Saturday, July 28, 2012

Helping clean the van.

SS is always ready to lend a hand. I'm so lucky to have such help.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Helping clean the van.

I'm so lucky to have such help.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

SS is a true Angels fan, down to her blood type.

Yesterday at 9:00 a.m. I received a call from SS's pediatrician regarding her lab work. SS is healthy, and as a bonus, she does not need an MMR shot. I asked Dr. B what if the school insisted on the shot. He asked that we pick up a copy of the results, present it to the school nurse, and if she had a problem she can call him.  Cool, we like this doctor.  Dr. B then told me what we have waited four years to know, SS's blood type. It turned out to be one of those moments I wish I could do over. The moment I heard A+, I squealed.  Yes, I squealed like a stupid teenager, not only that, but I managed to croak out "Just like me." UGH, how embarrassing. Not only like me, but like JJ and Abuela. Turns out that SS is a true Angels fans, down to her blood type.  Upon hearing the news P crowed, "Good, I can donate blood to all of you." P is O+.  I had an appointment at 10:45, and as we were getting ready, P suggested that once we were done with the appointment and delivered SS's lab work to her school, we could come home and take it easy. We arrived home late Monday night, went to bed past midnight, and were up very early. It sounded like a great plan.

Great plans do have a way of becoming derailed, albeit for good reasons. We were prepared for the hurried first appointment, then wait for referrals whenever. Turns out Doc B (to differentiate from SS's Dr. B) is a spitfire who likes to get things moving quickly. Before getting into the appointment, we wanted to share that my ethnic womb struck again. Doc B was going over my medical history, asked for number of pregnancies (I said one, because it's really irrelevant), then how many resulted in live births.  When I said one, she smiled and rolled her eyes, as in thinking duh, then pointed to SS. Doc B then proceeded to chuckle at her silly mistake. It's a good thing she was so freaking nice and knowledgeable, so we overlooked  that temporary lapse.

Doc B was simply amazing, very throughout, and a good listener. I was glad P was there, because he can rattle in record time every medication I have taken since we met. When we talked about my insomnia, I could tell Doc B was impressed when P gave her a chronology of the medications that I have tried without success. When she noted that I have tried all that's out there I was discouraged. Doc B stated that she did not want to retrace already taken steps, and surprised us by stating she was making a referral to a pulmonologist.  Huh? Apparently there's a pulmonology practice specializing is sleeping disorders, for people like me, "not your garden variety insomniac." Lucky me, I'm untreatable.

Next Doc B checked my left knee, and managed to manipulate it in a position that would cause the most excruciating pain.  That earned me another referral. She then asked me why did I think I had a hernia, so I just showed her. No need to explain, once you see it, you know what it is. That earned me my third referral, to a surgeon.  Since we had been in the examining room for way over an hour, I decided to leave the minor issues, asthma and allergies, for the next appointment. Doc B bid adieu, and we got ready to leave. Her medical assistant came in with my lab orders, X-ray referral (to be followed by an MRI), and the surgeon referral. Wow, that was fast. She apologized for not having the pulmonologist referral, since those are handled by the referral coordinator. I think we are going to be just fine under Doc B's care.

We made a quick stop for SS's lab work copy, then had lunch.  With Dragon Boat weekend, and P not due for a day off until August 6, we decided to forgo going home to chill out. We first stopped for my lab work, where P and SS amused themselves by taking manipulated pictures of each other.  The knee X-ray was next, and we were grateful that SS had entertainment.  We drove to SS's school, but the staff does not return until Monday.  Just when we thought we would go home, take a break then start grilling dinner, we remembered that we promised SS a movie. She had been asking to see Brave for a while, and we said we would go this week. Yesterday was our last opportunity this week, so we came home, spent an hour making phone calls to our insurance, scheduled the surgeon's appointment, then off to the movies. SS enjoyed the movie, and she will be asking for an archery set soon. We didn't get to take it easy, but at least we got quite a bit done.

SS can't get enough of her Rally Monkey.

You've got to be kidding me. She really thinks Mama gave birth to me and I came out Chinese? Way to go Mama and Baba!

This one made SS laugh the most.

At the imaging center. SS can't see a "fountain" and not take a picture.

SS's school, and of course I would not post the entire name.

SS hinting at the next movie she wants to see. So not going to happen.

Finally a D*sney female protagonist that does not make me want to hurl.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Go Angels!

Ever since we arrived from China, P has wanted to take SS to an Angels game. Her first two years home, SS was too young to sit through a game, let alone understand what was going on.  SS was also afraid of loud noises, and that is exactly what one gets in a stadium full of rabid fans. By her third year home SS was into the Angels and would watch the games with P. However, the thought of driving five hours one way, spend the night, just to watch a sport that is as exciting as watching paint dry, or watching grass grow, did not appeal to me. And SS still had issues with noises, depending on the situation. I did not rush into looking for lodging or possible dates to travel to Oakland for a game. P also wanted a cheerleader outfit for SS, and we waited until we returned home to get the right size. By the time we looked for the outfit, we could not find it in red and blue, only pink, yuck, we passed. The picture below was taken in August 2008, Baba and Baby S wearing matching Angels socks, sippy cup for Baby S, and frosty mug for Baba.

One of the first things on P's mind when we moved was to cross that item off his long awaited to do list. We could not find a cheerleader outfit, but P was OK with a nice hat and a T-shirt, as long as he had the opportunity to take his angel to an Angels game.  Last night P finally got his wish, as he cashed in the remaining Father's Day gift.  Both SS and P were giddy with excitement. P educated SS on the importance of the Rally Monkey, something that went right over my head. It turned out to be a very valuable lesson.

Holding her ticket and ready to root for her team.

That is one big hat.

Let's roll...

We arrived early because we wanted to check out the merchandise, especially a Rally Monkey.

Sorry about the many pictures, but this was four years in the making, and we wanted to make sure to get the Angels logo in as many times as possible.

Good job P, an Angels home game beats being in hostile Oakland A's territory. Plus SS was finally very ready to enjoy the game.

Our monkey holding her Rally Monkey.

SS had a blast, because our daughter loves any opportunity to cheer, applaud, scream, jump, shout, and go wild and crazy. She caught on right away when the border screens called for "Make Noise," or clap, clap clap "Let's Go!" She was a tad baffled when the Kansas City pitcher threw the ball to first base to keep the player from straying, and the crowd booed. P only had to explain once, and after that SS right on it  The pitcher got right what he deserved every time he engaged in such an evil deed.

SS became an instant fan of the Rally Monkey, and made as much noise as she could to make him appear.  People around us were surprised at how much noise her tiny body could produce. We did not have a problem letting SS scream, shout and spend as much energy as possible. Anything for the opportunity to have her go gentle into that good night sleep.

I became worried when at the top of the seventh inning the score was tied. I was done by the third inning and was dreading the game going into extra innings. Thankfully our team came through on the eight inning, and scored three runs for a 6-3 Halo win. As much as I'm not a baseball fan, I did have a good time just being there for another SS first. But also because this was something P wanted so much, and for so long. The smile on his face was worth the three and a half hours on that seat. Combined with SS's smiles and sense of wonder, it made for an unforgettable evening.  

Love watching those little fists up in the air. SS was initially baffled by the seven inning stretch since it's been two years since we went to the Outlaws minor league game in Chico. She quickly got the hang of it, and a dancing she went. SS also participated in her very first wave. The look on her face as she saw the wave make its way around the stadium was priceless.  I have never enjoyed a wave so much in my life. While I do enjoy watching in the comfort of my air conditioned home, with a bathroom a few steps away, and free food and drink, I would do it again.

I ended up with a pink logo on my hat, it was on clearance, and I'm cheap. Turns out it matches my T-shirt, so it worked out well. We all ended up with different shirts and hats. Just like the make up of our family. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Paddle warrior.

Yesterday we had our last Dragon Boat practice, next weekend is the Dragon Boat Festival, the races, the real thing. Initially SS and I were going to attend both days, but P works Saturdays. P was able to trade days with a coworker, and not only do we get to enjoy both days with him, but we won't have to drive to Long Beach both days. We are going to stay in the area Saturday night, because after a full day of fun, racing, sand, sun and water, we know we are going to be very tired. We are really looking forward to the festival.

When we arrived at practice, our new paddles and team T-shirts were there.  One of the guys cut our paddles to our individual fit. When M gave me our T-shirts I did a double take, one hanger had my name, the other P's name, but the outside of the bag was labeled Bumble Bee. Who the heck is Bumble Bee? Turns out that SS has been talking a lot about Transformers, because M knew about her obsession, and asked her teenage daughter which one was SS's favorite. J remembered that SS's favorite is Bumble Bee. Sweet and scary at the same time.

We skipped the water park, because we had plans for Monday and Tuesday, and did not want to overload ourselves.  SS did not complain, maybe she was tired as well. It turned out to be a wise choice, because we practiced race pace, and we both had very sore shoulders by the time we made it home. We would have been home a lot earlier, but we stopped at a few Toys R Us, in search for SS's school backpack. Turns out our daughter is pining for the hottest backpack for boys, the green Ninjago Ninja. It is sold out everywhere, and it does not look like she'll be getting what she wants.  Amazon has the backpack/lunch tote set for $70, and that is NOT going to happen.

How many pictures can we post of SS asleep? Who knows, but come on, this is an unique sleeping pose. Funny, that is how P usually falls asleep.

Bumble Bee's T-shirt bag.

Check out SS's new fedora.

Blazing Paddles

Fast, fresh, fierce.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

P is getting his grill on.

We left our grill behind when we moved, and were in no hurry to buy another one. We are still unpacking, grill shopping was nowhere in the horizon. I considered getting one for father's day, but P asked me to wait, since he wasn't sure what he wanted. Our previous grill had a rotisserie, and a side burner.  But we hardly used either feature, and P was weighing his options. Grandpa put us out of our indecisive misery by giving P a grill for Father's Day.  When we lived in family housing at UCR, grilling and/or eating outside on the patio was an almost daily occurrence. It would be nice to do that again.  That is, once we get a patio set.

The day the grill arrived, P started assembly as soon as he came home from work, with help from his ever present side kick.

Of course I'm helping, my mere presence brings upon a sense of calmness, which is conductive to understanding the directions.

As P lined up the parts he realized it was going to take longer than he originally estimated.

Most likely wishing he had left the darned thing in the box until his next day off, but too late because all the parts were out.

SS decided to get some painting done, before returning to "help."

Just back in in time to help with the finishing touches, and unveiling of the finished product.

She assembled a grill ad finished her painting. SS can multitask.

We have already used the grill quite a few times, the reason for P's sudden interest in amassing mammal flesh in the garage freezer. Friday afternoon we were texting back and forth about what to have for dinner. P wanted to grill, but could not decide what. With a freezer full of beef and chicken, we both realized we did not have the one thing we were craving, fish. P did not care what kind, as long as it could be grilled. SS and I drove to C0stco in search of dinner. 
P and his shadow.

There's lots of reading to do, since this is an election year. Four years ago, SS had only been home for four months on election day. She's never forgiven herself for not being thoroughly informed on all the issues.

Sundried tomato basil breaded tilapia (Costco), sweet mini peppers, zucchini, and rice.

Mikey liked it.

Not only did SS give it two thumbs up, she ate 3/4 of the fillet. Not bad for our light eater, who finished the leftover half of her burger for lunch.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hard to believe that...

Four years ago tired, sick, but very happy, we arrived at SFO with the little girl we conceived during a camping trip in Vancouver, British Columbia, five years earlier. We still have a good laugh about juggling SS, our luggage, and carry ons, while making sure her feet did not touch the floor. Why? Because P had been waiting for this moment for years.

It was so important to him, that we managed to tee off our agency, by refusing to fly into LA as they required. It was so important to him, that he did not think a second before telling Grandpa that no way was SS going to enter the US through Maui. P did not want the seemingly requisite picture we saw on so many blogs, a cute Chinese child touching US soil for the first time at the airport. P wanted SS to plant her tiny feet on US soil in the town he was born, San Francisco. And he made it a family connection by choosing La Taqueria, a place all four of us now have in common.

Hard to look at SS today and remember the shy sixteen month old who tentatively crawled around looking at her new room, her new home, her new things. Heck, she had no idea each and every item was exclusively hers, chosen for her, and just her. No more common property.  SS did not know that her crib had been set up in three rooms, in three different dwellings, while we waited for her to come home. 

Four years later SS is an interesting study of contradictions. She is with us every day, she has self assuredly taken over every aspect of our lives; yet every time we get ready to go somewhere, or exit the van, she asks if she is coming along. She worships super heroes, and anything boy, but is the most feminine looking creature. Her Spanish pronunciation is flawless, while she struggles with English pronunciation. SS is the proverbial box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.

SS can be extremely shy at times, becoming paralyzed when simply asked her name, her age, or how she is doing. But five minutes later she does not have any qualms about belting out, in the middle of a Carters store, "It's a quarter after one, I'm a little drunk and I need you know."  SS still struggles with simple concepts three year olds have mastered. Then turns around and assembles a Lego toy years above her age, or assembles a 100 piece puzzle in record time. SS loves music, technology, and has a wicked sense of humor.

SS cracks us up just being her quirky self, from her love of skulls and bones, to her fear of plain old pumpkins in a pumpkin patch. She goes around singing "I'm sexy and I know it," like other kids sing Barney songs.  While driving today, SS went all Commodores on me by singing "She's a brick HOUSE." Then asked, "Mama, what is a brick house?" Yesterday morning she came to me and asked, "Does my breath stink?" Then cupped her hand, blew on it and smelled. Where does she get that from? We still struggle with attachment, a seemingly never ending reminder of her beginnings. But SS has enriched our lives beyond anything we ever expected. Happy four years home SS. And as much as we love you, we are glad you are finally in your own bed.

Her legs look deceivingly long in this picture.