Thursday, February 05, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

I know, I know: we're bad bloggers and it's been more than a month since we updated. You may flog us with a wet lo mein noodle.

On January 26 we said "Goodbye!" to the Year of the Rat, "Hello!" to the Year of the Ox, and "Happy Birthday" to Aunty Tina. The arrival of Year 4706 was celebrated with a (sort-of) traditional Chinese dinner...if you're willing to count PF Changs as traditional, and you're willing to overlook the fact that the only traditional CNY food on the table was Lo Mein. Ten looked lovely in her new black Qi Pao with the pink & blue blossoms on it.

We ended up scrapping our plans to attend the CNY Parade in LA this year, but we did meet up with Scott, Gaynor, Lauren & Amanda for the festivities at the Huntington Library & Gardens in Pasadena. Despite being Super Bowl Sunday, it was beyond crowded, and there were lots of families there that looked like ours.

Our first stop was to see some Chinese dancers. Ten really liked the first dance that was done with the long silk fans. The peacock dance was a little slow for her, but she was all about trying on a lion dancers costume afterwards.

We wandered through the Chinese Garden and admired the koi fish before heading back to the Sculpture Garden to get a seat for the Kung Fu demonstration and Lion Dance. Ten liked the Kung Fu, and boldly declared that that was like Mulan. I have a feeling I may be searching for a pee-wee Kung Fu class soon. There were 5 Lions dancing: 2 red, 1 green, 1 pink, and a tiny Tenley-sized one. Ten liked the pink one best, and was thrilled when it came up and wiggled it's ears in her face.
After the Lion Dance, we took the girls to the Children's Garden and let them run free for a while before we headed home, having once again fulfilled our promise to the govenment of China to expose our daughter to her native culture.
On Monday, I did my best to make my daughter feel special and instill a sense of pride in her heritage by teaching Chinese New Year to her pre-school class. We read a book about CNY traditions; ate mandarin oranges, crunchy noodles and almond cookies; and made paper lanterns. Everyone was covered in cookie crumbs and glitter, and a good time was had by all.

This is my favourite picture from Chinese New Year:
Behold 'Bitter Angry Tenley'! What produced this charming face and caused the temperature of her head to rise 10 degrees?? Well, you can't pick flowers at the Huntington, but you can pick up blossoms that have fallen. On the way to the lion dance Ten, Lauren and Amanda all picked up fallen blossoms. But Ten discarded hers....and then apparently forgot that. So in the middle of the lion dance she sees Amanda holding her flower- and goes ballistic. She tries to say that Amanda's flower is hers, and that Amanda has taken it, and she wants it back NOW. We know better, we tried to remind her that she had tossed her flower, and told her she could get another later. Ten was having none of it. Finally we told her to stuff it, and if we heard one more peep out of her about it, we were going home. Well, she shut up....and settled for giving all of us the look of death. We laughed at her. Ahhh, the joys of dealing with a 4 year old!!

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