bye bye 2013

Posted by kyden on Tuesday Dec 31, 2013 Under Uncategorized

20131231-IMG_0728today is new year’s eve.  i don’t think sienna really understands what that means, but she knew enough to put on a special party skirt when she got dressed this morning.  i know what it means, though.  today is the last day of 2013 and that means we get to do a countdown tonight.  tomorrow when we wake up, it will be 2014!  i have to remember to tell mommy to put up our new calendar.  (uncle randy makes tanaka family calendars for all of us every year.  they include photos from the past year as well as some really really old photos of daddy, uncle randy and auntie barbara from when they were little kids.)

20131231-IMG_0731just like last year, we went to matthew’s house for a NYNYE party.  but this year, two new guests showed up.  look!  both edison and matthew have new baby brothers.

we played, ate dinner, played some more, then at midnight EST, we had our countdown.  we blew our party horns, toasted with organic sparkling cider (nobody spilled!), then went back to playing.

2013 was a big year for us.  we moved to san ramon! and gung-gung officially moved with us.

  • sienna and i found a school we love near our new house, and we are both going to school full-time.  i am in pre-K.
  • we found a new gym class and swim school near our new house.  i continued playing soccer and dabbled in basketball and tennis.
  • we took our first trip to the snow and spent the weekend in tahoe with the yamamotos and tais.
  • we celebrated sienna’s 2nd birthday party at disneyland and visited california adventure for the first time.  she also had a “summer soiree” (non-birthday party) at the little gym.
  • we went on our annual beach weekend to santa cruz with the nishimotos and tungs.
  • i had an awesome fire truck 4th birthday party at our new house with a real life fire truck!
  • we made a lot of great new memories with our families and friends.

we are looking forward to what 2014 has in store. 🙂

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toothpaste troubles

Posted by kyden on Monday Dec 30, 2013 Under Uncategorized

sienna always wants to do everything that i do and she always copies me.  it’s a blessing and a curse.  on one hand, i can get her to do just about anything.  we are going to have a lot of fun (i.e. getting into a lot of trouble) together when we get older.  but on the other hand, she’s always getting in my way (like when i’m playing board games that are too complicated for her to understand) or using my stuff (like my toothpaste).

20131230-IMG_0723since sienna is still little, she still uses training toothpaste that is okay for her to swallow.  but i use big kid flouride toothpaste that you have to rinse and spit out.  i just opened a new tube of special dinosaur toothpaste, and sienna wasted it!  she tried to put some on her toothbrush, but she squished the bottle so hard that all the toothpaste oozed out. 🙁  i was so mad.

me:  mommy, look!  sienna wasted my special dinosaur toothpaste!

mommy:  it’s okay, baby.  sienna is little.  she doesn’t know how to squeeze the tube gently.  when you run out, we can get more special toothpaste.

me:  can we get the kind with egg in it, so sienna can’t have it?

i know one way to make sure sienna doesn’t get into my stuff!  (in case you forgot, sienna is allergic to egg.)

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Posted by kyden on Friday Dec 27, 2013 Under Uncategorized

we are all on vacation for the week between christmas and new year’s — mommy and daddy don’t have to go to work and sienna and i don’t have school.  so in addition to all the christmas festivities, we planned some fun things to do with friends.  today was bowling with matthew.

it had been over a year since the last time we went bowling, but i’ve been practicing for the past couple of months by bowling on our wii. i’m pretty good at it, so i was pretty sure that my game was going to improve.

well, it turns out that the ball is much heavier in real life (6 lbs.) than on the wii.  at first, i put the ball down then pushed/rolled it down the lane.  a couple of times, i threw/dropped the ball onto the lane, but that made the ball go really slow.  in fact, it went so slowly one time that it stopped in the middle of the lane.  how embarrassing.  but after mommy showed me how to hold the ball properly using the finger holes, my form improved dramatically.  check me out!  daddy has never been so proud.

20131227-IMG_066820131227-IMG_0653matthew, uncle alan, and daddy were the only ones that bowled with me.  i got off to a slow start, but it was a close game between the other 3.  uncle alan ended up stepping it up in the 10th frame and beat us all.  but matthew did awesome.  he even beat daddy!  but daddy will tell you that it’s because he let sienna bowl one of his frames. 😛  and also because he was using a house ball and shoes.  (he couldn’t find his this morning.)

even though i’m not as good at real bowling as i am at wii bowling, we had a great time.  i’m even going to have my next birthday party at a bowling alley!  (unless i change my mind in the next 9 months.)

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day after christmas: friends dinner

Posted by kyden on Thursday Dec 26, 2013 Under Uncategorized

20131226-IMG_0637we celebrated christmas again, today.  logan, mason, sierra, and sofia came over today to play, eat, drink, and be merry!

our dining table only seats 8 , and there were 13 of us, so we ate in shifts.  kids ate first.  mason and sofia are still little (almost 2) so they needed a little help, but the rest of us kids ate all by ourselves.  and then as soon as a kid was done, one of his/her parents took the open chair. 😛  the grown ups talked about how nice it is that we are all finally at an age where we can play together on our own with no (or minimal) supervision, and they can just sit around and chat and drink wine.

after everyone was done eating, we exchanged gifts and opened more presents.  see me in the photo?  going clockwise, that’s sierra, sofia, and logan.  sienna wasn’t in the photo because she had already gone upstairs to get ready for bed.  she didn’t nap today and it was way past her bedtime (actually, all of our bedtimes).  mason is not in the photo because he was indecent — he was not wearing pants.  i’m still not sure why.

we all had a really great time hanging out with great friends.  i hope we get to do this again next year!  merry day after christmas! 🙂

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christmas day: tanaka family dinner

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Dec 25, 2013 Under Uncategorized

20131225-IMG_0552on christmas morning, most kids wake up early to check to see if santa and his reindeer ate all the cookies and carrots that were left out for them, they reach into their stockings to see if santa left gifts or lumps of coal, and they check under the tree for new presents from santa.  not at our house.  this morning, we slept in late, ate a leisurely breakfast, and finally got to our presents sometime in the late morning.  this is one of the upsides to santa not visiting our house.  the downside is that everyone asks “what did santa bring you this year?” and it makes us feel like we’re the only kids that santa didn’t visit. 🙁  but we get over it quickly.  we had so many presents under our tree to open.

20131225-IMG_0580in the afternoon, we headed down to grandma’s for christmas dinner.  we always love visiting  grandma’s house, but holidays are a special treat because grandpa, uncle randy, and auntie barbara are usually there, too.  and christmas is especially exciting because… well, let’s just say that the tanakas have a shopping problem.  no joke.  mommy told them that sienna and i don’t need any presents, but if they couldn’t help themselves that they could get us one gift each.  they must have thought that mommy said “one dozen gifts each”.  do you see this mountain of presents? these aren’t even all of them!

like all tanaka family dinners, the food was yummy, and the desserts were plentiful.  (there are only 8 of us, but there was enough dessert for about 50 people.)  after dinner, we started unwrapping gifts.  sienna brought gifts over and asked “is this one for me?”  some of them were, but it felt like most of them were for me.  everyone felt bad for sienna because it seemed like she got fewer gifts, but i think the issue was that she just tore through hers faster.  she didn’t care what was in them, she just wanted to unwrap boxes.  and some of her gifts were wrapped in gift bags, which aren’t as fun to open.  when i was 2 years old, i was the same way.  it’s not that we didn’t like the gifts, we were just so excited about our new present-opening abilities that we wanted to keep working on those skills!

there was about an hour and a half of non-stop gift-opening.  all month, mommy had been telling me that just because i put something on my wish list, it doesn’t mean i’m gonna get it.  but apparently it does.  because we got everything we wished for.  and more.  lots more.  we didn’t think that we were going to be able to fit all of our presents in daddy’s car, but he managed to pack ’em all in there.  the trunk was stuffed, and there were gifts piled to the ceiling in between mine and sienna’s car seats, in between mommy and daddy’s seats in the front, and also in the footwells!  good job daddy.

merry christmas everyone!  maybe grandma & grandpa, auntie barbara, and uncle randy will get their shopping problem under control before next christmas. 😉

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christmas eve: quon family lunch

Posted by kyden on Tuesday Dec 24, 2013 Under Uncategorized

this year, we celebrated christmas eve with a small quon family lunch at cousin zoey’s house.  it was our family, cousin zoey’s family, gung-gung, and grandma marsha (zoey’s grandma).

20131224-1E7A3811mommy and uncle jamie mostly agreed on which dishes each of them was going to cook, but they couldn’t agree on who was going to make the butternut squash soup.  so you know what that means?  they had a butternut squash throwdown!  as part of our lunch, we all blind taste-tested both soups.  they were very different — uncle jamie’s was sweeter and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, mommy’s was more savory and seasoned with roasted leeks, garlic, and rosemary.  everyone said they liked both, and nobody would vote for their favorite.  i think everyone was too nice.  the throwdown ended in a tie, but i say that we were all winners because we all got to eat a yummy lunch.

after lunch, we got to open presents.  we were so excited, because really, that’s the best part of christmas. 🙂  we all got some great presents, but the best gift of the day goes to the hand-me-downs that zoey gave to sienna.  you should have seen sienna’s eyes light up and the huge smile that covered her face when she saw that pile of clothes!

we stayed into the evening hours playing with cousin zoey and we had a great time.  do you like this photo that we took with gung-gung?  i like it.  sienna doesn’t like it because she thinks she looks sad.  and gung-gung doesn’t like it because he says his eyes look squinty.  newsflash, gung-gung.  you have small eyes.  we all do.  get over it.

20131214-IMG_0402at nighttime when we were heading upstairs for bed, sienna and i said bye to the elves (our elves on a shelf).  even though santa doesn’t visit our house, we really loved the elves that miss denise gave us.  they found new places to hang out every day and it was fun to find them every morning, hanging upside down from the bathroom light fixtures, sitting in the branches of our christmas tree, or other silly places.  uncle jamie told us that the elves were going to fly away tonight and not come back until next year.  it’s a good thing that he told us, because otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten to say goodbye (and our elves might not have realized that they weren’t supposed to come back until next year!).

happy christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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indian giver

Posted by kyden on Saturday Dec 21, 2013 Under Uncategorized

20131221-mimitonight was the annual christmas party at uncle ritchie’s and auntie margaret’s house.  they always cook up a feast.  you’d think that the party was professionally catered because there is always so much food, and it’s all so delicious.  sienna and i couldn’t get enough of the fresh fruit and cheese plate.

auntie margaret always sets up a table with fun crafts for us kids.  this year, we made foam gingerbread men and santas.  cool, huh?

20131221b-mimithe luminaries event is the highlight of the night for most people.  people drive in from miles around because the entire neighborhood is twinkling with lights and decorations.  but these are not your typical house decorations.  there are custom built characters, inflatables that must be 2-3 stories high, and even this garage-turned-life-size christmas diorama that zachary and i are standing in front of in this photo.  santa was at that house handing out candy canes!  the neighborhood is famous for this event.  i always like going to see the lights with the rest of the gang, but sienna always stays in the warm house with mommy.

20131221-IMG_0486my favorite part of the party is the white elephant gift exchange.  sienna and i almost didn’t get to participate this year because mommy forgot to buy a gift.  but i really really wanted to play, so i found a toy that i had gotten for my birthday that i hadn’t opened yet.  i never really had much interest in it.  since there are so many kids who attend the party now, people bring kid gifts to the exchange, so i figured it would be kosher for me to do that too.

20131221-IMG_0485when uncle ritchie announced that it was time to play the game, i went straight for my gift and took it back to my seat.  but i had to give it back because it wasn’t our turn yet.  when our turn finally came around, sienna and i both went to the tree and we each picked different gifts.  mommy said we could only pick one, but we thought she meant one present each.  of course, i picked the gift that we brought.   sienna picked a different one.  mommy said we had to agree on ONE.  i won, and i got my toy back.  i was so happy, and i wanted to open it and play with it right away.  mommy said i had to wait because it might get stolen.  i still don’t quite understand that, but luckily it didn’t get stolen throughout the whole game.  i think it helped that i looked at everyone with sad puppy dog eyes when they even glanced in the direction of my toy.  i was so happy!

uncle ritche and auntie margaret threw a great party, as always.  it was fun seeing our friends, especially the ones that we haven’t seen in a long time.

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another christmas in the park

Posted by kyden on Friday Dec 20, 2013 Under Uncategorized

20131220-mimi20131220-IMG_0478san jose’s christmas in the park was recently chosen by essential travel magazine as one of the “top ten christmas displays in the world”.  but even before it was given that honor, it was one of our favorite holiday traditions.  we have been going there every year since i was 1.  so even though we moved away from san jose, we still made it a point to visit this year.

20131220b-mimiauntie mimi, mommy, sienna, and i headed down to christmas in the park tonight.  we met up with matthew, his new baby brother, jeffrey, and auntie audrey.  no daddies this year.  we walked around and saw the usual displays, including our favorite carribean frogs.  mommy thought i might be interested in ice skating this year, but i was not.  i told her that i want to ice skate when i’m a grown up.  instead, we danced to the live music, watched our coins spiral down the sides of the wishing well, and chased the train around the park.   and this year, we actually got to ride the train — i don’t know why we never did that before!

20131220-20131220-IMG_0476when we reached the end of the tree displays, there was a booth vendor selling all sorts of things with blinking lights.  there were the usual swords and princess wands, and even a headband with minnie mouse ears with blinking lights in the bow.  there were also finger lasers, which sienna and i had never seen before, but matthew apparently knew what they were.  they are little lasers that attach to your fingers with an elastic band.  you can turn them on and shoot lasers from your fingertips.  whoa.  matthew really wanted them, so auntie audrey bought him a 4-pack.  sienna and i wanted some too, but mommy said no.  so mean.  so we took matters into our own hands.  i distracted mommy while sienna slipped a pack of finger lasers into mommy’s jacket pocket.  we thought we were so clever, but unfortunately, mommy noticed the package sticking out of her pocket before we left.  boo.  matthew was nice enough to share his pack of lasers with us.

we wrapped up the night at the fairmont hotel, across the street from the park.  they always have a really cool gingerbread house display, and more importantly, clean bathrooms and a changing table :D.

we’ll be back to christmas in the park next year.  i just hope that it doesn’t get super crowded now that it’s famous (from the magazine article).

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eagles holiday performance

Posted by kyden on Friday Dec 20, 2013 Under Uncategorized

my class had a holiday party at school today.  we brought in special treats to share with our friends (i insisted that mommy make 5-layer jello), and we put on a little performance for our parents.  (mommy came, but daddy couldn’t make it because it was at lunchtime.)

the first two songs aren’t your typical christmas classics, so you might not have heard them before.  they’re really cute songs though, so i posted them in case you want to hear.

the 3rd song we performed was “jingle bells”.  kinda, boring, i know.  so to increase your viewing enjoyment, keep your eye out for these fun little nuggets:

  • the jingle woodblock and jingle maracas
  • the kid who first looks like he’s scratching his butt, who later looks like he’s flogging himself with bells, who later whacks himself in the balls
  • the white kid break-dancing
  • my girlfriend, maria (hint: she has golden hair)

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progress at UCSF

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Dec 18, 2013 Under Uncategorized

when sienna started being treated by dermatologists at UCSF, they didn’t really have any answers for her.  but they wanted to see her every 4 months to follow the progression of her skin condition.  so even though sienna didn’t expect to get any new info, she went in today for a follow up.

20131218-IMG_0437while she waited for the doctor to come into the waiting room, she was tired and restless.  she laid down to take a nap, but ended up flopping around and contorting her body like koda does when he is spazzing out.  mommy really needs to stop scheduling sienna’s appointments right in the middle of sienna’s nap time!

when doctors came in, they noticed that the peeling on sienna’s palms and soles seem to have improved.  the peeling is cyclical, but mommy agreed that overall, the peeling has decreased.  one of the doctors also noticed some redness/dryness on sienna’s achilles.  and then a light bulb went off over her head.  she ran off to grab a book and look up a research study online, and then she came back with a possible diagnosis:  pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP), type IV.  so that’s the current working diagnosis.

in addition to the peeling on sienna’s palms and soles, type IV PRP could explain the dry patches on her knees and ankles, which we thought were just eczema.  the good news is that it’s possible for this condition to resolve itself spontaneously.  the bad news is that it could get worse, and there is no cure.  the diagnosis could have been confirmed with a biopsy, but mommy declined that for today.  since the treatment would be the same, she didn’t see the point in letting the doctors cut out a chunk of sienna to examine under a microscope.

so, i guess this is progress, right?

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