Tired Moisions

It was hot — and I mean HOT — here this weekend. Today’s 95 degree temp was actually a respite from the 107 we’ve had for the last few days. The boys were undaunted by the heat and rode their bikes for a couple of hours this afternoon. I took some pictures with my new favorite iPhone app, Instagram.

Finn circa 1977 (via Instagram)

Ezra's owies

Ezra’s also sporting some boo-boos from running and falling yesterday, but he’s OK.

Last Day of Swimming Lessons

Well, I’ll clarify that — last day of our first session of swimming lessons. We’re signed up for another four-week session starting next week, but this time we’ll go two days a week instead of five. So, Friday was the last day of this session and I have to say it was a rousing success. From not swimming to swimming in two weeks! Bruce had the day off so he got to come along this time and see the madness that is our boys swimming without swim vests or floaties of any kind.

Being the last day, the teachers pulled out the big floating animals and gave the kids a ride. Finn and his class had a lot of fun with this.

Finn and friends get a ride

Ezra did, too, for a minute.

Ezra on top

But really he just wanted to swim so he hopped off and went under.

Ezra goes under

After class we took a drive to look at a few of the gardens one of our landscaper candidates did. Fun for us, but not so much for the kids, so we bribed them with frozen yogurt. Finn thoroughly enjoyed his … every last drop.

Finn enjoying the last of his frozen yogurt

Then, while we drove to see one last garden, he fell asleep. It was 5:15. Luckily, he slept all night. His 5:30 wake up call, while painful, was much better than the middle of the night one I had envisioned.

More Swimming

I realize that these swimming pictures and videos may be very hard to follow for anyone except me since I was actually there to see it in person. But whatever, I’m posting them anyway!

Yesterday, Ezra swam all the way to the barrier again and got a high five from his teacher. (He really likes this teacher.)

High five for Ezra for making it all the way across

Then he headed back. He had to stop half way — I imagine he was pretty tired — but he made it all the way.

As for Finn, well he’s swimming his little heart out, too.

A Smile Everyday

Just as the boys and I were sitting down to dinner tonight, Finn noticed another gross bunch of ants on the floor. So, for the third time today, I grabbed my trusty 409 and sprayed the heck out of them. As I was wiping up the mess, I said, “Sorry, it’s kind of smelly, guys. Well, at least it’s only 409 and not …”

And then I paused, trying to come up with the phrase “ant spray” when Finn finished my sentence for me with, “406.” I couldn’t stop laughing. I have no idea where he came up with 406.

Later, after they’d finished dinner, I cut up the rest of the delicious organic watermelon we got in our biweekly organic produce box and was grabbing a bowl to have some when the bowl slipped from my hand and broke all over the counter, shards of glass going everywhere. (Isn’t Pyrex supposed to be unbreakable?) So that meant a) big cleanup job and b) I had to throw away the watermelon I’d just cut up. So I was not very happy.

Ezra went into the other room and implored me not to come in there. About 20 minutes later, he presented me with this to cheer me up.

Cheer up picture from Ezra

Iron Man, complete with a butt. Ezra explained, “I’m really good at drawing butts.”

He’s also good at learning to swim — check this out from today’s lesson. Hint: he starts in the upper part of the screen, because he’d swum all the way to the barrier by himself!

Dinosaur Hall, etc.

Yesterday we headed to the Natural History Museum to check out the new Dinosaur Hall with the Bannings. First stop, picture in front of the big dinosaur.

Friends

Once in the new hall, we checked out some bones.

Looking at bones

And several hands-on exhibits.

Finn checks out an exhibit

At the dinosaur hall

And in general were in awe of the bones.

Triceratops!

Later, we had swim lessons again and more progress was made. Finn swam back and forth to his teacher.

Ezra had a new teacher who was able to break down some of the steps for him. Here they do their “bobs.”

I think Ezra is happy with the new teacher. I saw several smiles during the lesson and afterwards he said, “I think this teacher is … nicer.”

New teacher this week

Quick San Diego Weekend

We went to San Diego over the weekend, first and foremost for my dad’s cousin Dale’s funeral on Saturday. It was a sad occasion — he was a great guy — but it was nice to see some family members I haven’t seen in quite a while.

After that we went over to Grandpa Bill and Grandma Therese’s house where the boys swam … for about two hours. I took lots of pictures and video because I’m still amazed that they’re so comfortable in the pool sans swim vests. Of course, they’re cheating most of the time with paddle boards and/or flippers but I’m going to let that go. Here’s Finn getting a little help with the flippers from Grandma.

Finn gets flippers from Grandma Therese

Bruce and Ezra did some racing. It’s hard to beat Ezra when he’s wearing flippers.

It's a race ... and Ezra's winning

Here’s Finn laying out the rules for Grandma … and eventually doing a little swimming, too.

Ezra spent a lot of time diving for the orange shark. He mostly needed help but toward the end was doing a lot of it himself.

Despite the swimming bonanza, we also got to see Laura and her boyfriend, Eric, for a lovely grownups only dinner, while the boys got some extra grandma and grandpa time. On Sunday we headed to Peter and Kathy’s new house which was spectacular. The boys had a great time playing board games and reading books with Peter. They’ve really taken to him with our two recent visits.

Unfortunately we couldn’t stay longer but we fit in just about as much as we could in a short period of time.

Friday Play Dates

I was having, as Alexander would say, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day on Friday. It started to look up when a friend met us at the park for a play date and brought a picnic lunch for everyone, complete with caffeinated beverages. It felt so nice for someone else to decide what we were all going to eat, and the caffeine went to work on my headache immediately. Thanks, Erin!

Later in the day, the boys requested a play date — they are bored to tears of playing with each other, apparently — so I called my friend Cari, who luckily was available. They came over and fun ensued. The kids dove head first into the costume box and the various iterations of their characters were pretty great. Finally, they were all dressed up at the same time, and I asked them if I could take their picture.

The first one was pretty good — everyone was actually looking at the camera.

Dress up 1

But the second really captures their personalities better.

Dress up 2

Finn’s chatting up Ruby, and Ezra and Chapin are just about ready to jump up and run away. Only Ruby is able to sit still for more than a second. I also love that this one shows that what’s on Chapin’s head is a Santa hat. Classic.

Swimming

Day 3 of Ezra’s swim lessons:

Given his druthers, he would still prefer to do a doggy paddle while holding his breath, but this proves he CAN put his face in and swim. By day 4 he was — with his teacher’s help — fishing a toy starfish out from the bottom of the pool. (He says he has trouble getting down to get it because his “body is too floaty.”)

It’s all very encouraging.

Bike Riding

We were at the park Tuesday morning, just about ready to head home, when Ezra’s friend Sofia called out to me, “Ezra’s Mom?” (I love it when the kids call me that.) “Look,” she said, “Ezra can ride a bike with two wheels.”

Holy cow! Who knew???

What a fortuitous turn of events that we forgot to bring our own bikes so he borrowed Sofia’s.

Swim Lessons

Bath time Saturday night gave me a glimmer of hope that my boys will actually one day swim — for real. Much to my surprise, they were eagerly dunking their faces, in fact, their whole heads in the bath water! They’d seen Finn’s friend Amelia do this in her kiddy pool earlier in the day; apparently they were inspired. And so was I; I high-tailed it onto the interwebs to see where I could enroll them in swim lessons. Luckily the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center had a two-week session starting Monday and the boys agreed to give it a go.

The first day was great! Faces went in the water!

Ezra's face in the water

Here’s Finn doing it even though is classmates won’t.

Finn puts his face in the water

There was floating!

Ezra floats

And paddling!

Ezra on the paddle board

And swimming!

Don’t get me wrong, there’s some reluctance still and the whole coordinating blowing bubbles, taking breaths and kicking is a challenge. But he’s doing it!

Finn’s class is younger, so they’re getting more help from the teacher. Here he is practicing the “scoops” he learned first from Erin in Belize.

Play Date! With Hand-Me-Downs!

We had a fun play date at Kyan and Alex’s house on Monday morning — I got to catch up with my old Cottage friend and Ezra and Finn got to play with Kyan and his plethora of toys. One highlight was when Kyan took the boys upstairs to try their hand at Wii sword-fighting. My boys are unfamiliar with this thing called Wii, but after a few rounds of watching Kyan play masterfully, it didn’t take Finn long to put on his fiercest expression and start pushing competitors off the platform.

Fierce Finn with the Wii

His celebration was low key.

I won!

As a bonus to the fun, we were lucky enough to inherit some of the toys and costumes that Kyan no longer plays with — four bags full. Ezra tried on every costume, but was particularly enamored with the firefighter.

Ezra the fireman

The fun only stopped for bed time. But rest assured it started right up again in the morning when these two characters showed up in the kitchen.

Officer Ezra and the strange man

Officer Ezra had to do a lot of questioning to find out who the mystery man was.

Officer Ezra questions strange man

Later, Finn got a ticket.

Officer Ezra's ticket for Finn

Luckily he wasn’t too upset.

Last Week’s Hodgepodge

I didn’t post much last week so here are a few items as a make-up. Bruce finished the peg board for Aveson and Finn got to try it out. Here he is explaining one of the early runs.

Ezra did three days of morning camp at Kidspace. There was a little too much togetherness going on at our house, and he was happy to be elsewhere. As were we all. Here he is on his first day, sitting down to do the art project.

Ezra's first day at Kidspace camp

On the second day we ran into the Google street view car while taking Ezra to Kidspace. That was kinda cool.

Google street view car at the Rose Bowl

On Friday Ezra and I got to spend some time together, just the two of us because Bruce was home and had Finn. When I picked up Ezra from camp, we went to Whole Foods for lunch and then checked out the installation of the Cottage door there. Here’s the view from the escalator.

Cottage's door

It’s very fun to have our little preschool’s art represented at the store.

On Saturday we had a lovely visit from Bruce’s friend Peter. After a tour of the house, we went to the Huntington Gardens. I didn’t end up taking many pictures, but here’s one of Ezra just before he got yelled at for being on the rocks. They are so persnickety there.

Ezra at the Huntington

And lastly, here’s one of Ezra via my iPhone’s Instagram app. Kinda sweet.

Ezra

Quotes of the Day

On the way to pick up Bruce from work, I was explaining to the boys that we were going to a party for JPL. Ezra asked if it was at JPL. I said, “No, it’s at the house of man Papa works with. His name is Fabrizio.” Ezra thought about that for a minute and then said, “That name is … a little bit crazy.”

Later, as we were walking to our car after the party, Finn spotted an American flag. “Look,” he said, “That’s an American flag … this must be America!!!”

Ah, the power of deduction.