Though not their first time on public transportation, this is the first time taking bus on their own. In the past, when I enrolled the boys to summer camps, one of my deciding factor for the camp is to figure out how to get them there. I often have to work around my schedule to accommodate transporting them to the destination.
This year when I signed up the boys for this camp few months ago, I thought maybe it’s time for them to take the bus.For the most part, they were pretty lucky this week to get rides from uncles to and back. Of course when the time came, I was very nervous. On the first day, I took the bus with them. Though not their first time on public transportation, this is the first time taking bus on their own. No phones or books, so they can always stay alert with their surroundings. Mr. Piggy gave Dai Bee a phone so he can text/call me when he gets to school. Clearly, they were ready all along. It was just me, who wasn’t.
It’s official now. Many people have asked if I noticed the change of Dai Bee’s voice lately. No, not really. I tried to notice. Sometimes I can hear hints of his voice changing, but mostly it’s the same cute crisp clear sound I’ve been hearing for the past 10 years. In the last couple of days, when he started to laugh really loud or yell, there! I heard it. It’s that cracking sound. Adam’s apple is about to blossom. Puberty for Dai Bee is in full force and he’s enroute to young manhood.
Ah, hopefully I’ll be ready for the crazy, rebellious, irrational teenager as he charged to the next stage of his life – adolescence.
Today is a memorable day, especially for Ah Lo. He’s been playing basketball for 2-1/2 seasons now, over 20 games, but never scored once. Today, he broke the dry record and made 3 shots! Yes, 3 shots! The first shot he made, he turned to me and beamed. Then came the second and the third (swoosh). His team ended up winning for the first time with a score of 12 vs. 8. He made 6 points out of the 12. This win surely gave him (and the team) a boost of confidence. On our ride home, he said, “now I know what it feels like to win, it’s an awesome feeling.” I hope he remembers this feeling since I didn’t capture it on video!
Dai Bee also played his best game today. Though he didn’t make any shots, but he has improved so much each game he played. He made great passes, handled defensive rebounds, and took on a more aggressive approach on the offensive side.
So proud of these boys!
Today is one of those hectic days again. First off it’s Dai Bee’s big testing day. We dropped him off at the testing center (SI) at 7:45am in one of the more chilly mornings.
The three of us drove around to grab breakfast. We almost never go out for breakfast. I was surprised to find many places are still closed, except this dingy looking dim-sum to go place. We sat down and filled our tummies with hot watery porridge and some dim sum. Afterwards, I went for grocery shopping to get the items we need for the week.
The second or third stop we made was driving Ah Lo for his first basketball game. The team lost, but it was always fun to watch the little ones play. After his game, we rushed back to pick up Dai Bee. He was waiting for us by the time we got there. He didn’t complain much about taking the test, nor did he mention if it was too hard/easy for him. He finished the English portion, but didn’t have enough time for the Math part. The test included the essay part – “Originality is over rated.” He did the best he could, but wished for more time. That was the feedback I got.
We had lunch before we went shopping for the boys. Dai Bee has a piano recital next weekend and was asked to dress up in “nice clothes”. All they have are sweat pants and casual clothes. Glad that was taken care of today. His piano recital will be held in a piano gallery. Since he has a Yamaha at home, and he will be playing a Steinway during recital. His teacher suggested for him to try playing on the Steinway piano since the pianos have a different feel to it. We spent a good hour there, waiting for him to practice.
Great thing that Mr. Piggy found a prime spot near the piano gallery and we ended up having dinner in that area (which we almost never venture out to). This is one of those weird days where we ate out for the entire day – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Saturdays are laundry days for the boys now. Since this summer, Dai Bee picked up a life skill from his residential camp – doing his own laundry – which allowed us a little break. When he came home from camp, he was happy to do his share, and of course, dragged Ah Lo along the way. Both of them take care of cleaning, folding and putting away. Even if the laundry doesn’t turn out perfectly, at least it gets done. See how thrilled they look?
The same day, I invited my mom and sister (and her family) over dinner. This is also the first time I made abalone (frozen ones from Costco.) I got some tips from my other sister on how to make them. Surprisingly, they were pretty easy to make. They came out very delicious and tender, even my mom (with dentures) could gobble them up. Then there were the yummy fried chicken wings.
Sending Dai Bee of to college…well, more like a mock college for the next weeks. He will be staying at the dorm, going to school at campus, doing his laundry, etc. He took a test to get into this program last summer. With the test scores, he qualifies for certain classes, which he opted to take Inductive and Deductive Reasoning. When we dropped him off, I noticed 85% of the students/families are Asians/Asian descent! I was a bit surprised at the lack of diversity, but I later found out many were from all around the US. His roommate is from Florida! We spoke with his teacher and his RA, and we left knowing that he will have a positive learning and social experience.
Tomorrow is my lazy niece’s actual birthday. She’s turning 16 tomorrow. Sixteen, a big deal, right? She has been reminding us since last Christmas. How can I forget? At 16, let’s see what’s the trend? Why, selfies and Instagram of course!
Since she is hanging out with her friends tomorrow, I threw her a birthday party today. The theme is Instagram. Partying on a budget, I did most of the stuff myself. I made the photo frame which was surprisingly simple to make. With a foam board I purchased a couple of years ago ($1 @ dollar store), I hand painted the logo and icons (bottom of board). That was it! Luckily I had the right color paints (blue, white and black) at home. The frame was a big hit at the party. It appeared in over 50 pictures!
She is always a fan of my home baked chocolate cakes, so I baked her a decadent chocolate cake from scratch (cake and frosting). For the cake top, I cut out an old cardboard to make it a small Insta frame. I printed some pictures off her Instagram account and hung them as a banner. For dinner, I did mini pull pork sandwiches with some vegetables on the side. And the party favors, of course, cute camera lens rice krispies, an inspiration from Pinterest. With a full time job, I was flustering with getting everything together before she came home. I was thankful for my older niece who helped me with decorations.
Party costs breakdown (less than $25):
Decorations: $5 (for the cardboard), I had most of the stuff at home
Party Favor: $2
Hugs and smiles: priceless
Received this Certificate yesterday, and felt so proud of my little boy. Including this certificate was an invitation to the Award Ceremony held sometime next year. The letter also indicated less than 30% of students who test qualify to attend Award Ceremony. Considering that all students who enroll in this Talent Search are very bright, scoring at the top levels is a great achievement! Way to go!
Sometimes you have to give it to my big guy, Dai Bee. He complains chinese school is pretty boring for him, mainly because learning Chinese is all about repetition. For a quick learner as himself, the pace for him is a bit slow in that kind of environment. Instead of dozing off, or wandering off to la la land, he takes the initiative to learn traditional chinese. For those who aren’t familiar with chinese, recent chinese has divided into two forms of writing – the traditional vs. the simplified way. As its name implies, writing in simplified way is easier to write because of lesser strokes. Here’s an example:
Most schools nowadays teach simplified form due to parents’ request – “it’s easier for their kids to write the simplified form.” Dai Bee’s school also teaches simplified version. However, behind his books, the traditional form of each character (from the book) is printed in traditional version. Therefore, Dai Bee looked up each word that was taught, and studied the traditional form. So now, he knows both versions of the Chinese character, all on his own.
This is kind of things that cannot be coached, and this is the kind of things that earns the mom every bragging right. Thank you, Dai Bee!