Saturday, June 28, 2008

A "Ferry" Tale

Once upon a time, there were three kids who had a wonderful Mom and Dad. One day their fabulous Mom said, "Let's go on a ferry ride." So the three kids and their two neighbor friends went on a ferry ride. The moms were especially happy because it just happened to be "Save the Air" day and public transportation was free. "Yipee!" said, the moms. "Yippee!" said the kids. And they were off.
On the way there,all the kids rode on the second floor. They decided to go to a familiar land called San Francisco and the ferry ride was rather short from their homeland of Alameda. "Is that all?" asked the kids. "That's all" replied the moms.
Everyone enjoyed looking out the window and seeing where they were going."Yippee!" said the kids.
When they got to San Francisco, they didn't have much time because when the clock struck 12:00, all the "free" would disappear and they would have to catch the nearest departure at 10:15. "Woah!" said the moms.
The kids and their friends had fun walking around the beautiful land of San Francisco and looking at the sea lions. The moms brought snacks for the kids to munch on and to occupy the littlest one. "Yippee!" said the kids. "Phew" said the moms.
On the way back on the ferry, the kids and their moms went to the very top of the ferry and this is what they saw. "Oooo", said the kids, "Ahhhh", said the moms, "Ohhhh" said the other riders.
The kids had a fun morning riding the ferry and the moms were happy, yet exhausted. "Yippee!" said the kids. "Yawn" said the moms. The kids and their moms went home and lived happily ever after. The end.

In other news:

Ben is working tirelessly on the Fourth of July float that our ward is doing. He is pretty much leading the construction part and the float is looking fabulous.

CJ is so popular that a train of kids will come knocking on our door to see if she can play several times a day.

Mia can read the words "to" and "the" and is learning more letters and sounds. She is also looking for "little" friends to play with. Mom is going to find some playdates for her.

Xander is talking like crazy and repeating words back. His favorites are "I do it", I good boy", and "Me, Me, Me,". He loves books and will read them and carry several around all day.

I am occupied most days with hunting for apartments. We are looking in Alameda-though the pickin's are slim in our price range. We are also looking outside of Alameda in Walnut Creek, Lafayette and Pleasant Hill.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ben's Week with the Girls

Ok, It's been a few weeks since Val was in Michigan with Xander, and I finally was able to get the pictures off our old camera so I can tell you about my time with CJ & Mia.

I took most of the days off work while Val was gone, but the first day, I took Mia to work with me for the whole day. Boy did she have fun! For those who don't know, people at Pixar move around the building on their scooters. Mia brought her scooter so she would fit in. She even put her lunch in the basket on the front. I don't have a scooter, so I walked, but Moo went EVERYWHERE on her scooter - even just across the hallway.

My office is actually a cubicle, but it's a big cube (big enough that I could fit a couch in there with my desk if I want). I set up Mia's little table and chair and she brought a backpack filled with fun activities. Despite all the amazing fun in her backpack, her 2 favorite things to do were to draw all over the whiteboard panels that make up part of my wall, and painting in Photoshop on one of my computers. I have a tablet hooked up so she could draw with a stylus and the marks would show up on the computer screen. She would fill the screen with yellow leaves, then have me change the color and the shape of the brush and she would fill the screen with purple butterflies, and on and on.

At Pixar, I put hair on characters. At one point, I had a character on one screen that I was putting eyebrows on, and on another screen I had a nice rendered image of a character that already had eyebrows. Mia said "Whacha dooooin?" (Phineus & Ferb style for any of you who have the Disney Channel on all day). I told her I was putting eyebrows on the character. She turned to all the people she had drawn on my whiteboards and noticed that none of them had eyebrows. She promptly rectified that. A couple of minutes later she said pointing to my screen "I don't see eyebrows on her yet" I explained that I couldn't put them on that particular screen. to which she replied with a look of quiet exasperation "Dad, I will do it."


My boss and all my co-workers referred to her as "the new intern". She had a great time!

The next day was CJ's Birthday. Val made me promise to make a big deal about it and blow up lots of balloons and stuff. I did. Though I actually bought a bag of 100 balloons, blew up about 10 and gave the rest to CJ to do with as she pleased. I think she appreciated that more than 100 blown up balloons.

For her Birthday, she got a cute Aly and AJ dress, a "That's so Raven" game, a Hannah Montana tote box, a High School Musical locker box, and High School Musical 2 on DVD. Woah! As I typed that I just saw the overwhelming Disney Tween Theme. Her favorite gift was her very own ipod! (not really an ipod, but our old 2gb mp3 player). It was filled with - you guessed it - all the Disney Tween stars; High School Musical 1 & 2 soundtracks, Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, Raven, Corbin Bleu, Cheeta Girls, Aly & AJ, Hillary Duff, etc. The first chance she had, she sat in front of the TV watching High School Musical 2, and she would queue up the songs on her ipod and listen to them simultaneously with the movie.
One thing I was instructed to do by Val, was get CJ a birthday cake. Whatever. I went to the store and looked at all the delicious cakes and realized that there was no way that CJ, Mia, and I were going to be able to eat a whole cake. Then I saw this cute mini cake, so I bought it.

Amazingly we cut this into 9 pieces and it lasted us 3 days. It was a lemon cake and CJ thought it was soooo delicious!

Val has talked before about how Mia carries these inflatable aliens everywhere with her. Here she is at lunch time.

Kids always surprise you with their kindness. One day, CJ constructed a nice fort in the living room. Mia was so excited and for awhile they played well together in the fort. Eventually CJ wanted to just hang out in there alone and listen to her ipod.
Mia was a little sad at being kicked out, but rather than make a fuss, she decided to to make her own fort. This whole time, I was reading a book. Eventually, I heard Mia sadly saying "dangit" and "ohhhh". I asked her what was wrong, she told me that her house "keeps burning down". She wasn't screaming in frustration which is her normal reaction, and I could see that she was really struggling to build her own fort. She really didn't even know where to begin. I told her I would help her build "the best" house. Together we built a pretty cute little house just her size.

After she saw how much fun Mia was having in her own cool fort, CJ started getting a little jelous and wanted to play in Mia's house. As she was getting out of her fort so she could get a better look, it started to fall apart. She said "Ah! My house is burning down!". Mia poked her head out her own window and said "CJ? Your house is burning down? You can come in mine!" What an unexpected response! She didn't care that CJ had been kind of mean to her, only that CJ was sad because her fort was falling down.

So, I know that's a lot to read, but - believe me - there was way more I could have written about my super fun week with my awesome daughters.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Xander and I visited my family in Michigan because my little brother was getting married. This is Xander's second plane ride and he is not even two yet. The "real" first time I ever went on a plane was when I was 18 and going to college. I say "real" because I did fly to the United States when I was adopted, but it shouldn't count because I can't remember it. CJ's been at least 5 times and she is only 9. Man are our kids spoiled!

Michigan is great for several reasons:
1.Home of the Stanley Cup winners-the Red Wings
2. Mmmmm Vernors, my favorite ginger-ale drink
3. And, what other state can you use your hand for a map?

Rylie is my only niece on my side of the family and is around the same age as Xander. The two were like two peas in a pod, holding hands, giggling, and running around the house together. We went to the Toledo Zoo one day with my brother, his wife and Rylie and the kids had a blast together. My sister in law and I both agree that mix babies are beautiful. Rylie is 1/2 Korean, 1/4 Mexican and 1/4 White. Xander is 1/2 Korean, 1/2 White, 1/4 Democrat.

My parents have oodles of animal statues throughout their yard. Xander had to have a walk through the yard each day as if he were taking a stroll through a museum.

At the wedding, Xander just happened to match the men in the wedding party. The photographer couldn't stop taking pictures of him. I think I may actually be in some because I was with Xander. I guess it pays having an adorable little boy. If you are wondering what he is holding in his hands, they are collection envelopes. Xander went around the Catholic church collecting the envelopes from all the pews.

Here's a couple of pictures of ALL the Asians (plus one white girl) in Michigan.

Stay tuned for a post of Ben and the girls.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's Official!

Hip, Hip hooray! It's official! Ben just got word yesterday that he will be continuing on at Pixar-full time. We are just so elated for him. He has been wanting a Pixar license plate frame for a long time but didn't want to get one because he didn't know if he was going to be there long term. So that was one of the first things he said he was going to get along with Pixar business cards. I am so proud of him! We don't know all the details, but Ben thinks that nothing will be different and that we will have the same salary and benefits etc. I am secretly hoping for something more, but we will see.

Our lease is up at the end of July so we are starting to look for 3 bedroom apartments. I just got back from Michigan with Xander the other day, so we have lots to share. Ben and the girls had tons of fun too, but unfortunately, I left the junky camera with Ben and we can't get the pictures. Check back in a few days and hopefully we will have something up.

Monday, June 2, 2008

That's a Wrap!

Ben and I went to his work party this weekend. It's called a "Wrap Party" where they celebrate the completion of their film. It was a formal event held at the Masonic Temple in San Francisco. Ben wore a comfy Sunday suit, while I squeezed in one of two formals I own. The last time I wore it, was 4 or 5 years ago before I had any babies and I was 15 lbs. lighter. The other formal dress I own, I call it my "fat dress", which is self explanatory. I was not about to wear the "fat dress" because I have been running like a maniac (20 miles last week) and I WAS GOING TO FIT IN IT!

We arrived at the place and were ushered into a giant theatre, but not before we received some yummy movie snacks like popcorn, vegetables, and a sucker all vacuumed packed in a foil, space-looking bag. Pix-Toons sang funny songs to us to the tune of Star Wars followed by speeches from the producers and director of WALL-E. I felt like I was at the Oscars and someone was giving their acceptance speech. I was about to fall asleep when the director busted out with song and rocked out with the band singing a "Thank you" to the WALL-E crew. Now that's entertainment.

WALL-E was an amazing movie. Tears were shed and they weren't mine, shouts were heard, and not one person got up from their seat when the movie ended. Everyone waited for the credits to come and again, shouts and clapping. It was awesome and I couldn't help but think, next year, it will be Ben's and the "UP" crews time to shine.

It was a huge celebration complete with endless food, music and dancing. We also got our pictures taken with the stars of the movie. I made out with WALL-E while Ben watched. I just had to plant one on him. He was so cute in the movie. I gave him my number, but I don't know if he will call. Don't tell Ben, he's the jealous type.

We brought the kids home some blow up aliens that they had sitting in the seats of the auditorium later in the evening. Mia and CJ love them. Mia is actually watching a movie with her "elien" while holding it's hand. CJ sleeps with hers even though he is almost as big as her. Xander just beats the tar out of his.


Mia-In primary they asked the kids,"What do your parents do for you?" The kids replied with answers like, they feed us, they take care of us etc. Mia raises her hand and says, "My Dad plays video games". They reply, "Oh,your Dad plays video games with you." Mia says, "No, he plays by himself."

In Ben's defense. . .

CJ-"I feel weird when I ask Xander if he is having fun playing with his balls. It just doesn't sound right."

Xander-When asked if he was a Republican or Democrat, Xander said he was a "Democrat", loud and clear. Now we have 2 Democrats in the family!