Summer has arrived early here in northern California, temperatures have been in the 80's, on and off, since mid April. We've been itching to go to the pool ever since the weather warmed up, and now our favorite kid friendly pool is now open for the year. Nathaniel spent most of his time splashing around in knee deep water of the kiddie pool, as he is not confident enough yet to wander into the deeper water. Lillian wanted to try out the 9 feet deep big pool and diving board. She was scared at first, but once she got over her fears she was unstoppable. Kristen tried to show Lillian how to dive, but for now she's more interested in cannon balls and belly flops. Eric got some pretty cool action shots of the diving beauties.
May 9, 2013
This week Lillian's class took a field trip to the local fire station. Since the field trip was on a Thursday morning, the one morning that Kristen isn't working, and the field trip was scheduled to end before Nathaniel's nap,Kristen and Nathaniel were able to join Lillian's class in the fun at the firehouse. The tour included demonstrations of the firefighters gear and equipment, seeing where the firefighters live while on duty, lessons in fire safety and emergency preparedness, and getting to climb around in a real fire truck.
This past weekend there was a street festival on nearby Castro St, it was one of many arts and crafts fairs that the city sponsors in the summertime One of the attractions for kids involved giant air tight inflatable balls that you could go inside and flop around in a pool of water without getting wet. Lillian was fascinated, and quickly decided that she wanted to spend some of her own money to go inside. I must say that the spectacle was almost as entertaining for the parents watching as it was for the kids inside the balls.
April 29, 2013
Nathaniel has been growing in leaps and bounds, both physically and in his abilities. He has a very strong personality and knows how to get exactly what he wants. He may not know how to say much, but he knows how to ask for his favorite foods. Some new words he learned this week are cookie, cake, chocolate and candy (he's really mastered that hard "C" sound). He has also developed an independent streak and wants to do everything himself. He likes to walk instead of riding in the stroller, but he refuses to hold hands even when crossing busy streets. He likes to go down slides, all by himself, to pretty darn cute effect. He is also very interested in bicycles and kites.
April 22, 2013
After some initial disappointment that the festivities weren't scheduled for the actual day of her birthday, Lillian was excited to have all her friends over to Mercy-Bush park to celebrate her sixth birthday this past weekend. It was a beautiful, sunny day and almost all of her friends came out so it was really nice having the extra space at the park for them to run and climb. The egg hunt for puzzle pieces was somewhat successful, as we only found 94 of the 100 pieces hidden, and many of the kids lost interest in assembling the puzzle. But Lillian's hand-made egg pinata was a big hit, in more ways than one. We were very proud that it held up to more than one hit, yet didn't require the adults to smash it open. Finally, at Lillian's request we had a stacked tower of cupcakes with pink frosting except for one with a white rose at the top just for the birthday girl. Happy Birthday Lillian!
April 17, 2013
This past week was Lillian's school spring break. Since we had just returned from Auntie Erin's wedding it seemed silly to turn around and head off for another vacation so we decided to have a stay-cation, we spent our days doing lots of hanging out at home plus visiting some of our favorite local destinations. Without school to worry about, there was time for lots of dress-up and arts and crafts. Lillian made good use of her free time (and the paper that Auntie Erin sent for her birthday) to make elaborate paper crowns for herself an her brother. We visited Stanford's Robot Block Party where Lillian got to play with all sorts of cool robots. We also spent an afternoon at two of our favorite places, Happy Hollow and the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo. Good fun was had by all, but all the activity left us looking forward to a week of normalcy.
April 11, 2013
We all traveled to Phoenix for Auntie Erin's wedding over Easter weekend. The kids had a great trip, the weather was fantastic, everyone was in great spirits, the baby slept on the plane and miraculously no-one got sick on the trip. Erin and Preston created a fantastic wedding party weekend for us all to celebrate their marriage. We were happy to see many friends and family who we had not seen in many years. It was wonderful to spend so much time catching up with everyone. Lillian quickly made friends with another 5 year old and they had great fun dancing up a storm at the wedding. They were also quick to retire early for a sleepover with a babysitter when the evening grew long. We have many more photos posted in a webalbum here.
March 11, 2013
We've had a string of sunny days recently, so we've been spending lots of time at the park. The kids have each been working on perfecting some new tricks. Nathaniel learned how to climb up the concrete water feature, thankfully the water faucet is not working otherwise we would have one soggy baby. Lillian has learned how to twist up the swing such that it is high enough to grab the top of the swing set. From there she can shimmy her way across to the opposite side and slide down the pole. The video documentation of this trick bellow is not for the faint of heart!
February 28, 2013
Lillian and Nathaniel have become sources of endless amusement for one another these days. After returning from a birthday party with a book full of princess stickers, Lillian disappeared into her room with her brother. A short while later they emerged and declared Nathaniel to be "The Princess Sticker Man" as he is now covered with stickers. As school came back in session this week, Nathaniel really wanted to go to school with Lillian, and hijacked her backpack, which was once again a source of great hilarity.
February 25, 2013
Lillian had the whole week off of school this past week, she spent lots of time sewing with her Grammy and practicing her monkey bars skills at the park. One day she got out her scissors and tape and started cutting out orange paper for a "sculpture" we weren't sure where she was going with it, but the results were pretty impressive. The person had a nose and lops that stuck out, braided hair going down her back, and eventually clothes and a purse. She also only has one eyebrow, we're not sure if that was a creative choice or an oversight.
February 16, 2013
It had been a few months since we had last visited one of our favorite spots Hidden Villa. This was our first visit since Nathaniel started walking, and he had a blast toddling around and exploring every nook and cranny of the kid sized farm. He had no fear running with the chickens and squealing in delight as the scurried away. His sister met a little boy who proudly showed her where she was on the map. Good fun for a sunny winter day.
The past few yeats we have celebrated Mardi Gras with a family friendly fete. We mad a big pot of gumbo and Hurricanes for the grown-ups our friends provided the rest, including a King Cake that was flown in from New Orleans for the occasion. We certainly fulfilled our goal of fattening everyone up for those observing lent.
Contrary to popular belief most of Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a family friendly affair, and local kids enjoy viewing the parades from ladders and collecting mountains of trinkets thrown off the floats. Our kids have a great time playing with all the beads and dablons collected during our years in New Orleans. We hope to take them there to experience Mardi Gras when they are a little older.
January 27, 2013
Lillian's school threw a party for all the kids at our local ice skating rink. The rink is always good fun, with ice to skate on and (fake) snow, but even more so when it's full of kids she knows. Lillian had a blast skating with her schoolmates, especially her little buddy Reid.