Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Science Academy



The California Science Academy opened it's door after it's long long renovation and we went to see it on Sunday. I was very impressed. I expected to see lots of "still under construction" signs but that wasn't the case at all. Things were polished and very well done. I loved the energy of the place. The floor plan is open and bright and the exhibits were well laid out.


The aquarium reminds me a lot of the Monteray Aquarium. The tanks were super huge but I am still in love with the moon jellies. Those things are so other worldly that I find myself calm and happy around them.


Maybe because it was opening weekend, they had lots of people of the floor showing off various live animals as well as models, bones and skins. This snake, named Balthazar, was being poked at by everyone including my little girl. See that little blue bottle on the edge near the bottom of the picture? It's a bottle of hand sanitizer for the kids after they play with the snake. I didn't take a good look at the brand but I think I want it. It's the same alcohol based hand sanitizer but it smelled so so good.


In addition to the more "grown up" exhibits, they have a little play area for the little ones. They call it the Exploration Cove. The kids had a lot of fun there. Here is a picture of Hayden working on a nature inspired puzzle.


Kira found a cozy little nook and claimed it as her own.


Guess who won the staring contest?


So we put the kids in this little enclosure to play. After a few minutes, Kira started whining, "mommy help! I can't get out". Seriously, look how huge she is compared to the little foam ring. Then there was Hayden who totally thought he could take on the ring and made a very good effort climbing out on his own. The guy can't even crawl forward and he is more physically capable than the girl. How sad.



Another major attraction was this Albino alligator. Man, does it look weird. I have another picture that is much clearer but I really don't like looking at it. It looks like it's been striped of it's skin. Very unpleasant.

We visited the gift shop on our way out and of course Kira thought she was going home with all her new alligator friends.


It was an enjoyable outing. We didn't have a chance to see their living roof and the planetarium. We'll definitely go back again. Admission is very steep ($25 per adult) but we snatched up a membership when it was still cheap. We'll have to go there lots in the next 6 months or so before our membership runs out. :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Hands


Kira made these hand prints while she was painting the other day. I think they look like a happy face - two dots in the middle for eyes, the smudge and the thumb for ears, the palm for mouth. See it?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A New Jacket

I made a new jacket for Kira. It's based on the same pattern as this jacket that I made for her when she was 6 months old. She wore that jacket from the time she was 1 - 2 years old. I am hoping she can wear this one for a few months too. I love this fabric so much.

While she modeled the jacket for some pictures, she said she wanted to look like Mai, the character in Totoro. So I put some pig tails on her. OMG, she is so cute in pig tails. I just melt to a puddle and she can pretty much get away with anything when she wears her hair like that. Yes, I am a sucker.

One second she is normal, the next second she is crazy.


She looks like she can be 4 years old in this picture.


A series of Miss Silly pictures. She can be very animated. She was looking at the mirror and making faces to herself in the first two pictures and looking at the camera and making silly faces in the last two.





She often shows enthusiasm by jumping up and down.


Now that I am looking at these pictures, I noticed none of them really show off the pattern on the jacket. This fabric really is very cute. I am sure I will take more pictures of it later. I also happen to think it's gender neutral which means Hayden will get to wear it in 2 months. What do you think?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Little Explorer

Look at how happy, crazy and huge he is!

The little boy has been such a happy explorer these past couple of days.


"Wonder what I am going to find next?"


"How does this work??"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Farm Animals

Kira built some lego creatures the other day and they were modeled after these other creatures that she was playing with. We staged them to have a little farm meeting.


A close up at the chick, pig and rabbit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Picnic

We went on a picnic with a bunch of friend at a big playground. The weather was beautiful and the food was yummy.

Hayden likes "older women". :-)



I am trying to get one of the kids to always carry the Totoro bag. Inside are their diapers and wipes.

Kira hasn't seen her friend Ricky for a long time. It was great to see them reconnecting so nicely.


"Help me! Get me out of this monster's mouth!" says the animal cookie.


Little kids on the Merry-Go-Around.
video

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Godzilla


Kira and I built a tranquil little city. There were towers, a tunnel, a bridge and it was populated by little animals. Everything was picture perfect... until Gozilla came along.

Here comes Godzilla:


Mid-attack:


Godzilla in action:
video

Job done:

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Recipe For Trouble

I would like to share a recipe with you today.

Ingredients:

1 sleep deprived mama
1 increasingly independent toddler
A dash of catalyst

Preparation:

1. The night before, teach the toddler how to reach for things on a high shelf. Praise said toddler for her increasing independence.
2. Set the outside temperature to about 68F. Put all household noises to nap.
3. Put sleep deprived mama on a couch.

4. Encourage toddler to put blankets on mama and play nap time.

5. Wait about 30 sec for mama to fall asleep.

6. Leave catalyst (I chose a self inking stamp) on high shelf and watch the wheels spin inside the toddler's head.

Your finished product should look something like this:


I think I was out for about half an hour. I felt something wet on my lip and I brushed it away. I was thinking Kira was probably feeding me something from a spoon. Maybe one that was in her mouth and frankly, I didn't care. I just wanted to stay asleep a little longer. I felt it a second time and it was accompanied by some little giggles. I thought I'd half open my eyes to acknowledge her attempts to play with me. What I saw was most terrifying. Her face and hands were all red. Then I looked around me and I almost had a heart attack!

My precious couch and cushion were ALL RED! I mean, it looked like a crime scene. I had died on the couch and there was blood all around me. The bear that she let me hug to sleep - also red. The blanket - red. I was so shocked that I just didn't say anything to her at first. I put her on a chair and ordered her to sit. Then I proceeded to clean the couch.

The lessons I've learnt?

1. Pay the extra $300 to scotch guard your couch.
2. Only buy washable products, ie washable crayons, washable markers, washable ink pads, etc.
3. Toddlers cannot be trusted - no matter how charming and reasonable they seem.

I obviously was not in the mindset to photograph my couch but I wish I did. After I was pretty sure that most of the damage can be reversed, I went to deal with the girl. I seriously wanted to give her a good talking to but I couldn't stop laughing. It was actually funny. I mean, I had ink on my lip, on my forehead, on my jeans, on my chest, on my arms and on my neck. The girl was also a mess. I couldn't look at her ink covered face and not think, she's just a kid and she is pretty darn funny.

I know, this is also a recipe for raising a criminal. Keep telling her she is funny and just a kid and let her get away with stuff. So, I did my best to turn my laughter into loud yelling and gave her a long long long time out while I giggled myself silly. Ah... motherhood. I wonder how the girl will remember this incident... or if she will remember it at all.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Airplane Hiding Behind Helicopter, A Dinosaur and Some Turtles

Yep, that's the name of her new master piece. Can you identify them all? I was so fascinated by her narration as she was painting. We have a budding artist on our hands!

Baby sat blissfully on the high chair with his teething biscuit while Kira was painting. I wasn't in the kitchen the whole time so baby became her only audience. I don't know what she told him but he was super excited when I came out. And doesn't he look huge in this picture?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Toto Madness

I went nuts this morning! I had so many ideas in my mind before I even got out of bed. So I fed the baby and got sewing.

First, I worked on this bag. My usual model is not around today so I had to use a substitute.


Last weekend, I walked into a store to find a gift for a friend. I didn't find what I needed but found these little guys instead. The world seems like a happier place knowing these guys are looking after my keys. (Yes, I know the little one is still in a plastic bag. I have issues.)


I wanted more after I made the Totoro bag, so I made this little guy as well.


I wanted to sew more after the Totoros. So I finally gave this kitty a face. I made this cat long long time ago for a friend but Kira kind of claimed it as her own. She slobbered all over it too much for me to give it away. I think I have to make another one for my friend now. Kira did name the kitty Sammy in honor of its inspiration. I figured Kiki should have a black cat as her sidekick anyway.


Oh, I got this totally awesome shirt for baby at Target. I got two others that were also oh-so-cute. Target is so cool.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another Visit

It's always great when friends come to visit us. I work very hard to convince everyone I know to move here so we'd have more family and friends around. I also enjoy seeing Kira getting to know our friends and remembering them after long periods of time. Our friend, Damon, came to visit in March and Kira had a great time then. He was back this past weekend and Kira still remembers him and she had a blast! She is very fascinated by Damon. Oh... other than Brett, Damon is the only other person who reads Fox in Socks to Kira. I don't even try to read that story. It twists your tongue like no other children's story.

One of the things we did during Damon's stay was to visit the Farmer's Market. I saw this mushroom farm at one of the booths. These things are mushrooming all over the place (ha ha). They look kind of neat. I think I want one... but I am not sure.


It was gray in the morning but got quite nice by noon. Kira had a good time chasing birds.


Another thing we did was to go to Vik's. It is simply the best Indian food in California. Words can't describe it. Try it out for yourself. Pictured here are little puris and the mother of all puris.


Kira wants to be just like Damon. So she tried on Damon's bandanna. I think she needs one of her own now.


One of the highlights of Damon's visit, for Kira, was of course reading time.


"Thank you for reading to me all night, every night, Damon."