Saturday, January 25

Bunk Inspection

 After months and months of talking about it, we finally got bunk beds installed today. The kids were beside themselves with excitement.

We shall see how the sleeping goes! I predict Porter will be in our bed in a few short hours.


This is from our Hollywood sign hike on Monday. I love how much attitude both kids manage to convey in their shadow. 

Monday, January 20

A Very Hollywood Day

This morning we were lucky enough to see the old Gene Wilder version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at the movie theatre right in our hood. We all really enjoyed it; I can't remember when I last watched it but found myself laughing out loud a ton. After sitting around all morning, we decided to get ourselves moving a bit for the afternoon. The Hollywood sign was our destination and provided us great views as always. The kids were troopers and did great hauling up the big hills so long as I kept up a steady stream of snacks and treats to lure them along!

Sunday, January 19

Tea Date

We took one of Matilda's good friends from preschool out for tea and a romp through the Huntington Gardens today as a birthday present. The girls started out the day with lots of note taking and scientific observation. Matilda made a list of the first 10 plant species she saw but her note taking tapered as their pace and excitement level ramped up.
I think Matilda loves the tea room just because the buffet has caviar on it. Her first plate was fairly balanced: melon, olives, noodle salad, caviar and chocolate mousse cups.
She quick gave up on a balanced meal and started bringing back plates with only caviar and mousse cups. In this photo she is using a cracker-caviar-delivery-system but she soon move to a spoon-only operation.
 After the girls got their bellies full of mousse cups, we headed out to explore the gardens. Matilda really loved spinning in her slippery high heels on this marble floor.
The misty children's garden is another good location to run in slick shoes. 
 Experimenting with sugar solution and light refraction.
In the fountains, it all started out with a little splashing. 
 Then rapidly led to dipping hair into the fountain a little.
In a heartbeat I had both girls with their heads submerged in a fountain, fancy tea dresses and all! Rest assured they had a fabulous time.
At some point in the desert garden the girls started taking really hysterical videos of each other, complete with direction. Most of the videos involved sitting on a cactus and then running around in crazy circles. For your viewing pleasure:

I had a fantastic time with the girls today and know that they did as well. I will try to give these experience-type-gifts more often now! I also am stunned by this snapshot I got of Matilda walking today. A glimpse of my teenaged daughter:

Monday, January 13

Captive Audience

After three long weeks of having his sister home, Porter is very pleased to have me all to himself this morning. He has been holding a very long concert, parading into the kitchen with one instrument after another to perform. I was instructed to stay seated, although I kept hopping up in between instruments to pick up the many piles of debris that need attention. Frustrated with my distraction, Porter started threatening to kick me out of the concert if I got up again!

Sunday, January 12

Pool Goodness

 Now that the polar vortex has passed a little, I feel slightly less guilty about sharing these photos! We enjoyed the heck out of our rental house in Palm Springs, particularly the pool. I could not get over the stunning mountain views. 

 My fish-girl was so happy to have unfettered pool access for once!
Hot tub time! At one point the kids were all in the hot tub with fresh lemonade (made by Tim from trees on the property!) AND popsicles. Gemma pointed out how silly it was to be eating popsicles in a hot tub!

Mom got in on the hot tub action, too! 
The desert cooled right off in the evenings, but even past swimming time we got some pool fun with Porter's remote control boat!

Saturday, January 11

Beach Day

Friday for our last hurrah of winter break we went to Malibu for a day of splashing, sand sledding and shirking all regular duties. It was lovely. 

Porter absolutely loves to get buried in the sand. He looks disgruntled here, but it just because he talked through every photo I tried to take. 
 It was like our own private beach, so empty!

 Porter really liked walking around in the shallow water and floating the boogie board behind him.
 Matilda said this sand snowman was an artist with his pebble beret. 
 We met a few 2nd grade friends, for exponentially more fun.
 Porter was thrilled with this sand throwing game. I may have been called "Flying Poop."
 Grinning, happy boy.

Monday, January 6

Tooth in the Hot Tub

We have been in Palm Springs all weekend having a relaxing time with my family. We jumped in the pool for one last swim before leaving and Matilda managed to knock out her latest wiggler! Super exciting.

Thursday, January 2

Busy Cousins, Busy Day

Since the visiting cousins had only one whole day in LA with us, we had to squeeze in a lot of fun. We started the day with some silly faces and Travel Town fun.
Train ride! Poor Gio and Uncle Brian missed out as one of them was napping in the car.
A game of tag in an old train car.
Posing with one of the big engines, after climbing all over it and "driving it to the North Pole and back."
Gio isn't sure if the salsa is as mild as Uncle Tim claimed.
 After filling up on beans and rice, Porter recharges.
Our insane 85 degree weather meant that a trip to the beach was in order.
Sand sledding is maybe my favorite beach activity.

Gio has got the best smile. He loved the beach so much; it was awesome to witness.
 Gemma played a giggly round of peek-a-boo with me while waiting for the "boys car" to park before dinner in Little Tokyo.
 Gio approves of the udon.
The best part of the day is that, after lots of delay and bad weather, Grandpa Chris and Grandma Marge's plane did eventually leave Michigan. They will be landing a bit after midnight to join the fun for tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 1

Let the Mayhem Commence

The cousins are here! Matilda and Porter have been so excited about this family visit that they just about worked themselves into a frenzy this afternoon waiting for them to arrive. 
To get all the plane wiggles out and enjoy the sunny weather, we marched them up our neighborhood stairs. Gio did it like a pro.
 Gemma was also surprised to find out it was still Christmas in California. Like maybe she rode a time machine instead of just a jet today. 
 Porter explains to Gemma how she needs to give her brother space to open presents on his own. Younger brothers, unite! 
 Matilda was very happy to give Gemma a little help with her oral hygiene. Sugar bugs, be gone.