Monday, February 13, 2006


Valentine's day, like many holidays, is based on ancient rituals that have been changed to fit the christian tradition.
It is thought that the idea of a lover's holiday started with the Roman celebration honoring Juno, the goddess of women and marriage. February 14 was also the time of Lupercallia, a Roman celebration of spring and fertility.
By about A.D. 270, the church celebrated Valentine's Day in honor of St. Valentinus. Legends says that he died for love, but not his own. He was sentenced to death because he performed forbidden marriage ceremonies for soldiers. The day of the execution, he sent a note to a young daughter of his jailer --- a leaf with the pinpricked message. "From your Valentine."
The first known card was a note written in the 1400s, but it was not till the mid-1600s that cards were common. Men made cards with handwritten notes and elaborate decorations, but left them unsigned.
Printed cards were made by the 1800s; and best known in America were made by Esther A. Howland, who started her New England Valentine Co. in1849.
Times changed and Valentines went from lacy decorations of love to brightly colored cards to almost anything the maker can think of. For Kai and I, we have the digital camera, cyber-technology and patience for me to get the pose I want from him. I think we both did our best. There are moments that he will be distracted, but most of the time he will pose for me. The hardest part is to have him hold the cut-out heart corrugated cardboard with his face showing from the heart shaped hole. I just had to be quick to the "draw" of the shutter, or else it will end up just the top of his head or something else. Of course...he would like to preview every shot. He sat on my lap to look at the downloaded pictures in full view in the computer monitor. We sent the first batch to his "Mommie." After that his pictures was shared with other relatives and friends. So this Valentine's day we did our share of the Pagan celebration according to the Christian tradition..."HAPPY VALENTINE!"

Saturday, February 11, 2006


We had been painting...I set up a place in the living room for our painting session. He was very delighted to see the brushes and paints and can't hardly wait to open the paint containers himself. Kai still has the touch and attitude about doing his art works. I wish I knew how to insert some pictures here, because there are a couple of shots that are really something to behold. I took fourteen pictures, at least eight of them are exceptionally good. I was able to get him in all of his "seriousness," without him conscious that I am taking his pictures...he don't care! He is painting! This is the first time that I took notice how long he will stay painting. Those other times, we just stop when he is ready to stop or I tried to get him to stop. This time, it took 45 minutes...I have to stop him because the brushes were getting muddy, his hands getting paint (I had a wet rag to constantly wipe them), his nose and cheeks were with red paint, not to mention my pants too.
As always, the last resort for our daily routine is to hunt for some snails...we are lucky!...We found eight of them and a big fat slug. The slug fascinated him...this is his first encounter with a slug. He was not so sure what to do with it. Handling it gave him the "eeeu" feeling. He got a stick and started poking the poor slug. All of the snails ended under my foot one at a time..."step on it Umpha!"
We went in, washed our hands, we had tapioca pudding while he was watching TV on my lap. Ate some cookies and bacon and some "i-kim." That was our day together..."bye Umpha...see you later!"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006



I know how exhausting it probably was for Tisha and Mike, but they arrived with their first experience of how it was to tread the pavements of Disneyland with Kai. I can say, "been there and done that!"
Well, no "Oh Oh Oh...Pirate a me!" What came out from his singing was, "It's a Small World After All!" He had been singing that tune the whole day. I am not surprised...he sure has a way of doing things his way.
He did mentioned the "snow monster" that he saw while riding through the Matterhorn mountain...also the bugs and I think he still likes Mickey and Pluto and Goofy, because he talks a lot about them. Maybe next year if they go there again it will be a different story. He will be a little older and will be able to grasp the idea of having fun at the theme park.
There is nothing unusual that happened today, it was like any other day. It was just a routine for all of us. We sat at the computer and I downloaded some Disney characters that delight him. Not much TV, a couple of "Tom and Jerry" and "Super Dog." He does not like the other featured shows..."not that one!" he will say. Before Mike came, Kai wanted to go outside. I opened the front door and we were about to step out. He stood there for a while and said, "It's cold, I go get my jacket." He hasn't been on Jay's truck in a while, so I hauled him up and he played, poking the holes (for attachment of the camper shell). Later on he decided that he would like to be up in the tree which is just in front of us in the curb. He just sat there wedged between the "Y" trunk of the tree, looking up in the sky and saying, "up, up in the sky." I guess he meant that he is up in the sky...and he was happy. By the time Mike arrived he asked to be down and we waited just a while in front of Jay's house. He saw Mike's truck and he was running toward the truck saying "there's Daddy, there's Daddy!" Mike had to stop just as he was entering the driveway because Kai was running ahead of me and I was behind him trying to catch him. I left the two of them outside and went in to heat Mike's lunch. He had a chocolate pudding while Mike is eating. Time to go home...he was scooped up by Mike...I said good bye, he wants a hug, but he ended up in my arms while we are hug some more and kissed. I carried him to the the truck. Another "bye bye" and away they go.

Friday, February 03, 2006


This will be the first long trip for Kai this weekend. Tisha and Mike will bring him to Disneyland. Tisha has been giving him the hype about Disneyland. Here, the last two weeks Kai and I download in the computer all sites related to the amusement park. Umma cuts from the newspaper and magazines every advertisements of Disneyland. I think he knows the Castle even with his eyes are closed. When I say, "Here comes...." Kai will follow ..."Mic--keey." It is so cute the way he says it and I wish that I can emulate that on the keyboard. There will be some big stories when they come back. They are going to stay there til Monday morning, so we won't see Kai til Tuesday.
Over the almost three years he has come here, Kai has undergone many changes...(not only his diapers)...I was looking at his early pictures which Tisha put it in betwen the frogs for my monitor wallpaper (screensaver); his hair, his looks, and how he had grown since. But one thing is constant, and that is his "ram-boy" character. He is very sure of his every step toward being a boy. I hope that as he grows, they will be better as each year comes by, be finer with his attempts, grander with each gesture. We don't know exactly when he's going to stun us again, but I bet the next time it happens he'll be ready to release the dragon's breath to consume everyone with awe.
There was a news from Hong Kong about Disneyland...
Angry families stormed fences at Hong Kong Disneyland and tossed their children over the gates Thursday, after the theme park sold out for an eighth consecutive day. The uproar outside Disney's theme park followed similar chaos on Wednesday when hundreds of disgruntled visitors, many having made the trip from mainland China, were furious that their Lunar vacation to Hong Kong was ruined. Poor people! I am sure that this will not happen in Anahiem
He is really becoming curious about everything and really knows a lot of thing for his age. I guess because he is very observant to all what is happening in his surroundings. Today, he found my big ball hammer and he told me, "Umpha big hammer." I let him handle my smaller hammer before and here he is comparing that to the big one. As always when he see me in the kitchen, he would like to be up on the counter to watch what I am doing. This morning, I was making my second cup of morning coffee. He was up there and the way it looked, he was supervising me. "Umpha, put sugar, Umpha, put cream." I let him stir it, telling him "be careful it is hot!" For him anything that is smoking is hot. But what got me to be amazed was when he pointed to the bottle of honey. "Umpha, put honey." I haven't introduced him nor have given him any honey. How did he know that's honey...I have to ask Tisha about it. I only use the honey in the evening when I make myself some tea.
He is getting very attached to Umma. I guess because she is the one that goes with him in the park everyday. Whenever, here in the house he does not see Umma for a while he will ask me where Umma is. If I tell him to look for her, he will run as usual from one room to another to find her..."There you are!" But if the bedroom door is closed he will come back to me and will say, "Umma sleep."
We don't watch too much TV, except "Tom and Jerry," "Dora" sometimes but he prefers "Diego," "Sponge Bob Square Pants," and Super-dog," He does not want anything from PBS. You will hear a big...NO...NO...NO! Not that one!

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I have to Blog this before I forget. I have a meeting to attend this evening so Umma took over as Kai's company before Mike arrive to get him. I left them with Kai playing with the PVC pipes that Mike gave me. If I let him have his way, he will drag all of them to play I just let him have three of them. He was using them as "telescopes" in spite that two of them were triple his size in length. Tara, the girl next door came home with her grandmother from school...and he knows the old lady from occasional encounters. She said hello to Kai and talked to his Umma. Suddenly, Kai address Tara's grandmother, called her Umma, and asked "where is Umpha?" She was delighted that Kai called her Umma after it was explained to her what it means. She has been widowed about four years ago and was taken aback of the question. She told him that he died a long time ago. Nowaday, everybody who looks older, especially grey haired is either an Umpha or an Umma for him. Gosh! I thought I had the monopoly of that title!
After lunch, he was gone and when I found him, he was with Umma in the bedroom. Umma is cutting his fingernails. Every week Umma cuts his nails. He calls the dirt "bugs in nail." Later Umma was telling me that each finger after it has been cut, he will say, "thank you Umma." So that was ten thank yous from his ten little fingers.
For the last two days, I have been "his artist in residence." He asked me to "make" (draw) different color cars. Colors were designated to the owner of each of the vehicles. "Daddy's," "Mommies car purple," "Umma's car blue," "Umpha's car red," "Uncle's car black," and even included a garbage truck, a school bus and Joe fixing his car. Today, he discovered on top of the dinning table some crayons I just bought to use in my en caustic project. I just let him use it, but decided that we have to "make" bugs and different colored snakes. That was what we are doing until he decided to go outside. When I opened the front door, he stood there for a while, came back and said, "It's cold! I get my jacket." After I zipped the front, he wanted his hood on his head. This is funny...sometimes ago, he never wanted anything put on his head. Now whenever the jacket has a hood, it has to go where it belongs.
I was resting when they left. Umma was telling me that Mike had to swoop him up because he is not ready to go home. When you are enjoying what you are doing, let it ride...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


He was mad at me when I was about to leave for the store this morning. He was complaining that I am taking Umma's car. He was pacified by Umma, telling him that I will buy gas. When I came back they were gone to the park...later when they came back, he told me about a bad boy in the park. I found out that there were some kids from the day care in the park, and looks like there was a "meanie" there that told him to go away. It was no big deal for him because Umma was there. But, he remembers! That was the first thing he told me when they came back..."Bad Boy!"
He had been eating good lately and when I say is continuous eating. Thank God that he is so active that everything that does go in his mouth must had be used up for all the energies spent. Lately he will ask for jello or tapioca pudding just before they leave for home. He loves ice cream ("i-kim") too. He will eat bacon all the time if you let him. It does not need cajoling at all. I made him french toast for his breakfast this morning. Umma asked him what he wants to eat for lunch and without hesitation told her, "small hot dog." He is learning to eat by himself using a small fork. I wonder how many almost three years old boy eats with a fork...I am sure some parents will not even allow their kids to handle one..."might get poked." Tomorrow, I will introduce to him some silver dollar pancakes. This was one of Tisha's favorite when she was at the same age. I will let him watch me doing it because this will give him the incentive to eat it.
We played in the backyard for awhile, I persuaded him to come inside by telling him that "Tom and Jerry" will be on and I will give him some "MMs" (rationed by fives at a time). We have a game that I will ask him to lay down with Umpha and come inside "Umpha's house" (inside the blanket). He did stay for a while and then became "itchy." He started to squeeze my face to be "broken" so he can fix it again. He was all over me. He will stand up and with arms and hands up the air, he will pretend dive towards me. I have to put a pillow across my chest as a buffer. I have no idea where he picked that up!
That is what we are doing when Tisha came. He was handed a bag of plastic glow in the dark bugs. He was excited and had me..."Open please...Umpha." Forgetting to hug his Mom as he always do. Although the creatures are creamy opaque and not in their true colors he was able to identify each of them except one...a centipede. I had to tell him what it is. Actually we haven't encountered any centipede in the yard yet. We moved to the dinning room where Tisha was eating and as usual he sat on the opposite direction of his Mommie.
He started to take out each of the bugs from the plastic bag and started telling his Mom the name of them. He recited each name, "bumble bee," "beetle." "cockroach," 'lady bug" (the bigger one of the two was the mommie and the smaller one was the baby), "scorpion," etc. It was very funny when it came to the centipede. I guess it hadn't registered yet the name "centipede." What came out of his mouth was, "long-long-long bug." Tisha and I really got a kick out of it. For me it was really amazing that in spite of him forgetting the name, he was able to concoct an alternative name that suited the bug. He is really doing fine in sentence constructions. I noticed that he is learning to reason, assess a situation, and at times can solve some simple problems he gets in...or the latter, needs a..."Umpha help!" Oh yes, he gets confused between "outside" and "inside." We are working on it!