sonoma county weekend day 1: train town

Posted by kyden on Saturday Jun 30, 2012 Under Uncategorized

awhile back, matthew and i made plans to go to a safari.  did you know that giraffes and monkeys and antelope live in california?  yup, they live  in santa rosa.  santa rosa is far, so we decided to make a trip of it and spend the weekend in sonoma county.  the drive up to sonoma was about 2 hours.  that included the emergency pit stop we made along the way.  i had to pee and there were no potties in sight, so i got to pee outside at a vineyard!  cool, huh?

after that, we quickly made it to our first destination:  train town!  train town is a little amusement park with a train ride and about six rides.  there is no entrance fee, but everything requires a ticket.  i guess it’s sort of like a carnival, but the grounds are really pretty with lot of trees, a lake, and stuff like that.  as soon as we arrived, we bought tickets for the train ride and waited in line to board.  we went on a 20 minute train ride through tunnels, over bridges, and throughout the wooded grounds.  along the way, we stopped at a miniature town that had a schoolhouse, a jail, and other little shops.  there was also a little farm where we got to see (and feed) rabbits, chickens, goats, and even a llama!  that was the coolest train ride i’ve ever been on.

after we got off the train, we walked around the park to check out the other rides.  there was a carousel, some kiddie planes, and a few others — none of them looked interesting.  toward the back of the park there were these swings that go really high and really fast.  “kyden don’t like swings.”  we also saw a dragon sitting on tracks — just like train tracks!  so dada ran back to the entrance to buy more tickets and then we got in line.  one of the interesting things about train town is that there is only one ride operator for every 2-3 rides (depending on how busy it is).  mama said that train town is like the mom & pop version of gilroy gardens.  so just when it was our turn to ride the dragon train coaster, the ride operator left to run the swing ride.  we waited for the swing ride to finish, and then we finally got on the dragon.

mama tried to make a video of us on my first ever roller coaster ride, but the ride was so bumpy with sharp twists and turns and drops that mama almost dropped her phone!  i wasn’t loving the ride, but i wasn’t scared, either.  i mostly just looked around.  (here’s the video, if you want to see.)  the girl in the row behind us was screaming and crying like she was being killed, so the ride operator stopped the dragon after just one loop so that she could get off.  when we stopped, i told mama that it was fun.  but i thought the ride was over, so i wanted to get off.  (everyone else stayed on the ride for a few more loops.)  and now, when mama and dada ask me if the dragon ride was fun, i tell them no.

kyden don’t like swing.  kyden don’t like dragon.  kyden like trains!  we only stayed at train town for two hours, and mama and dada thought that was just the right amount of time to do all the things we wanted to do.  i disagree.  i wanted to stayed all day long and ride the train over and over again.  actually, i want to live at train town — playdates at my house would be the best!

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school daze

Posted by kyden on Thursday Jun 28, 2012 Under Uncategorized

in may, i started going to school two days a week, ~2 hours/day.  then in june, i started going full days, still only two days a week.  there were a few things that mama worried about when i started going full days:  bullies, food, and naps.


i am a sensitive kid.  so when someone is mean to me, i get upset and cry.  mama was worried that the other kids in my school would smell weakness (like dogs do) and pick on me just ‘cuz i’m the new kid.

well, there’s a boy at my school that wasn’t nice to me on my first day of school.  let’s call him “A”.  he didn’t hurt me, but he intimidated me by hitting me on the head (not hard enough to hurt) with a plastic toy and did other things that i didn’t like.  i told mama “i don’t like A”.

my teacher tells mama that A and i don’t fight, but that i seem to have been avoiding him after that first day.  and within the past week, we even started playing together.  but still, i tell mama every day “i don’t like A.”  now mama thinks that i’m just holding a grudge.


the food at my school is actually really healthy.  we eat home-cooked meals made with fresh ingredients (no processed meats or cheeses, and no canned veggies) and we drink organic milk.  the high-quality food is one of the reasons why i picked this school.  but mama was worried that i wouldn’t eat my veggies and that i would end up eating nothing but carbs for lunch.

on my first “full” day, mama brought me to school right around lunchtime, and she stayed for a little while while my friends and i had lunch.  other kids were dribbling milk onto the table, picking out their vegetables, and having sword fights with their spoons.  while all of this was happening, i ate all my food (including veggies), held my cup with two hands, and sat politely in my chair.  mama was very proud of me.  even now, my teacher always tells mama what a good eater i am.  but mama knows that it’s just a matter of time before i start picking up bad habits from my friends.


when i’m at home, i only nap about 50% of the time.  and when i do, i usually don’t go down for a nap until after 3pm.  nap time at school is 1pm.  mama was worried that i wouldn’t be tired that early, i’d refuse to nap, and then i’d be sad, bored, or disruptive (or all three) while everyone else was trying to sleep.  well guess what.  when i’m at school, i nap 100% of the time.  sometimes it takes me a little bit longer than everyone else to fall asleep, but with the lights out and nobody to play with, i eventually fall asleep.

all in all, things are going pretty well.  my “full” days run from about 10:45am to 5:45pm.  7 hours is a long time, and i always tell my teacher “i miss mama”.  but when mama comes to pick me up, i never want to leave!  i’m usually busy playing with ched, my best friend at school.  we play together all the time.  ched is nice to me and shares with me.  he even let me try on his brand new glasses.  don’t you think they make me look smart?  just think how smart i would be if i went to school every day!  but this 2-days-a-week arrangement is working out well, and i think i’m going to stay on this schedule for awhile.

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red light, green light

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Jun 27, 2012 Under Uncategorized

since i now understand traffic signals, mama thought it would be fun for us to play “red light, green light” on our walk this evening.  just in case you were never a kid, i’ll explain how the game works.  when mama says “green light”, you go.  when mama says “red light”, you stop.  simple, right?

i caught on right away.  mama didn’t even have to explain the rules to me.  but somewhere along our walk, i decided that mama was waiting too long in between light changes.  so i took over.  i started calling “red light” and “green light”, and guess what — everyone listened.  even koda!

now, mama is afraid that all of our walks are going to take 2x longer than they used to.  she told dada that it was a mistake to teach me that game, but i don’t know what she’s talking about.  i think it was a fantastic idea.  RED LIGHT!

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just hangin’ around

Posted by kyden on Saturday Jun 23, 2012 Under Uncategorized

until recently, most of my playdates have been out at gilroy gardens, CDM, or other fun places like that.  and to be honest, those playdates mostly involved me playing with mama and dada and my friends playing with their parents.  but lately, things have been changing.  i’m a big boy now, and i like playing with my friends.

yesterday, we went to isaac’s house to play.  we just hung out all day.  no special activities planned — just playing, lunch, more playing, snack, more playing, another snack… and we had a blast.  our parents were so amazed at how well we played with each other, not just near each other.  even when we went outside (i was riding my bike while isaac was on his scooter), i kept asking “where isaac go?”  and i looked back often to make sure he wasn’t far behind me.  i had such a great time that i kept saying “i wanna go isaac house” over and over again on the ride home.  well, until i passed out.

now that summer is here and the weather is nice, i hope to have friends come over to play more often.  we can just hang out at home and play outside in our cul de sac.  do you hear that, friends?  come on over any time.  and be sure to bring your skates and bikes so we can ride around the neighborhood 🙂

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sienna is 11 months old

Posted by kyden on Thursday Jun 21, 2012 Under sienna

happy 11 month birthday to sienna!

things she likes:

  • elmo and cookie monster.  her face lights up when she reads my sesame street books.
  • pushing buttons.  she likes to push buttons to make things work — like elevators, light switches, and our washer/dryer.  she still needs help pushing the buttons hard enough, but she gets so excited when they light up or when the clothes in our dryer start spinning around.
  • clapping her hands.  i’m not sure if she claps because she’s happy or if clapping makes her happy 😛
  • helping mama get her dressed by extending her arms into her shirt sleeves
  • “accidentally” dropping things on the floor.  she especially likes to drop/throw things off her high chair tray during mealtimes.
  • pinching.  her tiny little fingers grab tiny little fingerfuls of skin, and then she squeezes really hard.  mama has lots of little bruises all over her.
  • crawling backwards down the stairs.  thank goodness she doesn’t try to crawl down head first anymore!
  • climbing.  sienna is a climber like i am.  when we went to san diego on the airplane, she climbed around by wedging her feet in between the seat backs and pulling herself up!
  • walking with assistance.  she smiles and laughs with every step.  she takes one or two steps by herself sometimes, but if she has nothing to hold onto for support, she crumbles to the ground and crawls instead.
  • playing with water.  she splashes in koda’s water bowl, and when mama is drawing her bath, sienna leans over the side of the tub to let the water run through her fingers.
  • drinking out of a straw.  she caught on quickly, like i did.
  • grapes.  she claps while chewing every piece.  she could be trying to sign “more”, but i doubt it — mama hasn’t really been signing much with sienna.

things she doesn’t like:

  • diaper changes.  she cries and squirms and tries to flip over during almost every diaper change.
  • brushing her teeth.  she has 8 teeth now!  (some of them are just barely peeking through her gums.)  she really hates brushing her teeth.  i don’t get it.  i have always loved brushing my teeth.
  • sitting.  during bathtime, she climbs out of her little baby bathtub and stands up.  during meal time, she climbs out of her chair and stands up.  she can even escape from those restaurant high chairs when she’s buckled in!
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happy dada day

Posted by kyden on Sunday Jun 17, 2012 Under Uncategorized

today is dada day. for this special day, mama made glazed donuts for breakfast. only dada and gung-gung ate the donuts, though. maybe i will get a donut on kyden day.

this was how our breakfast conversation went.

mama (whispering):  did you want to say “happy dada day” to dada?

me:  dada, happy dada day!

mama (whispering):  good job, kyden!  can you say it to gung-gung, too?

me:  gung-gung, happy gung-gung day!

and then the day went along like any other sunday.  i went to swim class, then to grandma and grandpa’s house for lunch.  uncle randy joined us and we celebrated dada day with sushi (one of my favorites)!  based on our breakfast conversation, everyone thought i was going to wish grandpa “happy grandpa day”.  but instead, i wished him a happy grandma day.  that’s right, grandma day. that is not a typo.

for dinner, we went to cousin zoey’s house.  i like playing with cousin zoey.  i cooked in her play kitchen, jumped on her trampoline, and best of all… i got to play on uncle jamie’s drums!  i love drums.  i want to be a drummer like uncle jamie when i grow up 🙂 i changed my mind — i’d rather have a drum set than a donut for kyden day. when is that, by the way?

happy dada / gung-gung / grandma day.  and happy uncle jamie day, too!

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great expectations

Posted by kyden on Saturday Jun 16, 2012 Under Uncategorized

early last year, mama added something new to my bedtime routine.  after lights out, we talked about our day and what our plans were for the next day.  i wasn’t really talking much back then, but i liked hearing mama talk about what to expect.  but then sienna came along, and everything changed.  dada started putting me to bed on most nights.  he sang different songs than mama, and we didn’t really reflect on our day as much.  i guess he felt silly talking to me when i wasn’t very responsive.

and then a few months ago, mama added something new to our breakfast routine.  i had always liked looking at our family calendar at breakfast time.  uncle randy makes calendars for us every year, and they include current as well as really old photos of our family.  during breakfast, i flip through the pages and point out everyone in the photos.  sometimes, i think that auntie barbara’s baby photos are sienna — even the ones where she is 4 or 5 years old 😛   anyway, mama updated our calendar for me (and sienna).  she wrote all our regularly scheduled classes (swim, gym, soccer, school) in red, and all our activities (weekend playdates, birthday parties, and fun outings) in purple.  it also has her work travel schedule on there.  so now, our calendar activity includes crossing off the previous day, identifying the current day/date of the week, and talking about what we are going to do that day.  we also talk about what we did yesterday and what we will do tomorrow.

all of these things help to set my expectations for what’s coming up.  it especially helped me prepare for starting my new school and it gives me fun things to look forward to on the weekends.  but mama and dada didn’t count on me having such a great memory.  like last night, when max canceled our trip to the “zoo” (PA junior museum and zoo) planned for today, it was too late.  we had already talked about going to the zoo yesterday morning.  and actually, because i love the zoo, i had been talking about it all day.  “kyden go zoo right now?”  (this is why we now only talk about fun activities one day in advance.)

mama and dada didn’t really want to go all the way to palo alto if we weren’t going to meet up with max, but i was already so excited about it.  luckily, max was able to meet us for lunch at the last minute, but he still couldn’t go to the zoo with us.  we played for a bit at the restaurant, but that wasn’t enough.  you can tell from the photo that sienna and max were having fun there, but i was eager to go see the animals.  so off to the zoo we went.

because of the heat wave, it was muggy inside the museum and way too hot outside in the zoo area.  we didn’t stay long because we (mostly dada) were melting.  plus, we didn’t want to get burned out on that place since we plan to go again soon.  get it — “burned out”… on a hot day?  hehe, i’m so punny 😀

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strike a pose

Posted by kyden on Thursday Jun 14, 2012 Under sienna

some people think that i’m trying to turn sienna into a tomboy.  i’ve gotten her involved in my sports activities.  i’ve been teaching her how to play with cars and trains.  i bring her along on my outings with the boys.  i let her wear my old (boy) clothes.  i even take away all her girlie toys (really, i just like to play with them).  but i don’t actually want sienna to be a tomboy — i just don’t want her to think that she has to wear pink dresses and have tea parties with dolls all the time.

our aunties (especially auntie barbara), however, have something different in mind.  they are the ones giving sienna girlie toys, frilly dresses, and more hair accessories than one little girl could ever possibly wear.  dada is no help either.  whenever sienna is wearing an outfit that is not pink and ruffly, dada tells her that she looks like a boy.

i used to think that i could win this war on gender stereotypes, but i’m beginning to realize that the girlie-girl influences in sienna’s life are just too strong. what do you think?  i think that her fashion diva pose says it all.

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healthy junk

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Jun 13, 2012 Under Uncategorized

dear annie’s and earth’s best:

thank you for your brilliant packaging and marketing tactics.  you have successfully tricked mama into believing that your snack foods are healthy.  little does she know that they are just organic, grossly over-priced versions of other junk food that i am not allowed to eat.

  • organic bunny fruit snacks = gummy bears
  • bunny graham friends = teddy grahams
  • organic snack mix = goldfish crackers and salted pretzels
  • sesame street crunchin’ grahams = honey graham sticks
  • sesame street crunchin’ crackers = mini ritz crackers
  • sesame street yogurt rice crisp bars (not pictured because i ate them all) = rice krispies treats

i still only get to eat a couple of yummy bites at a time, but it’s better than nothing.

i also have a product idea that i’d like to share with you:  cupcakes with lots and lots of frosting.  if you make them organic and package them appropriately, i might be able to convince mama to let me eat them.  that would be terrific.  thanks for your consideration.

a loyal consumer,


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soccering and biking

Posted by kyden on Saturday Jun 9, 2012 Under Uncategorized

today was the last soccer class of this session.  mama didn’t sign me up for next session because, well, for a couple of reasons.

  1. it’s at a bad time (5:00pm on saturdays).  almost every time i made it to class, mama or dada had to wake me up to go.  and i actually slept through class a couple of times.
  2. mama thinks that i’m not very into soccer.  i don’t laugh with excitement when i’m playing soccer like i do when i’m swimming or at the gym.  after class today, i told mama and dada that soccer is fun.  they were both surprised that i said that because they don’t think i look like i’m having fun.  i think that’s just ‘cuz i’m always groggy during soccer class.

so, no more soccer for now.  but i do plan to start playing again at some point.  maybe next year.

as soon as we got home from soccer this evening, i took my balance bike out for the first time.  in case you don’t know what a balance bike is, it’s an alternative to tricycles for little kids like me.  there are two wheels like a real bike, no pedals for our feet to slip off of, and no training wheels to become dependent on.  you’re just supposed to run, and then when you get enough momentum, you pull your feet up onto the footrests, and balance.  i guess that’s why it’s called a balance bike — or, as mama calls it, a “run bike”.  i corrected mama.  mine is not a run bike, it’s a “slow bike”. watch the video 🙂

(and now that i’ve watched the video, i realize that mama and sienna made my seat too high when they assembled my bike. i’m going to ask them to lower my seat so i can really run next time!)

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