intermediate. FINALLY.

Posted by kyden on Sunday Jun 29, 2014 Under Uncategorized

when sienna started independent swim classes (swimming without mommy), she started in the yellow starfish level.  she had a male instructor that she really liked, and she progressed really quickly.  she passed the level the very next week.

when she started in the green dolphin level, she did pretty well at first.  she got through all but the last 2 skills, and then she got stuck.  i know what you’re thinking, but it’s not because her swim skills had plateaued.  it’s because her instructor left and was replaced by a new female instructor.  sienna did not respond well to the new teacher.  she refused to do her skills and was not a good listener.  that teacher only lasted a few weeks (maybe sienna had something to do with that!) and was replaced by another new female instructor.  sienna didn’t respond well to her, either.

mommy tried really hard to figure out what the problem was. did sienna not like the teacher? did she need to take a break from swim lessons? was the issue that she wanted to do the skills the other kids in her class were doing (two levels below her)? what was going on?

then one day, a male instructor (whose students no-showed) came over to help out with sienna’s class.  sienna wasn’t listening to her female teacher, but as soon as the male instructor stepped in, sienna started swimming like a fish.  what was that all about?  sienna said that she only liked boys, not girls.  i’m pretty sure she was only talking about swim instructors, but we’re all afraid that this is a sign of things to come.

20140629-IMG_3599so mommy put sienna on the wait list for other classes with male teachers, but in the mean time, we tried to make the best of it.  fortunately, we’ve had some fun activities planned for after swim class these past few weeks, and mommy and daddy are not above bribery.  (e.g. “sienna, you need to listen to your teacher if you want to go to the birthday party after swim class.”)  that worked.

20140629-IMG_3602it took her 4 months, but sienna finally passed the level (and got to ring the bell!).  she is now a blue jellyfish like me.  and more importantly, she is now an intermediate swimmer!  that means that she is going to start working on real swimming — arm strokes and side breathing and everything.

less than a week ago, our swim school started awarding medals to students for passing the the major categories (beginner, intermediate, advanced), so sienna got one.  mommy was able to negotiate a medal for me, too.  it’s a good thing, because it wouldn’t have been fair if i didn’t get one just because i passed before sienna. i’m gonna hang this medal with the rest of them. 😛

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never too late to celebrate

Posted by kyden on Sunday Jun 22, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20140621-IMG_3494o20140621-IMG_3497ver the past couple of years, some of my friends have had birthday parties months after their actual birthdays.  i thought it was weird.  but it seems to be a thing, now.  this weekend, we went to logan’s birthday party (3 months late) and kai-kai’s birthday party (5 weeks late).

saturday was logan’s race car themed party in the park.  there was a tournament for all the kids to see who had the fastest car.  sienna and i almost forgot about it, but we grabbed whatever cars we could find lying around on our way out the door.  one of them had wobbly wheels and wasn’t even a hot wheels car.  we didn’t stand a chance.

20140621-IMG_3503i think the girl that ended up winning was one of logan’s friends from school.  but really, we were all winners at that party because of the taco catering!  the tacos were so yummy — sienna and i each ate 4.  daddy ate 12!  i want the taco guys to cook tacos for my birthday party, too!

20140622-IMG_3535on sunday, kai-kai had a pool party to celebrate his birthday.  the party was at his grandma’s house in santa clara.  we headed over there straight from swim class, so we were starving when we arrived.  we were not 100% sure if we were going to get into the water, but after we ate some food, in we went.  being the warm-water creatures that we are, we opted to stay in the hot tub and avoided the cold pool water.

20140622-IMG_3549after sienna and i finished swimming laps in the hot tub, it was time for cake.  and just as we finished singing “happy birthday”, the balloon lady arrived.  apparently, she is really really talented and specializes in life-size balloon creations like motorcycles and famous people.  we watched her make some cool things for other kids, like heart bracelets, ladybugs, and butterflies.  sienna wanted none of that.  she wanted a sword.  i asked for a bow and arrow.  the balloon lady had obviously never made weapons before, but she gave it a shot.  what do you think of sienna’s sword?  mommy and auntie victoria joked that maybe the balloon lady does bachelorette parties.  i have no idea what they were talking about.

we had fun at logan’s and kai-kai’s parties, but it felt weird wishing them a happy birthday because their birthdays were so long ago.  so instead, i’ll just say:  thanks for inviting us to your parties, logan and kai-kai!

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preschool graduation

Posted by kyden on Friday Jun 20, 2014 Under Uncategorized

1E7A4693i had my preschool graduation this evening.  for this special occasion, mommy ordered a flower lei for me.  when she picked it up, she was disappointed to see that it was the ugliest mess of flowers that she had ever seen.  while sitting in her car in my school parking lot, she completely disassembled it and used the flowers and ribbon to re-make the lei herself.  i loved it. =)

1E7A4644we arrived at the school early, so mommy and daddy got pretty good seats — 3rd row, right on the center aisle.  unfortunately, others parents knelt in the aisle, blocking everyone else’s view.

during the graduation ceremony, we heard speeches from our school director and all 3 of our teachers, all of us kids performed a song/dance for our parents, and we all received our diplomas.  afterwards, we had a party in the owls classroom.

despite all the people who didn’t stay in their seats, mommy managed to sneak in a few good photos.  here they are.

i hear that i will have a transitional K graduation ceremony next year, and a kindergarten one the year after that.  i guess i’ll get to have a graduation ceremony and party every year.  how exciting!

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back on the field

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Jun 18, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20140618-IMG_3484i started playing soccer again — today was the first class of the session.  it was fun dabbling in tennis, basketball, and t-ball, but it was so hard to sit on the sidelines and watch sienna kick a soccer ball around for the past couple of sessions.  so now i’m back on the field.

one of the first things that mommy noticed about my class is that kids came ready to play: athletic shirts and shorts, shin guards, and even some wearing soccer cleats.  that’s a big change from sienna’s class where the kids showed up for soccer wearing princesses dresses or jeans and/or fancy shoes.

i had fun at soccer today, but i was one of the biggest kids in my class.  (that never happens!)  it turns out that mommy had signed me up for a class for 3.5 – 4 yos.  there’s another class for a 4-5yos right after mine, so we stayed to watch them.  they look like they’re more my speed.  we talked to coach jorge, and he said i could join the class with the bigger kids starting next week.

i can’t wait for next week.  soccer is so much fun!

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father’s day weekend

Posted by kyden on Sunday Jun 15, 2014 Under Uncategorized

just like last year, we celebrated father’s day 3 times this year.  it wasn’t just father’s day — it was father’s weekend!


20140613-IMG_3442we had a father’s day ice cream social at school on friday.  daddy came home early so that he could pick us up and spend some time with us.  sienna and i ate ice cream, but daddy didn’t have any because he’s an ice cream snob.  we gave daddy the special presents that we made for him at school.  i made him a card and a trophy.  sienna actually gave daddy a poem that she made, but she said it was for mommy. 😛


20140614-IMG_3444on saturday, we took gung-gung out to lunch at sasa, a japanese restaurant in walnut creek.  mommy picked it because gung-gung likes fancy gourmet burgers, and this restaurant has an umami burger on the menu.  of course, that’s what gung-gung ordered.  and actually, daddy did, too.

sasa ended up being a great find.  it’s really rare to find a place where mommy enjoys the quality of the food, daddy gets enough to eat, and sienna and i are adequately entertained.  this place was a winner all around, and we are all looking forward to going back.  bonus points: it’s just down the street from cream, home of the $2.50 homemade ice cream sandwich!  (yes, we stopped there for dessert.)


20140615-mimi120140615-IMG_3450today was the yankee’s game. or, if you ask sienna, it was the A’s game.  we met grandma, grandpa, and uncle randy there.  uncle henry, auntie mimi, and auntie judy came, too.

i was so excited to see the yankees play since they are my favorite team.  grandma and grandpa were looking forward to seeing masahiro tanaka pitch, but the rotation didn’t work out.  we missed him by one day.  oh well.

20140615-mimi2it was my second time going to a baseball game, but it was sienna’s first.  we sat through the first 2 innings, but then we got restless.  uncle henry told us about the stomper fun zone, so we headed over there.  that place is amazing!  we got temporary tattoos, colored pictures of stomper, and played in the playground.  i even got to test my arm in the fast pitch game and take some swings in the batting cages (those games cost money).  we would have stayed there all day, but mommy insisted that we head back in the 8th inning.  by the time we got back to our seats, the score was 10-3, A’s.  i guess we missed a lot of action!  i didn’t care much.  sienna didn’t care at all.  she sat with her back to the field the entire time that we were in our seats.  the final score was 10-5.

20140615-mimi3since we spent so much time away from our seats, we barely got to spend any time at all with grandpa (or grandma or uncle randy).  so after the game, we agreed to meet for dinner at a place that grandpa picked.  the restaurant ended up being closed.  none of us could think of another nearby restaurant, and everyone was tired (sienna was asleep before we got out of the parking lot), so we just ended up going our separate ways.  it was an anti-climatic end to a weekend of father’s day celebrations.  oh well.

happy father’s day to daddy, gung-gung, and grandpa!

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fun and games… and shots

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Jun 11, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20140611-IMG_342520140611-IMG_3429mommy has always made an effort to spend time with me and sienna, separately.  yesterday, she took the day off work to take sienna to cousin’s zoey’s party while i was stuck at school.  so today, it was my turn to ditch school and do something fun with mommy.  well, it turns out that i was missing a couple of vaccinations that i needed to start TK next year, and the school wanted everything completed before they closed down for the summer.  so mommy schedule an appointment for me to get some shots.  so… sienna went to a princess party and i get shots?  do you see something wrong with this picture???

but actually, mommy surprised me with a quick detour to chuck e. cheese.  i have been wanting to go there for awhile, so i was super excited.  i played lots of different games, but my favorite was air hockey.  mommy was beating me, so i called her over to look at the broken LED scoreboard on my side.  when she came over, i scored an empty net goal on her.  (the LED really was broken!)  i blew through $5 worth of tokens in 30 minutes.  but at least i earned enough tickets to trade in for a notepad and some stickers to take home.

20140611-IMG_3437we headed out and went to my doctor’s office.  even though it wasn’t supposed to be a full check up, i still got weighed and measured.

  • height: 40.875 inches (24 %ile)
  • weight: 35.5 pounds (21 %ile)

20140611-IMG_3436i only gained ONE pound since my 4yo check up last october???  but a more significant change is that i passed my hearing test, unlike last year when i seemed to be completely deaf.

i got my 2 shots and i was on my way.  i complained about my arm being sore, but by the time we picked up sienna from school and went to karate, i forgot all about it.

so now i’m all ready to start public school in the fall.  and i can’t wait to go back to chuck e. cheese!

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Posted by kyden on Tuesday Jun 10, 2014 Under Uncategorized

until recently, sienna has been somewhat shielded from disney princesses.  when we go to disneyland, we walk quickly past the lines of little girls waiting 2+ hours to see their favorites.  we don’t really watch princess movies (although we did see “frozen” a couple of months ago) and sienna doesn’t have any princess toys.  and she definitely does not have any princess dresses.  however, we have been listening to a playlist of songs from mommy’s favorite disney movies.  sienna’s favorite?  the mermaid song (“part of your world”).

20140610-IMG_342120140610-IMG_3411mommy and daddy always figured that sienna’s princess obsession was inevitable, but cousin zoey sped that process along. 🙂  today (yes, on a tuesday), cousin zoey had a girls-only princess party to celebrate her birthday.  everyone was asked to come dressed up as their favorite princess.  so mommy had to do something that she thought she’d never do — buy sienna a princess dress!  sienna chose ariel, the little mermaid.

mommy bought the dress online, and when it arrived, she was so excited to show it to sienna.  she just knew that sienna was going to love it.  nope.  she hated it.  she protested and tried to rip the dress off her body.  mommy was conflicted.  part of her was so happy that sienna wasn’t into princess dress up, but the other part of her was upset that sienna refused to wear the princess dress that she bought for her.  (those disney dresses are not cheap!)

20140610-IMG_341020140610-IMG_3404sienna finally came around and dressed up for the party.  apparently, ariel is cousin zoey’s favorite, too.  (at least, for today.  she has lots of different princess dresses.)  i didn’t get to go to the party, but i heard that there were princess arts and crafts (jewelry- and tiara-making), a princess castle pinata, and of course, a princess cake.

sienna had fun at her first princess party, and now she has her first princess dress.  she has officially been princess-ified.

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tri, tri again

Posted by kyden on Sunday Jun 8, 2014 Under Uncategorized

last year, i finished my very first triathlon.  this year, when mommy was registering me for the same event (silicon valley kids tri), sienna insisted that she wanted to do it, too.  the conversation went something like this.

sienna:  i wanna do swim bike run with kyden.

mommy:  no baby, why don’t you wait until you’re a little bigger.

sienna:  no!  i want to!

mommy:  are you sure?

sienna:  yes!  i want to!

mommy:  but you don’t even know how to ride a bike.

sienna:  but i can try.

mommy admired sienna’s can-do attitude so much that she registered sienna for the race.  she figured that sienna would change her mind before race day came around, but she considered the race fees a donation to a good cause.

well, today was race day.  and not only did sienna race with me, but so did kai-kai, matthew, and logan.  one of my friends from school did the tri, too!  funny how triathlons have become so mainstream. =P

here’s my race report.

uncle randy raced with me, and mommy raced with sienna.  neither of us was planning to swim with a kickboard, but as we headed toward our lanes, we saw two extra kickboards lying around.  so we grabbed them.  i think uncle randy was relieved.  he had a kickboard for himself, but i think he was a little concerned about having to rescue me on the swim. =P  sienna doesn’t really use a kickboard properly, but at least it got her to swim on her tummy (which she doesn’t really like to do).  without it, she probably would have swum the entire length of the pool on her back.

i think i might have been the very last swimmer out of the pool.  sienna beat me, but that’s because mommy was holding the front of her kickboard and was probably pulling her along.  i put on my flip flops and was ready to go, but sienna stood around for a long time.  she refused to put on her flip flops because she wanted to swim again!  sienna wasn’t being a very good listener, but i waited for her like a good big brother.

kyden swim bike run

when we got back to the transition area, mommy helped sienna change and put her helmet on really fast. sienna was ready to roll. do you think she waited for me while i changed and put on my helmet, knees pads, elbow pads, and gloves? not a chance.

the bike course is an out and back. the way out is a slight incline, which means that the second half of the course is downhill. i am fast on my bike as it is, but on the way back, i was flying. (i was going so fast that i had to brake periodically to keep from careening out of control.) it’s a good thing that uncle randy is such a fast runner. there’s no way that mommy would have been able to keep up with me.

sienna can be fast on her run bike, but she wasn’t today. she took a leisurely ride, stopped frequently for water, and stopped to talk to almost every volunteer on the course. many of them asked mommy how old sienna was. mommy responded “2”. but each time, sienna corrected her and said that she was 2 1/2. and then she would start talking about her peacocks class at school, about the relative sizes of her bike vs. kyden’s bike vs. mommy’s bike vs. the volunteer’s bike, etc. mommy thought they’d be out there all day. but when the bike finish was finally in sight, mommy ran ahead so that she could take a video of sienna. many of the volunteers also took their camera’s out to take pictures of sienna. but sienna wouldn’t budge. mommy had to run back to see what the problem was. it turned out that sienna didn’t want any photographs taken. she refused to ride through the finish until all the paparazzi put away their cameras.

sienna swim bike run

i had finished the bike course long before sienna did. back in the transition area, i drank some water, ate a granola bar, and waited for sienna. meanwhile, uncle randy was texting mommy to see if she wanted us to wait or if we should head on out to the run course. mommy told us to go ahead without them. so we did.

the course was a breeze for me this year. i drank the water that uncle randy offered me, but i didn’t stop — i drank on the run.

by the time sienna started her run, the race was pretty much over. but there was still one volunteer on the track, and of course, the rest of us were waiting for her at the finish. sienna was supposed to run 1.5 laps like the rest of us, but the volunteer let her finish after only 1/2 a lap. it’s a good thing, because i’m not sure if she would have made it all the way around another time.

i finished 186 out of 193 in my age group (6 and under).  my time was 26:55, but i bet a lot of that time was spent waiting for sienna or in transition.  sienna was the very last finisher in the entire race.  and technically, she didn’t really finish.  but i won’t burst her bubble.  her time was 39:07.

we headed over to the post race expo to get the jamba juice that was supposed to be waiting for us. but they were out! it’s a good thing that there was shave ice, or there would have been some real trouble. and to our surprise, sienna was called up to the podium to receive a plaque. she swept her age group! (she was the only 2yo finisher.) we knew that there would be awards for each age, but we thought that assisted athletes would not be eligible.

i was pretty upset that sienna got “two things” (a medal plus a plaque) and i only got one (a medal). but mommy reminded be that i would have been much faster if didn’t wait for sienna and spend so much time in transition. i’m over it now, but i can’t wait to do another triathlon, and i’m not going to wait for sienna next time. i hear there’s another kids tri next month. 🙂

here are our all of our race day photos if you wanna see!

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let her eat cake!

Posted by kyden on Friday Jun 6, 2014 Under Uncategorized

when we moved to san ramon last year, sienna found a new allergist.  she had a skin prick test done, and the results conflicted with the previous tests she’d had.

it had been about a year since then, so it was about time for sienna to see her allergist again.  but mommy didn’t really like the first doctor, so she found a new one earlier this week.  and she loooves this one.  so now, sienna has a new allergist, and he thought it was about time to have sienna re-tested.

so today, sienna went in for another skin prick test. this was her 3rd skin test and 3rd set of conflicting results. today, she reacted to peanut, wheat, almond, whole egg, egg white, and cashew. (she was not tested for cockroach, cedar, or dog — which she had previously tested positive for — because really, what would we do with that info?)

20140606-IMG_3349if you’ve never had a skin prick test before, it goes something like this.  you get poked in the back with dozens of needles, some of which give you really big welts and make you really itchy.  then you have to sit there while the welts get bigger and you get itchier.  after 15 minutes, the diameter of each wheal (welt) and erythmea (the surrounding red area) are measured.  the sizes indicate your sensitivity to the different allergens.

sienna is an old pro at this.  while she waited, she sang some of her favorite songs to pass the time.  this was her set list.

  • part of your world (little mermaid)
  • do you wanna build a snowman (frozen)
  • let it go (frozen)
  • we could be in love (lea salonga & brad kane)

after sienna’s test was complete, we headed out of the exam room.  some nurses had overheard sienna singing and asked for a live performance.  she was not shy about it!

sienna’s doctor heard the singing and came out of his office to see what the commotion was all about.  he spotted sienna and offered to see her immediately rather than calling mommy later to discuss the test results and an allergy plan.  the performance paid off!

20140606-IMG_3344sienna’s peanut allergy is still high, but her reaction to the other foods was small enough to be considered negative. whoa.

so, here’s the plan.  sienna will continue to avoid peanuts.  also, she’ll avoid whole eggs for now, but she will do an oral challenge with egg in a couple of months. (that was the next available appointment.) remember when she failed her first oral challenge with egg?  we are hoping that she will pass this time.  the negative skin test suggests that she’s outgrown her egg allergy. or perhaps she has a contact allergy to egg (touching it causes redness/rash and itchiness), but can tolerate eating it.

and the best part of the plan…  let her eat cake! (or, anything made with wheat, for that matter.) sienna is so excited to start eating “itchy bread” and “itchy pasta”. we’ll just have to keep an eye on whether it affects her eczema or not.

and in other news, sienna’s new allergist’s office has a revolving door at the building entrance.  she is a fan.

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super shiny teeth

Posted by kyden on Thursday Jun 5, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20140605-IMG_3327sienna and i had dentist appointments today.  so last night, we both brushed our teeth extra good so that our teeth would be super shiny for auntie margaret.  i actually brushed my teeth twice!

20140605-IMG_3329since it was sienna’s first time at the dentist, i went first to show her what to do.  first, i got an x-ray.  sienna didn’t need an x-ray, but i am going to get one at every appointment to check on my shark teeth.  yup, they’re still there.  sienna watched closely as i had my teeth cleaned.  i picked the chocolate flavored toothpaste. 🙂  while auntie margaret was counting my teeth, it was sienna’s turn for a cleaning.

20140605-IMG_3333since it was sienna’s first time, she got a quick introduction to all of the cleaning tools (the tickle brush and mr. thirsty) and went for a ride on the magic chair.  she thought that was so fun.  sienna was totally fine from the start.  she didn’t ask mommy to sit with her, and in fact, she wasn’t even the slightest bit nervous.  sienna sat in the chair all by herself and she giggled during her cleaning because the brush was tickling her gums.  that’s why it’s called a tickle brush! 🙂  we were all so surprised by how well she did.

20140605-IMG_3342both sienna and i had great check ups.  sienna has 20 teeth, just like me.  our teeth look great, and now they’re extra shiny.  but while my teeth are nicely spaced, sienna’s are very crowded.  do you know that means?  braces!  (for sienna.  not for me.  fingers crossed.)

after my appointment, i got to pick 2 stickers.  i picked one for myself and one for sienna.  when sienna was done with her appointment, she also got to pick 2 stickers.  she took 4.  all for herself.  figures.

in addition to the stickers, we also got  new toothbrushes and prizes from the treasure chest.  but the best part of our visits to the dentist office is all the cool toys in the waiting room!  after we were done, we stayed and played in the waiting room for about 30 minutes.  if we didn’t have to go eat dinner, we probably would have stayed much longer.  sienna mostly colored with crayons, and i played video games.  there are all kinds of games on there, but my favorite was mini golf.  why do we have to wait for 6 months to go back?

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