Saturday, May 29, 2010

Meow Meow

Yep, you heard it right. She is really singing "meow meow meow". The Girl has been a real cat lover!

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Maker Faire 2010

Warning: Long post. May take a long time to read. Start at your own risk.

So we went on our 3rd annual Maker Faire Expedition last Saturday. A little recap, the first year resulted in a broken back and a very happy wife. Said broken back opted to not participate the second year so happy wife ditched the kids and went solo. This year, we decided to experience the Faire as a family again and I'd say it's a great decision. I have seen it twice and don't feel the compulsion to see EVERYTHING. Believe me, you can't see everything. There's way too much going on. The kids are a little older and can participate more. I can't say enough good stuff about this Faire so if you haven't been, put it on your to-do list. You won't regret it.

"It's quite the event. Let's dress up for the occasion!"


It was quite overwhelming for the kids to walk into so much stuff happening. Loud noises, crazy looking people, giant flames, etc. The Boy is especially timid so it took a long time for him to adjust. This was our first robotic encounter. If you look closely, you'll see that he was pulling me away from the Thomas-like robo-train.


Next up was a craft your own hat booth. In the spirit of a craft fair, I helped the Girl make her first project at the Faire. Behold the catepillar and butterfly hat!


The Boy was still a little shy and he is not a big crafter. So he just took a sticker from the pile and put it on his hand.


We stayed outside for a while and ate some crappy fair food. The thing is, there's lots of great food but I was starving and overstimulated and made the wrong choice again. Note to self: make sure to try the paella next year.


After the food, we went inside. There were lots of cool stuff to see and touch. The kids especially enjoyed "light doodles". It's a simple concept that can easily be set up at home but it's still fun to do it at a fair.




The Girl LOVES these pictures of her under a rainbow!




Along the "light" theme, the kids also explored this LED light table. Again, simple yet fascinating.


I remember going to a tech fair with my dad when I was a kid and was introduced to the first mouse. I remember how my dad told me I had to be very careful with it and that I would have to be much older before I would master the use of it. It was a huge deal! Look at how my kids are interacting with computers now!
video

Seriously, the use of a computer is going to be so different for the kids. A touchscreen is so intuitive. Unfortunately, I don't own a tablet laptop or a touchscreen computer so I am always yelling at my kids to not touch the screen. I am sure they are very confused by the mixed messages. Anyhow, I didn't have to teach the Girl how to use this software at all and she came up with this:


The Boy might have been yelled at one too many times since he refused to touch the screen. Kept telling his dad no touch the screen. Funny dude!


The Faire wouldn't be complete without a Lego setup or... sixty! Legos were everywhere. This train was one of the Boy's favorite.


Hubby took the kids to see the Mousetrap while I went to the more hand-crafty area. Hubby took this picture. Since I wasn't there I can't say much about it except that I heard Hubby was suckered into carrying both kids through the whole performance. You wonder why/how his back broke that first year...


The handy craft portion was, in my opinion, pretty poorly planned. It was way too crowded in way too small a space. It's a very popular part of the Faire and it wasn't given enough space. I didn't enjoy that at all. No shopping or new projects to report from that.

The real highlight of the Faire for me this year was the best ever Mentos and Coke display! (Remember, kids, it's a physical reaction between the carbonation and the surface of the Mentos - not the chemical reaction that I made you write out a million times. Ah... this makes me want to teach science again!) I have done the Coke geyser thing a few times but this was truly amazing! According to the performers, it took hours to prep and the show lasted about 2 minutes. Total labour of love.
video

Here is another video of the same two guys at a different setting doing a slightly different routine.

That pretty much sums it up. There were lots of pyro displays. We took some pictures but they were more impressive in person. We also learnt that the Girl is a pyromaniac and the Boy is... what is the opposite? The Boy whimpered in my lap while the Girl kept asking for more. I am a little worried about them both.

We finished out day by having a buffet dinner. The big finale was candy covered ice-cream cones. I don't think I have seen a more earnest ice-cream eater!




"That was a totally awesome day. See you at the Faire next year!"

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Progress Report

I used to write progress report posts for the Girl but I seldom do it for the Boy. He is always expected to just keep up and I must admit that I didn't notice as many of his milestones. I was organizing the blog the other day and noticed quite a few Girl posts lately and so I thought it's time to think about the Boy and only the Boy. I took some pictures of him. It was a fun exercise. He cooperated for a little while and then went nuts. He tried to hide from me, put his face flat on the floor, make ridiculous faces and most amusingly, close his eyes.

IQ: He seems pretty smart to me. Okay... I am biased... He can retell events of the day. He can engage in pretend play. He can count up to 20 (but he doesn't understand one to one correlation). He is somewhat bilingual - better than the Girl was at this age but not as good as the Girl is currently. He can recognize some letters of the alphabet. He knows his colors.

EQ: He is clingy as heck! Dropping the Girl off for school is such a pleasant experience but such is not so with the Boy. It's been at least 6 months and he still cries EVERY TIME I drop him off. It kills me to watch. Other than that, he is usually quite cheerful. He can be very agreeable. Most people who know him have heard him say, "Okay" to pretty much anything I ask of him. He is very fond of big sister. He spontaneously say "I love you" to me about 5-6 times a day. He has yet to give me a kiss without being asked.

Social Life:
He has friends but he prefer the Girl's friends. He gets overwhelmed easily when there are too many people around. Once he warms up, he can be very friendly. For instance, he used to cry when I walk into the Y with him for fear of being dropped off at Child Watch. Now, he walks in there like he owns the place and often shows off his toys to strangers who work out there. He also loves going to the Girls school. It cracks me up every time he pull out a chair for himself at breakfast at the school and demands food from the teachers. The teachers are very kind and usually indulge him which only encourages this behaviour. I swear - the teachers there probably think I never feed my children at home.

Eating habits:
He is a pretty good eater. He prefers Chinese foods to American foods. His favorites are jook and soup made by his daycare lady. He hates pretty much all things I cook for him. So at home, he eats well when I heat up precooked things like chicken nuggets and pizza. On the nights that I actually cook him rice or pasta, I have to feed him and chase him down to eat.

Motor skills:
Not much fine motor skills to speak of. He is quite impatient with drawing. He hasn't produced much more than a couple lines on a sheet of paper. He is better at fiddling with puzzle pieces than the Girl was, though. His gross motor skills are also better than the Girl at this age. He can climb up and down the stairs on his own when the mood strikes. He can walk over 1o blocks with us when the mood strikes. He is still not a big fan of the water but I hope to start swimming with him regularly again this summer.

Physical growth:
He is a whole 35lbs of yummy goodness! He is pretty tall. I haven't measured him in a while but I think he is only a couple inches shorter than the Girl. Well... she is pretty short so that ain't saying much. Let's just say 3T pants usually fit him pretty well. His hair is definitely wavy like Daddy's and his complexion is becoming more fair.

Sleeping habits:
He naps 2-3 days in a week and sleeps through the night 3-4 nights a week. When he sleeps through the night, he would sleep for 11-12 hours. We are trying to teach him to go back to sleep on his own when he wakes up in the middle of the night. I think we are making some progress.

Potty training:
We have made ZERO progress with this and yes, it's all my fault.

Special skills:
He is a master at making sweet faces at you when he knows his is in big trouble. He is also very good at hiding body parts to avoid being accessible. For example when I say diaper change, he is very quick to sit down and say, "you can't get me". He is also the designated messenger in the house. Whenever the Girl wants something that she is pretty such I am going to say no to, she gets him to come ask me. It's hilarious how some of these messages are transmitted. The Girl says, "Go tell mommy I want to watch Tianna (princess movie)" sometimes ends up being "Girl wants no bad witch and the frog but *I* like McQueen!" When I say "tell the Girl to clean herself up and come talk to me herself", he would pass on the message of "mommy said talk to yourself!"

Conclusion:
The Boy is a happy, healthy, cute as pie (according to me) little person. He is growing up faster than I can keep up with. It has been a fun-filled, crazy, loud, and entertaining 2.5 years! We love you, Baby Boy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Debut

I mentioned before that the Girl's debut performance was this past weekend. It was a very crazy day that involved blood and the emergency room. Everyone's fine. Nobody in my family was hurt. The accident involved a friend that I invited to the recital and from what I have heard, she is recovering nicely.

With so much happening, we didn't take many pictures. We didn't even get to see the whole show. I took some pictures during the dress rehearsal and here is one of them:


Here is a video of part of the dress rehearsal. The Girl had a lot of fun running in circles on stage.
video

I was able to take a few pictures before the show started on the day of the actual performance.

Here she was getting her make up done.


All made up. I was not as shocked this year as I was last year.


Final touches put on and she sat very nicely near the stage to wait for her moment of glory.


The idea is that there are toys in a toy box that were brought to life by a couple of toy fairies. The Girl was one of the star dolls. This is a video of the actual performance. It's pretty hard to spot her if you don't know where she was.

video

There were lots of little dancers on stage and none of them had seen the whole dance come together. One of the most magical moment for the Girl was when the Toy Fairies came on stage to wake up the other dolls. These Toy Fairies wore ball gowns with lights attached to the bodice. The Girl was so impressed and mesmerized that she later asked me if the fairies were real. She felt pretty special that these beautiful fairy princesses had come to dance with her.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

HaaaaaYaaaaa!

一向體育走堂嘅媽媽發現原來亞女喺學校學功夫,先生仲話亞小姐打得吓。媽媽非常感動,幻想當年小龍女都喺咁開始嘅。唔知第日亞女會唔會搵番個過兒呢?

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Dolly

I should have shared this a long time ago but I was hoping I can share this Dolly and her BFF together. Anyway, here is the doll.


Does she remind you of someone we know? Look at how girlie she is.


What about now?


Now?


The doll is supposed to look like my Girl but I didn't make it for her. I made it for her BFF.


Her BFF moved away and the original plan was they would each get a doll that resembles the other so when the miss each other, they'd have the dolls to play with. I finished the Girl dolly in time but I haven't made the second one yet. It's all cut out and the Girl asks me all the time when I will get around to sewing it. I am going to say... in the next month or so. So much sewing to do, so little time. Look at these goof balls. I think I should make a set of funny glasses for the doll, too.


Silly girls scratching their noses.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Boy Time

The Boy gets Mommy time every morning after the Girl goes to school. Often, this mommy time involves running errands and being dragged from point A to point B. Even more often, this time is spend waiting in the car for the next event. Here are some pictures I took of him with my phone. I just figured out how to transfer the pictures onto my computer so some of these pictures are a month or two old.

"Stop playing with your phone and help me off this chair!"


"I like mommy's sunglasses better than my own."


"How much longer do we have to wait in the car?"


"I want to be a goofy policeman when I grow up."


"Quick! Turn!"

Monday, May 10, 2010

Catch Up

No matter how busy I get, I usually can sneak in some time to blog. I am going to blame this long break in blogging on my having too many cameras. I have my SLR, my point and shoot and my phone (new phone actually has a decent camera so I don't bring my point and shoot with my as much). Anyway, the result is that I have too many cords and too many adapters. I get discouraged when I can't find the right plugs and so I just leave the images on the memory card. Of course, we all know that one cannot blog without pictures. So, to play catch up, this post is going to include some random happenings of late mixed with some completely unrelated forgotten pictures.

First forgotten picture: Team Canada. Thanks for the cute shirts, Ida.


So we still follow a pretty tight schedule around here. The Girl has school in the morning and dance class one afternoon a week. The Boy has preschool one morning, dance one morning and daycare one day. We've been fitting in a few play dates with the Girl's friends from school. That leaves not too much time for us to just chill at home. When we do, I try to have them do "calming activities". These are the Girl's latest drawings during semi quiet time.

Robot:


Baby - I love how detailed her drawing is. I think her baby has a lot more character than mine.


In addition to our routine stuff, I've been doing a lot of volunteer work for the Girl's preschool as well as her dance program. We attended the school fundraiser at the beginning of the month. The event itself was a success and it felt like a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders when it was over.

This picture was taken at the fundraiser. Our princess thought the lion dancers were too loud.


The kids went on stage for a little catwalk. The Girl decided to go on stage with her best boy pal at school.


The problem with that arrangement is that the Girl promised the Boy she would go on stage with him. If you look carefully at the last picture, you'll notice the Boy sprinting down the runway to catch up with the Girl. Here, you can see him finally catching up and then being told that he has to just turn around and get off the stage. Poor Boy.


As a reward for their mad modeling skills, they were each given a Dum Dum.


While the Girl savored hers, the Boy devoured his and proceeded to show off his new tongue.


As for Dance, the Girl's first recital is happening this coming weekend. Like last year, I am helping sew costumes. Here is a little sneak peak of the costume.


Aside from wanting to help and being involved, the motivation behind all this work is too keep myself current and "employed" while I am a stay at home mom. I'd like to be able to show that I've made productive use of my time while I am not working (at a paid job) so that when I start to look for work again, I'd have more to show for my down time. I guess it's paying off because I recently signed a contract for a new job that will be starting in August. This will mark the end of my 5 years of being a stay at home mom. I know I will miss this precious time a lot. I intend to make the next three months I have at home with the kiddies even busier - playgrounds, museums, classes, trips, play dates, crazy art projects, sewing... It's going to be an interesting summer.