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    Foto Friday (The Halloween Edition)

    October 30th, 2015

    Last week-end, by some unknown miracle I was able to talk both kids into doing a quick photo shoot with their Halloween costumes on. Now I can relax on Saturday and totally leave my camera behind.
    G went on for weeks declaring he was too old to trick or treat. What?!?!?! I asked him several times and he held firm. No costumes. No candy loot. Ok! Only for S to approach me two weeks back asking “Did G tell you he wanted to be a bat this year?” There may have been an obscenity to leave my lips. Not Batman (which would actually be easy to get), but a Bat. *******!!!!! Staying true to form, G wanted a unique costume, with very limited time. I think the craft gods are still pitying me after caterpillar-gate and blessed me yet another year with the fortune of finding something online. And it fits! And it didn’t cost an arm and a leg! I was set to make it (let’s face it, a bat is SO much easier to do than a caterpillar), but I was glad not to have to.
    As an “Aw!” side-note, I really dig G’s two front missing teeth. He looks a little vampire-ish, which makes his bat look so much better.
    S2 is Darth Vader. His mind was made up months ago. Well, his mind was directed (and I’ve been holding firm on the “this is it, no changes!!!!”) as soon as the costume was acquired. He loves it! A Disney store trip this summer also yielded two kick-ass light-sabers, too. They only had the Sith variety in store, so he’s totally good to go.
    Ready for photos? Of course you are!














    Oh, also because I think this is adorable: S2 made a Lego version of himself… in costume. So S2 head, Darth body. Pretty sweet!


    They’re called “picky eaters”

    October 30th, 2015

    I was privy to overhearing this winner of a conversation this morning between S and G:

    S: Do you know what people that don’t eat meat are called?
    G: Meatees?
    S: Meatees? No, they’re called vegetarians.
    G: Oh?! I thought they are called “picky eaters”

    Meanwhile I am in the living room cleaning our coffee table and chuckling into my shirt so he can’t hear my laughing.

    Conversations with S2

    October 22nd, 2015

    S2: Mommy, did you know that Santa doesn’t drive?
    Me: He doesn’t? What does he use?
    S2: A sleigh!
    Me: Hmn… So what does he do during the summer when there’s no snow
    S2: He runs
    Me: Really? How does he run all summer and is fat all winter?
    S2: I dunno. I dunno why he’s so fat!

    This was on our way to school the other day. Deep thoughts from the minds of (almost) 5 yr olds.

    Design success!!!

    October 21st, 2015

    We did it!


    Ok, so NO designs came home, but we ended up drawing and talking through a couple of proposals after dinner. I present you with….

    Design #1: Handles in vertical orientation and the rope over. Dismissed because the rope would get in the way of the ball.


    Design #2: Handles in horizontal position and ropes to the sides. Dismissed because the ropes would only keep it stable left/right vs. front/back. Left/right movement wasn’t a problem: Back/front was.


    Design #3: Handles in the horizontal position, and ropes to the front, and back. This one looks extra messy because we already had some revs to delete from before.


    And the final result is….

    G opted to build design #3 first. I feel like I lost on a teaching moment with the other 2 not doing what he wanted.

    But now he’s a happy clam.

    S and he are enjoying practicing his baseball pitching styles. I can see why he wanted to do this now: kid’s a jock. As long as he stays a brainy jock…

    The design challenge

    October 21st, 2015

    At home, we have two big-arse life-preserver-like things that the kids got for some sumo-wrestling-type games. You might have seen this fun video of them.
    Luckily for us no injuries have happened yet… in big part because they tend not to battle in that manner much.
    Instead G has created a game for himself, where he stands one donut up inside the cavity of the other, and then tries to throw a ball inside the standing circle. His contraption looks something like this:

    G's game

    Yes, this is where my formal art-instructed family can make fun of my terrible perspective. But you get the point, ya?

    G’s main issue is that the donut standing up keeps falling when the ball hits it… or when it goes through. Today he threw a fit over it. Or more specifically threw a fit because his attempt to tie the two donuts together (through the handles) wasn’t working.

    I challenged him! I told him that strings/rope would probably work. I told him to look at suspension bridges as inspiration for how, and I gave him homework to do during after-school in creating a design proposal of how that could look. I, honestly, can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

    And if he doesn’t come up with anything, we’ll do a design together. Then we’ll build it.
    Enter in nerdy project giddiness.

    Cozy blanket

    October 12th, 2015


    7.5 years ago when S and I were assembling our nursery we went out and got a crib set from Babies R Us. Green and brown geometric patterns. Perfect! G slept in it. Then S2 did. The crib is long gone. The blankets, bumper, no longer have a home to stretch over. But the blanket is still used. Every day. It’s S2’s lovey! He calls it his “cozy blanket” (on account of the soft, plush underside) and won’t sleep without it. G never took to it, so I’m surprised and glad S2 did.
    He drags it around the house.

    He’ll be turning 5 in a few weeks. He feels so big, yet so little when he wraps himself in that blanket. It’s his first blanket layer, and his feet or head stick out. The time it covered his body fully it past gone. He’s only going to keep growing. I wonder sometimes, at what age he’ll stop asking for it, and he won’t care that it’s on his bed.

    As much as I want to part with the set, I can’t now, because S2 asks for his blanket every night, and knowing how attached he is to it, it’s here to stay in my memory bins forever.

    The maze that was and the maze that wasn’t

    October 11th, 2015

    Last week, while surfing facebook I came across a friend’s post from a recent visit they did to a hay maze at Arata farms in Half Moon Bay. It looked awesome, so on a week-end that S needed some alone time to tackle his to-do list, I took the boys out. It took us an hour to get there (typical fall HMB traffic).
    We drove past Bob’s pumpkin patch, which is where we’d been going for the past two years, and took a turn just a “block” past into Arata. I was super stoked to see that Arata was not only about the hay maze, but also had pumpkins. Two birds, one stone. I had brought my camera for our annual pumpkin picks, so score!!!!

    I have a rule with the kids: “no pumpkin bigger than the size of your head”. This coincides with “no pumpkin heavier than you can carry”…. and “no pumpkin pricier than what I was to pay for”. S2’s approach to pumpkin shopping is to get the smallest pumpkin he can find. He thinks smallest = cutest, so every teenie pumpkin was cute. G’s a bit of the opposite — he goes for large, so the rule is especially helpful for him. We often compare: how big is your head next to that pumpkin? Also makes for good photo opp. This year I caved though and let him get one on the larger side. Sadly for me, though, I had to carry it most of the way, because it did get unwieldly for him.
    We picked our pumpkins first. Good call. Got the kids to look over the maze — also good call. Then paid, and decided to drop the orange spheres back in the car before we went into the maze. THAT, on the other hand was a bad call. G tripped on the way back to the car, scraped his hand, and then just wanted to go home. Enter in sad mommy. Bummer. We went home. I went back to return the tickets, and we just drove home.

    That was the maze that wasn’t.

    However, after we got home and got to tell S about it, he got interested in going. This is a pleasant surprise, because the man hates driving to go to adventures like this. So we planned a second trip this past week-end. Next week-end is Pumpkin Fest in HMB, and you couldn’t pay me enough money to sit through THAT traffic, so it had to be either yesterday, or wait for another two weeks.

    S2 literally ran the maze. This sucked, because we’re talking human adult sized maze, that takes 30 min to get through. Adults can’t see through the end (since the hay piles are taller than an adult), so it wasn’t exactly difficult to lose a child in there. And he wouldn’t stop running off. Thankfully most turns were dead ends, so he didn’t get too far, too quick, but still definitely a heart-racer there.

    On the second trip, S2 found an even smaller pumpkin — it fit in his pocket, so it had to come home. Also G discovered the gourds and found one that looks like a perfect swan. It came home too. I’m a sucker!

    The maze though was truly awesome! I’m hoping they’ll bring it back year after year, because I hope we can continue going every fall. They do evening maze runs too, which sounds evilishly fun.

    G also had a fun run using my camera. I’m actually pretty proud of this kid. It took a bit of training, but he know knows how to back-button focus, take a photo, and zoom in and out. He was full on directing us what to do too. I might have to invest a bit more time teaching him how to work it more. Though admittedly, it IS a heavy combo, so it’s something I don’t completely trust him to run off with. Still — lookie!!!! I’m IN photos.