December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year from Arizona.

December 16, 2009

Christmas Spactacular

This week Lillian's daycare staged a "Winter Program" a festive hour of singing, dancing and general toddler cuteness. Lillian had a grad time singing and dancing to songs in both English and Russian. The program also featured appearance by Santa Claus, poor Lillian was shocked when Santa entered and refused to sit on his lap but did muster up the bravery to retrieve her present from his bag of gifts.

December 12, 2009

Christmas Stuff

This year Lillian is finally old enough to get Christmas, so she's really been getting into the spirit. She's watched both Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, so she's officially an expert on all things Christmas. There have also been lots of activities to get into the spirit. As usual we went to the Mountain View city tree-lighting ceremony (though the pictures didn't turn out this year). She also got her very own, tiny Christmas tree, which will double as a rosemary bush for our new house.

At daycare, she made a reindeer hat, which later ended up living on the tree.

And just tonight we went to a gingerbread house-making party, which Lillian helped decorate between eating the building materials and playing with her friends. Eric is particularly proud of the lamppost.

November 29, 2009

Family Photos

While in Portland our sister-in-law Deb had the forethought to take some family photos while we were all together, here is a sampling of the photos she snapped.

November 26, 2009

Lillian's first time in the snow

Living on the coast of California means that most winters come and go without any snow. Seeing snow involves going somewhere else, like up into the mountains or to another part of the country. Seeing as Eric and I both hate to drive and Lillian doesn't enjoy riding in the car, we have been reluctant to make the 3 hour drive to the mountains to see snow. So when visiting uncle Joe in Portland we decided to take a little drive up Mount Hood to give Lillian a chance to play in the snow for the first time ever. She didn't like the drive much, but once we arrived she was very excited to play in the snow. She and cousin Raquel did some sledding, although after a few slides Lillian was a little frightened of the big fast hill and decided she would rather wander around in the deep snow and build a snow man. After the snowy fun, we stopped by a brew pub so the kids could warm up by the fire and the adults could enjoy some tasty Portland micro-brew.

Lillian walking around in the deeps snow.

Raquel sledding.

Unlce Joe crashed out at the bottom of the hill.

Lillian and the snow man.

Raquel and Lillian, snugling by the fire.

Thanksgiving Antics

This year for Thanksgiving we decided to venture up to Portland to visit Eric's brother Joe who had recently relocated there from Springfield and his brother Matt who also made the trip to Portland for the holliday. Lillian of course had a blast visiting her cousins and playing with all their cool toys. Here are a few scenes from our Thanksgiving celebration and one short, but amusing video.

October 31, 2009

Halloween Fun!

Lillian is finally old enough to participate in Halloween. She didn't really understand what was going on, but she was really excited when Grammy showed up with a fancy princess dress. Kristen rigged up a matching hat (though Eric gets credit for the hat concept) and she was set. She's got fairy wings too, and you can see it's very exciting.

Of course she's a seasoned pro at posing for the camera, so she quickly regains her composure.

Our first stop of the evening was our neighborhood's famous haunted house. It's a little intense, so she needed to hang on to daddy for protection.

Here's the reaction shot for the haunted house. Eric is looking a little concerned too.

At a certain point during the evening Lillian figured out that Trick-or-treating means going to people's houses and getting candy. Then she got really excited.

While we were out we ran into Emily and Britta. Trick-or-treating is even more fun with a friend.

The princess and the lady-bug out on the town.

October 23, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa's Visit

Grandpa Terry and Grandma Betty came to visit us last weekend. Lillian had a great time showing them all her latest tricks, especially how she can transform into a different, crankier person when she refuses to nap. But who can sleep with so much excitement? Grandma and Grandpa picked a really interesting weekend to visit, since we were right in the middle of buying a house! We managed to arrange a tour of the house while they were here, and Grandma took lots of pictures.

Grandpa takes a turn pushing Lillian and Jessie in the swings.
Grandpa escorting our farm-girl at Ardenwood Farm. Grandma's hat really completes the image with the overalls. Did you know that overalls were the original Baby Bjorn? I suspect the name (Swedish for bear) came from the Teddy Bears that fit so perfectly in that bib...
Here's the view of our new house from the street. You gotta love that white picket fence.
Lillian and Nash hanging out in the front yard. One of the things we love best about this house is that so little space is wasted on a front yard so there is plenty of room in the backyard.

October 10, 2009

Harvest Festival

This weekend we had the opportunity to go to a Harvest Festival at High Ground Organics, one of the Two Small Farms that supplies our CSA. It was very exciting to take a tractor pulled hay ride tour of the fields where some of our wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables we receive every week are grown. There were also many animal attractions at the farm including a petting zoo and pony rides. As you may remember from our zoo excursion, Lillian is terrified of petting zoo animals. She did go into the petting zoo today, but refused to touch any of the cute little critters. She tried to feed the goats but ultimately relented and let her friend Samuel feed them instead. Her one small victory of the day was getting her to go for a pony ride. She really wanted to ride the pony, but needed some coaxing. It only took four tires to get her on the pony, and she was a little shaken afterward, but I think she really enjoyed it. You can see a short video of this momentous occasion at the end of this post.

Feeding the goats.

Picking Strawberries.

Walking in the Strawberry fields.

Posing with our strawberries.

Lillian and Samuel on the Hay Ride.

Pumpkins Galore.

Watching the scarecrow building.

Pony ride success after some initial angst.

September 27, 2009

Apple Picking

Last year we made a huge batch of apple butter from apples we picked off our friend Kathy's apple tree. This year her apple tree did not produce well, so we were left looking for another apple source. We happened to find information about a public apple picking happening today at Garin Park in Hayward so we jumped on the opportunity to go on a family apple picking excursion. The orchard at Garin Park which is filled with antique apple varieties was donated to the park on the condition that the public be allowed to come pick apples from the orchard once a year and today was the day. I think everyone had a lot of fun picking apples but we could have done without the 90 degree heat. Also, sadly there was no fresh donuts and cider to be had afterward : (

Let the picking begin.

Lillian and Eric next to a "baby sized" apple tree.

Kristen and Lillian with our bushel full of apples.

A hot and sweaty group shot.

Put that baby to work!

September 24, 2009

Good times

We've had a very busy few weeks, filled with much fun but few pictures. The highlights that we actually managed to get pictures from were hosting Friday lunch at our house and attending a candy party. Our good friend Efsun hosted a candy festival to mark the end of Ramadan. The party involved lots and lots of candy and other sweets, I think we all ate enough sugar to make us feel ill.

Jessie, Sophia and Lillian all snuggled in Lillian's bed together.

Jessie the cowgirl, ballerina, rock star.

Lillian with blue candy to match her blue dress and blue hat. This is clearly the face of a girl who's had too much sugar. Lillian didn't nap for 3 days after this party...

September 7, 2009

Lillian's First Camping Trip

This weekend, we took Lillian on her first camping trip. It was a good distraction from the drama of the previous week. The stroller hiking group that we have been hiking with since Lillian was a little baby organized a camping trip on a ranch owned by the family of one of the members. It was a fabulous spot nestled beside a creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Soquel. Lillian loved playing in the creek with the other kids. A favorite activity for the weekend was catching crayfish with nets and putting them in a little pen they had constructed with rocks. The crayfish kept escaping which lead to further fun of catching all them over again. We also got to sit around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and making lots of new friends. Unfortunately it was a very cold night and we were ill prepared campers so we didn't get a lot of sleep that night. But all in all it was a lot of fun and totally worth it.

Lillian getting ready for some good times.
Catching Crayfish.

Crayfish trying to escape it's pen.

Playing with Stomp Rockets with the big kids.

Hanging out by the stream.

September 3, 2009

A day of many firsts

What a day. Lillian woke us up bright and early as usual, but lulled us into complacency by deciding to snuggle in our bed. Once she had both of us lying down again, she popped out of bed, and wandered out into the house. We were tired, and too comfortable, and it was reasonably quiet out there so we let it go for a few minutes. Then we heard her banging around in the kitchen. We forced ourselves to overcome the lure of bed to investigate and this is what we saw.

A bowl with a little bit of dry cereal had been left on the table from the night before. She got the milk out of the fridge, and emptied the whole thing into her bowl. Surprisingly she managed to get most of it in the bowl successfully with only a little spilling on the table cloth. As you can see she was extremely proud of herself. Unfortunately the milk had turned bad and we had to dump the whole thing.

Our day proceeded as usual with Lillian going to daycare. After daycare, Kristen took Lillian into the office for a product launch celebration. Lillian got bored withe speeches, and wandered off. While doing so, she managed to get tangled up in the cords from the blinds, and face-planted on the carpet. This caused her bottom front teeth to pierce her lower lip. Kristen and Lillian had to abandon the party missing out on the cake and champagne, rushing to urgent care. Kristen gave Eric a call to tell him what was going on, but then her phone died before they could figure out which facility they should go to. While Eric stressed at home clueless, Lillian got two stitches.
She's handled it pretty well, all things considered. She still wants to smile for the camera.