Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Good Time Out

Today was a nice day to just hang around the house. We played with the girls, made muffins, did laundry and just relaxed. After nap time, we dressed them and took the girls to one of their favorite places, "A Good Time Out". It is an hourly drop-in daycare facility, but to the girls it is like going to a playground or a park. There are lots of toys to climb in, jump on, and play with. There are books and toy kitchens and craftworks. They also serve dinner if you are there at 5:30.

While we do feel a little guilt by ditching the girls during a family weekend, it gives us a chance to have a nice dinner alone and a trip to the grocery store without two crazy girls grabbing at everything. We tried to go to one of Pete's favorite Basque restaurants, the Wool Growers, but even though we got there by 5:30, they had no room until after 7. So we ended up going to another Bakersfield landmark, Bill Lees Chinese food.

Friday, June 29, 2007


The cough is still lingering and work is piling up at the office, but now it is Friday evening and we have time for a break. As usual, when I come home from work, Dad is outside playing with the girls. Today they have their swimsuits on and are watering the plants and each other with the garden hose. I took the opportunity to snap some photos, nothing award-winning, but still fun.

I just learned that we won't have to host a big dinner the week after next and the news couldn't come at a better time since our housecleaner and gardener both quit. The place is looking a little shabby and I am not feeling up to detailing.

Gotta go. The girls want dinner and Play Doh!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


While Chloe and Pearl have many things in common, there are so many ways these girls are drastically different. Food preferences is one way these girls part ways. Chloe has the most unusual tastes I have ever witnessed. She only eats from three food groups, dairy, carbs and condiments. Yes to Chloe, condiments are a main entree. Give her a knife and a pile of butter and she has a meal. It doesn't have to be butter. It could be sour cream, cream cheese, ketchup or ranch dressing. The only fruit she will eat is a raisin and the only vegetable she will eat is an olive. Is that a vegetable? She also loves peanuts and popcorn, both things I am probably not supposed to be feeding a three year old.

Pearl, on the otherhand, eats like a healthy adult. She loves salad, veggies, and fruit, especially watermelon and mandarin oranges. She will try just about anything. It is a good challenge to have a healthy eater in the home. It forces me to buy wholesome foods when I shop.

Back to the grindstone

I'm not sure why, but I seem to be having great difficulty getting back into the swing of work. I think it might be this horrible cough that won't leave me. I barely have enough energy to get out of bed and get the girls dressed and out the door for daycare.

This morning, there was a little friend just INSIDE our front door as we were heading out. Chloe bent down and exclaimed "Look! A patta-peter! Awe, how cute. It's a baby! He won't bite." So, I carefully stooped down and flung him gently into the garden.

Chloe always manages to bring a big smile to Momma's face. Can't wait to see her after work.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Weekend Getaway-Monday in Pacific Grove

Wow this trip has been filled with lots of visiting and lots of traveling. Chloe and Pearl are excellent travelers and they LOVE hotel rooms. We spent our last evening at the Monterey Bay Inn on Cannery Row and when we entered the room, Chloe exclaimed, "This is a NICE room!" Yes, indeed.

Coincidence brought us one more opportunity to visit with Brenda and Jerry for lunch in Pacific Grove. We spent the morning playing on the cliffs of PG looking for squirrels to feed. We didn't find very many squirrels, but Chloe and Pearl have learned what bothersome pests seagulls can be. We literally had one stalking us and he hovered over our heads and followed us wherever we went. Apparently, he is a big fan of Doritos Nacho Chips.

Weekend Getaway-Sunday in Palo Alto

This trip gave us one more excuse to visit internet friends Rebecca, Chris and their two children Wolfe and Winter. Both Wolfe and Winter were adopted from China and Wolfe came home just one month before Pearl joined our family. Since our last visit only a few months ago, the family moved north to Palo Alto to a charming neighborhood. Their new home has been decorated in a clean contemporary architecture, very much Mom's style.

The family had been staying at home while Wolfe was recovering from surgery. I am hoping they appreciated our interruption of their peace and quiet. We had a wonderful visit! In fact, Chloe became despondent when we went to leave. She really wanted to stay longer and play with all their cool toys.

Weekend Getaway-Saturday Night in San Jose

We couldn't possibly make it all the way to San Jose without stopping by to visit our favorite cousins, Bruce and Lorene. To our very pleasant surprise, their daughter Brenda and her husband Jerry from Sacramento were also in town for a visit. Bruce and Lorene also had their two grandsons, Brandon and Joseph with them for the summer. We had a lot of fun goofing around.

Brenda and Jerry brought tiarras for our two girls, the princess and the drama queen. Naturally they LOVED them and especially enjoyed the matching jeweled earrings.

Pictured below is Bruce reading Pearl one of her favorite stories, "Green Eggs and Ham". Below that is Chloe playing with the garden hose. No plants were harmed in the making of this collage. The hose was solely a prop and not loaded with water.

Weekend Getaway-Saturday morning in San Jose

After being a long-term admirer of Donna T and her blog at "Double Happiness", I had to sneak in a visit to meet her and her husband Andrew and their two precious virtual twins, Gwenny and Maddy. Maddy is from the same small orphanage as Chloe and by my calculations, their stay overlapped a period of approximately three months. That would be dependent upon when Maddy was placed into foster care. Maddy has been with them for less than a year. In fact, Donna and Andrew were in China adopting Maddy at the same time we were in China adopting Pearl. Small world.

We attempted to pose all four girls together and not surprisingly, not one of the girls was thrilled with the prospect. I think it looks like we placed them all on the "naughty bench".

Weekend Getaway-Friday Night in Carmel

This weekend we decided to take off Friday and Monday and go on a road trip to our favorite place, Carmel California. We couldn't possibly travel that far without visiting as many friends and relatives as possible within a 60 mile radius. Betty Chu, if you are reading this, we will have to catch you on the next trip!

Friday night, we met up with Hollister friends, Kevin and Christie, and their beautiful baby Jaycee. Mom and Kevin used to work together for a structural engineer in Salinas. Kevin is still there after what must be more than 15 years.

We went to one of our favorite restaurants, The Rio Grill. This is a very nice place, but they have butcher paper over the linen tablecloths and there are crayons on each table. It helps keep the little ones entertained and brings out the DaVinci in us all.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


This Father's Day was low-key and mostly spent lounging around the house. We began the morning going out to breakfast with Pete's Dad and Mom. Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures of the grandparents. Afterward, we went over to their home and let the girls play in the backyard. They discovered Grandpa's pop-up tent trailer and had a lot of fun "camping". Then we returned home and relaxed.

Just the night before, Mom had waited until the last minute to go shopping for Father's Day and she had to take both girls with her to Target. Once inside the store, Chloe refused to get in the shopping cart. Given her track record, there was no way she was going to be allowed unrestrained free reign of the store. Mom struggled with her repeatedly to put her in either the front or the back of the cart (All the multi-kid carts were taken), but she fussed loudy, even while trying to grab all of the greeting cards on the shelf ("No Chloe. Daddy doesn't speak Spanish. Put that card back"). After efforts of bribery and threats, nothing was working. Chloe's fit turned into a full out tantrum, while Pearl sat quietly observing. Well, we ended up turning around and going home, a 30 minute drive, with no presents or cards.

I figured it would be OK since Dad had decided to take his employees and their spouses to a Latino Comedy show in a limo while Mom stayed home and watched the kids. That repreive was present enough.

As you can see from the pictures above, both girls love their daddy completely and take every opportunity possible to climb on him. He is a great dad. Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sisterly Love---FFFF Challenge #35

This weeks challenge posted by Donna over at Double Happiness is "LOVE". Chloe and Pearl love each other very much and have been best friends from DAY 1. I wasn't sure what to post until I remembered how hard it was to get a Christmas picture of the two girls together. They were having so much fun acting silly with each other that I couldn't get a straight face. These pictures are the "out-takes". My apologies to "Just Another Mommy" for stealing her great idea.

It's already over 100 degrees here, so maybe a flashback to Christmas is a nice reprieve.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Here is a photo page that I made just to commemorate Chloe's first dance recital. While Chloe refused to smile during dress rehersal, she had plenty of smiles to share on the evening of the recital, even after a full day of daycare. She even let me do her hair and make-up without a fuss. The picture of Pearl and Chloe together was taken outside our front door just before we left. Both girls had a lot of fun, but Chloe did need a little extra attention from Mom.


I am doing these posts a little differently today. I created a digital scrapbook page, one for Pearl and one for Chloe. This one is for Pearl. The profile shot was taken just before we went in for the show. We were sitting on the grass trying to catch some respite from the heat. If we had the show just one day later, the temperature would have been over 100 degrees. Pearl looked so beautiful in her costume and she was very patient and well-behaved.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tweety Birds!

Tuesday night will be our girls' first big dance recital. Today was the dress rehersal. I had no idea it would be such a nightmare to get two little girls ready in full costume and make-up and hair. I thought I was ready and organized, but just when Chloe decided to throw a fit and refuse to have her hair done, that's when I couldn't find their tights and shoe bows. It was frantic and crazy and somehow we still managed to be there 10 minutes early, fully-dressed and the only ones with their hats on correctly--YEAH!!! Chloe participated and had fun, but she absolutely refused to smile for any of the pictures. I think we got some cute ones anyway.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Another weekend at home and another zoo

This past weekend we stayed home once again. We were anxious to get out of the house by Sunday, so we decided to visit the local zoo, known as CALM which stands for "California Area Living Museum". It gets very hot around this time of year, so we decided to get there as soon as they opened. This zoo houses animals, mostly California natives, that have either been injured and cannot be returned to the wild, or that are too tame to survive in the wild. It also has an abundance of native plantlife and there were a lot of different purple-flowered bushes in bloom.

We saw bobcats, bears, coatis, raccoons, minks, turtles, foxes, a bear, and lots of birds of prey--owls, eagles, & hawks. I think we enjoyed the roadrunner the most as he was exhibiting a lot of strange mating-type behaviors. He was wagging his big long tail just like a dog. When the caretaker entered the pen, the roadrunner followed him around until he put out his arm and the roadrunner hopped on and fluffed up his feathers.

Getting Lazy

OK. So we haven't been doing NOTHING these past couple of weeks. We just haven't been very good about taking pictures or blogging. Two weekends ago, we went to the cabin to visit with Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy. We had a lot of fun playing and going to the park. For a Memorial Day weekend, we just had a nice time relaxing at both the cabin and at home.

Later in the week, we had a nice evening Thursday night. The girls had their regular swimming lessons. For the first time, I saw noticeable improvement. The girls are almost able to dog-paddle their way to the edges of the pool. They are swimming very well underwater, retrieving objects on the bottom with ease. After swimming, we went to dinner at Mom and Dad's favorite Mexican restaurant. Then after dinner, we went to a nice shopping area known as "The Marketplace". There we bought new sandals for Chloe and since Pearl didn't need sandals, we purchased a fancy hair bow for her in red, white and blue. Both girls also received a new pair of sunglasses. We left the shoe store and strolled over to the outdoor fountain, where the girls played and ran around, begging for coins to throw in. Naturally, Dad was eager to dispose of his loose pocket change. Now that the girls worked up a sweat, we decided to go to the ice cream shop for a final treat before returning home. Chloe is a chocolate-lover (like Mom) and Pearl is a vanilla-lover. It is always interesting to see how different these girls are and how well they get along.

Next post will include pictures.