Feb 22 2016

The Sleepiest Hiker

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The 23rd Oaklanders went on a mushroom hunt yesterday, led by an East Bay Parks naturalist. We learned how to recognize some of the fungus among us–including the most poisonous of our local shrooms–and we got to explore one of the area’s more hidden/overlooked parks, Sobrante Ridge. There’s a very rare species of manzanita, the “pallid manzanita,” that only grows in two sites in the whole world, and Sobrante Ridge is one of them.

This picture of Sam toting along a napping Sol was snapped by John Granger, a fellow Rover (adult scout) in our group. I thought it was a wonderful photo and had to share!


Dec 29 2015

Impermanence

So we’re all home from visiting Pappy and Nonna in Carson City, a visit that was very nice as always, except that I came down with something on the drive over the mountains—I blame being stuck in a car for four hours with three grotty, snotty little boys. They are always grotty and snotty, or at least one of them always is, and somehow every time we go to Carson City I end up getting sick the next day. Or maybe it’s a version of what I used to think of as end-of-semester syndrome. Back in college my body somehow knew to put up with stress and microbes until exams were over and I was home on break, but then I invariably—every damn time—got sick the day after I traveled home from school.

Anyway, I’m starting to worry that the in-laws will think I’m avoiding them or something (when in fact they are lovely people), but the truth is it was honestly wonderful to be able to stay home alone in the hotel room, napping and reading on my Kindle and drinking take-out wonton soup, while Sam and the boys and their grandparents romped around in the snow.

I’m feeling a lot better now! We’re back home and Davy spent an hour or so constructing an Iron Man suit out of cardboard boxes and packing tape. He pretty much just got the collar done:

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“Mom,” he said, “can I keep this until I’m a grown-up?”

“Um. You can keep it as long as you want to, how’s that?”

“I want to keep it until I’m dead.”

Sooooooo…we’ll see how that goes, I guess.

Meanwhile Sol built himself a pillow fort on the couch and fell asleep in it, so I was finally able to get a picture. He’s cute when he’s unconscious!

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Dec 24 2015

Cookies!

I have fond memories of decorating sugar cookies with my Grandmama at Christmas time. Now I decorate them with my boys.

(We do still have a two-year-old, I promise. At the time this photo was taken he was dancing on the table in his diapers, enjoying a stolen bit of cookie dough. He was not interested in posing for pictures.)

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Dec 24 2015

Christmas Bat

Well, we managed to produce a reasonable facsimile of a happy Solstice? We lit a fire and drank hot chocolate and tried to sing Christmas carols, except neither Sam nor I could remember much of the words, so then he tried to look them up on his phone and the rest of us got bored and wandered away.

The kids opened their presents, and tomorrow we’re headed over the pass to visit Pappy and Nonna and Sam’s sisters in Carson City. Davy really wanted to see snow for Christmas so he’ll get his wish!

Here’s Davy dressed as the traditional Christmas Bat:

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and we also got school photos back from Robin and Davy, so here’s bonus pics of them. I need to get one of Sol but he doesn’t really stay still!

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Oct 31 2015

Hallowe’en 2015

This year we have a killer bunny, Spider-man, and a hand-me-down Ghostbuster:

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I’m a fairy but I’m not sure you’ll get a picture as the light is already gone!


Aug 24 2015

First Day of School

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Despite photographic evidence to the contrary, they didn’t actually go to school barefoot. The picture I tried to snap hurriedly outside of the school didn’t come out well, so I had to take another one after we got home, and the boys had already shucked their shoes. They agreed to put their backpacks back on for that touch of verisimilitude, though.

I was pretty worried about Davy’s first day of kindergarten, since he’s been struggling a lot with transitions lately. He never wants to go anywhere—not even places that are obviously awesome, like the beach or the zoo—and once he gets there, he never wants to leave. So basically every family outing is bookended by twin tantrums from Davy. He has also been expressing dubiousness about kindergarten all summer. He loved his preschool, and was not at all excited about the prospect of a new school. I finally made a deal with him: he’d try kindergarten for six weeks, and if he hated it, we’d work something else out.

But guess what? He had a great first day. He was really excited about the Montessori teaching materials and he says “Ms. Kristin is my friend.” I think it helped a lot that Robin was going to school with him. Robin had a good day too but I wasn’t at all worried on that front, as Robin’s going back to a teacher and a class that he loves. He’s in second grade now but since the lower elementary classrooms teach grades 1-3 together, he’ll get to spend three years with the same teacher and many of the same classmates. I asked him if it was nice to see all his school friends again and he said “yeah,” and then immediately proceeded to talk at length and with great enthusiasm about the new classroom pet, Brittany the gecko. It’s hard for ordinary second graders to compete with a leopard gecko, I guess.

Sol will be starting preschool this year too, but his school doesn’t open for another couple weeks. I can’t believe all my boys are getting so big!


Aug 14 2015

Vacation!

We are just back from a week in Pacific Grove, on the Monterey Bay. The weather was beautiful and we really liked the town. It was a very nice vacation, although pleasure wasn’t our only motive for going away. We are having our bathroom renovated, and our contractor strongly urged us to vacate the premises—as we are unable to vacate within the premises until the toilet is reinstalled.

So watch this space for exciting pictures of the bathroom remodel! Meanwhile, here are cute pictures of boys at the beach:

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And Sam took this one of me, in my floppy sun hat. It’s not really a beach vacation unless there’s a floppy sun hat involved, yeah?

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Jul 6 2015

Happy Birthday to Davy

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Davy’s five today! He got to sit in the “birthday chair” at his preschool, and on Saturday we celebrated at Children’s Fairyland. Davy’s also being spoiled rotten because he had two sets of grandparents up to visit—and we are looking forward to seeing the third pair soon!

Sol is doing really well too—the cast is slowing him down less and less, and he’s back to his usual cheerful self. So we’re all kind of finding our feet again.

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Jun 14 2015

In the Redwoods

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We went camping overnight on Saturday—our first camping trip since Sol was born. It went reasonably well, although Sol (who did not see fit to stand still and have his picture taken) seems to be coming down with something. He didn’t really feel well and was pretty crabby, especially at night. He must have woken up crying five times in the night, and although I was able to cuddle and soothe him back to sleep each time, I imagine we weren’t everybody’s favorite camping neighbor that night. (Fortunately we were camping with a group of families from the Peter Pan preschool, so everyone had small children and were pretty used to midnight cries.)

Davy’s surgery has been rescheduled for this Friday, but I think we may have to cancel again, as he’s starting to show signs of the sniffles as well. There’s always some bug going around the preschool—it’s going to be really hard to catch a window where he’s fully free of respiratory issues. At least the hernia isn’t causing him any pain.


Apr 19 2015

Lizard Rock

Today our Scout troop took a hike in Knowland Park, and Robin (and the other Otter Scouts) were totally thrilled to find a bunch of lizards basking on this rock.

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Robin’s face just cracks me up. Click for bigger version! (Photo by Sam.)