Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A drastic way to summon the Tooth Fairy.

Ever since that first tooth fell off almost one year ago (April), SS has eagerly awaited another visit from the Tooth Fairy. As she nears her sixth birthday, it has become a daily obsession, checking her teeth for any signs of looseness.I joked that I was afraid SS would resort to something drastic, and darn drastic we got this morning. I received a call from the school nurse (those never end well) stating that SS collided with another child during recess, she was OK, but had a nosebleed that was stopped by then, and a swollen lip. Not bad for a collision with a child with more mass and momentum.  The nurse stated that SS was very emotional and it would be best if I brought her home.

As soon as I saw SS I knew there was more to the incident. The nurse asked me if SS was missing any teeth. Just her bottom tooth. The nurse asked me if I was sure. Uh, yes I am, she is my kid and she only had one missing tooth this morning. SS was in too much pain to open her mouth but when they said she had a gap on her upper gums I knew at least one tooth was gone. Once SS allowed at quick peek at home, we were able to confirm the missing tooth, plus two very loose from their socket. I quickly made an appointment with SS's dentist to make sure all was OK.

The dentist wishes one of the other teeth was knocked out too. They are at an awkward angle, but after examining the amount of trauma to SS's face, she could not justify removing the tooth. The dentist estimates two weeks before full recovery. Our poor baby left a tooth somewhere in the playground when she collided with a third grader. Why in heavens are third graders and kinder kids sharing a playground? I only found out that our daughter was rammed by a much bigger train courtesy of her classmates. The school did not say a thing. What else? Busted lip, busted gums, bloody nose, and a nice shiner to be on her right cheek.  SS certainly made her first trip to the nurse's office count.


The upside to all the trauma, a diet of soft, cold foods.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Dark SS Rises.

SS had her heart and mind set on a Batman costume for Halloween 2011, and it had to be The Dark Knight Rises costume. The original blue, yellow and black was "for babies." We could not find one in SS's size, and P managed to talk her into wearing the Batgirl costume, as long as we never uttered the word girl; it was a Batman costume. Today was Super Hero Day at school, and the perfect opportunity to make it up to our girl. I found a size 4-6 that fit SS perfectly, it was such a joy to watch SS smile, ooh, ahhh, and just show her excitement. By now her classmates know what to expect from SS, and they all gushed and gave her plenty of compliments. Mrs. O asked for a picture right away, and our dark knight obliged. I was surprised that not too many kids dressed up, but it is a consequence of the lack of communication. We received a flier about four months ago with the dress up dates for this semester. I do not trust my fried brain, and immediately add the dates to my phone calendar, and schedule reminders. It is the only reason why I remembered.

I spent the morning with SS's class and had a great time watching SS get into super hero mode. Mrs. VP asked me to correct one of the benchmark tests, writing the numbers from 0-60. I felt better when I realized how many kids write their numbers backwards, and more often than SS. I could not find SS's test, Mrs. VP could not recall if SS was absent, and proceeded to pull SS from the class to get it done. I thought SS was going to crash and burn, because she can't perform when put on the spot. SS did not reverse any numbers. a first. She got 100%, and there were not many of those.

Today the kids were allowed to play from noon until dismissal, about twenty five minutes, and they made the most of the extra time. SS had a great day, it was completely worth being in the middle of the madness.

E's mama made her cat woman costume and it was an expensive one. Her sewing machine broke and she bought a replacement just for this costume. I think it would have been cheaper to overnight a costume from anywhere in the U.S.

The very few  kids who dressed up today at school.

Super hero poses.

Mrs. VP's class.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

SS received the cutest valentine today.

This afternoon we received lovely thank you cards from the cousins, a drawing from B; and SS received the cutest valentine from her cousins. Thank you kids. 

From left, B(5), H(3) and Baby J (5 months). That's right, just five months, we were very impressed with her growth since we saw her in December.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Losing Mrs. O

Last week I received a voice mail then a frantic text from E's mom letting me know that Mrs. O, VP's teacher aide was leaving.  Our kids already have it difficult as it is, and losing Mrs. O is not going to help.  She is the voice of reason in the classroom, is very soft spoken, never heard her raise her voice like Mrs. VP does so often. But she has complete control of the classroom. What a concept, children responding to stern yet calm direction.  The kids will have substitute aides until a replacement is found.  Mrs. VP estimates that it will take her one month to train the new aide. Yikes, rough times ahead for our children. We certainly understand why Mrs. O needed to transfer to another school. She was a full time employee, and when the teachers decided the K program would be half days, her hours were cut, and she lost her benefits.  The woman needs to make a living, but we are really going to miss her, especially her calm demeanor.

SS and Mrs. O

Running around with K before class.

It was cooooooooold this morning, the kids huddled for warmth.

Walking her dog.

Monday, February 18, 2013


P woke me up around 6:15 yesterday, to let me know he was going to the lobby to get coffee. Why wake me up? Because I have a knack for waking up right after he leaves the room, and since usually disoriented in strange settings, a freak out ensues.  I asked P to bring me a cup, but he insisted that I return to sleep since I was up late as usual.  I protested but as soon as he left the room I reconsidered, and proceeded to get cozy under the blankets. P could not have been more than three feet from our room when SS woke up in grand fashion. She called out for me, jumped up on her bed, came to my bed, and actually started the morning exchange I have had with her since she came home. I groggily texted P that the beast was awake and that I would be needing a cup of strong coffee.

What were we thinking when we decided to medicate SS? She was only running a low grade fever, it is not like she was in danger of febrile seizures. SS was quiet, calm, non demanding, in short, not her loud and larger than life self. But no, we had to get in worried parent mode, medicate her to make it all better.  Ugh, will we ever learn? We decided to lounge in the room for a few hours, allowing SS to get another dose of medication before she had to face the outside world.   

We returned to Chinatown, watched a few performances and shopped. We entered an indoor mall and had a very pleasant flashback to a shopping trip in Guangzhou. Well, except that the mall in China was at least five stories high. But being there reminded us of walking all over that mall looking for Baby E*nstein DVDs for SS. Carrying SS on the Ergo, her little face facing me, having bonding time, and enjoying every second. Once snapped out of my reverie I could not help but marvel at how fast time has gone by since. My Ergo, Velcro baby now a big girl of 5, eagerly anticipating her sixth birthday.

This was our first time in LA since we moved, and we were very surprised it took us so long. When we lived here it was an at least once a month drive. Especially when we got a hankering for a Melo's Burgers malt at 10:30 p.m. We anticipate more trips to Chinatown, there's always more shopping to be done.  Our goal is that eventually SS won't view being among Chinese people as a treat, something that rarely happens.  We want events like the ones she experienced this weekend to become the norm for SS.  We owe her that much. 

In yet another mind blowing display of self restrain we headed home as soon as we were done shopping.  Although SS was feeling much better, she was not 100% herself.  She did not walk much Saturday, but yesterday we left her stroller in the van, and there was a lot of walking involved. We were shattered by the time we arrived home, ate, then shamelessly headed upstairs to lounge around, waiting for the premiere of The Amazing Race.  By nine we were all on our way to dreamland. We had a blast, and it was good to get away even if only for an overnight stay.  The best part is that P was home today and will be home tomorrow. I will get a whole three hours alone with my husband tomorrow.

Straw hat juggling.

Chinese YoYo demo.

We walked, we ate, we saw, we shopped, we went  home.

Knackered with her lion puppet, that she insists is a dragon.

What else to get in Chinatown but a Ninja sword.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gong Hay Fat Choy

Or Gong Xi Fa Cai if you prefer to convey your wishes in Mandarin. We had been looking forward to our second Chinese New Year parade. SS was bursting with excitement, happily wishing a "Happy Chinese New Year!" to everyone she walked by yesterday while shopping. SS woke up at 6:15 this morning to use the bathroom, and we knew we were in for a rough morning. When SS does not wake up on her own terms trouble abounds. SS came to bed for a snuggle but was restless and cranky. She had never behaved that way during our morning cuddle. A while later SS complained of a stomachache, held her tummy and cried. We were not sure if she was constipated or gassy, but we were sure she was miserable. After a few more bouts of crying SS found her way to her Baba's arms and rested until she fell asleep. SS also was warm, not running a fever, but too warm for our comfort.  I told P to let her sleep it off, and we could take her in her pajamas, then dress her upon arrival.

SS was not her usual talkative self during the drive to LA. Before we left home I handed SS her backpack and told her to choose what toys she wanted to bring. SS said she did not want anything and laid down again. Yikes, that was a first for us. SS did not request her iPod, coloring paraphernalia or a DVD during the drive.  I kept asking P if she was asleep, because a quiet SS is usually a sleeping SS. She was wide awake, just not talking. I was reconsidering our decision to spend the weekend away from home.

SS did not perk up much upon arrival, although she was clearly excited to be in Chinatown. P found a spot by the end of the parade, just before the grand stands. We set up the Hummer and our chairs, then walked a round a little.  SS had not touched her breakfast, but P decided to get her a banh mi for lunch.  That remained untouched as well. When SS goes though her famine stages, she increases her juice and milk consumption. I became worried when I had to remind SS to drink.

This parade was completely different than the one in San Francisco. That first experience is going to remain at the top of what we hope will be a long list. It was so much less crowded, shorter, and hotter. There's something to be said for holding parades at night.  We were sad that not even the bands perked up our lethargic girl. But SS being ours, managed to have a funny as heck moment. As a large group of L@PD officers were approaching I jokingly said "Uh oh SS better tell then you are not Dorner or they will shoot."  Our daughter, the sickly, quiet child chose the very moment they were in front of us to perk up and yell "I'M NOT D0RNER DON'T SHOOT ME!"  Oops. SS got a lot of laughs, and the loudest was the woman standing to my right. She is Chinese American, born and raised in San Francisco, and now a professor of sociology at CSU Long Beach. Thank G0d she appreciated SS's outburst (heh, from the mouth of babes). We went on to have a nice discussion about cultural appropriation, and had a blast snarking about the many horrific examples on the parade. 

The day finally arrived when P and I became sensible parents. Although SS was shaded (Hummer, hat, behind people who created shade) and hydrated, we did not wait for the parade to end.  We were worried about SS and wanted to get her indoors. We hoped for pool time to lift her spirits, but the water was too cold. The hot tub on the other had was perfect.  The water was not that hot, and we had a nice soak. After that SS watched two movies and surprised us by using a four letter word. Around 8:30 SS said she was tired, stopped her DVD player and laid down. We gave her Tylenol, hoping her low grade fever would not increase.  Tomorrow we are returning to Chinatown to watch some performances and to shop.

P and I thought the same thing when SS laid on him this morning.  It took us back to the day SS was blessed at the Buddhist temple in Guangzhou.  Our baby has grown a lot since that day.

It was 75 degrees when we arrived, but SS thought it was perfectly normal and appropriate to wear gloves.

One of the very few smiles we saw today.