Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy

I think we can call it the weekend of Joaquin! I think I got to see him Fri-Sat-Sun! Or maybe the week of Joaquin. We also had a play date on Monday while Val came over to practice our t-shirt stencils for Sunday. Joaquin and I colored and we all had a yummy breakfast of homemade english muffins and blueberry muffins (my fav!). Scooter, however, was a bit naughty and ate all of the leftovers (which were lots) the next day.... well, I guess he deserved to celebrate Inaguration day too. I am quite good at picking our new president out of the news. Friday Mom and I spent the morning with Sophia and Harmony and more friends making rainbows in bags... colored gelatin in ziplocks that mixed to make awesome colors and squishy fun. That afternoon, Mom and I just played at home (She trid to get me excited to go out, but I was set on playing at home). (We'll get the pictures rotated soon as I figure out what our picture software is up to) That night Joaquin came over to play while his folks went on a date! We had a great time, played lots, ate almond butter and jelly sandwiches (my new favorite), and worked on our musical skills. Joaquin sat steadily instead of laying down to go to sleep even though he was sooo tired, he couldn't be swayed for a long time, in spite of my best efforts. Eventually we all finally settled down for the night. I love it when he cames over to play.

Saturday was again pretty quiet. We started the morning with blueberry muffins (Mom felt bad when I mistook "english muffins" for my much more favored "blueberry muffins" and was so dissappointed when I saw the flatter blander breakfast treat). We ran around and did some errands, I'm excited to add a few more blueberry bushes and a huckleberry bush to the front yard soon! That evening, it was Mom and Dad's turn to go out on a date... so I played with Joaquin, Val and Ray all evening while they went out for some great Indian food at Vindaloo. It was a treat for everyone.

Today we started celebrating early for Chinese New Year... Happy year of the Ox! We spent the morning getting ready (well, playing dragons and getting ready)... making Nein Gao (New Year Cake... which I love, and ended up eating way to much of), and Jai. We brought it all over to ... you guessed it ... Joaquin, Ray and Val's house for a PARTY! We had fun celebrating with so many people and loads of kiddos... Andy, Alice, Benjamin, Dimitri... and their folks and a bunch of other friends! We had quite a feast and lots of playing. We even made some awesome year of the ox t-shirts! Blessings and best wishes in the new year everyone!
As far as getting this year off to a great start... I've been doing so well with the potty... I would typically be concerned about publishing about poop, but I'm certainly proud enough to announce to the whole party... but I've pooped in the potty... No stinky diapers for a few days now! We're pretty excited!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

rhythm

Seems like we're settling back into things in Portland. There are always small things that keep us on our toes... like my storm damaged classroom (had to head to another school for the week while repairs were underway... they had awesome "new" toys for us to play with), and crazy big wind blowing today. After a week of commuting, but all in all having a good time, I was ready to hang out with Mommy on Friday... seems like it has been a while since we had a day together like this. Had a great time. We made Sock puppets at Sophia and Harmony's house. I took a great nap then when I woke up all perky, we went out to Tart, a frozen custard/yogurt place for a yummy treat and a walk around Division in the sunshine. In fact, Mom didn't get to go inside any of the alluring shops, because I kept insisting "Walk in the SUNSHINE!!". Saturday was pretty awesome. After a particularly dense batch of pancakes for breakfast (I loved them), we headed to the beach! Super fun dude. It was a perfect sunny calm day (James, don't laugh at the puffy jacket at the beach... you remember Pacific beach time! It's pretty, but chilly still!). I set to work digging holes, making sand castles with Dad, and playing with sticks and the sand. After a wonderful few hours playing in the sand, walking along the shore, and generally enjoying running around outside we grabbed some fish-n-chips for lunch and some clams to bring home for dinner. Had a nice walk around the town of Cannon beach and headed home for a great dinner of clam linguine. Turns out I really like clams! Today was much mellower, In fact, I pretty much hung out at home while Mom went to Yoga and Dad in the afternoon went looking at fishing stores and to get lunch with a buddy. We cleaned up the yard a little and the house a bit too. Mostly just chilled and settled back in... it was nice.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Full Circle


This was a long long week... filled with fun, friends, family and a few tears. We did get off to a fantastic start... my BIRTHDAY! I am now THREE! I am so ready for this new year in my life, I have perfected holding up three fingers (that's not quite as easy as it looks), I am really pretty chatty these days and I have grown almost 4" since my second birthday. We started the morning with some presents, Mom and Dad got me a new fishing pole, and I also was rolling in sporting gear (football, baseball glove, basketball set) awesome sheets, a new jacket, new books, new movies, all sorts of awesome goodies! I had to be peeled away to head off to school. For afternoon snack the folks came by with some mini-cupcakes from St. Cupcake. YUMMY! I got a purple crown and everyone ate and sang Happy Birthday... It was so nice and made me very happy. I got to leave a little early, so we could get ready for my birthday party at home! When I got home, I watched my friend James sing Happy Birthday and play the guitar for me... he was so good! I watched probably a dozen times in a row (you can see it too if you connect from the sidebar). We had sort-of an impromptu (read... quickly planned and poorly photographed for that matter, by the parents) get-together with the families of Sophia, Joaquin, Benjamin, Andy and Alice... which pleasantly turned out to be a nice crowd of around 15 guests. We enjoyed some Chinese take-out and some pumpkin cake (with a feeble tealight for a candle... just couldn't find our stash of birthday candles!). Everything was yummy and everyone was so much fun. We had a lovely evening of kiddo play-time and grown-up chats.

On Thursday we headed back to Fresno (via TWO planes, as I love to tell you) to celebrate the life and mourn the loss of Great-Grandpa Jerry. Everything was really lovely. Everyone who spoke really captured the life and spirit of Great-Grandpa... his smile, his love of family.... I really caught onto his interest in fishing. In fact, after the pastor made several parallels between fishing and life, I asked... "Is Great-Grandpa going fishing?" I was very good during the wake and pretty darned good during the funeral (in spite of my hunt for food...). We bade farewell to Great-Grandpa. It was a pretty intense couple of days, but so filled of love and family that you can't help but know that Great-Grandpa is smiling is famous smile. Just before heading back to Portland, I got to meet Great-Aunt Gigi's new puppy! He doesn't have a name quite yet, but he sure does have a good personality and is pretty darned cute to boot! He was super cuddly, soft, and sweet. It was a wonderful way to end the visit. We finally made it back to Portland, I went to bed late, and we're just having a quiet day taking care of business around the house, chatting on the phone with Grandma and Grandpa Steves from my hedgehog hole (Pillow fort). I hope you are all well. This week was a reminder of how much love, support and strength my family and friends share with me, with us, and I am grateful.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Only you.....

In an effort to figure out who gets to do what around here... my newest retort when asked not to do something is... only you Mommy/Daddy? For example... "Owen, don't put the marble in your mouth!" ... reply... "Only you Daddy?" It is useful for everything!
Well, Happy New Year! We had an East-coast New Year Celebration at Val and Joaquin's house. It was slightly pirate themed ARRRR! We had a lovely celebration with Val, Joaquin, Vanessa, Dave, Ian, Christina, Alice, Robyn and Dan.Saturday started with a nice star-studded pancake breakfast! Then we headed to the Zoo with Cat Chris and Benjamin. It was a great day for all of the cold-loving critters. The polar bear in particular was swimming all around and playing with his ball. It was super cool to see a BIG bear get all prepped to LEAP into the water!Today was a swim day! We had fun in the pool with Benjamin, Joaquin and their parents.

Spoiler alert...
The largest of my many awesome Christmas gifts arrived today. Auntie Donna, John and Jenna got me a .... you guessed it... a backhoe! Seriously! It is awesome and drives around and can dig and haul woodchips! So much fun. I see many hours ahead on this bad-boy. I already informed Mom that I used it to clean up all of the cat poop in our front yard (favorite haunt of the neighborhood kitty posse). Imagine the possibilities!
video

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A wonderful time of the year

I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by loved ones and very best wishes for the new year. After we arrived in Fresno, we woke up Monday morning to see our car window smashed and while Dad made the necessary phone calls I spent the morning at the food pantry at church. I had a good time running around during the Christmas party for everyone, and even sat with Santa! Later that evening we headed over to the Smith's house for a really nice get-together with my "Aunties". We got to visit with Dr. and Mrs Smith, Dr. and Mrs. Chen, Becky, KC (on their anniversary no less!), Diane, Jeff, Susan, Nolan, Benjamin... oh and Sierra and baby around the bend Noah! Mrs. Smith brought out her leggo and tonka collection...bliss... well right up there with Susan's Ice cream sandwiches!I love playing with Nolan and Benjamin and we had such a lovely evening. The next day was Christmas Eve, which pretty much means a busy busy day catching up with all of our friends! Well, first Grandma and Dad had to put together Great-Grandpa Jerry's Apple cakes for our visit tomorrow. Then, we headed out at the Van Volkinburgs house where I got to see the Vans and the McGanns, and all of everyone's family! I even got to meet Meredeth's baby Lucy! It was fun to play with Josie, we noshed on cupcakes together, and we had a great time with Morgan and Andrew who tried to keep us in order, and did a really good job keeping an eye on us while the grown-ups chatted. Just after nap, the Mochizuki's came over for a bit. I enjoyed seeing them but was acting a bit off... I refused a cupcake to the shock of everyone. I did buck up a bit until they left, but turned sick so Mom and I just had a quiet evening at home while everyone else went to see Auntie Donna, John, Jenna, and their household of many many friends for the evening. They had a great time (and got a sneak peek at some of my Christmas presents), I was so sad to miss out, but I was feeling so much better the next day. Good thing too because it was Christmas! Wow... I totally was into Santa, Rudolph, the works this year.... and Santa delivered! What a treat! We started the morning opening stockings. Frankly, the first thing I opened (I think it was a cool dino flip book) would have been plenty to keep me happy, but there was more! After a fun filled morning playing with new toys (I must have been a good boy this year!), helping everyone open their presents and all in all enjoying spending a beautiful morning with everyone we finally sat down to a breakfast of norwegian pancakes and apples! Yum.

Finally, we headed over to Great-Grandpa Jerry and Great-Grandma Mary's home for even more fun and more family! We just missed Jason, Ann, Kaylee and Clark, but everyone else was there. All of my Great-Uncles and Great-Aunts, Cousins... everyone! We had such a nice day together. While we were celebrating (or sleeping in my case) in Fresno, they were having a great Christmas Eve Chinese Feast! Christmas Day at Great-Grandfolks' house is always filled with food... loads of yummy prime-rib, lobster, and abalone! Dad cooked up some of the abalone he brought Great-Grandpa last season in a traditional chinese dish with black mushrooms. It was Great-Grandpa's special request... he knew Daddy was the only one who could make it right! Dad did a great job... tender and tasty! I ate more than my fill of striped jello and cookies, the sugar kept me going all day long! After watching some movies (to aid digestion), I even got to spend some time playing football with Kellen! We were pretty good. After such a wonderful Christmas day, we headed back to Fresno for some rest. The next day was a little more relaxed. Just playing with my toys, actually getting the window of the car fixed. Actually, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Ry, Daddy and I went to the museum and saw the dinosaur exhibit. It was pretty cool, lots of bones and models, but alas no pictures allowed. I had a great time though and got a new book to learn even more about Dinsaurs! Saturday, we visited again with Auntie Susan, Auntie Diane, Uncle Jeff, Nolan and Benjamin. We got together at Lunas for some pasta and to see how everyone's Christmas went. We enjoyed a great lunch followed by some fun (and... more presents) outside. Nolan and I were getting quite good at acorn basketball with the trash can before we could stop all the gals from chatting up a storm. That night, I finally made it over to Auntie Donna's house where John cooked us up some amazing Pizzas in their own (!!) pizza oven. It was so nice to spend some time with them after missing out on Christmas eve. However, that evening we got some bad news... Great-Grandpa Jerry had taken a turn for the worse and ended up in the Hospital. He passed away on Tuesday, 30th December surrounded by his family. While his passing leaves us with a unfillable void, it also reminds us to celebrate a notable and honorable life.He was a great man who will be dearly missed. I am so glad that we got this Christmas together and I am lucky to have known him and will be carrying on his love for fishing and the outdoors.