Wednesday, February 17, 2010

After LONG day, 1.5 hour commute home

No I did not take this picture with my non-existent camera phone. This is a photo from the web (taken by lynac of Kuala Lumpur and posted on flickr) to illustrate the hell I experienced tonight, in the dark, as I drove home. CalTrans closed a lane on the 101 and I spent 1.5 hours on my 22 mile commute. Totally sucked. I missed dinner and bathtime and had Mitch worried sick. We will now be getting a headset so I can call Mitch hands-free on my cell phone if this ever happens again which hopefully it won't but inevitably it will...


The girls LOVE Katafanga and he actually likes them now too. The other day we went over to Seth and Elise's and Katafanga was there and Josie goes, "Your Katafanga looks just like my Katafanga." I think she actually thinks that Seth and Elise have their own Katafanga that is different than our cat...

Tuesday Night Dinner

Josie LOVES her tutu

Building Sand Castles on the Beach Last Saturday

I took the girls to the beach last Saturday to search for shells, eat snacks, and build sand castles. Mitch worked on sanding the drywall in the little house.

Cream Cheese Beard

Ojai Hiking Last Friday

Lucy with prickly phlox.
Josie looking through "noculators""
Mitch happy to not be working on the little house for one moment on the weekend.
Hannah, Josie, and Lucy stopping for snacks at the farm.
Lucy getting a short carry.
Ian and Lucy enjoying their hike.
Los Padres hills of chaparral.
Jojo hiking.

Last Friday we went hiking up in the Los Padres National Forest above Ojai. It was a beautiful sunny day and we went with two different family friends with their kids. The girls loved hiking and actually hiked almost the whole way themselves. We even forded two streams and for one Lucy took off her shoes, socks, and pants and waded across holding my hand. The rocks were super pokey and she didn't even complain. Lucy is excited to go back and camp there one day soon.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rock Star

Josie and Lucy decided to wear their swimsuits to the YMCA on Sunday for our weekly family swim session. After Lucy put on her swimsuit and selected her hand me down black boots as footwear she proclaimed, "I look like a rock star." Then she went and got out guitars for her and Josie and they had a little concert before we went to the pool.

Monkeybars and Troll Bridges

Lucy is so fast on the monkeybars and sliding down the pole, all you can catch is her hair.

Crazy hair swinging on the rings.

LuLu's hair again as she flies off on the rings.

Lucy hiding from the camera.

Lucy launching off the monkeybars.

Lucy in motion on the monkeybars.

Lucy on the rings.

JoJo on the "tightrope"

More tightrope walking.

Josie posing on the tightrope.

Josie playing "troll bridge".

Lucy really kicks butt on the monkeybars and the rings these days. She started practices the monkeybars about six or eight months ago and now she is a pro and LOVES to race back and forth on the monkeybars and the rings. She actually has callouses on her palms from all her monkeybar work. Josie loves to play troll bridge from Dora the Explorer and will run back and forth on the bridge about 30 or 40 times as long as you play the "troll" trying to get her. Pictured here is also JoJo's "tight rope walking" on the metal supports of the bridge. She gets up and down onto these supports all by herself and then walks back and forth up there.

New Toothbrushes

The new toothbrushes were too exciting to wait to open until we got home so we had a brief brushing session in the grass at the park.

Coloring Together

LuLu coloring Hello Kitty.

JoJo coloring a mouse from Cinderella.

Sisterly love.

One of those moments of sisterly togetherness that never seems to last long enough but is wonderful to behold when it does happen. JoJo wanted to color while in "diapy butt". Check out the close-ups to see the world of difference between two-year old coloring and four-year old coloring.

Little House Update

Mitch has been working hard non-stop pretty much every weekend since New Years. It's tough going trying to get work done in a few days each weekend that are always interrupted by nap times or dinner time or what have you. He has persevered though. We have had several heavy rain storms which luckily allowed us to find the gaps and figure out waterproofing needs. Mitch has now waterproofed one side (the one with the two windows and the metal siding). Mitch had to use a clever combination of metal flashing and roofing tar to seal up the bottom of the house and then a bunch of sealer around all of the window and siding seams. I actually did a tiny bit of work on the house myself - painting the two sides of the house that are covered in siding and face the neighbors yards. Now they are painted tan to match the big house although no one except the neighbors ever sees this part of the house. I also filled the nail holes on the front of the house with putty but Mitch did all the sanding to perfection. You may notice that the lovely wooden panels from the front of the house are off. They started to warp in the sun and we had to take them off so they could dry straight. The front of the house was also leaking so now we have a big tarp over the front until we can get the boards straightened, back on, and the front all sealed up. Mitch has also been working on painting the outside and doing the drywall inside. All the drywall is up and now we are in the extended mud, putty, and sanding phase before we can put on the primer and paint the inside. Ah, the never ending process.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Still Enjoying the Boys

Despite all the poop, we are still loving our guinea pigs. They are very friendly and eat lots of leftover compostable goods like orange peels, banana peels, and produce.

Gave Up on the Autoharp

I gave up on being able to short cut to my dream of a female science rock band that sings lots of awesome songs about photosynthesis and ecology and evolution (like a bad they might be giants) by learning the autoharp. I decided that for me the autoharp was not going to be a rocking enough instrument. Instead I started guitar lessons with Mitch three weeks ago. So far I know two chords and I already had my first live gig, playing along to Test It Out played through the boombox by they might be giants. I sang and strummed after Mitch tuned the guitar into an open tuning that went with the song. It was great fun and the kids loved it even though my playing was somewhat, shall we say, amateurish? One fifth grader named Luis actually said to me later, "You weren't playing the guitar." And I said, "Yes I was! Did you see my stellar bar chords!" Then I told him, "You actually know how to play the guitar don't you?" To which he replied, "Yes." And I said, "How many chords do you know?" And he proceeded to count on his fingers and finally came up with 25. I asked him how long he had been playing guitar and he said two years. So I told him that now I had a goal, two years and 25 chords. Rock on. Katafanga is unsure of how he feels about the guitar lessons but he does love the guitar case.

Warm and Cozy

Several years ago a bunch of us female botany types who also kill weeds were at a meeting together and in the evening we all took out our knitting and knitted hats and discussed the best herbicide for killing yellow starthistle and other evil weeds. It was delightful. Since then I have subsequently learned that the stitches that I learned in my mommy and me knitting group somehow are not actually knitting. I swear I have actually made at least three baby hats, three scarves and a baby sweater, none of which fell apart. But still, my knitting is in somewhat of a hiatus. So when it started to get chilly here and even chillier in my office and my friend Sylvia e-mailed me that she was doing a lot of knitting (she is one of the botany knitters), I asked her to knit me a hat. Imagine my delight when this beauty arrived in the mail! I LOVE IT. Thank you Sylvia! I took these pictures myself, can you tell?