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Summer is in full swing (well 6 days in), we already went camping and yesterday we spent the morning surfing. Today Kai and me went on a single track mountain bike ride in China Beach for 8 miles. She did an amazing job, we followed the ride up with a trip to the only A&W that I know of still in existence.

We saw squirrels, wild turkeys, deer, lizards and lots of butterfly’s, a great day!

 

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Kai and I decided that this summer she would try to ride 200 miles, we cheated a little by starting today. She got a new mountain bike from Yeh Yeh (grandpa) a few months ago and until today we have just been riding around in the park. She is still pretty unsure about skidding down hill and has yet to take a big fall, but today she did some good riding. She has now learned that mountain bikes mean go through puddle or mud area and over anything that has fallen in the path. We went from Alpine Lake to Kent Lake in Marin, its a fire road that follows the river between the two lakes. The terrain is rolling and offered 2 or 3 little down hills, which means 2 or 3 big uphills for Kai. At the end of 2 hours and 10.5 miles or riding there was no complaining and a slightly tired out little girl. So proud of her!

 


Yesterday I went to Great America with 2 other adults and 6 kids ranging in ages from 9 to 1. Surprise, surprise it was a total success for everyone. There are a few things that I will consider next time I go back, oh and I will be back.

Bring your swim suits, I did not realize that there is a huge water park their. Lots for all ages to do, from massive water ramps and speedy tube slides to a gentle pool going from 1 inch to 3 feet. I would also pack some of my own food, the pizza and other junk food are a must at a place like this, but your own water and snacks would save some money and waiting around in food line time. Remember to never go on any rides that spin or rotate in 2 directions at the same time, I thought I was going to loose it a couple of times on those rides. Pair up heights on kids, make sure your under 48 inch kid has a friend, your under 54 inch has one too and the 55 and up has his/her equal, this will make the rides more fun and fair for everyone. Bring a small waterproof camera, I completely forgot my camera at home (sorry for the poor Iphone snapshots). Make sure diner is waiting for you when you leave, or get home. Thank goodness my brothers house is so close and the pool is so warm to keep the kids occupied while you cook.

All the kids had a blast and mine slept in until 9:15am this morning. Soleil went back to bed at 5pm missing her nap and dinner, making me a nervous wreck because she might wake up at any minute and stay up until dawn.


Here is a cute email I got from Mike while I was on my epic corporate adventure.  He sent the email on 08.08.2010, so a little while back, but I want to remember it for all eternity.

Here is a list of things that I remember from this weekend.

Went to Kais play, fun but pretty hocky and low budge. Kai did good, looked super nervous but did it perfectly

had dinner with Ed and Kathy, they are moving in together, she even quit her job to move to SM.

Cocktail party was fun I made like 3 times too much food for how much people ate, we slowly ate more and more each day.

The kids were up at like 11:30pm when I got back to the hotel.

Soleil did not go to sleep until about 2am, but slept in until about 9am wedding was very very very sweet, all the kids did amazing and the vows were teary, Beth mentioned you..

Post wedding pool party was a blast, russ’s food was good and everything went on well Soleil fell asleep on the sofa around 5:30pm and woke up at 7:30pm

Kai swam for like a million hours I went to the skatepark with Michael and his little british family that is visiting.

I have now been in the SF, Pacifica and Menlo park skate parks and only managed to hurt my wrist

Kai passed out on the way home around 11pm, soleil stayed up the whole way and did not sleep unitl about midnight.

We all slept in until about 9am this morning (sunday) headed back to los altos for more swimming and family fun,

Kai slept in michaels bed for a 2 hour nap wide awake, door open and I told her go to sleep now…ok

House is full of post wedding stuff, laundry, old food …. disaster

Going to great america with Michael and the kids on wednesday, Tuesday going surfing (if some swell arrives) with bill as beth and kids watch our kids May go to discovery kingdom on thursday depending on how wednesday pans out.

school starts up in a week.

so far the kids are being pretty good and I have managed to stop doing any else besides hang with them.

I have no idea what the garden looks like?

The VW is seriously falling apart and I will most likely stop driving it now, we need to decide what to do with it.

I think Portland is off, as we may need the money to invest in a new (new to us) car or fix the passat. Beth has offered that we can hang at her house on that weekend. Might be pretty fun.

gotta run and clean up the house in the next hour prior to my falling asleep.

The kids have been talking about you more each day, “I miss mommy”, “where is mommy”…

all dressed up


After camp we headed to downtown, the big macys to find new dresses for a big wedding this weekend. Later we headed to mels diner for burgers and sundaes.

We had some time to kill before Kais swim school so we hit up the wave organs.


Going into the first real week of no mommy and the kids are doing amazing. I think they like only have one parent around because my time is only focused on them and not on mommy. I also think they are being nice to me because they can see I might snap at any moment. They have grown accustomed to watching TV when daddy is cooking or doing other chores around the house that need his full attention (like having coffee).

This weekend we have attempted to go to the kite festival (failure as it was too crowded and east bay traffic hella sucks). Went to Tilden Park, watched Despicable Me, swam at Rinconada pool in Palo Alto, visited with Stu and Laura where Soleil took a nice poop in there green pool and had diner with the grand folks.

Before mom left, I went to Ikea and got a new desk to replace the vacant hole in their room left by Soleil’s crib. As expected they love it, and love to make forts out of it.

The other photos are from this morning at the grocery store.


There comes a time in your parenthood when you are so happy to have your kids out of diapers and able to use the bathroom “all by themselves”. Around that time is when you walk in and find a yellow and brown used bowl that was hastily ran away from, forgotten to flush, and absent of any toilet paper.

As I was loading these photos onto the computer the kids were in the bathroom getting themselves ready for bath. I walked in as they were both climbing into the tub hot clean water and noticed the other not so clean water in the porcelain throne. I said “kai you forgot to flush and wipe” ?! She replied, “it wasn’t me, I helped Soleil onto the toilet and she must have done it”. Soleil yelled out “I DID IT”. A very proud, glorious and magical moment!

Soleil has never used her little kid potty for anything other than a chair and now this!

We all miss mommy.


This last weekend we spent 2 nights out in the WILD. Kailani, 2 of her cousins (Anna and Michael), their dog Macy, her uncle Bill and Daddy drove up to South Lake Tahoe and parked at Echo Lake. From there we took a boat taxi across both Echo Lakes and started the 4 hour hike around 3pm.  After a quick 25 minutes we reached the entrance to Desolation Wilderness. Kailani ran off and trail  blazed until we reached the steep switchbacks, from there the kids were running on  sour jelly bellys, coke bottles and twizzlers. In total the  trip was about 3 miles up hill and 1 mile across somewhat flat terrain, from there we went off trail for about another 1 mile.

We reached American Lake, set up camp and Kai quickly asked for her boo-kini. I told her that its spelled b-i-k-i-n-i, she replied that it covers your boobs so it should be a boo-kini. After a much deserved swim we set up tents and raced to make dinner before the mosquitos sucked out all our blood.  The high altitude made everything seem even more surreal than they already were.  After the moon set the stars came out and next thing I knew it was morning.

HOT! pretty darn hot for 8500 feet.

We decided to march out to Aloha lake and then try to reach a snow melt waterfall. Along the way we found several places to swim and play. We never made it to the falls due to the snow in the snow (snow in July?)  However, we did scare ourselves silly with the threat of a lightning storm and the fact we were swimming in ice melt. Hiking back to camp we decided to take a new route that led us around a couple more lakes and over a small saddle. The small saddle proved to be pretty steep on the opposite side, it took everything Kai had to scale down the face of the cliff to get to camp.

That was not enough for one day, we headed out in search of the famed “clear flats” rocks to jump off of.

Poor Michael was not feeling well the next day for the hike out, so Kai carried his pack for the 3/4 trip out. I think she is pretty proud of being able to help with the loads and do something that her big cousin was having trouble with.

3 hours later and we were in Echo Lake waiting for the water taxi.

Here we are with double scoops before we drove home.

Here are more photos from the trip


This is one of Soleil’s first words…great parenting? The amazing thing is that she really started to use it in the right context and with great infliction. This video was lost for a time and has just again been found for all to enjoy.

First words video


As Kai grows older she eats more with utensils and wipes her face with a napkin, it’s a sign that she is maturing and that our jobs as parents is starting show the fruits of our labor.  On the other side, I miss watching her during those moments of pure joy while eating.  I was lucky and caught Soleil on video having an experience with some Soba noodles.

Check out the video here

Here is Kai when she was just about the same age at Club Wang in Los Altos