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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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


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.


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).


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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family fun on the 4th

Posted by kyden on Friday Jul 4, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20140704-IMG_363220140714-IMG_3633last year on july 4th (which i now know is also called independence day) we barbecued at home and kai-kai came over to light sparklers with us.  this year, auntie barbara was in town, so the whole tanaka family came over to our house.

auntie barbara told grandpa to wear red, white, and blue for the occasion.  he wore pink.  hot pink.  that was worse than the independence-ish day cookies that i helped mommy make last night.  they were supposed to be red, white and blue, but they came out looking more like pink, cream, and turquoise.  and that duck face that grandpa is making in the photo?  i don’t even know what to say about that. =P

grandma and grandpa also brought presents for 20140714-IMG_3631sienna’s birthday, so of course, we had fun playing with our — i mean, sienna’s — new toys.  we spent a fun evening hanging out with family and eating a lot of yummy food.  a LOT.  last year, i said that the 4th of july is all about food, friends, fun, and fireworks.  well, we had food and fun, but no friends and no fireworks.  we didn’t even bother lighting the fireworks that we have leftover from last year.  but that’s okay.  at least daddy got an excuse to fire up the grill.  i think that’s all he really cared about.

after i got ready for bed, i looked out my window to see if could see any fireworks (like i did at our old house).  there were none.  but really, the disneyland fireworks show pretty much ruined all fireworks for me anyway.  nothing else will ever be able to compare.

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roaring good time on mother’s day

Posted by kyden on Sunday May 11, 2014 Under Uncategorized

20140511-IMG_310220140511-IMG_3094we wanted to do something a little different to celebrate mother’s day this year.  so instead of our usual brunch, we took mommy and grandma (and the rest of the family) on a train ride!

first, we met grandma, grandpa, and uncle randy for lunch.  we ate at chez sovan, one of the places that mommy misses most about the south bay.  then we all headed down to roaring camp, which is in a little town called felton, near santa cruz.  grandpa said that he had taken the family there when daddy was little, but daddy didn’t remember it.  for mommy, me, and sienna, it was our first time.

20140511-IMG_305920140511-IMG_3099there are a couple of different routes you can take from roaring camp.  there’s a 3 hour beach train to santa cruz, but nobody believed that sienna and i would be able to sit still for that long.  we chose the stream train through the redwood forest.  while we waited for our train, sienna and i entertained ourselves by played in the little “town”.

the train ride was about 90 minutes long (round trip), including a stop at the top of bear mountain.  throughout most of the ride, sienna alternated between providing sound effects and signing “let it go” at the top of her lungs.  luckily, the train was pretty loud, so she didn’t embarrass us too much.

20140511-IMG_3087when we got to the top of the mountain, we went for a short walk. i was so excited because i’ve never actually been in the woods before.

20140511-IMG_3095after the train ride, we got off, and i spotted some big troughs where people were panning for gold.  i wanted to find gold!  so we all gathered around and a man demonstrated for us, proper panning technique.  mommy asked to see a sample of the gold so we would know what we were looking for.  the man showed us a gold flake in a small vial.  i asked in disbelief, “that little dot?!”

we found the first gold flake pretty quickly.  but we couldn’t go home with just one, because sienna and i would surely fight over it.  it took us a long time to find the second one, but we eventually did, and quickly found a few more after that.  we ended up with 6 little dots of gold in total.  maybe 5.  one of them is so small, it’s hard to tell. 😛

20140518-IMG_3150when we got home, sienna and i gave mommy the special cards that we made for her.  daddy helped us trace our hand prints and connect them with a folded strip of paper that says “i love you this much!”  when i was making the card, i told daddy that i love mommy more than that, and i wanted a strip of paper that was much much longer.  he said he didn’t have one.  but that’s okay, i made sure mommy knew.

me: i love you more than the moon.

mommy: i love you more than the moon and all the stars.

me: i love you more than googol.

(i recently learned that googol is the biggest number in the whole world.)

happy mother’s day to mommy and grandma.  we hope you had a roaring good time on your special day!

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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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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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lots to be thankful for

Posted by kyden on Thursday Nov 28, 2013 Under Uncategorized

thanksgiving is a time when we take time out to celebrate all of the things we are thankful for.  earlier in the week, when mommy asked me what i was thankful for, i said “optimus prime!”  but the next day, i made a turkey at school, and on each of its tail feathers, my teacher helped me write the things i was thankful for:  TEACHERS, MOM & DAD, TOYS, HOUSE, FOOD.  mommy was curious if i came up with those things on my own, or if those ideas were influenced by teachers or friends at school.  so at bedtime that night, we had a talk.

mommy and i talked about what it means to appreciate the things we have and not take them for granted.  we have a house and warm clothes.  some kids don’t have those things.  “why don’t they have a house or clothes?”   mommy explained that their mommies and daddies might not have enough money to buy a house or warm clothes, so they have to sleep on the street and wear the same clothes all the time.  “but why don’t they have money?”  mommy explained that they might not be able to find a job like she and daddy have.  and so on.  i had many more questions, but i eventually understood.  i am glad that we have a house and clothes to keep us warm.

we also have a mommy and a daddy.  some kids don’t have that.  “why don’t they have a mommy and a daddy?”  as i thought about that, i got really quiet, and then i began to cry.  instead of answering my question, mommy just held me really tight and told me that she and daddy love me so so so so much.  she never gave me a straight answer, but i let it go.  it was a pretty heavy bedtime conversation, and i was exhausted.

by the way, when sienna’s teacher asked her what she was thankful for, she said “mommy and daddy”.  she was the only one in her class who said that.  (others were thankful for their toys or for ABC’s.)  do 2 year-olds even understand what that means?

20131128-IMG06anyway, thanksgiving dinner was a fun family gathering.  we went to uncle mike’s and auntie zhelia’s house.  it was my first time in their new house, and i really liked it.  they have something called a bay window, but it basically looks like a stage.  check out the show that sienna, cousin zoey, and i put on.  (scroll down to see the video.)  our show is really not all that interesting, but mommy just wanted to document how silly we are when we get together.

20131128-IMG_0230as always, everyone brought so much food for our thanksgiving feast.  my favorite was the berries with whipped lemon marscapone that mommy made.  and sienna… she would have eaten nothing but candied yams and cranberry sauce for dinner if we let her.  we had a nice time seeing all of our family, and i had fun acting crazy with cousin zoey.  check out our family photo.  can you believe that all 21 of us are looking at the camera?  amazing!

we didn’t get to see grandma and grandpa today, but we will go visit them tomorrow.  happy thanksgiving!  gobble gobble.

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playing hooky

Posted by kyden on Tuesday Jul 30, 2013 Under Uncategorized

20130730-IMG_1300auntie barbara came to visit us this morning.  it’s a tuesday.  since she is in town for just a couple of days, mommy let me and sienna play hooky from school so we could hang out with auntie.  and since today is auntie barbara’s birthday, we decided to have an impromptu little party for her.  actually, it was just our excuse to pull out the jumpy house that she gave to sienna for her birthday.

we had such a fun time hanging out with auntie barbara, and we wish she lived closer so we could see her all the time.  happy birthday auntie barbara.  come visit us more often!

so who wants to come play with us in my — i mean, sienna’s — jumpy house?  when you have your very own jumpy house (and slide), it’s always a party. 🙂

p.s.  shhh, don’t tell daddy that we played hooky from school to jump… jump… jump around!

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