Saturday, August 30, 2008

as Boo Boo says...

"I don't LIIIIKE it"!  The 9ers.  Not sure what happened last night but 3 out of 4 wins in pre-season isn't so bad...if only now the 9ers can carry that momentum in to the REAL season!  Hopefully, JT doesn't get hurt in game one and they have to go with Smith for a few painful games, then decide Shaun Hill isn't really 3rd string material, but rather, they should have yanked Smith a long time ago?!

As we were watching the end of the game last night on tv, I was thinking: that would be one of my dream jobs...the female sports broadcaster from the sidelines :)  The only thing is, would I really have to be THAT perky ALL the time???  or scream to make myself seem THAT excited about not only the game itself but something as innocuous as the new dungeness crab foccacia thingy they are offering at Candlestick this season?  and then have the booth guys upstairs drawing "playbook action" while I eat the thing???  hmmmm... 

Well, "Daddy no work for 3 days!" so we're happy :)  Happy Labor Day! although I woke up at 5:30 and have already started laundry this morning??! weird...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fall...and Sports!

We aren't exactly a "Sports crazed" kind of family, but when it's Fall, we can't help it :)  GO NINERS!!!  oh, and sometimes, GO BRONCOS! (if they aren't playing the 9ers) And with the Olympics this year, we almost forgot the US Open started...

I grew up in a family of 3 boys and 3 girls, and well, I wasn't exactly the one to be picked first in sports, but I did beat out Lynn ;P  The boys are certainly into sports and Quyen somehow just knows all about every sport it seems, even the most trivial facts about random players and sports...I think I got some of my facts from her as well as my love for football and tennis? But I'm definitely more of a 90s sports fan.  I LOVE Petey! (PETE SAMPRAS!) and Steve Young ;)  I tend to follow individuals vs teams, except the 9ers hence the season tickets. No, I do not like Alex Smith (waste of money and draft pick!)  We watch other sports occasionally, like Tiger Woods when it's a major and it's down to the final day of the tournament, volleyball because I actually know what "side out" means from my days of shuttling the boys around in high school for their games...and soccer if my brother in law is around. Oh, I used to watch basketball and the Bulls with Jordan.

Anyways, here are some of our favorite teams...
SF 49ers 
Denver Broncos (ELWAY!!!)
Chicago Bears (with the Fridge :P)

...and because I went to a college that only had 1 year of real football long before I ever even heard of it (my biology teacher in high school played football the 1 year), I follow other college teams:
Notre Dame (GO IRISH!! too bad Rick Mirer didn't do better in pro football)
UCLA/USC (depending on who they are playing...)

Yes, we are fair weather fans too!  I don't think we religiously follow any team but when we're given team A and team B and if A or B happens to be one of the teams above...we side accordingly.

Can't believe it's another season and Football is here! FINALLY...I don't like baseball ;)  Tonight is another pre-season game for the 9ers vs Chargers (Brian and Steven's favorite...and the Trieus of course)...GO NINERS and JT O'sullivan :))) who knew UC Davis can produce someone who trumps a first round draft pick from Utah State?  and I think Alex Smith was a product of Helix High, which was a part of our HS district...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Why we call him BOO BOO

Mark came home and told us a story he heard on his drive home: Overprotective parenting and childhood memories.  

The gist of the story was how today, as parents, we over protect our children from a "childhood" for fear of having them fall, scrape their knees or worse.  When a study was done and people were asked what their fondest memories of childhood was, many answered climbing trees, playing "ball", hide and seek,  just hanging out with neighborhood kids until dust or dinner time outdoors.  I remember lots of days outside with my siblings (there was after all SIX of us!) and esp the summers spent running rampant around my Grandparent's neighborhood when there was probably more grandkids than would be "legal" today for 2 elderly people to have to put up with :)  And Mark certainly had his fair share of hanging around town (town consisted of lots of farms!) and just PLAYING... his parents wouldn't want to probably know EVERYTHING he did...

Anyhow, I guess it made me think how overly protective I get, between Purell being with me at all times, and the baths the kids get every time they spend more than 5 minutes playing outdoors...BUT I have to say I've become more "relaxed" with Adam than with Maddie (firstborns.  As the eldest sister, Lynn can attest to having to deal with more strict rules than we did as younger children...) And with our new backyard, the money spent seems all worth it.  I certainly would like to think my kids will look back on their childhoods with fond memories of playing and having FUN vs being locked indoors in front of the TV and DVD player...and WII...but that's another story!  Hey, sometimes I just need 5 minutes to shower and if Wow Wow Wubszy or Franklin or Max and Ruby helps keep the kids preoccupied...  Oh, WE LOVE cable TV, only if for NOGGIN and SPROUT for kids! heheheee

I digress.  What I'm trying to say is our society today is not exactly like it was 50 years ago but I certainly see lots of aspects of parenting returning to the days when we weren't so freaked out about a "stranger" (aka neighbor) walking up and saying Hi to our kids...not to mention there are more "real neighborhoods" being created these days and parents are thinking "ROOTS" vs moving every couple of years just because.  I think it's also a lot easier for parents these days to make choices for our families that our parents may not necessarily have had?

But the real reason I cringe and "freak out"...
See that goose egg on "Boo Boo's" Noggin?  yeah.."Sissy threw a rock and I looked up and there it was was...OWEY!"

OOps, the pics of the kids...


For those of you who aren't familiar with our family...that's "Pickles" the pony (Santa brought it for them last Christmas) and let's see: Adam has Lambie and Maddie has Baby Butterfly (because she has Butterflies on her clothes ;p).  They are in the BABY caring phase...we have Baby Genta, Dolly, Dolly's friends, and of course Baby Brother.  You will see many of these "babies" in their pictures.  Oh, and you'd have lots of  "Tea Parties" at our house too :P

Pics of Kids

So my kids are a little lazy...probably something with the DNA/genetics?  Anyways, we actually had a lunch date again, and this one wasn't with Daddy where we can be "a little bit" late so even with the kids waking up at 9:30 and 10 am, we made it out the door by 10:50 to pick up Yoriko AND manage to meet Auntie Ange in Mountain View ON TIME!  Too bad the restaurant we planned on having lunch at closed and has been replaced... we ended up at Pasta which actually wasn't too bad.  Portions were reasonable and the kids menu was right along the lines of what Maddie and Adam LOVE...PASTA WITH NOTHING on questions asked :)  We don't get to Castro in Mountain View very often, and it has changed so much!  Maybe we'll have to check it out more often.

Oh, and Ange looked great at 33 weeks!  We are very excited since she's having the 2nd Boy out of the AGGers!  (not to mention she's the overachiever who will have a boy as her firstborn whereas the rest of us all had girls...GO JAY! hehehe)  I'd post a picture of her, but I better check with her first...

Anyways, here's a picture of me and the brats after ordering various cakes at our favorite Cosentino's this afternoon...they were singing/chanting "achoo. choo choo" throughout our exit and Yoriko captured this "train" as we were getting into the car.  A man who worked there commented how cute the kids were dressed and how they should have their pictures taken?!
Yeah, well, 103 degrees we'll be spending lots of time in the pool this weekend!  NO COOKING...and no laundry during the day...SPARE THE AIR! ;)

Two very different kids...

We thought we would share this photo to show how different our two little angels are :) Even though it was probably hovering at 90 degrees, Maddie in her "onesie" is not an uncommon sight at our house and on the flip side, even if it were in the 60's, Adam not completely clothed is well, sadly common as well...  I know, "you gotta just do it" but as long as they are safe and indoors (and sometimes outdoors) I'd rather fight a different battle vs "What to wear or NOT to wear" for the occasion.  Yes, same boy who wore Crocs to Thomas and Yas' wedding. oops.

Did you notice the chopstick with noodles on a plate vs the fork with noodles in a bowl?!  I guess this is why they are "of multi-national descent?"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kaitlyn's book club

Here are a couple of books to add to your reading list:

The Present by Spencer Johnson
The invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

I am NOT one to read too many self help books and such but The Present was an easy and thin book so I decided to give it a try.  It actually was a GREAT book!  I think because it doesn't apply to work or anything specific, it was a good book just about "life" in general.  I HIGHLY recommend it...

and the Hugo Cabret Book?  It may look daunting with its 500+ pages but it is one of the best books I've ever read.  I believe it's Brian Selznick's first book, but again, it's GREAT!  It reminded me that childrens' literature can be just as entertaining and interesting as adults, along the lines of Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume :)  There's also a very neat part to the book: 280+ pages are drawings by the author as well.  I can't imagine this book NOT becoming a great movie one day.

Kaitlyn was enrolled in a summer tutorial course and although she was not an avid reader, they made her read, A LOT!  She inspired me to read more as well, so along with her "list" of must reads from school like The Westing Game and Where the Red Fern Grows, I've been trying to branch out and read more too.  I find that it's something relaxing and useful for the mind and it's kinda funny how different these books are to me now that I'm reading them at 35 vs at 10 yrs old and/or FOR SCHOOL!  I had to convince my husband to get me a night light (ended up with a 2 pack of "book lights" you can clip on your book, computer, whatever so I don't disturb the boys) so I can read in bed.  When Kaitlyn was reading a new book every 2 days, I felt I could motivate her to keep up the good work and myself to keep reading, even if I miss out on an extra hour of sleep :)  And now we decided to keep up the reading by agreeing to pick out a book from recommendations by her teacher(s) and we'll each check it out from the library and read it "together"...eventhough we're 500 miles apart.

If anyone has suggestions for must reads, LET US KNOW! (just remember Kaitlyn is only 10, going on 11 :P)

Cosentino's and chocolate cake

A few people have asked about the cakes... COSENTINO's! we've tried a few different flavors and styles and ALL have been delicious!!! I'll add pictures of the other cakes later, but off the top of my head: Carrot cake, chocolate, boston creme, chocolate, german chocolate, chocolate, strawberry, chocolate, guava (lankha's), chocolate... WE LOVE THEIR CHOCOLATE if you haven't noticed :) They have ready made ones, but their custom cakes only take a day or two advance notice and they do simple everyday cakes (ok, we really don't have cake everyday...) to more elaborate "fancy" ones...and fun ones too, like the cupcake one from Adam's 1st bday!

Thanks to my sister in law Yasmine for introducing us to the chocolate....we've been hooked ever since! AND their prices are VERY reasonable AND the people there are super nice! (we can only vouch for our local one here in campbell off bascom/union!)

Back Blogs...

Mark is forcing me to stop "Back Blogging" and get current events FINE!  I'll randomly add some pictures of whatever I think is cute...from the past, but I guess I'll blog in the Present now...

But before I start on the new, these are such cute pics of the kids!  We said Good-Bye to the Lattins in June before they headed to Bethesda, Maryland.  Mia and Meg have changed so much since then...but of course, thanks to Auntie Bubbles we got a great shot of Kaeli, Mia and Adam (the "triplets") at dinner before they left!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

June: Birthdays & Graduations Galore!

June was a busy month between birthday cakes, traveling and Graduation ceremonies! Anson's birthday, followed by Ong's birthday, then onto Porterville for Kevin's high school graduation (he's now at Harding University!), then San Diego for Kaitlyn's promotion to middle school, and Eric's promotion to high school. These kids are growing up so fast!!! Maddie and Adam loved the pomp and circumstance, and the fact each of these "graduations" meant something different and represented different stages in each of their lives... and if you are a teacher or ever wanted to be one, you want to be "MR STERLING!" :)

After their graduations, Eric and Kaitlyn came up North to go to an A's game and spend some time in San Francisco, ending their visit at our house. We went to the Monterey Aquarium and shopping at the Outlets...of course :)
p.s. FYI: If you live in the Bay Area and think you would go to the Aquarium more than twice in a year, getting an annual pass is GREAT! Not only is it worth the cost, it's also for a good cause AND a portion of it is tax deductible!!! (Actual portion is dependent upon which package you choose) (Thanks Ako for the tip ;P)

Vacation Part II: Cruising w/ the Trieus

So, for Mark's Birthday this year, the kids and I surprised him with a cruise to Mexico...with the Trieus! Mark LOVES to cruise and since the Trieus had never been, we thought it would a fun experience for all the kids and a chance for the adults to relax ;) We chose Carnival Cruises - Elation since it was the only one sailing on his actual birthday and it was out of San Diego so convenient for all of us..sort of. We flew back from CO wed nite, stayed home for a day, then drove down to SD on Friday. We set sail Saturday afternoon. Mark was shocked to say the least but he was very excited once he found out where we were headed! We stopped in Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada before docking back in San Diego.

We had heard lots of negative things about Carnival but despite my own misgivings from said rumors, it was actually better than we thought considering length of cruise and price! Camp Carnival for the kids? EXCELLENT! Maddie loved being there and Adam even went for an hour :) It's like having your own babysitter (which you can by the way, for $6/hr each night from 10pm-3am...I KNOW? what do you do til 3am? if I'm not asleep, it must be because the kids are sick or something???) with activities built in all day! They had different "camps" for each age group. Eric, well, he certainly used his "camp" experience to the limit...and then some :P Kaitlyn was good, we spent A LOT of time with her, maybe too much for her own good...and Mr Mark's?

Well, we all had a great time with all the Trieus and we'd definitely like to plan another! Maddie was sad to leave the ship, she asked her dad if she could live on a boat forever...and even Adam didn't want to go home, but Work calls...check out Mark as soon as we docked and got back on land! Happy Birthday, Daddy!

p.s. There were of course LOTS Of pics but these were some of my favorites...or telling of our adventure :) My absolute favorite pic is of Lynn and Adam by the pool, something about the way they are both looking towards the girls (Maddie and Kaitlyn), and their expression is same same!

Vacation Part I: Colorado

It was "NaNa's" 70th Birthday late July so we took the kids to celebrate her birthday...a little early. The kids had a GREAT time on the flights, in the hotels, and spending lots of time with NaNa and PaPa. Uncle Roy flew out on his plane to meet us there, and Aunt Lisa was able to take time away from her busy schedule and spend a night there as well.

We took Mom to one of her favorite restaurants in the very cute town of Manitou Springs, The Cliff House. The kids were semi-good, even with all the fine china and crystal everywhere. The front staff of the Hotel was so incredibly nice to them. Not so sure about the wait staff...they seemed very intimidated by us??? But we had fun, especially with our own private room! It was a beautiful day and actually a little warm. We didn't spend any time shopping around town, but we'll definitely remember it for our next visit. There were so many cute shops and restaurants, and lots of them were "historical" in some way or other, although we did stop at a 7-eleven for Adam's "ba-ba" :)

The kids also were able to hit the Children's Art Museum. Apparently ranked #2 in the nation! There was lots to do but go figure, the brats only wanted to play dress up and make believe at the Farm. Oh, they did pose for Super-photos!

It was a great visit and the kids LOVED the flying on Southwest part! They can be poster children for the airline...they can spot it a mile away! But from our traveling experience, you have to admit, for the "bargain" they are, they certainly treat us well. On to home for a day, then our drive to San Diego....

Lankha Turns 6!

How time flies...Lankha is now 6!  AND She started first grade yesterday :)  She chose to have her Birthday at Pump It Up, apparently one of the common places for kids these days?! 

Last week, Maddie and Adam were bribed to behave in order to attend the party...which they did!  But I wasn't sure if the party was really for Jason and Mark or Lankha and her friends?  Well, everyone had a great time, and for the mommies who didn't actually participate, it was amusing to see the Dads playing with the kids :)  There were lots of cute moments (Mark and Jason literally FLYING off the slide!), and some not so, but I want her to remember her Birthday as a FUN event (i.e. not wanting to take  group picture with all of her friends  ;P)

Oh, funny story about Lankha and 1st day of school: Yoriko thought she was the stellar mommy, showing up early and waiting outside her daughter's classroom, right? WRONG!  Lankha scolded her Mom for not waiting like all the other parents in the driveway. try to do something nice for them and this is the Thanks you get. Sorry Mommy! :)

Story Time...and 3 kids...

First off, for all the mothers and anyone else with kids on Tuesday mornings, check out Pottery Barn Kids (any store near you) for Story Time every week at 10am!  5 weeks and it's $10 free dollars to spend at PBK!!!  

Well, it was Open House today for Maddie's next year at ATLC Pre-school.  She got to meet this year's teacher and see some of her friends and last year's teacher whom we LOVE...Miss Michelle is AWESOME!   But we are excited to have Mrs B this year, she was the French teacher for Maddie's class last year.  And interestingly enough, Maddie had learned and retained so much french already :)   School begins next Wednesday...

Since Gabby's Mom was busy working at ATLC, we took her to story time with us at the mall.  OK, maybe I can't exactly "handle" 3 kids all the time, but they were super good today.  Yoriko was able to meet us there too.  We really missed Gabby since we've all been on vacation...

I'll try to back blog tonight and get some pictures up from *going backwards* Lankha's Birthday, Our Vacation to Colorado and Mark's Bday cruise with the Trieus...and if I get ambitious enough, perhaps going as far back as Eric and Kaitlyn's "promotions" and even my half marathon with my sister Quyen :)

Monday, August 25, 2008 our backyard Aug. 22nd

So what happens when Mommy goes out with the girls for ONE night?  Daddy and the kids go camping!  I was actually freaked out when I got home at 10:30pm and only the kitchen light was on...NOT NORMAL for my family... the kids do not go to bed when I'm home alone with them until at least 11pm!  I looked around and finally decided to look out the back door and then I saw the tent...went outside and poked at the tent and NO ONE stirred.  Finally, Mark said, "Don't lock the back door!"  I guess the kids wore him out too?!  

I had the entire house to myself and instead of sleeping, I was actually wired and read and watched the Olympics til almost 1am.  Then I woke up at 5:45 (thinking they would all be awake being outside in the cold and sun coming up) and went to get Stan's Donuts (if you have never had Stan's, YOU NEED TO! It's sooooo yummy!!!!) for the family.  Got back and still no sign of any of them being awake so I oddly did a couple loads of laundry...they finally got up around 8 and we had breakfast outside for the 1st time since our backyard has been re-done.  (That is another story...) 

Anyways, the kids LOVED it and even though Mommy is NOT a camper, I'm sure we'll be doing this again...often.  

Our Newest Cousin!

Before I start to "back-blog," I should start with the latest news...we have a new cousin! Alex and Joanne welcomed Reagan Ann Nguyen to the family on August16, 2008 at 1:06 am.  She's so beautiful!  CONGRATS to the proud parents!  This is going to be one spoiled princess between the Nguyen and Macayran families alone. :)

First day of Blogging...

So after checking out a few other peoples' blogs, I decided to start one for our family :)  We all get so busy in our lives, updating each other oftentimes become low on our priority lists.  I hope with this new Blog that everyone will get a glimpse into our lives, and most importantly, our kids' lives!  They do change each and everyday, and the things they do and say amaze me all the time. 

Anyways, for all those bargain shoppers like myself, I'll be sure to include postings when I find great deals, too!

Welcome to the Cowan Family Blog!