December 26, 2011

Last year Emma had her doubts about Santa Claus. She asked Mommy if there was a Santa Claus. Mommy being from China wasn't a very good supporter of the man in the red suite. She believes honesty is the best policy and told Emma the truth. I believe that there is a time and a place when you just have to lie to your kids. Emma being a great reader that she is, stumbled over a book about the man that lives at the North Pole. Deep down in her little heart she would love to believe that there really is a Santa Claus but she is now older and much wiser. Emma is a trooper though, she continues the tradition and tells Annya she better behave or there will be no gifts from Santa.

Annya does believe in Santa Claus but she is a little more realistic. Daddy, where did you get your new jacket? From Santa Claus Annya. So, Santa Claus gave it to your Sister and your Sister gave it to you? Yes Annya. Unfortunately one of Annya's Santa Claus gift was lost in the mail. We then took Annya to the store and had her pick out her own gift. Mommy then tells Annya that this is her Santa Claus gift. Ok Mommy, Santa Claus gave it to the store and then you bought it for me right?

Yung has heard of Santa Claus but doesn't really know what type of gig he performs. He didn't care as long as the gifts kept coming in. Each gift opened his eyes wide and smiled from ear to ear.

Daddy, when is the next Christmas? It is next year Annya. I can't wait Daddy. Me either Annya:)

Santa Returns

Posted by Louis  |  No comments

Last year Emma had her doubts about Santa Claus. She asked Mommy if there was a Santa Claus. Mommy being from China wasn't a very good supporter of the man in the red suite. She believes honesty is the best policy and told Emma the truth. I believe that there is a time and a place when you just have to lie to your kids. Emma being a great reader that she is, stumbled over a book about the man that lives at the North Pole. Deep down in her little heart she would love to believe that there really is a Santa Claus but she is now older and much wiser. Emma is a trooper though, she continues the tradition and tells Annya she better behave or there will be no gifts from Santa.

Annya does believe in Santa Claus but she is a little more realistic. Daddy, where did you get your new jacket? From Santa Claus Annya. So, Santa Claus gave it to your Sister and your Sister gave it to you? Yes Annya. Unfortunately one of Annya's Santa Claus gift was lost in the mail. We then took Annya to the store and had her pick out her own gift. Mommy then tells Annya that this is her Santa Claus gift. Ok Mommy, Santa Claus gave it to the store and then you bought it for me right?

Yung has heard of Santa Claus but doesn't really know what type of gig he performs. He didn't care as long as the gifts kept coming in. Each gift opened his eyes wide and smiled from ear to ear.

Daddy, when is the next Christmas? It is next year Annya. I can't wait Daddy. Me either Annya:)

Monday, December 26, 2011
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December 05, 2011

In late August in China, I felt I definitely lost the invisible battle of my son Yung, 19 months old, vs my sister's son, 25 month old then. 6 months did not seem to be much, but my sister son was one head taller and one hundred times more capable of saying whatever he wants to say. Besides, he was very well adjusted, not a bit whiny, certainly not on his mom's breast. In comparison, all Yung could muster his courage to say is: No. With his pretty face and big eyes, he stared at anyone who tried to talk to him and shot back: No. No. My sister's son was also a bit of a bully, at one time, he kicked Yung, and Yung just cried hopelessly.

Fast forward to NOW, it is different from THEN. Six months actually do make a lot of difference.

Yung can say pretty much anything now. He is still not making much of a sentence yet, but he is a fabulous copy cat and even managed to be poetic occasionally. One day, he looked at moon and said: Hello, Moon; when we walked into a building and moon disappeared from view, he said: Moon gone!

He is a deft user of the word "Share". When he wanted to have something that Annya is having, he says: Annya, Share. After a few times, if he does not get it, he would say angrily and emphatically: Annya, Share! Share!

He starts to tell on his sisters as a means of defense. One day, he said, Annya hurt me.

The silent days of one-directional booking-reading finally became a much more enjoyable experience, because Yung is an active reader now, he has a stack of favorite books with favorite pages, he knows every animal in his animal book, he loves the series of Piggie and Elephant. He also is heavily influenced by his sisters that he would ask for princess books. Duh.

Yung, then and now

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In late August in China, I felt I definitely lost the invisible battle of my son Yung, 19 months old, vs my sister's son, 25 month old then. 6 months did not seem to be much, but my sister son was one head taller and one hundred times more capable of saying whatever he wants to say. Besides, he was very well adjusted, not a bit whiny, certainly not on his mom's breast. In comparison, all Yung could muster his courage to say is: No. With his pretty face and big eyes, he stared at anyone who tried to talk to him and shot back: No. No. My sister's son was also a bit of a bully, at one time, he kicked Yung, and Yung just cried hopelessly.

Fast forward to NOW, it is different from THEN. Six months actually do make a lot of difference.

Yung can say pretty much anything now. He is still not making much of a sentence yet, but he is a fabulous copy cat and even managed to be poetic occasionally. One day, he looked at moon and said: Hello, Moon; when we walked into a building and moon disappeared from view, he said: Moon gone!

He is a deft user of the word "Share". When he wanted to have something that Annya is having, he says: Annya, Share. After a few times, if he does not get it, he would say angrily and emphatically: Annya, Share! Share!

He starts to tell on his sisters as a means of defense. One day, he said, Annya hurt me.

The silent days of one-directional booking-reading finally became a much more enjoyable experience, because Yung is an active reader now, he has a stack of favorite books with favorite pages, he knows every animal in his animal book, he loves the series of Piggie and Elephant. He also is heavily influenced by his sisters that he would ask for princess books. Duh.

Monday, December 05, 2011
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December 04, 2011

Winter is finally here I think. It was a nice 45 degrees so we decided to take the kids to Millennium Park for a little ice skating. Yung's feet were too small. The smallest size they had was a eight but he wears a five. Emma had to wear boy ice skates and Annya wore Emma's old ice skates. I started to have flash backs of China. The skating ring was very crowded. I stayed back with Yung, Mommy took Annya to the ice and Emma held onto the skating ring wall.

It was now my turn to take out Annya, Emma was still holding onto the wall, we started our skate traveling approximately 1 to 2 mph. Annya falls and then cleans off the ice from her pants. She falls again and cleans off the ice on her pants with her hand and then licks the ice off her hand. Annya, I don't think it is a good idea that you lick the ice off your hands. Ok Daddy. After Annya fell around 20 times, she then looks at me like a true woman and says, Daddy you don't know how to skate, you need to get out now. Holding her hand didn't seem to work or help her from falling. So I decided to let her go. She actually did much better on her own. Annya was able to skate the ring falling twice on her own.

It was getting darker and colder. Mommy was ready to go home. So I met Emma holding onto the wall. Emma it is time to go. Why Daddy? I don't want too. It is getting late and cold Emma. Daddy I don't want to go. Ok Emma, let me take onto the skating ring. No Daddy, let me go, I'm ready to go home right now. In fairness to Emma, I don't believe her rented skates were a good fight. Her feet even wobbled on the sidewalk. We will have to buy Emma her own skates and hopefully she will no longer be a wall huger

Skate Night

Posted by Louis  |  2 comments

Winter is finally here I think. It was a nice 45 degrees so we decided to take the kids to Millennium Park for a little ice skating. Yung's feet were too small. The smallest size they had was a eight but he wears a five. Emma had to wear boy ice skates and Annya wore Emma's old ice skates. I started to have flash backs of China. The skating ring was very crowded. I stayed back with Yung, Mommy took Annya to the ice and Emma held onto the skating ring wall.

It was now my turn to take out Annya, Emma was still holding onto the wall, we started our skate traveling approximately 1 to 2 mph. Annya falls and then cleans off the ice from her pants. She falls again and cleans off the ice on her pants with her hand and then licks the ice off her hand. Annya, I don't think it is a good idea that you lick the ice off your hands. Ok Daddy. After Annya fell around 20 times, she then looks at me like a true woman and says, Daddy you don't know how to skate, you need to get out now. Holding her hand didn't seem to work or help her from falling. So I decided to let her go. She actually did much better on her own. Annya was able to skate the ring falling twice on her own.

It was getting darker and colder. Mommy was ready to go home. So I met Emma holding onto the wall. Emma it is time to go. Why Daddy? I don't want too. It is getting late and cold Emma. Daddy I don't want to go. Ok Emma, let me take onto the skating ring. No Daddy, let me go, I'm ready to go home right now. In fairness to Emma, I don't believe her rented skates were a good fight. Her feet even wobbled on the sidewalk. We will have to buy Emma her own skates and hopefully she will no longer be a wall huger

Sunday, December 04, 2011
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November 05, 2011

About two weeks ago we bought two pumpkin baskets for Halloween. A blue one for Yung and a purple one for Annya. At first Emma said that Annya already had a basket and didn't need another one. Daddy then checked the price of the basket. It was $1 per basket. Emma, I think we can splurge on a second basket for Annya.


For two weeks Annya took the basket to preschool and Yung also took his to daycare. It became an extension of their arms. Even bath time couldn't separate them from the baskets. The baskets became buckets of water to play with in the tub. I will try to attach a video of Yung singing to a Chinese song and dancing with his pumpkin basket at a later time.

Halloween night finally came. Emma was a Chinese Princess, Annya was Snow White and Yung was a second head attached to me, Mr. Potato, I carried him during our search for treats and he carried the goodies home in his blue pumpkin basket. Yung is too small to be scared by the ghosts and witches creeping around but he wasn't too small to say trick or treat. One thank you wasn't enough. He was so excited receiving treats that he would say thank you several times when his basket received something sweet to eat. Annya kept on asking each time we left a house giving treats, Daddy are we going to one more house? Emma was just concerned about the quality of candy she was receiving. She eyeballed every single candy dropped into her basket.

One advantage to having three kids is three baskets of candy. Unfortunately the first night Yung was moving about 100 mph after eating more of his share of candy and couldn't sleep. We still have left over candy and the kids aren't shy to ask for some to eat. Today was a nice sunny day, Emma had art class so we decided to take Yung, Annya to the park along with of course their blue and purple Halloween baskets.

Yung's First Halloween

Posted by Louis  |  No comments

About two weeks ago we bought two pumpkin baskets for Halloween. A blue one for Yung and a purple one for Annya. At first Emma said that Annya already had a basket and didn't need another one. Daddy then checked the price of the basket. It was $1 per basket. Emma, I think we can splurge on a second basket for Annya.


For two weeks Annya took the basket to preschool and Yung also took his to daycare. It became an extension of their arms. Even bath time couldn't separate them from the baskets. The baskets became buckets of water to play with in the tub. I will try to attach a video of Yung singing to a Chinese song and dancing with his pumpkin basket at a later time.

Halloween night finally came. Emma was a Chinese Princess, Annya was Snow White and Yung was a second head attached to me, Mr. Potato, I carried him during our search for treats and he carried the goodies home in his blue pumpkin basket. Yung is too small to be scared by the ghosts and witches creeping around but he wasn't too small to say trick or treat. One thank you wasn't enough. He was so excited receiving treats that he would say thank you several times when his basket received something sweet to eat. Annya kept on asking each time we left a house giving treats, Daddy are we going to one more house? Emma was just concerned about the quality of candy she was receiving. She eyeballed every single candy dropped into her basket.

One advantage to having three kids is three baskets of candy. Unfortunately the first night Yung was moving about 100 mph after eating more of his share of candy and couldn't sleep. We still have left over candy and the kids aren't shy to ask for some to eat. Today was a nice sunny day, Emma had art class so we decided to take Yung, Annya to the park along with of course their blue and purple Halloween baskets.

Saturday, November 05, 2011
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November 02, 2011


We adults may be obsessed with celebrities, for little girls, it is princesses in castles. The glitter, glamour, the dress, the romance. Now with Halloween, they have the most legit reason to be a princess in public. So for this Halloween, Annya dressed as a snow-white, Emma as Arial during the day, a Chinese Ge-Ge (Princess) in the evening. Louis did not care, so we made a Mr. Potato out of one of his baggy TShirt. Yung did not care either, so he was just himself.

Snow-white and Arial costumes were bought at Walmart for cheap.

We adults may also have many other vices, drinks, fatty foods, for little kids, the one irresistible thing are candies. Halloween also offer them a free dive in sweets. So on the Halloween Evening, Louis took the kids out, braved the spooky houses, walked among witches, vampires, more sweet looking princesses, they harvested baskets of Candies.

Well, let it be. Let the teeth be rotten.

I, in the mean time, discovered the possible thrill of creating costumes. It is of course cost effective! I decided to make costumes myself next year.

The Flavor of Halloween

Posted by Xun  |  1 comment


We adults may be obsessed with celebrities, for little girls, it is princesses in castles. The glitter, glamour, the dress, the romance. Now with Halloween, they have the most legit reason to be a princess in public. So for this Halloween, Annya dressed as a snow-white, Emma as Arial during the day, a Chinese Ge-Ge (Princess) in the evening. Louis did not care, so we made a Mr. Potato out of one of his baggy TShirt. Yung did not care either, so he was just himself.

Snow-white and Arial costumes were bought at Walmart for cheap.

We adults may also have many other vices, drinks, fatty foods, for little kids, the one irresistible thing are candies. Halloween also offer them a free dive in sweets. So on the Halloween Evening, Louis took the kids out, braved the spooky houses, walked among witches, vampires, more sweet looking princesses, they harvested baskets of Candies.

Well, let it be. Let the teeth be rotten.

I, in the mean time, discovered the possible thrill of creating costumes. It is of course cost effective! I decided to make costumes myself next year.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011
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October 31, 2011


















Building a Sky Scraper

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Monday, October 31, 2011
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October 15, 2011



My magic wand is my photoshop, with which I sure can transform Emma and Annya into disney land, fairy land.

Princesses

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My magic wand is my photoshop, with which I sure can transform Emma and Annya into disney land, fairy land.

Saturday, October 15, 2011
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October 13, 2011

Emma's Birthday Play-Date

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Thursday, October 13, 2011
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October 02, 2011

Emma's art gets better and Mommies expectations get higher. Mommy tells Emma that if she really wants to become an artist she needs to try harder. I thought the picture was pretty good and had doubts that Emma even drew this beautiful picture. I think it is too early to worry about her art skills. If she was nine then I would be concerned about her potential.

Annya continues to believe that being whiny is the way to get attention and something that she really wants. Mommy has tried over and over again talking with Annya; Annya please don't whine, nobody likes a whiner. Ok Mommy, I promise I won't whine anymore. 15 minutes later Annya has found another reason to whine. Sometimes she whines so much that she starts to laugh thinking that this was a silly reason to be whinny about. Hopefully she will grow out of it soon.

Yung's knowledge and vocabulary continues to grow. During the morning drive to school I have to acknowledge every school bus, tree, truck etc. Daddy bus, Daddy tree, Daddy truck etc. His favorite word is no. I have never heard him say yes. Either his answer is no or a silence with a smile means yes. Hopefully he will become just a little like Emma and Annya. One who doesn't talk too much like Emma and one who doesn't whine as much as Annya.

Emma's Art

Posted by Louis  |  No comments

Emma's art gets better and Mommies expectations get higher. Mommy tells Emma that if she really wants to become an artist she needs to try harder. I thought the picture was pretty good and had doubts that Emma even drew this beautiful picture. I think it is too early to worry about her art skills. If she was nine then I would be concerned about her potential.

Annya continues to believe that being whiny is the way to get attention and something that she really wants. Mommy has tried over and over again talking with Annya; Annya please don't whine, nobody likes a whiner. Ok Mommy, I promise I won't whine anymore. 15 minutes later Annya has found another reason to whine. Sometimes she whines so much that she starts to laugh thinking that this was a silly reason to be whinny about. Hopefully she will grow out of it soon.

Yung's knowledge and vocabulary continues to grow. During the morning drive to school I have to acknowledge every school bus, tree, truck etc. Daddy bus, Daddy tree, Daddy truck etc. His favorite word is no. I have never heard him say yes. Either his answer is no or a silence with a smile means yes. Hopefully he will become just a little like Emma and Annya. One who doesn't talk too much like Emma and one who doesn't whine as much as Annya.

Sunday, October 02, 2011
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September 27, 2011

When Apple's Big I-s are all over in everyone's pockets, hands and heads, iPhone, iPod, iTouch, i-Whatever, I never felt like being part of it. However, before I went to China, the need for a light-weight computer made me check out mobile tablets at BestBuy.

I decided on an IPad and was sold on the first day. Because I, as many of parents before me, found out that iPad can be a pretty good baby-sitter. I got all sorts of apps for the kids. For Yung, Fish HD, Counting Bears, A-B-C, Matching games, books like Present for Milo: A Touch-and-Surprise Storybook; For Annya, one after another read-to-me books, I-can-read-books, animated books; For Emma, Math-bingo, Second-grade math. For all of them, drawing apps, piano apps, singing fingers, singing monsters. I also bought a one-year subscription of "A story before bed", where we read and record books ourselves.

It is a smash! It is a smash-proof too! Being super light-weighted and small means Yung can carry it around like anyone else, and when he drops it, it lands with a thud, yet safe and sound; it is so easy to use, Yung learn to use it before he learns how to eat with a spoon. It is probably anti-stabbing too, it survives the stabbing of pencils, forks and pens (the warranty we bought does allow us a bit of freedom and peace of mind too). The only drawback is that it is too sensitive to the touch. Too often we had open and re-open a book in the middle of reading because Yung's has accidentally or deliberately touched the home button. Touching-buttons is fun and makes you feel powerful, that is probably why Yung touches all of the buttons nonstop.

The kids have a lot of fun. And a lot of pain. Isn't true that for kids, any source of fun can easily be a pain of butt? And for three kids? Certainly. Who gets to play the iPad? Who gets to play what on the iPad? Mine, mine, mine ..., Yung would scream; No counting bears, I want a princess song, Annya gets whinny easily; No do not play with my 2-grade math, Emma would demand. And I would constantly police, Share, please, Annya. If you guys do not play together, no iPad.

In the end though, at the end of the day, the kids still want to a book that is not iPad-read.

Mommy, can you read me one more book?
Yes, Annya.
Night-night.
Yung would say and turn off the night.

The following is the book link that Emma reads Cinderella.

Cinderella (Read By Emma)



Our recordings on http://www.astorybeforebed.com

iPad and the kids

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

When Apple's Big I-s are all over in everyone's pockets, hands and heads, iPhone, iPod, iTouch, i-Whatever, I never felt like being part of it. However, before I went to China, the need for a light-weight computer made me check out mobile tablets at BestBuy.

I decided on an IPad and was sold on the first day. Because I, as many of parents before me, found out that iPad can be a pretty good baby-sitter. I got all sorts of apps for the kids. For Yung, Fish HD, Counting Bears, A-B-C, Matching games, books like Present for Milo: A Touch-and-Surprise Storybook; For Annya, one after another read-to-me books, I-can-read-books, animated books; For Emma, Math-bingo, Second-grade math. For all of them, drawing apps, piano apps, singing fingers, singing monsters. I also bought a one-year subscription of "A story before bed", where we read and record books ourselves.

It is a smash! It is a smash-proof too! Being super light-weighted and small means Yung can carry it around like anyone else, and when he drops it, it lands with a thud, yet safe and sound; it is so easy to use, Yung learn to use it before he learns how to eat with a spoon. It is probably anti-stabbing too, it survives the stabbing of pencils, forks and pens (the warranty we bought does allow us a bit of freedom and peace of mind too). The only drawback is that it is too sensitive to the touch. Too often we had open and re-open a book in the middle of reading because Yung's has accidentally or deliberately touched the home button. Touching-buttons is fun and makes you feel powerful, that is probably why Yung touches all of the buttons nonstop.

The kids have a lot of fun. And a lot of pain. Isn't true that for kids, any source of fun can easily be a pain of butt? And for three kids? Certainly. Who gets to play the iPad? Who gets to play what on the iPad? Mine, mine, mine ..., Yung would scream; No counting bears, I want a princess song, Annya gets whinny easily; No do not play with my 2-grade math, Emma would demand. And I would constantly police, Share, please, Annya. If you guys do not play together, no iPad.

In the end though, at the end of the day, the kids still want to a book that is not iPad-read.

Mommy, can you read me one more book?
Yes, Annya.
Night-night.
Yung would say and turn off the night.

The following is the book link that Emma reads Cinderella.

Cinderella (Read By Emma)



Our recordings on http://www.astorybeforebed.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
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September 12, 2011

In Beijing, on a little street, we met this guy who was selling animal figures made out of some thing like syrup. At our request, he made a sheep standing on a Calabash Gourd (葫芦) within one minute. We took the little sweet sheep all the way back to our hotel, eventually my son could help but eat it piece by piece.


We all had a good time in chengdu, the toy kingdom.


The kids were playing bubbles at Beijing TaoRanTing (陶然亭公园) park.

Videos from Beijing and Chengdu

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

In Beijing, on a little street, we met this guy who was selling animal figures made out of some thing like syrup. At our request, he made a sheep standing on a Calabash Gourd (葫芦) within one minute. We took the little sweet sheep all the way back to our hotel, eventually my son could help but eat it piece by piece.


We all had a good time in chengdu, the toy kingdom.


The kids were playing bubbles at Beijing TaoRanTing (陶然亭公园) park.

Monday, September 12, 2011
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September 11, 2011




Flying to China is no joke. Thirteen hours anywhere is a long time; thirteen hours on a plane is brutal. The kids were able to make beds on the plane and pretty much slept through most of the flight. The IPAD kept them entertained the rest of the way. Mommy and Daddy were too big to get comfortable and stretched out. The only things we could do was try to upload a movie that wouldn't work, eat and use the bathroom.

Eventually we made it to Beijing! The airport was modern and beautiful. Everyone on the plane beat us to the immigration check point since we have three kids and had to make a restroom stop. As we waited in the back of the line; we were then treated like Diplomats and told to enter the VIP line which only had 4 people waiting at the check point. We were then told since we have kids that we wouldn't have to wait in line with the others. So, if you ever plan to visit China make sure you rent a kid. They do come with some perks.

We then cleared immigration. It was time to get our luggage and find a taxi. There was another long line for a taxi. We then pulled out the kid card. It worked again, they took us to the front of the line for the next taxi. Our great experience in China then suddenly came to an end. The taxi driver said that our luggage was too big and refused to take us. They then escorted us to a bigger car and called it VIP Services. He then shows me a card where the rate to downtown Beijing is 480 yaun. This being my first trip to China and Mommy being away for at least 10 years, how would we know the going rate for a taxi to Beijing?

So we get in the car and think we are on our way to Bejing. The problem is that the driver doesn't really know where our hotel is. It is around 12:30 am and we told the driver that our next flight is at 8:00 am. He then said that traffic is terrible in the morning and strongly suggested that we stay at a hotel near the airport. He recommended a 4 star hotel for 480 yaun near the airport. So we took his advice and he took our money. Didn't even give us a discount. He then drives us to the Hotel. The lobby appeared to be clean and nice. I was curious to see our 4 star hotel. I was very disappointed. The carpet was filthy. The only thing clean was the sheets and bathroom. We were only going to be there for 4 hours so we just made the best of it.

We are now on the plane waiting to take off for Chengdu. The pilot said that there will be a delay due to the aircraft traffic. This will be an omen of all the people that we will see in China. We arrive in Chengdu and find another very nice airport and meet my brother and sister in law for the first time. We then load our bags in the car and taken to a private room in a nice restaurant. Grandpa, Grandma and two nephews also show up. The kids are happy to see their grandparents again.

It was nice having real Chinese food. No egg rolls here or the entire trip. Just good spicy Chinese food. My Sister In Law Yan asked if I would like some strong Chinese white wine? Sure, why not, we are on vacation. She wasn't kidding, it was very strong. After a few sips, it became tolerable and tasty. A few days later my Sister In Law tells me we have been drinking vodka instead of white wine. This now justifies the burning sensation in my throat and chest.

After a couple days in Chengdu, my other Sister in law Hong invites us to her home. This was supposed to be a one day trip including a visit to the zoo to see the pandas. So we pack for the one day trip. Big mistake. The one day trip turns into a 3 day sight seeing trip in three different cities. Even though I was forced to wash my cloths by hand to make up for the lack of luggage; we had a great time.

The first day we visited the pandas, white tigers, bears, camels, deer and all sort of critters. The second day we went to one of the highest and holiest mountains in China and visited a Buddha. The third day we visited 100 foot Buddha created one thousand years ago. He was still there watching the same river for so many years. Our one day trip that took 3 days was over. It was time to head back to Chengdu to another restaurant and meet another cousin.

Our trip to Chengdu was now over and we had to say good bye to Chengdu and family. Chinese people aren't accustomed to have much physical contact. Mama Ding is a little more Americanized and came over a gave me a hug goodbye. I basically had to force my Sister in laws to give me a hug goodbye.

We are now headed back to Beijing. The city where the taxi driver robbed us. We are no longer green and have become seasoned tourist. We wont take a taxi without a meter. It was time to flash the kids again. Once again we were escorted to the front of the lines. This time the taxi driver took us and our luggage to Beijing. It was only 92 yaun. Not the 480 yaun that was charged on the first night.

The first day we went to the Forbidden City which is no longer forbidden. This city was built about 600 years ago and had around 9 thousand people living there. It was nice seeing the great halls and gardens. I wanted to see the actual housing area of the city. Unfortunately people still live in the housing area making it forbidden for us.

We also visited Ti'an men square and the Olympic park. At night we would have dinner with some of Mommies old friends. Local shopping was also fun. We also enjoyed a local bike ride tour of old Beijing. Everyone laughed at us and the bike rider. The bike rider toured the 5 of us in his bike and cart. At the end we gave our bike tour guide a nice little tip. He was now the one laughing at the other bike riders. Three days in Beijing wasn't enough to enjoy the city. It also wasn't the same without family.

We are now home again. The girls are still too young to realize where we went. Their lasting memory of China is the restrooms. Yung wont remember anything from China. Some day soon we will return and find a bigger and better China.






CHINA

Posted by Louis  |  No comments




Flying to China is no joke. Thirteen hours anywhere is a long time; thirteen hours on a plane is brutal. The kids were able to make beds on the plane and pretty much slept through most of the flight. The IPAD kept them entertained the rest of the way. Mommy and Daddy were too big to get comfortable and stretched out. The only things we could do was try to upload a movie that wouldn't work, eat and use the bathroom.

Eventually we made it to Beijing! The airport was modern and beautiful. Everyone on the plane beat us to the immigration check point since we have three kids and had to make a restroom stop. As we waited in the back of the line; we were then treated like Diplomats and told to enter the VIP line which only had 4 people waiting at the check point. We were then told since we have kids that we wouldn't have to wait in line with the others. So, if you ever plan to visit China make sure you rent a kid. They do come with some perks.

We then cleared immigration. It was time to get our luggage and find a taxi. There was another long line for a taxi. We then pulled out the kid card. It worked again, they took us to the front of the line for the next taxi. Our great experience in China then suddenly came to an end. The taxi driver said that our luggage was too big and refused to take us. They then escorted us to a bigger car and called it VIP Services. He then shows me a card where the rate to downtown Beijing is 480 yaun. This being my first trip to China and Mommy being away for at least 10 years, how would we know the going rate for a taxi to Beijing?

So we get in the car and think we are on our way to Bejing. The problem is that the driver doesn't really know where our hotel is. It is around 12:30 am and we told the driver that our next flight is at 8:00 am. He then said that traffic is terrible in the morning and strongly suggested that we stay at a hotel near the airport. He recommended a 4 star hotel for 480 yaun near the airport. So we took his advice and he took our money. Didn't even give us a discount. He then drives us to the Hotel. The lobby appeared to be clean and nice. I was curious to see our 4 star hotel. I was very disappointed. The carpet was filthy. The only thing clean was the sheets and bathroom. We were only going to be there for 4 hours so we just made the best of it.

We are now on the plane waiting to take off for Chengdu. The pilot said that there will be a delay due to the aircraft traffic. This will be an omen of all the people that we will see in China. We arrive in Chengdu and find another very nice airport and meet my brother and sister in law for the first time. We then load our bags in the car and taken to a private room in a nice restaurant. Grandpa, Grandma and two nephews also show up. The kids are happy to see their grandparents again.

It was nice having real Chinese food. No egg rolls here or the entire trip. Just good spicy Chinese food. My Sister In Law Yan asked if I would like some strong Chinese white wine? Sure, why not, we are on vacation. She wasn't kidding, it was very strong. After a few sips, it became tolerable and tasty. A few days later my Sister In Law tells me we have been drinking vodka instead of white wine. This now justifies the burning sensation in my throat and chest.

After a couple days in Chengdu, my other Sister in law Hong invites us to her home. This was supposed to be a one day trip including a visit to the zoo to see the pandas. So we pack for the one day trip. Big mistake. The one day trip turns into a 3 day sight seeing trip in three different cities. Even though I was forced to wash my cloths by hand to make up for the lack of luggage; we had a great time.

The first day we visited the pandas, white tigers, bears, camels, deer and all sort of critters. The second day we went to one of the highest and holiest mountains in China and visited a Buddha. The third day we visited 100 foot Buddha created one thousand years ago. He was still there watching the same river for so many years. Our one day trip that took 3 days was over. It was time to head back to Chengdu to another restaurant and meet another cousin.

Our trip to Chengdu was now over and we had to say good bye to Chengdu and family. Chinese people aren't accustomed to have much physical contact. Mama Ding is a little more Americanized and came over a gave me a hug goodbye. I basically had to force my Sister in laws to give me a hug goodbye.

We are now headed back to Beijing. The city where the taxi driver robbed us. We are no longer green and have become seasoned tourist. We wont take a taxi without a meter. It was time to flash the kids again. Once again we were escorted to the front of the lines. This time the taxi driver took us and our luggage to Beijing. It was only 92 yaun. Not the 480 yaun that was charged on the first night.

The first day we went to the Forbidden City which is no longer forbidden. This city was built about 600 years ago and had around 9 thousand people living there. It was nice seeing the great halls and gardens. I wanted to see the actual housing area of the city. Unfortunately people still live in the housing area making it forbidden for us.

We also visited Ti'an men square and the Olympic park. At night we would have dinner with some of Mommies old friends. Local shopping was also fun. We also enjoyed a local bike ride tour of old Beijing. Everyone laughed at us and the bike rider. The bike rider toured the 5 of us in his bike and cart. At the end we gave our bike tour guide a nice little tip. He was now the one laughing at the other bike riders. Three days in Beijing wasn't enough to enjoy the city. It also wasn't the same without family.

We are now home again. The girls are still too young to realize where we went. Their lasting memory of China is the restrooms. Yung wont remember anything from China. Some day soon we will return and find a bigger and better China.






Sunday, September 11, 2011
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September 09, 2011

On Aug. 22, with much trepidation and excitement, we flew to China. We made it! We made little beds out of a row of 5 tiny seats, Yung managed to sleep through; Emma and Annya managed to nap on top of each other or on us; while we, being great parents, sat mostly through the 13-hour flight.

We arrived at Beijing around 12:30. The Beijing swindlers managed to cheat us 1000 RMB in the first half night we spent in Beijing. We still felt great and flew to Chengdu, my hometown, the next morning. My sister and brother in law picked us up. They have their own car, however, also borrowed another car from my nephew to accommodate our big family of 5. We were greeted and fed by my family in a private room in a fairly expensive restaurant. I found out that this was only the beginning of a quite cushioned two weeks that we were treated as VIPs and we had to fight to contribute a little to the expenses.

Anyway.

The first two days


My family drove us around for a taste of the city of Chengdu. Chengdu indeed has changed beyond my recognition. Three times bigger, newly-built 4 lane highways, skyscrapers with giant advertisement TV screens everywhere. Constructions are everywhere. Big brands, high and low-brow, from all over the world try to insert themselves in Chengdu. We saw StarBucks, walmart, Nike, Apple, Olay, pizzahut, etc. Sculptures,modern and ancient, water fountains in all flavors are views in themselves. To me, Chengdu is like 50 magnificent miles in Chicago putt together, only with 500 times big of a crowd and crazy scary traffic.

BiFengXia. Pandas and the wild animals

We spent the next two days in Ya'an, where my elder sister lives now and where we grew up. The city now has been converted into a city of tourism, where it has breath-taking mountains and cradles for hundreds of Panda bears and a zoo where wild animals roaming around.

We loved everything about it. We loved the green mountains high into the air and surround us where we went, the creeks like white ribbons falling down. We all screamed in delight when we spotted camels and deers when our car drove on the narrow mountain road. From there we never stopped screaming. We saw pandas, a lot of them. Big, cuddly panda, lying on their backs eating bamboos, or standing reaching for little orange cake that people fed them. We went panda kindergarten, saw pandas clumsily tried to climb into a swing made from a tire





Later we took a bus to tour the wild animal zoo. It was a truly a sight to see lions saunter across the street while everyone in the bus went crazy; then there were black bears standing on the "sidewalk", staring at the bus trying to figure what could his dinner; and majestic white tigers and beautiful red-sandy-stone caves, and wolves. I doubt we were ever able to have such an experience in America. We also got to see feed beautiful deers, they were like goats and sheep in a petting zoo here. Also gorrila who is completely fed up with our peanuts. After that, we went to a bird world that is billed as Asian's biggest bird world. True or not, we walked side by side with peacocks, were with reach of glamorous black swans, scary pecans, and a lot of more that I was too overwhelmed and tired to even try to learn their names.



What was more? Circus where monkeys walked on tight ropes, elephants played soccer.

EMei Mount and LeShan Grand Budda

Sensed our interests in natural views and China's rich history, my second sister and brother-in-law pitched in. After our trip to Ya'an, they directly took us the great of greatest mountains, the holy of holy places that was Er Mei mountain.

We had another eye-opening experience. Again, we loved the steep and giant and forever green mountains, the sweet and fresh mountain air. We rode the cable car to the top of the mountain called "The golden Summit", where there sits a beautiful and magnificent budda with 4 faces all gilded in gold, stone statue of elephants circles around the budda. We also visited the three temples (gold, silver and bronze) for the budda.








The next visit was the grand budda in LeShan. The budda is carved out of a cliff in the Dang dynasty (618–907AD). It lies at the confluence three rivers. By then, we were deadly tired, did not enjoy as much the worn-out yet very impressive budda.



Food

What do family and friends do when they get together after a long time? They eat. We eat! My family took us to eat, the very famous hot pot, the one and only Ya'an fish (the fishbone in the forehead shapes like a sword and can eliminate evil spirit), the various kinds of mushrooms that are freshly picked from mountains, the spicy chicken. We ate! Restaurants everywhere. All the very best.

The kids

Weren't we pampered? My sisters pretty much carried Annya wherever we went and bought them clothes, toys.

In a "foreign" culture, Yung seemed to be the least adjusted. He cried a lot and clung to me almost everywhere. Now I got a bad reputation for spoiling the little one. Emma and Annya were appalled by the squat toilets, they simply did not know how to pee or pooh squatting. Language-wise, they have picked up quite some Chinese; Emma had made friends with my nephew.

Beijing

Without my family around, Louis and I decided to take it easy during our three days in Beijing. Still, we managed to visited Ti'an Men square, the forbidden city, the Olympic park. Quite tired now, will write about them in the next post.

We were in China!

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On Aug. 22, with much trepidation and excitement, we flew to China. We made it! We made little beds out of a row of 5 tiny seats, Yung managed to sleep through; Emma and Annya managed to nap on top of each other or on us; while we, being great parents, sat mostly through the 13-hour flight.

We arrived at Beijing around 12:30. The Beijing swindlers managed to cheat us 1000 RMB in the first half night we spent in Beijing. We still felt great and flew to Chengdu, my hometown, the next morning. My sister and brother in law picked us up. They have their own car, however, also borrowed another car from my nephew to accommodate our big family of 5. We were greeted and fed by my family in a private room in a fairly expensive restaurant. I found out that this was only the beginning of a quite cushioned two weeks that we were treated as VIPs and we had to fight to contribute a little to the expenses.

Anyway.

The first two days


My family drove us around for a taste of the city of Chengdu. Chengdu indeed has changed beyond my recognition. Three times bigger, newly-built 4 lane highways, skyscrapers with giant advertisement TV screens everywhere. Constructions are everywhere. Big brands, high and low-brow, from all over the world try to insert themselves in Chengdu. We saw StarBucks, walmart, Nike, Apple, Olay, pizzahut, etc. Sculptures,modern and ancient, water fountains in all flavors are views in themselves. To me, Chengdu is like 50 magnificent miles in Chicago putt together, only with 500 times big of a crowd and crazy scary traffic.

BiFengXia. Pandas and the wild animals

We spent the next two days in Ya'an, where my elder sister lives now and where we grew up. The city now has been converted into a city of tourism, where it has breath-taking mountains and cradles for hundreds of Panda bears and a zoo where wild animals roaming around.

We loved everything about it. We loved the green mountains high into the air and surround us where we went, the creeks like white ribbons falling down. We all screamed in delight when we spotted camels and deers when our car drove on the narrow mountain road. From there we never stopped screaming. We saw pandas, a lot of them. Big, cuddly panda, lying on their backs eating bamboos, or standing reaching for little orange cake that people fed them. We went panda kindergarten, saw pandas clumsily tried to climb into a swing made from a tire





Later we took a bus to tour the wild animal zoo. It was a truly a sight to see lions saunter across the street while everyone in the bus went crazy; then there were black bears standing on the "sidewalk", staring at the bus trying to figure what could his dinner; and majestic white tigers and beautiful red-sandy-stone caves, and wolves. I doubt we were ever able to have such an experience in America. We also got to see feed beautiful deers, they were like goats and sheep in a petting zoo here. Also gorrila who is completely fed up with our peanuts. After that, we went to a bird world that is billed as Asian's biggest bird world. True or not, we walked side by side with peacocks, were with reach of glamorous black swans, scary pecans, and a lot of more that I was too overwhelmed and tired to even try to learn their names.



What was more? Circus where monkeys walked on tight ropes, elephants played soccer.

EMei Mount and LeShan Grand Budda

Sensed our interests in natural views and China's rich history, my second sister and brother-in-law pitched in. After our trip to Ya'an, they directly took us the great of greatest mountains, the holy of holy places that was Er Mei mountain.

We had another eye-opening experience. Again, we loved the steep and giant and forever green mountains, the sweet and fresh mountain air. We rode the cable car to the top of the mountain called "The golden Summit", where there sits a beautiful and magnificent budda with 4 faces all gilded in gold, stone statue of elephants circles around the budda. We also visited the three temples (gold, silver and bronze) for the budda.








The next visit was the grand budda in LeShan. The budda is carved out of a cliff in the Dang dynasty (618–907AD). It lies at the confluence three rivers. By then, we were deadly tired, did not enjoy as much the worn-out yet very impressive budda.



Food

What do family and friends do when they get together after a long time? They eat. We eat! My family took us to eat, the very famous hot pot, the one and only Ya'an fish (the fishbone in the forehead shapes like a sword and can eliminate evil spirit), the various kinds of mushrooms that are freshly picked from mountains, the spicy chicken. We ate! Restaurants everywhere. All the very best.

The kids

Weren't we pampered? My sisters pretty much carried Annya wherever we went and bought them clothes, toys.

In a "foreign" culture, Yung seemed to be the least adjusted. He cried a lot and clung to me almost everywhere. Now I got a bad reputation for spoiling the little one. Emma and Annya were appalled by the squat toilets, they simply did not know how to pee or pooh squatting. Language-wise, they have picked up quite some Chinese; Emma had made friends with my nephew.

Beijing

Without my family around, Louis and I decided to take it easy during our three days in Beijing. Still, we managed to visited Ti'an Men square, the forbidden city, the Olympic park. Quite tired now, will write about them in the next post.

Friday, September 09, 2011
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August 13, 2011

Daddy, I'm really excited about going to China. I'm going to get on the internet and learn about China's Great Wall. That's a good idea Emma. Daddy did you know that some Chinese people believe in good and bad spirits? Really Emma. Yes Daddy, do you believe in bad spirits? No Emma, I don't believe in bad spirits. Some Chinese people due believe in bad spirits Daddy. Emma, those people are not very smart. Daddy, don't let Mommy hear you, so will be really mad at you!

Daddy, you are a very good cleaner. Can I help you mop the floor? Annya, you are still a little too small to mop the floor. Ok Daddy, but when I'm big and become a Dad, I'm going to be a good cleaner just like you! Emma then tells Annya that she will never be a Dad. Annya then says ok, when I'm a Mom I will be a good cleaner.

Yung's vocabulary continues to grow. His favorite words right now are look, hurt and rice. It is going to be nice to see him talking to his Chinese cousins soon. Ready or not, we are on the way to China.

Emma Searches China

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Daddy, I'm really excited about going to China. I'm going to get on the internet and learn about China's Great Wall. That's a good idea Emma. Daddy did you know that some Chinese people believe in good and bad spirits? Really Emma. Yes Daddy, do you believe in bad spirits? No Emma, I don't believe in bad spirits. Some Chinese people due believe in bad spirits Daddy. Emma, those people are not very smart. Daddy, don't let Mommy hear you, so will be really mad at you!

Daddy, you are a very good cleaner. Can I help you mop the floor? Annya, you are still a little too small to mop the floor. Ok Daddy, but when I'm big and become a Dad, I'm going to be a good cleaner just like you! Emma then tells Annya that she will never be a Dad. Annya then says ok, when I'm a Mom I will be a good cleaner.

Yung's vocabulary continues to grow. His favorite words right now are look, hurt and rice. It is going to be nice to see him talking to his Chinese cousins soon. Ready or not, we are on the way to China.

Saturday, August 13, 2011
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July 25, 2011

Daddy, do you believe in God? Yes, Emma. Then why doesn't Mommy? You and I have been taught to believe in God from the start of school. Mommy went to school in China. In China they don't teach the children to believe in God. Many Chinese people don't believe in God. Just because Mommy doesn't believe in God doesn't make it wrong or bad.

Daddy, I kicked Emma and she kicked me back. Is that fair Annya? Yes, Daddy that is fair. If you kick somebody 5 times, then that is not fair Daddy. If you kick Emma 4 times is that fair? No Daddy, that's too much. It has to be one, two or three times. So if you kick Emma 3 times it is ok? That is still too much; if I kick her one or two times it is fair. But Daddy you can't kick hard. If you kick hard one time, then it isn't fair. If you kick softly then you can kick a lot of times.

Do you believe?

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Daddy, do you believe in God? Yes, Emma. Then why doesn't Mommy? You and I have been taught to believe in God from the start of school. Mommy went to school in China. In China they don't teach the children to believe in God. Many Chinese people don't believe in God. Just because Mommy doesn't believe in God doesn't make it wrong or bad.

Daddy, I kicked Emma and she kicked me back. Is that fair Annya? Yes, Daddy that is fair. If you kick somebody 5 times, then that is not fair Daddy. If you kick Emma 4 times is that fair? No Daddy, that's too much. It has to be one, two or three times. So if you kick Emma 3 times it is ok? That is still too much; if I kick her one or two times it is fair. But Daddy you can't kick hard. If you kick hard one time, then it isn't fair. If you kick softly then you can kick a lot of times.

Monday, July 25, 2011
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July 06, 2011



Emma, Annya and Yung had a great time in the pool. Unfortunately the pool was the coolest place to be with the kids which made it difficult for diving and swimming. They say a baby can drown in as little as 2 inches of water in a pool; but I felt safe with Yung's sisters and his cousins keeping an eye on him.

We also saw a very nice fireworks show on the 3rd of July. All the kids and big kids enjoyed the show. Yung was thrilled waiting for the sky to light up, Annya said the fireworks were great and Emma covered her ears and said that it was too loud:( This is the time we have all been waiting for; Summer is finally here.

Mexican Water Park/4th of July

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Emma, Annya and Yung had a great time in the pool. Unfortunately the pool was the coolest place to be with the kids which made it difficult for diving and swimming. They say a baby can drown in as little as 2 inches of water in a pool; but I felt safe with Yung's sisters and his cousins keeping an eye on him.

We also saw a very nice fireworks show on the 3rd of July. All the kids and big kids enjoyed the show. Yung was thrilled waiting for the sky to light up, Annya said the fireworks were great and Emma covered her ears and said that it was too loud:( This is the time we have all been waiting for; Summer is finally here.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011
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June 30, 2011

When Daddy first met Mommy we had a deal. Grandma and Mommy would cook dinner and I would wash the dishes. Things suddenly turned South when Grandma and Grandpa went back to China. Dish washing included cleaning the house, washing clothes and everything else that needed to be done.

However, there is a light shinning at the end of the tunnel. Emma and Annya have now started to clean up the table after dinner. They have been doing a good job and even fight over who is going to spray down the table. Music to my ears. Can't wait until they fight over cleaning the dishes, washing the clothes and cleaning the house!

Yung has become a parrot. He repeats words that are spoken to him. He still answers every question with a no. We just have to determine if his no is a no no or a no yes? Things are getting easier unfortunately time is not on our side.

Life gets easier

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When Daddy first met Mommy we had a deal. Grandma and Mommy would cook dinner and I would wash the dishes. Things suddenly turned South when Grandma and Grandpa went back to China. Dish washing included cleaning the house, washing clothes and everything else that needed to be done.

However, there is a light shinning at the end of the tunnel. Emma and Annya have now started to clean up the table after dinner. They have been doing a good job and even fight over who is going to spray down the table. Music to my ears. Can't wait until they fight over cleaning the dishes, washing the clothes and cleaning the house!

Yung has become a parrot. He repeats words that are spoken to him. He still answers every question with a no. We just have to determine if his no is a no no or a no yes? Things are getting easier unfortunately time is not on our side.

Thursday, June 30, 2011
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June 27, 2011



Every once in a while, I have the urge to get out, out of Chicago, somewhere else. Indiana never do. Louis, despite his couch potato's tendency, is always a willing accomplice and chauffeur. He is even happy to lend me an arm to sleep on while driving car with the other arm; and the kids? They were jumping up and down upon the news that we were going. Does not matter where, just SOMEWHERE (They are completely MY kids, excitable, fun, moody, boredom-averse ...)

So Saturday, we were out. Out to the Lake Geneva in Wisconsin.

Louis was in charge of planning, which was none other than heading to the visitor center for recommendations and directions, which suited just as well for a small town.

Lake Geneva did not disappoint with its boat renting in every corner, and little kiddie golfs, and ice creams, and impressive-looking horse carriages. We crammed all of the fun in a day.

First golf, of course the kids cheated, we all did by dropping the balls in the hole. Even so, the people had to wait behind us forever; Then boat tour. Louis chose to do the boring one-hour boat tour that rambled on and on about the billion-dollar mansions that were built hundreds years ago and belonged to this founder of wrigley field or that owner of Drake hotel; To Louis' credit, he resisted my call to get a glass of Margarita to get slightly drunk and feel over-the-cloud-ly good, instead, he opted for gigantic ice creams for all of us; after which, we happily paid 50 bucks to take on a horse-carriage ride to have that elated feeling of riding like royalities. For a moment, we all did, when the horse made the tic-toc music, and people smiled and waved at us ...; at about 4, we headed to the sandy beach, Emma went ahead collecting shells, Annya made her sand castles and half-submerged herself in the gentle waves, yung was scared of the water, the sand, the waves, everything, however gradually relaxed and went around and stole other people's sand shovels and molds to dig sand. He was so small and cute and the day was so beautiful that people just smiled, they even left the tools behind for him, saying: hey, keep it, good looking!

That was a fun day! We have had pictures, many! Emma blogged about it too! Annya too, she drew pictures about the boat and the horse!

A day out to Lake Geneva

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Every once in a while, I have the urge to get out, out of Chicago, somewhere else. Indiana never do. Louis, despite his couch potato's tendency, is always a willing accomplice and chauffeur. He is even happy to lend me an arm to sleep on while driving car with the other arm; and the kids? They were jumping up and down upon the news that we were going. Does not matter where, just SOMEWHERE (They are completely MY kids, excitable, fun, moody, boredom-averse ...)

So Saturday, we were out. Out to the Lake Geneva in Wisconsin.

Louis was in charge of planning, which was none other than heading to the visitor center for recommendations and directions, which suited just as well for a small town.

Lake Geneva did not disappoint with its boat renting in every corner, and little kiddie golfs, and ice creams, and impressive-looking horse carriages. We crammed all of the fun in a day.

First golf, of course the kids cheated, we all did by dropping the balls in the hole. Even so, the people had to wait behind us forever; Then boat tour. Louis chose to do the boring one-hour boat tour that rambled on and on about the billion-dollar mansions that were built hundreds years ago and belonged to this founder of wrigley field or that owner of Drake hotel; To Louis' credit, he resisted my call to get a glass of Margarita to get slightly drunk and feel over-the-cloud-ly good, instead, he opted for gigantic ice creams for all of us; after which, we happily paid 50 bucks to take on a horse-carriage ride to have that elated feeling of riding like royalities. For a moment, we all did, when the horse made the tic-toc music, and people smiled and waved at us ...; at about 4, we headed to the sandy beach, Emma went ahead collecting shells, Annya made her sand castles and half-submerged herself in the gentle waves, yung was scared of the water, the sand, the waves, everything, however gradually relaxed and went around and stole other people's sand shovels and molds to dig sand. He was so small and cute and the day was so beautiful that people just smiled, they even left the tools behind for him, saying: hey, keep it, good looking!

That was a fun day! We have had pictures, many! Emma blogged about it too! Annya too, she drew pictures about the boat and the horse!

Monday, June 27, 2011
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June 20, 2011

The kids

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Monday, June 20, 2011
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Annya's Performance

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Monday, June 20, 2011
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The tree or the apple? In the case of Grandma Ding. It was the apple. Grandma Ding started saving our seeds from the fruits we were consuming. We thought it was funny that Grandma Ding was saving the seeds and started planting them in a small container. She didn't think it was funny especially after two of the seeds started to sprout. Thanks to Grandma we have two home made apple trees growing in our back yard. I have been given strict orders to water the trees. So the next time you eat an apple that you really like; you may want to think twice before you throw that core away.

What came first?

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The tree or the apple? In the case of Grandma Ding. It was the apple. Grandma Ding started saving our seeds from the fruits we were consuming. We thought it was funny that Grandma Ding was saving the seeds and started planting them in a small container. She didn't think it was funny especially after two of the seeds started to sprout. Thanks to Grandma we have two home made apple trees growing in our back yard. I have been given strict orders to water the trees. So the next time you eat an apple that you really like; you may want to think twice before you throw that core away.

Monday, June 20, 2011
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June 18, 2011


Mommy loves to read and tell stories to the kids every night before they go to bed. The kids always pay keen attention and are always enthusiastic. This picture captures a thrilling moment from one of Mommies story from old China. The picture speaks for itself. Just after two minutes of Mommies story; Emma is in shock, Annya is very sad and Yung just can't believe it. Mommy is the great story teller.

The story teller

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Mommy loves to read and tell stories to the kids every night before they go to bed. The kids always pay keen attention and are always enthusiastic. This picture captures a thrilling moment from one of Mommies story from old China. The picture speaks for itself. Just after two minutes of Mommies story; Emma is in shock, Annya is very sad and Yung just can't believe it. Mommy is the great story teller.

Saturday, June 18, 2011
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June 13, 2011

Daddy, have you ever seen baby pictures of me? Why do you want to know Emma? Just wanted to know if I look better now or better when I was a baby? Emma, when you were born you were a pretty ugly baby. I know Daddy, I looked like a tomato. You look so much better now. Thank you Daddy.

Daddy, are you falling in love with me? Annya, all Daddy's love their kids. Ok Daddy.

Just want to know

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Daddy, have you ever seen baby pictures of me? Why do you want to know Emma? Just wanted to know if I look better now or better when I was a baby? Emma, when you were born you were a pretty ugly baby. I know Daddy, I looked like a tomato. You look so much better now. Thank you Daddy.

Daddy, are you falling in love with me? Annya, all Daddy's love their kids. Ok Daddy.

Monday, June 13, 2011
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The green big monster - by Annya

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Monday, June 13, 2011
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Emma and her friends performed "Greased Lightning" and "Summer Night". She had an interview after the show. Video to follow when it becomes available.



We played with play dough, using rollers, cutters, making birdies, cows, and flowers

Emma performed (and we played) at Andersonville Mid Summer Fest

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Emma and her friends performed "Greased Lightning" and "Summer Night". She had an interview after the show. Video to follow when it becomes available.



We played with play dough, using rollers, cutters, making birdies, cows, and flowers

Monday, June 13, 2011
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June 10, 2011

I have wanted to blog about the memorial weekend, about that Louis driving to Indiana in pouring rain, I sat relaxing watching the thick fog that was rain that made our car seem to be the only thing that was moving, and Annya and Yung slumbering in the back seat, Emma reading her Magic Tree House book, the "Annastatia" music played over and over and again ... But before I knew it, two weeks zipped through.

Louis has started his night shift, so just me and the kids spent night after night together. Yung would always want me, ma-ma-ma, he said. Annya always wants me too. Mommy, I want a hug, she said. Another hug? She said immediately after. There is always too much to do, dinner to cook and eat, books to read, music and/or games to play, pictures to draw. There is never enough time. Emma always moaned then it hits 9 o'clock, do we have time for a book? We always create a huge mess and go to bed without cleaning, Knowing that Louis will sweep clean them the next day. Cleaning is not my forte, neither the kids.

I have wanted to blog about and post Emma's Broadway Dream Big performance, which she did a fantastic star job. Oh, yes, sometimes she got too pleased with herself and forgot she was on stage, she searched the audience and beamed at us). It was on one Thursday afternoon. But then Thursday turned into Friday, and Friday simply disappeared.

Sunday came. Of course we love the Children's museum, of course we want to go. Before we set out, I asked Annya to promise not to be whinny, not to throw any temper tantrum. She promised. And Yung belt out: No More! We had a great time at CHM, Annya kept her promises, Emma was a little whinney because she wanted eat the junkies at MacDonald's (we did eventually). We had too much to play, some shows to watch, Emma and Annya can never take enough pictures or videos. We had lunch and Yung took a short nap, then back to play.

Emma, Annya, Yung and Mommy

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I have wanted to blog about the memorial weekend, about that Louis driving to Indiana in pouring rain, I sat relaxing watching the thick fog that was rain that made our car seem to be the only thing that was moving, and Annya and Yung slumbering in the back seat, Emma reading her Magic Tree House book, the "Annastatia" music played over and over and again ... But before I knew it, two weeks zipped through.

Louis has started his night shift, so just me and the kids spent night after night together. Yung would always want me, ma-ma-ma, he said. Annya always wants me too. Mommy, I want a hug, she said. Another hug? She said immediately after. There is always too much to do, dinner to cook and eat, books to read, music and/or games to play, pictures to draw. There is never enough time. Emma always moaned then it hits 9 o'clock, do we have time for a book? We always create a huge mess and go to bed without cleaning, Knowing that Louis will sweep clean them the next day. Cleaning is not my forte, neither the kids.

I have wanted to blog about and post Emma's Broadway Dream Big performance, which she did a fantastic star job. Oh, yes, sometimes she got too pleased with herself and forgot she was on stage, she searched the audience and beamed at us). It was on one Thursday afternoon. But then Thursday turned into Friday, and Friday simply disappeared.

Sunday came. Of course we love the Children's museum, of course we want to go. Before we set out, I asked Annya to promise not to be whinny, not to throw any temper tantrum. She promised. And Yung belt out: No More! We had a great time at CHM, Annya kept her promises, Emma was a little whinney because she wanted eat the junkies at MacDonald's (we did eventually). We had too much to play, some shows to watch, Emma and Annya can never take enough pictures or videos. We had lunch and Yung took a short nap, then back to play.

Friday, June 10, 2011
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Kiddie Constructors

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Friday, June 10, 2011
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June 01, 2011



Baby Yung, Bao Bao Yung

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011
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May 30, 2011

I am counting the words that Yung can speak, not many, actually, only a few: ma-ma, da-da (he only belatedly started to call Louis Da-Da and still constantly, conveniently call him ma.), ball, by-by, more-more, bo-ber (could be for birdies and books), since yesterday, he has added a new word: u-u-p-p. I think he sometims also said po-op, but cannot be sure. He is a master user of No-No. He answers every question with a emphatic No. "Yung, do you want mommy to change your diaper?", "No, No!" He also shakes his head vigorously to make sure that he means it.

But whatever he cannot say, he does.

At a very early age (6 mos old), he can bring me a book on demand! Louis was incredulous.

He throws ball professionally, far and hard, we have to cover our faces so not get hit.

He is a master fitter. He always pulls open markers, then tries very hard to put the caps back on. He can do blocks remarkably well.

Now everyday meal is his chance to practice using a fork, a spoon or a pair of chopsticks. Very often he cannot fork/scoop up anything, but then he put his utensils back into the bowl, try again, then try again. Or sometimes he cheats, he uses his hands to pick up the food then put it in his spoon. We cheer for him anyway even when he cheats.

Of course, he has pretended he is talking on the phone by pressing our cellphone to his ear. He tries to put his shoes, socks on. He has no problem taking them off. He loves to switch on and off our lights, turn on and off our TV, computer and sometimes the stove. He also tries to charge our phones (he got the idea, but so far has not been able to do it).

My little master do-er

The master do-er

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I am counting the words that Yung can speak, not many, actually, only a few: ma-ma, da-da (he only belatedly started to call Louis Da-Da and still constantly, conveniently call him ma.), ball, by-by, more-more, bo-ber (could be for birdies and books), since yesterday, he has added a new word: u-u-p-p. I think he sometims also said po-op, but cannot be sure. He is a master user of No-No. He answers every question with a emphatic No. "Yung, do you want mommy to change your diaper?", "No, No!" He also shakes his head vigorously to make sure that he means it.

But whatever he cannot say, he does.

At a very early age (6 mos old), he can bring me a book on demand! Louis was incredulous.

He throws ball professionally, far and hard, we have to cover our faces so not get hit.

He is a master fitter. He always pulls open markers, then tries very hard to put the caps back on. He can do blocks remarkably well.

Now everyday meal is his chance to practice using a fork, a spoon or a pair of chopsticks. Very often he cannot fork/scoop up anything, but then he put his utensils back into the bowl, try again, then try again. Or sometimes he cheats, he uses his hands to pick up the food then put it in his spoon. We cheer for him anyway even when he cheats.

Of course, he has pretended he is talking on the phone by pressing our cellphone to his ear. He tries to put his shoes, socks on. He has no problem taking them off. He loves to switch on and off our lights, turn on and off our TV, computer and sometimes the stove. He also tries to charge our phones (he got the idea, but so far has not been able to do it).

My little master do-er

Monday, May 30, 2011
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It was a rainy Saturday afternoon so I decided to take the kids and the significant other to the movies. We decided to go see Kung Fu Panda. When we arrived, it was pouring rain. Daddy being such a great Dad drops everybody off at the front door entrance. Daddy finally arrives soaking wet. Mommy then said that she left her glasses in the car. Great, Daddy gets to run in the the rain again to get Mommies other eyes.

Running back and forth gave Daddy a crave for popcorn. What size popcorn should Daddy buy? The small was too small, the medium was ok but the bucket was only 75 cents more than the medium. The purchase of a bucket can now be justified.

Daddy walks in the theater wet and with a bucket off popcorn. Mommy asked why such a big bucket of popcorn? It was only 75 cents more than the medium. Mommy said ok. The kids attacked the bucket like ants on top of sugar. The bucket was half the size of Annya; but she became the Master and care taker of the popcorn. Half way through the movie, the popcorn was nearly gone. Emma and Annya then had to go to the restroom. Don't know if it was from the popcorn or from the fierce non stop fighting from the Panda.

The movie and all the popcorn finished. Emma, did you like like the movie? Yes Daddy, but it was a little scary. Annya, Did you like the movie? No, Daddy it was too scary; maybe just a little bit. We then decided to get more junk food and eat at Pizza Hut. Mommy then saw that the chocolate covered bread sticks were on sale. That justified the purchase for me. So we ended the night with the chocolate bread sticks that came with a chocolate dip. At least the dip was a dark chocolate.


Night at the movies

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It was a rainy Saturday afternoon so I decided to take the kids and the significant other to the movies. We decided to go see Kung Fu Panda. When we arrived, it was pouring rain. Daddy being such a great Dad drops everybody off at the front door entrance. Daddy finally arrives soaking wet. Mommy then said that she left her glasses in the car. Great, Daddy gets to run in the the rain again to get Mommies other eyes.

Running back and forth gave Daddy a crave for popcorn. What size popcorn should Daddy buy? The small was too small, the medium was ok but the bucket was only 75 cents more than the medium. The purchase of a bucket can now be justified.

Daddy walks in the theater wet and with a bucket off popcorn. Mommy asked why such a big bucket of popcorn? It was only 75 cents more than the medium. Mommy said ok. The kids attacked the bucket like ants on top of sugar. The bucket was half the size of Annya; but she became the Master and care taker of the popcorn. Half way through the movie, the popcorn was nearly gone. Emma and Annya then had to go to the restroom. Don't know if it was from the popcorn or from the fierce non stop fighting from the Panda.

The movie and all the popcorn finished. Emma, did you like like the movie? Yes Daddy, but it was a little scary. Annya, Did you like the movie? No, Daddy it was too scary; maybe just a little bit. We then decided to get more junk food and eat at Pizza Hut. Mommy then saw that the chocolate covered bread sticks were on sale. That justified the purchase for me. So we ended the night with the chocolate bread sticks that came with a chocolate dip. At least the dip was a dark chocolate.


Monday, May 30, 2011
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May 27, 2011





Annya's work

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Friday, May 27, 2011
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It is really getting warm now, so more and more we (mainly I) take the kids out to the park. The park is only three blocks away. Sometimes three blocks are just one block too far for three kids ranging from 1 year old to 7. Our neighbor Mason, a 8 year old boy, loves to join us. So five of us, Mason runs, skips and circles back; Emma and Annya runs and stops, picking tree leaves, picking and blowing dandelions, looking at ants, dragging along; Me, holds Yung, who sometimes toddles along, who also stops and crawls and picks up and tastes little sticks, flowers or who-knows-what. It is no-less thrilling / scary for me than riding a roller coaster when we cross the streets. Good thing that cars always have enormous patience and sympathy for us. So we are safe.

At the park, Mason will run wild with bigger kids. Emma and Annya? I am not really sure. My focus is Yung. Yung loves swinging. When he goes up and down in the air, he winks unconsciously and giggles. Yung also got the (wrong) idea of how to slide all by himself. He climbs up all the way, then put himself belly down on fours, then wee-slide. Last Sunday we had a little rain, the slide was sprinkled with water, Yung slid anyway, then he looked at his wet shirt and at me, as if saying: ah-oh. Then he smiled and went back sliding again.

Then we go home, Emma and Mason skid and run, Annya cannot herself stopping everywhere, Yung just sits in my arms contently.

At home it is different kind of battle and chaos, three kids all want to talk and have the full attention. Annya wants her milk, Yung wants his milk too, from me (yes, he still fights to get his breast milk every day). But then Yung will fall asleep, Emma and Annya will be mesmerized by the love between princesses and princes, then they will draw. I will read them books and send them to bed, with Yung eager to switch off the light and says: nigh-nigh.

A summer day

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It is really getting warm now, so more and more we (mainly I) take the kids out to the park. The park is only three blocks away. Sometimes three blocks are just one block too far for three kids ranging from 1 year old to 7. Our neighbor Mason, a 8 year old boy, loves to join us. So five of us, Mason runs, skips and circles back; Emma and Annya runs and stops, picking tree leaves, picking and blowing dandelions, looking at ants, dragging along; Me, holds Yung, who sometimes toddles along, who also stops and crawls and picks up and tastes little sticks, flowers or who-knows-what. It is no-less thrilling / scary for me than riding a roller coaster when we cross the streets. Good thing that cars always have enormous patience and sympathy for us. So we are safe.

At the park, Mason will run wild with bigger kids. Emma and Annya? I am not really sure. My focus is Yung. Yung loves swinging. When he goes up and down in the air, he winks unconsciously and giggles. Yung also got the (wrong) idea of how to slide all by himself. He climbs up all the way, then put himself belly down on fours, then wee-slide. Last Sunday we had a little rain, the slide was sprinkled with water, Yung slid anyway, then he looked at his wet shirt and at me, as if saying: ah-oh. Then he smiled and went back sliding again.

Then we go home, Emma and Mason skid and run, Annya cannot herself stopping everywhere, Yung just sits in my arms contently.

At home it is different kind of battle and chaos, three kids all want to talk and have the full attention. Annya wants her milk, Yung wants his milk too, from me (yes, he still fights to get his breast milk every day). But then Yung will fall asleep, Emma and Annya will be mesmerized by the love between princesses and princes, then they will draw. I will read them books and send them to bed, with Yung eager to switch off the light and says: nigh-nigh.

Friday, May 27, 2011
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May 10, 2011



We love birdies too. Hopefully birdie mom can take care of them. Last year, only two out of four survived.

Birdies love us

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We love birdies too. Hopefully birdie mom can take care of them. Last year, only two out of four survived.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
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May 07, 2011

Yung has finally decided to walk. It has taken him nearly sixteen months to become a two legged creature. We were worried Mommy gave him a bad gene. Doctor had told us not to be concerned because many kids tend to learn how to walk at a maturer age. I wont miss carrying 30 pounds around but I will miss the two little arms reaching out and saying pick me up Daddy.

Emma's vocabulary continues to grow. Soon I will need a dictionary to understand her. The other day she said that Yung was acting coy. I just agreed with her. Couldn't figure out why Yung was acting like a fish. They only problem is that she expects Annya to be on her level of speech and is constantly correcting Annya. Unfortunately Emma can't teach without yelling.

Annya is now four. Her third year wasn't so great. At school she performed extremely well and is one of the top students in her class. At home she didn't get all the attention her baby brother was receiving. There was a lot of whining and sibling rival when it came to playing and sharing. The good news is that she is four and the whining and the rivals are much less. I think she now realizes Mommy and Daddy love her as much as baby Yung and Emma.


Happy Mothers Day

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Yung has finally decided to walk. It has taken him nearly sixteen months to become a two legged creature. We were worried Mommy gave him a bad gene. Doctor had told us not to be concerned because many kids tend to learn how to walk at a maturer age. I wont miss carrying 30 pounds around but I will miss the two little arms reaching out and saying pick me up Daddy.

Emma's vocabulary continues to grow. Soon I will need a dictionary to understand her. The other day she said that Yung was acting coy. I just agreed with her. Couldn't figure out why Yung was acting like a fish. They only problem is that she expects Annya to be on her level of speech and is constantly correcting Annya. Unfortunately Emma can't teach without yelling.

Annya is now four. Her third year wasn't so great. At school she performed extremely well and is one of the top students in her class. At home she didn't get all the attention her baby brother was receiving. There was a lot of whining and sibling rival when it came to playing and sharing. The good news is that she is four and the whining and the rivals are much less. I think she now realizes Mommy and Daddy love her as much as baby Yung and Emma.


Saturday, May 07, 2011
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April 25, 2011

The spring week has passed, now i am sitting in my office, in my zone, working furiously. Completely calm, completely forgot what the kids and I have done for the spring break. It just zipped through, we did not even go to any special places, events. Oh, yeah, I was in Washington D.C. for a day, and on that day Louis took them to camp out at his dad's. They came home with baskets of chocolates in all shapes and containers. I had to really control myself not to impulsively throw the junkies away.

The kids are all right, survived chaos, sibling rivalries and not going anywhere. There were actually not one moment of boredom, but plenty of exhaustion and tired cries. Yung had gingerly practiced making his baby steps independently, we all cheered. Other than Annya. Annya broke out crying, because the attention was not on her. Emma and Annya drew prolifically. Emma drew the house across the street, Annya drew a million princesses with legs dangling directly under the chins. She actually draws better and better and often sits quietly for a long time just drawing. Emma wondered aloud if Annya would become a better artist than she is. Yung is drawn to drawing, scribbling whenever the girls are. He made the girls cry and scrabble to save their master works.

The whole week did not go without Annya being whiny and screaming and throwing temper storms at us. Once I talked to her, Annya, you do this at your class? No. I am only whinny at home. Why? I do not know.

She throws her temper tantrum about once a day, about 4 to 5 minutes long. And they push me to edge, to despair. But at school, she is the star, the teachers are raving about her. I think she is testing the limit of my tolerance. And whenever she is on the full act-out of her temper without the slightest provocation, I am at the end of my wits, my patience. Then she is done, she said sorry and demand me to accept her apologies. My only hope is she outgrows it. She is like:

There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead;
And when she was good,
She was very, very good
But when she was bad she was horrid.


Yung is great. Emma is super.

The spring break

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The spring week has passed, now i am sitting in my office, in my zone, working furiously. Completely calm, completely forgot what the kids and I have done for the spring break. It just zipped through, we did not even go to any special places, events. Oh, yeah, I was in Washington D.C. for a day, and on that day Louis took them to camp out at his dad's. They came home with baskets of chocolates in all shapes and containers. I had to really control myself not to impulsively throw the junkies away.

The kids are all right, survived chaos, sibling rivalries and not going anywhere. There were actually not one moment of boredom, but plenty of exhaustion and tired cries. Yung had gingerly practiced making his baby steps independently, we all cheered. Other than Annya. Annya broke out crying, because the attention was not on her. Emma and Annya drew prolifically. Emma drew the house across the street, Annya drew a million princesses with legs dangling directly under the chins. She actually draws better and better and often sits quietly for a long time just drawing. Emma wondered aloud if Annya would become a better artist than she is. Yung is drawn to drawing, scribbling whenever the girls are. He made the girls cry and scrabble to save their master works.

The whole week did not go without Annya being whiny and screaming and throwing temper storms at us. Once I talked to her, Annya, you do this at your class? No. I am only whinny at home. Why? I do not know.

She throws her temper tantrum about once a day, about 4 to 5 minutes long. And they push me to edge, to despair. But at school, she is the star, the teachers are raving about her. I think she is testing the limit of my tolerance. And whenever she is on the full act-out of her temper without the slightest provocation, I am at the end of my wits, my patience. Then she is done, she said sorry and demand me to accept her apologies. My only hope is she outgrows it. She is like:

There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead;
And when she was good,
She was very, very good
But when she was bad she was horrid.


Yung is great. Emma is super.

Monday, April 25, 2011
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Annya Sings

Do-Ye-Me, A year without rain ..



Itsy, bitsy spider


Emma Tap performance at Old Town School


Emms sings a year without rain, while Annya screams along :)

Some Videos - Annya sings, Emma Sings, Yung Plays, Tap Performance

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Annya Sings

Do-Ye-Me, A year without rain ..



Itsy, bitsy spider


Emma Tap performance at Old Town School


Emms sings a year without rain, while Annya screams along :)

Monday, April 25, 2011
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April 13, 2011

Yung will be 15 months old soon. We are still waiting for him to walk. His maximum distance is approximately 4 toddler steps. He does take the cutest steps that I have ever seen though. Yung will throw up both hands straight up in the air and wobble the steps that he can. Some day soon he will be walking opening another can of worms.


Annya will be turning four shortly. She has become a good singer. Her teacher has asked Annya to sing at the schools graduation. One more year until she will be able to ride the yellow bus with Emma and start her educational journey.

Emma will be getting a new bike. She almost learned how to ride a bike last year. It was fun watching mommy yelling, I mean instructing Emma how to ride a bike. She continues to do well in school and is becoming a better tap dancer.

Things to look forward too

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Yung will be 15 months old soon. We are still waiting for him to walk. His maximum distance is approximately 4 toddler steps. He does take the cutest steps that I have ever seen though. Yung will throw up both hands straight up in the air and wobble the steps that he can. Some day soon he will be walking opening another can of worms.


Annya will be turning four shortly. She has become a good singer. Her teacher has asked Annya to sing at the schools graduation. One more year until she will be able to ride the yellow bus with Emma and start her educational journey.

Emma will be getting a new bike. She almost learned how to ride a bike last year. It was fun watching mommy yelling, I mean instructing Emma how to ride a bike. She continues to do well in school and is becoming a better tap dancer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
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March 29, 2011







Yung

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011
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March 25, 2011

Emma has become a perfectionist with no regards to time. Everything she does is perfect and flawless; unfortunately it is done too slow. She doesn't like to be rushed and usually stops if you ask her to hurry. She does get motivated by anger. When she is angered she can get ready in five minutes; which normally takes her 55 minutes. Hopefully soon she will realize time is just as important as perfection. When she does her opportunities will be limitless. In the mean time HURRY UP EMMA!!!!!

Annya is becoming a story teller. Sometimes they are a little hard too follow: Daddy one day when I was Emma's age; I wanted to have a baby. I don't want a baby anymore. She is also very stubborn and loves to be pampered. If you ask her to put on her socks and shoes she will either tell you no or I can't find my shoes without even looking for them. But if you put on her socks and shoes she smiles from ear to ear.

Yung is putting off walking for as long as he can. He can out crawl a centipede but can't beat a turtle walking unless he has some type of support. He can now stand without support. If you ask him to walk he will give you the biggest smile and not move as to say; do you think I'm crazy, I will fall and get hurt if I try too walk. At least he can't walk away from me when he gets mad.

Time is ticking

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Emma has become a perfectionist with no regards to time. Everything she does is perfect and flawless; unfortunately it is done too slow. She doesn't like to be rushed and usually stops if you ask her to hurry. She does get motivated by anger. When she is angered she can get ready in five minutes; which normally takes her 55 minutes. Hopefully soon she will realize time is just as important as perfection. When she does her opportunities will be limitless. In the mean time HURRY UP EMMA!!!!!

Annya is becoming a story teller. Sometimes they are a little hard too follow: Daddy one day when I was Emma's age; I wanted to have a baby. I don't want a baby anymore. She is also very stubborn and loves to be pampered. If you ask her to put on her socks and shoes she will either tell you no or I can't find my shoes without even looking for them. But if you put on her socks and shoes she smiles from ear to ear.

Yung is putting off walking for as long as he can. He can out crawl a centipede but can't beat a turtle walking unless he has some type of support. He can now stand without support. If you ask him to walk he will give you the biggest smile and not move as to say; do you think I'm crazy, I will fall and get hurt if I try too walk. At least he can't walk away from me when he gets mad.

Friday, March 25, 2011
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We have been a little negligent in blogging. Emma has not. One day after I saw the little comments her teacher left on her paper, questioning with startling exclamation marks: "this is supposed to take you 2-3 minutes, you spent 20 minutes!"; On the writing portion of the next page, the teacher continued: "This was finished after the test!". She scored nearly nothing on that section.

I gasped. My temper rose (But really how could it come as surprise? Emma has been a little slow in doing almost anything and almost ever since she was little, on the plus side, she always strives to do things perfectly, she even has to fold her underwear perfectly.) I sat Emma down and demanded her to write about the show-case night we went together. She was put off and shut down. It took her almost 3 hours to finish the piece. However after she got back to her usual cheerful self, We made it a routine for her to blog everyday.

Luckily for me and for her, she by nature is good at writing and great at reading and always hungry for learning. Now her writing flows more easily and she giggles when she writes something funny. And she loves to see the number of her posts growing. Proof!.

That her life keeps brimming with show-cases and performances helps. One week before she had a night of show-casing, she dragged me through the beaming parents (one of them was me) and showed me that various things she made that were on display: the books, the posters, the wind-socks, the poems and the puppets...; the first graders also performed a little play and a song: if i could talk to the animals. For days, Emma was singing that song at home, and Annya soon was singing it too. Yesterday she had the Broadway kids performance. The dream-big shows were all right. The kids supposedly wrote their own play, so I do not blame that all that they could think of was shopping. Shopping on a snow day, shopping on a hot day.

Annya's life seems to be less exciting, but she is happy. She is a stubborn little girl, she likes to play games just see how you react. I suspect one day she will be the one of the rebellious teenagers who would give me silent treatment or bristle at my parental advice (Like the teenage me.) She likes to draw, but tactfully only draws what she chooses. I say: please draw me a bird. She'd say: but Mom, the bird flies away. I say: where is the tree? She'd say: the wind blows the tree away... Saying her draw picture is fun though, because she turns every blob into a car, or a cloud or something and she made a tall tale out of it. She has the license to say anything!

Little Yung continues to grow. He manages to stand on his own and is immensely pleased with himself, but still needs to hold onto things to walk. Bravery or recklessness may not be his trait. He throws everything, hard and far, I think he can have a career in throwing, maybe baseball. He made all kinds of interesting sounds, the latest one: oops or something in that direction.

Cannot wait for the Spring to come. The real spring with tender green grass and colors of blue, red, purple and yellow and more, and the warm sun shines brightly, when Yung can truly toddle along.

Waiting for the spring!

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We have been a little negligent in blogging. Emma has not. One day after I saw the little comments her teacher left on her paper, questioning with startling exclamation marks: "this is supposed to take you 2-3 minutes, you spent 20 minutes!"; On the writing portion of the next page, the teacher continued: "This was finished after the test!". She scored nearly nothing on that section.

I gasped. My temper rose (But really how could it come as surprise? Emma has been a little slow in doing almost anything and almost ever since she was little, on the plus side, she always strives to do things perfectly, she even has to fold her underwear perfectly.) I sat Emma down and demanded her to write about the show-case night we went together. She was put off and shut down. It took her almost 3 hours to finish the piece. However after she got back to her usual cheerful self, We made it a routine for her to blog everyday.

Luckily for me and for her, she by nature is good at writing and great at reading and always hungry for learning. Now her writing flows more easily and she giggles when she writes something funny. And she loves to see the number of her posts growing. Proof!.

That her life keeps brimming with show-cases and performances helps. One week before she had a night of show-casing, she dragged me through the beaming parents (one of them was me) and showed me that various things she made that were on display: the books, the posters, the wind-socks, the poems and the puppets...; the first graders also performed a little play and a song: if i could talk to the animals. For days, Emma was singing that song at home, and Annya soon was singing it too. Yesterday she had the Broadway kids performance. The dream-big shows were all right. The kids supposedly wrote their own play, so I do not blame that all that they could think of was shopping. Shopping on a snow day, shopping on a hot day.

Annya's life seems to be less exciting, but she is happy. She is a stubborn little girl, she likes to play games just see how you react. I suspect one day she will be the one of the rebellious teenagers who would give me silent treatment or bristle at my parental advice (Like the teenage me.) She likes to draw, but tactfully only draws what she chooses. I say: please draw me a bird. She'd say: but Mom, the bird flies away. I say: where is the tree? She'd say: the wind blows the tree away... Saying her draw picture is fun though, because she turns every blob into a car, or a cloud or something and she made a tall tale out of it. She has the license to say anything!

Little Yung continues to grow. He manages to stand on his own and is immensely pleased with himself, but still needs to hold onto things to walk. Bravery or recklessness may not be his trait. He throws everything, hard and far, I think he can have a career in throwing, maybe baseball. He made all kinds of interesting sounds, the latest one: oops or something in that direction.

Cannot wait for the Spring to come. The real spring with tender green grass and colors of blue, red, purple and yellow and more, and the warm sun shines brightly, when Yung can truly toddle along.

Friday, March 25, 2011
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March 07, 2011

Calendar 2011

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

Monday, March 07, 2011
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March 06, 2011

Daddy I have to go pee. OK Annya, we have to go to the Men's restroom because I'm not allowed to go to the Ladies restroom. OK Daddy. The bathroom is empty. She remembers visiting another Men's restroom and points to the wall urinals and said Daddy, that is where the Big Kids pee, I'm too small to pee there. Yes Annya that is for the Big Kids, you are too small to pee there. We make it to the toilet. Daddy this toilet is too big. It is a big toilet, just be happy that it is clean. I will hold you so that you can't fall in. Thank you Daddy.

Where the Big Kids pee

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Daddy I have to go pee. OK Annya, we have to go to the Men's restroom because I'm not allowed to go to the Ladies restroom. OK Daddy. The bathroom is empty. She remembers visiting another Men's restroom and points to the wall urinals and said Daddy, that is where the Big Kids pee, I'm too small to pee there. Yes Annya that is for the Big Kids, you are too small to pee there. We make it to the toilet. Daddy this toilet is too big. It is a big toilet, just be happy that it is clean. I will hold you so that you can't fall in. Thank you Daddy.

Sunday, March 06, 2011
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March 02, 2011




Yung is a little slow. At 13 months going 14 months old, he still barely walks, though he crawls around fast and furious (happy) like a centipede. His vocabulary is below average too, a stretched list of 6 words : ma-ma, da-da, ball, boo (for book), woo (for the sounding of a car), bao-bao (baby). I would have taken him to a speech therapist on impulse if i know where i can find one. And for sure, I have googled for some time about "13 months cannot walk".

Sure, there is a chorus of suggestions, personal stories of the sorts, the consensus is it is absolutely normal.

It is not possible to assume otherwise though, even for a mommy like me. He is such a petty, vivacious boy. He probably does not need to talk, he can always get what he wants, by pointing, and making ah, oh sound. He is great at adapting to new environment. On Monday we started to send him to a home day care center, and he immediately seemed to have done a good job to like there and be liked. The teachers here all cheerfully told what a good boy he has been.

Sure, the day care center being such a delightful place helped. It has a open space decorated with paintings from ceiling to floor, very well organized, yet has every sorts of little toys i can think of. It even has a little crawl area with rows of mirrors and sets of door handles and chains. I never knew a home day care could be so fancy and cozy.

Emma and Annya loved the little place too. When we visited, Annya was unfailingly dressed up as a bride. So with a wedding gown and a veil, she pushed a baby cart around laughing. They did not want to leave.

I guess home is a beastly place for Annya. At home Annya is forever a whiner, then she promises she will not be whinny for a whole day, a whole week. "Then mommy, you will give me a present, right?", she would ask; or "Whinny is not good. Only baby whine".

Annya is on the brink of becoming a reader. She would hold a book and "read fluently" with her own words. She begins to tell tall tales. Yesterday I asked: "Annya, what did you do in school?", she said: "I build a boat that sailed to the ocean. Ms. Joanne sat on it, Mr. Peter sat on it, Ms. Kwen sat on it ... Davin and I are not friends, I built the boat, he put stickers on it."

Annya is a great helper through, she is especially good at peeling garlic. She would stand on a stool, peel a whole cup of garlic for me. She can cut quite well, even better than Louis. She cuts tomatos, green onions, cucumbers and tofu for me.

Emma is a good helper too. Her little cooking class teaches me a course or two. Emma is always good. She is a good reader for her age. In my great desire for her to become a true great reader, I push her to read real books. So sometimes I assign her to read articles in Time, or the Rolling Stone, or The New Yorker. We borrow / buy real novels. She can read most of the words, but I found her comprehension is fragmented. Working on it. I don't want to be a tiger mom, but I want them to grown into great and competent persons nontheless.

Yung goes to day care

Posted by Xun  |  No comments




Yung is a little slow. At 13 months going 14 months old, he still barely walks, though he crawls around fast and furious (happy) like a centipede. His vocabulary is below average too, a stretched list of 6 words : ma-ma, da-da, ball, boo (for book), woo (for the sounding of a car), bao-bao (baby). I would have taken him to a speech therapist on impulse if i know where i can find one. And for sure, I have googled for some time about "13 months cannot walk".

Sure, there is a chorus of suggestions, personal stories of the sorts, the consensus is it is absolutely normal.

It is not possible to assume otherwise though, even for a mommy like me. He is such a petty, vivacious boy. He probably does not need to talk, he can always get what he wants, by pointing, and making ah, oh sound. He is great at adapting to new environment. On Monday we started to send him to a home day care center, and he immediately seemed to have done a good job to like there and be liked. The teachers here all cheerfully told what a good boy he has been.

Sure, the day care center being such a delightful place helped. It has a open space decorated with paintings from ceiling to floor, very well organized, yet has every sorts of little toys i can think of. It even has a little crawl area with rows of mirrors and sets of door handles and chains. I never knew a home day care could be so fancy and cozy.

Emma and Annya loved the little place too. When we visited, Annya was unfailingly dressed up as a bride. So with a wedding gown and a veil, she pushed a baby cart around laughing. They did not want to leave.

I guess home is a beastly place for Annya. At home Annya is forever a whiner, then she promises she will not be whinny for a whole day, a whole week. "Then mommy, you will give me a present, right?", she would ask; or "Whinny is not good. Only baby whine".

Annya is on the brink of becoming a reader. She would hold a book and "read fluently" with her own words. She begins to tell tall tales. Yesterday I asked: "Annya, what did you do in school?", she said: "I build a boat that sailed to the ocean. Ms. Joanne sat on it, Mr. Peter sat on it, Ms. Kwen sat on it ... Davin and I are not friends, I built the boat, he put stickers on it."

Annya is a great helper through, she is especially good at peeling garlic. She would stand on a stool, peel a whole cup of garlic for me. She can cut quite well, even better than Louis. She cuts tomatos, green onions, cucumbers and tofu for me.

Emma is a good helper too. Her little cooking class teaches me a course or two. Emma is always good. She is a good reader for her age. In my great desire for her to become a true great reader, I push her to read real books. So sometimes I assign her to read articles in Time, or the Rolling Stone, or The New Yorker. We borrow / buy real novels. She can read most of the words, but I found her comprehension is fragmented. Working on it. I don't want to be a tiger mom, but I want them to grown into great and competent persons nontheless.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011
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