26 April 2010

Art

Ballerinas on stage
Our family from L-R: Tai, Trinh, Mama, Daddy
She drew this and cut out the images herself.
This one was from school and was part of her assessment done back in January. She was given half of a girl and she filled in the other half.
This one was also a part of her assessment at school. Her teacher gave everyone a blank page and gave oral instructions on what to draw. For example, the children were told to draw a blue square in the center of the page, put an "X" on the corners, draw a red heart in the middle of the square, etc. The only thing she did incorrectly was to place the orange rectangle and the purple oval in opposite places. She still is struggling with distinguishing left and right (her Mama still has problems with this as well). Of the 12 kids in her class, only three of the pictures looked somewhat like what they were supposed to while most of the others ranged from scribbles to having only about half of the elements present in the drawing.

A picture she drew for Tai Tai at school during her free time:
A few months back she had a slight obsession with the movie Wall-E. This is a survey she created with some spelling help from Daddy.
Ants marching:
Decorations for our house that she made and hung up herself. These were up in our house for about 3 months.

Cowgirl

She went to a western themed birthday party for her bestest friend from school. Our cowgirl of course decided that all cowgirls wear boots and thus donned her rainboots for the event. Very cowgirl-chic, no?
Here she is beating the hell out of the pinata. All sound and fury.... she made Daddy proud. (Click on the image below to get a larger image for the full effect)

Zoo field trip

Class field trip to the Houston Zoo.
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Just For Fun



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Spring projects

Trinhity's been helping to get the garden prepped this Spring. She didn't like the way Mama trimmed up the Japanese boxwood so she gave her some creative suggestions as to how to improve the general landscaping of the yard. Initially, she wanted a rabbit, or a bird. Mama convinced her that this would be within the realm of possibility:
We had a colder winter this year so the frost killed off a lot of the plants in our yard. We've been busy planting flowers and vines to lure butterflies to our yard. We have milkweed which is a host plant for the monarch butterfly. Below is a small caterpillar which has probably already gone off to create a chrysalis and is well on it's way to becoming a monarch butterfly by now.

Although the kids love having the butterfly garden, Taison is a bit rough with the plants and "pets" and tends to stomp on all things growing and creeping. Darwinism at it's finest.... played out right here in our backyard!
One of our projects this year -- the new patio and pergola:
Trinhity loves her new "roof" and all the colorful pebbles that we had put in. And what does a kid do with rocks? She stacks, paints, and draws on them of course.

Spring Festival & Easter Breakfast

We attended the annual Spring festival in our subdivision again this year. There is always an egg hunt for the children. This year, Trinhity decided she wanted to use her Halloween ghost bag instead of her Easter basket. Ok.
As usual, there were games, moonwalks, pony rides, and a petting zoo.
She had her first taste of cotton candy this year. She liked the first few bites and then decided it was enough. Taison didn't care for it.
On Easter morning, we had a mini Easter basket hunt in the house and the kids got to eat their chocolate bunnies for breakfast.
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Art: Sculptures

Trinh has been very busy creating pictures and materpieces.
Here is an ant that she created from a K'nex building set that Daddy picked up from a yard sale. We were floored when she showed this to us. She created this all on her owns. There were no pictures of anything resembling what she created. Her ant is even anatomically correct. It has 6 legs, antennae, and the body is divided into three sections. Amazing!
Here is a dragon she made with simple wooden blocks. Again, there were no pictures to guide her... only her imagination.
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Totally Random

From the Rodeo Round Up party at school in March:
Her mouse ears from Country Mouse/City Mouse Day at school:
Static:
Proof that we have been to the establishment where a kid can be a kid:
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Been too long again...



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16 April 2010

Sage Travel Advice

I'm currently stuck in the Budget Terminal at Changi Airport in Singapore because I missed my 06:25 flight to Kuala Lumpur because the transit hotel was in Terminal 1 and my bags were in Terminal 2 and the trains weren't running at o'dark early and....well, never mind.

Point is, I've got a couple hours to kill and they've got free wireless in the terminal. Just did a video Skype with the kids, and Trinh gave me a couple of really sage pieces of travel advice:
"Daddy, listen to me. Never ever ever stick your head outside the window of the airplane. You have to promise me, OK?!? Oh...and also, don't drink the toilet water. "
Does it get better than that?

01 April 2010

Sheets & Clouds

Before the kids came the not-yet Mama-san made a minor sanctuary of our bed: 300+ count sheets, down duvet, everything white. We called it The Cloud.

Recently we've been encouraging Trinhity to sleep in "her" bed as she showed some interest in laying claim to the nearly-unused toddler bed (which uses the mattress from the nearly-unused crib) which has been sitting idle in a corner of the kids' room for YEARS.

To move this along we offered to get her some sheets that she'd like. Princesses, that's what she wanted. We still haven't given in completely to the commercialized stuff, so we eschewed the Disney princess themed bedset and talked her into a nice, colorful set with funky flowers.

She slept in it for almost a week, but she's been sick the last few nights and wanted to sleep with me instead. The first night she claimed that her bed was too lonely, but last night she started a new refrain: "Daddy, your bed is just so soft! It's like a feather. My bed is soooo scratchy."

I didn't know what the thread count on sheets meant until at least my early 30s, and I still don't really notice when the sheets are scratchy. I can't help but think that the Mama-san has played some role in our daughter's newfound high-brow taste in sheets.

But after that came my favorite part: "Daddy, your bed is like sleeping on a pillow! But it's soooo boring. Don't they make soft sheets like that with actual COLORS?"

And now I've found myself actually surfing for 300+ count sheets for a toddler bed. Never thought I'd see the day.