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Tuesday 23 December 2014

Elf on the Shelf: Week 3

Another week of December has gone by and that means another week of Elfie Pokie Nokie hanging around in our home. Here's a look at what he got up to over the past week...

On the fifteenth day Elfie got a little tangled in Christmas lights. We found him sitting next to our tree wrapped in a spare set of lights that I'd yet to hang on the tree.

Sunday 21 December 2014

Alameda Christmas Tree Lane

A few weekends back we took a stroll down Alameda's "Christmas Tree Lane".

The 3200 block of Thompson Ave in Alameda is one of the East Bay's best spots to check out houses decked out for the holidays. Almost every house on this section of the street is covered in lights with displays covering the front lawn.

Many of the houses have a particular theme and feature beloved characters both from Christmas stories and popular movies. There are snowmen, reindeer, Santa, elves, candy canes, and characters from Marvel comics, Peanuts, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Grinch who stole Christmas and Frozen. Snoopy, Jack Skellington and Elsa all on one street? Lola was in heaven!

Here's a look at some of my favourite displays on the street.

Gingerbread House & Sugar Tree

Last weekend I took the girls into the city to visit two of San Francisco's finest hotels and their festive Christmas displays: the Giant Gingerbread House at the Fairmont Hotel and the Sugar Tree at the Westin St Francis Hotel.

Visiting these two amazing confectionery pieces makes up two of the vouchers on our advent calendar and it has become a tradition for us to visit them every year.

Nevada City Victorian Christmas 2014

Last Sunday we traveled to Nevada City high in the Sierra Nevada ranges to attend the Victorian Christmas Festival.

Every year Nevada City plays hosts to thousands of visitors who flock to the beautiful little gold rush town for the festival. The town's many Victorian era buildings and the surrounding pine forests, make the perfect backdrop for the event.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Elf on the Shelf: Week 2

Another week of December has gone by and that means another week of Elfie Pokie Nokie hanging around our home. Here's a look at what he got up to during week two...

On the eighth day Elfie got into the Halloween bucket again. Lola has been reminiscing about Elfie making a mess with the Halloween candy last year so she was pretty excited to see that he was up to his old hi-jinx again. That is until she noticed that it was her Halloween bucket and he'd eaten a Snickers bar, two Easter eggs and a lollipop! Elfie Pokie Nokie has not been in Lola's good books ever since! I'm sure he'll make up for it in some way.

Monday 15 December 2014

The Little Ice Rink

This post is sponsored by The Little Ice Rink. All opinions are my own.

Last Sunday was our day of wintry fun. We started the day with a trip to the "snow" at the annual Snow? In Berkeley? festival (which you can see here), then spent the afternoon ice skating at The Little Rink in Alameda.

The Little Rink is located at Alameda's South Shore Center and is a great spot to spend the afternoon.
We skated for just over an hour as the sun began to set and it was perfect. Ava is our little skater girl and despite the fact that she hasn't had lessons in a year and a half she took to the ice like a pro. Within no time she was showing off with one foot glides and attempting spins. Lola is still a little nervous on the ice and needed help but I could see her confidence growing as she skated.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Snow Day in Berkeley

Last weekend we pretended that we get real Winters here in the Bay Area and spent a day playing in the snow and ice. We spent Sunday morning making a snowman and having snowball fights, and the afternoon ice skating at an outdoor rink. A perfect day of Winter fun - without having to actually experience Winter!

I'll be sharing our ice skating fun soon but first let's have a look at our morning of fun in the snow...

Monday 8 December 2014

Peter Rabbit Organics Giveaway

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Peter Rabbit Organics. All opinions are my own.

Mathilde has been eating solids for over two months now. Twice a day, lunch and dinner, my hungry little piggy guzzles down a bowl of mushy food. Apples, custard, rice cereal, pumpkin, peas, kale... we're yet to find a single thing she won't eat!

Elf on the Shelf: Week 1

Elfie Pokie Nokie, our Elf on the Shelf, is back in our home again for the holiday season.

Just like last year he's been moving around the apartment and doing all sorts of different activities. I've got to admit that he has been a little lazy at times. So far there have been three days when the girls have woken to find him still in the same spot as the day before, but he has made up for it by flying back to the North Pole to visit Santa and coming back to a different position while we've been out during the day. The first time this happened he left a note saying it was due to the rain but we've come to the conclusion that maybe it has something to do with me being up throughout the night feeding Mathilde. He can't move around when Mathilde and I are still up, can he?

Anyway, here's a look at what Elfie Pokie Nokie has been up to the first week of December...

On the first day Elfie appeared along with the advent calendar just like he usually does. He fits nicely into the big pocket for day 25. This is always his starting and ending point in our home.

Sunday 7 December 2014

Our Little Christmas Tree

As if visiting Santa on Friday night wasn't exciting enough, we upped the Christmas spirit on Saturday by taking the girls to choose a Christmas tree.

The past few years we've visited a Christmas tree farm and cut our own tree. This year we kept things simpler and visited a nearby Christmas tree lot and bought a pre-cut tree. 

Visiting Santa at Macy's

Friday's advent voucher was the one that the girls' look forward to the most out of the whole calendar: the voucher to visit Santa at Macy's.

We headed into the city in the evening after Ava's skateboarding class and the girls couldn't wait to see Santa. As usual Ava and Lola were a little nervous when it actually came time to go talk to Santa but Mathilde was pretty intrigued and happy to go sit on his lap. The big girls warmed to him pretty quickly and in no time they were telling him about all the things they'd like for Christmas: a tv, puppies, American Girl accessories, a computer, a chess set...

Thursday 4 December 2014

Clay Leaf Ornaments

Autumn is almost over but here in the Bay Area it's finally in full swing. The trees are golden, the sidewalks are covered in leaves and the cooler, rainy weather is finally upon us.

Autumn is my favourite season for being creative. Actually, it's my favourite season in general. I really enjoy creating crafts with Autumn leaves and I'm lucky that I have two little helpers who are just as keen. Ava and Lola love to collect colourful leaves as we walk to and from school and they're always excited to make something with them - although admittedly most do end up crushed in the bottom of the stroller!

Most of the crafts we make with leaves are temporary. At some point down the track the leaves get crumbled and whatever we've made ends up in the trash. I thought it would be nice to make something with leaves that lasts a little longer, so inspired by the nature impressions in clay that we made over the Summer (which you can see here on Popsugar) we got to work pressing leaves into clay.

The girls and I have worked on all sorts of leaf crafts in the past but this one has to be my favourite.
I'm really happy with how well they turned out. They really do look like leaves. I hung them up in the living room for Thanksgiving but I'm actually thinking of just leaving them up as they look so pretty.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Letters to Santa

December is Christmas crazy all month long in our home. The advent calendar goes up on December 1st and every day the girls find a voucher for Christmas activities. Vouchers for ice skating, choosing a tree, Christmas crafts, Christmas movies, visiting Santa...

Every year the first activity in the advent calendar is the same: writing a letter to Santa.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Charles M. Schulz Museum

Ever since our recent visit to Santa Rosa and our hunt for Peanuts statues (which you can see here) Ava and Lola have been obsessed with Charlie Brown and Snoopy.

Kim and I have been wanting to visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa for quite some time, so with the girls new interest in his work I started organizing a visit. As luck would have it, our visit to the museum was just in time for the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Celebration.

Friday 28 November 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Happy Thanksgiving for yesterday!

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Seven Months Old

Guess what? I am now seven months old!

Over the last month I have been learning lots of new things and brushing up on skills I've previously learned. I'm getting super fast at crawling, I can wave, I can feed myself from a squeezy apple sauce pouch, I'm learning to drink out of a sippy cup, I can climb over (and on top of!) all sorts of stuff, I'm good at pulling myself up to standing against furniture and people, I've been practicing lowering myself down from standing, and I can stand on my own for a few seconds. I'm pretty proud of that last one. It always makes me smile.

Friday 21 November 2014

The Little Ice Rink Giveaway

Can you believe that the holiday season is almost upon us?

December will be here in just over a week. That means I'm going to have to get cracking on this year's advent calendar. I'm a big fan of giving experiences as gifts and our advent calendar is no different. Rather that filling the calendar with chocolates or candies I like to fill it with vouchers for fun activities for the kids: writing letters to Santa, visiting the Giant Gingerbread house, baking Christmas cookies, making Christmas crafts, decorating the Christmas tree...

My all time favorite activity that appears every year in our advent calendar is ice skating at an outdoor rink. Having spent most of my life in Australia I'm used to hot, Summery Christmases with ice skating only possible indoors. I absolutely love that Christmas falls in Winter here. Even though we don't have white Christmases here in the Bay Area, there's just something magical about Christmas in Winter. Being able to take part in wintry Christmas activities like ice skating outdoors makes it feel even more magical.

This year we'll be visiting The Little Ice Rink at Alameda's South Shore Center for our outdoor ice skating. I can't wait to take the girls and they're pretty excited about it too. My favorite thing about skating at The Little Ice Rink is "Bobby" the Seal skating aide (you can see it pictured below). Ava took ice skating lessons for a year and a half so she's a pro on the ice, but Lola has only skated a few times and is not so confident. Usually when we go ice skating I spend half my time hunched over holding Lola's hands. With "Bobby" Lola will be able to skate around on her own with confidence - or take a rest and be pushed around! How cool is that? 

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Golden Gate Bridge Walk

Having visitors from home is a great excuse to get out and explore San Francisco. So when our friends Kylie, Joel and Sebastian visited recently we knew we had to do something we hadn't done in a long time: walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge is one of those landmark structures that amazes me every time I see it no matter how often that is (I can see it from our apartment). Every time it pops into view it's a reminder of what a fantastic part of the world we live in. It's magical in much the same way that the Eiffel Tower appearing from behind a building feels magical when you visit Paris. Or the Empire State Building in New York. Or the Harbour Bridge in Sydney (five years of seeing that one almost every day and I was still in awe!).

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Santa Rosa Peanuts Sculptures

Recently we visited Santa Rosa, the Sonoma Valley city that was once home to Charles M. Schulz, creator of the beloved Peanuts comics.

In honor of Santa Rosa's most famous resident sculptures of Peanuts characters have been erected around town. There are two permanent bronze sculptures while the rest are movable and can be found dotted around the city. 

Ava and Lola are quite fond of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and their pals so we set out to find as many of the sculptures as possible. We were there quite late in the day (after our visit to Petaluma Pumpkin Patch) and the sun was starting to set so we didn't manage to find all of the sculptures but we did find quite a few.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Pumpkin Fun

Time for another Halloween catch up...

After our visit to Petaluma Pumpkin Patch we had lots of fun work ahead of us with our pumpkins. We carved jack-o'lanterns, roasted pumpkin seeds and made Mathilde and Sebastian pose inside of carved out pumpkins!

It was a beautiful day here so we spent the afternoon up on our roof carving pumpkins until the sun set. Here's a look at our pumpkin fun...

Monday 10 November 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

A few weekends back we visited Petaluma Pumpkin Patch to pick our pumpkins for Halloween.

Ava and Lola had been looking forward to visiting the pumpkin patch for such a long time. It's one of their favourite things every year. This year we had our friends Kylie, Joel and Sebastian visiting from Australia. We were excited to share such an American institution with them. Plus it was Mathilde's first visit to a pumpkin patch and therefore a huge photo opportunity!

Friday 7 November 2014

Milk Carton City

We drink a lot of milk in our house. I mean a lot. Milk is such an important part of our family's day. We drink it by the glass, pour it on our cereal, blend it in smoothies, bake with it, and the grown ups in our house drink a lot of lattes. We just love our milk.

All that milk means a lot of empty milk cartons. The milk cartons usually go into the recycling bin but sometimes it's fun to recycle them ourselves by getting a little creative.

Looking at all the milk cartons in our recycling bin recently brought to mind an image of row houses; the picture perfect kind that you see throughout Europe. I mentioned this to Ava and Lola and right away they decided that they should turn empty milk cartons into a little play city.

Halloween 2014

I've been a little absent here on Little Hiccups of late.

I've been so busy with visitors from home, Halloween, school field trips and all that regular day to day stuff that steals away my time. I had grand plans to catch up and share all the latest fun with you this week now that it's a little quieter around here but I've spent most of my spare time filling out police reports and dealing with insurance after the recent theft of our beloved cargo bike. Bike thieves suck!

I have so many fun posts to share with you so let's start with a look at Halloween...

This year we had our friends Kylie and Joel visiting from Australia with their little boy Sebastian over Halloween. This was their first time celebrating Halloween and Mathilde's too so it was extra special.

We had a real mish-mash of costumes this year: Ava was a fancy ghost (although everyone thought she was an old lady!), Lola was a werewolf, Mathilde was a chicken, I was a spider and Kim was, you guessed it, the class nerd! We're making him recycle the same costume every year as it suits him so well! Kylie and Joel dressed as vampires with Sebastian dressed as a bat. A little more cohesion in their family costumes than ours!

Monday 27 October 2014

Pumpkin Bowl Ice Cream

Summer may be over but that doesn't mean that we can't have ice cream, right? Every day is a good day for ice cream, but holidays are even better. 

I've partnered with 'Got Milk?' to bring you this simple Halloween themed dessert. It's so simple your kids will be able to make it themselves. It's so much fun they'll want to make it themselves. And what could be better than happy kids getting involved in making their own food?

My kids and I are big fans of making our own ice cream - without an ice cream maker! All you need are a few simple ingredients, some ice, salt and ziplock bags and you can make delicious ice cream in just five minutes. 

My kids love to make ice cream using this technique. Food always tastes better when you make it yourself, especially if it's fun to make. And I like knowing exactly what is going into my kids' food. This recipe combines the goodness of milk and a little physical activity to make a fun, delicious treat. It's a fun way to get a little more milk into your children's diet and to provide their bodies with the fuel they need to grow.

To give our ice cream a Halloween theme we're coloring it orange and serving it up in carved out mini pumpkins. My kids aren't huge fans of pumpkin flavor so we're making the ice cream vanilla however you could add pumpkin pie spice for a more authentic taste of the season.   

Sunday 26 October 2014

Six Months Old

Yesterday was my half birthday. Hooray! I'm six months old.

I tried to ask Mummy for a half birthday party and half birthday cake but she didn't seem to understand what I was saying. I guess I'll have to wait until my actual birthday, six months from now. That'll give Mummy plenty of time to plan it!

I've been pretty busy over the last month. Like always I've been learning all sorts of new things.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Three Years in America

 Three years! That's how long the girls and I have been in America now. Well, not Mathilde, she's only been here six months ;)

The last year has been a pretty eventful one. The major event of course being the arrival of our little American baby. We've been on fun adventures, celebrated holidays and had quite a few visitors from home. In fact, today my best friend in the whole wide world will be arriving to visit! I can't wait, but more on that later.

Here's a look at some of the highlights from year number three in America. I won't lie, there are a lot of photos, so get yourself a coffee, get comfy on the couch and enjoy...

We started year number three in New York with friends

Friday 24 October 2014

Berkeley Police & Fire Open Day

Yesterday the Berkeley Police and Fire departments hosted an Open Day at the Public Safety Building.

The girls and I happened upon the event as we were heading out to do some shopping and I'm so glad we did. The girls got to use fire extinguishers, try on fireman jackets and bullet proof vests, play in police cars, pretend to ride a police motorbike, meet Sparky the Firedog and even turn the siren on in a police car. They had so much fun!

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere...

Yesterday Lola's preschool class had a field trip to a local greengrocer.

That may not sound like the most exciting place to visit but when you see the giant pumpkin pile below you'll see why it actually was an exciting place to visit.

Every Autumn a mountain of pumpkins can be found at Monterey Market here in Berkeley. It's a favourite place for local kids to visit and climb the pumpkins. And it's a great spot for photo opportunities!

Monday 20 October 2014

Lola's Ice Cream Party

This weekend we celebrated Lola's 4th birthday with an ice cream party.

Saturday morning we gathered with a group of Lola's little friends on our building's roof top for some ice cream themed fun. We had ice cream shaped popcorn treats, a popsicle pinata, an ice cream shaped birthday cake, ice cream cone party hats, and we made our own ice cream! So much fun.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Ice Cream Party Invites

I can not believe that my little Lola is going to be four tomorrow!

We'll be celebrating her birthday this coming weekend with an ice cream party. Lola chose the theme for this year's party quite some time ago. In fact, I believe it may have been right after her last birthday party finished!

Lola has been super excited about having an ice cream party, and I've got to say that it's a pretty fun theme to get creative with. I've got all sorts of ice cream and popsicle themed activities and accessories lined up for the party and I can't wait to share them all with you.

So let's start by having a look at the invitations...

An ice cream party needs tasty invitations, right? These little chocolate covered popsicle invitations do the trick. I made them three dimensional complete with popsicle sticks, a bite taken out the top and a wrapper. Don't they look delicious?

Sunday 12 October 2014

31 Days of ABCs: K is for Kangaroo

This year I'm once again taking part in a wonderful series called 31 Days of ABCs. Each day throughout October a different blogger shares a project or activity related to a letter of the alphabet. 

Today it's my turn to share and we're up to the letter K. K for koala, king, kite, key and kangaroo.

I'm so excited to share this activity with you. Lola has been learning to recognize and write her letters (both at home and preschool) and one thing that I've noticed is that she gets a little stuck when it comes to matching upper case and lower case letters. Some letters are easy and don't change much between the cases while others look completely different and catch Lola (and many other young children) out. Upper case letters are generally pretty easy, but some of those lower case letters can be a little tricky. Especially when they don't look anything like their big counterpart. I'm looking at you g, r and d!

Saturday 11 October 2014

Capay Valley Open Farm Day

Last weekend we attended the Hoes Down Harvest Festival at Fully Belly Farm. The main festival took place on the Saturday and we camped out over night. On the Sunday there were a host of workshops available as part of the festival however we decided not to take part in any this year (the Kid's Day Camp is on our list for next year though).

Instead we decided to visit a few other farms in the area as part of the Capay Valley Open Farm Day.

So after breakfast we packed up our tent and hit the road. The day was hot and we were all pretty tired from the festival on Saturday so a quiet day visiting just a few farms was in order.

Hoes Down Harvest Festival

Last weekend we headed to the countryside and attended the Hoes Down Harvest Festival at Full Belly Farm in Yolo Country.

Ava and Lola were so excited about going to the festival. They couldn't wait for all of the hands on farm fun and crafts but the biggest draw card for them was the fact that we'd be camping out overnight. This was the first time that we went camping as a family and the big girls were so excited about it. Ava has been asking to go camping for years so it was about time we finally got around to it!

My Karate Kids

If you've been reading Little Hiccups for a while you'll know that Ava has been taking karate lessons for just over a year now. Over the Summer Lola joined in the karate class so now I have two karate girls.

This week the girls took part in a belt test. For Lola this was her first test (for her white belt) and for Ava it was her third (white belt with two black stripes).

Monday 6 October 2014

Kiwi Crate Giveaway

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Kiwi Crate. All opinions are my own.

This give away is now closed.

Recently we had a look at Kiwi Crate, a monthly subscription service for kids. If you missed it you can find the post here.

My girls had so much fun getting creative with their Kiwi Crate and I know that your kids will too so I'm hosting a fun giveaway. Up for grabs is a three month subscription to Kiwi Crate. Three months of creative, hands on fun delivered right to your door. How fantastic is that?

Saturday 4 October 2014

Conservatory of Flowers

Back in July the girls and I visited the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park with friends. This was one of those places that we'd been meaning to visit for such a long time but just hadn't ever made it there. We decided to make use of the monthly free entry day (the first Tuesday of every month) and spent an afternoon surrounded by exotic blooms.

The Conservatory of Flowers is currently home to a special exhibition called "Chomp! They Came from the Swamp"; a showcase of amazing carnivorous plants. The exhibition runs for just a few more weeks, finishing up on October 19th so I figured it was about time I shared it with you.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Big Girl Food

Look what happened today!

My little baby has started eating solids!

Mathilde has seemed ready for solids for a little while now but I hadn't been ready myself. She just seemed too little and with all the other speedy growing up she's been doing (sitting, rolling around, almost crawling, sleeping in her big girl crib...) I was keen for her to stay a little baby just a little longer. But there was no denying that she was ready. So today we decided not to hold off any longer and started Mathilde eating rice cereal (mixed with breast milk). 

Thursday 25 September 2014

Five Months Old

Much like Little Miss Mathilde and her non-stop movement, month number five has zoomed by... 

Can you believe that at only five months old my little baby is almost crawling? Crazy, right? After a few weeks of rolling to get around, then a week of perfecting her plank position, Mathilde has progressed to the pre-crawl "hands and knees belly-flop" technique. Ok, I have no idea what to call her method of movement! It's almost a crawl but not quite as her legs move together. You can see it on Instagram here. I can see that she's trying to work out how to move them individually but she hasn't quite got there. Judging by the way she's zooming through babyhood I imagine that she'll have crawling down pat within a week. And then be walking the next!

Monday 22 September 2014

Kiwi Crate

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Kiwi Crate. All opinions are my own.

Have you ever tried a subscription service for your kids? We recently tried out Kiwi Crate, and let me tell you, the kids absolutely loved it.

Kiwi Crate is an award winning monthly subscription service providing quality hands-on creative and educational fun for kids ages 4 to 8. Each month's crate includes everything your kids will need to create two or three fun activities plus a 16 page magazine full of activities to extend the learning and fun. And it's all delivered straight to your door. It couldn't get any easier!

Each crate focuses on a different theme such as Music, Color, Robots and Safari. The theme of our crate was Amusement Park and it came with everything the girls needed to create Bumper Cars and Silly Squirters. So much fun!

Both activities were simple enough for Lola to make with a little supervision, but still fun for Ava. The projects included in our crate featured lots of stickers and, like most kids, my girls LOVE stickers so they were a big hit.

Here's a look at the activities that the girls worked on...

Sunday 21 September 2014

Washed Ashore at San Francisco Zoo

Recently we visited an amazing exhibition at San Francisco Zoo called Washed Away.

Created for the The Artula Institute for Arts & Environmental Education under the leadership of Angela Haseltine Pozzi, Washed Away features sculptures of sea creatures made from debris and plastic pollution collected from Pacific beaches. Over the last three years community members have collected over 11 tonnes of debris from Pacific beaches to create more than thirty sculptures. These sculptures form a travelling exhibit and education programs that tours the country to highlight the impact that marine pollution has on wildlife.

Visitors to the exhibition are greeted at the entry of the exhibition by a sculpture of a sea lion pup.

Saturday 20 September 2014

Goodbye Grandma C

Dear Grandma C,

We are going to miss you now that you're no longer with us. 

Even though we've been on opposite sides of the world for almost three years, it was nice knowing that you were there back home. We all looked forward to seeing you on our next visit home. We looked forward to you meeting Mathilde, the youngest of your six great-grandchildren. 

Losing you when we're so far away is hard. I wish we could have been there to say goodbye. To give you one last hug. To be there for Mum. But knowing that you are no longer in pain is a great comfort. Knowing that you're finally reunited with Grandpa after such a long time helps too.

I will always cherish the memories of our time together.

When I think of you I always picture your beautiful garden. You were passionate about gardening and your hard work paid off with one of the loveliest cottage gardens in town. Your garden was a rainbow of colour with something always in bloom. As I child I thought that your garden went on and on forever and I loved exploring it. I was sure that fairies made their home in your garden

When Adam and I would stay with you over the Summer holidays you would take us for walks in the evening. I loved those walks, especially along the river and under the bridges. As we walked along the streets of Strathalbyn you would comment on gardens as we passed by. There was always one garden in particular that you were in awe of. One special garden that you would point out all of the hard work and dedication that must have gone into creating it. One garden that was so beautiful that you always commented "Look at this lovely garden. I wonder who lives here. It must be a lady. A man can't have made such a beautiful garden". Of course, it was your garden.

Every year you came to stay with us over Easter. And every year, without fail, you brought the rain with you! You also brought the loudest snoring I've ever heard! You never believed us that you snored, but oh boy, did you snore! Kylie once woke up terrified that there was a monster in the next room. Of course, it was you snoring.

As a child you had me convinced for the longest time that you were only forty. I never seemed to notice that your age didn't increase as the years went by. Nor did it ever occur to me that you were never really forty during my life time. Forty seemed like such a big number to me at the time. It sounded so old so I believed you, year after year. Of course, now that I am approaching forty myself (eek!) it doesn't seem like such a big number after all!   

You were always busy working on some sort of craft project or other. Lots of crochet, knitted lace, and most recently, jewellery. To this day I can't see a crocheted coat hanger or toilet roll cover doll without thinking of you. 

Goodbye Grandma C.

We miss you and we'll love you always.

I am sure that where ever you are now there are flowers blooming, but they'll never be as lovely as the ones in your garden.  

Monday 15 September 2014

Exploring the California Missions: Mission Dolores, San Francisco

This post is part of a series by a group of California Kid Bloggers on exploring the California Missions. Over the next few months California's missions will be featured by various bloggers. You can follow along here

In the almost three years that we've lived in the Bay Area we've visited San Francisco's Mission District many times. But it wasn't until this Summer that we finally made it to the neighborhood's namesake.

Most commonly referred to as Mission Dolores (after a nearby creek, Arroyo de los Dolores), MisiĆ³n San Francisco de Asis is the oldest intact building in San Francisco. 

A visit to the one of the city's most important historical sites wouldn't be complete without delving into the past a little, so here's your history lesson for the day...

Sunday 14 September 2014

TinkerLab Workshop

Today was a day for tinkering fun.

To celebrate the recent launch of the wonderful kids' creativity book "TinkerLab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors" we headed down south to Los Altos to a fun event hosted by the book's author Rachelle Doorley. The event was held at Helix, the Silicon Valley outpost of San Francisco's Exploratrium

The book launch was such a fun event. First up Rachelle demonstrated making "Slime" which is one of the 55 fun projects featured in her book. The kids were all fascinated watching the simple ingredients come together to make something so gloriously gooey, oozy and bouncy all at the same time. They couldn't get enough of the gloopy stuff. Mathilde especially couldn't keep her hands out of it - but, thankfully, kept it out of her mouth!

Thursday 11 September 2014

Just call me Gappy!

Ava lost another tooth on Monday night. 

That's 3 down and many more to go.

This is the first time that Ava has had a gap after losing a tooth and it feels so weird seeing her with a missing tooth. When her two bottom teeth fell out the adult teeth were already growing behind. They were already about the height of her other teeth when the baby teeth came out so there was no real gap. This time around there's no adult tooth yet to fill the space. In fact, it hasn't even slightly poked through the gum yet. I wonder how long she'll have a gap for?

It must feel extra weird for Ava as she couldn't stop looking at her teeth in the mirror!

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