Happy Year of the Tiger
And despite the difficult juggling that accompanies raising a second child, we are indeed grateful for how the past year worked out. Both Yvette’s and Liwen’s employers allowed them to take several weeks of leave after we brought Savio back from Vietnam. Savio is a determined fellow and has no compunctions about airing his grievances, but overall his transition to our strange land has gone well. He’s been gracious enough to allow us to fold laundry occasionally, move three tons of rock by hand as we landscaped our backyard, and even travel.
Yet the previous time we had made it back to camp ten minutes after a brief Sierra shower soaked the inside of our tent. So has this year gone. Parenting has a unique capacity to humble. We plan to bring extra milk, to put on the rain fly, and to get to meetings on time without food residue on our work duds, but distraction, exhaustion, or karma sometimes interfere. Sequoia and Savio are learning that sometimes you just have to trek on, hope for the best, and be thankful when things do work out.
Cleanest clothes you’ll see on Savio
Snag Lake from the top of the Cinder Cone at Lassen.
 In June, we climbed Yosemite’s Lembert Dome and Nevada Falls with Yvette’s cousins. Encouraged by the fact that the kids didn’t yet weigh 60 pounds, Liwen then took them backpacking at Cody Lake, followed by a family camping trip with Sequoia’s namesakes in Big Trees State Park (where, yes, we had to hang up our sleeping bags to dry). In August, while Sequoia’s preschool closed for two weeks, we looped from Humboldt Redwoods to southwest Oregon to Lassen. We feasted on blackberries, learned how four people can shower in 5 minutes worth of quarters at Hidden Spring campground, and splashed on jet boats on the Klamath River.  
Sitting on a ton of rock. (Photo by Nan Phelps)
Solstice at Glacier Point
Enjoying a warm day near Ophir Beach
Sequoia is a wonderful jie jie (older sister) to Savio, watching out for him, teaching him the intricacies of doll play, and playing with him when the parents are conked out on the couch. She looks forward to kindergarten in the fall but in the meantime enjoys being one of the big preschoolers, learning about cartilage, echidnas, and esophagi from her Montessori nature studies teacher.
Dipping in Elizabeth Lake at Lassen
Enjoying a warm day at Limantour Beach
Savio exploring Vietnam
Savio has started daycare, necessitating a third seat on Li’s bike for the morning commute. We are amazed at how much he has learned in the nearly one year he’s been with us: how to crawl, walk, spray his bottle all over the car, shout “Mommy” at three in the morning, ask for avocado, and put all sorts of items in his mouth, including one hapless garden snail. The adoption remains one of the best choices we have ever made, and we continue to stay engaged with the community of adoptive families.
Liwen is still at Fenwick & West, where he finally succeeded in not going overboard with his billable hours. Most of his work continues to involve copyright issues or other litigation, though he also has been working on some pro bono immigration matters.
Yvette has added to her responsibilities at Alameda County’s Health Care Services Agency, where in addition to school health services, she now oversees a broader range of children’s health services. Sequoia seems to appreciate the value of her mommy’s work but is particularly intrigued by Yvette’s descriptions of the juvenile justice system.  
Parenting two kids while juggling other obligations during the past year has not always been easy or mistake free, but we nevertheless are grateful that we have had a fine combination of luck and unqualified support from friends and family to somehow muddle through. We thank you for your love and friendship, and we hope that the Year of the Tiger brings you the blessings you deserve.
Savio, Sequoia, Liwen, and Yvette
Savio’s first bike ride
Sequoia with cousins Hayley & Taylor in Redwood Country
Sequoia dancing
Snowfall in Yosemite
We had driven an hour from our Lassen camp to go for a stroll up the remote cinder cone in the park’s northeast corner. As we hiked past lava beds and admired the dramatic clouds flowing northeast over the cinder cone, it occurred to us that we neglected to put the rain fly on the tent (for the second time that year!). Ultimately we pressed on rather than dashing back immediately. The views of the Fantastic Lava Beds and lakes did not disappoint, and we made it back to camp ten minutes ahead of the pelting rain.
Fields and mountains of Lang Son
Savio’s first trip to Yosemite in June
 Hiking at Big Trees
Backpacking at Cody Lake
Easter bunnies
Savio’s drum set
Princess, fairy, and shark