Category Archives: family

A Child’s Morning Time Wonderland

Saturday morning started out as usual – John John being peckish from the word Go. He ate a purple pluot while the remainder of breakfast was being made.

“Mama, this pluot is made from grapes,” he told me.

“Hmm,” I said, “Weird.”

John responded more appropriately, “You mean it’s a similar color to grapes.”

“Yeah,” said John John.

Then he watched me at the stove from a stool for awhile.  After a bit he said, “I don’t feel good, Mama,” in the most normal voice. He didn’t seem like he didn’t feel good, so I asked him, “Why do you think you don’t feel good?”

“It’s because I ate too many bugs!”

He wasn’t sick, by the way.  Moments after eating a hearty breakfast, he was dancing around like a crazy bird flapping to Mendelssohn.

Speaking of birds, on Sunday morning, also during the breakfast making ritual, he says to John,  “Papa, you know the one where the pigeon turns into a black pigeon at the end?”

“No,” said John, “Which one?”

“The one where the pigeon turns into a black pigeon at the end when the music stops.”

“I don’t have any idea what you are talking about,” John said.

“I don’t have any idea, too,” was John John’s reply.

I did, but I kept that to myself because of the cuteness.

First Photo Essay By John John: Dinner Prep Ritual

We were getting food plated for dinner.  John John was super antsy, due to hunger and being almost 3 years old.  He found my phone.  He touched buttons until he found a photo app.  He took pictures.  I let him because, even if an iPhone was ruined, at least dinner would be served.  Little did I know that he would capture everything so beautifully.  I’ll be happy to remember dinner this way forevermore.

From plating to being seated at the table, I give you John John’s first photo essay:image image image image image image image image image image image image image image

2015 Christmas Day At the Cement Boat

This year, we had sublime weather on Christmas Day.  It was perfect for our annual trek out to greet the Pacific Ocean as a family.image



On the pier, John and John-John sat on a bench and watched the waves roll in.  Glad to be raising another human fascinated by the unique yet repetitive nature of crashing waves and sea foam patterns.  He was mesmerized.

After, John-John ran around foot of the cliffs, picking and exploring the ice plant, cold barbeques, and picnic tables.  Child paradise!

Dinner Time Stay-cation

The experience was akin to an International Cafe commercial (Anyone remember those? “Jean-Luc!”).  Sitting at the dinner table with my family – imagine it:

I’m holding a bowl of soup up, inhaling the rich scent, looking through the gently curling steam at my loving husband, chef and creator of this amazing dish.   The buttery-richness of homemade stock mixed with kabocha squash.  Every sip brought the soft focus back to this dinner time pastoral, blurring out the loud and fussing toddler just out of frame to my left, probably throwing food on the ground and shouting no or something like that.  Another sip.  I look out the sliding glass door to see the fading colors of yet another beautiful sunset.  The perfect end to what must have been a perfect day.  “Honey,” I didn’t say because I don’t call anyone that, “this soup is perfection.  Every swallow is like going on vacation.”  I actually did say that second part.  And it was true.  So rich and sumptuous.  So yummy.

That’s when I learned that, in addition to kabocha squash and chicken stock, the soup also had an entire stick of butter in it.

Whatever.  I don’t care.  Calgon, take me away…

First (Almost) Concert Experience

My dad was in town playing with the Cypress Quartet.  John John’s first concert!  We met Opapa in front of the venue.  John John was excited.


We sat in the very back, knowing that at any moment during the concert we might have to bolt.  John John sat on my lap barely making it through the chamber society’s lengthy announcements of their upcoming schedule, but sat up when the musicians entered and walked up to the stage.  He clapped, a member of the audience.

But they didn’t sit down to play.  First was the informational talk on what we were about to hear.  You can imagine how high that flew for a two year old.  We had to leave before the music even began.  (wah-wahhh goes the sad trombone.)

Happily, John John got his own private concert the very next morning.


He liked that very much.

Our Escapist Weekend

A few weekends ago, the weather forecast showed temperatures in excess of 100 in San Jose both Saturday and Sunday, so we got out of Dodge and had two days of family adventure:

Saturday in Santa Cruz @ Harvey West Park
imageJohn John is proud of his walking stick.

imageThere was as event being set up for a Boys and Girls club, which meant we eventually left amid the booming bass of a sound system manned by a millenial (as indicated by musical selection and order), but while the morning was still cool-ish, and quiet, John John had fun with this enormous beach ball, the likes of which he’d never seen.

Sunday in Mill Valley
imageThrowing rocks in to streams with friends.  John John later tried to scale that rock.

imageThis photo was followed by naked romping in the water. A good way to cool off!

imageRefreshed after a much needed bath to remove mud and grime, having some cheese on Papa’s lap.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

On the 18th my mom and I took the bean to his first visit of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  “John John,” we told him, “we are going to go to a place where we will see lots of different kinds of FISH!”

“Viff!” he exclaimed (That means fish, for those of you who didn’t already know).

“Yes!  And maybe we’ll see jellyfish and sharks and crabs and penguins!”

“Octopus!” he added on his own.

“Yes, and maybe even an octopus!” I said, amazed.

He was excited.  My favorite thing about watching him be engaged is that ‘quiet attention’ face of pure engrossment and concentration.  You’ll recognize it on the second image down.  He is a little sponge.


image^^^Quiet attention forever!^^^image



Now, he can pronounce ‘fish’ correctly (though I must concede, I’m a little sad…’viff’ was so cute, though he does still say ‘Sea Animo.’  I’m sure that, too, will be short lived.  He’s growing up!) and can properly identify those ‘animos’ on his ocean-themed pajamas: Sea Turtle, Hammerhead Shark, Mako Shark, Whale.


Good times!  Nice memories!