Monday, March 31

Bug Birthday Party

Steps for a fantastic buggy birthday: 
1. Buy a whole bunch of edible bugs to feed the kids. Hotlix candy company can set you up with fried crickets, larvae with very potato chip-esque flavors and hard candy with ants embedded. 
Step 2. Get some pet Madagascar Hissing Roaches to amaze and/or terrify your friends.
Encourage petting, holding and shrieking. 
Step 3: A few rounds of insect sculptionary. Gummy worms will do as prizes.
Step 4: Inspect some bug specimens.
Step 5: A soda geyser. This doesn't technically have any relation to insects, however, it will provide for some good fun and additional chaos (as if that is lacking).
Step 6: Bug-centric cake. Matilda really wanted a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake this year, which was totally do-able. We accessorized with chocolate candies and frosting for ants, gummy worms, crumbled cookies and strawberry toadstools. 
Step 7: When a guest asks whether they are allowed to smash their face in the cake, assure them that is permitted at your house.(Note: You may want to bring out those spare baby wipes now.)
Step 8: Bug Favors We found strange glowing lightning bug candies that were too perfect to pass up. We also sent every kid home with a baggy of live ladybugs to release. 

Side note: If you want to really kick off the bug party with craziness, try bagging up the ladybugs right as guests arrive. The garden center instructions recommend keeping the ladybugs in a refrigerator to slow them down into a hibernation-like state and maintain more insects alive for when you want to release them. As I pulled them out of the fridge, they look essentially like a bag of dead ladybugs. I imagined I would cut open the mesh bag and just pour bugs into each of the 8 favor bags and tape them closed. That worked for about 1.5 bags. It turns out that the ladybugs "wake up" way faster than I imagined. Very quickly the ladybugs were everywhere in my kitchen. While four adults worked to get the favor bags finished, kids swarmed us with a whole range of responses. Some kids were crawling around trying to save every ladybug and cautioning everyone not to step here or there, other kids were paralyzed with interest watching a bug slowly climb on their hands, and my personal favorite were the two kids running in and out of the house screaming, "The ladybug apocalypse is coming! We are all going to die!!!" A totally calm and serene setting. 

Saturday, March 29

Swing, Batter Batter, Swing!

Baseball is going well! Sending sunshiny rays and spring-y thoughts your way.

Thursday, March 27


Matilda is eight today. Our strong-headed, sweet-natured, dreamy, animal-lover has been with us eight unbelievable years. To celebrate we got her some pet Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. She was over the moon and calls them "cuties." 

Monday, March 24

Front Yard Fire

We invited a few friends over and had our inaugural fire in the new fire pit this past weekend.
While waiting for our guests to arrive the kids practiced their wild hula hoop moved.
It was a smashing success and every last s'more fixing was used.  I hope we manage a lot more evenings of marshmallow roasting and drinks with our friends in the near future!

Saturday, March 22

Santa Barbara Day Trip

Grammy is visiting for a few weeks and we decided a quick run up to Santa Barbara for oysters and zoo fun was in order today. 
 Penguin feeding time.
We spent more than a few minutes on this awesome sliding hill at the Santa Barbara zoo.  
I think they are just trying to reinforce the surf training that all So Cal kids get. 
 After the zoo, we headed over to the marina area for dinner at our favorite place up there. We happened on a fisherman unloading his giant urchin haul. He was very generous in teaching passersby about the animals and letting folks touch them. 
The fisherman went even further, and cracked a few open to sample. Matilda and Tim both agreed that raw urchin is delicious. They claim it tasted like really buttery oyster; I will take their word for it.  
After urchin manhandling, we settled into our favorite table overlooking the harbor. 
 Happy and full of crab, oysters, clam, calamari, ceviche and poke! 
 After the giant meal, a walk on the jetty helped to ease our overstuffed bellies. 

Thursday, March 20

Happy spring!

Mmmmmm, jasmine is amazing smelling!

Wednesday, March 19

Spectacled Sweetie

When we picked up Matilda's glasses on Monday she was over the moon. Here she is beaming as she gets a glimpse of the world through her new glasses for the first time.
 I have such strong memories of the drive home from picking up my first glasses, seeing all the detail of the world in sharp focus again. It was really exciting for me to hear Matilda's thoughts and chatter as she experienced the same thing.  
The whole process of picking out frames took forever as she debated between so many great choices. This was her maybe pile: 

She especially loves the heart and rhinestones on the sides of her #1 choice, these candy apple red frames.
These calmer wire framed ones also have rhinestones to appease the almost-eight-year-old's flair!
The funniest part for me is realizing how glasses are in. I remember glasses seeming very clearly not cool in elementary school. For Matilda, her experience has been the opposite. The eye doctor confirmed that kids generally really want glasses these days and he even gets fakers coming in, seeking specs!

Monday, March 17

Boogie Boarder

We took advantage of the gorgeous, summer-like weather and hit the beach today. 
Previously, Porter's favorite boogie board use was pulling his sister around the driveway on it. However, after watching Tim get a particularly long ride in on a wave, Porter was interested in trying its' proper use.
 He was hooked after the first ride!
 He was enjoying it so much that he even handled the dunkings like a pro, just to get back on the board and try again.
 Waiting for a wave to carry him in further.
 An beautiful day for certain!

Friday, March 14

Joining the Club

Matilda came home from school last week ecstatic with news from the school nurse that she should go for an eye exam. She was just glowing with the information and told me she wanted to, "call everyone I know to let the know I might be getting glasses!!"

Today she finally had her dream confirmed when the eye doctor finished her exam. 

She was super proud of her disposable sunglasses after they dilated her pupils. Next time I will know not to schedule the eye exam before school, since she wasn't going to be able to read for a few hours until the effects wore off - a travesty for her! 
We did some preliminary browsing of glasses at the eye doctor's office, which she really enjoyed. After each pair Matilda put on, she would exclaim these are the ones I want! I hope her enthusiasm for the whole process lasts once the novelty wears off.

Thursday, March 13

Construction Crew

If you unexpectedly find the sidewalk blocked, it may be the work of this rogue team.

Sunday, March 9

Thank You Daylight Saving time

I saw the most amazing sunrise today because I was up early after the time change!

Friday, March 7

Pictures from Thursday

Matilda was only slightly excited about this giant chocolate croissant. 
Delicious coconut snack bars deserve to be bought in bulk.
i caught this mammoth playing ice age in my fridge. 
3.3 miles on these biking legs today.