Saturday, February 28, 2009

You’re In the Jungle, Baby!

About a week ago I took the kids to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.  Part aquarium, part natural history museum, part botanical garden, it’s a pretty cool place to see.  It’s especially nice if it’s a great day outside and you can work a walk in the park into the mix.

Would I go to this place over and over and over?  I don’t know.  As with a lot of things in San Francisco, the Academy of Sciences is currently suffering from the new-new-thing-itis.  Meaning, every-every-everyone has to go there.  Across the way is the de Young museum, and it was probably 1/2 as crowded, but a year or two ago, it was all the rage and you *had* to go there to be a cool kid/parent.   Three years before that, it was the Botanical Garden (also very close and in GGPark).  Both those places are much more manageable now, as they’re no longer the new-new-thing.  My father in law bought a membership there for himself, a guest, and kids so that he can bring grandkids, and that is why we went while it’s still new.

Since it’s crowded, it’s hard to really assess if it’s a ‘go over and over’ place.  There was no lingering over a display because you were blocking the next and next and next person’s access to it.  Carter did get to touch a snake for the first time, so that is cool.

Being a hybrid of sorts, I suspect the Academy suffers from “Master of None” Syndrome.  If you want a zoo, the SF or Oakland Zoos have it beat.  If you want an aquarium, then there is the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  But I will say this – the architecture was WAY cool, and it had a rain forest in it.

Since the line to get in the rainforest habitat is very long, I had ample time to admire the structure.

There’s a catwalk that winds around the inside of the dome with a lagoon, trees, etc. in the center.  People walk up, up, up the three stories at a gentle slope and then ride an elevator back down to the bottom, which is a floor down and under the rainforest to reveal the flooded environment.

It’s pretty cool to stand a good 75 feet up and see people peering through water from the tunnel waaaay down there.

That screen conceals the elevator.  When in the elevator, riders can see through it to a different angle of the ‘bubble’ innards.

So, yeah, cool.  But I think the kids enjoy a day at the Discovery Museum more, honestly, and it’s only 5 minutes from my house.  I’m sure we’ll go back in a year to revisit it, but it’s not something I’ll add to our rotation per se.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bring in The Gimp

2008-02-26 001

Yesterday I was walking to the car, stepping down from the curb and over a concrete parking space ‘thing’, and I must’ve planted my foot crooked, because next thing I knew I was falling and my ankle was bent at an unnatural angle.  I also banged my shin on the concrete, but that was the worst of my worries.  My biggest worry was that I’d be unable to get up, but I did…  I’m a klutz, but generally a lucky one.

Being accident prone, I had a ankle bandage at home to put on.  My limp is pronounced, but I am still able to carry the baby, and generally hobble around.

When Bunny was a few months old, Paul and I went body surfing at the beach down the block from our old house.  It was that day, for the first time, that I realized what a hardship losing the use of an appendage would be with a small child.  It was only a theoretical realization—I jammed my wrist as I was tossed by a particularly rough wave.  I was left unhurt, but the idea of having to deal with a cast/brace or, even worse, crutches was scary to me as someone who was responsible for carrying another person around much of the time.  What would have been a pain in the butt before was suddenly on the list of ‘not worth the risk.’

So, while I am not thrilled to be limping around the house, and don’t enjoy this pain, I am grateful I can still do my job albeit slowly today.

As an aside, Carter was not very patient or understanding as I sat, assessing my boobooedness yesterday.  He’s so three!  “Mama!  Get up!  Why are you sitting now?  Help me in the car, I need buckles!”  Boy oh boy….

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I lurves me some LOST. Yeah, no big secret there. Wednesday is a good day. :)

Bunny also loves that show, and benefits from the reairing of the prior week's episode at 8 every Wednesday just before the new one, since her bedtime is obviously a bit early for a show that ends at 10. She doesn't get to stay up until the end of the show, but sees a good 3/4 of it. Some may say that it's mature content for a child her age, and I do not dispute that. But Bunny is not your average bear. Primarily, she very well understands the difference between fiction and reality, and to quote her, thinks it a 'really cool show.' I agree!

Anyway, it's our ritual to sit and watch LOST together, and since I already have seen the episode, I can help prepare her if something is scary or confusing (gonna be fun to help her with Locke's death... it'll be fine, she is surprising about these things). I also appreciate the reminders the subtitles give and that they also confirm some things I suspect when watching it 'live' the prior week (like that Ben's promise *did* involve Penny... I am holding out hope she kicked his ass and survived, but not much hope).

Sometimes Bunny has some really good insight, too. Obviously I can't believe she fully gets this whole time travel timeline, but I do believe she grasps it to a degree. For example, her favorite parts of the story are the smoke monster and whispers... the 'creepy' parts. So it's what she focuses on. When that French dude was dragged, I told her Locke also had been dragged, but not hurt or changed for the worse. She made a very good point, I think. She said, "Well, the smoke monster already knew him, right?" Derrrr. Yeah, he/it did. Time traveling Locke had already been on the island at points in perhaps the prior many hundreds of years and was certainly known and accepted.

So, perhaps she misses some finer points, but Bunny's not completely in the dark when we enjoy 'our' show together.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I've decided to be a Daring Bakers drop out. Oh gasp! While I enjoyed the challenges I tackled, I just do not have time to devote nowadays, and it seems like we always have an alternate thing we would rather do with our time in the kitchen (we is Bunny and me). So there you go. It was fun, but we'll just do our own thing.

This weekend is Paul's birthday, and since he doesn't want cake, we have our own challenge. I asked him what he'd like, expecting him to say creme brullee, but he said strawberries and whipped cream. As Bunny said, "How do you put a candle in that?"

Indeed! I have been thinking, and I believe I have a workable idea, but will save that for when we make it, as I am sure we'll post the photos to go with it this weekend or Monday at the latest!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Menu for Week of Feb 23

I'm a day late, I know!  We have a cold ripping through the family, and.... yada yada yada....

Sunday: Rotisserie chicken
Monday: Meatloaf, asparagus, salad
Tuesday: Chicken enchiladas
Wednesday: Sauteed shrimp, cous cous, zucchini
Thursday: Cashew chicken & veggies, rice
Friday: Chef Salad
Saturday: Sausages with Onions/Peppers/zucchini

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Landmarks are good.

When you’re parking in a large city, it is good to have a landmark in mind to help you remember where your car is.  Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you have a really good one.

Yesterday we went to the California Academy of Sciences.  It’s up in SF, and relatively new, so it was crowded, this being Winter Break for the school aged chilluns.  Their parking lot was full, so had to park on the street.  I like that better, since I am forever forgetting where, which level… was it 3B or 3D?  I had brought the double stroller, and Bunny runs miles at a time in running club, so we could stand to enjoy the fantastic weather we were having.

About 1/2 or 3/4 of a mile away we finally found a space.

This was our landmark:

Talk about your beautiful parking space!  Right in the midst of a city of ~750,000.  Honestly, while I liked the Academy, the walk there and back was my favorite part of the day.

I think it was Bunny’s too.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I’m not the biggest person with details.  Some people are painstaking with their planning and execution of projects.  I?  Am not.  I can either plan or do, but seemingly, not both.

My general style, if you can call what I do a style at all, is ‘everything goes together’… someone once said it was a kind of Shabby Chic, haha… but that would presume there is a lot more planning going on than there really is.  I do try to work within a color scheme, slowly finding and adding, but I am simply not that into it.  One thing I will say, no one ever worries their kids can’t play here because they’ll mess up my meticulously decorated house!

Since planning is not my forte, I didn’t consider the outlets in Bunny’s room.   Being built in the pre-everything we have now era, the original portion of the house has less outlets than most would like nowadays.  Added to a lack of ceiling fixtures in the kids’ rooms, it can be tricky.  Thankfully one outlet in each kid room is switch controlled.  I am thankful for that convenience.

The outlet nearest Bunny’s desk was not completely obscured by the Expedit shelf, thank goodness.  But it was not close enough to the desk, and I could not fit an extension cord behind the shelves, since they’re flush with the wall, and that shelf ain’t moving anytime soon.

While detail finishing is something I often say, “Meh, whatever….” to, this time I thought it was important.  For starters, I would not want Bun to tangle herself in the cord and fall.  Nor would I want it to fray and possibly be a hazard.

So, I actually did something neat.
Well, neat for me.  I carefully (for me) covered the cord with electrical tape along the bottom edge of the shelves.  Yeah, there is a crinkle here and there, but I doubt most people would notice the wire in the first place.  Getting the dark shelf mistakenly really worked out in this case, since I know myself well enough to know I’d NEVER get around to buying white electrical tape.

While we’re at it, here are a few angles of Bun’s shelves more close up than I shared in the previous post.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Room Progress

Not the best job of stitching photos, but it gives a decent idea of how the room is coming along.

And the wall by her bed.  I’m not sure I won’t pivot the bed and put the Barbie house in the space that would result between the bed and desk.  I think I will leave it be and see how this works.

You may notice the shelves are NOT white.  I thought I bought white shelves, but was obviously mistaken at IKEA in the madness that was that place on President’s Day.  After consulting with Bunny, whose response to “How do you feel about black shelves?” was “I don’t care,” we went ahead with the black.  And I have to say I like it.  I am thinking the white may have been too washed out.

One neat effect is the sound in her room is WAY dampened.  All those little cubes in her shelves really changes the acoustics in the room.  Still to come is the dresser and I need to finish putting stuff on the walls, then the room will really begin to be pulled together.

Bunny?  She’s very happy with it.

Especially when you look at the before:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Humpty Hump

Well, we’re up to Hump Day in vacation week.  Today has, so far, been LOOOOOOONG.  Meh, not everyday can be a trip to IKEA, I guess!  ;)

Bunny’s furniture was delivered, and is currently a stack of boxes.

Soon to be much improved, I am sure.  :)

Currently Sistahgirl is cleaning her room, as I informed her assembling furniture requires a clean room, and it appears the maid has taken her life off.  Oh, I will surely swoop in in the morning and finish up, but she is going to put in some sweat equity here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hi ho, hi ho, off to IKEA we go.

Give me strength. For starters it's a week off from school here. A RAINY week. I mean, it is POURING out. But we need the rain, so I am going to make, um... mud pies. ;)

This morning we're trekking to IKEA to pick out a couple of new items for Bunny's room. She's had most of her furniture since she was an infant, and lacks any organizational pieces. So, lucky girl is getting an Expedit! I love that bookcase so much, and may buy one for the living room later this year. She's also getting a desk, chair, and a new 4 drawer dresser. That will help the boys' room, too, since they'll get her old dresser and they won't need to share a dresser anymore, plus another cabinet will be migrating to the boy room out of Bun's (once it's all delivered and put together--I'm *so* doing the delivery thing this time.

Here is what I think we'll get... but a red chair for Bun.

Wish me luck taking 3 kids to IKEA on a holiday. Wheee! We're going to head out in a little bit so we'll be there early, then do the loooon walk around the displays, grab some lunch, then head downstairs to get the schtuff and arrange for delivery. Maybe the bigger kids can go to the play area for phase 2, which will be NO fun for them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baby on the go.

Good news: Finally we're getting some long overdue, much needed rain.

Bad news: School's out all next week.

Today I took 'em to The Jungle, a large indoor play area. Cole is becoming big enough to play in the ball pit, and that is pretty much what he did for 2 1/2 hours.

Sorry, there was something on the lens, so a lot of these photos leave much to be desired with regard to focus. :)

Today Cole also took what I'm going to call his first independent steps without a fall at the end. It was just a shuffle, but he stood up, shuffled, and then continued to stand. Yay!

My three were so cute playing together. It's going to be something else to see Cole start to try to keep up with the 'big kids' more and more. He already tries, but soon he'll be bipedal.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

2009-02-11 019, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

The kids and I made cards... here is mine to everyone I did not actually mail one to. :) Hope you have a nice day.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Mr. Darwin

Birthday cake for Charles Darwin, originally uploaded by goodhen.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Flowers for Mama

Cherry Blossoms, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Today when we came home, Bunny darted off. I thought she was going inside while I brought the recycling cart up the driveway, but she actually was picking me some flowers for my birthday! These cherry blossoms smell so nice, and are a breath of spring on a rainy February day.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bouncing Baby Boy

2009-02-11 004.AVI
Originally uploaded by Kristianna
This is how Cole amuses himself. As you can see, he's worn through the cheapy plastic 'fabric' of the chair, and seeing as I never hope to buy a highchair again, I duct taped it, haha! He's a rough and tumble boy at times, and only 13 months old.

Friday, February 06, 2009

When it rains...

...jump in the puddles!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

My silly son.

2009-01-31 001, originally uploaded by Kristianna.

Carter frequently seems to find himself doing things like this. He just walked up to me with a "Easter Bunny" Mr. Potato Head piece in his mouth. He has the goofiest sense of humor.

The other evening he decided it was 'naked time' and proceeded to run around one of the sofas over and over. After about 5 minutes I said it was time to go get dressed in his pajamas. "Sorry Mom! Can't stop!" was his answer. And he didn't. He kept running for about 5 more minutes.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog Day Menu Monday

Happy Groundhog Day!

Monday: chicken curry I didn't get around to making last week and chickpea/spinach salad
Tuesday: Sausage & Pepper Frittata with sauteed tomatoes
Wednesday: meatloaf (I made two and froze one last week, so this is that one), fauxtatoes, spinach fritters
Thursday: Pork Loin with Orange/Prune Sauce, creamed corn, salad
Friday: Homemade Bolognese Sauce
Saturday: Lentil Salad and rotisserie chicken
Sunday: CORN (clean out refrig nite)


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