Shirley, you must be joking!

Dear Mai,

All this growing up business is for the birds. You think you're pretty cool these days with your slick talk and your confidence growing right along with your height. Just be careful; you have funny, funny parents. I remember when your mother and I were first married many, many moons ago (or like 14 years or something like that), we used to watch late night TV together. You'll know you're in a good relationship when you like each other's company so much you stay up late watching or doing something dumb just to hang out together, but I digress. I remember watching old episodes of this sitcom called "Roseanne." We used to say to each other, "someday if we have a kid we're going to model our parenting style on Roseanne and Dan." Unfortunately for you it comes all too natural for us.

Maya: "Daddy, can I please play with your phone?"

Daddy: "No sweetie, the battery is almost dead and it needs charging. Besides it is past bedtime."

Maya: (going for the oscar) "I won't play with a phone ever again! You never let me do nothing!"

Daddy: "First off, you mean I never let you do anything and second drop the tude or you won't be playing my phone ever again for reals."

Maya: (now with almost real tears) "I'm LEAVING! I'm going to get my stuff, pick up Emma and we're going to California!"

Daddy: "Can you take Tito too? He's being a pain in the tookus tonight too. Mommy and I will meet you down there later."

Maya: (storms off in more frustration than a 4 y/o should ever have)

Daddy: (finishes his dinner in peace)

Then much later when the whole California thing didn't pan out, we're getting ready for bed. Mommy and I are playing a ferocious game of words with friends with each other while laying in bed waiting for you to pick out a book. 

Maya: "You two need to make up. seriously. give each other a hug and stop fighting."

Mommy: "We're not fighting. I'm just kicking your Daddy's butt!" (She's not by the way)

Maya: "Just give each other a hug please"

Mommy: (exchanging hugs with your awesome Daddy whispers some of dopest smack talk you can deliver while hugging and whispering)

Maya: "I heard that. That's not making up."

Mommy: "What? We made up. What did you hear?"

Maya: "I will DESTROY you! Surely you can make up better than that."

Daddy: "I suppose we can sweetie. Just don't call me Shirley."

Maya: (Laughs but is obviously frustrated) "No. I said SURE-LY."

Daddy: "Right. That's not my name. Don't call me Shirley"

Maya: "UGH! No. Its like 'FOR REAL' for real and Surely mean the same thing?"

Daddy: "You mean someone has the name 'For Real'? And please stop calling me Shirley. Seriously."

Maya: (storms off in total frustration)

Mommy: "Back to plan California?"

Mommy and Daddy erupt in fits of laughter and continue the bitter words with friends game.

This is only the beginning hot shot. Not only are we funny but we're masters of sarcasm. You might not know what sarcasm is yet. You know what I always say about things you don't know; practice, practice, practice. Unfortunately you might be on the wrong end of sarcasm practice for a bit. 

Its all in good fun my sweet little princess. We're actually probably creating a monster with our "good fun" but hey, nobody's perfect. It's just so much fun messing with little kids! 

In other news you and I hit another all ages concert at the record store. You made a boyfriend at the show. Let's hope that's not a trend. At one point you and him were standing on the side and he started giving you a belly-bump. I was thinking wow. That's inappropriate. Starting a mosh pit at an acoustic rock show. His dad scolded him: "Dude! Never, ever give a girl a belly-bump. Ever!"

Mama has two days off with you a week and takes you everywhere. I could post all day long and still not keep up with all your activities. Most recently you and baby Finley like playing together at the various kid play zones in the area. It's so weird for me seeing you as the big kid.

We're having fun kiddo. Please know that if you're reading this at some point in your crazy teen years and get all made at us we love you very much. We also love to have fun but we like to mix the two up sometimes. 

Love you very much kiddo,


A few words from the princess fairy

Dear Mai,

Its beed awhile since I've posted. I have so much to catch you up on, we've been very active this summer. But this is not that post. This post is about your dialogue.

We agreed to make mommy a veggie tray for a baby shower she's going to today. We were getting ready to go and I wanted to check out who this Jason Kerston was since he's playing at the record store tonight. So I'm at my computer watching one of his videos when i feel the eyes of a watchful child from behind me.

Maya: "Umm... shouldn't you be researching veggie trays?"

As we get into the car...

"Hey daddy as soon as mommy goes to the shower, we can do whatEVER we want!"

On the way to the store black sabbath came on...

Daddy: (singing and headbanging to war pigs)

Maya: "Umm. Shouldn't you be concentrating on driving instead of rocking out?"

At home you were helping get the veggies and the dips ready.

Maya: (takes off apron and leaves the kitchen) "I'm done with all this 'working' stuff."

After everything is ready and looks very nice.

Maya: "I wish i was having a sister so we could have a shower. Waah."

Mommy: "You would have to share all your stuff with your little sister."

Maya: "Woah! I don't want that!"

Daddy: "So you don't want a sibling, you just want a party with people and food."

Maya: "YES! Let's do THAT!"

what are we going to do with our crazy little girl!



1st cooking concoction

Dear Mai,

Today was the first day you created a "dish" all by yourself. It's a right of passage I think for kids. Today was a pretty good mix. I worry for what is coming.

So today you and I cooked dinner together. I find myself unemployed again, by choice, and I actually have some time before starting my next gig. Having a little time off has inspired me to start cooking again. Tonight was your favorite corn on the cob, pork chops and some beans. You totally helped and shucked all the corn and helped spice the pork chops. You said it was so much fun and wanted to do it more. You want a little apron and your own cooking utensils. I think we need to take advantage of this.

As we waited for stuff to cook, you wanted to cook more. I was cleaning up so i let you open the fridge a few times to get things out. Scary? Yes. But this is what it is all about. Experimenting and having the freedom to experiment and try new things. I just let you go, terrified of the end result.

Maya: "Daddy, Daddy! I'm done making our salad!"
Daddy: (holds breath) "great! Lemme see!"

You made a peach, spinach and mixed nut salad! Impressive! Luckily i talked you out of the skittles. You settled for having a side of cracker jacks.

Of course you took one bite and said "The rest is for you daddy." I have a feeling I'm going to be eating a lot of gross things in the near future.

Keep on experimenting my budding little chef!



Bus talk

Dear Mai,

We're starting to have more interesting conversations on our commute to your school. I'm not the best planner in the world and busses are all about timing. We have to catch a certain bus to get you there in time for breakfast. If we miss that then we have to do breakfast at home. Of course busses are notoriously late or early so that adds to the fun. It seems like just yesterday i wrangled together a breakfast of champions consisting of pirate booty and a chocolate bar. After a quick tooth brushing we ran to our stop. I looked at you and realized i didn't wipe your face. Is it bad that i thought you looked like Tyrone Biggums from the Chappelle show? Don't judge me, that show was comedy genius. 

I'm getting better and we're getting our routine down. We even have time for doing a live action role playing version of candyland on our walk most mornings. And the conversations. The conversations are giving me a glimpse of what is happening in that complex little mind of yours. The other day you asked what is that on the ceiling of the bus?

I said "that's an emergency exit." As soon as the words came out of my mouth i regretted saying that. The next 10 minutes were filled with your crazy questions dreaming up the worst situations why someone would need an emergency exit on a bus. I had to reassure you that our volcano was not going to erupt causing hot, molten lava to instantly come on our bus, causing a big fire, causing us to use the emergency exit, save everyone else then have to walk the rest of the way to school. Luckily you asked what the other thing was. I was able to divert the original conversation by telling you that was a camera and talk to you about big brother and our dwindling lack of privacy as a nation. I believe you then asked for your bus snack.

Stay inquisitive my silly little girl!



If this is 4, what is 14 going to be like?

Dear Mai,

Today was ridiculous. We were trying to head out of the house for a quick road trip and this hit. The sad club.

Mommy and I were trying to have fun and said "c'mon! Join the fun team! We're ready to go!" Which you moped to the chair at the opposite end of the room and replied "I'm in the sad team"

So not only did you pull your typical 4 y/o BS like us asking you to put on your shoes and you took off your socks instead, but we also had to deal with this emo driven, teen-like BS!

At one point we were on track again and then you slipped back into your morrisey loving like behavior, "I'm in the nothing club." And you sauntered off with your head down at the slowest, saddest pace i could ever imagine. Drama. Wow.

You also have this fixation with taking something, anything upstairs when it's nighttime. Yesterday you took up the chair cushion. What is that? Is that normal 4 y/o behavior? Ayiyi...

Love you my complex little girl,


The haircut

Well Mai,

You did it. You earned a rite of passage as a kid. You took matters, and your safety scissors, into your own hands and did it. You cut your own hair.

Now let me walk you through a bit of history here. At one point we were a bit worried about when you hair was going actually grow. The following pictures were all taken between February and April every year from 0 - 4 respectively.

 At age zero, nothing. Okay, most kids don't have heads of hair at zero. We're okay.

Age 1. You pretty much have the same "hair" as you did when you were zero.

Age 2. You finally have "some" hair but it is all kind of weird still. 

Age 2.5. It's finally growing in a bit. Ironically your hair in these pics look a bit like you look now.

Age 3. HAIR!

I remember when I first saw this picture of you at 3.5 and the first think I thought was "holy crap! She has mommy hair!"

Age 4: it's even longer! You kept saying that you loved your hair and you wanted Rapunzel hair so you were never going to get it cut.

This picture was taken 4 weeks ago, last week of April, 2016. Um, first off, where did you learn that move? Second, your hair is well on it's way to Rapunzel like.

A few days ago I came home to this.

Mommy and I were shocked. So shocked we upset you! When we finally came to grips with it your rational was "I wanted to see if I could do it. Cut my own hair." In all reality it could have been worse and you didn't do a bad job. For a four year old. With safety scissors. Who couldn't really see anything hiding in a corner. Oh, and doesn't know a thing about hair cutting. Afterward we talked a lot about how all kids do crazy things. Mommy told some stories when she was a kid and so did I. Our Facebook friends listed all kinds of stories of their kids doing the same thing. You loved hearing those stories. I think it made you feel better. 

We did pop into a kid salon to do a quick "fix-it" cut.


and after!

Who knows what you'll do now. You say you want to grow it long again but you also like it short. It's up to you baby, it's your head crazy town!



A girl and her dog

Dear Mai,

Well, we've had Tito for over a year now and you guys are good buddies. When he first got here you could tell he was timid and careful around you. Now that he has become used to you and realized you aren't a fragile little thing he doesn't mind bowling you over every now and then. That is okay. It's a small price to pay for the amount he puts up with you.

He has to play dress up with you

He has to obey your every command and wait for his treats. (and your scraps. Kids drop a lot of food)

And pose for pictures with you

but mostly just hang out and play with you

He loves his family time

but sometimes just waits for you

All this makes for a tired boy. That's okay as long as he has his lamb-y with him

I'm glad Tito found his forever home with us. It's awesome seeing you grow up with him. Foster and Stella where perfect companions for Mommy and Daddy pre-baby life and Tito is a great fit for this phase. We love our dogs. It's funny, dogs weren't a part of my life until I met Mommy but now I can't imagine life without a large canine creature.

Love you sweet pea,


Take your daughter to work day

Dear Mai,

Today was the first time we participated in national take your kid to work day.... and you were fantastic. Respectful of everyone, funny and social. You attended two hour long meetings and were just perfect. 

We have this app called "maily" and it is your first electronic messaging system. I feel bad for both grandma's and mommy. Part of your "being good" included unfederated access to my phone. Lots of maya messages today.

You are so tired right now my sweet girl but trucking through an early dinner and dessert! 

Oh and it's uncle chuck's birthday! Happy birthday uncle chuck!

Love you sweer pea,



Dear Mai,

On Thursday the world lost an icon. I don't normally get all emotional or anything with deaths from people that I don't know but this one hit me. Prince Rogers Nelson died April, 21 and I will forever remember where I was when I heard.

I feel that as a parent one of my duties is to make sure you are exposed to good music. Music has played such an important and constant part of my life I can't imagine what I would be without it. I felt ashamed of myself that I hadn't introduced you to much Prince prior to this weekend. When I got home from work on Thursday Mommy had already started in and explained to you who Prince was. You of course immediately liked his tunes.

On Friday morning as Mommy was getting ready to leave for work she was singing purple rain.

Maya: "Aw mommy. Are you sad Prince got dead and that's why you can't stop singing his songs?"

Friday night we had a little dance party and you got a brief education on some Prince tunes. I have to say you liked everything we played and I was impressed that you liked "Sometimes it snows in April" so much. That is probably one of my favorite Prince tunes.

Today was Daddy and Maya fun day and you were bummed to hear that we couldn't listen to Prince in the car. At the moment his music isn't instantly available on the music services I use. I can't get over the amount of instant gratification you and your generation is going to rely on. 

Before bed tonight I found a poor quality video rendition of Raspberry Beret. You loved it and made us watch it 4 times. When you first saw him in the video:

Maya: "That's Prince! He's in his jammies."

Maya: "What is Raspberry braid?"

Daddy: "It's Raspberry Beret. A Beret is a kind of hat and calling it Raspberry means it is a shade of red."

Maya: "so like... Red hat?"

Daddy: "In essence yes. But it would be boring if he sang 'she wore re-ed, hat' wouldn't it"

Maya: (bursts into laughter) "Yes Daddy. You're funny. Red hat is boring"

(after another time of you intensely watching the video)

Maya: "Oh. Actually I remembered something. It was me wearing the Raspberry Beret."

Daddy: "Oh really? This song is about you?"

Maya: "Yes. and Prince."

Daddy: "When I used to live on seal island."

So let me explain "seal island." You started making up this whole life you had prior to living with us many months ago. You used to live on Seal Island. It started with you talking about your Grandma. Not my mommy or Mommy's mommy. Your other Grandma with Flowers in her hair that lived on Seal Island too. Since then we just started rolling with the whole thing and you have all kinds of things you did when you lived there. I think you used to be a real fairy on Seal Island too. So saying that you wore a Raspberry Beret on Seal Island isn't too much of a shocker. However...

Maya: "Ah yes. And I've met Prince before"

Daddy: "Interesting. I'm assuming on Seal Island?"

Maya: "No. In Portland. At one of his concerts."

Daddy: "..."

You're an odd duck little one. I'm a little worried about how much you have been mesmerized by Prince. I love that you like the tunes but I don't know what I would do if you ever bring someone home "like" Prince. Aw hell, you're going to do you own thing. The best I can hope for is that we raise you to be a confident, strong woman that can handle her own. 

But anyway... Prince. Yeah. This is a loss for the world Mai. Just like always, the best we can do is let him live on through celebrating what he have us and listening to his tunes. I plan on hitting the record store tomorrow for breakfast. Maybe I'll buy you your first Prince vinyl. 

Here are some random picks from our Daddy and Maya fun day. Other thoughts from the day. You prefer our local Chinese hole in the wall restaurants over places like P.F. Changs. Mommy did an awesome job on your hair trying to give you Princess Leia inspired braids. You wear it well no matter what ensemble you pick out and look like a seasoned city girl waiting for the light rail. I wore you out today to the point where you fell asleep. On the train. While eating a chocolate lollipop. You're tall enough to pretty much stretch out the full length of our couch and look like a teenager. 

Keep rocking my Princess..



Weekend conversations

Dear Mai,

We had an awesome weekend. I'm transitioning jobs again so theoretically I was unemployed for 3 days. I should have taken a longer break. It was carefree and liberating. 

Saturday we headed to Gig Harbor. Great weather, views and a relaxing ferry trip. The only minor setback was you having a total Wipeout. Just kid stuff, running down a ramp. Well that ramp had a cliff. Boom. Down go Maya. You don't take falls and owies well. "There's blood! THERE'S BLOOD!!!" was heard loud and clear on the Gig Harbor waterfront. Momma has the right words though:

Maya: "I was just crying, crying and crying!"

Mama: "That's what happens! We all fall, bleed a little. Then it's just a little clean up, a bandaid and no more crying! Everything is going to be okay!"

Maya: "Really? I didn't know that!"

Although I've never seen anyone, especially a four year old nurse a knee scrape quite like you. You we're actually limping for about 20 minutes after. "I don't think I can walk any more dada. I never want to use a ramp again."

Sunday was just a normal Maya / Daddy fun day. Record store, farmer's market, a target run and some water fun with the hose. Yup. It is actually warm enough for water fights. In Seattle. In April. Sometimes you and I lolly gag around and take forever. Mama tried to give us advice about being quick and not buying the entire store on our target run.

Mama: "You guys should just think. What would mama do?"

Maya: "watch TV?"

Daddy: (shuffling our little comedian out the door) "let's just go Mai."

Today on our walk to the bus:

Maya: "Aw Daddy. Why did you kill that little bug?"

Daddy: "Oh I'm sorry little bug! I didn't mean to kill you! I didn't see you!"

Maya: "He can't hear you Daddy. He got dead. You killed him. By stepping on him."


Maya: "What is that awful smell?"

Daddy: "Mulch. See right there. That's mulch. It helps keep gardens looking nice."

Maya: "I don't like mulch. It's not my style."

You definitely have you're own style kiddo!