New Tricks

•May 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment

First off, we went to the doctor today for their 9 year checkup, and they are about the most perfectly healthy kids ever.  So that’s a relief.  Jacob is officially 1/2 inch taller (still) and 20 lbs heavier (still).  But they’re both perfectly on their growth curves.  And last night we had a girls night (Molly and I went for cocoa or coffee and then to see the symphony – the kids orchestra teacher was playing in the west coast premiere of Stewart Copeland’s new symphony and it was amazing!) and a boys night (Jacob and Chuck went glasses shopping, burger eating and then played Minecraft).  And now I have some pictures from the last few weeks to catch up on…IMG_5631

It’s baseball season!  Which means we had picture day.  These are the ones I took, behind the team photographer.


And this is crazy girl, waiting, trying on the batting helmet.


And hanging out with their friend, who is on Jacob’s team.


Then we had a performance week at school.  It started with the talent show, where Molly was in her first play (playing a Hefalump)


(Terrible picture, but it was dark in the auditorium.) and getting her first post-show flowers with friends…


The very next day was the first orchestra performance.  Here’s Jacob seated with the violins:


And Mol with the clarinets:


And Jacob in a cute moment chatting right before it started…


I took some video.  It’s shaky and dark and frankly horrid.  Luckily, the Orchestra took video during rehearsal, when the auditorium lights were on and no parents were in the way.  You can see the kids clearly in it, too.  And definitely hear what we’ve been hearing for weeks. (You have to click on the link, for some reason it won’t let me embed a video right now…)

Here they were in the morning before school:


and waiting for carpool.


Then we had a crazy Sunday.  It started with me and Molly going horseback riding withthe Girlscouts.


She was super nervous.


As you can see.  So the woman that led our ride took her for a walk.


She got comfortable and we took off.


And pretty soon she was splashing her horse through creeks and up hills.


And she totally fell in love with her horse, Summy.  She now LOVES riding.

We rushed from there to take Jacob to his “epic” nerf gun shoot out.  It was a little terrifying.  The boys all had nerfs and we went to the Old Zoo for a crazy attack party.


The scene looked like Baghdad, with the rocks and sand…


But no one got hurt and a truly epic time was had by all…


So now we’re caught up!  Tomorrow we have a baseball game and then a Harry Potter birthday party to attend, so we have to go make pumpkin juice and a treacle tart before bed.  And Sunday we plan to go to the Topanga Fiddle Fest, which always yields some gorgeous pictures, so hopefully I will actually take some and remember to share them next week!






This Is How We Look

•April 24, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I thought that I have so many pictures from the last two week that perhaps rather than a whole story behind each, I could tell you that “this is how one looks when…”

So…This is how they look now.


This is how you look when you’re waiting to see the Percy Jackson musical.


This is how you look when you have to go to your brother’s opening day for baseball.


This is how you look when it’s your opening day for baseball, and you lead the team in running the bases.


This is how you look when you’re waiting for your game to start.  And you have a twin and a best friend there…


This is how you look when a meteor is about to hit the dugout.


This is how you look when you realize you won your first game 8-3.


This is how you look when B.J. Novak is reading you his awesome “Book With No Pictures” at Milk & Bookies.


This is how you look patting the cutest 2 week old baby goat ever.


This is how you look playing with the goats 8 week old cousins.


This is how you look when you’re begging for more ginger beer at Artisanal LA.


This is how you look taking silly pictures at the end of a long day there.


This is how you look when your beloved Daddy gets in on the action.


This is how your living room would look if the men in the family took over decorating.


This is how you look:



When this is happening:


And this is how you look:



When this happens:


This is how you look when Joan gives your Girl Scout troop a private tour of her kitchen.


And this is how you look at the end of dinner at Joan’s.



This is how your troop and their brother’s look half an hour later with loads of sugar, compliments of McConnell’s Ice Cream, in little systems.


This is how you look when you’re waiting for your parents to finish preparing the Seder dinner.


And this is how you look when your sister is reading from the Hagaddah.


And this is how the family looks when they’re taking turns with the 4 questions.


This is how you look at Sunday brunch in LA.


And this is how you look when you get home from brunch (today) and your parents put you to work cleaning the pation furniture so you can eat dinner outside.


And now if you look in the mirror, you’ll see how you look when you’re all caught up on what’s going on in Molly & Jacob’s lives…

Easte, Spring Break and Woah, Museums

•April 8, 2016 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a while.  And I’ve been shocking about the pictures.  Like I took 600 one day at the Broad museum and 2 of spring break (I’m not exaggerating) and 10 of Easter.  So… this is a lopsided update, but I don’t want it to get later, so here goes!

Let’s start with a slideshow of images I took at the Broad Museum, because it was so visual.  And it ends with one from the Getty where we saw a Fado concert with the kids. (Click on the first picture to launch the slideshow…)

Then we went to Portland for spring break.  Where I took two pictures!  One, when we had a surprise run into Lisa at the chocolate shop, which thrilled everyone (the boys were off playing video games, this was a girls only chocolate outing, made complete by seeing Lisa!).


The I snapped this, of much of the way we spent the rainy days:


We got home in time for a Girl Scout hike and flower activity in the woods…



Here’s Molly working on her flower doll, and Jacob did one too.


And the three girls who were able to do the hike:


Now Easter!  First thing, we dyed eggs (no pictures, because I am lame), then we made bunny bread.


Cute bunnies shaping cute bunnies…


Then Easter morning.


And unusual “Easter bonnets”


And finally, egg hunting:


Back to school was busy, with a publishing party for the books they wrote in Spanish…


Which neither wanted to read aloud.


And then a performance of School House Rock for the Spring Concert.


Lastly, they had a Daddy outing where they went bowling.  They are each so very very much themselves.  Always.





And that catches us up to this rainy weekend, where both kids are at sleepovers tonight (which is how I have time to finally update this!), and we hope baseball practice isn’t cancelled before opening day next weekend, and we have tickets to the Percy Jackson musical and to Artisanal LA and reservations for sushi.  I will try to be better about documenting all that, and updating before another month passes…

Magic, Writing, Art & More

•March 10, 2016 • Leave a Comment

So, another dump update of all the crazy stuff we’ve been up to… just images, a few brief words and even one video…

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Let’s start here with a visit to the Getty.


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And a visit to the reading room, where they geeked out on the Greeks.  The Percy Jackson books have been an all consuming obsession, which is making the Getty even more fun.

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And a reading boy, too…

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Speaking of Percy Jackson, on “Dress as your favorite literary character day” at school, Molly was Piper McLean from the books.

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And Jacob was Bond, James Bond.

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Here they are, together and in character:

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Also at school, they had a publishing party in class.  They wrote books about a subject they are experts in.  Here’s Molly with her book:

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And Jacob reading his book to a friend:

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They’re doing a LOT of writing right now… this is them in the afterschool Literary Magazine class.  (I’m teaching it!)


They’re always so very them.  Even when writing.


We went to the opera for Molly’s birthday gift.  It was AMAZING.  One of the best productions of any kind I’ve ever seen (The Magic Flute, done in a crazy silent movie, Melies, German Expressionist style with projections…) And the kids were adorable.

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And a lovely girl (in her kitten heels).  She told me “it’s hard to walk up stairs in heels.”  Tell me about it.

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Look at that long girl!

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And she’s in the phone booth at the opera, here.

Then we went to Greystone to relax…

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The boys were fishing.

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And Molly was playing coy with the koi.

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While Jacob conducted experiments.

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We also hit the Bowie exhibit:


I love this picture:


She’s a huge Bowie fan. Finally, this week we took one of their friends to thier first 4D movie.  They were excited.


Movie’s about to start:


And one last shot of them each.  Molly and I went to tea at the Langham hotel.  Pretty baby.


And Jacob had his last fencing class of the series today.  He’s awesome and loves it.


You can watch for yourself on YouTube:

And that catches us up to the minute.  We have play rehearsal (Molly for the talent show) and Baseball tryouts (Jacob), a fado concert for us all and tickets to the Broad museum this weekend, so that should be just the right amount of fun with out too much rushing around!

9 Years Old

•February 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Those are the faces of 9 year old kids (one of whom does not like having his picture taken!).  Can you believe it?  We can’t.  And sadly, this year was such a flurry of activities that we didn’t even really stop to take pictures.  So I have a sad assortment to offer up, documenting birthday celebrations.  I’ll just put them all up in order.

First, Jacob had an “epic” sleepover with 3 friends who all love video games, nerf and sushi almost as much as he does.  So that’s what they did.  Throw in a little pizza, Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail, waffles and bacon and you have their sleepover in a nutshell.  The only time they sat still was for sushi, so that’s the only picture I have:


Their actual birthday we woke up to all the boys and waffles & bacon and rushed off to another friend’s birthday party at a rock climbing gym.  What started with fears and tears ended up lots of fun.




Whereas I think this is the highest Mol got off the ground, it was still a major accomplishment in fear overcoming:


And she had a blast playing with old friends.  Like friends from early pre-school, so she’s now been friends with them for more of her life than she hasn’t.  Which is terrifying. But cool.


Then present time (we actually skipped their cake on their birthday until the next night because they were too full from Fiona’s birthday cake and then their own sushi dinner….)


Someone got a new tshirt she loves.


Jacob loved his pyramid excavation kit.  Not as much as his nerfs, but I can’t bring myself to take pictures of those.


And Molly is becoming quite the weaver.


The next weekend we had our first Girl Scout cookie table, a friendship dance at school and a long weekend with lots of friends out of town, so Molly’s celebration waited until this weekend.  But here’s the Girl Scouts


And a Chinese New Year celebration we went to


And finally Mol’s slumber party last night, which was a fondue/dance/perfume making party.  With brunch at Republique this morning.  Tres fancy!


Turns out, kids (except Jacob, who ate this bite and then asked for pizza) love cheese fondue!  The real deal stuff, with kirsch and emmentaler cheese!


While perfume making was fun, but stinky.

And the night capped with chocolate fondue, which in case you’re wondering, is a HUGE hit with everyone.  I must mention that in addition to fruits and pretzels and marshmallows, Molly requested matcha green tea poundcake to dip…


The candle is there to toast marshmallows before dipping, per Birthday girl.

And that brings us up to date!  My plan tomorrow is to head somewhere sunny and beautiful so I can grab a couple of good pics of the newly 9s hanging out and staying still.  They are beautiful, brilliant and more inspiring every day.





Cory & the Wolves

•January 30, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Whew!  We needed the quiet weekend we ended up having this weekend; friends were sick, so today’s plans got cancelled and to the kids chagrin I turned it into a grocery shopping and cleaning kind of day.  But now they get to watch Star Wars Rebels while I catch up here, so they’re ok.  :)  And tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, so Molly & I are getting hair cuts while the boys go to a movie.  And like I said, we needed it- last weekend was amazing but super busy and next weekend starts a flurry of birthday cleepovers and fun.  So!  About last weekend:

We kicked off Saturday early with a 2 hour drive north to wolf country and the sanctuary to meet the wolves.  And I can’t do it justice, it was truly so amazing and almost life altering, just meeting those amazing creatures.


We went with three families we just love as much as the wolves and it was incredible.  We all really connected with the animals.  Molly & Jacob refused to feed them, but loved petting them.  So I took their turn.


There was a pup (he looked big to us! but he was too young to interact with people off leash yet) that entranced Molly.  She spent the whole time watching him.  So we got a couple of pictures with him in the background.


Here are the girls with the pup, and then the whole crew:


Molly wants to go back in 4 months as soon as he’s old enough to pet.  Meanwhile the boys got up close and personal.  One of Jacob’s friends even fed him from his lips!


So you can see how tame they are.  Here’s all the boys with them, getting nibbled on:


I love this picture, because it looks like the wolf is saying, “Enough of this.  I’m eating this sweet one.”


After that, the guys needed to hit the bar.


We drove straight from lunch to the airport to get Cory!  And the rest of the weekend was a blast of hanging out with him.  The kids were in heaven.  (Chuck and I had a great time too.)


That first night we went out for Mexican, and then everyone slept very well.  The next morning we hit Monterey Park for dim sum and a hike in the woods.  Where we got some spectacular pictures.


You can see how much the kids adore their uncle.


I love how they’re goofing, then settled:


And Cory sent me a couple of cute ones he took of kids.


We’ve had enough rain lately to get a waterfall.


And a lovey girl…


And an exploring boy, who delighted in being “taller” than Cory, whenever possible.


Cory took one of us (Molly was off climbing).


And on the way home, I got one last good one of the kids crashing on him.


Lastly, updates for the kids at school and activities…  Molly was in the school Spelling Bee.


I love the Peanuts in the background.  Here she is, spelling.


And Jacob has started up fencing again.  He loves it, still, and is really good.


This week the kids get out at noon every day for Parent Teacher conferences, so it will be another busy week!  And we’re one week away from having 9 year olds, so treasuring every moment of that…

Happy 2016!

•January 9, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I’m going to go backwards here, with the pictures for a minute, because we just drove Grandma and Grandpa to the airport, and I want to start with the pictures of their wonderful visit.  It was coffee, wine, laughs and rain fueled.  Not to mention a few early birthday presents for the Aquarians in the house (that’s most of us!).  In other words, perfect.  Plus, we got a big enough dose of sunshine for a gorgeous beach outing for lunch on the pier and a walk in the water…

So, here is a slide show of that beautiful day:

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And I have to thank them so much for taking me shopping for my birthday present (some gorgeous clothes!), but I didn’t take pictures.  I did take a couple of the kids with their new gift: computers!  This is Jacob when her realized what it was:


He said, “This is the best day of my life!”  And this is the kids in the position they took the rest of the week (you’ll notice Molly still prefers to watch Jacob with a computer, but she’s learning to like email, and that you can look up books and cute pictures of baby animals).


I’ll also mention that Molly made us dinner from her new cookbooks, including pumpkin juice, stuffed mushrooms and rhubarb crumble.  They’re all tasty, but the rhubarb thing is actually to die for…  And she spent a bit of time painting with Grandma (needless to say, Jacob monopolized Grandpa and computers…) and sewing on her new kit from the YaYas…


And now I’m going to go back to the day after Christmas, and our waterfall hike.


Turns out LA is extra gorgeous when it’s wet…


Then for the new year, we went to La Jolla.  It was spectacular!  The cove was gorgeous, the food amazing, and we planned to take the kids to San Diego Zoo, but they wanted to visit the Hotel Del Coronado and walk on the beach instead.  We watched Some Like It Hot on Christmas, and they loved it and wanted to see where it was filmed.  Needless to say, we were thrilled to sleep in, save $200, and visit a hotel we love on an island we adore.  I’m going to put the whole shebang of pictures up in a slide show, so things of note are the Hotel Del, Molly about to jump in the pool because SHE LEARNED HOW TO SWIM!! (finally… though Jacob is still content to do cannonballs in the shallow end where he can always touch) the kids together on the balcony at our hotel (gorgeous views and we could hear the waves and the seals all night), and everyone relaxing on the gorgeous coast.

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