feed the beasts

Posted by kyden on Saturday Jul 28, 2012 Under Uncategorized

usually when we go out, it’s me and sienna and a bunch of dudes.  but today, matthew and i were outnumbered by the girls 🙂  in addition to sienna, claire and bella spent the day with us.  they’re the ones that i went to the zoo with last summer.   remember, it was my first time at the oakland zoo, and all the animals were hiding?

well today, all the animals were out an about.  there was actually a special “feed the beasts” event, and the animals got special treats.  we watched the elephants eat watermelons.  whole.  it was so cool — they curled their trunks around the watermelons and popped them into their mouths like candy.  (mama was very concerned that they were going to choke.)  i also liked the giraffes and the monkeys, but the tiger was my favorite.  the tiger stayed toward the back corner of his habitat just laying on his back with his feet in the air.  he wasn’t doing anything interesting, so mama and dada were surprised that i liked him so much.   it was my first time seeing a tiger.

watching all the animals eat made us hungry, so we stopped for a picnic lunch.  after that, we played in the playground for little bit then headed into the petting zoo.  we all petted and brushed the goats — even sienna.  i’ve been teaching her to brush and pet koda nicely, so she did pretty well.  until she tried to eat the brush.  yuck.

we finished off the afternoon by going on some rides.  we rode the train around the zoo, and then matthew and i drove the cars.  you have to be 36″ to drive, and we barely made the minimum height!  good thing i have tall shoes 😉

we sure have been seeing lots of animals this summer.  since last month, we’ve been to the sea world, palo alto junior museum & zoo, monterey bay aquarium, safari west, and now the oakland zoo.  to top this next summer, i think we’re going to have to go see animals in africa.

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change for a bagel?

Posted by kyden on Friday Jul 27, 2012 Under Uncategorized

for months now, i’ve been working on getting dressed by myself.  and when i say that i’ve been working on it, what i really mean is that mama and dada have been trying to get me to do it.  i can take my pants off with no problem — i got good at doing that by going potty by myself.  but i always ask for help putting my pants back on after going potty.  and i also need help taking off my shirt or putting it on.

so this morning, when i came downstairs and asked mama to make me breakfast, she was busy working.  she told me that i could have a bagel after i changed out of my pajamas.   (i love bagels.)  mama was just stalling for time — she figured that i’d wake up dada to help me change, and then dada would come downstairs and make breakfast for me.  tricky, huh?

well, the trick was on mama!  i went upstairs by myself, then came back a few minutes later wearing underwear and long pants.  but mama was still working on something important, so she sent me away again.  no bagel until i changed out of my pajama top.  i protested, saying that i couldn’t do it by myself, so we reached a compromise.  mama agreed to help me if i brought my shirt downstairs.  so i did.

mama watched and encouraged me as i pulled my arms out of my shirt and then my shirt over my head.  i did it!  i did it!  i changed out of my pajamas and into my daytime clothes all by myself.  mama was so excited that she didn’t even care that my outfit didn’t match or that i put on my underwear inside out.

i got my bagel.

now that i can get dressed and undressed by myself, how will i get anyone to go with me to the potty or help me change at bedtime?  i don’t know if that was worth the bagel that i ate this morning.  it didn’t even have cream cheese on it.

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adhesion and articulation

Posted by kyden on Monday Jul 23, 2012 Under sienna

sienna had her one year checkup today.  she did great.  the nurse was so impressed at how cooperative she was, sitting still while being weighed and measured.  here are her stats:

  • weight: 18 pounds 4 ounces (9 %ile)
  • length: 28.25 inches (24 %ile)
  • head circumference: 45.0 cm (48%ile)

sienna is continuing to fall down the growth chart, but our doctor (who was concerned about her low weight at her 9-month checkup) didn’t mention it at all today.  check out sienna’s 1st year growth chart compared to mine.  they look pretty similar.  notice how we were both tall and fat for the first 6 months?  i have a theory.   i think that mama’s milk fattened us up.  but once we started moving around and eating more solids, all that healthy organic food was just a little too healthy and we started losing all of our baby fat.

so, no concerns about sienna’s weight, but there were other issues.  but before i tell you about those issues, i have to tell you about our doctors.  yes, doctors.  with an “s”.

we have two pediatricians.  my primary doctor is an older white guy with many years of experience.  he has seen it all and he trusts his instincts.  he has an “eh, don’t worry about it and it’ll be fine” attitude.  sienna’s primary doctor is a younger asian woman who is more conservative and more “textbook”.  she has two young children and she understands that moms will always worry about their kids, even when doctors tell them not to.

our doctors work in the same group practice, so mama takes us to whichever doctor suits her needs.  i mostly see the old guy because i have never been sick or had any health concerns.  sienna, however, mostly sees the younger lady doc because of her flat head, big kidneys, and dry skin issues.  but since this was just supposed to be a quick checkup with a few shots and no issues, sienna saw the old guy today.  but guess what.  more issues.

during her exam, doc noticed that sienna has a thin transparent membrane covering her girl parts.  i don’t know why mama didn’t think to ask what the proper medical term for this condition is, but based on internet research, she thinks it’s labial adhesion.  apparently, this is not uncommon in girls under 6 and it usually resolves on its own.  doc gave the option to use a hormone cream to thin out the membrane or to just wait and let it thin out on its own.  mama opted to wait.  don’t worry, sienna can still pee just fine.  but now she has a built-in chastity belt.  i wish there was a way that i could make it stay there forever!

the other issue that our doc noticed is not with sienna, but with me.  ME!  it wasn’t even my appointment, and he’s telling me that i have a problem???  hmph.  doc thinks that i might have an articulation disorder.  mama has been suspecting this for awhile, so she purposely brought me to sienna’s appointment today so that she could get an informal assessment.  and since the “eh don’t worry about it” doc thinks there might be an issue, it must be serious!

because i am comprehending things, i am very chatty, and i have a large vocabulary, my doc is not worried about my hearing or speech and doesn’t suspect any developmental delay.  that’s good news.  however, i seem to have trouble articulating certain sounds.  doc doesn’t think that the issue is urgent, so he suggested waiting until i turn 3, at which time i can get a free evaluation from the public school system.  hmmm, okay.

so what’s the first thing that mama did when we left the doctor’s office?  she called the young lady doc (who provided several other options) and she emailed my friend jacey’s mom (who is a speech therapist).  the old guy doc will probably end up being right, and we probably won’t do anything until i’m 3, just like he said.  but when it comes to sienna and me, mama likes to explore every option and worry about nothing.  a lot.

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sienna turned 1… with elmo fun!

Posted by kyden on Saturday Jul 21, 2012 Under sienna

i’ve always wanted to have a birthday party in the park.  but since my birthday is october, there’s always a chance that it could be cold or even rainy on the day of my party.  sienna’s birthday is in the summertime, though — the perfect time for an outdoor party!

it took us a long time to decide what kind of party to throw for her.  we decided on a cookie monster theme (i have a furry cookie monster that sienna loves) and mama thought it would be a fun surprise to invite him to the party.  but when mama called sesame street, the man on the phone convinced her that elmo is the kid-favorite.  so, change of plans.  sienna would have an elmo party instead.

if you recall, my 1st birthday party was elmo-themed.  but we made sure that sienna didn’t have the exact same party that i did.  for one thing, mine was at the little gym.  sienna’s was at a nearby park.  plus, mama learned her lesson with my elmo cupcakes — they took sooo long to make that we were almost late for my party.  so she decided to make cake pops since they could be made a day or two in advance.  well, that was a good plan… until mama had to go on a last-minute trip to go work in texas.  luckily for us, auntie mimi came over on friday night to help make elmo cake pops and elmo party bags.  auntie mimi is the best!

sienna’s party had also had elmo balloons, an elmo fruit platter, an elmo birthday candle (recycled from my party), and even elmo himself!  (some of my aunties said that mama was very committed to the theme.  some say “committed”, i say “crazy”.)  a couple of kids were scared of elmo.  mama felt terrible about that.  surprisingly, it was my (older) friends who were afraid of him — sienna’s baby friends were fine.  some kids really loved elmo and played with him for the entire time he was there (chloe even kissed him!).  but most of us bounced back and forth between elmo and eating our spam musubi.  if you’re wondering, the musubi was rectangular, not elmo-shaped 😉

after elmo left, we ate second lunch and birthday cake, and then the bubble machine went on.  everyone loved the bubbles… except for me.  they were attacking me!  these were no ordinary bubbles — they were being shot at us like bullets from a machine gun.  even cousin zoey kept asking “what’s happening here?”

park parties on a hot summer day are overrated.  but if you insist on doing it, consider these things:

  • summer breeze + balloon bouquet = tangled mess
  • no refrigeration = melted cake and dali-esque cake pops
  • slides and other playground structures are too hot to play on
  • picnic area in the shade is key.  (mama got that one right.  THANK GAWD.)

it was a fun party anyway.  thanks to everyone for helping us celebrate sienna’s 1st birthday!  and extra big THANK YOUs to our awesome friends and family who helped with food, setup and clean up 🙂  click here to see some photos from the party (mostly taken by dada, auntie mimi, auntie barbara, and uncle warren).  check back soon because there are lots more to come.

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sienna is 1 year old!

Posted by kyden on Saturday Jul 21, 2012 Under sienna

happy birthday to sienna 🙂

things she likes:

  • walking.  finally!  she is still wobbly and falls down (a lot), but i think she now prefers walking over crawling.
  • turning off the lights by herself (part of her bedtime routine)
  • swings.  she laughs hysterically and kicks her feet with excitement.
  • riding on mama’s shoulders.  she likes this almost as much as swings!
  • undoing laundry.  mama puts my clothes into the dryer, sienna takes them out.  mama folds my clothes, sienna unfolds them.  mama puts my clothes into my drawers, sienna takes them out.
  • clapping along when music is playing or people are singing
  • dancing.  sienna actually moves to the beat, unlike me.
  • blueberries.

things she doesn’t like:

  • brushing her teeth.  she doesn’t mind brushing her own teeth, but she hates it when mama helps her.
  • gym class.  i actually think she does like her gym class, but it’s at a really bad time (12:30pm).  to get to class on time, she either has to skip her morning nap or skip lunch.  so far, neither option seems to be working for her.
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private pooper

Posted by kyden on Thursday Jul 19, 2012 Under Uncategorized

mama went to texas this week and she came home last night.  so when i threw a fit on our way to school this morning, mama figured it was because i wanted to stay home so to spend time with her.  but since thursdays are one of my regular school days, mama made me go.

we when arrived at school, i refused to walk up to the door.  miss shawna (my teacher) had to come out to get me and carry me inside.  mama felt terrible for leaving while i was crying, but she hoped that i would calm down quickly and enjoy my day.  shortly after i got there, i went poo-poo in my underwear.  (before that, i hadn’t had a poo-poo accident in a really long time.)  after going poo-poo, i was happy and i had a great day.

when mama came back to pick me up at the end of the day, i was playing with my friends and didn’t want to leave — just like usual.  and like usual, miss shawna told mama about my day — what i did, who i played with, how i ate, etc.  miss shawna also shared her theory about why i was so upset in the morning.  she thinks that i am not comfortable going poo-poo at school.  remember how i used to go poo-poo every day after lunch?  i don’t anymore.  when miss shawna asks me if i have to go, i tell her that i will wait to go poo-poo at home.  (that’s my teacher in the photo, along with my friends, pranu and ched.)

now mama is concerned that i am going to be one of those weird kids who can only go poo-poo in their own house.  don’t worry, that’s not my issue.  i just don’t like pooping while people are watching me.  i make an exception for mama, dada, and miss denise, but even then, i prefer it when they close the door.

so i like pooping in private.  can you blame me?


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summer weekend in tahoe

Posted by kyden on Sunday Jul 15, 2012 Under Uncategorized

before i came along, mama and dada used to go to camping in tahoe every summer.  they would do things like rock climbing, water skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and other things that sound fun, but not really kid-friendly.  so when mama told me that we were going to spend the weekend in tahoe, i didn’t really know what to expect.  she just told me that it is far away, there’s a beach there, gung-gung was going with us (awesome!), and that my friends kai and maddie were going to be there too.  yay!  sounded exciting!

we left our house on friday after dinner.  we packed up, stopped at uncle henry’s house to drop off koda, stopped again for gas, then finally made it to tahoe around 1am.  sienna slept through most of the drive.  i fell asleep about halfway there, but i woke up many times, shrieking at the top of my lungs.  i wanted to go home and sleep in my own bed!  when we got to tahoe, kai, was already there, and maddie and malia arrived as we were unloading the car.  by the time we were all settled, it was 1:45am and all us kids were ready to play!  unfortunately, play had to wait until the morning.

it was totally worth the wait.  for the rest of the weekend, all we did was eat, play at the pool, eat, sleep, play at the beach, eat, sleep, eat, play at the beach, and eat.  doesn’t that sound like the greatest weekend ever?  it was!  for breakfast one morning, auntie victoria (kai’s mommy) made french toast.  when i saw it, i said “we don’t have that at home”.  (it was delicious.)  i actually noticed lots of cool things in tahoe that we don’t have at home:  lots of trees, pine cones, a swimming pool right in our complex, nearby beaches, boats, and of course, french toast. another cool thing is that on our way home from tahoe, my hearing suddenly got loud. when i told mama about it, she said that it was probably because my ears popped. i don’t get what that means, but it was pretty cool when everything went from quiet to loud as we drove down from the mountain.

on saturday when we went swimming at the pool, kai was showing off for maddie by jumping into the deep end of the pool.  i had never jumped into the pool feet-first before, but i couldn’t let him show me up.  so i went for it.  check me out.  it was so fun!  i can’t wait to show off my new trick in swim class.

i had so much fun in tahoe that when mama asked me what my favorite part was, i couldn’t decide. i told her that i liked swimming at the pool and playing at the beach. at the beach, i wasn’t really all that into building sand castles. (dada built some, and i had fun destroying them.) sienna sat in the sand with me, but she mostly just watched me and the other big kids dig holes and shovel sand.

at one point, i went down to the surf to scoop some water, and the current pulled my bucket out of my hands. i chased after it, but it got carried away into the current.  mama sounded a little nervous when she told me to “STAND UP!” and that she would get the bucket.  she was trying to stay calm, but i could hear the panic in her voice.  i guess she thought that i was going to be pulled into the lake.  but i don’t know what the big deal is — the water only went up to my chest, and i can swim, ya’ know.

one of the highlights of the trip was when kai, maddie and i got to cruise around lake tahoe in a boat.  how cool is that?!  sienna and malia couldn’t come because they are too little.  after a few minutes, kai got bored and jumped overboard — he decided that he’d rather swim alongside. fine with me. three’s a crowd anyway.

i had such a great weekend!  i can’t stop talking about tahoe and the beach and asking when we can go back. mama and dada said that it might be awhile. dada is still tired from all the driving, and mama is exhausted from singing and playing games with me during the entire car ride. maybe we can go to a closer beach instead. i hear there’s one not too far away in a place called santa cruz…

(for more photos from the weekend, click here.  dada’s not done posting all the photos yet, so check back again soon!)

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15 steps and counting…

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Jul 11, 2012 Under sienna

ever since i was 9 months old, i was trying to walk.  i started out with 1-2 steps, followed by a face-plant.  at 11.5 months old, i got up to 5 steps.  then 7, then 10, then 22.  even though i was not very good at it, i walked really fast.  i usually ended up falling on my face, but i didn’t care.  and then about a week before my 1st birthday, i stopped counting my steps and decided that i was officially walking 🙂

sienna is very different from me.  she just started taking her first steps by herself a couple weeks ago (around 11 months old).  she walks very slowly and carefully.  she takes small steps, and when she feels like she is losing her balance, she sits down.  i don’t know how she is ever going to get anywhere walking that slowly.

even though sienna is slow, she can multi-task.  some people say that they can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, but my baby sister can walk and chew yogurt puffs.  she took 15 steps today! she could have walked farther, but mama was in the way 😛

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swimming and gymming

Posted by kyden on Sunday Jul 8, 2012 Under sienna

in the springtime, sundays were swim days for both me and sienna.  but since our weekends are so busy during the summertime, mama and dada were planning to give us a break from swimming during the summer session.  but i wouldn’t have it.  swimming is my favorite, and i didn’t want to stop!

so even though i’ve already missed a lot of classes (and i’ll be missing several more), i’m continuing my swim lessons this summer.  just me.  not sienna.  instead, sienna is going to gym class on sundays.

our plan was to drop mama and sienna off on the way to swim class.  mama would feed her sienna lunch in the lobby of the gym, then go with her to class while dada and i swam.  then after swim class, dada and i would go and watch the last part of sienna’s class.  i went along with the plan, but sienna didn’t get the memo.

sienna slept the entire time that she was supposed to be eating.  so when mama woke her up at 12:30pm, she was groggy, but did great in class.  but once her stomach woke up and she realized she was hungry, it was a different story.  she got clingy and fussy and didn’t really want to do any of the skills.  sienna is going to have to figure out a different sleeping/eating plan for the rest of the summer.

it’s too bad that sienna didn’t start gym classes sooner.  she might have been able to make some friends to invite to her birthday party (which is just two weeks away)!  oh well, it’s better for me this way — since sienna doesn’t have any friends of her own, i got to invite my friends to her party!

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mama and auntie mimi and baby and kyden’s day of fun!

Posted by kyden on Friday Jul 6, 2012 Under sienna

since miss denise is on vacation, mama took the day off to hang out with me and sienna.  and since auntie mimi loves us so much, she decided to join us.  mama asked me how i wanted to spend the day.  i told her “ride train!”.  but mama didn’t think auntie mimi would appreciate spending her vacation day riding the light rail around downtown san jose.  so we let auntie mimi decide where to go.  she picked the monterey bay aquarium.  perfect!

since it was a regular work day for most people, we figured that the aquarium wouldn’t be crowded.  we were wrong.  there were so many people there, giving me lots of opportunities to run off and explore by myself.   mama couldn’t maneuver sienna’s stroller through those dark crowded exhibits fast enough to keep up with me.  auntie mimi tried to keep an eye on me, but whenever she stopped to look at or photograph a sea creature, i darted away.  at one point, mama let me run off to see what i would do.  (she kept an eye on me, but was hiding out of sight.)  i ran around trying to sign up for email newsletters at the electronic kiosks, played the interactive games,  and pressed every button i could get my hands on.  i didn’t start looking for mama and auntie until about 10 minutes later.  and mama says that i’m clingy.  hmph.

we saw the giant octopus, some sharks, jellyfish, and penguins, but i had the most fun playing in the water play area and on the slide.  oh, and ringing the bell (emergency stop) in the elevator.  yes, that was me.  sienna mostly just flirted with boys, like usual — at lunch on cannery row, at the waterbed play area in the aquarium, and even at our starbucks stop on our way back to the car.  *sigh*  we spent less than two hours in the aquarium, but that was more than enough.  mama couldn’t wait to get outta there and away from the crowds.  sorry we didn’t get to see the seahorses, auntie mimi 🙁

after we left the aquarium, we headed over to the dennis the menace playground.  omg, that is the best playground in the whole world.  there are a bunch of different play structures (5?  6?  maybe more) and lots of different kinds of slides.  there’s a real steam engine, a suspension bridge, a rock wall, a tunnel, and so many other fun things.  i tried out a few of the slides, ran back and forth across the suspension bridge a bunch of times, and rang the bell on one of the play structures… a lot.  (check me out running across the bridge with mama and going down the roller slide!)  we stayed about an hour, but i could have stayed there all day long.  next time we go to monterey, i vote for skipping the aquarium and spending the whole day at the playground 😀

by the way, we later found out that jack johnson (who sang mama and dada’s wedding song, “better together”) was at the aquarium while we were there.  maybe that’s why it was so crowded.  and when we got to the playground, he was there, too!  i think mama was stalking him.

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