Wonders of Raising Aria

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kiddy weekend.

We had a very packed weekend. Aria's preschool held a Dad's Day on Saturday morning. It was a fathers or grandfathers and students-only event, no mothers or siblings. I thought it was a cute idea, A. thought it was silly because he would rather do it as a family. I dropped them off after my run with Alice and I picked them up after 2 hours. Aria and A. were the last ones to leave. They came out carrying a wooden box that they made together. Granted it wasn't the neatest looking box but I give them an 'A' for effort.

Aria in her classroom.

Saturday night we babysat Cassidy and her little brother Michael. Their parents had plans to go to their friend's birthday party in downtown so we got the honors of taking care of their kids for the night. I owe them so much because they are willing to watch Aria on Thurs. nights so that A. and I can go to bereavement classes. Three more classes to go till we're done.
The night went well. Aria had a blast playing with Cassidy. Cassidy is Aria's favorite playmate and I hope they remain friends way into their adulthood. Michael was very easy to care for. He only cried the first 5 mins after his parents left and he was fine afterwards. I only had problems with putting him to sleep. I used to nurse Aria to sleep so I had no clue how to put Michael to sleep. He basically stayed up till 11 PM until I took him into the spare room and rocked him to sleep. Then I laid him out on Aria's blowup Little Mermaid bed. Shhh... don't tell his parents what time I finally put him to bed. I lied and told them 10PM. Overall, it was a breeze babysitting them. A. was great help. I know it would have been alot harder without his help.

On Sunday we went down to Torrance to visit my old friend Julie and her family.We were there for over 8 hours! Wow, I felt so bad that we stayed so long but time flies when you're having fun. They were great hosts by serving us lunch and dinner. Julie is an amazing person. She's a mom to two great girls, keeps a great house, and she does part-time work as an editor. I really admire her. We were able to do some girl talk on Sunday when we left the kids at home with the men. It was so nice to catch up with her. Too bad they live so far away (an hour). I'm going to try to make an effort to see her more often since Aria and her daughter Erin play so well together. They look alike too.

Here's Erin enjoying some cookies.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Coloring session

Here's Aria coloring. She requested The Little Mermaid printouts from the internet. Aria used green for Ariel's tail, red for Ariel's hair and purple for Ariel's 'boobie bra'.


We had a playdate on President's Day. Aria was able to play with Cassidy, her favorite friend. She had a blast. Here's some pictures of the two crazy girls.


After the big meat feast, I decided to make some fresh O.J. from some oranges that A.'s mother gave us. I dusted off my electric juicer and got Aria involved in making some freshly squeezed orange juice. She had a fun time juicing the oranges. Boy, it sure takes alot of oranges to make a glass of juice. The end product wasn't very sweet either. I think we'll leave the juice making to the pros.

More feasting.

A.'s friend Mauricio called and wanted to take us to a Korean B.B.Q. joint in Koreatown that he found. This place was no joke. They offered endless servings of premium pork rib, black pork belly, boneless marinated short rib, fresh brisket point, marinated chicken and beef bulgogi for you to cook on a circular grill inserted in your table. Everything was brought right to our table. This is definitely the place for meat lovers. A. and Mauricio were in heaven. I definitely hellped in consuming all the delicious food. I was so consumed with eating that I didn't take any pictures of the food and our grilling table. We were in major food coma by the end of the meal and we walked out smelling like meat slabs.

The mentioned restaurant.

Aria relaxing after the meat fest.

It's been over two years since I've been to Koreatown. A. and I use to go there often for korean food but since we've moved to the valley, it's been so much harder for us to venture out to our old venues. Since I was a backseat passenger instead of the driver, I was able to take in more of the changes of K-town since that last time we've been there. Some places remained the same but I did spot some new buildings, mostly restaurants. Boy did I spot alot of new pho places. I miss coming to K-town. We've got to come back sooner.

I don't recall ever seeing this place before or I would have definitely remembered it. It's a ship! I think it's a restaurant. We've got to check it out soon. Too cute.

Chinese New Year dinner

Happy Chinese New Year! Our Chinese New Year celebration consisted of getting together with A.'s side of the family. One Chinese New Year Eve (Saturday) we all met up at a Chinese restaurant for a traditional meal. 4 generations of A.'s family were present. A.'s grandmother is still alive but unfortunately, she has dementia needs assistance from a live-in nurse. I was good to see her there. The nurse came along too. Awkward but oh well. The food was decent and it was good to hang out with A.'s family. The best part is when all the girls (Aria, Bella and Layla) gets to play together. It's so cute to see how the younger girl will always follow the older ones.

I dressed Aria up in a traditional Chinese mandarin suit. It was the same suit from last year because I didn't have the time and the patience to look for a new one for her for this year. Thankfully it still fits. I put her hair in pigtails too. She is sooo going to hate me when she's older and she finds these pictures. Pretty fobby huh? Well, it's only once a year and I personally thinks she looks cute.

Bella, Aria and Layla playing at the dinner table.

Pink tutu

Check out Aria's new pink leotard. I ebayed it recently because she has outgrown her first leotard. I gave her the option of black (that's the color of her old one) or pink and of course she picked pink. She was really excited when it finally arrived and couldn't wait to try it on. No more wedgies and exposed butt cheeks during ballet class.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Snack mom.

I was snack mom at Aria's preschool last Thurs. That means I was responsible for providing snacks to 16 hungry kids during snack at 10:15 AM. If I had free rein, I would give the candy and soda so they'll love me but.. kidding, just kidding. My menu for the kids was juice, cheese quesadilla, baby carrots and animal crackers. Everything was a hit except for the carrots, surprise, surprise. I decided to stay for the whole class to see what Aria's day is like. Preschool for Aria entails alot of free playing. First they played outdoor, then it was snack and then some indoor playing. I did'nt see much academics being taught.

My little girl didn't play with alot of other kids. She tends to play by herself. That worries me. I don't want her to be 'the loner' in elementary school. Yes, I want her to be part of the click. I remember how awkward I felt in elementary school and I don't want that for her. I hope preschool will improve her social skills. She does have a few favorite friends that she loves playing with but unfortunately they don't attend the same preschool as Aria does. Registration for the new school year is coming up soon and A. and I are probably going to keep her at her current school. It is one of the best ones in the area. I think I'm just going to assume that preschool is helping Aria socially and try to teach Aria the academic stuff at home in the afternoons.

Anthony, Zoe, and Aria. Yes, Anthony is wearing a princess costume. He did it by choice.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's recap.

We had a great Valentines. We had dinner at home consisting of hotpot and sashimi. The best part was A. gave me this for Valentines!!

It's a limited edition giclee print by Audrey Kawasaki called Nest Hair. I love her artworks. She's very talented. I told A. that if he's going to get me anything that her prints are what I want. He picked the print, it arrived in one business day and now all I need is a frame. It's sooo beautiful. Thanks, A.!!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007


I got an unexpected call from A.'s mother last night around 5:00. She invited us to dinner at Todai. I called A. at work to see if he was interested. He said 'yes' so he rushed home and made it in an hour (that's pretty fast considering that he was on the 405 during rush hour) to pick Aria and myself up for the drive to the restaurant. Yeah! I didn't have to make dinner! Yeah! Seafood buffet!
Of course I ate alot. Aria did okay. She has never been a good eater. Definitely doesn't take after me on that aspect. I love food. Here are a couple of pictures of Aria with Todai's mascot and the fish too. Aria wanted to wear her Snow White costume last night, just because.

Friday, February 09, 2007

I'm a student again!

This Weds. I got up early ( 6AM ) and drive to the adult school near my house. It was open enrollment time again for the Spring semester and the early birds gets the classes in this case. I was actually not the first one in line. I was #6. Yipe, everyone wants to get into the Mommy & Me classes offered there. We were all willing to get up early and wait in the cold for the school office to open at 8. Since I have dropped out of my Monday class, I had to re-enroll all over again. I got into the Friday class for this coming semester. While I was waiting in line, I checked out the other non-Mommy and Me classes offered. A ceramic class held at night time caught my eye. I've been wanting to get 'creative' again and I've haven't had the time or the motivation to do it. Now that Aria's older I think she can handle some time away from me. After enrolling in my Mommy & Me class, I went home and asked A. about the possibility of me attending this class once a week for 4 months and he told me 'sure'. He's the greatest.
So I trekked back to the school in the afternoon and enrolled in the ceramic class. The class is to be held at a local high school instead of the adult school so I'm going to be back in 'high school' for the next four months. While I was walking down the hall to register that day, I was bumbarded with the same feelings I got in high school; the feeling of akwardness and not fitting in, except now I'm a 30+ years old woman and not a geeky teenager. Some things never change I guess. Well, I hope I will be creating some cool stuff in the coming months. Let wait and see.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Kitty visit.

We ran into our friendly neighborhood cat Flink today on the way to the store. He's the coolest, friendiest cat ever. Aria knows exactly where he lives and expects to see him everytime we go by his house. I met his owner once and she told me that he's 16 years old. Wow, he still has the personality of a kitten. We hope he's around for a long time. I like the perks of playing with him without all the upkeeps of being his owner.

My angels.

Aria is the sweetest little girl that I know sometimes. We leaving the store today and I walked past an Asian woman with 2 children, a girl and a little boy. I couldn't help but start tearing up. That's could have been an image of me, Aria and Spencer if he had lived a couple of years down the line. I guess Aria heard my tears from her seat in the stroller because this is what she said to me:

Me: (whimper, whimper...)

Aria: Mom, you let your body heal for a bit and you can get a new baby brother.

Me: (!!!)

Aria: It's okay. I'll pick some flowers for you in the backyard to make you feel better.

Me: Thank you.

I had to stop right there and kneel down to give her a big hug. She's amazing. She didn't have to ask why I was crying, she just know. Aria's the driving force for me to wake up every morning and live.

Best cartoon show ever.

I kid you not. This is the best cartoon show ever. Well, it's the best cartoon on t.v. currently. I should know, I watch alot of television. The show is Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Aria and I watch it together religiously (weekdays at 4PM on Cartoon Network). We laugh together at many of the scenes. Seriously, she gets it. Okay, maybe my since of humor is a little warped and immature, but this is really a great show.
Another reason why it's such a great cartoon is because Foster's is created by Craig McCracken, the creator of The Powerpuff Girls (another one of my favorites). No wonder the show is so funny.
Aria's already addicted to Foster's. There isn't a day that goes by without her asking, 'When's Foster going to be on?' I have to tell her repeatedly that it's not 4 PM yet. Hey, it's a good way for me to teach her how to read the clock. I foresee a new collection obsession coming up involving Foster's. Too bad I found out about this show just recently. I missed out on the Burger King's Foster's toys promotion back in mid-May of last year (damn, damn, damn). Great news is that the first season of Foster's is coming out on DVD. I'm sooo getting this.

I asked Aria who her favorite Foster's character is recently. I would assume that it was Bloo (the little cute blue guy in the picture above) since he's kinda the main character but to my surprise her favorite is Wilt. interesting....

Wilt from Foster's

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Aria the photographer.

I handed Aria my camera last night to use as a distraction while I made dinner and she had a blast taking pictures with it. She was careful to not to drop my camera especially after I told her repeatedly to be careful with it. hehe. She took some decent pictures too. Here's a few that's worthy of posting.

She captured the dog drinking from her water dispenser.

Here's a picture of some of her favorite stuffed animals all in a roll.

She's got Bambi kissing a pink reindeer in this one. The pictures are a little blurry and the subjects may not be centered but she did a great job staging them. These photos made me smile.

Under the weather.

Aria woke up today at 7AM saying, 'I'm hot, I need fresh air.' She kept on repeating this until A. picked her up and took her out into the backyard. I felt her head and it felt a little warmer than usual. We gave her some Tylenol and that seemed to help slightly. She's been under the weather all day. We skipped her usual classes at the YMCA. The funny thing was we found a digital oral thermometer and used it on Aria. The first reading said her temperature was 103.3 the second time we did it it read 103.7. I'm absolutely sure that that thing is broken. She's definitely not that sick. I tried it on myself and it read 97.1. Very weird. I think I'm going to rely on the good old method of kissing her forehead. It may not be precise either but it sure is alot more fun. She's definitely sick but she's not too bad since she was able to consume a slice of pizza for dinner. Aria is now coloring in her new Bambi coloring book that I got her today. Hopefully she'll be all better tomorrow.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Long overdue playgroup.

Aria and I haven't attended any playgroups since Spencer's death. I just couldn't muster up the courage to attend a playgroup and run into women with newborns or very young infants. Well, today we attending our first playgroup of the year. It was an impromptu event with where I knew everyone except for one new mom. We both had a good time. I hope we get the opportunity to attend more playgroups soon. I miss the companionship and I know Aria can sure benefit with socializing. Aria did very well today. She played with the two girls there. She really wanted to be part of the group and would follow them around. Nathan was also there today. He's so adorable. I hope they will be able to grow up together. I know I've mentioned that before but he's just too cute! He's going to make a wonderful son-in-law.

Here's Nathan and Aria playing on some stepping stones.

The girls were up in the 'clubhouse'. They were screaming because of a monster. Yipe, I was the monster.

Now, they're spitting on the monster. Yes, I got spat on by 3 little girls.

Playing dressup.

Aria's room.

I've changed the layout of Aria's room numerous times over the last two years. As I get more and more toys for her, I find that I've also had to get more furniture for her to store all those toys. A toy box just won't cut it anymore. My kid has alot of stuff I tell ya. Yes, it's my doing but I'm living vicariously through her. I didn't have much toys when I was growing up so now I make sure that Aria gets plenty. She benefits from my childhood misfortune. I think I will eventually have to get rid of some stuff but we're not at that point yet.

Another thing is that Aria has yet to spend more than two nights sleeping in it though. She still co-sleeps with us. So Aria's room is more of a playroom than a bedroom. I think her room is my favorite room in the house.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Magic wand.

I love my local 99 Cents store. Yes, I easily admit that I go there on a weekly basis. I've been going more often because on my previous visits, I've been about to find some really great hardcover children's books. Last week I found 12. Score! These books retail for $8.00 - $ 15.00. Aria's got a pretty rockin' library right now (I'm going to post pictures of her room soon). Can't wait till she can read them (that's a whole other story). Well today's visit to the 99 Cents store was pretty uneventful for children's books but I did pick up a pink Valentines wand for Aria. She loves it! We played 'Fairy Godmother'. She was the fairy and I was the monster that gets transformed back into 'mom' thanks to her trusty magic wand. Here's some cute pictures of her and her wand.

Journey to the library.

Aria and I went to our local library today for a free arts and craft event that they were offering. The theme was Valentines and the librarian read the children 3 Valentine stories before letting the kids loose to make a Valentine mobile. I was able to capture Aria listening to the readings with intensity just like the other kids. It brought a smile to my face because I always worry about Aria's social skills and it's good to see her acting like just the other kids. Silly I know but I'm a worry-ward when it comes to my little girl. It was such a fun event (and popular too) Aria had a blast and especially enjoyed the free Valentine lollipop. We look forward to more of these events!