Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Birpy To You

Chase sang 'Happy Birpy To You" to her little friend, Anna, who turned two yesterday. CUTEST ever. I really have to start using a video camera to capture this stuff!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Testing, Testing

So baby number 2 has tested negative for downs and spinabifita and something else I can't spell or pronounce. We are busy counting our blessings.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Best Cucumbers Ever

Maybe it's just being preggy and hot, but I have to say cucumbers are the best food EVER. I love eating them they way they do in China. Here's the recipe - enjoy!

- English cucumber
- Marukan original rice vinegar
- Sugar
- Peanut oil
- 3 dried red small chilies


1) Slice English cucumber into 1/4 inch slices
2) In shallow pan, mix approx 2 cups Rice Vinegar(must be Marukan original) with 4-5 TBS sugar (to taste).
3) Add cucumber and arrange so they are all covered in vinegar
4) In a frying pan, put about 5 Tbs peanut oil in with two small, seeded red chilies (the kind you buy dried and are hot, hot, hot). Fry those chilies until they are crisp - a dark brown. The smokier they are, the smokier the cucumbers will taste.
5) When oil and chilies are smokin, pour over the cucumbers in the rice vinegar
6) Chill in fridge until desired coolness/hotness (the longer they stay in the fridge, the hotter they get because the chilies leach their heat into the marinade).



So I've made up my mind (finally). For this year, we are already on two wait lists - JCC and Children's Garden Montessori. They are the the only programs I've been impressed by, and as I see it, there is no reason to send Chase to something I think is only okay - seriously, what's the point? If she doesn't get into either of these schools, she'll stay home with me for another year.

Next year is a little more difficult, which is what I've been trying to figure out now so that I don't (a) miss out on any opportunities and (b) feel like my back is against the wall - deadlines for applying for Fall '09 are in December. So here's the larger question. Do we want Chase to go to public, private or a charter school? The reason why we need to decide this now is because it's important to get into the right "feeder" school.

And so after pulling my hair out, trying to figure out what school I want her to go to, what school is right for her and what school we can afford, I think I've decided we're going to try to get her into Denver International School - and go the language immersion route with her. Reason being, it seems that we're going to have to supplement her education no matter what - with schools cutting back on arts, music, sports, we're just going to have to do some stuff on the side - no matter what. And after thinking it through, the hardest thing to supplement on the side is a language, if we really want her to be fluent.

Whew! Now all we have to do is actually get in to one of the three spots available at DIS. I wonder if I just went there and wrote a check if they'd say, "Welcome to the school."


A couple days ago Chase put her nose on my shoulder and made a big sniffing sound.
I said, "Are you smelling Mommy?"
She nodded.
I said, "What does Mommy smell like?"

"Butterflies," Chase answered.


So it has been high 90s/low 100s for weeks. And I am so tired. The heat, combined with pregnancy, just takes it right out of me. I was lucky enough to get a nap - and sleep in - last weekend (thanks Hubs!) but already it feels like I've been on a transatlantic flight, with no sleep for 25 hours. And it's just been one day. With regular sleep.

And so I'm trying to figure out what to do with my precious girl today. And I'm stuck. No idea. Everything has been "done" - it feels like that anyway. Sort of like days when I just can't figure out what to make Chase for lunch.

And then I started thinking about what it was like living in China. What it was like living in Europe. And while it was quite difficult with a child in tow, we could always go somewhere interesting. And I think we could go somewhere interesting here, too, like one of the many National Parks, but with gas prices being so high, a kitchen to renovate, a new baby to plan for - oh and then there's the kids education, classes, and retirement to plan for ... how did we suddenly get so grown-up?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chase Review: Piolia

So I found out about another woman who has a three-year-old Chinese boy, who is also trying to teach him Mandarin. Chase and I joined their lesson on Thursday. Overall I thought it went pretty well, but the teaching style was a little different from any other instructor we've had. I'm trying to figure out if it was effective - but I really liked the instructors and the little boy and his mom -so I'm thinking it's worth the 30 minute drive to continue.

Here is the instructor's feedback from the lesson:

"I noticed Chase kept smiling. We are glad she was enjoying herself. On our way home we spoke of Chase, we are so impressed by her qualities - beautiful, sweet, and cultured; we are particularly impressed by her great love to learn as she was bold to ask us new words. We, from bottom of heart, like Chase."

I love you SO much

Chase has started telling us, "Mama, I love you SO much." And "Dada, I love you SO much." And giving us the biggest bear hugs she can give - it is so sweet. So incredibly sweet.

Doctor Appointment

So I've gained 6 lbs since day one of pregnancy (which feels like 20!) and we won't know the sex of the baby for a month. Everything else has been good, except I am so darned exhausted.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Googly Eyes

While I drank my tea and took a shot at "planning" for the day, Chase became obsessed with googly eyes.

You see, in Chase's craft supply cabinet there is a small pack of googly eyes - in every color - green, yellow, blue, pink. And Chase kept wanting more eyes. Different eyes.

And then she'd run off to the living room. And then, two minutes later, she'd be back in the kitchen for more. And when she had the last two eyes, she ran off again to the living room with a smile on her face.

A couple hours later, I looked over at her while I was sitting on the couch, and couldn't help but laugh hysterically - she had put googly eyes on all of her Einsteins!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Nana Cris Strikes Back

Here are a couple pictures from Nana Cris' second visit.

Chase really grew very attached.
So much so that she'd say "bye bye, Mama. Chase play Nana Cris."

Chase still asks me to pick-up Nana Cris at the airport every morning.

Here they are at the park...

These pictures were taken at a kite-making party...

Ready, set ...


Make Mee Mee For Pooh CD

This morning Chase said to Hubs, "Bye Dada, see you tonight. Have fun at work. Make Mee Mee for Pooh CD." Not kidding.


Our dog was totally un-manageable a couple days ago. So I took him to the dog park. Within 5 minutes, another dog bit a big chunk of skin out of his side. I'm not kidding. I used to think I should have been a vet, but after seeing my dog without skin, I realized I made the right choice by not becoming a vet.

I took down the information from the woman who owned the dog that was involved in the "incident." She mentioned she was a vet, but I didn't think twice and sped to our vet (someone I trusted). En route, I called them to let them know I was coming; they said they couldn't see him and sent me to 24-hour emergency pet hospital (other side of town).

After about 45 minutes, the ER Vet told me it would cost about $500 (plus the $110 admission fee) to stitch him up. I called the woman whose dog had done the deed and she said, "Are you at Alameda East? I work at Alameda East. Let me speak to the vet you spoke with." And so I handed over the phone. Weird, huh?

The good news? We didn't have to pay a thing. The bad news? Taggart had to get 10 stitches. So he's shaved and while it looks way better, it still looks bad.

Monday, July 07, 2008

New Sizes

Just a quick note that within the next month or so, Chase will be squarely into 4T size clothes and wearing size 8.5 in shoes.

Re-Thinking Education

After being really happy that Chase got into the JCC, we decided to decline the opportunity. We're now thinking a two-day-a-week (morning or afternoon) program would be a better fit for us.

This way, Chase would have a time/place for herself, and we could also continue private Mandarin lessons, and afford a Mother's Helper after number 2 arrives. I've made a commitment to Chase to continue to have one-on-one time with her, while Mother's Helper holds and coos at baby number 2.

We've also decided on four schools for next year (JCC, Children's Garden Montessori, Montview and Denver International School) - which are all, unfortunately, are lottery-based. There is also the possibility that the Denver Public School (Mandarin Immersion Program) will be up and running.

Friday, July 04, 2008


The other day we were sitting on the back porch. Chase went to "honk" Nana Cris' nose - and Nana Cris made a honking sound; then she "honked" mine - and I made a honking sound. Then Nana Cris "honked" Chase's nose - and Chase said "c-h-a-s-e." What a funny sound for a nose to make.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Got the call today. Chase has been offered a position for the fall at the JCC. Yah!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Summer's Half Birthday

On Sunday we celebrated Summer's half birthday.
Summer, Reid and Chase are buddies - spending every Wednesday afternoon together.

At Summer's birthday, Chase found she loved bouncing...

And cupcakes... (this was the first time she had ever been interested - now we're in trouble)

And Reid was, as usual, surrounded by girls...

And here's Summer - the birthday girl!

Chase's New Favorite Game

Is called, "build zoo." My mom bought her a pack of zoo animals and we've been using the blocks my dad made for me when I was a child to build a zoo for them.

One of her dolls acts as "zoo keeper" and stays busy feeding and cleaning up after the animals. The little Einsteins spend their time touring the zoo, looking at all the animals.

Chase has been able to keep herself busy playing zoo for a half hour at a time. Amazing.