Elia December 2019

“It’s snot, It’s not. It’s NOT! It’s SNOT! It’s not snot, It’s NOT! It’s SNOT!” This is Albert and Elia’s conversation for almost 20 minutes in the car driving Curie nuts, driving Erin nuts. “It’s snot….” Peals of laughter goading each other on. “It’s not…” Doesn’t matter where or when, they will start and get frustrated protests from the other two. If Elia is upset or crying or anything, Albert just has to make a potty joke and she will burst out laughing. And if you say anything like “It’s not funny…” Watch out because you may just start them off again. Continue reading “Elia December 2019”

Chengineering February 14, 2020

Erin and the girls won’t let Albert take apart the 6 story tower we built at Christmas (on the left) so it lives with Curie’s Hogwarts clock tower and Lego Friends townhouse to play with. You may know that Albert has been under a bit of stress as of late so he spent a few hours making a 9 story companion piece while the girls slept – it is good therapy for him. The top is a Taj Mahal-ish gazebo, a spinning and turning windmill, a secret room, and a tower. We’ll see if it survives getting furnished tomorrow.
Chengineering February 2020 Part 2. This morning with more decorations, if you look at the right hand picture, you can see the advertisements and some of the new walls. The center and left show the scale next to the old tower, with the Hogwarts clock tower on the left and the Lego Friends townhouse on the right. It is much harder to see all the little playgrounds and things the girls have built around the buildings #nolegomodels #freebuild #timewiththekids

Elia loses a tooth!

Unexpectedly Elia loses a tooth! She is 6 and it is normal, but because Curie was only 5 in kindergarten, it seems so much sooner. Also it wasn’t wiggly and just came out (on Twizzlers). And we think she swallowed it. Curie is going to help Elia write a note to the tooth fairy tonight to explain the situation. Congratulations Elia! (Oh yeah, both girls are wearing Albert’s coat together. They were cold.

Photographer’s Eye: History and Heritage

Topic: History/Heritage. The story goes that I am related to the second baby born on The Mayflower, Peregrine White. BTW Erin’s family was offended when I referred to this as “the boat.” As in “let’s go over to the boat.” BTW it is the Mayflower II a reproduction of the Mayflower. BTW the Plymouth Rock is pretty disappointing.
Topic History/Heritage: An incense urn at my mother’s (and father’s?) ancestral temple in Dajia, Taichung, Taiwan. Jenn Lann Temple also known as Mazu-bo (Mazu temple) which opened in 1730. Mazu is the deified Lin Moniang, who is revered in fishing villages like Dajia as the goddess of the sea.

NICU 2019

“They say you never want to be in NICU, but you are grateful if you have to be.” Curie and Elia are NICU alums spending 4 days for Curie and 18 days for Elia. We go every year to say thank you and bring chocolates, even though in Labor and Delivery most of the staff has turned over – people like our friend Emma have long moved on. Analise, Ray, and James are still at NICU but we went after 9:00 PM so we didn’t see them. This year the Labor and Delivery nurses were all at the nursing station and asked the kids their ages it was so nice to interact with them, at least one of them remembered us from past years. At NICU, the lady let the kids into the front doors into the foyer and also asked them their ages. For some reason we take a family picture in the security mirrors in the hallway when we go, so here is this year’s – we Chens have a lot of traditions.

Old Navy Cat Hat

The girls rocking the cat hat beanie (Old Navy 2018 collection), also a reminder of how good the phone cameras have gotten. It is also a reminder of how much better window lighting is to restaurant lighting.

Albert’s 50th Birthday Weekend

So first, thank you to everyone for their birthday wishes, and to Erin for trying to plan dinners with friends – since canceled or rain-checked. We were derailed because Curie got the flu the night before on Elia’s birthday and we have been worried and taking care of her since. Good news is that she has been fever free for the past 36 hours, so we are grateful, and grateful Elia seems flu-free and grateful we got our flu shots – the Type B going around was not part of the prediction this year but her flu lasted about 3 days instead of 7 as they say. BTW here is a picture of the girls, Elia from Sunday, and Curie from yesterday – evidently feeling better.
Before you begin about how sorry you are that this happened on my 50th birthday, 1) we already celebrated in Japan earlier this year, 2)Julie was willing to brave the flu and babysit for us for a few hours so we could see Star Wars on opening day. And 3) the silver lining is this – we did some Chengineering (check out those pictures too), we held Curie every night to soothe her to sleep, played with Elia while Curie slept, and held Elia in the guestroom so that she wouldn’t get sick. Playing with your kids and holding your kids while they sleep? Not a bad birthday weekend at all.