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3 posts from March 2009

March 22, 2009

Pinkalicious turns 7

IMG_0378 No, she is not always completely girly, though she does have her princess moments.  In fact, I think of her as my hybrid child.  A lovely blend between spending all your time outdoors, breathing in the sunshine, counting the worms for mom, and pretty please can I wear the pink, no purple, no pink, dress today??

 She is my careful (won't ride her bike without self-administered bike helmet & knee pads) child who IMG_0414remembers everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) you say, and when you said it.  "Mom, no, that isn't what you said, you said, ...".  She is my perky, social butterfly who has become a read-aholic who can't put a book down even when ALL of the lights have been out for quite some time.  She composes notes for us daily, and every one tells of how much she loves us.  They are frequent, loving, and are posted everywhere. IMG_0434

I like a clean fridge on the inside, but nothing is better than the outside being plastered in notes of love, not only for me, but the whole family.  She loves to sing (quietly, "Do you love my voice, too, mom?") and runs for fun (well, she is related to Peter).  She is annoyed by her sister's singing, but loves to play school with her for hours.  She gets cranky when her brother pulls her hair, but cries when she realizes how much she loves him.

She is Kelsey, my Kelsey-Delsey nugget, and today she is 7.  Happy Birthday, my sweet little  buddy, junior

March 12, 2009

You might remember

a while back, I was a bit freaked, to say the least, about the girls.  Well, not them so much as the differences between cultures, schools, time zones, you name it.  I worried way too much and finally quit doing so.  Sometimes I wonder if I should stress more (a female thing?) and then I have conversations with my children that let me know perhaps I should just keep chilling.



Kelsey, "Mommy, mommy, mommy, we have to read now! I haven't done my reading, and I really have to do it!"

Jen, "Dad says you have done your reading (both her school book per day and pleasure reading) and you can go to sleep now.  Don't worry, you are fine."

Kelsey, "No, no, I only read a little bit, I didn't read more and I have to read more to be a more better reader!"

After taking a brief break to reel in horror from the statement above.   More better....Kelsey might as well have said, "I did good!".  

Once recovered, "Honey, you are a good reader, in fact, you are a great reader.  You can go to sleep now and not worry about it."

Kelsey, "But I have to read more so I can read CHAPTER BOOKS!"

Jen, "Honey, you DO read chapter books!"

Kelsey, "But I want to read HARDER ONES!"

I gave up at this point and made her go to sleep.  Shutting off the light doesn't necessarily do any good, as she will read by any light she can find.  However, she must have been truly exhausted as she finally gave up the fight and fell asleep soon thereafter.  I wandered off to relay the conversation to Peter and then thought about the past few months.  Who knew this would be the end result of my needless worrying?  

Without a doubt, I fret too much.  With all of the stress on kids and their reading habits, I had no idea I would be so lucky to have not one, but two 'under the covers with flashlights kids'.  Color me thrilled and worried no more.  Oh, and grateful...very, very grateful.

March 08, 2009

Mt. Diablo

When we contemplated moving to CA, we thought about just how much we would be able to do here.  IMG_0420 Museum after museum, outdoor...everything, activities for the kids, the family...we knew it wouldn't end. After perusing all of our options, we have realized that we finally found "our" family activity:  hiking.

IMG_0423 We always enjoyed hiking in Iceland, but it was never anything terribly strenuous.  We would wander around parks (well, large random outdoor spaces on the outskirts of Reykjavik), traverse massive lava fields, and attempt to crawl behind waterfalls.  For whatever reason, most of our hikes did not involve steep or windy mountains.  We instead enjoyed walking long distances on sometimes uneven terrain (just as much of a workout)!

While we have found our local climbing area, we want to be sure we are not forgetting to explore other areas (though our hiking hills are quite large).  We love Las Trampas, but didn't want to ignore other close by and possibly, fantastic opportunities.

Enter: Mt. Diablo State park. Who could miss the signs on on I-680?  We finally decided today was the day, and meandered up the road to the park.  We meandered, meandered, and meandered.  It may be only 3.1 miles, but had to be (short of Colonia Tovar) the longest 3.1 miles we ever drove.

It was made even longer (sorry, Cait) by a repeat of events that took place on the way back fromIMG_0431 Colonia Tovar with Auntie Shannon.  Poor Cait was never fond of strawberries, but that windy, hilly, car hugs the curve of the road, well, road, guaranteed that she never be Senorita Las Fresas...maybe Senorita no se gusta las fresas porque....well, you figure it out...we stopped counting after six stops along the road.

After a brief stop, we forged ahead with the windows wide open and made every desperate attempt to avoid the bikers that covered the road like ants on a piece of half-eaten candy, dropped on the hot, summer sidewalk and left for good.  We finally made it to the entrance (and actually had cash), and continued the windy drive.  The second sojourn only lasted a IMG_0433few minutes before plentiful parking and picnic spaces appeared.

We parked with the rest of the world, and hopped out to enjoy the picnic basket goodies (bolani, cilantro/basil pesto, mint-garlic sauce, leftover pizza), most of which had been procured at the Danville Farmers market that morning.  Kelsey devoured almost everything, Cait picked at pizza, and Peter and I became instant fans  of everything bolani-related.  Oh, and yes, everyone's favorite toddler loved the spinach bolani (but did you actually think otherwise)?

 After lunch, I strapped Nicholas into the Ergo, and off we went.  We found a natural rock slide (later to be conquered by Kelsey), a tiny, hidden cave (which inexplicably scared the pants off Caitlin), and a mini-mountain to climb (well, 3 of us).  It was a lovely day, and we once again (despite the drive in) were glad we persevered to see what nature had on her plate that day?  Our rating: 5 stars and a must-see if you are ever in the area.