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
IMG_2598

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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Version 7.5

On May 29th Everett will celebrate his half birthday. He is quite pleased about this fact. We are amazed at how the time has flown. I honestly remember holding him as a baby, so the fact that he walks, talks, jokes, and rides a bike are still puzzling some days. I am so happy that he is so interested in many things.  We bought him a new bike as a “congratulations on finishing first grade” gift and gave it to him early so he could start enjoying it.  He can ride on it forever and not tire of it (wish I could say the same for myself).  We had a great hike out near Mount Sutro a few weekends ago and he had his nose in all of the wildflowers. There’s been some great piano playing now that he’s taking lessons.

ev shows off how to look cool in front of your new bike

ev shows off how to look cool in front of your new bike

observing wildflowers on a nature hike

observing wildflowers on a nature hike

Then there was the day we spent on the beach at Stinson for Mother’s day. He would live on the beach if he could…

having a great day at stinson beach

having a great day at stinson beach

And he’s just been goofing around a lot too. We laugh a lot together. The other day he learned how to take a selfie though perhaps we should explain depth of field to him…

wrong number on the squash-a-phone

wrong number on the squash-a-phone

i love selfies!!

i love selfies!!

Fortunately he still loves to snuggle. Not sure how much longer that will last. And then there are the times when he is just too adorable and I capture it on film…

all smiles

all smiles

He’s growing into quite the individual. I am impressed. He really does have a strong sense of self and what he’s interested in. It has been so fun to see him grow this year. He is still a little boy, but a lot of him is becoming a big boy too. I know I say it often, but I still mean it– we are so fortunate to have him in our lives!

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Where We Left Off

Now where was I? I seem to have promised more regular posts and then just didn’t do it. Guess life continues to be busy. To be honest, this spring was a doozie at work. I had events and lectures to run a few a week for many weeks in a row and I was truly spent when it was all over. After work  I’d come home, make dinner, and then read or watch tv,  or just veg–basically because that was all my body and brain would allow. The thought of typing up pithy nuggets overwhelmed me so I stayed away. Well, that log-jam has cleared and the days seem longer due to the late sunset so perhaps I’ll “get back up on the horse” and do some more writin’ for y’all.

This has been a fun year for Everett. One of the main goals of his year in first grade is that he leave it being a proficient reader. I am proud to say that he is. Now he reads signs when we are out, he spells words off the top of his head when he’s walking around the house or sitting in the car, and he enjoys reading the books we bring home from the library.  Phew. He’s worked hard at it and he’s proud too (you can tell). He continues to be interested in nature and science–he’s been looking down at the ground lately to find ant colonies, and was thrilled to manage a disbursement of ladybugs into our yard recently (darned white winged gnats–be gone!).  Baseball has had its moments (hard to stand in a field for an inning when the game goes on for 90 minutes) with Ev hitting pretty well and fielding quite well. He even got to play catcher for an inning.

player of the day!

player of the day!

 

the catcher

the catcher

batter up!

batter up!

The holidays were fun with Everett making Hamentashen for the first time with Mom Mom Mina for Purim and decorating eggs for the Easter egg hunt at Grandma Cathy and Grandpa Ted’s.

making hamentashen with mom mom mina

making hamentashen with mom mom mina

working hard on getting the eggs just righ

working hard on getting the eggs just right

Ev and Larry had a fun day at the Exploratorium in SF during Ev’s spring vacation week (yup, I had a lecture to run that week). And Ev got a new desk that is bigger and has tackboards and cubbies!

having fun with daddy at the exploratorium

having fun with daddy at the exploratorium

hard at work at the new desk

hard at work at the new desk

And, as always, we endeavor to attend Cal Day at UC Berkeley. It is their open house to the community for students who are considering applying and for the community to enjoy what is offered that day. In years past we spent a lot of time in the room looking at the cases of bugs.

This year Everett decided he wanted to focus on Physics so we attended a lecture (with tons of cool experiments illustrating the laws of basic Physics) and then got to try stuff out at a lab. Here is Everett’s favorite.

totally cool at cal day in the physics department

totally cool at cal day in the physics department

Well, that should catch you up for the past few months. More soon!

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The Happiest Place on Earth

ev and mickey at mickey's house

ev and mickey at mickey’s house

Well, I’d be hard-pressed to not agree. Our two-day stay at Disneyland and California Adventureland in mid-February was really perfect. We had a good drive down to Anaheim (and back), a great hotel just a few blocks away, and sunny weather in the 70’s.  At seven, Everett was the prime age to get both the attempted perfection of the created environment, the joy of the kitsch from the older stuff or the current characters wandering around, and the sheer magnitude of the experience. Many snacks and beverages were administered both days to stave off meltdowns. Lines for rides snaked around for no longer than 25 minutes and seemed to be moving fast enough to keep us willing to spend the time on our feet. Cumulatively we stood for 75% of the day/night, and were on the go from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., but still well worth the effort. Rather than blather-on with a play-by-play I think I’ll just post the pix and let them do the talking. Enjoy! And remember that if you click on a photo it will get bigger.

ev having a rockin' time at phineas and ferb's dance party

ev having a rockin’ time at phineas and ferb’s dance party

checking out toontown

checking out toontown

ahoy matey! on the lookout on tom sawyer island

ahoy matey! on the lookout on tom sawyer island

ready for takeoff

ready for takeoff

up in tarzan's tree house

up in tarzan’s tree house

ev and mater in radiator springs. happy boy!!

ev and mater in radiator springs. happy boy!!

daddy and ev at autotopia. ev at the wheel

daddy and ev at autotopia. ev at the wheel

at radiator springs racers at night

at radiator springs racers at night

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Now We are Seven

IMG_1428

ev turns seven

Whew. Days have passed. Months have passed. And no new blog posts from me. Sorry, Everett fans. But, now I am back with a renewed devotion to being more bloggerly. So much happened this past summer and fall and alas I’ve not kept you posted. But some of the great things that are making me jubilant are based solely on Everett and his happiness in the classroom. School is such a huge chunk of his life. Kindergarten was like a roller coaster with a lot of sharp turns and surprises. First grade has been like a ferris wheel–getting to the top of the wheel and looking down proudly at all you have mastered.

Everett has a great teacher. Joon is sharp. She knows how to deal with children that have a little too much energy when it is time to sit still and learn. She communicates clearly and with her goals stated up front. Everett likes the structure, the pace, the challenges. He is a completely different child this year. Yes, he is more mature but ultimately I think he really digs being challenged and having a handle on math skills and reading. When we are out he is now constantly reading signs. He knows he’s getting it. The frustration is minimal. It’s so cool.

At the end of November he turned seven. We’d promised him he could watch the “first” Star Wars movie when he turned seven. So, on his actual birthday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, we all sat down at 2 pm with a bucket of homemade popcorn and watched it. He followed the story really well. Larry and I realized that when the first film was released and we saw it on opening day there was no merchandise out there yet. We were virgins in the Star Wars realm. These days there is so much merchandise and branding out there that none of it was a big surprise to Ev. Anyway, it was fun.

The last week of November was insane including the first night of Hanukkah, his birthday, and Thanksgiving. Saturday off and then Sunday we took three of his friends out for pizza and a movie as his celebration. Last year’s art studio party for 17 kids left a big emotional scar on me to the point where we thought it fine to suggest a small scale party this year (too many kids=general mayhem and a million thank you notes). Ev was more than happy to oblige. It was adorable to be a part of it and his friends are dear boys that we’ve known since either pre-school or kindergarten.

More recently we celebrated Christmas with Larry’s family and then New Year’s eve. Two weeks of vacation for Everett (so thus me as well) seemed short and long. In some ways it was good to get back into the routine on Monday.

Well, there are a bunch of great pictures from 2013, at home and on the road, that I promise to share with you soon. Happy New Year y’all!!

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Have You Missed Me?

Such a slacker, I am. Four months without a post. Can I blame having a busy but good life? YES. I see that my last post was about the ending of the school year and Ev moving on from Kindergarten. Well, it’s official–he’s definitely a first-grader and has been one for close to two months.

ARGGGHHH, the summer had such fun times and I meant to post the stories and pictures but never found the time. Over the next few weeks I will post snippets about our summer fun. But the fall has been fun too! We just got back from a great trip to the East Coast. Ev is in a soccer league, he’s growing like a sprout, he’s getting the reading bug, and loves to work on his penmanship. In one month he’ll turn seven. So much going on!

Well here’s one picture to hold you for now. I promise to keep up with the posts. Some of the stories are too good not to share!

first day of first grade

first day of first grade

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