December 19, 2010

Gingerbread Party

Last night we attended our friend's yearly Ginger Bread House building party. Last year we had a blast producing this rather modest ginger bread abode. This year we got a little more creative with the theme and built a ginger bread pirate ship complete with a gummy bear crew, mermaid on the bow, crossed swords on the stern, pretzel stick cannons, chewing gum flags, and a candy cane anchor. The pirate ship was anchored off a desert island with an M&M filled treasure chest. The entire ship was under attack by a hoard of giant gummy octopuses. Constructing the ship was great fun and a bit of an engineering challenge. Of course the greatest engineering feat of the evening was Katharine and Jessie's Gingerbread marble run.

December 17, 2010

Christmas show

This past week Lillian's daycare put on a their annual Christmas Show. The show featured toddlers singing and dancing and playing with fake snow for a crowd of adoring parents. It also featured a visit form "Ded Moroz" the Russian version of Santa Claus.

December 12, 2010

San Mateo

This weekend we continued our tour-de-peninsula with a train ride to the city of San Mateo. San Mateo is one of those places that we've never had much reason to explore. However as we found out today the city is loaded with all sorts of fun. Our first stop was Talbots Toyland, a very cool, old-school toy store. Lillian spent nearly an hour playing with their train set and doll house, and we managed to escape with only a few small purchases. Next we went for lunch at a Peruvian restaurant. Then we walked around exploring the downtown checking out some boutiques, where Lillian picked out a new pink sweater for her mommy. Before we knew it our train back to Mountain View was about to arrive and we had to run for our train. It was a good thing Lillian remembered to wear her "fast shoes" for the 4 block jog back to the station.

December 10, 2010

Putting on a Show.

This afternoon Lillian, Jessie and Alara decided to put on a music and dance show. The results were pretty entertaining. Check out the video bellow.

December 9, 2010

Lillian ice skating

Last winter Lillian had so much fun ice skating at the Winter Lodge, that we decided to try it again this winter. We've been out on the ice two weeks in a row and Lillian is finally gaining enough confidence to skate all by herself (with a bit of peer pressure from her friend Anya). See the results bellow, hopefully with a little more practice she will be zipping around the rink on her own by the end of the winter.

December 6, 2010

So Many Hollidays

This is a very festive time of year, and living in California means that we are exposed to all sorts of cultural holiday traditions. This weekend we attended a Hanukkah party where Lillian got to eat some fabulous home made jelly doughnuts and sweet potato latkes, see the lighting of candles and went home with some gelt. Yesterday was St. Nicolas day, so our German friend Britta brought some little chocolate Santa's to the park for all the kids. Yesterday was also the day of our city tree lighting ceremony. Lillian sat mesmerized for nearly an hour listening to school choir groups, Dickensian carolers, and traditional Russian Christmas music.

Todd, under the baby pile at the Hanukkah celebration.

Eric looking festively cute in Lillian's gnome hat at the tree lighting.

December 4, 2010

Happy Meal

We're not big fans of the golden arches in our house. But every now and then we like to go out for a casual meal that will make the whole family smile. Tonight Eric had a hankering for tacos, so we walked over to our favorite local Taqueria for some tacos, and quesadillas. Everyone left happy and well fed. Afterward Lillian decided she wanted to make her sweatshirt look just like her so she draped it over the back of her chair. Then we needed to find a way to prop its hood up, so we used her guitar. Of course the guitar needed a smile, so we added a post-it with a smile drawn on. You can't have a statue of Lillian without legs and feet, so we finished it off with her rain boots, and a blanket rolled up for legs. She was very proud of her creation.

November 29, 2010

Biker Girl

Lillian has become a pro on her peddle-less balance bike. Today she finally worked up the confidence to try her friend Samuel's bike with peddles. The results were pretty amazing, within a few hours she was able to both balance and peddle the little two wheeled bike.

November 26, 2010

In a galaxy far, far away

One of the great things about living in California is that if you don't like the weather, it's only a short drive and the weather is completely different. So when the temperatures dropped into the 40's here this week and we were left cold but without any snow to play with we decided to go out and find some. We took the long and winding road up to the very top of one of the Bay Area's tallest peaks Mount Hamilton. From our lofty peak we enjoyed the views, the very old telescopes and the snow that had fallen on the peak earlier this week. The snow was old and a little slushy but it was still great fun to walk around in and made great snowballs for snowball fights.

November 24, 2010

November 20, 2010

Discovery Museum

The Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose is a wonderful spot for the pre-school crowd with all sorts of fun and educational stuff for the kids to play with. We haven't been for over a year because our last visit was on a school holiday (Veteran's day, MLK day, something like that) and pouring rain outside, so the museum was packed to capacity with school kids. Back then Lillian was much less willing to listen when I told her that we needed to wait in line or not disappear into he crowds.

This visit was much better and we all left the museum in good spirits. She had fun playing with sand, painting the walls pink, painting a beard on her face to look like daddy and pretending to be a firefighter and much much more. Next time we won't wait so long to come back.

November 6, 2010

A day in Nature

This weekend we found our selves with no plans, and no obligations. We also had some gorgeous mild fall weather that needed to be enjoyed. So we headed out to one of our favorite hiking spots Sunol Wildneress for a hike and picnic lunch. The hike to the little Yosemite area has always been a favorite, but we haven't been able to get out there for most of the past year, since Lillian outgrew the Ergo. Nash had a great time splashing around the creek and chasing sticks, while we had a picnic lunch and Eric skipped stones. Even the gentle grade up the canyon road was too much for Lillian to walk, so she enjoyed the ride up hill in the jogging stroller.

November 1, 2010

Happy Haloween!

After all the excitement building up to Halloween, the big day finally arrived. Before trick-or-treat time, we headed out to Full Circle Farm for their harvest festival. They had hay rides, chicken feeding, a costume parade, and lots of home-made goodies to sample. Lillian's friends Rebecca and Alara were there as well which made it even more fun. Afterward we hurried home to have a quick dinner and prepare for tick-or-treating. The new house is located in a popular trick-or-treating neighborhood, so we prepared our Halloween decorations (happy ghosts hanging from our gutters) lit our jack-o-lantern, and prepared for the onslaught. Lillian had fun trick-or-treating, but once her little pumpkin got too loaded down with candy for her she requested to go home.

October 30, 2010

Pre-Haloween Madness

Lillian has been eagerly anticipating Halloween for most of the past year. Costumes, candy, parties, what's not to love? Haloween events got kicked off yesterday with a party and costume contest at Daddy's office. Lillian got all dolled up in her princess dress for the event. Everyone thought she was darling, and they awarded her winner of the office wide costume contest (the prize is $15 at Coldstone!). Today we were invited over to our friend's house for a group pumpkin carving party. Lillian helped decide what shapes to use for the pumpkin's face while Daddy and Mommy worked on the gutting and carving of the pumpkin. The resulting Jack-O-Lantern was pretty cute.

Blast from the past: these pictures may seem vaguely similar. Lillian's costume is almost exactly the same as last year's costume, same dress (made by Grammy) with a new (much taller) princess hat. The location of the pumpkin carving pictures may look familiar too since they were at our old house which is where our friends Katherine and Jessie now live.

October 27, 2010

Climbing Trees

This past Monday at the park Lillian was schooled in the fine art of tree climbing by her friend Jessie and a 5 year old named Sophia. Jessie is a master climber, climbing into all sorts of interesting and dangerous locations over the past few years. Thankfully the tree was pretty small and had had lots of claimable limbs. Lillian was smart and clung to the lower branches while Jessie climbed higher and dangled herself upside down.

October 24, 2010

Rainy Weekend

This weekend was our first rainy weekend of the rainy season. After 6 months of sunshine the rain is greeted with great welcome and wonder. We took the opportunity to have some good fun inside and outside. First we built a fort out of blankets, clothespins and chairs. Then Lillian filled the tent with all of her stuffed toys, which was great fun. Next up was a walk in the rain complete with rain boots, slicker and umbrella. Our walk in the rain was not just for the pleasure of it, we went over to Lillian's friend Rebbecca's house for a party Saturday evening.

Rebbecca's mommy Katherine, is very crafty. After spending the previous evening at their craft pad, we all spent our Sunday afternoon working on a project that has been on the back burner for nearly a year: a quilted banner with Lillian's name on it for her room. Eric created the patterns for the lettering while Kristen did the sewing. Lillian helped out by fetching things like pencils, ribbon and scissors, and lending moral support. The result is pretty snazzy!

October 20, 2010

Anya's Party

This past weekend was Lillian's friend Anya's 4th birthday party. All the girls are going through their princess phase, and Anya had requested a princess party of course. The party was complete with a "real princess" who entertained the kids with magic tricks and painted all the kids faces. Lillian was fascinated by the princess and followed her around to the very end of the party!

October 15, 2010

Back to Deer Hollow Farm

Last year we made weekly treks to visit the animals at Deer Hollow Farm in Rancho San Antonio. This year, due to full schedules and all the demands of home ownership, we haven't been able to make it out to the farm at all. Today however, we had an open morning with beautiful fall weather and nothing that urgently needed to be done. So we headed out to visit our old haunt. Much had changed in a year. Lillian got to ride her balance bike on the mile hike to the farm instead of being pushed in a stroller. Luna the cow had a new milking station. And there was a new path to better view the duck pond. More importantly, we now have a decent camera phone so I don't have to worry about dragging my camera along for outings like this. Especially since I can no longer rely upon blogger extraordinaire Amy for photos now that she lives on the other side of the country : (

Biking the trail, with baby duck mounted on the handlebars.

Petting a goat. Lillian decided its name should be Clarabelle.
More goats, but these weren't exciting enough to get new names.

Heading home.