Bringing out the asian in her

I bought Niki a pair of chopsticks on Wednesday at Uwajimaya in Seattle. Both Ams and I tried to teach her how to use them, but failed miserably. Then today I look toward the table. She’s using them correctly while eating GRAPES with them!

I asked her who taught her how to use them. She said in a very confident voice, “I learned on my own”.

I’m so proud.

Green eggs and Spam

green eggs & spam!

I’ve been wanting to do more with Niki and I knew that she would love helping me with cooking and baking. Friday we kicked off with something simple and made blueberry muffins. We cheated and got the boxed one where you just add oil and eggs. Niki helped me pour in all the ingredients and stirred it up. She put the cupcake cups in the tin and let me pour the batter in. We watched it rise and couldn’t wait for it to finish. We both enjoyed two each while they were still warm.

For breakfast today I asked Niki to help me make green eggs and Spam. We collected everything we needed and started the preparations. She took the eggs out of the carton, but she dropped one on the floor. She was a little sad, but the hubs and I assured her that everyone drops eggs eventually.

Next she cracked the eggs and put them in the bowl. Three eggs and only one little piece of shell fell in the bowl. If you asked me, she did an awesome job for her first time. After fishing out the shell, I added a little salt and pepper, then pushed the bowl back over to Niki. She added just one little drop of blue food coloring and whisked away.

As she beat the eggs to a bloody green pulp, I chopped up some spam. Once we were both finished with our preparations, we were ready to start cooking.

I set the pan on the stove and turned it on. Handed Niki the spoon and tossed in the spam. With a little of my help, she browned the spam nicely. Next she poured in the egg mixture. She then asked me to finish up the cooking. When it was all done and on the plate, she insisted on taking a bunch of pictures of it. The one posted up top was one of hers.

It may look a bit gross to everyone, but trust me, it was good. Niki, Maeby and I ate it all up with nothing leftover.

For all the pictures click here.

Girl trouble

Her name is Maria. She lives down the street. Last week Niki was so excited because she had a new friend. They were in the same class and rode the bus home together. Nik told me that they even fell asleep on the bus while leaning on each other. She was so happy about it all. I was happy because she made a friend.

Than Monday she came home a little bummed. Maria made another friend and didn’t play with Nik. While trying to explain to her that it’s okay to have more than one friend, she cried. She “only wanted Maria!” and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yesterday she came home happy once again. Maria’s other friend drew a picture for Nik. It looked like they worked it out and were now all friends. What a relief it was to think that things will be okay in the friend world. At least for a while, right?

Except it didn’t last at all.

Today Maria told Niki that she didn’t want to be her friend anymore. I don’t know why and probably never will, but it breaks my heart seeing my daughter so sad.

A warm welcome

Niki’s 1st grade teachers stopped by the house today to drop off a folder, a workbook and a pencil for her. They introduced themselves as well as the rest of the 1st grade teachers. They all seem very sweet. It makes me excited and sad all at the same time. I can’t believe my girl will be starting 1st grade in a few days.

My baby isn’t a baby anymore. She’s a first grader and a big sister. She’s sassy and silly. She’s crazy and beautiful. She’s smart and determined. She’s sweet and stubborn. She’s awesome.

I can’t believe she’s already six.

Counting

While hanging out with my girl trying to get her to take a nap.

Me: Nik. How old are you now?

Niki: Six. Alicia’s six too.

Me: Really? On her next birthday how old will she be?

Niki: Seven.

Me: Yeah! Chop is three. How old will he be on his next birthday?

Niki: Four!

Me: What about sissy? How old is she?

Niki: Two.

Me: No. She’s one. How old will she be?

Niki: Two.

Me: Daddy is 29. How old will he be?

Niki: Um. Forty.

Me: HAHAH! No sweetie. He’ll be thirty. Mommy is 28, how old will I be on my next birthday.

Niki: Fourteen.

Me: Oh wow. Um. No. I’ll be 29.

She’s so smart.

Toy Wars Part 1

Went to the mall on Saturday. While daddy was buying his new shiny ‘toy’, we went to Claire’s so I could find a hair accessory for my out-of-control hair. toywars1b.jpgWhile in there, you asked for everything that caught your eye. You ask, I refuse, we move on. This is just how it’s always been with you and I. So what makes yesterday any different?

Let’s see. You asked, I refused, we moved on. You asked again, I refused again, we moved on… again. You asked.. well, you get the picture, right? Except, at one point you asked, I refused, and then a fit began. When this happens, it reminds me why I hesitate to go anywhere with you and your sister without someone else there to help me out. Walking into a minefield would be the equivalent to that sort of suicide mission.

It starts with the whine. Just thinking about it makes me shudder, that’s how much I can’t stand it. I know what comes after it and there are only two options. The first and easiest option is to give in, get you the damned stuffed animal and it’s over. The other should have stuck my face on a mine option was to stand my ground, refuse, talk it out, and rush the hell out of the store and to the car as fast as possible. Being the masochist that I am, I chose to test my luck with those mines.

Nothing I said was working. The more I spoke, the louder you cried and the harder you planted your feet to the floor. There was no talking to you at that moment because we were both explosive. It got to the point where I had to pick you up and CARRY YOU out of the store. Problem was, you decided to stiffen up and arch yourself back. The only way to keep you from flipping upside down and slipping out of my hands head first into the floor was to hold your head and push in the opposite direction as you were pushing.

toywars1a.jpgI headed straight for the restroom where, even though people can still hear us, I could talk you down. You started screaming “I don’t want to go there! I DON’T WANT TO GOOOOO THERE!!!” over and over while squirming as much as possible.

While still walking I said through my clenched teeth, “You either go with me to the restroom so we could talk, or I spank your butt right here in front of everyone. It’s your choice.” You stopped squirming but the crying kept going. It didn’t matter because I’d take whatever you give me just as long as there was some progress. I felt confident enough that you weren’t going to make things any more difficult for me, so I put you down and let you walk with me.

We got to the restroom and headed for the big stall. Perfect timing because my bladder was feeling full. While I emptied it, I said nothing and let you cry a bit longer. Maybe, just maybe, you’d chill out and we could talk calmly. No such luck this time. Hey. A mother can wish, right?

You cry as loud as you could.

Me: “Listen. We’re not getting out of here until you calm down and we talk about it.”

You continue with the crying.

Me: “Okay. Listen. Here’s what we’re going to do.”

Your crying gets lower and slower.

Me: “Okay. Here’s what we’re going to do. Are you listening?”

You nod.

Me: “Remember the money you’ve been saving? All the change you found? All the change Mommy and Daddy gave you?”

More nodding.

Me:“You need to save up enough money to buy the toy yourself, okay? I’ll help you count your money to make sure you have enough. When you do, we’ll come back and get it, okay?”

Nodding.

Me:“Buuuut…”

(Come on people, you all knew that was coming, right?)

Me: “You’ll have to get some of your other toys and give them away to kids that can’t afford toys, okay?”

You stop crying and a teeny tiny little “Yes” escapes your quivering lips.

Me: “Good. Can we do that? Can we donate some of your other toys, then save up enough money to buy that cute little animal?”

You: “Yes.” End crying.

We washed our hands and faces and headed back out. toywars1c.jpgEverything was fine after that, although it felt weird.

That was tough, wasn’t it? That sort of thing doesn’t happen to us very often, but when it does, neither of us knows what to do. It could have gotten ugly in there, but it didn’t. We made it out with only our feelings slightly hurt. Mommy didn’t scream, Niki didn’t get spanked or dragged out of the mall. Things I’m pretty sure we were both imagining. I’m learning. We’re learning. This is going to take some time, but as long as you’re willing, we can beat this rough patch like we always do.