me: what, you don't like the cherries?

C shakes head

me: I LOVE THE CHERRIES (takes bowl)

C takes another ice cream container out of the fridge
C: can I have the rest?

me: no that's too much, half

C's done scooping and putting container back in fridge, sees her old empty bowl
C: you finished it already?


me: walks toward window, walks back

me: daddy's going to be so happy when he comes home tonite (kneeling down to hug C at her level after she scoops out her ice cream)
C: why, because he LOVES cherries too?

me: no cuz his boat batteries actually aren't broken and we don't have to pay to fix something (yet again with the new house move)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

summer trip 2012 part I

We just returned from a midwest family summer trip.

It was warm, ok hot (90-103F). Before the trip, I was shivering in San Francisco after its temporary heat wave in June 2012. So I soaked in that dry prairie heat knowing I wouldn't feel that warmth to my bones again for a long while. We often experience humid heat - New England summers / Hawaii. Dry heat is nice though we girls did all get really dry skin. Of course too much direct heat is just unbearable. I'm just reminiscing the occassions during the long drives when we'd get out of the too cold 60F AC into the heat.

Our trip started in SFO to Denver airport for McDonald's meal #1. Cate got this little circle pop toy in her happy meal.

Then a jaunt on a small plane to Rapid City airport. After the people from our flight left, there was no one left at the airport. Upon exiting the airport, we were presented with PRAIRIE. It's breathtaking to see open space, you can just inhale ... and exhale and see.

[someone was very upset they didn't get the snack they wanted from the vending machine]

[I really wish I didn't delete all the old entries from this blog because I sure would like to read them now]

We drove to our hotel, the Andrew Johnson, Impressed by the large grain tower in town. We were told about the presidential statues on every corner in town and saw them. It was too hot to try to take a picture of all of them. I'm sure they're on the web. There were also some status of Indians.

Things were called to attention:
George Washington - are these statues life size? he's very tall
FDR - interesting they have a statue of him standing at the podium instead of in a wheelchair (WWII)
JFK with John Jr as a young child
Lincoln with a young person
someone had a dog
forgot the rest

We stopped for libations at a christian coffee shop which these pegged board games at each table.

We drove to Mount Rushmore around 6pm. I didn't know there was an outdoor hall of flags in alphabetical order. It just felt so safe and quiet there. There were people but it was quiet to be at the monument site. Of course there's the noise of the cafeteria happenings, foreigners were serving us, wonder which countries there were from. Had the buffalo stew (not enough fat) but the pearl onions were fun to eat. The girls went back to buy something on their own.

Nightfall, we all went to sit in the ampitheater. The ranger presented us with a movie about the 4 people whose images are captured here - Washington (fought for independence from England), Lincoln (civil war, internal strife), Teddy Roosevelt (national parks), Jefferson (declaration of independence, 4th of July). We also learned a bit about the history of Borglum who created the monument. It was very patriotic. We were requested to introduce ourselves to our neighbors. I met someone from Iowa. Sometimes you just don't feel like starting up a conversation. There was a group of spumky golden girls in front of us who created a scene asking for someone to take a group photo of them. They weren't raucous. One was trying to explain to a boy how they all met in grad school and that it was unusual in their time to have gone to grad school. They were all having a reunion. In the end they asked everyone who've served their country in the military/peace corp to go to the stage. One of these golden girls was in the peace corps so all her friends said she had to go join the group. They brought the flag down and then the lights shown upon the statues. It felt quite patriotic. It was comfortable to be there at night.

Driving back, Keystone was now a quiet tourist city. It was bustling when we passed earlier. It might have been nice to stop there if we had more time.

Next day we went to a place recommended by a coworker - Reptile Gardens. We were surprised to see lizards running around the indoor 'rainforest'? The tropical birds were so beautiful and the colors were gorgeous. They had such full looking orchids.

We were then entertained at the bird show, the crocodile wrestling, didn't get a chance to pet the huge tortoise, too many kids were around it, saw the prarie dogs which we later saw many in the wild, the snake show. We had snow cones, crunchy snow cones. Next year we'll really appreciate the Italian snow cones at the Foster City Arts and Wine festival. Comparatively the FC ones were snowier and the syrup didn't all fall to the bottom. You would definitely get a colored tongue with the FC ones.

Cate bought a plastic bow and arrow set, last one as M pointed out. I really wanted to try one of those jarred pickled eggs but didn't want to buy that large jar.

That reminds me, that morning started with a trip to Walmart looking for a fishing pole (kit), snacks, hats for the girls (which 8 yr old girl doesn't love a $2 plain pink baseball cap, nor 11 yr old with bedazzled newsboy cap, nor 40 yr old mom with collapsible, wrinkle free, adjustable wire shapeable wide brim. McDonald's #2 at Walmart to tie the girls over since we didn't have breakfast.

There was a huge fire in the black hills that we wanted to avoid on our drive to Sundance, WY. There was a beautiful information lodge off the freeway in WY. The guide there told us about the Vore Buffalo jump so we each paid $15 to take a look at that. It was too hot walking down to the dig site. It was interesting. They had this game to pin the block to the corresponding clue. The pegs were different widths apart so you had to determine the correct answer (clever game). I got to touch a tail, the bladder is quite large and has interesting tough waxed paper texture, the guide down there didn't know about the wonders of eating bone marrow, I was perplexed as to why all those bones were down there, why didn't they take it with them (were they able to cut off ALL the morsels from the bones, didn't they make soup with the bones? how in the world in the vastness of all that land did they get some bison into a frenzy to jump off that particular spot?)

The girls had fun with the prairie dress up gear at the visitor center and riding the fake horse.

Later we stopped at another rest spot. Beware of toilets with a sign that says keep lids down. Let's leave it at that. (they were very green (think resourceful) , if you know then you understand)

We stayed at the Best Western. Had to acclimate to the cold water in the indoor pool. You know you just have to get yourself wet to stop shivering but something just prevents you from dunking your chest into cold water. Trick is to wrap your arms tightly around you front, then dip a bit. It was so nice to later be in the hot whirlpool. So much for trying to teach the girls to swim in the short time we were there.

We had a lovely dinner at the Aro restaurant in town. There was a pretty waitress with a foreign accent who was very kind. I had some deep fried tri tip salad. All meals on this trip were enjoyable. It was here that I first encountered the whistle stop reading material on the dining table. Quite an interesting read.

We stopped off for ice cream at the Subway/ ice cream shoppe/ floral store. The town is quite small.

Next morning we tried to get ready as quickly as we could to get to Devil's Tower before the massive heat if we wanted to try to walk around it. We completed the round before noon, thank goodness it was bearable until then. I just held Cate's hand and tried to make the walk interesting - we can sip from our water bottles after we top each mini-incline. I bought this Prairie book that resonated with me, am glad because there's just no good reading material around, especially with that 50 shades of grey being the top book currently.

We had lunch at the tourist area right outside the park. The girls also had ice cream as we waited for Mike to finish his work call. Then we started the long drive to Cheyenne. We were able to pick up a refreshing bag of ready to eat snap peas at the grocery store in Sundance, so glad they had that type of option for snacks. Else our meals highly consisted of french fries.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

volunteer nanny

[previous discussion in car]:
girls unhappy about chinese after school program because they now have to converse in mandarin with the new principal
my thoughts:
about time! original principal last year encouraged this. new principal this year did not so now with less than a month to go (after the end of year program - english + hip hop) there is a new principal from formal chinese elementary school program. yay!
c: Mommy, what do you call those people who work for no money
me: volunteer, like lauren is a volunteer at camp
c: why can't we get a volunteer nanny

Saturday, January 21, 2012

swimming lessons - Mik

Jan 21, 2012
Today was K's 2nd swim lesson. She finally put her head in the water. She was doing pretty well.
I've tried to get her to learn to swim so many times.
One summer when she was 7 years old, she had lessons at 10:00am in the rec center's outdoor pool. Summers in the peninsula are cold and the water was cold, she chattered and chattered. We quit after maybe 3 lessons because I started working again.
Summer of 2010 I may have tried again by bringing her to a neighborhood indoor pool that our neighbor raved about for her son's experience. K saw them throw a kid in the water. She refused to go to her class when they called her name. It probably didn't help that I gave her no notice that she was going to have lessons as I signed up that afternoon for classes that evening.
Spring 2011, thought about the Y and brought her for a tour. She wasn't very excited about the idea of swim lessons.
Nov 2011, brought her to a posher looking indoor pool. She had some self-motivation for finally learning - possible 5th grade end of year pool party.  (Can't believe she used to go into the pool at summer rec camp when she was 5 years old and didn't know how to swim. She may have went once then I convinced her to just do the non-pool option from then on).
Now she's actually relaxed, almost face floating and back floating. Usually she clings to us and won't relax. Probably doesn't help that I'm kind of yelling at her. Knew she needed a non-threatening environment and teacher. Whew. Hope she continues to progress.

I was so thrilled when I said today as we drove there that she should attempt to hold her breath and put her entire head in the water. I said when you feel the water move the hairs on the top of your head, that's how far down you need to go.

Then I watch this family of 4, the mom was trying to acclimate her must have been 2 month old in the water. that baby just cried and cried like a tiny newborn. I watch another couple with the what looks to be 6 mo old amerasian baby girl. She looks so fragile in the water. They don't dunk her but she doesn't look happy to be in the water. She looks around at all the parents sitting along the wall waiting for their kids.

K is pretty self conscious. She refuses to dress in the locker area after her shower. She insists on changing in one of the bathroom stalls. It's mostly women and babies in the locker area. who can blame her.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

return to the blog

This blog was deleted a few years back. I regret losing what was there. I should have just hidden it.

I just want to remember.

Jan 7, 2012
K started swim lessons. She's the tallest at 10 yrs. Most kids are probably around baby to 6 years in the beginners group. I'm hoping she'll learn to float in the next 2 months. First she has to be willing to stick her head in the water.

M arranged for the Bee's to watch our kids. He booked a room at Le Meridien in SF Embarcadero area. We had dinner at Unicorn. Lots of flavors, was a bit confusing while eating since so many different and tasty flavors per dish. We took BART to War Memorial Opera House to watch Shen Yun. I really enjoyed all those dances. I can't wait to take the girls to watch it the next time they're in town. They were a bit bored when I took them to see The Nutcracker at the same venue but high in the balcony. This time, actually got to sit on the ground level.

Afterwards we walked over to California Street and took the cable car back to the hotel. I tried a drink that looked interesting - Rob Roy, couldn't drink it. The icewine was nice.

Next morning had teary breakfast at Mel's drive in before a long but fun day talking to people at church who remembered it was my birthday.

Happy 40th to me.