Wednesday, June 29

Bear Camping: Day 1

As we arrived at our campsite the kids were thrilled to discover piles of melting snow still hanging around in the shady corners. We were moderately unprepared for the cold night time temps but managed with a double layer of jammies for the kids and the adults all sleeping in (the same stinky) hoodies each night.
Is your food stored properly RIGHT NOW? During our first meal at the campsite I was so jumpy about bears that I felt like snatching everyone's sandwich right off their plate to toss it back into the bear box. Eventually I settled down enough to enjoy camping meals a bit more. Matilda was really into helping with dishes. Hopefully she maintains this enthusiasm as we move into our new house with no dishwasher. It's not camping without marshmallows and tiaras.

Tuesday, June 28

Math Problem

How does this equation work? 4 x 2 = 6

4 days camping times 2 kids = 6 loads of laundry

I'll take 6 over 8!

Monday, June 27

Bear Count: 16

We just back tonight from 4 days camping in Sequoia National park. We found some big trees.
Even more exciting, after 12 years camping in California we finally got some good bear sightings, and not just a few. Thankfully we didn't have any bears visit our actual camp site. Wild bears are good.
Picnic bears are not.

Thursday, June 23

Rally Cap

We had a great time at the baseball game. Matilda's buddy lives right next to the stadium and is a real regular so he taught her the rally cap tradition. Unfortunately, it didn't help the Dodgers come back to beat the Tigers. In addition to getting free tickets, we discovered it was 1/2 price food day so we had hot dogs, Cracker Jacks and ice cream in plastic helmets all around. I think it is even more fun when you feel like you are getting a deal!

Tuesday, June 21

Summer Fun

Now that school is out we are packing our days full of fun. Fun that does not involve packing. (Moving in 19 days = not a concern. I am totally prepared with a mountain of EMPTY boxes in my living room. I can start packing at any moment.)
For today's fun we hit the u-pick fields. Depsite Porter's best effort to keep my cartons empty, we came home with both blackberries and raspberries.
The blackberries are just getting ripe and the bushes were absolutely covered in fruit. So yummy!Tomorrow's fun: freebie tickets to the Dodgers game. Sounds like berries for breakfast and hot dogs for lunch.

Sunday, June 19

Father's Day Farm

Tim had been pretty jealous of Matilda's field trip to the Gentle Barn so we took him out there today for a quickie trip. He got to hug a cow AND pet the world's friendliest turkey. I think that makes for a pretty good Father's Day - luckily he thought so, too.

Saturday, June 18


We thoroughly exhausted ourselves today with a super fun and long day at Disneyland.
Porter was hysterical as we stood in line for our first ride (Dumbo); he kept crying about how he wanted to ride the ride. It really sounded like a matter of urgency to him and he was having difficulty with the waiting. (Of course our tolerance for waiting is very low and we avoid anything with more than a 20 minute estimate for the line.)
As if there were not enough stimulation, the kids all got ahold of Adam's phone like some future gamers.This is what Matilda looks like when she discovers that you have bought some cotton candy.
Happiest face on earth? Completely unrelated to the cotton candy, but instead appreciating the roller coaster as it drives by repeatedly "so, so fast!"
This was the first time we could ever convince Matilda to ride the big ferris wheel. She quickly claimed to love it. They all spoiled me by letting me run off by myself for a spin on the swings -my personal favorite. I discovered they have tandem ones M is now tall enough to ride so I am working on wearing her down for that next time.
While I was away on the swings, Matilda got to ride solo on her old favorite the Zephyr rocket ship ride while Porter and Tim sat one row back. In a sleepy trance on our next-to-last ride before hopping the shuttle to our car.

Friday, June 17

Matilda Channeling Gemma?

This is totally an Uncle Brian face.
It is like my brother is looking back at me I think.

Preschool Graduate

The graduation ceremony at school today was so sweet. I got teary-eyed the second I stepped through the door and saw school all decorated and set up for the celebration.
The graduates all marched in and managed to stand still in a line long enough to sing THREE songs and then for each of them to receive their diploma and teacher hugs. Every parent in the room had a phone or camera in their hand to record the cuteness.I think we are supposed to refer to her as a kindergartener now. I will refuse to do so until September though. Afterwards, there was a huge potluck and rocking good time in the yard with much mayhem and chasing and fun.

Thursday, June 16

Last Day at Preschool

All four of us went to drop M off for this milestone morning; "just like her first day" as she said. Porter was, as always, thrilled to be allowed in the school doors. He quickly went to work with M grating chalk. I think the teachers design the messiest activities they can think of.
Quickly abandoning the chalk mess, Matilda settles into her favorite nook in the library.As I arrived to pick her up the kids had the cars and bikes all lined up to drive them around to the back for storage. (The front yard is getting a make-over before summer session starts). The whole affair was a good reminder for me of how patient and kind the teachers are as they tried to wrangle the excited crowd threatening to burst out of the gates.
Pick up Goof-ball.

Wednesday, June 15

Snaps from the School Fathers Day Party

Happy girl.

Goodbye Wall to Wall Carpet

Monday we put a deposit down to rent a little bungalow (our own four walls!) in the school district we want. Monday night I was super excited. Tuesday I was feeling a bit freaked. Today, as Matilda spilled a big ol' splash of marinara across our nasty old carpet, I was again excited for hardwood floors. Finally. Now I just need to figure out what type of Swiffer-like product device thing will address my new hard-wood-floor maintenance issues. Well, that and pack up my entire place and move. No biggie.

Tuesday, June 14

Lunch of Choice

Matilda just ate 2 tomatoes, 1 head of steamed broccoli, 1 entire can of kippers and a handful or crackers. Salt lover. Let's hope she doesn't get too many dirty looks when she opens her stinky fish lunchbox at camp!

Sunday, June 12

Big Kids

Look at this:
She could be any age here I think.
Only four more days of preschool -so unbelievable.

Also, we finally caved to Porter's long hair and got him a trim.
He can see again.
We also went to the open house where Matilda will go to summer camp for a few weeks and it looks awesome. I think I want to go too.

Friday, June 10

Friday' Face

For her final day this week, Matilda came home as "Wonder Woman" with these super hero style crown thing.
The cutest part was when we meet up with Tim for dinner; as both kids mobbed him with excited greetings Porter cried, "Look Dad, Matilda has that super hero!" It is always a bit jolting to me to see her as she washes it off and there is make-up residue around her eyes. I am so unprepared for the make-up years.

Thursday, June 9


They are easing into summer fun at school it seems and have done face painting lots of days this week. Yesterday was a princess tiara; today we got a ferocious tiger at pick up. I can't believe it is only 1 week until pre-school graduation. I think I can guarantee some teary eyed parents next Friday morning in our neighborhood! When I asked Matilda what special food she wanted me to bring to the celebration potluck she listed off kippers and salad Nicoise. Hopefully there are a few other appreciators of salty fish coming to the ceremony.

Wear Him Down

In an attempt to resolve some sleep-resistance-issues, I tried to provide Porter with a bit more play time and a bit less errand-running time today. We started off while Matilda was at school with taking the tee-ball set to a park. At home he's gotten so good at swinging that we've forbidden in-house tee-ball. At the park, turns out he has no use for the tee. He spent the whole time playing some kind of golf/field hockey type sport. He hit and then chased down the ball back and forth on this cement pad for 45 minutes. Very good in the tiring-out department, probably better than just fetching a ball in between tee-ball set ups.
Who can resist a pile of freshly dug up dirt? Actually, Porter was telling me not to touch the diggers' dirt. Once I explained it was from a ground squirrel and not a digger, then he decided we had authority to play in it. Strange logic.
A nice genuine smile as we played peek-a-boo through the car window.
When I could no longer take the pre-dinner fussing this evening, I threw together a hodge-podge picnic for dinner and hauled the kids up to the Observatory. Neither of them can resist running on that lawn and I knew it would be a nice way to pass the time until Tim could finally escape home from his late work night.Goofballs.

Porter has to have his hat on at all times because his hair is so long he can't see out. I fear my own haircutting phobia is starting to impact the poor boy.The whole wear-down scheme seemed to work, for today at least, since he went to sleep with (almost) no fuss at a quite reasonable bedtime.

Wednesday, June 8


Cute: Porter just said, spontaneously, to Matilda over dinner, "Know what Doe, love you." (He calls her Doe.) Killer sweet.

Not so cute: Porter discovered immediately prior to dinner that watermelons don't dribble like basketballs so well. The kitchen floor is quite a hazard right now.

Sunday, June 5

Grandma Camps!

So it turns out the my mom (and girl scout troop leader) has still got it. We tested her out this weekend and she can still camp with the best of them. She roughed it more than most preschool parents this weekend without an air mattress or a french press! It was a fantastic weekend with sponge-bomb water wars, lots of wheels for Porter to ride and cozy laps for morning snuggles.