Monday, April 30, 2012

SS meets The Beagle.

After the picnic we headed over to Knott's Berry Farm to process our passes, and let SS get a taste of Camp Snoopy. We had been waiting for so long to provide SS with this opportunity. We are huge Snoopy fans, if inter species marriage was legal I would marry The Beagle and have his children. OK, adopt his children, because I have a very well documented aversion to pregnancy and child birth. Knott's is only twenty five minutes from the Dragon Boat practice site, and on our way home. The plan is to drop by after practices. The pass includes Soak City, a water park, and there are three, Orange County, San Diego and Palm Springs. The water park is going to come in handy when it gets hotter. We can't wait to expose SS to a real water park. Their version of the Lazy Lagoon SS loved so much at Water Works is one third mile long.  SS is going to be in aquatic heaven.  SS is now, along with 99% of Southern Californians, the proud holder of a golden pass.

We had not been in the park for ten minutes when SS scored her first meeting with Snoopy and Peppermint Patty. She had no qualms about walking up and hugging Snoopy.  It's a good thing I noticed the characters because P was about to blow his top, waiting for a dad to get a "good shot" of his wife and son, posing in front of the Camp Snoopy waterfall. P was mumbling something about how no amount of retakes was going to make his ugly son photogenic. My husband managed to out do me in the mean department and cracked me up in the process. While waiting for SS, he spent the afternoon marveling at the outstanding amount of unfortunate looking children. 

SS had a great time and we only had two uh oh moments. The first one was on the Calico Mine ride when we entered darkness. All of a sudden SS is very afraid of the dark. Ironically we had hoped to use the ride to distract her from the Log Ride. We were happily about to get in line, when we noticed there were riders stranded at the top, just before the final plunge. We did not want SS to be put off about the ride (one of our favorites, and one of the few big people rides SS can enjoy), but the dark mine did not have the desired effect. The second oh crud moment happened on the Camp Bus ride, when it elevated SS hung on to me for dear life, with a very tight grasp on my blouse. SS has not hung on to me like that since her early days home.  After soothing reassurance she began to enjoy the ride, but never surrendered her grip on me. A good time was had by all, and we are looking forward to many more afternoons of fun, watching our little spit fire girl exploring the park.

By the way I'm HATING Blogger's new look, it makes posting a freaking nightmare. Wish they had provided the option to remain using the old layout. I don't know if it is my netbook's size, but I can't access all the functions. Can't even find spell check, so sorry for any spelling errors.

SS finally meets The Beagle himself. Love the sheer adoration on P's face.

SS's first ride at Knott's, Red Baron, and she got to pilot Snoopy's favorite plane. 

We were so excited to see SS soaring, just like the big girl she is now. 

A reminder of how petite our five year old is, she can't ride without a parent is a lot of the kiddie rides. SS was dying to get behind the wheel of a race car. Just love the look on her face whenever she experienced a sharp turn. Our SS loves speed.

I went to the restroom and returned to find this picture. SS managed to get another Snoopy picture. She is really digging The Beagle.

Linus caught us off guard when he started to play with SS. 

The character was so nice, actually stopping until P could get this picture. 

The Calico Mine ride went well until we hit darkness, and SS unraveled. We won't be trying this ride again for a long time.

SS is one weird bird, while she hung on tight to her Baba, she would look back when the ride started to turn. As much as I love rides, looking back would just make me hurl. Who knew SS would turn out to
have such a strong stomach.

SS was disappointed that this ride was not fast enough for her taste. 

P had a blast hoking the horns, gladly two fisting them. 

Another ride designed to get you kid tired. This is completely kid fueled, and our tiny SS did a great job of huffing and puffing her way to the finish line.

This ride was my turn to keep SS company. She cracked me up because she acted as though she was was tripping.

SS initially said no to this ride, so I was not pleased when P sked her to try it later. I am so glad that the older kid on the right got SS's attention and that made her relax. On the video you can see her initial panic, that made me hold my breath. But she ended up really enjoying the ride.

P finally gets the picture he wanted since we entered the park. I have always wanted to climb up to the canoe for a picture, but there are always employees nearby, and my agile days are long gone. Maybe I can get SS up there one of these days.

This is one odd/cool bike,and SS could not resist striking a pose. 

Of course no fun filled day is complete without a K injury. We were hydrating and getting ready to drive home, when P did not see my gigantic self, and closed the back van door on my head. It hurt like a mother trucker and gave me the biggest instant bump I have ever had.

Dragon Boat Race picnic.

Michelle and Joe have participated in Dragon Boat Races for five years, and since I have "known" them for almost six, I have followed along through their blog. As it was the case with their many visits to D*sneyland, it made me miss Southern California even more. I went as far as telling P that upon our return I wanted to join a DBR team. Yeah right, forget my lack of exercise and overall health problems. A girl can dream right? Aunt Michelle called my bluff and invited us to her team's picnic, where we could conveniently sign up to participate. A few hours at the beach, good company, SS gets to play in the sand, with that in mind we readily accepted. We had a late start, but did make it, and decided to sign up our family. Although SS is too young to be in a boat (must be eight years old), there are many children cheering on the team. We are sure SS's voice will arise above all.

When we arrived there were forms to sign, information to be absorbed, and logistics to be arranged. Joe volunteered to take SS to play in the sand. SS ironically had an identical set of sand toys to the ones now collecting dust in Grandpa's closet in Maui. She was ready to get her sand on, and could not care less what her parents were doing. When the official business started, the group started to note who was present.  Someone self assuredly stated that Joe was with his daughter playing in the sand. It did not faze me one bit.  But P is usually just the opposite in that respect. Need to fast forward to say that P told me just a while ago that he was not bothered by that assumption at all. 

I decided to rescue poor Joe after a while and spent the rest of the informative talk playing with SS in the sand. Michelle joined us, because we felt P and Joe were perfectly capable of absorbing and relaying whatever information was imparted. Sadly P gave me a good dressing down for not being there. Dude, who the hell was supposed to mind OUR daughter? 

While I do not know, nor care about every family's origins, it appeared that SS was surrounded not only by faces that looked like hers, but by families with a similar composition. There were beautiful Asian faces from a girl who appeared to be younger than SS, to several teens. Since there was only one Asian parent in the group our deduction is not far fetched. The first practice is next month, and it looks like even if the time changes, they will be held on Sundays. Perfect for us because of P's work schedule. The only hiccup will be during the DBR Festival, on a Saturday and Sunday. P won't be there Saturday, SS and I will go solo.

SS got her sand fix, we said goodbye to Michelle and Joe, then we moved on to another first for SS.  The last picture is a clue.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Art show and overwhelming heat.

We are all working to adjust to P's new work schedule. Assuming a M-F work week, I researched activities for SS. I found a Thursday and Friday that seemed perfect, from 11-Noon.  Then we got the monkey wrench, and those were no longer an option. P is making time to come home when he only has a thirty minute lunch. He wants SS to have opportunities to socialize, but there is no way I can take that time away from them. Through good and bad circumstances, I have had the privilege to spend time with SS. The least I can do is to make sure they have time together.

I read about an art show and children's craft fair today, and it was located practically across the street from P's work. It worked very well for us, SS got her craft on, then we had lunch with Baba.  The longest line at the craft area was for (temporary) hair coloring. I thought it was really cool, and asked SS what color(s) she wanted. SS surprised me by saying no. HUH? What. The. Heck. This is not the first time I have encountered this resistance. What is it with my quirky kids and hair coloring? I had to convince JJ to have his hair temporarily colored orange, and it was (still is) his freaking favorite color! Today SS went all conservative on me, and would not budge;  not even when I suggested Green L@nter green. Seriously, your mother is giving you the OK to go temporarily crazy, take it. 

After lunch with Baba we went shopping, and the 95 degree heat took a toll on SS. I did not understand why, since she has experienced up to 117 degrees at our former home. But as P noted, it's been a few months, and SS just needs to acclimate to summer weather. My super trooper girl was awesome and we completed our errands.

When we arrived home SS managed to crack me up. When I opened the van door SS cheerfully said "I know the drill Missy." In our effort to treat SS as the five year old she is, we are working on not placing her on her carseat. She is old/strong enough to seat herself, we are tying to not to help, and only buckle her safely. I must have been saying you know the drill more often than I thought, because she has it down.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kindergarten schedule shock.

SS is all of a sudden taking afternoon naps. At school there was a mandatory rest period between 11:30 a,m. to 1:00 p.m. SS is napping much later than that, understandably going to bed late, and subsequently waking up late in the morning. I looked up the kindergarten schedule, to prepare myself to work on getting SS ready to wake up for school without a meltdown. Was totally not expecting what I saw.  All schools have morning and afternoon sessions. I called the immersion program school, and was informed that it is a morning program. School starts at 8:50 a.m. and out by 12:30 p.m. What. The. Heck. Neither school (immersion and designated) has a before/after school program.  I have never come across such a late school start with JJ. Also, JJ attended a full day kindergarten.

How the heck do people do this? Most people go to work between 7-8 a.m. P starts at 7:00 a.m., lunch at 11:30, out by 4:30. There is no way he is going to be able to help transport SS at all. It was not fun breaking the news to him.What the heck can SS learn in three and a half hours? And she is supposed to become proficient in Spanish? P said he was tempted to have me stay home with SS, and after a full day of Spanish she would be fluent by first grade. As flattered as I am, no freaking way. I have been on house arrest long enough, it's time for me to join the adult world.

I believe that some schools provide transportation to school sites that have after school care. But since SS will be on an intra district transfer, transportation is our responsibility. Need to call on Monday and research our options.  P is beyond teed off at this development and wants us to reconsider our school choice. I told him that there is no escaping the half day schedule, all schools do it. If it's an option before and after school care cost $15 per session, that comes to $450 a month. For that amount of money we could enroll SS in a private school with a full day program. We are on a tough spot, we do not qualify for any income based help, but we are definitely not well off. In short, this really sucks. So ironic that we transitioned SS into full days at preschool to needlessly prepare her for the nonexistent rigors of kindergarten. UGH.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fun, fun, fun.

Back to the rest of SS's reward for getting all those shots, plus enrolling in kindergarten. Her first ride was the kiddie carousel, first time solo, and luckily the slowest carousel we have ever encountered.

We moved on to the tea cups, with P insisting we all ride. This was my first time in a tea cup ride, hard to believe after all those trips to D*sneyland. The ride just never appealed to me, but guess that will change next time. SS insisted on "I do it myself," and had a blast. We think she will be able to handle kiddie rides at the real amusement parks.

Had to use this one again, just because she is so darn cute, and brave.

SS really enjoyed "driving the train."

Lazer Tag was by far SS's favorite, she can't stop talking about it. She is already planning her next visit.

SS did plenty of shooting with Baba.

Loved how SS rides a bike, check out the video below, she'd be dangerous on the road, with all that swerving.

After the video games SS played mini golf for the first time. P had a bit of difficulty helping SS with her grip, since he is right handed, and SS is left handed. But they made it work, and SS was excited about being a big girl.

Resting before the next hole. By the 15 hole we were all a bit tired, but SS plowed through and completed the 18 holes.

If you look behind SS you will see a water slide. The water play structure opens next month, SS was very disappointed.

Not a good idea to encourage climbing on the scenery, but the miniature structures were just SS's size.