Monday, January 30, 2012

"It's getting complicated"...

One morning while rushing to get out of the house (it's like moving mountains...):

Zoë: Mom, it's getting very complicated with Choo Choo Baby. (Choo choo baby, as some of you might remember, is Zoë's favorite doll)

Mom: Hmmm, why? Put on your shoes.

Z: Yesterday she told me that she has a baby.

M: Hm. That is complicated. Baby's can't have babies! Then what happened? Put on your coat.

Z: Choo choo said that I was her daughter!

M: Really! Give me your other arm. What did you say?

Z: I told her that then I must be her sister and you were both of our Mom.

M: Yes, that sounds about right. We're late! Let's go!

That was a fun way to start the morning! Everyday is an adventure...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy 2012 ... so far!

We have had a hectic but fun beginning to 2012. The pictures on left are from our visit to "Choochoo Mall", our treat after spending the weekend car-shopping.... more about that later.

This last week, I went (and returned from) Austin for the American Astronomical Society (AAS) conference. It was ... fun/depressing/overwhelming/busy/useful/stimulating/... anyway. Zoë and Matt stayed here and kept themselves busy. Even in that week I was gone, I was surprised to hear Zoë's language getting more and more complex and was shocked with what she has "recorded" in her brain. For example, we bought a new car (long story... ) at the VOB car dealer and Matt has had to go to get something fixed. Later today she asked "Do you need to go to VOB again?" It seems ordinary except that neither Matt nor I realized that we ever referred to the car dealership by name during this discussion. Perhaps at some point we joked that we had a VOB license plate or something, but it was surprising to us that she put these random pieces together to realize that when Daddy goes to get the car fixed it is at VOB.

In this video, she's leading a yoga/ballet/aerobics class... and I catch certain descriptions that are unlikely from her ballet class, but probably more likely from a yoga or walking DVD (those are my go-to's in these cold winter days when outdoor exercise seems uh less than tempting, shall we say...) and possibly also in her daddy's football games? We are considering just video-taping Zoë's impromptu exercise classes and selling to top fitness producers as a side business. After all, she's cute, very energetic (considering it's bedtime), amusing and uses very creative instructive terms like "march and intercept". Too bad we started rolling the tape midway past the best stretches and instructions -- there was so much more! Ah... but for that, you will need to buy the full DVD -- it will make you sweat! It will tone your core muscles (as you laugh away your stress)... oh the possibilities!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Holidays in CA

We are back from vacation in California -- two weeks of family, fun and good food! The link to the full set of pictures is here (including videos!), but below are some of the highlights:

Trip to San Francisco & Ghiradelli with Mom, Ninamashi, Boris and Didun We spent an evening (after nap!) in San Francisco. We took the BART train there and back, which was one of the most exciting things. Then, we walked to Union Square to see the Christmas tree and Macy's while Boris held our space in line for the Cable Car, then we got to ride the Cable Car to North Beach where we had yummy pasta! Then we walked to Ghiradelli Square for dessert-- a hot fudge sundae!

"Polar Express" Trainride -- "All aboard!" This was a pretty cool experience! First we took a bus from the parking lot to the train. The train went from Union City to Sunol and back. This train was covered with Holiday lights and full of happy children and families (when they weren't stressing about saving and finding seats). Naturally, we had to drink hot cocoa and eat goodies. The best part: Santa and Mrs. Claus were on the train too and made the rounds. Zoë was surprisingly nonchalant with Santa (not super excited, but unlike last year, not scared either). Dadu pulled Santa's beard and offered a cookie in retribution. I am guessing he received coal this year...

There were, of course, many other fun parts of our visit to Walnut Creek like: decorating the tree, going to the park, Mom and Dad had date night at the ballet, having brunch with Sabina, Ruxana, and Nuru, opening presents (Santa's elves arranged an early visit!) and general hanging out.

Then we flew off to San Diego (thank you, Southwest Airlines, no reindeer required!)... Mimi came to the airport to greet us with Grandpa. Here, also, our vacation sped by at whirlwind speed. The highlights included time at the park, time playing with Emiley, Sasha and Allan and all the new toys, Christmas Eve at the Crulls where the train elicited squeals of excitement that might have been heard at the North Pole, and the beach (75 degrees in December?! What a special gift for us)!

Did I mention we had some professional family pictures taken of the whole Zych family?

Sadly, this Holiday season has seen one casualty-- Matt got rear-ended on his way to the airport and our poor dependable Honda was totaled. We ring in the new year with a new car, Welcome Passat! (no pics yet)