Kai Turns Two

May 9th, 2016

Our blonde hair baby boy turned two this past week, and we celebrated him the best way we know how – with breakfast donuts. We sang, he blew out his candles, and then gobbled his chocolate donut right up. We followed up our early birthday celebration with a quick bath and then the three boys set off on a special adventure – a trip on the Green Bus. The Green Bus is special because it’s the bus Dad takes to work every day – it only goes to San Francisco and back and only runs on weekdays. Kai and Zayn ask to ride it all the time – what better of a birthday gift for Kai (and Zayn) than a trip on the commuter bus? What fun! Ha. I dropped the boys off at an earlier bus stop to make sure they all got a seat, and then I hurried off to the city to try and beat them there (they won of course). Mohammad said they had the best time. Up high they could see all the things – cars, other buses, trains, bridges, boats, buildings, and more. When they got to the city they went with Dad to get his morning coffee and then I picked them up to play. We spent the rest of the morning playing at a nearby park and eating more treats, but of course I couldn’t even begin to compete with Dad’s special gift – they have been asking every day since to ride it again.

Two year old Kai is a ball of energy. Seriously, we can hardly keep up with him. He’s up at 6am and is bouncing off the walls until he falls asleep around 9pm at night. We try and make him sleep in his toddler bed in Zayn’s room, but once we put them to bed and shut the door we start hearing toys being taken off shelves, pictures being torn off walls, Zayn screaming for help, and then eventually we’ll see two little eyeballs peeking under the door just begging to come back out and play. Sometimes we oblige, most of the time we stick him back in his mini-crib in our room where he’ll fall asleep soundly. And through the night, too! It only took him 22 months to figure it out, but we are now golden. He is also weaned. It was getting a little ridiculous when Kai would come up to me every 30 minutes to “Eat! Eat!” so we finally cut him dry. He struggled for a bit – he sucked one of his thumbs bloody raw, so he had to (awkwardly) switch to the other, but now he’s a thumb-sucking ambidextrous two year old. That’s cool, right?

Kai loves food. He is continuously snacking on almonds and cashews. He is known to eat peanut butter by the spoonfuls, he loves brussel sprouts, and will gladly help me finish off my salad. He is our little health nut, but also makes certain he eats some kind of chocolate every single day. Whether it be in his oatmeal (he always asks for just one more chip), in line at the grocery store, in his milk, or an M&M buried deep in the sand and months old – he will find it, and he will eat it.

His favorite toys are his garbage trucks – we have about ten of them. He can spot a garbage truck from a mile away and gets SO excited. “It’s a garbage truck, Mama, it’s a garbage truck!” It’s no surprise that his favorite day is Thursday – garbage day. He also likes trains, cement trucks, diggers, fire trucks, police cars and his baby. He loves to hold her, feed her, change her diaper, take her grocery shopping, and push her around in the stroller. Sometimes it feels like I have three kids because Kai insists on carrying his baby around everywhere. He loves to jump, hang, climb, run and scare us. He’s not afraid of anything, even spiders. He insists on doing everything Zayn is doing, and everything himself – putting on shoes, brushing his teeth, getting into his carseat. He is Mr. Independent.

And although he is so so sweet, Kai knows how to throw a mean tantrum. He kicks and screams, throws his head back and lays on the floor. At home, or at the grocery store, the library, a quiet restaurant, in the middle of the street. Time out (at home) is usually in his crib, because he won’t sit anywhere else, which means his crib is about one screw away from completely collapsing onto the floor. One day it’s all going to come crashing down because of Kai and his wild tantrums. We’re scared for that day.

But rest assured, we can’t stay mad at this boy for long. His cheeks are just too chubby not to kiss, his smile melts our hearts, his laugh cheers up our home, and his enthusiasm for life makes it all worth it. Happy, happy birthday my baby boy.  Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.  And don’t you ever forget that.

What We’ve Been Up To

February 18th, 2016

First kite. It was a Minion.

Donuts were made for rainy days.

Train ride – so much excitement.  |  Windy, windy.

The boys visited Dad’s office. Kai was in awe, Zayn was in search of the candy dish.  |  I wish I knew what he was thinking.

Zayn, what do you want for lunch? “Cheezbegofwenchfwiseandmowshake.”  |  Pajama AND sharing day at school. Zayn’s got this.


67 and sunny. Yes please.

We drove 1.5 hours for the brussels. So good.

Never far behind.  |  Monday morning coffee run – he was up all night with the baby.

Dropped Dad off at work and decided to stay and play.

We met Aunt Emmy for lunch – it went a little something like this.  |  Picking out some nutritious snacks for his baby. Not pictured – 3 cans of cheddar cheese Pringles and 2 boxes of Teddy Grahams. He’s one of the cool dads.

Painting.  |  ”Daddy” by Zayn.

Ice cream for two.

Holiday Highlights

January 8th, 2016

We had so much fun this month getting ready for Christmas. The boys seem to be getting the whole “Santa” thing more and more every year, which makes it that much more fun. Here are some of our favorite holiday highlights:

We put our Christmas tree up early and the boys favorite ornament to fight over – the donut. I’m pretty sure they took turns biting off all the fake sprinkles and cried once the other demanded a turn.

Dad and Zayn made a Christmas wish list letter to send to Santa – chocolate AND peanut butter cereal. The boy’s such a foodie.  |  Aunt Emmy came over and did all my holiday baking (she’s the best!). Zayn helped her taste test.

Mohammad sports his “Hotline Bling” sweater for Emily’s ugly sweater party.  |  The boys visited Santa – there was lots of talk about sugary cereals.

Our cookie decorating party was a great sticky success. The boys didn’t let a single M&M go to waste.

We went and saw Christmas lights multiple nights, went on a holiday carousel ride, saw trains steam through Christmas villages, and on Christmas Eve we opened matching pajamas and called it a night.

Dad and Kai woke first on Christmas morning and dragged Zayn and I out of bed at 6am. Zayn was elated when he saw the Christmas cereal Santa had left for him and both boys dug right in. We really could have stopped Christmas right then and there. Ha!

And after all the festivities were done, we packed up and headed up to the snow. Snow! The boys were full of giggles with every push down the hill, and asked over and over to do it again and again. And that’s just what we did. A very merry Christmas indeed.

What We’ve Been Up To

January 5th, 2016

That’s FOUR candles on Zayn’s birthday donut.  |  Four year checkup – 34in, 31.5lbs. And he’d rather be sleeping.

Dad took the boys backyard “cimping.” I think they are ready for the real deal. (Mom is not.)  |  Tantrum on aisle three.

Two curious Pete the Cats too busy for Halloween pictures.  |  Halloween loot.

Banana and chocolate. Fitting.

Can’t stay away.  |  Visiting the Russian River – if we can’t go in it, we’ll have to go over it.

Point Reyes Lighthouse – 308 stairs down, 308 stairs up.

Naptime. (I nearly died taking this picture!)

Zayn got to take the pet turkey home from school over Thanksgiving break. Also, every day is pajama day in Zayn’s book.  |  Cool new wall, I couldn’t help but take a picture.

Insists on carrying the book bag, refuses to carry any books.  |  Zayn gets his own BART ticket. It’s like Christmas morning.

Up, down, repeat.  |  First love.

Three Things

November 10th, 2015

It’s amazing how much Kai learns from Zayn – he mimics everything he does – the way he talks, the way he plays. But our very favorite thing Kai has learned form Zayn is “Kween it.” For as long as we can remember, Zayn has always said “Kween it!” (clean it) whenever he gets hurt. One day he fell down and ran over for me to wipe his hands clean, and it then it just stuck. Now, every time Kai gets hurt – smashes his finger, trips and falls, bumps his head – he runs over holding the hurt body part asking me to “Kween it, kween it!” in his high-pitched squeaky voice. We always brush the hurt finger, leg, head, and the crying immediately stops. We love that he learned that from Zayn

Like you know, we transitioned Zayn into a toddler bed a few months back, and then we got to thinking – let’s just throw Kai in one too. So we did. And every night putting them to bed is one crazy party. We brush teeth, give kisses, turn out the lights, and shut the door. And before we can even reach the bottom of our (three) stairs we hear it – uncontrollable laughter. Zayn can barely contain himself – he giggles away, and through the air-sucking laughs we hear, “Kai, no, you can’t do that.” Meanwhile, Kai has jumped out of bed, gotten toys down, books out, hidden in the closet, jumped on Zayn’s bed (and Zayn’s head), and if he’s brave enough, he’ll sneak out and peek his head around the corner and say “I see you.” We try our very hardest to be stern, to get mad – we stomp to their room to yell and pretend to be angry – and then we’ll shut the door, look at each other and smile, because we just can’t help but love our two brothers.

It’s November and we are STILL going to the beach. We just can’t stay away.

Also, these brothers? Love them.

Zayn is Four

October 19th, 2015

We woke Zayn on his fourth birthday and asked him how old he was – “I’m three years old.” he responded, in the most serious of tones. And if you know anything about Zayn, it’s that he’s as serious as they come. We quickly reminded him that no, he was FOUR today, in which he correctly responded – “I’m four.” As serious as can be. And from here on out, Zayn is now officially “Four years old.” We of course promptly celebrated with our traditional doughnut breakfast, the Happy Birthday song, and Zayn blew out his candles many of times, just as any birthday boy should.

We celebrated Zayn’s birthday with a surprise we just knew he’d love – a BART train ride. And if you really know Zayn, you know that he loves the BART train. We hopped on at a stop near our house and rode it two whole stops into Downtown Berkeley where we ate lunch, and then hopped back on again to go home. He was in heaven and talked about the “BART train” all day. Since Zayn’s birthday was on a school day, we all took him to school where he got to celebrate some more. Zayn was given a birthday crown and everyone sang the birthday song in English, in Spanish, and at least three more times throughout the day. His friends at school made him a special birthday book and we brought in pictures from when Zayn was a baby to show everyone. It was pretty cute.

Four year old Zayn is one of a kind. He’s smart and mischievous, he’s stubborn and serious. He’ll tell you his favorite food is doughnuts, but we know it’s really quesadillas, chicken, rice, or broccoli – really he loves just about everything, and really he just loves to eat. At restaurants we’re always waiting on Zayn to finish – he likes to enjoy his food. However Kai does not, and unfortunately for Zayn, a screaming 18-month old usually runs the show. (Sorry, Zayn.) His favorite toy is still his big replica city bus, and he still must sleep with it every night. His favorite books are “Pete the Cat,” and he knows them by heart. Zayn loves to run, and Zayn really loves to sing and dance. Zayn has a crazy good memory, and he knows songs like you wouldn’t believe. He knows all his songs from school (even the Spanish and Urdu ones), and almost every popular song on the radio right now. His favorite song is “Shut up and Dance” and the moment we start playing it he breaks out in the most incredible dance moves we have ever seen. His hands go up, he shakes his booty down, he twirls – we could watch him for hours while he is in his groove. And when he sings it’s so dramatic – we often think he is crying out in pain, but no, he’s just really into the song. Oh Zayn, you make us smile.

We transitioned Zayn to a toddler bed a few months back, and he just recently realized he can actually get out. So now, every night, we’ll be sitting on the couch watching TV and we’ll hear a thump, thump, thump and seconds later the door flies open and squinted-eyes, chubby-cheek, sweaty-hair Zayn waddles out. He’s not wearing his glasses, he has on his cozy pajamas, and at that moment Zayn looks just like the little baby we cuddled just four short years ago. And we can never just tell him to go back to sleep. No, we demand hugs, and kisses, and “I love yous” and sometimes we invite him to come and sit on the couch with us, so we can smell his good smell, and feel the warmth of his soft body that melts into yours when you hold him. Our baby, just for a second again. And sometimes I’ll catch myself wanting baby Zayn back, to do it all over again, but then I look at him now, at four years old, and my eyes start to water because my love for him today is even more than it was yesterday, and I know I could never give that back. Oh Zayn, you’ll never know just how happy you’ve made us these last four years. We love you, our favorite four year old.

Happy, happy birthday my beautiful boy.  Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.  And don’t you ever forget that.

What We’ve Been Up To

October 18th, 2015

“Mow, mow.”  |  He would have used all his tickets on the roller coaster if we let him.

Just add this to the list of things I told myself I’d never let my children do.

A little appetizer.  |  Kai finally go to ride a “buf.”

Ikea date with this ham while “Dane’s at ‘cool.”  |  Serenading us while we wait for lunch. “Shut up and dance with me, this voooman is my destimee.”

The situation every day at 4:15p – the time I need to leave to pick up Zayn from school.

Ready, set, go!  |  He chased every seagull on that beach.

Can you spot the double dipper?  |  First day. Best part about Zayn’s new preschool? It’s across the street from the BART tracks.

Solano Stroll – Dad’s most favorite day of the entire year.

First ball game.  |  Shrimp po’boy, baked mac n’ cheese, tamale, fried chicken sandwich, and a chocolate covered banana for dessert. This one’s a foodie.

This kid doesn’t let anyone sleep.  |  Zayn woke from his nap asking to make a birthday cake, and that we sing to him, multiple times. So we did.

Pumpkin’ patchin’ it.

Whatever you can carry is yours.  |  Swimming pool fun of corn, and he dives in.

We’re not letting Summer go just yet.  |  Post-beach cruisin’.

Every. single. selfie.  |  I’m not one to keep things, but I’m having the hardest time letting go of these shoes. The first pair we bought Z – before he was even born. The shoes Z learned to walk in. The shoes Z learned to run in. And the shoes Kai has worn so much that they’ve turned holey. Lots of good memories from these four little soles.

Alcatraz. Guard! Guard!  |  Pumpkins on pumpkins on pumpkins.

First solo ride and so much fun.  |  Three peas in a riptide.

And about 10 seconds after this was taken, Zayn tried to jump out because we weren’t moving fast enough.

He’s just too much cute.

Three Things

September 13th, 2015

The last three weeks have been full of some huge milestones for our little family. We successfully potty trained Zayn – can we please get a woo-hoo! Zayn got a big boy bed and LOVES it – he still hasn’t figured out he can get out of it in the morning (or night) which we think is hilarious. Zayn started a new preschool and is quite the troublemaker – my perfect Zayn? Yes. And, Kai got a new carseat and now faces forward – he loves it, I love it, but Dad is still getting used to the constant little kicks from big-boy Kai. Ha.

Kai’s at the perfect age to begin mimicking everything we do and he has Dad’s morning routine down. First, he he insists on cleaning his ears with a Q-tip, then he must “fwas” (floss) – I find little pieces of floss all over the house because of Kai’s need to floss everyday, and lastly puts on deodorant. Our tiny (and I mean tiny) bathroom is getting smaller by the day.

Zayn loves music. We don’t watch cartoons at our house, we watch YouTube music videos (per Zayn’s request). He has so many favorite songs and has even started copying the dance moves from the music videos. It is SO cute. One of his current favorites is “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars. I’ll let you just imagine for a minute what it sounds like as Zayn sings “Uptown funk you up!” as he runs around the playground. Get it? We sound like real classy parents. Thanks, Zayn.

What We’ve Been Up To

August 8th, 2015

New specs. He’s killin’ it.  |  We cut off his curls, and now I can’t find my baby.

The ice cream man drove past the park – obviously I flagged him down.  |  We find the most random things at our parks. Surf’s up!

Cue “MAMA HOLD YOU KAI!” in 3. 2. 1.  |  Perfection.

Pancakes (with a view) after a long hike. Yum.

Best Fourth of July Parade seats in the house – until we realized the parade started one block up. BUT we did get first dibs at all the candy.  |  I’m always nervous taking my babies to see fireworks, but this one soaked it all in. He happily stayed up until their 930pm start time, clapped with each sparkling one, and didn’t complain once about the wind or cold. I guess he’s my all American boy.

Big city dreaming.  |  You’d think by now these machines would take credit cards. Sorry kid.

I took Kai to a storytime. He just longed to go back outside.  |  Kai’s kind of library. Take a book, leave a book.

Caution: Wide load coming through.  |  He used to cry in fear every time I dropped him off, now he can’t get there fast enough.

I wish I could bottle the smell of babies when they first wake from their naps.

Weekend aren’t complete until we’ve seen a train – or ten.  |  Found ourselves a mini beach to beat the heat. All 78 degrees of it.

It’s only 3 o’clock, and he’s already looking for “Da-ee.”  |  ”Boo!”

Taste testeres.

Muffin making Monday.  |  Pretty day to cross the bay.

The Redwoods

July 19th, 2015

We took a quick getaway up North this weekend, and the highlight of our mini-vacation was the Redwood National Park. We took a little hike through the forest and WOW. It was so beautiful. The trees were huge, the weather was warm, and everything was so green.

The boys loved running the trail, picking up sticks, and looking for chipmunks.

Zayn’s favorite part was the tree tunnel.

Kai’s favorite part was chasing wildly after Zayn, stick in hand.

I love that we live in such a beautiful place. Nature. It’s just the best.