Wonders of Raising Aria

Saturday, December 29, 2007

For Sue.

Interested??? It's yours.


Today, I made this squirrel from this book that I ordered online a few months ago. It took me longer than expected but Aria and I are both satisfied with the end product. I'm so glad that I actually made something from it!

The book with the squirrel.

Post Christmas gathering.

I met up with some of my friends for a potluck the day after Christmas. I wanted to avoid the whole shopping madness and just mellow with good friends. My friend Lina hosted the event at her house. Unfortunately, I was unable to cook any food (long story, something to do with a gas leak) and just purchase some Chinese noodles at my local Chinese food place. Lina, being the great cook that she is, made yummy chicken curry. Alice brought lasagna, Patrice made her famous coconut cake, Marylou brought mac & cheese, Keiko made pasta salad. God, what a feast.
Aria has known these kids for the majority of her life. I've seen each of them grow into their own unique selves. I hope they become life-long friends, especially Cassidy and Aria.

Everyone was very excited for the Cassidy's arrival, especially Aria. She literally sat by the door for a half an hour waiting for her to arrive. I was slightly concerned with her behavior because she was getting pretty sad, but as soon as Cassidy showed up, Aria perked right up. From left to right, Cassidy, Josh, Aria, Monty, Mandy and her cousin Emma.

The kids decorated their own gingerbread man. Let's just say that it was very messy and chaotic. Everyone wanted more gumdrops and there were alot of fingerlicking going around. I hope Aria didn't catch anything.

After the chaos, Zoe, Cassidy and Aria ate their creations.

Christmas recap.

We had a pretty mellow Christmas this year. It consisted of alot of eating and having a lovely time with the people we love most. We had a few dinners with A.'s family and had lunch with Alice and her family on Christmas day.
Boy did Aria get alot of gifts. My sister gave her (not excluding me and A.) tons of stuff. The bottom of our tree was so packed with gifts that it was pretty hard to maneuver around at times. Majority of the toys that Aria got are still in its box because she's so engrossed with playing with one or two new toys. I think I'm going to hide most of them and bring them out for her throughout the year. Aria received clothes, Littlest Pet Shop activity center, more Littlest Pet Shop animals, Leapfrog's My First Computer in pink, Barbie RV, geez the list goes on. A. gave me a Canon Photo Printer. I haven't used it yet but A. did. The printout looks great and A. said it's super easy. It's pretty shop to shop for A. so I just got him a few comic books, a Batman lego set, and clothes. Overall, we had a very Merry Christmas. Cheesy but it's true.

We made dumplings from scratch at A.'s grandmother's house. They were delish! Here's a picture of Aria's grandparents. They're old pros at making dumplings.

Aria got to make one too, without the fillings.

This is Aria's favorite present. My sister gave her a build-a-bear machine (after I told her not to) .

This is one of the presents that I got Aria and I thought it'll be a hit. I was wrong. It's still sitting here unopened. Ariel's head is bigger than Aria's.

We had lunch with Alice and her family at Marie Callendar's. It was the only place that was open on Christmas day. We gave Cassidy a Belle baby doll. I have no clue what they're laughing at.

Princesses on Ice.

One of the planned highlights for the end of this year was to take Aria to see Disney's Princesses on Ice. I wasn't sure if Aria could handle sitting through over 2 hours of this but since she loves the princesses so much I decided to take her. Photos were prohibited but everyone was using their cameras so I jumped into it too and snapped away. Aria had an okay time but I think we're going to skip it next year and do it the following year. She was still very antsy in her seat some of the times. She also said that the show was 'bad' because of the fireworks at the end and that they 'always forget about Pocahontas'. She's a tough one to please.

Aria wore her mermaid costume to the event.

The finale when all the characters came out in pairs.

The 'dreaded' fireworks.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


My little sis came down for a visit a couple of weekends ago. She came bearing gifts for Christmas in two suitcases (she's too generous). We spent alot of time shopping and perusing stores when she was her. It's one of my favorite activities with her. One of the highlights of her visit was our trip to see Wicked. We got A.'s mom to babysit and we caught a Sunday afternoon show at the Pantages Theater. Boy, was it great. I don't want to give up the ending but everything ties in so well with the movie Wizard of Oz. It was an awesome musical. Even though we had nose-bleed seats and there was a 6+ feet husky woman sitting in front of us, the musical was breathtaking. A definite must see.

Friday, December 14, 2007


A. found Aria in this position last night when he went into her room to check on her.

She fell out of her bed and somehow secured enough stuff animals from around her to make a pillow and went right back to sleep. I asked her about it today and she has no memory of the whole event.

No Skirball Friday.

Yes, I'm tired of going to The Skirball for the Noah's Ark exhibit and decided to take a couple weeks off from going there. Instead we invited Cassidy over for a playdate. Worked out great because Alice needed someone to watch her while she takes Michael to his toddler class. It's been so long since she's been over at the house. In the span of 5 hours we ate Mac & Cheese and grapes, watched Little Mermaid, made a foam angel, made a gingerbread house, snack on goldfishes and played with Littlest Pet Shop pets. Great fun.

This is the gingerbread house that Aria decorated. It's made from graham crackers held together by frosting. It's only a flat line roof because I don't have the ingenuity to make an arch one. Isn't the snowman the cutest?

Santa comes visiting.

Santa made a surprise visit to Aria's Kindergarten Enrichment class on Weds. afternoon. He sat patiently with each child and passed out candy canes. Then he made a speedy exit back to The North Pole.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Back to college.

We went to a Choices fair held at UCLA last Saturday. The fair was to give the general public information on the magnet schools that are accessible within our school district. It was good to be back on campus and to see how much things have changed. I couldn't help but feel old though with all the young students walking around. Aria had a blast on campus. After the fair, A. took her to the arcade and they hung out there for an hour while I went to the student store. We had lunch and then we walked around to tcheck out the campus. It was really chilly but we wanted pictures of Aria on some of the famous campus landmarks. We would love to have Aria attend UCLA when she's older and it'll be so cool to have pictures of her when she's young next to the Bruin Bear. Let's hope she gets admitted in! Oh, the pressure...

The famous mascot.

At Royce Hall.

Another Skirball Friday.

Yipe, we went to Skirball again for the Noah's Ark exhibit last Friday. This time we invited my friend Patrice and her son Joshua along. Josh, being a boy, played a tad too rude for Aria's taste. It was interesting to see how Josh played and how Aria played. Aria's such a girly girl. I couldn't keep up with Josh. He was a everywhere. I got tired trying to keep up with him.

Aria and Josh playing with the zebra display.

Aria's ark project consisted of cats only.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Weekend update.

We had a busy weekend a few days ago. On Saturday, we started off with the monthly Home Depot Kids' workshop where Aria (well it was really A.) made a little serving tray. Very cute. They we swinged by a leather store to pick up a couple of YMCA vests for A. and Aria now that they're in a 'tribe' - dad & kids group. Those suckers were expensive! His was almost $60 and hers was $25. Hopefully, they'll stick with that Y program for the next 4 or 5 years. They also picked up some real water buffalo teeths to use as decorations for the vest. Kinda gross when you know they're real teeth but they are kinda pretty. Aria also picked out a real rabbit skinned fur. I don't think she totally understands how the fur came about, she thinks that the fur was shaved off the rabbit rather than the fatal truth. She's too young to handle that truth. The fur is currently being used as a cape.

After that we went to our usual YMCA craft class and then right to the mall. We decided to cave and let Aria get a Build-A-Bear. I usually avoid that store when we hit the mall because I know she would love the idea of making her out bear but I always thought she was too young and might not remember the experience. Now that she's older, I decided that to finally let her make one. I took her there on a weekday just to let her see the options but I told her that she can only do it when daddy was around because I want to make it a family experience. She took that with stride and left the store empty-handed. Then all you would hear around the house leading up to the actual day was, 'Is daddy staying home today? I want daddy to stay home so we can go to Build-A-Bear." or "Daddy, please stay home so we can go to Build-A-Bear."

The Build-A-Bear experience was fun but I wish we could have done it on a weekday when it was less crowded. Aria ended up picking a bunny instead of the poodle that she had wanted when we went to scope out the place. Of course she picked out the mermaid outfit and a Hello Kitty outfit for her bear. She also picked up some red sparkling Wizard of Oz - Dorothy shoes for her bunny. She named her new bunny Peachy Pie. Have to say the whole experience was very fun (and expensive). We might make this an annual thing and let her make a new friend every Christmas.

Checking out the leather store. You can see the rabbit fur in her hand.

Welcome to Build-A-Bear.

Hmmm... I think I want her.

Don't forget her heart.

Giving Peaching Pie a good bath.

She's clean!

Dressing Peachy Pie in her new mermaid costume.

Peachy Pie is dressed.

Entering Peachy Pie's info so that she can get a birth certificate.

One Sunday, we went to a new church. I came highly recommended from my friend Maggie. I've been wanting to go to church on a regular basis because I'm seeking the sense of community and the friendship that our family can make there. The sermon was nice and the regular attendees were okay. I was worried that Aria might not like Bible study but she did well and said that she enjoyed it. We're definitely going back now. After church, we headed over to our local park where Aria and A. met up with their YMCA group to participate in our neighborhood Christmas parade. We've seen the parade for the past 3 years now but this is the first time that Aria is going to take part in it. I drove down to the end of the parade so that I can give them a lift back. I met them halfway on the parade route and finished the walk with them. We didn't know that we were suppose to bring a wagon so I was very proud of Aria because she actually walked part of it without complaining about having to be carried.

Here's Aria's group.

This is the way that Aria waves to the crowd. Check out the new vests. A. assembled them himself with beads and water buffalo teeth.

A. and Aria walking the parade route.

We ran into Santa during the parade.