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!