Ezra’s First Lost Tooth!

Yesterday Ezra lost his first tooth! He and Finn were at gymnastics camp in the morning, and when I got there to pick them up, the teacher said, “We have a surprise for you!” Ezra came out and handed me an envelope with his tooth in it. It had been hanging on by a thread for a week or so, and apparently he just pulled it out and showed it to the teacher.

Showing off the hole

Trying for a smile

Of course, the Tooth Fairy showed up last night. Ezra was extremely excited to leave his tooth under his pillow (on the outside corner where the Tooth Fairy could easily reach it). He was afraid that he would forget to look under his pillow in the morning, so he made me write him a reminder note and tape it to his door. However, he ended up waking up about 1:30 and he found the envelope the Tooth Fairy left; of course, he woke us up to show us. Here’s what she left.

The Tooth Fairy came

Christmas Vacation, Week 2

In an effort to keep everyone from going mad on this soggy, seemingly 17-week long vacation, we’ve had a couple of outings this week. On Monday we met the Becks and the westside Moisions at La Brea Tar Pits. I think the kids would have been content to run up and down this hill the entire time.

Running down the hill

Ezra and Finn also really liked the guy playing folk music outside the entrance. They were captivated (again).

Ezra and Finn enjoy the music outside

Yesterday, along with the Heffs, we tried bowling for the first time at 300 in Pasadena. The boys had a great time and have already begged to go back. Here’s Ezra rolling his ball down the little ramp they have for kids.

Ezra's turn

And here’s Lucy. She has a flair for the dramatic.

Lucy's turn

Finn got a spare early on and gave himself a round of applause.

Finn claps at someone's effort

And, lastly, some video. That is, HD video from my new camera! Thanks, Bruce!


We had a pretty fun Christmas this year! After last year’s stomach flu debacle (Bruce and I got sick on Christmas Eve and had to cancel all plans) we were happy to be sickness-free and able to travel. We stayed home and had a very mellow Christmas Eve — made pizza with the boys, opened presents, played with new toys, etc. The boys went to sleep without their usual haggling after being told that Santa Claus would only come once they were asleep. (I wish we could use that line the rest of the year.)

We moved the couch away from the fire place so Santa could get in and it worked! Stockings were filled, presents left, cookies and milk consumed. The boys were thrilled to wake up to a Batcave for Finn and a new bike for Ezra.

It took us a while to get moving but we finally tore the boys away from their new stuff and hit the road to visit the Becks in Temecula. We had a great time celebrating in their new house. Always fun to have all seven cousins in the same place.

Of course, I took a ton of pictures. Here are my favorites in the form of a slideshow.

Eaton Canyon

Bruce took the boys on a hike in Eaton Canyon on Christmas Eve. Despite the chilly temperatures, they loved playing in the water, digging in the sand, throwing rocks, etc.

Eaton Canyon


Finn’s awesome feet.

Finn's feet

Finn took a couple of pictures, too. These two are my favorites.

Finn's portrait of Papa

Finn took this one

And here’s a video.

Pre-Christmas Haircuts

We joined the rest of the Pasadena ragamuffins in need of a trim at Little Kuts last week and the boys got spruced up for Christmas. My iPhone photos are a little blurry but cute.

Ezra gets a hair cut

Finn gets a hair cut

Little Baker

I bought the Christmas cookie kit from Trader Joe’s (who could resist when they reduced the price from $3.99 to just 99 cents!) and this morning Finn and I made some sugar cookies. Finn and I did all the mixing; Ezra came in and made a few cookies with the cookie cutters. Once we made the first two sets, I let Finn roll out the dough which he really liked. Here are a few pictures and a video.

Finn rolls out the dough

Making a snowman

Finn explains the process to Ezra

Gingerbread Men

What’s better for a rainy Christmas vacation day activity than the ubiquitous (this year) Trader Joe’s Gingerbread Man kit? Nothing. The boys loved making them and eating all the leftover candy. At one point, Finn was spooning leftover sprinkles into his mouth. Pure bliss. Here are some pictures.

Getting started. Finn needed some help getting the icing on, but then he was off and running. Ezra couldn’t get the M&M bag open fast enough.

Gingerbread men decorating!

Finn decorates

Ezra really got into the piping.


Caught red-handed. Ezra could have eaten the entire bag of icing.

Caught in the act 1

Ezra’s gingerbread man:

Ezra's Gingerbread Man

Finn’s gingerbread man:

Finn's Gingerbread Man

He was very happy with the final product.

Proud Finn

Aveson Celebration of Learning #1

Aveson has a very personalized learning philosophy (which was one of the things that drew us to the school), and to enable this there is an initial evaluation and individual goal setting conference, and then three Celebration of Learning days (at the end of each trimester) to evaluate how the kids are doing toward their goals. Today was the first Celebration of Learning, and whereas the goal setting conference was teacher-driven with his advisor, Ms. Jessica, today was student-driven. Ezra’s job today was to show us his work thus far (his book, his drawings, etc.) and then show us the different jobs they do in the classrooms. It was great — he was so happy to be showing us around and Bruce and I loved seeing all the different things he’s been working on. Here are a few pictures.

This is his painting of a woolly mammoth and a saber-toothed cat stuck in tar. They are sad — thus the straight lines for the mouth.

Ezra's drawing

Here he is showing us the “Creation Station” (little blocks they make shapes with).

Ezra shows Bruce the Creation Station

Probably my favorite thing of the night: Ezra’s self-portrait in the style of Picasso.

Picasso Ezra

Afterwards, we went down to the cafeteria and had a barbecue dinner with the Bannings. Here’s Ezra and Ruby waiting patiently for the food to arrive.

Ezra and Ruby wait for dinner

Finn’s Snow Globe

Or, as it sounds when he says it, “dough gobe.” He made it at Cottage this week and it’s super cool. Moreover, he’s very proud of himself and couldn’t wait to show it off to Ezra, Papa and me.

Finn's snow globe

I think he’s been watching Ezra bring home lots of things from Kindergarten so he’s very happy to have a project of his own.

And here’s a picture Jerri took on her work day this week. Even if he is doing his grumpy face, I think it’s pretty cute.

Finn at Cottage (via Jerri)


We took Ezra and Finn to Japon Bistro for dinner last night and ended up being blown away by the adventurous spirit of both boys. They’ve had and liked Japanese food before and they are generally pretty good eaters, but last night’s meal went beyond our expectations. It started with Miso soup and salad — nothing terribly unusual. Finn ate most of Bruce’s salad, and Ezra loved the soup.

Finn eats salad with chopsticks

Next up: deep-fried soft shell crab appetizer. They loved it. In fact, they were still talking about it today and asked if we could have it for dinner.

Finn eats soft shell crab

California roll.

Ezra eats California roll

Shrimp tempura.

Finn eats shrimp tempura


Ezra eats tamago

Something unidentifiable from my plate that looked so unappetizing to me that I wouldn’t even try it. Ezra ate the whole thing.

Ezra eats something unidentifiable

In fact, the only thing they didn’t eat was the white rice. I realized at some point in the meal that they hadn’t eaten anything since lunch except for a pear and an apple. Perhaps starving the children is a good way to get them to try new foods.

Christmas Tree

Much to Finn’s excitement, we got our Christmas tree this weekend. He had asked me every day last week when we were getting our “kissmas tree” so he’s finally satisfied. The boys went crazy looking at all our ornaments and loved putting them on the tree — generally in clumps along the bottom half. We couldn’t agree on what to use as a topper until Ezra made one from Lego. It’s a star.

Christmas Tree 2010

Ezra's Lego star


There is something so extremely satisfying about popping bubble wrap, especially when it’s the kind with the giant bubbles. I like to do it with my hands. The boys have a different approach.

Santa 2010

I took the boys to see Santa on Thursday night, not really sure of how it was going to go. Ezra seemed excited but Finn was apprehensive. He wanted to go but wasn’t so sure he wanted to sit with Santa. Luckily, the Santa at One Colorado in Old Town Pasadena and his photographer are very patient. Finn initially balked at the idea, and stayed a good safe distance away from the sled.

Finn didn't want to sit with Santa at first

So, the first pictures were just Ezra and Santa.


But after a few minutes, Finn decided Santa was an OK guy and he cautiously climbed up on the sled. We didn’t get a lot of smiles from either boy, but afterwards they assured me they had a great time taking pictures with Santa.



Ezra was mostly concerned with making sure his Belize t-shirt showed in the pictures. And, after it was over both boys told me they forgot to ask Santa for anything for Christmas, but Ezra had told Santa he went to Belize. That boy is obsessed; I think I see a second trip in our future. Hint, hint, Jamma.

Oh, Finn

Finn’s gotten into the habit lately of sticking out his tongue or making some other face for most pictures. So, in an effort to capture an image of his regular face, I just called his name the other day at Amy’s Playground and snapped the picture when he turned around.

Happy Finn

Cute, huh?

Then he said, “Mommy, why did you call my name?” I told him I just wanted to take his picture, and he made this face.

Mad Finn


Gingerbread House!

The Christmas season has officially started for us with the annual construction of the Trader Joe’s gingerbread house. Bruce and the boys built it yesterday morning while I was at a meeting for Cottage.

Gingerbread house

Gingerbread house

Here the boys are admiring their work. (Finn was also having a conversation with the little people.)

The boys admire their handiwork

The systematic disassembly and consumption will probably begin today.