Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Hike at Sulphur Creek

On Baby C's actual birthday, we took a class at Sulphur Creek through HARD. We've taken a few classes there, but this "Fruit Pickers"class was a longer class and included a hike (which I was not prepared for). We started the class with meeting some fruit-loving animals: a box turtle, an opossum, and two guinea pigs. I love this program because its very hands on. Baby C loves to see all the animals up close and personal too. The lady conducting the class is very good at explaining things and connecting with the kids.

Box turtle: Did you know that this is the only turtle that can bend it's bottom shell up to cover its head? Ya learn something new every day!!!

Bringing the opossum around - no petting this one!

Opossum up close - poor guy was a rescue, he got hit by a car and is completely blind, he now lives at the Sulphur Creek nature Center and gets extra TLC.

Two guinea pigs, they are buddies and always stuck together - real cute.

After we met the animals, we went on a hike to pick berries and plums for them. the trail was quite steep and narrow at times and Baby C was 4 people/kids ahead of me, and I had a sleeping Baby B in the Bjorn.

LUCKILY, there was another mom that was hiking right behind Baby C and grabbed her hand (or maybe Baby C grabbed hers) when the path got steep and narrow. At that point, I could not reach her because the path was too narrow to pass.

We had to climb up the uneven and steep "stairs" The lady in the black top and patterned skirt was my savior! - she held Baby C's hand at the steep and narrow parts!

At this point, I was seriously getting nervous, (see Baby C up ahead on the ridge already, in front of the lady in the black top and skirt). This was the last picture I took of the hike, I decided the responsible thing to do was to put my camera away and pay attention to where I was stepping!

Oh my! I was seriously having a heart attack...images of Baby C tripping, falling, and rolling down the hill and cracking her head open on her 3rd birthday!....and me, with my flip flops and sleeping baby in the Bjorn, how was I going to rescue her?! Anyways, we all survived the hike without incident, thank goodness!

After the hike, we fed the berries and plums we picked for our little animal friends, and then sat down to do a craft.

Other than those nervous hike moments, we all had a great time. I can't wait for our next Sulphur Creek class - they have their toddler time and these special classes about once a month each. We are registered for the rest of the summer and will definitely register for more in the fall! Can't wait!

A Handy Manny Birthday Party For Baby C

In years past, we've had "big" birthday parties for Baby C with our friends and family, etc. This year, we decided to scale it down and focus on her little friends. So we only invited same aged toddlers whom she actually interacts with. We still ended up with about 19 kids, including some siblings of of little buddies. We set up our usual tents in our driveway and had a couple of activity stations, kinda like a birthday playdate. It was a warm day so the water table was the hit. Since it was a Handy Manny themed party, we of course had to have Mexican food and a pinata! Don't worry, the kids did not beat Manny, it was a pull string version, so a bit more tame. LOL!

My friend MS made these FABULOUS cookies and cupcakes for the birthday girl. All themed Handy Manny. The cookies she created that topped the delish cupcakes were in the shape of Manny's tools - very creative and fun. She is a baking/decorating genius! She even made a ginormous birthday cupcake for Baby C.

Singing Happy Birthday to Baby C with her cupcake mania display.

Manny's tools, cookies custom made by my friend MS, there's Dusty the saw, Rusty the monkey wrench, Pat the Hammer, Turner the screwdriver, Philipe the Phillips screwdriver, Squeeze the pliers and Stretch the measuring tape (missing)

Baby C's ginormous birthday cupcake. We ended up saving it for her real birthday - she barely made a dent in it, but it was fun!

She even made some small cupcakes for us to share with Baby C's preschool friends. They had a little "party" for her at preschool and even sung "Happy Birthday" in 3 languages! (English, Spanish, and Mandarin)

I swore I would not go overboard on this party, but if you know me, you know I can't resist! Here is a picture (albeit not very good) of the party favors we put together for the kids - a personalized construction hat with Manny stickers filled with goodies.

Family picture with the cheesy hat. It was a hit!

Baby C got lots of cool presents including this Plasma Car from her cousins. She of course had to open the largest box first! Even Daddy J loved it - his first time on one!

What a fun day! Tooks hours to prep and clean up, but totally worth it! I love that her birthday is in the summertime, so we can play outside. Baby B's birthday is in the fall, so we'll have good variety. Can't wait for the next party!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby C!

I cannot believe my Baby C is THREE! I guess at some point, I will have to stop calling her "Baby" C… but she will always be my baby.

When I think back over the past year, the things that really stick out in my mind are her language and comprehension skills and how much she has advanced in such a short period of time. Her language has really kicked into high gear and her level of comprehension has just been amazing. We are constantly amazed at the full sentences she produces, and with such "adult-like" emotions/mannerisms.

Here are some recent random tidbits:

• She cracked her fortune cookie open and said, "Look Mommy! A fortune! It says, 'Happy Birthday C!'" didn't really, but how funny she would make that up!
• She went to the bathroom and saw that the toilet seat cover was down, turned to Daddy J and said "What the hell?!”
• She looked up, must’ve seen a fly, and said, “Uncle Calvin doesn’t like bugs.” So random, but I guess he had told her that at some point… amazing what info they can tuck away.

Now, Daddy J and I have to be SUPER careful about the things we say in front of her. It’s also amazing to hear her having “toddler” conversations with her little friends. It’s interesting to hear their perspective on new concepts like sharing, working together, or just resolving toddler conflicts. I’m sure Baby C’s language skills will continue to grow and develop but the last 12 months have truly been amazing.

For her birthday celebration on Saturday, we had a Handy Manny birthday party for Baby C over the weekend, I'll blog about that separately since we took like 400 photos, and I need some time to sort them. Dang that SLR paparazzi camera! =)

Today, we went to Sulphur Creek for a children’s class this morning and went on a nature hike. It was fun, but rather nerve-wracking since Baby C was the youngest and the trail was narrow and steep at I had Baby B sleeping in the Bjorn!

Anyhoo, happy birthday to my not-so-Baby anymore -C...!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend Party Animals

Well, not really party "animals"..and no that beer bottle was not full...!

On Saturday, we spent the day on and off switching cellular phone companies. We made the BIG decision to move over to Sprint from AT&T. We've been with AT&T for a looong time, like from back in the days when they were known as "Cellular One"! Anyhoo, the move was a bit complicated because it involved starting a new contract, my cousin's current contract, and moving some other family members around. Bottom line, we got new phones (Palm Pre's) and are saving money overall each month. So overall, a good move. We are still playing with our new geek gear, but so far, so good! Oh, all the pics on this post were taken by my new Palm Pre...not to shabby!

On Saturday morning, Baby C also had her first day of "Chinese School". The preschool she attends is having a summer Chinese immersion program on Saturday mornings, so we signed her up. She was a bit slow to warm up because it was a different crowd, same environment, but she ended up having a great time singing, dancing, and playing. They do do some writing skills, but Baby C is probably too young for that, but we just want her to be exposed to the Chines language and tones, etc.

In the evening, we attended a twins baby shower for my friend JO. She is expecting twin girls very soon. It was a pink-a-palooza and super cute! They had cotton candy, pink popcorn, pink punch, pink marshmallows...even pink blow up flamingos! =)

Pink was definitely the theme, but the real showstopper was when Baby C's friend, MO (big sister to the twins), jumped into a bucket of water that had rubber duckies floating in it (I guess she thought it was a pool/bathtub!)...with her cute pink outfit, diaper, and all...and SAT DOWN! Of course, it looked like too much fun for Baby C NOT to join in, so she hopped in too. She was wearing a skirt, and I repeatedly told her NOT to sit down, just splash her feet. She was pretty good about it until...MO pulled her into the water to sit with her! Baby C kinda freaked because she thought I would be mad (what a god girl!!), but I assured her that it was ok and to go have fun! After all, it was already too late! LOL! Good times!

Splish Splash!

Yumm...cotton candy!

Deliciously awesome cakes to celebrate the twins!

On Sunday we went to a summer party in Campbell hosted at our friends K&M's house. It was a beautiful day to hang out with good friends, good food, and have good times. Baby C played a lot, ate a little, and surprisingly did not nap in the car on the way home! Then the in laws came over for dinner.

Baby B hanging out at K&M's summer party.

WHEW! We need the next week to recover and gear up for Baby C's 3rd birthday party next weekend! =) Party on!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Yums at Trader Joe's

Ooh, these are sooo addicting! First because they are super yummy, second cuz they are only 30 calories each! Check it out, you won't be sorry. As for me, I have to stop buying it because I can't just eat one...or two...or get the picture...dangerous! =)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Balance Bikes

We are shopping for a balance bike for Baby C's 3rd birthday. It's a cool concept that is popular in Europe, but catching on here in the U.S. What's a balance bike you might ask? Here is a short description off the website:

"Two-wheelers with no pedals, otherwise known as balance bikes, run bikes, or strider bikes, allow kids to learn the basic fundamentals first (balancing, leaning and turning). Kids learn naturally how to ride, and going from a strider to a real pedal bike happens in no time."

We were first eying the "Skuut" (rhymes with hoot), but a couple moms in my mother's club turned me on to the "Strider" bike...and there is a distributor here in CV, and I could go over to her house and "test drive" the bikes in her culdesac (she only carries 3 models). So that's what we did! We test drove the Strider and KaZam bikes.

Here are some pictures of our test drive. Baby C's only request was that it was pink. She did not really have a preference to which model, they both fit her fine since the handlebars and seats are adjustable. I could not decide so I checked in with Daddy J and then went back that evening to buy a pink Strider. More pictures/videos to come as Baby C masters her new bike! Very exciting!!!

Baby C modeling the KaZam Bike.

Baby C modeling the Strider Bike.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pirate Ships

"Pirate Ships...Arrrr!" ~ Baby C

"Yes, Pirate ships indeed! I like the green one with the sails."
~ Mommy

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt

A Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt just opened up in Castro Valley. They were offering free yogurt all weekend...yes free! We finally got a chance to swing by on Sunday and it was pretty yummy, plus Baby C got a balloon to boot!

According to the website, the chain originated in SoCal and was one of the original pioneers of frozen yogurt. Anyhoo, I really hope the chain makes it in CV...we are def lacking any "cool" stuff here. =P

It feels like these yogurt places are popping up everywhere! In the area, there are already a couple I know of, I hope the market doe snot get over-saturated with fro-yo!

Zuckersuss in Hayward (organic)
Blush in Dublin (organic)
Yogurtland in San Ramon
Yogurt Shack in Danville

Bubbles and Giggles

Here is a video of the girls having fun. Baby B's laugh is just so contagious!...or maybe I am just biased! *wink*

I Want My Baby Back...Baby Back...

What's a Fourth of July holiday without some quintessential summer food? Since we did not go to any get-togethers this year, I thought I would whip something up at home.

I made some baby back ribs with BBQ sauce tonight, along with some Caesar salad, and some salmon bow tie salad from Coscto (good stuff BTW). We topped off our meal with watermelon and beers! Good grubbing!

Costco Run

We hit up Costco today for some basics...and walked out $330 poorer. WTH? I think they are partially to blame cuz they were pretty well behaved today...=)

Here is a picture of the girls in the shopping cart together for the first time. Though the Costco carts are "double wide", it was a bit of a challenge to get them in the cart with the "shopping cart condom" on (as I affectionately call it). There are only two leg holes, and luckily the girls are still small, so I had to shove two legs in each hole. I guess when they get bigger, I'll just have to freeball them in the cart...note to self: bring antibacterial wipes!

I am not a total germ-a-phobe, but shopping carts just get a lot of action, ya know?

BTW, Baby C is munching on a polish dog, and Baby B is enjoying some of the bun. Good times...!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gorgonzola Crackers

Yummy find at Trader Joe's...they really taste gorgonzola-y!
So if you are into that, pick up a box, you won't be sorry! =)

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!

Our fourth started with a BANG...or rather a BUMP...on Baby B's head! She was sitting on the bathroom floor this morning while I was getting ready and then I heard a loud BONK! She was reaching for something, toppled over, and bonked her left forehead. I was afraid it would turn into an "egg", but it was pretty tame, just a little swollen and bruised. I applied a cool washcloth to it as much as I could. Luckily her bangs covered the battle scar. By the evening, it was just a bruise (see picture below). Ah, a milestone - Baby B's first injury!

Our morning was also interrupted by an ant attack in our kitchen. It just ain't summer without a few ant episodes in our house...ACK! Of course we ALWAYS seem to get out ant attacks on a Saturday mornings, so I always have to wait until like Monday or Tuesday to get an appointment with the Orkin guy. We've had a contract with them for many years, yet we get ants every summer...I am beginning to lose faith in them...or is it just normal? *SIGH*

This year we did not hit up any festivals/fairs/events, but just had a chill day. We went out to SF to have dim sum with the in laws and hang out a bit.

As you can see, Baby B was not phased by her morning bump on the head.

After the kiddies napped on the way home, Baby C and I baked some holiday cupcakes. A bit on the sweet side, but fun nonetheless!

Oh, and in the afternoon, I got a call from my friend SM, who had her baby boy today! How patriotic of them! *wink* She was on bed rest for like 10 days until she reached 36 weeks, and one week later, Baby WM decided to make his debut on the Fourth of July! Funny because big brother TM's 3rd birthday is tomorrow! I guess the July Fourth holiday will always be doubly special for them! Welcome Baby WM!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Full Friday

Ahh...the beginning of a long weekend!

Today we (Baby B and I) slept in a bit, then my cousin stopped by in the AM to drop off a cool walker/bouncer thingy for Baby B. her son ZR had already outgrown it. We never had a walker for Baby C, but isn't it cute?!? Baby B seemed to like the newfound mobility...she is quickly learning how to move forward, backwards, and sideways.

Then we headed out to grab lunch and run some errands. First we checked out this Korean BBQ place in Dublin called Tri Valley Korean Restaurant BBQ. We've driven by it a couple times but never tried it. Looks like it did not get great ratings on Yelp, but we thought it was decent. Dishes/sidedishes are smaller than our usual Korea House in Hayward, but the service and food was good. Clean and kid friendly (although the place was pretty empty). Daddy J had a short ribs "box" lunch, and I ordered dolsot bibimbap.

After lunch, we stopped by Dough Boy's Donuts for some treats. Baby C chose the biggest chocolate covered doughnut she could find (a twist), and later had it for dinner (basically). We'll have to go back next time and try their crepes.

Then we went to Armstrong Nursery to look at adding some color to our front and back yards. After speaking to the lady their, we realized we have much planning and research to do. We usually just randomly buy plants/flowers and have about a 50% survival rate. the lady at the nursery encouraged us to do a bit of planning to save some money and to look at the big picture. She had a point. I guess that is the difference between going to a real nursery vs just a Home Depot/Lowe's, may pay more, but you get better service/advice at a real nursery. Anyhoo, hopefully I'll be posting before and after photos soon. I really want the front yard to look nice for Baby C's upcoming birthday party...

After a fruitless trip to the nursery, we hit up a local AT&T and Sprint store to check out some new phones/plans for me. I am looking to replace my Iphone and have my eye on the new Palm Pre, but I would have to switch cell companies...more to come on that.

To end our errand run, we stopped by Yogurtland in San Ramon for some yums. Flavors I tried today: strawberry, green tea, and cheesecake. Toppings: strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, and mochi. Just load up your cup with yogurt and toppings of your choice and you pay by weight!

Sooo...quite a productive day I must say...Now let the REAL weekend begin!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More Cull Canyon

Today I met up with some friends and their kiddies at Cull Canyon. It was a great day, not too hot, not too cold. We lasted almost 3 hours, which was record time for us...but had to leave cuz Baby B was getting grouchy...wish she would just sleep wherever....*sigh* My friends stayed a bit longer, and by the time they left, the place was really getting packed.

We packed a lunch and of course Baby C did not eat any of it. She only ate some goldfish and managed to get sand all up in her lunch...I hate just gets everywhere! =P

Here is a picture of Baby B and her little friend KB, he just turned one. Funny how they look almost the same size....?! LOL!