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September 24, 2009



We signed up for a weekly art class for Monkey. This is her first project. The art classes cost about $400+ a year. Ouch. She likes art. It is all good.

Monkey is still taking her dance lessons. We are looking for a music teacher for her as well. All these lessons are to enrich her life experiences. But as MonkeyDaddy pointed out, all these experiences we provide for Monkey are nowhere close to MonkeyMama's own experiences - the experience provided by her parents when they decided to leave everything behind in the old country to seek opportunities in the U.S. Very different experiences. For sure they provided an opportunity to a better life for MonkeyMama, but we can't say for sure if these lessons would do the same for Monkey. Then again, we are comparing apples and oranges.

Posted by Mike at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2009

My Loot


Posted by Mike at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2009

A Good Camera is Worth a Thousand Dollars


We celebrated Monkey's birthday at John's Incredible Pizza. We invited friends and family. It was so nice people would take time to celebrate a child's birthday. We asked Monkey is she would like to do her birthday with Disney Princesses like we did in the past or with her friends here in town. She chose friends. Understandable. We like to celebrate our birthday with friends too.

Anyway, we were going to do the birthday at home to save money. But MonkeyDadddy was not sure about the idea because it would require cleaning the house and the yard, MonkeyMama went ahead spend the money to save trouble. Whatever. It was a great success. Monkey had a great time. So did our guests. It was so nice that MonkeyGrandparents were there to look after RugRats; the place was too stimulating for the little rat and it got MonkeyMama concerned at one point. But everything turned out well.

Posted by Mike at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2009

Fairytale Town

We went to Fairytale Town today on the field trip. MonkeyMama tagged along to help out.

It was awful. Monkey was super attached to her mommy. We were there for three hours and she cried for two and a half. Any little thing could set her off. Before we entered the park, the teacher wanted to take a photo of the class by the entrance. Monkey was unhappy that she couldn't enter the park, so she started crying and missed out on the picture. MonkeyMama was furious.

And then we went in. Because there were two other kids in our little group, each child was to take a turn to see what she liked to do. Monkey pouted and claimed that she NEVER got a turn, even right after she just did. MonkeyMama couldn't understand her distorted sense of reality and started to wonder if this was a precursor to mental illness.

Monkey acted so spoiled that MonkeyMama was pretty embarrassed. Monkey seemed like the only child to behave that way and it got MonkeyMama wondering if this was because she didn't stay at home with her. Other kids seemed fine. One dad even asked if Monkey was the youngest in the family. This is great; we didn't want to treat Monkey like our parents did (we are both firstborn), so we seem to succeed in raising two possible youngest children in the family.

MonkeyMama was pretty disappointed in this field trip and she is not sure if she is going on the future trips.

Posted by Mike at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2009

Stress Out


Monkey was stressed out over the hairdo; she thought it looked too strange that she would be laughed at at the school. We took the picture and then fixed her hair the way she liked it. Just barely a few weeks into the school, she is already concerned what her peers think.

Posted by Mike at 10:06 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2009

Regression Toward the Mean

Today was an interesting day. Actually it wasn't that good really. Monkey told us how she was being laughed at and called on by other kids because of her size and clumsiness. Not exactly what we like to hear. We asked her how she handled it and were concerned. She handled it well considering her age; we were just unhappy that kids could be mean at this age, even though they mostly come from homes with stay-at-home parents. So much for that.

Yes, we are going to keep close eyes on this. Because her uncle suffers from mental illness, we want to make sure this doesn't get out of hand. We want Monkey to be able to handle this type of situations and, more importantly, be able to move on. If needed, we will send her to school with 100% Asian kids, where everyone is busy studying and has no time for this nonsense.

Later MonkeyMama asked her to draw a picture of herself at school. She happily obliged and whipped out a picture in no time. The picture still exuded her usual cheerfulness, but the drawing style reverted back to stick figures. She hasn't done stick figures in ages, so she must have "learned" from the other kids. We hope she will understand that, so she can go back to her level shortly. But as long as she can draw a happy self, we are okay with it.

Pretty soon the parents will be in the class helping out, we think the bad behaviors will probably come under control.

Posted by Mike at 08:24 PM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2009

A Week Later


So it has been a week, Monkey loves her school. Everyday MonkeyMama would ask her what she did at school, and she would happily say she played, colored, and had lunch. Once MonkeyMama asked her what she liked the best about school, Monkey said "To have fun."

I think school has been a pleasant experience for her. I think it is a good school for her. We picked this school, but until last week we weren't sure if this was a right decision.

We went to the orientation three weeks ago and met all the kindergarten teachers. We didn't know what to make of it except that we noticed that pretty much all the parents there were White. So there is a lack of diversity and it is pretty unusual in California. This is a public school by the way.

Then we went to the first class conference where we voted parents to the executive types of positions in the class. It looked to us like majority of moms (90%?) there were stay-at-home moms. A few of them were former teachers. And then there were families of 4 or 5 kids who all went to the same school and thus allowed the parents to be the most experienced and become the top officers in the class, because obviously they knew how things were done at the school.

Beyond all that, we got our fieldtrip schedule through December. It got us very excited. Monkey's first fieldtrip is to the Fairytale Town. She will then go visit Mondavi Center for Yamato: Drummers of Japan. Next she will go to a pumpkin farm, followed by Alpha Fired Arts. And then before the holidays, she will go see Pinocchio. We are surprised it is not Nutcracker, but Pinocchio is good. Anyway, we are thrilled about these fieldtrips and can't wait to go with her.

Last Friday when MonkeyMama was at school to drop off some forms, she stopped by the class to see what volunteer positions were available. She noticed that not too many parents signed up for Math, it got the best of her and she just couldn't resist not to.

After reading all these horror stories about kindergarten readiness, we are relieved to learn that none of the kids knows how to read yet. They are just learning alphabets now. I just feel that all the push for testing and assessment at this age is really too much. We just want Monkey to love school and to have fun. Life is a journey; going to a top university is not a destination. We don't want her to burn out before she is done with schooling.

Oh yeah, we had to replace her backpack because it got a hole on the bottom. Monkey was dragging it around; it didn't last long. Needless to say, we were unhappy.

Posted by Mike at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)