This weekend marked our 4th year of camping with many of our Las Madres friends and their families. Instead of our usual Big Basin forest camping trip, this year we headed to Sunset State Beach near Watsonville. We camped in the trees on the leeward side of the big sand dunes, and could take a quick walk down the road and over the dunes to the beautiful beach.
Henry made a new best friend this year, and his name is Seymour the Shovel. Our friend Jake brought an enormous shovel along for things like fire-tending, and giant-beach-pit-digging (said pit provided HOURS of fun for the kiddos at the beach). As soon as Henry caught sight of that shovel, he was hard-pressed to ever let it out of his grasp. He spent the entire camping trip happy as a clam, dragging Seymour around the campsite, digging hole after hole in the soft, sandy dirt. By the time we left the campsite, it was as pocked with craters as the surface of the moon! Here's a gallery of the action.
He also kept Seymour busy at the beach, shoveling sand into and out of the giant pit that Jake had dug. All day and long into the evening Henry just dug and dug and dug. I thought we might find him asleep, curled up with it beside him in the tent! Jake spent quite a bit of time calling out "Henry! Where's my shovel?" when he needed it! Henry has now asked for a shovel for his birthday, so it looks like John and I are off to OSH to dig one up
I know—given his history, I can't believe it, either! And yet here you see him, complete with his new little bear (named Manijeh after our dentist-office friend who gave it to him) getting a trim of its own. Wonders never cease...
Oh hi, I've misplaced a Finnegan somewhere in this giant metal sculpture. You haven't by chance seen him, have you?
When a guy's wife & kids are off living it up on a glass-bottom boat, what's he to do? Naturally he gets trussed up with a bunch of nerds, rides up a mountain on a Unimog, and then ziplines his head off (fortunately not literally!).
Though it's a tad off-topic for the Micronaxx blog, here's a little gallery of the adventure. (As for the boat trip, Margot's phone crapped out, so we'll just have to imagine Pancho the Sea Lion & the peanut-eating fish (which sounds like a crappy '90's band).)
Recipe: Take one (1) Mexican lucha libre mask, add two (2) Micronaxx, mix in liberal amounts of bacon, and stir wildly.
Finn toasts s'more eyebrow hair, braving the campfire as his pal Magdalena looks on:
Mom-O had the great idea to buy them each a little Lego set that we could take with us & build while on vacation. Henry's is particularly perfect as it features a Coast Guard diver & boat. That's perfect until, of course, a tiny part (specifically a translucent blue diver's mask) disappears (against a blue tile pool floor). Henry's loud wails that "I'll never be happy again!!" attracted the attention & help of a nice group of moms & dads visiting from Iowa without their kids—and luckily Dad-O's probing toe saved the day. Balance was restored to the universe, and while the boys play the grown-ups have been enjoying chats with a cool older couple from Southern Cal (Berkeley grads who served in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan).
Here's a little gallery showing the happy squirts in the water.
Check out the gallery from our most recent Pasitos camping adventure! We went to Mt. Madonna with Henry's preschool buddies and their families. Happily, Pasitos "alumni" like Magdalena and Finn were also in attendance - and everyone had a blast. Everyone was excited about hiking, arts and crafts, games, cookouts, sleepovers, singing and s'mores around the campfire.
This weekend marked the annual gathering of super-creative folks of all stripes, called Maker Faire. For those of you who've never gone, it's definitely a must-experience! It's billed as The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth, and it's like a tw0-day science fair crossed with a county fair, with a bit of performance art thrown in. Or for those of you familiar with Burning Man, it's like a smaller, less dusty, less expensive Burning Man. Exhibitors and participants come to celebrate creativity in all its forms, and share all of the fantastic things they've made. Some are there to help you figure out how to make your inventions a reality! There is always so much to see and do, and it is a total blast for both kids and adults. It really gets your creative juices flowing.
This year's highlights included the always popular cupcake cars, a human-powered bike carousel, a high-five machine, a man-sized and man-powered sidewalk-chalk spirograph, serpent vehicles, a fire-breathing amphibious sea-serpent vehicle, lego robots, make-it-yourself kayak kits, cheap and portable DIY yurt kits, El Pulpo Mecanico (a giant fire-spouting metal octopus), a remote-control model boat battle (with real BB's as ammo), and tons of crafts for the kids to make. Here's a little gallery from Sunday's outing
And here's a tiny video showing El Pulpo Mechanico—the mechanical, fire-breathing octopus!
Our friend Donna spotted the dour little gent below in a book today & was reminded of Mr. Henry “I’ll just use my frown as a hat” Nack. I can see why!
Finn and I headed to Dr. S's office earlier this week for his 6-year old check-up, which is required for entry into 1st grade this fall. Although excited to avoid vaccinations (no more needed until he's 11!), he was not thrilled about sporting the "paper towel dress" required for the check-up. He kindly posed for a rather nervous shot in the gown before the doc came in to check him out. He also got to rock some awesome little headphones for his hearing test, which he passed with flying colors.
Current stats: 48 inches tall, 51 pounds. 85th percentile on height, 75th on weight, and right on track with his "big guy" teeth starting to come in. He's grown so much this year - both mentally and physically - it's kind of hard to believe. He's reading now, in both English and Spanish, even working out words he doesn't know! He's doing simple math, writing and illustrating his own stories, taking art lessons, and has many good buddies in class and at daycare. We love our blond 6 year-old to pieces.
The lads & I had a ball attending Father-Son Night at Finn's school. Just to send us over the moon, the whole thing was Lego-themed, featuring buckets of Legos to play with, a taco truck, and finally a screening of The Lego Movie complete with root beer floats. Man, I think I'm gonna have a conniption just thinking about it.
Anyway, here are our own "minifigs" hamming things up a bit beforehand:
We returned home yesterday tired, dirty, and happy from another great camping trip to nearby Mt. Madonna with the Pasitos preschool gang. I’m working to pull together some good photos, but in the meantime here are a couple of glimpses into the hike we did Saturday. Finn & Henry really enjoyed taking turns using the binoculars & chattering on the walkie talkies.
Visiting Google again on Sunday, Henry was appropriately perplexed & even a little horrified by the life-sized Justin Bieber cutout that mysteriously shares our office space. We all are, son—we all are. :-p
Four-year-old Finn spent easily six months obsessed with getting what's literally the world's most complex Lego Technic set—namely, a giant German military truck called the Unimog—and me being me, we got it for his fifth birthday (see gallery). Thus you can imagine our delight upon encountering a real live Unimog at Google this weekend. Behold its rusty majesty!
Capitalism is thriving at our house, with The Boat (Finn) and Green Car (Henry) running roughshod over their poor Cat (Dad-O) and Dog (Mom-O) parents. In fact, I think Finn remains undefeated thus far! Here are the little robber-barons in action last night: