Posts Tagged ‘CC’

Yesterday we had an early celebration for CC’s birthday. My not so little boy will turn 6 tomorrow. For weeks I’ve been hemming and hawing about whether to throw him a birthday party this year, not because he had asked for one, but because for some crazy reason I thought I’d be less of a mother if I didn’t. It seemed like ALL his little friends got birthday parties and I didn’t want him to feel left out. In all honesty though, we are not birthday party people in this house. Things like that tend to get me stressed because I feel like I have to get everything perfect and pinterest-worthy. Kind of like when I tried to bake the fire engine cake when he turned 3…I don’t need to remind you all how that turned out.

So Larry finally put an end to my hemming and hawing and put his foot down and said we would just celebrate CC’s birthday as a family. I complained for all of 5 minutes but was inwardly relieved. I told CC we would go out for dinner for his birthday and he can pick the restaurant. Just as I predicted, he picked Homeroom, a very hipster joint in Oakland touted to have the best Mac and Cheese this side of the bay. So yesterday afternoon, before heading out to Homeroom, we let CC open his one present from us (more on that later) and Face Timed briefly with his grandparents. The place was super crowded, even at 5:45, but we scored a table outside relatively quickly. We ordered two kinds of Mac and Cheese, a side of buttery minty peas and a Limeade for me, and watched my soon to be 6 year old son chow down more calories than he probably ordinarily gets in a week. He was happy as a clam, and I was too, knowing I didn’t have to frost any cakes or fill any goodie bags.

After dinner, the boys of course asked for dessert. Larry, thinking ahead, had printed out a coupon for a free birthday scoop from Ben & Jerry’s for CC. We asked CC in the car what he wanted for dessert and he said ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. Score! Isn’t it great when what your kids ask for is actually the same as what you plan? So we made a stop at B&J and even though we were planning to get Turner his own scoop, CC very graciously said he would share his cone with his little brother. So we walked out with free ice cream and two very happy boys.

When we got home, CC had about half an hour to play with his birthday present before he had to get ready for bed. For his birthday, we got him a box of 125 Zoob building pieces. Recently he’s really been into Legos and can spend hours by himself just building things. So we wanted to get him something similar – open ended creative building toys. The Zoobs are pretty cool, basically ball and socket type pieces you can fit into different configurations. It also comes with guides with instructions of different things you can build. CC got into it right away, and for half an hour we all joined him in building things. Definitely quality family bonding time.

We got the boys ready for bed and CC thanked the Lord for his new present. I thanked the Lord for giving us such a simple yet wonderful day. My son will only turn six once. I’m glad I didn’t miss it because I was too busy planning a party he never asked for. When he looks back on his 6th birthday, I hope he’ll remember that we had mac and cheese and ice cream and that his mommy and daddy sat down and built Zoob robots and animals with him. I know that’s what I’ll remember. 🙂

Happy birthday CC!

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Hello out there blog readers! Are you all still there? Sorry for the long silence, I took the summer off and then the new school year kind of took me by storm. Yesterday was Turner’s first day of preschool and CC is well into his second full week of kindergarten. That means I’ve graduated from being a stay at home mom to being a chauffeur mom. My days now seem to be an endless series of drop-offs and pick-ups. But hey, now I have almost all of 3 hours to myself every morning!

I think the boys and I all welcome having some kind of structured routine back to our days. It was great having them both home with me for the summer, but I think having some time apart now is good for all of us. Now a lot of the time we spend together is in the car. This year Larry and I decided to send CC to a brand new French immersion charter school that just opened in Oakland. It’s about a 25 minute drive from home with no traffic. We prayed a lot and considered a lot, and in the end we felt good about sending him, even though it would require a lot of driving on my part. It was a hard decision, especially since I had gotten used to him taking the school bus to and from school, but I’m glad we did it. Fortunately, both boys are okay with being in the car so much, as long as there’s a good audio book playing and snacks on hand.

When we tell people that CC is going to a French immersion school, many have asked, “Why French?” Both Larry and I have taken multiple language courses in our high school/college years, but sadly neither of us have attained fluency in any of them. We would love for our kids to be bilingual and get an early start on language learning, and since we’ve been lazy about speaking anything except English at home, immersion schooling seemed like the next best option. We can in no way afford any type of private school, so when we heard about this new charter school opening, it seemed like a great opportunity. We had already tried applying for a Mandarin charter school, but the lottery was not in our favor. So French it was. After meeting the great community of staff and parents at this school, we began to feel better about the decision. So when people ask me,”Why French?” my answer is “Why not French?” If my child had the opportunity to learn Swahili at a great tuition-free school, I’d still do it. Besides, you have to admit that hearing a little Chinese boy speaking French is kind of cute. It’s only the second week and already CC is spouting French sentences here and there. He’s gotten really good at saying, “Can I go to the bathroom please?” I guess that’s a pretty good first sentence to learn.

I’ll try to be better about my blogging, maybe in between all the drop-offs and pick-ups. No promises though.

In the meantime, a bientot!



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Yesterday my sweet little boy turned 5. We celebrated the day with a pancake breakfast, a trip to Little Farm, and his requested birthday dinner of baked spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread (originally he had only requested salad, but I convinced him we needed some carbs and protein), and of course special birthday cupcakes for dessert which he insisted on decorating with sprinkles himself. He went to bed happy, full of carbs and sugar. I went to bed and scrolled through all the old pictures and videos on my phone of him when he was just learning to walk and talk and part of me longed to have that little baby boy back. Even though I’m so anxious to see him grow, especially seeing how he’s still the smallest one in his class, part of me wishes there was a pause button I could push to stop time from going so darn fast.

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I’m thankful to the Lord for bringing our CC and us through another year. It has been a year of learning for all of us. He has mastered the art of riding a scooter and can now move on to learning to ride his new bike (birthday present from the grandparents). After over 2 years of being in swim class on and off, he’s finally ready to move on to Rays (level 3). He’s learned how to fold his pajamas and make his bed every day before leaving for the school bus. He’s learned how to play chess (I think) and the names for all the ninja turtles. My mother’s heart is bursting with pride.

Now for what I’ve learned. I’ve learned that this little boy can bring a temper out of me like no one else, and that he can match it with an equally hot temper of his own. This year has been a year of learning what kinds of discipline work with him and what kinds don’t. Sometimes I feel like I’m negotiating with a terrorist who refuses to back down or trying to defuse a bomb that can detonate any second. No one told me parenting was such dangerous work. There have been a lot of failures on my part, and sometimes there have been collateral damage. But there have also been days when I’ve been successful in averting WWIII, and I’ve come to appreciate and learn from those small victories. They’ve taught me that the best way to defuse a ticking bomb is not with a sledgehammer, but with a gentle cutting of the right wires. Hopefully I’ll get better at knowing which wires to cut. There really should be a Nobel Peace Prize awarded for parenting.

So here’s to another year of learning! Since there’s no pause, or rewind, or fast forward in life, we might as well turn up the volume and enjoy the music of our children growing up! Happy birthday, CC!

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Sorry y’all…I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. It’s been a long and busy yet lazy summer and I’ve had two boys to entertain and amuse everyday. But that’s all about to change soon because school starts on Wednesday! (Cue in Hallelujah chorus). CC will begin his first year of kindergarten (well, technically Transitional Kindergarten because his birthday’s in October). Whatever they want to call it, the fact is that he’ll be in a school with big kids, I’ll need to pack him a lunch, and he might possibly even be riding the school bus home. I honestly don’t know who’s more excited about it, him or me.

Sending a child, especially my firstborn, off to school is a big deal. There are so many different conflicting emotions involved. I’m excited and proud to see him growing up and moving on to this stage in life, yet scared and nervous because it brings back all my own memories of being in school. What if he gets teased by the other kids like I was for being so small? What if he doesn’t make any friends, or has no one to sit with at lunch? Worse yet, what if he makes the wrong friends and learns the wrong things?

Every time these kinds of fears assail me, I’m reminded of the story of Hannah in the Old Testament. She wanted a child so badly that she bargained with God that if He granted her a son, she would lend him to Jehovah all his days. Little did she know that her prayer for a son was an echo of God’s own need to have a Nazarite who could turn the age. In that time the priesthood under Eli was corrupt and devoid of God’s speaking. But in Samuel, God found someone who would obey His speaking and cooperate with Him to bring the whole nation of Israel out of degradation. If it wasn’t for Hannah’s prayer, that never would have or could have happened.

What reassures me about this story though is that Hannah trusted God enough to allow her son to grow up in the temple with Eli, who, judging by how his own sons turned out, was probably not the best parent or teacher. His sons profaned the priesthood, yet they were probably the patterns Samuel saw growing up. What must have been in Hannah’s motherly heart, to send her young just-weaned son, to be raised in an environment like that? Surely she knew, as all Israel did, the condition of the priests at that time. Yet she also knew that she had made a vow to Jehovah and that Samuel did not belong to her. I can’t imagine how she felt those first few years of Samuel’s life, knowing that she would soon have to send him away. She must have taken every opportunity, even while he was a babe, to instill in him a fear and love for God and to remind him that he was a Nazarite. And she probably prayed for Samuel her whole life. I believe she laid a foundation in him, so that even when he was surrounded by negative patterns, they didn’t affect him, but rather became warnings to him of what not to be. This was probably the same with Moses. He grew up and was educated in the palace of Pharaoh, but he knew he was not Egyptian.

There would be no Samuel or Moses, if not for their moms. I aspire to be like Hannah, to take every opportunity to infuse the knowledge of God into my boys. To trust more in prayer and God’s mercy than my own mothering skills. To not be so afraid of their friends’ influence on them but to make them kids that would have a positive influence on their friends. To make sure they know who they are, even if they have to be educated in an environment that is corrupt and Egyptian.

So as we enter into this new school year, let’s not miss those little opportunities. To use the time while we’re making lunches to pray for our children, to have those little conversations in the minivan before dropping them off at school, to say that little prayer before tucking them in at night. In the end, those little things can really make all the difference.



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The prompt for this week is…



This summer CC’s best friend will move away to New York City. He’s known her since they were both 10 months old. I met her mom at the weekly library story time and as we pushed our strollers next to each other on the way to the library, we found out that our children were a week apart and that we lived a couple streets apart. Our friendship and the friendship of our children was sealed on that day four years ago. Since then there’s been innumerable play dates, two years of preschool together carpooling everyday, toys and meals shared between the two homes like family. She calls CC “older brother” in Chinese even though she’s only a week younger and a whole head taller than him. They don’t ever seem to tire of playing with each other, begging to go to each other’s houses after school. Sometimes they fight like an old married couple and it’s hard for me to keep a straight face. I wish I could tape record all the conversations I overhear between them in the car on the way to and back from school.

But in a few months she will move across the country and there will be no more car pooling and no more play dates. CC will start transitional kindergarten at a new school without his trusty friend by his side. I don’t know if either of them realize yet the changes that are coming, but children adapt quickly, and unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) also forget quickly. It’s the adults who don’t deal as well with change. Soon there will be new best friends and who knows if they’ll even remember each other in five years. They’ll only have the pictures to remind them. Hopefully the next time they meet, she won’t still be a whole head taller than him.


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This morning as I was taking CC and his friend Emma to school, I overheard the cutest conversation between them. It had me smiling all day. It went something like this:

(They were playing some game about who’s the biggest)

CC: God’s the biggest, so He wins.
E: Who’s God?
CC: God’s invisible.
E: What’s invisible?
CC: Invisible means you can’t see Him. Right, mommy?
Me: That’s right.
CC: God created the world. That’s why we’re in His heart.
E: Oh, I like His heart!
CC: I like my monkey!

The conversation then turned to another topic, I forget what. But this little conversation I was privileged to overhear reminded me of something I was impressed with after attending a conference last month on the subject of raising our next generation for the church life, which is that we should have the view that our children can be seeds of the gospel. That doesn’t mean that I expect my 4 year old to go around preaching the gospel and leading his friends to salvation (especially since he himself isn’t even saved yet), but it does mean that he’s not too young to tell his friends about what he knows about God, that He created the world and that we are in His heart. If our children have this habit of speaking and caring for their friends at a young age, surely they will become ones who have no shame in sharing the gospel once they do become regenerated. I was also touched to have my heart broadened; not just to care that my own children would know God, but that their friends would also come to know God as their Creator and eventually their Savior. So many times as Christian parents, we’re concerned that the world will have a negative influence on our children, which is a very valid concern. But I’m encouraged to take an offensive stance instead of a defensive one; that my view in raising my boys would be not only that they would be preserved, but that they could have a positive influence on those around them. I already feel like CC has a positive influence on me. I hope I’ll be as ready and unashamed when the opportunity arises for me to tell someone about the God I know. And hopefully I’ll have a little more to say than that He’s invisible and that we’re in His heart.

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I’m happy to report that our little super hero is feeling much better this morning. After some children’s Tylenol and going to bed early last night, he bounded out of his room at 5am this morning full of energy and ready to start the day. Fortunately, a bowl of cereal and our stubborn refusal to get out of bed convinced him to go back to sleep for a couple more hours.

I had an interesting conversation with him over his second breakfast of French Toast and I wanted to write it down while it’s still fresh in my mind so I wouldn’t forget later.

CC: I vote for Turner to stay alive!
Me: Uh…I vote for that too.
CC: I vote for us to stay alive to bring God back!
Me: Hm…amen.
CC: Why are there so many names for God?
Me: Like what?
CC: Like God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, the Lord…
Me: Well, “Lord” is His title and “Jesus” is His name. Just like Teacher Susan. Susan is her name and Teacher is her title.
CC: And Teacher Marcia and Teacher Zoe and Teacher Mathilda.
Me: Yes, Teacher is their title.
CC: Teacher Mathilda is the fat one.
Me: It’s not nice to call people fat.
CC: But she’s fat.
Me: But it’s not nice to call people fat, it might hurt their feelings.
CC: Oh. So God has many titles in the Bible?
Me: Yes, Lord is one of them. Lord means like…King.
CC: The Bible also tells us God loves us.
Me: You’re right it does.

It still surprises me when CC brings up things about God and I’m amazed that he’s already thinking about these things. It’s a real exercise for me answer him in a way that he can understand but yet not oversimplifying the truth. I really enjoy having these conversations with my son because his questions always force me to look at things through the eyes of a child. They often see things that we take for granted. So I’m glad to be reminded today by a 4 year old that the Bible indeed does tell us that God loves us. And yes, we should vote for us to stay alive to bring Him back.


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