the school situation

Posted by kyden on Friday May 31, 2013 Under Uncategorized

i made it through my first month at school.  i’m not going to give an update on how i’m doing in school, because there hasn’t been much change.  i’ll let you know when drop offs become consistently easy and tear-free.  today, i’ll just tell you about our school situation.  first, a little background.

have you heard of tiger moms?  if you haven’t, look it up.  we are surrounded by them.  tiger dads, too.  many of our friends (old and new) have parents who push them to excel academically.  they buy them workbooks to practice writing and math outside of school hours.  they look for ways to get around the minimum age requirement for starting school in the public school system.  they want their kids to have more homework than what the teachers assign.  they prioritize academic excellence over almost everything else.

mommy is not a tiger mom.  she jokes that she is a bunny mom, but that’s not true.  mommy is strict.  she expects us to have good manners, be respectful, and be good listeners.  (that’s a tall order for kids like me and sienna.)  she limits the amount of processed food that we eat.  she pushes us to always try something before we decide we don’t like it or cannot do it.  she encourages us to be independent — whether than means feeding/dressing ourselves, asking a restaurant server for a glass of milk, or allowing us to figure out how to solve problems on our own.  she is a nazi about sunscreen.  there are lots of things she is strict about, but she is not a tiger mom.  mommy cares just as much (if not more) about our emotional maturity, social skills, and well-roundedness in art, music and sports, as she does about our academic performance.

so when mommy started looking for preschools for me and sienna, she did not consider academic schools like quarry lane or stratford.  when other grown ups heard this, they asked why.  and usually, the question came with a look of confusion and/or condescension, as if she was doing us a disservice.  but she always explained:  “sienna is 1.  kyden is 3.  that’s why.”  she wants us to be kids, play, and have fun while we are in preschool.  someone even accused mommy of having plans to “hold me back” a year.  actually, she is just planning to follow the school age requirements rather than trying to find a way for me to start kindergarten a year early.  i’m telling you, these tiger moms and dads are everywhere! 🙂  (and for the record, this is not a criticism or a judgment.  many of them are wonderful parents — they just have different priorities for their kids than our parents do.)

20130531-IMG_0689so anyway, there were a lot of factors that went into choosing the right preschool for me and sienna.  prioritization of academics was not one of them.  after calling a dozen different schools and visiting 7 of them, we thought we had found the perfect school for me.

20130528-IMG_0684the school that i’m currently going to is only for big kids like me.  (minimum age is 2.)  there were a couple of minor issues that we had at my school when i first started, but the administration was in transition, so we thought we’d give the new director a chance.  after my first full month, there are still a lot of little things that mommy is not thrilled about.  but, one of the unique things that we do like about my school is that the entire school is in one big room.  there are 3 classes that are separated by partitions, but we all see each other for community circle time in the morning and evening, and we all eat lunch and snacks together.  that means that all the teachers and all the kids get to know each other, which makes transition from class to class very easy.  and when sienna is old enough to go there, we would see each other throughout the day.  but it also means that birthdays are usually celebrated with the entire school, not just the kid’s class.  and it seems that the kids at this school like to celebrate with pizza and cake.  i ate pizza and cake for lunch and snack, 3 of the last 4 days.  luckily, i am a good eater, so i ate the lunches that mommy packed for me, too.  most kids don’t.  but still, that might have been the last straw.  mommy is seriously considering putting me in new school.

there are two schools that we are considering.

  1. there is the school that mommy had intended to put sienna in all along.  we call it “sienna’s school”.  they start at age 18 months, so sienna could start any time.  they provide lunch.  they are very experienced in managing food allergies.  they promote healthy eating (including birthday celebrations).  they believe in learning through play (no workbooks).  buuut…  they won’t apply sunscreen.  they are 20 mins away from home.  and while there is an opening for sienna, the wait list for my age group is so long that they won’t even accept an application.  (it costs $50 just to apply.)  however, if sienna enrolls, i’ll be on the sibling priority list.  but who knows when i would actually get in.
  2. the other school was the runner up to my current school.  they start at age 2, so sienna wouldn’t be able to start for 6 more weeks.  it’s super close to home (literally 1 mile down the hill).  they do apply sunscreen.  they invite parents to participate in the classroom on a regular basis (AWESOME!).  there are openings for both me and sienna.  buuut…  the classes are very structured (you stay with the same class for the entire school year) and a little more academic than we’d like.  and their snack schedule looks similar to my current school (not terrible, but not great).

so that’s where we’re at.  mommy had always hoped to keep sienna out of preschool until she turned 2, but she is finding it more and more difficult to take care of sienna and work at the same time.  gung-gung tries to help keep sienna quiet when mommy is on conference calls, but he does that by sitting her in front of the tv.  mommy does not approve.  but it’s only 6 more weeks until sienna has her choice of schools, so mommy is going to try to tough it out.  now we just have to find someone to take care of sienna when mommy goes on her business trip in 2 weeks!

Tags : | 1 comment

BBQ holiday

Posted by kyden on Monday May 27, 2013 Under Uncategorized

what did you do during your 3-day weekend?  i bet you BBQ’d.  it must be mandatory, because we did a lot of it.  we BBQ’d and BBQ’d and BBQ’d some more.

after our outing to gilroy gardens on saturday, some aunties and uncles came over to our house.  they brought lots of yummy food, and we (read: daddy) grilled some sliders.  mommy and i made a movie of uncle henry’s team playing volleyball last week, so the team came over to watch  the video.  really, they came over to eat, drink, and laugh at each other.  sienna and i got to stay up way past our bedtimes, and we all had a great time.

20130526-IMG_0640on sunday, we went to a BBQ at logan and mason’s house.  a lot of my friends were there, and sienna made a new friend, too — logan and mason’s cousin, caylie.  uncle greg BBQ’d a lot of food on the grill, and sienna and i cooked in the pretend kitchen.   after we ate, logan, matthew, and i did laps around the house on logan’s ride-on toys.  there wasn’t a car for sienna to ride on, so she just ran around after us.  and then somehow (nobody knows exactly how), we decided that sienna was a scary monster.  so as she chased us, we sped through the house like nascar drivers and screamed like… i dunno, any girls who were ever chased by a scary monster.  we had originally planned to get back home in time for another movie night, but we were having so much fun that we stayed and played until way past all of our bedtimes.

20130527-IMG_0681daddy didn’t get to use our grill on sunday, so by monday morning, he was going through withdrawals.  so guess what — he fired up the grill to make breakfast.  who BBQ’s before 10am?  daddy.  he loves loves LOVES the built-in grill in our backyard.

in the afternoon, mommy and i went to the art and wind festival.  and after that, we went to… guess where.  yup, another BBQ.  we headed straight over to isaac’s house where uncle warren grilled enough food for about 200 people.  there were about 50 at his house.  isaac has so many toys and a big backyard, so we always love playing at his house.  he also knows a lot of kids that are the same age as me and sienna, so we had a fun time with old and new friends.

we had a really busy weekend.  and we ate a lot of BBQ’d food.  a LOT.  and now we need another day off to recover from our busy weekend… and the food coma.

Tags : | add comments

art and wind (and a little bit of rain)

Posted by kyden on Monday May 27, 2013 Under Uncategorized

we’ve been hearing about the san ramon art & wind festival for a long time.  and now that we are san ramon residents, we decided to go check it out.  sienna was getting ready for a nap, so just me and mommy went.  we parked at uncle ritchie and auntie margaret’s house (right across the street from the festival) and a few other aunties and uncles met us there.

when we first got to the festival, all we saw were a bunch of booths with stuff made by local artists/artisans.  boring.  i told mommy that i didn’t want to be there.  but when we finally made it to the food booths, i recognized the jamba juice logo.  of course, i got one.  the day got better from there.

there was a band playing up on the stage.  i didn’t want to dance in front of the stage with all the other people, but i always like live music.

a20130527-IMG_0658nd then i saw a real live fire engine!  oh my goodness, it was sooo big.  there were real live firemen, too.  one of them gave me a junior firefighter badge (sticker) and let me sit in the fire engine.  it was sooo cool.  (there were motorcycle cops too, but i was more into the fire engine.)

then we walked through a plaza that had games and rides.  i wanted to stop and play, but nobody else wanted to.  mommy said that the lines were too long, but i think that grown ups are just boring.  i bet if matthew was there, he would have played games with me.

20130527-IMG_0667we eventually made it over to the big field where everyone said that there would be lots of kites flying.  (that’s why it’s called the art and wind festival.)  some professional kite flyers (that’s a profession?) were giving a demonstration, but there were only three kites in the air.  it looked boring.  maybe the on-and-off drizzling grounded all the kites.  either that, or there was some serious false advertising.

and then it was back to the booths.  we found a booth with handmade hula hoops.  you should have seen auntie mimi and uncle ritchie with their hip action!  they made it look easy, so i gave it a try. check me out.

i think my hula hoop was broken because it kept falling to the ground.  so i gave up on the hoop and spontaneously started rockin’ out to the music.  everyone was standing around watching and laughing, but i didn’t care.

there’s only one way… there’s only one way to rock!


Tags : | add comments

kicking off the holiday weekend at GG

Posted by kyden on Saturday May 25, 2013 Under Uncategorized

last year on memorial day weekend, sienna and i went to gilroy gardens with my usual crew — matthew, logan, edison, greyson, and mason.   yes, that’s right.  sienna and 6 of us boys.  this year, we did it again.  we kicked off the holiday weekend at gilroy gardens with the same group of friends.  it was fun looking back at the photos from last year.  i think we all look pretty much the same.  except for sienna, that is.  her hair is longer.

now that we’ve moved to our new house, gilroy gardens is almost an hour and a half away.  because it’s so far, we probably won’t go there as often as we used to, so mommy decided not to get a full membership this season.

20130525-IMG_0633when we arrived this morning, it was already after 11am.  we met up with the rest of our group and we all took a ride on the train together.  we always love the train rides.  after that, we all were hungry, but we managed to get in a few spins on the fire engines and race cars before lunch.  we like to drive. 🙂

after lunch, we all split up.  matthew, sienna, and i went to play games in the pitch ‘n’ win gaming area.  that was so fun!  i’ve never played the games at gilroy gardens before.  i played the fish pond game, and in one try, i won a badtz maru (which was one of the best prizes)!  i wanted to keep playing games all day.  i didn’t care about getting any prizes, i just wanted to play.

20130525-alanafter we got dragged away from the games, we went to go drive the big cars.  since sienna is big enough to drive her own car now, we wanted to drive the 1950’s cars (2-seaters) instead of the 1920’s cars (4-seaters) that we always used to drive.  well, the line for the 2-seaters moves twice as slowly as the 4-seaters (do the math), so we ended up waiting in line for a really long time.  luckily, auntie audrey’s funny faces kept us entertained as we sat/stood around and waited for our turn.

20130525-IMG_0649on our way out of the park, we wanted to squeeze in a few final rides.  i usually ride the goldfish, so we headed there first.  matthew rode it.  sienna even rode it — it was her first time.  but i didn’t want to.  i don’t like how it goes up and down.  so then mommy suggested the strawberry ride (which i’ve been on plenty of times before).  i didn’t want to go on that one because it makes me dizzy.  so we just went on the carousel.

mommy and daddy aren’t sure what the deal is with me only wanting to go on the baby rides.  am i getting wimpier in my old age? or is this is just a phase of insecurity that i’m going through because of all the change in my life right now — kind of like how i wouldn’t go on the swings or climb up the slide by myself earlier this week.  either way, it’s probably a good thing that we didn’t buy the full membership to gilroy gardens this season.

Tags : | add comments

week 4 at school: and the tears keep flowing

Posted by kyden on Friday May 24, 2013 Under Uncategorized

my 4th week at school was not much different than last week.  i peed in my pants one time this week.  and i cry almost every day at drop off.

morning drop off is always difficult, but mommy and daddy know that i like school.  when mommy picks me up, i always show her the art projects that i made and i drag her around the classroom to show her all the stuff that we do (like phonics and the calendar).  and when i get home, i talk about all the things i learned in school, and i perform new songs (like singing the months of the year to the tune and moves of “macarena”).  one time when mommy picked me up from school, a girl ran over to give me a hug goodbye.  mommy asked me who she was, but i didn’t know her name.

20130530-IMG_0687i do have a friend named reva that i like, but i still mostly play by myself during outside time.  (i like riding the bike with pedals.)  i still love making projects.  i still love miss rostini.  and i like snack time.

mommy packs my lunch every day, but snacks are provided by the school.  snacks are usually pretty healthy, but today we got something that i didn’t recognize.  but i tried it.  and i liked it.  when i got home, mommy asked me what i ate for snack (she often asks me that).  i told her i didn’t know — it was something i had never seen before.  she looked on our snack calendar and saw that today’s snack was chicken nuggets.  well guess what.  it turns out that i like chicken nuggets. 🙂

now how do we get past the morning tears?  everyone said that they would only last 2-4 weeks, but it’s been almost 4 weeks now.  it seems that everyone was wrong.

Tags : | add comments

second date

Posted by kyden on Wednesday May 22, 2013 Under Uncategorized

remember that blind date i went on last month?  we had hit it off, and we talked about going out again shortly afterwards.  but then i got busy with the move to our new house, and she got busy with her new season of tee ball and soccer.  before we knew it, 6 weeks went by.

20130523-IMG_0557well, we finally went on our second date today.  mommy picked me up early from school, and we went to meet M at central park.  it was only our second date, but it was like we had known each other forever.  we chased each other up and down the play structure, we ran around the open field, we used sticks to draw shapes in the tanbark, and we swung on the big swing together.

i’20130523-IMG_0558m not sure that i put my best foot forward because this transition has shaken my confidence.  i was scared to swing on the big kid swing (which i used to do all the time), and when we were climbing up the ladder to get to the top of the slide, i whined “i can’t do it” and i made mommy come help me.  i ended up climbing up all by myself (like i have done so many times before), but i wanted mommy right there next to me for moral support.  maybe M thinks i’m super clingy to mommy, or maybe she thinks i’m a big scaredy cat.  i dunno.  but i hope i made up for it by sharing my apple and graham crackers with her.

when mommy said it was time to go home, i had to check with M to see when she was leaving because i didn’t want to leave before she did.  i was disappointed that M didn’t bring her bug house, but we had a great time anyway.   i can’t stop talking about how much fun we had playing at the park, and i keep telling mommy that i want to go out M again.  i hope our 3rd date happens soon.  and i hope that it involves a bug house!

Tags : | 1 comment

sienna is 22 months old

Posted by kyden on Tuesday May 21, 2013 Under sienna

20130522-1E7A2743things she likes:

  • taking showers.  sienna used to be lukewarm about showering, but now she loves it.  i think she likes the bench in mommy and daddy’s shower, and she definitely likes to help squeegee the shower door.
  • having company when she goes potty.  whenever sienna goes potty, she wants mommy to sit down on the floor right in front of her.  you know how i know?  because she says so: “mommy, sit down, floor.”
  • biking.  we often bike to the park after school, and sienna always yells “go fast!”
  • riding in electric cars.  she loved riding with me in the electric car at uncle paul’s birthday bbq, so now she always wants to drive my one-seater lightning mcqueen car.  that’s a problem because doesn’t know how to drive by herself (she has tried as is terrible at it), and when i drive, she can’t fit in the car!
  • giving hugs and kisses.  sienna is very affectionate.  she asks for “big hug” and puckers her lips and asks for “kiss”.  she also says “so so much”, which in siennaese, means “i love you so so much”.
  • daniel the tiger.  uncle henry suggested this show because he ran across an episode about daniel going to school for the first time.  daniel was nervous about it, just like i was.  we liked it so much that we’ve added daniel the tiger into our rotation of kai-lan videos that we get to watch on special occasions.  sienna and i both like daniel the tiger. thanks, uncle henry!

things she doesn’t like:

  • sitting close to the dining table.  about a week ago, sienna started throwing a fit when she was pushed in close to the table to eat.  maybe she feels like she trapped if she’s pushed in close?  not sure.  so now, she sits about a foot away from the table and drops food all over herself and the floor when she eats.
  • sleeping through the night.  about a week ago, sienna woke up in the middle of the night, and mommy thought she might have a fever (but didn’t take her temperature).  so mommy brought sienna into her bed and let her sleep with her.  well, i don’t know if sienna really had a fever that night or not, but she certainly isn’t sick now.  but sienna is still waking up in the middle of the night, every night.  it’s time for daddy the sleep master, to work his magic.  mommy is going on a business trip in a few weeks.  maybe he’ll wait until then.
Tags : | 1 comment

shiny teeth

Posted by kyden on Tuesday May 21, 2013 Under Uncategorized

now that we’ve moved to our new house, we live really close to my dentist’s office.  and every time we drive by (which is every day), i point it out and announce “that’s where auntie margaret counts my teeth!”.

20130521-IMG_0552today after school, i had a dentist appointment.  sienna came to watch me so that she will know what to do next time when she gets to have auntie margaret count her teeth.  i showed her how to sit in the magic chair and open my mouth big.  i showed her how to be a great patient.

gabriela cleaned my teeth with orange flavored toothpaste and made them super shiny.  then auntie margaret counted my teeth.  i still have 20.  usually, kids my age need to have x-rays to make sure that there are no cavities hiding in between their teeth, but i have enough space in there that auntie margaret could see without the x-ray.  i have no cavities!  and because of the “adequate” spacing in between my teeth, auntie margaret says that there’s a good chance that i won’t need braces.  we won’t know for sure until my permanent teeth come in, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

after my appointment, my teeth felt so clean that i asked mommy to take me to the bathroom mirror so i could see how shiny they were.  they were sooo shiny!  i showed off my teeth to everyone that i saw tonight (which was a lot of people because i went to watch mommy play volleyball).  everyone was so impressed at how shiny my teeth were.  i love going to the dentist to make my teeth shiny.  🙂

Tags : | add comments

fun with friends, old and new

Posted by kyden on Saturday May 18, 2013 Under Uncategorized

ever since we moved, sienna and i haven’t hosted any playdates with our friends.  our house is not kid-ready yet.  we still have stuff all over the place and lots of our toys are still in boxes.  luckily, kai-kai invited us over to his house to play today.  it was us, maddie and malia, and three new friends — dominic, kaylee, and katyana(?) — that we met for the first time.  once of the new friends has a lot of severe food allergies, so our mommies had a fun conversation about that.  it turns out that he used to be allergic to wheat, but he outgrew it!  mommy is hopeful that sienna will do the same.

20130518-IMG_0548anyway, kai-kai has a LOT of fun toys.  he also has a backyard with a baby slide, a baby pool, and a full-sized big kid play structure.  the other boys took off their shirts and splashed in the pool, but i didn’t want to.  i only like swimming in big pools.  sienna and i played on the big kid slide for a little while.  it was very fast, but we had fun.  when mommy was pushing maddie on the swing, sienna kept saying “swing, too!  swing, too!”.  so mommy put sienna on a big kid swing, and pushed her gently.  that was fun — until sienna decided to turn around and reach for mommy, letting go of the chains.  guess who ended up splat on the ground.

we all had a great time.  kai-kai is usually very affectionate with sienna, but today, not as much.  he spent most of the day splashing in the pool, and since sienna didn’t have any swim clothes, she couldn’t get into the water with him.  thank goodness.  however, kai-kai and sienna did end up alone together in his room at some point in the afternoon.  as soon as a i heard about that, i marched right upstairs to break it up.  (really, i did.)

thanks for a fun day, kai-kai.  we had great time with friends, old and new.

Tags : | add comments

week 3 at school: baby steps

Posted by kyden on Friday May 17, 2013 Under Uncategorized

i’m finally getting into the swing of things at school.  i’m still crying a little bit when mommy leaves me in the morning, but at least i’m using the potty at school now.  yay!  baby steps, right?

20130517-IMG_0522one of my favorite things about school is project (art) time.  in fact, the one time that i didn’t cry this week was when mommy dropped me off at the start of project time.  i sat right down, started painting my octopus, and i barely even noticed when mommy left.  how do you like my orange octopus?  i also made a jellyfish this week, but i couldn’t take a picture of it because it’s still drying.

20130517-IMG_0519my other favorite thing about school is my teacher, miss rostini.  i love her.  i want to make her a card that says “i love you” and decorate it with hearts.  i think mommy is a little jealous, especially because i just made a mother’s day card for her just like that.

i don’t really like outside time at school.  mommy usually drops me off during outside play time.  maybe that’s why drop off is so hard.  i don’t really know my friends at school, so i usually just ride a bike around the play yard or play by myself.  mommy says she understands how hard it is to be the new kid in a place where you don’t know anybody, but she promises that it will get better.  we’ll see.

Tags : | add comments