Friday, May 31, 2013

Tinkerbell: A Fairy for Both Genders!

Rai and Ko's love for (obsession about) Tinkerbell shows us that this is a fairy that can be loved by both little girls and little boys equally. And, if boys can love fairies, then they can wear dresses, too! So far, Rai wears his Tinkerbell dress at home only (every day) but he has been asking to wear it to preschool. We're a bit reluctant because we're sure a few of the boys at school would have a few things to say. On the other hand, it's never too early for those other boys to learn a lesson about love and the freedom of choice we all enjoy. We're just happy that the boys no longer have to argue over who gets to wear that one pair of Tinkerbell pajamas they have.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

What's Missing?

Looking at this family photo, all looks good. Nothing seems to be missing but, there is something missing. With Grandma and Grandpa spending more time at the cabin, Rai and Ko have certainly noticed their absence. Once in a while, we have to drop by their place, just to knock at the door and peer inside. That helps.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


As it's the last week of school, we've been getting off around 1pm every day. That means that Ashe and I were able to get in a "date" afternoon yesterday. We went to see Iron Man 3 which reminded us that there's an even better movie on the way very, very soon!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The All New Improved Marble Ramp!

In an effort to rid our home of all plastic toys and kitchenware, Ashe packed away the boys' plastic marble ramp. But, this is a home that must have a marble ramp so we visited the local toy store in search of a worthy wooden alternative. We were lucky enough to visit the very same day that a Hape Toys representative was at the store promoting some of their wooden toy sets. A marble ramp was one of the featured toys. Seeing how enthralled the boys were with the marble ramp, the rep immediately asked if they would star in their latest promotional video. Naturally, we agreed! Two weeks later, the online commercial is ready and Rai and Ko are instant stars! Sure, they may not look as well groomed as the other kids in the ad, but they will certainly appeal to that market segment who cannot afford a home with a living room with more square footage than the typical S.F. apartment. It was a win-win: they got video footage that will appeal to the low income crowd while we have two young stars on our hands and  a new marble ramp! Thanks, Hape Toys!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Off The Grid

Over the years, we've spent hours upon hours upon hours exploring and trekking many, many dozens of miles of the 220 mile trail system that winds it's way up and around Mt.Tamalpais. Our many visits have convinced us that there are a specific ten or twelve trails that are the best that Mt.Tam has to offer so, we've stuck to our favorites these past two years. Today, however, we decided to be a little more adventurous. Studying a full trail map for the entire Mt.Tam area, we honed in on the trails beginning at the Mountain Home trailhead, one we've never hiked from before. Not far along the long and diverse Matt Davis Trail, we decided to take a spur trail that climbed up to what was marked on the map as the West Point picnic area. Oh, what a serendipitous decision that turned out to be! West Point is actually the site of a Mt.Tam treasure, the historic West Point Inn. Built in 1904, this lodge has been painstakingly refurbished and maintained over to the past several decades in order to restore it to it's early 20th century charm when it was a stopover point for visitors riding the Mt.Tamalpais Railway to the peak before shooting back down the slopes on the world's longest rollercoaster on the world's crookedest railway in what was called the "Gravity Car". Today, the West Point Inn remains off-the-grid, electricity free (gas light only), and amazingly renewing in its rustic glory. There is no road access and the shortest trail to the lodge is 1.9 miles long. How we didn't know about this incredible, historic lodge, I just don't know. However, it's great to know that there is much left for us to discover in the Bay Area. Now, the question is not if, but when we will spend our first night there. I. Can't. Wait. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Good Friends, Good Food

Good friends and good food -- can't beat it.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Paper Engineer

This morning, Rai and Kotaru had the fantastic honor of meeting a famous children's author and illustrator: David Carter. He had a special reading in the poetry room upstairs at City Lights Books, San Francisco's most famous bookshop. Whereas some of his books are pretty standard pop-up stuff, others are amazingly intricate and elaborate in design. He has truly earned the title of "paper engineer". What a great experience!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cruising Around the Hood

The latest activity that Rai and Ko have grasped onto is the daily 30 minutes to 1 hour spent cruising up and down the sidewalk in front of our place. The forest around our group of apartments is a graveyard for old and discarded toys so there is always some kind of "vehicle" lying around for the boys to use. Recently, Ko claimed a tiny, pink "truck" as his own and, in just a few weeks, he has truly become a master at maneuvering it down hills and around sharp bends. Really, it's amazing to watch him control his little, pink truck .Until today, Rai's vehicle of choice was a blue tricycle with some serious off-road wheels. However, last weekend, we found a small bike in his color: pink, at Goodwill. Today, I mounted some training wheels and... he was off!  Quickly, Rai went from boy on tricycle to boy on bike. This is one of those sports milestones in a child's life, is it not? My boy is riding a bike!  Wow! I don't think I got on my first bike until I was twelve or so...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rai is 49 Months Old!

Today, Rai turned 49 months old and it looked like the boys needed to relax instead of partying. When we got home, they both looked ready to just sit back, relax, eat some food, and watch some t.v. Since we don't have a t.v., we gave them their 15 minutes of internet video time today instead of the regular Friday. Looking at them with their giant snack bowls, zoning out in front of the screen, we were reminded why we don't have a t.v. and how scary a future with a t.v. in our home could be. Their eyes glazed over and we could almost see the tumbleweeds tumbling through their heads. Scary. And, if this picture of Koey doesn't have couch potato written all over it, I don't know what does. Something it takes an unflattering photo like this one to remind us what we really want our boys spending their time doing.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kite Flying

I got windy today so we tried out Rai's and Ko's new kite. Unfortunately, the wind on top of our little hill in the Presidio is pretty gusty and changes directions constantly. The kite would go up, then shoot straight back down, then twirl around a bit before hitting a car or, better yet, Rai in the head. Entertaining? Certainly. Successful kite flying? Certainly not.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bay to Breakers 2013

Parades, costumes, and parading in sparse costumes or nude -- it's what San Franciscans love most. Today's event, the Bay to Breakers footrace showcased the best of this wacky and fun-loving side of the city by the Bay. Rai and I had a great time taking a bike ride in Golden Gate Park, against the flow of "race" traffic. Well, this was about six hours after the start of the race, and about 5 hours after the time most serious runners had finished, so we weren't exactly out to see any of the real "racers". These were more like the strollers or crawlers but they were exactly the ones we had come to see. I'd much rather see people dressed as vikings, or naked turtles than runners in shorts and tank tops and, Rai, well he loved the rollerskaters the most of all. As for all the nude folks, he had this to say, "Daddy... why are there so many inappropriate people in the parade today?"