Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Fong

Today Chris, my husband's best friend, joins the "34 Club."

Chris is known for many things among his friends -- talking too much and eating too little are among them (that's sarcasm for those of you who don't know him all that well).

The man can seriously consume unimaginable amounts of food. He can still eat like he is 21-years old. A while back he self-instituted a rule: "One Meal Per Sitting." Since he hasn't "gone public" with his blog which explains this rule and where it spawns from I will try to sum it up...

Chris was always that guy who would finish other people's meals at a table. A couple of years back Chris felt his eating was getting a little out of control (mind you this guy is still pretty fit). Because of this, he self-instituted a rule: "One Meal Per Sitting." It's pretty self-explanatory. However, there are significant loop holes in this rule, for example, family-style meals like Chinese food and pizza fall into this category -- I mean who's really to tell what "one meal" is in this kind of setting, right? In these loophole situations, Chris will allow himself to indulge.

You have to witness these occasions -- they can be momentous and quite impressive, if you're impressed by this kind of thing.

Here's wishing you a family-style dinner for your birthday Chris. Happy Birthday Dr. Fong!

and, yes that is Chris holding Maddie -- a baby -- if you can believe it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Yummy Mama

Last week Katie had her first cup of hot chocolate.

We had gone on a little bike ride and it was chilly. I told her I was going to have a hot cup of coffee when we got back and asked her if she wanted a hot drink to get her toasty as well.

Her response was an eager "yes."

I made her some her some luke warm sugar-free hot chocolate with fat free milk (my husband would think this was absolutely disgusting I'm sure) and her response...

"Yummy Mama."

She repeated this each and every time she had a sip, swishing it around like mouthwash before she swallowed.

All bundled up, we sat outside sipping our drinks and watched the sunset go down.

I even turned on the fire pit that is until it started to spit flames from the ground near the pit. I quickly turned off the gas... one more thing to fix, oh well -- we'll have to take a look at that later.



Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's a Mystery!

I love when Katie picks up on different words and starts trying to incorporate them into her vocabulary.

Her two recent additions are the words “certain” and “actually.”

Today she was drawing on her friend Amelia’s birthday card. She said she wanted to draw her and Amelia holding hands. Then she elaborated, “I’m certain I want to draw some bones for us.”

And, sure enough she drew a series of bones saying, “these are Amelia’s bones, and these are my bones.”

She also throws the word “actually” in front of sentences.

For example, there will be a pause in any conversation and she’ll say, “Actually I am getting taller right now.”

As a mom you also realize how often you must say certain phrases. You have those sentences you say without even knowing it – that is until you hear those phrases coming out of your 3-year-old’s mouth.

Katie asks on average approximately 35 questions each day before noon. I don’t know about other moms but it can be exhausting. I guess I must repeat a lot of the same answers because Katie will often say, “Maybe – we don’t know…it’s a mystery”– a phrase I know I say when I just don’t feel like getting into a full-blown conversation with her. We just crack up when she says this now.

Friday, December 26, 2008

So, Katie wakes up Christmas morning and comes out to see if Santa ate his cookies and drank his milk. She surveys the scene and states, "Sure are a lot of crumbs, good thing Santa ate over the plate otherwise it would be messy all over (waving her arm in a circular motion) the place."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

Maddie has been loving her plastic toy "chains." She sounds like Marley, the ghost of Christmas past, dragging them back and forth across things and constantly clanking them around -- though I'm pretty sure Marley didn't gnaw on his chains in a Christmas Carol like Maddie does.


And, to celebrate the big day we indulged Katie's favorite activity: decorating cookies.


Big mess = big fun.



Happy Holidays from the Little Wickies!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Madness That Is Me

Okay, so Jenn "tagged" me awhile ago and I have yet to follow through -- though I'm not entirely convinced of the legality of her tagging eight people.

So, here goes...

Seven things about me. New to you.

1. I love musicals (Katie can sing a good portion of New York, New York) and know all of the words to every song in The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady.
2. Every time I see the movie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof I cry.
3. My daughter's middle name is for both my husband's grandmother and my favorite literature character Elizabeth Bennet.
4. To continue my literary nerdiness, my second daugther is partially named for one of my all-time favorite authors Madeleine L'Engle.
5. I once wrote a final paper in college entitled "Alvin & the Chipmunks and the 80's Culture of Materialism."
6. I've seen every episode of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
7. I dream primarily about two things -- playing sports and when dieting I oftentimes dream of eating chocolate -- dreams so vivid I wake up and virtually taste it in my mouth.

And, since I don't have a ton of friends, I'm re-tagging Miyo since she hasn't done this yet.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Katie's Friend Finn


The birthday seasoned continued with Finn's 3rd birthday party. Finn's family hosted a raucous pirate party complete with a "ocean" consisting of what seemed like a hundred blue balloons.


Pirate tales were told by Uncle Andrew.

The pirate theme was continued through just about every detail of the party including the wine selection.


A must for any and all birthday parties -- cupcakes -- were decorated with gold treasures and more.



Birthday boy Finn enjoyed a cupcake (or two.)
The morning after the party Katie was running around with her pirate sword swinging at just about everything. She stopped to ask me, "Why Pirates don't say please or thank you?"

Not sure if this factoid was relayed in one of the pirate tales that were told, or if this came across in the pirate role-playing that took place, but I explained to Katie that pirates don't always have good manners.

She seemed to deem this an acceptable answer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Easy to Leave Your Heart Here

I miss this city.

We visited the bridge this week.



Katie kept asking if we "were going to China next," because she knew we were going to Chinatown like in her This is San Francisco book.

We took a stroll around Chinatown in between rain storms and picked up dim sum.

Katie is obsessed with her This is San Francisco and This is Paris books. She kept asking all week when we were going to Paris.
Every time we drove past a tall-ish building with any point to it she would yell, "hey guys, there's the Eiffel Tower!"

Here is Katie pointing out the Transamerica building a.k.a. the "Eiffel Tower"...

Maddie had some laughs with friends and family. Here she is smiling at Lyndsay...

We checked out the Exploratorium. Katie really liked it. She absolutely loved this color wall. She would stand there and ask "what color is my front side,"then she would turn around and ask "what color is my backside?"


She really got in the mix at the exhibit where you could roll marbles around a cylindrical bowl-like display. The marbles would come out the bottom and Katie repeatedly squirmed and dove her way through kids twice her age to get more marbles.




She really liked the exhibit where you "wired" things together to make a light bulb work...

Katie also liked playing with the magnet display...


For future reference: do not go to the new California Academy of Sciences on the free Wednesday -- it is absolute chaos.

Apart from it being complete madness in there Katie enjoyed a couple of the exhibits like the "stomp on bugs" display they had there.


And in the end, after all the fancy displays and scientific exhibits, the simply pleasure of checking out how her own shadow moved proved to be just as interesting.

Oh, and it didn't seem feasible, but it actually took us longer to get home than it took us to get there! 9 hours and 15 minutes. Not so much the kids fault as some crazy traffic.

It was a great adventure, but as Dorothy would say there is no place like home.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Family & Sightseeing

We had an early Christmas celebration with Song's family up here.

Here is the only shot I was able to get with everyone in the picture...

Katie's all-time favorite activity is feeding halmoni's cats. She absolutely adores these two cats. Unfortunately, her affection is not mutual and they are more than skeptical of her. Billy has hissed at her numerous times. Despite this caustic behavior, Katie's love for them remains an "ever-fixed mark."

Song and I lived here, but we moved when I was pregnant, so we set out so Katie could see the sights of the City. It has been pouring rain, but we have been battling through it.

Our first stop was Fisherman's Wharf where Sasha the Sea Lion lives (one of Katie's favorite books).

Katie was very pleased with our first purchase -- an umbrella.


We also visited the Aquarium of the Bay.


Our main tour guide is Katie's This is San Francisco book. It's a fantastic book (we also own This is Paris which is also one of Katie's favorites). She was very happy to see Lombard Street -- the curvy street -- just like in her book. She made us trudge up all the stairs -- in the rain.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Road Slowly Travelled

It usually takes us 5-1/2 hours to drive see family. We drive, we stop for gas and food once and that's about it.

This weekend was our first drive up here with both the kids and after Katie has been potty trained. It went something like this...

  • 10:00 a.m. -- Leave house; everyone falls asleep (dad, Maddie & Katie); very serene beginning
  • 11:50 a.m. -- Make first planned stop at park; Katie and papa play; wake Maddie to feed her
  • 12:20 p.m. -- Pile back into car & pick up lunch; Maddie falls back asleep -- nice
  • 1:20 p.m. -- Katie has to poop so we pull off the freeway in the middle of no where; Maddie wakes up, she's not happy
  • 1:35 p.m. -- Back on road; Maddie cries incessantly
  • 2:00 p.m. -- We stop because Maddie is in hysterics; I get her out and try to comfort her; deputy stops to make sure we're okay; end up feeding her to calm her down
  • 2:20 p.m. -- Get back on road; Maddie is still not quiet, but not screaming
  • 3:00 p.m. -- Maddie finally falls asleep; power through normal stop for fear of waking her
  • 3:30 p.m. -- Stop again because we're running out of gas and need caffeine; Maddie wakes up
  • 4:30 p.m. -- Hit traffic; Katie "wants out;" start DVD player for Katie; Maddie begins crying -- hard.
  • 4:50 p.m. -- Pull off freeway to calm Maddie down; end up feeding her again
  • 5:05 p.m. -- Start back out on freeway in full-on Friday evening traffic; less than 60 miles from destination
  • 6:45 p.m. -- Pull into grandma's driveway

Yes, you did the math correctly it took us 8 hours and 45 minutes.

I so do not want to drive home later this week.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Maddie's Laugh

video

Maddie's been laughing for awhile now. It cracks me up, she heaves in air in between the actual laughing which I think is pretty funny. Sorry for the shaky camera work, it's hard to make her laugh and hold the camera still.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Craft Party

I'm starting to be convinced that I'm the most un-Martha-esque person in my town.

Katie and I got invited to a super cute holiday craft part this week. I have to say the food and decorations were five-star. Jennifer and our friend Ross from the zoo hosted the event and there was no detail overlooked.


Jennifer made these amazing little pot pies and three-cheese macaroni dishes to gnosh on.



Katie enjoyed the tricycles tremendously.



Then we got to the highlight of the event for her -- the craft-making.



After thoroughly covering herself in paint, Katie enjoyed some of the delectable food including about 7 pieces of watermelon (that and paint is what you see all over her shirt).



When Katie met Ross and I told her that he worked at the zoo, she looked at him like a rock star. Then she met a woman named Jo at the party who took care of the elephants -- I swear if she were older she may have asked for her autograph she was so in awe.

Katie and Ross enjoying some yummy cookies...




After adequately filling her tummy, Katie continued her craft-making. She proceeded to put as many penguin and other stickers as humanly possible on the frame she had painted explaining to me that "there are a lot of penguins at the zoo -- they have lots of friends."