Monday, October 31

Happy Halloween!

Hummingbird in profile. 
CHOMP goes the caterpillar.
Blurry wing action.

 Posing in all their adorableness. Look at that boy's face: trouble.  
 Just two critters conferring in the garden.
Matilda and Porter both very specifically chose their costumes, an orange caterpillar and an Anna's Hummingbird. As always, Tim & I had a really fun time making them a reality and we are all quite pleased with the results. 

Happy Halloween 2011!

Sunday, October 30


I just sewed the last bit of Porter's Halloween costume, a fuzzy caterpillar helmet with horns. Matilda's hummingbird costume is freshly washed for a third straight day of wearing. Pumpkins are purchased for the carving party at 2. We had homemade pumpkin pancakes with chocolate spread for breakfast (orange and brown, so cute!). As a result the house is totally trashed, and I am pretty sure that I don't care.

Saturday, October 29

Elementary School Fall Festival

The big fall event at school today proved to be lots of fun with costume contests, yummy food, car racing and even glittery-paint craft tables (staffed by yours truly). I dressed as a witch with our purple dress up wig and it was more fun than I expected. So many kids were freaked out as I talked to them, wondering who the hell I was and how did I know their name. My personal favorite was poor nervous Stella who Did-Not-Trust the Stranger-In-Purple-Hair despite all reassurances. 
The best in show cars were quite impressive. That fifth one in there that looks like it has a fish bowl.....does. Live goldfish swimming around. So cool! I am hoping they didn't race it. The unicorn in the foreground is the work of Matilda's pal M's family - so talented and awesome.
All of us had lots of fun. Can you see the snowcone pouring onto Porter's chest? That spells a good time!

Mixed Up!

Somehow these pictures loaded in mixed up order from actual chronological time of our Friday. I am too lazy to switch them so here you go.

We went back to the old apartment building to celebrate Ella's 2nd birthday with dinner and cake. Matilda was insistent that everything looked "So different!" Even the bushes in the front yard. Porter was quite pleased with the cake, Matilda enjoyed the Wii dancing game Ella got for her birthday.
 8:20 a.m. Halloween parade at elementary school = utter chaos and thorough entertainment. I have a zillion pictures of Matilda gleefully dancing around with school buddies but I am fairly certain I am not supposed to post them publicly. She totally enjoyed it.
 Post parade, Stella joined us back home for lots of fun.
I think this is what bershon looks like.
 Static head.
 After school, driving to Disneyland and then San Diego, per Matilda and Porter's agenda. 

 These two are so cute together. 

Wednesday, October 26

Day by Day

Today Porter decided Ian the bulldog should get dressed instead of him. In the end, we settled on matching outfits for Ian and Porter, instead of a naked boy at the park. 
Porter was overjoyed to discover they were resurfacing the parking lot adjacent to our playground of choice today (this one is known as Daddy's playground, because it is next door to his office.) We stayed long enough for a little play, a quick visit with Tim and some lung damaging close supervision of the work. I dragged him away long before he was ready to go, with apparent disregard for noxious fumes.
In the mail today we got our enormous Halloween package from Grammy. Halloween shirts, new jammies, socks, pencils, tea, snacks, and of course boatloads of candy. Very exciting!
 Also, Tarte Tatin. Big one for Jo and little one for us. They also look very pretty once they are flipped out with all the apples arranged and drenched in caramel, but I love the crusty tops (bottoms) best. So yummy and caramel-y.
Also, Adam has some really nice pics of our kid crew up from Adlai's birthday if you like that sort of thing. You know you want to see on over.

Needle Graveyard

My sewing machine is getting quite the workout. I have never broken a needle before this huge fleece costume of Porter's. Thankfully I am moving on now to Matilda's much thinner more delicate, and fussy material. The sewing machine will be relieved.

Sunday, October 23


Porter was 2.5 yesterday. He's still denying it, sticking to just two. Fractions are hard and I can understand his reluctance to keep too close track on the aging process. At his check up this week he was still 90th percentile for everything, 38" tall (up 2.5" in 6 months), and 33.8 pounds (up 1.8 pounds). You might be interested in his stats, but really I just need to record it here because soon I'll lose the post it where I scribbled the measurements and his growth chart is locked up in a filing cabinet that I haven't accessed since moving. Someday soon I will find that key.

Here are some things Porter liked this week-of-turning-two-and-a-half. Tether ball:
He discovered this sport while we hung out on the school yard one day. I think I will not have any trouble finding him the next time he disappears at school. I am confident he'll bee-line back to the tether ball at his first opportunity. 

Climbing: trees, couches, sisters, pretty much anything works. 
Pony rides. We joined Adlai to celebrate his birthday and fun was had by all.
 Except maybe the ponies, they seemed a little tired out today; it is a good thing they get Mondays off.

Thursday, October 20

Family Tree of Matilda

We finished our first big kindergarten homework project tonight just in time for the deadline tomorrow a.m. The assignment was a "Families are Different" theme project and you could do anything really: photo collage, book, tree. As the son of a genealogist, Tim had no hesitation in choosing our path.

We were all really proud of the final product. Matilda was especially so as she did all the cutting, pasting and printing. I am really excited to go to drop off tomorrow and see all the other projects, too!

Of Note Today

Here are the things of note that happened today, other than the afore-mentionned big birthday. 

Porter serenaded me as I drank tea and nursed my head cold.
 Matilda tied her shoes (cleats actually). She's needed to learn for a bit now and was finally starting to ask us to teach her instead of refusing to attempt. I think she was feeling the heat since the teachers at school don't permit kids to wear shoes with laces if they can't tie them. Today was the first time in a while I remembered to try with her before we were running late and already rushing to get out the door. She did it great on her first try.
Matilda brought home her first quiz from school. Or at least the first one that we have been informed about. I was actually in her classroom when she took it for my first "parent volunteer" shift. I cannot get over my shock about how fast these kids are being pushed.

With all the soccer and family tree business, I failed to make proper plans for the pinewood derby workshop we are going to tomorrow so our efforts with the band saw will be very improvised I think.

Happy Birthday Grandma Marge

It's my mom's birthday today. A big birthday. The kind where your co-workers cover your office in balloons and black shrouds and Over the Hill signs. Happy Birthday Mom! We love you. Porter got you a new house and is fiercely guarding your cake!


Sunday, October 16

Costume Sneak Peek

After much discussion and debate, Halloween costumes have been decided upon and we have two trips to the fabric store under are belt already. I am betting we clear at least 3 more before completion. Here's the progress from this afternoon's effort. 
Hopefully as we keep working on the disguise it will look less like a sack of candy corn. I also ordered one of these today, which I am really excited about for the gals transformation. Yay for Halloween.

Urban Wildlife

Tonight while eating dinner outside in the front yard, we started to hear the raccoons that live in our front tree waking up. The tree was shaking and rustling, leaving the kids with mixed feelings. Matilda was fairly apprehensive and expressed a desire to move our dinner party indoors. Porter was excited by it all and using the raccoons as yet another excuse to get out of his chair and avoid actually eating. (His appetite seems to be in a waning phase currently.) We all continued eating, keeping half an eye on the tree as we hoped for a chance to see the raccoons. After not too long, Porter let out a blood curdling scream and came running for me from where he had been fooling around halfway across the yard. Tim, Matilda and I looked up to see a fuzzy little raccoon face peering down at us all from his perch on the front edge of our roof. Poor Porter was so surprised and terrified; I really had to fight my laughter to reassure him. The raccoon was so unfazed by us all that Tim joked how the critter must believe he has an invisibility cloak on. 

After a few minutes recovery, Porter and Matilda both were intrigued and excited. They were rewarded with two more raccoons wandering out across the roof. The trio all went over to sniff at our chimney (reminding us maybe a sweep is in order before fire season), before they went up over the peak of the roof and towards the back tree to climb down. 
For our encore wildlife, we saw a skunk wandering the back driveway not 30 minutes later. Very eventful around here tonight!

Friday, October 14

File This One Under Trouble

I just discovered Porter, standing on the kitchen counter, with a handful or Franken Berry cereal. He smiled and said, "This is my favorite candy!" I think someone's late night sweet snack needs a new hiding place, no?

Thursday, October 13

Emergency Preparedness: Student Food Supply

Matilda got a letter home from school today instructing us to bring in a ziplock bag full of the following items:

2 fruit or pudding cups
2 granola or breakfast bars
4 cans tuna/spam/sausages
4 packets of crackers
4 fruit roll ups or bags of dried fruit
2 lollipops
2 plastic spoons
1 photography of family with note AND/OR contact information

The letter also reminds us that while we should fill the bag from items from the list, you must also make sure that you select items that your child will actually eat.

I find the whole thing a bit hilarious (of course glossing over any actually thoughts of a major disaster that would require use of this bag). Spam and lollipops were not previously on my disaster preparedness list. While I know that we have already given them emergency contact information, it still seems strange to have that listed as an optional inclusion.

Tuesday, October 11

Love Letters

Tonight after I cut Matilda off from doing her homework (she's supposed to spread the packet out over the week, not do it all at once as she prefers) she turned to composing letters. It is so awesome to see her just writing away and sounding out her own spelling. She did this one for he teacher first: (Dear Ms. G, I love you. I hope you will go to my house. I love you. By Matilda To Ms. G)
I think Tim was pretty touched to find his taped on the back door as he arrived home. (Daddy, I love you. I hope you are coming home soon. I love you. By Matilda To Daddy)

Porter was up next. (I love you Porter. I love you so so so so much. I want you to be my best best brother.) For this one she was stuck and asked me "what makes the "th" sound in brother?"

And for her final letter an ode to mama. (I love you Mom because you are my favorite. I love you so so so so so much. You're my favorite.)
Tim take note, I have it in writing now. I am the favorite.
I like her a lot, too.


  • Matilda and her classmate were accurately explaining nouns on the walk home from school today. I did not study nouns in kindergarten.
  • Porter is saying "What the heck!?" as his leading exclamation on most things lately. Cute, but maybe inappropriate?
  • Tim got the kids to sleep tonight after I failed on both attempts. I was so grateful. 
  • Breaking Bad was awesome.
  • I am apparently in charge of coordinating volunteers to assist in Matilda's classroom. Would you like a slot? All you need is to fill out a stack of paperwork and get a TB test. 
  • It's late and I should've gone to bed hours ago.

Saturday, October 8

Pumpkin Farm

We headed out to Underwood Farm to get the fall feeling and hear some fun Folk music today. They had a few pumpkins.

Pig racing was a huge hit with all the kids in our party, and the adults.
Porter and Stella cheese it up on the wagon ride.

Matilda making funny faces for no reason.
 The corn maze there is always challenging and did not disappoint this year. We spent quite some time zig-zagging back and forth. 
Matilda did not seems to enjoy it at all and carried this concerned look through the entire experience, as if there really was some danger of not ever getting out. 
As always, after the fact she claimed to love it. M was genuinely pleased with choosing pumpkins so all was well in the end. 

Thursday, October 6

Porter-centric Fun

Some pics of our adventures this week. Over lunch today he told me how fun is was "visiting this baby steam roller."

We also indulged in a super slow pony ride. Aside from the astoundingly slow pace, this pony had to stop completely for a big pee mid-ride. Porter was spell-bound.
After early-release on Tuesday (a fun new weekly occurrence to allow for teacher staff meetings) we went straight to the zoo. It was a perfect way to burn some energy and head off the post school grumps (OH MAN what a grump she is some day, possibly a side effect of being ordered around all day).
We got some good rain this week and new rain coats for both kids so we could go on fun rain walks.
With wrangling two kids, it has been forever since I took the train downtown to meet Sarah for lunch. Porter was quite thrilled with a train adventure, equally enjoying the subway ride there and watching the Amtrak trains.

Tuesday, October 4

Quiet Weekend

We are trying to keep the weekends a bit quiet around here for Matilda while we adjust to our new, exhausting kindergarten schedule. While I took Matilda to soccer and then spent the day with her at home, Porter and Tim went off to the Getty for lots of fun. I particularly love this shot of Porter drawing in the kid's room.
 Sunday during Porter's nap, Tim took Matilda off to a fancy mall for a treat and some water fun.
 This morning we got our third produce delivery and we are still totally loving it. Here's the loot, although those grapes are gone already. We would need way more than 1 pound of grapes to last for any time in this household with our fruit loving boys.