leap frogging and BMX riding

Posted by kyden on Friday Feb 20, 2015 Under sienna

so, you know how i work at leap frog?  i’ve tested products for them at least 4 different times.  well, i haven’t been asked to test products in almost a year, but sienna got the call today!  she stole my gig!

today was sienna’s first time working at leap frog.  she tested a video game where you ride a train, play mini games at the stops, and pick up letters along the way.  this train game helps you practice your alphabet.  mommy said the game was too easy for me, so that’s why they needed a little baby like sienna to test and not a smart big kid like me.  i heard sienna did a really good job working and she had fun, too.

after sienna’s day at work, she and mommy picked me up from school and we hit a nearby BMX park.  we got the idea from logan and mason who went riding last week — uncle greg shot video.  it looked fun, so sienna and i wanted to try it too.

we started out in the kids’ track, but that got boring really fast. we dropped right in to the big park, but some of the jumps were so big that i would try to ride up, and then i’d lose momentum before i reached the top and then roll backwards and fall down.  i got really frustrated at first. i eventually got the hang of it, and it was really fun. also, i found some smaller rollers that were more my speed.  sienna was fearless from the start. she would fall down, dust herself off, and just keep on going!

we were so mad when we mommy said it was time to go.  we had to leave because a lot of grown ups were starting to hit the park and they were flying over us on their bikes (literally).  it didn’t bother us — it was actually really cool to watch them — but mommy was afraid that we were going to get killed.

here’s video of me and sienna during our first time out at the BMX park.  i hope we get to go again soon!

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honesty is a virtue

Posted by kyden on Saturday Feb 7, 2015 Under sienna

20150125-IMG_5630mommy and daddy often say that sienna is a mean girl (and she is!), but she can also be very sweet.  every day, mommy reminds sienna to be a sweet girl at school.  and when she picks her up in the evening, she asks her if she was a mean girl or a sweet girl that day.  usually, sienna says that she was a sweet girl, but she sometimes struggles to come up with an example of something she did that was sweet.

today, when mommy asked asked if she was sweet or mean, sienna admitted that she was a mean girl. nobody believes that a little girl with such a sweet face and silly personality could ever be mean.  but hey, at least she was honest about it.  that counts for something, right?

(sienna admitted to pushing her friends because she was the line leader and they were cutting in front of her.  i say that is justified.  nobody messes with the line leader!)

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Posted by kyden on Saturday Jan 31, 2015 Under sienna

yesterday, mommy had a parent-teacher conference with… well, sienna’s teacher. mommy expected to hear that sienna is developmentally on track but that she is a mean girl. mommy knows that i am super smart, so she makes a conscious effort not to push sienna to be a smarty pants like me. well, guess what. it turns out that sienna is ahead of her peers academically, confident, and actually participates a little too much in classroom discussion. like, if the teacher asks a question, and nobody but sienna knows the answer, sienna will sometimes blurt out the answer before the teacher can help the rest of the class get there. so i guess sienna is a smarty pants. and guess what else her teacher said. sienna isn’t a mean girl.  she definitely stands up for herself, but doesn’t usually start trouble. whoa.

20150131-IMG_0007anyway, one of the things that came up in the conference is that sienna’s class, as a whole, doodles/scribbles a lot but doesn’t really draw objects or people.  and after mommy thought about it, she had never seen sienna draw a person.  so today, she asked sienna to draw a picture of herself.

<– this is sienna’s self-portrait at age ~3.5 years.

20150131-IMG_0005for comparison’s sake, this is my self-portrait at age ~3.5 years. –>

i don’t think i started drawing people with a body, hair, ears, and fingers until i was almost 5 years old.  i’m not sure if sienna is amazingly artistic or i am just… more into abstract art.

in any case, you know how child psychologists analyze kids’ drawings to get some insight into their self-perception?  i wonder what they would say about us.  mommy and auntie cheryl determined that sienna sees herself as dhalsim (with super long arms) juggling her own ears, while i see myself as a snorkeling spider.  auntie cindy pointed out that both sienna and i have smiles on our faces, which  means that we are happy.

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sienna is 3 1/2

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Jan 21, 2015 Under sienna

sienna is 3 1/2.  she took advantage of this special occasion to have a photo shoot in her favorite dress (and also got a free sundae from red robin out of it).

20150124-1E7A6620here’s what she’s been up to.

daily schedule:

  • 7:30am: daddy wakes her up.  she gets herself dressed in some crazy outfit with accessories that often do not match.
  • 8:00am: breakfast.
  • 8:30am: daddy takes her to school on his way to BART
  • 12:00pm: lunch at school
  • 1:30pm: nap.  the rest of her classmates fall asleep between 12:45 and 1:00pm, but sienna is always the last to fall asleep.
  • 4:45pm: we pick sienna up for our evening activities
  • 6:45pm: dinner.
  • 8:15pm: get ready for bed.
  • 9:00pm: mommy and daddy usually take turns putting sienna and me to bed.
  • 9:15pm: lights out.

things she’s good at:

  • drawing and writing.  she’s always had really good fine motor control.  she’s no leonardo da vinci, but her drawings are much more detailed and realistic than mine were at her age.  she is getting good at writing her letters and can almost write her name.  she usually writes the S rotated at a 90 degree angle and she usually writes the E with ~7 horizontal bars instead of just 3, but that’s not bad for a 3 year old!maybe it’s a girl thing.
  • counting.  she finally stopped skipping the number 16 when she counts to 20!
  • running.  sienna and i agree that she is good at running.  mommy doesn’t understand (or agree with) this assessment, but this is my blog, so i’m going with it.

things she’s working on:

  • karate.  she just started taking classes at my dojo.  she’s still in the trial period and i’m not sure if she’s going to continue.  she doesn’t always stay focused during standing attention or sitting attention.
  • asking permission.  sienna often takes/grabs things without asking.  it’s not nice.  it’s also very dangerous because she sometimes sneaks junk food, and she doesn’t know how to read labels to see if they have peanuts (which she is very allergic to) in them.
  • flossing her teeth.  she still needs help flossing.  her silver tooth is evidence of that.

favorite indoor activities:

  • jumping on trampolines
  • making special drawings for mommy
  • doing puzzles

favorite outdoor activities:

  • running around
  • finding bugs to look at
  • drawing with sidewalk chalk

favorite book:  little red riding hood

favorite TV show:  paw patrol

favorite song:  shake it off, best day of my life

favorite mobile app:  leo’s pad.  it’s a series of interactive learning stories.

favorite foods:  pizza

favorite character:  little mermaid

favorite animal:  doggies and cats

favorite school subject:  sharing (on fridays, we bring a toy to school to show and share with our friends)

favorite color:  pink and purple

what i want to be when i grow up:  princess

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glamour girl

Posted by kyden on Friday Jan 9, 2015 Under sienna

20150109-IMG_5540this is what sienna looked like when we picked her up from school today.  she managed to make DIY blue eye shadow out of sidewalk chalk.  i think she’s been hanging out with cousin caitlyn too much!

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shiny tooth

Posted by kyden on Thursday Jan 8, 2015 Under sienna

remember sienna’s cavity?  she went back to the dentist today to get it filled.  she went off with a dental assistant while mommy waited in the exam room.  mommy was worried that sienna would be a little freaked out, but she was totally fine.

20150108-IMG_5533after about 20 minutes, auntie margaret came out to talk to mommy.  it turned out that sienna’s cavity went all the way down to the root, so what was supposed to be a simple filling ended up turning into a baby root canal.  yikes!

mommy wasn’t worried, though.  she knew that sienna was in good hands with auntie margaret.  after about an hour, auntie margaret came out to get mommy and brought her back to see sienna.  everyone marveled at how brave sienna was and couldn’t stop talking about how great she did, especially for a 3yo.  i can’t believe that she actually sat still for that long!

20150108-IMG_5534after the procedure, sienna’s teeth were still “sleeping” so auntie margaret gave her a “tooth pillow”.  sienna was really good about using the tooth pillow and even napped with it this afternoon.

so now, sienna has a silver tooth.  she loves it.  of course she does — it’s shiny.  she shows it off to everyone that she sees.  and now, unfortunately, the thought of getting another cavity does not bother sienna at all.  it doesn’t motivate her to brush/floss better nor does it deter her from wanting to eat sugary foods.  “what’s the worst that could happen?  another silver tooth?  yes, please.”  ugh.  next time (if there is a next time), we should tell auntie margaret to make the experience a little less pleasant. 😛

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must-have for fall: the flower lei shrug

Posted by kyden on Thursday Dec 4, 2014 Under sienna

20140118-IMG_5146sienna has always had a unique sense of style.  remember this mismatched outfit?  or when she wore these stripes and stripes and stripes?  or when she accessorized her outfit with my safety goggles?  there are plenty of others just as “unique” as those that did not get documented.

well, how ’bout this one?  the flower lei shrug.  sienna actually called it a “flower backpack”.  she wore it all day, including during nap time.

i dunno if this fashion trend will catch on, but if it does, i hope they make them in green.  that’s my favorite color these days.

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sienna got shot

Posted by kyden on Friday Oct 3, 2014 Under sienna

sienna was supposed to come with me to my check up yesterday to get her flu vaccine.  but when mommy called our doctor’s office, they told her they were all out of flu mist, so mommy canceled sienna’s appointment.  it used to be that kids with egg allergies weren’t supposed to receive flu shots, but some more progressive doctors have recently started allowing it.  and since sienna got the flu mist last year (and didn’t have a reaction to it), mommy thought it was best to stick with that for this year.

so when i went in for my appointment yesterday, i was prepared for the needle.  but luckily for me, my doctor got a new shipment of flu mist right before my appointment, so of course i chose that option instead.  and then mommy scheduled sienna to get hers today.

because of sienna’s allergies and other health conditions, she’s been poked, prodded, photographed, and tested so many times.  she now dreads going to the doctor for “tests”.  but mommy promised her that today’s appointment would be quick.  all she would have to do is “smell” some medicine.  no shots.  not even a check up.  i confirmed what mommy said.

mommy knew she wasn’t going to have much time this morning, so she pre-registered sienna and confirmed that the appointment would be a quick in-and-out — 15 minutes tops.  well, that didn’t happen.  because of sienna’s egg allergy (and also because gung-gung, who lives with us, take a daily dose of prednisone), the nurse who was going to administer the flu mist had to ask mommy a bunch of questions as a follow up to the form that she had filled out.  and then she had to go consult with a PA.  and then the PA went in and asked mommy some more questions.  and then the PA had to go consult with a physician.  and then the physician went in and talked to mommy and sienna for a bit.  he wasn’t our regular doctor — she wasn’t there that day.  apparently, some doctors will administer the flu shot to people with egg allergies, but flu mist hasn’t been studied enough, yet.  so even though sienna had the flu mist last year, this doctor was not comfortable giving it to sienna.

20141003-IMG_4637so, the options were to give sienna the flu shot, or to come back another day to see if our regular doctor would let sienna have the flu mist (again).  since mommy had promised sienna that there would be no needles today, they opted to reschedule.  but while walking down the hallway toward the exit, sienna changed her mind.  she agreed to have the flu shot, needle and all.  so back into the exam room they went.

as an extra precaution (due to her egg allergy), the nurse took sienna’s vitals.  then came the needle.  mommy tried to distract sienna with her iphone, but sienna insisted on watching as the needle entered her leg.  she shed a few tears, but was all smiles a minute later.  we are so proud of her for being so brave.

in case of an adverse reaction, sienna was not allowed to leave the doctor’s office for 30 minutes.  mommy tried to sneak out a couple of times, but the nurse had set a timer.  and that how sienna’s “15 minute in-and-out appointment” turned into a 75 minute ordeal.

here’s a photo of sienna from today, wearing an outfit that she put together by herself.  temporary insanity must be one of the side-effects of the flu vaccine.

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lab specimens and finger pasta

Posted by kyden on Friday Sep 12, 2014 Under sienna

20140912-IMG_4414today, sienna had her regular once-every-4-months check up with her dermatologist at UCSF.  no new news.  her genetic skin condition (pityriasis rubra pilaris, type IV) continues to progress slowly.  there’s still no cure.  and mommy still doesn’t want to have a biopsy performed on sienna.  so basically, mommy took the day off of work to take sienna into the city… to be examined by more new doctors and learn no new info.  sienna’s primary doc told mommy that she hopes she doesn’t feel like sienna is a lab specimen.  mommy said she does, but she gets it.  i sort of think that this is how her appointments are going to be for awhile.

20140912-IMG_4418after the appointment, mommy and sienna were hungry.  sienna said she wanted finger pasta (penne) for lunch, so mommy looked for italian restaurants in the city.  she found a michelin-starred place, but it ended up having a dress code and they were way under-dressed.  so instead. they ended up at a fancy italian restaurant in walnut creek called massimo ristorante.  mommy and sienna had a nice mommy/daughter lunch date and enjoyed the warm afternoon on the patio.  so i guess the day wasn’t totally lost. 🙂

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littlest hula girl

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Sep 10, 2014 Under sienna

since things didn’t work out with the halau in danville, sienna has been looking for other dance classes. uncle henry actually found a dance studio in livermore that is enrolling new dancers for a holiday performance of “frozen”. perfect! we love that movie and we know a lot of the songs!

so today after school, we headed out to the dance studio to observe a class. we figured that livermore wouldn’t be too far — that’s where our swim lessons are. but… our school is little bit farther in the wrong direction, we got caught up in rush hour traffic, and this dance studio is DEEP into livermore. we never actually made it there. mommy decided that we couldn’t do this drive every week, so there was no reason to go to the class today.

on a whim, we decided to stop by the halau in pleasanton. they just started offering a wednesday evening class (today was the first) that would be perfect for us. unfortunately for sienna, they also just raised their minimum age from 3 to 4. we stopped by anyway.

when we entered the dance studio, the kumu introduced herself as “auntie gloria”. she was so warm and welcoming toward all of us, and she invited sienna to participate in the class.

after the class was over, mommy talked to auntie gloria and asked a few questions, just like she did at the halau in danville. these two halaus are so opposite of each other! this halau in pleasanton doesn’t compete at all (but they do perform a couple of times a year). auntie gloria teaches just for the love of hula, hawaiian culture, and of course, the kids. (she even taught preschool for many years.)

mommy braced herself, and then broke the news to auntie gloria that sienna had just turned 3 years old and didn’t meet the new age requirement. without hesitation, auntie gloria said she would make an exception for sienna. she was more concerned that mommy was feeling comfortable about sienna actually learning and getting value from the class. (if you watched the video, you probably noticed that sienna was mostly just sitting and watching.)

well, sienna is now an official hula girl.  if you’re interested, the name of the hula school is halau makana lani. i’m pretty sure they’ll be performing at the art and wind festival in san ramon next memorial day weekend, so mark it on your calendar!

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