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.

Finn Plays Catch … sort of

I took the boys to Under the Sea indoor playground this afternoon, and Finn spent a good amount of time playing a game of catch. I wish I’d caught more of his little hippity-hop run on the video, but this will have to suffice. I love Ezra’s little cameo at the end, too. It makes me laugh every time.

Ezra’s New Booster Seat

I’ve been toying with the idea of moving Ezra out of his car seat and into a booster seat for a while now, but up until yesterday I’d talked myself out of it. I like having him in a five-point harness and he’s still well under the 65-pound weight limit and a few inches shorter than the height limit. Yet, I had this nagging desire to let him have the big kid seat. So, yesterday when part of the strap of his car seat broke (an inconsequential part, as it turns out), I seized the opportunity to run down to Right Start and pick up an (on sale) fancy new Britax Parkway SG I’d been eyeing for some time. And then I freaked out about it all night before installing it this morning.

Ezra is thrilled beyond belief — he loved riding in his new cozy seat to gymnastics class this morning, and is very excited that he now uses the regular seatbelt (“It’s just like yours, Mommy!”). He announced it to our friends and his teachers the second we walked into gymnastics, and after his class he went around to all the other moms there (none of whom he knew) and told them, too.

Finn, of course, is completely devastated that he can’t have one.


We went to the Huntington yesterday. Here are my favorite shots.

Ezra looks for fish

Finn shows off his new sunglasses

Tunnel Monsters!

We had a fun play date at Elizabeth’s this afternoon, and one of the main attractions was their red tunnels. Edie started the spooky madness by standing up with the tunnel over her. Richie and Finn gave it a go, but they’re a little too short for it to work properly (although it was pretty funny to hear Finn yelling, “I’m pooky!”). Ezra was a better match for this game.

And yes, Ezra is standing up straight — Edie, while only two months older, has quite the height advantage!

Mother’s Day

We had a lovely mellow Mother’s Day this year. I got to sleep in and was greeted by Ezra at about 7:30 who told me he’d made breakfast for me. He got my slippers for me and ushered me into the kitchen where I found  pancakes, orange slices, and coffee. I had heard some arguing before Ezra had come in, and later Bruce told me that the boys were fighting over how many orange slices to put on the plate (Ezra wanted two, Finn wanted one — Ezra won). It looks like my little foodies are already worried about presentation.

They also cut a giant bouquet of roses from the backyard:

In the afternoon I took the boys for a walk over to Polkatots Cupcakes to pick up a treat. They waited patiently for our turn in line:

After that, Bruce took them to the Arroyo and I got the most coveted two-plus hours of home-alone time. I read, napped, and relaxed. Heaven.


A couple of friends and I took our kids to Kidspace last week for what turned out to be a fairly disjointed play date. Immediately upon entry, all three families took off in different directions. While it wasn’t as much fun for the moms, the kids all had a good time exploring different parts of the museum. My guys spent some time with the building blocks, the water drum area, and the rope spider web.

And Finn searched for squirrels in the bushes:

A Contrast

This morning, while I was making the living room look like this:

… the boys were making their room look like this:

Finn and Ezra's morning project 1

Finn and Ezra's morning project 2

They were pretending (or as Finn says “pretemming”) to be trash men (thus the “work boots”), and took all of their toys to the dump (aka the area behind Ezra’s bed). I knew they were doing this and despite the fact that it makes me CRAZY, I let it go. Ezra promised they would clean it up. We’ll see how that goes.

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


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.