Saturday, November 27, 2010

Big Boy Bed

I forgot to post that Jeremy is now in a big boy bed! Most people we know move their kids out of their cribs because 1) their kid tried or has climbed out, 2) they need the crib for a new sibling. Well, neither of those reasons apply, so that's why we've taken our time moving him into a new bed.
We set up his bed the day after Veteran's Day. He was very excited- he kept talking about his friend, Levi's, big boy bed. I set up the rail but he insisted that he didn't need it. He was so insistent that we decided to let him try sleeping without it. He went to bed as usual (which means him jibber jabbering to his stuffed animals for an hour before falling asleep). Unfortunately, he woke up early the next morning (5am is early for us) and came in to wake us up. This pattern continued for quite a few days. We've been trying to get him to just play in his room until we come in to get him. He was right about not needing the rail! This is yet another example of our son doing things his way, in his timing.

I know that some people get emotional with this particular milestone of putting the crib away. Ours is now in the garage... I admit that I did find myself reflecting quite a bit that weekend, and it did hit me- I no longer have a "baby!" (And just to confirm- we don't plan on having any more babies). I am amazed at how fast time has flown by... I was a complete mess watching Toy Story 3 (we highly recommend it)...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Visit to L.A.

At the Olympics last year, we visited several venues called "Livecity" where people could go during the day to watch Olympic events broadcast on huge screens, and to visit different promotional booths. It was really neat to sit and watch events with tons of people all around you. In the evenings, these Livecity venues hosted different music groups from all over. On one particular day, we were watching snowboarding when this guy came out to start the soundcheck for his concert later that night. This is what he looks like:What type of music would you expect from a guy that looks like this? We were shocked when he started reggae-rapping. Jason wanted to stick around to hear him in concert, but we were with other friends who wanted to do other things. As soon as we got home, Jason immediately began researching about this guy. Both of us have come to love his music- his name is Matisyahu (Hebrew for Matthew), and he is a Hasidic Jew from New York who "sings reggae songs about his religious devotion." We found out months ago that he was going to be in L.A. for a concert. Jason bought our tickets on impulse, without even looking into childcare! We have been really looking forward to this concert and went last week!

Jason's mom kindly watched our kids overnight so that we could spend some time alone together. We're so thankful that she is always willing to do that! We drove down to L.A. on Saturday afternoon. We had a few hours to kill, so we looked up "free things to do in L.A." Have you ever been to the La Brea Tar Pits? There's a museum there, but since we didn't want to pay, we decided just to walk around the park. Apparently, these tar pits are the "home to over 3 million fossils from the last Ice Age. It was here that huge mammoths, fierce sabertoothed cats, and giant ground sloths became trapped and entombed in the asphalt that has been seeping out of the ground for the past 40,000 years." No dinosaurs- dinosaurs died millions of years before this happened. Who knows if we'll be back with the kids some day!

For dinner, we wanted to experience something unique to L.A. We definitely found it with a Peruvian restaurant called Mo-Chica. Surprisingly, it is in an indoor market/food court. You wouldn't think that a place like that would be so good- the presentation was excellent, and the food was amazing! Hands down, our favorite was the starter, Ceviche Del Dia. Jason had the Seco De Cordero (lamb shanks in beer stew sauce), and I had the Arroz Con Mariscos (Peruvian paella with seafood). If it weren't for the fact that L.A. has so many eateries, we would go back on our next visit!

After dinner, we headed to the Luckman Fine Arts Complex for the concert. When it started, we saw 3 guys on the stage- the drummer, bassist, and guitar player. They began playing what I would consider death metal. We kept waiting for Matisyahu to come out, but it got to the point (20 minutes later) that I couldn't take the "noise" any longer. I walked out, as did many, many other people. It wasn't until I was in the lobby that I heard other people saying that these guys were starting for Matisyahu and he wouldn't start for another hour. When he finally came on stage (the 3 guys were actually his band), with certainty, it was worth the wait! He was awesome! We enjoyed the show from our seats in the 3rd row! Loved it- I wouldn't hesitate to go watch him again.Sleeping-in the next morning, we awoke to discover that there was no hot water in our hotel. Jason complained about it when we checked out and the hotel gave us complimentary breakfast and free parking (it has been a really long time since we stayed in a place that doesn't automatically give you complimentary breakfast, and that you have to pay to park in their lot). We decided to take advantage of being kid-less and did something we've wanted to do for years. We visited The Getty Museum. We joined an Architecture Tour before going through the museum on our own. It was very interesting and we're glad we were able to do it without kids. They probably wouldn't have allowed us to take in all of the art exhibits! Our favorite and most memorable exhibit was called "Documentary Photos from the Sixties." The images were eye-opening...

Before heading back to the smoggy valley, we decided to seek out some Vietnamese food. We found a place called, Bun Me for Vietnamese sandwiches. It definitely satisfied my craving! (The words "bun me" actually sound like "sandwich" in Vietnamese). A good ending to a wonderful trip to L.A.!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I did it! I completed a half marathon last weekend! I walked 13.1 miles in 3 hours, 31 minutes. I first heard of the Two Cities Marathon/Half Marathon last year, when many of our friends participated in it. In particular, I was inspired by my good friend, Christa. She walked it last year, and I was so proud of her for challenging herself that way and fulfilling her goal. I decided to give myself the same challenge this year. I knew with my schedule that I couldn't commit to training to run the half marathon, but I knew that I had the ability to walk it. My sister was going to be in town and so I asked her to do the walk with me. I have walked every week for a few months to get ready. Unfortunately, by the day of the race, the most I had walked was 10.5 miles. I was counting on adrenaline to carry me through the race.

On Nov. 7, we arrived early in the morning. I was very, very nervous! I started to feel a little more relaxed when we met up with people I knew, like the teachers from my school who were also walking the half marathon.
The atmosphere was full of anticipation and excitement! We started in a huge group and it was pretty crowded for the first 2 miles. We were able to pick up our pace when the crowd began to thin out. Mentally, I really had to push myself after Mile 10 and the last mile seemed to drag on forever. Luckily, Jason brought the kids out to cheer us on and I spotted them during the last mile.Sarah and I were so relieved to finish! Immediately, we received our Finisher's sweatshirts and medallions, and were herded off to enjoy breakfast. With all the excitement, I didn't take the time to stretch out and cool off. Unfortunately, I paid for this because I pulled/strained something in my right leg and limped for the next four days. I still consider this to be such a positive experience that I think I'm going to try to run/walk it next year. Ask me again in a few months!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


The day after Grace's birthday party was Halloween. Grace knew months beforehand that she wanted to be a kitty cat, and since I made Lightning McQueen for Jeremy for his birthday earlier in the month, he got to wear his car for Halloween. My sister had an awesome costume- she made Mr. Potato Head (with interchangeable parts for Mrs. Potato Head). In my 13 years of knowing Jason, this was the first year he decided to get dressed up. In honor of his beloved Giants, he went as Brian Wilson (Fear the Beard!), complete with mohawk.
Our church holds an annual community carnival, so that's where we headed first. We ate dinner and let the kids play some carnival games. Before heading out to go trick-or-treating, Sarah, Jason, and Jeremy entered the costume contests. Sarah won for the adult category, and Jeremy won for the kids' category! YAY!
Right around the corner from our church, we went trick-or-treating with Micah and his parents, our good friends, Jill and Adam. It was really cute watching our kids go from house to house, particularly, Micah, whose excitement was truly contagious!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Grace is 6!

It has become a tradition- our family visits the pumpkin patch on Grace's birthday. Here are a few pictures from our visit:After the pumpkin patch, Grace's request for her birthday dinner was for us to go to "the place where you get rainbow icecream for dessert" (aka the Old Spaghetti Factory). Yum! We were the only family that were seated in the trolley, and Grace and Jeremy were very excited about that.
To celebrate her 6th birthday, Grace has known for months that she wanted a kitty cat themed party. I love putting on parties, so it was fun getting ready for it. This year was extra special because my sister, Sarah (the kids call her Di Dao), came to visit us for a week. It was wonderful to have her help!
As each girl arrived, they received cat ears and their faces were painted with a nose and whiskers. Next, the girls made cat collars out of ribbon & rhinestones. Before eating, we headed outside to play a few games: Pooper Scooper (using cat litter scoops, the girls took turns scooping up "poop," aka tootsie rolls), and the Yarn Game (the girls untangled yarn that had been woven all around our yard). I had Jason go to Papa Murphy's Pizza to see if they could help make some "cat-shaped" pizzas, and we were so thrilled that they did!

For the next game, each girl got a cat food dish with a scoop of ice cream. It was a race to see who could lick their ice cream the fastest! Finally, it was time for cake (I made the cake, but many thanks to Sarah for making the cupcakes).
To end off the evening, we played our final game. The girls passed around a ball of yarn while we had some cat-themed songs playing. Grace opened up her gift from whoever was holding the ball of yarn whenever the music stopped.To thank everyone who came to Grace's party, each girl got a picture frame (we'll be sending each friend a picture of them with Grace), and a bag of cat chow (goldfish crackers). Thank you so much to our family and friends who helped us celebrate Grace's birthday. She loved every moment and said that she felt very special. We can't believe that she's SIX already! (We took many more pictures, all of which can viewed in the photo album on the right).