Friday, August 31, 2012

Erin M, Forensic Biologist

So, as you've read, we dug up Steve so he wouldn't be lost.  We noticed his skull was a little broken - just under one eye socket was broken, the bottom jaw was broken into two pieces, and the nose was a little broken too.

I apologized to Steve for not being more gentle when digging him up.  Yesterday, Erin was showing the bones to Brian in the morning (he was away on his regular PDX work trip when we did the digging project.)  I came in and said again how I was sad I'd broken his skull.

Erin took a deep breath.  Deep.  She said,

Mom, maybe you didn't do it.  When Steve died, he got smooshed by a car.  Maybe the car broke his eye.  Maybe that's what happened. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paint Your Body Project

It's been awhile since we've done some big, messy, fun projects.  I busted out a pile of cotton swabs, some large paper, an egg crate full of tempera paint.  I had the girls strip to their skivvies and I traced their body outlines.  The goal was to color in their bodies, putting on clothes, details, anything.

Erin got right into it and "dressed" herself.

Robin took the instructions more literally.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Something I never though I'd do #45

Exhume a dead cat.

We're about to dig out the dirt patch behind our garage to put in an office shed for Brian and vegetable beds.  This means where our kitty Steve was buried will be dug up and removed.  We want to keep him here, so the girls and I got out our shovels and got him out of the ground.  We'll put him back when the project was over.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Need a laugh?

This video is audio-only.  Enjoy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fashion Friday: Mix n' match

Silky green fairy dress-up dress paired with pink snow boots.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kindergarten Day 1

Actually hour one, since the first day was basically a 1 hour orientation.

A few pictures:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Erin and Robin's Press Coverage

This summer, Erin was featured in two news articles, Robin in one!

The first was the local Orinda news, for the 4th of July.
Scroll down to the left side of Pg. 3 - you'll see the girls in the dirndls they decided were festive.

Then a few weeks later she was interviewed by SF Chronicle at the Berkeley Kite Festival:

So exciting!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lost crop

Our tomato plants are large, but we're getting very few tomatoes.  I was thrilled to see a few starting to blush red.  Then I went outside to water this morning and found this:

One or two large hunks chewed out of each. Really, little rat or mouse or whatever is eating my tomatoes, can't you just eat one and leave us the rest?  Sheesh!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Siri, Meet Robin

Robin was eager to talk to Siri, so I let her.

What Robin said:

Set the timer for three minutes.

Siri's translation:

I don't know what you mean by, "Set the time that to ornamented I love call a cab pop."

Guess Siri doesn't speak toddler.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Teaching how to Ride a Bike

Here's how it went.

We went to the playground. Erin put on her helmet.  Erin got on her bike for the first time.  Erin rode away.

I'm not kidding.

No pushing on the back of the bike, no helping her get started.  No falling down even.  Just hop on and ride.  I kinda feel like we missed something about being a parent.  Then again, I'm glad it was so easy.

Grainy video:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

1000 posts and Lavender Wands

That's right, folks!  We've been entertaining you for 1000 posts.  To celebrate, I'll share a recent project that I really liked: Lavender Wands.  My parents had gotten me one of these YEARS ago from a street fair.  I looked up some youtube instructions and realized how easy it is.  All you need is 16 sticks of lavender and some ribbon.

Line up the lavender so all the tops are even at the base.

Tie at the base of the flowers with the ribbon.  I actually also first tied it quite snug with some thread wrapped around a few times.

Bend the stems of the lavender over to create kind of a "basket". If you want, you can just tie where the flowers end.  But I like the ribbon effect.  Weave the ends of the ribbon in/out of the stems, alternating the left and right ribbon. 

OK, so I ran out of ribbon on this one, but you can see the top woven part of the ribbon how lovely it can be.

Here's one I did last week for Erin.  The nice thing is it smells really good, and dries. The one I had from my parent's still smelled lovely after many years.  You can put them in your underwear drawer, or if you have a cedar chest the lavender will help keep the bugs away.  Or, if you're a daughter of mine you'll use them as a magic want to transform your parents into all manner of bird and beast. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spread the love to Cambodia

Some had asked about the well my Mom bought in honor of Erin and Robin and their cousins.

This is the organization.

Helping other people, in whatever way it happens, is a beautiful thing.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lemons And Seeds

Erin was squeezing some lemons for me, to make juice for a recipe.

E: Mom, there's a seed in the lemon!

A: Yes, but we can just fish them out later.  Don't worry if they get in the juice.

E: Mom, but there's a lemon in the seed.

A: What?

E: There's a seed in the lemon, a lemon in the seed, then another seed in the lemon. . . .

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Diving Board

Erin and Robin got to go off the diving board today for the very first time.  Erin impressed us with jumping in excitedly, rising to the surface, bobbing and paddling back to the edge of the pool without assistance*.


Robin astounded us with her total fearlessness*.  

*These videos were of their very first jumps.  They went on to jump as often as they could until we had to leave.  Big thank you to Dad, Brian, for helping them on each dive. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Erin's Fiscal Responsibility

This week at the local Thursday night concert, I let Erin loose with  $20 to go buy herself a hot dog.  I was about 150 yards away, watching the whole time.  I advised her to ask for one hot dog, and she should get a lot of money back. Here she is at the snack shop:

And here she is coming back, proud as anything to have successfully bought a hot dog and returned with the appropriate amount of change.

Not pictured is Robin's indignation that her $0.10 did not buy her a hot dog. She was upset for quite awhile that Erin's money could buy food but hers could not.  I have no idea where Robin found ten cents. Erin shared her spoils with Robin, so everything worked out in the end.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quick Visit from Dalia and Zoey

Zoey and Dalia were in town with their Mom and Dad.  We went to the SF Zoo.

All the girls had a nice time, they were troopers in tromping around the entire zoo.  Only at the end did we convince them to pile into the wagon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Robin's Bad Dream

Robin started crying at 7 this morning. I went in to soothe her, to try to get her to sleep a little longer. She started talking.
 "I wanted the big ice cream! I wanted the big ice cream but they were all out!" 
 She was not quieting down, and I was curious so I asked her about the ice cream.
"I blowed the candle out and there was a little ice cream. I wanted the big ice cream, there was the one with sprinkles. The lady with the green shirt ran out of the big, pink ice cream, the one with the little sprinkles."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Return from Yosemite!

On Sat we returned from a weeks camping at Yosemite.  Many showers and loads of laundry later there's still a faint scent of campfire on everyone.

We have many stories to share, but we'll start with this one:

Brian and the girls in the hammock for about 30 min. The girls are frequently laughing hysterically.  Brian is telling them the fable of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, with tons of silly embellishment.  


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Craft project: Crochet Doll Dress

Erin has become attached to this little doll, one from my childhood.  Originally named Charlotte, she has a new moniker, Mirabelle.  Mirabelle has been wearing an old dress, so I though I'd use up some scrap yarn and make her a new dress. 

Mirabelle is much happier now. Pattern here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Kuna Hike

We took a long, off-trail hike in Yosemite today to a small, 11,000 ft high lake called Kuna. This is a place of beauty. This is a quiet, secret space. This is a space sacred to Mr. B, whose car bears the license plate "KUNA" and whose wishes are for his ashes to be scattered around the lake. I've heard a lot about this place, and today was the day to go there.

Many thanks to Grandma and Grandpa who watched the girls the entire day and gave Brian and I our longest date since.... since... well, since Erin came into our lives.

 As pictures are worth at least 1000 words each, we'll tell the story that way. Let me just say what is not pictured. We had a lunch of mashed potatoes, SPAM and beer. Mr. B caught half a dozen fish in twice as many casts.

Get the flash player here:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Knitting project: Baby Hat

I made this hat for my cousin Sean, about to have his little girl.  It's a newborn size but the yarn is really slippery.  After blocking it, I think it'll be more a 6-12 month hat.  Either way, it was a darling, fast pattern.  I like the eyelet detail and decided a sweet ribbon would look nice in it. 

Pattern here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to Get Kids to Love Nature

Rule 1: Take your kids into Nature.


Rule 2: Stop making rules.