Warner Springs

On the second weekend of Jokke and Merja’s visit to California, we went to Warner Springs Ranch for Friday and Saturday night. We had a big group potluck dinner (cooking on camping stoves) and the kids basically all went crazy. Finn really enjoyed his first s’more.

The next morning, we attempted a hike (Hellhole Canyon, I believe), which started out pleasant enough — Ezra and Jokke started off walking together and later bonded over a walking stick; Finn was content in the carrier.

But, it turned out the route was way too ambitious for Ezra, Finn and Thomas. We got about 100 yards in when all the little ones started to melt down a bit. It was already kind of warm, and little guys are not all that concerned with the delayed gratification that would come had we made it in to where the water was. Oh well. Vanessa and I headed back to the trailhead with the kids, while Bruce and Bob went on with Jokke and Merja. The boys were much happier to just play in the cars for a while before we headed back to the Ranch. Finn and Ezra found a rope and played pirates and fisherman in the back of our car (“Man overboard!!!”).

Back at the ranch, we took the boys for pony rides which were thoroughly enjoyed.

Finn looks a little worried here as the guide adjusts the stirrups for the ride, but he settled in and had a good time.

After some time in the hot pool (for the grownups) and cold pool (for the kids), we had dinner at the Mexican buffet, which was surprisingly not terrible. The entertainment was a young Mariachi group and the kids loved it. Finn was basically sleep-walking through the evening since he’d had a big day with about 15 minutes of nap time. We gave the boys a group bath, which was pretty cute.

After that, the boys and I passed out (Finn went from, “I not tired!” to sound asleep in less than a minute), while Bruce visited sleepily with Jokke, Merja, Bob and Vanessa. I think the whole lot of us was asleep by 9:30 — the sign of a good day.

Eeny, Meeny …

Finn’s been working on learning the words to eeny, meeny, miny, moe for about six months now, and today he spent the entire day singing it. As we were all together all day — coming back from a trip to Warner Springs — I’m pretty sure we all have it stuck in our heads now. After I shot a video of him singing it tonight, I went searching for a video I took of him a while back when he first learned the words. Here are both renditions (10/29/09 and 5/2/10, respectively).

Miniature Golf

We went to the nine-hole mini golf place in South Pasadena for the first time yesterday. I came weighted down with my purse and the diaper bag packed with water and snacks, figuring it could take a while. But it didn’t. The kids had a blast, but not one of them was all that concerned with actually hitting the ball through any of the obstacles and/or into the holes. I think they just wanted to look inside the houses and castle. Finn seemed particularly concerned at each hole that his ball wasn’t going to come out the other side of the obstacle. All in all, it was a very funny 20 minutes of golf.

Ezra, Charlie, Finn and Lucy gather around one of the first holes

Charlie checks on his ball

Finn ponders which hole to put his ball in

Ezra's big swing

Comedians

Finn and Charlie “cleaned” this mirror for about an hour the other day, and told some jokes, too. Thank goodness Jerri had the Flip rolling.

Moision BBQ Extravaganza

Make that the Moision/Beck/Lagerspets/Devine/Oklejas/Gottardi BBQ Extravaganza in honor of Jokke and Merja’s visit to California. Yesterday the rest of the Moision+ family came up for the afternoon to meet — or in Bob’s case, get reacquainted with — our international visitors. As a side note, Ezra and Finn are thoroughly enjoying having Jokke and Merja in the house — mainly because they are additional audience members for their “joke” telling. (Finn almost got a knock knock joke right today.)

A good portion of the group:

Bruce made some oobleck (a strange-acting combination of corn starch and water) that captivated children of all ages:

Special Visitors Day 2010

Cottage has a day every year where the kids get to have a special friend or relative come to school for a potluck and some play time. This year we invited Jamma, and since I was working in Finn’s class I was there the whole time as well. Because there are so many families this year with children in both the Rainforest and Mulberry classes, they opened the gates between the big and little yard and combined the two classes. It was a bit chaotic but fun. Here are some pictures of the day and a video (“Hot Butter”) from music time. Check out Finn’s big finish on the drums (well, on the colander).

Lemon Sorbet

It’s 57 degrees and rainy here, so what better activity for an otherwise boring afternoon than making lemon sorbet? Finn had never seen the ice cream maker in action, and he was floored by how cool it is. (Ezra, on the other hand, is an old pro since we used to do this a lot the summer before last.) Their favorite part, of course, was the tasting session they got once I’d scooped out the majority of the sorbet to freeze for later.

Finn’s 3rd Birthday Party

We decided to throw Finn his first kid birthday party this year, in part because he was so excited at Ezra’s. We just invited a few families so it wouldn’t be too overwhelming (he is only three for Pete’s sake), and he had a blast. It really was like an oversized play date, except for the main activity which was chalk-making. Bruce and the other dads did most of the child supervision, leaving the moms to gather around the picnic table and enjoy some good snacks.

I Speak Finn Part II

Finn’s been figuring out contractions lately. This morning he said, “We aren’tn’t,” which sounds like aren’t-ent. My favorite remains, “I amn’t,” which is, of course, usually screamed.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Finn!

Finn turned three today, so we had a mini-celebration with the Heffs this morning. The plan was to walk over and buy cupcakes at our favorite shop around the corner, but when we got there it was closed. So, we just bought cake mix and frosting at the local CVS and made the cupcakes at home. Finn was very excited to get to help use the electric mixer. The kids decorated their cupcakes with M&Ms and wolfed them down (well, except our delicate eater, Charlie).

Lucy, Finn, Ezra and Charlie enjoy their creations

I always marvel at just how wide Finn can open his mouth.

After the Heffernans left, we had our usual quiet time with a show (his current favorite, Yo Gabba Gabba), with the plan being that when the show was over it would be nap time. I figured he was really hopped up on sugar and could be difficult to get down. However, when I came back in to check on him about 20 minutes later, he was passed out on the couch. Always cute.

The Sleeping Dragon

Duck, Duck, Goose

I took the boys to Descanso Gardens this morning, and braved the cold (Eek! 58 degrees!). We had walked up to see the ducks in their usual hang-out, but none were there. As we walked back along the road, we discovered a goose and two ducks wandering around. Then they formed a line — the goose first, then the ducks. Ezra and Finn couldn’t help but join in, and soon they were in line behind the animals, flapping their arms, Ezra shouting “Quack, quack!” and Finn shouting, “Cack, cack!” I only had my iPhone camera with me so I wasn’t quite fast enough to capture the best moment, but these pictures will have to suffice.

Spring Cleaning

The boys decided they wanted to do a little “cleaning” today, so after fighting over the Swiffer WetJet for a while, they finally settled on scrubbing the kitchen counter. It started off fairly tame — despite Finn yelling constantly for me to turn the water on higher — but by the end the soap usage was off the charts and there were suds everywhere. I’m certain that portion of the counter has never been cleaner.

Two Faces of Ezra

Ezra ran the gamut of emotions today.

Angry at Finn for getting him with the hose.

Blissful while eating the ice cream sandwich he got from the vendor who walks by our house everyday.

One Crazy Rainy Day

This week has been weird as far as weather goes. Monday morning it poured; yesterday it was sunny and mid-80s. The boys were delighted with the rain and dressed in all their rain gear Monday for our outing to one of the local indoor playgrounds. Ezra ran straight to the car, but Finn lingered to fully utilize his umbrella under the area where the roof comes together and creates quite a stream of water. I just can’t get over how cute he looks in his rain gear.