Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mulan Jr.

Yesterday we went shopping to get a few items for Ashton's Halloween costume.  Yes, I'm already at work and getting it all together.  

Of course, we had to stop and let her ride the horse.  Finally, one her size.  We didn't have any change, so it didn't do anything, but she had a blast sitting on it and pretending to ride.  I don't know if she even knew it was supposed to move.  We'll have to remember to get change for the next time we're there.

While out and about, we decided to stop at the Disney store.  

As her favorite movie is "Let It Go",  I mean "Frozen", but she calls it "Let It Go" - we thought to see if there was anything there from the movie.  However, she actually doesn't watch it.  Just the one song part.  That's about it.  But she's obsessed with the song.  I don't even know how really.  But she loves it.  I swear, Disney has some brain washing words hidden in that song to have all children obsessed with it from the get go!  

So we went there to see if there was anything she'd want.  We looked at some Olaf singing toy, we looked at Tinkerbell, we looked at Thumper dolls, and lots of stuff... but what did our girl gravitate to?  What from all the bunnies, kitties, mice, dolls, and costumes did she want?  She wanted the Bantha.  That's right, not a typo - a Bantha.  

She loved him from the moment she saw him.   She kept trying to ride him. I wish I took a photo.  

And for those who don't know what a Bantha is... it's from Star Wars - the sand people or Tusken Raiders rode them.  

And Ashton wanted to ride it in the store.  I think she thinks he's a shaggy horse.  Yes, we love our Star Wars, but other than showing her the Star Wars Museum, and dressing up like Star Wars for Halloween, and pointing out a few photos, she has NO IDEA what Star Wars is.  Let alone a Bantha.

But being the ORIGINAL Star Wars enthusiasts that we are, we let her bring Bantha home with her.  She tried to ride him at home too.  It's hilarious!  She loves him and slept with him that very night!

Today Ashton peaked through the desk chair and we got this cool picture.  Didn't even mean to, she was reaching for the camera and pulling it away this photo came from it.

We went to the Children's Museum again today.  But this time it was because we had tickets to see Mulan Jr.  It was a huge risk for us.

Why?  Well, unlike most kids, my girl just doesn't watch TV.  She just doesn't have the attention span for it.  Musicals included.  We try to get her to watch Frozen or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and other than the opening credits or occasional song - nope!  No interest. 

However, Mulan Jr. is in town for about a month, and we wanted to give her the chance to see it.  It's a 45 minute musical.

So we got there early and did the slide and fun stuff.  Ashton loves Bumblebee, the transformer.  She doesn't know the movie or seen him anywhere but here, but he's her buddy.  He seemed to have made an impression on her earlier this year, because every now and then she asks to see Bumblebee.  And did so a lot the last couple weeks since being to the Children's Museum last. So we finally got a photo of them together.

We even visited "China" again and Ashton ran to her favorite "dog", I mean lion.

We even tried the kung fu class.  It was for 5 and up, but we thought hey, it's movement if she can do this she can do Mulan Jr.  

They "teachers" talked so much rather than show the moves, Ashton was being disruptive.  I was asked if we'd feel better to leave, right when the kung fu started.  So we missed the fun.

I was so embarrassed.  There were other 2-3 year olds that were being so good and just sitting in their parents lap.  Mine was a wiggle worm and asking questions and wanting to have fun.

We arrived early just to wear her out, as a sleeping Ashton is better than a cranky one for the show.  

Then we ate lunch there and made our way in line to the show.  We got great seats.  We sat at the very top - aisle seats, so if she got fussy we could easily sneak out or just hang back without disrupting anyone.

Ashton loved the theater seats.  She loved having her own seat.  Though she'd go from it to my lap to Daddy's lap.

When the show started I was surprised no one was Chinese.  I mean, it makes sense... we're American so we'd hire Americans to play out the story - however, it just took me back.

Everyone had a lot of gusto and I applaud them for keeping the children's interest.  Even Ashton!  She loved the music!  

But one thing or character in particular caught her interest the most.  She would get so excited and speak (way too loudly) "Where's Mushu?" over and over!

Mushu was Mulan's dragon.  And she was played by a young woman.  And whenever she'd leave the stage, Ashton keep asking when she'd come back.  We'd have to hush her and Daddy took her back of the theater a couple times as she'd ask too loudly and we were afraid she's disturb those around her.

At the end of the play all the actors were outside to great the audience and to take pictures.  

Ashton gave one of the warriors a high five.  But she wanted to see Mushu.  Well, Mushu and Mulan were the most popular and there was a big crowd wanting to get photos.  Finally, it was Ashton's turn and she got scared.  She didn't want to be close to Mushu.

She wouldn't go near her if I held her, so she went into Daddy's arms to be brave.  She got near her, but clung to Daddy.  I had to quickly snap the photo, and this is the best I got.

I got a quick snapshot of her with Mulan, however, when I did (see the hand) I was told no more photos.  Then for whatever reason, again - blurry photo.  Maybe it was too dark?  I dunno.

It was a fun day and we are so proud of Ashton for making through a 45 minute musical!  There is hope!  

I'm sure we can get her to watch a show on TV soon!  I'd love to sit down and watch the Muppets with her or something similar.  I can't wait!
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tornado Warning

From 2:30pm - 3:45pm, Indianapolis had a Tornado Warning.  My office went to the basement to wait it out.

I called my husband to see where he was as he drives about, and I wanted to be sure he knew about the warning.  He was out of harm's way.

Then I called Ashton's daycare.  The phone was turned off for nap time.  I got a little anxious as they sleep by windows.

So I emailed.  I got an email back.  My heart calmed. "Safe in the bathroom. I brought in blankets and snacks to keep them calm. :)"

The tornado passed, and my family was safe, but several homes were destroyed, and people trapped.  I pray for the families affected by this tornado.  And hope that the flash flooding is to a minimal.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Return to the Dragon Boat Festival

We had so much fun last year at the Dragon Boat Festival at Eagle Creek Park hosted by FCC-IN (Families with Children from China the Indiana branch) and IACA (Indiana Association of Chinese Americans), we couldn't wait to go again this year.

It's on the other side of town, so it was a bit of a drive, at least for Ashton that is.  She never rides in the car well.  So we brought "reinforcements", several favorite toys to play with.  She decided that her toys needed to have some dance classes.

Then later, she found out we weren't going to see LauLau, but going to the Dragon Boat Festival.  And this is how she reacted.  And she was like this for the rest of the trip!

This year we had Indianapolis' SurviveOars Dragon Boat team join us.  Dragon boat racing began more than 2,000 years ago in China and eventually made its way to North America in the 1980s. Now considered the fastest growing team water sport in the world, it features sleek, slender boats decorated with dragon heads and propelled by 20 paddlers working in unison. The drummer beats out the pace, while a steer oarsperson guides the dragon boat on its course. 

The lndy SurviveOars dragon boat is 50 feet in length and carries several distinctions. The Indiana boat is the first pink dragon boat that long-time boat manufacturer, Swift Dragon Boats of China, has ever made. The boat's head and tail are the first in the world to be custom-designed and painted pink.

The reason these breast cancer survivors are doing dragon boat racing is because Don McKenzie, MD, a sports medicine physician at the University of British Columbia, launched Abreast in a Boat in 1996 to test the myth that repetitive upper body exercise in women treated for breast cancer encourages lymphedema. He believed that following a special exercise and training program would not increase the risk, but would actually improve quality of life. Dr. McKenzie's theory proved correct. Since '1996, hundreds of breast cancer survivors across the world have formed dragon boat teams and are paddling and racing regularly, promoting good health and fun. An emerging body of research suggests physical activity not only has a positive effect on quality of life following a diagnosis of cancer, but it may also improve survival.

We were very honored to have them join us this year.  We even got to raffle spots to ride on their boat.  My hubby won one and got to have a ride.

Next year, FCC is hoping to have its own Dragon Boat to do an actual race.  We're hoping he'll be on the racing team next year.

Once these women rode ashore there was a southern lion dance parading them inland.  I just learned that this isn't a dragon but a lion, for its short snout.  And that it's a southern, not northern lion, because of its short fur.

Ashton was mesmerized.  She'd say she wanted to touch it, then would get scared and say no.  She was like that all day.  She even kept talking about wanting to touch it after we left!

While there Ashton's buddy, Ms. F was there.  She's a 12 year old girl that is just smitten with Ashton.  She was playing with her all day. She's played with her the last 3 events we've gone to FCC.  I think we may have Ashton's newest babysitter.  And she lives on our side of town!

Ashton kept wanting to play with the bubbles, however she ended up washing her arms in the bubble water and would have to go to the water soaker "section" to use their huge bucket of water to wash off her arms.  Ms. F. was very patient with her and would take her back and forth between the bubbles and cleaning her arms.

Ashton also got to meet the newest FCC member, Ms. K.  She's been home 6 weeks from China!!  Ms. K. is only 9 months younger than Ashton! Seeing Ms. K reminded me of Ashton at the Dragon Boat Festival last year.  Both her mama and I think they'll be fast friends.  They live close to us, so we hope they'll do a lot together in the future.

Here Ashton is playing the drum with Ms. F. helping her out.  A lot of the kids had a hoot taking turns playing the drum.  Ashton was loving it so much, she didn't want to leave to get to ms. A's birthday party... which she had been looking forward to all week - she wanted birthday cake!

We made our way to Ms. A's My Little Pony 3 year birthday party.  They even had a pony pinata.  But instead of hitting it with a stick, it had tons of ribbons from it's belly and you pulled the ribbon off.  Only one ribbon is attached to the trap door of candy.  Each kid had about two turns and on Ashton's second turn, she hit the jackpot!

Ashton's and Ms. A didn't really play together, but played near each other.  Hopefully, they'll be more interactive next year or by Ashton's 3rd birthday.

Regardless, she had fun.  She even got to pin the balloons on the pony.  It was in sticker format rather than "pin".  And she put on the blindfold and got spun 3 times.  And she of course took off the blindfold, not understanding why it's on.  But we got it back on her asking her to stick the sticker on the pony.  She stuck the sticker on her chest!  It was funny.  But she took it off and explained to her again to put it on the pony.  Ashton's sticker was the closest one from the group.  I just think it's because she was at the right height for the sticker and everyone else was bigger, thus had it higher.  She won a bubble gun.  We can't wait to try it, Ashton LOVES bubbles!

So between the cake, the pinata, the pin the balloons, and eating pizza, and playing with toys, i'd say the party was a success!  I can't wait for Ashton's 3rd birthday!  And it's 4 months away!
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pedaling Her Tricycle Like a Big Girl

I just can't get enough of how well our girl can pedal!  This girl loves transportation, well maybe not the car seat in our vehicles, but bikes, trikes, whatever she can maneuver, she loves it!

Do you see that crooked smile in the above picture?  She does that a lot.  I don't know why.  She can smile just fine and she doesn't talk out of one side of her mouth, but every now and then, that silly lop-sided grin comes out.  Wonder if it'll stay for good or if she'll grow out of it.  Anyone else have this?

Let me tell you, this girl loves being outside 24/7.  She wears me out.  I've had more sun these last few months than I have my whole life.  She's so worth it!
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Great Slide of China


Happy Father's Day!  This girl ADORES her daddy!  She wants to be wherever he is.

Today for Father's Day, my hubby wanted to take Ashton back to the Children's Museum.  And what a perfect time to go.  There was barely anyone there, not over crowded at all.

The first thing we had to do was go down the Great Slide of China!

We must have gone down the slide four times! She loved it.  At the very end she's ask to go again!

Of course she ran back to her favorite China dog.  Too bad we can take him and his pup home with us.  It'd look great greeting you right in our entryway.

But Ashton begged to get on the carousel.  Well, the last couple times she's been too scared to get on.  But this time she kept saying she wanted to ride the giraffe.

Beacuse she's a Daddy's girl, we thought she'd be braver with him.  So he took her to the giraffe.  She started fighting and said, "No, no, no, no."  and she wouldn't sit down.  But the moment the music started she plopped right down and had a blast!  She wanted to ride several more times!!

She wanted me to ride with her.  She would now and then hold the reigns and say "giddy up"!  It was darling!

She then braved up even more and wanted to ride the tiger with Daddy.  We were so impressed!

Then we went to another section and she has a blast in this leaf maze.  She got all the way to the top!  she has no problems scaling those wavy leaves up or down.  She thought it was awesome!

We had a great time at the Children's Museum.  I know we'll be going back again soon!  What a great Father's Day.
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Saturday, June 14, 2014

First Ponytail

Today Ashton wore her first ponytail.  And man, she rocks it!  So I tried to get her to pose. I tried to get ehr to do a head tilt so you could see her face and ponytail, but to no avail.  She was more interested with her toys or rocking in the rocking chair.  Oh well.  But still you can get the gist.

See the laundry basket in the background?  Well, Ashton loves going into our laundry room.  She'll shut herself in there in the dark and think it's hilarious.  She also loves to grab the baskets and sit in them or ask us to push her around in them.  So here it is in the middle of the room.  

I am a notorious shoe flopper.  I flop my shoes off anywhere in the house.  I'll wear them and then if I'm sitting, off they come and Ashton always loves to grab them and wear them, whether they be heels, sandals, whatever.  

Well, my shoes were off and after our "photo shoot" she made a bee line towards them.  And since I had my cell out, I decided to take video.  So I went to the laundry basket to video her.  And during the shoot, where it shakes, the basket collapsed.   I think I made a decent recovery!  Can you tell where?

I remember loving wearing my mother's shoes too.  I think it's every daughter's right of passage. :)
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