Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Atlantis Play Park

There is a park in Garden Grove that I remember going to as a child....it has a big stone dragon slide and a pirate ship. I couldn't remember where it was so I asked my oldest friend, Wendy, whom I have known since kindergarden and whom I gone with to said park. She remembered it too, but also could not recall the name. So she emailed her mom, Judy, who is currently living in Thailand and *viola!* she remembered the name: Atlantis Play Park.
The dragon slide is still there, though a bit smaller than I remember......but the kids are having a blast as I write this and I am enjoying wathing them have the same experience I had so many years ago.


Mobile Blogging from here.

The Artiste

Our neighbors had a birthday party at the park and somehow I was assigned the job of face painting.......it actually turned out to be a lot of fun, and I see a great deal of face painting in our future! A sample of the results:

A Whole New World

So. Ava can read. She read 43 pages of "Green Eggs and Ham" all by herself last night. If she doesn't recognize a word she can sound it out. If she can't sound it out she can spell it out for me or Brian. Clearly she is a genius.
I can't express how excited I am for her. She has the key to 1,000 lands, endless skills, all knowledge. The begininng of a great journey.
Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Movie?

Trying something new.....let's see if this works. This is a movie from way back in November of 2006; the kids were just over 2 years old. Cate cracks me up in this....


video

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Off to School We Go!

The kids started pre-Kindergarten on September 3rd. Such a big day!! They are going to St. Stephen's Lutheran School, at the Lutheran church by our house. Not that we are Lutheran, but it's close and our God-daughter (who is also not Lutheran) went there and loved it. They only teach pre-K and K, and have been doing it for decades. Their teacher is Mrs. Barillier (Baa-rill-EE-A) and she looks like she could be June Cleaver's slightly more stylish best friend. The kids love their new school, love their new friends, and are having a blast. I, on the other hand, am having tremendous anxiety over packing their lunches every day - my God, the pressure! WHO KNEW? I want them to eat healthy food, but I also don't want them to be those kids, you know the ones, the ones who come to school with carob clusters and all-natural sweetened-only-with-fruit-juice oat brannie O's and try to trade with the other kids for normal foods like cookies and, yeah, that's never going to happen. But I also don't want to fill their lunch boxes with Oreos, potato chips and Ding-Dongs. Where is my happy medium? WHERE?

Okay, enough angst. Pictures!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And So It Begins......

Today we spent a few hours in the pool at Jessie and Nigel's place. It was a perfect day for the pool; a hot-ish 85o with a slight breeze. The water was cool and lovely and the kids splashed and played, racing each other from one end of the pool to the other. Then Ava decided she wanted to visit the "hot pool", so we moved the party over there. Even though the day was hot and the water was even hotter I could have stayed in there all day. I do love me a good hot tub.

Jack was inching in, dramatically wincing at the heat. He stuck his feet in, then went to his knees, then mid thigh, then the water hit his crotch and he straightened back up quickly. I asked him if he was okay, to which he replied "My penis doesn't like the hot". "Oh?" "Yes. My penis doesn't know if it wants to come in. It's deciding".

Apparently his penis has a brain. I related the story to Jessie, who said "Well, at least he acknowledges it. Admitting it is the first step". So true.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sea Crags #3

Woodland children.
Ava on the swing.
At the river.
Mimi and the Guncles.
Another wonderful trip! We are looking forward to heading up again at Thanksgiving! The old house is coming along, and with a few more improvements we should be able to stay in it. That will be a great day.
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Sea Crags #2

Lame! Blogger is only letting me post 4 pics at a time! So, I guess I'll have a few more entries:

Wood Nymphs
Denali and John at the beach.
Getting down at the Dancing Table
Preparing for battle.
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Sea Crags #1

So, instead of telling stories about our trip to Sea Crags I figured I would post a mess a pictures instead. We went up for a whole week, and had a wonderful, relaxing time. Although we had planned to work on the old house, it turned out that most of the guys counldn't make it this time, and all the ladies had children in tow, which makes it hard to get things done. So instead we spent the time relazxing, playing at the beach and the river, picking blackberries, making jam and cooking for the masses. At the high point we had 27 people, 19 of whom were kids from the ages of 1-15. Whew!

This year there were a ton of seal lions hanging out on the big rock just off the beach.
Ava and Henry at the river.
Finding tadpoles at the river. That's Sofia in the black hat, leading the expedition.
Jack on the rope swing.
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San Jose Children's Museum


This time on our way up to Sea Crags we stopped over in San Jose instead of San Francisco. We did this because we have been wanting to visit their Children's Museum, which was recommended very highly to us by our good friend Shannon, who grew up in San Jose. Well, I must say that all her raving did not do this place justice! It is one of the the *best* kid's museum I have ever been to, with so many cool hands-on activities that we could have easily spent the entire week-end there. John and Stephen came on the trip with us, so they had a chance to explore the museum as well, and I think if you asked them they would tell you that it sucked. But that is only because they are 15 and -beyond cool- and would never admit to having a total blast.

Slow boat to China. Kidding, it's actually Vietnamese.
The arch that Cate built. Really. How cool is that?
Hanging out with Curious George. It was actually a pretty cool exhibit and I learned a lot about H.A. Rey.
Making "rainbow" pizza with Uncle Steve.
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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Who Knew?

Brian decided that the kids were ready for "chapter books", so the other night he picked out one of his childhood favorites, "The Boxcar Children" to read to them at bedtime. When he came out of their room I asked him how it went and he said "Well, they seemed to enjoy it, but I had to do some quick doctoring of the story as I was reading it". ??? See, it turns out that the Boxcar Children? The children who live in a boxcar? THEY'RE ORPHANS. BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS DIED.

After we finish up the Boxcar Children series, we are going to read them Titus Andronicus and then perhaps The Silence of the Lambs.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Goodbye Mother Goose, Act 4

Then a new bed for Cate, with a cool canopy and a play area underneath. Cate's bedding is the Fabler Prickar line, the storage is the Trofast line, and the bed is Kura.

God I love IKEA. We got all the bedding and storage units there. We looked there for bunkbeds, but the ones we liked didn't seem super sturdy; I am happy with the one we found at a local furniture store. But everything else is IKEA and seems to be durable enough for 3 four-and-half year olds, which says a lot.


New light, old shelf (a custom job by Grandpa), and a few more odds and ends. The clutter on the shelf, particularly all the electrical cords, is driving me batty. If anyone has a good idea about how to hide/camoflage them, feel free to share.


This is were we put the next days clothes......


........jammies and buddies live here......



Still to do: recover/replace the rocking chair, put the window curtains back up (or possibly replace them), new curtains for the play area under Cate's bed (I'm thinking an open, "puppet theater" type window would be cool), some kind of "tent door" on Cate's canopy so she can have privacy and put up high shelves on the walls above Cate's bed for "off limits" stuff. And maybe paint the floor. We'll see. I promise more pictures when it is all finished!

Goodbye Mother Goose, Act 3

Then I gave Ava a hanging clothing holder, trimmed it to fit and attached it to the mattress slats for the top bunk, to hold her treasures. Some new bedding (IKEA Fabler Kalas).....


.....a light and her name.......


...and the piece de resistance: a curtain! I mounted it to the underside of the top bunk using an aluminum ceiling track. I have to admit I really like how the "windows" turned out! They are covered by flaps of fabric that can be pinned back (I used buttons and rubber bands, see pics below) or left down, depending on ones mood. They love to play house with them.


Then a curtain for Jack. We used a flexible PVC ceiling track for this one, and the curtain glides without a hitch; I like it so much I am going to replace Ava's. It was surprisingly easy to install; only a few tense moments where Brian and I were tempted to throw tools at each other.

Goodbye Mother Goose, Act 2

So we slowly began revamping the room. It's about 75% complete at this point; but I figured I should get some pictures up as my mom has threatened to kill me if I don't. It started when we finally decided to ditch the cribs/daybeds and buy a twin/twin bunk bed. The "rules" say you shouldn't do this until the children are 6, but as they are already swinging from the monkey bars and shimmying down the swings we figured they would be okay. So we had the bunk bed and then a mattress on the floor (I'll leave it to you to imagine how much I loved that arrangement. I think mattresses on the floor just scream SOPHISTICATION, don't you?).

Anyhoo, we played musical beds for a while, but then it became too much of a nightly ordeal, so I assigned beds. Jack is in the top bunk, Ava in the bottom bunk, Cate is in the single twin and the trundle (also known as "the drawer") is reserved for the occasional guest. Much weeping and wailing ensued. What to do?

I had an idea to make each bed into a special niche for each child; a place where they could hole up and have a moment of privacy, a place to keep their treasures, a place that was really THEIRS and theirs alone......I began with a window box affixed to the foot of the top bunk, a place for Jack to store his treasures.....

Some new bedding (IKEA Fabler Resa) and I recycled the alphabet cards we had up to spell out his name.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Goodbye Mother Goose, Act 1

Shortly after the babies were born my mother painted a wonderful mural of Mother Goose on one of the walls of the nursery, and additional smaller murals on the other walls. We added simple white slatted cribs (which later converted to daybeds), touches of black and ivory, especially gingham, as well as a smattering of vintage accessories (lights, mobiles) and a comfy rocker, elegantly draped (like that?) with a vintage cream candlewicking bedspread. It really was a magnificent room, just what I had envisioned when I pictured my dream nursery for my miracle babies. But babies grow up and before you know it they are toddlers, and then you turn around and they are preschoolers and the whole Nursery Rhyme theme is just....so.....BABY. And we are not babies any more. We are BIG KIDS. Sigh.