MLK fun

Posted by kyden on Monday Jan 19, 2015 Under Uncategorized

today is MLK day — martin luther king jr.’s birthday.  he’s a man who changed the rules.  he died when he was 38 years old.  mommy says that he died at age 39 (according to wikipedia), but i keep insisting that he died at 38.  sienna said that he taught people to be nice to each other and not push each other.  i’m not sure if she made that up or if she actually learned about his dedication to non-violence.

20150119-IMG_5585thanks to martin luther king jr., everyone can live where they want to.  also because of him, i didn’t have school today and daddy didn’t have to work.  sienna’s school was open and mommy had to work, so daddy and i planned a day of fun.

first, we headed to rockin jump.  but that was obviously not an original idea because when we arrived, it was sold out.   SOLD OUT!  can you believe it?  so we ended up at partipalooza (the place where i had my 5th birthday party) instead.  i loved playing air hockey and foosball with daddy.  i also had a lot of fun bowling — so much fun that i didn’t even get on the rock wall.

20150119-IMG_5583we worked up an appetite at partipalooza, so went out in search of mexican food.  (we never get to go out for mexican food because mommy is not a fan.  chipotle doesn’t count.)  daddy and i found a nearby taqueria.  i ordered steak tacos, but they were a little too spicy, so i ended up eating most of daddy’s burrito.

20150119-IMG_5584 after lunch, daddy and i went on a hike at the bishop ranch regional open space preserve.  navigating was fun.  however, the trail was too long (2.24 miles), too bumpy (hilly), and there was cow poo in the middle of the path.  i’ve decided that i am not a fan of hiking.

all in all, we had a really fun day out.  when mommy asked me what my favorite part of the day was, i told her that it was coming home to see her.  awww…  i think she bought it. 😉

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best. park. ever.

Posted by kyden on Saturday Jan 17, 2015 Under Uncategorized

20150117-IMG_5565we’ve been hearing about the awesome new park by our house called rancho san ramon.  ever since it opened (about 3 months ago), everyone has been talking about it — cousin zoey, baby emma, all the people in our neighborhood — but we never bothered to check it out.  a park is a park, right?

we met up with isaac this morning to see for ourselves how awesome this park was.  we had really high expectations and we thought there was no way it would live up to the hype.  well, lemme tell you… best. park. ever.

the park has 3 separate play areas.  there are lots of interesting climbing and play structures, a curvy bouldering wall, and lots more.  the ground even makes music when you dance on it!  our favorites were the long bumpy slide and the zip line.  that’s right, the park has a zip line!  how cool is that?

here are a few videos that show you some of the super cool features of rancho san ramon park.

just above the park is an open field with a dirt track.  because there wasn’t enough to do in the playground areas (kidding), i ran around the track a few times while daddy timed me. that was fun, too. good times.

we hope that we get to go to this park all the time!  the only bummer is that we cannot ride our bikes there.  it is only 2 miles away, but there is a steep(ish) hill and a busy street between our house and the park.  oh well.

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pumped up about the new pump it up

Posted by kyden on Sunday Jan 11, 2015 Under Uncategorized

20150111-IMG_554820150111-IMG_5547mason has his birthday party at the all new pump in up in santa clara.  that place is awesome.  we had so much fun!

sienna and i have been to pump it up a bunch of times, and they’re all kind of the same.  but not this one!  at this pump it up there were lots of inflatable activities that we’d never seen before.

sienna liked playing dodge ball inside the obstacle course, and of course, she loved the giant slides.  my favorite was the bazooka war — logan and i totally took edison and greyson!  i also liked the batting cages.  the balls were easy to hit because they were just floating in the air. 🙂

when it was time for cake, daddy said sienna could have one bite of his cupcake.  with that one bite, she ate almost the entire cupcake (along with daddy’s finger)!

daddy said it wasn’t funny, but everyone else was laughing, so i guess they disagreed.

happy birthday mason!  thanks for the fun party.  i’m totally having my next birthday party at the new pump it up!

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christmas in january

Posted by kyden on Thursday Jan 8, 2015 Under Uncategorized

daddy’s work was supposed to have their holiday party last month — before christmas — when companies usually have their holiday parties.  but on the day the party was scheduled for, it was forecasted to rain.  a lot of rain.  so much rain that classes were cancelled at some schools.  i know, it sounds ridiculous, especially to people who live in other parts of the country where they have hailstorms and snowstorms and weather that is much more severe.  but us californians are weather wimps.  and yup, daddy’s work cancelled their holiday party.

20150108-IMG_5537so anyway the party was rescheduled for tonight.  uncle henry came over to hang out with us, and mommy went to SF to meet up with daddy at the supper club.  (that’s where the party was.)  you’d think that a place called the supper club would be a restaurant that serves supper, but it turned out to be an open two-story space where the perimeter was lined with beds.  weird, right?  the decorators must have gotten confused and thought it was called the sleeping club.

the place was pretty packed, but daddy didn’t see many people that he knew.  not a single person from his team was there.  mommy was bummed because she was hoping meet all the people that daddy has been talking about for the past few months.  but i guess geeky engineering types (like daddy) don’t like to go to parties.

mommy and daddy hung out for a couple of hours anyway.  there was music, entertainment, food, open bar, and of course, a photo booth with christmas-themed props.  looks like they had a good time!

 

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back for more rockin’ and jumping!

Posted by kyden on Saturday Jan 3, 2015 Under Uncategorized

20150103-IMG_5503we had so much fun at rockin’ jump last week that we couldn’t wait to go back.  so we didn’t.  we went back again today (auntie barbara too), but this time daddy joined us.   kai-kai and his family met us there too.

20150103-IMG_5512we jumped around in the toddler area like last time, but we explored the rest of the place too.  sienna and kai-kai checked out the dodge ball arena.  they threw some balls around, but luckily there wasn’t a real game going on at the time.  pretty sure they would have gotten picked off pretty quickly.  while they were throwing balls around, i was shooting hoops.

today, there was a nice lady supervising the joust pit, and she let all of us joust — even kai and sienna and me — even though we are too small.

sienna could barely even hold her big foam “lance”, but thought she could take me on anyway. everyone was cheering for her (that’s kai-kai’s voice you hear in the background), but i still won. easily.

even mommy and daddy got in on the fun. i think mommy fell into the pit because of the momentum from the swing she took at daddy, but that still counts.

boys: 2
girls: 0
… if you’re keeping score.

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delicious start to the new year

Posted by kyden on Thursday Jan 1, 2015 Under Uncategorized

grandma makes a traditional japanese meal every year for new year’s day.  she says that since nobody likes the food, she just makes a small amount for herself and grandpa.  ummm, hellooo???  i guess she forgot that i love all the special food she makes!  i reminded her.

20150101-IMG_5465i also invited myself and the whole family over for a new year’s day lunch.  so all of us, including auntie barbara and uncle randy, converged at grandma’s house today.  grandma made a whole big spread for us, including sushi (a newfound favorite of mine).  one of the traditional dishes that she makes is soup with mochi.  it’s called ozoni.  nobody really likes it except for me and sienna.  auntie barbara says the mochi makes her gag.  maybe next time grandma can cut it up really small for her like she did for me and sienna.

20150101-IMG_5470-2all of that traditional food must have put grandma in the mood for more traditional japanese things.  so grandma asked sienna if she could dress her up in a kimono that our great-grandma sent from japan.   the kimono was actually auntie barbara’s, but i don’t think she ever actually wore it.  it was waaay too big for sienna, but after grandma did a little sewing, it was perfectly sienna-sized.  and since sienna loooves playing dress up, she was completely on board with the whole idea.

so, yeah… that happened.  grandma turned sienna in a life-size japanese doll.  what do you think?  who wore it better: sienna, or the actual japanese doll? 🙂

happy new year everyone!

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bye bye 2014

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Dec 31, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20141231-IMG_5447every year for as long as i can remember (the past 3 years), we’ve rung in the new year with a NY NYE party at matthew’s house. if you haven’t been paying attention, NY NYE = new york new year’s eve. we do our countdown on eastern time.  it used to be that just us big brothers celebrated together, but now we all have little siblings. good thing matthew has a couch that’s big enough for all of us.

edison and lucas couldn’t make it this year, but logan and mason joined in on the fun for the first time.   we ate a yummy dinner, we played with matthew’s toys, and we even got about halfway through a board game before everyone lost interest.

20141231-IMG_5451and then just like every year, we gather on the couch with our party paraphernalia just before midnight (EST) and do the countdown together.  at 9pm, we all blow our party horns and destroy the hair cells in each others’ ears.  it’s so fun that it’s totally worth the noise-induced hearing loss that will probably result some day.

20141231-IMG_5458and then…  we all get a cup of sparkling apple cider to “cheers” with.  if you look closely at this picture, we are all toasting with our siblings, except for matthew, because jeffrey didn’t get any cider.  you can almost see the thought bubble above jeffrey’s head: “hey, where’s my drink?”  every year, mommy and daddy tell auntie audrey and uncle alan how brave they are to provide sugary drinks to a bunch of amped-up toddlers who are sitting on their light-colored couch.  but no accidents yet!

this is the best way ring in the new year — with our family and my BFFs.  and by the way, there’s actually room for more kids on the couch if matthew, logan, or edison decide they want a little sister.  just saying.

happy new year!  bring on 2015!

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winter break is awesome

Posted by kyden on Monday Dec 29, 2014 Under Uncategorized

both sienna’s and my school were closed for winter break (the week between christmas and new year’s).  that’s a whole week of no school!  mommy always takes that week off of work, so we get to go do fun things.  two of the funnest things we did were watching “walking with dinosaurs” and rockin’ and jumping at rockin’ jump.  and auntie barbara was in town and we got to hang out with her, so that made it extra fun.

20141228-IMG_5404on sunday, we went to the shark tank, but there was no hockey and no sharks.  there were dinosaurs.  we got a big group together (including gung-gung, grandma and grandpa, uncle randy, auntie barbara, and even matthew and his family) to see “walking with dinosaurs”!  the dinosaurs looked so real that i thought they might eat me.  they didn’t.  it was a pretty cool seeing all those big dinosaurs, but sienna i will probably get more out of it in a few years.  mommy thinks that kiara (uncle henry’s dog) must be part dinosaur because she has the same brindle coloring as the stegosaurus that was in the show.

20141228-IMG_5402after the show, we all went out to eat at vung tau.  that’s the place that we seem to always end up at when we go to downtown san jose with matthew.  they have noodles and a parking lot, so you can’t really go wrong there.  and after that, some of us went out to get pearl tea.  (daddy and auntie audrey love their pearl tea.  mommy and uncle alan are more coffee drinkers.)

today, we wanted to go on a super fun trip with mommy and auntie barbara.  we actually planned to do an overnight ski trip to tahoe, but the below-freezing weather forecast killed that idea.  so we thought we’d head east into strawberry and go sledding for the day, but the snowpark’s facebook page reported icy conditions AND sell-out crowds.  apparently, our idea was not an original one.  so instead, we slept in, had a lazy morning, and headed over to rockin’ jump.

20141229-IMG_542220141229-IMG_5421what started out as a lazy day turned into a very active afternoon.  rockin’ jump is SO FUN.  the place was packed, but we avoided being trampled by big kid (and grown up) trampoliners by staying in the toddler area.  auntie barbara taught us how to do toe touches!

we also played basketball (i still can’t dunk, not even with the help of a trampoline) and jumped into the foam pit.  there was also a dodge ball arena and a joust pit. we had no interest in dodge ball, but sienna and i waited in line to joust to our deaths (or until one of us fell off the balance beam into the foam pit). we were turned away because we are too little. 🙁 even still, we all had so much fun that we can’t wait to go back.

winter break is awesome!

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merry christmas to all and to all a good ni–

Posted by kyden on Thursday Dec 25, 2014 Under Uncategorized

CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER

we hosted christmas eve dinner for mommy’s family at our house this year.  (it’s not that daddy’s family wasn’t invited, but grandma really likes to host christmas at her house.) mommy made a ton of food, and our family brought food over also.  unlike thanksgiving we didn’t end up with a whole pie for every person.  darn!

20141224-cinsienna and i had stuffed our faces with crackers and cheese, so we weren’t all that hungry when it was time for dinner.  my favorite dish was the cheese and crackers. sienna’s favorite was the cranberry sauce.  mommy had made it to go with the turkey, but sienna preferred to eat it plain. a LOT of it. after we had eaten enough real food to satisfy our parents, sienna, cousin zoey, and i headed upstairs to make miis for anyone who didn’t already have one.  that’s even more fun than playing actual wii games.

after everyone finished eating, it was time to open presents.  one of the presents i got was a mini air hockey table.  yesss!  auntie jan and uncle harvey (who gave me the gift) helped me set it up in the loft.  we spent the rest of the evening playing air hockey.  auntie jan told mommy that i got mad whenever someone scored a goal on me.  mommy says that i’m a sore loser.  i just call it being competitive.

CHRISTMAS MORNING

20141225-IMG_5379we’ve heard that most kids wake up super early on christmas morning. sienna and i are not most kids. we slept in, had a leisurely brunch, and eventually made our way to the presents under our tree. we have really generous friends and family, and we got a lot of great gifts.  i couldn’t wait to open some of them, especially the board games.  gung-gung and i played connect 4 and scrabble all morning.  scrabble is the best learning game — it’s a fun way to practice spelling and adding (keeping score).

CHRISTMAS DAY DINNER

20141225-IMG_5380after lunch, we headed over to grandma’s house.  the first thing sienna did when we got there was sit down for a pedicure.  sienna had been looking forward to it for months.  since mommy claims not to know how to use nail polish, the only time sienna gets her nails done is when auntie barbara is around.  she loves having her nails done!

we had another yummy christmas dinner with a lot of the same dishes that we had yesterday.  and then after dinner, it was time for the main event.  PRESENTS!

20141225-IMG_5388daddy’s family has always had a problem with buying gifts, as in, they don’t know how to stop.  but this year, they swore that they made an effort to scale it back.  look at this picture.  does that look “scaled back” to you?  the presents don’t even fit under the christmas tree!  because there are so many gifts, opening presents at grandma’s house really is an “event”.  i wonder if the reason why grandma likes to have christmas at her house is because she and grandpa wouldn’t be able to transport all those gifts to our house. 😛

we had a wonderful christmas and had fun spending our family.  and of course, we love all of our presents.  my favorite gifts were the air hockey table and my watch.  i have been wanting both of those things for a long time.  sienna’s favorite gifts were the pretty dresses that she got from auntie barbara.  they are really fancy, and they all fit her perfectly right now.  mommy said that auntie barbara needs to get married next year — FOUR TIMES — so that sienna will have opportunities to wear all of those dresses before she outgrows them!

we are so exhausted because we’ve been staying up way past our bedtime for the past couple of nights.  merry christmas to all and to all a good ni– zzzzz….

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2014 holiday letter

Posted by kyden on Wednesday Dec 24, 2014 Under Uncategorized

mommy wrote our holiday letter this year, but she didn’t have the energy to find cute stationery and print out the letters to send along with our cards.  she didn’t think anyone would miss them.  but guess what.  people did.  some friends and family actually asked about the letter and were disappointed not to receive one this year.  so here it is.

**********

Hi there Friends and Family!

2014 has been another year filled with fun adventures for us.  In addition to our trips to Tahoe and Southern California, we also took our bi-annual family vacation to Hawaii.  This year, we visited Oahu.  We spent a few days eating our way around the island (the kids can’t stop talking about malasadas!), then met up with some friends at Disney’s Aulani resort.  It was UH-MAY-ZING.  Kyden’s favorite parts of the trip were the classroom-style activities at Aunty’s Beach House (the kids’ activity center) and the Menehune Adventure Trail (an iPad-led scavenger hunt through the resort).  Sienna’s most memorable moments were kayaking with Mommy (she actually got to paddle!) and sliding down the water slides over and over and over again.  Christina and Mike were excited to do their first wreck dive, swimming around and through a sunken WWII mine sweeper.  Christina also enjoyed paddle boarding for the first time and was disproportionately happy about Sienna standing up on the board.

20141001-1E7A5423Kyden is 5.  This has been a particularly big year for him because he started Transitional Kindergarten (which actually has been a bigger adjustment for Christina than for him).  He excels in academics, but his favorite subject is Recess.  Kyden’s new “thing” is spelling out entire sentences.  “M-O-M-M-Y   M-A-Y  I   H-A-V-E   S-O-M-E   M-I-L-K   P-L-E-E-S-E”.  No, his spelling is not always perfect. 😛

The kid stays active, too.  This year, he hit the slopes on skis for the first time.  He played in a soccer league, his foray into organized team sports.  And he has also been practicing martial arts and continues to swim year-round.

Kyden is a sports fanatic.  He loves all sports, but especially loves watching football.  He cheers and screams and gets overly emotional over whichever team he has arbitrarily chosen to root for.  Every week, he insists on “helping” Christina and Mike with their fantasy football picks.  Next season, he will definitely be managing his own team.

Kyden is still a great big brother, but within the past year he has begun to treat Sienna as more of a peer than a baby.  Look out, Little Sis!

Something Kyden wants you to know:  Boys can like pink and purple and girls can like boy’s colors, too.  And that is okay.

20140721-1E7A4996Sienna is 3.  She is fearless and tough.  At the Aulani, there is a tube-style water slide that is fast and pitch black.  After realizing how scary it would likely be for a 3 year-old, Mommy tried to stop her from going down.  Too late.  Sienna shot out of the tube and was forced under water.  When she surfaced, she was squealing “I wanna do it again!”

She is enjoying pre-school, especially arts and crafts, probably because of all of the glitter. 🙂  Sienna is still 100% girly girl and loves all things sparkly.  She likes to have her nails painted (thanks to Auntie Barbara) and has repeatedly asked to have her ears pierced.  She also has a “unique” sense of style, accessorizing her outfits with anything from scarves to flower leis to safety goggles.

As sweet and affectionate as Sienna is, she is even more sassy and feisty.  She often tags along with Kyden and his friends, and she can definitely hold her own with the big boys.  She wants to participate in all of her big brother’s activities but is still too young for many of them.  However, she does swim year-round with Kyden and she can’t wait to start practicing martial arts with him.  She enjoys her own activities too, especially dancing hula with a local halau.

Something Sienna wants you to know about her:  She likes princesses and mermaids.

Koda is 6.  He enjoys destroying toys and tennis balls and chasing small things that move (i.e. birds and squirrels).  He still has all of his crazy puppy energy and shows no signs of slowing down.

Christina is still at AT&T, working on TV Everywhere products.  Mike has recently started a new job at StubHub managing a team of front-end developers.  Mike and Christina continued to play volleyball together in the South Bay for most for most of the year, but Mike can no longer make it down there due to his new commute to San Francisco.  The kids’ social calendars, sports activities, and school schedules keep the whole family on the go, and Christina and Mike are doing their best just to keep up. 🙂

We hope that you have a SUPER 2015 and look forward to what the new year will bring!

heartChristina, Mike, Kyden, Sienna, and Koda

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