Before he started building the Sydney Opera House, he made a contract.
It’s funny that he seemed to put so much pressure on himself to build this thing. We were consciously not adding any pressure, in part because we didn’t know how complicated it would be and if he would actually be able to do it.
Ezra, on the other hand, was quite confident. And it turned out he was right. Here he is after completing the first instruction book.
And he continued to work. He didn’t have time to do it every day, but when there was time we knew we would find him in this spot.
And on March 17th, he was all done!
He really did do almost all of it by himself, too. Bruce helped him through two tough spots, and only once were there tears of frustration. Mostly, just joy.
And a huge sense of accomplishment.
Ezra had one thought for his birthday this year: the Sydney Opera House. The LEGO version, that is. He talked about it from the moment he finished building the Chi Lion Temple he got for Christmas, as he was convinced that he could also conquer the Sydney Opera House even though it is clearly marked for ages 16 and above. His birthday list was short and to the point.
He threw in those plush toys so he and Finn could play together — the Creeper is for Finn.
We tried to keep the suspense going by adding lots of “IFs” when he would talk about building the opera house. And I think Bruce and I were both a little nervous that he wouldn’t be able to build it and would be upset. I also told him he’d have to wait until Bruce got home to open his presents, so you can imagine his excitement when Bruce walked in the door early that afternoon.
He started small, opening up my hastily wrapped gifts (one in a Google Shopping Express bag — where is the wrapping paper???).
Both boys were happy.
Next he started in on the always-popular box from the Becks.
Lots of good stuff in there!
And finally, on to the one he was waiting for.
After the gift extravaganza, Bruce went back to work and we went about our business for the evening. Ezra had a FaceTime birthday conversation with Ruby which was fun (and pretty funny to observe).
And later we had cake. More specifically, we had ice cream cake from a local shop in walking distance to our new house. (That could prove to be dangerous.)
All in all, for a birthday celebration three days after a major move, I think it was a good day!
March 1st brought our second move — from temporary housing in San Jose to a rental house in Palo Alto. As we drove out of San Jose that morning we saw this gorgeous full rainbow greeting us.
We had patches of sprinkles with some clear skies mixed in that day.
And at the end of it we had all of our belongings packed into a very tiny house and garage, causing me a bit of panic.
But over the next couple of weeks we just kept trying to find a place for things (including a trip to Goodwill and giving away our big desks on Craigslist) and have gotten pretty well settled in (at least in the house). Bruce (and Finn) have built several pieces of IKEA furniture.
And the boys now have bunk beds.
The best part so far has been the cul-de-sac across the street which is great for bike riding and has another family with two boys about the same age.
On February 23rd we took the boys to Big Basin Redwoods State Park and spent a few hours hiking around and exploring. It’s hard to capture the scale of these giant trees.
We even saw two banana slugs, much to all three Moision boys’ delight.
And this pretty cool web in the middle of a stump.
Here’s a panoramic from our drive out.
The rest of my pictures are here.
On a beautiful Saturday in February, we took advantage of our new surroundings and went for a family bike ride by the Bay near Google. The boys took to the dirt path while I stayed on the pavement.
Then we rode over to the kite flying area at Shoreline Park and the boys tried out their new kites. Finn’s took a little work to get it up in the air, but once there it just flew forever.
Ezra had picked out a two-stringed kite which proved to be a challenge to fly at first. But soon he figured it out and was flying like a pro.
We had about three and a half weeks between the time we left Pasadena and the time the boys started school in Palo Alto. We weren’t as diligent as we could have been about homeschooling, but we did get some work done most days. Well, not counting the field trip days or the days we spent running around town trying to figure out where to get TB tests. (Apparently TB is a big problem up here and both boys needed tests before they could start school.)
Anyway, we had some fun times with our homeschooling … mostly when Papa was around. One of the first projects was trying to see if they could make a sphere out of LEGO.
I think they all tried their own designs and then looked up plans on the internet.
There was also geode smashing.
And they built a trebuchet.
And even some Singapore Math.
We also had recess.
I think we were all relieved when the first day of school rolled around.
Both boys report liking having their own desks. Their teachers made great efforts to welcome them into their classrooms and they seem to be adjusting and enjoying their time at the new school. And they’re learning how to play tetherball.
Continuing our museum theme (and because the boys enjoyed homeschool field trips much more than actual homeschool), a couple of days later I took the boys to the Tech Museum in San Jose. The Detterichs had given us a membership there as a going away present and it was time to put it to use! Plus, they were having a Star Wars special exhibit that was about to end and we didn’t want to miss it.
After the Star Wars part, we went to the make-a-robot area and the boys had fun building.
I think they liked dressing it up more than using the moveable parts.
Next up was make your own lightsaber where they learned about electric circuits.
The next week I took the boys to Palo Alto’s Junior Museum & Zoo, which has a hands on area which is a little bit like Kidspace. Most of the displays were fairly old and made of wood. Very charming — the boys played in there for quite a long time.
Outside is the little zoo with bunnies, birds, ferrets, snakes, raccoons and more.
Bruce had the first week after the move off and we tried to mix in a few fun things while we handled the mundane (namely, the rental property tour day … ugh). Our most fun day was spent at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. The boys had a blast.
This spinning disk thing was a hit with all of us.
The boys also really liked the fog tornado.
I didn’t take very many pictures, but the rest of them are here. It was a really fun experience and we will definitely go back!
Finn lost two teeth while we were in transition but of course that didn’t stop the Tooth Fairy, or Tootho and Mootho from visiting. The first tooth came out just before the move so the house had a few boxes lying around. Here’s the Tooth Fairy’s letter.
The second tooth came out while we were in temporary housing, so it was a big mystery to see if the Tooth Fairy would be able to find us. She did.
There was some hullabaloo which I can’t quite remember about Tootho and Mootho coming for a battle. Ezra left some toys out for them.
They battled and left notes for Ezra and Finn. (They aren’t great spellers.)
I really like keeping this blog and I love going back to read it from time to time and being able to look things up and refresh my memory of events. However, I find that when times are not so rosy it’s hard to write and, obviously, there have been some not so rosy times lately. I’ve been putting off writing because the idea of catching up through the events surrounding the move was just too daunting. And it still is.
So, I’m going to cheat. I’ve uploaded a lot of photos from the pre- and post-move period and I’m going to link to them here rather than go through a detailed recap.
First, Student Led Conferences at Aveson happened the week we left. The boys showed us the work they’d done since the Fall and we got an idea of where we needed to pick up for our temporary homeschooling situation.
That week we also had dinner at the Comptons/Pulsinellis’ house which was a lovely evening. I didn’t take very many pictures, but at one point the kids made a store complete with signage and merchandise, all in and surrounding a new tree (and its hole) that was about to be planted. It was pretty awesome; unfortunately my pictures are a little dark.
The boys’ last day at Aveson brought tears (mine) and gifts and cards for the boys. Ezra walked up with a bunch of balloons tied to his backpack which was a pretty great visual. After some hang out time at school, we went to Jerri’s for a play date. Later we went to the Bannings’ for dinner. I have no pictures but it was a wonderful evening and send off.
Packing started the next day and continued Monday when the truck came to take it all away. Needless to say, these photos are hard to look at.
And finally, a set of miscellaneous photos from after the move. Here’s my favorite of this set:
Cari sent me this on the Monday after we left — most of our usual after school hangout crew.