Friday, December 30

Cable Car Success

Some fun from our day, not in chronological order. Sea lions and a lollipop!
A few cable car rides.
Creepy old mechanical fun at the Musee Mechanique.
A much needed nap on my chest as we wandered the pier.
Lots of San Fran specialties to fill our bellies: Anchor Steam, Ghirardelli, sourdough, House of Nanking and oysters.

Thursday, December 29

Street Car Ride

We are in San Francisco for a quickie visit and Porter is quite pleased with the great variety of things to ride here. Today we ticked vintage street car off our list. He is lobbying hard for ferry ride tomorrow!

Also of note, this is my first post done on my fancy new hand-me-down iPhone. Please forgive me if I have already pocket dialed you this week!

Monday, December 26

Scooter Outing

We took Matilda's new scooter for a test drive at the Hollywood reservoir today.
 Porter is quite thrilled to now have full time custody of Matilda's old blue scooter. They were quite the speedy team rolling down the road. I think I need to starting going along with them in some jogging shoes, maybe for a New Years resolution or something!
 As an extra bonus fun thing while we were up there, Matilda found an owl pellet. She was super excited about the discovery and we were so proud of her crazy naturalist skills! After some dissection she found this bone, along with lots of others and some teeth.

Sunday, December 25

Merry Christmas!!!

We had a lovely, slow day at home opening presents, playing with presents, cooking yummy food and making memories. I hope you all had the same.

Merry Christmas wishes from our family to yours!

Saturday, December 24

Christmas Eve

The Nutcracker was a huge hit with Matilda. She loved the dancing and costumes a ton, although at intermission she said to me, "But Mom, are the dancers real people like you and me?" The world is a confusing place I think when ballerinas look like dress up dolls.

While friends were over for Christmas Eve dinner tonight, the kids got to open one present tonight and it was of course this awesome gift from Gemma and her parents.  To say the piano was a hit would be quite the understatement. 
In an attempt to calm down after the piano wild times, we all stared at candles and listened to the sweet chimes for a few minutes.
  Cookies chosen specifically for the big guy. As Tim was getting Porter settled for bed he was talking with him, asking a serious of questions for Porter to answer. Here is a transcript:
Is Santa's sleigh made of wood or metal? Wood
Do Santa's reindeer have silver bells or gold bells? Gold
What color are the reigns for the reindeer? Red
Does Santa bring snacks with him? No, he gets snacks from the kids!
 Here are the letters left by our fireplace.
 Santa's work is done here! Very excited to witness the morning fun.
Merry Christmas!

Sweet Together

These kids are being so lovey to each other lately. It has been really lovely having Matilda home this past week for lots of time to play together and relax. Here's an outtake from Christmas cards that I really love. Matilda and the triceratops were all smiles, but Porter was just snuggling with his sister.

Friday, December 23

Checking Off the Christmas To-Dos

Tim's favorite holiday cookies baked -Done.
 Plenty of sprinkles eaten while decorating the sugar cookies - Done.
Up tomorrow, taking my girl to her first ballet performance. We will get all fancy dressed up for The Nutcracker. I am not sure who will be more excited, her for the ballet or me for classic daughter-mommy memory. I can't wait!

Thursday, December 22

Alive, but Exhausted

Hello, are you out there? I am neglecting the blog majorly as we frantically prepare for Christmas with baking and crafting and shopping and nose blowing. Here are some things we've done recently, not too recently though since I haven't downloaded the camera in 6 days.

Hike to the Observatory. During this hike Tim and I walked with a notepad in order to simultaneously "check our list twice" and provide the children with enrichment (i.e. keep them from climbing the walls).
 Matilda, with 85 other kindergarteners, got decked out in black and white to sing a medley of nursery rhymes for the school concert. It was as adorable as you can imagine. I had tears, and not just from sheer exhaustion and lack of sleep.
 We got a new angel chime, just like the one from my childhood. I had completely forgotten about these awesome things. The kids love it almost as much as I do.
My list is getting shorter, but it still includes wrapping which I always underestimate. I am going to try to get started tomorrow night. The kids are getting more and more amped everyday. Today I opened the front door to find a huge pile of delivery boxes there. Our little reader quickly notified me that the most enormous box was addressed to Matilda and Porter, from their cousin Gemma and family. That huge box looming in the living room now is definitely kicking the fever into high gear!

Sunday, December 11

First Fire!

It's getting very holiday cheery around here!

Friday, December 9

Candy Houses

In Matilda's class today the kids all decorated "candy houses," milk cartons covered in tin foil. It involved copious amounts of sugar and the kids were all justifiably excited about this project. Here is the set up, before the class returned from PE time outside.
 Here is Matilda's creation:
She used her tongue depressor (intended for frosting spreading) as the chimney. Very innovative. Although technically the kids were supposed to decorate only, and eat the houses at home, I can verify that much candy was ingested.

Tuesday, December 6

Portrait with Cookie

We went to the tree lighting ceremony at the Biltmore, conveniently scheduled during the power outage so we could enjoy their lights (on the tree and off) AND get a free cookie dinner. 
I mistakenly thought that I could magically get THE photo for our Christmas cards at this event somehow.
After no time at all it was apparent that the cookie-love was much stronger than any desire to pose for photos.

I did manage to grab one cute shot with no cookie in the frame, plus I really enjoyed the event as a kick off for the holidays!

Monday, December 5

Dilly Beans

Rather than tackle the mountain of laundry that accumulated while we were out of power (aided by the fact that we were already overdue for laundry), today I took care of 12 pounds of green beans. Hopefully in 2-3 weeks these guys will be crunchy and dilly and perfect.  
My favorite part of canning is hearing the little pings that the lid makes as the jars cool and the pressure vacuum pulls it down. Ping, ping, ping. So satisfying. 

Sunday, December 4

Back on the Grid

After 72 hours we got our power back tonight! We had hot water and our gas stove to cook the whole time so, relatively, it was not too bad. However, the novelty had worn off and we were quite happy to come home tonight and discover the front porch light on finally! 

Our neighborhood was strewn with broken lines so it was not really too surprising that it took so long for the crews to get them all repaired.  Here is an impressive burn in the grass from a downed line that is a new landmark on our walk to and from school.
Matilda checks out some good samaritan neighbors who decided to clear this tree out of the street, after the city hadn't gotten to it in 48 hours. They spent two days clearing it!
 Our neighbor's Christmas decorations after the storm.
 "Camping dinners" and candlelight baths were terribly exciting for the kids.
The trucks finally arrived on our block at 8 a.m. this morning to great cheers from our house! They spent 12 hours just on our block today so it must have been a huge tangle of mess.