Time Out for a Parade!

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If you had told me five years ago that I would get the chance to march in the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown with my family, I wouldn’t believe it. Yet, thanks to my principal, there we were for a second year in a row! To see so many people in the crowd smiling and waving and cheering… amazing! 😉
Shien took some awesome pictures, as usual (Thanks, Mommy!). We were so lucky that a professional photographer, Will Chu, who documented the day’s events, allowed us to post some of his pics (Thanks, Will!). I think we waited longer than we actually marched, but it was great having Malachy on my shoulders before the parade started (even though he protested a bit), and then pushing him around in his “make-shift Bugaboo float.” He stood and waved to people here and there and also decided on his own, to raise his two fingers to give the peace sign, while Daddy chauffeured him around in his red SUV-of-a stroller. Daddy got to play the role of servant to his Little Emperor. Cool… very cool! 😉

Time Out for Double Happiness…

Double Happiness!! It’s Fatherhood Friday!  Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs Fatherhood Friday (Dad-Blogs.com) is celebrating their one year anniversary, and it’s a cool way to remind us Dads to keep up the blog writing and to celebrate Fatherhood.  Ironically, I came upon this online article this week titled, “Do Kids Make Us Happy?” and it talks about the recent media following research that reports kids = a decrease in happiness or well-being.  Some “studies” even show an increase in depression among parents with kids.

Today, I was half-awake as Malachy was watching Nickelodeon’s, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.  The theme was, “Everyone is happier when they have choices.”  I think having a child can definitely limit some of the things you can do or prevent you from doing things you used to be able to do.  Perhaps this resentment (thinking about what might have been or could have been) can sometimes bring about unhappiness?  For me, my marriage and having Malachy has brought the most joy in my life.  Stress?  Yes!  Struggles?  Yes!  Totally worth it?  YES!  How fitting that I took a picture at my sis’s wedding with Shien and Malachy next to the Double Happiness Chinese character! 😉

This week Malachy and I were on break, while Mommy had a huge workload for school.  So, I got to play the role of SAHD (Stay at Home Dad) for a couple of days.  Parenting is exhausting, but it sure is rewarding.  He continues to amaze me everyday, and I feel truly blessed.  Just yesterday, I was on the computer, and he sat next to me and decided to draw a map (see below) of how I go to work and how Mommy travels to class.  He called up his mommy and took notes on how she traveled to school. Then he started drawing NP and SP for North Pole and South Pole.  He concluded that Santa, Jesus, and God must all live together.  He know that Santa lived in the North Pole and had learned that North means “up.” Since Jesus and God live up in Heaven, then they must be up North with Santa!  You can’t dream these things up… 😉

I think of my mom, and how she basically lived for me and my family. More and more, I realize the HUGE sacrifice she made of herself, as she did EVERYTHING for us. Now, I know why she took naps everyday and why she took out so many romance novels when we went to the library. She needed a break and she needed an outlet. My sis, my dad, and I certainly weren’t 100% happiness guarantees. Far from it. How I admire her more and more. She made it look so easy and never complained…  How I wish she was around, as Malachy would have been the perfect gift for her!  Thanks, Mom!

Time Out for a Double Holiday!

So, today (now yesterday) was a double whammy… Valentine’s and Chinese New Year on the same day. I used to dread holidays, and still do a bit, but having a kid around really changes things. Holidays then become less about yourself and more about someone else. Valentine’s was one of the most dreaded holidays for me until I was 22, when I met Shien. Before that, it was a quite depressing. When you don’t have someone else to think about, you then think way too much about yourself. 😉 After meeting Shien, I still didn’t like it much, because it felt like a day of obligation where I had to do something for the sake of the holiday. I was like, “Everyday should be Valentine’s. I don’t need Valentine to tell me what to do.” Cheesy quote for a cheesy holiday.
Chinese New Year was always exciting as a kid, with all the customs and red envelopes. It was also cool to be able to start a New Year twice in a year! 😉
Now, with Malachy around, it’s really exciting again. He’s already experiencing much of the Food, Feast, and Family that brings us all together. Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Time Out for a Birthday and a Report Card…

Having a child around when it’s your birthday definitely livens up the party. Shien got me the biggest balloon, thanks to Malachy’s direct orders. Speaking of direct orders, we had his Parent-Teacher Conference on my b-day today (now, yesterday). His teacher’s comments on his report card read, “Since our last meeting, Malachy has shown a greater interest in art activities. He is adding more details to his art work. Malachy is reading above a kindergarten reading level. His comprehension of the text is also advancing well. Academically, Malachy is progressing well. I would like to see his social skills continue to develop. For example, Malachy often refuses to participate during movement and singing activities. He enjoys play activities when he is leading the playing. However, when asked to play or join in activities where there may be a prompt for him to follow through on, he often refuses to participate…” To me, that means that he’s doing well academically, but he needs to learn that he can’t be in charge all of the time. 😉
As soon as he wakes up, he has a plan, and starts telling Shien and me what he thinks should happen. “Dad, take all of my stuff out to the living room. I’ll go to the bathroom first, and then you can make me a snack. Mommy can sleep longer…” So, it was no surprise to learn that he loves to be in charge at school, and when things aren’t “right” for him, he’ll let you know. His teacher told us that last week, they had a birthday party for one of the authors they were studying, Rosemary Wells. They made cupcakes. Well, when it was time to eat the cupcakes, Malachy just sat there looking at his cake, while everyone else was eating. When asked why he wasn’t eating his cupcake (about 10 minutes had gone by!), he told her that they had to sing a birthday song to her first. Otherwise, it wasn’t a real birthday. So, the teacher had everyone stop and sing happy birthday to the author. Then, Malachy was okay and started eating his cupcake. Unbelievable.
This morning, he thought EVERYONE should stay home because it was my birthday. After all, Mommy’s birthday was tomorrow, and since it was on a Saturday, there wasn’t school. So, logically, on my birthday, there shouldn’t me school either. He didn’t want to let me go to work, and he thought he should stay home and Mommy, too. We’re always trying to explain to him that things can’t always go according to his plans or reasoning. His response is often, “Why?” Our response? Aiya!
In terms of his academics, the teacher assessed his reading, and they had reading levels up to the end of Kindergarten. So, Malachy passed that level, and since they didn’t have assessments for past Kindergarten, they weren’t sure exactly what level he’s on. He also got a spelling assessment, and he spelled almost every word correctly! Scary. 😉

Time Out for Food…

I had to go to a meeting this past Saturday, so it was Malachy and Mommy at home. When I got home, Shien told me about their latest morning adventure. Malachy was hungry, as usual, so Shien had him plan a Breakfast/Brunch Menu. They discussed what was available in the kitchen, and Malachy wrote away, listing everything they were going to have: hot chocolate, coffee, scrambled eggs, bagel, fruit, creamed cheese, milk, grapefruit, maple apple (he made that up), toast, pickle (crossed it out), water, and jam. I asked him later what the “CHIAN” word was that he kept writing. He said it meant, “super.” Once in a while he just makes up his own words. Anyways, it’s really awesome to have a restaurant in your own home, thanks to our lovely Chef, Mommy! 😉 YUMMY!

Malachy's Menu