Friday, May 13, 2016

Baby CP Joins the Sun Classroom

In July 2015, Baby CP joined the Sun Classroom at Little Footprints, a Mandarin immersion preschool.  I was worried that the transition from an English speaking preschool to a 100% Mandarin speaking preschool would be tough on him.  I feared potential clinging and crying in the mornings before being driven to school and drawn out tantrums, but Baby CP surprised me.  He went to school everyday without any drama.  We were told that he rarely ever spoke his first two weeks here.  This was because he had pretty much forgotten how to speak most of the Chinese that he used to know and he was a bit shy, particularly around the 5 year olds who were very fluent.  After those two weeks, many of the 5 year olds graduated and Baby CP started to find all his Chinese words and he even started to raise his hand and volunteer in class.

Comforting a friend

Interviewing people at a local business
Making a symmetrical butterfly print

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Baby CP and the Dolphins

Baby CP started in the Dolphin classroom soon after his third birthday and was there until the week after he turned four.  One week in January or February was Spirit Week - One day was Pajama Day, one day was School Colors Day, and one day was Crazy Hair Day.  I had to go to work early on Crazy Hair Day, but this is what I found when I returned home...
The level of my shock was pretty much like this
Baby CP had his fourth birthday party at Acrosports.  He and his buddies ran around and jumped a lot, but almost everyone was too chicken to ride the zip line down.  He chose a superhero theme, so we designed and screenprinted t-shirts with our own Flash logo on the front for him and all of his guests.

Baby CP hanging out in his Flash t-shirt
Chatting with his Dolphin buddies
Instead of cake, we celebrated with Mitchell's ice cream decorated with superhero colored sprinkles and baby superhero toppers.  I wish I had a photo but it was so hot, the ice cream was melting fast and I just didn't have time to document my handiwork.  =(

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

So much catching up to do!

So, it's been over a year and a half since my last post.  A YEAR AND A HALF!  That's pretty terrible.  It's not that we haven't been taking photos of Baby CP or that we've had nothing to share. Life's just been busy.

Baby CP spent a year at Marin Day Schools in the Dolphin classroom.  He enjoyed his time there very much.  He learned a lot and grew up a ton.  His teachers loved his goofiness and he was almost always the sweatiest kid after dance parties.  His preschool was located about 10 minutes away from my office, so I could drop him off every day and pick him up on many days and getting over there to attend school events was pretty easy.
He ate the WHOLE crepe himself
After his 4th birthday, he moved onto Little Footprints.  While I was very impressed with his program at MDS, we had always missed the Mandarin immersion that he had when he was at his daycare.  He rarely ever spoke Chinese at home anymore.  While it seemed that he had forgotten his Chinese, especially during the first couple weeks at Little Footprints (his teachers told us he rarely spoke), once he got into week three, it all started coming back to him.  His Chinese is much better now and he's even learned to write some characters.  He's still a goofy kid and the teachers find his sense of humor amusing.  It's crazy that he's only got less than 3 months left.  He's turning 5 soon, and Baby CP no longer seems like an appropriate name for him...we'll have to come up with something new.
Enjoying some son after his ukelele lesson
During the fall of 2015, Mr. CP and I spent a ton of time visiting schools.  We visited mainly public schools because we had to decide which schools to rank for the SF public school lottery.  We also visited charter school programs as well as private schools.  It was so exhausting!  We ended up not getting into either of the charter schools or Friends (which is sad, because I would have loved for Baby CP to have had  Quaker education like I did).  Thanks to our CTIP status, we did manage to get into our first choice for public school elementary, which was Clarendon's general education program. We are excited that Matthew will be starting there in the fall.
A scooter stroll with mom in the Mission on a super gorgeous day
Another huge piece of news is that we welcomed a little baby girl on February 26, 2016!  We refer to her as Xiao MeiMei or XMM.  She is super cute and so well behaved!  She sleeps like a champ and Baby CP adores her.  I am looking forward to catching up and sharing the photos we've been taking of her during my maternity leave.  I've been updating Facebook and Instagram with a lot of these photos, but will try to be better about updating the blog.
The Baby Onigiri at the hospital.
She was soooo sleepy the first 8 weeks
His first time holding little sis.  He loves her so much!
We haven't gone on many vacations, but we flew back to NY a few times (even XMM got to go once at 1 month old!), spent a few days in Arizona and finally FINALLY went to Hawaii for the first time.
Celebrating Grandma's birthday in New York City.
Finally, we've been working on a few projects at home...yes, it's crazy to do these things right before and after the arrival of a newborn...but I guess that's how we roll.

More details of the past year and a half with more photos coming soon!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

3.5 Years Old

We've been super busy since my last post.  Halloween came and went - Baby CP had two costumes and had an absolute blast on Halloween. 

The very next morning, we went down to the railway near Santa Cruz with Cousins Junior and Double Trouble to take a ride on Thomas the Train and Percy.  In theory, this was much more exciting than it really was, but at least we got some nice fresh air while we were there.

Thanksgiving came quickly, and we flew down to San Diego to spend a few days with Auntie CMonkey.  Baby CP had been promised a visit to Legoland a while back and he was SUPER excited to go.  He had a wonderful time.  We went the day right before Thanksgiving and the park wasn't super packed.  Baby CP was able to ride on most of the rides for his height and he enjoyed every single one - he was able to drive his own car, drive a boat and sort of fly a plane and a helicopter.  I think many dreams were fulfilled that day. 

He didn't like Wildstyle very much.

Right after our Thanksgiving trip, Baby CP's school had a holiday singalong, so the kids all gathered to sing the holiday songs they've been practicing in their pajamas.
Baby CP isn't really a baby anymore and perhaps we need to chose him a new nickname.  He can recognize all of the letters of the alphabet.  He can spell his name (though he can't write it yet).  He can write a few letters like H, T and O.  I supposed we could teach him how to spell "HOT."

Baby CP continues to play with his cars and trucks everyday, but he enjoys playing with Legos quite a bit.  He also enjoys reading stories a lot and requests a couple stories every night, such as the Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.  This Christmas, we're planning to try to amass a good lego and storybook collection for him.

Speaking of sleep, about two weeks ago, he decided that he wants to sleep in his own bed.  Much to my surprise he didn't tire of it after a couple days like last time.  I hold his hand until he falls asleep and he stays there most of the night alone.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

39 Month Old = Little Artist

Baby CP started working on little art and craft projects back when he was 20 months old in daycare.  Most of it was pretty teacher directed and the kids would just stick pieces in places where they should probably go, like clothes on a person or petals on a flower.  Now, Baby CP can draw circles himself.  They're a little odd shaped, but he gets the idea.  While he can identify squares, rectangles and triangles at the drop of a hat, he finds it very difficult to draw them and says that he's too small to do it right now.  To my surprise, when given some paint recently, he's quite the artist.  Sometimes, he paints abstract works.
Other times, his paintings look like actual things and he names them accordingly.  The most impressive one is half of the solar system.  He's been interested in space and planets recently, so we read about it.  He can name some of the planets and knows a couple special qualities of each of them.  He asked me if he could paint earth, and then he just kept going...he just needed help remembering their order from the sun.

Mommy and Daddy
Banana with eyes and nostrils
Ghost Dinosaur

From right to left - Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter (including the eye of Jupiter's storm)

Baby CP has attended a couple superhero birthday parties in the past month.  He really likes frosting...gross!

We also took him on his first camping trip in Mt. Diablo State Park.  It's only about an hour away and you drive right to the site.  We set up the tent, ate dinner and looked at the stars...and the next morning headed back home.  At first he said he didn't want to go, but when he got there he helped set up the tent and campfire and told us he loves camping.

We have been hearing all kinds of new things from Baby CP recently.  Many are cute and smart and funny.  Some leave us a little taken aback, but we have to try not to laugh so that we don't encourage it.  For example, one day, he said he didn't like me anymore because I "forced" him not to go to Disneyland the next day.  This morning, I told him that boys don't cry and only babies cry and he should go to the potty and he asked me why I was "saying mean stuff to" him.  Sheesh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

37 Months Old

Sometimes Mr. CP is a substitute teacher for children's wu shu classes a couple times during the summer when the coaches travel to China.  The youngest kids are 5 years old and they learn how to kick and punch and study some forms.  We brought Baby CP along this year so he could run around a little and see what the older kids are doing.  He really embraced it and would follow along pretty well for about 20 or 30 minutes before losing interest.  He would try to do all the stretches and some of the line kicking and punching.

The older kids loved watching him and talking to him and he really enjoyed all of the attention.  One extra unexpected bonus from bringing him to class was that some older kids (maybe around 7 years old) decided they'd teach him the concept of addition by adding some fingers on one hand with another hand.  He picked it up right away and now he asks me about it every now and then - 2 fingers on one hand + 2 fingers on the other = 4 total.   It reminds me of when I used to teach my younger brother how to add decimals a couple years before he would have learned them in school.  Little kids love learning from older kids.
I also overheard one very ambitious child asking Baby CP he knew multiplication...which was very quickly poopoo-ed by another one - "If he doesn't know addition, he OBVIOUSLY doesn't know multiplication yet!")  Funny!

Saving the best for last, here is a short video of Baby CP showing off some dance moves while we were watching So You Think You Can Dance.  His teachers are always telling me about how they are impressed with his dance moves.  Today, was the first day he didn't cry when I dropped him off at school.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Baby CP Visits Grandma and Grandpa

For July 4th, Baby CP and I took a week long trip to New York to visit grandma and grandpa.  He was entertained by his videos and snacks and didn't give me any real trouble during the flights.  Our flight to NY was actually delayed for a couple hours, with one of those hours sitting on the runway, but he was a trooper and cooperated the entire time.  Thank goodness for Peppa Pig!

On the night of July 4th, Baby CP was excited about the fireworks which were on display from both the front and back of gong gong's house.  At first they were in the back only so he stood in the window.  Then when they also started to have them at the beach on the other side of the house he ran back and forth trying to see everything.
Baby CP had fun playing games with gong gong and po po.  He liked to bury gong gong with EVERYTHING, including pillows, clothing, tools, shoes (until po po told him that was dirty), and anything else he could find.  He enjoyed playing with gong gong's tools and swinging upside down.  He and po po also enjoyed having pillow fights. 
Since it's summertime, there were many delicious treats to be had - Baby CP enjoyed long yan, lychees, watermelon and many popsicles.  He was a pretty good eater during the entire trip.
Baby CP had his semi annual checkup - no cavities - but didn't really agree to let gong gong do the the flouride treatment this time.
Of course there was mischief all along the way, including shoving a headphone into his nose on the plane ride back.  Little punk.