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.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

100 Square Feet per Person: Christmas in Marin

It is January 29th and, with a month fully past, I think we have recovered from the holidays. It was a wonderful time, filled with friends and family, but it was also beyond busy. I modest home was host to 16 people, all under the same roof. Sumie's entire family was coming to stay, so we had to get ready.

Thankfully, we had two elves to help us with the housework. Kuri took to sweeping.
By the time he finished, the area behind the couch was quite clean, but not much else. Such are the limitations of a one year old who cannot walk.
As Sumie and I cleaned, Mimi and Kuri kept us entertained with their antics.
Naturally, their animated play lead to the occasional head bonking, which neither particularly enjoyed.
Early on Christmas Day, we met Sumie's brother's family at SFO and then headed to the Dumpling House. Not a traditional Christmas breakfast, at least in my household, by any means, but very tasty.
Mimi and her cousins, Shuhei and Asuka, approved.
Sumie's parents arrived later that afternoon. By early evening, we were all back at our place, where the kids discovered the Christmas surprise: a trampoline!
The trampoline was a wonderful addition to the back yard. With up to 8 kids staying over at the same time, we needed something that would contain them and their energy.
Even Obachan and uncle Genta got into the spirit, though the kids were quick to ask for their turn back.
Given that our home is a Japanese household, there's a no-shoe policy. As such, the door out to our back yard looked like this for days.
Everyone slept in most days, but when it was time to get up, the energy was flowing. Even the kids helped with cooking breakfast.
And with the extension, we were somehow all able to fit around the dining table.
After a day with just Sumie's brother's family and the grandparents, Sumie's sister brought her family up to join in the celebration.  Nana and Shuhei, the two oldest cousins, took turns playing the piano.
 That night we had present time. It was complete mayhem.
I have to say I was quite proud of Mimi, though. She waited quite a while to open her Christmas presents. In fact, we didn't get to all of Mimi's gifts until January 6th or so!
There were some quiet times with everyone here. The girls cuddle up to watch movies...
and Sumie's sister Kae counseled the children on the trampoline, looking vaguely like the Dalai Lama (at least from a distance).
Grandma and Grandpa also came by, while the whole family was here, to take part in the fun. Here Mimi is enjoying a story with both Obachan and Grandma.
Eventually, most of the family transferred to Sumie's sister's house, and we took a day to decompress. Mimi and Mama relaxed in the December sunshine on the now relative tranquil trampoline.
Of course, with Mimi, there's never really any such thing as quiet time. Even without her cousins, she was keeping us busy.
It was a wonderful holiday. Sadly, many of us were sick during this time, and after, as a massive flu-like cold rampaged through the kids (and their valiant parents), but that didn't dampen our spirits. It was truly special having the entire family under one roof. I was also proud of our little home. It is, indeed, quite modest, but it housed us all and kept us comfortable, making for a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

It's been a busy January, but hopefully, now that everyone is healthy and back on track, I'll be able to keep up with all that's been going on. A happy belated new year to you all!