December 13, 2013

ballet recital

Balletgreen1 2013
Balletgreen2 2013

Vivi at her winter ballet class observation recital.

tooth fairy

Vivi Losttooth

My baby girl is officially a big girl now, she's lost her first tooth. She is so so so excited. The second loose one was the first to fall out. The other lower front is days away. Bitter sweet.

January 3, 2013

presidio play

Vivimaxkian

We had a lovely afternoon playing in the Presidio with Kian.

December 26, 2012

water witching

Waterwitching

Papa tried to teach us all to witch for water. Max is the only one who has the talent! Papa has the skill in such a big way. When he holds the willow it pulls so severely he gets welts in his hands and struggles to hold on. What a trip!! I felt nothing, though I tried and wished my switch was unmoved.

December 23, 2012

that girl

Thatgirl

A darling snap I took of Vivienne as we made our way through the rain to see the Nutcracker. She's my little sugar plum fairy!

December 17, 2012

portraits

Mother Son Portrait
Father Son Portrait
Father Daughter Portrait

We went to Rayko to have our portrait taken on a tintype. While we waited for the images to be developed we snapped a few pictures with our iphones in the fancy set up. Unfortunately Vivi wasn't her most cooperative self so we only got this one blurry image and that after pleading, bribing and wrangling. No mother daughter portrait, too bad, but the mother/father son ones make me super happy.

December 9, 2012

naughty & nice

Naught+Nice

well, for this moment anyway. captured during the annual tree hunt.

November 24, 2012

tree huggers

Vivienne Wagonwheel
Vivi Biking
Treehuggers
Max-Rocking

A few pictures from a weekend visit to Healdsburg. Vivienne has been doing very well riding her bike and Max is a pro now that he's logged so many hours riding. Kids loved visiting and hugging the redwood tree that Papa and grandpa Billy planted in 1945.

October 12, 2012

then & now

Abbeyst Crew2007
Abbeyst Crew2012

Our Abbey Street kid crew back then, 2007 I think and now 2012. Taken by our neighbor Ari at the block party. Adorable! Oh they really do grow up fast. I am feeling stunned that my kids are about to have their 8th and 5th birthdays. How do I slow this speeding life down?!
Top: Rena, Easton Max & Isabel; Bottom: Isabel, Max, James, Rena & Vivienne

October 11, 2012

lego camp

Max Legocamp

Patty snapped a photo of Max at Lego camp in a deep focus moment busy programming his mindstorm!

July 23, 2012

vivi's paintings

Vivis Fish
Vivi's Plant
Vivis Faces

Vivienne has been painting up a storm recently. On our recent trip to Virginia to visit our beloved auntie Gail and uncle Jeff, Vivi was wildly prolific. Now that we are home she's taken over the dining room table and made it her own studio. She draws and paints nearly every night before dinner and often tries to sneak in a little more time each morning before school.

May 3, 2012

sibling rodeo

Sibling Rodeo

I can't find enough fabulously supportively perfect words to describe our wonderful experiences with Kidspace occupational therapy. Our therapist Lise has been a dream send. We've love the last year and a half of support, practice, and play. I'm a fan and would recommend Kidspace to anyone — five stars for sure. Max and Viv both have thrived. I love this picture snapped by Lise of the two of them at the end of the obstacle course enjoying a sibling ride on the bronco. So fun!

April 8, 2012

happy easter

Bunny Eggs
Maxviveaster
Viviswingeaster
Vivieastersmile
Maxeastersmile
Lulu Bunny

March 1, 2012

annual check up

Atthedoctor

The kids had their annual check ups today. Ok so I missed scheduling it near their birthdays by months and the only reason they had this appointment was because Max asked me when we were going and when I said we didn't have an appointment he reminded me that we were supposed to. Oh dear. My son is so grown up in some ways and clearly sometimes more responsible than I am. Kids checked out perfectly as you'd imagine. Vivi is 54lbs and Max is 65lbs. He's 56 inches tall and she's 48." Both have 20/20 sight though Max of course got all correct Vivi was struggling not to see but to identify the shapes. She didn't know some of them like the plus symbol. Max was whispering answers in her ear, see how he is! Both have perfect hearing as well. Vivi got her vaccine boosters mmr, chicken pox and a flu, Max just got flu. On the way out of the office a stranger said to me, your children are absolutely beautiful. I had to concur! Feeling blessed.

December 16, 2011

a garden

Viviennes Drawingdec2011

a garden, drawing by vivienne

December 12, 2011

incognito

Max Dalistache
Max Italianostache
Max Banksystache
Max Studstache
Max Walrusstache

Many thanks to Max's buddy Jaewon for the mustache kit. Max wore a different one for days in a row: the Dali, the Italiano, mr. banksy, the stud, & the walrus.

December 11, 2011

tree search

Max Vivi Treegetting
Max Santaface

A couple of darling snaps from our morning spent searching for the perfect Christmas tree, success of course!

December 7, 2011

choo choo

Caetano Choochoo

Love this photo of my darling and oh so sweet nephew Caetano.

November 13, 2011

princess party

Princessfriends1
Princessfriends2
Keily Lily Princesses
Princess Vivienne Cake
Blowoutccandles
Eatcake

We hosted ten little princesses yesterday in celebration of Vivi's fourth birthday. The party was a fabulous pink filled success. Moms had as many delicious treats as the girls. Marcus out did himself as usual (many thank yous!!) making a frosted and seeded pumpkin bread; fresh currant scones with cream and jam; salmon and creme fresh, cucumber and butter and proscuitto finger sandwiches plus mimosas to wash it all down. Girls had some of the above plus pb&js, a gorgeous fruit salad and pink lemonade. Having celebrated yet again the night before we ran out of time so Marcus couldn't make the cake he'd envisioned. Instead he ran out at eight am Sunday morning to the Fillmore bakeshop. He'd read a great article about the father daughter team and wanted to try some of their treats. He had them make a genoise cake with pink buttercream frosting. It's an amazing shade of pink don't you think? Quite tasty too. He also brought home their morning buns which were delicious, much lighter and crisper than the our other favorite's from Tartine. Wow, so much sugary sweetness. Max was an amazing helper and enjoyed his special role as the magic flounder. We attempted to turn our second bathroom shower into a magic pond where the flounder lives. The girls toss a clothes pin at the end of a string tied stick, aka the fishing pole, into the shower and the magic flounder, aka Max with a voice disguise wink wink, attaches a little gift. I had fun collecting lots of things like a pink hand broom and dust pan, fish coin purse, hello kitty tooth brushes, pink paper fans etc all from Daiso our fabulous store where everything it a dollar fifty. Good times!

November 12, 2011

part-ay princess

Happyprincess Four

We like to stretch our birthday celebrations out! This pic is from the fabulous little fete we had at Maga and Paga's house. Yummy cupcakes and more lovely gifts too. What love and blessings!

November 10, 2011

happy birthday

Birthdaygirl 4

Happy birthday darling Vivienne! Her expression says it all. Rainbow laser beams of happy are shooting out those eyes! For sure it has something to do with that fabulously fancy crown made by her beloved teacher Andy.

November 8, 2011

first grader

Max Firstgradeportrait

Max's school portrait. Boy he looked so different back then with that surfer shag hairdo. The smile and sparkle in his eyes remains constant. xo

November 6, 2011

swing high

Vivi Swinging

During a break in the rain, miss Vivienne enjoyed a good long swing. Oh how we all love visiting Papa and Lulu in Healdsburg. It's so beautiful there. Loved the fall colors and crisp chill.

October 31, 2011

happy halloween

Pumpkinpatch2011
Jackolanterns2011

Max's carving is at the bottom, next is Rey's pumpkin for Tano, then Vivi's carving and last Marcus. Excellent team work! We toasted the seeds too, quite yummy.

Halloweencuties2011

Max dressed as Ash Ketcheum a Pokemon trainer and Vivienne was Ariel, the little mermaid. We had an excellent night trick-or-treating down Fair Oaks Street. Good vibes and lots of sugar treats.

October 26, 2011

new do

Maxmohawk-1

Max is sporting a serious change. Last Saturday he went with daddy to see Scott at Acme — Scott by the way is an amazing hair cutter — and he returned a changed boy. He now requires hair gel to spike up his mohawk. What fun it is to be seven.

October 25, 2011

fingerstashe

Max Fingerstash

When you tell a story, within ear shot of a kid, about a guy with a tattoo of a mustache on the inside of his index finger and how funny it is after he has a few drinks and whips it out and starts talking in voices — expect to turn and see said kid sporting one too.

October 22, 2011

wilson photo essay

Wilson is a pet stuffie who goes home on the weekends with first graders. This weekend was Max's turn. The kids document what they do with Wilson, then add photos and a few sentences into a shared journal.

Wilson Homemax

Wilson arrives home with Max. Yeah it's the weekend!

Wilson Playstation-1

Wilson plays video games and watches tv with Max.

Wilson Sleeping

He sleeps with him too.

Wilson Driving

Wilson likes ridding in the car.

Shopping Wilson

Wilson goes to Whole Foods.

Wilson Vivi

Vivi likes Wilson too.

Wilson Bandagescissors
Wilson Hurtlegs-1

Wilson fell off the top bunk and injured his front legs. Max played doctor and wrapped them up. All was well in the end. Wilson had a great visiit and went back to school with Max on Monday.

October 21, 2011

walkathon

Max Walkathin2011

Mohawk Max waiting for his school walkathon to begin. More to come. . .

October 11, 2011

more about max

Max Sonatural

A gorgeous snap taken by daddy, makes him look so grown up.

Max Mustache

Here's Max wearing a ScoutMob mustache he found on counter at SeeSaw Cafe.

Maxsheart

I took a photo of a paper I found in Max's cubby drawer at school when I was visiting for parent night. I love the list of things in his heart: surprises, christmas, birthdays, cat, legos, willow, garrett, gum, me, family, friends, electronics, my crystals, everything.

Maxandwillow

Max hugging my (pretend, but for realsies so go along with it) daughter-in-law Willow. Sweet young love.

October 8, 2011

meow

Kitties

Playing kitty with our furettes (animal ear barrettes named by Max made by Vivienne's teacher Marci).

September 24, 2011

in the bubbles

Inthebubbles

A fabulous snap of little miss Vivienne enjoying jumping in the bubble mess that was pumped onto our street during the amazing annual block party. Good times!

September 18, 2011

academy of science day

Max Academyofscience1
Max Academyofscience2

Max didn't feel like attending his schools fall festival picnic in golden gate park. He says he doesn't like crowds or grass. Well, what are you gunna do, argue? Naw. I would have been great to go, but fine just the same if we didn't. We ended up having a lovely day at the Academy of Sciences. Both he and Vivi were in great spirits

September 14, 2011

furrettes

Viv Ella Kitties
Elle Lily Kitties
Lily Viv Kitties
Kitty Girlfriends

Vivienne's room three (last year) preschool teacher Marci is starting a kids animal ears hair clip business. She asked Vivi, Lily and Ella to be hair models and asked me to take the photos. Here are a few highlights from the fun after school shoot.

September 12, 2011

cupcake celebration

Cupcakes Friends
Chocolate Nose

I promised the kids they could have cupcakes after swimming class each time either of them earn a ribbon. Well Miss Vivienne just earned yet another ribbon! Only two weeks after getting her green ribbon she just earned her blue too. Girl's a swimmer! Her friend Ella also got her rainbow and green ribbons so we all went to Kara's to celebrate. Mmm the velvet, chocolate cake with coconut, and fleur de sel are our favorites.

September 11, 2011

incognito

Max Incognito

I couldn't stop laughing when Max walked into Patty's dining room dressed like this. Hilarious! When I shared the iphone snap with my family they thought it was a perfect parody of an image of his father at the same age in Turkey circa 1970.

Please send me the photo to post Mr. C!

July 21, 2011

rainbow ribbon

Vivi Rainbowribbon

Miss Vivienne has scored her rainbow ribbon after completing three swim classes with no crying, easy parental separation, good listening, and full participation. She's even started to enjoy putting her face in the water. It's going very well indeed.

July 18, 2011

feels like vacation

ViewfromrusticMax Soserious

Vivi CoppolaVivienne LookingatbookMax Coppola
We just spent a lovely two days visiting papa in the mornings and evenings. During the mid days we were sunning ourselves at the Coppola Winery pool. This winery is lovely with every amenity right there to enjoy. It's easy, breezy and super relaxing. The spaghetti carbonara at Rustic was quite tasty, I highly recommend it.

July 7, 2011

first swim class

Vivi Firstswimlesson1
Vivi Firstswimlesson2

Miss Vivi had her first swim lesson today. She's been very excited to start. She was a touch nervous as we drove to La Petite Baleen, but as soon as we got there her anxiety melted away and she was psyched to jump in the pool. She had one darling classmate named Wyatt and a lovely teacher named Megan. I predict Vivienne will be an amazing swimmer one day soon.

June 19, 2011

happy birthday & father's day

Reno Cuties

It's a busy day and everybody has something to celebrate! Happy birthday Grandma's Monica & Sherry, a one day belated to Uncle Yaya, and a happy fathers to day to all our dads, Mike, Marcus, Rey, Lou, Bill have I forgotten anyone, I hope not! xoxo love from us all

June 9, 2011

white ribbon

Max Whiteribbon
Max got his white level swimming ribbon today. Yay!!
Max Lastdayk
It's also the last day of Kindergarten. It's a bitter sweet moment as Max just finally started to enjoy school and now it's ended.

June 5, 2011

paint party

Splatter Vivi2Splatter Vivi1
Splatter Vivi3
Vivienne had a marvelous, and yes entirely too messy time, splatter painting al la Jackson Pollack style while celebrating her friend Talia's fourth birthday party. Viv, her boots, and clothes all took a long and thorough bath and washing afterward. That's Viv next to schoolmates Lily and Zizou. The party was at 4 Cats Studio.

June 4, 2011

in the wings

Vivienne Inthewings

My angelic cutie pie's mesmerized face taken backstage while she waits in the wings before her ballet performance.

May 28, 2011

before the performance

Ballerina Plie
Feeling Ballerina
Recital Ballerinaface

A few snaps of the ever so lovely miss Vivienne practicing her itsy bitsy spider dance in our kitchen before we left for the show. I'll post a video soon (it's huge and we have to render it down!)

May 22, 2011

maker faire funsies

R2D2 Max
Whitemerrygoround Vivi

We all had a great day at the 2011 Maker Faire in San Mateo. It's busy place with more to do than we could get done. There's so much inspiration and admiration to behold and enjoy. Max loved ArcAttack, the Pacific pinball museum, and all the robotics including the R2D2 units. Vivienne loved the music and the GE solar powered carousel.

Woolbuddy Owl

I was in heaven in the craft area. My favorite was Woolbuddy. Jackie is adorable, sweet, humble and a pleasure to hear from. I adore his little creatures. I bought his darling book and owl kit.

Other booths I enjoyed and will look forward to visiting their sites: Sublime Stitching; Felt the Sun; Meadowlarking, NifNaks (especially their subversive felt guns & bombs!) Burda Style & Spoonflower.

May 17, 2011

flower ballet costume

Max Vivi Flowerballet

sneak preview of Vivienne's flower ballet costume with her proud big bother Max behind.

her upside down

Max filming Vivienne dancing. . .

bang bang movie

April 23, 2011

lost tooth

Missing Tooth

Finally! Max's right front tooth fell out while he was at gym class. He's thrilled and his new smile is adorable. xo

April 22, 2011

felt tooth bag

Tooth Bag1
Tooth Bag2

This little bag has been weeks in the making. Max's right front tooth has been loose for weeks. It's on the verge of falling out any day now. We all take a turn wiggling it each morning and night. Max asked me to make him a tooth bag to keep a tooth in should it fall out while he's at school. He requested the color of the bag, asked that the tooth be above his name, and wanted the same snap as one on his dad's iphone case — which I also made and need to remember to post a photo of it. Max rubbed the bag across his cheek while telling me how much he likes how soft it is. He's been taking it with him to school each day in the hopes he will get to use it. Warms my heart!

April 21, 2011

wedding day

Wedding Day
Wedding Cookies

Max and Willow orchestrated their wedding today. It took place at 11:35. That's when they have a recess which is right before lunch. Cameron read from "the book," Zoe made bouquets, Maleeha wrote love songs and Max said right after the wedding is over he'll have to "battle" Niko. We sent Max to school with a box of wedding cookies to share with the class after the brown bag luncheon feast. Multiple parents said "congratulations" to me as I passed through the halls and one teacher said it was about time they got married already since Max and Willow have been in love for so long now. I asked Max how his first day of marriage went and he said "good." Max and Willow have decided to go on a pajama walk for their honeymoon. Tomorrow is school-wide pajama day. It's all so sweet!

kinder wedding

Kinder Wedding Groom
Kinder Wedding Bride
Kinder Wedding 6
Kinder Wedding Flowergirl
Kinder Wedding 4
Kinder Wedding 5
Kinder Wedding 1
Kinder Wedding 3
Kinder Wedding 2
Kinder Wedding Couple2Kinder Wedding Couple1
Kinder Wedding Dance2
Kinder Wedding Dance3
Kinder Wedding Dance1
Kinder Wedding 8
Kinder Wedding 7

April 19, 2011

ballet class III

Vivi Akimbo
Vivi Esme Balleti
Ballet Class Circle
Sophie Vivi Ella

Vivienne's friends from preschool room three and they are also in her ballet class, Sophie left and Ella right.

ballet class II

April 16, 2011

ballet class I

Vivi Esme Ballet2
Vivi Esme Ballet1
Esme Vivi Ballet

Vivienne and her friend Esme love Friday because "it's ballet day!" After school they meet for ballet class and "weeeeeeeee" all the way up and down the 21st street hill on their way to Noe Valley Dance Studio for their beloved class. Seriously, Vivienne beams when I tell her it's Friday. What happy girls!

April 13, 2011

pink portrait

Portrait Viviapril12

Portrait of Vivienne in a dress by Max.

For memory sake, here's a list (will try to add to it) of cute things Vivi says:
"ta-do-wah" instead of tah-dah!
"gee-ey-shh boo boo" instead of Hello Kitty
"cha-lock" instead of chocolate

We just got her first "report card" really it's an evaluation. It's says she practically perfect ;-) beeming with pride over here. Really it says she's a very healthy and well adjusted young girl who is an absolute joy to have in class and is loved by her peers. She is strong or developmentally appropriate in every category such as fine and gross motor, knows her letters and sounds, transitions well, respects people and property, listens and follows directions etc, her only difficult area that needs work is speech. She isn't clear and recognizable with her words. We are going to get her some speech therapy sessions. It will be so interesting to learn more about how speech therapy works.

April 12, 2011

social skills

We've just started Max in a social skills class. He needs some help understanding social cues and managing his thoughts and emotions — similar to what it says here about social thinking. He needs more than we are able to instruct and model and more than his teachers can teach, apparently. I hope this program will be helpful and worth it! The curriculum is based on this program called "super flex." Lots more for me to read and learn about too. Perhaps we all will be calm and flexible in just six weeks : : wink wink : :

His first take home had the quote below on it with these cartoon characters. Interesting. I certainly know lots of people with one or more of these qualities, uh and perhaps I have a few too!

Mean Jean
Glass Man
Rock Brain
Space Invader
Topic Twister
Energy Harey
Body Snatcher
Under Wonder
Brain Eater
Grump Grumpaniny
Dof
Onesided Sid
Worry Wall

"These unthinkables have been around a long time and enjoy invading the brains of social town citizens! Their goal is to defeat every human brain by getting people to do things that show others they are not thinking about them."

Superflex

"Superflex helps a citizen be a more flexible thinker, which allows the person to better control his or her brain and change how he or she thinks. He helps a citizen think about how to act and behave to keep others and him/herself feeling good. He helps a citizen be a better problem solver by thinking of many different solutions to one problem. He helps a citizen notice when an unthinkable is becoming more active in his brain and then quickly comes up with a strategy to defeat the unthinkable."

.

April 11, 2011

who's driving?

Maxlunchdc

A snap daddy took while at lunch in DC.

Maxtanodriving1
Maxtanodriving2

Look who drove us through Wegman's in Leesburg! What cuties.

March 23, 2011

rainbow of apology

Roygbiv Max

Max drew this amazing ROY G BIV rainbow for Zoe. He needed to apologize to her and she chose a drawing. Without going too deep into it, Max has been having lots of sensory and social integration problems in kindergarten. He has trouble reading non-verbal cues, playing in large groups, listening, focusing, remaining calm and a variety of other things. It's been a struggle. It seems to be slowly getting better with all activities we are doing for him like swimming, yoga, boys gym, occupational therapy and t-ball. Fingers crossed that he grows out of it and that first grade is better.

January 28, 2011

chinatown field trip

Maxmarleecatrin
Dragonhead
Maxandmap
Cuttlefish Ducks
Chinatown Map
Eruman

I tagged along as a chaperone on Max's school field trip to Chinatown today. We took the number one california bus to Grant Street. We had a quick snack and play at Portsmouth Square Park which is where we met up with our tour guide Linda Lee. Linda was awesome. She was quick witted, straight forward and curtly humorous. She didn't allow comments, only questions. As the tour went on she limited the questions from as many as the group wished, to three, to two, then finally to only one. Is that a question or comment you just said, she would ask? Of course the kids had many more comments than questions. I appreciated her kindergarten explanation of Buddhism which was that Siddhartha travelled around the world until he understood everything about human existence. Then he shared what he knew and the people said he was the wisest person ever. They renamed him Buddha. Buddihsm is popluar throughout Asia. Oranges are a homonym for luck in Chinese which is why they are an offering to Buddha (in English they are a fruit and a color — hmm isn't that strange). I also liked her lesson on eating the whole animal who gave it's life for your dinner. She stressed how the Chinese eat the whole animal, the head, the feet etc. (use your imagination) leaving no part untouched or wasted —including the "butt" and yes saying duck butt got a huge laugh. I think it's a good lesson for kids to think about the animals they eat. We visited a fortune cookie factory, heard the man above play the erhu and lastly visited a buddhist temple. All in all it was a good day!

January 26, 2011

allies poster

Allies

The kindergarteners are working on a new learning segment about behavior. They thought about answers to the questions: What is an ally? Who can be an ally? What does an ally do? What does an ally NOT do? What are some situations that happen at school where being an ally would be helpful? What are some situations where it is hard to be an ally? How does it feel when someone is an ally to you? How does it feel to be an ally to others? How can we help each other to be allies? From their answers they created the poster above. They all signed it at the bottom — nice work!

January 23, 2011

tell me why

Maxvivi Deerwall

Chow is only blocks away but it takes us ages to walk there because there are so many things to do along the way. Like jump off Patrick and Laura's cement retaining wall or run up and down the ramp leading to the children's center, we must put in a game of red light green light, there's also all those plum trees with their dark trunks to discuss that they only blossom in February and there are leaves to step on, the dog poo to avoid and then of course, naturally, the stinky potty talk that follows, oh and on and on it goes, plus there is this unexplainable house with the wildlife paintings all over it. Vivi asks me so succinctly in her unique way, "why is this here?"

January 20, 2011

tiny dancers








Viviesme Balletiii
Viviesme Balletii
Viviesme Balleti
Viviesme Balletiv

Vivienne asks me everyday if today is friday. Wouldn't it be wonderful if I could say yes? It feels disappointing each day when I say sorry it's only tuesday. As you've guessed Friday is ballet class. Vivienne has been so excited to take class it's been adorably sweet to experience. She's had slippers and a tutu for months now. It was a long wait but we finally got her and her friend Esme into a class at Noe Valley Dance Space with teacher Ms. Laura. Vivienne is thrilled as you can imagine and she dances for us each night at home. In fact last night Max found a little music box player that when you turn the handle it plucks a verse from "Take me out to the ball park.' Vivienne did jumps and arabesques for us while Max played it. It was hilarious! I am looking forward to our second class tomorrow afternoon. In the movie above Vivienne is the super jumpy dancer waving a ribbon.

January 18, 2011

wool pet

Feltedpenguin2

I'm deep into my love of roving these days. While enjoying a visit to my happy place I decided to buy this cute book called wool pets. Max is crazy about penguins, his beloved pillow pet is a penguin and he loves to read 365 penguins. He'd read it nightly if we'd let him, but as you can imagine I go a little batty with the repetition. He's also been jealous that I come home from my studio with new felt barrettes for Vivienne and none for him. Of course he doesn't want a barrette but he wants something. So that's the why and the how of my undertaking the needle felting of the above little penguin. Stabbing felt for two hours was cathartic and I found myself enjoying the sculptural experience as well. More to come perhaps? The little chickens, bunny and lamb are whispering my name.

Maxandpenguin

January 4, 2011

vivi and friends

Viviandfriends School
Vivi Closeupbluecrown

She's got her hands folded under chin like a little angle princess. She does have moments! Vivienne loves school and adores her friends. It's a pleasure to take her to school each day and watch her engage and enjoy.

December 25, 2010

father christmas

Fatherchristmas

I really adore this cell phone snap of Vivienne, Maximillian and their 94 year old great grand "papa" Lou! It's so holiday happy and looks 70s nostalgic to me — which were my childhood years.

Merry Christmas to all!

December 20, 2010

muir woods

Maxvivi Muirwoods
Maxvivi Walkingmuirwoods

December 16, 2010

perfect pair

Vivmax Christmastree1
Vivmax Christmastree2

We've had a lot going on recently — but given the constraints we still made it to our annual visit at the Guardsmen lot at Fort Mason. It was raining this night so few people were out. We had the lot mostly to ourselves and the kids love jumping in the bouncy houses since they had them all to their selves.

Max found the perfect eight foot tree. Seriously, he picked a tree so lovely dare I say it looks fake. It looks fabulous in our house. Thank you Max!

December 15, 2010

group grin

Tomzandermax
Folliesgroupgrin

A couple of snaps of the pre follies excitement. The little adventurers sang their hearts out and we were so proud! Adorable as always.

November 26, 2010

metal detecting adventure

Fixingdetector
Beachcrawlers
Beachcrawling2
Foundcoins
Binoculareyes
Pagamax Sherpa

A good time sleep over adventure with Maga Paga, xoxo!! Max looks so happy, thank you.

November 13, 2010

birthday princess

Twirling Princess
Smiling Princess
Laughing Princess

That's my girl! What a perfect little princess she makes. She reveled in all the birthday attention and really enjoyed herself. What fun!! We hosted a party for ten little princesses. There was a pink table, pink tea and of course pink cupcakes. Daddy made a delicious spread of homemade everything, fruit salad, scones, pumpkin bread and finger sandwiches. The girls were little angels, no tears and no spills. Wow, success!!
Prinesstrio
Sparklyprincesses

Pink TeaViviandesmeteaparty
Pinkpartygirls
Sophieellasinging
Singingtovivi
Vivi Eatingcupcake
Pink Cupcakes

November 7, 2010

gifts from great auntie and papa

Princesssnow Vivi
Snowwhite Drawingii
Snowwhite Drawing
Maxvivi Giftsfromauntie
Guitarshirt Max

It was a lovely weekend. We all were so comfy, relaxed and at home in Healdsburg. The kids were especially joyful as each got yet another birthday celebration with great gifts and delicious cupcakes to boot. Max was thrilled with his lego star wars ship — the latest in his fabulous collection — and a shirt that plays the guitar. Seriously it rocks the chords. It took him about 3.5 hours to put that lego ship together. He's amazing and focused about these legos. Vivienne became a sweet Snow White in the ultimate Disney princess get up. She was happy happy happy and then some. She's put it on three times and proceed to pee in it. Oh this is more than you bargained to hear? Well potty training brings out the potty talk in us all I tell ya.

Good times!! xoxo Aviatrix Lulu

November 4, 2010

go seek

Hidingintire

Vivienne found a great hiding spot on her school playground, in the giant tire!

November 3, 2010

from the classroom wall

Maxselfportrait Fall2010

Self Portrait by Max

Maxfamilytree Drawing

Max's Family Tree

Actionsofapology

Actions of Apology (from his classroom wall)

November 1, 2010

school photo

Maxschoolphoto
Maxsclassphoto

I know I'm bias, but — that grin — those eyes —that face! ah he's such a cutie pie. He's second from left in middle row in the class photo.

October 31, 2010

halloween ready

Austin Maxhalloween
Vivi Blueprincessmuni
Julietvivi Blueprincessmuni

Austin dressed as a jedi, Max was a classic storm trooper, Juliet was a darling ladybug and Mme Vivienne was a blue princess of one sort or another. With Grandma Sherry, parents and auntie, yaya and baby Caetano too we all headed off to Fair Oaks via a quick Muni ride. It was a great night. I have a few more photos to download from my other camera...expect more later.

punkin faces

Vivipumpkin2010
Maxpumpkin2010

Mr C did a great job of carving the drawings the kids made on their respective pumpkins. Vivi's on top, Max below.

October 30, 2010

gifts from grandma

Grandmas Gifts1
Grandmas Gifts2

These two kids couldn't have been happier. Grandma Sherry gave them each a gift of their choosing for their birthdays. Max went for a lego star wars ship and Vivienne chose a blue princess dress and magic wand. Happy happy joy joy!!

October 13, 2010

visiting an egg farm

Jaewon Vivi Goat

Jaewon and Vivienne enjoyed checking out the chickens, sheep and this super friendly goat while we roamed around Field of Greens. The beautiful rainbow eggs we bought were so creamy and delicious! I am thrilled to learn that our local market Bi-Rite carries them.

October 12, 2010

great outdoors

Max Tent Presidio
Max Charcolface

While Vivi and I enjoyed an additional night in warm and sunny Sonoma, Max and Mr C headed to Rob Hill to camp out with some of Max's classmates. Max said he had "the best time ever" and was grinning ear to ear when questioned about the event. Apparently he loves camping! Mr. C made it enjoyable for all by cooking lots of ribs, corn bread, and bringing a few bottles of Papa's red wine and St George's spirits cocoa nib brandy to share with all. I think I too would have enjoyed that! Even with a dirty face and fingernails.

October 3, 2010

you are what you eat

Yoda Pancake
Stormtrooper Panacake

Our kidlets are sleeping over at maga paga's house. I bet they don't miss us one little bit. I'm convinced it's true after receiving these darling snaps of their breakfast. Awesome pancakes grandparents!

October 2, 2010

snack box

Vivi Boxandapple

Vivienne eating an apple while nestled in the veggie and fruit delivery box.

October 1, 2010

tea party

Vivi Teapartygrin
Amelia Zizu Vivi-Teaparty2
Amelia Zizu Vivi-Teaparty

Amelia and Vivienne invited themselves to Zizu's dress up tea party. I caught a few pictures on my way out the door. The girls were so cute it was hard to pull myself away.

September 30, 2010

en pointe

Vivienne Ballerina1
Vivenne Ballerina2

A couple little snaps of our ballerina-to-be. Vivienne has been expressing interest in taking ballet classes (it's contagious among the girls in her preschool classroom). On our most recent trip to the library we checked out two book about ballerinas. Her slippers are too small now so she's taken to clomping around in my old point shoes. Adorable! (If not totally dangerous)

September 26, 2010

block party

Max Jaewon Blockparty

September 12, 2010

beloved gio

Gioandvivi2
Gioandvivi1

Darling snaps of Vivienne and her beloved nanny Jonathan, whom she calls Gio, from Vivi's friend Esme's birthday party in the park. It's love!

September 10, 2010

twinkle twinkle

our little star loved the microphone while karaoke singing at Zeum.

September 7, 2010

first day room three

Firstday Room3
Vivifirstdaydance

Taking Vivienne back to school today was easy, breezy and beautiful. She waltzed right in, hugged her teacher Nina, put her stuff in her cubby, went pee on the potty (that's huge since she usually resists) and then went to play princess dress up with her girl friends. She has such confidence and spirit, it's wondrous. I am also thrilled to be back in room three — I love the teachers and free play. It's very relaxed and loving. Ah preschool, these are the days.

Check out the difference just a few months make. Here's the photo from her first day of room two last March. See her above doing a first day dance. Vivi dances just about every chance she gets.

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September 2, 2010

first day kindergarten

Max Firstdaykindergarten

Really this photo was taken on day two. On day one we were so so so late. It was also street cleaning and parking was not only challenging it was an insane nightmare. I ended up parking in a dry cleaner's green zone down on Sacramento Street and piggy-backing Max a few blocks, pulling his arm for a few blocks while begging him to please run. It wasn't a pretty picture. We missed the morning story. I basically had to push him in there, kiss his cheek and say go get 'em. Getting back into the school routine is a challenge. Getting the kids to bed early enough, waking up early enough, making breakfast, packing lunches, getting them dressed — it often feels like we've run a mini marathon all before 8:30 am. I promised Max a first day do-over so on day two we got there early, took this photo and a few videos (which I need to learn how to upload for this blog) and spent time in his classroom. Max seems ready to tackle kindergarten. I just hope his teachers are ready to tackle him! He's become quite a willful handful and can resist listening like no other. We are working hard on listening and keeping calm. It's more than a challenge. Most of the time though he's a sweet dreamer and a cuddle bug.

August 31, 2010

raisins in the sun

Vivienne Stingerboat
Max Stingerboat

We're just back from a Puerto Vallarta week long vacation. I love staying at the Melia because it's so easy and dependable. We stayed there last year too. The Melia is five minutes drive from the airport, fifteen minutes from the zona romantica and brags it has the largest pool in Vallarta. The rooms are big and bare bones but they have exactly what you need. The service is good, people are friendly and helpful for the most part. Of course it's Mexico so you can get the run around on certain things like another guest gets their room until 6pm for free while they want to charge you $60 if you stay past noon. Whatever. It's turns out if you insist and persist you will get your way eventually. We met lots of friendly families from all over the world with kids around the age of ours so we had lots of people to play with each time we went to the pool, beach or show. The food is fine. It's not great, but with so many choices in the huge buffets you can usually find something you like. Our kids were happy with the pizza, pasta and sandwich selections, they have tons of fresh fruit and vegetables and endless chocolate milk, sprint and yabba dabba doos. We ate the fresh grilled meats and fish fajitas style at almost every meal or stuck to traditional mexican choices and washed it down with beer and Margaritas. The snack bar is good too for ice cream cones, fries and hot dogs. One afternoon they cooked a GIANT payaya poolside which was delicious. They have lots of activities all day long for grown up and kids, the sun shines, it's hot and the pool is cool and there are different shows nightly. What's not to like? A few of my favorite vacation pictures are above and below. The kids really thrive when there's water involved. As they say "kids, just add water." Both Max and Vivi could spend the whole day in the pool shriveling like raisins. We had to beg them to take out of the pool breaks so we could enjoy the lounge chairs and poolside drink service. It was a good time for all. Vivienne got home and immediately started asking if we are going to Mexico tomorrow and then saying "miss mexico." darling!

Vivienne Flintstonescar
Max Flintstonescar

August 18, 2010

Willow & Max

Lookingoverfence

Willow and Max love each other. They say they will get married. We hope so as she's adorable and we love her mom and auntie. Would be great fun at their wedding.

August 13, 2010

daddy dressed me today

Stripefamily

August 6, 2010

plo koon's starfighter

Plokoons Starfighter

Max told Paga is would take him forty minutes to put this lego star fighter together. It took him a bit longer probably an hour and fifteen which disappointed him, but it impresses me! He puts lego stuff like this together following the instructions and all by himself. While he does it he's super focused and thoroughly enjoying himself. The R7D4 droid (like an R2D2) is now going with him everywhere.

August 5, 2010

dress up days

Viviellasophie Dressup
Tiedyevivitikal
Princess ballerina Vivienne and her friends Ella Bella supergirl, tutu Sophie plus tie dye Vivi and friend Tikal. It's been a fun week at preschool with pajama day, dress up day and wear the tie dye shirt you made a few weeks ago day. Good times!

August 1, 2010

see me on tv

Viviheadphoneszeum1
Viviheadphoneszeum2
Viviheadphoneszeum3
Viviheadphoneszeum4

Little miss ham it up loved playing 'going to outer space' with the headphones, telephone, lights and of course the camera! She's a natural actress and wildly expressive. Where does she get it from?!

Viviheadphoneszeum5

July 30, 2010

reading to vivienne

Maxreadingtovivi

Max can read. He taught himself. It's really impressive. I've probably already blogged that info, but it never ceases to amaze me. He sometimes reads the books to us during story time which is quite a fun turn of events. Yesterday, he played pretend bedtime with Vivi and read her some of her favorite books. It was really sweet to listen to him.

July 29, 2010

camp clay

Max Ceramicworkshop
Max Ceramicbeehive

Max's first week at Steve & Kate's camp went well. He seemed to really like the food, especially the ice cream and honey sticks (sugar?!) He also spent a lot of time in the clay studio making multiple coil pots with lids and beehives. Our deck table in now covered by his artworks.

Max Bowtiepasta

Yesterday he made bow tie pasta — just like his daddy eh. He ate half of them raw while on the way home.

Peekaboo Mongoliantoy

It took me a few days to notice that Max placed the little painted wooden Mongolian king and queen I brought back for he and Vivi in the odd little window sill in my closet which looks out into the backyard. It makes me happy to see them there so I left 'em. Charming!

July 28, 2010

luv you

Maxvivi RinconMaxvivi Rinconii

A post dim sum hug! Feel the love love love.

July 19, 2010

look at me

Caetano Louvre

Hey you, look at me, I'm in Paris. Yep that's the Louvre. I know, I know, I'm one lucky little boy. Wish you were here. I can't wait to eat some pomme frites after I check out Mona and her friends. Au Revoir.

July 6, 2010

ben bernake is max's tooth fairy

Toothlessmax Firstone

The lower right tooth popped out and onto the top of his tongue while he was talking to his buddy Jaewon. It's really small, tiny actually. So small that we had trouble keeping track of it. Mr C almost lost it yesterday afternoon and we panicked that it had slipped out of his pocket and fallen between the boards of the deck. Imagine how we were panicking, it's his first tooth and the fairy hadn't had a chance to come yet! Fortunately we found it, in the kitchen.

Max told us weeks ago that he didn't believe in the tooth fairy. He said matter of factly a few different times that he was pretty sure we were the fairy. He told auntie Lulu too, while they were at the theater watching the movie Marmaduke, that he didn't believe in the tooth fairy. So were weren't too worried about having to pull off some fairy caper. In fact we started being down right silly about the whole thing, though for the record, we never fessed up to actually being it. We told Max that since it was a money exchange assignment it was likely that Ben Bernake was coming to take his tooth. Max seemed interested in the chairman of the bank of USA and was pleased that Ben would be setting the going rate for a first tooth. It turns out after all that, Max isn't entirely sure if the fairy is real or not and since so many of his friends are convinced of the fairy's existence he wants to believe too. Max started to work a new explanation where both Ben and the fairy were coming. So we played along with that and encouraged it too.

Last night Max and Mr C wrote a single note to Ben and the tooth fairy requesting that they don't take his first tooth. He really wanted to keep it, but he also wanted the prize money. He left the note under his pillow along with the tooth. In the morning he found two gold dollar coins and his tooth in a different little bag — the note was gone. Max thought it was so weird that they took the note. He laughed and laughed and just kept saying isn't that weird? Why would they want the note anyway? That's weird, right? We said it was a one for one trade. Since the fairy only leaves money if it gets to take a tooth, we figured this time it took the note as payment. He thought that made some sense. Pretty amusing all this made up stuff. But hey now Max can name the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, impressive!

ps. While staring out the window of Tartine this morning Max read a store sign across the street which says "wash and dry" and then he asked me what they wash there. Instead of answering I asked him what he thought they washed and he said coins. I was intrigued and asked why he thought that and he said because he'd seen other similar signs for "coin wash and dry." Now that's a whole new take on money laundering!

July 4, 2010

fourth funsies

Dancingvivi
Viviinbucket

We all had an amazing time partying with our preschool family friends both at Jaweon's and at Tessa's parents lovely Sonoma homes. They threw a perfect July fourth afternoon pool party. As you can see no one had more fun that our own party girl miss Vivienne Grace! Happy birthday America.

June 26, 2010

making muffins

Chocomuffins2
Chocmuffins3
Chocmuffins1
Chocomuffins4

...with chocolate chips, mmm the batter was so delicious.

June 25, 2010

those eyes

Caetano Thoseeyes
Alexiscaetano Sushi

That Caetano glamours me every time I look into those eyes, geesh!

June 24, 2010

three wheeling

Vivi Tricycle1
Vivi Tricycle2
Vivimax Tricycle3

Vivienne and Max enjoyed a few spins around their preschool playground this afternoon. Vivienne loves school and has many friends such as Talia, Azra, Jesse, Tikal, Ella, Sophie and Zizou she counts them all as her favorites. She participates fully and it very comfortable in her classroom. It's wonderful. I never worry about her during the day as I know when I pick her up she'll run to me, hug me with all her might, and then tell me she's had a great day. Max had pajama day at camp today and also had his face painted like a cat yet again. He's loving camp and they are loving him too. I heard from both his team leader and his science teacher about what an amazing mind he has, how he knows all the answers even the hard ones, and what a great citizen he's being. Wow. Yay summer. Now if we could get some warm weather all would be well with our little piece of the world.

June 22, 2010

why does the sun shine

Kittyface Max
While listening to They Might Be Giants kids album called Science in the car today coming back from camp Max said to me, "Mom (Sadly, I am no longer "Mommy" except when he's whiny or crying) when I was three and sometimes four I thought that where ever you went there was a sun there. Like when we were in Virginia they have their own sun and Mexico has it's own sun too. But now that I'm five I know there's only one sun and it's everywhere." Yes, I think my son is a genius. Wouldn't you if you realized that your son remembered what he thought about where the sun shines when he was three years old! What three year old tries to figure out how the sun appears in different places around the earth? I'm amazed. Stunned actually.

Max is loving Ocean Expeditions week at Camp Galileo. He's super into the finding the feather game with a rubber chicken named "cluck clousteau." He comes home each day with a painted face and lots of exciting stories. Good times.
Max Hermitcrabart
Max Artwithegg

June 13, 2010

iAddict

Max Iphonephotocupcake

Even Max has enough delayed gratification that he'd rather take a photo using the ever-so-fun and easy-to-use iphone rather than sink his teeth immediately into that frosting. Go figure. Our whole family is addicted, with varying degrees, to the iphone. It's a whole new world of focus and distraction.

That's a happy 'graduation' (from TK to K) cupcake.

June 9, 2010

shake it up

Max Milkshake
Vivi Undertable-1
Jaewon Max Milkshakes

Oh the yummy black and white shakes, seen here, are only the icing on the delicious lunch feast we had at Fremont Diner. Mmmm the pulled piggy and burgers are so delicious and the darling picnic tables and country road side environment made eating al fresco that much more fun. Thumbs up.

June 2, 2010

smelly riddles

I've been cell phone challenged since I drowned my iPhone in Mongolia (a story I hope to blog about soon) so I don't have a photo to share from this amazing event, well other than this white board I snapped days later. Max performed in his school's talent show on June 2. He was the only boy from his class to perform and he was the only person from his class to perform solo. Those are important details to consider as he is only 5 years old. I feel I must give a little background so you can truly appreciate what you will later read. Two days before the event I tried to get Max to practice his stand up routine. He didn't want to, and after reading two riddles from go-gurt squeeze packages he gave up and walked away declaring that he didn't want to be in the talent show and was "quitting." The next day he told his teacher that he didn't want to perform. His teachers found me in the hallway during pick up and emphasized how the line up was already in place and the script written and Max was an intregal part and needed to perform. So the night before the show I pressed upon him that following through was important. He confessed that one of the main reasons he didn't want to do it was because the go-gurt squeeze sleeves smelled yucky. I then hand wrote each riddle's response on a piece of paper in my most legible all caps text. It was a feat for me to slow down and write that way, seriously my regular hand writing has gone to sh*t. Max then practiced a few times through each joke and we talked a bit about the importance of a slow delivery and comic timing. I found a seat in the audience a few minutes before the talent show started. Max didn't know yet that I was there. It turned out that Max was performer No. 2. You won't ever believe or understand what happened next. Max took the microphone and was visibly nervous. I thought for sure he'd mumble, stumble, and give up in shy defeat. No! He was fabulous. He read each riddle slowly, loudly and with great diction. He also had a natural sense of comic timing, he waited for the audience to respond and collectively say "why, what or we don't know" before responding. He had it all, clarity, presence, timing, and confidence. Oh my god. I thought he's real talent. Shit. It was awesome. I wish you were there with me!

a few examples...

Which tennis move are waiters best at? Serving!
What trees are best for storing food in? Pantrys!
Do bears wear water skies? No, they go barefoot!
Where do horses live? In Neighborhoods!
What kinds of fish make the best doctors? Sturgeons!
Which bone is the most musical? Trombones!

May 25, 2010

daddy does bath

Max Rahlion
Vivi Butterflytowel

darling photos taken by daddy, while he does bath time duty. For the record Max as lion, Vivi as butterfly.

April 22, 2010

deep end jumps

Max Divejump3
Max Divejumping2

Max has a new swim teacher named Chad. He is very calm and supportive and Max is thriving. Here he is doing his first jump into the deep end of the pool! He was nervous but brave.

April 15, 2010

glamoured gushing

Caetano Daddyshat
Caetano Floralcouch
Ooooh without slighting my own gorgeous and practically perfect offspring : : wink : : can I just gush over my deliciously handsome and glamourizing nephew Caetano? Case in point, just look deep into his big brown eyes and behold his inner (and outer!) beauty. If you only you knew, this boy is a delight to hold, he's super mellow, loves to be held, taken for a walk or bounced, and will fall asleep and stay sleeping peacefully in your arms for hours — ok hours in a crib not being held would make his mommy happy and give her a much deserved break, but still he's nothing less than practically perfect. Oh baby you are stunning. I miss you xoxo — auntie

April 12, 2010

spring painting

Spring2010 Bymax

"Spring" by Max Co.

April 11, 2010

joy rides

Vivi Copcar
Vivi Looknohands

Snaps of Ms. Vivienne enjoying herself at the Daily City playhouse arcade and me loving the cross process app on my iPhone.

April 9, 2010

victorian gazing ball

Vivi Mommy Gazingball

Witches indeed! We are in love with our own images both reflected and captured. Learn about the glorious history of the gazing globe here.

April 8, 2010

sitting siblings

Vivi Max Virginia

April 7, 2010

caetano & mommy

Lexi Caetano Redfox

March 31, 2010

musical cards

Vivieastercard
Maxeastercard
Maxvivieastercards

Yay! Thank you 'gamma' Sherry for the fun times musical easter cards! As you can see the kids were thrilled to open their cards. Vivienne played her here comes peter cottontail repeatedly for at least fifteen minutes and they both took the cards into the car with them for their ride to school. A second big shout out and thank you for the darling easter clothes, it's so helpful having new threads. They can use really use them. xoxo

March 28, 2010

en plein air

Outdoor Easel
Chalk Flower

A quick snap and close-up of Max's chalk easel drawing. We'd like to thank Ikea for making such cute and affordable children's things.

March 27, 2010

ladybug by max

Max Ladybugportrait
Ladybug Bymax-1
These are Max's two pages from a darling Eric Carle inspired art project made by his transitional kindergarten class. Simply wonderful!

March 25, 2010

blue ribbon surprise

Maxribbon FionaMaxblueribbon

Yay! Max got his blue ribbon today at the end of his swim class at La Petite Baleen. He was so happy! And I am so proud! He loves his teacher Fiona and has thrived in her care. I can't say enough wonderful things about La Petite's instruction — they make swimming happen and with loads of fun. I can still hear the bell ringing clap clap clap!

March 21, 2010

first t-ball game

Tballmax Daniel
Tballmax Cameron
Tballmax Coaching
Tballmax Mitt
Tballmax Swing
Tballmax Cookie

Max had his first t-ball practice last monday and a first game the very next saturday. His team is called the grasshoppers and is organized by the San Francisco Youth Baseball League. A few of the parents are coaching and most of the kids are from Max's class at school. Paga took Max to the game, cheered him on and took all these memorable photos. Yay, thank you Paga!! Apparently Max was a great hitter each time he was up to bat. Most importantly he had a marvelous time and is looking forward to the next game. Afterward we had a lovely family outing to our local favorite and super friendly restaurant Chow.

March 20, 2010

afternoon nap

Vivisleeps Totoro

My sweet not-so-baby Vivienne is ready for a big girl bed. She wants to nap and sleep in her big brother's bed so badly, she's over the prison-like crib. Here she is taking a snooze in Max's bed while he was on a sleepover at Maga Paga's house. Sister misses her big brother.

March 19, 2010

sleepover snaps

Sleepover Car

I love this snap of Max putting his stuffs into Paga's Jeep so he can go on an overnight adventure at their house. He was so excited to go, he wrote a secret note to both Maga & Paga and grinned ear to ear each time I mentioned the upcoming event. When I saw him the next day he told me many details from all the fun like what type of sushi he ate from sushi ran (shrimp tempura & tobiko!), how he stayed up super late (10pm) and woke up before the sun (6am), and played lego star wars wii until breakfast (a 'full' battle apparently), and then he had me guess how many pieces of bacon he had — it was a trick question—none!

Maxs Pocket

The contents of a five year old's pocket: a quarter, paper clip & various rocks — photo idea by Grand-Maga. Funny!

March 11, 2010

reading to totoros

Vivireads Totoro

Here's a sweet moment. I found Vivienne in her room in the same position where I sit to read her and Max night time stories. She was reading Golden Books to her Totoros.

March 5, 2010

vivi goes to the doctor

Vivi Doctorvisit

Vivi went for her two year old check up (uh ya I was a little late making this appointment!). Of course she's perfectly healthy and was her typical sweetheart self during the exams. She made her doctor smile a number of times. She weighed in at 39.5 lsb and 39.5 inches tall — she's gigantic! She's off the growth chart! Go Vivi!

March 3, 2010

first days of school

Vivi Preschooldoor
Vivi Lookingatteacher
Tikaltheo&Vivi
My little baby girl has started school! She's done very well so far. There's only been a few minutes of tears mostly it's been lots of exploration and excitement. Yay, "wow school" as she repeates after I've read and reread the book during the days leading up to this start date. Vivi has a pretty easy going temperament and likes to do almost everything. So far the transition is going well. Today was her first day of staying by herself for a few hours. I was heartened when I came back to pick her up and she was happily sitting at a table enjoying a book by herself. When she saw me she said "mommy back!" and ran up and gave me a big hug and wet kiss (she's a big kisser!). Tomorrow we'll try a longer day and if that goes then we'll try for a day that includes a nap and second snack. I think once she gets comfortable she's going to love it. She'll get to play all day and make friends plus eat lots of delicious healthy treats made by the beloved chef Celestina. What's not to like about preschool? Sign me up please!

February 26, 2010

vivi hugs lauryn

Vivihugslauryn

Vivienne and I had a lovely mother daughter luncheon at our dear friends' Bryn and Lauryn house, thank you! Vivi adored Lauryn and all her toys too. Here she is giving her a giant vivi-licious huggy huggy goodbye. See you soon we hope.

February 16, 2010

lip sticker

Kissyou
Max Lipsticker
Vivi Lipsticker

Thanks to Maga & Paga for the Valentine sleep over. The kids are crazy about the kiss me "boo-boo stickers" aka bandaids. Of course none will likely cover a wound, instead they are stuck all over our house and or used for hours of playtime funsies. xoxo

February 12, 2010

paint paint class

Vivi Paintingsuprise-1
Vivi Artclassplaydoh-1
Vivi Paintinggrin
Vivi Paintingclass1Vivi Paintingclass2
Vivi Paintingpink

Vivi Artclasshappy
Vivi Artclasscleanup
Lots of snaps of the ever expressive miss Vivienne while she enjoys herself at her friday art class. Vivienne seems to love it all, her exuberance for life is inspiring!

February 6, 2010

shower ballerina

Shower Ballerina1
Shower Ballerina2
Shower Ballerina3

While wearing her favorite "jeeyish boo-boo" (aka Hello Kitty) dress Vivi added a ballerina tutu skirt and ballet slippers and danced in the shower. She now loves dancing in the shower and keeps asking when her tutu will be back from the laundry (t'was covered in jelly). She also likes to play sleep party in the shower and will drag in her pillows and nigh nigh blankets along with her baby doll collection, most of which are named "baby Tano" after her cousin Caetano. She'll ask you turn off the lights so she can sleep. Oh and shhhhhhh, baby sleeping.

February 5, 2010

j town playdate

Willow Max1
Peaceplaza
Wintersun
Max Lookingup
Trees Jtown
Willow Max2

Max and Willow played very nicely, well except when Max got too bossy about putting Willow in the dungeon or jail. Most of the time they just ran, ran, ran around peace plaza chasing and capturing each other. I had fun playing with the toy camera app on the iphone (as you can see).

January 4, 2010

tie fighter

Vaders Vessel

Max has been playing almost non-stop with his LEGO TIE fighter. (thanks Grandma!) He's also crazy about the little Vader character. He took him to breakfast with us and pretended to have Vader try to eat each item that Max liked. Grandma-in-law Sylvia sent us a link to a LEGO Vader Christmas movie and now Max has been watching that non-stop too! He's crazy for Star Wars and hasn't even seen the movie yet. I was thinking it might be time but when I asked him he said, I will see it when I'm six. Ok then.

December 28, 2009

sledding siblings

Max Vivi Sledding

What a gorgeous photo of Max taking Vivienne down the hill on the toboggan thanks Paga! What a wonderful big brother he is, he was so focused and in control of the sled making sure they both were safe — meanwhile miss Vivienne squealed with delight and enjoyed every second of the thrill ride.

I wish I had time to post more...

December 27, 2009

snow bunny

Vivisledding

I hope to have time to format and upload more photos from our Christmas in Tahoe trip as there are some cute ones. The trip was fantastic. Snow is so fun and Miss Vivienne really enjoyed rolling in it and mostly she liked to eat it!

December 18, 2009

more follies

Fortunemax1
Folliescookies1
Fortunemax2
Fortunemax Steve
Fortunemax Bow

a few more images that include fortune cookie Maximillian taken by other parents. I love the bow perspective on the costume and that first one with the big happy smile while Zoe tries to look inside.

December 17, 2009

fortune follies

Fortune Max
Fortune Maxfriends
Max's school puts on an elaborate "follies" show every holiday season and performs it on stage at Herbst Theater. All the songs and short skits are written by the eight graders. Costumes are handmade by parents, while the staff helps pull together all the needed props.The dramatic arts teacher choreographs the dances and the music teacher performs all the music live. The entire performance is amazing, truly a feat and it's wildly entertaining and touchingly sweet too. I laughed, I cried, I gasped in amazement. We all were so impressed! Max performed in the TK cookie song along with his classmates. Each child was a unique cookie. As you can see, Max was a foam fortune cookie. His fortune said "Merry Christmas" thought up and hand written by him. His cookie was folded, cut and spray painted by mommy and daddy in the wee hours of the nights leading up to the follie festivities.
Cookiesleft
Cookiesright
I wish I could remember the darling lyrics, or get Max to recite them...but alas. All I can remember is "if you lookie lookie lookie you can find a little cookie like me."

December 16, 2009

artist in the house

Max Buggypainting
Max Butteryflydrawing
Max Selfportraitpencil

These are a few of Max's art pieces that are hanging in and around his classroom.

December 12, 2009

max wants more presents

Max Menorah
Dreidle-1
Max built a beautiful menorah from crayola model magic (his new favorite sculpting medium). The finished piece just barely balances and a few of the candle holding tips didn't dry together and later fell off. It's a bit of a work in progress. However, I was really impressed with his vision, dedication and intense need to complete this project. It took him a few hours to get through it and there were some tears in the beginning. He was struggling with what he envisioned and how the clay was not working in his hands. Right about now you might be wondering if we are Jewish? Nope closer to WASP but without the powerfully elite background and religious upbringing. Max's school has been teaching the students about the holiday of light and Max has been really interested. He even played dreidel and of course wants to win some chocolate "gelt" money. On the way home from school he said, "mommy did you know that during Hanukkah they get eight presents. Do we get eight presents at Christmas?"

December 10, 2009

green ribbon winner

Green Ribbon

Max has been taking lessons at La Petite Baleen and loving it. His teacher Rachel has got it going on and knows just what to do to keep him trying. Max has been doing really well and progressing quickly. He still complains a bit before we get there and asks when we can play hookie. He also likes me to tell Rachel that he feels nervous. Once we get those rituals out of the way he's in the water paddling and doing his balloon up faces and giving me thumbs up while I watch. This day he got his green ribbon! I'm a proud mama. We all can't wait to go back to the Melia in Mexico and swim to the pool's center island and then get a yabba dabba do from the bar.

December 4, 2009

tiny teeth cleaning

Vivibrushesmax
Max Dentistwaiting

Vivienne and Maximillian had a great time at the dentist. Leave it to these two kids to enjoy the journey — well we'll give some serious credit to this wonderful pediatric dentist office too! They really know how to make the kids comfortable. They allow the kids to touch everything which makes it fun for them to experience the water pick, tasty flavored gloves and "mr sucky" hose. Vivienne was happy with all the Hello Kitty gear. She calls Hello Kitty "jee-eyesh-boo boo" even if you get her to say the "hello" part she'll just add it on "hello jee-eyesh boo boo". It's so funny. We have no idea how that translation works but it's consistent each and every time. Both kids got a thumbs up on good oral hygene. Max has a couple of watch spots so we need to keep up the brushing. He also has a wobbly center bottom right tooth! It's been tightening up so we don't think it will fall out too soon. He's growing up too fast!

Vivi Dentistmirror
Vivi Hellokittymirror
Vivi Teethcleaning1

November 28, 2009

little bean III

Caetano Welcome

Welcome to the world (and the bunny blog) Caetano Benicio!! He sped into the world at 5:35 am weighing 7lbs 4oz, measuring 20 inches tall and with a full head of gorgeous black spiky hair. He's as sweet as a pea and already loves his auntie who is just crazy about him—a mutual love fest!

November 25, 2009

the many smiling faces of master maximillian

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dahling you are too funny! Master Max sure is expressive and just too cute! These fabulous pro photos are from a test shoot for a Lego spot. The best moment was when the photographer asked if there was a machine Max would like to invent, this was a question she'd been asking the kids all day. Max said he's like to invent a machine that could shrink him so he could explore the world being tiny but then the machine could enlarge him back when he was finished. The photographer and her crew were shocked and surprised by his articulate and creative answer. The best they had all day they said! He is a bright and charming boy, Ah, mama love.

November 24, 2009

swing flop, swing bing

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Maxvivi Swing1
Bing bunnies swing time! It was a gorgeous day, much warmer than expected (uh global warming yikes??!) It's so cute how Vivienne wants to do everything her big brother does including swinging on the big kid swings. Monkey see, monkey do!

November 15, 2009

lookie who's two

Vivi Twocandles
Vivi Blowtwo
Max Vivi Hats
Vivi Lovingfrosting

A few darling snaps of my little two year old party girl. I especially love the last one where she's lovingly gazing at the pink frosting on her cupcake!

November 13, 2009

vivienne l'artist

Vivi Dipping
Vivi Blindpainting
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Vivi Monoprint

There's not much else that can make this mama happier than seeing her baby girl dip, splash and swirl every possible color, mix all with her brushes and hands, plus paint with two hands and with her eyes closed. Perhaps, Vivienne in a pancake tutu performing en point in the Nutcracker would be a close second ;-)

We had a super fun morning watching sea lions poke through the waves at Fort Mason while we waited for the Children's Art Center to open. The side by side two year old class is only an hour long, but it was simple, quiet and really sweet to behold. Vivienne is not at all shy, shocking right? She walked right in, allowed the teacher to put an apron on her and went straight to the paints. She did a great job dipping each brush in it's own color, though she wanted to paint on every child's paper! She wasn't too thrilled with the playdoh station or the colored markers, she kept heading back to the big messy table of tempera paints. In the end her painting was thick, wet and a strange shade of all colors but it was well covered! I hope when we go back next week I'll get to take it home to treasure.

Vivilaughing

Afterward we got a little snack at Greens to Go and then played in the panhandle scrap metal bandshell in the parking lot. Good times!

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November 12, 2009

school photo

Max Classphoto
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Max Schoolphoto1
Class of 2018! (and that's only eighth grade graduation!)
If you want to order a photo, email me and I'll send you the link!

November 10, 2009

cupcakes for breakfast

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Pinkalicious Vivi-1
Blowingcandles
Vivi Frostingeater

Happy Birthday to Vivienne! She turned two today. Her loving father stayed up late baking and frosting pink cupcakes (pink cupcake recipe from one of Vivi's favorite books Pinkalicious).

November 1, 2009

ride in the park

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Vivi Tricycle

Grandma Sherry, Daddy & I took the wee ones to Golden Gate Park so they could ride their bikes without the worry of cars! Turns out the park is such a busy place will strollers pushed by dads wearing inline skates, endless streams of bicycles and even bike teams, skate boards etc, you get the picture. Being untrained obstacles was almost as frustrating as riding on the sidewalk. Even with all the "traffic" it was still a successful trip. Plus it was darling to see Vivienne helping Max learn to ride his bike. She kept spotting him so he wouldn't fall. She loves him something fierce.

Upsidedown Max

Had to post this funny photo of Max doing gymnastics taken later this day. What a grin and flexibility!

October 30, 2009

the day before halloween

Max Commanderfox
Vivi Hwparade
Max Hwparade
Vivi Peekingthru
Pinkalicious Vivi

These are photos from Max's school halloween parade. Max went as Commander Fox from Star Wars, The Clone Wars (isn't he looking handsome!) and Vivienne was a fairy from Pinkalicious which is one of her very favorite books (she chimes in while we read with the words she knows like pink pink pink). Vivienne loves going to school with Max. She pushed her way right to the front of the parade, held hands with Cameron (the mummy) who was holding teacher Steve's hand. At one point she pulled right out in front, she's a go getter!

More photos to come...

October 28, 2009

my lil pumpkins

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Shopping for pumpkins has never been more fun. These two little busy bodies picked up, dropped, rolled and searched for the perfect squash. Max found "the one" while Vivienne loved them all. We brought home a few, a baby, mama and papa size. After dinner Max drew the "perfect" face. Seriously he drew, redrew and then drew it again until it was just right. Each feature had to have fangs. Fangs in the eyes, fangs in the nose and more fangs in the mouth. And as you can see Max enjoyed making the same fang face as his pumpkin!
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Spookypumpkin

October 23, 2009

max's first walkathon

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Love the first photo of Max and his classmate Marlee, so sweet! The others of Max running, walking and smiling with an orange wedge capture the spirit too. Max and I both had a great day at his new school's walkathon. I was a co-chair and heavily involved as you can imagine, so I was so happy that the sun shone brightly while all the kids ran laps around the field to raise money for scholarships. Max ran 21 laps. A fifth grader took the winning title of most laps with 77. Max and I would like to thank his loving sponsors Maga, Paga, Aunnie, Yaya, Auntie Lulu and Papa — THANK YOU!!!

October 22, 2009

Papa & Vivi

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Can I say anything to summarize this? So darling. Vivi and Papa are like peas in a pod. Vivi adores him as much as I do. She also loves eating like papa does, she takes it seriously too, and he adores that. Photos from a visit on Sept 5.

October 21, 2009

happy melt

Vivi Icecreamface

you scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!

September 26, 2009

happy hula bunny

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Ms. Vivienne would likely have invented burning man sometime in the near future, if it didn't already exist. As you can see she channels the spirit! This series is from our end of summer block party. Vivi had striped to her diaper and pink crocs, had her tummy painted with a pink bunny "totoro" and found herself a hula hoop to dance through the street with. She looks so happy and full of herself, it was a joy to behold. That's one happy baby.

September 20, 2009

max in 3D

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Max and I went to see the darling film "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" in 3-D. We had a great time. He was obsessed with his milk duds and I was quite happy eating a bag of movie popcorn. Good times all around.

September 18, 2009

daughter days

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Vivi Toothygrin
Vivienne and I enjoyed a wonderful sunny day playing at Children's Playground in Golden Gate Park and luncheoning at Pacific Catch. It's so easy to spend a day with Vivienne. She's care-free, happy, curious, engaging, and self-entertaining — seriously, wow! I'm in awe of her spirit and energy.

September 15, 2009

max's self portrait

Max Selfportrait
This is a photo of Max's self portrait from his first week of "tk" (transitional kindergarten) school.

August 31, 2009

manana man

sorry for the long delay. . . life's been getting in the way of my blogging funsies.
Vivi Foundumbrella
Viv Ohwaving
I'm so in love with Vivi's shirt (target!) I wish I had magic make it bigger potion so I could wear it. She's seen here in the SFO airport playing with a found umbrella while we waited for the every fabulous aunnie and yaya to fetch us (a million thank yous). This girl was so easy to travel with. She was a rock star— dancing included.
Mexico Max-1
Here's Max in his new Mexico soccer uniform that daddy bought him while searching for medicine at wallmart — long story. . . which I will go into later when I have more time and photos. All our trip picks are on a different camera and me not know where the cord is and hubby is on a plane to Phoenix. ouch more hot weather and plane rides, poor guy.
Jaewon Maxmexico
That's Max with his preschool buddy Jaewon at the lunch table near the pool. We stayed at the Sol Melia Puerto Vallarta, which I highly recommend if you are traveling with kids and want an easy breezy relaxing vacation. The all inclusive (food and booze!) set up with lots of activities like, shooting, archery, volleyball both beach and pool, tennis, ping pong, foosball, uber large chess boards, bingo, kids pool games like water balloon tosses and frisbee tournaments plus babysitting in the baby rock club, a playground, nightly entertainment shows and PV's largest swimming pool — seriously this place has it all. Totally worth it, and it was actually very affordable. The staff was friendly, helpful and enjoyable to be around. Lots of good things to say about the Melia. Of course they could work on making the food better and changing up the offerings because the same old buffet options get tired quickly but it's tough to serve that many guests in sweltering heat — i get it. Ok more deets to come when I have photos. . . stay tuned.

August 2, 2009

kiddie play day

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Goldengate Bridge

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Dm Maxsmile
Carseat Finger
Carseat Profile
Carseat Grin
We enjoyed a fun afternoon celebrating our little friend Logan's 3rd birthday at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Max loves the pirate playground and wave room while Vivi likes the tot spot water play stream and inside she likes the tunnel and climbing structures. Afterward we had a great family dinner at Korea House — DIY bbq is always a hit (the mung bean sprouts and kimchi too!) Plus Max actually eats this food without complaint or nagging. He's crazy for the short ribs and tofu.

I'm dearly loving the just downloaded iPhone application "ShakeItPhoto" thank you for the tip James. Isn't the view of the bridge from the museum fabulous?!

July 19, 2009

tuned in and out

Vivi Headphones
Vivi's favorite song is No. 6 S.A.X. by Yello but she'll settle for any Backyardigan song too. Here's she's pugged into her brother's borrowed moon lander launch rocket foot pump.

July 5, 2009

our little prince

Max Princecharles
While attending a playdate to meet our mentor family from Max's new school, the host dad whipped up this photoshop job — Max as Prince Charles. Max looks too cool for school eh? Max's expression looks just like his dad to me!

July 4, 2009

tuning in

Marcus Antenna

July 3, 2009

dependence day

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Mommy Vivi
A couple of snaps of Vivi and I from a friend's the day before the holiday "dependence day" bbq. (aaack a photo of me on my blog — a rarity!)

June 30, 2009

glamour gals

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Lexi Vivi2
Ms. Vivienne can't get her fingers out of the potions and lotions. She's especially addicted to lip gloss! These glowing snaps of auntie and Vivi are from the birthday celebration luncheon for Yaya & Maga at the Pelican Inn. Afterward we enjoyed the heat wave by hanging out at Muir Beach and splashing in the waves, was fabulous funsies for all.

June 13, 2009

trying on glasses

Kids Glasses
I have a new saying, "Like kids in an optometry shop." My two darlings went crazy as though glasses are the new candy! They tried on endless pairs, wanted to be held up to the mirror to see how each pair looked, and continued to put their grabby and quick little fingers into the cases for more more more. I had to choose my new pair of glasses so quickly — faster than I've ever purchased anything that I'll be wearing everyday. Yikes I hope I love them?!

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June 12, 2009

the many faces of vivienne

Vivi MerrygoroundVivi TongueoutVivi Crazygrin
Vivi Bubble
Vivi Eatsplaastic
Vivi Greenslide
Vivi Wildlaughter
Miss Vivienne Grace sure can make some crazy faces. As you can see she's wildly expressive and of course a joy to behold. She makes me laugh so hard, it's wonderful. These shots are from our afternoon at Golden Gate Park's Children's Playground — one of my favorites in the city.

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June 10, 2009

nineteen months old

Vivienne Closeup
Miss Vivienne Grace still loves to say "Totoro" and usually repeats it emphatically. She also loves to watch the movie and can keep her attention focused for the whole length — seriously. She doesn't do that for any other tv show or disney/pixar movie. Now added to her vocabulary of things like book, bubbles, and ball is pillow which she loves to say while throwing herself onto one. It's adorable. Vivi loves to be tickled, kissed and have raspberries blown on her tummy and especially the bottom of her feet. She really really gets into it and says "more, more and more" — we always tire before she does. Vivi loves to draw and chooses colored pens over crayons when given an option. She enjoys putting the tops back on the pens and often stands around the penciling table pulling and pushing them off and on. She likes to put stickers specifically on the backs of both of her hands. She carries her toddler size chair around so she can sit on it in other places including next to Max when he watches tv. When Vivi wants something she finds me, grabs my pointer finger and pulls me to the object and says ma ma ma (spanish for "mas" meaning "more") while pointing at it until I figure out what it is —typically it's the hungry hippos game box, a yogurt squeeze or to open the back door so she can push her baby doll in the stroller out on the deck. At the park Vivi likes the slides and the swings best, she's a thrill seeker for suresies. She likes to ride in the car, on her tricycle, and in the stroller too. Vivi's pretty much up for anything, even just hanging out and reading books over and over. Her favorites are the Bing bunny series (even Bing has a blog!). She has a darling and infectious laugh, a wicked little smile and and a serious sparkle in her eye. One last thing, she's started doing a funny pouty move when she doesn't like something or get what she wants. She crosses her arms across her chest like a rapper, the arms just lay on top of each other rather than one folding under, and then she shrugs up one shoulder while turning and showing you her back but of course keeping her face turned toward you so she can register your reaction. It's hilarious! (for now)

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June 6, 2009

skittles vs trix

Skittles Vs Trix
Max Chad Checkers
Our tree swinging neighbor Chad came over to catch and fix our "it never stops running" toilet (uber urgh!) and he ended up staying for tea, dominoes and the best game of checkers we've ever played — skittles vs trix. Eat your way to victory! Was totally impromptu sugary fun. Thanks Chad!

May 28, 2009

more little beans

My Nephew
Baby Boy
I'm finally allowed to release this information to the whole wide web world...I'm thrilled to announce I'm going to be an auntie! These are the first photos of my nephew-to-be cooking away in his happy place. I love him already and I'm so excited for aunnie & yaya, yay!

May 25, 2009

bathing beauties

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Our kids love bath night. Frankly we enjoy it too. The hour between dinner and bedtime sails by because the kids are happy. Just like the saying goes "kids, just add water." In our case adding Alex's shaving cream soap increases the fun factor even more. Max and Vivi turned the bath water a wondrously unnatural shade of aqua with the abundant amount of shaving soap they added to the bath. The pictures say it all don't you think?!

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May 23, 2009

silly siblings

Hammock Maxvivi
Hammock Maxvivi2

While playing late on a chilly afternoon at Parque Ninos Unidos, Maximillian and Vivienne discovered this hammock and laid in it for at least ten minutes, maybe more, asking me to swing them over and over again. They cooperated fully with each other, laying still and experimenting with closing and opening their eyes.

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Vivimax Bedtime
Max Bedtimegrin
Vivi and Max love to "play bedtime." They pretend to get ready for bed, get their "nigh nighs" (lovie blankets), fluff the pillows and get under the covers in Max's teeny tiny toddler bed. They barely fit and usually one or both of them bonk their heads on the head board or side rails, so I can't figure why they love to repeat this game — but they do — and to no end! What cuddle bunnies they are.

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May 22, 2009

vivi's checkup

Vivi Measure
The gloriously healthy ms. vivi weighs in at 30lbs and measures 36 inches (uh she's huge for suresies!). Doc says she's practically perfect, wishes us well and says see you when she turns two. On we go...

May 19, 2009

chalkers

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Max Vivi Chalking
Vivi Chalking
Vivi Chalking2
Writing, drawing or any kind of mark making on the sidewalks around our house has been a fun to do project as of late. In fact the kids are keeping the box of chalk right by our front door so they can start scribbling as soon as they step outside. It's so sweet to see them working together and enjoying each other while they play. I really think these two siblings love each other already and will grow up to be friends.

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May 17, 2009

havin' a heat wave

Vivi Lexi Eat
It was so super funsies to enjoy a really hot day that rolled into a comfortable night. We dined on the back porch at Chow and luckily got our favorite waitress Jess. See Aunnie and Vivi eating mashed potatoes with a chop stick above! Afterward I was loving that we all hung out on the front stoop of our house and chitty chatted with each other and many of our neighbors who strolled by, while sipping some cold white vino followed by scoops of ice cream, as we watched Max and Cindy chalking the sidewalk with adorable robot drawings! There was one really big one with arms stretching out twice the length of its body that Max named "Moe" (from the movie Wall•e). Thanks to Yaya for the pixs.
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Robot Mo

May 15, 2009

max goes to the dentist

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Hellokitty Mirror

Max was a rock star at the dentist this afternoon. He's actually really good at most appointments like these — the doctor, barber etc. He cooperates nicely. His teeth looked great and he's a good brusher. He had a couple of stains on his back molars and really needs to start brushing in the morning not just at night, but other than that all was well. He had his first x-rays taken which was a fun experience since he loved seeing what's inside his gums. What's in there you ask? All of his adult teeth are lined up directly above just waiting until they are ready to drop down. Wild! He has big adult teeth the dentist said. He also has the same wicked overbite his mommy and daddy are sporting plus serious overcrowding. Looks like the charlatan art of orthodontistry is in our future, I hear cash register bells ringing in my head.

Vivi Dentistchair
It was tough managing two kids during the hour long appointment. Vivienne was a serious handful. She wanted to be in the dentist chair doing everything her big brother was doing. This girl hates to be left out (ok who doesn't?), but gee Viv, it's the dentist after all, just relax and consider yourself lucky that you just get to watch. She gets her first appointment when she turns two.

May 13, 2009

pogey bait

Sailor Max
Oh my, what fun it was to see Max dress in his sailor shirt, kerchief and hat. He wore it with pride and kept his hat on all day — even under his coat hoodie. His teachers went crazy when they saw him. Andy wanted to switch clothes and Nina was kicking herself for forgetting her camera that day. Can you blame them?! For the record pogey bait means sweet stuff.
Tattoos Sailor

Later Max really turned into a sailor as he tattooed himself with six different images. What was so cute was how he told me he put the heart tattoo right where his heart is on the inside. Sweetie!

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May 12, 2009

eighteen months old

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I love watching Vivienne do just about everything. Watching her eat miso soup at Moki's was a special treat. She tested it, liked it and slurped up most of it. I took about forty photos of her feeding herself so be glad I only posted four. This girl is impressive with a spoon or a fork and she even tries to use chop sticks!

It's so fun to watch Vivi discover the world. She's running now and starting to master the stairs, well, really only in the up direction. She's super smart and understands many things we say and is excellent with taking direction. Ask her for something and she'll get it for you. For example, she fetches shoes for herself and for me (also in the hopes we'll leave the house asap!). She's big on "B" words, her favorites are belly button, bubble, ball, balloon, baby, banana, boo and book. Every once in awhile she whips out a random new word and it sounds pretty accurate, which can be freaky to hear—it's tough to get her to repeat it though. She certainly has a mind of her own. Give her an open top drinking cup and she'll politely take it, hold it perfectly still and take a sip, perhaps even set it down and smile at you. You look away thinking all is well with her, then she picks it up and purposely pours it all over the counter so she can put her hands in it, spread it across the counter, mush it into her food, and attempt to wipe it up with a paper towel which really just spreads it further across the counter and of course onto the floor — fun in her book anyway. Case in point with the DIY yogurt feeding photo below.
Vivi Messyface
A typical day with Vivi consists of a minimum of 2-4 outfit changes based on her love of liquids. No day is complete without time spent washing hands, which I realize is a good thing since some kids won't go near soap or water. Her "washing" technique is like a bird taking a bath. She likes to splish splash and pour and I think she'd do it for an hour or maybe more if I'd let her. I'd let it run it's course if I wasn't so paranoid about the lack of clean water being the worlds biggest issue. Vivienne loves three things most right now in this order: nigh nigh (her polka dot blanket), pushing her baby doll in the toddler sized stroller and the movie Totoro ("totoro" is one of the words which she can say and she says it over and over and over in the cutest voice while climbing into our tv watching arm chair and waiting for one of us to surrender and put the film on). While playing at the park she's crazy about the swings and slides — a thrill seeker already! I could go on and on about her loves, her sweetness and how much I love her, but I gotta run and fetch my other gorgeous, genius child from preschool.

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May 5, 2009

ice cream cones

Max Vanilla
Max Griffin
Max and Griffin, seen here devouring their cold creamy cones mmmm sweetness.

April 30, 2009

bunny vivienne

Bunny Vivienne

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April 29, 2009

easter revisted

Dying Eggs View
Dye Colors Max
Dying Eggs
Papa Vivi Eggs
Easter seems forever ago! However we had a great saturday getting prepared for the holiday sunday festivities. Papa really enjoyed helping the kids dye their eggs. Of course we cracked most of them, but the spilling of dye and the cracking of shells is where the fun is, right? Just add salt to the tasty treat and it's all good.
Vivi Max Easter
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The next morning the kids had a wonderful time running circles around the house searching for jellybean and m&m filled eggs. Lots of photos of Vivi because as you can see Max dove into the candy immediately and the endless basket of sweet treats never lost his attention.
Max Goldteeth

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April 24, 2009

pelican & turtle seats

Vivi Pelican
Max Turtle
Snaps from a late afternoon jaunt to Golden Gate Park. Most importantly we all wish a very happy birthday to Paga!

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April 17, 2009

vivi goes vroom

Vivi Vroom
Vivi Pushhorn
Vivi Honkhonk
My little girl loves to pretend drive. So she really enjoyed playing in Calder's ride on toy car. Vivi's clearly a take charge little lady (like the rest of her family!) and she was also a little heavy on the horn like her mommy. Hey, I once had my car's horn fall into my lap from over use — makes me laugh to remember that! Beep beep baby.

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April 16, 2009

beatles shirts

Sliding Max
Matching Shirts
Max with his great auntie Lulu in their matching beatles shirts, smooches you are both too cute!

April 10, 2009

mother daughter day

Wet Froggy
Yucky Water
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Seeme Vivi
Today Vivi turned seventeen months old. We celebrated with a mommy daughter day visit to the Bay Area Discovery Museum. Vivi ran all over the toddler area soaking herself in the water stream, jumping on the squishy water beds, pushing huge plastic shapes through their matching tubes, and banging giant musical instruments in the wildly loud "play it by ear" exhibit. We were both super happy and then later ridiculously exhausted.

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April 2, 2009

robot sketching

Drawing Maxbw
Drawing Robot
Max Marker
A few darling photos of Maximillian at school while he draws a robot — one that he's asked me to knit for him! As you can see, I'm still loving the toy camera application for the iPhone. Below you see Nicholas and Max acting out their favorite Ultraman poses.
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March 31, 2009

sweet vivienne

Vivi Grabphone
Vivi Sunglare
Coy Vivi
Vivi Beads
Gotta catch up on a little Vivienne loving — she's such a doll. This girl loves to wear jewels and will instantly put any necklace or bracelet on and proudly keep it on. She's also fond of hats and hoodies (just like her brother who we sometimes refer to as "Kenny" because he keeps his hoodie on while inside) However, Vivi does like to rip barrettes out of her hair and has already lost of couple of my favorites (those embroidered barrettes are so darn cute eh?!) Vivi is also crazy about keys and loves to try to stick them into keyholes (or any philips head screw at her eye level will do!) and then open and close the doors to no end. She also loves shoes, preferably Max's or mine and tries to put them on herself and then "asks" to go outside for a walk (really it's not "asking" it's a lot of finger pointing, hand waving and sing song whining — but she gets the point across perfectly). She asks us to turn the music on by waving her arm in the air pretending to conduct the band and then dances by stomping one foot on the floor while turning in a circle — she's so adorable!

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kiddie shopping

While reading Design Mom's blog I found a couple of kids shopping sites I want to remember and check back in on — ISO Modern & Peek. Cute stuff and relatively affordable?!

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March 24, 2009

bunny slippers

Bunny Slippers
Mini Bunnies
If you didn't already notice (I dare you to search "bunny" on this site!) I'm a big bunny lover and yes easter is just around the corner so I've got bunny on the brain. I found these darling hand crocheted then felted bunny slippers and mini bunnies by way of a downloadable childrens magazine called LMNO. It's filled with wonderful kids clothing, toys, interiors and playful ideas for fun times. The above felted bunnies are available at pretty little's etsy shop, but since they don't have no-slip rubber bottoms I'm passing on them in favor of these boiled wool bunny slippers — not quite as cute but with these I won't worry about Vivi slipping on our hardwood floors.
Garnet Bunny

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March 21, 2009

brother and sister

Max Vivie1-1
Max Vivie2
Max and Vivi really do love each other! It's so sweet to see them watch out for each other, share food and feed it to each other, tickle toes, sing songs and so so much more. Of course they tug-o-war over the same toys and pull each other's hair too — they are normal!

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March 20, 2009

hookie day

Max Junglecamo
Vivi Smushface
Vivi Topboat

A couple of quickie snaps from our fun afternoon playing "hookie" (which Max loves to say) from school at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

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March 17, 2009

happy st patty's day

March 15, 2009

six eyed monster

Six Eyes
Ultra Pinchpot
Top: Max's six-eyed monster painting. Below: an un-fired set of pinch pots (he said he's keeping these for himself!) and another Ultraman too!

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March 12, 2009

little prince

Kingmax
Vivi Carrot
How regal yet pensive does my little prince look? It's a great contrast to his little sister who just wants you to take a bite of her carrot please. Snaps taken while riding the "jolly trolly" through Fairyland.

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March 11, 2009

i am a scientist

Scientist Max
Eyedropper Slide
Microscope Max
Maga & Paga bought Max a microscope (and a crystal making kit too) while visiting the Exploratorium (thanks you twos!!). Max came home so excited to start being a scientist. He even asked me, can I be a scientist when I grow up? I told him he already was one. For the last few days we've looked at all matter of things under the scope: sugar, salt, onion skin, hair, carpet, baking soda, leaves etc. it's been very exciting. A highlight was when Max asked if he could wear daddy's lab coat — from daddy's days of yore when he studied blue green algae at the Pasteur Institute. Like father like son, as they say!!

“Faith” is a fine invention / For gentlemen who see -- / But microscopes are prudent / In an emergency. -Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

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February 26, 2009

miss vivi

Messy Face
Vivi Goingup
A couple of cute snaps of miss Vivi from "aunnie's" perspective.

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February 24, 2009

max's self portrait

Kiddie Selfportraits
Max Ultraportrait
In keeping with Max's image of himself as Ultraman he created this "self portrait". Notice the yellow eyes and wild scribble lines representing his energy source!

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February 22, 2009

pinch pot & ultraman

Pinch Pots

Ultraman Pinchpot
In room 4 (preschool) the kids just completed their first clay sculpture project which was a pinch pot. They also glazed them and learned about kiln firing. Max went the extra mile on this one and used some left over clay to make an "Ultraman" too! He was a little disappointed that silver wasn't a glaze option so he told me he just stuck to all over red. He painted his pinch pot orange for me since it's my favorite color. What a sweetheart! The pinch pot now resides on my bathroom counter filled with "jewels" aka plastic beads from some necklaces he's made me. I love them all!
Max Froggy
Seemommy
Its been very rainy in San Francisco recently so we've had to find alternate play areas. This day we stayed at school a little late and played in the multi-purpose room. I couldn't help taking a photo of froggy boy and he snapped one of me that I really like because it looks so natural. Max has a good eye for composition and has really been enjoying taking photographs — you know that excites me!

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February 18, 2009

check up & crash

Vivi Babyprofile
Vivi Checkup15
Vivi had her walking pneumonia and 15 month check up (with vaccinations) today. She measured 33 inches in length and 26 pounds. She's in the 97% percentile — yes, a big baby girl. Dr. Brock said her ears were beautiful and her lungs were perfectly clear! Yay. So that's the good news.

Then on the way to pickup Max I ran a red light and got us into a horrible car crash. I really have no idea how it happened. In fact when I was in the intersection and saw the car coming toward me I thought, what is that crazy driver doing? After we collided, I looked up at the street light and damn if the sutter street light wasn't green and my laguna street light was red. I was so confused because I really thought my light was green. Guess I'm just losing my mind and this makes it official! The other drivers car was crunched badly, first from hitting my driver's side wheel and then ricocheting off and hitting a lightpole, plus it was an older honda maybe an '82 and it just crumpled under the strain. All this and it was pouring rain so the scene was even more intense. Vivienne and I were fine, even though I hit my head, it wasn't a severe bump. The woman who struck my car started out ok and was able to talk to me, talk on the phone and to the witness. She was conscious and wasn't bleeding or anything scary like that — and I'm so thankful for that. However, she was so pissed at me I thought she would kill me if she had a weapon. She kept giving me the most horrible looks as though I did this on purpose and she was going to make me pay. She wouldn't talk to me except to say she was calling the police and I'd better be insured. She did speak to the witness but I couldn't hear what they said. When the fire truck arrived about 10 minutes later she said she was dizzy and couldn't stand and was taken away in an ambulance. Yikes. I have no idea what happened to her after that, they don't tell you these things because of liability. I'll have to request a written police report via mail after 10 days if I want to know what the official word is. It took us two hours to clear it all up, get the report #, make the insurance claim, get a tow, rent a car etc. It was a crazy, stressful and really scary accident. You can only imagine how nutty the kids were with all the waiting and we didn't make it to dinner until 7pm. Since all this happened I keep reliving the accident and many uncomfortable snippets of details from those horrible minutes — it really sucks.

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February 17, 2009

after the rain

Striped Max
Fisheye Gravel
Vivi Raining
Eating Orange
I'm so happy to be looking at these dreamy and romantic childhood images. Even though parenting is such hard work, moments like these make it so wonderful and worth it. We all had such a good time breathing the 'it just stopped raining' fresh air, we were so happy to be outside! Picking oranges and then playing bocce with them was a font porch highlight.

Happy 94th birthday Papa! and of course a giant thanks to Auntie Lulu who took all these adorable photos xxoo.

February 8, 2009

merry-go-round

Vivi Ohh
Dragon
See little Vivi riding a wild boar while saying "ohhh" and one of the coolest creatures on the Golden Gate Children's Park carousel. She was loving the swanky classic tunes playing by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and others.

February 7, 2009

handle boots

Max Jamesdean
Max Stoop
Windy Vivi
As cute as my kids are (and boy has nature done a job on me, I wear Max & Vivi goggles daily!) its been a tough weekend. Vivienne was just diagnosed with an ear infection and walking pneumonia in her right lung and Mr. C has been in bed for 2 whole days with a non-stop fever. I've had to reach down and pull up my handle boots just about every ten minutes to make it through these last few days. Craziness! But then I take snaps of them like these and all the struggle melts away. Like I said, what cuties they are!

February 3, 2009

bunny mobile

Bunny Mobile
A charming baby mobile available at eGiggle and found on The Birds & Bees blog, and she has a fun design blog too.

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February 2, 2009

cake faces

Max Baseballcake
Vivi Cake
Kiddie birthday parties take up many of our weekends, this last weekend was no exception. Here's a common scene, this one from Calvin's baseball themed event, with of both of our cutie pies stuffing their tiny mouths with giant bites of thick frosting.

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January 26, 2009

toy camera

Hotpink Vivi
Spaceshuttle Max
I so love my iPhone and some of the best things about it are the fun photography applications like camera bag and toy camera. I love the crossed processed look in the photo of Max and Vivi's hot pink lips and bright blue eyes are so sassy. Below are a few more snaps I took today that I really like — awesome color twists.
Dandelion
Purple Succulent
Bryant Street

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January 19, 2009

see my tongue

Max Jaewon1-1
Max Jaewon2-1
Max Jaewon3-1
Max and Jaewon had a fun time cruising through the California Academy of Sciences on their MLK holiday from school. We listened and watched diver "Charles" educate us about the worlds largest aquarium and the processes they used to create the Philippine coral reef we were gazing into. I was most impressed by my little genius boy Max who exhibited no inhibitions and raised his hand proudly to ask a question to the moderator. "How does coral grow?" he inquired. They explained how it divides endlessly and has a structure similar to our bodies with bones on the inside.

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January 18, 2009

winter beach day

Beachday Max
Beachday Vivi
After Max walked (ok really he was lovingly strollered by Maga & Paga) across the Golden Gate Bridge we met up at Chrissy Field for a quick Let's be Frank dog and some fun time playing in the sand.

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January 13, 2009

vivi walking

Vivi Walking-1
Vivi Blueeyes
Vivi is walking so much these days. She's not a professional yet — actually more like the cutest frankenbaby ever! it's a joy to behold her progress and she grins with pride each time she braves the journey. (adorable sweater from Gramma Sherry — thank you!!)

December 20, 2008

spinning right round

Max Spinning

December 14, 2008

mai's party



Bella Mai Griffin-1
Max Johnny
Holding Pee
Max had a great time at Mai's birthday party. This was our first time to Acro Sports, and it was totally fabulous! Max is now brave enough to try everything and it was so fun to watch him thrive. He did the zip line twice, swung on the trapeze, bounced on the trampoline, walked the balance beam and rode the bouncy swing. Now if only we could get him to stop holding his "package". You'd think he had to pee — but no — if you ask him he says "I just like holding my penis, it feels more comfortable." Now what can you say to that?! So we've started introducing the concept of only holding his penis in "private." We'll see how that goes and report back later.
Green Cone

Blue Cone
Cone Eater
Meanwhile, Ms. Vivi doesn't miss a beat. She was so into it all and was desperate to be included in the big kid fun. She would have done anything they would have let her. She's been taking some serious steps toward walking on her own — every now and then she steps out and takes about five steps without holding on. It'll just be days now until she' s walking on her own. Watch out world!

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December 13, 2008

gingerbread extravaganza

Gingerbread Making
Max Gingerbread
It was a crazy cold and rainy day but we still managed to make it out and cross the bridge to the Bay Area Discovery Museum's Gingerbread Extravaganza event. Mr. C and Max spent the hour with Max's friends Griffin, Lila and their parents making delicious candy covered and frosting seamed homes. Max was in sugar heaven and Mr. C was loving the challenge (and wishing he could start from scratch and do it all himself!) Vivienne was jonesing to be a part of the action (see photo lower right). Now that the gingerbread house is home and living on the kitchen counter, Vivi walks to it daily and begs for a jellybean or candy corn — it's a torture treat!

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December 12, 2008

vivi loves paga

Vivi Glasses
Vivi Paga Horsie
Max, Vivi and I enjoyed a really lovely (but super cold!) afternoon at Yerba Buena Playground and Zeum with Maga & Paga. Max was enthralled with the big tube slides, garden maze, and all his favorite exhibits at Zeum. Vivenne is still waking up to the world, so each time we go somewhere anything and everything amazes her — and she gets so tired from all the experiencing. I mention this because of her little red eyeballs in the photo above with Paga. Oh, this reminds me, let me just take a moment here to document this for the record . . .Vivienne is absolutely crazy in love with her Grandpa. No joke, as soon as he's in eye or ear shot she's all about him, more than mommy, daddy and even Max. Boom boom Paga!

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December 8, 2008

scribble in orange

Max Drawing12-08
Max loves to draw in Photoshop using the pen from my wacom tablet. Not only can he hold the pen fairly well, he can even change the colors and brush sizes on his own.

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December 7, 2008

wanna have a playdate?

Max Taylor
It was an instant attraction. Within minutes they knew each other's names, were calling for each other to hurry to the top so they could go down the slide at the same time, and even holding hands while sliding down together. Max and Taylor were digging each other in a big way. Even right now, Max just said "Mom, did you know Taylor is my friend?" While I was taking photos, I heard Max at the top of the slide asking Taylor "Would you like to have a playdate?" and She said, "Yes". It was so sweet, I melted. (too bad Taylor's mom wasn't into it!)

irish eyes are smiling

Always Happy
Vivi is a seriously happy baby. She cracks herself up and squeals over nothing and anything. She laughs, smiles and coos constantly. Here she is after I simply said "hey Vivi" and then voila she gives an adorable grin. I also love this photo 'cause it shows off the new buttons I bought (and Mr. C so kindly sewed on) which make this GAP sweater way more fabulous, loving it.

December 4, 2008

mission beach max

Missionbeach Max
Yaya has Dr'd up this iPhone image so it's now gloriously gritty and hyper cool. Oh, those blue eyes slay me. I feel the need to note here that whenever Max has a hoodie on he wears it over his head — indoor, or outdoor — any weather. Mr. C has started calling him "Kenny"!

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November 25, 2008

max writes

Max Writes
Max ShoesLunch
Cat
Ekac
When I picked Max up from school today I got a big "milestone" surprise. Max has started writing words! He sort of jumped right over writing single letters and is busting out with full words. He bragged to me during the ride home that he can indeed write all the letters — all the ones in the alphabet. He gave me this adorably smug grin and happy head nod. Amazing! Above you'll see his playground chalk words "MAX, LUNCH, CAT & CAKE."

This morning I came across this great parenting site titled, Half Full, Science for Raising Happy Kids. The first article I read on welcoming conflict and how to deal with it was fantastic and left me wanting more. The site is deep with information and help and I will defiantly be referring back to it and visiting often. Two other sites I want to keep tabs on are Practically Speaking (by the woman who started the Works for Me — working mothers yahoo group) and this new blog by two moms called Parent Grapevine.

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November 15, 2008

cool vivi

Cool Vivi
Look who is ready for her close up! A million thank yous to aunnie and yaya for taking care of the sweetest, but so hard to get to sleep, baby. xxoo

November 6, 2008

bath time fun

Max Goggles
Max Vivitub
Bigwet Grin
Vivi Tub

November 2, 2008

left my heart in san francisco

Heart Sf
While playing freeze tag through Union Square, Max and I happened upon this heart sculpture with the Golden Gate Bridge painted on it. Turns out this one was designed by Tony Bennet! We've seen hearts designed by various artists throughout the city for many years now. It's part of a genius, on-going fundraiser for SF General Hospital. Luv 'em!

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October 31, 2008

happy halloween

Halloween08
Vivienne went out as a little pumpkin (a hand-me-down, but fitting!), Max was a ninja, Ian a Power Ranger and Isabel was Belle. Not shown here were fireman Finn and another Power Ranger, James. We trick-or-treated down Fair Oaks Street which is a closed to traffic and totally immersed in the spooky spirit. There was lots of candy fun for all.

October 29, 2008

pumpkin carving

Maxs Pumpkin08
Max drew this face himself, no kidding, I just crafted it into cut outs. Awesome. Daddy and Max did all the carving, nice job boys!
Vampire Max

Vampire Max!

Drawing Pumpkin
Carving Daddy
Final Pumpkin

October 28, 2008

pumpkin patch

Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkin Cart
Serious Pushing
Max was very decisive about his pumpkin selection. He was also a super thoughtful big brother and picked out a small one for his little sister. She loved it, as she always does, because her big brother gave it to her.
Vivis Pumpkin

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October 26, 2008

zoned out and tuned in

Max Headphones

sleeping angel

Vivi Sleeping

October 20, 2008

good old days

Holga Vivi2
Holga Vivi1
I didn't think I could love my iPhone more. Oh but I do, thanks to the new application Camera Bag which turns my camera into a Holga (the Lolo and 1974 settings are favorites also). Oh sweet Vivienne!!
Mini Marcus
Look at mini-marky our breakfast comedian! Seriously he looks more and more like his father everyday.
Papa Vivi Nuzzle
This picture of Papa & Vivienne nuzzling is so sweet it hurts.

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October 11, 2008

cutie pies

I've been so remiss in keeping up with my blog. In fact the whole time I was in Austin I hardly took any photos, so I'm having to rely on the kindness of others to piece together events.
Baby Buddies
Vivienne and Gabriella were two peas in a pod. Both babies are super huggy and kissy love bugs and they giggle spontaneously. They adored each other. We can't wait for them to hang out again!

Maxs Nails
Max Dancing
Max Crackingup
Max really enjoyed himself at Salt Lick (and so did we — so yummy!). I love these images (thanks Andrea!), as they are so natural and happy. Usually when I ask him to smile I get something like this. I also love the top one of him because it shows off his perfect and first professional manicure. He is quite proud of his painted nails. The "last tango" and "life of the party" colors he chose look great against the green window frame : : : big smile : : :

October 10, 2008

sweetest day

Whisper Max

Father Bride
Ring Bearer-1
Ring BearerPaga Vivi
Vivi Paga Wedding
Newlyweds
Happy Couple

October 9, 2008

milk + honey

Milk Honey
We spent the day before the wedding getting properly primped at Milk + Honey. It's a lovely spot to be pampered and we were treated very well. They did an amazing job on Alexis' wedding hair and makeup — she looked amazing. Chad is a rock star. We also adored Jasmine, who on the down low (they said "no" to giving kids under the age of 12 a manicure) gave Maximillian a perfect and totally professional manicure. She was an absolute sweetheart and said some of the cutest things like "the more dirt under the nails the more fun you've had". She praised Max for holding so still and talked about how they were working together, as partners, in the manicure process. She gave him "minus one point" when he swiped his wet thumbnail across a towel, but she gave the point right back to him after he held still while she repaired it. She's a gem.
Max Manicure
Happy Nails

September 28, 2008

doctor visit

Measure Vivi
Vivi had her 9 month check up today. She's actually 10 months already and her flaky mommy forgot to go last month — whoopsie. No matter, she's in perfect health. In fact the doctor said she was huge (like I didn't know eh?). She weighs in at 23 lbs 8 oz and measures 31 inches long. Now that she's pulling herself up to standing she's officially a toddler! Doc says she can drink cows milk now too. Seems like she's practically grown up already,

September 22, 2008

ready for her close up

Baby Monster
Vivi Blueyese
Vivi Closeup
Vivi gave us a post-bath crawling show by zooming around naked on on all fours, getting close and closer and....

September 19, 2008

fall asleep over

Max Gabriel
Max Gabriel2
So Gabriel didn't actually sleep over, but they boys did get all the way to sleep before his daddy came to get him — and Mr. C was home alone with the three kids and got them all to bed before 9. Well done!

September 9, 2008

gifts from grandma

Present Max
Carefully Opening
Max Tshirt
Vivis Shorts

Max was thrilled to recognize his name on a package that arrived in the mail! He carefully opened his to reveal two t-shirts. He then repeated the process and opened Vivi's tees and then realized she got matching shorts too! Kids love 'em, thanks so much for thinking of them while you were enjoying your island vacation! xxoo

September 3, 2008

she even wakes up happy

Giggly Vivi
Vivi Tongue Out
Laughing Vivi

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crawling & standing

Crawling Vivi
Crawling Surprise
Pulling Up Vivi
She officially crawls and now she pulls up to standing too! This girl is on the move.

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September 1, 2008

cherry picking

Cherry Picking
Cherry Mouth-1
Cherry Smile

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August 30, 2008

portrait of a tired baby

Sleepy Vivi
Sleepy Vivi Two
Even when she's fighting sleep (which feels like an everyday occurrence) she still manages to smile. These beautiful portraits were shot by our neighbor Ari.

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August 28, 2008

car napping

Sleeping Vivi
Sleeping Max
There's nothing like a long drive. The kids almost always fall asleep and I get some quiet, adult time, ah ahhhh. (And oh how I love thee drive-thru!!)

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August 22, 2008

zoo day

Nadia Tommy Max
Peacock Max
Max Wackosmile
Into the fog we went to enjoy the morning strolling through the zoo. Nadia, Tommy and Max all had a great time and I enjoyed hanging out with Aunnie and Julieann. But that miss Vivienne gave me a run as she refused to sleep and wailed through most of the route — joy. I thought these two peacock portraits were amusing. They show a glimpse into Max's mercurial mind and his amazing morphing facial talents.

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August 17, 2008

first bowl

Max-First Bowl
After months of playing too much wii bowling, Max finally talked us into playing a real set. He'd been asking to play for weeks it seemed. We headed to Yerba Buena's bowling alley. Though the lightest ball - a six pounder- was too heavy for him, he managed to bowl fairly well. We were all thankful for the gutter guards. Most importantly he really enjoyed himself. He cried when we said no to another game, but we promised to return again soon.

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August 15, 2008

mother & daughter

Mommy Vivisluis

August 13, 2008

grassy grins

Vivi Grass Grin1
Vivi Grass Grin2
Vivi Grass Grin3
The never napping (!) Ms. Vivi seen here enjoying herself on the grass near the San Luis Obispo mission.

August 11, 2008

blubbery lips

August 3, 2008

preschool pixs

Closeup Max
Max Megan

Officer Max-2
Smiling Officer
Max's wonderful room three teacher Nina, snapped these images of Max during the school year and sent them to us. I love seeing him through her eyes.

August 1, 2008

lazy days of summer

Max Bucketswing
Vivi Bucketswing
See the little beans swinging the afternoon away at "frog and bunny park" aka Holly Park in Bernal Heights.

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July 30, 2008

little gem

Vivi Grinning2
Vivi Finger
Vivi Grinning
Vivi has the sweetest little face and sparkliest blue eyes. I turn into a mush bunny every time she grins, giggles and goos my way. Oh baby! I also adore this tea collection "daily tea" dress that she's wearing — I'd wear it too if they made it in my size!

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July 26, 2008

mamma mia

Vivi Mama
Vivi is still on the verge of real coordinated crawling so no new progress there, but what's most exciting is her first word...drum roll please... it's "mamma" !!! She's saying it over and over — and most often while diving intently for my boobs, so we are sure that she truly knows its meaning.

July 23, 2008

tall ships

Max Paga Holding
Tallship Eagle
Max Sandwich
Heave Ho
Tallship Sails
Max Steering
Max Inshadow
This morning as we were driving into the bright morning light Max said to me "Mommy, it's really sparkly outside." I melted. It was a really spectacular day and the sun was clear and shiny and little did he know how much better his day was going to get. I dropped Max off at Pier 30 so he could take a very special ride with his Grandpa aka Paga aboard the tall ship Eagle (it has it's own blog) which was at the front of the Festival of Sail parade on the bay today. Max was pretty aprehensive about going, but we made it there and he said goodbye without issue. According to Paga he had a few moments aboard where he wanted to go home, but for the most part he was thouroughly entertained by all the activity. He watched the coast guard hoist and unfurl the sails while chanting "heave ho", he took a turn at the steering wheel (uh I guess they call it the helm), got a full ship tour, and hung out with a child-friendly sergeant Jonathan Lolly (not sure if that's his real title but that's what Max is saying). In the early afternoon I drove around the Embarcadero and Chrissy Field water front chasing their gorgeous pirate-like boat as Vivi napped for two hours in the back seat. Max returned with hats, commemorative coins and a most-beloved embroidered patch. He was beaming. He was so sad to leave Paga that he cried for him as we drove away. He clearly had a special but exhausting day!

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July 17, 2008

bathing beauty

Vivienne Waves
Vivienne has started waving! It's so cute. I swear she even says a "hi"-like sound while she waves. Have I mentioned that she's a really happy baby? She's truly amazing. She only fusses over basic issues — a dirty diaper, hunger, and tiredness — the rest of the time she's a grinning, giggling sweetie pie.
Vivienne Bathing

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July 14, 2008

on the verge

Crawl 2
Crawl 1
Crawl 4
Crawl 3
Crawl 5
Vivienne Grace is on the verge of crawling. She's doing all sorts of pushing up, army crawling, down dog and worming maneuvers. It's only a matter of days I think.

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July 12, 2008

retro summer dress

Hm Dress
I'm loving this adorable dress from H&M. It reminds me of one I had as a girl.

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July 6, 2008

first manicure

First Manicure
Painted Nails
Max accompanied me to simply unique nails so I could get a pedicure (by the amazingly sweet Jessica!). For many months now he's been dictating which shade of red or pink I should put on my toenails. He often complains that I've chosen the wrong shade. He's expressed many times that he wants to go with me but I wasn't sure he'd really handle the experience until he repeated the request a few more times — then I knew he was serious. He was very excited to go with me and thrilled to get his nails painted red and pink on alternating fingers. After his were done the wait for my pedicure was painful and too time consuming for his three year old mind. I resorted to saying yes to the candy bowl on the front counter. He then sucked on a sees lollypop while watching his favorite Backyardigan videos on my iPod — oh mother.

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June 24, 2008

first bite

First Bite

wee gallery

Gnon Sophie
This image makes me happy. I really like this simply spartan yet gleeful little still life. And I must admit too that I'm absolutely crazy about "Sophie le giraffe" and one of the newest creations from Vulli "gnon". The rubber quality is tactily perfect for babies and the softly painted creature features are sweetly seductive.
Wee Wonderfuls
Crib Sitting
Vivie Grin Crib
Mr. C gave up dressing in our bedroom and moved his armoire to our not connected downstairs rumpus/junk/craft/office/laundry/cat room (i.e., he has to go outside to get to his stuff) so that our darling Vivienne could sleep safely in a crib (and so we could have a few hours to ourselves in our bed). But this left the wall over the crib was looking terribly bare. Rather than take down the quilt that matches the bumper which is still hanging in Max's room, I bought some wall decals by wee gallery from Natural Resources. These stickers match a set of high contrast flash card art images that someone had given me and that I have taped up on the wall over the changing table. I'm really please with how easy they were to adhere and how quickly they gave the room character. Vivie likes them too!

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June 20, 2008

heat wave

Pink Pool
It's so hot I broke down and thought that buying a vinyl kiddy pool was a good idea. It was. While inhaling the horrid vinyl vapors and blowing my lungs out trying to inflate the pool I kept thinking," this is a half hour of my life." Existential moment gone...we each had satisfying turns splashing in the refreshingly chilly little pink puddle.
Pink Reflection
The effort was more than worth it. The reflection of the ginkgo tree in this little pink pool is quite beautiful.

terrible threes

Three Years-1

I feel a bit evil taking a photo of this moment, but...it's been happening so much that I'm losing empathy for it. Many of these break downs are filled with crocodile tears, while others are sincere moments where Max is feeling any number of things that cause tears. But all of them are trying my patience!. This particular moment was one where I said "no you may not have a chocolate chip cookie before dinner" — I am such an evil mother?! About an hour earlier he cried hysterically for about 15 minutes because I said, "No, you may not drink the pink pool water." Ah this is why the book on this age group is titled Your Three Year Old, Friend or Enemy?

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June 17, 2008

best friends

Gabe Max
Max and Gabriel are best of friends but also tattling rivals. They ebb and flow, trying to be the same and then in an instant demanding the other to go away and never return. Such wondrously mercurial minds these little men.

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June 15, 2008

happy father's day

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June 13, 2008

sneak peek

Sparkling Vivie
Kissing Vivie
Gertrude and Mabel put some sneak peek pictures of Vive and I on their blog. Wow! They are stunningly beautiful and I can't wait to see the rest....mmmm baby is so yummy. xxoo

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June 12, 2008

children's playground

Max Climbing1
Max Climbing2
Max has decided he doesn't want to go to karate anymore. The last few classes have been a bust. He wouldn't wear the adorable ninja uniform and he refused to participate in the class. We sat there watching and I struggled to keep him quiet and focused. The last class he whined and cried most of the way through. When I ask him why he says its just too scary. I find that I just can't argue with that. Since Max no longer hits kids at school I'm thinking the karate outlet has served it purpose for now and maybe he'll be interested in picking it up again later? Who knows eh. So after school on this thursday we opted for an hour of play time at the fabulous Children's Playground in Golden Gate Park. Max's physical abilities are rapidly improving. He went up and down most of the climbing structures and down some longer and fully enclosed twisting slides — things he was too scared to try before.

June 11, 2008

let's play hooky

Vivie Checkup
Today Vivie had her sixth month check-up — a month late, but whatever. She weighed in at 20lbs 10oz after a giant pooping mishap while on the scale, uh thank you so much darling. She measured 28 and a quarter inches long. All these numbers put her in the 95% for both height and weight. I asked about the red cheek rash she gets off and on and the doc said it's baby eczema which she'll likely outgrow before she's two years old - if not sooner. Best I can do is keep it moisturized at all times and use cortisone if she scratches it. Other than that doctor says she looks fabulous, proportions are all perfect, her lungs sound clear and ears are healthy. She's cutting her top right front tooth too. She had 4 immunization shots without a single whimper or tear! That speaks well for having chunky thighs so you can't feel the pain. The doctor has approved her as ready to try the high allergy foods like, eggs, yogurt, wheat, citrus, berries, and soy.

Her brother Max accompanied us to the pediatrician. since I mistakenly promised him last week that we'd play hooky next wednesday and then of course it turned out I'd booked a doctor appointment for THAT wednesday. I feared it would be a recipe for a melt down, dragging him to the doctor with Vivie, but he handled like a champ and soon we were off for the day's adventure.
Inside Tree
Walking Down
Spider Max

Max has recently been complaining about having to go to school and crying at drop off. So I decided we'd plan a hooky day so he could have some outside of school play-time and we could enjoy the beautiful weather. We decided on the Bay Area Discovery Museum. One of Max's favorite play areas at the Discovery is the wonderfully landscaped lookout cove. He's come along way in willingness and ability climb in, on, and through. I really enjoyed watching him at play and he had a great day. I think we'll cut school a little more often now that I'm freelancing!

Vivie Openmouth
Vivie Chomp
Vivie enjoyed the Gullah exhibit the most. She really savored the fresh caught plastic crabs. (for all you germaphobs, yes, I wiped them down before she slobbered all over them!)

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June 8, 2008

planting tomatoes

Gardening Tools
Pointing Tomato
Tomato Cages
Max Grins Tomato
Last year we grew some amazing tomatoes. We are hoping this year will be the same or even better. I look forward to more tomato, cucumber and feta salads, but this time the juicy parts will be home grown!

June 3, 2008

when nature calls

Nature Calls
There's no equality between the sexes when it comes to this issue — boys really do have it easier!

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June 2, 2008

a crib of her own

Vivie Crib
We finally put together the crib for Vivienne. Recently Vivie's been inch-worming her way around our bed so we knew it was time for her to have a safe sleep space. I still bring her to bed with us sometime between 3 and 5 am, but I'm now getting a few hours of sleep by myself — it's great — well, except for all those nights when Max shows up somewhere between 8pm and 2 am. Oh well, these are the days.

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portrait session

Vivie Duckfeet
Heidi Vivie
Today Vivie had her first photo shoot — she did an amazing job! Vivie is pictured above with my dear friend Heidi of Gertrude and Mabel who did the portrait session. Heidi's work is simply amazing so please go check out her site. Vivienne was a total trooper through costume and set changes and switching formats, film types and lighting set-ups. I was surprised at how well she handled, she really has a wonderful temperament. Afterward Vivie slept peacefully in her stroller while Heidi and I ate a delicious lunch at Serpentine. What an enjoyable day!

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May 30, 2008

person of the day

Sush Mom
Max Teaching
This morning Max had all eyes on him. He was given the power and title of "person of the day" and he relished it. Max spent a few minutes at the beginning of his presentation talking about the photos on his family board. At one point when his fellow classmates interrupted him, he not so gently reminded them that "this is not about you, it's about me." During his presentation he asked me to help talk about the photos, but when I started to talk too much or gaining control of the focus he gave me a giant "Shhhh mommy!" and put me in my place. Whoa, Max is clearly a kid who is comfortable being the leader.

After the photo presentation we made fresh pasta for our family project. Each child got two opportunities to crank the pasta machine. One was to flatten the dough and the other was to cut the dough into spaghetti or linguini. We asked the school chef Celestina to cook the pasta for lunch. We weren't able to stay for lunch, but we heard it was a hit. But sadly for Max Celestina had put tomato sauce on all the pasta and apparently Max cried because he only wanted butter on his. Oh goodness.

More photos to come...thanks to Paga & Daddy for taking the time to be there and help, Max felt very loved.

May 29, 2008

teeny tiny but powerful

Teeny Gun

Ah the gun issue. How I wish I could suppress it and live in peace, but alas it only seems to rear it's ugly head the more I try to kibosh it. I started with a hard line response explaining that we are pacifists and there will be no guns in our house. I even made Mr. C remove the giant poster of his grinning five year old self holding an AK47 in front of an Israeli tank (not really such a weird request eh?) I pleaded with Max not to talk about guns and reiterated that we don't want to hurt anyone. But recently I've softened my gun stance. I'm still on about not hurting anyone, though I've added no pointing at people or shooting anything that's alive — "yes trees are alive." I'm feeling that fighting his inner and clearly biological urges isn't going to get me anywhere, in fact it may produce the opposite result. So I'm letting most of the finger guns, stick guns, straw guns slide — obviously there's no limit to what can become a weapon— I'm just trying to get him to aim at the skeet instead. Above is Max pictured with the gun that came from his tiny star wars drone action figure —thanks Paga ::wink wink::. He doesn't care much about the drone but he's been carrying the teeny gun around in his pocket.

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May 27, 2008

stowe lake

Capitan Max
Captain Max enjoyed ordering his first mates Aunnie and Yaya 'round Stowe Lake yesterday afternoon. As Aunnie put it "boating is such a lovely weekend activity even in this man-made lake." It was a perfect holiday afternoon, thanks you two! I walked the lake perimeter pushing Ms. Vivie in her comfy carriage while constantly waving to the peddling crew. Along the way I gazed at some lovely wild flowers and watched a family of geese herding their young to shore.
Stowe Flower
Stowe Flowers2
Stowe Geese

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May 24, 2008

sitting pretty

Sitting Up

Vivienne is now able to sit up unassisted. Every once in a while she teeters over but she rarely complains about it. She loves being on her tummy too and has been doing push-ups and tucking her knees like an inch worm — she's getting ready to crawl. She's quite fond of putting everything in her mouth as pictured above. Max's toys are everywhere so it's quite a chore for us to keep the house picked up and all the chokable items put away.

Vivie Hm

While browsing through H&M on friday Vivie tried on these sparkly shades and then tasted some pink tights packaging.

Food Sucker
I picked up those mesh food bags I'd been hearing so much about — and yes they are a hit and a brilliant product idea. So far we've put in banana, apple, bread and avocado. On the list of foods she's tried via blender or jar are sweet potato (japanese yellow yam is her favorite), peas, pears, apple, butternut squash and lots and lots of rice cereal.
Vivie Kingdom
I succumbed and brought the hideous, but oh so helpful, "kingdom" exersaucer out of storage. Our teeny house it done for now there's not a single baby or kid free space!

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May 20, 2008

after school funsies

Flower Tag
When I picked Max up from preschool today he was toting more giant chalk and had been busy writing all over the playground's rubber mats. He wrote his name for me again and then drew me this flower.
Monster Maurice
When we left school, we headed off to Kid Robot to get more cool zipper pulls (we discovered them when we got one for daddy's birthday) and then we got one little special extra surprise toy (seen here). Max loves him because he has a cupcake on his back. What's not to love about a cupcake eating monster named Maurice?!*#@!^!

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May 18, 2008

swing time

First Swing
Swing Close

It was high noon at Jackson Playground when Ms. Vivienne took her first glide in ye old bucket swing and boy did she enjoy herself.

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May 14, 2008

rahhhh

Max Rah
There's no denying that boys have an unique and intense energy. I experience it when Max eats a piece of bread and then tells me the shape of his bites look like a gun or when he tells me he's taking his gun (thumb up and forefinger pointed) with him to make sure no bad guys are out there — these are moments that I feel I had nothing to do with. I certainly didn't teach him about guns or expose him to them. Somehow he's figured out the gun thing and feels ready to aim, point, and shoot it. I think there's nothing a pacifist such as myself can do other than just wait for him to out grow it. I worry that if I try to suppress his interests in guns, swords etc I'll just encourage his intrigue. I know from my own experience that each time my parents tried to tell me something was bad or that I shouldn't do "x" I wanted to do it more — so I'm thinking that he should just shoot his finger gun until his heart is content and then hope he'll grow up to be a conscientious objector.

May 12, 2008

the very hungry caterpillar

Vivie Reading
Here is Ms. Vivienne Grace reading an old favorite by Eric Carle while lounging on our deck during a San Francisco heat wave.

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May 11, 2008

yay mother's day

Mothers Day

Max was so excited about mother's day, it was sweet to hear him say that he'd hidden a card and couldn't wait to tell me where it was. Then this morning he came into our bed, after sleeping through the whole night on his own — gift enough, and said "Mommy it's Mother's Day, can I give you your present now?" He and daddy came back in a few minutes with a little blue box. Max says, "We went downtown to Stiffany's mommy." No kidding, he has said it a few more time since then so I can confirm the pronunciation of "Stiffanys" — don't you love that?! Inside the box was a beautiful big solid silver heart locket on a chain with a photo of Max on one side and Vivie on the other (good job daddy!). I melted inside while tears of motherhood joy rolled down my cheeks. Then to add to my water works, Max tells me about the card he made for me at preschool. "Mommy, see it's a heart. Here's where I did the gluing and I put letters on it I -L-O-V-E-U" he said. Then I said, "it spells I love you" and he said "no not yuh yuh 'you'" as he sounded out the letter Y, "I didn't use the Y." He also planted me a sunflower in a pot and wrapped it in yellow tissue paper. He put his hands on his hips and said in the cutest voice, "Now what's that mushroom doing in there?"

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May 10, 2008

1/2 birthday

Max Cap
Max, seen here wearing all his favorite things. He asks me every morning if it's a school day, seriously he does. On Saturday when I finally say, "no today is not a school day," he dresses himself in crocks, his superman t-shirt and an almost too small union jack sweatshirt. Super-hero wear and crocks are outlawed at his preschool, oh and so is celebrating holidays — political correctness sucks.
Blue Bottle
We headed out at about 8:45am via Muni and made it to Blue Bottle Cafe about 9 am. It was already crowded. Normally that would get me down, as I am so over waiting in long lines at the cool kid spots, but today I didn't mind. It's ironic how when you truly don't care and are relaxed, that life flows smoothly. Within minutes three counter spaces in a row by the big window opened up — such luck.
Belgian Wafel-1
Vivie Coffee
We each enjoyed a delicious fluffy and lightly sweetened belgian wafel and two lattes each (yes two!). I could drink their creamy lattes all day if they didn't cause such jitters. Vivienne took notice of our blue bottle love and dove into the cup for a sip (no she wasn't successful).

Happy six month birthday to baby Vivie.

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May 9, 2008

written word

Chalk Name

Last night we were waiting outside for a table at Delfina Pizzeria, when Max whipped out a giant piece of chalk (that he'd swiped from the school playground) and started drawing on the sidewalk. This is how I found out that he can write his name. Love it.

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May 5, 2008

cheek to cheek

Papa Vivie-1
This is Vivienne with her great grandpa. There's 93 years between them! I love their matching bright blue eyes. Awe, so beautiful.
Tractor Max
When Max melts down during family dinner at Santi (yes, this has happened before) we walk across the street to the tractor sales show room and take a pretend ride. A few minutes of serious fun makes the rest of dinner manageable.
Sleepy Vivie
See Miss Vivie kicking it.

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May 1, 2008

happy may day

Whoo-Hoo
Sf Snooze

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April 24, 2008

life is sweet

Max Miette

mmmm miette is so yummy and it's on the way home from school — which is so dangerously delicious! We stopped by on this lucky tuesday and each found a treat to enjoy.

Miette Candy
Miette Cakes
Happy Birthday to Paga & Auntie Gail! xoxo

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April 23, 2008

happy birthday daddy

Reflection
Here's daddy holding the picture Max drew for him on his birthday. It was so endearing to listen to Max explain the drawing — he said something like "the orange is a reflection of the sun on the pond." We looked at each other with awe, how poetic!

Four Three
Max and I decided it would be best to put four and three candles on daddy's cupcakes, otherwise we might have a fire hazard! The over abundance of sprinkles were a necessity! Why walk when you can run eh?

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April 20, 2008

not one, but two!

Two Teeth
The lower right one is poking through too!

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April 17, 2008

karate kid

Max Karate1
Max Karate2
Max took his first karate lesson today. I thought karate would be a good place for him to learn where hitting and kicking is appropriate and to practice discipline, courage, and respect, while also getting his boyish aggression and energy out. He's on the young side, so the teacher wanted to assess if he had the attention span for the 30 minute class — his physical abilities don't matter at this point. For the first 15 minutes he followed the class perfectly doing all the exercises and he looked like he was really enjoying himself. Then he was paired with an older kid who was his height (I think he was about 6 years old — the boy on the right in the top photo) to take turns hitting and kicking while holding a pad and he got really scared. I watched his face turn from interest to fear. Max had a lot of trouble holding the pad for this kid to kick. Each time the other boy whacked the pad Max got more fearful until he gave up and ran to my arms. We then sat on the sidelines and watched the rest of the class. I asked repeatedly, but he had no interest in trying it again after that. When class was over we talked to the sensei (Mirako) and determined that he is quite capable of taking the class if he decides he wants to. Fortunately, they aren't charging me any money until Max decides that he's willing to commit to the class and we are welcome to to come again for a few more times. We stayed about 10 minutes afterward exploring the space and taking turns hitting the pads. I was hoping if mommy and he did it together he'd feel more comfortable trying the class again. While driving home Max asked me why the teacher was saying so many weird words. So now I'm trying to reiterate the concept of multiple languages and to teach him a little Japanese so he understands what the teacher is saying. I hope he'll want to try the class again next thursday.
school = dojo
teacher = sensei
one= ichi
two= ni
three= san
four = shi
five = go
that's enough for both of us!

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April 16, 2008

first tooth

First Tooth
Surprise! There's a hard and sharp little bit poking through her gums. It's the lower left front tooth. Time to start serving some first foods eh?!

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April 15, 2008

loving baby

Lovely Smile
Vivie Sleeps-1
Sucking Fingers
Thumbs Up
I fall in love daily with the super happy and totally gorgeous Ms. Vivienne Grace. She's got such a wonderfully sweet disposition. She smiles often, giggles, coos, and watches the world with awe. I especially love watching her sleep. xoxo

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April 13, 2008

beach day

Smoothing Sand
It was extraordinarily hot today, in the low 80s at the beach! We had scheduled a playdate for the park but the day just screamed "go to the beach!" We headed down to Chrissy Field with a classmate of Max's named Griffin. Max thoroughly enjoyed getting covered head to toe in wet sand. I, of course with my typical craziness, forgot to bring his sand toys — but hey I remembered the sunblock. Max wasn't so into playing with the girls (Griffin met her friend Lily there) who were mixing sand to make hot chocolate for the plants, so he adopted a nearby family with two boys and borrowed all their boy sand tools to build roads for their cars. By the end he was buck naked and our walk back to the car elicited grins and giggles from many gawkers.

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April 6, 2008

just like lulu

Max 911
Officer Max-1
Healdsburg Police

In Car
Max Lulu Police
Who wants to grow up to be a police officer just like Lulu? Little Marcus, uh I mean Max. History repeating itself can be a beautiful thing! Max's fabulous great Auntie Lulu set up a full-on tour of the Healdsburg police station, jail & a squad car. Our tour was given by the kind and patient officer Uretega (hope I spelled that right?). Max's eyes were like saucers and he was so uncharacteristically quiet and on his best behavior as he soaked in all the information about how 911 works, what jail is like and how the police car works. He really enjoyed turning off and on all the car lights and savors his special silver officer police pin. Thank you so much Auntie Lulu, you are truly the best!

old & new

Papa Vivie
Papa and Vivie are 92 years apart — wow, life is amazing!

Vivie Tongue

April 4, 2008

check ups

Checkup
Every little body is a-ok (for one little second no one is sick— big sigh!). Max weighed in at 39 lbs and 42" tall which puts him in the 95%. Vivie weighed in at 17 lbs 10 oz and 28" long, which put her off the chart!

April 2, 2008

after school

Steamed Milk
Max and I are enjoying the days when I can pick him up sans Vivie and spend an hour alone together. We often head to Duboce Park so he can run around in "the woods" (really it's behind a tree and some bushes), swing, slide and blow off steam. It's so fun to watch him explore his world. Recently he's decided he has to climb up on the park gate and swing with it as it opens. He's still mustering up the courage to go down the "big kids" twisty slide all alone. Usually he thinks he'll do it, but changes his mind once we are at the park. This day he asked if we could go down together — was so sweet.
Normal

Sometimes we stop at a cafe before hand and pick up a steamed milk and madeline for him and a latte for me. Today we stopped by Duboce Park Cafe for said treats and I saw this fabulous piece of art. This so summarizes my recent mental struggles with not feeling sane and thinking meds may be my only hope. Ok a bit dramatic, I am prone to theatrics on occasion, but I do wish now an again that I could pop a pill to feel "normal". It makes me a bit sick to see the repetition of bottles representing the toll pill popping would cause just to achieve "normal" eh?

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March 31, 2008

open wide

Brushing Teeth
Max did a great job at the dentist. However turns out we aren't doing such a great job brushing his teeth. We need to start brushing in the mornings in addition to evenings and we need to floss — especially the back teeth which are tightly touching. He has a watch on the lower back molars 'cause there's a cavity a brewing. Gotta brush away those rotten "sugar bugs."

March 30, 2008

max & mommy zoo day

Tiger Ride
It was an historic merry-go-round ride. Max started on the stationery tiger — a step up from his usual pick of the big bench seats. And while riding the tiger I kept coaxing him to try the up and down animals. So on the second ride he chose a shiny gold horse with glitter jewels. As long as I kept a hold of him he was happy.

Elephant Hugger
Fierce Boy
When does your sweet little toddler turn into a fierce young boy? Right about age 3. Max has these wild moments where he's really intense and demanding and really reminds me of a teenager — YIKES!

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March 23, 2008

easter egg hunting

Bunny Ladder
The Easter Bunny managed to find us in Purcellville, Virginia—imagine that!
Easter Grin
Egg Hunting-1
Looking Jellybeans
The glorious looks of shear delight and surprise on Max's face were priceless. I adore seeing the light beam from his eyes. What's not to love about Easter eh? A basket filled with chocolates and jellybeans, plus we added some books and little toys, and a day filled with hunting for eggs filled with MORE jellybeans! Aunnie was forced to reenacted the egg hunt numerous times.

Giant Yawn
I love this photo. Aunnie looks (and feels) just like I did — tired but so happy. But she gets all the credit for the easter hunt success! Well done and many thank yous!

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March 22, 2008

egg dying day

Dipping Egg
Blue Egg
Drawingonegg
Egg Dye
Finished Eggs

Max thoroughly enjoyed the science of measuring, pouring, and fuzzy colored pill dropping as well as the art of egg dipping. The activity kept his attention for quite awhile which was impressive. The results were stunning. Sadly the weird spring weather forced us to choose an indoor plastic egg hunt, so these little masterpieces weren't hunted. However they did end up as delicious egg salad sandwiches, mmmm thank you Gail.

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March 18, 2008

best buddies

Best Friends

This is the scene I saw when I opened the door at his preschool pick up today. There he was playing nicely with his best friend Gabriel — an endearing moment.

But then my utopian vision was shattered when two of his teachers pulled me aside to tell me that he had a really bad day and is having trouble listening and getting along with others. Apparently he wound up (literally turned his body and took a huge swing) and slapped one of the sweetest kids from room 4. He hit this boy Emmet so hard he had a red hand mark on his face for half a day. When asked "why?" Max really can't think of an answer, he just says that room 4 kids aren't supposed to be where room 3 kids are. The teachers say Megan, the oldest girl in Max's room 3 class, has been picking on him but they can't understand why he would take it out on Emmet. It makes no sense. I've seen a fierceness, rage and temper in Max, one that he doesn't understand or know how to control. He could just out grow it and learn to behave over time, but we also need to keep an eye on it and learn how to direct him. We also worry that he may not be in school or with teachers that understand him well enough and that perhaps the school may not challenge him enough — or have enough structure to keep him focused. It's a lot to think about...

Union Jack
This is Max's favorite sweatshirt. He chooses to wear it everyday. Sadly it's getting too small so we are being challenged to figure out what to do to save the Union Jack. Scissors and sewing are in our future! In addition, I'm excited to post this photo because I'm so happy to see Max taking physical risks like climbing up this high. I sometimes worry that he's too heady and mental (like his parent!) since he often won't go down the slides at the playground or swing on the monkey bars or other activities like that. I gotta fret less eh?!

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March 17, 2008

lil' leprechaun

Leprechaun
His Irish eyes are smiling!

March 16, 2008

breakfast with baby

Breakfast Baby
Vivie enjoyed watching us each a yummy breakfast at Mission Beach Cafe.

March 14, 2008

the end of nap

Naps
Max will still nap without too much grief, but the two hour late afternoon snoozes cause havoc at bedtime. He'll often not want to sleep until 9 or even 10 pm, so I'm on the cusp of canceling nap-time in favor of early bedtime. I tried it last weekend, and bedtime was still a battle, but he did pass out sooner. He's also totally regressed and now wants to sleep in our bed every night. He claims to be afraid and lonely and doesn't want to sleep in his bedroom. We try every night to get him in his own bed, but he almost always ends up in our bed. Not sure what we can do at this point. More experiments to come...

March 12, 2008

rolling baby

Rolly Vivie
Rolly Vivie2
such a cutie! She's a rolie polie olie.

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March 10, 2008

crissy field walk

Golden Gate
Cityscape
Yacht Parking
Sf Bay-1
I've really been enjoying my morning stroller walks at Crissy Field. After I drop Max off at preschool, I drive to the Warming Hut, park and feed Vivie. Then we stroll to the St Francis yacht club or if she's sleeping deeply I walk to Divisadero and then back. The weather has been beautiful recently, making the walk that much more enjoyable. Moments like these remind me just how lucky I am to live here — and to enjoy these days because one day not too far from now she won't quietly sit in a stroller for an hour and half!

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March 9, 2008

little drummer boy

Drumming1
Drumming2
Miles had a kid sized drum kit at his house and Max went crazy over it. Flash forward to Max as a teenager!

March 8, 2008

thumb sucker

Thumb Sucking
Ms. Vivienne Grace really wants to be able to suck her thumb. She tries and tries but can only hold it in her mouth for a few seconds before her wildly flailing arms disrupt her sucking happiness. I ply her with the pacifier every chance I get but she loves to spit it right out with a push of her cute little tongue.

March 2, 2008

monterey weekend

Monterey Bay
View Finder
There was a lot of suffering still underway so I can't say it was a wonderful weekend. However there were some nice highlights in between. First was the location. Monterey is seaside lovely even if the cannery is tacky tourist row.
Fisherman
Uncontrolable
Max squeezed the "how hot are you?" machine and got the hottest possible answer "uncontrollable!"
Jellyfish
Anchovies
Pink Anenome
The aquarium was beautiful. Most of the tanks are amazing and the facility is really well organized and has all the needed amenities.

February 28, 2008

max loves vivie

Maxlovesvivie1
Maxlovesvivie2-1

ok, well mostly. There was that time he threw the tinkertoy container at her head and had her crying her first real tears.

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February 15, 2008

sick monkey

Sick Monkey
Dvds

Max has been sick since sunday evening. Yep now picture me with a 3 year old and a 3 month old stuck in the house for five days. So how much tv and how many dvds can we watch? Quite a lot actually, but truly only two days were filled with non-stop viewing. You know your kid is super sick when he'd rather lay down in mommy daddy's bed in silence than lay on the couch spacing out to his favorite shows. His fever has been pretty constant and got as high a 103.6. He's been really congested and vomiting. I must say, watching your child suffering and not being able to do anything about it has to rank at the top of life's most painful moments. And I'll add that cleaning up mac & cheese with hot dog vomit was far worse than the yogurt squeezes or raspberries incidents. But what's worse is that now I'm sick with a fever, harsh congestion and a really sore throat. Plus my hands are now really dried out from all the doctor recommended Purell rubbing. I'm so paranoid that we'll get Vivie sick too and she's just too small to take this on.

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February 10, 2008

first snow

First Snow
Ready To Go
Max's first snow experience was this weekend at North Star Tahoe. He loved the snow and the cabin experience. He didn't totally love skiing, but we made it down the mountain twice and that was after waiting in all the lines for gear and for the gondola. The good news is he says he wants to go again.

breakfast with ultraman

Ultraman 1
Ultraman 3
Ultraman flew in for a special sunday breakfast. I adore watching Max engaged in imaginary play. I love all the funny things he says and how he incorporates little details from our lives in a non-sensical ways. We had to set a plate for Ultraman and serve him eggs, scones and lemon curd. Ultraman was a wee bit gooey after Max actually crossed over from his imaginary world into reality and shoved eggs into Ultraman's face.
Homemade Lemoncurd
As per our usual sunday breakfast, daddy, chef extraordinaire, knocked it out of the park so to speak with a homemade lemon curd and scones. Saturday night while I was out enjoying a fully fabulous adult evening with a girlfriend at the sundance kabuki in the 21 and up balcony viewing area (ahhhhhh was so wonderfu)l, Max and daddy went into our garden and picked lots of lemons from our bush that was an anniversary gift I gave years ago. While juggling Vivie and pushing Max's bedtime to the limit they managed to whip it up. And mmmmm the lemon curd was so delicious on the fresh orange and currant scones. We eat so well on the weekends!

Ultraman 2

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February 9, 2008

ladybug yawn

Yawn1
Yawn2
Ladybug

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February 8, 2008

tea collection

Tummy1
Tummy2
Tea Collection
How adorable is this kimono dress and pants? I swear i would wear it. Tea Collection makes the most stylish kids goods — loving it — to bad she's already out grown it.

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February 7, 2008

wonder baby

She Did It
Rolly
Lookie
Other Side
Rolling
Old news but I'll have you know that Vivie rolled over three times on Christmas eve. She was only six weeks old back then, what a feat! Now she's twelve weeks old and a real expert - plus she enjoys it. Unlike Max, Vivie likes to be on her tummy. I have high hopes that she will crawl, again unlike her scooting and early walking brother (Max walked at 10 months).

Big Grin
We had a wonderful morning. We met daddy at the new Blue Bottle cafe @ the Mint and then hit the SF Center's fabulous family room for nursing and a freshening up. Then little angel baby let mommy do a touch of much needed shopping at H&M where I found a pair of non-draw string pants to wear and of course a few sweet items for baby and big brother. Thank you sweet pea!

January 30, 2008

daddy reads TinTin

Tintin
Most nights I read Max 1-3 books, rub back about 10 times and then explain why I can't lay down and sleep with him (uh, I've got just about a million things I'd like to do before I pass out about an hour later). Both Max and I love this ritual, but there are some rare nights when Max decides that he wants to read TinTin. I declared long ago that TinTin is a "daddy only" read. I simply can't deal with the intensity of the densely drawn comic squares in combination with the inappropriate 3 year old content! Daddy on the other hand is so familiar with the stories he can sort of sum up the plots and keep the pages turning. And then I get a well deserved night off from reading duty.

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January 28, 2008

tummy time

Tummy Time

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January 27, 2008

daddy made brioche

Bite
Tongue
Lick
Satisfaction

January 24, 2008

officer max

Officer Max
He did it! 20 days later he's now running around our house as officer Max. "You're under arrest!"

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January 19, 2008

bye bye binky

The kid went cold turkey! After a few weeks of talking about saying goodbye to "nano" Max is finally off the nipple. Here's how we did it.

Favorite Nanos

The kid went cold turkey! After a few weeks of talking about saying goodbye to "nano" Max is finally off the nipple. Here's how I did it.

I started planting the seeds of him being a big boy and how nano's ("nano" aka pacifier) were for babies. I also tried saying that he should give up all his nanos so other babies who need them could use them. I also talked about how the dentist said nano was ruining his teeth by giving him a big overbite and said the dentist would be so proud if he went into his next visit and said he wasn't using one. I also repeatedly said I'd be proud of him and I know he can do it. That was all possibly just blah blah blah to him I think? I then said he should just tell me when he's ready to say goodbye, that he should just let me know the best time. Then I would ask every so often, "are you ready?" to which he always replied "no". But I think that random questioning laid the foundation for it to be ok. About three weeks later I told him I'd give him a dum dum lollipop if he tried to take a nap without his nano. Oh yah, that worked! Sugar, the king of all motivators. So yes, he took that first pacifier free nap and enjoyed his sugary nano-like treat afterwards. He wanted to do it again the next day and yet again the next. The following day was a school day, so I wondered if he'd be ok not bringing it to school? He was fine with it, so long as he got a lollipop or madeline afterward. My next trick was to do ye old bribery switchero (apparently I'll end up with a son who has a case of entitlement for doing so! Bad parenting 101). I made a devil's deal by saying in exchange for 20 nano-free nights he could pick one toy — any toy he wanted— in the toy store. He was quick to say he wanted a police costume with a badge and a magnet (due to a cops and robots episode of the Backyardigans that he likes to watch over and over. Together we decided to use his Spiderman calendar to "x" off the days and we printed out a photo of the police costume for him to look at as motivation. We talked that costume up at every opportune moment. The first night we started story time nano-free but he changed his mind, so we blacked out the x and decided to try again tomorrow. Then every night there after was nano-free with no complaints. Amazing! It worked. He loved getting that costume, we took lots of photos and looked forward to putting it on each evening after school. Spidey Calendar

Here's the rub though, ever since he's been off the binky bedtime has gotten more difficult. He doesn't want to stay in bed and claims to not be tired or is still hungry, urgh trade one issue for another — such is life.

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January 17, 2008

cozy clothes

Jumper
If only it were fashionable for me to wear a onsie sweater jumper, I'd put this lovely one on for sure. Made by Lucky Jade, thank you Ms. Royall!

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January 16, 2008

grin & coo

Grinning
I'll have you know she's not grinning as I try to type this out, crying actually. I'm hoping she'll let me finish this entry. She hasn't slept in two hours so she's a bit of a wreck right now. My left foot is bouncing the bjorn like crazy. But back to the photo, Vivie has started to smile and coo and even have short periods of quietly doing nothing and enjoying it. We're all enjoying it too.

She had her two month appointment yesterday. She weighs in at 14.05 lbs (90th%), measures 24.25 inches (95th%) and checks out perfectly according to her doctor. But I saw a few areas that need some work : : : uh second baby syndrome alert! : : : There was serious cheese in her arm pits, behind her ears and, well, down there in all those folds too, uh geez mom, I hope the doctor wasn't too grossed out like I was! Sadly she had to have four shots plus an oral vaccine so the rest of the day was yucky, poor dear. She didnt cry until the 3rd shot — what a champ. We've traded the nasty case of seborrheic baby acne for a head full of cradle cap. So during that long over due bath I gave her last night, I scrubbed her scalp with a toothbrush and olive oil which did make a difference as a lot came off, but there's lots more to go. Just like the rest of the family, Vivie loves taking a warm bath. She'll stay in there without complaint and then take a long snooze there after, ah reprieve.

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January 14, 2008

mommy blogs

Wondertime

As Vivie slept I played with an iPhone and really truly enjoyed web surfing on a mobile device for the first time. I'd read an article in February's Wondertime about why mommies blog (review here, my main reason for blogging is memory retention, I blog what I l know I'll forget in a minute, a day or forever — I hope my backups work!) and it listed a few blogs I checked out— one I'd surfed before but didn't get hooked on until yesterday. Finslippy is my new Dooce, and yes I'm really late to the party. The entry on bad parenting awards (like the Darwins for moms) had me cracking up, especially the "Oh No You Didn't" award, yikes! And yes, these made me feel like a stellar mother! Love that, thank you Finslippy. Others to check out next time I'm pinned under a sleeping baby and can still reach the phone: Breed 'em & Weep, Ben & Birdie (the Wondertime article writer & blogger) and then I'll just check out their blogrolls, oh my more reading than I'll ever be able to do.

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January 3, 2008

extraordinary baby blankets

Heavensnewsouls
My favorite baby blankets are all wonderful gifts that I cherish (and wish were in an adult size). Each time I wrap Vivienne in one of these I purr like a kitty. Vivie is so lucky to nap in these. The gorgeous blanket and lovely above were gifted to Vivie by YaYa's mom and sister — thank you! — and are made by Heaven's New Souls. Both are made of super soft, fur-like fabric with textured dots and a thick satin trim and came with Vivienne's name embroidered in a lovely script. On the smaller "lovey" blankie there's a sewn on wish that says, "Guardian Angel, On-the-go, As you travel far and near, Take me with you — never fear, Let the softness of my touch, Remind you that you're loved so much." How sweet! I love the pink and brown color combination, it's always been one of my favorites.

Little Giraffe
Another amazingly soft über luxe— feels like rabbit fur — blanket that I adore is made by Little Giraffe. It was gifted to Vivie for Christmas by a generous friend of Vivie's grandparents. The big watercolor-like brown, pink and green polka dots on the light pink background make me so happy. It has a wide pale pink soft satin trim and the blanket has a really heavy weight feel and is very slippery. Super yum.

Potterybarn Blanket
My other favorite blanket is a cotton candy sweet light pink, super thick chamois on one side and velvet-like chamois finish on the other side. The trim is matt satin so it's not so cold to the touch. The blanket has a heavy warm feel. It's made by Potterybarn. It was gift from Maga Paga, many thank yous!

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January 2, 2008

christmas ornament

Ornament

Oh, my heart. Tears welled up in my eyes when Max said "mommy I made something for you, I painted it myself". He was so excited he opened it for me. I had a flashback to my childhood creations and then I felt another moment that solidified that I am truly a mommy, my son just gave me a christmas ornament that he made — for me. This is love.

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December 12, 2007

sweet slumber

Sleeping Vivie

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December 5, 2007

baby days

Sleepers-1
I feel like I've had amnesia, I didn't remember how small and fragile newborns are — amazingly resilient but still so delicate. There's so much crying due to constant gas, spitting up, hunger, exhaustion, confusion and then it's repeated every hour or so. It's so hard to be a baby! I'm super tired and it tries my patience, but I'm hanging in there. All the trouble is washed away when she smiles, looks in my eyes, and sleeps so peacefully, then it's like holding an angel in my arms.

Proud Brother-1
I am so impressed with how Max is adjusting to life with a little sister. He's been an absolute sweetheart. When she cries he says "Mommy, she needs you," he holds her hand, gently strokes her face and often tells me about the little things she's doing like her eyes are open, or she's sucking on her finger. He wants to hold her all the time, though it only lasts a few seconds before he says "She's heavy."

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December 4, 2007

sleeping beauty

Arms Up
She sleeps just like Max did at this age — with her arms up (and snores too). Living on the 24 hour cycle of eat, sleep, poop plus taking care of a preschooler — it's a challenge. I still cant manage to get out the door with two unless I'm headed to someone's house via car. If it's a walk out the door to the store, park etc I just cant make it happen yet. Seams like one or the other is always melting down or needing one on one attention. Ah, this too will pass.

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December 2, 2007

swaddling paul

Swaddle Paul1
Swaddle Paul2
Swaddle Paul3
Just like his daddy, Max is an "expert" swaddler. He wraps his Paul doll just like we do Vivienne, it's adorable. I have to give Max the title of "Worlds Greatest Big Brother" since he's ben so supportive, helpful and interested in all things related to baby Vivie. He still demands we call her "Sofia Duck" and he does tend to rock her too hard and poke her in the head now and then, but all is made well every time he plants a big kiss on her — and he does it a dozen times a day. It's so sweet he melts my heart each time. He's also very attentive to the breast pump (boys love boobs and machines eh?!), he loves to get it out, plug in all the parts, and set up the bottles and cones for me, of course turning on the machine is the best part — for him!

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pink polka

Pink Sleep

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November 25, 2007

diaper bag finds

I've been searching for a new diaper bag and I finally found two I like. I still can't seem to locate the perfect does it all bag. So I'm going with a friends advice and having a few for different purposes. Her suggestion was to keep a few packed so you're always ready to walk out the door. It'll still take a little time to pack snacks and drinks, but if I keep them filled with the basics it should help cut a few minutes off the getting out the door time.

China Doll
City Chic
I really like the fabric design on the Hoohobbers China Doll Diaper Tote. I just hope the long vertical design doesn't make it difficult to find what's at the bottom. The other bag I like but am waffling on how to justify the price, is the Skip Hop City Chic. It looks like right size and has a great shape for carrying goods for two kids and it straps on a stroller. It's too bad they don't offer better patterns as I find the four patterns really conservative and they scream "I am a diaper bag."

Patemm Pad2
Patemm Pad

I've also been looking for a better changing pad surface. I'm over the teeny tiny nylon one that came with the Skip Hop Duo bag I've carried for the last three years. I saw the Patemm Pad somewhere along the way and liked the big round design. I was sad to learn that most of their products are coated in noxiously evil pvc, but they have a few they make in a washable cotton so I'm getting one of those too.

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November 24, 2007

discreet milking

Hooter Hider

I recently bought a "yoko" nursing cover from natural resources on Valencia St. The company that makes them is called bebe au lait. While at Thanksgiving dinner my soon-to-be brother-in-law's sister, who is from Texas, asked me if I owned a "hooter hider?" I chuckled, in fact I do have one I said and I thought how very "Texas" it was to call it that. Well, turns out it's not simply so "Texas" after all. The company that makes 'em calls the same product lines by both names— hmmm a strange marketing ploy. So, they market the frenchy high brow "bebe au lait" name to city dwellers and the daisy duke-like "hooter hiders" brand to others? They explain it as: "Hooter Hiders for tongue-in-cheek and Bebe au Lait for mama chic. "

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November 15, 2007

fresh air

Arrangement
Robert & Sharon sent us this fabulous arrangement, thank you! It's so simple and fresh, I love it. It really makes me wish I could afford a flower budget on top of all the other indulgent habits I have!
Big Yawn
Vivie takes all the oxygen she can get! Baby yawns are so adorable. Who am I kidding? Everything she does is adorable.

November 14, 2007

grins & giggles

On Shoulder
Baby Vivienne is prone to hiccups and spit ups so she spends quite a bit of time with an over the shoulder view of the world. Other than that she's a fabulous baby, eats, sleeps, poops and does it all over again and again and again without too much complaint. Of course she prefers to be held as much as possible, but who doesn't? She grins, puckers her lips, and makes lots of dolphin giggly noises when she isn't grunting.

Kitty Face
Monica ( a room 5 teacher and after school playground guard) painted the kids faces this afternoon. Max chose to be a "kitty" and was so happy to run around and show off his painted face. We ate at Chow for dinner and Max beamed with pride at all the people who commented on his whiskers.

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November 10, 2007

vivienne grace

First Photo Vgc
We welcomed our newest family member, Vivienne Grace today at 4:19 p.m. She weighed in at 8 lbs 3.3 oz and 20 inches long. She's simply beautiful. I'm deeply feeling the meaning of "bundle of joy" and totally in love.

Aunties Arms
Labor was half the time of my first, the delivery was far better and kinder to my body, and my recovery has been remarkably faster. It's true what they say, that delivery is easier with each subsequent pregnancy. I can't say the pregnancy was easier though. I was sicker, more tired and irritable and physically taxed this time around. I also had horrid varicose and spidery cluster veins down one leg and covering both ankles and my vanity caused me to wear pants for seven months.

I have to write a few things here so I don't forget them — I blog mostly due to my lack of memory retention. I saved Ms. Vivienne from her father's name choices of Pandora, Nemesis or Helix. Her runner up name was Paloma — should she one day decide that Vivienne just doesn't suit her perhaps she'll choose it. I was truly tortured over the naming decision. There are so many wonderful names. I settled on our choice because of the lovely sound and meanings and of course that WE agreed on it. Vivienne means alive or lively and in the Arthurian romance she's an enchantress, the mistress of Merlin, known as the Lady of the Lake. Grace has so many meanings; effortless beauty, elegance, good will, mercy, and excellence of divine origin. Her brother is calling her "duck" when he isn't calling her "Sophia" or "Lucia."

Max Vivie1
When Maximillian arrived at the hospital the first thing he said was "where is my baby sister?" I'm so proud of him. He's handling this transition quite well. Of course calling her "duck" and constantly wanting to wake her up are just a few of the challenges we'll face along sibling rivalry road. But I'm touched each time he wants to choose her pajamas and brings extras like socks, wants to help her stop crying, and makes sure I'm feeding her enough "boobie milk." He's really being so sweet about her presence. Our pediatrician warned us that it may get rougher about month two, when he realizes she's not just a visiting guest.
Holding Vivie

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October 31, 2007

all hallows eve

On Guard
Halloween 2007
We trick-or-treated with the neighborhood gang which included James as Peter Pan, Isabel as Tinkerbell, Max as a pirate and not shown was Finn as Superman and Ian as a Power Ranger (couldn't get those two to pose with us!). We treated down Fair Oaks Street in Noe and really enjoyed ourselves. Max was game to gather candy until the spooky older kids started showing up and the crowds began swarming and pushing. When we got home he thoroughly enjoyed inventorying his candy — surprisingly he wasn't too interested in eating it.

Inventory

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October 29, 2007

mommy movies

Mommy Movies

I'm so saddened to learn that the "Reel Moms" program at the Metreon/Loews is no longer happening. Turns out they stopped the program a year ago with no explanation. I loved going to the mommy movies every tuesday morning at 10 am. Back when Max was a newborn in October of 2004, they were playing first rate hollywood flicks at a lower volume and in a semi-lit theater so we could breast-feed and change diapers. They even had valet stroller parking. It was awesome and I looked forward to it every week of my maternity leave. Sigh. I'm researching alternatives but so far nothing seems to match up for San Francisco and I'm not going all the way to Oakland for the Baby Brigade (tempting as that is). I've sent an email to the "Rattle & Reel" program at the Landmark Embarcadero and am hoping they'll respond (!?) and say it's still happening. I'll Iet ya know if anything comes of it.

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October 25, 2007

little bean turns three

ahoy_matey.jpg

Ahoy Matey! We're aboard the birthday ship today. We made daddy walk the plank already this am, urgh har har har. We started breakfast with delicious cupcakes, mostly just Max eating the frosting, what a happy pirate. Max fielded birthday calls from great auntie Lulu and grandma Sherry, plus some "leelows" (letters) from Maga Paga and grandpa Billy. Last night daddy stayed up into the wee hours to make 30 cupcakes for Max's classmates, two kinds of cakes at that and all from scratch. Those lucky little kids.

Birthday Boy

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October 24, 2007

pumpkin carving

Spooky Face

A three year old with carving tools is scary enough, but then this little guy takes it up a level! He's so into the saw, the knife and doing it himself it's a little more frightening than usual.

Pumpkin Carving-1
Just so you know we didn't give in to letting him mange the carving weapons on his own.

When I asked Max to give me a smile, here's what I got...
Maxs Tongue
I can only imagine what he'll do when I ask him to smile at say age 13. What I hope never to change (or forget) is when I whisper "I love you" into his ear, he whispers it right back. xo

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October 21, 2007

pumpkin patch

Pumpkin Patch1
We hit the Seventh and Irving streets pumpkin patch this afternoon, looking for that perfect roundy shape to take home and carve. Max wasn't too into picking the pumpkin (daddy stepped up), but he got really fixated on the googly eyes carving kit up at the check out (uh thanks mr. pumpkin patch merchandiser) so after much pleading, like typical parents, we gave in.

And who is just like his daddy??
Pumpkin Patch2

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October 14, 2007

funny little moments

Bath Boy

Oh the shriveled fingers of fun. Mr. Millian could spend hours bathing so long as there's "shaving cream" (soap) to squirt, shmush, scrape and spray.

Nano Lover

We've got a serious addict here. He loves his "nano" like nothing else. No matter that we limit it to sleep time only, he must have two with him in every bed and often they must match. At this particular moment he'd found another one inside the bed from the night before and was trying to see if he could somehow get all three in his mouth — more, more more! We've been told by the dentist that we've got to get him to give it up before age 4 so it doesn't permanently alter his bite. We are aiming for 3.5. Wish us luck - or better yet send advice.

Undie Hat
To make dressing more fun I started suggesting that socks go on your hands, or shirts on your legs, or hmmm undies on your head?! Uh oh, he loved the game so much that he often puts his underpants on his head to make me laugh. Note to self: gotta watch out with preschoolers, they so easily turn the tables right back at you!

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October 13, 2007

vespa boys

Max Easton

Max and Easton getting ready for a rally!

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October 11, 2007

cause I am the mom song

William Tell
Calling all moms, go watch this you tube video. It's pretty much everything a mom says in 24 hours condensed into 2 minutes. After you finish laughing (at her and with her), you'll feel fabulously sane. Love it. (Anita Renfroe)

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October 10, 2007

bunny bank

Polkadot Bunnybank
Awe, more bunny love for baby! Thank you gramma for sending baby "sherry" an adorably fancy bunny bank. She'll save all the coins you send her right in there! xo

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October 5, 2007

bunny girl

Golden Rabbit

I couldn't help myself! I was shopping for a friend at Urban Nest on 24th St and I saw this adorable ballet pink with brown hand drawn bunnies baby dish set and had to buy it. It's so sweet! I look forward to using it and can only hope that my little girl will like pink and bunnies as much as I do.

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October 3, 2007

let's dance

dance_shoes.jpg

Awe, how cute are those?! Found here.

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September 25, 2007

end of summer snaps

First Tomatoes

Our first siberian red heirloom tomatoes grown on our back deck. We are so proud of Max...last year he picked so many tomatoes before they were ripe we were pulling our hair with frustration. But this year he watered them faithfully and watched them grow until they were ready to pick!

Max Papas Hat

Max wearing papa's hat.

Max Trumpet

And here he is playing his new trumpet, courtesy of the master blower himself, grandpa paga! :-) xoxo

September 5, 2007

spill your sins

true_mom.jpg

Me too! I'm loving these anonymous confessions from mothers, check out True Mom Confessions.

And Mommy Track'd had been updated and now offers more content. I think Noe Strollers site has amazing collection of useful San Francisco mommy content (though often outdated, it's a great starting point), but I can't stand the way the site is laid out. It has horrible scrolling lists with yucky unspaced type, yikes. I desperately want to redesign it.

August 13, 2007

sweet summer bean

'twas another wonderful summer weekend watching Max enjoy his childhood up at Papa's house ("Papa" his great grandfather is 92!). I have to remind myself to repeat the mantra "the hellaciously painful traffic-filled drive is worth it." I personally love the fresh air, warm sunshine and mellow days. But mostly I love watching Max explore the garden, climb the ladder and pick fruit, find ripe tomatoes and fill the basket, water the veggies, swing on his grandfather's childhood swing (handmade by his father) and of course simply play in the dirt.

elephant_plums.jpg

tomato_pickers.jpg

max_swing.jpg

Saturday night we went out for a family dinner. While at the restaurant, our little "matey" surprised us as he looked at the waiter and ordered "pirate milk." The waiter asked "what is pirate milk?" I had to wink at him while saying "surely you have a barrel of milk in the galley of this ship, don't you?"

pirate_milk.jpg

But this morning what really slayed me was when I was looking through the camera phone pixs we snapped of the weekend and I found his little face with his tongue sticking out at the bottom of a family portrait taken after dinner. What an adorably mischievous, and not at all bratty like his parents, little man I'm raising!

say_cheese_tongue.jpg


August 1, 2007

golden bunny books

Golden Bunnies

Bunny Book

Bunny Daddy
Birthday Bunnies
Peter Cottontail
Magic Bunny

I've been reading Max lots of Golden Books (I had some of these as a kid — probably my parents did too), and quite a few have adorably magical illustrations of bunnies. I had to post some of my favorites —bunny love!

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June 26, 2007

it's a...

its_a.jpg

G-I-R-L! How much fun is that?!*#$%^!! We're soon to have our very own "Charlie & Lola" family scenario and of course we are ecstatic. I'm also happy to report that she measured well, heart was beating, brain looked good, limbs all present and all else that goes along with a successful ultrasound appointment.

We brought Max along to the appointment so he could see inside the belly. He guessed correctly that he was having a sister (after many weeks of saying he wanted a brother) but he's never hesitated telling us the baby's name is definitely "Donda". Hilarious! He was a bit disappointed that we didn't open my belly so he could see the baby. Even though I'd explained a few times that we'd be using a camera to look inside the belly he really thought we were opening it up and kept insisting we should do so - yikes was all I could think.

June 20, 2007

big boy bed

Max Bigboybed

We finally transitioned Max to a "big boy" bed a few nights ago. He's taken to it and seems very happy to be growing up. He's only come for one late night visit to Mommy Daddy's bed and naptime has been a breeze.

It was a struggle to find good looking bedding as well as a down comforter and duvet cover for a toddler bed, so I want to give a shout out to Maggie at Sweet Bed Bugs. Her customer service is excellent. She was very responsive to my questions about fabric types, she quickly updated her website when I found an order discrepancy and we received the goods within a few days. Max is thrilled to play under his new lightweight but nice-n-warm down comforter and I love the quality and simple design (toddler duvet & pillow cover in white stripes).

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April 29, 2007

little painter

Little Painter

April 15, 2007

litte bean two

Positive

This dark pink line revealed itself on March 11. We've been wanting a second child and trying for quite awhile, so it's strange that when I get what I want I delve into denial rather than excitement. I think I get afraid to get my hopes up and to truly rejoice. I'm so self trained to temper my happy emotions so I can handle any disappointments that may occur. Makes me think I'm seriously a glass half empty on this one. I've slowly revealed the news to some close friends and of course family, so its becoming quite real and more exciting every day. Of course posting it on the web, well now the cats out of the bag eh?!

Around March 20th the nauseating hormonal sickness (which I'd forgotten about) kicked in. I've spent most nights since then flat on the couch moaning, trying to sleep, and lucky if I find anything palatable. Fortunately, as much as I feel disgustingly sick, bloated and tired — I haven't thrown up but I sure feel like it could happen. I remember now that I was exactly this way when pregnant with Max. Isn't it interesting how the mind and body work? Until now I had totally repressed how bad morning sickness felt. It's awful and often unrelenting and has absolutely nothing to do with morning. Some nights I wake up at 2 am and lie there feeling horribly sick and can't sleep for a few hours. Fun eh?!

So now you know why my blog has been so silent and why my productivity has become nil. I hope after the first trimester I'll feel fabulous and pick up my knitting needles and blogging desire.

little_bean_two.jpg

Here's the image of the baby from the first ultrasound. I'm happy to report there's only one baby and it has a heartbeat. Wonderful! xoxo

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April 8, 2007

easter bunny

Max Bunny

March 4, 2007

crushed devastated rejected

Max Hardatwork

Never once did I have any clue that having a child in San Francisco would lead me down a road of such agony and disappointment. Please don't think for one instance that my son, who is amazingly sweet, radiant and utterly blameless, has anything to do with my agonizing dismay or that I'm at all unhappy with motherhood — quite the opposite, it's a highlight in my life. My defeat has all to do with the horribly broken, outrageous and utterly unfair preschool application process and school system in San Francisco. I kid you not that we were asked to attend open houses, tours and interviews (it was mandatory that both parents be present) all during the work day (I took many mornings and even a few days off work to accommodate these requests), write essays about how our child and our family are a good fit for each school, explain our toddler's behavior, temperament and unique qualities, write about our two year olds separation anxiety, explain our theories on structure and discipline, give a list of referrals that the schools could call to question, put forward our interest in fundraising and volunteering, attach a family photo and pay between a $50 and $200 fee per application (and we pay taxes for a subpar, lottery enrollment, public school system).

This afternoon we received all of our thin number ten envelopes with form letters rejecting our son from the preschools we'd applied to. They all say the same thing, "due to a large volume of applicants we are unable to offer your child a space. You are welcome to remain on our wait list in the event a space becomes available during the next calendar year" (one school even spelled it out that if you want to reapply next year you must pay the application fee and start over as though you had never applied in the past). So needless to reiterate it, but we are d-e-v-a-s-t-a-t-e-d and absolutely disillusioned. I am, much more than my husband, also incredibly bitter. So yes, you can read this whole posting with that lens, or you could read this knowing that my family is in the majority. I was told that 300 plus families applied for anywhere from 30 to 45 spaces in each school. That leaves 255-270 families per school that received the same thin number ten envelopes that we did — doesn't make me feel better for more than a split second.

The schools we applied to put forth the criteria by which they select their students at each and every tour and open house we attended — they are seeking economic and racial diversity coupled with gender and age balance with priority given to siblings. A few schools give priority to neighbors in an effort to support their community, but NOT the one in our hood. I can only assume that our "smack in the middle" status, us being obviously white and having just enough to pay full tuition (but not enough to donate a wing), was used to eliminate us. Were I a journalist I'd be racing into my editor's office and pitching an undercover story like this: Let's do an expose revealing the difficulties, elitism, discrimination and prejudice facing new families in San Francisco as they embark on the school enrollment processes. I propose we follow and document four or more different families as they apply to five of the top preschools in San Francisco. We choose families whose scenarios are ones such as, gay ethnically diverse parents, a single mother, a family with one child of preschool age and another on the way or just born, an obviously recognizable wealthy family either famous or locally well-known, and a working middle class caucasian family (middle class in San Francisco being relative only to itself). We also get some hidden cameras in those school admission committee meetings so we can learn about their numbers games and hear candid remarks about how they size up families. Who knows even I might feel their pain as they cut child after child from their lists for whatever reasons. You see where I'm going with this, but I swear this story is worthy of 60 minutes, 20/20, or nightline and America, outside of New York (which I hear operates with the same or higher level of classism but supposedly doesn't pretend otherwise), would be interested to witness just how unfair, nepotistic, and painfully arbitrary the San Francisco private school acceptance criteria is. Frankly and obviously, I'm outrageously bias, but I'd really like to uncover the details of each family's experience.

Of course, as with all rejection, we are stumped, sitting here going around and around trying to understand how this could be? We have reviewed all of our unique and more than qualified characteristics as well as resigning ourselves to the utter lottery and gamble of it all. All of us are unique and have wonderful children worthy of being surrounded by a supportive and sensitive community and deserving of a good education. Ok, should I start looking into home schooling? (No! just going off the deep end)

My husband keeps the fires of optimism burning by assuring me that he will make the calls and fight the good fight to change our preschool fate. He really is a persistence wins believer, and I often benefit from it. I am thankful for this quality and for his positive thinking, it's kind and supportive. I on the other hand sit here stuck in reality, depressed and immobile, hating the San Francisco school system and elitist private institutions. I also can't help but think that blogging the whole thing will probably bite me in the ass too, but hell, I've already lost this round I may as well write and publish what I think and experienced. I sure hope it won't be held against me since I'm already wallowing in self pity from this grievous process — and I am left thinking that just being who we are has already been held against my innocent son. Ughhhh.

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February 3, 2007

gum chewer

Gum Chewer
Candy Store

On Main Street in Busy Town there's a candy store with a gum ball machine. Every night Max tells me he wants to go there, put the money in the slot, turn the knob and chew the gum. So how could I deny him the experience when we saw a candy store with a gum ball machine that looked just like the one in Busy Town? He did a pretty good job of chewing for about three minutes before he swallowed it.

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January 4, 2007

Mexico Max

Mexico Max

Night dancing with the waves in Tulum.

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December 30, 2006

just like daddy

Max Building1-1
Max&Daddy

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December 27, 2006

mommy bloggers

Mommy Blogs

I'm often late to the party, figuratively and literally. So no surprise that I don't read the papers and often miss out on hot topics. Well let me rephrase that, I miss out on what's being printed. I actually knew about many of the bloggers that the New York Times was reporting so guess I'm not THAT behind. Also, considering I too am a mommy blogger — though on the lite side since I don't write about Max's daily doings or undoings (which would bore us all I think?). I tend to just cover the highlights as I think of MY blog as more about ME and my creative whims than just about motherhood or my son. Well, that said, the article is quite interesting and I wanted to note the addresses so I can refer to them someday later when I have time to read them. [retro image from Plan59]

dooce [a favorite!]
finslippy
suburban bliss
bad mother blogspot
mimi smarty pants
jennifer weiner
fussy
dot moms

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December 25, 2006

cool yule

Sugar Stick
Cool Yule

Could he have been any happier? The candy cane was the clear winner this day.

Maxintunnel

This is my favorite smile, shear joy. xoxo. Merry Christmas to all.

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December 3, 2006

oh mother

Max Runs

Max Dec06 Blog

Two portraits which capture the spirit and temperament of my little man Max. He's such a treat to admire — Oh, what a mom I've become!! Laughing at myself as I write this.

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November 23, 2006

thanksgiving

Bubble Blower
Thank you. It's moments like these which remind me that indeed bubbles are mesmerizing and magically beautiful. And our ability and desire to blow more, more, and still more is a perfect slice of life's happiness and joy. I'm thankful for having my son to remind me, daily.

I must also write that I am so lucky to have a father and husband who are amazing gourmet chefs. They make every meal, from the simple snack to the complex holiday spread so unbelievably delicious and memorable. Yes, I am truly thankful and replete.

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November 20, 2006

mommy web 2.0

Sweet Pea

I've had lots of fun over the past two years using the yahoo groups forums to chat and keep up with the mommies I met while on maternity leave. Since then I've been keeping an eye on mommy centric socializing sites as they blossom (or fade) online. The site I like best so far is Maya's Mom. It has a lovely, easy to use and navigate interface while also having lots of fun features, activity ideas, and thoughtful topics. I think they'll figure out the missing pieces and adapt as they grow. I predict they'll become one of the better social networking mommy sites that will out last the others. Check out these other sites and let me know what you think. [please let me know if you know of more that are out there]

social networking:
Maya's Mom
Club Mom
Mothers Click
Connecting Moms
MommyBuzz
Parents Connect

working moms:
yummy mummy careers
mommy track'd
BlueSuit Mom
Mom Corp
The Career Partners
women work
Mother at work
Work-n-Woman
Mompreneurs
Mama Works
Working Moms Refuge

blogs to read:
Cranky Mama
Mama Says So
Mashable
Parents Hack [great archive and the "things we like" list down the right side]
Manic Mommies
Cool Mom Picks

political/thought provoking:
moms rising
discussion divas

babysitter/nanny/daycare resource:
Care Square

For all the excitement I may be feeling about the mommy web wave, I just read on gigaom that the "executives" they asked at the recent web 2.0 conference said that the pets.com of web bubble 2.0 are social bookmarking sites and mommy-oriented social networks. Oye Vay.

Illustration by Angela Donato. Her other site is here.

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November 1, 2006

vancouver

Elixer Vancouver

Turns out our favorite breakfast spot, Diner, has an owner who has a flaky reputation. This explains why the restaurant has mysteriously been closed for the last two days even though the hours say it's only closed on Monday. Humphf. So we turned around yet again and ate at the Opus Hotel's spot Elixir. It is quite good and I highly recommend the scrumptious liege waffles.

Totem Poles

Lions Bridge

Fire Truck

Happy Face

We also went back to Stanley Park so we could play tourist, see the totem poles, check out the scenic views and let Max kick up the leaves and have some fall fun in the playground. It was quite chilly but we all had a great time.

Urban Fare

Too bad we didn't find this awesome grocery store earlier, as it's far better than Choices. Urban Fare has an amazing selection and a yummy eat in or take out restaurant. We had a quick bite of Italian roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and edamame salad. It was delicious.

Vijs Vancouver-1

Rangoli Vancover

Well, there are just some fabulous things one misses out on when they have children, wah wah. We tried to get into the "no reservation policy" restaurant Vijs and failed. We got there before they were open and then went for about a 2 block stroll. Next thing you know we get back and there was already an hour waiting list. That's a seriously popular restaurant! The owner came outside and told us to eat next door at Rangoli which is also his place. It's a modern cafe style eat in or take out. All the tiny tables are attached to the kitchen with these small glass tiled screens so you can catch glimpses of the gorgeous Indian women who are doing the cooking. Max was fascinated by them and they loved him back. He has a way with the ladies. The food is great, the people nice (as are most Canadians) and the take out looks great. I loved the packaging design and both places have stylish interiors.

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October 30, 2006

vancouver

Baby Capuccino

We knocked off Agro Cafe again this morning. I say knocked off since I'm still feeling horribly guilty about our little devil toddler who knocked an african statue off the display shelf and broke it in two. It also hit his head on the way to the floor and of course scared him into hysterics. I feel extra terrible because I think the owner had probably hand carried it back from Africa where he'd obviously traveled to work with the fair trade coffee growers. In the cafe he has a slide show on the wall with all his trip photos proudly educating all about fair trade and African coffee farmers. What a bummer eh?! Urgh.

Granville Island

I was really looking forward to our journey across the bridge to the craft section of town. Granville Island has a big public market with lots of food stalls both prepared stuffs and groceries. It doesn't disappoint. There's lots to see, taste and buy. There's also a fabulous Kids Market with lots of specialty toys, books, music, stickers, stamps, clothes and more all just for kids. The building also has some coin operated rides and a little play area. The surrounding streets have lots of local stores and crafters from glass blowing, painters, printmaking and letterpress shops and even a handmade shoe shop. We also strolled by a cool looking design, art and media school. But I was so sad that there wasn't a great yarn shop. I talked to one local who said there used to be a woman spinning in the public market but she hadn't been around in ages. What a missed opportunity! I did see one silk yarn shop but they were making all their fabric on looms and there was also a shop selling really funky felted goods, but it's just not what I was looking for. I was also freezing as the temperature had dropped to 5C and really wanted to buy some wooly mittens, hat and a scarf. With seven months a year being between chilly and freezing I can't believe there isn't a fabulous knit shop in this artsy hood. Someone needs to open a yarn shop with lots of hand made knitted goodies, spinning and more, please.

Pumpkin Carving

Later, the ever remarkable Mr. Bun ran up to the local fancy market Choices and bought a pumpkin for Max. I drew four faces on paper for Max to choose from. Mr. Bun then carved it in less than 30 minutes and only using a wine opener knife, well done daddy. Max was of course was only fascinated with the lighting and then blowing out of the candle.

Tojos Vancouver

Dinner tonight was AMAZING. Seriously we had a lifetime wonderful meal at Tojo's {thank you Dan!}. I love this restaurant. It's so laid back and unassuming and then serves up the most artistically delicious combinations of Japanese food. WOW. We had the omakase "I'm in your hands" menu which was stunningly beautiful and delicious. Our sake was poured and served in chilled bamboo stalks. Our waitress Sachi was so sweet that Max fell instantly in love with her and never wanted her to leave the table. When asked "what kind of food would I eat if I could only have one choice?" The answer, Tojo's. So get yourself there.

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October 29, 2006

vancouver

Diner Vancouver

Diner Interior

We've already found the perfect breakfast spot and have been twice so far. It looks like they have a wonderful lunch and diner menu too and it's super kid friendly while not all dumbed down like a lot of "family friendly" spots. It's just around the corner from the Opus at 1269 Hamilton St. called simply Diner. The food is homestyle gourmet. The bodums of coffee and the very special cinnamon rolls are delicious.

Stanley Park

Big Leaf

Vancouver Aquarium-1

Crimson Ibis

Max Beluga

Then we headed to Stanley Park. It is truly a gorgeous park with water on most sides and views of the city and mountains. There are many paths to walk, run, ride and stroll and many attractions like the totems, the miniature railway, children's petting farm and the aquarium. We'd been told by many locals that the aquarium was great so we headed there. There are two big rooms filled with tanks of all sorts of underwater beauties. We also spied a big jellyfish exhibit that was opening soon, looked super cool. The amazon exhibit is a rare treat. As you cruise through the steamy jungle lots of animals are just roaming free like the crimson ibis above as well as turtles, sloths and other creatures. In tanks they had pythons, rainbow boas and more. Lastly we saw the beautiful white blubbery Beluga Whales. Max was thrilled and captivated.

Chambar Vancouver

We had a spectacular dinner at a beautiful Belgian restaurant called Chambar in the Gastown district. I highly recommend it. I had divine and extraordinarily large mussels in a vin blanc soup with frites and Mr. Bun had an authentic tangine of lamb and couscous with all the spice trimmings. The view out the back dining room windows is sparkling and the space, art and decor are industrial warm and tres chic.

Moonroof Max

Before we took off back to the "hotel in bancouver" as Max says, Max wanted to open the sun roof and have a look out. He gave us a glimpse into the future! He laughed and screamed with joy, hip hip hurray! I can only imagine the ruckus my little gremlin boy will be causing as he drives around drunk with his head out the sunroof someday!!

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October 28, 2006

vancouver

Science Happy

Telus Train

Today we hit the Telus Science World Museum. Must admit I was super disappointed because the bubble exhibit I'd been talking up to Max and he'd looking forward to was closed due to the ever popular human body exhibit. While the human body show seems cool to anyone who can read or better yet has body consciousness, it's not so good for our little bubble loving two year old. Good thing he's fairly easily distracted and they have some permanent exhibits which have some water making bubble effects— tricky but passable. We found the kiddie space on the 2nd floor just beyond the Eureka theater a great toddler spot.

Ransom Board

Komakino Gastown

Steam Clock

We toured Gastown by street light, which probably wasn't such a good idea. The neighborhood is quite sketchy. Seriously, it feels far more tense than our tenderloin. We even found a plaque calling it an historical "skid-row". Yes, that feels like the right label. We tried to stay on Water Street under the bright lights and near some open stores and restaurants. Highlights were the very very chic mens clothing store Komakino [hidden down a steep brick staircase, ring the bell. Look for the ransom type on the sandwich board, but only in the next six months as apparently this store moves around], a chic modernist furniture store called Inform, and the world's only steam clock which chimes on the the quarter hour and sings at the top of the hour.

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October 27, 2006

vancouver

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. — Marcel Proust

Opus Hotel

Opus Door

Oh Canada! We made it to Vancouver. We are enjoying the ever lovely boutique hotel Opus. We upgraded to the 4th floor SE corner suite overlooking the future Yaletown Station on Davie St. [Must admit I'm thinking a construction discount would be a nice touch.] The Hotel staff are very sweet and helpful I especially like all the cute doormen who are great with Max. They tolerate him pushing the handicap door opening buttons over and over and over. The Yaletown neighborhood is very charming with all the brick buildings, modernist lofts, old town streets with lots of cafes and nice shops which makes strolling quite enjoyable.

Maple Max

Swing Max

Vancouver Sunset

Agro Cafe

We took a long walk along the waterfront and came across many playgrounds. It's impressive to be in a neighborhood that's so kid friendly [dog too]. So far our only kid unfriendly complaint is the dinnertime dining. We're sure we've been turned away with "nothing available" or "come back in an hour and a half" because we walk up with a chatty toddler in a big ass stroller. Oh well. At least we enjoyed a beautiful sunset view of the Granville Market. And within the first 12 hours we found the perfect latte at Agro Cafe — it's just about as good as Blue Bottle and that's high praise.

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October 22, 2006

terrific twosies

Maxs Birthday

Blowing Out

Today was a near perfect day. The weather in our tree shaded backyard was in the 80s. Mr. Bun and I worked our tails off (more he than me!) yesterday preparing so it would all come together today, and it did. The house and back yard were filled with balloons. We all enjoyed the delicious chicken and fearless frank bbq, wondrous majo and egg-less potato salad, chips, fruit salad, vino and brews galore. Oh and the kids had their picks of lemonade, pear and apple juice boxes. The chocolate and butter cream cupcakes Mr. Bun made were amazing. Max could not have been happier! He had his family, friends, and neighbors cheering him on and all singing happy birthday - twice! I'm still spinning in wonder and basking in amazement. And Max still has a living room full of unopened gifts to explore!

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September 22, 2006

picture perfect

Picture Perfect
Holding Hands

How could I resist posting these?! We had a wonderful day at the zoo with Lindsay and Austin. The weather was splendid and there was hardly anyone there so the entire adventure was easy and stress free. Max and Austin even held hands a number of times, so super sweet.

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September 17, 2006

little man's first cut

Maxs Haircut
Max Cut

Max Cut2

We've had many appointments over these last 23 months and we chickened out every time. Max's hair is so beautifully fine, perfectly golden, and has precious ringlets — it was too much to think of cutting it even if people thought he was Maxine. We figured that he didn't have a job so he didn't need a do. I had to trim it every now and then to keep it out of his eyes. All my lame snip jobs were adding up. Little man was getting a heavy front end and ringlet mullet in the back. When we washed his hair it reached halfway down his back. It was time. Max was a little angel at the cutting and Scott at Acme did a wonderful job in less than nine minutes - an amazing feat. Sadly, Max looks like a big boy now, but I'm so thankful his first cut also makes him look like a little hipster.

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September 10, 2006

wonderful weekend

Little Engineer

Papa Pulling

Wading Pool

I love our Healdsburg weekends. Papa's place is a marvelous wine country retreat. I really appreciate being able to escape my hectic city life and enjoy some country living —more art barn dreaming...! Max thrives on weekends like this one too. He played in the wading pool and with the many water hoses for a long long time. We picked ripe tomatoes, grapes, peppers and figs from the gorgeous garden and put them in the basket (just like Bing Bunny). Then we washed and ate them, "yummy yum yum" as Max would say. He had many wagon rides around the ranch, even papa gave him one. And I had one of those warm wonderful mommy moments when I thought about what a nice childhood memory this has been.

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August 22, 2006

rompin' silhouettes

Romp Silhouette

Romp Lion
Ya Ya sent me this link to Brooklyn store [in the hip Park Slope hood of course]Romp's hip site full of beautifully well designed expensive modern toys, most of which I covet whole heartedly. They feature one really unique product idea and something a crafty type could reproduce fairly easily — vintage wallpaper animal silhouettes. What a brilliant idea! I love, love, love it. Now if I could just find some free time...

And as a post script for anyone out there in the blogosphere who actually reads my blah blah, I apologize for the lack of posting this week, and for the next two. I am slammed at work and at home with freelance jobs...so I'll be procrastinating if you catch me posting [like right now!].

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August 7, 2006

happy birthday to me

Rockpaper Birds-1

And what a wonderful day it was, indeed. Mr. Millian sang me {and you and himself} the happy birthday song dozens of times. And this evening when we went to Maga Paga's house in Sau-sa-li-to, he blew out my birthday cake's candles three separate times and then screamed for mas C-A-K-E! Adorable. Life couldn't be any sweeter. Happy birthday song birds illustrated by Rock Paper Scissors, simply darling.

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August 5, 2006

i so happy!

Happy Baby

that_smile-1.jpg

To be home with my little man and my baby daddy. That first look-see and squeeze were delicious. I'm truly enjoying every moment. I'm also so proud of them both for taking care of each other. They are obviously both so much the better for it. Awe, yummy yummy.

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July 7, 2006

straws in

straws_in.jpg

straws_in2.jpg

I can't help posting my little man playing with the six straws he stuck in my sandia agua fresca. xoxo

June 18, 2006

happy happy day to you

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June 8, 2006

stunning knitting bag

knitting_bag.jpg

little_finers.jpg

Ok how luxurious is my new knitting bag?! A friend found this yummy handmade clutch by offhand designs at a store going out of business, lucky me! It's a beautiful vintage velvet fabric called sahara stripe with a bright shiny aqua shantung-like fabric interior. There are lots of pockets for straight needles, two rows with wider pockets for circulars, and a long zipper pocket for knitting notions. Best thing is it folds up, snaps and looks like an amazing evening bag. Knitting at the symphony anyone? What a wonderful treat. As you can see Mr. Millian’s sticky fingers like it just as much as his mommy.

June 2, 2006

ketchup grin

ketchup_face.jpg

Can mommy get fries with that?

May 24, 2006

stop & smell the flowers

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Seeing Max run outside this morning, say hi to the bugs and then stop and smell the flowers...that made my way to work wednesday. xoxo Mr. Millian!

May 16, 2006

mommy battlefield

motherhood_manifesto.jpg

Being a newish mommy (once your kid is measured in years rather than months is when you are officially no longer a new mommy) I’m grappling quite a bit with the all changes motherhood has brought. I'm still coming to conclusions and trying to understand what kind of mother I am and want to be. I also have a loud internal struggle about being a working vs. stay at home mother, public vs. private schooling, and then those are complicating my unending me vs. you war. Unsurprisingly I am not alone with these thoughts and feeling. There are many mothers writing books, blogs, and starting political movements to create a dialogue and change. It's an interesting time to be a mother. I feel I have enough choice to keep me confounded. It seems that the 60s feminist movement's unresolved issues are butting up against the new opt-out revolution and revealing the difficult choices modern mothers are forced to face.

Great food for thought sources:
Washington Post column On Balance
Salon.com article: A Truce in the Mommy Wars
Homeward Bound by Linda Hirshman
A critic of Homeward Bound: Return of the Mommy Wars by Cathy Young
Mommmy Track'd
Moms Rising

May 8, 2006

buggie buggie & the puppa ball

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little_bean.jpg

After spending a beautiful sunny weekend in Healdsburg chasing Max around and ‘round Papa's house, I can't help but post a gushing entry on the ever fabulous little bean. We spent all of Saturday and Sunday tossing pebbles in the 'lil Monet fish pond, bowling with lemons on the front porch and digging for bugs with our special buggy sticks (and fishing the purple ball out of the pond). Hearing Max say "here buggy buggy" is so damn cute — I so wish we hadn't run out of video tape. Being a toddler and all, he would run back and forth countless times to see the fish, then back to say hi to the tractor, and turn off and on the light switches in the garage again and again and yet again. Repetition is the thing to do you know. He loved to point out al the cactus and say ouchie and then say otros (spanish for another) while pointing to all the other painful points. He still calls all cats "Maa-ggee-gaa" {Madeline} and would sqeal it loudly while death squeezing papa's cat Alex. This was followed by a little tail pulling but then also some endearing nose beeping too. Then he would trot over to the piano for some key tinkling, then strum a few chords on the ukulele and back out to the pond.

I know Max had a marvelous weekend and it's such a joy to see him free to run outside in any direction, to throw pebbles and sticks, to get his hands dirty, and scream loudly with delight and have all be ok. Getting out of the city is such an important thing to do. I have to remind myself of this often, or post it in public as is the case. I never want to sign up for weekend outings 'cause I know we'll have to sit in endless traffic and because driving on the road with other people well, it drives me crazy. I have serious irrational population issues, I can't believe there are really this many people in the city, in the bay area, California, America - the world, holy shit my brain just shut down. Ha ha, you're thinking? No it's pretty much sad and true, I think I'm borderline agoraphobic. Well, after looking it up, I'm not exactly a freak about open spaces. I actually like open spaces and a civil society too, yes civil is the operative word there. Apparently there is no fear of traffic, congestion, roadblock, not even an overpopulation phobia. What?! Am I really alone on this? Closest I can find is ochlophobia: a fear of crowds or mobs. Guess I'll self diagnose with that and submit traffikaphobia for the board of mental health's review. Anyway I digress. Guess I’m just telling myself, and you, that it’s important to take mini break holidays even if the heavy traffic makes you swear and sweat all the way there.

April 15, 2006

more sf playgrounds

kidpower.jpg

I'm harkening back to my other entry about my favorite sf playgrounds. Last sunday the Chronicle's pink section ran a feature on the top playgrounds. I've just returned from KidPower on Hoff st off 16th in my hood. It is a fabulous park with excellent play structures especially for toddlers. But what's weird about it is there are no kids playing there. It's in a tweaked neighborhood where the average passerby is swearing loudly, dressed in rags, likely pushing a shopping cart, and probably drunk or worse. Oh yah that's great for kids to be near and to hear. Also on the their list is McKinley Square which I've been to and loved. I've heard of most of the others, I just haven't gotten there yet. I'm making it a goal to try to get to each before the end of the year. Pretty sure I can manage to achieve this goal. However, my memory being what it is — which is quite pathetic these days — I'm using this posting to remind myself which ones to visit.

Walter Haas — Diamond Heights Boulevard at Digby Street
Julius Kahn — West Pacific Avenue near Arguello (in the Presido)
Parkside Square — Vicente at 26th Avenue
Holly Park — Highland Avenue at Bocana Street
West Portal — Lenox Way between Taraval and Ulloa Streets

April 1, 2006

bugless in frisco

max_pond.jpg

E N T R I E S 03.27.06 — 04.01.06

We had a wonderful vacation week spent at Buckskin Manor, a.k.a Purcellville Virginia. Forgive me for not blogging whilst away, but who fucking cares about the internet, cell phones, work, progress, or anything else other than one's daily needs — such as a good laugh and a fabulous meal? Really! Truly! We had only days filled with wasted hours trying to solve soduko puzzles and a toddler's wish to visit the faux fish in the pond. I can't begin to describe the beauty that is country living. All I can say is damn, at all costs go get ye'self a bigass cottage and settle down into the art of doing nothing other than cooking; simple cleaning; a little news checking; (and by now the day is half over) maybe you run one simple in town errand such as the grocery store or the post office; then back to your spacious cottage to prepare dinner; next take a walk down to the pond to reflect on your day, your life, or the book you're reading; then eat, drink and socialize with whomever is there. If you're alone, watch a great foreign flick, read, knit, blog or do whatever floats your boat. Ahhhhh that's a perfect day. Sleep well and then repeat. This is perfection, happiness, and the zen of daily living. You've achieved it. Die happy.

But seriously, back to reality. Max had a perfect week, where he blossomed. I realized that I wished I could offer him a childhood in the country. Too bad, it won't happen. I'll be robbing of him of such sweetness by keeping him subjected to city pressure and confined to what litte sand and grass the nature in city parks has to offer. The only upside is the lack of bugs.

p.s. neither funding sources or fighting for world peace are issues in my art barn dreamland.

March 19, 2006

a snapshot

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These are the days. My knitting and rocking Max while he naps days are numbered and I know it. I'm holding on, trying to convert these to long-term memory because I know I'll never have them again. No worries, I'm not freaking out about it because I'm zen-ly embracing the fact that things always change and I'll enjoy those new moments too...but I really loved this moment and I want to remember it, forever. (isn't 17 month old Max absolutely GARGANTUAN?!)

p.s. not getting too far on the beastie bunny, I'm only at row 20 of 54.

March 12, 2006

hi munk'aay

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We struggled with what to do this afternoon because it's been pouring down rain and super freezing cold too so there was no chance of doing anything outside. It's tough having a toddler and not being able to let them roam free in a playground, rainy days are pretty much a serious drag. We could have tried harder to get together with friends but I hadn't showered (nice confession!) and daddy wanted to run a couple errands so we only needed to find an hour or so to kill and get home in time for dinner. I remembered what my friend Patty said she does on rainy days, she goes to a pet store or Room & Board. Since we hadn't been to Room & Board yet (and I didn't want daddy tempted to come home with any new pets) off we went. And what a fabulous place for a toddler, Patty is truly brilliant! The only draw back is the endless array of fragile vases and lamps on every available surface, but other than that (!) it's 3 stories of run around and climb stairs heaven, oh yeah! They have a kids furniture area too with cute accessories and entertaining props. While we were trying out all the kiddie chairs, tables and beds doing our best goldilocks impressions, Max saw a knit sock monkey hanging from a coat rack and for the first time said "hi monkey" over and over while waving to it. The way he says it sounds like "munk'aay." It was so utterly adorable I could have stayed all afternoon right there watching him waving to it. Of course, we had to buy it. We wanted to surprise him by putting it in his room and waiting for him to find it. Max saw it right before bedtime while we were changing him into his jammies. He smiled and said "hi munk'aay" again and this time he gave it hugs and kisses followed by lots of giggles. Okay, slay me here and now!! Of course I now must whole-heartedly endorse these super squeezably soft scrumptious knit toys by blabla. Check out the darling finger puppets, rattles, and the bunny family below.

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March 11, 2006

san francisco playgrounds

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Golden Gate Mothers with lots of playground photos and maps
PDF of parks by district, keep a print out in your glove box
San Francisco Government Park & Recreation Department
San Francisco Neighborhood Parks Council
Help improve SF parks by submitting information and photos of parks in need of repair to: Park Scan


OPINIONS, REVIEWS & RAMBLINGS

* * * * * McKinley Square— Vermont & 21st st.
Great fenced in park for ages 2-5 with three play structures, sand covered ground, some rubber grounding under one swing and on the playground perimeter, 4 bucket swings and 4 regular swings. Outside the playground are a few picnic tables and a grassy area for dogs. Parking is easy and it's not too crowded.

* * * * * Holly Park — Holly Park Drive at Highland Avenue
I need to go here everyone raves about it.

* * * * Duboce Park — Duboce & Scott Street (by N tunnel)
Medium sized fenced in and fully rubberized playground with small sandbox area. Two play structures with slides, tunnel and monkey bars, 2 bucket swings, 2 regular swings. Outside is a large grassy area for dogs. Parking isn't too easy and this park gets really crowded.

* * * * Eureka Valley Playground — Collingwood & 18th (by Cala Foods)
Fenced playground with rubber flooring and medium size sandbox, great play structure very new and really safe in comparison to any other I've seen, only 2 bucket swings, teeter-totter, and dome climbing structure. This playground is gated and though it's supposed to be open 9-5 it is sometimes not unlocked due to SF staffing problems. Parking is a little tough.

* * * * Potrero Hill Recreation Center/Jackson Playground 17th & Arkansas
Two separate fenced play areas for younger and older kids, with safe play structures in each and teeter-totter both with sand ground, 4 bucket swings in toddler area (not sure how many big kid swings). There's a large field with teams practicing baseball/soccer etc. and there's a recreation center building with other activities. Parking is easy.

* * * * KidPower Playground — Hoff St between 16th/17th & Valencia & Mission
Great gated playground with rubberized flooring and lots of play structures suited to toddlers, 2 bucket swings. Only drawbacks are there are never any kids in the park which is creepy, the neighborhood is dodgy and parking is tough.

* * * Douglass Playground — 26th & Douglas
Large open sand playground with two play structures. There are also some donated plastic huts, and kitchen stoves to play with and a plastic slide, 2 bucket swings, 2 regular swings. There's a nice tennis court that I've seen kids learning to ride bikes, scooters or skate boards on. There's a medium size grassy area for dogs and a slide up in the trees for older kids. Parking is easy.

* * * Mission Playground — 19th & Linda (between Guerrero & Valencia)
Fenced in playground half with rubberized flooring the rest is sand, 2 play structures for older and younger kids, 2 bucket swings, 2 regular swings, 1 tire swing. Outside the playground is a large basketball court and a recreation center (and I think a pool?). Not too crowded but parking isn't too easy either.

* * * Dolores Park — Dolores St. between 18th & 19th.
Large hilly and grassy park busy with all types of people and lots of activities. the children's area often has some older kids so it can be a little challenging with under 4 year old age group, 4 bucket swings in the upper playground, 4 regular swings in the lower playground, with lots of cement and a sloping grade (tough on toddlers), there's a fun wooden boat structure kids like to run across or snack on. There are 3 fun metal slides with varying slopes to slide down, and lots of sand to dig up. Lots of picnic tables (though you need to reserve them on weekends) and often the park is quite busy. Parking can be trying and the park is often pretty junky with cigarette butts, garbage and other nasties. On a clear day the city view is really beautiful.

* * * Precita Park Playground — Precita from Folsom to Alabama
Fenced in large size playground with cement and sand ground, 2 bucket swings, 2 regular swings, 2 play structures, and a spinning ride-on. There are some picnic tables and benches as well. Outside is a grassy slope for dogs. Parking is easy.

* Hayes Green Park — Octavia & Hayes St.
Fully rubberized gated park with only one climbing structure, better for lunch or strolling. Great for getting a fabulous latte from Blue Bottle Coffee and letting junior run around while you sip and enjoy.

* South Park — 2nd & 3rd/Bryant & Brannan
This open park is better for older kids, but really it's just better for local business people to eat their lunches. The play structures are dangerous and really old and though they have 2 bucket swings and a separate bigger kid area the sand is filled with cigarette butts, the grass has endless dog poop and there are lots of homeless on the benches and picnic tables and parking is tough too.

* Mission Recreation Center — Harrison & Treat Sts.
This place needs a serious cleaning and face lift, too yucky to review.

* Best Bay Area Parks
* Kiddie stuff to do in San Francisco

February 16, 2006

bunny ears

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it's getting harder and harder to go to work. The more Max grows up and aware of the world, the more fun he becomes. The more fun we have together, the more I feel like I'm missing out when I'm not there. It's hard to accept the way things are. I imagine it may be equally as difficult to accept the ways things would be even if I changed the paradigm entirely. So there you have it, clear insight into my daily existential issues.

Now back to the bunny... who can hear! Her distinguishing bunny features were knit and sewn last night. I even went too far and tied a little brown bow around her neck, sooooo cute.

January 30, 2006

love sparks

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I had a small epiphany yesterday. I said small, since I know epiphanies are probably by definition huge. During a seemingly long breakfast I was holding my hung over head with one hand and securing Max on my lap with the other, I noticed that Max was holding relatively still and not fussing. He was calmly hanging out with us while my wonderful chef husband made breakfast — we were for the first time doing pretty much nothing. Max doesn't normally hold still, at all really and he usually complains in that wah fussy fussy cry more than I like or than I think is acceptable. I started to wonder how long this chill out would last. Pretty long actually, all morning and through the afternoon, very nice. I wondered what was going on. Clearly the only change between this morning and all the others was my pathetic irresponsible after effect. Perhaps I should be permanently hung over, ha ha ha just skating the edge of a perfect excuse. But really, apparently my condition made me relax and therefore relaxes those imprinting off me. Huh. Not rocket science you’re thinking? But it is deceptively deep in its simplicity. I took it a little farther and realized I've been subscribing to some of my generation's mommy madness by thinking Max needs my constant activity and attention. I've had a running and crazy making voice in my head constantly pressuring me to do more. More of what exactly is the big abstract annoyance. I've even been subscribing to the hellish over produced mom agenda and freaking out about future schooling issues rather than enjoying the fact that we’re not there yet. This freakish anxiety of mine is why I need a tortured musings category on my blog.

My fabulous little sister (permanent title I might add) sent me an excerpt from Judith Warner's New York Times blog Domestic Disturbances (part of Times Select which I don't subscribe therefore I can't read it daily without forking over dough so no linky linky — However I found the quote on the real eve blog). Within normal, healthy limits, what we do, how we feed, how we sleep, how we talk, whether we read to our kids for a half-hour each day or for six (as I, craziest of all the crazies, sometimes did), doesn't really matter very much in the long term, I'm starting to think--so long as we do what we do with kindness and with love. Nice. I hear the Beatles singing "all you need is love, la la la." 'tis true. I found a few more mom blogs I'd like to share: the new mom, half changed world, corporate mommy, dot moms, and then here's a little tasty gossip to break up the mommy centricity annie in motion.

January 24, 2006

baby care babble

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Once you become a mother pretty much all you'll talk about are the intricate details of the mundane routine of caring for your baby. You'll be asked and somehow find yourself asking, even against your better judgment, all sorts of really banal questions to all your mommy friends and acquaintances. I just got off the phone with a pretty good mommy friend and it seems no matter what the daily circumstances are, we can't help launching into endless details of last nights sleeping pattern as compared to the night before and last weeks as well. And of course we have to re-cover the unending naptime difficulties, how little our babes are eating, and the general resistance their new found independence is bringing. It's kind of interesting,... well really it's not that interesting. I think it's just that we need so much more support than we are getting that we keep going over and over our common minutia. It's a bit sad really, but I find myself entangled in the same uneventful thought patterns too.

So in my typical fashion, I started searching around the web looking for some interesting mommy sites. Is anybody else feeling this way? Duh, of course someone is! * Reminder: This is a big bad ass world and the internet has all the geeked out crazy bloggers served up fresh every damn second. Besides obviously I'm doing it too. Anyway, so first I came across the literary mama site. My first thought was who has time to really read a book let alone write one? I guess they read and write rather than knit and blog— right, that makes sense. I like the tone and realism of the column mothershock. She's got a blog too. From there I linked to mothers talk only to find it says "coming soon". Don't you hate that? I was intrigued 'cause I think it said it's based in San Francisco. Ok, here's the motherload of blog links: mimi smartypants, midlife mama, this woman's work, mothered up beyond all recognition (has a great mama blog list), and mom brain. That's enough to keep me overloaded.

January 16, 2006

marvelous master max

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Max truly is marvelous. I know every mother thinks so, and that's as it should be. I just feel compelled to say so and to make an entry to capture all the marvelous and monumental milestones Max keeps mastering. At fourteen and a half months he's finally crawling! Ah, ha ha ha. No, really, he is finally crawling but he walked at ten months so it's pretty humorous that he's finally started to crawl. It's quite a clunky and slow maneuver, making it all the more hilarious to watch. He's also really into rolling all over the floor and lying on his tummy. That's a feat since all those tummy time sessions when he was an infant were a complete bust. What's actually getting really fun is all the communicating he's doing.

Here is a list of the words Max signs: cat; bird; baby; milk; more; bunny; aunt; fish (a sign hubby made up); coffee; frog; flower; all done; music (his own sign where he raises his arm up and shakes it like he's riding a bull)

He says: agua (first word); mama; dada; up (pronounced as “bup”); cat (sounds like dat); toothbrush toothpaste (the paste part is a slight variation in sound from toothbrush with a lot of pointing at the toddler paste tube which I'm pretty sure is loaded with sugar and that Max is now addicted to); hot (which he says in threes cause he copies my exaggeration— as in it's really hot hot hot! so don't touch); apple; banana; noodle; mas (Spanish for “more”); ball; cracker & cookie are interchangeable (sounds like a crazy version of cookidico); crocodile; papa; bicycle (sounds like oglico. Now that may not seem like bicycle to you, but if you knew just how adamant he was about it you'd believe); cheese; lights are “dough dough”; shoes; Alma (his nanny’s name); nose; and of course the whooper of all repetitive words “NO, NO, NO!” almost always said with his fore finger out wagging at whatever he’s not supposed to be doing. He probably says more Spanish words than we are aware of but his father and I will never know ‘cause neither of us took Spanish even though we grew up in California. Doh!

When he sees a picture or live animal he makes the sounds for: cow "moo"; dog "woof, woof"; cat "meow" (sounds like chairman Mao); owl "whoo, whoo"; bird "tweet, tweet"; horse "nay, nay"; sheep "bahhh"; , car "vroom"; duck “quack quack” (sounds like back back); rooster “cockidoodledo”;

And just over the last two days he’s trying to say our cats names, Madeline and Miro as well as the sound a ball makes “boing”. All these attempts are so adorable and keep us endlessly entertained.

December 14, 2005

keep an eye on your little ones

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It's traveling around email boxes right now, However I couldn't help posting it.

November 21, 2005

baby birdie bunny cat

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Must gush, just can't help meeeself. Max is way beyond cute and off into the he's so sweet it's causing tooth decay category. He's so desperate to communicate with us it's overwhelming and somewhat all consuming. My husband got this nabaztag rabbit from France [of course it's French it's so weird and yet strangely engaging, though I would have said the same if it was Japanese]. Every morning, evening, well all the time really, Max gets screechingly excited and signs that the cuckoo bunny clock thingee is chiming, glowing, and speaking to us in its finest British accent saying it's eight, nine, or ten o'clock. Max seems to have no idea that we hear it too. During our newly committed every other weekend family trip to Costco, Max was beside himself with joy when he recognized a picture of a cat on some packaging. I'm thinking, yeah, let's spend ten minutes crawling and walking over and around the cat litter crates what fun. But he was so cute I could have stayed there an hour signing and saying "yes Max, that's a cat". Over the weekend I taught him how to sign baby and birdie to add to his repertoire of "milk, cat, and more". He's now hugging himself, then chirping his fingers, then poking the top of his head and then pulling his whiskers signing "baby birdie bunny cat" over and over in rapid succession. In my finest French accent "j'adore".

November 11, 2005

worry wart vs stress monster

What if worrying really caused warts? I'd be covered in them. Such a disgusting thought. This morning I'm stressing about having enough house insurance, being prepared for an earthquake (I see the fabulous Italian dishes on the big open shelf in a pile of shards, let alone us starving 'cause we have no food or water stored in the kit they warn you to have!). Then some of the usual stresses like needing a new career, affording private school for two kids, finding/affording a bigger house so the two kids will fit...etc etc. You know the stuff I can't do anything about right now except torture myself by thinking about it over and over IN THE GIANT LOOP TAPE in my mind.

My fabulous little sister is on her way over. I've decided that we are going on a get Max shoes outing. We'll head to the Junior Boot Shop, find a pair that I can get on him and have some lunch. I made both Max and I cry this morning by trying to squeeze his fat baby feet into some shoes that really seem like they should fit. Alma has no trouble getting his feet in there, but I couldn't do it. And poor Max seemed willing to try but my god it was painful and so unsuccessful. I'm dragging these shoes to the store so they can embarrass the crap out of a grown woman as they show me just how simple it is to put his feet in them.

Hours later... For the record Max's feet are a size 6 almost a 6.5 wide and those shoes I tried desperately to cram his feet into are a size 5 narrow, HA! I learned that children's feet grow a size to a size and half every 3-4 months so apparently I'll be heading to the store more than I'd like. Lunch out was a nightmare, but tonight dinner was a breeze.

October 1, 2005

tips from moms for traveling with baby

RESERVING SEATS
Book an aisle and window seat, increasing your chances of getting the row to yourselves. Do not reserve seats by the bathroom — too much activity and you can't have a baby in the exit or bulkhead seats.

FREE SEATS
Check in at the gate and find out if the flight is full, if not, see if they will give you an extra seat for little bean and his carseat. Some airlines will sell you a 1/2 price ticket, best to ask in advance. When traveling out of the country you'll be required to pay a fee for the baby even if he doesn't have a seat.

CARRY ON
In addition too the bottles, food/snacks, diapers etc bring extra changes of clothes for the baby and consider an extra top for you in case of a blowout. Bring 3 more diapers than you think you'll need.

GOING THROUGH THE AIRPORT
You will have to carry your baby through security, free of any device such as sling, stroller, bjorn (which must be sent through the xray), so think about what's easiest for you to get the baby in/out of.

CHECK STROLLER/CARSEAT @ GATE
Use your stroller w/carseat in the airport and check it at the gate. If you have a case for the stroller and carseat use them. (When you check in they have super-duper large clear bags that you can also request.) Unfortunately, they are not always returned in the same shape. You might consider bringing a cheap umbrella stroller rather than your favorite fancy one.

EARLY BOARDING
Make sure to take advantage of the early boarding time that they give families with young children.

FEEDING
Nurse, bottle or pacifier or get baby to swallow any liquid on take off and landing to equalize ear pressure.

ENTERTAINMENT
Bring a new toy or two to keep interest for a little longer than usual, though I found that at 6 months our little guy liked paper cups & straws, barf bags and seat belts just as much as anything else. At 1 year it was key to have something new. Be sure to consider your fellow passengers when packing annoying beeping/musical toys.

COMFORT
Bring favorite blanket, stuffed animal, wooden spoon — whatever it is for just like home comfort.

WIPES
Use anti-bacterial baby wipe to clean all seat area surfaces.

CHANGING TABLES
Bring disposable changing sheets or a big pad like the "patemm". Many planes are not family friendly and do not have changing tables so come prepared. Those that do have changing tables in the bathrooms provide very small changing tables, making it very easy for baby to touch everything (see advice above regarding antibacterial wipes.

WORSE CASE SCENERIO
Bring some baby Tylenol/Benedryl in case you end up with a crazy gone bonkers or even ill baby mid-flight.

CAR/CARSEAT RENTALS
Get get an SUV or minivan when you rent cars. There is no way you will fit all of your stuff into a sedan!! I've also heard from friends that the carseats that you can rent from the car rental companies are gross - they've all said that it's better to lug your own.

SOLID FOOD/HIGH CHAIR
if you're doing solid food, the First Years self-inflating booster seat is very easy and light to transport, it fits in the bottom of a Maclaren (so you know it's small) with room to spare for a food cooler. This converts any stable seat into a highchair, a little better than the clip-on chairs which don't work with every table, and a lot cheaper. They have them at Citikids.

HELP FROM FAMILY/FRIENDS
Borrow as much stuff as possible. See if your family (or anyone they know) has things like a pack n' play for baby to sleep in. Ask a family member to pick up some things for you at the grocery store in advance: diapers, jars of baby food, etc.

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