Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Welcome Year of the Rat

February 7, 2008 brought Chinese year 4706 – the Year of the Rat. At last, it’s my year: I am the lone Rat surrounded by Monkeys (Mom, Jeff, Ten, Grandpa Dave- all Monkey People).

We started reading “My First Chinese New Year” by Karen Katz and we kept with Chinese tradition by attempting to clean the house, buying Ten new (Chinese) clothes and shoes, and getting her (and Jeff’s) hair cut.

Thursday night we went to PF Chang’s for some very Americanized Chinese Food, and quietly noted a couple other families that looked alot like ours were there celebrating too.

This year marked what will probably be the first of many for me: bringing Chinese New Year to Tenley’s class at school. Ten’s pre-school is non-denominational, and they encourage parents to come in and teach the kids about any holiday or family tradition that is relevant to their family. So I showed up on Friday morning with mandarin oranges and crunchy noodles for snack, the afore mentioned book to read to the class, and the supplies to have the kids make Chinese lanterns. It all went over very well, and the kid’s lanterns are now decorating the classroom. I would like to give a huge thank you to Pick Up Stix # 505: I asked if they would be willing to donate crunchy noodles and fortune cookies for the class- and they did- along with chopsticks (and the little plastic holders so kids can use them), balloons and stickers all arranged into individual take-out boxes as goody bags for all 25 kids. I am still blown away by how thoughtful and generous it was to do that.

On Saturday, we headed into Los Angeles Chinatown for the Golden Dragon Parade. This year we were smart: we parked at Union Station in Downtown and took a 3min ride on the Gold Line right into Chinatown – way better than trying to find street parking or parking at Dodger Stadium like we did last year. The Grand Marshal was a big hit this year- who better in the Mouse year than Mickey himself? The Beijing Olympic mascots were there, and in all Ten counted 6 dragons and she still says “5 lions” but I think it was more like 15 lions. Miss Chinatown and various other Asian beauty queens waved and winked at her, and various older Chinese parade goers stopped to ask which province she was from and were impressed that she could say “Happy New Year” in Chinese. Tenley herself was very into the confetti cannons, and kept picking the bits up off the ground and stuffing them into her dad’s pockets. But being a busy 3 year old, she was really done with the parade by the time it was half over. We shopped our way back to the Gold Line, with Tenley scoring a green fan that matched her dress.

Everyone was starving, and it was noted that we would pass right by La Tolteca on the drive home. And La Tolteca is just a few minutes from Doug, Tina & (future husband) James’ house. One quick cell call and the next thing you know we were on their doorstep and then heading out for ultra yummy Mexican food. After sating ourselves, we went back over to their house so James & Ten could run amok, the big kids could play with the Wii, and everybody could finish off the Baskin Robbins ice cream cake from James’ birthday. A fine multi-cultural celebration if there ever was one.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tenley is adorable! Looks and sounds like you guys have been having a terrific CNY so far!

I just got your e-mail (sent about a month and a half ago)...sorry I was so slow to get back with you!