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Sunday, November 26, 2006

mountain vs malls

We had planned on going to the Rocky Mountain park on Saturday...

As we got closer to having to make a decision, it became apparent that mom and sister were not too interested in going up to the mountains. Sister wanted to take a look but did not seem to want to deal with the cold weather. Mom had been there in the spring/summer so she was not too eager to go again. RyanC did not express any preference though he did have a terrifying encounter with the chipmunks when they sniffed his hand unexpectedly in the last trip with grandma.

Hence we did what most people reportedly do on the weekend after thanksgiving -- we went shopping instead. We chose Colorado Mills since none of us had been there before. It's not Malls of America but it's supposedly a big place.

It took us more than an hour to get to the mall west of Denver. I had assumed that we would end up circling the mall for half an hour or more before finding a parking spot. I was partially right. We circled the outside of the big mall once or twice before I finally declared that I have a headache and we should just go in. See, the parking not was not full and we could have parked right away. However, we were looking for signs to a particular store so we could park closer to where we wanted to be. It turns out that Colorado Mills only have signs for some stores and we had to go inside to find the rest. BLAH!

Mom and sis soon went their separate ways to shop while wife and I walked around with the two kids. AidanC had the stroller so we had to take turns carrying RyanC. RyanC had a blast running around the mall after we took off his jacket and the 2nd layer of clothing. He was really excited to see the marry-go-round too - he pointed to the spinning horses/people and laughed. Funny thing is that he did not demand to go ride there. I was too afraid to offer out of fear that he would want to ride non-stop and we are too cheap to do that.

As luck would have it, we found him some steps he could climb up and down so he had fun with that. He was also very happy with this free play area in the mall - we spent almost an hour there before we finally were able to wrestle him away. He had fun pointing at the bugs/butterflies hanging from the ceiling and climbing and running around with other kids. He seems to prefer hanging out with kids smaller than him though.. maybe because smaller kids don't jump on him or his hand by accident...

As we started leaving the playground, wife pointed to a brown teddy bear at this store's display and said "look! It's a big teddy bear!" RyanC happily ran inside the store, hugged the bear and started carrying the big bear outside. I stopped the little robber just in time and was able to get him to say goodbye to the dear without incident.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dear

Daddy to RyanC: "Can you say bear?"
RyanC: "dear!"
Daddy: "no. let's try this... bee"
RyanC: "bee"
Daddy: "behh"
RyanC: "behh"
Daddy: "Behhhr"
RyanC: "Behhhr"
Daddy: "Good boy! Bear!."
RyanC (proudly) says: "Dear!"

Rooms Are Full

My sister arrived in CO today and we took a trip to Denver for more duck (Empress has great roast duck!) and groceries. We also stopped by Costco to see what they have. (Mom has membership and I had never been to Costo in CO since we prefer Sam's due to its close proximity to our house.) Costco seems to have a lot more goodies than the local Sam's club. I checked out the toys at Costco but did not buy any.... It was a bit unusual to see > $100 wines at Costco's liquor store though. I don't recall seeing that at Sam's liquor store...

Wife called and told me that RyanC got a Lightning McQueen car for his birthday. He was busy playing with it in the background despite it not being his birthday yet. When we got home, he showed me how to push all the buttons on the car to make different noises and he was so happy. Darn, I was going to get him that car for xmas and now I have to find myself another toy to play with...

We probably will stick around town in the next few days and maybe go to Rocky Mountain park on Saturday. Usually we wait for our guest(s) to adjust to the altitude before taking them to higher grounds.

We had a very interesting sunset a few days ago. Here is an image taken by wife:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Warm!

We survived one night without heater. The house temp dropped to ~50F overnight. We all wore layers of clothing and felt pretty warm. I ended up sleeping in RyanC's room since I was not sure how cold it would end up at night in his room, which is usually colder than other rooms. It turned that he was too warm so he kept on kicking/twisting to get away from the blankets that I piled on him. Mom had the portable little heater in the guest room and it was comfortable in there.

Heater is now fixed. The service guy opened the upper half of the furnace that I had not opened previously, spun the motor fan by hand and it started. Not wanting to deal with another cold night possibility, we decided to get it replaced. We were charged $320 (draft motor and assembly) plus $59 (system diagnostic fee)...

Today RyanC successfully used chopsticks to pick up some vegetable stems from a plate to put them in his mouth! He was so happy and proud of himself. He is still a bit clumsy but it's a great first step. Next we will teach him to catch flies with chopsticks... gotta start them young! Oh wait, the flies are gone for the winter so we will have to wait till the summer.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cold!!!

This evening I came home and found RyanC running around with his socks on. I commented to wife "Was it cold today? Why is he wearing socks?" Then wife checked the temperature and noticed that we are at 65F instead of programmed setting. ARGH! The heater had stopped working and no one noticed!

We went downstairs to check on the heater and I couldn't find the pilot light, which was not too surprising since I am not much of a handyman. I did find a comment on the panel saying not to light the pilot light by hand so I probably couldn't do anything anyways. After fooling around with the on/off electrical switch for a while, I gave up when all the machine did was making a humming sound...

It's going to be a cold night since we are too cheap to pay the evening rate.... burrr~~

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mom's here!

This morning our entire family all got into the minivan for a ride to Denver to pick up my mom. Since wife's mom and my mom are both "grandma", I wondered if RyanC would get confused. I tried to prep the boy on the ride there but he was more interested in looking for hot air balloons (there were none today) and airplanes.

It took some time to find grandma's luggage. It turns out that she waited at the wrong luggage area. Hmm... maybe it's no coincidence that I cannot find my car in the parking lot whenever I don't park in the usual spot. Good thing wife went in with RyanC to look for grandma and help her find her luggages. RyanC was shy around the "new" grandma. He kept on staring at her like he always do when he meets strangers. He did let grandma hold her though. He was just really quiet.. until we got into the minivan and grandma gave him some crackers. That broke the ice and then little boy started calling "ah ma".

Once RyanC warmed up to grandma, he only wanted grandma's attention. When we had lunch at a dimsum place south of Denver, he wanted grandma to sit next to him. Though he did reserve a closer spot for daddy then -- a small vanity victory for me. It was obvious that he preferred grandma when he only wanted the new grandma to feed him. We then went grocery shopping and he glued himself to grandma for most of the trips. By the end of the day when we got home for dinner, all he cared for was grandma! He wanted to hang out with grandma all the time. He also love the preserved radish pickles that grandma made -- it's from a secret recipe a relative learned by chance (it was pretty good I thought!). I had to pull RyanC away from grandma to get him prepped for bedtime! Maybe we should get her to read him stories so she can also put him to bed while she is here...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The last two weeks

Last week I was out in the west coast for a few days on business trip. I had awesome Thai & Malayasian food there. It was also the second time I had to be away from AidanC and RyanC so it was a perfect opportunity to get more sleep -- and it would have been much better if I had not needed to get up early for the meetings, or if I could have found the curtain to block the morning sun that first morning. I was so convinced the hotel did not have blackout curtains until the 2nd night when I found them tugged away conveniently in my blind spots, which appear to grow exponentially.

I bought RyanC "Cars" DVD after getting back from the business trip. RyanC had seen a poster promoting it at Target the week before and pointed to the posted and yelled "Cars!" I had made a mental note to get the movie for him to see if it can replace Ice Age as his favorite movie. The next morning the little guy woke up at 6am and I got to him before grandma since I had felt bad for been away from the family. We went downstairs and instead of mumbling something resembling "Ice Age" like he always did, he pointed to the area where we put the DVDs and said "Cars!". Well, his routine certainly has changed since we bought that DVD. He wants to watch Cars all the time. However, he gets bored with the slower scenes so sometimes I have to fast forward for him. His favorite part is the tractor-tipping scene. He also tried to copy the "vroom vroom!" sound. I am now thinking about getting him toy cars for his birthday or for xmas... speaking of which, we already setup the plastic xmas tree since we wanted to take some pics of RyanC and AidanC with grandma before she left.

Mother-in-law left on last weekend for east coast and she is scheduled to return after New Year. We all miss her. AidanC misses being held most of the time. RyanC misses a playmate that rarely says no to him. Wife misses the help. I miss having someone else to help with RyanC in the middle of the night... and I miss not having to do dishes. My poor wife has been left with the two spoiled brats alone last week so I am extra tired. It's a good thing that my mom is coming tomorrow to enjoy her grand children for a little more than a week.

Wife suggested KFC for lunch today and I almost had a heart-attack hearing that. We got 8-piece bucket of extra-crispy chicken. Now I am ready for heaven. :)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

RyanC pics

We think grandma taught RyanC to put his hands in his pockets to keep hands warm in their morning walks... Now he poses like this whenever he wears anything with pockets:




Halloween was a blast for RyanC since it's the first time he got to take any candy he wanted. Last year he wore the same costume (it was too big for him then) and but did not care enough to take any candies. This year he gradually learned from all the other kids that all he had to do was to walk around work, pick up candy and put it in a container. He doesn't say trick-or-treat so I got him say hello and thank you to people instead. He made really quick decisions early on as he rarely hesitated in picking which candy he wanted from the various piles of goodies. That made sense since we hadn't given him much candy so he couldn't have a favorite yet. However, as he got more candies, he started to take more time for some reason. I was really puzzled when he took forever to pick one from a pile of fruity candies with the same color/pattern. Good thing he didn't get in between CherkyB's MaxC and candies when they met -- eeyore is no match for buzz light year!



Today we went to the local grocery store and RyanC gave us this sheepish look as he put his hands in his pockets and eagerly walked towards the candy container area. It soon became obvious that he thought the store was like the trick-or-treat trip at work where he could take any candy he wanted. Since reasoning does not yet work well with the boy, we had to give him the emergency reserve candies to bribe him to move on.

RyanC has been having night terrors lately. It's kept me and grandma restless as we took turn taking care of him. Yet I had forgotten about that when I put in Monsters Inc for the first time this morning -- was trying to find a movie that he would enjoy other than Ice Age. He doesn't seem to like Toy Story or Finding Nemo much and Noggin shows were starting to bore him too. I realized what I might have done when he hid behind me as the monster was practicing scaring a dummy kid. Despite that scare, he still finished the movie without too much fuss though! It's going to be an interesting night.