Thursday, December 24, 2015

Mickey Backpack for the 3rd Child

One of Harrison's favorite items in his life right now is his "Mickey backpack."  He takes it EVERYWHERE.  To the library, to preschool, on trips.  He fills it with his favorite books, stuffed animals, and assorted toys.

Here's a photo of the "Mickey backpack":  

Notice anything unusual about Mickey? 

Yep.  It's not Mickey.  It's Minnie Mouse.  

Quite obviously Minnie Mouse.  

This is what I like to call "3rd Child Immagination."  

You see, like all good 3rd children, Harrison gets a lot of hand-me-downs.  

(Okay, just about everything he gets is a hand-me-down.) 

And in this case, Harrison was invited to pick a backpack out of a box containing backpacks previously used by his sisters. 

He immediately gravitated to this backpack.  But from day one, he called it his "Mickey backpack."  Even though he watches "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" and clearly knows the difference between Mickey and Minnie, he insists on calling this his "Mickey backpack!"  

That is "3rd Child Immagination" hard at work.  "Of course we bought this Mickey backpack just for you, kid!"  Dream on 3rd child, dream on!  

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Beautiful Game

Soccer is often referred to as "The Beautiful Game."  And this Fall, the Beautiful Game gave a lot of joy to the Lim household.

This summer, after taking in the U.S. Women's National Team friendly against Ireland down in San Jose, Caroline expressed a desire to play soccer. 

Not ever have played soccer, I immediately researched the myriad soccer leagues in the Bay Area, and signed Caroline up for AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organziation).  

To say Caroline had a good time is an understatement.  

Turns out she is pretty good at soccer, and she ended up on a team of sweet girls who all got along well together.  And they all played some pretty good soccer along the way.  Or as we call it now, "Football."  

Caroline's team ended up going undefeated (10-0) in the U10 girls division for San Mateo.  

They then won the league tournament (4-0) and qualififed for the Area Tournament against seven other cities. 

In the Area Tournament, they advanced to the finals where they upset a very strong Redwood City team, 2-0! 

They then advanced to the Section Tournament against seven other teams from the greater Northern California Area.  They lost in the semi's to South Lake Tahoe 1-0, but bounced back to win the consolation game against Prunedale (Monterey County), 3-0 to take thirld place. 

More importantly, Caroline made great new friends, and developed what I hope will be a lifelong love of football!  

Fall soccer has now given way to Winter soccer, as Caroline tried out for and was selected to the AYSO Winter Team, which is quite a feather in her cap for a first-year player!  

Congrats to Caroline! 

Do You Like My Hat? Nope.

One of the joys of having a toddler is to watch for those magic moments.  

First steps.  First words.  You get the idea. 

Often overlooked but no less exciting is that magic moment of -- First Book. 

By "First Book" I mean that moment where a child takes ownership of their first book that they REALLY, REALLY LIKE.  I mean they will have you read that thing to them a hundred times, then one more time just for good measure. 

They will memorize that book until they believe they ARE reading it.  

Dozens of new words get learned through the magic of this "First Book." 

For Harrison, that moment arrived two weeks ago, with the discovery of "Go Dog.  Go!" 

Harrison LOVES this book.  He giggles at the sight of "Big dogs going up."  (The roller coaster)

He loves the photo of the angry dog umpire.  

Best of all, he like the "Hello!  Do you like my hat?"   In the book, the other dog answers, "No.  I do not like that hat."  But Harrison loves to answer with a short, crisp, "Nope".   He also loves to drawl out the "Hello!" into a nice long "Helloooo!"  

Of course, the thrilling ending of the book is the all exciting DOG PARTY at the top of the tree.  Harrison enjoys laughing and pointing at all the dogs at the dog party, and will sit at the end of the book pointing out the yellow dog, blue dog, green dog, etc. and laughing at their antics. 

The First Book is magical.  And Harrison has his First Book! 

After all, who doesn't love a good Dog Party? 

Good Guys, Bad Guys

Harrison is your typical 3 year-old boy.  Despite not pushing gun toys or other violent toys on him, as soon as he started pre-school and hanging out with "older" boys, he came home and EVERYTHING became a gun or sword to him.

Broom?  "Pew-Pew!"   

Plastic bat?  "Pew-Pew!"

Remote control?  "Pew-Pew!" 

So I finally broke down and over Thanksgiving at my parent's house, dug out my old "Han Solo Blaster" circa 1977.  It was my cherished toy as a child, and I admit it was pretty neat to see Harrison's face light up when he saw it.  He loves it. 

His newest game is to play "bad guys".  To be clear, Harrison is NEVER the "bad guy."  He is always the "good guy."  He designates his sisters, mommy, or daddy to play the role of "bad guy."  Your job is than to let him chase you around while he shoots/stabs/wrestles you into submission.  He can play it for hours!

Here is a photo of Harrison "Han Solo"! 

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Halloween 2015 (For Display Only- Do Not Touch, Mickey's Hands, Caroline Hearts Monkeys)

This year's kids costumes were a labor of love.

Katherine knew early on that she wanted to be Wall-E a few months before Halloween.  David helped her spray paint her body and make her eyes.  She painted the pictures on the front herself.  

Every Halloween at their school, they have a parade which allows the students to see each other's costumes.  It can get very chaotic as they students line up and parade around the school. This year as Katherine was turning her head to look at something, when we turned back around, another student was turning the rows on her Rubik cube.  She had to tell the student to stop since that it wasn't a toy, it was a prop for her costume!

Harrison loves Mickey Mouse so I made his costume this year.  He loved it although the hands made it very difficult for him to pick up candy from the candy bowls on Halloween without it looking like he was grabbing an entire handful.  In reality, he could barely pick up even one candy with the gloves.  We ended up taking them off early on and he was much happier.

 If you know Caroline, you know that she LOVES monkeys so it was no surprise when she said that she wanted to be a monkey for Halloween.  Caroline wanted to make the costume herself so we went to Joann fabrics multiple times to complete her costume.  She cut out the pattern and sewed the majority of it.  Some people didn't guess correctly what she was, but all who know Caroline well, knew that she was monkey fashioned after her favorite monkey. 


Grandma Knows Best

David's grandmother used to make a special Chinese soup whenever he had a canker sore.  It was known as the "yeat hay" (Chinese for canker sore) soup.  Caroline got a canker sore and asked David to make her some so he made her a pot the other night. As she was drinking it tonight from the Chinese rice bowl and Chinese soup spoon, she said "Hey Mom, do you know that this spoon says Hao?" which means good in Mandarin.  I told her, "Your Chinese is paying off!"  

I find this funny in a two ways. 

1). We have had that Chinese spoon for as long as David and I have been together.  That's almost 15 years.  I never noticed that there was a Chinese character on the spoon.  

2).  Katherine and Caroline have been taking Mandarin on Sunday mornings for three years now.  They complain every Sunday about getting up to go to Chinese school but they enjoy it once they are there. They can understand some Mandarin (about 2nd grade level) and about 200 characters.  They get frustrated when they feel like they will never be proficient at it but tonight's discovery reinforced that she is picking things the language. 

Grandma's soup did double duty tonight- not only as a remedy to quickly heal Caroline's canker sore; it was also an indirect Chinese lesson! 很 好 which means very good!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Die, Daddy! Die!!!

Not to worry, Harrison is NOT a murdering psychopath.

Like many kids learning to talk, Harrison has trouble pronouncing certain sounds.

The "B" sound has been particularly troubling for him.

This has resulted in the humorous yet awkward situation where when Harrison says "Bye" to you, it comes out sounding like, "DIE".

To compound the awkwardness, Harrison LOVES to say "Bye" to people.

He will run to our front window and yell out the open window "DIE!" to me, Terri, the girls --- whoever happens to be leaving our house.

If you are at the mall and you are walking into the Apple Store while he is heading to Build-A-Bear, he will cheerfully scream "DIE!" to you as you walk off.

So if you come to our house or get a phone call from Harrison, do not be alarmed if he tells you to "DIE!"

He's not saying what you think he's saying!

Click on any photo for a larger view.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Life's A Happy Song

Katherine and Caroline performed in their school's annual talent show a few weeks ago.  They have performed each year since Kindergarten except for the one year when the school didn't have one.  

In the past, they have performed song and dance routines to popular artists such as Katy Perry and One Direction.  This year they sang "Life's A Happy Song" from the Muppets with their four close friends.  The girls and their friends have always choreographed their performances with no help from the parents.   Each year I am amazed by what they come up with. This year was no exception. The song and dance routine was well rehearsed and entertaining.  When I asked the girls who came up with the song and dance moves, Katherine said that Caroline chose the song and most of choreography.  Caroline said that she wanted to select a song that the parents in the audience would know.  While I am proud of their performance and hard work, I am just as pleased that she put so much thought into picking a song that would appeal to both the adults and youth in the audience.  This line from the song says it all "Life's a Happy Song when there's someone by my side to sing along."  Here's to many more years of happy singing!