Finn’s New “Cass”

Finn moved into the Monday, Tuesday, Thursday summer school class at Cottage this week, which mimics the class he’ll be in in the Fall. It’s a much smaller group (8 versus 17 or so) and the kids are closer to his age. I had a work shift yesterday and took some pictures, of course. Finn spent the entire day in his underwear (which was probably smart considering it was 96 degrees out).

We made lemonade — the kids squeezed the lemons, added water, mint and sugar, and did lots of taste testing. Here’s Finn adding some more mint while Charlie helps himself to another taste.

More mint

They also did some painting — first cardboard boxes, then themselves.

Painting cardboard

Then they took the painted cardboard boxes and taped together a space ship.

Building a spaceship

Ice Cream Cones!

Ezra’s been wanting to go get ice cream (in cones, NOT cups) for a while now. In fact, there’s been a note on our chalkboard about it since our last outing to Buster’s — because that time they got cups and he wanted to make sure the next time he got a cone.

So today was the day. Finn opted for “choc-it” and Ezra went for the “blue and white one.” No idea what flavor it is, but he likes blue. His whole mouth — inside and out — was blue for hours after he finished, and Finn was a big, drippy, chocolate mess, but they were thrilled.

Ice Cream Ezra

Ice Cream Finn

A Call for Rain?

Ezra and Finn picked out their own accessories this morning before school:

School outfits

I’m not sure why Ezra wanted the rain boots and umbrella, but Finn followed suit, going with the “mish-mash” (mix-match) rain boots. As an aside, this was what the weather looked like today:

forecast

They were both quite a hit when we walked in to drop Ezra off at Hamilton, especially Finn since he is at a super cute stage and was using the cane Bruce made him last year when he broke his leg. I think all the attention went to his head a bit. When I told him we had to go to the grocery store before I took him to Cottage, he said he wanted to go to a store where everyone would notice his mish-mash boots.

Debs Park

We’ve been wanting to check out Debs Park in L.A. — or more specifically the Audubon Center at Debs Park — for a while now since some friends went and had a great time. Sadly, the Center is closed on Sundays, so we thought we would give the park a try. It was a bit of a bust for Bruce and me, but I think the boys had a pretty good time. After a short hike up to a creepy green lake and back, we let the boys roam around a forest-like area by the parking lot. We came across what looked like some kind of debris catch and the boys’ imagination took off. They pretended to be firemen sliding down the poles at the fire station and ran around the area (making siren sounds) looking for and putting out fires.

Pretending to be firemen sliding down the pole

Finn liked writing an F in the dirt with his “writing stick.”

Finn writing an F in the dirt

Ezra found part of a tree branch that he thought looked like moose antlers. He also found a string with a hook on the end, so he hooked them together and called it “Moosey.” He was very proud.

Ezra pulling the tree branch he found

Then we cleaned up and had snack time at the car. Everyone say Bananas!

Snack time 1 -- Everybody say Bananas!

Heff BBQ

The Heffs can throw an impromptu party like no one else! Great food, drinks and company including eleven kids five years old and younger and everyone got along swimmingly.

Things got started with Otter Pops for the kids and for some reason (his magnetic personality?) everyone crowded around Bruce.

Bruce and many kids

There were squirties.

Lucy and her squirtie

And more squirties.

Charlie was saying, "Go, Finn"

And, obviously, Lucy, Charlie and Finn decided to have an underwear party. Ezra kept his clothes on, and had fun with the fan in Lucy’s (very pink) room.

Ezra has fun with the fan

All in all, a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon/evening!

Ezra’s Last Day at Cottage

Even though Ezra graduated from Cottage last month, yesterday was his official last day because I signed him up for four weeks of summer school. I happened to have a work shift, so I got the chance to take a few pictures of his activities throughout the day.

Over the last month, Ezra and some of his friends have managed to dig a gigantic hole. Teacher Gilda finally got them to “decide” to fill it in yesterday. (She let them come up with the idea, and they bought in completely.) I’m not sure much progress was made, but about half the class got into the filling action.

The gang tries to fill in the big hole

During group time, Teacher Dianna led a discussion of how the kids got to school that day and how they wished they’d gotten to school. Ezra said he got there by “Mini” which was initially misinterpreted as “minivan,” much to Ezra’s dismay. Finally though, his teacher understood. Ezra then said that he wished he’d gotten there by space shuttle.

Group time

For snack time, the kids made smoothies. Both the making and eating of said smoothies was a huge mess, but the kids love them.

Snack time!

And finally, just a shot I thought was cute — Ezra going into the playhouse.

Ezra heads into the playhouse

I’m sure he’ll miss Cottage, but at least for the moment he seems pretty excited about his Intro to Kindergarten class. Even though they don’t have skitters there. Or bikes.

Finn Goes to the Dentist

Finn had his first dental appointment today and he did great! Ezra was due for a checkup as well so he went first — x-rays, cleaning, etc. — and Finn got to watch. As is his habit the last month or so he said, “This is taking SO long!” But finally it was his turn in the chair, where he got to watch Toy Story on the TV hanging from the ceiling. I never heard another peep out of him.

Finn's first dentist appointment

Intro to Kindergarten

Ezra started his summer school Intro to Kindergarten class at Hamilton yesterday — a five-week session, four days a week from 8:00 to 12:00. I was too traumatized by leaving him in a strange place yesterday to even think about a blog post, but I’ve finally stopped crying so I thought I’d put up a couple of pictures. He seems to be doing pretty well, although he — like some of his friends in another class — seems a bit shellshocked by the new environment. I’m sure we’ll all get through it, but right now I feel like I’d like to keep him at Cottage until he’s about ten.

Here he is checking out the classroom.

He looks around tentatively

He found the box of blocks immediately, and met a little girl who also liked them.

He finds a playmate for building

4th of July

We had Bob, Vanessa and Thomas up for a 4th of July celebration (and to celebrate their move to the El Segundo area — woohoo!). We improvised a delicious barbecue dinner and the kids had a great time playing in the backyard — giraffe pool, zip line, gardening tools, etc. They all ended up filthy, and Finn was bruised after his run-in with the shovel, but it was a good time nonetheless.

No small miracle that no one got hurt at this point in the evening.

Boys with gardening tools

Finn complained that the safety “googles” didn’t fit.

Finn complains that the safety "googles" don't fit

Earlier in the day, Finn attempted to put a shovel through his foot. Here he is with the Lightning McQueen ice pack.

Finn ices his foot after the shovel injury

At dinner, Thomas took on the watermelon. His technique of indiscriminate chewing of the red, white and green parts followed by spitting out the pulp was unmatched.

Thomas v. watermelon

After dark we headed over to see the Rose Bowl fireworks display from a bluff above on Armada. I don’t have any good pictures because I was in charge of Ezra and he was a little worried that we were going to get hit by them and he didn’t like the noise. But he didn’t want to leave either, so we wandered around some and caught bits and pieces of the display.

I did get a shot of Ezra atop Uncle Bob’s shoulders while we waited for the display to begin.

Ezra and Uncle Bob before the Rose Bowl fireworks display

The Langleys Visit from Indiana

Saturday afternoon we got a quick visit from Lori and the kids, who are in Temecula/San Diego for a few weeks and made a day trip up to Pasadena to visit the hometown crowd. The kids got reacquainted quickly, as kids do. Here are a few shots.

Trevor tried out the zip line. Devon (8-1/2) was too tall for it.

Trevor tries the zip line

Lori and Claire (“Baby Claire” is a baby no more!).

Lori and Claire

The bigger kids in the sandbox.

Finn, Devon, Ezra and Trevor in the sand box

Randomness

A few shots from the last couple of days.

First, we went to the Arboretum yesterday and I lined up this nice shot of Finn running down a dirt path. It was going to be a great image … until he tripped over a huge tree root right as I took the picture. I guess it’s still a great shot.

Finn takes a fall

He laid there for a few seconds, and I thought he might actually be hurt. But that kid is tough as nails — no tears at all, he just brushed himself off and got back to his friends.

This afternoon we had Jerri, Lucy and Charlie up for slip n sliding and pizza, and Finn put this ensemble together after he changed out of his swim trunks. I particularly love the chainsaw. Jerri said he could be one of the Village People.

Finn's fabulous outfit (note the chainsaw)

And lastly, Ezra donned his dragon costume and proceeded to play chess with Lucy. It was pretty cute.

Ezra and Lucy play chess

Slip n Slide

The boys got their first exposure to the Slip n Slide this weekend — first at the Bannings’ and then at the Heffernans’. They were a little unsure at first, what with the water shooting up and all, but it didn’t take long before they were slipping, sliding and totally soaked. They preferred to be dragged across the strip:

Finn

Ezra's turn #1

I also really like this picture of Finn running. He had so much fun this weekend.

Running

How Many Moisions Can You Fit in a Tub?

The boys were in desperate need of a bath last night (which is almost always the case) and after washing their hair and faces, I left them to play and soak off the rest of the dirt. When I peeked in a few minutes later, they were both in the same tub, which I thought was physically impossible. But, they were having a grand time, so I ran for my camera.

How many Moisions can you fit in a tub?

Squishing noses

It’s All Fun and Games …

… until the plants get smashed.

Sometimes this whole testing limits thing the boys do drives me insane. This trampling was the result of a four-minute lapse in supervision on my part, before which I had green-lighted digging in “nature” (our front yard) with the caveat that they be mindful of the plants. Perhaps my direction was unclear.

Otherwise it was a lovely day — play date at Alex and Kyan’s, nap time, watermelon on the porch. Is it bedtime yet?

Ezra and Finn’s Big Weekend

This weekend Bruce and I got away together for two nights (for the first time ever) and Erin stayed with the boys. Emily came for some of the time too, so you can imagine how happy the boys were with all the attention lavished on them. They had a wildly active weekend — bike riding, scooter riding, Toy Story 3 at the theater, swimming at the Altadena Country Club, etc. They also helped Emily and her friends sell 25 bucks worth of lemonade at their lemonade stand — genius marketing plan to have Finn hold the sign. Here are some photos I stole from Erin’s Facebook album.