Monday, February 28, 2011

Fire station field trip

Every month if all the children in Maisie’s class do their homework each and every night, on the last day of the month they get a special treat of their choice.  This month the children requested a trip to the fire station and today was reward day.  This month the kindergarteners joined in the fun as well as a couple of young siblings, a trip to the fire house is very exciting!

photo (31)Sean, Maya & Maisie buckled and ready to go.

photo (30)Learning about the jaws of life.

photo (29)Maisie and friends making themselves comfortable in the fire truck.  

photo (19)Watching Fireman Joey putting on his gear.

photo (11)Checking out the inside of the fire engine.

photo (10)Classmates Sean, Maya, Maisie and Brandon (kindergarten.)

photo (5)Maisie driving the fire engine.

photo (9)Maya & Maisie in front of the fire engine.

photoAll the kindergarten and first graders in front of the fire engine with our Fireman guides.  Seeing Maisie wearing the fire hat reminded me of the last time she wore one (look how tiny, sad yet adorable she looked) when a group picture and being held by anyone other than me made Maisie a very upset little girl.  Good to see that phase over with and to have her happy and still adorable!

It was a fun time and I heard chatter that the children would like to visit a Police station next month, we shall see!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friend Filled Friday Fun

Today Maisie and I spent a fun day with friends Kathy & Chani and Lisa & Briana.  Kathy, Lisa and I enjoyed chatting and catching up and the little girls had a blast playing together.

IMG_5291There was a bit of dress-up and pretend food parties.

IMG_5297Real food eating too. 

IMG_5294Dumplings and Udon are always a hit with these girls.

IMG_5300Animal and blanket secret forts.

IMG_5304Popsicle eating.

IMG_5318A little exercise.

Hanging aroundAnd a lot of fun just hanging around.

It was a fun morning and afternoon but at 2PM it was quick hugs and then we literally pushed everyone out of the house and waved farewell  as Maisie and I had to head out for her swimming lesson and gymnastics practice.  Can’t wait for our next play date as we always have such a good time.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lunch with Camille

Since Maisie had today off for President’s Day we were able to meet up with Nicole and Camille for lunch at a funky little local restaurant before gymnastics practice.  Maisie and Camille met for the first time and just briefly, on Saturday at the Chinese New Year brunch but today they became fast friends.

Maisie & Camille 2Maisie and Camille had a great time and were like two peas in a pod, eating the same food, liking the same things and just enjoying their time together.  Maisie didn’t want the lunch to end and can’t wait until we plan our next time together.  Nicole and I also enjoyed our lunch and time together but no picture of us because it’s all about the cute little girls and aren’t they just adorable!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gong xi fa cai

This morning Maisie and I celebrated the year of the rabbit with friends from our local FCC playgroup.  We met at a local Chinese/sushi/Mongolian grill buffet restaurant where the children started out making a craft of a cute hanging fish.  Afterward everyone enjoyed all the wonderful food and the party ended with all the children receiving red envelopes with gold foil covered coins and goodie bags full of treats and toys.  It was extremely loud but great fun and we look forward to attending more events.

IMG_5248aMaisie working on her hanging fish craft.

IMG_5259The children all enjoyed making their hanging fish and working on the coloring pages.

IMG_5252Maisie with her completed fish. 

IMG_5255Me with my beautiful little girl.

IMG_5260Maisie and the dancing Amelia.

IMG_5275aCamille and Maisie playing on my iPhone.

IMG_5282aTwo cuties, Maisie and Ellie Grace.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

CNY celebration at school

Yesterday Maisie and her classmates learned a little bit about Chinese New Year.  Wednesday mornings I usually teach sign language in her class so to start out, all the children learned to sign Happy New Year and China.  Then I read a short book, Bringing in the New Year which just talked about some of the customs and traditions of celebrating Lunar New Year.  After that all the children were offered Mandarin oranges and dumplings.  A funny thing though, when I first told the children that we were going to have dumplings many of them got excited and yelled out that they *loved* dumplings but then when I was serving them they looked and said no thanks, that they didn’t want them….and trust me it wasn’t my cooking because I make great dumplings.  At the time I didn’t think much about it but last night I told Eammon what happened and he pointed out that when I said dumplings the children probably didn’t think Chinese dumplings but thought southern dumplings and what I was offering wasn’t what they had envisioned.  I’m neither a southern girl nor a southern style dumpling lover so the thought of what they know as dumpling never crossed my mind.

After the food Maisie passed out red envelopes to all her friends and that was a big hit as they each contained a cute Chinese New Year eraser, notepad and pencil as well as chocolate gold foil wrapped coins. 

IMG_5224Maisie and Sarah being silly with their chopsticks.

IMG_5226The lack of dumpling eating by their classmates made Maisie and Maya two very happy girls as they got to have as many dumplings as they wanted and I think that they managed six each!!  It was fun and all the children seemed to enjoy the little lesson and celebration.

IMG_5230Today after Maisie finished her homework she asked if she could have one of her Valentine’s Day candies and look what she picked!!  I knew that she would nibble on it for a while but in the end would barely make a dent in it so even though the lolly is as big as her head, in the end she’d eat very little.  

IMG_5239Maisie did try her hardest to eat a lot of the lolly and in comfort!  She decided to set up a little lounge for herself with her old crib mattress which we still use as a cushion under her balance beam.  She is one funny little girl!

We have one more Chinese New Year celebration this Saturday and then we’re ready for the year of the rabbit, let’s hope that it’s a great one!

Gong xi fa cai.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My sweet little Valentine

IMG_5214My sweet little Maisie Miao Miao ready to head off to school this morning and not really wanting to have her picture taken, hence the fake smile.

Maisie had a wonderful Valentines day, from school to gymnastics to home.  I totally forgot to bring my camera to Maisie’s little class party but all the children had fun passing out their candy and cards, doing a little craft and eating the cupcakes that Maisie and I made.  Once home from school Maisie’s homework took all of 4 minutes and then she ate a piece of her Valentine’s candy enjoyed a bit of playtime and then we headed off to the gym for her practice.  For snack time at the gym Maisie brought along some of the heart shaped cookies that we made for her teammates to enjoy.  After gymnastics we arrived home at the exact same time as Eammon and about 1 minute before my parents called.  Maisie opened up her card and gift from her Grandparents while on the phone with them and then because it was already late we ate a quick dinner together, opened up our cards and little gifts and then it was bedtime for Maisie.  It had been a busy and sugar filled day so it didn’t take her long to fall fast asleep…and I’m soon to follow.  Hope that everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

CNY & Valentine’s Weekend

It has been a fun weekend and I’m happy to report that the weather has improved as has my attitude and my lingering cold.  Saturday morning started out bright and early as Maisie had a 3-hour gymnastics practice.    Before her practice got changed from Friday to Saturday we had planned on going up to Chattanooga for the CNY celebration at the Creative Discovery Museum but after her practice Maisie really just wanted to be able to play with K & A and to help me in the kitchen.  So Saturday afternoon Maisie played with her friends and then we made the red velvet heart shaped cupcakes for her class party on Monday and since we didn’t go to the museum we instead went out for Chinese food for dinner.  Overall we had a fun day.

Sunday the sun was out, it was a warm day and we spent it with friends enjoying good food and time together.  

IMG_5173Before going off to play though, Maisie and I made almond shortbread heart cookies which we topped with a pink almond glaze and red sugar sprinkles.

IMG_5200We finished our red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and heart sprinkles.  I hope that her classmates love them!

IMG_5175After lunch Maisie, K & A frosted and decorated some of the cookies that Maisie and I had made earlier.  Maisie was very neat in frosting and decorating her cookies. 

IMG_5179A was all about the sprinkles and seeing just how many he could add to each cookie. 

IMG_5180K is a frosting lover and made sure to get as much frosting onto each cookie as possible.  They all did a good job and had fun frosting, decorating and especially eating their cookies.

IMG_5193Getting a picture of these two lately just has not been happening but they sure looked cute in their matching tops.  Here’s another truth-be-told, Anne and I were in the same matching tops too.  Yes all the girls matched again but no photographic evidence exists, maybe next year.

So after the Valentine cookies and lots of playtime outside we enjoyed a wonderful CNY dinner together.  We dined on dumplings, Asian short ribs, long noodles, sugar snap peas and a wonderful beet salad, all delicious.

IMG_5198aMaisie and I at the end of the evening in our Chinese jackets.  Yes, Maisie is still wearing the same one that she’s worn since she was a baby in China.  Last February for CNY the jacket actually fit her perfectly but now the sleeves are a bit short but body wise it still fits her great and she loves the jacket.  Here’s a trip down memory lane, Maisie and her Chinese jacket through the years.  

CNY 2010CNY 2010 Four years old and looking so grown up.

CNY Party 2007 002CNY 2007  Sixteen months old and not happy about being put down so that her picture could be taken.

NoMorePics 12-06 White SwanDecember 2006, 14 months old and just about a week after first being placed in our arms.  Maisie at the White Swan Hotel and done with the paparazzi snapping her photo.

Maisie’s certainly gotten good wear out of her jacket and we’ll have to see if she’s still wearing it come next CNY.

Wishing everyone Gong xi fa cai and Happy Valentine’s Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Will winter ever end???

And will I ever be healthy again?  How about making it past 7:30PM before passing out exhausted??  So many questions and I keep thinking that if we could just get some warm, and by that I mean consistently warm weather I’d be less cranky and feeling better and all my answers would be different.  Yes my cold lingers and though I don’t sound as sick as I did last week I still don’t feel well and am totally knackered come Maisie’s bed time.  Thankfully I only have a head cold and it hasn’t dropped into my chest as I don’t need another bout of bronchitis or pneumonia anytime soon…or ever for that matter. 

After our busy weekend, Monday morning I had to drag Maisie out of bed as it was cold and she was exhausted.  Once she finally did get up she had a good day at both school and gymnastics but was happy to snuggle in bed with me when we called it a day at 7:30PM.  We actually both slept well Monday night but our good nights rest just wasn’t enough for either of us as Tuesday morning I had to drag myself out of bed and Eammon carried a limp, still exhausted Maisie to the breakfast table.  Even though Maisie’s cold seems to be gone, I think that’s what had her still dragging as I know that’s what’s kicking my tush.  Tuesday after school Maisie had the afternoon free so I took her to Miss Tina for a haircut and then once home she blew through her homework in mere minutes and then we spent a quiet afternoon playing together.  Eammon was going to be working late so Maisie and I ate an early dinner which we barely made it through as both of us had our heads hanging and couldn’t keep our eyes open.  It was 6:30PM when we crawled into bed together and I know that we didn’t make it awake to 7PM! 

After such an early bedtime we awoke early Wednesday morning and we both felt rested and I was finally starting to feel a bit better.  Maisie had a good day at school and I was able to get a few things done around the house. 

IMG_5162Once home from school Maisie blew through her homework in mere minutes, she played on her computer, changed into her leotard and sweats for gymnastics and then helped me make chicken pies for our dinner… all in 70 minutes.  Maisie had a great practice but between school and 3 hours at the gym it was a long day so once home she was happy to eat her dinner, get washed up and crawl into bed and by 7:40 we were both sleeping.

Thursday we were both up extremely early (the clock said 5 something) and awoke to about an inch of snow…When will it ever end????????  Since we were up extra early, Maisie and I made omelets for breakfast and played for quite a while before school.  We both had good days, Maisie at school and I got a lot accomplished around the house.  After school we came home and in less than 12 minutes Maisie finished all her homework.  We then debated about going out and doing something  but decided to stay indoors as was still so stinking cold.  We live in the deep south it’s not supposed to snow so much and be this cold!!

Today Maisie and I had a fun day together and we even ventured out of the house beyond what we had to do.  The two of us went out and did a little shopping at Target where Maisie picked out coordinating Valentine’s Day pajamas for both she and I.  Maisie just loves when we match and if you remember the picture from New Year’s Eve, you know that we’ve done it before.  Truth be told, we probably have five or six matching sets of pj’s and every time she wears one and knows that I have the match she asks that I wear it too, love my girl!  After our shopping we stopped for lunch at Chipotle where we shared a salad.  It was our first time there and we enjoyed it as it reminded me a bit of one of my SLC favorite places, Cafe Rio.  Then as a special treat we ventured over to Gigi’s where we tasted a bit of three different cupcakes, Midnight Magic, Tiramisu and Carrot Cake.  Maisie really enjoyed the frostings and I found them all super sweet.  We then headed to Maisie’s swimming lesson and as we were a bit early she had some extra time to just play in the pool which she enjoyed.  Once home Eammon and Maisie enjoyed more of the cupcakes and then Maisie went next door to play with K & A which she had been itching to do all week long. 

We have a fun weekend planned and I hear (and hope) that our temps are going to get to 50’s tomorrow and almost 60F on Sunday…woohoo!!!  Because of a high school meet at Maisie’s gym, her gymnastics practice this afternoon was postponed until tomorrow morning so we’ll be up and out bright and early.  Then we’re looking forward to Sunday when we’ll celebrate both CNY and Valentine’s Day with Anne, Steve, K & A.  Also this weekend Maisie and I need to bake our second annual red velvet heart shaped cupcakes for her class and also get her Valentines cards and candy put together for her classmates as the party is Monday so we have some fun things planned. 

Well I made it past 7:30 but now it’s time for bed…In my pj’s that match Maisie’s…Need to go snuggle with my girl!  Next post, hopefully less whinging and more Maisie pictures.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Trying to keep up

All this past week Maisie and I have been fighting off head colds as we were both stuffed up and sneezing.  We managed to keep up with all our activities but come Maisie’s bedtime we were both knackered and crawled into bed together and called it a day.  That’s sort of how our week progressed until Thursday when the cold hit me full force and brought along some friends of body aches and a fever…oh so fun.  So what did I do?  I made chicken soup and stocked up on Mucinex, night time cold meds and my Vicks VapoInhaler which I still can’t smell at all but it does seem to help. Friday morning I had planned to take Maisie to Miss Tina for a hair cut but since it was very cold and rainy we instead snuggled in bed together and slept in a bit.  Once up we really didn’t get going until after lunchtime when we ventured out to Maisie’s swimming lesson and then gymnastics practice.  I knew that we had a busy weekend ahead of us so after we returned from Maisie’s practice it was back in bed and early to sleep.

Thankfully by Saturday Maisie was feeling a lot better so she got to enjoy a fun filled day.  For a couple of hours in the morning she went next door to play with her best pals K & A whom she hadn’t seen all week.  Come afternoon though it was party time as Maisie had back-to-back birthday parties to attend.

IMG_5104The first party was for her classmate Olivia who turned 7.  The party was at a local gym/inflatable place and Maisie, her classmates and so many of Olivia’s friends had a blast playing, jumping and celebrating Olivia.

IMG_5076Maisie fear of inflatables is a thing of the past and the girl had fun hurling herself down the big slides.

IMG_5094For some reason Maisie enjoyed climbing up and down the wall ladder and she just looked so cute I had to snap a picture.

After Olivia’s party we immediately headed to Chani’s 4th birthday party.  It worked out well as we had 30 minutes between when Olivia’s party was scheduled to end and when Chani’s party was scheduled to begin and how convenient as it was a 30 minute drive from one to the other.

IMG_5121Chani’s party was full on Mickey and Minnie themed and birthday girl Chani looked adorable in the themed outfit that Kathy made for her.

IMG_5134I always love the parties that Kathy throws as her attention to detail and theme is always fun and amazing and this party proved no different.  From the moment we entered the door it was fun, fun, fun!  Kathy had activity stations set up where the children could make Mickey snow globes, play binoculars and even a coloring station.

IMG_5105Kathy also had a photo room set up so that the children could have their picture taken with Mickey & Minnie.

IMG_5109Chani and Maisie, always so cute together.

IMG_5115Kathy had cute Mickey cups personalized for each child.

IMG_5118Food for both children and adults and who can resist a chocolate fountain, YUM!!

IMG_5116Chef Mickey’s  kitchen was set up as a pizza making station for the children.

IMG_5128And in true Kathy fashion it wasn’t just any pizza but dough in the shape of Mickey mouse…too cute!!  Each child made their pizza and then attached a Mickey shaped name tag on a toothpick so that when the pizza came back from the oven it was returned to the correct child.

IMG_5125The Mickey theme was everywhere, from the decorations on the tables, the balloon arch, the toppers on the cupcakes, the chocolate chip cookies on sticks and the chocolate Mickey cake.

IMG_5123At each child’s seat there was a Mickey glove plate that each child could take home, a Mickey or Minnie themed goodie bag, a cup cake and of course adorable themed center pieces.

IMG_5135The mouse theme was everywhere and bow making Kathy put her talents to good use when she made this cute piece that was in the entrance hall. 

IMG_5117More Mickey, everywhere you looked.

IMG_5126Nothing was overlooked…yes even the bathrooms carried the Mickey theme.

IMG_5133Kathy even made the water bottles festive.

IMG_5138Briana and Maisie really enjoyed the party and of course their time together.

IMG_5144Happy 4th birthday Chani, can’t wait to celebrate with you again next year and see the awesome party your Mama creates.

To say that Maisie and I were exhausted after a day of partying is an understatement and it wasn’t very long after we returned home from the parties that we were both in bed together and sound asleep!

Sunday was a long day as I had to work a meet at Maisie’s gym for 8 hours so while I was gone Eammon took Maisie to the zoo.  The two of them enjoyed the gorgeous weather and a relatively quiet zoo where Maisie got to ride the carousel over and over and over and over, much to her delight!  Once we were all home we headed out for a quick dinner at Peter Chang’s new place (before he disappears again) and then with what has become our new norm, immediately upon returning home Maisie and I were in bed and fast asleep.

Maisie seems to be over her cold but mine is lingering and really sucking the life out of me but hopefully with all the sleep I’m getting it will soon be gone.  Maybe too if we could get some warm weather I could shake this, I am so ready for summer!

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