September 30, 2008

As if in a sudden, we do not have warm sunshine any more. What a waste, we cannot go out to the backyard to play any more.

With fall, Emma started her string of classes. Ceramics and gymnastics.

Very fun.

We got to squeeze, knead, smoothe hard lumps of clay. The first class was to make a pot. Other parents were helping their kids make really smooth, fancy pots with bird handle, or roses. To me, been there, done that is pretty much the whole purpose. So I let Emma have the full authority and authorship. She made a very raw and rough pot with a lump head meant to be a butterfly handle.

She was very satisfied. So was I.

Gymnastics.

We had been to very sophisticated and orthodox gym classes before. However, this one was so different and so fun and so childishly fun. They roll, jump, run, backwards, forwards ...

We loved it. Emma said: Mommy, I wish you were a kid, so you can be in my class.

Saturday was music day. Sunday was a big shopping day.

Guess what? I picked up my guitar again.

Saturday classes

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As if in a sudden, we do not have warm sunshine any more. What a waste, we cannot go out to the backyard to play any more.

With fall, Emma started her string of classes. Ceramics and gymnastics.

Very fun.

We got to squeeze, knead, smoothe hard lumps of clay. The first class was to make a pot. Other parents were helping their kids make really smooth, fancy pots with bird handle, or roses. To me, been there, done that is pretty much the whole purpose. So I let Emma have the full authority and authorship. She made a very raw and rough pot with a lump head meant to be a butterfly handle.

She was very satisfied. So was I.

Gymnastics.

We had been to very sophisticated and orthodox gym classes before. However, this one was so different and so fun and so childishly fun. They roll, jump, run, backwards, forwards ...

We loved it. Emma said: Mommy, I wish you were a kid, so you can be in my class.

Saturday was music day. Sunday was a big shopping day.

Guess what? I picked up my guitar again.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
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September 22, 2008


ChEESECAKE festival. It sounds sweet and devilish. It is in fact sweet and devilish.

With Emma at the back of my back, I rode about one hour to the festival. I was prepared for that, felt adventurous and heroic.

However, I was not prepared for the boxes of free cheesecakes. Yellow creamy cheesecakes, chocolate fudge cheesecakes, walnut cheesecakes.

There is more. Samples after samples of the most delicious, gourmet dishes by executive chefs. Apple nachos, some kind of pasta, apple pancakes, some kind of pizza with the most tender cheese fillings ...

Within 10 minutes, I was so full yet still yearned for more cakes ...

Super greedy me.

Emma definitely has a different quality. She was almost indifferent, almost oblivious of the world of cakes and food. She frowned when I tried to get yet another piece of cheesecake. But she is a chocolate playful girl. She loved to stick her marshmellow ball into a flowing fountain of the most pure smooth chocolate (see the picture).



She loved to play. Merry-go-round, spinning apple, face painting, tattoos ... While it was free to make yourself fat stuffing cakes, it is hugely expensive playing. (Every kid playing activities cost a ton) :)

Eli's cheesecake festival: yummy and devilish

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ChEESECAKE festival. It sounds sweet and devilish. It is in fact sweet and devilish.

With Emma at the back of my back, I rode about one hour to the festival. I was prepared for that, felt adventurous and heroic.

However, I was not prepared for the boxes of free cheesecakes. Yellow creamy cheesecakes, chocolate fudge cheesecakes, walnut cheesecakes.

There is more. Samples after samples of the most delicious, gourmet dishes by executive chefs. Apple nachos, some kind of pasta, apple pancakes, some kind of pizza with the most tender cheese fillings ...

Within 10 minutes, I was so full yet still yearned for more cakes ...

Super greedy me.

Emma definitely has a different quality. She was almost indifferent, almost oblivious of the world of cakes and food. She frowned when I tried to get yet another piece of cheesecake. But she is a chocolate playful girl. She loved to stick her marshmellow ball into a flowing fountain of the most pure smooth chocolate (see the picture).



She loved to play. Merry-go-round, spinning apple, face painting, tattoos ... While it was free to make yourself fat stuffing cakes, it is hugely expensive playing. (Every kid playing activities cost a ton) :)

Monday, September 22, 2008
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September 12, 2008

The distance between 3238 N. Racine Ave to 17 N. State Street is about 5 miles. Every morning, I brave my way into a blend of cars, swear over that bus swooshing over and cut through my path, calculate the best route factoring in traffic, windingness and air pollution. Generally I make it to work in about 40 minutes, shirt cold with sweat, yet in a totally elated spirit.

After work, I bike back. Everyday. Through crowds and traffic, rain or shine.

...

Emma is completely at ease with St. Luke. So am I. Everyday her teacher Ms. Caunca emails parents with daily updates of what they do, songs, activities, books. Every monday I get a newsletter stuck in a red envelope. Things are organized and smooth.

It cannot be boring at home. Emma talks and sings and demands me to halt all things for her to produce surprises.

She speaks with more certainty and authority.

"Mom, you have to listen to me, then you can learn. OK?"

"Mommy, today we went to church?" (Yeah, St. Luke is a church school, yesterday they had a church service commemorating 9/11)

"Is the church beautiful?"

"Yes, there are many colored-windows. Very BEAUTIFUL".

"Mommy, do you know how to sing the RULES RAP?" She continued. "Like this: The rules, the rules , the rules of the classroom, don't fight, don't fight, or you will get into trouble. " She clapped her hands, swayed her body, voice swayed along.

...

She made up her rap: "the elephant that drink, the elephant with great big trunk ..."

Sound very good to me. Did the teacher teach you this?

"No, no, I made it up. " She rapped on.

...

My bike journey and St. Luke

Posted by Xun  |  2 comments

The distance between 3238 N. Racine Ave to 17 N. State Street is about 5 miles. Every morning, I brave my way into a blend of cars, swear over that bus swooshing over and cut through my path, calculate the best route factoring in traffic, windingness and air pollution. Generally I make it to work in about 40 minutes, shirt cold with sweat, yet in a totally elated spirit.

After work, I bike back. Everyday. Through crowds and traffic, rain or shine.

...

Emma is completely at ease with St. Luke. So am I. Everyday her teacher Ms. Caunca emails parents with daily updates of what they do, songs, activities, books. Every monday I get a newsletter stuck in a red envelope. Things are organized and smooth.

It cannot be boring at home. Emma talks and sings and demands me to halt all things for her to produce surprises.

She speaks with more certainty and authority.

"Mom, you have to listen to me, then you can learn. OK?"

"Mommy, today we went to church?" (Yeah, St. Luke is a church school, yesterday they had a church service commemorating 9/11)

"Is the church beautiful?"

"Yes, there are many colored-windows. Very BEAUTIFUL".

"Mommy, do you know how to sing the RULES RAP?" She continued. "Like this: The rules, the rules , the rules of the classroom, don't fight, don't fight, or you will get into trouble. " She clapped her hands, swayed her body, voice swayed along.

...

She made up her rap: "the elephant that drink, the elephant with great big trunk ..."

Sound very good to me. Did the teacher teach you this?

"No, no, I made it up. " She rapped on.

...

Friday, September 12, 2008
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September 09, 2008

One week after we moved to this sort of upper scale neighborhood, where resturants are plenty, yet grocery stores are scarce, I ran out of gas pulling through my plan of installing new mirrors, cleaning house, etc., etc., so instead, Emma and I watched a couple of movies. She had her Bob the builder, I had a movie called There will be blood. (It has been a long time since I watched a movie just for myself). I also skimmed through a book The Soloist.

It was a fine weekend. Staying in the lawn, reading the books was fine, catching the last few summer days, that was fine. Running upstairs, downstairs, to get the laundry done, little by little, was not so fine. Trying free food at the Whole Foods store and slowly yet loudly (Emma was wearing a squeaking pair of flop flops, every step she took made a funny squeak) made our way back home, was fine.

So that was the weekend. Settling down.

===

September now. The day that Annya's coming back is near? Still two months. Emma and I talked about Annya almost everyday, how we will play with her, how Annya would admire the pictures Emma draws, how she could drink from a sippy cup, how she could say mommy, Emma.

I call home every week. Sometimes Annya is asleep. If she is not, she would talk her talk, with me baring making any sense. She can run downstairs, she has no patience staying home, she sometimes throws tantrum, she talks nonstop, music is her favorite ...

Settling down ...

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One week after we moved to this sort of upper scale neighborhood, where resturants are plenty, yet grocery stores are scarce, I ran out of gas pulling through my plan of installing new mirrors, cleaning house, etc., etc., so instead, Emma and I watched a couple of movies. She had her Bob the builder, I had a movie called There will be blood. (It has been a long time since I watched a movie just for myself). I also skimmed through a book The Soloist.

It was a fine weekend. Staying in the lawn, reading the books was fine, catching the last few summer days, that was fine. Running upstairs, downstairs, to get the laundry done, little by little, was not so fine. Trying free food at the Whole Foods store and slowly yet loudly (Emma was wearing a squeaking pair of flop flops, every step she took made a funny squeak) made our way back home, was fine.

So that was the weekend. Settling down.

===

September now. The day that Annya's coming back is near? Still two months. Emma and I talked about Annya almost everyday, how we will play with her, how Annya would admire the pictures Emma draws, how she could drink from a sippy cup, how she could say mommy, Emma.

I call home every week. Sometimes Annya is asleep. If she is not, she would talk her talk, with me baring making any sense. She can run downstairs, she has no patience staying home, she sometimes throws tantrum, she talks nonstop, music is her favorite ...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008
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September 02, 2008

So we have moved. Everything big and small, heavy or light, junky or not, was crammed into boxes of all shapes and sizes. It took five trips to get everything done. That is how a house grows.

It is still growing. Moving to a new place, there is always something amiss. Nails, mirrors, who knows what.

Moving is not much fun. The first day, I left Emma with a friend, she had fun; the second day, she voltunteer to stay with us (Leo helped), claiming she liked to move things. So we put her in the car with things squeezed in every possible corner. She endured all this without much complaint. She actually helped moving little things, her little toy boxes, backpacks; the third, I unpacked, cleaned, and set things up. Emma was assigned some of the cleaning work, so she watched a few things. She was assigned to put on wall stickers, the kind of work she excels.

So we settled in. Now books on shelves, computer is up, kitchen functions. Yes!

New development:

Now I bike to work, to Emma's school, everywhere.

Today I took Emma to her school. The first day, a bright day. Teachers were out greeting kids, parents smiling taking pictures, students filed in. Emma was so surprised and immediately liked her school. She even got her own big locker.

We have moved

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So we have moved. Everything big and small, heavy or light, junky or not, was crammed into boxes of all shapes and sizes. It took five trips to get everything done. That is how a house grows.

It is still growing. Moving to a new place, there is always something amiss. Nails, mirrors, who knows what.

Moving is not much fun. The first day, I left Emma with a friend, she had fun; the second day, she voltunteer to stay with us (Leo helped), claiming she liked to move things. So we put her in the car with things squeezed in every possible corner. She endured all this without much complaint. She actually helped moving little things, her little toy boxes, backpacks; the third, I unpacked, cleaned, and set things up. Emma was assigned some of the cleaning work, so she watched a few things. She was assigned to put on wall stickers, the kind of work she excels.

So we settled in. Now books on shelves, computer is up, kitchen functions. Yes!

New development:

Now I bike to work, to Emma's school, everywhere.

Today I took Emma to her school. The first day, a bright day. Teachers were out greeting kids, parents smiling taking pictures, students filed in. Emma was so surprised and immediately liked her school. She even got her own big locker.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008
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