Wonders of Raising Aria

Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday recap

We went swimming on Sunday as usually, but the weather wasn't cooperating so we left after only an hour of swimming at the pool. Brrr.. it was chilly. The heat wave broke but it sure doesn't make for good swimming. We decided to get pho afterwards to warm up. I love ho and that's one thing that I cannot duplicate at home. My broth never turns out as yummy and as flavorful. I don't want to know how they do it because I'm sure it takes alot of time so I much rather go and have it at a restaurant. Aria loves pho too. She loves slurping up the noodles. A. had congee which was also tasty but that's something that I can make so I wasn't that impressed. Afterwards we headed home for late siestas. A. has been craving Black Angus's prime rib so we aimed for that for dinner. We used a coupon that gave us a full dinner for 2 which includes dessert. We made reservations for 7PM.

Sorry for the blurry picture but it captures how mischievous Aria was during dinner last night. She somehow managed to take off both of her shoes and decided to air one foot out of the table. She cracks me up. I love her toes but I don't want them near my prime rib and mashed potatoes. She had boundless amount of energy and was jumping on the booth. Good thing the restaurant was pretty empty. We had a good meal with Aria as our entertainment.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Random pic.

Do you see the similarities between Aria and the sign? All Aria needs is a kitty cat in her arms and it's a match. She's been asking for one for about 6 months now but A.'s the decision maker on that one. Aria said she wants a brown girl kitty who's young with soft fur, oh and who's also nice. Anyone has one to give??

Saturday, July 29, 2006


We just got back from a birthday party for 3 years old girl. It was great fun. We've known the birthday girl since she was about 1, right after I joined the local mom's club when we moved to our current residence. The party was held outdoors in the backyard. The heat wave dissipated yesterday so it was perfect weather for an outdoor party. We partied hard on great middle-eastern food, juice and vanilla cake with strawberry filling. A., Aria and I were the last guest to leave because we had such a good time.
I swear, birthday parties are getting more and more elaborate. The birthday girl's parents hired an entertainer to do face painting, animal balloons and to DJ the party. There was a big pool, a big electric fire truck for the kids to ride on, and even a trampoline. Pretty snazzy. It almost feels like everyone is trying to top their previous birthday parties with bigger and better stuff. I personally don't even know if I want to throw Aria a party this year. It's a pretty stressful event. I'll figure it out as her birthday draws closer.

The birthday girl blowing out the candles, flanked by her parents.

This is Cassidy, she's one of Aria's favorite playmates.

The birthday girl - Dalia.

Under the parachute.

Farmer Aria

It's been a great couple of days. My sister and her honey left this morning around 7 AM and they took the fun with them. Aria and I are going to miss having them here. It was awesome when they were here because they would keep Aria entertained while I surf the web or read a magazine. I saw a new side to Aria when they were here. She was very social and would engage them in conversations and pretend play. One great surprise that took place was the harvesting of Aria's veggie garden. Back in mid-April, A. and Aria planted some zucchini seeds in a strip of dirt next to the garage in our backyard.

May 16th - A. & Aria planted some seeds.

May 16th - A.'s digging the holes while Aria supervises.

I didn't expect anything to sprout but one little seed did. It's been growing and growing ever since. I don't even water it on a regular basis, so I was really surprised when yesterday, my sis and Aria found a huge zucchini growing from the plant. Aria was very excited and we let her harvest it. One little tug and Aria got it off the vine. She was so proud. She carried it around in a pile and even gave it a good wash. We diced part of it for her for dinner but she didn't eat it. I'm going to make a soup out of the rest of it.

July 28th - See the zucchini?

That thing is huge and pretty heavy.

She's got a green thumb.

Photographic proof

I wasn't kidding about our shopping excursion. Here are the pictures to prove how much stuff we bought at the Target sale. I felt like we were in a clown car.
Where's Aria?

Oh, there she is. Caught her yawning after shopping.

Here's my sis, trapped under a pile of stuff.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Target, part 2

You know you're a regular at a place when the security guards and the cashiers recognizes you and will ask you where your child is when you don't bring her to the store with you.

I <3 Target.

Yes, I love Target. I took my sister to Target yesterday because we share similar passions for bargain shopping. The perfect place to do that is at Target. It totally helps that I have a Target 6 blocks away from my house and another one 3 miles away. Everyone knows it's all about location, location, location; my house is situated 6 blocks away from a Target and a Trader Joe's and that's the redemning factor about where we live. Anyhoo, we went to Target to stroll down the aisle, not searching for anything in particular. She especially love the linen aisles; my fav. are the toy aisles and we both love the furniture, kitchen aisles. My sis found the rug that she's been eyeing for a while at 75% off. I talked her into getting this cabinet that she's also been wanting for a while. It was also going for 75% off the original price! She also scored on a brushed chrome mirror and another small floor rug.
Up till then, I was unluck in my hunt because nothing really caught my eye. Then we went over to the toy area and that's where we hit the jackpot. Tons of toys were on sale for 75% off the original listed price! Some were on sale for even more. It was a dash to load up our carts. People were going crazy, grabbing and shoving. We did great though. Without my little sis there I don't think I could have done so well in stocking up our cart. We tag-teamed and one of us alway had our eye on our cart and on Aria (sometimes). I had to go and get 2 more shopping carts for a total of three shopping carts. Toys were filled out to the brim. We found numerous Barbie dolls, Disney princess makeup set, a Hello Kitty etch-n-sketch, Tonka trucks, John Deere playsets, Leap Frog Leappad games, Spongebob playset, Dora playset, a wooden trike, and so much more. One of my favorite find of the day was the Amy Coe birdhouse xylophone. I love Amy Coe's line of toys. They have a hint of retro look to it. I am so done with Christmas and Birthday toy shopping. It was like Christmas in July. The hardest part was putting everything in the car for the trip home. Every inch (I kid you not) of the interior of the car was packed with stuff from our shopping excursion. Aria was packed in the like a little sardine. She was such a trooper, didn't complain once. I had to put stuff on my sister's lap so that we can get everything in. But we did it. I was also able to hide it away before A. came home. He knows about the shopping excursion but it's better that he doesn't see all the stuff out in the open or he'll freak. I better warn him to not look under our bed.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


My sister (who's also Aria's favorite aunt) is in town with her significant other. They're staying with us for a couple of days so he can check out a school down here. Will post more later.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday work day

A. had to be at work (again) today at 1 PM. We went swimming for an hour before we all headed out to Santa Monica (again) together. Yeah, we were there yesterday but that was a shopping excursion. Today I decided to take Aria to the beach while A.'s at work. Aria and I had a quick lunch at McDonald's, then we trekked to the Santa Monica Pier. Boy was it crowded. And I can't believe how hot it was. Even with the sea breeze it was a pretty hot day. First, I took Aria to the indoor merry-go-around for a ride then we hit the Venice board walk. We really didn't go far on the board walk. I did discover so very kid friendly areas there. There were some climbing structures shaped like a dragon and a boat and there was a swing area and a whole gymnastic area for kids. She had a good time exploring. I had to drag her away so we can hit the beach. We spent about 4 hours on the beach. Majority of the time she played in the sand. We went into the water occasionally to cool down. Aria wasn't too keen on going into the water by herself so I had to go with her. I really had to carry her in, but she loved getting splashed by the waves . My phobia about things in the water (ie: trash, jellyfish, bugs) kept us from going too deep into the water. Hey, I saw so gross stuff being washed up in the water. That's the price to pay for going to a popular public beach that's also so close to runoffs. Thank goodness for water shoes. The only bad thing that happened today was when we were heading back to A.'s office. I was pushing the stroller and it hit a part of the curb when I was crossing the street. Aria wasn't buckled in and she flipped out and hit her head on the cement street. I was so scared for her. I heard her head go 'thug'. I thought for sure she was hurt. Luckly, all she had was a good cry and she went right to sleep for the rest of the ride to A.'s work. I'm a bad mom.

At the indoor merry-go-round.

Can you make out the dragon?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Saturday work day

A. had to work today so Aria and I went with him to Santa Monica. We hung out with him for a little bit at his office before heading off shopping. My first stop was at West Elm. I love this store. Great stuff for decent prices. I've wanted this in white for a long time and I decide to get it today. Surprise, surprise the only one left was opened and they will not get more in until next week. I was going to get the opened one but I changed my mind while at the register. Hey, I think I deserve a brand new one, especially if I was going to pay full price for it. This will give me a reason to come back out to Santa Monica. Hard to believe but I left the store empty-handed. There was a fire in Santa Monica that caused alot of the stores in the area to go without electricity. The weird thing is that one store will have power while a bunch of stores right next door to it will not. I wanted to go to Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble but they were out of commission because of the power outage. I took Aria to Old Navy and stubbled upon their '50% off of their red tag items' sale. I scored some great deals; all but one of the items are for Aria. I think I ending up purchasing 14 items for less than $35. We totally lucked out because the sale ends today. We also checked out Z Gallery and Pottery Barn but I couldn't find anything worth buying.
We made it back to A.'s work by 8 PM and left around 9 PM. A. decided to have dinner at Little Sawtelle, an area consisted mostly of Japanese restaurants. We dined at Curry House and Aria slept through the whole meal. It was delish! I haven't eaten there since before Aria's birth. We finally made it home around 10:50 PM. Now Aria's wide awake. We're currently watching Howl's Moving Castle (for the 6th time in 3 days). It has replaced Aquamarine as Aria's new favorite movie. Okay, gotta go feed the dog...

Aria dangling from the balcony at A.'s work.
He's got a great view. Too bad he doesn't enjoy it much.

Aria's enjoying the views.

Ominous smoke coming out of the vents in the street at Santa Monica.

I love plastic food displays!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

While at Target....

We found a little spirituality at Target after swimming today.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New swimming hole

Aria and I went checked out Hansen Dam today. Hansen Dam has a 1.5-acre swimming lake and the admission fee is only $1.50 for adults and free for kids. One of the moms from the preschool that Aria will be attending in the Fall hosted a playgroup there today. It was perfect weather for swimming at the pool because (surprise, surprise) the weather was extremely hot today.
We were there for at least 4 hours and majority of the time was spent in the water. Aria loved it there. It was a great pool for little kids because the incline was very gradual with the deepest being only 4 1/2 feet. Aria was very brave though and she spent alot of time in water up to her chin. She, however, did not enjoy dunking her head in the water because, strangely, it was salt water. She hated the taste.
Overall, it's a fun place and I think I'm going to take her there next week as well. Boy, Aria and I are sure getting a dark tan from all this swimming.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hot, hot, hot.

I took Aria to her summer school class today. Class was a definite improvement from last week's craziness. Aria actually had a good time there. Afterwards we had lunch at KFC and then headed out to a playdate with a mom that I've just met. Her house is pretty big but what's really impressive is the size of her lot, we're looking at about a half of an acre. That's alot of land for L.A. She's been remodeling her home extensively for the last couple of years and it looks great. We all hung out in her backyard under her covered patio. Dang it was hot. I secretly rather lounge indoors but all the moms were outside and I want to socialize. We left after a couple of hours and that's when we really felt the heat. The car was hot. The stop to the grocery store was hot, the ride home was hot. It's hot. hot, hot, hot. Okay, I'll stop complaining now.

Aria during music time in her summer school class. See the chaos behind her? There was a stampede for instruments and kids where getting trampled. I kid you not.

Aria and a new friend Maxwell during playdate.

Monday, July 17, 2006

He's back!

A.'s back from Las Vegas. We were late in picking him up because little Miss Aria refused to cooperative with putting her shoes on. He said he it was fun. He lost moola (surprise, surprise) but he had a great time doing some male bonding, drinking etc. (he didn't go into details, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas). We missed him tons, but he deserve a weekend away occasionally because he's an awesome dad and a wonderful person. Aria and I are glad that he's back though.

The horror...

I can't believe it.... I don't own a copy of Disney's Little Mermaid. I searched high and low in my DVD collection and I came up empty-handed. Wow, what kind of mother to not own that movie for my little girl???
kiddin, just kiddin. I really do have to get it though because I'm sick and tired of watching Aquamarine.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday update.

Aria did surprisingly well today at the pool. She always hates getting her head dunked in the water. I usually dunk her against her will. Yes, it sounds cruel but that's what they tell us to do in the Mommie & Me swimming classes. Well today, after 45 mins of being in the pool, she started to put her whole face in the water willingly. She kept on doing it over and over again. We made a game of it and would do it together. She really starting to love playing in the water. I'm so glad too because I've seen all the screaming kids that take group lessons while we're in the pool. I feel so bad for those swim instructors.
Aria is currently hooked on one movie. Aquamarine. It's a teeny-bopper movie. Really not that great, but she loves it. She saw it twice last night, back to back and she's watching it now. She talks about it all day today. We were in the pool and she asked me her usually question of 'are you thinking what I'm thinking?' and her response was 'mermaid movie'. So weird. I really didn't think she'll like it that much. She screams with joy when it comes on and will jump around during certain scenes. I don't think completely understands the movie but she's mesmerized by the idea of mermaids, I guess. I really got to dig up my copy of Disney's Little Mermaid and let her watch that. That's more age appropriate for her.
I decided to order dim sum takeout for lunch. I got stuff that I normally don't order when A.'s around. I ordered Aria a plate of custard tarts and I ordered lotus leaf wraps and sesame seed balls with lotus paste. Once we got home she devoured all three custard tarts and I did the same with the sesame seed balls. It was a great meal. Gotta do that more often.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Girls-Only weekend.

Yip, it's only me and Aria this weekend. A. is in Vegas hanging out with his friends.
Aria and I dropped him off at the airport around noon and he will not be back until Monday afternoon. I don't mind because I hang out with Aria all the time anyways so it's no big deal. She's at a really fun age because I understand her better and I can reason with her if she's not happy about something. My baby's not a baby anymore. She's really fun to hang out with now vs. a few months ago.
After the trip to the airport, I decided to take Aria to Ikea. It's our version of an indoor playgroup. Why pay an admissions fee when you can go to Ikea for free? We decided to have lunch there too. It was the first time that Aria tried their meatballs and she loved them! Can't believe it because she such a picky eater. We hung out at Ikea for a couple of hours and capped off our Ikea excursion with a yogurt cone. Then we went to the bookstore across the street.
I just wanted to avoid the 100+ degrees heat by hanging out at stores but unfortunately I forgot Aria's diaper bag. My little girl is so not ready to be in panties because she had an accident, in the bookstore, in the children area. I was so embarrassed. I don't think anyone saw and I'm so sorry for what happened but I quickly left that area of the store so none was the wiser. I don't think she has great bladder control yet. Sorry, B. & N., if you're looking for the culprit who made that mysterious smelly wet stain in your children's dept., right next to the Backyardigan display, my daughter did it.
Aria on a rocking thingy.

One of my favorite 'rooms' in Ikea.
I love the idea with the shadow boxes behind Aria.

Aria trying to hopscotch.

The budding artist....yikes.

One of the best toy ever is the etch n' sketch. We've got about 4 lying around the house. Aria picked one up the other day and started drawing. When she finished, she showed A. and said: "Look, I drew a light bulb." After analyzing the drawing I can totally make out the light bulb. Can you see it too?

Friday, July 14, 2006


I dropped the car off at the mechanics today to get its transmission oil changed. We had lunch dates with some moms and their kids at a local middle-eastern restaurant. Since we still had 30 mins to kill before our lunch date, I took Aria to the toy's department at T.J. Maxx. It's interesting to see what Aira heads for at the toy's dept. I thought she'll go right for the toys but she always go to the book racks. She'll grab a small hardcover book and find herself a seat on a low shelf and start flipping through the pages. Most of the time I hear "Mom, read this to me." I usually tell her to read it herself so I can hunt for a great toy. I would look over and see her happily sitting there, pretend reading. I wish I had taken a picture.
I found a couple of good buys then I presented them to Aria and let her pick one. I think that helps with the whole 'tantrum/I want it all' ordeal. She feels like a big girl because I let her decide what we will purchase. She usually makes good decisions. This time, she picked a Dora and Friend boxed book set. She was very good about bringing it to the front of the store and waiting throughout the ridiculously long lines. She so deserved those books.
We then walked (in mid 90's heat) to the restaurant which was a long block away. The lunch went well. We were the loudest table at the whole place with 4 screeching kids. Aria did very well at the table and only got rouldy at the very end of the meal when 2 of the other kids were running around. I can't blame the kid for wanting to join in the fun but we sure got a lot of dirty looks from the other patrons. I will definitely take A. there though because the food was great and the prices were even better. Gotta love lunch specials.
We also checked out the middle-eastern market next door and got some cookies. We stopped at Blockbuster and picked up a movie. Got the car and headed home. I'm pooped and it's only 3:00 PM.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Aria sure can ham it up sometimes. This morning she woke up early enough to see A. off to work. When she realized that he was leaving Aria said the following:

Aria: Daddy, you going to work?
A.: Yes, honey.
Aria: Daddy you going to be sad? Don't go. Stay home.
A.: I wish I could. (looking all sad)

Boy, she's good. But not that good, he went to work.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Before I forget, Aria's been showing her displeasure with me in a new way. While at Target, Aria wanted me to buy her some dumb toy, I told her 'no' and this is the dialog that took place because of it.
Aria: "Mommie, I'm not your friend anymore."
Me: "Aria, that hurts my feelings. I thought we were good friends."
Aria: "No, I'm not your friend anymore."
She said it with such seriousness, the scowl and everything. It really hits home. Everytime she does that, I'm always taken aback, I'm get a little hurt.
She's so stubborn too. I kept on telling her that it made me sad that she was saying that but she wouldn't budge. Great at least 16 more year of this before she heads off to college.
Modeling her new Batman raincoat.
Yes, I'm aware that it's way too big on her, but hey, it's Batman!
She's doing the Zoolander pout.

Start of something new.

Aria started her first day of summer school today. She knows the environment because it's the same school that she's been attending since she was one, but the teacher is new. It's a Mommie and Me class and we only meet once a week. Wasn't too impressed with the teacher. Her old teacher is way better. Oh well, it's only a 2 months course. There were way too many kids in the class because alot of the moms brought their older kids. I understand that it's hard getting daycare but it really effects the dynamic of the class. It was utter chaos. No one can hear the teacher and it was very crowded. Hopefully, people will dwindle off because of vacations, etc.
Oh, also, a little girl spit at Aria. I saw it with my own eyes. She wanted Aria's trike (the one she's riding in the picture below), Aria refused and the little girl spit into her face twice. I told the mother and neither the mother or the child apologized. God, I can't believe that crap. If Aria had done that to another child, I would have diciplined her and made her apologize to the victim. Some people suck.
After class we went to Target. Ahh, Target, I love shopping there, especially when I find a great bargain. I found some 4th of July shirts for Aria 50 cents! She'll be ready for 4th of July next year. We also scored some socks and a Batman raincoat. They we hit Big Lot where I got her a new Barbie lunch bag, some new panties for Aria, and some stickers. Overall, it was a great shopping excursion.
Unsuccessful attend to pedal a trike. She ended up doing a slow walk instead.

At the water table during outdoor play.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


We just came back from a kiddy birthday party and I have to get this off my chest. I wasn't even really stressing from it until now when another mom called me about it. See, it was a party for one of Aria's favorite playmates. She turned 3. The party offered a kiddy pool, sprinklers and basically alot of water stuff. Aria had a great time except for this one moment when this boy (who's 2 but looks like he's 4) grabbed Aria and held her down in the water, I mean her whole body, including her whole head. I'm a bad mom for not being right there but I did see her being held underwater and I rushed over to stop him. The boy's father was right next to him but I guess he wasn't paying attention until I screamed Aria's name. I dragged Aria out of the pool and she was crying. The father dragged his son out and sat him on a chair. He did not punish him in any way. He just talking to his son calmly. I didn't confront the boy or his parents but the incident made me mad. When I got home I got a call from a mother who witnessed the incident and she basically told me to be more active and confront the parents. She said she was going to bring the incident up at our local mom's club and get everyone's consensus to warn the mom or to get her kicked out of the club.
Aiyah, I don't want that. I don't want to cause problems. I hate being put in a situation like this. Granted Aria could have drowned or be brain damaged, I just don't want to cause someone to be kicked out of a club. I guess I'm too passive. The mom who called said that she'll do the confronting but I just don't know. Hey, I'm a bad mom too for not being more careful. That boy has caused problems before. What to do....

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Jello time.

Aria and I made cherry jello today. She helped pour in the water and supervised the cup filling process. They were ready for dessert after dinner. Delish. Perfect for a hot summer night.

Day in Santa Monica

Running from the waves. She can do this all day.

Aria picked this horse to ride on while at the indoor merry-go-round.

At the arcade, trying out their rides.

On the pier.

Santa Monica beach, the pier is in the background. See how dirty it is?!

I decided to carpool with A. to Santa Monica on Wednesday. A. unfortunately had to work so Aria and I spent the whole day, except for lunch, by ourselves. I love Santa Monica because there's so much to do there especially now that the S.M. pier is open. Aria and I started off the day at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. It's held every Weds from 7 AM - 3 PM. It's one of the biggest Farmer's Market that I've been to, offering all sorts of organic fruits and veggies, fresh bread, herbs, plants, cheese, and even ladybugs. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer Kettle Korn which is a must to me for a great Farmer's Market. I did purchase a big container of strawberries for A. for only $5. He said they were very delicious. I didn't have any because I'm not a berry fan. After the market, Aria and I hit Old Navy. I had a coupon for $10 off of a $50 purchase that I wanted to use. I found some great buys. Bikini tops and bottoms were less than $4 a piece! Things were actually cheaper than priced when I took them to the register and I had to go back and shop some more to meet the $50 quota. Crazy. A. called around 1 PM and we met up with him in front of his work. We ahd lunch at a Japanese Restaurant called Sushi Mon that was located right next door. Lunch was delicious. Aria and I shared the chicken teriyaki and A. had sashimi. The portions were surprisingly large which was great because Aria and I were really hungry. We went up to his office after lunch so to meet his co-workers. Afterwards, Aria and I headed off for the beach. We stopped off at the Santa Monica pier first because that was right before the beach. I was surprised by how kid friendly the place was with the rides, arcade, carnival games and the wonderful indoor merry-go-round. We spend an hour on the pier, enjoying a frozen yogurt and finally stepped on to the beach. I have to say the Santa Monica beach is filthy compared to Zuma beach which is just 15 mins North. There was trash everywhere. I was paranoid that Aria would step on something nasty. Regardless, Aria had a blast at the beach. She didn't seem to mind the trash. She went searching for rocks and found 6 little ones to take home. We left the beach around 6PM. The walk back to A.'s work was hell. I had to lug the stroller, mat, backpack, and Aria over this freeway overpass. She was very cooperative through it all. I had such a great time with her that I think we might do it again on Friday.