Cilly Stuff

Allie has a love/hate relationship with “Elmo’s Song.” She loved it initially, but then demanded to hear it so often that it became overplayed and then she hated it. She’d protest and demand that we turn it off immediately when it comes up on the playlist by saying, “Aaaah! No, no! No! Noooo!” If she’s within reach of the playing device, she’d push the “home” button herself so it’d stop. But that didn’t stop her from singing it on her own, when she’s going about her day, or when she’s alone in her crib. (She’s actually like this with one other song, “Sing After Me,” performed by Ernie and Elmo. Except even more so.) But sometimes, when the delivery method is fresh (streamed to the car’s radio via Bluetooth, for example), she’s excited to listen to the song(s).

The premise of “Elmo’s Song” is about rewriting and sharing ownership of this song: Elmo tells Big Bird and Snuffy that he’s written a song, which he then plays for them. The lyrics are repetitions of “La la la, Elmo’s song.” During the performance, Big Bird says wistfully, “I wish *I* had a song!” Elmo offers to “share” his song with Big Bird. “How?” Big Bird asks. Elmo responds, “Just sing ‘Big Bird’ instead of ‘Elmo!’ They do that replacing “Elmo” with “Big Bird,” then do it again replacing “Elmo” with “Snuffy.” When the song ends, the Sesame Street characters go off in search of other characters so that they could sing the song again using other names.
Last week when listening to this in the car, when the song ended…
Mr. W: That’s it, that was “Elmo’s Song.”
Allie: Elmo Song?
Mr. W: That’s right, Elmo’s Song.
Allie: Mama Song.
Mr. W: *laughing* Mama’s Song?
Allie: Dada Song. Allie Song.
Me: She got the joke!

Today, she tolerated playback of the song again, because for the first time, Mr. W loaded it on Allie’s iPod Touch and handed it to her. I’ll script it for you.
[Before the video started…Elmo: Just sing “Big –“]
[My video starts]
Elmo: …Bird instead of Elmo!
Allie: Elmo!
Big Bird: Great idea! Here I go! Heh heh!
Allie: Heh heh! La la.
Big Bird: This is the song, la la la la —
Allie: La la laaa.
Big Bird: –Big Bird’s song…
Snuffy: Hey, it works.
Big Bird: La la la la —
Allie: Whoa!
Big Bird: — La la la la, Big Bird’s song
Allie: Hmm, hmm-hmm
Big Bird, Elmo: La la la
Big Bird, Elmo and Allie: La la la laaaaaa, la; La la la, la la la laaaaa
Mr. W: She harmonizes. Haha!
Allie: *simultaneously with Big Bird* La la la la la, *in harmony* la la laaa
Big Bird: *simultaneously with Allie* I love to sing, La la la la, Big Bird’s Song
Big Bird: La la la la, La la la la, Big Bird’s Song
I love the music, I love the words, That’s Big Bird’s Song
Allie: Soooong
Big Bird: Your turn, Snuff ol’ pal!
Snuffy: All right —
Allie: All right!
Snuffy: Stand back!
Allie: Hmm-hmm, hmm-hmm *simultaneously with Snuffy* Hmm hmm hmm.
Snuffy: *simultaneously with Allie* This is the song,
La la la la, Snuffy’s Song
Big Bird: Sing it, Mr. S!
Snuffy: La la la la, la la la la, Snuffy’s Song
Big Bird, Snuffy, Elmo: La la la, la la la laaaa, la la la, la la la laaaa
Snuffy: I love to sing, la la la la, Snuffy’s song, La la la la, la la la la, Snuffy’s Song
Allie: *trying to shut the music up by putting it on her beanbag chair, then throwing a blanket over it, and when that doesn’t work, sitting on it*
Big Bird, Snuffy, Elmo: We wrote the music, we wrote the words, That’s Snuffy’s, That’s Big Bird’s–
Allie: I’m done.
Big Bird, Snuffy, Elmo: Thaaaaaat’s Eeeellll —
Allie: *turns off music* *turns to me with a mischievous fake grin, which drops off her face immediately (revealing its fake nature) upon turning back to the iPod*

Allie listens to various alphabet songs. One song works the letter’s sound into the music, so it would go something like, “A is for apple. Ah, ah, apple. B is for ball. Buh, buh, ball.”

A little earlier when we were changing Allie for bed, she was singing and humming as usual, and Mr. W played on something she sang and said, “Duh, duh, diaper?”
Allie smiled and said playfully, “Buh, buh, brush.” She held out the hairbrush she was playing with.
We laughed and I said at the coincidence, “That’s right! Buh, buh, brush!”
Then Allie said, “Puh, puh, people.”
I started to freak a little. Was this two coincidences? “That’s right, puh, puh, people!” Is my kid getting the hang of phonics at 19 months?
And then Allie said, “Muh, muh, hi doggie.”
“Muh, muh, hi doggie. Muh, muh, hi doggie.” She grinned her goofy broken-teethed grin.

Maybe she takes after her dad, who was entertaining her in the backseat saying nursery rhymes while I was driving us home from my parents’ house this evening.
“There was an old lady, who lived in a shoe, she had too many children, so she went to the cupboard…”
“What? That’s a whole different nursery rhyme!”
“Oh. That’s right, that’s Old Mother Hubbard, lived in a cupboard… I don’t remember how these effing things go!”

Mr. W called me at work this afternoon to tell me that he’d gotten a reminder from our shared calendar app of an event tomorrow, “Mom’s bday,” which had sent him into a panic. He’d immediately contacted a florist, ordered a big floral bouquet and arranged to have it delivered to his parents’ house in Las Vegas in a rush order. After all that was done, he thought, Wait a minute…my mom’s birthday is in March, and it’s JUNE already. And THEN he remembered that I had told him yesterday that my mom’s birthday is tomorrow. He didn’t even think to look at the color of the calendar posting to realize it was my event, not his. So he called the florist back and requested a cancellation of the arrangement. He said the lady seemed confused as to why he’d want to cancel it. He explained to her that he’d sent it to the wrong mom. I’m sure that cleared things up really nicely for her. I joked that he was getting old.

About an hour ago, I was sitting at the computer reading trending feature articles, hands sticky with the loquats I was peeling and eating, when Mr. W appeared next to me with a rectangular cardboard shipping box in his hand. “I can’t wait any longer,” he said. I couldn’t touch the box as all my fingers were dripping with juice and loquat skin (which stains everything into a beautiful shade of brown thanks to its high iron content), so he turned the box over for me. I glanced at the barcode sticker on the side panel and said, “Well, it’s an electronic item…” He opened the box, slid out a white rectangular box from it, opened that up, and now I was staring at the face of an Apple iPad Mini.
“It’s for your birthday,” he explained gleefully.
“What is WRONG with you?” I blurted.
He laughed. “I know, you’re gonna hate it.”
“Why did you get me that?”
“Because I think you’ll like this! ‘Cuz it’s smaller than an iPad.”
“…you got me the iPod Touch and it’s WAY smaller than the iPad…” I gestured the size of the smaller item. The iPod Touch hasn’t been touched since I’d posted about it, and actually, not for a long time since before I posted about it. The size of the iPads and iPods have nothing to do with my dislike for them.
“Look, I put all these apps on here already. It’s got Allie’s app, and the webcams, and Candy Crush Saga, and it’s small enough that you can put this in your purse and read books on it…”
“I already have a Kindle in my purse about the same size.”
“But you hate the Kindle. You complain about it all the time. This way you can read any of the books that I’ve already downloaded, and look at all these apps that I have on my account that you can have!” He scrolled through pages and pages of alphabetized apps. I think they number in the hundreds, if not thousands. He’s such the Apple fanboy.
“I don’t hate the Kindle. I complain about the battery drain. But I hardly ever use it because I read on the Kindle app on my phone.” My Kindle is synced with my Kindle app on my phone, and all set up on my personal Amazon account, so when I buy something to read, it downloads both onto my Kindle and my phone. My Samsung Galaxy S3 ANDROID phone, which I love. It’s pretty much a guaranteed fight every time anything Apple/Android comes up in conversation between us. “And that’s another thing — I can’t just download apps or books or anything I want on this iPad because it’s tied in to YOUR account and YOUR credit card. I can on my Android Kindle because it’s my account.” Yeah, I really don’t want to share my recent stash of guilty pleasure reads with him and have to hear about it. I know I’m reading crap, but sometimes I just need crap. Even if I have to hide it from everyone out of embarrassment.
He offered, “You can use this app here to download any books I already have into this iPad. Anything you read, if I don’t already have it, I can probably get it for free.”
“No, you can’t. Not the stuff I read. You’ve tried looking for me before and couldn’t find it, remember?” I hoped I wouldn’t have to elaborate on my Kindle-only book genres.
“You can use this app here to watch videos and shows I have on my computer, so you don’t have to watch it on the computer.” Now that’s appealing. I’ve been streaming his downloaded TV shows onto Allie’s iPad, but it was having problems and freezing every few seconds, so I stopped watching on the iPad and went to watching on the PC. There are nights I never make it upstairs to bed, falling asleep in the living room mid-Game-of-Thrones. And it does also appeal to me that I can check up on Allie’s daily progress remotely since the baby app that Jayne and I use to log Allie’s naps and meals is an Apple-only thing. There are times I wonder at work how Allie did with a unique lunch, or how long she napped, and now I’ll be able to look and see. But I’d have to lug the iPad Mini around with me and my purse is heavy enough already. I know I wouldn’t be using it to check my emails or to communicate, since I find Apple’s virtual keyboards and layout infuriatingly unusable. He knows all these points of why I have no interest in Apple products; we’ve even discussed it recently since my parents jumped on the Apple bandwagon.
I looked at him suspiciously. “Is this one of those gifts that you really want but can’t justify buying for yourself so you say it’s for me, like when husbands buy their wives bowling balls for Christmas?”
He laughed and said no.
And he pointed again to the Candy Crush Saga game app.

I don’t understand him. He must not understand me, either. It’s a very sweet gift and he put a lot of effort into setting it up, but I really would’ve been just fine with a $17 ring that looks convincingly like a real diamond ring.

Mr. W’s birthday is coming up soon. I think I’ll get him a Samsung Galaxy tablet.

Allie’s having a lot of fun mimicking adults in actions and words. She will go into the closet and grab the small floor duster and dusting pan and start sweeping because she saw her daddy do it once. She will sing what we sing, say what we say. Often she’ll remember a word we don’t remember teaching her, but that she must’ve picked up somewhere. So it’s been pretty fun, despite the fact that with her being more vocal, that also means more volume, like in restaurants. That gets uncomfortable sometimes. But mostly it’s fun.

I got this text earlier from Jayne:
Jayne: Ok, so Allie’s latest addition to her vocabulary is Hawaii and she says it so clearly and almost perfectly! I was talking about Missy going to Hawaii.
Jayne: Oh and by the way, she wants to go there. 🙂

I can totally see that happening. Jayne says, “Missy is going to Hawaii!” Allie says, “Ha-wai-ee?” Jayne says, “Yeah, very good, Hawaii! Does Allie want to go to Hawaii?” Allie nods, “Yah?”
Chances are, if Allie hears “go” in front of anything, she wants it. It means she gets to go bye-bye and go play!
I texted back:
Me: Oh no! Tell Allie to pick a place without a time change.
Jayne: Too late.

While Allie’s current fun is with imitating us, Mr. W found a new recreational activity to do with Allie yesterday. Hairstyling! Allie finally got her hair did for the first time yesterday evening. Here is his handiwork.

I’ve never seen Mick Jagger in concert (or in videos, actually) nor Monsters Inc., and due to peer pressure I’ve tried to watch Shrek, like, 3 times already and it’s put me to sleep each time. But hubby’s seen all of them!

Sometimes when I’m on the computer in the living room and it’s dark outside and lit inside, I’d sense motion at the corner of my eyes and look up, out the window. And there Mr. W would stand, in the backyard on his way to the trash cans or coming back from doing something in the yard, having decided to pause by the window and stare in at me with his tongue sticking out and his head tilted sideways, eyes rolled toward his nose. It used to give me heebie jeebies rather than make me laugh, but now that I have a kid, an entirely different reaction is triggered in my head.

Tonight, when Mr. W came inside from having done his staring in the window at me and waving emphatically thing, I sung to him,
“The hubby is a person in my neighborhood,
In my neighborhood,
In my neigh-bor-hood
The hubby is a person in my neighborhood,
When you’re walking down the street
Or when you’re looking out the window
And you see a big old creep
He’s a person that you meet…each…daaaaaaay!”

He went to the cabinet, got out a glass, and poured me a glass of wine. I’m not sure what that’s saying.

In the car on the way to Disneyland on Sunday morning, Allie gave me a smile so big that it revealed her dimples, almost all her teeth, and turned her eyes into little half-moon curls. She looked like an anime character. “That’s so cute!” I exclaimed. “That’s a cute smile! This is such a cute smile!” I continued as I tickled her cheek and she giggled. After that, she developed “the cute smile,” which is her artificial expression she wears on command and shows all her teeth and squints her eyes. Since it’s not a genuine smile but something she does when I say, “Show us your ‘cute smile,’ do your ‘cute smile’ look,” it comes out looking slightly twisted and kind of weird, like this:

Of course we laugh so that encourages her to keep doing this expression. The other expression she learned to do on command at the same time is her “funny eyebrow” thing. “Do your funny eyebrow thing,” I’d tell her, and she’d look me in the eyes all serious, and then lift her eyebrows up and down repeatedly, like “woo woo.” That’s so funny on the face of a toddler. Expressions she already does on command are “the fake pout” which is done simultaneously with a whimper…

and her “serious look,” which we don’t have a photo of cuz it’s just her not smiling and making intense eye contact. As dada missed out on everything driving, we in the back seat went through “Cute smile! Eeee! Funny eyebrow! Hahahaha! Serious. Pout. Hmmmm. Cute smile! Now funny eyebrows! Serious. Pout.”

Later that afternoon, my parents came over and brought a big box of old clothes, hats and puzzles that my cousin is passing down from her 2 daughters, now in elementary school. Actually, I think the older girl is at least in junior high. Most of the things were too big for Allie still, but that didn’t stop her from trying them on.
A girl sometimes has to wear many hats.

Modeling the hat.

While perusing a new book, Grandma Po-po asked to see her “cute smile,” so this is what she presented.

This is what a more natural “cute smile” is supposed to look like.

Grandma Po-Po and Grandpa Gong-Gong were impressed by the somersaults she now does on her own on command.

You can tell when my mom takes photos cuz she makes a point of cutting all adults out of the frame. This is Allie with a genuine “cute smile” expression in yet another new “hat” walking Grandma Po-Po and Grandpa Gong-Gong out after their visit.

While I was running around between CVS, Sav-On, and Walgreen drug stores for Dodo’s prescription earlier today, I came across a flyer entitled “How to Raise a Healthy Eater.” I took a copy with me and showed it to Mr. W when I got home. It talks about how the toddler is responsible for how much is eaten and whether to eat at all, but the parents are responsible for selecting and presenting quality food to the kid, and for timing the meals and cultivating the standard of mealtime behavior so the kid will eat well and properly. There were also 5 tips on raising a good, healthy eater and how to “prevent the ‘picky eaters’ or worse yet, an overweight child.” I read the 5 tips and their explanatory paragraphs to Mr. W:
1. Don’t be a Short Order Cook
2. Plan for Regular Meals and Snacks
3. Limit Juice and Milk
4. Don’t Bribe with Food
5. Get Kids Involved in the Kitchen.
Allie took the page and did what she always does with paper: wad it up to listen to it crinkle. “Here’s what she thinks of your healthy eating paper,” Mr. W said smugly. I pretty much do what the flyer says already, with exception to the last one because she’s too young to be very involved in the kitchen, altho Mr. W frequently lets Allie handle a fruit in its natural form and then opens, dices, chops, slices it up in front of her so she knows what she’s eating and where it comes from.

So earlier, I was making chicken-n-dumplings from scratch and while the whole chicken was boiling and I was chopping onions and prepping the wheat and white flours for the dumplings, I sent Mr. W and Allie out to the grocery store across the street for celery and carrots. It also gave them something to do. When Mr. W came back, he confessed that since I wasn’t around, he tried to “sneak Allie some frozen yogurt.” They went to Golden Spoon next to the grocery store, and after the first spoonful he fed to Allie, she frowned, shook her head and refused to take any more. HA! Take that for trying to corrupt my little healthy eater!
Then they walked into the grocery store, and Allie spotted the carrots. She pointed excitedly at them and was very happy when Mr. W grabbed a bunch of carrots and put them in their cart. Next, he bagged two bunches of celery. He told me that Allie insisted on holding them, and hugged the bagged stalks lovingly in her arms while she sat in the grocery cart, holding them like a dolly to her body until they left the store. He handed Allie, who was standing next to him in the kitchen while he was telling me this story, the bag of celery. She opened her arms, held the celery to her chest in the same way I may hold HER, and stood there solemnly.

That’s my girl.

I had looked for this gem awhile before finally giving up. The other day, I happened upon it by total chance. This is an email exchange.

From a building supervisor:

>>> Myrna 4/9/2008 2:54 pm >>>
April 22, 2008 is “TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS AND SON’S TO WORK DAY”. I will be
coordinating that day’s events. If you are interested in bringing a child
that day you must fill out the attached enrollment form (one for each child
you will be bringing) and turn it in to me no later than Thursday, April 17,
2008. Please read the attached memo, as it gives information regarding
the ages of the children that may participate.

The fee this year per child will be $4.00. The $4.00 fee includes morning
and afternoon snacks and drinks for each child participating. It will be up
to each sponsor to provide lunch for the child or children they will be
bringing. Lunch will be on your own between the hours of 12 p.m. to 1:30

The children will be in a supervised environment during the hours of 8:00
a.m. to 12:00 p.m., after which they will be released to you. You will need
to check with your individual department manager/supervisor to make
arrangements to have your child/ren stay with you the remainder of the day.

Please share this information with staff that this e-mail may not have
reached. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via

Thank You,
Myrna, Court Services Supervisor
Southeast District Superior Court

I forwarded the above email to my mom and I wrote her this:

Mom, do you have programs like this for your work? How come I was never invited?

My mom’s reply:


Allie went to Gong-gong (grandpa) and Po-po (grandma) ‘s house on Sunday morning for a visit. My mom is kinda paranoid about Allie putting things in her mouth, which Allie doesn’t much do anymore, but my mom is still heavily restrictive. Allie has some fun with that, the little goofy goof.

Here are some Easter photos and videos, a week late. =P

Mr. W and I went grocery shopping on Saturday, the day before Easter, and he talked about wanting to buy pre-boiled, pre-dyed eggs. There’s no such thing, I’d said. Half the fun/point of Easter egg hunts is egg creation, isn’t it? At least, that’s what my inexperienced little Asian perspective of a mostly-Western tradition tells me. I’d always wanted to dye/make Easter eggs as a kid, and since we’re Chinese in a (mostly) culturally Chinese immigrant household growing up, I couldn’t explain to my parents why I’d want to make a mess like that with perfectly good food. When I moved out after graduating college, I saw a P.A.A.S. egg-dying kit at the grocery store and bought it, wanting to add the missing piece back into my childhood, but never got around to even opening the package. I may have read the instructions in the back and decided it was too much trouble for just myself. Mr. W said that now that we have a baby, we need to give her these quintessential childhood experiences so I would have to get my virgin feet wet in egg dye. I sort of rolled my eyes about the hassle (since she’s still too young to really appreciate or participate in egg dying), but a small part of me was interested, too. Well, guess what we saw in the grocery store.

Gosh darn it, but he was right. We get to be lazy parents for another year. We tell ourselves NEXT year, we’ll really do it “right” because she would be old enough to enjoy and “help.”
Allie’s paternal grandparents had come to visit a couple of weekends ago and brought her her first Easter basket (I didn’t know about Easter baskets full of goodies being a “thing” until, like, last year, either. Apparently these Western kids get goodies, gifts and junk food in as many occasions as excited parents can muster up, often well into the kids’ adulthood. I wasn’t spoiled like that. I’m a little envious.). In it were a pair of small bouncy chick and bouncy bunny wind-up toys, hairbands/bows for her head, and this gorgeous little Easter dress that we put her in. Her nanny left a surprise Easter basket for her, as well, full of sand toys and a book, and we used her nanny’s felt Easter bag for her egg hunt. Shoes and basket from her nanny, dress from her paternal grandparents, hat from me ($1 at Target), and here’s her ensemble:

While my parents, her gong-gong and po-po looked on, Allie went to the backyard where Mr. W had randomly placed the eggs on the lawn, and Allie had her first Easter egg hunt. (We knew we didn’t want to take her to a public one just yet; I’d heard too many stories about parents getting into fights with other parents over egg hunts that somehow became a aggressive contact sports with audience participation.)

Allie enjoyed herself so much, and kept saying “More? More?” that her dada simply took the eggs out of her basket and tossed them back on the lawn in places where she had her back turned. It was, like, perpetual eggstravaganza.

My dad, her gong-gong, was super-impressed at how she knew to pick up the eggs and place them in her basket. “How she know to do that?” I said that based on this 20-second video my mom shot, it was because they were all shouting directions at her.

After the egg hunt, dada cracked open an egg and fed it to Allie as a snack.

Allie: “Wait a minute…so you’re telling me that I have to eat ALL that stuff I picked up off the ground?”
BTW, yes, the swing outside has become her outdoor high chair. Works super-well. Then we had a quickie parents-and-Allie portrait…

…and then we all went to dinner at Claim Jumper. Stepkidlet came along. She’s really good at self-portraits, even group ones.

Did I tell you guys Allie’s a mommy’s girl right now? Here’s 30 seconds of proof. She hugs me, pats my back, but when Mr. W asks for a kiss, she shakes her head. My mom then asked for a hug and Allie knew that she couldn’t reach my mom from across the table, so she pretended to reach up and hug my mom (hugging the air in front of her) as a joke. And then when invited to kiss me, she hugged me again.

The stepkidlet, who filmed the above video, laughed and joked about how Allie didn’t want to hug Mr. W, but then we passed Allie over to the other side of the booth, the stepkidlet asked for a hug, and got the same head-shake. “HA, not so funny anyMORE when it happens to YOU, is it?!” Mr. W gloated. Stepkidlet good-naturedly found that really funny, as well. In case you’re viewing this off an Apple device and can’t view videos, here’s a still of a hug. 🙂

Awww. 😀 Good note to end the post on. heh heh.

« Previous PageNext Page »