Toolin’ Along


outstanding in his field

Just a quick hello and update on the new school year. Everett is enjoying his new teacher, Mr. Agajan. We like him too. The kids started working on multiplication and division the first week of school. Man o’ man. And, 25 minutes of reading at the start of each day. Ev is happy about that. Wish I could have 25 minutes mandatory reading each morning! They also read along with the teacher each day. First book was Charlotte’s Web. Still eats peanut butter & jelly each day and likes to swing on the monkey bars.

So, much changes and much stays the same. Regardless, we are off to a good start!!

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On Shaky Ground

Greetings from earthquake central. We were “jolted” awake this morning by a 4.1 earthquake on the Hayward Fault that had an epicenter just a mile or so from our house. It woke us all. Everett has never been awake during an earthquake so you can imagine his fright at being on a shaking bed at 7 in the morning. We gathered him and put him in our bed. We had a conversation about whether his gecko felt it before we did since animals are more sensitive to the tremblings of the earth. Our house is fine. We heard news helicopters hovering shortly after the quake. Big news!

He was mighty depressed when he learned that this is his last week before school starts AND he had to go to camp. I told him that the Exploratorium was the perfect place to go after an earthquake. I bet they have a bunch of sensors and will show the kids the lines noting the quakes and the results of other data. Guess I’ll find out tonight when he gets home to report his findings.

ev baylife

ev observes bay aquatic life

Here is Everett at camp exploring all of the tiny aquatic life that has attached itself to the buoy in the bay. He said that all of the shrimp and crabs, etc. were extremely tiny. So cool…

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Bubbles, Rockets, Teamwork, and Monkey Time

Well, it’s rare for Everett to speak about all of the things he’s done on any specific day, but these days seem to be different. Everett has spoken, with a smile on his face, about his daily travails and accomplishments since he started camp at the Exploratorium. He and Larry gallantly ride their scooters from the train station at the Embarcadero down the esplanade for a mile or so. Here you can see Everett all suited-up, outside of the building.

ev ex

ev ex

We’ve heard about the bubble activity (in the words of the camp leader via email post): “Campers took part in serious play, not only working to create the biggest bubbles (and bubbles that floated above the museum’s rooftop, bubbles inside bubbles, and more) but also observing the colors and shapes that bubbles allow us to see.

And building rockets and shooting them up into the air (in the words of the camp leader): “After exploring the Crossroads gallery of the museum, the day started off filled with laughter – literally!  Campers were led in a laughter yoga exercise for our morning surprise. Campers then left the museum to go build and launch stomp rockets. For stomp rockets, we walked to the grassy area in front of the cruise ship terminal at Pier 27 to both build and launch our rockets, which we made out of paper, tape and index cards. Campers considered what elements or forces would cause higher flights as they constructed and launched their rockets into the sky.

It also sounds like every day they have lunch at the park with lots of time to swing like a monkey on the jungle gym (which is essential to a healthy child’s existence, right?).

So, all is well in “Everettville.” We are so lucky that there are camps to spark a child’s imagination and challenge them to think strategically as well as creatively. Who knows what he’ll tell us he did today!  Rock on, Everett!!

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It’s Just Physics, Dude

Happy to report that Everett just started his final 2015 summer camp experience today. He is attending a two week science camp at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Around 8 he and Larry took BART to get to the Embarcadero along with all the workday commuters. Apparently Everett found it quite entertaining to be among the masses.

Everett is still really interested in science so we have high hopes that he’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of this program.  I’ll let you know once we get a “report from the field.”

ev explores at the exploratorium

ev explores at the exploratorium

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Getting Ahead of Myself

IMG_4966Wow, the summer just flew by. Guess it was bound to happen. Yesterday I found myself in a downward spiral. I was overwhelmed by the load of that which lies ahead with Everett with a new school year, soccer team, figuring out a Hebrew tutor, etc., etc. I was fascinated that as I ruminated about all the things that could go sideways I just got more and more stressed-out. I wanted to be all “rainbows and sunshine” and couldn’t find my way out of the dark. I realized that our perception can paint the picture any way we aim it. Wouldn’t it have been better to think about the huge strides he’s made in the past year and be filled with hope and excitement about the new challenges? Yes, it would have been better to think of it that way, but I couldn’t.

Perhaps time helps. This morning I was a little less anxious about it all. Not gone, but less in the forefront. Gosh. As parents do we subconsciously communicate our own fears to our children? Is it wrong to put on a smiley face for your child when you sense they’ll struggle with what you’re thinking about? Big questions. No answers yet. Just trying to remind myself that it is all an opportunity to grow (him and me) and that we need to be gentle with ourselves whenever possible. Life is challenging. It is also rewarding. Look for the sunshine and rainbows even if you are not feeling it.

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Been Away So Long…

Hi everyone!

I have it on good authority that my minions miss my blog posts. I must oblige them.

It’s been a long time since I wrote. Everything is fine. I guess as your kid grows there is more to do and less time to do it. Gone are the days of strollers, afternoon naps, easy reader books. They have been replaced with nerf basketball, late nights of co-reading, and solitary iPad games. Change can be good. Everett is 8 1/2 and is quite the little man. His many personality traits are fascinating to witness as they build, change, shift gears, solidify.

I realize that I could post a hundred photos (all of which make me smile), but I’ve winnowed it down to just a bunch. (click on a photo to enlarge it)IMG_2104

This is from Halloween. I made the vest and gussied up the hat a bit. Ev provided the gap toothed grin. On the topic of teeth–Everett has lost four so far. The gaps outnumbered the new teeth for a while, and there was drama about removing the first one when it was hanging on by nothing. Regardless, Everett was worried if it would hurt and how long it would take. I think somehow I distracted him while my fingers were in his mouth. Pop. Done. He was so relieved he cried.

Everett’s sense of humor always amazes me. He can thank his dad for stoking that front. One day he just pulled all this from his side dresser and came into the kitchen to pose.IMG_2390

He turned 8 in late November. IMG_4148

For some reason the half years seem to show the most challenges not the birthdays. This spring Everett had a lot of progress but sometimes it felt like one step forward and two steps back. At school’s end we were pleased that he read well and was good at math, but socially he was troubled by how to read the kids he thought were friends but who treated him badly. He was at the bad end of some situations that left him feeling fooled and vulnerable. We worked on focusing on the good friends he had and use that as a guide for how caring people treat each other. Were kids this mean and conniving when we were growing up?

And there were the issues surrounding screen time and piano practicing– ne’er the twain shall meet. No practicing = no iPad. Wow, talk about an angry kid… Well, enough on those topics. Just to say that it has been challenging to allow him to work through his frustrations and work on solutions. My basic instinct is to jump in and fix it all but I know how that keeps kids from learning how to get through life on their own. Resilience.

On the flip side, Everett matures, has fascinating deep thoughts about many topics, continues to love animals, science, astronomy, music, cooking, scootering, minecraft, and Lego. He is a great eater and sleeper. He is getting taller! He still is willing to give me hugs and kisses (not sure that will last much longer).

Here is the salad Nicoise that Everett put together with the help of his grandmothers. And here is a picture of the three of them. For some reason they are all wearing stripes. Such a fashionable gang.ev makes salad nicoise

grandmoms + ev

Here’s a great shot of my boys on the beach at Santa Barbara at new year’s eve, and the maker faire this spring. IMG_3929

We just got back from a trip to Utah, Arizona, and Nevada in mid-June (the day after Ev finished school). We visited Zion and Bryce parks as well as the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Hot weather, but amazing, breathtaking sights.

Well, here’s one last photo that makes me happy. Ev has a way of warming up the world with those beautiful eyes and great smile.

Until next time….

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Baby Giraffe

all legs

all legs

Guess you thought we’d fallen off the face of the earth…naw… we were just busy living life. So much stuff has happened since I posted in
May (yikes, was it that long ago?).

1. Everett finished first grade.

2. We went on an awesome vacation in upstate Washington to Olympic National Park and stayed on Lake Crescent and then to North Cascades Park near the town of Concrete. We stayed in cabins, hiked the beautiful park trails, saw a ton of moss and waterfalls (and deer) and also spent a day in Seattle.

3. Larry and Ev went on their annual summer camping trip to Mount Lassen National Park in Northeast California. It was a lot of driving for Larry but they had a blast.

4. Ev lost two bottom teeth. One got sort of loose and then took 17 days to come out (with a little twist by me). The second one was loose for about three days and it came out quickly!  Now a top one is loose. Good thing corn on the cob season is winding down.

5. Everett grew a full inch since May. I called this post “baby giraffe” because he has long legs that seem to go on forever.

6. Ev started second grade!

So that was the condensed version. Ev will be eight in a about three months. He reads easily, has big ideas about science, wants to help cook, rides a bike like a speedster, and is patiently awaiting his first soccer match of the season in two days. He swears he hates piano despite his being good at it, loves to watch cooking shows, travel shows, and This Old House. Someday when he starts to be a world traveler he’ll already know so much, and he’ll never go hungry as a bachelor since he’s watched Julia Child make many an omelette.

Pictures coming soon. Stay tuned!

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