Maxie! You are 3 years old today!

Hi Maxie,

You turned 3!  In the last three years, you gave us such a different parenting experience.  You are fun, strong willed, passionate, stuborn, curious, and inventive boy, and watching you grow up makes Daddy and Mommy very very happy! For your birthday celebration this year, we had tons of fun at your school birthday party, got you some kick-ass Transformer toys, and best of all we all went to Disneyland together as a family for the very first time.  I hope you will remember this celebration for years to come.

You are a strong angry little boy. You like to show  your temper when you don’t get your way. Your arms immediately get crossed, the strong ‘humph’ comes out and you start pouting and staring down whoever isn’t listening to you. If you really get angry, the waterworks turn on and these big tears pour down your face to show how you are really really unhappy with whatever decision has been made. Daddy has been taking time to talk about rules and how the world works and what not, but I don’t know if you get that some things can’t be done and some things aren’t allowed. Give it time; you’ll learn to pick your battles better.

You are currently being potty trained and it’s going awesome! You are doing much better than your brother did at this age. There was not a single accident during our 6 hour plus trip to Disneyland! That is truly amazing! We are very proud of you at how quickly you seemed to get a handle on this potty training thing. To tell you the truth Mommy and Daddy were dreading it since you are still very young in our eyes.

You absolutely love Play Doh (while your Mommy and Daddy absolutely can’t stand it). That’s not entirely true. Your Mommy made play doh for you just a little while ago, but we’ve kind of weaned you off it right now as you can do all the play doh playing you want at school. We still have a lot of play doh toys and you do play with it at home, it’s just not our first choice of toys. You love watching play doh product reviews on YouTube all the time, so I guess you get your hourly play doh fix that way.

You are a very funny boy. You have this personal laugh that is a small staccato set of laughs, usually around three to five, that each seam to be at a higher pitch than the last one. This is your natural laugh. When you try and make a joke, you also add in your own personal laugh track so that Mommy and Daddy get it. I know, I know, Mommy and Daddy are slow, but if you give us a chance we can still show you that we’re still hip. We got it. I can do the Macarena (I think?). When you do this joke laugh they are much longer and deeper laughs and they’re all the same pitch. They are still funny, but they can also be annoying because you do them when you do something bad and know that you might get in trouble for it. You’re just hoping that Mommy and Daddy laugh off your latest transgression and that humor will help assuage the situation and get you out of a punishment. The sad thing is that we know what your doing, yet this almost always works with me and fairly often with your Mommy. What can we say other than that we love your little laugh.

You and Daddy sing songs in bed together. You do the same funny joke songs that your brother does (like singing you A B Poopies), but Daddy’s favorite song to sing with you is the Itsy Bitsy Spider song. We sing it as a little spider (with a high pitch) and as a big spider (and a low pitch). It is funny and also incredible that you understand that little kids speak with tiny high voices and big people speak with deep big  voices. So a song about a big spider needs a big booming voice and vice versa. It took me awhile to understand why we were singing the way we were singing, but after I got it, I loved it. I love seeing you think and learn, just like your brother.

You are a such adventurous little boy. You love to take a challenge and will not back down from a physical activity just because it looks scary. I’ve helped you climb the rock walls at the playground which go up for probably 10-12 feet. And you’d do them over and over. You also don’t mind scary and somewhat older kid shows. You have a bigger push and want to watch teen cartoons, which can be scary at times.  We’ve watched Transformers: Prime, GI Joe, Star Wars Clone Wars and other 10 plus year old cartoons and you haven’t been fazed by them.

Your words and sentences are getting much much better. Daddy and Mommy can almost understand every word you say these days and your sentences have full subjects and verbs. You’re getting very good at expressing  yourself when you’re happy, but you still don’t seem to want to or be able to talk when you’re angry. Daddy tells you to use your words, but you just usually show me the crossed arms and pout instead. Don’t worry it’ll all come with time.

You absolutely love swimming and your swim instructor Adriano! We just have to tell you that we’re going swimming and you (and also recently your brother) have been super excited to go and learn how to swim. You have a pair of goggles that you love and it’s one of the most fun times for the whole family. Your Daddy was a swimmer and I lettered in High School on the swim team, so it’s awesome that you’re pursuing something that I can relate to. Keep it up and hopefully within a couple of years you’ll be learning your strokes!

One thing Mommy loves about you growing up is that you no longer wake up screaming at the top of your lungs at 6AM in the morning.  In fact, before you turned two, you used to wake up screaming a few times a night, no one wanted to sleep in the same room with you.  These days you wake quietly, get up, grab your blankie, and go upstair to find Mommy waiting with a bottle of warm chocolate milk.  Thank you so much, Maxie, for the extra hour of sleep.

Daddy and Mommy just want to leave this post reminding you that we love you very very much and we are so excited with how old and capable you have gotten. We can’t wait to see how great you’re going to be when you’re all grown up!

 

Love,

 Daddy and Mommy

Maxie’s 3rd Birthday Celebration

I blinked, then suddenly you are 3 YEARS OLD!!! 

In the morning of your birthday, mommy took this picture (selected from 50+ from different angle and lighting).  You still look so much like when you were a baby.  Mommy love you so much!

 

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Maxie just woke up on his birthday

Opening your first birthday present

Maxie opening his first birthday present, Transformer Grimlock and Bruticus set.

For your birthday celebration, mommy took off two days to properly prepare all the bake goods for your party at day care, ignoring daddy’s advise to “de-scope,” thinking its better to have more than less.  Mommy made: white cupcakes with mint buttercream frosting, cake pops, G1 Bumblebee sugar cookies, and bears on the beach jello cups.  I got to tell you those were two stressful days.  Without help from Mom and Apa, mommy wouldn’t have made it on time.  This time around, mommy had time to make balloon animals!  And that was a huge hit at your class.

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Bears on the Beach jello cups. Thanks for Apa for assembling them all!

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G1 Bumblebee sugar cookies, finished product.

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G1 (generation 1) Bumblebee (Volkswagon Bug) sugar cookie assembly line.

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Cake pops!

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White cupcakes with the most delicious Mint Buttercream frosting.

Your party lasted only 30 minutes.  Little three year old had limited stomach space, especially after candies from the morning’s egg hunt (this year your birthday fell on the Friday before the Easter Weekend).  Most kids loved the G1 Bumblebee cookies and the jello cups.  Maybe next time mommy will take daddy’s advise to de-scope.

Love,

Mommy.

Flo’s Garden in March

As the weather gotten warmer, my garden is coming back to life. 

The blossoms from the blueberry bushes turned into fruits.  There must be hundreds in each bush, and that times eight bushes equal to a constant supply of ripped blueberries.  This is particularly wonderful for Ravi, because foraging for fresh blueberries is the only way he’ll eat them.

 

Blueberries bushes full of fruits

Blueberries bushes full of fruits

Though the tangerine trees haven’t gain much height, they are doing wonderfully well by showing beautiful light green new leaves and covered with fragrant blossoms.

Tangerine Blossoms

Tangerine Blossoms

Half of my thyme border died last year, but the remaining three are thriving.  There’s probably more thyme than I ever need in the kitchen.

Thyme

Thyme

I kind of remember Maxie’s favorite fruit in the backyard to be strawberries last year, though I am not sure if he ate any or just played with them till they became mush.  In any case, I decided that I am going to grow tones of them.  So this is my first batch, store bought.   I do have plans to grow a couple of varieties from seeds; we’ll cover that in a different post.

New strawberries

New strawberries

I got to admit, I really like lamb’s ear.  It has a fantastic texture and a silver highlight to it.  The couple that I plant last year all survived the winter and is doing really well.

Lamb's Ears

Lamb’s Ears

Peach blossoms!  I hope I will be able to eat peach off the tree this year.

Peach blossoms

Peach blossoms

One of the most expensive plants I bought last year was forest pansy, and I had to buy two!  Though they broke my bank, they are indeed beautiful.  The color of leaves changes as the season goes on, so facinating to look at.  A week ago the branches were bare, now they are covered with beautiful pink flowers.  I would expect they will be covered with leaves soon.

Forest Pansy blossomed before beautiful red leaves appeared.

Forest Pansy blossomed before beautiful red leaves appeared.

The saddest casualty in my backyard last year was that all four of my loropetalums ($45 each at 5 gallon)!  I am going to contribute that to lack of soil amentment when they were being planted.  This is another reason why I would never again let someone else plant for me.  This year, I bought the 1.5 gallon version for $15 and added all kinds of compost and fertilizer.  So far, they are doing fantastic!  I hope to keep these alive this year.

Loropetalum, Sizzling Suzanne, in season.

Loropetalum, Sizzling Suzanne, in season.

My beautiful princess lilies, survived the winter with flying colors by adding some much needed green to the garden.  I plan on getting a few more in different color to add to my garden.

Princess Lily

Princess Lily

-Flo