Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dan Zanes concert

In early February we went to a Dan Zanes concert with the Johnson's. For those of you not in-the-know, he is a famous for performing children's concerts, with many songs asking for the kids to participate, either in movement or singing. Cecilia had a ton of fun dancing with Jasper and Bronwyn, and of course Mommy and Daddy too.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Random pics from February

At Aaron and Jacob's house wearing the policeman uniform:

Wearing every single piece of jewelry that she owns:

Playing with Kiki:

Eating a humongous piece of chocolate cake at Faneuil Hall:

This is what happens when we try to go without family nap one day (falls asleep on mommy at 6pm):

Friday, March 23, 2012

Making up songs

Cecilia has a habit of making up funny songs that are a conglomeration of what she's thinking, books she's read recently, other songs she knows, etc. Here is one song she made up while "reading" one of Daddy's books:

In case you're wondering why part of her song is "if you laugh I don't love you", that comes from an old nursery rhyme in one of her books:

Tee Hee tickle my knee
If you laugh you don't love me

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chinese New Year

At the end of January, we went to dim sum with Johnson's and then stayed for the annual Chinese New Year parade. Cecilia loved this last year, talked about dancing dragons and lions all year, and this year was just as good. They block off all the streets in Chinatown for the parade and set up a stage for shows in the middle.

First we watched the lion dances on the stage.

I also had to videotape this kung-fu demonstration because it was so awesome. The smallest kid right in front in the middle is the best one, which is amazing because he looks like he's 3 years old. He later did a solo demo where he used a staff and swung it around like a pro.

After their demonstrations onstage, the lions parade off and generally make their way around to all the storefronts, where they receive gifts of cabbage and oranges and they celebrate with firecrackers. The lions also receive a lay-see (a red envelope with a money gift inside) from the store owners. All of this is supposed to bring the store owners good luck for the upcoming year.

We stayed and watched for a couple hours, at Cecilia's insistence. It was only because that she was obviously getting tired and it was almost time for family nap that we had to pull her away. For days afterward, when we asked what was her favorite part, she said the fireworks!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grandma's birthday!

In January, we celebrated city Grandma's 75th birthday!! We had a nice dinner at Ben and Jen's house, and Jerry, Arlene, and Laurel all came up for the occasion.

The best part of the evening was probably Aaron and Jacob's gift to Grandma - it was a homemade book entitled something like "75 ways to have fun with Grandma". They had drawn (almost) 75 ways to spend time with Grandma, such as going to the hippo playground, going to Grandma's basement, going to the Natural History Museum, etc.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Boston Children's Museum

We took advantage of another Christmas gift we received and went to the Boston Children's Museum in January, on one really really cold day. There were sooo many activities for her to do there, including playing with huge bubbles and a music wall. We went to a puppet show where members of the audience participated and helped play the parts of the wolf and pigs in the 3 Little Pigs.

We spent a lot of time playing with these light squares and triangles, which you are supposed to fit on these plastic see-through mats:

We played with water for a little bit:

And there was a whole truck and construction room, where she pretended to be a construction worker:

There was also a market area, where there were a lot of different shops to go into, such as a barber shop, and hairstylist, mercantile that sells more ethnic foods, coffee shop, etc. Here she is playing in the grocery store/mercantile:

There about a bazillion more activites we did there, but I didn't take pictures of them all.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Christmas song medley

I swear this will be the last post of Cecilia singing Christmas songs... probably. This one includes her full repertoire of Frosty the Snowman, Jingle Bells, and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, although by the time she gets to the last one, she's getting pretty silly.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bowling at Sacco's

The Johnson's organized a massive bowling trip to Sacco's candlepin bowling in January. Cecilia got to play with Jasper and Bronwyn, of course, and also some old friends from Nana's - Zoe, Eleanor, and Nathaniel. This was Cecilia's second time bowling, and despite getting a boo-boo from having her finger smashed by a bowling ball, she picked up a lot and learned how to roll the ball down the alley herself!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Playing with Christmas presents

After the hubbub of the holidays, Cecilia settled down to the business of playing with the multitudes of toys she received.

One such gift was a large blow-up house as a Christmas present from Grandma and Grandpa - it was too big to set up in California, so we set it up for about a week or two in Cambridge. It was enjoyed by all...

She also really liked a princess costume that she got from the boys:

Although you can't tell from this video, she learned how to do this entire Dora puzzle very quickly:

And finally, she loves playing with her new baby doll, which she named "Ki-Ki", interestingly very similar to her own nickname... Well, to be honest, she at first wanted to name the baby "Pee-pee" but we nixed that one. Here she is putting Ki-ki through her bedtime routine.

New Year's Eve 2011

Once again, we celebrated the New Year at the Lubrettsky's, who threw their annual Greenwich Standard time New Year's Eve Party. It was packed with kids, adults, good food, and lots of champagne, as usual.

And of course, a party would not be complete without some crazy New Year's Eve dancing!!!

Christmas activities

We had a great time opening presents on Christmas Day, and I managed to get a great shot of the whole Jang family. And now it's really the whole family because we have Jake and Eileen in there too.

It was such a good trip, starting with Auntie Karen teaching Cecilia to decorate the tree...

The annual trip to the fish hatchery:

Opening presents on Christmas day and playing with new toys:

And we even got to go fishing with Grandpa in Grandpa's boat the last day we were there. We didn't catch any fish, probably because we got out on the water so late and couldn't stay too long, but Cecilia got to go on a cool boat ride and had a lot of fun.

Finally, I put together a little montage of Cecilia singing random Christmas songs... well... sort of... she learned the songs fully months ago, and I think got bored of singing them correctly, and we have fun making up new words to the songs and singing them weird. So here you go. The last clip is all weird visually because of the sun, but you can still hear her singing.

Fairytale Town

Another highlight of the trip to California was going to Fairytale Town. Cecilia still talks about wanting to go back there, except that when I say "Fairytale Town", she corrects me and says "no, it's Fairytale LAND." I say oh.

Again, the whole collection of pictures can be found here, which show how much fun Cecilia had. Even though I couldn't go, I remember every inch of that place.

Going down various slides:

Walking on the crooked mile:

Climbing around on Cinderella's pumpkin coach:

Sitting in the big throne:

And also in the woods at King Arthur's court:

Looking at all the miscellaneous wandering turkeys, chicken, and peacocks:

Climbing on top of the giant turtle:

Poking your head through different wooden cutouts:

And last, but certainly not least, climbing around in a huge wedge of swiss cheese:

Hanukkah in California

Yes that's right, this lucky lady got to celebrate both Christmas AND Hanukkah this year. We brought everything to California since it overlapped, and the amount of presents was overwhelming. But Cecilia loved it.

(Almost) Every night, we lit the candles and Daddy said a prayer with Cecilia's help:

Here are a couple videos of Cecilia playing with various Hannukah presents:

Christmas in California - light display

One of the highlights every Christmas is going to see the light displays of some of the houses in the Sacramento area. There are a few streets where it's practically a requirement that you put up an obscene light and diorama display during Christmas, and they attract hordes of visitors. Often, they ask visitors to donate something, canned goods, clothes, toys, etc., in return for coming to view the light displays. We usually bring a nice can of chinese pickled vegetables or some sort of thing. :D

This year was great because this was the first year that Cecilia really understood the light displays and enjoyed them. We went from house to house and she basically knew most of the characters! I've put together a video montage, but the progression goes from Rudolph, to Disney characters, to Santa, to Frosty (who is exercising!), to a winter wonderland scene, to a huge dizzying tunnel of lights (meant to induce seizures I think), Spongebob Squarepants, and finally, Snoopy and Charlie Brown.

One house also had some nice Christmas music playing, and at 9pm at night, there's the Jang family dancing to the Christmas music to keep Cecilia company:

Finally, I put this video up because this display was particularly impressive. The lights were arranged to look like a piano, and the keys lit up in sync to Christmas music playing on one of te local radio stations:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Christmas in California - Steinhart Aquarium and California Academy of Sciences

Once again we journeyed to Sacramento, California for the winter holidays. We spent about 10 days there, and so much happened! So I will have to post it in segments, but here are the complete pictures.

We went to the museum of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park one day, which also houses the Steinhart Aquarium. 3 months later, Cecilia -still- has me tell stories about visiting the museum. In the story, she likes hearing about how we saw all the fish:

touched a starfish:

went to the playroom and put on a puppet show:

and went to the roof where there was a lot of grass growing and she pretended to climb the fence (the guard warned her not to, so she said she was just "pretending"):

At the end of the story, I have to talk about how we came down from the roof via an elevator, and then we heard the voice over the loudspeakers say the museum was closing! Then in a voice full of suspense: "But we still had to go to the bathroom and put on our jackets! So we hurried to the bathroom and we peed and wiped our butts and flushed the toilet and washed our hands. Then we went and met Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie Karen, and they had our jackets. So we hurried and put on our jackets and started to look for a door to go out. We followed Grandma, and then we heard her say 'uh oh' - the doors were locked! But it's such a big museum they have a lot of doors and they don't open all of them. And then Cecilia found an open one, and we were able to get out of the museum and go to dinner!" Yay, happy ending.

Not in the story, but of course, we saw a bunch of animals:

She stopped to play on a turtle:

In the middle of the museum, there was a big domed area for shows and activites. There, we listened to an acapella group sing Christmas music, which was great! And she even got to go up on stage with them for one song.

She also insisted on hugging a guy dressed up as a white alligator there. Twice. The real one is shown below as well (shudder).

And inside the dome, it would periodially "snow" fake snow. I guess since most Californians have no idea what it's like, they let them see what falling snow looks like... :D Given the mild winter in Boston this year, maybe Bostonians would like to see too.

Friday, March 9, 2012

More Gymnastics

My favorite part is how she can now walk on the balance beam by herself.