Wonders of Raising Aria

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

School parade.

Happy Halloween!! Have to say, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love that Aria is older now and can appreciate and participate in all the fun. Aria's school held a Halloween Parade yesterday and today. Aria went as a Mermaid yesterday and Snow White today. Kids from all classes walked around the school yard showing off their costumes. They they went inside the church to perform five songs. Afterwards they went and trick-or-treated in a couple of rooms. The church part was hilarious to me. Parents were mobbing the stage to take pictures, flashes from cameras going off everywhere. It felt more like the Oscars than a kids' recital. After awhile, I gave up the fight for any spot even remotely close to the front. I sat in the back and enjoyed the show.

Yesterday's costume - Little Mermaid.

Here's Aria in the parade.

Check out this teacher's costume.

Where's Aria?

Today's costume - Snow White.

Elise also dressed up as Snow White.

Here's Aria leading today's parade.

Where's Aria???

Monday, October 29, 2007

One of the happiest places on earth.

I met up with my friend Lisa and her son Nathan at one of my favorite places this morning - Ikea. Granted, I hate crowds, especially rude people, but Ikea, on a weekday morning, is fun and is not crowded with the usual weekend craziness. We had the 99 cents breakfast with a cinnamon roll and juice then perused the aisles for a couple of hours.
I got Aria a couple of new comforter sets, The Fabler Kalas (my pick) and The Minnen Bard (her pick - she loved the tiny princess characters). I also picked up a couple of frames for her room, a rug, a fleece blanket that was on sale and a pack of magazine holders. We capped off our visit with a yogurt cone and some great talks with a good friend.

Candy galore.

We went to another Halloween Festival last Sunday. Aria's school and the church that it's situated on held a Truck-n-Treat event in the parking lot in the late afternoon. Aria wore her Dorothy costume and carried a big bag. I was fun to see some of her teachers getting involved in the festival by decorating their cars and even donning a costume. We rean into a couple of Aria's classmates also. She was very brave and didn't hesitate to go up to each car and ask the owners for candy. We ended up with so much candy. I'm going to be consuming chocolate candy for awhile. I'm not complaining.
After we got home, A. decided to carve up the larger of the 4 pumpkins that we have this year. He picked a subject close to his heart - Batman. It turned out pretty good too. According to A. there will be more carved pumpkins to come.

We ran into Alicia.

Helping herself to more sugar.

Here's Teacher Debbie, one of Aria's teachers.

Aria with Debbie, the director of her preschool.

Picture of her having fun, getting free candy.

We ran into Zoe (devil girl) and Dakota (another Dorothy).

Aria really liked this girl's costume. Her mom made it from foam and fabric. Very impressive.

Here's some cute decorations. I want that masked bear.

The end result.

Visit to the hospital.

We visited A.'s grandmother this pass Sunday morning. She's currently in the hospital after suffering a stroke 2 weeks ago. A.'s parents were also there. A.'s grandmother is doing well but she has lost some mobility to her left side of her body. The doctors are feeding her via a feeding tube to better monitor her progress. Aria was allowed to go up with us to see her great-grandmother. Because we've explained to Aria ahead of time, she wasn't weirder out by the tubes or her great-grandmother's lack of mobility.

I left my camera in the car so I wasn't able to take any pictures while we were there. I missed the opportunity to capture 4 generations of A.'s family together. I also missed capturing moments of Aria tenderly holding her great grandmother's hand and her stroking her face and forehead. A.'s grandmother only speaks Mandarin so I or Aria wasn't able to communicate with her. Aria didn't understand why her great grandmother was in the hospital but she did try to make her feel better by comforting her in small ways. She tried to tuck her blanket in for her. I was so touched when I saw that.

I hope A.'s grandmother makes good progress so that she can be moved back home. She looks so small and frail in that hospital bed.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Harvest Festival.

Our local YMCA held a Harvest Festival today from 3 PM till 6 PM. We got there 15 mins. before 3 to attend our first ever Shasta Tribe of YMCA. The concept is similar to MOMS Group except this group involves mainly dads and their off springs. The tribe meets once a month at someone's home and do one monthly activity locally - ie: participating in the local Christmas parade or attending today's YMCA Harvest Festival. We were able to take a group picture, receive patches and pick a pumpkin before attending the festival. I met some really nice parents and I hope that participation in this group will lead to some good friendships for myself and for Aria.

The Harvest Festival was awesome. The Y sure knows how to make partying fun for everyone, especially the little kids. They had various tables with games like horseshoe toss, ring toss, hunt for the golden chocolate bar, and treasure hunt. They also offered a pet petting area, relay races, face painting, trunk-n-treat and even pony rides. There were so much candy handed out. If you tried a game you'll get a piece of candy even if you don't win. I love that idea. Granted we got tons of candy now but Aria's self esteem went up the roof. I also got a great sense of community from the whole event.

Cassidy, Michael and their father Alain made a surprise appearance so we were able to hang out with them through the whole event. Cassidy came as a bride, Aria was a mermaid and Michael refused to wear a costume. I mainly took care of Michael, while the guys took care of the girls. I love the fact that Michael feels safe with me and will allow me to carry him and take care of him. He doesn't do that for alot of people.

Unfortunately, the event was cut short due to some light sprinkling. We left tired but very happy. I secretly laughed with gleam at all the chocolate that I get to steal from Aria's candy bag.

Here's a picture of all the kids from all the tribes of YMCA.

Aria petted a rat.

OMG, we ran into Teacher Jen, Aria's first teacher at the Y. She's moved on to better things but still remembers us.

During a tossing game. She missed but still got candy. Score!

We ran into Bat Girl during the Trunk-n-Treat event.

Here's Teacher Whitney. She teaches Aria beginning ballet and jazz.

The mermaids. That's Teacher Dion and her 2 daughters. Teacher Dion taught Aria Creative Moment. She's a great teacher but had to take a leave of absence because she found out that she had breast cancer and had to get a mastectomy. She's still not strong enough to come back to teach. I really miss her but glad to see that she's doing better.

Look it's Cat in The Hat! She even got the fish in the bowl.

I don't know what she's doing.

Those crazy girls.

On the pony ride. Both Cassidy and Aria took good care of Michael and made sure that he didn't fall out.

At the small animal table, checking out the rat.

Alicia's 4th B-day.

Alicia turns 4 today and she had her party at Under The Sea. We were 20 mins. late to the party (too much fun at the YMCA craft class) but still managed to have a good time. The kids got to dress up in either a pirate or a mermaid costume and Ariel The Mermaid made an appearance. They did a treasure hunt, magic show, parachute time, and face painting. Wow, that place can sure cram alot in for a 2 hour period. I was pretty impressed the operation of the place. I may even consider it for Aria's birthday next year if she's still into mermaids then.
I made this card for Alicia's birthday.

Anthony, Alicia, Zoe, and Aria.

During parachuting time.

Aria, Savannah and Alicia during cake cutting time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Party planning.

Aria's 4th birthday is coming up and I've started the planning process this weekend. We decided to have her party here at the house verses an indoor playground. I booked her a mermaid, a princess jumper, 3 tables and 30 chairs. I also decided to stamp her birthday cards instead of purchasing them from a store. Since I'm a newbie at this whole stamping thing I totally under estimated the amount it would take to make 18 cards. I thought 3 hours. Boy was I wrong. From conception to completion, the whole project took me 11 hours. I basically did an all-nighter to get this done because I would not have time to do it later. Basically, I haven't slept at all since the previous day. I'm such a procrastinator. Well, the cards are done and they're going out today. Here's the end product.

All 18 cards lined up.

Slight variations - I'm mailing the blue border ones to the boys, pink borders to the girls.

Here's the inside of each card.

A close-up. I hand-colored each of the objects.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another Skirball Friday.

Yipe, we hit Skirball today. This time it was with Maggie and her daughter Alicia and son Ilan. I think everyone had a good time, at least that's what Maggie told me. Aria and Alicia played well together as usual. I was their cheerleader/mediator at times. At one point poop jokes were exchanges, so at least the kids had their laughs.

Some serious arts & crafts taking place. Check out Aria's cutting technique - hmmm.

This is the start of the poop poop jokes.

I forget why their hands were raised. Something to do with poop.

Aria got a chance to hold Ilan while Maggie and Alicia went to the restrooms. She did pretty well, didn't drop the baby once.

At the archaeological dig. The girls were able to find 'ancient' pottery.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Another year older.

My birthday is today. I am creeping ever so closer to the big 40. I had a pretty peaceful day today. I receive a few phone calls from friends and A.'s mother congratuating me on my special day. My only earrand was to take Aria to the YMCA for 2 classes. The highlight of my day was when Aria went and presented me with a birthday gift. She took her Easter basket that she won earlier this year and gave it to me. We never gotten around to opening it till today. She was so sweet. We patiently opened the bag and examined every box of candy. She said she know that I love candy and she wants to share it with me. She's so sweet.

She has been mentioning that I was to get an ice maker for my birthday. What??? I have no idea why she thinks I would want that. I told her that I don't want an ice maker. I guess the news got back to A. because I asked her if that's what I got and she said "no". "Daddy said no to getting you an ice maker." Next year, I'm just going to tell her what I want and have it 'accidentally' leaked to A.

She hinted that she and A. were going to give me another gift later. I drilled her about what it was and she said she can't tell me. She did tell me that I was to receive a Cinderella card. When A. came home from work, A. presented me with my Birthday gift. He got me a GPS. The only reason why Aria didn't tell me what I was getting was because she didn't know what a GPS was. If she had known she would have snicked.

Aria decided that I needed a birthday cake and a pinata. Since I had neither, she decided to make me a cake and set up a mock pinata. The cake was made from chocolate ice cream, pieces of chocolate bar and cookies. She wanted candles for me but she said she couldn't because "I can not touch matches or I'll burn". Funny girl. I loved how she kept on calling me 'Birthday Girl' and how considerate she was to me. This is one of the best birthdays ever.

Here's my birthday cake that Aria made for me.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fall Carnival.

The school across from Aria's preschool held a carnival this weekend and we checked it out yesterday. Aria still wasn't 100% but she was getting better.

It was a day of firsts for Aria. It was the first time she rode a ferris wheel. A. always thought it was too scary for her, I thought otherwise. Aria enjoyed the ride, she rode it twice. Aria won her first carnival prize all by herself. We were so excited for her She was so proud too.

We spent 4 hours and over $40 at the carnival and had a good time.

First ride of the day.

Look, Aria won a goldfish. She won it with her last ball too. A. and I both tried to win one but couldn't. Aria's got the magic touch.

Her second ride.

She decided to do an arts & craft project and picked a kitty to paint.

Here's the finish product.

She fished for a bag and got this one.