Wednesday, August 31

Not Good: Poop in the Pool

So today there was some excitement at the fabulous, new public pool that I have recently started taking Matilda to everyday to quell the non-stop stream of chatter from her about which friend-with-a-pool we should call to just-say-hello-to. About 5 minutes before we were already planning to leave, the lifeguards made a rather gross discovery and ordered us all out of the pool. This lead to an insatiable stream of questions from my 5 year old.

Who pooped in the pool?
Why? Why would someone poop in the pool. (This is exactly what I want to know!)
How did they poop in the pool, were they not wearing any bottoms?
What are the lifeguards going to do? What is that long pole thing?
Why would someone poop in the pool?

Porter chimed in as well, asking if it was a big poop.

Life's little mysteries.

Tuesday, August 30

7 Days to Kindergarten

We are enjoying our last days free summer schedule days here with lots of swimming and friend meet-ups. Up tomorrow, a Dodgers game and a swim in a preschool friend's pool. Thursday = playdate at the park with an awesome fake stream thing for waterfun. Friday Porter will have a sitter while I take M for a "mommy date" to do a little shopping and lunch out and whatever else we find to entertain us.

NY was awesome, as always, with lots of swimming in gorges, pond and pool. Since getting home I somehow weaned Matilda off of her floaty/life vest/inflatable dependance. Much to her surprise, she discovered that she can really swim. It is so fun to see her finally comfortable to go without floating assistance.
Lots more NY pics to come, maybe after school starts when I have hours and hours of Porter-napping time to burn.

Tuesday, August 23


So everyone here in Ithaca has been accusing me of bringing a West Coast style earthquake along for some vacation excitement. I can't claim responsibility, but I can say it added a little fun to my beer buying experience at Ithaca Beer today. As I jumped out of the car and ran inside, I thought the employees were all being wacky with their funny wide legged stances. Then as I stood still I could totally feel the shakes. I managed to restrain myself from saying I was just visiting from LA where earthquakes are more commonplace, as I didn't want to poo-poo their excitement. I do feel bad that Grandma Kathy missed feeling it though, because I left her in the car with a napping Porter.

Earthquakes aside, we are having a really great time here with the perfect summer weather for swimming, lots of animals to love and good family time. two more days to cram in as much as we can before the trip back.

Sunday, August 21

Guest post from Uncle Brian : Golf Lessons, Motorcycles Races and Family Time

It is so great having Mom, Kristen and the kids here. We got lots of quality time in today with a nice diner breakfast, a trip to Gia's ice cream store and tons of playing with the little ones around the house. Gemma gets a real kick out of Matilda and Porter. I am happy that she is old enough to laugh because seeing her with the kids was a riot. Great weekend!!!!

Saturday, August 20


We spent almost our entire day today at the pool. Gia's parents hosted us with a huge spread of yummy snacks and a zillion awesome pool toys. Gemma enjoyed some prunes on the pool deck (followed by a poop-tastic diaper change later on the pool chaise lounge!).
Porter was really pleased to be "swimming by himself" in this floaty fish.
Worn out after many hours and in need of a recharge.
Matilda spent approximately 5 hours doing this:
As we were wrapping up at the pool Gia's mom brought out their golf cart for us to drive around. Down in the hedgerow the kids discovered the fun of milkweed pods for the first time.
Our happy crew out for a spin.

Friday, August 19

Snippets of the Day, in Reverse Order

Tonight we discovered that Matilda finds the Talking Karl game funnier than almost anyone on earth. It was sending us all into hysterics just listening to her giggles as Karl repeated every word (and giggle) that came out of her mouth. Porter was really pleased that Grandma brought a little ball along from Michigan. He wouldn't even let me play with them, insisting that only Grandma got to play.
Matilda spent hours and hours in Gia's parents pool this afternoon. She only got out with promises of a return trip tomorrow.
Gemma enjoyed some time poolside as well. She is such a sweet, calm baby and it is so fun to get more time with her. This afternoon Gemma was laughing like crazy watching some goofy Matilda antics, that M was more than happy to repeat to infinity for her giggling cousin.
Our gal has strong survival instincts. I thought she would like seeing the big ice cream freezer at Gia's store today, but she was immediately freaking out as the door closed behind us. Even after I showed her that we could open it from inside she refused to come back in to check it out.
Technically this was breakfast for Porter. He was quite pleased to get a behind the scenes peek at the ice cream shop.


Matilda is so pleased to finally meet Gemma. Even better, Gemma's mom dressed her in a dress that matches the one Matilda put on today. So thrilling! And cute.

Wednesday, August 17

Kindergarten Prep

Our reaction to "real" school starting soon for Matilda seems to be one of spoiling her with as much quality time and attention that we can. I am making a concerted effort this month to ignore the unpacking and house projects that I should do and just enjoy summer with the kids.
Last weekend Tim took M away for a Daddy-daughter weekend to see Hearst castle, eat oysters, view the wild zebras of San Simeon, and just generally let Matilda dictate the agenda. They had a blast. Here they are lunching in SLO.Matilda said about 10,000 times how much she wanted to swim in the pools on the castle tour. Porter was only slightly jealous of the trip and has since asked her about any remotely fancy building he sees, "Is that the castle, Matilda?"They also hit the Santa Barbara zoo on their way back.To continue the "quality summer fun," the kids and I head to NY tomorrow for one last trip to see family there before we are forever (or for 15 years) tied to the school calendar for travel.

Friday, August 12


Tim & I miscommunicated about the market shopping last week and as a result he came home with several more pounds of apricots than we needed. I used it as motivation to kick start all the experimental canning I have been wanting to do and made some jam from this apricot jam recipe.
Not only did the jam turn out really yummy, but the jars seemed to actually have sealed properly, AND we now have apricot syrup as a byproduct that I can't wait to try on pancakes.The kids were both super into watching me make it last night. Porter pulled one of his late night party/refuse to go to bed evenings so he had some toast with jam for a late late night snack. Matilda was the first one up after me this morning and the first thing she said as she found me at the (new!) computer dest was, "Now can we try some of that jam on toast!?" Tomorrow's canning project: Spicy Nectarine Refridgerator Pickles.

Architectural Salvage is Awesome

So here's that project from last weekends flea market and salvage yard romps. A new desk!We found the old door at the architectural salvage yard and the sawhorse legs are from IKEA. It is a bit bigger than we originally intended but I think that just gives us more room for wires tangles and mail piles. I am so pleased with it and pledging to really work to keep the paper piles at bay from burying the desk. I am also very happy that the (very scary) Mr. Clean Magic Eraser wiped the sharpied-on dimensions right off that front edge. Seriously, those erasers are creepy and amazing. I am tempted to see what else they can do, but moderately afraid.

Wednesday, August 10

Sloth Race

We went to the Tar Pits today to see just how slow the Ground Sloths were.

Breakfast Mutiny

Matilda has developed this shtick lately where she hollers "Everybody panic!" and then yells "Aaaah!" as she shakes her head around and waves her arms up. Porter quickly picked it up and they are quite a sight.

Sunday, August 7

Weekend Snippets

Saturday: Pure Fun
We took Tim to the lagoon that the kids have really been digging and convinced him to go down the water slides. I can never go because I don't trust M & P to stand back and watch me.
I was rightfully so in my distrust, as they were so excited by Tim's trip down the water slide that they were practically vibrating. Plus it is so darn cold I just plain don't want to go down. After Tim surfaced from his dunking he gave a big whooping yell of shock. No thank you.

After water fun, we had birthday party bonanza. Our old neighbors (who have also since moved to a new, amazing house) had pizza, cake, mojitos, a trampoline, a rope swing, and about 100 preschool friends/parents mixing it up. Matilda was particularly enamored with the swing. What princess doesn't need a rope swing?
Sunday: Functional Fun
Today we focused our adventures on obtaining some missing furniture pieces for our new place. The Pasadena Flea Market was super fun and we scored an old fashioned school desk complete with old gum on the bottom! Then we headed off to an architectural salvage place to find more supplies.
The kids really loved looking at the items there and Matilda declared that she wants a water fountain installed in our new place. Tim said that maybe in our next house we can arrange that!
We topped it all off with some meatballs at IKEA to commemorate the kids eat free week AND to get some table legs for our new desk. Win win.

Friday, August 5

The People in Your Neighborhood

Most nights when we are out in our front yard playing we'll cross paths with our very friendly new neighbor, A. One night this week Matilda told him how she had just graduated preschool. Upon finding out, he said that he wanted to get her a present and he excitedly told her, "Name one thing, anything that you would want!" Matilda paused for a moment, and then replied, "Lettuce!" Her answer got a good laugh from both A and his adult son. Then he asked, "Do you like mangoes?" He proceeded to give us several of the tastiest mangoes we have had in a while.

Thursday, August 4

Disney Weekday

The kids were treated to a highly anticipated Disneyland playdate with Alwyn and Adlai today. It did not disappoint! Everyone seemed to have a blast despite the heat with only a few minor meltdown/not-the-happiest-place-on-Earth moments.

Here the boys keep a sharp look out on the Casey Jr. Train from inside the monkey cage. One of three other train type rides today; Porter was pleased.
For the duration of the Small World ride Porter yelled to Alwyn detailing the various points of interest as he noticed them.
Matilda was quite pleased to return to the dancing-princess-etiquette-faire thing. So creepy. But at least now we know how to do a proper curtsey and address others when we are royal family members. Matilda did this swing/zip-line thing two times in a row. I was really proud because I expected her to be a bit too timid to try it but she was really gung ho and ran right off the first time yelling about how she wanted to go again. Thanks to an unusually short line (it was BUSY today) she looped around the waiting area and got right back on.
Soon after Porter woke up from his nap and joined her for more fun and climbing on the big adventure ropes play area.Quite pleased, and pretty, with her frozen lemonade treat. She really wanted cotton candy but we compromised on something that might actually hydrate her a bit for a day in the summer sun. All in all a super fun day that is sending me to bed early!

Wednesday, August 3

Staying Cool

It has been hot around here this week, for the first time since we've moved into our new, hotter home. We are finding water fun most everyday (although I am working hard to teach Matilda we can't just invite ourselves over to other people's houses all the time to abuse their pool). Yesterdays fun found 20+ school friends at the beach......pretty great.
Porter is comfortable in a pink shirt. Beach fun followed up by a front yard pool dip. Tomorrow's fun will involve more hot weather and a certain Mouse in Anaheim.

Monday, August 1

Doe vs. Matilda

This weekend Porter said Matilda's name a bunch of times, more than we have ever heard. It was pretty sweet to hear. I think he may keep calling her Doe for a while, which is fine too, of course. I'll be so sad when it disappears from his vocabulary.
Matilda was also super excited by the whole thing and got extra lovely with him.