Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Green Tiki

Da Boys got a board game based on the TV show "Jake and the Neverland Pirates". I dont even know the proper title of the game; in our household it's simply called "Captain Hook Game". The game comes with 12 game pieces, or treasures. Upon receiving the game, Sydney promptly lost one of the game pieces at a friends house. About one month passes, and Da Boys find the missing piece at said friends house. Game on... Da Boys immediately request to play "Captain Hook Game" every day, pretty much morning, noon and night. And when not playing the game, Sydney takes his two favorite treasures, "green tiki and green treasure' everywhere. If ever separated, Sydney will find whoever he can, and start yelling, "Green Tiki, Green Tiki" until he and darn Green Tiki are reunited.

I feel horrible

Last night, Christmas Eve, I got hit with a nasty flu. I was awake all night, tossing and turning, alternating between profusely sweating and shivering. After a shot of Nyquil at 5am, I managed to fall asleep... Until noon. When I came downstairs, I noticed virtually all the Christmas gifts were still wrapped on the table. Poor Casey and Sydney, SO excited about Christmas, and Santa and presents, came down in the morning, saw all the gifts, and are going to wait until Daddy is there to see the smiles and excitement on their faces. Thanks boys, but I DO feel horrible... not so much as a result of the flu symptoms, but rather about the fact you guys came down and saw all the presents, but didn't get to open them.

Presents waiting to be opened!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What was I thinking...

Da Boys wanted to go for a bike ride today. When I asked where we were going, Casey told me 'the toy store with the giraffe'.

Da Boys grabbed their wallets, Sydney with his $1 and change, and Casey with his $2 and change. Casey fully intended to spend his $2 and buy a toy. We rode to the toy store, and began browsing. Apparently, most of the merchandise in that store costs more than $2.. Big shocker. Countless times, Casey picked a toy off a shelf and announced, "I'm going to buy this one. How much is it?" After I would tell him the dollar amount, he would put the toy back and say, "I dont have that much." Amazingly, he kept a great attitude about constantly being shut out. But, the kid was nothing if not persistent. He was determined to find something in his price range he could buy. After circling virtually the whole store, I managed to wrangle the kids up towards the exit... when Sydney chimed in, "We cant leave, we havent bought a toy". Somehow, some way, I convinced Da Boys to leave.

On the bike ride home, Casey suggested we stop at Target. For some odd reason, I agreed. Once in Target, Da Boys headed straight for the toy section. Here, it was more of the same... Da Boys grabbing a toy off the shelf, Daddy doing a price-check, and Da Boys putting the items back on the shelf. Plotted an exit strategy, I offered to buy them a treat. That seems to do the trick, as we headed towards the snack bar... Only to have Casey find the Cars display. He found some mini cars, that cost $6. Still out of his price range, but by this time, I was feeling horrible for taking my kids to 2 toy stores, knowing darn well, they couldnt afford anything with all the money in their wallets. So I stepped up, splurged, and offered to buy them each a set of mini cars. Their loot in hand, they said, "Now, let's go get treat". And here I was thinking 'cars in lieu of treat'... in reality, it was 'cars in addition to treat'. Alas, we got our treat, and rode home, where they happily played with their new cars!

The craziest thing is.. I truly believed we would goto the toy store, and would not buy anything. What was I thinking...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Reading Material

My little Sydney decided he wanted to poop in the potty. Monkey see, monkey do... OR, Like father, like son... Or if you prefer, The apple doesnt fall far from the tree. As pictured below, he has (appropriate) reading material while doing his business. ( In the middle of the living room!)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

All Aboard

Not even sure how this started, but for the past few weeks, I have been giving Da Boys train rides to bed. Every night, after story time, I get on my hands and knees in front of the recliner chair and simply yell 'all aboard'. One of Da Boys climbs aboard my back, and I simulate a train and give him a ride to his appropriate 'station' (bed). Then I return to the recliner chair to pick up the other passenger.
Recently, upon immediate conclusion of story time, Sydney climbed out of the recliner and got on his hands and knees... and announced 'All Aboard!' And thus, The Little Engine That Could made its maiden voyage.

The Little Engine That Could from p wang on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Brotherly Love- Updated!!

Casey went to the 'little store' (Used baby items store) yesterday... With his new wallet... stuffed with his own money. Casey picked out a large crane truck, and he used his own money to buy it. Then, knowing his lil bro loves fire trucks, and knowing his little bro's favorite color is green, Casey USED HIS OWN MONEY to buy Sydney a green fire truck. He (and Mommy) put it in a gift bag, and waited and waited until Sydney woke up from his nap to give it to him. Casey was so excited to give Sydney his gift, he was bouncing off the walls waiting for Sydney to wake up! It absolutely warms my heart that my big boy was so excited to give a gift to his lil bro!

I just found out that the store owner was so moved by this gesture of brotherly love that she took pictures of the transaction. So, its not just me, right? I mean, how many sales do store owners document on their cameras?

Casey digging in his new wallet for his money
Casey throwing down the cash

Casey and his new crane truck
Casey's gift to Sydney
Casey presenting the green fire truck to his lil bro

Act of Kindness- Part 1

Last week, just after Halloween, Mommy learned of a program to help support our troops. Donate Halloween candy to the men and women of the US Armed Forces. It sounds like a great idea. A small token of appreciation for all their hard work and sacrifice, just so we can enjoy freedoms such as the very act of trick or treating.
When we approached Da Boys with this proposition, I can only imagine what they heard. "There is this great program where we jack 1/2 of your candy and give it away.. blah, blah......" Alas, they both readily agreed to it, and quickly started sorting their loot into a 'keep pile' and a 'donate pile'. It was a beautiful thing to see.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween 2013

In the morning of Oct 31, 2013, Casey told me, "It's Halloween; Lets go trick or treat!" It was rough week around the house. Casey had a bad cough; Sydney caught a fever and a sore throat, and Daddy was fighting hard to not succumb to the germs. But superheros Wolverine and Spiderman rallied and went trick or treating. Wolverine was the leader, scouting out all the houses with 'porch lights on'. Spiderman was definitely slowed by illness, but stuck with it long enough to accrue quite a haul of candy. Both minded their manners, verbalizing 'trick or treat' and 'thank you' and 'happy halloween' at each house. Wolverine had a great time; he actually danced a jig and sang, 'I love trick or treating!' Finally, Spiderman tapped out, and asked to go home, while Wolverine wanted to keep going. We took Spiderman home, and Daddy and Wolverine went back out for round two. Alas, after about six houses, Wolverine announced, "I'm done, let's go home". Back at home Wolverine told Daddy, "I love Halloween"...

Monday, October 28, 2013


On most days, we try to take Da Boys out for a walk, if even just to the mailbox and back. They have come to automatically add 'park' to that equation. So, often a short jaunt to the mailbox becomes an extended playtime session at the park. Just last week, we were sorting the mail from the mailbox, Casey said, "I want to get mail." And let's be honest. In this day and age of internet and email, who doesn't enjoy the feeling of receiving an old fashioned letter or package in the mail? Wouldn't you know, two days later, a package came in the mail.. Addressed to Casey and Sydney!!! They tore into their package.. and made out like bandits!!!


Decided to try something new- gave Da Boys a new hair style... Buzz cuts. Figured there was nothing to lose. That's the beauty of haircuts. If you dont like it, wait a few weeks, it will grow back. No more bed head.. I think they're looking pretty cute...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sydney Bike

After months of watching big bro have all the fun on a bike, Sydney has apparently decided to join the fun. Upon mounting his bike, he recently began PEDALING! The concept of the coaster brake is still foreign to him, but when he gets some forward momentum going, he strings together a decent pedal cadence. And when he gets stuck, he calmly looks around for some help… in the form of a gentle boost from behind. Enjoy the video…

Sydney Bike Riding from p wang on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

T-Ball 2013

We recently officially started Casey’s baseball career. In the past, we “practiced” t-ball out back. But now, he joined the Torrance Little League Fall Ball league. Supposedly fall ball is supposed to be more relaxed than regular season little league. Considering the games are scheduled for 8 AM and 9:30AM Sunday mornings, I can’t wait to experience ‘less relaxed’ little league. Oh yeah, did I mention that practice is held 30 minutes BEFORE the games. Yup.. 7:30AM on Sundays…

In preparation for his first game, we took Casey shopping for a baseball glove. Step one was to determine the proper size glove for him. This was kinda difficult, because he didn’t know how to spread his fingers to fit the glove on his hand. We finally got the fingers spread, and the proper size glove determined.

Come game day, we pick up Casey’s first baseball ‘uniform’. This consisted of the league provided hat and t-shirt. For the first game, this was his ‘uniform’.. (and I use that term loosely)… because… I didn’t realize each player (read: parents) are responsible for providing baseball pants, cleats and batting helmet.

Gametime: I generally live life without regret. However, I just may regret one thing for the rest of my life. That one regret will be that I didn’t video record this first t-ball game… Because….

While on defense, the coaches placed each kid at a different position. Ie: first baseman, second baseman, etc. When the other team would hit the ball, some kids would not react… AT ALL. They never looked in the general direction of the ball, never changed facial expression, pretty much had no clue a ball was hit. Meanwhile, one or two kids, no matter where positioned, would bee-line for the ball… wherever it was hit. So, picture a groundball hit between the 1st baseman and 2nd baseman. And the 3rd baseman runs clear across the infield to fetch the ball. Meanwhile, the 1st and 2nd basemen don’t react… at all!

While batting, kids would hit the ball off the tee. (This act came surprisingly natural to them). This is when the fun started. Some kids would just stand in the batters box. Not like a pompous major leaguer admiring a homerun, but rather just stand there chillin’ while the entire crowd and both coaching staffs yelled for the batter to RUN. At the point, batters would usually run… To who knows where. Casey chased after the ball he just hit! Some ran towards third base, and some ran toward the pitchers mound. Who knows, maybe they watch too much MLB and see batters charging the pitchers mound in retaliation of a bean ball.

Choking Up on the Bat
Keeping His Eye on the Ball

At-Bat #2

Touching Home Plate

Fully equipped: After the first game, we took Casey on a shopping spree. We bought him a batting helmet, baseball pants and cleats. And we practiced hitting and subsequently running to the correct base. And we practiced utilizing that ‘thing’ on his hand… The glove… and the concept of chasing a batted ball and fielding said ball in the glove.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

SD Visits

We recently took two trips to visit Nai Nai and Ye Ye in San Diego. The first trip coincided with a visit from Uncle Ed and his whole family. Approximately one month later, we were going down to celebrate Nai Nai's birthday. The first thing Casey asked was, "Are Chantal and Elena going to be there?". Unfortunately, they were not, but Da Boys got to see Nai Nai and Ye Ye.... And help decorate Nai Nai's birthday cake! Some photographic highlights from the trips...

Casey decorating Nai Nai's Bday cake
Sydney decorating Nai Nai's Bday cake
Happy Birthday Nai Nai!!
Kisses for Ye Ye
Kisses for Ye Ye
Huge Smile!!!

Sydney Swim Lessons

We are nearing the completion of Sydney's first swimming session. This was a "Daddy and Me" swim class at the YMCA. It's a little misleading, because Sydney has logged many hours swimming in pools, he just hasn't had formal swim lessons... Until now. He seems to have enjoyed the class, constantly flashing that HUGE smile of his. His favorite part is when he gets to choose a toy (always the green ball), throw it across the pool and then 'swim' after it. His least favorite part is definitely floating on his back and learning the basics of a back stroke. I suppose this is kinda to be expected, as laying upside down, perfectly still, in water is an acquired taste/skill. It is counter intuitive, and certainly seems like flailing wildly and panic-ing is the proper response. But, as the lessons have continued, Sydney has calmed down and now will lay still.. and count real fast to 10.. and promptly get up... Once he turns 3 years of age, he will be eligible to take swim lessons without Daddy.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Clock is Blue

This past weekend, we put Sydney down for his usual afternoon nap. At this point, he usually naps for about 2 hrs. However, this time, the 2 hour mark came and went without him busting out the door and announcing his presence. A quick glimpse at the baby monitor revealed that he was awake, but just playing quietly in and around his bed. A notorious slow riser, we just assumed he was enjoying the solitude before joining the rest of us. After he stayed in solitary confinement for an additional 1.5 hours, Mommy went to check on him. The first thing he said was, "Clock is blue". You see, we have this clock that changes colors. We have it (and apparently, Da Boys) programmed to be yellow when its 'awake time' and blue when its 'sleepy time'. On this day, there was a clock malfunction (the blue button was stuck) and the clock never changed from blue back to yellow as scheduled. And Sydney was just doing as he was taught... Blue = Sleepy time...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rookie Season

Casey's inaugural basketball season recently came to an end. (See early season scouting report here.) It was an interesting season. His team survived a mid-season coaching change. The new coach was in charge for the last four weeks of the season. At the season ending banquet trophy presentation, Coach Chris described Casey as a high energy player with a much improved shot. His evaluation was based on his four weeks of observation ( I doubt he read the scouting report). Casey also played heavy minutes every game, mostly out of necessity to simply field a full team of 5. Some players would opt for sitting on the sidelines with their parents, or bolt mid-game for a potty break. Casey tried to maximize his court time. It was obvious Casey LOVED to play. At the banquet, he was presented his trophy and a certificate of achievement. All he kept repeating was, "I'm so happy. I WON. I got a trophy!!". And he kept repeating that phrase the rest of the day. After we got home, exhausted from all his 'high energy play', he napped on the couch, HOLDING HIS TROPHY!

Certificate of Achievement

Individual Photo

Team Picture

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fire Truck

Right now, Sydney is at a stage where he LOVES his fire truck. Every time we go for a walk, he grabs his fire truck and insists he take it. While not the most EFFICIENT mode of transportation, it is clearly the most ENJOYABLE mode of transportation for Sydney.

MVI 4695 from p wang on Vimeo.

Friday, August 23, 2013


During our latest SD trip, Uncle Ed and his family took Da Boys sailing. He rented a 22 foot sailboat and we cruised around Mission Bay. Afterwards, the kids tried SDP (Sitdown Paddle Boarding), which is their version of SUP. Great weather, great company and an all around great time!

Perfect Weather!
Mommy and Sydney
Daddy and Casey
Group Shot
Kid has some GUNS!!!
Sitdown Paddle Boarding!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mountain Climbing

Years ago, back in the '80's, my Daddy, my big bro Ed and I climbed Cowles Mountain. Fast forward 20+ years, and I decided to introduce MY boys to the climb. Since Da Wang boys are only 4.5 and 2.5 years old respectively, I didn't know if we were going to get anywhere near the top. (The hike to the top is 1.5 miles long and has an elevation change of about 950 feet.) Cousin Elena made the trek with us, and uncle Ed RAN up the mountain and met us in route. Da Boys did great! They both walked all the way to the summit. There was virtually no whining; the only times Sydney cried was when he fell and skinned his legs. There where a couple of pretty good scratches, some even drew a little blood, so I'd say a little crying was justified. As we neared the top of the mountain, I looked around. There were people of all shapes, sizes and ages... even a few dogs. But there sure weren't a lot of children as young as Casey and Sydney. I am so proud of my boys.

Ye-Ye, Phil and Ed cerca 1985


So much enthusiasm to start

Daddy and his boys

Casey and Elena

Nai-Nai and Ye-Ye's house as viewed (zoomed) from the top of the mountain


All smiles at the top!

Phil and Ed 2013

Group Shot