Vacationing with Neighbors

Las señoritas bonitas de Bahía de Banderas

Las señoritas bonitas de Bahía de Banderas

Just arrived!

Just arrived!

No kids!

No kids!

In Mexico, sis-in-law Tracy Perkins-Chopra said, “I hope you’re not going to just do an all photo blog.” Sorry, Tracy, but aside from this brief note acknowledging good times, Flora and Ava becoming “Flava,” and the bros watching the Seahawks crush Arizona, there’s not much to say this month but, “I’m lazy, enjoy the photos, and Happy Holidays to all!”

On the way to Boca

On the way to Boca

Chef Ava, Chef Jake, Chef Strange Kid, and Chef Gia

Chef Ava, Chef Jake, Chef Strange Kid, and Chef Gia

 

Boca de Tomatlan

Boca de Tomatlan

Returning from Boca

Returning from Boca

 

Waiting for kid drinks

Waiting for kid drinks

Kaya with "Flava"

Kaya with “Flava”

 

 

 

Seahawks vs. Arizona - Arizona Anu is happy because the game just started. Sorry, Anu, 19-3 final score.

Seahawks vs. Arizona – Arizona Anu is happy because the game just started. Sorry, Anu, 19-3 final score.

The Banana Boat

The Banana Boat

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset. With Kaya, Uncle Anu, and cousin Olivia

Sunset. With Kaya, Uncle Anu, and cousin Alivia

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The Inappropriate Cup

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Zombie Cheerleaders

Zombie Cheerleaders

Ava and Annabelle

Ava and Annabelle

Harvest Festival:  Fall is here, enjoy the Harvest Festival photos and Happy Hauntings!

Will Ava Ever Be a Hawk?  I’m watching football with Ava, and she tells me, “Dad, I don’t ever want to play football.” I ask, “Why?” She says, “It’s too easy to be injured.” So there goes my dream of raising the first female NFL star.   

Picture Day:  On photo day at Edmonds Elementary Kaya lost a tooth, thus she didn’t want to go to school and have her picture. I asked, “Why? She said, “I want to wait until my tooth grows back!”

Kaya at the Fun Run

Kaya at the Fun Run

Ava

Ava

Boogers vs. Vomit:  Because of a shortage of girls, Sno-King combined 3rd and 4th graders. Ava and Gia wanted to play with their friends and thus are on rival teams: Ava’s Tigers vs. Gia’s Green Dragons. The Tigers’ uniforms are orange, and Gia’s, well, you can guess. The week of the big game became a war, the rival grew nastier, and by game time it was the Green Boogers vs. the Orange Vomit. Final score, Vomit – 4, Boogers – 1. The Green Dragons, as third graders playing fourth graders, did very good to stay in the game.

Green Booger-Dragons

Green Booger-Dragons

Kaya "helping" out for Harvest Festival

Kaya “helping” out for Harvest Festival

The Inappropriate Cup:  One morning, as Terry started the day with coffee, Ava saw my cup and blurted, “‘Write like a motherf****r!'” Mom said, “What? What did you just say?” Ava said, “I’m just reading Dad’s cup.” So Mom said, “Dad????!!!!!” I said, “It’s my writer’s cup.” Ava said, “Dad, you have an inappropriate cup!” I bought the cup at AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference, an homage to Cheryl Strayed’s “Dear Sugar” column at The Rumpus.  Somehow I thought the girls wouldn’t read the small print.

Popcorn Time

Popcorn Time

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Stockholm Sydrome

Going to Whidbey Island

Going to Whidbey Island

Family of Six:  We’re now six, with Flora our exchange student, who attends Meadowdale High School. It should be a good year.

Tae Kwan Do Kaya

Tae Kwan Do Kaya

Stockholm Syndrome:  Lately my wife, Terry, has been screaming “Stockholm Sydrome” every time I’m not performing to her standards. She’ll say, “Why did you drink all the coffee? You’re giving me Stockholm Syndrome!” or “It’s family movie night, if you don’t watch with everybody then it’s Stockholm Syndrome.”

Kaya and Marcus, Inc.

Kaya and Marcus, Inc.

Huh? Stockholm Syndrome is having empathy and even positive feelings for your kidnapper/oppressor, as happened when Patty Hearst was kidnapped and eventually became an accomplice of the Symbionese Liberation Front. I try to tell Terry this, and her response? “You oppress me and I have no empathy for you.” Geezish! Then stop saying you have Stockholm Syndrome.

First day...

First day…

...of school

…of school

West Space Fossil Lane:  Flora has a classmate, Maggie, from her school in China doing an exchange program on Whidbey Island. Maggie’s host family lives a fifteen minute drive from my parents’ house. Last Sunday I took Maggie to our place, Maggie said her host family needed an address to pick her up. I told Maggie, “It’s…West Fossil Lane.” Maggie typed, “Westfossil Lane.” I said, “It’s West ‘space’ Fossil Lane.” So Maggie retyped and showed me, “Westspacefossil Lane.”

Anyone want chocolate milk juice?

Anyone want chocolate milk juice?

Crowded Bed:  Often I’ll tuck the girls into their bed and stay up late, and one of the girls sneaks into mom and dad’s room. When I’m ready to sleep, there’s no space, which means dad has to carry said girl to bed. Recently, I discovered not one girl, but all three clustered around mom, legs and arms everywhere. Kaya’s awake, looks at me, and says, “It’s okay, you can sleep in my bed.”

Pizza for Grandpa's 80th

Pizza for Grandpa’s 80th

Grandpa turns 80:  Happy Birthday!

Random Thought: Why are there people who make $50/hr or more but drive ten minutes and four miles out of their way in order to save 12 cents a gallon on gas?

Gia in a kayak

Gia in a kayak

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Flora, Our Chinese Exchange Student

At Safeco Field

At Safeco Field

Welcome Flora! 欢迎周灿!

欢迎周灿

欢迎周灿

Zhou Can:  In March we started the process to be a host family for an exchange student from China. We looked at applications, and felt comfortable with a girl from Chongquing, Zhou Can (周灿 – pronounced close to “Jo Tsan”). She had solid grades and eclectic tastes, including Kafka, dancing, and cats.

Zoo Can:  My wife, Terry, in her Terryesque way, insisted on calling her “Zoo Can” every time the topic came up. We had a lot of questions concerning having a stranger live with us for an entire year.

Safeco Field

Safeco Field

Cultural Homestay:  After a lot of back and forth and psychological preparation, including my eternal promise to be the best husband ever (a deal I make repeatedly with Terry), we agreed to give it a shot. Cultural Homestay International, the agency responsible for setting up host families with exchange students, did a great job of hooking us up and answering questions.

At EMP

At EMP

Flora and the Girls:  Flora arrived on August 19. So far so good, the girls like Flora, Flora has not tired of hanging out with them. She even chooses to sit in the back seat of our minivan, and when shopping or at parks the girls clamor to hold hands with Flora. For the first two days the girls didn’t fight with each other, little by little, though, they’re reverting, but we think Flora will be a good influence. The 2014-2015 school year promises to be a lot of fun.

Birthdays this month: Nephew Nikolai, Danny, Flora, and I.

Celebrating Danny's Birthday

Celebrating Danny’s Birthday

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Summer Photos 2014

Ava and her cousins at Diamond Head

Ava and her cousins at Diamond Head

Summer 2014:  This summer has been busy. Ava went to Hawaii to spend time with my sister and brother-in-law and their kids, Orion, Damien, and Satori. Another sister and nephew are in town, in-laws Danny and Melissa had a baby son, and half the fam seems to have birthdays, my sister-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, my sister, her husband, and my wife. The weather has been nice…so I’m taking the easy way out this month and just uploading photos.

Hawaiian trees

Hawaiian trees

Goofy cousins

Goofy cousins

 

Happy 40th Tracy!

Happy 40th Tracy!

Gia at Safeco

Gia at Safeco

Lui Lui...we gotta go now and watch the Mariners

“Lui Lui…we gotta go now” and watch the Mariners

Kaya and baby cousin Silas

Kaya and baby cousin Silas

Hey kids, what's Quincy doing on the fan?

Hey kids, what’s Quincy doing on the fan?

Kaya with Jake Vader

Kaya with Jake Vader

Gia at Cornet Bay

Gia at Cornet Bay

Gia at Deception Pass

Gia at Deception Pass

Nikolai and his cousins at Deception Pass

Nikolai and his cousins at Deception Pass

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Family Movie Night: Parent Trap vs. The Corpse Exhibition

Wapato

Wapato

Jump!

Jump!

Father's Day

Father’s Day

Family Movie Night:  My wife often designates Friday or Saturday as “Family Movie Night.” She wants all five of us to watch, say, Frozen or Tangled or whatever, because this is a “family” activity. It’s too much. Five minutes of kid movie engagement and my cerebellum begins to rub and grind against the lower realms of my inner skull as the badness of movie inevitably chases me to another corner of the house.

Gia

Gia

then Kaya

Kaya

Parent Trap vs. The Corpse Exhibition:  Weekend comes again, Terry cues up  Parent Trap and says, “Just once, for us, sit for an entire movie.” I compromise, take The Corpse Exhibition, by Iraqi Hassan Blasim, and as the movie starts I begin the first story:  terrorists display corpses in artistically and macabre ways to provoke infidels. Good stuff, but before I can begin the next story I get involved in the story of these two girls, one from England, the other from California, they end up at the same camp, one girl has an only mom, the other… an only dad! Gee. So I spend the rest of the movie shouting out plot “twists” right to the end. My first complete “Family Movie Night.”

Whidbey Island

Whidbey Island

Train to the game

Train to the game

Bossy Girls: In our house politically correct fluff is not banned but ridiculed. The girls revisited “Ban Bossy” when Ava to Gia discussed one of their school mates, Gia said, “I told you Girl X was bossy.” And Ava gave the perfect response, “You’re right, she is bossy!” Go girls! You’re learning.

Hating the haircut

Hating the haircut

Father's Day

Father’s Day

Baseball Hating Wife:  Terry either finds baseball triple B (BBB = boring beyond belief), she flat out hates it, and always expresses the same annoyances every baseball season, stuff like, “You’re watching again? Wasn’t there just a game on yesterday?” Every year her company’s San Francisco office takes them to a Giants baseball game, so guess what happens the one game a year she watches? Tim Lincecum throw a no-hitter. Grr.

Happy Eighth, Gia!

Happy Eighth, Gia!

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The F-Bomb Song

Meadowdale County Park

Meadowdale County Park

Gia at the Science Center

Gia at the Science Center

Forget You:  My wife turned our girls onto Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You,” a song that tells “this girl” to bugger off. There’s also the original, titled “F*** You” (see Profanity Policy). Our daughters loved the song and so my wife downloaded it onto her I-Pad.  However, she did not know about the two versions, and you can guess what happened. After listening to Cee Lo chant “F*** You,” rather than erase the song and download the other, the girls kept wanting to listen. So we used this as an opportunity to teach about profanity. Good idea?

Kaya Learns the Alphabet

Kaya Learns the Alphabet

Why the “F” Is “F” Wrong?  Soon Ava’s walking around the house, humming the song, and then she drops the F-Bomb. Now I’ve been known to play ICP, Geto Boys, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Richard Cheese doing Nine Inch Nails, and Kid Rock, but I avoid planting F-Bombs amidst kids, though I’m guilty of lapsing. It’s tough to explain the ethical implications of “F***” to a nine, seven, and five year old. At least the girls haven’t let the word slip at school…so far.

Chope-Dog

Chope-Dog

Kaya’s Nasty Tooth:  Recently Kaya had a wiggly tooth, her first, and she heard about this fairy that drops a dollar underneath her pillow. We told her to be sure and save the tooth. That afternoon we took her to Time 4 Kids, and when we picked her up she said she lost her tooth. Where was it? She swallowed it. Swallowed? Yes. Kaya explained, “Later it come out my poo!”

Wet Gia

Wet Gia

Playing the Gay Game of Life:  Gia, Ava, & Elliot are playing Life, and Elliot reaches the point where he gets a spouse, namely, a pink peg to sit next to his blue one. Gia tells Elliot he can choose a boy or girl, a pink or blue, for a spouse, and that it’s okay if he wants to marry a boy. Elliot screams, “That’s gross!” Wow, kids acting lack the old generation, what a switch.

Photo of the Month:

Summer Comes Soon

Summer Comes Soon

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