Monday, March 31, 2014

Spirited Away

We are so lucky to live somewhere with places like this. I took the kids to Hakone Gardens because they were sick and so was I, and if we just stay in the house trying to relax and convalesce someone is going to get murdered. I need places for them to run and be outside without being near other people's kids coughing and sneezing and making Mom get dirty looks.

It just happens to be beautiful too.

the most nonchalant turtle I've ever seen. Austin even touched him and he never moved aside from turning to look at us.

This place is near and dear to my heart, because I took some of my favorite pictures of Austin here when he was just a bit older than Sophie is now. This was just before St. Patrick's Day, 2012, making him almost 17 months old. We finally got a membership this year.

Please note, I am significantly better at making sure the shoes are on the right feet these days.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


It is so crazy to remember last year, about this time, when Austin had just started speaking. Now he's a chatterbox. I'm trying to log some of the awesome things he says before he grows out of them and I forget how much I had to translate...This is by no means an exhaustive list.

San Tozay: a really big building.
This was confusing for us, because he's obviously trying to say "San Jose." And we'd always hear, "I want to go in San Tozay," which we'd answer with various explanations about how we live *in* San Jose. It wasn't until I started hearing him say, "I want to go in *that* San Tozay," that I realized this just means a really big building, even ones in Oakland or San Francisco.

Odershirt: air conditioner?
I'm still not entirely sure what this means, but he tells me to turn it off when we park the car.

Dig Doy: big boy
We still have a hard time with bs and ps. But the reason I'm including this and not everything that has a b or a p in it is because of its extremely specific definition. For example, if Austin is pretending to fly in a rocket, we'll ask, "are you an astronaut?" To which he'll reply, "No, I'm a dig doy." If we press, "a big boy who is an astronaut?" he'll say, "No, I'm a regular dig doy." To date, dig doys are not pirates, astronauts, superheroes, fire fighters, police men...

"I want to knock it down to the ground"
We say this when we're really upset, about pretty much everything. Don't want this sandwich? "Just knock the sandwich over to the ground."
Mom giving you trouble? "Just knock Mom down to the ground."
Sun is up? "I want to knock the Sun down to the ground and break it and put it in the garbage can."

Excuse me: excuse me
He actually says this very well. It's the fact he says it while he bounces off people in crowds that's funny.

His favorite food is currently "hangurgers." He also told us the other day that cookies are best, followed by cake and then ice cream.

He has always liked puzzles, but now he's starting to put together more elaborate tracks for his trains and such. By himself! It's awesome to watch. He'll come run and get me to see his "triangle track" or his "circle track."
The triangle track
This may be hard to see, but it really impressed me. This is a set of 8 tiles that all fit together, but there is a track that runs throughout. You need to line up the track as you fit the pieces together in order for the little guy to run the circuit without derailing. He does these all by himself now :)
He also builds his own vehicles out of legos. This is a train, naturally.
This is a rocket. He's also starting to be kind of bossy... First he wanted to put the rocket in space, so I put some paper underneath. Then it was, "draw shooting stars! draw fire coming out of the rocket! draw the moo-oon!" We also added an astronaut, who you can see through the window piece.

Mom's radio is currently broken, so we're listening to one of our cds we made off our MP3 collection. It's got 150 songs on it and Austin has several favorites. And they now have new names for me to remember as well as the number of the song on the cd.

The Chumma song

The Up and Down song

The Rainbow song

We don't have this song, but if we're watching something on tv and we see this ad, it is required that we watch it about 40 times.

The Singo Dongo song

When it is time to go to bed, Austin has taken to telling us stories. This is one of them.

Amazing. I'm so proud of our little dude. Can't wait to see what's next :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Trip to Stanford and the Rains Come

It's been raining for the past few days. We've been in the throes of a terrible drought, so we really need the rain and the kids haven't seen it in weeks. Sophie wasn't even walking when we last got a good thunderstorm. So I've been turning 'em loose to play in it. Because if I had to entertain them for days on end without using the yard, I think we'd all go insane.

On the last nice day we had, we traveled up to Stanford, planning to see the sculpture garden. There are two there, and we've been to the Rodins, but hadn't seen the New Guinea collection. We were planning to meet up with some friends. And then Mom got lost. I parked somewhere weird and walked the wrong way for a while. Eventually, after an hour of walking with a three year old and and a one year old in the Ergo, we found our friends in front of the only art we could reliably find and Mom collapsed in the gravel. The three year old is evidently magic and took this opportunity to run around in circles throwing gravel, pretending to be a firework.

Austin crashes the Law Library
Sophie at the Gates of Hell
Sophie and the Three Shades
Austin attempting to climb an Eve other than me

My favorite shot of the day. They look so cultured!

 When it was time to go home I knew it was going to be impossible to walk back to the car. Happily, the Stanford bus is free! It's free for everyone! Hooray!

Unhappily, we got on the wrong one. It took us to the train station where we had to wait about five minutes or so for the right bus that was actually going around Stanford. Austin thought this was awesome. And when the next bus came, the driver took such good care of us. He gave Austin a bus schedule to flip through and talked to us the whole time. We picked up a man with a saxophone and it was only the five of us, me, Austin, Sophie, the driver and the sax player. The sax man waggled his keys for the kids and then began to serenade Sophie, who was completely mesmerized. I've never heard a person play the sax so soft. And when it was time to get off, the driver let Austin kneel the bus, flipping all the switches for the hydraulics and deploying the ramp and everything.

We're some lucky peeps. And then the rains came, and that was lucky too...

When it's not wet enough from the rain, your brother might help make some puddles with the hose

And there might be some authentic, undoctored puddles from the rain still on the slate. Please note the change of clothes: this is a natural outcome of turning your back on a 3 year old with a hose