Thursday, March 31, 2011

Synopsis of a Busy Week or Two

Starting when? With Simon Orion's birth on March 18th. Hurray!

Then Maddie's 3rd birthday party celebrated on March 19th. Hurray again!

Jess showing Max the perfect pinata batting stance.

The great gift from dad--an indoor hockey game

where crawling into the nets (or, as the pros call it, "playing goalie") is fun.

Old friends--Erika Oller and Stephenie Frederick--over for dinner.

Then up to Palo Alto

Toby and I visit with Glenn and Nancy and Emma and Sam at their wonderful new house in Half Moon Bay.

Seeing Chiemi for a Japanese lunch in Los Altos.

Being hosted by Carl and Lea, a cozy couple, in Palo Alto.

Passing time at the Feinsteins--Maddie tossing a ball over and over again to Bridget, the ever-ready, with gales of laughter.
Waiting to hear if there would be an operation.

There wasn't, this time. But there will be.
Here are the always-ready shoes, big and small.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just arrived!


born on Friday, March 18th
(almost the night of the full moon)

8 lbs., 10 oz.

to Rachel, David, and Gwen Wren
(who's very happy to be a big sister)

in Gamboa, Panama

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


While Sam and Jess took another well-deserved night away (this time to Big Bear with a group of friends), Toby and I got to stay with the M's.

Tulip too-and she was a hit! She seemed happy with all the attention--except for a few accidental step-ons by the kids. On Sunday morning Max snuggled in next to Tulip, very gently patting her while holding his paccies in the other hand.

And Maddie? She owns the kitchen now--getting her own snacks out of the refrig, climbing up on the counter to see what's going on, and loving to wash dishes--especially if there are lots of bubbles. On Sunday morning she pulled out the exact right size metal bowl for making pancakes, stirred the batter, made sure there was maple syrup, and happily ate her good cooking.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sushi a la Mad and Max

Yesterday Jess and I took the kids to Sam's favorite Japanese restaurant.

Driving over I had to photo the kids in their car seats:
Max often crosses his feet this way--so grown-up!

And Maddie had banana legs.

We all loved the restaurant. We ate in a tiny garden outside where Maddie
played with the pebbles on the ground for most of the lunch.

As to the food, well--Maddie loved Edamame, not eating it, but shelling it.

And Max loved the chopsticks but it got confusing
when he put them all in his glass
and found they didn't work like a straw.

And, yes, we did bring home a large crab meat rice salad for Sam--his favorite.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Familiar Faces and Places

Last week one of Toby's students came to visit.
Zhang Lei (on the right) was in Toby's class at Renmin University in China and is now studying at UCLA. He and his roommate seemed unperturbed about taking many forms of transportation from LA's west side to Pasadena. But probably nothing compares to what they're used to: getting around Beijing. I got a big smile when I snapped this photo in Toby's study (well, really Julie's study).

On Sunday Toby, Tulip and I were reaquainted with the Eaton Canyon Trail going up into the San Gabriel Mountains. Bob and Jack (the beautiful poodle) showed us the way.

And then Sam and Maddie (Jess staying home to be with Max who was running a fever) drove us to Senor Fish for a late brunch and early lunch. Good old Senor Fish in Eagle Rock - tasty, atmospheric, fun - a familiar haunt.

This morning another mountain hike--partway up Echo Mountain, just north of Pasadena. We used to take our old dogs, Smokey and Conrad, here all the time. Tulip took right to it. Toby and I loved the gorgeous surroundings, loved a little less the steep drop-offs. We remember catching Conrad by the tail as he fell off the edge - a long time ago.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Their Own Way of Learning

Coming back from the post office, Max decided to walk, not ride,
plus hold onto Tulip's leash.

Watching the fountain's for babies!
Max needed hands in the water,

and getting down to ground level to test out his key.

Maddie showed her own tenacity by insisting on carrying her boxes of treasures on top of her leftover lunch container--she did this very skillfully all the way to the car. It reminded me of kids learning to carry things on their heads in Africa!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

With the Parents Away for the Night,
the Grands get to play.

First, and as a distraction from Sam and Jess taking off
for a one-night getaway,
Toby shows Maddie and Max how to feed Tulip, one kibble at a time.

first Maddie,

then Max.

Making pizza for supper.

After which, Maddie reads to us,
zipping through a million little books in a very short time.

On Sunday, the kids wake up missing Sam and Jess.
But not for long,
'cuz Rachel skypes us from Panama and soon Gwen and Maddie
are playing skype-games--
offering each other pears and watermelon over the
internet, Gwen crawling into and out of a laundry basket,
Maddie crawling into and out of this blue cloth tunnel.

Playing with puzzle pieces in Panama!

We get deep into bubble wrap wear, take walks,
and, yes, even watch some Sponge Bob Square Pants.

We loved our special time with the M's,
it was busy and very, very cozy.

And then there was the great reunion

of the parents coming home.