Tuesday, December 27, 2016

League Champ

That's what domination looks like.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Real Last day of Kinder

Last day of Kinder. She learned a lot, but might be most proud of this: 

Her first day on the playground, she couldn't even make one link. Now, after hundreds of hours of practice and calluses as thick as turtle shells, she's doing spinning tricks and skipping rings like a ninja warrior. 

There's a metaphor in there somewhere, I'm sure....

I wasn't even thinking of walking her into the yard this morning, but Debbie mentioned that she was going to, so I was inspired. And I'm so glad I did. 

The first half of the year, all Kinders had to be walked in. It gave the parents a chance to watch the kids play and chat with one another. We met some cool families in the 'hood that I'm sure we'll see over the summer. 

The second half of the year, they allowed Kinders to be dropped off in the loading zone- logistically a lot easier, but not nearly as social. I hadn't walked Huelan into the yard in quite a while, so this morning was fun. 

I'm actually not sure what was more emotional for me- her first day of school or her last. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Kinders' Last Days

Oh my it's been such a year! Huelan took the transition to Kindergarden pretty easily, and she spent the year learning a ton, making friends, and surprising us at every turn.  As a family, we had a great year at the school- Liz and I made some new friends and even Lawrence gained some playmates.

The Kinders celebration consisted of Ms. Savage saying a few short words about each student followed by a slide show of pics she'd taken during the year.  And of course there was food.

Hard to encapsulate how we feel about finishing the year... all the parents talked about how time flies in the blink of an eye while the kids run around oblivious as ever to the passage of a(nother) landmark year.  Gotta love Kinders.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Piano Party

Huelan has been taking piano lessons since sometime in January, and this is her first "Piano Party," which is basically a hippie term for a recital.  There were about 20 kids of varying levels, including Sofia and Milo, the sister & brother who she takes her group lesson with.

The first 6-8 weeks were almost torturous- we nearly pulled the plug on the whole endeavor because Huelan just did not want to practice at home (I have a feeling that it was partially due to Milo and Sofia being a few weeks ahead of her, causing her to feel remedial).  But then something just clicked and she started seeing progress, and now she loves to show off her new songs and improvement in the ones she's been practicing.

As someone who has never had an aptitude for playing music, even this modest display of talent (perhaps more so the fact that she stuck to it) makes my heart swell.

Also, Chappell of the Chimes is breathtaking, and we decided that's where we want to be laid to rest. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Weekend mornings are the best. 

(10 mins later they were trying to take each other's heads off.)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

High School Grad!

Today was kind of a nutso day. 

Sophia's graduation was the main event, and Liz went along with much of the family. The kids and I went to gymnastics, followed by Lila's birthday party at Fairyland, which was kind of unstructured, which kind of makes it difficult when I've got both kids. 

But we survived and made it to McCormock & Kuletos right on time for lunch. Which was beautiful- it could not have been a nicer day. But both kids (and I) were kind of worn out a bit by then and there was some of the requisite crankiness. Nothing we couldn't handle though! 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Giants vs. Rockies

I had to stand next to these dumb trophies, but at least we saw the Rockies score a record13 runs in an inning. 

First Daddy Daughter Dance

About a million little girls in an elementary school cafeteria hopped up on licorice, popcorn, & fruit punch. 

More fun than it sounds.

In all honesty, it was set up way cooler than I was anticipating. Lights, balloons, and a decent spread of apps. It was mostly the younger cohort of girls (though Camille, the 5th grade buddy made it), but they were having a blast. The conga line went for about a half an hour. 

At the end of the night, many of the girls got on stage to Macarena, Whip, & Nene- it was incredibly cute. 


Been another sick season- can't believe that we've been able to see this team play upclose. 

Vlad and I went to game 5 of the Semis, which started 15mins late because they presented Steph with the MVP trophy.  Game 5 also ended up being the closeout game, so it was a pretty good night. 


Beyonce puts on quite a show! The show creeped up on us, as we've been really busy since I got Liz the tix for Valentines Day. But we made all the arrangements for kid care and picked a casual (and delicious) ramen spot in San Jose. G & Reva ended up getting tix last minute, too. 

She announced that her favorite song from the Lemonade album is All Night, which is also the song I picked as my favorite, song. I'm cool and tasteful like that. 

Production was awesome and E-40 and Too Short warmed up the crowd. Sweet show, even if we did have to miss game 1 of Warriors vs. OKC (OKC won). 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dr. Mimi Ly!

Well, this was an awesome day!  For as long as I can remember, Mimi has been working toward being a pharmacist.  That probably had a lot to do with Dad, who always wanted one of his girls to be a pharmacist....  The amount of hard work, diligence and dedication can't be understated.  And she did it!

More pics here

Sunday, May 8, 2016


The bush went in May 1- hopefully we got the right variety this time!

Lovely Day for a Nature Walk

The kids both complained about the walk, and we didn't get too far, but they did enjoy the picnic and the tree climbing. 

Mothers Day 2016

Busy weekend, as so many are. Caleb's birthday party at the new Ly Concord house, mom staying here, as Mothers' Day brunch at our place. So many fun and funny moments. I'll memorialize this one here and try to post some more pics later. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Pot Roast

Made this pot roast from one of the last cuts of beef from 1/4 cow that we got last year from Petaluma. 

But the reason for the post isn't the meal (tho it was perfectly juicy & tender!)- I'm showin off the new Lodge enamelled cast iron dutch oven I got for xmas- maiden voyage was a success, a delicious, savory success!

Tooth Fairy

Huelan lost her first tooth Dec 28, then promptly lost her second tooth on Jan 1. She could not be more proud and excited to show off her new gap-toothed grin at school today. 

We were stuggling a tiny bit with how much the Tooth Fairy was going to value each tooth (especially after the long flight from China). Glad we went with the small denomonations. 

Time Lapsed; Auntie Barbara

Oops I almost let another month go by between blog posts!  What can I say, sometimes I am on it, sometimes I slip.  Sometimes, it's just hard to muster some creative energy at the end of a long day.

Several very cool things have happened in the past month, but the funnest might have been Vansen's birthday/4th of July party.  It was just a family affair, so it was very relaxed. It was also a beautiful, sunny day that was begging some water-balloon tossing.

He doesn't quite have the hang of it- luckily for me this one missed.  

Vansen also had his 2yo doctor's appt- shots and general check up.  He weighs in at 36lbs (Huelan weighs 38lbs).  I forget what his height came out to be, but he grew 2.5 inches since our last home measurement, just, four months ago.  Good enough for 99%tile in both height and weight.  Good thing he's a gentle giant for the most part.

Huelan has been busy as ever.  Swimming twice weekly and gymnastics on Saturday mornings have us running around a bit, but she has the energy only kids are blessed with, and it doesn't even phase her.  

One of the awesome things that Huelan has been doing is READING!  She's five-and-a-half, and lots of kids start to read around this age, and she's just doing small words and sentences in the most basic of kid books, but it's definitely reading, which amazes me and just swells me with fatherly pride almost to the point of tears. I just love it.   Pretty soon, she going to be immersing herself in the wonderful world of books and it all starts with, "Kit sat on the mat."

Along with the joyful stuff of the last month, there were some decidedly sad and tragic events.  Auntie Barbara passed after a long battle with the after-effects of a debilitating stroke.  She worked as the banquet manager at the Fairmont San Francisco (where she organized our wedding reception) for over three decades, and as such hosted celebrities and dignitaries from around the world.  She died peacefully and we believe comfortably, but for such a vibrant, outgoing woman to change so drastically after her stroke was truly tragic.  You are loved and missed!

Christmas 2015- Great Christmas, or Greatest Christmas?

I hesitate to call anything perfect, because, really, everything can be a *little* better, but this Christmas was as close to perfect as any family holiday can be.

First, let's start with the obvious- no travel for/with any of the kiddos simplified matters for all involved.  Having the kids sleep in their own beds just made it all easier, which equated to happy, well-rested kids.  The four adults who traveled here did it with aplomb (despite a few minor snags!).  And the house hosted everyone with ease.

We had plenty of delicious food thanks to everyone chipping in with a dish or meal.  Seafood Hot Pot.  Hue food from Ba No's luggage.  Egg casserole.  And crown jewel of Christmas dinner- the prime rib roast.  Eating together is such a great part of the holiday memories!

And of course the kids. There are now three little ones in the youngest generation, and the two older ones are totally stoked on Christmas.  With all the decorations, anticipation, and excitement, they could feel the holidays in the air.

As for the generation up, my cohort, well, our gift to Ba Noi was her first Christmas ever with three grandkids as well as all her kids having a boy/girlfriend.  She was grinning all weekend.

THEN, we had Christmas at Grandma and Papa's!  And we did it all again- family, food, gifts, new-born cousin, and a 6th Birthday party to top it off!

OK, I decided: Greatest Christmas.

Pics here

And the SF Xmas!