dolphin x 2

Posted by kyden on Sunday Feb 23, 2014 Under sienna

20140223-IMG_1455last week, sienna started swimming by herself in the yellow starfish class.  and guess what.  she passed the level today!  we were all so surprised because she only got 2 circles marked off last week.  so that means she must have completed the other 5-6 skills today.

20140223-IMG_1457at our swim school, you get to ring the bell whenever you pass a level, so sienna got to do that today.  it was her first time.  it took her a couple of tries, but she finally made the bell ring, and everyone cheered for her.

now she’s a green dolphin just like me.  mommy has always said that sienna would catch up with me and my swimming skills soon, but nobody thought it would actually happen.  (i’m a pretty good swimmer, you know.)  but it looks like it might happen sooner than later.  i was so excited because i thought that sienna was going to be joining my class, but it turns out that she will stay in her current class because it spans yellow and green levels.  it’s probably for the best, because sienna seems to be pretty fond of her instructor, mr. jacob.  (yup, she kissed his hand again, today.)

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Posted by kyden on Friday Feb 21, 2014 Under Uncategorized

i just finished up a one-month trial of karate classes.  i didn’t need the full month, though —  i was hooked after just one class.  even though it’s really expensive, i really like it, so mommy and daddy agreed to sign me up.  tonight was my first official class and i got to wear my new karate uniform.  kiai!  (i would have spelled that “kee-yah!” but i just learned that the word is actually “kiai” and it means “energetic yell”.)

20140221-IMG_1425 even though i call it “karate”, the dojo i go to actually teaches a style of martial arts called kajukenbo.  it’s a hybrid of  KA(rate), JU(do/jitsu), KEN(po), and BO(xing).  get it?  KA-JU-KEN-BO.  kajukenbo!  cool huh?  this style was developed by five martial art masters in their respective arts and was founded in hawaii.

20140221-IMG_1447i love karate because i get to learn how to do kicks and blocks (and hopefully, i’ll learn punches soon!).  mommy and daddy love it because it reinforces respect and discipline.  the dojo also uses the one merit badge system in which we focus on a different virtue every 2-3 weeks.  so far, we’ve studied CONFIDENCE, and INTEGRITY.  tonight, COURTESY was introduced.  generally, mommy and daddy love these teachings, but they think i might be taking the CONFIDENCE thing a little too far.  like, the other day when mommy was carrying a plate of food from the stove to the dining table, i offered to help.  mommy said it was too heavy for me and that i might drop it.  i told her that i wanted to try and that i had confidence that i could do it.  so obviously, she had to let me try.  and guess what.  i believed in myself, and i did it!  that’s what confidence is all about.

i like karate so much that i even practice my skills every day.  sienna “practices” too.  she can’t wait to start doing karate, but she has to wait one more year until she’s old enough.  i wonder if i can be a black bet before then. 😛

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age-appropriate chores

Posted by kyden on Tuesday Feb 18, 2014 Under Uncategorized

the webMD website lists these as age-appropriate chores.

chores for children ages 2 to 3

  • put toys away
  • fill pet’s food dish
  • put clothes in hamper
  • wipe up spills
  • dust
  • pile books and magazines

chores for children ages 4 to 5

any of the above chores, plus:

  • make their bed
  • empty wastebaskets
  • bring in mail or newspaper
  • clear table
  • pull weeds, if you have a garden
  • use hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs
  • water flowers
  • unload utensils from dishwasher
  • wash plastic dishes at sink
  • fix bowl of cereal

sienna and i do a lot of these chores, plus the following:

  • 20140220-IMG_1422transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer and start the dryer
  • sort clean laundry
  • fold towels (i do this, but sienna doesn’t.  i also fold other items, but those usually end up getting refolded.)
  • put away our own folded clothes in our drawers (i do this, but sienna doesn’t yet.  i think she should start.)
  • set the table for meals with appropriate tableware and utensils for the whole family
  • pull in empty trash bins from the curb to the backyard (i do this, but sienna still needs help because she is too little)’
  • furminating koda
  • filling koda’s water bowl (i do this, not sienna.  she’s not strong enough to carry the 2-liter bottle full of water from the sink to koda’s water bowl)

and that doesn’t even count the chores that we help with but cannot do on our own, like vacuuming, cleaning the wood floor, etc.  yesterday, we added a new chore to the list:

  • pick up koda’s poo from the backyard

20140218-IMG_1396we eagerly offered to pick up poo yesterday.  we had never done it before, but we’d watched mommy and daddy do it enough times that we knew how.   mommy and daddy were so surprised because it’s something that they had never asked us to do before.

now, i think it’s time that we start talking about earning an allowance.

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food, fireworks, and “the game”

Posted by kyden on Sunday Feb 16, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20140216-it’s that time of year again when people bring oranges to our house and give red envelopes to me and sienna.  yup, chinese new year.  auntie mimi and her family had a huge celebration at their new house and we were lucky enough to be invited.

20140216-1606941_10100948054248483_297197876_nmommy and gung-gung feasted on their favorite traditional dishes like jai, daddy and i had our fill of noodles and potstickers, and sienna gorged herself on fruit.  (with all of sienna’s allergies, there’s not a whole lot that she can eat when it comes to chinese food.)  somewhere around our third plate of food, a 3-year old boy named lane came over and invited me to play hot wheels with him.  i didn’t pay much attention to him because i wasn’t interested in playing cars.  i wanted to play “the game”.  mommy  didn’t know what i was talking about.  i tried to show her, but we were intercepted and diverted to the courtyard to do fireworks.

20140216-IMG_1391after the fireworks, i took mommy over to “the game”.  all evening, i had been watching grown ups (who i didn’t know) noisily spread tiles all over the table, stack them up, and then one by one, throw them back into the middle of the table.  apparently the game is called mahjong.  i wanted to play too.

20140216-IMG_1395so after everyone else was done, mommy taught me how to play.  we played 3 rounds, and i won all 3.  mahjong is the best game ever!

thanks for inviting us to your awesome chinese new year celebration, auntie mimi!  gung hay fat choy.  happy year of the horse!

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swimming solo

Posted by kyden on Sunday Feb 16, 2014 Under sienna

guess what.  sienna swam by herself today!  she’s such a big girl!

20140216-IMG_1366the independent swim classes usually start when you turn 3 years old, but sienna’s teacher thought she was ready.  she even recommended that sienna skip the first two levels and go straight into the yellow starfish class.  that’s only one level below me!

when mommy dropped sienna off for her class, she explained to the teacher that this was sienna’s first independent swim class.  she hoped he would be a little more understanding of  anxiety or tears if he knew the situation.  but there were no tears.  sienna barely even glanced back when mommy left the pool deck.

20140216-IMG_1373sienna did such a good job swimming by herself.  she even got 2 of the circles (skills) on her starfish card marked off already.  when the teacher put out his hand to give her a high-five, she kissed his palm.  yes, she kissed him.  repeatedly.

you know, now that i think about it…  sienna hasn’t had a lot of male teachers, but the ones that she’s had, she’s been very fond of.  remember the gym teacher (mr. dennis) that she had a crush on?  i think sienna is so silly. mommy and daddy think that she is going to be trouble.

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gung-gung’s sort-of-fancy birthday

Posted by kyden on Saturday Feb 15, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20140215-IMG_1336 20140215-IMG_1335we ate a lot of really yummy food today.  for brunch this morning, mommy made chocolate crepes.  they were wheat-free, so it was a special treat that both sienna and i could have.  sienna loved them.  apparently, they didn’t love her.  mommy thought that the egg in the crepes would be okay because sienna has been eating muffins/breads made with egg, and she hasn’t had any problems.  mommy was wrong.  bad for sienna, but good for me because i got to eat the rest of sienna’s crepe. 🙂

for dinner, we went to forbes mill (danville) to celebrate gung-gung’s birthday.  forbes mill (los gatos) is daddy’s favorite steakhouse.  that’s probably why he was a little worried about taking us kids out to that sort-of-fancy restaurant.  because if we ended up getting banned from there, daddy would have to go all the way down to the los gatos location to eat his favorite prime rib!

20140215-IMG_1363but the evening turned out just fine.  they gave us crayons, and the entire table was covered in paper.  how fancy can a restaurant be when the tables are giant coloring pads?

uncle tilton and his friend joined us for dinner, which was a nice treat because we don’t see him very often.  and it’s always fun hanging out with cousin zoey.  we were on our best behavior all through dinner.  sienna was pretty good until later in the evening when she got tired and restless and wouldn’t stay in her chair.  the food was super yummy and gung-gung enjoyed a nice evening out with his family.

happy birthday gung-gung!  (i don’t know how old he is, but i’m guessing 180.)

PSA: we learned tonight that rice is not always gluten-free.  some restaurant suppliers add wheat flour to the rice to make it stickier and to help preserve it.  we will definitely have to ask from now on!

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valentine’s day: kind of like halloween

Posted by kyden on Friday Feb 14, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20140214-IMG_1318valentine’s day is a really fun holiday.  to prepare for this special day, sienna and i picked out 3 different kinds of cards and small gifts (tattoos and pencils) to give to our classmates.  for each friend, we picked which card and which gift we wanted to give.  (i gave two pencils to my girlfriend maria because she’s special.)  i signed my name on all the cards for my friends.  sienna wanted to sign the cards for her friends, but mommy kept having to remind her that she doesn’t know how to write her name yet.

IMG_1324just like every year, uncle randy sent us a giant fruit arrangement with our favorite fruits, a balloon, and a bear.  it arrived while we were at school.  since sienna was having a valentine’s day party in her class, mommy brought the fruit arrangement to school for her to share with her friends.  it was a big hit.

even after sienna and her friends had their fill of the fruit arrangement, there was still so much left that i shared it with my friends, too.  we didn’t have a party in my class, but we did make big envelopes with our names on them, then went all around and delivered valentine’s greetings to all of our friends.

when we got home, sienna and i sorted through all of the loot we received and gave all the candy to daddy.  it was kind of like halloween, but we didn’t have to go door-to-door to get all of our treats.  we also got a lot more non-candy items (pencils, stickers, pretzels, etc.) than on halloween.  and oh, and i didn’t get to dress up like superman. 

i wonder why mommy and daddy don’t give out cards and presents to their friends on valentine’s day.

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night out at the volleyball gym

Posted by kyden on Monday Feb 10, 2014 Under Uncategorized

on  mondays, uncle henry usually comes over to hang out with us while mommy and daddy play volleyball together.  if uncle henry can’t make it, we have a handful of other aunties and uncles who would like to come and play.  but today, uncle henry wasn’t feeling well, and all of our other aunties and uncles weren’t available on short notice.  no problem.  mommy planned to sit out the match and ask daddy to find another girl to sub for her.  but before mommy could let daddy know, he texted her and asked her to help find a sub for one of the other girls on the team.  uh oh.  if mommy skipped volleyball, her team would have to forfeit.

so mommy had to make a choice.

  • leave sienna and me home with gung-gung.  gung-gung is pretty good at taking care of one of us, but he can’t handle both of us.  individually, we are pretty good.  but together, we can be mischievous, we sometimes fight, and we don’t listen to gung-gung very well.
  • bring one of us to volleyball.  if mommy was to bring just one of us, it would be me.  i am a better listener, i am less likely to run onto the court, and i am more independent than sienna (like, if i had to go potty in the middle of a game, i could go by myself).  but, if i got to go to volleyball and sienna didn’t, she would be SO PISSED and it would make her (and gung-gung’s) night miserable.
  • bring both of us to volleyball.  sienna and i play together all the time and we both could draw/write/color and cut paper for hours.   the risk is that we might fight and then one (or both) of us would run onto the court crying, or maybe we would get tired and whiny and want mommy to hold us, or maybe one of us would have a potty accident…

i guess there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong, but apparently, mommy didn’t think about them.  sienna and i promised to be on our best behavior — i even offered to help sienna go potty if she needed to go.  so mommy agreed to bring both of us to volleyball.

20140210-IMG_1301when we arrived at the gym, mommy gave us a choice between staying in the lobby and doing activities (where there was plenty of room to run around) or coming inside the gym to watch volleyball (but we’d have to sit on the bleachers and not walk around).  we picked the lobby.  so mommy set us up at a table with our dinner, activity books, scissors, crayons, rescue bots, and plenty of scratch paper.  she showed us where the restrooms were and she pointed out the court that she and daddy would be playing on.  there were big windows where we could see into the gym, but mommy made it very clear that we were not to go into the gym unless there was an emergency.

mommy and daddy were lined up and ready to play their first game, when all of a sudden, i wandered into the gym, headed in their direction.  daddy ran over to me to find out what the emergency was.  sienna had dropped some of her food on the floor.  apparently, that didn’t qualify as an emergency.

after that minor incident, the night went smoothly.  sienna and i ate our dinner.  we did our activities.  we said hi to the auntie and uncles we recognized as they arrived for their games.  auntie jen even sat down and hung out with us for a little while before her games started.  i was a super good listener all night.  sienna was good except for when she used her plastic scissors as chopsticks to eat her dinner.  oh, and also when we were standing in the doorway watching mommy and daddy play and sienna pushed me into the gym.  she knew we weren’t supposed to be in there and she just wanted me to get in trouble.

mommy’s teammates were nice enough to let her skip reffing and take us home at a decent hour.  still, it was past our bedtime and mommy expected us to fall asleep in the car on the drive home.  we didn’t.  we were too excited from the fun night we had.  sienna and i hope we get to go to volleyball with mommy all the time.  maybe uncle henry should come to volleyball with us and open childcare services in the lobby.  i med

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partipalooza party place

Posted by kyden on Saturday Feb 8, 2014 Under Uncategorized

today, i went to princeton’s birthday party at partipalooza.  it wasn’t the first party for a school friend that i was invited to, but it was the first that i was able to attend.  the invitation didn’t say that siblings were invited, so i assumed they weren’t.  i told sienna that she couldn’t go, so she stayed home with daddy.  but once i got there i felt kinda bad because everyone else brought their siblings.  one of sienna’s classmates was even there.

partipalooza is a really fun party place that’s sort of like a pump it up.  the party starts in one room, moves to another, and then finally to the party room where the birthday kid sits in a giant throne while everyone eats pizza and cake.  the first room had a few inflatables.  i climbed up and slid down the giant slide a few times, but i quickly lost interest once i noticed the air hockey table.  i love air hockey.  that’s princeton, the birthday boy, playing with me.  and the girl who’s grabbing me from behind is one of my friends from school.  when she saw me, she yelled my name like i was a celebrity and then ran over to grab me.  mommy thinks she likes me.  after a marathon session of air hockey, i made my way over to the foosball table.  i had never played foosball before, but it was so fun.  now i’m hooked.  i didn’t care about the jumpy houses at all.  air hockey and foosball all day long.  mommy says that i’m a frat boy in the making.

20140208-IMG_129520140208-IMG_1296the next room was sort of like an arcade.  there was a mini bowling alley, rock climbing wall, a basketball game, and some arcade games that i didn’t pay attention to.  i bowled and bowled and bowled.  at the very end, mommy (strongly) encouraged me to try some other activities so that other people could have a chance to bowl.  so i shot some hoops, but that got old quickly because i couldn’t make any baskets.  so i moved on to rock climbing, but only got half way up before it was time to go eat.  but that’s okay because i didn’t want to go any higher anyway.

so then it was off to the party room for pizza and ice cream cake.  what kid wouldn’t be happy about that?  me.  i just wanted to get back into the activity rooms to play some more, and i was so upset that i wasn’t allowed.  i had so much fun at princeton’s party, and partipalooza was such a nice change from the usual birthday party places that we go to all the time.  happy birthday princeton!

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stripes and stripes forever and ever and ever

Posted by kyden on Monday Feb 3, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20140203-IMG_1262sienna is a big girl now.  she made an easy transition into the peacocks class (2.5 – 3 yos) at school, she can use the potty by herself, and she picks out her own clothes and gets dressed by herself.  this is all good.  almost.

the problem is, she has no fashion sense.  she understands matching, and she looks for common colors in each piece of clothing that she puts on, but she doesn’t get that the same concept does not apply to patterns.  remember when daddy dressed me in a mismatched outfit because he thought that green matches with green matches with green?  sienna apparently thinks that stripes matches with stripes matches with stripes.  i wonder where she gets that from.

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