Thursday, March 19, 2015

Not Quite Drowning

I think the title says it all. As the kids get older, life simply gets busier. Swimming, gymnastics, birthday parties, events with cousins and friends, family get-togethers, call weekends, and the very rare "our night to collapse" have kept me from this blog for far too long. We are, however, still managing to keep our heads, usually, above water. And it has been a lot of fun, despite the manic pace.

A while back, we had torrential rains. Thankfully, Mimi still fit into the rain slicker she had worn to the hospital the day her little brother was born, complete with original stickers.
Kuri, as usual, wanted to get out and play, but only Mimi and I were charged with the mission of purchasing some much needed umbrellas.
I don't know why, but it took forever to find any. I remarked to Mimi that I wish we were in Tokyo, so we could just walk into any convenience store and fine one instantly. A couple of weeks later, I asked Mimi where she wants to live someday. She called out, "Tokyo!" I asked her why and she replied, "So I can always find umbrellas."

Eventually we found a suitable pair of umbrellas to keep us both dry. We celebrated with burgers!
Mimi came down with strep throat about a month ago. It was more nagging than painful for her, but it did mean she had to stay home from school. Grandma wasn't available, but Mimi's favorite fill-in care provider, Lesley, was. She also lets Mimi wear her hats and glasses.
 They like to perform together...
 ...and they really like working on art projects.
 Some of the projects are even gifts for me.
 We had a brief visit with my sister and Kuri's baby cousin Brynn. Kuri showed her how to slide backwards. Based on his consistent objections, this is really the only way to slide.
Weekends have been very busy, but on the occasional Saturday or Sunday that we do get to sleep in, we spend most of our time attempting to pry our iPhones out of the hands of our munchkins.
Mimi had her annual pre-school performance and fundraiser at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts a few weekends ago. Mimi and Kuri were fascinated by the domes. Can you spot Mimi?
 Kuri insisted on walking everywhere. Unfortunately, he also insisted on taking his burp cloth with him everywhere he went. I can only imagine how many diseases he contracted by the end of the day.
 Mimi and Kuri had a lot of fun playing before her performance. This is Mimi in her costume (she was a construction worker)...
...and this is Mimi in her costume playing Battle Bots. I was pretty amazed. She actually figured out how to control the robot fairly quickly and tossed multiple opponents out of the ring. Maybe she actually does take after her father in some ways.
In the few moments of non-kid centered downtime, I turned my energy to the car. Since the beginning of the year, the heater hoses have been replaced, the fuel injectors replaced, the alternator removed and replaced, the fan and fan shroud removed, sand blasted, painted, and reinstalled, and a new stereo has been fitted. All done by me (save the sand blasting).
 It's far from stock and far from perfect (a real mechanic would laugh), but it runs, I have sufficient current to the car once again, and it looks better than when I started (I can't say that about all my projects).
Sumie, as always, has been treasuring the time she gets with the little ones. I love watching them read together, especially when Kuri holds still.
This last weekend we hosted a friend of Sumie's from college, who came down from Seattle with her family. We took the opportunity to head up to Redd Wood in Yountville for some of our favorite dishes. After stuffing ourselves, we strolled further into town.
Kuri particularly enjoyed the grassy knoll we found. A rare moment of reflection from our toddler.
When it came time to say goodbye, Mimi and Kuri said their farewells and behaved for Mama.
But, as you can see, they were right back to their usual trick even before our guests walked out the front door. Such is life with these two.
The next few weeks will be much the same, but I hope I'll have a chance to check in on the blog a bit more regularly. Until next time!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fun Times - Beyond Your Normal Productive Weekend

For the first time in my life, the message on my fist sums up the weekend. I was not expecting it - neither the message nor the weekend.
The weekend began, thankfully, after 7:30am (thank you, Kuri!).  As Mama enjoyed some much needed rest, Papa prepared some toast and yogurt for the munchkins.  Mimi did quite well...
 ...and Kuri, well, he did just fine in his own way.
They ate most of their breakfast, but I think both would've preferred the donuts from last weekend. Sorry, kids. Maybe next weekend.
After breakfast, Kuri continued trying out his new steps. He's still hesitant, but he's using his feet more and more.
He's even beginning to negotiate turns. This time he's making for his big sister's room to nab something she'll probably immediately demand back.
With everyone fed, dressed, and exercised, we headed over the local YMCA to sign up for the health club. Mimi needs more swimming time and I, well, I need more time in a gym regardless of what it has to offer.

Having made a commitment to family health, we went out and got burgers for lunch (yes, this family loves irony). Soon Kuri went down for his nap.  Mimi and Mama to get some girl-time in at the local mall. There's nothing Mimi loves more than shopping with Mama. That, and riding in coin operated helicopters.
Left to my own devices, I tackled my main project of the weekend: replacing the fuel injectors in the 911sc. It's a pretty straight-forward project - it took less than 2 hours from start to finish - but if you've ever done this, you'll know just how difficult it is to reach the two injectors on either side of the front of the engine (by the fire wall). Thankfully, when I finished, the old girl fired up right away, didn't explode, and ran better than before. All this with only minimal bruising.
Later that night, we went for a haircut for both kids. Both survived (despite some energetic objections from Kuri). Mimi and I then washed the Porsche upon our return home, in the dark, to get it ready for Cars and Coffee.

Sunday began with a quick drive up to Novato for Cars and Coffee. As both kids didn't feel like attending this time, I'll save that for a bit later. I know most of you would rather see kids than cars, so we'll move straight on to the afternoon.

Mimi's preschool arranged for an ice skating outing at the Yerba Buena ice rink in San Francisco. We were fashionably late (read: 1 hour), but that worked out well because my feet, legs, and back could only take a full hour or so of supporting a 4 year old on the ice.

After a few strenuous objections from a fearful Mimi when she first hit the ice, she soon found her stride. One end of the rink was sectioned off and had buckets for the little ones to hold on to as the built their confidence. Mimi loved this.
 Before long she was sliding along all on her own.
She even developed enough confidence to give it a go without the buckets! This lasted about 12 seconds, but it was a huge step forward for my cautious little girl.
Mimi had a great time, but I think she was more proud of her skating gear than her actual accomplishments on the ice.
Hungry from skating, the fun times continued at Samovar, a tea room and cafe in the Yerba Buena center.
Mimi tore through a scone, as well as a good portion of my duck sandwich.
 Kuri hung out with Mama, enjoying some water of his own...
 ...and the butternut squash dumplings, which he's reaching for here. Note the position of his sippy cup. Why this must be constantly inverted directly over his pants, our remote controls, or phones, I have no idea.
As the meal was wrapping up, Kuri and Mimi decided to play king of the mountain on top of a large umbrella base. Kuri was quite into it.
 Mimi, well, let's say she was not quite as enthusiastic.
Walking back to the car we passed the waterfalls.  Here we are up top...
 and here's Mimi peaking at Mama down at the bottom from behind the falls.
As we prepared to leave, Mimi tossed a coin in the fountain and made a wish. World peace? Success? Health for her friends and family? No. Mimi wished for toys.
Back at home, both kids reflected on the busy weekend with pen and paper. Kuri is just beginning to draw on his own.
 He's really starting to get into it.
 But I think that's because he loves to follow the lead of his big sister.
Back to Sunday morning. It was amazing turnout at Cars and Coffee. I missed having Mimi or Kuri with me (I'll definitely bring one of them next time), but I did get to see some amazing cars. There was a stellar Jag on display (I think this one is a XK120, but not sure).
 A BMW i8 hybrid was there, the first I've ever seen in person.
 The back end on this car is pretty phenomenal.
 There was a pristine Chrysler 300...
...and a breathtaking Mclaren MP4-12C.
There were even a few cars I could potentially afford, like this perfect original Mini, complete with sunroof.
The star of the show, at least for me, was this modern Corvette resculpted into a 1963 Stingray homage. It really was gorgeous.
Once again, my little 911SC was present, just thankful to have such remarkable company.
 It was a tremendously busy, but also tremendously memorable weekend. All thanks to the two little ones below who, as I look at this picture, I realize are growing up all too fast.