Bedtime routine

Dear Mai,

We just arrived home yesterday from another whirlwind Ohio trip. It was a fantastic trip. We had such a good time and I have so many good stories to share but I wanted to share this one with you. It happened tonight, it's funny, sweet and speaks volumes about your personality and things that stick with you. 

First let me introduce your buddies Wyatt and Sophia to the blog. They are both a few years older than you and Wyatt has been excited to meet you since you were born. When you were zero he was 3, he hadn't met you yet but kept telling his parents "I can't wait to see baby Mica Rose." Wyatt has quite the personality which I'm sure you know by the time you're able to read this post. Wyatt and Sophia are two of your Ohio buddies that you see at least once a year. Since they're older I think what they say has more impact on you. It's the whole "older kid" syndrome. I love that you know them at least a little bit and more than just the occasional person. They're parents are good people. 

Of course I don't have any pictures of you three from this past visit because when then came over you wanted to impress them so you spent pretty much the entire time in the bathroom putting on and washing off temporary tattoos... and you're a little be cray cray.

Anyhow, tonight was the first night in a long time we did our bedtime routine. We read some books and then I tucked you in by singing you some songs and having a little chat as I tuck you in. As much as I know that you are a master at stalling in going to bed and you abuse me in the nighttime tuck routine, I love it. No matter what is happening at work or whatever, I always try to make it home in time to tuck you in every night. Most of the nights are routine but every now and then there is some substance in our little bedtime chats. Here was our conversation tonight. You pretended to hide under your covers and said:

Maya: (dramatically pulling covers off head) "BOO!!!"

Daddy: "Whoa! You scared me!"

Maya: "Like really scare you? Like scare you in your heart or scare you in your brain?"

Daddy: (thinks he knows what you mean) "Umm... my brain. I was just playing with you."

Maya: "Phew. I didn't want to scare you in your heart. Did you know I had a scare in my heart?"

Daddy: "Um no? What do you mean?"

Maya: "Well Wyatt said that if you have a nightmare and have a high bunk bed you will crack your head open. And then you'll have to go to the R.V."

Daddy: (trying to quickly process) "Do you mean E.R?"

Maya: "YES! The E.R.! He told me that and it scared me! In my heart!"

Daddy: "Oh no sweetie! You don't have to be scared. Did that happen to him?"

Maya: "I dunno. I checked his head and didn't see any brain but I was really scared I'd crack my head"

Daddy: "Well don't worry. You're not in any danger of cracking your head and Mommy and Daddy are right in the next room, okay?"

Maya: "Okay. Phew! One more song and then one more kiss / hug from Mommy?"

Daddy: "Of course my sweet pea." (breaks into the chorus of "American Pie")

Sleep well my princess and no nightmares!




Dear Mai,

Sometimes you just kill me. I can't stand how friggin cute you are! okay, I'm biased but I tell ya.

This is Ellie. She is your most prized possesion next to pink blanket. Before you leave to go anywhere you leave her somewhere where she can see and you kiss her goodbye. You are totally into crafting and accessorizing these days. Today you gave her on of your barretts. so. stinkin. cute.



Dear @Santa, ISO 3 items for Xmas. kthxbye, <3 Mai

Dear Mai,

The whole Santa situation has taken many turns in your short time on this planet. We thought we turned a corner last year when you went and visited Santa. We thought for sure that this year you'd be geeked to see him! We even booked a trip on the Santa train this year! This was our conversation before we left.

Mommy: "Maya, aren't you so excited to get on the Santa train to meet Santa?"

Maya: "The Santa train? Is that like the Polar Express?

Mommy: "Yep!"

Maya: "I know it's not the real Polar Express though. The real Polar Express goes to the North Pole. The real North Pole is really far away. We wouldn't have time to get there by train today."

Daddy: (with exhaustion and admiration) "You're right. This is just the Santa train. Santa is visiting Snoqualmie where your friend Noe lives. We get to take the train to see him there!"

Maya: "Can I wear my pajamas like in Polar Express and each chocolate nougats and hot chocolate with marshmallows?"

Daddy: "No pajamas."

Mommy: "But they'll have cookies and hot chocolate!"

Maya: "With marshmallows?"

Daddy: "Yes. Probably. They might have marshmallows."

Maya: "Fine then. I'll go. I'm not talking to Santa though."

Daddy: (wondering how early is too early for Bourbon) "What?!?! You loved Santa last year. PLUS you have to tell him what you want for Christmas!"

Maya: (groaning) "Ugh. Can't we just text him?"

Daddy: (goes in search of Bourbon)

Mommy: "No way! You have to tell him in person! Santa is old school!"

Maya: "Fine. Let's go"

Well, we took the train, had cookies and hot chocolate. (no marshmallows, you don't even like hot chocolate anyhow) and had a fun time. You were still pretty nervous about Santa. While we were waiting in line you were practicing what you wanted to tell him and made me promise to hold your hand while you talked to him. BUT, by the time we got in there and you had a conversation with Santa's brother, Bells Nichols, you marched right up to Santa and sat on his lap. You weren't nervous at all. In fact you were very serious and told him exactly what you wanted:

Maya: "Hi Santa. For Christmas I only want three things. Barbie's dream house, Doc Stuffins toy hospital and Barbie Camper like Grandma has."

We've been trying to explain to you that Santa can't bring everything you ask for. BUT, if you're a good girl, I'm sure he'll bring you something from your list. If so, maybe we can send him a thank you email. You know, get the old man up to speed on technology. ;-)

Love you sweet pea,


Christmas Elf

Dear Mai,

We've been upping our Christmas game every year. This year we have already done a ton of Christmas stuff and have a lot in the works. Today you woke up to find your Elf on the shelf on your table.

Mai: "Daddy, Daddy! Look what showed up!"

Daddy: "Wow! That's cool, he must of came in last night"

Mai: "I know he is just a decoration."
Daddy: "What do you mean? He's your elf that shows up every year."

Mai: "Yeah but he's not real. He's just a decoration. He came from a box."

Daddy: "What? He's from the north pole isn't he?"

Mai: "Nope."

Daddy: "But doesn't Santa live in the North Pole?"
Mai: "Yes"

Daddy: "And the elves live with Santa right?"

Mai: "Yes. But this one is just a decoration. I know a lot about the North Pole Dada."

Daddy: "Maybe he's like Pinocchio. He's a doll but he becomes a real elf at night when we're sleeping in bed."

Mai: "Well that's a little creepy."

You're too funny and smart my little Christmas Elf.



We did it

Dear Mai,

We did it. We voted in this crazy, circus of an election. (okay, we actually voted about a week ago) Today it all ends. (hopefully) I am proud of you for your involvement. You and I watched every single debate, while playing play-doh of course. You are excited to find out who wins and I can't wait to watch it with you. You are not to be silenced!

I went as Ken Bone for Halloween and we were at a restaurant over the weekend and a political commercial came on. "Daddy, I saw who you went as for Halloween on the TV!" I guess the costume was good. :)

At one point you saw something else on TV mention the election in passing and you screamed, "Are they doing it! Are they choosing now! I don't want to miss who wins!" At one point during the debates you even drew a picture of Hillary and The Donald.

Whoever wins tonight it will be okay. We're hoping for our candidate but remember in the future that despite all the campaign negativity, ugliness and unreasonable dichotomy in the United States, we're all more alike than different as people. We live in an incredible country. Love and honor country but visit other countries too. Visit, explore and learn. It's important to understand different views of the world. You'll love our United States even more. Be fierce. Be powerful. Be fabulous. Be intelligent. Be Maya.

Love you sweet pea,

Daddy & Mommy

Sailing on the "Dora"

Dear Mai,

A few weeks back you and I were just bumming around town and we stumbled upon the Center for Wooden Boats at South Lake Union. It was one of the last bright sunny days of the season and what do you know, they had a final sailing on their only battery powered boat named Dora. 

We had no idea but every Sunday, year round, is free public sail day. They take people out for a short ride on the lake. We had no idea and apparently they usually fill up fast. We got there around 2 pm and we were perfectly happy just walking along the docks when you heard someone call a boat "Dora." We went over to it, talked to the captain and he said he was looking for a few more people to go on one final tour. Perfect timing for us! We got to see and learn more about lake union, living on the water and all that jazz. I had no idea that there are city "streets" (canals) within the little house boat neighborhoods. 

We got up close with the Sleepless in Seattle house boat. (it's a movie that you'll have to watch at some point in your life if for nothing else to see some iconic landmarks of your beloved little city)

It was an awesome time and we had some great views of Seatteale.

You said, "that was so much fun Daddy but maybe the boat ride was just a little bit too long." Being on a boat out in the sun is tiring for my sweet girl!

We capped off our day with your favorite, dumplings! You were still pretty tired from our little excursion.

But once the dumplings came, you were after them. The restaurant (one of our favs), Din Tai Fung, has "training" chopsticks. Yay for me! </sarcasm> I couldn't imagine a world were it took you longer to eat than normal. I was wrong. You picked up each individual piece of rice with these damn things.

You have swimming class once a week in school now. Hopefully you can become an excellent swimmer soon and we can up our water game to renting our own boat > canoe > paddle board. Baby steps.

Love you sweet pea,



Dear Mai,

We saw this sign the other day on a Maya / Daddy adventure day. I just asked you if I could take a picture of you in front of the sign and you struck a pose. Perfect. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Work it girl!

Now dance!

Drive it on home!

Okay. Don't ever drive like that. Ever. Good night princess.



Miss Indy Pendant

Dear Mai,

I'm trying to post one a night, every night until January 1, 2017. Day 2. Let's do this.

You know Mai, as a parent, we just want what's best for our little people. Sometimes knowing what's best is difficult. I know I'm a bit too lenient but hopefully we're on a good path. One of my friends gave me some advice about a year ago when we were out having a few beers. We were talking about the whole "testing boundaries" phase and he said "let them have one thing." His advice was to let you have one thing you own. One thing that is yours. One thing that you control alone. One thing that helps you build your confidence that let's you grow. I decided that one thing was going to be your wardrobe. Okay that might not have been the best decision but yes, I don't have control over wardrobe decisions these days. Okay, in full disclosure that is probably not the "one" thing I let you own either. I'm weak to your cuteness powers. 

Most mornings when I get you ready for school, go like this. Mommy leaves clothes out before she leaves for work. We wake up late and have to rush. You come busting into our room, already dressed. "Daddy. I'm wearing this to school."

Fine. Whatever. That pic is from when it was just starting to get cooler this year. I had to coax you into putting on tights. The other day you came bursting in with the same exact outfit. You love fancy dresses and this is one of your favs. But this day it was 40 degrees outside. I tried to get you into pants and a long sleeve shirt. Nope. You were having none of that. Okay I say, tights and a sweater over the top? Nope. Tights make you cold (WTH? Really?) and you don't want to cover your pretty dress. I finally make the impression that it's cold outside and convince you to change. You come back into our room 5 minutes later:

Whatever. You'll be warm.

During the night when we're sleeping you apparently go through several outfit changes. In the morning we find your dresser and closet ransacked and you usually have a skirt on. Sometimes your skirt is over your PJs. We don't ask questions anymore. On weekend mornings 9 times out of 10 you show up in our room in this dress.

This is your favorite by far right now. You call it your Christmas dress. We're trying to get you not to wear it so much so we can wear it to an actual Christmas event. Whatever, do what you need to do man. At least we moved on from the yellow, spaghetti strap summer dress. I can't believe I don't have a picture of that but you wore that all summer long.

Independence doesn't end with clothing either. You're trying to manipulate us to having a Halloween party for you. By manipulating I mean Mommy overheard you talking to your friend Emma, her brother and their mom the other day about your Halloween party. Mommy was like "Um, what Halloween party?" Emma's mom said "oh, she's been talking about it for weeks." Funny. First we heard of it. When asked about this you obviously just assumed we were going to have one because you had already picked out a few recipes from a cookbook that I'm supposed to make for the party.

You just started "threatening" us that you are going to wake up by yourself, get changed, head downstairs, turn on the TV to some recorded versions of Elena of Avalor and cook yourself breakfast. While in reality this sounds like heaven for us, we're a tad bit frightened by this. I guess you've already made your own waffles. (okay toaster kind. sue me)

You've also poured your own cup of milk and cereal before. You're a professional corn husker. You like to use your scissors to cut every hair and leaf. You take awhile for one ear but you're thorough.

More importantly you've also been able to fetch us beers. I think this is one of most parents' proudest moments.

You have a chore that you earn real money by doing. You feed Tito every most nights.

You and Tito like to team up these days. The other day we yelled at Tito for doing some stupid dog thing. You: "Come here poor Tito. It's okay. They shouldn't yell at you." He eats your attention up!

In fact, I think you've influenced his behavior. You have this weird habit of having to bring something upstairs to bed with you every night. It has to be something from downstairs that usually doesn't come up. This has been going on since you were 2 I think. Very strange. Guess who's following your lead?

Yup. Every night I come up to bed, Tito absolutely has to grab one of his toys and bring it up stairs too. So strange.

Well my sweet little girl, let's hope this independence is good and you're growing up strong and not too spoiled. 

Love you to pieces,


Country Girl

Dear Mai,

I should preface this post by saying you are not a country girl. At all. You are 100% city much to your mama's dismay. You can dress the country part and wear it well but as soon as we got to this place you asked me to carry you because the grass was getting in your boots. After a near meltdown, avoided by seeing large pumpkins, you got used to it and had a blast but it was a little bit of a ridiculous start. Anywho, I digress...

The rain has kicked in here in Seattle but I feel like we snuck in a lot of summertime fun this year. A few weeks back we did our annual Pumpkin pickin trip. This year we decided to change it up and hit a farm that had some apple pickins going on too. We've always wanted to go apple picking out here and we finally did... and the apples? They were delicious! We bought just enough apples that we could eat and some we could cook with. You're pretty into *trying* to help cook these days. I said I wanted to make an apple crisp. Your version of an apple crisp included: apples, cinnamon, sugar, chocolate, chocolate milk, chicken soup, dumplings, raisins and orange juice. This was a different version than what I wanted to do for apple crisp. We were at an impasse. We just ate those apples. But we had fun!

This place was called "The Farm at Swan's Trail" and it was up in Snohomish county. We did some apple picking, went on a tractor / hay ride, got a few pumpkins, you had your first ever caramel apple and got to play in their little kid zone. They had this hay maze that you and Mommy went through. I was waiting to see you guys come out to get a few pics and as soon as you saw the camera you started posing. You crack me up. See camera, must pose. You can see in these picks that you tried to pose ever step down from the maze. Too funny kiddo. 

Here are some highlights of our day set to the tune of "See what I can see" by Frances England, one of your favorite music persons. 

Thanks for a good time kiddo! Grandma is coming out soon so she can help carve our pumpkins up for Halloween!

Love you sweet pea,


Through your eyes

Dear Mai,

Well we just got back from a great little vacation. We took a long road trip to Northern California to see some redwoods and spend some R&R time on the coast. One of the things that Mommy and I discovered on the trip is that you like to take pictures. We picked up an iPhone for you a few months back. Now wait one minute, what is a kid doing with an iPhone you ask? Relax. It was free from a friend. You don't have any kind of wireless / data service or anything. We figured we could get some games for you and it will help us all out on road trips. And it does. A lot. A 4 y/o on a road trip is a lot to take without distractions. You recently got back from an Ohio vacation and as you were getting in our car: "I wish we had a magic car like Aunt Linda's. She has T.V.s in her magic car." Sorry kiddo, no magic TVs in cars. 

Anywho, back to the pictures. Most of the over 1,000 (literally) pictures you have on your phone are just what you'd imagine a kid taking pictures of... a whole lot of nothing. However, there were a few you took from this vacation that stood out. Mommy and I even questioned each other not convinced the other didn't take the pics. So I decided to create a photo blog for you, to archive them. Who knows maybe photography will be your thing and this can be your beginning. Either that or it will just be a place to post bad selfies and a lot of pics of TVs. Anywho, here it is. Your first photoblog with you very own photos:

I'll be posting more of your pics later on that site and more of our trip with our pics here later. 

Learn and be curious my tiny photographer.