Friday, September 30

Love Love

This week we had a playdate with one of the old preschool pals whose French father happens to be an out-of-work chef. He made us amazing crepes for a snack because he knew how much Matilda had gone crazy for them when he came in to cook during International Week at school last year. Matilda ate three crepes, preferring the plain sugar filled crepes to the Nutella or marmalade ones. Porter was not as into them as I expected. He had a few bites of one, but then preferred to spend his time with all the awesome new trucks and dirt piles available for play. Over dinner we were recounting it all to Tim (who was terribly jealous), and we asked Porter if he didn't like the crepes. He said, "I don't not not love them, I LOVE LOVE them!" A perfect example of him trying to express himself so well lately. So, he claims he loved the crepes, but lucky for me I got to eat most of his, in addition to my own. M & I both would have happily eaten more but I cut us off in an attempt to keep up good manners or appearances or something.

Disney Day

To top off our already over-scheduled week, I thought it would be fun to treat Matilda to a Disneyland day Thursday since she had a holiday from school. Alwyn was game and met us there with Adlai for some good times. 
It was fun to see the whole place was decorated for Halloween, except for maybe this poor horse who was pulling our trolley. I think a big handsome Clydesdale deserves a little dignity.
The day before when I told the kids our plan, Porter, on his own, concocted a story about wanting to find Mickey Mouse and stand with him for a picture. (The kids have never stood in line to take pictures with characters really so I am not sure where he was getting this.) With some luck, we found Minnie in her witch costume, which was close enough for him and he's calling her Mickey.
We also came across the Queen of Hearts terrorizing kids. The baby in the stroller was actually giggling at her big face, but Matilda was cowering behind me while Porter and Adlai were carefully observing the whole situation.
These kids look so big to me lately.
 Adlai, Matilda and Porter all enjoyed the Zephyr ride so much that we rode it two times in a row. The California Adventure side of the park was blissfully quiet, unlike Disneyland proper.
Alwyn was kind enough to wrangle the two boys a few times to let Matilda and I ride a few "big kid" rides.
I even managed to convince Matilda to finally try the swing ride. She's been tall enough to ride with me in a tandem seat for a while but wasn't quite ready. This time she acquiesced finally and claims to have loved it, although there was definitely some concern mid-ride.
All in all, another fabulously fun day at Disneyland and only moderately exhausting. We tried to leave early (staying ONLY 5.5 hours) partly because I didn't want to wear them out too much, and partially because we had tickets to my birthday concert last night, Gillian Welch with Dave Rawlings. It was a fabulous show but after the day at Disney and 4 hours standing on a crowded dance floor I was feeling my age a bit.

Wednesday, September 28

New Hand Me Downs

Matilda got a big bag of fun clothes today from a friend whose outgrown them. Her favorite item (and mine for certain) may be these pink, rhinestone studded horn rimmed cat eye glasses. Just the thing every 5 year old needs. She also got a matching pink princess phone, which I think is functional but will be a play phone around here.

Awesome glasses paired with new silk beaded tank and black tutu with a kitty cat tail. 
She wore the glasses all night and is currently sleeping with them inside a new hand me down purse clutched in her arms.
Here she is hooting with laughter as she discovered a naked Porter in his new favorite hiding place. We just got this new ottoman for storage/seating by the computer desk. I think Porter will be quite disappointed when it is filled up and not available as his personal jungle gym.

Natural History Museum Day

One of my favorite parts of the new leisurely days with Porter is getting to go at his pace more. We can wander through a museum with less "hurry up" and "slow down" to keep two kids in pace together. Today we went with one of Porter's pals (admittedly a younger sibling of a Matilda preschool friend, but he loves her so) to get some more dinosaur lovin' time in. It was awesome to be there now that school has started because we had the whole place to ourselves. They kids actually got a chance to use this awesome touch screen:
 After the animated dinosaur is buried, they get to choose tools and "excavate" by rubbing their fingers on the screen. They both thought it was pretty cool.

In the Insect Zoo section a docent was available to introduce P & I to a hissing cockroach. It even hissed for us!

This museum has an awesome kids discovery room and we spent a lot of time there looking at taxidermied animals and other specimens.
 My favorite new addition is this enormous T rex puzzle! The skeleton was supported by metal brackets so you had to find the right bracket to fit each rubber bone. I am a little puzzle obsessed so I spent a lot of time trying to convince Porter to come back and help me see it through to completion after he had lost interest.

Monday, September 26

Side Effect of Kindergarten

Matilda seems to really love doing her homework and her long days at kindergarten seem to have gotten her really into writing and coloring more than before. Porter has always had more endurance for crafting and coloring than she has. These days the two of them are spending a lot of time around the kitchen table with markers and scissors scattered everywhere. 

It's a good way to get dinner cooked! Also, at some point here, I will drag my sewing machine out and properly finish the bench cushion by sewing a cover so the foam isn't exposed by kids wriggling the fabric loose. It will be so great then.

Saturday, September 24

Dying of Soccer Cuteness

Matilda had her first AYSO soccer practice and scrimmage today. They get uniforms; I almost couldn't take the cute. She seemed to really enjoy it, especially the drills part. Once it got to the game she was cracking Tim & I up with her ability to avoid the ball, but yet run with the bunched up herd of players. 
 Each time she found herself caught in the crowd running by she would throw her arms up flailing like she was under attack by mosquitos. Thankfully she heard my cheering more than my giggling. At one point during the game, she and her equally adorable new gal-pal team mate were holding hands as they spaced out together.
  As an enormous bonus, there is a huge patch of field that is not used by the many teams of 5 years old. Porter got to run himself silly dribbling a ball back and forth for the entire 90 minutes with fairly little redirection needed! I can't wait for next week's fun.

Wednesday, September 21

Birthday Photo Dump

To my delight, I discovered a new coffee truck at the (formerly coffee-less) reservoir. Perfect for a post run refreshment while Porter enjoys the playground.

 Today the Fern Dell bear had some new duds. Birthday sweater, perhaps?
 Lovely lunch with my boy, quiche for me and snake dog (dog wrapped in pastry and baked) for him.
 In Tim's absence, Matilda takes pics while I open presents, including new earrings she picked for me.
 Cutie kids.
 Cupcakes complements of Sarah, Gaurav and Stella. At one point this morning Matilda looked at me all panicky and said, "But WHO is going to bake your cake?" I think she was nervous Tim had left her in charge of that!

Tuesday, September 20


For a while now I have been flirting with the idea of getting a CSA box, but could never quite bite the bullet. Finally last week I signed up to try one. We love the experience of going to farmers market, but are not getting there as often as we like with all the other busy things going on in our lives. This morning our first scheduled delivery of fresh, organic produce showed up on our steps before 9 a.m. I had talked to the kids about it they were both really excited. Porter acted like it was Christmas and wanted to open the box immediately, before even taking it to the kitchen.

Our delivery included lettuce, arugula, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, apples, pears, pluots, and grapes.

 As soon as we opened it Porter ate some grapes and a pluot. He is always a good eater, but his excitement level made me think how signing up for produce delivery might get some picky eaters to try new things. Both my kids are intrigued by the farmer who brought us these things and that might translate to better eating for some kids out there.

I am excited to see how this experiment goes, especially as the seasons change and we get different items. Hopefully nothing languishes in the back of my fridge too long and I continue to see it as a fun challenge to use the box of surprise items we get each Tuesday.

Sunday, September 18


P, p,p what begins with p? 
A princess party for preschool pals with pool, pizza and a pinata. 
(To much Dr. Seuss around here I think.)

This was Porter's first experience (maybe ever, or maybe just that he could remember) with a pinata and he was pleased. Much later in the day he kept recounting how "I hit that thing and candy came down!"

The scramble for candy was a little terrifying and there were several kids left in tears. Sweet Matilda quickly offered up some of her candy to two boys standing near her who were crying over their empty loot bags. 
I was a not so sweet Mommy, as I tossed candy AT Porter in the middle of the fray. All the candy fell in one big pile which was quickly covered by a pile of kids, leaving many others to scour the barren grass. As one parent tried to distribute the candy a bit, Porter kept turning the wrong way and missing it. To head off a crisis from him I quickly grabbed a few pieces and tossed them over the whole crowd, aiming poorly. Luckily he was completely unfazed by the direct hit and just happy to finally have custody of a big huge lollipop. He quickly scurried off into a corner to open it.

Saturday, September 17

Blog as Baby Book: Misinformation

Here are some of the things that Matilda has reported to us about school.

  • The playground has a rather large, spiral water slide that they get to play on at recess. Matilda requested I pack a bathing suit in her backpack one day. 
  • One day M blew her nose in class and had a bloody nose so she got sent to the nurses office. She reported that the nurse was really nice and she "gave me an injection with her syringe."
  • After eating lunch one day they all sent their lunch boxes zooming down the slide. Matilda said her green beans went, "Weeeeeee!" and waved their green bean selves all around.
  • Matilda explained how they have ballet class at school where she gets to dress up in a large silver ballerina dress and wear ballerina shoes covered with diamonds.
For homework, you can determine which items are fictional. Your guess is as good as mine.

Friday, September 16

Friday Progress Report

Today's lunch:
 Matilda ate only the sunflower seeds at school. I don't understand how she is functioning on so little fuel at school. The mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, cornbread and pears were all devoured at 3:30. So far, her "late lunch" everyday does not appear to be impacting her dinner appetite, so in theory it is all fine.
For today's fun Porter went to his first zoo class. The focus was movement and for the animal guest we got to meet and pet this rainbow boa and see how he moved. Porter was so darn cute marching around in his backpack full of zoo class toys and education prop things.
 After zoo class we went downtown with Stella to the fabric district to find material for my bench cushion project. Then Stella and Sarah joined us to witness the chaotic Kindergarten pick-up.
Matilda screamed and laughed when she saw who we had at the gate. It was very sweet. 
Two days in a row with no tears at pick-up = progress. We all went to Froyolife for frozen yogurt to celebrate. Today's crazy frozen yogurt flavor: Maple Bacon Donut. It was pretty good and not too bacon-y.

Thursday, September 15

Non-school Related Doings

Kindergarten is going. Each day is a bit better. I am trying to hold my tongue and give it some time before I freak out or complain more. When not getting teary worrying about M while she is gone, I am thoroughly enjoying my time with the boy. Today at the park we found a parked street cleaner and it was like Christmas for Porter. 
He was so in awe of it.
I even let him touch the bristles.
 We also did a lot of swing time. This boy loves to swing.
  Now that the school year has started, I am starting to tackle all my get-settled and unpacked projects. One of which is this bench I am making for seating at our kitchen table, inspired by this. I have foam for the cushion already (thanks to Sarah Jo) and will go Friday to the fabric district Downtown for the hard decision of what to cover it with. Very exciting.

From the bench project I had a little extra wood scrap and some nails that the kids were more than happy to hammer in for me. They probably spent an hour taking turns hammering and pulling these nails back out, only to re-hammer them in again. It was so fun to see their excitement.

Sunday, September 11

Week 2 Will Be Better

On Friday, we experimented with giving Matilda money to buy milk at lunch for the first time. She was really excited about it and even had a new Hello Kitty change purse to carry her fifty cents in. As I picked her up, one of the things I asked was how it went with buying milk. She reassured me that she bought it, she was very excited to buy it, buying it was fun, and that the milk was in her lunchbox. I guess I hadn't explicitly told her to drink it. So, at 2:35 she busted her lukewarm milk out of the lunchbox and downed it outside the school gate. Here is lunch for Monday (this is my inspiration/goal), already packed to make the a.m. mad dash tomorrow a bit less hectic: roast beef sandwich, apples with peanut butter, tomatoes, green beans and pickles. I am trying to pack Matilda her favorite foods to make her more likely to actually eat something. I would put my money on this lunch coming home 95% intact tomorrow. She will then devour it in the first 20 minutes at home.

Saturday, September 10

Weekend Funday

We discovered an awesome mini golf place in LA today at Matilda's buddy's birthday party.
We will take Tim and Porter back there very soon!
This evening Stella and co. came over for pizza and play.

After a big dance party Porter started practicing his music video hair moves in front of the new fan.

Thursday, September 8

It's Not Just Glueing Macaroni Noodles Anymore

OK, there are a million unanswered questions we have about what is going on all day at new school, but the one thing I know is LAUSD gives homework to kindergartners, on their first day.
Each week, the kids are sent home on Monday (or Wednesday in this case) with a packet to work on and turn in Friday. Here are the three pages she had this week:

Cutting practice, by far her favorite. She is in love with cutting things up, especially with her new school scissors that work, unlike the old toddler pair she had that just rip paper. If you need confetti made I have your gal.
Fine motor skills practice apparently. She had little patience for this and tore through tracing the lines haphazardly.
Matilda is not much for coloring so the fact that she managed to (over two nights) fill this page in astonished me.
My overall impression at this point: today was better than yesterday, there was less crying from her at pick up, it is a big adjustment for all of us. Talking to the teacher today she said Matilda is very bright but has a hard time waiting her turn. It seems M gets out of her chair to go ask the teacher questions when the teacher is helping another of the 23 kids out, which is not allowed and earns her a demerit in their smiley face/green light-red light system. I am not sure how I am ever going to get used to this whole scenario myself in order to endorse it to her.