Jul 26 2015

Good Morning, Buddha

Category: Language,Videoshisoneko @ 9:46 pm



Of course, they fought a couple times about who gets to do what, and how much. Not very building of good karma alas.

Friday was the last day of Chinese camp—and the show!




Tashi’s show had some complicated drawing thing… she is better at it in English than in Chinese, perhaps not surprisingly.

Chopstick dance:

Some art:


While we were gone, the driveway was mostly finished!


We got back Saturday, Popo drove us! Yoshi waiting:


Sunday smoothie:


And Graydon, where Tashi reunited with Daria:


Jul 21 2015

Sushi, Staples, Cinestory

Category: Family,Languageshisoneko @ 7:29 pm

We are in PA! For a week of Chinese camp. Both kids were insta-familiar with it, which helped a lot, though I forgot basics like aprons and their camp T-shirts from last year. (Did get a new one for husband.)


Husband drove us down Saturday and went back up Sunday. Other than the kids not really eating and not sleeping, and expecting dessert after every meal (even breakfast!), it’s all going well. Tonight, Tuesday, we are trying Tashi sleeping separately from Rio, in the other part of the house where sister and family stay when here, after they woke up this morning at 520am and never went back to bed (meaning I never did either). Let’s just say Anger drove my control panel most of the morning.

Tashi looking less than thrilled:


Part of the camp is “cooking” (hence the aprons) and they made (cooked) sushi the first day.


After the first day, we also went to get the free books via the Barnes & Noble reading club, and Tashi was finally able to use a gift card from maybe two birthdays ago (!). She got the graphic novelization of “Inside Out” (a “cinestory”) and a Golden Snitch replica.

On Tuesday, Rio got his staples out at an urgent care down the road—completely a non-issue. He is psyched to be able to sleep on the left side again (and possibly also, being in his own room).


Afterward we went to see “Inside Out” again, this time with Popo at the local movie theater that I hadn’t been to since high school. Even though today was great movie weather day (muggy and hot), the theater was empty. We made up two-thirds of the audience, so I’m afraid this movie doesn’t have quite the legs as “Frozen,” but it was still great on second viewing. I think they depict Riley when she is crying really well! Also I didn’t notice last time how askew and pratfall-y Fear was… which probably has some meaning.

Otherwise, we have workbooks to do… not quite Kumon-level but still taking over the dining room table.


Tashi wrote a card to Mrs. Buckler:


And she did these animal drawings from instructions in a magazine. The squirrel is eating prayer flags that were on the deck—like we saw one do over the weekend! If I hadn’t seen it myself I would not have believed it. To be fair, I don’t think it was actually eating them, just stuffing them in its mouth to take away.

This is how a 7-year-old and 5-year-old look on too-little sleep at the end of Chinese camp (Tashi = crazy grin, Rio = whiny):


We’ll have more photos from work going on at the house (where husband is, with Yoshi).

Jul 18 2015


Category: Music,Videoshisoneko @ 12:19 pm

Tashi likes to do! These are all tunes she made up. It’s the summer program for piano, too.

The last one is called “Moonlight Song” or something like that.

We are headed to PA later this afternoon; husband will head back and we’ll stay the week for Chinese camp that starts Monday (and goes an hour longer than last year!).

Jul 16 2015

Behold, the Carpet!

Category: Houseshisoneko @ 8:41 pm

Meanwhile, back at the house: carpet and painting completed in the basement! The basement in fact is all pretty much done, save a few doors that need to be shave a half inch from the bottom to accommodate the super-duper-plush, stain-resistant carpet (bought via Uncle Greg, thank you!) Like the folding ones in the back left of this photo:


And FINALLY, the pavers! They finished just under a half of it today. Three guys, one of whom still actually goes to the gym post-work, which is kind of crazy considering the workout they must get from lugging stones around.


Here, Rio overseeing, since he woke up with a slight fever today and so stayed home (as did husband, who worked from home). (Tashi complained too of a phantom stomachache, but did convincingly have not one but two nosebleeds from the suddenly dry weather. The Ivy caregivers are likely happy we’re out of their hair till a week from Monday!)

Jul 14 2015


Category: Healthshisoneko @ 9:09 pm

I got a call this afternoon around 145pm, while we (Tine and Jessica and I) were visiting Kerrie, from Ivy saying, “It’s not an emergency, well, not a big emergency…. The bleeding has stopped.”

Apparently Rio tripped while playing a ball game inside and bashed his head into the sharp door jamb. We all know that the head, since there’s so much blood circulating in and around the brain, bleeds a lot, so there was a lot of blood. (I think Rio’s teachers will be scarred for a while! But they did an amazing job cleaning up and capturing all the blood, which they described as dripping down the side of his face. Just a little blood on his shirt!) Anyway, I left the nursing home on my bike, got the car, got Rio, drove to Dr. Iqbal’s, where he said we’d probably have to get S-T-A-P-L-E-S down the street at the hospital. Another milestone reached—the ER for Rio!


We were seen pretty immediately, but it still took two hours with the numbing gel, questions, local anesthetic, and finally the two staples. All things considered he did great. He was calm when I picked him up (Me: “Rio, did you cry?” Rio: “No, I screamed!”), and while waiting for Dr. Iqbal and at the ER. While waiting in the hospital room, he had all sorts of questions about the various devices around the bed and on the walls. He ate all the rest of his snacks while we waited, and when he saw the pain chart, with 0 being no pain, and 9-10 being severe pain, with smiley/sad faces, and said he was 1-2, which was pretty good. Brave kid! He hardly fought the novocaine shot and stapling itself; I just had to hold down his arms and there was an orderly there to help keep his head still so the doctor could staple.

So he’s fine, really, though as he said, “It hurts to move my eyebrows.” Unfortunately this means water play is a bit restricted, and next week when we’re in PA we’ll have to find an urgent care doctor or pediatrician to take the staples out. (We were given a staple remover, begging the question… why? Doesn’t every doctor’s office already have staple removers on hand?). This next photo has the goop that is numbing gel and I guess also antibacterial stuff.


He was a trouper, though, upset only when we did use the actual word staples at the hospital (by a doctor who kept calling the cut “boo-boo” despite my reminding her more than once that Rio is 5!). We gave him some pain meds before bed, too. When I joked to the doctor, “You should’ve seen the door!” she believed me that it was worse off.

This reminds me to mention that at taekwondo camp they had pizza options every day, and when one kid asked what Sicilian was, Rio said it was a number. (Get it? Million, Billion, Sicilian!)

Jul 11 2015

Jedis and Ducks

Category: Family,Holidays,Sportsshisoneko @ 5:46 pm

Taekwondo Jedi camp—the last day of the weeklong camp, Friday, when I finally remembered to take a photo:



Though I forgot to pick up the Epipen!

Duck Derby today… our third! This was last year’s. Tashi asked whether “other family members” would be coming, since Uncle Kevin came last year! Funnily enough, an Indian family sitting near us had among them two kids, brothers—Rohan and Arjun! Arjun is older though in that family.



They have been pretty tired from Jedi camp, going to bed late and with a 15-min drive to Wyckoff. One morning this past week—quietly reading “Diary of a Worm”:


And some snaps from the Fourth from Popo and Gonggong:


living room



with gonggong

And finally, our basement loo, ready for guests!


Jul 09 2015

Belated Fourth and More Photos

Category: Family,Holidaysshisoneko @ 8:52 pm

On July 2, our sidewalk was finally done. Let the record show this is something we wanted to fix, along with the chain link fence, as soon as we moved in. (We’ll have been here five years this coming Labor Day.)

I was a little obsessed with getting the kids’ handprints into the cement, but Dan, our construction manager, advised against it. Instead I scratched a little “2015”–only days later wishing I’d done it in Chinese. O well!

This was the look of it Friday morning before we went to PA (this year’s holiday falling on a Saturday made for a short long weekend!):


Despite looking rather large, I think they are the paw prints of the stray cat that Yoshi got into a fight with! Or, the fox husband has also seen on our street.

Yoshi the morning we left, too:


Sister and family arrived about the same time we did in PA. That afternoon we all went to play tennis. The kids did okay, till I managed to hit a ball right at Tashi’s butt.


It was overcast but VERY muggy. Still, the kids managed to sit on the sidelines a bit while we played. But tennis is when Arjun, a few courts away, got bitten up on his face and legs while hunting for stray balls in the grass (you’ll see how this affected his mood, understandably, in subsequent photos).

Sister went and got a pingpong table for July 4 proper—since the weather was meant to be a washout most of the day. Unfortunately the table came without instructions! Either on paper or online. So, it ended up being a big puzzle in the basement to solve (I stayed upstairs working on Gonggong’s music).


In the afternoon, just as it cleared up, we headed over to Grace and Carl’s house—kids who grew up with Rohan and Arjun and who moved to Swarthmore a couple years ago. They have a trampoline… and Grace’s friend was equally beguiling to Tashi and Rio. I think the highlight of the trampoline was watching these two 13-year-olds talk!


Watching “13 Going on 30″:


Sparklers supplied by sister:


Fireworks supplied by town:


Pingpong in the morning before brunch in the city (because, four hours later, the table was completed the day before!):


The mini pool table too:


In Philly:

priyanka photo 2

(Priyanka, sister’s husband’s cousin, took the photo in front of our usual spot, Beau Monde.)


We took a short walk afterward before getting into the car to drive back up to Washington Square Park.


Back at home—the shelves are stained!


So is the front window:


With the nice view of the Port-a-Potty in the front yard!

The kids have been at taekwondo camp all this week—just for the week—one of the five camps they’ve got this summer. I haven’t gotten a photo yet. But they like it if only for the 15 min drive there and back—we’re getting lots of Harry Potter books-on-CD time. (Tashi is also reading the books, thanks to sister’s set of them.) Also, the theme this week is Jedi knighthood. Amy and Liam are also there, along with Kaitlyn and Owen from Ivy.

Jun 28 2015

Matching Hair!

Category: Swimming,Videoshisoneko @ 8:31 pm

Sunday cousin action at a belated Father’s Day Cuban lunch. Note the matching hair! Tashi was doing a bit of the crazy eyes.


On Friday at Graydon, Amy joined us, yay!


After lunch and then fortified with ice cream, Tashi wanted to take the deep-water test. You have to float on your back for 10 seconds, swim out freestyle to the 12-foot dock, tread water for a minute, and then swim back.

She passed! Rio wanted to do it, too, and though he could do it, it wasn’t without being tired afterward. So, no go, which really bummed him out. He just started swimming the length of the pool in swim class… will take a bit of time before he can do it and stay strong at the end.

So, that’s why the lifeguard is in the water on the way back.

Some writing from the end of the school year:



Also from the end of the year, Rio’s planets (that he made with two classmates):


His journal from the school year got sent home with him too—I hadn’t seen it:




And some interpretative artwork from camp:



Tashi’s too:


Jun 23 2015

Inside Out

Category: Art,Friends,Holidays,Swimming,Videoshisoneko @ 12:05 am

Check out Tashi’s thumbprint Star Wars drawings on her Father’s Day card; C3PO is saying “Oh dear, oh dear” over and over again (while husband and Rio are having a moment):


For Father’s Day, we saw the new Pixar movie, “Inside Out,” in 3D. It was genius! Probably more resonant if you’re age 11 or older as it deals a lot with childhood and your memories of it. Upon questioning, Tashi said her earliest memory was wearing a watermelon shirt next to a lake—which I think her remembering our trip to France, where the shirt, from Nina Ping, was in heavy rotation. Check out that belly!:


But not actually next to the lake (Annecy, which in turn is actually in Geneva):


Leo and Sammy (and Dara and Dan) joined us for the movie and then pizza afterward at Patsy’s in what is probably one of the nicer malls in the area (and close to their house). But—they are moving! To Maryland for work in DC. We are SUPER BUMMED! But now have even more reason to go down to DC for a visit! I may have mentioned our friend named Dan, of Dan and Kim, and the reasons we moved here, are also moving, farther afield to California. Also super super bummed.

After the movie and lunch Sunday, we went to Graydon:


Husband took this fast-motion video using his phone:

I see I neglected to post that we’d had our first Graydon trip Friday (it opened the weekend of June 6)—got there about quarter to 11 and stayed a bit too long till 4pm.


A huge development is that the kids will both jump off the four-foot platform without me having to be on the receiving end in the water. Victory! Rio is also totally swimming… which I need to get on video. He swam the length of the pool at swim class—out and nearly back!

Other catchup: Rio got one of these Lego Brickmaster books—a book and Legos together—which basically use the same pieces over and over again to build different things, which is good in theory but it means some frustrating moments for him when he can’t undo pieces quickly enough.


And on Saturday morning, Tashi had another ortho appointment, getting lavender rubber bands this time (dress also from Nina Ping, thank you!).


Jun 18 2015

First Grade Done, 11 to Go

Category: Schoolshisoneko @ 9:04 pm

See how more and more kids join these photos with the fabulous Mrs. Buckler. I went with the other class parent to deliver the gift cards at the end of the half day (but then sent Tashi to aftercare for a couple hours so I could finish up work!).





From aftercare we went straight to an end-of-year party that Jack’s mom hosted—lots of kids! But this time I left Rio at Ivy instead of bringing him along like I did last year.


Tashi has her new teacher—but also a sub, as her teacher (who has a French name I have to look up) starts maternity leave over the summer (or in the fall? I wasn’t quite clear) so it’s the sub from September to December, and then the actual teacher, hopefully, come January.

Meanwhile, the graduating fifth grade’s poppy theme threw me for a loop, till I saw it was the Wizard of Oz (the play they did this year). Sateeb would’ve loved it.


Tomorrow is the first time I’ve had both kids all day solo in a long, long time! Probably since last summer. But Ivy “camp” starts Monday!

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