Grandma and Grandpa Junneck organized a wonderful Chen get-together at the Breckenridge during this Thanksgiving Holiday. As usual, grandma treated us with a ski-in/ski-out condo that was cozy, kid-friendly, and with a beautiful view looking at the ski lifts!
Maddy got to meet her four cousins: Ryan, Sean, Colleen and Matthew. Surprisingly, she bonded the most with her oldest cousin Ryan. Ryan is not a typical ‘boy’. He is gentle, soft-spoken, and always watches out for the little ones.
Maddy was not impressed with the snow. Perhaps she was shocked to feel the cold for the first time, or she was bundled up too much that she can’t move. All she did was stood there and gave the same ‘glare’. She did warm up a bit and started to play with the snow after we attempt to build a snowman, only to be told to flatten the area out 2 minutes later by the ski patrol because that was where they bring down the injured people and they really didn’t need a snowman in front of the medical center.
Joe and I got to ski together for a bit while auntie MaryBeth and grandpa Junneck look after Maddy. This was a first time I got to ski after Maddy was born. I was having such a great time cruising down the slopes until stupid Joe purposely ran me over. He broke grandpa Junneck’s poles in the process.
We love watching the little kids skiing and snow boarding. We think that Maddy will be a little snow boarder when she grows up but daddy will probably make her ski first. Maybe she’ll be interested next year.
We also met up with Joe’s ‘American’ parents John Cole and Marian. I found out that Granpa Cole is a retired pathologist, an real life CSI agent, wow!
Maddy said her first sentence during the break “Thank you”. It took me by surprise but I was so proud it brought tears into my eyes.
There is a children’s museum there so the kids got to play there during the daytime. Breckenridge has always been one of my favorite ski resorts for its beauty, services (tissue papers by every lifts and patrols handing out cookies here and there), and the quaintness of the town. Thank you so much grandma and grandpa!
We did have a long story to tell for the return trip. We missed the check-in time and had to ditch our luggage. Joe will say that it was not his fault because the drive took three hours instead of the usual one hour. I still blamed him because he and his brother Dave were acting like grade school boys in the condo and they decided to ‘exchange’ their backpacks last minute. They must have spent at least half hour showing each other the pockets, straps, and whatnots of their backpacks and they had to advice each other where to put what after they exchanged the backpacks.
The flight attendant had to re-open the gate for us to get in. Then we got to Chicago late.. had to again run through the entire airport to our next flight… They were really on the last minute…re-open the gate again for us to get on WITHOUT any boarding passes.
It had always been the true ‘Joe Chen’ style for us to almost miss the flight every time we travel (and missed the flights here and there) I never minded running through the airport before because I also do not see the point of getting to the airport too early nor being the first one to get on the flight. But I think I’m getting too old for this… at least not running with a toddler. We need to time it better next time. I would like to be able to check in my luggage, and I would like to get to the gate during the ‘normal’ boarding time… Maddy probably thinks her parents are nuts.
I was feeling ‘domestic’ and invited a old coworker and his friends visiting from CA over for dinner yesterday.
Bad mistake to take a tired toddler grocery shopping during rush hour. I didn’t have the time to stop by all the balloons nor let Maddy pick out stuff she wanted, and she was not happy having to sit in the shopping cart and decided to dumb out everything I put in. We also had a hard time dealing with the line the Southern style.
But we managed…
Maddy skipped her late afternoon nap, but she had a good time playing with our guests. She made fools out of mommy and daddy. When we tried to show them that she knows different body parts, she just gave this glare like she had no idea what we were talking about. She was a good sports when the guests were ready to leave though: she gave them big blow kisses and waved.
Brownie was happy too. She got lots of attention from the guests. It’s great since she’ll be staying with them when we fly to Colorado for Thanksgiving! The doggie daycare I wanted to enroll Brownie in was full for Thanksgiving and Sam had graciously offered to take care of Brownie.
It was sort of a hectic week night since we didn’t plan for it, but it is nice to have the spontaneous activity once in a while.
Maddy turns 15 month old today.
She eats banana like a big girl now (holding the entire thing including the peel instead of us cutting the banana into small pieces). This morning, she got to eat her first toddler fruity cereal bar by Gerber.
She is obsessed with her outfits (one of her very few girly characters) and would show you the pretty trims and flowers on her jeans. She shakes her head in disapproval when we put her in something she doesn’t like.
Her favorite thing during our nightly routine is brushing teeth. She smiles looking at herself in the mirror and we can brush and brush and brush for a long time.
And how she knows exactly what to do to melt your heart when she doesn’t want to be put back into her crib. She wraps your neck with her little arms so tightly, shaking her head when you mention the word ‘crib’, and sometimes even kisses you before putting her head down on your shoulder.
I can hardly remember life before Maddy, which really wasn’t that long ago.
I think I jogged a lot, worked a lot, and travelled a lot. All that was very very good, and I am glad that I had all those experiences before having a kid.
But today, I’m mostly glad that God has blessed me with a 15 month old on top of my already abundant life! ..thankful that although ‘a father material’ was not on my ‘check’ list when I chose my hubby but Joe turns out more than ok as a dada.
Happy 15 month old, Maddy girl!
Thanks to dada Joe’s help, I get to go to the women’s group on Tuesday nights. It is sort of mommy’s “personal” night. Daddy’s personal nights are on Monday, but unfortunately he hasn’t really found a good place to play vball yet.
Daddy took Maddy to Southpoint Mall. It is practically our ‘hangout’ place, with fancy water fountains and an awesome indoor playground.
We were upset that our favorite restaurant the Big Bowl closed down. They have Maddy’s beloved noodle dish… something about a case on hapititas and I guess they were forced to close. Oh well.
It is still a little troublesome for me when I take Maddy there myself. Holding her in one hand and push the food tray in the other always makes me a little nervous and often makes me break out in sweats.
Daddy seems to handle it much better than me when they go on their own. After I came home from the study last night, daddy proudly told me how easy she was and how other people went to him and complimented on her self-feed skills… and how she had a great time at the playground, totally ignored daddy while he was trying to pack up the stroller. Maddy_in_action
Yep, Maddy does the same when I take her there too. Big kids can bump her and she just gets up and move on. I’m still working on “not freaking out” every time she gets pulled and pushed.
Daddy even managed to pick up the multi-game table from SEARS that we purchased in preparation for hosting our fellowship with older kids. I think I am still quite traumatized after the childcare experience in church last Sat, and it really bothered me and made me re-think about hosting. Yesterday, God reminded me that whatever I have belong to Him anyway. So if He allows them to destroy our properties, so be it. It still hurts a little when I think about it though. Something for me to work on.
Auntie Betty visited us from NJ this past weekend. It’s so wonderful being able to see our relatives much more often now that we’re on the same side of the coast.
Perhaps it’s because auntie Betty and mommy look alike, or because she remembers her from last time, Maddy was happy to see auntie Betty right away.
We did a lot of townhome hunting over the weekend. Yep, mommy is working on convincing everyone to move here so we can have free baby sitter, free food, and free after school care.
Betty was drafted to be our last minute baby sitter on Sat night as mommy and daddy went to a house warming party of a co-worker. She was also drafted to help out in the childcare during our fellowship meeting on Sat afternoon. After two hours of watching the kids ranging from 14 month to 5th grade, mommy has decided that she really really prefers to have another girl when we’re ready to have our second. I don’t care if the girls outnumber the boy in the house and I don’t mind if I won’t have a chance to experience raising a son… I admit that I am horrified by the ability that boys can destroy things and how they can change the baby foam floormat from the soft and safe materials to harmful weapons that they throw at each other. And the final result of the room after they’re done with it, I’m terrified to even imagine it happening in any of our rooms at home. The girls played with toys quietly in the midst of the ‘war’ going around them. They asked auntie Betty to draw different pictures on paper and we read books in the corner.
Cloth fairy visited Maddy twice! We opened Maddy’s closet on Sunday and found another pile of very fashionable and comfortable outfits. Maddy specially loves this new sweater she got (which she refused to take off last night). She likes it so much that she’s wearing it two days in a row now. We opened Maddy’s closet this morning and found two more GAP jackets in it!
Maddy is badly spoiled by this cloth fairy but she will be the best dress girl in her class for a while.
Thank you for visiting, auntie Betty, and we will see you during Xmas in TN!
Maddy has been promoted from using the baby finger toothbrush (done by mommy) to a little toddler toothbrush that she can use herself.
We put her on top of the sink and taught her the brushing motions. When we let her brush her teeth without any help at the end, she looks into the mirror and seems so proud of herself. And her brushing motions are not too bad either. She has this little very pleased grin on her the whole time.
I took away Maddy’s new sippy cup last night after telling her repetitively not to move around she drinks her night-night milk but she kept trying to spill the milk on the carpet obviously on purpose.
She went to daddy and complained with her loudest cries and screams. And after daddy ignored her and didn’t help her, Maddy got even madder and started to climb on him. When I tried to pull her over to me so we can have a ‘chat’, she protested and threw her head back.
We did make up after she cried it out and ‘work things out’ and she actually listened to my ‘lecture’ and we hugged and kissed…
We should have video taped the whole thing…. Next tantrum, we will video tape it!
Maddy and Brownie have this love/hate relationship. Maddy harasses Brownie whenever she pleases. Most of the times Brownie waits until Maddy gets really close, then walks away quickly while making some displeased snorting.
The other day Maddy had a fit when she saw that daddy was holding Brownie. She cried cried cried during the entire Brownie’s “turn”; on the other hand, Brownie was very happy that we didn’t just ignore her like we usually do. Daddy ended up holding both of them at the end and they both were content in daddy’s arms.
We’re also working on what will be one of Maddy’s first chores later: walking Brownie. Maddy has ‘asked’ to hold on to the leash while we go out for our daily walks. We’re still working on the “don’t let go the leash” part. Thankfully, Brownie doesn’t run away when Maddy let go the leash although she does get a little scared whenever it happens. And Brownie is working on the ‘only walks from one side of the stroller’ part. Hopefully we’ll get the routine down soon.
Brownie has also perfected ‘begging from Maddy’. I don’t like giving Brownie human food while we’re eating at the table or couch, but the man and the little queen apparently like to neglect my instructions. Brownie loves to sit under Maddy’s highchair. She doesn’t usually get anything during the most part of the meal (as the little queen does not believe in sharing the food she likes, and she likes most food). But when she’s no longer hungry or finds something she doesn’t really care, she so discreetly drops the food on the side for Brownie. Then she looks at me, and continue eating what is left like nothing ever happens.
I suppose I should ‘pick my fights’ and this is not the one I should pick. So Maddy will continue to drop food for Brownie. We have hardwood floor. It’s no big deal to clean up. In fact, it is kind of cute to see them watch out for each other.
Maddy had a little congestion problem since last week, and she’s been waking up in the middle of the night crying and wanted to be held.
For the first couple of days, I attended her because she was genuinely sick; unfortunately, it seems like it has become more of a habit now.
I decided it’s time to end this non-sense and go back to our sleep through the night routine, and she cried cried cried for 30 minutes last night with no sign of backing down. This child is so persistent. Although it does create a lot of ‘trouble’ for us now, I do hope that she keeps this quality with her. Never give up her dreams and never stops pursuing her goals.
So I picked her up after 30 mins, she hugged me with satisfaction and felt asleep within minutes but still grabbing on to me tightly. I love you, baby girl, but tonight.. it will be 45 minutes before I will come by your crib. Something you’ll just have to learn to overcome.. Sleep tight.
Brownie is supposed to get her teeth cleaned today. However, I got an unexpected call from Banfield saying that they found some abnormality in her blood.
They think something might be wrong with her liver as her blood is not clotting efficiently and more tests needed to be done.
Poor doggie! We’ve been spending all of our attention on Maddy and didn’t notice anything wrong with Brownie.
Hope everything is going to turn out ok.
I have been doing some research on 529 college saving plan since we moved here.
Originally, we were just going to transfer our CA account to the NC account, but one too many parents told me that NC 529 account has poor performance and high fees.
And since we no longer can benifit for CA’s state tax break, there is really no reason for us to stay with that account when its performance is not exactly as high as I hoped.
So I found this article rating/listing available 529 accounts in the nations. Haven’t decided on which one to pick yet, but I thought it might be helpful to parents who are interested in getting one:
Best 529 Accounts
All 529 account listings
I had always believed that kids should be given the opportunities to make their own choices (under parental supervision, of course) and it is ok that they don’t always agree with us.
I think I was the goody-toochy girl growing up.. always listened and did what I was told.. a total follower.. a ‘boring’ kid. My sister is different. She was rebellious; she tested every nerves of my parents, but she is spunky, exciting, and extremely opinionated.
Secretly, I had wanted Maddy to not to be like me, and more and more I am finding that my wish is granted!
I took her to the playground in the mall. She climbed up the swing set too big for her and slided down with no fear whatsoever. When another big kid help her because she thought Maddy was too small to come down by herself, Maddy sat on her lap like she knew her for years.
When we took her to another park in town, she was very specific with what she wanted to play and what she didn’t. She walked into a sand house, touched the two girls in there and started to get into their ’space’. I marvel at her sense of self-confidence. I would have just sat on the side and play by myself unless some other kids come over to play with me. It is not my nature to go up to strangers and socialize.
She ignores Joe and my calls when we’re ready to go until she really can’t see us, then I saw her dragging her little butt over with a look of disapproval.
She started to pick out her own outfit too. I usually give her two choices. She looks at them, ponders a bit, then gets the one she wants. Daddy said it was just ‘random’ and did experiments and was convinced at the end that Maddy knew exactly what she wanted. If you give her the one she doesn’t prefer, God help you.
We were in the restaurant having dinners with three other couples with all girls a little bit older than Maddy last night. I watched her interact and noticed that she follows the most out-spoken girl. She copies the ‘Alpha-dog’ of the group
I suspect, to many other parents.. Maddy might be a ‘bad’ kid. She has all the syndromes of a kid ‘left with too many choices’ and a kid doesn’t always listens to her parents.. obviously a kid with a ‘working mom’. But she is everything I want my child to be: independent, social, holds her ground, and opinionated!
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