Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

[Kerean] This summer was really, really fun!

We traveled outside of California as a family of four for the very first time. This meant an exciting milestone for Kira. Her very first plane ride. She was a CHAMP! Not a single meltdown the entire time from Los Angeles to Buffalo and then by car to Rochester, New York! Our happy, playful baby is truly just that.

Just like her big sister, Kira loves traveling, and Maia certainly loved having Kira along. I can’t wait for all the future trips we get to take together.

In New York, we got to see cousins we hadn’t seen since I was pregnant with Maia. Kira got to swim in a lake for the first time. Maia was a flower girl in a wedding for the first time and we got to reconnect with friends—mostly my MBA friends from Penn State.

I will make a series of posts to capture our time traveling to and being in New York followed by other fun things we did this summer, which includes Matthew and me celebrating 8 years of marriage with a road trip to Monterey, CA via Highway 1.

Kira looking out the window of the airplane

Kira Looking Out the Window Of the Airplane

Maia and Dad Walking Through the Airport

Maia and Dad Walking Through the Airport

Cousin Laura Meets Kira

Cousin Laura Meets Kira

Met up with Cousins - Cousin Sam Walks up and Steals a Kiss.

Cousin Sam Walks up and Steals a Maia Kiss

Swimming in Keuka Lake - One of the Finger Lakes

Swimming in Keuka Lake – One of the Finger Lakes

Fun with Daddy in Keuka Lake

Fun with Daddy in Keuka Lake

At the cousin's cabin on the lake after a swim

At the Cousins’ Cabin on the Lake After a Swim

Maia and Kaya Reunited after Three Years

Maia and Kaya Reunited after Three Years

Meet up with MBA Friends

Meet up with MBA Friends – Sinem & Son Kaya

The whole MBA gang with spouses and kids

The MBA Gang with Spouses and Kids. In Rochester for Ekaterina’s Wedding.

Night Out with Ekaterina and Vanessa

Night Out with Ekaterina and Vanessa


[Kerean] There has been a lot of cooking/baking with Maia lately. She is very interested in helping me in the kitchen and of course, I welcome my lil sous chef! Actually, I have always involved or invited Maia to help me in the kitchen (especially with the fun dishes), but lately, she has been expressing her own interest in helping me cook. I also credit the Montessori methodology for Maia’s ability to willingly own and complete a “job”.

I have found that cooking with Maia strongly correlates to her trying non-typical toddler foods. Her interest in helping Mommy (and Daddy) in the kitchen is therefore something that I encourage and nurture. It’s quite a bit of fun making these wonderful memories with our little Puddy!

If she helps cook it, chances are she’ll eat it! Her new food tried and liked this week is asparagus!

Here is a typical toddler dish Maia made with me last week – pepperoni and bell pepper pizza with non-dairy cheese (the dough is from scratch and was her favorite part to make of course).

Proud chef and her finished product

Proud chef and her finished dinner before sticking it in the oven

[Kerean] My birthday this year was one to remember. We went away on a nice family weekend together by the beach, which was relaxing and a lot of fun. We played and hung out on Huntington Beach, Maia and Matt enjoyed the “water park” at the hotel, and we capped things off with delicious food.

Going home and baking my birthday cake with Maia was really a highlight that perfectly wrapped up my birthday celebration for 2014.

Baking with Maia weint something like this:

“Can I taste it?”
“When can I taste it?”
“When can I eat it all up?”
“Is it done baking yet?”
“This is so yummy Mommy!”

The recipe is my go-to vegan cake recipe I bake every year for Maia’s birthday.

She started out icing the cake but quickly got more interested in eating it than spreading it on the cake as you can see from most of the photos that follow:
MamaMaia's Birthday Cake

photo 2

photo (2)

photo 3

The end product but something was missing...

The end product but something was missing…

Maia insisted on decorating it with dinosaurs.

Ah, yes, dinosaurs!

[Kerean] Blueberry pancakes for Maia because she essentially makes them for herself (recipe at the end). I love weekend mornings…especially when they go like this…

She is a natural…eyeballing the honey like a pro.
Maia Makes Pancakes

Carefully selecting blueberries for a good rinse before adding to the batter.
Maia Makes Pancakes

Multitasking mixing and squirting.
Maia Makes Pancakes

Look at that meticulous focus…
Maia Makes Pancakes

Indulging Mommy in a photo op…look at that happy beautiful face. This happy…her happy, is everything! Her happiness always reflecting in her eyes is magical.
Maia Makes Pancakes

She had a bit of bacon…
Maia Makes Pancakes

“Show me the bacon…”
Maia Makes Pancakes

Someone had to test them…who better than the chef herself.

Maia Makes Pancakes

The recipe for Maia’s vanilla soy blueberry pancakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil

Whisk all ingredients together without over beating. A 1/4 cup makes the perfect sized pancakes for us.

Maia at home 1/19/2014

Maia at home 1/19/2014

[Kerean] It’s a new year and I can’t wait to experience every minute of it with my little family.

It just occurred to me that I can put a picture on the right sidebar of this blog and decided on the most recent picture of the three of us together. So, there you have it, my little family with the star of this blog front and center. Our Maia.

It’s taken me a whole month to get back into the swing of blogging again. Well, I guess this first post of the year isn’t exactly “a swing” but I plan to continue. Hopefully, we can post even more than we did last year. One day, when Maia is old enough, I hope she will enjoy looking back at these posts and pictures of some of the experiences we have had with her.

Maia Star - Pleiades Cluster

Maia in the Pleiades Cluster in our Milky Way Galaxy.

According to WordPress, there were quite a few people who read our blog last year. Another reason to continue posting as I wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone :).

Here is an anecdotal summary from WordPress of last year’s stats:

“A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,900 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.”

I guess there will always be someone out there who enjoys our posts about our life with Maia. She is our star that continues to illuminate our lives so very brightly.

"I want to wear my spin around dress." Phase.

“I want to wear my spin around dress.” Phase.

[Kerean] This past weekend we spent a day frolicking at one of our favorite places – The Huntington Botanical Gardens and Library. It’s beautiful and especially fragrant this time of year with the roses in full bloom. Maia especially enjoys the children’s garden. It was a great day.

Here are pictures of Maia in the rose garden. She stopped on occasion to smell the roses; the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. Stay tuned for more pictures of our family playtime outing. They will be of the DaddyMaia kind.

Huntington Gardens00

Huntington Gardens01

Huntington Gardens02

[Matt] That thud was the sound of you falling out of your chair and hitting the floor. Yes, it’s me, Matt, posting to this blog for the first time in over a year (or is it two?). But it makes sense, because this week I have been trying out the solo parent thing, as Maia and I have continued our vacation in Maine after Kerean returned to California on Monday. As these photos show, we’ve had an eventful few days with Gram and Zeyde (Maia’s paternal grandmother and grandfather).

I apologize for the amateurish layout, either the WordPress tools have changed since my last post or I’ve simply forgotten how to use them…

Here’s one photo from a trip to the family camp on Georges Pond in Franklin, ME on Wednesday (9/4). Zeyde still needs to share his photos of Maia and me in the water.


Playing in the sand at Georges Pond while Gram and Zeyde relax.

The next set of photos is from Friday, (9/6) our trip to visit some old family friends, the Dudmans, at their summer home in Islesford, Little Cranberry Island:


Maia rides the mail boat with the mountains of Acadia in the background.


Zeyde and Gram have been remembering how much energy it takes to chase after a two-year-old.


Maia crossing the meadow after disembarking from the mail boat.


Arriving at the Dudman home.


Richard Dudman, retired journalist and radioman. (At 95, the oldest person Maia has ever hung out with.)


Helen Dudman fixes Maia’s lunch.


Maia sits down to a delicious lunch.


The Islesford Dock


Heading home on the mail boat.

And finally, today (Saturday, 9/7) we took a ride on the Downeast Scenic Railroad. Since Zeyde got the privilege of riding in the locomotive, he wasn’t with us during the 90-minute ride, so whenever Maia asked “where’s Zeyde?” we told her he was driving the train. Maia thought this was great fun, except she said the train whistle was too loud and hurt her ears. She logically blamed Zeyde for blowing the whistle too loudly. Zeyde apologized for this (in spite of being in the locomotive, he hadn’t even gotten to blow the whistle, which seems like a shame to me).


All Aboard!





At the Ellsworth Falls end, the locomotive unhooked and was moved along a siding to the back of the train. You can’t tell, but that shadow in the doorway is Zeyde.


As the locomotive switches off of the siding to come hook up to the (formerly) back end of the train, Maia discusses this turn of events with another passenger.




Honestly, “making holes” in the gravel after we disembarked was at least as much fun as the train ride itself.






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