Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Little Excited

Sorry I didn't rotate this before posting!  But just wanted to share some of Huelan's excitement about Christmas.  She doesn't quite know what's going on yet, just that she has a bunch of new toys and Mom and Dad are both home and playing with her.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Leggo My Eggo

For some reason, she is totally into eggs right now.  Here, she's playing with her currently favorite app- and Easter game.  She loves her play egg groceries, and has been eating tons of eggs.  But she only likes the yolks- how weird is that?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tom and Adrienne

Tom put a ton of thought into his propsal to Adrienne, and it paid off!  Though it was a brisk day at the base of the  Golden Gate, we had plenty of sunshine and everyone was in a sunny mood.  A big crew turned out for the big day, and of course there was food and drink afterward.

The video of the Big Moment is below, and you can see some pics here, along with some pics of the latest episode Liz's ongoing birthday party.


We sent out a picture card again this year, and again we tried to take the pics in our home studio (living room).  We were really happy with the picture we chose, but we had to take a lot of pictures before we got a few decent ones.  Some almost made the cut- you can check them out here

Looking back

I figured I should try to get a Thanksgiving post out before Christmas comes, so here goes.  We took nice long trip to SoCal, leaving early morning on Thanksgiving and pulling into the driveway in Stanton just before noon.  We planned an entire week in SoCal, plenty of opportunity for quality time with family and friends.  And eat a ton.  Huelan was able to sink her teeth into some turkey this year, and did a great job on potoatoes and stuffing too.  And of course had some of BaNoi's cooking.

One of the best things about our SoCal visits is the chance to hang out with friends with kids.  Great getting to see all of the little munchkins growing up and getting into trouble!

Here are some pics.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tiny Bubbles

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This is her first bubble bath, it it blew her away. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Super Nho-Nho!

Here she comes to save the day! We had such a blast this weekend, eating and drinking with friends on Saturday and Halloween on Monday.  We started off with a spaghetti dinner at Larry and Lynn's, and then walked around the Sunset tricking and treating.  Huelan was totally game for it.  At first she thought the whole costume thing was hokey, but when she saw everyone dressed up kinda different, she owned it. 

She took to trick-or-treating right away. Though she didn't like the walking from house to house because it was dark, once we got to a house's walkway, she would hustle to the front door and hold out her bag.  A few places let her choose the candy she wanted out of the bowl, and she wasn't shy.  I think that she is going to like this tradition.

Somewhere along the line, she decided that all candy was Momma's candy, so she will go the the candy dish in our house and point to the candy and say "Momma, Momma."  I think it's funnier than Liz does.

By the way, that's not makeup on her eye.  More on that later....

Props to Amy Im, who inspired this costume by crafting about 30 of these superhero capes for her son Ethan's birthday party last month!

More pics here


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Yeah, but you should see the other girl....  Actually this was not the result of a sandbox scuffle, but rather a full speed header into the windowsill in our living room.  I was outside and she ran to the window to see what I was doing, but tripped on the way there.  All I heard was the loud thump, and I knew something bad happened.  We weren't sure where she wacked herself until a little while longer and the swelling started.  It looks pretty bad, but it doesn't really seem to bother her. And it could have been worse if she had knocked a few teeth out. 

Makes her look tough and the other kids don't mess with her at all. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Center of Attention

Link to Vid #1 on Youtube

Link to Vid #2 on YouTube

We let Huelan stay up waaay past her bedtime this weekend bacause she had some visitors she hadn't seen in a while.  As you can see, though, she is anything but tired.  In fact, she was wearing us out!

It's hard to believe from these videos, but she is initially shy around people she's not real familiar with.  As you can see, however, she quickly comes out of her shell.  There were seven of adults, and she owned every one of us.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Huelan woke up in a good mood this morning, and not 'til 7:20, which helps Ba be in a good mood as well.  The first thing she said when I walked in was, "Cake, piece cake."  Where she got that, I have no idea (I am guesing Momma). She also she spouts some of her favorite words- "Big Bird," and lately, "Nope."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Mind of Her Own

Huelan can communicate pretty well now- nouns, verbs, linking a few words for simple sentances- but very recently something changed.  For the first time that we can tell, she remembers and can recount to us what she's been up to.  She can tell us what animals she saw at the petting zoo and the pet store, what she ate, and where she went.  And when we ask her what she wants, she pauses to consider an answer- applesauce or yogurt? It's almost like a conversation, which is very cool, but also kind of scary.

Huelan loves the pumpkin patch and both the big (momma) and small (baby) pumkins.  She does this hilarious thing where she tries to pick up huge objects, makes a straining grunt, and exclaims, "Big! Heavy!"  She does it with pumpkins, tables, boulders, and manhole covers.  She also has a face that goes with it- you can see it in the second and third pics.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Nho-Nho Each"

In case anyone was wondering if this girl was really ours, seeing what she eats in a day will clear any doubts of her being in the Ly/Lee family.  The girl can live on carbs, especially all sorts of rice and noodles.  Bread? Yup.  Fruit? All kinds.  Cookies? Better keep them hidden on a high shelf.

If she hasn't had her snack, best to not nibble on anything around her, or she'll come over and say "Nho-Nho each too!" Which translates to "Nho-Nho eat too."  Here she's eating some mac & cheese, which she has just recently taken to.  I think this is her third bowl, though she did share some of it with me. 

My favorite part is when she's actually spooning the food into her mouth- she knits her brow and scowls with every bite. It's like the food's been bad and she's punishing it by chewing it up.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Nho-Nho want that!"

I thought this would be apropos in light of Steve Jobs' recent passing. This is Huelan's current favorite toy, and she'll run to dig in by bag for it as soon as I get home. She says, "Nho Nho want that!" and puts a huge smile on her face if she gets it (we might negotiate for a hug or kiss).

She has been playing with our iPhones for months, but just figured out the iPad a few days ago. After I enter the password, she'll swipe to the screen with her apps, open up her folders, and pull up her favorite games.

She's kind of past the piano-type games, and is now into drag-and-drop apps. She always gives herself applause after finishing one.

Looks fun, maybe I should get myself one.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Of all her words, which are now too numerous to count and solidly in two languages, "Whoa," is by far my favorite.  She uses it liberally, whether she's just pressed a button to change the color of her turtle light, or Momma just scooped a big pile of berries onto her plate.  The best is when it's accompanied by an eyes wide expression and an open mouthed gape- unadulterated happiness with the magical power to instantly obliterate all cynicism within a half-mile radius.  Sometimes she'll even point at the source of her baby-joy.  Yes, that is the absolute best and I love it.

Whoa! here are some pics from the last few weeks:

Window Shopping

Tu-Tu's?  oh man here we go....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You never know what she is going to like... This is her 3rd plate of peas.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Flowing Locks

This girl has crazy hair- obviously gets it from her mother....
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Monday, July 25, 2011


In vietnamese we have the adjective "hoang," which describes a person who is rambunctious, likes to climb around and jump off stuff, and generally likes rough and tumble action.  Fits Huelan perfectly.  Don't know where she gets it from....

July Fun

July so far has been busy, and most of it has been really fun.  Andrew and Candy hosted an Independance Day BBQ at their new pad, where they are taking on a huge renovation project on an awesome piece of property.  Twins two-year-olds and a renovation- they are far braver than us. 

The next weekend, we packed up the car and drove to Morro Bay, a little beach community near San Luis Obispo, conveniently located halfway between Oakland and OC.  Ba Noi and crew drove up and we spent the weekend in a nice little house with a beach view.  Morro Bay has a cute little boardwalk with excellent garlic fries and ourstanding breakfast spot called Frankie & Lola's.  I recommend their fish on a stick as well, which is a value at $5 at the north end of the boardwalk.

We spent a lot of time in San Luis Obispo, which is an awesome college town.  Clean, sunny, great little restaurants and shops.  We ate at Firestone grill twice.  SLO is all the good parts of Palo Alto with a beach and without the d-bags.

We had a lot of fun, even though Huelan was sick off and on.  Congested and snotty, a weird combination, and hard to shake.  But during her scheduled doctor visit, the doc wasn't concerned.  By the way, she's in the 90th percentile in height and 75th in weight.  Not a small child.

Lots of birthdays in July, too!

Here are some pics from this month

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011


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Huelan keeps us constantly amused and amazed with her growing vocab.  We are trying to get her to be bilingual, and we are seeing the early signs of her picking it up.  About 90% of what she hears everyday is english, and she defnitely understands a lot of what she hears. About 90% of what she hears from Ba is Vietnamese, though, and it looks like it's making an impact.  She has probably 3-4 VN words of her 15-18 total words.  We've got a long way to go!

Though I think her first word was Ba, I don't really count that as her first Vietnamese word.  Her first VN word is probably "nuoc," which means water.  When we were in Maui, the first second we got to the beach, she must have exclaimed "Nuoc!" 40 times in succession- it was awesome. 

She is also getting very good with names.  She can't say as many names as she knows, but when we say names from our families, she will point to the correct person without hesitation.  My favorite name, though, is the one she gave herself.  About two months ago, Gosia told me that Huelan would point to the mirror and call herself Nyo-Nyo.  When we point to her and ask her, "Who's that?" she'll answer, through her dimply, toothy smile, "Nyo-Nyo!"  We could do it all day, and sometimes we do.

Some pics from Fathers' Day, Mateo Brodrick, Sydney Kate, and Stella

Monday, June 20, 2011

Efficiency Post!

The last few months kinda got away from us!  We've been having a blast with Huelan and had some great adventures, but with me starting my new (old) job and chasing around an increasingly quicker munchkin, blogging got put on the back burner. 

But no more!  We've settled a bit and our major trips are behind us for now, so we are finally catching y'all up. 

In April Huelan met her great-grandfather, who was in SoCal for about a month visiting from Viet Nam.  Huelan is his only great-grandchild, and they had a BLAST. 

Some pics here

In May the big event was our Maui trip, which was even awesome-er than anticipated.  Huelan absolutely loved the beach and the pool, just couldn't get enough.  We were there for a wedding, and it was picture perfect, on a bluff overlooking the ocean. 

As you can tell, Maui treated us well.  We shared a condo with Melinda, Sienna and Yvonne, in a complex with a bunch of other friends.  We basically ate a bunch and spent a lot of time at the pool and beach.  The best move, however, was crashing the pool at the Four Seasons on our last full day.  Posh.  I even got to play golf.

Some awesome pics here

And I might as well throw in some vids as well:

Huelan and Sienna cutting it up at the Maui wedding:

First time at the beach- picked a nice one!

She gets this from her Ba Noi:

And finally, yesterday was Fathers' Day.  Great day with the fams- hanging out in the sun, occassionally checking in on Rory, and stuffing my face with BBQ. Happy Fathers's Day to me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Catching up

We've been having so much fun with Huelan, even as she gets harder and harder to keep up with.  It's just fun to be around her as she finds new ways to entertain herself and to get us involved with her games.  A little while ago, she was obsessed with belly buttons.  She would point at her navel, then point to you and expect you to show yours.  Totally calling you out.  She would even look for belly buttons on her toys and dolls. 

She has moved on from that a little bit and is now into stairs.  Which is kind of scary, but she pretty much sticks to the bottom two.  She'll sit on that bottom stair, which conveniently faces a full length mirror, and kick her feet.  She'll come and grab one of us by the hand and bring us over to the stair and sit and play with her.  We climb with her all the way up, and help her down.  When we're out and there are stairs, she can play on them for a half an hour. 

One of the difficult things with her getting a little more aware is that she has developed considerable separation anxiety.  When either of us leaves the room, unless she is totally engaged in a game of her own, she gets a big sad face and might even cry.  It's totally endearing, but it can flip to heart-wrenching when
I have to pry her off my leg and go to work, leaving tears welling up in her eyes.  Boo.

But then, the minute we walk in, she lights up and dashes over - the payoff.

Horsey ride

Surprise ending!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011


...we are a little behind.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Goodnight Moon

She loves her bedtime storytime.

After this we watched PTI...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Life of the party

Wow the difference between 12 and 13.5 months is huge!  She has always had a personality, but she is showing us so much more of it now, especialy since we are bringing her out more and around more people.  She absolutely loves parties.  One of the things that we get a kick out of is that Huelan doesn't know that we're headed to a party until we get there.  But as soon as she sees the people and hears the chatter, she just lights up, eyes wide and toothy smile.  After that, she pretty much owns the party.

Gosia and Grandma have been very productive with Huelan during their days together.  She's getting to know her songs, and will show you her Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.  She learned how to operate many of her toys, and especially likes the loud ones that play repetitive music.  Again and again. 

Probably the biggest changes have to do with communication.  She has a very limited vocab, but she has a few words she really likes. And she can name pretty much anything you point at, as long as it's a bird, ball, duck or turtle.  Of course pointing and grunting are still mainstays.

January Pics

February Pics

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's My Party

We've had a tough time keeping up with Huelan the last couple of weeks!

I have a ton of pics to comb through still, but I figured I'd post these from her Bay Area Birthday today - thanks to all who were able to help us celebrate! Though the year went by fast, the great news is that we're expecting many more great ones.

Some pics from today

Also some pics from Dave's camera
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