Warner Springs with the Heffernans

We went to Warner Springs this weekend with the Heffernans and had a blast. There was swimming, hiking, pony rides, and — after the kiddies went to sleep — card-playing and wine-drinking. We saw a rattlesnake on our hike at Indian Flats — it slithered across the trail right between Jerri and me. Scared us to death. Jerri did the polka and I lost my mind and ran away (stupidly right into the dried grassy area it had come from). We’d never survive in the wild.

The slideshow below shows our Pajama Hike on day 1, the hike to Indian Flats on day 2, sprayer wars and rest time, then pony rides, ice cream sandwiches, spider web making, and finally our failed attempt to find Pena Spring.

This is my favorite shot from the trip (from our Indian Flats hike).

Here’s the slideshow:

Ezra’s Preschool Graduation

Today Ezra graduated from Cottage Co-Op, our wonderful — if exhausting — little preschool. He’ll be back for four weeks of summer school, but today’s graduation ceremony and celebration were sweet and emotional. As is the tradition, Ezra and his fellow graduates each received a key to Cottage — a symbol that they are always welcome to come back and visit, that Cottage will always be their place.

Memorial Day Giant Bubble-Fest

We had Jerri, Lucy and Charlie up for a Memorial Day barbecue, and Bruce broke out the giant bubbles. This sequence of Ezra popping the bubble from the zip line may be my favorite set of pictures ever. I particularly love #3 where he is enveloped in the bubble!

The kids also had fun “missing” the bubbles. Here Lucy has a very nifty move:

Ezra missed the bubble, too … and thankfully didn’t run into Finn:

And lastly, they hopped in the waterless pool to hide from the giant bubble attack:

Close Call

We had an amazingly successful three-day potty training session with Finn over this long weekend. I’m sure we’ll still have accidents, but he hasn’t had one since the afternoon of the first day. However, last night after his bath I gave him the choice of either gray or blue underwear, but he was distressed. Finn likes orange. Only orange. And I have no orange underwear for him. Then he said the dreaded words, “I want a diaper.” NOOOOOO! I told him we don’t have anymore diapers because no one in the house uses them anymore. I was able to talk him into the gray boxer briefs, but he was still upset. So, I ran to my computer and Googled boys orange underwear.

My initial search resulted in an image of two pairs of boxer briefs, one navy blue and one orange. “Score!” I thought. But when I clicked on the image this is what I got:

Holy moly, $59 for two pair of underwear? Really? Um, no.

So I kept searching. Turns out I could not find any solid orange underwear for Finn, but I did find an alternative at Gap.com:

I showed them to Finn and they passed his test, so I ordered two packs. Hopefully six pair of orange-ish underwear will keep the diaper requests at bay.

Day 2 Update

End of Day 2. Not one accident all day. This is crazy! We may even try leaving the house tomorrow.

Go, Finn!

Day 2

Finn is rockin’ this potty training thing! He stayed dry all night and has managed to get to the potty on time all morning! I’m sure we’ll have more accidents at some point, but Day 2 is starting off great!!

Fun with Friends and Balloons

After naptime today, we set up the giraffe pool since a) it was ridiculously hot after the drizzly week we had, and b) the boys were itching to try out their new swim vests. I got a couple of good splash pictures:

A little later the Heffs came to save us from the stay-at-home isolation of Potty Training Boot Camp Day 1 and after swimming, mud puddles, sand play, etc., Bruce broke out the paint balloons. I love it when Bruce is home for play dates (and the kids do, too). Four little kids (and one big kid) had a huge paint war.

Ezra gave Lucy a new ‘do:

And in the end, everyone pretty much looked like this:

After showers/baths, we reprised our indoor balloon game from the morning. Instructions: 1) blow up a few balloons, 2) turn on a big fan, 3) let the children loose. Seriously, they go crazy.

And here’s a video I shot of the first round of balloon mayhem.

Other than the 5:30 a.m. wake-up call, I think this was a perfect Saturday.

Day 1 Update

End of the day … finally. It was a long day but Finn did great! We had a few accidents, but none after about 2:30 (his post-naptime grumpy “I don’t need to go! … Oh wait, maybe I do” pee in the garage). He balks at being told he has to try to pee (like before Bruce took him on a bike ride or before bedtime); I’m guessing he wants to be in control.

Backyard peeing — two different approaches:

3-Day Potty Training Boot Camp

Day 1. We’ve been up since 5:30 (it’s 9:40 as I type this). We’ve had three successes and two accidents so far. It’s positive reinforcement all the time around here. And boy, do those little buns look cute in boxer briefs!

Last Work Day in Rainforest

Today was my last work parent day in Ezra’s class; graduation is next Friday. Between the chaos of the day and the fact that Ezra is doing four weeks of summer school at Cottage, today was not as emotional as I might have anticipated. Everyone seemed a little extra rambunctious today, so I pretty much just held on for the ride and tried to make sure no one got hurt.

First up was rain stick making. Ezra’s favorite part, not surprisingly, was hammering in the nails.

We also had show and tell today and Ezra showed off his new car from Jamma and the swim vest I bought him yesterday since we’re going to Belize in August (thank you, Jamma!!!).

During music time, some of the kids gave musical performances. Ezra did a performance, too, but his was a little different.

After more than five hours at Cottage, we all came home and collapsed. I was happy to get an invite for dinner with some friends, so we headed off to Islands to meet the Heffernans and the Kerleys. Fun ensued.

Left to right: Charlie, Kai, Ezra, Lucy, Katie, and Finn

Cottage Field Trip

Despite the fact that the field trip this morning might have been the most stressful three-hours of my entire life, I think it was a hit with the kids. We went to the Arroyo (where Bruce often takes the boys), and the kids discovered the wonders of the casting pond (is it “algae” or “allergy”?) and the surrounding area. Finn and Ezra told everyone about the wild mustard plants, although not everyone believed them. Ezra nearly got left behind when his class went on their hike, and Finn said, “I tired” instantly when we embarked on our hike (which is nothing unusual), so he rode on my shoulders the whole way. In the end, we all survived, no one got lost, and I got a few cute pictures.

Sprinkler Time

We got home from a play date at about 6:30 this evening, and as soon as everyone was out of the car and headed to the front door, our next-door neighbors’ sprinklers came on. My plans for a quick dinner, bath, and reasonable bedtime were thwarted when the boys decided they NEEDED to play in the water. What else could I do but grab the camera?

The final product:

New Lens

I got a new lens for my SLR on Friday, and yesterday’s activities (papier mache in the backyard, Tour of California in downtown L.A.) gave me a couple of good opportunities to try it out. Here’s a slideshow of my favorites.

Favorite Combo

Charlie and Lucy came over with Meg for a play date and dinner yesterday. Here’s a sampling of our dinner conversation.

They could have gone on for hours. I think Lucy’s entry was the best. Seriously cringeworthy.

Last Work Day in Mulberry

Yesterday was my last shift as work parent in Finn’s class, which is just weird — how can he already be nearly done with his first year of preschool? I kind of shirked my duties a bit to spend time taking lots of pictures of Finn. Here are a few.

Finn was completely captivated by this very persistent and focused squirrel. The previous two days’ classes had used birdseed to play and experiment with and it was all over the grass. It took a few more two- and three-year-olds showing up before the squirrel finally gave up and left. (As a side note, I don’t know what that box at the bottom right hand side of this picture is — it just showed up on a couple of my photos.)

Finn and I spent a lot of time playing with this makeshift punching bag. Check out Finn’s fancy shoes.

My sweet boy on the slide. We had a good day.