Saturday, August 18, 2012

Boxes make the best toys

When Luke and I were kids we loved playing with boxes
It seems Obi and Rosie do too.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy 21st Birthday, Worlk Wide Web

Did you know that the internet as we know it, the World Wide Web, turned 21 last week?
That's right, the World Wide Web is now legal to drink.

The internet, the thing that allows computers over great distances to communicate with each other has been around since the 60s. But it wasn't till 1991 that the first publicly available web page was created, by Sir Tim Berners-Lee,  and the term World Wide Web was used.  He thought it would be a good way for researchers to communicate with each other.

Do you remember 1991? Can you believe before that we functioned and existed with out the internet?  In 1991 I was 12 and my mom had a Commodore 65 computer.  It was shortly after that she began to get involved with "chat boards."

In those days chat boards were just plain white text on a blue screen.  I asked my mom what she talked about on the chat boards with people and she said they mostly talked about how to fix their computers.

Even though the World Wide Web became a publicly accessible thing when I was 12 we didn't have it in our house until I was about 14.  I remember in 1996 I was the first person in my High School to use internet research for a research paper I was writing and my teachers didn't know how to tell me to cite my sources.  That was back in the day of AOL and their 20 free hours!

Wow. Can you remember having no email? no wikipidia? no facebook? NO Internet?
It's amazing how much the Internet has grown and become such a part of every day life.
In just 21 short years.

We decided to have Peach Cocktails to celebrate the Internet turning 21, and then I came here to blog about it.
Rosie got to have her own special drink too...EDIT: (she's drinking peach juice in a pretty cup)
And this picture is just because I think she's so cute. 
I'll show this picture to her some day... maybe when she's 21 and we'll talk about the ancient times when people didn't have cell phones and the internet didn't exist.  And she won't even be able to comprehend it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

36 years ago today two young kids were getting married. She was 19, he was 20 and they were beautifully in love. And young. Very very young.

36 years later they have 4 wonderfully attractive children with 4 equally attractive spouses and 7 unbearably beautifully grand babies.

That's 15 more lives, 15 more smiles, and 15 infections laughs all because of two wonderfully in love people.

I've only been around for 33 of those years, but they have been fun and full of wonderful memories.

Here's a list of things I've learn from my parents in their marriage:

~To dance in the kitchen. Ok. Really I learned to dance from Dad while I learned how to be dragged around the kitchen with out moving your feet from Mom.

~ To laugh together. Loudly (Dad), and quietly (Mom... or as she says "I'm laughing on the inside")

~ To have ice cream from breakfast.

~ To have chocolate for breakfast

~ To have breakfast for dinner

~ How to really enjoy a vacation (I mentioned Ice Cream for breakfast)

~ To enjoy the magic of life in everyday situations.

~ No matter how poor you are, always find a way to go to Disneyland

~ To do what works for your family and your marriage, no matter what everyone else is doing or saying and no matter how non-conventional it may seem.

~ To value each other

~To respect each other's differences and strengths

~ To put my kids first and above all else.

~ To serve the good ice cream to the kids

~ To read together, even if you're not "together". Audio books are great for that!

~ To work through the difficult times. And not to dwell on the bad times once they are over.

~ To focus on the good times. And always be planning and dreaming up more.

I could go on and on but it's time to read to my two year old and pester my husband before he falls asleep. Two things I learned from my parents.

Thank you Mom and Dad for your wonderful love for us kids, now and when we were little.
Thank you for setting such a wonderful example of how to put your kids first and raise us in such a fun and happy environment.
Even if it wasn't always perfect, I have so many perfectly wonderful and happy memories it almost seems as if it was.

Happy 36 years.... and I hope to God my Rosie doesn't get married when she's 19.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Coming Out. -- The Truth

For a long time (when I was younger and snobbier) I tried to pretend I didn't like Starbucks because they were too cooperate. But then they always decorated so nicely for Christmas and came out with their Red Cup. Christmas time was my exception. At Christmas I shamelessly loved and frequented Starbucks. 

In Southern California I had more coffee options anyway.  I liked privately owned shops the best, of course, but I also very much loved Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a West Coast only Coffee Shop. (although there was one in Shanghai that I sometimes traveled for a couple hours to visit)
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Shanghai

Then I moved to China. The first town we lived in was a small town with very few familiar things.  They did, however, have a Starbucks. Yes, there is Starbucks in China and they are quite popular.  The Wuxi Starbucks became my little taste of home. My haven on days when I was most home sick.
Plus they were the only place in the whole city that played Christmas music at Christmas time. (there is no Christmas in China)

Enjoying a Starbucks coffee during Chinese New Year at a very fancy movie theater
When we moved to Shanghai there were a lot more modern things there, but Starbucks was still a comfort. Especially at Christmas time. They always had their red cups, decorated for Christmas, and played Christmas music. (Seriously, there is no Christmas in China! William had to take it off work every year while every one else had to go to work.  It was hard to get into the Christmas mood. Starbucks helped me a lot with that.)

So here I am living in the United States again and trying to pretend that I don't like Starbucks because they are too cooperate... except at Christmas time of course. When really I look forward to the hour long drive to the nearest Starbucks just so I can have a Frappuccino.  I love Starbucks. They make me happy. They bring back good and fond memories. And a cup of Starbucks always makes me smile. Especially if that cup is red!
So there you go. The truth. I have come out and said it. I love Starbucks.
So you can imagine how giggly happy I was yesterday to take my darling Rosie to Starbucks and get her very own, very first Starbucks.  She got "Pink Coffee" which is a Raspberry Steamer,  and she enjoyed it very very much.
 But not nearly as much as I did.
I look forward to going to Starbucks many times this coming Christmas season and getting Red Cups together.

Monday, August 6, 2012

"Mommy, can Obi be a princess too?"

To Rosie one is a princess if one is wearing a pretty dress.
When it came time for us to pick William up from the airport I asked Rosie if she wanted to wear any of her new pretty princess things to go see Daddy. 
Not only did she yes, want to wear a pretty princess dress but she wanted Mommy to be a princess too. She ran into my closet to pick out a skirt for me. 
Then she asked me a very serious and important question.
"Can Obi be a princess too?"
I couldn't really think of a reason why Obi couldn't be a princess, so yes, Obi is wearing a pink princess skirt.
I love that Rosie likes to be a princess. I love that she likes to put on a pretty skirt and dance around the room like "the pretty girls" she sees on the Olympics. But more than that I love that she wants to share her joy and fun and even her own dresses with the rest of us.

And I love that she lets me put silly hats on her while she's watching TV.

I love my dress up girl, and my dress up boy.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My Two Darlings

Just thought I'd share a couple every day pictures with you. 
This is were Rosie spends most of her day time play hours.
She makes a "nest" of her toys and plays with her farm.
She loves it if any one sits with her and plays with her.
Obi is such a happy baby. He always has such wonderful smiles for me.
Here he is in his stroller/car seat that my family bought me for a baby gift. 
He's keeping me company while I make dinner.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Voting Day

Today was Voting Day in our little town. 
I love voting day. Especially when there's local elections. Especially in a small town.
I love how you can know all the people running and you can talk to them and run into them at the Irish Picnic.
It's just fun to get involved in the community. Plus voting for local stuff actually matters in your day to day life, AND your vote actually counts. 
Today Rosie and I went to the voting place.
She was of course a big hit. She was a good helper too and she got her own sticker. She took it all very seriously.
And every one knows that after voting one should reward one's self with ice cream.
So off to Dairy Queen we went to share a chocolate dipped ice cream in a cup.

I have so much fun with my little big girl. She can be a handful some times, but she's so sweet and always gives such good hugs.
Thanks for helping me vote little one.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Funny Babies

Our dear friend Erin gave Rosie a whole Princess wardrobe not too long ago. I was so excited because of how much I loved playing dress up when I was little....
ok... I STILL like playing dress up!
Rosie wasn't very into at first. But then I found this cute little British show on the Sprout channel called "Cloe's Closet" all about a little girl who plays dress up.
I was hoping the show would encourage Rosie to want to play dress up with me. 

And it looks as if my plan worked!
We had to run errands today and Rosie wanted to be a Fairy Princess. I couldn't help laughing out loud when I looked in the mirror and saw this little Princess sitting behind me.  Of course she's making a face at me and saying "don't take my picture."
I'm was a little more than happy when she wanted to wear all her things into the store. I'm so happy to be seen with my darling little fairy princess and she brought a smile to everyone's faces.
Naturally she was given a lollipop. Being so cute, who could resist!?

In Obi's world things are much more simple but almost as silly.
I needed to make dinner and clean up the Kitchen before Rosie and I got lost in the pile of dishes. Obi got tired of sitting in his stroller, then he got tired of being in the Ergo Baby carrier.  So we tried some thing new...
He liked it for a while, but then he go tired of that too and it was time for me to take a cuddle break.  My favorite kind of break.

Don't I have the most fun and adorable babies!? 
They make my life magical and keep a smile on my face and in my heart.