30 July 2008

Summer Blackberry Picking...

Where is Trinh going with Bà Bà? To pick blackberries! There are wild blackberries that grow along the ditch that separate our subdivisions. When the weather is nice, below 95 degrees F that is, we will usually walk over to her ông bà's house. In the summers, the ditch is covered in blackberry bushes.

This was back in May. It is now August. Why the delay in posting these pictures? Well, we have 4 digital cameras. Three of which we have purchased since the birth of our daughter. Sometimes, we forget to upload a memory card. These were taken with our little point-n-shoot Sony Cybershot. It's the digital camera we keep in the diaper bag... just in case.

28 July 2008

Mama, I fell in!!

We've been potty training, but today saw a traumatic new development: Trinh fell into the toilet!

As you can imagine, the Mama had a terrible time stifling a chuckle. Trinh has been adamant that she can do this all by herself, and she occasionally goes without announcing it to the entire world. Today Huong was in the laundry room when she heard, "Mama! Trinh té rồi! Trinh ướt hết rồi!"

Rough translation: "Mama, I've fallen! I'm completely soaking wet!"

She even got her shirt wet -- and she usually pulls her shirt up to her armpits to remove any chance that it might get wet. Poor thing, she must've hit bottom....with her bottom.

Supposing this blog lives on in some format, she's going to disown us in about 10 years. <sigh> If only she could tell how much we love these precious little episodes.

26 July 2008

All I Have is Me

Trinhity asked me to put on the Little Mermaid soundtrack this morning. I obliged, of course -- hardly a chore. I suppose that knowing all the words to several mermaid songs permanently bars me from membership in any number of fine Texan institutions, but so be it.

One of the orchestral pieces early in the movie is a waltz, and she said, "Daddy, my prince, will you dance with me?" Again, not exactly a hardship. In a decade, I'll be the last person on earth she'll want to dance with -- much less a waltz. Gotta take my spins while I can.

But what she said next just floored me. She looked down at her shorts and t-shirt and said, "Daddy, I don't have a beautiful dress or glass slippers, but I have what's inside me...and it's beautiful too."

Prince Daddy is happy.

13 July 2008

Ps & Qs

Having mastered the alphabet verbally (with the occasional exception of "TUV"), Trinhity has moved onto writing her letters.  She's got "T" and "H" and "A" down, along with the simple "I" and "O".  She solo'd an "N" a few days ago, and she flashed a lovely "F" today -- hopefully on the way to an "R" so she can spell her name.

All four of us returned to an old haunt this morning for breakfast, La Madeleine.  Trinhity insisted on bringing her markers and paper, and she drew a fairly realistic if Picasso-esque bunny, a surrealistic lion, and lots of footprints.  Then she got working on her letters again, and she tried a "Q".  The tail was a bit too long.

"Mommy," she said, "every time I draw a "Q" it looks like a balloon.  Can you help me??"

12 July 2008

Serious & Mischievious

Love these two photos of Trinh. She has such beautiful eyes.

She is an extremely intense and serious little girl...

...with just the right mix of mischief and je ne sais quoi.


Trinhity & Taison are having lunch together on their little plastic picnic table. She's having seaweed and rice. He's eating chicken...

Alert readers will note that Tai is sitting up by himself. We're very proud.

But let's have a closer look at Tai's chicken. As you might have guessed, we feed our children only the highest quality foods: this an unfenced, free-range bird recently liberated from an ark.

See, the original plan was to give him only white meat, lest we accidentally trigger an as-yet-undiagnosed allergic reaction. Trinhity has a wheat allergy so we are being very careful with Taison. But you can guess what happened to that giraffe...

And yes, we let our children eat with their hands, talk with their mouths full, use knives (indeed, eat from knives) and put their elbows and feet on the table. It's all supposed to help build their character & self-esteem. Good Parenting 101.

07 July 2008

Arguing with My Women

Trinhity eats a lot of seaweed. We have some dear Korean friends to thank for the discovery of easily-portable, pre-packaged, pre-cut seaweed sheets -- gim in Korean, similar to the Japanese nori or Welsh laver. They're roasted, brushed with various oils and lightly salted; rolled with rice, they're bite-sized, budget-friendly and yummy.

It pleases us immensely that she so willingly eats a relatively healthy food. But sometimes we worry that she doesn't eat enough variety.

I don't quite remember how the conversation got started, but tonight Trinh & I got talking about food, and I was lecturing about the importance of a balanced diet. If you eat only one kind of food, your body won't be strong. I stressed that it's critical to eat vegetables. So far, so good.

Then I made a fatal error: I implied that she wasn't eating enough vegetables, forgetting momentarily about her seaweed addiction. She said defensively, "But Daddy, seaweed is rau (green vegetable). I eat lots of rau!"

Uh, uh. She had me there, and I was sorta at a loss for words. I stumbled out an agreement, then said, "Did you know that arguing with you is kinda like arguing with your mother?"

She looked up, then broke into a dangerously knowing sideways grin. "Yeeeaaah," she drawled, coyly.

Oh boy.

02 July 2008

Nukin' the 'Fridge

There must be a word for this -- enlighten us if you know: when people who are too old to be hip (indeed, who probably weren't hip in the first place) cling to the past by using phrases far too young for them. That's us. Well, that's Daddy.

Never mind. See, we're nukin' the 'fridge with this one -- a picture with such improbable, over-the-top coloration that it's just sooo blatantly PhotoShopped. But hey, it's fun.

Happy Birthday Part II

Here is Trinhity at her second three year old birthday party. Her ông bà came back from their Alaskan cruise so we had the usual little family birthday party. Mama didn't make the cake this year -- she was busy. So we bought her a little ice-cream cake. She was thrilled... licked her name off of the top after she blew out the candles. She didn't care much for the cake, but the adults enjoyed it.
What she was interested in was the presents.... and look at what ông bà got her...
Yup. Princess is now a proud owner of a Harley Davidson Scooter. She LOVES it. We had to convince her to open all of her other presents. She did so reluctantly and then returned to play with the scooter as soon as the onus task of opening presents was completed.

Thanks to Aunt Clara & Uncle Trevor and Grandma & Grandpa Clark for the great books. We can never have enough books in this house! The blue princess dress is from Daddy... he picked it out especially for her. It's from the Pumpkin Patch. Mama doesn't let Daddy go to this store often... he's a sucker for cute princess dresses.

My SpringRoll Has A First Name...

It's G-o-i-C-u-o-n.

OK, perhaps it doesn't quite have the same ring as bologna, but it sure tastes better! Goi cuon is one of her favorite foods. Fortunately for her, she can order it herself at the Vietnamese restaurants. Unfortunately, for the parentals, she tends to only eat the wrapper. That's right. Goi cuon is filled with rice vermicelli, shrimp, pork, and a variety of fresh veggies, and princess just eats the rice wrapper. She doesn't even like the peanut dip sauce. It was funny the first few times she did it...but have you ever tried eating spring roll shrapnel off of a plate?

mmmm... rice paper...

Cherry Tomatoes

She loves cherry tomatoes. She always grabs them from our plate. She does not really eat them. She will sometimes take a bite but not often. Mostly, she just plays with them. This cracks us up. We know, good parents. Oh well.