Island Boys

The boys are quickly getting used to our lifestyle here in Belize — swim in the morning and afternoon, rest during the middle of the day, maybe a stroll up the beach in the evening. They haven’t worn anything except swim trunks or underwear since we got here (that part’s not so much different from home, really). They love that the pool is surrounded by sand and Jamma brought a whole bunch of new sand toys.

Ezra’s favorite digging spot:

Ezra's favorite digging spot

On the dock yesterday evening:

Ezra on the dock

Island boy

Walking up the beach at dusk:

Walking up the beach at dusk

Swimming

Day 2 was spent mostly in the water. The boys and I were up [too] early and in the pool by 7:00. After about three hours, we took a break during the main heat of the day. In the late afternoon we headed out on the dock to see the ocean.

Checking out the boat tied to our dock

Then back to the pool. Finn accidentally stepped off the last step in the pool and discovered he can swim (with his floatie). He ran around yelling, “I can swim; I learnded it this day!!!” They could have stayed there for a couple more hours, but we wanted to go inside before the mosquitos arrived.

In the pool

Happy Finn

Happy Ezra

For Jerri

This one's for Jerri

If the store at the Belize airport that carries this t-shirt hadn’t been closed, you would have had a new item for your wardrobe.

Three Planes, a Van and a Boat

Yesterday was day 1 of our trip to Belize and was a full day of travel: Palm Springs to Dallas, Dallas to Belize City, Belize City to Ambergris Caye, then a van around town and finally on a boat to our home for the next two weeks. The boys were really good travelers (apart from a little craziness in the Belize airport).

On the first plane:

Finn checks out the in-flight magazine

The third plane was a small one — I’d never been on a plane this small. It was a little rough at first but overall a very smooth flight with beautiful views.

Our last plane

Finn, Ezra and me on the small plane

On the way to the island.  Wow.

Once we landed in San Pedro, the kids were excited to see this enormous aquarium (with a little shark in it).

Cool aquarium at the San Pedro airport

We were driven around town for a while gathering supplies (and trying, fruitlessly, to buy dinner for that evening) and then went to the boat that would take us to our house. Across from the dock was this super cool fence that was painted to look like colored pencils.

Pencil fence!

Then Armando and his crew took us “home.” The boat ride was very calm at first but then he went much faster when we got into open water. Finn was not too excited about it and kept telling me, “He should slow down this boat!” He even attempted to tell Armando, but it was too loud.

On the boat to the island with Armando and his helpers

And, finally, we arrived and the whole day just became worth it:

Our pool.  This is the view from our front porch.

Field Trip to JPL

Jerri and I took the kids on a field trip to JPL this morning and had a personal tour with Dr. Bruce Moision, better known around these parts as “Papa.” After signing in at the visitors center and getting our super official badges, we headed to the new museum which has, among other things, models of the different spacecraft JPL has built over the years.

After that we saw the Spacecraft Assembly Facility where workers in the clean room are currently building the Mars Science Laboratory. From there we went to the control room (think, “Houston, we have a problem”) where they monitor all of the spacecraft currently out there. From the gallery you can see down into the control room, which is very interesting, but the kids really just liked the swivel chairs.

Because it was so hot, we skipped the Mars yard and hit the gift shop instead. The kids were coming to the end of their ropes, but we made it out relatively unscathed. Finn passed out at 11:00 on the ride home.

Reading!

Last night I sat down for our regular book time with Ezra and Finn, but something extraordinary happened. After we’d finished Ezra’s first pick (the godawful Smash Crash book that they love) and Finn’s pick (Dr. Seuss’s ABC), Ezra picked a second book, Hop on Pop. And then the craziness began — he proceeded to read it by himself! He has surprised me in the past by reading a few words here and there, but this time he read a good three-quarters of the book before he asked me to finish it. I was nearly moved to tears and he was pretty excited (and, I think, surprised) himself!

Ezra's book

Thursday

We had Charlie over for a couple of hours this morning, which went very well. Charlie and Finn are pretty much inseparable and played good guys, bad guys, superheros, gardeners, etc. all while wearing their pajamas.

Pajama Day

In the afternoon, Ezra and Finn got into the craft box and made some masterpieces on red paper plates. They also left a bit of a mess in the living room.

Craft project

The glitter that coated the floor doesn’t show up in the picture but, trust me, it’s there. And will probably be there for years and years to come.

iPad!

The boys have become a little obsessed with the iPad we got last week. I bought it, in part, to provide some entertainment for them on our flight to Belize coming up in a couple of weeks. I figured they would like it, but I didn’t really anticipate how much they would like it. As evidence, the first words I heard from Finn this morning when I returned from my walk were, “WHERE’S MOMMY’S IPAD?” as he ran around the house looking for it. So, obviously, we have to moderate their usage. But since they are in their room playing with good old-fashioned wooden trains, I’m not that worried about it.

Here they are getting set up to play a game yesterday.

Getting set up

And here they are playing Glow Hockey (basically air hockey with some cool graphics). Finn doesn’t really know what’s going on — he says, “I win!” every time either of them scores a goal. Ezra is surprisingly patient with this behavior.

Playing two-player Glow Hockey

Busy Day

The boys had an incredibly busy day today starting with a trip to the Huntington with Bruce and ending at Yang Chow in Chinatown for dinner. In between, we went to the Science Center to meet Vanessa and Thomas.

We saw the Butterfly Pavilion for the first time.

Butterfly!

Finn was not so crazy about it — I don’t think he liked them flying so close to him.

Finn wasn't so crazy about the Butterfly Pavilion

Ezra and Thomas had a good time though.

Ezra and Thomas look for butterflies

Next we went to the Air & Space Museum, which was filled with very cool stuff including pieces of old spacecraft, planes, etc. The boys were in heaven. Here they are flying a helicopter.

The Moisions fly a helicopter

Last was Yang Chow, which sounded like a good idea at the time, but turned out to be a long wait with bad service and understandably restless kids. I did manage to get a good shot of Thomas and Finn before things unraveled too far.

Finn and Thomas await dinner at Yang Chow

At least the Spicy Szechuan Wonton Soup was incredibly delicious as usual.

Last Day of Summer School

Ezra and Finn finished up their summer school sessions at Hamilton and Cottage today, which means a little over two weeks before we leave for Belize. Yay! Anyway, yesterday was an open house of sorts at Hamilton where Bruce and I got to see what Ezra and his class had been up to these last five weeks. It was fun to see his artwork on the walls and his drawings and writings in his various journals. His teacher told me that he’s writing more now, which is good because writing letters is not an easy task for him.

Here’s a shot of all the stuff we got to take home.

Ezra's Intro to Kindergarten work

And this vase.

Ezra's vase

“Cab”

Bruce, Finn and I passed Cameron’s Seafood restaurant this morning after dropping Ezra off at Hamilton and Finn was intrigued by the giant crab (“cab”) on the side of the building.

Cameron's

The following conversation ensued.

Finn: Papa, do you see that cab?

Bruce: Yeah, that’s a restaurant where you can eat crab.

F: [pause] Real cab?

B: Yeah, real crab

F: [pause] Do they cook the cab?

B: Yes.

F: Do they take the pinchers off?

B: Yep.

F: Do they take the butt off?

B: [pause] Yeah …

F: I want to go there.

"Cab" Plate