Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lyvi's First Day of Preschool

I'll admit it. I signed Lyvia up for the first day of preschool possible. They have a summer program for six weeks and it seemed like the perfect way to make time to spend with the big kids this summer.

After everyone was dressed, Jonathan and Lindsay had Dylan and Lyvia posed outside with their backpacks and lunchboxes. They were taking picture after picture before the big send-off. I finally had to beg to take one of my own. Lyvi did okay at school, but she wouldn't relax enough to participate in anything. True to form, she will need a few days to scope out the place before she lets guard down. On the other hand, Dylan acted like he was home and in his element again.

The director told me that at the two year old snack time, all eight of the two year olds were sitting around the table with their goldfish snacks in front of them. And that's it. Just sitting. No one was willing to actually move and draw attention to themselves by picking up the food/bait. Thinking about it, none of them have been in preschool before. At two, would it freak you out a bit the first time you gathered around a table and all the people and chairs were your height? I know it would freak me out to sit down, look around a table, and suddenly realize everyone had red hair.

The other cool thing about our preschool is that many Asian families attend and half her class is Asian. You can say it ain't so, but race does matter and even kids this young notice when someone looks like them. So, it is time for Lyvi to be a fledgling. The nice thing about preschool is that both the parents and the kids get a few practice years before the child really joins the school world. Two days a week will be welcome time off, but hopefully it will also remind me to appreciate the time I get to spend with them.

India Ideas

Jason (smart guy that he is) is encouraging me to make one of his treks to India with him. He just got back and already is planning trips for August and October. He works in Bangalore (in the south -- it is on the map), which is right by Kerala. Kerala has all sorts of cool things to do, but I'll have to figure out:
If we can do it on our own or if we need to set up a tour.
What in the world do we do -- so much to choose from.
Should I just meet up with him after he finishes up work.
Do I bother flying business or just curl up in a ball in the cattle car (It is 24 hours without kids so airlines don't have to do much to make me happy.)
What do I do with the host of kids I've left back home.
Will my immunities built up in Africa still protect me?
Actually I would love to take Jonathan with us. He can't wait until we get to go to Singapore again (I've told him 100 times the move is off, but you can't fault a 9 year old for holding out hope.) Jason and I are due a trip sans children so I don't think I'll feel too guilty leaving them all behind. This would be our third Asian trip in 3 years -- I love these annual jaunts!
Taj Mahal is way north in Uttar Pradesh, but I hate to travel all the way to India and miss it. On the other hand, most of my memorable traveling experiences have little to do with famous places. (Seeing the sun set on Mount Kilimanjaro as we started our flight home after a year in Africa was sublime, but that isn't the case with most famous places I have seen.)

Potty Training -- whatever

We are rocking on in the potty training world. Nine years of diapers has come to an end. I feel like I need to visit a landfill and apologize for all the crap I've dumped there.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day Two

Day Two -- not bad! Amazingly she was even sick and still did pretty good (which is fortunate because she was icky sick...and in that department if you know what I mean.) This was great timing!

I'm not sure how to make our little home potty set-up translate to life out in the real world, but next week she starts preschool so maybe they can offer some back-up. Hopefully she can wear panties out and about soon -- baby tushes are too cute in them!

Lyvia didn't wear diapers until she joined our family. In China, they potty train (and caretaker train) from early babyhood. It was cute while it lasted.

This is around her first birthday. As she got more comfortable with us, she started to protest so we let it go. She preferred the to-go option diapers provided.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Today Lyvia proudly announced to one of Jonathan's friends, "Dude! Me, me, poo poo." For some reason she calls two of Jonathan's neighbor friends Dude and she was proud to tell them about her accomplishment. Really, it is tough cookies to potty train. I forgot how exhausting it is. Every fiber of your being goes into the all alert mode. You don't want to hover too much or the kid might snap and revolt. If you don't hover enough, you are just running around after the mess machine cleaning up and not teaching them anything.

I am happy to report that day one was quite the success! I took the bare bottom approach and planned to have her sit down every 30 minutes. Turns out, she needed to go (based on the huge amounts of liquids I gave her) every 25 to 29.5 minutes. We finally we got our calculations correct and we have had one success after another today! Aside from liquid release, she has conquered the fine art of eking out as little poo as necessary to count so she can maximize her treats (bubble gum).

Day one: Exhausted, but happy
Day two: ?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New Toys

The newest toy at Creekside is the monster rope swing Jason and his friends hung Memorial Day Weekend. The kids played with it for hours while the little kids jumped from the bridge over and over and over...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Okay in Tokyo

Seven Die in Tokyo Knife Attack

Generally I don't freak out when an event happens in another country and I happen to know someone there. Tokyo's a big city and my brother lives in the outskirts -- why would I worry?

Well, as one article reported about the location of the attack, "The area is also a "must-go" for Japanese "anime" fans visiting stores selling comics and figures of various anime characters."

And that is my brother and his girlfriend to a "T". Turns out I DID need to worry a bit as the horrible crime took place right by his RPG shop (don't worry if you don't know what that stands for.) He and his girlfriend are freaked out by the event, but fortunately they weren't there that day. Whew.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


We got Seaworld passes for the first time in 2 or 3 years. So far both trips have been a success! The drive is long (and now expensive) and it gets mighty hot there, but I don't mind going at all when the kids are this cute together!

I was so proud of Dylan for trying a number of new things -- he went on two pretty intense rides. My favorite was when I did the log ride with Jonathan, Dylan and Lyvia. Lindsay was behind us with a friend so we could wave to her, too. Dylan held on tight to Jonathan and did great! We talked about how it is okay for your belly to feel weird and he seemed okay with it. He was not a big fan of Shamu splashing us all (4 moms/11 kids). He started going into freakout mode at the end so I firmly told him to look at me as I told him, "It is over. There is no more splashing." 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Splash! Whoops -- guess I was wrong that time!

Later that night, when I was tucking him into bed, I asked his what was his favorite part of the day. He said, "Getting my shirt splashed by Shamu!" Seems the freakout was because Shamu splashed more than his shirt, but I guess he still loved getting his shirt wet.


This summer I know we will be heading to the pool almost every day -- it is so easy to jump in for a quickie since it is right across the street. The last day of school, Dylan and Lyvia and I had some fun pool time before the big kids were home for good. Lyvia yells out to Dylan, "GoGo, Help me!" Sure enough, "Diego" comes to the rescue.

These two want to wear bathing suits 24/7. Dylan wore the same one the last 3 days of preschool. Lyvia pitched a huge fit after our pool time -- she wanted to wear her wet bathing suit for her nap. Well, I won that battle, but as you can see, I let her win a battle, too.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

San Antonio

I had the kids decked out in their Texas garb for a trip to San Antonio over Spring Break. Turns out my camera was on its last leg and then Lyvia was on her last leg so I didn't get the totally Texas pics I envisioned -- hopefully I'll get a mulligan this summer!

Lindsay's Birthday Cake

Oh my. While I like to keep birthdays somewhat simple, I have to admit Lindsay's cake this year was beyond pathetic! I bought these heart shaped cupcakes tins for Valentines Day and never got around to using them. Yes, another great idea that got shoved to the end of the to-do list. I thought the sleepover kids would have fun decorating their own cupcakes as part of the evening fun. Well, aside from the fact that Lindsay doesn't know when to say when on the sprinkles, I seem to have every candle number except for 7. I had to scrounge for these and the result was certainly a sight to behold.

Lindsay didn't seem to care...

More party fun...

BTW -- my kid's birthday's are in March -- I'm just traipsing down memory lane and thought I would share!


Jonathan and Lindsay got mighty big birthday gifts this year -- Jonathan got a motorcycle and Lindsay got a piano. This isn't the norm, but Jason and I were smart enough to give items we were getting anyway in place of the usual birthday hoopla. Jonathan had wanted one of those maniacal kid birthdays with a group of energetic boys in a noisy enclosed arcade area. We asked if he would rather have that or a motorcycle -- fortunately for us he chose the latter because Jason was buying the thing at some point either way.

Really he had a fabulous birthday with family friends out at Creekside. One of the coolest moments during his birthday weekend was when these neighborhood friends, who came out with us, gave him a brand new Nintendo DS game system. Jonathan had actually saved his money for months to buy his own. We convinced him he should purchase a refurbished one from Gamestop to save a few bucks. The warranty was 30 days and his lasted 31 days (needless to say, we won't be shopping at Gamestop anymore!) These three friends felt so bad for him that they all pitched in money and got him a new one (and they aren't cheap!) What incredible generosity these rough and tumble young boys showed -- pretty amazing.