Year of the Rooster

Chuc mung nam moi to all our dear loved ones. This year, the kids were able to better understand what we were celebrating. Although the nearby festival we attended left much to be desired, the kids still really enjoyed themselves and although I wish I were better at it year-round, I was very happy to share with them a little bit of Vietnamese culture.

The shouted "chuc mung nam moi" all day

Riley insisted we pose with the red wall

When I let them choose their own poses

A little bit of gambling

Love my sweet hapas


36th birthday

This year I hit the big 3-6. I started the day off getting a manicure/pedicure with my good friend Cati. I picked up the kids and Riley had made several cards for me throughout her school day. Then when evening came, we went out to dinner with some good friends. It was low key and it was perfect.
Dinner at Seasons 52
With some of my favorite gals


First Tooth Fairy Visit

On the day that we celebrated Connor's 4th birthday, after all the guests had left, I found Riley sitting on the sofa just looking glum. I kept asking her what was bothering her, if she was hungry or sleepy but she just shook her head. It wasn't for another couple of minutes when she told me that her tooth was wiggly. I was in utter disbelief. I asked her if she had fallen because I thought no way were we already going to experience this. But sure enough, she opened her mouth and her permanent teeth were already peeping through behind bottom front baby teeth. And just as I was reacting out of shock and excitement, Riley began to cry. I forget that this is a terrifying experience when you don't know what to expect. So we comforted her, and tried to play up the tooth fairy, but the fear remained.

Waiting for the tooth fairy
As the weeks went by, we encouraged her to wiggle her tooth as often as possible. With the permanents already growing, we (really, just me) were eager to get the baby teeth out. But she continued to be apprehensive and afraid of the entire experience.

Then one afternoon, Eric picked the kids up and decided to take them to the pool. And the way Riley told me it happened was as she was coming down the water slide. She felt something in her mouth, and sure enough, it was the first of her baby teeth to fall out.

Riley had it in her head that the tooth fairy hands out gold chocolate coins, an idea she picked up when her Chi Ba Brooke happened to lose a tooth when we were in town. When she woke up the next morning, she ran into our room to share what the tooth fairy had left under her pillow. I cannot believe how big my first-born is.


Christmas 2016 in FL

With the kids' school closing between Christmas and New Years, we decided to again spend the holidays in Fort Lauderdale. You have to know that this is one of my favorite vacation spots. The kids spent every day in the pool and/or at the beach. By the end of the trip, they were excellent swimmers, we were super relaxed and it was an overall awesome vacation

Christmas day on the beach

With my beach babes

Told the kids Santa didn't bring mommy and daddy
gifts because we stayed up to take his photo

ringing in 2017


Pier hugs


Connor-san turns 4

This year, the baby of our family turned 4. Since Riley's birthday, Connor figured out that themed birthday parties are a thing. So, he insisted on having a Ninja party. 

Unleash the veggie dragon

went a little overboard on decorating

some ninja food

cheesy ninjas

our intense celebrant with his friends

Riley rolling some sunbutter and jelly sushi

punching for prizes

Swinging for candy
What can I say about Connor? He is as silly as he is loving. He loves to make everyone laugh. He continues to be a social butterfly-- I can't go anywhere in town without being stopped by a little girl pointing at me and saying "Connor's mommy!" He is obsessed with superheroes, TMNT, building with legos and magnets. He is still a momma's boy (I will take that for as long as I can). He loves to dance. He still enjoys soccer and basketball. He loves the snow.

Connor is very open about his feelings. All feelings. He will tell us when he's sad. There is no need to tell us when he's angry-- he makes it known. But above all, I love how much he vocalizes his love for his parents and his sister. His prayer at dinner time is always appreciation for mommy, daddy and Riley. He is very gracious about sharing everything with Riley. He loves to play with and wrestle Daddy. And he loves to kiss every inch of mommy's face. He is truly something special and I will always be thankful that God knew we needed him in our family.


Ahoy, Oberlys!

We have frequently spoke about possibly taking a Disney cruise vacation, but we were afraid of dropping a ton of money only to find out the kids would fall victim to seasickness. So while we had some downtime in California, we decided to take a little "tester" cruise out of Long Beach. We spent 4 nights at sea, with stops in Catalina Island and Ensenada. Not only did the kids not get seasick, they absolutely loved cruising! They really enjoyed the onboard activities, exploring the ports, and every now and then they'll still tell us they miss all the food available to them.
So happy to be in a cabin

Watching the shop take off with YY and Nana

Smiles in Catalina

A little family sightseeing 

In Mexico with my babies

Fun times in kids club

A knight and a queen

Professional cruisers


Thanksgiving 2016

Last year, Eric could really sense how much I missed my family during the holidays, so he planned for us to celebrate Thanksgiving in California this year. Not pictured was the scrumptious Thanksgiving spread my siblings laid out (never have I been so happy about leftovers!) But there are plenty of precious pictures of the kiddos hanging out with their cousins. They had such a wonderful visit and I am so happy they got to share so many memories with their family. 

Cousins getting ready to head to Chuck E Cheese

Packed car!

They waited so patiently for this moment

Hands on fun at Adventure Playground

Time for some modeling

Sweet cousins